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Surprised by a Snake

I have friends who like snakes and know a lot about them. They see them as amazing creatures with an important role in the food chain of insect and rodent control.

I feel about snakes the way I do about poison ivy. That’s what I  bring to the strange-sounding words of Jesus when he says,

As Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness (Numbers 21:9), so the Son of Man must be lifted up (John 12:32-34) so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life. For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:14-17).

Here, so close to some of the most loved words of the Bible, we get the story of a bronze snake. Cast in the snakebitten fears of a wild wilderness, it’s part of the rich background of Jesus’s acknowledgment that he will soon die by the hands and demands of those who regard him as a creature to be feared, hated, and killed (Genesis 3:15).

Who could have predicted the outcome? Who could have guessed that the deceiver would accept such a role in his own exposure and demise?

Who could have foreseen that the Last Adam would allow himself to be seen as a Snake— to defeat the Father of lies in a way that would show that our eternal Father is infinitely better than hearts like ours, and those we love— need him to be.


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238 Responses to “Surprised by a Snake”

  1. Mart DeHaan says:

    Am copying hear jeff1’s post earlier this morning to the last string

    jeff1 says:
    July 5, 2018 at 3:19 am (Edit)
    I never said that I would give you silver or gold
    Or that you would never feel the fire or shiver in the cold
    But I did say you’d never walk through this world alone
    And I did say, don’t make this world your home

    I never said that fear wouldn’t find you in the night
    Or that loneliness was something you’d never have to fight
    But I did say I’d be right there by your side
    And I did say I’d always help you fight

    ‘Cause you know I made a promise that I intend to keep
    My grace will be sufficient in every time of need
    My love will be the anchor that you can hold onto
    This is the promise, this is the promise I made to you

    I never said that friends wouldn’t turn their backs on you
    Or that the world around you wouldn’t see you as a fool
    But I did say like me, you’d surely be despised
    And I did say my ways confound the wise

    I didn’t say you’d never face the bitter kiss of death
    Or have to walk through chilly Jordan to enter into rest
    But I did say I’d be waiting on the other side (yeah yeah)
    And I did say I’ll dry every tear you cry

    ‘Cause you know I’ve made a promise that I’ve prepared a place
    And some day sooner than you think you’ll see me face to face
    And you’ll sing with the angels and a countless multitude
    This is the promise, this is the promise I’ve made to you

    So just keep on walkin’, don’t turn to the left or right
    And in the midst of darkness, let this be your light
    That hell can’t separate us and you’re gonna make it through
    This is the promise, this is the promise I made to you, oh
    This is the promise, this is the promise I made to you

  2. Mart DeHaan says:

    Here’s another from earlier this morning to the last string:

    SFDBWV says:
    July 5, 2018 at 4:37 am (Edit)
    McElmurray’s Mountain Retreat!

    Update

    Posted: 04 Jul 2018 08:32 AM PDT

    For anyone wanting to follow this wildfire in S. Colorado, there are some official links. You can go to two sites for County reports: One is on Facebook and one is a web site. Both are slvemergency but the web site has .org.
    The other official site also has two sites, one on Facebook and one a web site. Springfire or Spring Fire with a .gov. When you put the wildfire in your search engine it has multiple sites and some are Spring Creek Wildfire and all other variations.

    I copied this from Bruce’s blog this morning for any interested parties.

    Steve

  3. poohpity says:

    Thank you Mart.

  4. phpatato says:

    Good morning

    I agree with you sentiments about snakes, Mart. I liked your comparison. My grandmother always said the only good snake is a dead snake. I agree with her sentiments a lot more. lol

    In my mind, the devil/satan has always been a snake. The lowest of creatures, feared by many, trusted by no one. I thought that was a feeling shared by most everyone until now. Nowadays, people have them for pets. As hard as I’ve tried, I just can’t passed the reason why anyone would. My common sense won’t let me. Equally baffling to me is why the medical community adopted a snake – the asklepian – or a pair of snakes – the caduceus – as a logo/insignia for them. I can’t see how a snake can be associated with good and healing. It’s a far stretch in my mind to put those together.

  5. poohpity says:

    Jesus “would allow Himself to be SEEN as a snake” lifted up for us to refocus who we look to for healing and to defeat the enemy of God, satan.

    Numbers 21: Then the people of Israel set out from Mount Hor, taking the road to the Red Sea[c] to go around the land of Edom. But the people grew impatient with the long journey, 5 and they began to speak against God and Moses. “Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?” they complained. “There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this horrible manna!”

    6 So the Lord sent poisonous snakes among the people, and many were bitten and died. 7 Then the people came to Moses and cried out, “We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take away the snakes.” So Moses prayed for the people.

    8 Then the Lord told him, “Make a replica of a poisonous snake and attach it to a pole. All who are bitten will live if they simply look at it!” 9 So Moses made a snake out of bronze and attached it to a pole. Then anyone who was bitten by a snake could look at the bronze snake and be healed!

  6. poohpity says:

    So when we are bitten by snakes we look to God and what Jesus did on the Cross. He will defeat the father of lies and deceit bringing healing to our hearts, souls and minds.

  7. Beloved says:

    Pat so good to hear from you!

    Just yesterday on FB I saw a pic of a black snake with the warning to not kill them because they eat rodents and poisonous snakes! Who would know?!. Yes Jesus did better, He died for all the rodents and poisonous snakes. Taking the keys away from the enemy.

    Pooh you’re a hoot!

  8. poohpity says:

    Thank you Joyce.

  9. SFDBWV says:

    I can still remember the feeling I got when I read of the bronze snake on the pole that when lifted up healed any who had been bitten, as being a prelude to Jesus…I wonder if any who didn’t actually believe such a remedy would save them were also healed by looking up as did others, not believing, but going along with the crowd.

    It was for me a “holy cow” moment and one of many more epiphany’s I would enjoy.

    I am one of those people who don’t always kill a snake just because I come upon them, unless they are around the house.

    Years ago when I still had an old Maple tree in my back yard I was startled one afternoon when a cardinal began making a loud and excited noise just off my porch in the back.

    I looked out to see what the commotion was and the bird kept up his loud excited chirping flying to the ground and back up to the tree again and again.

    It was then that I discovered there near to where he was lighting on the ground lay a snake.

    Once I seen it I went out back with my shovel as the cardinal watched from the tree and killed the snake.

    Once the snake was dispatched the cardinal sang a few chirps and flew off. The danger to its nesting young over.

    Just so you know non-poisonous snakes also will bite you, as I have been bitten before. Black snakes emit a stench almost exactly like a skunk when disturbed or in my case picked up.

    They not only eat mice and rats, but also like a fox raid hen houses of eggs or young chicks. So whether to let them be or not is a very relative thing.

    Many years ago a preacher I listened to ask how it was that prior to Jesus’ coming, death and resurrection were people saved from damnation.

    His answer was that they already believed in the Messiah, before He was yet come.

    I have always liked that simple answer.

    Just like looking up to the snakes on the pole, it was belief in God and obedience to do as instructed that saved the Israeli’s from the snake bite. Not the image of the snake.

    Pat, the medical insignia is connected to Greek mythology.

    Steve

  10. Beloved says:

    Steve I forgot to add they said these snakes were good for the garden so let them be. I personally wouldn’t be comfortable with them around! I’d be on my guard every time I worked in it! I think there’s a biblical parallel here, as we are told to be on guard for the devil prowls around seeking to devour, yet we know nothing can take our souls from God if we are His. The serpent was defeated at the cross, which is why we can laugh at him and his antics.

  11. SFDBWV says:

    Joyce as unimaginable as it is for me to believe the state of Maryland will fine people $500.00 for killing a rattlesnake.

    On this side of the river I don’t know anyone who encounters a timber rattler that don’t kill them if they can.

    If you want to keep your gardens clear of insects, let your free range chickens feed in them. They don’t bother the plants, eat any insect and leave a little fertilizer for a tip.

    The liberal tree huggers have forgotten who or what is more important in our eco system…People.

    Also would say that the use of the bronze snake is an endorsement of the one who is more powerful than the snake bite, not an endorsement of the snake.

    Steve

  12. phpatato says:

    Steve

    I never studied Greek Mythology in school. When in school, my interest in subjects fell in line with what was offered in the 4 year secretarial department so took shorthand, typing and accounting etc. I was never a fan of English Literature so if Greek Mythology was offered in the English course I was required to take (I can’t remember if it was) I probably skipped the class when that was being taught. lol I did the same for Darwin’s theory of evolution. It went against the grain of what I learned in Sunday School so skipped the class. As a mother, I told my kids that when Darwin was taught, they were to phone me and I would ensure that I pulled them from the class until that was finished being taught. Ya, I felt that strongly about it.

    Thank you for telling me that. It kinda makes sense now….but it really doesn’t. I am still scratching my head and asking…why? of everything in the world to chose from, why a snake? lol

    xo

  13. bubbles says:

    Mtnman’s wife posted nine minutes ago this: “They say our property is intact.” Thanking God for the answer to this prayer.

  14. phpatato says:

    Thank you Bubbles for this update!!! I am thanking God for sparing them and their property! We serve such an amazing God. He truly is so good.

  15. poohpity says:

    Oh so good to hear bubbles.

    It seems that sin is represented by the snake and on the Cross Jesus took the sin of the world on His back as He was lifted up(2 Cor 5:21; Romans 8:3; Gal 3:13). By bruising the heel of Satan, he no longer has control over us(Romans 6:14 NLT).

    “that would show that our eternal Father is infinitely better than hearts like ours, and those we love— need him to be.” Romans 5:17,18,21

  16. street says:

    i like that one american patriot flag with the snake on it that said don’t tread on me. i find it interesting there was no animosity with kinship with a snake in making the flag. they realized a greater truth and understanding of people and themselves. thank God for the One Who was lifted up X2 on the cross and the Ascension to intercede on our behave. no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.

  17. Beloved says:

    Again, in troubles that come upon us as the result of sin, we must not dream that we are suffering with Christ. Spurgeon

  18. jeff1 says:

    There is in other parts of the world missionaries who suffer for Christ but I see very little suffering for Christ other than that, and what I see around me is suffering for sins because people live in the past when God intended us to live in the present.

    Men will always use history to justify their evil as we wouldn’t have wars if there was forgiveness and in my own country neither side forgave each other and opted for a tit for tat response to evil.

    Our hearts are very deceitful when it comes to vindicating ourselves but the very opposite when it comes to justifying ourselves.

    God doesn’t save us out of pity but out of necessity as he watches us do the talk while He does the walk.

  19. SFDBWV says:

    McElmurray’s Mountain Retreat!

    Miracle

    Posted: 05 Jul 2018 06:37 PM PDT

    We found out our house AND property were spared. The tax assessor took a photo and nothing damaged. It went down the other side of our road. We are overwhelmed with this good news but grieve with those who are not so fortunate. Sitting in the notice meeting when a home was announced destroyed I would hear an exhale or little moan. My heart was breaking…..

    I copied this from Bruce’s blog this morning, as Bubbles has said he and Carol’s place were spared.

    Praise God.

    Steve

  20. SFDBWV says:

    Mart’s bringing up the story of the bronze “saraph ”made me take another look in Numbers 21:4-9 again.

    Once again the people are complaining about a diet of manna, the desert, and their predicament…So God punished them.

    Only after some died from the snakes did the people come to Moses and ask him to intercede for them and once again Moses did and God provided a way for them to be healed, but it doesn’t say God got rid of the poisonous snakes among them.

    A look at John 12:32-34 gives no reference to comparing Jesus to the snake, only that He would die by being “lifted up”.

    If Mart you are saying that all the way back in the wilderness chronicled by the Book of Numbers that the snake on the pole at that time is representative of Christ, then I can follow your thinking that Jesus allowed Himself to be seen as a snake.

    But it is the snake that killed some people and forced them to come to God for help in the first place.

    After they were bitten, to keep from dying they were instructed to look up at the image of the snake in order to be healed.

    Any who were not bitten had no need to look to the snake on the pole at all.

    I am having some trouble agreeing that Jesus allowed Himself to be seen as a snake. I sense one of those red flags in my spirit concerning the matter.

    What I see is that “because” of the snake the people look up to the “pole” for healing, a prelude to looking up to the cross.

    However on the cross was the Man who became sin for all of mankind…Sin and the snake are synonymous.

    Perhaps Jesus did allow Himself to be seen as a snake thousands of years earlier in a prophetic way after all.

    Working it all out, Mart.

    However anyone behaving like the snake today is by no means representing the image of Christ by it.

    Steve

  21. poohpity says:

    In my post of 9:37pm yesterday I was wrong in saying that the heel of Satan was bruised, it was his head that Jesus bruised and Satan bruised our heel. If one has ever had a bruised heel when walking it is very painful and is noticeable at every step that is taken. For those who are aware sin impacts the life of every person in some form or another. Grumbling and complaining about our everyday circumstances as if God is not there for us, is most often actually saying that God does not care which shows a lack of faith.

    Just as Jesus was regarded as someone to be feared, hated and killed so are His friends when they share His Good News. If one regards Jesus as someone to be loved, trusted and depended on because of His great love for sinners then the meaning of Grace has come into the heart of His followers and we can look up to Him above everyone and everything else. That also stops us from looking for the sin in others when we become aware that our own sin is the reason that Jesus had to go to such extremes for us because every person has had their heel bruised by sin and that will continue until we leave this flesh. Which seems to be the bases for parables such as the land owner and those who managed His vines while He was away; the unforgiven debtor; the unmerciful servant and the Pharisee and the tax collector.

    To look at the sin in others and to think we are above sin ourselves is to put one’s self in the place of Jesus who actually did not sin Himself but bore ours. No one can ever understand the grace, mercy and forgiveness that was gifted to us as long as we look around at others rather than looking up to one who was lifted up on the pole for us. No one will have an epiphany about the meaning of the snake on the pole until they see that about themselves.

  22. poohpity says:

    Luke 18: 9 Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: 10 “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! 12 I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’

    13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ 14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

  23. SFDBWV says:

    Pat I could email you, but I figure I will share with all what I have to say about the study of mythology.

    First of all when you look at cultures the influence of Alexander the Great, a Greek, on Roman culture it can’t be missed that they are almost the same except in language.

    And so their beliefs and religions are blended together, as well as lore.

    Both Alexander the Great’s rule and Rome’s are represented in the statue of man in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream

    It is rather startling to see how close to the truth some of what they believed turns out to be. Which in my opinion is how what Paul had to say to them concerning the Judaic-Christian theology resonated with them.

    They already believed in a heaven where the gods lived and a place of torment in flames for the dead mortal souls.

    Belief in Jesus allowed for them to live in heaven and escape the flames of “Hades”.

    They already believed in a creator god, but in their attempt to figure all of life out they made him have more human failings.

    The mysterious “Fates” explaining all of the puzzling unanswerable questions concerning life, gods, and the “hereafter”.

    Nearly every pre-Christian culture has similar beliefs and mythology and a story of “creation” and of a fall, of a flood, and of a savior.

    Once introduced to Jesus the Christ all of the pieces of the puzzle come together and life and death explained.

    Interestingly so even the Jews have their own “mythology”. Kabbalah.

    Where the study of one might lead us to Christ, the study of another can lead some astray.

    I guess it best to stick to the Truth of Christ and look at mythology with only a passing intellectual glance.

    Steve

  24. foreverblessed says:

    That is really striking that the snake on a pole is the emblem for medicine?
    Maybe this is a real thing:
    As looking up to the pole with the snake on it, meant healing for the viewer!
    This was so real for the Israelites.

    I find that a very very powerful vision for the spiritual reality of us looking up in faith on Jesus on the Cross,
    That EVERY moment we do that, we will be made whole spiritially, bit by bit.

    That when we would believe that more and more, how much better by would go on in us, very slowly, but surely!

    Indeed, Jesus hang on that cross, and the snake on that pole was a vision for Jesus.

    Never occurred it to me that Jesus was willing to be identified with a snake. But He did, He became sin, He, who was pure and holy and perfect, was willing to do so.

    What a great decision that was!

  25. Beloved says:

    Steve said:
    Where the study of one might lead us to Christ, the study of another can lead some astray.

    Pooh the Christ you espouse is long on mercy but short on justice. You claim to know Him but you reject what the Body of Christ here is telling you.

    Repent!!!

    You misuse scripture to your own disadvantage.

    1 Peter 2:20
    For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.

  26. foreverblessed says:

    Oops, autocorrect:
    If we would really believe the truth of that looking up:
    The Israelites were healed,
    And so will we, when we look up in faith to Jesus.
    With every look a little bit more of healing,
    Spiritual healing, healing of the soul, physical healing.

    Where is that scripture Paul wrote:
    Healing of spirit, soul and body

  27. foreverblessed says:

    Sorry Beloved, don’t want to interfere with you.
    I just bless Pooh, God blesses her! He will!
    With Him everything is possible!

    Yes, it is.

  28. foreverblessed says:

    The scripture that I was looking for,
    which describes so well the looking up:

    May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.
    May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    1 Thess 5:23

  29. Beloved says:

    Forever yes we all wish the best of Gods blessings for pooh!

  30. Beloved says:

    Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. I Thess 5:23

  31. Beloved says:

    Its that sanctifying place we live in now, the already, but not yet. We look up the pole because we’re not Home yet. But then, face to face as Paul also said in 1 Corinthians13

  32. Beloved says:

    Mart talked about the same ground we ALL stand on, at the foot of the cross, last week, as equals. Now we are directed to look UP to the One who leads us ever upward through the messy business of working out our salvation; whether a Calvinist, Reformed, Pentecostal, Anglican, Independent, Charismatic or whatever our theological leanings be.

  33. poohpity says:

    Beloved, it was in His justice that sin needed to have a blood sacrifice to cover it.

    For those who do know Christ and know that he did not come to condemn but came to show grace by redeeming us so that we are able to have a relationship with God. People can righteously never judge another in justice because they themselves are overwhelmed in sin which is the reason they look at the sin in others and fail so miserably to acknowledge the fact they can not see within the heart of someone else which is something only God can do(so equate themselves with God) that seems to be the very reason Jesus said, “those without sin be the one’s to cast the first stone.”. Hopefully the meaning about that statement does not fall on deaf ears plugged by self righteousness and self deception.

  34. Beloved says:

    Paul must be wrong then.

  35. street says:

    Men will always use history to justify their evil as we wouldn’t have wars if there was forgiveness and in my own country neither side forgave each other and opted for a tit for tat response to evil.

    Our hearts are very deceitful when it comes to vindicating ourselves but the very opposite when it comes to justifying ourselves.

    God doesn’t save us out of pity but out of necessity as he watches us do the talk while He does the walk.

    i think of the verse where Jesus says, I make all things new.” i also think of the future of an incorruptible body. today, grace and mercy as the Lord wills, to shape and mold us into His image that was lost so long ago to sin. is anything to hard for the Lord? rest an peace be upon His Children, not hidden in a world of darkness.

  36. poohpity says:

    Beloved if it were true what you said, “we all wish the best of Gods blessings for pooh!” then why is it then what comes out of your mouth’s are anything but blessings? Is being accused of things that are not true a blessing?, is being shunned a blessing?, is stirring up hostility against someone a blessing?, is being called names a blessing??? As usual it is all just words that are very empty in meaning or substance.

  37. Beloved says:

    Pooh you get about salvation, we all do. You just don’t get the living it out part of it. As street just said, shaping and molding is His work in us. Messy messy messy, but good!

  38. poohpity says:

    God saves us out of His great love for us and the desire for us to be with Him in eternity as a mother hen gathers her chicks under her wing, so does God hide us under the shelter of His wing. God so loved the world. John 3:16-17 NLT

  39. street says:

    “those without sin be the one’s to cast the first stone.”
    saw this a little different today. Jesus is the stone the builders rejected and has become the cap stone. if i am correct He is the foundation stone too. the Alpha and Omega. to cast out darkness… can only be done by casting light. the board, wood hay and stubble have no place since they do no hold up to fire. Jesus tested and proven, no one else to look too. where are your accuser? my own heart, Lord.

    there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. bring all your burdens to Him.

  40. Beloved says:

    Thinking of a sculptor chipping away at a piece of stone revealing its true character, in our case, Christ, and leaving a messy mass of crap all around our feet as we are at Jesus feet, messes. That’s what we are, works in progress being transformed until we fly away!

  41. poohpity says:

    Joyce, the only person you need be concerned about living out salvation would be YOU! For anyone else it is actually none of your business that is in the hand of God.

  42. Beloved says:

    bring all your burdens to Him….
    No better advice around!

  43. Beloved says:

    There are many parts of the Body and all have their purpose. A part dissociated is unable to enjoy the many benefits of what Christ has to offer in and through it.

  44. Beloved says:

    With self discipline the Body or body is at peace.

  45. Beloved says:

    Be ye doers of the Word and not hearers only. James
    Humility is where Jesus is found, cast your burdens on Him. He is gentle and humble of heart.

  46. Beloved says:

    Reflect, don’t deflect.

  47. Beloved says:

    Taking a time out to reflect with my Friend.

  48. SFDBWV says:

    Proverbs 26:4 KJV “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.”

    Proverbs 26:5 KJV “Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.”

    Proverbs 26:11 KJV As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.”

    It seems that both Proverbs of answering a fool have been put to the test here, with no avail. As the problem never changes because the offender continues to return to her folly.

    And sadly for every observer of BTA, provided an unrestricted platform in order to do so.

    I am sorry to have to have said this, but it is in the hearts of most all of us here as we do seek relief; without losing BTA altogether and the special fellowship we have found here.

    Praying that God will make a way.

    Steve

  49. Beloved says:

    Just read something about being confident in the slow work of God.

  50. Beloved says:

    ◄ James 1:4 ►
    But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

  51. poohpity says:

    Thank you Steve for your further repertoires of name calling; you have called me a fool, the elephant in the room, the devil and many other adjectives. May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace. May God forgive you and show you mercy.

  52. foreverblessed says:

    Praise God!

    The God of mercy
    His lovingkindness never fails
    Psalm 136

  53. SFDBWV says:

    Snakes, spiders, and rats all have one thing in common, most of the time when you notice them, they have already been watching you.

    That’s creepy.

    However if we muse about Jesus allowing Himself to be seen as a healing image of a snake in the wanderings in the land of Edom what we can see is that Jesus had His eye upon us from the beginning, all along.

    That’s comforting

    That from the beginning of the story He not only knew how the story would progress, He made it all happen the way He wanted it to go.

    That’s challenging.

    The story of the poison snakes is but a few verses long in the long story of the exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land. But it shows we readers now it was a prophetic event. Did anyone else see the connection as being a prophesy concerning the Messiah, before He hung there on the cross?

    Most of the people who listened to Jesus were confused when it came to His preparing them for what lay ahead for Him.

    Only after His death and resurrection did people begin to see and especially once Pentecost brought the Holy Spirit to all believers.

    But there were scholars who tried to follow the prophesies of the coming Messiah from the Torah. Which is how the Magi knew of His birth and followed His star to Bethlehem.

    It is recorded that the Holy Spirit allowed Simeon to not only see the Messiah before his death, but knew that a sword would pierce Mary’s own soul.

    Simeon like others looked for that promised Messiah, but he knew as did the Magi what trouble also laid ahead for the little Jesus they beheld.

    All of the events are behind us as recorded in Scripture, as well as future events surrounding Him.

    Are we the Pharisees or Sadducees who see only a conquering king? Or is there a different kind of Messiah that will come again?

    Are we blinded by our own sense of justice, or hopeful for a less violent and more peaceful outcome?

    Is it possible that we may all yet be surprised by a snake?

    50 degrees and a dense heavy fog.

    Steve

  54. SFDBWV says:

    Deborah let me be clear, every current and several past contributors to this blog have called you out concerning you demeanor, caustic remarks and non-Christian behavior.

    Nothing has changed because you take no responsibility for your actions.

    Like Quasimodo you run to the mercy seat and cry sanctuary.

    Blame everyone else for seeing you for what you are and telling you so.

    You show no remorse, and only entrench yourself in thinking that everyone else is wrong and only you are right.

    The sickness you are embroiled in is called delusional paranoia and you need to seek professional as well as spiritual help.

    I know Deborah that you have a big heart and it is bruised and broken easily, but you also have put a wall around it that won’t let you be free.

    You owe everyone here especially Mart an apology, but until you accept responsibility for your actions you just can’t honestly do it.

    Saying it doesn’t show it, not repeating the offense shows you mean it.

    I have nothing more to say to you and am not going to get drawn into any exchange with you, so there is no need for “rebuttal” as I won’t respond.

    I join with others in praying this madness stops.

    Steve

  55. poohpity says:

    I guess it could be seen as an offense to correct the false teaching or fake facts of someone especially if you are the someone being corrected. That seems to be the crime or sin as you see it and the cause of such hostility. Nothing more to it than that.

    FYI just like I wrote an email to you of apology I also sent one to Mart.

    I guess it is a sickness in me or a lack of trust and dependence on God to make sure that the true Gospel is shared rather than some vain philosophies and imaginations or information that was taken from movies about God that have maybe one piece of truth in them but the rest is usually hogwash. For that I sure am guilty as charged.

    I pray that God will be way more merciful to you than you are to me. Jesus said, “The measure you use for others is the one that God will use for you.” He was talking about judgement, condemnation and forgiveness.

  56. poohpity says:

    2 Cor 10:12 NLT By looking down or putting others down to make oneself look as if no fault lies within their own heart it is only a masquerade or a deflection so the reality is still kept secret but nothing is hidden from God and He is the only person that matters really.

  57. phpatato says:

    As much as I HATE to be drawn into this, I simply cannot let this one slip by…..

    ALPHABETICALLY

    Where is Forever’s apology?
    Where is Joyce’s apology?
    Where is Maru’s apology?
    Where is Pearl’s apology?
    Where is Saled’s apology?
    Where is Street’s apology?
    Where is Viv’s apology?
    Where is my apology?

    (I am so sorry if I have forgotten and have neglected to list anyone else’s name but I am only listing those who have contributed in recent months. Memory, time and space prevents me from listing everyone over the years since I have been coming here…two Bruce’s, Gary, Bill….oh Steve where is your list of those who have closed the door on this blog.

    Where. Is. Our. Apology. Pooh?????

    You have offended, insulted, angered, put down and hurt everyone who is foolish enough to attempt to have a conversation with you. You are either so arrogant that you feel we are too below you to have a friendship with OR you are a sick individual that truly needs to be on medication.

    As for your “correction” and constant “preaching” of what YOU think is the “true Gospel”, dare I say you are preaching to us in a very very wrong way. Your behaviour, your attitude, the words you type don’t match up with what try to shove down our throats. Again I say, practice what you preach or go somewhere else to push yourself. You have turned us right off from believing anything you have to say. Your words are like fluff in the wind. And that is sad really because had your behaviour and words matched the Biblical message you are trying to get out, you would have much more respect from us. Case in point is your very last paragraph. “YOU look down, you put others down to make yourself look as if no fault lies within your own heart”!! Practice what you preach!!!

    And yes I can tell you that I will not be drawn into a rebuttal war with you so don’t bother with saying anything but like you did with Steve, you always have to have the last word so will post one in defense of your blind ways. Know you only talk to my hand until your moods even out and I see a change in you over the long term.

  58. Beloved says:

    Mart this topic has shown me I no longer need to fear Christian pastors and leaders. Thank you and thank God for His slow steady work in me. Even at my age, 68, it’s so good to find more freedom to love and allow myself to be loved. My golden years I think will be far more fruitful then I’d thought they could be. Oh how He loves us!

  59. Beloved says:

    Pat this simplifies things for me:

    “Historically, serpents and snakes represent fertility or a creative life force. As snakes shed their skin through sloughing, they are symbols of rebirth, transformation, immortality, and healing. The ouroboros is a symbol of eternity and continual renewal of life.
    Serpent (symbolism) – Wikipedia
    Wikipedia › wiki › Serpent_(symbolism)

  60. Beloved says:

    The alchemists, who in their own way knew more about the nature of the individuation process than we moderns do, expressed this paradox through the symbol of the Ouroboros, the snake that eats its own tail. The Ouroboros has been said to have a meaning of infinity or wholeness.
    Ouroboros – Wikipedia
    Wikipedia › wiki › Ouroboros

  61. Beloved says:

    As far as today’s thread goes, well, it’s hard to be humble but God will humble us in His way. I just read this,
    Psalm18 NLT To the pure you show yourself pure,
    but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd.
    27 You rescue the humble,
    but you humiliate the proud.

  62. phpatato says:

    Joyce

    My aversion to snakes won’t allow me to see a snake other than what it is in my mind…the lowest of low, untrustworthy and repulsive. I simply can’t reconcile and consolidate a snake and healing in the same breath anymore than I can reconcile and consolidate satan and good. lol I am grateful for their role in the balance of nature but I look at that this way….you stay where you are and I will stay where I am. Don’t come inside my boundary and I won’t go inside yours. Should I go inside yours, I will respect you enough to quickly leave. I expect you to do the same and if not…..

    Another thought….there are some pretty low, untrustworthy, snake-type people in this world. As humans, they/we slough their/our skin too but no way does that process allow for or show rebirth, transformation, immortality, and healing. As humans, we need a rebirth through Jesus Christ which will bring immortality, and a transformation through the Holy Spirit which will bring healing.

    Have a Blessed Day!

    Pat xo

  63. jeff1 says:

    Pooh’s 7.25 am post

    God has already been more merciful as He has saved me from hell and it doesn’t get more merciful!

    That is the truth of the Gospel for believers today.

    Science and technology have taken over and are seen as more important to men today then God and why many do not care if God exists or not.

    I won’t change that trend as it is the times we live in and so I do my best, knowing that God does not condemn me when I fail Him but strengthens me as I worship Him.

    Each has to walk their own walk and God will do what He has to do be it merciful or otherwise but what is right for his child.

    The difference in my earthly mum and dad, though I didn’t see it at the time, because of the folly of my youth, was that my dad was always right whereas my mother always believed she was right and its only by hindsight that I see my dad knew God to well to be deceived but my mum did not.

    The person who knows God better will not condemn but they will judge and urge you to rethink if they believe you are wandering from God and my dad warned me when a well known preacher here was leading young people astray but like many of the young people of my day I did not listen because I was like my mum and though I knew best.

    If I don’t recognise when a Christian more mature than I is giving me good guidance then I loose out and personally that’s not someone I want to be as God uses others to guide me and if I had listened to my dad instead of going my own way I would have saved myself grief and be closer to God than I now am because I was to pig headed at the time.

    I am just telling you Pooh that I can blind myself very easily when I want to believe what I am being told and for some reason you have convinced yourself that everyone is out to get you when that could not be further from the truth but none of us are perfect and if someone sees me making a bad call and corrects me then I am glad of it as I know I am not as near God as I should be and the reason is that I have inherited my mothers tendency to think she knows it all when the reality of my life was my dad knew God better than most and I can see that clearly and I put it down to him having discipline in abundance.

    God reveals to me as I trust Him and the more trusting His child becomes the more He reveals of Himself to them and that is how God works and so if I am distant from God it is I who am to blame.

  64. street says:

    thinking about the Humility of Jesus and the book of Revelation. thinking about the difference between an apology and repentance. light and darkness, the flesh and the Spirit. Isaiah 28

  65. poohpity says:

    Pat, as is with most of what I write it is totally misread or misunderstood when you said that I said, ” “YOU look down, you put others down to make yourself look as if no fault lies within your own heart” that was not at all what I actually said. I said “By looking down or putting others down to make oneself look as if no fault lies within their own heart it is only a masquerade or a deflection so the reality is still kept secret but nothing is hidden from God and He is the only person that matters really.” That is exactly how things are twisted to fit a preconceived notion from people that dislike someone. Of course if someone dislikes someone they are going to look for every little infraction rather than looking for anything good.

    As far as correction I would hope that when I post something that is not consistent with what the word of God teaches someone will correct me because I am just a student and have a lot to learn therefore I will not get everything right but that is OK. We all make mistakes and have a lot to learn. I am open to correction because I know I do not know everything. However correction about being who I am is another thing altogether that is a personal attack against me as a person and there is not one on here who actually knows me personally they believe what someone else has fed them rather than what actually is.

    Personal attacks on a person are in no way the same as disagreeing. If we are unable to disagree with anyone with civility and respect for differing opinions then everything one says they believe is a pile of crap. It actually comes down to how we treat people that are different than ourselves, loving the unlovable. It takes no effort to be nice to people that are nice back anyone can be like that but following Christ is supposed to be different although that is not seen on here in the least.

    Please stop blaming me for the hate, bitterness, ugliness, anger that lies already with a person’s heart. If I were not around, someone in your lives would bring it out anyway. The person who cuts you off in traffic or anyone else that does something one does not like the bitter root is already in there.

    May all of you be filled with God’s grace and hopefully He will not treat you as you have treated others. I pray for His mercies to fill you to overflowing.

  66. street says:

    if most of what you write it is totally misread or misunderstood, you should writing sparingly. if your truly are a student or a learner how is that you speak like a master of theology? thinking of the verses if your walk is blameless do you rob temples? James speaks of duplicity and many have called you on it. the best heretics quote scripture very well. in a way you have driven us closer together. the question is whether we we are closer to the Truth , like, Job or his friends. like Job before God we will all be silent.

  67. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pooh, you are a first class hypocrite ……you SOW the hate, bitterness, ugliness, and anger that we call you on. When I first came here to BTA…I used to leave refreshed and lifted up…now I when I come here I leave feeling like I have wrestled with satan in a manure pile and that is SOLELY on YOU.

    When I pray for you, I ask God to give you site that you may see yourself CLEARLY… then I pray for myself to be forgiven for the ugly feelings you spew and spread here. This morning a very strong thought came to me that MAYBE you had a very important mission here on earth that satan didn’t want you to accomplish so he has tricked you into serving him. Maybe NOW you think you can’t be forgiven and you want to take the rest of us down with you… could that be why you set out to provoke everyone every day??? It is certainly not because you don’t know any better because you certainly know enough not to do the same to Mart.. Like my brother and sisters ….I won’t get back in the manure pile with you, but if any of the latter part is true…you should know Who to ask for help.

  68. jeff1 says:

    Despite my efforts to be Christlike I fall short of loving as God loves us.

    I cannot give you what I have not got myself as I need to feel love to understand it and I have lived in a environment filled with hatred and violence too long to understand unconditional love.

    In my brokenness I need to feel love is reciprocated and I don’t make any apology for that as being a believer does not make me immune from that need.

    God loves us unconditionally because He is the only ‘ONE’ who can and it is not until I feel His love that I can love another unconditionally which is why that until my relationship is right with God it won’t be right with others.

    Others make demands on us because they do not understand, God does not because He does.

  69. poohpity says:

    street, I gave an example of what I said and how someone twisted what I said. I am not a theologian nor do I want to be because it was God who put it in my heart to read His word and that is what I share, His words not my opinions or thinking but just what is written. I also have never said or insinuated that my relationship with God is blameless or spotless in fact I have shared repeatedly how many times I fail but YET God shows me His grace, mercy and forgiveness when I do not deserve it. I know who I am to the Lord, I also know who everyone else is to the Lord and have shared with everyone here just exactly how they are loved by Him to be an encouragement in their faith journey when they put their selves down.

    If one will look at this conversation how many comments are with eyes focused on God or on everything else BUT God. People with worldly thoughts and attitudes are brought closer together in unity against the things of God, that is how it has been since the beginning of time. You come together in hate, condemnation, judgement but not in love for the Lord.

  70. poohpity says:

    If y’all loved God then you would love me also. 1 John 4:20 NIV; John 13:35; 1 John 2:9; 1 John 4:12

  71. Beloved says:

    So, I remember that God is not merciful with evil. Again. So thankful I’m just one part of the Body, and for discernment of good and evil. Very grateful to know you all, and will once again ignore pooh, as I’ve not been reading her for the last two days anyway. Much more peaceful that way. I agree with street to be silent and leave her to God who will deal with her far better than any mortal could.

  72. poohpity says:

    Narrow, yes sometimes I am a hypocrite but answer me this one time. Gave me an example of something I have said that was meant to sow discord.

    If you feel like you are wrestling with Satan you probably are but it has nothing to do with me, it has to do with the hate that he has stirred up in your heart, do not blame me for something that you do everyday whether you are here or not. From what you have shared on here the anger, bitterness and resentment has been part of your life for a long time.

  73. poohpity says:

    Being nice to others and getting to know them often breaks through the hardest of hearts.

  74. street says:

    Surprised by a Snake
    as i think of this blog and how it is played out daily, it occurred to me that mart would promote a discussion from a few paragraphs. then we would post our thoughts on what mart wrote. regular personal Bible studies and prayer would promote growth and sparks with the children of God. it is not surprising that the discussion continually repeats it’s self on rabbit trails or irrelevant matter to what was posted, yet the irony is breathtaking.

  75. jeff1 says:

    God knows when I am sad, bad or otherwise and only He can change me from the creature that I am, and it is when I am focused and obedient to His way that there will be a change from the inside out, which is what is needed for a non believer to see me Christlike in character and not just me babbling on without any change in sight.

    My Jesus knows when I am Lonely
    He knows each pain, He sees each care
    He understands each lonely heartache
    He understands because He cares

    My Jesus knows just what I need
    Oh Yes! He knows just what I need
    He satisfies and every need supplies
    Yes, He knows just what |I need

    My Jesus knows just what I need
    Oh Yes! He knows just what I need
    He satisfies and every need supplies
    Yes, He knows just what I need

  76. saled says:

    The story of the bronze snake created to heal those who looked upon it always troubled me. First of all, I wondered why God would send the poison snakes for the sin of whining. Whining seems like such a small thing, until you realize that they were whining about manna. And then why would God ask that the people look at the snake to be healed, look at the very creature that he sent to punish them? The story began to make sense to me a few years ago when in another topic, Mart made the point that God’s ‘punishment’ on his people, such as being taken into captivity, were actually meant to turn the people’s hearts back to him, rather than to punish. Looking at the story this way, the poison snakes did the Hebrews a favor: the bronze snake was an image of the very thing that turned their hearts back to God. Being asked to look at he object of their salvation wasn’t unreasonable. They went on to regain their faith and move into the promised land.

    And that brings us to the question of Jesus letting himself be looked upon as a snake. A few years ago I read Philip Yancey’s book Soul Survivor. In it he talks about the book named Silence from the 1960’s. There was recently a movie made from this book, but I haven’t seen it. The author presents a different view of Jesus than the Jesus we typically learn about in church. This Jesus may very well have let himself be looked upon as a snake, as something abhorred. When we look at Jesus on the cross, we think mostly about his great love and sacrifice rather than the fact that he who knew no sin became sin that we might have life. He became sin. I look at that and I think of my sins, and I am not some front row choir girl whose only concept of sin is intellectual. I am someone who once was looked upon as a snake. And deservedly so.

    I’ve heard many preachers say that we don’t leave Jesus on the cross. And that is so true. And I know there is something about the cross that I don’t fully understand, but this thought about Jesus being looked upon as a snake helps me realize more of exactly who I am and how he loved me anyway.

  77. Beloved says:

    Sales i remember reading Silence in college and how it nearly took my breath away. My prof and I discussed it many times. It really transformed my thoughts on the crucifix which was deemed unimportant and even irrelevant by some pastors, as you mentioned. I began reading authors like Nouwen and Teresa of Avila who deepened my growing appreciation for the meaning of the cross. Thank you for your interesting thoughts. Joyce

  78. Beloved says:

    Sorry Saled my autocorrect doesn’t know your name.

  79. jeff1 says:

    In the game of snakes and ladders progression up the board is gained by a ladder and when I land on the snake then I have to go back to start.

    Its pretty much the reality of life as I stumble and fall more often than not in my journey through life and though I have trusted Jesus for my salvation that does not make life’s journey any easier.

    The snake represents the vices that distract me from God and keeps me up and down the ladder and this world is full of snakes as I discover through life and that is all the more reason I run to God because I know that I am no match for them and so they are a good thing though I don’t always realise this at the time.

    Soon we’ll come to the end of lives journey
    And perhaps never meet anymore
    Till we gather in heaven’s bright city
    Far away on that beautiful shore

    If we never meet again this side of heaven
    As we struggle through this world and its strife
    There’s another meeting place somewhere in heaven
    By the side of the river of life

    Where the charming roses bloom for ever
    And where separations come no more
    If we never meet again this side of heaven
    I will meet you on that beautiful shore

  80. Beloved says:

    Thinking about how those that were bit by poisonous snakes did not die if they were looking at the bronze serpent on the pole. Interesting. Think I just made the connection between that and what Jesus? I think said about taking up snakes and not dying.

  81. Beloved says:

    Thinking about how those that were bit by poisonous snakes did not die if they were looking at the bronze serpent on the pole. Interesting. Think I just made the connection between that and what Jesus said about taking up snakes and not dying.

    Still, why a snake? Is it about their worst fear, death, being overcome eventually by the son of man being lifted up as Saled said to become sin that we may live?

  82. Beloved says:

    Delete my 10:43 post, thanks.

  83. poohpity says:

    Wow Sal, first off; great input on the topic. Second Yancy was on DTW all last week speaking about grace. Third a bit of humor finally finished off that 3lb bag of Blueberries last week, that took awhile, lol. Love Deb

  84. poohpity says:

    God knew, back at the bronze snake time, just how Jesus would die. Looking to the bronze snake prevented death so does belief in Jesus prevent death and that belief gifts us with eternal life. The bronze snake seems to be a temporary solution while Jesus was an eternal solution to death. God in His kindness and grace served in place of the snake for us.

  85. poohpity says:

    I agree Saled, that it was meant to turn eyes and hearts back to God, it would seem that everything God does is to lead us back to Him. The lengths He was willing to go through to bring us into a relationship with Him shows just how much we mean to Him.

  86. jeff1 says:

    This beautiful, beautiful, song from Sunday morning reflections just doesn’t get any better.

    I know you’re hurting and your hearts needs healing,
    Let me dry your eyes I know your feeling;
    Like the sun will never shine again,
    Like the pain inside will never end;
    Sometimes it takes a little faith to mend.

    We are broken to become more beautiful,
    Tried by fire to shine like gold;
    We are shattered to free the diamonds in our souls,
    We are broken to be whole.

    Love let you fall, now your in pieces,
    And your thoughts are scattered, what are the reasons?
    Oh, but time will work as medicine,
    And you’ll find your wings to fly again;
    Higher than you’ve ever been.

    We are broken to become more beautiful,
    Tried by fire to shine like gold;
    We are shattered to free the diamonds in our souls,
    We are broken to be whole.

    Yeah, we are broken to be whole.
    We are broken to be whole.

  87. Beloved says:

    Romans 5:3
    Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;

    Philippians 4:4
    Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

    Exodus 15:1
    Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD: “I will sing to the LORD, for He is highly exalted. The horse and rider He has thrown into the sea.

    Exodus 15:2
    The LORD is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise Him, my father’s God, and I will exalt Him.

  88. Beloved says:

    Steve you mentioned “I know you have a big heart…” Sadly I recall how my dad also had a big heart, which he used to manipulate people into liking him. He would give anyone the shirt off his back as they say, yet like a rattler would strike ruthlessly at his prey, and everyone was prey to him, even his wife and children along with friends and neighbors. The heart is deceitful above all things God says. The devil seeks to devour God said also. Oh that snake, the lowest of the low as he slithered on the ground according to Gods command after the fall, yet Jesus became lower than the lowest in order to redeem us all! Marvelous topic isn’t it!

  89. poohpity says:

    Sounds like you learned a lot from your dad, Joyce.

  90. Beloved says:

    Pat like you I don’t like snakes either. Wisdom says to avoid them unless your job is to remove them. These handlers are trained at proper disposal. God bless them!

  91. Beloved says:

    Steve even though troubling thoughts may come from posts from time to time I find just abiding in Christ to be enough.
    Philippians3 12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

  92. street says:

    First of all, I wondered why God would send the poison snakes for the sin of whining. Whining seems like such a small thing, until you realize that they were whining about manna. And then why would God ask that the people look at the snake to be healed, look at the very creature that he sent to punish them?

    thinking about sending snakes. God said it was good and rested from all His works. we find a snake being sent to the garden by God Himself. very crafty and no match for mankind. God knew. a second Adam. wiser than a snake, an eternal creator sent to rescue mankind from a catastrophic fall, death it’s self. thinking of salvation, saved from a cruel wicked powerful adversary, by revealing a loving faithful powerful wise God. if our adversary was not powerful would we need a savior? yes we need a Savior, He is life. makes sense, being under a sentence of death even if you had not heard of it. saved from our own sin against a Holy Blameless Righteous Just Powerful Loving God. getting tired of the judgment condemnation and death offered by the adversary. when we truly see and know our adversary, his head will be bruised and we will be free to follow the One with the bruised heel. Exalted over all creation. let Him be Exalted in our hearts minds souls and strength. walking with a limp. someday running and jumping like a calf being free from a winter stall.

  93. Beloved says:

    Street I was just talking to Jesus about how tiresome it was. He reminded me it is better to suffer for doing good than evil so I said thank you LORD. Then this verse popped up unexpectedly while trying to post: So shall they fear The name of the Lord from the west, And His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.

  94. Beloved says:

    Thank you LORD for all your encouragers here, Your good standard far outweighs the bad

  95. poohpity says:

    Did God send the snake? Or did the snake come on his own accord to lure Adam and Eve away from God? The snake still lures people away from God just as it happened in the wilderness by getting people to focus on what they do not have rather than on all that they did have.

  96. Beloved says:

    getting tired of the judgment condemnation and death offered by the adversary.

    Yes indeed.
    Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.
    Deliver us from evil.
    For Thine is the Kingdom, power and glory forever
    Amen

  97. poohpity says:

    It is a wrong view of God to think that He tempts us to do wrong or evil(James 1:13 NLT). We also can not blame Satan all the time either because it is because of one’s own heart’s desire that they are tempted to do wrong and evil(James 1:14-15 NLT) He does however provide us a way out when we are tempted(1 Cor 10:13 NLT).

  98. Beloved says:

    What did I learn from my dad? Easy, how to spot other malignant narcissists, pooh.

  99. poohpity says:

    No I meant manipulating or using flattery to get people to like you.

    I do not “need” people to like me therefore I would have no need for manipulation to get them to.

  100. poohpity says:

    I do however need people to know that I would never intentionally lead them down a wrong path. The reason for that is because I have been lied to and lead down the wrong path and I know how it feels.

  101. Beloved says:

    Self deceit is the worst, and deadly. Seek first the Kingdom of God and discernment will come by the Holy Spirit.

  102. Beloved says:

    Interestingly you judge me just like my dad used to. However, it’s all old to me now. Thanks for the reminder of how God has strengthened me. I’m no longer as weak and a victim as I once was! I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me with His mighty power that works through me. Thank you Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit.

  103. jeff1 says:

    Who has not been led down the wrong path at some stage in their life but while Pooh states she would never intentionally lead someone I have found that it is those who do so out of ignorance of God who miss the opportunity to represent Christ and often leave people empty that they could have otherwise given hope to.

    I was talking to my Rector of how it upset me when a minister from another church preached of hell at the funeral of my son’s friend who died of drug addiction (teenager) when I believed he should have used is sermon to comfort the family.

    He said he would have done the latter as this ministers thinking is to presume the deceased is in hell while he believes that is not for him to decide as God’s mercy is greater than we can know so therefor he would have taken the opportunity to give hope to the family and knowing he had very young people in the congregation also taken the opportunity to speak of the wide forgiveness and mercy of God.

    I think it very much depends on how a person sees God themselves as how they represent Him to others and in my lifetime I would have been inconsistent in how I see God.

    Those who know God well do not have that inconsistency as it is the fact that they have walked in the light of His Word that gives them His truth and not their own understanding of the truth.

  104. jeff1 says:

    When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
    What a glory He sheds on on our way!
    While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
    And with all who will trust and obey.

    Trust and obey, for there is no other way
    To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

    Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
    But His smile quickly drives it away;
    Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
    Can abide while we trust and obey.

    Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
    But our toil He doth richly repay;
    Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
    But is blessed if we trust and obey.

    But we never can prove the delights of His love
    Until all on the altar we lay;
    For the favour He shows, for the joy He bestows,
    Are for them who will trust and obey.

    Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet,
    Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
    What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
    Never fear, only trust and obey.

  105. SFDBWV says:

    One of the hoped for activities of Mart’s BTA is that we have freedom of thought, been thinking about means been thinking about.

    Any discussion that would follow should also be in that same freedom.

    There is a vast difference between correction and additional thought.

    Not too far back I shared a time when in an adult Sunday school class that one among us held an un-moveable defiant stoic attitude against the “idea” that God would kill anyone. Rather than listen to or even thrash out the concept he just grunted and left the class.

    In time he also left the church.

    Numbers 21:6 KJV clearly states that God sent the serpents, and clearly states that much people of Israel died.

    Mart has provided a prime example that it is recorded that God killed people or if you want to split hairs, allowed for people to be killed.

    Genesis 6:17 KJV God couldn’t be clearer in taking responsibility for the death of all flesh that is in the earth. Just as He did in Genesis 6:13 KJV

    Even in the idea that Jesus died upon the cross in order to appease the Father, the Father required a sacrifice. In which case He provided for Himself in being His only begotten Son.

    To a student of Scripture there appears to be quite the difference between the God of the OT and the God of the new. However Mart is showing that glimmer of mercy has always been there in just such stories as the story of the bronze snake.

    I still to this day find it interesting that after God makes all things new, the serpent’s meat shall still be the dust of the earth. That little story is found in Isaiah 65:25 KJV.

    Salted all throughout the Scripture of the OT are hints and clues of a Merciful God threaded in with a God who demands obedience and justice.

    The story also shows that mercy comes with a price and expects appreciation shown by thanksgiving and a change of heart.

    The story also shows the frustration God must have always felt about mankind in that He sent the flood because man had become utterly evil and yet even though He killed everyone except them in the Ark, from their descendants it would once again be said “as it were in the days of Noah” before Christ would return and once again judge the world with both death and mercy.

    47 degrees this morning a little warmer than yesterday.

    Steve

  106. jeff1 says:

    When I think of the words of this hymn there is much of Jonah in me as do I want the vilest offender to be forgiven and that makes me realise how God’s ways are not my ways.

    Forgiveness isn’t easy to do when I see the damage done by both my own sin and the sins of others and that makes me all the more aware of my need of God’s forgiveness.

    It also makes me more aware that only He has the right to judge the sins of all and it is in this realisation that I am silent before Him as like Job I know I do not have the right to question God’s Omniscience.

    To God be the glory, great things He has done;
    So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
    Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
    And opened the life gate that all may go in.

    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
    Let the earth hear His voice!
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
    Let the people rejoice!
    O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
    And give Him the glory, great things He has done.

    O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
    To every believer the promise of God;
    The vilest offender who truly believes,
    That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
    Let the earth hear His voice!
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
    Let the people rejoice!
    O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
    And give Him the glory, great things He has done.

    Great things He has taught us, great things He has done,
    And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
    But purer and higher and greater will be
    Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.

    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
    Let the earth hear His voice!
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
    Let the people rejoice!
    O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
    And give Him the glory great things He has done.

  107. poohpity says:

    That is it in a nut shell; first seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness then everything else will fall into place. But sadly that first step is often over looked before one goes any further. God is no different in the OT than He is in the new, God is God and He does not change. The God who sent the snakes in the wilderness is the same God who’s spirit came upon a woman who gave birth to Jesus which was the greatest manifestation of mercy and grace known to mankind. If one can see that that manifestation was put into place before the very first fall of mankind in the garden because God knew then what mankind was going to do.

    The flood was showing mercy and justice, truth and grace maybe not to human thinking or reasoning but after all human thinking and reasoning has gotten our world in the mess it is in because people decided not to listen to God but that was not a surprise to God, He knew yet still pursued us and while we were still in our sinful state took it upon Himself to save us.

  108. poohpity says:

    1 Peter 1:20

  109. poohpity says:

    Fall in love with God and see how that changes one from the inside out.

  110. jeff1 says:

    In a nutshell; knowledge will not lead me to God because it is not God’s way but man’s way.

    Knowledge is the reason that man is confused about God and that is what God knew would happen and why His plan to redeem the world is in place and will in time reveal itself because God knows what He is doing throughout the universe but unless I am walking in the light of His truth I will not see it.

  111. jeff1 says:

    With all due respect Pooh only God sees that you are changed in the inside but from my perspective I do not hear a tender hearted Jesus speak but a roaring lion would fit your description better but you must ask yourself is that because you want to see people judged and getting their comeuppance or whether you really have a heart for God!

    I have asked myself the same question and know why God is the better judge!

  112. poohpity says:

    You are right knowledge will not lead anyone to God but that is not the point now is it? Just like someone gets to know a spouse, a parent or anyone else they love because of that love for them they want to know all they can about that person. That is not knowledge that is getting to know someone, there is a very big difference.

    1 Cor 2: No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God—his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. 8 But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord. 9 That is what the Scriptures mean when they say,

    “No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
    and no mind has imagined
    what God has prepared
    for those who love him.”

    10 But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets.

  113. poohpity says:

    I do not want anyone to get their “comeuppance” I want them to be shown mercy and grace.

  114. poohpity says:

    It would be nice if for one time you did not base me on your flawed perspective of what or who you think I am after all you have mentioned many times that your thinking has been a problem for you so why listen to it now when it comes to judging me.

  115. narrowpathseeker says:

    Vivian..please do not take the bait and get dragged into the manure pile to wrestle with satan. There is NOTHING wrong with your thinking on this matter. You are are a very kind, honest and truthful person….you have nothing to prove to that woman…let her roar…get some earplugs and practice tuning her out..

  116. jeff1 says:

    Its because of my flawed perspective that I run to God but it is your words and quotes that say more about you than you might think and that is not a criticism but a fact that we reveal more about ourselves than we often realise because we just can’t help ourselves as if it is in, it is out, such is human nature when not considering God.

  117. SFDBWV says:

    Vivian it occurred to me that you could help us learn something about Christian “lore”, since you live on the Island, did St Patrick actually drive out all of the poison snakes from Ireland?

    Just trying to lighten things up a bit.

    I will agree with Pearl and all the other’s here that there is nothing wrong with your Christianity. You are a great example of your dad’s influence.

    Just remember this that the devil is like a roaring lion going about attacking all he can, he is a liar and a thief and he wants to lie to you and steal your joy.

    But the Lion of Juda defeated him and he has no power over you.

    Be blessed and know you are loved.

    Steve

  118. jeff1 says:

    Narrow, I have in my head being wrestling with Satan far longer than I can remember and why I am so weary of mind but God still speaks to my heart as He finds a way to connect and comfort.

    You are right I should not allow her to disturb my peace but what really perturbs me is that she does and I need God’s reassurance that He is my keeper and it is the rest of you who help give me that assurance by your comments that my thinking is not in some way twisted or warped.

    You have no idea how much I need to hear that as my mind starts to overthink which is what created my difficulties of the mind to begin with.

    Thank you for your comments they mean so much.

  119. Beloved says:

    “walks about like a roaring lion, seeking to devour…” Yes it does and yes disturbing and upsetting. Jesus says fear not, for I am with you. Like Daniel in the lions den we can have confidence in our great God no matter how upsetting the blog/den becomes. It should strengthen all resolve in the supremacy of God and His faithfulness to His children. Who can steal, kill, or destroy what God has done? Nothing. We are God’s workmanship and a testimony to the greatness of our God.
    Bless the LORD, oh my soul and all that is within me bless His holy name.

  120. Beloved says:

    1 John 4:4 (MSG) My dear children, you come from God and belong to God. You have already won a big victory over those false teachers, for the Spirit in you is far stronger than anything in the world.

  121. jeff1 says:

    Steve, from what I gather the snakes are symbolic for the Druid pagan gods that Patrick drove out by converting the country to Christianity.

    I suppose it depends whether we listen to science or tradition and I tend to believe that God will use science to reveal His truths as I have come to see that tradition get us into human error which takes us away from them.

    The Irish are well known for telling a yarn or two and they certainly don’t need to kiss the blarney stone to do so.

    I have kissed it myself but I don’t think I will ever be in the same league as them, too much of the Brit in me I think.

  122. foreverblessed says:

    Such a good Bible verse:
    1 John 4:4

    This really is a been thinking blog!
    Mart always says: it seems to me…
    It should be possible to express such thoughts here,
    Without being scrutinized the whole time if it really is “biblical”.

    I thought once upon a time, that keeping the 7th day was the only real truth, and all other interpretation was flawed, and not the truth.
    But I have expressed this often here!
    Could there be more things that I have interpreted in the wrong way?
    Of course!
    All of us still have wrong interpretations.
    All of us.

    Mart has recently said: let’s talk about the things we agree upon:
    That through the Cross we are reconciled to God.

    That Cross,
    Where Jesus was willing to be like a snake.
    He became sin, everything poisonous in us He took it upon Him.

    That Cross is a real mystery to me.
    But all of the poison is gone?
    Jesus has triumphed over sin.

    Why would I be upset, if someone criticizes me?
    I remember that Billy Graham was very humble in handling criticism!
    He would not defend himself, the first thing that came out of his mouth was not defensive!

    He followed Jesus!

    If we say that Jesus is our Lord, we need not defend ourselves.
    However, I could take a good look at myself.
    Last month I really got some criticism over me. It was so obsurd, I asked God about it.
    Bug deep down, I already know that the criticism says more about the person who uttered it, than that is days something about me, what I would have done. It was so weird, that my husband said to me: does this not give you great relief? Now you know the other person has some issues. This is not your problem:Dave it into God’s hands!

    Now, that was good advice!
    And I should walk away in peace, total calmness:
    Living in the Sabbath Rest!

    Well, that is the theory!
    Now I need to cry out to God: please, Help me to rest in You.
    Help me to stop thinking these restless thoughts.

    It is a disciplinary thing!
    It is getting better now, after a few weeks.

    Rest in Jesus
    Leave it in His Hands!

    Mart says

  123. Beloved says:

    Great testimony Forever!

  124. Beloved says:

    Criticism:
    My friend and I remind each other often there’s always a kernel of Truth when criticized, so we take it to God and trust Him for what we may be temporarily blind to, and we discuss it. We learned no one is ever 100% right, or wrong for that matter. God is always 100% yet He only reveals what we can comprehend through our various brain functionalities. He gives each one what we need, not what we want, unless it’s to know Him more.

    When it comes to bible interp. the only ones I’m aware of with credentials to teach Bible here are Mart and Street so I do follow them as I love to learn! But I do also pick up nuggets of Truth from all the rest of you as we think and learn together.

    I love reading Steve’s interesting stories about life as well as Vivs struggle with her MI that always brings her closer to God! We are all teachers of living life in Christ–everyone of us–as we all look to the serpent that led us to the Savior who leads us to victory over sin and death, once for all time.

  125. poohpity says:

    Yes I am in the wrong because my words and quotes usually come from what is written in scripture about the topic which because hardly no one on here writes about the topics they go into these worthless conversation about ME. Well unless I am trying to defend myself against the false accusations, condemning me for things I did not say but were read wrong, lies, etc.. Please talk about the topics then these horrible conversation will not happen. I know y’all do not know what Mart is talking about so slandering someone is all you really know for sure and that you have down to an art.

  126. poohpity says:

    You know the really saddest part of it all is everything you accuse me of is exactly what you do yourselves then blame it on me.

  127. Beloved says:
  128. poohpity says:

    Bullying is a very harmful activity and here is a definition of it;

    An Imbalance of Power: people who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or “popularity—to control or harm others”.

    Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.

    Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.

    Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.

    Name calling
    Spreading rumors or gossip about someone
    Leaving someone out on purpose
    Telling others not to be friends with someone
    W

  129. poohpity says:

    6 against 1 is bullying

  130. foreverblessed says:

    Pooh is a dearly loved child of God.
    He keeps her in the palm of His Hands.
    He treasures her at His Heart.
    He blesses her with the Spirit of Peace,
    And the Spirit of Love.
    Awesome is His power to rescue her.
    Great is our Lord and Savior
    Blessed be His Name.

    The One Who did not think it below Himself, to be viewed as a snake on a pole. The poison disappears, it is as far as east is from the west. Great miracle!
    By looking up to Him we are healed and made whole, bit by bit tiny little bit by tiny little bit.

    Great looking up to Him, I pray over us all!

  131. Beloved says:

    Thinking about discipline and punishment and my question regarding my inability to see the difference a while ago, it’s more clear to me now as I think about the pain of a snake bite, vs the pain Jesus felt throughout his betrayal and death. They just don’t compare! Hebrews 12:11 (NIV)
    11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

  132. SFDBWV says:

    July 10, 2018
    Catastrophe or Cataclysm
    “[God] spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly.” (2 Peter 2:5-6)

    These two verses speak graphically of two different kinds of terrible physical convulsions, both of which were divine judgments. The volcanic upheaval that sent fire from heaven pouring over the wicked cities of the plains was called an “overthrow” (Greek katastrophe, from which, obviously, we get our English word “catastrophe”). Great upheavals such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and hurricanes are rightly called catastrophes.

    But such events are only local or regional in extent and occur relatively often. There was one event, however, that was unique in all history. When God brought the “flood” upon the ungodly antediluvian world, the word used to describe it was the Greek kataklusmos, and this word is never applied in Scripture to any event except the terrible Genesis Flood, when “the world that then was, being overflowed [Greek katakluzo] with water, perished” (2 Peter 3:6). From these Greek words we derive the English word “cataclysm.”

    There was never any flood like this flood! It covered all the world’s mountains, and everything on the land died, leaving great fossil deposits and great beds of lithified sediments all over the world.

    There has been only one worldwide cataclysm in the past, but another is coming—global fire instead of global water. Jesus said, “For as in the days that were before the flood [i.e., kataklusmos] they . . . knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:38-39). HMM

    From my Days of Praise morning devotional.

    God never changes and neither does Jesus. Be sure to know the full character of God, not just the view we like the most.

    55 degrees and clear.

    Steve

  133. jeff1 says:

    Having been brought up in a country where religion and culture have divided I have seen both sides use God to justify their actions and when I was young I did the same thing myself so I am not condemning but just telling it like it is.

    As I see it we are right back where we started as neither side did what was right and the country is now in limbo with no Government as nothing as changed in that the politicians and the people can not agree on how to go forward.

    If God takes things out of our hands then I am thankful that He does so as human nature doesn’t change that much when it comes to people wanting their own way.

    What ever I know or don’t know about God I know He knows best as now in my latter years I not only see the folly of youth but how easy it is to blind myself to God’s truth when I believe I already have the truth.

    Only God is all knowing and why only He can be the judge of mankind.

    It has taken me a long time to see this truth and why today I can agree with God that it is His right to save whom He wishes to save and though this is wishful thinking on my part I pray that His mercy extends way beyond what I could ever dream of and that is because I have always been much more the sinner than the saint and so my need of that mercy has selfish thinking behind it.

    I am weary of sin be it within or without and why the only story that matters to me is Jesus’s story of salvation and redemption which frees me from death’s destruction and brings me to everlasting life with those whom God has saved with me through time and eternity.

    Abide with me; fast fall the eventide;
    The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide;
    When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
    Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.

    Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
    Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
    Change and decay in all around I see-
    O Thou who changes not, abide with me.

    I need Thy presence every passing hour;
    What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s pow’r?
    Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
    Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

    I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
    ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness;
    Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
    I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

    Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
    Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies;
    Heav’n’s morning breaks, and earth’ vain shadows flee;
    In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

  134. jeff1 says:

    On a lighter note I have heard the news that in the rescue in Thailand only two boys and a coach remain trapped and so we can thank God as it has been a hazardous operation to rescue them.

  135. poohpity says:

    All have been saved at this time, no one left in the cave. Praise the Lord.

  136. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All
    I pray all is well in your lives! I made a “Independence Day Food” List for yall on the 4th, and I didn’t share it. So, I want to share it now…

    Favorite Foods on the 4th (*I didn’t put the states in alpha order)! :-) SN: Saw this list on the Google home page…

    Minnesota – Sloppy Joes
    Michigan – Goulash
    Louisiana – Gumbo
    Kentucky – Vegetable soup
    Kansas – Swedish Meatballs in barbecue sauce
    Iowa – Hamburgers or “Loose meat” sandwiches
    Indiana – Cute Peanut Butter Chocolate Balls
    Illinois – Italian Beef Sandwich (thin sliced beef, sweet peppers, Italian roll)
    Idaho – Crepes (thought they’d be eating some type of potato dish!)
    Hawaii – Shoyu Chicken (sweet and sour boiled chicken)
    Georgia – Squash Casserole (squash, cheese and breadcrumbs)
    Guam – Fried Chicken (Their secret ingredient is mustard!)
    Florida – Ceviche
    Colorado – Spaghetti Squash (looks like spaghetti, taste like squash and sounds kinda boring)
    California – Quinoa (The Incan name for quinoa is “chisaya mama” – mother of all grains)
    Arkansas – Potato Soup (Hashbrowns cooked in cream of mushroom/cream of chicken soup)
    Arizona – Spanish Rice (highlighted ingreds: tomato, onion and cilantro!)
    American Samoa – Pizza Dough (Kneaded for the Sunday Feast)
    Alaska – Alaskan Halibut
    Alabama – Broccoli Salad (with bacon and cheddar cheese)
    Wyoming – Banana Bread (Toppings: drizzled butter, chocolate chips, nuts or all three!)
    Wisconsin – Meatloaf (Made with parmesan and cheddar)
    West Virginia – Meatloaf (Made with venison and/or ramp, it’s an acquired taste)
    Washington – Pork Chops (You could experiment with the sauce recipes)
    U.S. Virgin Islands – Johnny Cakes (cornmeal, flour, baking soda, sugar and salt)
    Virginia – Salmon Cakes (with a sprinkle of lemon and a dash of old bay seasoning)
    Utah – Zucchini Bread (served with mountains of chocolate chips)
    Texas – Tortilla Soup (“not so secret” ingredient: ancho chili paste)
    Tennessee – Hashbrown Casserole (with Tennessee country sausage)
    South Dakota – Hamburgers (their bison burgers are said to be delicious!)
    South Carolina – Chicken Bog (a casserole/stew mix with chicken, sausage, rice and onion)
    Puerto Rico – Tembleque (Coconut Pudding/Tembleque means to “jiggle”)
    Oregon –Teriyaki Sauce (used on chicken, rice and stir fries)
    Oklahoma – Hamburger meat (burgers are served “slider style” with onions piled on top)
    Ohio – Sausage Gravy (pork sausage, flour and milk… showered with fresh cracked pepper)
    Northern Mariana Islands – Orange Chicken (orange juice, soy sauce, ginger, onion powder and orange peel)
    North Dakota – Hamburgers (the burgers are served well done and doused with barbeque sauce)
    North Carolina – Snow Cream (snow + condensed milk)
    New Mexico – Pozole (coarse ground corn is the main ingred in this dish)
    Nevada – Chicken Adobo (Coconut milk optional but highly recommended)
    Nebraska – Taco Seasoning (chili powder, garlic, cumin, paprika and salt)
    Montana – Chili (Wild game fired up with a few jalapenos)
    Missouri – Hamburgers (Secret ingred: Peanut Butter)
    Mississippi – Taco Soup (Secret ingreds: Taco Seasoning and Tortillas)

    Love to all,
    Regina

  137. bubbles says:

    Thankful for answer to prayer lately. Mtnman/wife’s house is safe and now the boys in the cave are all out!

  138. poohpity says:

    Thank you forever.

  139. poohpity says:

    Mart one of the hardest things to do when reading your topics or when I read the bible is asking the question, “how does this apply to my life?”. I could look at the snakes and my dislike of them but what is the Lord teaching me through them and this story. There is a reason God saw fit to have Moses tell this story. Moses obeyed God so when the people complained they were complaining against God first and foremost who had their best in mind the whole time and actually earlier had told God to use Moses to speak to them because they became fearful at the sound of His voice at the foot of Mount Sinai.

    So when Moses shared what God had told him more times than not they rebelled, complained and criticized Moses. Moses endured their behavior and pleaded with God to spare them over and over again. It seems Moses spent so much time with his face in the dirt, putting ashes on his head and tearing his clothes praying for that group of people yet continued to look up to God.

  140. jeff1 says:

    Moses, a great and faithful leader of his time but sadly lacking these days from what I can see.

    Then again we live in very different times that brings its own challenges.

    In a secular world it doesn’t get any easier as God has been removed from it and those of us who still proclaim our faith are seen as dinosaurs.

    I am sure glad God knows what He is doing because I sure as hell do not know!

    When my heart is overwhelmed
    And my eyes are blind to You
    And the pain of life is just too heavy to bear

    And then the mountains seem so high
    And my faith’s too weak to climb
    Lead me to the rock that is higher than I

    Lead me to the rock, lead me to the rock
    Lead me to the rock that is higher than I
    Lead me to the rock, lead me to the rock
    Lead me to the rock that is higher than I

    When my life is hit with fear
    And I fight to hide the tears
    And I wrestle in my heart to know what to do

    Lord, I’m welling up inside
    But I know You hear my cry
    Jesus, lead me to the rock that is higher than I

    Lead me to the rock, lead me to the rock
    Lead me to the rock that is higher than I
    Lead me to the rock, lead me to the rock
    Lead me to the rock that is higher than I

    You are the rock and there is no other
    A tower of strength, You are my shelter
    Lord, You are my hope eternal
    You are the rock that is higher than I

    You are the rock there is no other, oh
    A tower of strength, You are my shelter
    Lord, You are my hope eternal
    You are the rock that is higher than I

    Lead me to the rock, lead me to the rock
    Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, oh
    Lead me to the rock, lead me to the rock
    Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, oh

    Lead me to the rock, lead me to the rock
    Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, oh
    Lead me to the rock , lead me to the rock
    Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, oh

  141. poohpity says:

    Hey Moses messed up several times himself, no human being is perfect BUT the one thing he did do was point people to turn to God and not to himself.

  142. jeff1 says:

    He fulfilled God’s purpose as a great leader and God never expected Him to do it perfectly.

    You cannot point people to God unless they want to be pointed to Him and that is the challenges we face in a secular world.

    People believe science and technology are the driving force in the world and are not seeking God because they don’t believe He exists.

    We are in challenging times from a person of faith’s perspective and we need God more than ever.

  143. poohpity says:

    There is not one person in the bible who loved the Lord that did not tell us of “their own” shortcomings, faults and failures. Their humanity and the grace and mercy God showed them. Liars, thieves, adulterer, doubters, prostitutes or any other sin common to mankind. Intentional or unintentional admitted sin of their own that are recorded in the bible that we can identify with if we are looking within.

  144. street says:

    to give you an idea how difficult the cave rescue is. it’s a 5 to 6 hour journey under water in the dark in a confined space with times you don’t even know up or down. they have to change air cylinders en-route too. these young soccer players understand they must master the skills needed to make this journey and trust their guide with complete confidence. sounds like a pilgrims progress. our guide is faithful and true even if He slays me.

  145. street says:

    3 Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest. 2 He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. 3 Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself.

  146. Beloved says:

    Regina
    Sloppy joes! Ya sure ya betcha!

    Street
    I heard a comment that the boys were well trained to listen to their leader as a group which also ensured their stamina and survival. There’s something about training of the body soul and Spirit that Paul talked about a lot as you know. Lots to glean from calamity.

  147. jeff1 says:

    I think the bible shows us that God will use us for His purposes and that we should not despair in our weaknesses as His ways allows for them and in a world which is so very demanding of perfection this can seem an alien concept.

  148. street says:

    just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself.

    Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

  149. SFDBWV says:

    Setting here this morning with an oreo cookie and a cup of coffee as I peered over the top of my reading glasses the picture of the birds revealed a hidden image in it.

    The large head of a snake looking out from the ideal scene of birds in “paradise”.

    The middle slightly to the left green bird with the white under belly being its eye and the lower one with the speckled belly being its snout.

    All I can see is its head with an intense stare right straight forward at me.

    I guess it is like those Rorschach ink blot tests, we see what we see.

    Which ironically is exactly how Scripture is viewed by us all…We see what we want to see.

    64 degrees and clear.

    Steve

  150. jeff1 says:

    From Barbara Allen a heart warming song.

    There’s someone I call when I’m heavy with care
    Someone I can turn to my burdens He’ll share
    A rock I can lean on He’s always my friend
    Always there for me, a tree, that no one can bend
    Well is it so amazing how often He can make things right
    When the one who made the universe
    Takes the time to hear my prayers each night

    This world’s a creation and so there must be
    A mighty creator who made all we see
    And all that we need with love He’ll provide
    So how can we fail if we have Him by our side
    Well is it so amazing how often he can make things right
    When the one who made the universe takes the time to hear our prayers each night

    So friend if you need him then do as I do
    Just call for His hand He’ll be there for you
    He’ll give you the strength your lacking within
    As long as you live you’ll give the glory to Him
    Well is it so amazing how often He can make things right
    When the one who made the universe takes the time to hear our prayers each night
    When the one who made the universe takes the time to hear our prayers each night

  151. poohpity says:

    Quote from Beliefnet

    “Throughout the course of history, God has woven certain people into His plan that, not by accident or coincidence, have made a mistake or two that resulted in some larger-than-life outcomes. The Bible is filled with stories of people, just like you and me, that have struggled, stumbled, failed and simply just messed up. It’s in these “whoopsie” moments, that the Lord teaches us His greatest lessons and He reveals His will along the way. It’s also an opportunity to see the power of God’s great mercy, forgiveness and grace.”

    From; “The Great Lives from God’s Word Series” by Chuck Swindoll

    “The Bible is filled with characters, literally and figuratively. Perhaps the best way to describe how the Bible portrays its characters is “human” because they are, in fact, human. The Bible is true and the people that inhabit its pages were real people with real problems, just like us. The Bible does not shy away from presenting both the strengths and weaknesses of those it portrays. This makes the characters in the Bible “practical” in the sense that we can relate to them and educational in the sense that we can learn from their successes and failures.”

    It would seem that from both quotes they have actually read the bible.

    Here is just one more by Ron Forseth from churchleaders;
    “In a recent “tour” through the Old Testament, I have repeatedly seen that the featured people of the Bible have prominent dysfunction in their lives. This is not the exception—it’s the norm! We talk about “great lives” in the Bible—and there are many of them—but the thing that amazes me is how many of those “great lives” were actually lived by damaged people with serious family issues. Personally, I find this trend somewhat comforting—not a justification for wrong-doing or unhealthiness, but at least a consoling depiction of the challenges we humans face. I don’t find myself alone as the only one dealing with issues.”

    As Steve wrote, “Which ironically is exactly how Scripture is viewed by us all…We see what we want to see.” But one has to actually read the scripture to see anything about our common humanity or about God.

  152. poohpity says:

    Sometimes we see things that only come from our own vain imaginations but if you say it long enough one will undoubtedly get another to believe what that imagination sees. Just like what is happening in our world today one side pitted against the other not with facts but with what comes from their imaginations to promote hate, divisions, strife and the inability to work together to solve problems or come up with new ideas to make this world a better place.

  153. poohpity says:

    Similar to those who were against Jesus and while in the mob mentality said over and over “Crucify, crucify” then more and more began to chant the same thing with no proof of what they wanted Him crucified for but their vain imaginations of people turning away from them(religious leaders) to follow Jesus. The same with the people in the wilderness turning from following God through Moses by not seeing what they did have, to what they did not have that they thought they needed.

  154. Beloved says:

    I noticed what looks like a curled tail of a snake in the upper right hand corner but it was a little more imagination for me to see a head, but I see it, lurking amongst the beautiful birds. Beautiful in it’s surprising way as Mart wrote about. Reminded of Endo’s Silence again.

    Defensiveness is unbecoming a child of God.

    Beautiful song Viv.

  155. Beloved says:

    Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added into you. Seek first…

  156. Beloved says:

    Remember the snake? Beautiful in it’s quietness and confidence.

  157. jeff1 says:

    Pooh’s post 7.27 am

    It was God’s will that Jesus be crucified in order for our salvation and it is God’s plan to redeem the world.

    If I take my eyes of Jesus then I can very quickly despair and feel lost.

    I cannot change the mob mentality and once again here in Northern Ireland there are mobs back on the streets shooting at police which we had hoped was a thing of the past but it comes back to haunt us such is the failings of a fallen world.

    If nothing changes then I need to keep my eyes on the one who changes me as I should know by now that there is a difference in man’s pursuit of peace and God’s pursuit of peace.

    Keep you eyes on Jesus
    When the tidal wave of trouble around you roll
    Keep your eyes on Jesus
    He will calm the storms of life that toss your soul

    Living in a world that’s full of sorrow
    We are tried tempted every day
    Knowing not the secrets of tomorrow
    We find rescue when we watch and pray

    Keep your eyes on Jesus
    When the tidal wave of trouble around you roll
    Keep your eyes on Jesus
    He will calm the storms of life that toss your soul

    In Matthew Chapter 14
    When the disciples where in a ship
    In the midst of the sea being tossed
    with waves when the wind was contrary
    In the fourth watch of the night
    Jesus went unto them walking on the sea
    And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea
    They where troubled saying “it is a spirit” and they cried out for help
    But straightway Jesus spake unto them saying
    “Be of good cheer! It is I; be not afraid”
    And Peter answered him and said
    “Lord if it be thou, let me come unto thee on the water”

    And he said “come”
    And when Peter come down out of the ship,
    He walked on the water, to go to Jesus
    But when he seen the wind boisterous,
    He was afraid; and beginning to sink
    He cried, saying; “Lord save me”
    Peter was doing fine as long as he had his eyes on Jesus
    But when he looked away at the rolling waves about
    He began to sink
    And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand
    And caught him and said unto him,
    “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt”
    Being tossed in this life by disappointments and temptations
    We are very much the same as this disciple
    If we want to walk with Jesus
    We must keep our eyes on him
    And not the pleasure of this world

    Keep your eyes on Jesus
    When the tidal wave of trouble around you roll
    Keep you eyes on Jesus
    He will calm the storms of life that toss your soul

  158. Beloved says:

    Isaiah 30:15

  159. Beloved says:

    Bunny trail here-watching out for wolves and snakes!

    John Piper on humility vs works;

    The heart with a works-orientation may also express its love of independence and self-direction and self-achievement by rebelling against courtesy and decency and morality (cf. Galatians 5:19–21). But it’s the same self-determining, self-exalting works-orientation that also gets disgusted with boorish behavior and sets out to prove its superiority through self-denial, courage, and personal greatness.

    In all of this, the basic satisfaction of the works-orientation is the savor of being an assertive, autonomous and, if possible, triumphant self.

  160. foreverblessed says:

    Wow Beloved, that is a tough message.
    Sounds like Watchmen Nee’s Bible study on The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in: Changed into His likeness.
    The self-willed Jacob, who was trained by God, through Laban. that self-will, but that happened to be also God’s will:
    That Jacob is the heir.
    But he worked it out himself.
    Not like David, who did not grab the throne from Saul, but waited, and suffered, till it was given to him.

  161. Beloved says:

    Agree Forever it is tough! When Jesus says come to Me, take My home upon you and I will give you rest it’s rest from my sinful self-centered ways. There’s no room for my stuff, it must all go. I have so much baggage to get rid of as we all do. Sometimes the best I can do is lay them down (sins) only to pick them up again when I decide to lean on His grace for my stupidity and rebellion. It truly cheapens what God has done for me though. I’m becoming more and more aware of the games I play and it honestly scares me. As it should.

  162. Beloved says:

    Yoke, not home. Although Home actually fits!

  163. Beloved says:

    Who could have foreseen that the Last Adam would allow himself to be seen as a Snake— to defeat the Father of lies in a way that would show that our eternal Father is infinitely better than hearts like ours, and those we love— need him to be.

    Mart I’ve read and reread this 20 times I bet trying to get your meaning. Eternal Father is infinitely better than our hearts need Him to be? Like we don’t ask for much, really? Or is it our expectations maybe? Or? Street help please.thanks

  164. street says:

    the yoke that Jesus gives us is easy and light. joy peace love contentment patients. these come from Him, finished work. the remodel of a heart is a work of God. born again, a new Spirit is given, the Spirit of Christ. i am reminded that flesh and blood can not inherit the Kingdom. yet the present is where faith hope and love are worked out daily. yes beloved i struggle with marts last two paragraphs too. he always gets us where we are weakest. the last sentence, “and those we love— need him to be.” living in this grace and mercy, to extent it to others, the person they need us to be. conformed to the image of Christ. what profit is there in loving those who love you? even sinners do that. i marvel that sinners could love, yet they were made in the image of God too.

  165. poohpity says:

    street aren’t you a sinner? Isn’t everyone a sinner? There are sinners saved by grace and those yet to believe and be saved by God’s grace. Romans 3: And this righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no distinction, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” also Romans 3:9

    The last paragraph seems to say that we need God to be infinitely better than any human’s heart which will taint everyone(Jeremiah 17:9 NLT; Matt 13:15 NIV) and we all need God to heal those hearts because without Him we would have no hope because only evil would reside in the heart of mankind.

  166. Beloved says:

    That’s powerful, becoming the person others need us to be. Purpose relaimed here. It’s a process, yes thank you, but when my own proclivity to works orientation gets involved I’m crushed. Sigh. Oh He’s better, that’s for sure! Resting under His yoke again. Thanks

  167. Beloved says:

    Sometimes there are just no words to express the majesty of God. That’s how I feel when I read the last two paragraphs, no words, breathless even.

  168. poohpity says:

    To be the kind of person others need us to be is the kind that points people to God not to us, to His kind of love that only He can shower people with, only with Him can hearts be changed along with their lives. That is way beyond our capabilities but not beyond God’s but people have to give their selves to Him and put their self aside by showing how much they need God.

  169. SFDBWV says:

    It is actually creepy, as now I cannot look at the picture of the birds Mart has provided without seeing that one piercing eye of the sinister snake looking out from it. The snout looking almost like a sneering grin.

    Once again the Holy Spirit provides as my morning devotional directed me to 1 Peter 5:8-9 KJV.

    “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” James 4:7 KJV.

    Years ago my sister in law confided in me that she had many “demons” that tormented her. She didn’t work and still don’t so her “demons“ tempted her as she was home all day.

    I had just bought a box set of worship music from some TV ad and had never even opened it. I realized then that I didn’t but it for me, but rather for her, so I sent in on to her with the explanation that when we praise God the devil will flee from us.

    She still fights her demons, but still knows to and goes to praise music to help her battles.

    Jesus used Scripture to deflect the devils insults and barbs in the wilderness, yet used him when He needed to be betrayed and sent to the cross.

    Just like He used the image of the snake to point people to Himself, as the snake has no power over He through whom all things were made, including the serpent.

    50 degrees and cool this morning in the mountains.

    Steve

  170. poohpity says:

    What happened on the Cross was just another fulfillment of scripture spoken of since this world began.

    Jesus said about Judas, “I am not speaking about all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But this is to fulfill the Scripture: ‘The one who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.’ I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it comes to pass, you will believe that I am He(Messiah).”

    “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8

  171. Beloved says:

    Wondering how Maru and Chris are doing and if they have any thoughts about the snake? I’d love to hear from you!

  172. jeff1 says:

    Never Alone

    He can calm the troubled waters
    When you walk in deep despair.
    There is hope when you feel helpless
    Knowing that the Lord is there…

    Sharing in your sunshine moments
    Or in valleys deep and wide,
    He will never, ever leave you–
    He is always by your side.

    There’s no other friend so faithful
    Through the sunshine and the rain,
    Through the teardrops and the laughter,
    In your joy and in your pain.

    We could never, ever thank Him
    For His Love He gives so free,
    Never changing…..never ending
    Throughout all eternity.

    Oh, the wonder of all wonders
    As we live from day to day
    Knowing that we have a Father
    Who is with us all the way.

  173. Beloved says:

    Father I pray for the writers here that they would all experience a closer walk with You. That You would be glorified in all our ways, that all will grow to understand the great love You have for them. That Your dear Son would be exalted even as He was centuries ago, today. May we be pleasing to you in our work, homes and neighborhoods, that Your light would shine ever brighter through us as we surrender to Your will and learn Your days. Thank you for the blessed Holy Spirit and the guidance and comfort we enjoy. Holy is Your name. We lift and exult Christ Jesus as LORD, yesterday, today and forever. Amen

  174. saled says:

    Joyce, how wonderful that you read Silence in college! I’m hoping to start it in a week or two.

    Deb, it took you a long time to eat those blueberries! Wild blueberry season is just beginning here, but many acres are not being harvested. Competition from cultivated (those big blueberries) had dropped the price to the point that the growers are losing money to harvest them. Wonder why the price never drops at the grocery store. Go buy more wild blueberries. Keep Maine in business and feed your brain at the same time!

    Steve, I see the snake. His body is green, made up of the ferns on the left. And the bird at the bottom is at once a bird and the lower jaw of the snake. I had not thought about why this bird picture to go with this topic. Now it makes sense.

  175. SFDBWV says:

    “Who could have predicted the outcome? Who could have guessed that the deceiver would accept such a role in his own exposure and demise?”

    If you really want to answer such a question and be satisfied with it you have to understand that only God is omnipotent, and omnipresent. That His will is done and nothing can thwart it or come against it successfully.

    God created the light *and* the darkness. Nothing exists that didn’t come from His creation, for His will to be accomplished.

    This whole *story* isn’t about us or even our understanding it. It is about Him.

    To answer the question you have to go back to the beginning and ask the question, why was the serpent in the garden to start with?

    What was his role in the story, but to deceive?

    Without this deception, without the bait taken and the trap sprung the story ends before it even begins.

    Because as soon as man fails the reason for it is explained, a redeemer will come.

    It is told that Satan was transformed into an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14 KJV), what does that mean other than he was used to deceive?

    Who was it that sent a tormenting spirit to Saul (1 Samuel 16:14 KJV)? The Lord.

    Who put a lying spirit in the mouth of the prophets of Ahab (1 Kings 22:23 KJV)? The Lord.

    Need I go on? Is the deceiver a deceiver or a servant to the will of God?

    If you want to be a student of God then do so, if you want just to read the headlines, then read the USA Today version of the Bible. Be satisfied with that and be at peace, but don’t then criticize them that read the full and complete story.

    51 degrees under clear skies this morning in the mountains.

    Steve

  176. SFDBWV says:

    Saled you are right in that we see the same thing. I am glad you too can enjoy his creepy stare along with me.

    We too enjoy wild blueberries as they grow here in abundance. They are difficult to pick and yes mostly found in rocky areas with an abundance of rattle snakes among them.

    So we pick with caution.

    Steve

  177. SFDBWV says:

    Isaiah 45:7 KJV “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.”

    John 1:3 KJV “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.”

    Just in case I am required to explain from Scripture where I get my “understanding”/”comments”.

    Steve

  178. Beloved says:

    Staring at the picture once again I see 6 birds, a fern unrolling itself as they do before their full glory is revealed, and a peace lily! White and beautiful amongst the dark foliage. Sorry guys, I do not see a snake, however, from now on when I see snakes on Animal Planet I’m not immediately going for my standard response of repulsion but thinking of Jesus high and lifted up for all the world to see and receive! Oh what a blessing this topic is to me, thanks again, Mart.

  179. poohpity says:

    Evil is a choice. Did God create those who use their free will to do evil? Yes. Did God know they would do evil? Yes. God created human beings. Did He know that their hearts would turn from Him? Yes. Satan was one of the most beautiful of angels but he wanted to rise above God in all manners of pride. Will all created things use their free will to do evil? Yes but they will also use that free will to worship God above all else.

    Isaiah 14: How you have fallen from heaven, O Morning Star, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the ground, O destroyer of nations. 13You said in your heart: “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God. I will sit on the mount of assembly, in the far reaches of the north. 14I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”…

    The first temptation from Satan in the garden was just that as well to make themselves like the Most High just exactly why the devil was cast out of heaven. So doing evil which loves company and that is to turn people away from God. To complain about God not doing what they think He should do, they way they think He should do it and in the time they think He should act. BUT when the time was right;

    Gal 4: So also, when we were children, we were enslaved under the basic principles of the world. 4But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5to redeem those under the Law, that we might receive our adoption as sons. 6And because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”…

    We are no longer slaves to evil or the temptations to commit wrong and evil but have the free will to choose another path. The very nature of evil was exposed by the light to it’s own demise. So those who can admit to their sin nature will even more cling to God’s grace. It will not be taken for granted and counted as nothing to let pride once again raise us above others. Eph 2: For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance as our way of life.”

    Not created for evil, rebellion, hate that is not following after God but following after the “Morning Star” who’s main goal is to get us to think about everything BUT God even snakes that may or may not be hidden in a picture or in our hearts and minds.

  180. Beloved says:

    Yesterday I was studying Jesus temptation in the wilderness and thought how easily Satan quoted scripture, and, how he tried deceiving Christ Himself! Uncanny when you think of it. Yet God allow even proclaimed it to be part of Jesus journey in the flesh. Once again I’m reminded of a serpent on a stake. High and lifted up for all the world to see.

  181. Beloved says:

    Which leads me to the thought that laying down my life for the sake of others, what I do or what I know even, is far better. Servant of man yet sister, of Christ.

  182. poohpity says:

    Beloved, did you not find that Satan misquoted and misused scripture for his own pride filled purposes but Jesus did not fall for it.

  183. Beloved says:

    Surprised by a snake, still, I guess.

  184. Beloved says:

    Pooh, the LORD rebuke you.

  185. poohpity says:

    And what you like the Lord to rebuke me for?

  186. narrowpathseeker says:

    Joyce, deep breathes and prayer.

  187. Beloved says:

    I’m good Pearl, leaving it all to God to deal with. Greater is He who is in me than he that is in the world. Age old problem that will be done with eventually, but while here we have a strong loving God fighting for us. Thank you for your concern though. It’s a really great feeling to let God fight my battles! Blessings :-)

  188. poohpity says:

    When I say “I am a Christian”, I am not shouting that “I am clean living”. I am whispering I was lost, but now I am found and forgiven.

    When I say, “I am a Christian”, I do not speak of this with pride. I am confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

    When I say, “I am a Christian”, I’m not trying to be strong. I am professing I’m weak and need His strength to carry on.

    When I say, “I am a Christian”, I’m not bragging of success. I am admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

    When I say, “I am a Christian”, I’m not claiming to be perfect. My flaws are far too visible, but God feels I am worth it.

    When I say, “I am a Christian”, I still feel the sting of pain. I have my share of heartaches so I call upon His name.

    When I say, “I am a Christian”, I am not holier than thou. I am just a simple sinner who received God’s good grace, somehow!

  189. poohpity says:

    Lord show Joyce and Pearl the mercy and grace found when they look up to you.

  190. Beloved says:

    Pearl, notice how her remarks are clever- diabolical even? Its all about “I”, God is used to soothe her soul, but He is not mocked, we reap what we sow. Enjoy your evening, I will.

  191. Beloved says:

    Yes Pearl I’m very greatful for Godly discernment, especially when the lion roars. The noise can be distracting but the closer to God we get the more it roars. I was thinking about the fruits of the Spirit, love joy peace patience kindness goodness faithfulness and self control. These we have if we have the Spirit within. It’s a good test for discerning of spirits.

  192. Beloved says:

    Apologies have been brought up recently. Thinking about what street said its beginning to make more sense to me this evening. An apology and repentance are two different things. Repent means to turn away from something. Its meaning is lost on the accuser/abuser of the brethren. I think pooh is very abusive toward most everyone that writes here. I wish it would stop, especially when she uses God to justify her bad behavior. Its disrespectful as well as heretical. How many years has this been going on? 5 6 7 8? Ridiculous.

  193. Beloved says:

    Thank you LORD for answering my prayer.

  194. poohpity says:

    The reason for using “I” is because that is the only person I answer for to God and that keeps me from looking to voicing my opinion of others and setting in judgement, criticizing and condemning them. Maybe that would be a good thing to try Joyce. Just as the topic is about each person looking to the snake on the pole for themselves to be healed, no one could look at the snake on the pole for the healing of others. So it is about “I”. As “I” look to the Lord so does each person after all it is a very personal thing, since a spiritual relationship is between God and “I”.

    The noise is often from those who do not use self control by looking at others and not looking up to the Cross.

  195. poohpity says:

    Not all snakes are poisonous only those who spew the toxic venom of hate.

  196. Beloved says:

    Ok Steve and Saled ive spent the better part of the evening trying to see a snake on the pic but my brain just won’t do it! Oh well best to avoid them anyway, as I’ve avoided the previous 2 posts for my mental/spiritual health. Keeping my blinders on from now on. Sorry to those who have read them. I am sure they are disturbing.

  197. SFDBWV says:

    Joyce don’t beat yourself up over not seeing the snake in the garden. I have needed “cheaters” since about 40, having just came from seeing an eye doctor a few weeks ago it seems nothing has changed these past 30 years. I can see fine at a distance it is up close that I need glasses.

    The snake is best seen by me when just a little blurry, though once seen I can’t miss its “evil eye”.

    The bird left of center with the white underbelly is the eye. The white underbelly forms the eye with that splash of black in its top center the pupil.

    The little sparrow at the very bottom with the white speckled underbelly forms its “lips” or sinister grin.

    I think it may be like watching the clouds float by, some see the pink elephant some don’t.

    However sad to say that seen in the picture or not just like in life, that snake is always lurking with his eye upon us waiting for the opportunity to strike.

    You do fine Joyce don’t beat yourself up over what you observe, being able to see and discern is a protective measure that God provided for our safety.

    Another cool morning at 56 degrees.

    Steve

  198. SFDBWV says:

    I listen to some beautiful music as I set here at the computer and have my morning coffee. I just go to “You Tube” and have already a set selection of things I like.

    All of the music is set to a video accompaniment, one such movement is by Vangelis titled “Alpha” and its music is set to NASA images taken from the Hubble telescope.

    Those images I have seen many times and they are spectacular views of our universe. I didn’t think about it before, but I have not ever seen an image that looked sinister or evil or anything like a snake in the album of the universe, only beauty, angelic and in one case an eye looking straight at us.

    Thinking of God creating both the light and the darkness I am reminded of a more recent “discovery” by astrophysicists that the larger percentile of the universe is made up of “dark” matter.

    What do you know they just discovered what Isaiah wrote thousands of years ago.

    It is reported that Isaak Newton derived his genius for physics from reading and studying the Scripture. To the angst of today’s physicists who keep looking over Isaak’s notes which is more about his discoveries in Scripture than anything they can recognize.

    Steve

  199. narrowpathseeker says:

    Joyce, Steve, I still can’t physically “see” the snake in the small picture of the birds, but I can sense it strongly always in the big picture of life’s journey. I too have tried squinting and following your directives to detect it in the pic, Steve, but I just can’t “see” it, so Joyce, you are not alone.

    It is a very sad thing that we can’t come together to learn, to support, to comfort, to inspire, to encourage and to be teachers, supporters, comforters, inspireres, to brothers and sisters in Christ on a Christian blog without being blatantly subjected to satanic wiles which seem to be welcomed here. I just don’t get it.

  200. Beloved says:

    Steve, Pearl I guess what we have here is a microcosm of the larger world. I like the thought of looking at the world from the outside. That is just what Jesus taught, to not love the world but to love the Creator first, then He would give us what we need. I’d read that about Newton also Steve. God gave him a lot of wisdom and insight that is still useful today. There’s so much more out there to enjoy during our few short years on the planet. Ok Pearl glad I’m not the only one not finding a snake. Just curious more than anything.

    Please pray for me we’re having day after day of 80 plus temps with high humidity and I can’t be out in it as I get heat related asthma and fever symptoms that keep me inside all day and extremely fatigued, just as bad for me as extreme cold. Well this too shall pass as they say. I had to put my cat down last week and miss her sorely. Although I don’t miss her long hair which was a daily cleanup/grooming chore along with her dipping her paw into my coffee/tea cup when I wasn’t looking. Microcosm; apt, blog, or from space I’m so thankful today for the air I breathe and the fellowship of the saints! God is good!

  201. poohpity says:

    I am so curious and open to learn about how Newton derived his laws of motion and the ability to solve mathematical equations from the scripture and more so from Isaiah?

  202. poohpity says:

    “Isaiah contains some of the most incredible prophecies of any book. It contains foreknowledge, in incredible details about the Messiah, and the future reign of Jesus Christ. The purpose of the book of Isaiah was to call God’s nation, the nation of Judah, back to faithfulness and to declare the coming Messiah “Immanuel”. God calls and commissions His prophet to declare to Judah and Israel condemnation, conviction, and ultimately great hope.” Jay Smith

  203. poohpity says:

    Steve you gladly explained the snake you saw, will you just as gladly explain how Newton derived his theories from the scriptures and Isaiah?

  204. foreverblessed says:

    Matthew Henri’s commentary on Isa 45:
    5-10 There is no God beside Jehovah. There is nothing done without him. He makes peace, put here for all good; and creates evil, not the evil of sin, but the evil of punishment. He is the Author of all that is true, holy, good, or happy; and evil, error, and misery, came into the world by his permission, through the wilful apostacy of his creatures, but are restrained and overruled to his righteous purpose. This doctrine is applied, for the comfort of those that earnestly longed, yet quietly waited, for the redemption of Israel. The redemption of sinners by the Son of God, and the pouring out the Spirit, to give success to the gospel, are chiefly here intended. We must not expect salvation without righteousness; together the Lord hath created them. Let not oppressors oppose God’s designs for his people. Let not the poor oppressed murmur, as if God dealt unkindly with them. Men are but earthen pots; they are broken potsherds, and are very much made so by mutual contentions. To contend with Him is as senseless as for clay to find fault with the potter. Let us turn God’s promises into prayers, beseeching him that salvation may abound among us, and let us rest assured that the Judge of all the earth will do right.

  205. Beloved says:

    Thanks Forever.

  206. poohpity says:

    Yes Forever, thank you that pretty much confirms the comment of July 13th @9:27am.

  207. Beloved says:

    Thinking how powerless the 1st serpent of Eden when it comes to eternal destruction. It’s still astounding to think a serpent on a pole could bring healing though. It’s as if God put things upside down so to speak from the beginning! (I’ve been reading N T Wright) Then, I read someone call the Lion of Judah the “toothless lion”. Toothless lion, serpent on a pole that heals, wow. God loves metaphors, and so do I!

  208. poohpity says:

    The “Lion of Judah” is certainly not toothless but does not need to prove His strength or power. Phil 2:Who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to cling to, 7but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross.…

  209. street says:

    Surprised by a Snake
    thinking of Romans 7 where paul is surprised by the snake or evil that resides in his flesh. the irony of a sinful man and the Holy Spirit together?!?!? brought together by the blood of Christ. 12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
    11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.

  210. Beloved says:

    It’s kind of funny to me now but yesterday when I lost it and gave in to ranting I was thinking those very same thoughts you posted, but for some reason decided God wasn’t trustworthy or too slow to deal with the issues I raised. Oh my, resting takes complete trust. Still learning, obviously. Praying I will trust God enough to let go next time. But I’m still going to avoid here those that trouble me.
    I’ve been waiting for you street, as I know you will lead us higher. Thank you.

  211. street says:

    beloved look to Jesus and follow the One we hope for. i have no letters degrees or titles. i do understand He is alive, The Way The Truth and The Life. you said earlier you were no longer afraid of clergy. they have a unique function in the church yet the church is the sum of it parts in Christ. someday it will all come together, what a day that that will be! understanding wolves and our own flesh is tricky process, but one He wants us to go through with Him. it’s like one of the obstacle/ skill building coarses. i struggle with the idea of God being silent over a period of time, yet it builds trust patience and perseverance. abraham waited a long time and we are so bless by him.

  212. jeff1 says:

    I am never nearer God than when I am listening to words that worship Him.

    Some hymns stand the test of time and this one never fails to reassure and comfort me as it was played at the 12th July celebrations by an elderly orange man on his flute as he spoke of his nearness to God.

    Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
    E’en though it be a cross that raise’th me.
    Still all my song shall be,
    Nearer, my God, to Thee.
    Nearer, my God, to Thee,
    Nearer to Thee!

    Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down,
    Darkness be over me, my rest a stone.
    Yet in my dreams I’d be
    Nearer, my God, to Thee.
    Nearer, my God, to Thee,
    Nearer to Thee!

    There let the way appear, steps unto heav’n;
    All that Thou sendest me, in mercy given;
    Angels to beckon me
    Nearer, my God, to Thee.
    Nearer, my God, to Thee,
    Nearer to Thee!

    Then, with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise,
    Out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise;
    So by my woes to be
    Nearer, my God, to Thee.
    Nearer, my God, to Thee,
    Nearer to Thee!

    Or if on joyful wing cleaving the sky,
    Sun, moon and stars forgot, upward I’ll fly,
    Still all my song shall be,
    Nearer, my God, to Thee.
    Nearer, my God, to Thee,
    Nearer to Thee!

    Then in my Father’s home, safe and at rest,
    There in my Saviours love, perfectly blest;
    Age after age to be,
    Nearer, my God, to Thee.
    Nearer, my God, to Thee,
    Nearer to Thee!

  213. Beloved says:

    Street thanks, you must not be who i thought you to be, but i do value your wise counsel through your biblical knowledge. i struggle with being good enough to sit amongst the congregation with my extensive background as a very few could even begin to process it without being repulsed so try to forget and move forward every day. Its lonely though and am not able to be as involved as i once was. Focusing on Christ can also feel lonely. But good at the same time. Ive never really fit in anywhere but was good at faking it. Not so anymore. Letting go of crutches is hard and scary! But Hes so good and im still in the process. My first baptist pastor put so many expectations on us and i failed miserably. But i understand grace better now and thanks will look at the congregation as a working together organization all under a benevolent Leader, God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

  214. Beloved says:

    Thank you, the “skill- building course” makes sense to me also.
    That God wants to remain involved in my life boggles my mind. I deserve nothing, but thats all grace. Silences are scary. I guess thats where faith comes in? More skill building maybe, spiritual stepping stones to our High and lifted up God come down to live among us in the dust. The vertical becoming horizontal to dwell in our hearts.

  215. bubbles says:

    Birds are lovely, sweet little song birds… sweet little nests…Today three little sparrows flew in front of me through a tunnel as I rode my bike. Singing as they flew, it made my heart happy. I feed birds, love to watch them. I put lut suet to help in winter. A mockingbird frequented the feeder in March, and I gave him a name. However, a bird tried to get in my car at a drive in, and I went nuts. I am terrified of birds up close. I would rather be near a snake than too close to a bird. My chest gets tight, I cannot breathe, and my heart races. I’ve been close to passing out because of a close encounter with a bird.

    Viv, Be Thou My Vision is one of my favorite songs. Several songs have helped me this past year when nothing else could. Something about mornings and after dark makes me cry, and certain songs help more than anything.

  216. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Bubbles it is as if the words of some songs are made for me when I am in the mood to really listen to what they convey to me.

    I can understand why Solomon found music so soothing because when I am to tired to think or do anything I find it is it that lifts me from my despair.

    Sometimes people disrupt my peace with God but it is through songs and music that I find my way back to Him.

    I have been listening to gospel music since I was around 10 years old and I had a long playing record of Elvis’s called ‘His Hand In Mine’ which my sister lent to someone and they never returned it. It was not until the internet that I was able to get the same songs on a CD and still love to listen to it.

    This is one of my favourites from it.

    In my Father’s house are many mansions
    If it were not true he would have told me so
    He has gone away to live in that bright city
    He’s preparing me a mansion there I know

    Jesus died upon the cross to bear my sorrow
    Freely died that souls like you might have new life
    But I know that soon there’ll come a bright tomorrow
    When the world will all be free from sin and strife

    (Do not shun the saviours love, from up in glory)
    (Or you won’t be there to sing the gospel story)
    In my Father’s house are many mansions
    If you’re true then to this land you’ll surely go

  217. poohpity says:

    I really enjoy that song by Zack Williams “Fear is a Liar” it can also be seen on you tube;

    When he told you you’re not good enough
    When he told you you’re not right
    When he told you you’re not strong enough
    To put up a good fight
    When he told you you’re not worthy
    When he told you you’re not loved
    When he told you you’re not beautiful
    That you’ll never be enough

    Fear, he is a liar
    He will take your breath
    Stop you in your steps
    Fear he is a liar
    He will rob your rest
    Steal your happiness
    Cast your fear in the fire
    ‘Cause fear he is a liar

    When he told you were troubled
    You’ll forever be alone
    When he told you you should run away
    You’ll never find a home
    When he told you you were dirty
    And you should be ashamed
    When he told you you could be the one
    That grace could never change

    Fear he is a liar
    He will take your breath
    Stop you in your steps
    Fear he is a liar
    He will rob your rest
    Steal your happiness
    Cast your fear in the fire
    ‘Cause fear he is a liar

    Let Your fire fall and cast out all my fears
    Let Your fire fall Your love is all I feel

    Let Your fire fall and cast out all my fears
    Let Your fire fall Your love is all I feel

    Let Your fire fall and cast out all my fears
    Let Your fire fall Your love is all I feel

    Oh, let Your fire fall and cast out all my fears
    Let Your fire fall Your love is all I feel

    Oh, fear he is a liar
    He will take your breath
    Stop you in your steps
    Fear he is a liar
    He will rob your rest
    Steal your happiness
    Cast your fear in the fire
    ‘Cause fear he is a liar

    ‘Cause fear he is a liar

  218. SFDBWV says:

    I was thinking about how over these past 2,000 years Christ’s followers have held Him up on a pole and claimed Him as the ideal example to emulate.

    But then as they held Him up like a flag or banner they themselves showed no resemblance to Him at all.

    Using His image to subject the ignorant masses to intolerant rule over with the threat of death by fire if they did not obey, then eternal fire and damnation once dead.

    It occurred to me that nothing really has changed. Even though people aren’t burned at the stake any more the division among them makes people want to.

    All by holding up the image of Christ as their authority/right to.

    Perhaps there is more to “see” regarding the prophetic example of the snake on a pole in the wanderings after all.

    66 and partially cloudy after a cool night of 55.

    Steve

  219. poohpity says:

    That is the exact reason we were taught about wolves in sheep’s clothing and warned over and over about false teaching. That teaching is fear based rather than based on God’s amazing grace. (Proverbs 10:12,17:9; 1 Cor 13:4; 1 Peter 1:22, 4:8; Romans 8:1; Eph 2:7-9 NLT)

    Jesus is no longer on the pole/cross. He was taken down, placed temporarily in a grave and on the third day rose then sent His Holy Spirit as a gift to see us through until one day we will see Him face to face.

  220. poohpity says:

    Fear is a liar which comes from the father of all lies not from our eternal Father. “to defeat the Father of lies in a way that would show that our eternal Father is infinitely better than hearts like ours, and those we love— need him to be.” God defeated the father of all lies with truth and grace. John 1:16-17 NLT

  221. phpatato says:

    Good morning

    Steve, just thought I’d say that I can see the snake you pointed out in the picture attached as well. And yup, every time I look at the picture now that snake is the first thing I see.

    I guess that can be applied to life in that once you see to realize there is evil and danger lurking, even in what you thought was a safe haven, your senses come alive and your awareness is taken up a notch. You begin to turn on lights so that its darkness can’t take over.

    Complacency is not an option. You either fight against it or lie down and let it swallow you up…..because it will swallow you up if you become complacent about it.

    Joyce, another hot and humid day in the forecast here too. Sunny with a high of 100F once the humidity is factored in. July has been a hot one. I admit I am loving the heat but we need rain badly.

  222. street says:

    Steve, love your last post! But then as they held Him up like a flag or banner they themselves showed no resemblance to Him at all.

    Using His image to subject the ignorant masses to intolerant rule over with the threat of death by fire if they did not obey, then eternal fire and damnation once dead.

    paul took up His cross and humbly/boldly followed. those who lose their life will find it and never die because they have been made alive where they were once dead.

  223. jeff1 says:

    God has told us to focus on Christ because there will be false teaching and wolves in sheep’s clothing and He is the only safety there is against it.

    The teachings in the bible point to a world that wanders from God and we should not forget that this is the world we live in.

    We are witnesses to the darkness in the world whether we fight or flight speaks of where we are in our journey.

    Why should the Father bother to call us His children?
    Why should the Spirit hear it when we pray?
    Why should the Father bother to be concerned with all our needs?
    Its all because of what the Son has done

    Once we were lost out in the ocean with no direction or devotion
    Tossed about by every wind and wave
    Now we are in the world not of it and we can surely rise above it
    Because the Lord has risen from the grave

    Why should the Father bother to call us His children?
    Why should the Spirit hear it when we pray?
    Why should the Father bother to be concerned with all our needs?
    Its all because of what the Son has done

    And we cry “Abba Father, Abba Father
    Abba Father, Abba Father”
    We cry “Abba Father, Abba Father
    Abba Father, Abba Father”

    Once we were strangers from the promise
    We were doubters worse than Thomas till the Spirit opened up our eyes
    Now He has offered us Adoption
    And we have taken up the option to be His family eternally

    Why should the Father bother to call us His children?
    Why should the Spirit hear it when we pray?
    Why should the Father bother to be concerned with all our needs?
    Its all because of what the Son has done
    Its all because of what the Son has done

  224. poohpity says:

    Like I said during the last topic if Steve said the sky is yellow those who follow after him would believe it as well. That goes along with the first person to say false things about me then pretty soon had many come along after him to believe what he said even though it was not true. I wondered how many would see the snake just because he said so, lol. Powerful example of group think.

    In today’s world that is going on all around us everyday rather than respectfully disagreeing about issues while trying to solve problems they create more by calling names, accusing people of everything but being a human being, destroying the character of people by telling lies and spreading rumors, destroying property and setting fires, promoting mob mentally, personally attacking people in public so that they can not even go out to eat in peace.

  225. Beloved says:

    Viv reading the blog this morning these verses came to mind and am so blessed by the majority of writers here which shows as Jesus said that the gates of hell would not prevail! It’s been so helpful on my journey thus far. Thanks to most here, and you know who you are.
    Proverbs 25:11-14 English Standard Version (ESV)
    11 A word fitly spoken
    is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
    12 Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold
    is a wise reprover to a listening ear.
    13 Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest
    is a faithful messenger to those who send him;
    he refreshes the soul of his masters.
    14 Like clouds and wind without rain
    is a man who boasts of a gift he does not give.

  226. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pat and Joyce, I am sorry for your uncomfortable weather conditions…it seems somewhat strange to me that you are both far north from me and you have extensive heat and we are having relatively cooler weather for this time of year here in NC …low 80’s with soft breeze. However we DID have it in the 100’s last week….soooo maybe your cooler pleasant weather will follow soon.. praying for some rain for you also and thanking Him for our modern conveniences ….electricity, fans, pools, air conditioning, running water…etc… I can’t even imagine how people survive such weather without the alternative comforts we have at our disposal

  227. Beloved says:

    Oh I know Pearl I thank God every day for AC, fans, water and a roof over my head. We did have a tornado that touched down right in the middle of town that brought down trees but only one garage! No one was injured though not even the weather forcasters saw it coming. It was an anomaly really but God protected all. Thankful to be in an area where unusual weather only lasts a relatively short time, really. Not quite ready for snow but a snow cone is pretty tasty these days!

  228. SFDBWV says:

    I suppose it had to come up; today in our local paper (Cumberland Times-News) is a story of a “snake” handling Pentecostal church in Squire WV (McDowell county).

    The pastor Chris Wolford was only 11 years old when he witnessed his father the church’s pastor die from a snake bite, and in 2012 Chris’s brother Mack also died from the same demonstration of their faith.

    His remarks are that they both died for something worth dying for.

    On the altar is a box with a rattle snake and a bottle of poison. People are encouraged to or welcomed to either or both pick up the snake or have a sip of poison whichever they want.

    Wolford says if you don’t have the faith, don’t take part. That he knows people outside the church look down upon them as being odd, or tempting God, but says it is far from that.

    He tells non-believers to study the Scriptures and see that they are following the directives of the Bible…

    Snake handling churches are outlawed in every other state except West Virginia. I guess the state moto fits, “Mountaineers are always free.

    I am certain that in their Scriptural defense somewhere along the conversation is the story of the brass serpent.

    Steve

  229. SFDBWV says:

    Street I am happy you enjoyed my earlier comments. Truth is always recognized and appreciated.

    Thank you.

    Steve

  230. narrowpathseeker says:

    I believe that it was Charles Stanley that I first heard teach this about jealousy..that it is one of the most difficult sins for one to admit/confess and some can never quite get there. I don’t remember the rest of the sermon, but I know there was something he said that helped me to openly confess my jealousies and ask for help with it. Actually I believe he had tapes on it… I think that was a major breakthrough in learning that the TRUTH really can set you FREE!! It might be quite beneficial to anyone here that may suffer from extreme jealousy to check to see if Amazon has any Charles Stanley’s cd’s on jealousy.

  231. Beloved says:

    Great Is Thy Faithfulness

    “Great is Thy faithfulness,” O God my Father,
    There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
    Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
    As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.
    “Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!”
    Morning by morning new mercies I see;
    All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
    “Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!
    2
    Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
    Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
    Join with all nature in manifold witness
    To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.
    3
    Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
    Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
    Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
    Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.

  232. street says:

    Philippians 2

  233. foreverblessed says:

    But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. — Matthew 5:39
    My utmost July 14, the day of France:
    one nation one brotherhood one freedom.
    ( Freely from my remembrance)

    Fil 2:1-11
    Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

    5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

    6
    Who, being in very nature[a] God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
    7
    rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
    8
    And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
    even death on a cross!

    9
    Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
    10
    that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
    11
    and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

  234. narrowpathseeker says:

    Steve, I am so sorry that you have become the major target for the nasty attacks of one with apparent deep rooted jealousy.

    While the attacks are most likely meant to turn people from you, it only makes me respect, admire, and love you more for your Wisdom and strength of character in dealing with it for so very long.I am sure others feel the same way. I also realize that defending, supporting, and/or complimenting you infuriates the offender, but what I DON’T understand is why the offender can’t see that the attacks are working FOR you and AGAINST her. I am putting this out there for yet another attempt to give sight to one who is blind and just can’t understand that the TRUTH could set one free and make life so much more pleasant for one with such weight holding them down..

  235. Beloved says:

    Pearl your post about the Charles Stanley study on how jealousy is sinful sounds good. I just came across this verse from biblegateway. James 1:21
    New Living Translation

    So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.

    Getting rid of filth and evil in us is a nearly fulltime job but thankfulness and praise takes up the rest of our !ittle time on earth.

  236. narrowpathseeker says:

    Can not find the cd’s I was looking for but did find a book by CS’s son Andy….Enemies of the Heart…..it is about breaking free from the 4 emotions that control us.. Greed, Guilt, Anger, and Jealousy!! The TRUTH is that I have much anger that readily ignites when subjected to liars and people with no remorse for being cruel then I have much guilt for the anger. SO I am going to order the book, pray, and get back to the “full time job”. I agree Joyce…getting rid of the filth and evil is a full time job.. :-)

  237. Beloved says:

    Ha ha Pearl I said NEARLY full-time! Remembering how God inhabits the praises of His people reminds me to not get so self absorbed I forget my Maker, and as Street says often, His yoke is easy, and His burden, light! I need to remember His hand isn’t repulsed when I sin-doesnt shake me off- but holds me tighter when I’m distraught or down because of sin whether mine or others. Oh He’s so good, isn’t He?

  238. street says:

    envy is the one that sneaked up on me. the inability to thank God for the gifts He has given to others and praise Him in joy. thinking of joseph and his brothers. they were eventually reconciled, none were lost. after all they were brothers. God’s plans are unaffected by evil or the shortcomings of man, yet completely righteous and blameless in all we see and are exposed to. Jesus told His disciples that they were clean except for one of them in order to fulfill scripture. salvation by faith sowing by the Spirit, reap a harvest that will remain. thinking of good works of walking in the Spirit and not the flesh. the work of believing in the One He has sent continues.

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