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Believe it or Not

As much as I don’t like snakes… one more thought.

In the Garden, the fiction sounded believable. The words, logic, and appearance of the Serpent—  encouraged trust rather than alarm.

The prelude to the sequel is easy to forget. An embittered enemy, disguised in the appearance of a pre-cursed creature, seemed to offer a better hope than the Gardener.

The confusion that followed is history, here, and now.

The misunderstanding shows up not only when a rescued family thinks their Father has led them into the wilderness to kill them— and not only when the Gardener allows himself to be lifted up like a snake in the wilderness— but whenever our God asks us to lovingly trust him more than our own eyes… and the lies.


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211 Responses to “Believe it or Not”

  1. poohpity says:

    I believe it because I see it all around that those who tell lies seem to be believed before trusting God. All around in almost every area of life.

  2. poohpity says:

    I think it may be because the lies hit at the heart of the flesh. To believe the worst about God not having our good or best in mind seems prevalent especially by those who have not gotten to know God, they assume and jump to conclusions.

    It is also like people it seems often we will believe the worst about someone before we even get to know them too. Actually it seems we look for and think of the worst with a microscope before we even consider that there is something good to concentrate on.

  3. SFDBWV says:

    Ripley’s “Believe it or Not” has been around a long time. He astonished newspaper readers for years by giving stories about unbelievable facts that most readers took as gospel truth.

    Even my little home town of Bayard got a mention from him during WWII as having sent the most men to the war effort per percentage of population from all the municipalities in the entire USA.

    I can’t substantiate his claim at this point only believe the story because I want to and it was printed in the Stars and Stripes and read by men from my home town who related the story to me.

    The Bible is a Book of Books comprised of ancient writings and letters all put together by people who felt they were “anointed” to do so.

    From its inception people have died over it killed over it and it itself has become an object of worship by some.

    Why do we believe any of the stories written there?

    Even here in our ever shrinking community of contributors the disagreement over the first words of it are ever present.

    “Believe it or Not” comes to either believing all of Scripture or none of it. If we are to think that we are to believe God then where do we get to see what God says except where we are to believe it is written?

    Logic has little to do with believing much of what is written, only faith does, and faith that what is written is indeed from what God said.

    People everywhere take what is written and begin to analyze it or make it sound more agreeable to what they want it to say immediately.

    If we just take the story in the garden as simply literal then there is little to analyze, but if we start looking deeper, then many questions, suggestions and possibilities emerge.

    There to my thinking is a lot to “think” about when we are told to believe God from someone else.

    Steve

  4. jeff1 says:

    I think the question I need to ask is whether it troubles God that He is misunderstood and I don’t see any reasons to suggest that it does.

    God is much more patient with His creation than His creation is with each other which is not surprising when you see that it is Jesus that unites us.

    There is very little else that unites us as religions divide more than anything and so I cannot throw my teddy bear out of the pram if God is calling time on all religion as there is no denomination can say they got it right but only God Himself.

  5. Beloved says:

    “It may be said that the chief purpose of life, for any one of us, is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all the means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks.” -J.R.R. Tolkien

    Thank you Mart.

  6. street says:

    thinking of jeremiah saying Lord you deceived me and i was deceived. when i was deceived i discovered i had a will. i understand we like like seduction attention envy and every unclean thing. could it be we are unclean?

    The misunderstanding shows up not only when a rescued family thinks their Father has led them into the wilderness to kill them— and not only when the Gardener allows himself to be lifted up like a snake in the wilderness— but whenever our God asks us to lovingly trust him more than our own eyes… and the lies.

    thinking of hezekiah petition to God in the Temple, Lord i am like a woman in labor and no strength to deliver. the destroyer of nations was outside the walls. my right hand can not save me. his petition was for a Deliverer.

    some trust in horses and some trust in chariots some trust in themselves and some trust in the Name of our God.

    earlier i mention a carrier force turning into the wind prior to battle. seems to me that turning into the Light is a better way forward, a consuming fire.

    how long Lord? to live among unclean lips with unclean lips? be still and know, Jesus is God.

  7. Beloved says:

    Our sermon today was on Esther, and he made 3 points which call for trust on our part that God is lovingly trustworthy and far better than our own understanding and the lies, (as Mart says); God is not limited, God is not in a hurry, and God is faithfully working His purpose in the world now, as He did yesterday. So encouraging in light of world events, and, in our personal sphere of influence.

  8. poohpity says:

    What was the first lie that human beings believed rather than trusting what God said? If one starts there then we can see all the other lies about God we are taught through multiple sources but at the center would be the only one who has something to gain which is to draw us away from God.

  9. Beloved says:

    I’ve been thinking about the serpent and reading various commentaries about it. Did it have legs to walk upright before it was condemned to slither and eat dust? Now I’m wondering was it the only other creature besides Adam Eve and of course God that also had a voice to speak so they understood him. Must have been. So why wasn’t God’s voice/presence enough? Why do we listen to voices that challenge God’s sovereignty? Seems as though it’s been going on since BEFORE the fall. As I understand God better it seems he put in us the ability to choose not to confuse us or trip us up but to experience the grand feeling and peace – better than sex drugs rock and roll- which only He can give. Everlasting peace even under the worst of circumstances.

  10. Dinakar says:

    Steve liked your post according to Romans 1 the primary way to know GOD is through His creation and not because your Sunday school teacher said so. Abraham Moses and David, all got to know God through Creation
    Well don’t take my word for it but search the scriptures

  11. jeff1 says:

    Believe it or not, Jesus is the answer, was then, is now, and ever shall be.

    My mum never had a Sunday school teacher but she believed and trusted Jesus and spoke of how he was a rebel of His day.

    As someone who was treated as an outsider I believe that she too was a rebel of her day because the ‘status quo’ was not accepting of her and so she was drawn to Jesus all the more.

    John 14:9 Jesus explains how when we see Him we see the Father and so I know God’s character through Jesus.

    I either read scripture for encouragement and rebuke or I do so to make a point that I am right and the danger in that is that I miss God’s intention in showing me His way is right.

    From Sunday morning reflections.

    In my wrestling and in my doubts
    In my failures You won’t walk out
    Your great love will lead me through
    You are the peace in my troubled sea, oh oh
    You are the peace in my troubled sea

    In the silence, You won’t let go
    In the questions, Your truth will hold
    Your great love will lead me through
    You are the peace in my troubled sea, oh oh
    You are the peace in my troubled sea

    My Lighthouse, my lighthouse
    Shining in the darkness, I will follow You
    My Lighthouse, my lighthouse (oh oh)
    I will trust the promise
    You will carry me safe to shore (Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
    Safe to shore (Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
    Safe to shore (Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
    Safe to shore

    I won’t fear what tomorrow brings
    With each morning I’ll rise and sing
    My God’s love will lead me through
    You are the peace in my troubled sea, oh oh
    You are the peace in my troubled sea, oh oh

    You are my light
    My Lighthouse, my lighthouse (Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
    Shining in the darkness, I will follow You (Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
    My Lighthouse, my lighthouse (Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
    I will trust the promise
    You will carry me safe to shore (Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
    Safe to shore (Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
    Safe to shore (Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
    Safe to shore

    Fire before us, You’re the brightest
    You will lead us through the storms

    Fire before us, You’re the brightest
    You will lead us through the storms

    Fire before us, You’re the brightest
    You will lead us through the storms

    Fire before us, You’re the brightest
    You will lead us through the storms

    My Lighthouse, my lighthouse (Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
    Shining in the darkness, I will follow You (Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
    My Lighthouse, my lighthouse (Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
    I will trust the promise
    You will carry me safe to shore (Oh-oh-oh-oh)
    Safe to shore (Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
    Safe to shore (Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
    Safe to shore

  12. SFDBWV says:

    Some archeologists actually believe that the Jew adopted the story of creation from their captivity in Babylon.

    Such a comment from the bastions of education is disturbing at best, because it casts dispersion on the authenticity of Scripture.

    In fact only those believers in either of the “Big Three” religions believe the Bible over archeology as it is taught in colleges all around the world.

    The national pastime in Israel is archeology as the nation searches the land for proof of what the Torah says historically.

    Archeologically a “Tell” is an artificial mound covering the successive remains of ancient civilizations. Such sites are dug up everywhere in Israel and the Mid-East as both believing and non-believing archeologists look for evidence to support their beliefs.

    I have told the sad story of reading only a few years ago of ISIS soldiers blowing up the tomb of Jonah there in Syria. Jonah the Prophet of God who saved Nineveh from destruction by speaking for God.

    It is very interesting to intellectually attempt to discern between the “truth” of what God says and the lie.

    It is as Dinakar has said, God is discovered through His creation.

    The marvelous “miracle” of Pentecost is that we as children of God have now the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in us and as so He is able to bear witness of Himself. We are able to know because we know, because we know in our hearts when God speaks to us. Through His written Word, through creation, through others as well as recognize a lie.

    The world view and sometimes “self” will try and resist the Holy Spirit’s urgings in us, but we always know in our hearts right from wrong and when we go up against the Holy Spirit as kicking against the pricks becomes all to obvious.

    A lot to discuss in this small topic from Mart if we really want to look at what we believe.

    66 degrees and cloudy, smells like rain is coming.

    Steve

  13. poohpity says:

    So far I have not read anyone share the lies that we believe and trust from the enemy that one finds hope in rather than the truth from God but looking forward to the conversation.

    Our first parents found hope in what the snake shared rather than trusting what God said which lead to the fall. How about Abraham and Sarah trusting in themselves or was it the enemy over what God said which brought us Ishmael and the troubles in the middle east we now see?

  14. poohpity says:

    You are right Dinakar and Steve in Romans 1 we were warned that even though they could know God through His creation they did not worship or thank Him but chose instead to worship the creation by making idols in the likeness of nature to worship. But the majority of Romans 1 speaks about sharing the Good News or Gospel about God which if they learned that that would prompt them to go to Sunday School to learn more.

    Romans 1: For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

    21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

  15. poohpity says:

    It would then go to show ya that one of Satan’s lies which may sound good and to be trusted by the listener is that God can be found in the things He has created rather than than from the creator Himself. Satan seems to do anything to lead us away from God to the things that can be seen rather than to the invisible. “Seeing is believing” maybe that is one of the reasons Jesus came so that we could see the invisible characteristics of God in the visible. John 14:7

  16. jeff1 says:

    We must not forget that God works through men imperfect or not as it is not He who demands perfection as that is a lie of Satan’s.

    God asks us to trust Him in our difficulties for very good reasons and not just for the hell of it.

  17. poohpity says:

    Is it not from realizing our imperfection that we point people to God rather than to us?

  18. jeff1 says:

    I don’t believe in pointing people to God as I know when people did it to me I didn’t want to know.

    You have to come to the realisation that you need God and no one else can do that for you to my way of thinking.

    I was as low as it gets when I looked to God and even yet I am not one of those who has had a miraculous conversion and feel the need to convert others as I spend more time taking refuge in Christ than understanding God.

    If a person feels that is their purpose then that is different but I don’t believe it is mine.

    I believe that society makes demands on us that God doesn’t and so we are burdened by the world and I know I am blessed in worshipping God as non believers have said to me that they wished they had faith so as I see it faith is a gift and why some are bestowed while others are not is known only to God.

  19. poohpity says:

    It is Jesus who converts people but they have to hear about Him first that is why He gave us His great commission, to go and tell. Romans 10:14-15 NLT; Mark 16:15

  20. poohpity says:

    I really do not care what society thinks, I do not follow the ways of the world but I am excited to say I follow Jesus and I love to tell people about Him and how much He loves them.

    Just like I love to share about my children because I love them. Just like you always share about your dad because you love him. Jesus is way better than my children and His love has not bounds like my love does. Almost everyone likes to talk a lot about someone they really love. Do people reject someone who talks about Jesus? Yes you bet they do but at least a seed has been planted.

  21. jeff1 says:

    The non believers I talk to do not reject me for talking about Jesus they are just honest in saying they do not share my beliefs which is OK with me as God does not want to force anyone into believing or saying they believe if they do not.

    It isn’t about whether we care or not about what society thinks but that we have to live here while in the flesh and are subjected to burdens of this world.

    I get the strength from God to do this while I don’t understand how others who don’t have faith manage to survive in this world without that faith.

    Faith is a comfort in a world where there is so much controversy as Jesus is our hope in times of uncertainty as He is the certainty when all else seems lost.

  22. poohpity says:

    Yes I understand and I also do not know how people get along without the Lord.

  23. SFDBWV says:

    My dictionary defines “subtle” in this complex way, “Thin, precise, closely woven. 1. Thin; rare; tenuous; not dense or heavy. 2. Capable of making or noticing fine distinctions in meaning, etc. (a subtle thinker) marked by or requiring mental keenness. 3. Delicately skillful or clever; deft; crafty; sly. 5. Delicately suggestive; not grossly obvious (a subtle hint). 6. Working insidiously; not easily detected (a subtle poison).

    My Concordance translates the word found for the serpent in the Garden as a “snake”. The Greek translation for serpent found in Revelation is also “snake”, but includes an artful malicious person as Satan.

    Genesis 3:1 KJV states that the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made and astonishingly the serpent spoke.

    As I have already said if you just take the written explanation of the events in the Garden as a literal occurrence and don’t bother analyzing them, great just believe it and move on.

    This is what a child might do and explains why Jesus said to come to Him as a little child.

    However we just aren’t like that are we. We pick everything to pieces in an attempt to know more than we need to know.

    As I look at the definition of subtle it actually could describe the animal like activity of a snake, they are mentally keen, delicately skillful, clever, crafty, suggestive, not obvious, insidious and not easily detected.

    But while those characteristics can also be human, speaking is just not characteristic of a snake.

    Are we to believe that the animal this one snake in all creation is Satan in disguise? How then was this created angelic being able to physically change his appearance? Where else in Scripture is it stated that the devil can physically change his appearance by his own “power”?

    Why didn’t God just say that the devil misled Adam and Eve instead of a snake?

    Why then was the animal the snake cursed because of the actions of the devil? And not just that snake but all snakes from that point forward?

    Mart asks why Jesus allowed Himself to be seen as a snake. Maybe there is much more in the answer than meets the “eye”.

    It just may be that believing God at face value is easier than fully understanding the truth.

    Allow me to give this abstract view if I may from Days of Praise.

    July 24, 2018
    A Still, Small Voice
    “And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.” (1 Kings 19:12)

    Elijah was in hiding for his life, even though God had spectacularly answered his prayer with fire from heaven. Jezebel, however, had not been intimidated by Elijah’s victory and swore she would kill him. He fell into such depression that he wanted to die. If Jezebel could not be impressed with fire from heaven, how could Elijah ever hope to defeat her and her armies? Not even an angel could remove his doubts.

    But then was sent “a great and strong wind,” and “after the wind an earthquake” (1 Kings 19:11). But the Lord was not in the wind or the earthquake or the fire. God finally reached Elijah with “a still small voice,” and that voice assured him that God was well in control of all circumstances. Similarly, Moses told the children of Israel, as they faced the Red Sea: “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD” (Exodus 14:13).

    It was prophesied of the Lord Jesus that “he shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.” Nevertheless, it was also promised “he shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth” (Isaiah 42:2, 4; see also Matthew 12:19-20).

    In our human impatience, we think God should always move immediately in great strength. Unless there are large numbers of converts and displays of power, we grow discouraged, like Elijah. But God more often speaks in a still, small voice and works in a quiet way. “And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, . . . And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” (Isaiah 30:18, 21). HMM

    Ecclesiastes 12:12 KJV…”much study is a weariness of the flesh.”

    62 and cloudy.

    Steve

  24. jeff1 says:

    God goes before us and He comes after us as He is the ‘alpha’ and the ‘omega’ which means it is He who finishes what He started as no power on earth can overturn God’s judgements as He is the righteous judge of all.

  25. SFDBWV says:

    Amen and amen, Vivian.

    Steve

  26. jeff1 says:

    When I am down and oh my soul so weary
    When troubles come and my heart burdened be
    Then I am still and wait here in the silence
    Until you come and sit a while with me

    You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains
    You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas
    I am strong, when I am on your shoulders
    You raise me up to more than I can be

    You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains
    You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas
    I am strong, when I am on your shoulders
    You raise me up, to more than I can be

    You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains (stand on mountains)
    You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas (stormy seas)
    I am strong (I am strong), when I am on your shoulders (I am strong)
    You raise me up to more than I can be

    You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains (stand on mountains)
    You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas (stormy seas)
    I am strong when I am on your shoulders
    You raise me up, to more than I can be

    You raise me up, to more than I can be

  27. poohpity says:

    Amen, Viv.

    One of Satan’s subtle ways of turning us from God is to sew seeds of doubt as in; Genesis 3:1 ” “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” Satan’s question even started with a lie which Eve’s reply was also found to be not actually what God had said either. Genesis 3:2-3 When this was what God did say Genesis 2:16-17.

    It is not only Satan but there are many who can take a small bit of truth and turn it around to mean whatever anyone wants it to mean, as in the propaganda we get fed everyday in the media. The only way to stand against lies is to know the truth and that truth will set us free. Yes it does take some study to find out facts so we are not led astray but it is sure better than being lead down a primrose path of lies and deception that one begins to base our lives on and causes us to turn to the right or to the left off the reliable path of following God.

  28. poohpity says:

    When one does not know(ignorant) of what is right or wrong which was how Adam and Eve were before they ate from the tree, they stayed in close relationship with God but once their eyes were open to right and wrong they hid from God.(Romans 4:15 NLT) At that time the need of a Savior came into existence to restore a broken relationship with God, so in His justice He could not allow them to eat also from the Tree of Life that would have meant they would have stayed that way forever so in God’s gracious, loving way made them leave the garden so that would not happen. Genesis 3:24

  29. poohpity says:

    By the way since it was the beginning of life here on earth do you really think they knew what kind of death that could be since no one had died yet to know what that meant?

  30. Beloved says:

    Good morning Steve, Viv. Pretty quiet here today, but wanted to add a big thank you to Mart for this, “but whenever our God asks us to lovingly trust him more than our own eyes… and the lies.” because I’ve lived a life of hypervigilence and he’s challenged me for the first time to stop and trust that God is lovingly watching over me and the circumstances of my life. I don’t need to be constantly on guard for my own safety. The serpent, or Satan is wise, yes, but not loving. God is all wise AND loving! Having the knowledge of good and evil we are powerless against it, but God is greater than our knowledge. It’s wonderful!
    Thank you God, I love you and praise You for Who You are– blessed and a blessing to all who seek You. May your kingdom come, your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. In Jesus’ name, amen.

  31. Beloved says:

    Condemned, dead, and lost in ourselves, we must in Christ seek righteousness, deliverance, life and salvation. —Calvin

    So true.

  32. jeff1 says:

    Thinking of how hard it is to break the habit of hiding from God when I know I have done wrong and so how I am still like my first parents.

    I know God has forgiven me in my head but my response is still to run from Him and I think that is because when I was a child I was indoctrinated with the ten commandments and my response then was I am never going to be able to do this so I didn’t try.

    I have been running all my life since although I believed in God’s existence I seen God as a God of Wrath and it is not until I have been seeing God through Jesus that I have seen Him as gracious and loving which is what my heart tells me He is and I tend to go by my heart because in my head I can be very confused.

    Probably not!

  33. Beloved says:

    Crown of thorns, why? King of the earth maybe? Weren’t we all surprised!

  34. Beloved says:

    I know King of Jews was why He was crowned but thinking Jews-earth-dust.

  35. poohpity says:

    Praise God Viv, that you are seeing God through the life of Jesus. John 14:7,9

  36. poohpity says:

    Right now @10:40 am which is a cooler part of the day it is 116 degrees f so by the time it hits the hottest part of the day I would guess we will be in around the 125 degree range. So we are sure to have electrical brown or black outs and the fires all around the west will be just ramping up. It is now cloudy so please pray for rain to quench fires and the heat.

  37. Beloved says:

    Dear street, I was so surprised today with my reaction to a pastor friend I ran into shopping that I could not shake or hold hands in prayer circles with before. My reaction, to my delight, was pure peace and joy– so much that I wanted to hug him, however he was gone before I could find him again. It truly is a work of God how He has decided in my older age to deliver me from ALL my fears. Thank you for your encouragement here also. He’s a great God!

  38. jeff1 says:

    Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling
    Calling for you and for me;
    Patiently Jesus is waiting and watching
    Watching for you and for me!

    Come home! come home!
    Ye who are weary, come home!
    Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
    Calling, O sinner, come home!

    Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading
    Pleading for you and for me?
    Why should we linger and heed not his mercies
    Mercies for you and for me?

    Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing
    Passing from you and from me;
    Shadows are gathering, death-beds are coming
    Coming for you and for me!

    Oh, for the wonderful love He has promised
    Promised for you and for me!
    Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon
    Pardon for you and for me!

  39. foreverblessed says:

    That crown of thorns:
    Gen 3:17-18
    Cursed is the ground …
    it will produce thorns and thistles for you

    This is what a pastor said about it:
    When Jesus was bleeding because of the crown of thorns, it was because Jesus took up the curse of sin!

    The Cross is complete, the saving is complete, the healing is complete. Even the consequences of sin is taken on the Cross.

    When I heard that for the first time, I had a great sense of relief. But it is hard to grasp:
    Not all consequences are taken away yet.

    As in the healing: not everyone is healed, the ODB of yesterday was about that too.

    With the feeling of inadequacy, that to me is a matter of faith! It is a lie that we are not adequate, because IN Christ we have all we need.
    That is the truth!
    There are sooo many truths in the Bible, about who we are through faith is n Christmas.
    How blessed we would be if we like a child take them literal.
    Like this one:
    His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.

    That is so positive.
    But the lies will creep in: “I am not adequate”
    In ourselves we are not.
    But we are not of ourselves anymore, when we were purchased by Jesus, through His own blood
    Romans 7:4

    Oh, that we would stand on all those promises, because of faith in Jesus!

  40. foreverblessed says:

    Yesterday I was in the great church of our town. Where we dedicate all the prayers that are written in the prayer book to God. And we pray for the city.
    There came a woman, she looked as if she was from the Philippines, or that area. She hardly spoke our language.
    But she said she listened to Radio Maria.
    Several times a day, at 9 am, at the vespers , at the evening song, at the rosary at night.
    Mother Mary was the one she was praying to.
    Why not to Jesus we asked?
    She said: Oh no, that is of no use. Satan is always fighting Jesus.
    Then she clasped her hands together
    Jesus and Satan arealways fighting, Satan goes against everything that Jesus does.
    But…
    And here comes the interesting part, she said:
    Not so with Mary, Satan does not fight her. Because she was the mother of Jesus,band when she died she went straight to heaven,vwith body and all. Because she was human, and totally loyal to the Trinity of God.

    Jesus is the Son of God, and everything that is written about Him in the Bible is true, but Mary is the one we pray too.

    This topic is about the Cross of Jesus, the total effect on our saving, the truth, and not the lies we can believe.

    So we had a discussion with her, she repeated three times why it was Mary, but also stated that Jesus was the Son of God.

    So I hand her in prayer over to God: bless her, guide her!

    And I am learning to let go and let God!
    If we have prayed with intention and with faith, she is on good hands, God’s hands!

  41. poohpity says:

    It would seem that any body no matter who it is that plants a seed of doubt or skepticism about the authenticity, reliability, accuracy of the Word of God is being used by Satan.

    Or that because a specific prayer is not answered the way we think it should be so therefore God is not loving nor does He care for us is another way Satan can use circumstances to doubt the goodness God. Job for instance Satan wanted by circumstances to turn him away from or curse God.

    Satan even used one of Jesus’ own disciples, Peter, to try to dissuade Jesus from the main reason He came to die as a sacrifice or atonement for our sins.

  42. poohpity says:

    Satan seems also to use the lures of this world to entice us away from God or to not speak of Him.

  43. SFDBWV says:

    Here is the thing as to what we believe or choose not to.

    Mart says “The prelude to the sequel is easy to forget. An embittered enemy, disguised in the appearance of a pre-cursed creature, seemed to offer a better hope than the Gardener.”

    If we are going to believe the simple story of creation and the fall of man at face value then fine, but if we believe there is an enemy in the garden and a pre-cursed creature there are some other questions that need to be looked at.

    First of all “In the beginning”; is this the beginning of all creation? Or just the beginning of the universe as we know it and see it and the planet earth and our place on it?

    Was there a pre-existence of created angelic beings before “In the beginning.”?

    The war in heaven doesn’t take place until Revelation 12:7 KJV

    So when did this drama between Satan and God take place? Where is it said that the serpent is pre-cursed? And when?

    If we choose to believe that God was unaware that the serpent was Satan in disguise or that the devil was beguiling Eve, then we can’t really believe that God is omnipresent and omnipotent. Where then does that leave us in what we “believe or not”?

    Are we then led to believe that God was not in control of His creation from before or after it was created? Or perhaps that His creation was flawed in its created state?

    Maybe it is just easier to not dissect the story of the Garden and agree that mankind has always needed a savior from before he was created throughout his entire existence unto the end.

    Believe what you will as long as you agree that Jesus of Nazareth was born to the Virgin Mary, conceived by the Holy Spirit, that He is the promised Messiah, the Son of God, and in fact is God in the flesh.

    All of the rest is just speculation based from our experiences and understanding of the limited knowledge at our disposal.

    With plenty of room for disagreement, which is fine as long as it is not presented from a disagreeable demeanor. And enjoyed from an intellectual pursuit of discovery.

    68 and muggy in the mountains.

    Steve

  44. SFDBWV says:

    Pushed to finish I meant to include in my agreement that Jesus was also crucified died and arose from death as given by the witnesses of the Gospels.

    Steve

  45. Beloved says:

    Forever, thanks, I don’t remember ever hearing a sermon on the crown of thorns. Cursed ground since the fall but new life in Christ! Thorns and thistles may mar our way but Jesus Christ is here to stay! Oh how fortunate we are to know, love and follow Him. Blessed be His Name above all names!

  46. Beloved says:

    Steve, I think Gods pronouncement that the snake was to crawl on the ground after deceiving Eve presupposes a creature without a curse, until then. Is that what you are wondering about? I read yesterday in my Cultural Background Study Bible that new testament writers did not at the time recognize the serpent as Satan. I thought that interesting.

  47. SFDBWV says:

    Actually my question was from Mart’s saying a pre-cursed creature.

    As stated, if we are to dig into the story there are a lot of questions that arise and some with no Scripture answers. Only our speculation.

    Bible study can be fun if we are allowed to have an imagination without persecution.

    I agree the snake was cursed following the incident, yet after all things are made new, the snake is still left to crawl on its belly and eat the dust of the earth as stated in Isaiah.

    Personally I think everything went as planed in the garden as willed by the “Gardener”.

    Steve

  48. Beloved says:

    Steve i was not persecuting you. Just reflecting.

    I just read a very interesting article at BiblicalArcheology dot org that talks about satan being part of Gods tribunal sent out by Him, very interesting!

  49. Beloved says:

    The article is “How the serpent became satan”.

  50. SFDBWV says:

    I know you weren’t persecuting me, I just added that this exercise of “thinking about” can be fun if we aren’t held to task for “thinking”.

    Don’t misunderstand, I love you Joyce and appreciate you very much.

    You and I both know that there is a snake somewhere in most every garden, whether seen or not.

    Steve

  51. poohpity says:

    Satan’s influence is all around to get us to question what God has said, to add more or twist what is there and to doubt the goodness of God.(Luke 4:1-13)

    One has to remember that the story of creation in Genesis was God telling Moses what to write. So there seemed to be a purpose for everything God told him.

  52. poohpity says:

    If God thought that knowing about who Jesus is and His death and resurrection was all we needed to know then why did He make sure we had the rest of the bible? I wonder who would be behind telling people that the rest is not that important? Could it be the influence of the enemy?

    The bible also contains in many areas how the deceiver or Father of lies works so that we could be prepared to recognize when faced with the lies, lures and the deception.

  53. Beloved says:

    Thank you Steve for saying that, its so good to hear those words, I love you! I love you also as well as many others here, you’ve become like family to me and I so appreciate how God has created this body of Christ in cyber world. He truly is everywhere! And now–as I once again because of Jesus– begin fellowship with face to face believers I carry with so much I have learned from you all, with confidence Gods love overcomes whatever satan throws at me or the new church I am in. That together we are far more powerful than trying to go it alone.

  54. poohpity says:

    God also teaches us in His word that Satan can come in disguise of things that may look beautiful and accepting but are bent on leading us away from believing God. 2 Cor 11:13,14

  55. Beloved says:

    Steve, I see similarities between the lies of the serpent to Eve and the lies of the satan about Job. Crafty, cunning. Yet in the midst of both scenarios we see hear and almost feel the goodness of God, if we look, as Mart has been talking about. Look, see, believe and TESTIFY to the Holy powerful goodness through love of our great God! What a great commission we’ve been given, and so doable!
    Thank you for your work for the Kingdom!

  56. SFDBWV says:

    Good afternoon Deborah, I see nothing has changed in you acidic demeanor or commentary. Always the opposition to whatever I may have to say.

    Yes there is a great deal to read and discover in Scripture and that discovery can be fun and enjoyable.

    The problem is people like you who think only they can speak for God and only they know everything written and so insist without authority, to correct anything anyone else may suggest or bring to the table.

    Well if it gives you any pleasure to think only you have all the answers then keep it up, all you do is make it uncomfortable for others to be here and certainly to contribute.

    As for me I do occasionally look at what you write, but more often just ignore your insults and digs as coming from someone who has not the capacity for abstract thought nor the sensibilities as to know how to associate amongst others without irritating them.

    And Deborah this is sad. Because I know you have a big heart and want to fit in. To be accepted by others and loved.

    But you push everyone away who shows you any kindness.

    I don’t know what else to say to you. I know you just dig in and get aggressive when others attempt to help you or set you straight, but you won’t listen to them because you can’t take criticism. Even and especially constructive criticism.

    Others pray for you to see the light Deborah, and I will join them, for your sake and the health of BTA.

    Steve

  57. poohpity says:

    There you go again Steve. If what I said is not consistent with what is in the Bible share that with me rather than all the false accusations and finger pointing about me personally. I am writing in regards to the topic if there is something that is not consistent with the topic I am also open to you pointing that out to me as well rather than the personal attacks and your opinion or perception of me because that is most often just lies to put me down.

  58. Beloved says:

    You Are My Vision
    Song by Rend collection

    You are my vision, O King of my heart
    Nothing else satisfies, only You Lord
    You are my best thought by day or by night
    Waking or sleeping, Your presence my light
    You are my wisdom, You are my true word
    I ever with You, and You with me Lord
    You’re my great Father, and I’m Your true son
    You dwell inside me, together we’re one
    Oh, oh, come on church
    You are my battle-shield, sword for the fight
    You are my dignity, You’re my delight (my shelter)
    You’re my soul’s shelter and You’re my high tower
    Come raise me heavenward, O power of my power
    Oh, oh, I don’t riches
    I don’t want riches or man’s empty praise
    You’re my inheritance, now and always
    You and You only, the first in my heart
    High king of Heaven, my treasure You are
    Oh, oh high King
    High King of Heaven, when victory’s won
    May I reach Heaven’s joy, O bright Heaven’s Son
    Heart of my own heart, whatever befall
    Still be my vision, O ruler of all
    Heart of my own
    Heart of my own heart, whatever befall
    Still be my vision, O ruler of all
    Oh, let’s worship Him
    Oh, oh, oh

  59. SFDBWV says:

    So be it!

    Looking deeper into the subject comment we see that a rescued family thinks that their “Father” has led them into the wilderness to die.”

    Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were called to become a special “nation” of people. Abraham was ask to leave his familiar surroundings and promised a land of his own, the promise continued to Isaac and to Jacob without being fulfilled. Jacob and his sons were rescued from famine and sent to Egypt to grow into the people and Hebrew “nation” they became.

    For 400 years there was not a single word from God to the Hebrew people, not a single word of encouragement except that of the promises God made to their ancestors, over 400 years earlier.

    When the time was right God showed up in a big way.

    He showed up, but the people had to act upon His rescue plans for them to leave Egypt. Even though Pharaoh was willing to let them go, God did not want it to be so easy and so God hardened Pharaoh’s heart so he would not let the Hebrew people go.

    God sent the angel of death to kill all first born children in Egypt except all those who had the blood of the lamb over them.

    A prophetic life event to show how the blood of Christ would save all placed under it, thousands of years later. Saved that is from eternal death.

    I used to think in amazement of how these people who witnessed all of the miracles of God in order to escape Egypt could ever doubt God. Until I also began to doubt under much less circumstances and witnessed others doing the same.

    It wasn’t until I realized that God is behind all events in my life as well that I was able to find peace, even in the worst of conditions.

    The story complete with all the micro stories in the Exodus demonstrates that just because we can’t see where life is taking us, we need only to trust God and settle down. To not be anxious about tomorrow.

    God was very tough on these Hebrew people and many died under His swift judgement during their time of development.

    But as we develop some parts of us die as well.

    As Christian we are not to forget all God has done for us and that He is always with us even when we may not see Him in our circumstances our rescue is underway without our knowledge.

    We learn all of this by the events given in Genesis through Revelation.

    There is nothing God won’t do in order to bring each one of us into fellowship with Him, He proved that by the death of His first born in order for us to leave the bondage of sin and travel across the wilderness of this world to the Promise he has had for us since before the foundation of the world.

    I have rambled enough this morning, I hope all of you today are blessed and filled with joy and peace.

    Steve

  60. jeff1 says:

    What I find hard to believe today is that Jesus has been and always will be my friend and no matter what confusion goes on in my head it is my heart that reveals this to me.

    I was speaking to a woman who was a child minder to my children and she was talking of her daughter and my son who were the same age and had attended the country school in our area where only 28 pupils remained.

    She was speaking of the head teacher of that school, there was just the two teachers but what she revealed to me came as a shock to me and made me realise that I am not a good judge of character and tend to take people at face value.

    I have always seen her as a woman who in her position as a head teacher seemed strict but having the responsibility she had would require such a skill and so she seemed suited to the job to my way of thinking.

    My friend started to reveal characteristics about this woman that truly shocked me and my friend who was with me whose son also attended this school.

    She spoke of how she pulled the hair out of pupils, one lad who was a friend of her sons she tried to lock in a shed but he outwitted her and she ended up locked in the shed, another she took and battered his knuckles on the desk, all this she did in front of other children who to this day are witnesses to it.

    She also spoke of how she is a pillar of a church today and respected among her peers.

    You can fool people some of the time but you cannot fool them all of the time and as my mother has often said should it take a lifetime the truth will come out.

    When I mentioned it to my son he said mum, you wouldn’t have believed us if we had said as you would have said we were just making up stories.

    It is true what my son said because when I was a child and if you came home and talked badly of your teacher you were told you must have done something to deserve what you got.

    The point I am making is that today teachers have been stripped of authority and in some schools chaos from pupils is evident.

    Sadly this teacher, teachers that I knew, and my mother spoke of have made it so as they abused children in their care and created the difficulties the authorities have today in balancing disciplining pupils without allowing teachers like this the power to abuse their privileges.

    I am like the Archbishop of Canterbury in that He was shocked that other adults said nothing of what was going on at the time and likewise the other teacher knew what was happening as in a two roomed school country school it would have been impossible for her not to have done.

    God is the better judge because He sees what goes on behind locked doors to those who are vulnerable and unable to speak for themselves.

    I can be blinded, you can be blinded but there is no hiding the truth from God when it comes to the suitability of those He will chose for the purposes of His Kingdom on earth.

    When I’m confused Lord, show me the way,
    Baffled and bruised Lord, show me the way.
    Still my heart and clear my mind
    Prepare my soul to hear
    Your still small voice, your word of truth.
    Peace be still your Lord is near.
    Always so close to show you the way.

    When I’m afraid Lord, show me the way.
    Weak and dismayed Lord, show me the way.
    Lift my spirit with your love,
    Bring courage, calm and peace.
    You who bore all for my sake,
    So I could walk from fear released,
    With you beside me showing the way
    Showing, showing the way.

  61. poohpity says:

    Mart’s last paragraph seems to be the way you think as well Steve. God did not lead the people into the wilderness to kill them, He lead them there to show them that He wanted to provide for them and to be their God but like most human beings they wanted what they wanted, to do things the way they wanted to do things always with the heart of rebellion.

    That reminded me of the day when my oldest son going on his second year in college said to me, “I need to learn for myself and make my own mistakes”. He used to trust what I said about the consequences of certain actions which had prevented him from getting into trouble when he was younger but now he no longer wanted that parental advise. I was hoping that through all my suffering and the mistakes I made I could warn him so he would not repeat them but he no longer wanted to listen so I stopped sharing. That reminded me of the Israelites in the wilderness, not only then but until this very day that is the way most people are to.

    When people are in trouble usually God is the first person they go to or blame but if they had been listening to Him or trusting before the trouble had come would they have had a different mindset during the circumstances or the way they handled the trials? Yes! Not taking personal responsibility for our own actions starts when we are very young and it continues into adulthood either blaming or making excuses which stops maturing. Satan puts out there it is all God’s fault for all the evil around us but that is just another of his lies, no one can make anyone else do something wrong that is a personal choice, the freedom we are given by God to make. We can rebel or trust that God has shown us a better way.

  62. poohpity says:

    Steve, the little synopsis you gave of the history has so much negative but completely misses all the grace and mercy that God actually did show during those times. Why would you even want to love or worship God is that is what you think about Him??

  63. poohpity says:

    if that is what you think about Him, not is that is. ooops.

  64. jeff1 says:

    What I find hard to believe today is that Jesus has been and always will be my friend and no matter what confusion goes on in my head it is my heart that reveals this to me.

    I was speaking to a woman who was a child minder to my children and she was talking of her daughter and my son who were the same age and had attended the country school in our area where only 28 pupils remained.

    She was speaking of the head teacher of that school, there was just the two teachers but what she revealed to me came as a shock to me and made me realise that I am not a good judge of character and tend to take people at face value.

    I have always seen her as a woman who in her position as a head teacher seemed strict but having the responsibility she had would require such a skill and so she seemed suited to the job to my way of thinking.

    My friend started to reveal characteristics about this woman that truly shocked me and my friend who was with me whose son also attended this school.

    She spoke of how she pulled the hair out of pupils, one lad who was a friend of her sons she tried to lock in a shed but he outwitted her and she ended up locked in the shed, another she took and battered his knuckles on the desk, all this she did in front of other children who to this day are witnesses to it.

    She also spoke of how she is a pillar of a church today and respected among her peers.

    You can fool people some of the time but you cannot fool them all of the time and as my mother has often said should it take a lifetime the truth will come out.

    When I mentioned it to my son he said mum, you wouldn’t have believed us if we had said as you would have said we were just making up stories.

    It is true what my son said because when I was a child and if you came home and talked badly of your teacher you were told you must have done something to deserve what you got.

    The point I am making is that today teachers have been stripped of authority and in some schools chaos from pupils is evident.

    Sadly this teacher, teachers that I knew, and my mother spoke of have made it so as they abused children in their care and created the difficulties the authorities have today in balancing disciplining pupils without allowing teachers like this the power to abuse their privileges.

    I am like the Archbishop of Canterbury in that He was shocked that other adults said nothing of what was going on at the time and likewise the other teacher knew what was happening as in a two roomed school country school it would have been impossible for her not to have done.

    God is the better judge because He sees what goes on behind locked doors to those who are vulnerable and unable to speak for themselves.

    I can be blinded but there is no hiding the truth from God when it comes to the suitability of those He will chose for the purposes of His Kingdom on earth.

    When I’m confused Lord, show me the way,
    Baffled and bruised Lord, show me the way.
    Still my heart and clear my mind
    Prepare my soul to hear
    Your still small voice, your word of truth.
    Peace be still your Lord is near.
    Always so close to show you the way.

    When I’m afraid Lord, show me the way.
    Weak and dismayed Lord, show me the way.
    Lift my spirit with your love,
    Bring courage, calm and peace.
    You who bore all for my sake,
    So I could walk from fear released,
    With you beside me showing the way
    Showing, showing the way.

  65. jeff1 says:

    Having problems posting and so posted it twice.

  66. narrowpathseeker says:

    Lord have mercy!!! I am sorry…I have tried to come here to learn to become the best Christian I can be from other Christians, but it seems like I encounter a strong and blatant satanic presence that causes me to backslide further and further into the darkness..I am weak. I am going to delete my easy access to this site once again but this time I will make sure I delete it on all of my devices. I will continue to pray for all those of you here that are attacked continuously as well as for those of you that are blind to it all or for what ever reason it is allowed… Again…Lord have mercy on us all.

  67. jeff1 says:

    Narrow, I have been running away from being a Christian for the most of my life because I believed I couldn’t live up to what was expected of me.

    I have been listening to lies since I was a child and now find it hard to know when someone is lying or telling the truth.

    I am old enough now to see that others see what they want to see but then unfortunately so do I.

    God’s way is way beyond my way of thinking and that brings me comfort because it turns out I don’t know very much in the greater scheme of things as when I see people in authority who are professed Christians abusing those under their authority then I am glad that it is God whose Kingdom will know no end and not this world as I know it.

    Lord have mercy on us all is as needed today as it always has been as in hindsight the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree from what I see.

  68. jeff1 says:

    This song reminds me that it is only God who is good all the time and so often I need to remind myself of this truth as it is God’s way to work through His imperfect creation and shame the devil in the process.

    God is good all the time
    He put a song of praise in this heart of mine
    God is good all the time
    Through the darkest night, His light will shine
    God is good, God is good all the time

    If you’re walking through the valley
    And there are shadows all around
    Do not fear, He will guide you
    He will keep you safe and sound
    ‘Cause He promised to never leave you
    Nor forsake you and His word is true

    God is good all the time
    He put a song of praise in this heart of mine
    God is good all the time
    Through the darkest night, His light will shine
    God is good, God is good all the time

    We were sinners – so unworthy
    Still for us He choose to die
    Filled us with His Holy Spirit
    Now we can stand and testify
    That His love is everlasting
    And His mercies – they will never end

    God is good all the time
    He put a song of praise in this heart of mine
    God is good all the time
    Through the darkest night, His light will shine
    God is good, God is good all the time

    Lord I may not understand
    All the plans He left for me
    My life is in Your hands
    And through the eyes of faith, I can clearly see

    God is good all the time
    He put a song of praise in this heart of mine
    God is good all the time
    Through the darkest night, His light will shine
    God is good, God is good all the time

  69. Beloved says:

    In my email today, this explains a lot about the purposes of the Enemy of God.

    Satan’s Strategy and Your Defense

    Resist him, firm in your faith. (1 Peter 5:9)

    The two great enemies of our souls are sin and Satan. And sin is the worst enemy, because the only way that Satan can destroy us is by getting us to sin.

    God may give him leash enough to rough us up, the way he did Job, or even to kill us, the way he did the saints in Smyrna (Revelation 2:10); but Satan cannot condemn us or rob us of eternal life. The only way he can do us ultimate harm is by influencing us to sin. Which is exactly what he aims to do.

    So Satan’s main business is to advocate, promote, assist, titillate and confirm our bent to sinning.

    We see this in Ephesians 2:1–2: “You were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked . . . according to the prince of the power of the air” (NASB). Sinning “accords” with Satan’s power in the world. When he brings about moral evil, it is through sin. When we sin, we move in his sphere, and come into accord with him. When we sin, we “give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27).

    The only thing that will condemn us at the judgment day is unforgiven sin — not sickness or afflictions or persecutions or intimidations or apparitions or nightmares. Satan knows this. Therefore his great focus is not primarily on how to scare Christians with weird phenomena (though there’s plenty of that), but on how to corrupt Christians with worthless fads and evil thoughts.

    Satan wants to catch us at a time when our faith is not firm, when it is vulnerable. It makes sense that the very thing Satan wants to destroy would also be the means of our resisting his efforts. That’s why Peter says, “Resist him, firm in your faith.” It is also why Paul says that the “shield of faith” can “extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:16).

    The way to thwart the devil is to strengthen the very thing he is trying most to destroy — your faith.

  70. Beloved says:

    God is good-all the time! Yes, I love that Viv, thanks for the song.

  71. Beloved says:

    When it feels like evil is flourishing focus on God. He’s there always and ready to save in the good and the bad/ugly.

  72. poohpity says:

    That was a very good word Beloved that the devil’s goal is to destroy our faith and I would add our trust and dependence on God. As that song that Viv quoted the thought or seed of thought planted that God is not good all the time is a means to do that by prompting us to think that God is cruel and harsh when in fact the very opposite is true because we have been shown such undeserved mercy, grace and forgiveness.

  73. jeff1 says:

    When it feels like evil is flourishing focus on the resurrection as it reminds us that evil has long been defeated and the principles and powers of this world cannot change this truth.

    We are conquerors because of what ‘Jesus and His Disciples’ achieved in those early days of the gospel and why we worship Him today because He is worthy.

    Hear the cries of the shackled from the onset of time,
    For the chains of defeat there is no key.
    See the tears of the broken, the cries of the slaves:
    Is there no one worthy to set us free?

    Then the crying is stilled as the chorus rings out,
    The shackled released from their chains.
    And thousands of voices are swelling the song:
    Worthy the Lamb that was slain.

    Worthy, worthy,
    Worthy the Lamb that was slain
    Worthy the Lamb that was slain

    Then all the archangels, the saints of all time,
    Holding their crowns in their hands,
    Fall down before Him joining the song:
    Worthy, worthy the Lamb!

    Worthy, worthy,
    Worthy the Lamb that was slain
    Worthy the Lamb that was slain

    Praise Him, praise Him,
    Praise the Lamb that was slain
    Praise the Lamb that was slain

  74. poohpity says:

    That mercy, grace and forgiveness runs through the whole bible not just the new testament.

  75. street says:

    dear narrow if you are still here. in some ways you are right, about coming here! first this blog should never be a substitute for an anchor for your soul. for that matter anything in this world that is passing away. yes it does get confusing to say the least. no one ever hand sea legs from the first voyage let alone their first storm at sea. even the most seasons sailor knows that sea can give the deepest terror or despair at anytime. we are told of a Rock, Foundation, immovable and sure, secure, tested and faithful in all trials. check your bindings to the Anchor. you may discover His bindings are more secure than yours. at times like this it is good to spend time at the Captains table. seek knock ask. He is crazy in love with you.

  76. poohpity says:

    2 Tim 1:9 NIV

  77. jeff1 says:

    Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
    When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
    When the strong tides lift, and he cables strain,
    Will your anchor drift or firm remain?

    We have an anchor that keeps the soul
    Stedfast and sure while the billows roll,
    Fastened to the Rock which cannot move
    Grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love.

    It is safely moored, ’twill the storm withstand,
    For ’tis well secured by the Saviour’s hand;
    And the cables passed from His heart to mine,
    Can defy the blast, through strength divine.

    It will firmly hold in the straits of fear,
    When the breakers have told the reef is near;
    Though the tempest rave and the wild winds blow,
    Not an angry wave shall our bark o’erflow.

    It will surely hold in the floods of death,
    When the waters cold chill our latest breath;
    On the rising tide it can never fail,
    While our hopes abide within the veil.

  78. street says:

    225 At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. 26 Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. 27 All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.

    28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

  79. Beloved says:

    Believe it or Not!
    We have a real Treasure in these decaying bodies that are easily offended,tired, frustrated and overall weak when we want to be the most strong.
    2 Corinthians 4:7-12 The Message (MSG)
    7-12 If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at. We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus’ sake, which makes Jesus’ life all the more evident in us. While we’re going through the worst, you’re getting in on the best!

  80. foreverblessed says:

    My utmost of today:
    The Spirit of God uncovers the spirit of self-vindication”
    We have to be obedient to what Jesus says, and then we will grow spiritually.

    Narrow, f you read this: if it unsettles you reading here, better to stay away:
    Seek the Rest in Christ.
    He is the only One, as Street said: the Rock on who we stand!

    Jesus said: Come to Me, all you who are heavy laden!
    So when we obey His Words, then that is what we do:
    Come to Him!
    I have tried talking, but there is only defense.
    So I let go and let God.

    And then for me it is this:
    Do not fret Psalm 37:1-49

    In the Utmost of July 4, the US day, there is a very very stern warning from Oswald Chambers, NOT TO FRET

    The warning is very very serious! Not giving our worries to Jesus is the same as wanting of our own way!
    When I give my worries, my irritatinons to Jesus, seingly nothing changes.
    And I want immediate change, so instead I want to have of my own way, and try to resolve the matter, making things worse.

    If someone acts like an enemy, and you have tried all the steps Jesus gave, then one last thing remains: love them and bless them!

    We have to learn to be at Rest in Christ!

  81. foreverblessed says:

    Psalm 23:5
    The Psalm of coming to rest in Christ,
    If we would have it our own way, we would tell God: take the enemy away from here.
    But verse 5 says:
    He prepared a table before me,
    in the presence of my enemies.

    In the presence of my enemies…
    There we sit at the table with our Lord, and He wants to dine with us, give us bread to eat and wine to drink

  82. foreverblessed says:

    You anoint my head with oil,
    my cup overflows.
    Surely goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
    and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

  83. jeff1 says:

    I can tell you Forever that I want to run from my enemies but then when I have thought about it where is there to run to and so I keep taking refuge in Him as I am no match for my enemies and I can rest in the knowledge that He is.

    God’s ways are so different to my impulsive destructive ones that it is not surprising that I feel so distant from Him.

    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!

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

  84. jeff1 says:

    I know your hurting 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 you’re 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.

  85. SFDBWV says:

    The first coal mine I worked in was a “Bakerstown” seam of coal that ran between 3 and 6 feet in height. Immediately above the coal seam is what is called a soapstone layer of rock, a soft chalky sedentary rock of about 1 to 2 feet in thickness. Above that is sandstone that comprises most of the mountain overhead.

    When I first entered the mine some of the older men showed me where a fall of rock had occurred and exposed what they thought looked like a big rattlesnake fossil. It did look remarkably like a big diamondback rattler, but as I explained to them it is just a small palm tree laid on its side.

    It was the diamond shaped markings of the bark of the palm tree that looked like the diamond shaped markings on the rattle snake that made them think it was a snake.

    Most of these men had never seen a palm tree, but plenty of rattle snakes.

    It is interesting that non believing evolutionists agree that “nature” marked certain creatures as warnings to others to stay away. Red and black colors being the most prevalent.

    Warnings, whether you want to believe that come from God or from nature, are meant to protect us from harm or even death.

    The merciless actions that often followed disobedience from the Hebrew wanderers were examples of what happened when they disobeyed God. The death from snake bites being only one such example. Only through some action from either Moses or even Joshua satisfied God’s justice and mercy followed for the rest of the people.

    At one point God was ready to kill off all of the Hebrew and start over with Moses, but Moses pleaded for the people and reminded God of His promise to Abraham.

    Regardless the point is that there are dire serious warnings that come from God for our spiritual as well as physical wellbeing, with equally serious consequences for disobedience.

    If we don’t possess the knowledge as to what is acceptable and what is not acceptable behavior with God we are in grave danger of not only engaging in sin, but encouraging it in and from others.

    If we think that it doesn’t matter because we are already covered by Christ’s sacrifice then we do a worse dishonor to God by continuing to nail Jesus to the cross knowingly.

    Pearl like so many others had found a unique fellowship here among us, but recognized the snake/danger among us.

    She has only voiced what many others who have remained quiet or just left have felt.

    They want to feel good, but the snake makes them feel emotions that are contrary to what they believe God demands from us as Christians. To love even the snakes among us even though they come with warnings and markings that clearly identify them as what they are.

    Some of us have found a way to live among the snakes, some have not. That is the training and that is the end result.

    Either learn to live with them or depart from wherever you encounter them each and every time they raise their evil steely eye and try and stare you down.

    As Foreverblessed has rightly said, leave them alone and leave them to God…

    58 degrees under a huge moon.

    Steve

  86. Beloved says:

    Good morning we are having fall like weather here yesterday today and for a few more until hot summer returns again, but we are enjoying the respite. Sunny skies also forcast which makes for much needed vitamin D and overall feelings of wellness.

    Reading your thoughts today I thought I’d mention I have a cross on my keychain with these words engraved, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change what I can, and wisdom to know the difference”. Yes it’s all about letting go and letting the Creator of all do what He does better than all. I agree living together should be healthy and working to diminish discord as much as possible the goal, as is befitting a Christian community who’s goal is honoring Christ. Blessed day all!

  87. SFDBWV says:

    Thought I may as well post my “Day’s of Praise” from this morning.

    Enjoy.

    Steve

    July 27, 2018
    That Old Serpent
    “And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:2)

    This prophetic vision given to John leaves no doubt as to the identity of the serpent in the Garden of Eden. That “old serpent” (literally, “that primeval serpent”) who deceived our first parents into rebelling against the word of God is none other than the Devil, or Satan, often viewed in Scripture as typified by a “great dragon” (Revelation 12:9), the fearsome animal of ancient times, probably the dinosaur.

    His ultimate doom is sure—he will be bound a thousand years, then finally be “cast into the lake of fire . . . tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Revelation 20:10). At present, however, he is not bound, for “your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). We must be sober and vigilant, “lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11).

    His devices are manifold, but all are deceptive (he was the most “subtle” of all God’s creatures, Genesis 3:1), malevolent, and designed to turn us away from the true Christ. “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3).

    He is a great deceiver. He can appear as a fire-breathing dragon or a roaring lion, deceiving us into fearing and obeying him instead of God. He can also be “transformed into an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14), deceiving us into trusting the “feigned words” of his “false teachers” (2 Peter 2:3, 1) instead of the Holy Scriptures of the God of creation. Our recourse against his deceptions is to “put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). HMM

  88. Beloved says:

    More thoughts on leaving the agitators alone. Some people, and yes, even some Christians i know need specialized help to deal with their mental illnesses or personality disorders that the average person just doesnt have. It even takes specialized training for Christians to deal with. However if they are delusional in their faith then its probably not true faith in the first place. Are they then snakes to us? Then leave them to the snake handlers. Typical rules of engagement dont fit these types. Our president (a narcissist) is an example of this. But God is bigger and knows us all, from the least to the greatest! I will focus on God and let Him work out the details. But the proof is in the pudding as they say, and in the havoc that remains. I’m a very visual person and I like my pudding smooth. Just sayin’.

  89. Beloved says:

    Thanks for the devotional Steve. Staying close to Jesus we have nothing to fear!

  90. poohpity says:

    Yes Steve thanks for sharing that devotional which totally sounded like the same teaching that was shared about Satan earlier in this thread. It is amazing how much one finds in common with another who actually learns from what God teaches in the bible since that is our offensive weapon.

    “The apostle Paul listed many defensive pieces of the armor of God, but only one was an offensive weapon, and that weapon was the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17). God is calling us to wield our swords against the enemy. Openly declaring His Word will serve to beat back all that opposes the manifestation of God’s divine will and purpose for our lives.

    When Jesus was tempted three times in the wilderness by Satan (Luke 4:1-13), He overcame the devil using the Word of God. When Satan tried to tempt Him by suggesting a course of action for Jesus to prove His divinity and satisfy his hunger, Jesus’ responded each time with, “It is written…” This silenced the devil and caused him to depart for a season.

    It is essential that we hold God’s Words and His promises in the very forefront of our minds and thoughts so that they are a ready and effective weapon against the tactics of the enemy.” From: Five Weapons for Offensive Spiritual Warfare

  91. poohpity says:

    One of the enemies greatest weapons as was talked about earlier is to twist, distort, lie about what God actually says. If deception were easy to spot then it would not be deception and the only way to spot it is to be familiar with, “It is written”. Through that one can also learn as shared in the word of God all the ways the enemy slithers into our minds.

  92. poohpity says:

    But it is our choice to believe God or the enemy just as it was the choice of Adam and Eve and every person after them.

  93. Beloved says:

    Some communicators cannot understand what others say. It’s just not in them. Leave them to God.

    Peace I give you, Jesus said. May all be blessed not leaning on our own understanding but by acknowledging God in all our ways.

  94. Beloved says:

    Street and Forever i copied your posts to Narrow and she said to tell you thank you. She gets the message to follow Jesus.

  95. jeff1 says:

    Thinking of a question my son asked me recently which made me think of what my mother said and now I see the truth in her words.

    He asked me did I believe in ghosts and I said that I did as my mother had spoken to me of a house that was haunted in her village and were many of the villagers could testify to sightings. She also had stayed in a house where the room she stayed in was haunted.

    I explained to my son though I believed in them that I also had been taught that it would be wrong to try and contact the dead and that I had done so as a young person and quickly realised the folly of it when I heard how it had affected peoples minds so badly that a girl in our community had committed suicide after being deeply unhinged by it.

    I said it is wrong to dabble in the unknown and God warns us of these things for good reasons.

    It set me thinking to what I had asked my mother at the time which was where you not frightened to know your room was haunted and her answer was it is the living who do us harm and I thought of how true her words are today when I look at the world around me.

    I love to watch detective programmes and when watching one of them the detective stated that whether we think it or not we are all capable of murder it just takes the wrong trigger to push our button.

    I want to believe I am better than I am because I was raised with the expectations that as a believer I should be.

    Within myself I know there is much I do not like but what disturbs me most is that this thinking and these characteristics are there to begin with.

    To my thinking I have always been a sinner saved by grace because I have not had righteous thoughts and though I have not physically harmed another I most certainly verbally have.

    The truth and the reality are very different than I expected and so Jesus is the answer to my prayers today because He knew what I was made of and made a way for my redemption.

    God doesn’t stop caring and yet in my weariness that is what I find so difficult to understand that He won’t forsake me as it is He who is faithful in waiting and watching while I believed it was I who was to be faithful to Him.

    Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
    There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
    Thou changest not, Thy compassion’s they fail not;
    As Thou hast been, Thou forever will 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!

    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!

    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.

  96. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Viv, I have plenty of “ghost” stories as well as experiences outside of the natural understanding of the world around us.

    Enough that I know as Shakespeare wrote, “There are more things in heaven and earth than dreamt of in your philosophy Horatio.”

    Fear is something everyone possesses, even though many deny having it even the seeming most devout and steadfast among us has fears, hidden and acknowledged.

    We can only be freed of them when we face them.

    Clearly the ability to kill another human being is in us all, and all it takes is the right set of circumstances to make it happen.

    Whereas the God of Moses gave us commandments to obey, God knew we could never actually obey them and so set up the stage for a way for man to be forgiven for disobedience. Jesus.

    However Jesus added to the inability of man to obey these commandments by saying that even if we think about committing the sin in our hearts it is the same as doing it.

    Ironic isn’t it that the same man who would pay the price for our sins explained his sacrifice is the only way of obtaining forgiveness from God.

    We are all guilty of something. And can do nothing of ourselves to rectify it except acknowledge and accept Jesus’ sacrifice and receive Him as Lord.

    People who accuse others of believing in the supernatural otherworldly events of life do so because they are afraid of acknowledging they exist as an affront to what they have come to believe through their understanding of Scripture. Their problem is in the fact that they lack understanding of Scripture and can only function on what they know, afraid of what they don’t know.

    You do very well Viv in understanding the world around you and your place with Christ as a child of God.

    Be at peace and continue to sing along with your songs as a way of praising Him.

    Steve

  97. poohpity says:

    Good word Viv! Your mom sounds like a very wise woman.

    The list of those who had faith in God found in Hebrews 11 were saved by faith in God just as Jesus described before His death in John 5:24 NLT “”I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.”
    And again in John 6:29 NLT.

    Some may ask then why did Jesus have to go to the Cross? The way I understand it is because to show that nothing not even the death on the Cross could hold Jesus down and to break down the fear of death. Also many starting the our first parents who in fear hid from God after sinning so God shed the first blood to cover their shame.

    It would seem that when a person’s conscience carries the burden of guilt and shame we need something done to relieve that burden and knowing that Jesus carried that burden to the Cross by paying the price in justice for us shows that God is a God of justice but also of grace. So Satan would like nothing better for us to carry the burden of guilt and shame so that would keep us from not only having a relationship with God but also with others. If one has acted in evil or bad and there is no relief then most likely they will continue down that path but knowing we are forgiven and someone has taken the penalty for us out of love that sure does open up a whole new path to walk down.

  98. poohpity says:

    Going to the Cross is one thing but it is what happened after that brings us to today. Now we know our options either going down the path of evil or good, now we can use our free will to love or to hate, to do good or to do bad, to do what is right and just or do what our human nature and the prince of the air dictates. We have great help to do what is good but left to our own, disaster. (Gen 6:5; Matt 15:19) There is a big difference in trusting and believing the lies that seem so hopeful on the surface but yet devise our very destruction similar to calling back the dead which God had said to stay away from mediums. (Lev 19:31, 20:6; Deut 18:10,11; 1 Chron 10:13; Isaiah 8:19) But like everything else we can make a choice not to listen to what God has said and once the door is open to the dead who knows if it can ever be shut and may haunt us a life time.

  99. poohpity says:

    Saul’s mind was tormented the rest of his life after calling Samuel back from the dead.

  100. poohpity says:

    2 Peter 1: 2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

    3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  101. street says:

    but whenever our God asks us to lovingly trust him more than our own eyes… and the lies.

    true light and life found in an affection for God’s Word made flesh, superior to all other affections. sure we can not see Him now but we will see Him as He Is. don’t see much difference in the disciples misunderstanding of Jesus and ours. yet when they obeyed things got really interesting and frightening.

  102. jeff1 says:

    When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
    When sorrows like sea billows roll;
    Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well, with my soul.

    It is well, with my soul,
    It is well, it is well, with my soul.

    Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
    Let this blest a__urance control,
    That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
    And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

    My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
    My sin, not in part but the whole,
    Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

    For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
    If Jordan above me shall roll,
    No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
    Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

    But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
    The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
    Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
    Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!

    And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
    The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
    The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
    Even so, it is well with my soul.

  103. Beloved says:

    The misunderstanding shows up not only when a rescued family thinks their Father has led them into the wilderness to kill them— and not only when the Gardener allows himself to be lifted up like a snake in the wilderness— but whenever our God asks us to lovingly trust him more than our own eyes… and the lies.

    Isaiah 30:18 (NIV)
    18 Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
    therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
    For the Lord is a God of justice.
    Blessed are all who wait for him!

  104. foreverblessed says:

    Today’s of My Utmost, is speaking to me.
    God and the clouds

    “His purpose in using the cloud is to simplify our beliefs until our relationship with Him is exactly like that of a child— a relationship simply between God and our own souls, and where other people are but shadows. Until other people become shadows to us, clouds and darkness will be ours every once in a while. Is our relationship with God becoming more simple than it has ever been?”

    As a child with the Father.
    A childlike trust—
    Whenever God asks us to lovingly trust Him more

  105. foreverblessed says:

    I just saw the shadow of the earth on the moon, Friday night.
    It first is a grey shadow, and then a red shadow. And the on the left side of the moon appeared the grey shadow again. And after that a speck of bright light.
    And then I went to bed….
    It was quite awesome to see that.
    It makes you feel small,
    What is man
    That You care for him
    Psalm 8

  106. jeff1 says:

    I think Forever that in the big scheme of things I am small but it is not about me being small but God being mighty and His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.

    Why should I feel discouraged
    Why should the shadows come
    Why should my heart feel lonely
    And long for heaven and home
    When Jesus is my portion
    A constant friend is He
    His eyes is on the sparrow
    And I know He watches over me
    His eyes is on the sparrow
    And I know He watches me

    I sing because I’m happy
    I sing because I’m free
    His eye is on the sparrow
    And I know He watches me (He watches me)
    His eyes is on the sparrow
    And I know He watches
    I know He watches
    I know He watches me

    I sing because I’m happy
    I sing because I’m free
    His eye is on the sparrow
    And I know He watches me (He watches me)
    He watches me
    I know
    He watches
    Me

  107. jeff1 says:

    So many beautiful songs from Sunday morning reflections so I choose a few.

    This Life That’s Lent To You

    Come outside the sun is shining
    And the sky is endless blue
    The leaves will sigh the winds reminding
    That this life was lent to you

    Say goodbye to all the bad days
    Silver lined though clouds roll through
    May you find what makes you happy
    In this life that’s lent to you

    In everyone’s heart there will be sadness
    For some of the choices that we make
    But the river of time flows behind us
    And softens the edge of our mistakes

    So come outside and walk this garden
    Drink the light like roses do
    Gentle heart don’t ever harden
    In this life that’s lent to you
    In this life that’s lent to you

    Your Name

    As morning dawns and evening fades
    You inspire songs of praise
    That rise from earth to touch You heart and glorify You Name

    Your Name is a strong and mighty tower
    Your Name is a shelter like no other
    Your Name, let the nations shout it louder
    Cause nothing has the power to save
    But Your Name

    Jesus, in Your Name we pray
    Come and fill our hearts today
    Lord, give us strength to live for You and glorify Your Name

    Your Name is a strong and mighty tower
    Your Name is a shelter like no other
    Your Name, let the nations shout it louder
    Cause nothing has the power to save
    But Your Name

    Hey, yeah your name
    Oh no, Jesus, Jesus, yeah

    Your Name is a strong and mighty tower
    Your Name is a shelter like no other
    Your Name, like the nations shout it louder
    Cause nothing has the power to save
    But Your Name

    Like Your Name is a strong and mighty tower
    Your Name is a shelter like no other
    Your Name, like the nations shout it louder
    Cause the nothing has the power to save
    But Your Name

    But Your Name is a strong and might tower
    Your Name is a shelter like no other
    Your Name, let the nations shout it louder
    Cause nothing has the power to save
    But Your Name

    Light of That City

    In this house we’ve built of make believe
    Loved ones go long before, seems its time to leave
    But we will learn how to grieve, to forgive and receive
    ‘Til we meet them there in that city

    Spans of stars overhead as we walk this road
    While this darkness remains, I will bear your load
    And together we will tend the seeds He’s sown
    As we walk along the road to that city

    On that day we will sing “Holy, Holy”
    On that day we’ll bow down in the light
    And then we’ll rise and we’ll turn our eyes
    To the Lord, Jesus Christ, on that day

    Though my eyes can’t see what is waiting there
    Though my mind can’t conceive all that He’s prepared
    There the blind will see the sun, what was old will be young
    And the lame they will run over the streets of that city

    On that day we will sing “Holy, Holy”
    On that day we will bow down in the light
    And then we’ll rise and we’ll turn our eyes
    To the Lord, Jesus Christ, the light of that City

  108. poohpity says:

    Forever, it sounds like you got to see part of the total moon eclipse, in North America it was not visible for us but got to see it on TV but nothing is as good as being an eye witness.(John 20:29; 1 Peter 1:8)

    Great songs this morning.

  109. Beloved says:

    Believe it or not.

    Mark 5:30-36 New International Version (NIV)
    30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

    31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”

    32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

    35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”

    36 Overhearing[a] what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.

  110. poohpity says:

    How Deep The Father’s Love For Us
    Selah

    How deep the Father’s love for us
    How vast beyond all measure
    That He should give His only Son
    To make a wretch His treasure

    How great the pain of searing loss
    The Father turns His face away
    As wounds which mar the Chosen One
    Bring many sons to glory

    Behold the man upon a cross
    My sin upon His shoulders
    Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
    Call out among the scoffers

    It was my sin that held Him there
    Until it was accomplished
    His dying breath has brought me life
    I know that it is finished

    I will not boast in anything
    No gifts, no power, no wisdom
    But I will boast in Jesus Christ
    His death and resurrection

    Why should I gain from His reward?
    I cannot give an answer
    But this I know with all my heart
    His wounds have paid my ransom

    Why should I gain from His reward?
    I cannot give an answer
    But this I know with all my heart
    His wounds have paid my ransom

  111. street says:

    16-17 It’s news I’m most proud to proclaim, this extraordinary Message of God’s powerful plan to rescue everyone who trusts him, starting with Jews and then right on to everyone else! God’s way of putting people right shows up in the acts of faith, confirming what Scripture has said all along: “The person in right standing before God by trusting him really lives.”

  112. jeff1 says:

    I have been running from God most of my life because I believed I could never be good enough and God was an angry God ready to punish me for this.

    What I didn’t get is that God always knew this, (that I couldn’t be good enough) and to show me He wasn’t angry He covered by back by sending His Son Jesus to earth to die for me.

    Today, I take refuge in Jesus knowing that because He lives I do too.

    God finds a way when there seems to be no way.

    Because He Lives

    God sent His Son, they called Him Jesus
    He came to love, heal and forgive
    He lived and died to buy my pardon
    An empty grave is there to prove my Saviour lives

    Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
    Because He lives, all fear is gone
    Because I know He holds the future
    And life is worth the living, just because He lives

    How sweet to hold a new born baby
    And feel the pride and joy He gives
    But greater still the calm assurance
    This child can face uncertain days because He lives

    Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
    Because He lives, all fear is gone
    Because I know He holds the future
    And life is worth the living, just because He lives

    And then on day, I’ll cross the river
    I’ll fight life’s final war with pain
    And then, as death gives way to victory
    I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He reigns

    Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
    Because He lives, all fear is gone
    Because I know He holds the future
    And life is worth the living, just because He lives

    I can face tomorrow
    Because He lives, all fear is gone
    Because I know He holds the future
    And life is worth the living, just because He lives

  113. poohpity says:

    Yes the lies of the enemy are so much more believable than that of what God says because what God says is so contrary to what the world teaches. The world teaches we have to earn love, you have to stop doing something to be forgiven, you have to be enough, strong enough, do all the right things, be all the right things or you are not worthy of God’s love. But God’s love is not dependent on us in any way, it is because of who He is. God does not need anything from us and nothing we could do, can make Him love us anymore than He already does.

  114. poohpity says:

    This morning I woke up to a TV preacher and his wife talking about what they had done for God and that because of those things they felt they deserved the healing of their new grandchild that at 8 months was just diagnosed with Leukemia. They felt like, as they said, they had stacked up something like a saving account with God so that He owed them the answer to their prayer. My jaw dropped to say the least. The only way they were able to give all that they had given was because they made money from sharing His story and in their life which was also a gift to them they were able to even live, so what they did should have been done out of gratitude to God. God owes us nothing and we owe Him everything.

    That little story convicted me to look inward at my thoughts lately. I thought God owed me too because I am a regular tither, out of the $750 I have coming in each month, $75 comes out the very first thing. I had the nerve to say to God this month I have been faithful in my giving and shouldn’t you be helping me to overcome the financial burdens that are overwhelming me at this time? My answer to that was watching that TV preacher, then in great sorrow I apologized for my thoughtlessness. It is my privilege to give back a very little of what I have been blessed with because it came from God in the first place. The old point your finger and you have three pointing back at you was at work in this.

    God gives from His grace, God heals from His grace and whoa to me for ever believing I deserve any of it, now that is just another trick and lie from the enemy.

  115. Beloved says:

    Street you made the comment how interesting and frightening things got for the disciples of Christ. I hadnt thought of it that way in regards to modern day followers such as myself. But so true. Like poohs tv preacher we often expect more from God and a life of luxury at a spa. The deceitfulness of riches is prevalent, but not one of the disciples expected anything from God materially, but much spiritually! In the world we all have troubles, but for God our troubles would consume us! I thank God every day that His modus operandi is love! Following love is yes dangerous and frightening in a world of counterfeits.

    Praying for financial needs. He is faithful.

  116. jeff1 says:

    Staying close to the source of God’s love is what matters in order to love others.

    When I wander from Him I quickly become worldly because the flesh is weak and I soon become as critical and judgemental as the next person.

    I learned from my dad that it is self examination and obedience that keeps you connected to God’s ways.

    Listening to His small voice and not your own or those around you.

    I think it is the Quakers who are silent in church and I miss that silence in churches to day as there is so much activity and noise it is often hard to hear God’s voice in the midst of all the others.

    God says much more in the silences than He does at any other time.

  117. street says:

    God asks us to lovingly trust him more than our own eyes… and the lies.

    to affectionately trust Him in the valley like Jesus trusted in Him on the cross. we do stumble in the valley yet Jesus did not! righteousness imputed by trust, they shall live! by every Word that proceeds from the Mouth of God.

  118. jeff1 says:

    Life is easy when you’re up on the mountain
    And you’ve got peace of mind like you’ve never known
    But things change, when your down in the valley
    Don’t lose faith, for your never alone
    For the God on the mountain, is the God in the valley
    When things go wrong, He’ll make them right
    And the God of the good times
    Is still God in the bad times
    The God of the day is still God in the night
    We talk of faith way up on the mountain
    Talk comes so easy when life’s at its best
    Now down in the valleys, of trials and temptations
    That’s where your faith, is really put to the test
    For the God on the mountain is the God in the valley
    When things go wrong, He’ll make them right
    And the God of the good times
    Is still God in the bad times
    The God of the day, is still God in the night
    The God of the day, is still God in the night

  119. poohpity says:

    Viv, I would like you to know that all the things you struggle with in your relationship with God is common among all believers for thousands of years, not just for you. You are not alone nor are you to be singled out as different. God understands human beings very well, after all He created us. He knows and still loves us with an immeasurable love.

  120. jeff1 says:

    My battles with mental illness does make it more difficult for me to see God as I should but God finds a way to speak to my heart, and my dad was the stability in my life and was closer to God than anyone I know having had the Christian upbringing He balanced my mum’s impulsive destructive behaviour which effected my childhood.

    He corrected my mum’s beliefs that she was cursed as he knew it was not God’s way and he knew what was going on in this country was wrong and did not endorse either sides behaviour when he knew it was not befitting a follower of Jesus as his trust in God was genuine while many used their religion to their own ends.

    He was one of the good guys in a time when it was hard to find one and having him as a dad has been a blessing in disguise for I did not always appreciate his Godliness until after his passing as it is in looking back that I see how right he was in his ways because he put God first, others second and himself last and that speaks to me today of a man who followed God in the true sense of what it means.

  121. foreverblessed says:

    God bless you, Jeff!
    May the power of God strengthen you,
    The same power, the working of His mighty strength, which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead,
    and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms,
    far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given,
    not only in the present age, but also in the one to come.
    Ephesians 1:19-21

  122. jeff1 says:

    He has strengthened me, Forever, I know every day I am trusting Him more and myself less as He shows me the error of my ways because until He exposes my own weaknesses to me I cannot grow spiritually and that’s what God wants for His child to grow spiritually so that the ways of this world do not frighten or disturb their peace in Him.

    Love Lifted Me

    I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore
    Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more
    But the Master of the sea, heard my despairing cry
    From, the water lifted me, now safe am I

    Love lifted me! Love lifted me!
    When nothing else could help
    Love lifted me!

    Love lifted me! Love lifted me!
    When nothing else could help
    Love lifted me!

    All my heart to Him I give, ever to Him I’ll cling
    In His blessed presence live, ever His praises sing
    Love so mighty and so true, merits my souls best songs
    Faithful, loving service too, to Him belongs

    Love lifted me! Love lifted me!
    When nothing else could help
    Love lifted me!

    Love lifted me! Love lifted me!
    When nothing else could help
    Love lifted me!

    When nothing else could help
    Love lifted me!

  123. jeff1 says:

    I Have Returned

    I have returned to the God of my childhood,
    To the same simple faith as a child I once knew;
    Like the prodigal son I have longed for my loved ones,
    For the comforts of home and the God I outgrew.

    I have returned to the God of my childhood,
    Bethlehem’s Babe, the prophet’s Messiah;
    He’s Jesus to me, Eternal Deity;
    Praise His Name, I have returned.

    I have returned to the God of my mother,
    With unfailing faith for the child of her heart;
    She said bring them up the way that you want them,
    Thank God when they’ve grown, they’ll never depart.

    I have returned to the God of my mother,
    I learned at her knee He’s the lily of the valley;
    He’s Jesus to me, Eternal Deity;
    Praise His Name, I have returned.

    I have returned to the God of my father,
    The most God-like man a child could know;
    I just heard a shout from the angels in glory,
    Praising the Lord a child has come home.

    I have returned to the God of my father,
    Creator of heaven and earth, God of the universe;
    He’s Jesus to me, Eternal Deity;
    Praise His Name, I have returned.

    I have returned to the Yahweh of Judah,
    On my knees I did fall where the wall now stands;
    This lesson I learned as I’ve worked my way homeward,
    The Saviour of all is a comfort to man.

    I have returned to the Father of Abraham,
    The shepherd of Moses who called Him the great I am;
    He’s Jesus to me, Eternal Deity;
    Praise His Name, I have returned.

  124. Beloved says:

    Suffering That Strengthens Faith by John Piper

    Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. (James 1:2–3)

    Strange as it may seem, one of the primary purposes of being shaken by suffering is to make our faith more unshakable.

    Faith is like muscle tissue: if you stress it to the limit, it gets stronger, not weaker. That’s what James means here. When your faith is threatened and tested and stretched to the breaking point, the result is greater capacity to endure.

    God loves faith so much that he will test it to the breaking point so as to keep it pure and strong. For example, he did this to Paul according to 2 Corinthians 1:8–9,

    We do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not in ourselves but on God who raises the dead.

    The words “but that was to” show that there was a purpose in this extreme suffering: it was in order that Paul would not rely on himself and his resources, but on God — specifically the future grace of God in raising the dead.

    God so values our wholehearted faith that he will, graciously, take away everything else in the world that we might be tempted to rely on — even life itself. His aim is that we grow deeper and stronger in our confidence that he himself will be all we need.

    He wants us to be able to say with the psalmist, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:25–26)

  125. jeff1 says:

    When I think of how He came so far from glory
    Came to dwell among the lowly such as I
    To suffer shame and such disgrace
    On Mount Calvary take my place
    Then I ask myself this question
    Who am I?

    Who am I that the King would bleed and die for
    Who am I that He would pray not my will, Thy Lord
    The answer I may never know
    Why He ever loved me so
    But to that old rugged cross He’d go
    For who am I?

    When I’m reminded of His words
    I’ll leave Him never
    If you’ll be true I’ll give to you life forever
    Oh I wonder what I could have done
    To deserve God’s only Son
    To fight my battles until their won
    For who am I?

    Who am I that the King would bleed and die for
    Who am I that He would pray not my will, Thy Lord
    The answer I may never know
    Why He ever loved me so
    But to that old rugged cross He’d go
    For who am I?
    But to an old rugged cross He’d go for, who am I?

  126. Beloved says:

    Viv I can’t find the lyrics but wanted to post The Shepherd Knows Your Name. It’s on YouTube sung by the Foto sisters. I hope you can find it, it’s beautiful and encouraging.

  127. poohpity says:

    Mart said, “In the garden, the fiction sounded believable.” That seems to be what happens in a lot of movies or TV shows that are supposed to depict things from the bible but more often than not so much creative license or fiction is used to fill in the blanks or to try to make the actual story, which is powerful in and of itself, to be more grandiose but people seem to believe them and base their primary belief system on them.

    When I was younger I found stories like, “The Robe” or the “The Ten Commandments” plus others are what sparked a desire to find out more about the Lord so they were like a catalyst or a seed like so many things in this world can be, God can use anything to get our attention but one day we will seek to know more without the Hollywood influence. But that seems to be the difference with the fiction from Satan rather than pointing us to God wants us to doubt God’s intentions and His character.

  128. poohpity says:

    Listen sometimes more closely to what others are saying, do they plant a seed of doubt by questioning the goodness of God or His motives by the things He does or are they encouraging us to search deeper for the mercy, grace and forgiveness that is the foundation of who God actually is?

  129. poohpity says:

    Psalm 145: 8The Lord is merciful and compassionate,
    slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
    9
    The Lord is good to everyone.
    He showers compassion on all his creation.
    10
    All of your works will thank you, Lord,
    and your faithful followers will praise you.
    11
    They will speak of the glory of your kingdom;
    they will give examples of your power.
    12
    They will tell about your mighty deeds
    and about the majesty and glory of your reign.
    13
    For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom.
    You rule throughout all generations.

    The Lord always keeps his promises;
    he is gracious in all he does.[a]
    14
    The Lord helps the fallen
    and lifts those bent beneath their loads.
    15
    The eyes of all look to you in hope;
    you give them their food as they need it.
    16
    When you open your hand,
    you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.
    17
    The Lord is righteous in everything he does;
    he is filled with kindness.
    18
    The Lord is close to all who call on him,
    yes, to all who call on him in truth.
    19
    He grants the desires of those who fear him;
    he hears their cries for help and rescues them.
    20
    The Lord protects all those who love him,
    but he destroys the wicked.

    21
    I will praise the Lord,
    and may everyone on earth bless his holy name
    forever and ever.

  130. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Beloved, I listened to it this morning and it is beautiful and encouraging as you said, beautiful singers too.

  131. jeff1 says:

    Pooh 7.18 am post

    It is for me personally to trust God and not listen to others as it is finished because God says so as Jesus’s death and resurrection was God’s will done on earth for those who have ears to hear.

    God’s character is revealed in Jesus’s suffering as it proves His love for His creation and why God tells us to focus on Jesus.

    The doubts only arise because I take my eyes of Jesus which God warned not to do as He said the way to the Father is through the Son.

  132. jeff1 says:

    God makes the gospel about Jesus not men and I must listen to God as He knows what He is doing while history tells us that men do not.

    God asks us to trust Him, faith, as Beloved says matters to God and only He knows why!

  133. poohpity says:

    That post was not directed at you Viv. It was intended as another way to see the difference in how the enemy wants to lead us away from God. However no matter what one says people do listen to other people but what those other people say we can be warned as to whether who they listen to is from God or the Father of lies. We have to be aware because people are quicker to listen to people rather than to God and there is a plethora of examples of that even on this blog.

  134. Beloved says:

    Viv Paul explains why faith is so important to God. The whole chapter contains a record of those who by faith followed God, as we do today. Hebrews 11:6-7
    6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. 7 By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

  135. jeff1 says:

    I didn’t think it was directed at me but I didn’t think I was not allowed to respond to it. The enemy cannot lead you away if you stay connected to the source of the truth and that means putting God first in your life.

    God knows our weaknesses and that we do wander, but, He has defeated our enemy so whether a believer wanders from the truth or not does not change the victory they have in Christ.

    As inheritors God ensured we are conquerors and that is the truth of the Gospel, God’s truth, God’s love, God’s sacrifice for His children, We are His, He is ours. Amen

  136. Beloved says:

    Viv i hear nothing but great faith in God in your posts. You have nothing to explain to anyone. But i know how tough it can get sometimes. Let Jesus be your defense in the midst of condemnation and confusion. Im working daily on that also, but peace cannot be counterfeited through anything created that fulfills our lusts, whether for power, control or dominance. By their fruits you shall know them. Love joy peace kindness gentleness self control. Your connection with Jesus is very obvious here.

    I too have been under demonic assaults lately, i must be doing something right! Praise God! Hes working in me also.

  137. Beloved says:

    Viv i didnt read your 11:36 post earlier as i was typing. Im glad you didnt take it personally however your response was used as a platform to attack others here, as usual. Ugh

  138. Beloved says:

    Your 11:06 post was used i meant as a platform to attack.

  139. Beloved says:

    We can do nothing to change how others feel. Its their right to feel as they do, no matter how damaging it is.

  140. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Beloved, my head doesn’t do me any favours and I know you are right that I must let Jesus be my defense and stop trying to do it myself.

    Some day I seem to do fine and then it all goes pear shaped but time is a healer and I have seen it change many and perhaps why God is so patient and He has all the time in the world and so I must be patient in waiting.

  141. SFDBWV says:

    Who Am I in Christ;

    Romans 8:16 A child of God
    Ephesians 2:8 Saved by grace through faith
    Psalms 107:2 Redeemed from the hand of the foe
    1 John 5:11, 12 an heir of eternal life
    Ephesians 1:7 Forgiven
    Romans 8:14 Led by the Spirit of God
    2 Corinthians 5:17 A new creature
    Galatians 3:13 Redeemed from the curse of the law
    Isaiah 46:4 Kept in safety wherever I go
    Ephesians 6:10 Strong in the Lord and His mighty power
    2 Corinthians 5:7 Living by faith and not by sight
    Colossians 1:13 Rescued from the dominion of darkness
    Romans 5:1 Justified
    Romans 8:17 An heir of God and co-heir with Christ
    Ephesians 1:3 Blessed with every spiritual blessing, an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb
    Revelation 12:11 And the Word of my testimony
    Matthew 5:14 The light of the world
    Ephesians 5:1 An imitator off God
    1 Peter 2:24 Healed by His wounds
    Romans 12:2 Being transformed by the renewing of my mind

    Steve

  142. jeff1 says:

    Thank you, Steve, the mind can be a battlefield but with Jesus I have the victory.

    Blessed assurance Jesus is mine
    O what a foretaste of glory divine
    Heir of salvation, purchase of God
    Born of his spirit washed in his blood

    This is my story, this is my song
    Praising my Saviour all the day long
    This is my story, this is my song
    Praising my Saviour all the day long

    Perfect submission, perfect delight
    Visions of rapture now burst on my sight
    Angels descending bring from above
    Echoes of mercy, whispers of love

    This is my story, this is my song
    Praising my Saviour, all the day long
    This is my story, this is my song
    Praising my Saviour, all the day long
    Praising my Saviour, all the day long

  143. Beloved says:

    Thanks Steve. I was thinking only the weak know they need help and I praise God for my insecurities daily which force me to look to Jesus. Without them I’d surely stray. I also praise God for those stronger than I here who point me to Jesus.

  144. poohpity says:

    Sorry Viv, I misunderstood. I just wanted you to know that, what I was saying was in general not directed at any one person. Of course you are allowed to respond to anything you want to, that is how adults discuss ideas and events which is so much better than talking about other people.

  145. jeff1 says:

    I think we often misunderstand each other more than we misunderstand God which is sad for the unity that I believe God wants us to have as believers but looking at history perhaps not so surprising to Him.

    Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
    Ye soldiers of the cross;
    Lift high His royal banner,
    it must not suffer loss,
    From victory unto victory
    His army shall He lead,
    Til every foe is vanquished,
    And Christ is Lord indeed

    Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
    Stand in His strength alone;
    The arm of flesh will fail you,
    Ye dare not trust you own,
    Put on the gospel armour,

    Each piece put on with prayer;
    Where duty calls or danger,
    Be never wanting there.

    Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
    The strife will not be long;
    This day the noise of battle,
    The next the victor’s song.
    To those who vanquish evil
    A crown of life shall be;
    They with the King of Glory
    Shall reign eternally.

  146. poohpity says:

    If we misunderstand people who we can see, read what they write and hear then I think the odds are that God is even more misunderstood especially when we base everything on OUR OWN thinking, reasoning, perception, understanding and assumptions because SELF gets in the way more often than not.

  147. poohpity says:

    How often does one take a step back and ask, “what is that person trying to say?” or asking what does one mean by ______? Because often people would rather jump to conclusions out of ignorance, emotion and to find the worst in someone then to search for truth or facts or what is good.

  148. Beloved says:

    Thank you LORD I’m able to laugh again. Reminded of the scripture “Take heed when you think you stand lest you fall”. God is not mocked, we reap what we sow.

  149. jeff1 says:

    I don’t believe focusing on shortcomings be they my own or others is what God wants as He knows we all have them but to my way of thinking God wants us to put aside our differences for the greater good of the Kingdom and when we focus on Jesus then that is what happens.

    The most important lesson I have learned is that God is an inclusive God and He wants me to support my fellow believers irrespective of their shortcomings.

    It is easy to be critical of others, but, when I was, God was pressing home to me that I had faults of my own that I expected them to overlook in me as it is a two way street when it comes to finding faults.

    God showed me that while I was focusing on other followers blindness I was not seeing my own and I was shocked to find how easy it was to overlook this and since that revelation I am silent before God now rather than being critical which was a lesson in humility for me.

  150. Beloved says:

    Believe it or not…

    Matthew 5:6-8 The Message (MSG)
    6 “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

  151. jeff1 says:

    I envied my dad’s simple faith, because he had a simple faith, as he had no expectations in life other than “God Willing”.

    It was as simple as that for him as I recall how often he would say these words “God Willing” and I took from these words that he believed if it is meant to be then ‘so be it’.

    I cannot change what God has destined and why should I want to if I am trusting in Him.

    I am very different to my dad and have different needs than him and we need to remember that we are all very different to each other and why each of us must stay close to God as he is our forever friend and knows each of our needs better than we know each others.

    My dad was much closer to God than I have ever been because he had a much simpler faith than I have ever had.

    God rewards trust as I can tell you my dad’s righteousness was God given and not man driven.

    I did not see this at the time because I had my own agenda but it is trusting God that leads to obedience while disobedience leads to trusting on my own understanding which blinds me to God’s ways.

    God wants me to focus on Him for all the right reasons and if I am busy finding faults with others then I am blocking His work in me which is ultimately to do His will.

    I talk of faith but I have no understanding of what true faith looks like as it is that of a child with no understanding of where it is going but trusting in the one holding its hand.

    Precious Lord take my hand,
    Lead me on let me stand.
    I am tired I am weak, I am worn.
    Through the storm, through the night,
    Lead me on to the light.
    Take my hand precious Lord,
    Lead me home.

    When my way grows drear,
    Precious Lord linger near.
    When my life is almost gone,
    Hear my cry, hear my call,
    Hold my hand lest I fall.
    Take my hand precious Lord,
    Lead me home.

    When the darkness appears,
    And the night draws near,
    And the day is past and gone.
    At the river I stand,
    Guide my feet hold my hand,
    Take my hand precious Lord,
    Lead me home.

  152. poohpity says:

    There are days like today that I have allowed the enemy to to get into my thoughts by thinking God is not present here with me but rather than dwell on that I have asked God to reassure me of His presence. I look forward to His answer. I do not know how He will do it but I know He will somehow like He has before.

    Sometimes I let the world around me consume my thoughts and push God out but I know that God does not get pushed around. Father fill not only my day but everyone else with your mighty presence today and everyday.

  153. Beloved says:

    Viv you brought up faith. Hebrews says:
    And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

    I think we can make faith seem more difficult than it really is. Children take things at face value (belief), they see good they trust it. God is good. He rewards us as we often reward a child for being good. Though we cant see Him, we trust Him. Thats what faith is, believing what we cannot see.

  154. Beloved says:

    If we lack faith we can pray to our Father and ask Him to increase our faith, and He surely will. LORD give us this day our daily bread, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as in heaven.

  155. jeff1 says:

    The one thing I could never trust was my head while the opposite was true of my dad as he was of stable mind and it is a rare thing these days as I find there are more people with mental illness than ever before.

    For me the battle is in the mind and yet God finds a way to comfort and reassure me that His presence does not depend on my wellness and so it is in my brokenness that I can trust Him.

    In fact I have spent more of my life broken than fixed so it seems more likely that it is in my brokenness that God can use me for His purpose.

  156. Beloved says:

    I think all our brokenness was fixed on the cross. The rest is just temporal. “Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”

    Viv at one time – not so long ago, actually, I thought Jesus came to heal me so I could have an easier life and kept waiting for a therapist to say, ok you’re done now go and live a happy life! Well, i finally had to come to the sad conclusion that there’s more to life than my health, that it was the healing I wanted but not the healer, really. Thank God in His wisdom he did not heal me completely or I would have been off with the 9 lepers, leaping and looking for fun! But lost. So lost. The precipice looms but my Good Shepherd keeps me safe with His rod and staff. Oh how truly blessed i am to have such a wonderful Father!

  157. Beloved says:

    As we all are!

  158. jeff1 says:

    When in the midst of trials God can seem distant and I doubt His love for me but you are correct I just want my troubles to go away and when they don’t I feel cheated but I forget that God knows best.

    I misunderstand God’s motives for allowing troubles as it is to strengthen me by drawing me to Himself while I often run from Him instead.

    Life won’t always be smooth sailing and until I can trust God in the storms of life then I cannot say I trust God.

    There is so much more to trusting God than words and that is when I realise that there are those who talk the talk and those who walk the walk.

    When I think of Jesus’s early disciples they would put themselves in all sorts of danger for the sake of the Gospel and I need to be prepared to do the same for the sake of the Kingdom and trusting God that He is with me all the way.

  159. street says:

    thinking about the difference of trusting God and abiding in His presents. the Psalms come to mind.

  160. Beloved says:

    I read Psalms every day/night. Psalms25, 26, 27, 28 were very comforting last night before I went to sleep. I think we are to do more abiding than worrying about what God wants us to do all the time. Mostly He’s using us when we don’t even know it!

  161. jeff1 says:

    What you think Beloved about us doing more abiding makes me think why I love this hymn so much.

    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 changest 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 Though 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’s vain shadows flee;
    In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

  162. Beloved says:

    Lovely song full of Hope and peace.

  163. jeff1 says:

    Yes, I have been running from God all my life for one reason or another and it is peace with Him that I seek as until I have peace with God then my life is not as it should as I am inconsistent in my thoughts which unsettles me and that makes me difficult to live with both in my head and for those around me.

    It is songs that calm my troubled mind and renew my hope that whatever is bothering me God understands my plight and though I am difficult for myself and others to love I am assured that His Love knows no boundaries.

    In this world troubles often overwhelm me but they are not overwhelming God has He has overcome this world and so it is about taking God at His Word when there is nothing left to say because as Solomon said “How often the tongue pours fuel on a fire that would go out if left alone”!

    Mostly I have learned from my parents about God and life and they both came from such different backgrounds that I had a balance from having a father who knew God better and a mother who knew human nature better.

    Both of them were right which is what leads me to believe that God gets it right and so I agree today that it is ‘I’ who put Jesus on the cross of Calvary and so when I hear others speaking of how the Jews and the Romans were to blame for Jesus’s death I realise how time can erode the truth for many and how I change God’s truths but God Himself does not change.

    Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
    There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
    Thou changes not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
    As Thou hast been, Thou forever will 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!

    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.

    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!

    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!

  164. jeff1 says:

    It is in knowing that God never changes that others can no longer disturb my peace as there will be always different views on God but God Himself as made my relationship with Him complete in Christ’s Sacrifice and so it is in this truth that I can depend on when all else seems confusing.

    Known only to Him are the great hidden secrets
    I’ll fear not the darkness when my flame shall dim
    I no not what the future holds
    But I know who holds the future
    It’s a secret known only to Him

    In this world of fear and doubt
    On my knees I ask the question
    Why a lonely, heavy cross I must bear
    Then He tell me in my prayer
    It’s because I am trustworthy
    He gives me strength far more than my share

    Known only to Him are the great hidden secrets
    I’ll fear not the darkness when my flame shall dim
    I know not what the future holds
    But I know who holds the future
    It’s a secret known only to Him

  165. SFDBWV says:

    “Trust Him more than our own eyes …and lies.”

    Easier said than done.

    We live in an interesting age where we have too much information and much too much soon. As we have no time to assess information before it is already declared as fact by a public clamor.

    Why do you suppose the prophets of long ago were believed? Was it because of miracles they were credited with doing or because their message was accepted cart blank as being from God.

    Today you have books, videos, internet and certainly no shortage of people who will tell you what God says.

    The Bible gives us what has for thousands of years provided us with what has been accepted as God’s Word, yet today it too is being altered to fit into a more modern society.

    Pilate ask Jesus sarcastically, “What is truth?” It is a question debated for thousands of years and still debated in universities all around the world today.

    My dad was fond of saying if you want to teach a child to lie, punish them for telling the truth.

    Tell the truth to some today and see what reaction you get from them that don’t want to believe it.

    Life may look rosy for them that look through rose colored glasses, but it is written we see through glass darkly. What we can’t quite see we imagine it the way we want to.

    Is what we want a lie when we never seem to acquire it?

    Is the heartache and pain we suffer the consequence of standing the ground on our faith, or the results of believing a lie?

    Just don’t be so quick to think you have all the, or any of the answers, and especially to attempt to force what you believe on another.

    Trust what you don’t know to God and don’t be so quick to trust what you do know, it may just be a lie.

    A broken spirit is what God requires and blind faith that pleases Him.

    Rain.

    Steve

  166. poohpity says:

    Gee from what I remember none of the prophets were believed. They put them in stocks, prisons, muddy wells, threatened them with death, beheaded, whips and chains all because they did tell the truth but those who told lies were given great honor. A couple examples are 1 Kings 22:8 or 2 Kings 3:11; Jeremiah 38:1-6

    Not everyone wanted to know the truth but for me it was the best thing that ever happened in my life. I used to cry out, “I just want to know the truth” in the life I came from because even as hard as it was to hear I could use it for a firm foundation. The blind seem to want to lead others to follow blindly to what they want to hear but the truth reigns in a world where on every corner people are lead astray by what fits into their own reality and for their own heart condition. The domain of the world is Satan’s realm and work place lead by deceit and lies to deter people from a relationship with God by questioning His love and goodness.

    But no one could question that love and goodness when the truth was hanging from a Cross that was prophesied about since the foundation of the world. 1 Cor 1:21; Eph 1:4; 2 Thess 2:13

  167. poohpity says:

    If We’re Honest

    Truth is harder than a lie
    The dark seems safer than the light
    And everyone has a heart that loves to hide

    I’m a mess and so are you
    We’ve built walls nobody can get through
    Yeah, it may be hard, but the best thing we could ever do, ever do

    CHORUS
    Bring your brokenness, and I’ll bring mine
    ‘Cause love can heal what hurt divides
    And mercy’s waiting on the other side
    If we’re honest
    If we’re honest

    Don’t pretend to be something that you’re not
    Living life afraid of getting caught
    There is freedom found when we lay our secrets down at the cross, at the cross

    CHORUS

    It would change our lives
    It would set us free
    It’s what we need to be

  168. remarutho says:

    Dear BTA Friends —

    I am late joining the conversation. Cloudy here after many days of very hot, dry weather. 14C/58F with a chance of rain.

    Seem to recall some great quotes from the Prophet Jeremiah here in this discussion of Believe It or Not. I am reading Jeremiah these days, and drawing strength from his heartbreak for the idolatry and hardness of his people — even in the face of coming defeat and exile.

    As we see the godless shenanigans and wicked plots of the worldly-minded, we may still hope in the working of God in the hearts of people. This holy process goes on and cannot be hindered by any plan of The Accuser or those under his rule.

    Thank-you all who have prayed for my brother, Jack. He was in my home for eleven months. Though his troubles had hardened his heart, the acceptance and friendliness he found in this community made a difference — along with yours prayers, and the prayers of many. He asked me to pray with him on July 15th, in the hospital. He prayed the sinner’s prayer and received the Lord Jesus as his Savior.

    He died peacefully on July 18th with me, his sister and his niece at his side. I am rejoicing his breakthrough to Christ, even as I mourn his tortured life and unfortunate choices.

    May the Lord richly bless each one here, and continue to call you to prayer. “How marvelous! how wonderful! And my song shall ever be: How marvelous! How wonderful, is my Savior’s love for me!”

    Yours in Christ,
    Maru

  169. SFDBWV says:

    Maru, what a mixture of emotions. I am so happy for your brothers acceptance of Christ, yet saddened by his death.

    My heart felt prayers for you and your family.

    Steve

  170. remarutho says:

    Thanks for the continued prayers, Steve —

    There were tough days — and many challenges to love Jack with the love Christ has for all His children. I did not always make the cut on treating this addicted, bitter man as a child of God.

    My church family surrounded us with prayers and showed Jack friendliness and non-judgment. How good to be able to give a joyful report to those who lifted him up for comfort and assurance in Jesus — even in times of dark doubt of his hope of eternal life.

    My daughter came to be with me in that last week of Jack’s life. For that I am also very grateful.

    Blessings,
    Maru

  171. Beloved says:

    Maru have missed you here so thanks for the news of your brothers’ acceptance into the Kingdom as we are all rejoicing with you! Yes, with mixed emotions as Steve said we can all sing along with your brother: Even so, it is well with my soul…

    Blessings to you and your family, friends. May Gods peace be with you all as He comforts your grief.

  172. Beloved says:

    John Piper:

    Afraid of Death No More

    Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. (Hebrews 2:14–15)

    How does Christ deliver us from the fear of death and set us free to live with the kind of loving abandon that can “let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also”?

    Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood…

    The term “children” is taken from the previous verse and refers to the spiritual offspring of Christ, the Messiah. These are also the “children of God.” In other words, in sending Christ, God has the salvation of his “children” especially in view.

    he himself likewise partook of the same [flesh and blood]…

    The Son of God, who existed before the incarnation as the eternal Word (John 1:1), took on flesh and blood and clothed his deity with humanity. He became fully man and remained fully God.

    that through death…

    The reason Christ became human was to die. As preincarnate God, he could not die for sinners. But united to flesh and blood, he could. His aim was to die. Therefore, he had to be born human.

    he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil…

    In dying, Christ defanged the devil. How? By covering all our sin (Hebrews 10:12). This means that Satan has no legitimate grounds to accuse us before God. “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies” (Romans 8:33). On what grounds does he justify? Through the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 9:14; Romans 5:9).

    Satan’s ultimate weapon against us is our own sin. If the death of Jesus takes it away, the chief weapon the devil has is taken out of his hand. In that sense he is rendered powerless.

    and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.

    So we are free from the fear of death. God has justified us. There is only future grace in front of us. Satan cannot overturn that decree. And God means for our ultimate safety to have an immediate effect on our lives. He means for the happy ending to take away the slavery and fear of the present.

  173. poohpity says:

    Maru, so very sad to hear of your loss. Praying for God’s comfort and rest for you and your family.

  174. jeff1 says:

    I am free from the fear of hell because I fear hell more than death as Satan uses my sin to make me feel guilty and unworthy of heaven.

    Satan gets into my head but he cannot get into my heart because Jesus dwells within and its my connection to Him.

    God finds a way to His children, believe it or not, it is the truth, He won’t forsake you.

    God will make a way
    Where there seems to be no way
    He works in ways we cannot see
    He will make a way for me

    He will be my guide
    Hold me closely to His side
    With love and strength for each new day
    He will make a way, He will make a way

    Oh, God will make a way
    Where there seems to be no way
    He works in ways we cannot see
    He will make a way for me

    He will be my guide
    Hold me closely to His side
    With love and strength for each new day
    He will make a way, He will make a way

    By a roadway in the wilderness, He’ll lead me
    And rivers in the desert will I see
    Heaven and Earth will fade but His Word will still remain
    He will do something new today

    Oh, God will make a way
    Where there seems to be no way
    He works in ways we cannot see
    He will make a way for me

    He will be my guide
    Hold me closely to His side
    With love and strength for each new day
    He will make a way, He will make a way

    Oh, God will make a way
    Where there seems to be no way
    He works in ways we cannot see
    He will make a way for me

    He will be my guide
    Hold me closely to His side
    With love and strength for each new day
    He will make a way, He will make a way

    With love and strength for each new day
    He will make a way, He will make a way

  175. Beloved says:

    Thinking about “conversations”. If i keep trying to have a conversation with someone that has said in no uncertain terms they no longer wish to listen or talk to me, isnt that called harassment? Just thinking. Whatever you call it its really annoying.

  176. Beloved says:

    No, its gone far beyond annoying, its abusive behavior that has been allowed to go on for far too long. And I’m done with it.

    When I was growing up I heard often, “your dad is sick” and because he was “sick” we had to accept his abhorrent behavior and figure out how to fend for ourselves. It was a no win situation. The things i experienced, saw, and was forced to do are unimaginable to most. Its truly a miracle of Gods mercy and grace that I survived. That said, I’m done watching my dear friends here be manipulated and abused by pooh. I’m done. I will interact on FB or email only. I care for my friends here but will not watch this “sickness” any more.

    Mart and Street you have helped me so much and i cant thank you enough for how God has blessed me through your humble tutelage.

    Know you are all in my prayers, often. Blessings, Joyce

  177. poohpity says:

    2 Thess 3:6 NIV; Romans 16:17; 1 Cor 5:11

  178. jeff1 says:

    Beloved, I understand why you feel so upset as when non believers do not respond well to me I expect it as they do not share my trust in Jesus but it is when other believers act in an unkind or abusive way that leaves me feeling hopeless, and then I remember that Jesus understands and I know it is ok to be upset as God does not put expectations that others put on us as He accepts us as we are.

    Just keep remembering that Jesus’s Love triumphs over whatever it is that keeps dragging us down in this world and God is greater in us, and though the flesh is weak we have the victory and please don’t forget that Beloved, as it is the truth and no one can change God’s truth though they have tried throughout time there is nothing can separate us from God’s love.

    You have had an abusive life, Beloved, and I have lived in a country so full of hate that it is difficult for us to understand God’s love in its enormity but I know it exists because I have had glimpses of it throughout my life and its what keeps me knowing that I’m connected to the God of the Universe and so please be strengthened in knowing God cares and Jesus is proof how much.

  179. street says:

    Believe it or Not
    sin at the door. thinking of cain and able story were God says sin is crouching at the door. you must master it. thinking of paul’s teaching on considering yourself dead to sin? we were born sinners who answer the door in our deadness all the time it was a normal every day thing. our hearts where sinful, conceived in sin. thinking further you can not answer the door if you are dead to sin. we live in flesh and blood that can not inherit the Kingdom yet, Dad wants us to be here and now. so something happen that we would recognize sin and see our helplessness.He, God made us alive. God changed our hearts by Christ. The Holy Spirit is give to take Jesus place, universally available. we do love righteousness and holiness, but we don’t see it right now. who hopes for what they already have? we deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Christ. thinking about rcsproul teaching about the wrestling match that begins the moment the profane meets a Holy God. it a struggle for life in which God wins. as job said who can win against God in court, let alone anything else? God the true Victor who has lavished great mercy and grace on sinful man in Christ Jesus.

  180. street says:

    forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.

  181. jeff1 says:

    I still feel I need God’s forgiveness more than anything and that is because I spent most of my younger life full of hatred for my enemies and my head has been affected badly.

    Its why I see my own sin so clearly and why I see my need of God’s forgiveness greater than my need of others forgiveness.

    In contrast my dad did not allow Satan into his head as he was stronger mentally than I and consequently that kept him closer to God’s ways.

    My dad’s journey has been an eye opener for me because he had a childlike view of God as I can see now he never questioned God’s motives and that is because he knew God.

    It is my own confusion about God’s character that I see as I changed God to suit my beliefs while my dad knew better and consequently he had God’s truths when others like me where following our own.

    Obedience matters to God in doing His will on earth but Salvation is a gift showing us God’s Love is greater than our struggles.

    If you could see
    What I once was
    If you could go with me
    Back to where I started from
    Then, I know you would see
    A miracle of Love that put me
    In it’s sweet embrace
    And made me what I am today
    Just an old sinner
    Saved by grace

    I’m just a sinner
    Saved by grace
    When I stood condemned to death
    He took my place
    Now I live an breathe in freedom
    With each breath of life I take
    Loved and forgivin
    Back with the living
    I’m just a sinner
    Saved by grace

    How could I boast on anything
    I’ve ever seen or done
    How could I dare to claim as mine
    The victories God has won
    Where would I be
    Had God not brought me
    Gently to this place
    I’m here to say I’m nothing but
    A sinner saved by grace

    I’m just a sinner
    Saved by grace
    When I stood condemned to death
    He took my place
    Now I grow and breathe in freedom
    With each breath of life I take
    I’m loved and forgivin
    Back with the living
    I’m just a sinner
    Saved by grace

    Now I grow and breathe in freedom
    with each breath of life I take
    I’m loved and forgivin
    back with the living
    I’m just a sinner
    Saved by grace
    Saved by grace

  182. jeff1 says:

    Satan’s hold on me is temporary as sin is what he uses to tighten his grip but he is no match for the God of the Universe as Jesus has finished what God started and that is the truth that I need to hold on to as there will always be confusion if I focus on God’s character but ‘My Salvation’ is finished in Christ’s Sacrifice as God says that is what makes me right with Him.

    I must not add or take away from the truth of the gospel or I do God an injustice.

    Jesus is the ‘first and last’ the ‘alpha and omega’ because God says it and I must take God at His Word and no one else.

    God does not ask for me to be righteous, we put that burden on ourselves or others put it on us.

    God accepts me as I am warts and all and that is a very hard truth to accept in a world where most find fault (my self included).

  183. foreverblessed says:

    What a very good news from Maru!
    How wonderful that her brother accepted Christ!!!
    How good to have been part in the group of people that have been praying for him.
    I really am deeply thankful.
    And thank you Maru for sharing! Also the part that you could not always feel the love for a hardened man. That is the part that comforted me, we want to love our enemies, we say:
    Help me God, fill us with Your love!

    I pray that over you too, Beloved, ( if you read this)

    God bless you!!!

  184. foreverblessed says:

    And Maru, my condolences on the loss of your brother.
    May God comfort you and your daughter.
    God bless you!!!

  185. remarutho says:

    Thank-you for rejoicing with me, Forever. And thank-you, Pooh, for the kind words.

    Came to some self-examination in those days of caring for my brother: We are all lost and forlorn — sitting in darkness and despair — until Jesus’ love reaches us. For me, love is a decision to keep the promise I made when I accepted the Lord.

    It seems to me taking up the cross is living out Jesus’ way of being flesh and blood in the world. He did not take the high road — He lorded over no one except Satan at any time. My brother’s life was a train wreck. I tried not to remind him of it.

    Promised Jack I would take care of him at the end. With God’s help, I managed to do so. It was Jesus who did the heavy lifting. Jesus kept my brother from being just another of the thousands of unidentified bodies found in public places.

    My comfort is in Jack’s decision to ask Jesus into his heart after all these years. I can say not “good-bye” but “so long.” Believe it or not, God’s promises are for sure. His gifts and calling are irrevocable. It is done because Jesus did it.

    Blessings all day,
    Maru

  186. remarutho says:

    Thank-you, Beloved, for remembering me in your prayers.

  187. bubbles says:

    Maru, I am sorry for your loss. Praying God will comfort you and your family.

  188. phpatato says:

    As you are my Sister in Christ Maru, I share in the joy of your brother’s eternal salvation; that he now is a Brother in Christ to me. Surely as in Luke 15:7 the angels are rejoicing with him that he is no longer lost, but is found!! May knowing this bring peace and comfort to you during your time of sorrow. xo

  189. jeff1 says:

    A beautiful hymn from our Holy Communion service.

    I hear Thy welcome voice
    That calls me, Lord, to Thee,
    For cleansing in Thy precious blood
    That flowed on Calvary.

    I am coming, Lord,
    Coming now to Thee!
    Wash me, cleanse me in the blood
    That flowed on Calvary.

    Though coming weak and vile,
    Thou dost my strength assure;
    Thou dost my vileness truly cleanse,
    Till spotless all, and pure.

    ‘Tis Jesus calls me on
    To perfect faith and love,
    To perfect hope and peace and trust,
    For earth and heav’n above.

    ‘Tis Jesus who confirms
    The blessed work within,
    By adding grace to welcomed grace,
    Where reigned the pow’r of sin.

    And He the witness gives
    To loyal hearts and free
    That every promise is fulfilled,
    If faith but brings the plea.

    All hail, atoning blood!
    All hail, redeeming grace!
    All hail, the gift of Christ our Lord,
    Our Strength and Righteousness.

  190. Beloved says:

    All hail, the gift of Christ our Lord,
    Our Strength and Righteousness.

    Oh yes He is! Jesus told me to come back, and has taught me the importance of staying deeply tuned to His voice. It is very still and small as most know so i must keep focus in order to not let sin–anger rage jealousy– rule over me.

    Thank you for praying for me. I just realized i had NO anxiety, flashbacks or distress in church today! Wow thats a first. Before i left Jesus said to just focus on Him and let His thoughts be mine. Our thought life is so important and seems to drive our actions, or mine anyway.

    The sermon was so helpful on the wheat and tares. He gave lots of background, you can just google “darnel” and get an interesting perspective on tares. But Jesus said to let them be until the harvest. Sigh.

    Thanks Forever, Viv, street and others who keep grinding out the message to keep our eyes on Jesus. Those darn tares are so annoying! But God is greater, more loving and knows the way through this phase of our lives here between heaven and earth. So thankful for you all.

  191. Beloved says:

    Maru I’ve been thinking too of the joyous celebration in heaven when your dear brother came Home. You shared about loving him and taking care of him with Jesus carrying him. That statement stood out to me as one who forgets how involved He is in our lives. But, it also brought joy remembering how my own father was saved 6 weeks before dying of a massive stroke. He was one a person could not be around, yet God sent a pastor to visit him weekly for many years, a shock to us all that he would talk to a pastor. Im sure it was hard for this pastor but still amazes me the lengths God will go to to find His lost children as you shared. Thank you for your hard work and testimony for the Kingdom.

  192. jeff1 says:

    I take a day at a time, Beloved, and its amazing how it keeps my anxiety from getting the better of me.

    The difficult part is being around others who don’t which tires me, but I balance it with being around others who calm me as well, and understanding that we all struggle is important, as it keeps me from having too high expectations of either myself or others as my brain tends to be wired to get annoyed with myself or others when I know I need to stay calm and focused on Jesus.

    Music is my sanctuary as it keeps me focused on Jesus and every unwanted thought is extinguished that causes me confusion or annoyance.

    Our Rector preached a lovely but simple sermon of how nearly all religions teaches us that we have to work our way to heaven and yet it is not biblical and so we get it into our heads that our good works makes us right with God but that we can never be right with God and so I must stop beating myself up for my failures and give my head a chance to understand what my heart knows that God cares very much and it is keeping this thought in my head that will change my thinking from seeing God as angry when He is not.

    It is good to have you back, think nice thoughts, and be around nice people who make you feel better about yourself and it helps to change your mindset I believe.

    I have stopped feeling guilty that I have mental problems as I used to listen to others being very critical of people with mental illness and that made me feel guilty for being the way I am but with God’s help I have overcome this thinking and I don’t feel this way anymore.

    I have hit rock bottom so many times and now I know that with Jesus the only way is up.

    Just remember how blessed we are in knowing we can trust God when there are many who are not and it makes the waiting much easier.

  193. Beloved says:

    Taking a day at a time, starting the day with Jesus, and praying without ceasing keeps our thinking clear of disturbances. I’m taking Marts advice to lovingly trust Jesus through this stormy life.

  194. street says:

    “All My Hope” David Crowder

    I’ve been held by the Savior
    I’ve felt fire from above
    I’ve been down to the river
    I ain’t the same, a prodigal returned

    All my hope is in Jesus
    Thank God that yesterday’s gone
    All my sins are forgiven
    I’ve been washed by the blood

    I’m no stranger to the prison
    I’ve worn shackles and chains
    But I’ve been freed and forgiven
    And I’m not going back, I’ll never be the same
    That’s why I sing

    All my hope is in Jesus
    Thank God my yesterday’s gone
    All my sins are forgiven
    I’ve been washed by the blood

    There’s a kind of thing that just breaks a man
    Break him down to his knees
    God, I’ve been broken more than a time or two
    Yes, Lord then He picked me up and showed me
    What it means to be a man

    Come on and sing
    All my hope is in Jesus
    Thank God my yesterday’s gone
    All my sins are forgiven
    I’ve been washed by the blood

    Come on and sing
    All my hope is in Jesus
    Thank God my yesterday’s gone
    All my sins are forgiven
    Oh I’ve, I’ve been washed by the blood

  195. Beloved says:

    Phil 3:12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus

  196. foreverblessed says:

    Beloved! Thanks for coming back, and thanks for having heard God’s still small voice.
    Fixing our eyes on Jesus!
    That is a disciplinary thing.
    We have to get calm, in the stillness, just Jesus and me.
    Till we get that true Rest, from above.
    Only in Rest, in the power of the Holy Spirit, can our actions be of everlasting value.

    That your dad was saved just weeks before he died! That is awesome! That pastor that visited him, must have been in training having his eyes fixed on Jesus!
    Just as Maru has had a great training in helping her brother.
    Someone who has his thinking in the mud of depression, anger, and whatever else is a lost state.

    I have my deal here with a very hardened person. He came with accusations that are so weird, not anything in the world that I had ever in mind doing that to him.
    I laid the letter of accusations on the altar, like the king of old did, when he received a letter from a hostile king.
    The thing is, when I read the things HD writes, I feel as if I look in a pit of evil. When I think it over I feel like I am drawn into that same put.
    Then I pray: Jesus, help me. You are Conquerer over everything that is evil.
    I also know that we do not fight against that person that comes against us, but the evil that has enslaved him.

    It is a training! Last night my thoughts were going to this case, but it seemed much easier now, to have my eyes fixed on Jesus.
    He is the Only One that can save. I am at wit’s end. Nothing I personally can do.
    It is Jesus Only.

    Someone prayed with me, yesterday, and she got this Bible verse
    Romans 8:21

    You have this hope that he will be freed from the enslavement to decay,
    To come to the liberty of the glory of the children if God!

    I have to let this message sink in.
    But the brother of Mary got there in the end, and the father of beloved got there. So this person will also come there!

    Beloved, I am very thankful that you are back. I was also considering leaving when you did!

    But this message if you about your dad did so much good to me!

    I have to hold on to what the Spirit revealed to me through scripture,
    This time Romans 8:21,
    Even when the weird accusations go on.

    Jesus said: It is finished!
    And that is the Truth.

    May God bless you all lots and lots!
    With peace and love in your hearts!

  197. jeff1 says:

    The sands have been washed in the footprints Of the Stranger on Galilee’s shore.
    And the voice that subdued the rough billows,
    Will be heard in Judea no more.
    But the path of that lone Galilean,
    With joy I will follow today;
    And the toils of the road will seem nothing,
    When I get to the end of the way.
    There are so many hills to climb upward,
    I often am longing for rest,
    But He who appoints me my pathway
    Knows just what is needful and best.
    I know in His word He hath promised
    That my strength, “it shall be as my day”,
    And the toils of the road will seem nothing,
    When I get to the end of the way.
    He loves me too well to forsake me,
    Or give me a trial too much;
    All His people have been dearly purchased,
    And Satan can never claim such.
    By and by I shall see Him and praise Him,
    In the city of unending day;
    And the toils of the road will seem nothing,
    When I get to the end of the way.
    When the last feeble step has been taken,
    And the gates of that city appear,
    And the beautiful songs of the angels
    Float out on my listening ear;
    When all that now seems so mysterious
    Will be bright and as clear as the day,
    Then the toils of the road will seem nothing,
    When I get to the end of the way.

  198. SFDBWV says:

    Believing God…

    Moses believed God because Moses witnessed the burning bush that was not consumed, heard the voice from that same unbelievable sight and as the story goes along seen the immediate action from God that followed “what God said”.

    We have the story without actually witnessing any of the miraculous events described within.

    We choose to believe them. The choice is ours.

    Jesus says many thousands of years later, “Blessed is he who believes yet does not see.”

    As Shakespeare wrote “Ah there is the rub.”

    We are ask to believe what is written as what God said. As if we actually heard God say it to us.

    Our personality, our personal needs, our fears and our hopes are all tied in with what we “choose” to believe.

    So what is the lie then that comes against what we have chosen to believe? Have we chosen the lie over what is actually written?

    That lie being what we want God to have said ignoring what is written in opposition to what we have interpreted.

    Revelation chapter 3 gives exact detail as to what Jesus has found us pleasing Him and displeasing Him with dire ramification for disobedience.

    Sometimes I think it best to actually know nothing more than my sins are forgiven me because I believe they are by the sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross, and nothing more.

    Then I have to have heard they are, by someone telling me and reading it for myself and trusting the person as well as the writing to be true.

    That in of itself is a big trust, but who are we actually trusting?

    The person who told us, the book from which we read it or does the trust come from a deep need to believe from deep within ourselves?

    The evidence is found in the “peace” we receive from recognizing God in the people we listen to and the words we read.

    I pray all of you are at peace today and able to give thanks and worship to the One who is able to provide it.

    Steve

  199. poohpity says:

    Isn’t it supposed to be not looking at the evil or sin we see that lurks in others but that evil or sin that lurks inside our own selves? That is one of the very ways the enemy baits us by constantly looking around at others and not taking care of what has taken hold in our own hearts to focus us on others rather than Jesus.

    Romans 2: You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things. 2 And we know that God, in his justice, will punish anyone who does such things. 3 Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgment when you do the same things? 4 Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?

  200. Beloved says:

    Forever I will pray for HD and release from bondage to evil. When the accuser accuses it’s unsettling but you are right to give it to God and let Him deal with it. I get that all the time where I live but just keep doing what God told me long ago when things get rough to just do good. So I keep sharing things I make like jams and cakes with my opposers in Jesus’ name and trust God for the outcome He wants. Sometimes I think I’m being a fool for giving love to these people but we are all fools for Christ, aren’t we? I overhear them speaking lies about me from time to time and I used to confront them but no more. I just keep being kind and asking the LORD to bless them and pray with them when they will let me.

    I’ve found lately that some lusts I’ve been fighting against for many years are finally getting under control the more I let His thoughts be my thoughts. Oh there’s so much power available to us through the blood of Christ! He truly ended our toughest struggles on the cross. Oh how I love Jesus! His love can overcome even a fiercely independent person, such as myself. Oh how soft and gentle His love for us all, yet strong and fierce at the same time!

  201. Beloved says:

    Steve thank you for the prayer for today, its truly awesome! And the song street shared i listened to on YouTube last night. Passionately believable.

  202. Beloved says:

    Forever, my dear sister in Christ, I am so glad you stayed you are such a blessing here!

  203. Beloved says:

    Broken Things
    Song by Matthew West

    If grace was a kingdom
    I stopped at the gate
    Thinking I don’t deserve to pass through after all the mistakes that I’ve made
    Oh but I heard a whisper
    As Heaven bent down
    Said, “Child, don’t you know that the first will be last and the last get a crown”
    Now I’m just a beggar in the presence of a King
    I wish I could bring so much more
    But if it’s true You use broken things
    Then here I am Lord, I’m all Yours
    The pages of history they tell me it’s true
    That it’s never the perfect; it’s always the ones with the scars that You use
    It’s the rebels and the prodigals; it’s the humble and the weak
    All the misfit heroes You chose
    Tell me there’s hope for sinners like me
    Now I’m just a beggar in the presence of a King
    I wish I could bring so much more
    But if it’s true You use broken things
    Then here I am Lord, I’m all Yours
    Grace is a kingdom
    With gates open wide
    There’s a seat at the table just waiting for you
    So, come on inside

  204. jeff1 says:

    I see the opposite to how God sees as I despair over the brokenness in this world and in myself and that makes me feel distant from God but He is much nearer than I can understand.

    Thank you for this song of hopefulness in a world so needing it, Beloved.

  205. poohpity says:

    1 Peter 2: 21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.

    22
    He never sinned,
    nor ever deceived anyone.
    23
    He did not retaliate when he was insulted,
    nor threaten revenge when he suffered.
    He left his case in the hands of God,
    who always judges fairly.
    24
    He personally carried our sins
    in his body on the cross
    so that we can be dead to sin
    and live for what is right.
    By his wounds
    you are healed.

  206. Beloved says:

    You are welcome Viv. The answer to despairing is Jesus, as we all have much to despair about: psalm 28:7You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.”

    Hope your sleeping is filled with Jesus.

  207. jeff1 says:

    Its that despair that drives me to Him as it is when I am so aware of His presence.

    I don’t see God on the mountain because it is not where He is as God is God of my valleys because it is where I realise my need of Him.

    If I never had despair then I wouldn’t know God’s presence and that I am sure of which makes God real to me and why I have come to understand my despair as being my need of God.

  208. poohpity says:

    Why Me
    Kris Kristofferson

    Why me Lord, what have I ever done
    To deserve even one
    Of the pleasures I’ve known
    Tell me Lord, what did I ever do
    That was worth loving you
    Or the kindness you’ve shown.

    Lord help me Jesus, I’ve wasted it so
    Help me Jesus I know what I am
    Now that I know that I’ve needed you so
    Help me Jesus, my soul’s in your hand.

    Tell me Lord, if you think there’s a way
    I can try to repay
    All I’ve taken from you
    Maybe Lord, I CAN SHOW SOMEONE ELSE
    WHAT I HAVE BEEN THROUGH MYSELF ON
    MY WAY BACK TO YOU

    Lord help me Jesus, I’ve wasted it so
    Help me Jesus I know what I am
    Now that I know that I’ve needed you so
    Help me Jesus, my soul’s in your hand.

  209. Beloved says:

    Matthew West

    “Mended”

    When you see broken beyond repair
    I see healing beyond belief
    When you see too far gone
    I see one step away from home

    How many times can one heart break?
    It was never supposed to be this way
    Look in the mirror, but you find someone you never thought you’d be

    Oh, but I can still recognize
    The one I love in your tear stained eyes
    I know you might not see him now, so lift your eyes to me

    When you see broken beyond repair
    I see healing beyond belief
    When you see too far gone
    I see one step away from home

    When you see nothing but damaged goods
    I see something good in the making
    I’m not finished yet
    When you see wounded, I see mended

    You see your worst mistake
    But I see the price I paid
    And there’s nothing you could ever do, to lose what grace has won

    So hold on, it’s not the end
    No, this is where love’s work begins
    I’m making all things new
    And I will make a miracle of you

    When you see broken beyond repair
    I see healing beyond belief
    When you see too far gone
    I see one step away from home

    When you see nothing but damaged goods
    I see something good in the making
    I’m not finished yet
    When you see wounded, I see mended

    I see my child, my beloved
    The new creation you’re becoming
    You see the scars from when you fell
    But I see the stories they will tell

    You see worthless, I see priceless
    You see pain, but I see a purpose
    You see unworthy, undeserving
    But I see you through eyes of mercy

    When you see broken beyond repair
    I see healing beyond belief
    You’re not too far gone
    You’re one step away from home

    When you see nothing but damaged goods
    I see something good in the making
    I’m not finished yet, no
    When you see wounded, I see mended

  210. jeff1 says:

    I know your hurting your heart 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 reason?
    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.

  211. Beloved says:

    .

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