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A Time to Wonder

Others had said something similar. But it was during a dark time in my life that, through the novels and Unspoken Sermons of Scottish author and poet, George MacDonald (1824-1905), I began to take to heart— what I now believe to be some of the most helpful counsel and caution I’ve ever heard:

If, while reading the Bible, you come across something that doesn’t seem to rise to the level of a good and loving God, don’t feel compelled by faith or fear to embrace or reject it. Instead reserve judgment. Prayerfully wait for a better understanding.

Time and history seem to be on the side of humility when it comes to believing in God at the expense of our minds, hearts, or neighbors. Widely accepted interpretations of the Bible (regarding presumptions about a flat earth, a sun that revolves around us, race, slavery, the time of Jesus’ return, the silence of women etc) have turned out to be possible but not necessary ways of reading Scripture.

I am so grateful for the courage of those who, at the risk of their own reputation, have urged us to conclude that it is better to live with mystery—  and to wonder what we might be missing— than to embrace widely held, possible interpretations of Scripture (including possible but not necessary interpretations of the words of Jesus) that don’t rise to the level of One we would want to trust and love with all of our heart, strength, and mind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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162 Responses to “A Time to Wonder”

  1. foreverblessed says:

    How timely this topic came for me!
    I was reading a parable that Jesus gave:
    Luke 19:11-27 the 10 slaves and the 10 pounds.
    It is a wonderful parable,
    But…. Why is the end as it is:
    Luke 19:27
    That verse is troublesome to me.
    So I kept asking Jesus, what did You want to say with this, because You are not a revengefull God! It is not a description about You.

    So here is Mart’s topic,

    Thank you Mart

  2. SFDBWV says:

    First of all I would like to thank Mart for attempting to fix BTA so we who are addicted to it can get our morning “fix”.

    BTA has gotten to be so much of a part of my day that when it’s on the blitz something just doesn’t seem right all the day long.

    Now as to the subject at hand.

    Speaking of course only for myself, it seems that with aging the messages and the understanding of Scripture changes with my own maturing.

    Remembering that there is a difference between maturing and aging.

    Out in my back yard I usually have volunteer sunflowers that crop up around the heart shaped rock that I feed on. They may survive if deer don’t come in and eat them while they try and grow, sometimes sadly as they begin to produce that bud or buds that will soon blossom into beauty is when the deer like to eat them the most.

    This year the deer one lone deer came in and ate all of them before they even had a chance to grow much higher than a couple feet.

    I have a couple old copper washtubs that Glenna used for flowers, and this year a lone sunflower has grown up out of it. It is in such a position that the deer couldn’t get to it so it was able to make it into its final stage of life. However, the washtub is too shallow for its root system so that even though it has grown up it is anemic stunted and its blossoms smaller.

    Jesus taught using nature and I see always a similarity in nature and the lives of people.

    Without the proper nutrients plants age, but don’t mature to their potential.

    I think the same applies to people and their understanding of Scripture.

    Smog and toxins will affect the growth of plants. Intellectual interferences and misinformation will also do the same to a developing mind.

    The very age a person is, sculpts the view they have of everything and as they age and that view changes, their view and interpretation of Scripture changes with them.

    However some never mature and some never mature to their potential and it all is about how they age. Even at what age they discover Christ.

    I often like to quote Billy Graham and while I am note actually quoting him now, I will say that an earlier Billy Graham was a stoic fire breather, but towards the end he was more like the comfort of a warm fire. His message about Christ remaining the same, but his outlook on some things took on a milder more sympathetic approach.

    I hope the site stays up, and we are able to learn together as we share where we each may be in the process of growing up in Christ.

    Steve

  3. poohpity says:

    Over the years I have read some people’s interpretations of scripture that lead others to believe that God is like a puppet master or plays games with us or is angry all the time and that is certainly not the kind of God that I would want to trust or depend on by giving over my heart, mind or soul.

    If we lived our lives worthy of the Gospel then wouldn’t we also read the bible through the eyes of those who believe the Gospel? Wouldn’t that open our understanding and interpretation of scripture in the light of a love and sacrifice that showed God’s care for humanity and in humility might bring us to a level of understanding One to totally trust and depend on.

  4. poohpity says:

    Mart it seems the blog still has some glitches.

  5. Hugger4U says:

    Hopefully this site will be up to snuff soon. I do miss reading everyone’s posts.

    With age comes maturity if we allow God to continually mold and shape us. Some stop wanting to learn anything more thinking they have an understanding of scripture or their relationship with the Lord is to their liking and will start to lean on their own understanding instead of continuing on with leaning on the Lord. That is my observation of human nature, mine included. We must continue on with our relationship with the Lord and keep listening, learning and leaning on the Holy Spirit to teach us. Peace to you all as you continually lean on, listen to and learn from the Lord all that He has for you.
    Hugger

  6. Beloved says:

    Guilty, I have a bad habit of placing too much stock in my interpretations of scripture and worse—-of sharing them here to confusion and distress!!! Lesson I’m learning from blog issues; I talk way too much about scripture. Have a blessed day all.

  7. Beloved says:

    LORD Jesus I want to be healed from damage to my faith caused by misuse of scripture by pastors I trusted. And I seek your forgiveness for how I have hurt others by my misuse of scripture. For Jesus’ sake, amen.

  8. street says:

    A Time to Wonder
    paul spoke of the stumbling block of the cross and it’s centrality to the Christian faith. the emphasis is on the truth not the letter. like righteousness that is given. do we understand what this righteousness does to our thinking and living in a fallen world? it could have a positive or negative effect. if i understand it correctly i receive a righteousness that is not derived from self. therefor i am no longer am working for it! yet it gives me great freedom to serve in love faithfulness and the strength He supplies. this glorifies God, not me. if i am living in the flesh i will die, if by the Spirit i will live. for Christ is a life giving Spirit. received by faith, and they shall live, abundantly. Jesus is the light of the world, yet He tells us we are the light of the world in Matthew, a city on a hill the salt of the earth. yes there are mysteries and hard things ahead, but there is no mystery to God commitment to the redemption of man. Who is blessed and exalted forever.

  9. jeff1 says:

    Once I stood in the night
    With my head bowed low
    In the darkness as black as could be
    And my heart felt alone and I cried
    Oh Lord, don’t hide your face from me

    Like a king I may live in a palace so tall
    With great riches to call my own
    But I don’t know a thing
    In this whole wide world
    That’s worse than being alone

    Hold my hand all the way
    Every hour, every day
    Come here to the great unknown

    Take my hand, let me stand
    Where no one stands alone

    Take my hand, let me stand
    Where no one stands alone

  10. jeff1 says:

    Be Still My Soul

    Be still my soul the Lord is on thy side
    Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain
    Leave to thy God to order and provide
    In every change He faithful will remain
    Be still my soul thy best, thy heavenly friend
    Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end

    Be still my soul when dearest friends depart
    And all is darkened in the vale of tears
    Then shalt thou better know His love His heart
    Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears
    Be still my soul the waves and winds shall know
    His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below

    Be still my soul the hour is hastening on
    When we shall be forever with the Lord
    When disappointment grief and fear are gone
    Sorrow forgot love’s purest joys restored
    Be still my soul when change and tears are past
    All safe and blessed we shall meet at last

  11. bubbles says:

    If we understood God, He would be like us and not God. So much I do not understand the older I get. As humans I suppose we want to know why. And when things happen over and over I become angry to the point of rage inside of me. And I have failed yet again. I prayed in the grocery store because that anger is wrong.

  12. jeff1 says:

    Surely, in recognising my anger is wrong and praying is bringing me closer to God or that is what I believe.

    It is when I justify my anger and hold on to it and act out on it that I fail.

    I find that age has mellowed me and how I would have behaved when I was not considering God has changed since I do consider Him.

    It was C. S. Lewis who made me realise in his quote that I often behave as if God doesn’t exist and when I am holding on to my anger because I feel justified then I am behaving as if He doesn’t.

    I spent most of my life holding on to anger because it justified my beliefs and those were political and religious beliefs that God wants me to break free of and so I find that God always knows best but that is often very difficult for me to see because I am too close to what enslaves me.

    I need to remember that failure from a human stand point is very different from God’s standpoint and again I quote C. S. Lewis:

    “I am sure that God keeps no one waiting unless he sees that it is good for him to wait”.

  13. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All
    Pray all is well… Have to be brief…prepping for work today… my computer is up and running again… Though the BTA blog site is kind of wonky. I too pray that the gliches are removed soon. I may not be able to chat again until next weekend because I’m back at work and I don’t have as much time to chat as I do during the summer months. All is well with me, and I look forward to chatting with you all soon.

    88 degrees and a clear sky in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,
    Regina

  14. Mart DeHaan says:

    Am so sorry about the problems we are having with WordPress. I am checking to see if we can get access and format fixed. I appreciate your patience.

  15. poohpity says:

    Anger is just anther one of our human emotions and it was God who created us in His image with those emotions so wouldn’t it be all right to feel it? The concern seems to be with how we act on it and God seems to say to not let it control us because it gives a foothold to the Devil. Eph 4: Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one another. 26“Be angry, yet do not sin.” Do not let the sun set upon your anger, 27and do not give the devil a foothold.

  16. street says:

    a time to wonder

    self willed or self control

    Time and history seem to be on the side of humility when it comes to believing in God at the expense of our minds, hearts, or neighbors.

    seems to me anger is a result of not getting our way.
    Jesus says He is the way. we only saw Jesus get angry when the Temple was not honoring God, the vipers took over the Temple. light cast out darkness, sometimes with a wip. the miracle is he got His Way, twice. which was counter to the merchants and the Temple law enforcement. Jesus displaying power against a blindness lameness deafness muteness of evil, best seen in the Resurrection. it would seem He had more support than the crowd that was around Him.

    thinking how did the Temple became a business to some?

  17. street says:

    2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

  18. poohpity says:

    street, do you really understand who Jesus is? It seems more often than not you put Him in the same category along with other human beings.

  19. street says:

    poo you mean like the Incarnation? sort of like the Trinity, no i don’t understand. when i see Him then i will.

  20. poohpity says:

    street, it is not like the incarnation, it is period. It is not sort of like the Trinity, it is period. We do not have to understand it or how it works just that it is, period. Jesus spent a lot of His time on earth showing His followers exactly who He is, not sort of or like but actually is which is a mandatory belief for salvation. Everything about our beliefs revolves around the identity of Christ the very foundation of it all. If one does not get that then nothing else will make sense.

  21. street says:

    I am so grateful for the courage of those who, at the risk of their own reputation, have urged us to conclude that it is better to live with mystery

    thinking of the time an ox cart showed up in Israel with the The Ark of The Covenant with and offering.

    should we not expect Him to show up? how would we respond?

    “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

    The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of.

    “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

  22. street says:

    i can understand your point poo. Jesus used the term like a lot. there is no substitute for Jesus.

    HE IS LORD

  23. poohpity says:

    Yes He did street but how did He use it? I bet it was not about who He is but to show what the Kingdom of God was “like” in terms that the people of that time could comprehend just as He talked in parables for only those who had ears to hear and minds set on understanding. But it was mandatory for His disciples to know who He is which He asked them all the time, “Who do you say I AM?”

  24. street says:

    like was used to describe in terms of His rule and His Kingdom.

    John 5:19
    Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.

  25. Beloved says:

    for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.

    What a beautiful comment. Good evening devotion.

  26. SFDBWV says:

    Been holding out writing anything in hopes that the format would be restored. It is amusing to me that just after Regina commented about having an evil spirit in her cellphone that BTA ended up with its own “gremlin”.

    Attacks from the evil one comes in many varieties and is in every form of our lives.

    Thinking of mysteries and prayer reminds me of my own prayer life. Though I seem to be in constant communication with God all my waking hours I do go out to my garage in the morning and there alone have a special time of prayer.

    Many more times than I could possibly remember as I set there in silence sometimes as I try and voice my thoughts, all I can say is “I trust you God” some time over and over as I face what seems to be unanswered prayer as well as more problems than answers.

    The famous Jesse Ventura once was quoted as having said that Christians are weaklings and use their faith as a crutch in dealing with life.

    I suppose he just has never reached that place where the only thing left is faith that God will rescue him.

    In my Living Bible God on the throne is described as having cherubs circling Him eternally seeing all the many facets of God.

    The many facets of God, forever.

    Yes God will remain a mystery to all of us forever, allowing us to see what only we need to for our own good.

    I have just this morning began to hear the crickets chirping and the singing of the cicada, fall is coming.

    Steve

  27. poohpity says:

    God does not seem to hold back when it comes to helping us understand and see the mysteries of who He is or what He is like. He has already revealed so much to us yet many do not spend the time to learn what we are already given, if one does not seek or search why would God reveal more. One of the many reason that Jesus was even born was to reveal the Father. John 8:19, 12:45, 14:8-10; 1 John 5:20

    Are we really trusting God if we find fault in the way He answers our prayers or even questioning if He really does? Isn’t faith trusting in what we can not see and those who have faith which is a gift from God He will help it to grow as we trust in Him more and more. Eph 2:8-9

  28. Mart DeHaan says:

    Technical support still trying to figure out what’s wrong with the messed up format.

  29. cbrown says:

    Good morning all! This morning I was laying in bed reviewing inmy mind 1 Cor13 and these versesstood out;

    8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of [c]prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I [d]became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror [e]dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the [f]greatest of these is love.

  30. Beloved says:

    Chris as I’ve been mulling over Mart’s ideas and particularity “mystery” I’ve thought of how I’ve had to tone down my know it all attitude in recent years and discovered the power of God is far greater than anything I can even begin to imagine. Living with that knowledge seems to give God more space to work, as if He needs my help!!! I seem to have less tolerance for many things as I get older. Grateful for Jesus’ mercy to me and ALL, minute by minute.

  31. Beloved says:

    If, while reading the Bible, you come across something that doesn’t seem to rise to the level of a good and loving God, don’t feel compelled by faith or fear to embrace or reject it. Instead reserve judgment. Prayerfully wait for a better understanding.

    A problem comes when deciding between what we see as good and what God calls good. Being of broken mind and body it’s easy to want what we want and call it good. However if we don’t get, say, the healing we want or the money we ask for or the spouse we want or happy children we tend to question Gods goodness. How can we not? Then what? If the answer is “wait” then that’s all that’s left. And in the mean time change our requests or hold on to them or thank our lucky stars we don’t have worse problems-needs.
    Job comes to mind, yet we know God is not going to “restore” our losses as He did then. Sometimes holding on to His feet as He drags us along is, well, the best we can do, but do I have to drag with all the pain and suffering of years, days, minutes gone by? How is that good? Then the thief on the cross comes to mind. “Today, you shall be with me in Paradise”. Hope and faith abide but love is the more important thing, is that what the goodness of God is all about I wonder?

  32. SFDBWV says:

    Chris on my walls I have 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 KJV as well as Philippians 4:4-7 KJV, Hebrews 11:1 KJV, Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV, Psalms 119:105 KJV, Joshua 24:15 KJV and Galatians 5:22-23 KJV all meant to remind, strengthen and comfort me as I go about my day.

    Thank you for the reminder.

    For all, I certainly haven’t read nearly the books that Mart has read and I am equally certain that I won’t. Being able to read much is a thing of the past for me as I am constantly interrupted all day and I am fortunate to get the news read and the items I must. Not complaining, just explaining.

    Mart mentioned reading from George MacDonald and being uplifted for it at a dark point in his life. How marvelous that words written so long ago still carried with them the ability to help someone when they needed it the most.

    I have learned that God speaks through us and to us and as is so often the case His words remain when we are long gone.

    At my lowest place I was lifted up by Psalms 23:1-6 KJV. Though I had read it many times before, it never spoke to me as it did right then when I needed it the most.

    Encouraged by the understanding that no matter what lay ahead God would stay with me through it, he would provide for all my needs right there in the midst of it all and lead me through it right to being there with Him at the end forever.

    No details other than He would be there for me all the way.

    Not a coincidence that the 23 Psalm comes right after the 22 that speaks of Jesus the Messiah on the cross asking if God had abandoned Him.

    It turns out He wasn’t abandoned after all.

    And no matter how dark things seem, He won’t abandon us now.

    Steve

  33. Beloved says:

    Thinking further, we can focus on our pain or Jesus’ pain. His saves ours destroys from the inside out. Jesus’ pain destroys the bad in me. One day I will shine!

  34. Beloved says:

    As I reflect His glory!

  35. street says:

    thinking of paul, standing well maybe the out of body experience was on the ground, like john, before God and angels, he did not know for sure. yet continuing in mortal flesh, plus a thorn. he was very sure the thorn was to keep himself from pride. mortal flesh is the media God chooses to work in. not by power, not by might, but By My Spirit Says The LORD.

    we truly can know good and evil, but only after Jesus. before Jesus i did not know Good. it was pretty bad when you knew what was good but could not perform it and sometimes confused as to what would be good coarse of action. righteousness is an incredible gift. freedom

  36. bratimus says:

    My thoughts are,

    That everything that we to know about God is in the Bible, His Word. Yes there might be somethings that are harder to understand, but you might be looking at it from the wrong perspective. Sometimes our emotions get in the way from US seeing in the right perspective. Like empathy can lead to pity and pity can lead to enabling, and enabling sin you might just be as guilty as the sinner. We suppose to Love, have hope and live by faith. Through those you can have a better understanding of, because God so Loved the Earth, He gave of Himself so that WE might be saved from the world. God didn’t pity Earth He Loved.

    In Christ name

    Bratimus

  37. street says:

    God so Loved the Earth

    adam so loved God he was willing to die, what ever that was, to become like God.

    God said “no”

    God sent His Son to become like man, not sinful man but a man. could God ever reveal in a better way that we were made in His Image? God’s economy is life not death. true life in true love and true faithfulness. selfless and holy. God finished the ransom, gave a deposit of His Spirit and introduction into faith that will be completed with circumcised hearts.

    thinking the mind and will, will go where the heart is.
    Romans 7

    God didn’t pity Earth He Loved. He Redeemed it out of His Love and His Standard. true to Self and true to us.

    thinking of the 4 soils. how easy tares can take root. like the smallest amount of leaven. the good seed, a work of God.

  38. bratimus says:

    I like I said some need to look at it from a different perspective your scholaring not not perspecting. Christ is of God, so Christ going to the cross was God give of Himself, Himself on the cross.

    Some just over think!

    In Christ name

    Bratimus

  39. Beloved says:

    A Time To Wonder

    Is my perspective right? Where does it come from? What formed it? God, who are you? So much to wonder about. Trusting Jesus for all I really need to know. There we go, done.

  40. poohpity says:

    God so loved the earth? Never heard that one before.

    Aren’t perspectives developed by what our minds are fed, experiences in life, our values and our beliefs?

  41. street says:

    8 The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

  42. street says:

    we are not our own, but clay in the potters hands.

  43. street says:

    a pot with autonomy, the ability to love.
    new creation comes to mind.
    good seed that consumes the soil
    a heart to be poured out.
    given new life, in God.
    Emmanuel

  44. bratimus says:

    One perspective is find the joy with in your heart that Jesus brings you.

    Pooh,

    I’m trying to keep the Earth of creation, and the world which is evil separate.

    In Christ name

    Bratimus

  45. foreverblessed says:

    Waiting to make judgments about things that are written about God, sayings of Jesus that seem harsh.

    On discovertheword there is nthis week the topic: “Search me”

    About David writing Psalm 139

    David opens the Psalm with: You have searched me

    God had already looked into his heart.

    And David is feeling secure in God doing so.

    I listenened to the number 1 to 5, that was in February, and number 5 is the one I want to bring up, because the Psalm is beautuful, talking about how Great God is.

    And then you have suddenly:

    Psalm 139:19-22

    If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
    Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
    20 They speak of you with evil intent;
    your adversaries misuse your name.
    21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
    and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
    22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
    I count them my enemies.

    Yes, wow, that is a section of the Psalms that is kind of harsh.

    I have heard earlier, a preacher saying: Here David clearly shows that he does not know yet fully the depth of God, he doesn’t know that Jesus will come and give us the command to love our enemies.

    I also like it how the three talking at the table about v 19-22, Mart is saying there: Here David shows some parts that are still to be checked out by God. Even though me may have a relation with God, there still are parts that are not so very clean, and sanctified

    Mart says; In the last verses of Psalm 139:23-24 it seems as if David senses, what I have just written about the enemies, please God search my heart about my judgments.

    23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
    24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.

    Search me, and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts.

    David realises he has anxious thoughts (“I have nothing but hatred for them”)

    and then invites God again to test him and try him.

  46. foreverblessed says:

    This was about Psalm 139.

    Mart on this topic is talking about alarming things Jesus says in the Gospel.

    One verse I brought up was, Luke 19;27

    Here the rules just slays the ones that did not want him to rule over them. That sounds like a hateful God. While the message of Jesus is: He comes tho save that which is lost.

    And the explanation that God only slays the ones that with open minds have rejected Jesus,

    Only those that after they have seen who Jesus is, still do now want Him to rule over them

    That explanation I do not except.

    I rather go to God, and lay it at His feet: What did You want to say with this? I do not see You as somebody, who at the end of all things, just will slay the wicked, As I see that in the end of all things You still Hope, Have Faith and Love

    1 Cor 13:13

    The bible passage that Cbrown brought up, a few days ago.

    That passage sums up to me Who God is in the END

  47. poohpity says:

    God is love from the beginning until the end of the world as we know it then on into eternity.

    If one reads the parable in Luke 19 and does not leave it within the context it would be like the saying, “One can not see the forest for the trees”. Jesus was teaching about the Kingdom of God and the religious leaders were chastising Jesus for eating and spending time with sinners to which He replied the very reason He came was to search for and save the lost. So His audience for that parable were the religious leaders who were given a great responsibility to lead people to God but they failed in as much as they were not doing that, so at the end of the ages they would have been responsible for many not coming to know the Lord which we see from other text we know what happens to those who reject God.

    But we know that God does not want any to perish and at the second coming He will gather His own to Him but those who made the choice to reject Him eternal doom.

    God has given each of us special gifts and talents in order that people will know Him and serve each other in the meantime, until the ends comes. But to not use those gifts or talents for the Glory of God seems to be a sign of rejection of our very mission to do good while we bide our time here on earth until we go to our eternal home. So wouldn’t we want to be about telling everyone about what Jesus has done so they will be saved? Or do we make the choice to keep it to ourselves and deny them to opportunity to believe?

    2 Peter 3: The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some understand slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance. 10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar, the elements will be dissolved in the fire, and the earth and its works will not be found. 11Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?

  48. Beloved says:

    When I look at the title for some reason A Time To Kill comes to mind, reminiscent of the book/movie that cause quite a stir. Is there ever really ever a time to kill? I think not, I WONDER is it because of Jesus and His kingdom of love joy peace patience kindness goodness gentleness faithfulness and self control, that we can participate now while on earth as different from the fallen world system of hate prejudice deceit trickery and all the rest that goes with it. To be the people of God our ultimate authority is God, a relationship made perfect through Jesus who showed us right living despite circumstances.

  49. street says:

    Jesus said of the scribes and pharisees that they refused to enter the Kingdom of Heaven and were preventing others from doing so. He also spoke of first getting the board out of your own eye so that you “will” see clearly to take the speck out of your bothers eye. that is an incredible promise. sometimes we like to chose who our brothers our, but in reality it is God who does this.

    thinking Jesus said you will not see me again till you say blessed is He who comes in the Name of the LORD.

    can a leopard change it’s spots?

    faith changes everything, new creation.

  50. Beloved says:

    Psalm2 has been on my mind this week.

  51. Beloved says:

    Back to a time to wonder; I just read this. Could this be a reason there’s so much trouble seeing God for who He really is like Mart says?

    It is the native property of the divine Word never to make its appearance without disturbing Satan, and rousing his opposition.

    —John Calvin

  52. street says:

    thinking about this intense hate for sin.
    Jesus and God condemned sin on the cross. condemning sin in a sinless body to destroy sin and give life to the elect, sinners. how much more so in an unrepentant wretch. to say God is going to save everyone, then who is He pouring His wrath out on in Revelation? or better yet who are the other that were given for others?

    Proverbs 21:18
    The wicked is a ransom for the righteous, And the treacherous is in the place of the upright.

    Isaiah 35:10
    And the ransomed of the Lord will return And come with joyful shouting to Zion, With everlasting joy upon their heads. They will find gladness and joy, And sorrow and sighing will flee away.

    Judges 18:10
    When you enter, you will come to a secure people with a spacious land; for God has given it into your hand, a place where there is no lack of anything that is on the earth.”

    Isaiah 43:3
    “For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I have given Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in your place.

    thinking of the Potter.

  53. jeff1 says:

    It is in seeing how God is patient with me that I am reminded of His goodness and mercy.

    I can only see from my own limited standpoint but I know God has not forsaken me in the past and so I can trust Him in the present and with the future.

    As it is 50 years since the start of the troubles here and I hear of rioting on the streets today then I know that men cannot solve their own problems but need God to.

    It is focusing on the beauty in the world i.e music, art, poetry and nature that I see God and enjoy the wonders that He has created.

    When it comes to understanding people then I admit I am often left baffled as to why others behave or act the way they do.

    I am very glad that it is God who is in control of all things and why I can find peace today in the midst of a country where it seems history keeps repeating itself.

    The King of Love my Shepherd is
    Whose goodness faileth never
    I nothing lack if I am His
    And He is mine forever
    And He is mine forever

    Where streams of living water flow
    My ransomed soul He leadeth
    And where the verdant pastures grow
    With food celestial feedeth

    Never failing, Ruler of my heart
    Everlasting, Lover of my soul
    On the mountain high or in the valley low
    The King of Love my Shepherd is
    The King of Love my Shepherd is

    Lost and foolish off I strayed
    But yet in love He sought me
    And on His shoulder gently laid
    And home rejoicing brought me

    In death’s dark veil I fear no ill
    With Thee, dear Lord, beside me
    Thy rod and staff my comfort still
    Thy cross before to guide me

  54. Beloved says:

    Viv I thought of you when I saw a news report of the riots there. How scary for you and I prayed for your protection and peace.

  55. Beloved says:

    I was thinking this is a good time for your son to be away as the younger ones seem to be targets, am I right?

  56. street says:

    17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.

    eating drinking rioting judging condemning dividing, thinking of the approval of sinners or the righteous? blessed is he who’s approval does not condemn him.

    the government shall rest on His Shoulders. at lot of unrest from lawless governing. interesting they see unrighteousness in others and not in themselves. when they inflict this pain or punishment on others what crime did they commit? seems pretty indiscriminate.

    thinking how people receiving mercy upsets people who want justice. humility is the way forward. thinking of david and absolon again. you can through joab in there too.

  57. jeff1 says:

    I don’t listen to the news but it was my neighbour spoke of the rioting.

    Thank you for your prayers and I am keeping my mind on Jesus and not letting those who are bent on causing trouble disturb my peace.

    I am not living near where the rioting is but it causes bad feeling in the smaller communities as well because we hoped we had seen an end to all of that and in our minds had moved on but there are many with old wounds that have not healed and disturbances like this can cause further hurt and unrest as this is a fragile peace process at best.

  58. Beloved says:

    Praise God for answer to prayer! My daughter in law sent me a video of my 3 granddaughters singing a song they learned in vacation Bible school! I am so thrilled they finally allowed them to go after years of praying. Pray with me that Gods word will take root in their little hearts and minds. They are 4, 7, and 10.

  59. Beloved says:

    Evening Hymn

    O God, whose daylight leadeth down
    Into the sunless way,
    Who with restoring sleep dost crown
    The labour of the day!

    What I have done, Lord, make it clean
    With thy forgiveness dear;
    That so to-day what might have been,
    To-morrow may appear.

    And when my thought is all astray,
    Yet think thou on in me;
    That with the new-born innocent day
    My soul rise fresh and free.

    Nor let me wander all in vain
    Through dreams that mock and flee;
    But even in visions of the brain,
    Go wandering toward thee.

    George MacDonald

  60. foreverblessed says:

    What if we have our motives searched, most and above all else?

    –God search me and try me–

    David writes that in Psalm 139,

    He starts with it, then in the end he tells what his thoughts are:

    Psalm 139:19-22 “If only You would slay the wicked”

    And then again David writes:

    Psalm 139:23 “Search me and try my heart”

    As if he was thinking, that slaying of the wicked that I want God to do, let God try my deepest motives about that.

  61. foreverblessed says:

    Do I want God to slay the wicked because the bible says so?
    And I do want that what is in the Bible to be so, otherwise I cannot trust the bible, if it says one thing, but deep down there is a deeper meaning to it?

    Do I get angry at God, that what appears to be written is really not so?
    God is not a revengeful God.

    The revenge that comes from God is always to bring to repentance, not to release His anger.

    And He pours out His wrath not to destroy us, but so that we come to our senses.

    So that is the question:
    God search me

  62. bratimus says:

    The question is, “Will everyone come to their senses?”
    Isiah 56:9-12

  63. poohpity says:

    If the things we read in scripture do not lead one to believe God is loving, merciful, good then as George MacDonald says put off judgement and wait for a better understanding.

    It is better to live with mystery and wonder than to, as Mart put it; “than to embrace widely held, possible interpretations of Scripture (including possible but not necessary interpretations of the words of Jesus) that “don’t” rise to the level of One we would want to trust and love with all of our heart, strength, and mind.”

    I think it takes getting out of our own minds and perspectives as we put all the pieces together rather than just picking bits and pieces to come to an uninformed opinion. Taking a sentence here and there not even finishing a whole sentence in most cases to come to a conclusion which often does not have all the facts straight yet one still speaks from their own understanding which often is out of left field and is really biased by human thinking and reasoning rather than from God. If we only waited for God to lead us and guide us into His word instead of trying to figure it out on our own.

  64. poohpity says:

    I pray before I read scripture daily for God to show me what it is that He wants me to learn about Him and how He has dealt with humanity and how it applies to my daily life, life application to teach me His ways. I guess that is one of the reason that I never tire of reading His word always something new to learn and practice. Such a loving God that takes the time to nurture me even knowing everything about me yet still wants to show me and never gives up even when I mess up so often.

  65. bratimus says:

    Opps that is Isaiah 56:9-12

  66. street says:

    slaying the wicked!
    it is promised that this will happen.
    the Father said to Jesus sit at My Right Hand till I make your enemy a footstool for Your Feet.
    God is actively doing this today.

    as for seeking justice and loving mercy we are to take up our cross, justice, and follow Jesus.

    job said even if He slay me i will trust in Him. God made him a priest in interceding for his 3 friends, whom God’s anger burned against.

    thinking about debts and forgiveness. the justice of grace and mercy. r c called it a non justice. could it be the gift of God?

  67. jeff1 says:

    I’ve come too far to look back again

    I’ve come too far to look back again
    There is nothing behind me
    All the treasures I used to love
    Have all faded from view
    There’s a new day ahead for me
    All my heartache is over
    For I left it at Calvary
    Where my new life began

    I’ve come too far to look back
    My feet have walked through the valley
    I’ve climbed mountains, crossed rivers
    Dessert places I’ve known
    But I’m nearing the home shore
    The redeemed are rejoicing
    Heaven’s angels are singing
    I’ve gone too far to look back

    Look around, there’s no happiness
    There’s no reason for living
    Life will give you a broken dream
    Full of sorrow and fear
    Turn around, don’t look back again
    Face the new day before you
    Place your heartache in Jesus’ hand
    He can mend broken dreams
    I’ve come too far to look back
    My feet have walked through the valley
    I’ve climbed mountains, crossed rivers
    Dessert places I’ve known
    But I’m nearing the home shore
    The redeemed are rejoicing
    Heaven’s angels are singing
    I’ve gone too far to look back

    Heaven’s angels are singing
    I’ve gone to far to look back.

  68. street says:

    If we only waited for God to lead us and guide us into His word instead of trying to figure it out on our own.

    waiting or trusting, living by faith. it could be both. it depends on God’s choice. abraham did a lot of waiting, and nation building. yet it never stopped God’s plan or Sovereignty from moving forward. God’s promises to abraham came true. the question is on what basis did they come true?

    thinking of another man of God on a mountain who tells us about abraham.

    thinking of adam and how the world had changed prior to the appearance of noah.

    it seems oral traditions and histories are not enough.

    it seems the exodus of israel from egypt is a good backdrop to see God. one thing you must never forget is

    Moses then said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke of when he said:

    “‘Among those who approach me
    I will be proved holy;
    in the sight of all the people
    I will be honored.’”

    Aaron remained silent.

    Numbers 16:5
    Then he said to Korah and all his followers: “In the morning the Lord will show who belongs to him and who is holy, and he will have that person come near him. The man he chooses he will cause to come near him.

    Matthew 11:28 Jesus said,
    “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.

    John 6:37
    All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.

    John 16:33
    These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me, Jesus, you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

    God’s will be done, the redemption of man and the Glory of God. A Time not to wander. a time to look for the lost. a time for specks. a time for home runs. just thinking.

  69. street says:

    RELATED WORDS for tribulation, dictionary com
    heartache, misfortune, grief, misery, woe, adversity, distress, affliction, worry, blow, curse, oppression, bummer, wretchedness, sorrow, downer, crucible, visitation, difficulty, suffering

  70. Beloved says:

    A time to wonder

    Romans1 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

  71. Beloved says:

    A time to wonder

    Reading further, in Romans9-12 Paul does an excellent job of thrashing out the mystery of God. I think I will leave it at that, God chose a brilliant scholar to teach us all about Gods redemption plan. I have nothing to say but thank you Jesus for the understanding I’ve been given to know You and the power behind your great sacrifice for me and all who believe. Amen

  72. street says:

    Daniel 9 a prayer recorded

    thinking about the conversation of whether to let abraham know of the destruction that was coming on the two cities.

    Isaiah 58:2
    “Yet they seek Me day by day and delight to know My ways, As a nation that has done righteousness And has not forsaken the ordinance of their God. They ask Me for just decisions, They delight in the nearness of God.

    Jeremiah 9:24
    but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.

    a people who need mercy. a people who need
    The LORD, our Righteousness and Salvation.

  73. poohpity says:

    Please pray for me as I travel to N.C. tomorrow for 10 days to visit my cousins. I brought 4 little New Testaments to give out to whomever the Lord directs my way and some tracks that share about Jesus. Pray this will be a time to share the Lord with those who may have not heard the Good News. My cousins are already believers but there may be someone at the airport or along the way that the Lord has opened their heart to receive Him. I hope to come home empty handed but full hearted, lol. Thank you.

  74. SFDBWV says:

    When I was in high school English we were required to read classic poetry and then as a class give our own personal interpretations of what we “got” out of the poem.

    Obviously there were as various a view as you could imagine especially from teenagers. Then there was the “accepted” intellectual view that aligned itself with scholars who considered themselves to see things as they should be seen.

    The same applies to the reading of Scripture because the common denominator in the mix is human nature.

    What MacDonald is basically saying is that if you can’t see God the way you expect then trust the unexpected to a lack of understanding.

    Said that way I fully agree.

    There is just no ignoring the stark difference between the language expressed in the OT about the consequence of disobedience and the free pardon from it in the NT.

    Nor can the harsh treatment of so many people other than the main characters given in the OT be ignored especially when compared to the idea of unconditional forgiveness commanded in the NT.

    It is a huge leap of faith to ignore what you read so clearly expressed so that your view of God remains as seen as only a “good and loving God”.

    Of course what remains is that instead of making a human judgement of God being a cruel taskmaster from what you have read, to withholding judgement in favor of just not understanding things from a higher spiritual view and trusting what you don’t understand to God.

    I can personally tell you, His answers will satisfy when once you hear them from Him.

    Hope all of you have a pleasant and uneventful day, at peace and content.

    Steve

  75. Beloved says:

    Good morning Steve always fun to read your posts. I agree and also think that without love however we read scripture is going to turn out badly. Like dust in the air. Personally, I prefer to love and be loved; a rare commodity these days. Praying for a boring day with thoughts on Jesus for you also. Like resting in a green valley.

  76. Beloved says:

    Praying that receivers of Bibles everywhere will find Jesus. I stole my first Bible out of a motel after I was married. Didn’t understand a word of it until I asked Jesus to save me and forgive my sins. Hallelujah! Sending Bibles overseas is very good right now. Open Doors is a good organization to work through.

    I’m kind of surprised that Pooh is able to travel. God strengthen her and be her help.

  77. street says:

    I can personally tell you, His answers will satisfy when once you hear them from Him.

    you are on the same page with oswald chambers today steve 8/16/2019 Does He Know Me?

    only God can satisfy a human soul.

    blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness…

    i find it interesting even as mary knew the Lord, we like her can lose the closeness to Him. sometimes like when He sent the disciples in a boat out to sea without His presents. we are told He will watch over our coming in and goings out. Truly a Good Shepard. david knew there was no place apart from Him. does that bring comfort or despair? what are you holding onto that causes despair?

    Ephesians 6:12
    For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

    Romans 8:37-39

    37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    in Him or in sin. there is no agreement between light and darkness. a little leaven …. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

  78. jeff1 says:

    Go before us, Lord, in all our doings, with your most gracious favour,
    and further us with your continual help;
    that in all our works begun, continued and ended in you,
    we may glorify your holy name,
    and finally by your mercy attain everlasting life;
    through Jesus Christ our Lord.

  79. Beloved says:

    Psalm 130
    A Pilgrim Song

    3-4 If you, God, kept records on wrongdoings,
    who would stand a chance?
    As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit,
    and that’s why you’re worshiped.

  80. street says:

    a habit of love!

    should we go on sinning?

    NO!!!

    trained in righteousness for His Name sake.

    our righteousness, Christ, to be conformed to His Image.

    truly LORD, and truly loved.

  81. jeff1 says:

    HIGH AND HOLY SOVEREIGN GOD

    All existence flows from You,
    High and holy Sovereign God.
    Greatness, goodness, pure and true,
    High and holy Sovereign God!
    All-transcending Source and Goal,
    Mighty God, our Father!
    All is peace in Your control,
    High and holy Sovereign God.

    Who can harm us in Your hand,
    High and holy Sovereign God?
    Who can block what Grace has planned,
    High and holy Sovereign God?
    Who can part us from Your love,
    Mighty God, our Father?
    None below and none above,
    High and holy Sovereign God!

    Fill our vision day by day,
    High and holy Sovereign God!
    Fill and rule this house of clay,
    High and holy Sovereign God!
    Lift our small and fearful hearts,
    Mighty God, our Father!
    Fill our faith with all You are,
    High and holy Sovereign God!

  82. Beloved says:

    “Only By Grace” Lyrics
    by Graham Kendrick
    from the album Amazing Love

    Only by grace can we enter
    Only by grace can we stand
    Not by our human endeavor
    But by the blood of the Lamb

    Into Your presence You call us
    You call us to come
    Into Your presence You draw us
    And now by Your grace we come
    Now by Your grace we come

    Lord if You mark our transgressions
    Who would stand
    Thanks to Your grace we are cleansed
    By the blood of the Lamb.

  83. foreverblessed says:

    I am praying for Pooh, especially for the people God will send to her!

    Bratimus, “will they come to their senses?”
    Only God knows!

    That’s why I think we should keep it open too,
    and be like God, Who is Love, and Love always hopes.
    1 Cor 13:7

  84. Beloved says:

    My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less

    My hope is built on nothing less
    Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
    I dare not trust the sweetest frame
    But wholly lean on Jesus’ name

    On Christ the solid Rock I stand
    All other ground is sinking sand
    All other ground is sinking sand

    When darkness hides His lovely face
    I rest on His unchanging grace
    In every high and stormy gale
    My anchor holds within the veil

    His oath, His covenant, His blood
    Support me in the whelming flood
    When all around my soul gives way
    He then is all my hope and stay

    When He shall come with trumpet sound
    Oh may I then in Him be found
    Dressed in His righteousness alone
    Faultless to stand before the throne

    On Christ the solid Rock I stand
    All other ground is sinking sand
    All other ground is sinking sand

  85. Beloved says:

    Any kind of “wondering” built on the sandy soil of popular opinion is doomed if Jesus is not the rock solid foundation of faith. From the garden to the last day Jesus is promised and will return for His own. Oh happy day!

  86. Beloved says:

    Forever I like that, love always hopes! I was thinking about the opposite of hope;

    Hope Antonyms | Thesaurus.com
    disbelief. dislike. distrust. doubt. fear. hate. hatred. hopelessness.

    I’d rather choose love!

  87. SFDBWV says:

    I am not at all qualified to speak about “Word Press”, however if Mart and his cohorts can’t fix the problem with it concerning BTA it certainly has a tech problem or perhaps better stated a “tech-less” problem.

    Odd how having what I may want to say held off because of how it is presented. More easily understood is how what others write is just plain difficult to read in this present method.

    Of course the alternative may be not able to write or read anything.

    At any rate I am sure it is frustrating for Mart to have BTA in such a condition.

    I have often wondered if since each subject is filed under a subject as this on being under “Bible, trust, wisdom” that somewhere in Mart’s future plans are a book about all the wild, wacky as well as wise and gifted ideas of his “friends” in his search and thoughts of our faith.

    It has always been my aim to encourage as well as enlighten along with giving enough of my personal self to make it all the more friendly and personal at the price of occasionally clashing with others.

    Every day a test and hopefully some growth.

    Thank you all for your thoughts and the giving of yourselves over these years in whatever format. My hope that all of you enjoy a very blessed day

    Steve

  88. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks you Steve, for all your well-wishes, blessings.
    Thank you also for all the sharing that you did!
    Matt and Glenna, and you, are on my prayerlist.

    Hope- all will be well, we will find out in the end.
    As you have shared too, in your dream ( or vision), that all questions were answered.

    We live in faith now, while not yet having seen that what was prinses…
    Hebrews 11:13-16

    Thank you all for sharing, and being part here as a blog family.
    Been thinking is no longer part of Our Daily Bread,
    So I am prepared to live without it.
    I hope everybody has other christians in their physical nearness, people to pray with, when their is no digital ( or ethereal= through internet) connection.
    And otherwise I pray that God will provide for a christian fellowship.

    I thank Mart for the opportunity, I was attracted to his writings, because he is always looking for the nuances.

    We are here on earth to find the relation with Jesus,
    It is about a relation with the Son of Man, who brings us back to the Father!

    Not about doctrines and creeds.
    Today at church, somebody said to me:
    We all have some convictions that are not 100% the Truth.
    We should allow for some error, as we ourselves have not all 100% true.

    That is also this topic, hold of judgments, about the more negative things Jesus said, we might not understand what Jesus really meant to say.

    As I was wrong about some bible verses ( the sabbath as a sign for christians), God still went after me, He searched for me…

    Living in faith in Jesus,
    His righteousness being imputed to me,
    That in itself is a mystery, as Street wrote.
    We live in the constant stream of Spititual strength that flows from Jesus, through us to others…

    The Grace of God by which we live.
    In Him we live and move and have our being
    Acts 17:28

    Become as children…..
    So simple

    Jesus is the Way, the LIFE and the Truth.

    If I would wonder if I am on the right way….
    Then the simplicity of this bible verse has not gone deep enough into my soul, mind and heart:
    If I live in faith in Jesus,
    I am on the Right Way: Jesus Himself!

    Oh, that I would become more like a child.

    The Kingdom of God is for one of these..

    Matthew 19:14
    Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

    God bless you all
    In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

  89. Beloved says:

    What does it mean to come as a little child I was wondering? Children by nature are curious and full of wonder. Makes sense to me.

    Thank you to Mart and all fellow travelers here, BTA has been my home away from Home for several years now. My life is pretty boring compared to most here, but that’s my temperament and love to meditate. Currently reading The Shadow of Calvary by Hugh Martin which is full of thoughts to meditate on. I’m so blessed by good writers that make you think. Having the Holy Spirit to guide is wonderful! What a gift we’ve been given aside from the cross/redemption. May your day/evening be full of light and life in the Spirit. In Jesus’Name amen.

  90. Beloved says:

    Prayer needed as we have a would be rapist attacking women just outside the building here, twice. My windows face the wooded area he’s hid in. Unnerving to say the least and unusual. Hoping he’s caught soon. I’m amazingly calm though, must be Jesus keeping me safe!

  91. Beloved says:

    Please pray with me that he would be brought into Gods court for justice and receive new life and mercy with grace abounding. Also healing for his victims.

  92. jeff1 says:

    Oh, well, He’s so high (so high you can’t get over Him)
    So wide (so wide you can’t get around Him)
    So low (so low you can’t get under him)
    Great God Almighty (you must come in at the door)

    Lord, He is high (so high you can’t get over Him)
    He is wide (so wide you can’t get around Him)
    I know he’s so low (so low you can’t get under him)
    A mighty lamb (you must come in at the door)

    Well I went down in the valley
    You know I did over there stay
    My soul got happy in the valley
    You know I stayed right there all day

    He is high (so high you can’t get over Him)
    He is wide (so wide you can’t get around Him)
    I know he’s so low (so low you can’t get under him)
    A mighty lamb (you must come in at the door)

    Well I ain’t been to heaven
    But I, I am told
    The streets, the streets are pearl
    You know the mighty-mighty-mighty gates are gold

    He is high (so high you can’t get over Him)
    So wide (so wide you can’t get around Him)
    So low (so low you can’t get under him)
    Great God Almighty (you must come in at the door)

    He is high (so high you can’t get over Him)
    He is wide (so wide you can’t get around Him)
    I know he’s so low (so low you can’t get under him)
    A mighty lamb (you must come in at the door)

    And He is high (so high you can’t get over Him)
    So wide (so wide you can’t get around Him)
    I know He’s so low (so low you can’t get under him)
    A mighty lamb (you must come in at the door)

  93. jeff1 says:

    You may ask me how I know my Lord is real (my Lord is real)
    You may doubt the things I say and doubt the way I feel (the way I feel)
    But I know He’s real today, He’ll always be (He’ll always be)
    I can feel His hand in mine and that’s enough for me

    I will never walk alone, He holds my hand (He holds my hand)
    He will guide each step I take
    And if I fall I know He’ll understand
    Till the day He tells me why He loves me so (He loves me so)
    I can feel His hand in mine
    That’s all I need to know

    I will never walk alone, He holds my hand (He holds my hand)
    He will guide each step I take
    And if I fall I know He’ll understand
    Till the day He tells me why He loves me so (He loves me so)
    I can feel His hand in mine
    That’s all I need to know

    I can feel His hand in mine
    That’s all I need to know

    I can feel His hand in mine
    That’s all I need to know

  94. street says:

    What does it mean to come as a little child I was wondering?

    i was taught trusting and dependent.

    thinking of the song never failed me yet.

    aka perseverance of the saints.

    thinking of jacob wrestling and walking away with a limp and a blessing.

  95. Beloved says:

    I was taught to never trust, anybody! But I never lost my curiosity and wonder. Amazing! Grace! Jesus I trust, He’s been faithful since I first thought about then met Him. He’s been a good parent, Father, helper and friend to me.

  96. street says:

    trust is only as good as the person you put it in. from my perspective, Jesus has not failed, nor will He ever.

    thinking i need to see Him some day. like mary and thomas.

    yes i trust He is risen and God…..some day soon…..

    the joy before me….following is need for grace and mercy….not only for me, but for others too.

  97. Beloved says:

    Jesus, I trust in You.

  98. Beloved says:

    What I meant to say was I learned not to trust anybody because my own parents were not trustworthy. A challenge but a cross made specifically for me to carry. He is trustworthy, even through Christians who broke my attempts at trusting, however, I am learning the walk of faith is meant to be solitary because the narrow way is wide enough for me and Jesus. I really can’t see other pilgrims but that I think is His kindness keeping my focus on Him. What a wonderful future is in store for me! Bless His Holy name, Jesus.

  99. Beloved says:

    God bless you, street.

  100. Beloved says:

    Scripture is not in our power, nor in the ability of our mind. Therefore, in its study we must in no way rely on our own understanding, but we must become humble, and pray that He may bring that understanding to us.

    —Martin Luther

  101. jeff1 says:

    Our journey’s are so very different, Beloved, I had parents that I could trust and perhaps why I have found it so difficult to find others who are that trustworthy.

    Diversity is very much the world stage today and I find that I am struggling in this world because I was insulated rather than exposed to it.

    God provides as I have others around me who are much better at navigating this world and I have a strong faith though I still struggle with difficult questions mostly from those who do not believe in God.

    I don’t need God to prove Himself to me but there are many doubting Thomas’s who want more proof and so faith is a challenge in a world that believes God doesn’t exist and couple that with I act as if He doesn’t exist myself at times and I wonder why God is so faithful and the answer to that is that His love is unchanging while my relationship with Him as been more on a changing basis.

    It was my dad who knew God well and I put that down to his obedience as he was a very disciplined man which came from a strict Christian upbringing and military service.

    He didn’t question God but seen that he was here to do God’s will and so just obeyed as it seemed that simple to him but of course for myself it has never been that simplistic.

    It has taken me a life time to see that God chooses His disciples and why I see regeneration happening all around me because God works but just not quite as I expected and I believe that comes down to having my head too long up my own backside (excuse the expression) to see the forest for the trees.

    There Is A Redeemer

    There is a redeemer
    Jesus, God’s own Son
    Precious Lamb of God, Messiah
    Holy One

    Jesus my redeemer
    Name above all names
    Precious Lamb of God, Messiah
    Oh, for sinners slain

    Thank you, oh my father
    For giving us Your Son
    And leaving Your Spirit
    ‘Til the work on Earth is done

    When I stand in Glory
    I will see His face
    And there I’ll serve my King forever
    In that Holy Place

    Thank you, oh my father
    For giving us Your Son
    And leaving Your Spirit
    ‘Til the work on Earth is done

    There is a redeemer
    Jesus, God’s own Son
    Precious Lamb of God, Messiah
    Holy One

    Thank you, oh my father
    For giving us Your Son
    And leaving Your Spirit
    ‘Til the work on Earth is done

    And leaving Your Spirit
    ‘Til the work on Earth is done

  102. Beloved says:

    “Few delights can equal the mere presence of one whom we trust utterly.”
    ― George MacDonald

  103. Regina says:

    Good Evening, All
    I pray all is well in your lives. I’m very tired right now. Had a long day of activity, and I wish I had more energy to comment on this blog topic. Want to say, though, before I turn in for the night that I agree with Steve re: the wonky format of this blog site right now. The font size is so small it’s hard to read the comments, and I’m SO ready for the problem to be fixed. I wish we all could get together for a face to face conversation on all of the current events going on in our country and abroad. Wouldn’t that be one of the most interesting conversations you’ve ever had?! Well, sadly, I have to say bye for now because my eyelids are heavy with a desire to close, get some much needed rest and awaken to a brand new day.

    97 degrees and partly cloudy in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,
    Regina

  104. Beloved says:

    Hi Regina, I noticed when I go to log in the font size changes. It’s a mess! But hope that helps the tech to pinpoint where the problem lies. Maybe..

  105. Beloved says:

    I know WordPress isn’t free so would be willing to help with a monetary donation. I’m sure others would be willing to help also, maybe an upgrade is what it needs. Let us know Mart. Blessings to you!

  106. SFDBWV says:

    To say the least the study and investigation of our faith is at best exhausting. Every intellectual view that comes into conflict with what the Bible says is left for us to make fit into what we want to believe.

    Our mind (flesh) always at odds with our faith.

    Very easy to say the old self dies and we become new, but our minds still see what is seen and still comprehends what is given to understand.

    Billy Graham once stated concerning whether or not one had committed the unforgiveable sin in this way, “if you are worried about it, it hasn’t happened.”

    So I can feel safer in saying that when discerning things sometimes we may wonder; is that the Holy Spirit speaking to me or my intellect (flesh)?

    It is why I have stated before that I envy those who are less of thinkers and more simple in faith.

    Of course then there is the “fiery trials”, as Peter put it, that we encounter daily. We are then told to rejoice in as much as we are partakers of Christ’s sufferings.

    Faith and hope sees beyond such troubles.

    Faith and trust also see beyond what we don’t understand.

    Blessings to all.

    Steve

  107. foreverblessed says:

    Difference in understanding…
    When we are in Christ, we are on the Way
    – I am the Way –

    What we saw as wrong: adverse situations,
    Later turns into something beautiful.

    Steve wrote:
    We are then told to rejoice in as much as we are partakers of Christ’s sufferings.

    Rejoice!!!
    Have I rejoiced when treated wrongly?
    Oh, my God please be with me, and give me that Joy from heaven,
    That joy that is not from the earth!

    This morning we were talking together in the big old church of our city, ( oecumenical prayer)
    That the “Beatitudes” start with:
    Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

    In our start with the Lord the Holy Spirit comforts!

    I liken it with a ladder, or a line that circles, higher and higher and higher, but also over and over again being comforted

    We start of being comforted,
    No, that is not true:
    We start of: when we have come to the end of ourselves: and SEE that we need a Savior, Jesus.
    Matt 5:3
    Blessed are the poor in spirit
    Step one
    We start our walk with Jesus when we are poor in spirit, like a child that knows it needs his mom and dad.

    Then blessed are those who mourn
    ( For our past losses, tribulations, chains…)

    We come to a next adverse situation, we bring our distress tot Jesus
    ( Come to Me all who are heavy laden)
    And we are comforted again.

    Distress ( ours and we give it to Jesus, we lay it at the Cross) – comfort ( that is given by the Spirit and comes from Jesus)
    Tribulation – comfort

    And it ends with:
    Matthew 5:11-12
    Blessed are you when people insult you…
    Wow what words of Jesus!

    12 Rejoice and be glad!

    Peter is citing Jesus!
    1 Peter 4:13
    But rejoice that you participate in the suffering of Christ,
    So that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed.

    How many of you have experienced that JOY?

    Often we suffer because of our own wrong decisions, independent of God,
    1 Peter 2:20-25,19

    But when doing good, and endure it
    Blessed are you, Jesus would say

  108. Beloved says:

    Forever I just read from Corrie Ten Boom:

    If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed.
    If you look within, you’ll be depressed.
    If you look at Christ, you’ll be at rest.

  109. Beloved says:

    It takes grace to endure suffering. Gods good grace as seen on the cross of Christ. Thank Him for that grace. And ask for more if needed. He is faithful.

  110. Beloved says:

    Often we suffer because of our own wrong decisions, independent of God,

    Yes David certainly was an example of suffering for wrong decisions, yet He was memorialized as a man after God’s own heart! His grace abounds and never fails even the weakest of reeds.

  111. Beloved says:

    A Time To Wonder

  112. jeff1 says:

    I’ve had many tears and sorrows,
    I’ve had questions for tomorrow,
    there’s been times I didn’t know right from wrong.
    But in every situation,
    God gave me blessed consolation,
    that my trials come to only make me strong.

    Through it all,
    through it all,
    I’ve learned to trust in Jesus,
    I’ve learned to trust in God.

    Through it all,
    through it all,
    I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.

    I’ve been to lots of places,
    I’ve seen a lot of faces,
    there’s been times I felt so all alone.
    But in my lonely hours,
    yes, those precious lonely hours,
    Jesus lets me know that I was His own

    Through it all,
    through it all,
    I’ve learned to trust in Jesus,
    I’ve learned to trust in God.

    Through it all,
    through it all,
    I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.

    I thank God for the mountains,
    and I thank Him for the valleys,
    I thank Him for the storms He brought me through.
    For if I’d never had a problem,
    I wouldn’t know God could solve them,
    I’d never know what faith in God could do.

  113. SFDBWV says:

    Many decades ago now a cousin who became a Mormon so loved me that she sent me a “Mormon Bible” and later had some polite young boys stop by to give me their sales pitch.

    Of course I was cordial and polite to these young fellows as I know they are far from their homes and on their two year mission, but I did say up front if they were here to try and convert me it just would not work.

    They tried anyway.

    After a couple visits they said their goodbyes and did not return.

    I did read through the “Mormon Bible that Janet had sent me out of curiosity and what I discovered was that it was dry, unconvincing and “dead”.

    Like reading any fictional writing, except it wasn’t good reading as some fiction can be.

    Of course what was missing was the Holy Spirit that supernatural entity that comes alive from the written Word as you read through it.

    They named the “Living Bible” correctly when Tyndale published it, as the Holy Bible as given is alive and can speak to us if we listen to it.

    My spirit and the Holy Spirit is connected in such a way that He bears witness of Himself and I can recognize Him.

    Here is something I have learned, the Holy Spirit opens my mind and heart to things He wants me to know at a time when I am ready to receive it and only the Holy Spirit can know when that time is. I don’t.

    What and when He informs me is going to be different than with everyone else. We can share what God has opened to us, but unless that other person has either already been informed or open to realizing the personal relationship we each have with God, they may not understand or even agree.

    But not agreeing doesn’t mean that either party is in error for their understanding, as it is always going to be very personal.

    Withholding judgement is very important to understanding not only Scripture, but in relationship to how another has been informed. Interpretation may in this sense be different than being informed by way of the Holy Spirt. As if we try to interpret intellectually instead of waiting for instruction from the author we may “rush to judgement” and be in error.

    Listen to what another has to say and if you disagree maybe the best thing to say is that the Holy Spirit hasn’t opened me up to that as yet and leave it be.

    As said take it to God in prayer, don’t shoot from the hip and end up shooting yourself in the foot.

    Steve

  114. Beloved says:

    The New Covenant
    (Jeremiah 31:26-40)
    6Now, however, Jesus has received a much more excellent ministry, just as the covenant He mediates is better and is founded on better promises. 7For if that first covenant had been without fault, no place would have been sought for a second. 8But God found fault with the people and said:

    “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord,
    when I will make a new covenant
    with the house of Israel
    and with the house of Judah.
    9It will not be like the covenant
    I made with their fathers
    when I took them by the hand
    to lead them out of the land of Egypt,
    because they did not abide by My covenant,
    and I disregarded them,
    declares the Lord.
    10For this is the covenant I will make
    with the house of Israel
    after those days,
    declares the Lord.
    I will put My laws in their minds,
    and inscribe them on their hearts.
    And I will be their God,
    and they will be My people.
    11No longer will each one teach his neighbor or his brother,
    saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
    because they will all know Me,
    from the least of them to the greatest.
    12For I will forgive their iniquities
    and will remember their sins no more.”b
    13By speaking of a new covenant,c He has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.

  115. Beloved says:

    Previous reference was from reading Hebrews6-8

  116. bubbles says:

    Please pray for God to help my family and me. I can’t do all this and things keep getting worse. I am exhausted. This has been five weeks tomorrow. i began a new job and I am falling behind because I cannot do work and care for family. There are not enough hours in the day to do it all and I cannot miss work. I cannot be in two places at the same time. The family will NOT allow me to help them like I need to. Thank you

  117. Beloved says:

    Praying, bubbles.

  118. foreverblessed says:

    Praying too, Bubbles

    The song Jeff gave, yesterday,
    These words,
    How wonderful they are.

    Often I pray, may the words of this hymn become true in my heart and life.

    Steve, what a good advice, don’t judge too soon, we might not have the understanding yet.

    As a christian we start our walk with Christ,
    We follow a Person
    Not a set of rules.

    Beloved posted Hebrews 8:6-13
    I read it in my bible, and went on to Hebrews 10:1-25
    What a great comfort came over me, after having read it.

    We are under the New Covenant, a strong connection between me and Jesus.
    He signed the contract with me with His own blood.
    With that blood my conscience is cleansed.
    A clean conscience!
    And having our bodies washed with pure water!

    I am now in Jesus, His Spirit strengghening me, every time I look up in faith, through the day, starting in the morning, when I open my eyes,
    The Hebrews writer says: encourage one another to connect to Jesus, more and more.
    In Him we move and have our being!
    Acts 17:28
    But how often I do it on my own, take up my worries and carry them myself.
    How hard it is to give everything to Jesus
    Matt 11:28

    Hebrews says:
    Let us draw near to God
    with a sincere heart
    in full assurance of faith,
    having our hearts sprinkled
    to cleanse us from a guilty conscience
    and having our bodies washed with pure water.

    When our bodies are washed with pure water,
    we see more and more clear what the Truth is:

    “I am … the Truth…”
    Jesus said in John 14:6

    I just was so encouraged yesterday , by what you all wrote,
    Thank you
    May God bless us and cleanse us more and more,
    In the water and the blood of Jesus
    Maarten Luther said

  119. foreverblessed says:

    Or rather:
    Let us realise more and more that through faith in Jesus, we are already cleansed

  120. foreverblessed says:

    – Maarten Luther said –

    I was going to say something that really hit me years ago.

    Luther gave an analogy what it is to be a christian,

    “You burn your boat, and follow Jesus”

    In that time they sailed the ocean and arrived in America, if you would burn your boat there on the shore, there is no way back,
    No civilization, just nature

    You and Jesus

    That’s how drastic our life changes when we follow Jesus.
    But my christianity had become following a set of rules, even though they came out of the bible, nevertheless…

    Jesus is the Truth

    That sounds so vague in the beginning.

    But Jesus is also the Way,

    I had to start of walking with Him…
    In faith and trust in Jesus, that whatever happens Je is with me.

    I also had to learn to resist actively in the Name of Jesus, any doubt, worries, anxiety,
    And that that is not done in a minute

    Persevere


    If you don’t start walking in faith in Jesus, you are not on the Way

    Just set a step in faith in Jesus

  121. jeff1 says:

    Some days you may lead me through green pastures
    My heart drinks in deep the waters sweet
    And some days you may lead me through the desert
    Even then you’re still the reason
    I can say

    I am blessed beyond measure
    So far beyond what’s gained through earthly treasures

    Whatever comes my way
    still my soul will say
    I am blessed
    I am blessed.

    Through the troubled pain and disappointments
    When it seems that I have nothing left
    You will never leave me or forsake me
    I will testify until my dying breath

    I am blessed beyond measure
    So far beyond what’s gained through earthly treasures

    Whatever comes my way
    Still my soul will say
    I am blessed
    I am blessed

    You alone are my reward
    With you I want for nothing more
    And because your goodness follows me all of my days

    I am blessed beyond measure
    So far beyond what’s gained through earthly treasures
    O whatever comes my way

    Still my soul will say
    I am blessed
    I am blessed
    I am blessed
    I am blessed
    I am blessed Thank you Jesus

  122. Beloved says:

    Hebrews 12:1 ►
    New International Version
    Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

    Yesterday at bible study we talked about this, it’s always been a great encourage to me to know all the saints who have overcome are cheering me on to finish my life here well. With Christ going before us who can lose!!

  123. Beloved says:

    Thinking I should encourage the saints here more, so God bless all and keep your eyes on Jesus, you’ll always be a winner through perseverance. How blessed we are to have our eyes opened to the wonderful city of God!

  124. Beloved says:

    2 Corinthians 4:17 New International Version (NIV)

    17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

  125. foreverblessed says:

    What I was reading too, Beloved:
    Hebrews 10:32-35
    32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.

    Their property was confiscated,
    and they joyfullu accepted that!

    Has any of you thought of that? That when your property is consficated that you joyfully accept that?

    We come into this world with nothing, we can not take anything with us, when we leave,
    Except for the spritual house that we build in heaven right now/ Or that is build in heaven right now, through the Spirit

  126. Beloved says:

    Yes it happened to me early on in my walk with God. Within the first 3 years after my conversion I lost my husband, a newly built lake home with new furnishings and financial security. I found myself and 3 small children sleeping on the floor of a dingy apt with nothing but our clothes yet I was so grateful and rejoicing to have Christ as my friend who delivered me from the Enemies’ grip as I had chosen to follow Him wherever He led me. I hold nothing tightly since then and have given away many things to people in need because I know I have a better Home awaiting me.

  127. jeff1 says:

    If I worship God today it is because He is worthy of it.

    I have long given up in trying to understand or judge others because I find they are much too complex for me.

    It is God who found me when I was running from Him because of the chaos in my own life.

    I watched a programme the other night on the death of Lord Mountbatten.

    On that same day 18 British soldiers where blown up in Northern Ireland while Lord Mountbatten, his grandson and another 15 year old member of his crew was also killed in the explosion at Mullaghmore in Southern Ireland.

    A journalist speaking on the atrocity spoke of how while their was heartfelt sympathy for Lord Mountbatten’s death it was also the case that a great many did not feel the same sympathy for the loss of the 18 soldiers whom as she put it lived by the gun and therefor people felt it was justified they should die by it.

    In the programme a then member of the Irish republican army was interviewed and spoke of how the then Chief of Staff of the republican movement would have given the go ahead for both explosions which were later claimed by the IRA.

    Interestingly, the peace agreement would give a pardon to those same terrorists because it seems that those who believe that others who live by the gun should die by it don’t apply the same justice when it comes to themselves.

    The then Chief of Staff would by negotiation orchestrate a peace agreement and become the leader of the party which happens to be the political wing of the IRA and the same people who found it justifiable to kill 18 British soldiers would vote him into power.

    If your looking for truth and justice in this world then sadly you are barking up the wrong tree.

    I don’t understand the evil that men, more often, though women too will do to achieve their will but I do believe there is a God in Heaven who sees all and I am grateful that He does so because when I think of the suffering of the loved ones of those 18 soldiers killed on that fateful day and listen to that programme which portrayed the sympathy of the Irish for Lord Mountbatten but less so for the young men who put their lives on the line to defend people from terrorism then my heart goes out to the loved ones as that programme as magnified their suffering and added insult to injury.

    This world is not my home, I am just passing through, thank God.

  128. street says:

    been thinking about imagination.
    God not only imagines, but calls into being what is not. telling us the end from the beginning. God’s thinking and creative work, without darkness.

    preparing vessels for a dwelling place. a place of Glory Beauty Wisdom Honor and Power.

    of the increase of His rule and peace there will be no end.

  129. Beloved says:

    preparing vessels for a dwelling place. a place of Glory Beauty Wisdom Honor and Power.

    of the increase of His rule and peace there will be no end.

    After hearing world security councils report today this is certainly good news! Though we never know when we go or how, may be on a most mundane of days or… But abiding in Christ whatever the circumstances does take imagination, along with faith hope and love— loving God and enemies.

  130. bratimus says:

    God wills, man imagines.

    There is a big difference between God’s Will and man’s imagination.

    God’s Will is uncorruptible and man’s imaginations is very corruptible.

    In Christ Name

    Bratimus

  131. Beloved says:

    Happy Saturday all, I just read an article from CT which reminded me of Mart’s A Time To Wonder.

    When Those Who Wander Aren’t Lost
    What does it look like to be the Church while members wrestle with their faith?

  132. Beloved says:

    I’m feeling kind of depressed so been thinking about Martin Luther’s words in this great hymn:

    A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
    Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
    For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
    His craft and pow’r are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
    On earth is not his equal.
    And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
    We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us;
    The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
    His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
    One little word shall fell him.
    That word above all earthly pow’rs, no thanks to them, abideth;
    The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth;
    Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
    The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
    His kingdom is forever.

  133. Beloved says:

    BULWARK | definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary
    bulwark meaning: something that protects you from dangerous or unpleasant situations.

  134. jeff1 says:

    A well chosen hymn, Beloved, God’s truth abideth still and that is the wondrous truth that unites us.

  135. street says:

    Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.
    come to Me all you who are burdened and heavy laden and I will give you rest.
    “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.

    only God is good. He sent His Son, His only Son. His goodness un measurable and un merited. truly a place of rest in the storms of world/earth.

    paul spoke about how inconceivable it will be, to be separated from God’s love in Christ Jesus.

  136. jeff1 says:

    Hey, Lord! Its Me, Again

    Life can be so wonderful when things are going right
    Lay your head upon the pillow and sleep in peace at night.
    We forget to thank the Lord above for all His love and care
    But on nights that we have trouble we remember that He’s there.
    Hey, Lord, its me again, I’m down on my knees again,
    I know Lord, when I need a friend your always there.
    It’s been such a long long time,
    But you see Lord things where going fine, now something’s praying on my mind, Hey, Lord, its me, Hey Lord, its me.
    How can one as small as me be loved by one so great
    I’ve turned my back so often Lord but still you stand and wait.
    You offer us so much of you and yet we search for more,
    Someday you’ll here me crying Lord as I knock on heavens door, Hey, Lord, its me again, I’m down on my knees again,
    I know Lord, when I need a friend your always there.
    It’s been such a long long time, but you see Lord things where going fine, now something’s praying on my mind, Hey Lord, its me.
    Hey, Lord its me again, I’m down on my knees again, I know Lord now I need a friend, Hey Lord, its me.

  137. SFDBWV says:

    A time to wonder indeed.

    I wonder if this site will get fixed or even continue.

    I wonder why life has to be so painful.

    I wonder how I can make someone’s pain less.

    Last week we buried a woman from Viet Nam, Mia. She came here with her American husband and four children then he just left.

    She alone with her children managed to become a successful business woman and friend.

    She had her eldest son come and arrange for a burial plot just days before her death. They then decided to move two other family members from where they are buried to be alongside Mia. Something she wanted before her death.

    Expensive and lots of paperwork, but the love her children has for their mother drives their need to accomplish her last wish.

    Last night another woman, Sue, died suddenly leaving a husband with lung cancer and a daughter. Sue had been married before, but her husband died suddenly leaving her with an uncertain future.

    She married again and while these two women have little in common, they both leave people who loved them behind. They both overcame the heartaches and struggles of life and both were Christian by choice.

    According to Paul the Corinthians also wondered why the people they loved died after being promised eternal life. Also according to Paul they as well as we have inherited eternal life, but there is a hitch, for most of us we have to die first.

    While all of us have to die to self, only one special generation won’t have to die, but will be taken up.

    Just the night before last I dreamt of someone being taken up. Just like that suddenly taken up. He had just finished reading something I was allowed to see, but it in a language I couldn’t understand.

    I too wonder about a great many things, and for me it is always a time to wonder.

    Cool fall weather for us 42 last night and a cool breezy 64 right now.

    Steve

  138. jeff1 says:

    I wonder about what I don’t know and then I entrust it to God.

    I learned that when I didn’t I would let it worry me sick and how I became so ill through anxiety.

    Anxiety has robbed me of enough peace and joy and ironically I have discovered doesn’t change the circumstances of life but adds to the uncertainty of it.

    In this world I have come to expect suffering as like you Steve I have seen it all around me.

    When I focus on Jesus then I don’t ask ‘why people suffer’ but rather wonder why I see so many who don’t.

    I wonder has God got favourites or am I jealous of their lives when my own leaves a lot to be desired.

    I am left wondering and with many unanswered questions and yet deep in my sub conscious I am aware that God does love and care for me more than I can ever understand such are the complexities of life and living and dying.

    Uncloudy Day

    O they tell me of a home far beyond the skies,
    O they tell me of a home far away;
    O they tell me of a home where no storm clouds rise,
    O they tell me of an uncloudy day.

    O the land of cloudless day,
    O the land of an unclouded day,
    O they tell me of a home where no storm clouds rise,
    O they tell me of an uncloudy day.

    O they tell me of a home where my friends have gone,
    O they tell me of that land far away,
    Where the tree of life in eternal bloom
    Sheds its fragrance through the uncloudy day.

    O the land of cloudless day,
    O the land of an unclouded day,
    O they tell me of a home where no storm clouds rise,
    O they tell me of an uncloudy day.

    O they tell me of a King in His beauty there,
    And they tell me that mine eyes shall behold
    Where He sits on the throne that is whiter than snow,
    In the city that is made of gold.

    O the land of cloudless day,
    O the land of an unclouded day,
    O they tell me of a home where no storm clouds rise,
    O they tell me of an uncloudy day.

    O they tell me that He smiles on His children there,
    And His smile drives their sorrows all away;
    And they tell me that no tears ever come again
    In that lovely land of uncloudy day.

    O the land of cloudless day,
    O the land of an unclouded day,
    O they tell me of a home where no storm clouds rise,
    O they tell me of an uncloudy day

  139. Beloved says:

    I was reading Lamentations earlier and in Lamentations5 Jeremiah is also wondering not why God has brought evil and desolations upon them but when and if His favor will be returned to them. I think it’s a fairly common lament for all from time to time, depending on the circumstances where we find ourselves. But for Christ crucified we would have no hope at all! I’m blessed!

  140. jeff1 says:

    I watch the sunrise

    I watch the sunrise lighting the sky,
    Casting its shadows near.
    And on this morning bright though it be,
    I feel those shadows near me.

    But you are always close to me
    Following all my ways.
    May I be always close to you
    Following all your ways, Lord.

    I watch the sunlight shine through the clouds,
    Warming the earth below.
    And at the mid-day, life seems to say:
    I feel your brightness near me.
    For you are always . . .

    I watch the sunset fading away,
    Lighting the clouds with sleep.
    And as the evening closes its eyes,
    I feel your presence near me.
    For you are always . . .

    I watch the moonlight guarding the night,
    Waiting till morning comes.
    The air is silent, earth is at rest
    Only your peace is near me.
    Yes, you are always..

  141. Beloved says:

    My Utmost today really puts our focus on what’s important.

  142. street says:

    A Time to Wonder
    a time to pray
    a time to live

    thinking about end time events for my dad. planing for physical needs, spiritual and emotional support for honor of him and the family members. this blog will end some day and taken up by others, yet even Elijah had his separation from Elisha. a time of mentoring is over, set by the Father. to find our all in all in the grace and mercy of our loving Father. prodigal son do come home. thinking of jacob’s journey home with two wives and many children. sometimes the past seems more formidable than the future.

    25 So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. 26 Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.

    17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

    18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also.

  143. jeff1 says:

    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 Savior 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 newborn baby,
    And feel the pride and joy he brings;
    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 one 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 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!

  144. Beloved says:

    Maybe so, street, maybe so.

  145. Beloved says:

    Praying for your family street.

  146. Regina says:

    Good Evening, All
    I pray all is well with you. Whew! Had a long, busy day today. I left home for church before 6:30 am this morning. It was choir ministry Sunday for me and my choir sisters/brothers. We sang a lot of songs today because we had a guest psalmist and praise/worship team come to visit our church. We had a glorious time of blessed fellowship in the Lord! And yesterday my choir family and I went out for lunch at Chili’s restaurant. Don’t know if you all have a
    Chili’s in your neck of the woods, but the food there is pretty good. Some of my choir brothers/sisters ate too many chips with salsa, and ended up taking their meal home with them in a “to go” container. I ate all of my food while I was there (I had a vegan meal: guacamole salad (no cheese), tortilla chips and fresh salsa (I could’ve have added black beans, rice and a few warm tortillas but I wasn’t that hungry). Well, I noticed that the BTA blog page still isn’t back to normal yet, and like some others on this blog, I’m wondering if it’s ever gonna be fixed. Well, I’m getting ready to read, watch tv or listen to an NPR podcast before turning in for the night.

    90 degrees and clear with periodic clouds in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,
    Regina

  147. Regina says:

    ps. Thank you, Mart, for contacting technical support in order to find out what’s causing the gliches in the BTA blog site and get it up and running at full speed again.

  148. Beloved says:

    Turn your eyes upon Jesus
    Look full in His wonderful face
    And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
    In the light of His glory and grace

  149. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Beloved, My Utmost for His Highest speaks today of when troubles are pressing in on you and how if you try to worry your way out of the problem, you destroy His effectiveness in you, and deserve whatever you get.

    Taken from My Utmost for His Highest

    With regard to the problem that is pressing in on you right now, are you “looking unto Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2) and receiving peace from Him? If so, He will be a gracious blessing of peace exhibited in and through you. But if you only try to worry your way out of the problem, you destroy His effectiveness in you, and you deserve whatever you get. We become troubled because we have not been taking Him into account. When a person confers with Jesus Christ, the confusion stops, because there is no confusion in Him. Lay everything out before Him, and when you are faced with difficulty, bereavement, and sorrow, listen to Him say, “Let not your heart be troubled…” (John 14:27).

  150. jeff1 says:

    It’s Jesus who gives a lasting peace and why God asks me to focus on His ways and not the ways of the world.

    street says:
    August 25, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

    How can the world give me what it does not know? Whereas God has not left us as orphans but I often behave as if He does.

    If I have expectations of the world then I will get disgruntled because only God can satisfy my wondering as it is He who understands my needs.

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

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

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

  151. Beloved says:

    I think Viv my biggest problem is remembering that Jesus chose me even before I was born to be His child and enjoy eternity and now with Him forever, because I from birth and even now receive criticism and remarks that I was not worth anything to anybody. The dregs of society. But Jesus chose the worst to be His along with the best. I reminded myself today that I was chosen, CHOSEN! Amazing! Then I read psalm 119:67-72 and feel like I’m up to the fight today. Perspective is everything! Even at my lowest this past weekend God brought a very needy person to my door and I listened to her troubles and took her out to dinner. It was so wonderful to see God’s peace wash over her, and I thank God for my afflictions which open my eyes to His grace and kindness. I pray she sees the same one day.

  152. Beloved says:

    Psalm 119:67–72 (ESV): 67  Before I was afflicted I went astray,
    but now I keep your word.
    68  You are good and do good;
    teach me your statutes.
    69  The insolent smear me with lies,
    but with my whole heart I keep your precepts;
    70  their heart is unfeeling like fat,
    but I delight in your law.
    71  It is good for me that I was afflicted,
    that I might learn your statutes.
    72  The law of your mouth is better to me
    than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

  153. jeff1 says:

    I find surrendering difficult and yet I am weary of this world and its woes.

    From my perspective I need rest from it and why I take refuge in Jesus as He gives me the peace I need to continue in it.

    I have learned to take one day at a time and so not get burdened or overcome by the complexities of it and I continually remind myself that in Christ my enemies have no dominion over me.

    It is in knowing that Jesus has conquered and won the victory that keeps me fighting the good fight.

  154. Beloved says:

    FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT

    Fight the good fight With all your might;
    Christ is your strength and Christ your light.
    Lay hold on life, and it shall be
    Your joy and crown eternally.

    Run the straight race Through God’s good grace;
    Lift up your eyes and seek his face.
    Life with its way before us lies;
    Christ is the path and Christ the prize.

    Cast care aside, Lean on your guide;
    His boundless mercy will provide.
    Lean, and the trusting soul shall prove
    Christ is its life and Christ its love.

    Faint not nor fear; His arms are near.
    He changes not, and you are dear.
    Only believe, and you will see
    That Christ is Lord eternally.

  155. jeff1 says:

    My Lighthouse

    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-oh)
    Safe to shore (Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
    Safe to shore (Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
    Safe to shore

  156. foreverblessed says:

    We often sing that song in church, one songleader sings it like a country and western song.

    Time to wonder
    My husband is watching a series on tv, and it is like a fairy tale.
    The characters in the film are looking for a fleece, a holy fleece, it brings new life. They find it, have to right for it, tegen one of them dies…
    They put the fleece over her,
    After a while the pattern that is embroidered on the textile starts to glow, (in the film that gives a great effect, nice to look at) and the light of the glow goes over the dead woman, and she starts to breath again, opens her eyes..
    Oh wow
    Wonderful.

    And that is exactly what Jesus is doing in us, we were dead in sin, spiritually dead, faith in Jesus makes His Life flowing through us, and reviving us.

    Having our eyes fixed on Jesus!
    I also liked the Utmost of the last few days, the one of August 23 for instance, about praying…

    Wandering thoughts

    The disciplining of my wandering thoughts, keeping them under control of the Spirit, is a hard thing, my thoughts go all over the place,
    ” My God I need your disciplining Grace”

  157. jeff1 says:

    I watched a programme last night which was about our dark past and attitudes still held today by those whose lives where effected by it.

    It relived the events of two IRA funerals (1988) in the republican areas of Belfast.

    The reporter was sitting in the house of a republican supporter who openly supported the televised abduction of two British soldiers who some how drove into the no go area (on the day of the funeral) where an angry crowd dragged them from the car and handed them over to the IRA who would torture and execute them as they see is their right.

    The reporter asked him did he believe the killing of the two soldiers was right and he replied they shouldn’t have been there.

    The camera then moved to the wall of the living room he was sitting in and there was a large photograph of Jesus on the wall showing His nail scarred hands.

    Beloved, says perspective is everything and later on in the programme I would learn that from each persons perspective they believed they where right.

    The republicans would blame the loyalists and the British forces while the loyalist would blame the republicans and have empathy with the British forces.

    The reporter who was sitting in a republican household asked whose perspective should she believe and he answered very quickly no ones but that she should listen to all and make up her own mind.

    As someone who has been reared in this country and lived through the horrors I would say to that reporter you will not find the truth in the stories of those whose houses you are visiting on either side of the divide because it was obvious to me that each side was entrenched in hatred and violence for each other.

    I am left wondering today how a republican with a photo of a resurrected Jesus can justify his belief that it is ok to kill what he believes to be his enemy when I was taught so very differently.

    If I weep today it is because religion in this country has blinded many to believing that God is on their side as they change God to what suits their teaching or beliefs.

    I am thankful today that it is God’s truths that will prevail as I have seen the horrors of men without God behave like animals and then justify their right to do so from their perspective.

    Thank God for His perspective.

    Open the Eyes of My Heart

    Open the eyes of my heart, Lord
    Open the eyes of my heart
    I want to see You
    I want to see You

    Open the eyes of my heart, Lord
    Open the eyes of my heart
    I want to see You
    I want to see You

    To see You high and lifted up
    Shinin’ in the light of Your glory
    Pour out Your power and love
    As we sing holy, holy, holy

    Open the eyes of my heart, Lord
    Open the eyes of my heart
    I want to see You
    I want to see You

    Open the eyes of my heart, Lord
    Open the eyes of my heart
    I want to see You
    I want to see You

    To see You high and lifted up
    Shinin’ in the light of Your glory
    Pour out Your power and love
    As we sing holy, holy, holy

    To see You high and lifted up
    Shinin’ in the light of Your glory
    Pour out Your power and love
    As we sing holy, holy, holy

    To see You high and lifted up
    Shinin’ in the light of Your glory
    Pour out Your power and love
    As we sing holy, holy, holy

    Holy, holy, holy
    We cry holy, holy, holy
    You are holy, holy, holy
    I want to see you

    Holy, holy, holy
    Holy, holy, holy
    You are holy, holy, holy
    I want to see you

    Holy, holy, holy
    Holy, holy, holy
    Holy, holy, holy,
    I want to see you

    Holy, holy, holy
    Holy, holy, holy
    Holy, holy, holy,
    I want to see you

    Holy, holy, holy
    Holy, holy, holy
    Holy, holy, holy,
    I want to see you

    Holy, holy, holy
    Holy, holy, holy
    Holy, holy, holy,
    I want to see you

    Holy, holy, holy
    Holy, holy, holy
    Holy, holy, holy,
    I want to see you

    Holy, holy, holy
    Holy, holy, holy
    Holy, holy, holy,
    I want to see you

  158. Beloved says:

    Viv I watched a documentary on Bruderhof communities (Hutterites) on YouTube yesterday. They escaped the evils of war in Germany to England to live separately from the “world”. They have a perspective that you only get to heaven if you live as the early church did and to leave their community, which some younger men do, is to lose fellowship with family in order to keep evil from them. Oh my! I wonder how their perspective of a loving God became so skewed. The flesh is strong as is satan. The perspectives of the IRA and British forces are just as skewed it seems to me. To have a truly Godly perspective is humility as Mart writes about in the next post. Just my perspective :-).

  159. street says:

    some more thoughts and wonders.

    monasticism or separation from the world can be looked at two different way. some are tricked into believing they are more righteous or better, the other believing they are so unclean they withdraw from everything. i have noticed some like the prophets withdrew so far and so fast, only to meet up with God. elisha and jonah come to mind. yes we all have buckets lists and they change daily. is God on the list? thinking of elisha’s bucket list after meeting God. he still had one but it was the list God gave him. something to think about.

  160. street says:

    thinking of the darkness and failures of the past.
    sometimes they hold us so tight we can not let them go. we need to bring them to God, come to Me… comes to mind. holding on too venom or darkness precludes one from coming to God or even finding a place of forgiveness or reconciliation. these are not always two sided sometimes just one sided. Jesus made sure they are one sided at the cross. thinking about the command to pray for those who hurt and have injured us. to do this is an incredible gift of grace and humility rarely found . may you be Mastered by the humility and wisdom of Christ Our Lord. blameless.

  161. bratimus says:

    Have not seen anyone post in day or so, hope everyone is doing well. Just have not had any inspiring words. As far as the wonder of God, I figure God will revile as much as I need to know of God.

    In Christ name

    Be Blessed

    Bratimus

  162. Beloved says:

    Dear Bratimus, Mart posted a new thread! Come on over!

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