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Family Issues

In a memorable episode of The Big Valley (TV 1965-1969), Heath (Lee Majors) is shaken when a stranger by the name of Charlie Sawyer (Buddy Hackett) comes to the ranch of Victoria Barcley (Barbara Stanwick) and claim’s to be Heath’s father. Charlie has a marriage certificate showing that he was once married to Victoria.

Years earlier, Heath had shown up at the Barcley ranch claiming to be the son of an extra-marital affair between Victoria’s deceased husband, Tom Barcley, and Heath’s mother. Victoria accepted his story, loved him like her other boys, and always called him “my son”.)

But this time, when Heath returns believing he is the son of Sawyer and can no longer claim his chair at the Barcley table, Victoria won’t hear of it. When she hears Heath say he can no longer take charity, she explodes,

“Charity!? Heath Barcley, I never heard of anything so ridiculous. Charity!? Why you’re as much a Barcley as I am.’ (Up close and with a finger in Heath’s face) ‘Now you listen to me. This family… and that includes you…this family stands together. If we’re not tied by blood, then we are tied by sacrifice, work, and love…I will not have that old history raked up again. It’s done. Over with. Finished….You can leave me… But it won’t change a thing. Because no matter where you go, no matter what you do, no matter what you call yourself, you’ll still be a Barcley.’”

While the details don’t necessarily line up (and without video and audio the words may not be that compelling), but this old television moment sticks in my mind as a reminder of how important it is to remember who we are, who loves us, calls us family, even when we are confused, feeling unworthy, and packing up to leave.

 

 

 


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460 Responses to “Family Issues”

  1. poohpity says:

    I so agree we are all family and have a specific purpose in the Kingdom of God, one could say a role to fulfill. All parts of ONE body with different functions and no one can say to another you are not needed because after all God has said we are His children and rather than tearing each other apart the longer one has been in a relationship with God and have grown to know Him we know that His love is not based on anything we can do. It can not be earned only received as a precious gift to share with others. John 13:35

    Brothers, let us come together
    Walking in the Spirit, there’s much to be done…
    We will come reaching, out from our comforts
    And they will know us by our love…

    Sisters, we were made for kindness
    We can pierce the darkness as He shines through us…
    We will come reaching, with a song of healing…
    And they will know us by our love!

    The time is now
    Come Church arise…
    Love with His hands
    See with His eyes…
    Bind it around you,
    Let it never leave you,
    And they will know us by our love…

    Children, You are hope for justice,
    Stand firm in the Truth now, set your hearts above
    You will be reaching, long after we’re gone,
    And they will know you by your love!

    We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
    We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
    And we pray that our unity will one day be restored

    And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
    Yeah they’ll know we are Christians by our love

    We will work with each other, we will work side by side
    We will work with each other, we will work side by side
    And we’ll guard each man’s dignity and save each man’s pride
    And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
    Yeah, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

  2. Beloved says:

    Jesus said that following Him meant often times leaving family. In a perfect world family disturbances would not happen, however we know the world is far from perfect. Though there ARE those who grew up in Christian families, for those who didn’t watching tv shows, (Brady Bunch was my dream family) was a way of escaping the everyday world of dysfunction without a Leader in house.

    Knowing Jesus is the only way to make any sense at all of circumstances. I get that the point of the story is God is love and grace for all, no matter how one FEELS about themselves. Yes it’s a good point!

  3. poohpity says:

    One can tell who is the head of the body by being obedient to His leading and not doing things our own way but His, does one even know what His ways are? The results seem to be the difference in night and day. Is Christ the One we have allowed to lead us or are we still thinking it is better to do things my way?

  4. street says:

    i am no longer worthy to be called your son.
    sound familiar?
    treat me as a hired hand.
    the familiarity of failure
    remember the love of God.

    given righteousness love and an inheritance.

    light love and life to be received and shared generously.

    it is a big valley, a high mountain, and a well watered garden. eden the place God dwells

  5. Beloved says:

    Street I love the story of the prodigal. Henri Nouwen said in his book with the same name that we fluctuate between the elder and younger son, but that our goal is to become like the father. Don’t all kids want to be just like dad? Well, a lot of them anyway. Until they are the enraptured by the true Son of the almighty Father, then is when we learn a different way of love sacrifice and devotion to our heavenly Parent. Forgiveness mercy and grace.

  6. SFDBWV says:

    Lately I have not had the opportunity to watch “Long Lost Family” on TLC. I have mentioned it before, it is a story of reuniting families that had adopted out a child or children.

    I teared up every time I would watch it as it is a very emotional event.

    They covered nearly every situation as to why a child was adopted out.
    Rape, forced adoption by parents, state forced adoption, simply the convenience of the mother or father. Sometimes the father never even knowing he had a child.

    I never seen a situation of incest and such a matter may simply have been decided by the production company not to pursue.

    However after having watched it for a while I could see there would and could be problems for each over time.

    The big happy reunion and all the tears and hugs, would at some time wear out and painful questions were bound to arise.

    There were times when the mother did not want to meet their child and did not participate in the airing. In those stories the father was usually in the story.

    I live in a small rural community with other small rural communities nearby connected to each by family. There are almost no secrets in such environments.

    There being an off color adage that goes like this “Mommy’s baby, daddy’s maybe”.

    Some grandparents raising a grandchild with the child never really knowing that who they thought was their sister was actually their mother.

    When such a revelation comes crashing down there is a day of reckoning that starts the healing process.

    Confusion, anger and for some forgiveness, understanding and reconciliation. While for others bitterness that follows them to the grave.

    Personally I have never seen a single episode of “The Big Valley” as I went into the Marine Corps in May of 65 and returned home in November of 69. Spending part of 66 all of 67 and some of 68 in Viet Nam.

    However Mart’s take from the episode he mentions is clearly a real human experience and certainly has Biblical connection on several levels associated with it.

    Truth it seem is a hard fact for some people to face and one that almost always requires action from those involved in dealing with it.

    No matter how much we may want another to react, how they do is out of our control. All the good advice all the pleading or explanation can’t force another to accept things. Only they have such control.

    Which is why in my opinion God made a way for man to be reconciled to Him as only God can and could do.

    Sunny and a balmy 18 degrees f after a low of 8 degrees f overnight.

    Steve

  7. jeff1 says:

    I have fractured my own family because history has repeated itself and I have turned into my mum who herself was damaged having come from a broken home.

    There are many broken families in society today and sibling rivalry can and does destroy relationships.

    It is something we have to live with as control is still very much a part of human reasoning until God’s Kingdom is restored.

  8. street says:

    sown in corruption raised in in-corruption.
    what was sown?
    what was received?
    what bears fruit?

    God never changes.

    thinking how when fruit is produced the ground is consumed.
    consuming fire
    when you pass through the fire it will not hurt you.

    thinking how the fruit is collected and taken to the barn the remainder is dust.

    Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  9. Beloved says:

    When we become part of Christ’s family our past (here) is only a memory but Reality gives us a different outlook because of the work of Jesus in our lives. Like the examples street gave. Raised to new life in Christ!

  10. Beloved says:

    “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” —1 Peter 2:9

  11. street says:

    but this old television moment sticks in my mind as a reminder of how important it is to remember who we are, who loves us, calls us family, even when we are confused, feeling unworthy, and packing up to leave.

    25
    “I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake,
    And I will not remember your sins.
    26
    “[h]Put Me in remembrance, let us argue our case together;
    State your cause, that you may be proved right.
    27
    “Your first [i]forefather sinned,
    And your [j]spokesmen have [k]transgressed against Me.
    28
    “So I will [l]pollute the [m]princes of the sanctuary,
    And I will consign Jacob to the ban and Israel to revilement.

    it’s not a license to sin, but a license to completely shame yourself. a rob of righteousness looks good on a saint, new heart and renewed mind to follow. renewed mind daily because of the constant assault of evil, scripture told of lot living in the plane of sinful man. having to move him from harms way. sometimes finding ones self in a cave, where have i seen that before? lot elisha david Jesus. could jonah’s experience be considered time in a cave? forgot of moses in the cleft of the rock and the palm of His hand. the cave is for protection and it will be emptied out some day.

  12. Beloved says:

    Dear street,
    Remember Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh? He just popped into my mind. He was a favorite character long ago—before I got released from Platos cave. The more I think about it Jonah was sure blessed by God to be sheltered from the deep waters and hungry sea creatures without the larger accommodations of a whale.
    Yes God is good; ALL the time.

  13. street says:

    the grace of God in trials, the stuffing of love from God
    the hope of tiggerrrr and the heart of eeyore.

    we are reminded 9 But we do see Him who was made [a]for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.

    10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the [b]author of their salvation through sufferings. 11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are [c]sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,

  14. street says:

    thinking how the family of darkness has only one goal, the destruction of mankind. if not for Jesus we would have no hope.

    18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’

  15. Beloved says:

    New Living Translation
    Unless the LORD builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the LORD protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good.

    A house where families live and thrive, not made of wood hay or stubble but with the Rock as it’s foundation.

  16. SFDBWV says:

    Family…
    I know of people who come close to hating their brothers or sisters.

    Some here who have even voices such a dislike for their sibling.

    In fact the best known sibling hatred in history is the one between the Arab and the Jew.

    The American Civil War was known for pitting brother against brother in mortal combat.

    So should it be a surprise that in the family of Christ there are personalities that “clash”.

    We aren’t supposed to lie as given as a commandment from God, yet how many confessing Christians say they love another when the truth is they don’t. The same being loving an enemy.

    Actually this subject reminded me of the movie “East of Eden” and the rivalry between brothers for their father’s approval. One able to accept the truth the other running away from it.

    The earliest family on earth didn’t prevent one brother from killing the other because of envy.

    Just like the snake in the garden, all sin is subtle and sneaks up on us.

    We can lie to ourselves in an attempt to convince others, but most all of us don’t love as we are commanded to. And it may be because we just weren’t wired that way from the beginning. Or if you prefer our mother board has been corrupted by the original sin.

    Growing up and maturing into Christ like beings is a lifetime effort and in my opinion not finished until we are reunited with Him in the end of all things.

    05 degrees f and clear.

    Steve

  17. jeff1 says:

    Let all mortal flesh keep silence
    and with fear and trembling stand;
    ponder nothing earthly minded,
    for with blessing in his hand,
    Christ our God to earth descended,
    our full homage to demand.

    King of kings, yet born of Mary,
    as of old on earth he stood.
    Lord of Lords,
    in human vesture,
    in the body and the blood,
    he will give to all the faithful
    his own self for heav’nly food.

    Rank on rank the host of heaven
    spreads it’s vanguard on the way,
    as the light of light desendeth
    from the realms of endless day,
    that the pow’rs of hell may vanish
    as the darkness clears away.

    At his feet the six winged seraph,
    cherubim, with sleepers eye,
    veil their faces to the presence,
    as with ceaseless voice they cry.
    ‘Alleluia alleluia,
    alleluia, Lord Most High.’

  18. Beloved says:

    Let all mortal flesh keep silence
    and with fear and trembling stand;
    ponder nothing earthly minded,
    for with blessing in his hand,
    Christ our God to earth descended,
    our full homage to demand.

    Oh I was just thinking the same thing Viv. To be earthly minded is to be of no heavenly good or good for anybody really. There will always be wars and rumors of wars (sibling wars or national) but Jesus said He has overcome the world with goodness kindness peace love and defeat of our common enemy. Think on these things scripture says; true honest lovely just virtuous praiseworthy; praiseworthy, that could take up a whole hellish day! Philippians 4:8

  19. Beloved says:

    Affliction
    ‘Does Job fear God for no reason?’

    Job 1:9
    This was the wicked question of Satan concerning that upright man of old, but there are many in the present day concerning whom it might be asked with justice, for they love God after a fashion because He prospers them; but if things went ill with them, they would give up all their boasted faith in God. If they can clearly see that since the time of their supposed conversion the world has gone prosperously with them, then they will love God in their poor, carnal way; but if they endure adversity, they rebel against the Lord.

    Their love is the love of the table, not of the host; a love of the cupboard, not of the master of the house. As for the true Christian, he expects to have his reward in the next life and to endure hardness in this. The promise of the old covenant was prosperity, but the promise of the new covenant is adversity. Remember Christ’s words—”Every branch of mine that does not bear fruit”—what?—”he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”1 If you bring forth fruit, you will have to endure affliction.

    “Alas,” you say, “that is a terrible prospect.” But this affliction works out such precious results, for the Christian who is the subject of it must learn to rejoice in tribulations because as his tribulations abound, so his consolations abound by Christ Jesus.

    Rest assured, if you are a child of God, you will be no stranger to the rod. Sooner or later every bar of gold must pass through the fire. Fear not, but rather rejoice that such fruitful times are in store for you, for in them you will be weaned from earth and made meet for heaven; you will be delivered from clinging to the present and made to long for those eternal things that are so soon to be revealed to you. When you feel that as regards the present you do serve God for nothing, you will then rejoice in the infinite reward of the future.

    1) John 15:2

  20. street says:

    thinking about God and His Word we are to Live By. to have a creature say they can do things better than God. well we know how that turned out. we also know what would have happen if God did not delay justice. it would be real warm and uncomfortable, worst than global warming. in a way they are right the only problems is they believe they can do something to prevent it. i believe we need a Savior.

    19 These are the ones who cause divisions, [a]worldly-minded, [b]devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.

    words have design and intent behind them, a spirit. one spirit for death, The Spirit for Life, in Christ Jesus. i can see why being Holy is so important. hunger and thirst for righteousness comes to mind. waiting is not fun. yet we must enter His rest. stilling and quieting a soul, like calming the storm on the sea of galilee. peace in the family.

  21. SFDBWV says:

    One of those cute little catch phrases I have seen is “BIBLE, Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth”.

    The emphasis there being “before”.

    We each were born into this world without making the decision to be born at all. Born into a world of heartache, pain, disappointment, disillusionment, and sorrow. As well as happiness, joy, peace and love.

    Jesus was born into this world to fix things with God the Father and wayward mankind.

    I would have to believe He too felt all the ills of this world as well, as He too cried and wept.

    When Jesus embarrassed Peter by repeating to him to feed the sheep, do you think He, Jesus, was only concerned with heavenly things above?

    We are instructed to feed the hungry, clothe the poor and comfort the brokenhearted.

    To be more than a Good Samaritan, to be a brother and a friend to those in need of one.

    Being a Christian is about serving the world in the name of Jesus of Nazareth the Christ.

    This world, here and now.

    Not about once receiving salvation turning your back on the world and wait to either die or be raptured up.

    The hungry, the downtrodden, the hated of this world is who Jesus said how we treat them is related to our treatment of Him.

    So what kind of a Christian are you? One who wants only to set and quote Scripture. Or one who acts upon what it is the Scripture has instructed, encouraged and directed us as to how to live in this world while awaiting the world to come?

    Steve

  22. Beloved says:

    There is a third kind of Christian Steve I think. One who searches and often quotes scripture to himself and other family members as well as acting on what they learn from scripture in the here and now; doing good to friends and enemies, walking circumspectly, caring for others needs, worshipping with other believers etc. all while holding Jesus up over and above all things.
    I may have misunderstood you though.

  23. Beloved says:

    Whenever I read scripture whether here or at home if I don’t understand what it’s there for I ask God to reveal to me what I can use for my own spiritual walk. Sometimes there’s nothing to learn sometimes I’m hit over the head.
    All scripture is God breathed and useful for reproving, rebuking, training in righteousness so we may be ready to give a word to those who need it. ( sorry my loose translation) Timothy

  24. Beloved says:

    Actually I’m kind of surprised that quoting Gods Word is an issue? Come on now…

  25. Beloved says:

    What’s most important though is that we all trust Jesus for our salvation. How’s the weather your way?

  26. street says:

    I ask God to reveal to me what I can use for my own spiritual walk.

    for me i need righteousness, to be holy, faithful and obedient. these are found in Christ, not in ourselves. great affection would not hurt either! i think we over look affection, in truth.

    God’s Word is for life not against it. how has being in the family increased life? sure understanding is definitely to pray for. i understand kings in isreal where to hand write the scriptures and read them daily. bible reading or devotional reading that go through the Bible on a regular coarse is beneficial because some days it speaks directly to what i am dealing with or looking for. it just stunning when that happens.

    one thing….read for the present God…understand it is Him that is speaking from the Bible. believe that He is and the reward of those who seek Him. Come and drink of the waters of life without coast.

  27. Beloved says:

    Affection is the motivation for me. I have great affection for God in His 3 forms of One and study scripture daily often hours. When I pray God often sends me to scripture where I will meditate on the passages and wait for Him to speak through them. That’s pretty normal. I’m always listening for what He might say to me whether through another person book blog sermon devotional or whatever way He chooses. A few times I’ve heard His voice directly but I could not tell you the pitch or even describe the sound, but it’s Him, I’d know His voice anywhere as it seems to come from another dimension transcending all noise around me. It’s good to be part of His family, safe and secure always.

  28. Beloved says:

    I’m sorry I didn’t mean to sound boastful. My life is different than say someone like Steve with other responsibilities each day. Retired and single has its perks.

  29. jeff1 says:

    It’s a much noisery and complex world then when I was growing up and what I find truly amazing is that God finds a way to connect with me even in my wanderings.

    Why? still remains a mystery to me as I have spent more time running from Him than to Him and why it is much easier for me to see that God finds a way when I have often failed to.

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

  30. poohpity says:

    It seems that those who understand how much they have been forgiven are the one’s who love more, who share grace and mercy more and who also forgive as they have been forgiven. It also seems common for those who do not think they have that much to be forgiven for are the one’s who have a shallow kind of love for God and others. So I guess it boils down to a matter of pride and not humility speaking of the ability to recognize how great the love of the Father has been towards us.

    I know that there are so many areas in me that rather than just be a hearer of God’s Word that I need to allow the Lord by faith to work so that I will also be a doer of His mighty word. He makes that all possible if I yield myself to Him which often is an hour by hour or rather a minute by minute thing to do. Practicing and remembering who it is I was and who’s I am now, to never forget what was done for me in my redemption with much gratitude.

  31. Beloved says:

    Viv it’s because we are living in the age of grace. We never know though when this age of grace will end and the door to salvation will be closed. This is why I tell people Today is the day to turn to Jesus and stop running from Him. Eternity with Him is far better than the place of weeping and gnashing of teeth Jesus talked about. Eternal anguish doesn’t sound like a place I’d like to be.

  32. Beloved says:

    When God shows me other people’s sins He always shows me areas I carry the same sin against Him. It’s very humbling to be reminded I’m His by grace and faith in Christ’s atonement, alone. Nothing I’ve done good can make up for the sins I’ve done. Yesterday in Bible study we talked about idols and how we all have them in one way shape or form. This morning I read in Jeremiah where Gods heart was broken over Israel’s adultery/ “making broken cisterns that can’t hold water”. Now I know where we get that expression from. Our world is full of them, even in Gods family the temptation is real. We really need Gods word and each other to avoid the dangers and pitfalls. It’s a Family thing! Jesus keep us close to You at all times. Bless His Holy Name.

  33. SFDBWV says:

    Well Joyce Jesus gives us a very clear look at when the age of grace is over. Luke 21:22-24 KJV.

    Interesting that there is a set time for when the times of the gentile is over.

    Seems at that moment when the last gentile is converted, the Rapture may occur and Satan have seen his last hurrah.

    Steve

  34. jeff1 says:

    My children have now turned from their faith and so I am trusting God with their Salvation. I turned from my faith but God did not turn His back His back me so I won’t give up on my children because God didn’t give up on me.

    Once you see God work in your own life then you have a peace that transcends to your loved ones.

    My children may wander but God gathers up His sheep as is His promise and it’s God’s promises that matter in fulfilling His will for
    our lives.

    I must not forget that God is with me from the cradle to the grave and beyond and that is the miraculous work of God whatever the strength of my faith.

  35. Beloved says:

    Blessed are the pure (clean) in heart, for they shall see God.

  36. Beloved says:

    I don’t even know how to respond anymore Viv. Seek His face, learn His ways.

  37. street says:

    dear jeff last week i had a very difficult time with the idea of turning back. losing Salvation, “know” longer being a Barcley. as reprehensible as any sin is Jesus is the solution for the debt of sin. think of it, the person that picked up sticks on the Sabbath, and stoned, needed his ransom paid too, as even peter or paul would too. i can not see any of us living a sinless life, let alone a perfect life. there is a Spirit involved with the children of God, given freely, that changes us. a helper. sometimes when we remember our failures it is a reminder of how much we need the LORD and what we are like without Him. peter said,”Lord you know all things, you know that i love you.” or thinking of the guy who said,” Lord help my unbelief.” either way we trust in the One Who loves us and lay down His Life for us. a love not to be missed.

  38. street says:

    “By reflecting on the sanctity of God’s name, the flames of spiritual ardor are fanned in our souls.” —R.C. Sproul

    we reflect what is in front of us.

    looking beyond the horizon, faith, the gift of God.

  39. jeff1 says:

    Trusting God is more important to me and you don’t have to respond for it is between God and I and He does know how to respond.

  40. Beloved says:

    Trust God in Jesus alone Viv, not your dad or Steve. They can’t get you to heaven ONLY Jesus can. He came to get you out of this mess we’ve made of our world. Isn’t that something! Your faith in faith or others may want to move mountains but it’s not enough to get your children and family to salvation through redemption of sins. But Jesus came for them too!! Isn’t that great news! There is a way that seems right to the world but the end thereof is death, scripture says. I pray God will bless you with His Holy Spirit as you reach out to Jesus. I pray your children and husband will seek Him also. Christ alone! (You know that song.)

  41. Beloved says:

    Street I was getting those same ideas about turning back the past month. I knew they were from the enemy but troubling nonetheless. He’s such a smooth talker. Then I remembered that testing is normal and told him to take a hike. I’ve come toooo far to turn back now. I also recalled how very loved and special I am to God and how Satan hates God and those who are part of His family! Be strong in the power of His might, he cares for you. And all that are called His.

  42. Beloved says:

    Speaking of persecution; this makes sense, but always God moves where persecution abounds.

    “The number of persecuted Christians internationally has risen by 15 million in the past year.”

  43. street says:

    we live in a corruptible body. flesh and blood that can not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven or Heavenly Rule. given a new Spirit to abide in. the two one comes to mind. driven further a unity of believers. that they would be One has God is One. Holy and Blameless.

    6 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

    living in the shadows or when there is no peace is a difficult place. platonics is shadows Jesus is the Light of the world.

    some day, God is all and in all!

  44. street says:

    vicarious adjective
    performed, exercised, received, or suffered in place of another

    dictionary .com

    sounds like Salvation received, a gift from God

    hearts is gonna sing. with affection.

  45. Beloved says:

    Paul spoke of his vicarious afflictions with joy! Completely devoted to Christ you can hear- sense the affection in Paul’s writings throughout. Head over heels in love to the point of declining to take a wife. Affection, yes. The greatest story ever told (redemption) and lived in with the whole redeemed family of God.
    Why should I be discouraged?
    His eye is on the sparrow
    And I know He watches me/family.

  46. jeff1 says:

    Beloved, if I look at or listen to Steve or remember my dad’s warnings it’s where God has led me.

    You do it when you listen to preachers or teachers but I don’t accuse you of being delusional in knowing who has saved you.

    Here we call it having fellowship and I find it both enlightens and comforts in a world that can seem harsh.

    I do hope this is not sibling rivalry in me choosing Steve to listen to but being a woman I cannot help but notice woman are in their nature so much more bitchy and I don’t like it when it raises it’s ugly head in myself and so it follows I don’t like it in others.

    I said to my son in my feminist attitude I see we have all women political leaders (we did at the time).

    He said to me well mum do you think the woman have done better than the men and I put my hand on my heart and in all honesty said no they haven’t.

    There are no perfect people other than but there are those who exalt themselves because they are very quick to condemn the weakness in others forgetting that God works in people’s weakness and in people’s strengths because He is an inclusive God but some choose to make Him exclusive.

  47. poohpity says:

    Someone said earlier, “When God shows me other people’s sins He always shows me areas I carry the same sin against Him.” I do not believe that God has anything to do with showing us other people’s sin that comes from a judgemental heart and pride or from the anti-Christ but not from God. That would be going against everything we are taught about looking for the good in others and not to judge, criticize or condemn because we do well to be able to identify the sin we have in our own lives as the other part of that sentence speaks of.

    It seems everyone has some qualities we can admire if we are so lead to look at them by the Lord rather than the negative but more often than not those who look for the negative things in others usually also does that to themselves. People can also elevate other people to a place that only God belongs sort of like idol worship but one day they will fall off that pedestal because they were never meant to hold that type of position in the first place.

    There are people we can learn from because God has gifted those teachers with knowledge about Him but we have also been given the Spirit of discernment to be able to identify those who are false teachers. Those false teachers may seem to be credible but if deception were easy to spot it would not be deception at all so we have to be very careful because in the end times which we are in now there will be many who will lead others astray in what they teach.

  48. poohpity says:

    It seems that in families usually some get along with some people better than others but it seems God has a higher calling for us in the family of God when we listen to His leading. James 2:1 NLT

  49. SFDBWV says:

    Baggage…

    In Mart’s story Heath shows up an illegitimate son of Victoria’s dead husband.

    I am getting a little confused.

    Buddy Hackett shows up claiming to be Heath’s father with a marriage certificate showing he was once married to Victoria.

    Buddy Hackett, if I remember, was a short chubby comedian with a very distinctive way of talking and not at all a handsome man. An odd choice for such a beautiful actress as Barbara Stanwick to be cast with.

    However if Charlie Sawyer claimed to be Heath’s father and once married to Victoria, it does imply that Heath may not be a Barcley, and imply he is Victoria’s son.

    Well Mart does say the details don’t line up and I would have to agree.

    However Mart’s point remains that once we consider ourselves to be a family even an extended family we still remain family and running away from hurt feelings or whatever doesn’t change who we are as all that baggage is still with us until we learn to lay it on the altar and never pick it up again.

    32 and cloudy.

    Steve

  50. Beloved says:

    Sin is always crouching at the door of the House.

  51. Beloved says:

    Friends are great and wonderful to have, but they can’t save us. Guiding leading comforting and exhorting we all need, yes. I certainly do.

  52. Beloved says:

    I certainly did, rather. Since I’ve learned I can trust Jesus for a safe passage through life I always weigh the counsel of others. And can take better those hurt feelings, upsets and rivalries only as I take them to Jesus first. If He heals the offender that is my greatest pleasure and reward for suffering. Sometimes it’s years of healing, like the fellow in the story. Years. But God is always faithful, always.

  53. street says:

    family issues
    thinking about good and evil, judgment. did God say you could not eat from any tree in the garden?

    Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, honor is not fitting for a fool. Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest.

    there is rest in the Son of Man, because Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. LUKE 5:17–26

  54. Beloved says:

    The only way I know His ways is through scripture as revealed by the Holy Spirit. Godly Teachers and preachers expound scripture yet not evenly but as best they can being gifted to lead/teach. Gifts such as those or discernment or mercy etc aren’t perfect as only God is perfect. But the bearer is responsible to carry them out in humility and trust that God is working everything out for good of all to the praise of His glorious grace.

  55. street says:

    Isaiah 46:4
    Even to your old age and gray hairs
    I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
    I have made you and I will carry you;
    I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

    “ ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. 16 ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. 17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

    So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 25 Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God.

  56. Beloved says:

    Paralyzed
    Can take many forms, but the point of Jesus healing whether physical emotional or spiritual was to show Himself as Savior! Happy day family of God! Be blessed in Him and His great salvation! And don’t forget your mat.

  57. Beloved says:

    Savior
    Forgiver of sins.

  58. street says:

    Savior
    Redeemer of life.

    passing out of death into life.

    “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

    In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

    18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.

  59. bratimus says:

    Wait, I never watched Big Valley on the first run through, probably because I was born in 1966. Did catch some on the re-runs after school probably never seen all of them and probably out of order. Don’t remember the one Mart has mentioned here.

    So Heath isn’t a Barclay? just kind of adopted into the family after this?

    Bratimus

  60. bratimus says:

    The old cliff hanger

  61. Beloved says:

    My Utmost has a great reminder today.

  62. street says:

    If we’re not tied by blood, then we are tied by sacrifice, work, and love…

    if we are not tied by the blood of Christ then we are not tied by the Spirit of Christ either.

    sacrifice is linked to something dying or dead.
    work physical effort
    love linked to knowledge and selflessness.

    paul speaks in Romans of living sacrifices, linked to what?

    could it be faith in Christ
    subordinate to The Truth and the Spirit of Christ.

    Matthew 7:21
    “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.

  63. street says:

    John 5:24
    “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

    John 5:38
    You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent.

    John 6:29
    Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”

    John 12:44
    And Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, does not believe in Me but in Him who sent Me.

    John 17:8
    for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me.

    John 17:21
    that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.

  64. Beloved says:

    “You Are What You Think.( I Peter)” an excellent sermon by McArthur I was greatly encouraged and blessed- full of Truth!

  65. jeff1 says:

    I think or believe ‘I am a sinner saved by grace.’

    It is my impure thoughts that leads me to be sorrowful that I have failed to put God first in my life or my thinking would be more on the lines of my dad who wasn’t a man to talk the talk but on reflection I see he believed very much that actions speak louder than words and so with God’s discipline he quietened his tongue having seen that it could be deadlier than the sword.

    As a woman who is more likely to give someone a piece of my mind I do well to look to his example.

    Just to clarify I am not seeing my dad as my Saviour anymore than I do others i.e. the gospel music of Elvis whose rags to riches life did not bring him happiness.

    This world led him astray and do may we show some compassion today rather than judgement when it comes to our dealings with others remembering that when I take my eyes of Jesus then the are very much on the world or myself and experience has taught me that His ways are far beyond either.

  66. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Viv, from where I stand I see that you have a very clear understanding of yourself and of your faith.

    I am glad to see that you don’t let other people intrude upon your good sense.

    It always amazes me how people think they have better advice for others when they don’t take their own advice for themselves.

    Just for what it is worth, I don’t believe anyone can lose their salvation, just as I believe that if you raise up your children in the Lord it will never depart from them.

    Hope your day is filled with happy things and you and those you love are blessed all the day long.

    35 degrees f and foggy.

    Steve

  67. street says:

    thinking of Romans 7. the things we do, and the things God does in Romans 8.

    abiding in Christ/ up holding the family name. not by power or might, but by My Spirit says the Lord.

    My Grace is sufficient.

    Hebrews 2:10
    For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.

  68. poohpity says:

    Isn’t it a personal decision to believe? No one can do that for us and even children can make that choice.

    In the story above it was Heath who sought out the family then made sacrifices, worked side by side and loved them as he found his place within the family. I wonder what would have happened if all he did when he came was to cause trouble and division and never pulled his weight but by his actions showed that he wanted to be part of the family?

  69. Beloved says:

    Matthew 10:34-36 English Standard Version (ESV)

    Not Peace, but a Sword
    34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.

    Thinking of Christlikeness in the family- allegiance to Christ is the Model for Who we should follow. Perhaps things will change in time. While we are still alive. Death is sure though. Can’t avoid it.

  70. Beloved says:

    I’ve been wondering if the Barcleys are reformed or Catholic. It makes a difference- either Law or grace. What if there was a mix of faiths in the family? It’s quite common to mix Catholicism in with the gospel message but what good is the outcome? What has Truth to do with shadow truths? Nothing, but to cause indecision, strife and the like. Jesus sword is always present. But it’s a good sword, it’s those who deny His redemptive Only Way life-giving presence in their lives that feel the swift judgement of the sword. I think, anyway.

  71. SFDBWV says:

    Just waiting around for Matt to come to the computer and chanced upon a Joe Newberry song sung by Mandolin Orange on “You Tube” that somewhat is related to our topic of packing up and leaving family.

    If you’re interested it is “Missouri Borderland” as sung by Mandolin Orange.

    Steve

  72. poohpity says:

    God’s word is likened to a double edged sword to reveal the truth within our hearts to cut away that which holds us back from giving ourselves completely to God. It exposes the true condition of our hearts so that we can lay it at His feet but many do not allow the word to penetrate their soul so that all the hidden secrets are exposed to the only One who has the cure. Hebrews 4:12-13 NLT

    Steve, I don’t often seek out secular music much any more but I did like the Mandolin music but the words of the song was very depressing and shows what happens when we take matters into our own hands.

  73. poohpity says:

    But I did try to figure out how it related with this topic and I still do not see that, call me blind, other than the boy left his family to never return to it but just ended up in a grave in shame.

  74. street says:

    “Missouri Borderland” as sung by Mandolin Orange.

    never heard the song before…it’s a lament….i like laments but not without hope. laments without hope lead to death, laments that lead to repentance lead to life.

    the Gospel, the hope of sinners.

    the young man does not need to worry about the rope marks on his neck, they are removed in Christ. this is not our home that is true. and we are not that far from home. it pleases the Lord to lets us share in His pleasure. thanks for the song steve.

  75. street says:

    how it relates to the topic is light and darkness, good and evil, two families opposed to each other. two family heads. it was brought out in the confrontation with the scribes and the pharisees. John 8:38-40

    they grow side by side till the harvest. in order that the fruit will not be damaged. nothing is impossible with God. red sea experiences are off the chart in the Old Testament… grace in the New is much more formidable. thinking of daniels three friends and there commitment. even if you kill us on the beach we will not serve you.

    who did you chose on the beach? or did God chose you?

    He makes me lay down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters, let me see Your reflection in the still waters.

  76. SFDBWV says:

    You are welcome, street. I hope you enjoyed the music.

    This is a little taste of what I mean when I say you can connect to God in any music you may encounter.

    Whereas the lyrics of the song are not about God, immediately for people like me I see a reminder to many Biblical lessons and stories.

    The prodigal son, Proverbs 1:10-11 KJV, and many more, just like street has said the reminder of needing forgiveness and hope which can only be found in Christ.

    Also the very melody of the music I listen to connects me to God in a spiritual way without words at all.

    I am glad you listened to the song street. I like to share things I like with my friends. Experiencing something you like, in my opinion, is always better shared.

    Steve

  77. jeff1 says:

    Our Rector is of the thinking that we should not go to war and no doubt being born, bred and still resident in neutral Ireland has influenced his opinion.

    I, on the other hand, had a dad who fought in the 2nd world war and a son who served in Afghanistan has a very different option of it and no doubt it was being born, bred and still resident in Northern Ireland which is still part of the UK that has influenced me.

    I see the need of warriors otherwise we show our selves to be oblivious to the tyranny that goes on in the world as long as that tyranny isn’t affecting us.

    Ideally no one wants to go to war but if we ignore out Jesus did bring a sword to put right the wrongs in this world and we should be willing to put our own wellbeing at risk in pursuit of the wellbeing of our fellowmen or we are not doing our Christian duty in seeking world peace and are indeed blinded to the needs of our fellowmen who are under tyranny from the evils in this world.

    I think it is because our Rector has lived a melancholy life on a farm in a peaceful part of Ireland that has blinded him to the realities of the world.

    I on the other hand living in a conflict for 30 years of my life has a very different view of the needs of warriors to take a stand against terrorists who made the people of Northern Ireland and England’s life a misery for a prolonged number of years see it very differently.

    Evil thrives when good men do nothing and it was an Army Captain who told me that the politicians who pulled the strings so that they were unable to do the job they were assigned to.

    If evil has a hold in the world today it is because we have lacked the courage to do anything about it and then pass the buck as to whose to blame.

    The Irish always ready to blame the English for a English for the blood shed as if the didn’t play a part.

    As the English soldier said to me Ireland coming down with chapels and churches but where is the forgiveness.

    Our politicians are over in England now because
    now because they say the 2 billion the British are giving isn’t enough and the truth is if England give them 20 billion it wouldn’t be enough as this conflict is not about money but about Territory

    Even our Rector believes in a defence Army which shows how territorial we all are.

    This world is not my home I’m just a passing through the words of a song from my dad’s favourite singer comes to mind and brings solace to my soul.

  78. SFDBWV says:

    I was about to add to my last comments as a follow up and seen that our friend Viv has touched upon what I was about to say.

    Mart’s topic though fiction is about the struggles of life we all face. We aren’t dead yet, we still live in a world where we have to act and interact in order to survive.

    Here in BTA Mart’s subjects are about how we face, endure and survive in this world here and now and how perhaps it relates to our faith and or how our faith gets us over the humps and storms we face.

    Yes many of our storms are self-inflicted, and many are the cause of someone else’s abuse, but that is life and our faith is about how we face life.

    By sharing ourselves our stories, our failures and successes we can maybe help someone else who needs to hear that there is a way out and past the darker corners of life.

    Viv there is a saying that most all of us have heard, but it needs to be remembered. There are two people that voluntarily gave their lives for us, Jesus and the soldiers that protect us.

    Of course there are more than two, firemen, policemen even the occasional passerby who pulls a passenger from a burning car, or from a burning building, or even a frozen lake.

    People who put their lives on the line for another.

    There was a man from Tennessee who refused to serve in the Army when drafted to fight in WWI as a conscience objector, but after his pastor showed him how God used war and warriors in his service and purpose he went on and fought in the trenches of WWI earning the Congressional Medal of Honor for his service. It being our highest award for gallantry in battle her in the USA.

    His is known as Sargent York. Alvin York I think.

    Thanks Viv for sharing a part of your life once again with us.

    29 degrees f and a little snowy.

    Steve

  79. poohpity says:

    street, I can understand why you may have liked that song too!

  80. Beloved says:

    On conflict

    “The greatest temptation out of hell is to live without trials. A pool of standing water will turn stagnant. Faith grows more with the sharp winter storm in its face. Grace withers without adversity.” Samuel Rutherford

  81. Beloved says:

    30 The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom,
    and their tongues speak what is just.
    31 The law of their God is in their hearts;
    their feet do not slip.

  82. Beloved says:

    When evil and suffering discourage us, help us, O Lord, to fix our hearts and minds on Your eternity when all will be resolved.

  83. Beloved says:

    Family Issues

    I’ve been thinking about this all night. We have the secular family and the Family of God. So how do you tell the difference? I decided this is more of a secular family blog not unlike a lot of Bible study groups now days. A couple Christians with a few travelers trying to figure it all out. That said, I have way too high expectations here so did what I always do, prayed and settled on John-the one that Jesus loved. This is part of an article from Banner of Truth magazine 1976:

    “Brethren, we are too ready to confuse a vacillating and sentimental charity with love. The love Scripture enjoins is love in the truth and it is this love that will not tolerate in fellowship and cooperation those who do not abide in the doctrine of Christ. ‘If any come unto you and bring not this doctrine receive him not into your house: neither bid him God speed, for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds’ (2 John 10, 11).”

    Aren’t you all glad I erased what I was really thinking, lol. Feel free to call me judgemental intolerant or whatever. Thats pretty normal for secular families. So, here I am amongst the poor downcast scum of the earth (well some of us), scrambling for a bit of crumbs from the masters table. But He always answers, always comes through with Bread of Life Truth justice and mercy. Oh he’s so good. I love Him so. I hear that wise men still seek Him. Yes! He can be found, today.

  84. street says:

    thinking of jeff and the history i am being exposed to of irland england and france even how this has influenced america. each dealing with darkness and how authority is to be worked out. it seems government is not enough and our judges are not that successful either. kings preist judges and prophets even angles seem to be lacking. yet a Son is given and the government shall rest on His shoulders. sure we are appointed guardians till the time appointed by the Father. throwing of the yoke and and taking a new one. come you are invited. caution not all pull together in perfect unity, even i have to be corrected, not so with My Lord. that day will come, pulling togather in perfect unity will come.

    Deuteronomy 28:64
    Moreover, the Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth; and there you shall serve other gods, wood and stone, which you or your fathers have not known.

    Daniel 7:14
    “And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.

    Daniel 7:27
    Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.’

    1 Peter 4:11
    Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

  85. street says:

    Matthew 9:16
    But no one puts a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and a worse tear results.

    this verse speaks about unity or the lax there of.

    unshrunk / humbled.

  86. Beloved says:

    message received and accepted. sitting down now.

  87. Beloved says:

    Street thank you, you have the most loving way of rebuke and correction. i praise God for your presence here, for me, anyway. I love your command of scripture.

  88. street says:

    i was not rebuking or correcting, the Holy Spirit does that much better than a human, i can not see your heart. my goal is to see understand and be conformed to Christ. i think stillness is required dependence trust obedience humility….hope and love. waiting is not fun but fundamental, it gets real cozy sometimes. as chambers said leave room for God, because He loves to work in ways we do not expect. God is free and He is Sovereign. Holy Holy Holy in His Sovereignty and freedom. job comes to mind. job wanted the Witness/Truth, a Mediator/Judge, and a Redeemer…..all found in Christ. that which was lost will be restored. 31 Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” we are followers because we know what it is like to be lost. Jesus said, My sheep hear My voice and follow Me, Jesus, they will not follow another.”

    i know i added words to that,to bring out what i see, yet the struggle for unity among peers is real and they speak too. grace discernment growth development fruitfulness to follow. i been kicking and screaming too long. Jesus was more than willing to let people turn away, like a Father giving a son His inheritance early and going away.

    Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? 3 “Lord, they have killed Your prophets, they have torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.” 4 But what [b]is the divine response to him? “I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s [c]gracious choice. 6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer [d]on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.

    “The Deliverer will come from Zion,
    He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.”
    27
    “This is [i]My covenant with them,
    When I take away their sins.”

    28 [j]From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but [k]from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; 29 for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy. 32 For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.

    i am in command of nothing. yet God is Sovereign.

    is Jesus pleading to the Father against us? am i? intercessor – on behalf of another.

    on behalf, in Spirit and Truth, behooves the family of God. brings Glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. the glory of man is the Glory of God.

    John 12:32
    And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”

    Philippians 2:9
    For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,

    Hebrews 7:26
    For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens;

    Jesus returned to His proper place….
    He also returned to prepare a place for us, in the family…
    promising to return and bring us home….a place where God dwells.

    giving us a helper to accomplish God’s will, convict of sin and Testify to Christ. without the Holy Spirit, Jesus, and the Father we have no hope and no future. in away i am thankful that a promises of an end to corruption. till then restoring a world and subduing it in the presents of the curse. like a caterpillar in a chrysalis. thinking the caterpillar stops eating at some point in time and transformation begins. an upside-down world. thinking of worlds as individuals. the rest is up to and in God.

  89. Beloved says:

    I hear and see the heart of God through scripture, alone. Gods Holy Spirit speaks to me loud and clear. He alone knows my heart and broken mind. Amazing. I’ve seen the worst of the human heart and know what we all are capable of. I trust no one but love everyone only because Jesus commanded it to be so. Less of me and more of Him helps me deal with my disabilities, as we all have them in one way shape or form. My brokenness is what keeps me close to Him. He planned it that way for His purposes. Someday I’ll know all the secrets concerning this life I surrendered to Him.

    Your voice street is one of many voices God has chosen to use along my predetermined pathway. Fellowshipping is good. Praise God He chose you at this time and this place to be an encouragement through Gods word to all with ears to hear. If I am wrong God will show me. You are a humble man, His man.
    Blessings,
    Elijah

  90. SFDBWV says:

    I want to be very careful here how I say what is on my mind after reading the string of conversation between you Joyce and street.

    First of all I feel awkward even commenting about a conversation between two other people which seems to be more between two others than comments meant for the other people here.

    Whether intended or not it is just how most of the strings of comments between you Joyce and street seem to be.

    However Joyce when you say that you hear and see the heart of God through Scripture, alone. It troubled me and in truth exposed to me as to why you have so much trouble with relationships, especially with other believers.

    Jesus Himself ask Philip, what He thought should have been obvious, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me?”

    And of course it is written that there is no excuse for not believing in God as He is seen in all of His creation.

    Please Joyce don’t think I am criticizing you in any way nor even trying to convince you of how I see things.

    I just wanted to say that your comment explains a great deal and I am sorry for you. You miss out on a lot as a result.

    Prayers for you Joyce that your eyes are opened and your heart as well.

    Steve

  91. poohpity says:

    Wow does it really matter what one person’s opinion of another is? How can they really know what another person’s heart is like towards God or is it really any of their business? For those who think that it is their job what kind of relationship do they have with God to push Him off the seat of omniscience and place one’s self there instead? Is one living to please God and seek Him above all else or to make themselves appear godly when seeking God is the farthest thing from their mind?

    Case in point Matt 13:

    24 Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. 25 But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. 26 When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew.

    27 “The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’

    28 “‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed.

    “‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked.

    29 “‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’”

  92. poohpity says:

    Only God can distinguish the wheat from the weeds!

  93. jeff1 says:

    I think that’s rich coming from someone whose forever giving opinions especially where Beloved is concerned.

    Maybe take your own advice rather than being hypocritical.

    It’s good to tell yourself the truth.

  94. Beloved says:

    It’s all good Steve. Don’t feel sorry for me this is how I am made- broken but thriving because of Christ.

  95. Beloved says:

    Thank you for praying I will love better. that’s my prayer also.

  96. street says:

    i struggled with identifying what i am dealing with on a regular basis. God is faithful and a perfect wine dresser. He does have a sharp knife and trims where needed, for our benefit. i also understand you can tell the difference by the fruit they produce. before sharing in His life we share in His death. He tasted death for everyone who would receive Him. to receive Him is to have life. we know He will never die again. once and for all. peace with God. tribulation in the world. i wonder if all the trouble is about trying to be where we are not suppose to be? thinking of job again. not satisfied till the presents of God. even then, God gave job work to do. work was given even before the fall. obedience, most fruitful work. obedience from faith grace and mercy required…..for without faith it is impossible to please God. who will i please today? thinking of chambers recent devotional, when it pleased God. Holy Spirit required. the love of two freedoms in Holy unity. the gift of God.

  97. Beloved says:

    “I would walk 500 miles”, song by the Proclaimers was on my mind as I awoke today. Yes I will walk with Jesus as many “miles” as He has planned here for me. I will soon finish my 70 th year! Amazing for one sentenced to death before I even left the womb and threatened every other year after for 15 years- I never thought I’d see 21! But here I am, God had a plan! Wow. His plan was not for wealth health social status big family love or higher education but to know and experience the love of God through Christ Jesus! Makes all other things pale in comparison. Oh He’s sooo Good!

  98. Beloved says:

    “In the world you will have trouble- I’ve heard there was even trouble in the monasteries and Christian schools. I think the only earthly way to escape is to go off grid. —But I have overcome the world.”

    Street you don’t need to share your struggles here, I know you struggle and hope you have friends you can talk with that are kind honest and hold you to the foot of the cross. I do often. With grace mercy and truth. God knows your struggle.

  99. Beloved says:

    “you miss out on a lot”

    Yes Steve, I do. As does your beloved son Matt. The thing with having mental disability is the unseen is difficult to understand unless you too are a sufferer.

  100. street says:

    God knows your struggle.
    david knew struggles…
    he also knew Who to go to for help in all things…

    it’s a habit developed over time.

    remembering the past, hope for the present, promises of a future. The God of all comfort.

    thinking about that song of the marks on the neck. standing before God next to the child that is raised from the dead. a transgression removed as far as the east is from the west. not even a memory of the past, a place of no corruption, a place where nothing will ever disturb them again. of the increase of His rule and of peace there will be no end. a rule of life and blessing. an end to suffering and tears. wondering what joy and laughter in the new heaven and new earth is like. back to the big valley. the joy of the assurance of the promises of God. i will never leave you nor forsake you.

  101. SFDBWV says:

    Actually Joyce has made a profound statement and one that is in sync with this topic.

    “This is how I am made-broken but thriving because of Christ”.

    Though God made us in secret the baggage we carry the scars we have were made in the life we have lived and are living. What it was that broke us from our intended path are born with us and experienced by us in life.

    As in Mart’s opening topic Heath has to carry the burden of being illegitimate, a scar that is more often an open wound only needing a nudge to open up all the anger and pain associated with that designated name.

    Even though the matter may never matter to all the people who love them the wound says to them they were never meant to be, a mistake. So the matter remains with them all of their days and effects their decisions, their associations their life in nearly every way.

    The truth remains I have never seen nor read of an official marriage ceremony dictated or shown in the Law nor in the Bible.

    However there are many other things that make us who we are. Who we are is reflected in everything we do every decision and certainly in every relationship.

    And yes even our expectations and relationship with God.

    I will see you folks tomorrow morning, God willing.

    Steve

  102. street says:

    you know steve as you mention about how there is no marriage ceremony in scripture to look at.

    i have been interested in the relationship between a husband and wife. how they are portrayed in the Bible. a successful and perfect one. guess this would give you a chuckle. i just remember jacob was crazy in love with rachel. even in the wisdom literature there places of trouble in the relationship. a future wedding feast is being prepared. where two become One. the crazy one waiting for Bridegroom on white horse. ya i know “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’” an unexpected twist. the names of God and Jesus are endless ….. Eternal and complete. the White horse rider, Savior and Champion LORD of lords KING of kings.

  103. poohpity says:

    Viv said, “I think that’s rich coming from someone whose forever giving opinions especially where Beloved is concerned.

    Maybe take your own advice rather than being hypocritical.

    It’s good to tell yourself the truth.”

    Remind me when I have said anything about Beloved or anyone else and what their relationship with the Lord is. I have confronted her as I have with everyone else on assuming things about me, calling me names, accusing me of following the devil and such other filth and ugliness that they know nothing about me to comment on or offer an uninformed opinion of that. That is not my opinion it is the facts because I do quote what they have said just like I did just now with you who is also accusing me of things I did not do that is called bearing false witness against a sister/brother. Is that loving? No but I consider the source.

  104. poohpity says:

    A Pastor taught me a long time ago that there will be people in heaven we never thought would be there and some we thought would be there that aren’t. In other words it is not my business what anyone’s elses relationship with the Lord is, it is only my business what mine is. I know I do not know what is in anyone’s heart because I KNOW without a doubt that ONLY God knows that. I have faith in God and His omniscience and His desire that none be left behind and that is way I share the Good News with folks all the time and do works that show my faith. I do not brag about them but rest assured that God knows and I do not need the praise or accolades of others that is why I do most my good deeds in private because I do them for Him and because of Him. I do good things in the name of Jesus because I am His and He is mine. :->~~~~~~~~~~~ That is blowing a raspberry as Pat once showed me how to do it. bahahbahbbahaa

  105. poohpity says:

    street, by the way Steve is correct in saying there is no official marriage ceremony in the bible just the fact that they celebrate marriages for a week usually but no description of an official ceremony is spoken of.

  106. Beloved says:

    I have confronted her as I have with everyone else on assuming things about me, calling me names, accusing me of following the devil and such other filth and ugliness that they know nothing about me to comment on or offer an uninformed opinion of that. That is not my opinion it is the facts

    I have been thinking about this lately and yes I am guilty of all these things and probably more. I apologize and ask your forgiveness. Joyce

  107. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, when all is said and done all anyone does is make assumptions on what we know of people and usually it is their words we base our opinions on though there are those whose actions have sacrificed for the good of others that stand apart from the rest of us as they have put their lives on the line and even lost them for the greater good.

    Having lived in a country at conflict I knew some very brave men and woman who paid the sacrifice to ensure that others could sleep in their beds at night.

    I don’t believe I have any idea of what others have sacrificed for my liberty because as we would say here ‘eaten bread is soon forgotten’.

    I should forget the wrongs but I should never forget the sacrifices because they are a reminder of how many have suffered in the fight against evil and many did so not seeking praise or accolades but because they believed they were answering the call of God because with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

  108. street says:

    Jesus said He is the light of the world and those who follow Him will not walk in darkness.

    they will not follow another.

    how great is that darkness?

    not as great as the Light of the World.

    thinking of those who study the scripture thinking they have eternal life in them…. they are in spiritual darkness the law can not save you. like samual The Word of God spoke to samual, but he did not recognize Him as Lord. even paul on the road to damascus did not recognize The Word of The Lord, Jesus.

    paul was in a great darkness that was broken by The Light of the World, Jesus. 1st Person. He’s not Dead.

    thinking of those who believe and have not seen.

  109. foreverblessed says:

    When living in a family it is good to remember that only God knows the deepest things, even of our own hearts.
    I found this on God calling, twolisteners, Jesus talking to one of the women, seeking God’s face:

    April 5
    Heart’s Interpreter

    Rest in Me. Seek this evening time just to be with Me. Do not feel you have failed if sometimes I ask you only to rest together in My Presence.

    I am with you, much with you both, not only at these times, at all times. Feel conscious of My Presence. Earth has no greater joy than that.

    I am the heart’s great Interpreter. Even souls who are the nearest together have much in their natures that remain a sealed book to each other, and only as I enter and control their lives, do I reveal to each the mysteries of the other.

    Each soul is so different — I alone understand perfectly the language of each, and I can interpret between the two.

    “Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath
    dealt bountifully with thee.” Psalm 116:7

  110. jeff1 says:

    Beautiful Forever, the deepest things, known only to Him.

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

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

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

  111. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Foreverblessed and Viv, I just wanted to say hello.

    I just finished gathering my weather information and sending it to the National Weather Service and seen you two were on BTA.

    I laugh because whereas I only report the weather every day those poor souls at the Weather Service has the job of predicting what the weather is going to be.

    They tell me that the radar is untrustworthy here in the mountains so they rely on weather observers like me to confirm what they think may be going on or correct it.

    This morning it is light snow and 28 degrees f.

    I do hope the both of you are having a good day and pray that each of you are blessed all the day long.

    Steve

  112. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you very much Steve! I pray the same for you and Matt and Glenna.

    Talking about a wedding:
    Bride and Bridegroom

    This is really where it is all about:

    God, Jesus, making ready a Bride.

    The Body of Christ, the Bride “This is a profound mystery, but I am speaking about Christ and the Church”

    A wedding ceremony: Matthew 22:1-2

    We will certainly drink wine at the ceremony:

    Matthew 26:29

    (My friend, who has that terrible disease, the doctors give her only two more years)
    She has been busy with the Bride, she painted a big painting, portraying the Bride, with Chagall as the inspiration, (he often painted a bride and bridegroom hanging in the sky)
    She painted the dress white, but at the bottom of the dress, it comprised of many many people.

    Now she is planning on a painting of Paradise, this time she is gathering pictures of animals: Birds, deers. She is thinking of just making a collection of pictures, instead of painting.

  113. foreverblessed says:

    Beautiful song Viv!
    Just that one song for the whole day, would be enough!
    With Jesus ofcourse.

  114. jeff1 says:

    Hello to you too, Steve, I live in a town but was raised in a village surrounded by mountains and we have snow here today.

    We do not have any extreme weather conditions as you do but we do have more rainfall than in the rest of the UK perhaps it is God’s tears for our country.

    May you also have a blessed day.

    The God of love my Shepherd is,
    and he that doth me feed;
    while he is mine and I am his,
    what can I want or need?

    He leads me to the tender grass,
    where I both feed and rest;
    then to the streams that gently pass,
    in both I have the best.

    Or if I stray, he doth convert,
    and bring my mind in frame,
    and all this not for my desert,
    but for his holy Name.

    Yea, in death’s shady black abode
    well may I walk, not fear;
    for thou art with me, and thy rod
    to guide, thy staff to bear.

    Surely thy sweet and wondrous love
    shall measure all my days;
    and as it never shall remove
    so neither shall my praise.

  115. poohpity says:

    Jesus taught us that even those without Christ can be kind to those who are kind back and how easy it is to love those who love us back but the higher road that He asks us to walk on is to be kind to those who are not kind to us and love those who will never return it. He also taught, for those who care what Jesus teaches, to forgive even when someone does not admit to the wrongdoing not because of them but because of what Jesus did for us and not to carry or nurse grudges.

  116. poohpity says:

    It is amazing how often our faith is tested in how we treat others!

  117. Beloved says:

    Sounds like an interesting painting forever. I will have to look at some of Chagalls paintings, it’s been a while.

  118. Beloved says:

    My Utmost today is on Ways we persecute Jesus.

  119. jeff1 says:

    It is only Christ in me that stops me from carrying or nursing grudges.

    I have a very good friend who knows Christ died for her sins and is very vocal in saying so. Biblically taught from childhood her knowledge I cannot but admire though I do not share in her interpretations.

    My friend will tell me how she can hold a grudge for 40 years and she will boast as if it were a great achievement.

    Though I have said to her of Jesus’s teaching of turning the other cheek she will quote chapter and verses of the Bible that speak of an eye for an eye and so will be defiant in her defence of her stance.

    It is deep entrenched beliefs like hers and many who share them that leave my country in a tit for tat mindset as to dealing with the past.

    In truth I only see it changing when the younger generation take the reigns as they are dismayed at attitudes of devoutly held religions where grudges are common place no matter what religious divide it comes from.

    Jesus teaching are very different to many peoples interpretations of Scripture and that is why there is much division in the world.

    My friend and I have been friends since primary school and I have no doubt of her love of Christ and she has been instrumental in reminding me of Christ’s love for me when I was depressed and so her faith I do not question but I do not see a Christ filled Christian when I look at her today and perhaps why I am so cautious of interpretation of Scripture which seems to me can lead to self righteousness rather than Godly intent.

    Again this is assumption because of her words to me but what goes on between her heart and God is very much a mystery to me.

  120. foreverblessed says:

    O dear, Jeff, you gave me a good smile!
    How you do not want to judge your friend yet are curious about the tit for tat interpretation!

    Bless your enemies, is Jesus’ teaching on the mount,
    But can we preach it if we do not do it ourselves?

  121. Beloved says:

    Family Issues

    Had an interesting conversation with an 84 year old man. He’s told me before how he was literally removed by his mother from home when he was 8 and sent to live with relatives. He was never told why. When he was older he went to a family celebration and his mother would not let him stay overnight saying she had no room, yet allowed a couple of his siblings to stay. He turned to alcohol to deal with his grief and betrayal. He told me he married a Pentecostal woman and quit drinking. She died 9 years ago and he said he started drinking again, gambling also.
    He asked me on Sunday how I could do “work” on Sunday, after I mentioned I’d just cleaned my oven. I said it wasn’t “works”. He looked puzzled knowing I’m a Christian. I decided to let that sit until the LORD opens his heart a bit. I will know when to speak more. He tries to attend church occasionally and feels good about it for the day but then his unresolved grief takes over and he heads for the casino and his general hatred for all shows up in his self pity laments. He’s been on my prayer list for 4 years now. He doesn’t list to philosophical or humanistic arguments because they can’t resolve his heart ache for Love. That can only be met in Jesus. No family member/ friend/ addiction compulsion can love like He can. Sigh..

  122. jeff1 says:

    In fairness to her she doesn’t preach it as she is very much for a God of Wrath and will admit to wanting to see her enemies punished.

    I guess if you believe that God punishes evil and you believe evil has been done to you then you can justify your interpretation.

    I just don’t go along with her thinking because I had a different upbringing and believe that God changes the characters in the Bible for the better which means I must make room for God to change me and He can only do that when I submit to His ways and not try to change God to fit mine.

  123. street says:

    people in this age see love forgiveness grace and mercy.

    in other ages anger judgment and wrath. we see judgment and wrath in Revelation and Zephaniah. we are told of Christ return or day of the Lord is not a happy day. we are told how people respond to His return.

    all ages have seen death. God upholding His Word.

    we are asked to trust in the life that is in Christ, The Light of the World. Jesus, we are told will judge good and evil. He will also tread out the wine-press of the wrath of God alone.

    God is justice and righteousness, He is light and life and there is no darkness in Him. there is no life apart from Him.

    life is found in forgiveness. to not forgive is to not find life. if you don’t not forgive others from your heart neither will God forgive you. Matthew 6:15

    Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.

    We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death.

    Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

    This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.

    we were dead in our sins, by coming to Him and trusting in Him we have life, a life to be lived in Christ not apart from Him.

    i like to think of a pool of water some walk up to the pool and dip a toe into the pool and say they are a follower of Christ. some are immersed completely and say the same thing.

    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

    abraham believed God and righteousness was credited to him. righteousness of faith/trust. as James would say a trust that is worked out in life/ obedience, service, love. God’s Word moves mountains walls and veils

    meet any spies lately?

  124. Beloved says:

    Viv I’m listening to CS Lewis book “ Mere Christianity “ on YouTube and thought you might like it. It’s nice hearing the book, for me it saves on eye strain😀

  125. Beloved says:

    I’ve been thinking about the heart a lot today Street. “Forgive from the heart” wow not easy to do unless it’s been changed by the power of God who moves mountains and whatever else He chooses. I think even a heart of stone can be moved given the right circumstances. By grace, it’s all about grace. The stone on Jesus tomb was moved to let Jesus out. Oh yes, He can do that.

  126. Beloved says:

    Change my heart, O God,
    Make it ever true;
    Change my heart, O God,
    May I be like You.
    Change my heart, O God,
    Make it ever true;
    Change my heart, O God,
    May I be like You

    You are the Potter,
    I am the clay;
    Mold me and make me,
    This is what I pray

    Change my heart, O God,
    Make it ever true;
    Change my heart, O God,
    May I be like You.

    (chorus)
    Jesus, O Jesus, come and fill Your Lambs
    Jesus, O Jesus, come and fill Your Lambs
    O let the Son of God enfold You
    With His Spirit and His love
    Let Him fill your heart and satisfy your soul
    O let Him have those things that hold You
    And His Spirit like a dove
    Will descend upon your life
    And make you whole

  127. jeff1 says:

    Thank you Beloved I would like that.

    Street, I wish it were true that people in this age see love forgiveness grace and mercy.

    God doesn’t give up on us and I know that because He is still working in me.

    I am much slower in the uptake but I do believe that God will move in others when the time is right because evil done to them does hurt and disturb their peace in God but God has both time and patience or He would have given up on me a long time ago.

    God will keep His promises because He is a God of His Word and not because I am deserving of His faithfulness.

    I never said that I would give you silver or gold
    Or that you would never feel the fire or shiver in the cold
    But I did say you’d never walk through this world alone
    (Hmm)
    And I did say, don’t make this world your home

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

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

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

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

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

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

  128. street says:

    The stone on Jesus tomb was moved to let Jesus out.

    to let us in! in to the presents of God.

    Ezekiel 11:19
    And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh,20 that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them. Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God.

  129. street says:

    children of God comes to mind.

  130. street says:

    what better way to understand God than to follow His Son?

  131. Beloved says:

    Thank you so much for praying for me to love better.

    I remember telling you all how I really don’t love people but because it’s a command I do it out of love for God. Listening to Mere Christianity today I finally understood my troubles. I do love people and people love me, however it’s because Christ is in me- it’s all Him loving people through my rebirth. But, when I listen to voices from the past telling me how unloveable I am and how hated I used to be I get all confused. I need to keep reminding myself that as He is in me I’m able to DO whatever I’m told. His will. To ignore my past and live in the present even when it assaults me. Christ in me, my hope of glory. It gets confusing sometimes yet I know that no matter what kind of damaged brain He’s working with and through doesn’t matter, it’s obedience that counts, a joyful obedience where the result is far far better than we can imagine. Because He’s so good. all good.

    So what does this mean you ask? It means I want to love others better who also have difficult personalities/ understandings. He makes all things work together for good, for those who called according to His good purposes.

    I do feel much better about going to Bible study tomorrow. Monday’s I missed because of a panic attack. Hoping this new understanding will carry me through tomorrow and beyond. I’m so grateful for Gods faithfulness to me.

  132. Beloved says:

    The grave could not hold Him. He’s not there! He’s risen to glory in heaven and also in the hearts of mankind- if they will let Him in😀. Come Holy Spirit, we need You.

  133. jeff1 says:

    Street, I am not disagreeing with you as it is why my dad understood God because he kept his focus on Christ and the Cross.

    My ignorance of God comes from my failure to be obedient but God doesn’t force me to obedience but He doesn’t forsake me either He waits until I learn the error of my ways and returns to His.

    I am never closer God than when I am on my knees but what are the desires of my heart because in my friends waywardness she thinks she wants justice but I hear the vengeance in her words and so God knows the motivation of her heart.

    He loves His child and will not do anything that pushes her from Him but she blocks her growth by the impurity of her thinking and the deceitfulness of her heart.

    God enters the pure of heart because it is only the pure of heart who desire to see His truths.

    I will not make a fool of God by telling Him I desire Him because He knows the deceitfulness of my heart and will not respond in kind.

    I must desire His cleansing of my own heart and mind to see God and anything that leads me from doing so is keeping me from God’s will and blinding me to His Ways.

  134. poohpity says:

    Does one really even want to know God or even practice how He has guided us to live? How can one know His will or ways unless one spends time with Him?

    Just as Heath in the above story joined the family by sacrifice, work and love isn’t that what shows we are part of God’s family as well?

    Isn’t giving up or sacrificing our will and ways to follow the Lord the first step to take? Then learning what being part of His family really means and what it looks like to submit to His will and ways but how can one know what His will and ways actually are? Do they just appear out of the air? Is one able to listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit if they do not know if what they are listening to comes from God or someone else?

    Believers have a common purpose and goal, do they work together to achieve that or against each other? Is love missing in action when it comes to the very heart of those who say they believe or are they out to be self serving?

  135. Beloved says:

    Is love missing in action when it comes to the very heart of those who say they believe or are they out to be self serving?

    God knows, that I think is all that really matters. He alone is the judge of all hearts whether we call Him Savior or not. I was reading this morning how after praying all night Jesus chose Judas Iscariot who would become the disciple that betrayed Him. One never really knows but God judges swiftly. And finally. Self serving, yes definitely Judas was. He never said a thing about him except to go and do what he had to do. It was foretold by the prophets and Gods will was carried out. As always.

  136. SFDBWV says:

    I am enjoying a smile thinking about “self-serving”, because of an episode of “Friends” where two deep intellectuals (a little sarcasm) were disagreeing over whether there is such a thing as doing a good deed with no regard for getting something out of it for yourself.

    Phoebe argued that the deed was reward enough and Joey argued that the deed made you feel good and feeling good is the reward.

    An act of self-motivation.

    Are you a believer out of a desire to please God? Or out of fear if you don’t what may happen?

    Are you a believer because of the benefit you will reap for it?

    Or only because it pleases God?

    Oh well don’t over think it, it will keep going in a loop and you end up right back where you started every time.

    Another snowy morning followed by grey skies…Longing for June 1st.

    Steve

  137. Beloved says:

    Jesus cleared that all up.

    You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. John15

  138. SFDBWV says:

    More smiles from me Joyce, so then you don’t have to make a choice at all.

    Same loop.

    So has God given you whatever you ask?

    Steve

  139. Beloved says:

    Yes! As long as I don’t ask for things that are for my own self interests. He chose me but it was my choice to accept His offer of peace with God. The loop is only complete when I enter in.

  140. Beloved says:

    Lasting fruit, fruit from Gods vine. Not the worlds. I can’t say anymore about it.

  141. Beloved says:

    Actually there is no loop at all. It’s a one way from God to us. He saved He leads He changes He loved us first. Which is why we love Him and others. King, He’s King and LORD over the whole earth. Whether one acknowledges that or not.

  142. SFDBWV says:

    Well at this point I suppose I should say thank you Joyce for giving me a little laugh this morning at your expense.

    I like those happy smiling Christians who have a sense of humor and can laugh at the things they can’t really explain or understand.

    With a smile on their faces.

    Instead of those grumpy ole sour pusses who are serious all the time.

    With a scowl on their face all the time.

    Oh yes and since you always get what you ask for from God as long as it isn’t for yourself, there are a lot of people out here who need healing, both in body and spirit.

    So intercede and get to asking.

    Steve

  143. Beloved says:

    I’m sorry I meant to say:
    James 4:3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

    Gods will overrides my desires for healing in others, even though I think it would be beneficial for all, but then who am I to know better than God?

  144. Beloved says:

    if I sound grumpy and sour it is nice you get a good chuckle today. I pray you all are blessed greatly and that the Son shines soon. We have had over a week of sunless gloom; challenging to the soul and spirit.

  145. SFDBWV says:

    But you said you always get what you ask for.

    Are you then saying God wants people to be sick, crippled and little children dying of cancer?

    Yes Joyce who are we to know better than God, so why do we waste our time trying to think we can explain Him.

    “Oh Lord give me strength, but do not make me hardhearted, thank you, amen.”

    Steve

  146. street says:

    January 29
    Life to the Full

    Our Daily Bread.

  147. Beloved says:

    But you said you always get what you ask for.

    I guess because I’ve learned over time what to ask for and what not to ask for. But always with the caveat, according to His will. I know it’s Gods will for us to seek His face, not His hands. And to pray that others will seek Him also. My prayers cannot heal anyone. He’s the great Healer.

    That was a bold statement I made, and somewhat arrogant, please forgive me for engendering misunderstanding.

  148. Beloved says:

    We get what we need, not what we want. ODB
    Yes!!! Life to the fullest, Amen

  149. Beloved says:

    An old song;

    I have everything I need,
    I have love and joy and peace;
    in Jesus.
    Strength to guide me through my day
    Walk the hills that come my way;
    with Jesus.
    Time to gather lost ones in
    Share the love that longs for them;
    Oh that Jesus!
    Let the chips fall where they may
    God will always make a way;
    Because of Jesus.

  150. bratimus says:

    Steve wrote this,

    Are you a believer out of a desire to please God? Or out of fear if you don’t what may happen?

    Are you a believer because of the benefit you will reap for it?

    Or only because it pleases God?

    Oh well don’t over think it, it will keep going in a loop and you end up right back where you started every time.

    So now I’m enjoying a smile, because the loop is starting in my head lol

    Here it is, The one reward that I’ll benefit from is that one day I’ll get to be in God’s full presence. That is the only thing that I am concerned about in my walk of faith.

    Fearing and pleasing God one in the same with me, how can you please God if you don’t fear God.

    loop is over

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  151. SFDBWV says:

    Very well said Bratimus. A corrections officer once shared with me a study he did in finding out what was the prophet’s reward.

    It turns out to be, in the presence of God.

    Good job Bratimus.

    Steve

  152. street says:

    how can you be content apart from God?

    job faced this till he was in the presents of God, face to face. jacob the same way wrestling with Him in the desert.

    peace in Christ Jesus.

    it seems there is always an accuser to upset peace that is not settled with Jesus.

    till it is settled on the rock there is no peace. then a time to build and grow, conform, with fear and trembling. love cast out fear. love i hear is to delight in.

  153. Beloved says:

    15 This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:

    “In repentance and rest is your salvation,
    in quietness and trust is your strength,

  154. SFDBWV says:

    So here we are again or still, thinking inwardly. To be content, to be happy. A self-serving attitude.

    Don’t misunderstand I am not disagreeing, I think that we cannot escape thinking of ourselves, no matter what we do or decide.

    I can’t think of “Family Issues” more than the marriage of two people. A good explanation is given in Mark 10:5-9 KJV. There not being a marriage ceremony given, but there is regulations in the law as for divorce.

    Apparently there is a special spiritual incident which occurs when man and woman has sexual intercourse. In that they become “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24 KJV). Grave warning again in Corinthians 6:16 KJV.

    It appears that the marriage ceremony is in the giving of each other sexually. Deuteronomy 21:13 KJV

    Which may explain why Paul warns us of the dangers of sexual sin.

    In the Catholic Bible there is a very wonderful prayer given between Tobiah and Sarah in the Book of Tobit Chapter 8 verses 5-8.

    Worth the read.

    So when we depart from God’s plans we enter into a place of ill-content and create issues of contention within relationships and certainly families.

    Perhaps the issue should be in being concerned about who and how we harm others in our actions, rather than how we make out as a result of anything we undertake.

    Simply put, can you put the salvation of another ahead of your own and is that even possible. Are your fervent prayers for another or about yourself?

    Steve

  155. poohpity says:

    Do we believe in God because of what we think He may do for us sort of like a Santa Claus or because of who He is, the God of all creation?

    I know after watching the horrible suffering that was experienced during the Holocaust to all those people I had a crisis of faith problem that I talked to God about but found that even His prophets went to Him when they saw terrible suffering which has been around since the first murder. Most times when I have a crisis of faith the Lord just does not leave me there but gently reminds that I may not have all the answers as to the “why’s” things happen I may never know but do I trust that God is loving and good? Yes I do!

  156. jeff1 says:

    I started of a believer because of my parents who sent me and my siblings to Sunday School on a Sunday morning and the Gospel Hall at 3 O’clock in the afternoon.

    My mum was not churched but my dad came from a faith family.

    After my confirmation and learning the 10 commandments I decided God wasn’t for me as I didn’t believe I could keep the rules.

    A harsh world and difficulties in my personal life led me back to God but this time I was aware that Jesus loved me as I was and that changed how I saw God and that my leading a reverent life and doing right by other people I would please God.

    There was no real emphasis on my Salvation and more about how I would lead my life pleasing to God.

    I didn’t get to know God through the Bible but rather through experiences in life and so I have come more to trust God than understand Him.

    I have had many influences in my life when it comes to my faith and it was when I was very ill with mental illness that my dad would take me to his Cannon and he would explain to me Jacob’s ladder and angels ascending and descending and that I must not fear but trust God.

    I have been blessed with Godly people around me that have helped me through as my mind has always been delicate showing me that God is indeed merciful, faithful and willing to find a way to comfort and sustain me.

    Its a complex world but I can trust that God’s presence is here even when I don’t see it as faith is believing and trusting in His promises and Christ is our refuge in times of troubles.

  157. street says:

    steve a couple sundays ago the pastor did a sermon on the difference of a general manager and an owner. we get into trouble when we think we are the owner not a steward or general manager. subordinate to the One True God.

    thinking, worry and anxiety cause by stepping into the owners realm instead of looking to Him for guidance.

    25 “For this reason I say to you, [a]do not be worried about your [b]life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the [c]air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by being worried can add a single [d]hour to his [e]life? 28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But [f]seek first [g]His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be [h]added to you.

    34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will [i]care for itself. [j]Each day has enough trouble of its own.

  158. street says:

    Apparently there is a special spiritual incident which occurs when man and woman has sexual intercourse. In that they become “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24 KJV ). Grave warning again in Corinthians 6:16 KJV.

    41 Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him, because He said, “I am the bread that came down out of heaven.” 42 They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, ‘I have come down out of heaven’?” 43 Jesus answered and said to them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. 44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught of God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.”

    52 Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. 54 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.”

    there is a special spiritual incident which occurs here too.

  159. Beloved says:

    Family Issues

    Introverts and extroverts; how to get along? By learning to accept the differences. Just like Jesus does, I think.

  160. Beloved says:

    “ a reminder of how important it is to remember who we are, who loves us, calls us family, even when we are confused, feeling unworthy, and packing up to leave.“

  161. Beloved says:

    I find the impeachment trial fascinating.

  162. Beloved says:

    Thinking about prayer I remembered this, a cautionary warning.

    Psalm 106:10-15 New International Version (NIV)

    10 He saved them from the hand of the foe;
    from the hand of the enemy he redeemed them.
    11 The waters covered their adversaries;
    not one of them survived.
    12 Then they believed his promises
    and sang his praise.
    13 But they soon forgot what he had done
    and did not wait for his plan to unfold.
    14 In the desert they gave in to their craving;
    in the wilderness they put God to the test.
    15 So he gave them what they asked for,
    but sent a wasting disease among them.

  163. SFDBWV says:

    You know street if you are going to quote me at least keep it in the same subject matter as I am speaking of.

    Why Joyce do you find the impeachment trial fascinating?

    Not only do I not have any time to devote to it, I find the entire matter absurd.

    The Democrats accuse Trump of trying to use a foreign leader to influence an election, all the while they are trying to sidestep the American voter in the upcoming election.

    The pot calling the kettle black.

    The only interests the democrats in congress are trying to protect is their control of power.

    Enough said this morning.

    Steve

  164. jeff1 says:

    I think perhaps that is why I am so confused about who God is and find Jesus easier to understand.

    With interpretation of Scripture comes different views of God as it seems being on different spiritual levels there are different ways to interpret.

    With Jesus I feel safe because I have refuge in Him when I know I have displeased God in some way.

    With having a mind that is somewhat unpredictable when it comes to my thoughts I take refuge in Jesus knowing He pleads my case and the outcome is that I know God’s wrath will be more a rebuke and a scold like my dad would scold me when I was a child for my bad behaviour and I know now that my dad’s discipline as a child was for my good and not for my destruction and so I am thankful when the Lord rebukes me because He is a loving Father and His intention to discipline me comes from His love for me and not a desire to harshly punish me for my wrongs for why would God who allowed His only Son to die an agonising death on my behalf want to bring destruction on me when He says that my sins are as white as snow because of Christ’s Sacrifice for me.

    In Christ it is finished because God says so as Jesus is the first and the last, the beginning and the end, the alpha and omega.

    It is God who has given Jesus authority so if I am trusting in Christ then I know I am complete in Him but that is nothing to boast about because it is the work of God and with that in mind I should be prayerful and desiring of mercy and grace for those who have through either ignorance, false teaching or negligence have not come to the knowledge that Christ is all in all to Thee.

    Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness. The Scriptures say, “God accepted Abraham because Abraham had faith in him.”. The scripture says, “Abraham believed God, and because of his faith God accepted him as righteous.”

  165. jeff1 says:

    Why should I worry, doubt and fear?
    Has God not caused His Son to bear
    My sins upon the tree?
    The debt that Christ for me has paid,
    Would God another mind have made
    To claim again from me?
    2
    Redemption full the Lord has made,
    And all my debts has fully paid,
    From law to set me free.
    I fear not for the wrath of God,
    For I’ve been sprinkled with His blood,
    It wholly covers me.
    3
    For me forgiveness He has gained,
    And full acquittal was obtained,
    All debts of sin are paid;
    God would not have His claim on two,
    First on His Son, my Surety true,
    And then upon me laid.
    4
    So now I have full peace and rest,
    My Savior Christ hath done the best
    And set me wholly free;
    By His all-efficacious blood
    I ne’er could be condemned by God,
    For He has died for me!

  166. Beloved says:

    I find the PROCESS our government is involved in fascinating to witness withholding judgement of either side. Solemn yes it is. As it should be. Holding ones feet to the fire is good. But God is in charge no matter the outcome in any of our lives. Just and merciful. Righteous. Good and full of grace. We all make mistakes because all have sinned but God has overcome the world flesh and the devil.

    Viv
    The Israelites knew nothing of Jesus as Savior then. But God was determined to make them His own people. Even giving them their desires according to their own will with the consequences any good father is aware of yet often allows- like the prodigal comes to mind. He lets us exercise our will. But He is still sovereign. When children are young it is the fathers/mothers duty to snatch them out the way of a car driving toward them as they dash into traffic, but when the child grows up their own mind should know how to decide for themselves with eyes wide open to dangers. We have the great privilege of living in a time such as this where we are the recipients of grace and where all enjoy the benevolence of God, friends and enemies alike! But we only enter into fellowship with Him through the Savior, as I know you know.
    (I’m not good at this, I mix metaphors but I hope you get the gist of what I’m trying to say.)

  167. poohpity says:

    When I first submitted my life to the Lord it was a desire that He put in me to read the bible, I just could not get enough of it. Everything in my life changed my desire for Him was an itch I could only reach but by listening to teachers, music and reading the bible anything that had to do with God to fill my life. My desire to learn all I could and it became like a daily feeding that I hungered for no matter what form that came in. Now today 30 years later it has just become part of my daily life and when I do not do it a big hole is left unfilled and I feel undressed and unfed. That is what is most important to me and my children even knew it was above them as well because without God none of us had a chance we had been accepted into the family and that is where we belonged.

    He rescued me and I am eternally grateful.

    You rescued me and picked me up
    A living hope of grace revealed
    A life transformed in righteousness
    O Lord You have rescued me
    Forgiving me, You healed my heart
    And set me free from sin and death
    You brought me life You’ve made me whole
    O Lord You have rescued me

    And You loved me before I knew You
    And You knew me for all time
    I’ve been created in Your image O Lord

    And You bought me, and You sought me
    Your blood poured out for me
    A new creation in Your image O Lord
    You rescued me, You rescued me

    You rescued me and picked me up
    A living hope of grace revealed
    A life transformed in righteousness
    O Lord You have rescued me
    Forgiving me, You healed my heart
    And set me free from sin and death
    You brought me life You’ve made me whole
    O Lord You have rescued me

  168. jeff1 says:

    Beloved says:
    January 30, 2020 at 9:09 am

    We have the great privilege of living in a time such as this where we are the recipients of grace and where all enjoy the benevolence of God, friends and enemies alike! But we only enter into fellowship with Him through the Savior, as I know you know.
    (I’m not good at this, I mix metaphors but I hope you get the gist of what I’m trying to say.)

    I think we all seem to hear very differently but then maybe that doesn’t matter that much to God who knows ahead His plans for us.

    Its Him who knows my weaknesses and where and when I will fail Him (thinking of Peter) and that’s not something I want to admit to but it is the truth for if it wasn’t the truth I would have no need of a Saviour.

    Thinking of the family and the different roles we have in that family and how we change roles over our life time.

    The lessons we learn from the roles we find ourselves in and the relationships we break or make because of our failings or others failings.

    We are not so different as we are alike and yet we so easily see the faults in others and miss them in ourselves and yet God overlooks those faults in all of us in order to unite a family that He loves despite their rivalry, confusion and tendency to wander from Him.

    1 Weary of wandering from my God
    And now made willing to return,
    I hear, and bow me to the rod;
    For thee, not without hope, I mourn.
    I have an advocate above,
    A friend before the throne of love.

    2 O Jesus, full of truth and grace,
    More full of grace than I of sin,
    Yet once again I seek thy face,
    Open thine arms and take me in,
    And freely my backslidings heal
    And love the faithless sinner still.

    3 Thou knowest the way to bring me back,
    My fallen spirit to restore;
    O for thy truth and mercy’s sake
    Forgive, and bid me sin no more!
    The ruins of my soul repair
    And make my heart a house of prayer.

  169. street says:

    Family Issues
    “Charity!? Heath Barcley, I never heard of anything so ridiculous. Charity!? Why you’re as much a Barcley as I am.’

    Virginia was married into the Family
    Heath was adopted into the Family.

    they were not Family of blood line but of Spirit

    God took on flesh and blood, for the purpose of restoring that which was lost and taking away ignorance and doubt.

    thinking of the Family Name and the Family Image.

    14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom [a]every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the [m]saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

    20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations [n]forever and ever. Amen.

  170. Beloved says:

    Heaths crisis of faith?

  171. foreverblessed says:

    One family,
    Being One in Christ.

    And not makinge judgments.
    How hard that is.
    I was reading about Copernicus, he found out that the earth was moving around the sun.
    The catholic church left him alone, for a Century, because it was introduced as a mathematic model.
    But resistance came from the protestant side:
    Martin Luther judged that it was not according to the bible.
    O dear…
    What a misser.

    He found out about Mercy and Grace through faith in Jesus,
    That was great!

    What I am trying to say is that we have to be cautious in our judging.

    It is central that Jesus is our Savior,
    That through faith in Him we live

    But many interpretations of the bible we should leave each other alone
    Alone: the other person with God Himself

    That is so hard.
    But the best thing to do.

    What needless strife there is and was among brethren( old word), about things where we are so ignorant about, as Oswald Chambers in another sense wrote about, yesterday

  172. Beloved says:

    I’ve been thinking about what he said, that when we judge we are abusing Christ. i remembered that when I was attacked at coffee today. My first thought was, well, i thought she was a friend and I have done so many things for her and this is how she treats me?!! I mused that she has rejected Christ and is dying and her day of reckoning will come! But No! That’s Jesus dying there, how could I think such a thing. Christ lives in a thousand faces…. I don’t know Gods plans for her, so I didn’t say anything to or about her to anyone but Jesus. Of course she’s miserable and lashes out; she has no hope. So I will give her more of my time in prayer and helping where I can. I pray to see a smile of comfort from Christ as He becomes her Savior one day soon!

  173. jeff1 says:

    We fix our eyes on Jesus Christ,
    Our brother and our Lord,
    Our Great High Priest and sacrifice,
    Our captain, shield, and sword.
    He laid aside His majesty,
    Was born to serve and die.
    Now reigning at the Father’s right,
    The Son is lifted high!

    Surrounded by His witnesses,
    With Christ before our eyes,
    We throw aside what weighs us down
    And run to gain the prize.
    What joy is ours in Jesus Christ!
    We feast on Living Bread!
    His light is shining all around!
    His face is just ahead!

    We fix our eyes on Jesus Christ
    And gladly share His cross.
    We set our faith and hope on Him,
    Enduring every loss.
    O Living Lord, our Light, our Strength,
    Our Hope and Morning Star,
    We stand and greet eternity
    Complete in all You are!

  174. Beloved says:

    As Kingfishers Catch Fire
    BY GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS
    As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
    As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
    Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s
    Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
    Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
    Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
    Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
    Crying Whát I dó is me: for that I came.

    I say móre: the just man justices;
    Keeps grace: thát keeps all his goings graces;
    Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is —
    Chríst — for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
    Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
    To the Father through the features of men’s faces.

  175. street says:

    Family Issues
    3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us[b] for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known[c] to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

  176. foreverblessed says:

    God knows all!
    King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

    Yet, He was the Lamb, dying for His sheep, who had all gone astray.

    Just the overall view.
    But tonight Great Britain will leave the EU.
    Mentioning that…
    And then having my eyes fixed on Jesus.

    God bless you all!

  177. jeff1 says:

    Thinking of Brexit and the divisions it causes in households and countries and ask myself ‘What is God doing’.

    God does hold His cards close to His chest but them whom can He trust in a world that claims He doesn’t exist.

    How often have I behaved like He didn’t exist!

    I’m glad that God is a better judge of character than I and knows in whom He can trust.

    If I have learned anything it is that I don’t know people as I thought I did and so I am very thankful that it is in His hands because I have learned that it could not be in better ones.

    He’s got the whole world in His hands
    He’s got the whole world in His hands
    He’s got the whole world in His hands
    He’s got the whole world in His hands

    He’s got the itty bitty baby in His hands
    He’s got the itty bitty baby in His hands
    He’s got the itty bitty baby in His hands
    He’s got the whole world in His hands

    He’s got a-you and me brother in His hands
    He’s got a-you and me brother in His hands
    He’s got a-you and me brother in His hands
    He’s got the whole world in His hands

    He’s got a-you and me sister in His hands
    He’s got a-you and me sister in His hands
    He’s got a-you and me sister in His hands
    He’s got the whole world in His hands

    He’s got the whole world in His hands
    He’s got the whole world in His hands
    He’s got the whole world in His hands
    He’s got the whole world in His hands

  178. SFDBWV says:

    It is laid out very clearly how the body of Christ is made up of all believers, with Christ as the head.

    It is difficult to imagine just how such a body functions with so many parts at odds with each other.

    I am a believer in “The Rapture”. A believer because I want so much to believe it and have studied the Scripture in support of it.

    In studying the matter there are several events that come into view. An increase in volcanic and earthquake activity, pollution of the oceans, unusual weather, new disease’s and something in the heavens that causes distress. And an economic collapse.

    The new family that has moved to town are of the group of believers that there is no “rapture” and that they have to prepare for the coming judgement upon the world.

    In my hopeful thoughts it comes down to who do you rely on, in whom you put your trust.

    The rapture of the “body of Christ” from the earth will herald in the great tribulation.

    The most profound of all “exits” in the history of man.

    My prayers of hope for us all.

    Steve

  179. Beloved says:

    1 Forth in your name, O Lord, I go,
    my daily labor to pursue,
    you only, Lord, resolved to know
    in all I think or speak or do.

    2 The task your wisdom has assigned
    here let me cheerfully fulfill;
    in all my work your presence find,
    and prove your good and perfect will.

    3 You may I set at my right hand,
    whose eyes my inmost secrets view,
    and labor on at your command
    and offer all my work to you.

    4 Help me to bear your easy yoke,
    in ev’ry moment watch and pray,
    and still to things eternal look
    and hasten to that glorious day.

    5 Then with delight may I employ
    all that your bounteous grace has given,
    and run my earthly course with joy,
    and closely walk with you in heaven.
    John Wesley

  180. Beloved says:

    Dear Mart and friends,
    I wish to thank you for the opportunity to grow spiritually under the blessed Hand of Discipline here. I pray you all grow closer and closer to our -better- than-we-can-even-imagine Great God. That He bless you and make His face shine upon you, today and forever acording to His will.

    In Christ,
    Beloved

  181. jeff1 says:

    Teach me how to love, Lord.
    Teach me what to say.
    Teach me how to hear their hearts,
    And teach me how to pray.
    Help me to be patient
    As You work Your will,
    Always ready to obey
    And ready to be still.

    Give me gentle wisdom.
    Let Your Spirit speak
    When my thoughts are harsh or when
    I’m worried or I’m weak.
    Looking to Your cross, Lord,
    I can see the truth.
    Just a vessel for Your love,
    I trust them now to You.

  182. poohpity says:

    Does it really matter when the rapture happens if we do not now keep our lamps filled with oil in anticipation of His coming? Will we be found doing what the Lord left us to do while we wait for Him to come get us? Or will He say, “I never knew you”

    Matt 7: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

  183. poohpity says:

    Is it really Jesus who never knew us or does that mean we never spent anytime to get to know Him?

  184. poohpity says:

    by using His name as a badge of honor like “professing” Christians do but never really in an intimate relationship with Him? Saying we are Christians and members of His family but unlike Heath never put in sacrifice, work or love to show we are part of the family?

  185. poohpity says:

    Paul addressed “Family Issues” in one of his letters to the church.

    1 Thess 5: Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.

    16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

    19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil.

    23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, souls and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

    25 Brothers and sisters, pray for us. 26 Greet all God’s people with a holy kiss. 27 I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters.

  186. foreverblessed says:

    About 20 years ago someone gave me a book, by Rick Joyner, three visions that he had had about the endtime and the church.
    One of the visions was about a church building he saw, not of stones, but of living people, holding each other, and so making up a building.
    But then Rick sees someone walking in that “church”, someone who just pretends to be a christian, but who is not really a living “stone” in the house of God.
    And he says to God: Look at this person, do something about it.
    ( Or in other wording, Rick thought God had to remove him)
    But God answered: Leave the man alone, maybe I can touch his heart, while he is here.
    You have your eyes fixed on Me, and act upon My incentive.
    ( I do not remember the exact words)

    I found that at the time a great Revelation.
    It sounded like Jesus, who tells Peter: … what is that to you? You follow Me!
    John 21:20-22

  187. SFDBWV says:

    One of the advantages of being an older Christian is that though there is an eternity of things yet for me to discover, I have read and learned a lot.

    Of course what good is knowledge unless you pass it along?

    The problem in Protestant Christianity is that nearly everyone has their own opinions on just about everything and until they learn what another already has, others are generally suspect of knowing nothing.

    Good advice from listening to Christian apologist’s or teachers is always not to take what they have to say as being “correct” simply on the strength of their saying it, but rather to look up the matter in Scripture and see for themselves.

    Obviously there is not room enough here to Scripturally validate the “Rapture” study completely. But there are plenty of studies out there to read that do just that.

    Two that come quickly to mind are “The Late Great Planet Earth” Hal Lindsey and “Approaching Hoof-beats” Billy Graham.

    I will as of this writing believe that Revelation 4:1 KJV in part is the rapture call.

    Foreverblessed I too believe that Jesus died for everyone and whereas I am burdened for the lost, I am not troubled, rather relieved and elated for who God allows in.

    I enjoyed your post.

    Steve

  188. poohpity says:

    forever great word! It is always the Lord who takes the care of knowing who are His or who will be His and those who aren’t, it is never up to us as in the parable of the wheat and the weeds. Thanks for sharing that.

  189. bratimus says:

    Some folks out there have put up walls around their hearts, do to life’s not so loving side. To blast through the wall would destroy the heart, so it has to be softly taken down piece by piece with love.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  190. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning fellow BTA bloggers.

    Groundhog Day, bah humbug. If that rat sees his shadow in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania, what difference could it make here? It snowed a wet heavy 3 inches overnight and is snowing as I speak.

    Whatever the weather wherever you are I hope that winter soon ends for us all.

    Good advice Bratimus.

    Steve

  191. jeff1 says:

    What wisdom lies in your words Bratimus and how we talk and make assumptions knowing little of other’s journeys or battles they face.

    God give Jesus all power, authority and judgment and so who are we to say how He should judge or to whom He should give power.

    People react differently to adversity and even those who claim to know Christ can react very badly so individuals are complex and God must do as He sees fit in each of us and not what each of us thinks He should do.

    I was brought up in a religious country and learned religious traditions but I can see today that does not make me Godly.

    There is much more attached to Godliness than rituals and God used an English soldier to enlighten me to that but I didn’t react well when he said it and took me another 30 years to see what God was teaching me.

    I am not in a position to tell anyone how to live their life as up to now I haven’t made such a great job of my own but I have learned that God doesn’t give up on me and that is just as much a mystery to me today as anything because I have so often given up on myself over the years but He has always found a way to comfort and strengthen me.

    Having suffered mental illness which seems to run in our family I have learned to take one day at a time and the part of Scripture that applies to me today is:

    Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

    There is something to be said for not running before you can walk and as my bipolar causes my mind to race I can get ahead of myself and that never ends well for me.

    I have always believed those who walk with God do so with a stable mind and that is because I had a dad who was as consistent of mind as anyone I have ever known.

    Back in the day when I was listening to others I didn’t give much attention to how he lived his life but today it makes much more sense to me.

    He didn’t get ahead of himself but knew who to follow.

    Scripture for him was not about knowing his Bible as he didn’t but he searched it for to correct, strengthen and get to know the characters God used as by doing so he felt assured that through them God was speaking to him.

    I believe God did speak to him because he knew the right thing to do in the midst of tribulation whilst for myself I have looked back and seen that I never did what was right in the heat of the moment and it is in hindsight I see the error of my ways.

    You have been my strength,
    Everlasting Father.
    You were there to cradle me and soothe my infant cry.
    Now that I am old,
    Gripped by growing weakness,
    Hold me ever closer, O my joy, my hope, my song,
    God, my joy, my song!

    In the face of fear,
    With this body failing,
    I am growing stronger as I trust You need by need.
    Fill each day with praise!
    Flood them all with singing!
    May my every word and deed be always only You,
    Always, only You!

    Everlasting God,
    Faithful, ever faithful,
    Grace and truth and tenderness are always who You are.
    You are all my hope,
    You, my living promise:
    Soon this seed will blossom into everlasting life,
    Rich and endless life.

  192. poohpity says:

    What I found so interesting and intriguing in the bible was all the different people God used and not one of them was perfect nor did they do everything in their lives without messing up but the one thing they all had in common was their faith and trust in God and even that they did not do perfectly yet God loved them because as head of our family He knows each member completely and loved us in spite of ourselves.

    It is not about us but it is about our Father who welcomes His children not because of what they do but because of who He is. His children all have a common goal and purpose as did the family of “The Big Valley”. We have a bigger ranch than they did we have the world and we have the privilege of showing that world the Love of our Father who wants to have a relationship with each of His children and wants to welcome as many kids that there are in the world past, present and future.

    It just seems that God wants everyone to know there is a God and He cares, loves, provides and is here for us whatever the occasion and circumstance.

  193. SFDBWV says:

    Well I see that the famous groundhog did not see his shadow and so spring will arrive early…I’ll remember that our next snow storm.

    Our snow showers ended about 9 am and the sun began peeking out between clouds.

    Years ago an older female friend of mine got very upset with me because I told her that a “wooly worm” was actually a moth caterpillar. I can laugh about it now, even though I laughed about it then in spite of just how angry she got.

    “Why Steve I thought you were smarter than that.” “It’s a worm, a wooly worm!”

    She apologized after learning the truth sometime later and we both had a good laugh.

    It’s pretty hard to tell someone the truth when they think they already know otherwise.

    No sense getting mad, just shrug your shoulders and say oh well.

    Still in the subject of “Family Issues”, I have been blessed to have lived most of my life in this small town. Every citizen becomes an extension of each other’s family.

    It has been a colorful life, one rich with so many friends and neighbors.

    One reason why when death comes the funeral is packed.

    Are there arguments, hard feelings, and feuds? Sure, such is inevitable in any family.

    But when tragedy hits, for the moment, all of that is put aside.

    For the curious who don’t already know, the “wooly worm” is also supposed to be able to predict the coming winter weather by its color. If you see enough of them in the late summer they all seem to have a variety of colors, so I guess you can take your pick. And be right after the winter is over.

    Steve

  194. jeff1 says:

    I think the problems among Christians is their expectations of each other and not God’s expectations of us.

    I find that I have expectations of my Clergy only to find that they are human like myself.

    I think being older and wiser has something to do with it and I am learning that others are learning too.

    I think it is about us in that we must never forget the cost to ‘Christ’ and it is when we focus on Him we please God as He doesn’t make demands on us when it comes to knowing Him but rather to come to Him and feed on Him with praise and thanksgiving.

    Thinking of our Post Communion Prayer.

    Almighty God,

    We thank you for feeding us
    with the body and blood of your Son Jesus Christ.
    Through him we offer you our souls and bodies
    to be a living sacrifice.
    Send us out
    in the power of your Spirit
    to live and work
    to your praise and glory.

    Amen.

  195. bratimus says:

    First off I think this groundhog thing is a sham, or hog wash some might say, one reason for this think I don’t see any groundhogs where I live. Going to have to look the wooly worm up don’t think those are around where I live either.

    As I have said before, There is only one way back to God the father and that is through Christ Jesus the son. Christ Jesus can reach people a billion different ways through the Holy Spirit. So we can have billions of different unique people head to God.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  196. jeff1 says:

    It seems to me you know what you are talking about Bratimus as it makes sense to me that God works mysteriously to my limited view but collectively in that He is bringing about His purposes in the world.

    Otherwise He would not be an omniscient God and we know that He is.

    Thinking that you see a lot from your mountain Bratimus.

  197. SFDBWV says:

    Here in Appalachia folklore and the like are still very much alive. Most of the local Colleges even have special courses devoted to local history along with customs and the connection to our heritage.

    I have the complete set of the “Fox Fire” books that was an attempt to record the old ways from not becoming lost to modern thinking.

    We can have a lot of fun joking about the wooly worm or the whistle pig, but behind such beliefs are facts that the old people held true.

    I was at a drug store in our nearest big town several weeks ago and when the clerk seen my name she got all excited and said she was married to one of my nephew’s sons and that I must be “Uncle Steve” the one with all the ghost stories.

    I said yes I am he.

    And so told her one quick “ghost” story from my family lore.

    I’ve told it here before, but please bear with me as I tell it again.

    My father and his brother were raised by their mother’s father and mother. And so the story is about them.

    My great grandfather Ed was no longer able to make the daily course of going up and down the stairs so he had a bed set up down stairs that was in alignment with the back kitchen door from his position in the next room.

    The house was surrounded with a boardwalk.

    It was the summer of 1945 and my Uncle Fred was staying with his grandfather as a care giver. His grandmother Phoebe, Ed’s wife had went to Washington with her daughter, my grandmother Ethel because she had been sick and Ethel took her to Washington to see doctors at a hospital as there were none close to where they lived.

    Ed did not know Phoebe was sick.

    One afternoon Uncle Fred said to his grandfather that he was going over to the restaurant to have a beer and would be right back.

    When Uncle Fred returned Ed was shaken and upset. He said to Fred, “Why didn’t you tell me that “Mother” (Phoebe) was sick?

    Uncle Fred ask what are you talking about Grandfather.

    And so Ed said that he heard someone walking along the board walk and they were limping. He thought maybe that Fred had fell and hurt himself and sat up in his bed to look at the back kitchen door.

    But instead of Fred coming in it was his wife Phoebe and she was limping as she walked up to the foot of his bed.

    Ed surprised ask her why she was limping and what was she doing here instead of in Washington.

    She replied that her leg had broken and that was why she was limping and that she had come to tell him she would not be returning from Washington and wanted to say goodbye.

    Needless to say my Uncle Fred was in shock as he knew what Ed had not that Phoebe had bone cancer and while there at the hospital her leg had broken.

    She died and never returned alive to Bayard.

    Ed when 17 years old had married Phoebe then only 15, they had three children and one that died at birth and had been married over 50 years.

    The story is as true as from those who told it to me, and while not a ghost story as a haunting it is a story of just how strong love can be.

    Blue skies now and 43 degrees f.

    Steve

  198. jeff1 says:

    Love, love changes everything, hands and faces, earth and sky
    Love, love changes everything
    How you live and how you die
    Love, can make the summer fly
    Or a night seem like a lifetime
    Yes love, love changes everything
    Now I tremble at your name
    Nothing in the world will ever be the same

    Love, love changes everything
    Days are longer, words mean more
    Love, love changes everything
    Pain is deeper, than before

    Love, will turn your world around
    And that world will last forever
    Yes, love, love changes everything
    Brings you glory, brings you shame
    Nothing in the world will ever be the same
    Off into the world we go
    Planning futures, shaping years
    Love bursts in and suddenly
    All our wisdom disappears
    Love, makes fools of everyone
    All the rules we make are broken
    Yes, love, love changes everyone, live or perish, in its flame
    Love will never ever let you be the same
    Love will never ever let you be the same

  199. foreverblessed says:

    Last week Steve reacted tot Beloved, quoting:
    John 14:14
    You may ask Me for anything in My Name, and I will do it.

    “Do you get what you ask for?”

    But it is a very strong statement of Jesus.
    We could say this:
    Are you so sure about that?
    Why are there so many sick, and dying?

    The series on Discover the Word is now two weeks on Habakuk- a man of prayer.

    Strong prayer-man!
    I am now on nr 4:
    Praying with the willingness to wait!

    How can you say that God is not working if you do not see somebody healed?
    How sure are you that God is not answering prayer, if the healing is waiting to come?

    Some years ago, (I may have written this before, but I really like God’s answer to me)
    I was very much let down, when head problems came up in the night, after a long time of no problem.
    I asked God: “Are you forgetting me now?”
    The next morning I was feeling a little better. But snow had arrived (headaches sometimes come with new snow)
    And I thought, lets go outside and make our path clean of snow, before people walk on it.
    I went outside, and lo and behold: No snow!
    No snow in front of our house!
    And snow in front of the neighbours house, left and right!

    And a still, very quiet question rang in my ears, very soft and very sweet:

    “See, that I did not forget you?”

    God was so good to me!
    He was working, but the work on/in my head was on its way.

    I did not get what I wanted right away, but I knew God was working on it.

    But miracles do happen, Steve!
    Thanks for sharing the ones of your family. (It took me a while to get all the names right, and get the gist of the story, but a miracle it was)

  200. foreverblessed says:

    We all know about the waiting stories:
    25 years for Abraham and Sarah
    17 years for Elijah, till Jezebel was gone.
    About four hundred years between Malachi and Matthew
    About four thousand years between Gen 3:15 and the Cross of Jesus.

  201. SFDBWV says:

    Hello Foreverblessed, I hope today finds you well and filled with blessing from our Lord.

    Yes I do know that miracles do happen.

    My entire life is a living example of them.

    I like to share them when I can, but some people are offended when they see the hand of God in someone else’s life and so their reply can often be offensive as well.

    I will remind you of my dream whereas it seemed to be Jesus, explained all of my why questions to perfect satisfaction, but I not allowed to remember them as faith had to be enough.

    It gives me little pleasure to know that as written in Hebrews 11 all of the great men of faith died without their promises from God having been realized.

    However that is where my faith remains, I will have faith as long as I have breath to testify of it.

    My pain comes from watching Matthew suffer both physically and mentally amid the struggle to understand why God would do this to him.

    Causing Matt to struggle with believing if there even is a God daily.

    When I hear people say that we just have to have enough faith in order to have our prayers answered to our desires it does indeed cause me to get somewhat upset.

    And when they throw Bible quotes to support such an attitude, yes I question them as to whether or not all of their prayers get them what they want.

    For the first few years of Matt’s disability he would ask me to help him stand there aside his bed and for me to get back a far distance from him and he would walk to me, on his own.

    I built him a device so that he could hold on to it and balance himself while I stood some distance from him.

    He would pray and ask God to let him walk, only time and time and time again only realize he could not.

    My heart breaks daily to watch Matt suffer, but to watch him realize that his prayers were not answered no matter how much he believed hurt me in a way I cannot adequately describe.

    My now deceased mother in law “Crick” would often say to me that she just wanted to live long enough to see Matt healed. She died at the age of 96 never getting to see her heart’s desire.

    Our friend Mart also has his own pain and I see much of his own struggles in the subjects we have to discuss. They remain private to him and I certainly respect that.

    My burden is not for me, it only burdens me to see so much suffering in so many people and yes sometimes I just may not see the reasoning behind it.

    My prayers every morning and all day long are for today, I will pick up tomorrows prayers tomorrow.

    Your Friend always
    Steve

  202. jeff1 says:

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

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

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

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

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

  203. poohpity says:

    What were the original prayers for Matt, if I remember right Steve, it was just for him to survive the accident?

    I think of Joni Eareckson Tada who at first prayed that her whole body would be restored so that she could serve God and God told her that she could serve him just as she was. Through her resilience she has overcome even being overtaken with cancer on top of everything else she was going through but one thing she has said the whole time is that one day she WILL dance before our God.

    What we do with our lives in the meantime of our prayers being answered is really important. Paul asked to be healed but God said His grace was sufficient and Paul will also be healed one day.

    Sometimes our attitude in the meantime can cause us more damage than what our disabilities actually are and if it just so happens that our loved one’s push us a little to do more than we ever thought we could do, we will have successes. Just as Jesus told Peter to step out of the boat in faith and while Peter looked toward Jesus he was able to do the impossible in walking on the water but the minute he looked around at the circumstances he sank. Sometimes we sink more often when we think we can not do something instead of paying attention to what we actually can do we become more disabled than we were to begin with.

  204. jeff1 says:

    Walk A Mile In My Shoes

    If I could be you and you could be me for just one hour
    If we could find a way to get inside each other’s minds
    If you could see you, through my eyes, instead of your ego
    I believe you’d be, surprised to see, that you’d been blind

    Walk a mile in my shoes
    Walk a mile in my shoes
    And before you abuse
    Criticize and accuse
    Walk a mile in my shoes

    Now the whole world you see around you is just a reflection
    And the law of karma, says you reap, just what you sow
    So unless you’ve, lived a life of total perfection
    You’d better be careful of every stone that you should throw
    And yet we spend the day throwing stones at one another
    ’cause I don’t think or wear my hair the same way you do
    Well I may be common people but I’m your brother

    And when you strike out and try to hurt me it’s a-hurtin you
    There are people on reservations and out in the ghettos
    And brother, there but for the grace of god go you and I
    If I only, had the wings, of a little angel
    Don’t you know I’d fly, to the top of the mountain, and then I’d cry

  205. poohpity says:

    Walking a mile in the shoes of someone else sure does help with empathy. Having physical disabilities as I do or learning disabilities as my one son has and struggles with mental problems as the other two of my children have as well as their mom, I have come to be open to listening to their struggles with a broken heart and when they fall into self pity to sit together with them and focus on the things we are able to do. Rather than going on what we can not do without even attempting to doing it I tell them that courage is not the absence of fear but having fear and going for it anyway and there is no such thing as trying, you either do it or don’t do it but there is not such thing as trying. One always misses the pitches they do not swing at.

    I found when I nursed the can not do within our family I actually crippled them to not to attempt anything new when they do not even know if the can. When they do it and fail they can either attempt it again or quit that is up to them as well as for me too. There are and will always be things I am unable to do like run. lol But I can live with that.

  206. jeff1 says:

    Your mindset is very different in that you say there is no such thing as trying while I think God loves a trier.

    He likes that I make the effort even though I fall on my face more times than I succeed.

    I think the more I try and the more I fail the more I see my need of God.

    I believe that is the message God wants me to hear that it is not about me being successful but that I see my need of Him and I never see the need of God more than in my failings.

    I think the song about walking a mile in another’s shoes is saying I cannot walk in another’s shoes as I am not coming from the place he has come nor do I have his mindset.

    From my experience what brings one person to God can turn another away so it is only God who knows how to work in a persons life and so offering advice can be more detrimental than it can be helpful but it doesn’t stop others thinking the know better when it is only God knows best.

  207. foreverblessed says:

    Dear Steve, thank you for your openess! You have, as Habakuk had, a burden for his people!
    ( Oracle is burden) Hab 1:1
    We stand with you here!
    For one thing: I am sorry thankful that you haven’t lost your faith!
    Hab 2:4 the righteous will live by faith.

    You live the day, one by one.
    I pray that God will strengthen you today!

    Do we get what we ask for?
    Well… the thing I ask for changes:
    I pray that God will finish the work He started in Matt!
    I bless the work God is doing in Matt.
    “Thank You, God, for You are doing a wonderful work!
    You promised that You would not be too hard for us.

    I pray for peace in the heart of Steve, and Matt!
    Peace beyond human imagination!

    And this bible verse has been in my mind for so long:

    For the revelation awaits an appointed time;
    it speaks of the end and will not prove false.

    Though it linger wait for it;
    It will certainly come and not delay!

    Hab 2:3

  208. SFDBWV says:

    This subject of family and the struggles all families have as families reminds me of the modern day term of “dysfunctional family”.

    I have always wondered when first introduced to the term, whose family is perfectly functional? At least to the concept of what family escapes negative issues?

    Actually none that I have come to know. There are some that you may think is “normal”, but that is only because we aren’t privileged to know what skeletons they have in their family closet nor what goes on behind closed doors.

    Then we take a closer look, perhaps even under a microscope of Christian behavior. Of church, of church officials and of we who call ourselves “Christian”.

    Nope, nobody escapes a family without “issues”.

    We all know people, perhaps some of us right here, who disillusioned with church just quit going.

    Did we or they just pack up and leave? Well perhaps not their faith, but perhaps to escape the “issues” being flaunted in their faces upon each gathering.

    Or feel that they themselves are constantly under that microscope of observation by others, looking for cracks that they can expose or use.

    Life isn’t easy, put on the armor each morning and stay in constant prayer as the fiery darts of family issues assault you.

    Steve

  209. poohpity says:

    Isn’t it different to do something and fail then to not do it at all which is what trying is. Put a pencil in front of you now try to pick it up! One either picks it up or they don’t trying is that place in between. Trying is just a word to make an excuse for not doing something because one has already made their mind up they are going to fail.

    Steve, you are so right that there are no perfect families so why do people make the point of looking at the failures of others when we know all have them. Wouldn’t it be better to look at the good in others and build upon that? Don’t people blame or make excuses for bad behavior in people they love? I would say yes. Does that really help or does it just condone bad behavior then nothing changes? Don’t we want the family we love to grow but if we are always making excuses for them doesn’t that actually just cripple them more?

  210. poohpity says:

    There is nothing wrong with failing when we do something! That is a place of learning. Like it has been said by good coaches you miss every shot you do not take. Practice makes head way rather than just giving up when we fail. That seems to be how our Christian life is, we practice even though we may fail God picks us up brushes us off then says do it again because every day we are given another chance to practice what we say we believe. Will we always get it perfect, no but at least we attempted to live it and when we give ourselves a break then we will give others that same leeway. Isn’t that what grace is all about?

  211. poohpity says:

    In Our Daily Bread for today it says; “In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus presents a standard of love that’s beyond comparison. This kind of love embraces not just the “worthy” but the undeserving (Matthew 5:43–45), reaching beyond family and friends to touch those who can’t or won’t love us back (vv. 46–47). This is God-sized love (v. 48)—the kind that blesses everyone.”

  212. poohpity says:

    Steve, Matt has had so many successes over the years and I have been right here to cheer him on. Yes it hurts to watch the failures of our children but we can encourage them to not give up.

  213. foreverblessed says:

    Just for encouragement:
    Acts 1:7
    It is not for you to know…
    The New Testament gives little encouragement to a sentimental view of life. Its writers had too much to do, and too much besides to think about, for undue occupation with pensive remembrances or imaginative forecastings. They bid us remember as a stimulus to thanksgiving and a ground of hope. They bid us look forward, but not along the low levels of earth and its changes. One great future is to draw all our longings and to fix our eyes, as the tender hues of the dawn kindle infinite yearnings in the soul of the gazer. What may come is all hidden; we can make vague guesses, but reach nothing more certain. Mist and cloud conceal the path in front of the portion which we are actually traversing, but when it climbs, it comes out clear from the fogs that hang about the flats. We can track it winding up to the throne of Christ. Nothing is certain, but the coming of the Lord and ‘our gathering together to Him.’

    The words of this text in their original meaning point only to the ignorance of the time of the end which Christ had been foretelling. But they may allow of a much wider application, and their lessons are in entire consonance with the whole tone of Scripture in regard to the future. We are standing now at the beginning of a New Year, and the influence of the season is felt in some degree by us all. Not for the sake of repressing any wise forecasting which has for its object our preparation for probable duties and exigencies; not for the purpose of repressing that trustful anticipation which, building on our past time and on God’s eternity, fronts the future with calm confidence; not for the sake of discouraging that pensive and softened mood which if it does nothing more, at least delivers us for a moment from the tyrannous power of the present, do we turn to these words now; but that we may together consider how much they contain of cheer and encouragement, of stimulus to our duty, and of calming for our hearts in the prospect of a New Year. They teach us the limits of our care for the future, as they give us the limits of our knowledge of it. They teach us the best remedies for all anxiety, the great thoughts that tranquillise us in our ignorance, viz. that all is in God’s merciful hand, and that whatever may come, we have a divine power which will fit us for it; and they bid us anticipate our work and do it, as the best counterpoise for all vain curiosity about what may be coming on the earth.

    Alexander McLaren’s expositions

    My own thoughts: One thing is certain now:
    Christ in us
    For those who believe in Jesus.

  214. bratimus says:

    “dysfunctional family” I do not like this modern term, it is a term made up by society. Like Steve said most or if not all families have issues, struggles and maybe a problem or two here and there. Basically dysfunctional family is a term brought up by non-believers to try to explain how the darkness of this world is trying to destroy families, with out mentioning that the darkness of this world is trying to destroy families. The darkness is like a predator hunting for prey trying to scatter a flock or herd to get to one, and a family being like a flock or herd the darkness of the world tries to being dysfunction to the family to scatter it.

    The hope and the truth is if we bring our families into the body of Christ, not only do we strengthen our families but through Christ we gain a bigger family and have a might Shepard to protect us from the darkness of the world.

    Yes there are those that are very hard headed to this concept of family, faith in Christ Jesus to handle it is the best course.

    I hope this thought of mine is understandable.

    In Christ Jesus name
    WE who walk in the Spirit

    Bratimus

  215. phpatato says:

    Dysfunctional family

    I have always said that my family puts the “fun” in dysfunctional.

    Closet skeletons for sure. Some are even untethered and out on the loose. Each day is a reset. As Steve said, put on the armour daily and stay in prayer because you never know when the wiles of satan will have you fighting your very own skeletons.

    God’s blessings to all

    Pat

  216. jeff1 says:

    1 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.

    Refrain:
    On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
    all other ground is sinking sand,
    all other ground is sinking sand.

    2 When darkness veils his lovely face,
    I rest on his unchanging grace;
    in ev’ry high and stormy gale,
    my anchor holds within the veil. [Refrain]

    3 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. [Refrain]

    4 When he shall come with trumpet sound,
    O may I then in him be found,
    dressed in his righteousness alone,
    faultless to stand before the throne. [Refrain]

  217. foreverblessed says:

    Today on Utmost is about Fil 2:17
    Are you willing to be poured out?

    This topic is about the church family. One of the commentators in todays Utmost writes that she was greatly opposed by fellow christians, who told her that you have to look after yourself first, before you can look after others.
    I was also greatly opposed in my church housegroup, mentioning about being a doormat to the world.
    “A doormat!”
    It sounded like false teaching.

    While the Gospel message is:
    Trust yourself fully to Jesus.
    And let Him look after you, and you serve others, trusting that Jesus will fill you up.

    Jesus became the doormat of the world.

    How are we to discuss with one another? If we so easily say: false teaching?
    I was reading a book, about Erasmus and Martin Luther.
    Also heated reactions by Luther. To my dismay, because Luther was a big hero to me. But even he had some undisciplinary reactions.

    Paul writes about training himself. Lest he, after he had preached to others, would himself be found wanted.

    Jeff, we are going to sing that song next Sunday, Cornerstone.
    A newer version of it.

    Christ alone,
    On Him we stand
    In Him we trust

  218. SFDBWV says:

    It is for certain that I get very little sleep, this morning Matt and I were up at 2:30am. We just were awake and couldn’t sleep so we got up.

    He has been saying all morning how glad he is that we did.

    When I do sleep I often have very frustrating dreams. Dreams were I am back at work in the mines, but can’t find my boots or tools or even my locker, and I almost never can find my keys.

    I wake then with that frustrated feeling lingering with me.

    I admit that I am always looking in my dreams something that may have meaning for me, dreams that are influenced by God, I even ask for that as I lay down to sleep.

    So all day long in every event both positive and negative I am looking for God in them. Perhaps a lesson to be learned, or some revelation, and even at night when I sleep I continue to look for God everywhere I am.

    As well as in everything I see, and in the words and actions of others.

    I learned that when I don’t see God in all of those places it is sometimes because I am to just look deeper.

    Steve

  219. jeff1 says:

    Forever, I think that shows how God works collectively as it is no coincidence that we all in different parts of the world praise and worship God.

    We are never more united than when we do praise and worship God as it puts an end to satan and his attempts to dysfunction us.

    We only have to look at the world around us to see satan has got a strong hold but when we look and put our hope in Christ we are never more at ONE with God.

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

    We have an anchor that keeps the soul
    Stedfast and sure while the billows roll,
    Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
    Grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love.
    2
    It is safely moored, ’twill the storm withstand,
    For ’tis well secured by the Savior’s hand;
    And the cables passed from His heart to mine,
    Can defy the blast, through strength divine.
    3
    It will firmly hold in the straits of fear,
    When the breakers have told the reef is near;
    Though the tempest rave and the wild winds blow,
    Not an angry wave shall our bark o’erflow.
    4
    It will surely hold in the floods of death,
    When the waters cold chill our latest breath;
    On the rising tide it can never fail,
    While our hopes abide within the veil.

  220. poohpity says:

    Yes Viv, sometimes one looks all around for things to help them rather than to the Lord. He alone holds and provides the tools and the keys we need to do life. Psalm 46:1

  221. poohpity says:

    Self sufficiency VS God sufficiency

  222. SFDBWV says:

    There was a man who lived here in town who would have been my grandparent’s age. He was a business man and had a store here in town was part owner of an “Opera House”. The Opera House being a place that showed silent movies, had a couple bowling alleys, a few pool tales, and some live music now and then.

    He also was a member of the board at the local bank.

    The “Opera House” burned down, the bank closed as a result of the collapse of the stock market in 1929 and his eldest son was killed in a hunting accident.

    During the great depression he organized the construction of sidewalks all over town using his own money, employing the local miners who were suddenly out of work with little to no prospects of finding any.

    He continued to give credit for groceries at his store and in some cases loaned money for some of the men to be able to buy the company houses they lived in.

    An elderly lady friend of mine told me that when he finally closed the store he sat there at his old pot belly stove and while looking over old unpaid debts, remembering the people associated with them one by one he burned the debts in the stove.

    One of his son’s, Roy would often visit and when my own parents retired and returned here, Roy and I became friends. Glenna and he as well as every year on the Memorial weekend he would make certain his brother had flowers on his grave.

    Glenna now sees that his brother is remembered in that way.

    Life both empties us and fills us and in part makes us who we become.

    Mr. Curry was a Christian man who acted like one, not just talked like one.

    Such people are who have influenced my life.

    I only hope that I can be remembered in that way, in that “Book of Life” God has recorded for me. Burning the pages of the debts I owe Him.

    Steve

  223. poohpity says:

    Matt 22:39

  224. jeff1 says:

    Steve, when I was a child I remember a local grocers shop run by two elderly brothers and my mum would speak of them and how they ensured her mother (being unmarried) did not go without food by giving her the left overs at closing time.

    I can remember my grandmother being a difficult woman and my mother would speak of life being very difficult for them and so living in a harsh world took its toll but for the grace shown by men like these I dread to think what might have happened to them.

    Thank God for the kind and caring people in the world who make a difference much more than they may even realize.

    In loving-kindness Jesus came
    My soul in mercy to reclaim,
    And from the depths of sin and shame
    Through grace He lifted me.
    From sinking sand He lifted me,
    With tender hand He lifted me,
    From shades of night to plains of light,
    Oh, praise His name, He lifted me!
    2
    He called me long before I heard,
    Before my sinful heart was stirred,
    But when I took Him at His word,
    Forgiv’n, He lifted me.
    3
    His brow was pierced with many a thorn,
    His hands by cruel nails were torn,
    When from my guilt and grief, forlorn,
    In love He lifted me.
    4
    Now on a higher plane I dwell,
    And with my soul I know ’tis well;
    Yet how or why, I cannot tell,
    He should have lifted me.

  225. poohpity says:

    This week in our bible study we learned about people with disabilities and how they can be used to bring people to God. Also that everybody has some type of disability in the form of our weaknesses and strengths.

    Max Lucado writes; “We find it difficult to trust God when we can’t figure out why He allows certain uncomfortable things to happen to us. Interestingly, we don’t wonder about God when He allows good things into our lives. One of the lessons in the blind man’s experience that no matter how long we have known Christ, we will never get over the fact that He knew us long before we knew Him–and we will never reach the end of discovering more about Him.” The story is in John 9:1-12

  226. jeff1 says:

    I do not like the idea of stereotyping when it comes to trusting God as people are individuals and God deals with us differently and also I can trust God in one area and not in another.

    We are not suppose to figure out why God allows bad things to happen but accept that in this world we will have tribulation.

    If we spent as much time trusting God as we do trying to figure Him out we just might actually please Him because if we can only trust Him when He allows good things into our lives then its a very one sided faith.

    It has been the teaching that I received to always take the bad with the good and trusting God with the outcome whether it goes for or against me makes no difference as that is what faith is trusting when not seeing where God is leading.

  227. jeff1 says:

    Thinking good things happen to bad people just like bad things happen to good people or that is the view from the human perspective but God sees very differently as He is all knowing and we are not.

  228. poohpity says:

    Viv, you are correct in saying, “We are not suppose to figure out why God allows bad things to happen but accept that in this world we will have tribulation.” but that does not stop people from questioning the motives of God when bad things happen but they do not seem to question Him when good happens. I think Max was just getting us to think how quick we are when bad things happen to shake our fists at God.

    In that story that John told about the people around the blind man asked Jesus did this man sin or did his parents yet did not questioned who’s fault it was when Jesus healed the man. Just things to think about after all that is what bible studies do get us to think about issues just like this blog does as well or it used to anyway. I believe it is fine to get to know God better then maybe one day we will stop asking those type of questions because we will submit and trust God in ALL circumstances that He has our best in mind because He is loving and good.

  229. poohpity says:

    I am just one of those who enjoys so much discovering more about God and I knew when I started this journey it takes a lifetime to grow in my relationship with Him. I enjoy keeping my lamp filled with oil until He comes.

  230. jeff1 says:

    I learned to trust God when coming through difficult circumstances so I don’t get people questioning God’s motives.

    Rather than doubting God I examine my own motives and usually find they are at fault.

    It took me a long time but I finally see that trusting God comes to me being honest with myself in that I need Him whatever circumstances I am in and it is when I wander from this truth I get distracted and discontented and that is not a good place to be for me.

    Seeking God has been very much heart felt for me as a disturbed mind has been a burden for so long it has become part of who I and is the very reason I am more in need of God than He is of me.

  231. SFDBWV says:

    One of the most difficult things for any of us to give up is the idea that we can control the events around us.

    We certainly cannot control the actions of another.

    No matter how much good advice we may offer, no matter how much we plead, even our surrender to their will cannot control their mindset nor actions.

    When we surrender to God’s will, it is not our will that now has control, but His.

    If a member of the family decides to pack up and leave we cannot chain them to the house and make them a prisoner.

    All any parent can do is love their children, warn them yes, advise them certainly, but at some point let them go.

    And in some cases in great mental anguish watch the train wreck in slow motion and then be there for them to pick up the pieces and do all you can to help them.

    It does sound all too familiar as the story in the garden to the end of all things.

    Our God letting us go, but there for us in the end.

    Steve

  232. poohpity says:

    I believe that parents attempt to control children rather than teach them but I do not think that God wants to control me/us. I look at it this way that sin controls but being in a relationship with God gives freedom.

    As a parent I can teach my children right from wrong and how to get along with others which I believe is what God does but how or what they do with their lives is up to them. I believe that parents teach children how to be independent of them however God teaches us to be dependent on Him and interdependent with others and once we are His, He never let’s us go even if we walk away for a time. Once a child of God always a child of God as was explained by Victoria Barclay regarding Heath.

  233. jeff1 says:

    Receive the peace of Christ,
    Deep union with the Son.
    The Father’s boundless love
    Makes all His children one.

    Refrain:
    We share His Holy Spirit,
    Father, Son, and Spirit!
    All glory, praise, and honor
    To Jesus our Lord!

    We pass the peace of Christ
    To all who love His name.
    Our gifts are all unique;
    Our purpose is the same.

  234. foreverblessed says:

    That is a beautiful song for the family of Christians.
    Family, Mart is trying to say: whatever you are or do, you will always be part of the family.

    Here, in this song, it is said:
    For those who love the name of Christ. Because you become part of the family when you accept Jesus as Lord?

    Last night the film Spartacus was on television, because of the passing of Kirk Douglas. The unity amongst the slaves

  235. foreverblessed says:

    Sorry, just hit the wrong button…
    But all the slaves were willing to die for Spartacus!

    Just like us, we who are christians are so, because we love Him more than our own lives!

    “He, who does not hate his own life, cannot follow Me”
    Luke 14:25-35

    Hate, meaning loving Jesus more than your own lives.

    Do not be afraid little flock, for Your Father has been pleased to give you the Kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

    That is a reassuring bible verse. Luke 12:32

    (With a note on selling your possessions, not with the idea to start begging, as Paul said everyone should be willing to earn their own money, so that they can share.)

    About that admonition, that each should work for his own bread, it was common in Roman times: Patron system.
    Being a patron to many, gave status. People coming at your door every morning, andere heralding their patron.
    And then they got some money, to make through the day.
    Paul was saying in effect: Do not be a patron for others.
    Let yourselves not be heralded.
    Let the people work for themselves, and not be dependent on others ( except the frail people, widows and orphans, the sick, they ought to be cared for)
    This breaking the system of patronage by the christians, brought about a social change.
    Independent citizens, that was a threat!

    But loving your neighbor, was not the same as making them independent of you.
    Nor the heralding, the honor given to you.
    Every morning the people wereld ecpected to stand at the door of their patron, or protegé, and bring him honors. When their patron would move through the streets, they would walk with him and harold him.
    That was the custom, the more people a patron would get around him, the bigger his status.

    (I am now reading a book, the world of the early church, by Simon Jones, 2011)

  236. SFDBWV says:

    Taking into account Foreverblessed comments it troubles me that God holds us into account for loving our family members.

    Don’t misunderstand me, I understand He insists He come first in our hearts.

    It just troubles me to think that He would pit love against love and force us to choose between those we love.

    A great deal of the language with regards to family against family in the Gospels I have always attributed to the Jewish family of members of the same family who accept Jesus as Messiah and those who don’t. Thus putting their strict law into the mix of family members.

    I really don’t think God wants us to choose who we love more, if even that is possible.

    Just my thoughts.

    Snow all day yesterday and today, not amounting to much just keeps it grey and colorless.

    Steve

  237. bratimus says:

    One thing I do know WE as the faithful Love God first, and follow all the ways of God even in dealing with are families. You don’t enable one who may or may not be living by God’s way. Hold another member by a stricter guide line because they are living by the ways of God. To rebuke those that might be straying is to show love. WE don’t show favor to one over the other WE love equally, and that love can be shown in differently. Trust me on this I have many nieces and nephews and I love them all the same, there is different interaction with all of them, it keeps life interesting and a little tiring,

    Through out the Bible are lessons on how we are to deal with each other, Proverbs has many good lessons 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 Good little lesson on Love.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  238. jeff1 says:

    I cannot change that my love of my children is unconditional as there is a bond that binds us.

    Even if they are not trusting God as I do I will always love them and believe it is God who put the love in me.

    I cannot control how they lead their lives but believe just as God worked in mine He will work in there’s.

    If my children are doing wrong I will tell them so but I did not always listen to my parents when they told me, such is the folly of some and sometimes we have to learn the hard way.

    Some will say its the best way to learn but I don’t really agree with that but find that some people cannot be told and so do learn the hard way.

    We may try to protect those we love but often God knows better.

  239. poohpity says:

    I agree Viv, it is from God that we actually learn what real love is. If we put Him first in our lives then the love we show will radiate from Him out towards others.

    My older son got mad at me one day and said you always put God first above us and I told him that if it were not for God I probably would not be around to be his mom nor would he be here.

  240. poohpity says:

    It seems that often times I thought it was in the best interest of my children to attempt to prevent pain in their lives but as my oldest said that is how he learns his life lessons. It would be nice if we could learn things easily when someone warns us of the consequences of our choices but God has attempted that for centuries and have we listened to Him? More often than not I would say, no, even being warned I often do it anyway expecting different results but usually that does not come to be.

    There is something to the saying; “No pain, no gain”. Sad but true hardheaded as I often am.

  241. SFDBWV says:

    just stopped by to say hello. The older I get the more exhausted my days become. However I have not packed up and left and will not as long as Mart continues with BTA.

    3 inches of snow yesterday and overnight, but a bright blue February sky as I write. February’s sun has energy, that December and January’s doesn’t.

    Spring is on the horizon.

    Steve

  242. foreverblessed says:

    Steve, about what you said: that we have tot chose between people, I agree with what Bratimus wrote:
    The matter is:
    Choose for Jesus above all, Jesus before anyone else!

    Even before yourself.

    It was so obvious:
    Love God first! The first commandment.

    But yesterday it dawned on me: Do I really love Jesus more than I do love myself?
    Really?
    And I was thinking, maybe I don’t.
    I was praying about it, that I want to love Jesus more than myself.
    And last night I had a dream, or a vision, I don’t know,
    I was telling Jesus I loved Him more than myself, and it was as if a big bucket in heaven was being poured out on me, bucket of LOVE.

    Ohhh, how much God loves us, how great His love is.
    And how little I could receive that love, because I love myself so much.
    God can only fill empty hands.

    Just sharing my own walk with God, I pray it may encourage others.

    How are you doing Jeff? the storm Ciara has hit our country.
    But it must have been much worse in N-Ireland.
    It is Sunday, many people stayed home. ( No casualties, falling trees etc.) The next few hours the storm will have reached the max.
    Pray God be with this area. ( North West Europe).

    God can do so much more than we can pray or hope.
    (May God give you strength for the day ( and night)

  243. Beloved says:

    Hello all,
    just stopping by to recommend a movie I saw on YouTube called Frank vs God. It brings up some rather profound questions about suffering that all struggle with at some time or another.

    Praying also for Europe and storm Clara.

    Blessings,
    Joyce

  244. poohpity says:

    I was just wondering if our children do not see how important God is to us will they ever take our faith in Him as the very foundation we base our lives on? Or will they see it is just something we claim with no evidence? If they do not see the evidence being so close to us, will it be a witness to anyone else or is it just a name we call ourselves, “Christian”? Just curious?

  245. street says:

    I cannot change that my love of my children is unconditional as there is a bond that binds us.

    Even if they are not trusting God as I do I will always love them and believe it is God who put the love in me.

    I cannot control how they lead their lives but believe just as God worked in mine He will work in there’s.

    17 Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.

    20 “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may [f]believe that You sent Me.

  246. street says:

    25 “O righteous Father, [i]although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; 26 and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

  247. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed I am happy for you that your dream gave you peace. The Bible stories are filled with God interacting in our dreams.

    In truth I don’t know how to love someone less or more, I just love.

    It occurred to me that how we show Jesus’ love for us is shown in how we love others.

    Especially our immediate families, as Paul says that someone who doesn’t take care of their family is worse than an unbeliever (infidel).

    What I am saying is that I don’t think that God expects us to feel guilty about loving our mother’s, father’s, children etc.

    We can love them with all our hearts, but it is God in whom we put our trust, our hope, and our every need.

    It is that faith that transcends love

    I know people who fight against loving anyone, because somewhere in their life loving someone hurt them and they run then from that sort of pain.

    When love hurt God, He made a way to reconcile that love and return those who hurt Him to Himself.

    The love chapter will always sound out when we think of how we are to love and how it is that God loves us. (1 Corinthians 13:1-13).

    Yesterday 3 inches of snow, today steady rain and 40 degrees f, a very strange winter.

    Steve

  248. poohpity says:

    street, I was not saying we push our faith unto anyone and if they do not come to believe that we push them away or anyone else for that matter. Living what we believe is way different than pushing our beliefs on anyone. Isn’t it just hypocrisy to say we believe and then live as if we don’t?

    Love is seeking the highest good of the one loved. God doesn’t always give us everything we want even when we throw a tantrum and walk away which is something parents will do even knowing that what they give them is not good for them just so they will not throw a tantrum. There are a lot of tantrum throwing adults out there isn’t there? Another thing parents do is control the child and they reject them if they think for themselves or have differing views, or values but God seems to love us in spite of ourselves. His love is not determined by us or our behavior which often is how human love is.

  249. foreverblessed says:

    Ok Steve, thanks for that explanation, I totally agree with you!
    We ought not to be afraid to love others!

    Last night the scripture rang in my ears:

    Do you love Me more than these?

    John 21:15

    Two nights ago, the question was: Do I love Jesus more than myself?

    And, indeed, the dream told me the benefit of loving Jesus more than myself.

    And that is something for me personally, as I worry a lot.
    When I worry, I am concerned about myself. And that hinders God working through me. Overly concerned.
    Hard to let go.

    But…. I did not mention the end of the dream:
    I saw the bucket being poured out on me, and then I was afraid, “oh no, this is overwhelming” or another thought that entered,” is it really so that I love Jesus more?”
    and as soon as I thought that, the bucket stopped pouring.

    So the end of the dream was, that the pouring our stopped!

    But a deep knowing invaded me: So this is how God works:
    The more I give myself over to Him, the more He can work through me.

    So the scripture that rang in my ears the next day:
    Do you love Me more than these:
    Gave a deeper sense of living God above all else.

    The topic on Utmost is about the same theme:
    Being poured out wine and broken bread for our fellow men.

    Because:
    All our fountains are in You.
    Psalm 87:7

    Because we love Him more than anything else.
    But now I am repeating myself, and that is against the blog rules :-)

  250. poohpity says:

    As seen throughout scripture the Lord just as a good parent disciplines and corrects bad behavior, He does not make excuses or blame the bad behavior on anything or anyone else but expects us to recognize it in our lives so that we can admit to it. If someone blames or makes excuses then the bad behavior continues until we take personal responsibility for the action.

    If we have rage and anger the discipline usually is the consequence just of people not wanting to be around us. That is usually taught when children are little but if nothing is corrected when someone is young it carries over into adulthood. If no one even admits to bad behavior or sinful behavior then we really never come to realize the extent of the grace of God.

    God’s grace does NOT say it is OK to continue in bad behavior but He not only when we recognize it gives us an option to do things another way that will lead to the ability to be in good relationships with Him and others. Isn’t everything that we are taught by Our Father to be able to give and receive love.

    If there was not a God we would never know what the actions of love are. When God created it was done in love that everything He made was for human kind so putting Him above others recognizes that.

  251. poohpity says:

    Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

    14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

  252. SFDBWV says:

    I also know some people who hate themselves, who don’t like their thoughts, actions or behavior, but can’t control them.

    Thinking towards Christian lifestyle I am reminded of those men and women who become Nun’s or Friar’s or Monks so that they can devote their lives to serving God without the “interference” of a husband, wife or children.

    Of course all “Christians” cannot adopt that behavior or else Christianity would become much less than God intends for it to be.

    And perhaps die out in one generation as Christian principals would not be applied to everyday life. Only practiced in some Monastery, Nunnery, or Abby.

    I believe God is big enough to let me love others, in truth He commands it.

    Again I say that it is in those times alone with God that through praise we can experience the movement, flow and presence of the Holy Spirit and Miracles can happen.

    That is a kind of love like no other. A kind of love being different than a competition of love in general.

    A busy day ahead, prayers and blessings offered to all.

    Steve

  253. poohpity says:

    Paul often says it is his judgement that people ought to stay single it is not a command from the Lord. The other disciples had wives and children they took with them on missionary journeys. I could see why Paul would say that especially since he spent a long length of his life in different prisons. Paul often points out that some of the things he taught was not direction from the Lord but his opinion.

  254. poohpity says:

    Paul also taught that if one can not remain celibate but burns with lust then they should by all means get hitched, if only many of the priests in the Catholic church would have listened to that maybe there would have not been so many children that were sexually abused by them. Of course that is one of the many problems with different religions, their unhealthy sexual appetite.

  255. street says:

    on a side note….14 After Moses had gone down the mountain to the people, he consecrated them, and they washed their clothes. 15 Then he said to the people, “Prepare yourselves for the third day. Abstain from sexual relations.”

  256. street says:

    19 Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd. 20 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.”

    21 He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.”

  257. jeff1 says:

    The mistake I make is to think I know better what is needed in another’s life even my children’s because only God has dominion over me/my children.

    God hasn’t given me that power and yet many try to control others in various ways that are not in any shape or form in keeping with God’s ways.

    Steve protects Matthew because he is vulnerable but think of how many vulnerable in the world that have been abused and I am thinking in my own country where there is to be compensation paid to adults because enquiries have shown they were abused as children in institutions where they were suppose to feel safe and loved but instead their lives where made a misery often by those who claimed to be God loving but whose practises proved to be otherwise.

    How do we explain to victims that those from the family of God seen fit to treat them as they did in the name of doing their Christian duty.

    When words and actions are not in keeping with family virtues then how do we explain the suffering of others because I am at loss for words myself to explain it!

  258. bratimus says:

    I was trying to comment earlier but it was windy yesterday and this morning when I started to comment the power went out probably due to a loose branch hitting the lines. So I’m going to try and remember my train of thought I had this morning.

    When it comes to loving some family members, neighbors, friends or others, they make it hard to love them or show them love. In showing these love and kindness it goes slide ways, backfires or you are totally take advantage of. These are the people we need to give to the Lord. Our Love and kindness does more harm then good, just trust in the Lord to show the love and the kindness.

    This came to me earlier

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  259. jeff1 says:

    Hurt and damaged people need more than a sticky plaster to heal their brokenness and so with all my good intentions I cannot do God’s work next or near as well as He can.

    That I even begin to think I can shows my ignorance of God and lack of discernment in seeing that sin whether my own or another’s has consequences that are far reaching and destructive to those caught up in it.

    I put myself in God’s hands when I am overwhelmed by difficulties and so if I cannot fix my own problems then what makes me think I have answers to other peoples.

    Yet we offer advice and platitudes that do nothing to alleviate another’s fears because we try to play God and it backfires because it is not our place to do so.

    Your view is very clear from the mountain Bratimus and thanks for sharing it as I need to be reminded of how shortsighted I can get.

  260. foreverblessed says:

    The dream I had, about the bucket of love. With the question: Do I love Jesus above all?
    That day, after dinner, met husband said: Lets have the Christmas cider.
    So he took two glasses and the bottle, and put it in front of me, on the table:

    HUG CHRIST

    Whoo, how directly can God speak to me?
    How deep the message.
    I always think about how much God loves us, so much that Je gave His only begotten Son….

    Now here: Do I hug Jesus?

    ( The bottle was decorated in Christmas sphere, the name of the brand was Hugo, and it had Christmas under it.
    A lady of the oecumenical prayer had put a sticker on the o of Hugo, and on the mass of Christmas.
    So what was left was:
    Hug Christ.
    I had forgotten about the bottle.
    But here it was!
    Not a question, but an “advice”
    (not wanting to use the word: command)

  261. foreverblessed says:

    Bratimus writes
    “In showing these love and kindness it goes slide ways, backfires or you are totally take advantage of. These are the people we need ”

    If we love Jesus above all, above our own life,
    We do it for Him!
    No worry if we are taken advantage of.
    We trust that Jesus will care for us.
    I know, this is meat not milk.
    The apostles were trained like that. Being a martyr, no worry, they their love and devotion is for Jesus, above all.
    I do not mean: being careless about our own life. We work so we can share with others.

    But now I am trying to explain and defend Jesus’ words:
    He who does not hate (love less) his own life cannot be My disciple.

    Sorry Steve, for the “competion”, but as you say: indeed we “hug” Jesus, by hugging our fellow man. ( the hug added by me, when I was musing over this “command”, how can I hug Jesus?
    By seeking His face, first thing when I open my eyes, having all my fountains in Him Psalm 87:7
    And
    Matt 25:40
    Doing unto the least, the frail, the unnoticed, the difficult…
    And …

  262. SFDBWV says:

    The only time in Scripture where I see Jesus needing comforted from man was in the garden of Gethsemane. He didn’t get it because His disciples were weary, tired and slept.

    The Spirit being willing, but the flesh being weak.

    The truth is it is I who need hugged from Jesus, it is I who is tired of too many things to list.

    I see myself more like the woman who grabbed ahold of Jesus’ garment, believing if I just can touch Him all of the woes and worries of life will be put in their place and I can have peace.

    Peace in my body and peace in my soul.

    It isn’t about loving myself, it is about loving the people I do and being told by people I must love God more. Again I say I can’t love any different than I do.

    It is written the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Do you fear the people who you love? Or are you fearful of losing them or their love for you?

    You can keep splitting the hair thinner and thinner, but it remains hair.

    Love remains love.

    Steve

  263. bratimus says:

    Let me expand on my thought a little here,

    It is written “We are to plant and water, it is God who makes it grow”

    If we over water what we have planted, don’t we just drown out the seed.

    So in the going slide ways, the backfiring and the taking advantage of, could that grow sin or could that possibly grow into a sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit the only unforgivable sin.

    Sometimes we need to be careful we don’t enable others to sin, because of our good intentions.

    It can be a very narrow path we walk at times.

    The Love, Faith and Hope here, is in knowing that God can make it grow in His timing, without our help.

    Over helping could drown out the seed we planted.

    Oh Jeff1 I live in a foot hill area :) about 15 miles from the Pacific Ocean the really big pond.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  264. foreverblessed says:

    Dear Steve, sorry for the disarray.
    I thought that I had been very explicit in saying that this is what Jesus has asked me!

    Maybe I should say that again:
    I am sharing here what Jesus has asked me, personally.
    And the bottle added to His question.

    ” and being told by people I must love God more.”

    I am vergeten very sorry thate you get the feeling that I share my own journey as a bieden I lay on you.

    Neither doe Ik like it to call share Jesus tells us, whether in general or personally, commands.

    It is the love of Jesus that draws us closer to Him.

    You go your way with Jesus, He is leading you.
    And don’t feel pushed by what I share.

    That’s share I have been thinking too:
    Most people need the Big Hug from Jesus.
    A really big one.

    Yet, this is what happened to me, personally.

  265. foreverblessed says:

    Or…
    As Steve has Otten responded to me, when In felt uncomfortable about what he wrote:
    “Be at peace, my friend!” You go your way with the Lord, and I am sharing you what happened to me lately. It is quite new to me too, I must say!

  266. Beloved says:

    So encouraging…

    CHAPTER 17
    Of the Perseverance of the Saints
    1. They, whom God hath accepted in his Beloved, effectually called, and sanctified by his Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved.a
    (a) Phil 1:6; 2 Pet 1:10; Rom 8:28-30; John 10:28-29; 1 John 3:9; 1 John 5:18; 1 Pet 1:5,9
    Top | Bottom

    2. This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father;b upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ,c the abiding of the Spirit, and of the seed of God within them,d and the nature of the covenant of grace:e from all which ariseth also the certainty and infallibility thereof.f
    (b) Ps 89:3-4,28-33; 2 Tim 2:18-19; Jer 31:3
    (c) Heb 10:10,14; Heb 13:20-21; Heb 9:12-15; Rom 8:33-39; John 17:11,24; Luke 22:32; Heb 7:25
    (d) John 14:16-17; 1 John 2:27; 1 John 3:9
    (e) Jer 32:40; Ps 89:34-37; Jer 31:31-34
    (f) John 6:38-40; John 10:28; 2 Thess 3:3; 1 John 2:19
    Top | Bottom

    3. Nevertheless, they may, through the temptations of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins;g and, for a time, continue therein:h whereby they incur God’s displeasure,i and grieve his Holy Spirit,k come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts,l have their hearts hardened,m and their consciences wounded;n hurt and scandalize others,o and bring temporal judgments upon themselves.p
    (g) Exod 32:21; Jonah 1:3,10; Ps 51:14; Matt 26:70,72,74
    (h) 2 Sam 12:9,13; Gal 2:11-14
    (i) Num 20:12; 2 Sam 11:27; Isa 64:7,9
    (k) Eph 4:30
    (l) Ps 51:8,10,12; Rev 2:4; Matt 26:75
    (m) Isa 63:17
    (n Ps 32:3-4; Ps 51:8
    (o) Gen 12:10-20; 2 Sam 12:14; Gal 2:13
    (p) Ps 89:31-32; 1 Cor 11:32

  267. poohpity says:

    Do any of us have a perfect relationship with God? I know I don’t but that is the amazing part it does not need to be after all it is HIS love for us that is the very foundation of our relationship with HIM.

  268. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed please dear friend do not think we disagree, we do not.

    I love that you shared your personal experience with us, it is encouraging to see the hand of God at work in us all.

    Especially how He fills each need in such a personal way.

    Keep sharing, I will as well.

    I see in our news where you had some very rough weather as did Viv, I hope it is abating and better weather moving in for you.

    A very busy day ahead again.

    Steve

  269. street says:

    family issues
    thinking of tables. Thou preparest a table in the present of my enemies.
    a table is usually used as a place to eat to be restored refreshed comforted.
    there is another table or bar of judgement. where sons of God, Psalm 82, and man do it so poorly.
    then i thing or another table. called an alter just inside the temple. where there are dead sacrifices.
    paul admonishes us to present ourselves as living sacrifices in Romans 12.
    my thoughts come to a close here, where Jesus says,” you give them something to eat. ” looking for bread from heaven to share.

    thinking of the storms of life. Jesus sleeping in a boat. His disciples had to wake Him up. He asks them where is their trust. storms and barriers are Jesus specialty. in them we learn to come to Him and trust Him. He even will be patient and listen to our concerns. will we be patient and still to hear Him and look for His Glory in all the earth?

    14 Bless those who persecute [a]you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but [b]associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.

  270. street says:

    King David had a perfect relationship with God. God promised his thrown would be established forever by One of his/His Sons.

    Peter James John………..Paul and every one born of God has a perfect relation with God, by faith hope and love in Christ Jesus.

    a righteous relationship with God is by faith in God.
    The God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob.

    something i have been thinking about. these three patriarchs had the names changed or declared by God before birth. then i think of David. God did not change his name. it’s not the name but the heart. like baptism the change happen before entering the water.

    let my heart and mind be conformed to the image of your Son that when trials and testing come, You will be Glorified. wisdom is proved right by her children.

  271. jeff1 says:

    bratimus says:
    February 11, 2020 at 8:45 am

    Oh Jeff1 I live in a foot hill area :) about 15 miles from the Pacific Ocean the really big pond.

    Alway have had a fear of water so dipping my toes in the beach at Portrush or Rosnillagh

  272. jeff1 says:

    (Sorry posted before finishing) Rossnowlagh (Donegal) is as big a pond as I dare.

    Must be amazing though to be so near.

  273. jeff1 says:

    poohpity says:
    February 11, 2020 at 9:53 am

    Do any of us have a perfect relationship with God?

    I think that is for God to know.

    Certainly, I have known people who understood God much better than I did and I am thinking of my own Dad and his Minister and an elderly lady I visited.

    God only reveals to me as I trust Him and I find that some have an easy trust with the Lord while others are more cautious.

    I am more the doubting Thomas than John and I am thinking my dad’s name was John (christened though always known as Jack) and he was closer to God because of the ease in which he trusted God.

    It isn’t about knowledge but about trust as how can I say I know God and doubt His word.

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

    Refrain:
    Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
    To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
    Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
    But His smile quickly drives it away;
    Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
    Can abide while we trust and obey.

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

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

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

  274. bratimus says:

    Until things are made anew we won’t have a “perfect” relationship with, do to we are human we are flawed and we sin.

    Some have loving relationships with God

    Some have hopeful relationships with God

    Some have faithful relationships with God

    Some have a relationship with God that they don’t even know yet.

    As every human is unique

    Every relationship with God is unique

    As we get to know God through Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit our relationship can grow with God

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  275. poohpity says:

    Since when could we do anything perfectly? Of course God knows and knew but had a plan for His family. It seems that many “learn” to trust and yes there are those who seem to do it right away I guess. But isn’t it like any other relationship the more one gets to know the other person that seems to be how trust develops? Except for God who knew us before we were even born, so I would say He knows us very well and it seems that is something He would like from us as well. Hosea 6:3 NLT

  276. Beloved says:

    Psalm 93:5
    Your decrees are very trustworthy; holiness befits your house, O LORD, forevermore.

  277. jeff1 says:

    I wish I could say that my experiences don’t affect my trust but knowing I am a doubting Thomas tells me otherwise.

    Bratimus, I would say I am among the hopefuls but that is because of the examples of many faithful men and women who I have had the privilege of knowing.

    I have so often depended on another’s faith to sustain my own that it is not surprising that I see my faith as among the weakest.

    If my relationship with God is weak it is because I have lacked trust but I listened to others with faith and they give me hope and so it is because of their certainty that I can have hope today.

    I am convinced that some people do know God better but the mystery to me is how they did because just like you say Pooh they were anything but perfect.

    Why is it that I think the person with the highest morals must be closer to God when the Bible points so differently!

  278. bratimus says:

    As I see it, the Bible does tell us that even the some of us that maybe weak in faith are the greatest among us.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  279. SFDBWV says:

    There are at least dozens of hard backed books and countless daily devotionals and pamphlets dedicated to the “imperfect men” God chose to accomplish His plans.

    Vivian we are supposed to comfort and encourage each other by sharing our faith and shouldering each other’s burdens.

    Without judgement.

    Personally I think you have good sound judgement whereas your faith is concerned.

    Bratimus I visited my uncles in Eureka CA many long years ago and enjoyed the majesty of the redwoods and the Pacific coast of both CA and OR.

    I was stationed in southern CA at Santa Ana and while the Pacific is still beautiful I preferred the beauty of northern CA much more.

    Steve

  280. jeff1 says:

    As a person who has never had a strong faith I envy those who have because I hate that others can disturb my peace.

    When that happens I feel depressed as I have to start all over again in building up my faith and so progress is one step forward and two steps backward and there is nothing great in that from where I am standing.

    That doesn’t happen to a person of strong faith as other peoples opinions or criticism has no effect in how they see God and that to my thinking makes for a healthier relationship with Him.

    I don’t want to be tossed around as it leaves my head all over the place and that is not a good place to be.

    The Bible says a lot that baffles me but then my son would say (humorously) that I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

  281. Beloved says:

    Viv, you reminded me of Psalm73

  282. poohpity says:

    It seems to me that faith is like a muscle the more it is used the stronger it gets. Sometimes it seems we feel safer remaining in boat then stretching our faith by doing new things and getting out of the boat. I have also noticed that those God has given great faith to are asked to do things that require a strong faith to do.

  283. Beloved says:

    John 15:5
    I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

  284. Beloved says:

    God chose the weak in this world to confound the plans of the wise; Israelites, Moses, Joshua, Ruth, Samson, Jonah! As well as John the Baptist, Mary and Joseph and Jesus! Along with Paul, Peter, Timothy- actually every one in scripture called to do Gods will were empowered by God to do whatever it took to fulfill Gods plan from the beginning. Whether a mustard seed faith or mountain moving faith. Gods will will be done. Period. Aren’t we glad!!

  285. Beloved says:

    I was reading this morning that not only does God reign Psalm93, but He is trustworthy!

  286. jeff1 says:

    Eternal Light! Eternal Light!
    What soul can bear Your searching sight?
    What heart, so open, pure, and true,
    Can live and calmly gaze on You?

    The glowing spirits round Your throne
    All serve where sin is never known.
    Their eyes can bear the burning bliss
    Beyond a darkened world like this.

    But how can I, a native here,
    Before Your blazing eyes appear?
    Can I, a creature of the night,
    Endure Your uncreated light?

    Praise God, You come to us in Christ!
    In Him our darkness all is light!
    O Fire of all-consuming grace,
    In Christ we stand here face to face!

  287. poohpity says:

    Isn’t there a difference between being empowered by the Holy Spirit and having faith?

  288. street says:

    Nope. Love Scripture Union devotional today. Fear no evil

  289. street says:

    Faith is more like a muster seed. It grows .

  290. street says:

    Thinking weak in self strong in Christ. A changed life, a life of hope and love by faith.

  291. Beloved says:

    I thought of James “faith without works is dead.” No faith no power no works (no fruits).

    Yes SU I read first thing; it’s always so empowering the more time spent in scripture. I’ve been having another tough week but the hours I spend reading and listening to the Word preached are such a gift! Street I’ve been praying for you that your faith would stay strong. I was very happy to see you here proclaiming Jesus!

  292. street says:

    thank you for your prayers beloved. bta and friends have has been in mine. it’s been a good week of peace in Christ. His yoke is easy and light.

  293. Beloved says:

    I too appreciate all the prayers here and hold you all in my heart and prayers. He is able!

  294. SFDBWV says:

    I had trouble being able to log in this morning, did anyone else or was it an issue with my computer?

    Steve

  295. street says:

    When she hears Heath say he can no longer take charity, she explodes,

    love and grace are free. the idea you can buy them is reprehensible. more reprehensible from the point of view that you have something greater to trade for love. blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

  296. Beloved says:

    DEFENDER OF THE WEAK
    Lord, thank You for including me in the family.

    Luke 8:40–56
    Jesus Raises a Dead Girl and Heals a Sick Woman

    “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1).

    Think Further
    The poor woman in today’s reading has been suffering for twelve years probably from some kind of menstrual bleeding problem. Not only has this caused her physical issues like anemia and exhaustion, but it has terrible spiritual and social consequences for her too. Bleeding makes her unclean according to Levitical regulations (Lev. 15:19–27), and anyone who touches her or anything she has been in contact with is considered unclean also and must perform certain rites to cleanse themselves. Imagine the social stigma! To reach Christ, she has to break the rules and sneak through the crowd anonymously (John Nolland, Luke 1:1—9:20, 419).

    Jairus faces no such problems. As leader of the synagogue he is well-respected. He can go up to Jesus and get a request heard by falling at his feet and begging him to heal his daughter. In contrast, this nameless woman can approach Jesus only furtively from behind and sneak a quick touch of the back of his clothes. Jairus’s daughter has a father to fight in her corner; this poor woman is alone. How moving, then, are Christ’s words to her: he calls her “daughter.” An outcast in her community though she may be, Christ considers her as important as Jairus’s little girl: this woman is his daughter, and so he would heal her too.

    Do you ever feel at a disadvantage? Does it seem as if others have more going for them: better education, wealthier backgrounds, better health, more confidence, and more family and friends to support them? Are you letting such things hold you back or cause you to be jealous of others? What matters is not your status before man but your status before God. Do you need to see yourself afresh through God’s eyes as his much-loved child?

    Apply
    Who are the equivalents of the woman with a hemorrhage today? Who are the vulnerable and rejected in our society who have no one to stand up for them?

    Closing Prayer
    Lord, Your compassion truly amazes us. Deal with us today in the same compassion that You displayed when You walked the earth as a man.
    SCRIPTURE UNION

  297. poohpity says:

    Yes Steve I did too!

  298. jeff1 says:

    So did I Steve, just able to log on now.

  299. jeff1 says:

    Tell me, why should we be gloomy,
    And now what have we to dread?
    His joys have filled our journey,
    And His joys are all ahead.
    His hands are full of blessings,
    And His smile is our reward.
    We’re rich beyond all measure –
    We are children of the Lord!

    Refrain:
    So we’re bold today as we trust and pray,
    For no matter what may come,
    We live to lift all glory
    To the High and Holy One.
    We’re singing and bringing our praising and raising
    His love till all have heard.
    We live today rejoicing –
    We are children of the Lord!

    Though our journey may seem dreary
    As we cross this barren land,
    The King is always with us,
    And He’s always in command.
    His wisdom goes before us
    With His majesty above.
    Beneath and all around us
    Is His everlasting love.

  300. jeff1 says:

    Being St. Valentine’s day I see romantic love and the joy it brings to those who find it.

    I have not found the joy that such love brings but I do cherish the love I receive from those around me who make my life so much richer for their presence.

    I need to appreciate what I have got and not dwell on what is lost.

    As I look back I see that it takes two to make or break a marriage and so I played my part in the latter.

    As we would say here there is no good in crying over spilt milk and tomorrow is a new day.

    Life is full of challenges and some of us choose to seek God in our journey through them while others for whatever reasons find other support networks to encourage them.

    Now in my latter years I have seen enough of life to know that what makes one turn to God can make another turn away from Him.

    That just says that we are unique individuals with different attributes.

    If the Bible has taught me anything it is that God uses very different people in many different circumstances and I don’t see that He works any differently today.

    As I see it I am a small cog in a big wheel but even a small cog has its purpose.

    One of the greatest lessons I have learned in life is that doing something out of a sense of duty rather than out of love is futile.

    I don’t think it is any different in my relationship with God as I believe I spent most of my life doing what I believed God expected of me missing completely God’s intention.

    What a Friend We Have in Jesus

    What a friend we have in Jesus
    All our sins and griefs to bear
    And what a privilege to carry
    Everything to God in prayer

    Oh, what peace we often forfeit
    Oh, what needless pain we bear
    All because we do not carry
    Everything to God in prayer

    Have we trials and temptations?
    Is there trouble anywhere?
    We should never be discouraged
    Take it to the Lord in prayer

    Can we find a friend so faithful
    Who will all our sorrows share?
    Jesus knows our every weakness
    Take it to the Lord in prayer

  301. SFDBWV says:

    Thank you both Viv and Pooh for the information. Especially since this morning earlier when I came to the computer it did the same thing again. Taking me to “Dashboard” when I tried to log in.

    So I just went about my snowy morning duties.

    Steve

  302. Beloved says:

    Viv thinking about what you said “Now in my latter years I have seen enough of life to know that what makes one turn to God can make another turn away from Him.”

    Jesus said “If I be lifted up I will draw all men to myself”. As opposed to ‘If i (insert name) be lifted up i will draw all men to myself, or to God even.’ It’s a common problem as we all try to be great in each other’s eyes, or be great in someone else’s eyes resulting in all kinds of problems. As long as we lift ourselves to the status of ‘a god’ there will always be failure because there is only One True God. Satan tried, it didn’t work then and will never work among humans. Loved and created by God? Yes! To love God first! As someone mentioned a while ago. Putting God first brings humility and grace and mercy. To be able to live life more abundantly than ever. Enjoying Him now and forever!!!
    Little children, keep yourselves from idols. John

  303. street says:

    5 “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. 6 He will [a]restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a [b]curse.”

    to restore the lost to the Kingdom, the rule of the Father thought Jesus the Son, Good news!

  304. street says:

    peace with God!

  305. Beloved says:

    Family issues,
    restoring the lost to their place at Gods table which is sometimes messy but the Reward is so worth it. It happens on bended knee with a contrite heart, which He never despises. Heath found this out because of the compassionate response he received. We all receive the same response because of Jesus. Yes! Good news!

  306. Beloved says:

    Peace that surpasses all understanding!

  307. SFDBWV says:

    Got into quite a pickle many years ago when I said that Elijah had been reincarnated in the person of John the Baptist.

    However my evidence were the very words of Jesus who said John was Elijah.

    Do I need put up the Scripture to quote Jesus?
    Matthew 7:1-15 KJV and Matthew 17:10-13 KJV

    Steve

  308. SFDBWV says:

    Oops that is Matthew 11:1-15 KJV

    Steve

  309. SFDBWV says:

    Matthew 11:7-15 KJV specifically.

    Steve

  310. foreverblessed says:

    It moved me, when I read Jeff, telling about romantic love that didn’t work out…

    I immediately had to think about Jesus, ohhh, that our hearts would be opened to how great His love is! Having had Valentine’s day, I could say: Jesus is madly in Love with us.
    His Love is warmer more intense more burning than any human love!

    Song of Solomon 8:6-7

    Place me like a seal over your heart,
    like a seal on your arm;
    for love is as strong as death,
    its jealousy[a] unyielding as the grave.
    It burns like blazing fire,
    like a mighty flame.[b] (or: fire/ like the very flames of the Lord)
    7
    Many waters cannot quench love;
    rivers cannot sweep it away.
    If one were to give
    all the wealth of one’s house for love,
    it[c](he) would be utterly scorned.

    It reminds me of what CS Lewis wrote:
    How we compare earthly romantic love with God’s love,
    Just as a boy compares love for chocolate with sex:
    “When a young boy is being told about sex, he asks: Can I eat chocolate when having sex? The answer he gets is: Well that is not really possible.
    The boy then concludes he rather has the chocolate.
    CS Lewis has better proza for this story.
    But he ends dating: So is our view of heaven: We ask: Can I live with my spouse in heaven, a romantic relation?
    The answer is: Well, that is a bit difficult, in fact: No, thate is not possible.
    Then we conclude: I’d choose for living here.

    (When I was looking up this Song of Songs in biblegateway, this verse of the day appeared:

    “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

    1 John 4:10

  311. foreverblessed says:

    Good morning Steve, I missed your comment, while typing mine.
    What you say about Eliajah, him litetally coming back, or in the spirit of Elijah,
    It is allright to see as you see it.

    It reminds me of the eucharist:
    Jesus takes the bread:
    This is My Body.

    Is that bread literally becoming Jesus?
    Or is it meant symbolically?
    Each one can believe it as he is convicted in his heart.

    No matter how often I read that it literally says: This is Elijah…

    Jesus says: He who has ears, let him hear.

    What is it that Jesus wants me to hear?
    So I sit quietly, and wait for His answer.

    Matt 11:15

  312. poohpity says:

    Doesn’t one have to die before they can be reincarnated? That is for those those who believe in reincarnation in the first place.

    forever, I think you may have misunderstood what C.S. Lewis wrote;

    The text I was able to find is from chapter 16 of Miracles, titled Miracles of the New Creation:

    C. S. Lewis – “One point must be touched on because, though I kept silence, it would none the less be present in most readers’ minds. The letter and spirit of scripture, and of all Christianity, forbid us to suppose that life in the New Creation will be a sexual life; and this reduces our imagination to the withering alternative either of bodies which are hardly recognizable as human bodies at all or else of a perpetual fast. As regards the fast, I think our present outlook might be like that of a small boy who, on being told that the sexual act was the highest bodily pleasure should immediately ask whether you ate chocolates at the same time. On receiving the answer ‘No,’ he might regard absence of chocolates as the chief characteristic of sexuality. In vain would you tell him that the reason why lovers in their carnal raptures don’t bother about chocolates is that they have something better to think of. The boy knows chocolate: he does not know the positive thing that excludes it. We are in the same position. We know the sexual life; we do not know, except in glimpses, the other thing which, in Heaven, will leave no room for it.

  313. poohpity says:

    But it fits also for Elijah. Lewis was saying that the boy only knew his love for chocolate, he had never known or had sex nor had he ever been to heaven but was comparing his love for chocolate to that which he did not know.

    Jesus explains that there is no sex in heaven in Mark 12:24-27. Our resurrected bodies do not desire things of the flesh. Also Luke 20:34-36

  314. poohpity says:

    So could it be one like Elijah in John the Baptist. In the end time there are two prophets that come before the great day of the Lord. We are also told at the transfiguration that it was Moses and Elijah who appeared with Jesus. God is a God of the living.

  315. SFDBWV says:

    Thank you Foreverblessed for reminding me to reread Vivian’s post. I love her openness and honesty.

    A thought that comes to mind is this; can love survive when only one sided?

    We all know people who loved someone who did not love them and the tragedy that such a relationship created.

    But I think that love, real love never dies and even when love is not returned, love remains.

    Which brings me to our religion, the belief that Jesus is the Son of God and through the mystery of the Trinity is in truth, God.

    If I truly believe that love remains, then I can say that God loves all of us, even those who have rejected Him.

    That even in the suffering of such a pain as rejection, love remains.

    Steve

  316. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed I also love your response to Elijah and John the Baptist.

    I have over my lifetime heard many preachers and lay people try and explain away what Jesus clearly said.

    They all fail.

    For me it remains to just simply accept what Jesus said and not obsess about it.

    I see in the news another storm brewing in the North Atlantic with hurricane force winds. I do hope you and Viv are not in its path as the last storm was.

    It was -0.3 degrees f this morning, but at least we get a clear blue sky for a change as we have had rain and or snow every day this month. The blue sky is welcome even at such a low temperature.

    Blessings for all today.

    Steve

  317. Beloved says:

    Good morning all! Let’s look at Jesus today; the author and finisher of our faith!

    Make Him Glad with Your Love

    From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad.
    Psalm 45:8
    And who are those who enjoy the privilege of making the Savior glad? His church—His people. But is it possible? He makes us glad, but how can we make Him glad? By our love. We think it so cold, so faint; and so, indeed, we must sorrowfully confess it to be, but it is very sweet to Christ.

    Listen to such love expressed in Solomon’s song: “How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much better is your love than wine!” See, loving heart, this is how He delights in you. When you rest in Him you do not only receive, but you also give Him joy; when you gaze with love upon His beauty, you not only obtain comfort but impart delight.

    Our praise also gives Him joy—not the song of the lips alone, but the melody of the heart’s deep gratitude. Our gifts are also very pleasant to Him; He loves to see us lay our time, our talents, our substance upon the altar, not for the value of what we give, but for the sake of the motive from which the gift springs. To Him the lowly offerings of His saints are more acceptable than the thousands of gold and silver.

    Holiness is like frankincense and myrrh to Him. Forgive your enemy, and you make Christ glad; distribute of your substance to the poor, and He rejoices; be the means of saving souls, and you give Him to see of the travail of His soul; proclaim His Gospel, and you are a sweet savor unto Him; go among the ignorant and lift up the cross, and you have given Him honor. It is in your power even now to break the alabaster box and pour the precious oil of joy upon His head, like the woman in the Bible, whose testimony is still remembered wherever the Gospel is preached. Will you not join her in expressing your love and devotion for the Lord Jesus? And even in ivory palaces the songs of the saints will be heard.
    Spurgeon

  318. Beloved says:

    ODB has a very good devotional pamphlet called “In Pursuit of Jesus” you can order on their website which is a blessing for personal use and sharing with family, friends and neighbors as we approach Easter.

  319. SFDBWV says:

    Pooh there is a great deal of faith involved in believing any of the “supernatural” stories of the Bible.

    Just from a sense of reason, as you pointed out about people dying before being “reincarnated” and that Elijah never actually died; he and Enoch both were “taken” up without actually tasting death as we understand it.

    Which is why I think the two witnesses that appear during the “Great Tribulation” are Enoch and Elijah.

    As Moses died and God Himself buried him.

    Then if John the Baptist was actually Elijah as Jesus stated then Elijah did die in the person of John. Leaving only Enoch as the only person never to have actually died.

    I know it gets all a little confusing, kind of like that Johnny Cash song where the guy on the right is the guy in the middle and the guy in the middle is the guy on the left and the fellow on the end got drafted.

    I very strange family to get adopted into.

    Steve

  320. street says:

    Jesus said “If I be lifted up I will draw all men to myself”.

    i was thinking of this verse a few days ago and now it returns. thinking if Jesus is exalted in me, He, Jesus, will draw all men to Himself.

    love one another as I, Jesus, have loved you.

    the one who has been forgiven more loves more.

    the wages of sin is death….we have been forgiven much.

  321. jeff1 says:

    Beloved says:
    February 14, 2020 at 10:34 am

    Jesus said “If I be lifted up I will draw all men to myself”. As opposed to ‘If i (insert name) be lifted up i will draw all men to myself, or to God even.’

    I think it is religions that cause us to play God or maybe it is because I was brought up in a country where religion divided that I see it that way.

    The Bible points to our imperfections and our need of Christ so where else do we get the desire to play God but from veering from this truth.

    Apart from the Bible, culture and religions play a massive part in how we see God and has someone who came to God through my own culture and religion I see the disadvantages of preconceived beliefs brought about through that culture and religion.

    When I take my focus of Jesus I then default to those held beliefs which are bias in favour of that religion and culture and so I cannot trust my own understanding.

    All are like sheep and have gone astray comes to mind!

    The only Good News is that Jesus knows where to find me!

  322. Beloved says:

    Acts 16 One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. 15And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.

    Interesting passage. Lydia was a worshipper of God, yet the LORD opened her heart to hear the Good News. He is able to cut through the religious worshippers- religions- to reach people.

  323. Beloved says:

    I think once we see Jesus it doesn’t matter what others think- religious or otherwise. Sheep we are but His nonetheless. His rod and staff they comfort me.

  324. bratimus says:

    As I see it, Elijah is Elijah, Enoch is Enoch and John the Baptist is John the Baptist all men of God. I am me and you are you. Trying to figure out prophecy is a tricky business, some try to fulfill God’s prophecies without God.

    Here is some thing the has caught my eyes, Elijah when dealing with Ahab stopped the rain for a time, in Revelation when the two witness appear it says the rain will stop be a great drought. Is there any meaning in that I don’t know, I just noticed that.

    Jesus in speaking of the time of sorrows said do not let yourself be deceived, many will come in my name and deceive.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  325. Beloved says:

    In Acts16 it goes on to tell of a fortune teller
    16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17 She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” 18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.

    I’ve been thinking lately about the spirit controlling this poor woman. At first, to me I thought what’s the harm? Isn’t she helping people to listen to Paul? But then I recognized the religious spirit that held her in bondage both physically (men were using her for profit) and spiritually- her knowledge was from satan. He set her free! Free to worship Jesus! And enjoy her life in the knowledge of her Savior if she so choose.

    The reason I’m thinking about this is because of the many spiritual experiences I’ve had. Wondering if they were all of God, or… Some people are more prone to having supernatural experiences or even mental illness delusions. How to really know the difference? I believe the Jesus of the Bible is the same Jesus I love because He first loved me, and He is consistent and true to His written word. John says not to believe anything added to His words, so that’s good enough for me. Scripture gets spun terribly in our world today just as it did when it was first written down by Moses. Let scripture explain itself. It’s been the same since when word of mouth was how it was transmitted. Gloriously handed down and parsed by believers faithful to our Great Living Eternal God. Forever!

  326. bratimus says:

    Here is another truth or really close to it, by the time you figure out a prophecy of God, you already square in the middle of it. Not only will man try to self fulfill prophecies of God, some actually think they can stop a prophecy of God. That is why I say that trying to figure out prophecy is a very tricky business because some might not be doing it for the will of God.

    That is why the lesson of do not be trouble, do not worry be prayerful in everything, that way it will all work out through God’s will

    Like I said I am me, you are you and lets be prayerful in all that WE do.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  327. jeff1 says:

    1 Afflicted saint, to Christ draw near,
    The Saviour’s gracious promise hear;
    His faithful word declares to thee,
    That as thy days, thy strength shall be.

    2 Let not thy heart despond and say,
    “How shall I stand the trying day?”
    he has engag’d by firm decree,
    That as thy days, thy strength shall be.

    3 Thy faith is weak, thy foes are strong;
    And though the conflict should be long,
    Thy Lord will make the tempter flee;
    for as thy days, thy strength shall be.

    4 Should persecution rage and flame,
    Still trust in thy Redeemer’s name;
    In fiery trials thou shalt see,
    That as thy days, thy strength shall be,

    5 When call’d to bear the weighty cross,
    Of sore affliction, pain or loss,
    Or deep distress, or poverty,
    Still as thy days, thy strength shall be.

    6 When ghastly death appears in view,
    Christ’s presence shall thy fears subdue;
    he comes to set thy spirit free,
    And as thy days, thy strength shall be.

  328. poohpity says:

    Bratimus, I totally agree with your comment @1:46pm. I do not remember one time in scripture that God wanted anyone to be anyone else just themselves or even fed into that even after we leave this world and this fleshly body and given a resurrected body we do not become anyone else but ourselves. Comparing scripture with scripture is where truth is found and clarification.

    However there are many who think they know about prophesy and teach people about what “they think” the revelations are but most times it is in hindsight we recognize the prophesies. So many books written from those type of authors but we must not be deceived. Look at all the prophesies in the OT about Jesus yet even the religious leaders did not recognize Him as He stood in their midst. Luke 24:25-27

    “The major religions that hold a belief in reincarnation are Asian religions, especially Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism, all of which arose in India.”

  329. jeff1 says:

    Beloved says:
    February 15, 2020 at 1:32 pm

    He is able to cut through the religious worshippers- religions- to reach people.

    Yes, God finds a way, it is a miracle that is hard to understand from my human understanding but I know it transcends time and that truth gives me great comfort as it ensures me of Jesus’s presence when I feel alone or in distress, a peace that surpasses understanding for those of us who find it.

  330. Beloved says:

    The miracle is that He wants us at all after the betrayal in the garden yet He yearns for us to know He loves us and has forgiven us through His son, Jesus. His love, Agape, is as a parent loves their child or a child their parent. I suppose being made in His image we must then be children of God when restored to Him through rebirth as Jesus said.
    Christ our righteousness! Holy children of a Holy God.

  331. jeff1 says:

    O Love That Will Not Let Me Go

    O love that will not let me go
    I rest my weary soul in thee
    I give thee back the life I owe
    That in thine ocean depths its flow
    My richer, fuller be

    O light that followest all my way
    I yield my flickering torch to thee
    My heart restores its borrowed ray
    That in thy sunshines glow its day
    May brighter, fairer be

    O joy you seek me through the pain
    I cannot close my heart to thee
    I trace the rainbow through the rain
    And feel the promise is not vain
    Then morn shall tearless be

  332. Beloved says:

    Viv that song/verse was one I “found” in a magazine about 3 in the morning when I was in my 30’s after wrestling with God to prove He loved me. I’ve never forgotten that night and how He met me in my crisis. I never doubted Him after that..,
    Thank you for the reminder :-)

  333. jeff1 says:

    God speaks to me in songs more than any other channel though He has used people.

    Each time I am as amazed as I am overwhelmed as often I have felt distant from Him and fretting that my doubting had driven a wedge between us.

    It seems to be in me to be a doubting Thomas and that is because when my heart tells me one thing my head is saying something else which is perhaps why I find my peace with God is easily disturbed.

    I have learned to live with this uncertainty knowing it is my head that needs fixing as mental illness has run in my family, my mum’s mood swings where exhausting, and my brother spent his young days receiving ECT for his schizophrenia and latter years lived an isolated life on medication.

    Life is not easy but God seeks me through the pain because He wants to comfort and assure me of His presence and that is what overwhelms me, that I am in His presence, for it is so much easier for me to believe that God exists above the sky where I cannot see Him than it is to believe He can see and know my inner thoughts and desires and perhaps it is because I do not want Him to see them as I know they are so unworthy of His presence.

    Why me Lord?
    What have I ever done
    To deserve even one
    Of the pleasure I’ve known
    Tell me Lord
    What did I ever do
    That was worth lovin’ you
    For the kindness you’ve shown

    Lord help me Jesus
    I’ve wasted it so help me Jesus
    I know what I am
    But now that I know
    That I needed you so help me Jesus
    My souls in your hand

    Try me Lord
    If you think there’s a way
    I can try to repay
    All I’ve takin’ from you
    Maybe Lord
    I can show someone else
    What I’ve been through myself
    On my way back to you

    Lord help me Jesus
    I’ve wasted it so help me Jesus
    I know what I am
    But now that I know
    That I needed you so help me Jesus
    My souls in your hand

  334. poohpity says:

    Viv, what you said reminds of the song by Lauren Daigle “You Say”!

    I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough
    Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up
    Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low?
    Remind me once again just who I am, because I need to know (ooh oh)

    You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
    You say I am strong when I think I am weak
    You say I am held when I am falling short
    When I don’t belong, oh You say that I am Yours
    And I believe (I), oh I believe (I)
    What You say of me (I)
    I believe

    The only thing that matters now is everything You think of me
    In You I find my worth, in You I find my identity, (ooh oh)

    You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
    You say I am strong when I think I am weak
    And You say I am held when I am falling short
    When I don’t belong, oh You say that I am Yours
    And I believe (I), oh I believe (I)
    What You say of me (I)
    Oh, I believe

    Taking all I have and now I’m laying it at Your feet
    You have every failure God, and You’ll have every victory, (ooh oh)

    You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
    You say I am strong when I think I am weak
    You say I am held when I am falling short
    When I don’t belong, oh You say that I am Yours
    And I believe (I), oh I believe (I)
    What You say of me (I)
    I believe

    Oh I believe (I), yes I believe (I)
    What You say of me (I)
    Oh I believe (oh)

  335. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Pooh, it is very fitting.

  336. poohpity says:

    I just wanted to encourage you that you are not alone in your thinking!

  337. Beloved says:

    I just heard that “Love That Will Not Let Me Go” was written by a seminary student in Glasgow. He suddenly lost his sight then his fiancé left him because of it. His sister took care of him until he was forty then she became engaged to marry, leaving him also, when he wrote this song. I believe the love of God is more important than self worth or self esteem or self pride. Modern poets seem to have their eyes more focused on what they can get from God, rather than who He is. Just my humble opinion.

  338. jeff1 says:

    Thank you, Pooh, I do take encouragement from it.

  339. Beloved says:

    ), but this old television moment sticks in my mind as a reminder of how important it is to remember who we are, who loves us, calls us family, even when we are confused, feeling unworthy, and packing up to leave.

    It’s about Jesus and the gospel that calls us sheep, followers and the righteousness of CHRIST. Humility is our stance because of the love grace mercy of God who offers us forgiveness of our sins and reconciliation with Him. Because we ARE unworthy.

  340. foreverblessed says:

    February 15, 9.15 am
    Make Him glad with your love.
    Spurgeon.

    I had to think and think about it.
    Can we make glad God?
    Can we make God glad?

    God always loves us, no matter what we do.
    That love is unconditional.

    That we may gaze upon His beauty.

    These words were in my head, last night and today.
    I couldn’t remember where that came from, neither did it come back upone meditating on it. Nor could I find it in Song over Solomon, although thee “He” figure seems to want to gaze on “her” the bride.
    So, I looked it up, in the concordance.

    Psalm 27:4

  341. foreverblessed says:

    The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    whom shall I fear?
    The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?

    2
    When the wicked advance against me
    to devour[a] me,
    it is my enemies and my foes
    who will stumble and fall.
    3
    Though an army besiege me,
    my heart will not fear;
    though war break out against me,
    even then I will be confident.

    4
    One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
    that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
    to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple.
    5
    For in the day of trouble
    he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
    he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
    and set me high upon a rock.

    6
    Then my head will be exalted
    above the enemies who surround me;
    at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
    I will sing and make music to the Lord.

    7
    Hear my voice when I call, Lord;
    be merciful to me and answer me.
    8
    My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
    Your face, Lord, I will seek.
    9
    Do not hide your face from me,
    do not turn your servant away in anger;
    you have been my helper.
    Do not reject me or forsake me,
    God my Savior.
    10
    Though my father and mother forsake me,
    the Lord will receive me.
    11
    Teach me your way, Lord;
    lead me in a straight path
    because of my oppressors.
    12
    Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
    for false witnesses rise up against me,
    spouting malicious accusations.

    13
    I remain confident of this:
    I will see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.
    14
    Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.

    Psalm 27:1-14

  342. foreverblessed says:

    The rapture of the love of God, the great delight of living with Him, totally calm and are peace,
    I was trying to say: we hardly know, this great love. Song of Solomon is describing it.
    How nice Spurgeon writes about it: when we gaze upon His beauty, we are spiritally nourished.

    “Look to Me and be saved”

    God loves everybody, but having a relation with Him, that is for those who open their hearts toe Him,
    (And let go of our old self)

  343. foreverblessed says:

    Steve, on thinking this over, what you said about Elijah and John the Baptist.
    I picture in heaven:
    Elijah standing next tot John the Baptist.

    Sorry, but I cannot get that out of my head.
    So I go witte Bratimus: Elijah is Elijah, John the Baptist is John the Baptist.
    But we are saved by Jesus, knowing Him is essential.
    Not Elijah nor John can save us.

    I have a picture of Johns the Baptist, painted by Leonardo da Vinci.
    The essence of the picture is the hand of John,
    Pointing upwards to Jesus.

  344. street says:

    thinking of form and function. there is a difference between them.

  345. poohpity says:

    It seems to me that God thinks we are of much value to Him which would be why He has gone to such great length to show us His love so therefore that makes us worthy! There is a difference in being worthy and undeserving of His grace I do not think we should confuse the two.

  346. Beloved says:

    I see what you mean, but, according to scripture only God is worthy of anything and none of the prophets apostles or anyone else in scripture ever said they were worthy of Gods love and grace and mercy. (Job said, I am a worm and not a man). David in His psalms lamented about His troubles- sins persecutions grievances and emotional pain- but never said he was ok because in Gods eyes he was WORTHY of anything but trusted in the mercy and kindness of God for his help. Paul the great apostle went to great lengths explaining how unworthy we are (sinful) but because of Jesus our standing with God as His beloved children is restored.

    I’m just trying to stick with scripture as I sort through the poor teachings I got from my years with the prosperity gospel Charismatic church etc. You can’t go wrong with scripture alone!

  347. jeff1 says:

    I am not worthy, holy Lord,
    that thou shouldst come to me;
    speak but the word, one gracious word
    can set the sinner free.

    I am not worthy; cold and bare
    the lodging of my soul;
    how canst thou deign to enter there?
    Lord, speak, and make me whole.

    I am not worthy; yet, my God,
    how can I say thee nay;
    thee, who didst give thy Flesh and Blood
    my ransom-price to pay?

    O come! in this sweet morning hour
    feed me with food divine;
    and fill with all thy love and power
    this worthless heart of mine.

  348. Beloved says:

    God saves us to restore the family He first created in the garden. He’s all about family!

  349. street says:

    I will bear the indignation of the Lord
    Because I have sinned against Him,
    Until He pleads my case and executes justice for me.
    He will bring me out to the light,
    And I will see His [d]righteousness…..
    18
    Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity
    And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His [m]possession?
    He does not retain His anger forever,
    Because He delights in [n]unchanging love.
    19
    He will again have compassion on us;
    He will tread our iniquities under foot.
    Yes, You will cast all [o]their sins
    Into the depths of the sea.
    20
    You will give [p]truth to Jacob
    And [q]unchanging love to Abraham,
    Which You swore to our forefathers
    From the days of old.

  350. jeff1 says:

    What a comforting thought that God does not remain angry forever.

    I have so often feared God’s wrath in acknowledging my sins against Him but you are the same Lord whose nature is always to have mercy.

    Beloved says:
    February 16, 2020 at 6:19 pm

    I would have to agree that the Bible has God’s truths and all other is man driven.

    None of the prophets apostles or anyone else in Scripture said they were worthy of Gods love grace and mercy as they knew it would not be the truth.

    While you live, tell the truth, and shame the devil.

  351. SFDBWV says:

    Mart uses the term “tensions” to describe what seems to be contradictions in Scripture. Any Bible student recognizes that there are
    “tensions”. Things that seem to contradict each other.

    So some of us encapsulate them into what we may describe as “mysteries”. Things we don’t yet understand or maybe never will until there with our Lord.

    In such matters we are faced with two decisions, to simply lay it on the altar and leave it to God in faith, a way of ignoring them, or seek the answer in the Scripture with prayer and meditation.

    Sometimes we are at peace with the matter then other times it nags at us for an answer.

    Mart’s blog of “Been Thinking About” has been a place where different people from all over the world can look at any issue and collectively give thought and opinion about any matter.

    The only possible consensus that may be able to obtain is the Jesus is Lord.

    All other issues most likely will not have a concluded consensus by all people. No one being more right then another as there is no person here able to a conclusive authoritarian on any issue before us.

    The question may be is it disruptive to ask questions? To seek answers or confirmation?

    Bible study can be fun if we are open to possibilities, or argumentative if we are close minded.

    At the least we can be courteous and friendly as we all see things from our wide and varying perspectives. Perhaps learning something along the way.

    Steve

  352. foreverblessed says:

    You are so right, Steve, being courteous to one another!
    I have no problem that you interprete the statement of Jesus: this is the Elijah, literal.
    I cannot believe this, as I said: I see both John the Baptist and Elijah.
    So, no worry.
    Howeve, when I said that I do not see that Gen 1:1-3 has happened 6000 years ago, did I receive courteous comments here?
    You said to me: God can handle it, and I found that respectful.
    But not all were so

    God wrote the book: the Bible
    AND God wrote the Book of Nature.
    It is His.
    Both must correspond to each other.

    That’s how I see it.

    And it is not essential for my salvation, nore for anybody else.
    Accept: when we judge another!
    Then we are in danger of judgment.

    Do not judge!

  353. Beloved says:

    Lamentations 3:22-23 English Standard Version (ESV)

    22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;[a]
    his mercies never come to an end;
    23 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

  354. SFDBWV says:

    I am smiling and find it amusing, Foreverblessed because it certainly is written for us not to judge (Matthew 7:1 KJV) while at the same time telling us that we shall judge the world (1 Corinthians 6:2 KJV) and Angels (1 Corinthians 6:3 KJV)

    Then there is this, (John 5:22 KJV), “For the Father judgeth no man…”

    Which opens up a plethora of questions relevant to Scripture.

    Keeping it simple takes a lot of focusing away from such things, yet such things are there. To either trip us up or enlighten us. However it is “received”.

    Steve

  355. Beloved says:

    Context is important when reading scripture. To whom is the text addressing, what was the authors intent, is it prescriptive or describing something. Or is it merely a narrative of historical events. When you take a word, like “judge” as a topical study you will find seemingly contradictions until you understand what the author is meaning in the larger context. I’ve been in Bible Studies long ago that asked “So what does this passage mean to you?”. There’s no Truth in that only human speculation based on feelings or meaning as applied to ones life experiences and personality type. Correction is not judging! Agree to disagree is a more peaceful way until the “little ones” gain more knowledge from God. God gives us light. We need to seek His face only and always when interpreting scripture. God never berates us when we misunderstand/misinterpret Him or His word, He knows we are made of dust.

  356. poohpity says:

    There are several different meanings in our English language for different words. We can be of much value and worth to God yet be unworthy to receive His grace, mercy and forgiveness, right? But it is because we are important or of worth and value to Him or He would have never created this wonderful world we live in or coming to reveal Himself then giving His life for us so that we can have a close relationship with Him.

    We are unworthy to receive praise and glory that only belongs to God. We are unworthy to receive grace, forgiveness and mercy because we will sin and sin again.

    But if we were not of worth to God He would never pursue us to have a relationship with Him nor make a way to live in eternity with Him.

    So I would say that Beloved is right it is in the context of how we use words that their meanings comes to light.

    Even with the word judge. We can judge another with the motive of making ourselves look better or to berate them so that we will feel superior, I guess that is why the warnings came with judging. Judge the same way you want to be judged, judge with the intent of restoration but be careful that you do not find yourself doing the same things you accuse another of doing, judge sin so that we do not do it but always with gentleness and humility.

  357. street says:

    but whoever loses their life for me, Jesus, will save it. LUKE 9:23

    “For the Father judgeth no man…”

    Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. Revelation 20:4

    Matthew 7:2
    For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.

    1 John 4:18
    There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

    1 John 2:8
    On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true Light is already shining.

    1 John 1:5
    [ God Is Light ] This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

    1 John 2:9
    The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now.

    1 John 4:7
    [ God Is Love ] Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

    7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is [a]born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 By this the love of God was manifested [b]in us, that God has sent His [c]only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.

    15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has [d]for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear [e]involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 19 We love, because He first loved us. 20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.

  358. poohpity says:

    For the next two weeks “Discover The Word” is talking about “Fearfully and Wonderfully” made we are with one of my favorite author’s Phillip Yancy. They talked about the diversity in the body but how it all works together in unity for a common goal.

  359. SFDBWV says:

    Only a few years back Matt wanted to try aqua therapy again in an attempt to be able to walk again.

    I arranged it with the agreement of the aqua therapist in Winchester VA, a two hour drive from here.

    However once the therapist actually worked with Matt her attitude changed. She began asking us to arrive earlier then our prearranged time and when we did lie about having ask us.

    Not wanting to tell us not to come back she tried to get us to quit on our own by continuing to make us come early and we then set in the pool area for a couple hours insisting she had not ask us to come early.

    Finally after Matt’s session in the pool talking to Matt like he was a baby she said to him, “no more. No need to come back” She talking to Matt not me. When we started to leave she ask Matt to give her a hug, he did, but when I said “human touch is very important.” She gave me a hateful dirty look and ask “What did you say?”

    She was visibly angry with me, cocked and ready for an argument. When I repeated what I had said she only said “yes it is.” She had already imagined what I might say when leaving and when I did not say a single negative thing she was angry and frustrated. Angry at me instead of admitting her own failures as a way of justifying her actions and decisions.

    Here in this very awkward and difficult way of commenting to each other too often we just do not read what the other person actually says and go off commenting regardless what they did not read anyway.

    It is very frustrating, and I suppose the only answer to dealing with it is to just ignore it. As trying to re-explain or give interpretation is once again lost to deaf ears and blind spots some have.

    Or as Mart said “pack up and leave.” As so many others have.

    Steve

  360. Beloved says:

    Steve if you have to have things your way then do what you need to do, or, just listen to other points of view in the exchange of ideas without judging. Perhaps the therapist, knowing her job knew that it was not helping Matt and when you judged her abilities became angry hearing from you how to do it. ie “the human touch”? Attitude says a lot, maybe it wasn’t Matt but you she was offended by? Just a thought but I could be wrong. However you take it know I care about you and seek your higher good that self reflection can bring to light. Humble yourself before God and ask for His help. He loves you and wants to bring you closer to Himself; the only way closer to our Holy God is through daily repentance and resting in His yoke and sharing His Light burden.

  361. poohpity says:

    Isn’t it self aggrandizing to think we know what another is thinking or guessing what their motives are or what they are feeling by assuming or jumping to conclusions when all those things are based on the thoughts, feelings and perception of the one doing them.

    Before one speaks; THINK

    T-Is it True?
    H-Is it Helpful?
    I-Is it Inspiring?
    N-Is it Necessary?
    K-Is it Kind?

  362. Beloved says:

    No ma’m, only to some.

  363. Beloved says:

    And I would say yes to all on the “THINK” anachronistic.

  364. street says:

    10
    “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
    After those days, says the Lord:
    [g]I will put My laws into their minds,
    And I will write them on their hearts.
    And I will be their God,
    And they shall be My people.
    11
    “And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen,
    And everyone his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
    For all will know Me,
    From [h]the least to the greatest of them.
    12
    “For I will be merciful to their iniquities,
    And I will remember their sins no more.”

  365. Beloved says:

    “Confronting others is not always easy and can seem unkind. Yet, in reality, it’s a loving thing to do. We can follow Jesus’ example as He demonstrated honor for His Father when He confronted while on earth. Lovingly confronting, rebuking, and correcting demonstrates we are living for the King and the Kingdom. In all things, may God be glorified!“

    Beverley Moore
    Biblical Counseling Coalition

  366. Beloved says:

    poohpity says:
    February 17, 2020 at 12:35 pm
    Isn’t it self aggrandizing to think we know what another is thinking or guessing what their motives are or what they are feeling by assuming or jumping to conclusions when all those things are based on the thoughts, feelings and perception of the one doing them.

    Dear Pooh, I mentioned before that I am what’s called a Christian empath. I understand things about people often before they are even aware of it themselves by the things people write here, which I’ve been reading for years now; how they think what they do and how they respond to others. No I’m not a fortune teller but a highly sensitive person. It’s how God made me. Before I became a Christian I knew when someone was coming to my door and to be ready for them. That was satan distorting my gift. I also saw lots of demons and actually thought it quite normal. Until Jesus came:-). He delivered me from all Satanic influence and put me in my right mind. I’m not perfect, far from it. But anything that distorts or negates the gospel message makes me angry, having once been held captive by the deceiver. Satans world is horrific- his message is subtle often but God is always protective of His own, like Jeremiahs prophecy we have the advantage of the Holy Spirit within to protect guide and strengthen us without. His attacks toward me – and yes he attacks me – leave me shaking and panicky in my flesh- confused even sometimes; but remembering the Truth of Who’s I am, Who I belong to NOW stills and quiets my soul. God is loving and faithful to His children. My ABBA, oh how I love Him.!

  367. jeff1 says:

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

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

    Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word,
    But as Thou dwell’st with Thy disciples, Lord,
    Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
    Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.

    Come not in terror, as the King of kings,
    But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings;
    Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea.
    Come, Friend of sinners, thus abide with me.

    Thou on my head in early youth didst smile,
    And though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
    Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee.
    On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.

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

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

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

  368. Beloved says:

    Pooh thanks for the heads up about Discover the Word.

  369. Beloved says:

    How Pleasant to Live in Harmony!
    (1 Corinthians 1:10-17; Ephesians 4:1-16)
    A song of ascents. Of David.

    Behold, how good and pleasant it is
    when brothers live together in harmony!
    2It is like fine oil on the head,
    running down on the beard,
    running down Aaron’s beard
    over the collar of his robes.
    3It is like the dew of Hermon
    falling on the mountains of Zion.
    For there the LORD has bestowed the blessing
    of life forevermore.

  370. poohpity says:

    Only God knows what is in someone’s mind or their motives or what they are thinking? So it is self aggrandizing to think you can Beloved. Wasn’t it you who thought street was a doctor, and another time a pastor, etc., wrong on each one, so you are batting zero.

    The acronym of THINK one can only answer that before they are going to say something and they think before they speak, so I do not know how you can say yes to those since they are rhetorical questions.

  371. Beloved says:

    Street wasn’t who I thought he was. I mistook him for another person named Street. Simple misunderstanding. Thanks again for the heads up about DTW, I actually have the book Brandt and Yancey write together. It was very good but will enjoy hearing the discussion.

  372. SFDBWV says:

    This is better than Looney Toons…

    Oh Lord give me strength, but do not make me hard hearted.
    Thank You.
    Amen

    Steve

  373. jeff1 says:

    I love that you have a sense of humour Steve, its good to laugh, thinking did Robin Williams appear in a film where he said laughter was the best medicine.

  374. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Viv, thank you for appreciating my sense of humor. If it were not for laughter in our home life would be a lot harder to take.

    Matt and Glenna and I all three enjoy what we can and laugh at ourselves sometimes as it is as you have said laughter is the best medicine.

    A smile feels a lot better than a frown.

    Steve

  375. poohpity says:

    Isn’t there a big difference in laughing with someone and laughing at them? Which is another example of self aggrandizing which comes in many forms.

  376. jeff1 says:

    😊 Yes, it is our happy memories that are most precious and the recollection of them brings a smile to our faces.

    I think I take myself too seriously and why I find I love someone with a good sense of humour as they manage to make me see this and then we share in a good laugh.

    Thank you for sharing Steve and may you continue to smile through life because as you say it is what makes life richer.

    Smiles are a glimpse of what Heaven will be like without the pain and so hold onto that thought and may it brighten your day in doing so.

  377. poohpity says:

    Matt 25:40 NLT

  378. poohpity says:

    Yes Steve thank you for insinuating the contributors on the blog represent “Looney Tunes”! I did not find that funny but sad coming from you, like the pot calling the kettle black.

  379. jeff1 says:

    In a harsh world like this one if all someone does to offend me is have a laugh at my expense I am too easily offended.

    I had to survive in a work place where fellow workers talked of those nutters in the T & F and both I and my brother spent long periods in and out of it.

    The reason this world is so PC today is because everyone is so easily offended and we all have to walk on egg shells.

    There is nothing to smile about anymore particularly in workplaces as people are afraid to make a joke incase another has a hissy fit.

    Build a bridge and for God’s sake get over it.

  380. SFDBWV says:

    Hello Again Viv, once again it amuses me to read where people make an issue out of someone else being guilty of “judging” they then judge that individual or their comments immediately.

    We can never avoid people who just look for faults in another.

    I chanced upon this quote this morning and would like to share it with you and the others who read this blog.

    The quote is from Laura Dern, but smacks of Christian fundamentalism.

    “You don’t have to run away from life your whole life. You can change. And you can be an agent of change.”

    Be blessed.
    Steve

  381. poohpity says:

    Steve wasn’t you who commented on Loony Tunes? Isn’t that pointing out a fault in others?

    It has nothing to do with being PC it has to do with calling people names! Is that kind or necessary? The problem with that is again the feeling that one is more superior than another, self aggrandizement.

  382. poohpity says:

    We have to be careful not to let the ugly of others kill the beauty in us.

  383. bratimus says:

    Sometimes on my walk through this life I have to ascertain a persons true motives when dealing with them. Some might look on that as a stance of judgement, but for me is is more of so they won’t get mores harshly Judge by God, I try not to enable people in sinning. If that is understandable.

    I was more of a Hahana-Barbarah fan myself

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  384. foreverblessed says:

    Innocent as doves
    and…

  385. foreverblessed says:

    Have to go
    But thanks for the interest shown in the storms here.
    This one was mild for us, but lots of rain in middle England.
    It brought very warm temperatures.
    We are still waiting for the winter to come.
    ;-/

  386. Beloved says:

    [35] For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. [36] For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

  387. street says:

    Thinking about how we fall into legalism when we judge. It’s a trap. Doer of the law vs judge of law comes to mind. We are given a new spirit to abide in. A way forward. To walk in light not darkness. Living by faith not law. A law written on our hearts by God. Worshipers who worship in Spirit andTruth.

  388. jeff1 says:

    bratimus says:
    February 18, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    Sometimes on my walk through this life I have to ascertain a persons true motives when dealing with them.

    That means knowing a person very well and so we often have to make non informed judgements and that can have consequences as to trust another is to be vulnerable yet without trust a relationship cannot be formed.

    There is always a risk when forming relationships as non are perfect in judging and we often get hurt in the process but when I trust God with my circumstances I can move on and trust again.

    The more I trust God in my relationships the more I do not despair when people disappoint as despair turns to hope that God will work out His purpose.

  389. Beloved says:

    Trusting God in every circumstance is key I think. I know that when I stumble into judging others (not even being aware sometimes) like I do on here that God will not destroy me when I humble myself, repent and with mercy pray for a better day tomorrow. I’m not so insecure in our relationship as I once was that I want to die or feel deserving of the wrath of those I judge or sin against as it’s actually sin against God that I’m doing. Loving one another is hard sometimes. But I work at that also. In process as they say. It’s God that saves; that’s the easy part. Living through sanctification is harder.

  390. Beloved says:

    I John 3:16 This is how we know what love is:

    Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to

    lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

  391. Beloved says:

    Better than looney toons; I just saw this, Steve what was so funny, I don’t get it?

  392. foreverblessed says:

    Good morning all, the sun is shining here.
    But that is “only” the physical sun.
    Jesus is our Light and our salvation.
    Also in the “drudgery” days.
    Oswald often talks about the drudgery.
    It is in those days that God realky cherisses us.
    The endurance, the faithfulness.

    About the discover the word, the Body of Christ.
    I am very familiar with:
    We cannot all be the eye.
    But the guest speaker says:
    Compared to the eyes, the intestines are huge!
    (Or does he say: colon)
    My thoughts: The greater part of the body, is busy with: digesting food, I call that drudgery work. But without it there is no energy.

    “Jesus brought the Light, in Judah, but the Body of believers brought the Life to Africa, Asia Europe!”

    The Body of believers- Family of God the Father.

  393. foreverblessed says:

    Lay down our lives…

    Laying our lives in the hand of Jesus.
    Laying it on the altar.

    When healing, physical healing is waiting, years and years
    This is what we could do:
    Laying our quest of being healed on the altar, and say:
    God, You do with this situation as You see fit.

    Some preacher explained that this is also a meaning of
    Romans 12:1
    Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God- which is your spiritual worship.

    In view of God’s mercy…
    Which could mean, that through the suffering in a Christian God is touching other hearts, lost souls.

    Hard to explain.
    But I have been walking alongside a woman, when she was 19, she was hit by a car, 3 months in coma, badly wounded. She is 67 now, she can walk, but difficult. We, in our church, pray for her, not always knowing what to pray, byte sometimes we get bold, and ask God for her physical healing.
    Two weeks she fell. Slowly pain developed, in her groin.
    And I said: You have broken your hip.
    But she was adament: nothing was broken. She had broken do much, she knew what breaking bones feels like.
    The next day she called again, the pain was so severe.
    So I repeated: broken hip.
    No, that was not so.
    Handicapped .. getting stubborn.
    There is a connection between the two.

    So then I said, shall I pray for you?
    Yes, allright.
    So I prayed, general prayer, God’s mercy over her, His peace, and the rest I do not remember.

    Later I heard, the pain got worse and worse. At night she was taken by an ambulance, to the hospital, and yes: a broken hip. Loose and upside down.
    They couldn’t believe that she walked 8 days like thuis.

    And that is not the end of the story: she was not operated untill the next day at 16.00. two days of being sober, waiting for surgery. And screaming of pain when being moved on the bed.
    Where was God?

    But this is not the end of the story.
    The next day, after surgery she phoned me: her voice was different.
    There was LIFE in it.
    She was soooo thankful!
    Later I heard from a pastor who prayed with her that day: her eyes were glowing after he prayed: Life.

    ( She had been going to church, but God seemed far away to her. It didn’t seem to land.

    But this is not all:
    She is one of 12 children. A few never contact her.
    But now, after this terrible ordeal, they have ALL shown concern.
    When she told me that, it was as if God was telling me:
    “You see, I am working, I do not want to save her alone, I also want to save her family, as you have asked for them too.

    And now I get up and going, to visit her in rehab , or revalidation we call it
    If you have a prayer.

    And God: We thank You for the Work You are doing in Matt’s life.
    You do much more than we can hope for.
    Your Mercy never ends
    Because of Jesus!

  394. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Foreverblessed, I enjoyed your story of your friend and her continued struggles.

    It is one of those human nature things in us all that makes us look for reasons and answers to our struggles and difficulties in life.

    It is present in every race, culture and religion of mankind.

    Strange that even after we all acknowledge God in every situation, still we ask why.

    Always seeking deliverance from whatever it is that we are dealing with.

    I am no different than anyone else in this matter. As from the outset over 20 years now (June 7 1999) I have sought God in giving me a reason for and deliverance from so much suffering, heartache, disappointment and battles.

    Knowing or suspecting why doesn’t end the pain.

    If the pain of watching someone you loved suffer were not present in your heart, would sympathy and compassion not also be gone?

    One of the things that immediately became obvious to me in this matter with Matthew is the opportunity for people to step up and be blessed through it. I have seen the door opened time and time again for people to join in the blessing only to watch as they missed their opportunity to shine.

    If you will it reminds me of Jesus weeping over Jerusalem because they did not recognize their hour of opportunity.

    Am I guilty of “judging” such people or is it just a simple observation? I don’t know and to me it doesn’t matter. What matters is Matt’s suffering and my attempts to sooth and comfort as God allows for me to do.

    I thank you and those you have asked to join with you in prayers for Matthew and my family.

    You are also a blessing to us and a very special person Foreverblessed, as not everyone is as compassionate and dedicated as you.

    Thank You.

    Steve

  395. jeff1 says:

    Beloved says:
    February 18, 2020 at 8:34 pm

    Trusting God in every circumstance is key I think. I know that when I stumble into judging others (not even being aware sometimes) like I do on here that God will not destroy me when I humble myself, repent and with mercy pray for a better day tomorrow. I’m not so insecure in our relationship as I once was that I want to die or feel deserving of the wrath of those I judge or sin against as it’s actually sin against God that I’m doing. Loving one another is hard sometimes. But I work at that also. In process as they say. It’s God that saves; that’s the easy part. Living through sanctification is harder.

    I still have a head that hears condemning voices and sometimes it is my own voice but other times it is the voice of others.

    I am confused about God and perhaps why it is easy to take refuge in Christ and find peace their.

    I have too many unanswered questions in my mind and my mind is exhausted and so I leave it with God as I know He will take better care of it than I have.

    To be able to love I think you have to have known love and though both my parents showed nothing but love through their actions they were not demonstrative in saying (words) or (doing) hugs or kisses.

    That probably is why I feel awkward today when someone offers me physical comfort i.e. hugs or kisses.

    I find loving my enemies is hard but then I have lived in a religious divided country and growing up with hatred and violence was a reality.

    In hindsight I can see that my dad knew what he was talking about and why his example has been an influence in my continued trust in God.

    He had his priorities right, God first, and it was reflected in how he led his life as he did not find it hard to love his enemies.

    Faith in God is the easy part, but loving others does not come easy, and from what I have seen does come at a price but then when I remember that I cost God His Son I see that sacrifice and love are on a much higher level and so now understand why those who love are much closer to God.

    And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:4-13, NIV)

  396. SFDBWV says:

    Joyce I would not simply ignore your request, however just let me say that you are not the only person here who can perceive the attitude and intentions behind others who comment here. Nothing special about it, I would say everyone here is able to be perceptive.

    The relationship between you and I has been strained at best these past weeks no reason to pretend it hasn’t. So let me just ask of you to try and reset things between us and if we comment to or about one another to do so in a courteous and civil manner without malice.

    If not for our sake, then for the sake of others here.

    Steve

  397. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Viv, as the sun rises here it makes me feel connected to you knowing it has already risen over you and your day has already began.

    I think nobody has it all figured out and everyone has questions. It of itself is one of the ways we stay connected to God.

    I have trouble myself believing people who say they love their enemies. Though there are different kinds of love. Love being a word in English that may have several different meanings it is stated simply as love. A little confusing.

    I can’t get a lesson I learned many years ago about truth out of my head. That there is no truth without time.

    At a certain point in time I wanted only the worst for my enemies, yet at a different point in time, perhaps my enemies now are now my friends and I want only the best for them.

    That is the truth

    I think that this perfection of Christian love comes only in time. That God is the creator and author of time as well as love and in due time we may all come to that place of perfect Christian love.

    In the meantime we are all at some point in between.

    Steve

  398. poohpity says:

    Romans 12 NLT;

    Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!

    17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

    19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,

    “I will take revenge;
    I will pay them back,”
    says the Lord.

    20 Instead,

    “If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
    If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
    In doing this, you will heap
    burning coals of shame on their heads.”

    That is if one really trusts God.

    21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

  399. jeff1 says:

    Steve, in seeing that my dad loved his enemies it is not that he said so but rather what he did not say.

    He was not a judgemental man by nature and was objective in seeing that wrongs were done on both sides.

    He didn’t see as the rest of us did that it was republicanism against loyalism but that it was good against evil.

    I blurred the lines but he did not because he listened to God and not to men.

    I haven’t met very many people who put their loyalty to God before their loyalty to their country and perhaps why I find it rare.

    I asked him once why he didn’t join the orange order and he said I have been a member since I was a boy as his father had enlisted him such was the culture at the time but I have never felt the need to march as I don’t see why I need to parade my patriotism.

    He never tried to push his culture either verbally or physically on another but remained true to his unionist beliefs in desiring to remain within the United Kingdom unless the people of Northern Ireland voted to do otherwise.

    I will always see him as one of the good guys who loved his country but put people before politics or religion in doing what was right in the sight of God.

  400. Beloved says:

    Yes Steve I do admit I hold some malice against you, yet, I recognize once again that you are who you are and that is not going to change. So I have to just let go and trust Gods grace to cover my issues with you. That issue being your shaming /criticizing others on here because you don’t understand a conversation that is going on without you. You’ve done it many times through the years. Then you complain because people don’t follow up on what you have brought to this forum. Hey, we all have our own agendas here. Let us be who we are. Your approval is not really necessary unless you were Mart, which you aren’t. And even he has the good sense to not step in and approve or disapprove of people he likes more than others; a good leader! As I said a long time ago to you Steve, you should have your own blog, because what you share is your life story more often than Marts thoughts- which you often don’t agree with.

    That said, finally getting it off my chest so to speak, I want you to know I’m not denigrating or demeaning you just telling it how I see it. You tend to laugh at people here who have their own thoughts and opinions; remember, we are human people too, just like you.

    I know I’ve made myriad mistakes here- lifting up certain people here I happen to like better or laughing at and criticizing those that rub me the wrong way- so to speak.

    I repent.

    Being the Body does not allow for that, as all are equal from the least to the greatest in the Kingdom of God in Christ.

    These things I would not say to an outsider- unbeliever- but for the sake of unity I think it’s good to be able to share what we struggle with. I know Steve you are not given to sharing personal things here and I get that; it takes a long time to be real and let ones guard down. But for some of us spiritual growth is what we live for and getting to know God better, just as much as you seem to be quite content with where you are at with Him and your past experiences with spiritual matters. I accept your spirituality as yours. Please respect my spiritual journey which I may talk about too much here; not sure but it’s all I’ve got to share about and this is a blog about Spiritual matters so it feels right to do it. My life is way less interesting than yours is or hopefully ever will be. I am speaking the Truth in love to you with no animosity in my heart any longer. I thank God for pressing me to come clean once more here.

    It’s a good place that God is involved in, perhaps that’s why I leave and return every year? It’s rare to find a place like this and I thank Mart for putting up with all the drama of life happening here. Like any good story teller he may be enjoying it more than I think sometimes? I don’t know. I really don’t know much.

    Please be at peace today and I will also because of Jesus,
    Blessings,
    Joyce

  401. SFDBWV says:

    So be it Joyce you could not just let things be, you had to run your mouth in a negative run against me.

    Good bye Joyce.

    Steve

  402. Beloved says:

    Ok sounds Steve if that’s what you wish.

  403. Beloved says:

    Sounds good

  404. jeff1 says:

    It seems that God is much better at accepting us as we are then we are at accepting each other because whether we see it like that or not that is what it comes down to.

    I see faults in others and I don’t see them in myself because it is much easier to see another’s faults, but, in time God brings me to the realization that I have the same or different faults.

    In time I realize that God has shown me I am just as imperfect as the next person.

    God does this to humble me so I can draw near to Him and become the person He wants me to be.

    It is only by looking at Jesus that I can get a picture of the person He wants me to be and I am either getting more like Jesus or staying myself and the latter is not where I want to be but I think what I am trying to say is that I with the help of God am the only one who can change that.

  405. Beloved says:

    Yes I agree Viv- we all are trying to be more Christ like; though we will never be until this human flesh is destroyed by death. Jesus lost His humanity and so will we all. Focusing on Him is the wisest thing to do, despite the problems and turmoil we all deal with. Perfection comes when we finally leave this world for our eternal home. I can’t wait!

  406. Beloved says:

    I’ve always wondered why Jesus had to learn obedience, being God.
    ◄ Hebrews 5:8 ►
    New International Version
    Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered

    But I get it now I think. He learned through suffering. Why suffering? Because the world is broken and suffering is everywhere. It’s unavoidable. Yet in His suffering He did not sin- unlike everyone else. Jesus showed us how to deal with suffering because He was God. It is we who learn by His example.

  407. Beloved says:

    And He learned how humans feel when suffering through persecution, injury or whatever. Empathy and sympathy yet not without hope!

  408. Beloved says:

    I believe I sometimes spend more time focusing on my sins than on His lovingkindness. I don’t think that’s His plan for us. Life abundantly was the promise, in the here and now!

  409. Beloved says:

    Oh Steve! It just occurred to me that you did not want to know why I held malice against you!!! That’s why I wrote that. Confession is good for the soul though.

  410. jeff1 says:

    Beloved, for different reasons I find it hard not to focus on my sins and that is because I have fallen into temptation so many times.

    I seem to always be looking for absolution as trouble seems to find me if I don’t find it.

    Being impulsive doesn’t help as I put my mouth into gear before my head and that never ends well.

    I seem to spend my life running back and forward to God and never getting anywhere and that not a good place to be but one I seem to be stuck with all the same.

  411. poohpity says:

    Yes Joyce, it is only Steve who is able to offer a negative opinion about other people but it is “not” OK for people to offer their negative opinion of him.

    Remember, what you do now will come back to you in the future. God has a funny way of making you deal with what you make others go through.

  412. Beloved says:

    Viv I’m the same way, impulsive and succumb to temptation often but the steadfast love of the LORD never ceases and His mercies never come to an end! Lately I’ve been working at slowing down and trying to be quiet in Gods presence instead of always thinking of what I’ve done wrong to confess or my kids/grandkids problems which I need to let go of when I pray giving them to God. It is actually hard to be still in His presence, my deeply rooted anxieties I suppose but I am still working at it. I’m a worrier. I have some health issues and car issues that are really testing my patience, my son and his wife are emotionally abusive to my 3 darling little granddaughters which is nearly killing me to watch. They both need therapy which I’ve suggested numerous times but it will take a miracle to change their hearts so waiting on God with hope and tears. BUT I’ve learned to say thank you every day and trust that when He
    decides I will either be dead, healed or given a solution for all my problems. That’s progress for
    me, He’s taught me to trust in His sovereignty over the smallest and largest problems.

    So I wait a lot! In pain physical and emotional but with hope for better things today maybe -tomorrow possibly -and in Heaven for sure!! We are all more alike than we think actually. Clay being shaped by God for better things to come!

  413. Beloved says:

    Pooh like I said the other day we don’t often realize our own faults, like judging and negativity for instance. I’m still working on that too :-)

  414. Beloved says:

    Isaiah 46;12 Listen to me, you stubborn-hearted, you who are now far from my righteousness. 13 I am bringing my righteousness near, it is not far away; and my salvation will not be delayed.

    Christ, our righteousness.

  415. jeff1 says:

    Praise to You, Giver of Life,
    Sharing with love and delight
    All that You are–
    Life in its loveliness,
    Pleasures all measureless,
    Giving Your very breath
    With all Your heart!

    Children of heavenly grace,
    Each with a soul and a face,
    Born in Your heart,
    Sharing Your dignity,
    Shaped for discovery,
    Glimpsing eternity
    In every star!

    Each one is precious to You.
    Each is a promise in bloom.
    Lives great and small,
    Children of every age,
    Each in Your image made,
    May we love unafraid,
    Father of all!

  416. foreverblessed says:

    This is what Steve wrote, Feb 19

    At a certain point in time I wanted only the worst for my enemies, yet at a different point in time, perhaps my enemies now are now my friends and I want only the best for them.

    That is the truth

    I think that this perfection of Christian love comes only in time. That God is the creator and author of time as well as love and in due time we may all come to that place of perfect Christian love.

    Our enemies may become our best friends!

    That is the hope,
    Also the hope that God has.

    On a side-note, Beloved, when I read what you said to Steve, I thought: O dear, what is that to you?
    My advice to you is this: If you think something about another, bring it to the Throne of God,
    And then
    WAIT.

    God needs a lot of time.
    Haha, that is because all of us, in our fallen state have become stubborn.

    This advice is what I have to learn too!

    I know you mean well.

    But we must become an instrument in Gods Hands,
    Well-tuned.

    We have the example of Sarah, who couln’t wait.
    God uses our ills and changes them into something wonderful.
    As God will, with Ishmaels decendents.

    Last week the sermon of Bobby Schuller was about being in able to withstand critique from fellow christians.
    That God uses that to form us, in humility, in perseverance, in looking to Jesus first and foremost.

    That we learn to go to Jesus:
    Did you hear what this person says about me? What do You think about me?
    And then listen and wait what Jesus says.

    But… the problem is: we were getting too upset, to hear what He says, so our hearts must come to rest in Him first!

  417. foreverblessed says:

    Our enemies our —> out best Friends

    Think of Saul, having become Paul,
    A great friend of Jesus.

  418. foreverblessed says:

    Our enemies —> our best Friends

  419. jeff1 says:

    I am never more AWARE of my NEED OF GOD until I FAIL Him and yet He is faithful in hearing my confession, offering me absolution and restoring our relationship.

    Each of us know who to go to, to receive mercy, grace and companionship because we have a relationship that will stand the test of time.

    In our humanness we fail each other and say we forgive when our words and actions say very differently.

    That is not uniting the Body of Christ but God knows what we are made of and His love is unconditional.

    I never feel nearer God then when I am on my knees whether in personal or public prayer.

    Perhaps why this song is such a favourite of mine and from my favourite singer of gospel music too.

    “Crying In The Chapel”

    You saw me crying in the chapel.
    The tears I shed were tears of joy
    I know the meaning of contentment
    Now I am happy with the Lord

    Just a plain and simple chapel
    Where humble people go to pray
    I pray the Lord that I’ll grow stronger
    As I live from day to day

    I’ve searched and I’ve searched
    But I couldn’t find
    No way on earth
    To gain peace of mind

    Now I’m happy in the chapel
    Where people are of one accord
    We gather in the chapel
    Just to sing and praise the Lord

    Ev’ry sinner looks for something
    That will put his heart at ease
    There is only one true answer
    He must get down on his knees

    Meet your neighbor in the chapel
    Join with him in tears of joy
    You’ll know the meaning of contentment
    Then you’ll be happy with the Lord

    You’ll search and you’ll search
    But you’ll never find
    No way on earth
    To gain peace of mind

    Take your troubles to the chapel
    Get down on your knees and pray
    Your burdens will be lighter
    And you’ll surely find the way

  420. jeff1 says:

    foreverblessed says:
    February 20, 2020 at 4:20 am
    This is what Steve wrote, Feb 19

    At a certain point in time I wanted only the worst for my enemies, yet at a different point in time, perhaps my enemies now are now my friends and I want only the best for them.

    That is the truth

    Steve, thinking of your insightfulness which is seen in your words that Forever has quoted.

    Thank you for helping me to see clearer and know you are appreciated today.

    I share your sense of humour but then we are known in this country to be able to laugh at ourselves and that is not always appreciated or understood by others.

    Hope you are spending quality time with your family who love and appreciate you today. lol

  421. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed and Viv, thank you both, I needed a little kindness here this morning.

    Be blessed.

    Steve

  422. jeff1 says:

    How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds
    In a believer’s ear!
    It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds,
    And drives away his fear.

    It makes the wounded spirit whole,
    And calms the troubled breast;
    ‘Tis manna to the hungry soul,
    And to the weary rest,
    And to the weary rest.

    Dear Name, the Rock on which I build,
    My Shield and Hiding Place,
    My never failing treasury, filled
    With boundless stores of grace!

    Jesus! my Shepherd, saviour, Friend,
    My Prophet, Priest and King,
    My Lord, my Life, my Way, my End,
    Accept the praise I bring.
    Accept the praise I bring.

    Weak is the effort of my heart,
    And cold my warmest thought;
    But when I see You as You are,
    I’ll praise You as I ought.

    I would your boundless love proclaim
    With every fleeting breath,
    So shall the music of Your Name
    Refresh my soul in death,
    Refresh my soul in death.

  423. bratimus says:

    OK EVERYONE,

    Be mad at me, I’m probably the biggest trouble maker in here, be mad at me I can take it!!!

    understanding!!!

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

    LOL

  424. Beloved says:

    We were all at one time stubborn and hard hearted but because of Jesus our righteousness we are accepted with our new hearts of flesh in the Beloved!

    As for yesterday once I confessed what I held against Steve and repented I’ve forgotten, praying he can do the same for me here. I thank God for his comforters here also! Isn’t that just how God is? He breaks down but He builds up again! All for His glory!

    20Blessed be God because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me!

  425. Beloved says:

    Steve could have indifferently ignored me but how does that glorify God? No, he like a good brother revealed my heart sins and showed God to be truthful and just and merciful- altogether kind with His love.

  426. bratimus says:

    I don’t see things as me having enemies, never have. I see others probably going through this or that or just maybe having a bad day. Yes I might have taken some energies expended form this or that or a bad day, I can take. Are those others my enemies or was I just an easy target for their energies. I would say to some of these others, who are you really mad at, because the target of your energies was just easy. If these others would look deep within they are probably “Mad at themselves”, “mad at where they are in Life” or “Mad at God”.

    There is a warning here:

    In selecting the easy targets you let yourself be noticed by the other others, the True enemy of God and God’s creation, the darkness.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  427. poohpity says:

    Isn’t it amazing how someone can say something to you if you like them it is fine but if you happen not to like them then it is a horrible crime. I guess that is why the Lord taught us to treat others as we want to be treated, no matter what their response is but it is how we would like to be treated. Luke 6:31-32 NLT

  428. Beloved says:

    Yes I believe I did say also Steve is who he is and I accept that. It was something God said to remind me.

  429. Beloved says:

    But to be perfectly clear, please hear this Truth;
    I have sinned against God, Steve and all of you and beg your forgiveness. I am nothing/nobody compared to everyone in this room. Mart also of course.

  430. Beloved says:

    Wow this is so fitting today- Spurgeon edited by Alistair Begg

    Guard Against Temptation
    Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

    Matthew 4:1
    A holy character does not prevent temptation—Jesus was tempted. When Satan tempts us, his sparks fall upon tinder; but in Christ’s case, it was like striking sparks on water; yet the enemy continued his evil work. Now, if the devil goes on striking when there is no result, how much more will he do it when he knows what inflammable stuff our hearts are made of. Though you become greatly sanctified by the Holy Spirit, expect that the great dog of hell will bark at you still. In the haunts of men we expect to be tempted, but even seclusion will not guard us from the same trial.

    Jesus Christ was led away from human society into the wilderness and was tempted by the devil. Solitude has its charms and its benefits and may be useful in checking the lust of the eye and the pride of life; but the devil will follow us into the most lovely retreats. Do not suppose that it is only the worldly-minded who have dreadful thoughts and blasphemous temptations, for even spiritually minded persons endure the same; and in the holiest position we may suffer the darkest temptation.

    The utmost consecration of spirit will not insure you against satanic temptation. Christ was consecrated through and through. It was His meat and drink to do the will of Him that sent Him—and yet He was tempted! Your hearts may glow with an angelic flame of love for Jesus, and yet the devil will try to bring you down to lukewarm uselessness. If you will tell me when God permits a Christian to lay aside his armor, I will tell you when Satan has left off temptation.

    Like the old knights in wartime, we must sleep with helmet and breastplate buckled on, for the arch-deceiver will seize our first unguarded moment to make us his prey. May the Lord keep us watchful in all seasons and grant us a final escape from the jaw of the lion and the paw of the bear.

  431. poohpity says:

    forever said, “We have the example of Sarah, who couln’t wait.
    God uses our ills and changes them into something wonderful.
    As God will, with Ishmaels decendents.”

    I do not think that Ishmael’s decedents are wonderful in fact because of not waiting on the Lord his offspring are still a horrible thorn in the side of Israel and most countries around the world. They are the radical Islamic terrorists that are in every country bent on destruction and murder of everyone. That is not wonderful to me.

  432. Beloved says:

    She’s talking future.

  433. Beloved says:

    We know that God is greatly moving amongst the Arabs at this time.

  434. Beloved says:

    Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins, but sometimes the trial of extraordinary graces. Matthew Henry

  435. poohpity says:

    When we come to God, He does use what was horrible in our lives and turn it around to be used to benefit His Kingdom but His enemies are still His enemies and will remain that way unless they come to Him to change them and give them a new life as His children through belief in Jesus. Islam does NOT do that.

  436. poohpity says:

    Beloved, how do you know what she was referring to unless you ask her remembering your mind reading is not always on point.

  437. jeff1 says:

    And how do we know who comes to God as we have no idea what it is like being brought up in a different faith facing the challenges that would come with it.

    God will seek whom He seeks without consulting us as He is God and we are not.

    It may be His plan to make His enemies His friends as I have no insight to God’s plan when it comes to His Kingdom.

  438. Beloved says:

    Cute ha ha I never said I was a mind reader pooh. Re-read what forever said slowly. Many Islamics are being saved today! I can get you stats if you want. Historical facts in the Bible are that- history. God let the Gentiles in after Christ even though historically all of us were pagans and abominable idolators to Him.

  439. Beloved says:

    Bye for now I’m back to nursing my flu-cold symptoms I’ve had for THREE WEEKS NOW! Ugh

  440. jeff1 says:

    I have been promised a place in it and for that I am truly thankful since I haven’t done anything other than have faith.

    That it pleases God that I do is overwhelming to me.

  441. poohpity says:

    Beloved I do not need the stats thanks anyway and yes I know that people in many faiths turn to God. What I understood forever saying that there were wonderful things that happened when Sarah failed to wait on God. My reply was that it has caused thousands of years of problems not only for Israel but other countries as well. So it is you that needs to reread what was said my dear since your empath skills have a lot to be desired.

  442. poohpity says:

    Not only do your empath skills need work but reading comprehension could also use a tune-up as well.

  443. Beloved says:

    Have a wonderful evening Pooh!

  444. Beloved says:

    God can arrange all human events without limiting human freedom.
    R C Sproul

  445. foreverblessed says:

    God can arrange all human events without limiting human freedom.

    That is so true:
    Look how He arranged events in Sauls life.
    Saul chose for God willingly, with all his will and mind and heart.

    God chose Saul, a man with great zeal for God, but with misunderstanding the will of God.

    Just as many descendants of Ishmael are very very zealous:
    I wrote:
    As God will…
    Meaning He will do that,
    Let’s pray and bless His work,
    because indeed, God is doing great things already.
    But I was talking about the future.

    Not only the descendants of Ishmael, also the descendants of Esau, the Edomites were a big trouble, and the Moabites, from the grandson of Lot.

    Beloved, God’s Mercy is new every morning. And we ought to learn that same mercy.

    Jesus can take all, that was great Bratimus!

    And Jeff, you don’t know how close you are in knowing God’s plan: making friends of His enemies.

    The enemy, not being our fellow man, but the evil that has blinded him/her.

  446. foreverblessed says:

    Spurgeon did pray for those still lost:
    God, arrange their circumstances as You with Saul!

  447. SFDBWV says:

    Prayers for Mike Kunowski and those who love him, a friend of ours.

    In Mike’s earlier life he made many bad decisions. The cost was high.

    However he came to accept the Lord several years ago and has settled in to a less violent and more docile life.

    This past year he has had heart surgery after which he had kidney failure. Having to go to dialysis 3 days a week. Yesterday morning he was taken to the local hospital unable to breathe. In fact he stopped breathing during the ambulance trip to the hospital where he was put on a respirator.

    Sent then to the University Hospital in Morgantown, WV and remains in ICU.

    The attending physicians telling his wife Chris that he might rally and improve this weekend, if not then to consider taking the respirator off and letting him go.

    Steve

  448. poohpity says:

    Each person, you and me, were enemies of God at some point. Romans 5:10; Col 1:21-22 NLT

  449. poohpity says:

    Steve, praying for your friend, Mike. Everybody has made bad decisions in their lives, so that does not mean that his poor health is because of them does it? Are the problems with your heart because of bad decisions in your past? What would be the point of even telling us that about your “friend”?

  450. Beloved says:

    Thank you Forever, I plead for Gods mercies every evening and morning as promised and that I too will extend that same mercy to others, as well as myself when I inevitably fail. Yes He is so good, all the time! And may God bless and be merciful to you also this day that He has made!!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Steve prayers for your friend.

  451. jeff1 says:

    foreverblessed says:
    February 21, 2020 at 3:57 am

    And Jeff, you don’t know how close you are in knowing God’s plan: making friends of His enemies.

    I haven’t made friends with God’s enemies as I have difficulty knowing whose God’s enemies are these days.

    It seems people say one thing while meaning something totally different and I like people who are honest.

    It is the people who have been honest with me in life that inspires me today and I tend to still like honesty in people.

    I prefer it when a non believer knowing I am a believer says what they think whether I feel offended or not as I don’t want people to tell me what they think I want to hear but what they really believe.

    It not only challenges my own faith which I think is important in my growth but it builds a relationship with others outside the faith family letting them see that I do not dismiss them for their different beliefs and that gives way to building a relationship with them.

  452. Beloved says:

    Viv I completely agree with you. I know you weren’t referencing Steve but when he said that I was “running my mouth” and bid me “goodbye” it was the end of conversation. A couple other times when I “ran my mouth“ I nearly got killed by my abusers/father and husband. (You find out pretty quickly who has ears to hear and who doesn’t so best to say your piece and move on.)

    “The Holy Spirit can speak to a soft heart.”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Forever your advice, I’m sure the confrontation made you uncomfortable and for that I am sorry.

  453. SFDBWV says:

    Interesting how the simplest of things stick in our minds. Things that just seem odd that they aren’t forgotten from a lack of unimportance.

    But then perhaps they are there to help us in a different matter as long ahead as needed.

    Very many years ago my first wife Matthew and I were driving through Uniontown PA after dark early one evening, as we drove along I noticed what appeared to be a bar or some night spot of some kind.

    The front door was open and you could see the light and movement of people inside.

    However standing at that same front door were two huge men blocking entry into the establishment.

    I thought well no one is going to get in there until they get past those two.

    I am sure you are wondering what this has to do with our subject.

    Well there is a Scripture verse that warns us not to quench the Spirit, but too often there is someone blocking the entry and movement of good feelings, fellowship and quenches the movement of love.

    Perhaps they think they are clever, or have a right to do so. Perhaps they are driven by jealousy or just won’t let go of past animosities that skew their view of everything.

    I don’t know.

    All I do know is that they quench the Spirit, stop the flow of good feelings and in some cases kill what could have been something good for all.

    Individually they feel justified even at the cost of the good for any other or all.

    Is that being there for each other or taking care of number one?

    Steve

  454. foreverblessed says:

    It’s OK, Beloved! Be Blessed!
    I really appreciate that you say sorry, but don’t worry, we are all being disciplined.

    Steve, you write on the old topic? That’s not what you normally do.

    Mart keeps writing about family.
    And in this blog family there is some, ehh lots of room, to learn being a family.

    The point Steve brings up, about someone quenching, to me personally it means there is someone who wrongly interpretes what I write….

    Love God first
    And have all your fountains of love in Him

  455. foreverblessed says:

    That’s why I really like it that Beloved says sorry.
    Saying sorry.
    Such a wonderful and helpful trait in a family.

    And the other one is:
    Father, forgive Them, for they do not know what they are doing.

    Leave it in the hands of God.

    Psalm 46:10 Comes to mind

  456. foreverblessed says:

    How can you love someone in your family, who believes lies about you?
    A stranger that is difficult is easier to love, but a close family member is much more difficult, because they know so much about you, and vice versa.
    Bratimus was saying that he was not easily offended, he does not take it personally. That is being Christlike.

    Loving Jesus first and foremost! Drawing that selfsame mindset as that of Christ, about which Bratimus wrote.
    Seeing the other person through the eyes of Jesus!

    Seeing that the other personen is being held hostage by evil.
    The evil is the enemy, not the other person.

    Pray that God will deliver them.
    And in the meantime, how do hou love them?

    Love Jesus first, and wait till He fills me with His love for the other person,
    Or asking modes persistantly for more love.

    Ask, seek knock….

  457. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed no reason for me to say otherwise, I just was confused as to where I read what I read and where I was posting this morning.

    I guess I just had not had my coffee yet.

    Oops.

    Steve

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