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Before and After

Earthrise

In Surprised by Joy, C.S. Lewis describes the mystery of his spiritual awakening. Of a certain sunny day, he writes, “When we set out I did not believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, and when we reached the zoo I did. Yet I had not exactly spent the journey in thought. Nor in great emotion…It was more like when a man, after a long sleep, still lying motionless in bed, becomes aware that he is now awake.”

After years of reflecting on what it was that suddenly dawned on him, the former atheist, agnostic, and skeptic would say in an address to The Oxford Socratic Club entitled, “Is Theology Poetry”— “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen not only because I see it but because by it I see everything else.”

While lifting both quotes out of context, am hoping that together they might help some of us in this important moment. Not just this moment of pandemic, but also in our lingering awareness of death and resurrection.

In this moment— we could distract ourselves by trying to figure out what was happening on a certain day that an English professor of ancient literature ended up at the zoo; in what sense he came to believe Jesus is the Son of God; in what broad or narrow sense he was referring to Christianity; and to what extent he really thought he could now see everything else.

Or— we could take this moment (and the rest of our lives) to realize that everything we could ever think about pandemics, social distancing, or anything else—needs to be considered in light of why Jesus let those who considered him their enemy— mock, torture and crucify him— before rising from the dead with a promise to return.

Seems to me that everything before and after, even everything Jesus or his apostles said before and after, needs to be considered in light the Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday events.

If we don’t, how can we avoid the suspicion that God is an absent father, a moral bully, a consuming monster, or a bad boss? Unless we look at everything that has ever happened, and everyone who has ever lived— in light of the cross and resurrection of Jesus— how can we live in the awareness that God is good, and that— even in The Day of Accountability— nothing will ultimately separate us from the all-conquering Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world?


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413 Responses to “Before and After”

  1. Beloved says:

    Beautiful Mart. God is good, yes He is despite all the trauma and drama of Covid19 He’s still good- all the time. How to maintain that thinking? Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. When I first woke up I was thinking of Jesus meeting with the disciples after He arose from the grave and what did He say? Peace! Peace be with you! He didn’t chastise them for their deserting Him but pronounced who He is upon them- peace, the prince of peace. It was that peace I longed for that I heard Billy Graham on the tv speak about that drew me to confession and salvation through faith long ago now. He meets us where we are- whether behind locked doors or out on a starry night to bring us to the land where goodness and mercy dwells. A zoo or wherever He chooses. And He remains the same throughout our short lives. Faithful true and ever at peace with God.

  2. jeff1 says:

    1 Corinthians 15:20. The Apostle has been contemplating the long train of dismal consequences which he sees would arise if we only had a dead Christ. He thinks that he, the Apostle, would have nothing to preach, and we, nothing to believe. He thinks that all hope of deliverance from sin would fade away.

  3. jeff1 says:

    Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
    Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
    Who did once, upon the cross, Alleluia!
    Suffer to redeem our loss, Alleluia!

    Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
    Unto Christ, our heavenly King, Alleluia!
    Who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!
    Sinners to redeem and save, Alleluia!

    But the pain which He endured, Alleluia!
    Our salvation hath procured, Alleluia!
    Now above the sky He’s king, Alleluia!
    Where the angels ever sing, Alleluia!

    Sing we to our God above, Alleluia!
    Praise eternal as His love, Alleluia!
    Praise Him, all you heavenly host, Alleluia!
    Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Alleluia!

  4. bratimus says:

    As WE are in this pandemic, some might want to look at it this way.

    How many people has God loosened from the grip the world has had on them. To let them have more of their free will to choose with. Freeing some from the grip of the world, sounds like a act of Love to me.

    I read an article, that the wrestler Hulk Hogan posted on facebook “That God has taken away things that people have worshiped in this world other then Him, from them. I think the article was in the Western Journal.

    reading Acts 1 good place to start day after Easter

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  5. poohpity says:

    I so agree with C.S. Lewis that seeing life and everything around in the world on this side of Christianity it is certainly a whole different view. Very eye opening, heart warming and life learning. I do not even have the words to express the difference, it is like the veil has been lifted and so many things make so much more sense and so many ah-ha moments.

  6. street says:

    Seems to me that everything before and after, even everything Jesus or his apostles said before and after, needs to be considered in light the Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday events.

    was on a zoom meeting the other day and it centered around apologetics. i was thinking and intellectual assent is not enough. not for me. an intimate personal encounter with a risen Savior. paul/peter speak of a hope in a living Savior. a Spirit given. a Spirit to trust and rely on.

    thinking of the verse seek Him while he can be found. thinking, i will not have my eye sight or hearing forever. even my mental state i not guaranteed. seen many strokes.

    a promise to be with me and never leave me, a love that is eternal.

    always approach the Bible as God’s Word. there is nothing to compare to it or Him. grace and mercy be with you on your journey in the zoo/paradise of God.

    captives of Love.

  7. jeff1 says:

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

    I never said that fear wouldn’t find you in the night
    Or that loneliness was something you’d never have to fight
    But I did say I’d be right there by your side
    And I did say I’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
    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, oh
    This is the promise, this is the promise I made to you

  8. SFDBWV says:

    Sunday morning (Easter) we lost our TV cable and internet service. A fiber optic break in the line over a railroad line and river according to the technical reply as to why it was out.

    Monday morning around 2:30 am we lost our electric service due to high winds and a break in the transmission line somewhere.

    We got out electric service back on around 7am and our internet service around 4pm Monday.

    Needless to say very little grounds you like being in the dark literally as well as feeling removed from the outside world without TV or internet.

    Of course Monday morning I put the generator on and we had lights and refrigeration, but there was nothing I could do to receive internet or TV until the cable was repaired.

    So Easter was spent without “streaming” or “Easter service” or any other virtual Easter worship service available by way of the new social means of assembling together.

    However the sun came up and went down, we had a little sunshine as well as a little rain. We still had the company of each other and still had Sunday dinner.

    We made the best of the situation as we could. Still tired at the end of the day and ready for a night’s sleep.

    However once again the experience reminded me of a coming time when the world will be cast into a darkness it has never before experienced and how very little people are prepared for it.

    Survivalists have been trying to prepare for it for some time now by stockpiling everything from food to ammunition. In an attempt to survive those coming days of God’s judgement upon the earth.

    I admit there was a point in my life that I too wanted to make myself less dependent on modern conveniences, but life and circumstance always prevented it.

    I came to learn that the only one I could hope to count on for any future I would experience is and will only be God. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

    I can’t cause the sun to rise or set, any more than I can change the events going on in the world. Even the least of my needs are under the grace and provision of God.

    So I leave things there.

    In God’s hands.

    32 degrees with a promise of rain and snow for the next few days.

    Steve

  9. foreverblessed says:

    That was a very good experience Steve!
    No internet on Easter Sunday!
    I thought there were too much christian things going on.
    I watched Hour of Power, but then there was an initiative to sing “Thine be the glory” at 12, noontime.
    But when I was going to do that, at the old peoples home, where a lot of missionaries live, I heard from their windows, the pope preaching, and at around 12 he was saying the _Urbi et Orbi- (blessing for city, urbi and world, orbi)
    Then I was thinking: all these christians having all different kinds of initiatives, going through each other.
    I thought it quite unpolite to sing through that message, so I painted a picture on the pavement, fro them to see. (A sun appearing behind the clouds)

    About being:
    “less dependent on modern conveniences”
    (At least you have a generator!)
    To rely on God, and not be a person who wants to be independent of others, in this society!

    In my church of youth, people were very much busy to be prepared for the last times:
    Extra food supplies, a ton of honey, a ton of wheat, and a whaet grinding facility, a wood oven to bake the bread. If you make sour dough, you are not dependent on yeast supplies. Having your own vegetables garden.
    Here in the shops the wheat flour, and the yeast is sold out. (We still have a grinder in the attic)

    O dear!
    While Jesus send His disciples on their way without anything with them:
    Matthew 10:9-10
    Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts, take no bag for the journey, or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep
    (as if to say, that God would provide for them)
    Paul showed how that was done. In his journey. But he would work to earn some money, so that he did not have to ask for money from local christians, all though he said, he could do so. (The ox had to be fed)

    Jesus was learning them a lesson, to trust Him, as you say, Steve.
    But in our old church their were some really survivalists. Thinks of it, that was 50 years ago, 50 years of being busy providing material things for yourself, food, heat, clothing.
    And Jesus was learning to teach His disciples to be busy with the heart of God: searching for lost souls.
    How many lost souls could have been won these 50 years.

    Jesus said: Seek first the Kingdom of heaven
    and all these things (food clothes shelter) will be given to you as well.
    Matthew 6:33

    I really have to look inside ny heaert: Do I totally trust Jesus, have I laid down my life for Him.
    I could do that a lot more than I do now.
    “Jesus, help me to totally yield to You with my whole heart and sould and being”

  10. Beloved says:

    Street thanks for revealing your medical condition, perhaps some will be kinder now. We never really know what others are going through but kindness trumps every kind of misunderstanding. Best not to lean on our own understanding but to acknowledge God- the way of faith hope and love.

    Steve wow what a day you had! Like Jesus in the tomb. It’s really hard to imagine living in a world without even the hum of the refrigerator going. I would love it, actually. Lots of time fillers around now. There was a documentary on PBS about a man who lived alone in the wilderness for some 40 years I believe, making a movie journal of his life and all the things he had to make by hand- quite impressive. Though he never talked about God in it. Perhaps he though he had gotten away from God?

    Forever thanks for sharing your interesting day. Painting on sidewalk! How lovely!

  11. Beloved says:

    Forever here we are having to close meat packing plants because many employees are having Covid19- meat is a big staple in many peoples lives here (and employ many people) so am thinking there will be a huge run on it especially with the stimulus checks coming this week. Probably freezers too. I heard some survivalists here have been taking in new members but I hear they are stocked with a lot of canned and dried goods. Maybe not all I’m not sure. I was thinking how interesting that even though we here on BTA represent different countries we are all going through the same thing! It kind of draws us closer together, don’t you think?
    May God bless you and keep you
    May He make His face to SHINE upon you
    And give you His PEACE my dear friend!

  12. bratimus says:

    Acts 2

  13. Beloved says:

    Pooh I keep wondering how your daughter is doing? Do you know if she is safe at this time? Is your city on lockdown?

  14. Beloved says:

    I keep chuckling about this…. my daughter said her church met in their parking lot for 10 minutes on Easter. Is that like the “3 second rule” when you retrieve food from the floor🤣

  15. street says:

    been spending time remodeling the basement during quarantine. a sewer line was replaced and now is a good time to put it back together.

    some things i have learned along the way. profanity was invented by an unskilled finish carpenter. i have seen strokes, but have not experienced one. although brain farts are still quite common. learning to come to the Father through Christ daily to unload burdens and be restored. daily washing are a good reminder of how fast things can get fowled up. if not for He grace and mercy the corruption would be unbearable. found many passages in ezekiel very eye opening and pregnant with questions and how to live them out. same as before by faith. waiting is apart of it. thinking when God moves we move and vice-versa. usually He comes after us because we got into a pickle. may you be immersed in His love and not formaldehyde.

  16. Beloved says:

    I have seen strokes but not experienced one.

    Obviously I can’t read well- Pooh would second this😂

  17. Beloved says:

    However my empathic skills never fail me😂

  18. jeff1 says:

    Change is our portion here;
    soon fades the summer sky,
    the landscape droops in autumn sear,
    and spring flowers bloom to die:
    but faithful is Jehovah’s word,
    “I will be with thee,” saith the Lord.

    Change is our portion here,
    along the heavenly road:
    in faith and hope and holy fear,
    in love towards our God:
    how often we distrust the word,
    “I will be with thee,” saith the Lord.

    Change is our portion here:
    yet midst our changing lot,
    midst withering flowers and tempests drear,
    there is that changes not.
    unchangeable Jehovah’s word,
    “I will be with thee,” saith the Lord.

    Changeless, the way of peace:
    changeless, Emmanuel’s name;
    changeless, the covenant of grace;
    eternally the same.
    “I change not,” is a Father’s word.
    “And I am with thee,” saith the Lord.

  19. foreverblessed says:

    the words of that song, I want imprint them in my memory.
    Because this situation will take a long time.
    Endurance is needed, ask for endurance!

  20. Beloved says:

    Hebrews is good for endurance.

  21. Beloved says:

    I need it myself as I’m told I’m now diabetic and have a one in five chance for heart attack just now. The meds are over a thousand dollars so it’s diet all the way. I am so resistant to change. Yet if God has purpose for my life than I know He will provide a way. Pray for me please.

  22. jeff1 says:

    One Day at a Time

    I’m only human I’m just a man
    Help me to believe in what I could be and all that I am
    Show me the stairway that I have to climb
    Lord for my sake teach me to take one day at a time
    One day at a time sweet Jesus that’s all I’m asking from you
    Give me the strength to do everyday what I have to do
    Yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus and tomorrow may never be mine
    So for my sake teach me to take one day at a time

    Do you remember when you walked among men
    Well Jesus you know if you’re looking below it’s worse now than then
    Pushing and shoving crawding my mind
    So for my sake teach me to take one day at a time
    One day at a time sweet Jesus that’s all I’m asking from you
    Give me the strength to do everyday what I have to do
    Yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus and tomorrow may never be mine
    Yes just for my sake teach me to take one day at a time

  23. poohpity says:

    So many, even those who call themselves Christians, consider “God is an absent father, a moral bully, a consuming monster, or a bad boss”! Even many on here consider God as a grand chess master playing with the pawns, as if they do not matter but to consider God as Good and loving all the time seems not to be in their wheelhouse of assumptions about God. The best quote that tells the story is, “If God is so good then why does He let __________ happen?”, That question alone does NOT seem to take into consideration, “considered in light of why Jesus let those who considered him their enemy— mock, torture and crucify him— before rising from the dead with a promise to return.”

    So do you honestly believe that God is Good and loving ALL the time even when things happen that we can not make sense of?

  24. SFDBWV says:

    I wrote a comment this morning and I erased it because it began to imply something negative about one of us. Though it in no way was meant to it could have been interpreted in that way so I deleted it.

    I want to try to do several different things when I write here. To encourage, perhaps to enlighten, to show God at work in the experiences of my own life as well as maybe to highlight Scripture where necessary or if I can.

    I almost never write here unless inspired to do so and never without prayer ahead of my thoughts.

    Sometimes there are intellectual concepts and ideas that get in the way of being a believer in not just our Christian faith, but in any belief of a Spiritual higher being.

    It is when I begin to look at circumstances from a purely intellectual view that problems arise from a view from faith.

    I more than once took criticism for using the term “blind faith” here, but it seems to fit in many situations.

    Jesus Himself said “blessed are them that believe and yet do not see.” When admonishing “doubting Thomas” about not believing until he seen the nail holes in Jesus’ hands and feet.

    So sometimes events in our lives can only be dealt with by “blind faith” in not fully knowing any more than God is God and even if I don’t understand what is going on or why I still “trust” Him.

    Believing “in” and “on” Him for everything. Especially everything I don’t know.

    Perhaps, just maybe this is what C. S. Lewis finally seen when God came into His heart and opened up his spiritual eyes to see “faith” for what it is.

    Believing, relying and trusting even when we can’t see with our physical eyes.

    An event that can only be described as an explosion of joy, peace and comfort in even the darkest hour and praised with unspeakable expression when the sun rises and morning comes.

    I pray for that power and peace for all of you today, at this very hour.

    Steve

  25. poohpity says:

    I know for myself that my view of things is like looking through a knot hole in a fence which to say is very limited to say the least but thinking I can get a picture of all that God is through that tiny little hole is to assume much more than I actually can see. Which it would seem is how we look at others as well through this tiny little hole and think we can come away knowing what or how they really are, especially if other people only allow people to see the mask one has skillfully learned how to project about themselves then again we only come away with assumptions.

    But AFTER the Lord has come into our lives we see so much in light of HIM no longer with our own presumptions, prejudices and perceptions which are often wrong because BEFORE Him we looked at things in light of self.

  26. Beloved says:

    One day at a time…

    Encouraging one another…

    Good advice thank you and here’s my encouragement to add to them:

    Brighten the Corner Where You Are

    Brighten the corner where you are!
    Brighten the corner where you are!
    Someone far from harbor “you” may guide across the bar;
    Brighten the corner where you are!
    Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do,
    Do not wait to shed your light afar,
    To the many duties ever near you now be true,
    Brighten the corner where you are.
    Brighten the corner where you are!
    Brighten the corner where you are!
    Someone far from harbor “you” may guide across the bar;
    Brighten the corner where you are!
    Here for all your talent you may surely find a need,
    Here reflect the bright and Morning Star;
    Even from your humble hand the Bread of Life may feed,
    Brighten the corner where you are.
    Brighten the corner where you are!
    Brighten the corner where you are!
    Someone far from harbor “you” may guide across the bar;
    Brighten the corner where you are!

    God bless all- friends and frienimies.

  27. poohpity says:

    Steve who would criticize you for saying “Blind Faith” when the very definition of faith is believing in the unseen: Hebrews 11:1 NLT

  28. bratimus says:

    Steve, I’m to the point where every step I take is a leap of faith, and that God has put blinders on me so that every leap of faith I take is in blind faith. It is almost as if God has unleashed me with only what is written in my heart. Hope that is understandable, because I’m mostly leaping in blind faith.

    Reading Acts 3

    In Christ Jesus name
    Bratimus

  29. SFDBWV says:

    I am happy for you Bratimus as such joy is indescribable and only understood by those who possess it.

    Steve

  30. Beloved says:

    Tell Me The Stories of Jesus

    1 Tell me the stories of Jesus
    I love to hear;
    Things I would ask Him to tell me
    If He were here:
    Scenes by the wayside,
    Tales of the sea,
    Stories of Jesus,
    Tell them to me.
    2 First let me hear how the children
    Stood ’round His knee,
    And I shall fancy His blessing Resting on me;
    Words full of kindness,
    Deeds full of grace,
    All in the love light
    Of Jesus’ face.
    3 Into the city I’d follow,
    There take my stand,
    Waving a branch of the palm tree
    High in my hand;
    One of His heralds,
    Yes, I would sing
    Loudest hosannas,
    “Jesus is King!”

    Source: Baptist Hymnal 2008 #219
    Author: William H. Parker
    Parker, William Henry, was born at New Basford, Nottingham, March 4th, 1845.

  31. Beloved says:

    How could Jesus bring an English professor of ancient literature, agnostic and atheist to his knees? The same way the children gathered around Him to be blessed- along with all the rest of us darlings! Children have to look up to see him, adults bend their knees to see Him.

  32. jeff1 says:

    I can only say that when I have struggled to see God during a difficult time in my life it has been the faith of my friends I have leaned on and they have not disappointed.

    At challenging times in their’s I hope I have given them the same encouragement as friendship is a 2 way street.

    When I think of how often my friend has been able to get me to see God differently then I know not to trust on my own understanding.

    I find it difficult to see how God works in the world today and yet I believe I have seen Him work in my life and others so there is some contradiction in my view of Him.

    I try not to get bogged down in the different views others have of God and focus on His Grace which He says is sufficient and that is contentment enough for me in a complex world such as this one.

  33. Beloved says:

    Jesus’ prayer for them and us.
    John 17 9I ask on their behalf. I do not ask on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those You have given Me; for they are Yours. 10All I have is Yours, and all You have is Mine; and in them I have been glorified. 11I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to You.

    Holy Father, protect them by Your name, the name You gave Me,b so that they may be one as We are one. 12While I was with them, I protected and preserved them by Your name, the name You gave Me. Not one of them has been lost, except the son of destruction, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.

    13But now I am coming to You; and I am saying these things while I am in the world, so that they may have My joy fulfilled within them. 14I have given them Your word and the world has hated them; for they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.

    15I am not asking that You take them out of the world, but that You keep them from the evil one.c 16They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth. 18As You sent Me into the world, I have also sent them into the world. 19For them I sanctify Myself, so that they too may be sanctified by the truth.

  34. Beloved says:

    Our Confidence

    Proverbs 10:25
    As the whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked no more: but the righteous is an everlasting foundation.

    Song of Solomon 2:6
    His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me.

    Deuteronomy 9:3-5
    Understand therefore this day, that the LORD thy God is he which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the LORD hath said unto thee…

    John 10:28,29
    And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand…

    Romans 8:2
    For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death

  35. Beloved says:

    Viv I just heard a song from Elvis that is beautiful. It’s called “One Pair of Hands”, do you know it? There’s a video with it also.

  36. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Beloved, I have heard it but not recently and it is beautiful and of course he has the voice to deliver it as he sings from the heart with a deep soft voice that can melt any heart.

    It was Michael Buble who said he had a voice kissed by God and boys did he get that right.

    Its not surprising he made such an impact on the world and sad that his lifestyle would eventually take him from it at such a young age but what a legacy he left those of us who appreciate his voice and talent which is what I choose to remember and love about him.

    He never forgot his roots as the night before he died he was reading his bible which says to me that he never really forgot who was on his side.

    He was proof that rags to riches or fame and fortune do not make us happy for they certainly did not make him so but God did not forsake him and he found his way back to his first love and I think of him singing with choirs of angels now because there is no doubt in my mind that he was made for heaven.

  37. SFDBWV says:

    Before and after…

    Any situation or development has a “before and after”, any.

    It is very rare and deeply satisfying when what we expect of an outcome to be is realized just as we expected or hoped for.

    As well as surprising, perhaps even shocking when “after” is nothing like expected at all.

    I think this is how the “Chosen” people Israel viewed their awaited Messiah and why Jesus was rejected by the “experts”.

    Why His disciples were in a constant state of confusion by what Jesus taught and said, including the morning after when Jesus stood toe to toe with them after being crucified and buried.

    Not until Pentecost did the Disciples truly exhibit the ability to explain both before and after to the people as an explanation as to who this Jesus “is”.

    We all also have expectations concerning Jesus, we live in a before state of mind in a great many things. Whereas only “after” will looking backward can we clearly see and understand a great many things.

    “Trust and obey” there is no other way…

    Snow again this morning at 26 degrees f.

    Steve

  38. jeff1 says:

    We all also have expectations concerning Jesus, we live in a before state of mind in a great many things. Whereas only “after” will looking backward can we clearly see and understand a great many things.

    That certainly has been my experience as God has used so many people to show me the folly of my ways.

    My friend knows me better than I know myself as we have been friends since primary school and she will say I am so naive which is what most people who know me well say.

    I don’t think its a good trait as people make fun of me (not in a bad way) but rarely take me seriously.

    I wish I wasn’t so quick to believe what people tell me but its a default in my character that I haven’t been able to change.

    It means you get many disappointments in life as people are not always what they say they are because as you say, Pooh, many wear masks and if you are not shrewd enough to see through that then you are left believing lies that end up making you feel disappointed with others for their deception and yourself for being so gullible.

    I am a slow learner that is for sure or else I seem to forget more than I learn and that seems to be a recipe for chaos in my lifetime.

  39. bratimus says:

    In my walk of faith, my walk with Jesus many miles will pass until I see or understand the “before” this is in my personal life with Christ Jesus. I don’t know it actually happened, I stop expecting what I think should happen and just try to live in the moment, live today. I do have hopes that somethings will turn out a certain way, when dealing with God’s with others free will some hopes just don’t come to be. So I live the best I can for today, and leave the rest in God’s hands, especially the tomorrows, getting through today can be a chore at times.

    Reading Acts 4

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  40. SFDBWV says:

    “It’s the end of the world economy as we know it.”
    Neil Erwin, New York Times.

    I couldn’t pass up this news story as I read so many others that just seem surreal.

    Trump wants to adjourn the legislative branch of government while he deals with the corona virus as president???

    The democrat’s putting up a candidate without a convention or a single person voting???

    Where is the ACLU during this circus event?

    Governors ordering people to wear masks in public.

    Where and when was the constitution thrown out and replaced with totalitarianism?

    Is this the image and reflection of government during the tribulation? Or is it just simple mass hysteria and panic?

    “God Bless America” just may be replaced with “God Help Us All”

    Thank you for letting me rant a little.

    Steve

  41. Beloved says:

    This is long, but so relevant to today’s events- both physical and spiritual. I sense in myself lately the same affliction of heart as his- LORD soften and change my own hardening of heart in the face of pandemonium. Amen

    Samuel Miller on the Yellow Fever of 1798 in NYC
    by C. Matthew McMahon | Apr 2, 2020 | church history, Coronavirus, Reformation

    Yellow Fever was as feared if not more than what is currently going around. It killed 10 percent of the remaining population in NYC when half the 50,000 citizens had fled the city. Samuel Miller was minister at the collegiate Presbyterian church at the time and records the following.

    ‘October 31, 1798. Never have I had more occasion to bless God for the return of my birth-day than now. I have just passed through the most awful scene of epidemic sickness and mortality that I ever witnessed. The Yellow Fever has been raging in the city for more than two months past. From the middle to the 25th of this month was the most mortal time. Though the city was deserted by, perhaps, two-thirds of its regular inhabitants, more than two thousand persons fell victims to the disease. Most of the clergy, as well as of the other inhabitants, had left the city. I remained with a brother—a beloved brother—a practitioner of medicine—a bachelor as well as myself. We were both mercifully borne through the raging epidemic without any serious attack. Our housekeeper died of it, and I attended her funeral between midnight and day. To attempt to describe the scenes of mourning and horror which this epidemic presented—I dare not. The task transcends my power of expression. I preached every Sabbath; but only a few attended public worship; and I know not that any sensible-certainly no conspicuous—good was done. The people appeared to me to emerge from this calamity as hardened, as careless, as ungodly, as they were before. I have not heard of a single instance of conversion, which can be traced to this awful dispensation of divine providence. Is it not a humiliating fact, in the history of man, that seasons of great sickness and mortality have seldom, if ever, been followed with—what might naturally be expected—a revival of religion? How is this to be accounted for? “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead.” I wish to speak of it, not as a decided point, but as a matter to be inquired into, whether times of great sickness and mortality have ever been attended, or followed, by great outpourings of the Holy Spirit. “But the most humiliating part of the story, so far as I am concerned, yet remains to be told. I look back with amazement at the state of my own mind during the last two months. As I observed the frequency of funerals, and the constant presence of the memorials of sickness and death, to produce a very hardening effect on the minds of others; so I found that they had too much of the same effect on my own mind. Such scenes became so familiar to me, that they passed by as common things, without any salutary influence. I mourned over this hardening effect, but still it continued. Truly, “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” O Lord, soften, and enlighten, and try my heart, and lead me in the way everlasting. I think I have learned more of the hardness and desperate wickedness of the heart, within the last two months, than in any similar length of time before.

  42. bratimus says:

    Well here is one for you Steve, one news anchor or what ever their call. Said Biden should just just start a shadow government with other shadow aliments all the way to a shadow SWAT team. See the thing is I just don’t think anyone reads the constitution anymore let alone understand it or the Bill of Rights. People voicing their concern or we can call them rants. Is alright with me then I don’t feel so alone in the concerns I have.

    Bratimus

  43. poohpity says:

    Mart, I was thinking you did a topic on understanding the Old Testament on this side of belief in the death and resurrection. Isn’t that what Jesus did with the disciples on the road to Emmaus? He opened their eyes to what the “before” taught about Him and His coming but it was only “after” His death and resurrection that they would understand. Although during His time on earth when He taught it was from the law and the prophets(OT).

    Luke 24: Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. 26 Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” 27 Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”

  44. SFDBWV says:

    Bratimus, my man, I get a daily newspaper from Cumberland MD that is now owned and operated by a company in Johnstown PA. Just to give you a little idea of where I live here along the North Branch of the Potomac River on the Wet Virginia side.

    One of the pages I enjoy reading is the “Opinion” page as not only are there journalists from around the country given space but also local people who are afforded the opportunity to voice their opinion of everything.

    I have written over my lifetime many a printed piece and in our more local weekly newspaper, articles, in the “Grant County Press”.

    There are a lot of intelligent people out there and they often call into question the actions of government.

    The questions range from prayer in school to abortion as well as crime and punishment.

    I have always said we do not live in a true democracy because if we did there would be prayer in school, no abortion on demand and capital punishment.

    We live in a minority controlled world empowered by a mass media that supports it and elected officials who pander to pollsters and politically correct squeaky wheels who have the attention and heart of that same media.

    The truth is difficult to find, but it is out there and as said by someone else many years ago, “You can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.”

    Eventually the rooster comes home to roost.

    This world is in trouble and needs Christ more than ever, but rejects that idea.

    You are not alone Bratimus, there are a lot of people out here who aren’t fooled by all we see and hear from the news. And can smell a rat when something just don’t line up.

    Praying we all get to go home soon.

    Steve

  45. jeff1 says:

    Creation Will Be Redeemed

    Our breath is the breath of our boundless Creator.
    The wonders around us all flow from His heart.
    This world was created to shine with His greatness,
    And we as its rulers were given a part.

    We turned from the Source of all life and perfection.
    Now innocent earth shares our judgment for sin.
    Its death and destruction, disease and disasters
    All bleed from our deep separation from Him.

    But God is still weaving His unchanging purpose.
    These birth pains are passing and only a phase.
    When all is reborn into glorious freedom,
    Creation together will shout out His praise!

  46. Regina says:

    Good Afternoon, All

    I pray that you are well and that all had a blessedly HAPPY Resurrection Day! You all were in my thoughts periodically throughout the day, but I was also focused on hearing the (virtual) Word, attending a (virtual) communion service, and it was laundry day for me (even on Easter Sunday). My Easter Sunday was great! I watched a pre-recording of a Bible study on the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus (taught by my Pastor and two associate Pastors), took a quick nap, started my laundry, multi-tasked a few more chores, etc. Was super excited about the virtual communion service, last Sunday evening, and it did not disappoint! People streamed in from all over the world, and it was truly beautiful! And, since we could choose any type of bread and symbolic drink, I remembered the death, burial and resurrection of my Lord Jesus with sour dough bread and vitamin water! :-)
    So sorry you were in the dark and had no internet service on Easter Sunday, Steve, but thankful that you weren’t totally alone. It’s a true blessing to have *loving* family members who are committed to you and willing to be with you in dark times (it’s easy to be with someone when they’re living the high life on a mountain top)…
    Want to thank you all (again) for sharing your wisdom on the BTA Blog. Have learned so much from you all, and (at this juncture in the conversation) a few of the comments on this blog topic have stood out for me… beloved, you were the first to comment on this blog, and your very first comment was well said! And thank you for sharing the historical article on the Yellow Fever pandemic! The Yellow Fever article was truly thought provoking because I thought (and I still believe) that this horrible COVID-19 pandemic is going to bring many people to the feet of Jesus! I still believe that when our country (and other countries) opens up again, many people who did not previously value church (as the house of the Lord) will flock to the church house in droves to hear a godly and timely Word!
    Though I’m not now sure if they’ll be able to come in “droves” due to “social distancing” guidelines. Well, on my way to Walmart to buy some food items and toiletries. I truly thank God for His provision for me, my brothers/sisters in Christ Jesus, my family, my friends and for people I don’t even know! This pandemic has made me as grateful for another man’s blessing as I am my own. Psalm 61:2; Psalm 90:12.

    I’ll end this comment with Mart’s words…
    “In this moment— we could distract ourselves by trying to figure out what was happening on a certain day that an English professor of ancient literature ended up at the zoo;”

    So very curious about how and why Prof. Lewis ended up at the zoo?

    67 degrees and sunny in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,
    Regina

  47. jeff1 says:

    God Is Good All The Time”

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

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

    If you’re walking through the valley
    And there are shadows all around
    Do not fear, He will guide you

    He will keep you safe and sound
    He has promised to never leave you
    Nor forsake you, and His word is true

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

    We were sinners and so unworthy
    Still for us He chose to die
    Filled us with His Holy Spirit

    Now we can stand and testify
    That His love is everlasting
    And His mercies, they will never end

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

    Though I may not understand
    All the plans you have for me
    My life is in your hands
    And through the eyes of faith
    I can clearly see

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

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

  48. poohpity says:

    Steve you are right we do not live in a democracy but in a constitutional republic.

  49. Beloved says:

    Psalm46
    God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in times of trouble.

  50. jeff1 says:

    Guide Me Oh Thou Great Redeemer

    Guide me, O Thou great Redeemer
    Pilgrim through this barren land.
    I am weak, but Thou art mighty;
    Hold me with Thy powerful hand.
    Bread of Heaven, Bread of Heaven,
    Feed me till I want no more;
    Feed me till I want no more.

    Open now the crystal fountain,
    Whence the healing stream doth flow;
    Let the fire and cloudy pillar
    Lead me all my journey through.
    Strong Deliverer, strong Deliverer,
    Be Thou still my Strength and Shield;
    Be Thou still my Strength and Shield.

    Lord, I trust Thy mighty power,
    Wondrous are Thy works of old;
    Thou deliver’st Thine from thralldom,
    Who for naught themselves had sold:
    Thou didst conquer, Thou didst conquer,
    Sin, and Satan and the grave,
    Sin, and Satan and the grave.

    When I tread the verge of Jordan,
    Bid my anxious fears subside;
    Death of deaths, and hell’s destruction,
    Land me safe on Canaan’s side.
    Songs of praises, songs of praises,
    I will ever give to Thee;
    I will ever give to Thee.

    Musing on my habitation,
    Musing on my heav’nly home,
    Fills my soul with holy longings:
    Come, my Jesus, quickly come;
    Vanity is all I see;
    Lord, I long to be with Thee!
    Lord, I long to be with Thee!

  51. SFDBWV says:

    20 years ago I bought a VCR trilogy titled “Apocalypse”.

    It was put together and presented by T.D. Jakes and John Hagee. I find it amazing how these dramas presented over 20 years ago give nearly exact detail of the events in today’s news headlines.

    “One World” being a term used then and used now. A world where people are better off forgetting national and religious divide for the good of each human.

    It sounds good, however one world without God, especially Jesus. There are also terms used in these dramas that are used today, such as the word “hater’s”.

    Haters being those religious people who “hate”. They follow a guideline from the Bible instead of a guideline laid out by the new world order of being politically correct and accepting into culture many of the things forbidden in God’s Word.

    By not accepting the voice of the crowd, labeled as hater’s and singled out as being an enemy of the “one world” concept.

    Yesterday there was a story in the news about the military preparing to “secure” Washington DC.

    I watched a news clip the other day of police dragging a man off a subway for not wearing a mask.

    Actually I read a great many things that disturb me in the news.

    I don’t see a ground swelling or movement for people to come to God for deliverance, but I do see it whereas science is concerned.

    A silenced Easter week and Easter Sunday.

    Medical science will save us.

    Who is the Ark of our safety?

    Once again a line drawn in the sand and a choice to be made by each of us.

    As for me and my household we will serve the Lord, the Lord Jesus of Nazareth the Messiah.

    24 degrees and clear.

    Steve

  52. bratimus says:

    That is interesting, I had a thought then it just went away.

    The worse bit of news I witnessed yesterday was the Governor of New York stating that man has slowed the spread of the virus saying “It wasn’t God, it wasn’t Faith” that is not good. I most thought I was going to hear and witness something else, something from the book of Daniel.

    Reading Acts 5

    Maybe my other thought will come back it had to do with movies and Revelations 22:18-19 and I’ll post again.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  53. jeff1 says:

    This morning I bought a sympathy card to send to a relative whose both loved ones (husband and wife) died having contacted the Coronavirus and so won’t be around to be saved by medical science.

    I didn’t want to dilly dally when choosing the card and so was thankful when the second card I lifted had this beautiful verse and so I want to share it:

    Their Light Shines On

    Our loved ones leave behind a light
    that will never dim or fade.
    Its kept bright by the love we feel
    and the memories we made.

    It can warm us like a candle’s glow
    and help bring comfort too.
    And no matter where you go you’ll find
    its always close to you.

    And in the darker times remember-
    in our hearts their light is strong.
    So every time we think of them
    their memory shines on.

  54. SFDBWV says:

    Stumbled upon an old favorite, “All My Tears” Emmylou Harris as sung by Hayde Blueegrass Orchestra.

    Steve

  55. Beloved says:

    Good morning all! This is the day that the LORD has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!

    Morning Has Broken

    Morning has broken like the first morning
    Blackbird has spoken like the first bird
    Praise for the singing
    Praise for the morning
    Praise for them springing fresh from the world
    Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven
    Like the first dew fall on the first grass
    Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
    Sprung in completeness where his feet pass
    Mine is the sunlight
    Mine is the morning
    Born of the one light Eden saw play
    Praise with elation, praise every morning
    God’s recreation of the new day
    Morning has broken like the first morning
    Blackbird has spoken like the first bird
    Praise for the singing
    Praise for the morning
    Praise for them springing fresh from the world

  56. poohpity says:

    Yes bratimus, many people add to the prophesy written in Revelation and make loads of money selling their thoughts, opinions and predictions rather than knowing that God gave us what we needed to know. People have been predicting end time events since Jesus left this earth but whenever one of their prediction come and go without happening it is obvious they did not heed the warning of Rev 22:18-19. Their bank accounts grew but according to that scripture their share of heaven may be forfeited, I think it has to do with leading people astray which seems to be very important to God because that is talked about so often in scripture.

  57. poohpity says:

    This insight was from ODB today which is spot on to this topic:

    “The New Testament letter to the Hebrews was written to help Jewish believers in Jesus understand the danger of taking their eyes off the One who came to rescue them and all humanity from our universal fear of death (Heb 2:1, 14–15). Only Christ can give us the courage to freely live without the fear of dying. Nothing less than the public record of His life, death, and resurrection can overcome Satan’s twisted suggestion that God can’t be trusted because He isn’t as good as He wants us to believe. It took Jesus’ suffering and death to reveal a God who’s merciful enough to forgive the worst of our wrongs. It took His resurrection from the dead and the changed lives of His witnesses to expose the lie that when we’ve taken our last breath, all hope is gone.”

    The fear of death seems to be what is causing so much eruption in how one deals with this virus!

  58. jeff1 says:

    We cannot change that people do hold different views on God but I can be sure that it won’t change God.

    Christ is my refuge yesterday, today and tomorrow come what may.

  59. Beloved says:

    Psalm97 Light shines[a] on the righteous
    and joy on the upright in heart.

  60. street says:

    1 Corinthians 15

  61. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you for all the scriptures and songs.
    And that story of the yellow fever, wow, what a story.
    The hardness of the heart, ouch.
    But the hard times are still ahead of us, where people get depressed and exhausted.

    In the past, things were not better, people had fears all the time, for sickness there was no cure for, for hunger, for wars. An acquaintance of mine is an historian, he says: people who say it was better in times past, have no knowledge of history. Life was very hard.

    With this virus, where there is not any cure yet, we are more close to our forefathers, who faced illnesses all the time.
    In my newspaper someone found an article from 1665, where the word quarantaine was first used in the Netherlands.
    The pest had broken out in London. The wealthy people fled the city, including the royalty. In 18 months time 100.000 people had died, a quarter of the London population. Not only of the pest but also because of lack of basic needs, so people died of hunger and cold.

    It is good to read such stories.

    Praying for the situation:
    God have mercy
    Kyrie Eleison

    Repeating Psalm 97:11-12
    I should fill my heart with the Word of God:
    Assuring me that Christ has overcome all evil, and that nothing can separate me from the love of God
    Ron 8:28-39

  62. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All
    I pray that you and yours are well. I’m up early this morning and preparing to do my morning routine. So sorry for your loss, jeff1, even though it sounds like they were distant relatives. Steve, I saw the same news footage, the other day, of the man being forcibly removed from the bus because he wasn’t wearing a mask. Wow… And while watching the news yesterday, I learned that many nursing homes have been covering up the number of deaths due to coronavirus. There was an investigation at a nursing home–I can’t remember the state or city–and 17 dead bodies were found in a hidden morgue at the nursing home. Smh.
    I opened my ODB devotional just now, and today’s highlighted Bible passage is Psalm 46. I think this passage is very fitting as we reflect on what’s going on in the world around us.

    Psalm 46:1-7
    God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

    Am wondering about what this means (what revelation can be gleaned out of this?)… “he lifts His voice, the earth melts”…

    The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

    45 degrees with periodic clouds in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,
    Regina

  63. foreverblessed says:

    Sorry to hear about the news of your diabetes, Beloved.
    I pray that God strengthen you to change your diet.
    Diabetes of old age can be treated with a strict diet.
    I have taught nutrition, and as my in-laws have to deal with diabetes, I did quite some study on the diet to cope with diabetes.
    If you eat carbs it shoukd be: Whole grain, whole rice, no sugar. (And you have to eat some carbs).

    I am going to the mill, an old fashion wooden mill, which is preserved by volunteers, and where wheat is grinded. You see the whole grain of a going in, and the flour coming out, that is quite heavy stuff. Not the same as the flour that I buy in the supermarket. There they have added some fibres to the already processed white flour, and call it: wholegrain flour.

    But that is sold out, still after 3 weeks, everybody is baking at home these days.
    So I get on my bike and cycle 10 kilometers, and back, that would be 12 miles in total. And get the real stuff again.

    Have a blessed day, with the peace of Jesus filling your heart.
    That is the best food for our souls:
    the Bread of Life
    John 6:35

  64. SFDBWV says:

    Looking at the morning’s paper the headlines read “National Guard at nursing home.”

    A nursing home in nearby Cumberland MD (about an hour and a half from here) overwhelmed by the virus has been taken over by an assessment team in order to protect the staff and residents of the facility.

    Looking at my daily National Geographic email I see where people are having bizarre and vivid dreams during this viral infection among us.

    There has been a story circulating that this virus may have come about as a result of an accidental release from a lab in China. As well as one saying it may have come about as a result of “wet” markets in China.

    There is more, but I don’t want to get too long with my comment.

    Any of you ever read or seen the 6 hour movie by Stephen King “The Stand”?

    It is disturbing how fiction can look more prophetic when fiction becomes reality.

    Under “orders” from government to stay home and away from people yesterday the hospital in Morgantown called to confirm a follow up appointment for Matthew’s surgery.

    I ask the caller if that was a smart idea given there are cases in the Morgantown area of the virus. And we would have to go to the same building as the hospital is located in?

    She said that was up to me.

    Up to me.

    40 degrees and rain this morning.

    Steve

  65. foreverblessed says:

    Yes, indeed Jeff, sorry for the loss of your relative.


    This morning I bought a sympathy card to send to a relative whose both loved ones (husband and wife) died having contacted the Coronavirus and so won’t be around to be saved by medical science.”

    But, can you explain the loss, as both husband and wife died. So what was the connection to your relative?

    I have not yet heard of anybody who died. Our nephew is doing better, after 3 weeks, thanks for your prayers. And his mother, the youngest sister of my husband, is more involved in her faith again. So she is one good result of this virus.
    Thank God!!!

  66. bratimus says:

    I have watch that movie “The Stand”, there are areas that it points towards. I have watch many movies over the years I have come to notice something. In many Movies there are little truths that come to light “if” you are in the right Spiritual place. Not the telling of the story as a whole, one line or one scene there will be truths of God popping through, especially from story lines that might have borrowed from the Bible. God’s truth come to light every where whether people want them to or not. “The truth is out there, Skully” I borrowed that line from a TV series.

    There is a movie that is a bizarre story but had a few interesting points in it “The Fifth Element” it is a action/comedy/sci-fi.

    There have been times I have actually used tv series and movies to get God’s truths out. I know it sounds crazy, for some they have been thumped in the wrong way they don’t want to hear it, so you have to find another common ground then show them show them show where a certain point came from. So if anyone has ever seen me talking movies and tv shows there is a method to madness.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  67. poohpity says:

    There seems to be many good things happening in lieu of this virus. Parents are spending more time with their children, the recognition of how many idols we have in our lives that we depend on other than the Lord, so many people helping others not just in this country but around the world, eyes being opened to just how much we can not depend on the government, etc.. Romans 8:28 NLT

  68. poohpity says:

    I guess our taste in movies changes “after” we submitted ourselves to the Lord. Each to their own.

  69. SFDBWV says:

    Bratimus I could not agree more with your thinking. I think we see these little pearls in every area of our life experiences because we are always looking for it.

    Looking for God, looking for reassurance, looking for encouragement and comfort in our faith.

    Looking without even realizing we are, but realizing these things when we see them.

    Conformation is just another gift from the Holy Spirit that abides in us all. Many of us joined together by one Spirit.

    Seen this morning in the Sports page since there is no sports going on that the writers have rated the best top 20 sports movies. “Hoosiers” was ranked #1.

    We watch it often.

    Steve

  70. jeff1 says:

    Regina and Forever, they were not related to me, but though my husband and I are separated we remain friends, and his niece, is married to their nephew, and they both also contacted coronavirus as they had been looking after them but are now in recovery.

    It also happens that I worked with William when I was 19 years old as he was a WO2 in the Ulster Defence Regiment which was operational at the height of the troubles in the 1970’s.

    So I have very fond memories of him and I met his wife Madge on occasions too.

    My next door neighbour and her mother who is 90 and still in hospital also had it but are both recovering.

    I would like to share what I received on whatsapp this morning it is about a programme that was very popular in the 1970’s.

    The show was Dad’s Army and it was based on a bunch of hapless old and young men who formed the Walmington-On-Sea (fictional based on Thetford, England) home guard and was hugely popular here for its humour.

    Its theme song went like this:

    Who do you think you are kidding, Mr. Hitler
    If you think we’re on the run?
    We are the boys who will stop your little game!
    We are the boys who will make you think again!
    ‘Cause, who do you think you are kidding, Mr. Hitler
    If you think old England’s done?
    Mr Brown goes off to town on the 8:21,
    But he comes home each evening and he’s ready with his gun.

    So watch out, Mr Hitler.
    You have met your match in us.
    If you think you can crush us.
    We’re afraid you’ve missed the bus.
    ‘Cause who do you think you are kidding, Mr. Hitler
    If you think old England’s done?

    to the same tune:

    Who do you think you are kidding Covid 19
    If you think the UK’s done
    We are the ones who will won the bloody war
    Keep smiling through like we’ve always done before
    So who do you think you are kidding Covid 19
    If you think the UK’s done
    You may make us isolate while your up to your tricks
    But we sit smiling, fighting, drinking beer, watching netflix
    We’ve bought enough loo roll to clean the s… you’ve left us in
    So why not just surrender cause you’re never going to win
    And who do you think you are kidding Covid 19
    If you think the UK’s done.

    DON’T PANIC!!!!!

    STAY STRONG EVERYONE.X

    Seeing the video makes it much more funny but I enjoyed it and hope you do too.

  71. bratimus says:

    Reading Acts 6

  72. Beloved says:

    Thank you Forever, I used to take care of diabetics so know what to do but unfortunately with my anxiety it’s almost impossible for me to correct my eating habits. I do eat the right foods it’s the wrong foods that fill in between though. One day one prayer at a time only works for me as God wants me close minute by minute so that’s how it works for me. Why do I resist going to Him when His help is so good? Depression tells me I’m not worth His attention. It’s all chemical as Viv knows. But what I also know is that any negative responses from others only adds to the pain and set back. I’m so grateful for the uplifting and helpful posts of most here. The other I just ignore.

    If Stephen King were a Christian maybe I would read his books; I’ve seen a couple of his movies like The Green Mile and Shawshank Redemption which had redemption in them but otherwise not a fan since I learned his books come from his dreams- which explains a lot for me. I wonder why a lot of the unbelievers I know love SK, must be part of the search for answers- but We know Jesus is the answer. 😀

  73. jeff1 says:

    I find Stephen King’s films disturbing so avoid them as I need to keep my mind well and there is enough darkness in this world and I want escapism as the realities of this world are difficult enough.

    I am more careful now with what I watch as I realize it can play havoc with my mind and I have discovered it is much more fragile than I ever give much thought to.

  74. Beloved says:

    I was just remembering an old Sunday school song that goes- be careful little eyes what you see, be careful little ears what you hear, your Father up above is looking down in love so be careful….

    I guess as adults we have discernment as we flex our spirit filled lives. Sometime we learn by doing. No, I can’t handle scary stuff at all. We all fail though.

  75. bratimus says:

    Sometimes I read books and watch movies to see where the mind set of people are at any given moment in the time line. Got to know where the work needs to be done and what to pray for. There has to be some understand so you know how to reach out to some that managed to get stuck in the world.

    In Christ Jesus name
    Bratimus

  76. bratimus says:

    Jesus did sit with the taxmen and sinners, sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone to reach someone.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  77. Beloved says:

    I Corinthians 10:23 AMP All things are lawful [that is, morally legitimate, permissible], but not all things are beneficial or advantageous. All things are lawful, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life].

    Not criticizing anyone just something to think about. I myself watch “live” reality tv to pray in real time for people sometimes.

  78. poohpity says:

    I also do not watch horror or dark sci-fi it does nothing to better anything inside of me and especially if I look to that to use as a source for spiritual info when I already have all the information and more than I already need to grow into a maturity of faith. To me it is just not the kind of temptation I need but like I said earlier my desires, my afters, have changed since I have been in a relationship with the Lord. I also am not criticizing just sharing what choices I have made differently now, AFTER.

  79. Beloved says:

    I really needed to hear this today- from Desiring God

    “God is not measuring you by how much you get done. He is calling you to trust his goodness and wisdom and sovereignty to work your mess of inefficiencies for his glory and the good of everyone involved, even when you can’t see how.”

  80. jeff1 says:

    If God were measuring what I get done then I would truly despair as I have failed in my wanderings and in my doubts more times than I have succeeded.

    It is a myth that God brings us to success in life yet I am surprised how many successful people will say it is God’s blessing on them.

    Does that mean that those whom success has eluded are then cursed in life and if so is God biased!

    I assume I know the answers to what only God knows the answers to as it makes me feel better about my own efforts but they are like filthy rags as it is God who reflects any goodness in me. Isaiah 64:6

    It isn’t I who turn evil around to good but God yet already I see where President Trump is all to ready to take on China no doubt in his efforts to show who is the most powerful nation and I do not like to think where that is going to end. Not meaning to be critical of him alone for no doubt he is not on his own but just seeing the difference in how man and God works.

    If I am trusting God then He will deal with China as only He knows how but men just cannot help themselves trying to play God and when has that worked out well.

    John 14:27 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

  81. jeff1 says:

    C.S. Lewis Quotes on God, Jesus Christ, and Christianity “The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.”

    This quote from Lewis speaks of what God wants to do for us and yet we delude ourselves that we can do anything for God because our pride gets in the way of His way.

    1 John 2:16 16 For everything in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life-comes not from the Father but from the world.

  82. Beloved says:

    ◄ Psalm 2 ►
    The Triumphant Messiah
    (Acts 4:23-31)
    Why do the nations ragea
    and the peoples plot in vain?
    2The kings of the earth take their stand
    and the rulers gather together,
    against the LORD
    and against His Anointed One:b
    3“Let us break Their chains
    and cast away Their cords.”
    4The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
    the Lord taunts them.
    5Then He rebukes them in His anger,
    and terrifies them in His fury:
    6“I have installed My King on Zion,
    upon My holy mountain.”
    7I will proclaim the decree
    spoken to Me by the LORD:
    “You are My Son;
    today I have become Your Father.c
    8Ask Me, and I will make the nations Your inheritance,
    the ends of the earth Your possession.
    9You will break themd with an iron scepter;
    You will shatter them like pottery.e ”
    10Therefore be wise, O kings;
    be admonished, O judges of the earth.
    11Serve the LORD with fear,
    and rejoice with trembling.
    12Kiss the Son, lest He be angry
    and you perish in your rebellion,
    when His wrath ignites in an instant.
    Blessed are all who take refuge in Him.

    Yes truly God is sovereign over yesterday today and tomorrow; a great encouragement is He in the midst of chaos.

  83. SFDBWV says:

    Trying to find that place where I feel I have the correct spirit and energy to say what is on my mind without it sounding contentious or confrontational; I hope I don’t fail.

    If you don’t want to read “horror” stories I suggest you omit at least ½ of the Bible if not a higher percentage.

    Horror began in Eden and continued throughout Genesis, the first recorded death being that of Eve’s son, murdered by his brother because of envy. All of mankind and every land animal drowned by a flood that spared only those in the Ark of God’s design and safety.

    I suggest that each Book of the Bible has its horror stories designed to show mankind’s waywardness as well as God’s sovereignty.

    Even the majestic showing of God’s love is a horror story of spurned love, torture and death.

    Every Book of the “Minor Prophets” is a horror story of what was and is to come to the nations.

    The Book of Revelation detailing the death of 1/3 of all living creatures including man in the earth with a final judgement of eternal damnation for those whose names are not written in the Book of Life.

    Good fictional writers borrow from the Bible many of the essences of both good and evil in telling a story. Especially in showing that good triumphs over evil and everyone lives happily ever after.

    When reading any story if your heart already has the Word written on it you can recognize the pearls from Scripture given in fiction to make it more believable as well as enjoyable.

    Pretty sure that both Paul and Luke were educated men and used such intellect in presenting the Scripture to the world.

    In fact Jesus used both fiction and fact to teach from.

    49 degrees, up from 24 this morning, and clear. It has been a very cold April.

    Steve

  84. Beloved says:

    Whoa Steve, nobody is calling you a heathen.

  85. poohpity says:

    Steve, if you will reread the last paragraph that Mart wrote saying if we pick and chose the stories that would make ourselves and others think that God is not good in His decisions without the light of the Cross and Resurrection then we can lead others to believe in “the suspicion that God is an absent father, a moral bully, a consuming monster, or a bad boss” but thankfully we have more than just those parts.

    I will always base my opinions of God on what is presented in the bible and what the Holy Spirit reveals not how movies or Hollywood presents Him. The bible is not a book of fiction as you say Steve, but is a book of truths, real experiences and what we will face in future, not some dark satanical mind of people who do not know God or His word.

    So Steve, are you saying that you believe that God is not good, right, just and loving all the time?

  86. bratimus says:

    The reasoning for looking for the mind set, in reading stories or watching movies, need to know which direction parts of the flock went off to, To try and find them and get them back to the main flock. One of the first step in all this is prayer, just need to know what you have to pray for. It is an Understanding.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  87. Beloved says:

    Fiction- parables. Jesus used them because they could not understand Truth, yet.

  88. Beloved says:

    Matthew 13:13
    New Living Translation
    That is why I use these parables, For they look, but they don’t really see. They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand.

  89. Beloved says:

    The Purpose of the Parables
    10 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11 And he answered them, x“To you it has been given to know ythe secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 zFor to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, aeven what he has will be taken away. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because bseeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, cnor do they understand. 14 Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says:
    d“ ‘ “You will indeed hear but never understand,
    and you will indeed see but never perceive.”
    15 For this people’s heart has grown dull,
    and with their ears ethey can barely hear,
    and ftheir eyes they have closed,
    lest they should see with their eyes
    and hear with their ears
    and gunderstand with their heart
    and hturn, and I would heal them.’

  90. street says:

    before and after

    before, when i lived anyway i wanted without regard for good.

    after, living in the mist of personal failure, knowing that good exist and not being able to achieve it.

    blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.

  91. jeff1 says:

    Steve, I am not meaning any offense to you when I say I don’t want to read horror stories as I have very good reasons as to why. I lived for 30 years with the horror of what one human being will do to another because they hold different beliefs.

    The memories of which are still embedded on my mind.

    I lost a relative who was just 19 years old when a second attempt on his life succeeded and he died from his gunshot wounds.

    I listened to men explain how they collected the bodies of their colleges in bags having been blown to pieces in bombs.

    I watched on live television two soldiers being taken by a mob and later it was revealed that their tortured, naked and gunshot bodies were found dumped on waste ground and I cried for their families having to watch this on the news.

    That is only a few of the nightmares that took place here, now history.

    I have seen what men will do to men in the name of religion, politics and beliefs and so I just don’t need to be reminded as this old head is weary of it all and longs for peace of mind and that I only get from God alone.

  92. Regina says:

    Good Afternoon, All
    I pray that you and yours are well. I hope you all had an opportunity to stream your church service this morning. I streamed most of mine, but I streamed from my cell phone and lost power right at the closing of service. It was raining pretty hard when I lost power, but I’m sure it was a storage space issue and not the rain. I tried to clean out my phone so it would charge up faster, but it’s still charging very slowly. I hope I can troubleshoot the issue without having to go to Best Buy and make an appointment with the Geek Squad.

    jeff1, thank you for clarifying how you’re related to the couple who recently transitioned to the other side… Steve, though I’m not really into Apocalypse trilogies, I think I would’ve been interested in the one produced by Pastors T.D. Jakes and John Hagee. Sounds like it was a good, but very long movie. Though I’m sure I would much rather read about end-time prophecy than see it dramatized in a movie. Years ago, I went to see the movie, “The Passion of the Christ (Mel Gibson),” and I was barely able to watch it. I couldn’t watch any of the really gruesome scenes! So, I put my head down for a good portion of the movie, which is why I wasn’t in tears when the movie was almost over.
    Also listened to, “All My Tears” with EmmyLou Harris (as sung by the Hayde Bluegrass Orchestra)… EmmyLou has a very interesting vocal range and ability, and the shirtless musician brought a certain “come as you are” element to the video. Also, there was something so eerily ethereal and memorable about that song.
    beloved, will you have to give yourself insulin shots due to your diabetes diagnosis? My grandmother had diabetes and she had to give herself insulin shots (though she lacked self control and ate way too many sugary desserts), and my dad had diabetes, and he, too, was undisciplined and ate way too many sugary desserts, and sporadically took his pill medication, despite his diagnosis! Smh. Let me know if you need prayer… bratimus, do you post your devotional Bible chapters every time you comment on this blog? Asking because I’m considering reading what you read on a daily… Praise report! :-) My phone is charging up a lot faster now! Praise the Lord! Well, gonna go watch Youtube videos and/or the afternoon news report for about an hour. Then, I’ll start my Sunday laundry chore.

    70 degrees and cloudy in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,
    Regina

  93. Beloved says:

    No, no shots I’m barely over the A1c guidelines so diet will do it as Forever said. I did find a medication I can afford which will help while I adjust my diet— it’s so hard. ☹️ Food is fellowship reward and comfort for me. Yes I know I’m fighting idolatry. Thank you for praying😀 But I’m also fighting anxiety/depression. It’s a struggle. Like trying to make lame legs walk.

  94. Beloved says:

    Unfortunately the more I think about food the more anxious I become and eat more. Crazy huh? Yep that’s me. However, I’m learning through this pandemic that what I do or don’t do doesn’t diminish the goodness and sovereignty of our magnificent Holy God. I used to think I could be good enough even better than ever but no, God shows me how far under the line I am and and how far He reached out FOR me!😀 So blessed❤️

  95. bratimus says:

    Acts 7

  96. Regina says:

    It’s great that you don’t need insulin shots and you can control, or even eradicate, your diagnosis with diet! :-) Try to keep canned soup (low sodium if needed), nuts, salad and fruit in your food coffers (and fruit smoothies and Popsicles make a great dessert). And remember to drink plenty of water (*you could also add a little bit of your favorite juice or honey to your water for taste if you don’t like drinking water). Reflecting on how Daniel (and his 3 friends) ate helped me in my decision to become a vegetarian. You’re welcome re: prayers for divine health, and, indeed, as sons and daughters of God, we are truly blessed! 1 John 3:1-3.
    Ok, bratimus, my goal is to start tomorrow (with Acts 7).

  97. street says:

    Unfortunately the more I think about food the more anxious I become and eat more. Crazy huh?

    nope that’s pretty normal. what you set your mind on is what you do. thinking Romans 12 about setting your mind on God’s mercy. i am constantly thinking about past behaviors or habits. thinking is not life more than eating and drinking? life sent a Son to earth to redeem those who did not have life. thinking living being and life giving Spirit. 1 Corinthians 15:45
    So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

    yes we need to eat daily and get rest and all the other things God sets on our hearts. to be done because of God’s Great mercy and Love that are in Christ Jesus. not in and of ourselves.

    really like the verse Romans 7:24, for forever, Who will set me free from the body of this death? hope, a living Resurrected hope.

  98. foreverblessed says:

    The last Adam a life-giving spirit!

    The impact of that message!

    I was reading 1 Cor 15:42-57
    My eyes fell on verse 1 Cor 15:56
    The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.

    What is that,the connection of sin and the law?

    Then I went to Biblegateway, to see what the verse of the day is:

    The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
    But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
    1 Cor 15:56-57

    I had to stare at these verses for a long time, wow! The verse of the day is the verse that I wondered about.
    What is the message to me?
    Then I saw that I had focussed on verse 56.
    And the verse of the day is verse 56 AND verse 57

    But thanks be to God!
    He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!!!

    That is a song in the Messiah, Beloved, do you remember that song?
    But thanks, thanks
    Thanks be to God.
    Thanks, thanks, thanks be to God….

  99. foreverblessed says:

    Just as Rom 7:24 is connected to Rom 7:25
    As Street had added: the Hope, a living Resurrected Hope.

    What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God- through our Lord Jesus Christ!

    Then comes Romans 8:1-17
    To set our minds on the Spirit, to led by the Spirit Rom 8:9

    Dear Beloved, we stand beside you to fight your battle, like in the desert, people helped Moses to keep his arms up, in praying for the battle that was going on.
    ( Do not get me wrong, each of us has his own battle to fight, and this now is your battle, and we stand by you, humble, but with a steadfast faith that victory is thanks to Jesus)

  100. SFDBWV says:

    Regina “Apocalypse” the trilogy produced by T.D. Jakes and John Hagee is a three part series. I have it in VCR format to show how old it is. However I am pretty sure with today’s TV availability it is available through any of the streaming TV formats like Amazon Prime or Hulu or things like that.

    Seen yesterday that “The Stand” on DVD can be purchased from Amazon for $9. While looking I also seen a special copy is available signed by Stephen King for $500.

    The “Apocalypse” gives a dramatization as to why seeming normal people go on a senseless killing spree.

    I too like listening to music on “YouTube” and find better music there than on any other venue.

    My comments now are directed towards everyone.

    Long ago when the movie (a made for TV series about 6 hours long) “Jesus of Nazareth” came out I loved it and also bought it as soon as I could in VCR format. I was disappointed that the Southern Baptist leaders instructed their followers not to watch it as they considered it not to be what they wanted their followers to see.

    Controlling people begins with the information they are “fed”.

    Whereas there is no substitute for reading the Bible, reading or watching dramatizations or reflections with regards to our faith is not wrong or erroneous. Only if you can’t tell the difference. Such movies or reading should awaken in us the interest to seek the truth of Scripture so we can know for ourselves.

    Viv Stephen King was once quoted as saying that the real horrors of life are in the reality of living. So he wrote about such things. I too have seen the ugly things that war produces personally.

    During the American Civil War photographers such as Matthew Brady and others, not as well-known, tried to show the horror of war in photographs. So people could see for themselves there is little or no glory on the battlefield. Just the ugly reality of death.

    Please don’t worry I am not trying to be contentious with anyone or trying to convince anyone to read anything I have. I am though trying to say we should never tell others what they read is wrong to do so.

    36 degrees and clear this morning.

    Steve

  101. jeff1 says:

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

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

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

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

  102. poohpity says:

    All I know for sure is that when I turned my life over to God everything changed. My desires changed, the way I look and think of others changed, the way I see a sun rise or sun set changed, I started to hunger and thirst for God. The movies or TV shows I wanted to watch and the music I listened to changed, my whole life changed and I never want to go back to that state of being lost with no hope.

    I crave spiritual meat but only after I was weaned off of the craving for milk (foundational beliefs). I want more of Him and less of me. I never even wanted to read the bible “Before” but “After” it was like I could not get enough still till this day it is time well spent getting to know Him better and better because there is so much to learn. The world can not contain all there is to know, appreciate and be grateful for.

    If people want to get their information about God through the eyes of another I believe they totally miss out on that personal intimate relationship one can have by pursuing the Lord as He pursued us. He gave us the invitation now all one has to do is take Him up on the offer.

    Matt 11: Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

  103. Beloved says:

    Thank you friends I appreciate the support. Jesus said (to me), I am the bread of life, whatever you do do all to the glory of God.

    This is the day that the LORD has made- I will rejoice (in all things troubles uncertainties) and be glad in it. Blessings to you also as you rejoice in Gods providences for you today.

  104. jeff1 says:

    Steve, I would agree that it is wrong to make judgements on what others do because we have no idea where they are coming from or their spiritual growth.

    People find their way to God in very different ways.

    Yet, it is common practice that creates much division in the fellowship of believers.

    I think we seem to find it much easier to agree with God than we do to agree with each other but what I am not sure about is that if it was God’s intention.

    For myself I believe I am much too flaky and chaotic in my head to understand God.

    God always speak to my heart for it is the only way I understand Him.

    It shows that there is more than one way to skin a cat.

  105. Beloved says:

    I suppose whenever something comes up- even off topic- it will be discussed with varying attitudes experiences and ultimately differences. It’s the nature of the (blog) beast!

  106. foreverblessed says:

    The “Apocalypse” gives a dramatization as to why seeming normal people go on a senseless killing spree.

    I saw a documentary on the beginning of WW2, when Germans invaded Poland, and when they entered the jewish getto’s they started to kill. If was widely discussed that get normal men, loving husbands and father’s, normal men of society, turned into killing machines. The explanation was:
    It happens when you pick up arms, and start to kill. You come to a point where you get adjusted to killing. And then many examples were given: of American soldiers in Vietnam, wearing trophies of those they had killed. The Indians in the US, the indeginous people, who were also wearing the scalps, of the white men they had killed.
    To me it seems that also king David had gotten adjusted to killing, he killed a she village, so they could not give a bad report about him. David did not seem himelf worthy to build the Temple, he left if to Solomon.
    I have not a thing to say about this, other then that David was forgiven,
    David felt also forgiven,
    Psalm 103:3-5
    “He forgives all my son’s and heals all my diseases
    He redeems my life from the pit
    and crowns me with love and compassion.
    He satisfies my desires with good things,
    so that my youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

  107. Beloved says:

    I watched a documentary about a serial killer- his interviews included. Even he tried to understand why he did the things he did but could not. Lack of empathy was the concern of investigators- completely cold viscous attacks. One investigator said that listening to his detailed confessions changed him forever and that he and others on the team were all divorced in 5 years. He said he wished he had never heard this guy.

  108. street says:

    We must never measure our spiritual capacity on the basis of our education or our intellect; our capacity in spiritual things is measured on the basis of the promises of God.
    oswald chambers 4/20/2020

    no end to deceitfulness,

    there is an end to uncleanness,

    no end to the grace and mercy of God in Christ Jesus.

  109. phpatato says:

    Steve I thoroughly enjoyed watching the whole Lord of the Rings movies and The Hobbit. Almost horror-like, I can see Biblical references in Middle Earth/end of times. I can even hear the music in the first few stanzas of This Is My Father’s World, in The Shire music.

    Frodo : I can’t do this, Sam.
    Sam : I know.
    It’s all wrong
    By rights we shouldn’t even be here.
    But we are.
    It’s like in the great stories Mr. Frodo.
    The ones that really mattered.
    Full of darkness and danger they were,
    and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end.
    Because how could the end be happy.
    How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad happened.
    But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow.
    Even darkness must pass.
    A new day will come.
    And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.
    Those were the stories that stayed with you.
    That meant something.
    Even if you were too small to understand why.
    But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand.
    I know now.
    Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t.
    Because they were holding on to something.
    Frodo : What are we holding on to, Sam?
    Sam : That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.

  110. street says:

    thinking of the sting of death is sin.

    yes it’s sting is deserved and appropriate. God is just.

    God is also the justifier of sinners.

    justify – to make just sound upright righteous holy.

    to be conformed to the image of Christ, Savior.

  111. bratimus says:

    Like I said the Lord God over for about a year was leading me in to live a routine that would go in line with that would go with this lockdown, shelter in place or virus jail do to this pandemic thing.

    Through this pandemic I have been going back and watching older TV shows and movies for a little distraction for a moment during the day from what is happening out in the world. The funny but sad thing is the TV shows or movies I’ve been watch, some parts in what I’m watching are things happening in real Life. When a scene from a older TV show shows 3 people in cells, then one asks if the other 2 had any toilet paper. I laughed, the sad part is how it was reflecting real life in away.

    Reading Acts 8

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  112. bratimus says:

    Oh the TV show was called Jeremiah the scene is from the second season episode 1.

    Bratimus

  113. jeff1 says:

    street says:
    April 20, 2020 at 9:43 am
    We must never measure our spiritual capacity on the basis of our education or our intellect; our capacity in spiritual things is measured on the basis of the promises of God.
    oswald chambers 4/20/2020

    What I am taking from this is that it is Jesus who will make a silk purse out of this sow’s ear!

  114. foreverblessed says:

    There is nothing wrong kn reading books and watching movies. Looking at Art.

    Apologetics, the art of explaining the Gospel to different kind of people’s, cultures.
    Not everybody does have to be an apologetic. ( Except for being able to explain why you yourself believe in Jesus)
    Like CS Lewis, he could explain the Gospel to atheists.
    Sundar Singh could explain it to Buddhist and Confusionists.
    Beloved had mentioned.

    Apostle Paul had read the ancient secular writings, so he could discuss with the Greek scholars in Athens, the Acropolis.

    Tolkien, the writer of “Lord of the Rings” was a Christian, this book had a Christian theme. That the power of darkness would be broken. ( It was not by throwing a ring in a volcano, but by the Cross of Christ) But Tolkien also wanted to show that each person was tempted, and that is was a hard struggle to fight against the temptation of having total power. Actually, on the moment supreme, Frodo was unable to throw the ring in the fire. And here came the essence of the character of Gollum, which I see as a Judas character, a guy needed in the plot, like Judas was needed in the Crucifixion of Jesus.

    Thinking of cruelty:
    The Crucifixion of Jesus.
    Sheer Horror

    The movie the Passion did a great job! (Although I did not like watching it, that is a confession)

  115. foreverblessed says:

    Sam : “That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.”

    Read the following story in the Newspaper yesterday:
    A government official in England wanted to stop money to be given to cultural things, Movies, theatres, concerts, arts.
    Churchill supposedly had answered:
    If we do that, then what are we fighting for?

  116. foreverblessed says:

    That was a story from the second worldwar.

    If was Paul on the Areopagus, (not Acropolis, sorry)
    See Acts 17:16-34
    Citing Paul:
    v 27 “God did this so that men would seek him and find him, though he is not far from each of us.
    v 28 For in him we live and have our being.
    As some of your own poets have said:
    ‘We are his offspding’.

  117. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Pat, I too loved the Lord of the Ring trilogy, both reading them and seeing the movies.

    J.R.R. Tolkien had gained his insight from his experience of WWI.

    As well as Oswald Chambers who ministered to the British troops during WWI refusing to take up a sick bed from a soldier he considered needing it more and dying himself as a result.

    It appears war brings out the worst and the best in humankind.

    Foreverblessed, sadly killing another human being is not as difficult as it might seem. All that is needed is to demonize, dehumanize and feel threatened by them.

    Viv do not worry dear sister, I love you dearly and we are clearly in full agreement and understanding on all issues.

    Praying for your health Joyce and Street as always I find your commentary insightful and interesting.

    I spent most of the morning on the phone with our insurance company nurse and a doctor at the University Hospital.

    The physician’s office called Friday to tell me they had appointment scheduled for Matt Tuesday the 21 (tomorrow) at 1:15 pm.

    After talking with the nurse and the doctor they both agreed it was not worth the risk for Matt to come to the University Hospital for a wellness visit as it could be done over the phone. So we did.

    Staying home.

    Steve

  118. Beloved says:

    I just found out my daughter is in hospital with Afib (rapid heartbeat) so a new worry yet I know Gods in control yet we still feel the angst of being human. News has no hope for a better future anytime soon either; Habakkuk, thanks for revealing how to live in a time of cultural devastation.

  119. Regina says:

    Good Afternoon, All
    I pray that you all, (family included), are well. Enjoyed reading today’s comments. Steve, your summary of the Apocalypse trilogy helped me to know that I wouldn’t enjoy watching it (even though it was produced by two men that I admire).
    I’ve only seen three Steven King movies: The Green Mile, Cujo, Carrie and a little bit of Children of the Corn. I also saw one of the Chucky: Child’s Play movie (1988), and I’ve seen The Exorcist (I and II).
    I remember sobbing uncontrollably as I watched The Green Mile, and I was terrified, and glad that others were watching with me, when I watched, Cujo. I was the most comfortable watching the Carrie movie (it was really scary, but there was a crazed, deranged type of justice to it). And I still remember the “moral of the story” that came to mind after I saw the movie, The Lord of the Flies: “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” And, “that’s all folks!” :-) as the old saying goes. I don’t plan on watching any more scary movies. They’re just “not my cup of tea.”
    With movies like the Apocalypse, though, I understand your point, Steve. The Lord *can* use science fiction movies (with a Christian theme) to reach people who don’t read books and/or who’ve never been (and won’t go) to church.
    street, I was also blessed by “My Utmost…” today, and I shared it with some friends via text message.
    Enjoyed Acts 7 this morning, bratimus… After reading, I had a renewed admiration for our brother, Stephen. His life was the epitome of Galatians 5:22-25, ESV:
    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.
    You’re welcome, beloved, remembered you in prayer this morning…

    65 degrees and cloudy (with a 50% chance of rain tonight) in my neck of the woods.

    Love to all,
    Regina

  120. street says:

    cultural devastation

    jeremiah is one to keep an eye on.

    God destroyed the temple nation and culture that had abandoned Him. His keeping a remnant for His Names sake, is our hope. the scepter has passed from judah to Messiah.

    Revelation 12:5
    And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.

    “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”

    13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying,

    “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”

    14 And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped.

    Revelation 1
    To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood— 6 and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

  121. Regina says:

    Glad you were able to do Matt’s Wellness Appointment via phone, Steve… It’s a true blessing when you don’t have to waste time.

  122. Beloved says:

    Jeremiah, yes. He too foretold and bore the weight of the knowledge of the wrath of God before His Goodness Jesus the Grace and Mercy of God was revealed. Lamentations read last week. Seeing the Light at the end of a dark and pandemic filled tunnel. He’s always True.

  123. Regina says:

    beloved, I pray that the Lord Jesus will send His healing virtue to your daughter’s body right now, and I pray that all of her body parts will get in alignment with God’s Word in Isa. 53:5, NLT: Jesus was beaten so we could be made whole, and He was whipped so we could be healed. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen!

  124. poohpity says:

    Beloved regarding your 9:07am comment; it seems that people often talk about what they know if they do not know about the topic then they will talk about what is important to them.

  125. jeff1 says:

    1 When peace like a river attendeth my way,
    when sorrows like sea billows roll;
    whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
    “It is well, it is well with my soul.”

    Refrain (may be sung after final stanza only):
    It is well with my soul;
    it is well, it is well with my soul.

    2 Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
    let this blest assurance control:
    that Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
    and has shed his own blood for my soul. Refrain

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

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

  126. street says:

    thinking about jeremiah watching the destruction of the nation, the temple and the culture he grew up in. even much of the religious system. if God did this to His nation that broke the covenant what of the other nations? yet the promise of all nation would be blessed because of this nation.

    blessing and shared suffering. we suffer to bring our sins to Him and He blesses us. the sting of sin. i am reminded job committed no sin worthy of the suffering he went through but found a face to face encounter with God through it. thinking of joseph, sold out by his brothers unto death. dad, joseph is dead you will not see that dreamer again…..thinking of jacob when he found out different. meant for evil but God meant it for Good.

    paul encouraged us to rejoice in difficult times.

    thinking of the history of the world, the past would condemn us on thinking this is bad. knowing it can always get worse. make peace with your adversary before you go before the judge. hope the judge is not your adversary.

    dumbfounded by it all……thank you for your promises in Christ Jesus. incredible

    the Judge becoming a Redeemer.

  127. Beloved says:

    Romans 8: 35NLT Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36(As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”o) 37No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

    38And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,p neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  128. Beloved says:

    My daughter came home this evening; it’s an irregular heartbeat but she’s healthy otherwise and on meds for regulating it. I’m sure the stress of things added to it. Thanks all for prayers.

  129. Beloved says:

    Speaking of heartbeats, as I got off the elevator today someone came around the corner and we both yelled! My hearts ok😂

  130. foreverblessed says:

    I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

    John 10:28-30
    The verse of the day on Bible gateway
    Thanks for all the verses and songs.
    And about Jeremiah, and Habakkuk, good examples of how to endure in a crisis.
    Praying for your daughter too, Beloved.
    And for you

  131. SFDBWV says:

    Social interaction is a very difficult course to travel. Filled with misconceptions, misunderstandings, outright envy and most of the time partially deaf ears to listening to what others say.

    The subject matter of dealing with this “pandemic” in both spiritual and physical matters has the friendly potential to allow us to set together while we are all for the most part “shut in” and be able to social without actually being together.

    However just like walking on eggshells or trying not to step on anyone’s toes the experience can be very trying.

    In looking at Scripture every “plague” mentioned there was brought about by man’s rebellion and so God’s judgement exacted upon man.

    Do you think that is what is going on today?
    Do you even actually believe there is anything extraordinary about this virus?
    Do you believe the news?
    What do you expect to be the outcome of this in the near or long term future?
    How does it affect your faith?
    More questioning God, less questioning God. Not questioning God at all?

    Want to remind some of us that in dealing with a “before and after” there is an in-between that has to occur as well.

    Light drizzle at 45 degrees, still no hummingbirds nor any bees.

    Steve

  132. poohpity says:

    Steve, would you share what you mean by the in-between? I do not understand that. Isn’t it before we came to believe and then after we believed? I can see a partial submission or a total submission in the process “after” or what happened “before” that lead us to believe but as for as what is in-between I am confused what is meant by that??

  133. poohpity says:

    Is God on trial because of this virus? Are we able to question His goodness by our limited view or stand in judgement of Him?

  134. bratimus says:

    My comfort comes in knowing that God is the Alpha and Omega the beginning and the end. Knowing that God through Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit is not going to let go of me in the in-between.

    I could answer all Steve questions, but that could open a whole can of worms we don’t want do to.

    Social interaction is a very difficult course to travel. Filled with misconceptions, misunderstandings, outright envy and most of the time partially deaf ears.

    They are all good question

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

    Acts 9 today

  135. poohpity says:

    bratimus, please tell me what is meant by the in-between? Is there an in-between before the resurrection and after, is there an in-between before belief and after? I do not get this in-between stuff.

  136. phpatato says:

    Pooh If I may….

    the in between that Steve and Bratimus are referring to is the NOW. Right now. What we are living now. It may or may not be before we became a Christian and after we became a Christian. Take a step back and reread what was said looking at the bigger picture.

    As in…look at what Bratimus said ….. ” My comfort comes in knowing that God is the Alpha and Omega the beginning and the end. Knowing that God through Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit is not going to let go of me in the in-between”….. with the poem Footprints in the Sand in mind:

    “Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
    You’d walk with me all the way.
    But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
    there was only one set of footprints.
    I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”

    He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
    Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
    When you saw only one set of footprints,
    It was then that I carried you.”

    Living our life now, the in between to when we were born and to when we die.

  137. Beloved says:

    Judgement IS mercy. Without it there would not have been a Savior.

  138. jeff1 says:

    The in-between for me is how easy I wander and doubt God in the midst of any kind of difficulties that I face and not just this pandemic.

    My faith is so easy when life is good but what makes it so difficult when life is bad.

    It’s because of the division in our beliefs because apart from the fact that we trust in Jesus for our forgiveness of sins it is apparent our beliefs on the whole are much more fractured.

    I have not come to know God through the Bible and I sense that for some that may seem to them that I do not know God at all and yet I know I have had glimpses of Him work in my life and in others.

    Why should you believe me and why should I care other than I need to know that others share my belief that God lives and He does care.

    It was my Rector who said to me when I complained how my son was such a know-it-all that no one likes that person yet I am sure we have all in our lifetimes come across both christian and non christian who must have the last word because it is just in their nature to do so.

    The only one that I want to have the last word is God and that is because I trust Him above either my own or anyone else’s judgements.

    I don’t make good judgements so why would I want to, whereas, I know from what the Bible says that God does so why wouldn’t I put my trust in Him.

    I don’t have to know my Bible to trust God and for me it was the varied interpretations that I would hear during my lifetime that caused me much dismay in understanding God.

    I much prefer to take God at His word than other peoples interpretation of His word which is where I get confused.

    In answer to your questions, Steve.

    Do you think that is what is going on today? – No, I don’t but I think it shows what I have just said about our divided beliefs because many will see it that way.

    Do you even actually believe there is anything extraordinary about this virus? – I don’t know and won’t speculate

    Do you believe the news? – I discern what I believe is genuine though I know I may be wrong.

    What do you expect to be the outcome of this in the near or long term future? – I have long given up on expectations because in the past I have only ended up disappointed.

    How does it affect your faith?- It hasn’t as I believe we bring much of the disaster’s on our all too ignorant selves.

    More questioning God, less questioning God. Not questioning God at all? – Has made me trust God all the more.

    Thanks for making me think, Steve, this head of mine is in sleepy mode.

  139. street says:

    Philip expected the future revelation of a tremendous mystery, but not in Jesus, the Person he thought he already knew. The mystery of God is not in what is going to be— it is now, though we look for it to be revealed in the future in some overwhelming, momentous event. It is our own opinions that make us dense and slow to understand, but when we are simple we are never dense; we have discernment all the time. oswald chambers

    Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? —John 14:9

    We want to be fully aware of what God is doing in us, but we cannot have complete awareness and expect to remain reasonable or balanced in our expectations of Him.

    if we where aware of everything then where would faith and trust be?

    should I tell abraham what I Am going to do to sodom and gomorrah? He did not have to tell him, but He did. He also tells us the end from the beginning.

    the mystery of the present.

  140. bratimus says:

    No matter what point people look at the before and after are. I’m saying it start with God and it will in with God.
    whether your a believer or not it starts with God and ends with God. I can’t change yesterday, tomorrow isn’t here yet. all I can do is try to live the best I can today.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  141. bratimus says:

    phpatato, great poem

  142. Beloved says:

    I got a new book on kindle and started reading it last night,
    A Discourse on the Damned Art of Witchcraft By William Perkins. He says wanting to know the future is witchcraft. That God protects by not revealing future events. I was thinking about what happened in the garden. Too much knowledge can be our downfall. Thinking about the tower of Babel also.
    Trust and obey comes to mind. Faith as a grain of mustard seed! Back to my book…

  143. jeff1 says:

    God of the mountain

    Life is easy, when youre up on the mountain
    And youve got peace of mind, like youve never known
    But things change, when youre down in the valley
    Dont lose faith, for your never alone

    For the God on the mountain, is still God in the valley
    When things go wrong, he’ll make them right
    And the God of the good times, is still God in the bad times
    The God of the day, is still God in the night
    We talk of faith way up on the mountain
    But talk comes easy, when lifes at its best
    Now its down in the valleys, trials and temptations
    Thats where your faith is really put to the test

    For the God on the mountain, is still God in the valley,
    When things go wrong, he’ll make them right
    And the God of the good times, is still God in the bad times
    The God of the day, is still God in the night
    The God of the day, is still God in the night

  144. phpatato says:

    Bratimus, this is the poem in its entirety. I only copied and pasted the last two paragraphs. I hope you enjoy the whole poem.

    Footprints In The Sand
    by Mary Stevenson (1922 – 1999)

    One night I had a dream.

    I dreamed I was walking along the beach
    with the Lord..

    Across the sky flashed scenes from my life..
    For each scene, I noticed two sets of
    footprints in the sand,
    one belonging to me, and the other to the Lord..

    When the last scene of my life flashed before me,
    I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
    I noticed that many times along the path of my life
    there was only one set of footprints.
    I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest
    and saddest times in my life.

    This really bothered me
    and I questioned the Lord about it:
    “Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,
    you’d walk with me all the way.
    But I have noticed that during the most
    troublesome times in my life
    there is only one set of footprints.
    I don’t understand why
    when I need you most you would leave me.”

    The Lord replied:
    “My precious child, I love you and would
    never leave you.
    During your times of trial and suffering,
    when you see only one set of footprints, it was then
    that I carried you.”

    Pat

    by Mary Stevenson

  145. Beloved says:

    Pat that’s my daughter’s favorite since she was a teen. I embroidered it on cloth for her for Christmas once. Today she’s tired and on a heart monitor for 48 hours. Her 18 year old son is home with her while her husband works which we both are thankful for.

  146. Regina says:

    Good Afternoon, All
    I pray that you (and family) are well. I’m doing great! I had to use my cell phone to chat with you all because, for some reason my laptop wouldn’t allow me to open the commentbox.beloved, so glad your daughter is health and is now at home. Praise the Lord! phpotato, Well said! re: your explanation of the “in between”and thank you for caring (about pooh) enough to explain it.
    Steve, like jeff1, I’m also willing to share my answers to your questions, and I didn’t read jeff1’s answers because I want to answer with no influences first (I had to retype them because I’m using my cell phone)..

    1. Do you think that’s what’s going on today (a plague borne out of God’s judgment for man’s sin)?
    Yes, on some level, because there are a lot of really bad things going on in this country (things that grieve the heart of God), and this plague could be one of the circumstances God is using to provoke repentance in this country (and globally). The *believers* (all over the world) who love the Lord, honor and obey Him are the righteous remnant in the earth. I think they’re the reason why the full wrath of God has not been released on the earth.

    2. Do you think there’s anything extraordinary about the virus?
    Yes. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen anything like this in my lifetime (it’s so surreal until it’s hard for me to believe it’s actually happening)! And I don’t think our country (or the world) will ever be how it was pre-COVID-19.

    3. Do you believe the news? Yes, but I don’t believe everyone (who gives news reports and updates) is telling the truth. And I can’t go deeper with that because, like bratimus, I don’t want to offend anyone on this blog site.

    4. What do you expect the outcome will be in the near or long term future?
    Well, friend, it’s not looking too good (sigh)… I’m deeply concerned about the near and long-term future. This situation has definitely increased my prayer life! And those who know the power of prayer need to pray on a daily basis for our country and the 🌎 world! My heart’s cry is, Dear God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) we desperately need your help! Please forgive our sins and heal our land!

    5. How does it affect your faith? It provokes me to trust God more because I know that, even though this situation is catastrophic, God is still in control. And I know that, ultimately, His will will prevail. Proverbs 3:5-6

    6. More questioning God? Less questioning God? Not questioning God at all?
    I don’t question God at all about this situation because I don’t have any control over governmental affairs or this horrible plague. I’ve just been asking Him, for several days now, to remember those who LOVE Him and only desire to do His perfect will in their country and the 🌎 world.

    Enjoyed reading Acts 9, bratimus! Will share my thoughts later on.

    73 degrees and partly cloudy in my neck of the woods… (Hmm? Was thinking about no bees or hummingbirds in your neck of the woods, Steve)

    Love to all,
    Regina

  147. Regina says:

    Good Afternoon, All
    I pray that you (and family) are well. I’m doing great! I had to use my cell phone to chat with you all because, for some reason my laptop wouldn’t allow me to open the commentbox.beloved, so glad your daughter is health and is now at home. Praise the Lord! phpotato, Well said! re: your explanation of the “in between”and thank you for caring (about pooh) enough to explain it.
    Steve, like jeff1, I’m also willing to share my answers to your questions, and I didn’t read jeff1’s answers because I want to answer with no influences first (I had to retype them because I’m using my cell phone)..

    1. Do you think that’s what’s going on today (a plague borne out of God’s judgment for man’s sin)?
    Yes, on some level, because there are a lot of really bad things going on in this country (things that grieve the heart of God), and this plague could be one of the circumstances God is using to provoke repentance in this country (and globally). The *believers* (all over the world) who love the Lord, honor and obey Him are the righteous remnant in the earth. I think they’re the reason why the full wrath of God has not been released on the earth.

    2. Do you think there’s anything extraordinary about the virus?
    Yes. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen anything like this in my lifetime (it’s so surreal until it’s hard for me to believe it’s actually happening)! And I don’t think our country (or the world) will ever be how it was pre-COVID-19.

    3. Do you believe the news? Yes, but I don’t believe everyone (who gives news reports and updates) is telling the truth. And I can’t go deeper with that because, like bratimus, I don’t want to offend anyone on this blog site.

    4. What do you expect the outcome will be in the near or long term future?
    Well, friend, it’s not looking too good (sigh)… I’m deeply concerned about the near and long-term future. This situation has definitely increased my prayer life! And those who know the power of prayer need to pray on a daily basis for our country and the 🌎 world! My heart’s cry is, Dear God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) we desperately need your help! Please forgive our sins and heal our land!

    5. How does it affect your faith? It provokes me to trust God more because I know that, even though this situation is catastrophic, God is still in control. And I know that, ultimately, His will will prevail. Proverbs 3:5-6

    6. More questioning God? Less questioning God? Not questioning God at all?
    I don’t question God at all about this situation because I don’t have any control over governmental affairs or this horrible plague. I’ve just been asking Him, for several days now, to remember those who LOVE Him and only desire to do His perfect will in their country and the 🌎 world.

    Enjoyed reading Acts 9, bratimus! Will share my thoughts later on.

    73 degrees and partly cloudy in my neck of the woods… (Hmm? Was thinking about no bees or hummingbirds in your neck of the woods, Steve)

    Love to all,
    Regina

  148. street says:

    Psalm 49:3
    My mouth will speak wisdom,
    And the meditation of my heart will be understanding.
    4 I will incline my ear to a proverb;
    I will open up my riddle on the harp.

    John 10:27
    My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;

    28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

    who are chosen 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

  149. street says:

    i think what is different about the plague we are experience right now is that everyone one is aware of it’s presents and potential for death, where as before we lived without regard for sin and dead. to truly live is why Jesus came.

  150. poohpity says:

    Oh my gosh we are living the after not in-between the before and after but the after the resurrection. OR if we are believers we are living now IN the after we came to believe. Before we believed we were IN the BEFORE we came to believe. There is no in-between one either believes or they don’t. The world changed AFTER the resurrection the OT and the goings on they talked about in the world was Before the predicted After.

    One either goes swimming or they don’t if they stick their foot in it is not really swimming. If one lives like they have never been in a relationship with God then they have only stuck a toe in so they would be in-between making a choice but that still does not change the fact that the world changed AFTER the resurrection and lives will be changed After if they really believe. If there has not been a change in a person that does not change the facts but may be evidence that one has not come to fully believe in God.

    AFte

  151. poohpity says:

    Maybe if the topic is read you might see the change after Lewis came to believe which could only be possible after the resurrection. But before that change was the Before that change. The process in-between happens after the initial AFTER which BEFORE Lewis believed in the After he was an atheist, agnostic, and skeptic.

  152. poohpity says:

    I find it so strange if Steve argued that the sky was yellow then you guys would find a way to find truth in what he said to some how defend the sky being yellow.

  153. Beloved says:

    Agree street it’s so easy to get “comfortable” with status quo and the rhythm of life as we know it. This is unprecedented where we can hear and see and read about what’s going on all over the world; except for some people’s who are still living dissociated from the world by choice. Thinking of the tribe that killed missionaries bringing good news into their dark world. When asked what to do after the loss of 3 husbands Elizabeth Elliot, wife of James the first said “ Do the next thing before you that needs doing”. That advice has stayed with me through many troubles toils and snares. This is the day that the LORD has made. I will rejoice because of my Savior Jesus and be glad, and not only glad but joyful with hope.

  154. Beloved says:

    A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
    Song by Martin Luther

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

  155. Beloved says:

    Let “goods” and kindred go

  156. street says:

    Oh my gosh we are living the after not in-between the before and after but the after the resurrection.

    after reading this Romans 7 came to mind.

    2 Corinthians 5:15-17
    15 and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

    16 Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

    before we lived in darkness and deception, then light came. chose light.

  157. Regina says:

    Good Evening, All

    bratimus, I marveled at several things when I read Acts 9… Will share what I pondered here…

    verse 8 – The level of humility of the men who led Saul by the hand to Damascus (wonder if they got something to eat on the way?)
    verse 9 – Saul’s encounter with Jesus provoked supernatural faith, trust and a willingness to fast (eat no food).
    verses 10-11 – Ananias was obviously an obedient servant (obedience is better than sacrifice) and holy man because the Lord spoke to him in a vision.
    verse 12 – The *specificity* of the Lord’s direction and revelation given to Ananias.
    verse 13 – Ananias’ rapport and spiritually intimate relationship with Jesus (he was comfortable enough to explain to Him what he knew (or what he thought he knew) about Saul.
    verse 18 – The Lord performed a miracle (restored Saul’s eyesight) through Ananias’ hands
    verse 18 – Wonder who baptized Saul?

    verse 26-27 – Saul went to Jerusalem… the Jerusalem believers were afraid of him… Barnabas was not afraid of him (was Barnabas one of the companions on the Damascus road?)
    And lastly,
    verse 40 – The Lord used Peter to perform a pretty awesome miracle!

    pooh said, “I find it so strange if Steve argued that the sky was yellow then you guys would find a way to find truth in what he said to some how defend the sky being yellow.”

    Lolol, pooh! You’re misunderstanding why we agree with Steve when we agree with him. In Steve’s comment, at 6:15 am this morning, he made mention of what he referred to as, “the in between,” and you didn’t understand what he meant by that. Well, some of us did understand his point of view. That’s why we agreed with him. But even in our understanding, it’s our opinion of what we think he means by the “in-between.” And it’s OKAY if someone doesn’t agree with Steve’s opinion or what others think about his opinion.
    I think you’re thinking too deeply about the “in between” and you’re getting confused. So, let me try to help you understand it. Now, this is my opinion of what I think Steve meant when he referred to the “in between.” Ok, let’s look at Steve’s words again for a refresher:

    Steve said (April 21, 2020 at 6:15 am)…
    “Want to remind some of us that in dealing with a “before and after” there is an in-between that has to occur as well.”

    Now, here’s my explanation of what he meant by the “in-between”…

    #1 — The first book of the Bible is Genesis, and those days have already been lived out by people who were on the earth before you and I were born.

    #2 — Now, it’s our turn to live on the earth and do God’s will in the days of COVID-19.

    *** We’re living in the “in-between ***

    #3 — The Last book of the Bible is the book of Revelation. We haven’t lived out those days yet. Those days are still in the future, and God is the only one who knows what the future holds.

    Well, pooh, I hope my explanation helps you understand the in between, at least, a little bit better.

    80 degrees and mostly cloudy in my neck of the woods.

    Love to all…

  158. street says:

    16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, 17 comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.

  159. poohpity says:

    Silly me I thought the before and after was exactly what Mart was talking about “before” we knew Christ and what happens to us “after” we believed in Him as was explained about what happened to C.S. Lewis. Mart also associated the before with time before Christ came and what happened after he came and was resurrected. I should have understood and known that the in-between Steve talked about had nothing to do with the topic at all which was why I did not understand how it fit in at all.

    It is so nice of all of you to speak for Steve I bet he appreciates y’all explaining what he said for him.

  160. phpatato says:

    Thank you Regina.

    You did a much better job at explaining in between then I did. I do believe, as well, that Pooh is way over-thinking.

    I know Steve scrolls past her name, or we could hope that he could clarify what he actually meant, to her (and perhaps to us if we’re wrong lol And if we are wrong, that’s okay. We know just how exhausting it has to be in trying to be perfect and right all the time).

    As it is, she is going to have to trust us that we did his comment justice, or she can go her way, believing what she knows is complete nonsense that we are so frivolous and petty that we go to all lengths to “defend” Steve. He is smart and well capable of defending himself. He doesn’t need me to do that for him. But should there arise a bully in the playground, I will not sit on the sidelines to watch. Doing/saying nothing is condoning the bully’s behaviour and once they feel empowered, it encourages the behaviour all the more.

    Today has been a weird weather day. If you know who Dr Seuss is, picture the Cat in the Hat saying “Will there be sun, rain or snow? I am Canadian, I do not know”. We had all 3 today plus high winds and hail. There could be an inch or so of snow on the ground to wake up to tomorrow, so they say.

    God Bless

    Pat xo

  161. street says:

    thinking of the moment c. s. lewis went from darkness to light.

  162. foreverblessed says:

    When Mart wrote about CS Lewis, whose eyes were opened to Jesus, I had to think about the apostle Paul. So there we are in Acts 9. Wonderful chapter.

    Mart writes:
    “Everything, pandemics..
    needs to be considered in light of Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday.”

    Asking thses question, as Steve did, and given answers can open a can of worms, is what someone wrote, was it Steve, or Bratimus?

    But Mart is saying in this topic, everything must be seen in connection to what Jesus did on the Cross up until His Resurrection.
    Think about this happening of the pandemic in the Light of God the Father Who did everything to save humanity, to give up His Son in death, going down into hell, and raising again. Think about THAT…

    “If we don’t, how can we avoid the suspicion that God is an absent Father, a moral bully, a consuming monster, or a bad boss.”

    This time is a time to get really close to Jesus, see His Face. A loving Face, see Him as our Savior, who soooo loved us.

    I have to think about Corrie ten Boom these days, she knew her Lord, BEFORE she was taken into that Nazi camp. She knew Him right beside her, all the while. She said, she was not traumatically upset, after she came out, because her Lord had given her peace while she was in there. (She opened a home to help people who came out of those camps, for a time of restoration. When someone asked her, why she did not go in, she answered that the Lord was always with her.
    “There is not a place so deep, Jesus will go deeper still”

    Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His glorious face,
    and the things of earth will grow strangely still
    in the light of his glory and grace.

    Or as Lewis wrote it:
    “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen not only because I see it but because by it I see everything else.”

  163. foreverblessed says:

    Things of this earth will grow strangely dim…

    Things of this world that look so hazardous. A virus there is no cure for, and yet, a stillness in the soul, that has turned to Jesus.
    This does need discipline, it is not done overnight.
    With falling and standing up. But seek the peace that comes from above, seek, knock, ask…
    till there is this quietness of the soul.

    I have quieted my soul, David says,
    that is the in between time

  164. foreverblessed says:

    this time, the here and now, in light of what happened on Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday.

    “I lay My loving Hands on you in blessing. Wait in Love and longing to feel their tender pressure and, as you wait, courage and hope will flow into your being, irradiating all your lives with the warm sun of My Presence.

    Let all go this Eastertide. Loosen your hold on earth, its care, its worries, even its joys. Unclasp your hands, relax, and then the tide of Easter Joy will come. Put aside all thought of the future, of the past. Relinquish all to get the Easter Sacrament of Spiritual Life.”

    from God calling, April 6

    if thinking about the Apocalyps unsettles me, I go straight back to Jesus, and wait there till I am calm again.

  165. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, it seems to me that you very much envy Steve which is what blinds you to seeing that he is just trying to help us to challenge our thoughts and faith in todays world which is very different to the times that Jesus lived.

    It doesn’t seem to trouble Mart that we go of topic as often our train of thought does but then he is interested in what we have to say in our discussions which are to try and identify where we might be thinking wrongly while you want to dictate to everyone how they should think and that to me speaks of an ego that believes they are right and everyone else is wrong and it might interest you to know that I have done it, got the t-shirt, and then God awakened me to show me that I was both self righteous and blinded and it hurt deeply as when God rebukes it sure does hurt my pridefulness.

    The in-between is where I seek Jesus and He gets hold of my biases, judgements, beliefs, and sins and turns them on their head in getting me to see that only God is worthy of my worship and praise because He knows what I am made of and loves me anyway.

  166. SFDBWV says:

    Please bear with me as more explanation can sometimes help explain, while in some cases too much information simply confuses.

    Once again I am reminded of a science fiction story I read many years ago. So long ago I don’t remember its title, but do the gist of the story I want to impart to you.

    In a fictional future world money has been replaced with “time”, and not just time, but life time.

    Upon birth each person has implanted in their brain a “chip”. This chip has a preset length of time before it runs out of time and causes an aneurism to occur and instant death.

    During a person’s life they can earn more time just as you would money at any job. You can invest your time and earn more just like money. You can build a fortune or amass savings.
    However you also spend your time just like money as well. At the grocery store, for all the things you spend money for, however instead of spending money you withdraw time from that little chip that when is out of funds(time) you die.

    I have said all of that just to explain that there is just so much time in any of our lives and how precious that time is. How we spend our time has limits and priorities and how we spend it needs to be though out and used wisely.

    Every morning I give time to the immediate needs of my family, I give special time to God in prayer (though I am actually in a prayer connected posture all the time I am awake) and I spend time here at the computer part of which is reading and perhaps commenting on BTA.

    Throughout the morning I may take breaks from other duties and look in on BTA and may even comment as a result.

    It is all about time.

    It is my belief that Mart gives us the opportunity to share our thoughts about whatever subject he may provide for us to “think about”. He doesn’t restrict what we may think about, just expects us to be civil to one another.

    Yesterday after seeing that once again my thoughts caused pooh to challenge them by way of the comments from others I did take the time to make a comment concerning the matter.

    Using my own advice I did not post it and waited until that time when I would be exiting the computer for the remainder of my day to decide whether I really wanted to or not.

    I did not, I deleted it and went on with the other things of my daily life.

    After reading the string of comments this morning I sort of wish I had posted it, though not posting it was a decision I made in the hopes of not furthering or fueling more contentious commentary.

    Personally I thank each one of you who took the time to think about the questions I raised and or commented concerning them. I thank each one of you who attempted to counter pooh’s opposition to my comments. And I want to say all of you did a very good job, in my opinion, in understanding what goes on in between “before and after”.

    Our friend Pearl left BTA because she did not like the emotions that pooh raised up in her. Her only way of not feeling those emotions were to just leave and not have to deal with her.

    I don’t like the emotions pooh raises up in me either, but I enjoy and love you my virtual friends enough to stay and hopefully aid Mart in giving life to Mart’s BTA.

    It is a fellowship I have come to love.

    I could, as Pat stated, defend myself against pooh’s misadventures, but I choose to ignore her and not spend time spinning in circles and poisoning the fellowship that we have here.

    Once again I am saddened that instead of spending time raising perhaps more thought provoking questions or sharing some adventure that is relevant to God in my life I have had to spend what little time I have in response to strife within the fellowship we enjoy here.

    It is why I ignore her and why I will continue to.

    28 degrees and clear.

    Steve

  167. poohpity says:

    Steve, Is it being contentious to ask a question about what was meant by the in-between on Before and After? Or is it contentious just because I questioned you? You question God and cause others to question their faith and God, I wonder if God thinks you are contentious? I bet he is big enough to take all questions and still love those who ask them.

    ********************

    The conclusion I came to about the “Before and After” was that not many have experienced the life change that happens AFTER conversion so the sharing about that is very limited. Yet that is our very witness of the power Jesus has in one’s life in other words the “Before and After”.

    I agree that there is an in-between our physical birth and death but with our spiritual rebirth there seems to be an only “Before and After” and what happened to us at that point that was different before it happened and after it happened. If that thought is being contentious, rude or bullying someone, then I would say you guys have some real issues to over come and maybe ask yourself how come my life after is no different now than it was before. No different desires, no different behaviors, no different actions, no different thoughts, likes or dislikes. Just the same ol’, same ol’. Has Jesus made no difference in transforming your life, the before to the after?

  168. poohpity says:

    By the way if one thinks logically the conclusion they might come to is that by not following the blog guidelines of staying on topic, which by the way does prevent problems in the community, he might have kept this blog attached to the other parts of ODB all of which have the same guidelines about staying on topic. Just something to think about.

    How appropriate that the one who changes the topic often is the very one who thinks that Mart considers it alright even after the many, many gentle reminders that it is not, even going as far to take it down from the ministry in general. Go figure!

  169. SFDBWV says:

    Still not reading what you post pooh, but do want to bring forward something I said yesterday that I deleted.

    God loves pooh just as much as he does me. I know pooh that you care about my family and that emotionally you hurt and are in pain, for that I am sorry.

    But pooh you don’t care or hurt enough to change and for that I am sorry as well.

    Steve

  170. poohpity says:

    Oh by the way Viv, what is it exactly that you think I envy Steve about?

    Contrary to what you think Steve my relationship with the Lord is not hindered by my pain or hurt it makes me more dependent on Him. I change all the time I am not the same as when Jesus found me, He continues His work in me everyday. I am in process, how about you or are you still stuck in the disappointment of what you think are unanswered prayers so you still question the goodness and loving kindess of God?

  171. poohpity says:

    I hope I never change in the area of respecting others when it comes to participating in their ministry. That may have happened before Christ but not after.

  172. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, you cannot limit how God works in His relationships nor should you try to.

    You seem to think it is your business to know what God is doing in another’s life and that just shows your ignorance of God.

    A personal relationship means just that and God will work as He sees fit in each of our lives.

    That you show no respect for either God’s judgements or your fellow worshippers in Christ speaks volumes.

    Since when did you become judge of another’s desires, behaviours, beliefs, likes or dislikes.

    I was taught that it is God who sees my every thought, deed and action and when I believe that either of these has offended Him I must confess, accept His forgiveness and mend my ways.

    It is God who sees the improvements, back sliding, temptations, failures,the obnoxious people I come up against and last but not least the loving people he puts in my life who encourages, inspires and gives me hope for a better world to come.

    They are the people I want to spend time with because they make me a better person for having them in my life.

  173. poohpity says:

    wow Viv you are certainly good at jumping to conclusions, judging, accusing and assuming while then accusing others of it? I simply asked you what it was that you thought I was envious of Steve about? I respect him in the care of his son and have always shared that with him but I do not envy anything.

    I admire people who have a strong faith and it is seen in how they live their life but I do not envy them because I know that is available to anyone who wants a close relationship with God.

    Again I have never considered it my business how God is working in the life of another or how they live their lives and unlike you I do not tell people how horrible they are when I do not even know them but because they come from a different part of my country they are worthy of my hate just because I was brought up that way. Wouldn’t that change “after” realizing how much that Christ has forgiven us for?

  174. bratimus says:

    I had this thought on the before and after last night I’l try to put it down.

    If the “before” is before Christ and the “After” is Christ we have a timeline BC and AC. In this timeline there is and in-between “The Life and Ministry of Christ Jesus.

    Before the next After comes, we have the in-between to finish the ministry of Christ Jesus. All the Earth has to hear the Gospel of Christ Jesus, before the next after.

    He was, He is and HE is to come, for Now should WE do all unto the Lord, is finish the Life in Christ Jesus and The Ministry, before the next after.

    Think I’m reading Acts 10, have to check my notes

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

    need to catch up on the posts

  175. bratimus says:

    Bratimus disclaimer;

    When I read post on here, some will bring a thought to me, and where that thought takes me does not reflect on the person posting. I have to believe that more might read the blog then post. The way I think about something might help someone in their thinking. This is where Faith, Hope, and Love come into play, that a thought of mine can help someone else. Lot of times I post my thoughts before I read comments of the day. That way I get my thought down and don’t get bogged down with other thoughts.

    Like I say there is always a method to my madness, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit won’t let me go to far of the rails. Sometimes some need to step out of their comforts zone to understand the method and the rammblings

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  176. jeff1 says:

    The following post is what I was referring to, and, so who are you guys that you are referring to, and the words seem accusing and judgemental to me but then I admit I am no great judge of character.

    I admire honesty and you sure have a very different concept of the word than I have.

    I wasn’t talking of you being envious of God and Steve’s relationship but the relationship he has with those of us on the blog.

    You say you don’t consider it your business how God works in another’s life but your words say otherwise and I might think it was my misunderstanding but then how come there are so many on this blog who do not feel the warmth or humility from your words.

    poohpity says:
    April 22, 2020 at 6:51 am

    I agree that there is an in-between our physical birth and death but with our spiritual rebirth there seems to be an only “Before and After” and what happened to us at that point that was different before it happened and after it happened. If that thought is being contentious, rude or bullying someone, then I would say you guys have some real issues to over come and maybe ask yourself how come my life after is no different now than it was before. No different desires, no different behaviors, no different actions, no different thoughts, likes or dislikes. Just the same ol’, same ol’. Has Jesus made no difference in transforming your life, the before to the after?

  177. Beloved says:

    Hey Bratimus hows the weather out there? I think spring is finally taking hold here but am anxiously waiting for things to green up and flowers to bloom. Hope you are holding out ok these days. Blessings to you!

  178. bratimus says:

    Well it has been an unusual start to the spring is been a cooler spring frost on the roofs into April and it hailed once and the hail stayed on the ground for a whole afternoon that never happens it is starting to warm up a bit

    I’m doing good, I’ve been in training to weather all the storms that might be coming.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  179. poohpity says:

    Viv, If it was judging by suggesting that you guys look at your life to see if it changed after you came to believe rather than looking at others like the comments made about me, in the post you quoted by me then maybe there is a problem with reading comprehension.

  180. Beloved says:

    In training, yes we all are.

  181. bratimus says:

    AS I try to walk in the footsteps in/with Christ Jesus. I don’t realize that I’m just a microdot in that Big Picture in the Before, in-between and the after might just need the Eyes of God to see me. I is not about me, it is about Him. God, Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I would be happy to be just a freckle on Christ Jesus arm.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  182. Beloved says:

    Hebrews 12:11
    No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.

    John 17:4
    I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.

  183. Beloved says:

    Freckle? Christ is IN you. That’s one big freckle🤣

  184. jeff1 says:

    Now I see why my dad was so strict in keeping his eyes on Jesus and the cross how easy it is to get distracted and make it about me/us and thank you Bratimus for the reminder.

  185. Regina says:

    Good Afternoon, All

    I pray that you all (and your family) are well. I’m doing great. Finished up with some of my morning and early afternoon chores, and now I have some time to chat with you all.
    pooh, It sounds like, by what you wrote at 8:27 pm yesterday, that you now have a better understanding of what Steve meant by the “in-between.” And the reason why we (myself and *all* who attempted to help you) were *willing* to help you is because we understood what Steve was trying to convey to us.
    You’re welcome, Pat, and thank you for the compliment! :-) It was my hope that in both of our attempts (and others tried too) to help pooh understand, she would benefit from our effort. Wow, there’s snow in Canada? I couldn’t imagine snow in Texas right now… but then I couldn’t imagine a horrible plague hitting my country and the world either. Smh. And I’m very familiar with Dr. Seuss! His books are truly beloved in Texas, the U.S.A. and (maybe) the world!
    Enjoyed reading your early morning comments, foreverblessed! And your comment too, jeff1!

    Steve, What you said about time is so profoundly true! I am forever asking our Lord Jesus to help me not to waste time! Psalm 90:12, TLB, NIV, NLT
    And you’re welcome re: answering your questions and helping pooh get an understanding regarding what you meant by the “in-between.” Thank you for your compliment of a “job well done” in understanding what goes on in between the “before and after.” And I think I can speak for all on this blog site by telling you that we’ve learned so much from you about how to study the Bible in order to gain spiritual wisdom. You are very gifted in your ability to explain your thoughts regarding any subject-matter… whether it’s the scriptures or your own personal life. And I want you to know that we (and all would agree) truly enjoy reading what you have to share on this blog site. We are always blessed and enlightened by your comments! And we love and appreciate you.<3
    bratimus, you're right, it's Acts 10 (that is, unless you move to another book in the Bible). Will share my thoughts on that Chapter later on.

    73 degrees and cloudy (with a 40% chance of rain at 4:00 pm) in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,
    Regina

  186. Beloved says:

    I do understand really Bratimus. He must increase, I must decrease as Viv just alluded to.

  187. Regina says:

    beloved, We posted at the same time! :-)

  188. bratimus says:

    oops I did a typo it was suppose to say “I do realize”* me and my typos

    Bratimus

  189. bratimus says:

    If I said, God is saying that “Everyone’s points on the Before and After are right, for “I Am the Lord your God and it Starts with Me and Ends with Me, the wrong comes in is because there is to much competing on who is right.”

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  190. Beloved says:

    Bubbles how are you doing? Are you cyber schooling from home. My sister is and really misses her kiddos (1st graders). Taking care of your parents? Hope you and they are doing ok. Blessings to you also.

  191. jeff1 says:

    I am your salvation.
    I am Christ your Lord,
    Crucified and buried,
    Now alive forevermore;
    Crushed for your forgiveness,
    Broken for your sin,
    Risen for your endless joy
    And mighty now within.

    I am your salvation.
    Rest in me today.
    Don’t you know I’m with you
    And I listen as you pray?
    Fear and grief may gather.
    Doubt will do its best.
    Stand and simply trust in Me,
    And I will do the rest.

    Alpha and Omega,
    Ever on the throne –
    All you see will fade and die,
    And I will reign alone.
    I am your salvation.
    I am your reward.
    Boldly lose your life in Me
    And prove that I am Lord.

  192. bubbles says:

    Hello, Joyce. Thanks for asking. Yes, distance learning is happening here as well. Yesterday our governor just shut us down for the remainder of the year. I’m heartbroken and miss the children. I told them they were the “Dream Class!” Some have had a difficult time with us being out. I miss them so and have scheduled an ugly cry this evening when things calm down. We were on a good trajectory for the year; and yet so many little fun things and lesson are not going to be done now. There’s no closure, no goodbyes have been said. I went to my classroom today and things were just like we left them in March. All of their pencils and books are still in their desks. It makes me sad. I’m thankful we can do online learning and stay safe, however. This has taught me to appreciate the mundane of every day; running errands, getting caught up in life’s little things. They mean a lot. Miss the “good tired” on Friday when we put the week to bed.

    Yes, the parents are in bad shape. Dementia is getting worse by the day. Right now we are in the middle of a two hour “problem with shoes” and reminding the loved one that one does not wear shoes in the shower. Shoes are on the wrong feet. . . shoe laces tied in 18 knots, lots of anger and frustration on their end. Hallucinations. . . delusions. . . it never ends.

    It’s heartbreaking and exhausting. Then the other one is unreasonable and will not help me with the other one and my hands are tied. One of them has relatives that are going out to stores every day and are coming in their house and I am concerned they will bring the virus with them. Again, I can’t say anything. They are both at risk health wise and it concerns me.

    Thank you for your kindness, and I pray all is well with all of you here.

  193. Beloved says:

    Oh my I will keep you in prayer- God bless your dedicated loving care. I worked an Alzheimer’s unit for a year- absolutely loved it but burn out is real when you have too few staff. But I remember the frustrations of many though we also had a lot of laughs smiles and hugs. Hope you don’t have to chase anyone down the road ever! Will pray God will protect all from the virus. Blessings, Joyce

  194. Regina says:

    Good Evening, All

    Ok, bratimus, enjoyed reading Acts 10 and here are my take aways…

    1. Cornelius’ prayers and generosity were a sweet smelling aroma in the nostrils of God.

    2. God cares deeply about the poor (those who for whatever reason don’t have enough and don’t have the opportunity or means to get what they need).

    3. Pondered the popularity of the name “Simon” (makes me want to do a name study to find out what that name means).

    4. Hunger didn’t stop Peter from praying (he didn’t even grab a snack and the narrator for this chapter didn’t tell us if he was fasting).

    5. I’ve never been in a trance before, and I’m wondering what I would feel or experience.

    6. Marveled at the clarity and specificity of the Holy Spirit’s directions to Peter.

    7. Peter, his men and his guests traveled for one day before they arrived at Caesarea (I’m wondering if the traveled by foot or by boat).

    8. Peter, Cornelius, his family and friends witnessed the gift of the Holy Spirit being poured out on the Gentiles.

    9. The Gentiles were filled with the Holy Spirit before they were baptized.

    10. Not surprised that Cornelius invited Peter to stay at his house for several days.

  195. foreverblessed says:

    It is a beautiful morning here, sunshine, spring, the blossom has already gone.
    Lovely to sit outside, and read, the Bible, and let God talk to me through nature around me.

    Thank you Bubbles, for your message, I pray for you too, and your parents.
    I am connected to an old peoples home. The drawing classes are stopped, but now I go there once a week, and then draw on the pavement, with chalkpowder.
    And then people start to talk with us, from their balcony. Or they just put up their thumbs in appreciation.
    But…. I pray before I go, and ask God to bless it. Staying in contact with God more and more, so that His blessing will be the main issue.
    I am learning, indeed, that it is all about God,
    (Father Son and Spirit) and that He is all powerful. and all knowing.
    Nothing goes out of hand for Him, He has the whole world in His Hands.

    And as, Mart stated, think about this about God who sent His Son to go through Good Friday and Resurrection Day.

    I was thinkig about the before and after:
    When we see Christ,
    that is the point of change

    We are One in Christ, Christ died on the Cross, and we died with Him.
    Only our old man is still there, it has no power over us, but it comes up, after we have “seen” Christ.
    Have I really dealt with this old man in me?
    My first inclinations, do I react to them, or do I go to Jesus and confer with Him first and foremost.
    Just like those “same ole same ole” here on this blog.
    I give it to Jesus, it is going way over my head. Way over my head.
    Just praying intercessory prayers, praying, praying, God is Lord over all.

    God is First and God is Last.
    HE is the One we adore.
    Thanks, Bratimus for that reminder.

    (what a lovely song again Jeff, I send oyr songs to my friend, with colon cancer. She is doing well by the way. This period, where another deadly disease is spreading, it is bringing a nuance to her)

  196. foreverblessed says:

    This “same ole same ole”
    when there is friction within christians, you can talk it over, tell what bothers you, tell how it hurts you. You can try and have a decent communication.
    But if that does not change anything, year after year, there is a time when this word of Jesus comes in:

    “Bless those that persecute you”

    Bless bless bless

    That is changing form “same ole same ole” to
    “very new very new”

    Just start blessing, and if you cannot do it out of the love of your heart, ask for love from God, earnestly, ask for love.
    Till you can do it with love in your heart.

  197. foreverblessed says:

    When I post, I do not see what has been posted, so sorry if I missed what others say.
    But God bless you,
    God, -Curios- the Lord of all, He is powerful to do that.

  198. SFDBWV says:

    Dreamt last night that the corona virus crisis was over. I don’t know why I would have been dreaming about it at all nor what the dream meant, if anything at all.

    Whereas I awoke from the dream with a deep sense of relief, I awake to a world still reeling and dealing with the plague.

    Chancellor Merkel quoted as saying that coronavirus is a challenge to democracy in Europe. News stories of fear of a worldwide famine coming as a result of the virus. Of an economy that may never fully recover.

    Fear is a powerful ally of evil designs.

    Like everything in creation fear has a purpose in God’s design, but like everything else in creation fear can be misused for evil intent.

    Psalms 27:1 KJV “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

    Psalms 23:4 KJV “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

    However, Proverbs 9:10 KJV “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy is understanding.” And Proverbs 15:33 KJV “The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honor is humility.”

    Ever since this coronavirus SARS thing has come about I personally have felt that there was something about it that just didn’t add up.

    The thing is that whether God’s design or evil intent God is still in authority and we submit to that authority with a sense of comfort no matter what we see, read or hear.

    31 degrees and clear this morning.

    Steve

  199. jeff1 says:

    Forever, the songs are what Jesus directs me to and so I do not see them as ‘my songs’ as such but I am glad that you send them to your friend and hope that they do for her what they do for me.

    Sickness whether of the mind or the body needs to know God cares and I have not found a better way than through songs.

    As it happens both my parents died of cancer and so when I am not on lockdown I work in a cancer and church combined charity shop and it is good to hear that the advances made now give a much better chance of recovery.

    Yes, I have heard that the virus is an added threat to those with underlying conditions but as we know Jesus has your friend in His hands which ever way it goes.

    Romans 14:8

    for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s

    Romans 14:9

    For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living

    2 Corinthians 4:12

    So death works in us, but life in you

    2 Corinthians 5:4

    For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life.

  200. bratimus says:

    Yes fear is a very powerful tool to control people, especially if you control the narrative.

    This brings to mind a movie called The Book of Eli, it an end of the world type. Short of the plot is the bad guy is looking for a book, the book is the Bible. the bad guy wants it for more control and power over people. The good or the guy who has it is heading west. The bad guy ends up with the Bible but can’t read it, because it is in braille and the blind person they have control over can’t remember or so they say because it has been so long and for got. Here is what got me the good that lost the Bible could read it and memorized it. The good guy was heading west to a place where they count print the Bible in written text.

    This just popped in my thought, after reading about fear in the post.

    In Christ Jesus name, the true Word

    Bratimus

  201. bratimus says:

    Will be reading Acts 11 at some point during the day.

    Be well all and stay safe

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  202. SFDBWV says:

    Centering for the moment on Mart’s last paragraph.

    There has been in moments of my fellowship with God that I have been filled with an overwhelming explosion of elation, at that moment I feel as though I could know all things, see all things and somehow be a part of all things.

    It is very hard to properly describe.

    Mart has ask “unless we look at everything that has ever happened, and everyone who has ever lived.” How can we keep from seeing God in a negative posture?

    It is written that faith is a gift.

    Which may be why some people seem to have more faith than others. It may just be that each measure of faith is given according to that persons need.

    What is it that comes against a person’s faith? The first thing that comes to my mind is unfulfilled expectations.

    In Scripture verses we are ask to simply ask in faith and expect to receive. So what happens when we don’t receive?

    The worst thing that happens are people who think they need to answer for God as to why your prayers go unfulfilled.

    They, like Job’s friends, answer amiss and make matters worse.

    It is also written that God will not give us more hardships than we can take. So once again how much is too much?

    A broken spirit, it is written are God’s sacrifices (Psalms 51:17 KJV).

    So how is it possible for anyone of us to be like God and know all things as well as all people who ever lived and their own personal experiences and heart?

    Is the answer to such a question found in knowing everything written before and after the crucifixion and resurrection? Or during those dark hours in between?

    Are the answers written or are the answers found in your need to believe?

    Steve

  203. SFDBWV says:

    Bratimus I too enjoyed the “Book of Eli”, it like the movies “Sixth Sense” and “The Village” are made special by their surprise endings.

    Have heard it said that the Book of Acts are still being written by we the Body of Christ.

    Which is why I believe each of our testimony’s are important not only to ourselves, but to be shared with other believers.

    An unfinished and continuous testimony to God in our lives. 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

    Steve

  204. poohpity says:

    forever, regarding your comment on 4:10am it brought such joy to my heart that you understand the point of change is Christ. The before Christ and the after you said simply, “I was thinking about the before and after:
    When we see Christ, that is the point of change”. Wow you understood the whole point and nothing but the point in the topic.

    People can be brought up in a “Christian” home, go to church for decades, sing “Christian” songs and yet still not come to that point of a response to that personal invitation of Christ, “Come, Follow Me” then there will never be an AFTER they will be stuck in the “in-between”.

    It all has nothing to do with being right or wrong but it has everything to do with understanding!

  205. poohpity says:

    Steve you stated, “Which is why I believe each of our testimony’s are important not only to ourselves, but to be shared with other believers.” Exactly!! What we were like BEFORE Christ and then how we are changed AFTER that is the whole reason we share our testimonies about the impact Jesus has in our lives.

    Which seems to why the parts of the bible are described as the Old Testament and the New Testament. People testified to the before Christ and the after.

  206. bratimus says:

    I don’t know all things “Of God”, I know a few things “Of God”, my portion one could say.

    I do know this that most of my experiences of my past, are not of the sharing sort. First most of them you would have had to have been there and seen it first hand. Some the understanding didn’t come till years down the road. All are between God and me, for learning, for training and for sharing the human conditions. The sharing of the human condition many wouldn’t understand that one, a few will and no more needs to be said.

    The one thing I can do is try to live the best life that I can of the ways of God through Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit and maybe share a few things I may know “Of God”

    Not that I am proclaiming to know much. For this I do know, it for God to proclaim and for me to serve, it is For God to be seen through the light of Christ it is for me to serve. It is all about and for God the Father, Christ Jesus the Word and the Holy Spirit of God and not about me much at all.

    I also know this to dredge up my past, might awaken some monsters we don’t need. Those with eyes and ears try and understand

    In the Loving Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  207. bratimus says:

    I started the reading of Acts the day after Easter. My thought was good time to start read the beginning of the Church, the Body of Christ. And the Body of Christ is a good thing to be in, in the time we are in. We got to have the Love, Hope and Faith out there or we might be in real big trouble. Best way to combat fear is through Faith, Hope and Love!!!

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  208. jeff1 says:

    Isaiah 41:10 10So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

    1 John 4:18 18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

    Philippians 4:6-7 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

  209. poohpity says:

    bratimus, I thought that we are taught to share what Christ has done in our lives which is bringing the Good News to the world. Check out for instance Acts 22; Galations; 1 Tim 1 in all those plus others Paul shared what he did and who he was BEFORE he met Christ then he told the AFTER. Isn’t that an experience more than worth it to share, really to shout from the roof tops all that Jesus has done for us?

  210. bratimus says:

    Pooh, I tend to live in the now more then my past, I remember what “I” have learned from my past. Like I said most is to to hard to put into words you would have had to have been there. But now, today I can use my life to show what Christ Jesus has done. Somethings are better left buried, like my past, there are things many wouldn’t understand. It’s not where I’ve been, but where I am going that matters. I know my portion and I know what will help and what won’t help. Some need to have faith, not in me, but That Christ Jesus has complete control and knows what I am doing. We all have different areas to work in, we all have are parts to do. That is how a body works. The only one that knows my past better then me, is The Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and there be some monsters in the deep that is my past, that you “DON’T” want to awaken. WE have enough on our plates today, don’t want to pile an muck on.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimu

  211. jeff1 says:

    “Don’t worry about a thing,
    ‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right.
    Singin’: “Don’t worry about a thing,
    ‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right!”

    Rise up this mornin’,
    Smiled with the risin’ sun,
    Three little birds
    Perch by my doorstep
    Singin’ sweet songs
    Of melodies pure and true,
    Sayin’, (“This is my message to you-ou-ou:”)

    Singin’: “Don’t worry ’bout a thing,
    ‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right.”
    Singin’: “Don’t worry (don’t worry) ’bout a thing,
    ‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right!”

    Rise up this mornin’,
    Smiled with the risin’ sun,
    Three little birds
    Perch by my doorstep
    Singin’ sweet songs
    Of melodies pure and true,
    Sayin’, “This is my message to you-ou-ou:”

    Singin’: “Don’t worry about a thing, worry about a thing, oh!
    Every little thing gonna be all right. Don’t worry!”
    Singin’: “Don’t worry about a thing” – I won’t worry!
    “‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right.”

    Singin’: “Don’t worry about a thing
    ‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right” – I won’t worry!
    Singin’: “Don’t worry about a thing,
    ‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right.”
    Singin’: “Don’t worry about a thing, oh no!
    ‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right! /fadeout/

  212. Beloved says:

    Viv
    Philippians 4:6-7Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    I have this posted on my door with pretty flowers in case our “hall walkers” need encouragement and direction.

  213. Beloved says:

    Bratimus

    About the past, this comes to mind:
    Philippians 3: Pressing Toward the Goal
    12 Not that I have already attained,[a] or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have [b]apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

    Just this morning I was fretting about a sin from long before I was Christ’s and I was told by the HS that to worry and carry a forgiven sin is arrogance. Uffdah! As we say here. God is so good with His guidance. I would never share it with anybody but God knew and that’s what matters. Forgetting it forever, today! Oh sweet release.

  214. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Beloved, I think it is important to be at peace with God when you suffer from anxiety and depression or psychosis as I do.

    These verses remind me that God wants me to have peace and not to worry about anything as so does the song.

    I live in the present taking one day at a time because I find it easier on my head and I am weary of the chaos in it.

    It is good what you do for your ‘hall walkers’ as I so often read verses when passing places and often it feels like they where meant for me and that is because God wants us to know He is everywhere even when it seems that He is not.

    God is always with us but it is not always easy to see Him especially in a secular world like this one.

    If I didn’t know that God’s presence is with me how could I face this world today with all the complexities it brings.

    I am so glad that you understand me better than most because of our similar weaknesses.

    I also know that if it were not for my weaknesses I would not have grown closer to God so that helps me believe that He will use me for His purposes even when I do not recognise what these purposes are.

    If it makes any sense to you I am not sure I could cope with the responsibility of being used for God’s purpose and so my weakness protects me as much as it hurts me.

  215. Beloved says:

    Most often we don’t know when and how God uses us. It keeps us humble. Protects us from pride of life. No that would be too much responsibility put on us and we would crumble like Satan in the garden- loose our footing, if you know what I mean. We are given little or a lot but whatever the amount we must invest it wisely. He knows us better than anyone.

  216. Beloved says:

    Earlier I drove through town and marveled at the little traffic around- very eerie. Suddenly I saw a flashing marquee on a drive through coffee shop with the words “Don’t worry Gods in control.” Oh how that lifted my spirits! I need to be in constant contact with Him. Oh how I need Him!

  217. bratimus says:

    I do want to point out one thing out, after the Birth of Jesus I only remember one mention of His life before His ministry started. When Mary ask Jesus to help with the wine, He told her it wasn’t his time yet.

    So I’m not so worried about sharing my past, it is rather boring, just an average life.

    Always appointed time for things.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  218. Beloved says:

    Is this what you’re thinking of?

    Matthew 13:55-57 New International Version (NIV)
    55 “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56 Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at him.
    But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.”

  219. poohpity says:

    Luke 2:

    “Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

    49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

    51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”

    I do not know how it is even possible to equate the God/Man and His life with anything we as fully human do?? If everything we did in service for God depended on our limited abilities then it would be dependent on us to deliver and we would then get the credit, so in turn we would boast about our accomplishments for the Kingdom BUT it is not our abilities however but God’s work in us to do what we could not do on our own. That is what it means to rely, trust and depend on the work of the Holy Spirit within to accomplish for God what God intended our part is to give ourselves to Him and see what He alone can do in and through us.

  220. Regina says:

    Good Evening, All! I pray that you and yours are well. I’m doing great, thank God, and I’ve enjoyed reading your comments today. Read Acts 11 a few minutes ago, and here are my take aways…

    v. 1 -2: Was shocked that the Jewish believers argued with Peter when he went back to Jerusalem.

    v. 3 -18: The Jewish believers were shocked that Peter had fellowship and had eaten with the Gentiles until he told them why he’d done it.

    v. 19-21: Believers traveled far and wide and spread the message of the Good News to Jews and Greeks and many Gentiles turned to the Lord and were saved.

    v. 22-24: The church in Jerusalem sent Barnabas to Antioch and, because he was kind, strong in faith and full of the Holy Spirit, hundreds… maybe even thousands of people turned to the Lord.

    v. 25-26: Found this passage very interesting…
    Barnabas went to Tarsus, found Paul (wonder when his name changed?), brought him back to Antioch and both stayed for a full year (Wow!) and taught the many new converts (still wondering about the number of new converts— no specific number/number range given – only described as “many” and “large numbers”). Wow! – Antioch is the first place where *believers* were called “Christians.”

    v. 27-30: Side Note –This passage was extremely interesting because it brought to mind the COVID-19 crisis in the U.S.A. (and the world) right now.
    Some prophets traveled from Jerusalem to Antioch… One of them (Agabus) prophesied that a famine was coming to Israel (*the prophecy was fulfilled during the reign of Claudius)… So, the Antioch believers decided to send relief to the Judean Christians, each believer gave as much as they could (Wow! Such selflessness!), and they entrusted their gifts to Paul and Barnabas to give to the elders of the church in Jerusalem.

    71 degrees under a clear sky in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,
    Regina

  221. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks for that résumé, Regina.

    The following I found encouraging, from Twolisteners,
    That is Jesus talking to them:

    April 24 – I Go Before

    You can never perish, My children, because within you is the Life of Life. The Life that down the ages has kept My servants, in peril, in adversity, in sorrow.

    Once you are born of the Spirit, that is your Life’s breath. You must never doubt, never worry, but step by step, the way to freedom must be trodden. See that you walk it with Me.

    This means no worry, no anxiety, but it does not mean no effort. When My Disciples told Me that they had toiled all night and taken nothing, I did not fill the boat with fishes without effort on their part. No! My Command stood. “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.”

    Their lives were endangered, the ship nearly sank, the help of their fellows had to be summoned, and there were broken nets to mend. Any one of these troubles might have made them feel My help was not for them. And yet as they sat on the shore and mended those nets, they would see My Love and Care.

    Man rises by effort

    The man who reaches the mountain height by the help of train or car has learned no climber’s lesson. But remember this does not mean no Guide — this does not mean that My Spirit is not supplying wisdom and strength. How often, when sometimes you little know it, do I go before you to prepare the way, to soften the heart here, to overrule there.

    “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish.” John 10:28

  222. SFDBWV says:

    Glenna told me of a joke she seen Tim Allen share with his audience last evening.

    Tim standing in an aisle at the supermarket of empty shelves where toilet paper was supposed to be stacked.

    Said “wow this coronavirus thing most have scared the crap out of people.”

    Steve

  223. SFDBWV says:

    If you want an Easter smile, go to “YouTube” watch and listen to “He’s Alive” written and sung by Dolly Parton.

    Steve

  224. jeff1 says:

    That was beautiful and uplifting, thank you, Steve.

  225. bratimus says:

    Acts 12

    I’ll see where the day takes me.

    In Christ Jesus name
    Bratimus

  226. SFDBWV says:

    You are welcome Viv. The first and every time I hear her sing that song it blesses me. I have heard many renditions of it, but only she does it credit.

    See all of you tomorrow.

    Steve

  227. Beloved says:

    If you look at the world,
    You’ll be distressed

    If you look within,
    You’ll be depressed

    But if you look at Christ,
    You’ll be at rest

    Corrie Ten Boom

  228. Regina says:

    Good Evening, All
    I pray all is well with you all. Just got word that my comment is awaiting moderation (sigh). I guess I typed too much. My summary of Acts 12 is in that comment. So, I’ll wait… in much anticipation that it will be allowed to post.

    Love to all…

  229. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning all. Reading Regina’s last post gave me a smile as awaiting is something in all of our lives.

    It is like we all have a yellow caution light at the intersection.

    I certainly am up early enough to comment, yet I await inspiration to do so. Some mornings that just doesn’t come until much later, if at all.

    The music I listen to helps. And certainly prayer.

    These days many of us wonder if we are at the door of the beginning of the tribulation, as all of this coronavirus and the events surrounding it sound all too familiar to the warnings from Scripture.

    But like that yellow caution light we have to wait. Looking always up for inspiration, direction and that Word from God, the green light.

    Going ahead of God is always a foolish mistake, just like taking a chance on a yellow light.

    I am sure that fear and confusion followed the crucifixion and not until Jesus proved to the Disciples that He had risen did they believe and experience the joy of the resurrection.

    Even for them the empty tomb wasn’t enough.

    Even after the resurrection Jesus had to continue teaching them, and continues to teach us to this hour.

    Looking forward to that “after” when it is all finished, all finished.

    37 degrees and foggy. Still no hummingbirds nor bees.

    Steve

  230. jeff1 says:

    John 20:24-29 24Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the LORD!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 26A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28Thomas said to him, “My LORD and my God!” 29Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

  231. 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.[2]

  232. foreverblessed says:

    Beautiful song!

    This Thomas,
    Last week I heard a sermon about it, the preacher paused at John 20:28

    My Lord and my God
    Curios and Theos in Greek

    Thomas was so convinced, overwhelmed with awe, and amazement: This was Jesus, His Savior, His Rest, His Fortress!!!

    And the preacher paused, and tears appeared in his eyes.

    That was Thomas’ day, that he saw Jesus.

  233. Beloved says:

    Jesus the greatest inspiration!

    Truth For Life
    Daily Update
    April 25
    Spurgeon
    Open the Door
    If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him.

    Revelation 3:20
    What is your desire this evening? Is it focused on heavenly things? Do you long to enjoy the high doctrine of eternal love? Do you desire liberty in very close communion with God? Do you aspire to know the heights and depths and lengths and breadths of His love? Then you must draw near to Jesus; you must get a clear sight of Him in His preciousness and completeness: you must view Him in His work—in His role as prophet, friend, and king—and in His person. He who understands Christ, receives an anointing from the Holy One, by which He knows all things. Christ is the great master-key of all the chambers of God: There is no treasure-house of God that will not open and yield up all its wealth to the soul that lives near to Jesus.

    Are you saying, “I wish that He would live in my heart and make it His dwelling-place forever”? Open the door, beloved, and He will come into your soul. He has been knocking continually in order that you and He may break bread together. He eats with you because you provide the house or the heart, and you with Him because He brings the meal. He could not eat with you if it were not in your heart, you finding the house; nor could you eat with Him, for you would have an empty table if He did not bring the food with Him.

    Fling wide, then, the portals of your soul. He will come with that love that you long to feel; He will come with that joy into which you cannot work your poor depressed spirit; He will bring the peace that now you do not have; He will come with His flagons of wine and sweet apples of love and will cheer you until you have no other sickness but that of overpowering, divine love. Only open the door to Him, drive out His enemies, give Him the keys of your heart, and He will live there forever. What wondrous love that brings such a guest to dwell in such a heart!

  234. jeff1 says:

    Love divine, all loves excelling,
    Joy of heaven to earth come down;
    Fix in us thy humble dwelling;
    All thy faithful mercies crown!
    Jesus, Thou art all compassion,
    Pure unbounded love Thou art;
    Visit us with Thy salvation;
    Enter every trembling heart.

    Breathe, O breathe Thy loving Spirit,
    Into every troubled breast!
    Let us all in Thee inherit;
    Let us find that promised rest.
    Take away our bent to sinning;
    Alpha and Omega be;
    End of faith, as its Beginning,
    Set our hearts at liberty.

    Come, Almighty to deliver,
    Let us all Thy life receive;
    Suddenly return and never,
    Never more Thy temples leave.
    Thee we would be always blessing,
    Serve Thee as Thy hosts above,
    Pray and praise Thee without ceasing,
    Glory in Thy perfect love.

    Finish, then, Thy new creation;
    Pure and spotless let us be.
    Let us see Thy great salvation
    Perfectly restored in Thee;
    Changed from glory into glory,
    ‘Til in heaven we take our place,
    ‘Til we cast our crowns before Thee,
    Lost in wonder, love, and praise.

  235. SFDBWV says:

    Whereas I don’t tweet, twitter or text I do, do crossword puzzles and one of the often used answers to the clue when too much is said is simply “TMI” (Too much information).

    I am broaching this subject in response to Bratimus’ comments that there are things in his past he just don’t want to share publicly.

    I get it, there are things that I don’t share either and won’t. It is wise of you Bratimus to know what to share and what not to.

    But what I do share are those times in my life when “I seen Jesus” or perhaps said better, when Jesus showed up and revealed Himself to me.

    Early in my adult rebirth and return to our faith an old friend, Susan Eaton had this advice for me.

    When God does something for you tell it.

    Tell it because it may inspire others, tell it because it may encourage others, tell it because it excites you, tell it because by doing so you publicly give praise and credit to God for it.

    The Holy Spirit will know when to tell it. As well as present the proper time and place to do so.

    But tell it.

    For the time being it may just be enough said that we all fall short of the glory and all are in need of our Lord and Savior Jesus of Nazareth the Messiah.

    Steve

  236. bratimus says:

    The little funny things is, this moment in time that we are in, trying to make the days not seem like the same one over and over again. Even remembering the day of the week, have to think about that one for a moment. As the yellow light and red light was brought up. It just reminds me that every thing is done in God’s appointed time as His will goes. WE could be in a holding pattern until all the lights come on for the landing. Some bulbs might need to be screwed back in. Ears hear, Eyes see and feet walk.

    Will be reading Acts 13 today, will wait to she if Regina’s post shows up first.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  237. bratimus says:

    As far back as I can remember, I have known Christ Jesus or better said Christ Jesus has known me. I had my share of stumbles in my walk, I had my share of weight on me to doubt my faith. With most of my past you would just had to have been there. Their were people there, what I have went through in my past was done in the past for the past and for those that might have been around in my past.

    Knowing all about Christ Jesus, past, present and what is to come will help so many.

    Knowing my past won’t help with the present or the future. Knowing me now or reading what I might be thinking about might help a few, and them in turn might help a few more. I’m not keeping a score or a count. I’m just walking in faith here. One needs to understand their limits and what is important I have today. The past is over and tomorrow isn’t here yet. I know my limit I can’t travel through time, maybe see ahead a little. Looking behind might make you stumble today.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  238. foreverblessed says:

    That was lovely, the Spurgeon sermon on opening the door of your soul to Jesus,
    “You, depressed soul, let Him in”
    Seeing Jesus
    And the “in between” time

    John the Baptist had seen Jesus,

    “But life can catch up on you”
    cited from Bill Crowder, on -in Pursuit of Jesus- discover the word, April 1
    John knew who Jesus was,
    Jesus had preached:
    Luke 4
    And here was John sitting in jail, and he was not released. Jesus did not free him from that physical jail.
    And John started to doubt.
    “You doubting soul, let Him in”

    I wanted to say somthing about the endtime events.
    Jesus told about this in Matthew 24:3-14, some of us have already mentioned it, weeks ago:

    When you see wars and rumours of wars, don’t be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.

    I have written in my bible, next to Matthew 24:3-14 the 1-5 th Seals of Revelation 6.
    The four horsemen
    The first horse is white, and its rider held a bow, this stands for conquerers people bent on conquest. As the rulers of the earth have conquered ever since Jesus left the earth.
    That first horse has been riding a long time.
    One of them is Charlemagne, who made Europe one, but with the sword.
    The second horse is a fiery red horse. Its rider was given power to take peace from earth and to make men slay each other.
    This has happened, century after century.
    This horse has been riding over the earth ha long time.

    The third horse is a black horse, Its rider was holding apair of scales in his hands, that stand for hunger. Famines have been widespread too.

    And the fourth horse is pale horse, its rider was named Death, people dieing of sword famineand plague and by the wild beasts of the earth.
    Here is the plague mentioned, and the plague has been around too.
    In the 14th century it swept over the earth, and over Europe, killing a quarter of the population.
    Someone send me a picture of the plagues going around, spreading over the whole earth
    1817 the Cholera
    1918 the Spanish flu
    2019 the Corona

    These are the 4 horsemen riding the earth, as Jesus said
    Do not be alarmed, these things must happen.
    (Jesus did not say that He makes them happen, they must happen, that is what He says)

    Then there is the 5th seal, the persecution, of the souls because of the Word of God, and the testimony they had maintained.
    That has been going around too, especially the first few centuries, when Rome as still pagan. Till Constantine the Great came, and made the christian faith the state religion. 313 AD
    Jesus talks about that persecution in Matthew 24:9

    So I find that the apostle John gets a vision in Revelation 6, what Jesus had described in His story of the endtime.

    Jesus gives also some advice as to what to do, in the mean-time,
    the in between time
    Matthew 24:42-51
    Therefore keep watch, because you know not on what day Your Lord will come.

    That keeping watch:
    I try to watch on Jesus, who He is, taking the time now to follow the -in Pursuit of Jesus- series on Our Daily Bread.

    There I found the story of doubting John the Baptist.
    And I found some more things that touched my heart, but this maybe getting too long.

    (Bratimus, you are going fast through Acts, I have still to digest lots from the conversion of Cornelius, and how much the apostles held on to tradition, ow sweet the Holy Spirit acted to teach them)

  239. Beloved says:

    Everything that makes one depressed can be brought to Jesus-even the seemingly mundane days of our lives which are more than the few days of revelation trauma or insight we receive. Being in the valley is where Christ was on earth- He teaches us how to live out these mundane days; (although to the media everyday is mountain top insightful, lol).

    I watched a very good press conference by two doctors in California talk about the downside of isolating from others is that it actually weakens our immune system and predicted that illnesses are going to rise when we come together again. That the only ones that should quarantine are sick people. Just as those with flu should. They said because of this they are seeing an uptake of child abuse- molestation and spousal abuse due to lack of work, drinking boredom self esteem. If anyone wants to see it I’ll post it. It came from a Christian YouTube channel.

  240. bratimus says:

    Forever, I can take the weekend with Acts 13, lol.

    I actually have some tare hunting to do out on the property, that will keep me busy this weekend. lol

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  241. Regina says:

    Ok, BTA friends, re: my comment from yesterday, here’s
    Part 2:

    April 24, 2020 11:30? pm

    I’ve just finished reading Acts 12, and here’s my take away…
    Acts 12 —

    v. 1-2: King Herod had some of the believers arrested as a form of persecution, and he had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword (can only imagine the emotional pain and heart break the other believers felt (especially John) when James was put to death—very sad in the natural realm — glorified God in the spiritual realm).

    v. 3-4: The Jews approved of James’ death, so Herod also had Peter arrested and put in prison. Peter was guarded by four squads of four soldiers each (Why so much police power for just one man? Who can break through steel bars, and who would challenge men with swords?). Peter’s arrest occurred during the Festival of Unleavened Bread. Peter’s public trial was scheduled for after the Passover.

    v. 5-7: The church earnestly prayed for Peter. The night before his trial, he was sleeping between two soldiers and prison guards were blocking the entrance. An angel of the Lord appeared in the cell, hit Peter on his side, woke him up, and said, “Get up!” The chains fell off Peter’s wrists.

    v. 8-10: The angel told Peter to put on his clothes, sandals and cloak, and follow him out of the Prison. Peter thought he was seeing a vision. Peter and the angel passed two guards and the gate opened for them by itself (Wow!). They walked down one street, and the angel left him.

    v.11-15: Peter realized that he was not seeing a vision, and that the Lord had rescued him from Herod’s clutches (Wow!). Then, he went to the house of Mary, mother of John Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying. Peter knocked and Rhoda came to the door, recognized Peter’s voice, was so excited she forgot to open the door, and told everyone that Peter was at the door. The people didn’t believe her and told her she was crazy (she didn’t have time or energy to be offended—she had to do her best to convince them). After much effort on Rhoda’s part, the believers thought she saw his angel? (Wow! Isn’t it amazing at how little faith the people had? Even though they were asking GOD—the Creator of all—to rescue Peter?)

    v.16-19: Peter kept knocking… when the believers opened the door they were astonished (why did they doubt God’s willingness to help in their time of trouble?). Peter described how the Lord brought him out of prison, asked that John and the other brothers/sisters be informed of his release and left them to go to another place. The next day, the soldiers were astonished that Peter was gone. Herod tried his best to find Peter, was unsuccessful, questioned the guards, and ordered their execution. Then, he left Judea and stayed in Caesarea.

    v.20-25: (Herod’s downfall? He didn’t realize that “if you live by the sword, you die by the sword.”)
    Herod quarreled with the people of Tyre and Sidon; the people gained the support of Blastus, the King’s personal servant. The citizens of Tyre and Sidon asked for peace because they were economically dependent on trade with the King’s country for their food supply. Herod addressed the people… allowed them to say (and ultimately believe in their heart) that he was a god… he didn’t give praise to the true and living God… an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died (talk about a horrible death! Smh. SO grateful for godly wisdom!). Barnabas and Paul returned to Antioch with John Mark.

    April 25, 2020: 67 degrees and sunny in my neck of the woods…

  242. poohpity says:

    C.S. Lewis spoke just as did the writer of “Amazing Grace” about the joy they felt when they first believed. It was surprising to the atheist Lewis. John in Revelation 2:4 the joy of that first love. Over time I have found I take so much for granted and pray often for God to rekindle my love and joy for Him like when I first began this journey. To set my heart on fire once again.

    1
    Amazing grace! how sweet the sound,
    That saved a wretch; like me!
    I once was lost, but now am found,
    Was blind, but now I see.
    2
    ’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
    And grace my fears relieved;
    How precious did that grace appear
    The hour I first believed!
    3
    The Lord hath promised good to me,
    His word my hope secures;
    He will my shield and portion be
    As long as life endures.
    4
    When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
    Bright shining as the sun,
    We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
    Than when we first begun.

  243. jeff1 says:

    This beautiful hymn also speaks of the beauty and love that God surrounds us with and speaks volumes today.

    1 For the beauty of the earth,
    for the glory of the skies,
    for the love which from our birth
    over and around us lies.

    Refrain:
    Christ, our Lord, to you we raise
    this, our hymn of grateful praise.

    2 For the wonder of each hour
    of the day and of the night,
    hill and vale and tree and flower,
    sun and moon and stars of light, [Refrain ]

    3 For the joy of human love,
    brother, sister, parent, child,
    friends on earth, and friends above,
    for all gentle thoughts and mild, [Refrain]

    4 For yourself, best gift divine,
    to the world so freely given,
    agent of God’s grand design:
    peace on earth and joy in heaven. [Refrain]

  244. Beloved says:

    Amen

  245. foreverblessed says:

    Today, I will wait on what you guys say about Acts 13. I read it, and it is a beautiful history of the growth big the church. For me no difficult things, as was in Cornelius story, where the Holy Spirit dealt with traditions Peter had held.
    The Spirit showed that they had to let go of traditions, wrongly interpreted views of the Bible, of the Torah.
    How deep entranched the apostles still were in the Old Covenant way of life, the Torah.
    If was not only wrong interpretations of the Torah:
    The Spirit wants to go further than that:
    Living IN Christ means we need no Torah, we have the very very personal guidance of the Living Christ in us.
    But the Spirit teaches step by step.
    Here comes in the story of Saul/Paul. God was able to show through Paul how all- encompassing was this Life of Christ in us.
    But…. If we hang on to traditions, God does not condemn us, as He did not condemn me. But I find Paul so interesting, Paul got to see the full intent of the Torah: it was needed to bring us to Christ, now that we are in Christ we need it no more,
    We now have Christ

    Utmost talks today also about our convictions of what we think God is telling us, needs to be purified, ( with Abraham and the “sacrifice” of Isaac, which I find a hard to understand lesson, other than that Abraham was a type of God the Father offering His Son)
    But the gest of what Chambers say today is the same that Mart wants to say of us:
    Say about God in the light of what happened from Good Friday-Tesurrection Sunday:

    The God Who goes into great length to save mankind.
    God does not want Abraham to kill his son.
    Neither does God want to kill his Own Son.
    Don’t get me wrong: God does not want to kill His Son, because God requires it.
    But because our lostness requires it.
    Our fallen state requires it.
    God redeemed us by the blood of the Lamb.
    Not that God required blood, but because we need the cleansing of the blood.
    I ought not to say harsh things about God, not about the Cross, not about the current pandemic.

  246. jeff1 says:

    In my personal struggles, and, I have had my fair share, Jesus has turned up enough times for me to know He is present and He cares.

    However, in the wider community and world I have more questions than I have answers.

    Though, I try myself, to live in the present, as my head so desires I am surrounded by people who will not let go of the past and that is because many have been hurt deeply by it and it has become part of who they are.

    Though I should not speak for them I believe that many of then believe that God has forsaken them because their words sometimes reflect their deeper thoughts.

    I understand their pain because I lived through Northern Ireland’s darkest days but I have come out the other side having learned that God is not only all knowing but He is all good and what a blessing it is for me to know that in today’s world.

    Blessed be Your name
    In the land that is plentiful
    Where Your streams of abundance flow
    Blessed be Your name

    And blessed be Your name
    When I’m found in the desert place
    Though I walk through the wilderness
    Blessed be Your name

    Every blessing You pour out
    I’ll turn back to praise
    When the darkness closes in, Lord
    Still I will say

    Blessed be the name of the Lord
    Blessed be Your name
    Blessed be the name of the Lord
    Blessed be Your glorious name

    Blessed be Your name
    When the sun’s shining down on me
    When the world’s all as it should be
    Blessed be Your name

    Blessed be Your name
    On the road marked with suffering
    Though there’s pain in the offering
    Blessed be Your name

    Every blessing You pour out
    I’ll turn back to praise
    And when the darkness closes in, Lord
    Still I will say

    Blessed be the name of the Lord
    Blessed be Your name
    Blessed be the name of the Lord
    Blessed be Your glorious name

    Oh, blessed be the name of the Lord
    Blessed be Your name
    Blessed be the name of the Lord
    Blessed be Your glorious name

    You give and take away
    You give and take away
    My heart will choose to say, Lord
    Blessed be Your name, Lord

    You give and take away
    You give and take away
    My heart will choose to say, Lord
    Blessed be Your name

    You give and take away
    You give and take away
    My heart will choose to say, Lord
    Blessed be Your name

    Blessed be the name of the Lord
    Blessed be Your name, I’ll find a way to say
    Blessed be the name of the Lord
    Blessed be Your glorious name

    Blessed be the name of the Lord
    Blessed be Your name
    Blessed be the name of the Lord
    Blessed be Your glorious name

    Blessed be Your name, from the risin’ of the sun over us
    To the settin’ of the same, though there’s pain in the offering
    Oh, blessed be Your name
    Blessed be, blessed be, blessed be Your Holy name

  247. poohpity says:

    Yes forever! It is only when we become conscience of our sin do we seek forgiveness and restoration. Rom 3:20 NLT.

    The person who thinks they are godly and may judge their selves by thinking they are not that bad really does not understand their condition before God and therefore usually are not that excited about the Grace that God has shown them. Luke 7:47 NLT So the after is not much different than the before.

  248. poohpity says:

    A good illustration or example of that is found in the parable Jesus taught from in Luke 18:

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

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

  249. SFDBWV says:

    I am amused at how vendors use a catchy headline to grab your attention, albeit on TV or internet or in the printed press.

    They aren’t the only ones who learn that we seldom read anything in depth, usually just the headlines or the highlights.

    The news media have become as expert at is as are the snake oil salesmen who have used it for ages.

    However it seemed to me to come up this morning on ODB video “What do you need from God”.

    What do I need from God made me think of what is it I ask of Him, what is it I think I need from Him.

    Here, now, in the future and in eternity.

    Of course if you seen the video it is about “grace”.

    But that wasn’t where my mind went when I just scanned over the heading.

    The little lesson this morning opened my thoughts up to several areas. First of all just exactly what do I want from God? Right now?
    As well as showing me just how our minds say to us something totally different then what is written before us.

    How we can make what we read say what we want it to say.

    If you listen enough to enough people and read books by as many, you begin to see that, that also applies to everyone and every subject especially the Scripture.

    Read every word from Genesis to Revelation and then ask yourself what is it I would ask God to do with respects to what you’ve just read. What did you learn or get from reading it? What is it you want to happen in that eternal future?

    I think what you may learn is that in every word you read you are looking for that outcome you already hope in your heart for. And a way of confirming it to yourself.

    Even if you say you surrender your will to God it is a way of gaining something for yourself. You cannot escape it.

    48 degrees wet and damp today.

    Still no hummingbirds, nor bees.

    Steve

  250. foreverblessed says:

    What ODB video fo you refer to?
    How can I find it?
    When I go to odb.org
    I get the reading of today

    Our Father is singing
    He . . . will rejoice over you with singing.
    Zephaniah 3:17

    What do I do to see a video?

  251. foreverblessed says:

    “Our Father sings”

  252. poohpity says:

    I have absolutely found without a doubt that the thinking of human beings is no where in what God teaches. When I read from Genesis to Revelation I learned that God is way bigger than anything I could have ever imagined and more than any catch phrase could do Him justice. Beyond my human thoughts. I know His view of this world is beyond my grasp or understanding. If the only thing that I got out of reading the bible is the love God has for His creation then I have a wonderful starting point. I got that He wants a relationship with mankind so He made a way. Beyond that the only thing I want from Him is His forgiveness, love and grace. If I have that then I am filled to overflowing into eternity.

    forever, I thought that was amazing too about God singing over us that was another new one for me too!!

  253. poohpity says:

    I wonder if some people read the bible or come to Him to get some physical need satisfied NOT because of who He is?

  254. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed I get a daily video from Our Daily Bread in my email. I don’t know why you don’t. Maybe Mart can help.

    I get a different subject video every morning.
    Have you ever sinned? Assuming the answer is yes, then you need grace. Thankfully Jesus came so that we have access to this gift from God. Today’s video encourages you to receive the grace God has so freely given.

    That is what is written as a lead in to the video.

    Steve

  255. Beloved says:

    What do you need from God? Spurgeon has this to say:

    Truth For Life

    April 26
    Dangers of Our Day
    Blessed is the one who stays awake.

    Revelation 16:15
    “I die every day,”1 said the apostle. This was the life of the early Christians; they went everywhere with their lives in their hands. We are not at this time being called to pass through the same fearful persecutions: if we were, the Lord would give us grace to bear the test. But the tests of Christian life, at the present moment, though outwardly not so terrible, are still more likely to overcome us than even those of the fiery age.

    We have to bear the sneer of the world—that is small; its flatteries, its soft words, its oily speeches, its fawning, its hypocrisy are far worse. Our danger is that we might grow rich and become proud; we might give ourselves up to the fashions of this present evil world and lose our faith. Or if wealth does not test us, worldly care is quite as mischievous. If we cannot be torn in pieces by the roaring lion, we may be hugged to death by the bear.

    The devil cares very little which it is, as long as he destroys our love for Christ and our confidence in Him. I am afraid that the Christian church is far more likely to lose her integrity in these soft and easy days than in those rougher times. We must stay awake now, for we are crossing enchanted ground and are most likely to fall asleep to our own ruin, unless our faith in Jesus is a reality and our love for Jesus an ardent flame. Many in these days of easy-believism are likely to prove to be tares, and not wheat; hypocrites with attractive masks on their faces, but not the true-born children of the living God.

    Christian, do not think that these are times in which you can dispense with watchfulness or with holy ardor; you need these things more than ever, and may God the eternal Spirit display His omnipotence in you, that you may be able to say, in all these softer things as well as in the rougher, “We are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”2

    1) 1 Corinthians 15:31
    2) Romans 8:37

  256. foreverblessed says:

    Deep calls to deep
    Says the Psalm

    In hardship we grow, but happily, it is not always hardship.
    I also had to think about the 10 virgins: ALL of them fell asleep.

    I did not subscribe for the ODB mail.
    I thought everything could be found on their website. But apparently it isn’t.

    What do we want from God, you asked.
    That is what the book of Job is all about, to my knowledge.
    The devil accusing men for seeking God: for what they get out of it.
    And God is absolutely convinced that Job is not like that.
    Job does not love God for what hd gets out of it….in the end.
    But if is a real trial, for Job is on a tipping point, to blame God, for not blessing him while he was serving God.
    How the change in Job occurs, and how God did it, is still a great miracle to me.
    All of us will start as a Christian,with what we get out of it
    And just as Job, we will go through a cleansing of our motives, and we will think no longer about what we get out of it, we see that that reasoning is of the old man.
    And it must die.

    That is my understanding.

    Apostle Paul started right of, knowing that he had to suffer greatly for the sake of Christ. So he got through that stage, – what will I get out of it- real fast.
    He was willing to give everything up
    to gain Christ.

    To be one in Christ, is all that he wanted.

  257. Beloved says:

    When I was a new Christian I wanted peace with God and life eternal. Both good and just desires, but as troubles came I became too focused on my particular wants and in imploring God for even good things I found out that without the agreement of others involved God does not always give us what we want. I found out that in the world troubles would continue and continue they did and do. Yet our life is much more than things and relationships, it’s the often mysterious will of God I needed to lean to accept by faith. God has given me faith to keep following Him. It’s all good. I understand Jobs struggle because as he learned also the will of God is as mysterious to man as are His ways and abilities. Mart describes a love that endured the worst to give us all the best. A loving relationship with Him.

  258. Beloved says:

    The love of God is greater far
    Than tongue or pen can ever tell
    It goes beyond the highest star
    And reaches to the lowest hell
    The guilty pair, bowed down with care
    God gave His Son to win
    His erring child He reconciled
    And pardoned from his sin

  259. street says:

    Before and After
    loved the posts and made me smile to see God touching your hearts and mine.

    before and after….thinking of job again and rc sproul. thinking of job meeting God like isaiah. with as much trauma as job went through being confronted with God’s holiness undid him even more. it led him to confession silence and trust. peeking across the isle at a HOLY LOVING REDEEMING LORD. The Lord Who forgives and Sanctifies by a Holy Spirit. sent out to intercede for his friend’s. thinking about abraham’s faith and obedience. he knew God enough to listen and obey. familiar with the voice of God. a friend of God.

  260. jeff1 says:

    Thinking of how it must delight God when I put Him first and be His friend as much as He is mine.

    Everybody needs a little help sometime
    No one stands alone
    Makes no difference if you’re just a child like me
    Or a king upon a throne
    For there are no exceptions
    We all stand in the line
    Everybody needs a friend
    Let me tell you of mine
    ——-
    CHORUS:
    He’s my forever friend
    My leave-me-never friend
    From darkest night to rainbow’s end
    He’s my forever friend
    ——-
    Even when I turn away He cares for me
    His love no one can shake
    Even as I walk away He’s by my side
    With every breath I take
    And sometimes I forget Him
    My halo fails to shine
    Sometimes I’m not His friend
    But He is always mine
    ——-
    REPEAT CHORUS:
    If you still don’t know the one I’m talking of
    I think it’s time you knew
    Long ago and far away upon a cross
    My friend died for you
    So if you’d like to meet Him
    And don’t know what to do
    Ask my friend into you heart
    And He’ll be your friend too
    ——-
    REPEAT CHORUS:

    He’s My Forever Friend
    My leave-me-never friend
    From darkest night to rainbow’s end
    He’s my forever friend

  261. Beloved says:

    Benefits of our friendship with God are eternal. I just read this from Desiring God:

    So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16)
    Which doesn’t mean that we pretend that afflictions are not afflictions. Trouble is trouble. Pain is pain. Hurt is hurt. Bringing eternity into view doesn’t make our sufferings themselves any less painful, but it steadies our souls to rightly appropriate the pain. In light of eternity, and the stunning, indescribable magnitude of the glory to come, we do not lose heart.
    In view of eternity’s duration, our pains are but momentary. In view of heaven’s glorious weight, our afflictions are light. In view of the coming joy, our pains will one day prove to have been almost insignificant — except in that they worked for us the eternal glory that we then will enjoy, and increasingly so, forever.

  262. foreverblessed says:

    “Thinking of how it must delight God when I put Him first and be His friend as much as He is mine.”
    “Desiring God”

    I wrote a long comment, but it is lost in cyberspace.
    As others have said, following Jesus, but things go not as we want it.
    Jesus has a plan, but we don’t understand it.
    All though we have the stories in the Bible, that could instruct us how wide God’s purpose is.

    Like Job…
    God’s purpose in his ordeal was to show the evil spirit world that love is unconditional.
    God was going to show them through Job, that love is not:
    Getting for yourself.

    Real love gives without expecting anything back.
    Unconditional.

    God loves us unconditional.
    Whatever we do, He loves us.
    But, being a friend of Jesus has conditions.

    IF… we follow Him

    He does not demand us to follow Him,
    If….
    (I got that from Oswald Chambers, the IF… thing)
    There are strings attached in following Jesus:
    It means giving up the right to ourselves. We have given the right over us to Jesus. We have said: You are Lord over me.
    And then we bump up to the inclinations of our old self:
    The tit for tat reaction,
    The who does he think he is kind of thinking
    The worrying.
    The fear
    Each person has her/his own phantoms to overcome, with the resurrection power of Jesus
    And in faith we keep looking up to Jesus.

    Sorry for making it so long.
    Hope you have a nice day.
    We have “Kingsday”, the birthday of our king, ( the king is only a ceremonial function, he has no power)

    Koningsdag = Woningsdag
    Koning= king
    Woning = home

    Je had a good speech. He is a sort of a father figure for the nation.

  263. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed I think your response and post at April 26 2:55 pm is simply superb.

    Thank you for that teaching.

    It just may be nearly impossible to live in this world, have a family, a job, pay bills, have friends, love and be loved and not be concerned with the wellbeing of them all. And so just like here among us, pray to God for their wants/needs.

    It sort of goes along with that old question, is it alright for a man to steal bread to feed his loved ones if they are starving?

    Is it alright then to ask God for personal things such as the wellbeing of the people we love?

    Philippians 4:4-7 KJV indicates we can and should.

    As you Foreveblessed raised the story of Abraham and the ordered sacrifice of his beloved son Isaac, earlier. It does seem God wants us to sacrifice all we love for Him. However instead of asking us such a painful decision, He provides a replacement sacrifice of Himself.

    Paul say’s it is better for us not to marry so we can devote all of our energies to serving God. But if we all did that and succeeded in evangelizing the entire world humanity would die out from never having another generation.

    Clearly that can’t be God’s will.

    It could be Jesus’ sacrifice has more meaning than we imagine and fully understand.

    35 degrees with snow flurries this morning.

    Steve

    I see as I am about to post Foreverblessed you have posted again this morning, I will read it and devote some time to it after I post.

    Steve

  264. jeff1 says:

    Day by day and with each passing moment,
    Strength I find to meet my trials here;
    Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
    I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
    He whose heart is kind beyond all measure
    Gives unto each day what He deems best–
    Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
    Mingling toil with peace and rest.

    Ev’ry day the Lord Himself is near me
    With a special mercy for each hour;
    All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me,
    He whose name is Counselor and Pow’r.
    The protection of His child and treasure
    Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
    “As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,”
    This the pledge to me He made.

    Help me then in eve’ry tribulation
    So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
    That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation
    Offered me within Thy holy Word.
    Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
    E’er to take, as from a father’s hand,
    One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
    Till I reach the promised land.

  265. SFDBWV says:

    Viv I love your “songs”. I often wish I could keep things simple in my mind, but that isn’t how I am put together.

    The last stanza of your song mentions reaching the Promised Land, I can’t help but remember Israel had to take, subdue, defeat and conquer it before they could inhabit it.

    Wondering if that isn’t what Jesus has done for us so we can enter it in peace?

    Foreverblessed I again enjoyed your post this morning and if I may be allowed to offer a blessing to your country’s King on his birthday, I do.

    Steve

  266. jeff1 says:

    Steve, we are all different and I have to keep things simple in my mind otherwise I get confused and fret over everything.

    I am a born worrier and that is because I am more my mother’s daughter than my dad’s.

    I believe we are complete in Christ whatever our walk on earth but it was my dad who taught me to keep my focus on Jesus and the cross because I think he knew to do otherwise would cause confusion among us.

    I don’t think he was wrong there for if we do not see that the Gospel is about Jesus then we loose sight of who God is.

    It troubles me that people have so many different interpretations of God today and I believe it has come about because many do not hold to my dad’s discipline of keeping the cross before their eyes.

    Because we have not done this we have brought about disunity in the Body of Christ.

    I wouldn’t have thought that is what God wants but that’s just my thinking and I could be wrong.

    Jesus gives me the peace now in the midst of my time on earth so that as the song says:

    That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation
    Offered me within Thy holy Word.

    and I would agree Christ is our peace until we enter the promised land.

    I am so glad you enjoy the songs I share as they do my heart good and so hope they do the same for yours.

  267. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All

    I pray that you (and your family) are well. I’m doing great. Got some morning chores done, and I’m ready to share my thoughts on Acts 13. Here’s my take away…

    Acts 13 – (I put the verses in groups of five and I highlighted the key points)…

    v. 1-5: Barnabas, Simeon, Lucius, Manaen and Saul were prophets and teachers in the church at Antioch. Symeon was called, “The Black Man” in two translations and Niger in two different translations of the Bible. The Holy Spirit chose Saul and Barnabas for special work, and John Mark was their helper.

    v. 6-10: Saul, Barnabas and John Mark met a Jewish Sorcerer named Bar-Jesus in Paphos.
    Serguis Paulus (the proconsul) sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God.
    Elymas the sorcerer opposed Barnabas and Saul because he didn’t want the proconsul to become a believer. Paul exposed Elymas as a messenger of Satan.

    v. 11-15: Paul prophesied that Elymas would become blind (for a time) and he did. The proconsul saw what happened and became a believer. Paul, Barnabas and John Mark went to Perga, and John Mark left them and went back to Jerusalem. Paul and Barnabas left Perga and went to the synagogue in Pisidian Antioch. The Jewish leaders invited them to address the people.

    v. 16-37: Paul taught Jewish history (the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ) in the synagogue in Pisidian Antioch.

    v. 38-40: Paul explained that Jesus Christ has the power to forgive the sins of all who believe in him. He explained that Jesus’ power to forgive sins is a justification that they couldn’t obtain under Jewish law.

    v. 41-45: Paul and Barnabas were invited to come back to the synagogue… large crowds gathered when they returned… the Jews became jealous… they began to contradict Paul’s teachings… the Jews cursed and argued against whatever Paul said.

    v. 46-49: The Jews rejected God’s word… Paul and Barnabas preached to the Gentiles… many (?) Gentiles became believers (that is, all who desired to be disciples of Jesus Christ).

    v. 50-52: The Jewish leaders incited a mob against Paul and Barnabas… Paul and Barnabas shook the dust off their feet against that town and went to Iconium. Their converts were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.

    78 degrees and mostly sunny in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,
    Regina

  268. street says:

    Wondering if that isn’t what Jesus has done for us so we can enter it in peace?

    Psalm 84:4-6

    4
    How blessed are those who dwell in Your house!
    They are ever praising You.

    5
    How blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
    In whose heart are the highways to Zion!
    6
    Passing through the valley of Baca they make it a spring;
    The early rain also covers it with blessings.

    But the path of the upright is a highway. Proverbs 15:19b

    Proverbs 16:17
    The highway of the upright is to depart from evil;
    He who watches his way preserves his [a]life.

    22 The Lord will strike Egypt, striking but healing; so they will return to the Lord, and He will respond to them and will heal them.

    23 In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrians will come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.

    24 In that day Israel will be the third party with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth,

    40 “Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God.
    2
    “Speak [a]kindly to Jerusalem;
    And call out to her, that her [b]warfare has ended,
    That her [c]iniquity has been removed,
    That she has received of the Lord’s hand
    Double for all her sins.”

    3
    A voice [d]is calling,
    “Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness;
    Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.
    4
    “Let every valley be lifted up,
    And every mountain and hill be made low;
    And let the rough ground become a plain,
    And the rugged terrain a broad valley;
    5
    [e]Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
    And all flesh will see it together;

    Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel,
    “My way is hidden from the Lord,
    And the justice due me [z]escapes the notice of my God”?
    28
    Do you not know? Have you not heard?
    The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth
    Does not become weary or tired.
    His understanding is inscrutable.
    29
    He gives strength to the weary,
    And to him who lacks might He increases power.
    30
    Though youths grow weary and tired,
    And vigorous young men stumble badly,
    31
    Yet those who [aa]wait for the Lord
    Will gain new strength;
    They will [ab]mount up with [ac]wings like eagles,
    They will run and not get tired,
    They will walk and not become weary.

    10
    “They will not hunger or thirst,
    Nor will the scorching heat or sun strike them down;
    For He who has compassion on them will lead them
    And will guide them to springs of water.
    11
    “I will make all My mountains a road,
    And My highways will be raised up.
    12
    “Behold, these will come from afar;
    And lo, these will come from the north and from the west,
    And these from the land of Sinim.”

    6
    On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen;
    All day and all night they will never keep silent.
    You who remind the Lord, take no rest for yourselves;
    7
    And give Him no rest until He establishes
    And makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
    8
    The Lord has sworn by His right hand and by His strong arm,
    “I will never again give your grain as food for your enemies;
    Nor will [g]foreigners drink your new wine for which you have labored.”
    9
    But those who garner it will eat it and praise the Lord;
    And those who gather it will drink it in the courts of My sanctuary.

    10
    Go through, go through the gates,
    Clear the way [h]for the people;
    Build up, build up the highway,
    Remove the stones, lift up a standard over the peoples.
    11
    Behold, the Lord has proclaimed to the end of the earth,
    Say to the daughter of Zion, “Lo, your salvation comes;
    Behold His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.”
    12
    And they will call them, “The holy people,
    The redeemed of the Lord”;
    And you will be called, “Sought out, a city not forsaken.”

    a people not forsaken, children of God. thinking of the narrow gate and the tree up rooted and cast into the sea. casting the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. entering the narrow gate if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.

  269. Beloved says:

    So encouraging

  270. Beloved says:

    Hebrews4

  271. Beloved says:

    A speaker from Ligonier said this morning we need to hear the gospel every day. oh yes I do believe that! It just puts such joy into my heart and mind!

  272. bratimus says:

    So we start on Acts 14 give that a few days

  273. street says:

    I hope you, beloved, have joyful blessing of the Lords presents on your birthday. street

  274. Beloved says:

    Thank you I plan on it!

  275. street says:

    “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning” (Winston Churchill, 1874–1965).

  276. foreverblessed says:

    (I send your song to my friend, Jeff, and I want to keep it in my heart myself.)

    What a story that Acts 13. And what a growth of the church!
    I also enjoyed all the prophecies Street gave. In the future it will be all true, would I be stunned as were the disciples when Peter showed up at their doors? A miracle happened and the could hardly believe it?!

    “How blessed are they that dwell in Your house!
    They are ever praising You.”
    Psalm 84:4

    Is it allright then to ask God for personal things such as the wellbeing of the people we love?
    Phil 4:4-7 indicates we can and should,

    What I find about this is that Jesus wants to personally lead each one of us.
    He wants a very intimate relation with each person (sayint the same thing in antother way, Ha ha. (The guidelines were not to repeat)
    Is it allright to ask for personal things..
    Jesus will answer each one of us, in our own personal situation.
    I remeber having prayed for my extended family, during a family weekend, for my nephews and nieces, praying on and on. Till I heard God say to me: It is enough, I have heard you. And then something else happened, and God showed me to pray for total strangers, that I came in contact with. I got the notions that God was saying: Stop praying for your family, I want you to pray for other people.
    But that was a personal message to me.

    To each one of us Jesus is saying something personal.

    The apostle Paul asked for a personal thing, and the Lord answered him: (it was for Paul):
    My Grace is sufficient for you.

    What an answer, and the ailment of Paul was not healed, while Paul prayed for others and miracles happened, like in Acts 13:11-12 ,well that was a sort of anti-miracle for the man involved, Elymas,I hope that he was saved after all.
    What a story!
    Paul was in this thing like Jesus:
    As He hang on the Cross, people shouted:
    “Let Him save Himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.”
    Luke 23:35

    So Paul was like Jesus, Jesus did not save Himself from the Cross, and still was the chosen One, the One who would save mankind just because of that Cross.

    You say, Steve, “Ït could be Jesus’ sacrifice has more meaning than we imagine and fully understand”

    I read a book, :The seven wonders of the Cross, by Wilkinvd Kamp.
    It is a beautiful book, that Jesus was bleeding 7 times, just as in the Festival of the Day of Atonement, the priest had to sprinkle seven times the blood before the atonement cover, on the ground
    Seven times the blood of Jesus fell on the ground-
    Carefully going through the the last 18 hours of Jesus’s life, it is such a deep experience.
    You can see where the blood was flowing:
    By His stripes we are healed, the scorging on his back by the flogging, brings healing, that one I knew.
    The Spirit in Him received the stripes, so when Jesus gave up the Spirit it was te Spirit that had received stripes that were able to bring us healing. That is a Spiritual mystery to me, but it is one thing I believe in.
    And the moment the nails went through his hands and feet, and was hung on the Cross, for the firgiveness of our sins, that one I knew. Even thought the depth of this is much much deeper than I can get right now.

    But there are otheres moments His blood flowed:
    First in Gethsemane, the blood in the sweat… what does that mean?
    But what struck me the most, was the blood streaming because of the crown of thorns being put on His head:
    The thorns standing for the consequences of sin, Gen 3:17-19 “cursed is the ground it will produce thorns and thistles for you”

    Jesus blood was flowing so that the curse of our sins would be carried by Him.

    Oh, how we could Praise Him for His Salvation, How far and wide and deep His salvation is, even if we do not yet see it fully, it is on its way, and will be full.

    How blessed are they that dwell in Your house,
    They are ever praising You.

  277. jeff1 says:

    Forever, I am drawn to these songs like a fish is to water and it is a mystery I do not understand but then I have grown accustomed to God surprising me in more ways than one.

    It does my heart good to share them and hear that they comfort and assure others as they do myself.

    This prayer seems to fit where your left off….They are ever praising You….

    Gloria, gloria, in excelsis Deo.

    1 Glory to God in the highest,
    and peace to his people on earth.
    Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father,
    we worship you, we give you thanks,
    we praise you for your glory.

    Gloria, gloria, in excelsis Deo.

    2 Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
    Lord God, Lamb of God,
    you take away the sins of the world:
    have mercy on us;
    you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
    receive our prayer.

    Gloria, gloria, in excelsis Deo.

    3 For you alone are the Holy One,
    you alone are the Lord,
    you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
    with the Holy Spirit,
    in the glory of God the Father.
    Amen.

    Gloria, gloria, in excelsis Deo.

  278. foreverblessed says:

    Singing that song of Praise, Jeff.

    I said “thank you” to Steve for the blessing of our king Willem Alexander, but this comment was also lost in cyberspace.
    God knows.

  279. poohpity says:

    It seems that even people that do not have a relationship with God, the before, often cry out to ask for things especially when they are sacred and have their back against a wall but do they ever thank Him for anything, the after?

  280. jeff1 says:

    With Grateful Heart

    With grateful heart my thanks I bring,
    Before the great Thy praise I sing;
    I worship in Thy holy place
    And praise Thee for Thy truth and grace;
    For truth and grace together shine
    In Thy most holy Word divine,
    In Thy most holy Word divine.

    I cried to Thee and Thou didst save,
    Thy Word of grace new courage gave;
    The kings of earth shall thank Thee, Lord,
    For they have heard Thy wondrous Word;
    Yea, they shall come with songs of praise,
    For great and glorious are Thy ways,
    For great and glorious are Thy ways.

    O Lord, enthroned in glory bright,
    Thou reignest in the heavenly height;
    The proud in vain Thy favor seek,
    But Thou hast mercy for the meek;
    Through trouble though my pathway be,
    Thou wilt retrieve and strengthen me,
    Thou wilt retrieve and strengthen me.

    Thou wilt stretch forth Thy mighty arm
    To save me when my foes alarm;
    The work Thou hast for me begun
    Shall by Thy grace be fully done;
    Forever mercy dwells with Thee;
    O Lord, my Maker, think on me,
    O Lord, my Maker, think on me.

  281. Beloved says:

    More than Conquerors
    Song by Rend Collective

    When my hope and strength is gone
    You’re the one who calls me on
    You are the life
    You are the fight
    That’s in my soul
    Oh, Your resurrection power
    Burns like fire in my heart
    When waters rise
    I lift my eyes
    Up to Your throne
    We are more than conquerors, through Christ
    You have overcome this world, this life
    We will not bow to sin or to shame
    We are defiant in Your name
    You are the fire that cannot be tamed
    You are the power in our veins
    Our Lord, our God, our Conqueror
    I will sing into the night
    Christ is risen and on high
    Greater is He
    Living in me
    Than in the world
    No surrender, no retreat
    We are free and we’re redeemed
    We will declare
    Over despair
    You are the hope
    We are more than conquerors, through Christ
    You have overcome this world, this life
    We will not bow to sin or to shame
    We are defiant in Your name
    You are the fire that cannot be tamed
    You are the power in our veins
    Our Lord, our God, our Conqueror
    Nothing is impossible
    Every chain is breakable
    With You, we are victorious
    You are stronger than our hearts
    You are greater than the dark
    With You, we are victorious
    Nothing is impossible
    Every chain is breakable
    With You, we are victorious
    Jesus, you are stronger than our hearts
    You are greater than the dark
    With You, we are victorious
    Nothing is impossible
    Every chain is breakable
    With You, we are victorious
    You are stronger than our hearts
    You are greater than the dark
    With You, we are victorious
    We are more than conquerors, through Christ
    You have overcome this world, this life
    We will not bow to sin or to shame
    We are defiant in Your name
    You are the fire that cannot be tamed
    You are the power in our veins
    Our Lord, our God
    We are more than conquerors, through Christ
    You have overcome this world, this life
    We will not bow to sin or to shame
    We are defiant in Your name
    You are the fire that cannot be tamed
    You are the power in our veins
    Our Lord, our God, our Conqueror

    Songwriters: Chris Llewellyn / Gareth Gilkerson

  282. Beloved says:

    Corona
    Got a trailer? Mn hog farmers are begging people to buy their hogs because meat packing plants closed due to high virus amongst workers. They are selling very cheap. Sorry off topic but maybe you know someone who could use a whole pig for about $100! Otherwise they will have to euthanize them.

  283. Beloved says:

    Interestingly the reason the virus is high in these plants is because most of the workers are from other countries and do not speak the language so are not understanding about social distancing and visiting relatives in our largest cities on weekends. Also the pay is good and don’t want to report they are sick until they can’t work. Thus the plants are closed now. I just thought this was interesting how our mixed culture has its own problems. Just like on the blog, lol, sometimes.. But we serve a common God Christ Jesus!

  284. foreverblessed says:

    Oh, yes, Beloved, Mart said he appreciates it if we talk about what happens around us. In our news it was said that in Belgium they’ve asked their people to eat french fries twice a week now. As there is a pile of patatoes of 500.000 kilo’s.
    Otherwise that will rot away.
    What a great amount of food we all eat together! Wow.
    French fries is the Belgian speciality. Sometimes we just drive over the border, and get it.
    Impossible now. Belgium has much tighter rules than we have. Police there can stop your car, and if you can’t prove your goal is essential, you get a fine.
    But they have just as many sick people per million as we have.
    The Swedish people are even much relaxed, they don’t understand how the rest of Europe is dealing with the virus, as we have to come out of it sometime. How do you get out of a lockdown and not have a next high? That is how the Swedish reason.

    May God have mercy,
    And may the Christian’s grow more Christlike, and unify more in Christ.

  285. Beloved says:

    I just read about Belgium French fries! I read too about the practice of “herd” mentality in Sweden and have seen many doctors online saying it’s best. What to do? Our country is struggling with is the cure- isolating- worse than the disease because many small businesses are dying out from this.

  286. Beloved says:

    My grandson will not have his high school graduation this year but has been finishing up online. I’m so proud of him- he’s very smart and is going to study mechanical engineering at college next fall; hopefully colleges will be open then as ALL schools are closed now.

  287. Beloved says:

    Not herd mentality but herd immunity!

  288. street says:

    Before and After
    dear forever was thinking about what john had witnessed at the cross after Jesus died. a guard thrust a spear into Jesus chest to prove he had died. so he would not have to break His legs, to much work and the fulfillment of prophecy. john wrote that water and blood flowed from that moment. thinking this was the moment of incredible significance for us. cleansing life began. even though it was unnoticed by the world. it is like the water that flows from the Thrown of God in heaven. where it is ankle deep and then goes up to the chest and then you could swim in it. it goes on to say that you could not cross it. i think it is the time the train of His robe,Righteousness crossed the threshold of the Temple in heaven and began to cover His children. even given a new Spirit. a Spirit foreign to the world. given a hope of a new home. thinking of Ephesians 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead [f]in our transgressions, made us alive together [g]with Christ , 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

    2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    (by grace you have been saved)

  289. street says:

    John 3:5
    Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

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

    John 6:44
    No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

    John 12:24
    Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

    John 15:4
    Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.

  290. Beloved says:

    I’ve always been fascinated by the “water” that flowed from Jesus’s side. It made me think of baptism, which was used as a sign of cleansing by the Jews also (John the Baptist). The word “fountain” in the following verse makes me think of flowing cleansing water and also the waters of the Sea of Reeds the Israelites were saved by in their exodus from Egypt. On Jews For Jesus site I read this :

    ‘”And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son…On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity”

    Zechariah 12:10;13:1

    On that day all the Jewish people will know that Jesus truly is our Messiah. Zechariah 14:3 tells of his return, when his feet will actually stand on the Mount of Olives. The Jewish people will see him return; they will mourn for his previous sufferings and rejection, and they will then give him their unqualified allegiance and receive God’s perfect eternal cleansing.

    That time could come very soon, according to what the Bible teaches. In the meantime however, every individual, Jewish or Gentile, must have this cleansing from God through Messiah’s sacrifice. Isaiah 64:6 teaches that “…all our righteous acts are as filthy rags.” For this reason, it’s not enough to try to keep the Law, or to go to the mikveh, or to do acts of charity and kindness (mitzvot). Jesus the Messiah has provided God’s acceptable way of cleansing. He said:

    “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”

    John 14:6 ‘

  291. Regina says:

    Good Evening, All
    I pray that you (and your family) are well. I’m doing great. Someone gave me a mask to protect my face about a month ago, but the ear straps are too big. So, I thought I was gonna have to buy one from one of my neighborhood mask manufacturers, but I talked to my sister today and she told me that she had an extra mask. We met up for a quick mask exchange (it was great to see her… I hadn’t seen her in a while) and chat. The mask she gave me is really nice, but she said it won’t last forever.

    bratimus, thank you for the “one chapter a day” idea. I wasn’t thinking about studying the Bible one chapter at a time because the “Bible Plan in one Year” requires more than one chapter a day. So, I’ve always been a little intimidated by those requirements, and you helped me to be ok with scaling it back. I so appreciate you sharing your Bible study plan with us! :-)

    Ok, I’ll share my take away on Acts 14 in about 45 minutes to 2 hours.

    88 degrees and partly cloudy (with a 90% chance of rain) in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,
    Regina

  292. Beloved says:

    Regina I think that’s so great you are studying scripture along with Bratimus! God knows what we need :-)

  293. Regina says:

    Ok, Enjoyed reading Acts 14! :-) Here’s my take away…

    Acts 14—

    v. 1-7: Paul and Barnabas went to the synagogue in Iconium and preached with such power that *many (…a thousand? …ten thousand? …one hundred thousand?) Jews and Gentiles “believed.”
    The Jews who didn’t want to hear God’s message stirred up distrust (among the Gentiles) and said all sorts of evil things about Paul and Barnabas.
    Paul and Barnabas didn’t care about that. They stayed… preached boldly in the name of the Lord… and the Lord gave them power to do *great* miracles. Some of the people supported the Jews… some of the people supported Paul and Barnabas.
    Paul and Barnabas learned of a plot to incite a mob to stone them… they fled for their lives… went to other cities and preached the Good News.

    v. 8-15a: While they were in Lystra, the Lord used Paul to heal a man who had been crippled from birth.
    When the people saw the miracle, they decided that Barnabas was the Greek god, Jupiter (“Zeus” in another Bible translation) and Paul was Mercury (“Hermes” in another Bible translation).
    The priest of the Temple started preparing a sacrificial offering for the apostles, but Paul and Barnabas ripped their clothes and ran among the people shouting, “We are merely human beings like yourselves!!”

    v. 15b-22: The apostles explained to the people that they came to bring them the Good News… to invite them to turn from the worship of foolish things… and pray to the living God who made heaven, earth, the sea and everything in them.
    The apostles explained to the people that it was God who did kind things for them… God gave them rain, good crops, good food and gladness.
    UNBELIEVABLY! Even after Paul and Barnabas explained the heart of God to the people, they could scarcely restrain them from sacrificing to them!
    SHOCKINGLY! Some Jews (from Antioch and Iconium) turned the crowds into a murderous mob that stoned Paul, dragged him out of the city and left him for dead.
    AMAZINGLY! As the believers stood around Paul, he got up and went back into the city! He (and Barnabas) left the next day and went to Derbe. They preached the Good News in Derbe, and made many disciples.
    Then, they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch… helped believers grow in their love for God and each other… encouraged the people to be faithful to God in spite of persecution…reminded them that they must enter into the Kingdom of God through many tribulations …

    A Bible verse came to mind… Psalm 34:19, ESV “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”

    v. 23-28: Paul and Barnabas appointed elders in every church… prayed (with fasting) for them… turned them over to the care of the Lord…
    Paul and Barnabas traveled back through Pisidia, Pamphylia… preached again in Perga and went to Attalia. Then they returned (by ship) to Antioch.
    Upon arrival they called together the believers and reported on their trip, telling how God had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles too. They stayed in Antioch (with the believers) for a long while.

  294. bratimus says:

    Regina your welcome about the chapter a day I might even slow it down to a chapter every few days. Few reasons for this.

    I didn’t do this to read the Bible in a year, sometimes it is good to slow down at time and really read the Bible.

    I started Acts after Easter, do to the fact that during this pandemic thing, many Church buildings have been shut down. In Acts there where no Christian church building at the time. It is a way of showing WE are the church and we don’t need a building. WE can go through the Word of God together the hope is this blog could reach to the ends of the Earth.

    When are reach has been chained metaphorically, God can find away to help us reach. That is the hope, this is the faith and it is all about the Love of Christ Jesus.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  295. jeff1 says:

    How good to see that God works in and through us today as He did in days of old, our unchanging God in an every changing world.

    How Great Thou Art

    Oh Lord my God when I in awesome wonder
    Consider all the worlds thy hands have made
    I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder
    Thy power throughout the universe displayed

    When Christ shall come
    With a shout of acclamation
    And take me home what joy shall fill my heart
    Then I shall bow in humble adoration
    And there proclaim my God how great thou art

    Then sings my soul my savior God to thee
    How great thou art
    How great thou art
    Then sings my soul my savior God to thee
    How great thou art, how great thou art

  296. bratimus says:

    Acts 15

  297. Beloved says:

    Stimulus checks: one way to spread the gospel with eternal rewards!

  298. poohpity says:

    Is it of any worth to give that which cost us nothing?

  299. foreverblessed says:

    Acts 14:1
    Iconium
    In my Bible I have written a note, that the word Iconium had something to do with
    Propitiation
    Iconium a Greek word meaning:joined to
    1 John 2:2
    Hebrews 5:7 supplication

    Paul and Barnabas had this message of Jesus’ sacrifice for us.
    They must have been inspired by this word.
    Iconium is modern day Konya in Turkey. Inlands, just above Antallia. We have many flights from an airport in Eindhoven to Antallia, well not these days.

  300. bratimus says:

    Stimulus check, what is that, lol

  301. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Street, the words on the water and blood, are profound.
    Jesus’ sacrifice goes soooo much further than we can imagine.
    Beautiful words,
    John wrote
    Jesus came with water and blood not only with water,
    I often wondered what that meant.
    Still lots to see of Jesus’ life for me

  302. street says:

    …it has not yet been revealed what we shall be… —1 John 3:2

    from oswald chambers today.

    i wait too!

    a hope and wait that will not disappoint.

  303. Beloved says:

    but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.

    I think we will be surprised

  304. Regina says:

    Good Afternoon, All

    I pray that you (and your family) are well. Wow! street and beloved! You beat me to it… I meant to comment earlier regarding how good My Utmost… is today! I was truly blessed by that devotional this morning! Was SO blessed by it that I want to share the entire devotional right here…

    “Gracious Uncertainty” (Oswald Chambers)

    …it has not yet been revealed what we shall be… —1 John 3:2

    Our natural inclination is to be so precise– trying always to forecast accurately what will happen next– that we look upon uncertainty as a bad thing. We think that we must reach some predetermined goal, but that is not the nature of the spiritual life. The nature of the spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty. Consequently, we do not put down roots. Our common sense says, “Well, what if I were in that circumstance?” We cannot presume to see ourselves in any circumstance in which we have never been.

    Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life– gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and do the task He has placed closest to us, He begins to fill our lives with surprises. When we become simply a promoter or a defender of a particular belief, something within us dies. That is not believing God– it is only believing our belief about Him. Jesus said, “…unless you…become as little children…” (Matthew 18:3). The spiritual life is the life of a child. We are not uncertain of God, just uncertain of what He is going to do next. If our certainty is only in our beliefs, we develop a sense of self-righteousness, become overly critical, and are limited by the view that our beliefs are complete and settled. But when we have the right relationship with God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy. Jesus said, “…believe also in Me” (John 14:1), not, “Believe certain things about Me”. Leave everything to Him and it will be gloriously and graciously uncertain how He will come in– but you can be certain that He will come. Remain faithful to Him.

    Was also blessed by the “Wisdom from O.C.,” and I compared and contrasted it to what Steve said about the “in-between”…

    Steve said (April 21, 2020 at 6:15 am), “Want to remind some of us that in dealing with a “before and after” there is an in-between that has to occur as well.”

    and

    Oswald Chambers wrote, “It is in the middle that human choices are made; the beginning and the end remain with God. The decrees of God are birth and death, and *in between* those limits man makes his own distress or joy.”

    Good, thought provoking words from Steve and O.C…

    forever, What a “tasty” guideline of having to eat fries twice a day! I love french fries! :-) And you’re right about Sweden… The people there don’t wear masks and they’re not social distancing… like beloved said, they’re trying to develop “herd immunity.”
    beloved, I heard (on the news) about the pig issue too, but on the news, last night, Pres. Trump said that many of the meat packing plants did not have to close. So, some of the farmers are breathing (at least) a small sigh of relief.
    jeff1, you blessed my soul again with the song, “How Great Thou Art!” Your sharing of songs is such a blessing to people who are apart of your life. I think the Lord gives you songs in your spirit as a ministry to others. And the song, “How Great Thou Art” has a special place in my heart because it’s the one that I chose to sing at my dearly beloved brother’s funeral. He passed away in 2015, and no one in the family knew that he needed to take much better care of himself (he didn’t even know he was unhealthy because he was trying to be health conscious). He died due to a heart ailment, and he was only 46 years old.
    bratimus, thank you for sharing why you chose the Book of Acts for your Bible reading plan, and it’s ok if we slow it down to one chapter per every few days. Just let me know how long you want to stay on a particular chapter. We’re on chapter 15 today, so if you want to stay on that chapter until Friday that’s fine with me (I’m sure forever would be okay with it too).

    79 degrees and sunny in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,
    Regina

  305. jeff1 says:

    Regina, my mum bought me a long playing record of Elvis called ‘His Hand In Mine’ when I was around 10 years old and that was my introduction to gospel songs.

    When I struggle in my faith or with life I turn to songs as I have always had difficultly with English and comprehension so I am not into reading.

    I am very sorry to hear of your brother dying so young. I too had a brother who died in 2011 at 61 of a heart attack.

    Yes, songs will always bring me close to God as they reassure me of His presence and bring me peace of mind and I want that others feel that too.

  306. foreverblessed says:

    To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring.

    That is actually the same thing as the question:
    What do we want from God?

    We want to BE with God no matter what.
    That is kind of hard now, in these trying times, we do not know how the world will develop.

    But it was hard for Paul and Barnabas too!
    Haha, Regina, it is OK, I am still chewing Acts 13 and 14.

    But Paul had abandoned everything so as to gain Christ.
    They preached the Gospel, they always started in synagogues. I like it that they preserved a speech, in Acts 13, that Paul gave in the Antioch of Pisidia, (above Attalya)
    It is a speech for the Jews, starting with the history of Israel. (Was thinking about how the Spirit has to inspire how to preach the Gospel, to a crowd that has no knowledge of the Bible. Billy Graham’s speeches were different, but the essence remains the same: the Gospel of Jesus Christ)
    I really like the apologetics preachers like Ravi Zacharia, and John Lennox, ( you talked about him Beloved I do not remember what point you had about him)
    But here are Paul and Barnabas on their first journey.
    In Antioch, they were invited again to the synagogue, Acts 13:42-43.

    During that week P&B talked with them and urged them to continue in the Grace of God.
    Through the Cross of Christ.
    And on the next Sabbath, almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. Wow, that looks like the Billy Graham evangelisation!
    I was reading a commentary, who said:
    At this time the 4 Gospels had not been written yet.
    Paul was personally instructed by Jesus.
    They knew to shake of the dust of their feet, Acts 13:51
    As the Jews stirred up the …women of both standing… Oops, that is a warning, take notice of being set up against another group, growing hostility towards others, ,
    …and the leading men of the city.
    First are the women mentioned, the commentator said: the news worked through the women to the men.
    O dear.
    But they had a city with many new believers, Antioch in Pisidia.
    Paul an Barnabas had been expelled
    …and they were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

    The new believers were not at all sad!!! They were so thrilled with joy, and the Holy Spirit! And the were left without leading men appointed. But the Holy Spirit was so near to them

    But they came back to that city, Acts 14:21-23, and appointed elders, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord in whom they had put their trust.

    This story of Acts has me kept busy, thanks Bratimus and Regina.

    Have a wonderful day, you too, Steve, with the ones you love,
    This day is the day the Lord is with us again, everything is alright because He is with us.

  307. foreverblessed says:

    Women of high standing ( sorry, not both standing, didn’t do a check to see what the auto-correct did to my typing)

    But the point that I see isca warning:
    women, do not be sensitive to be stirred up against other sort of people, and expel them out of your city.

    Rather, pray for them “Lord have mercy”

  308. foreverblessed says:

    Last week I got a call for praying for the Islam people, during their Ramadan, and the advice was to start praying in thankfulness:
    Thank God that they are here!
    Praying and fasting was the call!

  309. jeff1 says:

    foreverblessed says:
    April 30, 2020 at 2:16 am

    To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring.

    I know not the path set before me but I know who walks beside me.

    In holy pages, this truth can be found.
    A promise to stand on when darkness abounds.
    Oh right never loses, and wrong never wins.
    And grace will always be greater than sin.
    Grace will always be greater than sin.
    Calvary has proven it time and again.
    Whatever you’ve done, wherever you’ve been–
    God’s grace will always be greater than sin.
    Broken and bruised from the choices you’ve made,
    Sin has a price and so often you’ve paid.
    Oh but Jesus is waiting, new hope is in Him.
    And grace will always be greater than sin!
    Grace will always be greater than sin.
    Calvary has proven it time and again.
    Whatever you’ve done, wherever you’ve been–
    God’s grace will always be greater than sin.
    Grace, grace, God’s grace–
    Grace that is greater than all my sin!
    Whatever you’ve done, wherever you’ve been–
    God’s grace will always be greater than sin!

  310. jeff1 says:

    I Know Who Holds Tomorrow

    I don’t know about tomorrow
    I just live for day to day
    I don’t borrow from the sunshine
    For it’s skies may turn to gray

    I don’t worry o’er the future
    For I know what Jesus said
    And today I’ll walk beside Him
    For He knows what lies ahead

    Many things about tomorrow
    I don’t seem to understand
    But I know who holds tomorrow
    And I know who holds my hand

    Ev’ry step is getting brighter
    As the golden stairs I climb
    Ev’ry burden’s getting lighter
    Ev’ry cloud is silver lined

    There the sun is always shining
    There no tear will dim the eye
    At the ending of the rainbow
    Where the mountains touch the sky

    Many things about tomorrow
    I don’t seem to understand
    But I know who holds tomorrow
    And I know who holds my hand

  311. poohpity says:

    Paul was a great example of one who shares the Gospel by telling what he was like before and then after meeting Jesus. He then understood the grace of God in his life which caused him to be full of joy and gratefulness. As Paul said, “Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS again I say rejoice,”! No matter the circumstances he faced and some were pretty harsh to say the least.

  312. street says:

    14
    “Glory to God in the highest,
    And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

    when God is Glorified/Exalted there is peace and good will among men. A Kingdom.

    Christ before us, Christ behind us, Christ beside us, Christ above us, and Christ beneath us. The Foundation of creation. to be immersed in His love, before and after. A God not absent, Emmanuel.

  313. Beloved says:

    Inescapable love comes to mind. A kingdom of priests with ample opportunity for all of humankind to join in. Today, if hearts are not hardened, today is the day because we have today at hand. This is the day that the LORD has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!

  314. Beloved says:

    Come, Thou Fount of every blessing
    Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
    Streams of mercy, never ceasing
    Call for songs of loudest praise
    Teach me some melodious sonnet
    Sung by flaming tongues above
    Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it
    Mount of Thy redeeming love

    Here I raise my Ebenezer
    Here there by Thy great help I’ve come
    And I hope, by Thy good pleasure
    Safely to arrive at home
    Jesus sought me when a stranger
    Wandering from the fold of God
    He, to rescue me from danger
    Interposed His precious blood
    Oh, that day when freed from sinning
    I shall see Thy lovely face
    Clothed then in the blood washed linen
    How I’ll sing Thy wondrous grace

    Come, my Lord, no longer tarry
    Take my ransomed soul away
    Send Thine angels now to carry
    Me to realms of endless day
    Oh, to grace how great a debtor
    Daily I’m constrained to be
    Let that goodness like a fetter
    Bind my wandering heart to Thee
    Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
    Prone to leave the God I love
    Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it
    Seal it for Thy courts above
    Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it
    Seal it for Thy courts above

  315. bubbles says:

    I’ve tried reading Oswald Chambers many times and his writing has never made any sense. It’s too far over my head and leaves me with frustration, which turns to anger due to frustration because I cannot understand anything I have read in his writings. I just don’t get him.

  316. Beloved says:

    Bubbles if it’s any consolation I myself have been reading my utmost for about 25 years or so and have gotten new books because I marked up old ones till they fell apart and I still don’t understand everything He says. He was very close to God and also a student of Spurgeon led to start his own Bible college. Not all are called to do what he did but all are equipped to do what we are called to do- what God lays in our hands individually to do, I believe. That’s probably more than you wanted to know as I do tend to go on sometimes. Resting after getting my heart rate up vacuuming. 😀

  317. street says:

    bubbles all of us are in the same boat when it comes to God. He reveals Himself at His Own pleasure. He calls us to seek Him, a person through His Son. we only love because He first poured out His love into us. there is no one like Him, yet we will be conformed to the image of His Son. it does not appear what we shall be. a treasure of highest price hidden in earthen vessels. to be broken like alabaster perfume jar. prepared in death for life eternal, abundant in Christ Jesus.

    blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

    i to have trouble with oswald chambers, yet he takes me place i have never been before. even so, let Jesus be your guide. The Good Shepherd of your soul. mart is doing the same thing with his posts. i do thank you mart and the people who share. grace and peace be with you.

  318. bubbles says:

    Oswald Chambers’ writing was not inspired of God like Scripture was.

    The Bible does not confuse me like Chambers’ writing does. He makes absolutely no sense. I’m not wasting my time trying to read what he says.

  319. Regina says:

    Good Evening, All

    I pray that you (and your family) are well. bubbles, sometimes I struggle to understand O.C.’s writings too, but I do believe that his writings are and were inspired of God. I have received and understood deep spiritual truths from his writings. That being said, sometimes Chambers will write something that I consider to be a “hard saying.” …something so spiritually challenging that it goes above my level of spiritual understanding.

    For instance (and I would suggest you read Matthew 25:14-30 in at least two different translations in order to better understand this statement), in this My Utmost… devotional titled, “Can a Saint Falsely Accuse God?” O.C. wrote…

    “The servant justified himself, while condemning his lord on every point, as if to say, “Your demand on me is way out of proportion to what you gave to me.” Have we been falsely accusing God by daring to worry after He has said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you”? (Matthew 6:33). Worrying means exactly what this servant implied— “I know your intent is to leave me unprotected and vulnerable.” A person who is lazy in the natural realm is always critical, saying, “I haven’t had a decent chance,” and someone who is lazy in the spiritual realm is critical of God. Lazy people always strike out at others in an independent way.”

    I considered the last part of this quote to be a “hard saying” because I struggled to understand what O.C. meant by, “Lazy people always strike out at others in an independent way.”

    So, my suggestion to you is when you’re trying to understand someone else’s writings—especially when they’re explaining the scriptures—you should pray first. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what the person is trying to convey. And you may have to back away from it for awhile, then, after a day or two, go back and re-read it again.
    After reading your comment (April 30, 2020 at 6:32 pm), I remembered reading some “hard sayings” in the Bible. I’ll share one here…

    John 6:53-56, NIV
    53) Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54) Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55) For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56) Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them.”

    This spiritual truth, revealed by Jesus, has to be understood with the help of the Holy Spirit. And just because a person doesn’t understand it immediately, or even after sometime, does not mean that s/he won’t ever understand it. One has to *pray* for revelation (and revelation may or may not come overnight). I hope my comment helps you, at least on some level.

    bratimus, I haven’t forgotten about Acts 15. Looking forward to reading it sometime between now and Saturday afternoon.

    74 degrees under a clear sky in my neck of the woods (Steve, wondering why there’s still no bees or humming birds in your neck of the woods)…

    Love to all,
    Regina

  320. bubbles says:

    Regina, inspired means that God breathed the Word. The Holy Spirit told the writers of Scripture what to write. It is written by God as He used men to write. OC writing is not the same as the Bible. His writing is about Scripture, but it is NOT Scripture, and there is a difference. The only Word of God we have is the Bible and that is it.

  321. foreverblessed says:

    The time between Acts 14 and Acts 15

    That is described in Galatians 1:1-2:21

    The new christians were full of joy, and filled with the Holy Spirit.
    Acts 13:52
    Acts 14:28
    And they stayed a long time there with the disciples.
    Galatians 2:1
    Paul said, fourteen years later he went to Jerusalem, being Acts 15.

    So in Antioch, the church was being ade in upheaval:
    You must be circumcised and keep the law of Moses as well.

    This chapter of Acts 15 is very well known to us.
    The intens discussion of what God was expecting from His children.
    It was veru very heated.

    In Gal 2:1-21
    Paul says that even after that conference in Jerusalem, Peter still was acting dubious when he came again in Antioch, Peter seperating himself from the gentiles, Peter who had clearly heard the instruction of the Holy Spirit in Acts10:1-48.
    It was a hard lesson to learn for the apostles, even Peter.
    Paul, who had been such a Judaiser, more than any of the apostles, had turned around more to Jesus message of the New Covenant.
    Paul was very very deeply convinced that the law of Moses was the Old Covenant, and that in fait in Jesus, there was new relation, not defined by law, but by leading of the Holy Spirit.
    To each one personally.

    So each one ought to kneel down and ask Jesus to explain what is meant for them. And not any devotion, or literal law out of the OT.

    I believe that Paul is more of a harsh teacher, than the apostles John, who focussed more on the love of Jesus, everything based on love.

    This is extra information, not for all needful:
    (But I got it that John kept to many of the old covenant laws, that the church in Ephesus was still keeping the Sabbath, and the yearly Sabbaths like the Passover on 14th of Abib. John taught Polycarp, and Polycarp taught
    from wikipedia on Polycarp:
    “According to Irenaeus, during the time his fellow Syrian Anicetus was Bishop of Rome, Polycarp visited Rome to discuss differences in the practices of the churches of Asia and Rome. Irenaeus states that on certain things the two bishops speedily came to an understanding, while as to the observance of Easter, each adhered to his own custom, without breaking off full communion with the other. Polycarp followed the Eastern practice of celebrating the feast on the 14th of Nisan, the day of the Jewish Passover, regardless of the day of the week on which it fell, while Anicetus followed the Western practice of celebrating the feast on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox. Anicetus allowed Polycarp to celebrate the Eucharist in his own church, which was regarded by the Romans as a great honor.”

    Polycarp taught Polycrates,
    who adhered too to the 14th nissan.
    See in wikipedia
    Quartodecimanism
    Polycrates of Ephesus

  322. foreverblessed says:

    The in-between time

    between the first love

    Acts 13::52
    The disciples were filled with joy andwith the Holy Spirit.

    even when Paul and Barnabas had departed, they felt not abandoned, the Holy Spirit was very near to them.

    About the before and the after, and Acts 13 to Acts 15
    The after of the christians who had the Gospel preached to them, was:
    Joy, and full of the Holy Spirit.
    That is called the first love

    But then….
    There comes a new phase.
    Testing of our faith,
    The Holy Spirit is not so close to us any more. It looks as if He has withdrawn. Lewis talks about that too.
    That is the newer phase that comes in:
    Do we also follow Jesus when vision is not vlear, when God is not showing Himself closely to us?

    And in that time, the -after- whe can get into a deep spiritual crisis, and we have to find that joy again, That joy of the first love.
    But the joy that comes after that testing time is a deeper joy, and a deeper love.
    Like the love of Job was tested, and found out to be even deeper than he had ever known.

    The deeper level of spirutility, as a christian.
    Lewis talks about that in his writings, that after the initial phase of a christian, everything is lovely, and full of joy, and then there is a time of silence, and no joy.
    In the God calling devotion this withdrawing of the Holy Spirit is explained as a mother who has a small child, the mother sometimes hides herself from the child, as a game, learning the little infant, that if it doesn’t see its mother, she still is there.

    I myself believe many of us, are in this in-between phase, of the first love, and the deeper next love.
    This is also why in the NT many times is written to:
    Hold fast.

    Where are we in our walk with Jesus

    Still on the move to the deeper love?
    The deeper love that we find after we have been down, and frustrated that God does not seem to hear us, as we feel abandoned, and feel despaired even about life itself?

    To the utmost of what we can bear…
    Like Job on the dustpile

    And then….
    Jesus appears

  323. jeff1 says:

    Just a Closer Walk With Thee

    I am weak but Thou art strong
    Jesus keep me from all wrong
    I’ll be satisfied as long
    As I walk, let me walk close to Thee

    Just a closer walk with Thee
    Grant it, Jesus, is my plea
    Daily walking close to Thee
    Let it be, dear Lord, let it be

    When my feeble life is o’er
    Time for me will be no more
    Guide me gently, safely o’er
    To Thy kingdom’s shore, to Thy shore

    Just a closer walk with Thee
    Grant it, Jesus, is my plea
    Daily walking close to Thee
    Let it be, dear Lord, let it be

  324. SFDBWV says:

    My favorite quote concerning Oswald Chambers is one in combination with a soldier he talked with in Cairo while Chaplin of the YMCA.

    The soldier, “I can’t stand religious people.” Oswald, “Neither can I.”

    There certainly was a lot to read this morning on BTA and all enjoyable.

    I have purposely been not saying anything for a couple day’s so as not to interfere with the discussion surrounding Acts. As long as you guys are enjoying it, go for it.

    I especially enjoyed Bubbles candid discloser about reading Oswald Chambers. A look in at Wikipedia about him may explain a lot.

    I have found that reading books written by Christian authors while intended to enlighten and encourage others sometimes just don’t “speak” to your particular needs at that time and so there is no connection made.

    I have also learned that intellectualizing Scripture can be equally confusing and the message lost somewhere in between its intent and what we may want to make of it.

    Yesterday the first and as yet the only hummingbird did show up in the yard, but still no bees. I suppose it is a result of the cold wet April we just experienced.

    Well a happy May Day to you all, and I hope every day this month you find blessings that overflow.

    Steve

  325. poohpity says:

    It seems the longer that a person is a believer the more for granted they take God. God never moves away it is always the believer who does that. Isn’t it the same with marriages? One spouse takes the other for granted rather than focus on the love they first had for each other and rekindle that to a deeper appreciation for the other rather than find the little things to be picky and judgemental about.

    bubbles you are correct why listen to others tell what they learned from scripture when each person has the scripture to read for themselves and because of the AFTER we also have the Holy Spirit to guide us into all the truths found in scripture. Sadly people would rather rely on another human being to share their limited thoughts and understanding from which they make loads of money doing so. But those authors learned from the same scriptures that are available to all. John 14:26, 16:13; 1 John 2:27

    1 Cor 2: But, as it is written,

    “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
    nor the heart of man imagined,
    what God has prepared for those who love him”—

    10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

    14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

    2 Tim 3: You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

  326. poohpity says:

    It would seem the enemies greatest weapon is to discourage people from reading God’s word or listening to the teaching of the Holy Spirit because through that people learn to discern that which is from God and that which is not. The enemy seems to laugh at the bible that is covered with dust and is never used that way people can be lead to all different kind of beliefs by relying on authors that say they speak on the Lord’s behalf yet do not know Him at all.

  327. Beloved says:

    Good morning folks! I thought this was such a lovely thought I wanted to share it. (Spurgeon)

    Truth For Life

    May 1
    The Beauty of Christ
    I am a rose of Sharon.

    Song of Solomon 2:1
    Whatever beauty there may be in the material world, Jesus Christ possesses all of that in the spiritual world to the nth degree. Among flowers the rose is regarded as the sweetest, but Jesus is infinitely more beautiful in the garden of the soul than a rose in the gardens of earth. He takes the first place as the fairest among ten thousand. He is the sun, and all others are the stars; the heavens and the day are dark in comparison with Him, for the King in His beauty transcends all.

    “I am a rose of Sharon.” This was the best and rarest of roses. Jesus simply is not “a rose”; He is “a rose of Sharon,” just as He calls His righteousness “gold,” and then adds, “the gold of Ophir”1—the best of the best. He is positively lovely, and superlatively the loveliest.

    There is variety in His beauty. The rose is delightful to the eye, and its scent is pleasant and refreshing; so each of the senses of the soul, whether it be the taste or feeling, the hearing, the sight, or the spiritual smell, finds appropriate gratification in Jesus. Even the recollection of His love is sweet. Take a rose of Sharon, pull it leaf from leaf, and place the leaves in the jar of memory, and you will find each leaf retains its fragrance, filling the house with perfume. Christ satisfies the highest taste of the most educated spirit to the full. The greatest amateur in perfumes is quite satisfied with a rose: And when the soul has arrived at her highest pitch of true taste, she will still be content with Christ; indeed, she shall be more able to appreciate Him.

    Heaven itself possesses nothing that excels a rose of Sharon. What emblem can fully set forth His beauty? Human speech and earthborn things fail to tell of Him. Earth’s choicest beauties combine to provide ultimately a feeble picture of His glory. Blessed rose, bloom in my heart forever!

    1) 1 Chronicles 29:4

  328. jeff1 says:

    I can only say that God has spoken to my heart much more than He has ever spoken to my head.

    It was my dad who had a head for God and his advice to me was to focus on Christ and His suffering for us.

    I don’t think he gave me bad advice as it is the message that never changes and so what ever I know, or don’t know, I know Christ died for my transgressions and that gives me peace of mind in my time on earth and joyful expectation of what is to come.

    In the meantime I thank God that I am free to practise my faith without fear or prejudice which many in other parts of the world do not enjoy.

    I don’t focus on what the enemy is doing but rather than Christ has overcome and is seated at the right hand of the Father and He will come again to judge both the living and the dead whose Kingdom will have no end.

    While the enemy can distract and cause mayhem in our battles he cannot diminish Christ’s power over Heaven and earth as it is at God’s command.

  329. poohpity says:

    Viv, that SOUNDS so ideal. Is that how you actually live? Isn’t it the work of the enemy that causes hate, prejudices and unforgiveness?

    So does one listen to Christ or are they distracted by the enemy? Yes Christ has power over the things that bind us but do we rely on Him to take care of those we deem as enemies?

  330. street says:

    thinking of lost soul going into a store to purchase things that will not help them. only increase hunger and thirst. broken cisterns, and drugs that do not heal.

    when love and truth came to you the first time, did you get angry with love and truth? it would be necessary to disarm , break down walls, open ears eyes and hearts for love and truth to enter. this is a work of God not man. man can speak the Words of God, but only God can morph a person. like on the way to the zoo. paul or peter said we are to speak as if God were speaking through us. in love and truth, Spirit and Truth. Worshipers, Witnesses, Children of God. Life Giving Spirits. second adam’s by Faith. sanctified in/by the Holy Spirit. first adam, second Adam, flesh vs. Spirit. grace and mercy for the first, grace and peace for and from the Second.

  331. Beloved says:

    I Corinthians 3:7
    King James Bible
    So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

  332. Beloved says:

    Viv I like what you said. Hold fast!!!

  333. foreverblessed says:

    Beloved, I saw that too, the morning and evening of May 1.
    First about My Utmost:

    Years ago I had given a copy of My Utmost to a friend, and after a year she told me, that whenever she read it, she felt condemnation.
    Then I gave her a copy of God calling, from twolisteners, that is to my view the same message, only written as an invitation, very very sweet.
    The overall idea is that we belong to Jesus, that we are intimately connected to Him, not to a cause, or a work, or a set of doctrines, but to Jesus Himself.

    Oswald writes to christians who are going into the mission field, very dangerous area’s, and he is preparing them for this hard mission, a chrisian who goes into the mission field, must be able to stand alone with Jesus, realising that their eyes are on Jesus.
    Steve added the article of qwiki, he ws of the Holindess movement.

    I remember a participant here on this blog, Kingsdaughter, who felt condemnation when she was reading the bible.
    That is also possible. 25 years ago, I had that same thing, but I did read the bible through a different form:
    Only in christian books that focussed ont the Grace part of the Gospel,
    if I would read my own bible, my eyes would fall on verses that drew me back into the Old Covenant thinking.
    Or the literal interpretation of what was before my eyes, in my case that was the keeping of the Sabbath, as a literal command, and then I would feel condemnation for not keeping the Sabbath literally anymore.
    But when I would have my eyes on Jesus, and be close to Him, it was allright, He was with me, and I was with Him.

    And that was enough.

    –—-

    I also like the morning and evening devotions of Spurgeon,
    Spurgeon is more encouraging, inviting and drawing us closer to Jesus.
    Oswald Chambers is harsh, but true to the Word of God.
    (I believe My Utmost is more for people who are very mature in their walk with Jesus, who have outgrown the milk phase and are in the meatphase. Who are being prepared to go on a mission field, without human help, but learning to depend solely on Jesus.)
    But Spurgeon is more sweet.

    Todays morning is about the cheecks of Jesus.

    I have been writing about the 7 times that Jesus was bleeding, one of them was the plucking out of the beard.
    I feel that this devotion was put on my path in ananswer to my quest to understand more of Jesus’ Cross.
    (as Mart was saying: Everything hangs on what happened between Good Friday and Resuurection Sunday.
    Or see everything through that viewpoint.)

    That Jesus’ beard was plucked out is not in the Gospels, but it is found in Isaiah 50:6

    I offered my back to those who beat me,
    my cheecks to those who pulled out my beard,
    I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting

    What is the essence of this bleeding?

    His cheecks are a bed of spices Song of Solomon 5:13

    Spurgeon is connecting this vers with the plucking out of His beard, Jesus showed His ceecks to the soldiers mocking Him, and I bet that Jesus turned His cheecks the other side, because Heknew what Spiritual Spices would come fo out that for His beloved children, the ones that would be saved and made whole by His sacrifice.
    It is a spiritual healing, comforting, taking care of the wounds, bringing spices to heal, wine and oil covering us.
    Like the Good Samaritan, in the parable of Jesus, I get it that Jesus is the great type of the Samaritan who helped the wounded man. And going into great lengths to help this man. Giving him to an innkeeper: take care of him till I come back, and I’ll pay you the bills.

  334. bubbles says:

    There are things I don’t understand or want to learn more about. Commentaries by learned people help, and sometimes God will help you find an answer when you least expect to find it, or studying makes you have more questions and you can run references to find other verses that may help. Another help is a Strongs Concordance and you can see the original word and what it meant. There are godly people who have good devotionals and good messages to hear. I didn’t mean I don’t use any of them. All of those are good things, but the aren’t inspired of God. ONLY the Bible is inspired. I’m just not an OC fan, same with Spurgeon. I just don understand where he’s coming from. I can read an entire thing of OC and have no clue what I just read. It has no bearing on my opinion, but OC writings are NOT breathed by God. The Bible is finished and there is no new revelation and when people think that, it’s not safe.

  335. bratimus says:

    I look at Oswald Chambers Devotionals as more of his experience with Christ and the Holy Spirit, if I remember correctly Utmost for His Highest wasn’t published by O.C. but by his widow after his death. I have read through his words some are very deep. As I have read many devotionals I see them as more experiences with Christ through the Holy Spirit then inspired by God. Inspired-experience could be a thin line between the two. Most of the New Testament are letters written by the apostles latter put together, most walked with Christ Jesus. Paul did not how many of His letters are books in the New Testament, are Paul’s inspire words also his experience with Christ Jesus through the Holy Spirit. Just a thought.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

    Acts 16 over the weekend

  336. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, you cannot always see your enemy so that is why you leave it in God’s hands and my portion to pray about it.

    The enemy inside is the battle which I cannot win without seeking God’s help.

    It’s practising my faith that keeps me close to God and He gives me the strength to continue the battles we face on earth.

    Its up to me not to get distracted by the enemy and I do that by reminding myself that Christ has overcome both the enemy without (unseen enemies) and the enemy within (my own temptations).

    So yes, I do rely on Christ to have taken care of both enemies whether without or within.

    Beloved, glad you are understanding me as not always sure of how well I explain myself.

  337. Beloved says:

    Just trying to encourage :-)

  338. street says:

    4 I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers,

    5 Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints;

    6 That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.

    7 For we have great joy and consolation, (comfort), in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother.

    King James Version

    i do not usually use the King James version, usually NASB, i used this verse because it is the One that spoke to me about what we are discussing. it did not speak to me like this in other versions. there is a saying your mileage may vary, but not with God. the goal is the same.

    paul spoke of being in distress many times. even dying daily. more than victors.

  339. bubbles says:

    Bratimus, All SCRIPTURE, not Devotionals, not books by man, nothing but SCRIPTURE is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine…….

    When Paul wrote those letters, GOD HIMSELF told him exactly what to write, whether Paul knew it would be in the cannon of Scripture or not, that does not matter. They were letters, yes, but GOD breathed the words. He used Paul to write them.

    All these other books we read are helpful but God did not breathe their words. They are not the infallible and inspired Word of the Living God.

    The Bible is true and pure with no mistakes in it. No other book is like it. And I disagree with there being a thin line. There is a thick wall of separation between the Word of God and words written by people. The enemy wants people to doubt what is truth and the Word of God.

  340. bubbles says:

    And HELL is real. Jesus spoke more about he’ll than Heaven, and the Word also states those who do not not trust in Him will be sent there. I do not want the worst person to go there. It is forever and permanent. If it was not real or permanent, what would be the whole point in Jesus dying and rising from the dead? We can wish all we want it is not a real place, but what we wish or want to be true does not make it so.

    I. Am. Done.

  341. bratimus says:

    I’m the first one to say the best way to Christ Jesus is through the word of God in the Bible no better place. With that being said, I do believe that Christ Jesus can be found in the works of people through the Holy Spirit. Their lives and experiences in Christ Jesus through the Holy Spirit will have a lot to say. Christ Jesus didn’t stop working in people after the original apostles died. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit don’t stop man stops the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are Eternal.

    I think it might be time for me to stop posting here, don’t want to upset anyone and there are to many misunderstandings.

    I was going to read Acts through Hebrews in the chapter read continue if like.

    Until-

    May all be blessed by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit

    In Christ Jesus name
    WE that walk in the Spirit of God of the Heavens

    Bratimus

  342. poohpity says:

    I agree that there are MANY spirit filled writers that came after the bible that share their experiences with God but one is able to verify their works by the word because nothing that comes from God will go against what it says in scripture. A good teacher will tell the people s/he teaches to compare what is taught with what is in scripture always. The Spirit of God within us testifies to the Spirit of God in others.

  343. SFDBWV says:

    Quite some time back there was a TV show on called “Kung Fu”. It starred John Caradine (not sure of the spelling) as “Grasshopper” a traveler in a foreign land.

    Raised by Buddhist monks in China and trained in the art of “Kung Fu” he went about helping the underdog win out over the evil they encountered.

    In all of the episodes the story always reverted back to when he was a child being raised and taught by the monks and a lesson taught and learned.

    In one such episode the young “Grasshopper” had to learn how to walk on a special very delicate paper pathway without tearing it.

    To learn to walk so carefully and tenderly was a discipline that took some time to learn for the young learner, but he did finally learn how to tread lightly and not to tear the paper as he did.

    I think in our Christian discipline we not only have to learn how to tread softly and carefully as well, but know that when we fail we are forgiven as the trial repeats itself as we continue to learn.

    41 degrees under cloudy skies, one hummingbird and still no bees.

    Steve

  344. jeff1 says:

    I do believe as Bratimus that Christ can be found in the works of people through the Holy Spirit and if I didn’t then I think my faith would suffer as I don’t see that my dad was wrong in warning me to keep my focus on Christ’s sacrifice.

    I think if we look at the world at large then we see very clearly that the Bible does not get it wrong but then it has always been the varied interpretations of the Bible that concerns me and not the authenticity of God’s Word.

    Having lived in a divided religious country I know all too well that we change God and it is perhaps why my dad was so disciplined in keeping Christ his focus.

    Surely, even the testimonials in the Bible points to Christ as the way, the truth and the life so it begs the question why is their so much misunderstanding among believers.

  345. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Steve, for that grasshopper story.

    Why so much misunderstanding?

    Christ must be found in the written word.

    Even in the Bible, if it is read, not with the breath of the Holy Spirit, they are dead words.

    No fault in the Bible?
    What about the 4 different versions of the Resurrection Sunday?
    There are mistakes in the Bible, for sure, otherwise the stories would be the same.
    So infallible Word of God to me is the Living Word,
    And that is Jesus Himself
    John 1:1-5
    The Word that was in the beginning, that was with God, that was God.
    That Word became flesh, the Light of the World.

    The real infallible Word of God is the Don of God incarnate come in the flesh.
    Every spirit that testifies to that is the Truth.

    The Word became flesh!

    It was That Word to which Moses was referring to, after having written the Torah
    When the Prophet comes, listen to Him!

    The Words of Jesus, in the Gospels.
    But Jesus said: I cannot explain everything to you now, you cannot accept it.
    The New Testament is written, where the apostles explain more about what Jesus did not get to.
    Like the Law of Moses, that was untill the realisation in man:
    The New Birth
    The seeing of Who Jesus is.
    The conversion of Lewis.

    Then the Holy Spirit guides the new believer,
    Through direct contact,
    Through reading the Bible
    Through obedience to what the Spirit made clear:
    Like: forgive your enemies.

    Through teachers, apostles, as Ephesians 4 explains

  346. foreverblessed says:

    Forgot to say: that is my humble understanding.

    Bubbles, may I ask what you think about Ephesians 4:11-13

    What is this “thing”: God-breathed?

    God instated the roles of teachers, prophets and apostles, but He does not breathe them?

  347. foreverblessed says:

    Don of God= Son of God

    Bratimus, I really appreciated your participation.

    With gentle and patient conversation, we can muddle through the mud, and get there in the end:

    Till we get , until we all reach the unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God
    and become mature,
    attaining to the whole measure of the fulness of Christ.
    Eph 4:13

  348. jeff1 says:

    Steve, I remember watching “Kung Fu” as it was one of our favourite programmes.

    What I liked about film and television back then is that it put wrongs to right wheras the industry today is very different but then they would say it is representative of the times we live in and so depicts excessive violence, explicit sex and foul language and so do we really need to ask what is wrong with our society today.

    What we need to ask is how did we get here other than our sinful natures are as prevalent in the world today as ever because, I, for one am not fit to throw the first stone.

  349. bubbles says:

    No.i am done here. I wish I had never come over here the other day and started reading. I am trying to help someone who will not listen to anything and questions if Jesus was God and that he was perfect. This one denies the deity of Christ and that the Bible is not anything but another book and my patience with that one is gone. Yesterday was a very bad day. I have no patience left for anyone or anything I’m sorry. I’m dealing with dementia and narcissism and then doing online work all day that is over my head. I won’t post here any more.

  350. poohpity says:

    forever, you said, “What about the 4 different versions of the Resurrection Sunday?
    There are mistakes in the Bible, for sure, otherwise the stories would be the same.”

    Because their stories are not exactly the same is how one can tell there are not mistakes. Have you ever witnessed, let’s say a car wreck. every witness’s story varies because they look at it from different vantage points if they were all the same then it would follow they got together and manufactured their story.

    Of course unless someone reads the bible in Aramaic or Greek the natural language my differ in translation but the story it’s self never changes but with the Lord’s help our understanding increases. The bible isn’t something one can read one time and see how all the pieces fit together, it is a life long endeavor which will never leave one as they were before reading it. So to say that there are mistakes in it is what many say who have never put the time into absorbing it in the first place. Believing there are mistakes is an excuse that many use for not devoting the time into reading it.

    Just like what happened to Paul he knew scripture but he had to go away for three years so that the Lord could open his eyes to how the scriptures were pointing to Jesus and not to the way the burdensome religious experts were doing to the people that looked to them for teaching. Luke 24:27

  351. poohpity says:

    The main excuses that many use for not reading the bible;

    It contradicts itself.

    It is not true.

    It is filled with mistakes.

    How could something written thousands of years ago apply to me today?

    I can not understand what it says?

    I am sure there are many more excuses than those but one can always tell when someone does not even care to read it but deceives people into believing that they have.

  352. poohpity says:

    Steve is not leaving foot prints on rice paper the same as only one set of foot prints in the sand? Now instead of having the grasshopper of the series “Kung Fu” we have “Kung Fu Panda”! lol

  353. foreverblessed says:

    Bubbles, fair enough, if there is no time to think over, have time to meditate, pray about it, write it, the been thinking, better not get involved.
    God bless you, and strengthen you mightily, and give you peace of mind. In all that you do, in your family. May God bless them all.

    I appreciated what Steve said, all of us are fallible, but God’s grace is bigger than our failing. Or what were his words, something like that.
    It is OK
    Relax
    Breathe in the Spirit of God, looking in faith to Jesus, and live.

    ( I am adding this – looking in faith to Jesus- because this morning my sister-in-law send a video of Harding yourselves against viruses in 5 rythm steps. Euritmy it is called, some Rudolf Steiner thing, breath in the cosmic energy sort of thing.
    I only want to breath in the Spiritual Power that comes through faith in Jesus Christ. )

    Reading the Bible can only be done in faith in Jesus Christ.
    If not, you can get anything out of it.
    Anything that goes in line with your own thinking, the thinking of the old man.

    He must increase, ( street’s adagio)

  354. Beloved says:

    I too remember watching Kung Fu and being awestruck at what man can seemingly accomplish but knowing God and all He can and has accomplished there’s no comparison! Some trust in chariots some trust in horses but we will trust in the LORD our God!

    Have a Spirit filled day everyone.

  355. Beloved says:

    Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible
    Some trust in chariots – The words of the original are short and emphatic: These in chariots; and these in horses; but we will record in the name of Jehovah our God. Or, as the Septuagint, μεγαλυνθησομεθα, “we shall be magnified.” Or, as the Vulgate, invocabimus, “we shall invoke the name of the Lord.” This and the following verse I suppose to be the words of David and his officers. And the mention of chariots and horses makes it likely that the war with the Ammonites and Syrians is that to which reference is made here; for they came against him with vast multitudes of horsemen and chariots. See 2 Samuel 10:6-8. According to the law, David could neither have chariots nor horses; and those who came against him with cavalry must have a very great advantage; but he saw that Jehovah his God was more than a match for all his foes, and in him he trusts with implicit confidence.

  356. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Forever, if you read the Bible to prove your preconceived beliefs, you can take anything out of it and that is why there are so many varied interpretations of the Bible.

    The motivation for reading must come from a heart that is not deceptive but pure in its desire to read the word of God for to learn divine viewpoint rather than to live according to one’s old way of life based on a human viewpoint.

    I also read this today which states the difficulties in biblical submission and so it is not just about understanding the divine viewpoint but applying it in your life.

    Today, one of the most difficult concepts in God’s Word is biblical submission. The word submission is not limited to wives alone. For example, Christians are to submit themselves to each other (Ephesians 5:21), to government (Romans 13:1), and unto God (James 4:7). This is a frequent concept in the Bible.

    God commands submission in five areas of our life (1) To HIM personally (2) Government (3) Employer (4) Family (5) Church Through Peter, God tells us to conduct ourselves in fear during the time of our stay upon the earth, carefully submitting to God and His instruction.

    Steve, I like what you say here as it shows a deeper understanding of Christian discipline than I know.

    I think in our Christian discipline we not only have to learn how to tread softly and carefully as well, but know that when we fail we are forgiven as the trial repeats itself as we continue to learn.

    In the light of what discipline is required I am ever increasingly thankful for God’s Grace and ever more in awe of Christ and His Saints.

  357. Beloved says:

    Bratimus I hope you don’t leave… you point people toward reading scripture.

    My Utmost today speaks of patience… it’s very good.

  358. Beloved says:

    WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

    The great thing about faith in God is that it keeps a man undisturbed in the midst of disturbance. Notes on Isaiah, 1376 R

    Still learning this myself. Faith wins.

  359. street says:

    before and after

    For the Kingdom the Power and the Glory are Yours now and forever.

    pilot was given power from above over Jesus, to have Him crucified according to scripture.

    in their meeting, power and truth were the topics of conversation. scripture union has a devotional about this meeting,5/2/2020, and a similar meeting between daniel and nebuchadnezzar, SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER.

    light and darkness. the power of darkness passes away in the present of light. Jesus the light of the world for a world of darkness. choose truth not power. power belongs to God. yet He gives us power to play work worship. to live. by, the way, the truth, the life, in Christ, not darkness.

    Romans 6:13
    Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.

    by faith. hope, love.

    Romans 7:11
    For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death.

    Romans 8:2
    because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

    13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law.

    they still died. Romans

    for you have been given a New Spirit, The Spirit of Truth, Jesus. Who has been poured out into our hearts. loved by God and redeemed by God. The True Vine.

    power perfected in weakness, for God’s Glory and our Salvation.

    1 Corinthians 15:42-44
    42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

    2 Corinthians 13
    4 For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we will live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you.

    chosen before the foundation of the world.

    John 15:16
    You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.

    Matthew 7:11
    If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

    Romans 8:26
    In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words

    39 Therefore, my brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy,

    think to speak correctly as job did.

  360. street says:

    I love this analogy!

    You are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes along and bumps into you or shakes your arm, making you spill your coffee everywhere.

    Why did you spill the coffee?

    “Well because someone bumped into me, of course!”

    Wrong answer.

    You spilled the coffee because there was coffee in your cup.

    Had there been tea in the cup, you would have spilled tea.

    *Whatever is inside the cup, is what will spill out.*

    Therefore, when life comes along and shakes you (which WILL happen), whatever is inside you will come out. It’s easy to fake it until you get rattled.

    *So we have to ask ourselves… “what’s in my cup?”

    When life gets tough, what spills over?

    Joy, gratefulness, peace, and humility?

    Or anger, bitterness, harsh words, and reactions?

    You choose! 💯

    Today let’s work towards filling our cups with gratitude, forgiveness, joy, words of affirmation; and kindness, gentleness, and love for others

    i don’t think you can work yourself there, it is a work of God not man. sown in weakness raised in the power of God. to Him be the Glory. by all means, word thought action prayer fast service affection desire will, seek the kingdom of God. bless are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.

    when we come to the end of self, God begins. He will not share His Glory with another. He Is The Alpha and The Omega.

    thinking of paul, and i think over 270 some souls, on a boat coming to an end of self, in a storm that last two weeks. then God sent an angel. i think paul and the centurion developed a relationship that would last forever. truth and power. humble servants.

  361. Beloved says:

    It is a work of God…. true, shut up and listen works best for me. I can’t hear Him when I’m talking. Speak LORD, your servant heareth. Yes?

  362. jeff1 says:

    1 Angels, roll the rock away;
    Death yield up thy mighty prey!
    See, the Saviour leaves the tomb,
    Glowing in immortal bloom.

    2 Saints on earth, lift up your eyes,
    Now to glory see Him rise
    In long triumph thro’ the sky,
    Up to waiting worlds on high.

    3 Heav’n unfolds its portals wide;
    Mighty Conqu’ror! thro’ them ride;
    King of glory! mount Thy throne,
    Boundless empire is Thine Own.

  363. Regina says:

    Good Afternoon, All

    I pray that you are (and your family) are well. I’m doing great! Today is my beloved son’s birthday! He’s 29 years old today. I had to U.S. mail his birthday gift because he lives in Oklahoma. I also wrote a birthday tribute for him on facebook, prayed for him and I made him a birthday video. I pray it’s one of the *best* birthdays he has ever had!

    Well, I read Acts 15 today and here’s my take away…

    Acts 15 —

    v. 1-6: Paul and Barnabas were in Antioch… some men started teaching the believers that they had to be circumcised in order to be saved. Paul and Barnabas argued with the men, and they (the men) were sent to Jerusalem to talk to the elders about the issue of circumcision. Some men, who had been Pharisees before their conversion, reiterated (to the elders) that the Gentiles must be required to be circumcised and to follow Jewish customs. The Jerusalem church elders set another meeting to decide on the matter.

    v. 7-12: At the meeting, Peter explained to the men that God knows men’s hearts, and He confirmed the fact that He accepts the Gentiles because He also gave them the Holy Spirit. Peter told the men that God made no distinction between Jews and Gentiles, and he asked the men a question, “Don’t you believe that all (men) are saved by the free gift of the Lord Jesus?”

    v. 13-18: James also spoke to the men, and all present, about prophecy as it pertained to Gentile conversion.

    v. 19-30: James told the men, and all present, that they should not insist that the Gentiles (who turn to God) obey Jewish laws. James did, however, suggest that they ask (or admonish) the Gentiles to refrain from eating meat sacrificed to idols, fornication, and from eating unbled meat of strangled animals. So, the elders sent delegates to Antioch (with Paul and Barnabas) with a letter to report on the decision. The delegates, Judas and Silas, gave an oral report to the men (and read the letter), in answer to their question.

    v. 31-35: There was great joy throughout the church when Judas and Silas read the letter, and they also preached sermons to the believers and strengthened their faith.

    v. 36-41: Paul and Barnabas decided to visit the cities where they had previously preached to check on the new converts. Barnabas wanted to bring John Mark, but Paul didn’t like that idea (John Mark deserted them in Pamphylia). They had a *serious* disagreement over the issue of John Mark, and it was so serious that they separated.

    Wow! Smh. The devil tore up that friendship. Can hardly believe they allowed that to happen! Thought they loved one another like Jonathan loved David.

    Barnabas went to Cyprus with John Mark, and Paul went to Syria and Cilicia (with Silas) to encourage the churches there.

    83 degrees and a clear, night time sky in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,
    Regina

  364. Regina says:

    Typo: “Evening” not “Afternoon”…

  365. poohpity says:

    The disagreement between Barnabas, his cousin John Mark and Paul was a matter of agreeing to disagree but it did not stop the mission or purpose they were on, so it was not anything that tore up their friendship.

  366. foreverblessed says:

    That tea really got me!
    Wow!!!!

    What is in our cup?

    It is a trying and testing time though, as Steve said, we are allowed to fail, to get to grips, and see to it that God’s Grace is what we reach out to:
    God, help me in my In-gracefulness!

    You only are the fountain of grace.

  367. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Jeff, for sending this: May 2, 10.47am

    Today, one of the most difficult concepts in God’s Word is biblical submission. The word submission is not limited to wives alone. For example, Christians are to submit themselves to each other (Ephesians 5:21 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)] ), to government (Romans 13:1 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)] ), and unto God (James 4:7 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)] ). This is a frequent concept in the Bible.

    God commands submission in five areas of our life (1) To HIM personally (2) Government (3) Employer (4) Family (5) Church Through Peter, God tells us to conduct ourselves in fear during the time of our stay upon the earth, carefully submitting to God and His instruction.

    This is something to chew on prayerfully

  368. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Regina, for chewing over Acts 15.

    It was all so well solved in that conference, but it keeps coming up: the observance of the Law.
    ( I know, I was hostage to it in my youth)
    I was so thankful when I read the book:
    The Two Covenants, by Andrew Murray.

    This “Law” thing is a recurrent thing.
    I have to see that the Words of Jesus are the *new” Law.

    “I am not under no law, I am under the Law of Christ”
    Paul says that somewhere in Corinthians.
    But not being under law as under the Old Covenant.
    But as under the New Covenant, where Jesus promises to do that He Himself as we are submissive to Him:
    Poor in spirit ourselves:

    When I am weak, He is strong Paul writes.

    It is so good to read the story of Paul again, what hardship he had to endure!
    My mother is saying these days:
    Paul saw the vision of heaven, to make him able to endure the hardship.

    ( My take is: wow, if you get an heavenly vision, be aware that hardship is coming)

    But take heart, J have to remember that Jesus promised Be will be with us to the end

  369. jeff1 says:

    It seems to me that even today some can agree to disagree without it ruining friendship because each wants what is best for the other.

    It shows how wrong it is to try and control another person whether from good intentions or not.

    I see where parents often try to map out their older children’s future and then when they find their offspring wants to do other things they become resentful towards them and it ruins the relationship between them.

    When they are young children is the time to direct their path and when they are older they will with God’s help benefit from it.

    Much of the domestic abuse comes from control and seemingly it is just as likely for women today to want to control reflecting the times we live in.

    When all within was self and sin,
    A dark and shoreless sea,
    When death was all my life deserved,
    Your mercy flowed to me.
    When death was all my life deserved,
    Your mercy flowed to me.

    My faith and love were small and weak,
    Far less than they should be,
    But still Your patience never failed—
    Your mercy flowed to me.
    But still Your patience never failed—
    Your mercy flowed to me.

    Surrounded now by all this need,
    This lost humanity,
    Make me a source of gentle grace—
    Let mercy flow through me!
    Make me a source of gentle grace—
    Let mercy flow through me!

    Your patience and forgiveness, Lord,
    Lived out for all to see,
    Your love that shone through hate and wrong—
    Lord, let it shine through me!
    Your love that shone through hate and wrong—
    Lord, let it shine through me!

  370. poohpity says:

    Yes most of the New Testament is the comparison of the feeble attempts to live UNDER the law which had accomplished it purposes for most that was to show people they sin and are unable to follow God’s ways completely, so they needed someone to stand on their behalf, to intercede, before God if they ever wanted a relationship with Him.

    However many in the OT had already figured that out and looked forward in hope for the long awaited Messiah that was promised, the before.

  371. poohpity says:

    “Shout to the Lord”

    My Jesus, my Saviour
    Lord there is none like You
    All of my days I want to praise
    The wonders of Your mighty love

    My comfort, my shelter
    Tower of refuge and strength
    Let every breath, all that I am
    Never cease to worship You

    Shout to the Lord all the Earth, let us sing
    Power and majesty, praise to the King
    Mountains bow down and the seas will roar
    At the sound of Your name

    I sing for joy at the work of Your hands
    Forever I’ll love You, forever I’ll stand
    Nothing compares to the promise I have
    In You

    My Jesus, my Saviour
    Lord there is none like You
    All of my days I want to praise
    The wonders of Your mighty love

    My comfort
    My shelter
    Tower of refuge and strength
    Let every breath, all that I am
    Never cease to worship You

    Shout to the Lord all the Earth, let us sing
    Power and majesty, praise to the King
    Mountains bow down and the seas will roar
    At the sound of Your name

    I sing for joy at the work of Your hands
    Forever I’ll love You, forever I’ll stand
    Nothing compares to the promise I have
    In You

    Shout to the Lord all the Earth, let us sing
    Power and majesty, praise to the King
    Mountains bow down and the seas will roar
    At the sound of Your name

    I sing for joy at the work of Your hands
    Forever I’ll love You, forever I’ll stand
    Nothing compares to the promise I have
    Oh nothing compares to the promise I have
    Nothing compares to the promise I have
    In You

  372. street says:

    However many in the OT had already figured that out and looked forward in hope for the long awaited Messiah that was promised, the before.

    yes that is true! we wait for His return like they waited for His rescue.

    this age is the age of distinct advantage for believers. the Gift of the Spirit of Christ. Emmanuel, God with us. sure we struggle to receive comfort from this world, which is passing away, but have received the comfort of God, eternal. yet called to follow Christ, Who knew suffering. peter tells us to arm yourself for this suffering. to find comfort and true life in God. through a living hope, Jesus. The Glory of God and Hope of sinners. living sacrifices dead to the world alive to God, restored to life, for there is no life apart from God. May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure. after

  373. street says:

    when i thing of submission i think of subordination. i have always shied away from management or authority positions. yet God has made me to be His, for His Glory. this glory is found in selfless deep personal love for God, the people made in His image and His creation. Jesus pour Himself out for all these. according to His Fathers will. when we follow Jesus we are following God’s will, but not before we deny ourselves and take up our cross. the circumstance job found himself in led to a meeting with God, what are we looking for and what are we longing for? Who is your first love? who or what are you subordinate too. this is what you love. sin is not your friend it’s goal is your destruction, spirit soul and body. Jesus saves you from this destruction, new life in Him. Spirit and Truth, sown in weakness raised in power.

  374. foreverblessed says:

    “Jesus poured out His life for all”

    Such a wonderful truth

    Mart is saying that that is the basis how we view world events:

    God’s love for all.

    And this is my deep conviction:
    God is always the same, never changing.

    Never ever different
    God is always merciful.
    So if there is a time of calamity,
    Or the Tribulation, it is not the end of God’s mercy.
    His wrath is always aimed at regeneration

    To make enemies His friends.
    And so He obliterates His enemies.

  375. foreverblessed says:

    “He poured out Himself for all”

    That makes me think again of the water and blood that came out of Jesus side. John 19:34

    One of the 7 times that Jesus was bleeding.
    The last time.
    Some preacher was saying that with the natural birth also comes out water and blood.
    That this 7th time of Jesus’ bleeding stand for the spiritual birth of His children.

    His side, out of His side is His Bride formed, the Bride the body of newborn children.

    And in this case Adam stood for Jesus, where the rib is taken out and a woman is formed.
    Genesis 3:20-24

    As a type for Jesus, Jesus suffered tremendously, so a Bride could be formed

    Jesus was a suffering man, and not kidding it over His Wife.
    He leads but does not demand, there is an IF:
    Jesus says:
    IF you follow me, take up your cross.

    And if we don’t follow, we are left to ourselves, defenseless against the kingdom of darkness.

    But Jesus is waiting till we call on Him is truth.
    Always and ever
    A never changing God

    Psalm 86:5

  376. jeff1 says:

    Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling
    Calling for you and for me
    See, on the portals he’s waiting and watching
    Watching for you and for me,(for me)

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

    Oh for the wonderful love he has promised
    Promised for you and for me
    Though we have sinned, he has mercy and pardon
    Pardon for you and for me,(for me)

    Come home, (come home)
    Come home, (come home)
    Ye who are weary come home
    Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
    Calling, oh, sinner, come home
    (Sinner come home,sinner come home,sinner come home)
    Sinner come home

  377. jeff1 says:

    I had spent my life changing God as I listened to what others told me of Him and I find that people have varied concepts of God.

    It was my dad’s advice to keep my focus on Jesus and His suffering and not conjure my own God that has been most beneficial in my faith.

    As I see it I have my own vision of God based on my upbringing, beliefs and encounters with Him but they are personal to me just as yours are to you.

    I can avoid the suspicion that God is an absent father, a moral bully, a consuming monster, or a bad boss and it is not because of what I know or learned but it is what I have come to believe of God from my own experiences of Him in my life.

    Seeking God, is part of seeing Him, and when I am not it easy to blame God for being absent or uncaring but that doesn’t make it true.

    I must remember that God doesn’t have to prove anything to me so I can believe what I want about Him but speaking from my own experience when He has revealed to me I have found that it is I deficient and not Him inefficient.

  378. SFDBWV says:

    Life is a demanding taskmaster and I not immune to its bullying and insistence to attention. If you don’t see me here now and again it is simply because life usually gets its way.

    I often feel sorry that Foreverblessed and Viv have to carry the load in the morning, their being up and about already. I usually like to at least say hello.

    Viv’s last comment has opened my thinking to the idea that whereas God may not have to prove anything to me that there are a great many people who not necessarily want proof, but wonder why He seems absent from their pain.

    The pain these people suffer is made worse by thinking that God doesn’t care. Doesn’t care means to them they are not loved.

    We need never to be judgmental or even attempt to answer for God, but for such the best we can do is love them and show them that love without asking anything in return.

    Praying all are well and blessed this day.

    Steve

  379. Beloved says:

    Following up with what street said yesterday I’m thinking about the whole idea of submission and taking up a cross. Dying to self- individualism of our western culture. I was just reading the book Mart talked about Seeing God Through Western Eyes and came upon this which Ive been thinking about:

    “In Ephesians 4:1, the apostle calls his listeners to “live a life worthy of the calling you have received” (see also 2 Thess 1:11). The word worthy should alert us that honor/shame language is being used. (132)

    We deceive ourselves when we think sin is individual and independent of a community’s honor. Our individualism feeds the false sense that sin is merely an inner wrong—the private business between me and God, to be worked out on judgment day. (132)”

    I’m thinking in being obediently submissive to others we must be willing to die to our own egos (self) by admitting when wrong and seek forgiveness knowing and trusting that mercy is the just consequence. Whether mercy puts us in jail or prison to protect us from further offense and to be a witness for Christ (as Paul was). Dying to self; agreeing to disagree with love takes something only God can do in us. As Christ died literally we also die the painful death of self. Before and After

  380. Beloved says:

    “Misreading Scripture With Western Eyes” is the correct title.

  381. poohpity says:

    Judging God is just like most judge other people with little knowledge but only a mere peep into one’s life usually without really seeing the whole because one has already developed preconceived notions based on a glimpse. Or base their opinion on the opinion of others without facts.

    When we do not know a person’s background or the scars they have developed over many years one tends to jump to conclusions or assume out of ignorance.

    It actually shows ignorance to judge anyone even God because often we use our own measuring stick to base those judgements on. It would seem that is the reason that Jesus warned us about judging that God will judge us the same way we have judged others. Matt 7:1-2 NIV

  382. bratimus says:

    Acts 17

  383. jeff1 says:

    I have always hated going to ‘wakes’ but they are the ‘norm’ here when it is a relative, friend or neighbour.

    I am not good with words so other than pass my condolences I say little and listen instead.

    When someone is hurting (and I remember this from the death of my mother as I was younger when she died) it is difficult to feel loved by God or anyone for that matter and that is why I have found that people appreciate you being there and allowing them to vent rather than offering platitudes that they don’t want to hear because they are not in the right frame of mind to benefit from them.

    It was my friend who said to me that she hoped when her father died that people would not say to her that he had a good innings (90’s) for she said it wouldn’t change how she would feel having had him for so long it would likely feel she would miss him all the more.

    I would agree, Steve, sometimes the loving thing to do is as simple as turning up and the least said the better from my experience.

    Allow God to work in a person’s life when He sees fits rather than speaking out of turn and making them feel more awful.

    It is after all their pain and suffering that you are trying to alleviate.

  384. jeff1 says:

    I have not just seen sin as an inner wrong unless it is an inner struggle to not retaliate when you have been wronged by another.

    Sin whether mine or anothers has consequences and damages relationships. I as a believer should try either to mend the relationship or at the very least not add fuel to the fire.

    It takes humility to agree to disagree but by doing so we make way for the relationship to grow and become closer rather than allowing it to sour and get bitter which isn’t what God wants for us.

  385. Beloved says:

    Bible Study Tools has a much longer study on sin but I excerpted part of it for our discussion today:

    “Three factors compound the tragedy of sin. First, it pervades the whole person; no sphere escapes, for the very heart of the sinner is corrupt ( Psalm 51:5 ; Jer 17:9 ; Rom 8:7 ). Second, evil resides in the heart of the crown of God’s creation, the bearer of God’s image, the one appointed to rule the world for God. The remarkable capacities of humans to think, plan, persuade, and train others enables wickedness to become clever and strong. Third, sin is proud; hence it resists God and his salvation and offers a counterfeit salvation instead ( 2 Thess 2:2-4 ).

    Despite all its dismal qualities, sin makes one contribution. Because God chose to redeem his people from it, sin has been the stimulus for God’s demonstration of his amazing patience, grace, and love ( Rom 5:6-8 ; Gal 2:17-20 ; 1 Tim 1:15-17 ). So the study of sin need not merely grieve the Christian. From a postresurrection perspective, sin indirectly gives opportunity to praise the creating and redeeming Lord for his gracious deliverance ( Rom 11:33-36 ).“

  386. jeff1 says:

    I think it is still my sins that makes me feel distant from God, consequently that creates the need in me to turn to Christ for refuge, knowing that my sins are forgiven through His death and glorious resurrection.

  387. Beloved says:

    Isaiah 59 ►
    New International Version
    Sin, Confession and Redemption

    1Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save,
    nor his ear too dull to hear.

    2But your iniquities have separated
    you from your God;
    your sins have hidden his face from you,
    so that he will not hear.

    3For your hands are stained with blood,
    your fingers with guilt.
    Your lips have spoken falsely,
    and your tongue mutters wicked things.
    4No one calls for justice;
    no one pleads a case with integrity.
    They rely on empty arguments, they utter lies;
    they conceive trouble and give birth to evil.
    5They hatch the eggs of vipers
    and spin a spider’s web.
    Whoever eats their eggs will die,
    and when one is broken, an adder is hatched.
    6Their cobwebs are useless for clothing;
    they cannot cover themselves with what they make.
    Their deeds are evil deeds,
    and acts of violence are in their hands.
    7Their feet rush into sin;
    they are swift to shed innocent blood.
    They pursue evil schemes;
    acts of violence mark their ways.
    8The way of peace they do not know;
    there is no justice in their paths.
    They have turned them into crooked roads;
    no one who walks along them will know peace.
    9So justice is far from us,
    and righteousness does not reach us.
    We look for light, but all is darkness;
    for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows.
    10Like the blind we grope along the wall,
    feeling our way like people without eyes.
    At midday we stumble as if it were twilight;
    among the strong, we are like the dead.
    11We all growl like bears;
    we moan mournfully like doves.
    We look for justice, but find none;
    for deliverance, but it is far away.
    12For our offenses are many in your sight,
    and our sins testify against us.
    Our offenses are ever with us,
    and we acknowledge our iniquities:
    13rebellion and treachery against the Lord,
    turning our backs on our God,
    inciting revolt and oppression,
    uttering lies our hearts have conceived.
    14So justice is driven back,
    and righteousness stands at a distance;
    truth has stumbled in the streets,
    honesty cannot enter.
    15Truth is nowhere to be found,
    and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.
    The Lord looked and was displeased
    that there was no justice.
    16He saw that there was no one,
    he was appalled that there was no one to intervene;
    so his own arm achieved salvation for him,
    and his own righteousness sustained him.
    17He put on righteousness as his breastplate,
    and the helmet of salvation on his head;
    he put on the garments of vengeance
    and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak.
    18According to what they have done,
    so will he repay
    wrath to his enemies
    and retribution to his foes;
    he will repay the islands their due.
    19From the west, people will fear the name of the Lord,
    and from the rising of the sun, they will revere his glory.
    For he will come like a pent-up flood
    that the breath of the Lord drives along.a

    20“The Redeemer will come to Zion,
    to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,”
    declares the Lord.

    21“As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants—from this time on and forever,” says the Lord.

  388. jeff1 says:

    All glory to God!
    You have brought us this far.
    Thank You! We thank You, O Lord!
    You’ve blessed every day‒
    What a wonder You are!
    Thank You! We thank You, O Lord!

    You give us a joy
    In this journey of faith.
    Thank You! We thank You, O Lord!
    We know You’ll be with us
    The rest of the way.
    Thank You! We thank You, O Lord!
    Thank You! We thank You, O Lord!

  389. Beloved says:

    I love your attitude Viv! Yes He is so faithful😀

  390. jeff1 says:

    I believe I have my dad to thank for it as he never allowed me to question suffering in life and would say it is for us to endure in light of the suffering of Christ.

    He suffered well not just in his own trials but in coming alongside others and that is because it was his belief that whatever we suffered it failed in comparison to what Christ suffered for us.

    I believe it is what many would see as keeping your faith simple but it worked for him as he was strong of mind but gentle in heart and it was that strength of mind that kept him disciplined in listening and obeying God.

  391. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All
    I pray that you all are well (and your family). I’m doing great. Getting ready to do my morning hygiene and devotional afterwards. Enjoyed reading Acts 16, and ready to share my thoughts. I know bratimus has already moved on to Acts 17.

    Here’s my take away for Acts 16…

    v. 1-8: Paul circumcised Timothy out of respect for the Jews in Lystra (and the surrounding area). Wow… That must’ve been very painful. I don’t think very many men would’ve signed up for that trip. Timothy was obviously a very humble man (with a very high tolerance for pain?). Thinking they would’ve had to have waited (at least two weeks?) before traveling to another city. Can’t imagine Timothy wanting to travel anywhere in excruciating pain. Maybe he healed quickly?
    The Holy Spirit would not allow Paul and Timothy to go to Asia Minor (Turkish Providence) or Bithynia.

    v. 9-15: Paul has vision of a man asking him to come to Macedonia to preach the Good News to the citizens in that region, so Paul and Timothy go to Macedonia (they went to Philippi).
    Found this part interesting! They taught the scriptures to some women on the Sabbath (men are not mentioned here), and they met Lydia (a business woman from Thyatira). She was already a believer, she received the Good News and she and her family were baptized. Then, she invited Paul and Timothy to be guests in her home.

    v. 16-24: Paul (and others) met a demon-possessed slave girl. Paul rebuked the demon in her (in the name of Jesus Christ) and it left her. Her masters grabbed Paul and Silas (What happened to Timothy?) and brought them to the judges at the marketplace. The men accused Paul and Silas of teaching things that were against Roman laws. So, Paul and Silas were stripped, beaten and thrown in prison.

    v. 25-34: Around midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to the Lord. There was an earthquake (I would have been terrified), the prison doors flew open and every prisoner’s chains fell off. Wow!
    The jailer tried to kill himself, but Paul stopped him. He fell down before Paul and Silas and asked what he needed to do to be saved. The jailer received the good news and he and his family were baptized.
    Wow! That was a phenomenal blessing for the jailer and his family.

    v. 35-40: The next day, the judges released Paul and Silas, but, because they had been treated unjustly as Roman citizens, Paul refused to leave. The judges came to the prison, begged them to go, brought them out and pleaded with them to leave. Then, Paul and Silas returned to Lydia’s house, met up with other believers and preached once more before leaving town.

    pooh, In reference to Acts 15 (end of the chapter), I hope Paul and Barnabas were able to put aside their differences and remain friends. But I’m not familiar with the entire book of Acts, so I don’t know what happened after they went their separate ways.
    forever, glad you enjoyed my summarization of Acts 15… I’m enjoying reading the book of Acts.
    bubbles, hang in there! God has numbered every hair on your head. He has not forgotten you or your situation. Jeff1, thank you for sharing a part of your testimony. I hope your brother was a Christian and is now in heaven with mine.
    Will read Acts 17 within the next two days. Steve, I hope more humming birds showed up and keep us posted regarding the bees in your neck of the woods.

    74 degrees with light rain showers (and a 50 percent chance of rain) in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,
    Regina

  392. poohpity says:

    Regina, it is not in Acts what happened after they went different ways. It is in Paul’s letters to the church’s in Rome, Corinth, etc. to fill in the details of other places than the outline of the journey’s that Luke mentioned in Acts.

  393. Regina says:

    pooh, would love to know chapter and verse for Romans and Corinthians as I’m very curious about Paul and Barnabas’ relationship after they went their separate ways. Though, I can wait until bratimus, forever, and all who want to participate start reading Romans, Corinthians, etc. one chapter at a time. I *love* reading the books of the Bible one chapter at a time. Thank you again, bratimus! :-)
    I was pondering what I had learned in Acts 16 while I was in the shower this morning, and (in my mind) what stood out the most was—and I want to give all due RESPECT to the mighty miracles and life-changing encounters with the Holy Spirit that occurred in this chapter—“Lydia.”
    I was marveling at the fact that she was a business woman, and I wondered about her entire life…her parents, grandparents… did she have brothers and sisters…she didn’t have a husband… what happened in her life from birth until she became a “merchant of purple cloth?” How did she come to know the Lord (she was already a believer before she met Paul)?
    My mind was full of thoughts… How many business women were there in Jewish history (before Christ)?
    Lydia lived in a male dominated culture and society, and women were often seen as property. So, how did she end up with a business and a really nice house… a house big enough to entertain guests?

    68 degrees and mostly cloudy in my neck of the woods…

  394. poohpity says:

    Regina, 1 Cor 9:6, Galatians 2 you find out Paul and Barnabas working together again. Then in Col 4:10 Paul working with Mark as well as in 2 Tim 4:11.

    As far as Lydia goes you can go out of scripture and read about how women were treated in the Rome area. They had businesses and were on Roman councils. There is much information on what the world was like in the 1st century. When studying any of the bible it is a good thing to do to check out who the people were that the Apostles were bringing the Gospel to and what their lifestyles were like, the culture and the signs of those times to get the full picture.

  395. poohpity says:

    If anyone wants to get a better picture of how the books of the New Testament or the Old fit together try reading it chronologically or one can even look in the margins of your bible to see corresponding scripture references that is what they are there for.

  396. poohpity says:

    Regina, you will also find that women were worshiped in parts of the Greece area like Ephesis, Galatia, Crete they were goddesses like Diana (Artemus). It is alright to go outside the bible to find out what the areas were like before and after the Gospel came there. That helps so much in understanding what the missionaries faced in the areas they went to.

  397. Regina says:

    Good Evening, All
    I pray that you all (and your family) are well. I’m doing great, and I enjoyed my day today (had a black bean taco and *tortilla-less* taco for brunch and a veggie burger and dark chocolate covered raspberry Popsicle for dinner).
    pooh, Thank you for the suggestion re: where I can find background knowledge on the culture and society of the 1st century, but I rather you *not* tell me specifically (book, chapter and verse) where to find information in the Bible because that takes away the “joy” of finding it for myself. For instance, if a student of mine shared with me their excitement about doing a research project, and he/she came to school the next day and discovered that I’d done the entire project for them, I doubt that the student would be happy about it. I’m pretty sure the student would feel robbed of the effort of doing their own work. I know you have a desire to help (I do too), but you have to make sure that you don’t help too much. Especially, when the help is “not” requested.

    Enjoyed reading Acts 17 today! It’s actually one of my favorite chapters in the book, and here’s my take away…

    Acts 17—

    v. 1-9: Paul (and his companions) traveled to Thessalonica and he preached the Good News for three Sundays in a row in a Jewish synagogue. Some (men and women) were persuaded and became converts. The Jewish leaders were jealous… incited some people to form a mob… attacked the home of Jason (were planning to take Paul and Silas to the City Council for punishment)… didn’t find Paul and Silas so they dragged out Jason and other believers… took them before the Council… accused Paul, Silas and other believers of treason for claiming another king, Jesus, instead of Caesar. The men were released after they posted bail.

    v. 10-18: The Christians helped Paul and Silas get to Berea. The people of Berea gladly listened to the message that Paul and Silas preached. The Bereans searched the scriptures daily to test the truthfulness of Paul and Silas’ message.
    As a result, many believed (Greek women and men)… Thessalonian Jews learned of Paul’s successful revival in Berea… the Jews traveled there and stirred up trouble… believers sent Paul to the coast… Silas and *Timothy
    (*wondered where he’d gone) stayed behind… Paul (and others) went to Athens (the other believers returned to Berea)… Paul sent message for Timothy and Silas to join him.
    Paul, while waiting for his companions, was deeply troubled by the idols he saw in Athens. Paul went to the synagogue for discussions with Jews and devout Gentiles… he spoke daily in the public square to all who would listen… Paul met some epicurean philosophers who didn’t believe his message (the Good News).

    v. 19-28: Philosophers invited Paul to a forum at Mars Hill… Paul addressed the men at the Mars Hill forum… The men of Athens had an altar dedicated to “the Unknown God.” Paul explained the character, attributes and self-sufficiency of God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and our spiritual (supernatural) relationship with and total dependency on Him.

    v. 29-34: Paul explained that “God” is not an idol made by men. He told the Athenians that (the living) God commands everyone to put away idols and worship only Him… He explained that God appointed one man to judge the world and pointed Him out by bringing him back to life again. Some of the men laughed at Paul’s message… others wanted to hear more, and a few joined him and became believers (Dionysius, Damaris and others).

    70 degrees under a clear, night time sky in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,
    Regina

  398. poohpity says:

    Regina, you said, “pooh, would love to know chapter and verse for Romans and Corinthians as I’m very curious about Paul and Barnabas’ relationship after they went their separate ways.” I must have misunderstood I thought you did request/ask so I was happy to share, my bad!! Seems I never do anything right. I nor anyone else requested to know your take on the Acts chapters but you shared anyway and denied us the privilege of reading it for ourselves.

  399. poohpity says:

    Isn’t that what is referred to as hypocrisy?

  400. poohpity says:

    Maybe it would be well for you to take the lecture you bestowed on me and apply it to your own life.

  401. foreverblessed says:

    I wasn’t able to login in the present topic, so I write here.

    Lydia has been on my mind too, for several days.
    Especially this:
    “The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.”
    Acts 16:14
    Paul had to do some talking there, but not too much, as I know that too much talking can do more harm than good to the Gospel.
    Let the Spirit explaing, just bring people to Jesus.

    Like Philip did with Nathanael, the only words that Phiplip had was this: I think we have found the One Moses spoke about. It is only in the Gospel of John, John 1:43-51
    And then Philip backed off, and let Jesus do the talking to the heart of Nathanael.

    What I think I can do is pray,
    Intercessory prayer,I believe that God works on prayer of His saints.
    So that hearts may be opened.

    Then the imprisonment of Paul and Silas, is a story I have often read:The verse of the day of biblegateway is:
    1 Thess 5:16-18
    Be joyful always. Pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

    If I do question myself any time of the day, this is the verse, (I forgot a little about it)
    Be thankfull and pray, even if I do not know what to pray, the Spirit will help me in groaning, whether I groan, or the Spirit.
    I groan a lot these days, as this is all going so strange.
    People are burning telephone Towers in my country, because they think that 5G brings the virus with it. O dear, how people can get distracted, and believing lies. If too many towers are burnedm there will be a problem in mobile phone communications.

    But… also many dear things happen, people helping people, as Pooh did to that old lady, good story Pooh,
    those are good comments, but the last two ones above, -ouch ouch.
    May God bless you lots.
    He who started a work in you is able to finish it.

    I am still in Acts 16, with the singing of Paul and Silas in prison. What a miralce,: first, that they sang. Second that the earthquake came, and third that the prisoners all stayed, none fled, so all must have been touched in their hearts by the singing of Paul and Silas.
    and the best miracle”: the conversion of the jailer and his household, What a miracles!

    God bless you all today.

  402. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All
    I pray that you (and your family) are well. I doing great. Read a phenomenal devotional this morning, and I ready to do God’s will (for as much as possible since we’re in shelter in place in my neck of the woods). pooh, you are mistaken… I did not ask you to provide chapter and verse for the relationship between Paul and Barnabas. As far as I know, you were not even reading Acts with bratimus, forever and myself. And what I said to you re: not providing that for me was entirely *respectful*, unlike how you responded to me.

    You never mentioned that you were reading the Acts chapters, so why would I ask you for anything? If you will read through my comments again, you will discover that I didn’t ask you to do ANYTHING for me. Why would I (when I can do that work for myself)? I said that I was looking forward to finding out about Paul and Barnabas’ relationship by reading Acts (and/or other chapters) with forever, bratimus (and all who wanted to join in on the reading, but I never asked anyone for book, chapter and verse). Also, you never expressed interest in the Acts reading until now. And I am not, nor have I ever been a HYPOCRITE. Further, bratimus and forever did not my mind my summary of the Acts chapters, and again—you never commented on anything re: the Acts chapters until now. So, I hope with further investigation of what I said, (please refer to my previous comments), you will discover that I never asked you to do ANYTHING for me.

    73 degrees and sunny in my neck of the woods (with a chance of rain tonight)…

    Love to all,
    Regina

  403. Regina says:

    *correction: “I’m” — not— “I”

  404. Regina says:

    pooh, You did misunderstand…

    Please refer to this comment:
    “Though, *I can wait until bratimus, forever, and all who want to participate start reading Romans, Corinthians, etc. one chapter at a time.* I *love* reading the books of the Bible one chapter at a time.”

    Here, you will discover that I never asked you to do anything for me.

  405. poohpity says:

    Thank you for your judgement forever. I always feel blessed when you judge me or what I say. I forget God left you a place next to His on the throne

  406. poohpity says:

    Regina that is not what you wrote at all, lol. Why would I read Acts when I have always pretty much respected this blog enough to discuss the topic, I know you never have but I do.

  407. foreverblessed says:

    Dear dear Pooh, may God bless you even more, more today, and more tonight, and even more tomorrow.
    And I really do mean it, it is not meant sarcastically. No, not at all, you are on God’s hands, and they are good hands to be in.

  408. poohpity says:

    Dearest dear forever bless your heart, What would make you think, that I think what you say is sarcastic when I have always thought the things you say in my opinion which I do not share often is more like a very self righteous, religious person than anything else. The kind of person who thinks they are so godly but has no idea about anything that has to do with grace. The kind of person Jesus describes in Matt 23.

  409. foreverblessed says:

    Dear Pooh, I am very very sorry that I have triggered you to even make more judgemental statements.
    My heart is crying out for you.
    For the sake of staying clear of triggering you to do more judgements I will not communicate with you anymore.
    God bless you.
    And God is great in everything we need.

  410. poohpity says:

    You are right forever, I did judge you and that was wrong. It is not my place to give my opinion of others which is why I hold my tongue when others give their opinion of me. I apologize and ask for your forgiveness. I am in no place to judge the actions of others when I have so much in my own life that is in need of the healing hand of my Savior.

  411. foreverblessed says:

    Of course Pooh, I do.
    It brings joy to my heart, (that sounds so Christian, but I can find no other word to describe what happens in my heart).

  412. foreverblessed says:

    A part of a song Jeff shared, for anyone who needs it again:

    Breathe, O breathe Thy loving Spirit,
    Into every troubled breast!
    Let us all in Thee inherit;
    Let us find that promised rest.
    Take away our bent to sinning;
    Alpha and Omega be;
    End of faith, as its Beginning,
    Set our hearts at liberty.

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