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Teachable Moments

In the last post we raised the question of whether a person of questionable motives can say something profound about the heart of our God.

Like the wise woman of Tekoa, the high priest who presided over the condemnation of Jesus also shows us that the goodness of our God can show up in some of the darkest times and places  (John 11:49-52).

The context in which Caiaphas says far more than he knows is important. Fellow religious leaders were torn between acknowledging the miraculous signs Jesus was doing and what would happen to their national religion and security if they didn’t stop him. Responding to their worries, the spiritual leader of Israel confidently says, “You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man dies for the people than that the whole nation perish.” John then adds, “He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life”.

While it is clear that the high priest was making a case for killing Jesus, John uses a teachable moment to assure us that the Spirit of God can give us a hint of the great, self-sacrificing heart of God that shines a light on our shriveled, self-protective thoughts about personal, family, national, and spiritual security.


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265 Responses to “Teachable Moments”

  1. Beloved says:

    I had never given Caiaphas credit due before as one annointed and appointed by God as high priest over Israel. It appears that God chooses to use whomever He wants to show the greatness of His glory. We never know, do we. For unto us a child is given unto us a child is born; and the government shall be upon His shoulders. Then, as now.

  2. poohpity says:

    This topic reminds me of what happened to Joseph with his brothers as he told them, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

    I bet that was so profound to John since he wrote his Gospel decades after the resurrection, it is profound to me even today. I learned early on that we never know who or what God will use to teach us His will and His ways.

  3. SFDBWV says:

    I don’t know how many of you ever have went berry picking, but even though your bucket may be full it is impossible to not keep picking when you come upon another bunch of big ripe berries.

    So it is for me with Mart’s blog. I just came in from getting water from the spring and after getting things settled for Matt sat down with a sandwich and discovered a new topic. Just like finding another full bush hanging heavy with berries it is just too much temptation not to dig in.

    Mart was wise not to just add a comment to the past topic, but rather tweak it so as to bring forward his thoughts connected to it in a new subject.

    Looking at this from a different angle then I perceived in the last it is less complex and more to the surface.

    Are there comments written by people all through the Bible who not identified as speaking so much for God actually unwittingly speaking for God after all.

    I would have to say yes, definitely. Although this is one of the reasons I don’t particularly like the Book of Job.

    So much of it is spent quoting Job’s friends only to then read that everything they said about God was false. That is according to God.

    Though I would think that much of what they did say could sound as if they were something God may have said of Himself.

    So you could then make an argument that God spoke through them in order to explain what His true nature is not like.

    Is such a question only relevant to Scripture? Do you think that we all sometimes unwittingly are used of the Holy Spirit to say things that aren’t necessarily from us, but from Him?

    I do.

    So in a simple way of agreeing with what Mart is saying, yes the woman Joab used to speak to David may have very well been speaking the will of God. Caiaphas’ speech was explained as being prophetic, whereas most of the words and actions of the Scripture are prophetic as well without explaining it as such.

    Well I’ve had my lunch, gotten Matt squared away and ready for his shower at 12 and am now ready to move on.

    I need to empty my bucket and rest for a while.

    46 degrees with light rain, some snow mixed in.

    Steve

  4. jeff1 says:

    We are celebrating VD (75 years) here and my friend and I would normally go to a street party but instead my friend and neighbour has brought me scones with jam and fresh cream, chocolate cake and strawberries.

    I have been listening to the guards outside Buckingham Palace playing Amazing Grace and other singers singing old time favourite songs from the war.

    I was feeling down so this has been very much welcomed and I thank God for benevolent friends.

  5. poohpity says:

    Viv, I thought of you when our news reported that the Irish returned a favor done for them by the Choctaw Nation, Navajo Nation during the great potato famine in 1847. Ireland donated money for them during the CoVid-19 pandemic. Ireland has sent them 2.5 million for food, water and health supplies. Wow isn’t that beautiful?

  6. poohpity says:

    We had three big planes used during the war (VD) fly over the valley of the sun where I live. It was quite the sight to see.

  7. bratimus says:

    Acts 19 over the weekend

  8. jeff1 says:

    Yes, it is shows how they never forgot their generosity. It renews our hope in human nature and this is worth of focusing on in difficult times.

  9. Beloved says:

    Shines a light on our shriveled self protective thoughts….

    Self examination is not easy as Mart eludes to here. It takes the Spirit of God to open blind eyes and expose even blinder guides. To borrow a phrase from Sinclair Ferguson on western Christianity as he found it when he arrived here from Scotland in 1983 “gullible Christians and mentally deranged ministers”.

    What to do? Pray for them as Gods enemies that their eyes will be opened by Gods Spirit, bless them as our enemies and ask God to bless them as per His character. The more you pray for an enemy the softer ones heart becomes toward them making them easier to love. Perhaps the shriveling will turn to love joy peace amongst all.

  10. jeff1 says:

    I enjoyed performances from Buckingham Palace in celebration of VE day and the words of this song always inspire and make me think of loved ones past.

    Lets say goodbye with a smile dear,
    Just for a while dear we must part,
    Don’t let our parting upset you,
    I’ll no forget you sweetheart

    We’ll meet again don’t know where don’t know when,
    But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day
    Keep smiling through just as you always do

    Till the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away,
    So will you please say hello to the folks that
    I know tell them I wont be long,

    They’ll be happy to know that as you saw me go
    I was singingtis song we’ll meet again don’t no where
    Don’t no when but I know we’ll meet again some sunny day

    After the rain comes a rainbow you’ll see the rain go
    Never fear we too must wait for tomorrow goodbye to sorrow
    My dear we’ll meet again don’t know where don’t no when
    But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day,

    Keep smiling through just as you always do
    Till the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away
    So will you please say hello too the folks
    That I no tell them I won’t be long

    They’ll be happy to know that as you saw me go
    I was singing this song we’ll meet again don’t no
    When don’t know where but I know we’ll meet again some sunny day

  11. foreverblessed says:

    Ok, I didn’t get it either that the former topic was about somebody with questionable motives can still say the words of God.

    Mart’s last sentence:
    “John uses a teachable moment to assure us that the Spirit of God can give us a hint of the great, self-sacrificing heart of God that shines a light on our shriveled, self-protective thoughts about personal, family, national, and spiritual security.”

    Our shriveled self-protectivd thoughts,
    Like: how are we going to make it through this pandemic. Worries about our national economy, world economy.
    They are shriveled thoughts.

    Such a strange thing: this 75 years of freedom since ww2 should have been a great feast!
    And here we are in another war: a small tiny particle, a virus.

    In our country we celebrate it on May 5, but May 8 is the great day for Europe as a whole.
    Thanks for sharing Jeff. Even following just on tv can make just as much an impression.

    And I indeed think that God can use many a people to get His Word out.
    I often hear God’s Word spoken to me through people who do not even know Jesus.
    God’s Words, I mean, the words that God wants to tell me personally.
    But to hear them, my soul should be at Rest in Jesus.
    “All is well”

  12. jeff1 says:

    Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
    Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
    Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
    Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood

    Chorus:
    This is my story, this is my song,
    Praising my Savior all the day long;
    This is my story, this is my song,
    Praising my Savior all the day long.

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

    Perfect submission, all is at rest,
    I in my Savior am happy and blest,
    Watching and waiting, looking above,
    Filled with His goodness, lost in His love

  13. poohpity says:

    It does not surprise me that God can use even our enemies to shine a light into our own heart condition. Sometimes I fail to look at my own heart because I am to busy looking at what I think is in another’s heart which is beyond my knowing. Only God knows and therefore is the righteous, just judge of mankind to see the “shriveled, self-protective thoughts about personal, family, national, and spiritual security.” and YET went to such great lengths to die for mankind in the state we are in.

    God always seems to let us know what He is doing before it happens and then while something is happening He does not seem to hold back what we can learn from any circumstance we may find ourselves in. Sometimes, like John, it is done with hindsight because I would guess that at the time that Caiaphas said that John did not realize how it fit into God’s master plan that was from the beginning of creation, from the very first rebellion by our first parents.

    A good question I ask God, “what are you teaching me through this or in this?”

  14. poohpity says:

    Sometimes it seems as if that teachable moment or the point that was made still gets lost by those who do not do any self examination that Jesus died for the sins of all, so one may feel superior to others thinking their sin is worse than the sin in their own life, a no room to talk kinda thing.

  15. Beloved says:

    Deflecting truth by blaming/shaming others. Father forgive them for they “know not what they do”. A person without conscience can only be saved by God through Christ. Interceding is the best rather than confrontation. Only Jesus can save. Period.

  16. Beloved says:

    National pride can be a brief source of comfort.

  17. jeff1 says:

    I believe God is always teaching but I sometimes hear what I want to rather than what God is saying and so He has to be persistent in getting me to hear His truths and not the truths I tell myself.

    I had a dad who was very good at listening and hearing God and there is great discipline in that.

    I find I get easy distracted by the world and my own struggles.

    Depression gets a hold and the struggles of the mind consume my strength and self esteem.

    I more often feel tired and deflated and of little use to anyone and perhaps that is why I find songs so comforting and reassuring me of God’s presence rather than wondering what He is teaching me.

  18. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning fellow travelers. We had a low this morning of 23 degrees f and ½ inch of snow last evening. Today will be sunny, but cold.

    The worst part of this is that the apple blossoms are in full bloom and the orioles love to feed on its nectar. So we will see how bad this freeze effected the blossoms.

    I double fed the critters this morning and it seemed to please the busy feeding birds and squirrels this morning. And replaced the frozen hummingbird feeders with warm nourishment.

    Apparently they have no reason to wear a mask or to practice social distancing.

    I have mentioned this before, but it bears mentioning again. The little town I live in boasts having sent the most percentage of men to the war effort of WWII per population then any other municipality in the entire USA.

    We built a park that has a memorial with the names of every man who served in WWII from here. Along with the names of every veteran from here that served in every other war the USA has fought.

    Glenna’s uncle Bob and Charlie Cosner was one of the 82nd Airborne trapped in Bastogne during the “battle of the bulge”, and my uncle Harrold under General Patton among those who came to their rescue.

    I just think that is quite neat for two guys from the same town being involved in such a moment of history that way.

    Glenna’s dad was a WWII veteran and was in the second wave at Normandy.

    We have one living veteran from WWII and he is on the city council. He insists and I indulge that he place the little American flags on the graves of all the veterans in our cemetery for Memorial Day.

    He does have some help, but it is still his job to honor our town’s veterans in that way.

    Foreverblessed and Viv I am pleased that your countries remember and celebrate freedom. It came at a very high price.

    Like our salvation that also came at a very high price, higher than perhaps we actually are able to fully understand.

    I pray we never take either for granted.

    Steve

  19. poohpity says:

    The sentiment of not taking our freedoms or our salvation for granted is just a pipe dream and is not reality because both are taken for granted everyday.

    When we do not forgive-we are taking our salvation for granted.

    When we do not show grace-we are taking our salvation for granted.

    When we deny others the freedom to be who they are-we are taking freedom for granted.

  20. poohpity says:

    Paul spoke about that in 2 Cor 6 taking grace in vain.

  21. poohpity says:

    If we just look around during this pandemic the government is taking away our freedoms which they have been for sometime now but so slowly that many did not even notice. Rather than just telling us the new guidelines we are to live by they do not think we have the brains to follow them without closing our country down.

  22. Beloved says:

    I’ve been pondering what Bambi has to do with teachable moments. Perhaps it’s the innocence of Bambi God looks for to teach- like becoming as little children Jesus commanded in order to see the kingdom of God?
    Matthew 18:2-4 New International Version (NIV)
    2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you *change* and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

    * the word change caught my attention

  23. Beloved says:

    Servant comes to mind. Serving God and others.

  24. Beloved says:

    We just found out my daughter has an enlarged aorta so with further tests will find out if she needs surgery. She’s 46 her dad died at 65 of an enlarged heart- attack. She’s thankful to God for revealing this to her now so her sons can be aware also. We agree that God is so good!

  25. foreverblessed says:

    Praying for your family, Beloved.
    How are you doing Regina?
    Please tell about your thoughts on Acts.
    Please do not be intimidated what some fellow blogger says about commenting here.
    Mart had dislocated this blog from ODB when he stepped back, and his brother took over the lead of ODB. I remember that Mart was telling us that we had some freedom in commenting, as we were a group of responsible Christians. He deemed us “responsible”.
    So if we want to comment on Acts, we can. If Mart doesn’t want it, he can tell us himself.
    I also find it interesting what we can find in Acts that is touching the topic.

    Deep down meaning: God is always good.
    Always!
    Even when Paul was persecuted, and to me it seemed so repetitive:
    He comes in a city, starts to preach in a synagogue, people listen to him. And then the jealousy of the Jews take over

    God comforts Paul in Acts 18:9-11
    Do not be afraid

    Also a word to us:
    Do not be afraid,
    ” For I am with you, and no-one is going to harm you, because I have many people in this city.
    So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.

  26. poohpity says:

    Oh my gosh how funny that you think that things Steve has said is what Mart has said about the blog. You are right again forever Mart took down the comment guidelines but the only thing that was given permission for before they were was to share the temp in our neck of the woods. The same people who are on here now are the very one’s who never followed them to begin with anyway, lol. When there are no guidelines just do as you wish, no one is stopping anyone for from doing so anyway. Actually most, not everyone, does not have a clue what Mart talks about in the first place.

  27. poohpity says:

    That seems to be the primary reason people talk about everything else.

  28. foreverblessed says:

    Dear Pooh, what an assumptions you make, just in two comments.

    And that while you want to follow the guidelines.
    These guidelines do not prevent you from making wronf assumptions. I do not say it because Steve said so.
    God bless you Pooh, lots and lots and lots.

  29. poohpity says:

    The fact is Mart never said any such of a thing but Steve has repeatedly so no assuming there. As you pointed out there are no guidelines of which you also have never followed either anyway, lol!!

    Oh by the way, “Happy Mother’s Day” to all the moms out there.

  30. foreverblessed says:


    Do they sound like One who, not far north of Tekoa, allowed himself to be misunderstood, mocked, and crucified— to express a love greater than our own— and without which we would remain alone, together and yet hopelessly estranged— in this life, and the one to come?

    This was from the former topic.

    A God who goes into great length in searching for the list.
    God is good.

    Without that love I would be lost, and alone, and in the dark.

    Talk about that.
    Instead of harassing your fellow bloggers how they do not folliw the guidelines. What a waste of time.
    Talk about how you wete list without Jesus. Your own stories are wonderful.
    Isnt that the goodness of God?
    The everlasting goodness of God, who like a mother wants to gather her chicks under her Wings.

    I shall again refrain from communicating with you, I leave you in God’s hands, you are safe with Him.
    I leave you there.

  31. poohpity says:

    forever, if I am assuming that people do not understand what Mart is talking about then you share what you think about the topic! Not just putting the headline, “Teachable Moments” into your thoughts about whatever it is you want to talk about.

  32. poohpity says:

    Leave me in God’s hands when you think you can do a better job changing me then He can. Oh my bahahbhaa!!

  33. poohpity says:

    In Matthew 6:5, Jesus says, “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.” Again, Jesus is not condemning the fact that people prayed aloud, but that they were putting on a public display for their own benefit. Their motive—to be seen of men—was the problem. Such prayer is not real prayer, but empty words meant for the ears of other people.

  34. jeff1 says:

    If I have put my hope and trust in Christ for my Salvation then I am taking it for granted, as it is a gift from God, and I have accepted.

    He takes me as I am and makes me His project and so I am trusting in His rebuke, forgiveness, correction, mercy and grace.

    I am quoting you, Pooh, it does not surprise me that God can use even our enemies to shine a light into our own heart condition.

    It did surprise me but thankfully it also awakened me to my need of His presence and guidance rather than relying on my own understanding.

    It helps me understand how God works in the midst of us and brings me to heel and when I see that His rebuke is for my well being then I pull in my horns and submit to His leading.

    Have thine own way, Lord!
    Have thine own way, Thou
    art the potter, and I am
    the clay. Mould me and me
    after thy will, while I am
    waiting, yielded and still.

    Have thine own way, Lord!
    Have thine own way, Search
    me and try me, Master
    today! Whiter than snow
    Lord, wash me just now,
    as in they presence humbly I bow.

    Have thine own way, Lord!
    Have thine own way!
    Wounded and weary, help me
    I pray! Power, all power,
    surely is thine! Touch me
    and heal me, Saviour divine!

    Have thine own way, Lord!
    Have thine own way! Hold
    o’er my being absolute
    sway. Fill with thy Spirit
    till all shall see Christ only,
    always, living in me!

    Christ only,
    always, living
    in me!

  35. SFDBWV says:

    Take a look at the words and works of man as influenced by God. Some directly some indirectly, but if looked at with a heart allied with God, all influenced by our Creator.

    When I say the words and works of man I speak of art in its many forms.

    Good poetry, good music, paintings, sculptures and even good stories whether in books or movies all have the possibility to speak out the heart of God.

    In every art form we can at times sense a resonating between it and our own spirit, our own spirit under the influence and indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

    Sadly in this world where there is light there is darkness. There is always a thief who wants to take away your joy.

    I know of little greater joy than that moment when what you see or read or hear resonates and exposes the face and voice of God to you.

    You get it.

    But there is always a thief who wants to convince you otherwise and take your joy from you.

    It was by men that the Scriptures were written down from the inspiration and will of God. How do we know that? Because the Holy Spirit always bears witness of Himself and so by His Spirit in us we know the Scriptures were His Words. Even though penned by men.

    So has God stopped inspiring man, or influencing him by way of words of poetry or songs or even by a reprimand or a pearl of wisdom from someone’s lips?

    I think not.

    God teaches and uses everything in creation to do so.

    But the problem is does everyone listen or learn?

    I think not.

    I do think however that there are many teachable moments, but they are missed by people not open to learning, blocked by jealousy, bitterness, arrogance, pride and anger they miss the message and the lesson lost to them.

    The serpent in the garden twisted the Words of God and so is the thief and liar we have come to know as Satan. It would seem he too has people who speak for him as well.

    Steve

  36. Beloved says:

    Happy blessed Mother’s Day to all bloggers here! Your work and words will not go without notice to our Heavenly Father who even provided care for Jesus mother Mary as he hung on a cross. Precious in Gods sight is the death of His saints!

  37. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Beloved
    And yes, Steve, good discipline to not let your joy be stolen.
    But I am worrying about Pooh! It seems to me someone else is talking here, and not Pooh.
    Please pray with me for her safety.
    That God will hold her and keep her in His Hands.
    And a good day to you too Jeff!

  38. poohpity says:

    No one can make us loose our joy or get angry or any other emotion that comes from within and no one can get inside of us and make us feel any way.

    Forever, this is for you; Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. 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! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’ “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.’ 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.”

    So if you want to worry about anyone maybe it is the person you see in the mirror if you ever even look there or are you to busy looking at me.

  39. Beloved says:

    Joy in the LORD is because of Him not anything we feel or try to conjure up isn’t it. Today I’m sad and lonely but my Joy in the LORD remains. Even Paul in prison sang songs of joy to God and suddenly the chains fell off and he was set free. We never know when God will show up do we. Paul’s chains led to the guard receiving salvation from his own earth bound chains. Oh Joy!

  40. Beloved says:

    Teachable moments aren’t always a party but often in a lonely or weary moment.

  41. Beloved says:

    I was just reminded of C S Lewis eyes being opened on a trip to the zoo. This scholarly man received sight by the Spirit of God- not by anything he read or was spoken to him. Interesting.

  42. Beloved says:

    Sometimes people get offended when reminded how far short of Perfection they fall so best to keep it to oneself . When God opens eyes there’s a much better chance of change if they so choose. It’s their decision ultimately.
    Matthew 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father,(C) who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

  43. Regina says:

    Good Afternoon, All

    I pray that you (and your family) are well. HAPPY Mother’s Day to all of the mothers on this blog site. I hope it’s one of the happiest you’ve ever had…

    Been thinking about this comment…

    “…John uses a teachable moment to assure us that the *Spirit of God can give us a hint of the great, self-sacrificing heart of God that shines a light on our shriveled, self-protective thoughts about personal, family, national, and spiritual security.*”

    Being “sacrificial unto death” came to mind…

    Dear Lord, Please give me a great, self-sacrificing heart. I *long* to be like You…

    Mart’s last paragraph also brought to mind a news report of a hair stylist in Texas who was arrested and sentenced to jail for refusing to close her salon. She was granted a court hearing, and she told the judge that if she closed her salon she would not be able to afford food for herself or her family. Her situation mirrors many others in the U.S.

    Was thinking… Should people who own small businesses just allow them to fail? I’m just putting myself in their shoes. I don’t own a small business, and I’m not in their situation. Nevertheless, I do feel sympathy for them. There are many difficult situations going in America (and worldwide) right now due to the COVID crisis, but I just focused on small businesses. So, at what point does “self-protective” thoughts cease to be “shriveled?” My thoughts for now.

    76 degrees and mostly sunny in my neck of the woods…

    ps. Read Acts 18… will share later.

    Love to all,
    Regina

  44. street says:

    my laptop died and is in the shop. using ipad keyboard. hard post but sometimes i still do. did not like auto correct so i found away to turn it off. turning off self is another matter. readthe post backwards this way. hard to figure out where it stopped last time. have to tell forever and friends their post are much more interesting when read backwards. wondering what others are disagreeing with. forever has been a great encouragement to me, and makes me smile. hope this day all will not rest till in His presents. saw the word sacrifice earlier, yes “ living” ones!

  45. jeff1 says:

    Its the teachable moments that help me put my trust in God in the distant ones.

    It is me who limits God but He finds away to reassure us through people, nature, beauty, stories and there is no end to His teachable moments.

    The discipline is in discerning those moments and not allowing others to steal the joy they give.

    Be Thou My Vision

    Be Thou my vision, oh Lord of my heart
    Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
    Thou my best thought by day or by night
    Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light

    Be Thou my wisdom and Thou my true word
    I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord
    Thou my great Father, I Thy true son
    Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one

    High King of Heaven my victory won
    May I reach heaven’s joys, oh, bright heaven’s sun
    Heart of my own heart whatever befall
    Still be my vision, oh Ruler of all

    Thou and Thou only first in my heart
    High King of Heaven, my treasure Thou art

  46. Beloved says:

    Romans 8:38 ►
    Parallel Verses
    New Living Translation
    And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.

  47. poohpity says:

    Doesn’t our joy come from knowing what Jesus has done for us and from the Holy Spirit?

  48. poohpity says:

    So how can anyone take that away?

  49. street says:

    the real joy is delighting in God. for me it is getting empty of self, and as paul says putting on the new self. faith is much better. living hope! then there is His unfailing love!

  50. jeff1 says:

    I have found myself lacking in faith and why I put much store by His teachable moments because they show me how much He cares and that reassures me of His presence.

    I find that God has put people in my life with much greater faith than I and so often my faith has been strengthened by their’s.

    I don’t take my faith for granted as I have seen so many loose their faith in God and I have questioned myself wondering if in their shoes would I have done differently.

    My journey of faith has not been what I would call plain sailing but rather a bumpy ride but I have come to believe that God doesn’t forsake us even those who have turned from Him He will pursue and I believe this because He has turned up in my own life at the most unexpected times.

    I envy those whose faith is plain sailing and why I have always seen myself as much more of a doubting Thomas and remember Jesus’s words to Him:

    Then 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.”

    You’ll Never Walk Alone

    When you walk through a storm
    Hold your head up high
    And don’t be afraid of the dark

    At the end of a storm
    There’s a golden sky
    And the sweet silver song of a lark

    Walk on through the wind
    Walk on through the rain
    Though your dreams be tossed and blown

    Walk on, walk on
    With hope in your heart
    And you’ll never walk alone

    You’ll never walk alone

    Walk on, walk on
    With hope in your heart
    And you’ll never walk alone

    You’ll never walk alone

  51. SFDBWV says:

    Viv I think everybody has their moments of doubt and frustration. I also think you do a fantastic job of being a Christian believer. Your honesty a testament to your faith.

    Thank you for your honesty and your love of music.

    Steve

  52. poohpity says:

    Aha moments! The times when our eyes are open to the faithfulness and goodness of God that happen the closer we live in a vital union with God.

    Have you ever noticed that children often say I will never do that with my children yet when they grow up and become a parent they find out the reasons that many parents have made the decisions and choices they made for the good of the child but they do not understand yet until they have been there?

    When we are taught that God’s way are higher than ours, does one really believe that God does know more than we do therefore is able to discern what is in the best interest of the people although we may not understand, we can still trust? Dying to self has a whole new meaning when we have that AHA! moment of putting our lives in God’s hands and following after Him rather than thinking we have to have it our way, in our time and the way we want things done, similar to the tantrums children throw trying to control and manipulate everyone to get their way! Some adults never grow out of that.

    Teachable moments are all around us everyday when we are abiding in Christ. God does not seem to waste anything especially not even hardship.

  53. poohpity says:

    God does cause evil to turn around for good.

  54. SFDBWV says:

    It is written that man has no excuse for not believing in “God” because of the creation we live in.

    Really nothing should make that more obvious then the picture Mart shows from time to time of the earth rise over the moon.

    Which I do seem to remember had quite the impression on our astronauts.

    So there in that picture God speaks, some hear some don’t.

    Every day the sun rises, very specially gifted men heard music to such an event and gave us stirring melody that we all can feel and hear the sun rise in tribute to God’s creative power.

    Right here on this blog God speaks to us at times through the comments we read.

    That is if we are open to hearing Him and learning from such words.

    Jealousy, bitterness, arrogance, and anger mutes God’s words and stunts the growth of the non-listener, non-learner.

    Are such people unforgiven? No, not in my opinion. They just lose out on joy that others can enjoy together as a community.

    We can and should pray for them, but it is only God who can change a heart.

    36 degrees with snow flurries.

    Steve

  55. poohpity says:

    Who is it that thinks others are not worth being forgiven or have to earn it?

    Matt 6: And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ 14For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive yours.…

  56. SFDBWV says:

    I’ve seen lots of cold springs, but nothing quite like this one. The only flowers that have bloomed are the daffodils, the dandelions and a few very small weeds.

    Usually by now the lilacs have been in full bloom for a couple weeks, but they haven’t even budded as of yet. No Iris’s. The apple tree next door and the crabapple tree have been in bloom for a few weeks. But the locus, maple and other timber have only budding and no blooms as yet.

    And for the mushroom pickers, no, even though there has been an abundance of rain.

    As I strain to hear if God may be speaking through such weird weather, it may just be He is saying, “Don’t worry about it, everything in due season.”

    Steve

  57. Beloved says:

    My Utmost May 11 gives lots to ponder.

  58. jeff1 says:

    There has been much false teaching and poisoning of minds here, and as someone who has grown up in a religious divided country I have seen the consequences, and yet the younger generation has seen the folly of their parents and grandparents and are not willing to repeat it.

    That gives me great hope for the future that the youngsters are seeing and saying we have had enough of belief systems that cause hatred and violence among us.

    Where there’s a will, God will make a way, and many have great hope in their offspring achieving what we failed to as all are tired of apportioning blame as who knows better the folly of it than those who seen the failings of it.

    Its God who truly forgives as that is what His teachable moments are saying:

    “Father forgive them they know not what they do”.

  59. foreverblessed says:

    Yes, Beloved, it is, it was good for me to read it this morning.
    I remembered yesterday afternoon, the advice Mart had given, in the topics on bullies.
    His advice was: Pray: Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.

    We are well on our way to dinner time, here.
    And Steve, weird, you call the cold.
    Weird it is that NW Europe has rissen in temperature more than the average rise that occurs worldwide.
    It is way too warm here, nature is more than a month ahead, I make a rough guess here.
    The little peers in our peer trea are growing fast. The daphadiles have long been gone.
    We hardly had winter. No winter I could say.
    As Beloved had noticed that our old winter pleasure: skating on natural ice has long gone.
    So too cold on Eastern part of USA, is really weird, as the whole earth is warming up.

    I did some reading in Acts again this morning, and went over the chapters 13-19

    This verse got my attention:
    Acts 13:22-23
    After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him:
    “I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do”

    From this man’s descendents God has brought to Israel the Saviour Jesus Christ, as He promised.”

    He will do everything I want him to do.
    I found a sermon on biblehub, of a man I have never heard of:
    Henry Drummond, “the ideal life.”
    (someone who knew Moody) a sermon based on Acts 13:22.

    He will do everything that I want him to do.
    And of Jesus it was said: I have come to do your will
    Psalm 40:6-8 (Septaguint)
    Hebrews 10:7

    And it was Jesus who said:
    My food, said Jesus, is to do the will of Him who sent me,

    Doing the will of the Father is also nurishing us.
    The first thing Jesus wanted:
    Come to Me, all you who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

    There is nothing spiritually that we can do, without Jesus, nothing.
    All Jesus tells us to do is only do e with His power.

    How often I have said:
    That selfsame power by which Jesus was resurrected is the power that sustains us, that enables us to do His will:
    To love, to forgive

    And, oh yes, we have to stop our own old inclinations and give them to Jesus!.
    The Cross:
    The big exchange
    We give Jesus our sins, our burdens
    And He gives us His Rest, peace, Comfort, love, patience
    And JOY.

    That joy is needed today, and the troubles ahead.

    But the natural Spring is breathtaking. And I enJoy it.

    God bless you all.

  60. foreverblessed says:

    O dear Jeff, you got the same verse out as I did!
    How wonderful!
    God bless today, and may His Resurrection Power strengthen you.

  61. Beloved says:

    19F in northern Minnesota this morning. No flowers yet but some grass is greening and tree pollen flourishing!

  62. jeff1 says:

    Thank you, Forever, I feel strengthened and I believe reading your posts gives me great encouragement.

  63. jeff1 says:

    SFDBWV says:
    May 11, 2020 at 7:48 am

    Also for your words of encouragement and our shared love of songs and music to encourage.

    This can be a challenging world and we need all the help we can get and I find C. S. Lewis can find the right words.

    There are two kinds of love… There are two kinds of love: we love wise and kind and beautiful people because we need them, but we love (or try to love) stupid and disagreeable people because they need us.

  64. Beloved says:

    “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.“

    C S Lewis
    The Four Loves

  65. Beloved says:

    37Jesus declared, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

    38This is the first and greatest commandment.

    39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.

    40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

  66. jeff1 says:

    1 Corinthians 13:13 13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love

  67. Beloved says:

    ‘but we love (or try to love) stupid and disagreeable people because they need us.‘

    Matthew 19 He that is able to receive…let him receive.
    It is not so hard to receive as it is to have to receive. It is sometimes the will of God that we should let others do the will of God, and ourselves be the occasions instead of the authors of kindness. The noble receiver is the noble giver because in receiving there is giving.
    Streams In The Desert

  68. bratimus says:

    Reading Acts 20 over the next day or two

    Spring did have a funny start where I live this year, it is finally springy out. I seen humming birds and bees, and finally a few little blue belly lizards running around.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  69. jeff1 says:

    So many gifts
    Pour down unnoticed,
    Wonders unseen,
    Whispers unheard,
    All from the heart of our Father unchanging.
    Trust Him and see
    All that can be
    Here in His perfect love.

    Father and Lord,
    Love never sleeping,
    Love ever wise,
    Patient and strong,
    Love here and now, ever dying and rising,
    Father above,
    Fullness of love,
    Father, I rest in You.

    Held by Your love,
    I face the darkness,
    Turning from fear,
    Walking by faith.
    Here in this life every joy is a promise:
    All now begun
    Soon will be done,
    Heaven complete in You.

  70. foreverblessed says:

    What a wonderful song Jeff!
    So many blessings go unnoticed.
    May I see more and more of His blessings.

    Even the blessing of the words of an enemy of Jesus.
    Like Cajaphas.
    I do have a problem with this topic, other than that I have an antagonist, and maybe can see a blessing of God through it.
    God is working anyway, God is always busy through the Cross of His Son.

    And everything J write here is visible to everybody who reads it. Do I write it to get praise from men?
    My motivation is to encourage one another in the faith of Jesus.
    Telling my own personal journey with Him.
    I come from a church who took God’s commandments very literal. They had the Law of God higher than faith in Christ. Although the forgiveness of sons through the Cross was preached, but if you were careful to keep the laws, then you would not have to use the Cross so much.
    But now I understand that we live and have our being through Jesus Christ, through faith in Him.

    I find it hard to explain the Gospel to atheists, but I can explain it to Christian fundamentalists. Just as Paul could explain to the Jews, that Jesus is the promised Messiah. That’s why I like Paul so much, I have devoured his Epistles, and was very very ashamed that I had read it in my youth, but nevertheless did not see that the law was just a Shadow of the Life of Christ within us.
    I did not keep the law because I then would deserve God’s love, I kept it, because out of reverence and obedience for God, because I though that that was what God asked of me.
    God saw my heart, just as he saw Paul’s heart.
    Paul’s eyes were opened to see Jesus.
    An enemy of Jesus became His most effective tool for reaching the gentiles.

    Now I see how great a miracle it is when people see Jesus.
    The eyes of their hearts are opened.
    We were all living in deceptions, lies, ever since Adam and Eve.
    Christine Caine spoke on Hour of Power last Sunday.
    Very powerful message:
    God’s Word is the Truth,
    But the devil wants us to start doubting:
    Had God really said????

    Yes, God had said that IN Christ I am His Beloved child!
    And so are you!

    I have not yet attained to that fullness, that great endurance, patience, mercy, I could have lots lots more, but I am on my way.

    This day, may God bless you all!!!!

    Just because of the joy it brings to ask God to bless you!
    Because I am convinced that God is waiting for our prayers, and collects them in a basket.

    “Let me hear your voice”
    He says, in Song of Solomon 8

  71. foreverblessed says:

    Do we do things to be seen by men?
    I draw and paint, I paint as I think I have to do it. It is not very neat, but I like it when you see the under drawing, and the different layers, I also like it when it is not finished, things left undone.
    Many who saw my work did not appreciate it, especially Christian. “Can’t you finish it?”
    My mother did not like it. She said nothing.

    Do I do it for men to be seen?
    It indeed hurt me that they did not applaud my work.
    But I.did not change my way of painting just to please the artistic taste of others. ( In the art academy my teacher was encouraging us to paint as what was true to your inner being, not as what people wanted to see)

    After 20 years my mother said: I really appreciate your work.
    She had to get used to it, many many years! So it was good that I listened to my teacher.

    And that’s how our Christian walk is: listen to the personal voice of Jesus to you!

    What good is for one Christian may not be good for another.
    Listen to what Jesus says to you:

    That is one more thing I learned at art school:
    The teacher said: Do not listen to what I say to another student! What I say to another student is for her.
    To you I will give other instructions.
    When he said that, I understood that Jesus does say the same thing to us.

    He gives instructions as to what each person needs.
    And on the level where they are.
    Many are in the “comfort” plane
    Blessed are you when you mourn, for you will be comforted.
    Paul was at another level:
    He was singing when he was put in prison, whereas I would mourn.
    He was here:
    Blessed are you when men persecute you.

    The beatitudes of Matthew 5:1-12

  72. SFDBWV says:

    John 21:25 KJV “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen”

    In this and the last subject Mart puts the idea forward that the woman who convinced David to allow his son Absalom to return to Jerusalem was speaking the heart of God in her message. And that as an idea, perhaps the heart of God is spoken in such a manner without our realizing it at that moment.

    I read a quote this morning from Harper Lee that goes as follows, “People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”

    What it is that causes us to look for God for relief is what we see and listen for.

    Perhaps sometimes desperate enough to glean every crumb that falls from the table.

    I pray that all of your searches finds a cup that runs over.

    34 degrees and clear.

    Steve

  73. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed it seems we are both writing at the same time. I think that is really incredible that we can be so far apart and yet so close at the same time.

    In agreement with your comment about art. I found long ago that my art was for me, not for others.

    It satisfied something in me to accomplish and in fact I rarely if ever shared it with anyone.

    Of course if or when someone seen it I wanted them to say something positive or encouraging, but I didn’t do it for that, I did it for me.

    And admittedly rarely ever satisfied with the finished product, I my most picky critic.

    Way out of time.

    Steve

  74. jeff1 says:

    foreverblessed says:
    May 12, 2020 at 4:52 am

    He gives instructions as to what each person needs.
    And on the level where they are.
    Many are in the “comfort” plane
    Blessed are you when you mourn, for you will be comforted.

    Forever, I believe I am one on the ‘comfort’ plane as it is what|I have been needing to know that He cares much more than I need to understand so I take your point that Jesus takes us as and where we are as individuals and so listening to others can cause confusion when I should be listening to Jesus.

    I have asked myself why am I so needy for God’s comfort and assurance and as I see it I lived for 30 years with violence and hatred and listening to the wrong people and so I seen God as an angry God.

    My teachable moments are for me/you alone as God knows His children have different lessons to learn.

    My heart tells me I have God’s forgiveness through Christ but my head hears all sorts of voices that say otherwise and why I listen to songs that contradict the voices and give me peace of mind in a world where it is hard to find.

    I had a good upbringing in that my dad disciplined me to God’s commandments but I wandered from the truth and fell foul which is why I see myself in need of God’s forgiveness because only He can give absolution from my sins.

    You bore our sin, our guilt, our greed,
    Our emptiness and boundless need.
    From birth to death, with every breath
    You bore our sin, O Lamb of God.

    Baptized for sins we now confess,
    You shouldered our unworthiness.
    Temptation’s weight, our fear and hate
    You bore for us, O Lamb of God.

    Pursued and pressured day by day,
    You bowed, and evil had its way.
    The highest crown, You laid it down
    And died for us, O Lamb of God.

    Now every blessing we possess,
    All life and love and holiness,
    Eternal health, unfathomed wealth
    Are all in You, O Lamb of God.

  75. poohpity says:

    There is a vast difference in what the High Priest said about one should die for the many which is what Jesus actually did but the wise woman of Tekoa said what another human being told her to say with the results of letting the son back in and then he tried to take the Kingdom of Israel away from his father.

    The difference in truly hearing from God which results in good not evil or listening to the opinions of peers with horrible consequences resulting in a bad outcome far away most often from God’s will or His ways.

    There is also actions we do for the applause of people when our hearts are far away from God. That can not be compared to art in anyway. The vast difference being doing things to please God not people. If there is a comparison with art it is that we are God’s art or workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do the good that God had planned for us long ago.

    Eph 2: God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

  76. poohpity says:

    There is also a vast difference in knowing about God and having a personal relationship with Him the results being love, joy, kindness, gentleness, peace, patience and self control. Knowing about God but not having that relationship results in gossip, people pleasing, slander, idolatry, greed, feeling superior to others, unforgiveness, hatred, rage, bitterness all of which are living in the flesh not by the Spirit.

  77. poohpity says:

    For me understanding the teachable moments when God reveals the things in me that He is working on and me agreeing with Him and confessing them. Then His work begins. It takes personal confessions not fault finding in others that opens me up to understanding the lengths of what happened on the Cross and the undeserved grace I have been shown. But if I am always looking at the misdeeds or faults or sin in others I will not be grateful for all that Christ has done for me. Now I am a new creation, God’s own child and fully loved by Him brokenness and all faults, failures and shortcomings but now I realize that I have all those so I have no room to talk about anyone else.

  78. Beloved says:

    Enjoyed reading the comments I’m sure all will be an encouragement to someone. Gods richest blessings be yours as you focus on Jesus today!

  79. jeff1 says:

    I think our experiences of God in our life are different and to try and make one shoe fit all is to try and limit God in how He works differently in each of us.

    God has worked in my life in ways I would never have expected and it is those teachable moments that have helped me to rely and trust on Him more.

    The more I put my trust in Him the less I concern myself with others faults because I know He is working out His will in them too and so I have peace of mind for myself and others.

    I have learned that a critical spirit either my own or anyone else’s serves no purpose other than to divide and personally I cannot see how that serves God’s purpose in any way.

  80. Beloved says:

    Teachable moments

    Pandemic! Jesus Christ the same yesterday today and forever. Amen

  81. Regina says:

    Good Afternoon, All

    I pray that you (and your family) are well. I’m doing great. I had a baked potato with egg and cheddar for lunch, and a chocolate chip cookie with Ghirardelli chocolate for dessert. I want to share my take away for Acts 18.

    Acts 18 —

    Here are my five “just learned” take aways…

    1. Paul, Aquila and Priscilla were tent makers. v. 1-3

    2. The Jews opposed Paul… blasphemed the name of Jesus… Paul shook the dust off his robe against them… Paul preached to the Gentiles from then on. v. 4-6

    3. The Lord told Paul, in a vision, that many of the Corinthian people belonged to him. Paul stayed in Corinth for almost 2 years. v. 7-11

    4. Paul shaved his head… he had taken a vow… honors Jewish custom. v. 17-23

    Thought about how Samson’s hair could not be cut because he was a Nazirite. Judges 13:5

    5. Priscilla and Aquila helped a Jew named Apollos understand what had happened to Jesus since the time of John the Baptist.

    I’ll read Acts 19 over the next two or three days…

    75 degrees and mostly cloudy in my neck of the woods (Steve, wondering about the strange happenings with flora and fauna in your neck of the woods)…

    Love to all,
    Regina

  82. Regina says:

    Was also wondering about the picture Mart chose for this blog topic… What did Bambi learn from the butterfly?

  83. jeff1 says:

    Sovereign, all-transcending Lord,
    Holy mystery, feared, adored,
    In Your mighty Son we see
    All Your love’s humility.

    Christ the Lion, now the Lamb,
    Gives Himself, the great I AM.
    Christ, the Prince of Paradise,
    Dies a slaughtered sacrifice.

    Christ the Victor, in defeat,
    Makes Your victory all complete.
    As He prays His final breath,
    Sovereign life now swallows death.

    In His conquering strength we see
    Deep and glorious mystery
    Glowing from Your heart above:
    Holy, fierce, all-conquering love.

  84. Regina says:

    Oh, Number 5: v. 24-28…

  85. Regina says:

    Have been earnestly praying for my country (and the world) in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this song dropped in my spirit today…

    “God Will Take Care of You”

    Be not dismayed whate’er betide—
    God will take care of you—
    Beneath His wings of love abide—
    God will take care of you—

    I know God will— take care of you—
    Through every day– come what may—
    He’ll see you through—
    God— will take care of you—
    God— will take care of you—

  86. street says:

    the last post we raised the question of whether a person of questionable motives can say something profound about the heart of our God. can the profound truth be heard by the human heart? yes steve i have been led down dead ends by job’s three friends . agreeing with them as i read. taking my eyes off the One with the white cowboy hat. foundation ahead, we keep digging. God devises “ways” to bring us back. just One, His Word. had not been revealed yet in davids day. yet this had not hindered davids trust in God nor God’s delight in the righteous. my sheep hear My voice and follow Me, they will not follow another. our Shepherd has never failed. He may not be safe, but He is good!

  87. poohpity says:

    Bambi did not call that thing on his nose a butterfly but a Bird.

  88. poohpity says:

    Which seems to be the very reason Mart included it in the topic of teachable moments.

  89. SFDBWV says:

    Teachable moments; I have found that life is a never ending stretch of teachable moments.

    The thing being do we learn from what we are taught?

    Do we apply it to the remainder of our lives, or step over them and repeat our mistakes.

    Couldn’t help but see what pooh wrote about Bambi calling the butterfly a bird.

    It immediately reminded me of the many things Matt can’t remember exactly.

    People with dementia, stroke, or damaged brains all have that in common. Knowing what they want to say, but can’t quite get it right.

    Whereas it frustrates them, we who love and care for them learn to help them without “correcting” them. There is a difference.

    Dealing with Matt’s difficulties over these past 21 years I have often wondered if this is how mankind is viewed by God. As people with damaged brains, not needing corrected as much as needing to be loved.

    The weather here is supposed to radically warm up the next few days perhaps that will wake up the flowering shrubbery, trees, and flowers and so then bring out the bees. But this morning it is 27 degrees and clear. The grass crunching beneath my feet this morning as I fed the critters.

    Steve

  90. foreverblessed says:

    That is a good question Steve: is love all that is needed?

    God is love.

    But with the search of the former topic, where we ended up with Absalom and David, I got into a sermon on that episode, ( through biblehub)
    Absalom was given love, but no correction.

    God is love, but the consequences of our sins is the death of Christ.

    So we need love AND the Cross.

    Without the Cross we would get love, but still be severed from God, and on our own unable to avoid the dark kingdom that rules on earth.

  91. foreverblessed says:

    But I, myself, cannot tell that story of the Cross to others around me.
    So I pray, intercessory prayer,
    And show love to all around me. All, in theory, I am learning to do that, so the Grace of God enables me.

  92. SFDBWV says:

    Yes Foreverblessed correction is needed, but sometimes how correction is applied can make all the difference in its being accepted.

    If we look at man’s rebellious spirit as being a sickness, we can see better that before he can receive correction he has to be healed.

    A process that may take a lifetime for some.

    The story of David and Absalom is a very tragic one. As Absalom never returned David’s love. No matter how much David loved Absalom, Absalom loved Absalom more.

    Was this Absalom’s mother’s fault, David’s fault? Or perhaps his connection to Saul? Was it because he liked the praise of others and so was susceptible to being used by David’s enemies?

    Perhaps because David had more than one wife and therefor Absalom having to share his heritage with half-brothers? Envy, jealousy, resentment poisoning him to the point of its being his downfall.

    As Absalom hung there by his hair, maybe then he resented his actions, or perhaps only regretted hanging there, never learning, even in defeat.

    But David still loved him and mourned his death.

    I am sure if David could have imagined a way to fix things so it didn’t turn out as it did he would have.

    I think maybe this is where the cross comes into the picture, God made a way.

    At least in my heart I hope that there is a time in God’s creation and our existence that David and Absalom can be reconciled and they be able to be together again as a loving father and son, as God intended it to be.

    Steve

  93. jeff1 says:

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

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

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

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

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

  94. poohpity says:

    Thumper corrected Bambi by saying, “that is not a bird silly it is a butterfly” to which Thumper’s mom asked him what was the lesson she taught him. Thumper then said in reply, “if you can’t say sumpting nice do not say sumpting at all” referring to Thumper calling Bambi silly. Then when Bambi ran into the skunk in the flower field he called him “Flower” but this time Thumper did not call him names and when he went to correct him the skunk stopped him and said, “Aw that’s OK” that he called him flower.

    Can you tell that Bambi is my all time favorite Disney cartoon? Such good lessons about love and friendship especially with/for those who have not learned things yet.

  95. poohpity says:

    It seems God will and does use anything to gently correct us for those who are open to learning from Him. He does not bend or break an already bruised reed. Matt 12:20 NLT

  96. poohpity says:

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

  97. poohpity says:

    God delights in a contrite heart. A Psalm of David 32;

    Oh, what joy for those
    whose disobedience is forgiven,
    whose sin is put out of sight!
    2
    Yes, what joy for those
    whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt,
    whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
    3
    When I refused to confess my sin,
    my body wasted away,
    and I groaned all day long.
    4
    Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.
    My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.

    5
    Finally, I confessed all my sins to you
    and stopped trying to hide my guilt.
    I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.”
    And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.

    6
    Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time,
    that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment.
    7
    For you are my hiding place;
    you protect me from trouble.
    You surround me with songs of victory.

    8
    The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
    I will advise you and watch over you.
    9
    Do not be like a senseless horse or mule
    that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”

    10
    Many sorrows come to the wicked,
    but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord.
    11
    So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him!
    Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!

    Matt 5:8

  98. jeff1 says:

    You are the peace that guards my heart
    My help in time of need
    You are the hope that leads me on
    And brings me to my knees
    For there I find You waiting
    And there I find relief
    So with all my heart I’ll worship
    And unto You I’ll sing

    For You alone deserve all glory
    For You alone deserve all praise
    Father we worship and adore You
    Father we long to see Your face
    For You alone deserve all glory
    For You alone deserve all praise
    Father we love You
    And we worship You this day

    You are the peace that guards my heart
    My help in time of need
    You are the hope that leads me on
    And brings me to my knees
    For there I find You waiting
    And there I find relief
    So with all my heart I’ll worship
    And unto You i’ll sing

    For You alone deserve all glory
    For You alone deserve all praise
    Father we worship and adore You
    Father we long to see Your face
    For You alone deserve all glory
    For You alone deserve all praise
    Father we love You
    And we worship You this day

    For You alone deserve all glory
    For You alone deserve all praise
    Father we worship and adore You
    Father we long to see Your face
    For You alone deserve all glory
    For You alone deserve all praise
    Father we love You
    And we worship You this day
    (Repeat X1)

    Father we love You
    And we worship You this day
    Father we love You
    And we worship You this day
    Father we love You
    And we worship You this day

  99. street says:

    photo bombing a blog, not hard to do. loved daily bread today. a skunk is still a skunk and a rose is still a rose if called by another name. Jesus the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Savior. thinking about when Jesus is Lord over all. there is no darkness and peace.

  100. Beloved says:

    excellent

  101. Beloved says:

    thinking about when Jesus is LORD over all! Good thoughts.

  102. Beloved says:

    More good thoughts…
    
    Jeremiah 29:11

    11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future

  103. foreverblessed says:

    That sounds like the heart of God: Jer 29:11

    Does what I think resound the heart of God?

    Today I read what the twolisteners heard how Jesus spoke to them:

    May 14 The Love of a Lover

    Remember that a loving Master delights in the intimacy of demands made, as much as He desires His followers and friends to delight in the tender intimacy of His demands.

    Only as the result of frequent converse with Me, of much prayer to Me, of listening to and obedience to My behests comes that intimacy that makes My followers dare to approach Me as friend to friend.

    Yield in all things to My tender insistence but remember I yield too to yours. Ask not only the big things I have told you, but ask the little tender signs of Love. Remember that I came as the world’s Great Lover. Never think of My Love as only a tender compassion and forgiveness. It is that, but it is also the Love of a Lover, who shows His Love by countless words and actions and by tender thought.

    In each of you, too, remember there is God. It is always given to man to see in his fellow man those aspirations and qualities he himself possesses. So only I, being really God, can recognize the God in man. Remember this, too, in your relation to others.

    Your motives and aspirations can only be understood by those who have attained the same spiritual level. So do not vainly, foolishly, expect from others understanding. Do not misjudge them for not giving it. Yours is a foreign language to them.

    Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth,
    where thou feedest, where thou
    makest thy flock to rest at noon.
    Song of Solomon 1:7

    —-
    till so far the devotion.
    That is really awesome: Jesus as The Great Lover of mankind.
    But only those that have grown intimately with Him can see that Love of a Lover. The ones that are not yet so clost with Jesus, are still standing far off, do not understand it when someone talks about that Great Lover, He who really loves to hear out voices in the morning
    Who says to us: Let Me hear your voice.

    I myself am amazed what Jesus says to these two women, who called themselves: Twolisteners, they wanted to stay anonymous. Do I hear Jesus talk to me like that intimately? Everyday? Every morning as soon as I open my eyes? It is something I am looking forward to.
    But what I do, is start talking to Jesus first thing as I open my eyes. It is quite a thing to come to rest and hear His voice.

    (And Steve, I too hope that Absalom will be reunited within the family of God the Father, that he will be like the wayward son, who comes back to the Father)

  104. foreverblessed says:

    “Only as the result of frequent converse with Me, of much prayer to Me, of listening to and obedience to My behests comes that intimacy that makes My followers dare to approach Me as friend to friend.”

    I repeat what Jesus said to the women.
    This: “only as a result of frequent converse with Me”
    may sound as a conditional love,
    but…. it sounds like a natural thing: the more you convese with Jesus, (and do what He says) the more intimate you grow with Him.

    I remember I had written here about the love of God,
    The Love of God is to all, unconditionally.
    That is the agape love.

    But the intimate love of God,
    the phileo love,
    is a love that is grown when there is a bond of trust, of faith obedience, of frequent converse.

    That is not a conditional love, but God cannot show Himself to those whose heart have not opened to Him.

    The words of Jesus are:
    “you are my friends when you do what I command you,”
    and My command are not burdensome,
    (they are this: Love others as I have loved you)

    And this one:
    For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.
    the bond of family, phileo love.

    God’s love is for all, uncondtionally.
    I am repeating myself,

    But God can send rain on the believer and on the non-believer,
    but the gifts of the Holy Spirit he can only give to those who are like a child, who have invited Jesus into their hearts.
    To those who are thankful.

    Just as God can only forgive as we forgive others, it is a spiritual law.
    But you all know that.

    Why am I writingthihs then?
    To encourage one another to stay close to Jesus.

    Turn you eyes upon Jesus,
    first thing in the morning
    Look full in His glorious face

    Thanks Jeff for the songs of yesterday!

  105. jeff1 says:

    Forever, your verses and your comments resonates with me as I can share with God things I cannot share with another.

    1 Jesus, my sorrow lies too deep
    For human ministry;
    It knows not how to tell itself
    To any but to Thee.

    2 Thou dost remember still, amid
    The glories of God’s throne,
    The sorrows of mortality,
    For they were once Thine own.

    3 Yes: for, as if Thou wouldst be God,
    Even in Thy misery,
    There’s been no sorrow but Thine own,
    Untouched by sympathy.

    4 Jesus, my fainting spirit brings
    Its fearfulness to Thee;
    Thine eye, at least, can penetrate
    The clouded mystery.

    5 And is it not, O Lord, enough,
    This holy sympathy?
    There is no sorrow e’er so deep
    But I may bring to Thee.

    6 It is enough, my precious Lord,
    Thy tender sympathy!
    My every sin and sorrow can
    Devolve itself on Thee.

    7 As God, Thou graspedst e’en the whole
    Of human misery;
    Thine own alone lay desolate,
    That Thou might pitied be.

    8 Thy risen life but fits Thee more
    For kindly sympathy;
    Thy love unhindered rests upon
    Each bruisèd branch in Thee.

    9 Jesus! Thou hast availed to search
    My deepest malady;
    It freely flows—more freely finds
    The gracious remedy.

  106. poohpity says:

    If one is always talking during prayer time, doesn’t there have to be also a time of listening, in fact more time listening so that we can hear and learn from God. Communication is a two way street. We can tell God what we want but it seems often never to listenomg to what it is that He wants.

  107. poohpity says:

    James put it this way “be quick to listen and slow to speak”.

    Solomon said in his book of wisdom; “When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.” Prov 10:19; Ecclesiastes 5:2

    If one remembers we still have so much to learn it is easier to remain silent before our God.

  108. street says:

    John 10:27
    My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

    John 10:14
    “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—

  109. foreverblessed says:

    “Only as the result of frequent converse with Me, of much prayer to Me, OF LISTENING and obedience to My behests comes that intimacy that makes My followers dare to approach Me as friend to friend.”

  110. Beloved says:

    Good thoughts- teachable moments

    Truth For Life
    May 14
    Jesus’ Nature
    He will gather the lambs in his arms;
    he will carry them in his bosom.

    Isaiah 40:11
    Who is He of whom such gracious words are spoken? He is the Good Shepherd. Why does He carry the lambs in His bosom? Because He has a tender heart, and any weakness at once melts His heart. The sighs, the ignorance, the feebleness of the little ones of His flock draw forth His compassion. It is His office, as a faithful High Priest, to consider the weak. Besides, He purchased them with blood; they are His property: He must and will care for those who cost Him so dearly. Then He is responsible for each lamb, bound by covenant love not to lose one. Moreover, they are all a part of His glory and reward.

    But how may we understand the expression, “he will carry them”? Sometimes He carries them by not permitting them to endure much trial. Providence deals tenderly with them. Often they are carried by being filled with an unusual degree of love, so that they bear up and stand fast. Though their knowledge may not be deep, they have great sweetness in what they do know. Frequently He carries them by giving them a very simple faith, which takes the promise just as it stands and in childlike trust runs with every trouble straight to Jesus. The simplicity of their faith gives them an unusual degree of confidence, which carries them above the world.

    He carries the lambs “in his bosom.” Here is boundless affection. Would He put them in His bosom if He did not love them much? Here is tender nearness: They are so near that they could not possibly be nearer. Here is a holy relationship: There are precious love-passages between Christ and His weak ones. Here is perfect safety: In His bosom who can hurt them? They must hurt the Shepherd first. Here is perfect rest and sweetest comfort. Surely we are not sufficiently aware of the infinite tenderness of Jesus!
    Spurgeon

  111. poohpity says:

    Whomever wrote that is presuming to speak for God using the pronoun of “Me” which I do not find any scripture that backs up their message. Who wants to have an intimate friendship with anyone who demands obedience to their commands, that is not friendship but dominance. IMHO God’s commands were to show us our need of a Savior so then why would he ask for obedience to His behests and how would that make anyone want to come to Him if they did not know that He would carry the burden with us which is what friends do.

  112. poohpity says:

    My last comment was in reply to forever’s 8:38am comment.

  113. Beloved says:

    Hebrews4

    The Sabbath Rest
    (Genesis 2:1-3; Exodus 16:22-30)
    1Therefore, while the promise of entering His rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be deemed to have fallen short of it. 2For we also received the good news just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, since they did not share the faith of those who comprehended it.a

    3Now we who have believed enter that rest. As for the others, it is just as God has said:

    “So I swore on oath in My anger,
    ‘They shall never enter My rest.’”b
    And yet His works have been finished since the foundation of the world. 4For somewhere He has spoken about the seventh day in this manner: “And on the seventh day God rested from all His works.”c 5And again, as He says in the passage above: “They shall never enter My rest.”

    6Since, then, it remains for some to enter His rest, and since those who formerly heard the good news did not enter because of their disobedience, 7God again designated a certain day as “Today,” when a long time later He spoke through David as was just stated: “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.”d

    8For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9There remains, then, a Sabbath rest for the people of God. 10For whoever enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from His. 11Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following the same pattern of disobedience.

  114. jeff1 says:

    The more I trust God the more He reveals to me and that comes from a deeper personal relationship which comes from confession, prayer, praise, worship and continued trust in His grace.

    Some people will only trust Scripture but God is everywhere and if I am seeking I will find because He does not hide Himself from me but I do hide myself because of my weaknesses which is wrongs that I know separate me from Him but His love and compassion are greater which is why I go to Him for absolution and I do not go away disappointed showing His faithfulness, goodness and mercy.

    My relationship does not depend on me obeying God’s commands (because as you say Pooh, who wants to have an intimate friendship with anyone who demands obedience to their commands, that is not friendship but dominance) but in me trusting in His mercy and grace when I stumble and fall as He knows in my weaknesses I will.

    God knows my failings better than I do which is why He is patient and long suffering in waiting.

    Each of us has different weaknesses and strengths which is why God works to our needs and not to our desires.

    I am accountable to God just as others are accountable to God and its with that in mind I should consider my brothers and sisters in faith rather than be critical or make demands because it is not how God works in me or in others.

    God takes each of us as we are and that seems to be a difficult concept for some to understand as I myself have witnessed too much bullying and playing God rather than trusting His ways and its the reason my country got so messed up.

    It surprises me how God doesn’t abandon us as the truth is He could probably get His will done through non believers with much less hassle.

    God doesn’t just carry my burdens He will carry me if necessary.

    There is no problem too big God cannot solve it
    There is no mountain too tall He cannot move it
    And there is no storm too dark God cannot calm it
    There is no sorrow too deep He cannot soothe it

    And if He carried the weight of the world upon His shoulders
    I know my brother that He will carry you
    And if He carried the weight of the world upon His shoulders
    I know my sister that He will carry you
    He said, “Come unto Me all who are weary, and I will give you rest”

    There is no problem too big God cannot solve it
    There is no mountain too tall He cannot move it
    And there is no storm too dark God cannot calm it
    There is no sorrow too deep He cannot soothe it

    And if He carried the weight of the world upon His shoulders
    I know my brother that He will carry you
    And if He carried the weight of the world upon His shoulders
    I know my sister that He will carry you

    I know my brother and I know my sister
    That He, He’s going to carry you
    Oh yes, He will
    He’s going to carry you

  115. street says:

    ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months during those seventy years, did you really fast for Me—for Me? 6 When you eat and when you drink, do you not eat and drink for yourselves? 7 Should you not have obeyed the words which the Lord proclaimed through the former prophets

    Jesus said if you love Me you would keep My Commandments. for this love to happen, love must be poured out into our hearts. the old self must pass away. paul spoke of putting on a new self in Colossians 3:10. light and darkness are exclusive. grace an incredible gift. seem to me the surgery to remove a speck from the eye is done by God, we must wait for Him, yet we can come to Him as mendicants/ unprofitable servants.

  116. street says:

    thinking about putting on the new self, Christ.
    the old self had no problem dealing with adversity the usual anger violence insults sarcasm sort cuts and sin. the new self is interesting in that love joy and peace, fruits of the Spirit, remain in spite of the adversity, eternal. can you imagine eternal anger, injustice and violence? God said His Word would not hurt you. when you pass through the fire. Isaiah 43:2
    “When you pass through the waters, “I will be with you”; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. thinking of lust coveting envy they will hurt you even if you don’t act on them. these come from self/heart. the new self comes from God. new creation. paul spoke of living sacrifices, dead to old self alive to God, through Christ our Lord, our Righteousness, our Salvation. soon to be revealed.

    develop godly characteristics
    “godly”-coming from God, not the flesh.
    Emmanuel God with us.

    Jesus obeyed His Father and exhibited divine characteristics even though He is God, in human flesh. got into persecution. did the cross hurt Him? yeah it hurt, but only temporarily and He’s not mad at us! do we get mad at God in adversity? or get closer like job? godliness with contentment, great gain.

  117. street says:

    The only thing that will enable me to enjoy adversity is the acute sense of eagerness of allowing the life of the Son of God to evidence itself in me. oswald chambers

    glory to God in the highest and peace and good will among man.

    when God is glorified there is peace and good will among men. a shared cross and new life.

  118. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you for your expositions.
    Pooh asks a question,
    About demanding.

    I read backwards what I had written, or more accurate have cited.
    Nowhere do I see the demand.
    Nowhere

    The word: demand springs up in Pooh’s head.
    Who put it there?

    Who was it that came up with the interpretation that the MD demands?

  119. foreverblessed says:

    The ME that not MD

    The Me,
    Who wrote
    John 15:9-17

    The ME,.who would lay down His Life for His sheep, the next day after He had said the words of John 15:9-17

    Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

    He does not demand it, He just did it for us, the next day.

    If you follow Me, take up your cross.

    IF

    You don’t have to.

    It’s an invitation

  120. bratimus says:

    Reading Acts 21

  121. jeff1 says:

    Before my teachable moments I seen God as demanding which is why I spent my youth running from Him because I believed I must keep the 10 commandments and that was a big demand for a 14 year old to understand.

    Those wayward years taught me a lot about myself and having a dad who was very Christ focused taught me a lot about God.

    In comparing myself to my dad I seen two very different people and the truth is I did not like what I seen in myself.

    I was becoming like the people I so much disliked and I wondered how had I come to this and then just like a bolt of lighting I realised I was trying to live my life without God in it.

    I knew then that my dad was right as he lived his life trusting God and in adversity be it his own or another’s his response was ‘Christ Suffered’ which meant that he believed in taking up your cross and accepting whatever battles and struggles came with it as a means to an end.

    A friend said this to me and I have found it to be words of great wisdom.

    When you see the tribulations of those around you would you not if given the choice pick up your own cross.

    I cannot help thinking that God predestined me for my cross as like my friend I find I would not choose another’s.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  122. poohpity says:

    It would seem that the way Jesus taught was by example then after the resurrection by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Israel was given over 613 laws to follow and how often did they rebel, that would be often but they sure did realize that they were not able to follow those laws so they needed someone to plead their case for them.

    So many teachable moments like the one where Jesus took off His outer clothes and wrapped a towel around His waist and washed the disciple’s feet saying, “For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.”

  123. poohpity says:

    Jesus gave us a new command; “Love others the way I have loved you”. Then He pointed out that that new command encompassed all the laws and what the prophets said. Now think about it how easy is it to love others the way He loved us, would you lay down your life for someone who did not like you or called you names or that was your enemy or tortured you and harassed you or tried to kill you and actually ended up doing just that? Could you say I forgive you because I know you do not understand what you are doing when the person never admitted to doing wrong?

    Who’s example are you following? Could it be the ways of the world and satisfying the flesh or are you living to be an example of the love that shown to you when you did not deserve it?

  124. Beloved says:

    Good day all. My Utmost will give the push if needed, I needed it today. He is good and faithful to His promises just keep on in the pain or the rain. Very teachable moments abound.

  125. jeff1 says:

    C.S. Lewis “Everyone thinks forgiveness is a lovely idea until he has something to forgive.”

    I forgave a teacher who bullied me when at school without her ever knowing that she made my school days a misery.

    Years later I met her and my initial reaction towards her when she came over and spoke very pleasantly was to run away.

    The hurt she caused came back to haunt me but I met her on more occasions and each time I asked God for the strength to forgive and forget and He did and I soon found a way to let go of the pain.

    I believe God wants us to forgive for our own sake as often the person who has wronged you doesn’t care that they have hurt you while God does.

    Also I found that my teacher was now a nicer person and that she’d had to give up teaching due to personal circumstances which I was glad about because I thought of how she was’t suited to being a teacher because of her bad temper.

    Forgiveness can be difficult especially if the offence has done great damage in another’s life. Living in a country where there was a lot of tit for tat violence and deaths I seen how it devastated people’s lives to the extent that the day the person’s loved one was killed they died too.

    The sad thing is that I am not sure people like this are looking to God to forgive because they seem to give up on life.

    It’s easy for me looking on to see the right thing to do but I am not the one who has died inside.

    I used to visit a woman whose son was murdered by her wife’s lover and it was the wife who set him up.

    Their was a television programme made about it and it was being televised when I was visiting her. She had a card on the mantlepiece and I asked her was it her birthday and she said no it was from the mother of her murdered son’s wife conveying comforting words to her at this difficult time.

    Both the wife and the lover where practicing baptists and after 20 years he gave himself up after his own son died and he believed it was God’s punishment on him.

    We reap what we sow comes to mind.

  126. Beloved says:

    God is always in pursuit of us comes to mind Viv. Even after 20 or more years of running from God His grace and mercy show up! I found the show on YouTube so will watch it instead of Poirot today. Some think God wants a pound of flesh but if they understood that Jesus flesh paid the penalty due for all their sin, from murder to having bad thoughts, they would find forgiveness is truly beautiful!

  127. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Beloved, but it does not change that their are devastating consequences to our sins as you will see from the show.

    I knew the family of the police officer well and they all attended the same baptist church and his father died believing he had committed suicide.

    From my experiences anyone whose loved ones meets their death through violence the family cannot see that as the will of God and so needs to see justice done so that they can move on from the ordeal.

    How can this man and his lover claim to know God and plan such well planned executions on their spouses because it just doesn’t seem right that a follower of God could do this.

  128. Beloved says:

    Yes I thought of that also watching the first half. The actors were so good I thought. But the lust of the flesh if taken to its natural consequences leads to death every time. Death of soul and if need be a new “God” to help make it right. Created after ones own image. I was thinking there are more narcissists even malignant narcissists in churches than we know. My own father joined a church to find a “good” girl to marry; his own mother being a prostitute and he being raised to help find men for his mother. The horrible things unrepentant sin does is unbelievable isn’t it. But I still lean on Gods grace mercy and love and that’s what matters now, today. I’m so sorry for your friend and the anguish you went through also as good friends do. We have a Savior, we pray that all will meet Him today! How is your friends faith in Jesus been since this happened?

  129. jeff1 says:

    I didn’t know her at the time of the death of her son but at the time of the court case and she had developed dementia which I think meant she wasn’t so aware of what was going on around the court case and I was happy that she didn’t as now in her 80’s it wouldn’t have been easy for her to relive the ordeal.

    She was devoted to Jesus so was her whole family and they were a shining example as I knew that they had forgiven her sons wife for the affair with the dentist in the belief that she had ended it but as it turned out she had deceived them.

    She died a few years after but her faith was an immense comfort to her and I blessed to have known her.

    I lean very much on God’s grace and trust He will make good what we manage to mess up because for all our knowledge and worship of God it is He who knows us best.

  130. Beloved says:

    Watching the film has made an impact on me as I see the pain of mans “wisdom” and the great power of Gods love on the cross that is wiser than anything we can devise. I see how scripture can be used and manipulated especially by someone without a conscience. I’m on the last film now.

    His Banner Over Me Is Love

    He invites us into His banquet table
    His banner over me is love
    He invites us into His banquet table
    His banner over me is love
    He invites us into His banquet table
    His banner over me is love
    His banner over me is love

    The one way to peace is the power of the cross
    His banner over me is love
    The one way to peace is the power of the cross
    His banner over me is love
    The one way to peace is the power of the cross
    His banner over me is love
    His banner over me is love

  131. poohpity says:

    Can you imagine if Jesus made us earn the forgiveness He gave us? He forgave because of who He is and He knew every human being needed it. From the worst crime we could imagine to even ego, selfishness and pride. The bottom line is every person alive has needed to be forgiven for some reason or another but if a person does not realize that then they will be very slow to forgive others. We forgive because we have been forgiven and God knew that holding on to unforgiveness rots a person from the inside out and holds us captive turning our hearts to stone but forgiveness sets us free and softens the heart to be able to give and receive love. I know, been there and done that and have lived to talk about it. lol

  132. street says:

    thinking about truths about God being spoken by those who do not know God. thinking about a boat in a flood, a house on a passover night, and trust in Jesus. it seems location is important “in”. I will never leave you nor forsake you. strong to save, faithful in love. to be restored to the image of Christ.

  133. Beloved says:

    Viv it was stunning how this psychopath not only manipulated people but thought he could manipulate God- even after his sentencing!. He knew scripture well but abused it to force his agenda, which was always about him. Even his “confessions” were an attempt to manipulate God and everyone else. Chilling. The heart of evil in flesh. That’s why I’ve been studying scripture for so many years now to know God and not be manipulated by those in the church. I’m glad I have.

  134. Beloved says:

    Truths about God being spoken by those who do not know God.

    Being “in” Christ vs knowing “about“ Him and memorizing His words?

    Nothing changes unless one is “in” Christ. Outward actions/ appearances tell all. Eventually. I’m glad and thankful I am being changed every day to be conformed to His image. God had and still has a lot to do in these old bones.

  135. Beloved says:

    Speaking of old bones…. someone told me that 70 is the new 50. When I was 50 someone said it was the new 30. I’m confused and feel 90 some days but God knows and I hopefully fit into His agenda and not the worlds.

  136. jeff1 says:

    What I find really chilling is that if his son had not died and he had not thought that it was God punishing him then he had planned and executed the perfect murders because the case had been closed and both spouses families and police investigating now believed they were suicides.

    It was the death of his son that changed him but his lover I see as every bit as manipulating and even more chilling how she set up her husband and manipulated her new husband who was also a police sergeant into believing her innocence.

    I would agree, Beloved, that it shows how it is difficult to trust another’s words other than God’s as he manipulated everyone in his church and had others believing in his innocence.

    I know I am a gullible person or that is what I am told by friends and family so I would likely have fallen under his spell.

    That’s why I self examine more and don’t take people at their word anymore as I have been taken in by the wrong people and it has made me doubtful about my discernment.

    My mum said that my dad always wanted to see the best in people but my mum had been treated badly by others because of her circumstances and was much more shrewd when it came to reading a person’s character.

    I think she would say I was too much like my dad always wanting to see the best in people and then being disappointed when they didn’t turn out as he expected.

    Whatever my dad’s faults he taught me to focus on Jesus and His suffering for us and that was good teaching but then I haven’t met too many people who knew God as my dad did and why his words shout at me today as it was his response to most questions I would put to him ‘If it pleases God’.

    He put God first in his life and so maybe it is not so surprising that he knew God so well.

  137. poohpity says:

    Realizing that ALL people sin how can anyone be disappointed when they do sin? We are disappointed when we think for a moment that there is someone out there that does not sin therefore has no need for forgiveness!! The self righteous think they have no need to be forgiven but the Lord calls them liars.

    1 John 1: This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. 6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. 7 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

    8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

  138. poohpity says:

    In essence John taught that there is no room to talk about anyone else just the same thing Paul described to us in Romans 3:23-27 NLT

    For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.

    27 Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith.

  139. poohpity says:

    Seed is the Word of God (Mark 4:14; Luke 8:11). When planted on “good soil,” or the receptive heart (Mark 4:20; Matthew 13:23), the life-bearing seed grows steadily and produces grain without any human effort (Mark 4:28–29). This is the unseen work of God—a work of grace. Only God makes the seed grow (1 Corinthians 3:6–7).

  140. poohpity says:

    Help us test positive for faith!

  141. Beloved says:

    Viv I think God used a “teachable moment” when his son committed suicide to show how really out of control of his life he really was. Such a manipulator/ control freak wanting what he wanted when he wanted it. Comparing himself to King David!!! How grandiose can you get? But God is not mocked you reap what you sow as you said, but thank God He doesn’t give us what we deserve does He. You were so blessed to have a dad that put God first and was an example to you of godliness in your life. My dad used to say I was gullible if I listened to others than himself. Thank God Jesus came into my life at just the right time as I could see He was right about everything and slowly opened my eyes to the evil worlds‘ deceptive ways I unfortunately knew all to well.

  142. jeff1 says:

    I am very blessed as you say Beloved as my dad kept me on the straight and narrow as I was prone to wander.

    He had insight that I never had and I am always looking back at my mistakes whereas he had the wisdom to avoid trouble.

    He was raised in a christian home and being the eldest in the family was disciplined to look out for the younger members of the family so he was very self sacrificing as my mum would say.

    My dad put God first, others second and himself last and that’s what made him a good example.

    I think when we are doing that we are pleasing God but it is a discipline as I can get distracted by the world and am as likely to sin as the next person but thankfully God is patient and long suffering in waiting on His children to respond to Him.

    It is knowing that He doesn’t forsake us and that my faith is complete in Him is what I meditate on today.

    I have been told by atheists that I am very lucky to have faith but ever since I was a child I would say to my mum’s best friend (because I found her easy to talk to) that I didn’t believe in coincidences and that I felt my life had been planned.

    I believe in a better world to come be in in this one or above the sky as I know God is faithful.

    Great Is Thy Faithfulness

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

    [Chorus]
    Great is Thy faithfulness!
    Great is Thy faithfulness!
    Morning by morning new mercies I see.
    All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
    Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

    Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
    Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
    Join with all nature in manifold witness
    To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

    [Chorus]

    Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
    Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
    Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
    Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

    [Chorus]

  143. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All

    I pray that you (and your family) are well! I’m doing great! It’s raining in my neck of the woods right now, and I love rainy days (especially when I don’t have any “must do” tasks on my agenda). I haven’t read any of the comments on this blog topic for several days now. So, I’m looking forward to the catch up. Enjoyed reading Acts 19, and I learned (at least) two spiritual truths that I didn’t know. Here’s my take away…

    Acts 19—

    v. 1 – 7: Paul went to Ephesus… met up with 12 disciples (all men) and asked them if they had received the Holy Spirit when they believed. The men had never heard of the Holy Spirit. Paul provided in depth teaching on the Holy Spirit… the men were baptized in the name of Jesus… then Paul laid his hands on their head and the Holy Spirit came on them.

    v. 8-20: Paul preached in the synagogue (in Ephesus?) for 3 months, and persuaded many to believe on Jesus. Some (people) spoke against his message and rejected Jesus, so Paul (and the other believers) went to Asia Minor. Paul stayed there for 2 years (and both Jews and Greeks received his message). God gave Paul power to do unusual miracles… Sceva’s seven sons, who were Jewish exorcists, had been casting out demons, and decided to experiment using the name of Jesus. One of the demons realized that they were not *legit* and severely beat up two of the men. The name of Jesus was greatly honored after that incident… Many believers, who had been practicing black magic, burned their incantation books and charms in a public bon fire. The whole (geographic) area was deeply stirred by God’s message.

    v. 21-28: A big blowup occurred in Ephesus concerning the Christians… Demetrius, a carnal silversmith who worshipped MONEY and the (Greek) goddess Diana, had his employees manufacture silver shrines of Diana. Demetrius was able to persuade many Ephesians to choose (idol worship of) Diana instead of Christianity.

    66 degrees and a 100 percent chance for rain in my neck of the woods (the percentage will steadily decrease to 50 percent by 3:00 pm today. Then, cloudy skies from 4:00 pm until)…

    Love to all,
    Regina

  144. Regina says:

    Ooops! Looks like I left off a portion…

    v. 29-41:Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul’s companions, were captured and taken to trial…the disciples wouldn’t let Paul go in, and, Paul’s friends, some Roman officers, sent a message and begged him not to risk his life by going to trial. The mayor of Ephesus was able to persuade the Ephesians to let Gaius and Aristarchus go because they had not stolen anything nor defiled the goddess Diana in any way.

  145. street says:

    thinking about the enemy. the devil has been successful in killing man off. he understood mans weakness and exploited them to what was not an advantage to himself. all enemies have weakness. yet God, Who is rich in mercy made us alive in Christ Jesus, while we were sinners. sin removed by the blood of Christ. the weakness of God is stronger than sin and death. sown in weakness raised in incorruptible life. our strength is God’s Spirit in us. let His Word richly dwell. new way of living to overcome darkness. let the light shine out of darkness, that was poured out into our hearts.

  146. street says:

    Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
    Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
    Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
    Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

  147. street says:

    But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.

  148. Beloved says:

    Street 11:33 post is very encouraging as each day is just as difficult as the last lately, however it’s good to think about the richness of the spirit of God that indwells. Regina brought it up as she reads Acts. I appreciate the reminders. Thank you both today. Richness full of grace mercy kindness patience — Love! For this wretch! Amazed every day.

  149. jeff1 says:

    The storm engulfs my soul.
    O God, You claim You’re here,
    But all I see is wind and waves,
    And all I feel is fear.

    The troubles flooding in
    Defy my frantic prayer.
    O Savior, are You sound asleep?
    O Jesus, do You care?

    I long for quick relief.
    You long for all my best.
    I call You to my anxious fear.
    You call me to Your rest.

    Almighty, present God,
    Each moment fill my view.
    My peace is not a circumstance
    But always, only You.

  150. Beloved says:

    “Come to Me and I will give you rest”

  151. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you for all the encouragements.
    And for the summary of Acts 19, thank you Regina.

    The following is also very encouraging, they are from Alexander MacLaren. When he was leaving for Australia, for a while.
    Some thoughts on Acts 20:32


    The Apostle whose words I have taken for my text was leaving, as he supposed, for the last time, the representatives of the Church in Ephesus, to whom he had been painting in very sombre colours the dangers of the future and his own forebodings and warnings. Exhortations, prophecies of evil, expressions of anxious solicitude, motions of Christian affection, all culminate in this parting utterance. High above them all rises the thought of the present God, and of the mighty word which in itself, in the absence of all human teachers, had power to ‘build them up, and to give them an inheritance amongst them that are sanctified.’

    If we think of that Church in Ephesus, this brave confidence of the Apostle’s becomes yet more remarkable. They were set in the midst of a focus of heathen superstition, from which they themselves had only recently been rescued. Their knowledge was little, they had no Apostolic teacher to be present with them; they were left alone there to battle with the evils of that corrupt society in which they dwelt. And yet Paul leaves them — ‘sheep in the midst of wolves,’ with a very imperfect Christianity, with no Bible, with no teachers — in the sure confidence that no harm will come to them, because God is with them, and the ‘word of His grace’ is enough.

    And that is the feeling, dear brethren, with which I now look you in the face for the last time for a little while. I desire that you and I should together share the conviction that each of us is safe because God and the ‘word of His grace’ will go and remain with us.

  152. foreverblessed says:

    A note on the text, from MacLaren:
    No teachers…well: there were elders, as Paul had asked for then to come to the harbor, to meet Paul Acts 20:16-17.

  153. foreverblessed says:

    I find it so encouraging, I give you the next part of the text, you don’t have to read it.
    But I read it and get so blessed.
    (I found it on hiblehub, on Acts 20:32 clicking the TOP, t( which stands for topical studies)

    Alexander MacLaren on Acts 20:32
    I. So then, first of all, let me point you to the one source of security and enlightenment for the Church and for the individual.

    We are not to separate between God and the ‘word of His grace,’ but rather to suppose that the way by which the Apostle conceived of God as working for the blessing and the guardianship of that little community in Ephesus was mainly, though not exclusively, through that which he here designates ‘the word of His grace.’ We are not to forget the ever-abiding presence of the indwelling Spirit who guards and keeps the life of the individual and of the community. But what is in the Apostle’s mind here is the objective revelation, the actual spoken word (not yet written) which had its origin in God’s condescending love, and had for its contents, mainly, the setting forth of that love. Or to put it into other words, the revelation of the grace of God in Jesus Christ, with all the great truths that cluster round and are evolved from it, is the all-sufficient source of enlightenment and security for individuals and for Churches. And whosoever will rightly use and faithfully keep that great word, no evil shall befall him, nor shall he ever make shipwreck of the faith. It is ‘able to build you up,’ says Paul. In God’s Gospel, in the truth concerning Jesus Christ the divine Redeemer, in the principles that flow from that Cross and Passion, and that risen life and that ascension to God, there is all that men need, all that they want for life, all that they want for godliness. The basis of their creed, the sufficient guide for their conduct, the formative powers that will shape into beauty and nobleness their characters, all lie in the germ in this message, ‘God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself.’ Whoever keeps that in mind and memory, ruminates upon it till it becomes the nourishment of his soul, meditates on it till the precepts and the promises and the principles that are enwrapped in it unfold themselves before Him, needs none other guide for life, none other solace in sorrow, none other anchor of hope, none other stay in trial and in death. ‘I commend you to God and the word of His grace,’ which is a storehouse full of all that we need for life and for godliness. Whoever has it is like a landowner who has a quarry on his estate, from which at will he can dig stones to build his house. If you truly possess and faithfully adhere to this Gospel, you have enough.

  154. Beloved says:

    Beautiful thanks for posting forever!

  155. foreverblessed says:

    The story Jeff told was in a sense very very touching.
    The man had committed a murder, together with his lover, and they cover it up.
    Life goes on.
    And then, later in life his son dies, ( did the son commit suicide?).
    And then he starts to come to his senses, and sees what he had done…
    Isn’t that awesome that this man comes to this point?
    Thank God!

    To bring it to the topic, this man, shows who God is.
    Not a righteous man, but a lawless man, like Saul.
    And God allows a change in his circumstances, so he comes to his senses. Like the wayward son.

    I pray this man will open his eyes to see Jesus.

  156. jeff1 says:

    Forever, touching if your thinking only of the man who commited the murder, but knowing the family of one of the victims, in the 20 years it took him to have a conscience, the father of his lovers husband died believing his son committed suicide and that was devastating for them who belonged to the same baptist church as he did.

    Thankfully I know they followed Christ’s teaching and had forgiven their son’s wife’s adultery, to their peril, because as it turned out she deceived them.

    While we pray for this mans eyes to be opened to Jesus let us also spare a thought for those who suffered at the consequences of his actions otherwise we diminish the seriousness of sin in our lives and that can lead to us using Jesus as a scapegoat rather than seeing how offensive our sins are to God and how they separate us from His presence.

  157. poohpity says:

    Jesus was our scapegoat according do what a scapegoat satisfied in the OT days of sacrifices but that never stops the personal responsibility of our own actions before God hence the reason for confession. But it always seems easier to look at the sin of others and neglect the sin in our own lives.

  158. poohpity says:

    When Jesus went into the Temple to teach He taught from the scrolls of which we get our OT today and it took after the 1st century to get what we call the NT today. The blessing it is to have all those teachings in our bibles today rather than having a pile of scrolls to read through and being available to the common person that which was only available to those who ministered in the Temple. We are blessed beyond measure. The bible has been number one on the best seller list for decades even if one just buys it to sit on the shelf.

  159. poohpity says:

    It is exciting to me that anyone makes the choice to read any of it and hopefully it will ignite a hunger and thirst for more.

  160. poohpity says:

    Psalm 40:

    I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
    and he turned to me and heard my cry.
    2
    He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
    out of the mud and the mire.
    He set my feet on solid ground
    and steadied me as I walked along.
    3
    He has given me a new song to sing,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
    Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
    They will put their trust in the Lord.

    4
    Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord,
    who have no confidence in the proud
    or in those who worship idols.
    5
    O Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us.
    Your plans for us are too numerous to list.
    You have no equal.
    If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds,
    I would never come to the end of them.

    6
    You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings.
    Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand—
    you don’t require burnt offerings or sin offerings.
    7
    Then I said, “Look, I have come.
    As is written about me in the Scriptures:
    8
    I take joy in doing your will, my God,
    for your instructions are written on my heart.”

    9
    I have told all your people about your justice.
    I have not been afraid to speak out,
    as you, O Lord, well know.
    10
    I have not kept the good news of your justice hidden in my heart;
    I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power.
    I have told everyone in the great assembly
    of your unfailing love and faithfulness.

    11
    Lord, don’t hold back your tender mercies from me.
    Let your unfailing love and faithfulness always protect me.
    12
    For troubles surround me—
    too many to count!
    My sins pile up so high
    I can’t see my way out.
    They outnumber the hairs on my head.
    I have lost all courage.

    13
    Please, Lord, rescue me!
    Come quickly, Lord, and help me.
    14
    May those who try to destroy me
    be humiliated and put to shame.
    May those who take delight in my trouble
    be turned back in disgrace.
    15
    Let them be horrified by their shame,
    for they said, “Aha! We’ve got him now!”

    16
    But may all who search for you
    be filled with joy and gladness in you.
    May those who love your salvation
    repeatedly shout, “The Lord is great!”
    17
    As for me, since I am poor and needy,
    let the Lord keep me in his thoughts.
    You are my helper and my savior.
    O my God, do not delay.

  161. Beloved says:

    Good morning all!

    My Lighthouse
    Song by Rend Collective

    In my wrestling and in my doubts
    In my failures You won’t walk out
    Your great love will lead me through
    You are the peace in my troubled sea
    You are the peace in my troubled sea
    In the silence, You won’t let go
    In the questions, Your truth will hold
    Your great love will lead me through
    You are the peace in my troubled sea
    You are the peace in my troubled sea

    My lighthouse, my lighthouse
    Shining in the darkness. I will follow You
    My lighthouse, my lighthouse
    I will trust the promise
    You will carry me safe to shore

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

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

  162. jeff1 says:

    poohpity says:
    May 17, 2020 at 8:18 am

    Why is it easier to see the sins of others? Because the consequences of sin are all around us so we cannot escape it.

    Yes, that does awaken me to the sins in my own heart so that when I confess I do so with sincerity of heart in seeking God’s forgiveness, refuge and willingness to change.

    I know people who will quote chapter and verses of the Bible but their words and actions are not in keeping with it so what good does it do to read if in your heart you are not seeking God’s truths.

    I would much rather trust someone who tries to keep God’s commands by their actions rather than boast of their knowledge as I see sincere effort on the part of the believer and that excites me more than words.

    That says the person is trying to change because what I learned from the story of this man with murder in his heart is that he used the Bible interpreting the words to his own ends and his own truths and so perhaps that is why we get so many different interpretations of the Bible because it is what people do.

    Reading the Bible should ignite a hunger and thirst for a change in heart in me brought about by Christ working through me if it is to be effective in me changing to be Christlike.

    Am I just wanting to be more knowledgeable or do I have a sincere desire to change my ways?

  163. Beloved says:

    What God taught Paul throughout his “teachable moments” in his life and ministry is a good aim for us all.

    Galatians 6: 14But as for me, may I never boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything. What counts is a new creation.

    16Peace and mercy to all who walk by this rule, even to the Israel of God.

    17From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.

    18The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers.

    Amen.

    Maclarens exposition on Gal 6:17 was very good.

  164. jeff1 says:

    The church’s one foundation
    Is Jesus Christ her Lord;
    She is his new creation
    By water and the Word.
    From heaven he came and sought her
    To be his holy bride;
    With his own blood he bought her,
    And for her life he died.

    Elect from every nation,
    Yet one o’er all the earth;
    Her charter of salvation,
    One Lord, one faith, one birth;
    One holy name she blesses,
    Partakes one holy food,
    And to one hope she presses,
    With every grace endued.

    Though with a scornful wonder
    We see her sore oppressed,
    By schisms rent asunder,
    By heresies distressed,
    Yet saints their watch are keeping;
    Their cry goes up, “How long?”
    And soon the night of weeping
    Shall be the morn of song.

    Mid toil and tribulation,
    And tumult of her war,
    She waits the consummation
    Of peace forevermore;
    Till, with the vision glorious,
    Her longing eyes are blest,
    And the great church victorious
    Shall be the church at rest.

    Yet she on earth hath union
    With God the Three in One,
    And mystic sweet communion
    With those whose rest is won.
    O happy ones and holy!
    Lord, give us grace that we
    Like them, the meek and lowly,
    On high may dwell with thee.

  165. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All

    I pray that you (and your family) are well. I’m doing great! I viewed my church service online this morning, and I used my King James version of the Bible as that’s the version most used by my Pastor. I experienced phenomenal worship and a good Word! And my spirit-man is comforted, encouraged and well fed! Psalm 63:1-8! I was also able to tithe online using my church’s online giving link! :-) Wow! What a blessing! I don’t really like doing financial transactions online because of the dark web, but my church’s website is very safe. I feel totally at ease doing financial business there. Also, it’s so *awesome* to still be able to connect with my church, family and friends (via the internet) while we shelter in place.
    You’re welcome, street! and thank you foreverblessed re: Acts 19. Like the both of you, I’m learning so much from that book! After viewing my church service this morning, I wanted to read Acts 20. So, I decided to do a quick read in my KJV Bible. Verses 1 through 17 were challenging to read, except verses 9-10 (the *glorious* miracle Eutychus received), due to the old English language of that day, but I pressed on and verses 18-38 brought me to tears. The old English language in the King James version is so *BEAUTIFUL* in those verses! It read like poetry.
    I can sum up ACTS 20 right here… my take away:
    1. The Lord used Paul to perform another JAW-DROPPING, GOBSMACKING miracle (Eutychus’ family and friends were ECSTATIC beyond belief!)
    2. Paul gave a heartfelt testimony and Word of encouragement, enlightenment and warning to his beloved brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus.
    Was imagining myself there… with them as Paul said goodbye… I think I would’ve been inconsolable! Smh…
    Further, while I was catching up on your comments, (you gave an excellent teaching on the value of forgiveness, jeff1), the Holy Spirit said, “Abide with Me!” and I knew it was a song or a poem because He called me to be a psalmist.
    So, I looked it up, and jeff1 or someone shared this song/poem previously. But I have to share it now because it BLESSED me so much…

    “Abide with Me” (I used the song by Audrey Assad)

    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, oh, abide with me

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

    I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless
    Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness
    Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
    I triumph still, if Thou abide with me
    Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes

    Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies
    Heav’n’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee
    In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me
    Abide with me
    Abide with me…

    81 degrees and partly cloudy in my neck of the woods (btw, it rained ALL day yesterday and into the early morning hours! The patter of the rain was SO peaceful)…

    Love to all,
    Regina

  166. street says:

    7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but the one now restraining will do so until he is out of the way, 8 and then the lawless one will be revealed. The Lord Jesus will destroy him with the breath of His mouth and will bring him to nothing with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is based on Satan’s working, with all kinds of false miracles, signs, and wonders,

    thinking about these two thoughts, I will never leave you nor forsake you. away from Me I never knew you.

    to know Christ and Him crucified.

    9 For through the law I have died to the law, so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ 20 and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.

  167. jeff1 says:

    That hymn, Regina, is very much chosen for funerals here and it always makes me cry another one is nearer by God to thee which is equally as emotive.

    1 Nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee!
    E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me,
    still all my song shall be,
    nearer, my God, to thee;
    nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee!

    2 Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down,
    darkness be over me, my rest a stone;
    yet in my dreams I’d be
    nearer, my God, to thee;
    nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee!

    3 There let the way appear, steps unto heaven;
    all that thou sendest me, in mercy given;
    angels to beckon me
    nearer, my God, to thee;
    nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee!

    4 Then, with my waking thoughts bright with thy praise,
    out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise;
    so by my woes to be
    nearer, my God, to thee;
    nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee!

    5 Or if, on joyful wing cleaving the sky,
    sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I fly,
    still all my song shall be,
    nearer, my God, to thee;
    nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee!

  168. poohpity says:

    Isn’t it the Lord who changes us and works in our heart to be His new creation through the process of transformation?

    Phil 1: 6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

  169. jeff1 says:

    God’s way is best; if human wisdom
    A fairer way may seem to show,
    ’Tis only that our earth-dimmed vision
    The truth can never clearly know.

    Refrain:
    God’s way is best, I will not murmur,
    Although the end I may not see;
    Where’er He leads I’ll meekly follow,
    God’s way is best, is best for me.

    Had I the choosing of my pathway,
    In blindness I should go astray,
    And wander far away in darkness,
    Nor reach that land of endless day.

    He leadeth true; I will not question,
    Though through the valley I shall go;
    Though I should pass through clouds of trial,
    And drink the cup of human woe.

    God’s way is best; heart, cease thy struggling
    To see and know and understand;
    Forsake thy fears and doubts, but trusting,
    Submit thyself into His hand.

    Thy way is best, so lead me onward,
    My all I give to Thy control;
    Thy loving hand will truly guide me,
    And safe to glory bring my soul.

  170. street says:

    thinking of a yoke where two are joined together, working/relating as one. a yoke of peace and strength held by love. can two walk together unless they are in agreement?

    eating bread by the sweet of our brow or bread from heaven? a trust that endures.

  171. foreverblessed says:

    Eating the bread of heaven!
    Last night a friend called, to do the bread and wine together.
    She talked, and had lots of Bible verses, it was so sweet to hear these words, lifegiving words.
    But I do believe that we are spiritually nourished when we eat the bread and drink the wine.
    Jesus was submissive to this horrible death, but it was needed for us to be restored.
    The submission of Jesus!
    Out of love for us.

    That sermon of MacLaren on Gal 6:17 was very profound.
    Paul had marks of Jesus on his body. Like a slave who was the possession of his master. The master could do anything with his slave. If we are a slave to a fellow human that is disgraceful, but if we are like Paul, soooo much submissive to our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, that is a great honour.
    Jesus, who Himself was very very humble, and submissive for our sakes, Phil 2:5-11

    Paul was misused, abused, falsely accused, and going to Jerusalem, Acts 21, Paul was very aware what would happen to him.
    But his eyes were on Jesus!
    Acts 21:13

    The day is lovely, sun shining, everything is green, flower blooming, birds.

    Have a blessed day, I tell myself: seek you first the kingdom of heaven, and all these things, food clothing, shall be added into you.

  172. jeff1 says:

    On my dad’s side I was brought up with playing cards as it was a custom in the country side where my grandfather grew up and so when I was holidaying I would enjoy that my grandfather used to run card nights for the neighbours to come and socialize.

    They did use penny’s as it was back in their day but it was more for to add to the enjoyment of the game than what money exchanged hands as none were affluent nor trying to make money out of it.

    I was just a child and so it would upset me that my mum would voice her disapproval when she heard me talk of how much I enjoyed these gatherings.

    As my grandparents were brought up in the faith and my grandmother was a faith healer I was somewhat confused as to my mum’s mutterings but little did I know that God was at work in clearing my confusion.

    So often songs have messages that seem to give understanding to what has become a muddle for me and why they seem to resonate in my heart as my reading and comprehension skills were poor they became my teachable moments.

    Deck of Cards

    During the North African campaign, a bunch of soldier boys had
    Been on a long hike and they arrived in a little town called Casino. The
    Next morning being Sunday, several of the boys went to Church. A sergeant
    Commanded the boys in Church and after the Chaplain had read the prayer
    The text was taken up next. Those of the boys who had a prayer book took
    Them out, but this one boy had only a deck of cards, and so he spread
    Them out. The Sergeant saw the cards and said, “Soldier, put away those
    Cards.” After the services was over, the soldier was taken prisoner and
    Brought before the Provost Marshall

    The Marshall said, “Sergeant, why have you brought this man
    Here?” “For playing cards in church, Sir.” “And what have you to say for
    Yourself, son?” “Much, Sir,” replied the soldier. The Marshall said, “I
    Hope so, for if not I shall punish you more than any man was ever
    Punished.” The soldier said, “Sir, I have been on the march for about six
    Days. I have neither a Bible nor a prayer book, but I hope to satisfy
    You, Sir, with the purity of my intentions.” And with that, the boy
    Started his story:

    “You see Sir, when I look at the Ace, it reminds me that there
    Is but one God. And the Deuce reminds me that the Bible is divided into
    Two parts, the Old and the New Testaments. When I see the Trey, I think
    Of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. And when I see the Four, I
    Think of the four Evangelists who preached the Gospel; there was Matthew

    Mark, Luke and John. And when I see the Five, it reminds me of the five
    Wise virgins who trimmed their lamps; there were ten of them: five were
    Wise and were saved, five were foolish and were shut out. When I see the
    Six, it reminds me that in six days, God made this great heaven and
    Earth. When I see the Seven, it reminds me that on the seventh day, God
    Rested from His great work. And when I see the Eight, I think of the
    Eight righteous persons God saved when He destroyed this earth; there was
    Noah, his wife, their sons and their wives. And when I see the Nine, I
    Think of the lepers our Savior cleansed, and nine out of the ten didn’t
    Even thank Him. When I see the Ten, I think of the Ten Commandments God
    Handed down to Moses on a table of stone. When I see the King, it
    Reminds me that there is but one King of Heaven, God Almighty. And when I
    See the Queen, I think of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is Queen of
    Heaven. And the Jack or Knave is the Devil. When I count the number
    Of spots on a deck of cards, I find 365, the number of days in a year
    There are 52 cards, the number of weeks in a year. There are 4 suits, the
    Number of weeks in a month. There are 12 picture cards, the number of
    Months in a year. There are 13 tricks, the number of weeks in a quarter
    So you see, Sir, my pack of cards serves me as a Bible, an Almanac and a
    Prayer Book.”

    “And friends, the story is true. I know, I was that soldier.”

  173. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All
    I pray that you (and your family) are well. I’m doing great. Had a long day of grocery/toiletry shopping yesterday. Mostly because I can’t find everything I need at one store. Have not read any recent comments on this blog, but I’m looking forward to it.
    jeff1, you’re right regarding the amazing beauty of both songs (Abide with Me and Nearer my God to Thee). Don’t know if I’ve ever heard anyone sing the song/poem, Abide with Me. But I’ve definitely heard at least 2 or 3 psalmists sing, Nearer my God… And no one sings the latter song better (at least in my opinion) than the legendary artist, Mahalia Jackson. Her voice is so mysteriously and spiritually beautiful in her rendition of “Near my God…” in particular. I tell you… it just ushers a person right into the throne room of God and provokes one to lay prostrate before *Him!* On my way to do morning chores.

    76 degrees under a clear sky this morn…

    Love to all,
    Regina

  174. SFDBWV says:

    I do so appreciate seeing Viv and Foreverblessed’s posts when I look in, in the morning. And today a special treat seeing Regina as well.

    Mart has given me/us a very special gift of being able to meet and socialize a little with so many people from so far away.

    I see the weather in Texas, and the Netherlands are very different than here. I enjoying hearing about the weather as well.

    This morning we have drizzle at 51 degrees f. The lilacs still haven’t bloomed and no iris’s. There are a few more humming birds that have shown up, but I have only seen a few bees.

    Day before yesterday I copied a story off the news on the MSN home page about a biomedical company in California having found a cure for the corona virus. Nothing was said by any other news source that I receive on TV or the internet. I copied it because I felt the story would disappear.

    This morning I read of a Chinese Scientist in China having found a cure as well.

    I am reminded of a quote from Richard Nixon nearly 50 years ago that went something like this, “People are more reactive to fear than love.”

    How many people do you think choose Christianity out of fear of death and eternal punishment, rather than love?

    It takes a huge leap to go from fearing God to loving Him without fear.

    But it is possible.

    Viv when I was growing up we too enjoyed the practice of card playing. Spades and Hearts and of course the many variations of poker were favorites as well as Rummy. Solitaire for when alone and bored.

    Matt plays solitaire every day on the computer and listens to music as a way of passing time.

    However people do not socialize as they did back in my youth and card playing and board games seems to have passed with the dawning of the internet and “gaming”.

    Thank you all for sharing some of your lives. There is a teachable moment in the interaction of people all the time if we are open to listening and to learning.

    Steve

  175. jeff1 says:

    I think the key is to be open to listening and learning. In my country history dictates our present and I fear our future because people will believe what they want to believe.

    I once tried to offer my friend advice about a ceremony she was attending and I felt it was holding her back from moving on from our troubled history but our response to me was “Wind your neck in” and I knew if I were to persist she would be seeing me as no better than Lundy whom she was going to celebrate being burned at the stakes for traitorism and by the tone of her voice I knew I could be next.

    It is not easy for me to voice my opinion here without being seen as a coward or a traitor for would you believe this friend became mine at primary school and yet when it comes to politics and religion for the sake of our friendship I choose to stay dumb.

    Steve, you ask how many people do you think choose Christianity out of fear of death and eternal punishment, rather than love?

    Too many, as it was my reason for running from God in my youth and so I have had more than my share of teachable moments in bringing me to seeing God more clearly but there is still more fear than love otherwise I imagine I would feel closer to Him.

    I was a child when I learned God was into punishing (not from my dad) and I find that is a hard notion to shake off especially for my head as my heart seems much more understanding.

  176. SFDBWV says:

    I have a cousin in Akron Ohio who suffers “Down’s syndrome”. She is approaching 60 and in these past couple years has begun to suffer dementia also.

    All of her adult life she consumes wide ruled ringed notebooks writing gibberish line after line page after page all the while talking to someone she sees, but no one else does.

    I remember a comment I read from someone, I have forgotten their name, that said he hoped that it is angels that Down’s syndrome children and people talk to.

    I hope so too.

    I have often thought about the story and I may say stories of God speaking to Adam, Noah, Abraham, and others. Not only as teachable moments, but direct instruction.

    Was it a voice that came into their hearing? Or perhaps more than a voice that came into their “knowing”?

    Of course I know that God also sent angels to physically speak to Abraham. Which would certainly help corroborate what God had spoken to him.

    Today if someone says they hear voices, even if they say it is God’s voice they are considered schizophrenic, medicated and perhaps even institutionalized.

    Today we trust the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to awaken in us the knowledge that God is and that we recognize Him in our own spirit when we hear His urgings, unction’s and teachable comments.

    But how can we be sure? One way is simple it should never come into contention with the written Word of God. But then there are plenty of verses that seem to be in contention with each other. Or as Mart likes to say “tension” between verses.

    I will repeat myself and say that whatever it is we are wanting from God is what we are going to look for in Scripture. Even ignoring those tensions in order to verify what it is we are seeking.

    Better to rest in laying all these questions on the alter, leaving them there and trusting God. Just leave them there and don’t pick them up again in an unobtainable search to satisfy a hunger to know.

    Easy for me to say, as even I too fall back to asking some of these questions over and over again. Even though I believe God spoke to me in a dream and assured me all questions have a good answer and He will explain that to us in a future time. It is enough for us now to just have faith.

    Steve

  177. Beloved says:

    Forever the same sermon I am finding so helpful in my battle with diabetes. Jesus said to cut off your hand or take out your eye if it causes you to sin. I’d never thought of these as being marks of Jesus in our bodies. Not visual but highly spiritual marks of servant hood. Although conquering this disease brought on by unhealthy eating habits (serving the Enemy rather than Jesus) will eventually show up in my appearance and overall health, as it did when I quit smoking many years ago now. It was soo hard just as quitting sugars is for me now but I know with perseverance and an eye toward doing the will of God He will bless me with better health. Oh His love is do good❤️

  178. Beloved says:

    Forever I’m not sure though that God honors us I think it’s the other way around. Is a servant greater than his master?

  179. street says:

    Job 27:10
    “Will he take delight in the Almighty?
    Will he call on God at all times?
    11
    “I will instruct you in the power of God;
    What is with the Almighty I will not conceal.
    12
    “Behold, all of you have seen it;
    Why then do you act foolishly?

    thinking as a sinful man Redeemed by the grace and mercy of God. how many times have i not spoken or acted correctly? go away Lord for i am a sinful man. “Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men.”

  180. street says:

    So how do we become that kind of person? Among other things, Psalm 1 urges us to disengage from destructive relationships and unhealthy habits and to delight in God’s instruction (v. 2). Ultimately, the reason for our flourishing is God’s attentiveness to us: “The Lord watches over the way of the righteous” (v. 6).

    Commit your way to God, let Him redirect you from old patterns that lead to nowhere, and allow the Scriptures to be the river that nourishes the root system of your heart.

    thinking of Zacharias and Elizabeth that couple that lived down the street a long time ago. unnoticed by the world, but of special interest to God. so much so that He sent His Son. thinking God said go get them and bring them to Me. mission accomplished.

  181. foreverblessed says:

    Beloved, I think he said it is a degrading thing to be slave to a fellow human, but it would be a great honour to be slave of Jesus. As Jesus laid down His all for us.
    The honor, for who is it an honor? The position is an honor to be in.
    Don’t know how to think about that question.
    But may God strengthen you in your battle!

    Commit your way to God
    Lay your questions on the Altar

    It is so easy, ouch.
    May God give us strength!
    May God Bless us all with that strength

  182. Beloved says:

    I’m sorry forever it was one of my stupid but honest questions the LORD bless you also!

  183. Beloved says:

    Thank you again, I found the answer:

    Therefore the Lord, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that your house and the house of your father should go in and out before me forever,’ but now the Lord declares: ‘Far be it from me, for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed.

  184. Beloved says:

    That is in I Samuel 2:30

  185. Beloved says:

    Jesus taught that there would be degrees, if you will, of honor in the Kingdom
    .
    Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
    Matthew 5:19

  186. street says:

    being free…
    expectations respect honor commands law.
    the knowledge of good and evil
    a potent mix confusion ignorance apathy deceit
    indeed a great darkness.

    yet “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
    By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—
    16
    “The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great Light,
    And those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death,
    Upon them a Light dawned.”

    17 From that time Jesus began to proclaim!

  187. street says:

    17 This was a small thing in Your eyes, O God; but You have spoken of Your servant’s house for a great while to come, and have regarded me according to the standard of a man of high degree, O Lord God. 18 What more can David still say to You concerning the honor bestowed on Your servant? For You know Your servant. 19 O Lord, for Your servant’s sake, and according to Your own heart, You have wrought all this greatness, to make known all these great things.

    8 For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ;

  188. Beloved says:

    Oh LORD give me a flashlight

  189. foreverblessed says:

    -For those who honor me, I will honor-

    Here is another one Beloved:
    This is to my Father’s Glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
    John 15:8

    That is in line with what Street gave:
    “so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ;”

  190. Beloved says:

    Yes that is good also forever !

  191. Beloved says:

    We live out our lives here by changing through the power of God working in us. Not passively but with courage and strength God gives to be all He died for us to be, Holy as He is Holy.
    I Peter 1:16

  192. Beloved says:

    9And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment,

    “Real knowledge and all discernment” can only be found through a close personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus. All the rest is, well, just thoughts and words. It’s a very noisy world we live in.

  193. jeff1 says:

    You are greater than my words,
    Sweeter than my songs,
    Higher than my struggling faith can see.
    You are far beyond my praises
    And deeper than my needs,
    And You are here, You are here,
    You are here, my God!

    You are faithful when I fail,
    Strong when I am weak,
    Patient when my heart has lost its way.
    You are more than I could long for.
    You’re holy now in me!
    Yes, You are here, You are here,
    You are here, my God!

    Holy Jesus, God in me,
    Breath of Life through eternity!

    You are greater than my words,
    Sweeter than my songs,
    Higher than my struggling faith can see.
    You are far beyond my praises
    And deeper than my needs,
    And You are here, You are here,
    You are here, my God!

  194. bratimus says:

    Here is a song that I like by Cory Asbury,

    “Reckless Love”

    Before I spoke a word, You were singing over me
    You have been so, so good to me
    Before I took a breath, You breathed Your life in me
    You have been so, so kind to me

    Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
    Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
    I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
    Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah

    When I was Your foe, still Your love fought for me
    You have been so, so good to me
    When I felt no worth, You paid it all for me
    You have been so, so kind to me

    Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
    Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
    I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
    Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah

    There’s no shadow You won’t light up
    Mountain You won’t climb up
    Coming after me
    There’s no wall You won’t kick down
    Lie You won’t tear down
    Coming after me

    There’s no shadow You won’t light up
    Mountain You won’t climb up
    Coming after me
    There’s no wall You won’t kick down
    Lie You won’t tear down
    Coming after me

    There’s no shadow You won’t light up
    Mountain You won’t climb up
    Coming after me
    There’s no wall You won’t kick down
    Lie You won’t tear down
    Coming after me

    There’s no shadow You won’t light up
    Mountain You won’t climb up
    Coming after me
    There’s no wall You won’t kick down
    Lie You won’t tear down
    Coming after me

    Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
    Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
    And I couldn’t earn it, I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
    Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  195. poohpity says:

    How can anyone fear God and think he punishes people if they know the Gospel/Good News? The Good News is about a God who loved us so much He was willing to go to such great lengths to prove that love by laying down His Deity to walk among the people and take our place so that we would feel safe to come into God’s presence and have a relationship with Him.

    From the very first Chapter of Genesis we see His grace and love wanting to have an intimate relationship with Adam and Eve but because of their sin/disobedience they walked away from Him not the other way around, He did not walk away from them He actually pursued them. Perfect love cast out fear of punishment.

    1 John 4:18 NLT; Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.

  196. jeff1 says:

    How can anyone fear God and think he punishes people if they know the Gospel/Good News?

    I was brought up surrounded by people who were superstitious and I have no doubt that some of it rubbed off on me.

    The one person in my life who would influence me against it was my dad and I have come to see that it is because of his trust in God that he did not hold with superstitions.

    When I commented to our Rector that I had (knew this because of my association with Roman Catholics) found Roman Catholics to be very superstitious he quickly responded that it might surprise me |(and I should point out that he did not divulge any names of the parishioners) how many of his own parishioners held such beliefs.

    It is our ignorance of God that causes us to speculate on Him and very soon our hypothesis are passed on as facts that are not in keeping with the sovereignty of God.

    I have noticed how opposites attract as my mum was opinionated and couldn’t keep them to herself, while my dad, kept his to himself, except, when he would assure me that God knows best no matter what my mum or anyone else would say.

    Good Good Father

    I’ve heard a thousand stories of what they think you’re like
    But I’ve heard the tender whispers of love in the dead of night
    And you tell me that you’re pleased
    And that I’m never alone

    You’re a good good father
    It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are
    And I’m loved by you
    It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

    I’ve seen many searching for answers far and wide
    But I know we’re all searching
    For answers only you provide
    ‘Cause you know just what we need
    Before we say a word

    You’re a good good father
    It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are
    And I’m loved by you
    It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

    Because you are perfect in all of your ways
    You are perfect in all of your ways
    You are perfect in all of your ways to us

    You are perfect in all of your ways
    You are perfect in all of your ways
    You are perfect in all of your ways to us

    Oh, it’s love so undeniable
    I, I can hardly speak
    Peace so unexplainable
    I, I can hardly think
    As you call me deeper still
    As you call me deeper still
    As you call me deeper still
    Into love, love, love

    You’re a good good father
    It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are
    And I’m loved by you
    It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

    You’re a good good father
    It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are
    And I’m loved by you
    It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am
    You’re a good good father

    It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are
    And I’m loved by you
    It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am
    You’re a good good father

    You are perfect in all of your ways
    It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are
    And I’m loved by you
    You are perfect in all of your ways
    It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

  197. poohpity says:

    Even in the OT times people knew of God’s love and faithfulness as we see in this song;

    Psalm 57

    Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy!
    I look to you for protection.
    I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings
    until the danger passes by.
    2
    I cry out to God Most High,[b]
    to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.
    3
    He will send help from heaven to rescue me,
    disgracing those who hound me. Interlude
    My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness.

    4
    I am surrounded by fierce lions
    who greedily devour human prey—
    whose teeth pierce like spears and arrows,
    and whose tongues cut like swords.

    5
    Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens!
    May your glory shine over all the earth.

    6
    My enemies have set a trap for me.
    I am weary from distress.
    They have dug a deep pit in my path,
    but they themselves have fallen into it. Interlude

    7
    My heart is confident in you, O God;
    my heart is confident.
    No wonder I can sing your praises!
    8
    Wake up, my heart!
    Wake up, O lyre and harp!
    I will wake the dawn with my song.
    9
    I will thank you, Lord, among all the people.
    I will sing your praises among the nations.
    10
    For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens.
    Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

    11
    Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens.
    May your glory shine over all the earth.

  198. poohpity says:

    I guess it makes quite a difference in how one sees God by their experiences with Him or just letting others teach about who they do not really know.

  199. street says:

    Taking his cue from this scriptural expression, Bruce offered a uniquely joy-filled portrayal of his Savior. As a result, he became known as “the smiling Jesus.” We too can dare to fall to our knees and “beg Jesus for Jesus.” May He so fill us with His character that people around us see the expression of His love in us! odb 5/20/2020

  200. Beloved says:

    Run to the Bands of Love
    Spurgeon

    I led them with cords of kindness,
    with the bands of love.
    Hosea 11:4

    Our heavenly Father often leads us with the cords of love; but how slow we are to run toward Him! How reluctantly we respond to His gentle impulses! He leads us to exercise a more simple faith in Him; but we have not yet learned to trust like Abraham. We do not leave our worldly cares with God, but, like Martha, we burden ourselves with much serving. Our meager faith brings leanness to our souls; we do not open our mouths wide, though God has promised to fill them.

    Does He not this evening lead us to trust Him? Can we not hear Him say, “Come, My child, and trust Me. The curtain is opened; enter into My presence, and come boldly to the throne of My grace. I am worthy of your complete confidence; cast your cares on Me. Shake yourself from the dust of your cares, and put on the garments of joy.” But, sadly though called with tones of love to the blessed exercise of this comforting grace, we will not come.

    At another time He leads us to closer communion with Himself. We have been sitting on the doorstep of God’s house, and He invites us into the banqueting hall to eat with Him, but we decline the honor. There are secret rooms not yet opened to us, which Jesus invites us to enter, but we hold back.

    Shame on our cold hearts! We are but poor lovers of our sweet Lord Jesus, not fit to be His servants, much less to be His brides, and yet He has exalted us to be bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh, married to Him by a glorious marriage-covenant.

    Herein is love! But it is a love that takes no denial. If we do not obey the gentle leadings of His love, He will send affliction to drive us into closer intimacy with Himself. He is determined to bring us close to Him. What foolish children we are to refuse those bands of love, and in doing so to bring upon ourselves painful discipline, which He exercises for our good!

  201. street says:

    thinking about 5 virgins that were ill prepared for the bridegroom or the very religious people that claimed to do things in God’s Name. His reply was he never knew you.

    we know Who we have come to believe, we walk by the light He gives us. we do not walk by or own light or man made touches.

    was in a mood today, an empty one of dreariness, how did i find myself here? ah little drift away from the way the truth and the life in Christ? joy returns in Christ, the joy of all the Saints. He makes darkness disappear. sure my body is soar and it is getting old. He is very familiar with pain and suffering. to know Christ in all things and be known by Him. to share an yoke together, a burden that easy and light. strength for today and a living hope. thank you for not abandoning us.

    thinking of paul when he said all the churches had abandoned Him. a tough time. from what i hear, faithful and leaning into the finish tape. again thanking God for strength and faithfulness. be of good cheer I , Jesus, have overcome the world.

    “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

    2 Peter 2:20
    If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.

    1 John 4:4
    You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

    1 John 5:4
    for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.

    1 John 5:5
    Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

  202. Beloved says:

    2Timothy 4:14 lAlexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. 15 Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message. 16 At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! 17 But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

    Thinking about what a role model Paul was and is still today. He was very wise in his relationships because of his perseverance in faith.

  203. Beloved says:

    Street did you read My Utmost today?

  204. street says:

    yes

    turn your eyes upon Jesus, look fully into his wonderful face and the cares of this world will grow strangely dim in the light of His Glory and Grace.

    thinking of adam and eve wanting to be like God through death and disobedience. what if we obey God in Spirit and Truth that He provided?

    to believe in the One in whom He sent. Jesus.

    new creation.

  205. foreverblessed says:

    Today is Ascension Day, a national day, everybody is free.
    The day Jesus ascended to heaven.
    Most churches would have had services, in our city, we would have had a big oecumenical service.
    “It is better for you that I go toy Father”

    It is better that He went,
    Because of the Holy Spirit!
    Being given to those who believe Jesus is the Son of God.

  206. jeff1 says:

    1 Commit thou all your griefs
    and ways into his hands;
    to his sure truth and tender care,
    who earth and heav’n commands.
    Who points the clouds their course,
    whom winds and seas obey,
    he shall direct your wand’ring feet,
    He shall prepare your way.

    2 Give to the winds your fears;
    hope, and be undismayed;
    God hears your sighs and counts your tears,
    God shall lift up your head.
    Through waves and clouds and storms
    he gently clears your way;
    wait for his time, so shall the night
    soon end in joyous day.

    3 Still heavy is your heart?
    Still sink your spirits down?
    Cast off the weight, let fear depart,
    and every care be gone.
    He everywhere has sway,
    and all things serve his might;
    his every act pure blessing is,
    his path unsullied light.

    4 Far, far above your thought
    his counsel shall appear,
    when fully he the work has wrought
    that caused your needless fear.
    Leave to his sovereign sway
    to choose and to command;
    with wonder filled, you then hall own
    how wise, how strong his hand.

  207. poohpity says:

    Why would anyone listen to what Spurgeon teaches as in your comment of 12:54 pm Beloved where you quoted him as saying, “If we do not obey the gentle leadings of His love, He will send affliction to drive us into closer intimacy with Himself. He is determined to bring us close to Him.”?

    If we disobey His gentle leadings isn’t it us that brings the affliction upon ourselves. His Kingdom is not one of a dictatorship or a masochist which is what that statement implies. God wants to help us not harm us which loves draws people near not affliction. If I thought for a moment that God caused affliction to draw me near that would not be a God I would want to follow, but that is just me.

  208. poohpity says:

    Doesn’t God teach us things so that affliction, troubles, suffering, etc. will be less even though we live in a fallen world? I can not understand how anyone can cause trouble just so we come to Him that is human thinking and reasoning at it’s core, sick.

  209. poohpity says:

    That kind of thinking reminds me of what is going on with this virus. The place where it started allowed people infected with it to go all around the world and then wanted to be the source of the medicine and the protective equipment to shield us from it.

  210. bubbles says:

    I am very sorry; I wasn’t angry with anyone and I am so very sorry to bratimus, Regina, Steve, Pooh, Viv, Beloved, Foreverblessed, Miss Pat, and if I forgot anyone, I am sorry to them also.

  211. jeff1 says:

    I accept your apology, Bubbles, because you believe you have offended me though I am not sure why.

    May God give you more peace and comfort.

  212. SFDBWV says:

    Bubbles you know how much you are loved here in my family, you need not appologize to us for anything.

    I know the pressures you are under and how frustrated you are at everything.

    Remember you can always call me and vent and unload anytime you need to.

    Praying for you continually.

    Steve, Glenna and Matt

  213. street says:

    9 I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. 10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. 11 For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter. 2 Corinthians 7:9-11

    6 Pay her back even as she has paid, and give back to her double according to her deeds; in the cup which she has mixed, mix twice as much for her. 7 To the degree that she glorified herself and lived sensuously, to the same degree give her torment and mourning; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as a queen and I am not a widow, and will never see mourning.’ 8 For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong. Revelation 18:6-8

  214. street says:

    Jesus, Savior, strong to save. faithful in love.

    Holy Spirit renew righteousness forgiveness faithfulness mercy truth love joy and peace. renew our spirits in Your’s. make our hearts holy that we my see you and be conformed to You.

    we did walk in darkness Lord and you took away our reproach, teach us to walk in Your light.

  215. Beloved says:

    Bubbles I am reminded how Godly sorrow brings repentance. May you be blessed as you draw nearer to God. As for me, I hold nothing against you. The LORD knows your works and service for Him.

  216. jeff1 says:

    I believe that my dad was right in seeing that those who are holding on to superstitious beliefs are wandering from God’s truths.

    My mum implied that God was punishing a man who lived opposite us because she knew he had been imprisoned for killing a prison officer and so when he reached a low of drinking methylated spirits to feed his alcohol habit it was the conclusion she came to.

    My dad did not believe this is how God works and rather seen that the man was likely punishing himself for having wandered from God’s ways.

    I would have to agree that disobedience brings affliction on ourselves and our ignorance of God can bring destruction if I do as this man done.

    If I am a God fearing person then I will retreat from God believing He is angry but if I believe God is merciful then I will look to Him for forgiveness and restoring my relationship.

    I feared God in my youth which is why I run from Him but He wore me down in getting me to see that He wants to restore me and not harm me.

    I play hide and seek with God because of the instability of my mind but He knows just where to find me!

    1 Praise, my soul, the King of heaven;
    to his feet your tribute bring.
    Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
    evermore his praises sing.
    Alleluia, alleluia!
    Praise the everlasting King!

    2 Praise him for his grace and favor
    to his people in distress.
    Praise him, still the same as ever,
    slow to chide, and swift to bless.
    Alleluia, alleluia!
    Glorious in his faithfulness!

    3 Father Like he tends and spares us;
    well our feeble frame he knows.
    In his hand he gently bears us,
    rescues us from all our foes.
    Alleluia, alleluia!
    Widely yet his mercy flows!

    4 Angels, help us to adore him;
    you behold him face to face.
    Sun and moon, bow down before him,
    dwellers all in time and space.
    Alleluia, alleluia!
    Praise with us the God of grace!

  217. phpatato says:

    Bubbles

    I hope you can feel the huge warm hug that I am sending you.

    No apologies required by me.

    Pat xo

  218. Beloved says:

    God is sovereign over ALL the affairs of man.
    God is immutable, unchanging- Jesus the same yesterday (as He was before the foundation of the world), today and forever.
    God is omnipotent having unlimited power.

    He is Loving, kind and good, patient, peace loving, just, gentle, and in control. full of mercy and grace.

  219. Beloved says:

    Holy, Holy, Holy

  220. street says:

    ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

  221. foreverblessed says:

    God bless you Bubbles!
    Thank you Steve for understanding Bubbles.
    May God strengthen her, and sustain her and hers!

    It’s an old point of disagreement:
    Does God punish
    Or does God discipline?

    One thing is sure, as others have said;
    God is in control. Nothing happens that He does not want to happen.
    And Jesus’ Cross is the pivotal point:
    Anything gone wrong can the Cross made right.

    That is the Gospel of Grace.

    But that difficulties have a disciplining effect on us:
    For example:
    Boris Johnson made a decision in favour of the immigrant workers, and I am positive that Boris having been real ill, as having been treated by these hospital workers have changed his view. He has made a fair judgment!
    Is that punishment or discipline?

    I tend to look at it as discipline.

  222. foreverblessed says:

    You guys do nothing with Ascension Day?
    Is it just a day as any other?

  223. Beloved says:

    No nothing. I guess Christ in me is enough. But I could be wrong. Every day is ascension day to me but you go ahead and honor the day as your religious practices demand. God bless you in your remembrances Forever!

  224. Beloved says:

    Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God.romans 14:6

  225. Beloved says:

    Ascension Day is not a federal public holiday in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, or the United States. It is a public holiday in some countries, including: The Netherlands

    I did not know that until I looked it up!

  226. foreverblessed says:

    I guess Christ in me is enough.

    Yes, that is it.
    All traditions, keeping of days are just a shadow, the Reality, however, is Jesus Christ.

    Verse in Colossians 2:17
    I looked it up in Bible gateway and the text of the day is:

    I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.
    1 Cor 1:10
    Wow, what an advice!

    But it is funny that traditions in churches differ.
    I go along with the celebrations of Easter, Pentecoste, Christmas, and Ascension Day too.

    Many western European countries keep it, Germany for instance.
    The Catholic church keeps it, the Anglican Church.

    Bach wrote some beautiful Praise music for the day . I listened to it last night.
    But to me, every day is Easter, and Pentecoste.

    It is very dark here. I was watching the birds nest, whether the parent birds do sleep in the birdhouse. They did a few days ago. But last night they didn’t, neither this night. Maybe because it is warm enough. While it was quite cold at night the past week, because of the strong northern wind.
    I am praying for rain.
    God bless you all.

    He is in control.
    He is not in despair, He is slowly working at His Kingdom.
    ( Is that a good saying? Does that Honor God?)

    Kingdom of heaven
    Like a mustard seed
    Like a little yeast,

  227. Beloved says:

    I see no division between us Forever. I thank God for His loving kindness that permeates the children of God the Body of Christ. I really enjoy anything Bach wrote also!

  228. Beloved says:

    As for the early church and especially the church in Corinth they had some serious problems within that needed to be dealt with by Paul as their founder and he being the one sent by Jesus to preach Christ’s unifying work to the gentiles. Very important time in the history and beginning of the church. Why we have so many differences of worship and practices between countries regions and villages even I do not know but the world was broken in the Garden I do know that. That said, it is in our best interests and the interest of the Church at large to continue to work out troubling differences: those that bring harm to the name of Christ. That’s my take anyway.
    We praise and lift up Christ our Savior redeemer and friend.

    Have a God blessed rest tonight Forever,
    Love, Joyce

  229. bratimus says:

    bubbles, all is good

    no need for an apology, because there was no offense, I know how hard things can get.

    it was time for me to stop commenting anyhow, its a me thing.

    I do still read the comments.

    Be Blessed

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  230. bubbles says:

    No, please. Not so. It’s me and no one else. I feel horrible and I’m so sorry I hurt your feelings. I feel horrible. I’m so sorry. I was the only person wrong. I’m so sorry.

  231. poohpity says:

    What on earth did you do?

  232. street says:

    she had what we have from time to time, a bad day.

    thankful that you are past it!

  233. Beloved says:

    Amen!

  234. foreverblessed says:

    Dear Bubbles, thank you so much for everything!
    Thank you for being so kind!

    You do write that you feel bad that you made us feel bad. That is really awesome!
    Thank you for writing that. I really do appreciate that.

    It is also very good te realise that God understands us. He knows why we react as we do. He knows the underlying problems.
    And Steve got a notion of it.

    I really do pray that God will sustain you.
    For me the bibleverse:
    “Do not worry”
    Matthew 6:25-34
    I sooo do not want to worry, and be trusting Jesus above all. But I fail often. And often during the day, I have to make my eyes look upon Jesus. It is a conscious action, a willful decision that I make.

    We struggle with it, till there is on that point no more struggle, and it comes natural. We have overcome a problem: The worrying.
    Now I talk in the -we- form.
    I am not yet there, but

    This Corona time is a good time to being disciplined into not worrying. The day is beautiful, the wheather is nice, the trees and the grass are green, there is enough food in the supermarkets. But…. How will this evolve.
    What does it matter for today. It is a lovely day today, Jesus is alive and with me. He is at my side.

    I am at the moment listening to the discover the word, on Discipled by Jesus.
    Jesus is alive today, and is talking with us just as much as He was with the disciples who actually saw Him. We can see Him with spiritual eyes. It is not that I didn’t know. I have experienced it myself: Jesus is Alive and Real, He is my Companion. He is my Teacher.
    But I often write what other christian teachers have written, but they are the things that I have myself been taught by Jesus. And when I read that others write about it, I know it is the Holy Spirit, guiding us.

    God bless you all today.

  235. foreverblessed says:

    And I forgot to mention that Jesus will give us the strength to conquer the struggle that we have. But for some reason I take it that we all here, have accepted the truth of it:
    It is not done without His Power, His love, His filling us.
    That anything that Jesus advices us, (instead of saying “commanded” us) He also gives the Holy Spirit to help us.
    I have to think about Corrie ten Boom: Jesus helped her AFTER she herself had decided she would forgive the Nazi man.

    I am convinced that Jesus does not take over ourselves, He wants us to fully cooperate with Him.
    That we agree that His will is just the best. ANd we are so in agreement in sharing in His will and acting out what He asks.

  236. jeff1 says:

    I believe it is my human error to think I can explain Christ as He works to a person’s needs and not to their demands and why He works differently in each of us.

    Each of us has different strengths and weaknesses i.e. my mum thought she had it all figured out while my dad knew that only God is all knowing.

    In hindsight I see that it was my dad who knew God and that is because he knew to keep focused on Jesus and his suffering rather than do as my mum did which was to speculate on what God was doing in other people’s lives.

    God has not put us here to be mini Gods acting out on our own presumptions of Him but that is just how I behaved until I seen my dad’s wisdom in keeping the cross before his eyes which is in keeping with God’s expectation of me.

    I chose ‘You’ comes to mind and so He will complete what He started in me/you not just for His purpose and glory but for my salvation and deliverance.

    Wounded for me, wounded for me,
    There on the cross He was wounded for me;
    Gone my transgressions, and now I am free,
    All because Jesus was wounded for me.
    2
    Dying for me, dying for me,
    There on the cross He was dying for me;
    Now in His death my redemption I see,
    All because Jesus was dying for me.
    3
    Risen for me, risen for me,
    Up from the grave He has risen for me;
    Now evermore from death’s sting I am free,
    All because Jesus has risen for me.
    4
    Living for me, living for me,
    Up in the skies He is living for me;
    Daily He’s pleading and praying for me,
    All because Jesus is living for me.
    5
    Coming for me, coming for me,
    Soon in the air He is coming for me;
    Then with what joy His dear face I shall see,
    Oh, how I praise Him! He’s coming for me.

  237. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning friends, Foreverblessed I did not know your country celebrated Ascension Day as a national holiday. I think that is great.

    I suppose somewhere in the concept of our countries constitution of separation of church and state Ascension Day was surpassed as a national holiday.

    It takes an act of congress to officially create a national holiday. With today’s political atmosphere such a “Christian” celebration would never be passed.

    Former President Obama said that we (USA) are no longer a Christian nation. His political party is more concerned with getting who they want elected rather than publically declare that Jesus Christ is Lord of Lord’s and King of King’s.

    It wasn’t until the Great Depression that America put “In God we trust” on our money. As a nation our political leaders put our hope in God to replace poverty with prosperity.

    Today churches are closed as our political leaders argue over who to trust and what to believe, relying on science to save us.

    Personally I hope we all are called up to be with Jesus forever as this world we live in seems to me to just get darker and darker.

    I would like to finish on a more positive note, but I listen to that “voice” in my heart and though I may write again later, it is time for me to go for now.

    53 degrees f with drizzle.

    Steve

  238. poohpity says:

    You will be foreverblessed listening to Discover the Word as part of morning devotions and the “In Pursuit of Jesus” which covered several weeks was outstanding. It sure is a lot better than filling one’s mind with politics and the media.

    If you notice that the M.O. of most doctors is they all have different things to say about this virus and how to deal with it. There is only one Truth and that is the person of Jesus Christ which He is also the Way and the Life.

    It is great to also notice that during this time of the virus that His light shines forth in the darkness by people helping each other. Everyone seems to think that their period of time is darker than others before but I can recall some pretty dark times before this time.

  239. poohpity says:

    For instance this is true darkness to me;

    The data on abortions displayed on the Worldometer’s counter is based on the latest statistics on worldwide abortions published by the World Health Organization (WHO). According to WHO, every year in the world there are an estimated 40-50 million abortions. This corresponds to approximately 125,000 abortions per day.

    The virus takes no where near that many innocent lives of those who can not defend themselves.

  240. poohpity says:

    How about this one; In 2019, an estimated 38,800 people lost their lives to car crashes – a 2% decline from 2018 (39,404 deaths) and a 4% decline from 2017 (40,231 deaths).

    OR

    In 2018, the US murder rate was 5.0 per 100,000, for a total of 15,498 murders.

  241. poohpity says:

    As of May 20, 2020, there were over 5 million global cases of COVID-19. Over 1.9 million people had recovered from the disease, while there had been around 325,000 deaths. The United States, Spain, and the United Kingdom have been the three countries hardest hit by the pandemic.

    How many news organizations or politicians talk about the recoveries? The reason is they seem to want to spread fear.

  242. poohpity says:

    Does anyone know what happened to the over 3 million that did not recover or die from this virus? Does that mean that they did not get sick from the virus and are only carriers?

  243. Beloved says:

    Good morning all. I woke up after many dreams- some weird some troubling some awful but I said to myself that God is sovereign over everything. That made all the difference as I started my day the LORD has given to me.

    1 Why should I feel discouraged?
    Why should the shadows come?
    Why should my heart be lonely
    and long for heaven and home,
    when Jesus is my portion?
    My constant friend is he:
    his eye is on the sparrow,
    and I know he watches me;
    his eye is on the sparrow,
    and I know he watches me.
    Refrain:
    I sing because I’m happy, (I’m happy)
    I sing because I’m free, (I’m free)
    for his eye is on the sparrow,
    and I know he watches me.
    2 “Let not your heart be troubled,”
    his tender word I hear,
    and resting on his goodness,
    I lose my doubts and fears;
    though by the path he leadeth
    but one step I may see:
    his eye is on the sparrow,
    and I know he watches me;
    his eye is on the sparrow,
    and I know he watches me. [Refrain]
    3 Whenever I am tempted,
    whenever clouds arise,
    when song gives place to sighing,
    when hope within me dies,
    I draw the closer to him;
    from care he sets me free:
    his eye is on the sparrow,
    and I know he watches me;
    his eye is on the sparrow,
    and I know he watches me

  244. street says:

    19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”

    21 At that very [a]time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I [b]praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 They were even more astonished and said to Him, “[a]Then who can be saved?” 27 Looking at them, Jesus *said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”

  245. street says:

    19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”

    21 At that very [a]time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I [b]praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 They were even more astonished and said to Him, “[a]Then who can be saved?” 27 Looking at them, Jesus *said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”

  246. Beloved says:

    Good news! Our president is overruling state governors and making church attendance “essential” saying the gathering of people to worship is vital to holding our country together. Yay!

  247. Beloved says:

    We may be a post- Christian country but God is still involved and I love it!

  248. Beloved says:

    All things are possible with God. I have this on a wall in my bathroom it’s the first thing I read every morning. Gets me focused and hopeful.

  249. jeff1 says:

    The Past is dark with sin and shame,
    The Future dim with doubt and fear;
    But, Father, yet we praise Thy name,
    Whose guardian love is always near.

    For man has striven, ages long,
    With faltering steps to come to Thee,
    And in each purpose high and strong
    The influence of Thy grace could see.

    He could not breathe an earnest prayer,
    But Thou wast kinder than he dreamed,
    As age by age brought hopes more fair,
    And nearer still Thy kingdom seemed.

    But never rose within his breast
    A trust so calm and deep as now;—
    Shall not the weary find a rest?
    Father, Preserver, answer Thou!’

    Tis dark around, ’tis dark above,
    But through the shadow streams the sun;
    We cannot doubt Thy certain love;
    And Man’s true aim shall yet be won!

  250. Beloved says:

    Colossians3: 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body.
    And be thankful.
    16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
    with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

  251. SFDBWV says:

    Matthew and I went yesterday to our friend who has a salon in Oakland MD and got our haircuts. It was wonderful to get to see and visit with Tina.

    She was finally allowed to open up her business Monday with a list of restrictions or best said instructions as what she had to do in order to remain open.

    Threatened with a thousand dollar fine and 1 year in jail if she didn’t follow the new edicts.

    I used the term edict because no legislative elected body has made new laws as to speaking to the matter sidestepping the constitutional working of our government and just making a rule with punishment attached with it.

    Tina’s daughter was Matthew’s nurse when he was moved from ICU to step down. It was our pleasure to get to tell Tina what a special gift it was to have her as his nurse and what a good job she did for us.

    Tina said that after we left and they got corona virus patients in the University hospital that the most difficult thing for her daughter was how dying patients were not allowed to have their family with them as they died.

    So her daughter would stay with them after her shift was over so that they would not die alone.

    Personally I think God speaks to us in many ways and it is always going to be whether or not we recognize it or not.

    48 degrees f and clear.

    Steve

  252. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you very much Steve, that is quite moving, that she would stay with patients, that they not due alone.
    Some very very moving things happen too in this crisis.
    I try to focus on those stories.
    In our local nursing home, (old people’s home is the direct translation from Dutch into English).
    There was a woman with beginning Alzheimer, who got into distress with all these measures. Being isolated in her own room. One daughter could not work anyways because of restrictions, so she asked if she could live with her mother. She was allowed to do so, after she first had been in quarantaine in a special room. Then she went to live with her mother.
    We go there once a week, drawing pictures on the pavement. Last time we went, they were standing on their balcony, waving at us. Their waving was with so much gratitude. It filled my heart with warmth!

    We had made a picture of a bird, with the words:
    Lucky bird
    And the mother is so pleased with that bird, and how lucky she is!
    With the company of her daughter.

    Thanks for sharing your story, Steve.
    I pray that God will bless all these people, and that He will open their eyes to Jesus!
    It is a miracle that we see Who Jesus is.
    And how encompassing the work of the Cross, that makes whole anything that has gone wrong.

  253. foreverblessed says:

    One more note: this daughter had some real courage to move into the house, as their were several people already I’ll. Now it is found that her mother is tested positive, but uptill now it is a mild form. Nobody is allowed in their room, and they two are not allowed out of it.
    If you have a prayer for them, thanks!

    And Beloved, I am hesitant as to go to a church, unless there is a very good ventilation. I would rather have a meeting in the open air. Unless the Holy Spirit has given specific instructions, that there is supernatural protection.
    It reminds me of churches who take the Psalm:
    You will tread on serpents
    And have serpents in the church so people can touch them.

    (We can learn to pray together via internet.
    We don’t need to be in a church to pray to gather.)

    I do not want to be a downer on your lifted spirits for having church gatherings, but all I want to say is: let’s do that cautiously.
    With very good ventilation.

  254. foreverblessed says:

    Street posted that Psalm yesterday (twice, ;-)
    We are not to be afraid of serpents.
    Reminds me of Paul, who was bitten by a deadly serpent, and was not harmed.
    I really do love to go through Acts again. The chapters from Acts 21 till the end, I have often studied. Now I have thouroughly gone through the first three journeys.
    That God had in each area “Many people”
    God had already many people marked that were His.

    Dionysius is one man that I read about, a few months ago.
    You can find it on Wikipedia:
    Dionysius the Areopagite

    Have I written about him already? If so, you have it here again:
    Dionysius was in Alexandria during the time of the Crucifixion.
    God had worked in his heart there and then:

    Citation from wiki:

    ..Tradition holds that earlier, at a young age, he found himself in Heliopolis of Egypt (near Cairo) just at the time of Christ’s crucifixion in Jerusalem. On that Great Friday, at the time of the crucifixion of Christ, according to the gospel, “From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land.” (Matthew 27:45). The young boy, Dionysius was shocked by this paradoxical phenomenon and exclaimed: “God suffers or is always despondent” (“God suffers or is lost all”). He took care to note the day and hour of this supernatural event of the darkness of the Sun.

    When Dionysius returned to Athens, he heard the preaching of the Apostle Paul in the Areopagus Hill in Athens, talking about that supernatural darkness during the Crucifixion of the Lord, dissolving any doubt about the validity of his new faith. He was baptized, with his family in 52 AD. The acceptance of Dionysius of Christ refers to the Acts of the Apostles in chapter 17 and verse 34 “The men who have been sealed have believed in them, and Dionysius the Areopagite, and the name of Damaris, and the others in it.” Thus, when Dionysius heard Paul preach on Christ on the Areopagus Hill in Athens, he recalled this experience which reinforced his conviction that Paul was speaking the truth on Christ as the long-promised Messiah and Savior of the World.

  255. poohpity says:

    The prayer group for our church meets by conference call every Wednesday morning in which we have prayed for direction from the Lord how to open and not cause harm to anyone by it. So they have been preparing for it over many weeks by rearranging the sitting, cleaning, and making a plan for the service that entails following the CDC guidelines. After all we are taught to respect guidelines so that others will not be harmed, that is just a given.

    The bible teaches us to follow the leading of the government since God has put them there for our protection unless they go against what God teaches, but follow God first and foremost. Romans 13:1-2

    Obviously the bible teaches us; Hebrews 10:24-25 NLT to not forsake meeting together as some have gotten in the habit of doing. A body does not function well if some of the parts are missing in action.

  256. poohpity says:

    Several of our bible studies are on Zoom so we can see and talk with each other as well during this shut down period. Where there is a will there is a way.

  257. poohpity says:

    I got very sick in March which has lasted for over 8 weeks the during that time my doctor put me on quarantine for 14 days the results of that illness I ended up with pneumonia in my left lung which has damaged my lung and caused it to shrink in the lower lobe. It was viral pneumonia so the antibiotics I took had no effect on it at all. Many people in my church helped me by bringing me groceries and toiletries, getting my prescriptions for me, calling me daily to see if I was alright and running any errands I needed. The body at work and I felt so blessed to have their help, just knowing that they cared was so wonderful.

    I am on the mend now slowly but with being able to do things over the phone like praying and being part of the bible studies the feeling of being a leper has gotten less and less. It hurts when people will not come close to you even though you know it is in the best interest of everyone. I can empathize with the lepers now and how they felt being isolated from people, it is depressing. Yet Jesus reached out and touched them I bet that warmed their hearts in so many ways as it does mine.

  258. Beloved says:

    Thinking about church and being led. One time the HS told me to go to a store. He didn’t say why just go. So I drove 16 miles and went into the store. And just waited for further instruction. About 3 or 4 minutes later (I appeared to be alone) a woman I knew casually suddenly walked in. Without saying a greeting she suddenly turned to me in distress and poured out a problem she felt very stuck with, that she was seeing a counselor who she thought was giving too much advice. I simply said she could find another counselor if she wanted. Sometimes the easiest solutions are the best. Gods plans and ways are not complicated just simply to trust Him and do what you are told. That’s it, easy. God always has our best interests in mind- which is why I didn’t have an accident on my way to the store. He always protects and provides, that is His love. And He always encourages as He did for this woman. And for me also watching Him working in her life of troubles.

  259. Beloved says:

    Pooh I’m so sad to hear about your illness and isolation. Praying you are better now.

  260. Beloved says:

    I was also saddened to hear Ravi Zacharias died at 74 from cancer.

  261. jeff1 says:

    1
    Art thou sunk in depths of sorrow
    Where no arm can reach so low?
    There is One whose arms almighty
    Reach beyond thy deepest woe.
    God th’ Eternal is thy refuge,
    Let it still thy wild alarms;
    Underneath thy deepest sorrow,
    Are the everlasting arms.

    Underneath thee, underneath thee,
    Are the everlasting arms,
    Everlasting, everlasting,
    Are the everlasting arms.

    2
    Other arms grow faint and weary,
    These can never faint, nor fail;
    Others reach our mounts of blessing,
    These our lowest loneliest vale.
    O that all might know His friendship!
    O that all might see His charms!
    O that all might have beneath them
    Jesus’ everlasting arms.

    3
    Underneath us, O how easy;
    We have not to mount on high,
    But to sink into His fulness,
    And in trustful weakness lie.
    And we find our humbling failures
    Save us from the strength that harms!
    We may fail, but underneath us
    Are the everlasting arms.

    4
    Arms of Jesus! fold me closer,
    To Thy strong and loving breast,
    Till my spirit on Thy bosom
    Finds its everlasting rest;
    And when time’s last sands are sinking,
    Shield my heart from all alarms,
    Softly whispering, “Underneath thee,
    Are the everlasting arms

  262. Beloved says:

    Forever, I got my copy of The Intercessor today. If you read online ( which I think you said once) the lesson “God Determines, Not Permits“ is so good as Norman Grubb explains the inner man versus the outer in suffering. it is so good.

  263. foreverblessed says:

    Dear Pooh, I pray this over you:
    “Arms of Jesus! fold me closer,
    To Thy strong and loving breast,
    Till my spirit on Thy bosom
    Finds its everlasting rest;
    And when time’s last sands are sinking,
    Shield my heart from all alarms,
    Softly whispering, “Underneath thee,
    Are the everlasting arms”

    And Beloved, o thanks for sharing. I had a real copy, but had given it to somebody, so everything I wrote about is was out of my memory.
    I have found a pdf on internet.
    Will look at it.
    May God bless you all!!!

  264. street says:

    John uses a teachable moment to assure us that the Spirit of God can give us a hint of the great, self-sacrificing heart of God that shines a light on our shriveled, self-protective thoughts about personal, family, national, and spiritual security.

    shines a light of truth on self-sacrifice to bear and cover sin for those who could not. given righteousness, a covering, in order to be restored to God. given mercy where none was asked for or desired. grace given in time of sorrow and bitterness that only God could make sense of and comfort. we were dead to God, but now made alive by faith in Christ Jesus. brought near to God, and called sons. personal family national and spiritual security in Christ Jesus. for now a Kingdom of priest working and serving a new Headship and dinning from a different table.

  265. foreverblessed says:

    What you wrote Street, just above, us very very good news, the Word of Grace.
    We are His.
    Yesterday we went to my mother, to help her with the zoom service, of a Canadian church, her Canadian friends had given her the link.
    That is just one major benefit from this crisis! For my mother, and us. We have been watching the last several Sundays. And the sermons were profound.

    Reading in Acts what got my attention is this:
    God said to Paul several times: “I have many people here”

    God already knew who were His, Paul had to get the message to them.

    In the High Priestly prayer Jesus said:
    “They were Yours, You have given them to Me”
    John 17:6

    As was with Paul, so it was with Jesus, God gave the disciples to Jesus.
    They were the gift of God to Jesus.

    Think of this, so it is with us:
    We are God’s gift to Jesus.

    What a wonderful thought:
    “Holy Father, protect them by the power of Your Name, the Name You gave Me…”
    John 17:6-11

    It reminds me of the farewell words of Paul to the Ephesians:
    “Now I commit you to God and to the Word of His Grace”

    I bet Ravi Zaccherias had prayed something similar to those he left behind.
    I knew he was very ill, but was saddened to hear of his passing, Beloved.
    I pray God will protect that mission, and strengthen them. I really did appreciate the apologetics he was doing, and John Lennox, and CS Lewis.

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