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Defining Moments

Moments of truth come to us in different ways. And for many of us the Bible has given us our best understanding of defining moments. Like the first time our first parents pointed their fingers at one another in an effort to protect themselves. Or when the long-awaited Hope of a nation refused to defend himself, and instead used some of his last breaths to say, “Father forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.” Or when he earlier warned his followers that they would take a lot of grief for following him.

But if this is so, how could the Book that has given us so much insight also have been the weapon of choice for masters and economies that looted native populations, bought and beat slaves, and abused their women, while considering themselves chosen by God to live off of the back of others?

Looking back, I consider it an important defining moment for me when, fairly late in life, I read a book that opened my eyes to the obvious— that there are different ways of connecting the dots when it comes to our understanding of Scripture. How else can we explain so many varying theologies, interpretations, applications, and uses of inspired words?

At some point it also began to sink in that even Jesus and Paul read, quoted, and applied the Scriptures of Israel in ways that were not only very different than the religious leaders who hated them— but also different from the way I had learned to read the many translations I have on my bookshelves, phone, and computer.

Yes, we need to be careful not to end up with a book that just says what we want it to say. That’s the point. And maybe that’s why Paul in his his first letter to the Corinthians reminded his readers that, when he was first with them, he wanted to lay a foundation that was nothing other than the long awaited King and Hope of the world— crucified.


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188 Responses to “Defining Moments”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Right here on BTA I read a warning from someone for us not to become worshipers of the Bible instead of worshipers of our God.

    It was one of the defining moments that made me think.

    I can assure you that war colleges from a long time back have used the conquest of Canaan as a teaching tool in how to wage war.

    I also have been criticized for complaining about hearing too much Bible quotes thrown at issues rather than an honest discussion of the issue at heart.

    Not because I have issue with Bible quotes, but rather how they are used as well as the cheapening of them when used inappropriately.

    If any of you have ever tried to have a conversation with an educated unbeliever, as soon as you try to use a Bible quote they make that face and say the Bible says lots of things and usually in contrast to itself.

    Your living example of Christ-like behavior says more than any Bible quote to someone who is an observer of Christianity, not yet convinced of being a believer.

    My apologies to you Mart and others as getting this far in posting has taken me most of the morning. I will have to attend to matters here and come back to the subject later today.

    48 degrees this morning earlier, but up to 62 as I post.

    Steve

  2. poohpity says:

    Jesus confronted many people who thought they were religious, righteous or godly many times but all they were living was just words not shown in any actions. The same with those who call themselves Christian(followers of Christ)and do nice things for those who return their love when it is really shown by those who do not return that love but the heart felt believer shows it anyway.

    Today is a good example in ODB about how the religious people turned away from someone who needed help because they may get dirty while someone who was despised by those religious people did offer help. Or the religious leader who touted how religious he was looking down on others while one of those he looked down on just beat his chest confessing what a sinner he was asking for mercy.

    How about controlling people thinking that God is controlling or saying, “During the thousand year reign of Jesus as King of the world and we as His aids it will still be a government ruling over people.” That is from someone who obviously does not know God very well at all and the freedoms and free will He bestows on His children when they are free from the temptations of a sin filled world.

    It was a defining moment for me when I came to realize the magnitude of God’s love because it then comes pouring out towards others no matter if it is returned or not.

    How about the slave trader that realized God’s love for him even though he had acted in such a horrible manner towards human beings who’s skin color was different then wrote the song “Amazing Grace”. Or Paul who persecuted Christians only to fall to his knees when he came to realize the enormity of God’s love even after he did what he was doing.

    It would seem that the defining moment in anyone’s life happens when they come to believe that the God of all creation has this faithful love for us even though we act like jerks. He does not control us, He pours out His love over us. 1 Peter 4:8 NLT

  3. street says:

    when i fist dropped in today i only saw the figure of an arm and hand. had difficulty seeing what was posted so i went to a different link and sign in. when i got back to this page the arm and hand were there, but a empty box of darkness was there to the right of the arm and hand. i don’t think the arm and hand are a symbol of Gods because it is not reaching out to anything. on the other hand,pun intended, the box of darkness seems empty. could it be empty because sin has blinded our eyes?

    was thinking about the bambi and the butterfly pic. if your not careful. the butterfly gets hurt. ops.

    let me know the cross then i will know God.

    3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

    intervention of a samaritan required.

  4. jeff1 says:

    So perhaps it’s not so surprising that non believers do not see believers as Christian today because if we are behaving like jerks then it’s hardly appropriate to call myself a follower of Christ or that is my thinking anyway.

    After all a non believer’s behaviour is often better than my own so it is my failure to follow Christ that the observer sees and must conclude that I am a hypocrite rather than a Christ filled Christian.

    I am either a Christ filled Christian or I am a sinner seeking absolution but I cannot be both.

    If non believers are confused today it wasn’t God confused them.

  5. bratimus says:

    I don’t think I’ll be commenting on this topic, don’t need any revolts. Do to the fact I’m not a preacher, Bible teacher or a scholar of the Bible.

    I’m a man that try’s to live by the Word of God, Christ Jesus. I ask God to destroy me before I would lead anyone astray from Christ Jesus

    Tomorrow I’ll be reading Romans 1

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  6. street says:

    you will know a tree by it fruit.
    the tree of life is rarely recognized.
    if it is recognized, it is by the grace of God.

    “He scattered abroad, he gave to the poor,
    His righteousness abides forever.”

  7. street says:

    John 12

  8. street says:

    But if this is so, how could the Book that has given us so much insight also have been the weapon of choice for masters and economies that looted native populations, bought and beat slaves, and abused their women, while considering themselves chosen by God to live off of the back of others?

    evil can not exist apart from good. God promised to remove it and only good shall remain.

    the devil entered paradise and looted it, Jesus entered a darkness and and a wilderness and is looting it. before Jesus could loot the strongman’s house he had to bind him up. let the looting continue.

    i love the idea of Jesus entering hades and looting the saints there to bring them into God’s presents.

    thinking how the vineyard was given to another Who would produce fruit.

    weaponizing the truth? living/dying by law? 45 But if that slave says in his heart, ‘My master [a]will be a long time in coming,’ and begins to beat the slaves, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk; 46 the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and assign him a place with the unbelievers.

    thinking how governments come to power for the common good then degenerate into common evil. Alpha and Omaga, start with God, end with God. start with nothing end with nothing and a lot of debt. to be renewed daily.

  9. Beloved says:

    I was also thinking about weapons and how Paul thought of it.

    ◄ 2 Corinthians 10 ►
    New King James Version Par ▾
    The Spiritual War

    1Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you. 2But I beg you that when I am present I may not be bold with that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. 3For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4For the weapons of our warfare are not [a]carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

    Reality of Paul’s Authority

    7Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ’s, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he is Christ’s, even [b]so we are Christ’s. 8For even if I should boast somewhat more about our authority, which the Lord gave [c]us for [d]edification and not for your destruction, I shall not be ashamed— 9lest I seem to terrify you by letters. 10“For his letters,” they say, “are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.” 11Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when we are absent, such we will also be in deed when we are present.

  10. Beloved says:

    In the pictures I see darkness and the Light of the world Jesus, at rest. “It is finished”. Yes it is.

  11. poohpity says:

    FYI During these protests on Tuesday June 2nd there was something called #blackouttuesday which those who were protesting racism and police brutality put up black boxes on their facebook page and other social media sites.

  12. jeff1 says:

    Day by day, dear Lord, of these three things I pray, to see thee more clearly, to love thee more dearly and to follow thee more nearly.

  13. Beloved says:

    Oh, I’m sure a black box can have many meanings. Interesting.

  14. street says:

    and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

    Romans 7

    15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.

    4 Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.

    Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,1 Peter 4:1

    Hebrews 2:18
    For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.

    1 Peter 5:10
    After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

  15. street says:

    Good News!

  16. Beloved says:

    Such good news! Need to be reminded from time to time as weariness overshadows the Truth of the gospel these days.

    Please forgive me if I offended anyone by my interpretation of the black box; I was unaware of it’s use in popular culture. That said, I do recall Rick DeHaan posting a message on ODB about their mission and acknowledgement of current cultural racial struggles.

    Honestly I’d hoped the blog was moving on from politics but alas…

    Really really tired these days. Looking up and resting is best.

  17. street says:

    “Rulers and elders of the people, 9 if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. 11 He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

    it would seem all mankind are some sort of builder. building will not accomplish what Jesus has accomplished. when we drift away from crucified we can fall into systems of thought and practice that have no root in Christ Jesus. in advertising it’s called bait and switch. paul curses anyone who presents a different Gospel.

    we are to build, that has not changed. build on what the greeks consider foolishness and the jews stumble over.

    metaphors of cut off and grafted in come to mind. i think metaphor might be the wrong word. new creation comes to mind, new husband or bridegroom.

    sinners divorced from God, some bought back, like in Hosea. man of blood, bride groom of blood. i can see why this can be difficult.

    guilty of sugar coating it and promoting faith in Christ other than crucified. thinking of pascal’s wager

  18. Beloved says:

    Isaiah 1:18 King James Version (KJV)

    18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

    Pascal has nothing over on God; let this mind be in you, who’s mind? The mind of Christ!

  19. SFDBWV says:

    “Oh Lord give me strength, but do not make me hard hearted.”

    Ha Ha Ha, if the black box Mart has put up for us is a symbol of solidarity with the civil unrest in our country, then the arm must be the long arm of the law.

    If Mart is trying to say in his comments that people have since the inception of our Bible misused it to justify their actions, to further their goals and to rule over others. Then just say so.

    The history of Christianity is a bloody one, filled with what seems as complete defiance of the teachings of Jesus. All the while citing old testament actions of God and man as a road map to pleasing God and be in compliance with His law and will for mankind.

    Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself. Paul said to obey the laws of man as God placed them in authority over us.

    If you love your neighbor and want the best for them just as much as you want the best for yourself, you will find that you are not violating any laws man has placed upon society.

    The only place in the world where man’s law and religious law are folded together are in Islamic countries, where slavery is still practiced and religious police see to it that their religious laws are carried out upon punishment and even death.
    There is no possible way I can agree that the riotous, civil disorder being carried out in the cities of the world now are in any way in line with the teaching of Jesus. Nor are there any place in Scripture that supports it.

    The total breakdown of law and order in the world is though seen by me as a sign of the times.

    41 degrees f and clear.

    Steve

  20. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All

    I pray that you (and your family) are well. By God’s grace, I’m well. Had a busy weekend, but I’m glad that God gave me the strength and energy to do my chores. Enjoyed reading all of the remaining comments on the previous blog and the new comments on the current blog. Like street, I was also trying to figure out how the arm/hand picture and empty box fits in with the current blog topic. Maybe I can’t make a connection right now because I don’t have time to really focus on it. Wish I had more time, but I have to get going… It’s time for my morning chores. You’re welcome, forever, re: my prayers for rain in your neck of the woods. I pray that the Lord will send as much as your area needs.

    Will attempt a “great catch up”, bratimus, Acts 25-28 today.

    77 degrees under a clear sky this morning…

    Love to all,
    Regina

  21. Mart DeHaan says:

    Oh, to all my dear friends here on BTA, you couldn’t know how much I needed to hear your hearts today!

  22. Regina says:

    I’m so glad you were blessed by the comments on BTA, Mart! :-) I think I can speak for all in saying that your ministry is such a blessing to us, so we’re happy to pay it forward.

  23. jeff1 says:

    While I am very much against any protests that burden those officers or military it is a stretch for me to portion blame.

    If systems fail it is because they are doomed to as they have not been in keeping with God’s righteousness.

    People are always protesting as I remember from my youth and some want it peaceful while others use any means.

    It’s how this world goes around but I am learning something in my dinosaur years and that is that I cannot trust in my own understanding nor do I believe God wants me to.

    I watched a program the other night and it give me an insight that the powers in this world are biased i.e. one for the rich and another for the poor and it helped me see that not everything is as it seems.

    I believe it was C. S. Lewis who said we should not behave like God does not exist yet when we take matters into our own hands that is what we do.

    I believe God’s aim is for me/us to follow H and not for Him to follow me/us.

    He gives me the Holy Spirit which guides, comforts, strengthens so that I know He doesn’t forsake me. Whatever the circumstances, I will wait for God because history tells me that He does know better.

  24. Beloved says:

    Good morning,

    Oswalds words strike me today as I struggle against depression and anxiety once again. Waking up is bittersweet because I know the struggles and temptations I will face all day, unless I submit to Christ immediately.

    WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

    When you are joyful, be joyful; when you are sad, be sad. If God has given you a sweet cup, don’t make it bitter; and if He has given you a bitter cup, don’t try and make it sweet; take things as they come. Shade of His Hand, 1226 L

    Yes LORD, your servant hears. Blessed be the name of the LORD Jesus Christ.

  25. poohpity says:

    One of the defining moments for me regarding art was my eyes being opened in an art appreciation class in college to fulfill the Humanities credit I needed to complete my degree which taught to find out some background information on who the artist was, what was going on during his/her life and most often a little blurb about what the artist was saying by their art work. After learning those things one can appreciate the art piece more fully.

    In the bible I learned that the one true artist of humanity and everything else is God, the creator. Paul says, “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.” WOW this is what he wanted from the crucifixion the foundation for all those who believe that is how we learn to love, forgive and show grace by that selfless act.

  26. poohpity says:

    The Artist has spoken for those who are willing to listen and give themselves to Him. Not for Him to control, or rule, or dominate but for us to know that all He teaches us is for the good of others because we know God is good and only wants the best for His masterpiece.

  27. poohpity says:

    How well do YOU know the artist?

  28. Beloved says:

    Ephesians 2:10 MSSG

    Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing

  29. foreverblessed says:

    “…he (Paul) wanted to lay a foundation that was nothing other than the long awaited King and Hope of the world— crucified..”

    I have been reading what Mart wrote, many a time.

    But that last sentence stood out for me.

    Jesus, The King crucified….

    s I have been raised in a fundamentalistic church, I know a lot about misinterpretation of the Bible.

    Yesterday two things got my attention:

    1-I was with my mother yesterday, and watched a zoom service.
    Of a shoot of that has returned to Grace.
    The pastor started with a deep sincere prayer and asking for forgiveness for deep rooted racism. A d the quest to the listeners to search their hearts to see if there is a trace of racism.

    The call for self survey, and aligning to the ministry of Reconciliation of Jesus.

    He explained that the way things go in racism is a spiral of violence, blacks are treated with violence, more than whites, and the protest.
    The violence spiral.

    2- My mother had received a letter from on offshoot of that fundamentalistic church, that kept to keeping all of the laws for Israel, including all the Holy Feast.
    The gist of the article was: no rioting is ever a way that Jesus was teaching. These people demand change with violence.
    Obey the law etc. etc. ( I am getting tired of writing about that second way of looking at the protests.

    For me personally, J am build up by the first approach.
    The second way makes me tired, and sad.

    My eyes, I will fix on Jesus, the King that was crucified, and by His blood we are cleansed, and made whole.
    By His resurrection Life we live, and move and have our being.

    Thank You, God

  30. jeff1 says:

    He leadeth me, O blessed thought
    O words with heavenly comfort fraught
    What’er I do, where’er I be
    Still tis God’s hand that leadeth me

    Sometimes mid scenes of deepest gloom
    Sometimes when Eden’s bowers bloom
    By waters still, over troubled sea
    Still tis His hand that leadeth me

    He leadeth me, He leadeth me
    By His own hand,He leadeth me
    His faithful follower I would be,
    For by His hand He leadeth me.

    Lord I would place thine hand in mine
    Nor ever murmur nor reprine
    Content, whatever lot I see
    Since tis thine hand that leadeth me

    He leadeth me, He leadeth me
    By his own hand He leadeth me
    His faithful follower I would be,
    For by His hand He leadeth me

    And when my task on earth is done
    When by thy grace the victoy’s won
    Even death’s cold wave I will not flee
    Since God through Jordan leadeth me

    He leadeth me, He leadeth me
    By his own hand He leadeth me
    His faithful follower I would be,
    For by His hand He leadeth me.

    His faithful follower I will be
    For by His hand He leadeth me

    For by His hand He leadeth me

  31. Beloved says:

    Thank you all for your prayers. Today I was numb to temptation and after initial depressive mood suddenly felt better and had a very peaceful and prosperous day. Thank you Jesus!

  32. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All

    I pray that you and yours are well, and, by God’s grace, I am too. Had a busy day of shopping yesterday, and my shopping would go a lot faster if there weren’t so many goodies and gadgets to look at. I often get distracted by things that are not on my grocery/toiletry list.

    Enjoyed reading Acts 25 through 28, and here are my “refreshers” or “just learned” take aways …

    Acts 25

    The Jewish leaders presented their (false) case against Paul to Festus… requested that Paul be sent to Jerusalem (and plotted to kill him enroute).

    Festus went to Caesarea, where Paul was held in prison, with some of the Jewish leaders. The Jews brought some serious charges against Paul, which they couldn’t prove.

    Paul requested to be tried in Ceasar’s court… Festus granted him permission.

    King Agrippa (and Bernice) traveled to Caesarea, and Festus explained Paul’s situation to Agrippa. King Agrippa requested to hear Paul’s testimony.

    Acts 26

    Paul gave his testimony before high-ranking Jewish officials in King Agrippa’s court. King Agrippa found Paul “not guilty” of anything worthy of death, and said he could’ve been released if he had not appealed to King Caesar.

    Acts 27

    Paul foretells of a disastrous voyage at sea, with a loss of the ship and cargo, but the men sailing with him didn’t believe him. During the violet sea storm, the men on the ship with Paul feared for their lives and prepared to leave the ship. But Paul told them (that the Lord revealed to him) that only the ship (and cargo) would be destroyed if they stay on the ship.

    Acts 28

    Paul and the men landed on the island of Malta… the islanders built a fire to welcome them because it was raining and cold. Paul gathered some sticks to lay on the fire, a poisonous snake, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand.

    The islanders saw it hanging from his hand and said to each other that he was a murderer and justice wouldn’t permit him to live. Paul shook the snake into the fire and was unharmed. The islanders waited for Paul to start swelling or suddenly fall dead. After they waited a long time and no harm came to him, they changed their mind and decided he was a god.

    Governor Publius allowed Paul and the other men to lodge at his estate for three days. Publius’ father was sick… Paul prayed for him (laying his hands on him) and the Lord healed him. All the other sick people on the island came to Paul (for prayer) and were healed.

    The people gave Paul and the other men gifts and things that they would need when it was time for them to set sail again. After three months, Paul and the men set sail again and the stopped in Syracuse, Rhegium and Puteoli (where some believers begged them to stay with them for seven days). Then they went on to Rome.

    Paul was permitted to live wherever he wanted to (in Rome), but he was guarded by a soldier. Three days after his arrival, he called together the local Jewish leaders and gave his testimony.

    The Jewish leaders informed Paul that they had heard nothing against him, and they wanted to hear more about what he believed. So, Paul told them about the Kingdom of God and Jesus from the Scriptures (the five books of Moses and the books of prophecy).

    Some of the Jews believed and some didn’t. Paul lived for the next two years in his rented house and welcomed all who visited him, telling them with all boldness about the Kingdom of God and the Lord Jesus Christ and no one tried to stop him.

    Ready for Romans 1, and on to my morning chores.

    82 degrees (feels like 87 degrees) under a clear sky…

    Love to all,
    Regina

  33. SFDBWV says:

    Tuesday’s and Saturday’s are alike in our house in that they have the same routine planned out.

    I awake sometime after 2:30 am and get up to my recliner where I watch the clock and at 3:40 tell Matt the time. He then wants me to tell him every 5 minutes the time until I get him up at 4:20. This I do every morning 7 days a week.

    However on Tuesday’s and Saturdays after getting Matt up to his wheelchair as soon as I get his bed made I get him kicked back in his big recliner where he has his preplanned activity of scratching his face for 15 minutes. He believes this helps his whiskers grow.

    After I clean his fingernails and wipe off his face with a wet paper towel, he has his prayer time until 5 am. I then bring him two apple and two chocolate straddles and a warm English muffin with butter and jam on it, two glasses of water and a small bottle of juice (apple, grape or orange pineapple).

    The only differences with the other days are what I fix him for breakfast and when it is he gets kicked back into his big easy chair.

    It is in between these tasks that I have the opportunity to look in to BTA and see what has transpired since yesterday.

    After Matt is finished and just resting watching TV I then have some me time. I usually then feed the birds (critters) and have that alone time with God in prayer, outside while feeding the birds and continued as I set for a few minutes in my garage alone without distraction.

    I then gather up my weather information and as soon as the time for me to send the information in to the National Weather Service I do.

    Certainly there are other things I have to do in the midst of the things mentioned here, but I just wanted to give you all a little piece of my morning and begin to lay down a foundation as to what I want to say further into my comment this morning.

    I have a small library of Christian books and several different Bibles with modern translations as well as my good old standard the King James.

    There was a time in my life when I had the time, and looking back, that time used well to study and read all of these books and spend time in Scripture. In fact as I write I can say clearly I was more led to read Scripture and led as what to read.

    All of this was to prepare me for where I am right now in life. It seems to me that God fed me enough and gave me enough to accomplish what He wanted from me.

    If I try and force myself to read it just don’t work. I get nothing unless led to read or led to receive.

    I am not the catalyst that makes my relationship with God work, Jesus is and Jesus does by and through His Holy Spirit.

    Unless my actions, my speech or anything I may share here comes from Him it becomes a waste of my time and yours.

    This all comes from my indwelt relationship with Jesus merged with my own spirit.

    His urgings and voice in my heart speaks louder than any written words and unless He is wanting to tell me or teach me something from Scripture, the written words of Scripture can’t speak to me.

    For me the test is about whether or not words or actions do or don’t align with what Jesus has said or taught, whether or not they exalt Jesus or not.

    How Scripture was used to rule over people with an iron fist and fear is for another posting from me.

    I really just wanted to explain how sometimes I need to rest from studying, to just existing with and sharing that with you here from time to time.

    50 degrees and clear. A transformer somewhere in town exploded a while ago and knocked off the power for a moment here. I know it exploded, because we heard it go kaboom when the power went off.

    Blessing and prayers for all today.

    Steve

  34. poohpity says:

    1 Peter 5:8 NLT

    Psalm 119:105 NLT

  35. poohpity says:

    Eph 6:

    A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

    13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and “take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”.

    If the only offensive piece of equipment we have to stand against the enemy is the word of God. What makes one think that it is not very important in our everyday life, so then the leading of His Spirit would lead us to the word not away from Him which is the very thing that the devil tries to do since the beginning. Jesus said, “‘People do not live by bread alone,
    but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” so that says to me that spiritual nourishment is more important than eating food. The devil tried to temp Jesus by pointing away from the word of God, do we not think he will do the same to us?

  36. poohpity says:

    If we do not know God’s word then we will fall for any false teaching that comes our way and there is a lot of that now-a-days as it has been throughout history.

  37. bratimus says:

    Towards Steve’s point,

    I sometimes have to back off on reading the Bible, my eyes get tired, so what I have found myself doing is listening to Bible though audio on my computer and pop around different books and chapters. It is not so much to study, I have come to find it is comforting to my soul, sometime all even fall asleep to the audio of the Bible.

    I do a lot of praying now silent out loud I just pray.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

    Regina take your time in Reading and enjoy the words

  38. jeff1 says:

    My soul is lost,so lonely and so cold
    Just like a lamb that strayed from the fold
    Across the barren waste of sin I roam
    Oh, gentle Shepherd hear my cry and lead me home

    The hours go by on frightened wings of flight While wolves of hell are waiting for the night
    To claim the soul that wandered from the fold
    Oh! gentle Shepherd hear my cry and save my soul

    Oh! gentle Shepherd hear my lonely cry
    And in the cool green pastures let me lie
    Beside the still clear waters lead Thou me
    Oh! gentle Shepherd safe forevermore with Thee….

  39. Beloved says:

    Every time I read scripture it becomes a defining moment. I found a new song I like very much:

    Your Words Are Spirit and Life
    Song by Bernadette Farrell

    Your words are spirit and life, O Lord:
    Richer than gold, stronger than death.
    Your words are spirit and life, O Lord;
    Life everlasting.
    Reviving the weary spirit.
    God’s rule can be trusted: bringing us wisdom,
    Bringing God’s wisdom to birth.
    They gladden the hearts of people.
    God’s command is so clear it brings us new vision;
    Bringing God’s light to our eyes.
    God’s presence is everlasting.
    God’s truth is eternal, bringing us justice;
    Bringing God’s justice to earth.
    Worth more than we dare imagine
    And, sweeter than honey, this word will feed us,
    Bringing fulfillment and joy.

    I’ve gone through psalms meditating on each and every word; it’s awesome, try it! Like sitting on Gods lap listening to your ABBA.

  40. Beloved says:

    Remember our common Enemy has myriad ways to detract us from reading the Bible, myriad. He’s way smarter than we give him credit for. Much smarter than any human mind. Best to default to Gods ways no matter the apparent “logic” that comes to mind.

  41. Beloved says:

    Question for the ages: John 18:33–38

    NKJV

    33 Then Pilate entered the Praetorian again, called Jesus, and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”
    34 Jesus answered him, “Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?”
    35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?”
    36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”
    37 Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?”
    Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”

    38 Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?”

    And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all.”

  42. jeff1 says:

    It is my very good friend whose knowledge of the Bible is mind blowing that convinced me many read it to their own agenda rather than to see God’s truths.

    We only need look at the world to agree that the Bible is right but we only need look at the numerous interpretations to see it is God who gets it right.

    Everyone has a right to interpret but when those from different denominations publicly disagree on interpretations it does nothing to draw non believers to Christ.

    When believers become more obsessed about whose interpretations are right they are more interested in being right than seeing that only God is right.

    In being raised in a religious divided country I see the consequences of such actions.

    Just because you yourself reads it with a heart for God does not change the truth that many do not.

    I say God is His own interpretor when I have a heart to listen but all to often I have turned the other way.

    I think this is a quote from C.S. Lewis:

    I is ‘safe’ to say only the ‘pure’ of heart see God

  43. jeff1 says:

    It is my very good friend whose knowledge of the Bible is mind blowing that convinced me many read it to their own agenda rather than to see God’s truths.

    We only need look at the world to agree that the Bible is right but we only need look at the numerous interpretations to see it is God who gets it right.

    Everyone has a right to interpret but when those from different denominations publicly disagree on interpretations it does nothing to draw non believers to Christ.

    When believers become more obsessed about whose interpretations are right they are more interested in being right than seeing that only God is right.

    In being raised in a religious divided country I see the consequences of such actions.

    Just because you yourself reads it with a heart for God does not change the truth that many do not.

    I say God is His own interpretor when I have a heart to listen but all to often I have turned the other way.

    I think this is a quote from C.S. Lewis:

    I is ‘safe’ to say only the ‘pure’ of heart see God as only the pure of heart want to.

  44. poohpity says:

    I was so excited after starting this personal relationship with God to know what He is like and to learn about Him just as I do with anyone I love, I want to know them and the bible is a means to do so. An intimate relationship with anyone involves getting to know them.

    It is like most other things that involves humanity people can ruin things that are beautiful for their own purposes or gain but for me I would not know about forgiveness, love, mercy or grace without having learned about those things. I sure would not want to base those things on people who can twist, distort, destroy the knowledge of how powerful and mighty our God actually is but yet came to earth and died to show me His love and I would not know that without reading the bible.

    Thankfully people who right songs about God read the bible because that is their source. It is the source for the laws we have in this land. It is the source for wisdom, justice and right living. It is the source to learn how to treat other people. It is a source to transform the way we think and act. I would rather fill my mind with what it says then to listen to the news or watch TV or believe what others say about it, I would rather find out for myself from the real source and that is one reason that we are left with the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth.

  45. poohpity says:

    I hear what you are saying Viv and the bible gives us instruction about that very thing in arguing over interpretations and other things regarding differences in religion.

    2 Tim 2: Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. 24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. 25 Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. 26 Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.

  46. Beloved says:

    Good morning ladies! After reading your comments I checked my email and found this from Spurgeon:

    Daily Update
    June 10
    Christ at the Center
    It is they that bear witness about me.

    John 5:39
    Jesus Christ is the Alpha and Omega of the Bible. He is the constant theme of its sacred pages; from beginning to end they bear witness to Him. At the creation we immediately recognize Him as one of the sacred Trinity; we catch a glimpse of Him in the promise of the woman’s seed; we see Him pictured in the ark of Noah; we walk with Abraham as He sees Messiah’s day; we live in the tents of Isaac and Jacob, feeding upon the gracious promise; and in the numerous types of the law, we find the Redeemer abundantly foreshadowed. Prophets and kings, priests and preachers all look one way—they all stand as the cherubs did over the ark, desiring to look within and to read the mystery of God’s great propitiation. Even more obvious in the New Testament we discover that Jesus is the one pervading subject.

    It is not that He is mentioned every so often or that we can find Him in the shadows; no, the whole substance of the New Testament is Jesus crucified, and even its closing sentence sparkles with the Redeemer’s name. We should always read Scripture in this light; we should consider the Word to be like a mirror into which Christ looks down from heaven; and then we, looking into it, see His face reflected—darkly, it is true, but still in such a way as to be a blessed preparation for one day seeing Him face to face.

    The New Testament contains Jesus Christ’s letters to us, which are perfumed by His love. These pages are like the garments of our King, and they all bear His fragrance. Scripture is the royal chariot in which Jesus rides, and it is paved with love for the daughters of Jerusalem. The Scriptures are like the swaddling clothes of the holy child Jesus; unroll them, and there you find your Savior. The essence of the Word of God is Christ.

  47. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, I would agree that only God can change hearts but if a person is convinced they have the truth because it is how they have interpreted their Bible then they are not seeking a change of heart but confirmation of what is in their own heart.

    They will find a passage from the Bible which reaffirms their pre-conceived beliefs and because it is God’s word are all the more certain they have the truth.

    If I am not led by the indwelling Holy Spirit then I can take what I want from scripture and that is what is happening to those who want God on their side.

  48. Beloved says:

    Sorry to interject but if I only listen to the many interpretations of scripture and don’t search for myself (and there are many interpretations and interpreters) I will only be confused to the point of maybe being fearful that I may also be wrong so what’s the use!!!?? Or worse I may give in to follow a particular interpreter due to my personality or even need to be told how to think and and fall prey to a cult. The key is Jesus as we find Him in scripture. Seek and you will find. He promised. Because the Bible is God- breathed we can trust that the Holy Spirit will lead us to truth- Jesus is the Truth that Pilate blew off.

  49. bratimus says:

    Here is a thought,

    I would say that the correct interpretation of the Bible is the interpretation that God backs, and is it happening before peoples eyes who have eyes to see or hear with ears to hear the words of God.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  50. SFDBWV says:

    In alignment with Mart’s point I will say that;
    The Church in Rome tortured and burned to death people and used the Bible as their credentials and justification to do so.

    The King of England used the Bible in order to divorce his wife and even execute some of them as well as create his own church.

    The church in England also burned to death anyone who they found guilty of violating their interpretations and order of the Bible

    The Puritans in Salem drowned and burned to death young girls or old women they felt were witches and used the Bible as their justification to do so.

    Two Holy wars were fought as the Crusades using the Bible as their credentials and right to do so.

    During the Spanish Insurrection people were horribly tortured in an effort to make them accept Christianity as their belief and or killed in as painful method they could devise. Using the Bible as their right to do so.

    Spanish Conquistadors used the same method in order to subdue, conquer, and covert all native populations erasing their culture and history using the Bible as their right and authority to.

    Cults use the Bible to have as many wives as they want. Keeping women in a subservient role and keeping their followers in line.

    I can go on. But unless you just want to argue I think you get the point.

    Steve

  51. Beloved says:

    Yet the scriptures have prevailed!

  52. street says:

    that there are different ways of connecting the dots when it comes to our understanding of Scripture. How else can we explain so many varying theologies, interpretations, applications, and uses of inspired words?

    That day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea. 2 And [a]large crowds gathered to Him, so He got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd was standing on the beach.

    3 And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow; 4 and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. 5 Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. 6 But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 Others fell [b]among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. 8 And others fell on the good soil and *yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. 9 He who has ears, [c]let him hear.”

  53. street says:

    who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,Philippians 2:6

    4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power;

    one of the marks of evil is the violence at the hand of man acting as God. resorting to violence because of unbelief in God’s ability to keep His Word, a Word of no power. Jesus prayed for us not to be taken out of the world, but to be kept in His Name.

    10 and all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11 I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. 12 While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the [c]son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.

    13 But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. 14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them [d]from [e]the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.

    sanctified in truth not in hardness shallowness or in weeds.

    thinking of hezakiah on his bed told he will die, then delivered from death for nothing. God’s love is strong to save. need to seek ask knock for God.

    hezakiah eventually died and we will too, must be trained in Righteousness and learn to walk with God before Judgement. not for salvation, but for Joy Peace and Love that are perfect. perfected in suffering. God is always right and His will is done. peace with God through Christ Jesus.

    Jesus a friend of sinners.

  54. Beloved says:

    Speaking of violence, I found out that the cop who killed George Floyd worked as a bouncer at the same nightclub as George, in fact he was George’s boss there and the club was being investigated for money laundering. That would explain to me why he wanted him dead, George being a Christian and all. Interesting development.

  55. poohpity says:

    Steve, yes the Catholic church did many atrocities in the name of their “religion” and went as far as preventing the common people from having the scripture so people could not hold them to account. But now we, the common people, do have the scriptures and can see that what they did was as far away from God’s will as the devil is. Well for those who are asking, seeking and knocking for God’s truth and will. It is available to anyone who wants one and in any language one wants or if they do not read they can listen to it in some audio form. God will find a way to get His word out there for those who want to grow in their relationship with Him.

  56. jeff1 says:

    Bratimus, it is that simple to you but I didn’t get to know God through the Bible.

    I first knew God through religion which was disastrous living in a religious divided country where orange and green was paramount and God was their to be used when fitting.

    I have come far in seeing God in Christ and mind still struggles to keep focus on Christ and much prefer to keep first two commandments when trying to lead a life pleasing to God while confessing and examining my heart in temptation’s.

    I believe God doesn’t forsake me otherwise I would n’t have come this far so I don’t trust in my own understanding but in His promise’s.

  57. street says:

    when paul came to corrinth he taught and preached one thing Christ and Christ cursified. he claimed to know nothing else. in this, one realizes they can not add to this or take away from what Christ has accomplished on the cross. now Jesus saved us from sin and death by paying the price for our sins. He saved us from something, the devil, but He also saved us too something God. we were slaves to evil, now we are to be slaves to good. the difficulty in doing good works hinges on whether they are done in the flesh or the Spirit. sinful man can work, but the works do not remain. we are told of judgment by fire. if the works remain after the fire a reward is granted. some are saved but their works burn up. we are encourage to hold on till the end in Revelation. you know Whom you have believed, He is Faithful. convinced that the promises of God are good and sure in Christ Jesus.

    after the cross there is the difficulty of running into people who claim to connect the dotes correctly. we are told to test the spirits. if we walk in the light, we should see clearly and shine light and truth. in such away as to win out brother back from error sometimes not. with God all things are possible and He sure does test us.

    thinking of the kings and how they failed many times, we really do need a Savior. not only that we need to hear and listen to Him.

    23 Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.

    25 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “that I will punish all who are circumcised and yet uncircumcised— Jeremiah 9:23-25

  58. poohpity says:

    Viv, from where did you learn that God does not forsake you? From where did you learn anything about Jesus if not from the bible? It may not have been directly from the bible but what you know came from the bible one way or another.

  59. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All

    I pray that you and yours are well. By God’s grace, my family and I are doing great. Just dropped by to say Happy Thursday! This week went by fast, at least for me, but then I think the year is going by fast. Wish I had time to read your comments, but I have to hurry on to my morning chores. Have been reading Romans 1, and it’s a very thought-provoking chapter. I’ve been taking my time to muse on the spiritual truth of Paul’s writings, Bratimus. Though sometimes I have to speed read for lack of time. Well, hopefully I’ll have more time to read your comments and share my thoughts later on today.

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

    Love to all,
    Regina

  60. SFDBWV says:

    Yes Joyce in reply to your comment of June 10 11:56 the Scriptures prevailed; as well as people who still misinterpret and misuse it.

    Steve

  61. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, I had three people in my life who taught me about Jesus, my dad, his clergyman and a lady 30 years senior to me whom I got to know through shopping for her.

    They are all dead now but there examples are very much with me as I have not found many with such devotion to Christ and that is because their actions were in keeping with their words.

    My dad and others like him knew that those around them needed to see Christ like words and behaviour in order to follow Him.

    The Bible teaches me about Jesus but it takes a heart and mind for Christ to follow Him.

    The lady in her 90’s lived on her own and having visited her on a weekly basis I learned how difficult her life was which was humbling for me.

    Times are very different today and people less sacrificing and so their examples remain.

    This is the devotion that she would recite
    to herself before she got out of bed in the morning and if I were to tell you her life story you would know why I was humbled as some of us talk about God while others actually know Him.

    “I am deeply loved, divinely appointed, abundantly equipped and profoundly cherished by God.

    No enemy, plan, scheme or obstacle can keep me from God’s highest and best will for me.

    As I follow the voice of my Saviour, I see the invisible, accomplish the impossible and love the unlovable.

    I am a living, breathing miracle because Jesus Christ lives in me. Amen.”

    I am posting this in memory of Ruth Gillespie a God loving woman if ever I knew one and I know God better for having known her.

  62. SFDBWV says:

    The racial tensions that surface from time to time publicly as they have recently are not new, nor are they going to go away.

    Only a few years back as Obama was running for the political office of President of the USA we were afforded the opportunity to see and hear his Pastor at his all black church not only condemn America, but said “Goddamn America”.

    Don’t believe this was the only black church leader who fostered racism from the pulpit. Reverend Al Sharpton, Reverend Jessy Jackson both come to mind, but I am sure there were and are plenty more.

    I honestly don’t know of any white political leaders who carried the title “Reverend” that spewed racial hatred from the pulpit, though I am sure somewhere there were some that did.

    All quoting Bible verse after Bible verse to support their positions.

    And very sadly as well as costly instilling racial hatred into their parishioners, from a Biblical foundation.

    The point and problem still exists that people take what they want from Scripture and have blinders on to anything else that might change their minds.

    Just be careful as to how you right here throw Bible verse after Bible verse in support of your thoughts, that you too are closing your mind to growing spiritually because you already know it all.

    Making people feel as though your knowledge of Scripture in some way makes you superior to them.

    Let consideration and love be your guide in by and from the Holy One of Israel, the Great I Am, Jesus of Nazareth the Christ.

    Steve

  63. SFDBWV says:

    One of my many Leonard Cohen songs I enjoy on “YouTube” is “Joan of Arc” as sung by Jennifer Warnes and Leonard Cohen.

    Joan’s last words were “Jesus, Jesus” as she, after had been starved, burned to death.

    Steve

  64. Beloved says:

    Steve Jesus taught there would be some who read and may or may not absorb it into their lives (seeds) watered by God to bear good fruit – Spiritually sound- discerning truth from evil- having ears to hear and eyes to see Christ’s message of hope and help through propitiation for sin- and scripture also teaches us as followers of Christ that judgement begins in the house of God.

    As far as your condemnation of those who “here throw scripture” Jesus did the same thing, throwing scripture at the Jews who already knew the scriptures but did not see they were Him, Christ Jesus those very scriptures were talking about; the One who would save the world from sin.

    Love is not pie in the sky feel good. Love is much more; speaking the Truth. “What is truth?“, Pilate said. He didn’t really care to know. But we have the Word of Truth in Holy scripture, a more sure Word than anything out there (world).

    I do not deny or oppose you about the facts of how scripture is and has been misused, but we can’t let fear keep us from searching. Jesus promised that if we seek Him we will find Him. Not in a dictionary or encyclopedia or self help book but in the Book of all books; the Written words of God. Who to trust? Myself or God? That’s the question for the ages.

  65. Beloved says:

    Throwing or offering?

  66. poohpity says:

    Wow Viv, Ruth Gillespie sure does sound like one who has an intimate relationship with God and knows what He taught us in His word about who we are in Him. Totally beautiful!

    Steve I won’t say who it sounds like you have an intimate relationship with all the condemnation and accusations.

  67. poohpity says:

    Ruth Gillespie pretty much summed up the whole book of Ephesians in her morning prayer. I copied it down and hope to share it with my bible study group because we are studying the book of Ephesians right now as is our church and I will give all credit to her. Thank you for sharing.

  68. poohpity says:

    Beloved, your comment of 9:47am was beautifully put, Amen!

  69. Beloved says:

    Making people feel as though your knowledge of Scripture in some way makes you superior to them.

    Nobody can make you feel anything. It’s all on you and me how one “feels”. As a lover of scripture I get excited each time I learn something; and am so grateful for those who have studied longer and more in depth than I ever could. What a joy! To learn more about God is my passion.

  70. jeff1 says:

    I don’t think anyone should take it personally because another i.e. myself as had bad experiences of some using the Bible for their own ends.

    It’s what happens in religious wars and doesn’t reflect Christ but those who want to do things their way.

    I cannot be expected to ignore that it happens and I don’t understand why it should offend those searching scripture for to know God but such is the world we live in I suppose.

  71. Beloved says:

    ◄ Matthew 20 ►
    New American Standard Bible
    Laborers in the Vineyard

    1“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2“When he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3“And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the market place; 4and to those he said, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ And so they went. 5“Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did the same thing. 6“And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day long?’ 7“They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’
    8“When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last group to the first.’ 9“When those hired about the eleventh hour came, each one received a denarius. 10“When those hired first came, they thought that they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius. 11“When they received it, they grumbled at the landowner, 12saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day.’ 13“But he answered and said to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14‘Take what is yours and go, but I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. 15‘Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?’ 16“So the last shall be first, and the first last.”

  72. poohpity says:

    It is hard to ignore when it happens still ALL the time even by those who proclaim to be followers of Christ and those seem to be the most malignant.

  73. Beloved says:

    Want a special treat? Look up Karolina Protsenko
    Violinist on YouTube. Her rendition of Hallelujah and the Coffin dance are wonderful.

  74. street says:

    12
    They have lied about the Lord;
    they said, “He will do nothing!
    No harm will come to us;
    we will never see sword or famine.
    13
    The prophets are but wind
    and the word is not in them;
    so let what they say be done to them.”

    14 Therefore this is what the Lord God Almighty says:

    “Because the people have spoken these words,
    I will make my words in your mouth a fire
    and these people the wood it consumes.
    15
    People of Israel,” declares the Lord,
    “I am bringing a distant nation against you—
    an ancient and enduring nation,
    a people whose language you do not know,
    whose speech you do not understand.
    16
    Their quivers are like an open grave;
    all of them are mighty warriors.
    17
    They will devour your harvests and food,
    devour your sons and daughters;
    they will devour your flocks and herds,
    devour your vines and fig trees.
    With the sword they will destroy
    the fortified cities in which you trust.
    Jeremiah 5

    But if this is so, how could the Book that has given us so much insight also have been the weapon of choice for masters and economies that looted native populations, bought and beat slaves, and abused their women, while considering themselves chosen by God to live off of the back of others?

    Looking back, I consider it an important defining moment for me when, fairly late in life, I read a book that opened my eyes to the obvious— that there are different ways of connecting the dots when it comes to our understanding of Scripture. How else can we explain so many varying theologies, interpretations, applications, and uses of inspired words?

    23 Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.

    16 In those days, when your numbers have increased greatly in the land,” declares the Lord, “people will no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of the Lord.’ It will never enter their minds or be remembered; it will not be missed, nor will another one be made. Jeremiah 3:16

    14 “Return, faithless people,” declares the Lord, “for I am your husband. I will choose you—one from a town and two from a clan—and bring you to Zion. 15 Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.Jeremiah 3:14

  75. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All

    I pray that you and yours are well. Looking forward to reading the comments I haven’t read yet on this blog. Here’s my summarization of Romans 1. I won’t be able to do lengthy summaries like this anymore because they’re too time consuming. I need the time to focus on school related reading and reading for personal edification. So, moving forward, I’ll signify that I’ve read a (specific) chapter with either a happy face :-), a heart <3 or a spiritual moral (example: God hates sin, but he loves repentance!)

    Romans 1 —
    Paul gives his salutations to his brothers and sisters in Rome. He introduced himself and told them how he was connected with Jesus.

    He explained how Jesus came to earth as a human baby and a descendant of David. And when he was raised from the dead he was proved to be the mighty Son of God, with the nature of God himself. He explained to the Romans that they were invited to be God’s holy people. He told them that he was grateful to God for their faithfulness which had spread all over the world, and that he fervently prays for them. v. 1-9

    Paul told the Romans that he longed to visit them so that he could work among them and impart faith to them in order to help their church grow. He told them that he wanted to encourage them and be encouraged by them. Paul felt indebted to civilized and uncivilized people and to the educated and uneducated. And he was (unashamedly) ready to preach the Good News as it is the power of God to bring all who believe to salvation. v. 10-17

    Paul explained the wrath of God (to the Romans) against sinful, evil men who reject the truth and their knowledge of God. Thinking that they were wise without God, they became fools and began to worship idols they had made for themselves. v. 18-23

    Paul told the Romans that God let the sinful, evil men indulge in every sort of sex sin because they deliberately chose to believe lies and refused to obey or even acknowledge Him. The evil men indulged in every kind of wickedness and sin, and they were always thinking of new ways of sinning. They were fully aware of God’s death penalty for sin, but they went right ahead and sinned anyway and encouraged others to do the same. v. 24-32

    Looking forward to Romans 2!

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

    Love to all,
    Regina

  76. bubbles says:

    Regina, hoping you will finish all of your reading. You have a very kind heart.

  77. jeff1 says:

    Thinking my friend Ruth recited her prayer each morning and the discipline it takes to do that but the words of the prayer are what strikes me as there is such certainty of who she is in Christ and I cannot speak of having that kind of certainty as I need to take a day at a time and if I don’t I end up getting anxious and feeling distant from God.

    I love Ruth’s certainty that God is with her when I tend to find myself that days I am overwhelmingly sure God is with me but other times He seems clearly absent.

  78. poohpity says:

    That is so strange Viv, because as I recited it this morning I felt that same way. Lord I believe help my unbelief!

  79. poohpity says:

    My hunch is that the enemy does not want us to believe that to be true!

  80. SFDBWV says:

    I am blessed to live in a small town nestled in the mountains among other small towns. We tend to be related one way or another with each other town and know many people as a result.

    Tuesday morning Vernon’s son, Larry, called to tell me his dad had died in his sleep overnight and he and his mother needed to get a cemetery lot.

    We met that evening before dark and they picked out a place to bury their loved one Saturday.

    Thursday another person from here died, Rosemary. She had been in a nursing home for about a year and died peaceably with a sister and brother with her went she went. She will be buried in a different cemetery alongside her husband in a nearby town.

    An old boyhood friend, Joe, is at home with his wife and grown children on Hospice and is only expected to live a few more days. He will be buried in our cemetery among his family.

    Since the beginning, death has become part of life, but is never welcome.

    No matter how much you might prepare yourself for the loss of someone you love, no matter how much faith you have in your religion, it still is painful to lose someone you love. They are missed for the remainder of your life and though the pain may be less, it remains.

    Remember to treat people as if it is the last time you will ever see or talk to them, or they you.

    Try always to present the face and nature of Jesus in all you do.
    In another example of a teachable moment I find it very proper sometimes to be exactly like Job’s friends and just set with friends in their grief and say nothing.

    48 this morning and 71 as I write this.

    Steve

  81. SFDBWV says:

    A quote for the day from Lewis Carroll,

    “It’s no use going back to yesterday,because I was a different person then.”

    Steve

  82. Beloved says:

    I don’t see it as a prayer, but more as a personal ( trying to convince oneself) type affirmation or an outright telling God who you are (I will be like God) or, an idol looking for divine stature. Think of it. prayer to God for His grace mercy and help should begin with who He is and not “I”, as in I want or I am. Jesus taught us how to pray; Our Father who is in heaven hallowed is your name. Your kingdom come Your will be done etc. if our self- esteem is shot that’s good because what we really need is Christ-esteem. New heart and new life hidden in Christ, the knowledge that He loves even the least of us. That’s enough, He is always enough.

    Just things I learned when I finally gave up trying to convince God and the world that I was really ok.

  83. Beloved says:

    2 Corinthians 5:17 New King James Version (NKJV)
    17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

    Either we are “in Christ” or outside watching. We walk by faith, not by sight. What we see in our mirror or feel in our hearts depends on God, Christ in us.

  84. poohpity says:

    Beloved, if one reads God’s word everyday the things from that prayer are what we are reminded of everyday so what stops one from saying a condensed version of what the whole book says about our identity in Christ is to start the day. I need to be reminded of who I am to God, what He has enabled me to do as I live out the mission I am given and that it is not in my own strength that I am able to do the things that God has directed me to do.

    Maybe if more people were reminded of those things they may live out the love, forgiveness, grace and mercy they have experienced. If it is upsetting to you then I suggest you do not pray, talk to God about those things with a grateful heart, then you do not do it. For me personally I need the reminders

  85. Beloved says:

    I get it. I remember asking someone what does it mean to be a “new creation”.

  86. Beloved says:

    Viv here is a description by Jerry Bridges of what it means to be a new creation:

    What does it mean that a Christian is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
    Answer: The new creation is described in 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” The word “therefore” refers us back to verses 14-16 where Paul tells us that all believers have died with Christ and no longer live for themselves. Our lives are no longer worldly; they are now spiritual. Our “death” is that of the old sin nature which was nailed to the cross with Christ. It was buried with Him, and just as He was raised up by the Father, so are we raised up to “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). That new person that was raised up is what Paul refers to in 2 Corinthians 5:17 as the “new creation.”

    To understand the new creation, first we must grasp that it is in fact a creation, something created by God. John 1:13 tells us that this new birth was brought about by the will of God. We did not inherit the new nature or decide to re-create ourselves anew. Neither did God simply clean up our old nature; He created something entirely fresh and unique. The new creation is completely new, brought about from nothing, just as the whole universe was created by God ex nihilo, from nothing. Only the Creator could accomplish such a feat.

    Second, “old things have passed away.” The “old” refers to everything that is part of our old nature—natural pride, love of sin, reliance on works, and our former opinions, habits and passions. Most significantly, what we loved has passed away, especially the supreme love of self and with it self-righteousness, self-promotion, and self-justification. The new creature looks outwardly toward Christ instead of inwardly toward self. The old things died, nailed to the cross with our sin nature.

    Along with the old passing away, “the new has come!” Old, dead things are replaced with new things, full of life and the glory of God. The newborn soul delights in the things of God and abhors the things of the world and the flesh. Our purposes, feelings, desires, and understandings are fresh and different. We see the world differently. The Bible seems to be a new book, and though we may have read it before, there is a beauty about it which we never saw before, and which we wonder at not having perceived. The whole face of nature seems to us to be changed, and we seem to be in a new world. The heavens and the earth are filled with new wonders, and all things seem now to speak forth the praise of God. There are new feelings toward all people—a new kind of love toward family and friends, a new compassion never before felt for enemies, and a new love for all mankind. The things we once loved, we now detest. The sin we once held onto, we now desire to put away forever. We “put off the old man with his deeds” (Colossians 3:9), and put on the “new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24).

    What about the Christian who continues to sin? There is a difference between continuing to sin and continuing to live in sin. No one reaches sinless perfection in this life, but the redeemed Christian is being sanctified (made holy) day by day, sinning less and hating it more each time he fails. Yes, we still sin, but unwillingly and less and less frequently as we mature. Our new self hates the sin that still has a hold on us. The difference is that the new creation is no longer a slave to sin, as we formerly were. We are now freed from sin and it no longer has power over us (Romans 6:6-7). Now we are empowered by and for righteousness. We now have the choice to “let sin reign” or to count ourselves “dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11-12). Best of all, now we have the power to choose the latter.

    The new creation is a wondrous thing, formed in the mind of God and created by His power and for His glory.

  87. poohpity says:

    All of those things come out of the book of Ephesians. Paul was reminding the new church there to remember those things as he encouraged them in their faith.

  88. Beloved says:

    Wondering who we live for; ourselves, or Christ? To live for Christ one must die. Die daily.

  89. Beloved says:

    The divine paradox is we have to die to Live.

  90. poohpity says:

    Who we are in Christ is way different than who we are in the flesh. We are God’s Masterpiece created in Christ Jesus to do good works if we are dead in transgressions we are prone to satisfy the flesh not the Spirit as in a new creation to live for Christ.

  91. poohpity says:

    I guess it is not better reminding ourselves who we are in Christ we could condemn, criticize, victimize and demean ourselves because that is loving ourselves, right? Then that is how we will treat others with critical, demeaning accusations and condemnation.

    Who we are in Christ and the abilities that He has given to us are a miracle of beautiful and usefulness to the world as His ambassadors.

  92. jeff1 says:

    Beloved’s comments show how differently we interpret as I see Ruth’s prayer in a very different light,

    I don’t see a woman trying to be equal to God but one who knows who she is in Christ.

    I suppose the difference being that I knew Ruth personally and her words and behaviour did not come from woman with a superior attitude but rather a woman who was humble in her faith but confident in her God and why I see her as a believer that would draw others to Christ.

    She had a gentle nature not overbearing or thinking she knew it all which is what you expect from someone playing God.

  93. Beloved says:

    I read a book that opened my eyes to the obvious— that there are different ways of connecting the dots when it comes to our understanding of Scripture.

    So true Mart. I thought we had a pretty good discussion today. I’m pleased that level heads prevailed; mine too! That’s progress. Connecting the dots seems we all have a different template to work with because of the differences in life experiences, genetics and of course personality. But if the foundation is sure- Christ crucified- we have nothing to fear from each other. The body of Christ is more like a patchwork quilt than all black or all white (no pun intended) my way or the highway. That’s what causes divisions in the Body. Different, certainly, different denominations- of course! What’s wrong with that? If our foundation is Christ crucified we’re all Family. Love and blessings sisters! And brothers:-)

  94. jeff1 says:

    What”s wrong with that? I expect for those who have come through religious wars a lot is wrong with it!

    As my mum would say and I am only now making sense of her sayings one person’s meat is another’s poison.

    The longer I live the clearer I see why only God has the right to judge.

    I am no good judge of character that I have learned and I have the scars to prove it.

    Oh Lord, you know I have no friend like you
    If heavens not my home
    Then Lord what would I do
    The angels beckons me from heavens open door and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.

  95. foreverblessed says:

    the Essence of the bible is bible!

    The living Word!

    We all agree wit that!

    In the series of in” Pursuit of Jesus”
    on discovertheword, there is one about: discipled by Jesus.
    It is a very profound lecture!
    The participants are very much impressed, including Mart. Our Mart.
    We are not to make disciples of a denomination, but of Jesus Himself.
    “Enroll” people into a school where Jesus is the Teacher.

    Jesus, our Saviour, our Healer, our Guide, our Teacher!

    “Rabboeni”

  96. poohpity says:

    Yes we have so much to learn from our teacher for one to say or think they know it all would be a total deception since our God is beyond our finite thinking or reasoning, He is after all infinite. It is so amazing the little glimpses He gives of Himself to us when one truly seeks, asks and knocks He opens to reveal what we can handle knowing, at the time we can handle receiving.

  97. foreverblessed says:

    This really gave me so much joy:

    Daily Update
    June 10
    Christ at the Center
    It is they that bear witness about me.

    John 5:39

    Jesus Christ is the Alpha and Omega of the Bible. He is the constant theme of its sacred pages; from beginning to end they bear witness to Him.

    June 10, 9.52 am Beloved posted that, from Spurgeon.

    To see what teachers God has given, we can check how much they put Christ in the center.

    The last sentence of the devotion:

    -The essence of the Word of God is Christ.-

    What an insight!
    In my upbringing in church I remember it was often said:
    God created us, and He gave us a manuel, the bible.

    The Bible is the manuel for living.

  98. Beloved says:

    I was thinking of the book Reading Scripture Through Western Eyes yesterday also Forever. The author on Discover the Word. Yes it was quite the eye opener; that “disciple” meant memorizing scripture/ all of it! Torah, to have your mind renewed washed by Gods Word, Jesus is magnificent! The washing- cleansing of the Word. We certainly are new creations if we are “In Christ”.

  99. poohpity says:

    The picture of the human hand pointing it’s finger that Mart posted goes along with his statement, “Like the first time our first parents pointed their fingers at one another in an effort to protect themselves.” Isn’t that one of the very reasons one seems to enjoy pointing their fingers at others in an effort to keep eyes off of the sin in their own lives which may be another reason people do not read the bible because they will become aware of how short they fall from what God had intended for us. Ya know the old no room to talk kinda thing.

    Beloved I did not get that at all that “disciple” meant memorizing scripture/ all of it but that a disciple is one who learns from Jesus.

  100. foreverblessed says:

    Regina, thank you for going through Acts, and now Romans. Those résumé’s are indeed time consuming, so of course, relax.

    From the history of the Christian church, Philip Schaff, Paul dictated Romans when he was in Corinth, Acts 20:3.
    When he stayed for 3 months in Greece, probably Corinth.
    About 58 AD, Paul had not yet been to Rome.

    Now for me Romans 1:1-6 knocked me down, some 25 years ago, when I had left that fundamentalistic church.
    If was so clear to me that the Gospel was about the life of faith in Jesus Christ.

    ….To the obedience that comes through faith. Romans 1:5

    And you are also among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. v6

    Wow, that is about me.
    I belong to Jesus Christ, and not to a denomination.

    Today’s reading Oct Utmost, is very dear to me too:
    In His unique way He leadeth me,
    And that is different to his be leads Jeff, of Steve, Beloved, Regina, Pooh, Bratimus, Pat, Bubbles, Sales.

    Each in His unique way.
    Don’t make it a standard how Jesus led you to lead someone else.

    Leave it to Jesus, how He leads another.

  101. Beloved says:

    Pooh it was in the book I miss-named earlier. It’s Misreading Scripture Through Western Eyes. I’m sure their discussion didn’t cover every part of the book itself. (Gelinas)

  102. poohpity says:

    Beloved, I am sure that is what you thought you heard. If I am not mistaken Robert Gelinas was not the author or involved in the discussion about that book. I listen to DTW every week day morning as part of my morning devotions for many years and I just do not recall anyone saying that about memorizing being associated with discipleship but as always I could be mistaken because I forget lots of stuff.

  103. poohpity says:

    Every day I grab a cup of coffee, sit down and read ODB, prayerfully read the scripture, read beenthinking and on the week days listen to DTW along with the others that is how my morning goes. I do not even put my teeth in before I do those things, lol. Goes to show ya don’t it.

  104. jeff1 says:

    It is Christ who leadeth each of us and the glimpsed are reassuring to us as we have unique lives that are for His purposes.

    Isn’t that a miracle that he has taken my life which was full of bad choices and used it for His purposes and saved me from destruction in the process.

    All the work of God and why I worship Him today because He is worthy.

  105. poohpity says:

    and now I am adding Ruth’s prayer with the others.

  106. poohpity says:

    Viv, Some call those glimpses, God winks. What you said reminds me of what Paul said in Eph when he realized the miracle of what Christ has done for him, he falls to his knees and raises his hands in admiration of the great love God has bestowed on us even knowing everything we think and do.

  107. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, it reassures me that you have chosen Ruth’s prayer as I feel it helped me to see how God works in each of us which I hadn’t given much thought to.

    I was trying to get God to see things my way but my friendship with Ruth enabled me to see that her trust was in her God and in reciting her prayer she was strengthing her relationship with Him.

    When I was so anxious about my son I asked Ruth to pray for him and I can tell you that her prayer for him turned his life around.

    Her sincerity shone through and it couldn’t but fail to shine on me too and that makes me a more blessed person for having known her.

    I know she wasn’t perfect as her daughter who lived in England on her visits would speak of her stubbornness because she had tried so hard to get her to go and live with her and her husband seeing her declining health but her confidence in God I believe is what enabled her to remain at home well into her 90’s until she relented and went into a home where I continued to visit her until her death.

    May she RIP as was her way in life because she truly believed God was with her.

  108. Beloved says:

    I do respect your rights to read or say anything you like!

  109. poohpity says:

    I am reassured everyday to realize that there was only one perfect person and that was the one who bore my sins so that I could live in His forgiveness. No other person alive is perfect although some feel and think they are, lol which gives them reason to look down on others but those of us who know we will never be perfect can live in confession and grace.

  110. jeff1 says:

    I do respect your’s to Beloved as I don’t believe in agreeing for the sake of it but expect others to see differently as we are not robots but individuals who lead diverse lives.

    I cannot know what it is to walk in your shoes nor you mine but God is able to do the impossible and so when we put our faith in Him we are assured of His presence.

    The more I put my trust in Him the contenter I will be in my journey through what can be an uncertain world.

  111. street says:

    we are to put our trust in the promises of God in Christ Jesus, not the law. paul said if we live by the law we are under a curse! curses is everyone who does not keep the law. none keep it. the problem is we tend to make systems of rules to live by and drift away from the truth. we are not perfect and can not keep the rules we make up. stop living by rules and living by the promises like abraham. why the the law? you will find the answer in Galatians. if you live by law you will train wreck your faith. law is ridged and impersonal. it shows us what sin is. a promise is from a person, a Person of Great power Glory and Integrity. a life giving Spirit! the law can not give you life. never could. the judaizer are still around, yet the Truth remains. “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.

  112. foreverblessed says:

    At 6.58 am this morning I had a huge Typo:

    “the Essence of the bible is bible!

    The living Word!”

    It should have said:

    “the Essence of the bible is Christ!

    The living Word!

    Sorry!

    Beloved, I thought being a disciple of Jesus was meant:
    Being taught personally by Jesus, done in many ways:

    by prayer, by Bible reading, by meditation, by listening to Him, by sitting at His feet, quietly
    By giving all our burdens to Him.
    By asking for His Grace, asking for the fruits of the Spirit, Gal 5:22-23
    By doing what He has revealed to me,
    (like:
    “Bless those that curse you”, instead of crying out to God how evil people treated me, as I did when I was more of a baby in Christ. We grow up in Him, growing from faith to faith.)

    This comment I wrote in the morning, but I could not post it.
    It was not a typo, but an auto correct, and I didn’t proofread before sending.
    I have had lots of trouble the last few days connecting, the site was often not available.

    The discussion has gone on, today. Thank you all for participating.
    What is Ruth’s prayer? I think missed something.

    But wonderful Jeff, that someone prayed for your son, and his life was changed.

    The ministry of reconciliation, of intercessory prayer!
    We have a huge impact through our connection to the Living Christ!

    Street, the above comment: Amen and amen!
    It is the Living Christ that lives in us, through faith.
    It is actually a mystery.
    A great mystery, but the Living Truth.

  113. jeff1 says:

    Forever, Ruth’s prayer is in my post on 11th June at 7 am.

  114. Beloved says:

    Forever I don’t disagree with you about discipleship. I guess I was thinking of a Ist century rabbi and the requirements of being a disciple. Jesus was a rabbi- a teacher. He taught others in the ways of God just like all the other rabbis. God had not opened eyes to who Messiah was- Jesus- until John the Baptist baptized Jesus. Memorization was part of the “program” for want of a better word. Jews still to this day memorize the Torah and practice all the feasts as you know.

  115. poohpity says:

    Jesus was and is the source of the word and the Word Himself, so He did not need to memorize it because he was the origin. Did Jesus not show those other Rabbi’s that although they knew the word they did not recognize Him as He stood in front of them.

    Wasn’t it after the resurrection that even His own disciples finally got it when the Holy Spirit came upon them? But before the ascension He then proceeded to guide them through the scriptures to all that pointed to Him from Genesis through Malachi before the Holy Spirit was given which it is now left up to Advocate.

  116. street says:

    Defining Moments
    expectations…

    it would seem only the barren ground produces fruit.
    much like the barren woman

    starting with nothing.

    8 “Now therefore, thus you shall say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people Israel. 9 I have been with you wherever you have gone and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make you a great name, like the names of the great men who are on the earth. 10 I will also appoint a place for My people Israel and will plant them, that they may live in their own place and not be disturbed again, nor will the [b]wicked afflict them any more as formerly, 11 even from the day that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. The Lord also declares to you that the Lord will make a house for you. 12 When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your [c]descendant after you, who will come forth from [d]you, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, 15 but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 Your house and your kingdom shall endure before [e]Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.”’” 17 In accordance with all these words and all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.

  117. Regina says:

    Good Evening, All

    I pray that you and yours are well. By God’s grace, I’m well (and family too). For some reason, I couldn’t log into BTA blog for two days (sigh)… So, I decided to try to get on the blog everyday, and today I was successful! My Sunday has been blessedly uneventful… Normal morning and early afternoon routine (prayer, personal hygiene, devotional, online church, grocery store, lunch, free tv/movie channel, etc.). I watched an episode of “I Survived…” a reality television show that chronicles a very dangerous situation that occurred in a person’s life. Sometimes, the person was alone when the terrible incident occurred, and sometimes they were with other people—some or all of which did not survive. The episode I watched chronicled a tragic incident in the life of two teenage girls (16 and 14)… long story shortened, the 16 year old girl survived (the one who recounted the incident) and the 14 year old girl did not. It is, for the most part, a very bittersweet reality show.

    bubbles, thank you for your compliment. Your kind words brought one of my “cornerstone” Bible verses to mind…

    “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14, NIV).

    “Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness— without it no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14, HCSB).

    You’re welcome, foreverblessed! I enjoyed reading Acts and sharing my notes with you all (until it got too time consuming), and I’m enjoying reading Romans too. I read ROMANS 2 yesterday, and the entire chapter brought this Bible passage to mind…

    “Don’t be misled; remember that you can’t ignore God and get away with it: a man will always reap just the kind of crop he sows!
    If he sows to please his own wrong desires, he will be planting seeds of evil and he will surely reap a harvest of spiritual decay and death; but if he plants the good things of the Spirit, he will reap the everlasting life that the Holy Spirit gives him” (Galatians 6:7-8, TLB).

    “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
    Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Galatians 6:7-8, NIV).

    Had some salad greens with croutons and honey mustard dressing for lunch and 3 vanilla/chocolate pound cake bites with orange marmalade for dessert. So, I might have some vegetable soup or a toast and fried egg sandwich for dinner, and a glass of strawberry/lemon punch for a dessert drink.

    Well… off to finish my laundry and looking forward to ROMANS 3 today or tomorrow.

    91 degrees and an ABUNDANCE of sunshine in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,
    Regina

  118. Beloved says:

    Yes, we need to be careful not to end up with a book that just says what we want it to say. That’s the point. And maybe that’s why Paul in his his first letter to the Corinthians reminded his readers that, when he was first with them, he wanted to lay a foundation that was nothing other than the long awaited King and Hope of the world— crucified.

    Matthew 7:15 false prophets lay a foundation of health wealth and self fulfillment, appealing to the masses and proclaiming a book that says what they want it to say. While Jesus- ‘the long awaited King and Hope of the world—crucified’ said to be wise and gentle; the narrow way. To follow Him, not the world.

  119. jeff1 says:

    It’s God who knows whether I am on milk or food when it comes to His teaching. He reveals as I understand and why some are further along in their understanding.

    I cannot set the standard for another’s learning only God can do that.

    Paul understood this and why he made such a good teacher as he knew when to speak just as he knew when to be silent.

    I love Paul because he knew to be thankful to God for him knowing God so well.

    God choose well in choosing Paul as next to Jesus he is for me a truly inspiring teacher whose humility matches his devotion to Christ while having no expectations of having acquired a special position in Christ’s Kingdom but perhaps being the one most deserving of it.

  120. SFDBWV says:

    Dear Viv I too had not only an elderly lady friend, but several men and women who helped me grow in Christ. Though they gone now, their memory will live on in my heart as well as their life example of what being Christian is.

    Her daily prayer is beautiful and just enough for her strength and courage to face another day.

    In the Eastern Orthodox Church there is a somewhat famous and simple prayer that millions have recited over centuries that lifted them each day as well.

    It is called “The Jesus Prayer” and goes like this,
    “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.”

    It is always a pleasure for me to read your posts, thank you for sharing your life and your thoughts.

    Steve

  121. jeff1 says:

    Yes, they live on in our hearts and when I struggle with doubts I have their examples to think of.

    I lean on their faith to continue in my own
    as their lives have influenced my life.

    They never stopped putting their trust in Christ and now the older generation I with God’s help must do the same.

    It doesn’t get any easier as the world can be harsh but I recall how they came through worse and that gives me hope that God will equip me as He did them.

    We don’t know what is ahead but we have God’s promises that He is with us and I have His Word on that and it was good enough for my dad and it’s good enough for me.

  122. poohpity says:

    Viv, I want to let you know that now Ruth lives on in my Sunday school class then today an email was sent out to the church with her prayer. It has blessed so many on this side of the pond. If we each remember who we are to/in Christ everyday I think our treatment of others would be such a blessing to them as we are blessed by our Savior.

  123. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, that does my heart good to think that I was blessed to know Ruth and the influence she had my own faith and I believe her prayer had a positive effect on how I see Christ at work in my life.

    That said I must admit I did not adopt the prayer in my own life as I feel Ruth had a stronger faith than I.

    This is the prayer I learned as a child and it’s still my choice today.

    Day by Day, dear Lord, of these three things I pray; to see thee more clearly, to follow thee more nearly and to love thee more dearly.

    I do see Ruth’s prayer as coming from a person of incredible faith and her life reflected her belief’s.

    She put much effort into practicing her faith i.e. Monday morning I would go shopping for her and I would find her listening to a tape from her church service which was delivered to her every week as she was no longer mobile enough to attend.

    She was a great woman for prayer and I find most Presbyterian’s are.

    I think she had a connection with God that had made an incredible impact on me and to hear you have adopted her prayer for your Sunday school makes me sure that I was not wrong.

    Thank you on behalf of Ruth and I am glad that it blesses others as it did me.

  124. foreverblessed says:

    Ruth’s prayer:

    “I am deeply loved, divinely appointed, abundantly equipped and profoundly cherished by God.

    No enemy, plan, scheme or obstacle can keep me from God’s highest and best will for me.

    As I follow the voice of my Saviour, I see the invisible, accomplish the impossible and love the unlovable.

    I am a living, breathing miracle because Jesus Christ lives in me. Amen.”

    From June, 11 7 am

  125. poohpity says:

    Like I said earlier Viv, my church and my Sunday school are all studying the book of Ephesians and that prayer is that book in a nut shell, so you shared it at just the right time. I felt you followed God’s leading in such a moment as this although many miles from each other. God works in mysterious ways, so don’t sell yourself short maybe God felt it was time you did adopt it as well it sure could not hurt. I do not think it is a faith thing but a grace thing to realize the magnitude of God’s love for us and that we are given everything we need to live in vital union with Him.

  126. jeff1 says:

    Yes, you did say but I believe my medication causes memory loss and I easily forget until prompted by another.

    Sometimes and I mean just sometimes I see God work and then I am back to wondering if I seen Him at all or was it a figment of my imagination.

    It’s not easy trusting in your own mind especially when it’s prone to instability.

    I tend to see my faith as being lacking and that is because I have always seen myself the doubting Thomas while it isn’t how I seen Ruth.

    Maybe it’s because I feel I am lacking union with God that I tend to want to stick with the prayer from my childhood.

    You have more understanding than I so you have adopted Ruth’s prayer on that understanding but I lack that and why I see more growth needed for me.

    I am still on baby steps while you are ready for food.

    I am a slow learner or as my son would put it in his humorous tone not the sharpest knife in the drawer are you mum.

  127. street says:

    thinking about the differences of work and trust.
    work can be done by a skilled worker, yet we would need to examine motive as to why they are working. trust is work too. a different kind of work.it is work to trust in another. we trust the chair we are sitting on or we would not sit on it. God revealing Himself to us in His Word presents us we opportunity/grace to examine ourselves see ourselves. when exposed to God’s Spirit and Word by others usually we recoil from it, yet we can not escape it. did we recoil from bad motive or from truth? adam and eve did not recoil from deception, but accepted it and sinned. presented with new knowledge and new opportunity lead to disaster.

    when God reveals Himself why do we turn our eyes to ourselves or other things? thinking of the woman at the well or peters walk on the sea of galilee . our work is to believe in the One He sent, Jesus.

    Matthew 12:11
    And He said to them, “What man is there among you who has a sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it and lift it out?

    Luke 8:15
    But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.

    Philippians 3:12
    Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.

    Philippians 3:13
    Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,

    Revelation 3:11
    I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown.

    my crown, Christ right to rule my heart mind and soul. He rules with great love and understanding.

    2 Corinthians 4:7-12

    7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; 8 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death works in us, but life in you.

    2 Corinthians 12:9
    And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

    2 Corinthians 10:9-11

    9 [a]for I do not wish to seem as if I would terrify you by my letters. 10 For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his [b]personal presence is unimpressive and his speech contemptible.” 11 Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when absent, such persons we are also in deed when present.

  128. Beloved says:

    our work is to believe in the One He sent, Jesus.

    Indeed. Everything will be tested by fire. 2 Timothy 1:12For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

  129. Beloved says:

    11 Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when absent, such persons we are also in deed when present.

    Defining moments: I was just reading Tozer who says that Western Civilization even though built on Christian principles is declining rapidly because of a lack of morality. I was disheartened to hear of a new law today regarding gender preference in the workplace.

    Yet we are not of the world, we left it when we committed to Christ and received a new heart. Peace, daily and everlasting!

  130. Beloved says:

    By workplace I’m thinking of Churches and Christian schools, colleges that may not agree with the new law. Will be interesting to see how God wants to handle this.

  131. street says:

    for I know whom I have believed,

    sometimes i shy way from the idea i know God, that is a lie even creation speaks clearly of God. it’s not the idea of God people are opposed to but the Person and Spirit of God.

    was thinking after reading a post the we are no longer living in babylon but now we are living in sodomn and gemorrah. a world reserved for destruction by fire.

    hold on to what you have been given, all things will work together for good, and to conform you to the image of His Son
    1 Peter 1:
    22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, 23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.

  132. Beloved says:

    through the living and enduring word of God.

    I’m still amazed He reached down to fill this broken vessel with His Spirit. Still amazed..

  133. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All

    I pray that you and yours are well. BGG, I’m well, and my family are too. Was thinking about the recent death of a black man (Rayshard Brooks) who was killed by a white police officer. Sigh… This situation was not the same as George Floyd. Rayshard *did not* follow directions. The police officer asked Mr. Brooks to put his hands behind his back, and he attempted to put handcuffs on him. Rayshard started resisting arrest, grabbed an officer’s taser, aimed it at the officers and started running. Long (frustrating and sad) story short, if Rayshard had just followed directions, he would (more than likely) still be alive. Now, I’m not condoning the police officer’s actions—he did use too much force—but he was operating on adrenaline and (in all probability) lack of experience. Nevertheless, “two wrongs don’t make a RIGHT” as the old saying goes. In other words, they both made bad decisions.

    Enjoyed reading ROMANS 3, and here’s my spiritual moral: God HATES sin, but he LOVES mankind, righteousness, holiness, faith and repentance.

    Ready for ROMANS 4

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

    Love to all,
    Regina

  134. jeff1 says:

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

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

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

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

  135. poohpity says:

    Viv, God chose you to be His child not because of what one has done but because of who He is. I can say without a doubt I believe you are way harder on yourself than God ever thought of being towards you. God knows it is His work in us so we are not perfect but in process of becoming more like Him and that work is never finished until the day we are face to face with Him. If He can give us a break then we can give ourselves a break and others too!

  136. poohpity says:

    Regina here are a few facts you may be interested in. According to the FBI data base there are 2870 black homicides in a year out of those 2570 are black on black and the police commit about ten of the others but the media shines the light on the ten to stir up dissension, mistrust and division.

    It always amazes me that people want a change in the policing but do not demand a change in the family structure on how many children are fatherless and raised by single moms, how many are uneducated, how many are left to run wild on the streets with no structure, discipline or guidance. There are so many areas that need change but it is always better to point one’s finger at others because it keeps one from taking any personal responsibility which is just as Mart said, “to protect themselves” by blaming then nothing changes really.

  137. poohpity says:

    I am not at all saying that there does not need to be changes in policing or how the black community is treated because there are many changes needed but there are many changes needed all around us in every area but where there is blame and making excuses nothing ever really changes.

    I know there are several changes that I need in my life too and I do not know what someone else is going through unless I walk a mile in their shoes. In my life I have had all colors of friends and family, I have seen the mistreatment first hand but the responses have been different depending on how a person is raised as a victim or pushing towards overcoming obstacles.

  138. Beloved says:

    Jeremiah 3:25
    We lie down in our shame, and our confusion covereth us: for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.

    Psalm 53 For the director of music. According to mahalath. [1] A maskil [2] of David.
    1
    The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good.
    2
    God looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.
    3
    Everyone has turned away, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.

  139. jeff1 says:

    I don’t believe I am hard on myself because I am not from that generation but I have been influenced by those who were hard on themselves.

    Jesus was hard on Himself, so was Paul and the world might be a better place if we were harder on ourselves.

    People don’t take responsibility for their actions any more and that comes from a mentality of being easy on ourselves and finding something wrong with authority or others rather than own up to our bad choices or behaviours.

    The world didn’t get messed up on its own yet it’s pass the buck when it comes to responsibility, even believers will blame God if it gets themselves off the hook these days.

    Just my thoughts not trying to be argumentative.

  140. SFDBWV says:

    Regina I find it very interesting you brought up the killing of Mr. Brooks. The subject title being “Defining Moments”.

    All of the participants in this tragic incident made immediate decisions that forever changed the course of their lives. In the case of Mr. Brooks it was a fatal decision to resist, for the police officers involved their lives altered and changed forever as well. Though not fatal something they will regret and relive over and over the remainder of their lives.

    Though not brought to the forefront of the news there is also the person, un-named, who initially called the police as well. All because they seen a black man asleep or passed out in a car in the parking lot.

    Were they concerned that he may have needed medical help, or perhaps even dead?

    We most likely will never know the truth.

    Sadly this story defines the destinies of all involved, a moment that one way or another could have turned out very different.

    In Mart’s opening dialog he describes a moment in time when he was awaken to seeing Scripture or rather to seeing that Scripture could be explained or revealed in different ways.

    If we consider that Scripture is the food that feeds us spiritually, and we believe that man does not live on bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Then we can see that God feeds us with His heavenly spiritual manna whenever we are hungry. Or perhaps better said whenever we are in need of nourishment.

    A question might be; is the Scripture “every” word that proceeds out of His mouth? John says that if everything Jesus did were written the world could not contain the books (John 21:25 KJV).

    In His “doing” was there more He said unrecorded?

    Does He speak to you even now only from the pages of the Bible, or is His voice in your ear and on your heart apart from the written word?

    In Eastern orthodox theology they believe that God doesn’t “speak” through Prophet’s as He did in the OT any longer, because He said all He needed to then and in the NT.

    I suppose if there is a defining moment in my spiritual life apart from becoming aware that Jesus is Lord, it may have come slowly instead of in a moment of time.

    And that is to listen and be open to learn.

    59 degrees, cool and windy.

    Steve

  141. cbrown says:

    Good morning all! Thursday, the prison I volunteer at is allowing us back in to minister to the inmates in confinement. There are 3 types of inmates we will be ministering to. I am not talking about African American,Caucasion and Hispanic.There are those who looked to Christ for there salvation and need encouragement,those that now realize there only hope is Christ and need someone to show them the the way and those who have rejected the truth. Please pray for the men and women returning to our prisons to share the Truth.

  142. bratimus says:

    cbrown,

    That is good news, and always prayers for your service.

    I’ll be entering into Romans 4 for next few days or so on

    With the Mr. Brooks case a lot of people rushed to judgement, before all videos and calls came to light. There might be some information about Mr. Brooks that is not being reported. The Brooks case is completely different from the George Floyd case. In both cases no one is talking about the path they choose to get them in those moments, the conversation is very lopslided.

    People need to start talking too each other, rather then talking at each other.

    Just as many pray at God, and not to God, there is a difference ways we talk.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  143. poohpity says:

    Just a little FYI Mr Brooks was not asleep in the parking lot but in the drive thru lane of Wendy’s which prevented others from going thru the drive thru window.

  144. Beloved says:

    My Utmost has a good reminder today.

  145. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All

    I pray that you and yours are well. BGG, My family and I are doing great. Have enjoyed reading the comments on this blog topic. Great comment, Steve (6-17-2020, 9:34 am)… Indeed, some “defining moments” were made by all who played a role in the Rayshard Brooks incident. You made some good points, pooh and bratimus. I’m wondering if Mr. Brooks was raised by a single parent (his mom) or both parents. If he didn’t have a father in the home as a role model, it would help me (and others) understand why he made such bad decisions when confronted by a police officer. Sadly, many African American children (as well as many of other ethnicities) have to grow up without a father or even a disciplined, self-controlled role model. And many receive no guidance or direction, spiritual or natural, in the home.
    My Pastor always says, “when we know better that puts us in a position to do better.” A Bible passage comes to mind…

    Proverbs 3:13-18, TLB
    13-15) The man who knows right from wrong and has good judgment and common sense is happier than the man who is immensely rich! For such wisdom is far more valuable than precious jewels. Nothing else compares with it.
    16-17) Wisdom gives: a long, good life, riches, honor, pleasure, peace.
    18) Wisdom is a tree of life to those who eat her fruit; happy is the man who keeps on eating it.

    Still looking forward to ROMANS 4, bratimus. I’m pretty sure I’ll read it no later than Saturday. Have been engaging my mind with Discover the Word’s, “In Pursuit of Jesus” series and PHENOM videos (hosted by Rasool Berry). Have been *truly* blessed by the Bible study and godly insight that I’ve received from DtW, and I thank God for it. Haven’t read Utmost in awhile, beloved, but I’m sure it will woo me back at some point.

    Well, it’s time for me to hurry on to morning chores. Happy Thursday!

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

    Love to all,
    Regina

  146. Beloved says:

    Defining moments

    I’ve been interested in “qualified immunity” which for far too long has been a shelter for law- breaking police. Perhaps this is the time for change, finally.

    Thinking of Paul, once a law-keeper, a lawyer who defended the Law and mercilessly pursued law- breakers, known as followers of the Way; a Radical group then and now who love the law of God which involves justice kindness and mercy. A new way of being “the people of God“.

    Perhaps justice kindness and mercy, not separately but together is closer to the Way God wants us to live; with qualified immunity for all who are in Christ. Can the untimely death of anyone be a defining moment – and especially the Blacks- given the international focus it has become? I remember the woman of Tekoa. Obscure unknown yet profoundly spoken. Included in the canon of Holy Scripture. Perhaps like Naomi and Ruth God has chosen some for such a time as this.
    + Psalm 46:10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

  147. Beloved says:

    Justice kindness mercy:

    1 Corinthians 5:5 New International Version (NIV)

    5 hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh,[a][b] so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.

  148. Beloved says:

    This was Paul’s response then. I’m not intimating that killings are the result being “handed over to Satan”.

  149. poohpity says:

    Qualified Immunity does not stop law enforcement officers from being found guilty of crimes but it does stop civil lawsuits against the law enforcement officers. The catch word here is “qualified” you may want to do a little more research regarding what that means.

    This newest shooting of Mr Brook has not even been investigated fully before the cop was even fired or charges were brought against him which has nothing to do with the law but in fact is against the due process law, it is all political in nature much to the determent of all parties.

  150. Beloved says:

    Just thinking.. why would someone want to sue an officer unless they had broken the law? Qualified immunity was added but is not a legal position. It was embraced to protect officers who may have done wrong while dealing with the public. Especially those of color.

  151. Beloved says:

    I’m done discussing this but still see a possible defining moment IF God allows.

  152. jeff1 says:

    Today Dame Vera Lynn died at 103. She was known as the ‘Forces Sweetheart’ as she entertained the troops in the war years.

    The song made famous by her ‘We’ll meet again’ was sung on the streets of Britain today as a tribute to her.

    In recent years she was known for her charity work for the British Legion and Cystic Fibrosis.

    Lovely how her songs left such a legacy.

    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 like 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 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 know where, don’t know when
    But I know we”ll meet again some sunny day.

  153. SFDBWV says:

    Viv I seen last night on the news of Dame Vera Lynn’s passing. Her generation remains in my heart as the “greatest generation” and her example provides proof of that.

    Steve

  154. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Steve, they stood the test of time by their examples. A generation that put others needs before their own and did so with a cheerful heart does speak of greatness as Dame Vera epiculated.

    She sang like I imagine an angel would other favourites of mine are ‘There’ll be blue birds over the White Cliffs of Dover’ and ‘A nightingale sang in Berkeley Square’.

    Beautiful songs from a beautiful lady that has lifted many hearts ❤️ not only in wartime but on the streets of Britain today has to get my attention over all the gloom and doom going on in the world as it is examples like this that keeps our hopes up and so just like in life she kept up the moral of troops now in death she helps the moral of a nation in the Coronavirus and I believe that is a legacy fitting of a Dame who has served both God and her country well.

  155. poohpity says:

    Jesus was hard on Himself? How is that?

    Don’t you find that when people are hard on themselves or are critical of themselves, they will be more likely to be that way towards others? While if one embraces the grace and love of God they will be more likely to show that towards others.

  156. jeff1 says:

    Jesus knew what He had to do to fulfill His father’s will and so He was harder on Himself then His disciples.

    I was taught to focus on the cross and not grace so I am not coming from where you are.

    In my experiences those who embrace God’s grace are just as likely to become judgemental as they put themselves on an equality with God which is what my dad warned against and I do not see that he was wrong.

  157. Beloved says:

    This is encouraging:

    The Lord listens to your prayers more certainly than you desire the thing you pray for. —Christopher J. Gordon

  158. poohpity says:

    The Cross was the very meaning and example of grace. Grace is the reason we are saved not by anything we can do but because of what God/Jesus did for us. No one who embraces grace thinks they are equal with God in fact they know better than something as arrogant and ignorant as believing that.

    Eph 2: For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

    So it would be boastful to think one has equality with God!!!

  159. poohpity says:

    Jesus was God in human form, born of a woman. After all God has the power to do anything and He wanted to reveal to us His very nature which is what he did through Jesus. Anyone who thinks, other than Jesus, they are equal with God is absolutely delusional.

  160. jeff1 says:

    In a religious war you might be surprised how grace is used to vindicate oneself while condemning another.

    When I focus on Christ’s suffering for me I am reminded that there but for the Grace of God go I and that is what humbles me to pray instead of condemning others.

    A person who focuses on grace is in danger of accepting it for their own transgressions while their preconceived beliefs incline them to judge another.

    I need to constantly remind myself that the only rightful Judge is God for it is a fine line between playing God and following Him.

  161. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All

    I pray that you and yours are well. BGG, I’m doing well and my family too. Found out yesterday that Garrett Rolfe, the Atlanta Officer who shot Mr. Brooks, was charged with murder and aggravated assault. He was fired from the police force the day after the shooting, and both of the officers (GR and Devin Brosnan) involved in the shooting turned themselves in to authorities. Also heard on the news that some Atlanta police officers have not reported to work for three days out of anger and frustration. Though some of the details regarding officers refusing to work are sketchy.

    Enjoyed reading ROMANS 4! These Bible passages came to mind while I was reading…

    Romans 10:8-10; Ephesians 2:8-10 and Hebrews 11:1-3

    67 degrees and a 100 percent chance of rain today in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,
    Regina

  162. foreverblessed says:

    It was difficult to acces this site.
    But this morning it is OK.
    Are you all well?

    Was thinking about:
    Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.
    Romans 1:28

    This in comparison to the lost son:
    The Father let him go, and waited.
    He waited, till the son had tried all kinds of practices to find happiness…
    Till he would come to his senses, and cry out to God.

    Whatever people DO, God sees the whole in their hearts, the whole they want to fill, that only God can through Jesus Christ.
    The God who became man…

    That God did not do that to condemn “them”.
    But He waits till they come to their senses.

  163. foreverblessed says:

    Good morning Regina, may God bless you today!

    Jeff, you have a point: grace for our own mistakes, but what others do wrong, …. that is another thing

    Shooting is one thing, but why not shoot in the legs?
    When someone is resisting?

    I read that within 3 months people can become police officers in the US, over here people need 3 years to become police officers.
    So yes, reform of the police is needed!

    But we also have discrimination over here:
    People with Arabic features and names are treated more harsh than “white” people.
    But many young men from Marroco parents turn to criminal practice, earning quick money in drug deals.

    Poverty makes people vulnerable to do illigal things. Instead of getting to college and learn a descent job.
    But…. If they do earn a degree, it is harder for them to get a job. Arabic name, Arabic features.
    So these immigrant people have great hurdles to take.

  164. Beloved says:

    Here it is in my state Forever:
    Candidates must have at least an associate’s degree or five years of continuous law enforcement or military experience to be considered for employment. Prospective officers must pass each stage of the hiring process to be conditionally hired as police recruits.Jun 13, 2020
    Criminal Justice Degree Schools › m…
    Minneapolis Police Department Officer Requirements

  165. Beloved says:

    I really love what Cbrown said about ministering to prisoners- a Christian worldview that bears repeating:

    There are 3 types of inmates we will be ministering to. I am not talking about African American,Caucasion and Hispanic.There are those who looked to Christ for there salvation and need encouragement,those that now realize there only hope is Christ and need someone to show them the the way and those who have rejected the truth. June 17 10am.

    I’ve thought of that often as I minister to my neighbors here. Thank you Chris so much for sharing this gem here.

  166. poohpity says:

    forever, again so misinformed about what it takes to become a police officer. No where have I ever heard it takes 3 months that might be how long it takes to jump through all the hoops to apply but the training takes about 3 years.
    **************

    What is happening right now in our country is just another effort to have the focus put on someone else(police) rather than taking any personal responsibility(criminals). It is always wrong to judge someone without the pertinent information or jumping to conclusions without the facts but that is how many people go about their daily lives as arm chair quarterbacks in this case judge, jury and executioner.

    Mob’s ruling which happens even on here nothing new under the sun. One person says something then everyone follows along with no evidence just speculation based on hostility, anger and self righteousness of the so called leader. Opinions and emotions rule rather than facts and information.

  167. poohpity says:

    Frankly I am sick and tired of all this destruction by those who think only their lives matter and no one else. Lawlessness and mob rules by those who have not worked for anything in their lives so they think they can destroy what others have worked their whole lives for and the very history that has taught us many valuable lessons. This is what Marxism, Communism and Fascism looks like trying to take over a Democratic Republic.

  168. poohpity says:

    It is the worse in those states that are run by the left, the dominating factors in lawlessness that turn blind eyes to the needs of many for the tantrums of a few.

  169. SFDBWV says:

    I’ll be 73 this year and since 25, Mayor of my little community. I have a long and lengthy history of dealing with the various “police” agencies. Be it county Sheriffs, county deputies, State police, even the FBI.

    The only control I have had over such agencies are within our own municipal police departments.

    With the exception of our municipal police I would have to say I have a negative opinion concerning them all, yes even and especially the FBI.

    Any of you reading this who have ever had a job anywhere should know how each employee you have worked with comes into the various categories of being human.

    Only a few are actually good employees and far too many ride the backs of those good workers.

    There have been many defining moments that have brought me to this realization whereas the police are concerned. I could tell you all story after story that cuts across a lifetime of officially dealing with them.

    However as of this writing I won’t

    If it offends you that you think I am judging them, well I certainly am judging their job performance and cannot avoid having to deal with their personalities. Which can easily explain their job performance.

    Having said that, there is also the criminal element I have had to deal with across a lifetime of working in the system.

    In spite of the characters you see displayed on TV and the movies, most criminals are pretty stupid. Stupid first of all because they think they can get away with their crimes, and stupid secondly because they think they are smarter than the law.

    However the criminal has an advocate who relentlessly works on his behalf. “Politics”.

    Politically, in order to please the voting public, politicians have changed, altered or skewed the law in favor of the criminal.

    Frustrating the law enforcement community and those victims of crime.

    Oddly for a very long time one of the subjects of racial injustice have been the inequality of justice between black on black crime and black on white crime.

    Black criminals who committed crimes against white people got a harsher sentence then those who committed crime against other black people.

    Justice has never seemed blind when it has come to race.

    If you want to get deeper into why there seems to be a racial imbalance whereas crime is concerned. Perhaps studying sociology might help.

    If you want to get deeper into why people do stupid things perhaps a study of psychiatry, psychology, and behavioral science is in store.

    However if you want to see how all of this is going to finally be fixed, a study of the Bible is recommended.

    However be warned that all of the things that make us do the wrong things, make wrong decisions and look at life differently are also going to come into play as we read every page of the Bible.

    Jesus has the answers we just present Him with the problems.

    It is easy to see what is wrong in our world, it is more difficult knowing what to do in order to fix them.

    Be blessed.

    Steve

  170. Beloved says:

    Prayer is the vehicle and Jesus is the fixer. We can point out others problems all day but what use is that in the Kingdom? Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done—on earth as it is in heaven. Waste of breath to me discussing all the political economic and social problems of the world; Jesus did not waste His breath discussing issues of His day. He was all wisdom. Knowledge is good but Godly wisdom is worth seeking.

  171. Beloved says:

    Yes Steve all government entities large and small are guided by worldly principles, powers and authorities in high places. Only God is the Real Ruler. He’s very patient with all knowing the mess the world is in. He’s coming to create a new heavens and a new earth. Someday. For now we bless and serve Him wherever He puts us. Be that place working in government, homelessness poverty wealth or alone and forgotten by family. His way is best. Focus on Jesus is the key to experiencing joy in the daily drudgery of life. The other day someone told me they “used” to be a Christian so now I know how to help them by praying for them. So much to do and so little time left as we age. Focus is key.

  172. jeff1 says:

    My dad would not mix politics and faith and during the troubles a high profile religious leader did and I followed him while my dad said he should remove his collar as his religious and political beliefs were in conflict with his faith.

    I was young and foolish and didn’t listen to my dad but further down the years I learned who had the wisdom and it wasn’t me.

    There is a difference in God given wisdom and man driven but it takes a God driven man to see the difference.

  173. poohpity says:

    Steve, aren’t people in your neck of the woods on a whole prejudice or racist, it was passed down into them from birth generation after generation?

  174. poohpity says:

    Steve with the population of your town being less than 500 is there even police or a station there? I know that the crime rate for your town is one of the lowest in the USA must be because they have had a wonderful Mayor.

    In other towns isn’t it the Mayor that has jurisdiction over the police but what happens when they do not have police in their town?

  175. poohpity says:

    As far as Jesus and Paul being hard on themselves what I see in both is humbleness not self abasement.

  176. Beloved says:

    Lie

  177. Beloved says:

    Definition of self-abasement
    : a humiliation of oneself : the act of behaving in a way that makes one seem lower or less deserving of respect. Miriam Webster

    We who are believers in God we are not equal to Him. Self abasement has the same meaning in the Greek.

  178. Beloved says:

    False humility:
    Colossians 2:18 Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind,

  179. bratimus says:

    Wow, there was some harsh judgement there.

    No one chooses their family linage.

    The only thing we can choose is that Christ Jesus is Lord and Savior and if we are willing let the Holy Spirit guide us in the walk with Christ Jesus.

    This is why I’m not to active in commenting, the politics and the events that are happening vicious webs and traps for the faithful

    Reading Romans 5

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  180. foreverblessed says:

    I am very very sorry for having been misinformed!
    Sorry.
    This is what I should have said, ( citing our national news):
    After having been in the military, people only have 3 months of training and then they can function as a police officer.

    If that is wrong then our national news reporter had it all wrong. I am sorry for that.

    And the other big item was:
    Camden NY, that they have reformed the police, using less violence.
    The other big change was: the police is more visible on the streets, just walking around. Getting acquainted with the people living in their area.
    That is what was on our national news. A documentary.
    And they said that as a result of the reforms the crime rate had gone down in Camden.

    But our police is needing a reform too. But they have given less money to the police, since the financial crisis. Just as with hospital personnel, and school personnel.

  181. foreverblessed says:

    What CBrown wrote, I had to smile about that too!
    The way he put it: three categories of people,
    Not the Hispanics etc.
    But the category made on a whole different level:
    Not on ethics or race, or education,
    But of those who have accepted Christ, and those who have not yet accepted Christ.
    I made two categories, Chris had a different arrangement.
    But I pray for the inmates!

    When we see wgat us wrong, it is not to judge about the heart of people, but to pray intercessory prayer.
    That is what Beloved said, and others maybe too.

    Not thinking evil of other people, but seeing as Jesus sees them. Jesus paid for all sins, all is of them, and I believe that Jesus is waiting that all will come to Him in faith, in the ende, very very very end.
    I hope that that is so.

  182. street says:

    thinking about the road of life. it has a ditch on each side. we have a tendency to drive off the road into the ditch. after we find ourselves in a ditch we tend to panic and drive over the road and find ourselves in the ditch on the other side. you could say one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. James 1:6 the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.Galatians 3:24-25. abide in Me,
    He shall make atonement for the holy place, because of the impurities of the sons of Israel and because of their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and thus he shall do for the tent of meeting which abides with them in the midst of their impurities. Leviticus 16:16 Jesus said He was the way the truth and the life. no life apart from Him. living being under a sentence of death because of sin. Jesus The life giving Spirit. you must be born again. chosen by the foreknowledge and election by the Sovereign will of the Father. unless you are born again you can not see the Kingdom. Genesis 3:15
    And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.” we have a new Head that rules a new creation. the accuser and deceiver has been defeated in Christ Jesus. the world is still sitting in a ditch on one side of the road or the other. happy are they when a samaritian comes along. thinking of the ones who are sent.

    it would seem many are earning their way. Zephaniah 1:18
    Neither their silver nor their gold Will be able to deliver them On the day of the Lord’s wrath; And all the earth will be devoured In the fire of His jealousy, For He will make a complete end, Indeed a terrifying one, Of all the inhabitants of the earth. for they refused to abide in Christ, nor did they repent. 14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, 15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, 1 Peter 3:14-

    living by every Word and serving Him only and trusting in Him at all times. coming and going with Him, abiding in His presents.

  183. street says:

    “Therefore wait for Me,” declares the Lord,
    “For the day when I rise up as a witness.
    Indeed, My decision is to gather nations,
    To assemble kingdoms,
    To pour out on them My indignation,
    All My burning anger;
    For all the earth will be devoured
    By the fire of My zeal.
    9
    “For then I will [a]give to the peoples purified lips,
    That all of them may call on the name of the Lord,
    To serve Him [b]shoulder to shoulder.
    10
    “From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia
    My [c]worshipers, [d]My dispersed ones,
    Will bring My offerings.
    11
    “In that day you will feel no shame
    Because of all your deeds
    By which you have rebelled against Me;
    For then I will remove from your midst
    Your proud, exulting ones,
    And you will never again be haughty
    On My holy mountain.

  184. Beloved says:

    Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch have been on my mind a lot lately (acts 8)

  185. Beloved says:

    Call to prayer…

    Our “Night of Lament for Racial Justice” simulcast begins in just one hour, at 7 p.m. EDT. As a reminder, you can watch the event on The Gospel Coalition’s website, Youtube Live, Facebook Live, Instagram Live, or Periscope.
    If you do not already have our prayer guide document, you can download it as a PDF or view it online.

  186. SFDBWV says:

    There are two ways to broach any subject, but they are very different.
    If you have knowledge of a subject you can intelligently discuss it and provide information others might not know. However if you only possess an opinion all that is going to come out is your opinion. No knowledge, no information, just you.

    And it shows.

    There are also two ways to be a BTA contributor, one that shows the light of Christ in you and one that just shows you.

    And our comments clearly show which.

    52 degrees and some light fog.

    Steve

  187. poohpity says:

    But there are those of us who gather facts off of the vast information sites and do not share their opinions but the information they have gathered on those sites. However there are many who just share opinions devoid of facts more often than not.

  188. street says:

    facts and opinions. thinking of wisdom literature of the Bible. Job- Song of Songs. today the Pastor spoke how wisdom literature is used as a frame or a jig to accomplish wise living. the frame or the jig is not the focus but the instrument that keeps focus on the details of applying info to the daily routine of wise living. Jesus spoke of a foundation to dig down to from which to build. yet we see a Father in the prodigal son doing things counter to our way of thinking. demanding that His love would be free and unmerited.

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