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Personal Update

Been Thinking Friends,

I have just placed my wife, Di, into hospice after a long process of home care, recent hospital stays, and crises that have been so hard on her.

Now that she is being cared for around the clock by hospice workers, as you might expect, my family and I are struggling with conflicting emotions of relief that Di is now in the care of those who are able to manage her pain— and the crush of loss that many of you know all too well.

I regret my long absences from the blog but am thankful that you do well on your own :-). I have hopes of being able to get into a better rhythm of sharing thoughts with you even though, for now, I remain caught up in the emotions and thoughts of this slow-moving, soul-tearing, moment…


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112 Responses to “Personal Update”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Thoughts and prayers with you and your family, Mart.


  2. street says:

    As I read this I just got dressed to go the ER for back pain. Wondering how things go and where they will end up. Rest assured the Lord of the Sabbath is good.

  3. street says:

    Ditto steve

  4. Beloved says:

    Sorry to hear Mart, praying for you and your family as well.

    And for street also.

  5. Beloved says:

    Someone said that God shouts to us in our pain. May His voice of love and caring be in your hearing.

  6. Hugger4U says:

    The Lord bless you with peace and comfort as you transition to your new circumstances and know that Di is in His hands and will be well cared for. In the name of Jesus, Amen. (((Mart and Family)))

  7. jeff1 says:

    For your Mart:

    When I am hurting, I find comfort in your promise that leads to life. PSALM 119.50 CEV

  8. poohpity says:

    Mart, your family and your friends, It breaks my heart to hear of the struggles you have been going through and that lie ahead. Thank you for sharing with us the grief you are experiencing, I know how hard it is. May God surround you all with His comfort and peace at this time holding everyone close.

    Even though the conversations have continued on here there is nothing better than when we hear from you, at least to me anyway.

    Know you all are in my prayers!

  9. jeff1 says:

    should read: For you and your Family Mart:

  10. foreverblessed says:

    I pray that Jesus will show Himself very very close to you in this time. To comfort you and your family!
    And I keep praying that!
    Jesus, the Rest for our soul.

  11. phpatato says:

    Mart and Family

    Thinking of you, believing with you, praying for you.

    Wanting you to know just how much all of us here, care.


  12. Beloved says:

    Street how are you doing? Home again or?

  13. Beloved says:

    I remember you had back surgery a few years ago. I think it was successful if I remember correctly. Hope the pain is greatly reduced.

  14. bubbles says:

    Mart, I am so very sorry.

  15. street says:

    i am ok. after steroid injection and 12 hours of rest i have gotten a fair bit of relief. even in mentioning this am in light of mart and steve’s struggles it is minor. yet it did not seem minor this am. i saw a couple of sermons today from conference going on in florida. some times i try to make little of a burden or sorrow, it is not a good idea and a trap that continues to manifest it’s self. the curse of being a male, to fix things.

    it’s time to look to the One Who can fix things.

    some day i will be humble. thank s for praying bta

  16. foreverblessed says:

    When the body is in pain, it is so hard to focus on Jesus. The body part sends out signals, and I am constantly drawn back to them. Focus on Jesus again, and after 10 seconds it is back on the ailing body part.
    To praise God and worship Him is not learned in a year, neither in two years.

    But still, as you say, it is minor to what Mart is going through, and Steve.

    I am praying for Mart and his wife.
    Standing on the promises of God, my Savior
    Our Savior.

  17. foreverblessed says:

    But I pray for you too, Street, and Beloved!

    I had to smile, “I want to fix things” we humans, all want to. That is our independence from God, the Fall of Adam.

    The second Adam had to come, also called the last Adam.
    1 Cor 15:44-50
    Anything from the first Adam cannot inherit the Kingdom. It has to die.
    Put into the Body of Christ, died on the Cross, and went into the Grave, and lo and behold, is raised to Newness of Life.

    God is our Savior, He promised to be with us, and of it delays, there must be a good reason, He is working on something, that when we see it, we will rejoice greatly, and praise God!

    But thanks be to God
    Who gave us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
    1 Cor 15:57

  18. SFDBWV says:

    Mart has given us a personal insight into his struggles these past months and years. Certainly he need never to apologize to anyone for his absence here as the more important priorities of his family certainly needed his attention and energies more than his blog.

    However he also shows us how much he cares for us just keeping this blog going and inviting us into a piece of his personal life.

    As I experience more and more of life it becomes self-evident that everyone has a sad story that everyone struggles with life. How we deal with such issues are what separates us, but the pain remains the same.

    Matthew sees gizmos on TV advertised as a way to help people strengthen their legs or lose weight and right away he wants to buy them, thinking they may help him.

    I can’t or don’t argue with him about it and I also don’t go right away and spend money on them either.

    But what the matter brings to my thoughts are this. What price is too much for hope?

    So what if we spend a couple hundred dollars on some contraption that may or may not help Matt. The price is well worth the hope it may give Matt, as everything has a season and in time this too shall pass.

    When troubles and tragedies come into or lives we Christians turn to Christ and all the promises that the Bible and Words of Jesus provides for us…He gives us hope.

    A free gift of God, but at what price?

    God so loves us, his creation, that in His will there is no price too high for our benefit.

    We may set back and say the price of God sacrificing His only begotten Son is a huge and awful price to pay for the best or the worst among us. But to Him there was no price too high in order for our salvation and the gift of hope.

    Continued prayers for Mart and his family as well as each and every one of you.

    30 degrees and foggy.


  19. bullwinkle11 says:

    Mart, just read your post from yesterday and it struck me how little we know of others struggles. Street, the same for you as well. Gods’ gift of being able to pray for others bring us closer as the family of believers.

    4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

  20. jeff1 says:

    Crying in the Chapel

    You saw me crying in the chapel
    The tears I shed were tears of joy
    I know the meaning of contentment
    Now I am happy with the Lord

    Just a plain and simple chapel
    Where humble people go to pray
    I pray the Lord that I’ll grow stronger
    As I live from day to day

    I’ve searched and I’ve searched
    But I couldn’t find
    No way on earth
    To gain peace of mind

    Now I’m happy in the chapel
    Where people are of one accord
    (One accord)
    Yes, we gather in the chapel
    Just to sing and praise the Lord

    You’ll search and you’ll search
    But you’ll never find
    No way on earth
    To gain peace of mind

    Take your troubles to the chapel
    Get down on your knees and pray
    (Knees and pray)
    Then your burdens will be lighter
    And you’ll surely find the way

  21. poohpity says:

    Mart, I remember in 2009 when I had to put my mom in Hospice the support, prayers and encouragement of many on this blog at that time which were many more than there are now, it was so healing. It caused a rift between my family and I that is still left without healing. The emotions were like a roller-coaster of varying thoughts and feelings. I have, as of yet, never experienced anything like it. It is hard being the primary caregiver because I questioned myself almost everyday whether I was doing what was right to do for her which still till this day I look back and know I did what was in her best interest although it felt horrible when my focus was on me and not her well being.

    I so understand what you mean when you said, “I remain caught up in the emotions and thoughts of this slow-moving, soul-tearing, moment…”. I remember feeling and thinking the same way. It really helped to remember the one day at a time Sweet Jesus song also listening to other music that helped keep my focus on the Lord. Now when I hear “I Can Only Imagine” it still brings me to tears because she loved that song.

  22. Mart DeHaan says:

    Your thoughtful words mean so much. Thanks to all of you dear friends.

  23. bratimus says:

    I’m so sorry what what you and your family are going through.

    Many prayers and May Christ Jesus comfort you through the Holy Spirit in your time of need.

    Take the time you need.

    May God”s Blessings shine through

    In Christ Jesus name


  24. foreverblessed says:

    Mart puts a 🦋 butterfly with the topic.
    How fleeting is life!

    That’s part of an old hymn, that I sang as a child.

    When I was busy with the Blood and Body of Christ,

    If is this: at first we know that we have been forgiven because of the Blood of Christ.

    But as we walk in our lives with Jesus, it is the awareness, that when Jesus died on the Cross, we died with Him.

    We are already read, we died with Christ.
    And we were resurrected with Him to Newness of life.
    A spiritual life.

    And yet, when someone is at the end of the earthly life, it is so sad.
    The distance between here on earth, and there in heaven.

    The deep sadness. Who on earth wants to discuss in the been thinking, this man thinks this, and that man gainsays that, says something else. What’s the point? if it is not done in the Unity, and the One-ness that we have in the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
    And at the same time your life mate is in earthly danger.

    Thinking back on the topics Mart came up with the last couple of months, they seemed to me quite a big end above the earth level.
    And now I understand it better.

    When earthly life is fleeting, what is important?

    Abiding in Christ, We in Him and He in us.
    Being One in Him.
    That is what Mart was saying with Aquinas, with the Trinity.

    I was struck with the serving attitude of Bullwinkle, to pray for one another. Not making less of anyone else praying here.
    But the humble willingness to serve…

    If we share our burden, others can pray.
    We cannot fix it, but we can lay the load together with Jesus.
    The greater the One-ness in Christ, the greater the share in burden, the greater the Holy Spirit can work.

  25. jeff1 says:

    The Praying Hands

    The “Praying Hands” are much, much more
    than just a work of art,
    They are the “soul’s creation”
    of a deeply thankful heart-
    They are a Priceless Masterpiece
    that love alone could paint,
    And they reveal the Selflessness
    of an unheralded saint-
    These hands so scarred and toilworn,
    tell the story of a man
    Who sacrificed his talent
    in accordance with God’s Plan-
    For in God’s Plan are many things
    man cannot understand,
    But we must trust God’s judgment
    and be guided by His Hand-
    Sometimes He asks us to give up
    our dreams of happiness,
    Sometimes we must forego our hopes
    of fortune and success,
    Not all of us can triumph
    or rise to heights of fame,
    And many times What Should Be Ours,
    goes to Another Name-
    But he who makes a sacrifice,
    so another may succeed,
    Is indeed a true disciple
    of our blessed Saviour’s creed-
    For when we “give ourselves away”
    in sacrifice and love,
    We are “laying up rich treasurers”
    in God’s kingdom up above-
    And hidden in gnarled, toilworn hands
    is the truest Art of Living,
    Achieved alone by those who’ve learned
    the “Victory of Giving”-
    For any sacrifice on earth
    made in the dear Lord’s name,
    Assures the Giver of a Place
    in Heaven’s Hall of Fame-
    And who can say with certainty
    Where the Greatest Talent Lies,
    Or Who Will Be the Greatest
    in Our Heavenly Father’s Eyes!

  26. SFDBWV says:

    The butterfly or moth Mart has chosen to have for a picture on his personal update is usually representative of resurrection.

    As the caterpillar goes to sleep in its cocoon and awakens a beautiful new creature.

    Praying daily for that bright morning when all is right in the world once again.

    18 degrees under a clear starry sky this morning.


  27. foreverblessed says:

    Oh, the 🦋 stands for Resurrection!

    The hope we have.
    Steve, you wrote about hope: with a new treatment comes new hope.
    My friend who died last July, she was talking about treatment and hope. She was diagnosed with cancer in stage four (already spreading cancer).
    But as she was healthy and young (62) she was treated initially. And for a year the cancer was on hold, and then she would gain hope, (hope for this life that is).
    But then the spots on the liver would return, those hopes were smashed.
    She said: this setback is so hard.
    At church people wanted to pray for a miracle, but she hesitated, asking for a miracle raises hope she said, and when it is not granted, the fall in expectation is too hard on me.
    She rather would not be treated, and have her eyes fixed on Jesus and being with Him soon.

    She had no partner, and no children. I was there with the visit to her oncologist, who asked her:
    “Is there anything you want to live for? We can extend life one or two years, but the treatment makes you terribly sick.”

    After that we went cycling in the woods, to think this question over.
    It was in the fall. Beautiful orange trees. Sun shining through it.
    She absorbed God’s nature intensely.
    It was kind of special to be with her. She lived much much more concentrated, as she valued each minute.

    But…at night, then dark thoughts would come, worry and anxiety.
    Lots of people prayed for her. To help her through the night.

    That was a beautiful song about serving in prayer!

    That the hope we have, goes beyond this earthly life.
    And in the mean time we can share the burden, in prayer, and other help.

  28. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Foreverblessed. The sky here has become that steel blue color as the sun is not up yet, but the light of its coming has chased away the darkness and the stars.

    I do so love the morning.

    It seems to be a prelude to that bright new day when Christ returns. When the darkness is chased away and life returns with all its beauty and glory.

    When my father learned of his terminal cancer he too refused treatment telling me he did not want to be sick the remainder of his life. What he ask of me was no sad faces as he couldn’t take that. So every day when I was there at the hospital with him we laughed we talked of many things. We enjoyed as best we could his final days.

    His blessing was that from diagnosis to death was only about a month.

    Matthew tells me every day many times a day he would rather be dead and often blames me for his being born. Holding on to this world may seem wrong, but letting go of those you love is almost impossible to do.

    Seems once again that Book of Job comes up in Job’s saying “Let the day perish where-in I was born, and the night in which it was said, there is a man child conceived.” Job 3:1-11 KJV

    Life and its troubles and pain often evoke such thoughts and emotions. As the only bright ray of hope comes from Jesus and the rising of that “Bright shiny day”.

    Dying it may be is much easier than living. But then that was not the plan nor way of God. And so we live on amidst the pain and heartache it produces. Believing in that promised day when joy comes in the morning and all tears are wiped away.


  29. jeff1 says:

    Soon we’ll come to the end of life’s journey
    And perhaps we’ll never meet anymore
    ‘Til we gather in heaven’s bright city
    Far away on that beautiful shore

    If we never meet again this side of heaven
    As we struggle through this world and its strife
    There’s another meeting place somewhere in heaven
    By the river of life

    Where the charming roses bloom forever
    And where separation come no more
    If we never meet again this side of heaven
    I will meet you on that beautiful shore

    Oh so often we are parted with sorrow
    And action often quietens our pain
    But we never shall sorrow in heaven
    God be with you till we meet again

  30. poohpity says:

    God, grant me the Serenity
    To accept the things I cannot change…
    Courage to change the things I can,
    And Wisdom to know the difference.

    Living one day at a time,
    Enjoying one moment at a time,
    Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.
    Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is,
    Not as I would have it.
    Trusting that He will make all things right
    if I surrender to His will.
    That I may be reasonably happy in this life,
    And supremely happy with Him forever in the next.

  31. poohpity says:

    It seems that Job and Paul both had struggles with life over death because they served God. Job’s friends kept trying to convince him it was because of sin that all the bad things were happening to him but it seems the opposite was true, Satan came against him because of all the godly things that showed his love for God. While Paul suffered because of spreading the Good News he also longed for death but knew that life meant he could reach more people for Christ.

    Phil 1: For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. 21 For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. 22 But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. 23 I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. 24 But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live.

    25 Knowing this, I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith. 26 And when I come to you again, you will have even more reason to take pride in Christ Jesus because of what he is doing through me.

    27 Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News. 28 Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. 29 For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. 30 We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it.

  32. jeff1 says:

    What a Day That Will Be

    What a day that will be,
    When my Jesus I shall see,
    And I look upon His face,
    The One who saved me by His grace;
    When He takes me by the hand,
    And leads me through the Promised Land,
    What a day, glorious day that will be.

    There’ll be no sorrow there,
    No more burdens to bear,
    No more sickness, no more pain,
    No more parting over there;
    But forever I will be,
    With the One who died for me,
    What a day, glorious day that will be.

    What a day that will be,
    When my Jesus I shall see,
    When I look upon His face,
    The One who saved me by His grace;
    When He takes me by the hand,
    And leads me through that Promised Land,
    What a day, glorious day that will be

    Oh What a day that will be,
    When my Jesus I shall see,
    When I look upon His face,
    The One who saved me by His grace;
    When He takes me by the hand,
    And leads me through that Promised Land,
    What a day, glorious day that will be.

  33. poohpity says:

    What a beautiful and glorious day it is when we put our hope in the Lord! Amen

  34. SFDBWV says:

    We had just brought Matthew home from the hospital the middle of September 1999 when in October my wife Rita, Matt’s mom, discovered she had cancer.

    Just as with Matthew all the local and even some distant churches prayed for her recovery. Many of our friends and certainly our Pastor and his wife prayed for her.

    She went into the hospital in order to have in-patient chemo-therapy twice and upon returning from her second round home she developed an ulcer and complications set in.

    Her hospital of choice was the University Hospital in Morgantown WV about an hour and a half from our home.

    My leaving Matt in order to be there at the hospital was out of the question. However after about a week into her stay this time at the hospital she had to be taken to intensive care because of an overdose of pain medication they had accidently given her. She was in a coma.

    Her mother and sister was able to be with her daily at the hospital as her sister lived only a short drive from the hospital and why Rita chose that particular hospital for treatment against my advice.

    Her sister called me and said I needed to come as soon as I could, so I arranged for my brother to come and be with Matt and I drove down to the hospital and spent her final night with her. If she knew I was there I never was aware of it.

    In the morning after her mother and sister and our Pastor and his wife were there with us, we took her off all the IV drips and let her die.

    I wept bitterly and drove back to Matthew as there and with him was where I needed to be.

    We buried her a few days later.

    I had quit my job to take care of them we had only a little insurance income for Matt being disabled to live on and I did not know what the future held.

    But I trusted God and He came through for us. Even though in such a dark place at the time, He made a way for us to survive and survive abundantly.

    I must remember that through Him and because of Him there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

    18 degrees and a clear dark night sky.


  35. jeff1 says:

    God is great, and God is good
    Beyond what we have understood.
    The Hand that gives the sparrow food
    Is always in control and always good.

    When the enemy is mighty and
    when mountains block the way,
    when my life is filled with shadows
    and with fears I cannot name,
    though His steps are like the thunder,
    He is tender with my pain.
    Sometimes He sends a storm of love,
    sometimes a gentle rain.

    Far beyond imagination,
    far above all I can see,
    He is grand beyond all measure,
    filling all eternity.
    In my smallness and my weakness,
    in my fearfulness and pain,
    I’ll praise Him in the darkness
    till the light returns again.

  36. Beloved says:

    Dear Mart,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours today

  37. foreverblessed says:

    I’ll praise Him in the darkness
    till the light returns again.

    That can be said of Steve!
    Thank you very much for sharing! It is wonderful to see how God leads you on your path!
    And is always with you.
    May God’s work be wonderful 🙏
    Later we will see what He has done.
    I also was still thinking about God collecting oud tears, they are costly. How precious they are to Him.
    Thanks for that story too!
    About Mary, and the alabaster’s bottle, and tears.

  38. street says:

    three words have been on my mind lately.

    watching 36 If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’” Mark 13:36-37

    waiting 35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them.

    go 18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to [h]follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

    there seems to be a physical, watching waiting and going that are apart of God’s plan.

  39. Beloved says:

    From ODB

    14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? 2Cor 2

  40. jeff1 says:

    Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven;
    To His feet thy tribute bring.
    Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
    Evermore His praises sing:
    Praise Him, praise Him, alleluia!
    Praise the everlasting King.

    Praise Him for His grace and favour
    To our fathers in distress;
    Praise Him still the same as ever,
    Slow to chide, and swift to bless.
    Praise Him, praise Him, alleluia!
    Glorious in His faithfulness.

    Father like He tends and spares us,
    Well our feeble frame He knows;
    In His hands He gently bears us,
    Rescues us from all our foes.
    Praise Him, praise Him, alleluia!
    Widely yet His mercy flows.

    Frail as summer’s flow’r we flourish,
    Blows the wind and it is gone;
    But while mortals rise and perish,
    Our God lives unchanging on.
    Praise Him, praise Him, alleluia!
    Praise the high Eternal One!

    Angels, help us to adore Him,
    Ye behold Him face to face;
    Sun and moon, bow down before Him;
    Dwellers all in time and space,
    Praise Him, praise Him, alleluia!
    Praise with us the God of grace.

  41. SFDBWV says:

    Mart graciously gave notice to us here on BTA of his personal struggles at present and a peek into the fact of what has been going on for some time with him and his family.

    It is certainly not a new subject to discuss, but rather an explanation of his seeming absence and an opportunity to have a clean slate to continue the thread of subject matter that evolves as we speak to each other.

    I have often stated that everyone has a struggle they are dealing with at any given time. You nor I are not unique in that respect.

    It is our responsibility not only as fellow human beings, but assuredly as Christian’s to do whatever we can to ease the pain of another.

    To give them a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen, a kind word, or sometimes silence.

    When you pass someone on the street, or are checking out at the store remember the person in front of you most likely has their own pain they are carrying and treat them with the same kind of love our Lord has shown us.

    This is especially so in dealing with the people you already know, the people you may encounter all day, family members and friends.

    It becomes easier the more you practice it, but you have to practice it.

    I read this week that there are more Dead Sea scroll pieces discovered. And what I have read so far sounds like the teaching of Christ in showing kindness to others.

    Amazing that He died for such a radical idea by people who wanted to silence Him. But from His grave His voice has resounded around the world and cannot be silenced at all.

    Blessing to all today.


  42. poohpity says:

    Steve, I so agree. Several years ago I shared one of the first things I wrote in my bible that I learned which was “always be kind because you never know the battle someone is facing.”!

    Not many speak of their daily battles because they may not feel safe to do so in our world of judgement, accusations, advice and condemnation. However in the community of believers it should be different but often is not. We are to share one another’s burdens thus fulfilling the love of Christ.

    Gal 6: Brothers, if someone is caught in a trespass, you who are spiritual should restore him with a spirit of gentleness. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. 2Carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

  43. poohpity says:

    Sometimes when I am in the midst of a battle I feel that God is not there or is not answering my prayers but I find in scripture the reassurance of His presence by reading things like what Paul wrote who faced many battles;

    Romans 8: And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.

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

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

  44. SFDBWV says:

    I was blessed of having my parents live next door to me their last 10 years of their lives. It was a true gift and one I will always treasure.

    Many times my mother would say to me that if she got down and needed constant care to just put her in a nursing home. And just as often as she would bring it up I would say “Aw mom don’t worry I will take care of you and I am not going to do that.”

    Somewhere in her early life she had seen how the burden of caring for a loved one can sometimes strain the love. And dealing with dementia or stroke usually the persons personality changes and where there once was love, only anger is demonstrated.

    She wanted only love to be remembered.

    She died of a cerebral hemorrhage in April of 1982 a day after her 68th birthday. She only had to suffer from the matter from Saturday evening until Monday afternoon.

    Her last words to me was that she was sorry as this wasn’t supposed to happen to her.

    Her last words were concern for me.

    I learn as I live and one thing I have learned is that love is always tested. As we are tested over and over again real love can indeed conquer all.

    I received a little message from CT Today titled “Why Stories are Important”. I too agree that our stories are important. As they show that the stories in the Bible weren’t just for 2,000 years ago, but are still relevant today.


  45. jeff1 says:

    Try a Little Kindness

    If you see your brother standing by the road
    With a heavy load from the seeds he sowed
    And if you see your sister falling by the way
    Just stop and say, “You’re going the wrong way”

    You’ve got to try a little kindness
    Yes, show a little kindness
    Just shine your light for everyone to see
    And if you try a little kindness
    Then you’ll overlook the blindness
    Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets

    Don’t walk around the down and out
    Lend a helping hand instead of doubt
    And the kindness that you show every day
    Will help someone along their way

    You got to try a little kindness
    Yes, show a little kindness
    Just shine your light for everyone to see
    And if you try a little kindness
    Then you’ll overlook the blindness
    Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets

    You got to try a little kindness
    Yes, show a little kindness
    Just shine your light for everyone to see
    And if you try a little kindness
    Then you’ll overlook the blindness
    Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets

  46. foreverblessed says:

    And if you try a little kindness
    Then you’ll overlook the blindness
    Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets

    A dear good friend of mine called me narrow-minded, because I only wanted spiritual connection with Jesus, and not with anything else.
    At first it did hurt me.
    But as the years pass on, in my mind is growing the question:
    How vast and how wide and how awesome Jesus really is.
    No one higher no one more powerful, no one more living, more patient.

    And in my mind I am thinking how to tell my friend his great Jesus it.
    And what He gas done to save us.
    Only in my mind.
    As I lay the matter at the feet of Jesus, to give me the words to my friend, when the time is right.
    Or otherwise, that He will work in her heart.
    Intercessory prayer.

  47. foreverblessed says:

    Steve, thank you for you story of your mother.
    You have shared before her last words: “this was not supposed to happen to me.”

    Life is fleeting, this earthly body was not meant to stay.
    I have to look to Jesus instead, also now, I am being taught by the bible study of Watchmen Nee: the normal christian life.

    What happened to Jesus, happened to me.
    Because the Word of God has put me in Jesus. So looking to Jesus and His Life, makes the truth if Him, more of my own.
    Did I say it right?

    The Blood and the Body.

    And while it is the time now, take it to heart, before you get old, and all the ailments start, (Huge problems with our physical body):

    Am I learning now to have that deep personal relation with Jesus?

    Ecclesiastes 12:11-14
    This was a bible passage I had big on my list when I was a child, still learning…

  48. foreverblessed says:

    My dad had another reaction:
    When he had a very very bad accident in 1993, he was hit by a motorcyclist, when he crossed the street on his bicycle.
    He hadn’t seen the motorcyclist coming.
    He was in IC, for two weeks, it was a miracle he survived.
    After two months he could speak a little, and one of the first bug conversations that he had, he had with me.
    He said;
    I dreamed: I was sitting on a bench, in the park, and I was thinking over my life:

    “Who would have thought that this would happen to me?”

    So my dad put it in a question mark.
    Was this the way my life would end?
    Later on he said: well, this sure makes you humble.
    So he saw it in a positive way: God is teaching us to be humble.
    As he was not very patient as a father, with 5 children and a job, he wanted quiet when he came home from work.
    He sure did show much patience in carrying his fate, as he stayed handicapped after the accident. Not in a wheelchair, but still..

    The most wonderful thing is that I could talk with him, what the essence of a christian life is: living in faith in Jesus,
    giving all our burdens and sin to him, instead of working ourselves to get over them, and then come to Jesus.
    And after we have given them to Jesus, asking His life to fill us, in love peace, patience..
    Gal 5:22-23

    The exhaling and inhaling.
    I still treasure those memories.

  49. jeff1 says:

    See fallen man held hostage by sin
    Doomed to a perilous fate
    See a loving father pain and mercy in His eyes
    Giving one Son so that others might be saved

    God raised the Ransom Jesus paid it on the cross
    There the purest of lambs was slain for the lost
    Blood shed for a sin debt only Jesus could pay
    God raised the Ransom on crucifixion day

    The Saviour had come accept by some
    Others just could not believe
    They had hoped the Messiah
    Would build a kingdom on this earth
    But instead He came to suffer and to serve

    The Lord tasted death and then breathed one new breath
    Life blossomed and filled up the tomb
    Death had lost its sting he was conquered by the king
    When He arose, Glory broke the seal of doom

    God raised the Ransom Jesus walked out of the grave
    There Hope died was buried and left to decay
    And sunrise His eyes watched the stone rolled away
    God raised the Ransom on resurrection day

  50. SFDBWV says:

    March 23, 2021
    Moses and Elijah
    “And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.” (Luke 9:30-31)

    This is a mysterious passage. Peter, James, and John watched in awe as Christ was “transfigured” before them as Christ had promised (Mark 9:2). But how could Moses and Elijah be there? Moses’ body had been buried by God in an unknown tomb in Moab some 1,500 years before, and no resurrection had yet taken place (Deuteronomy 34:5-6; 1 Corinthians 15:22-23). Elijah had been taken alive into heaven in a chariot of fire over 900 years previously (2 Kings 2:11).

    The fact is that this whole experience was a remarkable vision! Jesus said after it was over: “Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead” (Matthew 17:9). Although they had just been awakened out of sleep (Luke 9:32), the disciples knew this was not a dream. All three had seen it together and “were sore afraid” (Mark 9:6).

    This vision of the future kingdom was for the disciples’ encouragement (and for ours, as well), for the Lord had just been warning them of His coming death, as well as the cross which they, themselves, must take up to follow Him (Luke 9:23). The kingdom of God would come on Earth in all its future power and glory. But first, He must die and rise again, and they must be His witnesses of these things.

    But when He did return in glory, there would be two groups of people sharing His glory with Him: Moses representing the resurrected saints, and Elijah the “raptured” saints. “The dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

    I will begin with this from “Days of Praise”


  51. SFDBWV says:

    March 23, 2021
    Moses and Elijah
    “And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.” (Luke 9:30-31)

    This is a mysterious passage. Peter, James, and John watched in awe as Christ was “transfigured” before them as Christ had promised (Mark 9:2). But how could Moses and Elijah be there? Moses’ body had been buried by God in an unknown tomb in Moab some 1,500 years before, and no resurrection had yet taken place (Deuteronomy 34:5-6; 1 Corinthians 15:22-23). Elijah had been taken alive into heaven in a chariot of fire over 900 years previously (2 Kings 2:11).

    The fact is that this whole experience was a remarkable vision! Jesus said after it was over: “Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead” (Matthew 17:9). Although they had just been awakened out of sleep (Luke 9:32), the disciples knew this was not a dream. All three had seen it together and “were sore afraid” (Mark 9:6).

    This vision of the future kingdom was for the disciples’ encouragement (and for ours, as well), for the Lord had just been warning them of His coming death, as well as the cross which they, themselves, must take up to follow Him (Luke 9:23). The kingdom of God would come on Earth in all its future power and glory. But first, He must die and rise again, and they must be His witnesses of these things.

    But when He did return in glory, there would be two groups of people sharing His glory with Him: Moses representing the resurrected saints, and Elijah the “raptured” saints. “The dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).


  52. SFDBWV says:

    Had trouble posting this morning and why there are two of the same thing. This is a little test to see if things got straightened out.


  53. SFDBWV says:

    I see they have not.


  54. poohpity says:

    I always thought there is a big difference in the Transfiguration and a resurrected body. I also was taught the significance of Moses and Elijah being there during the transfiguration was that Moses represented the law while Elijah represented the Prophets and Jesus fulfilled them both. Luke 24:27

  55. SFDBWV says:

    I guess writing anything this morning is, or at least has been, a test. As soon as I post nothing comes up. Sometime later it may or may not appear.

    In a quick response to pooh’s thoughts on the two with Jesus at the “Transfiguration”, I too have read her ideas of why these two as well as a few more from different authors and theologians.

    The most immediate question I always had was how they knew who they were unless they overheard the conversation between Jesus and them and in that way their identities exposed.

    Through my own reading and pondering I do *not* believe Moses is one of the two witnesses who appear during the tribulation as given in Revelation.

    I do believe Elijah to be one as well as Enoch the other as neither men died prior to their deaths during the tribulation.

    One of my purposes though in posting the devotional was the promise of the dual resurrection of the dead as well as of the living when the trumpet call is made and we all are taken up body and soul together to be with Christ forever.

    A new creature like that of the butterfly out of the cocoon.


  56. bratimus says:

    Who ever the two maybe,

    I would say that they will be more Spirit then flesh, as human standards go, what are they fighting against.

    It is going to be a big Spiritual fight.

    In Christ Jesus name


  57. poohpity says:

    Steve my problem with those like the one’s who write “Days of Praise” seem often to insert their own understanding with often no scripture to back it up. There seems to be things that we are told especially in the book of Revelation that only hind sight will reveal meanwhile people input their own logic or reasoning which is why I try to always back up scripture with scripture or if God wanted us to know who those two prophets were in the end time He would have told us rather than assuming or speculating. It just does not say who they are and I am OK with that. I can not see God taking away their resurrected bodies made for heaven to replace them with earthly bodies again.

    The need for a resurrected body is for a body suitable to live in the spiritual realm not flesh and blood that are perishable and prone to sin.

    Paul taught in 1 cor 15: What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever.

    51 But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! 52 It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. 53 For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.

    54 Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die,[c] this Scripture will be fulfilled:

    “Death is swallowed up in victory.
    O death, where is your victory?
    O death, where is your sting?”

    56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.

    I am so glad that these perishable bodies are transformed and that I am so looking forward to.

  58. SFDBWV says:

    March 24, 2021
    Jesus’ Prayer of Thanksgiving
    “In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.” (Luke 10:21)

    When the Lord Jesus was here on Earth, He was, among other things, “leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps” (1 Peter 2:21). One aspect of that example, no doubt, was His prayer life. He prayed and gave thanks before He fed the multitude (Matthew 15:36) and also when He ate with His disciples at the last supper (Luke 22:19). It is surely right, therefore, that we should give thanks in prayer before each meal, whether in a small group as with our family or in a large public dining place.

    Jesus spent much time in prayer. On at least one occasion, He “continued all night in prayer to God” (Luke 6:12), and no doubt a goodly portion of His prayer was thanksgiving prayer, as well as intercession. But there seems to be only one specific item of thanksgiving by Him actually recorded in Scripture, and that is the item in our text. (The same is also given, verbatim, in Matthew 11:25, so we can infer that the Holy Spirit considered it very important.)

    That is this: the wonderful truths of salvation and forgiveness— eternal life in heaven and God’s guidance and provision on Earth—are easily understood by the simplest among us, even by little children, even though they often seem difficult for “the wise and prudent” to comprehend.

    Many are the intellectuals who can raise all kinds of objections to God’s revealed Word and His great plan of creation and redemption and who, therefore, will end up eternally lost. Many are the simple folk and children who just hear and believe and are saved. “Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.” HMM

    From “Day’s of Praise” this morning.


  59. contactsupport says:


  60. contactsupport says:

    Praying for your and your family!

  61. poohpity says:

    Steve, that last paragraph is so true yes people do insert things into God’s word that are not there by assuming and speculating with their own logic and reasoning rather than as a child would take it for what it says with no additions, assuming or speculation. I think that is why really good teacher’s often say, “compare what I am teaching to what it says in scripture” and “use scripture to back up scripture” because people are fallible while God’s words are infallible. Trust what God says like a child trusts and depends their parent by putting their faith and life into their hands for care and guidance.

  62. jeff1 says:

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

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

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

  63. jeff1 says:

    Biblical references:

    Revelation 21:1 1Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.

    Romans 8:19-22 19For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. 22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.

    Isaiah 11:6-9 6The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. 7The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. 8The infant will play near the cobra’s den, and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest. 9They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.

    Genesis 1:26-28 26Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 27So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

    Psalm 104:24-30 24How many are your works, LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. 25There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number- living things both large and small. 26There the ships go to and fro, and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there. 27All creatures look to you to give them their food at the proper time. 28When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things. 29When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust. 30When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.

  64. Beloved says:

    Dear Mart,
    Thinking of you and your family with prayer. God bless you and keep you and be merciful to you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

  65. Beloved says:

    Dear Forever,
    I thought you might be interested in this video I saw on YouTube of a discussion about the Covid vaccine. It is a balanced talk between faith and science and found out the one I had has its beginnings (through cell-liines of legally aborted children because of the imminent death of the mother) in the Netherlands in 1973! You may have known about this but thought since we are on a break here on the blog I’d mention it. The talk is called “Is taking the vaccine complicit with evil?” By Dr. Sean McDowell, a professor at Biola University. His father is Josh McDowell a well known (here) author and apologist for Christianity. I learned a lot as people called in asking pertinent questions as well.

    If you don’t have time no problem.
    Blessings, Joyce

  66. Mart DeHaan says:

    Dear friends,
    After six days in hospice my wife, Di, passed peacefully into the presence of our Father in heaven. I tried to update you earlier but, like some of you, had trouble signing-in and posting to BTA.

    I appreciate so much the thoughtful concern and prayers that you expressed for us.

  67. SFDBWV says:

    Very sorry for your pain and loss Mart. Prayers for you and your family.


  68. Mart DeHaan says:

    Dear friends,
    After six days in hospice my wife, Di, passed peacefully into the presence of our Father in heaven. I tried to update you earlier but, like some of you, am having trouble signing-in and posting to BTA.

    I appreciate so much the thoughtful concern and prayers that you expressed for us.

  69. jeff1 says:

    Mart and family, may you know God’s love and peace today and always.

  70. jeff1 says:

    Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,
    Whose trust, ever childlike, no cares can destroy,
    Be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,
    Your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.

    Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith,
    Whose strong hands were skilled
    At the plane and the lathe,
    Be there at our labours,
    And give us, we pray,
    Your strength in our hearts, Lord,
    At the noon of the day.

    Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,
    Your hands swift to welcome,
    Your arms to embrace,
    Be there at our homing,
    And give us, we pray,
    Your love in our hearts, Lord,
    At the eve of the day.

  71. bullwinkle11 says:

    May the God of all comfort watch over you and your family Mart. Hopeful that many hear the gospel when you celebrate Di’s life.

  72. poohpity says:

    Praising God for His mercies and the comfort He will bring to grieving family and friends in this time of great loss.

  73. Beloved says:

    Mart so sorry for the pain of loss and grieve along with you.

  74. Hugger4U says:

    Praying for the Lord’s comfort and peace for you and your family. May He surround you with His Love and Light during your times of grieving.


  75. Beloved says:

    Mart after reading her obit I’m sure she was met with a “well done, good and faithful servant” from Jesus. God bless you and keep you, faithful servant to Him as well.

  76. bubbles says:

    Mart, praying for you and your family. I am so very sorry for your loss. I’m so sorry.

  77. foreverblessed says:

    What a very sad news.
    May God hold you in His arms, you and your family. I pray something beautiful may come out of this. Something unexpected.

    God promises that He never leaves us nor forsakes us.
    But when a spouse dies, there is one left behind.

    I pray that God will strengthen your faith in Him.

    (I have been sick for a couple of days, such news comes harder. I had to pray lots more for faith. But I am really sad for Mart. As Bubbles said: so very very sorry).

    But we have a Father in heaven, Di is now with Him. For her we can rejoice. It is the empty place she leaves here. Gone much too young.
    The Spirit is called the Comforter.
    And so He is.

  78. jeff1 says:

    “The earth is the Lord’s
    and the fullness thereof”-
    It speaks of His greatness,
    it sings of His love,
    And each day at dawning
    I lift my heart high
    And raise up my eyes
    to the infinite sky . . .
    I watch the night vanish
    as a new day is born,
    And I hear the birds sing
    on the wings of the morn,
    I see the dew glisten
    in crystal-like splendour
    While God, with a touch
    that is gentle and tender,
    Wraps up the night
    and softly tucks it away
    And hangs out the sun
    to herald a new day . . .
    And so I give thanks
    and my heart kneels to pray-
    “God, keep me/them (Mart and family) and guide me
    and go with me/them today.”

  79. Beloved says:

    Bible Gateway
    Verse of the Day
    Psalm 62:7
    On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.

  80. plumbape says:

    have read this and comments…… I’m sad for Mart and family. I trust in God to work it out but never something that is easy.

    I don’t have much to add. Will pray for the best possible out come.

    Mike and Sharon

  81. foreverblessed says:

    …but never something that is easy.

    So true. My mother said to us, ” You cannot imagine what it is like to be a widow. I don’t expect you to know what it’s like.
    But especially when the evening falls, that is such a difficult part of the day”.

    The left behind

    So we can pray for “the left behind”.

    With my dad, there was one big plus about his passing away:
    His suffering was over. So there was a double feeling, a feeling of relief. He was at peace, and my mother did not have the strain anymore to be his caretaker. It was such a great burden on her. She did not see that herself, she did everything out of love. But we, as her children saw her getting weaker and weaker. It took her two whole years to recover, and regain strength.

    But still, after 18 years, the missing of a person in the house, is big.
    I work in an elderly home, as you know, and there also are still a few monastery groups left. When people get very old it is a great plus to be used to living in a community.
    And the most beautiful thing is the worship they do together in the chapel, at 10.00 in the mornin
    Taking the eucharist together.
    The cup of thanksgiving (eucharist in Greek)
    1 Cor10:16-17

  82. foreverblessed says:

    This problem of not seeing the comment appear, I have had it for years. When I look the website in another device, it will appear. So I start my computer. But most of the time I have learned to trust that the comment it accepted. After two or three more comments, they do appear again.
    I’ll try this again, making a few more comments, till they appear.

  83. foreverblessed says:

    Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ?

  84. foreverblessed says:

    And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ.

  85. foreverblessed says:

    Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are One body, for we all partake of the one loaf.
    1 Cor 10:16-17

  86. foreverblessed says:

    Well, that was my try out.
    The comments did not appear untill I logged out.
    So I would say: copy your comment before posting, and just trust that your comment is accepted.

  87. SFDBWV says:

    Because I live in a small town, know and have known many people and am the overseer and caretaker of our cemetery I have been involved in many funerals and burials.

    Even Jesus wept because of the sorrow and pain that death brings with it.

    The only earthly comfort that any of us can give a grieving friend is in their knowing we care.

    That we hurt for them.

    A shoulder to lean on, a sad kind smile and a tear.

    This world gets darker and darker and we fledgling followers of or Lord find ourselves feeling less and less at home here.

    We find ourselves longing more and more for that promise of no more sorrow and no more tears.

    Wishing that in the mean time we could take away the pain and suffering of others, while only truly being able to sympathize with our family, and friends.

    I do hope all of you are blessed today.


  88. street says:

    thinking about jacob. how judah would endure anything that benjimine would be returned to his father. the pain of jacob’s lose was real and difficult. benjimine became a substitute for joseph. benjamines bothers understood an inheritance and blessing is of no importance without their Father’s Joy. yet we know joseph will return soon and no one will take away their Joy.

  89. poohpity says:

    I do not grieve as those who are not saved, grieve. I know as Jesus taught that death is not the end and it seems he wept because they were weeping, that is called empathy. Those He was friends with had not considered anything He had taught them about eternal life for those who believed in Him and that may also have been a reason He wept because of the lack of faith in what He had taught them and seen Him do. That makes me weep the times I did not trust Jesus and looked at things that are in my power and forget what all is in His power which is He has power even over death itself.

  90. jeff1 says:

    Apple blossoms bursting wide
    now beautify the tree
    And make a Springtime picture
    that is beautiful to see . . .
    Oh, fragrant lovely blossoms,
    you’ll make a bright bouquet
    If I but beak your branches
    from the apple tree today . . .
    But if I break your branches
    and make your beauty mine,
    You’ll bear no fruit in season
    when severed from the vine . . .
    And when we cut ourselves away
    from guidance that’s divine,
    Our lives will be as fruitless
    as the branch without the vine . . .
    For as the flowering branches
    depend upon the tree
    To nourish and fulfil them
    till they reach futurity,
    We too must be dependent
    on our Father up above,
    For we are but the branches
    and He’s the Tree of Love.

  91. street says:

    26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
    From the house of the Lord we bless you.[b]
    27 The Lord is God,
    and he has made his light shine on us.
    With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession
    up[c] to the horns of the altar.

    28 You are my God, and I will praise you;
    you are my God, and I will exalt you.

    29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.

  92. street says:

    With boughs in hand

    bough noun
    a branch of a tree, especially one of the larger or main branches.

    Palm Sunday

  93. Beloved says:

    29 (C)When he drew near to Bethphage and (D)Bethany, at (E)the mount that is called Olivet, he sent (F)two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, (G)on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’” 32 So those who were sent went away and found it (H)just as he had told them. 33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” 35 And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36 And as he rode along, they (I)spread their cloaks on the road. 37 As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—(J)the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice (K)for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, (L)“Blessed is (M)the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and (N)glory in the highest!” 39 (O)And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, (P)the very stones would cry out.”

    Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem
    41 (Q)And when he drew near and saw the city, (R)he wept over it, 42 saying, (S)“Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace!

  94. street says:

    17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the [j]rich root of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20 Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; 21 for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. 22 See then the kindness and severity of God: to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; for otherwise you too will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?

    25 For I do not want you, brothers and sisters, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; 26 and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written:

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

  95. Beloved says:

    Wow, the Holiness of God.

  96. bubbles says:

    We don’t grieve like others who have no hope. However, we do grieve. Grief/loss is life altering. It tears our loved ones from our soul. One never “gets over” grief. We learn how to adjust, we learn how to live with the loss and the permanently altered life. I grieve for what once was and is now gone. Life is so very short. Even knowing they are in Heaven, it is still sad for us. Sad because we no longer have their presence with us. The ordinary plain peaceful days of togetherness are forever gone.

  97. foreverblessed says:

    Isa 11:6-9
    The wolf will live with the lamb,
    the leopard will lie down with the goat,
    the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] together;
    and a little child will lead them.
    The cow will feed with the bear,
    their young will lie down together,
    and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
    The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
    and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
    They will neither harm nor destroy
    on all my holy mountain,
    for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
    as the waters cover the sea.

  98. foreverblessed says:

    As a child I really liked prophecies like these.
    But for me that became something more like daydreaming. Dreaming of another world. Another time to come.

    Yet at present we do not see everything subject to Him
    Hebrews 2:8

    “We see Jesus”

    Now, in my walk as a Christian, I am learning what it is to rather:
    “Fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest we confess”.

    Hebr 2:8-9, 3:1

    Now I notice another tip he has:
    Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling…
    A heavenly calling.
    A heaven is in sight, at our horizon, where we will meet again, all those we miss.
    And the ones we miss, have met those again whom they missed. Our ancestors going back generation to generation.
    I personally believe that they all pray for us. That they are a cloud of witnesses, that surround us in the heavenly spheres.

    But Paul says:
    Fix your thoughts on Jesus.

    Jesus the One Who was and is and is to come.
    The King of kings and Lord of lords.
    The God Omnipotent.
    That He may reign in my heart right now.


  99. foreverblessed says:

    When Jesus walked on earth, He must have missed heaven?
    The togetherness with all those who worship God, who are all together peaceful, joyful, hopeful, of one mind, walking in paradise, singing together, making music together.
    Maybe painting a landscape, or making a tapestry…
    Eating together, having a great dinner with wine
    And worshipping God

  100. jeff1 says:

    There is no thinking person
    Who can stand untouched today
    And view the world around us
    Slowly drifting to decay
    Without feeling deep within him
    A silent, unnamed dread
    As he contemplates the future
    That lies frighteningly ahead . . .
    For, like watching storm clouds gather
    Man knows that there is nothing
    He can formulate or try
    That will stop the storm from breaking
    In its fury and its force,
    Nor can we change for alter
    The storm’s destructive course,
    But his anxious fears are lessened
    When he calls on God above,
    For he knows above the storm clouds
    Is the brightness of God’s love . . .
    So as the “clouds of chaos”
    Gather in man’s muddled mind,
    And he searches for the answer
    He alone can never find,
    Let us recognise we’re facing
    Problems man has never solved,
    And with all our daily efforts
    Life get more and more involved,
    But our future will seem brighter
    And we’ll meet with less resistance
    If we call upon our Father
    And seek Divine Assistance . . .
    For the spirit an unravel
    Many tangled, knotted threads
    That defy the skill and power
    Of the world’s best hands and heads,
    And our plan for growth and progress,
    Of which we all have dreamed,
    Cannot survive materially
    Unless our spirits are redeemed . . .
    And only through a living faith
    Can man achieve this goal,
    For safety and security
    Are born within the soul.

  101. Beloved says:

    Psalm 62:1-2
    Psalm 60:11-12
    Psalm 59:17

  102. poohpity says:

    bubbles, I do not think anyone was insinuating not to grieve in fact Jesus said, “Mourn with those who mourn”. So grieving with hope says to me we grieve in a forward believing way, not thinking that death ends this journey because there is still more to come but that does not take away the feeling of loss. I still grieve many losses in my life but I have hope that there is more and it does bring comfort to me and hopefully the comfort I received I will be able to comfort others in their time of loss. We give out what we have received.

  103. jeff1 says:

    Bubbles, thinking of what you said and I have to say that I find grieving doesn’t get any easier for me. My mum died 35 years ago, my dad 21, and my brother 10 years and there is just my sister and I left. Though we have our memories there is always a sense of loss as I was particularly close to my family.

    I find that it is my children who keep me going as they are precious to me and though adults still need my love and support and God willing I will still be able to be a mum to them for a long time to come.

    I think as you say we learn to adapt rather than accept their loss as it is how we manage to live on without them.

  104. bubbles says:

    Pooh, thank you. I agree with all you said. Something in an email together with other things is why I posted that. And, yes, we are very blessed to grieve but the hope we have is the best. And, like you said, we can help others with what has been learned in our own lives. There’s a verse in Corinthians about doing that very thing.

    Viv, I am so sorry for all your losses.

  105. jeff1 says:

    If Tears Could Build A Stairway

    If tears could build a stairway
    And memories were a lane
    I would walk right up to heaven
    And bring you back again

    No farewell words were spoken
    No time to say goodbye
    You were gone before I knew it
    And only God knows why

    My heart still aches with sadness
    And secret tears still flow
    What it meant to lose you
    No one will ever know

    But now I know you want me
    To mourn for you no more
    To remember all the happy times
    Life still has much in store

    Since you’ll never be forgotten
    I pledge to you today
    A hallowed place within my heart
    Is where you’ll always stay

  106. Beloved says:

    Spurgeon Morning and Evening

    Hebrews 5:8
    We are told that the Captain of our salvation was made perfect through suffering; therefore we who are sinful and who are far from being perfect must not wonder if we are called to pass through suffering too. Shall the head be crowned with thorns while the other parts of the body enjoy only comfort and ease? Must Christ pass through seas of His own blood to win the crown while we walk to heaven dry-shod in silver slippers? No; our Master’s experience teaches us that suffering is necessary, and the true-born child of God must not, would not, escape it if he could.

    But there is one very comforting thought in the fact of Christ’s “being made perfect” through suffering–it is that He can have complete sympathy with us. He is not a high priest who is “unable to sympathize with our weaknesses.”1 In this sympathy of Christ we find a sustaining power. One of the early martyrs said, “I can bear it all, for Jesus suffered, and He suffers in me now; He sympathizes with me, and this makes me strong.” Believer, grasp this thought in every agonizing experience. Let the thought of Jesus strengthen you as you follow in His steps. Find a sweet support in His sympathy; and remember that to suffer is an honorable thing–to suffer for Christ is glory. The apostles rejoiced that they were counted worthy to do this. Just so far as the Lord shall give us grace to suffer for Christ, to suffer with Christ, just so far does He honor us.

    The jewels of a Christian are his afflictions. The regalia of the kings whom God has anointed are their troubles, their sorrows, and their griefs. Let us not, therefore, shun being honored. Let us not turn aside from being exalted. Griefs exalt us, and troubles lift us up. “If we endure, we will also reign with him.”2

    1) Hebrews 4:15
    2) 2 Timothy 2:12

  107. foreverblessed says:

    Very good sermon, thanks for sharing this.

    To talk like Steve,;-)
    Allow me to have a little story.
    It is about the frailty oflife, so it must fit the topic. Our son has worked in the hospital, and in December the cases of Covid were rising, with the strain that develops in the hospital. He had all gone through it.
    Then we had the lockdown, starting half December, and the curfew that started on January 23. (Curfews are new to our generation, it was because of the war, the Nazis had imposed their curfews in our country. So the Government was reluctant to impose them, but they did finally)
    Cases dropped in the hospital, things were easing.
    Till this week, now the patient come pouring in the hospital. Normal people outside do not get anything of it. But since our son was working there now in the hospital, we know what a load it is on the personel.
    He visited us, last night, and was telling about a family in the town where his hospital is located:
    That family was a virus denier. Wappies they call them,
    That family had a birthday party, and celebrated it together as if there was no virus. They got infected, 5 of them ended in hospital, 3 of them in the IC, where one of them died. The two that survived the IC are in bad condition. He does not know how the ones are doing that did not end in hospital, as many of them have a fatique syndrom afterwards.

    The wrath of God is this one: He leaves you to yourself, you undergo the consequences of your choices. Not to destroy us, but so that man would come to his senses.

    I asked our son whether the family had come to the realisation that the virus is real and very contagious. And that it is really much more than just the flu?
    He answered that the family does not talk about the virus anymore. So: silence.

    Then I was thinking, what is the reason I hear this story?
    Intercessory prayer comes to mind:
    Dear Lord, have mercy on this family. Be with them, and see when You can touch a heart.
    With the Light of the Gospel:
    Jesus is the Light, that shines in a heart that is in darkness.

  108. jeff1 says:

    Psalm 116:15 15Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful servants.

  109. foreverblessed says:

    Jeff, do you know that the Psalms 111 until Psalms 118 are called the Hallel Psalms, from HallejuJah
    Praise the Lord.
    And that the Jews sing all these Psalms on the Seder evening?
    That is the Pesach evening of Exodus 12.
    In the evening of the 14th of Nissan, the first Jewish month.
    The lamb was sacrificed, and the blood was out on the doors, that when the death angel would pass by, and he saw the blood he would pass over.

    Picturing Jesus, Who’s blood is our protection from everlasting death.

  110. jeff1 says:

    Forever, no I did not, though I have partaken of a celebration in the Passover meal celebrated on Maundy Thursday.

    I also did not know this until today though I was born and bred in Northern Ireland.

    The city of Belfast, Northern Ireland has as its motto Pro Tanto Quid Retribuamus, the Vulgate translation of Ps 116:12 (“what shall we give in return for so much?” or “What shall I return to the Lord for all his bounty to me?”)

  111. jeff1 says:

    Glory be to the Father,
    and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
    as it was in the beginning,
    is now and ever shall be, world with out end. Amen.

  112. Beloved says:

    Romans 6:4, NLT: “For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.”

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