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In a Divided World

Queen Anne’s Lace

Have been thinking a lot lately about what it means to read the Scriptures selectively… for the sake of all.

Have also been trying to weigh the implications of growing up in churches that are more inclined to use the measure of what is either biblical or Christlike rather than both.

Am hoping that we can continue to think for a while longer not just out of our heads, but also our hearts— cutting one another a lot of well-meant and needed slack in the process :-)…


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177 Responses to “In a Divided World”

  1. poohpity says:

    I believe that we can not read all scripture selectively which is often used to prove a point of the person using them not on what God’s point is or growing to know Him better.

    I believe also we run into trouble if we ever use scripture to measure another person like using them as a window to look at others rather than a mirror to look at ourselves instead.

  2. poohpity says:

    Using scripture for either of those purposes seems to bring more division than it does to bring unity. That reminds me of what Paul taught in Ephesians 4.

    4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.…

  3. SFDBWV says:

    “Queen Anne’s Lace”, (the picture) is considered a weed and grows in abundance here in my world. But it is a beautiful, “weed”.

    There also is an abundance of “wild flowers” that are called that only because if left to grow from a weed they actually become a rather pleasant and beautiful “flower”.

    So it is in nature.

    Whereas mankind is a “special” creation here in the created world of God, it is easy to see we are not in synchronized harmony with nature.

    It is almost as if we as people don’t really belong. As all we do is use and disrupt the natural things around us.

    Sadly it is the same with how we interact sometimes with other people. We treat them as weeds and rarely if ever appreciate the flower they can become if left to grow and bloom.

    I will get on to the crux of Mart’s new subject later, but for now this is what I have been given to share with you as my time is up.

    Wet and 63 degrees f.

    Steve

  4. poohpity says:

    I wonder Steve if that was not the very reason that God said to let the weeds and wheat(flowers) grow together because people are unable to determine the difference and may uproot the wheat thinking it is weeds so that is better left to God’s harvesters since God knows each persons heart and can alone determine the difference.

    Matt 13:24-30; He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, 25 but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. 27 And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

    Didn’t God create nature with people in mind to satisfy their needs and to enjoy?

  5. street says:

    thinking about weeds and fire. the weeds, planks of wood in ours eye, and our short comings, falling short of the Glory of God. we will pass through the fire, but Gd says the fire will not hurt us for His Word remains in us and we follow Him Who tasted death for all of us that we my live in His Spirit and His Word, not in ourselves. w live by trusting in Him not ourselves. yes we will injure one and other for we sin is still present. yet He that is in us is Greater than he that is in the world.

    been thinking about the crucifixion where Jesus blood was poured out on the ground and His body buried in it. removing the curse for those who are Sanctified by it. bought back from the dead. may the Grace and Mercy of Christ richly abide in you and the Lord bless you.

  6. street says:

    23 By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.

    then he grew up in pharo’s court.

    My sheep hear my voice and they follow Me, they will not follow another.

    thinking of closing the door. in order to pray, to put and end of other voices including my own. to come before God and listen and obey. to love one another as I have loved you.

    thinking of the twelve following Jesus for three years. are we not the same? seems like a lot of strikeouts in our future.

    thinking about James the tongue and bit and bridal the last gift self control.

  7. street says:

    39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

    some day perfect, but not without you.

  8. street says:

    divided world…
    thinking how we are under guardians till the appointed time of the Father.

    the division of law and Spirit. when Spirit and law are One, not divided.

  9. SFDBWV says:

    I think that in the beginning most people pick up a Bible and begin reading out of curiosity.

    I also think that a person who has been raised in a church environment has been “fed” a biased (selected) view of Scripture from whichever belief system their particular “church” has adopted.

    However I believe that once a person becomes “born again” their reading of the Scripture has a different purpose.

    A lifetime, if you will, of instruction and enlightenment nurtured by and directed by the Holy Spirit for the purpose of your peace and God’s purpose.

    I believe that instead of just words that the “Word” becomes alive in you and is very personal to you and to your relationship with God.

    What you may have believed, taught or been persuaded to believe can change in the blinking of an eye once the Holy Spirit opens up you heart and understanding to what it is God is teaching or simply saying to you.

    There are many, many books written by people “selectively” from the Bible in order to present their particular point, view or subject matter.

    It still remains; what you look for is what you will find.

    Steve

  10. saled says:

    Steve, your comment about how we often treat people as weeds with no acknowledgement of their potential to blossom reminded me of a comment my cousin made today. She is in her 80’s and spent her life working in nursing homes. She said that she saw so many incidents of residents not being valued as individuals. She told about reading the obituaries of those who she had cared for and being so surprised at who they had been. This is kind of the flip side of not recognizing the potential in ‘weeds’. The innate value of people is often so hidden and overlooked by others who are rushing through life trying to do all the things expected of us.

    The title makes me think of how divided the human race is at this point in time. Many people who commented on the anniversary of Sept.11th mentioned how together we Americans were after that attack. They went on to say how divided we are now. One writer who told about heading to New York to see for himself mentioned that there was no facebook or other social media back then. The only info other than news from the broadcast stations was phone messages. We need to be so careful to use social media to bring us together instead of to divide us.

    Mart’s sentence about many of us growing up in churches that are inclined to use the measure of either what is Biblical or Christlike but not both, seems to be the center of his thoughts. I’m still trying to think what this could mean. I’m remembering an uncle who thought he needed to tell his sister (my aunt) that her daughter would go to hell if she remarried after being divorced. Was that Biblical? Was it Christlike? How to be both Biblical and Christlike?

  11. SFDBWV says:

    Saled how wonderful and refreshing to see you here and read your thoughts.

    I too read the obituaries in our local newspaper. Most or nearly all are people I did not know, but I find it interesting to read what a loved one thought of them or about their lives.

    It is especially sad to see some who are so young and then left to wonder how it was they may have died.

    I read one yesterday that was clearly written by a broken hearted husband about his beloved wife. She dying in her early 30’s of cancer. He wanted her obituary to express what a wonderful person she was and how much loved she was by him their young children and all who knew her.

    Like I tell so many when I am at the cemetery, it isn’t a sad place it is more like a family album. All of these people once lived among us. They laughed, they cried, they had hopes and dreams. They tasted the bittersweet reality of life just like we now do. They are not just names on granite stones. Rather they were people just like us.

    As for my understanding of things, whereas the original sin altered all that God said was good at the hour of creation; social media, though it’s intent was for good, has been corrupted and is become something evil rather than something good.

    Something intended to bring us all together has fostered division at an ever widening pace. Abandoning Judean-Christian values for their own set of right and wrong. Intolerant and unforgiving they accuse without evidence and punish without the least bit of concern for its consequences.

    Before I get pulled away I did want to further my thoughts about “weeds”.

    Everything in nature has a use and purpose. What we call weeds, animals that only eat grass call food. Many “weeds” have medicinal value for we humans as well.

    Even mold, as it turns out, has saved the lives of countless millions in the discovery of penicillin.

    And the famous “chaff”, or outer shell of grasses that humans eat, such as wheat, has value. As it decays it becomes food for other plants to root into and grow.

    Yes every living thing God designed and created has value.

    People all have value as well, when given the “slack” as Mart put it, we may yet have our eyes opened to see the flower we all can become.

    “Slack”= tolerance, forgiveness, patience.

    Steve

  12. poohpity says:

    saled, your question and Mart’s, “How to be both Biblical and Christlike?” is a very good question to ponder and think about what it means. As well as “the inclination to measure” others by either of those methods becomes totally relevant in causing divisions.

    Just like judging the actions of a relative/person as ending up in hell by marrying after getting a divorce which is neither Biblical or Christlike it seems. Jesus in the sermon on the mount(Matt 5-7) took that a step further to say that even looking at another with lust in your heart, one is endanger of hell also. It would seem that in order to make unity happen when we realize that all sin and fall short of God’s glorious standard we are ALL endanger of hell but for the Grace of God poured onto us through Jesus Christ which would bring unity for all who believe, now that is both Biblical and Christlike all wrapped into one beautiful package.

    Jesus said the “measure” we use to judge others is the same measure we will receive in return. (Matt 7:2; Luke 6:38) So by that I would rather not use any measure to look at others because of the fear that that kind of measure is how I will be judged as well.

  13. bratimus says:

    If one is truly Christlike they will be Biblical, but one being Biblical does not mean they are Christlike.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  14. poohpity says:

    Mart, I am still very confused by what those churches mean by being biblical? I wonder what their definition of that is?

  15. SFDBWV says:

    I looked in at BTA this morning at 5am and thought that Bratimus’s comment was very wise. I also thought how the commentary contribution is falling away to such a few, and felt compelled to say something, but thought I may wait and see if more come in this morning, perhaps from Foreverblessed.

    The very subject of there being a difference between how we may view being “Biblical or Christlike” is a very wide open subject.

    I’m not sure I want to dive into such a possibly deep and yes divisive subject. Divisive because we all see things differently, from a different perspective and while we most likely agree on the core basics of our faith that may be all we agree on.

    I have never been to Israel or on any of the many tours offered as such, but I did read or heard someone state that a tour guide while at the Mount of Olives said that Moses gave the Israelites their Law at Mount Sinai and there at the Mount of Olives Jesus gave His followers their “new law”.

    Right away a divisive perspective of what was the “Torah” OT and what is Christian teaching in the NT.

    Perhaps you recall when I had stated in the last topic that I really did not know why the Jew were so hated everywhere they lived. Joyce’s answer was she had heard from her mother it was because the Jew was responsible for killing Jesus.

    Personally some people may think that way, but I don’t and think that isn’t why they are hated in all the world at all.

    The Pharisees who condemned Jesus and argued against Him being the Son of God, were in their hearts being very “Biblical” and following the letter of the Law as given to them by the “Great I Am”.

    We who now have the rest of the story know that in order for Jesus to be the sacrificed Lamb and fulfill His purpose, that these men did exactly what was required of them by God.

    Reading Scripture from the perspective of looking for Christ into all of it, what you may find is that this entire story has always been about Him.

    Just as a young person learns from life and, for some, become wiser in their old age, students of Scripture need a lifetime of Scripture experience and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in order to become both “Biblical and Christlike”.

    Our change is instant, but our learning is gradual.

    The problem remains that we cannot impart what have each learned into another, only present it.

    Which is often met with heated disagreement.

    A lot to think about and to discuss. I miss the people with whom such dialog can ensue.

    44 degrees f this morning a clear.

    Steve

  16. Hugger4U says:

    I agree with Brat. Christlikeness is what our life looks like to others. Being Biblical without being Christlike is what a pharisee’s life looks like. Being both is ideal.

    I did not grow up in Church. So, can’t speak to that experience. I have observed that some who have grown up in church are well versed in the Word but don’t have a strong relationship with the Lord. Seems that they compromise with the world too much and the Word is diluted in their witness.

    Have a blessed day!
    Hugger

  17. saled says:

    When Pooh mentioned the Sermon on the Mount yesterday morning, I found it and read it and was reminded that Jesus raised the standard to a higher level, such as in the questions of divorce, murder, adultery, etc. Jesus says that he didn’t come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. This is a good reminder for me. I like to think of Jesus as the Word that changed everything that went before, things like how lepers were treated, and women, and maybe I am too quick to discount the law.

    My experience with churches has been with those who emphasized the biblical. Members often felt it was their duty to tell others how they should live. My sister still belongs to our local church and is despairing over friends who have accepted loved ones who are not living Biblically. My sister feels it is her duty to warn them that they are not living up to the standard and are in danger of judgement. Like Steve says, we cannot give what we’ve learned to another. It is often met with heated disagreement. I have some big sins in my past, and the changes in me have not come from being confronted by someone like my sister. She did not confront me, I am not sure why. I am much more likely to change by reading and observing. There have been very gracious people in my life who accepted and loved me in the middle of the sin. I think one of the biggest mistakes of our recent past was the concept of ‘tough love.’

  18. SFDBWV says:

    The Bible gives a very detailed format for living. Including an acceptable (to God) diet as well as punishment for infractions of His Law.

    The Law freely uses the death penalty in many situations including some horrific ones for what may seem very petti in the scope of things.

    The question is, did Jesus come to nullify the harsh Law?
    The reported answer is, no He came to fulfill it.

    Ok so what does it mean that His being the sacrificial Lamb and being put to death for all the sins of man fully mean?

    Does the sacrifice of Jesus mean that a murderer who confesses Christ is not only forgiven of his sin against God, but now should be forgiven by society?

    In the early colonization of America the “Puritans” executed accused people of being witches as well as harshly punishing people either found guilty of “sin” or simply accused of it.

    They considered themselves to be very “holy” and “devout” followers of Christ.

    And cut no one any “slack”.

    The early Roman Catholic Church burned people to death tethered to a pole in public for all to see for simply disagreeing with their interpretation of Scripture. The Church of England did the same thing even for printing the Bible in English rather than Latin.

    I think for most of us looking back at the early history of Christianity we see Jesus missing from the message.

    The thing is are we still doing the same thing today without killing people for infractions against what we believe to be “Biblical”?

    Are we leaving Jesus out of our full overview of Scripture?

    Starts to sound like this doesn’t it; Do as the Bible says or burn forever in hell.

    Is that what Jesus taught? Is that why Jesus came?

    35 degrees f and a clear starry sky.

    Steve

  19. bullwinkle11 says:

    At the risk of hurting Bubble’s, ODB has an excellent message about taking our emotions before God. I pray that she can find someone to cry with her as Mrs. Dixon does with her friend.

  20. poohpity says:

    Forgiveness does NOT mean that it is OK or that one condones what someone does as in a sin against God or others nor does it mean you will forget but it seems what it DOES mean is that we are making a conscience decision to let go of vengeance or retaliation by giving it over to God to handle. He sent Jesus to take what we deserve.

    For those who feel they have never sinned that seems to be the reason for the law and Jesus taking it a step further into the very heart or motive of sin. The Sermon on the mount and the law helps us to see the very need we have for a Savior thus also to realize we have no room to talk about others. It helps us also to realize our own need to be forgiven and how undeserving we all are when it comes to God’s grace and mercy.

    A good example of that is the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector sinner in Luke 18:9-14 or in John 8:1-11. Without the guidance of the Holy Spirit using the bible there are many things we may not understand if even then.

  21. poohpity says:

    bullwinkle, Mart wrote the insight for that devotion. How loving it was to remember bubbles during her time of grief.

  22. saled says:

    Maybe Jesus fulfilled the law for us. Maybe we can never attain the high standards he talked about in the Sermon on the Mount. I’ve always put a lot of hope in the teaching that there is nothing we can do to save ourselves; Jesus has done it all.

    Going back to the subject of weeds, and people who are treated like weeds, I want to talk about the word ‘appreciate’. It takes time to appreciate a weed, to come to know it in all its seasons, in all its potential. Whoever first discovered that turmeric had anti-cancer potential had spent lots of time coming to know it. And they ‘appreciated’ it, in that they increased its value. I think that is what the people who accepted and loved me have done for me, they appreciated me.

  23. Beloved says:

    cutting one another a lot of well-meant and needed slack in the process :-)…

    I was reading Romans 12-14 tonight and Paul really fleshes out the reasons for cutting one another a lot of slack. (believers) Saled I love your word “appreciate” here. It testifies to the dignity and worth of us all as Image of God bearers.

  24. SFDBWV says:

    Would certainly like to hear from Foreverblessed. I am somewhat encouraged by the added comments from Bullwinkle, Saled, Bratimus, and Hugger.

    I would love to see the blog as it once was back a decade ago when the number of contributors were nearing a hundred.

    Moving along with Saled’s thoughts about weeds, I am reminded of when I was a boy and one of the fond memories I have are walking along the railroad tracks in the summer and picking wild strawberries as well as investigating the milkweed and pussywillow that grew along the banks of the rail line.

    That ended a long time ago when the railroad company began spraying poison along the track lines in an effort to defoliate the line. A disgusting habit they still practice.

    Twice the enemy of Israel tried to erase them from the earth, like an unwanted weed and twice they were kept from annihilation.

    There will be a third attempt, but God Himself will rise up and save them in a spectacular event.

    I think it is inevitable that we as Bible readers and believers read the Scriptures “selectively”. And it is usually for the education and enlightenment of yourself and perhaps all if presented to a group or even if written as a book.

    The Bible or “book of books” has many subject matters. All threaded together for a bigger purpose. Yet still many stories that can be read and studied selectively.

    The search for Jesus, for the Christ is also selective and can be found in every story. Still looking selectively.

    If you were to give a single explanation to explain the Scriptures what would it be?

    Perhaps something like this; the story of God and man, the need for Christ and the salvation of mankind.

    I really wish this 30 or 40 minute delay in our posts being posted could be fixed. It really makes it difficult to communicate with others.

    Steve

  25. Beloved says:

    “In a divided world”

    6Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. I Peter5

  26. Hugger4U says:

    Steve, I too remember back then when there were many more contributors to this blog. I never felt the need to contribute myself until lately because it had dwindled down to just a handful. Wanting this blog to continue I suppose because of less actual contact with people during this season with the virus hindering us from socializing.

    Mart, I would be interested in hearing your experience growing up in a church. Did you ever rebel as a youngster? Under what circumstances did you accept Christ as your savior?

    I go to a small church in a small town on the Oregon Coast. We do meet in person because our building is an old movie theater with plenty of room. Pray for our pastors, they are always in need of prayer. Gotta go and get ready for church.

    Love,
    Hugger

  27. street says:

    thinking about conversion…….71 It was good for me to be afflicted
    so that I might learn your decrees. PSALM 119

    when God enters into Judgment, man learns Righteousness.

  28. Beloved says:

    Romans3

    Righteousness through Faith in Christ
    (Philippians 3:1–11)
    21But now, apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been revealed, as attested by the Law and the Prophets. 22And this righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no distinction, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

    25God presented Him as the atoning sacrificei through faith in His blood, in order to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance He had passed over the sins committed beforehand. 26He did this to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and to justify the one who has faith in Jesus

  29. Beloved says:

    Cutting some slack…thinking if we could only see each other as Jesus does. Ezekiel gave us some details.

    12I put a ring in your nose, earrings on your ears, and a beautiful crown upon your head

    I don’t think Jesus judged us by degrees (of sin) yet all are involved in sanctification aren’t we. Hence the droopy falling crowns and dirty jewelry some days seen by others. 😕

  30. Beloved says:

    Those who God loves He disciplines ✝️

  31. poohpity says:

    If one could only learn the each member of the body of Christ is important for the good of ALL. Each member is given a special ability and each is unique to make the body function as a whole.

    1 Cor 12: 4 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. 5 There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. 6 God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us……

    Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. 15 If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?

    18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”

    Divisions cause the body not to function well just as how hard it is when like the soldiers get parts blown off or others get sick or injured and rather than care for those parts that are missing or disabled it seems people want to harm the parts by telling them they do not matter or they do not fit because they are different when God embraces our differences and call us His own.

  32. poohpity says:

    Hugger, I think our missed friend Maru was from Oregon she added so much to our conversations. I could be wrong about where she is from because I have to say my memory lately is failing in so many ways.

  33. street says:

    and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the boundless riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

    thinking about the work adam and eve were assigned to before the fall.

    prior to Christ we walked in darkness and sin even as the rest of humanity.

    now we are to walk in the Light of the World, Christ Jesus.

    no longer works of evil.

    never to boast in work….but humbly serve in thanksgiving and praise. works of love joy and peace. fruits of the Spirit of God in Christ Jesus our hope of Salvation.

  34. poohpity says:

    Steve, I sadly agree that people read the bible selectively and what a shame that is but counting many in that by saying “WE” I hope that is not true because I believe that there are many who read the bible as a whole and enjoy reading it not to prove their point but to understand God’s point.

  35. saled says:

    Not everyone appreciates wild strawberries. They are so tiny compared to the cultivated, but what a big flavor they have. But they were appreciated by women in my grandmother’s time. I remember a lady named Jennie who picked and used every berry she could find.

    In the first summer of covid, the ball field at the school was filled with wild strawberries. Two of my grandchildren and I spent hours there picking them. This past spring, we found dog ticks on two of the boys at school and the principal decided to have a pest control company spray for ticks then and throughout the summer. No more strawberry picking there!

    Sometimes I wonder about God putting Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden as stewards. What does he expect of us today in regards to how we use/misuse the earth? Does it matter? I think it does, but many disagree. They would say that since there will be a new heaven and a new earth, it makes no difference. Another area where we need to cut each other some slack.

  36. bubbles says:

    A naturalist from up north taught us in a class that Queen Anne’s lace was actually a wild carrot. If the stem is picked and broken, it smells like a carrot. He also taught us the poison hemlock has been mistaken for Queen Anne’s lace.

    Those from fundamental circles really appear to push Biblical over all else. While we must defend the truth, we need to love. Jesus loved everyone. He was not talking down to others to be Biblical. If others aren’t of the same mindset on things, they may never change, but we should still love them because getting “Biblical” can also get mean quickly. I think many argue over things because both parties are passionate about the topic and sincerely care about what they believe, and then it turns into both sides hurting the other and they may not have intended hurt to occur because they could not see the forest for the trees. Things can escalate.

    People can do that also; we can look at others or their ideas and think “no,” when it is not what we think. I see that I was wrong about many things and I should have been more patient, a better listener, and more accepting of other thoughts. Even if I did not agree, I should have been more loving and not have chose that a hill on which to die. It was not Christ like and now I cannot change what has happened. Loving people is important and not contentions over who is right or wrong. Even if they are as wrong as can be and will not change thinking. . . loving them is important. Cutting slack is love, and I have learned this too late, and I must carry this hurt for the rest of my life.

    The moving finger writes, and having writ, moves on. Nor all piety and wit can lure it back half a line, nor all your tears wash out a word of it.

  37. SFDBWV says:

    You are so right Saled the little wild strawberry, though only the size of the end of your little finger, has more flavor that any cultivated grown or store bought one.

    Which still reminds me of people. How seemingly important people, like some presidents, politicians, movie stars and celebrities all look big and important, but the most seemingly insignificant person can put them all to shame.

    Because it is what is inside a person that matters and what is inside is what comes out for all the world to see.

    When I was a boy we used to pick Queen Anne’s lace and stick the stem into a jar or container of water and add food coloring to the water. The little white flower would turn green or blue or red or yellow or any combination as it drew the water up into its bloom. It even kept the bloom longer then having just been left alone.

    Such things are what we did as kids when I was a child. Sadly today’s kids only want a smart phone or tablet and show little or no interest in the natural things around them.

    In looking at and into nature we can see the hand of God and for me it was the beauty of a sunrise and nature coming alive all around as the sun rose that began my personal relationship with our Lord.

    Yes I had been in Sunday school heard the lessons, heard and tried to sing hymns along with the rest of the congregation, but it was there alone on the hill top with the rising sun that God came to my heart.

    Steve

  38. poohpity says:

    street, regarding your last comment about boasting. It seems quick and easy to share the good one has done yet not share the real humanness in/of our sins, faults and failures which scripture tells us to do. Boasting seems to divide while confession brings us together in unity.

  39. poohpity says:

    That would seem to be the difference in pride and humility.

    Although there are those who seem to be better at sharing all their faults and concentrating on those which is another kind of pride(thinking to highly or lowly of one’s self) while leaving out what they mean and who they are to God.

  40. poohpity says:

    It would seem if we read the bible selectively or like piecemeal then we will miss the point the writer was trying to make. This week on Discover the Word they discuss this. It is far better and wiser to read things in context rather than selectively taking parts out of the whole to fit our own agenda rather than trying to understand what the writer is saying. That seems to be another way of causing division by misunderstanding, assuming and jumping to conclusions.

  41. SFDBWV says:

    Let me just say that once again it is what we look for is what we find.

    If always looking for the faults of a person and then stressing their failures is all you do then you have missed the beauty of the person and of their potential.

    Becoming Christlike we should always look for the good in others, forgive their failures and have the patience to allow them to grow and bloom and yes produce fruit.

    Having the ability to overlook the failures of another is a heavenly gift, pointing out faults is a worldly curse.

    Steve

  42. SFDBWV says:

    In concert with our topic and my last remarks, instead of Scripture what is it you read into a person?

    Is it a Bible scholar or Christ you see?

    Or is it simply someone in need of Christ whose only example of Him may be how you judge, behave, talk and treat them.

    Steve

  43. Beloved says:

    Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622), when he was the Bishop of Geneva is recorded as saying this:

    “Truly charity has no limit; for the love of God has been poured into our hearts by His Spirit dwelling in each one of us, calling us to a life of devotion and inviting us to bloom in the garden where He has planted and directing us to radiate the beauty and spread the fragrance of His Providence.”

  44. poohpity says:

    I agree Steve looking for faults in others or name calling is not the way we should act but admitting to our own faults and failures shows us our shared humanity with humility and our need for a Savior.

  45. street says:

    confession of sin. Who did we sin against? Who needs to hear our change of hearts?
    if I offer a gift to God and am reminded of an offense against my brother……

    been thinking about being reconciled to my brothers. being reconciled
    to a family member could be a lot harder than non family, yet even then it is still hard. is that like love finding away?

    thinking of Paul vs the super apostles and there boasting of their credentials
    . his illustrations were for comparison not boasting. even a child could see which one was true and which one was a deceiver.

    as for unity, that is by the Spirit of Christ not the work of the flesh. I also remember there is fidelity and they go together.

  46. Beloved says:

    Unity by the spirit of Christ is the only hope of fidelity amongst a group consisting of a Biblical scholar, politicians, old women at their keyboards, school teachers and others. Butcher baker candle stick maker as the old rhyme goes. Working out our salvation.

    May His face shine upon it.

  47. Beloved says:

    Remembering that our citizenship is in heaven! Thanks to Spurgeon.

  48. Beloved says:

    Unity + Fidelity

    Romans16:
    16 Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.

    17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

    18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

    19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.

    20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

  49. poohpity says:

    street I do not remember Paul ever boasting in how spirit filled he is or the good works he did but he did boast in all the things he suffered for the cause of Christ and doing the work that was given to him in sharing the Gospel.

    2 Cor 11: Again I say, don’t think that I am a fool to talk like this. But even if you do, listen to me, as you would to a foolish person, while I also boast a little. 17 Such boasting is not from the Lord, but I am acting like a fool. 18 And since others boast about their human achievements, I will, too. 19 After all, you think you are so wise, but you enjoy putting up with fools! 20 You put up with it when someone enslaves you, takes everything you have, takes advantage of you, takes control of everything, and slaps you in the face. 21 I’m ashamed to say that we’ve been too “weak” to do that!

    But whatever they dare to boast about—I’m talking like a fool again—I dare to boast about it, too. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? I know I sound like a madman, but I have served him far more! I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. 24 Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. 26 I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not. 27 I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm.

    28 Then, besides all this, I have the daily burden of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak without my feeling that weakness? Who is led astray, and I do not burn with anger?

    30 If I must boast, I would rather boast about the things that show how weak I am.

  50. Beloved says:

    That said, this is NOT a “church” fellowship but a blog where hopefully what we learn together can be carried into our personal churches.

  51. poohpity says:

    At my oldest son’s wedding rather than reading the attributes of love from 1 Cor 13 the Pastor read all the things that Paul suffered for his love of God in 2 Cor 11 because of love we often suffer when we love someone.

  52. poohpity says:

    The body of Christ is the church in whatever form that presents itself when 2 or more are gathered in the name of Jesus.

  53. poohpity says:

    Of course there could be people here that are here for their own personal reasons and not in the name of Jesus.

  54. poohpity says:

    Example is the fact that there is always one negative vote for Mart’s posts at the top of the page.

  55. Beloved says:

    The negative vote means they are not thinking about his post. People’s choice, right?

  56. street says:

    if there was not a decenting vote we would have a bigger problem then what we agree on. thinking of Jesus trial no voice no defense no true. truth was on trial if i understand correctly. in jewish law and in american trained legal counsel is required. they say if one defense themselves they have a fool for a client. yet God defends His Own. Another way to put it God and One man is a majority. yet i understand luther consulted with his closest freinds over a 24 hour period before answering the court. before he made his stand. clarity/ light is wonderful.

  57. Beloved says:

    Pooh,
    I’m sorry for hurting you in the past. I’d like to start over if that’s ok with you. All my past traumas skew my days but am learning by Gods grace to live in His light with grace and mercy for us all. May God bless you a thousand times more than He has blessed me.
    Joyce

  58. Beloved says:

    @4:57 I’d like to start over if that’s ok with you.

    Thinking “move on” is better than “start over”. And yes I will. I understand you Pooh have had at least as many traumas as I’ve had yet by Gods grace we carry on. When we walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship; (hadn’t thought of that song for a while.)

  59. Beloved says:

    Yesterday I listened to The Blessing sung by churches all over the UK that someone sent me and it thrilled me!
    ://youtu.be/PUtll3mNj5U. add https to the beginning)

    This evening I came upon Psalm133 as I opened my Bible. “When Brothers Dwell In Unity.”

  60. saled says:

    Bubbles, yes, cutting slack is love, but it is not true that you have learned it too late. I don’t know why it is that it takes a life time to learn the most important lessons. My father-in-law is often quoted by my husband and his siblings, saying, “You have to live a life to know how to live.” One of my greatest hopes is that Jesus is going to right all wrongs, all my wrongs.

  61. saled says:

    I like what Steve said about how seemingly important people can be put to shame by the seemingly insignificant.
    This reminds me of the book The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. I’ve always loved that story, loved that old Santiago, in his epic fight to bring a marlin back to shore, thinks of poor Joe DiMaggio and his tendonitis. Santiago is going so far above and beyond DiMaggio but has no clue to his own significance. In these days of the pandemic, there are so many seemingly insignificant people outshining celebrities. Teachers, truck drivers, grocery store workers, in addition to medical workers. My hat is off to them all.

  62. street says:

    I see that I was wrong about many things and I should have been more patient, a better listener, and more accepting of other thoughts.

    you are right bubbles….there is no communication till one understands the other. yet even in this we can be at a disadvantage. we need to know the Truth in reguard to the subject at hand. even then it is not enough as you mentioned. you spoke correctly in that without love you can do nothing but make it hot or colder. solving is God’s Domain. trusting Him and abiding is what He asks of us. it would seem conflict is testing or opportunity.

    if God had not intrerveaned we would have become like sodomn and gemorrah.

  63. SFDBWV says:

    Hoping to hear from Foreverblessed soon. I also haven’t given up yet on Viv.

    Steve

  64. poohpity says:

    Joyce, I hope you know by now that I have no ill feelings or thoughts about you nor anyone else on this blog. I appreciate each person and their contributions on the blog knowing that I always have something to learn and grow through my interactions with each of you.
    **************

    I was thinking about divisions and one of the many causes of them. While listening to DTW today they brought up the need for feelings of superiority over others or being greater than someone else and the arguments that happened even between the disciples. It seems one way is to put others down so we can feel better about ourselves so Jesus used a little child who in those days did not have much value or worth to the adults but Jesus said they are the one’s that the Kingdom of God belongs to because they are dependent and trust the adults for their care as we should trust and depend on the care of God for us. Reliance on God and the knowing that we all come to Him on equal ground. The first will be last if Jesus came to serve why should we be concerned about if we are better than another?

  65. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Steve, for your concern. I have been taking a break from the blog. And look what happens: many others joined in!
    Haha
    Maybe, because it was a new topic.
    We were very busy last week, and now are on holiday, but there is some wifi.
    And I didn’t know what yoi do with this topic:
    Christlike and biblical
    And the saying “cutting slack” is unknown to me. It sounds mean, because of the cutting part.
    And being slack is like being slow.
    “cutting slack is love’ says Saled.

    Having grown up in an 7th day Adventist offshoot church, I know what it is to be “biblical”.
    I put biblical in “”
    Biblical, what you understand from it. Going in to many things of the Old Covenant.

    Apostle Paul was a Bible scholar. He knew everything of the Torah. I am very glad with him.
    Look what he explains out of the Torah, in Romans and Hebrews, and Colossians.
    Great stuff.
    He calls the message of Christ a mystery.

    A mystery of Christ is unfolded in the bible.
    Deeper and deeper it goes.
    And, as Christ said, more is revealed to us the more we obey His Words.

    So, if you are biblical, it depends how much of the mystery of Christ you perceive. The more we follow Christ, the more is revealed. And that is why there will always be differences. Some christians don’t understand and say: “false teaching.”

    John 6:68 really touched me, and sums it up for me:
    To whom shall we go, You have the words of eternal life”

    He, the great I AM, the source of our eternal life,
    Our Shepherd, our Savior, our Guide, the One who takes up all of our guilt, our sins.
    As Saled said:
    One of my greatest hopes is that Jesus is going to right all wrongs, all my wrongs.

    That is what I believe too! Jesus will right all my wrongs, when I gave my life over to Him, He took care, and will take care of all the wrong I have done to others, and He will bless them. His saving is above and beyond all hopes.
    It is much better than we could imagine. Gnashing of teeth is making a mockery of Jesus’ Cross, as if His Cross was not enough. And we need to add anything to it.

    The living bond we have with Jesus, there is no life unless we are born from above. First lesson to a scribe, Nicodemus, Jesus talked in a mystery. John 3:1-21 born from above, born from the Spirit.

    As someone mentioned: without the Holy Spirit it is impossible to understand the bible.

  66. SFDBWV says:

    “In a divided world”.

    It is that the whole of the world is fractured into many beliefs both religious and political.

    However there is one thing remains universal in all of humanity, and that is love.

    The jump from loving your children spouse or family to others unrelated or unconnected is where the rift begins and when wide enough, a division exists.

    Sadly it is not enough that we are all human beings all connected by a common beginning. It is what divides us that makes us not only to not love others, but when the difference is severe enough that we can kill one another and justifiably so.

    How can this be fixed? How can humanity become tolerant of each other’s differences to where the differences no longer matter?

    Is it possible?

    The answer of course is yes, but only with the transformation of the heart of mankind to be like Christ, all of mankind.

    This cannot and will not happen until the end of all things and everything made new.

    In the meantime we are to tell others there is another way other than the things that divide us, but ironically that in itself divides us. And divides us so severely that we kill each other over it and feel the burn of anger even within our own faith.

    The hope remains in Christ, but the world will not be one until all things are made new. That’s Biblical.

    Steve

    Happy to see you here again Forever blessed. Cutting someone some slack, means to be tolerant towards another and not get insulting or in an argument quickly, but rather let things slide off…Like turning the other cheek.

  67. Beloved says:

    Steve the Beatles song “Let it Be” came to mind from what you said.

  68. Beloved says:

    Let It Be
    Song by the Beatles
    When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me
    Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
    And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me
    Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
    Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
    Whisper words of wisdom, let it be
    And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree
    There will be an answer, let it be
    For though they may be parted, there is still a chance that they will see
    There will be an answer, let it be
    Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
    There will be an answer, let it be
    Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
    Whisper words of wisdom, let it be
    Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
    Whisper words of wisdom, let it be, be
    And when the night is cloudy there is still a light that shines on me
    Shinin’ until tomorrow, let it be
    I wake up to the sound of music, Mother Mary comes to me
    Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
    And let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
    Whisper words of wisdom, let it be
    And let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
    Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

  69. Beloved says:

    Have also been trying to weigh the implications of growing up in churches that are more inclined to use the measure of what is either biblical or Christlike rather than both.

    Maybe disillusioned, weak, dissatisfied, disgruntled or even disenfranchised?

  70. Beloved says:

    street says:
    September 26, 2021 at 1:01 pm
    thinking about conversion…….71 It was good for me to be afflicted
    so that I might learn your decrees. PSALM 119

    when God enters into Judgment, man learns Righteousness.

    Thinking about how God gives more grace to some..Romans14

  71. street says:

    Psalm 86:5
    For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all who call upon You.

  72. street says:

    Isaiah 63:9
    In all their distress He was distressed, And the angel of His presence saved them; In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old.

  73. street says:

    15 For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. 16 And all who will follow this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. Galatians 6

  74. street says:

    thanks beloved i needed to see Romans 14

  75. foreverblessed says:

    cutting one another a lot of well-meant and needed slack in the process :-)…

    So this is a very positive thing to do?!
    Then I believe that Mart is giving us, on this blog, an advice:
    Please give each other some benefit of the doubt, while discussing the bible.
    Be tolerant with each other, forbearing one another in love.
    And I should do that first and foremost.

  76. foreverblessed says:

    Biblical / Christlike

    Love the Lord with all your heart, and soul and mind
    And love your neighbor as yourself

    Is that biblical?

    Love the Lord above all
    Love others as Christ has loved you.

    That is Christlike, or the Words of Christ.

    As others have said, it is a profound topic.
    We can be biblical, as I was, but missed the life of faith in Christ.
    The real LIFE, the life Eternal, that is the Word of Jesus.
    The Words of Jesus supersedes the Old Testament laws, including the 10 commandments.
    But the Words of Jesus can only be followed with the Life of Jesus in us.
    Here we come to the Cross again: we died with Christ so that we could raise in newness of life. His eternal life.
    That is the Body of Christ.
    All our sins are forgiven, all of them including the curse, (portrayed in the crown of thorns) that is the Blood of Christ.

    That is the Gospel.
    And it is biblical.

    God was forbearing with me, while I lived an Old Covenant way of life, trying to follow the 10 commandments, asking forgiveness because of the blood of Christ, and asking the Holy Spirit to help me keep the 10 commandments.
    Living on faith in Jesus Christ was above my understanding:
    How can you let go of the 10 commandments, and follow Jesus in faith? Really that was what I thought, up till 26 years ago.

    It is still a long way for me, to walk just in faith, without thinking that I would brake the 10 commandments.

    Jesus wants to have all of me, freely given by me. Fully agreeing with His will.

    It is a journey you start with walking with Jesus. I said that He was the Lord of my life.
    And that goes deep.
    What Sales said: “I trust that Jesus sets right everything I have done wrong” ( my wording)
    That is a huge huge relief. We can leave everything at the Cross.
    And we know that everything anybody else did was also carried on the Cross. Jesus swallowed it and threw it in the Ocean, as far as east is from the west.
    To me it is a mystery.
    And I need more faith to trust in that more and more.
    I throw everything at the Cross, and then I look to Jesus to ask for spiritual life: love, peace, joy. Gal 5:22

  77. poohpity says:

    Col 1: I became its servant by the commission God gave me to fully proclaim to you the word of God, 26the mystery that was hidden for ages and generations but is now revealed to His saints. 27To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

    Col 2: that they may be encouraged in heart, knit together in love, and filled with the full riches of complete understanding, so that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ,

  78. Beloved says:

    Forever thank you your testimony is summed up by Paul! 2Corinthians 5:17 I added the amplified version it helps me.

    NASB 1977
    Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

    Amplified Bible
    Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life].

  79. street says:

    Living on faith in Jesus Christ was above my understanding:
    How can you let go of the 10 commandments, and follow Jesus in faith?

    if you abide in Me,Jesus, and My Word abides in you……

    thinking David delighted in God’s law, His Word, when the Spirit came upon
    him. we are told this Spirit comes at the moment we believe, regeneration. sealed. some live like Jonah running the other way ship wrecking their faith. should we shipwreck our lives so then we call out to God? would it not be better to call on him daily and come before Him? listening to Him and His Word. I heard recently if you want to hear God read the Bible out loud. some might think that funny only because they have not approach or believed the Word of God. growth begins with a whole heart. waiting on God sitting with Him standing with Him walking with Him. seems like in the Bible people walking with God in the end are taken seriously. yet I remind you some did not take Jesus and David, seriously, at the end of their lives. does that nullify the Word of God? I remind you that Jesus is the fulfillment of the promise to DavidThe Lord also declares to you that the Lord will make a house for you. 12 When your days are finished and you [c]lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your [d]descendant after you, who will come from [e]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 does wrong, I will discipline him with a rod of men and with strokes of sons of mankind, 15 but My favor shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from you. 16 Your house and your kingdom shall endure before [f]Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.”’” 17 In accordance with all these words and all of this vision, so Nathan spoke to David. a divided world

  80. street says:

    upon this Rock I will build My assembly of the righteous
    and the gates of hell will not prevail.

    thinking assembly required and batteries are included.

  81. Beloved says:

    Matthew 22 37Jesus declared, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’e 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’f 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

    If you look carefully at the Ten Commandments you will see that Jesus summed them up in His declaration to Love God and love others by not treating them wrong. So to be concerned about breaking them is good because we want to obey our Savior because we love Him so much! We know we can’t keep them perfectly but we have a Savior who did! It’s a win win situation! I think those who grew up knowing the Ten are so blessed and have less years living under complete disobedience and fewer memories (regrets even) of a Godless life. I know I do. Yet we all have eternity to look forward to and these short 70 or 80 years are but a vapor in comparison!

    Hope you are enjoying your holiday very much! Prayers for traveling mercies.

  82. Beloved says:

    Please pray for my son-in-law and my daughter as he was admitted to the hospital with diverticulitis tonight. Thank you

  83. poohpity says:

    wow it seems the blog is just going back to the last topic in the latest comment section which to me is the Lord convicting me I need to cut people some slack in regards to bible teaching. Forever I apologize for not cutting you some slack in that area and I am so sorry for not doing that, will you forgive me? Glad to see that what I said did not prevent you from coming back and commenting again. I am glad you came back.

  84. street says:

    Have also been trying to weigh the implications of growing up in churches that are more inclined to use the measure of what is either biblical or Christlike rather than both.

    seems to me that a measuring rod I not a good way forward. we are told that the rod we use will be used on us. if we beat others with it you can be sure of a future beating.

    ok a way forward, Christ! when we worship and serve is it in Spirit and Truth? God’s Spirit is Holy and His Word is True. we are told God “is” love. love comes from abiding in the Spirit and Truth, the vine Jesus. it dose not come from this world. this world is temporal and it’s love. eternal beginning and ending required. Alpha and Omega.

    been thinking about barren ground. Whitefield prayed to be a blank paper that God could write whatever He desire. barren ground will grow whatever is planted in it. thinking of self examination and mortification of the old man. is my ground barren? seem to me I am not even up to this, but God Who is rich I mercy and kindness is available for such endeavorer. they overcame by the blood of the Lamb of God. leaning on the Word of God. He is Risen. thinking of Stephen , “Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.””Acts 7

    blessed are the pure in heart shall see God. Matthew 5

  85. Beloved says:

    Cutting some slack- barren ground- weakness. Pride hates it. There was no pride hanging naked on a cross above peoples heads. Like on a stage for all the world to see. My sin crucified. Christ! The Way forward indeed. When I am weak, then I am strong. The lesson I have been learning, again, lately.

  86. saled says:

    I’ve never heard this, that Whitefield prayed to be a blank paper that God could write whatever he desired. This idea is contrary to the culture we live in, where we are expected to make something of ourselves.

    We are so accustomed to the culture we grown up and live in. I hadn’t thought about the fact that cutting slack was an idiom until foreverblessed mentioned how dreadful it sounded. It’s a big lesson, to learn that others hear things differently than you do .

    My grandson is autistic and is in 4th grade. They just completed an evaluation on him, something that is done every three years. The evaluation showed some strengths, such as visual spatial tasks where his skill is like that of a 14 year old, but it also showed that his processing speed is in the bottom 1 percent of kids his age. This was not news to us; we are used to long wait times before he responds to our questions. The report pointed out that this would cause problems for him socially, as in a group of more than two people, he will process too slowly to follow all the information that is being given. The report said that people with this problem often fill in the gaps with misinformation, which causes them problems socially.

    Not only are our cultures different, but our brains are different. Our backgrounds and upbringing are different. We are each blessed in some areas and lacking in others.

    Life is hectic here. My grandchildren go to 2 differnt schools, both of which are now working remotely due to covid. Both of my daughters are self employed, which gives them some flexibility, but they are so stressed trying to care for and teach the kids while holding their work life together. I am so glad that I am able to help a bit, but had been expecting retire life to be a little less busy!

  87. Beloved says:

    Saled,
    I just finished listening to Spurgeons Divine Sovereignty audiobook. Thinking about the differences between us all and how we can know Truth as mentioned earlier.
    You have a busy retirement. I wish I had more strength to do more but don’t. How great to be able to help out! What a blessing for your daughters and grands!

    My son-in-law will be in hospital for a few days but he’s feeling some what better. So far no infections!

    I listened to Paul Washer teach on Romans 12:1-3 this evening and he made the point that in order to learn how to think like God does we must thoughtfully read scripture every day. The world has us surrounded by cultural ideals as you said.

  88. foreverblessed says:

    Dear all,right now we are back home, and relaxing on the couch, my husband and I. It has been a wonderful time.
    First a family weekend with my in-laws. 50 people in a group facility. This year it was our turn to organise, together with 2 other couples, planning, cooking, activities. It was really busy, I tried not to be like Martha, but serving and worshipping Jesus at the same time. That is going ok, till I fall, stand up again and praise again.
    The kitchen was a bit small.
    And there was only one sink, close to the cookers, or furnace, that gave irritations when in the heat of cooking dinner.

    Why do I share this?
    Because on our way home my husband said, in English:
    “We need to give each other some slack”
    I looked at him in amazement!
    And asked, what do you mean with that:
    He answered: it means that you give each other space.
    Space to bounce up and down, like an elastic band.

    He added: some of my sister can work in the kitchen, cooking, with no one around them. If people come to the sink to clean dishes, they get irritated. And snap at you.
    So, he said, give them that space.
    And wait with doing the dishes, or cleaning stuff.

    Well, isn’t that wonderful?!!

    But he said: giving them slack, not cutting them…
    LoL

    Pooh, I am glad that you will give me some slack, sorry: will cut me some slack.
    So yes, I forgive you for not having done that.

    Who am I not to forgive? When Jesus gives me so much room to fail and stand up again. He looks with great love at me, like he did to the rich young man, when he did not want to sell all his belongings to follow Jesus.
    I pray that I may look with the gaze of Jesus to everyone who fails me. And that I may see where I fail others.

    Beloved, thank God your son-in-law is doing better.
    Saled, may God bless your grandsons greatly! He needs lots!!!

  89. poohpity says:

    In a divided world it seems many fight, connive, tear down others, arguing over who is right and wrong, flattering in order to be better than or superior to or over someone else. So if we are at least a little knowledgeable of what scripture teaches about being Christlike then one is willing to lay down their life for those we do not agree with and sometimes who are even our enemies and may not return the love offered them and on top of that to be their servant is what real Christ likeness is.

    Matt 20: But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. 26 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. 28 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

  90. poohpity says:

    In the topsy turvy kingdom of God just think about racing to be last, or a servant to many or willing to die for those who reject and even hate you? I bet the there would be far less division in this world if that is how we lived our lives.

  91. Beloved says:

    Forever thanks for sharing about how God is working in your life; my favorite thing to hear about! Our living and loving God moving in peoples lives. Transforming into the likeness of His Son whom we love so much❤️✝️.

  92. Beloved says:

    I woke up remembering an incident a few years ago and feeling so stupid about it. Then suddenly the HSpirit brings to to mind words from a song: “for thou has regarded my lowly estate- it is well, it is well, with, my soul”. He knows all about us, every thing we don’t know this minute, but loves and saved us anyway. Yes because of Jesus it is well with my soul.

    If I had grown up in better circumstances with love the incident would have never occurred yet he saved me out of Sodom and Gomorrah like Rahab! It is well with my soul✝️ Jesus my Brother!

  93. Beloved says:

    Pressing on
    Philippians 3:12-14 12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly calling in Christ Jesus.

    15All of us who are mature should embrace this point of view. And if you think differently about some issue, God will reveal this to you as well. 16Nevertheless, we must live up to what we have already attained.

  94. Mart DeHaan says:

    In catching up on the conversation and your gracious interactions, I’m encouraged. :-)

  95. foreverblessed says:

    Mart is very patient with us, here on this blog!

    Saled shared something about someone who is autistic:

    ” The report pointed out that this would cause problems for him socially, as in a group of more than two people, he will process too slowly to follow all the information that is being given. The report said that people with this problem often fill in the gaps with misinformation, which causes them problems socially. ”

    Filling the gap with misinformation!

    People who turn deaf are apt to do the same thing.
    Some of them really get paranoia.
    A lady who sits next to me in the choir is having this problem. She shares it with me. She doesn’t know what is being said, and gets frustrated that people don’t speak louder, or that she continually has to ask if they repeat what is being said.
    Not knowing what is being said, filling in the gaps.
    Thinking: they don’t care about me: because they do not want to take the time to repeat for me.

    One other lady is getting to the point of paranoia.
    “They are all against me”

    Training ourselves not to think negative about what the other days. Taking the positive side.
    As Jesus tells us in the Beatitudes:
    Bless those that persecute you.
    ( Or those you think that persecute you)
    Like Mart told us, a few years ago, on the topic of “bullies”:
    Pray: Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.

    It is a real training point for me.
    “Always look at the bright side of life.”

  96. poohpity says:

    A very good lesson to learn for me is Proverbs 3: Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.” It seems more often than not that our own understanding or perception is what leads many astray and oh so often in a direction over a cliff of misunderstanding, assumptions, jumping to conclusions and misguided perceptions.
    ***********

    forever, to me it is so gracious and amazing for your choir director to have someone in the choir who is turning deaf.

  97. poohpity says:

    Now that is the very meaning of giving someone slack or cutting them some slack.

  98. Beloved says:

    Marts comment brings to mind Ecclesiastes3. So much truth there. A time for whatever I know in my heart is the best thing to do. The world is the same everywhere no matter where we live. Thinking there will always be a time to “shake it off” in order to “cut some slack”.

  99. Beloved says:

    Forever it’s so hard to ignore our feelings. Jesus alone knows and truly accepts us feelings and all. He will never rebuke or chastise us. Even Jesus lamented “could you not have stayed one hour with me?” “My God, why have you forsaken me?” Feelings of hurt and abandonment are not lost on our Savior. Father forgive them for hurting me, then move on. Remembering not all are able to feel as deeply so how could there be understanding? Not able to feel another’s anguish and pain. Only Jesus ! Oh what a Savior! ✝️ He knows your name, beloved of God!

  100. Beloved says:

    Thinking about a divided world-

    What divides the world but grace lived out on the narrow way with Jesus.

    Titus2 11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

  101. Beloved says:

    Spurgeon-Eventide

    Do not let us approach our Lord as though we were strangers, or as though he were unwilling to hear us—for we are greatly beloved by our loving Father. “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Come boldly, O believer, for despite the whisperings of Satan and the doubtings of thine own heart, thou art greatly beloved. Meditate on the exceeding greatness and faithfulness of divine love this evening, and so go to thy bed in peace.

  102. poohpity says:

    Mart stated; “Have been thinking a lot lately about what it means to read the Scriptures selectively… for the sake of all.”

    Have you ever tried to put a puzzle together without all the pieces? If we only put together some of the edges and a few pieces in the middle then say we have a know what the puzzle picture is, it does not quite work so well nor does it give us a full picture. That seems to be like the selectively reading the scriptures for the sake of them all. Most people refer to that as taking scripture out of context usually it seems to prove their point, not learning what we are given to know about the character and attributes of God.

    It seems we will never have a full understanding but we are given enough to get a glimpse of our God but if we selectively take pieces out of the whole then doesn’t follow we then use scripture not the way it was meant to be used but end up using it as weapon against others bringing division, like in the different denominations, rather than unity of “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”?

  103. street says:

    Have you ever tried to put a puzzle together without all the pieces?

    be used but end up using it as weapon against others

    thinking of the missing piece God is Love.
    Spirit and Truth
    rivers of living water

    flowing through the branch from the vine.

    new life new Spirit new growth

    branch clothed in righteousness, fruit of the Spirit.

    conformed to the image of Christ

  104. Beloved says:

    On being gracious…

    I think everything that is posted here needs grace. I think this blog is a great exercise in finding out how far the grace of God stretches. Or not. Does Gods grace still extend if I can’t be a conduit today of His grace? If no one hears a tree fall in the woods does it still make a sound? (That’s an old one) lol

  105. Beloved says:

    Good evening street.

  106. Beloved says:

    Good evening Pooh.

  107. foreverblessed says:

    Cutting each other some well needed slack.
    Yesterday the sermon in church was about Martha.
    Luke 10:38-42
    Giving each other some space in the household duties.
    Martha went to Jesus:
    Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!
    But Jesus does not tell Mary to help Martha
    Mary is getting some slack, to sit at the feet of Jesus,
    While her house is full of people that needed food.
    But Jesus looks at Martha, ar the condition in her own soul:

    “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things,
    but only one thing is needed.
    Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken from her.”

    In my childhood church there was a lot of serving: dinner meals after services. And the women would organise that and serve.
    But I would rather be involved in bible studies. As I was a child, and a girl, no chance!

    The women were supposed to serve.

    Jesus left Mary sit at His feet.
    So Jesus gave women some slack!

    (Sorry, I still can’t write: cutting them some slack)

  108. foreverblessed says:

    The other way around was my problem:
    I was worried and upset that I was pressed to serve, and work harder.

    These worries I can take to Jesus.

    Pooh, the ladies that are turning deaf, cannot hear the conversations in the coffee break, everybody talking around them. They can only understand another when they speak to them directly in the face, and talk very clear and loud.
    But they can hear the music, the very loud playing of our choir director on the piano, and sing the right tone.
    If they sing false notes, they cannot stay.

    We are singing in concerhalls, the singing must be good enough for that.

    So no slack is given to those who sing false.

  109. foreverblessed says:

    Sing false, that is the saying in Dutch.
    It should be translated in:
    Singing out of tune.

    Saled, you touched a theme, about not knowing what is going on in another’s mind, I would like to hear more on that.
    If you have the time to write.

  110. street says:

    knowing what is going on in another’s mind,

    7 Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” 18 And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!”

    19 Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac.[a] I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. 21 But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.” 22 When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him.

    Isaac Derived from the Hebrew יִצְחָק (Yitzhak), the name Isaac means “one who laughs” or “one who rejoices.”

    thinking some day rejoicing together as One.

  111. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed I think that Martha gets a bad reputation from the story of her and Mary found in Luke. I think people should look rather to the rather longer story of her and Jesus and Mary found in John 11.

    Here we see Martha filled with faith, even proclaiming Jesus to be Messiah before her brother Lazarus is raised from the dead.

    Martha it seems was a hard working faith filled believer and should not be looked down upon by people for any reason.

    Also it would seem Jesus did not chastise Martha for working so hard, but rather reminded her that there is also a time to just love (worship) and that part of fellowship with Jesus would not be taken away from Mary.

    The full believer both works diligently and also loves the Lord.

    I find it interesting that this story of Lazarus and his sisters is missing from all the others Gospels, found only in John.

    Thank you for leading me into a little study and thought of the subject.

    Steve

  112. Beloved says:

    Forever you are so patient to explain, thank you and hopefully it’s enough, for now. I so appreciate you here and your life so different than some of us here in the US but interesting to learn different ways and ways of speaking. I never have nor never will travel outside the US but enjoy films of other cultures. (Unless God directs otherwise)

    Laughter, it reminds me of the Proverbs31 woman who laughs at troubles. She’s a very wise Woman 😊🌸. Michael Card wrote a song about Isaac- They Called Him Laughter.

  113. Beloved says:

    John 11 yes I need to take a closer look also.

  114. Beloved says:

    Thinking about Pooh’s puzzle. I do puzzles nearly every day. I have a picture to help me but I’m not “satisfied” until every piece is in place. Thinking I will not be completely “satisfied “ until the darkness is finally removed between God and I. Until then I wait pray trust obey and hold on to the Light He gives me. Not perfectly because I’m still human but with the strength I have left.

    He reaches out to me as I extend my hand to Him.

  115. street says:

    Oswald Chambers is a good devotional today 10/5/2021

  116. Beloved says:

    What if cutting someone slack doesn’t remove the pain they caused? I’ve been studying Romans 8 and v.17 “..provided we suffer with Him”, brought this issue to the forefront for me tonight. We bring it to Jesus who knows all about suffering and is not surprised by it.
    Maclaren has this to say:

    “But on the other hand, never fear to be irreverent or too familiar in the thought that Christ is willing to bear, and help you to bear, the pettiest, the minutest, and most insignificant of the daily annoyances that may come to ruffle you. Whether it be a poison from one serpent sting, or whether it be poison from a million of buzzing tiny mosquitoes, if there be a smart, go to Him, and He will help you to endure it. He will do more, He will bear it with you, for if so be that we suffer with Him, He suffers with us, and our oneness with Christ brings about a community of possessions whereby it becomes true of each trusting soul in its relations to Him, that ‘all mine {joys and sorrows alike} are thine, and all thine are mine.’“

  117. saled says:

    Forever, in psychiatry and education there is a concept called Theory of Mind. It it the idea that other people think differently than we do. This is a difficult concept for autistic people, and for many of us who are not.

    Some of our brains are wired for connection with others, and some of our brains are not. I’ve always struggled with relationships, and until I was about 30, blamed it on others. At some point, I realized that it was me, how my brain was wired, not them. And I found great hope that in Jesus, all things, all relationships, are mine. I know those exact words are not in the Bible. But my hope that ‘all things’ includes relationships, maybe more so than material things.

    Forever, earlier you mentioned some ladies with paranoia in your church. I have seen this in adolescents to the point where they were unable to attend a regular classroom. It was hard to understand that the brain was tricking them, that they actually believed others were the cause of all discomfort in their life.

    A special education director who I worked under told us that when we worked with children with a diagnosis, a label, we would sometime see some of their characteristics in ourselves. But that didn’t mean that we would be labeled as they were. I guess being able to look at ourselves and think about our thoughts means we are capable of changing.

  118. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Saled, for explaining.
    In my church there were several people with autism. One was in the music group, I had to work with her.
    At that time I was offered a free course of several evenings about working with people with autism.
    So I joined that, just to try to understand how to work with them.

    That was quite an enlightenment to me.
    The real autisme is about the brain that has not layed connections:
    Normal people do things automatically, because connections have been laid in the brain by association.
    For example:
    When we come in a dining room oom, we know by association that it is a dining room.
    A person with autism, has to follow the route all over again:
    The table
    The chairs,
    Oh, then this is the dining room, they have to see and decide, we know it at once.
    So at the end of the day, they are so tired of all the connection they had to make.
    That’s also a reason they want everything the same.
    If it is the same they do not have to think so much.

    That is only in positioning in the space you are.
    On top of that comes social intereraction.

    The woman that was in the music group, has left the church, because of black and white thinking. She thought every body had to be treated the same, whereas the music director decided that professional music players were under less rules than those who were amateur player. A professional could miss a rehearsal and still stand on the podium, while an amateur who was not at the rehearsal, could not be on the podium.
    I understand the difference.
    She didn’t
    Later she left the faith all together.
    I am still praying intercessory prayer for her.

  119. foreverblessed says:

    That word of MacLaren about Romans 8:17 is very good!
    Jesus bears with us.
    He stands next to us, suffering with us.

  120. poohpity says:

    There seems to be a big difference in suffering for the sack of sharing the Good News of Christ Jesus and suffering because of our own behaviors not relevant in anything to do with Christ. It seems to take real humility and self awareness to know the difference.

    To me knowing that to Christ we all stand on level ground and we all need to practice what it means to live both a biblical and Christlike life. How else would we learn what it means and teaches us about living a Christlike life if not from God’s word in the bible and then having the Holy Spirit to help us do that because we could never accomplish that on our own so God, in and through it all, gets all the glory.

  121. poohpity says:

    It would also seem that any professional musician knows the benefits of much practice no matter who that practice is with and especially with those they play with because it takes all the members together to form cohesion for the group. There is always some who play better than others and hopefully they do not lord it over them but use their experience to help the up and coming get better at their shared passion.

  122. SFDBWV says:

    I have absolutely no time for writing, but sometimes am pushed to do so and this is one of those times.

    There is a certain TV preacher, Joel Osteen that I used to listen to occasionally until during one program when he made a reference to the difference between people who suffer and people who suffer for Christ.

    Clearly stating that only people who suffer for Christ as in suffering for the Gospel, are blessed for their suffering, and are what is referenced in Scripture.

    I have not tuned into him since and anything else he may say I would have serious doubts about his understanding behind them.

    I am simply appalled at the idea that people who suffer physical and mental disabilities and left to do so by God aren’t suffering for God’s purpose as in suffering for Christ.

    Yes a person who is beaten up or jailed for preaching the Gospel is suffering for Jesus’ Gospel, but so is a person who suffers physically and or mentally awaiting rescue from it by a God who claims to care.

    The very essence of Jesus is for the care of people, for their needs and for their wellbeing.

    His love for others, His compassion for others are accomplished for Him here in our lives by us, His followers.

    People who suffer, suffer for Jesus as well as people who suffer for the Gospel.

    The two cannot be separated, but only by semantics. And that still doesn’t take away the fact that suffering people are connected to Christ’s suffering.

    If you are to only look “selectively” at the Scripture instead of as a whole, (Biblically) you might miss this truth. Which is why it is most important to see the whole picture rather than just a part of it and then erroneously base your understanding of God, of Jesus and of our faith only selectively as well.

    Steve

  123. Beloved says:

    Good morning all.
    Very interesting discussion of suffering and dis-ability. As a former counselor I had to learn also about autism, TBI, as well as drug abuse and mental illness. I recall that those with past drug abuse were emotionally stuck at the age they started using drugs because the brain stopped developing and that it took 5 years of sobriety to gain back one year in development. I had many clients in their 30’s who had started using in their early teens that still thought and acted like pre-teens with no ability to control their mouths! None were believers and I cried many tears for them in prayers and loving them and teaching. And yes I was physically attacked more than once. But I never stopped loving them, because Jesus never stopped loving me.

  124. SFDBWV says:

    I had a friend, Bruce Helmic, who passed away a few years ago. He would get up at every church service when the opportunity for special music was offered and sing a song.

    He also sang in the choir.

    He admittedly couldn’t sing well at all, but he put all he had in him into it.

    The verse “Make a joyful *noise* unto the Lord.” Comes to mind

    When Bruce sang his special music everyone applauded him for it and appreciated his effort and his unashamed nerve for standing up there in front of everyone and making a joyful heartfelt noise for the Lord.

    I hope the choirmaster Foreverblessed mentions comes to his or her senses goes to the woman she mentioned, begs for her forgiveness and asks her to rejoin the choir.

    I have to tell you, I am a little put off by a Christian singing group of any size that thinks their noise has to meet a standard only applied by the world.

    If the world is judging such music and listening for that one person out of tune, then the music is wasted on them.

    Steve

  125. Beloved says:

    There is a place for professional musicians and for those who are not professional to sing. A place for us all. Just not the same place.

  126. poohpity says:

    I hope you understand Steve, that I was not saying that suffering is not suffering not matter the cause for it. What I was saying is that there are different causes but all suffering is hard no matter what the cause is. FYI the bible does say there is also a difference in causes but not that the suffering is any worse for one over the other. 1 Peter 3:15-18 The bible just says it is “better” to suffer for doing good not that the suffering is still not suffering which no one wants for anyone.

  127. Beloved says:

    2Timothy
    12Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

  128. bratimus says:

    The one thing many miss on the suffering for the Gospel, suffering with Christ. They for get the Spiritual side of the the suffering.

    The Spiritual side of suffering with Christ can bring many different types of effects.

    The Biblical looks more at the appearance of things.

    Being Christlike you tend to look a little deeper then just the appearance of things.

    This is why we shouldn’t judge others just on appearance.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  129. Beloved says:

    The Joyful Return
    17The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in Your name.”

    18So He told them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.

    19Behold, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy. Nothing will harm you.

    20Nevertheless, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

  130. SFDBWV says:

    For some time since this subject with the picture of the Queen Anne’s Lace bloom has been here, the picture still speaks to me.

    Have you noticed how alike the bloom is compared to a snowflake?

    You have most likely already heard it said that no two snowflakes are alike.

    Whereas the bloom is most likely set as to how many little petals it has, the snowflake ice crystal grows differently in each one.

    Each snowflake alike, yet different. All beautiful and unique.

    The bloom has seasons where its plant geminates takes root, grows and is crowned with its bloom there at its end. Its purpose having been accomplished.

    The snowflake forming as the speck of water vapor freezes and falls down through the atmosphere and joins its others wherever it lands.

    Holding its treasure of water in suspended animation and blanketing the vegetation beneath it keeping the vegetation from totally freezing itself and the soil beneath warm.

    Both the bloom and the snowflake have purpose and worth and both have their season.

    People have purpose and a season as well. We would be wise to allow them to accomplish their purpose in the season God has given them and to learn to appreciate them and see their unique beauty.

    Blessings to all today.

    Steve

  131. poohpity says:

    Bratimus, that is something to really think about, very interesting.

  132. poohpity says:

    Bratimus that reminds me of how much deeper Christ took us beyond the law (external) in Matt 5-7 to our thoughts, motives and heart of any matter(internal).

  133. poohpity says:

    ODB for today, “Whenever a disagreement starts to tear us apart, may we seek God’s grace and wisdom in the Scriptures, the counsel of mature believers, and power of prayer.”

  134. Beloved says:

    Mart said on January 20, 2021

    Am guessing that most of us have also heard— that later, a once violent man by the name of Saul came to believe that one evidence of the Spirit and presence of God is… gentleness. Known now as Paul, his words echoed a half-brother of Jesus who wrote that the wisdom that comes from God is— gentle.

    I needed this reminder. Good day all.

  135. Beloved says:

    One more thought,
    Reading scripture through the lense of gentleness.

  136. foreverblessed says:

    There is a time and place for everything.
    And there is also a time and place for everybody.

    If someone cannot hear the right tone anymore, then they cannot sing in a choir that stands on podia where people buy tickets and listen to music.

    In church we had a little choir for Christmas one time. We practiced after services, and on Christmas we sang one song. It was heartwarming. But there were a few people in that little choir that could not sing on tune.
    That was i deed joyful noise.

    About the term joyful noise:
    David did the preparations for the Temple, including the music group.
    I have to look it up, but wasn’t it so that it is mentioned that he had men who were skilful?

    There is a time and ace for everyone. One who is leading a church in singing ought to be skilful.
    One in the pews can make a joyful noise.
    Thanks all, have a blessed day.

  137. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed please let me explain myself.

    A professional musical group should present a professional grade of music for its audience. Especially since its audience has paid to listen.

    I would never disagree with that concept.

    The person in charge of the musical group when hiring musicians should at some point have prospective participants interview and audition for their place in the group.

    If they make the grade hire them if they don’t thank them for their time and say that they just aren’t what is needed at this time and let them go away with some dignity left.

    If a member of the group suddenly became sick and could no longer perform up to a standard then that is a different matter. Perhaps working with them so that they could participate in a different roll or giving them a leave of absence from the group while sick leaving open their place in the group as a possibility when they are better, a better choice. Even presenting them the opportunity to resign on their own.

    What kind of musical group should define how the matter is handled.

    Who is a Christian musical group singing to?

    An audience of people or to God?

    If the attitude is that the music is to be fit for an audience of people and then subject to their critique, that’s one thing if the music is for God then that’s another.

    Yes perhaps we want our music we offer up to God to be perfect. But can it be? Is that the Christian attitude that we can present a perfect anything before God before it meets a standard?

    Whose standard?

    Yes Foreverblessed there is a huge difference between a little choir in a little church and a professional choir charging for it performances.

    Just explaining myself and perhaps my earlier comment on the subject. I will let it go and hopefully not stir the pot any further.

    Your friend
    Steve

  138. poohpity says:

    Psalm 100:

    Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
    2
    Serve the Lord with gladness!
    Come into his presence with singing!

    3
    Know that the Lord, he is God!
    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

    4
    Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    and his courts with praise!
    Give thanks to him; bless his name!

    5
    For the Lord is good;
    his steadfast love endures forever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations.

  139. poohpity says:

    Things have different meaning when we get the whole piece and not just a part taken out to prove a point. That also prevents misunderstanding and division.

  140. poohpity says:

    Psalm 100 was the very first song I memorized in the late 50s when I was a child, it really has special meaning for me.

  141. poohpity says:

    Think of all the noises that come from the earth it is like a created symphony that worships the Lord.

  142. foreverblessed says:

    Its ok Steve, the only thing is, that my choir master does not have to plead forgiveness, as you said, he namely must have a choir that van perform in a concert Hall where people have paid for their tickets.

    Where ever there is a Christian concert, Steve, I am sure that the everybody that performs have been gone through an audition.

    And when in church, the person that leads in singing and all other people that sing in a microphone have been tried and tested. And there is nothing wrong with that.

    If someone wants to sing who cannot sing on tune, of course, they can perform if they have a voelt message.
    Maybe the Holy Spirit can give instructions to hire someone that is not skilled in music, someone that sings flat, for some special reason.

  143. foreverblessed says:

    Sorry for all the typos. I was typing on my husbands phone, and the auto-correct changed every word to a similar dutch word.
    (I have joined my husband and sons today on the gocarts court, outside, and sometimes withdraw from all the noise, and fumes, and come here on this blog and write a little.

    A voelt message should have been:
    A special message.

    Maybe I was a bit rude in my choice of words:
    If people are too deaf to hear the right tone, they have to go.
    “They have to go”
    Of course, this is done with great care and tact.

    Mostly, people who turn deaf, are getting too tired anyway in the area where the coffee break is, too much noise. So most of then decide for themselves that they have to look for something else to do.

  144. foreverblessed says:

    Getting older has its setbacks.

    That’s why the writer of Ecclesiastes advises us, to learn to have a close personal relation with God, (Jesus) when we are young. Before the days come…
    Eccl 12:1-7
    In my dutch bible it says in Eccl 12:4 the sound of the mills gets weak.
    Meaning to say: when the ears can hardly hear the sound of the mill

    And it says:
    When the female singers bow down their heads…
    That is interesting!
    The female singers bow down their heads:
    Why?
    Haha, because someone told them they cannot sing in the choir any longer.
    O dear, sorry for the joke!

    But the preacher is warning us for that time!
    Have a close relation with Jesus, feel beloved by Him, know your great worth. Even if you cannot perform on stage any longer.
    Your worth is not is singing on stage,
    But because you are written in the Book of Life.

  145. street says:

    Think of all the noises that come from the earth it is like a created symphony that worships the Lord.

    thinking the noise of the earth tries to silence worship in Spirit of Truth. thinking of a song that says the world can not drown out a single word, and sound. the truth remains and is unchanging. remembering two mights.

    thinking of the comment on gentle. just read today about Sodom and Gomorrah. reminds me that God is Holy Holy Holy. thinking of the grace and mercy of God knocking Saul of his horse to the ground and blinding him for three days. if God doesn’t save us we would have become like sodomn and gehmorrah.

    dear children keep yourself from idols.

    idol – man made standard for thought and action.

    how long LORD?

    till the cities are destroyed. the works of man.

    I go to prepare a place for you.

    David you are not the ONE to build a house for Me.

  146. foreverblessed says:

    Ecclesiastes 12:4
    In my dutch bible it says the noise of the mills grow weak,
    When you wake up by the sound of the birds, and the female singers are bowed down.

    In the New King James it says:
    And the sound of grinding is low; When one rises up at the sound of a bird, And all the daughters of music are brought low.

  147. poohpity says:

    street, when you said, “thinking the noise of the earth tries to silence worship in Spirit of Truth.” Oh my gosh I do not know how you come up with thinking like that?

  148. Beloved says:

    Gentleness- in context

    The Wisdom from Above
    13Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good conduct, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14But if you harbor bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast in it or deny the truth. 15Such wisdom does not come from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every evil practice.

    17But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peace-loving, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and sincere. 18Peacemakers who sow in peace reap the fruit of righteousness.

    Jesus our peacemaker between God and man. As CS Lewis character in the Chronicles Aslan said; He’s not safe, but He’s good.

    God is God and we aren’t Him. He does as He pleases and expects from us what He expects. The choice is ours- Choose who we will serve but we can’t serve nothing. No choice is still a choice. Wisdom teaches us the ways of righteousness.
    He’s beautiful and Most Wonderful!

  149. Beloved says:

    Are you not thirsty?” said the Lion.
    “I am dying of thirst,” said Jill.
    “Then drink,” said the Lion.
    “May I — could I — would you mind going away while I do?” said Jill.
    The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience.
    The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.
    “Will you promise not to — do anything to me, if I do come?” said Jill.
    “I make no promise,” said the Lion.
    Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.
    “Do you eat girls?” she said.
    “I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms,” said the Lion. It didn’t say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.
    “I daren’t come and drink,” said Jill.
    “Then you will die of thirst,” said the Lion.
    “Oh dear!” said Jill, coming another step nearer. “I suppose I must go and look for another stream then.”
    “There is no other stream,” said the Lion.
    C.S. Lewis, The Silver Chair (Chronicles of Narnia, #4)
    Tags: salvation

  150. Beloved says:

    Isaiah 48 New International Version
    “I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols.

  151. Beloved says:

    poohpity says:
    October 8, 2021 at 11:53 am
    street, when you said, “thinking the noise of the earth tries to silence worship in Spirit of Truth.” Oh my gosh I do not know how you come up with thinking like that?

    Dear Pooh I see it every day on Facebook, church and other social media. The key is worshipping in Spirit and Truth as He told the woman at the well. Making a joyful noise unto the LORD is something anyone can do but Jesus changed everything, as you know.

    (That’s my thinking perhaps street is thinking otherwise)

  152. Beloved says:

    The earth groans in expectation of the revealing of the children of God!

  153. street says:

    poo I guess you can attribute the noise of the earth as a patient frustrated old man swinging a rubber mallet on an intolerant and unforgiving Laminate waterproof flooring.
    gee where might have I seen this before. lol this is my best side.

    thinking the works of man completely miss the mark. as forever mention the female singers yielding to the song birds. yet we know some hearts are made/born after the heart of God and they will do everything God asked us to do.

    thinking of Paul exhorting and comforting the churches in Asia Minor.

  154. street says:

    thinking today about the first temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. the emphasis was on the word alone. seem in a divided world sin dwells alone. the utter loneliness of darkness. even in a crowd utter chaos. we are told Jesus tasted death so we would not have too. I guess it is a permanent condition unless God intervenes. The Light of the World would have no part in it unless Redemption was involved, for the elect of God. raised from the dead and alive. Truly some One to Trust, to set your hope in, and to Love. He promised that He would never leave us nor forsake us. and He still says,”come to Me.” the department of transportation has a saying, “what is holding you back?”
    when counting the cost look/consider both yokes. easy and light or the one no one can carry. my thoughts have been focused on a children’s story where the punch come from a child saying,” the emperor has no cloths!” what a brilliant parable. hope you are clothed in the Righteousness of Christ.

    don’t hear much of the coming kingdom anymore. have we given up? seems like the self improvement continues. without God’s grace & mercy I would have been a demus. this might seem like a downer no, an invitation to look up. The God of all comfort awaits.

  155. saled says:

    It sounds like the lady in Forever’s choir who thought in black/white realized it was not a good fit for her and left on her own. I love Forever’s words, “your worth is not in singing on stage, but because you are written in the Book of Life.”

    I cannot carry a tune, as much as I would like to. My husband plays the piano and traveled with his school’s choir when he was in high school. He expected to marry someone who he could sing with, but didn’t find that in me! I sang for a short time with the children’s choir at church but when my Mom told me to just make my lips move and not sing, I knew that, unlike my cousins who sat next to me, I just didn’t have that talent. My cousins Peggy and Barbie went on to sing duets and then solos in church and I so envied them. My hope is that in heaven I will have a singing voice, to know the joy that comes from singing well.

    I am amazed at the quality of the music that youtube provides for free online. How blessed these singers are to be able to perform like that. Recently I’ve watched Eric Clapton and Pavarotti sing Holy Mother almost every day. Watching the choir that backs them up is almost as good as listening to those guys with the big names!

  156. street says:

    18 And do not get drunk with wine, [a]in which there is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to [b]one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your hearts to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to our God and Father;

  157. SFDBWV says:

    Thank you Saled I had apparently misinterpreted the story of the autistic woman in Foreverblessed story.

    I thought the music director had booted her out of the group because of her disabilities and inability to keep up with the rest.

    I hadn’t realized she may have left on her own.

    My apologies to Foreverblessed for my misunderstanding her story and certainly to her music director for my all too quick judgement of the matter.

    I listen to YouTube music every morning while at the computer, it is the best. I am simple amazed at the quality of unknown musicians as they are far and above the “professionals” marketed in the business.

    Fall is here in all its beauty. My favorite time of year.

    Steve

  158. foreverblessed says:

    That’s great Steve! Thanks!
    You are welcome greatly!

    If you want to see me, look for: Bredase Opera Italië
    And at the 1.50 minute you will see my husband and me sitting at the right side of the table.

    The choir I sing in us not a Christian choir. But…in the Opera’s there are a lot of prayers. A lot of christian music.
    We often sing Mass in churches.
    We sang “The Armed Mann, a Mass for peace” by Carl Jenkins in a Catholic church.
    I know I have been lead by the Holy Spirit to join this choir, in 2010.

    There is another misunderstanding: I am not only part of a choir, I am also part of the music group of my church.
    The person turning deaf is of the choir, but she can still hear the piano well enough to sing right. She only fills her mind with “misinformation” she cannot hear the social interactions in the coffee breaks. Then she starts to think that people are against her, and that they gossip about her.
    The autistic woman was part of the music group. It is very tragic that she left, she even left the faith. She put Jesus aside.
    And as Saled mentioned, autistic people fill in the gaps with misinformation, so did she. She is angry at God, who gave the command to kill the people in the promised land, so that Israel could live there.
    “I want to have no part with such a God”
    A lot of intercessory prayer has been for her.
    She has two autistic children. The youngest, I heard lately, wants her gender to be changed. Talking about filling with “misinformation”
    We need to pray intercessory prayer for our people, who have left God, and are now lead by ” misinformation”.

    “Lord, have Mercy on them”

    The most prayed prayer of the bible, says a discover the word series.

    Anyway, I had prepared some writing on Eccl 12:4
    Maybe I will post that later

  159. foreverblessed says:

    When Street wrote on Oct 8, 9.49 am
    “Think of all the noises that come from the earth it is like a created symphony that worships the Lord”

    Psalm 98:4-9

    4
    Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
    burst into jubilant song with music;
    5
    make music to the Lord with the harp,
    with the harp and the sound of singing,
    6
    with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—
    shout for joy before the Lord, the King.

    7
    Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it.
    8
    Let the rivers clap their hands,
    let the mountains sing together for joy;
    9
    let them sing before the Lord,
    for he comes to judge the earth.
    He will judge the world in righteousness
    and the peoples with equity.

  160. poohpity says:

    street said, ““thinking the noise of the earth tries to silence worship in Spirit of Truth.” but we know that Jesus said to the religious leaders who wanted to silence the praises of people for God that even the rocks would cry out in worship. So the noises of the earth will join in that beautiful symphony of worship to the Lord along with the people.

    Psalm 66: Shout for joy to God, all the earth;
    2
    sing the glory of his name;
    give to him glorious praise!
    3
    Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
    So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you.
    4
    All the earth worships you
    and sings praises to you;
    they sing praises to your name.”

  161. poohpity says:

    So it seems that even when people may not cry out in worship to our Lord that the noises of the earth still will. Isaiah 55:12

    Job 12: “But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
    the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;
    8
    or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you;
    and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
    9
    Who among all these does not know
    that the hand of the Lord has done this?
    10
    In his hand is the life of every living thing
    and the breath of all mankind.

  162. poohpity says:

    street, so now you see why I did not understand your thinking about the noises of earth silencing the spirit of truth when it is the noises of the earth that cry out in worship, often it is the noises of man that silence the worship of spirit in truth not the earth.

  163. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed I am beyond impressed to think that I actually know an opera singer. Be it in the orchestra or whatever.

    I have to laugh at my antics when discussing music. Whereas I like just about all forms of music, with the exception of “rap” which I particularly don’t see as music at all, I am mostly a mountain music man.

    Recently when talking to someone I had just met, I said to him when you put a banjo and a fiddle in the band then you really have good music.

    I say this to you and then have to stop and think I am saying this to a classical opera musician…

    Oh woe is me…

    I tried to look up the picture you mentioned with you and your husband in it, and found plenty of pictures of your group, but none that you described. I may try again tomorrow morning.

    I sure wish there were some way of knowing what happened with Viv. I miss her song lyrics and input to the blog.

    Its afternoon here, Matt is coming to the computer and will be logged on the remainder of the day, by now it is evening there in your world and your day about finished.

    I wish you and yours a good night.

    Steve

  164. Beloved says:

    Psalm 131 Berean Study Bible
    A song of ascents. Of David.
    My heart is not proud, O LORD, my eyes are not haughty. I do not aspire to great things or matters too lofty for me.

  165. poohpity says:

    forever is that you and your husband with his right hand out and you sitting next to the window?

  166. Beloved says:

    Psalm133
    New King James Version
    A Song of Ascents. Of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity!

    Amen!

  167. Beloved says:

    It’s the video of their trip to Italy.

  168. foreverblessed says:

    Yes, Pooh, that is us, just before the shot of the man singing on the balcony, in Verona, they call it the balcony of Julia, from Romeo and Julia.
    It was a wonderful trip. We sang in the Cathedral of Merano. Merano is situaties in the Italuan Alps, but the valley is facing the south, that means it has as mild climate, with Palm 🌴 trees along the riverside.
    We sang in a botanical garden, with the Alps in the back. It looked like the garden of Eden.
    And I was thinking we will sing and make music in heaven.
    All of us, even the ones that are not into music or singing.

    Street gave that bible verse from Ephesians 5:19-20

  169. foreverblessed says:

    Sing and make music in your heart Eph 5:19

    Make music in your heart!
    Has any of you ever thought about it how to make music in your heart?
    It occurred to me, I never really did think about it: How do you make music in your heart?
    It is a good thing to know what that is, especially when you get older, and the hearing sense and singing capacity is getting dim.

    The next line is also good:
    Always giving thanks to God the Father, for everything, in the name of Jesus Christ.
    Eph 5:20

    Always giving thanks: so when we get deaf, we look for something to thank God for. Like trying to make music in our heart.

    By the way Steve, don’t exaggerate, I’m just a choir singer. For a hobby, not as a professional.

  170. Beloved says:

    Music seems to be one of the modalities the Holy Spirit uses to guide and direct my thoughts. As a newer believer I started hearing melodies in my mind and while reading the Psalms it was very easy to put them together. Then as I grew in understanding of my faith I wrote songs and sang in church often with people commenting that my music carried a message. It was an amazing time. It was suggested I take professional lessons to learn proper breathing technique but it was impossible at the time.

  171. poohpity says:

    forever, it is so neat to put a face with your name, you are beautiful. You both make a very handsome couple. Boy the scenery there is just beautiful.

  172. poohpity says:

    forever, Now I know what bubbles, Saled, Steve, Glenna and Matt, Joyce, Peg, Cornwall Bob, plumbape (Michael in Indiana) of course Mart and several others who no longer comment on here look like. It makes it more personal. Thank you for a window into your world.

  173. bubbles says:

    Pooh, agree with you! It was nice seeing you, forever!

  174. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed I finally got to see the video of you and your husband at the restaurant table. I join with others in saying how good it is to see you and put a face to a friend.

    Looking around the room as well at your table is like looking around any restaurant here in my world, the only thing different is the language.

    I am still impressed that you sing in a professional choir regardless of your telling me not to be.

    Steve

  175. foreverblessed says:

    There came a sort of joy over me, that I could share that video with you.
    It was a very extraordinary trip. It was in 2016, and after that we have been three more years to the Italian Alps.
    Tirol, is a German speaking area of Italy, it makes it easier to stay in an area where you can understand the language.
    Steve, I was looking for Brandon in West Virginia, but I could only find a Brandon in Virginia. Or have I remembered your town wrongly?

  176. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed look up Mayor Steve Durst Bayard West Virginia. Joyce found a picture of me someone took while our Federal Flood Control was being inspected.

    Steve

  177. foreverblessed says:

    Bayard, ok, that was it, not Brandon.
    Thanks, I will look it up, so .
    And our trip was in 2014, not 2016.
    Time flies.
    But in eternity it is nothing, every day we come closer.
    Closer to Jesus

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