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Another Apology and Welcome

Once again, I owe members of this blog an apology and clarification. As my work and home life have slowly changed over the last few years, I haven’t adequately and repeatedly clarified my purpose for continuing to provide this meeting place. The result has been some confusion and even controversy for which I bear and accept responsibility.

So let me say now, again, that I welcome and deeply appreciate your stories and shared concern for one another.

My intent is to occasionally post thoughts for discussion. And when I do would value your input. But few subjects can bear more than a couple or few days of discussion.

My hope has been to help provide a place where everyone would feel welcome and respected; where thoughts, doubts, and questions could be asked without condemnation; and where the Spirit of Christ could do his quiet work of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Gratefully,

Mart


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105 Responses to “Another Apology and Welcome”

  1. Hugger4U says:

    Thank you, Mart!

    Blessings to you and your family during these changing times.

    Love,
    Linda

  2. Beloved says:

    Yes thank you Mart for clarification. I pray we all can adjust to the changes. Because Jesus loves us and has provided forgiveness of all our sins, Amen

  3. bubbles says:

    Mart, thank you for letting us continue and sharing your thoughts. This place means so much to me. I love everyone here and appreciate them. Thank you for allowing this to happen. The friends here are very dear.

    Please pray with me. Just received word a friend has died. She’s 3 years younger than I am and has twin children who are 13 and a college age child. Her husband was a combat veteran, who has seen awful things. The father of her eldest child passed away a few years ago. My heart is broken again. Too many loses in one year. God is always good. I am weary of this world. I am weary of this life and the heartache. Praying Jesus would come today, although that is a selfish reason.

  4. street says:

    seems to me mart that your goal has been achieved….

    also seems to me that the discussion could last more than a couple of days when percolating in the Word of God.

    the heating and cool process of refinement is in progress.

    some times it reverts to a congress.

    yet we shall bear with one another if the Lord permits.

    daily washing and bread required.

    bubbles I to am tired of this world and this body of death 62 years, yet I know there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus and He is a sure hope of life and peace now and to come. the valley before us is over shadowed by the life before us, Jesus. take courage He has overcome the world and all it’s short comings.

    He will make all things new just like Abraham believe God couple raise Isaac from the dead.

    sometimes we forget we are called out of darkness/world but still in it, yet He is in us!!!!!! and in the world. Saul Saul why do you persecute Me?

    the whole earth is filled with His Glory.

    where does my help come from????

  5. Beloved says:

    Is God really enough

  6. bubbles says:

    Yes. God is enough. He is always good. He knows us and will never leave us or forsake us.

  7. Beloved says:

    also seems to me that the discussion could last more than a couple of days when percolating in the Word of God.

    Agree! Would love to read comments on the topic between you and Pooh when my percolating mind sends me in other directions in scripture. Would not mind one bit!

  8. Regina says:

    Hello All,
    I pray all is well with you and yours. Beloved, I moved 5 times from March to July, and though the previous places were not good, I’m now in a safe place. I live with my mother, brother and mother’s caregiver. Thank you all for your prayers, kind words and encouragement.

    Love to all,
    Regina

  9. bubbles says:

    Lovely cardinal photo.
    Street, I am ten years your junior. Since this year began I have lost both parents, a very dear friend, my beloved cat was violently killed. Then I found a kitten and she died. Now another dear friend has died. Yes, I know where my help comes from. But this year has been horrible and my heart is broken into a million pieces. And life seems never ending. The hurt won’t stop, and the grief, instead of getting better, keeps getting worse and deeper with each loss. The furnace will not work and it was 53 degrees in the house one morning. I cannot get someone to come work on it and it appears they don’t know what is wrong. There are many other complications right now that feel like I am working three jobs and doing none of them well. It will not stop.

  10. Beloved says:

    Encouragement from Spurgeon

    To walk in the truth, imports a life of integrity, holiness, faithfulness, and simplicity—the natural product of those principles of truth which the gospel teaches, and which the Spirit of God enables us to receive. We may judge of the secrets of the soul by their manifestation in the man’s conversation. Be it ours today, O gracious Spirit, to be ruled and governed by thy divine authority, so that nothing false or sinful may reign in our hearts, lest it extend its malignant influence to our daily walk among men.

  11. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Mart, for providing this blog, for so long now!
    Grateful, says Mart.
    Grateful, for the works of the Spirit, gentleness, goodness, .

    Thank you Regina, for sharing your story! The second landlady you talked about, was not your last one. I had to smile, “shall I tell to whole story, or cut it short?”
    What a moving around you have done, you must feel like Abraham and Sarah, moving through Canaan, not having a place of their own.
    All though, Abraham owed a well, and he bought a cave, to bury Sarah.

    Bubbles, may God bless you! May you see God’s goodness, even if things here are not as expected. I believe that is the test we all have to go through, at times,
    And be able to say, as the friends of Daniel said, they did trust God, unconditionally!

    Unconditionally!
    When heavy things happens, and God does not seem te help.
    The friends said:
    “And even if God will not save us out of your hands, we will not serve your gods, or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
    Daniel 3:17-18

  12. foreverblessed says:

    There is a point in our walk with Christ, that we begin to see that we are like Jesus. Jesus suffered for the world, and Jesus said, that as He suffered so will we.
    I thought when I was younger, only Jesus’ Cross brings salvation! What would our suffering add to this salvation?

    And yet, God does something!
    Vicarious suffering.
    That we can lay our suffering on the altar, and say:”Lord, we give this suffering to You. You can do with it what You want. Blessed be Your working!”

    The Bible verse that says this is this one:

    Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God- which is your spiritual worship.
    Rom 12:1

  13. foreverblessed says:

    Together with another verse:
    “The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at Him. They said, “He saved others, let Him save Himself, if He is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.”
    Luke 23:35

    Jesus came to earth, for this hour, the Passion. He had to suffer, to be able to save.
    Suffering means saving.
    And we share in the suffering of Christ.
    How do I know that my suffering is sharing in Christ?
    For example: I have tinnitus, the ever hearing of a high pitch sound in my head. I have prayed for healing, years and years, studied my own heart, if there was any sin to be confessed.
    Nothing.

    Till I read a devotion that talked about vicarious suffering,
    That we can lay our suffering on the altar, and say to God: “You do with it what You want. I lay it in Your hands.”
    I even say: “Instead of healing me, you heal somebody else.”
    And with that last line, I struggle, because I really want to be saved from that noise. But I want to mean it with my whe heart, that God does a work, that I do not understand.

  14. SFDBWV says:

    I miss the many people that once graced BTA and brought with them their uniqueness of being themselves and being believers in Christ.

    They all brought with them their own story. A personal story of life and their struggle with being Christian in it.

    I have sometimes said that the Book of Acts is not finished, but continues through each and every one of us.

    I would like to think I thought of that comment myself, but the fact is I read it or heard it from another.

    It is what happens to us all, sometimes creeping up on us without our being aware of it; that is, the things in others that make their way into us. We share Christ in us in this way. By how we live, by how life has treated us, by our successes and our failures. All the while clinging to Christ to carry us along the highway of life with hope and determination.

    I have also said here before how it amazes me that people misinterpret the simplest comment or instruction no matter how clearly I think I have been. I speak mostly of outside of this blog in life in general.

    I have explained it in this way, “I would like a red rubber ball” and what I get is a black cement block”.

    Simon and Garfunkel say it well in the song “The Boxer”, “A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.”

    Mart I think you have always been clear in what you have wanted from those of us who you consider “friends” here on your blog.

    The life stories and day to day struggles we encounter and share here is what has drawn others to join in.

    Sadly, every good thing, especially every good Christian fellowship comes under attack. BTA has had a long history of the battle. So let me say thank you, again, for making it clear (I hope) as to what you expect from us. And hopefully make us all feel comfortable in what we share.

    Steve

  15. Beloved says:

    Forever what you said about suffering reminds me of what I was told as a new Christian going through healing of horrific memories from childhood and with my husband. One day I said I don’t think I can take any more, I’ve completely soaked my pillow with tears and exhausted with 3 young children to raise alone with no help. (3years of recalled abuse)

    He asked me to “embrace” my suffering. Like Jesus on the cross. That was a turning point for me spiritually and emotionally. No the suffering did not end but I have a different Perspective only God could have taught me all in His time and nobody else’s time.

    Great is thy faithfulness, LORD, unto me. 71 and still breathing with the breath He provided. Not ready to die yet there are so many unsaved people around me that need Him!

  16. foreverblessed says:

    Dear Beloved to be honost, I would not tell this about suffering to a new convert. The Counselor comes as a Comforter. He comforts, and comforts, and puts in a quiet Peace, the Sabbathrest of Christ.

    Just like the Beatitudes, they start out with comfort.
    Only the last two speak of suffering.

    I speak to people who have been a Christian for a long time!
    And when someone has an illness, and prays for healing, and after years and years, there us no healing….
    Then what…

    “Embrace your suffering” a word from God Himself! Wow, I didn’t hear anything like that, but have decided myself that it is useless to keep on asking, and instead offer my ailments to Jesus, lay them on the altar, and expect great blessings for other people, as Jesus chooses.

    About new believers, on the other hand, Jesus says that everybody should count the cost, when following Christ. So there is a cost.
    God does not promiss us a rosy garden..
    But hope in the end.

    And hope now, because the Holy Spirit has come, and takes everything we need from Jesus, and gives it to us. John 16

  17. poohpity says:

    A father said to his daughter “You have graduated with honors, here is a car I bought many years ago. It is pretty old now. But before I give it to you, take it to the used car lot downtown and tell them I want to sell it and see how much they offer you for it.”

    The daughter went to the used car lot, returned to her father and said, “They offered me $1,000 because the said it looks pretty worn out.”

    The father said, now “Take it to the pawn shop.” The daughter went to the pawn shop, returned to her father and said,”The pawn shop offered only $100 because it is an old car.”

    The father asked his daughter to go to a car club now and show them the car. The daughter then took the car to the club, returned and told her father,” Some people in the club offered $100,000 for it because “it’s an iconic car and sought by many collectors.”

    Now the father said this to his daughter, “The right place values you the right way,” If you are not valued, do not be angry, it means you are in the wrong place. Those who know your value are those who appreciate you……Never stay in a place where no one sees your value.

  18. Beloved says:

    Forever things changed dramatically for me when once I was finally healed when my Christian friends became my enemies. What a shock to me that some were not at all thanking God but angry and attacking me for what God graciously did in the Charismatic church that was like a hospital for me being so weak and damaged. I never understood that wolves could be so vicious in their beautiful Sunday clothes.

    We made mistakes telling new believers that God will save and give you blessings and success in life because of his love for us. I actually used to wonder why Christian’s were beaten burned dismembered and hung to die in the Bible. Cognitive dissonance it’s called. I had it for years. I had to learn it’s not about us, but God and Christ Jesus dying for my sins. Sins!! That’s what this spiritual life is all about, Redemption and thanksgiving to our great God spreading the love he sacrificed for.

  19. street says:

    when Jesus came into the world/darkness a place that was dead or dying. He came for His Father Glory, The One Who sent Him. for His name Sake and His Glory. not for mans need. even though He made promises to man and kept them. for His Glory! The Gosple is the Righteousness of God. may it be found in us.

  20. street says:

    He leads me down[g] the right paths[h]
    for the sake of his reputation.[I]
    Psalm 23

  21. foreverblessed says:

    Dear Pooh, you are greatly valued here. There is a difference between valuing you and appreciating your comments, in the case when they contain criticism, like you had about Steve’s input, last week.
    Just come, sit around the table and join the discussion!

    How that Christ is our salvation, how he has helped us in each of our lives.
    Like Beloved is sharing her story.
    We believe in Jesus, Who saved us, and can free us from all our bondage, and set us free, and change everything around, and touch hearts to those around us.
    Beloved, do you mean the story in Hebrews 11:1-40.

  22. SFDBWV says:

    Who Am I in Christ;

    Romans 8:16 A child of God
    Ephesians 2:8 Saved by grace through faith
    Psalms 107:2 Redeemed from the hand of the foe
    1 John 5:11, 12 an heir of eternal life
    Ephesians 1:7 Forgiven
    Romans 8:14 Led by the Spirit of God
    2 Corinthians 5:17 A new creature
    Galatians 3:13 Redeemed from the curse of the law
    Isaiah 46:4 Kept in safety wherever I go
    Ephesians 6:10 Strong in the Lord and His mighty power
    2 Corinthians 5:7 Living by faith and not by sight
    Colossians 1:13 Rescued from the dominion of darkness
    Romans 5:1 Justified
    Romans 8:17 An heir of God and co-heir with Christ
    Ephesians 1:3 Blessed with every spiritual blessing, an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb
    Revelation 12:11 And the Word of my testimony
    Matthew 5:14 The light of the world
    Ephesians 5:1 An imitator off God
    1 Peter 2:24 Healed by His wounds
    Romans 12:2 Being transformed by the renewing of my mind

    Steve

  23. SFDBWV says:

    These Scripture verses I posted above are where our value is found, not in seeking approval from other people.

    But by being able to provide Christ in us *to* other people.

    Steve

  24. SFDBWV says:

    If you would like a little musical pick me up this morning, might I suggest “YouTube” Dolly Parton singing “He’s Alive”.

    Steve

  25. foreverblessed says:

    That is a good line of Bible verses.
    This is one more:
    Be subject to the authorities God has set over you. Rom 13:1-6

    I want to share a story, about our country.
    Just to show that people have their own views, and don’t see their own part in it.
    Airplanes that come out of South Africa, the people that are in it, must be tested. To prevent the new variant to spread here.
    All people that had tested positive had to isolate in a hotel nearby the airport.
    But one couple did not agree, they did not want to isolate. They did a selftest, and that was negative, and then they left the hotel. They made it to the airport, and were inside the plane to Spain, when they were cought, and taken into custody.
    This new was brought out last weekend, and the dismay about a couple who take matters on their own hands, and who do not understand that they are part of an epidemic, that they might carry a new variant in their bodies.
    This is how onlookers view it.
    But now the couple themselves:
    The couple said that nobody had told them the rules, ( that sounds like Steve, who says that he could explain many times over and over, and still people don’t hear. They are put in an isolation hotel, and they still don’t understand what they are doing there?!)
    But here is their own view: We were treated like dogs!

    How can you be so blind?
    And then I have to think how blind I was, that I did not see that it was all about Jesus,
    “Through His name, and through the faith that comes through Him, we are saved”
    Acts 3:16

    I was blind but now I see.
    I can pray intercessory prayer for this couple:
    “Dear Lord, have mercy on them, as you had mercy on me. Thank You, in Jesus’ Name”

  26. foreverblessed says:

    We have had this discussion of our worth, a few months ago.
    It is because of the love of God, that He looked on us, with Mercy, that He saved us out of the kingdom of darkness, and put us into the Kingdom of the Son He loves.
    Col 1:13
    He gave us our value, and it is IN Christ.

    And that is humiliating to our sinful nature. Is there nothing in us that is of value?
    Does God look at us and see anything that is of value and because of that value He saved us?
    What is this message of Jesus that:

  27. foreverblessed says:

    “I tell you the truth, unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
    Flesh gives birth to flesh,
    But the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
    John 3:5-6

  28. foreverblessed says:

    “”Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men…”
    Romans 5:18a

    The fall of man.
    This is such a hard message, my greater family and colleagues around me find this such a denegrating view of mankind.

    “…so the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.”
    Rom 5:18b

    So I have to wait, and pray, till my near ones feel “the fall of men”, and the conviction of the Holy Spirit, that they are lost without Jesus.
    Intercessory prayer.

  29. SFDBWV says:

    Have you ever wondered why communism or perhaps better said communist countries resist or even forbid the teaching of Christianity?

    You would think that on the surface communists would welcome Christianity given that Christ teaches the giving the sharing the full care of each other over any individual desires.

    Yet Christian evangelists are jailed and persecuted still in most communist controlled countries.

    Is it because Bible thinking places God over man, not man over man?

    “Life liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. This is what the founding fathers of the United States gathered from being Christian.

    There is a very thin line between rebelliousness and free thinking.

    It is when freedom is restricted that the spirit of rebellion rises.

    In the beginning man was given limited freedom. Not even allowed to know good from evil. Adam was cared for, given all he needed to be comfortable, but the only true freedom was to either obey or not the one rule of God, that he not eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

    We know the rest of that story. Personally I think there is a much bigger story hidden in the mysteries of God, but this brings me to comment on the story Foreverblessed shared about the couple at the airport.

    People still don’t like being told they can’t be free to make their own decisions.

    Even if it effects everyone else around them.

    Off to my morning duties, measureable snow overnight, but only a little over an inch.

    Blessing to all today.

    Steve

  30. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Steve, for joining in my thoughts. You brong me back again to the quest I had, ever since Mart posted that topic about Thomas Aquinas, and his vision of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.

    Talking of that rebellious spirit in us.
    In my search for the meaning of the body and blood of Jesus Christ…

    Blood forgiveness of sins
    The blood is for forgiveness, whenever, whatever, however, God will forgive, the Blood of Christ is sufficient every time again.
    That is the solution for our sins.
    Sins are covered by the Blood.
    As we were new in Christ, we found this truth, the forgiveness of whatever we have done wrong.

    But as we progress, we keep sinning, and we find that the problem goes deeper:

    We do not sin, but we are sin.

    It is this rebellious spirit that Steve talked about.
    This spirit that comes up whenever we are commanded to do something.

    And this is the problem of the fall.
    Of being in Adam.

    Now, I knew all this. Steve often mentions it, Adam and the fall of man.
    But how great that fall was, and how deep sin has penetrated into us.
    A rebellious spirit.

  31. foreverblessed says:

    And here comes the meaning of the Body of Christ.

    But how God has solved that problem of rebellion, and that it is through the Body of Christ, I have missed that connection.

    God gave Jesus a body, a human body, so that He became flesh of our flesh and blood of our blood
    “You prepared a body for Me” Hebrews 10:5
    But Jesus was not just somebody, He was the Word, from the beginning, through Him all things were made, all humans, heaven and earth, and the Word became flesh,
    John 1:1-3,14
    This Jesus, hang on the Cross, and He was drawing all humanity was in Him, in His Body, all of us were gathered, and when He died, we all died with Him,
    And that was the end of the race in Adam. It was the end of our rebellious spirit. We were dead in Him, and we were buried in the grave with Him.
    That is God’s solution to the race of Adam, He put an end to it….
    He did not make Adam better, he made him to die IN Christ

    Not to end it…
    Staying too long on this death in Christ, makes me sick…
    But it had to be so that IN Christ we could be Resurrected to newness of life.

    It is said so many times on this blog:
    The old is gone, the new has come.

    I can have deep faith in the fact that two thousand years ago Jesus died, and all who are in Adam died with Him,
    Why, because the Word of God says so!
    1 Cor 1:30
    We were put into Jesus, and wherever He went we were in Him…

    So that anyone who accepts Jesus as their Lord and Saviour can live in the Spirit.

    To be Resurrected to the Life in the Spirit.
    That’s why!

  32. foreverblessed says:

    Maybe all of you knew this already, and a long time ago.
    When I was baptised in water, I knew I was baptised into His death, that we were buried with Him into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live va new life. Romans 6:3-4

    But that the body of Christ is the vehicle through which we must go, that point I missed…
    Jesus body is the veil of the Temple
    Hebrews 10:20

    And Jesus also said: I am the Gate
    One of the seven “I am” s. The Gate,
    We go through the Door, His Body, and our old man died, our rebellious spirit is dead, and we came out the other side in newness of Spirit.

    “Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep…
    I am the gate, whoever enters through Me will be saved.
    He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief only comes in to steal and kill and destroy;
    I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.”
    John 10:7-10

  33. foreverblessed says:

    Now, here is the struggle I have, and I believe a lot of us:

    So if my old man is dead, why does this rebellion still come up?
    In other words, what use is this truth that Jesus is the Gate, and we have gone through Him to His Kingdom?

    Well, immediately, the Blood of Christ appears:
    Whenever I have given into that rebellious spirit, I can confess, and the blood of Christ cleanses me
    1 John 1:9

    The Body and Blood of Christ go together!

    1 John 5:18-21
    We know that anyone born of God, does not continue to sin, the one born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot tough him. We know that we are children of God
    1 John 5:18-19

  34. Hugger4U says:

    Good Morning!

    I wanted to stop by and remind everyone, if you are so led, to pray for SCOTUS as they are taking up the Missouri challenge to Roe vs. Wade, etc., tomorrow.

    Pray that the lawyers who are presenting the cases and briefs will have the favor of the Lord and His words of wisdom will be in their hearts.

    Pray for the justices that the fear of the Lord will be in their hearts and they will interpret the law as it was originally given at the beginning of our country. Pray that the Lord Jesus will visit them tonight in their dreams and give them visions of Your heart for this case.

    That they will honor the covenant, made by the first Christians to our shores, with the Lord God Almighty.

    Any and every prayer is appreciated. For the cry of the blood of the slain in our land before they are even born, has been in the ears of God for too long!

    We, as a nation, need to repent and change this injustice to our most vulnerable citizens.

    Have mercy on us and nation, oh Lord.

    In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
    Linda

  35. Beloved says:

    Forever I was thinking also about those disciples who knew Jesus and heard him say that following him would cost them everything, they all died violently proclaiming and living for Christ. Nero’s torches for his garden were Believers. Today in many countries Christians are being killed and persecuted in jails and by their own families.

    Many who have the luxury of acceptance without persecution have turned to other gods just like Israel did. Idolatry runs rampant still in the hearts of mankind both saved and unsaved. I can attest as it is still very personally painful to let go of the abundance of things I’ve been given and taught to expect like SELF worth, respect value, autonomy (standing on my own two feet as they say). RC Sproul said we are idolatry factory’s! Yes we are.

    It’s amazing to me that Jesus would even come near us being as Perfect as we are imperfect yet we do have this treasure in earthen vessels that we might show the glory of God.

    Last night in a dream God showed me that the idols can get in the way of His ability to use me for His purposes. Groaning here.

  36. Beloved says:

    Thanks Linda for the reminder.
    I was listening to a very popular “intercessor” on YouTube last night just out of curiosity and heard him say that he was “appointed” by God to carry all the millions of prayers of the saints against abortion to Washington to present them to God, along with his, of course. WHAT??!!

    I don’t mean to offend anybody but this is crazy to me and unscriptural.

  37. SFDBWV says:

    Linda I will certainly join with you and countless others in asking God to speak into the hearts of these 9 people and give them courage, wisdom and obedience to the Spirit of God and save the lives of millions of beating hearts.

    I am always sadly amazed at how the same people who hug a tree can so callously kill an unborn child.

    I too pray for revival for our country and a return to our spiritual roots.

    I do love Johnny Cash’s song “They Didn’t Bend, They Didn’t Bow, they Didn’t Burn.”

    It always takes courage to do the right thing.

    Steve

  38. street says:

    thinking of the body and blood of Christ

    flesh and blood can not inherit the Kingdom.

    so what part does inherit the Kingdom?

    man is an image bearer

    the fall darkened bound stole killed and destroyed that image through sin, which we have become in the first Adam.

    Jesus came to restore that image. to complete what was started so long ago. not a surprise to God, but a big surpise to man and the devil.

    surprised by joy when there was none just deadness and emptiness.

    so what part inherits the Kingdom? the part washed by the blood of the Lamb.

    the self died and new life begins in Christ Jesus. regeneration new birth. a work of the Spirit of God, not of man.

    one died therefor all die. one was raised therefore all in Christ are raised.

    Lord Lord did we not cast out demons and do many good works in your name. Jesus replies away from Me workers of unrighteousness, I never knew you.

    Jesus provides a new Spirt. A Holy Spirit, A Helper. to help us who have been cleaned by the blood of the Lamb. God and man made one. God’s promise of life abundant life in Christ Jesus our LORD.

    those who live by the flesh will die, but those who mortify the flesh by the Spirit will live and live abundantly. do you believe this ? we are His image bearers. let us not rob temples by claiming a righteousness of our own. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.

    16 ruin and misery are in their paths,
    17 and the way of peace they have not known.”[a]
    18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”[b]
    Romans 3:16-18

    8 But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is useless and about to be cursed;[a] its fate is to be burned. 9 But in your case, dear friends, even though we speak like this, we are convinced of better things relating to salvation. 10 For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love you have demonstrated for his name, in having served and continuing to serve the saints.Hebrews 6:8-10

    thinking of the bondage of the accuser and his insufferable condemnation and content for humans.

    look to Jesus and the things that await those who by faith receive by faith. it’s not a time to turn back. forgiveness and life, abundant life. thinking of Joseph and his love for his brothers. not only that his love for Egypt. God bless him in everything he did.
    should we expect no less in Christ Jesus.

    momentary light affliction await.

    count the cost. remember His benefits. fullness and life!

  39. Beloved says:

    For the beauty of the earth we give Thee praise!

    I discovered a channel on YouTube by Tim Janus that shows stunning video and music. Tonight I’m listening/watching “Cozy Winter Cabin”. Gods creation is overwhelmingly beautiful to meditate with. “Be still and know..” comes to mind. My cat has been watching over an hour because of the birds. 🦜🙀

  40. Beloved says:

    Found this on Facebook

    A prayer from A.W. Tozer, “In us, in our flesh, dwelleth no good thing. In our minds dwell no power of persuasion. Without Thee we can do nothing, but with Thee, we can do all things.

    So now Father, we turn away as though we were taking an axe away from a little boy and giving it to a man, as though we were shoving aside an amateur, and letting a master sit down to the instrument. We shove aside the man that men know and we invite the man Christ Jesus to speak, who will effectively confirm the Word by the Holy Ghost.

    Help us tonight, Lord; tomorrow may be too late! We ask it in Jesus’ name.

    Amen.

  41. foreverblessed says:

    Praying for that case court.
    Dear Lord, have mercy!

    The way out, that God shows is through Jesus

    “There is only one way by which I can get right with God, and that is through the death of Jesus Christ. ” Today on Utmost

    But this is a message the Holy Spirit only can reveal to a person.

    “In our minds dwells no power of persuasion, we cannot do it.”

    So the only thing left is to seek Jesus, stay close in Him, abide in Him, so that our own life is a lamp,
    a witness to others, and a help

    My colleague who I work with in the painting class, het husband is a gynecologist. When he was in South Africa, he worked in a remote place, where there was no abortion possible. But….what women do to get rid of an unwanted pregnancy, it was heartrending. Women that die, women that are disformed for life. There is no easy solution.
    I was glad to hear this story, because it is so easy to judge, and say that something is wrong. But ….
    If people do not find Jesus, to comfort their soul, and be with them, and guide them through an unwanted pregnancy, then what?
    What can Christians do? Set up an organisation that help, give an alternative solution:
    To help them and give them assistance to keep the child, to give care.

    I do share this, because there is a lot of heartache behind this problem.
    May God have mercy on all these people, and may we have that too. And the courage to help and assist.

    Just as the disciples were given the order by Jesus:
    “You feed them”
    May God help us, give us His strength, His love, His life, that we may pass it on to those who suffer.

  42. foreverblessed says:

    “We shove aside the man that men know and we invite the man Christ Jesus to speak, who will effectively confirm the Word by the Holy Ghost.”
    What a beautiful prayer.

  43. SFDBWV says:

    “There is no better way to thank God for your sight than by giving a helping hand to someone in the dark.”
    Helen Keller

    Wisdom speaks loud and clear to those open to hearing her.

    The abortion debate is a very difficult one that to some may sound simple, while to others very complex.

    I am not speaking about the law of the land, but of the heart of the issue.

    The unborn child growing in the womb has no part in its being there. It did not make a choice to be there. It is innocent.

    Is the killing of another human being ever acceptable to God?

    It would seem that God had no problem with killing humans Himself or the ordering of such by those He instructed to from reading the Old Testament of the Bible.

    Which included children and indiscriminate whereas women were concerned, concerning pregnancy.

    The only difference is this or any matter of killing another human, is whether God orders it or not.

    So the debate begins. Is there ever an acceptable reason for ending the life of an innocent unborn child?

    On “The Learning Channel” there is a program called “Long Lost Family”. Almost exclusively every story is about an adopted person either looking for their birth mother or father or the reverse of that a parent looking for a child they gave away.

    In every story the grown child thanks the birth mother for adopting them out instead of abortion. They are grateful for life over never having had the chance at life.

    Ok so then comes the issue of rape or incest.

    Still the innocent child isn’t at fault, but will pay with its life for the decision of its mother.

    I knew a family here in our community that was filled with incest. One man, born legally blind, one woman an albino another man mentally impaired. The father of these people their grandfather. The mother of these people went on to have several other children by different men all of whom were not physically impaired, but all emotionally scarred.

    They all lived somewhat normal lives, even the one blind was able to live out his life as any other blind person is forced to do.

    I have never known someone born from rape, though the TV program I mentioned above dealt with a few.

    I have actually known what you might call a back alley abortionist. Taught the trade by his mother who aborted his girlfriend’s child when they only a teen ager themselves.

    I also know that some mid-wives also practiced the trade as well.

    As far back as mankind has recorded their history, women and on occasion and some men forced abortion and ended the life of an unwanted birth.

    Sadly the herbs and potions that were used sometimes only caused disabilities and deformities in the child when born.

    I also knew a man who beat his 14 year old daughter in her stomach in an attempt to abort the child, only to have the child’s 18 year old father beat him up for it, marry the girl and went on to live a long married life with that child and a few more.

    Whether we like it or not abortion is here to stay.

    The issue in the court today is whether to make it illegal or not.

    The moral issue is between God and the mother or father.

    As for me I will always say choose life.

    But even here in my world, Matthew curses me for not aborting him when I could have because of the misery he suffers every day. Even telling me if I truly loved him I would give him a gun and let him kill himself.

    Still I choose life and as he sees it force life on him.

    Life isn’t easy, being Christian isn’t either. Without the comforter life would be unbearable for most of us.

    Steve

  44. street says:

    the real tradgity is sin not life. the coldness and unchanging standard of the law reveals the hopelessness emptiness of sin. the law, can not give hope or peace. sin is the destruction of life or separation from life. sin like a seed grows till death is accomplish.yet we are told let them grow side by side or you will injure the good seed.

    2 Chronicles 7:14
    if my people, who belong to me, humble themselves, pray, seek to please me, and repudiate their sinful practices, then I will respond from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.

    Exodus 23:20
    “I am going to send an angel before you to protect you as you journey and to bring you into the place that I have prepared.

    Ezekiel 34:29
    I will prepare for them a healthy planting. They will no longer be victims of famine in the land and will no longer bear the insults of the nations

    the good Shepard laid down His Life for the sheep. He is risen and we are to follow by trusting in Him.

  45. Beloved says:

    I hear what you are saying Steve. I’m trying to understand myself how Gods providential authority fits. I was a product of rape and narrowly saved from being aborted. I asked God many times why I was allowed to live being abused by my mothers rapist and having to witness my siblings and friends abused in the same way by my dad. Many times I despaired of life and tried to kill myself or asked God to kill me.

    Yet I was the first one to bend my knee to God and receive Christ as my savior and as I went on to share the gospel with my family all knew Him when they died and others know Christ still, serving Him with joy yet still deeply wounded. As am I. God can and does glorify Himself in the stuff that climbs out of the gutters. Not just kings.

    I agree with you that abortion is a very complicated and emotional issue.

  46. Beloved says:

    The real tragedy is sin- yes because it separates us from all goodness which is God. That love joy peace etc Mart talked about. Eternal not temporary. I am speaking poorly here. Sorry.

  47. Beloved says:

    46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,

    47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

    48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

    49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.

    50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.

    51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.

    52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.

    53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.

    54 He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;

    55 As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

  48. Hugger4U says:

    An update on SCOTUS for today…

    They will hear arguments today, then on Friday they decide. But we, the people, will not know what they decided for several months.

    Thank you for any prayers the Holy spirit will lead you to pray. I would ask only that you seek God’s heart and will in the matter.

    Many prayers have been said through the years since it became legal in our land. These prayers have been collected in Heaven in bowls that will soon be poured out from the command of God by the hands of His angels.

    Thank you, again, for any prayers.

    In His Love,
    Linda

  49. SFDBWV says:

    Street, have you yourself ever known of life without sin?

    Jesus defeated sin, but it continues to have its way in life.

    Still people are born into a world they don’t want and forced to live in circumstances they didn’t create.

    I agree Street, sin is the problem. But I have never known a world or a life without it.

    Even being Christian doesn’t stop the ugliness of sin from attacking me and those I love.

    It is said that sin was defeated at the cross, so why does it still have its power and effect?

    Joyce I don’t think you are speaking poorly at all, rather speaking truth from your heart.

    Steve

  50. bratimus says:

    the topic of sin.

    what I have noticed in the U.S in recent months even up to the case before the court, to the spending bills being passed.

    What is tuck into the spending bills and the case before this is doctrine of the Nicolaitans being argue over and being made into law to of the land.

    In Revelation it says how god hates the ways of the Nicolaitans.

    Now that doctrine of the Nicolaitans is being slipt into spending bills and argued over in front of the court. How do you think god is going to look on this country. With the doctrine of the Nicolaitans becoming the law of the land. Talk about the great Babylon.

    things are happening right before are eyes and many don’t see it.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  51. Beloved says:

    Bratimus it is my opinion that God looks on this country as He does ever other country. Full of sinners needing redemption. Individuals are saved/born-again not organized groups like Israel under the old covenant. Those churches in the revelation are no different than many today. History repeated itself with each generation but the Age to come we don’t know the time of its arrival.

    That’s my opinion, at 1:30 today but subject to change, lol.

  52. bratimus says:

    I live in the U.S., I’m a U.S. citizen so i can only speak to the U.S..

    Because it is not in the Bible did God stop make covenant with man to form nations. So do all the acts of God stop because they are not in the Bible.

    So the great Babylon spoken of in Revelations is that to be Israel because is the only covenant God had with man to from a nation. Is not the U.S. how God wanted Israel to be governed. then again that isn’t in the Bible so it must not be so.

    It is not like the Bible is full of examples of God making covenants with man and the do’s and don’ts.

    I can only speak to the U.S. it is my country of origin.

    Never know God just might make an example of the U.S. as a warning for every other country, what happens when you once shined with the light of God, then threw the light of God out and live by the doctrine of the Nicolaitans.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  53. Beloved says:

    Lol just thinking how the US is known as the great Satan by others. But I see where you are coming from bratimus. Yes I believe God is still working but I think the only ones who see a problem here are the believers not necessarily other nations. We’re esteemed not for our Christianity but for our money. God surely pours out grace on believers and unbelievers alike. God has blessed us with money to help other nations.

    Our history started with a group of Reformers escaping persecution in England. Looking for a place to live and prosper practicing their (our) faith freely. Prosperity can be both a blessing and a curse. Depending on how it’s used. We see it all, here, don’t we.

    When Israel prospered it turned away from Yahweh to idols with judgement following. Thanks bratimus you’ve enlarged my thinking today.

  54. Beloved says:

    Copied from Christianity dot com

    The Nicolaitans Now

    Although the sect of the Nicolaitans seems to have disappeared into historical obscurity, ideologies of this group seem to persist today.

    In American culture, Christians now face a choice to blend in society or stand out in this culture of compromise. Many people in the church today, like Solomon, attempt to marry several wives in a spiritual sense. We serve both God and money and [insert idol here].

    But we can only serve one master. Our culture is reaching a tipping point where we do have to choose who we will follow; it requires sacrifice. We can serve gods or God, and if we choose the latter, like the church of Ephesus, we resist the Nicolaitans and their attempts to drag us with them in acts of idolatry and immorality.

  55. street says:

    Street, have you yourself ever known of life without sin?

    from my understanding of the Bile, God/Jesus is the only life I know of without sin, Jesus was made sin for us so we could be made the Righteousness of God in Him!

    the grace gets even better as we understand that grace increases even while we are still sinners.

    if we say we have no sin, we lie, and the truth is not in us. thinking Spirit of Truth/ Spirit of Christ.

    Steve it is a living faith not a dead faith. even though we feel dead from time to time. just an amazing God. better to focus on Him not ourselves or others when times get tough.

    it is a gift to be able to exhort encourage and comfort those who hurt or struggle.

    think of God of “all” comfort here. 2 Corinthians 1

  56. street says:

    oh I forgot the angels in heaven that have served for thousands of years without sinning.

    very rarely are they known to visit this place.

    if I met one I did not know it. I think that is scriptural too. lol

  57. street says:

    in the struggle with sin external and internal Romans 5 is a good place to revisit. to remember what God has done through Christ Jesus. let this Justification sink deep into your heart and mind. at the same time offering yours self to God in Christ

    but present yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead and your members to God as instruments[l] to be used for righteousness.

    mortifying the flesh is difficult but do able with the helper He gave us.

    I could say look back at all that came before us and take a hard look…..God’s Grace is amazing a sure and living hope. let our hearts be inflamed with God’s Spirit and Truth.

  58. street says:

    I wonder if God put the angels on the side line when Pentecost came?

  59. SFDBWV says:

    “Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.”
    Anne Frank

    Bratimus it is my opinion that we have entered the dawn of the “tribulation”. The USA isn’t the only country whose moral fabric is coming apart.

    If you have a copy or can get one read “The Late Great Planet Earth” by Hal Linsey. He laid it all out for his readers accompanied with Scripture to back up every prophetic thing he revealed.

    The Scripture is clear about the coming judgement and my hope is that we who are not appointed to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ are soon snatched away from the coming horrors that are to come.

    Sin ruins everything it enters. Every good thing that God created and man imagined has been tarnished and ruined by sin.

    Our only hope is in Jesus of Nazareth.

    Street I see by your comments that you wrap yourself around the Word and cover all you don’t understand in the safety and shadow of our Lord. This works well for you, keep it up.

    I have seen angels and dark spirits as well. If you can believe me, they are both still at work and at the service of God the father even as we speak here now.

    What are the slings and arrows Paul speaks of, except the onslaught of sin against us all? What or who is it that shoots such at us, except the dark spirits God allows to.

    The armor Paul speaks of is provided by God to protect us, it doesn’t stop the battle from occurring. Angels still are sent to minister to those of us chosen for salvation.

    Satan and his legions are not ejected from heaven until the 12th chapter of Revelation. These spirit being, until then, are still there in heaven in the presence of God and under His authority.

    Once they are cast down to earth things get worse for mankind.

    I would love to say things look rosy and are looking up. But the evidence of all I see going on around is that things are getting worse not better.

    Did any of you miss the news report about a man in a wheel chair being killed by a police officer because the man wouldn’t stop his motorized wheel chair and obey the commands of the cop?

    Shot 9 times in the back and side of the man ending his life because the police officer said he pulled a knife.

    Do I have to ask any of you how this police officer thought a man in a wheel chair was a physical threat of any kind to him? And when did the punishment for resisting a police officer become execution?

    Good guys and bad guys are blurring together. What’s right and what’s wrong confused… more signs of the times.

    By the way 9 shots are all the bullets that police officer had in his gun. The policeman emptied his gun in the back of a man inching away from him in an electric wheel chair.

    Steve

  60. foreverblessed says:

    O dear, what a news. A man in a wheelchair!
    That’s how tense people have become.

    Jesus called us to inner peace, in a world that is not. The Roman times were dreadful times too!
    “I do not take you out of the world”
    Jesus words.

    Last year was the commemoration of the Mayflower to go to America, 6 September 1620 it left England with 102 immigrants (we would call them now lol)
    Puritans and crew.
    The city of Leiden in the Netherlands was involved too, with this festivity. Which, by the way was cancelled because of the pandemic.
    But there were a few articles in the newspapers about the Puritans. They were persecuted in England, but were given a place to stay in Leiden, they could freely keep their religion. But they did not like the society in Leiden, too much commerce going on on Sundays. They were afraid their children would be deduced into secular living.
    The paper went on to say: this Christian community wanted the whole society to adapt to their holy living.

    And I was wondering: Did they miss the point Jesus was saying:
    “I do not take you out of the world.
    But take heart, I have overcome the world.
    Abide in Me, and I in you.”
    Stay in the shadow of the Almighty, as Street is doing, lol, in His Son, that saved us out of this crooked generation,
    A crooked generation, that is how society was called by Paul, the apostle, two thousand years ago.

    Back to the Mayflower, the puritans in Leiden chose young people who were able and healthy, arranged the financial side of it. They lended quite a sum of money, or used shareholders or something like that,to buy a ship and hire a crew. The same as what immigrants do to get to the western world now.

    the ship went to America, but there were other settlers already there, not part of the puritans.

    Beware of the spirit of the Pharisees, and of Herodus, Jesus said.
    The spirit of religious domination and political domination, domineering society to keep to the rules of God.

    Instead, we are to arouse the society to jealously, by showing how we love one another.

  61. foreverblessed says:

    but present yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead and your members to God as instruments[l] to be used for righteousness.

    Jesus has purchased us.
    From whom did He purchase us?
    Psalm 107:2 …those He redeemed from the hand of the foe.
    As Steve shared yesterday.
    Psalm 107 is a wonderful Psalm, about what ways God uses to draw people to Himself.
    Only when there is a great crisis, and no way out, a soul cries out of the depth of their hearts to God to save them.

    That’s what we have to wait for, have patience, and see how God works in a life, not preventing them from going wrong, as He did not prevent Adam when he would take the forbidden fruit, but promised a Saviour, the Seed of the woman, Gen 3:15

  62. bratimus says:

    The point I was trying to make,

    If my own home country is falling into such darkness. How can I reach out to the rest of the world, if my own home is in ruins.

    I know God looks on the whole world and will judge the whole world. I don’t live in the world.

    So for me not to get caught in the sin of the country as a whole, I have to speak out against the sins of my nation.

    I know how dark the days are getting and how close we are getting to the dark storm that is going consume the world.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  63. Beloved says:

    When I share Jesus with someone it’s not as a representative of America but as an alien. In the world but not OF the world.

    Had a very nice conversation with a college student today about faith, Catholicism (which he left) the golden rule- which is his “religion”- the Bible and Jesus. His name is Laska please pray. Thanks. Pray the Gospel tract I gave him will permeate what God makes alive!

  64. Beloved says:

    Thanking God for the peaceful flow of comments here the last few days! I love and appreciate you all! What a blessing God has provided this blog in these last days.

  65. Beloved says:

    Forever thank you that was very interesting about the “pilgrims”.

  66. street says:

    where the Spirit of Christ could do his quiet work.

    thinking about Paul and the quiet work of his testimony. to be sure Paul seemed to be at peace where as the listeners where usually upset or upset to the point of violence. Paul was familiar with this personally, while heading to Damascus .

    yet we see the quiet work of the Father revealing to Peter that Jesus is the Messiah. Even Jesus mention that he could not come to this knowledge on his own.

    Jesus continues to build His church even when there are many helpers

    Knowledge puffs up.

    Knowledge of God in Christ Jesus humbles.

    some day knowledge and prophesy will be done away.

  67. foreverblessed says:

    Yes, knowledge of Jesus!
    Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    That knowledge is precious now.
    Jesus is the One that redeemed us out of the hand of the foe.
    And He is now our Lord. But I do believe that Jesus wants us to know Him better:
    The beauty of His character.
    The way He treated people while here on earth.
    The “I am” that He talked about.
    Jesus is the Gate.
    It is only now, that I see the deeper meaning of it.
    The Gate, His body, He takes us in His body to the Cross, into the grave, so that we can be raised to life with Him, a spiritual life.

    He is the Gate, where we go through.
    Peter likens it with the 8 of Noah, they were saved out of the crooked generation of that time.
    In a ship.
    Coming on land, and left the ship, starting a new society, (as the pilgrims did).
    But…how soon the evil society of Nimrod appeared.

    But Peter does not mention the ship, but says: saved through the water…

    Our old self is dead, because we died with Jesus, two thousand years ago. It a not something that we feel, it is fact that we can have faith in. It is true.
    The life I now live, I live in faith in Jesus.
    (Citing Paul)
    Paul’s former life was totally gone, when he excepted Jesus, he lost his job, he had no income, he lost his religion, happily enough that was the end of his violence against Christians.
    But…he gained Christ.

  68. street says:

    21 so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

  69. street says:

    Jesus, the object of our faith, not the law. how can you love letters on a page? when they are the Spirit and Truth of a risen Savior.

    you will live in grace righteousness through faith in Jesus, LORD and Savior.

    The Savior that insist on Mercy. Grace.

    thinking of dying with Christ, being yoked with Him. being yoked with Him in death and life. true life. living sacrifice.

    intro to life in a Holy Spirit poured out into our hearts, the love of God.

    Alpha and Omega

  70. Hugger4U says:

    Good morning, family!

    Good to see the flow of conversation steeped in the riches of Christ and the Father’s Word. I love it!

    Everyone benefits from the riches of the Word when given in Spirit and Truth and Love.

    Continuing with prayers today for SCOTUS. Thank you for standing in the gap for the unborn!

    In the Love of the Father that He lavished on us.
    Linda

  71. foreverblessed says:

    Praying for them Linda,
    And also praying for Laska, Beloved.
    May God remember him.
    Please pray for my colleague, last Monday we had a long talk about Jesus, and why He came.
    I said: “see the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world”. She does not think the sin of the world has to be taken away.
    She knows I am a believing Christian, who does not need a logical proof that He exists, because He touched my heart. But she is still doubting. Please pray for her, that the Holy Spirit speaks in her heart. He knows how to reach her.
    I have been talking on and off about Jesus, for more than 10 years.
    God is patient, He was so with me.

  72. foreverblessed says:

    About the word: Glory

    “10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.”
    John 17:10

    That Jesus says it the other way around!
    I would think glory would come from Jesus to us.

  73. Beloved says:

    Glory

    2Corinthians
    The god(I) of this age(J) has blinded(K) the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ,(L) who is the image of God.(M) 5 For what we preach is not ourselves,(N) but Jesus Christ as Lord,(O) and ourselves as your servants(P) for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”[a](Q) made his light shine in our hearts(R) to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.(S)

    7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay(T) to show that this all-surpassing power is from God(U) and not from us.

  74. SFDBWV says:

    Once again we strain at the word “glory”…

    In the last subject we looked at the struggle of interpreting the words of Scripture.

    One thing for sure while we strain at clearly understanding a single word, sometimes we forget the same word can have different meanings when used for different purposes.

    Such searching has caused a plethora of different Bibles meant to clarify any confusion about word usage, only to make it more confusing.

    Some of us agreed that the word “glory” can also mean “weight”, but when expressing admiration for God carrying such weight we can also pay respect and honor by expressing it as “giving God the “honor” (glory) for doing so.

    How can we show Jesus in us? I don’t mean by quoting Scripture, and there is nothing wrong with that. It has its time and purpose, but how in our actions do we show and perhaps “share” in His glory?

    Love is demonstrated by sacrifice and service to others.

    But there is more.

    When Jesus encountered the woman caught red handed in the act of adultery he didn’t accuser her, He forgave her.

    It is written that perfect love casts out fear.

    So then we should have no fear of the coming judgement.

    When as a result the “glory” of Christ is revealed and all of mankind shall bow and every knee bend.

    Out of time for now…

    My duties call to me.

    Steve

  75. Beloved says:

    Tough days ahead for my sister and her family as her son has been arrested for heinous crimes. Lift them up please. God has His plans and I’m resting in His goodness and faithfulness to all generations.

    12..for He comes, for He comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness. Psalm96

    12Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous ones,
    and praise His holy name. Psalm97

  76. street says:

    thinking about repentance and apologizing. why are they so difficult or impossible?

    thinking about dead in sin.

    does a dead person have resources or power to accomplish their will? to restore or make right?

    the power of mercy/forgiveness from God, who’s Right Hand can save.

    called to repent and believe.

    Psalm 16:11
    You will make known to me the way of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

    do not hide Your Face from me.

    Psalm 45:7
    You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of joy above Your companions.

    Psalm 51:12
    Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And sustain me with a willing spirit.

  77. Beloved says:

    I never thought about it street but no dead people (spiritually dead) cannot or do not want to repent. It truly is a gift from God.
    Yes He can make dead bones come to life and not to be Christian zombies but true image bearers full of love joy peace patience kindness etc. and the toughest for me – self-control. That takes true mortification. So thankful for our Helper working quietly and faithfully.
    I love the descriptive “quietly” Mart uses. A reminder to be still…

  78. SFDBWV says:

    “Be still and know that I AM God”

    A cold morning in the mountains. White frost covering everything outside. Clear blue sky above and the air pregnant with anticipation…

    I do love it so.

    Steve

  79. poohpity says:

    2 Cor 5: For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. 2 We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. 3 For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. 4 While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. 5 God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit……

    Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. 15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.

    So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

    And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering (Lamb of God) for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

  80. Beloved says:

    You draw life from Jesus Christ if you keep close to Him, and that life makes you, in derived and subordinate fashion, but in a very real and profound sense, what Jesus Christ was in the world.
    Maclaren on I Peter 2

  81. street says:

    My hope has been to help provide a place where everyone would feel welcome and respected; where thoughts, doubts, and questions could be asked without condemnation; and where the Spirit of Christ could do his quiet work of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

    I am going to be a little stinker here. tongue and cheek.

    Romans 8:24
    For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees?

  82. Beloved says:

    Oh you are a stinker lol.
    But Paul is right.
    Yet I hope Mart you get to see some good fruit from us fruitcakes eventually.
    Nothing like fruitcake for Christmas! Jingle jingle

  83. Beloved says:

    Still thinking about 1peter2 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ

    Can you expound on priesthood and spiritual sacrifices.

  84. foreverblessed says:

    Welcome back Pooh!
    You are greatly valued here.
    Your testimony, how Jesus saved you out of your former life.

    So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

  85. foreverblessed says:

    “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.”
    John 10:14-15
    The verse of the day, on Bible gateway.

    A wonderful verse.
    Jesus calls us to Him:
    “Come to Me”
    Come through the Gate (that is also Jesus)

    It is all about Jesus, Jesus our Saviour.

    As you come to Him, the Living Stone- rejected by men but chosen by God and previous to Him…

    Again, “come to Him”

    A good thing to think about:
    Offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Christ Jesus” 2 Peter 2:4-5

    Acceptable- because it goes through Jesus,
    again…the Gate (I am the Gate)
    Even our offerings go through Jesus.

    The first offering that is acceptay to God is this one:
    …and the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame”

    That we trust Jesus,
    The Word that was in the beginning, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
    He was with God in the beginning.
    Through Him all things were made, without Him nothing was made that has been made..
    14 the Word became flesh and dwelt (tabernacled) among us. John 1:1-3,14

    There was a Tabernacle in the desert with the Israelites, that became a Temple under Solomon, but now Jesus lived among us.
    Tabernacles among us, says the Greek word.

    He went to the Cross, into the grave and was Resurrected.
    We were in Him, what happened to Him happened to us, we died with Him
    Our old man is dead,
    So that we could be raised to a spiritual life, a new man.

    To a spiritual house, living stones.

    What are these sacrifices?
    Not the keeping of the Torah, being in the Temple on specific days, and moments of the day, offering animals.

  86. foreverblessed says:

    Sorry, that was so long….
    I wanted to expound on the life under Moses, and the Torah, all the laws in the Old Testament.
    That was my old life.

    But when I died with Jesus
    My old man died
    I died:. To sin
    To the world
    To the basic principles of the world
    (Keeping of days, that us about time, offering animals, that is about food)

    Why did I still live to the basic principles of the world: keeping of the Sabbath from sunset to sunset, keeping of the Festivals of Lev 23?

    I did not understand the spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
    My Utmost of yesterday says:
    When we keep our bodies holy, we will keep all the ordinances of the Torah.
    I was thinking:
    We died to the Torah, it has nothing to say about us anymore, we are dead.
    And were resurrected to a new life in Jesus.

  87. foreverblessed says:

    Take with you words, and turn to the Lord, say unto Him,
    Take away all iniquity and receive us graciously:
    So we will render the calves of our lips.

    Hosea 14:2

  88. poohpity says:

    Romans 12: And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

    3 Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. 4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.

  89. Beloved says:

    Sacrifice

    Psalm51
    NASB 1977
    The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.

    Amplified Bible
    My [only] sacrifice [acceptable] to God is a broken spirit; A broken and contrite heart [broken with sorrow for sin, thoroughly penitent], such, O God, You will not despise.

  90. Beloved says:

    I Peter5
    6Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,

  91. foreverblessed says:

    Today is the name day of Saint Nicholas, if you do a search under that name in wikipedia, you will find a description of this bisshop. He has really lived, and his remains were in the chuch of Myra, where he was Bishop, but when in 1087 AD the newly arrived Muslim Seljuk Turks took over that sity, the christians removed his remains and brought them to Bari in Italy.
    Now, there is a link between his remains in Bari Italy and an Abbey in Egmond, that is north of Amsterdam at the seaside.

    It was in the news yesterday, that Amsterdam the Nicholas church in Amsterdam, got a little present from an Abbey in Egmond. This Abbey was founded in the 11th century, and when the chapel was built, they got a few of the relics of the Bishop Nicholas, from the city of Bari of Italy, where his remains were brought to, when Myra, in Turkey, was overpowered by the Turkish forces, and christians were not welcome anymore in Turkey. The abbey in Egmond decided to give one little bone, in a beautiful box, to Amsterdam, and it was all over our news that it was about this good man, doing good, and helping this family with 3 daughters preventing them from going into prostitution. What a preaching of good news that was. The real meaning of the festivities.
    (I also shared this in the ODB of today, where this Bisshop Nicholas is mentioned)

    representing Jesus everyday, all around us, doing good, and helping! Doing everything as if we did it for Jesus, not for applaud.

  92. Beloved says:

    Forever so that is your name, Rita. Are you a doctor? (gp) general practitioner. Doesn’t really matter just curious.

    Enjoy hearing about St. Nick every year. Giver of gifts to the children. I was taught he was omnipotent and watched us always to make sure we were good. If not one could get a lump of coal in their stocking. I actually was relieved when I discovered he wasn’t real. Lol

  93. Beloved says:

    Please ignore my question Forever.

  94. Beloved says:

    I get too snoopy sometimes; ask street. I apologize to you both.

  95. foreverblessed says:

    General practitioner?
    Yes, of God’s Word
    😅

    All though, I have to be careful, every Bible verse I share I ought to see that I keep them myself!
    But gp are the first letter of my name, gerrita petronella.
    I should have been called Rie, like my grandmother, short for Rita. But my mom chose the second name instead.
    Which my grandma didn’t like.
    Oh well, that’s how things go on life. Where is my grandmother? Can she sometimes see us? Are they still involved in our lives?
    And all the saints, Peter and Paul, would they have prayed for the church, when they were in heaven?
    When we visited Rome, we were in the underground hiding place of the christians, at Via Appia. Everywhere was written: help us Peter and Paul. Prayers to Peter and Paul. We don’t do that, we pray to God, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.
    Saint Nicholas is not here, riding on a horse, over the houses, and his servant, throwing presents through the chimney.
    But…he may be involved in intercessory prayer in heaven
    Anyway, what use it is to ask these questions, I better start learning intercessory prayer today, for my family, village, city, country.

    “Lord, be merciful.”

  96. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed I remember when you said it was ok to address you as Rita, some time back. I did for a while, but you seemed to prefer “Foreverblessed” so I have stuck with that.

    It is somewhat appropriate to be talking about names when this morning’s ODB was about the name Emmanuel.

    There are a few people in Scripture whose birth was announced by angels along with their name and instruction for their lives.

    I believe they are called “Nazarite’s”.

    I find your thoughts about our dead loved ones and even such as the Apostles long dead intriguing.

    While I agree with honoring Mary the mother of Jesus and see no problem with the “Rosary”, I do stop at praying to her or any specific classified Saints.

    I do believe that the souls of the dead go either to “Paradise” or a place of torment once their soul departs the body. I really don’t think they observe life here, but do have plenty of “ghost” stories that test that theory.

    After all God is God and will do as He pleases.

    It is nice though to now know you by name. Gerrita Petronella.

    Steve

  97. Beloved says:

    Pooh, I was remembering when you asked for help to get your daughter dentures. Wondering how she is doing? How are you doing? Your health? I pray for you both often. Joyce

  98. Beloved says:

    Hark! the herald angels sing
    Glory to the newborn King
    Peace on earth, and mercy mild
    God and sinners reconciled
    Joyful, all ye nations, rise
    Join the triumph of the skies
    With th’ angelic host proclaim
    Christ is born in Bethlehem
    Hark, the herald angels sing
    Glory to the newborn King

    Hail, the heav’n-born Prince of peace
    Hail! the Son of Righteousness
    Light and life to all he brings
    Risen with healing in his wings
    Mild he lays his glory by
    Born that man no more may die
    Born to raise the sons of earth
    Born to give them second birth
    Hark! the herald angels sing
    Glory to the newborn King

    Hark, the herald angels sing
    Glory to the newborn King
    Peace on earth, and mercy mild
    God and sinners reconciled
    Joyful, all ye nations, rise
    Join the triumph of the skies
    With th’ angelic host proclaim
    Christ is born in Bethlehem
    Hark, the herald angels sing
    Glory to the newborn King

  99. Beloved says:

    1 Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
    Let earth receive her King;
    let ev’ry heart prepare him room
    and heav’n and nature sing,
    and heav’n and nature sing,
    and heav’n, and heav’n and nature sing.

    2 Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
    Let men their songs employ,
    while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains,
    repeat the sounding joy,
    repeat the sounding joy,
    repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

    3 No more let sins and sorrows grow
    nor thorns infest the ground;
    he comes to make his blessings flow
    far as the curse is found,
    far as the curse is found,
    far as, far as the curse is found.

    4 He rules the world with truth and grace
    and makes the nations prove
    the glories of his righteousness
    and wonders of his love,
    and wonders of his love,
    and wonders, wonders of his love.

  100. foreverblessed says:

    The apostles started the Church, (well, the Holy Spirit did, through them)
    Would they not know what has been going on with the Church, since they died?
    Maybe I am just too logical.
    All these christians that have gone before us…
    Today on ODB it is on unity, unity among the Church.
    The author talks about trivial things that could divide, a chickenbone. But we believe we can divide because of doctrinal differences.
    (I shared my story there)

    Steve, I remember you said something about Rita, did I not react to that? Years ago it was.

  101. foreverblessed says:

    Beloved, these songs are so beautiful!
    I just love them, see how the Gospel is preached through them?!
    And then to think, that from age 5 to 35, I viewed Christmas’s as a heathen festival, we were not allowed to go to church, as a child. We were in a protestant primary school, we practiced these songs during schooltime, in the church. My dad would go to the head of the school, to say that he disagreed. The head of the school said: what we do during schooltime, your children have to participate, they don’t have to go on Christmas Eve.
    And so it happened: we walked to the church in the village, and sang the Christmas songs. But never on Christmas Eve.

    And now, I just love these songs!!!
    Maybe to make up for the years I did not.

    It is hard to imagine for those who haven’t experienced it, what it is to be in a strong church community, to stay there, because of the social ties, but also, because of the religious spirits, that have blinded some points.
    God had patience with me, as He had said to me, He kept His eyes on me, to wait, till Je could teach me what He really meant, by being a follower of Jesus Christ:

  102. foreverblessed says:

    Through the Body and Blood of Jesus, He has bought us out of the kingdom of darkness, into the Kingdom of the Son He loves.
    Col 1:13

    How much we have died, (because we were in the Body of Christ, when Jesus hang on the Cross, and was buried, to be Resurrected again, the third day).

    We died to our old man,
    we died to who we were in Adam
    We died to sin Gal 6:1
    But….
    We also died to the Law of Moses: Rom 8:2, Gal 2:19
    To the rituals, the food laws, the offerings of animals, the keeping of days holy.
    Days and food and rituals, they are part of time and matter…they have no power to change our inner heart, and so Paul says, they are beggarly, and of no use.
    Gal 4:9, Col 2:6-23
    They lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

    By just studying the Cross of Christ, the Body&Blood, we can see what God has meant us to be.

    To be a new man, through the Holy Spirit, to listen to what Jesus has tought us.
    Jesus’ Words is what counts…
    The Word, being a living Word, that lives in us through the Holy Spirit.

  103. SFDBWV says:

    You did fine Foreverblessed with being called Rita, I guess it was me that just went along with Foreverblessed as no one else but I addressed you as Rita.

    At the time you did not want your real name known on BTA because of others in your community knowing who you were. This was while BTA was still a part of RBC ministries and out there shared with all on their list.

    Jumping way ahead…I have always struggled with just how much things depend on us or whether everything is in God’s hands.

    It is a casualty of listening to others interpretation of things with regards to our faith.

    What apart from being a friend to others, aiding all in their struggles and walk through life really matters to God with respects to us as believers?

    If it is our desire to somehow please God as a result of our behavior, what is it we could do to accomplish that task? And what then is it we want from Him?

    So many things just don’t make sense to me. Jesus said we could do all the miracles he did and more. So why can’t we?

    We don’t have enough faith? Faith is a gift from God, as I have read it stated.

    Our prayers are “amiss”, we are told. Yet told to ask specifically for what we want.

    Not God’s will?

    How can God’s will be misery and suffering for His “beloved children”?

    Somehow in my mind it comes down to either believing the testimony of Scripture in that the acceptance of Jesus as Lord is all we can or need to do or thinking that there is a regiment of actions on our part we need to accomplish in order to be “proper” believers.

    The added weight of religion is a burden and distraction from our relationship with God, in my simple opinion.

    I am not sure I am being clear, but I don’t want to spend too much time trying to find the exact words to express my feelings and so will let what I have written be enough for now.

    24 degrees f and cloudy with snow flurries this morning.

    Steve

  104. foreverblessed says:

    Dear Steve, yes I do believe the gist of what you want to say.
    Waht is it that God wants form us?
    As I share my struggles with this, having been in church that wanted to keep all the Holy Days of the Old Testament, I have a struggle that is maybe not related to any of yours.

    But…the message that everything is taken up in the Cross of Christ, that that is the central theme of Christianity, and that all that we are and have to believe, and maybe have to “do”, hangs on that Cross.

    That is most basic thing that God wants is that we believe:
    Faith in Jesus Christ….
    Jesus says that somewhere in the Gospels:
    The work that God requires: to believe in the One He has send.

    From there everything arises.
    We died with Jesus on the Cross,
    How great that implication is:
    We died to the world,
    so anything that happens in the world, how disastrous it may be, we died to the world, long ago, when Jesus died on the Cross,
    We belong to another world, to the Kingdom of the Son He loves.

    Oh, how I could rest more and more in that sure fact, that Jesus is the One, the King of my heart, and that He will lead me through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, talking to me,
    and to each one of you, personally, in everyday living and chores.

  105. SFDBWV says:

    I do believe Foreverblessed that we are fairly much on the same page. The only thing that matters is believing that Jesus is Lord.

    It is written that for us to even be able to say it comes from the Holy Spirit in us.

    So of what use is all the rest of things written in Scripture with regards to our being a believer?

    You can’t do this, you can’t do that. Only makes us feel we fail and offend Him.

    So actually I agree with the rest of all the can’t do’s and don’t do’s as they all point to the fact I can do nothing acceptable except accept Jesus as Lord.

    So once we become a believer what burden is then applied to us except the care and love of our fellow man? Knowing even in that we are going to fail.

    This story remains all about Jesus as Christ. It isn’t about us, it is about Him and our never being able to live up to His standard.

    It is clear to me that God meets our needs, but He that decides what we need and what we don’t and our life unfolds as a result in spite of what we may ask.

    Steve

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