calling all christian survivors

Romans is such a fantastic book. So much depth. I learn something new every time I read through it.

I love when people wonder why God doesn't just swoop down and destroy all the "evil doers". It's right there... "His Kindness, forbearance and PATIENCE, not realizing that God's kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?"

God longs for reconciliation. To that end, He is patient. Justice and Judgement will come some day, but in the mean time, He is offering Grace and Mercy, desiring us to come to Him and enter again into relationship.

I'm reading a book currently. Hoping to get a men's discipleship group going at my church. It's called, "No Matter the Cost". It's good so far and even has a 6 week group study in the back.
18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. 19 And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. 20 For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. 22 And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. 23 And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.
Highlight mine of course...

Basically.... If you struggle with guilt or shame, if your heart condemns you.... No worries, God is greater than what you feel in your heart and He knows everything about what you are dealing with.


[font:Times New Roman]Happy is the man who does not walk according to the advice of the wicked
And does not stand on the path of sinners
And does not sit in the seat of scoffers.
But his delight is in the law of Jehovah,
And he reads His law in an undertone day and night.
He will be like a tree planted by streams of water,
A tree that produces fruit in its season,
The foliage of which does not wither.
And everything he does will succeed.
The wicked are not like that;
They are like the chaff that the wind blows away.
That is why the wicked will not remain standing in the judgment;
Nor will sinners remain standing in the assembly of the righteous.
For Jehovah is aware of the way of the righteous,
But the way of the wicked will perish.




god's advice for me today.

[font:Book Antiqua]A wise person thinks a lot about death,
while a fool thinks only about having a good time.

Better to listen to a wise mans rebuke than to listen to the song of fools.
For as the crackling of thorns burning under the pot, so is the laughter of the fool; and this too is futility.
But oppression can drive the wise one into madness, and a bribe corrupts the heart.

Finishing is better than starting.
Patience is better than pride.
Control your temper,
for anger labels you a fool.
Dont long for the good old days.
This is not wise.
Wisdom is even better when you have money.
Both are a benefit as you go through life.
Wisdom and money can get you almost anything,
but only wisdom can save your life.
Accept the way God does things,
for who can straighten what he has made crooked?
Enjoy prosperity while you can,
but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God.
Remember that nothing is certain in this life.

I have seen everything in this meaningless life,
including the death of good young people and the long life of wicked people.
So dont be too good or too wise!
Why destroy yourself?
On the other hand, dont be too wicked either.
Dont be a fool! Why die before your time?
Pay attention to these instructions, for anyone who fears God will avoid both extremes.
One wise person is stronger than ten leading citizens of a town!
Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins.
Dont eavesdrop on others; you may hear your servant curse you.
For you know how often you yourself have cursed others.
I have always tried my best to let wisdom guide my thoughts and actions.
I said to myself, I am determined to be wise. But it didnt work.
Wisdom is always distant and difficult to find.

Ecclesiastes 7[/font]


The word of God gives me Hope.

[font:Times New Roman]Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way,
we never give up.
We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods.
We dont try to trick anyone or distort the word of God.
We tell the truth before God,
and all who are honest know this.
If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil,
it is hidden only from people who are perishing.
Satan, who is the god of this world,
has blinded the minds of those who dont believe.
They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News.
They dont understand this message about the glory of Christ,
who is the exact likeness of God.
You see, we dont go around preaching about ourselves.
We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord,
and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus sake.
For God, who said, Let there be light in the darkness,
has made this light shine in our hearts
so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.
We now have this light shining in our hearts,
but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure.
This makes it clear that our great power is from God,
not from ourselves.
We are pressed on every side by troubles,
but we are not crushed.
We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.
We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God.
We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.
Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus
so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.
Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies.
So we live in the face of death,
but this has resulted in eternal life for you.
But we continue to preach
because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said,
I believed in God, so I spoke.
We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus,
will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you.
All of this is for your benefit.
And as Gods grace reaches more and more people,
there will be great thanksgiving,
and God will receive more and more glory.
That is why we never give up.
Though our bodies are dying,
our spirits are being renewed every day.
For our present troubles are small and wont last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!
So we dont look at the troubles we can see now;
rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen.
For the things we see now will soon be gone,
but the things we cannot see will last forever.

2 Corinthians 4[/font]


I found something new in matthew, that really hit home for me.
the tears of a father, for his child.

Jesus said unto him, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth."
And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief."

Matthew 9:23-24

i am going through some stuff with my children right now,
and this was more than a trigger, it was a bullet.
it really expresses my desperation and doubt.
i have prayed these thoughts many times,
speaking them out loud to the sky,
and softly into my pillow.
i have received some powerful answers.


I feel like no one cares about me sometimes, and just want me to fit in instead of believing the truth about myself, the world around me, and others. Like a damned cog in the wheel instead of a person.

"Lord, I believe, please help me in my unbelief". That's what I have to think to myself so often when I'm constantly brain washed and conditioned to think of myself as nothing all the time."


"lord, i believe, but help me with my unbelief" is included in almost every one of my prayers. instead of wiping out my doubts, he answers my questions, one at a time, as i slowly become more able to receive understanding.

whenever i get low on love and faith... i get it from god.
a good honest prayer can really recharge my batteries.
but sometimes it is hard to pray.
sometimes doubt gets in the way.
i rebel. i disobey.
i turn my back. i curse his name.
i struggle with a sense of shame.
there are no secrets and nothing is hidden from the eyes of god.
it can get to the point where i feel like i am not worthy to worship my creator.
i might even stop praying.
get busy with life and work.
this can go on for days and weeks,
and the longer it takes for me me to make things right between me and the lord, the harder it hurts.

so i get started with some scripture.

faith is a choice.
an action. a force.
it feels right.
but it's hard to do,
the results are good.
but the rewards are few.
faith promotes love in me,
which i can share infinitely,
through acts of charity,
so christ commanded me.


current topic of study for me


in my flesh------------------------------------------
[font:Century Gothic]So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations,
a thorn was given me in the flesh,
a messenger of Satan to harass me,
to keep me from becoming conceited.
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.
But he said to me,
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses,
so that Christs power may rest on me.
That is why, for Christs sake, I delight in weaknesses,
in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.
For when I am weak, then I am strong. [/font]
(2 Corinthians 12)

the curse of thorns------------------------------------------
[font:Century Gothic]To Adam he said,
Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree
about which I commanded you, You must not eat from it,
Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.
It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.
[/font](Genesis 3)

the crown of thorns------------------------------------------
[font:Century Gothic]The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace and called together the whole company of soldiers.
They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him.
And they began to call out to him, Hail, king of the Jews!
Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him.
Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him.[/font]
(Mark 15 - Matthew 27 - John 19)

the seed among thorns------------------------------------------
[font:Century Gothic]Listen! A farmer went out to sow his SEED.
As he was scattering the SEED, some fell along the path,
and the birds came and ate it up.
Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil.
It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.
But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched,
and they withered because they had no root.
Other SEED fell among thorns,
which grew up and choked the plants,
so that they did not bear grain.
Still other SEED fell on good soil.
It came up, grew and produced a crop,
some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.[/font]
(Mark 4)

[font:Century Gothic] Listen then to what the parable of the sower means:
When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it,
the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart.
This is the SEED sown along the path.
The SEED falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word
and at once receives it with joy.
But since they have no root, they last only a short time.
When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.
The SEED falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word,
but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word,
making it unfruitful.
But the SEED falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word
and understands it.
This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred,
sixty or thirty times what was sown.
[/font] (Matthew 13)

the path of thorns------------------------------------------
[font:Century Gothic]The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns, but the path of the upright is a highway.[/font] (Proverbs 15)

the crackling of thorns------------------------------------------
[font:Century Gothic]It is better to heed the rebuke of a wise person
than to listen to the song of fools.
Like the crackling of thorns under the pot,
so is the laughter of fools.
This too is meaningless.[/font]
(Ecclesiastes 7)

the fruit of thorns------------------------------------------
[font:Century Gothic]"By their fruit you will recognize them.
Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.
Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them."[/font]
(Matthew 7)

the field of thorns------------------------------------------
[font:Century Gothic]It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened,
who have tasted the heavenly gift,
who have shared in the Holy Spirit,
who have tasted the goodness of the word of God
and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away,
to be brought back to repentance.
To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again
and subjecting him to public disgrace.
Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it
and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed
receives the blessing of God.
But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless
and is in danger of being cursed.
In the end it will be burned.[/font]
(Hebrews 6)

slashing through the thorns with the sword (word) of god.

Ephesians 6> [font:Century Gothic]"Put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."[/font]

2 Corinthians 4> [font:Century Gothic]We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.[/font]

1 Peter 4> [font:Century Gothic]Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christs sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.[/font]

Hebrews 12> [font:Century Gothic]For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.[/font]

James 1> [font:Century Gothic]"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do."[/font]

1 Corinthians 10> [font:Century Gothic]"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."[/font]

2 Corinthians 4> [font:Century Gothic]For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.[/font]

anyone else have some courage and comfort to contribute?
looking for similar scripture to inspire strength.
anything to add?

is there anyone out there
with wisdom to spare
and willing to share?

stuck in some thick thornbushes.

"We can complain because rosebushes have thorns,
or rejoice because thornbushes have roses."

Abraham Lincoln


more gardening by god.

i wrote a poem.
as i read this poem a day after i wrote it,
i realized where the images in my mind originated.

first the poem: GENESIS REVELATION

next the scripture: GENESIS to REVELATION
A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.
This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by lifes worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.
(LUKE 8 - MARK 4 - MATTHEW 13)

The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares? He said to them, An enemy has done this. The servants said to him, Do you want us then to go and gather them up? But he said, No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.
He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.

"Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these."

All people are like grass,
and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
because the breath of JHVH blows on them.
Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God endures forever.
(ISAIAH 40 - 1 PETER 1)

"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Against such things there is no law."

Then God said, Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds. And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food."

You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.

"When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves."

"From the mouth of the righteous comes the fruit of wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be silenced."
"The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and the one who is wise saves lives."
"From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things, and the work of their hands brings them reward."
"From the fruit of their lips people enjoy good things, but the unfaithful have an appetite for violence."
"The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit."
"The one who guards a fig tree will eat its fruit."

"Tell the righteous it will be well with them,
for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds."
"And the desert becomes a fertile field,
and the fertile field seems like a forest.
The Lords justice will dwell in the desert,
his righteousness live in the fertile field.
The fruit of that righteousness will be peace;
its effect will be quietness and confidence forever."
"Though hail flattens the forest
and the city is leveled completely,
how blessed you will be,
sowing your seed by every stream."
(ISAIAH 3 & 32)

"This is what the Lord JHVH says: I myself will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it; I will break off a tender sprig from its topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain. On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches. All the trees of the forest will know that I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish."

"I looked, and there before me stood a tree in the middle of the land. Its height was enormous. The tree grew large and strong and its top touched the sky; it was visible to the ends of the earth. Its leaves were beautiful, its fruit abundant, and on it was food for all. Under it the wild animals found shelter, and the birds lived in its branches; from it every creature was fed."

"Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek JHVH, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you. But you have planted wickedness, you have reaped evil, you have eaten the fruit of deception.
(HOSEA 10)

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.

"The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."
"By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them."
Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit."
(MATTHEW 3 & 7 & 12) (LUKE 3 & 6)

"Continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience."

"Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations."

[quote: [font:Courier New]Anais Nin[/font] ][font:Courier New]"The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." [/font][/quote]


nltsaved said:
There are certain aspects of Calvinism I really enjoy.
Please tell me more. i know little to nothing on calvinism.

nltsaved said:
How far do we take the sovereignty of God ?
in my humble opinion, we take it as far as he permits.
the absolute sovereignty of the creator of the universe is invulnerable to any action of his creatures.
free will is a finite gift, it has limited power.

god is generous with his grace and mercy, and his patience is obvious,
but it appears that scripture says that patience will end.

as for the rest of your question...

i have come to the same conclusion as you. there is nothing i disagree with in your original post (reposted below).

i can only agree with an amen and an additional scripture.
god does what god wants, but what does god want, and what do we need to know?

Exodus 33:19
"And JHVH said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, JHVH, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion."

Jer 21:14 (NIV) "I will punish you as your deeds deserve, declares the Lord."

Revelation 4:11
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Genesis 1:26-28
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

Ecclesiastes 12:13
Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

Matthew 22:36-40
Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. and the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Matthew 5:48
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

there you have it. fairly simple in a sense.
mission impossible!
i welcome the challenge.

nltsaved said:
What are your thoughts on the sovereignty of God , how far do you take it?

All salvation is of grace. I am leaning towards God does what he wants and because we being human want to know and understand and have reason revealed to us that we do want to believe in a God who predestines some to be saved and others to be raised up only to fall.

I am finding in my study that God does things that we will never be able to comprehend. Things that we might see as unfair or dare I say unjust and yet there are deeper more profound meanings behind his actions. Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

How far do we take the sovereignty of God ? I am almost to the point of thinking God is really sovereign in ALL things whether we understand him or his actions or not or whether we can reason our way into rejecting it or accepting.In the end I am just trusting God in all things for all things and committing to God being sovereign in all things because I think in my own opinion that in doing so it will put him in the highest place in my life that I can place him. Sovereign in all things trusting him in all things and whether i agree with it or not. Just knowing He is everything he says he is and really i have no reason not to believe this because for this verse 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. I have seen in my life he has justified me and i feel predestined and he has glorified me in many ways and put me in positions to glorify him through me and has set me in places to do great things and areas that I could never have achieved without God. I have no high school diploma and work at a job that requires one and make more money than most people with college degrees I have held 3 management positions in my life with not high school diploma he has allowed me to go on the oprah show and have the local news paper do a story on me and God uses me to do a prison ministry to bring the gospel to prisoners some even being child molesters . I say ONLY the grace and glory of God could any of this have been possible. I feel a sense of predestination not in the sense of being better than anyone but I do feel that God does choose those whom he chooses and chooses to do other things for people that i will never understand. Does it mean some our destine for hell ? well if it means to further bring him glory than i would say yes . Hell is not a place of fire and burning it is simply life without God life knowing you could of had a relationship with God and live in his presence . Instead rejecting God and having to live eternity separated from his presence. You have to read scripture in light of scripture and as a totality . When doing this you are able to grasp God i believe more correctly . Scripture in light of scripture . Yes there is a lot God does that would make you scratch your head and some that has the appearance of contradiction but examined in light of all scripture it is not contradicted at all and in the totality of scripture it reveals God love his sovereignty and his compassion time and time again.

There is so much glory and majesty about god that truly we do not understand, although we see great evils and we see here on earth how we would handle some things and have our own ideas of what justice and fairness is. Yet God see's things past present future and knows exactly what the causes and effects will be not only that he knows the amount of people it will effect the most. Add in everything is for his ultimate glory.
I mean If you had to determined who lives and who dies and had to make a decision in a scenario of your son or someone you knew was in a house that was about to explode and you could only get one person out of 6 which one would you pick? Most would pick their loved one, But God who is omnipotent knows that one of those people would go on to find a cure for cancer God would know who would go on to bring him the most glory where we would most likely go off our feelings and emotions.
Romans 9
It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on Gods mercy.
For Scripture says to Pharaoh: I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.
Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.
One of you will say to me: Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?
But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, Why did you make me like this?
Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?


I need to say more a bit later when I have a bit more time.

But I didn't find God until I was at the end of my own resources.

This happens easily as a child when I don't have resources to defend.

But beyond being a small child, I had to be at the end of myself to be open to God, who is beyond.



nltsaved said:
Jeremiah 17 5-8
[font:Times New Roman] Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who draws strength from mere flesh
and whose heart turns away from the Lord.

i can't trust man.
i am a man.
i can't trust myself.
i catch myself lying to myself all the time.
i am flesh. the flesh is weak.
a flower among thorns.

Apostle Paul said:
"[font:Times New Roman]What if some were unfaithful?
Will their unfaithfulness nullify Gods faithfulness?
Not at all!
Let God be true, and every human being a liar.[/font]"
Romans 3
i am flesh,
but i am spirit,
and the spirit is willing.

in god's image.
i am honoured.

thanks, nltsaved.
you got me thinking again.


pufferfish said:
I need to say more a bit later when I have a bit more time.
looking forward to it :)

pufferfish said:
But I didn't find God until I was at the end of my resources.
same here.

christianity and the bible and jesus and salvation was the absolute last resort for me.
no other discipline produced such a profound transformation in my paradigm.
the inner peace seems genuine and durable.
still a skeptic. still a seeker.
if there be something better, i say, "show me."
until then...

Joshua 24:15 New International Version (NIV)

"If serving JHVH seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve JHVH.


just lived through some serious nightmare sh!t,
but kept my spirits up and my soul on track with some excellent scripture.
which i have shared below.

the lesson from this recent injury was all about letting go and letting god work in me through me.
putting principles into practice.
once again the power of the inspired word of god has proven true.
all promises were fulfilled.
christianity, (prayer, bible study and fellowship) was 100% effective as a coping mechanism. this trauma was not so traumatic. i did dive into the deep end of the pool but i did not drown.

i found faith in failure.
patience in pain.
strength in suffering.
comfort in chaos.
grace in grief.
dignity in disaster.

please enjoy these words as much as i did.

James 1
[font:Courier New]Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
When tempted, no one should say, God is tempting me. For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
Dont be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

James 5
[font:Courier New]Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lords coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lords coming is near. Dont grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Jobs perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

Ecclesiastes 3
[font:Courier New]There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toilthis is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.[/font]

full background story of recent injury and recovery.


found this entertaining bible study.

old testament
in the beginning...

or new



apostle paul
to the romans...




Thanks Victor,

Never seen it in that way...(Keter - Machut)

I have been more focused on how Chesed (Mercy/Softness) and G'vurah (Restrain/Strictness) work in various situations.

I see a reflection of the "lower seven attributes" paralleling the Romans 12 ...Different types of people.

Some people in that list I think are more prone to abuse...more passive 'naturally' when it comes. Some would find a voice more easily in these terrible situations.

Healing of our inner lives reflects the healing of our walk with The Maker. That's my experience.

I challenge that the "national redemption" of the servant Nation (both houses) will be the happy ending for this earth according to scripture. Family reunion.

(I am slow at producing the scripture, chapter and verse, but it is not that I don't 'know' them....back to differing strengths and weaknesses in the Romans 12 list of gifts.)

As a christian who has been an outsider most of my life through childhood sexual abuse etc I see The Maker using our circumstances wonderfully.....well with hindsight. I'm 50. Never thought I would make it this far!

Thanks for this thread and please feel free to challenge me if I am not perceiving the parameters correctly.



Same here!

"it takes two to tango" meaning respect works both ways

I am still at 50 looking for close friendships.....clearly I am damaged goods but I believe Id make a good friend to someone :)

Still I have hope..... Hine Ma Tov Oma Nayim Shev Achim Gm Yachad

How good it is when family dwell together in unity! According to the book this is what will happen completely. No small Hope (Expectation)



Thorns have been a subject I have dealt with as art and in my study of scripture.

For me thorns are a sign......a good sign of something wrong...a kindness, a warning

I even made a thorn 3 foot tall !

My final degree work was a 7 foot air conditioning tube with flashing neon thorn warning signs. (I have video to prove it :) )

but if the sign loses it flavour (meaning) sad today it is seen as a natural survival mechanism of plants.

I thank The Maker for thorns.
Cj, what an indepth inspection! VV thanks for this ongoing thread. Christianity is for everyone, although not everyone is for Christianity, including those professing the faith. There is no greater source of joy for those who solemnly affix themselves to Christ's reign than to ruminate in his activities and his Father's plan.

Christ came, not to change the world, but to declare his upcoming reign as ruler of the.., well everything under Jehovah God. He proves this with the donkey ride into Jerusalem. He is King! Yet he exudes mercy and restraint as CJ mentions. We too need to exercise those attributes.., within us. We cannot hope to make those adjustments internally while we are chastising ourselves, or worse. Jesus' example for us was to be merciful with ourselves. He never raised his voice with his apostles, only asking them twice what they were talking about as they argued about their greatness and he rebuked Peter when Peter tried to dissuade Jesus from going to Jerusalem. In three and a half years, Jesus only rebuked those who were using Jehovah God's name for financial or political gain.

Imagine, three and a half years and not once did he rebuke his followers. Can we say the same about our most prized Christian student.., ourselves? How can I say that? Think about it. Jesus first got baptised, an act that was not Jewish, then when he realized the enormity of his life through holy spirit, he withdrew for forty days to connect with his Father and to receive strength. This so filled him that he did not eat, for forty days! When he returned, tested and successful, he began to gather his followers.

In the beginning, we too gain in significant knowledge and growth, having significant changes when we begin the Christian lifestyle. Expected are the extremes, the Idealist and the Rigid, letting everyone know just how important this new-to-you lifestyle is to follow. We got-over-that.., with everyone else. We need to get-over-that with ourselves in our adjustments. As trauma survivors we begin the same way, we notice that something is horribly wrong, different and is dangerous. We over react, then we learn, then we adjust and stabilize. What part of that is the same as Jesus' example? Almost everything except over reacting. The good news is that we are learning and doing the example of Jesus. We are learning that extremes are toxic to us, that idealism and rigidity are what were forced upon us, not who we are nor who we want to be, that mercy and self control need to be internally stable so that we can be good to ourselves and share that with others.

Let's start with 3 1/2 minutes, then 3 1/2 hours, then 3 1/2 days, then work up to 3 1/2 years, studying, meditating, ruminating and acting on what we learn, merciful, forgiving, mild, kind and loving.., ourselves.