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31 Responses

  1. Owen says:

    Thanks for the timely reminder, Michael, while I’m sitting here hating my medically restricted activities…..

  2. Michael says:


    I hear you…and I’m praying for as much healing for you as possible in this age.

  3. Owen says:

    Thank you, Michael, and likewise for you.
    How are you doing?

  4. Michael says:

    I’m in that limbo where you’re too sick to do much and not sick enough for surgery yet.
    You know the drill.
    Sometimes I have to write this stuff so I’m forced to defend it… 🙂

  5. Jean says:

    “You will rarely be comfortable…and you may die waiting for the promises to be fulfilled.”

    The ungodly will be uncomfortable, but faith in Christ rises above and beyond temporal troubles to the promises of our Savior. Thus He exhorts:

    “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4‭-‬7)

    If you are anxious or troubled about our circumstances, then lament to your Father in heaven in the name of Jesus. He is with you and will deliver you.

  6. Michael says:

    “If you are anxious or troubled about our circumstances, then lament to your Father in heaven in the name of Jesus. He is with you and will deliver you.”

    Maybe, maybe not.

    “Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment.They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.”
    (Hebrews 11:35–38 ESV)

  7. Owen says:

    (*sigh*) yes, I do…
    Although, with my previous surgery I got lucky…. the size of my aneurysm was larger than the cutoff at the time. A few months afterwards, they raised it.

    Good thing you don’t have to like it to defend it…

  8. Babylon's Dread says:

    Exile is a subject that has captured me lately and I wrote a little bit privately about it. Your use of exile intrigues me. It is more akin to Israel in Egypt than Israel in Babylon. Egypt was refuge that turned to slavery. Babylon was slavery from the beginning. We are exiles in the sense that we are not home but we are mostly unaware of our slavery. Salvation brings us out of slavery in a moral sense. We fail to note that our return is not yet complete. Like Israel we have made our peace with Babylon and are not that eager to go home.

    Exile however is a common experience and a commonly self-imposed experience. In scripture exile is the apocalypse of sin. We forfeit the rights of home by our behavior. Every culture practices exile as a form of discipline and for the common good. Those who endanger the others are imprisoned. Families exile members who destroy the family codes of behavior. Furthermore, we exile ourselves by offense or by depression or by shame. Family members commonly disappear from for long periods of time while time erodes the passions of anger and fear.

    Offended church members separate themselves from the body for a myriad of reasons some valid and others wildly exaggerated.

    Exile is an experience of hell. The good news is that God has promised to get us safely home. Many of us are in exiles of our own construction. Let’s go home.

  9. Jean says:

    Michael, those are not “maybe not.” All of them were delivered into the arms of God. They were delivered. Their hope was not in things that rot, rust or that thieves come for and steal, but their hope was in imperishable treasures. Isn’t that the real point behind living in exile?

    Man scrimps, steals and kills, yet never has enough, because he knows nothing but this life in the passing age. Yet he lives in perpetual discomfort because he knows not his hour of death and all his scrimping cannot guarantee another hour or real peace.

  10. Owen says:

    “-of whom the world was not worthy-”

    I wonder if they actually felt that way at the time?

  11. Michael says:


    I hate it. 🙂
    But the converse side is that I could only worship a suffering Savior…and we have one…

  12. Owen says:

    Michael, that’s gold. I’ll be using that for a long time.

  13. Michael says:

    “Salvation brings us out of slavery in a moral sense. We fail to note that our return is not yet complete. Like Israel we have made our peace with Babylon and are not that eager to go home.”

    Indeed…I will leave my political commentary for a later date…

  14. Owen says:

    “Like Israel we have made our peace with Babylon and are not that eager to go home.

    Exile however is a common experience and a commonly self-imposed experience.”

    BD, could you clarify your meaning here? Because at first reading this really gets my back up…

  15. Michael says:


    Thank you…it’s what keeps me relatively sane and moving slowly forward…

  16. Babylon's Dread says:


    Lots of people leave the family unit, the church, the social circle, or even culture in general. They are sometimes depressed, sometimes ashamed, sometimes angry and sometimes afraid. People send themselves into exile. They go away. Others cause themselves to be sent into exile by their violence, unruly behavior, or disruptiveness.

    Exile is not generally a victim state.

    I am of course using this imagery differently than Michael’s original post. I owned that in my first paragraph. Our exile on earth is our mission status. We have been sent. The Hebrews 11 crowd were intentional their faith was related to calling.

    Why does that imagery incite reaction?

  17. JM says:

    Well put, Michael!
    It is both good and healthy to be reminded often that we are mere sojourners here–not permanent residents. Sometimes I have to pull myself back from the issues of the day and remember that. Because it is a journey fraught with suffering for so many of us, we should seek to encourage one another so that, together, we can all make it across the finish line. I have seen consistent testimony here that you have provided much encouragement to a great many of the suffering brethren. May God bless you in return for your willingness to help them.

  18. Em says:

    There is nothing wrong with hating what the world and our dying flesh throw at us. I don’t think the exhortation to count it a joy to suffer in this life was intended to convey that it is pleasant to suffer…
    To take it a step further, when one has the loving heart of a shepherd there are few trials as heartbreaking as finding oneself unable to fulfill that role… then the joy of the Lord is what makes life possible… that inexplicable mystery of undergirding joy that makes no sense to those outside the Church

  19. Michael says:

    Thank you, JM!

  20. Owen says:

    Thanks BD for the explanation, I probably shouldn’t be trying to get into such topics when there are other household distractions….
    I was mainly bristling at the “self-imposed” idea, and obviously taking it too personally.
    I see the distinction now.

  21. JM says:

    Michael–I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. You deserve the “THANK YOU”! You have provided a forum that has made a very real difference in so many lives–including mine. I know that probably not everything I post is completely understandable or agreed with–but you very kindly allow me to get my thoughts out there. What a gift! There are no words that can adequately express the depth of gratitude for just that simple act. I say again–Thank YOU! We always pray you will get better.

  22. Michael says:


    That’s very kind of you.
    We all are in this together…we’re all glad you’re here.

  23. Owen says:

    Good words on this thread……
    I’ll add that sometimes commiseration is also support.

  24. bob1 says:

    “It is both good and healthy to be reminded often that we are mere sojourners here–not permanent residents.”

    I was reflecting on how this has totally flipped in the last 50 years in Christendom.

    When I was a young Baptist believer, I’d listen to the local Xn radio station. Most of the
    shows had to do with eternity, eternal rewards awaiting us, etc. It was almost kind of dreamy, but as a new teen believer, the shows and music were a comfort to me.

    Now, churches are falling all over themselves to be “relevant.” You’ve got one
    prominent pastor who’s even proposing scotching the OT presumably because of all its requirements.

    Flip Wilson nailed it (I think it was on Laugh-In) with his “Church of What’s Happenin’ Now.” 🙂

  25. Jerod says:

    I tried to teach this concept to high schoolers and junior highers at church and it wasn’t really encouraged. The “coddling of the American [Christian youth] mind” – to borrow from someone a lot smarter than me – needs to be erased. As I watch children trudge through their adolescent school years I wonder if creating a stage of youth called “adolescence” was really the best move…

  26. Jerod says:

    May we all be in exile until our Savior returns…

    for the right reasons :-/

  27. filbertz says:

    I can own the ‘self-imposed’ label from BD’s comments. I withdrew from active church life/attendance after a life-time of consistent attendance, participation, and service. I don’t think I’ve ever sought pity or special considerations for that status. I think the Babylon/Egypt distinction is worth further consideration and recognize, too, that it is a somewhat different angle than what Michael presented. Lots to weigh and contemplate…

  28. Rocksy says:

    Thank you for this very timely reminder. I hope to share this with my mom who is really struggling with “fairness”. My dad has been in a wheelchair since he was 20 years old and has progressed over the years. He was once a paraplegic with many dreams still in tact and today, due to his aging body and loss of feeling, he is a quadriplegic who can no longer drive or get in and out of bed. Today, after a surgery to clean out his six bed sores, his dr. Told him that he doubts his right leg will ever heal as it’s down to the bone. He told my dad he will likely need to get his legs amputate. While my dad is in shock, my mom is taking it very hard. She is a longtime believer but struggles with taking God at His word and for who He is. It’s times like these that she so needs to remember that this is not our home. No, life is not “fair”. But we have a Just King who will make it all right in the kingdom to come.

  29. Em says:

    Rocksy, what a test your folks have had… will be praying for them with you

  30. Duane Arnold says:

    We are in exile, whether we admit it or not.
    Maybe the question remains, “How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?”
    I think it is what a number of us are questioning these day…

  31. Michael says:

    My heart goes out to you and your family.
    I struggle with resolving the tensions between having a loving, omnipotent God and the increasing afflictions of life as well.
    I have had to change my concept of what it means to take God at His word.
    It may be helpful to direct your mom to the Psalms of lamentation…if you need a list let me know.
    She needs to be able to express her heart to God and those Psalms can be helpful in doing so.

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