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11 Responses

  1. Paige says:

    Thank you Michael…..
    Two thoughts..

    1. Have you ever heard of the practice of Ho’o’ponopono? It’s a ‘prayer-statement” “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you”…. taking the road of humility, accepting blame, initiating peace.

    2. I was pondering yesterday about the concept of “the fellowship of His sufferings”…. and since His sufferings were (among other things) to take responsibility for and bear the penalty of OTHER PEOPLES’ SINS…. Is our fulfillment of being “conformed to His image” doing exactly that? Since I am currently in a situation (again) of being blamed for other peoples choices and fallout, is this experience FROM GOD, to allow me to participate in His sufferings, being conformed to His image? Just the thought of a meandering mind.

    Is it “this thing is from Me”?

    In January, I heard a sermon about the Welsh Revival, and the prayer that was the hallmark of that revival, “GOD, BEND ME”…. pretty much all heck has broken out in my life since…. perhaps that is the answer to my frequent repeating of this prayer.

    (hello cyber stalker. Have a nice day).

  2. Michael says:


    As I get older, there are less things I’m sure of.
    One of the things I am sure of is that following Jesus means walking in sacrificial love.
    This does not mean we ignore evil or pretend that evil is good…it means we see evil for what it is and smother it with sacrificial love.
    How that plays out in each circumstance, I do not know.
    I only know it hurts like hell and is the seed of future righteousness.

  3. victorious says:


    “Sacrificial love” In a world of “fools gold” solutions and alternative saviors. You hit pay dirt and have exposed the authentic gold of what it is to be a follower of Jesus and a change agent in this age where we map our lives to our prayers and bring heaven to earth. The dross gets removed in the fires, but the real gold of His investment in us is revealed and we become more courageous to sacrificially reinvest what He has embedded in us.

    Thanks for your sacrifice.

  4. Michael says:

    Thank you, for getting it, Vic…I know you understand the concept painfully well.

  5. Em says:

    Animal example?
    There are two old mares in my daughter’s paddock right now. Both have !lost their pasture mates and horses don’t do well alone. My daughter’s is respectful, a real pet. The neighbor’s has been abused – more than likely the result of improper training from babyhood. That is, if a horse doesn’t respect you, it will run over you. More than likely Ellie was beaten for acting like a horse… Gracie, on the other hand, knows her place in the scheme of things and is companionable and respectful of her humans. BUT she is also what is termed a “boss mare.” Ellie might try to run over you, but she steps aside for Gracie. .. as do other horses… Gracie is sure of her standing in the herd.

    I noticed in my reading this morning that when our Lord walked the earth, he never apologized for His stand. He was gentle, but He never stepped aside for another’s opinion on things Eternal.
    I just don’t think we’ve been taught how to stand. No, we don’t attack and certainly don’t shoot adherents to false religions. But… what does it mean to stand? Is it focus? Learning doctrines? ..?

  6. ( |o )====::: says:

    Reach out to your Muslim friends and neighbors, visit their Mosque, share a meal, be “the visitor who was heartwarmingly memorable”, add to their stories so they are quick to say, “he/she isn’t like any other Christian I’ve ever met, so kind, so engaging…”

    …then stay engaged, for the rest of your lives

  7. Duane Arnold says:


    How very strange that you and I were just talking about this yesterday afternoon.

    I sat with a Muslim woman today at my mother’s assisted care facility and we talked. We were joined by two of the nurses, one a Sikh and the other an African-American Baptist. None of us knew really what to say… the best we could do was talk, quietly. God help us…

  8. Em says:

    “heartwarmingly memorable…. kind and engaging…” okay. … ?

  9. ( |o )====::: says:

    Have you ever met someone who becomes part of. your story, and you relate that experience to someone while you’re sitting with friends, recounting your week, and you were so impressed you can’t help but to tell about that person?

    THAT’S the kind of relationship impact we want with others.

  10. pstrmike says:

    Good illustration Em. There is the delicate stance for truth and grace.

  11. Em says:

    G’s description of exemplary Christian conduct has merit – courtesy and good manners… We fall short on that way too often
    That said, the goal is to do that, while still standing firm in humility and conviction – and dedication – to what the Holy Spirit has and will reveal and instill in us…
    We tend to start turning the tables over and tossing out folk that we just don’t want in our congregation for purely personal preferences…. or so it seems to me today…. ?

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