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Re Mike's questions on the NT - Are you healthy or sick? Are you righteous or a sinner? Do you need Jesus? etc.:

I believe this is a process. At a point in time (a long time ago) I expressed my belief in Jesus, I repented and was baptised. But there have been ongoing ups and downs ever since then. I sin, I reconfirm my belief and repent. I think there is progress in the sense of depth and breadth of relationship with God. But, I have a nagging feeling there is some further kind of breakthrough needed. A deeper change of heart.

However, there are two things that delight me in today's NT reading:

- Jesus enjoys a good party: "John's disciples often fast and pray, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours go on eating and drinking." (Lk 5:33 NIV)

- He gives the teachers of the law a good theological beating up.

So, hey, we're free to take delight in our salvation and to party in the house of the Lord!! Come on every one - GROUP HUG!

i love hugs..i would definitely say our Church is into hugging,its a lovely tactile way of expressing our deep bonds of friendship..you do of course get people like my husband who have a large private space all around them, hes just not comfortable hugging anyone but myself and our children and what is rather sweet is that our friends recognise that and pass on their affection through me..saying to him " i shall ask stef to give you a hug for me "

depending on the translation you look at there are hugs going on in the Bible too..from way back when Laban hugged Jacob,Esau hugged Jacob, Benjamin hugged Joseph, Israel hugged his sons,Isaac was seen hugging Rebekah..but my favourite in the Message is in Proverbs 24:26 " an honest answer is like a warm hug" so i reckon we have it on good authority that hugging is ok! so have a hug back andrew and everyone ( )

Mike—Your question about “Hugs,” giving them and probably receiving them, has hit a sore spot with me. Like Stef’s husband, I am a closed person only giving and receiving hugs from designated people, people who I have mentally cleared as appropriate to receive and give hugs too. I have given hugs to complete strangers after hearing from the Holy Spirit to do so but I always ask permission.

My aversion to “hugs” stems from two things, 1) my background—grew up with a lot of sexual abuse in home and in church. 2) Recently in my adult “role,” I attended a church on Tuesdays for Bible Study and ministry after work that always believed in hugging people. I decided to try to break my aversion to hugs there; however, predators were rampart there also (both male and female). Until I learn how to follow my instincts about how much closeness to allow some folks without fear of reprisals from the crowd (I always sensed who I should or shouldn’t allow to hug me and who to hug yet I allowed peer pressure to override my sense of danger). Interestingly I’m now finding out that this particular church knows there are a lot of predators in their midst because they are in the Times Square (NYC-USA) area, yet they continue to promote the group hug thing.

I realize that this is my own issue that needs to be healed, so for now, like Stef’s husband people can pass on my hugs through my designated huggers.


My bible translation has Proverbs 24:26 as this:
An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips. That sounds a little different than warm hug! There is a actually an interesting article on Christianity Today right now on a similar topic: Kiss and Tell the Gospel (the holy kiss.)http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/112/22.0.html

Ramona you are perfectly ok to have reservations. I don't have any bad history like yours but I do know about the predators and the likes. I don't think getting huggy with one and all is a good thing. Handshakes, warm smiles, chit- chat can be more effective and proper than crashing into each other.

I especially dont think its a good idea to get huggy with women ( I know a lot of them love to give and get hugs) Im a young man of 26 and I do believe in boundaries, mine and others'.

Ahh just forgot to add. Only kind of hugs Im comfortable with is buddy hugs and brotherly hugs that you have from your good old chaps. And also smacks on the shoulders. Harder the better! :-)

Psalm 66 (NKJV)
8 Oh, bless our God, you peoples! And make the voice of His praise to be heard,
Who keeps our soul among the living, And does not allow our feet to be moved.
For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined.
I will go into Your house with burnt offerings; I will pay You my vows,
Which my lips have uttered And my mouth has spoken when I was in trouble.
I will offer You burnt sacrifices of fat animals,
With the sweet aroma of rams; I will offer bulls with goats. Selah
Come and hear, all you who fear God, And I will declare what He has done for my soul.
I cried to Him with my mouth, And He was extolled with my tongue.
If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear.
But certainly God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer.
Blessed be God, Who has not turned away my prayer, Nor His mercy from me!


It is great that the Lord cares deeply about EVERYTHING in our lives. I like verse 9:
"[GOD] keeps our soul among the living, And does not allow our feet to be moved."

We CAN trust Him in EVERYTHING.

God's plan sometimes is above our ability to understand. The Lord is accomplishing His purposes and is working out the total defeat of Satan that Jesus accomplished on the Cross.

sometimes the Lord will also allow us to be tested, as in verse 10:
"For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined."

Even this, as long as we hold tightly to the Shepherd, is for our good.

WE ARE BEING FORMED IN THE IMAGE OF JESUS... the Ideal Servant of the Lord is LITERALLY BEING REPRODUCED IN US... as we trust and praise the Lord in all things.

Worship, trust, and praise are not "feelings", but a choice to surrender to the Lord and His care in all things. EVEN WHEN GOD does not seem to make sense.


I KNOW that Exodus 35, I Corinthians, and 2 Corinthians are not today's readings.

HOWEVER... I found such excellent thoughts from the website named, www.hebrew4christians.com, that I wanted to share them with you.





The construction of the mishkan (tabernacle) now begins with Bezalel and Oholiab leading the work. Notice that Bezalel (betzal’el) is a type of Christ, a man “called by name” from Judah who was “filled with the Spirit of God” (ruach elohim) and whose name means “in the shadow of God.”

Bezalel’s chief assistant is Oholiab (aholi’Av), whose name means “the Father’s tent.”


Notice that this is the second time that the description of the mishkan (tabernacle) and its furnishings given in the Torah…

Why is this the case?

1. For one thing, the LORD is showing that His purposes will not be thwarted, even if man’s sin (i.e., the molten calf incident) causes a delay in God’s perfect will.

2. A second reason has to do with the fundamental importance of the mishkan (tabernacle) and the blood atonement rituals that allow for communion with God.

God was trying to tell the Israelites that the way to come before Him was through the blood of a sacrificial victim, and this would ultimately be fulfilled in the Person of the Mashiach (Messiah) Himself.

3. Finally, I think that the two descriptions speak of the two advents of the Mashiach Yeshua (Messiah Jesus).

In the first advent the Jews missed their opportunity for national atonement, but in the second advent they will be cleansed as a nation on the great Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement).

Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the Jewish calendar and provides prophetic insight regarding the Second Coming of the Mashiach (Messiah).

It is also a day that reveal the High-Priestly work of the Mashiach Yeshua (Messiah Jesus) as our Kohen Gadol (High Priest) after the order of Malki-Tzedek (Melchizidek – Hebrews 5:10 and 6:20).

2 Corinthians 9:6-11 (NKJV) and 1 Corinthians 3:11-18 (NKJV)

The Brit Chadashah (New Testament) reading first repeats the idea of “cheerful giving” that the children of Israel depicted when they gave their freewilling offering for the construction of the mishkan (tabernacle).

Next, the second reading (from I Corinthians) reminds us that Yeshua the Mashiach (Jesus the Messiah) is the true foundation of the Temple, and we are “living stones” of which it is made up.


wow...finally through catching up:)Wow...I sure liked this verse today:
"You have stayed long enough at this mountain."..I'm not pretty good at changes...God has certainly asked me to move my tent a couple of times and try out something new..
"30 The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you"
Fear...now how many times have I buried my head in the sand,just like the Israelites...wanting to remain at"this mountain"
My church is very much into hugs and holy kisses(on the cheeks)...I'm not comfortable hugging just anyone...but when I know a smile and a hug would cheer some one up...I "give"it.
I'm learning so much about me these days.I'd rather give money,gifts than my time...or a hug.Well God has certainly been turning up the heat on those attitudes.Oh yeah I tithe with joy,I love giving too...but nope,not visiting,not hugging...nor sharing myself.Thank God for second chances...thank God for church(with all the imperfect,the EGR people{extra grace required people}and the ones who just won't let me pass by un-noticed.)
I also want to thank Mike for this blog(one line fellowship)...this journey through it all certainly has made me pray more,share more...and take some steps away from the mountains I keep hanging around....
God bless you all...


Parable verse 36 - 39

I have seen some different interpretations of this parable. If "new" represents the gospel of Grace, and "old" represents the Law:

-then the "new patch" will be torn from the gospel of Grace leaving it incomplete. Trying to match a patch of "grace" to the coat of the "law" will not work - they are incompatible. Grace - God's gift to mankind would not fit in the structure of the "law" which had become convulated over time by the Priests.

- 'animal skins were used for the fermentation of wine because of their elasticity. As wine fermented, pressure built up, stretching the wine skin. Wineskin would be less elastic - putting new wine in would cause new pressure and cause wineskin to burst'. - Paraphrase from John MacArthur bible commentary

Wine of "grace" would overflow the constraints of "law". God's Grace is more bountiful than the rigor of the Law. No amount of aging or fermenting would make the wine of Grace comapatible to the "law" wineskin - for the volume would simply overflow the "law" wineskin.

No, the Gospel of Grace goes in the "gospel" wineskin, the rigors of law in the "law" wineskin. Two separate theologies. Then their is a choice. Jesus seems to be commenting that the Pharisees have a "taste" for the law, and do not even desire to taste the new wine of Grace. They are predisposed to drink (believe) what they are comfortable with in life having acquired a taste for the "law".

How many people do we know that are not even searching for God and/or His Grace? They are comfortable with their beliefs - "it works for them". They will go thru life believing what they believe (no doubt sincerely), and then what? By not trying (exploring) the "new wine", they really have no point of comparison. May even criticize the new wine - even though they have not had a taste. Perhaps they get before God, and say: "I had no idea, I did not know", and the reply may be: 'the (new) wine was on the table for you to partake, and you chose not to drink.'

[just thinking out loud - never really came at this from this direction before now :)]

From verse 5: I have no problem with the translated version. However, if you just take the Greek text and transcribe it in the order of words - it says:

"the Lord of the Sabbath is, the Son Of Man."

Now that is a powerful and direct statement.

Numbers 36:1-13

Again, we have God giving a personal answer to a dilemma the tribe of Manasseh found themselves. Valuing their inheritance, the land that God had given them, they approached God about keeping the land inherited by Zelophehad’s daughters in the family. God is interested in all our concerns. Let us not think anything is too small to bring before Him.

Deuteronomy 1:1-46

Every time I read this passage, I am amazed at this miracle, taking forty years to do on an eleven-day journey. Now, that is some miracle. Sometimes, probably more times then we would care to admit, claiming our Promise is delayed by us, our own behavior; and before we can cross over the boundary line to get in, a lot of things in our lives must fall off as we amble in the wilderness making an eleven day trip into an extended vacation of forty years.

Grace and peace,


Thanks for the wine and wineskin thoughts. Gave me a fresh insight.

Andrew B

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