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Regarding being set apart: I am a Lady in Waiting, I don't date, therefore I have set myself apart & am waiting on God to bring my husband...in God's eyes...I already have Him & in my eyes, I have him by faith; which pleases God greatly.

I was asked this question just last week by a man (women usually don't ask this question), "You don't date?" No, I don't date as the world dates. I am pretty much alone with God & He is my Abba & He brings, approves that special man for my husband...He already knows Him, I don't...YET!!!

Great book of encouragement for single women/Ladies in Waiting..."Lady in Waiting/Developing Your Love Relationships" by Debby Jones & Jackie Kendall.

Regarding Mark 8:38 to 9:1--
When I first read Mark 8:38, and Jesus says "...when he comes in his
Father's glory..." I thought he was referring to his 2nd coming. But
after reading 9:1, when he says to the disciples "some of you will not
taste death before you see the kingdom of God come with power", he must
have been referring to something other than his 2nd coming since he said
it would happen before they all died. It seems to me there are three
likely possibilities of what Jesus was referring to here:

- His Transfiguration which would occur 6 days later (Mark 9:2-13)

- His resurrection (Mark 16)

- Pentecost (Acts 2; especially verses 36-47)

I'm leaning toward Pentecost, since it was when the Holy Spirit came to
the post-resurrection people; and the Christian church was being
established and beginning to grow.

Would appreciate hearing your opinion?

Mike:

In your comment on Psalm 43, I really like the cartoon titled “Being Stalked Despite The Injection” [of TV, Radio, Movies, etc.] That is really a great cartoon!

Hi, gang.

To Mike's question about being set apart ... I, too, have pretty much stopped watching R-rated movies. I've found something interesting ... once you get an image in your head from a violent scene or sex scene, it's stuck there forever. And I just don't need those negative images trapped in my mind. I'm much happier when I don't add new negative content.

My musical taste has changed in the last few years as well, both because of my spiritual walk and being a Mommy. I can't switch on a Top 40 type station and be confident of "nice" lyrics anymore. So we've headed to more country music on the dial. It's amazing how many country songs mention faith, God, family, patriotism, etc.

Just have to share some good news. I've been praying for a new baby over the last few months, asking God to let me get pregnant without the use of fertility drugs. Doctors had told me that there was little to no chance of that happening. My first son was the result of fertility drugs ... and boy, do those make you crazy! I'm happy to report that God has answered our prayers! Despite my early pregnancy exhaustion, I'm still staying on track through Leviticus ... though I did have to play catch-up last weekend. : ) Praise to the Father!

Lesley,Praise the Lord for your miracle pregnancy:)
Being set aside for God is a daily process,my opinion,each thought you allow to settle in your mind,each decision you make,(pray or watch TV),the way we are in our daily lives truly shows if we are set aside or mingling with things that don't please God.
I love Mike's thought today on transfiguration, a confirmation to 3 of Jesus disciples that He was truly the son of God prior to the arrest,torture and death of Jesus.This spoke to my heart today in a big way,the Lord knows we will have trials,we will doubt,maybe even deny Him,He knows our weakness so He gives us what we need to go through the valley.I always wondered about the rod and the staff in the psalm 23,it just occured to me now that some valley experiences are so filled with tears and pain that like a blind man uses his staff to feel around ,so does God use His staff to gently prodd us along the way.When we feel He has left us,even though we don't see Him or hear Him,He's always there.
Help me believe,an honest prayer..God knows our hidden doubts so confessing our unbelief doesn't really come as a surprise to Him....it just gives Him to chance to answer the prayer"please help my unbelief".
God bless you all

I love in Mark, the man with the possessed son: "And Jesus said to him, " 'If You can?' All things are possible to him who believes. Immediately the boy's father cried out and said, "I do believe; help my unbelief." - sometimes i am stricken with lack of faith, but I pray God will help my unbelief in what He CAN do in my life!
It is comforting to know God's grace is not dependent on our faith. Like, we may think, "will God get me through this one"...our lack faithl doesnt limit God.
A great book I recommend is Why Grace Changes Everything" by Chuck Smith..excellent! I feel many of us really dont comprehend God's grace...we may think we do, but really, once you understand it better (which we never truely will this side of heaven), you will be more free then you ever felt (i dont mean in regards to sinful things of course).

In v 5:"Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah." my pastor went over this a while back. Peter was a character. always saying the wrong things, but Jesus loved Him so! haha, i think a lot of us can relate to Peter...the man with the wrong answer. wen he had the right answer in yesterdays reading: you are the son of God. So Jesus commended him. Then Peter thinking he was on a roll started rebuking Jesus regarding the things Jesus spoke us regarding his death, so Jesus had to rebuke Peter.

v 29: "And He said to them, "This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer.""
In my study bible it says:
'THIS KIND. Some demons are more powerful and obstinate, and thus more resistant to be cast out, than others.'
NOTHING BUT PRAYER. Perhaps overconfident from their earlier successes, the disciples became enamored of their own gifts and neglected to draw on divine power.'

I love Ps 43:5 "Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God."

Regarding the Q of the day, I am called sanctified by God and thats it. i let Him do the work. i will avoid certain things when the spirit tells me to turn the station or dont go to that place, and such, but i dont live by rules, i am free in Christ! He has give me a new mind...new desires. I am NOT one to make up a list of rules of all the things i cant do, that isnt freedom. the catch is that when we are changed, our desires change. i went through a phase were i sought to make myself more godly...didnt listen to any ungodly music, refused R movies, etc...this was all MY effort to change. i was unhappy and restricted. then i let go of that and began to give myself liberty. Romans 8 discusses this, we are free, all these are lawful, yet all things are not edifying. there is no condemnation for those in Christ! -awesome!!!
So, as I let go of my 'rules' and relaxed in God's freedom's guess what? my desires changed more. Instead of a bunch of things i Cant do, its more now, things i dont do because i dont want to! I have new desires. Another thing is we are all individual, not talking about God's laws and clear instructions, but whats a sin for me might not be a sin for you and whats a sin for you may not be a sin for me. (tho i do take into account that whole thing about if something is a sin for a brother and not you, dont stumble him.)
I was listening to secular music today as i was driving, some songs i liked, then one older song from the 90s (my rebellion yrs) came on and it reminded me of my past, an area God says, dont go back there!! It was a sin for me to listen to that song, so i turned it. it was a sin bcos God knows what thought will enter my mind, where that road will lead...to a bad place, an unhappy place, God wants to protect me.
I'm totally not saying, go see bad movies, its ok. God does tell us to monitor what we put in our minds and to guard our hearts, HE will equip us. I just dont like the whole "religion concept'...like Lint, I dont get that. i hear my ungodly coworkers who talk about lint (after Ash Wednesday) giving up certain things for a few days. then they go right back to their lives!
It reminds me of what God said about the Pharisees, "they praise with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me." I want my heart to be right there close to Him. Its a heart issue.
So *I* dont set myself apart from the world, i let God do that and He calls me sanctified! WOW!

One more thing i wanted to add, since "to much is given much is required", ppl in various positions DO have an obligation not to stumble others. such as pastors, elders, they have a greater responsibility in guarding their behavior. another example, my dad. I never saw him drink, cuss any of that in my whole life! then at my sister's wedding a couple yrs ago he had wine, I was like :o...I never saw you drink before. he said, well, I rarely do, but I never drank in front of you girls growing up because I was to be an example to you girls. (his daughters). A couple yrs ago he was referring to this horrible woman he dated as being a b word. he didnt say it out of control, like out of anger. but i was in shock! he doesnt cuss, but this word was appropriate for this girl, lol. (but they made are friends now). but I said, I never heard you cuss! :o he said the same thing, growing up, i wanted to be an example to you girls.
So, now that i'm a mature adult, its different, (no he doesnt cuss, in fact i only heard him that one time and rarely has even one drink) but he wisely didnt do things, as we were impressionable children. So i think parents have this greater responsibility as well.
Like that song by John Mayor: fathers be good to your daughters, "they will live like you do."
Thank you Lord God for blessing me with wise, Godly parents. i must be the most blessed girl on earth!!

Great comments! I also pray often, Lord I do believe, help my unbelief. Isn't Jesus so wonderful to be so good to us, despite our times of doubt and discouragement.
Lord, please grow in me the faith to believe in your unfailing love and power.

I love reading Psalm! Verse 43:3 is amazing and strong!
"Send forth your light and your truth,
let them guide me;
let them bring me to your holy mountain,
to the place where you dwell".
I indeed felt this is about 'setting us apart'. I feel like God set me apart, I don't set myself apart. He does that for me. I don't think it's necessary to set boundries for myself, I mean, not beforehand. The Holy Spirit always warns me. I used to be in the clubscene in my early 20's, I went to the big clubs from Amsterdam, Antwerp, Paris and London. During that time I bought the cd's with clubmusic. I don't listen to that music anymore, it just doesn't feel right. People who don't understand what it's like to have a relationship with the Lord think I HAVE to give this up, but it's not ... it's not HIS law for me, it's me realizing what sinning is. It's me hearing the Holy Spirit, thinking back to that time, realizing it's not right. I don't like listerning to the clubmusic anymore, because that has been the time I asked Jesus Christ forgiveness for when I fell down on my knees and asked Him to save me. I do listen to music from the world, I like 80's and 90's music. But with a lot of songs I wonder what the message is LOL My cousine was here the other day, she's crazy about Jessica Simpson, so put on the cd. While we were singing along with a couple of songs, I started to laugh.
"To be worthy
To feel beautiful in this skin
Be beautiful in this skin
Love me for me
Have confidence in this skin
Be confident in this skin"
I mean ... COME ON!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's just too funny ... too empty ... too shallow!
You know, maybe it can be called a boundary, it might be a boundary. But within the boundary I have my freedom in Christ. Does that make sense?
Whatever you read in the Bible, about adultry, about how to treat one and another, about marriage, about raising children ... it's all how I want to be, not only because said so, but because I want to live like that! I love my husband, I want to be faithfull, not only physical, but also mentally. I want to love all people, even my enemies. I want to raise Jaden right, I want to set a good example. Call it boundaries ... maybe they are, but I feel free!!!!!!!!!

I wanted to comment on the boundary question posed today. I have in the past set "rules" for myself and when I do I get fixed on following the rules and forget about the benefit they bring. This year for Lent, instead of giving something up, I decided to focus on using a prayer journal to write out my prayers, sort of adding something instead of giving something. I wanted to focus on drawing closer to God, not focus just on discipline for discipline's sake. I know I still need to do that, but maybe that will come next.

Thanks for this blog. It's really helping me to keep up with my readings better this year, and to get more insight into the things I'm reading!

I think the image is very powerful. It's so true that even a little bit of the "world" can seep into our lives and allow us to take our eyes off Jesus. Sadness and discouragment can take over so quickly - but if we turn back to Jesus and even in our low times, begin to praise Him, He supernaturally pulls us out of the pit and even though the problem may not be solved, we have His peace and know who is in control!

We are called to be set apart from the world. This is not our home and we are supposed to feel a bit out of place - like we would if we visited a foreign country (well, maybe not the Netherlands, right Mae? hahaha!) - Anyways, the question was "How do you set yourself apart from the world for God?" - There are several different things I stopped watching on TV - like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed for example. I also made a decision to not see R rated movies any longer. I also listen to mostly Christian music. Although, like Mae, I still enjoy my 80's stuff! But there is definitely some music that takes me to a time and place in my life that I have been forgiven for and I do not need the reminder of that time. Music, especially can play head games with me! I really do have to be careful of what I listen to. I don't go to clubs anymore either - but that's more of an age thing! hahaha! I just can't stay awake like that any more! Our youth in our church are in a series called "Garbage In, Garbage Out" - this is a perfect saying for being set apart! They are really learning all about what to listen to and "what not to wear" (one of my favorite tv shows!!) -

The verses in Mark about the father who says "I believe, help me in my unbelief". I remember the first time I ever read that verse, a few years ago. Growing up in the church that I did, we recited a lot of repititious prayers...one of the things we would have to say on a daily basis was "My Lord and My God, Help me in my unbelief" - so when I read that in the bible, I was so excited that it was actually a "prayer" that was in the bible!!! So reading it again today just makes me smile. It's such a wonderful prayer too. God knows our hearts and knows that we believe - but He also knows we have so much more to know and learn - I just love praying that.

Oh right, I was going to say something about tv to. I forgot ...
I used to watch The Ghostwhisperer and Medium and from one day to another it was so weird to watch it. It's not that I decided not to watch it anymore, because I was saved. It was the other way around; I was saved, thought it didn't matter if I'd watch the shows and while I was watching it I thought "How dumn and missleading is this!!!". I still watch Grey's Anatomy, but the adultry makes me kind of sick lately, also how easy they think about sex makes me wonder if this is really a show I want to remain watching. I've had a lot of people coming over to our house and ask my why I switch channels with certain shows. They ask me if "God doesn't allow it". I try to explain that it's my own choice, but for most of them it's hard to believe.

Why are Christians wasting time trying to determine whether the Transfiguration actually occurred, and if so, was a mirage or an historical event? It is recorded in Holy Scripture; it happened.
The critical inquiry is what does Holy Scripture actually say and mean, and for this Christians must turn to the real Bible, i.e., Greek and Hebrew texts. God the Father spoke to Sts Peter, James and John at the Transfiguration of our Lord, for only He could say of Jesus, “οτος ἐστιν ὁ υἱός μου.” (this is My Son). ̓Ακούετε should be “hear” rather that “listen.” To “hear” in Lukan parlance means not merely to receive speech (information) but also to do it or keep it, as Christ pointed out in the Sermon on the Plain. Also enclosed in this definition is the meaning of שמע, which also means “hear” or “listen to.” However, in שמע, along with “to hear” is “to believe.” שמע is used ninety-two times in the Old Testament to mean “hear in faith.” Hearing has four components. Hearing, understanding what is heard (Mark 4:12) believing something is true and relying upon that belief. In the language of Holy Scripture, to hear is to have faith (Luke 16:29–3), specifically, saving faith (John 5:25). The Transfiguration’s context indicates that the second person plural ἀκούετε is an imperative, and it is durative. Thus, when the Father’s words to the disciples are unfold they fully mean, “this is My Son, the Beloved (Chosen) One; y’all continue always to hear, believe and rely on Him.” (Luke 3:22, interpreting ἀγαπητός “the one who now stands as the one having been elected,” ὀ ἐκλελεγμένος, R. Lenski, Commentary on New Testament: Mark, p. 367.)
The historic circumstance of the Father’s imperative on this occasion should cause all Christians, pastors in particular, to take His words very seriously.
1. All three Gospel witnesses: Sts. Matthew (17:5), Mark (9:7) and Luke (9:35) record the Father’s words identically: “αὐτο ἀκούετε.” There can be no doubt concerning the Father’s words or their meaning: “y’all continue always to hear, believe and rely on Him [Christ.]”
2. This is the only occasion upon which there is certainty that the Father has spoken to (directly addressed) mankind. There is no certainty that the Father ever addressed mortal men in the Old Testament because the voice on those occasions was as likely that of the Theophany (pre-incarnate Christ) as that of the Father. On one occasion prior to the Transfiguration mortals heard the Father speak: at Christ’s baptism. However, on that occasion He addressed His Son, not mortal man, “σύ εἴ ὁ υἱός μου...,” (Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22) and merely allowed mortals to overhear the declaration. Since our Lord was fully cognizant of who and what He was, it is obvious that what the Father said was spoken solely for mankind’s benefit, not Christ’s. On one subsequent occasion (Passion Week prior to the Last Supper) people heard the Father answer Christ (John 12:28). Christ said the Father’s voice was heard for mortals’ sake, not His own. The Father did not give any orders or directives on that occasion.
3. Being the only time the Father has been heard to speak directly to mortals, it is consequently the last time the Father has spoken to us. Of necessity whatever imperatives He spoke to us constitute standing orders that have not been countermanded. That two thousand years have passed since the Father has spoken these words is inconsequential. They continue to apply in full force and effect.
What the Father’s short imperative at the Transfiguration places upon Christians, pastors in particular, is the continuing duty to hear and obey Christ. The grammar makes the import indisputable and undebatable. This is not negotiable or amendable; the Father commands we do what Christ said.

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