Spiritual Encouragement, SSB Sunday Gathering

SSB Sunday Gathering – July 13, 2014


Spiritual Sounding Board  – This is our place to gather and share in an open format.  Feel free to join in the discussion.



This is your place to share your church struggles and concerns.
Let’s also use it as a time to encourage one another spiritually.
What have you found spiritually encouraging lately?
Do you have any special Bible verses to share, any YouTube songs that you have found uplifting?






I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 Corinthians 1:4-9



Photo credit:  Hannah Smith

165 thoughts on “SSB Sunday Gathering – July 13, 2014”

  1. Carmen S.

    Yes, I knew you were gonna say that, so I will now continue. The book of Joel is still a Jewish Book for Jews. That prophecy is twofold. Once for that particular Pentecost, and there is another for later on…the latter days. These words are also in Acts, quoting Joel.

    19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:

    20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:

    21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

    Those things did not happen on Pentecost. It’s called dual prophecy. I’ve heard many speak on this topic before, from several different denominational backgrounds.



  2. Hello Amos,

    I dunno, but the situation you described at 11:48 this morning may be an example of how hard it can be on a “pastor” is is a true shepherd, at least when they try to serve within the religious system. Question is, who is to warn these innocents before it’s too late?


  3. Carmen S,
    But I thought you said that it all happened at Pentecost, that Peter was quoting Joel due to what was happening? It wasn’t the tribulation then, either, yet he quoted Joel way past the words dreams and visions.

    Look…visions happened long after Pentecost. John saw Jesus, too…in Revelation. Was that Pentecost?

    People have visions of Jesus. Again, it is your freedom to not believe them. But I do. But I find it strange that you would not give the benefit of the doubt first, and hear them out, instead of concluding, based on a preacher, that these things cannot happen.

    I know that people like John MacArthur makes fun of people like the little boy in “Heaven is for Real”. He belittles the child. I believe the child. He saw Jesus.



  4. Ed, please describe the “Jesus” this little boy saw. And then tell me where that description is to be found in Scripture. Scripture gives me no “freedom” to believe anything outside of Scripture. You can not give me that “freedom.”

    The verses you quoted refer to the Tribulation period…which does involve the nation of Israel. As I said, don’t tell me we are in the Tribulation right now.

    “John saw Jesus, too…in Revelation. Was that Pentecost?” Ed, I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but if that is your level of biblical literacy, no wonder you are falling for things that appeal to you emotionally. It wouldn’t be profitable for this conversation to continue because you read Scripture in any fashion that seems to fit what you want it to say.


  5. I believe it was Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, who worked with dying patients, who wrote that it was her experience that when Christian children who had not lost anyone died, they saw Jesus coming to get them in their last moments here. I don’t know if those visions were real or not but it would be just like Him to do so.


  6. Carmen S.,

    No, Carmen, there are many many denominations that believe what I believe in this regard about visions and dreams. Somehow it seems that whatever denomination that you belong to, that they do not believe it. John MacArthur, a Calvinist, does not believe that the “gifts” are for today, that they ceased at the end of the first century Apostles. Well, non-Calvinists do not buy what John MacArthur is selling. I do not know if you are Calvinist or not, but there isn’t many outside of Calvinism that deny such things as Near Death Experiences, or dreams and visions, or speaking in tongues, etc.

    Here is a link to what the boy saw that he states that Jesus LOOKS LIKE:


    You also might want to read about the girl who painted that picture, and why she painted it. But, then again, you won’t believe her, either, let alone, the little boy.

    But let me go even further, here. Just see the movie. Or is that against your religion?



  7. Carmen S.,

    Well, it’s good to hear that you are not a denomination. However, there is much that you can learn from other Christians, just as I have, that you may have closed your ears from. All I am asking is for you to listen, and give the benefit of the doubt before you flat out say, “That’s not in the Bible”.

    Why do some not believe in the gifts being for today? Why do they not believe in signs, wonders, dreams, visions, and miracles? Because they are too carnal. All they can do is mock those who do believe in such things. Well, I believe in the supernatural. I believe in the spiritual. I believe a little child who speaks of a vision he/she had over an adult that doesn’t believe in visions, any day of the week, and twice on Sunday. I believe a testimony of Muslims who convert to Christianity over a vision over those who do not believe in visions.



  8. Julie Anne,

    Yes…JD Hall. I forgot his name. All I could remember was his blog name Pulpit and Pen. Well…we can’t let them tiptoe thru the Tulips, now can we? Hahaha!!!


  9. Carmen S.

    One last thing, Carmen,

    You had said:
    “The verses you quoted refer to the Tribulation period…which does involve the nation of Israel. As I said, don’t tell me we are in the Tribulation right now.”

    In Acts Chapter 2, it was also NOT the tribulation period…BUT…Peter said, “But THIS is THAT which was spoken by the prophet Joel…”, then proceeded to discuss the moon turning to blood, etc.

    Are you gonna tell me that the tribulation was at Pentecost back then?



  10. Ed & Carmen,
    I was brought up in a Missionary Baptist Church. They taught that the gifts that were given the disciples and Apostles of that day were it, that’s the end of that. Now we have the Word and know what miracles Jesus and the others performed in that day. Since I now know Jesus, I believe He can do whatever He wants when He wants. He may not choose people to perform miracles. It doesn’t mean that He has stopped.

    Right now the missionaries name is not coming to mind, but she tells a story of God’s way of doing things. They were trying to save a babies life and without much time a box came from England. In it was a hot water bottle to warm the baby and a doll for her sister for comfort as their mother had died. These things had been prayed for not long before the arrival of the package, with a day as I recall. The box was sent 5 months earlier. He knows what is in our hearts and what we need before we do.

    There is another account of a much needed medication for people in Africa and the Docs and missionaries prayed for that medication, while they only had a limited quanity to go around. That bottle did not empty until all were given what they required. Could anyone other than our Lord make that happen?

    Jesus showing himself to a child who knew nothing of Him, is just like Him. He wants all to know Him. He wants none of perish. He is Almighty, the Great I AM, He is love. He wants none to perish. Jesus can be the beggar man on the corner. He is in complete control. We cannot contain Him. He uses people for His Glory. If He wants to show a glimpse of Himself to a 5 year old who has no knowledge of Him, I believe that we should shout Hallelujah, another soul may be His.

    I don’t want to choose sides or interrupt your conversation, but….. We have a BIG GOD. God created an entire universe and so much more beyond it. I believe He can do whatever He wants.


  11. Brenda R.,
    I do not reject modern day miracles on the ground that God is powerless to perform them; He can do anything He wills to do, consistent with His character and His eternal purpose. It’s not a matter of His power; it is a matter of His will.

    I do not disbelieve in modern day miracles because the forces of nature are inalterably fixed. God is control of His own creation, and should He choose, He could suspend nature’s laws for the implementation of His plan. In the Old Testament God parted the Red Sea and fed Israel with manna for 40 days. In the New Testament, the miracles of Jesus and His apostles were prominent, instantaneous, and public with many witnesses, and no one denied them.

    I do not reject “modern miracles” because I view God as uncaring for the plight of miserable humanity. I reject modern day miracles because belief in such runs counter to explicit and implicit evidence of WRITTEN REVELATION: the Scriptures.

    An answer to prayer is not a “miracle”…it is an answer to prayer.


  12. Carmen S,
    I don’t see a different in answered prayer of this kind and a miracle. It still came from God.


  13. Brenda R.,

    Words mean things. You are redefining the word “miracle” to fit what you would like to believe is the meaning, rather than what Scripture defines as a miracle. “It still came from God” is not the biblical definition of a miracle.


  14. Carmen S says, “Scripture gives me no “freedom” to believe anything outside of Scripture.” With a bit of fear and trepidation, I beg to differ:

    The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
    Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.
    There is no speech, nor are there words,
    whose voice is not heard.

    (Psalm 19:1-3 ESV)


    For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Romans 1:18-20 ESV).

    I submit that God reveals His nature in humans, both male and female having been created in His image. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Genesis 1:27 KJV). If I am correct in thinking that Eve, having been last created, is more gloriously created than Adam, she is likewise the greater expression of God’s image than is Adam.

    God reveals Himself through nature (general revelation) as well as through Scripture (special revelation). Nature is necessary, but not sufficient. Scripture is more necessary, but still not sufficient.


  15. Gary W.

    Scripture is not sufficient? That allows you to come up with whatever you want…..and it makes a discussion on Scripture impossible. Sorry, no deal.


  16. I have not followed them for awhile, so I cannot say what our God is doing at present, but God was most definitely in the business of performing miracles in the early days (c. late 90s early 00’s) of Iris Ministries, now Iris Global. Their website is http://www.irisglobal.org. I can recommend “Always Enough: God’s Miraculous Provision among the Poorest Children on Earth” by Rolland and Heidi Baker.

    I think that God must allow Himself to be limited by our lack of faith. “And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.” (Matthew 13:58 ESV)


  17. No Carmen. I said Scripture is necessary. I am not allowed to reach any conclusion that is contrary to Scripture. We are, however, allowed to derive from general revelation that which confounds the the interpretive gloss that is so often received as though it were Scripture.


  18. Ed

    Kinda like this, Leaning more this way…
    “Jesus is God (THE FATHER)in the flesh (THE SON), that is SPIRIT in BODY. It’s all about Jesus. Every bit of it.”

    1 – Isn’t it Jesus, who is called the Everlasting Father in Isaiah 9:6?
    If NOT Jesus, who is “son,” in Isa 9:6, referring to as Everlasting Father?

    Isaiah 9:6
    For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:
    and the government shall be upon his shoulder:
    and **his name shall be called**
    Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God,
    **The everlasting Father,** The Prince of Peace.

    2 – John the Baptist only knew OT prophesy. NO N.T. at the time.
    And John was to prepare the way of Jehovah our Elohim.
    And Jesus showed up. Couldn’t that mean – Jehovah = Jesus?

    Isaiah 40:3
    The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness,
    Prepare ye the way of the LORD, (Jehovah)
    make straight in the desert a highway for our God. (Elohim)

    Mat 3:3
    For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying,
    The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord…

    Wasn’t John the Baptist looking for Jehovah?
    And Jesus showed up? – Wouldn’t that mean, Jehovah = Jesus?

    3 – In the OT, Jehovah, and Jehovah Elohim, is also “Our Father.” And Jehovah is not only “Our Father,” Jehovah is also Our Redeemer and Our Saviour. If Jehovah is “Our Father,” “Our Redeemer, and “Our Saviour,” and Jesus showed up? Couldn’t Jesus, “Our Redeemer” and “Our Saviour,” also be = “Our Father?”

    Isaiah 63:16
    …thou, O LORD, (Jehovah) art **our father,** **our redeemer;** …

    Isaiah 64:8
    But now, O LORD, (Jehovah) thou art **our father**…

    Isaiah 43:3
    For I am the LORD (Jehovah) thy God, (Elohiym)
    the Holy One of Israel, **thy Savior**:…

    Isa 43:11 I, even I, am the LORD; (Jehovah)
    and beside me there is **NO Saviour.**

    1Chronicles 29:10
    …Blessed [be] thou, LORD God (Jehovah Elohiym) of Israel
    **Our Father**…

    1 – Seems Jesus is called the Everlasting Father in Isa 9:6.
    3 – Seems John the Baptist was preparing the way for
    Jehovah our Elohim, “Our Father.” “Our Redeemer.” “Our Saviour.”

    And Jesus showed up.

    “It’s all about Jesus. Every bit of it.”


  19. Carmen, where in Scripture does it say that God has ceased doing miracles and people can not have visions? Can you cite the verses so we have something concrete to focus on in the discussion?


  20. Gary W.

    I checked the link. Charismatic. Even John Piper has admitted that what has passed for signs, wonders and miracles at any time past the age of the apostles is not the same. Sorry, no deal.


  21. Jesus is the word of God. The word of God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. If dreams and visions were of old, they are of now, as well.

    According to 1 Cor 13, Love is “eternal”, but the gifts are temporary. The temporary gifts will cease “when that which is perfect comes”.

    When Jesus comes, the gifts will cease. Jesus is the perfect one. Not before.

    1 Cor 13:8-10
    8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

    9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

    10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

    What are the gifts? (Chapter 12)
    1. the Spirit the word of wisdom
    2. the word of knowledge
    3. faith
    4. healing
    5. miracles
    6. prophecy
    7. discerning of spirits
    8. divers kinds of tongues
    9. interpretation of tongues

    Mark 16:17-18
    17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

    18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.



  22. Perhaps Julie Anne could start a Charismatic thread as well as providing a Calvinist thread. I have no interest in this discussion.


  23. I have no interest in discussion Charismatic churches either. I just wanted you to cite some scripture for me.


  24. Well, I personally, have always wondered where the Scriptures are that say that there are no more gifts in the Church today, like there were in the early Church, or there are no more miracles, prophecy, etc., so perhaps now is the time for someone to present those Scriptures, for those of us in question of that teaching.


  25. Marsha….what do I have to say for you to understand I am not interested in this discussion in any way shape or form? Please, carry on with whoever wishes to continue this. Thank you.


  26. Carmen S.

    Well, I am sort of responsible for this topic, as I was responding to someone else in regards to God revealing himself in a black woman, rather than God revealing himself in the person of Jesus. And, I mentioned that Jesus reveals himself in visions to people around the world.

    Unfortunately, Carmen seems to think that it is “unbiblical”. I disagree.

    We can leave it at that, if you wish.



  27. I woke up to an interesting conversation this morning. Some of the comments made me feel uncomfortable here and I try hard to make this place safe. I do not mind debates; however, keep in mind religious debates have been going on for centuries and most likely no one is going to change anyone’s mind here.

    One of the problems that sometimes occurs with debates is the “my way is the only right way” attitude that comes across and can be triggering for those who were in a high-controlling church. I think we can debate without coming across with that kind of attitude “I know better than you.”

    Carry on.


  28. I was confused by the fact that you posted that these ideas were contrary to Scripture. If you are not interested in explaining that’s fine. I am in the midst of Bible Study right now and am always interested in input.


  29. So, is this how it works: if it’s in scripture, then it’s valid. If it’s not written about in scripture, it’s not valid?

    As the world has progressed since the time the Bible has written, there are a lot of things not included in scripture. It seems for those things not mentioned in scripture, you use biblical principles to guide you.


  30. Carmen S,

    If I have a life verse it is “. . . test everything; hold fast what is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21 ESV). I am willing to test even my understanding of Scripture, because my *understanding* will never be perfect. I once was where you appear to be theologically, but when I thought God no longer performed miracles, my understanding had to yield to the reality that God is, in fact, still performing miracles. In this instance my *understanding* of special revelation had to yield to the reality of general revelation. Had I refused to accept the evidence before my eyes because God chose in some instances to work through surprising sources, like Charismatics, I would have missed out on much my Lord and God has for me. Frankly, when I was a conservative-to-the-point-of-fundamentalist I led a life of moral defeat. When I began to see the ways in which my understanding of God and His Power had been limited by a restrictive (dare I say “faithless”) interpretation of Scripture, I began to experience true transformation.

    By the way, I am no Charismatic. I have renounced all such labels. Nevertheless, I will not reject what is true and obvious just because it comes through a faith stream with which I cannot particularly identify. That would be to make one of the many mistakes made by the Pharisees of Jesus’ day.


  31. “Words mean things. You are redefining the word “miracle” to fit what you would like to believe is the meaning, rather than what Scripture defines as a miracle. “It still came from God” is not the biblical definition of a miracle.”

    12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

    I love how NT Wright responded to a question about this very thing. He says he does not know exactly what that means but he knows it will not be “less” things. :o)


  32. 2 Cor 12:2-4
    2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.

    3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)

    4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.


  33. It seems that God is too big to fit in a box.

    I think of how God spoke to me during my lawsuit – and as a musician, timing is very important to me, and that is exactly how I saw God at work – through the timing of events:

    How I just happened to be going to Portland for the weekend, but I also needed to find an attorney.

    How I just happened to only have one time slot available and the attorney I was interviewing also just happened to only have that same time slot available for the weekend. And that same attorney happened to be an expert on exactly what I needed to win the lawsuit: anti-SLAPP.

    I don’t know that I’ve seen this kind of God thing illustrated in scripture, but I believe it was a way God reached out to me to show me He was taking care of me. And He knows my needs and how my brain works and what comforts me and He met those needs perfectly.


  34. Julie Anne, yes!

    What I have seen in my own life and the lives of others is that God does not prevent bad things from happening to us but He will work with us so that we can cope with them and bring about good.


  35. Brenda R

    I actually knew someone who died of a drug overdose, and came back to life (Near Death Experience). He was not a Christian at the time, but he sure was after that experience. He saw Jesus, and they had a conversation, and he was shown things, and he had an extremely hard time explaining to me what he saw. He is the first one who pointed me to 2 Cor 12. I was just barely a Christian at the time that I heard his story. I have no reason to disbelieve him to this day. I have no reason to call him a liar, or that he had a hallucination, or that it was the drugs, or that his brain does things in that state, etc. I have no reason to tell him that it is unbiblical…because it is. I believe him.



  36. Carmen S.
    I wouldn’t trust anything that John Piper had to say. He has twisted scripture so much that I don’t think he even knows what he believes in. You’ll have to try another source.


  37. “Even John Piper has admitted that what has passed for signs, wonders and miracles at any time past the age of the apostles is not the same.”

    Is John Piper writing scripture now? Can anyone show this to me in Scripture?


  38. Ed,
    God can use people in anyway He wants and however He wants even if the docs declare them dead. My son has “died” twice from a drug overdose. If he would see Jesus and change His life, I would pray that he would do it one more time. It doesn’t matter what happened to this man or what he saw, he is changed now. I would not consider calling anyone a liar who has met Jesus. Perhaps us human Christians aren’t doing a good enough job of teaching all nations and He said, “You know, I’ve really got to step in here. Not enough people are accepting me. I want more souls up here with me when it time to return.” Why would anyone want to turn away from Him. There is no one else like Him.


  39. Brenda R

    Oh, I am so sorry to hear about your son. I know how destructive that drug abuse is. I also know that not everyone goes thru the same experience when they have an NDE.

    I don’t know if you are a Rock and Roll fan, but Nikki Six, of Motley Crue spoke of his NDE when he had an overdose of drugs. You might find this article, and others with him interesting:




  40. Definition of miracle? I guess that depends on where you are and what happened. I grew up around missionaries who often stayed with us on their furloughs and heard them tell my parents things that gave me chills. But even then they were precious moments only to those involved.

    In developed countries we have a harder time. Was it the meds. treatments or God? How come the rebels did not see them there in plain sight? Was it their prayers? Things like that.


  41. “Even John Piper has admitted that what has passed for signs, wonders and miracles at any time past the age of the apostles is not the same.”

    Is John Piper writing scripture now? Can anyone show this to me in Scripture?”

    Bridget, It is ridiculous. I actually think these men will have much to answer for. If there is one thing very dangerous it is to attribute things to God that are not God or visa versa. But these gurus throw things out as if they have a special line to God we cannot have.


  42. Telling a cripple to “get up and walk” is a miracle.  Opening up the eyes of the blind just by touching them is a miracle. 

    I think that today, many people use that word loosely.  Like, having a baby is a miracle.  No, that’s nature. 

    I’d say that anything that is outside the laws of nature and the laws of science is a miracle.  It’s supernatural, not explainable, and outside the realm of human reasoning.




  43. Ed,
    I won’t disbelieve him anymore than anyone else. What is about fame and drugs going hand in hand? My son is no where near famous, he has made other excuse for his behavior. I do agree, those who have come through it alive should make every effort to tell others why not to get started. It only takes one time to loose your life.

    JA, Caboose child?


  44. Ah! The last of them. I remember when my youngest thought everything was finger food. She’s 27 and still breaks off a piece of sandwich at a time. lol


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