Scripture and a Snapshot #29

I always have a cluttered bedside stand. I can never read just one book. I always have several I am “picking at” simultaneously. This is a snapshot of my little pile one day when I was still reading Ann’s book. It is getting tougher for me, after reading her book, to know what exactly good is. If I  see everything as useful for molding me into the image of Christ, then everything has to be good for me. No? I Thessalonians says to “hold fast that which is good.” Don’t let anything go until you’ve gotten the good from it! Some things you will hold onto forever. Others you can release when they have done their work. These thoughts are new for me. I have to keep relearning them. They are not a habit yet! If I repeat myself a lot in these posts, that is why. I haven’t quite got it all worked out yet myself. Please comment if you get an insight. I could use some insight!

Holding fast,



15 comments on “Scripture and a Snapshot #29

  1. Oh, Dawn . . . you have me giggling again. That could be my nightstand. I easily have 8 or 9 books/Bibles on my night table besides my notebook, pen, lamp and kleenex.

    Proving that which is good is sometimes a long process, I think. Things that appear to be good are not always so and it may be that it is only as we are able to judge the fruit thereof that we can accurately discern or disprove its goodness. Other times a very clear witness in the spirit comes and that is enough. Once again, relationship with Jesus is key.

  2. I am also laughing…. as Andrea, and you, Dawn, I have a pile that looks identical! Even the reading glasses.
    Repeating yourself lots in your posts sounds like a God thing… even scripture repeats itself for our benefit… over and over…
    Psalm 103… Bless the Lord…6X in one chapter…Then again right away in the next one at its start and again at its end.
    Psalm 105 starts with O give thanks unto the Lord, and 106 and 107
    Psalm 136 His mercy endureth forever 26 X
    Rejoice in the Lord always… and again I say rejoice.

    Some things, we, the sheep of His pasture just need to be reminded of over and over… it will help give us the mind of Christ and settle His peace in these hearts He has claimed as His own.

    Blessings and grace in all things dear friend… you have caught the flame… run with it and pass it on

  3. Dear Dawn , it’s you who have given me insight into it all. 🙂 “To hold fast until I get the good out of it” will keep me thinking and praying for awhile. Thank you! God bless you and all the good that He is bringing your way.

    • Dear Debbie,

      I will be happy to see the good. Right now I am hanging onto all my good friends who do not believe the lie because they know me. The trust extended to me by my fellow co-workers, church people, former co-workers from other places and my family is the good coming from this situation right now. Until you are in the fire, you never really know how some people feel. I am thankful for this.
      I am hanging on. Thanks for your comment.


  4. It must be a woman thing . . . to be relieved by someone else’s honesty and to see that we are all alike in certain things. I have my stacks . . . and not just on the night stand either. I, too, am one who reads many books at one time. My sister gave me a Kindle, and that gives the word “stacks” a whole new meaning, believe me. I have 23 books on that thing right now, most of which are NOT finished.

    I loved your verse, Dawn, and before coming to the comment section, I did a search on the word “prove.” In the Greek, it means to test, to try, to approve, or to find acceptable and true. It was a word used to authenticate coins as to whether they were real or counterfeit.

    My first thought was that one thing that is NOT good ever is sin. But on deeper scrutiny on my rushed thought, I thought. . . I have grown through my stumblings and mistakes, I learned grace, forgiveness, cleansing, restoration, wisdom, awareness, etc., from my sin, and these are all good things I would have never acquired. I could also say that Cancer was NOT a good thing, yet, it has been “proven” to have changed me into a better person, strengthening me, softening me, bringing me closer to my Savior, sensitive to others, and teaching me to value my days given to me. If it is true (and it is) that everything that comes our way is first filtered through His fingers of love, then yes, all is good. It is in the “proving” that we find the good. Just as silver is refined or “proved”, so are we. And we take a situation, test it with fire, and go away with the good, leaving the dross behind. Won’t it be great when we see as God sees, when all is “proven!” It is then we will see the pile of gold and silver that we had cast aside as not good, garbage, and rot, but He meant as precious and valuable and useful in our lives. There have been a few times that I have sat on my garbage heap and reconsidered some of it, “proving” that there was good in it, and reclaiming it, holding fast to it then forever.

    Thank you for such a thought provoking verse and stimulating search!!!!

    • Dear Cora,

      Discounting the fact that you live in Florida and I live in Pennsylvania and Susan and Andra Dawn live in British Columbia, I have a dream that someday we will all be neighbors. Perhaps in heaven. I wonder what that will be like. Mansions are described and streets of gold and a crystal sea, but are they just metaphors so the human mind can glimpse the wonder of it all. I, too, long to see as God sees, but I am sure, in my human-ness it would kill me. God would only let Moses see His back for the glory would have killed him.

      I love how the King James translation speaks to you. You run right out and search the words of a verse and their old meanings. It does the same for me. I loved reading how the word prove was used to authenticate coins. My husband is a coin collector so he will be interested in this, I’m sure. Anyway, you put into a succinct paragraph what I was thinking about sin and good, sickness and good and slander and good. They are all useful for good if they shape us into the image of Christ, but we are not to keep hold of them, only to hold onto the good from them. The verse in Micah that says
      He hath shewed thee O man what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee but to do justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God. 6:8
      The refining process always leaves dross. It is the sign of purification. There should be no dross on us.

      Lots to think about–for sure!

  5. Dawn, I am chuckling and warmed by the fact that we all here evidently have nightstands and reading habits that would qualify us as some kind of sisterhood!

    On a serious note, I recently and for the first time read Ann’s book. I simply couldn’t do so for months during my own dark times, and they still have dark,ness for sure. I have concluded, for now, that bad things such as rape, murder, lying, slander, etc.,-all those things which the bible calls evil and even abominable many times-are quite simply NOT good. Not in any way shape or form. I mean-they are sure never on my prayer lists. However, and this is where God is the ultimate ‘repurposer’, they can all be USED for good. That sounds like splitting hairs or talking out both sides of the mouth, but I see them as different. They are definitely evil actions but somehow God uses the reflection on or the results of the evil experience in a good way. Like, perhaps, the American Indian saying that everyone is a teacher: some teach us how to do things by their example, and others, by their bad example, teach us how NOT to do things, etc., so it doesn’t make the bad things good, yet the bad example can be used or redeemed for good purpose.

    I like what others have said about squeezing out all the good one can out of a bad situation-that speaks of redeeming value to me. It doesn’t speak any good of the bad action; rather, it speaks well of the one or ones redeeming through the bad action.

    That is my conclusion thus far. I could never, ever tell someone who has just been raped or even assaulted that it was a good thing, because even if it led to the salvation of someone-I don’t think that is the only way that person could come to salvation. It just happens to be THE way that they did. If they had been heeding things earlier that were not evil in any way…perhaps a sermon or an inner voice or the conversation of someone or a book, etc., they might have been saved without the ‘need’ for a murcer, rape, etc., to take place. Doesn’t even the bible tell us to not call evil good? Now I need to go see where that is.

    I am chewing all this, too. And praying fresh each day for you, and yes, accepting your ‘pact’ challenge. Thank you for that, Dawn. I am also grateful you have your friends here in this bloggy community during this time!


  6. Dawn, chewing some more here…it has been suggested in one of my readings, that things (actions) are neutral in and of themselves until a value system is applied to them. Then they either set off ‘evil’ or ‘good’ sirens. For example, wasn’t it here that you mentioned that in one culture it is considered acceptable for men to touch and fondle the genitals of baby and very young boys as a sign of acceptance of their ‘dirtiest’ parts? Yet, in our country, that would be considered quite unacceptable. So, while rape on one hand or murder might have acceptable connotations in some cultures, according to God’s culture-righteousness-they don’t. Yet, remarkably, He can redeem the results somehow. I wonder if that same redeeming of evil happens in any other cultures or practices? Obviously, I am shooting from the hip here, rather than from a place of having received some kind of formal training in all this, but still thinking.

  7. I guess if I had to sum it up, I wouldn’t say the evil actions are good-they are still evil. It is God who is good because He redeems the evil actions.

    • A., I would whole-heartedly agree with you. Even Joseph, when reconciling with his brothers, said, You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good. Yes, they had evil in their hearts and what they did to their brother was evil. period. Sin. period. Yet, as you said, God can recycle evil in the lives of His children to where good comes of it. I do think we try to prematurely force this upon ourselves and others. If I were raped today, it would take a loooooooong time before I could lift my head and heart and find ANYTHING good in it. It would be a process of growing, grieving, learning, walking through the darkness, and THEN coming out of it in God’s time with good changes within me. Our first impulse is to tell someone that this is a good thing, that God is good, and to look for the good. Sometimes “good” is buried deep in the soil of the heart, not visible or felt in any way until God does that work only He can do. It’s hard sometimes, but we have to wait silently (like Job’s friends) with someone until that happens and then rejoice with them. In Ann’s book, 1000 gifts, we are kind of taught to thank in advance, so to speak —- to believe in faith, based on God’s Word and God’s character, that good will be manifested eventually in all things, therefore we thank Him for all He is going to do. It’s kind of like getting the cancer diagnosis: I listened to the diagnoses, the treatment plan,the risks, what I would be going through, and hopefully, the results. When the session was over, I remember getting up, shaking the Dr’s hand and thanking him — in advance — for the good that all this “bad” was going to do to me. Do I make any sense????

  8. Oh, my, Ladies. we have a whole semester’s worth of lectures here, don’t we? Let me try the culture question since I am most versed in that by virtue of study. God has a supra-culture where He has set down THE rules of right and wrong-the 10 commandments. In all cultures these pertain, yet with variations on a theme. All cultures, for example, have come up with socially acceptable ways to kill. Killing in self-defense, killing for certain crimes, etc.

    The example of the Muslim man who touched his son’s genitals in public and was arrested for child molestation here in America was a prime example of cultural differences. To the Muslim father this gesture was benign like an American father patting his son on the bottom after a good hit at a baseball game or a high five. It was a gesture of affection and pride and would lead to nothing more. The same act to a boy by an American male means something very different and therein lies the sin–the intention is to molest.

    We must be so careful when we judge the actions of others who live in a whole different world from ours. Yes, we must stop things that destroy, maim and subvert, but first we must really see what those things are in those situations. It is not easy by any stretch of the imagination. And if we would change something that maims (like the practice of female circumcision) would something worse befall the woman (like death or shunning that would lead to no sustenance) unless other things in the system change along with it. Where to begin? Where to begin? It takes many years in a society living among a people to even know when, where and how.

    I just began to work at the free medical clinic in my city. This past week I wanted to do many things, but I didn’t know what was really going on. This is my learning, observing, being time.

    Lots, lots, lots of things to think about!

    PS Cora, I loved your explanation of Ann’s book being a primer on being ever thankful because we have faith that God is going to bring good out of all things in our lives.

    • Dear Katie,

      A great community of awesome cyber-friends passes by here. It’s like going to a good discussion group without leaving home. Thanks for creating the venue in which we link up every Friday/Saturday around a picture and verse. Click any of their links and you may see us continue on in a whole different direction depending on the post of the blogger.

      I hope things are calming down a bit for you. Moving is no fun.

      With empathy,

    • Ginger,

      Yes, that book is a lifechanger and if enough of us are changed, we will change the world.

      Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment so I knew you were here,

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