Deeper Truths for Hungry Hearts

December 2011 • Volume X Number 04

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Thoughts for Consideration

Greetings again my Brethren.This month we will look at joy. What a wonderful thought to know God feels joy as we feel joy.  God is not way out there in space somewhere, but lives within our heart and knows our pain, sorrow, and yes our joy.  Amazing as it may seem God rejoices over many things in our lives.  The Bible is full of expressions of God’s joy, the earth and its fullness is an expression of God’s joy, the sun the moon the heavens the animals, all that God created is the “Ode to Joy” Ludwig Beethoven wrote about.  We can hear God’s joy in the birth of a baby when they cry for the first time and we can even see God’s joy in the death of a Believer.  God’s joy is all around us if we have eyes to see and ears to hear. In Zephaniah we can read of God’s joy.

“In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack.  17The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.  18I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden.”  (Zephaniah 3:16-18)  We know that the “joy of the LORD is our strength,” but the joy of God is far greater than strength as we know it.  God’s joy is virtue, righteousness, and truth for our daily living today and for our future tomorrows; far greater than the strengthening of our muscles and backbones, but a Godly fortitude and life-style.  God’s joy keeps us when we are sad and even when we are lost.  God’s joy says even though you are lost that is okay you are with Me and you are safe. God’s joy mends up the broken-hearted when nothing else will do.  In the New Testament we find God’s  joyfulness with man.  Funny how God’s joy usually centers around man drawing near to Him.  I think this thought really makes God happy.  In Luke 15 we find some great parables that end in joy and God rejoicing.

In Luke we read, “What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? 5And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. 7I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.”  (Luke 15:4-8) Now Jesus is the “good shepard” that goes looking for us the lost sheep I have to believe Jesus knew where the lost sheep was after all He is Jesus He knows all things, maybe this parable is more about the 99 sheep in the wilderness?  The wilderness has a way of working God’s joy in us after some time.  But look at the joy the shepard had when he finds his lost sheep.  Later on in Luke 15 we read, ”Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?  9And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. 10Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”  (Luke 15:8-10)  Now please understand these two parables are about more than sheep and coins; they are about a lost mankind (the sheep and coin) and God’s redemptive plan to restore us back to a loving Father and for those who find the Father salvation is won and for the Father joy felt, not a bad trade indeed.

Next month we will look at the hate an emotion some Christians say God does not have.


God’s Type of Discipline

In this article I would like to tackle a very uncomfortable topic, a topic most Christians like to ignore, but if they do they forfeit the spiritual growth and development God so desperately desires they receive.  How can we know God if we do not grow up and become a mature man or woman spiritually?  How can we know God if we have no discipline?  How can God trust us with His goods (abilities, power, and authority) if we are babes and continually make a big mess in our pants and of our lives?  God will not give us His things if we cannot handle them.  Many Christians beg God for things that are beyond their ability in Him, why?  Why do we think we need more of God’s abilities and power if we are not correctly walking in what He has already given us?  Why do we need God’s power?  Some think we can store up God’s power to use for a rainy day, well my friend this is wrong thinking out from wrong teaching.  God gives us the power to do things for Him when we need to do them.  This wrong thinking of storing up God’s goods can really get some Christians off track and over in areas of hyper-spirituality. Our wondrous walk with the Lord is to be simplistic.  It is to be a humble, submissive, narrow way that causes our hands to be clean and our heart to be pure.  David asked the question, “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? 4He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.”  (Psalm 24:3-4) He who has allowed God to teach humbleness. He that has allowed God to teach them submission. He that has resisted (to flow in the opposite direction) the devil.  He that has drawn nigh to God.  He that has been afflicted, who has mourned, and knows something about tears.  Someone who has been crushed by the “heaviness” of their sin.  He that has allowed God to humble them so He can lift them up.  James gives us these qualifications if we desire to “ascend into the hill of the Lord” or “stand in his holy place.” I wonder why we think we do not have come down in our proud thinking and selfish nature to see God?  James teaches, “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 9Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 10Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”  (James 4:6-10)

The way up is really down.  The question is how low can we go?  So many Christians want to go up where God is, well God is not up He is down in a low and humble place, wanting us to come down where He is.  From the beginning God has been trying to get us down to where He is.  Even after Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil God still wanted to get man alone (Genesis 3:8) with Him.  I do not know why we say sin has separated us from God. Ever since man’s disobedience in the garden God has been trying His best to do things to get us in close proximity with Him.  He even sent His dear Son to earth to die a horrible death so that He could live in our hearts.  There has always been a deliberate progression of God coming to live within man.  I wonder why God has not achieved His goal of living within some Christians?  Could it be God lacks the ability and power?  No of course not, God is all powerful and all knowing.  Maybe it is sin, yeah, sin is too strong in our lives and God cannot defeat sin in our lives. No God’s power and authority controls the universe, nothing no nothing can stand in God’s way, except our lack of discipline. The one thing that caused Adam to sin was his lack of discipline.  It was not the taste or color of the fruit, but his lack of willingness to say no to his self-life and selfish desires because of lack of discipline in his and Eve’s life.  Now please do not think I am beating up on brother Adam and sister Eve, oh me, I am at times so undisciplined, only God can help me.  But discipline is so lacking in our lives today and I believe it is the one thing that prevents us from moving in obedience with God.  It is not sin, it is our lack of discipline which is to help us overcome in areas we are weak in.  Remember sin is to miss the mark, to know right, but do wrong.

Well if we know to do right and not do right, why not?  Lack of discipline.  It is not about getting more and more power from God to do right, but learning more and more discipline so that we will be  able to stand and withstand in the evil day.  Paul knew quite well this truth when he said, “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection (to make a slave and to treat as a slave i.e. with severity, subject to stern and rigid discipline): lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (disqualified in NKJV).” (1 Corinthians 9:27) How did he bring his body into subjection? Through discipline. “I keep under  (Strong’s #5299, to beat black and blue, to smite so as to cause bruises and livid spots or like a boxer one buffets his body, handle it roughly, discipline by hardships) my body.”   Now this is a physical form of discipline that will only carry you so far in God.  A must at times, but God has a better type of discipline for us.  Oddly the Scriptures do not say a lot about discipline, but I will tell you if we fail in the area of discipline God cannot use us as He desires, we willfully have disqualified (become a castaway) ourselves for service. As a matter of fact the only verse in the Scriptures (KJV) that uses the word “discipline” is found in the Book of Job,  “Then he sheweth them their work, and their transgressions that they have exceeded. 10He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity (translated from the Greek as lawlessness or not working inside the frame of how God wants things to be done). 11If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures.” (Job 36:9-11)  Please notice these verses closely:  God showed them their work and their transgression, God opened their ear to discipline and commanded they stop sinning.  Only God can do these things if we have a desire to hear Him speak.  For God to be able to discipline us we must desire to be disciplined.  Jesus said, “make disciples,” well this is all grand and wonderful, but for the disciples to be “made” they must make a commitment and dedication to be discipled.  It is like reading the instruction manual a real commitment and dedication to ownership. Sadly many Christians have no desire to receive God’s discipline, no real commitment and dedication.  We take no ownership in the process expecting God to do all of the work in our lives, well my friend God does not work that way.  God expects us to willfully (if need be) receive the lash of the smiter or the verbal draw of correction from the wise and learned.

I think the biggest reason we are not disciplined is because we do not understand how and why God disciplines us.  Too many Christians have this ugly picture of God in heaven (with a big whip in hand) in the strike position. Well I must be truthful, at times this maybe be true, but please know God is not mad at us and if he has to lash out to teach us a lesson it is for our benefit.  I think our wrong thinking of the word discipline is what prevents us from the benefit of God’s correction.  The writer of Hebrews (I believe to be Paul) gives us this invaluable insight into God’s type of discipline, “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth (Strong’s #3809, to train, teach, or instruct), and scourgeth (Strong’s # 3146, to whip) every son whom he receiveth. 7If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth? 8But if ye be without chastisement (Strong’s #3809, but more complete of the whole training and education of children which relates to the cultivation of mind and morals, and employs for this purpose now commands and admonitions, now reproof and punishment. It also includes the training and care of the body) whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.”  (Hebrews 12:6-8) Never forget the truth of the word of God is contained in the words the Holy Spirit gives revelation. God’s discipline is rarely about punishment, but always about correction through training and education so that we someday can manifest the character and nature of His dear Son Jesus Christ.

Please let me try to explain through an experience I had with my earthly father.  All of my friends were buying kites and I did not understand why I too could not buy a kite, so I asked my father and he said no.  Growing up we never had a lot of money to waste such foolish things.  But, I knew where there was some money, in my father’s coin collection.  My dad had a very extensive coin collection that boasted of silver dollars from the 1800’s.  So I took some money and visited The Spot, the only mom and pop store in town where you could buy a kite.  With all of the new found wealth I invited my friends (I was always a generous young man) to come and enjoy my riches.  I bought five or six of my friends a kite and some gedunk (U.S. Navy term for sweets, junk food, cake, candy, and the like), funny how you always have friends when you have money.  I doubt if any of my friends who enjoyed the fruits of my crime would have been willing to take even one or two lashes of punishment for me.  Well the owner of The Spot knew me, my father, and knew I was spending 1800s silver dollars so he called my dad.  My dad went down to The Spot and redeemed his silver dollars and thanked the owner. When he got home he called for the three of us (John, Chris, and I) kids to come to the kitchen.  When we assembled I saw what was coming so I asked to go to the bathroom. I purposed to spend the rest of my life in the bathroom fearing if I come out my father would kill me.  He granted me permission and off I went, but through the door I could hear the festivities. First he asked my big brother John if he stole the money, of course he said no.  Next he asked my sister Chris if she stole the money and of course she said no.  He already knew it was me, but wanted to see if I would tell the truth to save my brother and sister from getting a beating.  Through the door he yelled, “David did you steal the money from my coin collection,” of course I yelled back no.  So he said okay, “I will beat all three to make sure I get the right one.”  John was first.  He took John into another room and I have never heard such wailing and crying in my life.  I got scared.  Next if was my sister Chris’ turn.  The door closed and again I heard wailing, crying, and begging.  Oh man did I get scared.  Finally it was my turn my dad said get out of the bathroom, so reluctantly I did.  Without a single word he marched me off to the bedroom and told me to drop my pants and pick up my shirt.  For the next five minutes or so he beat me with the fire belt (very thin razor strap like belt) it seemed like an eternity, but his arm finally got tired and he quit. Over the years I have often thought about this time of discipline, wondering what good it did.

My earthly father has always been a very stern, strict, and disciplined man, but at the same time he possessed a heart for compassion when compassion is required. Maybe it was his involvement in three wars that taught him the need for giving mercy when mercy is called for. War is one of those tumultuous experiences in our lives that intimately teach us about sacrifice and loss which always leaves us wanting mercy and grace.  Now that I am older I see the beating I got I deserved, but at the same time it built in me a respect, fear, and honor for my father.  I also found out he did not beat John and Chris, see he knew I was “the man,” I was the one who stole the money from his coin collection.  At the time I thought he was cruel and mean, but as I got older and wiser I saw the wisdom.  In Proverbs we read, “The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly.”  Proverbs 20:30) and “Train (Strong’s #2596, instruct, teach, or discipline) up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  (Proverbs 22:6) This discipline or training is not about punishment, but about learning those life lessons required to be successful in God and to be able to be brought to a successful end and fulfillment.  No discipline no completion or fulfillment in God.  One thing that always stuck with me was my earthly father never made me go back and replace the money he had to spend when he redeemed his very valuable silver dollars. He purposely and willfully took the loss.  I wonder if this sounds like another Father we are to know.

Written by David Stahl


So What’s Your Passion“So, what’s your passion Karen?”  This was asked of me once at a breakfast by a pastor’s wife. I replied basically by saying I wanted to be a better wife and Christian. The question actually embarrassed me because after 32 years of marriage I should be a better wife, mother, and Christian at this stage of the game. I stumbled through my answer to which the pastor’s wife replied that my answer sounded “scripted.” Jeez, I’m glad I didn’t say my passion was supporting my husband and his ministry, wow what would she have said to that?
Did you know the word “passion” is mentioned once in King James Version of the Bible, “to whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs…” (Acts 1:3) The definition here means:  to experience a sensation or impression (usually painful) feel passion, suffer, vex. I don’t think the pastor’s wife meant that definition.  Now “passions” is mentioned twice in the King James Version of the Bible in Acts 14:15 and James 5:17.  I could be wrong, I’m no Bible scholar, but I believe the definition in these two verses mean:  similarly affected, of like passions.  I don’t think she meant that definition either. Perhaps she meant the American definition:  strong feeling, great joy, or anger, a great liking, enthusiasm, strong desire or liking.  Gee, if that’s what she meant, I guess the only passion we Christians should have is obedience to God and His word, and to be more Christ like. Everything else shrinks in comparison to being molded into the image of Jesus Christ—don’t you think?

Now I do like a lot of things in this world and have my own wants and desires (things I’d like to do), but as a Christian I’m not supposed to give in to every whim that pops into my head, I don’t have to nor are we supposed to get involved in everything we take a fancy to. Read the Bible it encourages us, “to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  It doesn’t give us “carte blanche” to do whatever we want to do and call it a ministry or even a “calling.” If we’re busy with our “passion” and it takes more time than reading our Bible, praying, or waiting before the Lord, guess what–we’re dead wrong. Was Jesus and the disciples busy with a band? Were they busy singing, painting, dancing, and you fill in the blank all of these are hobbies, let’s be honest. And there’s nothing wrong with them, but let’s keep things in perspective. Jesus’ “passion” was to do the will of His Father, which should be our “passion.” Hobbies and some of the things we do for God are self-centered worldly things that we do for whatever reason and are not necessarily the will of God for our lives, but our own will. Let’s get over ourselves. Are we a bunch of narcisstic 2 year olds that must have every whim satisfied or we’ll throw a big hissy fit? Apparently so, just look at some Christians today.  Must we engage in every self-serving, self-gratifying whim on earth and neglect and reject the work of God in our lives? Oh sure I can really see Mother Theresa and her Sisters taking time out to do some crazy activity just to satisfy herself. (Oops gotta go time for my rumba lessons). That little woman worked like a dog, lived in such poverty, and loved Jesus so much she counted it a privilege to serve the poor, lowly, dying people in India.  David said, “Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee. 10My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me.”  (Psalms 38:9-10)  God knows our heart.  God knows why we do things, even things for Him. Americans (most of us anyway) have no idea what Christianity really is. We’ve not had to really sacrifice anything. We’ve really never been persecuted. We take our salvation for granted just as we take our freedom as a country for granted. We should be the humblest and most grateful people on the face of the planet, but ashamedly we are not.

Can we get real for half a second here?  It’s not what we do for God it’s what we become in God! I can pretty much double-dog guarantee you that the people who put so much time and effort into doing things for God (even preaching, but let’s not go there) are themselves lacking in Christ-likeness. If we were REALLY Christlike we would be humble and lowly, serving one another, without fan-fair, without “look at me,” but simply and unobserved.  And that’s just it in a nut shell. Folks “if the righteous scarcely be saved . . .” (1 Peter 4:18) don’t you think we should get our nose in the Bible and our pride and foolishness out of the way? If we blow it here we are NOT going to get another chance. We must humble ourselves and we must keep our mouths in the dust. We must allow God to work in our lives.  It’s not pleasant and we’re not always going to get what we want out of life we are not supposed to; the real Christian life is very limiting and at times restricted and isolated.  But this is OUR choice.  We choose to serve the Lord and we can allow God to work in our lives or we can keep going in our own pernicious ways. It is our choice. Those that have and do as they want to do, they have their reward in their works.  As for the rest of us our reward, our passion is Jesus Christ.?

Written by Karen Stahl


Well this year is almost over and Karen and I have not travelled outside the borders of the United States. Now we have travelled many times in ministry State to State, but so far this year not overseas.  Yet I remember God telling me we will travel again.  Well maybe I missed it and it was my imagination.  You know many Christians are led more by their imagination than by the Spirit of God?  We often imagine things or worst we make up things for us to do and then try to twist God’s arm into blessing them.  But this my friend will never work.  So what does one do during the speaking of God and the manifestation of His word to us? Fulfill all righteousness.  Sadly many Christians try to help God with His plans and timing, but this always leads to a longer period of waiting on our part and more bruises from us head bumping.  This activity only discourages us and leaves us questioning a holy God.

In Matthew 3 we read of a waiting time and God reaction to Jesus’ waiting. “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. 14But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? 15And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. 16And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”  (Matthew 3:13-17) Here John the Baptist baptizes Jesus as a signal of the beginning of His ministry.  Until then Jesus was doing the things He needed to do (like for us to do: read our Bible, attend services, spend time alone with God, pray, allow God to work in our lives, etc.) to be in the place both Spiritually and physically to be baptized. Jesus had to be baptized to be considered a Rabbi, here Jesus was fulfilling all righteousness even the righteousness of the law.  And look what happened, “lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Look what happens when waiting for God’s time. What would we do if God spoke, “this is my beloved son or daughter in whom I am well pleased” well this God’s intention for our lives, but this is not contingent on God oh no, this is contingent us waiting and fulfilling all righteousness.  Let us learn to wait for God’s timing and do the things we need to do to fulfill all righteousness.


1.    In Silistra, Bulgaria Pastor(s) Niki Marsov and Emil Nedelchev.  Times are troubled in Bulgaria and need much prayer.
2.     Constanta, Romania Pastor George Ritisan at Lighthouse Church, and   Ciprian Bozdod at the Mission Bible School.   They too are expanding making more room for God and ministry to Eastern Europe, Turkey, and Asia.
3.    In Suceava, Romania Pastors Nicu and Pastor Marcel at St. Andrews Church.
4.    Pastor Joseph Mutua in Nairobi, Kenya needs your prayer and financial support.
5.    Pastor Mike Olufemi in Aveile,  Nigeria. He needs our prayers and support to be a light in great darkness.
6.    Pastor S. J. Peter, Founder of DAWN Ministries in Hyderabad and Pastor Wilson and his son Pastor Julian in Sankaraguptham, India.
7.     Pastor Metin Mintaz and the members of Uskudar Son Buyruk Kilisesi in Istanbul, Turkey.
8.      Pastor Elieti Msangi in Dar Es Salaam and Pastors Isreal Mutaitina and John Balone in Bukoba, Tanzania.
9.    Monthly financial support Vivian’s Maternity and Child Care Clinic project in Aviele, Nigeria.
10.      Pastor Tek Dahl at Gethsemane, Church (his church) and their radio station “Good News 105.1 FM” in Kathmandu, Nepal.
11.    Bishop John, Samuel Kamanzi (from the Congo), and, Emmanuel Ndolimana in Ruhengeli, Rwanda.


I am still available to share what God has given me at churches and/or home groups. If God moves on your heart to support BHG or other ministries we personally know we would be honored to serve as a go between. Remember, if we want a blessing from God the spiritual principle is we must bless others. Remember, God is to you what you are to God.


David and Karen Stahl
232 Everett Drive
Sneads Ferry, NC 28460

Home: (910) 741-0489
Mobile: (910) 382-9287
FAX: (910) 741-0489

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Beholding His Glory Website

Beholding His Glory Blog

Our latest book, “Thoughts for Consideration” has been published by AuthorHouse, where you can also purchase it online. You can also purchase two of our other books “Adventures with God” and “God Still Performs Miracles: A Book of Personal Encouragement.”

Please take a minute and take a look, they all make for a great encouraging gift, giving hope and sharing God’s love through a deeper teaching that someone can enjoy again and again. All of our books can be purchased at all book stores like Barnes and Nobles, Borders, Book-A-Million, and etc., any Christian Book Store that orders, and all book ordering on-line companies like Or if you are like me from the old school just contact us, we will let you know the price, and then we will mail it out to your home address. Postage and handling is on a case by case basis.

We are projecting to use the royalties for: our maternity clinic in Aveile, Nigeria, radio station in Katmandu, Nepal, TB clinics in Ethiopia, and Lord willing the Bible Schools in Kenya, Rwanda, and the Congo, and to help publish more books. We have five more books at different stages of production. If you know someone you think would enjoy receiving this newsletter or if you receive this newsletter and do not wish to please let me know. Contributions to this ministry is always appreciated and needed the more time continues. Please feel free to contact us with the above information. The cost is great, but the cost for not supporting to others is even greater. And remember, all donations are tax deductible.