Deeper Truths for Hungry Hearts

December 2013 • Volume XII 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.  The making of God’s instruments are developed in many ways, but the biggest tool that God uses in our lives to make us an instrument where we can share the heart of God to the people is failure.  We often think success will carry us far down the road of development, but not so.  Success does little to affect the heart of our character which must be transformed by God’s dealings and judgments.  Success will do little to conform us into the image of Jesus Christ, but now failure there is a sharp tool that will cut at our earthly moorings and strip us of our selfishness and arrogant pride.  Jesus was faithful in taking the disciples, especially Peter, to the school of failure as He is in our lives.  As a Bible teacher I often want to be like Paul, but we all need to be like Jesus.  But when it is all said and done we most often are like Peter, one who made many high and mighty boasts, but could never follow through with them.

In Matthew 26 Jesus told the disciples of his coming death, “All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. 32But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.”   Matthew 26:31-31)  But, Peter boasted, “Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.”  (Matthew 26:33)  What  a proud haughty proclamation to make to the Son of God.  Peter’s words just reflected his lack of spiritual development and understanding.  So too in our lives often we make many grand and lofty promises to God when He knows our heart, He knows we will not follow through with what we say. Let us learn to measure our words and promises.

In John 21 we find Jesus taking Peter to the school of failure to teach him to open his eyes and heart.  Now the Greeks have eight different words for  the word “love.”  Most often the word love is translated from either, “phileo” (fond of or a friendship) or “agape” (dedicated towards). To really get the impact of Jesus’ words and Peter’s reaction we must set the scene.  After Jesus’ death on the cross Peter and some of the disciples went back to a previous occupation fishing (and revelation) when Peter sees Jesus walking on the beach and hears Him call to them.  Peter was so excited he dives into the water and swims to shore where Jesus had some fish on the fire.  So here in verse 15 we will pick up the story. “So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas (or old man of the flesh), lovest (agape me) thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love (phileo) thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 16He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest (agape me) thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love (phileo) thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 17He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest (do you only phileo me? are you only fond of me?) thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love (phileo you.  LORD you know I am only fond of you) thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.”  (John 21:15-17)  Here Jesus brought Peter to the end of his self.  What a wonderful place to be brought to the end of our self where we can see our self for what it really is. Unless we allow God to bring His dealings and judgments into lives (as with Peter) we will never be brought to this blessed place of devastation.  Peter was crushed!  Peter failed Jesus, in spite of all of his boasting and bragging Peter failed and he knew Jesus knew.  But this is the place of restoration and spiritual growth and development. This is the place of coming to grips with who we really are not who we want to be or even who we think we are, but the person we really are.  God knows how to show us our heart if we allow.

Next month we will look at the making of God’s instrument through the school of obedience. A school where  lessons really matter if we desire to grow spiritually.  Remember many are called but few are chosen.  Do you hear Him now?


To the End of the World

When Jesus was giving the disciples (and us too in many ways) their marching orders He said, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”  (Matthew 28:19-20)  I wonder where and when the end of the world is?   Now I can tell you a story (on a border crossing between Bulgaria and Romania) where had not Jesus been with me “lo, I am with you always” and a stranger took a severe beating for me my life would have been taken from me. Times like these we think we are at the end of the world, but not so.  No matter when and where, we all shall come to the end of the world and it shall be seen through the eyes of the spiritual comparison and understanding in our lives. It is most often these comparisons in retrospect and understandings in reality where we can see God working in our lives moving us from one glory to the next glory.

But never forget beauty and glory is always in the eye of the beholder.  What I would say is beautiful and glorious in my eyes may be ugly in your eyes. Man’s beauty and glory is comparable with something else man has made. But make no mistake only the glory of God is eternally glorious, beautiful, unique, and genuine in every way.  In God’s scheme of things He desires to give us beauty for ashes. Strange how ashes come before beauty; we would think just the opposite. Well not so strange in God, it is like losing (John 12:25) first so that we can win. Man’s beauty and glory fades, withers as grass blowing in the wind, but God’s glory and beauty lasts forever.  Whatsoever man makes will rust, crumple, and even fall to the ground.  Even a building to gather in to hear the preaching of the word of God and to pray will fall into the ground some day. We see this concept of beauty in our eyes moving in the Book of Ezra, but there is something much more critical to our spiritual growth and development here if we have the eyes of understanding to see it. “And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. 12But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy: 13So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.”  (Ezra 3:11-13)  Here the “ancient men” (older men) saw both houses of the Lord. They had the opportunity to compare both houses of the LORD.  Now their tears were not tears of joy, but tears of sadness. They compared the beauty and glory of the first house of the LORD against the beauty and glory of the second house of the LORD and the result of their observation was they, “wept with a loud voice.” Now please notice verse 13, “So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout.”  The old men cried so loud the shouts of joy were muffled or almost drown out.  I wonder what they thought when they saw the second temple?  I bet they remembered the first temple, our mind works that may.  In ways I kind of know what the old men were feeling.  Unlike seeing a temple I remember how America and especially the power of God in church use to be.  It has been years and years (maybe 10-15) since I have seen a genuine move of God’s Spirit in a church in America. I will be honest with you I really really struggle with the movement of America away from the conservative, traditional, and Christian values she was founded on to a liberal social progressive valueless society of today. And to make things worse these liberal social progressive values now are the bedrock of the church instead of the word of God which was the bedrock of the faith of our fathers.  I gave 24 years of my life in service to the U.S. Navy and to watch America fade and fall from her “light upon a hill” as the late President Ronald Reagan referred to America’s goodness and hope for the world gravely sickens me.  I know this is Scripture being fulfilled, but in my heart I cry as the “ancient men” did when they saw the second temple.  Please pray for me in this area.  I even know America’s present administration has been raised by God to take her in directions to fashion her as a vessel for dishonor because of her continual waywardness and rebellion to God’s word. Just because the Supreme Court says something is okay does not change God’s word.  Isaiah told Israel these words and my friend they are true for America today, “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” (Isaiah 1:19-20)  Only being ‘willing and obedient” to God’s word brings to a nation His blessings, protection, and peace, but I prophesy if we reject God’s word then we must walk in the truth of verse 20, “ye shall be devoured with the sword (of our enemies): for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” Our willingness and obedience will determine how far we go in God NOT His gifts and blessings.  Often times God has to bless us outside His plan for our lives to keep us moving and interested in Him, but sadly He has not given us anything of Himself.

 I’m convinced that there’s an epidemic that has infected the Western church of the 21st century. I’ll simply refer to the epidemic as myopia. No, I’m not referring to the medical condition in which objects can be seen distinctly only when held very near to the eye. I’m talking about spiritual myopia – a kind of Christianity and life style that has become so focused on self that it no longer resembles the faith of our fathers. The side effects of this spiritual myopia can be seen and heard all around us. Christian bookstore shelves are lined with volumes of self help books that entreat us to live our best lives now and become a better you.  We hear this time and time again when we do our book signings for “Adventures with God.” Much of the music that receives a substantial amount of airtime on Christian radio stations is void of any reference to God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Gospel. Those references have been replaced with much more subjective ones that focus on me, myself and I. Songs are now intentionally written with a much more man-centered focus in the hope that they will receive playback on mainstream media outlets. Even preachers have not been immune to this debilitating epidemic. In some circles the sermon no longer is seen as the vehicle through which men of God seek to communicate the truth of God “in demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (1 Corinthians 2:4). Preachers increasingly have given in to the temptation to allow their congregations – and not God – to shape their messages. Consequently some preachers have traded substance for style and our congregations are showing the myopic effects of the exchange.  The only cure I’m aware of is to take the focus off ourselves and to “turn our eyes upon Jesus.” How do we begin to do that? I think we’ve got to start from the top. Pastors must stop allowing the culture and their congregants to determine their message. God’s ambassadors must faithfully deliver the message of their King once again by preaching “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). Preaching the whole counsel of God might not always draw large crowds, but if it is a huge following that the pastor is seeking, he is part of the problem and not the solution, and shame on him. Our churches need to recapture a passion for the vital ministry of prayer. When we have spent time humbling ourselves in prayer we are less likely to think about our own desires over the desires of God? My own experience has proven that I’m never more concerned about the things of God than when I am praying. As the old song says, “The things of this world will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” We must make the Father’s business (not selling the Gospel) our business once again. We have all found ourselves asking this question: “Is God really satisfied with what I’m doing right now?” There are many details of God’s will that can cause us to wonder about such things. Yet, when we attempt to fulfill the “Great Commission” the questions and doubts begin to go away. The one thing Jesus commanded us to do when He ascended on high was to “make disciples of all the nations” and He has not changed His mind.  He said that we should be a people constantly committed to the work of going, baptizing and teaching. A cure for our current epidemic will surely be found as the local Bodies of Christ begin to turn their attention and “eyes upon Jesus” surely our lives, our families, and our churches will express this same manner of urgency as well. May God grant this healing in our churches and then in America.  Again America’s hope is “willing and obedient” men and women God can count on. The transformation of our lives and the salvation of the lost is depending upon it. The hope and salvation of America is not found in her military power, politics, or prosperity, but in a repentive broken church worshipping on bended knees.  A church that has rejected a money and purpose driven works mentality with a liberal contemporary social Godless Gospel and now clings to a conservative Gospel message from days gone by.  For too long the church of America and around the world has rejected and walked away from the foundational truths of the Gospel looking for personal fulfillment and self expression. This self-centered emotional approach to God leads to a selfish and self-seeking spirit that has birthed the denominational division and strife in the world.

A few months ago as I was welcoming some friends to our home group meeting I said these words, I never thought I would ever be saying these words, but I feel I will be alive to see the return of Christ. I have always thought I would go to be with the Lord by way of the grave, but now I am not so sure. Things have accelerated it seems the minute hand on God’s time piece has moved a few clicks. Paul shares these words with us, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,  4Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”  (2 Timothy 3:1-7) My friend does this not sound like today?  You know it does. Yet we ignore God and His word to us to fulfill what we want to do, shame on us.  We ignore God and His word to us to fulfill our religious agenda and programs, shame on us. Denominational religious programs span the world, “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (from ocean to ocean), yet we attend services faithfully, singing and dancing distracting ourselves from the truth of God’s word and His desire to deal and judge in our lives, while believing all is well with our soul. The Disciples believed Jesus would return in their life time yet He did not, but they lived their lives in a hopeful expectation as if He was at hand to make His appearance.  My friend we too must live our lives as if the end of the world is at hand, because you know it is.  Come now LORD Jesus!

Written by David Stahl


God Expects Change

The Bible says, “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1: 6-10)  Brother John goes even further and says, “And he (being Jesus) is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our’s only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected; hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him OUGHT HIMSELF ALSO SO TO WALK, EVEN AS HE WALKED. (1 John 2:2-6)

Dave and I visit different churches and see firsthand just how far many churches have slid from being a light in darkness. Now God’s offer of salvation is for all who believe, and those who accept the free offer of salvation are to stop sinning.  Liars are to quit lying, murderers are to stop murdering, thieves are to stop stealing well you get my point. We are to repent; which means to turn away from or go in the opposite direction of sin. We went to a church where there was a transgendered person up front singing before the pulpit now if this person just gave their heart to the Lord fine it may be some time till God straightens the person out, but if not and the person keeps coming to church as a transgender and has no desire to change well you get my point again.  Now it doesn’t matter how deep in sin we are, if we believe in Jesus’ atoning blood, death on the cross, His resurrection, and repent all is well, but then God expects us to stop sinning. There has to be a repenting and a change in our lives as proof of our move from darkness to the light. Did you know there is no such thing as a lying Christian, a transgendered Christian, a homosexual Christian, or an adulterous Christian why??? Because if they’re still sinning they are deceiving themselves and the change has not happened.  God’s grace works if we stop sinning.  If a person says, “well God made me this way” then why would God condemn homosexuality in the Bible?  Why would God say in the Bible don’t lie if He made us liars?? The wrong thinking is on our part.  I can sit in the garage and go beep beep and say I’m a BMW, but that don’t make it so does it? The wrong thinking is on my part maybe I don’t see it, but that’s where someone should speak the truth in LOVE and say you know Karen God made you a woman not a car so quit beeping the neighbors are complaining!  If we really love God and want to please him we MUST forsake those things in our lives which are sinful and even abominable to God. Folks God does not make mistakes. The wrong thinking is on our part  it is self-deception and shame on any church that doesn’t preach the truth to the people so they may learn and grow from thus saith the Lord.  God will hold those pastors guilty as charged on the day of their judgment. Brethren none of us is guaranteed tomorrow. Let us turn away from those things in our lives that are displeasing to God. Some of us may have days left on the earth while others years no matter we all will stand before a Holy God and give an account for ourselves. Paul said, “Behold, now is the accepted time: behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2)  Let us change our ways NOW before it is too late.

Written by Karen Stahl


1.    In Silistra, Bulgaria Pastor(s) Niki Marsov and Emil Nedelchev. Included now are missionaries from Romania Nicu and Elena. Times are troubled in Bulgaria much prayer and support is needed.
2.    Constanta, Romania Pastors Luke and Jacob at Bethel Church and George Ritisan at the Romanian Center for Cross-cultural Studies Bible School  and the Faru (Lighthouse) Church.
3.   In Suceava, Romania Pastors Nicu and Marcel at St. Andrews Church. They are still standing by God’s grace.
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, Dan, Cathy, and 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 for 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.

Next Home Group Meeting:

Our next Home Group Meeting will be 17 December 13
232 Everett Drive
Sneads Ferry, NC  28460
Home:    (910) 741-0489
at 7:00 pm, please RSVP


December:  Local ministry
January: Local ministry
February: Local ministry

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

Ministry E-mail:
Personal E-mail:

Beholding His Glory Website

Beholding His Glory Blog

The AuthorHouse link below will lead you to our latest book, “Thoughts for Consideration.” Just copy it into your web browser and return. Also you can 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.

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.