Deeper Truths for Hungry Hearts

January 2014 • Volume XII Number 05

“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.  Obedience alone is honouring to the LORD.  We often think it is our good looks and works, or our God given abilities and talents, our achievements and knowledge, but not so my friend these all are often based on selfishness and self-seeking, it is obedience and obedience alone that is honouring to the LORD. All we do in God must end in obedience to Him and His word with a motive of unbridled love, if not then it is all for naught.  God will use the good deed for His glory, but righteousness that God intended for our lives is lost.  This is why God’s word never returns void.  This is how false preachers  and teachers, even prophets can do mighty miracles, but at the heart of the person is deceit and ambition, thus the spiritual growth and development God has purposed will not happen.

 One of God’s major tools He uses in our lives to make us an instrument He can use is obedience.  God must be able to take us to the “School of Obedience” to teach us His ways. God’s school of Obedience has very few entrance requirements to attend only to be called (and we all are called) and to be willing to endure God’s dealings and judgments in our lives.  God’s School of Obedience is subtle not staffed with many folks, is not advertised on the internet or on TV, but to graduate you must allow God to

teach you obedience the first time and every time He speaks.  In Isaiah we read, “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)

“If” (the most important word in the Bible) sets the condition for receiving  from God. If we are willing and obedient we shall have the best the land we live in can offer. If we are “obedient” and learn the lessons God has for us we will have His best, but so too is the reward in meeting the condition to “refuse and rebel” and “be devoured with the sword.” Funny both are promises from God. The only difference is us being “willing and obedient.”  This obedience the first time God speaks is a big deal to God.  Again we must master this to graduate.  In Matthew we see Jesus calling disciples into His service and please notice their response. “And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 19And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 20And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.”  (Mathew 4:18-20)  They did not debate or argue.  Jesus did not have to ask them two or three times nor did Jesus say please, but “And they straightway left their nets and followed him.” This is what Jesus is looking for in us, obedience “straightway” the first time He speaks.  The disciples did not graduate from the school of Obedience, but they did pass this test which gave them ground for the next test.  Also in John we read, “And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.”  (John 21:6)

Jesus spoke and they immediately acted in obedience to what Jesus said and received “the multitude of fishes” for their troubles.  Two points here:  They acted on what Jesus said to do and not on what they thought needed to be done and they acted immediately with no hesitation.  When we hesitate often we start playing the “what if” game and think ourselves away from what God wants. Now this is not blind obedience, but obedience knowing God has spoken.  In this we have faith (because “faith comes by hearing a word from God (Romans 10:17)) and boldness knowing who and what our source of power is.  When God has to speak and speak time and time again to us it is a sign (to us) we have not learned the lessons God wants us to learn. We have not become the instrument God needs us to become so that we can do the things He needs us to do.

Next month we will start looking at the teachings by the Master to accomplish the divine work God must be able to do in us as we answer His call.  Remember many are called but few are chosen.  Do you hear Him now?


Life’s Distractions from God

Our lives are filled up with nothing but distractions.  In life we have two major choices; filling our lives up with things of this world (distractions) or the things of God rightly applied to our lives.  I am ever amazed how we fill up our lives with sports programs (both watching and playing), cooking programs (both doing and watching), reality TV, yard work and gardening, reading books, our pets, our vocation of employment, vacations and leisure, volunteer and charitable programs, the list is almost inexhaustible. If the Christians of today would go after serving God with the same fervor and dedications as they do with charity and good will programs like: the Special Olympic, Relay for Life, animal rights, human rights, politics – God’s word would be shared in a more sincere, simplistic, and serious way around the world.  I am ever amazed to see what new things man invents to occupy his time and to satisfy his flesh.  My friend our flesh is wicked and cunning above all things.  It will stop at nothing to be satisfied.  Paul drove this point to the heart of the Christians in Rome when he said, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.”  (Romans 7:18-19)  Do we not think all of our good deeds and works (even church works) is done out of the goodness of our hearts?  If the truth is to be known most if not all of what we say we do for God is really done for our glory and honor.  And it is our flesh that screams to be exalted, praised, and satisfied.  At the heart of this deception are the distractions we keep alive in our lives that blind us to the truth about God’s word and ourselves.  Paul said, “I know that in me” I wonder how Paul knew this?  That is easy, he was not distracted from the truth of what God told him to do and to the truth of God’s word.  He learned this truth with every hardship and obstacle he overcame in his life.  With each stripe laid to his back and each distress in his life (2 Corinthians 6:4-10) the clarity of the word of God resounded louder and because of the lack of distractions in his life the word of God was seen clearer and felt when he opened his mouth.

 Now please understand me, in themselves some of the programs and deeds are not bad and can be useful in our lives. However here is the rub, these distractions often are nothing more than man’s willingness to avoid God’s dealings and judgments in our lives. Who wants to have God  rumbling around in our heart and thoughts to reveal areas in our lives that are not of Him?  Oh no, we would rather go play sports, paint a picture, sing in the choir, read a book, go visit someone in the nursing home, listen to music, watch TV, and so on. Again in themselves they are beneficial, but when they come between our heart and the work God desires to in our lives they become a distraction spiritually ending us in a pitiful and loathsome place. These distractions are man’s attempt to keep God at arms length and out of our lives as our flesh is strengthened and emboldened.  My friend the only thing God wants to do with our flesh is kill it. Oh we cry and say swelling words of what we will do for God, but He knows the truth He is the discerner of our thoughts and intents of our heart.  The writer of Hebrews said, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”  (Hebrews 4:12-13)  At the heart of every problem is a problem of our heart.  And the problems of our heart begin as we focus our thinking and intentions away from God’s word and His plans for our lives.  And yes, what we refocus on are the distractions we allow to take root and grow in our lives.  There are three areas of distractions I would like to look at in this article.  I am sure you have your own list, but I would like for us to look at how:  our thoughts, our life-styles, and our service to God can distract us from God.

 Our thoughts are so distracted with things of this world.  It is no wonder there is no peace in the heart and mind of Christians and those lost in the world.  Our thoughts are so filled on with ways to satisfy our personal needs, buy the next car and bigger house we have no peace.  Rest and especially sleep escapes us as we worry about tomorrow, but Jesus said worry not (Matthew 6:30-34) about tomorrow. When we came back from Germany the Lord told me not to buy a home and now seeing the economy I can see why. For us now Karen and I are free to move as God directs.  I really believe God does not want us to buy lands, properties, and homes. God knows the more we sink our lives into the world the harder it will be for Him to uproot or cut us out from the earth. Karen said, (and I strongly believe) “those Christians that teach and preach the prosperity doctrine secretly do not believe they will get something in the next life, so they will say and do anything to go after all they can get in this life, how sad.” Daily Christians watch senseless acts of violence on TV and ogle perversion on the internet that sear their minds. I remember a hotel manager in downtown Atlanta told me they love it when Pentecostal preachers come to town because the in room pornography movies goes through the roof. Sociologist say by the time a child reaches their 18th birthday they will have watched over 100,000 senseless murders and rapes on TV.  It is no wonder kids are committing murders and rapes today. Why is there no peace, fulfillment, and contentment in the lives of many Christians? Their minds are not stayed on God and what He has said. Their minds and thoughts are so occupied with things of the earth they have no desire or room for things of the Spirit and of the Heavenly.   Isaiah tells us, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”  (Isaiah 26:3)  If we desire “perfect (selfless like God) peace” we must align our thoughts with God’s thoughts and keep our intentions on Him.  Yet today in the lives of many Christians (me at times) we see a continued drifting away in our thoughts. Our own thoughts condemn us to the point we drift further and further away. Paul also in the Book of Romans told the Church, “Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)  16In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.”  (Romans 2:15-16)  As we think in our heart so are we.  It is no wonder Paul again and again tells us to renew our minds.  And why?  People whose mind is not stayed on God do not think right, that is why they say the most bizarre things and commit the most heinous acts.  But when we align our thinking up with God’s thinking and His word, we just think and act right.  I really believe this area of the three is the most important area we need get right with God.

 Next our life-style is so full of distractions.  Everything we do seem to be about us.  Seldom do we do anything for someone else. And when we do we think we have done something special, well that is not to God’s liking.  God intends for most of our day to be spent doing things for others.  We are so distracted and this can be so easily seen when we look at each other.  I just cannot believe the number of people (to include Christians) in the world that have tattoos and body piercings. Now if you got a tattoo before you gave your heart to the Lord, well live and learn, but I am talking about Christians getting tattoos and body piercings after they give their lives to Christ.  God strictly forbids this behavior, but you see it is all about us, “a self expression of my personality and the way God made me” is what I hear. Well this is nothing more than a lie and a distraction.  God said (and He meant it) in the Book of Leviticus, “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks (Strong’s #7085, incision, imprintment, tattoo, mark) upon you: I am the LORD.”  (Leviticus 19:28)  We are not to imprint or mark our bodies and why?  After all it is my body and I am not harming any one, wrong!  It is not your body, it is God’s body.  It is the same reason why we are not to have sex before marriage, God said not to and because our rebellion can directly harm our physical body (you can get hepatitis and HIV from dirty needles), but most assuredly our rebellion will harm our spirit body. Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit we just cannot do whatsoever we want to do with it. Our desire for self-expression is nothing more than direct disobedience to God and His word.  Yet we see Christian athletes pointing up to the sky after they score a basket or make a touchdown with their bodies covered with tattoos or their lips and ears pierced with rings and other things.  Paul again helps us, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)  We are to “glorify God in our body.”  We “glorify God in our body” when we allow Him to touch our mind and heart conforming us to the image of His precious Son Jesus Christ.  We “glorify God in our body” when we do what He has told us to do.  It is a matter of a heart condition of obedience, not when we score, dance, sing, etc., this type of thinking just causes more distractions.  Another distraction is our clothing.  You know you can judge a book by its cover.  I do not need to look through the pages of a Playboy magazine, the cover shows me what is inside.  Our dress does not reflect the modesty and honor God commanded us in.  Today in most churches ladies come to church with their breasts hanging out and their dress or pants so tight there is nothing left to the imagination, a real distraction for men.  Yes I know, “to the pure at heart all things are pure,” but the distraction need not be presented if we are walking in the light of God’s word. And the same for the men, who cares if you have hair on your chest, cover it up.  God has called His children to a modest and chaste life-style.  When I was growing up we wore our very best to Church to honor the King of Kings, but today it seems the best most Christians can do is short shorts, flip-flops, and flowered shirts. Now brother do you not know the Lord looks on the heart?  Well yes He does, but He also sees how much you honor Him in word and dress.  When I first went to visit King Abebe in Aveile, Nigeria I could not just go visit him I first had to clean myself up and look presentable before I could speak with him.  This was an act of honoring him and the authority the people of Edo State placed within his hands.  Honor is a thing of the heart and is seen not in words, but in actions.  It is disturbing to know some Christians dress better for work then for church, it is easy to see where their priorities are. I cannot believe how distracted we are by technology. Our life-style is so plugged in and wrapped into technology.  I have never met someone in my life that was so important that they needed to have instantaneous connection with someone else.  Who do we think we are?  Are we really that important? I think not. We have cell phones, blackberries, blueberries, and other berries, computers, and the list goes on yet we are drifting from communication with God. And why? Because the more we go after technology the less of God will be in us.  It is either the things of God or the things of the world.  It is our choice.  I see people so fixated and distracted by smart phones, cell phones, anything electronic phone or gadget that has a touch screen or button. Please do not think life is about technology, God does not call us on our cell phone, if He did then the Pastor would not flip the slide at church that reads please turn your cell phone off or put on vibrate.

 Lastly our service to God is so distracted.  Our intention is good, but our application is skewed. A lot of pastors and leaders start out sincere and dedicated, but over the years they have compromised the truth of the word of God to maintain their good standing with their church and denomination who pays their bills, kind of like selling your soul to the devil.  Music, dancing, drama, and not the preaching of the word of God drives the name and popularity of the church. Whatever happened to “thus says the Lord?”  It was replaced with the touchy feel good music and no consequence for our actions preaching.  Babes in the Lord need to feed their emotions (singing, dancing, etc.) to feel they have a connection with God.  But this is not what the Bible says. The Bible says the just (justified and redeemed) shall walk by faith. The only message we hear today is God loves you (which is true), but the whole counsel of God is He wants us to grow up into mature men and women of God. The message of only love shows us one part of God’s character and nature.  Did you know there is only one message in the Bible? From Genesis to Revelation it is the message of the cross unto salvation.  “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.  18For the preaching (message, in the Greek) of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching (message, in the Greek) to save them that believe.” (1 Corinthians 1:17-21) If we allow all of these distractions to capture our mind and heart we will not hear this message and be lost.

Written by David Stahl


Go Along with His Program

Brother Paul speaking to the Church at Corinth, “Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant. Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.” (1 Corinthians 7: 20-24) I don’t know what it is with us human beings, but we are never satisfied with what we have or who we are. If only I had more education or a different degree. Why couldn’t I have been taller or shorter? I hate my wavy hair. Geez, I hate this; neighborhood, town, city, state, etc. etc. Perhaps this stems from ungratefulness, maybe selfishness, or as the Bible says the lust of the flesh. As Christians we can safely assume that we are where we are supposed to be. God has no problem moving us anywhere. So if we are where we are supposed to be why aren’t we satisfied? Why can’t we be happy where we are? Why do we think the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence?  If we’re unhappy with our lot in life, why so? Do we think we deserve better?  Do we need more “atta boys” and pats on the back? Has God given us the short end of the stick or overly and abundantly blessed someone else? Are we jealous?  James tells us, “For where envying and strife (self-seeking) is, there is confusion and every evil work.” (James 3:16) Folks we cannot compare ourselves to our brothers and sisters in Christ. Our eyes and heart is to be unto Jesus—He is our standard. If He wants us to do this or that He will let us know. The green eyed monster of jealousy is alive and well in the nominal church. Why? Because we want and we cannot have, we lust and it’s just out of our reach. God tries to show us our heart and we ignore Him or worse say it’s the devil coming against us. If we really and truly want to please the LORD we would listen to him and be grateful for where we are and what we have. When was the last time you thanked Him for electricity? How about indoor plumbing? God didn’t make me a singer so should I be upset that others can sing beautifully? Do I envy them in my heart? I want to be thin am I going to be envious of every thin woman I see? Of course not! It’s my fault I’m fat and God did not make me a singer. So what?? We all have our good points and God is trying to deal with our bad points. So let’s make it easy on Him and go along with His program. No matter what we do, no matter how seemingly small and insignificant we think it is, do it for the glory of God. Our real job is “to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.” (Mica 6:8)  Time is getting short let us cling to God and His word and allow Him to work in our lives now. The best is yet to come.

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 21 January 2014
232 Everett Drive
Sneads Ferry, NC  28460
Home:    (910) 741-0489
at 7:00 pm, please RSVP


January:  Local ministry
February: Local ministry
March: 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.