Deeper Truths for Hungry Hearts

June 2011 • Volume IX Number 10

“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. In the past months of looking at God’s faculties of communication we have looked at God’s hearing and His sight.  How this makes me shutter in my soul knowing God hears the words of our mouth (and the meditations of our heart) and the sees the deeds of our hands.  These two alone ought to be enough in our lives before God to take heed to our words and actions, but sadly we (now I included myself) do not really believe God really hears and sees us because if we did we would allow God to, “Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. 4Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.” (Psalm 141:3-4) Verse three was a verse we taught our kids as they grew up and now oh Lord please continue to help us allow you to strengthen us in this area of unbelief.

But this month we will take a good look at another faculty of God, His sense of smell.  What God smells of us tells a lot about our character.  In Genesis 8 we see Noah building an altar and he “took of every clean beast and every clean fowl to offer to God.  We will start in verse 20, “And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I ease.”  (Genesis 8:20-21)  Now when the Bible says “every” it means every, not some or a few, but every.  Noah took of “every clean beast and every clean fowl” that is a lot of animals and birds and built an altar to God for His faithfulness and dedication to Noah and his family.  Building an altar takes much planning and hard work, but more it takes the right heart condition of thankfulness, humility, sacrifice, and the ability to be a servant following the orders of the Master.  The ability to build altars in our lives to God speaks of our heart condition before Him. Also it speaks of the ability in our lives to tear or pull down things (we have made into altars) in our heart and of our heart condition before God. One sign of spiritual maturity in our lives is when we pull down things in our lives we know God disapproves of.  And further, our ability to build altars in honor and tribute to God speaks of our ability to be trusted by God.  God told Walter Beuttler, “if you build me an altar I will built you a ministry.”  Many preachers and teachers want big ministries they want God to use them in a mighty way, but have not allowed God to qualify or approve them for service. God will not give someone any responsibility and accountably unless first they have been subjected to God purifying fire. Anyone that became anything in God endured God’s dealings and judgment in their lives. Even our example and Master Jesus Christ (full of the Holy Spirit) went through the wilderness (Luke 4:1) where He was tried and tested before the Father.  Funny but Jesus being “full of the Holy Spirit” and His Father speaking and saying “this is my beloved Son John in whom I am well pleased” was not enough to start His earthly ministry.  Jesus still had to go to the wilderness so His Father could work on Him.  Well is the servant greater than the Master?

In the New Testament we find God smelling. Paul writes of the Church at Philippi, “But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.”(Philippians 4:18) so not only single sacrifices are well pleasing to God, but sacrifices from a group of people can also be pleasing to God’s smell.  You know I think it is not the odor or smell of the sacrifice that pleases God’s senses because in the past travels I have been far into the bush and not had a bath for days, but to God I smelled wonderful.  I think what God enjoying smelling is our service and sacrifice.  A sweet odor and savor to God comes by way of a right heart condition and dedicated, loyal, committed service to God and man. It is one of God’s faculties, but it is the faculty that connects God’s nose to His heart.  Next month we will take a good look at another faculty and one of God’s most important His touch.


Following Peace with All MeSomeday when we make it to heaven we will have many questions answered.  I do not think they will be answered one by one like we ask and someone tells us the answer, but we will know by the Spirit of God.  While I was pastoring in Germany I would attend a pastor’s prayer breakfast hosted by a huge German non-denominational church in Stuttgart.  I enjoyed the time of fellowship until some of the pastors started to weasel word their way by invitations to come and speak at others churches. That was enough for me.  So I told the host pastor what was going on and begged his leave.  He said he understood (he was always a very gracious man) and asked for us to stay in touch which we did.  But one day before this all happened a French pastor took a seat across from me and just glared at me while we enjoyed the traditional pretzel, meat, cheese, and beer breakfast.  I do not like the taste of beer so I drank coffee.  The longer we ate the more he glared at me until he spoke.  In English, as he leaned back in his seat, he told me an American pastor told him we will speak English in heaven, what do I think? Well, I quickly beseeched (one of six words for prayer in the Bible) the Lord what to say, not wanting to further anger the French pastor and said, I do not think we will speak in heaven.  He then leaned forward in his seat and said tell me more. I said, I think we will communicate through the Spirit.  He really like that and offered me a piece of his buttered pretzel, I made a new friend.  In Acts the Bible tells us not to worry about what to say, when the time comes the Holy Spirit will give us the words to say by the Spirit if we have an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying.  I have had many friends say the first thing they want to ask Paul, since he was not married, what was “the thorn in the flesh.”  Even if we did ask and Paul would answer I do not think I would ask that question. I feel pretty sure many folks ahead of us have already asked him this question and if it was me I would be tired of answering it.  But if we take a critical look at Paul’s life we may be able to answer this question before we get to heaven and if we get it right it will help us make sure we make it to heaven.  Something to know about me, I am not into heaven.  Oh I am going to go and hope and pray I see you there, but I am not into heaven I am into Him.  Where ever He is tis heaven to me.  Anyway what is God going to do if all of His children run off and go to heaven?  Who will be down here on earth to do His will as it is done in heaven?  I think the church corporately today needs to get a renewed glimpse of men suffering in hell (now that will really work a desire for mercy and grace in our lives so that we can extend them to friends and even our enemies) and let God take care of us going to heaven.

I have been told Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” was his poor eye sight due to his Damascus road experience being blind (Acts 9:18) with scales.  I do not know, but if I had to guess I would guess no.  Others say his “thorn in the flesh” was not having a wife and he burned (1 Corinthians 7:8) with lust, again I do not know, but if I had to guess I would guess no. If I would have to guess I would probably say his “thorn in the flesh” was enduring the emotions and feelings of his flesh when people he deeply loved and respected utterly rejected him. In the Book of Acts verse 19:10 we read where Paul poured two years of his life and the word of God into the churches in Asia, but then we read why Paul instructed Timothy, “Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 12For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. 13Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 14That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us. 15This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.” (1 Timothy 1:11-15) Can you imagine spending years of pouring the life of God into people and having them turn their backs on you?  I can and most pastors today can. But what made it even worse was Paul possessed a very special God-given revelation of God that no man has ever had. This precious gift of God (like Jesus Christ) was rejected and Paul knew it. The deeper the revelation of God we have the more we must be dealt with by God and it seems the more people will turn their back on them. God will not trust a man with a deep revelation unless they can be broken and made useful for the Master’s purposes. It is easy to see who has been broken they are the one everybody is beating and slandering and who opens not their mouth. When I was putting together a teaching God gave me on Spiritual Leadership, God really dealt with me on enduring the “contradiction of sinners;” where the flesh of others strike hard at our heart to cause us to stumble and fall out of the way God has for us to go.  The writer of Hebrews (I believe to be Paul) sets this before our heart and eyes to consider how Jesus endured, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.  3For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”
(Hebrews 12:2-3)

Now Paul knew hardships and endurance, “Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. 24Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.”  (2 Corinthians 11:22-27)  But what Paul is talking about in Hebrews 12:3, is an ache and a pain that touches deep in our heart and can even sear our spirit needing the grace that only God can provide. This I believe was the “thorn in the flesh” Paul beseeched God to remove from him three times. “For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. 7And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8For this thing (a thing is not a person or demon) I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:6-10)  Paul knew he would be a fool to glory in the truth of God’s “abundance of the revelation” so he took pleasure and even gloried, “in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

We see this also in the book of 2 Corinthians when the Church of Corinth was restored. ”And I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all. 4For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you.” (2 Corinthians 2:3-4) and then in verse 11, we see why Paul felt this way and his motive, “Less Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” (2 Corinthians 2:11) which is the same thought image Paul used when he described (2 Corinthians 12:7) “the messenger of Satan to buffet me.” The willingness of Paul to endure hatred, malice, misunderstanding, and wrath was just unbelievable. Yet I feel sure he felt every stinging word and unwarranted rebuke. No matter how deep our revelation of God is our fleshly emotions and feelings are still alive and must be dealt with by God and us. As Paul was writing to the Church at Corinth he said, “And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.”  (2 Corinthians 12:15)  Paul was saying, the more I love you all the less you love me.  But Paul knew he had to be willing to lose his self-interest in the church for them to come to the truth contained in his words. With this deep understanding how could a person or demon move Paul out of the way?  Now that all sounds very spiritual, but the revelation of truth always shines a simplistic light and takes us down lower in heart where Jesus is. All that Paul went through (like maybe some today) the beatings, the hunger, the perils, the nakedness, and the rest he endured, but the hole in his heart was like a cancer that ate away at his spirit to the point he asked God to remove it, but God said, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” What grace? Was it the grace of salvation?  I think not Paul was already saved. Was it the grace of more strength from God to endure more infirmities and afflictions?  Maybe, because we all need to be strengthened the more in the inward parts so that we can be conformed into character and nature of Jesus Christ, but here I think not. 2 Corinthians 2:4 gives us the answer, “For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you.” It was out of “much affliction and anguish of heart” and “with many tears” we like Paul might know the truth and grace of God. The truth and grace of God Paul needed (just like many of us today) to fill the hole in our heart and dry the tears from our face.

How can we get this grace? Now there is a big difference between the grace that comes with salvation and the grace of God that touches and heals our inward being. The grace of God for salvation is free for the asking of which Jesus paid a great price.  Now the grace of God to touch and heal our inward parts comes to us with a price we alone (like Paul, Job, Peter, Joseph, even Jesus) must pay. Not in money or service like many denominations and religious folks teach, but in lowliness of heart and self. Us losing our selfishness, self-centeredness, and self-life so that we may be able to win Christ.  Losing to gain in God, His way of us getting to give. Ask and we shall receive, right?  I think not.  Many Christians ask and seek and ask and seek and knock and seek and ask, but receive not (James 4:3) because they ask amiss desiring to spend their brother’s, sister’s and God’s grace on their own lust.  Then how do we get this grace, well the writer of the Hebrews helps us again here, “And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. 14Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 15Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;” (Hebrews 12:13-15) Paul knew the grace of God to touch his life was dependant on him following peace or pursuing peace with all men, even when they despitefully used him or totally turned their backs on him like in Asia. If we too want the grace of God to touch our lives we too must, “follow peace with all men and holiness.” We cannot forget the holiness part, so many do and never experience God’s grace.  The verse says both “peace” and “holiness.”  You know we can be peaceful with all men many religions teach this, but being holy to all men now that is quite difficult. You say David this is all well and good, but how do we follow peace and how can we be holy with all men?  Well always remember, “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”  (Proverbs 15:1)

Written by David Stahl


Jumping Through the HooMany of us when we hear the term “jump through the hoop” think of those little trained circus dogs that bounce around the ring doing cute tricks they’ve been trained to do. We Christians should never think of another human being as being subject to a circus routine of “jumping through the hoop” for us. Yet we do. In our secular society and in our Christian religious circles, why do we think if we have any place of authority or social status that we have the right to expect others to step and fetch for us and jump through the hoop at every foolish whim we can conger up? Who do we think we are? Now if you’re thinking of that Scripture of “give honor where honor is due . . . ” (Romans 13:7) that’s not what Jesus was talking about. Our Lord and precious Savior Jesus Christ came to serve—not to be served. Throughout His whole ministry He served people, He was at the Disciple’s beck and call, and was always available to whomever. He did however occasionally go off by himself. Shortly before His death (and He knew it was coming) what did Jesus do—He washed the disciples feet, and said “Ye call me master and Lord: and ye say well: for so I am. If then, your Lord and Master have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example that ye should do as I have done to you.” (John 13:13-15)  And is the servant better than the Master?

We truly are blessed to have the best daughters (in-law) in the world; whenever they visit they pitch right in and clean up after we all eat. You may think well they SHOULD help maybe so, but they both have small kids and I don’t really expect it. But my point is it’s their giving attitude; they WANT to help, it’s not the obligatory, “well I have to help the old crow out or she will be mad at me.” Their helping is a part of their nature.  We had an overseas pastor and his lovely wife stay with us and unfortunately we had some yard work to do, well wouldn’t you know they both pitched in and helped. This particular pastor was a top leader in his Christian Community back home in their country. You know, I am acquainted with plenty of pastors here in the States that think they’re big wigs and wouldn’t lift a finger to help us or anybody else for that matter.  “What get my hands dirty and do manual labor?  No way I am too spiritual.” When we lift ourselves up and think that we’re “too spiritual” to lower ourselves and get our hands dirty we’re setting ourselves up for a fall, remember, “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18) Pride is NOT supposed to be a characteristic of Christians; yet the church is full of it.  Not to mention the pastors, teachers, and evangelists all quite smug thinking they are up there with God. What good is their ministry if their character is marred by pride? Is pride going to draw people to the Gospel? Is God pleased by their prideful, exalted arrogance? How can this further the Gospel message? Why do they feel as if everyone should jump through the hoop for them? I know of two different pastors; one who drove 5 hours to drop off someone at a rehab center THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STATE!! I know of another pastor who wouldn’t drive 15 minutes to visit a Sunday school teacher who had a stroke and was in a nursing home across town!! So who do you think had less pride and a TRUE love in their heart for their people? It’s a shame some people call themselves pastors. I guess along with our secular society they feel “entitled.” In 2 Corinthians Paul relates how a messenger from Satan was sent to buffet him lest he be exalted above measure through the abundance of revelation (2 Corinthians 12:6-8), so is that what we want? Perhaps God will give us illness, family sickness, or perhaps hardships to soften our stony, prideful hearts.

Since I’m on a roll here let me divert off course a little and say that the lost souls in our families should bring us to tears, but they walk away from God and we are not moved.  And should we  not implore God with tears of travail for their souls, lest they be lost forever?  Brethren if our hearts become hardened to our own flesh (our family) it’s out of pride and pride alone. God help us, God hates pride and it doesn’t matter where it comes from—and it certainly shouldn’t come from us Christians. Love and humility go hand and hand, love and pride don’t. We certainly are in no position to expect other Christians to jump through the hoop for us and step and fetch. By love we are to serve one another,  “Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.”  (Romans 13:8) Have you realized pride is very close to hate? If we really loved one another we wouldn’t treat each other as lackeys—we’d treat them as we want to be treated. Yikes we might even start stepping and fetching for the least of the least. Good grief we may even start jumping through the hoop for people that don’t really “deserve” it. Gadzooks we may even start serving other people by letting them go first or by letting them be put up while we go down. What apocalyptic thoughts!!! Seriously why do we have this entitlement mentality thinking we deserve things when Jesus was beaten, scourged, mocked then crucified? Why do we want respect, admiration, the best hotels, the best food, the best seat—-oops, hey isn’t that pride? How many times did Jesus get the nicest hotel or the best choices of food—heck when He started His ministry He didn’t have a pot to pee in. How much respect did He get? Yet we feel we “deserve” what Jesus himself didn’t get, how stupid is our pride. As it says in Micah, “What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.” (Micah 6:8) Brethren let us only endeavor to jump through the hoop for Jesus perhaps then we can leave our pride behind. God Bless, the best is yet to come.

Written by Karen Stahl


Keep pressing into the heart of God, there and there alone is your help. Be not deceived by the religious people of today, but know the word of God and you will know God our reason for living.


1.    In Silistra, Bulgaria Pastor Niki Marsov and Pastor Yanko.  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. St. Andrews is still a key brick in the wall of God to the nations of Eastern Europe.
4.    Pastor Joseph Mutua in Nairobi, Kenya needs your prayer and financial support.  Kenya has seen much change and experienced much upheaval, they need your prayers for safety.
5.    Pastor Mike Olufemi in Aveile,  Nigeria. He needs your 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.    Financial support for the printing of  “Wandering in the Wilderness:  Call to Ministry.”
8.     Pastor Metin Mintaz and the members of Uskudar Son Buyruk Kilisesi in Istanbul, Turkey.
9.      Pastor Elieti Msangi in Dar Es Salaam and Pastors Isreal  Mutaitina and John Balone in Bukoba, Tanzania.
10.  Major Robin McIntosh, Chaplin, Gatwick Airport, Salvation Army, London, England.
11.    Monthly financial support Vivian’s Maternity and Child Care Clinic project in Aviele, Nigeria.
12.      Pastor Tek Dahl at Gethsemane, Church (his church) and their radio station “Good News 105.1 FM” in Kathmandu, Nepal.
13.    Pastor Sharief Ramsis, Khartoum Evangelical Church, (his Church) and their feeding and lodging ministry of the 1000s of children from the famine and war regions.
14.    Bishop John, Samuel  Kamanzi (from the Congo), Mashuli Etienne, Emmanuel Ndolimana in Ruhengeli,  Rwanda, and the plans for a  Bible School and K-12 school.


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

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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.