Deeper Truths for Hungry Hearts

June  2012 • Volume X 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.  Over the last nine months we have looked at the emotions God. Who would have thought God has emotions, well He does.  He has emotions just like you and I this is why God knows our frame He even knows the current tally of hairs on our head, what a wonderful God we serve. The next nature of God we will look at is His social nature. One of the most unexplainable attributes of God is His desire to have a relationship with man and this desire is seen in how social God is with those who love Him. To be honest God has little to do with people who do not love Him.  But this makes sense in the natural the people who do not like me I give them a wide berth and God is the same.  He is there for them with mercy and salvation (which is more than just having their sins forgiven) if they come to their senses, but until then God stands afar off. In spite of His great love for man God knows for those who do not desire to walk with God and know His ways the only things God can bring to a relationship is judgment and punishment.  But now for those who do desire to know God and walk with Him the sky is the limit.  All throughout the Bible the Scriptures talk of God having a social relationship with man.  God walks with, dwells with, meets with, and communes with man. Let us look at some examples:  In Leviticus we read where God is talking with the Children of Israel, “And I will set my habitation among you; and my soul shall not abhor you; 12 and I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be to me a people.”  (Leviticus 26:11-12) This promise is for us today, “I will walk among you and I will be your God.” What a wonderful promise to us.  In 2 Samuel we read, “In all my going about with all the children of Israel, did I speak a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build ye me not a house of cedars?”  (2 Samuel 7:7)

In both examples God is looking for a social relationship with man, but sadly all man seems to do is turn their backs on God. Here in 2 Samuel God is asking the Children of Israel why did you not make a great place for Him?  Have you ever seen the cedars of Lebanon? Huge stately and majestic anything of value and highly prized make of wood would be made of cedar.  God was staying why are you not making me a highly prized place to live?  God is after our heart this is the place the throne where He desires to rule and reign, but sadly like today this was the theme that ran all throughout the Old Testament God wanting more of man’s heart and dedication and rarely getting it.  God dwells with man.  In Isaiah we find who God dwells with, “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, and whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, and with him that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”(Isaiah 57:15) God does not dwell with just anyone as many Christians think oh no, God said, “I dwell in the high and holy place, and with him that is of a contrite and humble spirit.” Not too many Christians meet these requirements and I include myself sometimes.  The word “contrite” means crushed and ground to powder, so God is with those who have been crushed and ground to powder. In the New Testament in 2 Corinthians we read, “and what agreement to the sanctuary of God with idols? for ye are a sanctuary of the living God, according as God said―‘I will dwell in them, and will walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people,”  (2 Corinthians 6:16) Here is the requirement for God to be their God, “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said,  I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18)  Separation unto God and Him alone is always the condition for Him to be our God.  In Numbers we find God meets with man, “And Balaam said unto Balak, Stand by thy burnt offering, and I will go: peradventure the LORD will come to meet me: and whatsoever he sheweth me I will tell thee. And he went to an high place.  4And God met Balaam: and he said unto him, I have prepared seven altars, and I have offered upon every altar a bullock and a ram.”  (Numbers 23:3-4)  Can you imagine the God of the universe coming to meet with us, but better than meeting with us God communes with us.   In Genesis we find God communing with Abraham, “And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;’ (Genesis 18:1) and “And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.”  (Genesis 18:33)  One thing for sure when God comes to commune with us we are never the same.  This is God’s intention to change us from the inside out.

Next month we will look at some privileges enjoyed by man in our social relationship with God.


Following to Obedience

My heart is full and my mind has many thoughts to share.  I wonder why we sing songs like “I surrender all” and do not.  We say we are ready to lay down our life for the sake of Christ but, I find big singing boastful words usually means quick retreat in the face of the enemy or in austere times.  I wonder why we raise our hands in submission to God swinging our arms to and fro in the air while having a tearful emotional experience promising God to do something and not do it?  It would be far better for us to just keep our mouth shut. We must be very careful with what comes out of our mouth God is very good at making us eat our words, you can ask Jephthah, “And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, 31Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD’S, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.”  (Judges 11:30-31) and now the result of a quick emotional vow to God “And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.  35And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the LORD, and I cannot go back.” (Judges 11:34-35)

In these cases others usually pay most of the price. Did you know when we raise our hand and promise something before God we are making a vow, an oath, or swearing to do something for God?  My friend, God takes a very narrow view of saying something and not doing it. I would recommend at your next song service to please pay attention to the words you are mouthing. As I began to grow in the Lord I thought these emotional approaches to God was what He was after, but now much older in the Lord I believe (even though I was well intended) these times did little to help me overcome things in my life that would enable me to be obedient to God. My friend we must be very careful when we get our emotions involved with the things of God.  Our emotions are dangerous and will run us out of God and off track faster than anything I know. Please take time as you read the Bible to see how emotions got such mighty men of God as Adam, David, Solomon, Samson, Jonah, Gideon, Elijah, all of the disciples (the list goes on and on) in trouble and off track.  In the Proverbs Solomon shares, “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit (control our emotions) than he that taketh a city.”  (Proverbs 16:32)  I wonder where Solomon learned this truth? Maybe from his father King David. Today we want to conquer the world for Christ, well He wants us (with His strength and ability) to be able to conquer our spirit and mouth. If you really want to grow in God to be accountable do not look for the next praise and worship service to get all blubbery in, but look within your heart and spirit for the next area of fear (that lives in the pit of your stomach) or failure in your soul that needs to be conquered by God by allowing Him to  strengthen you in your inward parts. Did you know the word praise in the KJV Bible has little to do with singing, but more with making confessions, thanksgivings, a discourse like speaking well of someone, or a commitment to something in words not music? Our progression in God is not measured by what we do or give to God, but what we lose of our selfishness self-life and how much we allow God to strengthen us. We must not allow our emotions (and that includes our flesh) to rule over us, but channel them into a Godly focus from following to obedience.

Thus far this year Karen and I had not traveled to the nations.  The first part of 2008 we were helping to take care of my parents (and still are in ways) during the middle of the year we hosted some wonderful friends from Nepal and India, and later Jake Luffy and I had planned a trip to Turkey, Romania, and Bulgaria.  The need was certainly there and God provided the funds, but just because God provided does not mean this is what He wanted to happen at that time.  I think most times God is more concerned about our heart’s desires to go and do than the actual going and doing. Now here is where things really get foggy and over into some gray areas in God.  Oh you say there are no gray areas in God?  Well walk with the Lord long enough and go to the places He wants you to go (and not the places you want to go) and you will see the gray areas fade to black and into the darkness of the unknown of God.  I have been traveling abroad for the Lord since July 1996 and at first I went to where I wanted to go and said the things I wanted to say within His call on my life, but when I got older I needed others to “girdedst” or strengthen me.  In John Jesus shares this wonderful truth with Peter, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.”  (John 21:18)

The older I get the more the truth of this verse becomes more alive and more of a reality in my heart and life.  Now I will be honest I wanted to go on this trip the need was great, but still in my heart (I will be honest) I did not want to go on this trip. I do not need to travel ministering the word to be fulfilled and satisfied in God.  I know there are many great men of God in Turkey, Romania, and Bulgaria who can do a much better job than me.  I am very content and very happy at home with Karen, working on writing my books, newsletter, and articles, helping keep the maternity clinic in Aveile, Nigeria, the radio station in Katmandu, Nepal, the tuberculosis clinics in Addis Abba, Ethiopia (on auto pilot now) up and running, soon Bible schools in Rwanda and Kenya, and ministering locally.  There are plenty of Godly and righteous things I can be doing to feel like I am “ministering” or doing something for God. However, we planned and prepared, but the night before while I was laying on the couch and Karen (my sweetheart) was rubbing my feet a cloud like veil descended over my eyes, right away I knew my blood pressure (for no apparent reason) went up.  I went up stairs and got the blood pressure cuff bought for me in Turkey last year and I asked Karen to take my blood pressure. Sure enough I was right.  I should know this happening by now because on the last five trips I have taken I have experienced blood pressure problems. Starting in India in 2006, in Rwanda, in Romania, Bulgaria, and in Nepal on my way to Tanzania but ended up in Istanbul, Turkey where the plane dropped me off and I spent six hours in the emergency room, and then again on our (Karen and I) last trip to Turkey in 2007 (where they bought me the blood pressure cuff) I had a blood pressure problems. And now before we were suppose to leave for Turkey another blood pressure problem, well I remember all too well the feeling of helplessness and danger I was not so fast to run out the door the next morning. God sure has ways of getting our attention.

When we are in our teens or early 20s we think we are invincible and we will live forever, but as we get older say into our 30s and 40s we begin to see our mortality ever before us.  And as we reach our 50s and 60s we notice every pain, bump, and lump on our body questioning everything, wanting to hold on to every bit of life we can.  Now please do not misunderstand me here, I am ready to die, but I do not want to die God still desires for me to share His wondrous Gospel message and I so love and enjoy my wife Karen and our family. Anyone that says they want to die, both sinner and saint alike is lying.  I was getting my hair cut one day and the Korean lady barber and I were discussing this topic and she said the older we get the more we look at our self, she is right. We even have “beauty parlors” to camouflage our age and faults. Believe it or not spiritually there is a parallel to this thinking. The older we get the more our flesh desires not to do the will of God. It seems the older we get the more and more our fleshly desires need to be beat into submission and dragged along (even kicking and screaming) as we overcome in obedience doing what God has asked us to do.  It seems our flesh is more of a stumbling-block to us than man or the devil. I was very grateful that God allowed me to have this blood pressure problem before we left the States. After going to the doctors I found out I may have a stenosis (narrowing) of the renal (kidney) artery or a tumor on my adrenal glands that produces a sudden surge of epinephrine, both will cause my blood pressure to suddenly go up. Time and testing will give us the answer and a miracle or treatment will follow.  Now I am not saying it was my flesh that was causing my blood pressure problem, but on the other hand I would not put it past my flesh. Jake and I must rest in knowing God had a better plan (in spite of the great need) for us than to go to Turkey, Romania, and Bulgaria back then. In my case now I see it is a physical problem that God wants to be corrected for the future.  But my friend our flesh is wicked and deceitful above all causing us to do so many things we would not have done.  Our flesh is to be put to death. God has no intention of keeping our flesh alive and is counting on us to help put it to death. When we get over into emotions and allow our thoughts to run away our flesh is in control.  Did you know at the heart of our emotions is selfishness? When we do not get our own way or we think we have lost something what moves our emotions is our selfish nature. I remember as a small boy when coming home after school and my mother not at home thinking oh no the Lord came and I was left.  I would go from room to room calling her name, get on the phone if need be, just seeking her out not feeling bad about my youthful sinful heart condition, but I was seeking her to reassure my selfish nature. We cannot handle our flesh by our natural ability, but we first must allow the Spirit of God full sway in our lives to work in us an ability to “mortify” or put the deeds of our body to death.  “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.  12Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”  (Romans 8:11-14)  If we desire to be led by the Spirit of God we first must put to death the deeds of our flesh. My friend either our fleshly emotions or the Spirit of God will be leadings us it is our choice.

Now we (Karen and I) are not saying we will never travel in ministry again, we already have had wonderful friends in India, Nepal, Nigeria, and Tanzania all wanting visits again, but what we are saying is; if God wants us to go and we know that we know it is God’s leading then we will endure even medical problems. Our heart is to glorify God and His children. We cannot glorify God and His children if we come with problems to add on top the problems our wonderful friends already face. Times are perilous and expensive enough the last thing our wonderful friends around the world need is to have to care for people who ought to have known better.  And it is not about going in faith and counting on God to make a way, this my friend proves to be foolish and unscriptural.  God gave us a mind and expects us to use it.  I still shake my head at Peter leaving a place of safety and provision that Jesus provided so that he could do something spectacular and miraculous yet in the end Jesus had to save him from his fleshly ambition.  It was not about going to where Jesus was or Peter walking on the water, but about foolish ambition and pride as it would be the same for us going to minister somewhere in the world (like in the past) with a problem in hand.  Jesus told Peter, “This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.”  (John 21:19)  When reading this verse we often focus on “what death he should glorify God,” that is true, but we should be focusing on the “Follow me.” Where are we to follow Christ?  Into the great abundant life in John 10:10?  No my friend in reality we are to follow Christ into His death.  We are to follow Him into a death of our selfishness into a newness of life into our selflessness and then literally into a physical death. I think the more we die to our selfishness and self-life the easier it will be to fall into the ground physically. Today Jesus says to us, “Follow me” yet I see so many Christians going the opposite direction of Christ while they say they are following Him. Where are they following to? To their cross (not Jesus’) to daily impale themselves on?  How are they following Him?  In a humble, lowly, and contrite way? Are they following to obedience or are they following to presumption; thinking they are doing right, but in reality doing wrong?  The only way we can glorify God is to follow Him in obedience.  Following to obedience will kill you time and time again, but if you can die then you will really be alive to follow Christ anywhere He leads.

Written by David Stahl   


Teddy Bear

Teddy bears they’re soft, cuddly, usually cute, and fluffy basically harmless. I went to a function recently and an elderly lady commented that one of our sons was a big teddy bear.  Now I’m sure she didn’t mean he was fluffy and harmless, but whatever she meant it didn’t sit too well with me. We didn’t raise our three sons to be teddy bears. We want them to stand against the tide.  We want them to stand firm on the word of God and stand firm in the will of God for their lives. This will take a backbone and inward strength. It’s always easier to go with the flow:   be “politically correct,”  “we don’t want to offend anyone,” “let’s just love everybody,” but in God you can’t. Christians are not supposed to be P.C. We need to stand firm against a lot of ungodly things in this world and I mean a lot. Our brother Joshua in the Old Testament lived with a sword in his hand up into his 80’s. Back then he was fighting to receive the territories that God had given the children of Israel, which at that time were occupied by the heathen. Joshua went through wiping out many cities because God told him to. As a result of his obedience to God, “There failed not ought of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.” (Joshua 21:45)

My dear reader we shouldn’t see our sons as teddy bears because God does not. Yes there are times they need to be gentle and perhaps be “team players” or maybe they need to be indulgent with relatives and the elderly, but this never ever comes before the truth and God’s will in their life. God’s will is paramount in our lives. The blessings for us and our families (and others) hinges on our obedience to God. As we walk in His perfect will we’ll see this. The way won’t always be clear and it certainly won’t be a bed of roses—more likely thorns, but we must settle it in our hearts that we will make God’s ways our ways, God’s laws must become our laws, and His thoughts must become our thoughts. Our sons are young now and can do whatever they please, but as they age their path will get narrower and narrower and God will remove his tutoring hand from their lives to see if they are still willing to follow and obey Him. Being a teddy bear isn’t going to cut it. But being a man of God will.

Written by Karen Stahl



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.