Deeper Truths for Hungry Hearts

March  2012 • Volume X Number 07

“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. Jealousy is one of those human emotions we quickly assign to two star-struck lovers passionately in love with each other and this can be true, but did you know jealousy is much more than a passion felt by someone who believes they are losing something they hold dear?  Jealousy always revolves around the heart response or reaction due to the perception of losing something, it is a very powerful emotion in humans that that can undermine man’s perception of reality, but with God it is an expression of His love for man. In Deuteronomy we see this is action, “Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. 14Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; 15(For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.”  (Deuteronomy 6:13-15)  Now I really like how God instructs us to, “fear the LORD thy God” not many Christians really fear the LORD, oh no God has become some big sugar daddy who they manipulate for favor or the man upstairs, but that is not who God is.  God is a benevolent dictator who wants us to be obedient to Him.  He is a holy and righteous a Father who expects us to grow up into maturity able to come along side of Him and plow the field of life together and take on some responsibility for our words and actions and His kingdom, but this not the case with most Christians. We are more concerned about not getting bopped over the head than growing up.  Many pastors  even preach God is there to help you and give you everything you want, not so in God. Well here in Deuteronomy God is establishing the ground rules, “Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God” The word “fear” is translated dread; we are to dread God jealousy this will keep us on the straightway that leads to life and completion in God. If not we develop a contempt for God that will lead to leanness of our soul spiritually and death. In the Psalms we learn “fear” is also the beginning of wisdom, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth forever.” (Psalms 111:10) All wisdom? Oh no my friend only the wisdom needed to understand the revelation in this verse. Other wisdom will be learned as we touch the things of God and as He is able by His precious Holy Spirit to open them to our heart and mind.  God is a jealous God who demands our respect, our obedience, and our worship anything else to God is open defiance and rebellion and after some time if we do not move toward Him then, “the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.” And God means it.

God is jealous over His glory.  God will not share His glory with man. Again seen from God’s perspective He is losing something near and dear His glory and our praise of Him to other gods. The people in Isaiah’s day seem to have problems (like today) with giving glory and praise to other gods.  We read,I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.”  (Isaiah 42:8)  Now most homes today (especially in America) do not have “graven images” to worship, but this is becoming more accepted and common place with the globalization of the world.  God is jealous He loves us very much and does not want to lose our praise and honor to other gods (things we put before Him). We see this all throughout the Scriptures.  God will not give up His glory from Genesis to Revelation God is revealed to man in His glory and honor and to give this up is for God to deny His name, power, and authority.  God knows this format of man honoring and worship is for man’s benefit and God being jealous (not wanting to give up all He is to man) is the way man can stand before a holy God saved by God’s grace while standing in the power and authority God has purposed in man’s life.

Next month we will look at  revenge an emotion some Christians say God does not have and others wish He did not have.


How Long, Oh God

I have said and still believe prayer is one of the most amazing, but at the same time most mysterious thing God brings into our lives. It is no wonder the disciples wanted Jesus to teach them how to pray.“And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” (Luke 11:1) Now this “John” in this verse is not John one of the 12 disciples, but John the Baptist the one that came before Jesus. I wonder where he learned to pray? And then he taught his disciples. My friend prayer is a work of the Spirit of God in us it cannot be taught, but it must be worked into our spirit as we learn the lessons God desires for us to learn in His answers back to us. Maybe praying and having our prayers answered (which are two different processes) is something more than what we have been told? Maybe having our prayers answered timely is more dependent on us and not so much on God. After all God’s desire for us is only for our good no matter what He chooses to do in our lives. God is holy and sovereign He knows what is best for our lives and He will do everything we will allow Him to do in our lives to bring the truth and words of Jeremiah, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jeremiah 29:11) into our lives. Coming to God’s “expected end” for our lives is not up to God, but up to us. God wants His “expected end” to be alive and moving in our lives, but how bad do we want it?  Bad enough to be obedient to Him?  Bad enough to deny self-seeking ways and a sin sick heart?  Bad enough to fall into the ground so that He may live?  Well my friend prayer works the same way.  Do we desire God’s will in our lives more than our feeble collection of words to express our wants?  Do we desire to live a holy and righteous life before God and man so that His name will be glorified in all the earth?  Do we desire to be baptized into His death so that we may be raised in resurrection life? Remember, no resurrection life without death.  In Romans Paul tells the church at Rome and us today, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  4Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life 5For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:”(Romans 6:3-5) Paul was not talking about water baptism as most denominational pastors misrepresent this verse when conducting water baptisms, but Paul was talking about us falling into the ground, dying to, and identifying with the loss and death to our flesh and carnal nature, like Jesus did on the cross so that we may be able to walk in the resurrection and power of the “newness of life” God gives us. Death before glorification, that is God’s order and He changes not.

After observing Jesus in prayer with the Father and then personally observing the healings of who knows how many 1,000s of people I am sure there was a great desire within them to do the things that Jesus did, but maybe it was not for the same reasons Jesus did them.  Maybe their motives were selfish and more self-centered. We see all throughout the Gospels the disciples really never got it while Jesus was with them in the flesh, but before Jesus went away (as He said He would do) He said He would send the precious Holy Spirit and He would remind them of Jesus’ words and they would begin to move in the power and might of the Spirit of God. But before then time and time again we see the disciples doing things for their selfish gain and wants, I doubt suddenly they would have used their prayers for others, not so unlike us today.  Lord help us.  In James we read, “Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. 3Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss (Strong’s # 2560, miserable, to be ill, improperly, wrongly, to speak ill of, revile), that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”  (James 4:2-3)  James tells us “we ask and receive not” from God because we “ask amiss” not because God is not listening, He does not care, or He is not all powerful, but because we have asked a Holy God improperly or wrongly. Do you think it was the words the people used to ask God for something that caused the “amiss” state?  I do not think it was the spoken words per say, but we must always remember our words are always a reflection of our heart condition.  Jesus taught, “Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? 18But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.”  (Matthew 15:17-18) It was not their spoken words, but the lustful selfish heart condition that their words reflected. Now we are getting down to where the rubber meets the road.  Our words speak of the amount of God’s work in our lives or the amount of God’s work that has not been done in our lives.  Truth has two edges and cuts us both ways.  My friends, “Let the words of my (our) mouth, and the meditation of my (our) heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my (our) strength, and my (our) redeemer.”  (Psalms 19:14) if we desire to have our prayers answered.

But there is something deeper here we must learn and understand about prayer if we want to be able to move with God and not get frustrated at God.  Now I do not know about you, but to me there seems to be an enjoyment God receives by not answering our prayers quickly. Maybe He knows something we do not. Maybe while we are waiting for Him there is a deep work He wants to do in us so that we can be conformed ever the more in our heart and mind, a deep work and an experience in us to be able to handle His answer.  In His delay of answering our prayers there seems to be a projection of God’s Holy nature and sovereign character that keeps us before Him in our desire (not to have our prayers answered for selfish and lustful reasons) to know Him in a deeper way.  Prayer is God’s projection that He uses to show us His will and the way we must go with Him if we desire to walk in obedience. Prayer is God’s major tool He uses to teach us and train us to walk His everlasting way. And in our praying (beseeching) and in this way we will pray and God will answer our prayers not according to His power (that should be understood without question), but according to His plan and our heart condition.  Please let me say that again.  God answers our prayers according to His purpose and our heart condition.  In His delay there seems to be periods of time where things within us needs to change, to adjust, or align with what God wants to do in our request and according to His plans.  A delay in God answering us is most often about us needing to mature or spiritually grow to be able walk in what He desires to bring into our lives.  Also timing becomes an issue, God is arranging things for our good so that all things can work out for God’s glory, but most often in a delay in our prayers God is waiting for us to open up and allow Him to correct some conditions in us.  Let us be willing to open up our heart and lives to God so that He could work until His heart delights.

Did you know in every parable that speaks of the Lord’s second coming in the Scriptures has this element of delay while an inward work is either being done or waiting to be done? In Luke we read the parable of the good shepherd seeking his lost sheep. “What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? 5And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.” (Luke 15:4) When we read this verse we automatically start plugging in characters; Jesus is the good shepherd and we are the lost sheep, well I would not be so fast in assigning roles. If Jesus is the good shepherd how could He lose one of us?  Or did Jesus just give the sheep enough grace to wander off so that He could teach the sheep a lesson.  If Jesus was the good shepherd He most certainly would not have left the 99 (other sheep in the fold) in the wilderness, oh no Jesus would have left them in green pastures and beside still waters, right?  Well maybe not. Maybe the wilderness is the place where we grow and mature in God, not by the still waters and in green pastures. The wilderness is the place we go to learn about God.  It is the place we go where no one will hear us scream.  It is a place of death at first glance, but upon further inspection it is the place we learn to know God and His ways.  It is the place we go to learn to lean upon our beloved, “Who is this coming up from the wilderness leaning upon her beloved?” (Song of Solomon 8:5)  It is the place we go where God answers all of our questions.  Always know the wilderness has ways of correcting things in us. I think both, the lost sheep had a lesson to be learned and the 99 in the fold too had to be corrected. This delay, this time of correction in the 99 sheep happened while the good shepherd was seeking the lost sheep.  There seems to be a purpose in the seeking, in the delay. The good shepherd did not find the sheep right away he had to seek until he found the lost sheep. This seeking or delay seemed to be for a specific time to bring a condition of correction to the sheep already in the fold.  And when the 99 were found fit for the one lost sheep then and only then could the good shepherd find the lost sheep. So too this delay in prayer is specific in us it always works on getting situations and conditions right in us and always reflects our true character.  A delay in God answering our prayers is always about our character being defined and refined.  The end of Luke 15:4 is just amazing.  Do you know why the shepherd put the sheep on his shoulders?  Maybe the sheep was tired or hurt.  Well maybe so, but probably not.  As a custom in Israel, if a sheep wanders too far from the fold, out where the enemy can get to them, the shepherd in great concern for safety and deep love breaks the right front leg of the sheep.  How would you like to be loved like that by God?  Well in ways God does hobble us, maybe not by breaking our leg, but He has His ways of keeping us close to Him like not answering our prayers in a time of delay while we allow God to work on our character is such a way. The sheep is then carried by the shepherd (not like in the footprints in the sand poem) on his shoulder until the leg heals. During this time of healing the sheep gets a good sense or smell of the shepherd and comes to depend on the shepherd for everything. When the sheep’s leg is healed the shepherd put the sheep back in the fold and now with a new lease on life the sheep always stays very close to the shepherd.  What a lesson by God.

One Sunday we had a very soft and humble lady come to our church who was a potter.  She had the service and talked about how the potter forms the clay on the wheel through demonstration while sharing some verses from the scriptures that supported her message. She did a great job sharing the verses, but at times she seemed to be a little nervous and weak, a wonderful and safe place in God when sharing the word of God. It was so refreshing not seeing someone full of self-strength, well dressed, strutting around yelling, and showing off their great speaking ability. Where she really excelled was when she became the potter and turned the wheel. Her demeanor and countenance changed, she was transformed from a humble, gentle lady to a strong, very skillful, precise potter. As she worked the clay her muscles would flex revealing the arm strength required to be a potter.  I was impressed, not with her skills as a potter (I do not know a good potter from a bad potter), but with her transformation. Now most people in church were mesmerized (we had a camera trained on the clay as it went around and around) by the wheel you could have heard a pin drop when she got going, but I found myself drawn to and looking at the wedging board; the place where the potter pounds, beats, and works the clay over and over before they can even think of putting the clay on the wheel. The place where all impurities are found out and removed. It is the place where all hidden air pockets are removed from the clay that might if not removed blow up in the kiln. And it is the place where mixing the clay making it homogenous (work together), no drier, stiffer spots and softer, moister spots. Making your clay homogenous makes it easier to work with and lessens the chance of it cracking while drying. I was fascinated by the wedging board and not so much by the wheel. I learned (a very critical ongoing element in our lives) the process of transformation from darkness into the glorious light of God in our lives does not happen on the potter’s wheel (we are molded and formed on the wheel), but on the wedging board. And the more we allow God to pound and beat us, the more we allow God to work us over on the wedging board the better He (being the potter) can mold and shape us, so too with prayer. The more we allow God to work in our lives and teach us those critical lessons about prayer and correcting conditions and areas in us the more He will be able to open up to us the answers to our prayers.  How long oh Lord?  As long as it takes to work us on the wedging board of life.

Written by David Stahl   


What’s In It for Me?

As a kid growing up in New Jersey I along with most of my peers had a different kind of  drug problem. Every Sunday (without fail) every Holy day, every Christmas, and every Easter we kids were drug to church. That’s what we all did on Sunday. The Catholics, the Methodists, the Presbyterians. The three churches were within blocks of each other so you could see everybody going off to church. The two bakeries downtown were busy as folks (including my Dad) would buy rolls, crumb cakes, pies, you name it. Sunday was good. I don’t remember all the hymns we sung, but I know they were not the self-centered bless me songs of today. I also don’t recall any of the drama that goes on in today’s churches. When I was a kid it seemed to me people wanted to help out the church in whatever way they could. The priest was the “head honcho” and we went along with what he said. Back then I don’t believe they even had deacons and if there were deacons, well they were out of sight working behind the scenes. If you didn’t like your local priest/pastor you could go to another church. But back then most folks were satisfied and wouldn’t even think of going to another church. There didn’t seem to be a whole lot of drama then―and if there was I didn’t know about it. Folks liked the local priest and Protestant pastors and without a lot of fan fare they helped them out when asked.

Now let’s fast forward to today. I have never in my life seen such self-centered, back-biting, envy, jockeying for favor (or position) contention, and every evil work from church people in my life. Church people! Dave and I attended one church and some man came in off the street asking for prayer for his nephew. When questioned about staying in our Sunday school class as we continued the lesson, the man replied that he wasn’t good enough to go to church. And do you know what some of the people’s reaction were―some smirked, others laughed. I couldn’t believe it. I was stunned. These were Christians? These people claimed to have a walk with the Lord? Something was wrong somewhere. As Dave and I continued to attend that church a common theme was evident there and at other churches we would visit―the people were babes in the Lord. In 1 Corinthians Paul was correcting (also something not done in most churches today) the church leadership and the people, “For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. 20When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.  21For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. 22What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.”  (1 Corinthians11:19-22) Now Paul was talking about their selfish heart condition and lack of Spiritual discernment to others needs by not willing to wait and allow their brothers and sisters to be satisfied first, not willing to prefer their brothers (which is the Lord’s supper) and sisters ahead of them, but “in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.”  And in doing so they “despise ye the church of God and shame them (like the guy who came in from the street) that have not” or do not have the ability in God to receive of Him.  Let me get mine first who cares about others? Jesus does!

But back to the church; their music was very self-centered, as was the preaching, and so were they.  It’s like people go to church to see what’s in it for them. What can they get out of it? The guys on TV feed into this same wrong thought process; God wants to bless you, God wants you to fulfill your destiny in Him. God wants you up on the mountain top, really? It is all about us, but not so fast what happened to righteousness and humility? I can’t remember the last time I heard a “Thus sayeth the Lord…” at church. We want big choirs, men’s programs, women’s programs, kids programs, this ministry and that ministry, but where is God in all this stuff? What happened to God healing people or touching hurting souls? We have psycho-babbled everything when it comes to the word of God when all we really need to do is point people to Jesus. Are you hurting – Jesus!  Sick –Jesus! Money problems – Jesus! Marital problems – Jesus!  The writer to the Hebrews said it this way, “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.”  (Hebrews 11:2)

It’s not about us. God is not out to make us happy little campers as He gives us a mansion in the sky in the sweet by and by and a crown on our heads.  Nor is He out to make our life as cushy and easy as possible. God wants us to grow up! God wants us to quit whining every time we don’t get our way. He wants us to read our Bible every day to learn about Him not just flip the book open to find a few scriptures on Sunday. This year – whether we sink or swim, prosper or fail (in worldly terms) let us keep our eyes and hearts on Jesus. Everything else will fall into place. It’s not about us. It’s about Him that’s what’s in it for us.

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.