Deeper Truths for Hungry Hearts

October 2011 • Volume IX Number 02

“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. Let us continue to look at God’s emotional nature. This month we will look at God’s emotion of pleasure. God really loves it and is filled with endless pleasure when we are obedient to Him. Nothing in this world and in the next world to come makes God happier than when we move in obedience to Him and His word. All throughout the Bible we can see God and the pleasure He has in us. We must never underestimate the pleasure of God for it is tied to so many things, even peace with our enemies. In Proverbs we read, “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil. 7When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” (Proverbs 16:6-7) When we please God nothing is impossible to us because the pleasure found in God is found in the faith God speaks to us. The writer to the Hebrews knew this when he wrote, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) Pleasing God and faith walk hand-in-hand as well as our ability to move correctly in God to what He desires for our life. How can we move correctly in God if we are not pleasing to God? We cannot and God will not approve or qualify us.

In verse six from Proverbs we see the word fear, “and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil” now the word “fear” used here is the word we know and use as being afraid of punishment that we are deserving. Strange how fear and pleasure are opposites, but are used by God to bring us to salvation. In Psalms we read, “He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man. 11The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear (Strong’s #3373, fearing, reverent, afraid) him, in those that hope in his mercy.” (Psalms 147:10-11) Wow, God does not take pleasure in the strength (ability or talents) of man, but “taketh pleasure in them that fear him.” The word “fear” here is the same word used in all of these verses.

Many Christians say God is not mad at us, well this is correct to a point. But how about those people who have no fear for God? I have met many such people that shake their fist at God and dare Him to show up in their lives. Is God angry with them? That answer is yes, please take a good read of last month’s newsletter to see how God dealt with Miriam, Moses, and others. Now does he love them, yes of course, but at the same time God had to deal with them in a hard way to see if they would respond to His approach. Never forget; for those who love and respect God God’s love towards them is His mercy, grace, and unending compassion. But for those who do not love and respect God (which is still a part of God’s love) God’s love towards that individual is His judgment, wrath, and punishment. God’s desire for us (whether we love or do not love God) is that we draw near to Him. Again it is this drawing of God in our lives that gives us the opportunity to move correctly or move contrary to God’s will for our lives. And if we move correctly in God it leads us to His good pleasure for our lives. Paul lets us know this truth in Philippians, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:12-13) Can you imagine we can bring pleasure to God? Yes only man can do this.

Next month we will look at the emotional nature of God’s grief.


The Ugly Side of Truth

Karen and I have been married going on 32 years. After the things of God Karen is the next best gift God has given me. The longer we go together the more I love her and the more I see how at times I fail her. This is an ugly picture in my eyes, but it is the beginning of making Dave a better husband, father, and Christian. One of the many things I really like about Karen is her brutal truthfulness. I know where she got this. As a young girl growing up in New Jersey she was raised Catholic and even went to two Catholic schools. What wonderful story after story Karen tells of Sister Theophane Marie and the pretend iodine to the tongue or the ruler to the knuckles, now that is real love. She was tough, stern, and took no crap, but at the same time she was very fair and compassionate.

Every Sunday Karen’s Dad and Mom would take the entire family to Mass. Karen’s parents made sure she had a solid foundation of right and wrong, they put within her a sense and a desire for the truth that has carried over in the lives of our children. Grandparents begin affecting their grandchildren while raising their children. To this day if someone lies or goes against the truth it is a big deal to Karen and it should be. Lying is wrong and must be avoided at all cost, but today we find lying is becoming common place in homes, schools, the work place, and yes even churches. God has nothing good to say about a lying tongue. Please take a look at what God has to say about lying, here are some verses: Psalms 109:2, 120:2 and Proverbs 6:17, 12:19, 21:6, 26:28. Here is one from Proverbs, “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” (Proverbs 6:16-19)

This may seem a bit silly to you, but I have made an observation that my Protestant friends might find offensive. I have found my Catholic friends to be much more truthful than my Protestant friends. Why I do not know. Maybe it is just the people I associate with (both sets of friends) or maybe it is the message of grace without consequences that dominates the thinking of most Protestant churches and denominations. At any rate, unless we can see our lack in areas we will never be able to see the need to change. Our prayers like the Vineyard song are often “Change My Heart Oh Lord,” but when God comes and exposes areas in our lives so that we can change our heart we deny and reject Him, yet we continue to sing, dance, and run around playing games with God. My friend God is not mocked, the Bible says, “And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive (Strong’s #1777 to judge, to contend, to plead) with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.” (Genesis 6:3) God is a righteous and holy God. My friend there is a time when God will say enough is enough. I do not know about you my friend, but verses like these downright scare me. Paul too had this Godly fear, “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” (1 Corinthians 9:27) Now this verse and many others are the truth in spite of how we try to wordsmith, spin, or right out deny them away. My friend truth has an ugly side we do not like to know, but if we someday are going to look like our wondrous Savior Jesus Christ we must become very well acquainted with the ugly side of truth.

In John we read one of the most memorized verses (other than John 3:16) in the Bible, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 7If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.” (John 14:6) What a powerful verse and we should memorize it. It is true from start to finish, but please notice Jesus did not say He was the way and the truth that leads to Heaven. We today in the church want to run off to Heaven. I wonder what God will do on earth to share the Gospel message if they get their wish? I do not know about you my friend, but I am not eager to stand before a holy God. But Jesus did said “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” What way, what truth, and what life is Jesus talking about? The way Jesus is talking about is the narrow way of decisions that leads through the strait gate of our heart, “Because strait (narrow or restricted) is the gate (a place of decision in our heart), and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (John 7:14) The place in God we are to be heading is into His life, but please notice, “and few there be that find it.” Not too many Christians come into the life God desires to bring us into. God wants us to come into His life, but like salvation this too is our choice. Are we willing to submit to His dealings and judgments in our lives? If not we will have no life to raise us from the death in the resurrection. My friend serving the Lord is a very narrow, limited, and restrictive way we must go and out from our obedience to His restrictions in our lives come completion and fulfillment in God. Now do not think this way is a burden or boring, a promise comes with Jesus’ command to take His yoke upon us, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” IF we take His yoke upon us. He (Jesus) is the only way that leads to the life of God. Jesus is the truth. The word “the” means one and only there is no other. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” He is the embodiment of all that is true, righteous, holy, and Godly. He said when you see me you see the Father. When we see (understand and know) and hear (take within our spirit) His words we will know the truth and the truth will make us free. If we desire to know truth, we first must come to know Jesus Christ, all other attempts to know truth will be vain and worthless. Many look but few find. John said it this way, “and few there be that find it.” And the life Jesus is talking about is not a life of ease, power, and plenty, but a life of obedience and service to God and man. We cannot serve God without serving man. The only way God can bring us into His life is if He is able to open our eyes to the truth about ourselves and our critical need for Jesus Christ. Paul had this revelation, “If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18For 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.” (Romans 7:16-18) Unless God can open our eyes, through His dealings and judgments, to the truth about the sin that dwells within us we will never be able to come into the life of God. And if we say we have no sin we lie and the truth is not in us. We may have salvation (that only requires believing Jesus died for our sins), but we will not have the fullness of God’s life moving within us. John was right when he said, “and few there be that find it.” Not too many Christians (I include myself at times) are willing to endure God’s dealings and judgments to know His life. The more God deals in our lives the more revelation we shall receive. Please read the Bible, it is God’s dealings with man that brings man to God’s revelation.
Now it is one thing to read John 14:6 and dissect it while looking at who Jesus is, but it is a far different and difficult thing when God shines His flashlight of truth on our heart. Did you know God has a flashlight? No! Well, serve Him long enough and submit to His will for your life and you will become accustomed to His searching light. David a man after God’s own heart said, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalms 139:23-24) We will never be able to go the way God has for us to go, know the truth, or come into the life of God unless we first, like David, allow God to search our heart. Not our money, talent, gifts, and abilities, but our heart. And if we do the ugly side of truth will be ever before our eyes until we allow God to work in our lives. You know we really like knowing Jesus is the truth and yes some day in the sweet bye and bye we all will go to heaven. And we even are really comfortable with the truth of the dying Jesus on the cross for our sin, but how about when the resurrected Jesus comes to us and asks us about this area or that secret sin in our lives? I do not know about you, but I am not so comfortable when Jesus comes to me and says, “you are the man.” The mirror of truth kills us, but at the same time it makes us alive if we allow God to show us our heart. Over my many years serving the Lord He has brought into my life many mirrors. Most often these mirrors I would call enemies. If you really want to know what kind of person you are please do not ask a friend ask your enemy. Most friends will lie to protect you, your feelings, and your relationship. Some even lie to protect a thought, a cause, or organization. In some churches Karen and I have been to, in the past, we have known friends lying to cover other lies, this ought not to be. This is nothing but the blind leading the blind. Jesus taught this to His disciples when talking about the Pharisees, “But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. 14Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” (Matthew 15:13) For David the man who prayed, “Search me, O God” his mirror was named Nathan. “And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; 8And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. 9Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.” (2 Samuel 12:7-9) What an ugly truth. Now please know I am not beating up on Brother David, my name is David too, oh me my Lord, but truth especially about ourselves can be ugly and we do not like it. But if we allow God to deal in our lives He (and only He) will give us beauty for ashes. David repented and learned from His ways and was restored. The heart of truth that is always running in the background, in all situations, is always healing and restoration. If this is not your heart condition then you are lost, undone, and of need of salvation.

Well my friend let us learn not to run from the truth, but to run with open abandonment into its open arms and allow God to deal with the areas in our lives He so desperately wants to. John again lays the foundation, “But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” (John 3:21) If we do not come to know truth in our lives we will never be able to come to the light and remain in the darkness of our own heart. Make no mistake my friend “our deeds will be manifested, that they are wrought of God,” but the question I leave us with is this; will we be ashamed and continue in the lie the ugly side truth has revealed or will we confess (agree with God that what He is saying about us is true) and allow Him free sway in our heart and lives? Our answer will be seen by God and those who know truth.

Written by David Stahl


The Cost of Cheap Grace

“The righteousness of the righteous SHALL NOT deliver him in the day of his transgression; as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth” (Ezekiel 33:12) So, when was the last time you heard THAT preached?

Dave has been writing lately that our character must line up with our revelation of who God is. Yet how many times has scandal rocked the church? The first time I heard of a famous televangelist having a run in with a flight attendant (this happened years ago) I was shocked I thought him a mature, Godly man, but boy was I wrong. We’ve seen plenty of men of God or their spouses who we thought were Godly only to show their true colors when the slightest provocation or even a minor inconvenience would set them off. I’m sure you also can think of recent scandals in the church, both corporately and locally. This ought not to be Brethren. These should serve as reminders to us to take heed unto ourselves and our ways. Don’t think for one minute that God is going to cut us slack and slap grace on us every time we screw up. We should know better and do better, but we don’t. Why, because the church is teaching and sadly leading miserably by example a cheap grace message. All we hear is, “don’t worry God loves you and He’ll forgive you after all that’s what grace is for.” Well, not totally correct. Here are a few points often not taught in most churches. Point one, God does love us, but He expects us Christians to toe the line at all times. Point two, grace isn’t cheap it cost God and Jesus dearly. Every time we screw up (sin and fall short of God’s glory and His expectation) we crucify Christ afresh and basically slap God in the face with our willful disobedience. The writer to the Hebrews lets us know what this subtle, but evil heart condition looks like, “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” (Hebrews 6:4-6) And point three, expecting our brethren to “cover our sin with love” when we step on their toes is wrong thinking. Actually we shouldn’t be stepping on anybody’s toes sinner or saint. We are to live up to the standard of Jesus Christ and not live anyhow (an African term) and any old way thinking we’re getting away with something, because I have a news flash – none of us are getting away with anything in this world. Brethren, do you think that because we believe Jesus died for our sins that we’re saved from eternal damnation? Nay my Brethren, we MUST live within those restrictions and limitations that God puts on our lives to live pure and holy before God. We must allow God to take us through things to get the dross and leaven (sin) out of our lives. This is up to us God won’t beat us over the head or force us. We must decide to follow and allow God to work in us. Many of us choose not to. These are carnal Christians who war against the righteous Christians. They are ever learning, but don’t and won’t live up to God’s standard of righteousness and holiness. The Old Testament is not null and void because of the New Testament, both are needed for our spiritual growth and development to happen in us. Grace doesn’t trump living and being righteous. We Christians cannot live anyhow and expect grace from God and others to constantly cover our wrong doing we must grow up!!!!! There was a pastor a few months back that had three witnesses against him claiming he plied them with gifts, trips and money for homosexual trysts. The truth never fully came out. His wife and their church wrongly remained loyal to the pastor. To what depths will we sink? Brethren if there be sin in the camp we owe no loyalty to the fallen. We owe all loyalty to Jesus and Him alone. Sticking with a pastor or staying in a church out of misplaced loyalty is foolish and wrong. We are to flee from sin. How can God deal with a fallen pastor if all the elders, deacons, and the congregation run to his aid “supporting” him? Are we stupid? The ship is sinking and we’re still on board. Abandon ship already!!!! What, do you need an invitation? Let the ship sink and let the chips fall where they may. God will deal in our lives and others lives if we back off and let Him. Again, our loyalty is to God first, not to men. And certainly not to men who allow sin in the camp especially their own sin and others. Our righteousness MUST exceed that of the Pharisees and the Sadducees and must be constant lest one sin undo all of our righteousness. Grace is not like candy M&M’s to be handed out to obedient little children. Grace is so much more and it was very costly. Let us endeavor to truly live righteously and stay righteous from the “sweet grass (beginning) to the packing house (end) and beyond.”

Written by Karen Stahl


On 27 August of this year Hurricane Irene roared ashore 60 miles from our home in Sneads Ferry with sustained winds of around 80 mph (category 1). We really dodged a huge bullet; the LORD was very gracious to Eastern North Carolina because as Irene came up the Florida and South Carolina coast she was packing sustain winds of 115 mph (Category 3). If Irene would have hit Eastern North Carolina as a category 3 hurricane it would have been devastating. As I was watching the huge (100+ feet plus) pine trees sway back and forth the LORD reminded me of the great wind storms we would have during the spring time in Germany. Now they were not tornados or hurricanes, but the wind would reach speeds of 50-60 miles an hour and topple trees and uproot everything. Now that Karen and I have lived through a hurricane we can truly call ourselves eastern North Carolinians. Along with Hurricane Irene came some wonderful friends from Germany all nine of Family Bauer we had a great time enduring the storm. As we sat in the dark watching the tall pine trees swaying in the wind and talking by candle light my mind went back to the time the disciples were on the sea and the fear they experienced from the uncertainty of the storm. I really believe many people (Christians included) are not really afraid of dying, but what gives them great pause is how they are going to die, so too the disciples in Matthew. We read, “And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. 24And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. 25And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 26And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.”(Matthew 8:23-26) One thing for sure as long as we walk with the LORD there also will be “a great tempest” in our lives – God will see to it. And yes Jesus will be asleep. God’s goal in us is NOT to have Jesus wake up, but to be developed in spiritual growth to the point where we will have the ability to withstand the winds and waves of fear and confusion. In the story Jesus awoke and the disciple said, “Lord save us: we perish,” but how could that happen Jesus was in the boat with them? Now notice the order here; Jesus rebuked the disciples first and then He rebuked the winds and the sea. The great calm that was brought about was not to the winds and sea, but to the hearts of the disciples. The LORD wants us to be able to stand in great faith (by hearing God speak to us) in the mist of a great storm. You see the storm that was raging inside of the disciples was greater than the storm that was raging on the sea. So too in our lives the storms within us are greater than the troubles and storms we must face in life. Do you hear the LORD saying peace be still? If not we will never have the storm within us silenced. Let us learn to endure the storms of life while we also learn to allow God to quiet the storm that rages in our inward man.
With Hurricane Irene the winds blew and the trees fell, but we survived and cleaned up, we really dodged a bullet. As we cleaned up (all 11 of us) the LORD again showed me how storms in our lives are good, they cut away at the dead wood in our lives and prune us from dead old spiritual branches in our lives. There was a forest fire near our home that had been burning for about three or four months, but with the driving rains of Hurricane Irene now it was totally put out. God used a storm to put it out, funny how God works. I would think a good storm in our lives would carry us much further in God than a peaceful sunrise, but we know God makes both.


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.