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SUNDAY (Icebreaker)

1. In the above clip, see if you can:

    A. Find winsomeness in King Arthur that reflects the winsomeness of the True King

    B. Find descriptions of Camelot that reflect the beauty of Eden.

    C. Do you see any other parallels to the true story?

2. If you know the end of the story, how did the infidelity of Guinevere and Lancelot impact King Arthur and Camelot?

3. With the above in mind, meditate on Psalm 2:12 and find an application for yourself today.

Monday-Wednesday Bible Study

I have installed my king


4. Read Psalm 2 and find hints as to who this King is, using cross-references in parenthesis.

    A. In verses 1-2:

    The English word Messiah comes from the Hebrew word for anointed one.

    B. Verse 6.

    C. Verse 7. (quoted in Acts 13:13 and Hebrews 1:5)

    D. Verse 8-9

5. Mike Reeves links The King of Psalm 2 to the Blessed Man of Psalm 1 in several ways. One is through Deuteronomy 17:18-20. Read it and see if you agree,

6. Completely Optional (Because I promised not to overload you) Listen to the first twelve minutes of Reeves and comment if you like:


7. Pray that you would kiss this King, honor this King, long for this King to be King of your heart.


Psalm 2 indeed is about a world gone mad, where, from the beginning, kings have raged against the King  God  set on His holy hill. And indeed, that is the first part of the truth of Psalm 2. The kings of the nations have always raged against the true King.




Jean-Leon Gerome "The Christian Martyrs Last Prayer"
Jean-Leon Gerome “The Christian Martyrs Last Prayer”



Malaysia-North-Korea-_Leff-300x168Reports of Dreadful Persecutions are Coming From Syria and Much of the Islam World

Christianity Today reports that persecution has escalated everywhere, and though we are in the minority of the world where Christians are still free to worship, the scoffing has increased, and we too feel the growing storm and wonder what is ahead. Among our own, there are those who are experiencing scoffing right within their own homes, a place God intended to be a sanctuary, a place of rest. This is real persecution as well, and we must include these persecuted Christians in our prayers.

How vital it it to pray the Word so we are taken out of our self-centered cloister to pray for our brothers and sisters in enormous need.

5. Read the following page on praying for persecuted Christians and then put it into action right here through your prayers: Link

6. Read Psalm 2 and then pray Psalm 2:10-12 for the rulers of the world.

7. Pray the last phrase “Blessed are all who take refuge in him” and Psalm 3 for persecuted Christians.


8. Share your notes here.

9. On the basis of what you heard, pray for your own heart.


What is your take-a-way and why?

Leave a Comment

Comment * If this is your first time here, please comment then fill out your name and email as stated at the bottom. Dee will approve you within 24 hours.


    1. Hi Dee, Yes, it can seem like shouting…..how about we use the phrase “PRAYER REQUEST,” (in caps), and then we could put our request in lower case as usual. Like this:

      Thank you all for praying for me with my ongoing cancer treatment. All is well so far. I do have a tad bit of anxiety when I am laying there all alone, with the “beam” on…..I start to think of part of my body being “killed.” It’s so weird; I don’t have anxiety usually, and I need to remember that I am really not amole either; Jesus is always near. i will pray today as i have the treatment.


      I am so “needy” today; sorry. I am also having difficulty getting all my work done at school before the end of the semester. I am beginning 2 new courses I haven’t taught in several years and trying to wrap up a semester that is crazy. I’m fearing I won’t get all my grading done in time. I really don’t need the stress right now either. Please pray that I can focus, remember God will help me, and to BREATHE deeply instead of tensing up about everything expected of me in the next week.


      Please pray for my dear freind Laura who is struggling with a medical issue right now. Please Lord, help Laura get well soon and not feel so sick. Thank you for your healing arms and wrap her with them so she may get back to all the people in her family who need her to be strong for them. Help her feel your comfort. In Your name Lord, I pray.  Amen.

      1. Dear Heavenly Father I come to you today and lift up Laura-Dancer to you, help her to find peace and no worries when she is undergoing her treatments. To just find praise in all of it and your peace and love all around her and in her. I also life her up with all she has in front of her to accomplish with her work. I pray you give her God strength, peace, rest and to help her relax over all.  We also lift up her friend Laura who has some health issues, I pray for you healing arms and touch. The Word says by your stripes we are healed and I believe this for Laura and Laura-Dancer.  
        But He was wounded for our transgressions,He was bruised for our iniquities;The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,And by His stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

      2. Oh, Laura dancer, thanks for updating us. You have so much to deal with right now.
        Father, we just bring Laura dancer to you this morning as she has radiation. Help her to sense your presence in that room as she lays still for treatment. We know you are right there with her, but she has so much stress right now. Please wrap your arms around her. Calm her fears, her worries. Help her to trust deeply in you for the trials of the present and the unknowns of the future. Fill her with deep assurance of your wonderful love. I also pray for her friend Laura and say amen to the prayers said. 

      3. I stand in agreement with my sisters—  for you and Laura

      4. Laura-Dancer,  you have been in my thoughts a lot recently.   I’m praying for you, Girl!    I could so imagine you lying there alone in the room with “the beam on.”    I hope you can come to the point where you are picturing that it is the “bad stuff” that is being killed during your treatments instead of “part of your body.”     Don’t apologize for being “needy” during this time of your life — anyone would be!    I would hope that they would cut you a little slack at work during your treatment period.   They should, as it is well-known that the treatment itself causes difficulty with staying focused.    Just rest, confident that all of us are praying for you, and that the best cancer treatment is at His Hands! 

      5. oh dear Laura-d–I know I would feel more than a “tad” of anxiety–it is amazing when I look back at how He has grown you, preparing you for this season He knew would come–and how He is your peace, even now, with all you have. I am praying that You can rest in His arms, knowing He has you and even as the beam is on you today, I pray you will feel Him with you. Praying too for your course load–seems too much right now, but I know He will strengthen you for what He has called you to.

      6. Father, I ask that You come to Laura during her time of radiation. That you would parade through her thoughts instead of anxiety. That You would speak Your promises to her in her most vulnerable time. as she lays would you put Your own beam on her to strengthen her and love her. In Jesus name Amen

      7. I like that much better Laura (The Prayer Request)

        1. Sweet Laura, you have every right to be anxious as I would be too.  I am praying everyone’s prayers for you and your friend Laura too.   Maybe if you quote scripture to yourself during these treatment times, that always helps me.  I love Isaiah 41:10  “Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed for I am YOUR GOD.  I will strengthen  you, I will help you, I will  uphold you with my victorious right hand.”  Love you.

      8. Oh, Laura-d,  Just saw this.   Amen to everyone’s prayers.  Will continue to pray for you.

        I like your suggestion of how to do PRAYER REQUESTS.

  1. 8. Share your notes here.

    I listened several times and was convicted-something popped out the second time I listened and He quickened me. 

    This is what stood out to me:  How to treat Him as King-to obey, submit, rely and expect., 

    I was convicted on all points-I need him so..the one that convicted me the most was “expect”..I have said many times about my husband having to work his jobs which effects how we grow in relationships with others as a couple-and it cripples our ability to be hospitable and to serve alongside other believers and grow and have community. I have been pessimistic and said to myself that this is the way it is and it will never change. I haven’t been treating Him as King in this at all. I was completely blind to it and it has put a wrench in intimacy with Him-but He has just opened my eyes.. I so desperately need Him. I am SO SO grateful I am His for I am so blind and messed up on my own. I need His Yoke so.
    9. On the basis of what you heard, pray for your own heart.
    Lord thank you for showing me this! I know there is more lurking in my dark heart but oh thank you for I know as you have shown me-that you are on the move again in me and that you will help me! I confess I haven’t treated you as King- in every one of these areas! I haven’t submitted to your plan and instead push for my own way and in this area of pessimism I struggle-but I know God that you know what is best for me and although I fear this place we are in-the things that can happen- I know you will use it to pull weeds and tend my garden for you know what is best and there is nothing that comes into our life-no stumbling and bumbling I do that you can’t use to help me grow in dependence on you-Help me to say your will, not mine Lord-help me to become more confident and rest in the fact that you are crafting my circumstances to purify me. I confess my pessimism-Help me to treat You as King in this-to expect and rejoice with trembling. In Your name, amen.

    1. Pessimism…so my downfall at times as well…instead of like when Keller talked about Job in 23 “I dont sense God’s presence, but He knows my way-I will come forth as pure gold.” Submitting purifies us..that really spoke to me on my control issues and pessimistic ways. Blessings Rebecca. 🙂

      1. Staci, that passage in Job that Keller brought out really pressed into my heart..so want to pound that in deeper. 

    2. Rebecca, praying for your husband’s job situation–that is SO hard, I know. And I join you in this prayer for myself  “help me to become more confident and rest in the fact that you are crafting my circumstances to purify me. ” yes, Lord.

    3. Rebecca, I have been musing about your husband’s job situation. This must be so hard for you – almost like single parenting and, though I don’t know your situation, I wonder if you have to go to church and do “ministry” without your husband much of the time.So hard, but God knows your situation, your need, and what He has planned for you in serving Him. My situation is very different yet I too struggle with thinking I know best how my life should be run and when it doesn’t go as I want, I grow frustrated and pessimistic. It is so hard to submit, but that is the only door to freedom and true service. He is the King and His ways are for our best, though submission and joyful acceptance is not easy. 

      1. Diane, 

        Loved your point about submission being the only door to freedom and true service..Yes, and my approval idol used to rise..I would be concerned of what others at church thought about our situation-it is easy to put people in a box and assume ‘why’ things are the way they are but God has helped me cling to Him that He is my approval. 🙂  

        God is also changing my perspective on service in our church-again as you stated just learning to submit to Him..Our church has community groups that meet in homes..We have signed up for a community group which meets on Sunday nights..AND it is for our whole family..AND God is moving. :))  It just “so happens” that the group I picked is the only group that includes the children and it just “so happens” that they are 3 boys there who are our boys ages..and two of them are good friends with my oldest and another one of mine. So there will be 7 boys there. Also, the leader is a gal I have been drawn to..and wanted to get to know but I didn’t know her name..I had no idea she and her husband were leading the group until after I chose the group. Then our pastor and I were talking last Wed. night and I told him the name of the leader of the group we picked-he said oh you will love her..then she just happened to be walking up the stairs and he said, oh here she is..I just smiled and said..”YOU are the leader?” wow..I have been wanting to meet you. Then her son came over to us-and had a origami bird my son Andrew made him and he was playing with it. She asked him where he got it and he said from my friend Andrew..I said, wow that is my son! He said, yeah Andrew is my friend. So her son and my son have connected already and he will be there..this is totally God moving-He knew we could only join a group that meets on Sundays and He not only provided one but he has blessed us abundantly. I also found out another boy who will be there is a good friend of Eli-my oldest. My son said they are both nerds and have a lot of similar interests. 🙂 SO, it is encouraging to see how God is moving in connecting us to our brothers and sisters at our new church. 

        -sorry this is so wordy but I have been interrupted all morning while responding to you. 🙂

        1. This is such exciting news about your community group and how God has already made special connections with the people in it and you and your boys. God is definitely at work.

    4. Rebecca, you certainly have my prayers for your husband having to work two (3?) jobs and you raising your 4 boys with  2 having special needs…I don’t know how you do it.  One special needs daughter to care for is exhausting enough for me.  I lift you and your family up to God, for he knows  best.  Keeping you in my prayers sweet sister.

      1. Joyce, you are so so sweet. :)) I am grateful that both of my boys are high functioning so it makes things a lot easier. I admire YOU sister because I see so much self sacrifice in you-your back isn’t good yet you continue to care for your daughter and others as well. You are an awesome mom and I learn so much from you.

  2. 8. Share your notes here.
     I wrote pages and pages of notes. I needed to hear this sermon.  What came to mind was ‘idol lies’ and wish I had done that study. But what I took away was the whole world is searching for a ‘king’, its in our human makeup or memory trace. (I forget the exact phrase Keller used). Whether its in following celebrities, famous athletes, to place a crown on them. As Keller stated ‘people are obsessed with royalty’ As if ‘humans’ have what they are searching for. ‘Democracy is medicine, not food, we can not live on democracy alone.’~keller states. Because we are not fit to rule as kings. we were built for a king.
    I really like Keller’s point made from Jeffrey Smaltz, when he discovered that he thought a democrat in the white house was his ‘white knight’, it creates a false king and poison in ones life and relationships.
     George McDonald stated one conviction humans have “I am my own”….it in the end creates hell. Humans do not want someone telling them or rights over them. We hate God and the bible for this from our natural mind.
    There is only One true King~Jesus, even though people look at God, the bible, Jesus as a “Yoke”, a bondage of rules. But in reality, the Yoke of Jesus is freedom, peace and a release. This really spoke to me. God has been dealing with me on my “control” issues. Like the answer is right in front of me, just trust God COMPLETELY where he is asking me to let go, and I know HE wont fail or disappoint me. This control issue I have is keeping me from true freedom. As I was listening to Keller talk, its like God gave me a quick flash of why its difficult for me to let go of my control issues. Not sure I can type this as I see it, but all my life I was controlled in the ‘wrong’ way as a child/teen and adult at times. AS a child, abusive adults controlling me in a wrong behavioral way, which led to being controlled with guilt trips into my teen/adult life. Feeling controlled that I had to please others…the list is endless. So all this control over me has made me just that….’controlling’ over my life and Im praying this is it. I have handed a lot of things over to God, but control is something I have not and it really is keeping me yoked in the wrong way. It’s like I have made control my idol lie and ‘king’ without even realizing it. Its a self-protection over my life, not wanting to get controlled or hurt. It’s actually hurting me more than helping.
    9. On the basis of what you heard, pray for your own heart.
    Lord I have failed miserably in the area of surrendering my all to you. Letting go of control, I have given you my heart and soul, but in reality not all of me. I was controlled so much of my life and manipulated and I see where I need to release my control issues to you dear Lord. Forgive me Lord, and help me to trust and let go of this idol I have made with control. Please help me to not be controlling towards my husband, kids and others. I really want this burden and weight lifted once and for all. Help me to not turn to control, but to run and turn to you dear God. Help me to find peace and day by day strength to let go and know You will never forsake me or leave me. To trust in your ways 100%, not my own controlling, telling you how to do your job God ways. Thank your dear lord.  

    1. Staci, thanks so much for your honest sharing and prayer about your “control” idol. Your words spoke directly to my heart. I so can identify. My insecurity makes me want to “control” others and my environment as well. Keller’s sermon was so good on how we rebel against having Jesus as our King, but, oh, how we need Him SO. Prayers for you as the King gently deals with your heart and life. And oh how wonderfully freeing it is to let go of control and KNOW that He “has this” and is a much better Person to be in control than we are. I know this, but it seems I have to release control to Him daily, even moment by moment.

      1. Thanks Diane, I will be praying for you as well. Control is a  hard one, because we are to be in control of our own lives as the world sees it, but its hard to understand with God at times. But Im believing the chains are broken, no more control and it may be one day at a time, but with God’s help, it will happen. It wears me out to be so controlling….lol.  Blessings Diane.

    2. Staci, you prayed a perfect prayer for me about my control idol…especially today:{…but I am praying for you, as I know  your heart is so heavy…with so much on it.

      1. Thank you  Joyce. 🙂

    3. You had many good thoughts in your notes and the quick flash God gave you was so precious.   I rejoice with you Staci.

  3. I’m still pondering Psalm 2:12— went to bed with it on my mind.
    When I got up this morning,  this Scripture was on  my mind.

    Hebrew 12:5-6  “. . . and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, my son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him;
    6. for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom he receives.
    7. It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?. . .

    After reading  the Hebrew verses and going back to see how I expressed myself yesterday with regard too Psalm 2:12—  I can see I jumped in too fast, actually without thinking 🙂    and gave my two cents before I had clear in my mind what I wanted to say.
    I do agree with Psalm 2:12 but His anger, disciplines, and scourges are quite different than any human’s I know. I sense for those who have been physically abused by parents or guardians—  they will have more difficulty with the Kings anger in Psalm 2:12 because they carry over a picture in their mind and think the King will punish them in the same way as their parents did.   
    I did think Anne’s thought about the Kings’s anger, in Psalm 2:12, referring to endtimes was interesting  and have not completely ruled it  out—  still pondering it.
    It’s amazing what a good night’s sleep can do for you  🙂

    1. Cindy, I was abused growing up, so I had trouble seeing God as loving or not upset with when I did wrong.  Even as a Christian for years I felt God was the punisher, and Jesus was my redeemer and the Holy Spirit was my best friend…I know an odd analogy since they are all One and the same God.  But Im learning to trust God more and more, let go and know He truly disciplines in love, mercy and grace. Sometimes the hard times make and molds us, it’s not God punishing us. Like Keller mentioned in his sermon on Job23. 🙂

      1. Staci
        Thank you for sharing your heart with us. I too grew up in an abusive household and was taught at church that God will punish me for my sins. Now that I know I am loved and wanted by Jesus I am experiencing healing. I don’t know if all my wounds will close but I am at peace with my past.  God was not unaware.  He has brought me this far and will carry me until I leave this earth.  So thankful for this blog and my blog sisters!

        1. Tammy, Im sorry you as well. But its amazing at how God sends us one another to love on each other like He does. I am at peace with my past, have gone through some hard counseling a few years back, forgiven my abusers and now Im learning to see God in a love like no other. This bible study and Song of Songs was whole new light on God for me. It truly lifted a weight off of me. This a wonderful group of women too. So uplifting and full of God’s love. I agree with you, thankful for each and everyone one of them!

        2. Tammy, I weep not only for the abuse but for His healing touch in your life.

        3. Tammy and Staci, I am so sorry you were so abused as a child…praying for you.

      2. Staci–I am so sorry for what you suffered. No words–just so sorry

        1. Thank you Elizabeth, God is good, he turns our sorrows into Joy and testimonies for others to hear to overcome their sorrows. 🙂

    2. Cindy–I appreciate your thoughts. I don’t want to muddle with my own–but I do see the anger as about salvation–and yet, I can apply it as a holy righteous anger against sin today. I had this very simple-minded image last night. If I’ve told my child not to run in the street, and then he does, there is anger in me at the disobedience, not at him–but the anger comes from love–not wanting to lose my child. My circumstances growing up were different, and you are right that abuse adds a pain I cannot imagine. Yet there is a part of me that is thankful God cares enough about saving me, about having my heart–that the thought of losing me to sin–makes Him angry. I’m going to stop–I fear I’m only making less sense and I’m off now! But I’m thankful you are here–you bring much depth & thought!

      1. I could see the image in my mind as you described it— so true. 
        I  laugh sometimes— I tell my husband I have to speak out loud to know what I am thinking. And when I write, I say to myself— no, that’s not exactly it either.  So bouncing thoughts around here is helping me to think more clearly. Who knows down theroad—   we may get  more understanding on Psalm 2:12 that we’ve not seen yet.

    3. Cindy, Such a good tie-in with the Hebrews passage.  Your good night’s sleep helped me, too.
      I LOVED the songs you shared this week!  THANK YOU.

  4. Oh staci, sorry to hear you were abused. So glad you’re getting to know the real God!
    I firmly believe the enemy of our soul knows—  if  a  child is abused by those who should  love them, then he can just sit back  and watch the havoc it produces even in a Christians in life. But thank God, He can redeem, heal, and restore. 

    1. Thanks Cindy, I would truly be lost without God, he does heal, redeem and restore. Amen!!

      1. staci,
        You look like and speak like a friend of mine in Florida, (I live in Pennsylvania). I miss her.

        1.  Cindy, Does she have a a really fancy southern drawl…oh I wish I did…lol. Just some humor.  🙂

        2. You made me chuckle—  Becky is originally from Pennsylvania and went to school with my husband. We were close friends with her and her husband, John. They moved to Florida 20 years ago. It’s a friendship that even though we’re apart— we pick right up again whenever we visit or talk on the phone.

  5. 9. On the basis of what you heard, pray for your own heart.
    Dear God, my heavenly Father:
    Please forgive me for the times when I have tried to find my way on my own, without your help.     In my heart of hearts, I know  you are the True King, and I find it difficult to understand how I can suddenly swing out of that thinking and again strike out on my own.   Of course it never works, and I end up coming back, bowed down and with my hat in my hand, begging to be forgiven and accepted back in Your good graces.   You are so merciful to me each time, but it is sad to think of the time I have wasted — time I could have been being molded by your potter’s hand.  There are so many things that clamor for me to put my trust in them instead of putting my trust in You.  It requires being on-guard constantly to thwart their efforts and to stay focused on You.  O Lord, give me strength and fortitude!    I need You to be my King, and I need to see how  you want me to serve you.  I want to Kiss You and to experience Your Kisses, dear Lord.   I ask that You will guide me to accepting Your yoke, and help me to  more consistently obey, submit, rely, and expect.   Thank you for bringing me to this blog, and thank you for guiding Dee to share Tim Keller’s sermons with us.   Thank you for meeting me in these sermons and convicting me, while still loving me and pursuing me.   Kisses to You!  I pray it all in Jesus name.  Amen.

    1. Oh Deanna, such a perfect prayer for us all…especially me…it seemed as tho it was just meant for me anyway!  Thanks!

    2. Deanna, Wow-I can see how God is coming to you and loved how you thanked God for Keller’s sermons..I do too and if it weren’t for Dee introducing us to him on this blog I am not sure I would have found the site with His sermons and got into the habit of downloading and listening to them.-but OH like you-has God come to me through them..and now also with Reeves. 🙂

    For my all precious sisters here, enjoy.
    Song –  Why Have You Chosen Me
    Why have You chosen me out of millions Your child to be You know all the wrongs that I’ve doneOh, how could You pardon me, forgive my iniquities, To save me gave Jesus, Your Son
    Chorus:Dear Lord let me be what You want me to be, Your Word I will strive to obeyMy life I now give, for You I will live And walk by Your side all the way
    I am amazed to know that a God so great could love me so Is willing and wanting to blessHis love is so wonderful, his mercy too bountiful I can’t comprehend it, I confess

    1. Beautiful! As I was watching I kept saying to myself, that’s my Father…with a huge smile and tears. 

    2. Cindy that  song brought me to tears…it says it all.  Thank you

  7. 9. On the basis of what you heard, pray for your own heart.
    Dear Father,I have been convicted that I do not always treat You as King. When I think of having expectations worthy of a King, and “large petitions bring”—I shrink back a little. It is not Your power Lord that I doubt. I know and love Your power.  It is not Your goodness, Your truth. But I still hesitate—is it fear, Lord? That I will ask and You will say “no”—and then I will be crushed—so it seems safer not to ask? Is that not believing that You love me so deeply You will only give what is best? Oh, let that sink in to my heart. You are not just “a” King—You are the “King of Kings”—the One true ruler of all, who only does what is good and right and best. You do not punish as my sins deserve. You are a gracious King of love. Forgive me of my fear, my doubting heart Lord. Help me believe.
    “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord” Psalm 27:13-14

    1. Elizabeth-your prayer seared through my heart and stirred me up-it really did. I love how you asked penetrating questions and your ending, oh..

  8. Kiss Him lest He be angry….
    Elizabeth – I think your simple analogy is perfect. I had this video come up in conversation today and I think it fits. It speaks to the idol theme in Keller’s sermon.  It speaks of our tendency to let distractions lead us into dance instead with them instead of our savior. I can also see application to the Kiss Him lest He be angry.  This Psalm is messianic, but it is also about the nations conspiring against Him. I think of Lucifer, who denied kissing the King neither for his salvation nor for peace among “nations”.  And I assume God is angry at Him? Especially because he hurts those God loves?
    So I see a beautiful picture like Elizabeth shared – an anger at the sins that would woo us away but not *at* the sinner.
    I also see a true anger against those who plot against God and His Son.
    I struggled when Keller said “If you know you hate God then you are a true christian.” I have experienced such a freedom from bondage that this was hard to hear, because I love God, I love the peace, lightness and joy he has put in my heart, my life. I have started to understand His love for me and it is BEAUTIFUL.  But Rebecca’s contrite heart always reminds me that I am still me (a good thing, thank you for being vulnerable, Rebecca). When I sit still and breathe Him in I do not feel hate, I feel contentment…I feel that He is truly my King.
    But when I get up and start to live my day I then see I am hating God…I pray you understand me here….I do not want to do the hard things that would glorify Him, I want to have the easy life. The one where relationships stay whole, where situations are joyful and fulfilling, where there is no confusion as to right and wrong, and prayer is only done in praise because there are no petitions necessary for heart breaking situations and those that are lost and persecuted.
    I do not stay on the sidewalk, I run into the street. I allow those idol lies to woo me to escape the hard things.  “But His delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night”….”blessed are all who take refuge in him.” Again I am convicted Christ did not stay sinless because of a strong self-discipline but because He loved God, and love would not allow Him to run into the street, He stayed right with the Father because that is where he was delighted.
    I need the King.
    Hows that for clear as mud? I so appreciate this blog because it forces me to write down my thoughts which means wading through them until they make sense and the accountability to have them be based in truth is very good, as well.

    1. Oh my, Jill, I see myself in these words

      .I do not want to do the hard things that would glorify Him, I want to have the easy life. The one where relationships stay whole, where situations are joyful and fulfilling, where there is no confusion as to right and wrong, and prayer is only done in praise because there are no petitions necessary for heart breaking situations and those that are lost and persecuted.

      One of the idols I must fight is security. I want peace, ease, comfort. Yet God has given me a “severe mercy” over this past couple of years when it seems everything is hard, nothing easy, relationships messy, and nothing, it seems, turns out right. Life has been heartbreakingly hard and people are hurting. And yet, I do pray with Habakkuk:

      Though the fig tree should not blossom,
      nor fruit be on the vines,
      the produce of the olive fail
      and the fields yield no food,
      the flock be cut off from the fold
      and there be no herd in the stalls,
      yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
      I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
      God, the Lord, is my strength;
      he makes my feet like the deer’s;
      he makes me tread on my high places. Habakkuk 3:17-19

      I am finding a peace in the storm that the world of peace, ease and comfort cannot give.

      1. Diane, I pray for the trials to cease, for winter to be over and spring to come in your circumstances. But I am humbled by how your heart has modeled this pray of Habakkuk 3 to us in your season of trial. You have encouraged me with how you are enduring so much pain…at His feet

      2. Love those verses Diane! 

      3. Diane and Jilll, 

        OH MY…Jilll I can’t pick one thing-I love your heart in all of your posts…I have a comfort idol that lurks in my heart too..I can so relate! You remind me of the Shulamite maiden-who struggles because she Loves Him yet desires to stay in bed at the same time-she was struggling with her comfort idol-yet her heart was moldable. Yet in all of your posts I see a heart in love with Him..so what I see in you is authenticity-a true believer like how Keller described us…we as believers show when we struggle with idolatry or say, lack of forgiveness, and when we do this we are hating Him- but the difference between us and non-believers who hate him is that we say–“I am struggling here-I am not obeying Him in this area-I need help-how do I change?” instead of-“that person doesn’t deserve forgiveness so I have the right to hold this against him”..Like Elizabeth said-having a play-dough heart that bends toward Him..That is one of the the marks of a Christian and I so see that in you.
        and Diane, Wow! Loved your response..You were godly before your recent storms but oh my just watching you like I watched Chris go through hers is SO SO encouraging to me and so glorifies Him in you. To see how you are clinging to Him constantly so speaks of Him living in you: “I am finding a peace in the storm that the world of peace, ease and comfort cannot give.” …THIS POST IS SUCH A WONDERFUL RESPONSE TO JILL’S BEAUTIFUL POST.. 

      4. Love these verses Diane. They are speaking to me today as my brother in law has been diagnosed with colon cancer that has spread to his lungs, my mother is deteriorating, my children are far from me and separated from God, and life, in general, is wavering. I know God is good! I will rejoice and take strength in Him. I feel the peace as well. Thank You Jesus.

        1. Oh Laura-d, SO much.   I know I haven’t seen all posts.  So so sorry to hear about your brother-in-law.  Continuing to pray.

      5. Diane, Thank you SO much for sharing this passage.  It is one that I used to speak truth to my soul decades ago.  After spending months in the hospital, dropping out of school, quitting a job… these verses gave me HOPE.  Of all times, I was asked to speak at an event then and these are the verses I shared…with trembling voice and clinging to Him.

    2. Oh I am out & on my iPad and it’s too hard to type all I loved in this post Jill but it is a keeper! So love your play dough heart

      1. Tee-hee-hee! Elizabeth, the phrase “play dough heart” made me laugh, and then I realized what a sweet compliment that is for Jill! Oh, to have a pliable heart that bends to His will! 

        1. Rachel-“Play dough heart” is a much used phrase here for we love it! Elizabeth came up with that phrase a few years ago asking God to give her a play-dough heart..when asking Him to come in and mess with her heart-I so loved that heart cry from Elizabeth too-as does many who read Idol Lies for that is in the book!! 🙂

    3. Oh wow, Jill! Boy do I struggle with this – thanks for putting it into words:

      I do not want to do the hard things that would glorify Him, I want to have the easy life.

      Comfort is one of my idols, and it has reared its ugly head in the past few years of living in Latin America where there are relatively fewer conveniences and comforts, compared to North America. It’s ironic though, because over 15 years ago (after a 6-year missions stint with my family in Latin America during my junior high and high school years), I swore I was more “latina” than “gringa” and would never be sucked in to the consumeristic culture that characterized the United States. Never say never, huh? When we first came back to Bolivia a few years ago, my husband would ask “where did my adventurous latina wife go”? Granted, I was struggling with infertility/depression at the time, but I truly think a big part of it was this comfort idol that I had to recognize and start dealing with. Have you read the book “Kisses from Katie”? How I long to have a heart like hers, so deeply in love with Jesus that she truly put aside any and all pursuit of comforts for her own sake, but dedicated herself fully to loving others as God loves them, even in the midst of extreme circumstances and outcomes!

      1. Rachel, I must get that book, thank you! 

    4. Jill, I love your thoughts too…reminds me of myself so much!!  It’s so nice to hear that my fellow sister’s have the same struggles as I do everyday!

  9. THANK YOU ALL (not a shout, but a huge thanks)… I know there is alot going on with many of us and the prayer requests this week are big ones to us (small to God, big to us).   I know many people are praying for my dad, but also for me as well and I really feel that prayer support as I feel “stable”, I grieve the prospect of losing my dad, but I know that God is in control of everything, including my dad’s heart (both physically and spiritually).  I don’t know anything or the future, but my prayer has been that no matter what the outcome that His grace and mercy is reflected when they look at me, that they see Him.   Today there are tears, but I also have a sense of calm…and I know that has come from the Lord, so thank you again.   I will update once I know more…but thank you again so much for your prayer support.

    1. Praying for your dad Mary and his heart, both “physically and spiritually”.

  10. Scotty Smith’s prayer  (A Prayer for Trusting More in King Jesus Than in Me) for today fits perfectly with our lesson about King Jesus.

    1. Diane thanks (!) for the link to Scotty’s prayer…so rich! It was a wonderful weaving together of what we’ve been studying this week through Dee’s study, Tim K’s sermon and for me, a study I’ve been doing on Daniel. Its so freeing, and heart-orienting to realize our King’s love and call on our lives….challenging too 🙂 to honestly let the Spirit search us out regarding whose “rule” we are following.

    2. Yes, Diane….thank you SO much!

  11. What is your take-a-way and why?
    I liked Reeves Sermon about how the Psalms starts out with ‘Blessed is the man’  all the way through to Psalm 41. Im still meditating on this.
    I took a lot away this week, going through a hard time tends to make us run to God even more, like Keller states in his Sermon, it can purify us like gold and take all the impurities out if we just trust God. The image of Job 23 from Keller’s sermon still stands out to me. It’s given me a new perspective when facing hard times, sorrow and trials. 
    I especially loved Keller’s sermon how we are all searching for a ‘king’, its our human nature  to look for a king, whether it’s God or someone else. To which spoke to me about idols again. I liked his his take how to  treat Jesus like a King: Obey,Submit,Rely, and Expect. Always forgive, truth, dont envy…. Jesus is a King, not a consultant. Submit even when things go wrong or dont seem right(Job 23); submitting purifies us. Rely and kiss the King;if we add anything to Jesus to be happy~THAT~ is our ‘king’. Dont make Jesus a ‘means to an end’ He is our EVERYTHING, THE ALPHA, THE MIDDLE AND THE OMEGA. Expect~ dont short change what Jesus can do in your life. Dont ‘refuge’ from Him, but ‘refuge’ IN Him.
    Yesterday, when I sat crying and praying most of the day over my mother in laws news, I really found refuge in Jesus and all your prayers. I thank you for your kind words, prayers and thoughts.  I did talk to her last night on the phone. She sounds very weak, but we had a nice conversation. I asked her if she knew Jesus and if she had him in her heart and she said yes. You could tell it was hard for her to think about her death is near. I think in a way she is still in denial, but we both cried on the phone as I told her I loved her, her son (my husband loved her) and we were not mad at her. More important how much God loved her and is not mad at her. That God loves her so, so much and I needed her to know that. I was really choked up telling her, but something gave me peace in that conversation. I do believe God is reaching her heart and will. Wednesday is the test for news on how her blood looks, alls that will tell us how long she has more or less. 

    1. Oh Staci-this brought me to tears..reading about your mother in law. Just seeing Jesus in you so moved me..You and your husband are loving her truly..truly His mark in you and I know this attracts her to Him even more. 
      Lord help Staci’s mother in law’s heart to bend to you-thank you for coming to her through Staci and we ask that the seeds you are planting in her heart through Staci and the Grace you are pouring out on her goes deep in her heart and that she would respond to your Love. Thank you that You are the God of all comfort and we ask that you would be Staci and her husband’s comfort right now. In Jesus name, amen.

  12. I have been pondering the connection between Camelot, the persecuted church and Keller’s words on Jesus our King. And I think I finally see the connection.
    Everyone (including the nations that plot against the anointed one) was made with the purpose to serve the King. But so many, like Lancelot and Guinevere, seek their king elsewhere instead of the true King, wreaking havoc, along the way. Some have even become so hateful to the yoke God offers as to persecute His church and its members. I speculate that those that persecute Christians are trying to scrub that ‘memory trace’ that Keller spoke of – to constantly run to a purpose other than His, to specifically distract oneself from that tug on their souls that we all have. I think those that persecute are not so much trying to fill the God shaped hole, but to get rid of it completely, creating even more emptiness (to dig out a hole just makes it bigger!). They do not kiss the Son, and He is angry (at both the sin that has distracted and distorted their hearts and at the havoc it wreaks, possibly at them, too? Though I know if they turned in repentance He would forgive.) and they find destruction in their way. But blessed are the persecute – they that take refuge in Him.
    My take-a-way is Camelot. I love seeing spiritual truths played out in visuals. Not only does it touch my heart and deepen my understanding but it gives me a tool to speak to others. Such a beautiful story and I will not forget how Arthur continually displayed acceptance, forgiveness and assertive intimacy with Guinevere even though he knew she was unfaithful but he kept taking her back, begging for her to be with him, and she kept leaving.  Even in the ending (sorry for the spoiler) she says that she always saw forgiveness in his eyes and she wept because now she would not be able to see him anymore…. I don’t know if she wanted to see him for him or if she just wanted the forgiveness to appease her guilt ridden heart… but it is a lesson to my heart either way. Such beauty in Christ pursuing me. Lord, may I be faithful and submissive to You, may I always remember to kiss the King.
    So many other good thoughts that you all have shared. Thank you.

  13. Wow Jill-love your thoughts in this post. You made me ponder with this: “I think those that persecute are not so much trying to fill the God shaped hole, but to get rid of it completely, creating even more emptiness (to dig out a hole just makes it bigger!) ”  -this makes more sense to me than the previous way I thought. 
    I loved your ponderings on the connection between camelot, the persecuted church and Kellers sermon.  

  14. Thank you everyone for all the sweet prayers!!!! I was much better yesterday; I envisioned Jesus with His hands outwardly stretched toward the little children. I (for some reason) remember a painting like that from childhood…..I will have childlike faith.
    Joyce, GREAT idea about reciting scripture! I will use the verse you suggested 🙂 Thank you!

    1. Laura, I didn’t mean I’ve had radiation or chemo…never have thank the Lord…I just meant when I am scard about surgery or anything else…that is my go to verse!  It helps me so much.

  15. My takeaway:
    I have pondered much..He has led me to confession and He has come to me  a lot through other’s ponderings here on the blog.
    I am grateful He has come to me this week again in so many ways for I see more and more how needy I am of Him. His Love is such a deep, endless well of a fiery fury-despite me He comes..like when He knocked on the door of the Shulamite maiden and waited with Dew on his hair..Do I not honor him as King by picking and choosing areas to obey Him in? Yes..I have done that and can easily bend toward wanting to rule my own life.. as Diane encouraged me-submission and clinging to Him is the true way to freedom and abounding in Him for He is my joy, my strength..and I have to say, HE IS CHISELING AT MY STONES!! 🙂 I do see several areas I am not trusting Him in and I am going to trust Him in them for the Gospel this week is melting my heart again- to obey and not worry about the ‘what if’s’ when I let go. I am seeing how He is chiseling at my pride-I am finding such freedom in not trusting myself-but trusting Him.
    It is small but even when I haven’t sensed His presence this week -just clinging to the Gospel via encouragement from Dee’s blog study-Keller’s and Reeve’s teaching has been such a sweet Kiss from Him-He is my strength which helps me to turn..He shows me day after day that He will never forsake me-that He hasn’t abandoned me-that His love runs deep and this is melting my heart-to be honest before Him..I can be it is okay-He knows my heart and loves me anyway-and He delights in my honesty and confessions and longing for Him. To trust Him and cling to Him in His Word-and like Jill said-breathe Him in His Word-to ponder, confess and respond.

  16. Take-away and Heart Ponderings – I HAVE a King, I can still live in HATRED 🙁 of Him, and I NEED Him. These words from Keller’s sermon, along with the rich summaries many of you have written (thank you!) have been leading me to ponder in the last couple of days how do I truly, REALLY, long for refuge in Him alone and how do I truly, REALLY continue to seek refuge outside of Christ and in the ‘rule and reign’ of created things?  “Hatred” is such an ugly word, right? But this is what Scriptures calls it when we turn away from King Jesus’ love, rule, authority in our lives! And this same One, welcomes us back at any moment when we ‘arise and come to our senses’ (Luke 15) to return to Him. I’ve been pondering another Tim Keller sermon this week from John 15 (one of my faves) in which he talks about the ‘pruning’ of the Father-Vinedresser. Keller says, “When you feel the steel (of His pruning shears), cling to the Vine, knowing that what the Father is pruning away would be a loss to keep, because it is a gain to lose.” Such profound truths that help me to take steps in resting under and in the refuge of  the Lord…especially when it hurts and He is ‘giving’ loss. Blessings to all as you head into Sunday tomorrow! 🙂

  17. Oh my we have a lot going on this week in the way of prayer. I was just trying to catch up and realized this.
    Dear Lord thank you for giving us to each other. Thank you for Dee and this blog. We know You are the one in charge, however satan seems to take his hold whenever he can, and it seems that he has tried very hard this week especially to take control of us. Help us to remember Lord that NO MATTER WHAT, You are here, You are good, You are the one who makes the decisions in our lives.
    Lord, You know all the needs of our sisters here on the blog. I may have missed some requests, please forgive. I pray for Betty and her medical/lifestyle issues, for Mary’s father and his medical issues, for my sweet mother and her horrible medical situation and the now loss of her intelligent mind, for my brother in law who was just diagnosed with colon cancer and his wife who is not much of a believer, for my brother and his wife who are exhausted overseeing the care of my mom, Laura and her illness this week, Karen’s sister who is pregnant and has anxiety, Karen who also struggles with anxiety, Dee and her upcoming events with planning appropriate messages, Cindy’s friend with liver cancer, and all the sisters who are for whatever reason aren’t posting – praying you are all ok.
    You know what we are each dealing with Lord. We need to know You are near us dear Jesus. Touch each of us with Your warmth today. Please give us hope. Help us. Amen.

    1. Amen.
      Thank you, Laura-dancer. 

    2. Amen and AMEN!

  18. I am sorry to come on with a comment when I haven’t read all of your comments, at least not today’s. I have not yet finished this week’s post but for what I have done I have a take away.  I am learning to recognize His kisses and stay in them. I have spiritual ADD. I never stay in one place long enough to let The Lord finish. I hate to admit that sometimes I just get bored when something is hard or takes time. I want WOW now.
    This morning I had an assignment in Matthew of finding differences between the feeding of the 5,000 and the feeding of the 4,000. I found it tedious and frankly could not see the point. Thankfully I recognized my heart problem and breathed a short prayer for understanding. Not long after that I saw the difference of blessing the bread in one and giving thanks for the bread in the other. Jesus gave thanks for the ‘not enough’ and it became more than enough. I loved that kiss and said ‘I’m going to do that!’ And started to get up but stayed for a little longer. Then I had to go for my husband was up and ready for breakfast. So here is where the kiss became greater and sweeter. I told my husband about it. Usually he checks out if I start talking about spiritual things but he engaged. He said ‘Do you ever wonder why…’ And we had a great conversation about the Lord over breakfast. It was a wonderful blessing.
    His kisses reverberate or ripple out like a pebble in the water. When I move on to soon I miss the best part.

    1. Anne, this is a great post! Love the story of your hubby 🙂

      1. Oh me too Laura. It is huge!

        1. what happened w my husband I mean

    2.  Then I had to go for my husband was up and ready for breakfast. So here is where the kiss became greater and sweeter. I told my husband about it. Usually he checks out if I start talking about spiritual things but he engaged. He said ‘Do you ever wonder why…’ And we had a great conversation about the Lord over breakfast. It was a wonderful blessing.His kisses reverberate or ripple out like a pebble in the water. When I move on to soon I miss the best part.

      That was so precious Anne 🙂

    3. Anne, that was awesome!   What a wonderful kiss that was for God!!

  19. Sisters reading all of your pondering and prayers this week has really blessed me this week. It is hard to describe how good it feels just to be able to process a thought. When I was in the cave of depression I literally could not process anything. My mind was on hiatus. Know that I pray for you all and am very grateful for your presence in my life.

    1. Tammy I am so glad you are here and on the mend. Praying for you

    2. Rejoicing with Tammy.

    3. Thank you Tammy….you are a blessing to us all  here.

  20. Saturday:
    What is your take-a-way and why?
    Transformation not behavior modification
    After listening to Keller’s sermon, I laid down to take a nap— upon awaking these words were swirling around in my head. Transformation not behavior modification—  transformation not behavior modification.
    If the King of the Kingdom is not welcomed into my deepest inner being there will be no transformation only behavior modification.
    The true King wants to and desires to reign in every region of my heart. That’s one of the reasons He keeps pursuing me—  not just to kiss me. No transformation took place on the inside of Guinevere. There was mixture in her: on one had she said she loved the King, on the other hand she went after another lover. King Arthur only had a piece of her heart not her whole heart.
    Outward appearances can be so deceiving. I can deceive myself and those around me just like Guinevere did. I may look spiritual and religious on the outside but only God knows my heart (what’s going on in the inside). Do I do my best to be moral or do I lean toward behavior modification (self-determination)? Do I do what I do, to only receive the praises of man or to be a Father please. They can look the same but are vastly different.

    James 4:4-6 says it this way, You’re cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way. And do you suppose God doesn’t care? The proverb has it that “he’s a fiercely jealous lover.”
    And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you’ll find. It’s common knowledge that “God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble.”

    That’s why it’s important for me to ask God to search my heart— (so I don’t deceive myself). Only He can shine His light in my heart and show me were I am still proud.
    Father I don’t want to walk in deception come search my heart— I choose to draw close to you.
    Transformation— “What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.”

  21. Saturday – takeaway
    My heart is full, and I’m not sure my brain is functioning well enough to understand, let alone describe, the work that God is doing in my life.  I was MADE for a KING !  He loves me.  When I believe that, I want him as my King rather than as a consultant.  Why would I not bow down and kiss Him?  He gave everything for me.  Because HE LIVES, I live.   “In him, we live and move and have our being.”  Since I listened to Keller’s sermon, the song Crown Him (Majesty) has been going through my mind.  This week has added color, added life to my formerly black & white perceptions of Jesus as King. 

    1. The song  “Crown Him” made me want to worship Him.
      “This week has added color, added life to my formerly black & white perceptions of Jesus as King.”
      I can relate with you Renee. 

      1. I’m also listening to this one:  http://youtu.be/O-OqDtK6xsg     and I love the choir versions, too!   I often gravitate back to the traditional renditions 🙂

        1. This last song didn’t work for me Renee…it said broken link:(

    2. That’s wonderful Renee….love the song!!

  22. My takeaway:
    I too have a different perspective on Jesus as King from this week. I still haven’t seen Camelot but thinking about a perfect, just, loving King Who will right all wrongs, Who is fierce yet if I submit He is my Refuge is such an awesome picture. “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” I am grateful for Dee and for Keller this week, AND for all of you who contribute to this wonderful, Spirit-filled blog. I love you all.

  23. I am fascinated with this sermon. My take a way is the beginnings of understanding what it means to kiss the King. I have been enamored with His kisses and now I am thinking about kissing Him. As Keller said, that is relationship. Many of the things I have already learned, especially here but nothing is ever really learned until it makes it from head to heart. Even then my sin nature denies and justifies the things I blindly continue to do. In the last few weeks I have been learning that hearing truth is not enough. It is only application to my life that will change me. Herod was a good example of that. He loved to listen to John but never applied any of it. Sorry, digressing.
    I want to take away those 4 points at the end of the sermon and do them more and more every day. As The Lord said to Cindy “transformation, not behavior modification”.

    1.  Many of the things I have already learned, especially here but nothing is ever really learned until it makes it from head to heart. 

      From head to heart—   that resonates with  me Anne.

  24. James 4:4-6 says it this way, You’re cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way. And do you suppose God doesn’t care? The proverb has it that “he’s a fiercely jealous lover.”

    As I was doing laundry around 8:00p.m. this evening, James 4:4 was percolating in my mind and I remembered one of Dick’s professors from school (he’s in his 90’s now).
    He was teaching on the 7  giants we all need to deal with.
    7 Giants We All Need To Deal With








    Then he showed us what these giants looked like in our lives.

    He said, “the kingpin is Stay in Control and is the most dominant of all.
    The first three giants are motivations to possess and intimidate.
    The last three giants are manifestations of the need to acquire, or manipulate someone or something.
    He went to say, “as we set our love upon the King, His love fills our entire person. As a result we will find that each giant, with its synergistic companions, begins to lose its grip, freeing us to love God and one another. This is the meaning of Agape perfected”.

    I’m seeing this more clearly, than the day he taught it back in the 70’s.  Praying the Psalms is helping me see—  human love (worldly) love contrasted with God’s agape. As I went back and read Psalm 2 again—  it just jumped out at me—  the vast difference between the kings of the world and God’s Anointed King.  Two totally different kingdoms, two different systems. One is of man, the other of God.

    1. Cindy, I have get out to church right now but I will be back to this later. We are tracking together on some great thoughts. We are in a sermon series on James that is like none I have heard before.

    2. Cindy, your comments on the giants are fascinating. Wish you would elaborate, especially about the giants. I’m not sure what he means by the last three. 

      1. I’d be glad to give you some of my notes. When I went back to his notes, they go right along with Psalm 2. What he was doing in his teaching—  was contrasting God’s agape with Eros love. But what  I was able to see this time—  is what motivates the kings of the earth and why they conspire against God’s Anointed. Also, I see how Dee’s book “Idol  Lies” touches on some of the sames things.
        Before he began to teach he defined what he meant by God’s agape and Eros love. He went into this in more depth in his class—  I’m only giving a very short summary of what he taught.
        In a nut shell: “God Himself is Agape (see I john 4:8). His  love—  covenantally  faithful, unconditional, and self-giving— is depicted as a straight arrow.”
        “Eros is the mother of all sins. It can be recognized because it is always self-referential. It is not only self-centered, but it also becomes self-consuming, turning in increasingly inward upon itself in a tighter and tighter spiral. Eros is a highly refined form of self-interest and self-seeking. It is a love that has become so distort3d that its only purpose is to meet its own needs. When Jesus referred to religion that turned us in upon ourselves, He said, “How great is that darkness” (Matt. 6:22-23 KJV).

         Insight into DarknessThen watch out that the light in you is not darkness (Luke 11:35).
        The DNA of darkness begins with the seed of Eros, and it has a phenomenal ability to transform every  law into its own agenda. It captures Christ, the Gospel, and His Kingdom and uses it for it’s own advantage.

        He then proceeded to show us how much darkness we continue to embrace as Christians.  He was speaking to leaders and pastors.

        When I saw this in my own life, I had no idea how deep it went, and I am confident that you don’t either.

        These were his main points and then he went on to elaborate on each one:

        1. I am my own. I am my own king and my own subject. This is direct, unadulterated declaration of self-sufficiency, contradicting the clear instruction that we should not live unto ourselves (see 2 Cor. 5:15). This is an Eros prison.
        2. I am the center from which go out my thoughts. Centering upon ourselves is in direct contrast to our new center, which is Christ and His Kingdom. Our ego-centered thought process breaks spirit control.
        3. I am the object and the end of my thoughts; back upon me as the alpha and omega of life, my thoughts return. Darkness causes or heart and emotions to completely turn in upon ourselves in a unavoidable and inexorable way, leaving us without hope of finding our way out of our own self-made prison with bars strong than iron.
        4. My own glory is and ought to be my chief care. Glory as the motivation of life becomes distorted and perverted when our own glory is the intended goal.
        5. My ambition is to gather the regards of men to the one center. the false center of number 2 reappears, demanding and commanding that we be the center of attention. Personality cults reveal consummate darkness.
        6. My pleasure is my pleasure. Pleasure (Greek: hedonism) turns us in upon ourselves, effectively destroying permanent pleasure and joy by the law of diminishing returns. Darkness reasserts itself with an increased vengeance and tyranny.

        This is only touching the tip of the iceberg—  he was teaching a college course on this called  “Maturing In Father’s Love”. He does have a book that expands on this much more than I did here. He mentioned that Anders Nygren helped him see the contrast between Agape and Eros.
        “Mysterious Seed: Maturing in Father’s Love”  by Bob Mumford
        Agape and Eros by Anders Nygren
        Lifechangers – Bob Mumford’s website.
        Hope this helps Diane.



        1. Thanks so much for your notes, Cindy. I have skimmed them briefly and need to take more time and ponder. There is so much here. Powerful thoughts on what Eros really is. I have heard of Bob Mumford, but I appreciate the personal recommendation of his books and website. 

      2. Diane,
        Forgive me for going off on a tangent and not answering your precise question.
        Here’s the answer Bob gives to those last three Giants. He goes in-depth more in his Book “Agape Road“, than I can here.
        Here’s the last three Giants:
        Hidden Agenda: Jude 12 refers to a Hidden Agenda when it says, “These are men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts…” Hidden Agenda is covert with words of peace and a heart of criticism. It is a like a snowball with a rock in it. It appears to be one, but when it unexpectedly hits someone, they are devastated. With this Giant in operation, we lie in ambush with undisclosed motives, watching for weakness and vulnerability, ready to spring the trap, which has been disguised and then set with lies or half truths. We hide one thing in our hearts while proclaiming another. This Giant is a user; it seeks to use life, people, and every event for the express purpose of advancement of our own interests.
        Analogous conduct of Hidden Agenda: subterfuge, wile, fraud, conniving, cunning, guile, crooked, perverse, twisted, calculating, devious, crafty, manipulative, shrewd, trickery, and double-minded.
        Personal Advantage:  Jude 16, “These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.” With Personal Advantage in operation, we are constantly maneuvering for title, position, ,,or recognition. The original Greek word for Personal Advantage is translated “selfish ambition” (Strong’s #2052). This Giant uses others for it’s own purposes. When we are not the center of attention, we suffer envy and pain. We will help others only if it directly benefits us. This Giant troubled even the disciples. Jesus was going to Gethsemane and the disciples were asking each other who was going to run things when He was gone.
        Analogous conduct of Person Advantage: expedience, benefit, reward, usefulness to me, profit, success, self-reliance, narcissism, egocentricity.
        Remain Undisturbed: Jeremiah 48:11 says, “Moab has been at ease since his youth; he has also been undisturbed, like wine on its dregs, and he has not been emptied from vessel to vessel, nor has he gone into exile. Therefore he retains his flavor, and his aroma has not changed.” Undisturbed may be the most insidious, secretive, and difficult to expose of all. Subtle and sophisticated, his presence is not as blatant as the other six. He is far more ominous and demanding than he first appears. This Giant disguises himself as the need for stability, or the need to preserve his reputation or honor of respectability when more is asked of him than he wants to give.
        Analogous conduct of Remain Undisturbed: unruffled, unchanged, uninvolved, apathy, disengaged, self-preserving, overly cautious, placid.
        In Bob’s book Agape Road: Journey to Intimacy with the Father he deals with these in-depth.
        In this book he deals with:
        * Escaping The Seven Giants of Failure.* Avoiding The Detours That Appear On Your Christian Journey.* Learning How To Rest On The Agape Road.* Experiencing The Healing Power Of Agape Love.* Moving From Eros Love To God’s Agape Love.* Discovering The Joy Of Being A Father-Pleaser.




        1. Thanks for taking the time to put these notes here. This is very interesting. There is much to think about here.

    1. You are in my prayers Dee.

  25. Prayer for you as you are “on the road” as well.

  26. Praying for you also Dee as you travel. May the Lord protect you and also bring His Kingdom through your work. Bless you!
    Cindy, I was afraid I would lose my train of thought and I did, but I am amazed by much more. Those giants you spoke of above, did he mean strongholds? Do you have the notes from that sermon? I agree with Diane, it sounds fascinating.
    We had a sermon today on the power of words. Our words are the result of what is in our hearts. We can’t modify them, we have to be transformed as you said, down in the well of our hearts.
    Wrong words are the result of heart condition caused by wrong beliefs. He named 7 of them and the lies attached to them. Insecurity/pride-lie is believing that we are not in Christ; bitterness-lie is that the cross is not enough; making self judge-only God is judge; self orientation-lie is that it is all about me; ingratitude- lie is that I did it; influenced by the world-lie is that I can handle it; lastly-ignorance and lie is that I already know.
    here is the really scary thing, I already know these things, it’s nothing new to me so why do I still struggle with my tongue? I’m still believing lies. Though I am better than I was I can see this is a life long struggle. As Dee has taught us we must be alert to what our hearts are telling us and speak the truth to our souls.

    1. Cindy, I was afraid I would lose my train of thought and I did, but I am amazed by much more. Those giants you spoke of above, did he mean strongholds? Do you have the notes from that sermon? I agree with Diane, it sounds fascinating.

      He doesn’t use the word “strongholds” but “issues”.
      It wasn’t a sermon. He taught some of this back in the 70’s at a college my husband attended. But his two books “Agape Road” and “Mysterious Seed” goes into greater detail—  probably because he’s had personal life experience in dealing with the 7 Giants since then.
      Dick and I  spent a week at one of  Bob’s  Lifechangers Retreats, in the mountains of North Caroline this summer, along with other Christians. It was wonderful—   we hadn’t seen him for years.   He is so transparent in his speaking as well as in his writing.
      On the back cover of “Agape Road” it says, “From deep and  agonizing personal experience,  his victory over three life-crippling hindrances: anger, a critical mouth, and free-floating anxiety. The principles that worked for him will work for you too–no matter what private issues you may be struggling with.

      We had a sermon today on the power of words. Our words are the result of what is in our hearts. We can’t modify them, we have to be transformed as you said, down in the well of our hearts.

      Oh, the sermon sounded good Anne.
      I just remembered—  you can get the Agape Road Sessions here. That may be something you’d be interested in—  instead of the books. I don’t do well with audio, I lose my concentration to fast—   I do better with books that I can mark up  🙂

      1. Cindy, I am very interested in agape road. Thanks for sharing this. I was amazed to see home quote SOS in relation to our intimacy with God. 
        He wants to see our face. Most people are aware of seeking God’s face; however, it never dawns on them that He might want to see their face. It still amazes me that God Almighty even wants to see our face (see 1 Cor. 8:3). “O my dove…in the seclusion of the clefts in the solid rock, in the sheltered and secret place of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely” (Song 2:14b AMP). 

  27. My take away, or perhaps I should say what has stuck with me is what Tim Keller had to say about how we all actually hate God. How we have enmity with Him. That struck a chord because I always have wondered why there is an elemental part of me that wants to avoid God. That would rather run to anything but Him. I don’t get myself. I know who God says He is, but that must be the problem, I know with my head, He is light, He is love, He is wisdom. Just must not know/believe it at that same elemental level. I want to meditate on the 4 ways to make Jesus King. Obey, Submit, Rely, and Expect.