"One, touching one. Reaching out, touching me, touching you . . ." **

What is it? Why do you feel as though your hands are tied? Is it something as big as Ukraine? I believe most of us feel that way about Ukraine.

Is it something so personal, you cannot share it? Or maybe it's not personal, but there's just no way out of it?

Last week's blog ended with comparison between Matthew 7:1-5 . . 'Do not judge' and Matthew 7:6 'Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

How can we know which people are what Jesus considered 'dogs and swine'?

How can we know unless we judge by trying to figure it out?

In William Barclay's The Gospel of Matthew, he states "this was a saying which was used in two special ways in the early church.

(1) It was used by the Jews, who believed that God's gifts and God's grace were for Jews alone.

(2) The early church used this text in a special way. It was under a double threat. A. It was under the threat which came from outside. The early church was an island of Christian purity in a surrounding sea of gentile immorality.

B. It was under the threat which came from inside. There were those who tried to effect a compromise between Christian and pagan thought, and arrive at some synthesis of belief, which would satisfy both." p. 269-270

The next few verses 7-11 instruct us to keep on asking, seeking and knocking in prayer. That must be our answer! Keep on praying and God will show us the light.

God will show us how to recognize the people he was talking about.

If a person you know "swears like a sailor" or is "chronically rude to waitresses or a sales person" or blatantly makes fun of church or our Savior . . . those would be important clues. Keep your eyes open to make assessments as well as listen with your ears while praying for answers.

I'm not saying you cannot be friends with such a person because Scripture states

"If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men." Romans 12:18

Maybe you can influence them for the good!

However, I can say with confidence that Putin would be in the category of dogs and swine! Also included would be his soldiers who carry out atrocities. Others in that category would be anyone who supports Putin in any way, shape or form. Have you ever seen evil eyes? They are an eerie black / hollow / empty yet filled with hate. Putin and his soldiers as well as their leaders will all have such eyes. When they see their own families, the families will know instantly what they have done by their eyes.

Now back to the good news:

Take courage! Jesus did more with His hands tied than anyone else on earth! Are your hands tied? Think about Jesus. Ask Him for a way around the dilemma. He'll show you! *

Sources: *The one year Book of Quiet Times with God by Jill Briscoe

**Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond

When my children were young, this is one of the songs they sang. They would crowd around the piano bench and sing as I played. Thank you, Jesus!

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