Showing posts with label Blended Family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blended Family. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Blue, Are they a Christian with a Fox? – Checking the Clues 7 - Purity 542

Blue, Are they a Christian with a Fox?  – Checking the Clues 7  - Purity 542

Purity 542 10/06/2021 Purity 542 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of a “Turn around somewhere in Grand Gore” comes to us from a friend whose view on life can usually be counted on to brighten our day.  The pickings have been somewhat slim lately when it comes to selecting the photo of the day, perhaps because I am looking at social media less or perhaps it’s because of the shift in the seasons. But this morning as I felt hard pressed to select a photo and looked back in the archives and was seeking to remember the source of one I was thinking of sharing. I went to the photographer of this photo’s FB page.  In my search I found this beauty of a shot that was shared back on September 24th and thought it was a terrific change of pace as the last two days in upstate NY have been rainy and overcast.  

It’s funny because I only know this person through social media, a common interest, and through their posts, I have a sense of their quirky sense of humor and their adventurous spirit. So when I looked to get a new view, I immediately decided to check their FB page.  You have to love it when you have people in your life, no matter how small the scale, that can brighten your day. It is my prayer that the blue sky, green meadow, evergreen mountains, and shining sun in my friend’s photo brighten your day.

But as I hope for sunshine and blue skies to greet us all on this sixth day of October, Blues Clue’s Blue and Dr. Seuss’ Sam I am,  are back in my imagination to continue our examination of different aspects of the Christian Faith that can give us a “clue” that someone we suspect of having faith may truly be an “Authentic” or “Real” Christian.   

As a reminder, I have several single Christian friends who have recently prayed for a Christian life partner which motivated me to think about what “clues” would be helpful in  determining if a potential suitor was a “sheep or a goat”.  

In some of the scariest verses in the Bible (Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 13:25-27), Jesus Himself proclaims that there will be some people who claim to be Christians but who will be exposed for their false faith.  

I understand the difficulties is determining someone’s righteous standing with God, but for our purposes we are only looking for “clues” and “fruit” in someone’s life that would indicate that they MAY have an authentic Christian faith.  Our examination is not condemning anyone to hell but could prove helpful in avoiding the hell of being unequally yoked.  

Everyone should be wise and discerning in choosing an “authentic” life partner, whether Christian or not.    But I’m a Christian and so are my friends who are praying for a Christian life partner so we are looking for possible “clues” in someone’ attitudes and behaviors that would indicate their Christian faith is “real”.  

As Sam I Am has intruded into the Blue’s Clues universe with his line of inquiry, today we consider the question: “Are they a Christian with a fox?”

Well, foxes are like wolves, right? And the image of a wolf in sheep’s clothing is often used to demonstrate someone who is not who they say they are and who may even have malevolent intent . And no offense, but  if you are trying to convince a Christian that there are other ways to live outside of the ways that are prescribed in the word of God, you may not realize it, but you are pushing the rebellious agenda of the spirit of antichrist and your “well intentioned” advice is actually malevolent.  Shots fired.     

So for this question,  the “fox” would represent a non-Christian or some one who claims to be a Christian but is entrenched in a lifestyle that is more sinful than saintly.  Questions in this scenario that we might ask are:

Does our potential life partner’s faith change with the company they keep?   

Do they dabble in sin because of “peer pressure”?

Do they have close friends that are clearly not Christians or who are involved in activities that are against the word of God?     Is their family Christian?

Are their attitudes affected by their “fox friend’s opinions” or are they based on the wisdom of the word of God?

When they are “in the world”, do they represent the kingdom of God or are they just “regular” folk?  

Do their “fox friends” know they are a Christian? Does anybody?

Again these questions are not intended to cause division or to indicate that someone is “bad” – These same questions could be asked in regard to any faith stream, interest, philosophy of life, political standing, or moral code.  They are not “Christian judge-y” questions.  They are questions that all people should ask about anyone they may want to be in relationship with when trying to determine if you would make a “good couple”.

For our purposes our Christian faith and lifestyle is important to us, and we don’t wish to cause ourselves or the other person any unnecessary heartache by forming a relationship that will be contentious.    

As a Christian who teaches about living as a disciple of Christ’s teachings, we seek to find peace in our relationships, but we also want to have peace with the Lord by living according to His ways and not the world’s ways.      

When we say we are a Christian but don’t live according to God’s ways, we are unstable in all our ways and may discover that our “Christian label” that we wear on special occasions may “not stick” when it comes to eternity.  

God calls us to a holy life so when someone says they are a Christian but who demonstrates that their attitudes and behaviors change when they hang out with their “fox friends”, we have to ask ourselves: “Are they for real?” and “Do I really want to be in a relationship with someone who may be a phony in the one area that I consider to be the most important aspect of my life?”  

As you can see, our line of questioning always considers ourselves and where we stand with God as much is it tries to determine if the other person is who they say they are.  

So keep walking and talking with God.  Be wise in the ways you walk out your Christian faith and remember that the best way to find a “real Christian” is to be one yourself and to not compromise your convictions for convenience.     

This morning’s meditation verse is:

2 Timothy 2:22 (NKJV)
22  Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Today’s verse tells us what to avoid, what to pursue, and the company we are to keep.  

I swear I didn’t set this up, but today’s verse goes right in line with what we were examining in terms of Christians with “fox friends”.   

We all sin and fall short of the glory God. Before Christ, we sinned a bunch and didn’t think anything of it and while we are forgiven of every sin we will ever do, including future sins, Paul’s letter to Timothy tells us that Christians are not to persist in their “youthful lusts”. 

As Christians we are to repent, which means we are to change our minds about how we think about those “youthful lusts” and turn from them. We are to stop doing the sins of our past and instead choose, every day, to pursue “righteousness, faith, love” and “peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”  

So not only are we supposed to reject our old sinful ways and abstain from doing them, we are to seek to do the things of God, acts of righteousness that will build up our faith and give us a sense of peace while experiencing the love of God and the fellowship of the saints.

Yes, the word of God says to hang out with “those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart”, indicating that we are not only supposed to be in fellowship with Christians but that we are to seek “authentic” – “pure”  Christians that we be a blessing to us in our pursuits of righteousness rather than those “carnal Christians” that will lead us  back to our “youthful lusts”.  

So don’t feel bad about being wise in who you decided to spend time with and be in relationship with.  While we are to be a light of the world to the unbeliever, the word of God shows us that we are to be faithful to the Lord’s commands to be “pure” and to avoid associations that will lead to conflict, compromise, or sin.  

So, “pursue righteousness… with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart” and you will discover that when you do, the temptation to fall into “youthful lusts” will be much less and that you will experience the benefits of “faith, love, and peace.


As always, I invite all to go to where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 


Today we conclude sharing from June Hunt’s The Blended Family’s God’s Recipe for Success.


As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $5.00:

F. Blended Family Bonding

Build a solid relationship with your spouse.

  • Base your relationship on Christ.
  • Face difficulties with a united front.
  • Move to a neutral home if possible.

"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh." (Genesis 2:24)

Observe family traditions and holidays with flexibility.

  • Be aware of various family expectations.
  • Be considerate of children who are caught in the middle.
  • Be willing to sacrifice personal expectations for holidays.

"Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves." (Romans 12:10)

Nurture the children's nuclear family relationships.

  • Respect the missing parent's rights.
  • Encourage communication with all grandparents and relatives.
  • Encourage holiday cards, birthday gifts and thank-you notes.

"Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you." (Exodus 20:12)

Determine to stand firm.

  • Don't relax your standards.
  • Don't be sensitive to rejection.
  • Don't expect a problem free family.

"The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother.... Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul." (Proverbs 29:15, 17)

Initiate family structure.

  • Work toward a biblical authority structure.
  • Have well-defined boundaries.
  • Maintain consistent discipline.
  • Be united in decisions.

"The Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in." (Proverbs 3:12)

Negotiate mutual ground.

  • Encourage open and honest communication.
  • Have frequent family meetings and devotions.
  • Talk, talk, talk with each other!

"I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought." (1 Corinthians 1:10)

Grow in dependence upon Christ.

  • See your personal identity in Christ.
  • Don't depend on others for happiness.

"Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." (Colossians 2:6-7)

Insights for the Instant Parent

  • Realize that becoming an instant parent is a challenging task.
  • Remember that you're not replacing a parent; you're offering a new relationship.
  • Reinforce your commitment to the marriage for the benefit of the child.
  • Regard your role as God's example of what a marriage is intended to be.
  • Rebuild a gradual authority system to function by Biblical guidelines.
  • Reflect the love of God by providing security for the child.
  • Refuse to judge or criticize the missing parent.
  • Resist the temptation to withdraw emotionally if you are not immediately accepted.
  • Resolve to pray for the child and for your marriage.
  • Relinquish your right to be respected and loved—it may take a very long time.

"Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:1-2)

A blended family is like a jagged jigsaw puzzle.

If you force the pieces to fit, you destroy the potential design.

If you wait for God to work it, the picture comesin time.

June Hunt

Selected Bibliography

Adkins, Kay. I'm Not Your Kid: A Christian's Guide to a Healthy Stepfamily. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2004.

Brown, Beth E. When You 're Mom No. 2: A Word of Hope for Stepmothers. Ann Arbor, MI: Vine, 1991.

Cerling, Charles. Remarriage: Opportunity to Grow. Old Tappan, NJ: Power, 1988.

Cresse, Michelle. Jigsaw Families: Solving the Puzzle of Remarriage. Lynnwood, WA: Aglow, 1989.

Frydenger, Tom, and Adrienne Frydenger. The Blended Family. Old Tappan, NJ: Chosen, 1984.

Frydenger, Tom, and Adrienne Frydenger. Resolving Conflict in the Blended Family. Tarrytown, NY: Chosen, 1991.

Houck, Don, and LaDean Houck. Remarried with Children: a Blended Couple's Journey to Harmony. San Bernardino, CA: Here's Life, 1991.

Houmes, Dan, and Paul Meier. Growing in Step: A Christian Guide to Stepparenting. Richardson, TX: Today, 1985.

Hunt, Angela Elwell. Loving Someone Else's Child. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1992.

Hunt, June. Counseling Through Your Bible Handbook. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2007.

Hunt, June. How to Forgive... When You Don't Feel Like It. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2007.

Hunt, June. How to Handle Your Emotions. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2008.

Hunt, June. Seeing Yourself Through God's Eyes. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2008

Marsolini, Maxine. Blended Families: Creating Harmony as You Build a New Home Life. Chicago: Moody, 2000.

Solomon, Charles. The Rejection Syndrome. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1982.

VanVonderen, Jeff. Families Where Grace Is in Place. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 1992.


Biblical Counseling Keys: The Blended Family: God's Recipe for Success.

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------




Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts ( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

Email me at to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.


Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Blue, Are they a Christian in a Box? - Checking the Clues 6 - Purity 541


Blue, Are they a Christian in a Box?  – Checking the Clues 6  - Purity 541

Purity 541 10/05/2021  Purity 541 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of an almost other worldly sunrise comes to us from the Adirondack Aerial & Ground Imagery Showcase Page ( as they summited Cascade Mountains on October 1st beginning their ascent at the, MT like rising, hour of 3:30 am.  The early bird gets the worm and the images like this one show us that God puts on a show with His creation every day, but it may require a little effort on our part to see it.       

Recently, I learned that a friend who prided themselves on being a strong parent and encourager of the downtrodden was shaken by relationship problems and is struggling with depression. Their perspective has shifted and while they had encouraged others to carry on and pull themselves us from their own bootstraps that now have a better idea of what it is like to feel the sadness and hopelessness that depression can bring to your doorstep. 

As someone who suffered from depression for a couple of years in the wake of, my infant son, Holden’s death in 2002, I too understand what it can feel like when the winds of changing circumstances blow cold and make you question the meaning and purpose of it all and how the trappings of our culture and society push us to get past our losses and just get on with life and how the things that seemed so important before seem empty and meaningless.

And guess what? The things of this world and the societies that man has built are meaningless. Everything man builds falls apart. Even this world will pass away.  But there is One thing that doesn’t change or pass away: God. He is the author of creation, and He will shape the course of the coming of a new heaven and a new earth.

The One who assigns meaning and value to our lives is God. And the only way to find true peace is to establish a relationship with Him, and securing everlasting life, by putting your faith in Jesus Christ.  Once you do that you are given assurance that no matter what comes to pass here on earth, you are secure in His love for eternity.

So if we are basing our identity as being a “strong” mom or dad, we are believing the lie of our own self-sufficiency. We can be “strong” right up to the day we die but without God it will all be for nothing as our making ourselves our own God will consign us to Hell with Satan and all the other rebels who deceived themselves into thinking they didn’t need God and where powerful in and of themselves.  

The Bible says that when we are weak we are strong, because in our weakness we are forced to acknowledge that we can’t control everything and we can have moment of clarity that tells us that we need God and surrender ourselves to His plan for us, salvation through faith in Christ and relying on His wisdom and strength instead of our own in our daily lives.  

So, these thoughts were at the fore front of my mind when “Blue” and “Sam I am” revisited my imagination this morning on our continuing quest to examine the questions of our Christian faith in terms of determining the authenticity of someone’s Christianity as we seek a “real Christian” for a life partner.   

As we more or less addressed, Sam I am’s next inquiry regarding houses and mouses, yesterday when we looked at whether or not someone would be a Christian “here or there” by looking at the degree of shifting from the sacred to secular from Sunday to Monday, and from church to home, today we take on Sam I am’s next inquiry regarding boxes.  

We are not asking about where people will eat green eggs and ham. We want to know if someone will be a Christian when they are “stuck” in a circumstance where all seems hopeless and there is no escape.   Will their faith in Christ still live when they are trapped in an unpleasant circumstance and there doesn’t seem to be any way out?

As someone who has walked through some very dark days with difficult, trying, and painful situations of hardship and turmoil, the answer would seem obvious.  Mother Theresa apparently said ““You will never truly realize God is all you need until He becomes all you have.” So as someone who lived without God through one of the worst losses someone can experience, I can tell you that your Christian faith, your relationship with God is the most important thing about us and can provide us with the strength to endure the most horrific and terrible circumstance and some how provide a hope and a peace in the midst of great suffering.   

I don’t wish pain or suffering on anyone but a litmus test of someone’s Christian faith is the crucible of suffering.  I was regular church going Episcopalian when my son died, but my faith was very immature and was more of a “hope so” faith rather than a “know so” faith. So when my son died, I was angry at God because he didn’t keep up his side of the bargain.  I guess I thought the “deal was: “I go to church and “try to be good”, but fail often, and God would bless me and protect my family and I from suffering”.   So in my anger and depression, I more or less went back to my atheistic leanings and decided there was no God or that I didn’t want anything to do with Him if there was a God.  

Now granted, after about 8 years of wandering in depression and error, the Lord called me to a living faith in Jesus Christ that was based on the truth of God’s word rather than immature, superstitious, and sentimental ideas, or feelings about God, but in those dark days I would say “my faith” was shown for what it was: at best, shallow and immature, at worst: false.   To be honest prior to 2010, I don’t know if I would have made it into God’s kingdom if I had been called into eternity, but I know for sure now.    

So if I had claimed to be a “Christian” back in 2002, which I would have backed away from by classifying it by my denominational title, my actions of abandoning the church and any conversations with God in prayer would have revealed my spiritual status as far from authentic.   

While we might cut me some me some slack, we really shouldn’t.  Why? Because it is our faith, our relationship with God, which can be the means to our victory. Our faith is antidote for all the world’s suffering.  So when we throw away the solution to our problems because of our hurt, we show that we really didn’t understand what we had, or it reveals we never really had it.  

The person I know who is acknowledging the reality of the darkness of depression is revealing that they either have forgotten or don’t know the reality of who they are in Christ and instead of clinging to the Lord and being given strength and wisdom for their walk they are lamenting over their personal inability to overcome. 

We were never meant to walk alone. We are called to come to God and if we are focusing on our hurt and our inability to rise above  we have forgotten about His healing and the victory that given us over sin and death.   Our status as accepted by God and victorious over sin and death should trump any negative circumstances that this world has to offer.  

When our world is shaken, we are stand on the rock of God’s word and proclaim the truth of who we are in Christ.  We should do everything we can to try to better things each and every day but the only way we will be able to do so with peace, and even joy, in the midst of our trials is to continually go to the Lord in prayer, receiving His strength, wisdom, and love.  

So when the going gets tough, a real Christian will get going to their heavenly father. They will pray. They will read His word. They will thank Him for what He has done, for being present, and for what He will do in the future. They will lean on the Lord, and they praise His name even through tears of heartache and pain.  Someone maintaining and practicing their faith in the midst of trials is a great “clue” that are an authentic Christian.  

When we get thrown into a “box”, we may not know when we will get out but if we have a relationship with the Lord through faith in Jesus Christ, we won’t be alone in that box.   If we are in Christ, we will be like Paul and Silas singing like madmen in the middle of the night while locked in a prison with all the other prisoners shouting out us to shut up and telling us that we are crazy.  We will rejoice in our salvation and praise the Lord regardless of the box that we find ourselves in and we will keep on singing until the Lord breaks down the walls and delivers us to a new life of freedom and victory that we simply could not see or even hope for if wasn’t for God’s presence in our lives. 

So, keep walking and talking with God. Everyday you draw closer to Him the more you will grow strong in the power of His might, by relying on and trusting in Him.  In Christ we have the victory, so don’t forget. If you find yourself in a box, remember that He is with you and no matter what comes to pass He will see you through.  


This morning’s meditation verse is:

Romans 6:12 (NLT2)
12  Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires.

Today’s verse instructs us to not give in to sinful desires because of the bondage that results.  

I like the New Living Translation’s simple rendering of this verse that says:

Romans 6:12 (NKJV)
12  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.

The stark contrast between versions reminds us to have access to more than one version of the Bible on hand because although we could make the case that both versions essentially say the same thing,  they say it in different ways. 

The NLT is the version that was developed to be easier to read and is considered a “youth” translation and as much as I like it, when I am taken by the simple truth in the NLT I will go to the NKJV to see what the word “really says” because the NLT is structured to draw out the simple truths and in that intention it sometimes changes the words or the order of the words to make the message in the Bible clearer for a youthful or seeking audience.

Both versions tell let sin control us, to reign in our mortal bodies, or to give into sinful desires, that we should obey its lusts.  

The truth of this verse is telling us that the consequence of giving into sin is bondage to it.  So we are warned and if we are wise we will accept the Bible’s counsel and not give in to temptation and sin because we are clearly told that there is a danger that we will be ensnared by our sin and our lives will be controlled by it.  

So read the Bible and apply its wisdom to your life. Check out the different versions of the Bible. Avoid the ones put out by cults. Do your research to know the source of the translation you are interested in.  And when you come across an interesting version be sure to consult one of the more traditional versions, like the NKJV, to see how it lines up with the traditional teaching, a good translation will never take you too far from the translations that are drawn from the original Greek and Hebrew meanings.  

So be studious with your Bible study, but remember we are not so much concerned with the different nuisances of the way things are said in the Bible as much as we are called to apply the wisdom of the word to our lives.

As always, I invite all to go to where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 


Today we continue to share from June Hunt’s The Blended Family’s God’s Recipe for Success.


As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $5.00:

D. Preparing Children for Your Remarriage

  • Meet alone with your own children.
  • Communicate your unconditional love for them.
  • State your belief that remarriage is God's direction for your life.
  • Share the positive future you see for them.
  • Encourage them to be open and to share their feelings.
  • Explain that the stepparent will not replace their natural parent.
  • Make your marriage commitment clear.
  • Ask for their help in this transition.
  • Communicate their secure position.
  • Let them know that Christ will be the center of their new family.

"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." (Proverbs 16:24)

E. The Shared Custody Shuffle

Many have found that a shared custody arrangement is not always in the best interests of a child. Children seem to have more difficulty being constantly on the move. But if you do share custody, it is important to remember to do the following when a child returns to your home:

  • Stop what you are doing.
  • Greet with a warm hug.
  • Allow reentry time.
  • Give focused attention.
  • Ask nonthreatening questions.
  • Expect children to try to manipulate your feelings.
  • Don't assume all they say is true.
  • Distance yourself emotionally from any anger.

"A man finds joy in giving an apt reply—and how good is a timely word!" (Proverbs 15:23)

Biblical Counseling Keys: The Blended Family: God's Recipe for Success.

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------


Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts ( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

Email me at to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.


Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Monday, October 4, 2021

Blue, Are they a Christian Here or There? – Checking the Clues 5 - Purity 540


Blue, Are they a Christian Here or There?  – Checking the Clues 5   - Purity 540

Purity 540 10/02/2021  Purity 540 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo looking out at Maria Island from the vantage point of Raspins, Beach comes to us from our friends at Dave Baun Photography who captured this stunning view on the first day of their recent vacation in Tasmania. In his comments Dave questioned whether or not he was able to truly capture how amazing the view was, but he encouraged his friends to go and visit Tasmania to check it out for themselves.

Dave’s encouragement to his friends to go see the sights in Tasmania points to the fact that “seeing is believing”, that to truly understand or “know” something, we have to experience it firsthand.  

In the Bible, when Jesus noticed two of John the Baptist’s disciples following Him, He asked them, “What do you seek?”. When they replied them wanted to know where He was staying, Jesus invited them to “Come and See.” Knowing that these curious disciples wanted to know more than just what His accommodations were like, Christ’s response challenged them to commit themselves to follow Him.  The disciples accepted Christ’s invitation and thus started the journey that would result in their selection as Apostles and the worldwide spread of Christianity. In order to know the Truth of God’s Word and the transformative power of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we all must choose to follow after Christ and “come and see” it for ourselves.  We can’t live vicariously through someone else’s faith in Christ, we must make Him our Lord and Savior and choose to follow Him by ourselves.  

Well it’s Monday and as I chose to contemplate what “clue” of the Christian faith we should investigate this morning, Blue, the precocious star of children’s television now living in my imagination, introduced me to a friend that was going to lead us into a whole new line of inquiry. The friend is a funny little man with a red hat that who introduced himself as “Sam.” Maybe because Blue clued him in that my hearing isn’t the greatest, he repeated his introduction by saying: “Sam I am”.  

Sam’s first question was simple but when I considered it in terms of the authenticity of someone’s Christian faith, it proved to be quite profound and probing.  In considering someone’s Christian faith, Sam invited us to consider the person and ask ourselves:

Are they a Christian, here or there?    

While the full scope of this question will be considered in the days ahead, Blue indicated that we should examine it in just the context of where we found ourselves this Monday morning.  

Yesterday being Sunday as the “Lord’s Day” was the day where Christians all over the world traditionally gather for corporate worship. Today being Monday, most people generally go back to their “normal routines” or home life.

So with the question of “here or there”, Blue and I decided just to look at it from the perspective of the transition of these two days., Sunday and Monday, and two places, “church” as a generic term for the place of worship or corporate gathering, and “home” as a general term for life outside of that corporate gathering place.  

As a reminder, our investigation into the authenticity of someone’s Christian faith is motivated by selecting a Christian life partner and choosing someone to spend our lives with who isn’t a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”.  

So the question today is: Is the person we are interested in a “Christian” just on Sunday and just at church?  Or are they a Christian both “here or there”?

Now while everybody tends to display more attributes of their Christianity on Sunday and at “church”, consider how dramatic a difference there is in your potential mate’s “Christianity” on the days of worship versus the other days of the week as well as between their attitudes and behaviors “in the church building” and in the comforts in their home. 

Would you know that your potential mate is a Christian if it wasn’t Sunday?

Would you know that they were a Christian if they didn’t “go to church?”   

The more dramatic a shift from the sacred to the secular the more likely the possibility that the person you are interested in has “little faith”, or quite possibly “no faith” as they could just be “going through the motions” of “religion” and have not established a relationship with God by making Jesus their Lord and Savior.   

Now while we could go on and on with our speculations about a person who seems to shift from the sacred to the secular with a jarring rapidity that could give us whiplash, instead of looking at “our neighbor” and potential mate’s questionable faith, it might be a good idea to ask ourselves what we are looking for in a “Christian” mate or what we are willing to settle for.  

As someone who knows the benefits of a Christian disciple’s lifestyle and encourages people to live by faith and follow the Lord by “living in the Spirit”, I know that there is a wide range of faith levels within the body of Christ, from those with little or immature faith to those with “great” or mature faith.  

So what do you want?

Do you want someone who just goes through the motions or will just “go with you to church”  or do you want something more?

Our Lord and our imaginary friends, Blue and “Sam I am”, really have a way of making us think!   Our investigation of someone’s Christian authenticity makes us not only question what we are seeing in their faith lives, it also requires us to know who we are in Christ and to know what we are looking for.  

If we are truly following the Lord Jesus to “come and see” what He has for our lives, we have to make sure our own shifts from the “sacred to the secular” aren’t so dramatic. We can’t rightly judge and expect others to have a faith level that we haven’t experienced ourselves. Otherwise, they would have the right to question why they should be with us!  

The “clue” of what someone’s faith is like “here or there” is a good one. If we want a “real Christian” as a life partner, we will want to find someone who wasn’t as different as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde from Sunday to Monday, or from “in church” and “out of church”,  because if someone really is a disciple of Christ they will seek to follow Him all the days of their lives and in all sorts of environments.  Authentic Christians would seek to represent the kingdom of God every day and every where they go.  

But we must also examine ourselves and decide if we are for “real” and make decisions on how much faith is “too little faith” for the person that we will spend the rest of our lives with.   

So keep walking and talking with God. Know who you are in Christ and what you want in a Christian life partner.  Relationships can be a lot of work in and of themselves and having “enough faith for two” was never a burden the Lord wants to put on us.   So use the eyes, ears, and mind that the Lord gave you to examine the attitudes and behaviors of those you are interested in to discern what their faith level seems to be and make an informed decision when choosing the one who will walk with you from here to eternity.  



This morning’s meditation verse is:

1 Corinthians 6:19 (NKJV)
19  Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

Today’s verse indicates that Christians have the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in their bodies and that their bodies are to be used for His glory.  

If we are to consider today’s verse seriously, we will be convinced that the Holy Spirit is in us and that we are to care for our bodies and surrender our bodies to the Lord’s purposes.  

So should we get tattoos or piercings? Should we have abortions? Should we overeat? 

Are any of these things going to give God glory?  Or are these things examples of ways that we decide that we don’t agree with today’s verse and will choose things that may not be according to God’s perfect will for our lives. 

The first step of Christian Discipleship is to choose to believe that God’s Word is true. The second step is to live by it.  

I am pressed for time today so I will let the listener to consider those questions and ask themselves: Is my body the temple of the Holy Spirit? How should I treat it? What would God want me to do with it in these areas.  

In this word we have free will and liberty in Christ, but as Christians we should consider what we do according to the fact that our bodies are not our own and that God has written His word to guide us in our decisions regarding them.

So use your body for the Lord’s glory and choose the best course for your decisions with the Lord’s wisdom in mind. 



As always, I invite all to go to where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 


Today we continue to share from June Hunt’s The Blended Family’s God’s Recipe for Success.


As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $5.00:

IV. Steps to Solution

Let's face it, some of us will never make the perfect chocolate souffle... no matter how hard we try. But that doesn't mean we can't produce something wonderfully good! Does it really matter if the coconut cake slopes ever so slightly or the peach ice cream never sets up very hard? The important thing is to keep on trying when you feel like giving up. Stick close to God's recipe for loving others, and He will bless your efforts.

"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." (Proverbs 16:3)

A. Key Verse to Memorize

"Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification." (Romans 14:19)

B. Key Passage to Read and Reread

Colossians 3:12-15

  • Know that you are chosen by God.... v. 12
  • Realize that you are loved by God.... v. 12
  • Reflect the character of Christ (compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience).... v. 12
  • Lift up and support each other.... v. 13
  • Forgive those who offend you.... v. 13
  • Act in love.... v. 14
  • Know that love builds unity.... v. 14
  • Live in peace with one another.... v. 15
  • Have a thankful heart.... v. 15

"As God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." (Colossians 3:12-15)

C. Remarriage Readiness Test

  • Do you understand why you married your first partner?
  • Have you recognized and confessed your part in the broken marriage?
  • Was there an honest attempt to work through the relational problems in your first marriage?
  • Have you learned to be content as a single?
  • Have you developed a healthy identity as a single or a single parent?
  • Are you capable of being responsible with your finances?
  • Have you determined why you desire to remarry?
  • Do your children have a healthy, well-working plan of visitation with their other parent?
  • Have you considered and consulted your children regarding their feelings about your remarriage?
  • Have you given up the unrealistic dream of an "ideal family"?
  • Have you committed to remarriage only with someone who has a personal commitment to Jesus Christ?
  • Have you made the issue of remarriage a matter of prayer, and are you seeking God's will for your life?

"Understanding is a fountain of life to those who have it, but folly brings punishment to fools." (Proverbs 16:22)

Biblical Counseling Keys: The Blended Family: God's Recipe for Success.

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------




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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship