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Showing posts with label Boundaries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Boundaries. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Is This Person a Christian, Blue? – Checking the Clues 1 - Purity 536

 

Is This Person a Christian, Blue? – Checking the Clues 1   - Purity 536

Purity 536 09/29/2021 Purity 536 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of a view of, and from, the Adirondacks Mountains comes to us from a friend who recently has made it a goal to be ADK 46er, an individual who has climbed all 46 high peaks of the Adirondacks. With this first excursion, my friend, and future family member, conquered 2 of the Adirondack’s peaks, declaring that they have 44 to go on their quest and captioned this photo: “This is NY” to point out that the Empire State was more than just New York City.   

I share this pic not only to get “brownie points” with a future in-law, but because of its natural beauty and because it is Wednesday, and I didn’t have a better photo to represent “Hump Day” and to also highlight the fact that  sometimes we have to question and challenge our ideas and preconceived notions about what something “is”.  As my friend’s photo’s caption might challenge and expand the ideas of what some people might think of as “New York”, I have decide to begin a series where we question or challenge the ideas of what a “Christian” is and, as “Steve” from the children’s  show “Blues Clue’s” recently remade an appearance to encourage all those childhood viewers that are now adults, I have decided to have some fun with the idea of “checking for clues” by looking at different aspects of the Christian faith or religion in general to help my friends to determine if some one is a “real” or authentic Christian.

Now please understand, coming into the kingdom of God is only possible through making a profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, so whatever topic I examine is not necessarily a way to determine if some one is saved or not, although the topics I discuss may indicate the fact that some don’t have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.  No, this series will serve to be more of an indicator of the level of someone’s spiritual maturity or commitment.  The idea is that the more “clues” we find that indicate someone is a Christian, the more likely they are a Christian.  

I was motivated to make this investigation into “what a Christian is” by several friends who have the desire to find a Christian life partner.  As someone, who was convinced that they would probably spend the rest of their life alone because of the spiritual wasteland and Christian desert in Post Christian American Society, I can understand the difficulties in finding a suitable mate that actually has faith in Christ that is authentic. 

So the first “clue” that should be looked for in trying to determine if someone is a Christian is: Church membership and attendance.   

Now while we don’t know the spiritual condition of people’s hearts and it is theoretically possible (although we may have our doubts) to be a Christian and to not be a member or regular attender of church, church membership and attendance is a “clue” that you definitely would want to find in your investigation of someone you are interested in when looking for a Christian mate.  

The Bible says that we are not to forsake the assembly of the saints but should exhort one another to come together as Christians to worship the Lord and fellowship with one another as members of the body of Christ.  

So boys and girls, our first question is: if you meet someone you are interested in who says they are a “Christian”, but  they don’t belong to a church or they don’t go to church services regularly, should we turn and run for the hills?        

No, although you might want to lace up your running shoes and be ready to bid that person a fond farewell, you should ask them why they don’t attend church before you rule them out.  

Because of ignorance, corruption, and abuse many people may have some very personal reasons for not going to church.  So listen to their reasons and their story. When you do, listen to how they speak about their faith and the circumstances around why they have chosen to forsake the assembly of the saints. 

If there is no story, and they “just don’t go” or “have better things to do” or “get bored in church”,  that person, if a Christian at all, doesn’t have a mature faith and may be very ignorant of what a relationship with God is and is most likely in bondage to sin, of pride if nothing else more explicit.   

If there is a story of abuse or offense about a particular denomination or church, it would be wise ask if they tried other churches.  The idea here is we are looking for “clues” about the person in front of us and their faith and character, not the institutions or organizations they encountered.  How did they respond? Are they forgiving? Have they essentially ended their relationship with God because of what happened? Do they have or understand what a relationship with God is?   

The bottom line for people we find who don’t attend church is that we want to know what there understanding of the Christian faith is. Most likely they may intellectually have some facts about faith but generally MOST of the people in our “Christian” society are woefully ignorant of the doctrines of grace and what a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ looks like and means experientially.   

Oh and that also applies to the MOST of the few people you find that actually do belong to or go to church. 

One saying about the authenticity of one’s faith based on church membership or attendance is that “just because someone hangs out at a garage, it doesn’t make them a car.”      

So like Jane Goodall, we should observe our subject of interest in their natural habitat to see how the person who “goes to church” behaves.  Actions and attitudes that we observe in our “church going” subject may be invaluable clues to the condition of their personality and level of maturity.  

These “clues” may lead us to the conclusion that our subject is indeed a Christian but reveal that they are not “husband or wife” material. We can meet and fellowship with all kinds of Christians with various levels of commitment, devotion, and maturity but just because they are a Christian doesn’t mean we have to be joined to them in holy matrimony.  

So kids, this “first clue” of church attendance is a big one on our quest to solve the mystery of “what is a Christian” and should be taken very seriously.  While the equation “No church attendance = no faith” isn’t a law that set is set in stone, it could be a principle that adequately describes the vast majority of people that “no church attendance” applies to.   

But as I pointed out, if we are interested in someone, we should listen to their story and try to discern level of understanding and watch how they behave.   If we are discerning we will make far less mistakes in our relationships, but we have to keep our eyes open for the “clues” that will tell us if some one is a “real Christian”

So keep walking and talking with God. He is with us always so go to Him for wisdom as you walk through this life and consider and apply what His word tells you so you can experience the fruit of the Spirit and discover His good and perfect will for your life.    


This morning’s meditation verse is:

Romans 14:9 (NKJV)
9  For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.

Today’s verse reminds us of the fact and purpose of Christ’s death and resurrection and the spiritual state of reality.  

As always context is king in understanding the Bible so when you look up a verse and it is referring to something previously stated, we should look to see what it is referring to. 

Verse 8 basically states that if we, as Christians (because Romans is a letter to the church in Rome, right?) if we live or die, we live to the Lord or die to the Lord, and we are the Lord’s.  

So “this end” mentioned in today’s verse is referring to Christians being the Lord’s possession or children”.  Christ’s death and rising again was for “this end” – that we would be the Lord’s”  

So why did Christ die and rise again? So that we would be the Lord’s.  

So Romans 14:9 can serve as a “proof verse” for not only the fact of Christ’s death and resurrection but it can also be used, along with verse 8, to express why Jesus died and was resurrected: so that people would become the Lord’s, that the people who put their faith in Jesus Christ would be His.  

The second part of this verse eposes the fact that there is a  spiritual reality beyond death.  The phrase “Lord of both the dead and the living” indicates that there is life beyond death, just in case you weren’t convinced by the fact that Jesus came back from the dead!

This verse directly contradicts the atheistic or materialistic view that all life is extinguished  when we die.  Christ’s resurrection proves there is life after death and today’s verse indicates that He is Lord over both the realm of the living and dead. 

Those who die are given their final destination based on their relationship with Christ with those who have placed their faith in Him being welcomed into “paradise” where there are “many mansions” as scripture says, and those who haven’t placed their faith in Christ, the one’s he “never knew”, being consigned to the “outer darkness” where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, in Hell.  

So rejoice over the fact that Christ died and rose again so that we could be “the Lord’s” and endeavor to represent God’s kingdom by telling people about the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The Lord doesn’t want anyone to perish so share the hope of Jesus Christ and pray that those without His saving grace will put their faith in Him and make Him the Lord of their lives.  

 

As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org 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 Boundaries: How to Set Them, How to Keep Them.

 

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:

Frequently Asked Questions

Too Much Help

Question: "How much help is too much?"

Answer: Consider the following boundary issues:

  • —By allowing a needy person to be dependent on you, do you feel more significant?
  • —Under the guise of being a "giving person," are you being a modern-day martyr in order to attract attention?
  • —Do you ever think, How could you do this to me after all I've done for you?
  • —Examine your motives. Pray that you can discern the driving force behind your need to help.

"A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart" (Proverbs 21:2).

Rejected by In-Laws

Question: "My parents have rejected my wife ever since we've been married. They don't include her in family functions. I go without her to weddings, birthdays, and graduations. How can I get my parents to accept her?"

Answer: As her husband, you are called to love your wife sacrificially as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25). A tangible way to express your love for her is through actions that convey you value and cherish her and are willing to "lay your life down" for her. Until now, you have been accepting of your parents' hurtful choice to exclude your wife from family functions.

For your parents to accept your wife, they need a motivating "reason" to accept her. Presently they have no motivation because no consequences have been attached to their failure to accept her. As long as you go alone to family affairs, you are communicating that excluding her is permissible. This is dishonoring to your wife. As a member of the extended family, it is only right that she be invited to normal family functions.

Therefore you must explain to your parents that in the future, either you and your wife will both come or you will both stay home. And you must be consistent 100% of the time, unless you or your wife literally "can't make it." Consider conveying to your parents the concepts contained in the following statements. . . .

  • "I love my family very much and always want to be at family occasions."
  • "Because I'm married, my wife is part of our family and should be included in our family functions."
  • "Since the two of us are united as one, if you don't accept my wife, then you don't accept me."
  • "When you don't respect her by ignoring her, you are also showing disrespect to me because she is my choice for a lifelong mate."
  • "Beginning today, I expect for my wife to be included in our family get-togethers and to be treated with acceptance or else we will both stay home. Ultimately, the choice is yours."
  • The Bible presents the following principle in both the Old and New Testaments, in four different books of the Bible—Genesis, Matthew, Mark, and Ephesians. . . .

"A man will leave his father and mother and he united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."

(Ephesians 5:31)

Cyberbullying

Question: "My teens have become the targets of a cyberbully. What can I do to protect them from being bombarded with this kind of abuse?"

Answer: With the increase in use of cell phones and e-mails, cyberbullying is a serious issue. If your teen is being bullied online or through mobile or social messaging, it is critical that you take immediate action. . . .

  • Use parental controls, filtering software, and online tracking programs.
  • Talk with your teen and be sensitive to changes in mood relative to online activity.
  • Look at their communications with them and immediately address abusive messages. Don't be dismissive or flippant. These verbal attacks are hurtful and harmful, and your teen needs your protection and steadfast support.
  • Communicate all cyberbullying to the appropriate school administrator and authorities.
  • Make copies of all abusive and threatening correspondence and keep in a file as documentation if needed for further action.
  • Delete abusive messages with your teen so that they know you are there for them.
  • Talk often and pray with and for your teen.
  • As you help your teenagers take actions that will protect them, also remind them that their identity is not in what others say, but like Jesus, who was unjustly slandered, they are to entrust themselves to the ultimate Judge who judges justly. . . .

"To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.

(1 Peter 2:21-22)

Tough Love for Teens

Question: "I had my teenage son arrested and jailed after he was caught drinking with some of his friends. Did I handle this situation correctly?"

Answer: Yes, you did the right thing. Consider these reasons for letting your son spend time in jail:

  • Underage drinking is illegal.
  • When a person is in the wrong, they need to suffer the natural repercussion (pain) of their wrong behavior. The pain needs to outweigh the pleasure of the sin . . . otherwise people will keep going after the pleasure.
  • As a parent who loves your son, you have the responsibility to discipline your son and correct his behavior. Tough love . . . often is precisely what teens need.
  • Look at the heart of this insightful "'The Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.' Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? . . . No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it" (Hebrews 12:6-7, 11).

"Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins."

(James 5:20)

Because the concept of boundaries began with God, the best relationships have boundaries.
They protect both your heart and your home.


Biblical Counseling Keys: Boundaries: How to See Them - How to Keep Them.

 

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

 

 

 

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

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

 


Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

One Small Change – Walk in the Spirit - Purity 535

One Small Change  – Walk in the Spirit    - Purity 535

Purity 535 09/28/2021  Purity 535 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of a sunrise over the Atlantic comes to us from a friend’s recent weekend getaway to an undisclosed location on the Maine Coastline where they were able to “unwind and regenerate”.  While this photo is of a sunrise with the promise of a new day, I can’t help but feel a melancholy feeling for the loss of summer when I look at this beach scene.   We have entered Autumn and not only that but if you haven’t been keeping track we are only a few days away from October! 

I didn’t go to the stores this weekend, but I would imagine that the seasonal merchandise is shifting and while Halloween stuff has already been on the shelves I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that Thanksgiving and Christmas items are creeping there ways on to the shelves.        

The rapidity of the changing months and seasons make it clear to me that we must be intentional in terms of what our goals are and what direction we want to go.  

A friend recently shared an article on social media that said in effect that if we want to make a change in our lives, we have to change it.   The simple advice was pointing out that although we can desire certain things or conditions in our lives if we don’t take action to procure them we will never experience or obtain them. 

The article indicated that wanting change or wishing for change wasn’t enough.  The author suggested enacting a plan of action by choosing to choose one new habit or one new change that  you could introduce to your life on a daily basis that would contribute to an overall goal of a changed life.   

Some of the suggested habits the article mentioned were:


Waking up early.

Exercising.

Eating healthier.

Giving up alcohol.

Watching less television.

Writing in a daily journal

Meditating.

Cleaning and organizing your home.

Playing music.

Creating art.

And developing a keeping a budget.


 

 As someone who always wanted to make positive changes in my life I know that the advice to add one new change to your life and to do it every day is a good one.  After so about 4 weeks of doing a new activity it becomes ingrained in our routine as a habit and we can “keep the change”. So adding a new activity and being diligent about it is important.  Your new choice can gradually improve the quality of your life experience and the results and benefits of your choice will be compounded over time.  

However, as follower of Jesus Christ on the path of Christian Discipleship, I would recommend that the one habit you introduce to effect change in your life is to establish and develop your relationship with God by placing your faith in Jesus Christ.   

I had tried unsuccessfully throughout my life to give up alcohol and to eat healthy and exercise.   In the past I would establish a habit in each of these areas and had periods in my life where I enjoyed success but inevitably my mind, will, and emotions would be directed to the unhealthy ways that I had emerged from.  

The benefits of the changes I had made were not enough to “change me”.  In my mind, I “knew” that I was a person that loved my old ways and even though I had success I had a feeling that I was “living a lie”.  I wasn’t a sober person or a healthy person. I really liked to get drunk, overeat, and be lazy.   If I wanted to be “true to myself” and be “happy”, I would eventually have to go back to my indulgent ways because that’s who I was.  

All my life it was like that, with ups and downs and no stability and no peace.    

Well, after I put my faith in Christ, I found the supernatural peace and power that comes from being aligned with the Creator of All things but there is a catch.  We can only experience His peace and power if we believe and agree with what the Word of God says in regard to who we are in Christ and how we are to live our lives.  

The process of renewing your mind to believe what the Bible says about our identity and changing our behaviors to coincide with our identity in Christ is often called “walking in the Spirit”.  When we “walk in the Spirit” we choose to make a new habit of believing what the word of God says about us.   

One of the first things that stands out in my experience of the “renewing of my mind” was when I read Romans 8:1 which says:

Romans 8:1 (NKJV)
1  There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

 

My mental dialog in the past was filled with condemning thoughts when I indulged the desires of my flesh. While I found pleasure in becoming intoxicated from drinking alcohol or overeating in the moment, I always condemned myself when I felt the pain of withdrawal or the stress of carrying too much weight. The fact that I was powerless to change even though I could see and experience how I was suffering only resulted in more condemning thoughts where I would think of myself as “a drunk”, “stupid”, “weak”, or “bad”. I thought those adjectives described who I was as a person.   

 

But the Holy Spirit revealed to me in Romans 8:1, that while those things may have been true for most of my life, something had changed.  I had heard a gospel message and sincerely surrendered to God and put my faith in Jesus Christ.  So I was “in Christ” now and this verse and the Holy Spirit in me told me that there was “no condemnation” for me. 

 

Those condemning thoughts were not longer true about me because I had been given a new spiritual life when I placed my faith in Jesus!

 

But this verse also told me that in order to experience this “no condemnation” I had to “walk in the Spirit” – by believing I had been changed in an instant at my salvation and by living according to the word of God and my identity in Christ.  

 

By simply adding this “one new habit” of agreeing that there was “no condemnation” for me, the Holy Spirit empowered me to walk away from my lifelong dependence on alcohol, my indulgences in sexual immorality, and now has empowered me to transform my body through exercise and changing the way I eat.    

 

So if you want to change your life, you have to change your life.   But there is no greater way to change your life than by giving your life to God by placing your faith in Jesus Christ and living according to who you are in Christ.  

 

Walking in the Spirit leads to the growth of the fruit of the Spirit which includes peace, joy, love, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, patience, and self-control.  If you want a change in your life make Christ your Lord and Savior and walk in the Spirit.  

 

Making this one small change will not only lead to benefits to your physical and emotional health. Walking and talking with God in a harmonious relationship that is established with faith in Jesus gives you a new spiritual life that gives you the peace that goes beyond all understanding that results from being forgiven of all your sins, being assured of life eternal in God’s kingdom, and being given the power and purpose to leave behind the condemnation that was inherent in our lives when we walked in the flesh.

 

So make that one change of turning to God and do it every day. The path of Christian Discipleship may not be an easy road to travel but it leads to the abundant life of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health that God made us to experience.


This morning’s meditation verse is:

Proverbs 27:9 (NKJV)
9  Ointment and perfume delight the heart, And the sweetness of a man's friend gives delight by hearty counsel.

  

Today’s verse speaks of the power of friendship to delight us when we receive hearty counsel.  

Solomon asked God for wisdom and God made him the wisest man on the earth. Solomon wrote a book. Actually he wrote two: Proverbs and Ecclesiastes and they are two of the three books that are considered by Bible scholars to be the “wisdom literature” In the Bible.    

While some can look at the book of proverbs and state that it is filled with “common sense”, there really is nothing “common” about it because the source of Solomon’s wisdom was God. 

So while today’s verse seems to be a general statement on the value of friendship that is characterized by one in which good counsel is given because of its divine source we should also consider it an instruction that teaches us that we are created to be in relationships with others and that we are to be discerning in choosing friends that give “hearty counsel”. 

The word translated “hearty” in Hebrew is “nep̄eŇ°”  (neh-fesh) which means: “soul, self, or life,” with the secondary meaning being “that which breathes, the breathing substance or being, soul, the inner being of man”.  

So the hearty counsel mentioned in this verse was “soul counsel” – counsel “that breathes” “life” into the “soul”, the inner being of man.  

So the friends that we should seek out are the ones who give us the counsel that will breathe life into us, the counsel that is based on the word of God.  

So be wise like Solomon and seek out friends that you delight in because your relationship is built on counsel that will breathe life into one another by encouraging one another with the divine wisdom of the word of God.   

 

As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org 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 Boundaries: How to Set Them, How to Keep Them.

 

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:

H. How to Communicate Boundary Changes

Following the Rosie Ruiz scandal, numerous racing offiicials have made boundary changes with marathon runners to better ensure ethical behavior on the race course.

Besides increased video surveillance, RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) Race Timing Systems track where runners are for certain checkpoints. A transponder is attached to the athlete and emits a unique digital code that is picked up by radio receivers along the race course.

Transponders are available in various sizes and shapes and can operate at many different frequencies.

Stronger boundaries are established . . . to foster sure victories.

Scripture directs that honesty and integrity should characterize all that we do. . . .

"For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man."

(2 Corinthians 8:21)

Life is made up of different seasons that sometimes require transitional conversations in order to ease the discomfort that change often creates. When grown children leave home, and especially when they get married, they are entering into a new season of life that not only impacts them but their parents as well.

It is during these times that relationships necessarily change and therefore need to be redefined. Having loving conversations with parents regarding boundary changes during these periods can be extremely helpful and meaningful, encouraging growth and solidifying the relationship.

Our roles are changing, and we want to proceed with sensitivity and a tender heart. Pick your battles. Show respect and honor.

If you realize that you have not made the separation from your family of origin to your new family, you may need to communicate your boundaries.

  • Define your new relationship:
    "Mom and dad, I love each of you. I am thankful to have you as my parents. I am thankful that I was raised by you. Now that I am married, I am making a new family. We will communicate with you, visit you, and always love you. But there will be some changes in traditions because I am establishing traditions with my new family."
  • State what is acceptable and what is not:
    "It is not acceptable for you to talk with me in that tone of voice." Or, "It is not acceptable for you to talk with my family if you use unkind words or speak in that tone of voice. If you choose to cross this boundary, the repercussion is that we will leave."
  • Separate from your family of origin:
    "I realize this is the way we always did things growing up. We share great memories, and I want many of those same ways for my family. I am married now, and we are creating some of our own ways of doing things that work for our family."

In Your Marriage

Marriage is the union of two people . . . "and the two will become as one flesh" (Mark 10:8). Boundaries are about defining your respective selves.

Marriage can become a fertile ground for boundary issues to sprout and grow if not properly addressed. A healthy marriage consists of two complete people who together create a place of love.

They do not need each other to be complete, but they share a complete love and union between themselves.

  • State what you need:
    "I love you and love our time together, but I also need time to be by myself and explore interests of my own."
  • Establish boundaries about how you will be treated:
    "I love you and want our marriage to work, but if you choose to treat me in this way, there will be consequences. If you __________________, I will __________________."
  • Define how you want to be talked to:
    "I will not be talked to in this hateful way, especially in front of the children. If you choose to speak to me disrespectfully, I will ask you to leave our home until you can speak in a kind voice."

"Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself and the wife must respect her husband."

(Ephesians 5:33)

In Your Friendships

  • Define your relationship:
    "I am glad we have so much in common, especially our love of scrapbooking and our faith in Christ."
  • Establish boundaries:
    "It's great that we can get together once a month to share dinner and scrapbooking ideas at each other's home. Let's meet at my house next Thursday."
  • Reinforce limitations:
    "I'm sorry you can't meet this week, but Thursday evening is the only time I have available."
  • Maintain boundaries:
    "I truly can't meet another day this week, so let's get together at our regular time next month."

"A friend loves at all times (Proverbs 17:17)

In Your Parenting

  • Establish limits:
    "You may use your inside voice when you play in our home and your outside voice when you play in the yard."
  • Define consequences:
    "You have chosen to __________________, and the consequence is __________________."
  • Train for delayed gratification:
    "I know you want this toy now, but you will have to wait until you have saved up enough money from doing chores."
  • Explain appropriate behavior:
    "In our home we use our hands to help and love; we do not hit."

"Behold, children are a gift of the Lord (Psalm 127:3 NASB)

In Your Workplace

  • Stay within the parameters of your job description:
    "I was hired to do this job description. I am being asked to do things that are not a part of this job description. I understand when occasional things come up, but it is becoming the >"norm>" and not the exception. If I cannot do my job as defined in my job description, I will need to contact the Human Resources Department."
  • Define your work space:
    "This is the office area where I need to work. If you would like to come in, please set up an appointment or knock. It's important that you not just walk in because I have much work to do and must finish it when I'm here. Thank you for respecting this boundary so we can work together as team players."
  • Work within the boundaries of your hours:
    "First, I want you to know how grateful I am for all that I have learned since I've been here and for the opportunity to contribute to (company). I would like to mention an item for your consideration. (State request.) I was hired to work 'X' number of hours per week. I understand when there are occasional emergencies or deadlines. I want to be a team player, but four out of the last six weeks I've worked overtime. I want to keep the boundaries of my work time and family time. I need you to respect this boundary."

"Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation" (Romans 4:4).

Biblical Counseling Keys: Boundaries: How to See Them - How to Keep Them.

 

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

 

 

 

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

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

 

Monday, September 27, 2021

Happily Ever Monday? – Can’t I just Chill.. in Christ? - Purity 534

Happily Ever Monday?  – Can’t I just Chill.. in Christ?    - Purity 534

Purity 534 09/27/2021   Purity 534 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of the waters of Lake Ontario comes to us from a friend who in part celebrated their birthday by visiting the scenic wonders at Chimney Bluffs State Park in Wolcott NY on Saturday. I share it today because of its scenic beauty and because the peaks and valleys of the bluffs on the shores of Lake Ontario can represent the ups and downs that we will experience in life that make us wonder what our ultimate purpose is.  

Yesterday in our Bible study discussion Arthur and Suzanna Cincotti and I discussed the concept of giving God glory and how, because He is the author of all creation and will determine the course of all existence through history, and as the Westminster Catechism (https://www.apuritansmind.com/westminster-standards/shorter-catechism/) affirms, the chief end of man, our purpose, is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. 

While that is man’s stated end, or purpose, the concept may seem overly spiritual, sentimental, or just confusing and is often simplified as “living a good life” of being personally responsible and morally upstanding, for the most part.  So even for those that want to “glorify God” and enjoy Him forever, this purpose could just be seen as an underlying subtle part of our normal lives with its traditional goals of finding a career, a life partner, and having a family.  

These traditional goals are prominent in our lives because they are integral in providing us with the means to support ourselves and a measure of our need to feel accepted, significant, and secure.   We may spend years pursuing the goals of achieving a certain career position or in finding that life partner that will “complete” us and building a family. 

We pointed out yesterday in our discussion that these goals are good and can lead to a thriving life of success and familial happiness but if God is not honored in that life journey, all the accomplishments and close personal relationships that were enjoyed will prove to be of little value as the person finds themselves separated from God and consigned to the outer darkness of Hell where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth”.

So obviously we recommended a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ to remedy this situation. But as I have thought about our life’s purpose today, I am pondering the question of next steps, for those who are saved and who have reached their goals in life and ministry.  

Because of the dissolution of my marriage in 2018, I had to face the challenges of building a “new life” for myself by finding a new home and a direction for the rest of my life, all the while having to work and try to direct my children.  The Lord has been with me and provided for everything I needed in that regard.   

As I walked alone, the question of the possibility of a new life partner was always an “out there” possibility which I didn’t make any overt attempts to pursue but at the same time was one that I hoped would materialize some day and one that I remained open to receive.  

The Lord has graciously sent a beautiful faithful woman of God into my life and even though it took me some time to realize she was “right here in front of me” I finally woke up and have been overcome with joy as we have not only confessed our love for one another but are eagerly anticipating being married.  So to paraphrase Sammy Sosa’s “baseball has been very, very, good to me”, in my Christian walk , God has been very very good to me!

I am thrilled that my “happily ever after” is on the horizon, but as we all know life is not a fairy tale and “happily ever after” even in the Disney universe, now, usually results in a sequel!

Because life is continuous our journey doesn’t end. So even though we can accomplish some life goals and actually experience receiving the desires of our hearts, we still must go forward in our life. 

The question for the Christian is: Now that you have gotten what you were hoping for, what do you do next?  Do you stop your walk on the path of Christian Discipleship to set up house and relax with a new ministry of offering thanks and praise from the comforts of your couch?   Can we just chill… in Christ?

I absolutely love the song “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol that asks the question:

“If I lay here,
If I just lay here,
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?
 

Now that I have found the love of my new life in Christ with Tammy Lyn can I just spend the rest of my days with the purpose of just loving her in Christian wedded bliss, forsaking all other activities?

As appealing as that might sound, the harsh realities of Monday morning help us with answering that question.   We still must provide for ourselves. We still have to work. We still must deal with the challenges of changing circumstances. 

And because we are in the world, as Christians we are called to do more than just chill…  in Christ.  Sure, I have found the love of Christ and now have found the person who I am certain will be the love of my life… but other people out there haven’t secured their place in God’s kingdom and are walking in darkness and the suffering that I knew all too well for most of my life. 

So while I may want to lament over another Monday morning and the fact that, while I have found the love of my life in Tammy Lyn, we still have miles to walk before we can be married and live together, I need to remember that God didn’t bring me into His kingdom for my personal happiness.

God calls us into His kingdom to represent Him on earth and to share His love. We are to use our lives to glorify God and to endeavor to expand His kingdom by sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ through our words and actions.  

So don’t be down in the dumps because its Monday and we have to go back to the grind and leave the good times of the weekend behind.  God has given us eternal life and we should rejoice over that regardless of the day, or the circumstances of our lives.  

He has provided for us and blessed us, so we can rejoice over that too.  But we should never become so “happy” that we forget that the people of the world desperately need God and they need to know the truth of how they can be reconciled to Him through faith in Jesus Christ. 

So keep walking and talking with God. Rejoice over all He has done for you but be sure to shine a light in the darkness by representing His kingdom by sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, any way you can.

 

This morning’s meditation verse is:

1 Thessalonians 2:13 (NKJV)
13  For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.

Today’s verse speaks of the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the practice of thanksgiving.  

As Christians, we have been saved from God’s wrath and our just punishment because of Jesus Christ. If we were to spend the rest of our lives suffering, we would still have ample reason to thank God!

And even if we went through various trials and sufferings for the rest of our days, the likelihood is that no matter what we suffered, our suffering could somehow have been worse.  Even those who have been prisoners of war or consigned to concentration camps have been able to recognize that some days were better than others and they were able to find things to be thankful for in the most horrible and abysmal circumstances.

So as we recommend for all Christians, begin, or continue, the daily practice of giving thanks to God for: who He is, what He has done in general, and what He has done for you specifically.     

Today’s verse also speaks of the fact that the “good news” is not something that man made up but is God’s plan for the redemption of men and that we are to share it with others.  This verse indicates we are to present the gospel with the Word of God in order to let God “effectively” use us to bring people to believe in Him and be translated into His kingdom.   

So thank the Lord everyday for your salvation and all He is, and for all He has done for us in general, and for what He has done for you personally.

Let your thanksgiving draw you closer to the Father and motivate you to share His love with the world that dearly needs it.   

 

As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org 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 Boundaries: How to Set Them, How to Keep Them.

 

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:

G. How to Respond When Boundary Lines Are Crossed

According to Bill Rodgers, Jacqueline Gareau's public response to crossed boundary lines has been "amazing." "She doesn't have any ill feelings to Rosie at all," Bill further shares. "To lose this moment is pretty hard to deal with. She just kept cool under fire. She never said anything terrible about Rosie. She didn't say anything negative about the BAA [Boston Athletic Association]. She was just cool, and she's the same way today."

Considering Jacqueline's incredible athletic accomplishments, it is "amazing" that she has been so genteel toward someone described as a genuine cheat. She wins nine marathons, competes on the Canadian Olympic team, wins the extremely fatiguing Mount Washington Road Race three times, and is named Canadian Marathoner of the 20th Century.

Jacqueline manifests a forgiving heart toward Rosie, a vital virtue in Scripture. . . .

"For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you."

(Matthew 6:14)

We all have physical, moral, and personal boundaries that should not be violated. Do you know your specific boundaries? Do you know how to respond when your boundary limits have been trampled? Do you know where to draw the line?

To help identify your boundaries, pay attention when your emotions are intense, dark, shaming, or guilt-ridden in response to something someone has said or done to you. . . . Your boundaries are being crossed.

The following responses will help you educate those in your life who are verbally and emotionally crossing the line.

"Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses."

(Proverbs 27:6)

• Inform:

"Do you realize that you are speaking loudly?"

"Do you know how your words are sounding?"

"Do you know that you are saying things that are making me feel uncomfortable?

• Identify:

"Please lower your voice."

"Please stop using that kind of language." "Please explain your anger."

• Implore:

"Stop insulting me with your words." "Stop these painful outbursts."

"Stop hurting me in this way."

• Insist:

"You must stop speaking to me in that tone of voice."

"You will have to change this way of communicating with me." "You may not continue to hurt me in this way."

• Instruct:

"This is how I want you to speak to me."

"When you communicate with me, this is what I expect..."

"When vou (name behavior). it hurts me. This is what I want vou to do."

• Invite:

"I am open to working this out when you can be reasonable."

"I care about you and our relationship, but I need you to change your ways when communicating with me."

"I am willing to go to counseling with you if you agree."

• Impact:

"I am now leaving in order to protect myself."

"Because this behavior is unacceptable to me, I am going to distance myself from you for a time."

"Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe." (Proverbs 29:25)


Biblical Counseling Keys: Boundaries: How to See Them - How to Keep Them.

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

 

 

 

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship