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Showing posts with label Community. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Community. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Son Rise – Rising to the Call to Compassionate Service - Purity 566

Son Rise – Rising to the Call to Compassionate Service - Purity 566

Purity 566 11/03/2021   Purity 566 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of a “a gorgeous morning” at John Boyd Thacher State Park in Voorheesville NY comes to us from a pair of friends who decided to rise early last Thursday to experience some of “God’s infinite beauty” and to enjoy the fellowship of a friendship that has similar trials of life and an appreciation for God as a foundation. Although it is the sun rise they came to see, they captioned it “SON” rise  because of the centrality of Jesus Christ in their lives. These two could testify to the beauty of this scenic location but remind their friends and families of the importance of God in their lives to overcome the challenges and adversity that life sometimes brings to our doorstep.    

Well, Its Wednesday and as we ascend the hump of midweek once again I am excited by the prospects of being used by the Lord in the days ahead by being a voice of hope and care for my local community.  Monday, I officially started training for my part time job as a Psychiatric Technician for a local mental health agency and was immediately pleased with my decision to follow this calling to practice and develop my counseling skills as I encountered a staff that was professional and compassionate in their efforts to help those who are reaching out for help in times of crisis.  I have only just begun but am excited by the prospect of helping others in whatever capacity I can and believe that this part time job will be my next “ministry” as my current series of discipleship classes will be completed in a couple of weeks.  

As Christians, I believe that we are called to be a voice of hope and a minister of compassion to our local community and that we should look for opportunities to help others.  The Lord has put a desire in my heart to help others and although I diverted from my career in human services by going corporate nearly 25 years ago it looks like we are going back to that original purpose, albeit in a part time capacity.    

Christ’s second commandment was to love our neighbors as ourselves and it is my hope that I can be used to help those in crisis. While I won’t necessarily be preaching the gospel like I would in my discipleship classes, I will be a minister of compassion that will try to assure those who are in crisis that there are reasons to hope for a better life and that help is available in times of need.    

So keep walking and talking with God. Enjoy the fellowship of your friends and family and take a minute today to look for the beauty of the Lord in the midst of your day.  If our focus is on the good things that the Lord has provided in our lives and will continue to provide, we can make it through any crisis and be able to take what we have learned in our journey through life to help others in times of need.    And if those we help along the way ask us for the reason for our hope, we can point to the “Son” that shines a light in the darkness and promises a new and abundant life to all who call upon His name.  

 

Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.  

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Matthew 5:8 (NLT2)
8  God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.

Today’s verse speaks of the importance of turning away from our wicked worldly ways and to seeking a simple and pure life.   

Recently, I was discussing the ability of the Christian faith and a discipled Christian lifestyle to make a significant difference in the quality of someone’s life, that through the application of our faith we can overcome all of life’s problems.  

The person I was speaking to seemed to agree of the importance of faith in Jesus Christ for one’s salvation but then started to criticize what they called the tendency of “the church” to push a lifestyle of “purity” on its parishioners. 

Little did this person know that they were preaching the gospel of “cheap grace” and that the problems that surround those in and outside of the body of Christ are largely not caused by one’s penchant to pursue purity. Our society’s problems can clearly be seen as a result of the vast majority of people to decide to abandon purity principles in areas of sex and substance abuse.  

Name an issue and purity, or the lack of it, lies at the heart of it. 

Abortion? If people were practicing purity, there would be far less unwanted pregnancies.

Addiction? If people were practicing purity, they wouldn’t abuse alcohol, drugs, or even food.  

Our society of license tells the tall tale of the evils of repression and has decided that because people have these physical urges or cravings that the only way to address them is to abandon any ideas about abstinence and to develop safety measures that will clean up the mess after the dam breaks.   So pervasive is this attitude of license disguised as liberty, that its attitudes of hopelessness and pragmatism is present in members of the body of Christ who should revere the words of Jesus as good advice.  

The rationale of “cheap grace” is that since Christ paid for all sins, sin is not only forgiven but is completely understandable and permissible.  Efforts at purity would cause too much mental anguish and only result in failure anyway, so we might as well just give in to our base natures but do so safely.   Satan completely agrees with this rationale and encourages its acceptance.

What the world would call freedom, the word of God would rightly identify as bondage.  The word says that Christians are given a new life and have been set free from the power sin and it advises that light is to have nothing to do with darkness.  

 

The word of God tells us to be holy as He is holy.  We are not to fear purity but are to pursue it.  The solution to the problem of sin is not to compromise with it but to turn from it and turn to a pure life that simple and good.

The testimonies of Christians that believed the word of God and put their trust in the Lord and were able to overcome lifelong cycles of sin show the truth of today’s verse.     

Those whose hearts are pure will see God.  They will see God in their new lives. They will experience the power of God as they live a pure and righteous life free of the shame, guilt, and defilements that come with a lifestyle of sin.  

So don’t try to be like the world that will tell you that “everybody’s doing it” when it comes to sin. The testimonies of overcomers, like myself, show that the world is lying to you and that the biggest lie the enemy tells us is that a life of purity is “impossible”.  

When we trust in the Lord and walk in His ways, we can discover that nothing is impossible with God and that choosing to purse purity is the path that leads to seeing the manifest presence and power of God in your life.

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 sharing from June Hunt’s Dating: Secrets to Great Relating When Dating  

 

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. How to Relearn Dating the Second Time Around

Erin was married for 27 years, and now she's nervously curling her hair...laughing at herself because there's a pile of clothes on her bed as a result of changing her mind three times about what to wear. She resists the urge to call her best friend for a dose of courage, but then she gets an encouraging text message from her with a quick prayer of blessing and encouragement. She's as nervous as a teenager preparing for her first date. In a way, that's exactly how it feels because this is her first date in more than three decades!

She knows it's time for her to "get back out there." She's finally tucked the past away in a special place in her heart and memory, and she's looking at a bright future ahead. She's cried plenty of tears, she's been to counseling, she's filled all that extra time with Bible study and bridge, and the kids are grown and gone and on their own. Now it's time for her to live...to laugh, and maybe even to love again....

"Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God." (Ephesians 5:2 NLT)

Signs That Show You're Ready to Date Again

Whether you're reentering the dating scene because of death or divorce, many adults must relearn dating skills that have been dormant for decades. The amount of time between your last relationship and when you're ready to start dating will be different for every person. The prophet Isaiah declares the majesty of newness found in the Lord....

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." (Isaiah 43:18-19)

These signs show that you're ready for a new relationship....

  • Your past is in the past.
    • —If you're bereaved, you've done the grief work necessary to process your sorrow.
    • —If you're divorced or have experienced a breakup from another serious relationship, you also need to deal with loss, but perhaps also feelings of anger, hurt, or betrayal.
  • You're ready to date for the right reasons.
    • —If you are seeking to date for any reason other than to meet someone and move toward the future, you're headed for heartache.
    • —If you want to start dating for revenge, security, an ego boost, or out of desperation, ignoring the issues won't fix your problems.
  • You know who you are.
    • —When you've been in a relationship for a long period of time, you've been part of a couple. It's important that you separate your identity from being a part of that "union" and know your identity in Christ.
    • —Know yourself again—your likes, dislikes...your interests. Those unique attributes that make you you can get lost over time.
  • You know who you're looking to find.
    • —Give some thought as to what you want from a relationship. What characteristics and qualities are important to you? What attributes do you want to avoid?
    • —Don't expect a carbon copy of your last relationship, but do consider what was good and what didn't work.
  • You can take your time.
    • —Don't rush the process. You're not likely to fall in love at first sight with the first person you meet. (It could happen, but it's not likely.)
    • —You might not be the right person immediately, either. If you experience setbacks or even rejection, chalk it up to experience and hang on to hope. You're never alone when you have the Lord.

"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." (Deuteronomy 31:8)

Introducing Dates to Children

Question: "I've been a single parent for over a year now and I'm ready to start dating. When should I introduce a date to my kids?"

Answer: Much depends on the ages and stages of your children and your situation. Have your children had time to process grief over the end of your marriage or the death of your spouse? Although you might be ready to date, give careful consideration about the delicate balance involving when it will be appropriate to introduce a date to your children. Some questions to consider:

  • How far has the dating relationship progressed? If you introduce your kids to a date too soon and it doesn't work out, they could be easily confused about another "loss" in their life. If you wait too long, you might become too emotionally invested only to discover your date doesn't like your kids or vice versa.
  • Depending on your relationship with your children, you will know how and when to involve them in the dating process—when you're getting serious. If you're looking at a future with this person, that future will include your children.

"Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth" (1 John 3:18).

Biblical Counseling Keys: Dating: Secrets to Great Relating When Dating.

---------------------------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

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Been There, Done That, & Doing it Again? – The Counsel of Many – Purity 524


Been There, Done That, & Doing it Again? – The Counsel of Many – Purity 524                                           

Purity 524 09/15/2021  Purity 524 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of a multicolored sunset in East Kentucky comes to us from a friend who has their eyes on the sky and who enjoys sharing the beauty of God’s creation with their friends. Sometimes the scenes inspire them to compose some original poetry to express the truths of what our eyes can see, and our hearts can feel in a simple but artistic way.  While the photos can delight us and the poems can impress us, there is something about pairing them that gives the two a greater meaning and profundity then either element could express in and of themselves.  

It’s Wednesday, and while this photo doesn’t have the normal “hump” of a hill or a mountain peak, the sunset is somewhat centered in a valley, and I think it meets the criteria for representing a midpoint for our week. Sometimes in life it’s not all “ups and downs”, sometimes it’s “downs and ups” as we ascend out of the pit of a difficult situation to a better place.  

Last night I met with a group of friends whose commonality is the “downs and ups” of going through the process of divorce.  We hadn’t seen one another in weeks so we spent the evening updating one another with what was happening in our lives and giving one another support.  Some of us are still in the midst of the process of coming to an end of divorce proceedings, some are “done” but not finished with processing the emotional and situational fallout of their marriage’s end, and the rest are more on the side of forging a new beginning but still face the challenges of going solo and/or finding a new love.   The whole process of the group coming together to hear one another and to offer insights, care, and advice reminded me of:

Proverbs 11:14 (NKJV) which says,
14  Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.

 

I wish I say could that all of us, present company included, were moving forward in our lives by making wise choices and not being influenced by reactive emotions and patterns of the past but this is real life. 

As people shared their updates, more than one testified that they may be making mistakes that they have made before and that they could recognize them but somehow seemed to be repeating familiar missteps of the past because of their emotional vulnerability or lack of focus, commitment, or wisdom.  Some are hoping for situations to change that are beyond their control and are holding on to the hope that things will somehow resolve themselves.  Other are holding on to bitterness, anger, or unforgiveness over things that are lost, ranging from the profound to the material.

While we couldn’t resolve everyone’s problems or institute some quick fixes, we all felt positive about getting together because we were able to confess how we were really feeling and were able to receive counsel from people who had been through similar experiences and who could see our blind spots for what they were.  

I think the thing that makes are group special is not only the transparency and the mutual support but is the fact that we are Christians, and we use the counsel and wisdom that is drawn from the word of God to encourage one another.  

We have all found comfort and strength from God because of our faith and from knowing that we have a living relationship with the Lord and have resolved, in varying degrees, to follow His ways for our lives. 

When we let go of trying to control our situations or stop holding onto things and decide to give them to God, we discover that we can have a measure of peace even in the darkest hours of our suffering.  When we start to live our lives by His ways we are assured that we are doing the right things for the right reasons and can start to heal and see things improve,  

Sometimes we need a little help from our friends.  Sometimes God will use them to show us the way we should go. Sometimes the Lord can use them to give us comfort and to just hear us in our pain. Sometimes he will use them to show us that we are not alone.  

Our Christian friends know the Lord. They know His wisdom and they know His love. We can be the picture of suffering and they can be the poetry of God’s word. By ourselves, we each have a measure of beauty, but when we come together we can reflect the glory of God and the wonders of His love.    

We may have “been there and done that” and our experience can help others who are doing it too. So keep walking and talking with God. Speak the truth of His hope, wisdom, and love to your friends and to everyone you meet along the way for the pain of our past can be used to help to see someone  through their darkest hour or to prevent someone from making the mistakes we have overcome.  

 

Today’s meditation verse is drawn from” from the Dr. Charles Stanley’s In Touch Ministries provided resource:  “Freedom: Our Life in Christ” Memory Verse Cards set: 

This morning’s meditation verse is:

2 Corinthians 4:7 (NASB)
7  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;

Today’s verse tells speaks of the treasure of the gospel and the source of our victory.       

The context of this passage speaks of the power of the gospel, but it begins in chapter 3 of where it speaks of the fact that the Lord is Spirit and where the Spirit is, there is liberty.   The power of the gospel is the power to save.  The treasure of the gospel is the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.  

So whenever you read scripture, be sure to read more that just a verse or two. Look and see what comes before and after all those “there fore’s” and get an idea of all that is being said. The Bible is the rich wisdom of the Lord and may require more than a quick glance.   

In this passage if you didn’t look back you may think that the “treasure” in our “earthen vessel” is just the message that Jesus Christ came to die for our sins and to reconcile us to God.   We all know that is a supernatural truth that is invaluable to recognize and hold, like a treasure, but the context of the passage includes more than just preaching Jesus Christ crucified.

The surrounding passages speak about freedom from past sins and the fact that the reception of the good news is God dependent. He gave us this treasure and only He will pass it along to others through us.  Thus the “surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves”.  

God saves us. God gives us the power to endure and to overcome our former sins. And God will use us to speak as the verses that follow today’s verse (4:13) make clear. 

When we receive the Holy Spirit by placing our faith in Jesus Christ, He compels us to change and the more we align ourselves with God’s will for our lives the more we will experience the fruit of the Spirit. And when we feel the peace, joy, love, and goodness that comes from the Lord we will be compelled to share the treasure of the gospel with others.  

So hold on to your treasure but use it to be conformed to the image of Christ.  When you start drawing from the treasure you possess, you discover that it transforms you and somehow no matter how much of it you use, the treasure is never spent!  The power of God in us is infinite and when we can use it on ourselves liberally, but we can also speak the gospel and share our treasure with others.

 

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:

III. Causes

In the world of fencing, Boris develops a bad reputation.

It's 1976 and the Olympic games are underway in Montreal, Canada. The pentathletes for the Soviet Union are gripping their swords, or epees, in anticipation of another competitive event. Following the equestrian events they're in fourth place and have some catching up to do, but they remain confident because of their then star athlete—Boris Onishchenko—a multiple medal winner from previous Olympics.

He is 38 years old and is determined to earn at least one more medal, but Boris crosses boundaries that sideline him . . . for good.

Scripture imparts the truth about sin. . . .

" . . . you may be sure that your sin will find you out."

(Numbers 32:23)

A. What Experiences Help Us Learn Boundaries?

Fencing, swimming, running, shooting, riding horses . . . Boris Onishchenko has learned all about boundaries from his experiences as an accomplished pentathlete.

At the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, he helps win a silver medal for his team and then four years later in Munich, he helps them land a gold, while he himself gains an individual silver. In 1971 Boris is dubbed world champion pentathlete before being overshadowed by a rival who secures the title the following three years.

Boris has played by the rules and respected boundaries, but a fencing tournament reveals foolishness.

The Bible wisely communicates...

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction."

(Proverbs 1:7)

Boundaries are an indispensable aspect of life, such an intrinsic part of living that they often exist unnoticed. Physical boundaries say: "My property is mine" or "My body is mine and your body is yours," while internal boundaries say: "I am me and you are you." "This is my responsibility, and there is yours." Since we learn boundaries through experience, their number increases over time as we pass through various developmental stages and encounter more and more learning situations. Since our lives are normally initially governed by our parents, they are the major molders and shapers of the boundaries we develop in childhood and then practice into adulthood . . . and throughout our entire lives. These boundaries can be strong and beneficial, or they can be poor, ineffective, and even harmful boundaries.

Regardless of boundaries learned from parents, we have a perfect Parent in our heavenly Father. He can "reframe" our past experiences and "retrain" us through our present and future experiences. As we surrender to our Lord and allow His Spirit to guide us, we can learn to construct positive boundaries. . . . We have only to yield to His rightful place of authority in our lives and give ourselves wholly to Him as those who have been born into His family and possess His Spirit. . . .

"Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."

(Psalm 25:5)

  • We learn boundaries from parents who model boundaries by the way they interact with us, with each other, and with those around them.
  • We learn boundaries as we learn more about God—His character, His attributes, and His expectations of us . . . and especially His ways of dealing with those who choose to sin.
  • We learn boundaries in the relationships we have with family, friends, and others in our life; however, the most significant relationship is the personal relationship we develop with Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
  • We learn boundaries as we are corrected, taught, and disciplined in love by the authority figures around us.
  • We learn boundaries as we begin to understand the connection between receiving rewards for doing right and experiencing repercussions for doing wrong.
  • We learn boundaries from making mistakes, from trying and failing, and from suffering natural consequences.
  • We learn boundaries from listening and gaining wisdom from others, from observing the lives of others, and imitating what seems to work for them.

The apostle Paul said...

"Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do."

(Philippians 3:17)

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

Friday, September 10, 2021

It’s Good to be Here! – The Joys of Fellowship & Community – Purity 520

It’s Good to be Here! – The Joys of Fellowship & Community  – Purity 520                                                        

Purity 520 09/10/2021   Purity 520 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of a late afternoon view of Hampton Manor Lake from the shores of Lake Shore Drive in Rensselaer NY comes from yours truly as I felt moved to capture the view and the peace of the moment as I was enjoying dinner with my friend and his young sons on Labor Day.  I had spent Labor Day at home relaxing and finishing a book I was reading and didn’t have any plans when my friend reached out late in the afternoon with a dinner invitation and while the introverted part of me wanted to remain sedentary I decided that dinner with a friend would be a great way to celebrate Labor Day and to transform the day from a lazy Monday into an actual holiday!  You know what I mean?

“Hey MT, what you do on Labor Day?”

“Nothing, I just stayed home and read a book”. 

“Oh great… good for you… loser.” 

No, Instead I get to testify to the fact that I actually have friends that enjoy my company! “Oh I went to my friends house and had dinner and played with his sons. I even helped to  build his sons these little toys that came with their snacks. My friend and I talked about our lives, and we encouraged and prayed for one another. It was great.”

By accepting my friend’s kind invitation not only do I have a nice memory of what I did on Labor Day of 2021 I can also testify about the goodness of life, friends, having kids, and how our Christian faith can enhance that experience and make it more meaningful because we were meeting in the context of, and being conscious of, God: by saying grace over the meal, asking the boys about what they were thankful for that day, sharing the news of each other’s lives, and ending by praying for each other’s concerns and well being.  The joy of fellowshipping with friends is raised when we bring the Lord into our gatherings.

As Christians, everything we do can turn into a testimony. Even me sitting at home could be an opportunity to share the hope we have in Christ, provided I am living a surrendered life that includes God somewhere in my day.  “Yeah, I just relaxed at home and read this Christian book that taught about….X, or I read in the Bible about X, or I just thanked God for the day off and recharged my batteries.”  When we are abiding with the Lord even the “nothing” days of our lives can reflect the peace that we have from knowing and living with Him.     

I have discovered the joys of the freedom I have in Christ and can experience that alone or in fellowship with friends.  The joys of the path of Christian Discipleship that I walk has led me to try to share them with as many people as possible so last night I facilitated the first lesson of the Freedom in Christ Discipleship Class at Rock Solid Church in Hudson NY. And despite some initial set up panic, okay a complete freak out,  the class went off wonderfully. I got a sense that the material presented encouraged everyone and that we have established a community of hope that will prayerfully endure through the course’s completion, the week before Thanksgiving.   The video presentations went off without any technical difficulties and the discussions where simple but reinforced what was being taught and the faith that resides in each one of us.  

Maybe this is blowing things out of proportion but when Christians can get together and they are in agreement about their faith, and are encouraging each other in their faith walk, it’s a hopeful, somewhat transcendent, experience because we are encouraged individually but at same time are actively sharing the love of God by affirming and encouraging those gathered with us. 

It’s the joy of community and it reminds me of Peter’s comments from basking in the wonder of the supernatural glory on the Mount of Transfiguration where Christ’s deity was revealed and Moses and Elijah showed up!

Luke 9:33 (NKJV)
33  … Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah"--not knowing what he said.    

Yeah, Peter didn’t know what he was saying because of the joy of the moment with  Jesus, Moses, and Elijah! He didn’t want the experience of this holy community to end, essentially saying: “Hey Jesus, Let’s put some tents up and keep this party going!”  

And the enthusiasm of the parting remarks from the students last night gave me the feeling that they too shared my feelings that “it was good to be here”. That we had found a “safe place” where we could be “Real Christians” where we can enjoy our faith without fear of reproach and can encourage one another in the weeks ahead to confidently “walk the walk” as well as “talk the talk” of our faith by applying the truth of God’s word to our hearts and minds in the joy of fellowship and community.


Today’s verse is drawn from” from the Dr. Charles Stanley’s In Touch Ministries provided resource:  “Freedom: Our Life in Christ” Memory Verse Cards set: 

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Romans 8:15 (NKJV)
15  For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." 

Today’s verse assures us of our adoption into God’s royal family and reminds us that our identity in Christ should cast out fear.  

Okay, I have the utmost respect for God the Father and I am not one to refer to Him as “Daddy God” but if you’ve ever wondered where that phrase comes from it is drawn from some pastors’ teaching about the word “Abba” in this verse. They rightfully state that young children use this verse to refer to their fathers and it signifies a level intimacy and affection. Thus they liken Abba to the endearing moniker, Daddy.  And that’s okay, God is our Heavenly Father, and we are to pursue and enjoy a deep, intimate, and loving relationship with Him. 

In comparing the Lord’s wisdom and power with our limited facilities, it isn’t a stretch to consider ourselves as infantile compared to Him and may think that using “Daddy God” is good way to humble ourselves and to foster that love for our “Daddy” in Heaven. 

So, what’s wrong with you MT, Tell your Daddy you love Him? What are you too macho? Tell Daddy God you love Him!”   

You know, I really wondered about that! Am I too hard hearted to go there? But for me…something about Daddy God just seemed…. well childish… or disrespectful or less than reverent.  Some how I had trouble envisioning coming boldly to the throne of God and saying “Thank You for saving me, Daddy God.”  It’s less than majestic.   Knowing something about God’s majesty, justice, wrath, holiness, sovereignty, wisdom, power, and love, I have never felt right about using that childish phrase to refer to God.  

But I never bothered to research the consensus on the word “ABBA” and this Daddy interpretation.  As a Bible college graduate, I should have looked into this sooner because just a small amount of research that I did this morning puts a pin in the “inflated” Daddy God balloon:

I’m sharing an article by Logos’s Karen Engle today that puts ABBA in its proper place. (https://blog.logos.com/what-does-abba-really-mean/).   Engle quotes several sources that state that the unbalanced sentimental view that “Daddy God” can elicit takes away from His other attributes, particularly His holiness and majesty.   

So let that be a lesson to all of us. If we hear a syrupy sweet message about God being preached and certain interpretations are made regarding the scriptures, it is our responsibility to check the scriptures and those interpretations for ourselves by “rightly dividing the word of God” and checking the accuracy of what is being said.     

Sorry about the Daddy God soap box, but I want to know God for all He is and worship Him in spirit and in truth.

We are God’s children and He wants us to know Him truthfully.  And when we know just how awesome, powerful, loving, holy, and majestic He really is we can rest in that knowledge and overcome any fears we have regarding life or death on this earth.  

Our heavenly Father, though our faith in Jesus Christ, has given us eternal life.  We are established as His adopted Children and Co-heirs with Christ. Nothing can separate us from His love.

Instead of having some childish view of some sweet Daddy God, I would rather know the Father of all creation that who encompasses all that is good, loving, and holy.  It is in an accurate view of God where we can stand strong in our faith and move forward in our growth.  So instead of “toddling around” with sweet sentiments of lying at our heavenly Father’s feet, let’s rise up and answer His upward call to walk into maturity and the good works that He has prepared for us to fulfill our purpose.   

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:

B. What Indications Help Identify Broken Boundaries?

Tonya Harding's ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, pleads guilty to racketeering for helping plan the attack on Nancy Kerrigan and her bodyguard. Shawn Eckardt, along with Shane Stant and Derrick Smith, are charged with conspiracy.

Gillooly and Eckardt plan the attack, Stant executes it, and Smith drives the getaway car. Tonya pleads guilty to hindering the investigation following the assault and suffers a slew of penalties. Harsh repercussions . . . follow broken boundaries. . . .

  • Withdrawal from participation in the world skating championships
  • The surrendering of her U.S. Figure Skating Association membership
  • Three years' probation
  • A $100,000 fine
  • The establishment of a $50,000 fund to benefit Special Olympics
  • The reimbursement of $10,000 for judiciary costs
  • 500 hours of community service
  • A mandatory psychiatric examination with court-prescribed treatment.

Scripture clearly indicates that there always will be consequences for sin. . . .

"Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life."

(Galatians 6:7-8)

Just as Olympic and professional athletes are screened for possible rule violations prior to being cleared to compete in a sporting event, you, too, need to screen yourself for boundary violations if you want to be a viable contender in the arena of relationships . . . in the game of life.

Having broken boundaries or no boundaries at all will put you at a disqualifying disadvantage if you have any hope of standing in the winner's circle. By establishing and maintaining boundaries that nurture, guard, and protect your own heart and the hearts of those you cherish, you can prosper in this quest for success. Only, remember to get wisdom and gain understanding in the process. . . .

"The one who gets wisdom loves life; the one who cherishes understanding will soon prosper."

(Proverbs 19:8)

As you seek to identify broken boundaries in your life, answer the following questions. . . .

Checklist for Broken Boundaries

  • □ Do you have difficulty making decisions and sticking with them when opposed?
  • □ Do you feel that you must seek opinions of others before acting on a decision?
  • □ Do you feel hesitant to give your opinion when asked?
  • □ Do you fear expressing what you really feel?
  • □ Do you lack confidence in your own convictions?
  • □ Do you avoid certain people because you fear embarrassment?
  • □ Do you have difficulty maintaining eye contact with others?
  • □ Do you have difficulty asking others for help?
  • □ Do you fear losing the love and affection of others?
  • □ Do you perform favors for others even when you know you shouldn't?
  • □ Do you avoid asking people to return overdue items they have borrowed?
  • □ Do you have difficulty receiving sincere compliments from others?
  • □ Do you keep an unwanted item you purchased because you fear returning it?
  • □ Do you need a great deal of assurance from others?
  • □ Do you do more than your share of work on a project?
  • □ Do you allow others to be untruthful in your presence without stating the truth?
  • □ Do you have difficulty pointing out situations that are unfair?
  • □ Do you ever say yes when you want to say no?
  • □ Do you think you have to answer the phone every time it rings?
  • □ Do you listen to a telemarketer even when you want to say, "No, thank you"?
  • □ Do you feel compelled to send money when receiving solicitations in the mail?
  • □ Do you feel guilty when you say no to someone who is asking for your time?
  • □ Do you sometimes accept the blame for mistakes that aren't yours?
  • □ Do you feel guilty when someone suffers a repercussion for having broken a boundary you have set?

If you have struggled with broken boundaries, you may also struggle with being afraid of disappointing others . . . afraid of receiving criticism from others . . . afraid of losing the love of others. The Lord does not want you to live in a state of fear . . . which is why so many people have been helped when they personally focus on the heart of the following Scripture.

Read these verses out loud every day for one month and watch how God will strengthen your relationship with Him so that you will know that He is your strength . . . He is your confidence . . . He is your security. . . .

"The Lord is my light and my salvationwhom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my lifeof whom shall I be afraid? . . . Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident."

(Psalm 27:1, 3)

Triangulation

QUESTION: "What exactly is 'triangulation,' and how is it related to boundaries?"

ANSWER: Boundary triangulation occurs when an individual fails to speak the truth in love to a boundary violator and fails to enforce a repercussion. Instead, the person elicits the help of an uninvolved third-party ally who is anything but objective.

Such an impossible situation generally creates a whole new set of issues. Rather than having only one offender and one offended, everyone ends up offending and being offended, and a complicated mess ensues.

In triangulation, rather than the offended party rightfully taking responsibility for working out a personal problem in a proper and concise way with an offender, the individual seeks support and refuge in a sympathetic third party.

Thus triangulation is rooted in being afraid to confront and creates problems rather than peace. This clearly violates the teaching of Jesus. . . .

"If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you." (Matthew 18:15)


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