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Showing posts with label Deeper Walk. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Deeper Walk. Show all posts

Friday, December 8, 2023

Learning and Loving in Failure - Purity 1217


 Learning and Loving in Failure - Purity 1217

Purity 1217 12/07/2023 Purity 1217 Podcast

Purity 1217 on YouTube:



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a pink and purple sunrise sky over the lands near my countryside home in Easton NY comes to us from TammyLyn Clark as my beloved wife captured this scene and shared it on social media, yesterday morning.  

Well, It is Friday, and I can’t wait for the workday to be done so I can be back with TammyLyn at our countryside home once again. There is nothing like being in the company of those you love and last night I had a bittersweet moment as I said goodbye to my friends from Deeper Walk’s School of Prayer Ministry as our classes came to an end.  It was really bittersweet in more ways than one as I will miss seeing them each week and as I had the unenviable position of wishing them congratulations on their successful certification while I have additional work to do to make the grade.  I meet with the school’s leadership on Tuesday to receive the development plan that I will have to follow to receive certification, but last night was all about celebrating what we have learned at the school and about one another.  

Yesterday morning I reached out to my classmates in a group email to give them the news that I didn’t get certified because I wanted them to know, because it didn’t feel right to hide it – going into our “graduation celebration”.  I didn’t want to go into our last meeting and “put on a happy face” with the secret of my failure between us.  I felt I had come too close to my classmates over the last 9 months to not tell them the truth even if it was painful or personally embarrassing.  

I also wanted to reach out to share the news of my “delay in certification”, that feels like rejection, or failure, for those few who also didn’t make it. In setting up my meeting for next week, my instructor indicated that I wasn’t the only one who didn’t get certified, so I shared my bad news in the email also as an attempt to offer comfort and encouragement to whoever else didn’t get their certificate. Based on last night’s meeting though it appeared to me that most of my classmates did pass, as the group was asked by a show of hands “who has received their certificate in the mail already?”  I was shocked to see what appeared to be a sea of hands raise up and enthusiastically wave their indication that , yes, they had received their “golden tickets”, making me feel all the more foolish for offering my support to the “others” which may indeed only been one other who I didn’t see wave their hand.  I’ll have to go to the videotape to get a head count of those who didn’t make it to be sure but in considering the idea of “others who didn’t make it” , I had speculated over who “they” may be and I have to be honest in admitting that I was a little shocked, jealous, but pleased to see that some of the people I thought may have to do more work, were joyously indicating their success.  

OOF, misery loves company and I guess a part of me wanted to have my failure validated as “common” with more of my classmates NOT making it.  But they did! And I’m glad they did. While it makes my failure all the more embarrassing and rarer, I am genuinely happy that the people I consider to be my friends didn’t have to go through what I went and am yet to go through.   When you love somebody you want them to prosper and can take joy in their success even when you can’t share in it personally.   

And honestly, that’s what I did last night. Because I had revealed my undisclosed failure, I was able to go into our last meeting with no bitterness or fear and was able to really enjoy our farewell proceedings and honestly congratulate and thank everyone for being a part of my life journey over the last nine months.  The people I have met through the Deeper Walk School of Prayer Ministry are dear to me and I was blessed to discover that they appreciated me too.  

Before the meeting, my email disclosing my failure was responded to by a few who graciously offered their support and kind words of encouragement.  Last night during the meeting, I received private chats messages from others thanking me for my contributions to the group and offering their love and support.  And most shocking of all, one of my fellow students went out of their way to say kind words about me in front of everyone during the Zoom meeting and the instructor of the class, who didn’t certify me – mind you – shared some very encouraging words about me too.   

So even though I didn’t make the grade and have more work to do if I want to receive my “golden ticket” of certification, I felt that my time in the school was well spent as I have learned a lot – far more than the lesson material – and feel that being humbled in this way was perhaps the best thing to help me grow, more than if I had just “passed with flying colors”.   I had idolized the people at Deeper Walk and was somewhat prideful about getting that certification and I think it was fitting to receive this humble pie, to show me that everything I have received has come from God and I shouldn’t idolize or put pride in anything other than Him.

This chapter and over and to be continued and even though it was a shock a disappointment, I will always think of my time at the Deeper Walk School of Prayer Ministry and the people I was able to meet there as a significant part of my Joyful journey through life and my getting even closer to God.  

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick Google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verse come from the section on Church Discipline.

Romans 15:14 (NIV2011)
14  I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another.

Today’s verse is the first of two verses that fall under the first point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Church Discipline

1.    Discipline begins with personal admonition.

Today’s verse encourages those in the body of Christ that we are more than capable to instruct one another when we are full of the goodness and knowledge that comes from knowing the Lord.    God’s ways are higher than our ways and when we come to faith we need faithful men and women who have walked with the Lord to show us how to live as Christians.  

I benefited from Deeper Walk’s School of Prayer Ministry, but before that I have had the privilege of being educated and ministered to by a whole cloud of witnesses in the body of Christ – my Bible College program, Master’s program in Christian Counseling, Training with Freedom In Christ Ministries, my personal Mentorship by Pastor Bob Costello, and countless Christian podcast, articles, and books have instructed me in the goodness and knowledge of what it means to be a Christian and to be free in Christ. And while none of the people I have encountered along the way were perfect – their desire to show and share the love and wisdom of the Lord came from a heart filled with God’s perfect love.   

While our resource rightly calls it “discipline” because we need to be diligent in applying God’s ways to our lives, learning the Christian way of life should always include the fruit of the Spirit of patience, goodness, faithfulness, and love. Yes we need to know a lot, but our following Jesus will also cause us to love a lot if we are being truly instructed in His goodness and knowledge.  

So seek knowledge and wisdom but be sure to apply it to your heart to really know the Lord.

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As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we are sharing from “God is in the Manger- Reflections on Advent and Christmas” – By Dietrich Bonhoeffer.   

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for less than $10 at many sites.

God is in the Manger – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

ADVENT WEEK TWO -  MYSTERY

DAY SIX

The Mysteries of God

No priest, no theologian stood at the manger of Bethlehem. And yet all Christian theology has its origin in the wonder of all wonders: that God became human. Holy theology arises from knees bent before the mystery of the divine child in the stable. Without the holy night, there is no theology. “God is revealed in flesh,” the God-human Jesus Christ—that is the holy mystery that theology came into being to protect and preserve. How we fail to understand when we think that the task of theology is to solve the mystery of God, to drag it down to the flat, ordinary wisdom of human experience and reason! Its sole office is to preserve the miracle as miracle, to comprehend, defend, and glorify God’s mystery precisely as mystery. This and nothing else, therefore, is what the early church meant when, with never flagging zeal, it dealt with the mystery of the Trinity and the person of Jesus Christ.… If Christmas time cannot ignite within us again something like a love for holy theology, so that we—captured and compelled by the wonder of the manger of the Son of God—must reverently reflect on the mysteries of God, then it must be that the glow of the divine mysteries has also been extinguished in our heart and has died out.

Wonder is the only adequate launching pad for exploring this fullness, this wholeness, of human life. Once a year, each Christmas, for a few days at least, we and millions of our neighbors turn aside from our preoccupations with life reduced to biology or economics or psychology and join together in a community of wonder. The wonder keeps us open-eyed, expectant, alive to life that is always more than we can account for, that always exceeds our calculations, that is always beyond anything we can make.

Eugene Peterson

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Luke 2:15–20[1]

 

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

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" 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. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

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

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship



[1] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas, ed. Jana Riess, trans. O. C. Dean Jr., First edition. (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2010), 28–29.

Monday, November 13, 2023

What are You Trying to Prove? - More than Our Accomplishments- Purity 1197

What are You Trying to Prove? - More than Our Accomplishments - Purity 1197

Purity 1197 11/13/2023 

Purity 1197 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a pink sunrise sky on the horizon nestled between two trees over red barns comes to us from yours truly as I captured those early morning rays of sunrise during a walk down Waite Road yesterday. 

Well, It’s Monday and all I can say is “what a difference a day makes” and if one day can make a difference two can really change things.  On Saturday I reported receiving the disappointing news that my certification as a Deeper Walk Prayer Minister was not going to be happening in the time frame I expected. Our cohort classes end in early December, but I was told that I needed additional skills and training to make the grade apparently which was totally unexpected news and was quite a traumatic blow to my ego. On Saturday, I stated I would do whatever I had to do to get that certification but due to my busy schedule in 2024, I don’t really have the time to pursue it with the white hot passion and determination I felt when I first heard I was being denied.  I have other obligations and responsibilities and will wait and see what plan I have to follow to be certified and will see how it goes.  

As you may know, I am not in full-time ministry. I have a full-time job with a telecommunications company and do ministry as a recovery/discipleship growth group leader on Wednesday nights at my local church. I am also a Community Freedom Ministry Associate and Online Discipleship Course Facilitator for Freedom in Christ Ministries. In 2024, I will be leading another Freedom in Christ Course for Men on Monday nights. On top of that, I also enrolled in Freedom In Christ Ministries’ “Advanced Encourager Training” for CFMA’s which will start in January of 2024 on Thursday nights.  

I also am married with two households and spend my weekends in the “real Upstate NY” at my wife’s place in Easton and Sundays are spent with an early morning Bible Study podcast and Sunday services at Starpoint Church. 

So 2024 will be pretty jam-packed as I will be doing ministry or ministry training 3 of 5 nights of the work week, and the weekends are spent with my wife.  There is not a lot of extra time to pursue the additional training and “relational skill building” that I was told that I will need to be certified.  

When I first pondered all devastating news and my busy schedule in 2024, I really felt at a complete loss at what to do. But then my wife and I took a hike on Saturday after participating in a food drive from Operation Adopt a Soldier.  TammyLyn and I took a short hike on the Spring Overlook Trailhead at Moreau Lake State Park on Saturday and somewhere between going up to the Overlook and coming back to our car, I had a revelation that gave me great peace.

In the quiet stillness and in the loving company of my wife, I felt that I didn’t lack anything.  I was complete in Christ, and I have a loving Christian wife to walk through life with. I know who I am in Christ and walk in the Spirit, so I have peace, joy, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, patience, and self-control and I realized that I didn’t “need” the Deeper Walk Certification. I don’t need man’s approval. Whether I decide to seek to become certified as an “official Deeper Walk Prayer Minister” or not, I am still accepted, secure, and significant in Christ.  

And when I considered why I couldn’t doggedly pursue meeting the certification requirements – the fact that I will be fully involved with Ministry, Ministry training, and living a Christian life with God at the center of my marriage – I asked myself – “What am I trying to prove? That I’m a Christian? That I can pray? That I can minister to someone?”  I’ve been doing that for years…. What is this “credential” going to prove? Other than being listed on a PDF as one of many on a growing list of  “Prayer Ministers Certified by Deeper Walk* on Deeper Walk International’s website, what exactly was I trying to accomplish?  

Yes, I wanted to receive training and education from Deeper Walk’s material, and I have received it.  What may be hard to believe, considering that I won’t be certified when I “graduate”, or when my “cohort” ends, is that I have not only completed all the assignments and practicums that we have been required to do but I passed them all with high marks. Quite frankly, a great deal of the work I have done has received full credit as in “100%” or A’s.  So my grades prove I learned something. I did earn those A’s. I read the books, reviewed the video teachings, completed the projects, and received passing grades on all the assignments. Through this latest project, I also learned the skill to lead someone through prayer ministry and feel very confident that I would be able to adequately document client cases if I should one day become a Christian life coach.

So I feel like I really did learn, grow, and gain new skills. So whether or not I receive the “certification”, I did accomplish something and I am proud of the work I did.  And as much as it is my deep desire to be recognized and “certified” somewhere along that Saturday hike, I realized I didn’t “need it” and would survive without it.  Although I am not abandoning the possibility of pursuing certification, somewhere along that hike, I let it go and we will see how that plays out, or doesn’t play out, somewhere else “down the trail”.  

I got places to go, people to see, and the Lord to follow. I’m never really sure where we are going to end up but when I keep walking and talking with God I find that I can overcome or walk through anything and that I can do it with the peace and joy that comes from knowing, as Paul wrote in

Romans 8:31 (NKJV)
31  What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Hmm… What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 

Well, it turns out the whole world can be against you, It can reject you and deny you the things that you think you deserve. The things you work hard for can be taken away in an instant. 

But ultimately, regardless of what you “accomplish” in life, everything goes. But God stays. And those who stand with Him live regardless of what befalls them.

Just like in the Farmer in the Dell, where the cheese stands alone, after all the ring around the Rosie of this mayhem called life – the only one who stands will be those who stand with Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Farmer_in_the_Dell) .  

So, I say: “HI HO – the derry-o” – no matter what setbacks, disappointments, rejections, heartbreaking losses, twists and turns, I will go through in life, I will stand, and I will follow Jesus Christ and go wherever the Holy Spirit leads me. And come what may, if I have to, I will stand alone.  

But with Christ as Your Lord and Savior, God as your Father, and the Holy Spirit as your Comforter, Companion, and Guide – we don’t have to stand alone and we can find peace and joy, oh yes joy when we keep on walking and talking with Him, the One True God in who exists eternally in Three Wonderful Persons.

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick Google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verses come from the section on Church, Communion of the Saints.

Romans 12:4-8 (NLT2)
4  Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function,
5  so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.
6  In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you.
7  If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well.
8  If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

Today’s verses fall under the second point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Church, Communion of the Saints.

 2. The church is one body with many functions; each member has a purpose.

Today’s verses remind us that we all have a part to play in the body of Christ and that we are each given specific gifts and purposes in the kingdom of God.

I think Paul’s text says it all here guys – we belong to each other in the body of Christ, and we all have special gifts to use to give God glory. So seek the Lord and use the gifts you have received to give Him glory.

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As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we are sharing from A. W. Pink’s – The Arthur Pink Anthology  - a collection of A.W. Pink’s tracts brought together in one book and dispersed here on the blog for your encouragement.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for free as a PDF at many sites, but printed copies of collections of A.W. Pink’s books are available for purchase wherever Christian books are sold. 

The Arthur Pink Anthology – 6

Christian Fools – Part 1 of 8

“Then He said unto them, O fools and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.”

(Luke 24:25)

Those of you who read the religious announcements in the newspapers of yesterday would see the subject for my sermon this evening is “Christian Fools.” Possibly some of you thought there was a printer’s error and that what I really meant to announce was “Professing Christian fools.” The paper gave it quite correctly. My subject tonight is “Christian Fools.” Probably some of you think that this is a most unsuitable title for a servant of God to give to his sermon, and yet I make no apology whatever for it. It fits exactly my subject for tonight: it expresses accurately what I am going to speak about: and—what is far more to the point—it epitomizes our text: “Then He said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.”

Those words were spoken by Christ on the day of His resurrection: spoken not to worldlings but to Christians. That which occasioned them was this. The disciples to whom He was speaking were lopsided in their theology: they believed a certain part of God’s truth and they refused to believe another part of the truth that did not suit them; they believed some Scriptures but they did not believe all that the prophets had spoken, and the reason they did not was because they were unable to harmonize the two different parts of God’s truth. They were like some people today: when it comes to their theology; they walk by reason and by logic rather than by faith.

In the Old Testament there were many prophecies concerning the coming Messiah that spoke of His glory. If there was one thing the Old Testament prediction made plain, it was that the Messiah of Israel should be glorious. It spoke of His power, His honor, His majesty, His dominion, His triumphs. But on the other hand, there were many prophecies in the Old Testament that spoke of a suffering Messiah, that portrayed His humiliation, His degradation, His rejection, His death at the hands of wicked men. And these disciples of Christ believed the former set of prophecies, but they would not believe in the second: they could not see how it was possible to harmonize the two. If the coming Messiah was to be a glorious Messiah, possessing power and majesty and dominion: if He would be triumphant, then how could He, at the same time, be a suffering Messiah, despised, humiliated, rejected of men? And because the disciples could not fit the two together, because they were unable to harmonize them, they refused to believe both, and Christ told them to their faces that they were fools. He says, “O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.”

I suppose some of us have wondered how it was possible for these disciples, these followers of Christ, who had been privileged to be with Him during His public ministry and those who had been so intimate with Him, had been instructed by Him, had witnessed His wonderful miracles; how it was possible for such men to err so grievously and to act so foolishly. And yet we need not be surprised; the same thing is happening all around us today. Christendom tonight is full of men and women who believe portions of God’s truth, but who do not believe all that the prophets have spoken. In other words, my friends, Christendom tonight is full of men and women that the Son of God says are “fools” because of their slowness of heart to believe.[1]

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

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" 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. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

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

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship



[1] Arthur Walkington Pink, The Arthur Pink Anthology (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2005).


Saturday, November 11, 2023

Too Much? When To Shut Up and Take a Break - Purity 1196

 

Too Much? When To Shut Up and Take a Break - Purity 1196

Purity 1196 11/11/2023 Purity 1196 Podcast

Purity 1196 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of the sun setting over a beach where some sit and rest while another walks alone comes to us from Dan Philips who captured this scene while vacationing in Sayulita Mexico and shared it with a “photo dump” of many others on social media on November 5th.  Thanks for sharing, Dan, although I should caution that “dumping 75 plus photos” all at once may have been a bit “too much”.  

Well, it’s Saturday, and while I can handle all the photos you want to share on social media, I caution my friend about his possibly sharing too much, because I recently just happened to receive that message yesterday,  and while I say it facetiously – it may in fact not be a joke – because the message I received delivered a powerful punch of shame, sadness, bewilderment, shock, and some devasting real-life consequences.  

As I have been blogging about in part for most of the last year, I currently am attending Deeper Walk International’s School of Prayer Ministry and have recently been working toward meeting my final requirements for “graduation” and being certified as a “Deeper Walk International Certified Prayer Minister but yesterday I received the devastating news that I would NOT be certified in December as I expected because it has determined by my cohort leader that I lack one of the “relational skills” that is essential for a Deeper Walk certified prayer minister to have.  I require additional time and training in the area of attuning with other’s emotions and recognizing when others may be overwhelmed.”  

My instructor has recommended I take ThriveToday’s course “Building Trust: Attune vs Overwhelm” (https://secure.lglforms.com/form_engine/s/7rF3p2rCo6U8VvidjhujfQ ) and that I seek additional prayer ministry training opportunities with certified DW prayer ministers to grow in my skills and to improve my use of listening prayer methods, like Immanuel Prayer and REAL Prayer. 

While I fully accept my instructor's evaluation and recommendations and will follow whatever course I have to in order to meet the requirements for certification, I have to be honest and tell you that this is a heartbreaking disappointment as I can’t help but see it as yet another failure and rejection in a very long line of failures and rejections that I have experienced in life. 

While I’ve had my fair share of failures and rejections in my life, this one hurts quite a bit because I didn’t see it coming and thought I was not only meeting the requirements for the completion of this program but thought I was excelling at it.

But I guess that’s part of the problem, I didn’t see the signs and I thought everything was fine when they weren’t. And so I am acknowledging and accepting that I need to improve in the area of knowing what “the emotional atmosphere” is like when ministering to others is and when what I am doing and saying has ceased helping and is actually “overwhelming others”. 

The instructor observed in my interactions with my colleagues in the cohort and in the stories I related from my experiences in ministering to others in the past that in my enthusiasm for “helping”, encouraging, and instructing others I could fail to recognize when the people I minister to maybe “overwhelmed” and I didn’t have a good gauge when others might be beyond their capacity to receive. In essence, sometimes, I talk too much and don’t recognize when people have heard enough, or too much, and need a break.  

When faced with awkward silences, I fill them with words instead of recognizing that I should stop.  It turns out that what I thought of as a skill turned out to be a weakness.

In my previous roles as a teacher for recovery and freedom ministry, my duty was to deliver “the message”. In a classroom environment, there will be those who are paying attention and there will be those who are distracted or totally tuned out.  In the classroom setting, while you can engage the students to get their attention from time to time, if you address every student who seems checked out, you run the risk of losing focus and delivering the material you need to deliver.  In my freedom ministry classes that I did in 2021, which I recorded for a podcast, there was increased pressure to stay on message because I wasn’t just teaching to those before me, so I have developed the tendency to “keep talking” – “keep teaching” until I say what I need to say, and while that may or may not have been an admirable quality in the classroom, I suppose I revert to it when I am in conversations that go “quiet”. 

Instead of waiting for the other person to speak or giving them a break, I will keep talking.  

Okay, this is not a conversation but if it were, I would take a long pause to listen, or at least I would like to think I would.

Also, besides trying to encourage and instruct, I also try to be transparent about my life. I have learned to try to be as honest and as forthcoming in presenting myself to others and now I am realizing that I could be guilty of “oversharing”. 

This was pointed out to me by my instructor’s comments regarding a paper I submitted regarding our experience as a “prayer ministry client”, putting ourselves in the shoes of a client for 6 sessions of prayer ministry, where the paper called for 5-8 pages and I, in my enthusiasm, submitted 14 pages, plus a two-page bibliography, and instead of asking for an extension or guidance on the length of my paper – I just submitted – apparently overwhelming my instructor!

I know, way to go M.T.!  Believe me, if I knew then what I know now not only would I have reduced the word count on that paper, but I would have exercised the right to remain silent a lot more in class and in sharing my less than stellar experiences in ministering to others!

I mean think about it, what stories do you share in life.  Do you share the stories where everything went fine and not much happened?  “I lead Bob through the Steps. We finished in 3 hours, and everything went great -  a good resolution without incident”  Or  “I had this one client who was manifesting demons and who took 8 hours doing the steps before we called out to Jesus and the Holy Spirit finally set us both free!”  I know 8 hours? I was learning and was along for the ride as much as leading that freedom appointment. I didn’t push the client through that one, I was holding on and rolling with the punches.  

So yes in my conversations, I tend to get carried away in telling the stories of how God has moved in my life and in the life of others. Because I know how ignorant I was of who I am in Christ and the possibility of a life of freedom in Christ, I tend to “overshare” what I have come to know about living in the Spirit.  

And that enthusiasm, and lack of discernment on my part to recognize that I can “overwhelm” the people I seek to encourage or help, has resulted in the biggest personal failure I have had since my divorce in 2018. 

As much as I can see the truth of the errors of my ways, and acknowledge the need for growth, the pain over the sense of failure and rejection is sharp.  They say shame is the sense that not only have you done something wrong, but you feel that there is something wrong with you and I can’t help but admit that I am experiencing that today and have known it for all too long in my life.   WHAT” S WRONG WITH ME!?!?!

Besides, what you have admitted to thus far, M.T., would you like a list?

No, thanks, I am more than capable of doing that on my own…

But I know that God loves me – even though I talk too much.

I know that God accepts me, even though I might be a “bull in a China shop” of people’s emotions and limited capacities.

And I know that this journey of pain has a happy ending. 

And I know that today is another day.  And I can’t go back and “shut up” and give people a “break” but I can go forward and learn to do so in the future.  

So keep walking and talking with God, you won’t overwhelm Him, but He will probably encourage you to stop and listen when things go wrong and to you feel like a failure and the whole world rejects you. He will invite you into His grace to give you the healing and wisdom and strength to keep going when all seems lost.

I always point to God’s words to Cain when He was depressed over his failed sacrifice. 

Genesis 4:6-7 (NIV2011) says
6  Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?
7  If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? …

So, I’ll cover my broken heart and try to turn my frown upside down and “do what is right”.  I will accept this failure as an opportunity to grow and remember my peace and joy is found in the Lord, not in my accomplishments, and that no matter what the future holds in terms of my desire to be certified by Deeper Walk International, I am secure, I am accepted, I am significant, and thank God, I am loved in Christ alone.

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick Google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verses come from the section on Church, Communion of the Saints.

Ephesians 4:3-6 (NLT2)
3  Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.
4  For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.
5  There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6  and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all.

Today’s verses fall under the first point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Church, Communion of the Saints.

 1. The church is one.

Today’s verses tell us to make every effort to be united in the Spirit, and that we should bind ourselves together with other believers to be assured of the glorious hope for our future with the one true God.  

Yeah, life can stink. But God has overcome the world. So regardless of our losses, let’s walk in the Spirit together and tie ourselves to the enduring hope that transcends the circumstances of our lives.  

The church can be a place of pain as we struggle to edify one another and serve the Lord, but when we keep first things first and let go of our pride, we can have experience the peace that comes from knowing that regardless of our performance or our relationships here on earth, we are safe in God’s kingdom forever.

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As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we are sharing from A. W. Pink’s – The Arthur Pink Anthology  - a collection of A.W. Pink’s tracts brought together in one book and dispersed here on the blog for your encouragement.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for free as a PDF at many sites, but printed copies of collections of A.W. Pink’s books are available for purchase wherever Christian books are sold. 

The Arthur Pink Anthology – 5

Chosen to Salvation

“But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth”

(2 Thessalonians 2:13)

There are three things here which deserve special attention. First, the fact that we are expressly told that God’s elect are “chosen to salvation:” Language could not be more explicit. How summarily do these words dispose of the sophistries and equivocations of all who would make election refer to nothing but external privileges or rank in service! It is to “salvation” itself that God has chosen us. Second, we are warned here that election unto salvation does not disregard the use of appropriate means: salvation is reached through “sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” It is not true that because God has chosen a certain one to salvation that he will be saved willy-nilly, whether he believes or not: nowhere do the Scriptures so represent it. The same God who “chose unto salvation,” decreed that His purpose should be realized through the work of the spirit and belief of the truth. Third, that God has chosen us unto salvation is a profound cause for fervent praise. Note how strongly the apostle express this—“we are bound to give thanks always to God for you. brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation,” etc. Instead of shrinking back in horror from the doctrine of predestination, the believer, when he sees this blessed truth as it is unfolded in the Word, discovers a ground for gratitude and thanksgiving such as nothing else affords, save the unspeakable gift of the Redeemer Himself.[1]

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Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" 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. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

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

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


[1] Arthur Walkington Pink, The Arthur Pink Anthology (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2005).