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Showing posts with label Depression. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Depression. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Take This Cup - 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther – Day 30 - Purity 1303


 Take This Cup - 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther – Day 30 - Purity 1303

Purity 1303 03/19/2024 Purity 1303 Podcast

Purity 1303 on YouTube:



Good morning,

Today’s photo of the sun setting on the shore of the Atlantic comes to us from Bonnie Schultz who shared this scene from near her home in Navarre Florida on social media back on February 25th

Well, It's Tuesday and as the dust has settled on a mental health crisis in home I am praying to God to move all things together for good with my son, Brennan, who is suffering from depression, and thanking the Lord for the systems of authority He had moved man to establish that protect us from ourselves. Early yesterday morning while recording my podcast the state police and county sheriffs came to my home based on a tip they received regarding suicidal statements made from my IP address which caused me to escort Brennan to the local hospital to get a psych evaluation.

I wasn’t aware of Brennan’s suicidal ideation. After a few appointments with a therapist, I thought my son was getting the help he needed, and things were going to improve. But yesterday’s emergency first responder visit made me realize that I had assumed wrongly and really tried to impress upon my son, the need to get the help he needed.  So I delivered him to the hospital with the expectation that he would be admitted and treated for depression. But my son is 22 years old, an adult, and after he was medically cleared, he was discharged into the care of his older sister, Jeanette, who lives with her husband in Troy. 

As much as I question the wisdom of this move, I am hoping that the shock of the hospital visit and the care and support of his sister and his brother-in-law will be the beginning of positive changes for my son’s mental health.  Brennan stopped by yesterday to pick up some things and to let me know he was going to stay with his sister, and I wished him well.  He didn’t talk to me about this before he decided to do it and I can only assume that he is angry with me for taking him and leaving him at the hospital, but I honestly thought that was what he needed, inpatient care.  I don’t take suicidal talk lightly and my work and ministry schedule prevent me from being able to watch him continuously.  And as it is, even when we are home at the same time, my kids and I do our own thing. We give each other privacy and while that’s normally a good thing when there is the possibility of suicide, it’s a recipe for disaster. 

So I am not happy that my son was discharged but I’m glad that he is with his sister and brother-in-law who have a smaller home and who may be able to help him. I have offered my son the solutions I know that work, but he rejected them because my methods are Christian, and he is not walking with the Lord. That’s my personal help, okay – granted – but I also encouraged to go to his doctor to possibly get medication to stabilize and I forced the issue of getting help to the point he actually did see someone at mental health, but now this… and so I am surrendering my son to the Lord and the care of his sister because I know that I can’t fix him and I know that he will have to decide to get help or change the way he thinks and lives to effectively deal with this depression.   So I am letting go and letting God – knowing that I have not been a perfect parent and could have done more – but also knowing that I tried to help my son and now its time to allow him to find his way.

I often teach the men I minister to that we are to be “problem solvers” – doing every thing we can think to do to make positive changes in the situations that surround us – but I temper that with the reality that we may not be able to solve all our problems or that they may take a long time to see any progress, and in those instances we have to trust the Lord to guide things that are beyond our control.  So I have to wait and see and be ready to give whatever help I can and in the meantime I will thank God for all the good that I have in my life that goes beyond this current crisis. 

When we have a trial, if we aren’t careful they can easily become all-consuming – stealing our peace and joy and negatively impacting our lives – but if we keep walking and talking with God and doing what we can and what’s right according to His word, we can have peace even in the midst of troubles and trials.

So I will continue to do my daily spiritual practices that ground me in the truth of all that the Lord has done for me, and I will give thanks to God for all the people He has put in my life who offer their prayers, help, and love when things go south.  Yesterday, I was reminded how blessed I am with my wife, my family, and my brothers in Christ as I received support and prayers in this time of need.   And even when I was alone waiting for a phone call from the hospital that never came, I wasn’t alone. The Lord was with me and stayed with me while I foolishly relapsed on my food plan and regressed by comforting myself with candy and ice cream and watching secular TV and even though the stress of the situation caused me to do something foolish, the Lord didn’t abandon me and today I asked for His forgiveness and went back to the way He has taught me to stay in His presence and experience His peace – through my daily spiritual practices that focus on Him.

And despite this present turmoil part of that practice is to encourage to do the same – focus on Him – and we just happened to be in the best season for doing that – Lent and speaking of Lent…  

It’s the thirtieth day of Lent and so we continue my personal walkthrough of Gracia Grindal’s 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther to observe and celebrate the Lenten season.   In this walkthrough of Grindal’s devotional,  it is our hope that we will get to know Martin Luther a little better as we seek to draw closer to the Lord on our journey to Resurrection Sunday – Easter.  

And so we continue.

Journey Day 30

May your will come about on earth as in heaven.

What is this? Answer:

In fact, God's good and gracious will comes about without our prayer, but we ask in this prayer that it may also come about in and among us.

So here also; although we have prayed for what is most necessary-  for the gospel, for faith, and for the Holy Spirit, that he may govern us who have been redeemed from the power of the devil- we must also pray that God will cause his will to be done. If we try to hold these treasures fast, we will have to suffer an astonishing number of attacks and assaults from all who ventured to hinder and thwart the fulfillment of the first two petitions.

Biblical Wisdom

He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; And the disciples followed him. When he reached the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.” Then he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, knelt down, and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.” Luke 22: 39-42.

Silence for Meditation.

Pause the podcast, or stop reading, and sit quietly for 60 seconds, a few minutes, or 10-15 minutes, or however long you feel comfortable with and have time for. Focus on your breath and the calm stillness in the present moment that is always available to us in God’s creation. Meditate on Martin Luther’s comments for the day, and the content of today’s Biblical wisdom.

Questions to Ponder

·       Why does holding fast to the treasures of the faith cause suffering and assaults?

Since the Fall of Man in the Garden, this world is ruled by the evil one and the world system that operates beneath the surface of things causes people to question, doubt, and reject the truth of God’s word. The spiritual forces of darkness and society at large will demonize those who choose to walk in the light with the Lord, tempting people to govern themselves and live independently of God, being consumed by their selfish and fleshly desires they will persecute those who stand in faith.  Christ teaches that we should expect persecution and suffering in this world when we follow Him because if the world hated Him it will hate us too.

·       Jesus prays to be spared drinking the cup of suffering but prays also that God's will be done. Why does the doing of God's will often involve so much suffering?

Doing God’s will often involves suffering because of the enemy. Ephesians 6:12 tells us our enemy is not flesh and blood and the spirit that rejects God’s holiness, purity and wisdom is demonic, and whether we oppose or join those forces, we will suffer attacks from them.

·       Luther states that “God's good and gracious will comes about without our prayer”. Why pray, then, that it be done “in and among us”?

We have free will and can foolishly choose to reject God’s plan for our lives – our sanctification – and suffer from the consequences of sin and being separated from God. God’s ultimate will comes to pass but to be a part of His kingdom and to reap the fruit of the Spirit, we must choose to follow it.

Psalm Fragment

The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding,  obedient to his spoken word. Bless the Lord all his hosts, his ministers that do his will. Bless the Lord, all his works, and all places of his dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul. Psalm 103:19-22.

Journal Reflections

·       Have you ever felt you were suffering attacks from those powers or people that were trying to thwart the will of God? If so, write about what spiritual resources you were able to bring to the struggle. If not, what's best spiritual resources will you have if such an experience comes your way?

Since doing recovery and freedom ministry, I have felt I was being attacked by the spiritual forces of darkness that were trying to thwart the will of God. The best weapons against these attacks are prayer, faith, praise, and a lifestyle of Christian discipleship. Our surrendered lives in Christ is the whole armor of God that helps us overcome the enemy. Our faith is the resource we can bring to the struggle.

·       Have you ever, like Jesus, prayed to have the cup of suffering pass from you? If so, write about the experience. If not, imagine what such an experience would be like.

Oh yes, I have prayed for things to be taken away from me in the past and I would say that all the things that have afflicted me personally are gone now, for the most part, but to overcome them, I often had to suffer through them and grow through the suffering to be free. Alcohol addiction, sex addiction, broken relationships, getting a new home, food addiction, and now this struggle for my children’s mental health and well-being could all be said to fall within my “ministry of suffering”.

·       There are both joy and suffering for those who seek to follow God's will. Journal about the joy and suffering you have experienced in your faith life.

In all of those aforementioned sufferings, I experience the joy of triumphing over them, and I can’t control what happens in my son’s life, I will accept what the Lord brings and never forget the joy He has brought to my life on a daily basis.

Prayers for the Life of Faith

Pray that you can be obedient to God's will despite suffering. Remember a friend or a member of your family who has suffered for the good, pray that they will be encouraged in their Christian journey.

Lord, I failed by giving into the flesh yesterday because of stress, help me to be obedient to Your will despite the suffering I am experiencing now. I pray for you to be with my son, Brennan, to bring into remembrance all the things he heard in the past when he went to church with me, use whatever means to draw him out of the darkness of what he is walking in and bring him back to the light and prayerfully into a life of faith and trust in Jesus.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Prayer For Today

Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that your will be done in me and in my life. Show me how to follow your way to the end.

Amen.

(Gracia M. Grindal. 40-day Journey With Martin Luther. Kindle Edition.

(We encourage you to purchase Grindal’s book and take the 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther for yourself by purchasing Grindal’s book wherever books are sold. You can find it online at many different sites and purchase it new, used – paper or electronic for less than $15.00).

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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 verses come 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 comes from the section on Contentment, Coveting & and Priorities.

Proverbs 28:6 (ESV)
6  Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.

Today’s verse is the second of three passages of scripture that fall under the fifteenth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Contentment, Coveting, and Priorities.

15. Don’t wear yourself out to get rich.

Today’s verse highlights the importance of integrity – to do what is right even when no one is watching.  Wealth and unrighteousness don’t lead to happiness, without Christ, they lead to death, and the Bible tells us it is better to live a righteous life of integrity without riches, rather than have it all financially and to walk in darkness.  So let’s agree with God’s word and live lives of integrity and righteousness to give God glory.

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

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 continue sharing from “According to Your Word: Morning and Evening Through the New Testament” By Stephen F. Olford – A Collection of Devotional Journals: 1940-1941.

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

MORNING READING: LUKE 19

“The Lord has need of him.” – Luke 19:34

The ass or even the colt was a beast of burden. It could carry valuable or valueless burdens. But on this particular occasion, the animal was required for the purpose of bearing a very important burden – the Lord had need of him. The Lord still requires beasts of burden – those upon whom He can lay important burdens. He says, “Take my yoke upon you” (Matt. 11:29), carry my burden.

Notice also how the answer of the disciples (or rather the Lord through His disciples) silenced those who tried to question their taking the colt. When the errand is a divinely controlled one, there is no stopping it. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31).

Lord, “Here am I, send me.” (Isaiah 6:8)[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

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Intuition, Prayer, and Action - 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther – Day 18 - Purity 1291


Intuition, Prayer, and Action - 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther – Day 18 - Purity 1291

Purity 1291 03/05/2024  Purity 1291 Podcast

Purity 1291 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of the sun setting over an unknown vessel on an unknown body of water comes to us from a currently unknown FB friend who shared this on social media back on oraround April 10th, 2021. If this view is yours and you would like your photo credit, give me a heads up and I will update the blog after the fact.  

Well, It’s Tuesday and because I am in uncharted waters with an ongoing crisis situation and don’t know what will happen I have decided to highlight my uncertainty by going back in my phone’s photo archive to 2021 where I found a lot of “borrowed” FB photos that I never used and now am setting free. 

The crisis situation is my son Brennan’s inactivity and what appears to be clinical depression.  I had tried to motivate him with threats of eviction, and it may come to that someday but yesterday I decided to sit down and talk to him about his situation. He quit his job in January and is penniless now but has remained mired in inactivity. When given the ultimatum to get a job or to get some mental health (and possible public assistance) help, he remained silent for a time until he eventually chose the latter.  So I contacted Columbia County’s Mobile Crisis Team to check in with Brennan to offer him encouragement and assistance to get the help he needs.  There is no shame in getting help for your depression but sometimes you need some help getting help so I forced the issue and am hopeful that this will lead to a solution to Brennan’s problems.  

I had prayed for the Lord to make a change in this situation but as February turned to March I was continually assailed with concern for my son.  God didn’t move him, and my threatening eviction had no effect and while I could have waited the full 60 days of the notice  I had given Brennan at the end of January something in my spirit wouldn’t give me any rest.  My “spirit” was afflicted by the Holy Spirit to “DO SOMETHING” – (real subtle thanks) and even though I didn’t want to deal with it (truth) I sat Brennan down to talk to him to express my concern and compel him to decide on a course of action for his life.  His depression is so deep he is lost in irrationality – doing nothing but isolating himself and streaming video games – in total denial of the reality that he has living expenses that he can’t pay.  Even though he is aware that he has no money, the pain of being penniless wasn’t enough to cause him to seek work, so he begrudgingly agreed to get help today by going to Columbia County Mental Health to start the process of getting services.  We will see what happens. I pray it will lead to better days for my son.  

As Christians, we often lift people up in prayer and trust God to help them but when we feel our intuitions stir within us to the point we can’t stop thinking about it and lose our peace, I believe that is the Lord through the Holy Spirit calling us into action.  Good works is a thing, and it can often be a thing we don’t want to do but its what God made us for and so we should pray for God to help others but sometimes we will realize that God intends for us to be the answer to our own prayers.  So if your spirit within you is putting something in your heart and mind, don’t ignore it. Ask God for guidance and do something.  We all need the Lord’s wisdom and strength and it’s a good season to receive both – the season of Lent – and speaking of Lent….

It’s the eighteenth day of Lent and so we continue my personal walkthrough of Gracia Grindal’s 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther to observe and celebrate the Lenten season.   In this walkthrough of Grindal’s devotional,  it is our hope that we will get to know Martin Luther a little better as we seek to draw closer to the Lord on our journey to Resurrection Sunday – Easter.  

And so we continue.

Journey Day 18

I believe in GOD, The Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.

This is the shortest possible way of describing and illustrating the nature, will, acts, and work of God the Father. Because the Ten Commandments have explained that we are to have no more than one God, so it may now be asked, “What kind of person is God? What does he do? How can we praise or portray or describe him in such a way so we may know him?” This is taught here and in the following articles. Thus the Creed is nothing else than a response and confession of Christians based on the First Commandment. If you were to ask a young child, “My dear, what kind of God do you have? What do you know about him?” he or she could say: “First, my God is the Father, who made heaven and earth. Aside from this one alone I regard nothing as God, for there is no one else who could create heaven and earth.”

Biblical Wisdom

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while the wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Genesis 1: 1-2.

Silence for Meditation.

Pause the podcast, or stop reading, and sit quietly for 60 seconds, a few minutes, or 10-15 minutes, or however long you feel comfortable with and have time for. Focus on your breath and the calm stillness in the present moment that is always available to us in God’s creation. Meditate on Martin Luther’s comments for the day, and the content of today’s Biblical wisdom.

 

Questions to Ponder

·       What does it mean to “confess” one's faith? Is confession only a matter of words?

The Greek word for “confess” in 1 John 1:9 is homologeĊ means “one and the same” or “together with” indicating that “we agree” or are in “union” which indicates that confess doesn’t mean just admitting something is wrong – it is saying I agree that it is wrong and by implication means that I will change.  In faith, to confess it means “we agree” that God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And by implication means that we will “agree” to follow and obey what God wants us to do.  So faith is more than just a matter of words. If we really confess – or agree – that will show in our actions of repentance and living according to God’s word.

·       In a world troubled by increasingly serious environmental and ecological questions, what does it mean to confess faith in a God who is the “Creator of heaven and earth”?

I think that to confess faith in God who is the Creator of heaven and earth would indicate that we know the world has been given to us and that we should therefore be good stewards of how we treat it.

·       Why is it important that children have a simple (and yet profound) way to answer the question “What kind of God do you have?”

The biggest problem with our faith is when people have a distorted view of who God is. So children and adults should be taught about God’s attributes to adequately express His grandeur as the One who created all things but also to know that He deeply loves and cares for the least of us.

Psalm Fragment

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made and all their host by the breath of His mouth... Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm. Psalm 33: 6-9.

Journal Reflections

·       Meditate on Luther’s questions: “What kind of God do you have? What do you know about him?” Answer the questions for yourself in your journal.

Entire books have been written on this subject so let me refer you to A.W. Tozer’s The Attributes of God or R.C. Sproul’s teaching on the Names of God. But as for me, God as Creator, Father, Spirit, and Love tell me what kind of God I have.  He made everything is Immaterial and Mysterious, but He cares for us and loves us. That’s the kind of God I have.

·       Write about how your understanding of God shapes your daily life.

I understand God to be sovereign, which means He directs everything and that nothing happens that is not determined or used by God for His ultimate purposes.  That might be a high view of God by some, but it is the view that keeps me grateful and full of joy, knowing that everything that happens in my life is brought to me by my Heavenly Father to shape me into the person He created me to be.

·       Is your prayer life impacted by the wonder of God's creation which surrounds you on all sides? If yes, how? If not, meditate on creation and see where it takes you.

Yes, my whole life is impacted by the wonder of God’s creation as I find peace in his handiwork, recognizing the creation’s beauty and the provision for our needs that God has provided through it but I never get so enamored with his creation to forget the One who gave us this gift of existence.

Prayers for the Life of Faith

Pray that you may come to know God better through this 40-day journey and that you will be able to share with someone your great wonder at the God who created all things.

Lord, we pray that this 40 day journey causes us to know you more and that we can share our great wonder of you as Creator with others. 

Amen.

Prayer For Today

Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for all that you have done to create, sustain, and preserve all that is so that I might have a full life here on earth, or creation as obediently as I am able.

Amen

(Gracia M. Grindal. 40-day Journey With Martin Luther. Kindle Edition.

(We encourage you to purchase Grindal’s book and take the 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther for yourself by purchasing Grindal’s book wherever books are sold. You can find it online at many different sites and purchase it new, used – paper or electronic for less than $15.00).

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

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 verses come 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 Contentment, Coveting & and Priorities.

Proverbs 17:1 (ESV)
1  Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife.

Today’s verse fall under the fifth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Contentment, Coveting, and Priorities.

5. Contentment promotes peace.

Today’s verse equates meager rations and quiet as better than abundance and strife showing us that contentment and the peace that comes from it is God’s wisdom for us. It’s not what we have, it’s how we view it and whether or not we appreciate it that matters.  Happiness comes from wanting what we already have – that’s contentment and peace.

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

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 continue sharing from “According to Your Word: Morning and Evening Through the New Testament” By Stephen F. Olford – A Collection of Devotional Journals: 1940-1941.

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

MORNING READING: LUKE 7

“Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard:
that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed,
the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have
the gospel preached to them.”
– Luke 7:22

John had just sent two disciples to Jesus to inquire whether He was the Christ (the sent One) or not. In reply to the inquiry, the Lord Jesus gave evidence of His Messiahship. “Go,” said He, “and tell John the things you have seen and heard.”

The blind see. “To open their eyes” (spiritually; Acts 26:18). Christ brought revelation. The lame walk. Emancipation. The lepers are cleansed. Spiritual cleansing and forgiveness. The deaf hear. The hearing of faith (Rom. 10:17). The dead are raised. Life. “He is not the God of the dead but of the living” (Luke 20:38). “I have come,” said the Savior, “that they may have life” (John 10:10). The Gospel is preached. In the Gospel is comprehended all. “It is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16).

Thank You, Father, for not just asking us to believe
but showing us why we can 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

Friday, January 26, 2024

Dependence or Independence? Problem Solver or a Just a Problem? - Purity 1258

                                        

Dependence or Independence? Problem Solver or a Just a Problem? - Purity 1258

Purity 1258 01/26/2024 Purity 1258 Podcast

Purity 1258 on YouTube:



Good morning,

Today’s photo of purple lavender fields of splendor comes to us from Dave Baun Photography (https://www.facebook.com/DaveBaunPhotography) who shared this scene from Dave’s visit to the Hahndorf Lavender Estate in Hahndorf, South Australia last weekend on social media earlier this week.  

Well, It’s Friday and although I am super excited for the weekend as I will be reunited with my beloved wife, TammyLyn, for two days, I think I will mentally breathe deep the imagined scent of lavender that this photo brings to mind and try to calm just rejoice in the peace that the Lord brings to my life because I know oh too well that we often won’t have it for long if we are relying on the circumstances of this world to give us serenity now.

While my personal life of walking in the Spirit really couldn’t be better right now, the world has a way of disrupting your joy especially when the other people in your life don’t have a relationship with the Lord and suffer accordingly.  I reported a few days ago that my son. Brennan has been moping around the house and yesterday he confirmed the bad news that his recent consecutive no-shows to his job resulted in the termination of his employment making me concerned for his emotional, mental, and financial wellbeing.  I have suggested that he correct his mood by being personally responsible for it and gave him a book on cognitive therapy that demonstrates that our emotions are driven by our thoughts.  If our mood is low or depressive, we need to examine what we are thinking about and intentionally change them. 

Likewise if we are suffering from the consequences of our inaction or our failure to be responsible, we need to choose to take action and be responsible.  Good mental health really isn’t a mystery. God created us and the world to operate by certain principles and when we deviate from being good stewards to our bodies and minds by living independently of him – we sin – we go astray, and we suffer for it.  

Scripture points this out in the beginning where the Lord said in

Genesis 4:6-7 (NLT2)
6  “Why are you so angry?” the LORD asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected?
7  You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”

So in my son’s situation – He failed to do what was right – which includes squandering his college money, failing to go to school, and now failing to go to his job.  He “sinned” – He missed the mark of responsible behavior and now “sin” is controlling him – causing him to rebel against common sense and keeping him locked in negative thinking and a depressed mood.  

So I have tried to encourage him to do what is right – to work, to support himself, to plan for the future, and to build a life for himself – to get him out of his funk.  But I recognize the seriousness of mental health concerns and also suggested that if he felt he needed more help that he consults with his doctor to get medication or to go to mental health to seek counseling.  He hasn’t taken my advice so now I have asked his grandmother to visit with him to either encourage him to work on his problems or to escort him to mental health to get the help he needs.  She is concerned about his well-being, and I suggest she offer to take him to mental health.  

My son is an adult now, 22 years old, and I won’t coddle him. If he needs mental health assistance, I support him getting it, but I worked in the field as a counselor and know that once you go in the system you never go out. 

My Aunt Diane was schizophrenic and went further into madness and to a relatively early death under the state’s care and I won’t be bringing my son to mental health for what I believe to be an existential crisis. 

He needs to do what is right – he needs to work to support himself and build a life for himself.  But if that’s too much for him, I understand but I would give it some time before I have him committed.  I know that I can’t fix him, and I know that mental health would most likely make him worse – so I’m letting go and letting God and will be still and let my son decide what he wants to do.   Dependence or Independence? 

One of my pastors once said that we will be known as one of two kinds of people in life. We will be either known as “someone who solved problems” or as “someone who was a problem”.  That might sound a little harsh, but I think that is true and so my adult son will have to decide.  Will he take action to solve his problems – or will he decide to be a problem?  The choice is his and I will attempt to do my best to be loving and patient while he makes that decision.  I have presented him with his options and asked his grandmother to visit him and escort him to mental health if necessary and I guess we will see how it plays out.  

In the meantime, I am going the thank the Lord that the problems aren’t worse than they are – my son’s problem is not mine, and while I can make suggestions for fixing it – I can’t solve it, although I guess I could eventually have him removed from my home by the men in white coats, I’m not ready to do that today, and so I will thank God for the life He has given me. I will pray for my son to seek the Lord and to do what is right and I will trust the Lord to move things according to His sovereign will.

I am going to try my best to enjoy the weekend because I know that we all choose our own path in life and Jesus is the Savior, not me.  I’m tired of giving advice that isn’t listened to and watching people suffer because of their lack of faith and their selfish decisions but that’s my ministry, I encourage the hopeless, the hurting, and the broken to “do what is right” and to seek the Lord and His will for their lives.  That’s the solution that I know works for the problems of this life and for eternity and so I’ll continue to tell people to keep on walking and talking with 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 verses come 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 Communication, Gossip, and Lying.

Ecclesiastes 5:3-5 (NKJV)
3  For a dream comes through much activity, And a fool's voice is known by his many words.
4  When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; For He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed--
5  Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.

Today’s verses are the second of five passages of scripture that fall under the fifth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Communication, Gossip, and Lying.

5.     Be quick to listen, slow to speak.

Today’s verses describe fools as having many words, so I’ll try to keep this short.  The basic message in today’s verses is to do what you say you will do. To fulfill the vows you make immediately and to consider not making vows at all rather than failing to be a man of your word.  

So don’t make promises you can’t keep and strive to be a person of integrity – do what you say you will do and regard the Bible as your standard for living and apply it to your life.   God takes no pleasure in fools and there is no bigger fool than someone claiming to be a Christian and failing to live like it.   As followers of Jesus, let’s follow Him with the way we live and by being true to His word and the words we speak.  

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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 continue sharing from “According to Your Word: Morning and Evening Through the New Testament” By Stephen F. Olford – A Collection of Devotional Journals: 1940-1941.

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

EVENING READING: MATTHEW 18

“So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you,
from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
– Matthew 18:35

Here is certainly strong language! How can the believer read such a verse and not see to it that he has a forgiving spirit?

The apostle Paul teaches the same truth. He says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted [corresponding with his heart in the verse above], forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph. 4:32).

And John: “Whoever hates his brother is a murderer” (1 John 3:15).

Thus, a forgiving spirit is essential. In fact, it is the positive fruit of one born of God. In another place, it is given as the condition for prevailing prayer.

O Lord, cultivate in me the same forgiving
spirit You have shown me.[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