Showing posts with label Domestic Violence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Domestic Violence. Show all posts

Saturday, October 8, 2022

General Woundwort and My Friend Dahmer!?!?! – Harmless Horror Movies? - Purity 857


General Woundwort and My Friend Dahmer!?!?! – Harmless Horror Movies? - Purity 856

Purity 857 10/08/2022 

Good morning,

Today’s photo of my neighbor’s mangy cat, driveway, and rustic barn with pumpkins adorning the pathway to their home comes to us from yours truly as I decided to capture a candid of my neighbor’s cat as I departed my countryside home on October 2nd, thinking “this is the cat that hisses at you arrive at “the creepy place” in a horror movie!”   

But seriously, ok I did think that, but my neighbor’s cat may look a little feral and untrustworthy, I can attest to the fact that he is actually quite friendly even though his outer appearance, with his matted fur and damaged ear, make him look like the feline equivalent of “General Woundwort” from the 1978 animated classic, Watership Down, (which is available to stream on HBOMax and YouTube.

Okay, the cat doesn’t look that bad, General Woundwort still creeps me out. Who knew that bunny rabbits could be so vicious!

Anyway, I decided to share today’s photo because I thought that  the cat, the barn, and those pumpkins were a good visual representation of the month of October, Autumn, and the Harvest season.  Autumn is my favorite season and October is in the heart of it as the fall foliage changes and people begin to decorate their homes for Halloween. 

I was and am still am a fan of Halloween and, horror movies, but I have to admit that as I have grown in my knowledge and experience of the reality of Spiritual warfare, the spiritual forces of darkness, total depravity of man, and how it all ties in together and results in suffering and the evil that men do, I am less enamored with the macabre as I used to be and have increasing grown in my sensitivity of spiritual discernment and no longer see these dark forms of entertainment as “harmless”.  

Ironically as I have grown more sensitive to what I will allow to put in front of my eyes and less tolerant of the things I can stomach, the horror genre and society in general has become more desensitized to what disturbing images, subject matters, and themes can be offered up as entertainment.  One of the latest evidences to this trend is the  Netflix series: “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffery Dahmer Story”, starring Evan Peters.

In recalling the details of Dahmer’s grisly crimes, I have to wonder why anyone would watch this show.

But in my limited research this morning, I realized that I was a huge consumer of and a reason for the success of shows like this.  There was one article online that presented a list of the 26 best TV shows about serial killers ( .  26!  I am somewhat ashamed to admit that of the 26 shows I had watched 9 of them in the years before and after I came to Christ.   

I also have to have to admit that I did watch the 2017 film: “My Friend Dahmer”, which was a memoir of one of Dahmer’s childhood friends, graphic novelist Jack “Derf” Backderf, that presented scenes from Dahmer’s life before his murders that highlighted the serial killers “inner demons”, his victimization at the hands of school bullies, and the neglect by the adults in his life.  The film concludes with the victim of abuse and neglect becoming a murderer ( .

But Backderf was clear in his comments regarding his memoir that he in no way sought to justify or excuse Dahmer for his evil actions but was only presenting his recollections of what happened in Dahmer’s life prior to his crimes to show how evil doesn’t necessarily just happen, that often atrocities have a back story rooted in abuse and points to the cycle of the abused becoming abusers, or even killers.  

My education in Biblical Studies and Christian Couseling, along my training as a Community Ministry Freedom Associate for Freedom in Christ Ministries, helps me to see these crimes and these macabre forms of entertainment in a new light that makes them less palatable.

In the realty of serial killers, while society and our justice system should never excuse killers with a defense for demonic possession, demonization, or demonic oppression, we should consider that spiritual forces of darkness could play a role in the violence and grisly crimes we see. 

The Bible describes the world as being under the sway of the evil one. I am sharing a link to an article on that briefly touches on this subject ( and provides the scriptures that back it up.  

So what’s my point? 

I guess, my point is that as we go further into the month of October, many of us may feel, like I did, that we want a good scare.

 And while I think that we should all be free to choose to do that, I think we should be aware of the spiritual realities of the world and be highly concerned for our friends and family that don’t know about the principles of spiritual warfare or don’t have a covenant relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ that enjoy these dark forms of entertainment.   

I feel that horror movies can be entertaining, and educational, but we should try to instruct others in the supremacy of God over evil and be genuinely concerned about people that don’t have faith in Christ and isolate and watch violent or horrific films and TV shows.   

According to an article on (

"In thousands of scientific studies over the last six decades, researchers have documented four basic negative effects from exposure to screen violence: increased aggression, increased fear, desensitization to real-life and screen violence, and increased appetite for more violence, on and off screen". (p. 54)”

None of those effects sound very good and without a Biblical basis of wisdom considering evil, sin, the spiritual forces of darkness, and the God who stands above it, our loved ones could suffer from negative mental, emotional and spiritual consequences as our society will continue to only grow darker.  

So we need to know the truth, that God is sovereign, He is in control, and that He provides eternal security and spiritual safety and power to those who put their faith in Christ. Jesus reconciles us to God and provides us with a share of His spiritual power and authority to confront and confound the works of the devil.

As Christians we are to shun what is evil and to think upon what is good. We also have freedom. So as Christians, we may choose to watch a horror movie, but if we do we should do so in the context of our identity in Christ and be discerning of what we watch and not quench the Holy Spirit in us if He convicts us to pull the plug and not persist in our unwholesome habits in the name of tradition or nostalgia.  

As exposure to violent media has the effect of desensitizing us and may lead to negative actions,   our exposure to the Word of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit will oppositely sensitize us to what is evil and increasingly draw us to do good,

Even though I am still a horror fan, I guess , I am a lot more discerning about what I will watch as the Holy Spirit increasingly draws me away from things that do not edify my spirit and quite frankly, as I have continued to walk in the Spirit, I have a lot less desire to watch or listen to most secular forms of entertainment, whether spooky or not, because my intense love of the Lord causes me to want to use what time I have left in this life wisely, to pursue things that will build me up rather than just occupy a few hours and leave me with a thrill or a chill but nothing more. 

So as we go further into October and the nostalgia and pageantry that surrounds Halloween, keep walking and talking with God and follow where He leads. When you walk with Him. you may begin to discover that the desire to dabble in darkness is replaced with conviction to live in the light.


As always, I invite all to go to 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 Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Discipleship”, also known as “The Cost of Discipleship”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.

Chapter Six

The Sermon on the Mount

Matthew 5

On theExtraordinaryof Christian Life

The Beatitudes – Continues

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” The disciples are needy in every way. They are simply “poor” (Luke 6:20). They have no security, no property to call their own, no piece of earth they could call their home, no earthly community to which they might fully belong. But they also have neither spiritual power of their own, nor experience or knowledge they can refer to and which could comfort them. For his sake they have lost all that. When they followed him, they lost themselves and everything else which could have made them rich. Now they are so poor, so inexperienced, so foolish that they cannot hope for anything except him who called them. Jesus also knows those others, the representatives and preachers of the national religion, those powerful, respected people, who stand firmly on the earth inseparably rooted in the national way of life, the spirit of the times, the popular piety [Volksfrömmigkeit]. But Jesus does not speak to them; he speaks only to his disciples when he says, blessed—for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of heaven will come to those who live thoroughly in renunciation and want for Jesus’ sake. In the depths of their poverty, they inherit the kingdom of heaven. They have their treasure well hidden, they have it at the cross. The kingdom of heaven is promised them in visible majesty, and it is already given them in the complete poverty of the cross.

Here Jesus’ blessing is totally different from its caricature in the form of a political-social program. The Antichrist also declares the poor to be blessed, but he does it not for the sake of the cross, in which all poverty is embraced and blessed. Rather, he does it with political-social ideology precisely in order to fend off the cross. He may call this ideology Christian, but in doing so he becomes Christ’s enemy.[12][1]

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

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel:

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

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock ( ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

[1] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discipleship, ed. Martin Kuske et al., trans. Barbara Green and Reinhard Krauss, vol. 4, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2003), 102–103.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Getting to Know You – Courage at the Fire - Purity 530

Getting to Know You –  Courage at the Fire - Purity 530

Purity 530 09/22/2021  Purity 530 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of some hay bales in the foreground of a stunning view of the Catskill Mountains from the vantage point of Johnny Cake Hill Rd in Westerlo NY comes to us from yours truly as I decided to head for the Helderbergs on the last day of the Summer of 2021.  When you are given the freedom of movement, you should take advantage of it to go out there and see what you can see. It is often when we decide to be spontaneous and take a random turn that you can feel liberated and discover some beauty you wouldn’t have found otherwise.

God has given us the physical capability of movement to explore our world, but He has also given us minds to think and explore the possibilities of life and to consider things from different perspectives.  As we must deal with changing seasons and situations in life, it can be a good idea to step back and look at the situations in your life from an elevated position where you can see it all from a distance where you are not focusing too much on any one thing in particular and where you can objectively view it all to plot your course into the future with some clarity.  That’s why it is beneficial to periodically take breaks to reflect on where you have been and to reassure yourself of where you are going.

Last night, I met with my divorce support group at one of the member’s houses around a bonfire. It is always a blessing when a group of Christians get together to support one another in their journey through life.  As our group has been meeting for a few months now, the group is growing closer, and people have come to feel that they want to share more of their experience, so we have a better idea of who they are and what they have been through.  

Last night in the normal course of business of the meeting, one of the women announced to the group that she wanted to share more of her story and confessed that although she had talked about her recent divorce, she had been married once before. This woman is the  only person in our group who is childless and had shared previously how she had wanted children but had suffered miscarriages. 

Last night she confessed that in her first marriage one of her miscarriages was the direct result of an incident of domestic violence. She didn’t say this, but in essence, her ex-husband had killed their baby.

In the movies there is stirring music to accompany such a confession to help express the shock and the weight of such a traumatic revelation but in real life there is just stunned silence when people don’t know what to say. It was sort of an awkward moment that was compound by the fact that this woman shared it in a transition point in the meeting where the ingredients for smores where being passed out and she was interrupted right from the start of her testimony.  The interruption was jarring, and she had to be encouraged to “say what she was going to say” only to reveal a traumatic event from her past that demanded our attention and compassion.  

She said she felt foolish for sharing it and questioned why she did it. I was seated next to her so I spoke up and said that her sharing that with us was very brave, that the group was there to support her, and that it helped us to get to know her better, and her words would encourage the rest of the group to know that our group was a safe place to talk about anything from our pasts.   I also said that her testimony proved how good God was because even with that terrible loss and pain in her life, she had survived and has gone on the be an encouraging presence for faith at her local church. 

Things settled after her testimony but as the night went on other members of the group admitted that they had been in relationships where they encountered domestic violence and manipulative control.  But each one of them also spoke of how they escaped it and have found peace on the other side of their pain because of their individual efforts to free themselves and because of their faith in God.  

There were other testimonies about surviving various trials in life and how people had forgiven things that seemed unforgivable, and they all pointed to God’s presence in the lives of the people through their faith in Jesus Christ.   

It’s Wednesday today, and the first day of Autumn, we have made it to the midpoint of the week and another season of life.  The people who sat around that fire last night experienced a lot during this past summer season.  Some finalized their divorces, others had disasters with their homes or had family members suffer illness or injury, some have moved, and others had children leave home for college.

As we have shared our lives with one another we have drawn closer together and we have grown stronger than where we were only a few months ago because of it and because each one of us has encouraged one another to trust the Lord and to continually go to Him for guidance and strength.  

So as we enter Autumn, take a moment to have a look around at where you are today. While the distant past and the summer of ’21 that we leave behind has left its marks on us, the Lord is calling us forward. Because of the design of His creation, the Lord leaves us no choice but to go forward in time. But when we decide to trust our lives in His hands by making Christ our Lord and Savior, we don’t have to fear the future or be victims of the past.

Our living relationship with God gives us the power to heal and to overcome whatever situations the world may dish out.   So keep walking and talking with God, we might not be able to see too far into the future but if we walk with Him every day we can be assured that we are going in the right direction and that our destination is going to be a good one.     

Short announcement: Apparently we used the last memory verse flash card from Dr. Charles Stanley’s In Touch Ministries provided resource:  “Freedom: Our Life in Christ” Memory Verse Cards set yesterday, so we are drawing from my stack of index cards again.    

This morning’s meditation verse is:

1 Thessalonians 1:4 (NKJV)
4  knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God.

Today’s verse very briefly but profoundly tells us what we should know. 

Often in the Apostle Paul’s Epistles to the church, Paul can have some long sentences that are packed with theological truths that can easily be missed in the overall context of what he is saying.  I have learned to take two approaches to scripture reading to help with my understanding.  

As I often have stated context is king, and we don’t necessarily just want to grab a Bible verse without understanding what else is being said around the verse and to understand setting when the verse was written.   Unpacking the context and historical implications of scripture can give us a wide view to understand what the Bible is teaching us. 

The second approach I use at times is to just look at the bare facts, or the words, in scripture. In this method I will look past all of Paul’s adjectives and adverbs and additional clauses and just sort of look at the nouns and verbs to get to the “bottom line” of what the Apostle, and God through him, is saying.  

With today’s verse, we use the second approach to focus on it.  We the “beloved brethren” are beloved, and we are to know our “election by God.”  

God voted for me and you to be elected to His kingdom! He picked us. The Maker of all things picked us to be His and to be with Him forever. The One who is all powerful and all knowing picked us!

This small verse also declares us as “beloved”. God loved us enough to have Christ come to earth and suffer and die to save us.  We are beloved.  

So as we usually look to the larger context of scripture, let’s remember that we can also benefit greatly from studying the minute details in scripture.  

The details that we are beloved and elected by God is no small thing and if we can hold onto that knowledge as part of our identity on a daily basis, we can face the rest of our lives with peace and hope. 

The peace comes from knowing we are picked by God and are His beloved sons and daughters.  The hope comes from knowing that some day we will see Him face to face and that every day we live is an opportunity to walk into the purpose that He has prepared for us.  

So keep walking and talking with God because when you do its hard to forget you have been chosen by Him before time began and that He loves you dearly.


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


Today we continue to share from June Hunt’s 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:


C. How to Have a Transformed Life

But only hours after the race is over . . . there are rumblings . . . of a ruse.

Is Rosie Ruiz really the female victor of the 1980 Boston Marathon? A couple of men spot her running through a crowd of spectators while the race is still going on, and in the most bizarre twist of the apparently brazen plot, Rosie is spotted riding the subway during the race! One woman recounts that Rosie isn't even sweating.

As it turns out, after exiting the race Rosie does indeed board a subway and gets off about a mile from the finish line to sprint her way to "victory." Bill Rodgers is asked how he feels now looking back at the post-race celebration that turned out to be a shameful sham. "Wow, it was weird," he recalls, shaking his head. "It was really weird." It's as if she believes her own con, according to Bill. And then she tells him several days after the race: "I want to bring out the truth." All the while, Bill says, she looks as sincere as a nun.

Rosie Ruiz desperately needs . . . a transformed life.

Scripture is clear about the root of Rosie's troubles. . . .

"Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil, but those who promote peace have joy."

(Proverbs 12:20)

Reaching the Target: Transformation!

 Target #1—A New Purpose: God's purpose for me is to be conformed to the character of Christ.

"Those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son..." (Romans 8:29).

—"I'll do whatever it takes to be conformed to the character of Christ."

Target #2—A New Priority: God's priority for me is to change my thinking.

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:2).

—"I'll do whatever it takes to line up my thinking with God's thinking.

Target #3—A New Plan: God's plan for me is to rely on Christ's strength, not my strength, to be all He created me to be.

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13 ESV).

—"I'll do whatever it takes to fulfill His plan in His strength."


My Personalized Plan to Be a Boundary Builder

Use the following acrostic of the word boundaries as a tool to help you become an effective boundary builder.

I will...

Begin to build healthy boundaries

  • —God loves me and wants me to have healthy boundaries.
  • —It's not too late to begin learning how to set new boundaries.
  • —Change will be difficult, but I know the Lord will be my strength.
    "The highway of the upright avoids evil; those who guard their ways preserve their lives"
    (Proverbs 16:17).

Overcome the fear of others' disapproval of my boundaries

  • —Personalize and memorize:
    "Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ" (Galatians 1:10).
  • —Personalize and memorize:
    "We speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts" (1 Thessalonians 2:4).
  • —Personalize and memorize:
    "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).

Understand that boundaries are biblical

  • —God established boundaries from the very beginning.
  • —God has personal boundaries.
  • —God expects me to live my life according to the boundaries He has laid out for me in Scripture.
    "I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy" (Leviticus 11:44).

Notify others of my boundaries (family, friends, coworkers)

  • —Recognize my resources and responsibilities.
  • —Communicate clearly what my convictions are.
  • —Share sensitively the reasons I am establishing healthier boundaries.
    "Speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the Head, that is, Christ" (Ephesians 4:15).

Develop relationships with people who have healthy boundaries

  • —Seek out people to be around who have healthy boundaries.
  • —Ask God to bring mature people into my life to befriend me and help me.
  • —Become more aware of boundary violations and address them—a sign of being healthier!
    "Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm" (Proverbs 13:20).

Admit my limitations and keep on trying

  • —Identify people I need to forgive who have violated my boundaries.
  • —Ask forgiveness of those I have offended by trampling over their boundaries.
  • —Commit to keep starting over again when I fail.
    "Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you" (Colossians 3:13).

Realize that boundaries were formed from infancy and that it will take time to learn how to set and maintain new ones

  • —The bonding process in infancy is the most powerful influence on boundary building, but it doesn't mean I can't build healthy boundaries as an adult.
  • —Identify and evaluate the boundaries I formed in childhood and determine which ones may be counterproductive in my life now.
  • —Make a plan to replace the harmful, unhealthy boundaries I formed in childhood with new, beneficial ones.
    "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).

Identify healthy boundaries for myself and commit to maintaining them

  • —Communicate my boundaries.
  • —State what I will do if people cross my boundaries.
  • —Follow through when my boundaries are crossed.
    "My words come from an upright heart; my lips sincerely speak what I know" (Job 33:3).

Encourage my family members to establish boundaries

  • —Share my decision to establish healthy, beneficial boundaries
  • —Express my gratitude for their differing but meaningful roles in my life
  • —Invite them to join with me as I seek to please God and be the person He created me to be
    "For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had. . . . Therefore encourage one another and build each other up..." (Romans 15:4-5; 1 Thessalonians 5:11).

See my identity in Christ

  • —God chose me.
  • —God adopted me.
  • —God redeemed me.
    "He chose us in him before the creation of the world. . . . In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will. . . . In him [Christ] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding" (Ephesians 1:4-8).

Potential Angry Reactions from Others

Question: "How should I handle potential angry reactions from others when I attempt to set boundaries?"

Answer: There are typically two different methods that people utilize in an effort to get others to do what they want them to do or not do what they don't want them to do. While there is nothing fun about them, they are referred to as "games."...

  • The Guilt Game
    • —As you start to establish healthy boundaries, others may try and make you feel guilty. That is false guilt.
    • —You may be accused of not loving others because of putting up boundaries. That is false guilt.
    • —If you begin to feel that others may not love you or if you begin to question whether you really do love them because of your boundary building, pray this Scripture. . . .
      "When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. . . . in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?" (Psalm 56:3-4).
  • The Blame Game
    • —As you begin to establish boundaries and to take charge of your life, others may become angry with you for having to adjust to the "new" you. This is a ploy to get you to go back to your old ways of being manipulated and controlled through guilt.
    • —Having healthy boundaries means not manipulating others and not being manipulated by others. To be the slave of another's emotional game playing is a sign of having no boundaries.
    • —Be faithful to remember: A properly focused conscience that knows the will of God will do what is right.
      "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will" (Romans 12:2).

Starting Good Boundaries

Question: "How do I begin the process of setting good boundaries?"

Answer: The best way to start the boundary-setting process is by consulting with the Creator and reading His Word for living a life that is both pleasing to Him and fulfilling for you. Before you build a city, you lay a solid and steadfast foundation, and that foundation is the Word of God.

Another important step is consulting with several people you know who have firmly established, biblical boundaries. Glean some sound advice from them as to where you should start. Be sure to...

  • Step 1: Pray for the Lord to reveal to you your need and how to move forward.
  • Step 2: Pinpoint where your boundaries are weak.
  • Step 3: Partner with someone who will hold you accountable.
  • Step 4: Prepare to see changes in your relationships with others.
  • Step 5: Permit yourself small rewards along the way. Boundary building is hard work!
  • Step 6: Provide a support system of friends and family for when you go into potential "danger zones" that can trigger old responses.
  • Step 7: Prioritize the people or areas that you want to set boundaries for—don't try to tackle all of them at one time.

As you commit your plans and efforts to God and as you begin the process of working with your accountability partner, remember...

"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor."

(Ecclesiastes 4:9)

Biblical Counseling Keys - Biblical Counseling Keys – 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, You can also find it on Apple podcasts ( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

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


Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship