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Showing posts with label Genesis. Show all posts

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Progress not Perfection - 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther – Day 20 - Purity 1293


Progress not Perfection - 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther – Day 20 - Purity 1293

Purity 1293 03/07/2024 Purity 1293 Podcast

Purity 1293 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of the sun peaking over a blue sky horizon over a green meadow bathed in light and shadows comes to us from an unknown FB friend who shared this scene on social media back on or around April 21, 2021. I believe this is a scene from somewhere in the Catskill mountains area of Green County and if this beauty is yours let me know and I will give photo credit where photo credit is due by updating the blog after the fact.  

Well, It’s Thursday, and I share this sunlit pathway of green grass as a visual reminder to get out there and enjoy your life and to find the peace and joy that is available through Christ alone and by following His lead through life.  

Yesterday, the Celebrate Freedom Growth Group met last night at Starpoint church and I was happy to see some faces I hadn’t seen in a while and glad to be a part of the ministry because we give people a place to come to when they realize they have strayed from the path that God would have them follow.  More than one testimony spoke of the suffering that comes from doing life without God and the peace that results from turning back to Him and coming home.  

One person testified that they were asked by their significant other why they bothered going to our group at all since they were struggling and sometimes miserable in their recovery, (believe me I wondered the same thing at times) but I was pleasantly surprised and encouraged to hear them say that our group is helping them – that even though their recovery has been a series of successes and failures, this person reported that their current state was SO much better than when they first started coming last year.  They reported that they were currently clean and sober and believed that they were making progress.  

And that’s what our Christian walk of faith is all about, progress not perfection.  We are seeking the Lord and asking for His help and sometimes that comes little by little, bit by bit, one day at a time.  We celebrate our freedom today and seek to increase it by adding today as another day free tomorrow. Progress not perfection, one day at a time, following the Lord’s will for our lives, is the way we get free and the way we experience the abundant life of peace, joy, love, goodness, gentleness, kindness, faithfulness, patience, and self-control that comes from walking in the Spirit.

And so we take another step on the path of Christian discipleship to experience that life  and move us through the season of Lent.

It’s the twentieth 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 20

And I believe in Jesus Christ, His only son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; He descended into hell. On the third day He rose again; He ascended into heaven, seated at the right hand of God, the almighty Father, from where He will come to judge the living and the dead.

When we were created by God the Father and had received from Him all kinds of good things, the devil came and led us into disobedience, sin, death, and all misfortune. As a result, we lay under God's wrath and displeasure, sentenced to eternal damnation, as we have merited it and deserved it. There was no counsel, no help, no comfort for us until this only and eternal Son of God, in His unfathomable goodness, had mercy on us because of our misery and distress and came from heaven to help us. Those tyrants and jailers have now been routed, and their place has been taken by Jesus Christ, the Lord of life, righteousness, and every good and blessing. He has snatched us, poor lost creatures, from the jaws of hell, won us, made us free, and restored us to the Father's favor and grace. As His own possession He has taken us under His protection and shelter, in order that He may rule us by his righteousness, wisdom, power, life, and blessedness.

Biblical Wisdom

God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. Romans 5: 8-10.

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

·       Note the very strong sense of conflict between good and evil, Christ and the devil, in Luther. Where do you think the human being is in this battle? If you have a hymnal with you, read and meditate on Luther’s A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.

The human being is at the center of a battle between the Lord and the devil.  Christ calls us to come to Him and be saved. The enemy seeks to kill us and leads us to into temptation and sin.  Even after we are saved, the enemy seeks to neutralize us through doubts and sin to keep us in bondage to prevent us from working for the kingdom. As “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” states –

“For still our ancient foe, Doth seek to work us woe…”. The enemy is trying to bring us down, but when we trust in Christ we can have victory over Satan.  But we must believe in, abide in, and follow Jesus to be victorious, as the song says, “He must win the battle”. 

·       What kind of freedom do we receive from Christ's victory? How is this worked out in our daily lives?

We have been given freedom over sin and death (Romans 8:2) and when we know this and live according to it (or work it out in our daily lives) we experience a life of increasing victory over sin as we are progressively sanctified and one of joy and hope knowing that death has lost its sting – there is nothing to fear for we are safe in Christ, forever.

·       What does it mean to say that Christ rules us by “righteousness, wisdom, power, life and blessedness”?

Those are attributes of God – that’s who Jesus is – and so it makes sense that he would rule by “righteousness, wisdom, power, life and blessedness” and when we are obedient to His rule over our lives that what we experience too!

Psalm Fragment

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits- who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy...Psalm 103:2-4.

Journal Reflections

·       Meditate on the struggle between good and evil, Christ and the devil, in your own life. Does it seem real to you? Do you sense it daily? How?

Yes, the battle is real. Besides the occasional demonic nightmare, there is a fairly steady campaign from the enemy to draw me into temptation to indulge the flesh or to just be condemned into despair.  It seems really to me, and I can sense it daily by looking at the world’s confusion and sin around me. The state of the world and the suffering of those not following Christ makes the enemy and his world system very easy to see.

·       Journal about the ways in which public worship and private devotion reassure you of Christ's victory and empower you to live in the freedom Christ gives.

Public worship and private devotions remind me of the goodness of God and of who I am in Christ. Through the proclamation of the truth of the word of God I am assured of Christ’s victory, and it empowers me to live in the freedom He gives us.

·       Write about the ways in which you experience Christ's power and presence in moments of weakness, failure, fear, or doubt. Is there anything you might do to better avail yourself of Christ's power and presence at all times?

When I am feeling weak, fearful, or have moments of failure or doubt, I remind myself that I have been born again and I have put my trust in Jesus as my Lord and Savior, and it is HE who defines me! The best way to avail ourselves of Christ’s power and presence at all times is to “walk in the Spirit” and to abide in Christ – where you are literally walking and talking with God throughout your day. When we stay in His presence we receive the Lord’s power and peace!

Prayers for the Life of Faith

Pray that you may claim daily the victory of Jesus over “sin, death, and the devil,” and that you may help those around you to hear the good news that in Christ there is hope and victory.

Lord, I thank You that I can claim Your victory over sin, death, and the devil, because I have put my faith in You.  Help me to help others around me to know that there is hope and victory in Christ alone! In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Prayer For Today

Lord Jesus, I thank you for all your many blessings to me. Help me to claim your promises all through the day today no matter the difficulties I may face.

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.

Luke 12:16-21 (ESV)
16  And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully,
17  and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’
18  And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.
19  And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’
20  But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’
21  So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

(The rich fool stored up things for himself but was not rich toward God, so his life was demanded of him.)

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

7. The parable of the rich fool teaches that life is more than material riches.

Today’s verse reminds us that money can’t buy us a place in heaven and that trusting in the riches of this world is foolish.  Man is capable of great things through hard work and intelligence, but we are fools to think that “this earth and this life is all there is”.  As the lent slogan from

Genesis 3:19 (NKJV) says
19  … For dust you are, And to dust you shall return."

 

And so we should realize that we will die someday, and our possessions will be left behind and we will face God. Our riches can’t save us, only Jesus can – and it is the Lord Jesus Himself who tells us this.  So don’t trust in material riches, trust in Him who can give you the rich life of peace that comes from walking in the Spirit and life forever more in God’s kingdom.

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

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 9

“Jesus said to him, ‘Do not forbid him, for he who is not
against us is on our side.’” – Luke 9:50

John had seen one casting out devils in the name of the Lord Jesus, and just because he did not recognize this man to be a disciple (or one who followed with the twelve), he forbade him. John said distinctly, “Because he does not follow with us” (Luke 9:48, emphasis mine). He did not seem to realize that a person could be a sincere follower of the Lord Jesus, without necessarily being outwardly associated with the disciples.

The Lord Jesus, however, said, “Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is on our side.” He could look at the heart, while John merely looked at the outward appearance. The Lord was satisfied; John was not. Jesus did not condemn the man, but John did. O, how simple it is to condemn fellow Christians just because they do not follow us.

Lord, help me to be able to comprehend with all saints,
what is the length and breadth of Your love.[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

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).