Showing posts with label Goals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Goals. Show all posts

Monday, September 19, 2022

What do we “Get ‘er Done First?” - Purity 840


What do we “Get ‘er Done First?”   - Purity 840

Purity 840 09/18/2022  Purity 840Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a magnificent sunset over Lake Ontario in Oswego, which I will take the liberty of calling “August Departs”  comes to us from Celestial Blue Photography who captured this last sunset of the month and shared it on social media back on August 31st.   

Well It’s the 19th of September and although its been a while since August departed it is still officially summer until Thursday but I won’t be looking for any last minute summer time fun as the next few days will be filled with work during the day and ministry opportunities at night and so now I am in the midst of the fine art of juggling and prioritizing my tasks in order to be fully prepared and effective to perform what’s expected of me in the days and nights ahead.     

And so comes the question, what do we “get ‘er done, first?” 

Yeah when we look at the calendar and look at all the things we have to do sometimes we can easily be overwhelmed and perplexed about how we are to accomplish what we need to without being a total wreck.  

I’m still a work in progress, as we all are and will be until Christ returns or welcomes us into His kingdom, but one of the things that I have learned on the path of Christian discipleship is that “perfection” and results is not a thing we have to worry about. But at the same time we don’t necessarily want to be accused of not putting forth our best efforts when we seek to represent the kingdom of God with the ways we live our lives.   

So thus another set of paradoxes to life in the Spirit:

·       We want to care about what we are doing but not care so much that we stress ourselves, and others, out to the point we lose our peace

·       We want to press in to do a good job but we should realize that our work will never be perfect and we will have to be aware of our limitations and have peace with what we actually can do

·       We may want to do many things and we may want to do things well but we may have to realize that if we agree to do too many, we won’t be able to do them all as well as we like.

·       We may want to kick back and relax but it may be better to work, or We may want to work but won’t be effective in our work unless we get some rest.

Now these challenges of life and work are more or less universal but as Christians who want to live by faith in the power of the Holy Spirit – the way we “get ‘er done”, the ways we rest, the ways we get results, and the way we prioritize things matter.  

While the world will justify their means by their ends and put the overall emphasis on the end results and possibly ride an emotional roller coaster ride to get there, our walk with Christ and the proof of our maturity as Christians will be demonstrated by our ability to maintain our peace and joy in the midst of the process of completing what we need to accomplish.

 So we have to keep connected to the Lord and be wise and discerning in choosing our path and although we want to be disciplined in our lifestyles of faith we don’t want to be so rigid that we can’t think outside of the box and change the ways we normally do things when met with challenges that will require a little juggling or a reprioritizing of our goals.   

This morning I had to make the decision to forgo my normal morning exercise routine because I didn’t make enough head way in a ministry project I was working on over the weekend and as I looked at the calendar I could see that time would be scarce over the next week and I had to “find the time” somewhere.  

Yesterday afternoon I was faced with the fact that this ministry work hadn’t gotten done and I had a decision to make yesterday. Do I press in on Sunday afternoon to get it done or do I spend time with my wife.   I chose my wife over the ministry work and I don’t regret it.

So yesterday I chose my wife over the ministry work and today I chose the work over the exercise.  And the lesson I learned today is that in order to avoid having to compromise in my regular routine, I will have to “find the time” to accomplish these ministry work projects in a way that doesn’t interfere with the other things that matter to me.   So in examining my time, I realize that there are places where I can make adjustments to put it all together in a way that runs smoothly by doing a little bit each day o rather than leaving things undone and scrambling at the last minute.   

That was sort of the way I did things in the past. Work hard, play hard. Leave things undone to the last minute and then run around angry and stressed out to get things done at the last minute.  The thing that was always the problem back then  was selfishness.  When I though about projects, I would think – “I don’t want to!” and would do what ever pleased me, all of which was not productive at all. It wasn’t like I shirked work responsibilities to do something else that was good, necessary, or productive. No I would watch TV, or drink, or eat, or play video games or all of the above….It was all about entertaining myself. 

But since coming to Christ and attempting to live according to His ways, I realize how foolish I was and how my selfishness led to negative consequences personally and in all of my relationships.  I spent most of my time doing what I wanted but some how I didn’t have any lasting sense or peace because I wasn’t wise to take be a good steward of the things that God had given me and eventually lost it all.  

Ironically, I lost it all when I decided to follow the Lord. You would think I would have lost my former home, marriage, and most of my possessions because of my alcoholism and rollercoaster of emotions of depression, anger, and anxiety but I only lost all of those things when I finally saw the light and decided to stop being in bondage to my addictions and emotions by surrendering to the Lord.   Unfortunately, the ex wasn’t with the program and even though I didn’t try to change her, she wasn’t content to be with the new me and demanded a divorce. 

So in the process of building a new life I have learned when to work and when to rest and how to prioritize my life in a way where the Lord is at the center of it and even though there has been a lot of changes to my life in the past few years I would say that through it all I have had a peace that goes beyond all understanding because I was diligent to stay in the Lord’s presence, to let go and let God, and to do the best I could with my part of this relationship.  And even though I might have to do some juggling at times to “get ‘er done”,  somehow there is always a measure of peace and joy as I keep ”walking and talking with God.”

Well the clock tells me that my time management isn’t perfect yet and I will have to skip sharing that verse of the day for “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men” like I usually do but I’ll give you this one.  It might be out of context from it’s part of the Bible’s narrative but it was on my heart as I was writing so here it is, Christ said in:

John 14:27 (NKJV)
27  Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid..

Christ came to give us peace and I have found that when you follow Him you find it. So keep walling and talking with God.  You don’t have to be troubled or afraid but the pathway to peace requires you follow the One who came to give it to you.



Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Psalm 18:28 (NLT2)
28  You light a lamp for me. The LORD, my God, lights up my darkness.

Today’s Bible verse speaks of the illuminating power of God.  



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 Two

The Call to Discipleship - Continued

The concept of a situation in which faith is possible is only a description of the reality contained in the following two statements, both of which are equally true: only the believers obey, and only the obedient believe.

It is really unfaithfulness to the Bible to have the first statement without the second. Only the believer obeys—we think we can understand that. Of course, obedience follows faith, the way good fruit comes from a good tree, we say. First there is faith, then obedience. If this meant only that faith alone justifies us and not deeds of obedience, then it is a firm and necessary precondition for everything else. But if it meant a chronological sequence, that faith would have to come first, to be later followed by obedience, then faith and obedience are torn apart, and the very practical question remains open: when does obedience start? Obedience remains separated from faith. Because we are justified by faith, faith and obedience have to be distinguished. But their division must never destroy their unity, which lies in the reality that faith exists only in obedience, is never without obedience. Faith is only faith in deeds of obedience.

Because talk about obedience as a consequence of faith is unseemly, due to the indissoluble unity between faith and obedience, the statement “only the believers obey” has to be paired with the other one, “only the obedient believe.” In the first, faith is the precondition of obedience; in the second, obedience is the precondition of faith. In exactly the same way that obedience is called a consequence of faith, it is also called a prerequisite of faith.

Only the obedient believe. A concrete commandment has to be obeyed, in order to come to believe. A first step of obedience has to be taken, so that faith does not become pious self-deception, cheap grace. The first step is crucial. It is qualitatively different from all others that follow. The first step of obedience has to lead Peter away from his nets and out of the boat; it has to lead the young man away from his wealth. Faith is possible only in this new state of existence created by obedience.

This first step should, to begin with, be viewed as an external deed which exchanges one mode of existence for another. Anyone can take that step. People are free to do that. It is a deed within the iustitia civilis [civil justice], within which people are free. Peter cannot convert himself, but he can leave his nets. In the Gospels that first step consists of a deed which affects all of one’s life. The Roman church required such a step only for the exceptional alternative of monasticism. For the other faithful it was enough to be willing to subject themselves unconditionally to the church and its commands. In the Lutheran confessions the importance of a first step is recognized in a significant way: after they thoroughly removed the danger of a synergistic misunderstanding, space could be kept and had to be kept for that first external deed required to enable faith—the step, in this case, to the church, where the word of salvation is preached. This step can be taken in full freedom. Come to the church! You can do that on the strength of your human freedom. You can leave your house on Sunday and go to hear the preaching. If you do not do it, then you willfully exclude yourself from the place where faith is possible. In this the Lutheran confessions show that they know there is a situation which enables faith and one in which faith is not possible. To be sure, this knowledge is very hidden here, almost as if they were ashamed of it, but it is present as one and the same knowledge of the significance of the first step as an external deed.

Once this knowledge is ascertained, then something else must be acknowledged, namely, that this first step as an external deed is and remains a dead work of the law, which can by itself never lead to Christ. As an external deed, the new existence just remains the old existence. At best, a new law of life, a new lifestyle, is reached, which has nothing to do with the new life in Christ. The alcoholic who gives up alcohol or the rich man who gives away his money are truly freed from alcohol and money, but not from themselves. They remain as their old selves, maybe even more so than before. Subject to the demand for works, they remain in the death of their old lives. The works do have to be done, but by themselves they do not lead out of death, disobedience, and godlessness. If we ourselves understand our first step as a precondition for grace, for faith, then we are judged by our works and completely cut off from grace. Everything we call convictions or good intentions is included in those external deeds, everything which the Roman church calls facere quod in se est [to do what is in oneself, i.e., to act according to one’s own abilities]. If we take the first step with the intention of putting ourselves into the situation of being able to believe, then even this ability to believe is itself nothing but works. It is but a new possibility for living within our old existence and thereby a complete misunderstanding. We remain in unbelief.

But the external works have to take place; we have to get into the situation of being able to believe. We have to take the step. What does that mean? It means that we take this step in the right way only when we do not look to the necessity of our works, but solely with a view to the word of Jesus Christ, which calls us to take the step. Peter knows that he cannot climb out of the boat by his own power. His first step would already be his downfall, so he calls, “Command me to come to you on the water.” Christ answers, “Come.” Christ has to have called; the step can be taken only at his word. This call is his grace, which calls us out of death into the new life of obedience. But now that Christ has called, Peter has to get out of the boat to come to Christ. So it is, indeed, the case that the first step of obedience is itself an act of faith in Christ’s word. But it would completely misrepresent the essence of faith to conclude that that step is no longer necessary, because in that step there had already been faith. To the contrary, we must venture to state that the step of obedience must be done first, before there can be faith. The disobedient cannot have faith.

You complain that you cannot believe? No one should be surprised that they cannot come to believe so long as, in deliberate disobedience, they flee or reject some aspect of Jesus’ commandment. You do not want to subject some sinful passion, an enmity, a hope, your life plans, or your reason to Jesus’ commandment? Do not be surprised that you do not receive the Holy Spirit, that you cannot pray, that your prayer for faith remains empty! Instead, go and be reconciled with your sister or brother; let go of the sin which keeps you captive; and you will be able to believe again! If you reject God’s commanding word, you will not receive God’s gracious word. How would you expect to find community while you intentionally withdraw from it at some point? The disobedient cannot believe; only the obedient believe.

Here the gracious call of Jesus Christ to discipleship becomes a strict law: Do this! Stop that! Come out of the boat to Jesus! Jesus says to anyone who uses their faith or lack of faith to excuse their acts of disobedience to his call: First obey, do the external works, let go of what binds you, give up what is separating you from God’s will! Do not say, I do not have the faith for that. You will not have it so long as you remain disobedient, so long as you will not take that first step. Do not say, I have faith, so I do not have to take the first step. You do not have faith, because and so long as you will not take that first step. Instead, you have hardened yourself in disbelief under the appearance of humble faith. It is an evil excuse to point from inadequate obedience to inadequate faith, and from inadequate faith to inadequate obedience. It is the disobedience of the “faithful” if they confess their unbelief where their obedience is required and if they play games with that confession (Mark 9:24). You believe—so take the first step! It leads to Jesus Christ. You do not believe—take the same step; it is commanded of you! The question of your belief or unbelief is not yours to ask. The works of obedience are required and must be done immediately. The situation is given in which faith becomes possible and really exists.

Actually, it is not the works which create faith. Instead, you are given a situation in which you can have faith. The point is to get into such a situation, so that faith is true faith and not self-deception. Because the only goal is to have true faith in Jesus Christ, because faith alone is and remains the goal (“out of faith into faith,” Rom. 1:17), this is an indispensable situation. Anyone who protests too quickly and in too Protestant a manner should be asked whether or not they are defending cheap grace. In fact the two statements, if they remain juxtaposed, will not offend true faith, but if each is taken alone it would cause serious offense. Only the believers obey—that is said to the obedient person inside the believer. Only the obedient believe—that is said to believers in their obeying. If the first statement remains alone, the believer is prey to cheap grace, that is, damnation. If the second statement remains alone, the believers are prey to their works, that is, damnation.[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), 63–67.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Overwhelming Work? Never Ending Grace- Purity 818

Overwhelming Work? Never Ending Grace- Purity 818

Purity 818 08/24/2022  Purity 818 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a view of the Grand Canyon comes to us from a friend who visited there back in April while on an epic road trip that took them throughout the Southwest and terminated in California. With views like this we are not surprised that our friend fell in love with Arizona as they were surprised to admit that “Arizona will apparently forever have a piece of my heart now.”    

I know that a canyon is perhaps not the best way to visually represent “hump day” but I would imagine that those canyon walls sure look like a mountain to the people at the bottom of it!  Also it sort of visually represents how I feel this morning as I contemplate the “mountain” of tasks that seem to be surrounding me as I have decided to prepare for the ministry work I have committed myself to in the upcoming weeks and months as summer will give way to “back to school season”.  

So this morning, I thought I would give a little advice on what to do when we feel overwhelmed with work or have realized the responsibilities that are involved with the promises or commitments we have made.  While my suggestions may be adopted by anyone in general, I will be specific in saying that we will rely on the Lord to help, strengthen, and guide us as we seek to climb out of the valley of the things we agreed to or to keep going over the mountain of things we have to do from “here to there”.   

And I guess that’s where I will begin: at the end.  

Okay, so we are talking about stress, we got things to do, we have limited time, and limited resources, and just thinking about it all can cause us to freak out, to grow anxious or become depressed.  

Unfortunately, in my experience I can attest to the fact that the world, the flesh, and the devil seem to love to pile it on when we may have over extended ourselves or have agreed to things that we didn’t realize would entail what they entail.    

So if the work itself wasn’t enough to deal with, we will be distracted and led astray by our emotions or temptations to make decisions that don’t help or can make matters worse by squandering more of our limited resources.  Ask me how I know!

So back to the end, while some of us may be on a journey with no end in sight and with an uncertain destination, we can find a measure of peace in doing what we can do for today and in making short term goals to not only measure our progress but to motivate us with the fact that we can accomplish some things in a short time even if it may take months or even years to accomplish our long term goals.  

So we contemplate our “ends” – What do we need to do, and what can we do, by the end of the day? the end of the week, or the end of the month?   

Instead of growing anxious because of all the situations and tasks that are on our plate, we divide and conquer it by being realistic and intentional in assessing and prioritizing the things that need to be done now versus the things that can be done later.  So what needs to be done today and what can wait? 

Also in this assessment, we should also consider the things we can complete and the things that will be an ongoing issue or require a sustained effort to complete.    

Once we get an idea of that, we can choose to take on our work in various ways.   We can take on each task one by one and press in until their completion or we can split our time and energy between tasks in equal or unequal measures to begin an overall campaign of activity that will result in “everything” getting done before crucial deadlines.  

So yeah we have to know those deadlines – that’s the end right and be diligent to meet them in a way that will not cause unbalance with the rest of our lives. 

A broad approach that takes everything in consideration and balances your efforts in small increments over time is preferable to leaving things to the last minute in terms of our peace, so avoid the temptations to be lazy but at the same time be wise in knowing your limits and be sure to get some rest when you need it.   

This is all just general advice that anyone can take but I wouldn’t be doing you any favors if I didn’t remind you that your relationship with God is continuous and the Lord can help you in your efforts to dig yourself out of the hole you are in or to climb over the mountain of work you have to surmount.     

Without God in our lives, we could probably manage to get things done and we will have varying levels of success in performing our tasks and in avoiding making dumb decisions that will hinder our progress but when we walk and talk with Him in our “Everyday” lives we can benefit from His presence, His wisdom, His strength, and His rest.   

The very fact of our covenant relationship with the Lord is a game changer.  His grace is enough and it liberates us.  When we know that no matter how we perform in this world that we are approved of and accepted by God, we can watch the pressure and stress of the things that usually cause us fits disappear.   

The amazing thing about grace is that we can fail.  Failure is an option.  Quitting is an option. There really is no case scenario with God.  No matter how we mess up God will still love us. We can even literally die of shame and embarrassment of failing at our accomplishments and God would be there to welcome us into His arms.  

God knows our pain. God knows our struggles. God knows our situations.

But He never leave us or forsake us in them and He will be available to us to comfort us and to encourage us through the things we need to do.  

So as we plan, as we prioritize, and as we work to “get ‘er done”, we shouldn’t forget that we are not alone. God is with us and just knowing that and being able to go to Him for comfort, guidance and strength will give His power to persevere, overcome, or endure the things that this life will bring to us. 

Although, the things I have committed myself to and the work that is involved in doing them can seem overwhelming when I look at them, when I remember that God approves of me regardless of my performance and that He is with me all the time, those tasks don’t seem so scary anymore. 

I’ll either do a good job, or I won’t. I’ll either get ‘er done or I will have to humble myself and admit that I took on more than I was able.   But even if I do less than what I would have like, I won’t die and even if I do, God will still be with me.  

So don’t be afraid of the “Big Old Pile of work” before you, Don’t be afraid of the opinions of others if you fail. God loves you and you will never be rejected by Him when you put your faith in Jesus and follow Him to the best of your abilities.

God encourages to stretch ourselves to do the impossible, but He has already accepted us as we are.  

But instead of staying where we are, let’s follow the Lord and see what we Can do with  this life. Let’s see where the Lord has to take us and let’s see what we can accomplish when we walk with Him.


Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Isaiah 40:29 (NLT2)
29  He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.

Today’s verse tells us that God gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.  

And all the people said: Amen! – Through our faith in Jesus Christ, we’ve got God on our side guys! We know His grace and it will be with us to carry us wherever the Lord wants us to go.  

Grace is God’s “divine, unmerited favor”.  It doesn’t run out at salvation. As His adopted children, God wants to know His love and His care for us.   If we ask for His strength, we will receive it.  

While God’s power in us may not result in miraculous works or signs and wonders, His strength can be called on to help us to accomplish things we never thought we could or to endure trials and tribulations we would never have thought we could survive.  

God’s strength is in His presence and when we continually abide in Him, we can cast out fear and have hope and joy as we walk through this life.  So if you are feeling weak powerless, ask your Heavenly Father for His help and receive His strength.


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 Clinton E. Arnold’s “Powers of Darkness”

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

Discerning the Demonic

How can a person detect the direct influence of evil spirits as opposed to it being a societal influence or one’s own inclination toward doing evil?

In the Gospels and Acts it appears that Christ, the apostles and ministers had little trouble detecting the immediate work of evil spirits in the lives of demonized people. Their physical conditions (unusual muscular strength, physical debilitation or illness), bizarre behavior (like living among tombs), extreme reaction to Christ or the use of his name and authority, and the direct response of the demon using the person’s vocal apparatus in reply to Christ (or a follower of Christ) appear to have been foremost among the evidences. Many would contend that the same evidences of intense demonic influence can be seen in certain people today. Some argue that people involved in Satanism and the occult open the door to this kind of severe demonic control; in most instances such people specifically seek communication with demons and the prince of evil.

Yet we should not limit our perception of Satan’s activity to these more dramatic forms. We need to be wary of too readily restricting the devil’s work exclusively to murderous Satanic rituals, scenes similar to those in the The Exorcist, and witchcraft. Satan and his spirits can influence people even if they do not experience voices in their heads and roam graveyards. It is the broader activity of Satan and the principalities and powers that the apostle Paul appeared to stress in his letters.

While Satan may often work in a direct and immediate way in people, he also asserts his sway more indirectly through exploiting “the world” and reinforcing the appetites of the flesh (our inclination toward evil). Thus we need to speak of varying levels of his influence.

First, as “the prince of this world,” Satan attempts to exert his polluting influence on all aspects of societal life and culture. When biblical ethics are portrayed in a negative light in society, Satan has been successful in extending his evil influence on a broad scale. For instance, when pilfering from one’s employer is rationalized, Satan becomes victorious. When vengeance is regarded as the best course of action against a person who wrongs us, Satan has successfully twisted our moral conscience. In short, Satan can pervert societal morals, traditions and customs. (The next chapter will develop this aspect of Satan’s activity in more detail.)

Second, Satan works in concert with an individual’s inclination toward evil (“flesh”). If a person is naturally inclined toward anger and bitterness, in some way an evil spirit may directly encourage that attitude. If the malice continues and intensifies, demonic involvement in the person’s life may become more direct. This situation is what Paul referred to as giving “a place” to the devil. In principle, it appears that those who persistently and willfully continue in certain patterns of sinfulness may experience increasing amounts of direct demonic influence.

Paul did not speculate about how these powers precisely work their evil influence of temptation. He merely said the powers do exert this kind of influence as his way of motivating and preparing believers to face the impending trials.

During World War 2, Oxford Medieval scholar C. S. Lewis wrote an imaginative account of a series of letters, penned by an older seasoned demon to his younger inexperienced nephew. In this little book, entitled The Screwtape Letters, Lewis envisioned each of the powers of darkness as having an assigned “patient” for whom the demon is given the responsibility of using every possible means to direct the patient’s attention away from anything that would lead that person toward God’s kingdom. Throughout the book Lewis depicted the younger demon (Wormwood) as keeping careful track of everything in his patient’s train of thinking and then working to influence the subject’s thoughts in the areas the demon considered him to be the most vulnerable. In describing the elder demon’s instructions to the younger, Lewis used such phrases as: “make him think,” “fuddle him,” “tempt,” “keep everything hazy in his mind,” “keep his mind off …,” “turn their gaze away from Him [God] toward themselves,” and “let an insult or a woman’s body so fix his attention outward …” The power of Lewis’s presentation is in his ability to balance the “patient’s” free will with the compelling power of the incessant supernatural temptation that vies with the ever-wooing, enabling and encouraging Spirit of God. Lewis provokes his readers into thinking about Satan’s potential involvement in the hour-to-hour mundane affairs and decisions of everyday life.

While Lewis’s account moves far beyond the few insights given to us in Scripture, I do not think he contradicts what we know about the work of the powers in Paul’s writings. I am convinced that the apostle Paul would have gone far down the road with Lewis in agreeing with him that the powers of darkness entice unbelievers and believers alike. Lewis has served the Christian community well by heightening the awareness of the demonic in a stirring way that calls for vigilance and dependence on the Lord.[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] Clinton E. Arnold, Powers of Darkness: Principalities & Powers in Paul’s Letters (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic: An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 1992), 187–189.

Monday, April 4, 2022

Spring into Action – Setting Intentions and Making Goals – Purity 696

To see today’s photo go to of follow me, MT Clark, on Facebook or Twitter.

Spring into Action – Setting Intentions and Making Goals – Purity 696

Purity 696 04/04/2022     Purity 696 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a view of Lake Paran under blue skies and through trees still waiting to spring to life comes to us from yours truly as the wife and I decided to take a hike on a path that was only travelled by a handful of others this past Saturday as we ventured out to experience the Paran-Frost Trail near the Robert Frost Museum in North Bennington Vermont this weekend.  

This view was the first sighting we had of Lake Paran as we went up and down wooded hills, traversed a footbridge over an unnamed stream, and hiked for a couple of miles before we reached this clearing to reach this elevated location to finally see the lake that the trailhead promised would be there.

The temperatures were a little brisk when we began our journey but we trusted that the weather would be in our favor and even though I started the trip with a hood over my head and gloves on my hands when we finally returned to our car the gloves were stored in my hoody’s pockets which was tied around my waist. What I needed in the beginning of my journey was put aside but not abandoned as they could be utilized for later use.    

Well, It’s Monday again and Its April 4th and It’s less than two weeks before we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.   I say all of that as a reminder of who I am in Christ and to re-orient myself to be properly prepared for the immediate days ahead and the final journey through the season of Lent.  

I don’t know about you but to be honest the “winter’s woods” that we seem to finally be emerging from sure can take a toll on one’s mind, body, and spirit.  In the past stretch of days, from the celebration of Christmas and New Years through the first three months of the year and the season of winter, I have a tendency to go into “survival mode” where I seem to keep walking and talking with God on the daily but seem to slowly veer off course in some areas of my walk as I begin to compromise some of my convictions and tend to let somethings go with the intention of “getting back on track” in brighter days.  

This “slippage” is a really trap and impediment to our progress but it can really show us that we are not perfect and that we desperately need to rely on the Lord to help, guide, and strengthen us.  Left to our own devices, we give ourselves “grace upon grace” and begin comforting ourselves with the things of the world because the world of winter is just “so hard”.  If we are not careful that final and first season of the year can become the winter of our discontent and can result in a loss of peace and a regaining of some fleshly habits that we thought we had conquered.  

The good news is that God is always with us and as we stumble through the woods of winter and go all “Jerimiah Johnson” and do whatever we have to survive through those cold and foreboding days of winter, the Holy Spirit is with us to prevent us from going native and becoming feral and continually calls us back to the light.  If we listen to His voice we won’t go too far off track, but even if we do, as the days get brighter He invariably will call us to do some “spring cleaning” and call us to repentance.  

I believe that the founders of church tradition understood this tendency of us all to go astray and developed the season of Lent to mark the days and to give us an opportunity to be refilled with the Holy Spirit,  reach out to the Lord in repentance to renew our strength and resolve and to be the people God created us to be.   

Sometimes we stumble into Lent and are still living in survival mode but as we draw closer to Easter and the days get lighter, warmer, and brighter, we can decide to right the ship and to go with God into His will for our lives where we can drop the sinful or fleshly habits we may have employed for our survival and answer His upward call to get out of the muck and mire and stand on the solid ground of the Rock once again.   

Nothing and no one can prevent us from being the people God created us to be, except for ourselves.  But we can overcome that “man in the mirror” through the power of the Holy Spirit in us and making the decision to turn to God and His ways for living.  

The journey out of the “woods” starts with the decision to go toward the light.  So we set our intention to go with God each morning and forsake the worldly things that we have been seeking comfort from but we also have to set goals that the Lord can help us to accomplish that will give us a purpose for the future.   

The proper walk with God requires us to lay things down that are weighing us down but it also requires us to decide on a direction to go and a destination that we want to arrive at.  Instead of looking at the end of the map, we should decide where we can get to today and where we would like to be at the end of the week.   Our final destination of some of our goals could be months or even years away but if we keep going in their direction and commit ourselves to continual progress we can one day accomplish what now seems so far away and may seem impossible from where we are standing now.  

But with God, we can accomplish “impossible” things but we need to decide to stop surviving and to start thriving by entering into the path that He wants us to walk.  

So look up and see His light, listen for His voice, and decide to follow where He wants you to go.    Set your intention to go His way and make some goals that you can easily accomplish in the weeks ahead and after you “get there” you can see that you “made it” to where you wanted to be and that you are closer to where He wants you to be.   

When you “get there” you can celebrate, and then you can make some more goals that will lead you ever closer to the Lord and the goodness and peaceful life that He has waiting for you.             


Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verse is :

Acts 13:38 (NKJV)
38  Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins;

Today’s Bible verse reminds us that it is “through this Man”, Jesus Christ, that we are forgiven of our sins and that we need to “preach” this to others to enlarge His kingdom and we need to “preach” this to ourselves to remind us of who we are in Christ and to have peace as we walk through this world. 

The gospel of Jesus Christ is the gamechanger for life.  It teaches us that we can do nothing without God to be approved.  It teaches us our need for Him. It teaches us to rely on Him. It teaches us that we are made right with God because of Jesus Christ Alone and that we can finally rest and have peace because we “made it”, we are members of the kingdom of God because of Jesus.   

The word preach gets a bad wrap because often people profess but don’t do what they say. We have to practice what we preach. 

SO in terms of ourselves, if we believe the gospel of Jesus Christ and believe that we have been saved, forgiven of our sins and brought into God’s kingdom, we should live like it first and foremost by expressing our joy at our salvation, our gratitude for the gift we have been given, and our peace that we have that comes from knowing we will never die and we are loved and accepted by the One who made all things.  

Living like a Christian should be defined by someone who is filled with joy, love, goodness, gentleness, and peace.  I mean honestly – we have eternal life and peace with God, maybe we should be happy about it and rejoice.    

I know that is easier said then done so we need to continually “preach” to ourselves by reminding ourselves of who we are in Christ.   When we stand in our identity as children of God, we can live according to the Spirit and experience the fruit of the Spirit.  

When we know our freedom in Christ, we can then “preach” to others how they can find peace with God through Jesus Christ and how they can know what it really means to be free and have an abundant life.   

So remember, you are forgiven! So preach that good news to yourself and preach that good news to others and be a “real Christian” by practicing what you preach by living a life of peace, joy, and love.    

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 June Hunt’s Overeating: Freedom from Food Fixation.  

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 his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $5.00.

F. How to Find the Healthiest Foods

The current “evil” word in the world of weight loss is carbs, something seemingly to be avoided like the plague. Carbohydrates have been blamed for the obesity epidemic and have been targeted as the source of increased health risks and disease. But not all carbs are bad.

According to many health experts, it is vital to incorporate unprocessed, high-fiber carbohydrates into a well-balanced diet of whole grains, lean meats, fruits, and vegetables.

God has certainly blessed us with an abundance to choose from.…

“I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.”

(Genesis 1:29)

The most nutritious foods to eat fall under six categories: fruits, vegetables, nuts, protein, dairy, and grains. Notice the absence of candy, cookies, and cakes! But healthy food can be prepared in an unhealthy way. Likewise, some vegetables are healthier than other vegetables.

•     Eat fresh and/or frozen fruit.

—   Avoid canned fruit that contains high fructose corn syrup.

•     Eat darker vegetables, which have more vitamins than lighter vegetables.

—   Avoid iceberg lettuce, which has no nutritional value.

•     Eat vitamin-rich sweet potatoes.

—   Avoid white potatoes.

•     Eat the “skins” of food.

—   Avoid peeling the skin of potatoes. The skins contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, folic acid, beta carotene, and iron. If preparing mashed potatoes, cook with the skin on to add vitamins and fiber.

•     Eat food with natural sweetness (fruit, sweet potatoes).

—   Avoid sugar, fructose, and sucrose.

•     Eat nuts in their natural form.

—   Avoid nuts that are honey roasted or prepared with saturated fat.

•     Eat broiled or baked meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables.

—   Avoid fried foods, which are high in fat.

•     Eat whole wheat bread and English muffins.

—   Avoid white bread and items with bleached white flour that remove the beneficial vitamins. (Croissant rolls are very high in fat.)

The Lord created you to need food, to have hunger, and to eat. Your responsibility is to be wise with the proper foods eaten at the proper time.…

“The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.”

(Psalm 145:15–16)[1]

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

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

[1] June Hunt, Biblical Counseling Keys on Overeating: Freedom from Food Fixation (Dallas, TX: Hope For The Heart, 2008), 34–35.