Showing posts with label Healing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Healing. Show all posts

Thursday, September 23, 2021

What a Cluster! – Follow the Path to Life and Healing - Purity 531

What a Cluster!  – Follow the Path to Life and Healing  - Purity 531

Purity 531 09/23/2021 Purity 531 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of a section of the corn maze path under a cloudless September sky comes to us from a friend’s recent visit to Samascott Orchards in Kinderhook NY.  Now that we are one full day into the Autumn season I would invite all my friends to boldly grab a pumpkin spiced or apple cider flavored treat this morning and make some plans to mark the season by going out somewhere this weekend or the weeks ahead to celebrate the harvest season.   

It’s Thursday, and I couldn’t resist sharing today’s photo of a pathway through the corn, because of the Autumn season, and because it is my habit to feature a road or a pathway for the Thursday photo to encourage my friends to keep traveling along, or to step on to, for the first time, the path of Christian Discipleship.  One way you can walk that walk, is by joining me for the Freedom in Christ Discipleship Class that I will be leading this evening at Rock Solid Church at 6:30 pm.

For my fellow travelers along the path that Christ laid before us who are not local, I will be uploading a podcast version of tonight’s teaching on the mt4Christ247 podcast and an outline of sorts for the lesson on the “restricted” blog mt4christ dot org.

One of the biggest complaints about the Christian faith is all those “hypocrites” in the church and I would be dishonest if I were to say I didn’t know what you are talking about.  But instead of pointing to the problem people who give the church a bad name because of their licentious lifestyles of sin or because of their hard hearts of self-righteousness,  I would encourage you to be the solution by deciding to be an authentic surrendered Christian who is continuously seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness by living out your faith every day.   

The separation of church and state, or the spiritual and the secular, should not be a theme in a Christian’s life because the correct view of our existence recognizes “Our Father who art in Heaven” who is sovereign over all His creation. 

To experience our new life in Christ, we must agree with the Word of God and apply it to our lives. 

Last night I talked to a brother and kindred spirit who knows the wonders of the Lord’s love and the power of our Christian faith.  While I don’t know all of his story, I know that Darren Duso started coming to my local church a few years ago and started his on walk on the path of Christian Discipleship (all it is our faith walk) by first attending services and then eventually feeding his curiosity, his heart, and mind by enrolling in Rock Solid Bible Institute where he recently received his Associates degree in Biblical Studies. 

But it wasn’t all just “fancy book learning” that has pulled Darren Duso along on the path of Christian Discipleship.  Sure there was the joy of our lively worship services and the fellowship of like minded Bible believing Christians to worship and walk with, but Darren has encountered the living God in a real and tangible way, that many on the path come to experience one way or another.  

Our church celebrates ever new year by calling for a time of fasting and prayer, encouraging our fellowship to choose to use the time to draw closer to God and to set their spiritual visions and intentions for the new year.   

Darren Duso decided to give it a try.  Darren suffered from what they call “cluster headaches”.  As a result of the pain, those with cluster headaches may experience suicidal thoughts during an attack (giving the alternative name "suicide headache" or "suicidal headache"). It is reported as one of the most painful conditions a person can experience.   The pain can be so bad that you consider killing yourself to escape it. 

So Darren decided to fast and pray for healing from his cluster headaches a couple of years ago. If I recall correctly it was about a week after he started fasting and praying that Darren testified to the church that his cluster headaches were gone.  Like I said, that was a couple of years ago, and if you ask Darren today , he will tell you that they are still gone.  

Nice story huh, well as those of us who are walking on the path of Christian Discipleship can tell you, the testimony never ends.  Like I said since then Darren has earned a degree from the Bible college, but he is not done seeking God’s kingdom and His righteousness yet.  

Darren just announced that he is now hosting a podcast where he will be teaching his listeners how to study the Bible and how they can apply its truth to their lives. He and I know the power of God personally and both of us seek to encourage people to pursue a life of faith because of the transformative power it has and because of the purpose and joy it can bring to your life.  

So keep walking and talking with God.  Seek His kingdom and His righteousness by surrendering to Him and leaving the world and its ways behind. When you start walking in His direction, God will come running into your life to shower you with His love and to teach you the way you should go.  Let go of your pride, pain, and hypocrisy. Confess that you need Him and follow where the Lord tells you to go. 


This morning’s meditation verse is:

2 Timothy 2:23 (NKJV)
23  But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife.

Today’s verse wisely tells us what Christians are to avoid.  

Well, well, well.  I could say a lot about this verse. The first thing that comes to mind are politically minded brothers and sisters in Christ that speak the names of politicians more than they speak the name of Jesus.  I understand that value of standing for what you believe in but often what I hear from those who are “fighting the power” or who are trying to “make America great again” falls into the category of “foolish and ignorant disputes” that “generate strife”.  

What do you mean by that MT! I’m standing for our Christian traditions and the US Constitution! Or “I’m standing against HATE!”     

I have no problems with making a stand.  What I have a problem with is one thing.  

1.     To be in the world’s forum of debate, the first thing that goes out the window is the word of God.  

There might be a few exceptions to this but if there are the people who stand on the word of God as part of their discussions don’t get a lot of air play because they would be labeled as religious extremists who don’t live in the real world.  

The Holy Spirit anointed Word of God is the only thing that will activate real change in people’s lives, so the enemy convinces well meaning Christians to “intelligently” debate their opposition by suggesting man made ways to institute reforms and changes. 

The “Christians” in these debates end up failing to use their forum to present the gospel and end up appearing “foolish and ignorant” to their opposition with their watered down Christian values based solutions that just aren’t pragmatic in the real world.  Ironically, by trying to be pragmatic, conservative Christian pundits fail to bring people to Christ and alienate the people they are trying to reach.  

Unfortunately, our Christian wisdom, the gospel, is foolishness to those who are perishing but it is the only thing that will save people. Christ told us to go out into the world and to preach the gospel and to make disciples (Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:19).  Fighting political battles does neither.  

Today’s verse also applies to us in the church.  As Christians we are to, as long as it depends on us, to make peace with all people.  So fighting over doctrinal differences that are not essential to the gospel must be avoided in order for the church to be effective in its purpose to be used by God to bring people into His kingdom and to maintain the unity and harmony in the body of Christ.  

We are to be the peace makers, not the troublemakers.  So if you find yourself as being an argumentative person, ask the Lord to give you wisdom so that your words will speak the truth in love and represent His kingdom and His plan for humanity. 


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:


D. How to Build Healthy Boundaries

Bill Rodgers models healthy boundaries and goes on to become a four-time winner of the Boston Marathon.

But for Rosie Ruiz, the 1980 Boston Marathon isn't her first "ruse on the run." In her very first race, the 1979 New York City Marathon, it is later discovered that Rosie starts the race, pulls a fast exit after about 10 miles, rides a subway, and jaunts her way to the finish line in Central Park. She finishes in 24th place with a time of two hours, 56 minutes, and 29 seconds.

What is the motivation for such unhealthy boundaries? Some say it is as simple as wanting to promote herself while intimidating and impressing coworkers.

"A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones."

(John 8:44)

Athletes work hard to develop strong muscles so that they can compete and win. Strong muscles require an exercise plan, a great coach or trainer, and regular, challenging exercise. No athlete can build strong muscles if someone else lifts the weights, works the practice sessions, and takes direction from the trainer.

You also must have a plan, a counselor or mentor, pastor or friend who will walk alongside you as you rely on God to help you gain control of your life. And you must continually face the challenges required to maintain healthy boundaries. . . .

"Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.>"

(Isaiah 40:31)

6 Sure Steps for Success

#1 Admit that you have a problem: Athletes can't improve their performance without first identifying the problems they're having.

Acknowledge that you're the one with the problem of lacking boundaries.

"Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23-24).

#2 Be aware that you may not want to do the hard work of change: Some athletes say they hate certain aspects of working out, but they do it anyway because they know that if they don't, they won't win.

Admit that you've often been your own worst enemy.

"Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place" (Psalm 51:6).

#3 Care about yourself: Athletes concentrate on their own challenges and leave the challenges of others to trainers and coaches.

Agree to let God change you. Determine to leave others in His care.

"Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming" (1 Peter 1:13).

#4 Don't try to go the distance the first time: Marathon runners don't start out running 26 miles. They build up to it—1 mile a day, 2 miles a day, and so on.

Allow yourself to make small changes before you take on bigger challenges.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything" (James 1:2-4).

#5 Enforce the boundaries you set: If an athlete doesn't force himself to push through challenges, he won't succeed.

Accept the challenge to enforce boundaries.

#6 Continue to move forward: Athletes have to accept that one day they will not be able to perform at peak levels, even if they haven't achieved their dreams. Everyone has to let go and move forward with life or stay stuck.

At last, move forward, grieving your losses as you seek to fulfill your God-given purpose.

"Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him" (James 1:12).

Teach Healthy Boundaries

Question: "As a parent, how can I help my children develop healthy boundaries?"

Answer: Just as children must learn to respect authority, children must also be taught how to build and maintain healthy boundaries. Consider the following foundational elements necessary to develop healthy, appropriate boundaries with children.

Allow your children to say "No" and to hear "No" without fear of rejection or loss of love.

  • —If their "No" is justified, compliment them.
  • —If their "No" is unjustified, stay caring and calm and reason with them.
  • —If they rebel against your reasoning, realize that they are still hearing the truth spoken in love. In time, the seeds of truth can take root and bear fruit. Jesus said...

"You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32).

Bonding time with your child as an infant is the most important, but bonding time at any age will only strengthen your relationship. It is from this foundation of bonding that your child develops the ability to develop healthy boundaries.

"God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them" (1 John 4:16).

Consequences are the logical and natural results of our actions. Your child needs to receive repercussions related to bad behavior. For example, if your child hurts someone, the repercussion would be to do something kind for that person. If your child says hateful words, a logical repercussion to retrain that behavior would be for you and your child to go to the person and ask for forgiveness, and then to sweetly speak complimentary, encouraging words to that person.

"You have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth. So do this, my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbor's hands: Go—to the point of exhaustion—and give your neighbor no rest! Allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids. Free yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler" (Proverbs 6:2-5).

• Discipline grounded in love is basic training for boundary development. Discipline is teaching boundaries, rewards, and repercussions, as well as being proactive in instruction and training in righteousness.

"All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness" (Hebrews 12:11 NASB).

• Encouragement equips, energizes, and empowers our children to feel loved. At the foundation of boundary setting is bonding, which is love. Unconditional love encourages our children to form healthy boundaries.

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

Set Healthy Boundaries

Question: "Why do parents need to set boundaries in the first place?"

Answer: Just as God set boundaries for Adam and Eve when He first created them, you need to set boundaries for your children. In truth...

  • Boundaries demonstrate your loving care. As a parent, you should not feel guilty when setting and maintaining boundaries. You are loving well when you hold the line on limits.
    "Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them" (Proverbs 13:24).
  • Boundaries earn respect. Do not be afraid of losing your child's love by establishing boundaries. In following God's loving example, respect for your authority is a natural result of protective boundaries.
    "Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live!" (Hebrews 12:9).
  • Boundaries are beneficial, not punitive. Don't look at boundaries as punishment. Good boundaries provide structure and security.
    "May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels" (Psalm 122:7).
  • Boundaries are honored out of respect and trust, not followed or coerced by force. Do not try to manipulate your child through fear or guilt. Instead, rely on established rewards and repercussions to motivate your child to act responsibly.
    "We acknowledge our wickedness, Lord, and the guilt of our ancestors; we have indeed sinned against you" (Jeremiah 14:20).
  • Boundaries are not detrimental, degrading, or demeaning. Upholding your boundaries is a discipline, and learning to develop and maintain boundaries is a positive skill for your child to learn.
    "Whoever scorns instruction will pay for it, but whoever respects a command is rewarded"
  • (Proverbs 13:13).
  • Boundaries protect your child much like a filter, keeping out harmful influences while allowing positive benefits.
    "Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you" (Psalm 9:10).
  • Boundaries may eventually need to be altered or adapted according to your child's continued growth. As your child matures and your level of trust deepens, you may choose to expand boundaries accordingly. Remember to clearly convey changes of boundaries, rewards, and repercussions.

"For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life."

(Proverbs 6:23)

Biblical Counseling Keys: Boundaries: How to See Them - How to Keep Them.

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




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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

From where I AM Sitting – Hope and Healing– Purity 523

 From where I AM Sitting – Hope and Healing– Purity 523                                                                        

Purity 523 09/14/2021 Purity 523 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of a woman seeking to get closer a look at the spectacular sunset in the distance via binoculars on the shoes of Lake Ontario at Breitbeck Park is brought to us by Celestial Blue Photography.  Yes, Rocco Saya has returned to the “scene of the crime” as he went back to Breitbeck Park, the place where he broke his leg last week, to capture this scene seated in a wheelchair as he awaits his surgery on Thursday!

I don’t often share back to back photos from the same source but what can I say! The guy went out to do what he loves in a freaking wheelchair! And no, he hasn’t even had his surgery yet!  I will respectfully call our friend, Mr. Saya from now on because he has my utmost respect.  Rocco’s… I mean Mr. Saya’s simple act of continuing to do what he loves regardless of the pain and difficulties he is suffering currently is an object lesson in how we are to live our lives. His little trip to the park where he was hurt can teach us so much. 

·       Although we have been hurt and broken, we are not useless.  

Often when we suffer there can be a tendency to wallow in our misery. If we are not careful we will sit in a deep depression focusing on what we have lost and what we can no longer do.  Mr. Saya has shown us that even though he is suffering pain he can still function. He obviously has limitations. I envision Mr. Saya as sort of a Jimmy Stewart in Hitchcock’s “Rear Window”, wheelchair bound but still shooting.  Although he might be in pain and can’t do everything he would like to do, by God, he is going to keep on living and doing what he loves.  His example also teaches us that:

·       Although we have been hurt and broken, we can still see the good and appreciate the beauty in life.  

Again when we suffer pain and loss, there can be a clouding of our perceptions.  If we are not careful we can view everything in light of our hurt and see the world as sinister or dismal.   Mr. Saya has shown us that even though he is in pain, he can still appreciate the good things in life and see beauty in the world. His post stated that it was “nice to get some fresh air” and testified that “Life is always beautiful, even between the ups and downs!”  What can I say, Mr. Saya gets it.  And finally, although there could be more lessons gleaned from Mr. Saya’s trip to Breitbeck Park, his trip teaches us that:

·       Although we have been hurt and broken, we don’t have to associate places and things with our trauma.

When something traumatic happens to us, we can easily create negative associations with the people, places, and things that surround the trauma.  Mr. Saya may not have realized this but a fundamental way that we can get past the intensity of a trauma is to revisit the place where it happened to process what we have gone through and to get a clear view of the elements that surrounded the traumatic event, outside of the context of the original trauma.  

By going to Breitbeck Park and taking photos, Mr. Says is destroying any negative associations that could have been transferred to that place and that activity due to his traumatic injury.  The irrational lies that “Breitbeck Park isn’t safe” or “Photography only causes trouble.” are dispelled by the truth that “Accidents happen, but we don’t have to let them change how we live by living in fear.”  Okay, I guess I lied because I got one more lesson to share. Mr. Saya’s example also teaches us that:

·       Although we have been hurt and broken, we can hope and heal.  

Mr. Saya’s comments on his post reported that his surgery is on Thursday, and he said that he was “looking forward to that so I can begin to heal”.   The healing hasn’t happened yet. But he can look ahead and hope for the healing. So even if you are hurt and broken and really don’t feel that your healing has begun, I encourage you to learn from our friend and begin to hope for it.   

We might be in a situation that is just terrible. We might plan for a solution and come to the realization that our road ahead is going to be a long and hard one.  But if we can see beyond the trials ahead and hope for the “good place” that we can get to, our hearts and minds can prepare themselves and be ready for when our healing comes and every step we take from hear to there, can be filled with hope and expectancy.  

I have had a broken leg and I have walked out of many broken situations and the lesson I have learned in addition to all the ones that Mr. Saya’s example teaches us is that:

·       Although we have been hurt and broken, we are not alone.  

Even if you have no friends or family to lean on or have lost them as part of difficulties you are facing, there is One who loves you and cares for you like no other.  God, your heavenly Father, will never leave you or forsake you. 

If you feel distant from Him, you can find peace with Him by putting your faith in Jesus Christ. When you do that a new life of hope, power, and peace is yours to walk into. You can call on Him no matter where you are or what time it is, and He will always be there.  You can lean on Him for strength, ask Him for wisdom, and be comforted by His love.  

So draw close to God and He will draw close to you. In Christ you are a new creation. The old has passed away and all things are new.  By walking and talking with God, we can overcome and be healed.

Oh by the way, “talking with God” is communicating with Him in prayer, reading His word, and literally just talking to Him.

Walking with God is living your life according to his ways, the first of which is to be honest with Him and yourself. When we are honest with God and ourselves, we can see that we played a part in our suffering by not following Him. By surrendering and committing ourselves to God, we correct that mistake and while we might not be able to undo all that got us here, we can be confident that His ways will lead to better outcomes in the future.      


Today’s meditation verse is drawn from” from the Dr. Charles Stanley’s In Touch Ministries provided resource:  “Freedom: Our Life in Christ” Memory Verse Cards set: 

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Ephesians 1:5-6 (NASB)
5  He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,
6  to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

 Today’s verse tells us that God chose us out His kindness and grace for His will.   

 Today’s verse is one of many that contribute to the doctrine of predestination which tells us that God, before creation, foreknew those that would be his children by coming to faith in Jesus Christ.  

When I had thought about this concept before, I imagined God as sitting over and above time and space, examining all of time, from the end to the beginning, and “seeing” who would eventually put their faith in Christ and prove to be true converts by their faith, which only He could see. 

My idea was that God had “beta tested” all of existence. He ran the “scenario” of the history of the universe and that was how He “foreknew” who would be His children. He is all knowing and that’s how God knew who would be His – He saw it!  He read the end of the book. He saw the movie.  He saw who was faithful because of how it all played out.     

Clever right? This view would allow man to have free will and God to be sovereign. Wouldn’t it?  

No, it’s not clever! Its wrong.  One of the most daunting paradoxes of our faith is how God’s sovereignty and the idea of man’s free will works out.  And that’s all I say about that, today. 

My little idea didn’t have God sovereign at all. He was basically waiting in the wings and wondering how everything would work out. In my view man was sovereign, choosing to come to God or not, with the illusion of God being sovereign just because He was eternal and “knew” who would win the race of faith.   

I learned yesterday that the Greek word for “foreknew” denotes a predetermined relationship.  God sovereignly chooses those that would have a relationship with. He picked us before time began! 

From our point of view it looks like we pick Him somewhere in the progression of our lives,  but the word for “foreknew” indicates that the relationship that we come into with God was already established! We just had to catch up with what God had already chosen!

That’s a sovereign God. He picks. He chooses us and somewhere along the line we catch a clue, thanks to the Holy Spirit, and we come in line with His will.   

So rejoice in your faith in Jesus Christ. It was gift, a predetermined relationship that God established for time began.  

Why did He do this? Today’s verse tells us that it was because of His kindness. It also says it was because of His grace, His unmerited favor, meaning we didn’t do anything to deserve it. God picked us!

Today’s verse also tells us there was a reason behind His kindness and grace: His will. God chose us for a reason: to do His will.  So that should make us all feel very special.  He chose us. He saved us. And He has a purpose for us. 

So thank God for choosing you. He did it before time began and He did it for a reason. So start walking and talking with God and ask Him which way you should go. He knows the end from the beginning, and He won’t lead you astray. He has prepared good works for you to walk into so look to see what lies ahead and feel how momentous the days of your life can be.


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:

E. What Repercussions Result from Resisting Boundaries?

A big controversy in both Olympic and professional sports is the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Major stars have been caught using the drugs in order to gain an advantage over their opponents, an advantage that has been deemed unfair and illegal.

What especially exacerbates the issue is the number of famous athletes who have been found guilty by a court, or who have, on their own, confessed to using the drugs, or whose names have been brought up as potential abusers.

As a result, many fans and analysts argue that key records, such as the home run record held by Barry Bonds in Major League Baseball, should be erased or at least marked with an asterisk. Other athletes, such as 2000 Olympic track star Marion Jones, have been completely disgraced after being found guilty of using these performance-enhancing drugs.

The result for these athletes is terrible shame, public disgrace, and immense regret. But their demise highlights the most important boundary in sports: fairness.

In order to declare a winner, everyone must play by the same set of rules . . . the same boundaries. Without them, the idea of picking a winner or setting a new record becomes meaningless. The integrity of sports, then, is found in its boundaries.

Therefore, when boundaries are broken and trespassed, the results are grave for the offenders, whose former glory is forgotten and whose careers serve only as an example of what not to do.

The lesson: Play within the boundaries and there are rewards. Break the boundaries and there are repercussions—you ultimately lose . . . even your so-called victories are truly losses in terms of compromised integrity. The truth of this lesson is clearly seen in the lives . . . and deaths . . . of Moses and his brother Aaron. . . .

"On that same day the Lord told Moses, 'Go up into the Abarim Range to Mount Nebo in Moab, across from Jericho, and view Canaan, the land I am giving the Israelites as their own possession. There on the mountain that you have climbed you will die and be gathered to your people, just as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people. This is because both of you broke faith with me in the presence of the Israelites at the waters of Meribah Kadesh in the Desert of Zin and because you did not uphold my holiness among the Israelites. Therefore, you will see the land only from a distance; you will not enter the land I am giving to the people of Israel."

(Deuteronomy 32:48-52)

"The punishment should fit the crime" is a well-known and commonly supported statement by those who favor justice when it comes to repercussions for broken boundaries. The laws God established for the nation of Israel certainly reflect this sentiment and should therefore reflect our attitude when it comes to setting repercussions for those who resist the personal boundaries we establish for our relationships.

Some examples of broken boundaries and "fitting" repercussions could include...

  • Money is misused. . . . The amount is reimbursed and further monetary funds are withheld until the responsible use of money is reestablished.
  • Physical safety is threatened. . . . Time spent alone together stops until the boundary of self-control is learned through counseling and is well established for a period of at least 6 to 12 months.
  • Lies are told. . . . Trust is withheld and verification of future information is required until the person shows over time that truthfulness has become a priority.
  • Adultery is committed. . . . Marriage and individual counseling is utilized, contact with the unfaithful partner is stopped, sexual relations between the marriage partners are suspended until laboratory tests are run and medical treatment has begun for any existing sexually transmitted diseases and until faithfulness is reestablished and trust is rebuilt.
  • Abusive language is used. . . . Interaction stops and time-outs are taken by both parties until civility in conversations is reestablished as a mutually agreed upon boundary.
  • Inappropriate anger is expressed. . . . Causes for loss of control are explored and resolved in counseling, and anger management is learned and demonstrated overtime.
  • "No" is ignored. . . . The topic in question is temporarily off limits for discussion, communication is restricted to other subjects, and time-outs are enforced if resistance to being told "no" persists.
  • Time is disrespected. . . . Appointments are rescheduled after waiting for 15 minutes or a reasonable amount of time, separate modes of transportation are utilized if going somewhere together results in a late arrival, get-togethers are planned to piggyback off other scheduled events so that time won't be a factor.

When setting repercussions, it is imperative to discuss them and make them clear and to keep in mind that the purpose of repercussions is not punishment but repentance and transformation.

Resistance toward a particular boundary says there is a problem that needs to be resolved, a hurt that needs to be healed, or a behavioral pattern that needs to be changed . . . for the good of the relationship and for the sharpening of the persons in the relationship. . . .

"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another."

(Proverbs 27:17)

Shift-the-Blame Game

Question: "My husband walked away from our family and has been unfaithful. Now he wants to come back. In spite of our hurt, the children and I still love him. When I asked him to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases, he accused me of not being a forgiving and compassionate Christian. He says I'm being punitive, but I think I'm being practical. What is right?"

Answer: Your husband is simply using the "shift-the-blame" game to avoid his responsibility to be tested. He is shifting the blame to you instead of taking responsibility for putting you in this precarious position. He needs to accept the proper repercussion for his promiscuity: testing for sexually transmitted diseases.

This requirement is not to shame or humiliate a guilty spouse, but rather to protect the innocent spouse. It appears that he is still thinking of himself and not you; otherwise, he would be the one taking the initiative to do everything possible to keep you safe. Love takes precautions and protects; it doesn't risk harm to the object of its focus.

Maintain your commitment to do what is best for your family and refuse to be manipulated. Enforce your boundary of keeping the marriage bed undefiled until he complies. . . .

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens . . . a time to embrace and a time to refrain..." (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 5).

Forgiveness vs. Enablement

Question: "What does forgiveness and enablement have to do with boundaries?"

Answer: Forgiveness is not enablement. If a man borrows money from you and later refuses to repay you, you should still forgive him. Release both him and the offense to God, for your sake if for no other, so that you do not become bitter. But you should not enter into another monetary relationship with him. That is where it becomes a boundary issue.

Enabling means you allow others to continue in their bad behavior by either not establishing a boundary or by not enforcing consequences when they violate a boundary you have established.

  • Enablement puts you in a position of being offended again and again.
  • Enabling never helps offenders change, but rather further ingrains their bad habits. However, one consequence for your offenders is that they will not have other opportunities to "use you" or offend you again. That is a boundary.
  • Enablers are classic people pleasers who do not say no when they should say no.
  • Forgiveness puts you in a position of not becoming bitter or holding on to offenses from the past.
  • Forgivers face the offenses and the wrongs done toward them but never make excuses for the offense or make it okay.
  • Forgiveness discourages enablement by shining a spotlight on the wrongdoing and calling it what it is.

If you say yes to irresponsible people when you should put up boundaries and say no, you are actually trying to please people instead of God. The apostle Paul counters that error in thinking by declaring...

"We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts."

(1 Thessalonians 2:4)

Biblical Counseling Keys - Biblical Counseling Keys – Biblical Counseling Keys: Boundaries: How to See Them - How to Keep Them.


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Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Saturday, June 5, 2021

By His Stripes We are Healed? : Purity 437

 Purity 437 06/05/2021 Purity 437 Podcast

Good morning.

Today’s photo come from our mountain hiking friend who is exploring the Catskills as this scene was captured somewhere along the Blackhead Mountain loop on May 24th. Hiking Blackhead Mountain is rated as difficult and there are several options of hiking it with distances ranging from 4.4 to 13.8 miles long.  (  So if you feel like following in our friend’s footsteps, you should plan ahead and take the advice of those who have gone before you.  

I for one have not made any expeditionary plans but have a somewhat full schedule of activities this weekend that will give me the opportunity to appreciate some friend’s company and to praise the Lord. Sometimes you don’t have to plan anything. Sometimes you just have to show up and take advantage of the planning of others.  

We made it to the weekend and no matter if you are going to travel, meet up with friends and family, or just stay at home, I pray that you accomplish whatever you hope to do and find some peace and rest even if you don’t.     

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Isaiah 53:5 (NKJV)
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

Today’s verse is an Old Testament prophecy that describes the Messiah as a suffering servant, and it is clear to Christians that this verse in Isaiah is describing Jesus Christ and His atoning work on the Cross.

While most. if not all Christians, would agree that this verse describes our being forgiven of our sins and being justified by Christ’s sacrificial suffering and death on the cross, there can be quite a difference of opinion over what the phrase “by His stripes we are healed” can mean. 

Some use this verse as a prayer, or even as a promise, that God can and will grant physical healing from injury or disease.  

Perhaps, surprisingly, I would have to agree with more conservative Christians and say that using this verse as a mantra to receive healing is a misinterpretation of the verse as the context clearly refers to our “transgressions” and “our iniquities” as the things that we had to be “healed” of and the purpose of the Messiah’s suffering was for “The chastisement for our peace”, with God.   We need to be forgiven and “healed” of our sins to be reconciled with God and have peace with Him.  

Now when place our faith in Christ we are healed of sin, meaning we have the power to say no to sin and live a righteous life and in a way we are healed of all diseases because we are given eternal life.   

In terms of asking for physical healing, and as a biblical scholar, I think we shouldn’t necessarily use Isaiah 53:5 as a “healing verse”, although in a general overall “salvation is healing and new life” sense, you could. 

But I think there are plenty of verses in the New Testament where Jesus actually heals physical disease and demonic activity where He states phrases like “your faith has made you well” that are more appropriate for the Christian to use as prayers for healing. 

But I also think God hears us even if we don’t use Bible verses to get our message across. Bible verses aren’t magic words that we use to push God’s hand. Believe me I have tried. 

God is all knowing and loving. He can see the intents of our hearts so while I think that He appreciates it when we attempt to please Him by knowing and using His word in prayer, I think He will do things according to His purposes regardless of whether we follow some Bible verse formula or not.  

Now I am not saying that God doesn’t heal or that we shouldn’t pray for healing. I have prayed over myself for healing when feeling in pain or when feeling I was becoming ill, and I believe I received healing as the symptoms were stopped in their tracks. 

However, I have also prayed for healing over things and have not received healing and had to take medication or have procedures done to be cured.  

But as a Christian, I pray for healing first.  If I don’t receive healing, then I go to the doctor. And after I go to the doctor, I pray for the treatments to work.  

Even in the New Testament times, Apostles could heal people miraculously but would also get sick themselves, as Paul had some sort of eye ailments and a “thorn in the flesh”, Timothy had stomach issues, and Epaphroditus got sick and almost died.

So even back when Apostles were working miracles, God allowed illness and disease for His purposes.  But just as back then the Apostles remained faithful even to death, so must we remain faithful today.  

So keep walking and talking with God. Pray for healing because God may grant it but even if it doesn’t come we can take comfort in knowing that He will give us strength and He will one day completely redeem us with glorified bodies which will transcend death itself.     

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 with Dr. Neil Anderson’s Victory Over the Darkness, concluding Chapter 1, with the section on “Who I Am in Christ”. 


As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support His work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $15.00:


Who I Am in Christ

I Am Accepted

John 1:12

I am God's child.

John 15:15

I am Christ's friend.

Romans 5:1

I have been justified.

1 Cor. 6:17

I am united with the Lord, and I am one spirit with Him.

1 Cor. 6:20

I have been bought with a price. I belong to God.

1 Cor. 12:27

I am a member of Christ's Body.

Ephes. 1:1

I am a saint.

Ephes. 1:5

I have been adopted as God's child.

Ephes. 2:18

I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit.

Col. 1:14

I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins.

Col. 2:10

I am complete in Christ.

I Am Secure

Romans 8:1-2

I am free from condemnation.

Romans 8:28

I am assured that all things work together for good.

Romans 8:31-34

I am free from any condemning charges against me.

Romans 8:35-39

I cannot be separated from the love of God.

2 Cor. 1:21-22

I have been established, anointed and sealed by God.

Phil. 1:6

I am confident that the good work God has begun in me will be perfected.

Phil. 3:20

I am a citizen of heaven.

Col. 3:3

I am hidden with Christ in God.

2 Tim. 1:7

I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.

Hebrews 4:16

I can find grace and mercy in time of need.

1 John 5:18

I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.

I Am Significant

Matthew 5:13-14

I am the salt and light of the earth.

John 15:1, 5

I am a branch of the true vine, a channel of His life.

John 15:16

I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit.

Acts 1:8

I am a personal witness of Christ.

1 Cor. 3:16

I am God's temple.

2 Cor. 5:17-21

I am a minister of reconciliation for God.

2 Cor. 6:1

I am God's coworker (see 1 Cor. 3:9).

Ephes. 2:6

I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realm.

Ephes. 2:10

I am God's workmanship.

Ephes. 3:12

I may approach God with freedom and confidence.

Phil. 4:13

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.


Victory Over the Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ.

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


God bless you all!


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, and 

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


Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship