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Showing posts with label Hope. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hope. Show all posts

Friday, September 16, 2022

Looking Forward in Hope! - Purity 838


Looking Forward in Hope!  - Purity 838

Purity 838 09/16/2022  Purity 838 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of sunset at the Brighton Jetty in Adelaide South Australia comes to us from Dave Baun Photography (https://www.facebook.com/DaveBaunPhotography) who captured this wonderous sight on August 30th.  

Well it is Friday again and I thought that Dave’s sunset photo with its contrasts of darkness in light was an appropriate way to visually represent the past work week that had surprisingly difficult days and days of relative ease that felt like they were heaven sent! And of course because God is sovereign, both the challenges and the blessings were ordained by Him.   

Recently my wife, TammyLyn made some comments about her recent career turmoil that made me realize that she was what I thought she was: a faithful Christian woman who trusts the Lord with her path. 

In reflecting on her recent career decisions and their disappointing outcomes and the new opportunities and uncertain future ahead, instead of condemning herself or others for these latest challenges, she spoke of God’s plan in directing her path.  On the cusp of the possibility of new job offers that are closer to her children’s school, TammyLyn commented “That’s why God had me leave that job in Cambridge, to stop me from driving all over the place!”  

What someone could have easily seen as the result of a bad personal decision, by trusting the wrong people, and as being cursed because the previous job she left was no longer vacant when she decided to leave “Hell’s Kitchen” and go back to it, TammyLyn was looking at the big picture and the possibilities that the Lord was guiding her into. Instead of looking back in anger, she is looking forward in hope!    

And I think this a fundamental characteristic to a life in the Spirit.  We don’t look back with regrets. We look forward with expectancy and the willingness to follow the Lord where ever He will lead, even if we have to endure hardships along the way.   

While most of the world looks back with regrets and  laments over the “good old days” of one’s youth or to supposedly “better days” of the past,  the forward looking stance of the Christian is looking to today, and the days ahead, with joy at the prospect of what the Lord will do in their life.  

Instead of looking back with longing, I regard my past as something to be rejoiced over for two reasons: – the good things that happened – sure-  and the fact that I am no longer in the darkness of a life of pain, guilt, shame, ignorance, and brokenness that I was in before I knew the hope, love, joy, and peace now that I am in Christ.  

While people without faith look ahead to their “golden years” or imminent deaths with fear, sadness, or trepidation, Christians who walk in the Spirit know that no matter how we age or what pains or challenges we will face,  we won’t face them alone, the Lord will be with us.   And if and we do die, we can rest in the assurance that when we leave our bodies we will be with God.  

Commenting on our mortal bodies as “tents”, Paul encourages us in

2 Corinthians 5:4-9 (NKJV)
4  For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.
5  Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. 6  So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord.

 

7  For we walk by faith, not by sight.
8  We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. 9  Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.

The liberated Christian Life of walking in the Spirit makes us confident, well pleased that whether we live or die the Lord is with us and therefore our aim in life is to live in harmony with God by following His ways and living for His purposes and to be well pleasing to Him.   

So no matter if your week was dark or light, keep walking and talking with God because the Lord is with you wherever you go, and even what can seem like the most bitterest disappointments and set backs can be endured, because we know that the Lord is working all things together for our good.  

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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

2 Corinthians 10:17-18 (NLT2)
17  As the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the LORD.”
18  When people commend themselves, it doesn’t count for much. The important thing is for the Lord to commend them.

Today’s Bible verse reminds us that if we would like to boast about something, we should boast about the only one who is worthy, we should boast about the Lord.   

Here the Apostle Paul reminds us that when people commend themselves it doesn’t count for much.  Why?  Well there are two reasons.    

One, as today’s verse indicates the only opinion that matter’s is God’s.  Ultimately, the opinions of men, of others or of themselves, will be of no consequence. What the Lord thinks of them will matter.   We are finite. God is infinite. We have a measure of choice and free will in this life to determine our course while on the earth.  God determines our destination for all of eternity.  Either we will live with God in His kingdom, or we will be separated from Him in hell.   So it is very important for the Lord to commend us, as His faithful children.  

Two, God is creator.  Nothing we have in this world was soley our doing.  Our bodies, our intelligence, our talents, where we live, the people we know, and the raw materials on this planet that we can manipulate were all either directly or indirectly created by God.     There are no self-made men.  God gave us everything. We have nothing to boast about.   And as pride is Satan’s original sin, we should pause before we think to highly of ourselves.  

In truth, we should continually stand in awe of God and all that He is and all that He has done.  When we consider His power, knowledge, holiness, and presence we should come to the conclusion that only He deserves praise and boasting.   

And the only thing that we should do is boast about Him.

 

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As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we continue sharing from 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

Discipleship without Jesus Christ is choosing one’s own path. It could be an ideal path or a martyr’s path, but it is without the promise. Jesus will reject it.

“Then they went on to another village. As they were going along the road, someone said to him, ‘I will follow you wherever you go.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.’ To another he said, ‘Follow me.’ But he said, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.’ Another said, ‘I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.’ Jesus said to him, ‘No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God’ ” (Luke 9:57–62).

The first disciple took the initiative to follow Jesus. He was not called, and Jesus’ answer shows the enthusiastic man that he does not know what he is doing. He cannot know at all. That is the meaning of the answer which shows the disciple the reality of life with Jesus. The answer is spoken by the one who is going to the cross, whose whole life is described in the Apostles’ Creed with the one word “suffered.” None can want that by their own choice. None can call themselves, says Jesus; and his word receives no reply. The gap between the free offer of discipleship and real discipleship remains wide open.

When Jesus himself calls, however, he overcomes the widest gap. The second disciple wants to bury his father before he follows Jesus. The law obliges him. He knows what he wants to do and has to do. First he has to fulfill the law; then he will follow. Here a clear command of the law stands between the one called and Jesus. Jesus’ call forcefully challenges this gap. Under no circumstances is anything permitted to come between Jesus and the one called, even that which is greatest and holiest, even the law. Just at that point, for the sake of Jesus, the law which tries to get in the way has to be broken through, because it no longer had any right to interpose itself between Jesus and the one called. So Jesus here opposes the law and bids the man follow him. Only Christ speaks that way. He has the last word. The other person cannot contradict. This call, this grace, is irresistible.

The third one called, like the first, understands discipleship as an offer made only by him, as his own self-chosen program for life. But in contrast to the first, he thinks he is justified in setting his own conditions. Doing so entangles him in a complete contradiction. He wants to join Jesus, but at the same time he himself puts something in the way between himself and Jesus: “Let me first.” He wants to follow, but he wants to set his own conditions for following. Discipleship is a possibility for him, whose implementation requires fulfilling conditions and prerequisites. This makes discipleship something humanly reasonable and comprehensible. First one does the one thing, and then the other. Everything has its own rights and its own time. The disciple makes himself available, but retains the right to set his own conditions. It is obvious that, at that moment, discipleship stops being discipleship. It becomes a human program,[12] which I can organize according to my own judgment and can justify rationally and ethically. This third one wants to follow [Christ], but already in the very act of declaring his willingness to do so, he no longer wants to follow him. He eliminates discipleship by his offer, because discipleship does not tolerate any conditions that could come between Jesus and obedience. Hence, this third one gets caught in a contradiction, not only with Jesus, but with himself. He does not want what Jesus wants. He likewise does not want what he thinks he wants. He judges himself; he causes his own downfall, all by [his request], “Let me first.” Jesus’ answer graphically attests to this person’s inner conflict, which rules out discipleship. “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”[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 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTxjSNstREpuGWuL0bF3U7w/featured

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 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)

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), 59–61.

Friday, March 18, 2022

Common Cause of All Our Problems and the Way Out – Purity 682


Common Cause of All Our Problems and the Way Out – Purity 682

Purity 682 03/18/2022  Purity 682 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a blue sky over a beach and a group of palm trees with a view of the Caribbean Sea comes to us from a friend who recently traveled to beautiful Puerto Rico for a short vacation. 

Well, It’s Friday and at the end of the workday we can all pack our bags for a short vacation to that perennial paradise known as “the weekend”.  The next two days may not promise palm trees for all of us but Sunday is the first day of Spring and it is my prayer that the transition from one season to the next is a relatively easy one and that the winter of 2021-2022 peacefully fades into the past without any resurgences.  

I myself am currently on vacation but decided to use this “time off” to expand my horizons by being trained as a Psychiatric Tech for the Mobile Crisis Team in my local community. And even though I decided to continue my training by picking up a shift tomorrow I am very thankful that it is Friday because I will be reunited with my wife at our countryside home this evening.  

One thing that my short time in the Mobile Crisis Assessment Team has taught me is that there are a lot of hurting people out there and that harsh reality makes me extremely grateful for the peace I have in my personal life, in my marriage, and in my family relationships.   

I would like to say that the dysfunction, depression, and depravity I have been witness to in my limited time on the Mobile Crisis Team are foreign concepts to me but the pain and problems I am seeing in our local community have more than once reminded me of various situations and shadows of my past.   We have faced suicidal adults, suicidal children,  people locked in the chains of addiction, and people who just don’t treat each other very well.  

My heart has been moved by compassion more than once because I could see shadows of myself, my children, and my family in some of these situations.  As different as these particular people’s situations are from what I went through, our experiences are the same.  Where they are, is where I used to be. The root of the myriad of all the problems I have seen this week and the root of my problems of the past is that we either didn’t know the Lord, didn’t know that He could help us, and we certainly didn’t follow Him. 

As much as we would like to pass the buck and blame those “problem people” in our lives to be the root cause to all our unhappiness, and repeat the sentiments of Jean Paul Satre who famously said that Hell is other People, the truth is that we also have to look at the man in the mirror and see where we have contributed to our pain by being selfish and separating ourselves from the life the Lord has for us.

The common factor that I have seen amongst all the problems I have witnessed is that “these people don’t know God”.  They have made themselves or other people to be the center of their universe and are learning the pain that comes from seeking happiness from the things or people of this world rather than seeking the Lord’s presence, strength and guidance in their lives.   

I don’t blame them. I used to have the same problems and was thankfully shown the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and learned how that it was only through surrendering to the Lord’s love and wisdom that I could be delivered from the problems of my past.  

But the good news is that God pours out His love on all creation and even when people don’t want to acknowledge Him they can still see the goodness that He has provided and we can use the things and people that He has created to give people a measure of peace.  

The hurting people that we have encountered this week just wanted to know that they are cared for. They wanted to be heard and understood.  So whatever the situation, the Mobile Crisis Team shows up and listens to what these people in crisis have to say and try to assure them that they are not alone in their pain and suffering and that there are people who care about them who are willing to help them find a way to peace.  

The team repeatedly has been successful in leading people back to that truth, and the realization of that truth ends the crisis as people are reassured that there are people that will help them and there is hope that they don’t have to remain in the painful situations that they are in.  

Unfortunately, the people that we have encountered don’t know that there is a greater hope and help available to them that they are not utilizing: the hope and help that comes from a covenant relationship with God.  

Salvation through faith in Jesus Christ is just the entry point of the Lord’s hope and helpf for them. Our reconciled relationship with God that comes through faith in Jesus resolves the issue of death by giving us eternal life.   We need not fear death because Christ has conquered it and has gone before us to prepare a place for us in eternity.   

Jesus also demonstrated the life of peace and joy that is possible when we seek the Lord’s presence in prayer and follow His wisdom for living.  

By forsaking what is evil for what is good, we walk in the light of God’s goodness.  When we turn from our sin to His righteousness, the negative consequences of sin are nullified.  When we walk in the Spirit, by living according to God’s ways, we reap a harvest of the fruit of the Spirit of love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, patience, and self-control. 

When we simply love God and love people, above trying to meet our selfish needs circumstantially, we learn that our needs of love, acceptance, significance, and security are all met through Him and through loving others like He first loved us.  

So as we go into the weekend, let’s relax but let’s never tire of doing what is good and let’s never give up in sharing the love of God with a world full of people who have foolishly chosen to worship themselves and are suffering the consequences of not following the wisdom of the Creator for His creation.  

The message of “your doing it wrong” might not be received but when we offer to listen to someone and help them to see the light of what is good, and the One who has created it all, there is hope that they will see the error of their selfish ways and will choose to exchange their dysfunction for a life that “works” according the wisdom of the One who loves them and made the world for them. 

So keep walking and talking with God. Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. People living in dysfunction are separated from the Lord and don’t know that. If we are patient and to listen to them and show them we care, we can offer them the Truth,  Give them the Hope for Life, and Show them The Way Out.   

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If you are interested in taking an online course with Freedom in Christ Ministries below you will find the course options for our Spring Session. The classes will meet for 1.5-2 hours once a week for 12 weeks starting the first full week of April. Our prayer is that you will be able to set aside time for one of these wonderful courses. They truly are life changing!

 

Spring registration is now open! We are offering these times.

1.     Women’s Group, Starting Wednesday, April 6 at 10:00 AM EDT.

2.     Women’s Group, Starting Friday, April 8 at 10:30 AM EDT.

3.     Men’s Group, Starting Tuesday, April 5 at 7:00 PM EDT.

4.     Men's Group, Starting Thursday, April 7 at 6:30 PM EDT.

5.     CO-ED SPANISH SPEAKING Group, Starting Tuesday, April 5 at 7:00 PM EDT.

6.     CO-ED Group, Starting Thursday, April 7 at 7:00 PM EDT.

 

If you are interested in taking the Freedom in Christ Course, please click the Sign-up Form link below to register for your desired course time.

Sign-up Form

 

We encourage you to order your books now through the FICM online Bookstore at Freedominchrist.com. You will need the Freedom in Christ Course Participant’s Guide and The Steps to Freedom in Christ booklet. 

 

For the SPANISH participant's book click here. For the SPANISH Steps to Freedom click here or search SPG004-1 in the bookstore search bar.

                       

All materials and shipping should cost you no more than $25.

 

Once registration has closed, you will receive an introduction email confirming your course time and giving you additional information about your instructor and how the course works.

  

Sign up and order your books today! Class registration will close on Sunday, March 27

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

This morning’s meditation verse is :

2 Timothy 2:10 (NLT2)
10  So I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen.

Today’s Bible verse encourages us to endure anything to share the new life that people can have through Jesus Christ.  

In 2 Corinthians 11, the Apostle Paul has famously shared a long list of the things he suffered in his efforts to share the truth of the gospel.

 

Paul suffered significantly in His evangelical journeys.  So was it worth it? 

Yes! As today’s verse tells us, Paul confesses that He would endure anything to bring salvation to others and to give glory to Christ Jesus in the process.  

So we should compassionately endure and listen to what people have to say and try to help them understand the gospel of Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fact that a life surrendered to God is one that is defined by love, peace and joy.   

People need to know that the answers to all their problems have been solved in Jesus and we should be patient and endure to try to adequately explain to them how the Lord loves them and is calling them to a better life here on earth and a life with Him forever in eternity.  

The greatest promise of God is that He will never leave us or fore sake us and when we endure long enough to help someone understand that, we can rejoice with them as they realize that they have been chosen by God, who loves them, to be saved and to experience the glory of Christ Jesus in their lives here on earth and  forevermore.  


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 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.

C. What Are Basic Characteristics of Binge Eating?

While overeating is certainly a component of bingeing, everyone who overeats on a regular basis does not necessarily binge on food, just as everyone who abuses alcohol does not binge on alcohol. Being human, we all engage in sinful behavior. But being uniquely made, each of us may take our own separate twists and turns when engaging in sinful activity, whether it is bingeing while overeating or overeating by engaging in night eating. The Bible says that not only have we all sinned but we can all change because we have an all-powerful Lord, who loves us and by whom we have been …

“… fearfully and wonderfully made.…”

(Psalm 139:13–14)

Ask yourself these quantifying questions if you think you may be binge eating:

     Do you consume large amounts of food in secret?

     Do you eat and eat and eat until you make yourself sick?

     Do you feel that you are totally out of control when you are eating?

     Do you eat in an attempt to escape from problems or to comfort yourself?

     Do you eat to satisfy an emotional need or to feel better about yourself but end up feeling even worst?

     Do you feel disgusted with your behavior or ashamed of yourself after eating?

     Do you despise yourself for not being able to control your eating?

     Do you live with feelings of deep disgust and depression?

     Do you reject yourself and expect others to reject you?

     Do you feel totally unable to stop eating even though you earnestly want to stop?

     Do you spend around two hours binge eating, or do you binge “graze” throughout the day?

     Do you often eat even when you are not hungry, and do you eat long after you are full?

     Do you sometimes stuff food into your mouth so fast that you barely even taste what you are eating?

Unfortunately, those who binge fail to turn their focus from food as a temporal refuge to the One who is an eternal refuge.…

“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”

(Psalm 34:8)

D. What Elements Characterize Emotional Overeating?

The most prominent physical characteristic of a compulsive overeater is easily identifiable—obesity. The terms “compulsive overeating” and “binge eating” are often used interchangeably; they refer to the same ailment and identical patterns of behavior. Eating large quantities of food, often in secret, is symptomatic of compulsive overeating, but some binge eaters engage in an additional harmful habit—purging food. Bulimics may appear to be healthy, when in fact they ingest huge amounts of food and then rid themselves of it.

Compulsive overeaters often use food for comfort to cope with the pressures of life and may allow lengthy intervals of time to pass between episodes of eating massive amounts of food. Those struggling with food should heed the call of Scripture.…

“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”

(Proverbs 27:12)

When eating becomes the primary means of easing emotions, soothing stress, and putting off problems, it has become an unhealthy and uncontrollable food addiction. Those who seek to use food to meet needs designed by God to be met in relationship with Him, would greatly benefit from making the following heart cry of the psalmist their very own.…

“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.… I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.”

(Psalm 63:1, 4–5)

Some simple signs of emotional binge eating or overeating include eating food to …

     Avoid dealing with seemingly insurmountable problems

     Calm anxiety and soothe frayed nerves

     Cope with daily concerns and lessen life’s stressors

     Lighten mood and lift spirits in order to feel good

     Relax and feel rewarded

     Satisfy a relational or emotional, real or perceived, emptiness in life

Sadly, emotional eaters eat to feed their emotional emptiness rather than their physical emptiness. The problem, of course, is that emotional eating can never satisfy emotional hunger because food is matter and was created by God to satisfy physical hunger only.…

     Food contains no emotional component, so it can never be food for the soul—the mind, the emotions, and the will.

     Emotional needs can be fully met only in relationships that have an emotional component.

     Eating may be comforting for a brief moment, but when reality sets in, the illusion goes and is replaced by remorse, regret, and self-loathing.

     Rather than solving problems, compulsive, emotional overeating leads to problems of its own—including weight gain and obesity—which then serve to reinforce compulsive eating.

     The worse they feel about themselves and their appearance, the more binge eaters use food to cope.

     Emotional eating becomes a vicious cycle: eating to feel better, feeling worse instead, and then turning back to food for comfort and relief.

All the while, what emotional eaters need to do is turn to the Lord, who created them, who alone can satisfy their emotional emptiness and set their spirits free.…

“Devote your heart and soul to seeking the Lord your God.… You [God] open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.”

(1 Chronicles 22:19; Psalm 145:16)[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 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTxjSNstREpuGWuL0bF3U7w/featured

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 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)

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), 9–11.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Familiar Things that Give Us Peace & Seeking Our Constant – Purity 679


 Familiar Things that Give Us Peace & Seeking Our Constant – Purity 679

Purity 679 03/15/2022  Purity 679 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a spectacular afternoon sky and a prism rainbow shining above the glass topped peaked building that, I now know, stands at 625 Broadway in Albany NY, comes to us from yours truly as I was moved to take a “blind shot” and captured this sight while I kept at least one eye on the road during my afternoon commute rolling down 787 on the way back home on March 8th.  

Thanks to a determined search of Google Maps this morning I was able to learn the address of this building, that houses the “Hudson Valley River Greenway” and an office of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation

I was shocked that my google searches for “glass topped peaked building near 787 in Albany NY” failed to retrieve any images of this building.  The building at 625 Broadway may not be the tallest in Albany but the way that peaked roof stands out, and is a great compliment to the setting sun in the afternoon, caused me to admire it on several occasions. When I see that glass peak, I know I am not far from crossing the Hudson River to make my way home.   

Well, it’s Tuesday and since I am on my “working vacation” that sends me in the opposite direction to cross the Rip Van Winkle Bridge into Greene County I won’t be seeing my “pointy” friend until next week but when I looked at this photo this morning I could still remember how seeing this building at the end of the work day always seems to give me that measure of peace and hope that is familiar to all of us. 

We may travel different paths but if we think about it we all have that point in our day when we know that the workday is done and we are headed home that is uniquely ours.  As our workdays consume a good portion of our lives, that “end of the workday time and place” can become dear to us as it becomes a constant of our routine and if a change sends us away from it we can even mourn it’s exit from our lives.   

For 20 years I commuted a different way to Albany, so that familiar routine of going over the Patroon Island Bridge and heading East on I-90 has been replaced by going south of 787 and seeing this building that I admired enough to want to know where it stood.  It’s funny how these things become a part of our lives and touch our hearts.    

Anyway, my training as a Psychiatric Tech for the Mobile Crisis Assessment Team of Columbia & Greene Counties is underway and one thing that stood out to me so far that we try to use to keep clients away from depressive episodes that could lead them to suicidal thoughts or angry thoughts that could result in acts of self-harm or violence is to talk with them and to discuss the things in their lives that they enjoy and give them peace. We prompt people in crisis to remember the people, places, and things that are good in their life and to engage them when sad, bitter, anxious, angry, or condemning thoughts come.

When we can remember the things that are good and bring us peace, we can avoid negative mind states and regretful actions.  So a good deal of what the agency I work for does is to keep people grounded in “the good” in their lives that can testify that they are okay. 

The wellness calls and hospital discharge follow ups that we do remind people that they are okay now, that there are good things in their lives, and that there are people that care about them.  These simple reminders are literally helping people to survive, and I am humbled to be a part of it.  

I know the power of encouragement and focusing on the good and when we raise our awareness to know that there is a God that stands behind and sustains everything that is good, and who knows and loves us personally, we can be encouraged all the more.  

That’s why I encourage people to seek the Lord.  Just like I had to know where that “good building” on my afternoon commute stood, we should seek the source of all the good things in life, and all goodness in general. 

When we seek God, we will find Him and when we find Him we can discover that there is no “bad day” that can separate us from His love. His presence in our lives can give us the perspective and the strength to reject the thoughts that would lead us into darkness.            

So keep walking and talking with God. He will remind us of all the good things in life and will encourage us to enjoy them, but He will also remind us that even if things in life change and we are separated from those familiar things that give us peace, He is still there and He will always be there regardless of our changing circumstances to provide us with the peace that comes from knowing His unending love.    ______________________________________________________________________

If you are interested in taking an online course with Freedom in Christ Ministries below you will find the course options for our Spring Session. The classes will meet for 1.5-2 hours once a week for 12 weeks starting the first full week of April. Our prayer is that you will be able to set aside time for one of these wonderful courses. They truly are life changing!

 

Spring registration is now open! We are offering these times.

1.     Women’s Group, Starting Wednesday, April 6 at 10:00 AM EDT.

2.     Women’s Group, Starting Friday, April 8 at 10:30 AM EDT.

3.     Men’s Group, Starting Tuesday, April 5 at 7:00 PM EDT.

4.     Men's Group, Starting Thursday, April 7 at 6:30 PM EDT.

5.     CO-ED SPANISH SPEAKING Group, Starting Tuesday, April 5 at 7:00 PM EDT.

6.     CO-ED Group, Starting Thursday, April 7 at 7:00 PM EDT.

 

If you are interested in taking the Freedom in Christ Course, please click the Sign-up Form link below to register for your desired course time.

Sign-up Form

 

We encourage you to order your books now through the FICM online Bookstore at Freedominchrist.com. You will need the Freedom in Christ Course Participant’s Guide and The Steps to Freedom in Christ booklet. 

 

For the SPANISH participant's book click here. For the SPANISH Steps to Freedom click here or search SPG004-1 in the bookstore search bar.

                       

All materials and shipping should cost you no more than $25.

 

Once registration has closed, you will receive an introduction email confirming your course time and giving you additional information about your instructor and how the course works.

  

Sign up and order your books today! Class registration will close on Sunday, March 27

______________________________________________________________________

 

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

This morning’s meditation verse is :

1 Thessalonians 3:7 (NLT2)
7  So we have been greatly encouraged in the midst of our troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith.

Today’s Bible verse reminds us of the great encouragement we can have even in the midst of our troubles and sufferings when we remain strong in our faith.   

Wow, I really don’t plan these messages but I think the Lord might have an idea about how things will turn out. 

Staying strong in our faith is the act of reminding ourselves of who God is and who we are in Christ because of our relationship with Him.  

The good people, places, and things that we experience in life will change from time to time, but He never will. God is our constant. He doesn’t change.  We can stand on His word, in His love, and with Him in our midst at all times.  

When the going gets tough, I don’t know who might “get going” but I know God will be there.  The Bible speaks of waiting on the Lord and Abiding in Christ and the only reason the word of God can advise us to do these things is because we can count on the Lord to never leave us or forsake us, and because of His infinite nature we can always draw upon His strength and stand in His presence.  

So be greatly encouraged because the Lord is with you.  If you remain strong in your faith in Him, He will give you peace and He will see you through all the troubles of this life and will welcome you into His kingdom forever more.

 

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 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.

B. What Is Compulsive Eating?

The fanaticism for fatty foods in the 1980s didn’t just tip the scales—it set new world records. Manuel Uribe went on a saturated fat and sugar spree and earned a title that landed him in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “World’s Fattest Man.” At 1,230 pounds, Manuel was the embodiment of compulsive eating … a man completely out of control.

Compulsive eating triggered another catastrophic consequence for Manuel. He turned to liposuction to improve his appearance, but his damaged lymph nodes left giant tumors on his legs—so weighty that he couldn’t walk. Manuel readily pointed to one source for his sorrows: “It is all because of the junk food.”

Eventually Manuel became determined to no longer be the world’s heaviest man. With serious dietary changes, he dropped his weight to around 700 pounds and then set his sights on a new title: “World’s Greatest Loser of Weight.” What a change of focus!

Those like Manuel who need powerful help to control their compulsive eating can find invaluable strength from our powerful God.…

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”

(Isaiah 40:29)

     Compulsive eating is uncontrolled overeating based on satisfying emotional hunger, not physical hunger.

     Compulsive eating is a seemingly irresistible impulse to eat.

     Compulsive eating is a food addiction that can result in a physical disorder and even death.…

“For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly.”

(Proverbs 5:23)

Overeating and Addictions

Question: “Spiritually, is there a difference between a food addiction and other addictions, such as smoking, gambling, or drinking?”

Answer: No, the Bible places them in the same category, although the physical ramifications can be more serious with certain addictions. The biblical book on wisdom states …

“Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.”

(Proverbs 23:20–21)

C. What Is Binge Eating?

“It’s like having a pair of arms around you.” That’s how Diana, Princess of Wales, described the comfort she felt after consuming large amounts of food. Before dying in a car crash in 1997, Princess Diana struggled for years with bulimia … and knew all too well how those “comforting arms” could quickly turn constrictive and smothering.

Although she was considered the most popular woman in the world, it was not unusual for Princess Diana to binge up to five times a day, gorging herself with food … and then purging. While this futile cycle consumed her life, her lack of self-control turned to self-loathing. At times, she surely could have identified with Job.…

“I despise my life; I would not live forever. Let me alone; my days have no meaning.”

(Job 7:16)

     Bingeing” is a period of unrestrained indulgence and most often refers to binge eating and drinking, but can also refer to binge shopping and gambling.

     Binge eating can easily become an addictive behavior.

   Binge eaters who don’t purge typically experience great weight gain.

   Binge eaters who do purge through vomiting or excessive laxative use are “bulimics” who often experience severe health hazards, including death.

     Bingeing in the Bible comes with a warning against overindulgence.

“If you find honey, eat just enough—too much of it, and you will vomit.”

(Proverbs 25:16)

Oh, that Princess Diana would have turned to the Lord’s “everlasting arms,” which would have forever embraced her in unconditional love as described in the Bible.…

“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”

(Deuteronomy 33:27)[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 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTxjSNstREpuGWuL0bF3U7w/featured

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 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)

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), 3–4.