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

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.


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




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

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts ( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

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


Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Monday, September 6, 2021

Is this the End or the Beginning? Hope in the Lord - Purity 516

Is this the End or the Beginning? Hope in the Lord         

Purity 516 09/04/2021 Purity 516 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of an “absolutely magical” sunset comes to us from a friend who was literally jumping for joy during their recent visit to Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head NC over the weekend. Jockey’s Ridge State Park has the largest sand dune on the East Coast, and you can see here that it looks like it is the entrance to the “Land of Summer” itself.  But while Labor Day doesn’t mark the beginning of Autumn it does give us a stark reminder that we have reached the beginning of the end of the summer season.  

But as the 90’s song “Closing Time”, by Semisonic, final lyrics remind us: “…every new beginning, Comes from some other beginning’s end.”  So as summer begins to end, and new things begin this week, we are presented with a choice: Do we lament over what is passing away with sadness and walk into the new days ahead with resistance, anxiety, bitterness, and fear or do we choose instead to be thankful for recent days gone by and forge ahead into the uncertain days with confidence and expectancy?  

 Well, as my high school economics teacher, Mr. Tschudin, used to say when contemplating suggesting solutions of what moves we should make as a nation to address problems with our economy, “it depends”.   How we move forward “depends” on many things, but I believe one of the biggest factors that will determine our levels of contentment in the days ahead is where we choose to get out “hope” from.     

If you are hoping in the government of man to develop a society that will make us all happy, you will be filled with anxiety over every decision of public policy that comes up.   If you are like most people, you probably suspect the success of some outside agency or person to be the answer to all our problems is unlikely and will instead choose to only hope in what you can control. 

Unfortunately, this mistrust in other agencies and people can also be extended to include God, as earnest prayers in the past have gone unanswered and pain, loss, and suffering have been harsh realities that He didn’t seem to be able to prevent.  

So, if we are weary of others and of God, most of us will trust in ourselves to make the best decisions of what to do and where to go and will hope in our cunning and physical abilities to see us through.  This brash individualism to take care of oneself and one’s loved ones is the way of the world and is the pragmatic way to deal with problems and to be the captain of our own ship.  

The problem of this view is that there are things that are beyond our control and even if we are “self-made men” and are “our own bosses” things can happen, like the recent storms and the global pandemic, that reveal the fact that we can’t go it alone. The sudden deaths that accompany these storms and the pandemic also show us that its not just the problems on earth that we should be concerned about.  

To find solid ground in what can seem like utter groundlessness, we need to stand on something that doesn’t change and can be trusted.   While there are certain schools of thought and philosophies that proclaim that “everything changes and nothing stays the same”, they also tend to not believe in God and thus, no matter how seemingly intellectual and compassionate they attempt to present themselves, they are really proclaiming that life is meaningless and thus utterly hopeless.    

So denying God and trusting in yourself leads to a pretty dark alley that gets darker and darker as things begin to naturally fall apart over time and you realize you trusted in something that simply will not endure.  

The idea that we are dependent beings can be quite a shock to our independent spirit, but the bottom line turns out to be that we do need one another, and we all really need God in our lives.   

In the new season that lies ahead, we can successfully choose the confident and expectant path that is built on gratitude when we open ourselves to our relationship with God.  Realizing that He has put creation into motion and that everything has led to this moment  should lead us to thank Him for the blessings we have enjoyed up to this point. 

Contemplating the days ahead and eternity that lies beyond, we should come to terms with the fact that Jesus entered into our world to reconcile us with God the Father and accept the everlasting life that comes through faith in Christ.  

It is only through a relationship with the One who never changes and stands over and above all creation that we can have true hope that never ends.  When we walk with Him, we are assured of our acceptance, significance, and security. 

Nothing can separate us from God’s love and even though we are facing another “end” as Labor Day marks a transition to new challenges in the days ahead, with God every day is a new beginning, as His mercies are new every morning.

So draw close to God and He will draw close to you.  Trust in Him and He will see you through.  He will give us the strength and wisdom that we will need in the days ahead. Remember that our relationship with Him through faith in Jesus Christ assures us of our salvation and our ultimate good.

So roll with the punches and make the best moves you can but remember that whether you face failure or success in this world, the Lord has got your back and you are an unmitigated success in His eyes because you are His.     

This morning’s meditation verse is:

2 Timothy 1:9 (NKJV)
9  who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,

Today’s verse reminds us of our position and purpose in Christ and the means by which we receive them.   

Our position is “saved” as this letter refers to those who have put their faith in Jesus.  The verb is in the past tense and tells us that our salvation is a “done deal” because the means of our salvation are “not according to our works” but are according to God’s eternal purpose, and His grace, which was given, (not earned) to us in Christ Jesus “before time began”.

“Before Time Began” means that God had a plan for us before any of us even existed.  I try to use my imagination to make sense of these things and the analogy that I come up with is that God, as creator, is an artist that writes a story that includes all of us and while He has assigned us all a role in His eternal drama there is a dynamic interplay of His “script” which will ultimately tell His story and the freedom of the “players” to “adlib” their thoughts, words, and actions but somehow there is no conflict or interference between the two that restrict the freedom of those involved or that takes the story in a direction that is outside of the “Director’s vision”.  

Contemplating this paradox will either we lead us to appreciate the “Writer, Producer, Director” that is our Lord or cause us to sour and rebel that our role wasn’t how we would have written it (although we actually are writing it with our words and actions every day)  and we are not content being in Someone else’s “show”.  

For those of us who have found peace with God through faith in Christ, we have the potential to answer our “holy calling”, by listening to the Lord’s wisdom and following His “direction”.   When we accept our role in His production, our willingness to take direction can really lead us to “scenes” that we never could have imagined that we would ever be part of.   And those scenes will be moving and meaningful and will unfold to tell the story of how God transformed your life into something wonderful and good.

So follow the Lord. Seek His guidance. And go out there and have a great show!

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:

B. What Is the Purpose of Personal Boundaries?

Governing agencies are set up to establish and enforce boundaries, and when it comes to sports, they are to help athletes establish personal boundaries and to achieve victory with integrity.

But the International Cycling Union (UCI) is falling far short, according to Greg LeMond, and clean cycling will not emerge until an agency other than UCI handles drug testing. Greg says that many cyclists don't trust the UCI. The agency has even been accused of covering up Lance Armstrong's doping offenses.

Lance is infuriated by Greg's public criticism, particularly of his association with Dr. Michele Ferrari, and finds himself crossing another boundary. According to an investigative report, Lance is attributed with the following paraphrase: "Who does Greg think he is, talking about Ferrari? I'm going to take him down."

The following proverb can be applied to Lance. . . .

"The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast."

(Proverbs 5:22)

Additionally, good boundaries equip you to be a good steward:

  • Of the people and relationships God has entrusted to your care
  • Of everything for which God has made you responsible
  • Of what God has assigned you to do as your purpose in life

Boundaries protect you by allowing that which is safe and constructive to come close to you and by keeping that which is unsafe and destructive away from you. The boundary of a tiger's cage keeps a dangerous tiger inside the cage and vulnerable people outside the cage—away from harm. In relationships, boundaries are put in place to guard us and protect us and to provide a healthy environment in which relationships can flourish and grow toward Christlike maturity.

Another familiar example are common filters found in every automobile, lawn mower, factory, business, home, office, and even every airplane. They protect both engines and people from undue damage. Similarly, a fence around a home protects young children and pets from wandering out into the street and provides a barrier against strangers and stray animals coming into the yard.

Boundaries guard us from giving more than we should and protect us from others' taking more than they should. And boundaries make it possible for us to enjoy mutual giving and taking from one another in healthy relationship. . . .

"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."

(Proverbs 4:23)

  • Personal boundaries allow you to:
    • Determine what belongs to you and what belongs to another
    • Designate what you personally have power and authority over
    • Decide what and who you will prioritize in your life
    • Demonstrate the control you have over your own body, behaviors, emotions, thoughts, spiritual beliefs, and moral convictions
    • Delineate the ways you will stay true to your own moral convictions
    • Declare and enforce limits in your relationships

Boundary lines help bring order to your personal world and the world around you. The Bible says...

"Everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way."

(1 Corinthians 14:40)

  • Personal boundaries convey:
    • What you are.....................and.............what you are not
    • What you like....................and.............what you don't like
    • What you want.................and.............what you don't want
    • What you believe.............and.............what you don't believe
    • What you will choose.....and.............what you won't choose
    • What you will endure.....and.............what you won't endure
    • What you will accept......and.............what you won't accept
    • What you will give..........and.............what you won't give

Pray for wisdom and insight in order to have the best boundaries and right relationships. . . .

"How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!"

(Proverbs 16:16)

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


---------------------------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, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

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


Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship