Showing posts with label Perseverance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Perseverance. Show all posts

Thursday, July 1, 2021

The Pathway to Happy Valley - Purity 459

The Pathway to Happy Valley

Purity 459 07/01/2021  Purity 459 Podcast

Good morning  

Today’s photo comes to us from Dave Baun Photography as our friends Down Under got a case of “Go fever” when they took to their bicycles.  Intending to take a relatively short ride to McLaren Vale, they pushed the envelope and completely circumnavigated the entire Onkaparinga River National Park area by taking a long route back that took them to the outskirts of Happy Valley on their journey home.

They documented their route on the Strava app, that runners and cyclists us to track their progress. The Strava App was also how Dave, a yank from Pennsylvania, met the love of His life, Liisa, half a world way in South Adelaide Australia where they married and now reside.  Who knew that God would use a cycling app to bring two people from different countries together in the happy valley of marriage!  If you want to see the wedding video, look in the archives of the mt4christ dot org blog.  

Today’s is Thursday and I shared Dave’s photo to share his amazing love story once again, but I also shared it because his photo, taken somewhere along that 81-kilometer bike ride, that’s 50.3 miles for those of us in the US, features a pathway.  As is my habit I share photos of pathways on Thursday because I teach a Christian Discipleship class at Rock Solid Church tonight and I wish to encourage others to join us on the pathway of Christian Discipleship.    If you are not local to me, you can always listen in to the classes on the mt4christ247 podcast.    

I wasn’t always on this path of Christian Discipleship myself as I didn’t truly make Jesus my Lord and Savior until I was 38 years old. Since than I have discovered that the answers to all of life’s questions are in God’s Word and that peace beyond understanding and circumstance is possible through faith in Jesus Christ Alone.

In Christ, we are given victory over sin and death the moment we are saved but we will not experience our victory unless we pick up our cross daily and follow Jesus. We need to renew our minds and live our lives by faith in the power of the Holy Spirit to experience the limitless joys of our freedom in Christ.   

Nobody is perfect of course, so we have to learn how to live by faith. We must understand what that means and begin to practice what we profess in our daily lives. The Lord knows that I have learned with a lot of trials and a lot of error, but I know now that when you surrender your ways and ideas about life for God’s wisdom and ways the result is an abiding peace that comes from your harmonious relationship with Him.      

So set out, or continue, on the path of Christian Discipleship by renewing your mind with God’s word and by implementing the Lord’s ways for your life. When you do that, you will discover that the Lord will lead you out of the pits of confusion, fear, and darkness and bring you to your own happy valley.      

This morning’s meditation verse is:

1 Peter 4:14 (NKJV)
14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.

Today’s verse reminds us that the Christian path is not always an easy one, but it also assures us that the opposition we face honors God.   

To reproach means to address someone in such a way to express disapproval or disappointment. When you leave the kingdom of darkness behind by making Jesus your Lord and Savior, you can expect reproach and possibly from the people closest to you in your life.  

When you turn to God and turn from your sin, you become a light in the world that exposes the darkness of others. Your vocal expression of your faith and your mere presence become a source of conviction for those who are outside of God’s grace or who are not living according to God’s ways.  

If you haven’t suffered the loss of relationships because of your faith, you must have been the black sheep surrounded by Christians because for most people who come to faith in Christ and who share the gospel with those around them broken friendships and family discord are common.  

Christ said that the world hated Him so it will also hate His followers. He also promised that His disciples would be persecuted.  The martyrdom of the Apostles and countless saints, aka believers, from antiquity until now testifies of the truth of Christ’s warning.   

So are we to lash out when people reproach us? 

No, as 1 Peter 4:14 indicates the reproaches we receive may be seen as blasphemy for those who speak ill of us, but they are evidence that the Spirit of God resides in us. 

Christ’s disciples are to be known by our fruit and one of the fruits of the Spirit is patience.  We will have to have patience as we face reproach and persecution, but we can have a measure of joy in our sufferings by the fact that it confirms our faith in Christ, and it glorifies God.  

Christ went to the cross for the glory set before Him. The Apostles rejoiced as they were counted worthy to suffer persecution for the sake of Christ.  Likewise we should take any reproaches directed at us as an assurance of our faith and with a compassionate heart towards those who disparage us because they are blind to God’s goodness and are in grave danger on the road to perdition.    

So take the reproaches that come your way, thank God you are His, and in return speak the truth in love that has the power to save.

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, continuing Chapter 5.


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:

Being Led by the Spirit

We are also being "led by the Spirit" (Romans 8:14). The Lord used another metaphor to describe our relationship with Him. He is the Shepherd and we are the sheep of His pasture. Sheep need to be shepherded. I know because as a farm boy in Minnesota, I had the privilege to be a shepherd of sheep. In the spring after the snow melted, we would herd the sheep along the roadside for them to eat the fresh green grass. We had to keep them moving or they would eat until they bloated and died. We chased them from the back, just as an Australian sheep dog barks at the heels of the sheep.

While studying in Israel, I watched a shepherd tend his flock on a hillside outside Bethlehem. The shepherd sat on a rock while the sheep grazed. Then he stood up, said a few words to the sheep and walked away. The sheep looked up and followed him. Unlike my experience of chasing the sheep from the back, the shepherds of Israel lead from the front even to this day. Suddenly, the words of Jesus in John 10:27 took on new meaning to me: "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." Paul said, "For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God" (Romans 8:14).

The Proof Is in the Fruit

How can you know if you are walking according to the flesh or according to the Spirit? Take a look at your life. "Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, . . . and things like these" (Galatians 5:19-21). These deeds are spiritually dead acts which do not reflect the life of Christ. So if people have outbursts of anger, are they living according to the Spirit? Can they blame someone else for their outburst of anger? No, that is a deed of their flesh. Jesus said, "That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man" (Mark. 7:20).

We must learn to have enough self-awareness to know when we are living according to the flesh and to assume responsibility for our own attitudes and actions. We need to walk in the light and learn to confess our sins, which means to consciously agree with God. When a deed of the flesh becomes evident, mentally acknowledge that to God and ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit. The more you practice that simple little discipline, the more you will live according to the Spirit.

"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (Galatians 5:22, 23). Notice it said fruit, not fruits of the Spirit. Fruit comes from something that is living. It is the result of abiding in Christ and the ultimate expression is love, which is the character of God. "We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him" (1 John 4:16).


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


Saturday, October 3, 2020

Purity 229

Purity 229 10/03/2020  

Good morning!

Today’s photo was taken by a friend who took one of the boat ride tours of Lake George last weekend (Minnie HaHa?). I share it as an encouragement to get out there and “Do Something!” this weekend.
When we walk in the Spirit, we listen to and sometimes follow our intuition because that is one of the three ways that The Holy Spirit speaks to us.
I have experienced His leadings in the past and been rewarded with blessings I never would have known if I didn’t listen to that still quiet voice.
After you walk in the Spirit for a while you may think that you know where the Lord is leading you and when a new opportunity seems to arise you feel like “Oh yeah, this is it!!” only to discover it wasn’t.
When disappointments come we have two choices: we can become bitter and lose faith or we can console ourselves, manage our expectations, and trust that the Lord is still with us and has something else for us down the road.
When disappointments come, we have to remember the blessing we do have and that just because we thought something new or different was going to bless us and didn’t, it doesn’t mean we aren’t blessed.
God is still with us. Our lives still have what we had before the disappointment. So don’t let a disappointment make you forget how fortunate and blessed you currently are.
When we walk in the Spirit, we know that God is with us and even though we guessed wrong doesn’t mean we need to lose our hope and gratitude for what we have.
So if you turn a corner expecting something good and run into a brick wall, just pick yourself up, thank the Lord for life being full of opportunities , and let Him know you are ready for the next one when He is ready to bring it!
Have a great weekend and God bless you all!

Monday, September 28, 2020

Purity 225

Purity 225 09/28/2020
Good morning,

Today’s photo of a Canadian goose was captured by a friend on a kayaking excursion over the weekend.
I share it because it’s Monday again and I have friends who are dealing with, not just one, but a host of problems. Be they familial, financial, emotional, or personal sometimes in life we can feel like we are literally up to our neck in problems.
So should we despair? Should we just give up?
No, of course not! Take this goose as an example, they may be up to their neck in the water but they are keeping their head up. And you can bet that beneath the surface their feet are kicking up a storm to stay afloat and to rise up out of the water that surrounds them.
I myself and other people I know are or have been up to their neck in it. And the thing that gives us the most peace in the storm is the knowledge that God is with us.
Our faith in God can lead us out of the darkest days of our lives. So if we are overwhelmed with the problems of life, we need to establish or re-establish our communication with God by praying or just talking to Him.
He hears us and He knows what we are going through. If we come to God and ask Him for help, strength, or guidance, He will be there and reward us with His presence.
You might have to walk through your problems for a while but you don’t have to do it alone.
Also you have to fight. You have to act. You have to do everything that you can do to turn things around. God will bless your efforts. When we follow the path God puts before us, amazing things can happen.
But let’s keep it real. Sometimes our best efforts don’t seem to be enough. That’s when we let go and let God.

We can have peace knowing that we have done and will continue to do all we can to change things but we have to keep talking to God knowing He is with us and will comfort us, strengthen us, and guide us all the way through although the journey may be had and the road may be long.
Keep your head up. Look up and know that the One who made it all cared for you and is with you!
God bless you all!

Monday, September 21, 2020

Purity 219

Purity 219 09/21/2020

Good morning,

Today’s photo comes from a friend who was hiking, presumably in the Adirondack region of upstate NY, recently and got this awesome shot of a forest stream strewn with huge boulders.

The boulders in this stream remind me of the obstacles we can face as we try to make our way through life. Sometimes the obstacles can seem bigger than the path we want to take!

After spending the past weekend dealing with the beasts of sloth, distraction, and procrastination, I too felt like my goals were hopelessly blocked by obstacles as another week has left us behind.

The thing is sometimes we know what we have to do and we can even know how to do it but the struggle comes in actually sitting down or standing up to do it!

So what do we do when we disappoint ourselves?

Well as Christians, we are to forgive those who disappoint us and encourage them to do what’s right.

That applies to ourselves as well! So instead of beating myself for wasting time and being lazy, I am choosing to forgive myself and encouraging myself to do the right thing today.

And you know what?

Instead of feeling condemned, I feel motivated to start again and see how much we can do now that we have gotten over the boulders that slowed me up this weekend.

Who knows? I could have needed the rest. Or I could have needed to fall down one more time to learn what getting up and walking was all about. Either way, I’m ready to press on and whether you did everything right this past weekend, or it was a complete disaster, or it fell somewhere in between, I encourage you to either congratulate yourself or forgive yourself and press in to all that God has for you to experience this week!

God bless you all!