Showing posts with label Proverbs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Proverbs. Show all posts

Monday, February 6, 2023

Beyond the “Church Game” – Daily Spiritual Practice - Purity 959

Beyond the “Church Game” – Daily Spiritual Practice - Purity 959

Purity 959 02/06/2023 Purity 959 Podcast

Purity 959 on YouTube: 

Good morning,

Today’s photo of Harley running free over the white farmland tundra underneath the blazing February sun comes to us from yours as I decided to “let him go” as we made our way up Waite Rd just before noon on Saturday.  The sun may have been shining but don’t light that bright light fool you! Just like the  devil can be disguised as an angel of light, this past Saturday afternoon may have had clear skies and sunshine but I can assure you that the suns rays did little to dissipate the polar vortex like cold that had descended across the land that sent the temperatures below zero degrees.

Well, it’s Monday again and I am happy to report that the cold spell that started Friday and lasted throughout the day on Saturday lifted yesterday with temperatures in the high 30’s. And it looks like that’s where we will stay, temperature wise, for today, even though I am currently 156 miles away from where I would usually find myself at the beginning of another work week.

Yup, like Willie Nelson, I am “On the Road Again” as my employer has sent me to Syracuse NY to learn a new set of skills for work and in case you are curious, no, I didn’t volunteer for the trip.  

So, It’s “training day”, I guess and this morning I am extremely grateful for the my daily spiritual practices of exercise, prayer, Bible study, and writing this blog as these disciplines start my day off right and they are the only thing that is familiar as I find myself in my new home for the next 8 business days.

Really? Not 10 days, as in a full two weeks of training?

No, let’s have him travel back home, in the middle of the week at the end of the work day on Wednesday and have him return to two days of his regular work on Thursday and Friday!  

Pardon my questioning the scheduling of this assignment. I’m sure it makes perfect sense to someone.   Apparently 1 week of training isn’t long enough but a full two weeks would just be insane!

Anyway, it is in the times of changing circumstances and in the moments of stress caused by the cognitive dissonance of trying to figure life out, that our relationship with the Lord and the spiritual practices of the path of Christian Discipleship in which we adide in His presence are proven to be the most important thing about us. Our relationship with God and the ways we draw close to the Lord confirm who we are by reminding us of “whose we are.”  And when we know “whose we are”, we instinctively become aware “what we do” because we follow the example of Christ and do what the word of God says.   

As I have stated before on the blog, when I became a “born again” Christian back in 2010, I had a deep desire to be authentic in my faith and sought to know God more and to live my life according to His desires, according to His will – not my own.  And as hard as one might think that it is to live a Christian life in these modern times, I discovered that it is surprisingly simple, but that doesn’t mean that it is easy.   

From my liturgical Christian background, I knew that Christians went to church but that’s really all I knew and I knew that wasn’t enough.  I had played the “church game” in my former life and although there were a few times throughout my life that I would say my faith was probably genuine, for the most part I would say I was a member of  a religion more than I was in a relationship with God. Religion was cold comfort because it was powerless to change me and so I experienced a lot of guilt, shame, confusion, and anger when I used to play the “church game”.  

So when I finally heard the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and made the decision to put my faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior, I knew that “church” would not and could not be all there was to my new relationship with the Lord.   I also knew that my old liberal church, with it’s homosexual clergy – a fact, would not be a part of my new life in Christ. So until I found a conservative  “church where the Bible was taught” I was on my own. And frankly, I wasn’t ready to run out into some fundamentalist cult where the religion was just a different flavor of the day. 

My faith in Christ was something new but I decided that I would be very discerning in how I followed the Lord because I didn’t want just another “church game”, I wanted to be a “real Christian”.   

From those early days of my “born again experience”, I knew that I had to know God more. I had a deep desire to read the Bible and I did, dusting off the Bible that I had received when I was confirmed as an Episcopalian and highlighting all the passages that caught my attention.  If I was going to walk by faith I knew that I knew that I needed to know the Bible for myself. 

It turns out that this approach was recommended by nearly every “bible believing evangelist” that I was becoming familiar with through Christian radio and podcasts.  My initial research revealed that the basics of a Christian life beyond worshipping at a church and doing good works,  included regular, if not daily, Bible Study and prayer.

So even though they were new practices to me, I began praying, reading the Bible and tried to live by what I learned.  

It turns out that “this is it” – this more or less is what encompasses a Christian life:    Talking to the Lord in prayer, Reading the Bible, and doing what it says.  Like I said it sounds pretty simple, but actually doing it and doing it consistently is where we learn to grow as Christians.   Biblically, the Apostle Paul summarized what we are to do in

Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV)
1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
2  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.


We are to present our bodies for God’s service – to actually surrender ourselves to God and to live for Him – and we are to change the ways we think, by renewing our minds with God’s wisdom, His word, and to be transformed – our new lives will be different as we seek to do God’s will increasingly and progressively as we go.   

At first these practices can be hard to establish as we really do have to renew our minds to the habits themselves and to the Lord’s ways of thinking and living, to live in the context of the kingdom of God and to dwell in the Lord’s presence.  

However, with time, our daily spiritual practices become a part of our regular routine and we discover that they are actually quite effective to cause us to be transformed and to allow the fruit of the Spirit to flourish in our lives.  

So this morning, even though I am a “fish out of water” in having to adapt to “hotel living” and being in a strange environment for work,  I arose and immediately went to my daily spiritual practices even though the landscape was different and I needed to make some modifications to how I did them in my temporary home.   

I running a little late but I “got ‘er done” in terms of physical exercise, prayer, and Bible study and am now finishing this report that I hope will encourage anyone who  listens or reads this message to either establish or to continue in your “quiet time with God” each morning because it is through these practices that we draw close to our heavenly Father and live out our identity in Christ.  

So, keep walking and talking with God.  This is not a church game and the more you walk with Him and draw close to Him through a daily spiritual practice you will discover that the Christian life is something you can really live and that when you keep following the Lord the transformation is real too.   


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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Proverbs 25:11 (NLT2)
11  Timely advice is lovely, like golden apples in a silver basket.

Today’s Bible verse speaks of the loveliness of timely advice.  

There is a saying that you hear at airport that says “if you see something, say something”.  In the post 911 world of global terrorism, we have to be on guard against the threat of terrorist attacks by keeping our eyes open for anything suspicious or out of the ordinary that may indicate that something is not right.  If we see something, we should say something because it could be a matter of life and death!  

The timely report that saves someone’s life is beautiful because it prevents tragedy.   

In medical circles, a regular check up can reveal a disease, that if caught early, can be cured.  So if we suspect something isn’t “right” with ourselves or our loved ones we should say something and get it checked out.    

Likewise in the spiritual realm, when we see someone living without Jesus in their life or someone who is far from God in the way they live, we should say something.  

Our encouragement to others to put their faith in Christ may save their souls.  

Our encouragements to Christians to repent and follow the Lord may rescue them from bondage.   

So let me encourage you to say the “awkward thing” and encourage others to come to Jesus and to follow the Lord in the way they live.   We never know when our words will be “timely advice” but we have to trust that the Lord wants to use us to do His work on the earth.  So if you feel moved to speak, speak because like today’s verse tells us “timely advice is lovely, like golden apples in silver basket” to those who need to hear it.


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

Today we continue sharing from A.W. Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God.”

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






Second, the doctrine of Reprobation does not mean that God refuses to save those who earnestly seek salvation. The fact is that the reprobate have no longing for the Saviour: they see in Him no beauty that they should desire Him. They will not come to Christ—why then should God force them to? He turns away none who do come—where then is the injustice of God fore-determining their just doom? None will be punished but for their iniquities; where then is the supposed tyrannical cruelty of the Divine procedure? Remember that God is the Creator of the wicked, not of their wickedness; He is the Author of their being, but not the Infuser of their sin.

God does not (as we have been slanderously reported to affirm) compel the wicked to sin, as the rider spurs on an unwilling horse. God only says in effect that awful word, “Let them alone” (Matt. 15:14). He needs only to slacken the reins of providential restraint, and withhold the influence of saving grace, and apostate man will only too soon and too surely, of his own accord, fall by his iniquities. Thus the decree of reprobation neither interferes with the bent of man’s own fallen nature, nor serves to render him the less inexcusable.

Third, the decree of Reprobation in nowise conflicts with God’s goodness. Though the non-elect are not the objects of His goodness in the same way or to the same extent as the elect are, yet are they not wholly excluded from a participation of it. They enjoy the good things of Providence (temporal blessings) in common with God’s own children, and very often to a higher degree. But how do they improve them? Does the (temporal) goodness of God lead them to repent? Nay, verily, they do butdespise His goodness, and forbearance, and longsuffering, and after their hardness and impenitency of heart treasure up unto themselves wrath against the day of wrath” (Rom. 2:4, 5). On what righteous ground, then, can they murmur against not being the objects of His benevolence in the endless ages yet to come? Moreover, if it did not clash with God’s mercy and kindness to leave the entire body of the fallen angels (2 Pet. 2:4) under the guilt of their apostasy still less can it clash with the Divine perfections to leave some of fallen mankind in their sins and punish them for them.

Finally, let us interpose this necessary caution: It is utterly impossible for any of us, during the present life, to ascertain who are among the reprobate. We must not now so judge any man, no matter how wicked he may be. The vilest sinner, may, for all we know, be included in the election of grace and be one day quickened by the Spirit of grace. Our marching orders are plain, and woe unto us if we disregard them—“Preach the Gospel to every creature.” When we have done so our skirts are clear. If men refuse to heed, their blood is on their own heads; nevertheless “we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish. To the one we are a savor of death unto death; and to the other we are a savor of life unto life” (2 Cor. 2:15, 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, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel:

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

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog ( ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock ( ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


[1] Arthur W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God (Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot, 1949), 108–109.

Friday, December 9, 2022

Damned if you do, Damned if you don’t? To HELL with that! - Purity 910

 Damned if you do, Damned if you don’t?  To HELL with that!  -  Purity 910    

Purity 910 12/09/2022  Purity 910 Podcast

Purity 910 on YouTube: Coming Soon!

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a robust tropical plant and a quaint wooden walking bridge leading to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean comes to us from a friend, a “cousin-in-law?, who shared this scene from South Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida yesterday on social media commenting that they “needed this more than words can express!”

Well, It’s Friday, and in light of recent developments in my life concerning matters of the past that live on in my present, I think I need the weekend to be here more than words can express! Thank You Lord!   

I don’t know if  my “matchmaking” friend and “cousin-in-law” used a filter on this photo but while I can’t discuss the specific matters that are effecting my life because of legal agreements, I will be unfiltered in giving my advice of what to do with untenable situations, in a general sense.   

First of all some common sense with some support from the word of God to validate it’s wisdom.  

You shouldn’t trust people who are not walking with the Lord and especially if they have proved to be untrustworthy in the past, and even more so if they abuse alcohol or drugs.  

In terms or our faith, those without a covenant relationship with God and who are “walking in the flesh” could rightly be described as “wicked”,  and not “wicked good”, no matter how nice, friendly, or dynamic they are.

Proverbs 25:26 (NLT2)
26  If the godly give in to the wicked, it’s like polluting a fountain or muddying a spring.


As much as we try to be peacemakers and witnesses for Jesus Christ, and play “nice”,  when we compromise our better judgement by “giving in to the wicked”, we can’t be surprised when things turn into a big mess.   

Christ said:

Matthew 7:17-20 (NLT2)
17  A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit.
18  A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit.
19  So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire.
20  Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.

And if someone is not walking with the Lord, it is foolish for us to think that they will do “what’s right.”  Eventually, we could pay for our decisions to “give into the wicked”.  

To paraphrase a line from National Lampoon’s Animal House: “You “messed” up, you trusted us.”    

Yup, you messed up you trusted the untrustworthy! Surprise, things went bad.  

And from my experience, I have learned that before the “disaster” comes there are signs of the impending storm.   Just like an earthquake will be precipitated by tremors, generally we get signs that we have chosen a poor path in trusting the “wicked”. 

Of course, if we respond to these early signs and change our course we can avoid disaster, but when you call someone out at the first sign of trouble, you usually get accused of “overreacting” or “being unloving” or, my favorites: being a “bad Christian” or a “hypocrite”.  

So if you have gotten those accusations thrown in your direction, rather than shying away from withdrawing your trust and making others accountable, I suggest you agree with the accusations that are intended to shame you into inaction and show the accuser that while you have given trust, mercy, and grace, you are free to withdraw them and do what you have to do to correct the situation.

Easier said then done, of course, because dealing with people is always unpredictable and the truth of the matter is that we simply can not control what others do and often there can be negative consequences for taking corrective action.  Doing the right thing may cost you money, time, your reputation, or your relationships and when we consider the costs we may shy away from doing the right thing and just “hope and pray” things will get better on their own.  

Or out of fear, we will agree that we have to do what is right, but we can’t do that “NOW”. Our fear will tell us that the circumstances aren’t right and that we simply “can’t” do it.

“It’s too painful. It costs too much. I don’t like confrontations!  I don’t want to be a “jerk.”

While I can understand all of these sentiments, when we look at them we can see that the voice of fear is speaking through us, not the voice of faith that has confidence in God.

Not long ago, I counseled a brother in Christ that was in a “real pickle”, a situation where he couldn’t see a good outcome no matter what he did.  He saw things dualistically and didn’t think either of the paths he considered would fix his problem. 

He lamented: “I’m damned if I do, and I’m damned if I don’t”  

While I could totally understand where he was coming from, because we can really feel trapped when we don’t see an easy way out, but that “sitting on the fence in fear” does nothing to alleviate our trouble and just prolongs it. 

His situation reminds me of the common experience of removing a bandage from a wound that has healed but is still tender.  There are those who will peal it away slowly, feeling every bit of pain in every little bit of it being removed and there are those who will just rip it off, to feel a sharp sudden pain and then have it be over with in an instant.  

But there is the third option of course, which is to do nothing.  While in this scenario, it is completely plausible that our wound will eventually heal and the bandage will let go and fall away on its own with absolutely no pain, it just requires patience. 

However, I can also imagine this inaction could lead to more pain as the bandage becomes dirty and the wound is prevented from drying out, doing nothing could possibly lead to a bigger problem as the wound doesn’t heal properly and becomes infected.

Of these 4 hypothetical situations, only one of them is pain free but unfortunately we don’t live in hypothetical situations, we live in a fallen world of sin. There are many things than can complicate matters, including the spiritual forces of darkness, and generally prolonged inaction on our part results in the situations becoming worse. 

Most cancers caught early can be successfully treated, the ones that show signs but are ignored and allowed to fester can kill us.   

So although, in the moment, I gave my friend who proclaimed “I’m damned if I do, and I’m damned if I don’t” sound, measured, proactive advice ,when I most recently related that story to the Freedom in Christ Men’s group that led, I said:

“So you think that you are “Damned if you do and you are damned if you don’t”? TO HELL with THAT!  That is a lie of the enemy, who would love to keep you frozen in fear!

That’s a lie. Yeah you may suffer, but we are not to sit idly by while things fall apart around us. We may not be able to fix anything, but God would direct us to do everything we could to makes things better, even if it costs us everything, and He would expect us to trust in Him to see us through."

So because of the things I have walked through, I have discovered that it is best to meet our responsibilities head on and to “get ‘er done” as soon as possible to solve problems.   

However, I am not perfect.  I genuinely want to be loved by everyone. I am a “people pleaser” and because I desperately want to “love my neighbor” and “be kind” I have failed in some instances to “push the issue” to “make things right” and I have left them on the “back burner”.  

In vaguely, detailing this current situation in a recent blog post, my wife, TammyLyn was quite surprised to hear me say that I would deal with it “eventually”. These words coming out of my mouth didn’t sit right with her spirit and she lovingly shared her concerns saying:   “This doesn’t sound like my hubby… “eventually”? That isn’t you. Let’s just get it done”.  

So yesterday, against my fears and fully knowing that action would cost me, I reached out to retain the service of professionals that could take action on my behalf to right an injustice, to finish some bad business, to compel the “wicked” to do what was right.    

So never believe the lie that “you are damned if you do, and you are damned if you don’t”.   God has put us here on earth to be holy and righteous: simply to do what is right, and to undo the works of the devil: to confound and resist the “wicked”, to compel the sinful to repent, and the irresponsible to be responsible.  

Of course that is a hard road, but it is the road that God has put us on as Christ commanded us to go into the world and make disciples: people who would learn and apply the wisdom of the Lord to their lives. So we are to be vocal in telling others what is right and to encourage them to do so.  

If someone is living outside of God’s will, they are suffering.  

If we refuse to do what God would have us do, to be righteous, to be bold and courageous, we will suffer.  

While we can’t control what others do, we can take action to stop the suffering and put an end to untenable situations.  As peacemakers, we want the “greater peace” of being right with God, and sometimes we have to go to war and resist the enemy on the pathway that will lead us there.  

God wants us to fully to surrender to Him and fully trust in Him. We are not to trust in men and we are not to surrender to God in half measures, to compromise His “perfect will” for a life of limited or “conditional” peace that would have us make treaties with the “wicked” that will eventually cause us to suffer or compromise “who we are” in Christ.  

So to HELL with the Devil and to Hell with doing nothing because we are afraid of the consequences of the actions that we don’t know the outcomes to, and to Hell with being less than the people that God calls us to be.  

Yeah, like Jonah I walked away from the Lord’s call to complete freedom from my past because I was afraid or simply “didn’t want to” but as I continued to walk in the Spirit, He wouldn’t let it His desire for my well being go and He sentam angel in the person of my wife, to encourage me to be “bold and courageous” and to do the hard things, to be the person He created me to be.  

So keep walking and talking with God, In Christ we are never “damned” and it is only in trusting Him and following Him that we can discover that He will be with us every step of the way “through the fire” of adversity and that He will see us through, no matter what the out comes are: Trust in God only.      


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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Romans 6:23 (NLT2)
23  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Today’s verse speaks of the reality that sin is death, and that God gives us the free gift of eternal life through Christ alone.  

Ever feel less than fresh?  If we are suffering from bad moods or attitudes, we have most likely stepped off the path of Christian Discipleship by either not remembering who we are in Christ or from doing things or thinking things that are contrary to who we are in Christ: and will it wasn’t etched in stone tablets from the finger of God: that’s sin!

To “sin” is to “miss the mark” – basically to go astray from the way the Lord would have us walk.  So this includes doing things that go against what God has said is right in His word as well as not doing the “good” that God would have us do.  But these things, our behaviors or our inaction are driven by what we believe about life and us individually.  

To agree that something is bad, but to still do it, reveals that a part of us actually believes it is good or desirable in some way, that causes us to do it.   When we say one thing and  do another, it shows we believed the second thing.

The wages of sin is death. Ultimately, we are lost if we don’t repent and have our sins covered by the blood of Jesus: that’s eternal death in torment in hell.  

But sin also causes “death” in our lives as we are filled with shame or guilt or are just cold hearted, spiritually dead, when we live independent of and in opposition to the Lord.  

So as today’s verse tells us we can experience the free gift of eternal life through Christ alone, and when we follow Him and turn from our sin we can experience a life filled with peace, love, joy, and the other fruit of the Spirit here on earth.  

So stop collecting those “death wages” to your mind, body, soul, and spirit by turning away from sin and agree with what God says about you and by avoiding what is wrong and doing what is good.  



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

Today we continue sharing from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Discipleship”, also known as “The Cost of Discipleship”

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

The Church of Jesus Christ and Discipleship

Chapter Ten

The Body of Christ, continues


The body of Jesus Christ is identical with the new humanity which he has assumed. The body of Christ is his church-community [Gemeinde]. Jesus Christ at the same time is himself and his church-community (1 Cor. 12:12). Since Pentecost Jesus Christ lives here on earth in the form of his body, the church-community. Here is his body crucified and risen, here is the humanity he assumed. To be baptized therefore means to become a member of the church-community, a member of the body of Christ (Gal. 3:28; 1 Cor. 12:13). To be in Christ means to be in the church-community. But if we are in the church-community, then we are also truly and bodily in Jesus Christ. This insight reveals the full richness of meaning contained in the concept of the body of Christ.

Since the ascension, Jesus Christ’s place on earth has been taken by his body, the church [Kirche]. The church is the present Christ himself. With this statement we are recovering an insight about the church which has been almost totally forgotten. While we are used to thinking of the church as an institution, we ought instead to think of it as a person with a body, although of course a person in a unique sense.

The church is one. All who are baptized are “one in Christ” (Gal. 3:28; Rom. 12:5; 1 Cor. 10:17). The church is “the human being per se.” It is the “new human being” (καινὸς ἄνθρωπος). As such, the church was created through Christ’s death on the cross. Here the hostility between Jews and Gentiles which had torn humanity apart is abolished, “in order that he might create in himself one new human being in place of the two, thus making peace” (Eph. 2:15). The “new human being” is one, not many. Outside of the church, which is this new human being, there is only the old, internally divided human being.

The “new human being,” which is the church, is “created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness and truth” (Eph. 4:24). The “new human being” is “being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator” (Col. 3:10). It is none other than Christ himself who is described here as the image of God. Adam was the first human being bearing the image of the creator. But he lost this image when he fell. Now a “second human being,” a “last Adam,” is being created in the image of God—Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:47). The “new human being” is thus at the same time Christ and the church. Christ is the new humanity in the new human being. Christ is the church.

The relation of the individual believer to the “new human being” is described in terms of “putting on” the new human being.16 The “new human being” is like a garment made to cover the individual believers. They are to put on the image of God, that is, Christ and the church. In baptism we are putting on Christ (Gal. 3:27), which means we are being incorporated into his body, or into the one human being in whom there is neither Greek nor Jew, neither free nor slave. Whoever is baptized is being incorporated into the church-community. No one can become a new human being except by being within the church, that is, through the body of Christ. Whoever seeks to become a new human being individually cannot succeed. To become a new human being means to come into the church, to become a member of Christ’s body. The new human being is not the single individual who has been justified and sanctified; rather, the new human being is the church-community, the body of Christ, or Christ himself.[1]

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

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel:

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

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock ( ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

The Epic Journey Continues - Relationships Dynamics Inventory – Purity 884


The Epic Journey Continues - Relationships Dynamics Inventory   Purity 884

Purity 884 11/09/2022 Purity 884 Podcast

Purity 884 on YouTube: 

Good morning,

Today’s photo of the afternoon sun shining through a hazy sky over the Hudson River, and Schodack Creek, and my driveway comes to us from yours truly as I stopped to capture the view from my front yard upon return to my home “Down by The River” back on October 30th.  

Well, it’s Wednesday, and I am hitting the road to go to the shores of Lake Ontario in Oswego NY tonight after work as part of a spiritual journey that will culminate in my volunteering for the ministry that delivered the radio message that saved my soul back in 2010.   I will be serving at an Evening with David Jerimiah at the Key Bank Center in Buffalo on Friday and letting the Spirit guide me between now and then. So I am excited and short on time.  

This morning I utilized some information one of the participants from the Freedom in Christ course provided in the chat last night to create the Following “Relationship Dynamics Inventory”   and because I took the time to make it I am sharing it today on the blog and podcast.  So here goes: 

“Relationship Dynamics Inventory”

As we seek to walk in the Spirit and become aware of the lies we have believed and recognize the things we may have done, or have failed to do, or that we may have experienced from our parents/caregivers/family/loved ones/friends growing up, we have to take an honest inventory of our pasts and our past performance. 

A Freedom In Christ Course Participant shared the following list that he received from a ministry that seeks to reconcile relationships and to help people to honestly look at the things they have done or have been perceived to have done.


·       Lack of interest in things that are special to me

·       Breaking promises

·       Criticizing unjustly

·       Allowing my brothers or sisters to put me down

·       Misunderstanding my motives

·       Speaking carelessly

·       Punishing me for something I’d already been punished for

·       Telling me that my opinions don’t really matter

·       Giving me the feeling that you never made mistakes

·       Not being gentle when pointing out my weaknesses or blind spots

·       Lecturing me and not understanding that all I need is some support

·       Never saying, “I love you’”

·       Not spending time alone with me

·       Being insensitive and rough

·       Being thoughtless.

·       Never saying, “Thank you”

·       Speaking harsh words

·       Being inconsistent

·       Being taken for granted

·       Being told how to do something that I was doing on my own

·       Nagging me

·       Bossing me

·       Feeling unnoticed and unappreciated

·       Being ignored

·       Not being considered a thinking/feeling person

·       Being too busy to care for me

·       Being too busy to listen to what I have to say.

·       Dismissing my needs as not important, and yours are more important

·       Bringing up mistakes from the past

You can utilize this list by providing it to your children, spouses, family, or friends to allow them an opportunity to honestly assess you without fear of reproach and with the intention of reconciliation and rebuilding and healing broken or troubled relationships.

You can also use it for self-evaluation or evaluation of your relationship dynamics with parents, children, extended family, spouses, significant others, or friends.  

The basic principles of Christian Discipleship recommend that you repent of any known sins, study God’s word to renew your mind, develop a daily prayer practice, and to seek the community, counsel, and accountability of other mature Christians.

I would recommend that you also utilize the teachings presented in the Freedom in Christ Course and Victory Over the Darkness (regarding Handling Emotions Well, Forgiving From the Heart, Relating to Others, with the focus of working on one’s own character and seeking to meet the needs of others, without expectation) to help you in the process of evaluation and sanctification, before attempting any reconciliation.

For resources from Freedom in Christ Ministries go to:

This document is merely a tool to use for evaluation and should be used with wisdom and discretion.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.  


Yeah I know that is one harsh list of things we may have to face. The participant in our Freedom in Christ course actually provided that to his wife and children to get the hard truth of how they felt he was doing as a husband and father.  Talk about humbling.  

But sometimes we need the hard truth to help us to change and there is no truth harder or more true that the word of God.  When we are faced with our failures and sins and relationship blunders, hope can be found in seeking the Lord and in repentance.  

The Lord can help you to change. He can transform your life. And while He can’t change what happened in the past He can help you move past it and correct your course going forward.  

So look in the mirror and see how you are doing, but be sure to look in God’s word and see who God made you to be. If you are in Christ, you are new creation but you have to believe it and you have to start living like it, preferably in all the areas of your life.  

But God is gracious and patient and He will meet you where you are and guide you little by little, one day at a time, into the new life that He has for you. 

But you have to be honest and have to surrender and decide to follow Him.  So as I will be letting the Spirit lead me over the next couple of days to Oswego tonight and Key Bank Center at 3:30pm on Friday without much of a plan for in between, let me encourage you that even if you may not be 100 percent sure where the Lord will take you, you can trust that if you are following Him that it will eventually lead to a good place. 

So turn from the past and the ways of the world, and follow the Lord into a life that is EPIC and abundant with meaning and purpose and filled with the fruit of the Spirit.  

The EPIC journey the moment you follow Him. So put your faith in Christ and go.




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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Proverbs 24:12 (NLT2)
12  Don’t excuse yourself by saying, “Look, we didn’t know.” For God understands all hearts, and he sees you. He who guards your soul knows you knew. He will repay all people as their actions deserve.

Today’s verses  reminds us of the sometimes painful realization that the Lord is all knowing and He will repay people as their actions deserve.  

Yeah, God knows everything including what we know and don’t know.  So that is why I recommend to all those I encourage to be honest with the Lord because there is no fooling Him.  

Also God is holy and will repay everyone as their actions deserve.  Without Christ as our Lord and Savior, that means hell.   

So put your faith in Christ and avoid any chastisement by being honest, by not making excuses, and by living according to the Lord’s wisdom and ways.



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

Today we continue sharing from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Discipleship”, also known as “The Cost of Discipleship”

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

The Sermon on the Mount

Matthew 6

On the Hidden Nature of the Christian Life

The Hiddenness of Prayer continues

“Your will be done on earth as in heaven.” In the community of Jesus Christ, the disciples have completely surrendered their will to God’s will. They pray, therefore, that God’s will be done on the whole earth. No creature should obstruct it. But because the will of evil still lives even in the disciples trying to tear them out of their community with Jesus, they must also pray that the will of God rule in them more completely every day and break down their resistance. Ultimately, however, the whole world shall bend to the will of God and gratefully worship God in distress and in joy. Heaven and earth shall be subject to God.

Above all, Jesus’ disciples should pray for God’s name, God’s kingdom, and God’s will. Of course, God does not need these prayers, but through them the disciples themselves participate in the heavenly treasures for which they are praying. Also, such prayers may hasten the end of time.

“Give us this day our daily bread.” As long as the disciples are on earth, they should not be ashamed of asking their heavenly Father for the things they need for their bodily life. God who created human beings on earth intends to preserve and protect human bodies. God does not intend that God’s own creation become disdained. Disciples pray for bread to be shared. None of them will be given it alone. They also pray that God give daily bread to all of God’s children on the whole earth, for they are all sisters and brothers in the flesh. The disciples know that the bread which grows from the earth comes down from heaven and is God’s gift alone. That is why they do not simply take their bread; they ask for it. Because it is bread from God, it comes anew every day. The disciples do not pray for advance supplies, but for the daily gift from God today, which sustains their lives in the community of Jesus and for which they praise God’s gentle goodness. This petition is proof of the disciples’ faith in God’s living action on earth doing what is best for them.

“Forgive us our sin, as we forgive those who sin against us.” The disciples’ daily sorrow is the recognition of their guilt. They, who could live without sin in community with Jesus, sin daily in all sorts of ways: they lack faith, are lethargic at prayer, lack bodily discipline, and give in to self-indulgence, envy, hatred, and ambition. So they must pray daily for God’s forgiveness. But God will only hear their prayer when they forgive each other’s guilt in a loving and willing way. Together, they bring their guilt before God and pray together for grace. May God forgive not only me my sins, but us our sins.

“Lead us not into temptation.” The temptations of the disciples are various. Satan attacks them from all sides and tries to bring them down. False security and godless doubt tempt them severely. Knowing of their weakness, the disciples do not provoke their being tempted in order to prove the strength of their faith. They ask God not to tempt their weak faith and to protect them in the hour of temptation.

“But deliver us from evil.” The disciples’ final prayer is to be that someday they be delivered from this evil world and inherit the kingdom of heaven. This petition is for a blessed end[188] and for the salvation of the Christian community at the last days of this world.

“For yours is the kingdom …” Daily the disciples receive this certainty anew from their communion with Jesus Christ, who is the fulfillment of all their petitions. In him God’s name is hallowed; in him God’s kingdom comes; in him God’s will is done. For his sake the bodily life of the disciples is preserved; for his sake they receive forgiveness for their sins. In his power they are protected from temptation; in his power they are saved unto eternal life. His is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever in communion with the Father. The disciples are certain of this.

As if to summarize the prayer, Jesus states once again that everything depends on receiving forgiveness, and that this forgiveness can only be received when living in the fellowship of other sinners.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discipleship, ed. Martin Kuske et al., trans. Barbara Green and Reinhard Krauss, vol. 4, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2003), 156–158.

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

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship