Showing posts with label St. Patrick. Show all posts
Showing posts with label St. Patrick. Show all posts

Friday, March 17, 2023

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! –The Disobedient Cannot Believe – Lent with Bonhoeffer Day 21– Purity 993


Happy St. Patrick’s Day! –The Disobedient Cannot Believe – Lent with Bonhoeffer Day 21– Purity 993         

Purity 993 03/16/2023 Purity 993 Podcast

Purity 993 on YouTube: 

This isn't the first St. Patrick's Day where things went sideways.... 

Good morning,

Today’s photo of green grass and autumn denuded trees on the shores of Lake Ontario comes to us from yours truly as I captured this green scene at B. Forman Park in Williamson NY back on November 10 of 2022 while I was headed west on my pilgrimage to serve as a volunteer at the “An Evening with David Jerimiah” event in Buffalo. 

Well, It’s Friday – thank God – and it’s St. Patrick’s Day – So “Erin Go Bragh” which means Ireland Forever- or Top of the Morning to You – which means the “best of the morning to you” or “Good Morning” although some sources state that it has nothing to do with the time of the day and is simply a greeting that one would use to wish them a good day.

So I specifically chose today’s “green photo” because it’s St. Patrick’s Day, and because I’m half Irish, and because I am praying to see more green as the temperature rose to 50 degrees yesterday causing people in upstate NY to do some spring time activities, like jogging in shorts and standing in line for ice cream cones – one guy in line was wearing heavy winter bib overalls -  I kid you not, in spite of the piles of melting snow that the storm of only a few days ago poured upon us that wanted to declare that “it is still winter”.  And it is, until Monday, that’s right Jack Frost your days are numbered and even though you threw us for a loop the other day, we know that spring is coming. 

And likewise, even though Satan would rejoice because of the evil in the world, we know that His days are numbered too. Jesus is coming back to rule and reign.  And even though we can’t be certain that the Ireland we know will last forever, there is going to be a new earth after all, we can be certain that the Irish, like St. Patrick,  who put their faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior will last forever in God’s kingdom no matter what the shape of the new creation that is promised in Revelation 21. 

While our various national heritages may give us a sense of pride and identity, the only thing about us that will matter in the end is whether we are citizens of heaven, whether or not we have become children of God through faith in Christ the Lord.    

So if you are Irish enjoy the day by remembering your Irish ancestors and by partaking in some corned beef and cabbage, but remember it is “St. Patrick’s Day” – not Irish day – and we should remember the man who was faithful to teach the Irish about the trinity with a clover. St. Patrick wouldn’t want us to celebrate his day with drunken revelry but would undoubtedly prefer us to celebrate it in humble reverence of the God who is faithful to forgive and save us when we put our faith in His Son, Jesus.    

So let’s celebrate the faithful saints, like St. Patrick,  that inspire us to be faithful by drawing close to God as we continue our journey of repentance with the 21st day of Lent and our current series as we continue on the 40 Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

As a reminder, and as we will say each day of this journey, we take this path to mark the season of Lent and to draw closer to God in anticipation of the celebration of Easter, knowing that if we take this journey of repentance seriously, we will not only see the days and seasons change, the Lord will use it to change us too. 

You can sign up to get this devotional yourself by going to the Biblegateway link on the blog (( . 

Day 21

Bonhoeffer writes:

“You complain that you cannot believe?

No one should be surprised that they cannot come to believe so long as, in deliberate disobedience, they flee or reject some aspect of Jesus’ commandment.

You do not want to subject some sinful passion, an enmity, a hope, your life plan, or your reason to Jesus’ commandment?

Do not be surprised that you do not receive the Holy Spirit, that you cannot pray, that your prayer for faith remains empty!

Instead, go and be reconciled with your sister or brother; let go of the sin which keeps you captive; and you will be able to believe again!

If you reject God’s commanding word, you will not receive God’s gracious word. How would you expect to find community while you intentionally withdraw from it at some point?

The disobedient cannot believe; only the obedient believe.”

Biblical Wisdom

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say that you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. James 2:14-17

Questions to Ponder

  • Jesus’ commandment is that we love God who made us and that we love our neighbors as ourselves. How does obedience to this commandment nurture and nourish true faith?

M.T. Clark: If we obey these commandments of Jesus, our faith is nurtured and nourish as we would love the Lord with all of our hearts, minds, and strength which would cause us to abide in His word and in His presence which would empower us to repent and to seek to share God’s love with others.  It would cause us to abandon our personal sins and seek to serve the Lord as witnesses to God’s love and power by sharing the gospel not only with words but how we live our lives.

  • Why does rejecting “God’s commanding word” keep us from receiving “God’s gracious word”?

M.T. Clark: Rejecting “God’s commanding word” keeps us from receiving God’s gracious word, in that if we refuse to obey what God’s word says it shows that we don’t believe it. If we don’t believe it is God’s “commanding” word that exhorts us to repent and serve God’s kingdom, we can’t really say that we have faith in Jesus because we are refusing to do what the He is telling us to do.  When come to Christ in faith, we make Him Lord as well as Savior, and that means we become His slaves. He’s the master, we are to do what He says. So if we don’t come under His Lordship, we can’t receive His grace.

  • What is it about rejecting God’s commanding word that takes us out of community?

M.T. Clark: Rejecting God’s commanding word also takes us out of community with the body of Christ because our actions and behaviors will be significantly different from those who are faithfully trying to align their lives with what God’s word would have us do.  “I don’t believe that.” “I’m not going to do that.” – will separate us from the ones who do and most importantly will eventually reveal that we are separated from God who will declare to the disbelieving and disobedient: “I never knew you.”

Psalm Fragment

Then they despised the pleasant land,
   having no faith in his promise.
They grumbled in their tents,
   and did not obey the voice of the Lord. 
Psalm 106:24-25

Journal Reflections

  • Write in your journal about a practical experience of how your obedience to Jesus’ commandment has nurtured and nourished your faith.

M.T. Clark: The best example from my life about the way obedience nourished my faith would have to be when I decided to trust the Lord with my addictions by going into a Christian Recovery group.  The word of God convicted me that “drunkenness” was not something that described people in a state of grace. It described people who didn’t know God, or who didn’t obey Him.  And because I had a real sense of God’s love and forgiveness, I realized I couldn’t continue in the drunkenness that was a persistent part of my life for 20 years.  So I obeyed, I repented and crucified the flesh. I agreed with what the word of God said about those who are “in Christ” and the Lord was faithful to lead me out of the darkness to the point that my drunken ways were a part of somebody else’s life, and it was. I died with Christ and was raised to new life with Him but I never would have known it if I didn’t answer His call to obedience.  

  • Write about your experiences of Christian community. Reflect on both good and bad experiences. What is the difference between them?

M.T. Clark:  I have had so many good experiences in the body of Christ of fellowship and camaraderie as I have walked and served with so many faithful Christians through the years. I have grown because I have seen what the Lord has done in others lives and because faithful men and women came along beside me to teach and encourage me to follow the Lord. Mission trips, serving in the local church, taking the gospel to the streets, and just getting together to read His word has given me joy on so many occasions. 

As for the bad, I won’t go into specifics, but the bad experiences would all involve people walking away from God or the church community, or showing that their faith was more of a fa├žade or that they held alterior motives or manipulative ways – basically the bad experiences were when people either walked away from the faith or when they were shown not to be in accord with it.  

The difference between the two is authenticity. Are you for real? Then let’s follow the Lord and be as real as we can be as Christians by walking according to His ways and obeying what He would have us do.


Pray for your family and spiritual friends (and for all Christians) that they would continuously experience community grounded in love.

M.T. Clark: Lord, 

We pray for our family, spiritual friends and for all Christians that thye would continuously experience community grounded in love by obeying your commandments to love one another, treat one another as they would want to be treated, and by forgiving one another. If we do all of those things Lord we will truly know what a community ground in love is. So help us Father. 

In Jesus’s Name, I pray. Amen.

Prayer for Today

Lord, help me to see where I am rejecting some aspect of your will for me. Help me to obey and believe, believe and obey.

M.T. Clark: In Jesus Name, I pray, Amen.


(40-Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Copyright © 2007 Augsburg Books, imprint of Augsburg Fortress.)

***As we are being provided with Bible verses from the 40 Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, we will are taking a break from sharing a verse of the day from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”. We plan on resuming that normal installment of the blog following Easter.*** 


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.






What then ought to be our attitude toward the Supreme Sovereign? We reply,

1. One of godly fear

Why is it that, today, the masses are so utterly unconcerned about spiritual and eternal things, and that they are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God? Why is it that even on the battlefields multitudes were so indifferent to their soul’s welfare? Why is it that defiance of heaven is becoming more open, more blatant, more daring? The answer is, Because “There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Rom. 3:18). Again; why is it that the authority of the Scriptures has been lowered so sadly of late? Why is it that even among those who profess to be the Lord’s people there is so little real subjection to His Word, and that its precepts are so lightly esteemed and so readily set aside? Ah! what needs to be stressed today is that God is a God to be feared.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov. 1:7). Happy the soul that has been awed by a view of God’s majesty, that has had a vision of God’s awful greatness, His ineffable holiness, His perfect righteousness, His irresistible power, His sovereign grace. Does someone say, “But it is only the unsaved, those outside of Christ, who need to fear God”? Then the sufficient answer is that the saved, those who are in Christ, are admonished to work out their own salvation with “fear and trembling.” Time was when it was the general custom to speak of a believer as a “God-fearing man”—that such an appellation has become nearly extinct only serves to show whither we have drifted. Nevertheless, it still stands written “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him” (Psa. 103:13)!

When we speak of godly fear, of course, we do not mean a servile fear, such as prevails among the heathen in connection with their gods. No; we mean that spirit which Jehovah is pledged to bless, that spirit to which the prophet referred when he said “To this man will I (the Lord) look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My Word” (Isa. 66:2). It was this the apostle had in view when he wrote, “Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king” (1 Pet. 2:17). And nothing will foster this godly fear like a recognition of the sovereign Majesty of God.

What ought to be our attitude toward the Sovereignty of God? We answer again,[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), 191–192.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! – Celebrating Light or Darkness? – Purity 681

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! – Celebrating Light or Darkness?  – Purity 681

Purity 681 03/17/2022 Purity 681 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo a lush green scene on the shores of Rocky Creek comes to us from yours truly as I captured this somewhat emerald sight while hiking at the Key Vista Nature Park back on February 22nd while on my honeymoon vacation in Tampa Florida.   

Well, although it’s Thursday and I normally post photos of pathways today to encourage my friends to get on the path of Christian Discipleship, it’s also St. Patrick’s Day today and I wanted to share the “greenest” photo that I had in my recent photo archive to recognize the patron Saint of Ireland and to celebrate my 50% Irish heritage. 

For a short retrospective on St. Patrick, I am sharing a couple links to  blog post from Saint Patrick’s Day in the past: ( , ) that give a little bit of information on the saint and send my wishes for all my friends to have a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day.  

St. Patrick’s Day ain’t what it used to before me and that is a good thing! Unlike some who may reminisce about the “good old days” of “sowing their wild oats”, I recognize that the days of my drunken reveling were days of desperation and darkness. 

I was looking for love and acceptance in all the wrong places and I was looking for meaning and purpose at the bottom of a bottle that would never fill me, no matter how many of them I drank.  

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to deny that I had fun in some of those years gone by where I spent many a St. Patrick’s Day drinking and hanging out with friends at wild celebrations but if I am going to be “real” enough to admit that, I should also be real in describing the desperation, the loneliness, the fear, the pain, the heartache, the rejection, the trouble, and the filth that surrounded those days of reckless abandon.

In truth there were probably only a handful of St. Paddy’s Days that I didn’t spend alone chasing a memory of the few times I spent St. Patrick’s Day in the company of friends. 

In fact even in those times I actually hung out with friends, some of those were pretty lame and I would normally end up alone at the end of the night.   Note to the young, never leave a college town’s many options for merriment for a fraternity brother’s house party that turns into a sausage party.

So Erin Go Bragh, Ireland forever! But yeah, the truth isn’t really pretty if we view our pasts honestly and see the filth and smell the stale beer, smoke, and other smells that we don’t focus on when we are in those environments and that we conveniently forget as the years pass.  

But the truth will set you free, and as the years passed and I got further away from those days in the sun of my youth, the drunken debauchery didn’t transition well to a life with a wife and kids, or with age.  In truth, the old guy at the party is just sort of sad and if we think about it he is somewhat delusional. 

When kids cut up and get in trouble, it is often said that they are going through a “phase” that they will grow out of. Maybe the wildness of youth is a right of passage but when we don’t learn from our mistakes and don’t grow up and out of our bad habits, we have to realize that our attempts to recapture the thrills of youth are living a fantasy that won’t be fulfilled and doing the same things over and over again are a cycle of addiction and a sign of the bondage that we live in.   

Even when we are in those destructive patterns a part of us knows that we are living a lie and that a lot of the “fun” we have isn’t fun at all.  As we keep trying to replay that  old record of our pasts the grooves get worn out, don’t produce the same music, and it can become hard to change the tune.  

It’s not the same old song and dance, that we remember from our past and we become not as light on our feet as we used to be, and we often trip and fall causing damage and pain much more than we used to.   

But there is hope. There is light outside of those dark places. If we leave those dark and smelly places and decide to surrender to the light we can rediscover the simple pleasures of life that were enough for us before alcohol and drugs became necessary ingredients in our “good times”.   

St. Patrick taught people about the Trinity by using a clover, with the three leaves representing the three persons of the Godhead: the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  He taught people of the exclusivity of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and his own life testified of the difference that faith in Christ could make.  

So be like St. Patrick today by affirming Jesus as the Lord and Savior of your life and make the commitment to follow Him.  When you put your faith in Christ, He can lead you out of the darkness and show you the simple peace, love, and joy that is waiting for you when you walk in the Spirit and bask in His light.  

So today celebrate St. Patrick’s example, your Irish heritage if you are actually Irish, and all the good things in life but also recognize when “enough is enough” and the fact that Lord can set you free from all the darkness of your past when you trust in Him.  


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.

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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.

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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 :

Galatians 6:9 (NLT2)
9  So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.

Today’s Bible verse encourages us to never tire of doing what is good and to never give up.   

Somethings are just bad or bad for you.  Instead of doing those things the word of God encourages us to do good and to never get tired of doing it. 

While we are never made right with God through our efforts, we should recognize that to be more like Jesus would require us to follow His example.  Jesus spent His life without sin.  He healed people and encouraged them to come into God’s kingdom by putting their faith in Him.  Although He was human and slept like us, Christ never tired of doing good, even to the point of sacrificing Himself on the cross for our redemption.  

Christ didn’t give up. He kept doing what was right, good, and holy even though He knew the world hated Him for it and it would cost Him His life.  

So as His disciples, we are to represent Jesus on the earth by sharing the love of God through good words and deeds to our fellow man. 

Cause and effects relationships in place in God’s creation generally reward good works. 

People appreciate good things that done for them and can recognize when someone is helpful.  Beyond the good opinions of others, we also feel good when we do good.  

So through our good works we could enjoy the inner peace of doing what is good and we might enjoy the favorable opinions of others too.  

But the true blessing that we can reap from never giving up and never growing tired of doing good may not be seen on this side of life.  Our good deeds reap rewards in heaven and could be used by the Lord to bring other’s into His kingdom. 

So if we know the abundant joy of our salvation and enjoy the peace of knowing we are accepted by God, let’s not grow tired of doing good and let’s not give up because the blessing that we could give to others through the good works we do may be used by God to open the eyes of the blind and bring the dead to life.  


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 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.


It’s considered a world health epidemic, and it can’t be treated with a shot or quick-fix medication. Across the globe there are more than 1 billion adults who are overweight, creating a health hazard that ranks just behind HIV and tuberculosis. The increased risks for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, hypertension, and stroke that accompany overeating are weighing down already heavily burdened health-care systems.

And the statistics for children are equally alarming … an estimated 23 million children under the age of 18 are overweight, and in the United States alone the number of overweight adolescents has tripled since 1980.

With global modernization and urbanization comes easier access to foods chock full of saturated fats and sugar, and it seems people from Chile to China are increasingly choosing greasy cheeseburgers over grilled chicken. As waistlines expand, societies all around the world are feeling the financial pinch from sprawling health-care costs. The Bible warns …

“A man reaps what he sows.”

(Galatians 6:7)

A. What Is the Compulsive Overeater Checklist?

Many people sincerely ask a question to which the answer seems obvious to others: “How do I know whether or not I am a compulsive overeater?” The best way to determine the answer is to go through the following checklist. If you find that food has control of you, seek God’s strength to help you shift your focus and …

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

(Colossians 3:2)

Place a check mark () beside each question that applies to you.

              Do you spend a lot of time thinking about food?

              Do you look forward to an event because of the food that will be available there?

              Do you eat when you are sad, angry, lonely, or depressed?

              Do you eat when you are bored or under stress?

              Do you eat certain foods as a personal reward?

              Do you eat even when you are not hungry?

              Do you ever feel ashamed of how much you eat?

              Do you fear not being able to stop eating once you start?

              Do you ever feel embarrassed about your personal appearance?

              Do you ever eat secretly to prevent others from knowing what or how much you eat?

              Do you lose weight on diets, then gain the weight (and more) back again?

              Do you feel that you have to eat everything on your plate or you’re being wasteful?

              Do you think that you could control your weight if you really wanted to?

              Do you resent it when family or friends express concern over your weight?

              Do you find that food consumes your thoughts, your actions, your very life?

If you answered yes to three or more of these questions, you could be a compulsive eater!

If at times you feel frustrated over your eating extremes, let this Scripture motivate you …

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.… Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

(Romans 7:15, 24–25)

B. What Are Characteristics of Compulsive Overeating?

Because the characteristics of compulsive overeating are increasingly being manifested all around the world, health experts have coined a new term: globesity. The World Health Organization estimates that by 2015 the number of overweight adults will swell to 2.3 billion, which equals the combined populations of China, Europe, and the United States.

The top ten countries where the characteristics of compulsive overeating are most evident are …

     American Samoa


     The United States




     New Zealand



     The United Kingdom

Clearly, in an effort to overcome overeating, citizens all around the world need to increasingly adopt the following virtues.…

“… make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance.…”

(2 Peter 1:5–6)

     Physical symptoms


   Chronic neck and joint pain

   Cycles of excessive eating/dieting


   Gall bladder problems

   Heart disease

   High blood pressure

   Kidney disorder

   Limited range of motion and activity

   Shortness of breath after mild exertion

Note: If you are experiencing any of these physical problems, be sure to consult your health-care professional.

     Emotional symptoms







   Low self-esteem




     Relational symptoms

   Feeling embarrassed

   Feeling inhibited

   Becoming introverted

   Becoming secretive

   Feeling unaccepted

   Feeling rejected

   Becoming isolated

   Becoming withdrawn

     Spiritual symptoms





   Feeling Unworthy




God created you and has a plan for you. His plan does not include harming yourself with out-of-control eating. Consider these words from the Word of God …

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.”

(1 Corinthians 3:16–17)[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

[1] June Hunt, Biblical Counseling Keys on Overeating: Freedom from Food Fixation (Dallas, TX: Hope For The Heart, 2008), 7–9.