Happy St. Patrick’s Day! – Celebrating Light or Darkness? – Purity 681
Purity 681 03/17/2022 Purity 681 Podcast
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 mt4christ.org retrospective on St. Patrick, I am sharing a couple links to blog post from Saint Patrick’s Day in the past: (https://www.mt4christ.org/2016/03/happy-st-patricks-day.html , https://www.mt4christ.org/2021/03/purity-368-httpsmt4christ247.html ) 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.
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Today’s Bible verse come to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is :
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 mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from June Hunt’s Overeating: Freedom from Food Fixation.
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available on many websites for less than $5.00.
II. CHARACTERISTICS OF A COMPULSIVE OVEREATER
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.”
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.”
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)
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship
 June Hunt, Biblical Counseling Keys on Overeating: Freedom from Food Fixation (Dallas, TX: Hope For The Heart, 2008), 7–9.