Showing posts with label Substance Abuse. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Substance Abuse. Show all posts

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.  


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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 :

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.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Not Forgotten: The One Who Remembers You - Purity 467

Not Forgotten: The One Who Remembers You

Purity 467 07/10/2021   Purity 467 Podcast

Good morning  

Today’s photo of a dazzling sun in an ethereal sky over green hills and trees comes to us from a friend who knows to keep their eyes open to the beauty that surrounds us on a daily basis and caught this pic in their travels to destinations unknown.  The reason I phrase this description of my friend and this location this way is because of the simple fact that although I know that this photo was taken on or around the first of July, the source of the photo has simply slipped my mind. (Update- My friends at Dave Baun Photography have since reminded me it was their photo taken in transit on a bicycling excursion in South Australia!- Thanks Dave!)

Part of my process in my quasi-daily encouragements is to “borrow” pictures that friends share on social media as they come up in my experience of scrolling through posts. When I see something good, I will try to make a mental note of its source and I save it to my phone.   When I sit down to compose each day, I scroll through the images and use whatever one that speaks to me.   The thing is I have a lot of friends, thank you Lord, and they share a lot of photos.  Sometimes the locations and friends are easily remembered. I would say I remember the context of the photos almost 100% of the time but this morning this photo grabbed my attention and for the life of me I can’t remember where it came from or who shared it!

Instead of skipping it, I got the impression that the Lord wanted me to share this one if for no other reason to point to Him as creator and to Him as the one who has perfect knowledge of each and every one of us.   

So friends, if you posted this photo on or around the first of July, let us know, if you do, it will not only satisfy our curiosity but will also allow us to be grateful for your friendship and your willingness to share your life experiences with your friends who are less than perfect.       

Although I forgot who shared this photo, the good news is that there is someone who knows the photographer and deeply cares about their life.  I am speaking of course of God.  He not only created the subject matter in the photo, but he created the person who captured it.  

As individuals, we are all a little bit different from one another and at times we may feel that we are nobody special, but God doesn’t see us that way at all.   God knows who we are and all we have walked through in this life.  He knows all the special days in your personal history, and He shares in our joys and sufferings.  He knows our talents, failings, feelings, and thoughts and no matter what we think or do He still loves us.     

So my failure to specifically remember the friend who shared this photo shows us that our human relationships will be imperfect. We will disappoint, and possibly upset, one another. At times we won’t be available for our friends or family when they need us.   Sometimes we will just plain forget about them.   

But the Lord, of course, never will.  He will never forget about you, and He is the only One who will always be available for you.  The Lord is the only One who will never leave us or forsake us.  

So while you are traveling to your next destination, enjoy the world that the Lord has made for us and be sure to let Him know that you know that He is there and that He cares.    

Speaking of being on the road, I mentioned that yesterday’s photo of a sunset on the shores of Lake Ontario from the vantage point of Lighthouse Christian Camp in Barker NY filled me with “go fever”, an impulsive desire to “do something” and “go somewhere”.

So strong was this wanderlust that I actually contacted the camp about renting one of their cabins, imagining myself as taking a Kerouacian Big Sur trip to the Great Lake to rest and write.  I got the information, and the rates were cheap, and I was ready to book.  

But then I thought soberly about the details and realized I was just planning this impromptu trip to “have an experience for summer” and possibly to avoid the loneliness of another staycation.   Also my aim to combine ministry preparation work and being at leisure seemed to promise more stress to my life if I added a 5-hour drive and dealing with meager accommodations to the mix.  

Then I thought of my home “Down by the River”.  It has everything I need. It may be simple, but I love the place.  I also thought that there are attractions to see and things to enjoy that are a lot closer to home. So before the people called me back to confirm my reservations, I cancelled.  

Sometimes we are overcome by a sense of lack, that we need something to satisfy or fulfill us.  Some turn to drugs and alcohol. Some turn to relationships. Some turn to find a measure of peace in the great outdoors or by traveling.   

I realized that my relationship with God is what fulfills me more than anything else and that I didn’t necessarily need to run off and “do something” just to do it. God is with me. It’s not like I would have found Him waiting for me on the shores of Lake Ontario, although I’m sure we would have enjoyed ourselves there! 

I realized that the most important thing in my life was Him and that my desire to work on the teachings for a discipleship class I will be teaching in the fall was the thing I wanted to do the most next week.  I realized that with God I lack nothing, and I didn’t want to waste anytime on my vacation in transit when I could find rest at home and peace in His presence. 

So, my physical body may not go far from home next week, but I am sure that the Lord is going to show me some things that will be worthwhile. He always does.  He knows me better than I know myself. He never forgets about me, and He always leads me to something good.

(There is more content to help you walk out your journey of faith at MT4Christ dot org. You can also subscribe to the mt4christ247 podcast to hear this message, our discipleship classes, and our weekly Bible Study, on Apple, Google, and Amazon Podcasts, as well as Audible and Podbean).

#faith #christianblog #encouragement #freedominchrist #christiancounseling #jesuschrist #mt4christ #discipleship #victoryoverthedarkness #Christianpodcast #Bondagebreaker #mt4christ247podcast

This morning’s meditation verse is:

1 Corinthians 10:31 (NKJV)
31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Today’s verse speaks about our purpose in life, to give God glory.  

The context that precedes today’s verse involves dealing with the “weaker’ brother.  Back in Paul’s time there was pagan worship of idols. One of the practices of pagans included the sacrifice, cooking, and feasting of animals in honor of their pagan God.  Sometimes the pagans would offer their pagan god a meal and leave out food for them to consume.  After pagan worship was over, some industrious pagans would take meat that was not used and sell it at market.  Many religious people of the Jews considered this meat to be defiled, unclean, and unusable. 

However, Christ himself taught that there is no unclean meat in the new covenant which He established, check out Acts 10 for the Lord’s interaction with Peter.  

Anyway, some Christians armed with the truth that Christ revealed realized that this meat was okay to eat.  Others, remembering the Old Testament provisions, didn’t think the meat was okay to eat and that it would be a sin to do so.  

Instead of Paul recommending that we berate those who didn’t grasp the truth that no meat is unclean, he stated that those with knowledge should treat their weaker brothers with compassion and change their behaviors for their sakes.  If eating pagan meat was going to be a problem for some in your company, you should abstain for their sake.  

This provision could also apply to alcoholic beverages. Drunkenness is to be avoided but it is not a sin to drink alcoholic beverages. However because of the damage that the abuse of alcohol can wage, some like myself, recommend and practice complete abstinence of alcohol.  

For some in recovery, they can’t be around alcohol for fear of relapse.  I have recently confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am not one of these people. The Lord has delivered me from the temptation and given me freedom.  

But for the sake of those “weaker” brothers who either struggle with a history of alcoholism or for those who morally object to drinking alcohol, the mature Christian who enjoys the occasional potent potable should be compassionate and not partake in their company.  Their restraint would show their companions compassion and give glory to the Lord.

Anyway, Paul concludes with today’s verse, that whether we eat or drink, or whatever we do we are to do it for the glory of the Lord.  

The principle is that our purpose is to always honor and glorify the Lord with all our actions, up to and including sacrificing our personal enjoyment for the sake of others.  

We have been freed from the law of sin and death, but we are not to use our freedom in a manner that would offend or to cause another brother to fall into temptation and sin.  

With the great freedom that Christ has given us, we have a great responsibility to love the Lord our God by loving our neighbors as ourselves.  We wouldn’t want others to do things that would potentially harm us, and we likewise are to demonstrate the love of the Lord by doing the same for them.    

I love this verse because it really speaks to the all-encompassing nature of our faith. That from the simple acts of eating and drinking, we can give glory to God. 

From this verse, we can understand that our entire lives are to be lived in a manner that gives God glory. Everything we do in our lives matters.   So let’s live our lives in the way that will give God the most glory by being aware of what we are doing, why we are doing it, and the potential consequences to ourselves and others.  



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 7.


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:

Feelings Are God's Red Flag of Warning

From birth, you have been developing in your mind a means for experiencing these eight values and reaching other goals in life. Consciously or subconsciously, you continue to formulate and adjust your plans for achieving these goals.

Sometimes, however, your well-intended plans and noble-sounding goals are not completely in harmony with God's plans and goals for you. How can I know if what I believe is right? you may be wondering. Must I wait until I am 45 years old or until I experience some kind of midlife crisis to discover that what I believed in these eight areas was wrong?

I don't think so. I believe God has designed you in such a way that you can know on a moment-by-moment basis if your belief system is properly aligned with God's truth. God has established a feedback system designed to grab your attention so you can examine the validity of your goals and beliefs. When an experience or relationship leaves you feeling angry, anxious or depressed, those emotional signposts are there to alert you that you may be cherishing a faulty goal based on a wrong belief.

Anger Signals a Blocked Goal

When your activity in a relationship or a project results in feelings of anger, it is usually because someone or something has blocked your goal, something or somebody is preventing you from accomplishing what you wanted. How do you feel in a traffic jam when it is preventing you from getting to an important meeting on time?

Suppose a wife and mother says, "My goal in life is to have a loving, harmonious, happy Christian family." Who can block that goal? Every person in her family can block that goal—not only can, they will! A homemaker clinging to the belief that her sense of worth is dependent on her family will crash and burn every time her husband or children fail to live up to her image of family harmony. She could become a very angry and controlling woman or a defeated victim of life's circumstances. Either option could drive family members even farther away from her and each other.

What if a pastor's goal is to reach his community for Christ? Good goal? It is a wonderful desire, but if his sense of worth and success as a pastor is dependent on that happening, he will experience tremendous emotional turmoil. Every person in the community can block his goal. Furthermore, two old board members may even try to block his goal. Pastors who believe their success is dependent on others will end up fighting with their boards, controlling members, praying their opposition out of the church or quitting.

"Whatever is not from faith is sin" (Romans 14:23); therefore, an outburst of anger should prompt us to reexamine what we believe and the mental goals we have formulated to accomplish those beliefs.

My daughter, Heidi, helped me with this process one Sunday morning while I was trying to hustle my family out the door for church. I had been waiting in the car for several minutes before I stomped back into the house and shouted angrily, "We should have left for church 15 minutes ago!"

All was silent for a moment, then Heidi's soft voice floated around the corner from her bedroom: "What's the matter, Dad; am I blocking your goal?" That is the question you need to hear right before you preach!

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, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

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


Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship