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

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Some Drugs and Alcohol – Modern Recovery’s Ancient Lie - Purity 1323


 Some Drugs and Alcohol – Modern Recovery’s Ancient Lie - Purity 1323

Purity 1323 04/11/2024 Purity 1323 Podcast

Purity 1323 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a rocky pathway cutting through an evergreen forest comes to us from an unknown FB friend who shared this scene on or around April 25th, 2021.  If this trail photo is yours and you would like to be acknowledged, give me a heads up and I will update the blog after the fact. 

Well, It’s Thursday and I share today’s photo as part of my continuing campaign to clean out my I phone’s photo archive and because I can use it to encourage all my friends to get on or to stay on the path of Christian Discipleship which very well lead you to walk free of bondages and addictions.  

Wednesday nights I oversee a Christian Recovery Support Group, Celebrate Freedom, at Starpoint Church and when you try to help people walk away from their hurts habits and hangups you have to walk the thin line between compassion and coddling, and truth and lies, as we seek to encourage others to get out of their denial, see the lies they have been believing, and accepting the new life of freedom that the Lord gives to every Christian. 

The number one lie we have to combat in our ministry I think is that “Christianity ( – or Christian Recovery – or Sobriety –) works for some people but not for me”  It’s the false belief that we – individually – are somehow different, too weak, or just incapable and will never be free.   Just this morning I was reading about this lie in Neil Anderson’s “Who I am in Christ: A Devotional and so I will let the good doctor, tell us how:

“We Are All Children of God

One of Satan’s most common lies is that somehow you and I are different from other people. We may think, God accepts these other people but not me. I have researched more than 1, 725 professing Christian high schoolers. Seventy-four percent believed Christianity works for others, but it doesn’t work for them. Is that true? Of course not. But if they believe that, will it affect the way that they live their lives? Yes, it will. In privacy, I have actually had reasonably functioning adults tell me they think they may be aliens. This may sound bizarre, but Satan has done such a number on their thoughts, many have literally believed they are totally different from other people. But it’s not true. All Christians are children of God, fellow citizens with God’s people.[1]

Our lesson last night at Celebrate Freedom taught us that we have to humble ourselves and ask God to change us.  We are not changed by our own willpower or cunning, when we submit to God we receive His strength and guidance that transforms our hearts and minds to give us a new life of freedom and victory over the sins of the flesh that only He can make possible. 

Modern Recovery philosophy goes against this fundamental principle of faith that is still supposedly a part of the 12-step methodology for overcoming addiction.  Because the original Christian core of the 12 Step model was compromised to include people who didn’t have in Jesus Christ specifically early on and instead decided to be “practical” and allow for a non-specific, nebulous, or personally fabricated concept of a “Higher Power” and because our Western society has increasing become Post Christian it should come as no surprise that concept of Recovery is being compromised to “Harm Reduction”. 

While I understand that the idea of Harm Reduction is intended to save lives and address real-life substance abuse problems practically, they are based on hopelessness surrendering to beliefs that state that:

·       Illicit drug use is part of our world, and it is best to manage it rather than condemn and eliminate it. 

·       Drug use is a “complex, multifaceted phenomenon” rather than a simple and deliberate choice of the will.

·       Some ways of drugs are safer than other ways and thus acceptable.

·       Cessation of all drug use is NOT the criteria for success.  

·       Our community should assist those who use drugs to do it safely,

·       Addicts should have a voice in defining public policy to continue the practices of their addictive lifestyle.

·       Affirm that socioeconomic, class, or race factors affect someone’s capacity to get free. (Racist…?).

(https://harmreduction.org/about-us/principles-of-harm-reduction/#:~:text=Harm%20reduction%20incorporates%20a%20spectrum,along%20with%20the%20use%20itself.)

While I certainly agree with the principle of harm reductions that seek to meet the addict “where they are at” and work toward practical and progressive improvement, the overall philosophy perpetuates the problem.    

And please understand, I know how bad it is out there and I know it is only getting worse. I have lost friends to overdose, and I have seen others walk away from addiction alive and well. The ones that are alive and thriving didn’t seek to “reduce harm” by finding an acceptable or safe place for drugs in their lives, they progressively worked to eliminate it from their lives altogether and they did the impractical thing of putting their trust in God through their faith in Jesus Christ to do so.  

Also please hear me, these harm reduction policies are in effect, and they are doing good work, so I am not looking to eliminate them.  Instead advocating for the best life of those who have successfully “reduced the harm” of their addictions by seeking to encourage them to keep going further into their recoveries and to put their faith in Jesus to be completely free. 

I practice harm reduction strategy by encouraging our support program participants to take on one problem at a time, to use medically prescribed treatments to stabilize, and to focus on progress rather than perfection, and to define their own recoveries but at the same time, I will point to the real possibility – that existed at one time in their lives – of being completely free of the need for drugs or alcohol in their lives.  We are all children of God in that we were made in His image, and it is only in the most deranged and dysfunctional environments were babies or children given alcohol or drugs as a means of coping. 

Most of us managed to get to early or late adolescence before our exposure to alcohol and drugs and I believe that clearly demonstrates that alcohol and drugs DO NOT need to be a part of our lives as adults.  We shouldn’t play nice with the poison we should have never taken and instead should have the “childlike” faith that we can live a simple and pure life like we once did as children and that nothing, including the color of one’s skin, their social economic status, or their class makes them less capable of being free from drugs and alcohol.  

So I might encourage you to establish a course of recovery that will be practical and meet you where you were at, but I would encourage you to trust in the Lord to guide you to a full cessation of drugs and alcohol.

 Eric Clapton got off of heroin by going into seclusion and drinking wine, but the legendary guitarist nicknamed “God” or “Slowhand” by some didn’t stay there. Eventfully, Clapton knew alcohol would kill him and instead of living out life just “reducing the harm” of his addiction, he went into treatment and eliminated it, despite many personal tragedies after he was sober. “Eric Clapton is living proof that addictions can be overcome and that people can go on to succeed in life beyond their wildest dreams, even despite losses, obstacles, and the immense challenges of life.” (https://clearskyibogaine.com/eric-clapton-and-drug-addiction/).

While I don’t know Clapton personally, there is an indication online that His victory followed a “Christian commitment” in rehab. I like to believe that is true and that Eric is my brother in Christ because if he is our stories are similar.

I suffered from alcoholism since I was seventeen years old and I was never going to quit, even after I put my faith in Jesus, because I didn’t think I could – that I was “different” or incapable of it.  But in 2015, Pastor Bob Costello began a Christian Recovery Ministry at my local church, and I answered the Lord's call on my heart to trust Him to help me overcome what I thought was impossible. And after a relapse two weeks in, I knew if I wanted to be free I couldn’t play nice with alcohol and just seek to reduce its harm in my life – I had to stop altogether. To be free, I had to actually be free and by the grace and power pf God, I have walked ever since.  

So when someone in recovery tells me they are smoking weed for their anxiety or that they just had a few drinks (is 13 a few?),  I encourage them to keep walking and talking with God because although that is where they are right now, the Lord will encourage and empower them to not stay there if they choose to follow Him.  

Harm Reduction’s lies are ancient ones. The Lord and the concepts of Recovery and Freedom would rightly say that drugs and alcohol have no part in the ex-addict’s life.  Satan and the hopeless extremes of Harm Reduction policy would say you aren’t capable of freedom and it's best just to live with your personal demons and tell your family and the community at large just to help you to do so,  rather than cast them out.  

Don’t believe the lies that would have you compromise with the sins of the flesh. We might have to be practical in how we deal with lifelong hurts, habits, and hang-ups but we should never surrender to them because who the Son sets free can be free indeed.

 

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

Today’s Bible verses come to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick Google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verses come from the section on Death and Eternal Life

Psalm 116:15 (NIV2011)
15  Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful servants.

Today’s verses fall under the fifth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Death and Eternal Life.  

5. The death of the Lord’s saints is precious.

Today’s verse is tough one. Death is precious! No, Lord it’s scary and sad! – You might think,  but look higher brothers and sisters. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.  Those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ have eternal life and Jesus has gone ahead of us to prepare a place for us in God’s kingdom.  So death has indeed lost its sting.  The death of God’s faithful servants is precious in His sight because it means that we will be with Him.  Don’t be afraid of death.  Jesus overcame death and the grave to show us He is God and that He can be trusted in to save those who believe in Him.

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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 “According to Your Word: Morning and Evening Through the New Testament” By Stephen F. Olford – A Collection of Devotional Journals: 1940-1941.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase Olford’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for less than $10 at many sites.

MORNING READING: JOHN 15

“By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit;
so you will be My disciples.” – John 15:8

The fruit in Chapter 15 of John is the fruit of character – namely, “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23). The production of these fruits, or better this fruit, is firstly, glorifying to God, and secondly, the expression of true discipleship.

These two great things were the supreme objects of Christ's life upon this earth. He lived and died to glorify the Father. He lived and died as the devoted loyal Bondslave of God.

These two objects can never be achieved without an unbroken fellowship and union with Christ (abiding). This is maintained through constant cleansing by the abiding Word and filling of the Spirit.

Cleanse me and fill me, Lord.
Produce in me Your sweet fruit of character. Amen.[2]

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

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

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com 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 (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

“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] Neil T. Anderson, Who I Am in Christ (Ventura, CA: Regal, 2001), 79.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Anger, Bitterness, and Cults of Personality - Purity 1199

Anger, Bitterness, and Cults of Personality - Purity 1199

Purity 1199 11/16/2023 Purity 1199 Podcast

Purity 1199 on YouTube:



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a winding asphalt pathway cutting through a sunbathed late autumn forest comes to us from Fred Dimmick who shared this scene that he captured while visiting Caney Creek, near Murphy NC on Monday. 

Well, It’s Thursday and I share Fred’s photo of a highway pathway because of its scenic beauty and as a visual reminder to myself and you to get on or to stay on the path of Christian Discipleship because I know how difficult that can be, especially when we forget who we are in Christ and when we let anger and temptation consume us.  

Recently, I have encountered a few fellow travelers on the road to recovery who unfortunately have taken a detour into relapse and the underlying causes seemed to be very similar if not the same: anger! Or the bitterness of unforgiveness.  In one case, the person involved had made the decision to go into recovery because of difficulties in their marriage. Their secret drinking was increasingly a problem and eventually, it led to an ultimatum – stop drinking or get divorced.  This person chose their marriage and family and started on the shaky road to recovery.  They struggled initially but soon they had days, and weeks of success and recently had reached the milestone of a full month of sobriety. But apparently last week, due to a busy schedule they missed checking into their normal meetings, but all seemed well, and they would resume their normal meetings next week.  The good news is that they did go back to their meetings but the bad news is that even though they made it through last weekend and reported that it was a “good weekend” when Monday came calling the stress of the world and the spiritual forces of darkness rushed in to drive them into despair and into relapse and they are currently struggling with the question of do they want their marriage and family or do they want to be “free to drink”.  After a month of success, they are right back to square one – asking the questions that should have been resolved, from day one.

But let’s give them some grace. Recovery is not easy. Changing the way you have lived for so long is not easy.  Having the “rules” changed later in life doesn’t seem fair.  And let’s be honest, this “compelled” or “coerced” entrance into recovery is not the best way to find success.  From day one, I have encouraged this person to choose recovery for themselves, and ideally as an expression of their faith – a natural outflowing of your decision to live for God and follow Jesus, because if we only choose to sober up because of someone else, because of the negative relational consequences our drinking has caused, we will end up resenting the very person we made the decision to go into recovery for.  “I can’t drink anymore because of “THEM”!”  or “Can’t I just have a few drinks?!!? Can’t I be free to do what I want!?”  

No, you can’t. We can choose what we want but we are subject to those choices.  Choose to sin, choose to suffer, as the old adage goes. 

Also, the fact that the past clearly demonstrates that, no, you can’t just have a few drinks, more often than not you get drunk, and you do things that cause problems. 

Also the fact that you continually go back to the bottle shows that you are a slave to it. That’s not “freedom”, That’s bondage.  Real freedom is being able to choose to become the person God created you to be. A person who solves problems and loves others, not a person who causes problems and drives people away.

So standing up for your selfish right to get drunk and making the people you love suffer through it is not the life God wants you to have. He wants you to be free.  

Another relapse that happened recently was driven by unforgiveness and bitterness.   This person was in recovery and had a betrayal befall them – leading them to relapse and to be placed in rehab for a month.  While in rehab, they listened to good counsel and made the decision to forgive the person who had betrayed them and resolved to stay in the relationship.  They went home and everything was good again… for a time.  But then, I saw this person share a social media post whose content highlighted the desire to seek revenge. It was a movie clip from a Ben Affleck movie where he enlists a friend’s help to not ask questions and just to agree to go with him to “go hurt some people”.   I knew that was a bad sign and sure less than a week later they relapsed and have broken relationships with the person they had “forgiven” in an angry outburst that has caused collateral damage to their children.   

With forgiveness, we need to forgive from the heart and take people off of our hook and put them on God’s hook, and not seek revenge. Forgiving from the heart means never bringing up the person’s past offenses and using them against them again. Also forgiving from the heart is a conscious decision that will need to be made and recommitted to as some of sin’s consequences are delayed and we will have to deal with some fall out from the past as we go into the future. So we have to choose to forgive and keep on forgiving in some cases.   This person didn’t continue in forgiveness. Instead, they entertained thoughts about revenge, and it led to relapse.  

In both cases, the magic elixir of alcohol that was supposed to soothe their hurt and calm their souls drove them into hurting themselves and others. Instead of putting out the fires of anger, it was like they threw gasoline on the smoldering anger and bitterness that was just below the surface, despite their outward fa├žade that told the world “everything is just fine”.   

So what do you do? 

Well you go back to God, always.  You ask for forgiveness and resolve to follow Jesus in the pathways of peace. Instead of isolating yourself in your anger, you study His word to renew your mind and you talk to Him in prayer to receive wisdom, strength, and healing. You start walking and talking with God and follow Jesus’ example.   You forgive from the heart, and you embrace the truth that addiction to anything is NOT Freedom and that you believed a whole pack of lies to think that drunkenness, gluttony, or sexual immorality were “good things”.  

God will lead you out of the darkness, but you have to choose to follow Him freely and to adapt his righteous, forgiving, and loving ways more and more each day.  

When you repent and start living as the Christian you claim to be, the Lord blesses your path and even though it may be difficult and frustrating at times the consequences of walking in his ways will lead to good.  

Romans 8:28 (NKJV) says
28  And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

God has called you to His purpose: to live a simple good righteous life that represents His kingdom – to be more and more like Jesus.  And when we walk toward that purpose, God works all things together for good to who? To those who love God! – So love Him and follow Him out of the darkness of anger and the bitterness of unforgiveness and find peace that comes from living with and for God.

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick Google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verses come from the section on Church, Communion of the Saints.

1 Corinthians 1:10-17 (ESV)
10  I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.
11  For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers.
12  What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.”
13  Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
14  I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius,
15  so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name.
16  (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.)
17  For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

Today’s verses fall under the fourth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Church, Communion of the Saints.

 4. Keep the unity of believers; don’t follow men, but Christ.

Today’s verses highlight the fact that division can even happen in the “church of Acts” and that we are not to follow men, but we are to follow God.

Christians are supposed to display the fruit of the spirit – peace – but when we put our allegiances into a person or a system that causes division rather than in God and the truth of His word that should result in peace and love, we know we have gone astray.  

As the Lord would have it, Crossexamined.org’s, John Ferrer shares a blog post this week that talks about “Personality Cults” – where even Biblically based Christian gatherings can be subverted to the following of “the head man” – a narcissistic charismatic leader that rules their flock with a “lone wolf” approach to decision making, inflicting vindictive punishments on those who don’t follow their edicts” showing us the dangers of putting a Pastor or Minister as the Lord of your life rather than following Jesus.  I am sharing the link to Ferrer’s article on the blog today if you want to check it out and to examine whether or not you may be in a “Cult of Personality.  

So as today’s passage says – ”there be no divisions among you”  and “seek to be united in the same mind and the same judgment” that makes Jesus the One and Only Lord of your life.

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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 are sharing from A. W. Pink’s – The Arthur Pink Anthology  - a collection of A.W. Pink’s tracts brought together in one book and dispersed here on the blog for your encouragement.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for free as a PDF at many sites, but printed copies of collections of A.W. Pink’s books are available for purchase wherever Christian books are sold. 

The Arthur Pink Anthology – 6

Christian Fools – Part 3 of 8

Yes, but there are many Calvinists who equally come under the rebuke of our text. They believe in the sovereignty of God, but they refuse to believe in the responsibility of man. I read a book by a hyper-Calvinist only a few weeks ago, by a man whose shoe-latchet the present speaker in many things is not fit to stoop down and unloose—a man of God, a faithful servant of His, one from whom I have learned not a little—and yet he had the effrontery to say, that responsibility is the most awful word in the English language, and then went on to tirade against human responsibility. They cannot understand how that it is possible for God to fix the smallest and the greatest events, and yet not to infringe upon man’s accountability—men themselves choosing the evil and rejecting the good—and therefore because they cannot see both they will only believe in one.

Listen! If man were nothing more than clay in the hands of the Potter there would be no difficulty. Scripture affirms in Romans 9 that man is clay in the hands of the Potter, but that only gives you one aspect of the truth. That emphasizes the absoluteness of God’s control over all the works and creatures of His hands; but from other Scriptures we learn that man is something more than lifeless clay. Man has been endowed with understanding; man has been given a will. Yes, I freely admit that his understanding is darkened; I fully allow that his will is in bondage; but they are still there; they have not been destroyed. If man was nothing more than a block of wood or a block of stone, it would be easy to understand how that God could fix the place that he was to occupy and the purpose that he was to fulfil; but, my friends, it is very far from easy to understand how that God can shape and direct all history and yet leave man fully responsible and not infringe upon his accountability.

Now there are some who have devised a very simple but a most unsatisfactory method of getting rid of the difficulty, and that is to deny its existence. There are Arminians who have presented the “free-will” of man in such a way as to virtually dethrone God, and I have no sympathy whatever with their system. On the other hand, there have been some Calvinists who have presented a kind of fatalism (I know not what else to term it) reducing man to nothing more than a block of wood, exonerating him of all blame and excusing him for his unbelief. But they are both equally wrong, and I scarcely know which is the more mischievous of the two. When the Calvinist says, All things happen according to the predestination of God. I heartily say Amen, and I am willing to be called a Calvinist; but if the Arminian says that when a man sins the sin is his own, and that if he continues sinning he will surely perish, and that if he perishes his blood is on his own head, then I believe the Arminian speaks according to God’s truth; though I am not willing to be called an Arminian. The trouble is when we tie ourselves down to a theological system.

Now listen a little more closely still. When the Calvinist says that faith is the gift of God and that no sinner ever does or can believe until God gives him that faith, I heartily say Amen; but when the Arminian says that the gospel commands all who hear it to believe, and that it is the duty of every sinner to believe, I also say Amen. What? you say, You are going to stand up and preach faith-duty-duty-faith? I know that is jolting to some of you. Now bear with me patiently for a moment and I will try and not shock you too badly. Whose is the gospel? It is God’s. Whose voice is it that is heard speaking in the gospel? It is God’s. To whom has God commanded the gospel to be preached? To every creature. What does the gospel say to every creature? It says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.” It says, “Whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” It says, “The gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.” God commands, not invites. God commands every man, woman and child that hears that gospel to believe it, for the gospel is true; therefore it is the duty of every man to believe what God has said. Let me give you the alternative. If it is not the duty of every sinner to believe the gospel, then it is his duty not to believe it—one or the other. Do you mean to tell me it is the duty of an unconverted sinner to reject the gospel? I am not talking now about his ability to believe it.[1]

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

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

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com 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 (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

“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 Walkington Pink, The Arthur Pink Anthology (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2005).

Friday, September 8, 2023

Beating the Heat with CAKE? - Purity 1142


 Beating the Heat with CAKE? - Purity 1142

Purity 1142 09/08/2023 Purity 1142 Podcast

Purity 1142 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of the setting sun peaking its way between a tree and a rustic barn comes to us from your truly as I captured this scene at the end of the road during last Sunday's walk into the farmlands off of Waite Rd in Easton NY.  

Well, I don’t know if I was crazy from the heat or I was just tired after a long day at work and a fruitful night of ministry, but I opened up the blog/podcast yesterday saying it was Friday! Yesterday wasn’t Friday and what’s funny is that I shared a pathway photo on yesterday’s blog as is my regular habit for Thursdays, but somewhere between picking that photo and writing yesterday’s blog post I must have wanted to skip ahead to the weekend and reported that it was Friday. So I offer my apologies for any confusion or concern my false report may have caused.  

But today is Friday! And after several 90 degree days I am thankful that we have finally made it and can’t wait for today’s work to be done so I can be reunited with my beloved wife, TammyLyn, at our countryside home later this afternoon.  

You know the heat can do some crazy things to people.  The high temperatures can challenge our bodies and our minds to the point that we don’t respond the same. The heat makes us weaker physically and mentally.  Our physical strength is depleted quicker and ourpatience under fire is not what it should be. 

Yesterday, we had a staff meeting at work, and an issue involving a manager and an employee was discussed. There was a question over whether or not management did all they could to assist the employee to do his job and there was a subtle accusation that the manager was trying to coerce the employee to push past his physical capacity. If that wasn’t bad enough, when the employee refused to comply with the manager’s suggestion the manager issued an ultimatum that sounded, like a punishment or a threat, that the employee would be “forced” to stay late if they didn’t finish their job on time.  The “discussion” was heated, and tempers flared as management refused to admit any wrongdoing and went nuclear when the top manager issued another thinly veiled threat to make the workplace even less hospitable.  People lost their cool. I even chimed in once or twice to voice my disgust over what seemed like a minor request to be refused because management thought they knew how to do the job better than the tech and didn’t even try to help them.  But the top brass’s threat, although I thought it revealed a surprising lack of maturity, was effective. He had the authority to make our lives a little more difficult so after he threatened to, as one of my co-workers said, “take his ball and go home” the arguments fizzled out as the workers all could see there was no point appealing to this management group’s sense of fair play or justice.   Because we didn’t want things to be worse, we let it go in hopes that management wouldn’t make the same mistakes twice.  The whole situation was an aberration. Generally, we get the things we need to do our jobs and are treated with respect but the day before was hot and there was pressure to get the job done, so things were less than ideal, and the heat made them worse.  

Although today’ temps are dipping a bit – forecast is for 87 degrees -so much for Summer being over Labor Day, right? –

To add more fuel to the fire, last night we had thunderstorms and we lost power! So I am SO thankful for my Generac generator as the power is out and if it wasn’t for my decision to spend the money on it in 2020, I would be sitting in the dark right now!  So if you are in my neck of the woods, you could encounter people upset over having no power in their homes last night and who are bothered by the heat.  

Although I didn’t think of it during the heat of the moment of yesterday’s staff meeting, there are ways to contain our discussions with one another to lead them into a balanced peaceful conversation rather than having them degenerate into angry arguments.

Dr. Jim Wilder and Marcus Warner’s Rare Leadership offers us “CAKE”, an acronym that points to infusing our conversations with relational skills to keep the peace.  

C – Curiosity -  Starting a sentence with “I’m curious” can help us to remain relational as we will convey that we are listening and want to hear the other person’s side of the story. We don’t assume we know their motivations or thought processes and instead invite them to “tell their story” and possibly share facts and insights that we are not aware of. Curiosity keeps us open to the possibilities of various solutions and keeps the parties engaged with one another to find one that takes into account all the factors .

A – Appreciation – Letting the other person know that you appreciate your relationship with one another and that you appreciate what they say and do – also keeps things amiable.  

K – Kind – When we are kind to one another, we won’t say something insulting or offensive.  We will understand that we are both fallible people who are just trying to do our best in life and are acting from our perspective.  

E – Envelope Conversation – This is where we put whatever issue we are discussing into the “envelope” of our relationships. For example, during yesterday’s staff meeting – the workers could have said: “We appreciate that management has had our best interests in mind and has provided us with all we need to do our jobs. And we appreciate that we can go to you to help us and treat us with respect, so let’s try to maintain this relationship in the same way we have been operating in the past.  And management could have said: We appreciate how you workers do your jobs efficiently and how you have worked with us to meet the company goals and will go the extra mile to get things done. So let’s work together here, to address this issue and prevent anything from getting in the way of the relationship of mutual trust and respect that we have.

If we had put this issue into the envelope of our relationships, expressed curiosity, appreciation, and kindness, I believe that no one would have lost their tempers and things wouldn’t have degenerated into childish threats. I’ll have to remember to bring out the CAKE if this should happen again!

So as we deal with the stress of fatigue and high temperatures today, let’s be careful to take our time and be patient with one another. Let’s remember that our relationships are more important than any problems that come our way and if we remain relational we can solve them with a little CAKE.

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

Today’s Bible verses comes to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verse comes from the section on Alcohol & Drug Abuse

Proverbs 23:19-20 (NIV2011)
19 Listen, my son, and be wise, and set your heart on the right path:
20  Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat,

Today’s verses fall under the fourteenth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Alcohol & Drug Abuse.

 14. Be wise! Don’t join those who abuse alcohol.

Today’s verse encourages us to be wise and to set our hearts on the right path of a balanced and sober life of purity.   The implication is that drunkenness and gluttony are not a part of God’s original plan for mankind.

Let’s face it we can do some pretty regrettable things when we are drunk. We can say stupid things and do stupid things that can cause us and others harm.   The path that leads to continual pain, troubles, and strife is not where the Prince of Peace is leading us to go.  So let’s take the right path and not join those who are in bondage to booze.     

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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  The Holy Spirit By A.W. Pink.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for $0.99 (https://www.amazon.com/Holy-Spirit-Arthur-Pink-Collection-ebook/dp/B008CM5292/ref=sr_1_3?crid=AHKAQOM39CTN&keywords=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit&qid=1684376225&sprefix=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit+%2Caps%2C96&sr=8-3) 

A.W. Pink’s The Holy Spirit

23 - The Spirit Witnessing

The Office of Witness

The Holy Spirit who dwells in Christ, the great and eternal Head of His people, dwells also in all the living members of His mystical Body, to conform them to Him and to make them like Him in their measure. He it is who takes possession of every quickened soul, dwelling in them as the Spirit of life, of grace, of holiness, of consolation, of glory. He who made them alive in the Lord, now makes them alive to the Lord. He gives them to know the Father in the Son, and their union with Christ. He leads them into communion with the Father and the Son, and fulfills all the good pleasure of His will in them and the work of faith with power (2 Thess. 1:11). In the carrying on of His “good work” in the soul—commenced in regeneration, and manifested in conversion to the Lord—the Spirit is pleased to act and perform the office of Witness: “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Rom. 8:16).

Now the office of a “witness” is to bear testimony or supply evidence for the purpose of adducing proof. The first time this term occurs is in the Epistle to the Romans in 2:15, “Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing.” The reference is to the Heathen: though they had not received from God a written revelation (like the Jews had), nevertheless, they were His creatures, responsible creatures, subject to His authority, and will yet be judged by Him. The grounds upon which God holds them accountable are, first, the revelation which He has given them of Himself in creation, which renders them “without excuse” (Rom. 1:19, 20); and second, the work of His Law written in their hearts, that is, their rationality or “the light of nature.” But not only do their moral instincts instruct them in the difference between right and wrong, and warn them of a future day of reckoning, but their conscience also bears witness—it is a Divine monitor within, supplying evidence that God is their Governor and Judge.

But while the Christian ever remains a creature accountable to his Maker and Ruler, he is also a child of God, and, normally (that is, while he is sincerely endeavoring to walk as such), his renewed conscience bears witness to—supplies evidence of—the fact. We say “renewed conscience,” for the Christian has been renewed throughout the whole of his inner man. The genuine Christian is able to say, “We trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly” (Heb. 13:18)—the bent of his heart is for God and obedience to Him. Not only is there a desire to please God, but there are answerable endeavors: “Herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offense toward God, and men” (Acts 24:16). When these endeavors are carried on there is inward assurance of our state: “For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience” (2 Cor. 1:12).

Thus, the Christian’s sincerity is evidenced by his conscience. It is true that there is also “another law in his members, warring against the law of his mind, and bringing him into captivity to the law of sin” (Rom. 7:23); yet that is his grief, and not his joy; his burden and not his satisfaction. It is true that “to will is present with him; but how to perform that which is good (how to attain unto what he ardently desires and prays for) he finds not.” Yea, the good that he loves to do, he often does not; and the evil which he hates, he often falls into (Rom. 7:18, 19). Even so; yet, blameworthy and lamentable though such things are, it in no way alters the fact that the one whose experience it is, can call God Himself to witness that he wishes with all his heart it were otherwise; and his own conscience testifies to his sincerity in expressing such a desire.[1]

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

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com 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 (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

For those who require the assistance of a Deeper Walk International Prayer Minister to experience healing or your freedom in Christ, I highly recommend Christy Edge’s Life on the Edge Freedom Prayer Ministry. You can schedule a session by going to : https://cedge216.wixsite.com/life-on-the-edge     

“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 Walkington Pink, The Holy Spirit (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, n.d.).