Showing posts with label Suicide Prevention. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Suicide Prevention. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

What to do in a World of Sadness - Purity 961

What to do in a World of Sadness - Purity 961

Purity 961 02/07/2023 Purity 961 Podcast

Purity 961 on YouTube: 

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a multicolored ribbon stretched out in front of a view of the Hudson River from the vantage point of Henry Hudson Riverfront Park in Hudson NY comes to us from my phone’s photo archives and an unnamed AFSP volunteer who captured this scene back on September 15, 2018 at the Columbia-Greene Out of the Darkness Walk.  

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention seeks to help prevent suicide and to support the community of people who have been directly affected by suicide.  During the Walk’s ceremony of remembrance and support people are encouraged to tie a colored ribbon to a large ribbon that acknowledges their loss or their part in the community of support.  

The AFSP’s Out of the Darkness ceremony gives people a way to grieve, to heal, to remember their loved ones, and to encourage others to get help when they are contemplating suicide.  If you have thoughts of suicide help is a phone call or text away. Call 988 or Text the word “HOME” to 741741to get help.  

Well, It’s Wednesday again, and don’t worry I am not contemplating suicide this morning but I have to be honest and say that there were many times in my life where I was in deep despair and wanted to die to stop the pain and thought about taking my own life.  However, I was too afraid to die because I must have realized that even though I was suffering that ending my life was not the answer.  I was afraid of death and the unknown more than facing the pains and frustrations of living, I guess.  So. I lived to face another day and it’s a good thing I did because it eventually led to my finding salvation in Christ, and a meaning and a purpose for my life.  

And that purposed is to let people know that their lives are of immense value because God Himself, through the person of Jesus Christ, came to earth to die in order to save us and to give us a new spiritual life that goes from here to eternity.  

My looking back to 2018 for the photo of the day this morning was inspired by one of the Freedom in Christ course participant’s comments last night who admitted that seeing the suffering that is happening in the world today sometimes fills him with sadness and frustration to the point that he doesn’t feel like reading the Bible or going to God in prayer.  The suffering that he sees in the world and in the various people he encounters in life makes it seem that he is in a world of sadness and it cause him to question God’s goodness, presence, and power. The hurt, pain, and suffering he sees causes him to feel sad and angry at the suggestion to draw close to God.  

Which is exactly what the spiritual forces of darkness would want us to do! Satan and demons seek to destroy us and their goal is to do anything to keep us from going to the Lord or from helping others to find life in Christ.   Deception is their primary strategy, to make us believe a lie about God or about ourselves to separate us from Him.  

So in this man’s case, the enemy is causing him to acknowledge the suffering of the world and to doubt God’s goodness or power because of the evil, pain, and brokenness he sees in the world.  Because of the suffering he sees he is a little jaded as the idea of a good God while there is this world of sadness doesn’t compute.   

However, there are several lies and misconceptions and basic ignorance of life as it really is that comes into play to view the world in this way and to cause us to separate ourselves from God.  

So what do we do in this world of sadness? People are really suffering! This is not good!

No it is not.  However, there are some things we need to realize about reality that will put things in their proper perspective and that could help us to see beyond the veil of the “world of sadness.”  

Please forgive me, for this might be a little too real or seem harsh in light of the questions asked about suffering which really amount to “Why do things have to be this way?”   But if we are going to accuse God of not being good, we need to see the truth.   

1.    We didn’t make ourselves. 

God is creator. He makes us and He will call us into eternity. The life we have is a gift and our purpose in life is to be in relationship with the Creator and to represent Him.   Whether we are representing the Lord or not, one day we will die. Our suffering on earth will end someday. 

However, our eternal destiny and possible eternal torment, will be determined by whether or not we make peace with God by putting our faith in Jesus.

We have no rights to our life. God gives it and He takes it away. But He offers us new life to all who trust in Him.

2.    The world is broken by sin.

God’s original plan for mankind was Eden and paradise was lost when Adam and Eve chose to disobey the Lord’s one commandment because they were tempted to believe that that God was holding something out on them and they chose to act independently of Him, causing their spiritual death and separation from God.  Since the Fall, every person born is spiritually dead and lives independently of God choosing to do good or evil according to their own wills and desires.  

Much of the evil in the world is the evil that men do.  Death, disease, and natural disasters are consequences of the Fall.  

Why is their suffering in the world? Sin changed the very nature of reality and we will live in the chaos of this “world of sadness” until Christ returns.  Scripture indicates that suffering will end, when God creates a new heaven and a new earth and all who put their faith in Christ will experience it.  

As harrowing as suffering may be in the here and now, it is a temporary condition that will be alleviated for all who enter God’s kingdom through Christ.

So when we see suffering in the world, we should draw close to God because He will one day prove His goodness by taking it all away for those who love and follow Him.  

When we see people suffering, we need to share this hope and encourage them to turn from their worldly ways and find peace with God.

In light of the ultimate reality of God’s kingdom coming to earth, death has lost its sting as the faithful live for ever and those who rebel and reject the Author of life, goodness, and love will get what they deserve, God’s wrath.

That might seem harsh, but God gave us life and when we waste it in selfishness and by joining in with the spiritual forces of darkness who would accuse the Lord of not being good, when the truth is that everything that is good comes from God, we have no leg to stand on – literally – if you got legs, God gave them to you!

Rather than lamenting over the suffering of this world, we should recognize the existence of the good in the world and rejoice. Seeing the world as a “world of sadness” is to believe the lie of the enemy because there is FAR more good in this world than bad but the enemy doesn’t want you to see that because if we were to acknowledge the goodness in the world, and to count our blessings daily, we would love the God who provided it and we would praise His holy name. We world abandon the world’s ways for His wisdom, because we would know that He is good and to follow Him is life, love, and peace. 

So open your eyes and see that God is good, even with the pain, even with the suffering in this world.  If you trust the Lord put your faith in Him, one day your suffering will end, forever, but until then you don’t have to choose to suffer.  Instead you can choose to see the good and thank God for it. You seek to change your ways that lead to personal pain.  You can seek comfort and help those who are suffering by telling them the truth about the God who is willing to save them and to one day take away all their pain. 

When we live in the truth of the Creator God who loved His creation enough to die for those who would believe in Him, our eyes should be open the ultimate reality that God has for us and we should rejoice.  

Therefore, keep walking and talking with God. Renew your mind with the truth of God’s word that gives us the wisdom to navigate through this world that is falling apart. Trust in Jesus and know that your new life has already happened and that you no longer live in a “world of sadness” because He has overcome the world.


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

This morning’s meditation verses are:

Matthew 12:34-37 (NLT2)
34  You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.
35  A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart.
36  And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak.
37  The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.”

Today’s Bible verse is a discourse from Jesus Christ, himself, on how our words will reflect the condition of our hearts and warns of the judgement that is to come that will consider every word we speak.  

In another passage of scripture, Jesus tells us that we will know His disciples by their fruit and obviously from today’s verses we can see that one of the things that we can use to gauge whether someone is good or evil is the words we speak.  

And I hate to say it biut, any argument, philosophy, or comments that one would make that doubts, denies, or contradicts God’s word are not just controversial or a diverse point of view, they are evil. 

If the things we say would cause someone to sin or to not to put their faith in Christ, those words will one day be rightly judged as evil as they will be seen to be evil and unloving as they convinced ourselves or others from trusting and following God. 

Treason are acts are words that seek to go against or destroy the government and is usually punished by death.  And the words we speak, will show whether our hearts are for God’s kingdom or against it, so as the rapper Ice – T said of his album’s – Yes, you have freedom of speech, but watch what you say be cause your words can and will be used against you, and in the final judgement they will reveal what you really believe in your heart and they either condemn you or acquit you.  

So speak the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. encourage people to trust and obey the Lord who loves them, and show the love of God to everyone with the things you say.


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.






Once more we would avail ourself of the language of Calvin: “But, as I have hitherto only recited such things as are delivered without any obscurity or ambiguity in the Scriptures, let persons who hesitate not to brand with ignominy those Oracles of heaven, beware of what kind of opposition they make. For, if they pretend ignorance, with a desire to be commended for their modesty, what greater instance of pride can be conceived, than to oppose one little word to the authority of God! as, ‘It appears otherwise to me,’ or ‘I would rather not meddle with this subject.’ But if they openly censure, what will they gain by their puny attempts against heaven? Their petulance, indeed, is no novelty; for in all ages there have been impious and profane men, who have virulently opposed this doctrine. But they shall feel the truth of what the Spirit long ago declared by the mouth of David, that God ‘is clear when He judgeth’ (Psa. 51:4). David obliquely hints at the madness of men who display such excessive presumption amidst their insignificance, as not only to dispute against God, but to arrogate to themselves the power of condemning Him. In the meantime, he briefly suggests, that God is unaffected by all the blasphemies which they discharge against heaven, but that He dissipates the mists of calumny, and illustriously displays His righteousness; our faith, also, being founded on the Divine Word, and therefore, superior to all the world, from its exaltation looks down with contempt upon those mists” (John Calvin).

In closing this chapter we propose to quote from the writings of some of the standard theologians since the days of the Reformation, not that we would buttress our own statements by an appeal to human authority, however venerable or ancient, but in order to show that what we have advanced in these pages is no novelty of the twentieth century, no heresy of the ‘latter days’ but, instead, a doctrine which has been definitely formulated and commonly taught by many of the most pious and scholarly students of Holy Writ.

“Predestination we call the decree of God, by which He has determined in Himself, what He would have to become of every individual of mankind. For they are not all created with a similar destiny: but eternal life is foreordained for some, and eternal damnation for others. Every man, therefore, being created for one or the other of these ends, we say, he is predestinated either to life or to death”—from John Calvin’s “Institutes” (1536 A.D.) Book III, Chapter XXI entitled “Eternal Election, or God’s Predestination of Some to Salvation and of Others to Destruction.”

We ask our readers to mark well the above language. A perusal of it should show that what the present writer has advanced in this chapter is not “hyper-Calvinism” but real Calvinism, pure and simple. Our purpose in making this remark is to show that those who, not acquainted with Calvin’s writings, in their ignorance condemn as ultra-Calvinism that which is simply a reiteration of what Calvin himself taught—a reiteration because that prince of theologians as well as his humble debtor have both found this doctrine in the Word of God itself.

Martin Luther in his most excellent work “De Servo Arbitrio” (Free Will a Slave), wrote: “All things whatsoever arise from, and depend upon, the Divine appointments, whereby it was preordained who should receive the Word of Life, and who should disbelieve it, who should be delivered from their sins, and who should be hardened in them, who should be justified and who should be condemned. This is the very truth which razes the doctrine of freewill from its foundations, to wit, that God’s eternal love of some men and hatred of others is immutable and cannot be reversed.”

John Fox, whose Book of Martyrs was once the best known work in the English language (alas that is not so today, when Roman Catholicism is sweeping upon us like a great destructive tidal wave!), wrote: “Predestination is the eternal decreement of God, purposed before in Himself, what should befall all men, either to salvation, or damnation.”[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), 112–113.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Summer Ends Sunday - Suicidal Idols - Purity 839

Summer Ends Sunday - Suicidal Idols - Purity 839

Purity 839 09/17/2022  Purity 839 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of the countryside illuminated by the light of the setting sun just off of Waite Rd in Easton comes to us from yours truly as I took some quick picks to capture the splendor of September as I took my canine companion, Harley, for a late afternoon walk yesterday.    

Well, we are past the ides of September and it is my prayer that all my friends enjoy the  last weekend of summer as the season officially will end with the Autumnal Equinox on Thursday the 22nd.   Even though the Autumnal Equinox is used to mark the season, the weather and return to school usually give us a Fall Feeling before it arrives. This year we had an abrupt shift in the weather on Labor Day weekend in the capital district of upstate New York as we experienced sunshine and a high of 81 degrees on Sunday only to crash into Labor day Monday with heavy rains and a drop to 66 degrees.   

I remember thinking on Labor Day, “Wow, there goes summer!” and then I remembered that the previous day, while out walking under the heat of the sun, I had a real sense of the urgency that summer was slipping away and I had a decision to make in terms of what to do with the rest of the day. 

I decided to spend the day with my wife indoors and have no regrets about it but after Labor Day’s storms and relative chill, I remembered that feeling during that Sunday walk that “this was it” and I poetically thought about this “prophetic” intuition with the phrase “Summer Ends Sunday”. 

And when I came up with that, I thought that the phrase “Summer Ends Sunday” would be an awesome name for an alternative band.  

We are “Summer Ends Sunday! Good Night!”   

And all of this comes flooding back into my recollections this morning because as I finished up my Bible Study and emailed myself the photo of the day from my phone I fell victim to some “click bait” on Yahoo that teased “Rocker’s wife states husband had delirium before suicide” or something like that and so I wondered who it was referring to and discovered it led to a story about a recent interview of the Vicky Cornell, the widow of the former front man of Soundgarden and Audioslave, Chris Cornell who took his life in 2017 (  So it was recent interview, but not exactly recent news, on the rocker’s death.   

You can research the details on Cornell’s death if you like, but the recent interview by his widow and her comments about his “delirium” before his death coupled with the fact that he had a history of substance abuse, and was on some prescription medications ( which the family had alleged were over prescribed and caused Cornell to act erratically before his suicide) and one could easily speculate and make the case for demonic influence as a contributing factor to his death as well.   

Christ tells us in that the enemy want to kill us in:

John 10:10 (NKJV)
10  The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. …

As Christ well knew from Satan’s temptation in the wilderness.

Matthew 4:5-6 (NKJV) tells us
5  Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple,
6  and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: 'He shall give His angels charge over you,' and, 'In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.' "  

So the devil takes Jesus to a high place and tells Him to jump, to tempt God with His safety, and potentially kill Himself.       

The enemy’s mission to kill and destroy us includes tempting us to suicide.   

From my volunteer work with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and from listening to the testimonies of survivors of suicide attempts, and the families of people who died to suicide, I know that Cornell’s widows claims of “delirium”, and surrounding factors of Cornell’s death are not unique and because of my biblical worldview, education in Christian Counseling, my training as an CFMA for Freedom in Christ Ministries, and my experience personally with addiction, depression, condemning thoughts, and thoughts of suicide, I would state that spiritual forces of darkness or the spiritual conditions in someone’s life play a part in every suicide.      

Either through direct demonic influence or simply from a worldview of hopelessness that is born out of an atheistic worldview,  people suffer and will continue to die from suicide.  

This is obviously not a popular theory to bring to the discussion of suicide prevention. Our Western Post Christian Society denies the involvement of the spirit realm in our day to day lives and seeks to silence the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ with the confusion of “coexistence” and the proliferation of the idea that all roads lead to God.   And we suffer for it. 

The issues of mental health and suicide will continue to plague our world as we are enmeshed in a culture that refuses to offend anyone with the Biblical standards of morality, with a standard of truth that is based on the Bible,  or the solutions for negative mind states that are available through the application of Biblical wisdom to the way we live our lives.  

To state that someone is living in sin, or even to suggest that someone turn from drugs, alcohol, and sex that is outside of the bonds of marriage between a man and a woman, and to instead turn to the Lord and live according to His ways is almost laughable to our secular society or is met with stern opposition and fierce hatred that would condemn Christians as judgmental, hateful, bigots.

The world laments over it’s problems, seeks the cold comforts of better life through chemistry, and wonders why things seem to be getting worse because it refuses to accept the answer that God sent to save us all: Jesus Christ.  

So society through its rejection or separation from God, or nominal lip service to Him that says “I believe” but refuses follow Him in any discernable way is plague with the subject to the temptations and the oppression of the spiritual forces of darkness.  

Ephesians 4:26-27 (NKJV) says
26  "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath,
27  nor give place to the devil.

Our sin, and everyone sins to some extent, makes us vulnerable to the devil. 

However, Christians have ben set free

Romans 8:2 (NKJV)
2  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

Faith in Christ not only gives us power over death with our eternal life in the kingdom of God guaranteed. It also gives us the power to say no to sin.  

We won’t be perfect but we can progress in our freedom and victory to the sins that beset us and if we stumble on the road to sanctification, because of our life giving relationship with God through our faith in Christ, we have a way to reestablish our harmony with Him. 

1 John 1:9 (NKJV) tells us
9  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

And so in Christ we have an advocate and a constant source of power and peace to guide us in the way we should go and comfort us and remind us of why we need a Savior when we stray from His path.   

Our American dream culture whose philosophy is centered around circumstantial happiness fails to satisfy and provide meaning and purpose to life.  The enemy uses sins and disappointments to drive to confusion and despair and to destroy ourselves.  

As I did some research about Christ Cornell, I decided to google “grunge artists that killed themselves” and discovered that the search showed that 13 musicians from the “grunge era” of the mid 1990’s to the early 2000’s, had either died of suicide or overdoses to drugs.

The grunge movement was passionate about living life to the fullest and loving others deeply but without God to give peace the fruits it produced proved to be rotten and it’s idols proved to be suicidal.

As I was in college from 1990 to 1994, I knew most of the names and were fans of quite a few of the lost and it just reminded me that I was extremely blessed to have survived because I had been well versed in the spirit of rebellion and licentious living that surrounded the alternative music genre and the utter hopelessness that results from a lifestyle that has nothing to do and nothing to believe in other than seeking to please and affirm itself. Grunge defied and distained tradition and polite society and rejected God and biblical values and the results are talented individuals lost to drug overdoses and suicide. 

And those trends are still happening, and are on the increase in our post-Covid, increasingly confused society today.

So let me encourage myself and others out there who know the Truth that has set them free, that have been saved because of their faith in Jesus: we have the answer in Christ.  

My relationship with God through faith in Jesus took me out of the darkness of depression, suicidal thoughts, and addiction and I know I am not special.  Similar testimonies to mine are spoken of throughout the history of Christianity.   So we have to let others know the way out of the darkness and into a life of peace with God that begins here on earth and follows us into eternity.  

This world broken by sin can break your heart but in speaking of God,

Psalm 147:3 (NKJV) says
3  He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.


Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)
0  Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'


Psalm 55:22 (NKJV)
22  Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.


God is close to us and when we turn to Him, He heals us and sustains us.   


So keep walking and talking with God and when you encounter someone who has no hope let them know that the Lord loves them but the way out of the darkness requires that they make peace with Him by making Jesus their Lord and Savior and it also requires that they abide in Him by staying in His presence and casting out the spiritual forces of darkness by confessing any sin and living a righteous life based on the word of God.   


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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Psalm 18:28 (NLT2)
28  You light a lamp for me. The LORD, my God, lights up my darkness.

Today’s Bible verse speaks of the illuminating power of God.  

God is a lamp for all of us.  He lights up our darkness by showing us His love that was displayed and embodied in Jesus Christ and when we put our faith in Him, we benefit and share in the Light of the world. 

But as I have stated above, we have to let His light shine by living like Him. We can’t live in the darkness of sin if we are to claim to be a part of His kingdom. 

The enemy tempts us and seeks to destroy us subtly by forgetting about God’s perfect light and creating footholds in our lives though our sin or disbelief.  

So let the light of God shine in your life, Let Him light up your darkness to show you the abundant life that Christ came to give you.  



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

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

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

                                                                      Chapter Two

The Call to Discipleship - Continued

Following Christ means taking certain steps. The first step, which responds to the call, separates the followers from their previous existence. A call to discipleship thus immediately creates a new situation. Staying in the old situation and following Christ mutually exclude each other. At first, that was quite visibly the case. The tax collector had to leave his booth and Peter his nets to follow Jesus. According to our understanding, even back then things could have been quite different. Jesus could have given the tax collector new knowledge of God and left him in his old situation. If Jesus had not been God’s Son become human, then that would have been possible. But because Jesus is the Christ, it has to be made clear from the beginning that his word is not a doctrine. Instead, it creates existence anew. The point was to really walk with Jesus. It was made clear to those he called that they only had one possibility of believing in Jesus, that of leaving everything and going with the incarnate Son of God.

The first step puts the follower into the situation of being able to believe. If people do not follow, they remain behind, then they do not learn to believe. Those called must get out of their situations, in which they cannot believe, into a situation in which faith can begin. This step has no intrinsic worth of its own; it is justified only by the community with Jesus Christ that is attained. As long as Levi sits in the tax collector’s booth and Peter at his nets, they would do their work honestly and loyally, they would have old or new knowledge about God. But if they want to learn to believe in God, they have to follow the Son of God incarnate and walk with him.

Things used to be different. Then they could live quietly in the country, unnoticed in their work, keep the law, and wait for the Messiah. But now he was there; now his call came. Now faith no longer meant keeping quiet and waiting, but going in discipleship with him. Now his call to discipleship dissolved all ties for the sake of the unique commitment to Jesus Christ. Now all bridges had to be burned and the step taken to enter into endless insecurity, in order to know what Jesus demands and what Jesus gives. Levi at his taxes could have had Jesus as a helper for all kinds of needs, but he would not have recognized him as the one Lord, into whose hand he should entrust his whole life. He would not have learned to have faith. The situation has to be initiated which will enable faith in Jesus, the incarnate God. This is the impossible situation, in which everything is based on only one thing, the word of Jesus. Peter has to get out of the boat into the waves, in order to experience his own powerlessness and the almighty power of his Lord. If he had not gotten out, he would not have learned to believe. His situation on the tempestuous sea is completely impossible and, ethically, simply irresponsible, but it has to happen for him to believe. The road to faith passes through obedience to Christ’s call. The step is required; otherwise Jesus’ call dissipates into nothing. Any intended discipleship without this step to which Jesus calls becomes deceptive enthusiasts’ illusion.

There is a great danger in telling the difference between a situation where faith is possible and where it is not. It is clear that there is nothing in the situation as such to indicate which kind it is. Only the call of Jesus Christ qualifies it as a situation where faith is possible. Second, a situation where faith is possible is never made by humans. Discipleship is not a human offer. The call alone creates the situation. Third, the value of the situation is never in itself. The call alone justifies it. Finally and most of all, the situation which enables faith can itself happen only in faith.[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] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discipleship, ed. Martin Kuske et al., trans. Barbara Green and Reinhard Krauss, vol. 4, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2003), 61–63.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Not Today. Ending it All on Father’s Day – Purity 762

Not Today.  Ending it All on Father’s Day – Purity 762

Purity 762 06/20/2022 Purity 762 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a Sunset over Anclote River Park in Holiday, Florida comes to us from a friend’s recent family vacation to the Sunshine State that they shared on social media back on June 3rd.  

Well, as the sun has set on another Father’s day weekend and we face another work week, I am contemplating how good life is even if we are facing problems and the fact that as long as we keep living, and preferably keep walking and talking with God, there is hope.  

Yesterday, I rejoined my parents, my son, and a couple of my brothers and their significant others at Red Lobster in Kingston for a Father’s Day lunch.  My parents and my son were actually delayed getting to the restaurant because local authorities closed the Kingston-Rhinecliff bridge for an hour while police negotiators successfully prevented a man, who climbed over the railing of the bridge a number of times during their talks, from committing suicide. ( True story.  

My brother Tommy’s finance stated that they saw the man had pulled over his vehicle on the opposite side of traffic and had climbed onto the pedestrian’s walkway. He was upset and screaming into a phone when they had crossed the bridge.  We may never know the reasons behind what caused this man to threaten to take his life but the fact that yesterday was Father’s Day and the fact that this man was on the phone yelling at someone could cause us to imagine that broken interpersonal relationships may have been part of the story.    

The good news is that this man got the help they needed, and it makes me glad that there are people who serve our community to protect and serve the lives of its citizens.  The sparse report indicates the situation was precarious and while I can only speculate about the methods used to convince this man to come off this bridge I would imagine that compassion and the assurance of hope was given.  

What do you say to someone who wants to kill themselves?

I am not consulting any resources here but if put in this situation: I would try to emphasize that there are alternative solutions to this man’s problems other than suicide. I would probably share the fact that I too had daunting problems in my past that made me consider the same choice but then I would tell them how because I decided to live I was able to find a way out of those problems. Because I decided to keep on living there was hope and  one day the pain of those problems was alleviated. I would point to the fact of my current condition as proof that we can work through the problems that face us and life goes on, if we keep living. I would point to myself as evidence that people cared about this man.  Even if all his relationships were broken, I would assure them that I cared and that there was hope, and help they could get, if they chose to live.

As a member of the Mobile Crisis Assessment Team in Columbia- Greene Counties , we are called to give hope and show concern to those in crisis.  In every situation our team is called out to we have to assess the situation, engage the person, and assure them that there is help available to get them through whatever problems they are facing. Thankfully, all the calls I have gone out to thus far on have been successful as our team showed up and were able to refer the individuals to the resources they needed or at least develop an immediate plan that would keep the person safe.

In these situations, our experiences and our stories can be used to give people the hope they need to make the decision to keep going in life.  

As I also teach Christian Discipleship, I also encourage Christians to keep going in their faith life, and I use my testimony of how I was born again in 2010 and have since overcome some major problems and have enjoyed some very significant victories because I not only decided to keep living but decided to follow the Lord’s ways and learn from the wisdom of His word.  I teach what I have learned and share my experiences to encourage Christians to be a follower of Jesus Christ with the way they live their lives because I know that the decision to live as a disciple of Christ contains the best solutions to life’s problems and is a pathway that is paved with, and leads to, the fruit of the Spirit.

If you truly want peace, love, joy, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, kindness, patience, and self-control to define your life I would encourage you to get the help you need from the Lord and to consult the resource in which His wisdom is contained: the Holy Bible, the inspired and inerrant word of God.  

This morning my Bible Study took me to:   

Psalm 119:25-32 (NKJV) which says:
25  My soul clings to the dust; Revive me according to Your word.
26  I have declared my ways, and You answered me; Teach me Your statutes.
27  Make me understand the way of Your precepts; So shall I meditate on Your wondrous works.
28  My soul melts from heaviness; Strengthen me according to Your word.
29  Remove from me the way of lying, And grant me Your law graciously.
30  I have chosen the way of truth; Your judgments I have laid before me.
31  I cling to Your testimonies; O LORD, do not put me to shame!
32  I will run the course of Your commandments, For You shall enlarge my heart.


It's a small section of scripture but in it, we learn that we can be both revived and strengthened by God’s word.  Although there are lying ways all around us and our souls can feel heavy, the psalmist knows that the Lord can help them through His word and so they make the commitment to cling to it’s wisdom and to run in it’s courses.  


It’s Monday, and undoubtedly the new work week will come with its problems and we could feel heavy just contemplating the fact that another work week has begun, but let me encourage you as long as you are living there is hope and if you make the decision to make the commitment to walk in the Lord’s ways by applying the wisdom of the word of God to your life, you can have peace as walk through the problems of the day.  


When you walk with the Lord, you are never alone and when you study His word you will never lack for wisdom, inspiration, and hope.   So keep walking and talking with God and while your at it share the hope that you have and tell others what the Lord has done for you. 


Your story can give someone the hope to carry on. You story can bring the dead to life and introduce someone who thought there was just no way into a relationship with God where there is always a way.  



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

This morning’s meditation verse:

Psalm 31:7 (NLT2)
7  I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul.

Today’s Bible verse tells us what we need to hear when we contemplate a relationship with God. God not only sees our troubles but cares about the anguish of our souls. 

When we believe the lies of the enemy that there is no God, we are deceived into believing that we live in a cold, heartless, and dangerous universe where no one know that troubles we see and thus no one really cares.  

That’s a lie. God is omniscient and omnipresent. That means God knows all and is everywhere all at once.  That means he knows about your situation personally and that He is always available to call on and to lean on in times of trouble.  

When we seek the Lord, we will find Him, And in today’s verse the psalmist testifies that they have discovered that God’s love never fails and they can rejoice in it. They declare that the Lord has been with them through their troubles and anguish but because they know God’s love personally, they can rejoice.   

So seek the Lord. Walk and talk with Him everyday through Bible Study and prayer and you will be assured that He knows all about your troubles and that He can help you through them and somehow, because you know His love, you can rejoice!  


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 Clinton E. Arnold’s “Powers of Darkness”

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



Horoscopes appear in our newspapers every day. although many people have been reading them more for their entertainment value than as a basis for decision making, motivations are changing. Western culture is showing an increasing fascination with the stars and how their influence is felt in day-to-day situations.

In the first century virtually no one was skeptical about the major tenets of astrology. From the highest social classes (including the Caesars) to the lowest classes, everyone believed the motions and positions of the heavenly bodies directly corresponded to the course of events on earth.

Astrological belief and practice varied from a quasi-scientific approach to an “animistic” perspective on the stars; that is, the heavenly bodies either represent or actually are spirits, gods and supernatural powers. In the Greco-Roman world the bulk of ordinary people believed the latter. This fact is important to know in order to understand the background of Paul’s readers. The terms that Paul used for the principalities and powers and what he had to say about them was especially relevant to people who believed the luminaries populating the heavens were gods and spirits.

Cosmic Sympathy: A System of Correspondences

Astrology was an accepted profession in antiquity. Learned astrologers were called “mathematicians” (mathematikoi) by the Greeks. These professionals used their skill in charting the daily positions of the sun, moon, planets and stars. They recorded the data in complex tables (ephemerides), which plotted the relative positions of the heavenly bodies. Based upon this information, they could extrapolate the future relative position of the stars for a given point in time. People believed a skilled astrologist could use these charts to predict future events on earth with the same precision that the next eclipse could be forecasted.

Astrology distinguished itself from astronomy by assuming there is an inextricable relationship between movements in the heavens and the unfolding of life on earth. Astrology was based on a world view that saw the universe as an integrated whole: what affects one part affects the other. This “cosmic sympathy” enabled the astrologer to give inquirers fairly detailed insight into what they could expect in the future. The astrologer was essential for his or her role in interpreting the stellar phenomenon and relating it to the concerns and situations of people.

Ironically the various ancient (and modern!) systems of astrology were actually based on two faulty assumptions about the universe. First, astrology presupposed that the earth was the center of the universe and that all of the celestial bodies revolved around this one motionless constant suspended in space (a geocentric universe). Second, the ancients based their division of the heavens on an errant spherical understanding of the universe in which the planets and stars all seemed to move on one plane. This belief enabled them to divide the heavens into twelve, 30-degree houses, which became the basis for the zodiac. Each house of the zodiac was further divided into three decans for a total of thirty-six, with each constituting a span of 10 degrees. In popular belief both the zodiac and the decans were deified and thus regarded as quite powerful over the affairs of life.

The zodiac, together with all of the foundational astrological beliefs, is quite ancient, dating back centuries before the time of Christ. In ancient Babylon astrology flourished, playing a significant role in all succeeding civilizations and generations. In its Chaldean (Babylonian priestly) roots astrology was closely attached to religious beliefs. In fact, the figures of the zodiac were linked to Babylonian deities. By the time of the New Testament era astrology held an integral, unquestioned part of the peoples’ world view throughout the Roman Empire.

The Relentless Grind of Fate

Among many of the well-educated people of Paul’s time, the philosophical and religious outlook of Stoicism was popular. In fact, after Zeno founded Stoicism in Athens early in the third century B.C., the great Roman philosopher Seneca expounded it during Paul’s lifetime. The Stoics believed a single divine principle permeated all of life. This divine principle was often identified with Zeus, the one divinely powerful spirit who governed the mutual relationships of all of life in a way that results in cosmic sympathy, one part affecting the other. For the Stoics, the movement of the stars directly affected the fate of people on earth.

The Stoic writer Manilius, also a contemporary of Paul, had an unswerving belief in astrological fate. In his writing he lauds the Egyptians for passing on what they had learned about interpreting the movements of the stars. He writes:

They [the Egyptian priests] were the first to see, through their art, how fate depends on the wandering stars. Over the course of many centuries they assigned with persistent care to each period of time the events connected with it: the day on which someone is born, the kind of life he shall lead, the influence of every hour on the laws of destiny, and the enormous differences made by small motions.… From long observation it was discovered that the stars control the whole world by mysterious laws, that the world itself moves by an eternal principle, and that we can, by reliable signs, recognize the ups and downs of fate.

While Stoics were convinced some of the details of fate could be known ahead of time, adherents to this mode of thought were equally convinced it was unalterable. Fate must run its course. Each person should therefore accept what happens and view it as part of the mysterious outworking of fate. The secret of happiness in this life is to quit worrying about the future. Manilius advises, “Set your minds free, mortal men, let your cares go and deliver your lives from all this pointless fuss. Fate rules the world; everything is bound by certain laws; eternities are sealed by predetermined events.… No one can catch Fortune by praying against her will or escape her if she comes close to him. Everyone must bear his appointed lot.”

Some astrologers assumed a dual role for themselves in dealing with people, something like an astrologer-psychotherapist. Knowing that most people were either unwilling or unable to accept their allotted fate, Stoic astrologer Vettius Valens felt responsible to tell his clients the truth about the future and help them face up to it.[1]

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

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

[1] Clinton E. Arnold, Powers of Darkness: Principalities & Powers in Paul’s Letters (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic: An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 1992), 48–50.