Showing posts with label Temptation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Temptation. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Full Size Candy Bars?!?! – The Old Trick or Treat - Purity 554

Full Size Candy Bars?!?! – Trick or Treat - Purity 554

Purity 554 10/20/2021 Purity 554 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of a Halloween Display on Maple Avenue in Troy NY on a sunny October day comes to us from yours truly as I was rolling through the neighborhood on the way back to the garage at the end of the workday on the 7th.

Well Halloween is only eleven days away and although I don’t have any plans to celebrate in any significant way this year, I have already fallen victim to the temptation to overindulge on candy treats! And for those who don’t know that is kind of a mini-personal disaster.    

Since December, I have decided to trust the Lord to help me overcome my food addiction and get healthy by transitioning from obese to overweight. Through my faith, a food plan, and accountability I have had some success and was on my way to optimal health.   

But lately, I have been a little less disciplined in monitoring what I have been eating and over the last couple of weeks watched the weight loss stop and actually gained a pound or two.  I was keeping an eye on it and even confessed my failings to my coach but hadn’t taken any drastic measures to right the ship because I was basically staying “on plan” in terms of the things that I was eating. It’s just that I compromised in the amounts and not staying “on schedule” with my regular “feelings” to keep the “tank full” so I wouldn’t binge eat.   So I started slipping a little bit, but I figured I would just stick to my regular routine, and I would be “back on track” in a week. 

Well, the thing is my regular schedule has been drastically changed this week because I am volunteering my time at FICM’s Fall Practicum at Grace Fellowship in Latham until today and man can I tell you that Grace Fellowship really knows how to put on a conference and provide for their guests.   

The staff and volunteers at Grace Fellowship have met all the needs of the attendees of the Practicum by catering for breakfast, lunch, and snacks throughout the afternoon.   On day one, I was pleased to see that they provided healthy options like salad, meats, and yogurt so I wouldn’t have to “go off plan”.  But I also noticed that they made available a nice variety of FULL SIZE candy bars!

On day one for breakfast I stayed on plan. For lunch, I stayed on plan.  But as the afternoon dragged on and the coffee didn’t seem to be doing its job to keep me alert, a funny thing happened: The Full Size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups made me aware of their presence and they seemed to start communicating to me telepathically from the hallway in which the snacks were made available to freely partake of.  

Like Pookie in New Jack City, I was overcome by temptation as the Peanut Butter Cups “just be calling me man, be calling me man… and I just had to go to it”.  So like many addicts who give into temptation when I fell I fell hard.

If you went to the snack table late in the afternoon on Monday you may have wondered what happened to all the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  I can tell you that there were some there but “they gone now”.  My cravings drove me to be “in for a penny, in for a pound.”   You may also wonder what happened to all the 100 Grand bars, and the Baby Ruth’s. Oh Yeah! There weren’t many granted, probably less than 10 a piece but what was there were consumed by me by the end of Monday afternoon!

So Tuesday came, and as those varieties of candy bars were all gone, I moved on to the Twix and Peanut M&M’s and I am somewhat please to say that while I had a couple of bags of M&M’s and several Twix bars yesterday, I didn’t eat them all!. 

Also yesterday, while I did overindulge in desert and had a can of Coke at the evening meal at one of the volunteer’s homes, I ended up confessing my relapse to several of the attendees assuring them that I had only succumbed to “missionary rules”, which refers to the understanding that you shouldn’t refuse the hospitality of you hosts,  for eating and would repent of my sugar relapse after the Practicum was over.

And so I confess to you here on the blog and the podcast.  We as humans are not strong and the enemy knows our weaknesses. Be it sex, alcohol, drugs, or Reese’s peanut butter cups the enemy will come after you and tempt you to fall into the sins of the flesh.  

The problem is that saying “the devil made me do it” isn’t well received as an excuse and if we are honest with ourselves we know that we are personally responsible for our choices.   So that’s why I “threw myself under the bus” last night, I had to confess my sins to my brothers and sisters in Christ so I could start the process of healing.  

While they can’t stop me from making those bad choices 24/7, confessing our falls to our brothers and sisters in Christ does two things:

1.    It takes the darkness and puts it into the light.  Once the “jig is up”, we can stop running and hiding.  We are only as sick as our secrets so instead of keeping my eating a secret  and continuing in my dark and delectable shame, I “told on myself” so I can turn from it and go back to the ways that made me feel healthy.    

2.    It makes me accountable.  I confessed my fall to others and to God so I could show that I repented and don’t intend to repeat my sins.  So while I made no promises to anyone in particular not to indulge in sweets today at the final day at the Practicum, I will probably comment to anyone I confessed to last night that I am “back on track today” and demonstrate it by abstaining from the sugary snacks and desserts that I indulged over the last two days.  

The enemy loves to pull the old “trick or treat” of temptation on us but if we confess our weakness to others and to the Lord we can successfully turn from the error of our ways and lean on and follow the Lord to start the walk down victory road once again.  

Until we are glorified, we will not win every battle with temptation but when we utilize the body of Christ to help us and go to God in repentance and ask for His strength and guidance we can overcome.  The struggles are real but the victory and freedom in Christ is real too. 

Even the most successful athletic teams sometimes get blown out by a seeming underdog but when they do true champions don’t quit. They admit their defeat and their mistakes. But then they go back to the drawing board, figure out where they went wrong, and reapply the disciplines of their craft that made them successful in the first place and go back into battle and conquer.   

Likewise, if we fall down, we just need to take the Lord’s hand and get back up by telling the truth and by repenting and leaning on the Lord to give us strength for the next victory parade.  

Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.  

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Psalm 37:8 (NLT2)
8  Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper— it only leads to harm.


Today’s verse is a warning to those who misapply “be angry and do not sin” from Ephesians 4:26 and walk around frosty with what they think of as “righteous indignation.”  

Today’s verse tells us not to be angry, to turn from our rage and to not lose our temper because it only leads to harm.   While we can be angry at sin and work against the kingdom of darkness in many ways, we as Christians should realize that while our anger can motivate us to do many things for the kingdom of God, anger is not to be our default setting.  

After “Be angry and sin not”, Ephesians 4:26 advises not to let the “sun go down on your wrath” meaning that an angry disposition is not the attitude that Christians should be walking through life with, because as today’s verse indicates it “only leads to harm.” 

We are not to be trusted in our anger. When our emotions run hot we generally do or say regrettable things that cause harm. The negative consequences of anger are vast affecting others outwardly and affecting the angry person inwardly.  Anger is not one of the fruits of the Spirit.   

So as Christians we examine our anger for the root causes and seek to resolve them. Often anger comes from ignorance, imposing your will or expectations on others, or bitterness and unforgiveness.  

The wisdom of God teaches the truth about the world and our position in Christ. When we utilize the truth of God’s word we can see things as they are truly are, from God’s perspective which tells us to forgive even our enemies.  

When we are angry we usually forget who we are in Christ or who God is and how that truth answers all the situations we will face here on earth. 

So keep walking and talking with God. Tell Him what makes you angry. Get it off your chest with your Heavenly Father and then listen to His counsel and try to see things through the lens of truth.

 Walking with God and living according to His ways may not resolve all the problems of the world but when we remain in a close walk with Him we can navigate through this world with wisdom and have peace by seeing how things truly are and knowing that God has the course of the world in His hands.


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


Today we continue sharing from June Hunt’s Dating: Secrets to Great Relating When Dating  

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $5.00:

F. What Are the "Red Flags" of Destructive Dating?

What is it about "red flags"...those gut feelings that warn us something isn't quite right? It's a feeling that protects—warning us to watch out. At times, these red flags are as bright as the morning sun. At other times, they are as obscure as the moon on a cloudy night... nearly impossible to see.

Consider Carrie and Greg. When Carrie is with Greg, all is right with her world. He is sensitive and caring—always knowing the right thing to say at just the right time. He owns his own business, and it's going great. Everyone loves Greg. Even if he's running late, it's because he's helping someone, and he's always genuinely apologetic.

If Greg even has a fault, it might be he loves Carrie so much that he worries about her all the time, which Carrie finds endearing. To calm his fears she makes sure to text him anytime she goes anywhere and to let him know when she returns.

Several hours after celebrating their one-year anniversary of dating, Carrie notices that Greg has left his phone at her apartment. She laughs and taps the screen to access his photo files and reminisce over snapshots taken earlier that night. Then her heart sinks as she sees other images. Graphic porn pictures and videos! She can't tear her eyes away from the shocking discovery. And there's more. Instant messages filled with lurid language and more photos.

Ambushed by disbelief, Carrie's head throbs as her heart shatters. Why would he do this? Just hours ago, she felt she feels trashed. How could he? As her burning tears flow, her breached heart attempts its rescue...she thought she knew Greg, but this? This is a deal breaker.

"The fruit of the Spirit is...self-control." (Galatians 5:22-23)

Could you be in a destructive dating relationship? Identifying an unhealthy relationship is often difficult without the aid of objective criteria. If you are presently involved in a dating relationship, read the following statements, then circle either yes or no for whichever best reflects your relationship.

Destructive Dating Check List

Y / N

• When I don't respond as my date wishes, I'm belittled and rejected.

Y / N

• When I don't please my date, it always seems to be my fault.

Y / N

• When we go out, I feel indebted to do whatever my date wants me to do.

Y / N

• When my date uses phrases like: "You should..." or "I expect you to..." I feel guilty if I don't comply.

Y / N

• I feel responsible for the happiness as well as the unhappiness of my date.

Y / N

• My date blames me without taking responsibility for personal failure.

Y / N

• My date tries to assume absolute authority.

Y / N

• My date has little regard for my personal feelings or desires.

Y / N

• My date has taken the place that God alone should have in my life.

Y / N

• My date allows little opportunity for an appeal or compromise.

Y / N

• My date privately degrades me, my beliefs, and my friends, but publicly appears polite.

Y / N

• My date acts excessively jealous and possessive of me.

Y / N

• My date keeps track of my time, wanting to control where I go and what I do.

Y / N

• My date has exerted physical control over me.

Y / N

• My date has threatened to harm me.

If you circled yes to any one of these statements, your dating relationship has a destructive impact on your life and needs to be changed....

"The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty." (Proverbs 27:12)

Love and Negative Qualities

Question: "For several years I've been dating someone I love. He has many good qualities but is also negative, possessive, and controlling. Should I overlook his negative qualities and stay focused on his attractive qualities?"

Answer: Let's assume that while shopping, you find a pair of shoes you really like. If the shoes were extremely uncomfortable, would you buy them? No matter what attractive features the shoes have, if you buy them, they won't wear well! Likewise, if you feel undue pressure now in your dating relationship, consider it a warning that "it's not the right fit."

While unselfish love covers a multitude of sins (offenses), the attributes mentioned are not merely offenses—they are character flaws that should not be overlooked. These qualities are not consistent with someone who is Spirit-led. The reality is, they are self-led. Love overlooks minor offenses but challenges major character flaws so that they can be corrected.

"It [Love] is not self-seeking" (1 Corinthians 13:5).

Dating An Angry Person

Question: "I'm dating a man who is angry all the time. Sometimes he explodes. I love him, but I wonder, if I should continue to date him?"

Answer: No. The Bible is not silent on this issue. Decide now that you will not continue to date him. Destructive anger—if not stopped—is progressive and leads to domestic violence in marriage.

"Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered." (Proverbs 22:24)

Biblical Counseling Keys: Dating: Secrets to Great Relating When Dating.

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


Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts ( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

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


Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Purity 379: Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Purity 379 03/30/2021 Purity 379 Podcast

Good morning.

Today’s photo from Dave Baun Photography. They captured this shot of Temptation Sailing returning from one of their twilight cruises from the vantage point of the Glenelg Jetty in South Australia late last summer.  Temptation Sailing tempts its potential patrons with cruises along the Adelaide coastline or with the chance to swim with wild dolphins for those who are a little more adventurous.  So if going “Down Under” and swimming with dolphins are on your bucket list, this is a temptation that will only cost you time and money but could be a once in a lifetime experience.  

When it comes to temptation, I would offer the following friendly advice. If your temptation is to get over your fears and trepidations about trying something new or doing something you always wanted to do, that doesn’t go against the moral principles presented in God’s word, I would say to go for it.  The biggest regrets in life usually involve the things that we don’t do.    

Of course, as someone who has given into all types of temptations that were contrary to common sense as well as the Word of God, I feel I can give you some solid advice when I tell you not to give into the temptations that are born out of selfish desires with no thoughts of the consequences.  I have faced various negative consequences from some of the choices I have made, and I can tell you that giving into the temptations that I knew were wrong was never worth the pain and suffering that I caused other people and to myself.

Possible criminal charges, physical pain, mental anguish, financial losses, relationship problems, and just plain old guilt and shame are what lies behind the things that you want to do but that you know are wrong.  Ask me how I know…       

So live your life in a way that goes past the limitations that fear and the opinions of men may keep you from trying but stay inside the boundaries that the Lord wrote upon your hearts.  

If you have lived a morally upstanding life, don’t regret staying out of the darkness. It turns out, you never regret doing the right thing or at least you shouldn’t.

Take it from someone who has suffered from living life selfishly, the scars are nothing to be proud of and the damage is more than skin deep.  

But the good news is that Jesus Christ is the healer.  He can not only take your pain, shame, and guilt away, He can heal your broken heart and lead you out of the darkness of your former self into a new life that you always wanted to live but never thought you could.     

Our wrong choices may have made us feel like we have killed a part of who we were and that there is no way to get our innocence back.   Instead of bringing that old person back to life with all their problems, Christ gives you the opportunity to live a new life.  

Resurrection Sunday is coming. You can be a part of it like never before by answering Jesus’ call to “Come forth and Live.”  

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Romans 3:28 (CCNT)
28 We have come to the conclusion that a person is justified by faith without works of law.

Romans 3:28 (NKJV)
28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.

Today’s verse speaks of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ: the truly good news that we are not justified by the works of the law.  

Justified means to be declared righteous by God.  This verse tells us that we are not declared righteous by our works. We are declared righteous by faith.     

With Holy Week upon us, I’m sure several people in the Body of Christ without this basic understanding of the gospel will be beating themselves up on Good Friday because Jesus died for their sins and they may even cry because of His suffering on their behalf.  They may decide that they must pay Jesus back by living a good life and doing their best not to sin so they can be worthy of salvation.    

While I think repentance and changing the way to live because of our faith is exactly what we should do, I would caution everyone that we don’t earn our salvation through our efforts.  We never could.

It is our faith that justifies us, not our works.  So thank Jesus for the work He did on the cross for us by putting your faith in Him as Lord and Savior. After you do that you become spiritually alive and have the ability to live the Christian life.  

Accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior gives us new life.  You don’t have to earn it!  He gives salvation as a gift.  Stop trying to earn what the Lord wants to freely give to you!

He also frees you from the power of sin, as well as the power of death.  

That means that you can say no to sin.   The key to victory is believing you have received it the moment you put your faith in Jesus.   If you believe that you are free from your sins, you will be free. 

Christ gives you the power to overcome by faith in Him, meaning that if you believe He has done that for you, you can live it out. 

Dr. Neil Anderson points out in several of His books that the statements of Romans 6:1-11(that we have died to sine and are alive to God) are true about our condition as believers in Christ.  We don’t have to “do” anything to live that way other than to believe it.

So stretch your faith to go beyond your belief in your salvation, believe that Christ has sanctified you the same way he saved you: by faith.   If you truly believe that Christ has given you a new life, you can live it through the power of your faith. 

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

Today we will share from Dr. June Hunt’s Biblical Counseling Keys on “Alcohol & Drug Abuse: Breaking Free & Staying Free.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work:

IV. Steps to Solution

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!"
(Isaiah 43:18-19)

A new thing...that is the best way to describe the transformation that God has brought about in Josh Hamilton's life. Josh is not only back in the game, he's "on top of his game" after being reinstated back into baseball in 2007.

In 2010, the Texas Rangers clinch the American League Championship and play in the World Series against the San Francisco Giants. The Rangers' star outfielder helps carry his team to the top tier event, racking up impressive stats for the year: .361 batting average, 31 home runs, and 97 runs batted in. In 2011 the Texas Rangers return to the World Series to play the St. Louis Cardinals, once again, largely due to the tremendous efforts of Josh Hamilton. Nicknamed "the Hammer" for his powerful batting arm and nationally recognized for his athletic agility, Josh has been likened to New York's ... "The Mick."

Today, Josh Hamilton is sober and drug free, and it's all because God has done a new thing.

A. Key Verse to Memorize

As with Josh, it took "hitting rock bottom" for Mickey Mantle to turn from substance abuse. With his body deteriorating, his memory lapsing, his family crumbling, Mickey does what everyone thought was unthinkable — he entered rehab.

But immediately upon finishing treatment, Mickey was under enormous pressure to relapse. ... His son, Billy, died of a heart attack and then his mother died. But just as there once had been great expectation for him to drink with the guys, Mickey now knew there was great expectation for him to stay sober.

Son Mickey, Jr. assessed the situation: "Out of all the things he did, the World Series teams he starred on, the home runs he hit, the records he broke, his induction into the Hall of Fame, what I admired him for the most was getting sober." Mickey eventually experienced on a very personal and profound level the transforming truth of these words ...

"I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you."
(Isaiah 41:13)

B. Key Passage to Read

Mickey made the call at 6:00 in the morning.

"Betsy, let me talk to Bobby, I want him to pray for me." The request was inconceivable ... it seemed impossible ... that the raucous, rebellious slugger would ever solicit God's help. Yet Mickey phoned his former Yankee teammate Bobby Richardson because he finally recognized that he needed God in his life.

For too many years Mickey succumbed to one temptation after another, but now he wanted to stand in the strength and grace of the God that his friend Bobby knew. Bobby prayed with Mickey, and the aged baseball buddies had several more conversations about spiritual things. ...

"This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words."
(1 Corinthians 2:13)

10 Truths About Temptation

1 Corinthians Chapter 10

  1. If you think you're fairly invulnerable to temptation, be vigilant and careful so that you won't fall.

"So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!" (v. 12).

  1. If you think your temptation is unique, clearly it's not.

"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind" (v. 13).

  1. God won't let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.

"And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear" (v. 13).

  1. God will provide a way for you to withstand the test.

"But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it" (v. 13).

  1. Don't prioritize what is permissible — prioritize what is beneficial.

'"I have the right to do anything' you say — but not everything is beneficial. 'I have the right to do anything' — but not everything is constructive" (v. 23).

  1. Don't focus on yourself — focus on the good of others.

"No one should seek their own good, but the good of others" (v. 24).

  1. Don't violate the conscience of others — curb your freedom for their sake.

"But if someone says to you, 'This has been offered in sacrifice,' then do not eat it, both for the sake of the one who told you and for the sake of conscience. I am referring to the other person's conscience, not yours" (vv. 28-29).

  1. Let your eating and drinking — and everything else you do — bring glory to God.

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" (v. 31).

  1. Don't cause anyone to stumble by your actions.

"Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God ..." (v. 32).

  1. Seek the good of others so that they might be truly saved.

"For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved" (v. 33).

Biblical Position

Question: "What is the biblical position on drinking alcohol?"

Answer: While the Bible does speak of medical benefits of wine (1 Timothy 5:23) and Jesus provided wine at a wedding (John 2:1-11), the Bible clearly prohibits both drunkenness and addiction to alcohol, calling this behavior sinful.

God does not want you to lose control because of the influence of alcohol, but rather to yield to the controlling influence of the Holy Spirit. Addiction to alcohol or any other drug makes you a slave to that controlling substance. God wants you to be filled with the Holy Spirit and to be free. ...

"Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. ..."
(Ephesians 5:18)

Biblical Counseling Keys - Biblical Counseling Keys – Biblical Counseling Keys: Alcohol & Drug Abuse: Breaking Free & Staying Free.

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


God bless you all!


Join our Victory over the Darkness Discipleship Class via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts ( and Google podcasts (

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

 Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship