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Showing posts with label Video. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Video. Show all posts

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Half a World Away - Love will Find You


This is the testimony of my Australian friend, Liisa Grace, and the way that God brought true love to her life from half a world away.

 We met on Strava-God took Care of the Rest

 If someone were to tell me that I would marry a man I had not yet met in person I would have told them they’re crazy however I should know that God is full of surprises. I did pray and ask God to bless me with the man of my dreams (if it be in his will for me) and with that I left the request with him and carried on with my life. I had developed an obsession with cycling and was addicted to my daily workouts that my coach had prepared for me. I had downloaded an app on my phone (Strava) to which I uploaded all of my rides and I followed many fellow cyclists rides from all over the world. One rider in particular named Dave grabbed hold of my attention because he uploaded long rides and was fast. I would often compliment him on his speed and elevation. Then one day I noticed that he uploaded photos with his ride which was something I didn’t know could be done and as I browsed through his pictures I caught myself smiling as I looked at them again and again. When I noticed that he lived in Pennsylvania USA I immediately dismissed my feelings of excitement.

 It was June 2014 that we began following each other on Strava and in October 2014 I was shocked to see that he had crashed and landed in hospital with a broken hip. We had by that time progressed to following each other on Instagram and Facebook too so I decided to post a “Speedy Recovery” to his wall to which he replied. As I scrolled his profile and newsfeed it was evident that he was a Christian who really sparked my heart but again I said to myself “forget about it, he lives on the other side of the world and besides, he could be married!”

 

In December 2014, I celebrated my 50th birthday at which my son had presented me with a beautiful video containing a condensed version of my life story. He then posted it on Facebook several months later. One morning in March 2015 as Dave was getting ready for work, he watched the video and was so moved by it that he wrote me a private message elaborating on God’s goodness and grace throughout my life. That message was the beginning of a conversation that bounced back and forth between us daily. Dave asked if I had Facebook phone icon and if he could call me on there. Hearing his American accent on the other end was almost unbelievable. “He’s real; he’s actually real!” I said over and over in my mind as we spoke for quite some time.

 We shared a lot about ourselves, especially our faith in God. We then set up a Skype date for the following week, speaking to each other for over five hours! When I first saw him I thought “Oh my goodness, he’s so darn handsome, tall, and calm and his voice, oh my…my heart was melting” Seeing him sitting in his lounge room talking to me was as though he was sitting across from me in the same room. We shared a lot of stories about our faith journey and together we prayed which seemed to happen so naturally. Once we said our goodbyes I jumped up and down like I was in fifth grade and squealed with excitement. I then messaged him saying “Oh my goodness I did not realise you are so hot!” There was a pause in his reply as he didn’t quite know how to respond to that which we now laugh at.

 

We were calling each other daily despite the fifteen-hour time difference, somehow we would make it work that we could have lengthy conversations every day and as often as possible we would see each other on skype. After a while Dave said he had something to tell me, sharing with me that he was in love with me. As crazy as it seemed that we hadn’t yet met each other in person it felt equally as natural that this was happening. Prior to Dave coming into my life I was at a place with God where I felt completely content in him, and I really wasn’t searching or yearning for a partner having surrendered that request with him. It was the same for Dave; he had shared with me that he had prayed for a wife but only in God’s timing.

 May 2015 Dave proposed via skype, we discussed the realities of married life, where we would live etc. Dave had not ever been out of USA before coming to Adelaide South Australia in November 2015.I was busy preparing for our wedding prior to Dave’s arrival. He landed in Adelaide on November 14th, I drove straight from work to the airport and as I saw the Qantas plane land my stomach felt all tied in knots and I had Goosebumps all over. I saw him through the clear tunnel just before entering inside the airport and he looked so tall and handsome, well actually I thought he looked like a Rockstar with his long hair and confident stride. My son was also at the airport incognito, ready to film our first meeting. We embraced a warm hug and walked hand in hand to collect his luggage.

 

As I drove from the airport to my home I wanted to pinch myself for fear that I may just be dreaming. The next day Dave had arranged with my son to come to Glenelg jetty to film us as Dave officially proposes with an engagement ring which I knew nothing about. We went out for dinner at the marina and then Dave suggested that we go for a walk along the jetty. I wasn’t too keen as I was feeling a little cool but seeing as he was so eager I agreed to go. Once we got to the end of the jetty where a lot of people were fishing, walking, or sitting, Dave got down on his knees and proposed in person. Few days later, on November 18th, we were married at Port Noarlunga with the sun setting as we exchanged our vows.

 

When I began sharing the news with family and friends some of them would say things to me like “what if he smells?” Dave also shared with me later that his family and friends were expressing the same concern to him which we found quite funny. Well we certainly didn’t smell, in fact we connected on a level deeper than our own comprehension. It literally felt as though we had known each other our whole lives, we were instantly comfortable together.

 

Dave spent one month here in Adelaide and then I went back to the states with him for two weeks. After that we lived separately again until May 2016 when I went back to USA for three months to be with Dave. It was difficult as we both had jobs in the countries we lived in and I wasn’t approved a visa for America initially, having to apply twice, the second time being successful.

 

The plan was for Dave to move to Australia however he had been employed with the same company for thirty-one years and had insight that his department was going to be outsourced though he didn’t know when so in faith we prayed and waited. In August 2016 I returned home to South Australia and then in October 2016 Dave came over for two weeks followed by me returning to the states with him in November 2016 for two weeks.

 

On January 16th, 2017 Dave arrived in Adelaide to live! As we look back at how all of our plans and proposed prayers unfolded we are overwhelmed at Gods goodness. Dreams really do come true. This year we will celebrate three years of marriage, for each day we give thanks to God for bringing us together in his perfect timing even when it all began 10,000 miles apart.

 


See the video of Liisa and Dave's first meeting, proposal, and wedding by Clicking on the Links below: 

Liisa and Dave's meeting, proposal, and wedding https://youtu.be/s-5eSiJqu44



Saturday, March 6, 2021

Purity 359: Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


Purity 359  03/06/2021 Purity 359 Podcast

Good morning!

Today’s photo comes from our friends who are travelling in Florida and just seems to be the perfect follow up to yesterday’s palm lined pathway to the beach.  Although I am almost sure that this beach is not what lies at the end of the path we saw yesterday, I can easily imagine it is and that my friend was rewarded with this heavenly view over the ocean for being bold enough to go down it. 

So Friday’s pathway has brought us here to Saturday and now we can rest and bask in what God has brought us to.  

So what will your Saturday be like? The beauty of our free will is that we can make of it whatever we like. We can use it to perform some tasks that need our attention, we can go out an seek new things, or we can simply use it to rest.    Whatever you choose, I hope you accomplish what you intend but also hope that you are met with a pleasant surprise or two along the way.   

As always, I encourage you to invite God into your experience by thanking Him for what He brings you to or for asking Him for His strength to get you through it.   He is there for us in good times and bad and some how when He is with us its always better no matter what we face.


This morning’s meditation verses are:

Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV)
6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Todays verse from the Old Testament prophesies the coming of the Messiah and is often presented at churches during the Christmas season to declare the coming of Jesus Christ our newborn King.   This prophecy was made about 700 years before the birth of Christ.  The sheer magnitude of the Old Testament prophecies that are fulfilled in Jesus Christ should be compelling enough for any skeptic to believe that Jesus is the Messiah.   

If anyone has doubts, I invite them to watch Lee Strobel’s documentary “The Case for Christ” on You Tube: https://youtu.be/rbTSyqbUz1A .  Strobel’s story and the evidence he presents further convinced me of the fact the Jesus was the Messiah, and that the Bible was indeed the inerrant Word of God when I was a new Christian. 

Our faith in Christ is not to be accepted blindly. Our faith is supposed to be based on the truth of who Christ is.   

Our faith can be simple, but I assure you there is nothing simple about the Word of God.  The definition of a paradox is a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that when investigated or explained may prove to be well founded or true. There are many paradoxes in the word that can confound us.

Some point to these confounding differences in the Bible as contradictions but honestly there are no contradictions in the word that can’t be understood with a proper study and understanding of Christian theology. 

Today’s verse could be considered a contradicting verse in that it posits that this Child that is to be born is not only a Son but also a “Mighty God” and “Everlasting Father”.  How can this be?    The doctrine of the Trinity explains it. God is three in one – The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit.  

The Nicene Creed proclaims this truth and says of Jesus that He is “the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made.”  So Jesus is “God of God” and in case you missed it the creed repeats it by saying He is “Very God of Very God”. Jesus in not only the Son of God but also God the Son.   

That’s all I’ll say about that. The Trinity is a mystery and better theological scholars than me have wandered into heresy trying to explain it.  But I do accept the doctrine of the Trinity, not from blind faith, but because The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit appear throughout the Bible. They even show up all together at once at the Baptism of Jesus.  

Today’s verse also refers to the child to be born as being known as “Counselor”.   Honestly, I haven’t heard too many pastors expound on this point when this verse is brought out at Christmas time but as a Christian counselor, I feel compelled to.  

The term “Counselor” indicates that there is a living relationship to have with this Child to be born.  It indicates that He cares about us, is present and available to us, and is wise and trustworthy.   

So ask the Counselor, about your life and what you should do. Tell the Counselor all about your problems and don’t feel hesitant to express your emotions.  The Counselor is “in” and unlike Peanut’s Lucy Van Pelt’s psychiatric help it won’t cost you 5 cents.   The Counselor’s advice is freely given when it is sought, and it comes from the original source of love.  

I invite all to mt4chritst.org 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 “Anger: Facing the Fire Within”

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:

E. How to Resolve Your Anger toward God

When a raging, fiery inferno engulfs a home with a tragic loss of life... the gut-wrenching pain can be punctuated by a finger pointing... upward. However, harboring anger toward God for our heartaches is like blaming our losses on the fire chief—the one who has devoted his entire life to helping, not hurting, us.

No one escapes hurt and pain in life—no one. During catastrophic times, the promise you are to cling to is that your loving God is unfolding His perfect plan for your life, and He uses all circumstances to accomplish His purposes... even the painful ones.

Have you ever blamed God for the pain and heartache in your life? Have you pointed a condemning finger and pronounced judgment on Him because He has not stopped evil or suffering?

In the Bible, a man named Job seriously questioned God... so much so that we can hear anger in his bitter complaint: "Even today my complaint is bitter; his [God's] hand is heavy in spite of my groaning. If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling! I would state my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments" (Job 23:2-4).

But... is anger toward God justifiable? While He understands our anger, notice how He sets the record straight by answering Job with these words: "Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?... Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him?... Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself?" (Job 38:2; 40:2, 8).

What is the answer to intense anger against God? Can it be resolved? And if so, how? The sure way to resolve your anger toward God is to gain a full understanding of the character, purpose, and plan of God.

Resolving Anger toward God

  • Know God's Character.
    • —He is just.... "He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he" (Deuteronomy 32:4).
    • His ways are just.... "Just and true are your ways, King of the ages" (Revelation 15:3).
    • He is love.... "God is love" (1 John 4:8).
    • He loves.... "We love because he first loved us" (1 John 4:19).
  • Know God's Purposes.
    • He brings good out of evil.... "We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him" (Romans 8:28).
    • He turns your sorrow into joy.... "You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy" (Psalm 30:11).
    • He uses your suffering to produce perseverance, character, and hope.... "We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts" (Romans 5:3-5).
    • He uses your troubles to teach you compassion.... "The Father of compassion and the God of all comfort... comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God" (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
  • Know God's Plan.
    • —He will grant eternal life to you and all who entrust their lives to Christ.... "My Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:40).
    • —He will bless you if you persevere under trial.... "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial" (James 1:12).
    • He will bring His righteous judgment on those who are evil.... "The Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment" (2 Peter 2:9).
    • He will, one day, make everything new for His true believers.... "The dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away" (Revelation 21:3-4).

Job, who at one time had anger toward God, ultimately realized that he had misplaced anger. With deepest remorse, he admitted his wrong....

"I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.... My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes." (Job 42:2, 5-6)

Anger That God Allows Evil

Question: "I'm angry at God for allowing bad people to cause so much pain. Since God had the power to create the world, why doesn't He stop evil in the world?"

Answer: God allows evil because He allows people to exercise "free will."

  • God did not create us to be robots with no choice to do anything except what the Creator has programmed.
  • He created us to be "free agent" human beings who have choice over what we think, say, and do. We can't have it both ways, in that God allows us freedom but we can't do anything wrong.... That's not freedom!

If you have read the last chapter of the book of Revelation, you know that God has appointed a time in the future when He will put an end to evil and suffering.

  • The bad news is that until then, evil will always be in opposition to good and will seek to harm and destroy those who do good.
  • But the good news is that God always uses harmful experiences to accomplish His purposes. He did so in the life of Joseph, whose evil brothers sold him into slavery. Years later when the frightened brothers came face-to-face with him—by then prime minister of Egypt, who had saved both the Egyptians and the Hebrews from famine—Joseph said...

"Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." (Genesis 50:19-20)


Biblical Counseling Keys - Biblical Counseling Keys – Biblical Counseling Keys: Anger: Facing the Fire Within.

----------------------------more on Monday -------------------------

 God bless you all!

 Join our Victory over the Darkness Discipleship Class 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) and Google podcasts (https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkLnBvZGJlYW4uY29tL210NGNocmlzdDI0Ny9mZWVkLnhtbA%3D%3D

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Purity 338: Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


 Purity 338  02/10/2021  Purity 338 Podcast

Good morning!

Today’s photo comes from a friend in San Rafael, California who took this pic on New Year’s Day of 2021.  It’s not a UFO, but merely one of the wonders of nature (along with parking lot lighting and some reflective phenomenon from my friend’s phone). It shows hundreds, if not thousands, of starling’s celebrated the new year by flying in swooping, intricately coordinated patterns through out the sky, a phenomenon known as murmuration. 

My friend also took video of this event but because of my lack of technical finesse, or the limitations of FB, I wasn’t able to share it.  I did find a video on YouTube by someone in the same area of California that captured the same phenomenon, a week or so earlier, if you wanted to see this phenomenon for yourself go to mt4christ.org and click on the link: (https://youtu.be/N5YVntc8D2g ).   

The beauty of the heavens, the wonders of nature, and the design it points to should give us hope that our lives are not just a random phenomenon that will pass away into nothingness. 

God reveals Himself in nature.  He wants us to find the meaning and purpose behind our lives.

While our individual lives have their own unique potentials and plans, God wants all of us to seek Him and His ways for our lives. 

Christ said that we were to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves.  Often humanity takes that second commandment as their marching orders for life, but I would like to point out that we have to make first things first by building our relationship with God and experiencing His love before we can adequately love one another.  

So seek the Lord and His love. When you find it, pass it on to others because our world desperately needs it.


This morning’s meditation verse is:

Psalm 86:12 (NLT2)
12 With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God. I will give glory to your name forever,

An aspect of our Christian faith that should bear evidence of our relationship with God is our praise.  

 As I prepare for another week of teaching and as I have recently counseled a few brothers on their path to discipleship, I realize that there seems to be a dynamic to our faith that can limit our developing the fruit of the Spirit, particularly the fruit of peace and joy.     

 I emphasize the relational or experiential knowledge as being critical to a Christian life that is marked by freedom and victory and sometimes wonder why my counselees don’t seem “to get it”.    Their lack of progress, assurance, trust or confidence reveals that while they can say the right things like “I am a child of God”, they haven’t fully embraced their identity in Christ. They still worry about falling into sin, despite an extended period of victory. 

 Instead of worrying about the next sin, why aren’t they claiming their identity and their freedom from it?  If they would just believe they are set free, I believe the struggles would decrease.  By worrying about falling, they are revealing that they doubt what they are supposed to embrace.  The worry and doubts are showing that a part of them doesn’t “really” believe that they are spiritually alive and have been given freedom from sin.   

 When we “really” believe we have been saved and we really have been given spiritual life, our belief is reflected in our lives.  

 Our praise is not only an evidence of our belief, but it can be a means by which our belief is brought to a relational or experiential level as our hearts and minds become united in their love and knowledge of the Lord.  

 Our praise is shown through or giving thanks to the Lord, by worshiping Him in song, and through our prayers and sharing our faith.  

 When we really believe we are His and have been made spiritually alive, our praise is natural expression of the change that has taken place in our lives and our praises act to deepen our love of God.  

 So praise Him! With all your heart!  Because when you realize the freedom and victory you have in Christ doesn’t go away but grows and matures, you will give glory to His name forever!

 I invite all to mt4chritst.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

 Today we will continue to share from Dr. June Hunt’s Biblical Counseling Keys on “Self-Worth: Discovering Your God-given Worth”.

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:

C. How to Get Rid of Your Guilt

Dorie understands the waves of guilt with which countless victims struggle. Victims of childhood sexual abuse typically struggle with guilt even though they are not guilty of the abuse. A reason for the ongoing after-the-fact guilt is that they think or wonder whether they could have taken actions to lessen or stop the abuse. And because everyone has periodic sin (not doing what is right in God's sight, whether in attitude or action), false guilt can get tangled together with true guilt.

Being pounded by prolonged guilt can strike a most damaging blow to your sense of worth, leaving you feeling dejected, discouraged, and demoralized. The problem with guilt is that it wears two faces — one is true, the other false.

  • False guilt is Satan's way to shame you, condemn you, and produce disabling discouragement in you.
  • True guilt is God's loving way to convict you, correct you, and conform you into the image of Christ so that you will reflect His character more accurately.

Godly sorrow over true guilt moves you to repentance, forgiveness, and freedom. Worldly sorrow produced by false guilt moves you to depression, despair, and death. In order to know how to get rid of your guilt, you need to identify whether it is true or false. Then you can respond accordingly. ...

"Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death."
(2 Corinthians 7:10)

  • False guilt arises when you blame yourself even though you've committed no wrong, or when you continue to blame yourself after you've confessed the wrong and turned from your sin.
  • False guilt is not resolved by confession because it is not based on sin but on false accusations aimed at making you feel unforgiven and unaccepted by God. The truth is ...

"The accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down."
(Revelation 12:10)

  • False guilt can be resolved by conferring with wise, objective persons — mature Christians — to help you determine whether the guilt you are feeling is false. If it is false guilt, remind yourself and your adversary, Satan: (1) that you are not guilty or (2) that you were guilty but have been forgiven by God. The Bible gives this assurance ...

"There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus
(Romans 8:1)

  • True guilt refers to the fact of your being at fault.
  • True guilt requires payment of a penalty so that fellowship with God and others can be restored.
  • True guilt can be forgiven by God as you admit you have sinned and confess your sin to Him.

Pray, "Heavenly Father, I confess my sin of (          ) to You,
and I am willing to turn from it. Thank You for Your forgiveness.
I will rely on the power of Christ within me to overcome my times of temptation.
Thank You for Your grace and mercy toward me.
In Jesus name I pray. Amen."

When you deal with your guilt God's way, God's Word says ...

"... as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us."
(Psalm 103:12)


Biblical Counseling Keys - Biblical Counseling Keys – Biblical Counseling Keys: Self-Worth: Discover Your God-Given Worth.

 

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

 

God bless you all!

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

at 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. 

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

 

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Purity 281: Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship



Purity 281 12/03/2020 

Good morning!

Today we are trying something new.  Instead of a photo I’m posting this short video from yesterday that I took in Esperance NY as the flurries were flying in.   I was struck by the fact that the sun still shines even in the midst of a storm.  The photo I took initially showed the pines and the sun but didn’t make it clear that there were snow flurries and a rushing wind.

At many times in our lives we go through “storms”, but if we look for it, we can always find signs of God’s presence even in the darkest days.  Yesterday, our hopes that my mother would be released from the hospital by the end of the week were dashed as we received reports that she needs further treatment and improvement that will take her into next week.  Despite this fact, my mother contacted me last night stating she was feeling better and showed no signs of fear or disappointment, maintaining a positive attitude.

As I will be teaching tonight at Celebrate Freedom to help others to leave the hurts, habits, and hang-ups of the past behind and to live the new life that Christ has given them, I know that sometimes healing is a process and it takes time, testing our patience and faith. But as my mother’s positive outlook in spite of a setback shows us, our road to recovery is easier to travel if we take each step with hope and expectancy. 

When we walk through life with faith in the promises of God, we might not know every bend in the road or how long we will have to trudge it through but we know that no matter what, God is with us and our final destination is a good one.  Until we get there, we are to enjoy the journey and continually share the hope that we have in Jesus Christ.   The winds may howl, and the snows may fall, but my Lord and Savior is with me through it all.       

(There is More at the restricted blog). Follow me on Twitter, MeWe, or Parler for easy access.  Blog M T 4 Christ dot org – This is where the Facebook post ends.)

This morning’s meditation verse was:

Romans 6:19 (NLT2) 
19 Because of the weakness of your human nature, I am using the illustration of slavery to help you understand all this.

 Previously, you let yourselves be slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led ever deeper into sin.

 Now you must give yourselves to be slaves to righteous living so that you will become holy.

 

The purpose of Christianity isn’t just to “go to heaven” although I must say that the assurance of eternal life is a foundational truth of our faith that gives us the power to destroy the fear of death.  But with God’s forgiveness of our sins and this knowledge of our salvation, we are to be transformed. We are to be holy – set apart for God’s use. We are to live the new life that God has given us through our faith in Christ. 

Our salvation and peace with God, if rightly understood and fully realized, results in our love for Him that appreciates what He has done for us and who He is in and of Himself.  This love for God should cause us to look at our pasts with shame and regret and fill us with a determination to turn to God and His ways for our lives, knowing that He has given us the power to overcome.  

Experiencing the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, patience, and self-control) comes from walking in the Spirit – adopting God’s ways and will for our life and making His thoughts our thoughts by renewing our minds.  

We accomplish this by renouncing our lawless ways and making ourselves dedicated to being more like Christ.  This process IS NOT beating ourselves up and whipping ourselves into obedience.   While discipline does have a role in our sanctification, the process is more like agreeing with God that the “work” of your repentance has already been done and you have been changed.  Once we believe we are transformed, our obedience to God’s way become a natural expression of who we are in Christ.

So believe you have been changed and live it.  Go to God in prayer for strength and wisdom will you go but keep walking in His direction. Its okay if you stumble or fall, but let’s pick ourselves up and see where God has to lead us. I assure you that the further you walk with God the more your old darkness falls into the past and the light of your new life shines brighter for all to see.   

Today we continue to share from Anderson & Baumchen’s Finding Hope Again, where they discuss the three next areas in which we need to resolve our conflicts and come into harmony with God’s will for our lives in order to be free from depression.

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

Rebellion vs. Submission

We live in a rebellious age. Many seem to think it is their right to criticize and sit in judgment of those who are in authority over them. When sown, the seeds of rebellion reap anarchy and spiritual defeat. If you have a rebellion problem, you may have the worst problem in the world. Scripture instructs us to submit to and pray for those who are in authority over us. Honoring your mother and father is the first of the Ten Commandments that is accompanied by a promise (see Ephes. 6:1, 2). The New Testament clearly calls for submission to authorities:

Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same (Romans 13:1-3).

There are times when we must obey God rather than humans (see Acts 5:29). When a human authority requires you to do something that is forbidden by God, and restricts you from doing what God has called you to do, then you must obey God rather than a human. The same principle applies when people try to exercise control over you when it exceeds the scope of their authority. A policeman can write a ticket for you for breaking the traffic laws, but he cannot tell you what to believe or prevent you from going to church. It is also legitimate and necessary to set up scriptural boundaries to protect yourself from abuse by tyrants. Such occasions, however, are rare.

Living under a repressive political regime, critical boss or abusive parents can be depressing if we let it. But oppressors do not determine who we are unless we let them. It takes a great act of faith to trust God to work through authority figures who are less than perfect, but that is what He is asking us to do. This is critically important for a right relationship with God, and such a relationship is essential for complete recovery from depression.

Pride vs. Humility

Depressed people are usually filled with shame and guilt, whether it is real or imagined. Pride often keeps them locked in a pattern of false thinking that robs them of the help they need. I should be able to work this out myself! they commonly think. That is tragic thinking because we were never intended to live this life alone. God created Adam and Eve to live dependent upon Him. All temptation is an attempt to get us to live our lives independent of God.

Pride is an independent spirit that wants to exalt self. "God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6). Pride says, "I can do this, I can get out of this myself." Oh, no we can't! Such arrogant thinking sets us up for a fall because "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling" (Proverbs 16:18). We absolutely need God and we necessarily need each other. Paul says, "We are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh" (Phil. 3:3, emphasis added).

Shame and self-deprecation are not humility; humility is confidence properly placed. That is why we put no confidence in our flesh; our confidence is in God. Self-sufficiency robs us of our sufficiency in Christ because only in Christ can we do all things through Him who strengthens us (see Phil. 4:13). God intended for His children to live victoriously by having great confidence in Christ, and in His ability to make us able. "Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life" (2 Cor. 3:5, 6).

Bondage vs. Freedom

It has been estimated that 25 percent of those who struggle with severe depression are chemically addicted. This addiction may be to prescription drugs, alcohol or street drugs. Drowning your sorrows in drugs and alcohol only adds to the downward spiral of depression.

On the other hand, the fear of becoming addicted to prescription drugs has kept many from taking antidepressants, which would often help them. That is unfortunate because the possibility of becoming addicted to antidepressants when properly administered is virtually nil.

Others think that taking even legitimate drugs to relieve depression would indicate that they don't want to depend on God. That is a false dichotomy and faulty reasoning. It does not take into account that many of our needs are met in Christ as we live interdependently upon one another. Would you deny yourself food because you don't want to be dependent upon it for daily existence? Are you not trusting God if you take medicine that would heal a sick body?

There is also a strong correlation between depression and sexual bondage. Many women who struggle with depression have been sexually abused, and many depressed men are sexually addicted. Addictive behavior is degrading and spiritually defeating for those who are supposed to be alive in Christ and dead to sin (see Romans 6:11). The sin-and-confess, sin-and-confess cycle only adds to feelings of defeat and depression.

We believe that Christ is the only answer for those in bondage to sin, and that the truth of God's Word will set them free. If you are struggling with a chemical addiction or sexual bondage, we encourage you to see two of Neil's books, Freedom from Addiction and A Way of Escape.

Habitual sin will keep us in bondage, which is very depressing to those who want to live free in Christ. Paul wrote,

The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts (Romans 13:12-14).

Repentance and faith in God are the only answers for breaking the bondage to the sin that so easily entangles us. You can be free from such bondage because every believer is alive in Christ and dead to sin (see Romans 6:11).


Finding Hope Again: Overcoming Depression.

 

------------------------------more on tomorrow--------------------------

 

God bless you all!


 

Sunday, November 8, 2020

The Words of Jesus: How Long: an invitation to church


 

Good afternoon,

I don’t usually post anything on Sundays but after church I had wished that more of my friends would have had the opportunity to hear the message I heard.  My pastor’s message is indicative of what I try to teach at Celebrate Freedom each week: that Our relationship with Christ has given us a new life that we can walk into if we only choose to do so.  So, I am posting a link to today’s service as a support to anyone who is trying to make their way and needs some good worship, and a good word of encouragement.

Also, I know not everyone is comfortable going out in these Covid-19 days, so I am hereby inviting you to attend my church on-line.  Subscribe to their you tube page and you can go to church with me every week. 


https://youtu.be/eGyYPsosA6I



I pray that all is well with you and yours.  God bless you all.