Hope you enjoy the blog; may it bless and encourage you!

Murphy Geer Toerner

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Austin TX and Baton Rouge, LA, United States
I enjoy helping people. I am an encourager and I can see the good in others. I want people to understand what it means to be an authentic Christian and not just a religious "nut." I believe if Christians lived and loved others as Jesus lived and loved others, we would experience more of heaven on earth than hell on earth. These thoughts and writings are intended to encourage you to be who God originally designed you to be. They are also intended to challenge you and make you think. Also, I want you to know that I'm praying for you every day. Blessings, Murphy Blessings to you, Murphy

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Being Remembered


Photo by M Toerner; June, 2008; Rome, Italy

This is a statue in the Piazza Navona. A piazza is a large open area like an open square. This one had two big fountains. The two figures in the photograph represent two architects. The story goes that two architects were working on the same building. They were jealous and envious of each other and they wanted to discredit one another. 

The figure in the fore-ground, whose head is covered by a cloth, represents the disdain and disgust its creator had for the other artist.  The man's covered head represents the unwillingness of this artist to even gaze upon the other man's "lesser work."  To make the point, this figure's entire head is covered and therefore, blinded.  He can not look at the work of the other artist. 

The figure in the background, with his hand held up as though is he protecting himself, was created by to other architect.  The figure is portraying the idea that the first architect's work is so shabby that the building is about to fall down.  It is conveying the workmanship is not trustworthy and he must protect himself.

Can you believe these guys?  They created and carved two statues which reveal the hardness and petty jealousy of their hearts.  On top of that, they have existed for centuries.  Jealousy and callousness are not sources of productive inspiration. 

How sad!  I wonder how they felt 10 years or 20 years after the completion of these two statues?  I wonder if they ever came to regret their petty, immature judgments?  As it is, the two architects are remembered more for their foolishness than the quality of their work.  They are more remembered for the "in your face" contempt for one another.  What a regrettable lasting legacy.

Do you have any "statues" in your heart which communicate your hardness of heart; your unforgiveness; you envy, distrust, and disrespect?  Do you want to be remembered for these things?

Instead, be remembered for the quality and consistency of your Christ-like character, your: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and your self-control. 

Praying for you today, Murphy

The Illusion of Control

Do you try to control situations and people in your life? Do you try to control your children, boyfriend/girlfriend, or your spouse? Do you use control as a means to gaining a sense of security?

A lot of people go through life trying to control circumstances and people, but the thought of successfully controlling anyone or anything is an illusion. When you really think about it, there is no such thing as control.

Somewhere along the way Christians embraced the idea that if their children looked perfect, acted perfect, and achieved a lot, then the parents proved they were good Christians. (Our children's performances don't prove anything. Anyone can "look good" on the outside, and yet, their hearts are far from God.

How do we control our children? We use threats, manipulation, and other things to get them to do what we want. How do we try to control our spouses? Again, we use threats, rejection, shame, criticism, withdrawal, or contempt. We say all sorts of things. We will even throw out the "D-word" (divorce) every now and then just to scare them into doing what we want.

We often attempt to control our sense of well-being and security by performing perfectly or having a huge groups of tennis buddies and Bible study friends. We think if we have enough money and resources we'll insulate ourselves from hardships and disappointments. If we can be the president of this organization or a leader of that committee, we will gain the status we seek. If we live in the most popular or pricey neighborhood, we believe people will respect us or look up to us.

All of these are aimed at gaining some sort of control over situations or people. Sadly, the idea of successfully controlling anyone or anything is truly an illusion. It can't be done. If you believe you can control people or situations, think again. In fact, you'd better rethink your entire approach to life because all of your effort to control will fail. You will continue to try, however, because you've bought into the illusion of control.

Think about it. Can you really make an 18 year old son or daughter consistently clean their room? Can you make your middle schooler make all A's and B's on their report card? Can you force your spouse to be on time? Can you make a spouse change their value system? Even if you threaten divorce, will that make your spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend stop doing a specific annoying behavior? Can you control events? Can you make more good ones happen; and less bad ones? Can you guarantee financial security? Can you be certain that your house will never burn down or you'll never get into another car accident?

We can not control life, circumstances, events, or people. Truthfully, we can barely control ourselves at times. Thinking we can control anything is just an illusion promoted by our enemy.

Interestingly enough, God understands the illusion of control. He never tries to control us. If He wanted to control us, He could. All He'd have to do is turn off the air in the atmosphere for about 30 seconds. That would surely get our attention and our complete, albeit coerced, obedience. But God does not do that. He understands the illusion of control.

Are you currently trying to control someone or something. If so, please stop! It is an exercise in futility. Instead, turn to God; trust in God; rely on Him. Nothing can touch your life that hasn't passed through the loving hands of your Father in heaven.