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

Monday, October 31, 2011

Don't Compare

It's human nature to compare.

When we compare we are trying to gain a sense of, "How do I look compared to how you look? How am I performing compared to your performance? Is my house bigger or smaller than yours? Is my marriage as good or better than yours? Are my children better at "looking right" compared to yours?" The list of potential comparisons is endless.

In John 21:15-17, Jesus questions Peter three times concerning Peter's love for Him. Peter emphatically asserts his love for the Savior. This would have been a great place to end the chapter because Peter's commitment and devotion are powerful and admirable, but the chapter doesn't end.

In John 21:20-21, Peter shifts from walking in the Spirit to walking in his flesh, "Peter, turning around, saw the disciple who Jesus loved following them; the one who also had leaned back on (Jesus') bosom at the last supper (referring to the Apostle John). Peter says in verse 21, "Lord, and what about this man (pointing to John)?"

Comparing is a human phenomenon. God doesn't compare and He doesn't want us to compare either. In John 21:22, Jesus rebukes Peter, "If I want him (John) to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!" Jesus directs Peter to get his eyes off John and maintain his focus and will on his personal obedience to Jesus.

Are you currently comparing something in your life with something in the life of another? Comparing fosters internal pride and gloating or it creates a deep sense of shame and feeling less than. Don't compare. Do what Jesus commanded Peter, keep your eyes on yourself and your personal walk with the Lord.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

God Told Me ...

I was on Young Life staff for several years, first as a Staff Representative in Baton Rouge, LA and then as an Area Director in Bowling Green, KY. My time in Bowling Green was a wonderful time. Mike was teaching at Western Kentucky University (Go Hilltoppers!) and as a Young Life Area Director, I was blessed to have a great committee of adults and 18 leaders over our four years there. Many high school students came to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior through the ministry there.

When new leaders wanted to join our YL team, they attended "Leadership Training" for a year. Upon completion of the course, they made a verbal commitment to serve as a Young Life leader for two school years (unless they were a graduating senior.) This pledge was important because it was disruptive for the high school kids to have a lot of leadership turn-over in their Young Life Club. Young Life is a relationship ministry. Consistent relationships are foundational.

The two year commitment was never a problem until ... one day a leader who was in the middle of his/her first year of commitment said, "God told me that I'm supposed to quit leadership."

I thought the statement was interesting. Does God tell us to break our commitments? Since God is the epitome of a promise keeper, it seems He would not direct His children to break their pledge. It's possible that God might lead a person to do so, but not probable.

I released the leader from their commitment. I asked that he/she would consider praying to see if they were operating in their FLESH or truly following the SPIRIT.

Please be mindful when you use the phrase, "God told me to ______."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

From a High School Friend

Making the Journey

Being a Christian and walking with Christ is a journey. I wish it were an effortless Journey; one with no detours or bumpy roads, but that isn't the case. If you have been a Christian for very long, you already know that it can feel like a roller-coaster ride. There are many detours along the way. Twists and turns can happen at any time on our spiritual highway. Every once in a while a Christian can experience a train wreck or a car crash; meaning they may have a child with cancer or a marriage that is falling apart.

What are we to do when the journey does not go the way we hoped (or silently demanded)?

The first thing some of us do is get angry and even enraged with God. It is amazing how we seem to blame God and treat Him as our enemy.

One thing you can do to when times are tough and the chaos of this world seems to be getting bigger and stronger: hunker down with a spirit of faith and humility. Don't rage at God; get still before Him. Trust that He is good, always good, and can never be anything but good. Trust that He is in control and He has you in the palm of His hand. This is the truth for every child of God.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

How to Look at Trials

James 1:2-4 "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, (3) knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. (4) And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

Have you ever had a spouse, a child, a friend, a relative, or a co-worker share the details of a current, personal trial or tribulation?

As a Christian counselor with 20 years of experience, I often heard such testimonies from clients. It's the nature of my job.

In an attempt to give the client a differing perspective, I have often asked some thought provoking questions, such as, "Can you think of how God is attempting to use your situation in an effort to accomplish a good, righteous, or Godly outcome?"

Sometimes I'll throw in, "Could God intentionally allow this trial as a viable way to get your attention?"

If the client chooses to stay in my office, I might ask, "Can you entertain the idea that God uses tests, trials, and tribulations because they are proven means for Him to break through our crusty defenses. Only through specific tests, trials, and tribulations is God able to gain access to your heart, your mind, and your will. In God's economy, brokenness is not a bad thing. It's one of His most powerful tools in our sanctification."

Clients don't much like hearing those questions and statements, but they are true none the less.

How would you respond to those questions and statements?

Please re-read the above passage: James 1:2-4 "Consider it good or joyful ...."

For the Scriptures to assert this, there must be a way to see earthly things from a Godly, Heavenly, Divine perspective.

How well are you able to do that?
Let's pray we all get better at it.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tie Yourself to the Tree of Truth

It is not uncommon for me to stop mid-sentence during a conversation and say, "That's not true." What I'm doing is stopping myself from saying something that I don't believe is 100 % true.

The reason why I do that is because I've learned that "the truth" really will set you free. So if I say something that is only 50 % true or 90 % true, I will stop what I am saying out loud and I will confront myself in mid-sentence.

I learned this technique during college. And in all sincerity, it saved my life.

Do you tell yourself the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? If not, it's time to start.

The truth will truly set you free. Trust me, I know.