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

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Psalm 4:1

Psalm 4:1 - Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have relieved me in my distress;
Be gracious to me and hear my prayer.

How often do you pick up your cell phone to call or text someone because something happened and you want to share your life with them. Why do we reach out like that, it's because we're "hard-wired" by God to connect with others.

David didn't need a cell phone to "call" God; he prayed. David KNOWS God pretty well. God is the source of all goodness and righteousness within him. Without God, David is helplessly flawed. David is a human being; God is perfectly divine. God consistently "answers" David when he "calls."

When God answers his "call," David experiences relief from his distress.

Today, when you find yourself wanting to call a friend to find relief from your distress, try calling, i.e., praying to God. Tell Him the details of your situation. Describe what your feelings are in this distressing moment. Pour your heart out to the One who always answers. You will find relief for your weary soul just as David did.

Reasons to Read the Psalms

When you want ... Read

To find comfort Psalm 23
To meet God intimately Psalm 103
To learn a new prayer Psalm 136
To learn a new song Psalm 92
To learn more about God Psalm 24
To understand yourself more clearly Psalm 8
To know how to come to God each day Psalm 5
To be forgiven for your sins Psalm 51
To feel worthwhile Psalm 139
To understand why you need the Bible Psalm 119
To give praise to God Psalm 145
To know that God is in control Psalm 146
To give thanks to God Psalm 136
To please God Psalm 15
To know why you should worship God Psalm 104

God's Word was written to be studied, understood, and applied, and the book of Psalms lends itself most directly to application. (Life Application Study Bible, p.895)

"Reading the Psalms will change you from the inside out." - Murphy Toerner

Friday, November 25, 2011

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.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Psalm 3:3

November 18, 2011

Psalm 3 – vv. 3 (a Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son)

v. 3. But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head.

David addresses God as, “LORD.” David is acknowledging that Jehovah is the supreme authority in his life. He is LORD. God is the ultimate authority and the totally sovereign God of heaven and earth. When God commands and instructs, David’s job is to be obedient to his LORD.

David knows Jehovah as a perfect “shield about me,” meaning God totally protects David and nothing can touch David without passing through the hands of a loving, perfect, divine Father. David understands that all good comes from above from God and yet, in God’s permissive will, He will allow Satan to come against us in the form of troubles, trials, temptations, deceptions, seductions, and human enemies and adversaries. Yet, we must remember that Satan is always the real enemy.

David knows the GLORY of God, meaning God is worthy of all praise, honor, and distinction from His children and followers. David is also asserting that God, the LORD, is the sole source of David’s honor, fame, and admiration. David is great because the LORD has made him great. David’s character qualities and honorable choices are present because the Spirit of God is his consistent counselor and guide and when David listens to God, the LORD, life is better.

Lastly, David proclaims God, the LORD to be the lifter of his head. This means David has experienced the gentle care, nurture, love and healing of God as a healer or even a parent. Parents who love their children are kind and gentle when their children are struggling with a problem, crisis, or illness. When people adore us they will lovingly “lift our heads” and tend to us.

Question: Do you see something new about God in this verse? Hang on to it throughout the day and meditate on the new insight.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Psalm 1

Psalm 1:1-3

1. How blessed is the man who does not walk in (practice) the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers!

2. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and His law he meditates day and night.

3. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prosper’s.

Psalm 1 instructs us to be firmly planted in God and the inference is to be grounded and rooted in His ways, His word, His law, and His essence.

What does this “look like”? To me it means that God is the first Person I think of when I wake up and the last Person to whom I say good night. He is ever present in my life. He directs my path. He encourages. He loves me completely just as He does all His children. I praise Him for the great things in my life; I praise Him for the hurdles. I am confident that He is with me always and He faithfully hears my cries. These are the things that make me “prosper.” It is my relationship with Him that gives me an abundant life no matter what my current circumstances are.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Are You In Debt?

Last Updated: 11/05/2011 13:10 PST

The 5 Dumbest Things You Can Do if You Have too Much Debt

The 5 Dumbest Things You Can Do if You Have too Much Debt

If you’re struggling with too much debt, you’re not alone. It seems as if the whole nation has a borrowing hangover. For years, credit was easy and many people became overextended. But, we now live in an era of austerity and it’s time to get our affairs in order.

The five strategies you may want to avoid:

The first piece of advice from experts in the field is to be sure you don't make your situation worse by making common mistakes. In particular try to avoid:

1. Paying only the minimum payment on your debt, as this will result in the amount you owe actually growing, and your problems will only become worse.

2. Relying on friends and family, as this can damage relationships with the most important people in your life.

3. Unscrupulous credit counselors that demand cash upfront or high fees for help they promise, but don't deliver.

4. Using new high-interest loans to pay off lower interest rate loans. It may be easier to just have one payment. but it will actually increase the amount you have to pay back.

5. Declaring bankruptcy. This can have permanent and severe consequences on your financial future. Avoid it if you can, especially when debt settlement may work for you.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

When To Love

"Love me when I least deserve it,
because that's when I really need it."

Swedish Proverb

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

(Murphy-ism) God is ...

(Photo by M. Toerner, 2011)

God is good; always good

and He can never be anything BUT GOOD!!!!

This truth is the framework within which all Christians

must place the puzzle pieces of their lives.

Dance in the Rain