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Suffering – A Personal Story

Dr. David Powlison is one of my favorite people to listen to, especially when it comes to counseling.  This is a touching video relating to suffering and counseling.

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February 05 2010 | Blog | No Comments »

Piper on Parental Abuse

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January 29 2010 | Blog | No Comments »

Are You SAD?

If you’ve ever struggled with feelings of sadness, this is an excellent video to watch.

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January 15 2010 | Blog | No Comments »

“Life in the Father’s House” Book Review

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This past Fall our Home Group read “Life in the Father’s House” by Wayne Mack.  Wayne Mack is a well known figure in the Biblical Counseling movement who has produced a wealth of quality resources for Biblical Counseling.  “Life in the Father’s House” continues Mack’s tradition of high quality, useful material for growth in godliness.

“Life in the Father’s House” is essentially “a member’s guide to the local church.”  Throughout it’s 10 chapters Mack seeks to orient believers to life in the local church.  Herein lies what I like most about “Life in the Father’s House”.  Mack goes to great lengths to highlight  the importance of the local church in the life of the believer.  Mack writes,

If we want to be where God is, we need to be in His church, for that is where He dwells.  And the way we relate to Him is largely dependent upon the way we relate to His church, for it is the house He has built with His own hands (1 Peter 2:5).

“Life in the Father’s House” would be a great study for anyone who’s new to the church, or even someone who has been in the church all of their life but has never had any formal training on what life in the Father’s house is supposed to look like.  I highly recommend it.

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January 13 2010 | Blog | No Comments »

Counseling & Worship (part 2)

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December 11 2009 | Blog | No Comments »

Counseling and Worship

Two of my favorite things to do in this life are to counsel people and to worship.  That’s why I enjoyed this video of Bob Kauflin (well known worship leader) and David Powlison (well known Biblical counselor) conversing about the relationship between counseling and worship.

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December 04 2009 | Blog | No Comments »

It’s Only Food…

Eating%20Disorders%20(Single)_1One of the first major issues that I had to deal with at Emmanuel Baptist was a number of High School girls who were struggling with eating disorders.  I wish that I could say that over the years this problem has declined, but sadly it has only grown and the consequences have become increasingly severe. 

That is why I am so thankful for Ed Welch and his ministry to those suffering with eating disorders.  The following is an excerpt from one of his articles on overcoming eating disorders.

 

 

In this article, Ed Welch describes how easy it is, in a weight-conscious world that also uses food for comfort, to take the small steps that lead to a full blown eating disorder. He gives a road map for dealing with this difficult problem that includes understanding the thoughts and emotions that trigger destructive eating habits and then encouraging those who struggle with food addictions to take the big step of trusting God, instead of food rules and rituals.

Do you ever wish that you could just forget about food? What started as an innocent diet has turned into a monster. You eat too little. You eat too much. You restrict. You binge. It’s getting harder to cover up what you are doing. At first you tried exercise, then vomiting, then laxatives. Maybe you tried cutting too. Who would have thought that food—or the fear of it—would become the center of your life? Heroin, cocaine, and other street drugs lead to addictions. But food?

But for you food is no longer . . . just food.

You know, of course, that you are not alone; many people struggle with eating disorders. It’s easy to see why. Advertisers sell their products using only one slim body type; movies show impossibly thin, surgically-enhanced heroes and heroines; high-profile athletes have body fat percentages that can only be maintained with round-the-clock workouts; food is everywhere; and more than half the U.S. is on a diet. In some countries food is nutrition. Here food is nutrition, but it also means beauty, control, comfort, guilt, shame, love, and loathing.

You can find the rest of the article here.

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June 24 2009 | Blog | No Comments »

Anger: The Image of Satan

Jonathan Dodson has an outstanding post on what anger really says about us.  If you’re a husband or a father, this is an especially good article and well worth the read.  Dodson writes:

You don’t have to be an “angry person” to have a problem with anger. There’s an anger of the garden variety that’s often expressed through complaining, grumpiness, a cutting remark, sulking self-pity, and turbulent frustration.

Take commonplace complaints about the weather. Complaints about the excessive heat or cold can either be a form of small talk or a form of unbelief in God’s good providence. We don’t typically think of complaining as anger, but when framed with the providence of God we are pressed to consider our motives.

Subtle complaining characterizes our culture. According to one statistic, most people in America are exposed to some 3,000 advertisements a day, most of which appeal to a lifestyle grounded in self-comfort. It comes as no surprise, then, that when our comfort is overturned … we complain. If someone cuts us off in traffic, we curse under our breath and complain for the next five miles. If a fast-food attendant is slow in taking our order, they are subjected to our cutting remarks. If work or school becomes demanding, we wallow in self-pity, a weak form of anger.

Under the surface of all the “happy shiny people” called Christians lurks an enemy of our soul — sinful anger.

You can find the rest of the article here.

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April 29 2009 | Blog | No Comments »

“When People are Big and God is Small” Book Review

26004_1_ftc_dpWhen People are Big and God is Small” by Ed Welch is a book about fear, specifically it is a book about the fear of man.  I first read this book during a time in my life when there were some pretty big people and unbeknownst to me God had become very small in my thinking.  Dr. Welch served as a powerful antidote to the fear of man in my life at that time and continues to remind me of the temptation for me to fear man today.  This is my second reading of this book and it has proven itself to be a tremendous blessing yet again.

Welch’s big idea in this book is that the fear of man is a controlling factor in every person’s life that needs to be overcome by the fear of God.  Welch writes:

 

Scripture gives three basic reasons why we fear other people, and we will look at each one of them in turn.

  1. We fear people because they can expose and humiliate us.
  2. We fear people because they can reject, ridicule, or despise us.
  3. We fear people because they can attack, oppress, or threaten us.

These three reasons have one thing in common: they see people as “bigger” (that is, more powerful and significant) than God, and, out of the fear that creates in us, we give other people the power and right to tell us what to feel, think, and do.

I read this book over the course of the last 3 months alongside of the youth staff, which afforded me the opportunity of really thinking through what Welch was saying.  Time and time again I found practical situations come up where I had to decide whether I would choose to fear man or fear God.  In short, this is a paradigm shifting book that teaches how to overcome the fear of man with the fear of God.

My only criticism of “When People are Big and God is Small” is the length of the book.  While the book only weighs in at 239 pages, I frequently got the impression that what Welch was saying could have been said in a shorter way.  Even with that fault, this is a great read.  If you have ever struggled with wanting other people to think highly of you (and who of us hasn’t), this is a great book to consider.  I highly recommend it.

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April 27 2009 | Blog | No Comments »

Depression: A Stubborn Darkness Book Review

A little over a year ago I met a young man who was struggling with depression. Over the course of several months I counseled him, prayed with him, visited him, had him into our home and prayed for him ceaselessly. As I listened to his story, I was shocked by the darkness that seemed to have overwhelmed his soul. As a part of our time together we began reading Depression: A Stubborn Darkness by Ed Welch, sadly he quit the counseling process before we were able to complete the book. A few weeks ago I decided to pick the book back up and finish the reading, which brings me to this book review.
Depression can be very difficult for people who are not depressed to understand. In chapter 2 Welch describes Depression in this way:
“Depression…involves a complete absence: absence of affect, absence of feeling, absence of response, absence of interest. The pain you feel in the course of a major clinical depression is an attempt on nature’s part…to fill up the empty space. But for all intents and purposes, the deeply depressed are just the walking, waking dead.” Earlier he writes that “there is an intimate connection between hell and the hopelessness of depression.”
What is the Christian to do with these feelings of depression and what is a friend to do when someone close to him is walking through this dark valley? These are the questions that Depression: A Stubborn Darkness answers. Welch writes in an engaging, compassionate manner to the “walking, waking dead” as well as to those who desire to help bring new life to those suffering from the pain of depression. The book is broken into 26 short chapters, each dealing with a different aspect of depression and filled with practical biblical advice about how to endure and overcome the “dark night” of depression. This isn’t necessarily a book that everyone should read, but if you are struggling with depression or if you know someone who is, than I strongly recommend Depression: A Stubborn Darkness. It will serve you well as you make your way through the valley of depression.
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May 22 2008 | Blog | No Comments »

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