Posted on 12/17/2014 by Michael Snetzer
Almost daily we encounter evidences of the current moral revolution occurring in this country; and it is happening at a blistering pace. At the forefront of this discussion is the topic of homosexuality. Depending on which side of the fence you fall, you might consider this an evolution of morality or you might see morality devolving before our very eyes. Sexual orientation has been a hot topic for some time; and for many, even many professing Christians, the practice of sexuality outside of the traditional heterosexual covenantal relationship of marriage has been seen as progressive.
Posted on 12/10/2014 by Susan Thomas
It’s Christmas time! Many of us love this time of year as we prepare to celebrate with family and friends. The twinkling lights, the beautifully decorated trees, the sights and sounds and the smells of our favorite baked goods come together to paint the picture that all is well on the earth.
Yet, we know otherwise.
Many of us crave the image in our head of family coming close, friends getting together and joy and peace marking each moment, yet the reality often looks very different. There is a gap between the ideal we have in our heads and the reality played out in our lives. Far more often there are struggles in relationships, bickering in families, loneliness in our hearts and chaos in our schedules.
Posted on 12/8/2014 by Leslie Vernick
When I was in college I thought it might be nice to do some mission work, but since I hated bugs and loved my blow dryer I didn’t think I was a good candidate. My church has always been mission minded and before it was popular, began offering short-term trips. In the mid 1990’s, during one of our church’s commissioning services I remember thinking, I wish I could do something like that! Later, I approached our mission’s pastor and volunteered my services but I never dreamed that he’d actually take me up on my offer. Before long I received a call from someone at Faith Academy, a K-12 school for children of missionaries serving in the Far East. The principal asked if I would come to Manila, Philippines for two weeks and teach some counseling skills to their staff around sexual abuse as well as provide counseling for missionaries and teachers in marital distress.
Posted on 12/4/2014 by Bob Kellemen
ABC Staff Note: In this Association of Biblical Counselors author interview Q & A, we connected with Bob Kellemen to learn more about his newest book, Gospel-Centered Counseling: How Christ Changes Lives.
ABC: “Bob, thanks for joining us, and thanks for your writing ministry. By our count, this is your 13th book! Who would you say your primary audience is for Gospel-Centered Counseling?”
BK: “I wrote Gospel-Centered Counseling: How Christ Changes Lives for the local church. I wrote it for every person who longs to see lives changed with Christ’s changeless truth, for everyone who wants to speak the truth in love.
Posted on 12/1/2014 by Paul Tripp
We all do it, probably every day. It has a huge impact on the way we view ourselves and the way we respond to others. It’s one of the main reasons we experience so much conflict in our relationships. The scary thing is: we barely recognize that we’re doing it.
What is this thing we all tend to do that causes so much harm? We forget the generosity of God.
In the busyness and self-centeredness of our lives, we sadly forget how much our lives have been blessed by and radically redirected by the generosity of God. The fact that he blesses us when we deserve nothing (except for wrath and punishment) fades from our memories like a song whose lyrics we once knew but now cannot recall.
Posted on 11/24/2014 by Brandon Thomas
Every one of us wrestles through the realities of a very broken world. Government is sometimes dysfunctional, seemingly beyond repair. Laws can be unjust, penalizing the innocent. Communities discriminate against people because of the color of their skin or their zip code. Chronic pain may be your unwelcome friend, visiting you each day.
This world is not without its troubles.
How does the Christ Follower deal with his own downturns? How do we handle troubles that are not a direct result of our own poor choices?
Posted on 11/12/2014 by Margaret Ashmore
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4
Upon our first inhalation of air in a fallen world, we exhaled with a cry. When we breathe our last, crying will surround us. And rivers of tears in between – from the scraped knees and scary nights of childhood to the deeper soul wounds of adolescence and darker nights still as we grow old, facing the loss of loved ones as well as our own vitality and strength. The Puritans called our time on this earth a “vale of tears” and such it is until the One Who is with us in the “valley of the shadow of death” opens the way to Paradise where His first act will be to wipe every tear from our eyes. Every tear! O, blessed thought.
Posted on 11/10/2014 by Leslie Vernick
When I was engaged, my fiancé and I went for pre-marital counseling as most engaged couples do. I remember my pastor specifically emphasizing the idea of submitting to my husband as the leader of our home. My pastor looked me in the eye and said, “Howard has the final say over things.”
But is that biblical? Do husbands have the final say when there is a disagreement or conflict and there seems no obvious resolution?
Let’s see if this thinking is truly what God designed marriage to be like.
Posted on 11/3/2014 by Kevin DeYoung
If you are going to read just one out of print book with a terrible cover this year read C. John Sommerville’s devastating little book How the News Makes Us Dumb (IVP 1999). I read the book soon after it came out. It was wonderfully iconoclastic then–and that was before the ascendancy of the internet and social media. The news examples are hopelessly out of date (they were already in 1999), but the media criticism is as relevant as ever.