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Three Important Environments for Marriage Preparation

Posted on 10/30/2014 by Greg Wilson

One of the most consistent themes that emerges in counseling young couples, especially in the critical first five years, is the dramatic difference between the time and money that was invested in their wedding compared to the time and money that was invested in preparing for the rest of their lives together as husband and wife. The average cost of a wedding in the United States is somewhere around $25,000. Engaged couples and their parents will typically spend hours lining up venues, making decisions about florists, photographers, websites, and invitations, and pondering the details of a ceremony that typically lasts about 25 minutes. Yet only a very small fraction of their (or their parents’) time and money is typically invested in preparing for the next 40+ years that they will, by God’s mercy, spendtogether as husband and wife.

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The TOXIC Tongue of Comparison

Posted on 10/27/2014 by Brandon Thomas

Words matter.  God speaks loud and long regarding the power of our words.  One prime example, Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue can bring both death or life (NLT).”

While there are many expressions of a toxic tongue, comparing ourselves to others leads to words of death. Comparisons can be a carefully laid trap that will lead you down a road of relational ruin.  Sinful comparing tends to measure our own worth through the lens of others’ lifestyle or accomplishments.  Ecclesiastes 4:4 notes, “Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors.  But this, too, is meaningless ­– like chasing the wind (NLT).”

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The Church and Women at Risk

Posted on 10/17/2014 by Justin Holcomb

Lindsey, my wife, wrote this article—“The Church and Women at Risk”— for the ESV Women’s Devotional Bible. This article is relevant for October being designated as Domestic Violence Awareness Month                         

The entire article can be downloaded, but here is an excerpt:

The Christian church has, at its best, been known for exemplary love and sacrificial service to “the least of these”—the poor, oppressed, and marginalized. Such service has

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Substance Behind Our Sayings

Posted on 10/15/2014 by Susan Thomas

Jesus said, “Remain in me…” John 15:4a, NLT

Life is amazing. We have big dreams, deep desires, exhilarating feelings and incredible experiences. We love. We laugh. We learn. Yet, in all of life’s beauty, let’s be honest. Life is hard. Pain visits. Betrayal cuts. Dreams go unrealized. Relationships crumble. Crisis happens. Addictions grip. And, even far more frequent, we face daily challenges common to the human existence. Tires go flat. Milk turns sour. Traffic makes us late. Kids have meltdowns in the grocery store. The job is stressful. The spouse is grumpy. Or, maybe I’m grumpy!

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Three Lessons The Church Can Learn from the NFL

Posted on 10/13/2014 by Leslie Vernick

This past month we all watched with horror the video where National Football League player Ray Rice punched his girlfriend in the face and dragged her unconscious body out of the elevator like a sack of potatoes. Day by day public outcry grew over the NFL’s initial treatment of the incident and the lack of serious sanctions against Rice. 

Thankfully public pressure prevailed and NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, reversed his position.  He was humble enough to issue a public apology. He said he was wrong in the way he handled the incident and committed to do better in the future regarding the entire National Football’s League handling of domestic abuse cases.

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Integration – Theological Error or Good Practice?

Posted on 10/8/2014 by Michael Snetzer

I consider myself a biblical counselor. Some may disagree after reading this blog…but I am willing to stand corrected and learn. I have for some time opposed integration in counseling, and in a very real sense I still do. However, I have far too often made rash judgments about institutions and persons who’s counseling has been deemed integrated in their approach without looking more deeply into what exactly that means in a particular case. How you define the term integration seems to make all the difference as to whether it is theological error or good practice.

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The Lost Virtue of Modesty

Posted on 9/30/2014 by Kevin DeYoung

I don’t know if modest is hottest, but I do know that modesty is biblical.

It is one of the marks of the confusion of our age that so many teenagers and young adults are more ashamed to dress with modest reserve than to very nearly undress entirely. Even after we give full throat to the necessary caveats–being pretty (or handsome) is not a sin, working to improve your appearance does not have to be vanity, the line between modest and immodest is not always black and white–we are still left with the undeniable biblical fact that God considers modesty a virtue and its opposite a vice.

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God Of Pleasure

Posted on 9/23/2014 by Brandon Thomas

Somewhere in my spiritual journey I picked up this saying: The most important thought you will ever think is what you think about when you think of God. That’s a mouthful, isn’t it? No other occupation of the mind is more central to our existence than what we think of God. It affects every other thought and action that we undertake. It informs our relationships. It drives our work ethic. It colors our emotional state. It gives wings to our desires, passions, and purposes. Whether you are deeply religious or a devout atheist—what you think about when you think of God is critical to how you navigate life on this planet.

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Up and Out, Not In

Posted on 9/15/2014 by Tullian Tchividjian

When a lot of Christian’s think about “spirituality” they tend to think of it monastically, individualistically. In fact, in his book on sanctification, Harold Senkbeil writes, “What has developed under the guise of the practice of the Christian faith borders on a new monasticism.” Many of us, in other words, think about spirituality exclusively in terms of personal piety, internal devotion, and spiritual formation. We focus almost entirely on ourselves and our private disciplines: praying, reading the Bible, and so on.

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