Psalm 51: Big Grace

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What a devastating and hard to swallow description! Maybe you had it happen to you? A friend tells you they want to talk to you, and when you get together, you realize that what they really wanted to do was confront you. You're not really excited about being told bad things about yourself, but this is your friend, so you're willing to listen. As they begin to lay out their concerns, you begin to feel pain inside. You can't believe what you're

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How and When is an Abused Spouse Called to Suffer

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This week one of my coaching clients shared that her counselor told her that her role as a godly wife was to submit to her husband’s abuse and quietly suffer for Jesus.  She was told that setting boundaries was unbiblical and asking her spouse to change specific behaviors for her to feel safe or rebuild trust was demanding.  Is that true? Does scripture encourage a spouse to patiently and quietly endure harsh and abusive treatment within her or his marriage? The passage that we usually turn to support this thinking is found in 1 Peter 2:13-3:22 where Peter writes to believers who face mistreatment for their faith. 

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5 GRACE Biblical Counseling Skills: Part 4

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Note: Developed from Spiritual Friends. Spiritual Friends is part of the ABC’s biblical counseling curriculum and the ABC’s certification process. In Spiritual Friends you learn how to develop twenty-two biblical counseling relational competencies. This is the fourth in a ten-part ABC series. In this blog series, we’re learning five biblical counseling and one-another skills by using the acronym GRACE. ·         G—Grace Connecting: Proverbs 27:6 ·         R—Rich Soul Empathizing: Romans 12:15

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Reflections on Broken Hearts and Closed Ears

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Exodus 6:9 “Moses spoke thus to the people of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery.” We might ask ourselves why this note of commentary is included in the Exodus narrative.  By this point in the book of Exodus it has already been mentioned several times that Israel was suffering immensely at the harsh hand of Pharaoh.

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How to Be a Biblical Spiritual Friend-Part Three: God’s Art Gallery of Spiritual Friendship

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In the midst of spiritual crisis, we need spiritual connection—spiritual friendship. But just what does spiritual friendship look like? Would we know it if we saw it? Allow me to guide you on a tour through God’s art gallery filled with walls lined with pictures of spiritual friendship. View pictures of spiritual friendship as:

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Psalm 107:13 – THEN they cried out

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“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble…,” Psalm 107:13. According to 2 Corinthians 7:10, we cry out to God from one of two kinds of grief: “…godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. ”  Godly grief produces repentance without regret.  Worldly grief produces only death.  Trained counselors, and those who would minister to those in prison, must be able to distinguish between the two.

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Psalm 73: Getting It Right

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"But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord my refuge, that I may tell of all your works." (v.28) It is a grace to get it right because so often I get it wrong. No, I don't mean that I fall into gross and willing sin and I don't mean that I am seduced by the old arguments of new atheism. No, I don't mean that I occasionally question the tenets of my faith or question whether ministry is really worth it. No, getting it wrong is much more subtle than that.

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Motivation for Ministry

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As one who has dedicated my life to helping people grow through their life struggles, I often face the temptation to become weary. “Why do I do this?” I query within myself. A close examination of that question reveals that much of my motivation is driven by a sense of obligation—the sense that I “should” do this because of how good God has been to me—or fear—I mean, what else can I do, since this is where I have landed in my life pursuit.

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Resolving Conflict In Relationships Biblically

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When it comes to conflict in relationships, Ken Sande says there are really only three kinds of people: peace-fakers, peace-breakers and peace-makers. Peace-breakers are prideful and power up. If they don’t get their way, they blow up, escalating conflict like gas on a flickering flame.

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Five Crucial Steps for Effective Change in Destructive Marriages

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Last month I wrote an article about superficial apologies, when “I’m sorry” is not the end of rebuilding a shattered marriage but only the beginning of genuine change. But what does that change look like in real life?

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