Monday, 23 July 2012 19:11

Manna

Written by

 

If you’ve been around church for years or maybe not at all there’s a pretty good chance you would be able to name or describe a story or two from the Bible. Whether it was the story of creation in Genesis or the birth of Christ in the book of Luke. Maybe it’s the story of God parting the Red Sea or feeding the masses with just a few loaves of bread and some fish. Many of the stories are hard to forget because often times they seem so crazy to us. Can you imagine the Red Sea parting and the ground beneath the water being dry enough for hundreds of people to pass! How I wish I could have seen something like that in real life.

Monday, 02 July 2012 16:56

The Biggest “But” in the Bible

Written by

 

Many of us who have been reared in the American Evangelical religious system seldom think about how we got there.  As Americans, we have money in our pocket or purse stamped with the words “In God We Trust”, we see a church building on every major street in our city, and celebrate at least 3 National holidays that have strong religious overtones.  It is easy to think that if we were born in America, we are naturally Christians.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012 12:49

Not Wrong, Just Different

Written by

If you want to really learn how different men and women are, try raising a child together! Now, I know I am generalizing a lot and this is not just a male/female thing but its how things have played out in our house the last four months. My wife and I have a wonderful 4-month-old son and we are having a blast with him! We do seem to have different opinions (to state nicely) as to how some things need to be done however. For instance, if we drop his pacifier on the ground I’m thinking “5 second rule” however my wife has purchased all natural food grade pacifier wipes that must be used before we give the pacifier back. Am I wrong (maybe)…is she wrong? It’s not wrong, it’s just different! Little boy spits up on his shirt..I think, “a little spit up never hurt anyone”…however before I even have time to say what I’m thinking; my wife has already got him in a new onesie. Who is wrong? Neither of us! Not wrong, just different.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012 20:36

When Shame is Your Middle Name

Written by

 

For as far back as I can remember, Shame was my middle name.  Of course, that is not hard to imagine if you also grew up in the generation I did and the adults around you used the phrase, “Shame on you!” to control your behavior.  We don’t seem to hear that as much since John Bradshaw and others wrote on shame and its effects during the decades following the 1950’s but it was a fairly common expression when I was growing up.

My shame began at birth.  I only realized this when my mother wrote a chapter for a book for Christian women.  She asked me to listen to the tape and edit the copy for her.  She told the story of her remarkable life and when she got to my birth, the story became sad.  She described her alcoholic mother coming to the hospital intoxicated while her Sunday school class was there visiting.That event, coupled with the fact that she had given me her mother’s name as my middle name, only added to the shame.  Every time one of the relatives called me by all three of my names, I felt a pang of shame.  People in our community and family associated that middle name with dysfunction, sin, rebellion, and addiction.  In addition, I looked like that grandmother so it was not hard to identify with the association that everyone had made with that name.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012 15:19

Family Conflict and Idol Worship

Written by

For the last 14 years, I have spent the better part of my career reading police reports and reaching out to provide services to the victims of crimes. During this time, I have noticed some reoccurring themes in the reports involving family conflicts. Situations that become so volatile that someone feels the need to call the police for help can often be attributed to the economy, in-laws, teenagers, and stress. The victim sometimes makes the call, but often it is a neighbor or other relative who is concerned about the yelling, banging into walls, sounds of conflict, or unexplained bruising.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012 20:42

Book Review/Recommendation

Written by

Lately I have been seeing a lot more couples in the counseling office. Couples who are getting ready to embark for the first time on the wonderful adventure of marriage and others who have spent years together and are facing many struggles. One thing that I am always praying for and encouraging the couples and individuals I see and to be looking for throughout the counseling process is God’s purpose for their life. I give homework from week to week and I’m always pushing my clients to be reading articles and books that will help them see the purpose for their life and relationship with the Lord. One particular book that I have been returning to a lot lately and having many of my clients read is John Piper’s “This Momentary Marriage.”

Monday, 26 March 2012 15:42

Allowing God to Tend My Garden

Written by

 

For the last five years, I have found great pleasure in growing vegetables, herbs, and flowers in my backyard and flowerbeds.  Almost every time I put my hands in the dirt, I think about God and His wonderful plan when He put Adam and Eve in a garden.  We see in Genesis 2:15 that mankind’s first home was a garden, and Revelation 22:2 shows us that our ultimate home in heaven will include at least one tree as well. There are so many parables and examples in the Word of God that refer to nature and agriculture.  Jesus used birds, flowers, rocks, wheat, and flooding rains to make the truth of the Kingdom of God real to the people of His day.  Today, He might talk more about computers, gigabytes, and digital media, but His heart for His children never changes.  Matthew 10:30 says that He still numbers the hairs on our heads and Matthew 13:1-23 reminds us that He examines the soil of our heart. 

Monday, 19 March 2012 14:24

Fatherhood

Written by

The past 5 weeks of my life have been the most rewarding and deeply rich times of my life. A little over a month ago my wife and I had the wonderful blessing of becoming first time parents. The little guy arrived February 10th wide-eyed and ready to go. The second he came out I knew my life would never be the same. Looking at his little hands and feet and hearing his sweet cry (although 5 weeks later that cry is not as sweet) I was in awe of the Lord’s incredible creation. I automatically went into protective mode as I watched the nurses take him and weigh him, bathe him, put a tiny little diaper on him. All I wanted was to hold him and protect him. Do anything I could do to keep him from hurting or crying.

Friday, 02 March 2012 16:19

Where is God?

Written by

Where are you God? As a counselor that’s a question I hear often from all types of people with all types of problems. Feelings of abandonment, loneliness, frustration, anger and confusion abound as people look for answers and relief from life’s circumstances. I believe it’s a common question and a fair one at that. I actually really like this question because it is a question we all ask at some point in life. If we are honest with ourselves as believers in Christ there are numerous times in life where we find ourselves asking, “where are you God?”

Page 2 of 2