Archive for June, 2013

GCM “Decision Making” Video 1: What Makes Decision Making Hard?

This video segment is one of five presentations in the “Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage: Decision Making” seminar. There will be four more seminars in this series covering the subjects: foundations, communication, finances, and intimacy. As those presentations are ready they will be posted on this blog.

NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. You can request a copy from Summit’s admin over counseling at counseling@summitrdu.com (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail).

Plumb Lines: These are the “sticky” statements that capture the core messages of this chapter.

  • The process of decision making will affect your marriage as much, if not more, than what you decide.
  • Life and marriage are too complex for one approach to decision making.
  • Even the most biblical approach to decision making will not remove the presence of risk or the need for faith.
  • The gospel does not excuse bad decisions; it gives us the grace we need to learn and recover from them.

Memorize: I Thessalonians 4:1 and 3 (ESV), “Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you may do so more and more… For this is the will of God, your sanctification.” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:

  • “Ask and urge” – Paul’s point in this passage carries an urgency he believed merited more than a request.
  • “Ought to walk” – The Bible uses the work “walk” to refer to our way of life: day-to-day decision making.
  • “More and more” – God’s will is something that should be able to increase in our lives; not just a line we stay on.
  • “This is the will of God” – This is the clearest and most direct statement regarding God’s will for Christians.
  • “Your sanctification” – God’s primary concern in our decisions is our character more than the outcomes.

Teaching Notes

“Life is wide open and filled with endless possibilities, but with this sense of opportunity comes confusion, anxiety, and indecision. With everything I could do and everywhere I could go, how can I know what’s what? Enter a passion to discern ‘God’s will for my life.” That’s a key reason there is always a market for books about the will of God (p. 14-15)… ” Kevin DeYoung in Just Do Something

“‘What is God’s will for my life?’ is not the best question to ask. I think the right question is simply ‘What is God’s will?’ Once I know God’s will, then I can adjust my life to Him and His purposes…. The focus needs to be on God and His purposes, not my life! (p. 18)” Henry Blackaby in Experiencing God

“If guidance comes from wisdom and wisdom is the application of values to life, then our culture – despite its great technological knowledge – cannot provide real guidance (p. 24).” James Petty in Step by Step

“I’m convinced that previous generations did not struggle like we do trying to discover God’s will because they didn’t have as many choices. In many ways, our preoccupation with the will of God is a Western, middle-class phenomenon of the last fifty years (p. 32-33).” Kevin DeYoung in Just Do Something

“Decide” comes from the Latin word decidere which means “to cut off”

“The focus of the Bible is God. The essence of sin is a shift from God-centered to a self-centered life. The essence of salvation is a denial of self… When this happens, God can accomplish through us the purposes He had before He created the world (p. 63).” Henry Blackaby in Experiencing God

Transvaluation: A Side Effect of Resentment

It is more common to think of the side effects of medication or bad health choices than it is the side effects of sin. If you take a stimulant, then your thoughts are likely to race and you won’t sleep well. If you eat too much turkey at Thanksgiving, the opposite will happen: your mind will get droggy and you’ll take a long nap.

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But sin also has side effects. While listening to a series of lectures on emotional intelligence, the professor made a point about resentment that I thought provided an excellent example of this. One of the “side effects” of resentment was what he called “transvaluation.”

Merriam-Webster defines the act of “transvaluation” as “to reevaluate especially on a basis that repudiates accepted standards.”

What does that mean? Let’s walk it through a few experiences of resentment.

Let’s say you struggled in school and began to resent “smart people.” The impact of that resentment would not stop at disliking those with higher GPA’s or those who enjoy reading. Soon you would begin to think things like, “Being smart isn’t everything. The most important things in life can’t be learned in a book. Those nerds don’t have a clue what life ‘in the real world’ is all about. It’s people like us who really ‘get’ what life is about.”

Or, let’s say you grew up poor and began to resent “rich people.” That resentment would impact your thinking and might sound like, “Having money makes you greedy and mean. Look at them in their nice cars and fancy clothes thinking they’re better than every one else. They make me sick. I hate everything about their way of life and what they stand for.”

Similar thought patterns emerge when we resent based on popularity, particular talents, politics, ethnicity, school rivalries, generational differences, music preferences, those in authority, and a myriad of other things.

What is going on? I’ll describe it in four steps.

  1. Resentment begins with identifying differences and feeling insecure about your trait. If we were humble, most often we would see that our insecurity need not define us or be hidden. It is likely our insecurity that makes us more socially awkward than our perceived weakness.
  2. Resentment then begins to divide life into “us” and “them.” We retreat to those who are “like us” and begin to love them because they’re like us. If they changed, we would resent them. We begin to feel fear toward “outsiders,” but this fear is usually masked as anger.
  3. Resentment uses this division to make your trait more than just good, it becomes ultimate. We make our particular deprivation a virtue, or our cardinal virtue. Soon this is all we see when we look at people because it’s all we care about.
  4. Resentment finally flips your values so that whatever you were insecure about and makes it a matter of pride. Now north has become south, left has become right, and light has become dark. Even if our insecurity was not about a moral matter (which is almost always the case), it begins to feel that way to us. We feel justified for condemning those who are different from us.

The problem is that we never see this “side effect” (what theologians call the noetic effects of sin – the way sin distorts our thinking), because we think this sin is just making us stronger and more confidant. In reality, it is taking our perceived weakness and not only making it our identity, but judging the world by it.

When we are confronted in this sin, it only feeds our dislike (maybe even hatred) for those who have the audacity to take “their side” and try to tell us we should be ashamed because we’re [insert derogatory term here: stupid, poor, young, etc…]. We respond to attempts at rescue by becoming more committed to our prison – as Matthew Henry said, “Bitterness is a sin that’s its own punishment.”

So I leave you with three questions and one passage: (1) What insecurities have you allowed to walk through these four steps? (2) Where are you in this four step progression? (3) Are you willing to accept the rescue that God offers from both your sin and its side effects? If your answer is yes, then begin by reading Ephesians 4:11-22 and see how completely God intends to remedy the sin of resentment and it effects.

If this post was beneficial for you, then considering reading other blogs from my “Favorite Posts on Emotions” post which address other facets of this subject.

Tweets of the Week 6.25.13

There is great value in saying something in a memorable, concise manner. Twitter has caused us to make this a near spiritual discipline. For my own growth (as a generally verbose individual… that’s a long way of saying “wordy”) and for the benefit of others, I highlight tweets each week that deliver a big message in a few words.

VLOG – What Does It Look Like to Grieve a Lost Childhood?

Question: I experienced abuse as a child and I’m realizing how much I didn’t get to be a kid. I was facing adult choices and thinking about adult things even during my early elementary school years. Recently, I’ve come across the idea that I should “grieve my lost childhood.” That kind of sounds good, but (if I’m honest) I have no idea what it means. Can you give me some guidance on whether this is a healthy thing to do and, if so, how I would know if I have grieved my lost childhood in a healthy way?

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Resources: Here are several resources that can be useful in preparing for of following up with the conversation discussed in this VLOG post.

To review the other questions addressed in this VLOG series click here.

Note: The VLOG (video-blog) Q&A is a regular series on my blog. If you would like to submit a question, it can be e-mailed to Summit’s admin over counseling at counseling@summitrdu.com (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail). Please limit your questions to 3-7 sentences. This is not a forum for to request or receive counseling. No responses will be sent to questions other than those selected for a video response.

If this post was beneficial for you, then considering reading other blogs from my “Favorite Posts on Grief” post which address other facets of this subject.

Depression: Belief-Behavior and/or Body-Brain?

This post is meant to offer guidance to common “What now?” questions that could emerge from Pastor J.D.’s sermon on I Kings 19:1-14 addressing the subject of depression preached at The Summit Church Saturday/Sunday June 22-23, 2013.

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How can I know if my depression is primarily caused by a malfunctions in my body-brain or wrongs I’m committing in my beliefs-behaviors?

Another way to ask this question would be, “Is my depression something I am doing or something that is happening to me?” There is no universal answer to this question. The two leading treatments for depression tell a conflicting story: cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychotropic medications. The effectiveness of CBT indicates that beliefs and behaviors play a large role in depression. The effectiveness of medication indicates that body malfunctions, particularly in the brain or glandular systems, also play a large role.

The reality is that depression is always both: (1) beliefs-behaviors and (2) body-brain. We are embodied souls. Every emotion we feel registers neuro-chemically in our brain; this is true of pleasant emotions (i.e., joy, excitement, and peace) and unpleasant emotions (i.e., depression, anger, and anxiety). Every change in our brain affects our thoughts and actions. Consider how you think-move in the morning before coffee.

There is a long list of things that can cause depression (i.e., a persistent down mood and/or the inability to enjoy normal pleasures): a significant loss, failure, lack of purpose, unrealistic expectations, temperament, glandular malfunctions, chemical imbalances, certain diseases, response to some medications, change in seasons, fatigue, isolation, sin or idolatry, unbelief, foolishness, legalism… (the list could continue).

The follow up question would be, “How can I tell if my experience of depression is rooted primarily in my beliefs-behaviors or my body-brain?” Here are a series of questions to guide you in this assessment. The order of these questions is intended to help you eliminate belief-behavior causes first. There are body-fluid tests for glandular causes of depression, but not for brain-chemical causes, so in most cases, it is recommended that you assess things in this order.

  1. Are you harboring any known sin that would affect your mood (i.e., bitterness, abusing a depressant like alcohol, lying-hiding to make your relationships feel fake, overworking to the point of exhaustion, etc…)?
  2. Are there any false beliefs about God or unrealistic expectations of yourself that you struggle to relinquish?
  3. Are there events, challenges, or changes in your life which would make your level and duration of depression an appropriate emotional response?
  4. If after addressing whatever changes are revealed as necessary in questions one to three, your depression persists then it would be probable that your depression is rooted in your brain-body more than your beliefs-behaviors. Consulting a physician or psychiatrist would be recommended.

You might ask, “But what if I have a family history of depression, does that mean I can/should skip to question four?” My response would be, “Not necessarily.” From our family we get both genes and habits; biology and culture. You are as likely to “inherit” things from your family that would be revealed in questions one to three as you are question four.

You might also ask, “What about suicidal thoughts? If I am feeling desperate, should I still go through all these steps?” My answer would be, “Not at all.” Going to a doctor to get medication for relief from depression is not a sign of weakness or spiritual immaturity; even if it means calling 911 because of your level of despair. Safety should always be the first concern. In intense cases of depression, the relief medication provides can help you think more clearly about the concerns raised in questions one to three.

If I am struggling with depression, what are some basic things I need to do to get some relief?

Begin by sharing your struggle with a trusted Christian friend. We read in I Kings 19:10 how believing that you are alone with this experience magnifies the emotions and false messages of depression. Isolation is a repeated theme in Scripture when it describes the experience of depression (Psalm 88:18). There is nothing like allowing someone to care for you to break the isolation and stigma that often comes with depression.

Regulate your diet, exercise, and sleep patterns. Depression will make its home in your lifestyle choices and stay until you kick it out. Diet, exercise, and sleep are not just “healthy choices;” they are the natural way our bodies regulate our brain-chemistry. Long before the availability of SSRI’s (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) people combatted chemical imbalance in these ways—even if they didn’t understand neurology, they knew a healthy diet, cardiovascular exercise, and regular sleep helped them feel better. Even with modern medicine, we should not force medication to sustain a neural-balance that our lifestyle is fighting against.

Read Depression: A Stubborn Darkness by Ed Welch. This is an excellent book that deals with the sin (beliefs-behaviors) and suffering (body-brain and hardships) sides of depression with a gospel-centered approach. This book should allow you to understand your experience of depression better so that you are more free to talk with Christian friends and feel more motivated to make lifestyle changes. In addition to Ed Welch’s book, here are three blogs I believe can be helpful.

  • Medication and Despair – Contains brief Q&A videos from Ed Welch and David Powlison on medication and other resources to help you think through the possible wise use of psychotropic medication.
  • 5 Part Series on Depression and Ministry – Contains to a series of posts on depression created by the Biblical Counseling Coalition for the Gospel Coalition. While it is written for pastors, it is helpful for any Christian who is struggling with depression.
  • When We Believe Suffering’s Lies – Reflects on how the hardships of life introduce damaging messages into our lives. We are most prone to believe lies when the harshness of living in a broken world seems to validate them.

If I have a friend who struggles with depression, how can I be a more effective friend and encourager?

Listen well without assuming your “instinctual explanation” of depression is accurate. We all have a default explanation for emotional experiences. It may come from our own experience, our “common sense,” or a favorite book. But when you listen do not force your friend’s experience into your assumption. Allow whichever of the causes (likely plural; review the list in question one) that best-fit your friend’s experience to be the cause. Just because something “worked for you” doesn’t mean it will work for your friend. Just because something is “right” doesn’t mean it “fits” every experience.

Be content to “walk with” rather than “fix” your friend. It is likely the cause-solution will not be easy. To rush to a premature “answer” is both ineffective and insulting. As you get to know your friend’s experience better and narrow down the causes; you may or may not feel competent or comfortable addressing them. Legalism or performance-driven overworking are easier for most Christians to address than the side effects of a new medication or a hypoactive thyroid. Regardless, remain an actively listening friend even if you encourage your friend to see a counselor or doctor.

Your presence and care have a powerful impact on removing the isolation and stigma associated with depression even if you are not the “advice giver.” Good advice without authentic, personal relationships is limited in its effectiveness. Your role as friend will outlast whatever role a counselor or doctor may play.

It would also be good for you to read some of the resources listed above. Depression is a common experience we all need to be skilled in addressing and these resources will equip you to echo important truths into the life of your friend.

If my struggle with depression persists and I wanted to seek counseling, who would you recommend?

If you are in the RDU area, we have a couple of options to serve you.

  • Summit Counseling Graduate Intern Program – This is free counseling with students completing their masters or doctoral degree in counseling.
  • Bridgehaven Counseling Associates – Bridgehaven provides a context to receive counseling from a full-time, experienced counselor on a donation basis. Bridgehaven offers a high quality of care that is both clinically-informed and consistent with the teaching of The Summit Church.

If you are outside RDU or prefer to pursue other counseling options, here are some helpful guidelines from CCEF on how to find a good counselor.

If this post was beneficial for you, then considering reading other blogs from my “Favorite Posts on Depression” post which address other facets of this subject.

Is Personality Hereditary?

This is an interesting question; a question that anyone with multiple children has grappled with. How can my children so instinctively respond just like me or my spouse? But on the other hand, how can two children from the same parents be so different?

One set of anecdotal observations says personality must be genetic – the level of commonality seems too great to be explained solely by environmental influence.  But another set of anecdotal observations seems to say the opposite – if two children share so much genetic code in common, how could their personalities take on such contrasts?

In a recent sent of lectures I was listening to from a leading neuro-psychologist,[1] he said that research estimates that 50% of the extroversion-introversion personality trait was determined by genetics.[2] The other 50% was determined by factors such as home stability, birth order, early socialization experiences, etc…

On face value that’s not shocking. In the age-old nature vs. nurture debate that is about what we would expect; half of our personality is inherited, the other half is learned or molded. But it was the next two statistics that he gave from the same research that caused me to pause.

According to the research he reviewed, he said that:

  • 60% of whether you are politically conservative or liberal was genetically determined and
  • 70% of whether you marry and the quality of your marriage was genetically determined.

A quick word about his research; from what I could tell, his scientific work was excellent. He referenced meta-analysis studies not single study published research findings. There is a big difference in the quality between the two. Meta-analysis (in layman’s terms) average out the findings of hundreds of studies on a subject. A single published study is trying to find something interesting/significant enough to get published.

All of this to say, I am not questioning the quality of his work. To whatever degree that the hereditability of personality traits or life outcomes can be predicted scientifically, I trust the style of work Dr. Leary was doing. In addition to this, he is highly esteemed by his peers (not just popular media outlets, who tend to prefer the more eye-catching, yet-to-be-verified studies).

So what do we make of the 50% genetically determined personality statistic now? I think most of us would say it’s less impressive that we thought when we read it initially.

For the moment let’s assume all of the statistics are correct (I do not have the credentials or expertise to debate his methods). Let me frame two questions that help us assess what we do with the 50% hereditability of personality statistics.

  • How much weight do you give the 40% of non-genetic factors in your political leanings?
  • How much weight do you give the 30% non-genetic factors in the quality of your marriage?

My guess is most readers would say, “A great deal of weight.” As a hard-working father, I probably only get to share 30% of the waking hours with my two boys. But I believe those hours carry as much weigh/influence as (probably more than) almost anything else in their life.

I believe, if these numbers are true, we should think the same way about the choice-factors in our personality. If God knit us together in our mother’s womb (Ps. 139:13) and has plans for us to accomplish for his glory (Eph. 2:1), then why would be surprised that God began preparing us for those good works genetically from the moment of our conception.

As an important side note on this subject, I believe we must be careful not to place a good-bad distinction on the extrovert-introvert spectrum (or any other personality variable for that matter). Thinking of certain personality traits as good-bad, leads us to accept a can-can’t mentality on the basis of personality.

As a quick personal example, I am a pretty intense introvert. For a long time I assumed this meant I could not be a leader, public speaker, or (at times) even a good Christian husband. I mistook this personality trait for a limitation on my other gifts and abilities. Similarly, I mistook a relational role (leader) for a personality type (extrovert). Now I am comfortable being an introverted leader and husband.

So what should our take away from this reflection be? I would propose it should be the following three points:

  • If 50% of my personality is genetic… (I can trust that God designed these elements of my personality to coincide with His purposed for my life),
  • … then there is still 50% of my personality over which I have influence… (I should expect that I will frequently be called by God to do things that are uncomfortable to my natural bent and trust Him to give me whatever I need to accomplish these tasks),
  • AND 100% of my personality can express itself in whatever ways necessary to accomplish whatever God lays out for my life.

Join the Conversation

How does viewing genetic influences in light of God’s design change the way you think about genetic influence upon personality?

How might the church reinforce the cultural notion (implicitly or explicitly) that certain personality traits are more valuable or desirable than others and, thereby, discourage a significant percentage of congregants?

Note: This post was originally posted on the “Grace and Truth” blog of the Biblical Counseling Coalition.

If this post was beneficial for you, then considering reading other blogs from my “Favorite Posts on Personality” post which address other facets of this subject.



[1] The lectures were from The Great Courses series (www.thegreatcourses.com). The lecture series was “Understanding the Mysteries of Human Behavior” by Dr. Mark Leary, Garonzik Family Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University. My reasons for listening these lectures were two fold. First, I wanted to be more informed of neuro-psychology. Second, my church has a large number of students from Duke University and I believed it was an important part of learning the community in which I serve as Pastor of Counseling.

 

[2] These statistics come from Lecture 3 “Where Do People’s Personalities Come From?” While I disagree with Dr. Leary’s predominant evolutionary beliefs about human origins and the development of personality, I do not believe these beliefs contrasts influenced his interpretation of this research.

 

Hope After Sexual Abuse – Video Three: The Search for Restoration

This video is taken from the live presentation of the Hope & Restoration After Sexual Abuseseminar presented at The Summit Church May 23 and 25, 2013.

In this segment of the seminar an emphasis is placed on the social and relational recovery from the experience of sexual abuse: regaining your voice after living in silence, learning to release unhealthy coping mechanism, thinking through the issue of forgiveness, understanding why trust and a “normal sense of hurt” are hard, and how sexual abuse may be affecting your current marriage.

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Listening Note: If the materials below become overwhelming for you, please feel free to stop the videos and come back to them later. It is good for you to have a voice in how much you can process at one time.

The notebook which accompanies this presentation is available here in PDF form: Hope & Restoration After Sexual Abuse Notes

Hour Three:
The Search for Restoration

Hope & Restoration After Sexual Abuse: Part 3 from Equip on Vimeo.

Additional Resources

Correction: In the seminar, several times I reference that 40% of the population has been sexually abused. The actual number should be 20%. This was brought to my attention by someone who saw the math I was mis-computing. I added 1 in 4 women (25%) to 1 in 6 men (17%) and got 42%. However by that math 158% of people would have been abused — 3 in 4 women (75%) and 5 in 6 men (83%). I apologize for this error, which was an honest mistake by an amateur statistician.

138 Counseling Reflections on Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

It began with a playful Facebook question in June 2010, “Would anyone be interested in a series of blog posts on ‘A Counselor Reflects on Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis’?” The response was enthusiastic enough to persuade me to see where the idea led.

Those who know me well are doubtless laughing at my compulsive persistence. But has been an enjoyable exercise in slowly reading, reflecting on, and applying a classic Christian work. Here is the fruit of these three year’s worth of reflection.

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  1. The Important of Our Disagreements
  2. The Positive Side of Temptation
  3. The “Deeper” Meaning of Being a Christian
  4. What Would a Totally New Morality Look Like?
  5. The Only Law We Can Disobey
  6. What Needs to be Explained?
  7. Good and Bad Desires Do Not Exist
  8. What Would Make a Devil of Us?
  9. “-Er” Requires a Standard
  10. What is the Point of Playing Football?
  11. Limits of Science: What vs. Why?
  12. We Have Inside Information
  13. Beyond Science: A Necessary Question
  14. Creative Evolution: The Best of Both Worlds?
  15. We All Want Progress
  16. Only a Person Can Forgive
  17. Goodness as Safety or Danger
  18. How Comfort Is Not Found
  19. Meaning, Darkness, and Eyes
  20. Simple Religion
  21. Good Things Wrong Methods
  22. Be Good for Goodness Sake
  23. Other Religions Not All Wrong
  24. Evil as a Parasite
  25. A Moral Civil War
  26. Disagreeing With God
  27. Made of Better Stuff?
  28. Putting Yourself First
  29. What Fuel Your Engine?
  30. Jesus Forgives Sin Committed Against Me
  31. Liar, Lunatic, or Lord
  32. Disabled Death
  33. Repentance Is Harder Than Eating Humble Pie
  34. It Takes a Good Person to Repent
  35. Humilitarian: A New Moral Diet
  36. Deity: An Unfair Advantage
  37. What Is a Live Body?
  38. Why Doesn’t God Make Himself More Known?
  39. Directions for Running the Human Machine
  40. If I Simply Belonged to Myself
  41. Living Beyond Seventy Years
  42. One Mark of a Bad Man
  43. One Good Tennis Shot?
  44. What Makes Heaven, Heavenly?
  45. Quacks, Cranks, and Moral Teachers
  46. How Christianity Works
  47. Who Would Like a Christian Society?
  48. The Twin Obstacles to Generosity
  49. Ally, Master, or Judge?
  50. C.S. Lewis on Sigmund Freud
  51. Courage and Illogical Fear
  52. God Does Not Judge on Raw Material
  53. Blame It On the Body?
  54. Choices Turn the Central Part of You
  55. The Momentum of Wisdom
  56. Chastity Versus Modesty
  57. The Most Unpopular Virtue
  58. A Bacon Strip-Tease
  59. Would Have Been the Best Sex Ever
  60. Moralism… C.S. Lewis… Permissiveness
  61. C.S. Lewis, Bulimia, and Pornography
  62. C.S. Lewis on Divorce
  63. Being “In Love” and Promises
  64. C.S. Lewis on Mid-Life Crisis
  65. C.S. Lewis on Two Kinds of Marriages
  66. Forgiveness, A Lovely Idea
  67. Forgiveness: If Received, Then Required
  68. Forgiveness Made Easier: Part I
  69. Forgiveness Made Easier: Part II
  70. C.S. Lewis on Loving Myself
  71. C.S. Lewis Meets His Murderer
  72. Loving the Unlovable In Me
  73. Invisible Vice
  74. C.S. Lewis’ Pride Evaluation Question
  75. C.S. Lewis’ Cure for Pride: Part I
  76. C.S. Lewis on Self-Respect and Devil’s Laughter
  77. C.S. Lewis on The Devil’s Cure
  78. C.S. Lewis’ Portrait of Humility
  79. C.S. Lewis on Temperament, Feelings, and Obedience
  80. C.S. Lewis on “Fake It Until You Make It”
  81. C.S. Lewis, Compound Moral Interest, and Spiritual Warfare
  82. C.S. Lewis on How God Feels About Feelings
  83. C.S. Lewis on Being Too Heavenly Minded
  84. C.S. Lewis on “Out of This World” Pleasures
  85. C.S. Lewis on Savoring Temporal Pleasures
  86. C.S. Lewis on Doubting Faith
  87. C.S. Lewis on Losing Faith
  88. C.S. Lewis on Sin’s Current
  89. C.S. Lewis on Jesus’ Full Temptation
  90. C.S. Lewis Says, “Punt It”
  91. C.S. Lewis Says, “Try Until You Realize You Can’t”
  92. C.S. Lewis on the Insult of Everything for Nothing
  93. C.S. Lewis on God-Saturated Human Effort
  94. C.S. Lewis Rejecting What Not to Write
  95. C.S. Lewis on Theology as Experience vs. Map
  96. 80’s Fashion Combat, Old Theology, & Domestic Violence
  97. C.S. Lewis Says, “Good Advice Is Over-Rated”
  98. C.S. Lewis on God as Father and Creator
  99. C.S. Lewis on Really Living
  100. C.S. Lewis on Losing/Gaining Myself in God
  101. C.S. Lewis on God-Saturated Prayer
  102. C.S. Lewis on a Community Vision for God
  103. C.S. Lewis on How God Knows the Future
  104. C.S. Lewis on God Listening to Prayer
  105. C.S. Lewis on Away from the Bible and Back
  106. C.S. Lewis on a God Infection
  107. C.S. Lewis on an Awkward Picture of Evangelism
  108. C.S. Lewis on Gospel Phrases
  109. C.S. Lewis on “What Could Have Been”
  110. C.S. Lewis on the Collective Human Race
  111. C.S. Lewis Warning for Two Party Elections
  112. C.S. Lewis on Pretending
  113. C.S. Lewis on Trying Harder with Better Teaching
  114. C.S. Lewis on Soul Rats
  115. C.S. Lewis on God-Fatigue
  116. C.S. Lewis on New Motives
  117. C.S. Lewis Says Christianity Is Hard and Easy
  118. C.S. Lewis on Bad Eggs
  119. C.S. Lewis on “Be Ye Perfect”
  120. C.S. Lewis on Masturbation
  121. God the Father: Easy to Please, Hard to Satisfy
  122. C.S. Lewis on Being Annoyed with God
  123. C.S. Lewis Insults, Exalts, and Humbles Me
  124. C.S. Lewis on God’s HGTV Show
  125. C.S. Lewis on Death Treatment
  126. C.S. Lewis on “If Christianity Were True”
  127. C.S. Lewis on “If Christianity Were True 2″
  128. C.S. Lewis on “A Gift to Who?”
  129. C.S. Lewis on the Gospel Paradox
  130. C.S. Lewis on a Balanced Personality
  131. C.S. Lewis on Being Alone with God
  132. C.S. Lewis on Dying Christianity
  133. C.S. Lewis Says “Christians ‘Need’ Less”
  134. Is There a “Jesus Personality”?
  135. C.S. Lewis on “The Real You”
  136. C.S. Lewis on How to Make a Good Impression
  137. C.S. Lewis on Looking

After all of this I did one final post looking back on 3 years of reflecting on Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. It has been a great journey for me personally. I pray the exercise has, and maybe will continue to, bless others who care to take a slow read through a great book.

Tweets of the Week 6.18.13

There is great value in saying something in a memorable, concise manner. Twitter has caused us to make this a near spiritual discipline. For my own growth (as a generally verbose individual… that’s a long way of saying “wordy”) and for the benefit of others, I highlight tweets each week that deliver a big message in a few words.

https://twitter.com/BobHButts/status/344814758987456512

And one because it’s funny…

VLOG Roll – Directory of Video Q&A with Brad Hambrick

The VLOG (video-blog) Q&A is a regular series on my blog. In this series I interact with difficult life questions in a 4-8 minute webcam videos and then offer supplemental study suggestions.

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If you would like to submit a question, it can be e-mailed to Summit’s admin over counseling at counseling@summitrdu.com (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail). Please limit your questions to 3-7 sentences. This is not a forum for to request or receive counseling. No responses will be sent to questions other than those selected for a video response.

Here is a list of current questions when have been addressed with a link to each video and recommended resources.

As more posts are added to this series they will be added to this directory for your convenience. So be sure to bookmark this post and revisit it weekly to see what has been added.