All posts in Guest Materials

Council of Counselors: Redemptive Leadership / Preaching & Personality / Singleness / Parenting Teens / 3 Relational Keys

This is a weekly post that highlights resources from other counselors that I have found helpful. The counselors may be from the biblical counseling, Christian psychology, integration, or secular counseling traditions. By linking to a post, I am not giving it my full endorsement, I am merely indicating that I believe it made a unique contribution or raised an important subject for consideration.

Authority and Vulnerability: 2 Necessary Ingredients for Redemptive Leadership by Phil Monroe

What I liked about Sherwood’s part of the talk is that he describes a process he takes pastors through as they examine ministry failures. Which choice do they tend to make and why? Of the 129 he has taken through this process, 55% chose the path of power and control (exploitation), 29% chose to withdraw, and 16% chose to remain in ministry but disillusioned and wounded.

Preaching and Personality by Gary Millar

Some people are more interesting to listen to than others. I’m sorry, but it’s true, and it’s now out there. Some people make me sit on the edge of my seat, and others have the gift of encouraging me to slide back as far as I can go. So what makes the difference? What makes a talk engaging rather than sleep-inducing? Some people have written books about this, but even the very best of these leave something out. Yes, we can make sure that our language is arresting, and our structure clear, and our application rich and our biblical theology compelling—but there is another factor which is slightly harder to address. It’s the personality factor.

Pastoring Singles by 9Marks

20 articles on ministry and singleness from the journal of 9Marks.

10 Fun Things to Do with Your Teens by All Pro Dad

I love teenagers. For fifteen years I spent week after week creating nights of fun activities for teens. A few things I observed about teenagers is they love to laugh, play, experience adventure, and be heard. If you can create an experience that includes at least one of these you will be off and running. When you create an experience that includes all four you will make a bonding moment, and, potentially, a life-long memory.

  • For one of my favorite books on parenting that does not get the attention I think it deserve, see the “What I’m Reading” section below.

Three Qualities that Improve Every Relationship by Ken Sande @ RW360

My best co-workers thrived because of three key character qualities. The disappointing ones struggled because they lacked the very same qualities. I’ve noticed an identical dynamic in friendships, marriages and ministries, all of which either thrived or withered to the degree that people cultivated humility, teachability and flexibility.

What I’m Reading

everyday talkEveryday Talk: Talking Freely and Naturally about God with Your Children by John Younts. The most important conversations you will have with your kids will be in the context of everyday life. In ‘Everyday Talk, ‘ author John Younts explains how to use ordinary conversations to talk to your kids about God and his world. You?ll be delighted by his clear, practical insight and biblical wisdom. Buy this book and read it. But don’t stop there?put it into practice. Your children will thank you!

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On the Lighter Side

Because, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones,” Proverbs 17:22.

Council of Counselors: Authoritarian Parenting / Single Parenting / Unhealthy Friends / Effective Therapists? / Fun Marriage Questions

This is a weekly post that highlights resources from other counselors that I have found helpful. The counselors may be from the biblical counseling, Christian psychology, integration, or secular counseling traditions. By linking to a post, I am not giving it my full endorsement, I am merely indicating that I believe it made a unique contribution or raised an important subject for consideration.

10 Signs You May be an Authoritarian Parent by  Amy Morin, LCSW

Authoritarian parenting is one of the four main parenting styles recognized by researchers. It’s characterized by rigid rules and high demands. Authoritarian parents have high standards and can be highly critical when those standards aren’t met. They also tend to offer less emotional warmth compared to authoritative parents. Read on to find out if you exhibit any of the characteristics of an authoritarian parent.

Single Parents: Is Your Church Meeting Their Unique Needs? by Linda Jacobs

Regarding Single & Parenting, Angela Thomas says, “I think this program is so powerful for the church for several reasons: it meets an immediate need of the single parents who are already attending your church and also the needs of their single friends whom they invite. So not only do you meet the needs of your body, but you have the opportunity to reach out to the community, to those who are hurting and wounded and truly don’t have any other place to turn to find answers for how to be a single parent.”

7 Trademarks Of An Unhealthy Friendship by Paul Tripp

Begin you start reading, let me warn you: it will be very tempting for you to identify a friend or former friend who can be characterized by these trademarks. The Bible surely sympathizes with, and provides comfort for, those who have suffered in relationships. No one understands the hurt caused by poor friends more than Jesus Christ! However, the point of this passage is for us to examine our own hearts, not convict others. As you read, fire your inner defense lawyer and ask the Lord to show you areas of personal weakness in your relationships.

  • See the “What I’m Reading” section below for a great book on friendship.

What Are the Essential Qualities of Effective Therapists? by Kenneth Miller, Ph.D.

Good therapists, like all helpful listeners, seem to possess a particular set of attributes, the same set of common factors that explain why most forms of therapy are about equally effective. It’s simply not clear whether graduate schools, which focus so heavily on specific theoretical models and their related techniques, are actually training students in the qualities that seem most critical to effective therapy. And that raises an even more fundamental question: Can these common factors actually be taught? To what extent are they personality attributes rather than teachable skills? Can graduate school really make students more empathic, enhance their interpersonal skills, or increase their tolerance for intense emotions? Are good therapists already effective helpers before they get to graduate school?

25 Fun Questions To Ask Your Spouse by Casey and Meygan at Marriage365

We call them open ended questions. The point here is that you talk, laugh, dream and learn more about each other. Some questions are silly while others really get you thinking about some possible big life decisions. Either way, pull these out on your next date night or after the kids go to bed and spend time connecting.

What I’m Reading

friendshipThe Company We Keep: In Search of Biblical Friendship by Jonathan Holmes. Friendship: it’s one of the simplest of human relationships in comparison to marriage or family relationships, yet it’s one of the least understood and practiced. For all of our progress in making connections through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media, people are consistently experiencing loneliness and growing disenchanted with the whole notion of friendship.

Could it be that our understanding of friendship has been more informed by pop culture and social media, and less informed by the vision of friendship offered in Scripture? Is it possible that friendship exists for a greater purpose than merely our enjoyment and comfort? Does real friendship involve more than just hanging out on a weekend, participating in a book club, or hitting the golf course together? These questions and more are answered in this book.

Biblical friendship is deep, honest, pure, transparent, and liberating. It is also attainable. Dig into this book, and learn how your friendships can embody this amazing and wonderful reality.

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On the Lighter Side

Because, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones,” Proverbs 17:22.

Council of Counselors: Bulimia Stereotype / Parenting & Eating Disorders / Stepfamily Math / Nuerology & Gratitude / Broken Trust

This is a weekly post that highlights resources from other counselors that I have found helpful. The counselors may be from the biblical counseling, Christian psychology, integration, or secular counseling traditions. By linking to a post, I am not giving it my full endorsement, I am merely indicating that I believe it made a unique contribution or raised an important subject for consideration.

Stereotypes die hard: What happens when you’re bulimic, but not thin enough for anyone to notice? by 

A lot of people don’t think a chubby girl can have an eating disorder. The pervasive stereotype in our culture of someone suffering from an eating disorder is that of a tiny, emaciated girl who thinks she is fat but is really withering away. But it’s so much more complicated. As Giardino’s case shows, it’s possible for a person to suffer from disordered eating and to have an unhealthy obsession with their weight, while still technically being what’s considered a “normal” weight.

Walking with Your Child through an Eating Disorder by 

The day I learned my daughter was battling bulimia, we were together in the car—an increasingly rare experience since she’d gotten her license the month before. I was excited to have her in my front seat again, because “car time” is when we have our best conversations. This day would be no different. Yet what followed was a conversation I never expected.

  • For a book that helps you relate to the experience of living with an eating disorder see the “What I’m Reading” section below.

Stepfamily Math (Podcast) by Ron Deal of FamilyLife Blended

A family of five has about 20 relationships to manage but what about a stepfamily of five? Well, add the ex-spouses, their new partners and their children and a stepfamily of five has 210 relationships to manage. Then there is the confused identity multiplier. The stepdad has one idea of his role, his wife has a second, his stepchildren, biological child and his wife’s ex-husband have others. That calculates to 420 relationships. No wonder stepfamilies are tired. Don’t worry we’ve got your back.

How Expressing Gratitude Might Change Your Brain by Christian Jarrett

A lot of so-called “positive psychology” can seem a bit flaky, especially if you’re the sort of person disinclined to respond well to an admonition to “look on the bright side.” But positive psychologists have published some interesting findings, and one of the more robust ones is that feeling grateful is very good for you. Time and again, studies have shown that performing simple gratitude exercises, like keeping a gratitude diary or writing letters of thanks, can bring a range of benefits, such as feelings of increased well-being and reduced depression, that often linger well after the exercises are finished.

After Cheating: Restoring Relationship Trust by Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S

Infidelity (cheating) is the breaking of trust that occurs when you deliberately keep intimate, meaningful secrets from your primary romantic partner. I developed this definition because it focuses not on specific sexual behaviors, but on what ultimately matters most to a betrayed partner—the loss of relationship trust. That is the crux of infidelity, and that is what must be repaired if cheaters hope to salvage a deeply damaged primary relationship. In fact, after more than 25 years as a therapist specializing in sex and intimacy issues, I can state unequivocally that the process of healing a relationship damaged by infidelity begins and ends with the restoration of trust. Moreover, to repair relationship trust cheaters must not only come clean—in a general way, and preferably with guidance provided by an experienced couple’s counselor—about what they have done (i.e., the cheating), they must become rigorously honest about all other aspects of their life both in the moment and moving forward.

What I’m Reading

Life Without EDLife Without Ed: How One Woman Declared Independence from Her Eating Disorder and How You Can Too by Jenni Schaefer. Jenni had been in an abusive relationship with Ed [Eating Disorder] for far too long. He controlled Jenni’s life, distorted her self-image, and tried to physically harm her throughout their long affair. Then, in therapy, Jenni learned to treat her eating disorder as a relationship, not a condition. By thinking of her eating disorder as a unique personality separate from her own, Jenni was able to break up with Ed once and for all.

Inspiring, compassionate, and filled with practical exercises to help you break up with your own personal E.D., Life Without Ed provides hope to the millions of people plagued by eating disorders. Beginning with Jenni’s “divorce” from Ed, this supportive, lifesaving book combines a patient’s insights and experiences with a therapist’s prescriptions for success to help you live a healthier, happier life without Ed.

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On the Lighter Side

Because, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones,” Proverbs 17:22.

I can’t unsee this.

Council of Counselors: Singleness / Dating / Domestic Violence / Race Bias / End of Life

This is a weekly post that highlights resources from other counselors that I have found helpful. The counselors may be from the biblical counseling, Christian psychology, integration, or secular counseling traditions. By linking to a post, I am not giving it my full endorsement, I am merely indicating that I believe it made a unique contribution or raised an important subject for consideration.

The “Gift” of Singleness by Jayne Clark

You’ve expressed your desire for marriage to family and friends, and they have reassured you with a common refrain: “If you want to be married, it’s obvious you don’t have the gift of singleness. You’re meant to be married. The right guy just hasn’t come along yet. But hang in there—he will.” They are confirming what you have suspected: since you want to be married, God hasn’t given you the gift of singleness. If you had the gift, you would not be struggling this way.

10 Questions on Dating with Matt Chandler

  1. Is My Boyfriend (or Girlfriend) Godly Enough?
  2. Is There “Too Fast” in Christian Dating?
  3. Has Facebook Ruined Dating?
  4. Should My Church Help Me Get Married?
  5. Should I Date a Godly Girl I Do Not Find Attractive?
  6. Should a Boyfriend “Lead” His Girlfriend?
  7. Keys to Sexual Purity in Dating
  8. When Should a Single Stop Dating?
  9. Dating and Marriage for the Victims of Past Abuse
  10. What Hope Does God Offer Lonely Singles?

How Pastors Perceive Domestic Violence Differently by Bob Smietana

When it comes to domestic violence, Protestant pastors want to be helpful but often don’t know where to start. Most say their church would be a safe haven for victims of domestic violence. But many don’t know if anyone in their church has been a victim of domestic violence. And only half say they have a plan in place to help if a victim comes forward. Those are among the findings of a new report on churches and domestic abuse from LifeWay Research, based on a phone survey of 1,000 Protestant senior pastors.

Productive Conversations about Race, Bias, and Cultural Intelligence (CQ) by David Livermore

Diversity fatigue is not going away. Particularly with political riffs dividing friends and family, many people have had enough of it all and long for the days when recipes and cat videos filled their Facebook page. While this applies to political conversations, I’m actually interested in thinking about it far more broadly than that.

End of Life Planning by UCSF Memory and Aging Center

Life-planning decisions should be discussed as early as possible so you and your loved ones can thoughtfully consider options and voice your values. Talking about these plans may make you uncomfortable or seem irrelevant if you’re young, but the earlier you start, the better off you and your loved ones will be. You will have more time to think about what you really want. These documents can be updated and changed over time as needed.

What I’m Reading

abuseIs It My Fault? by Justin and Lindsey Holcomb is a message of hope and healing to victims who know too well the depths of destruction and the overwhelming reality of domestic violence.At least one in every three women have been beaten, coerced into sex, or abused in their lifetime. The effects of domestic violence are physical, social, emotional, psychological, and spiritual, and can have long-lasting distressing consequences. It is common for victims of domestic violence to suffer from ongoing depression and recurring nightmares, self-harm, panic attacks, substance abuse, and more.
Is It My Fault? addresses the abysmal issue of domestic violence with the powerful and transforming

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On the Lighter Side

Because, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones,” Proverbs 17:22.

Council of Counselors: Autism Ministry / Single Parenting / Suffering / Mental Illness Education / Spiritual Abuse

This is a weekly post that highlights resources from other counselors that I have found helpful. The counselors may be from the biblical counseling, Christian psychology, integration, or secular counseling traditions. By linking to a post, I am not giving it my full endorsement, I am merely indicating that I believe it made a unique contribution or raised an important subject for consideration.

5 Steps to Serving Children with Autism, ADHD, and Attachment Disorders by Evan Collier

Recently, our church launched a program dedicated to serving children with behavioral diagnoses such as autism, ADHD, and attachment disorders (common with adoption). Your mileage will most certainly vary, but I wanted to share some possible steps toward serving what seems to be an under-served community in our churches.

  • For more on raising an autistic child, consider the late Lauren Hendrickson’s book. She wrote with the multi-faceted background of a parent of an autistic child, biblical counselor, and psychiatrist. Her book is referenced in the “What I’m Reading” section below.

The Sufficiency of God for the Single Parent by Anna Meade Harris

Six years ago, my husband died of cancer and I became a single mom to our three boys, ages nine, twelve, and thirteen. There’s a reason God involves two parents at every conception; parenting is a job built for partners, too big for any one person to handle alone. Most people would not choose to parent without a spouse: death, divorce, and abandonment add substantial pain to the challenges of raising children. As a mom with her husband, I often felt ill-equipped and unqualified for the task of raising godly young men. As a mom without her husband, well, let’s just say I am in over my head.

How Not to Help a Sufferer by Gavin Ortlund

It’s easy to criticize Job’s friends, but let’s be honest: We can all be like them. In fact, a good litmus test of our heart’s alignment with the gospel—whether functionally we believe in a world of grace or a world of karma—is how we respond when a Job comes across our path. Suffering pulls out our real theology like a magnet. Here are four things in particular to avoid when with a sufferer. Think of them as four ways we, like Job’s friends, can pour burning coals on the heads of those already sitting in ashes.

What Health Class Didn’t Teach Me About Living With My Mom’s Mental Illness by Juliette Virzi

While my ninth grade health class prepared me for avoiding teenage pregnancy, it did not prepare me for inheriting motherhood to my 13-year-old sister when my mother’s mental health took a turn for the worse a few years later. I was 16.

Spiritual Abuse: What it is and Why it Hurts by Phil Monroe

Spiritual abuse is the use of faith, belief, and/or religious practices to coerce, control, or damage another for a purpose beyond the victim’s well-being (i.e., church discipline for the purpose of love of the offender need not be abuse). Like child abuse, spiritual abuse comes in many forms. It can take the form of neglect or intentional harm of another. It can take the form of naïve manipulation or predatory “feeding on the sheep.”

What I’m Reading

autismFinding Your Child’s Way on the Autism Spectrum: Discovering Unique Strengths, Mastering Behavior Challenges by Dr. Laura Hendrickson. Dr. Laura Hendrickson is a trained psychiatrist, biblical counselor–and the mother of an autistic child. She understands the struggles parents face as they try to communicate with their autism spectrum child and manage behavior challenges.

With an approach that is grounded in a deep understanding of the challenges those caring for autism spectrum children face, Finding Your Child’s Way on the Autism Spectrum gives the reader sound, practical tools for understanding how to guide an autism spectrum child to function more fully as the person God created them to be.

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On the Lighter Side

Because, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones,” Proverbs 17:22.

 

Council of Counselors: Addict as Prophet / Self-Care / Sports Psychology / Mr. & Mrs. Wrong / Sleep

This is a weekly post that highlights resources from other counselors that I have found helpful. The counselors may be from the biblical counseling, Christian psychology, integration, or secular counseling traditions. By linking to a post, I am not giving it my full endorsement, I am merely indicating that I believe it made a unique contribution or raised an important subject for consideration.

The Addict as Prophet: Part 4, Modernity and Arbitrariness by Richard Beck

This is not to deny that addiction existed or was a problem before modernity, just the claim that as modernity exacerbated our feelings of arbitrariness, boredom and loneliness it has caused us to become increasingly drawn to addictive behaviors to reduce the discomfort we experience in modernity.

  • For a resource for addressing addiction, see this seminar. I found the book by Dunnington very intriguing and highlight in the “What I’m Reading” section below.

Self-Care: Your Emotions and Thoughts by Lucy Ann Moll

I’m tired of my own crazy fear of self-care that it is extravagant. This is how I’m changing, a step at a time. You can too. The first step begins with recognizing your emotions.

Six Phrases That Weigh You Down on Game Day by Jim Taylor, Ph.D.

For many athletes in many sports, the competitive season is now in full swing. In other words, the season is getting real and the competitions are starting to really matter. This is the time when you want to perform your best consistently. Yet, this is also a time when you may start to feel weighed down by the expectations and pressure (both self-imposed and from others) to get the results you want.

Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person by Alain de Botton

Perhaps we have a latent tendency to get furious when someone disagrees with us or can relax only when we are working; perhaps we’re tricky about intimacy after sex or clam up in response to humiliation. Nobody’s perfect. The problem is that before marriage, we rarely delve into our complexities. Whenever casual relationships threaten to reveal our flaws, we blame our partners and call it a day. As for our friends, they don’t care enough to do the hard work of enlightening us. One of the privileges of being on our own is therefore the sincere impression that we are really quite easy to live with.

God Wants You to Get Some Sleep by Kate Shellnut

Goodnight kittens. Goodnight emails unwritten. Goodnight clocks. Goodnight inbox… Goodnight worrying about weight loss. Goodnight demanding boss. Goodnight test for which I need to cram. Goodnight Instagram. So goes Goodnight Smartphone, a modern-day rewriting of the classic bedtime story Goodnight Moon.

What I’m Reading

addiction and virtueAddiction and Virtue: Beyond the Models of Disease and Choice by Kent Dunnington. What is the nature of addiction? Neither of the two dominant models (disease or choice) adequately accounts for the experience of those who are addicted or of those who are seeking to help them. In this interdisciplinary work, Kent Dunnington brings the neglected resources of philosophical and theological analysis to bear on the problem of addiction. Drawing on the insights of Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas, he formulates an alternative to the usual reductionistic models. Going further, Dunnington maintains that addiction is not just a problem facing individuals. Its pervasiveness sheds prophetic light on our cultural moment. Moving beyond issues of individual treatment, this groundbreaking study also outlines significant implications for ministry within the local church context.

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On the Lighter Side

Because, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones,” Proverbs 17:22.

Council of Counselors: Normal ? / Smarter Kids / Praying Marriage / Cohabitation Violence / Infidelity Recovery

This is a weekly post that highlights resources from other counselors that I have found helpful. The counselors may be from the biblical counseling, Christian psychology, integration, or secular counseling traditions. By linking to a post, I am not giving it my full endorsement, I am merely indicating that I believe it made a unique contribution or raised an important subject for consideration.

What Is Normal? by Steven Novella

In medicine use of the term “normal” has fallen out of favor, because it is imprecise, and also because it may contain a moral judgment. We still use it when referring to numbers, such as normal blood pressure, but even then it is not conceptually precise. Normal may be different for different people in different situations. When we are making an effort to be clear in our language we will use terms such as “healthy” or “physiological” (which is distinguished from pathological).

Increasing The Mental Ability of Young Children by Dr. James Dobson

Question: We have a one-year-old daughter, and we want to raise her right. I’ve heard that parents can increase the mental abilities of their children if they stimulate them properly during the early years. Is this accurate, and if so, how can I accomplish this with my baby?

Pray With Your Spouse 31 Day Challenge by Mike Leake

I think it’s time to do a new challenge. I’m really excited about this one. When Nikki and I were first married we prayed together frequently. But rather than growing in this grace I think we’ve declined. I’ll chalk all of that up to my leadership. Truth be told, I think I just need the discipline. Committing to 31 days of intentionally praying together should put us in a good rhythm for continued times of praying together.

  • If this prompts you (and I hope it does) to want to engage in more marital enrichment, consider one these resources.

Aggression in Twentysomethings’ Cohabiting, Dating, and Marriage Relationships by Scott Stanley and Galena Rhoades

A number of studies have shown that cohabiting couples are more likely to experience physical aggression in their relationships than married couples. Here, we look at two studies that shed light on this subject by exploring how aggression in the relationships of individuals (mostly) in their 20s is associated with various commitment dynamics.

Sexual Infidelity: The Post-Discovery Longer-Term Aftermath by Robert Weiss

After you discover infidelity, your emotions are out of control. Cheaters are typically OK with that—to some extent, they expect it. Unfortunately, your emotional reactivity will likely remain for many weeks, or even months, dissipating slowly (if it all), and only as relationship trust is re-established. So you and your cheating partner can expect a very bumpy ride for an extended period of time. In therapy, we sometimes refer to this as the emotional roller coaster.

  • If you need guidance on traversing the terrain of infidelity, consider the complementing False Love and True Betrayal studies.

What I’m Reading

angryGood and Angry: Redeeming Anger, Irritation, Complaining, and Bitterness by David Powlison. Powlison reminds us that God gets angry too. He sees things in this world that aren’t right and he wants justice too. But God’s anger doesn’t devolve into manipulation or trying to control others to get his own way. Instead his anger is good and redemptive. It causes him to step into our world to make wrongs right, sending his own Son to die so that we can be reconciled. He is both our model for change and our power to change.

Good and Angry sets readers on a path toward a faithful and fruitful expression of anger, in which we return good for evil and redeem wrongs. Powlison offers practical help for people who struggle with irritation, complaining, or bitterness and gives guidance for how to respond constructively when life goes wrong. You, your family, and your friends will all be glad that you read this book.

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On the Lighter Side

Because, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones,” Proverbs 17:22.

All I can say is, “Amen!”

Council of Counselors: Single Sexuality / Anxious Children / Ineffective Apology / Misleading Psychology / Grit

This is a weekly post that highlights resources from other counselors that I have found helpful. The counselors may be from the biblical counseling, Christian psychology, integration, or secular counseling traditions. By linking to a post, I am not giving it my full endorsement, I am merely indicating that I believe it made a unique contribution or raised an important subject for consideration.

The Sexuality of Singleness by Preston Sprinkle

Yes, you read that right. Sexuality and singleness in the same chapter. And his treatment did more than just trumpet the claim: “don’t do it unless you’re married.”  Grenz’s two chapters (9 and 10) on singleness talked a lot about the sexuality of singleness, even though he devotes little attention to not having sex outside of marriage.

Why Are Our Children So Anxious? By Corrie Cutrer

Additionally, many “children are not accessing the outdoors, engaging in enough regular physical activity, and experiencing the benefit of child-led free play,” adds Vanessa Lapointe, PhD, a parenting author and psychologist in British Columbia. “This changes the chemical makeup of the brain and lead to increases in anxiety and related mood shifts.”

4 Types of Ineffective Apologies by Andy Molinski

It’s hard to admit our transgressions — to look someone in the eye and offer a sincere apology. But apologies are essential for repairing relationships in the workplace. They show that you value the relationship and that other person’s point of view.

Psychology Textbooks Should Be Busting Myths. Instead, They’re Misinforming Students by Brian Resnick

Alas, the past few years have not been kind to social psychology. Many psychological theories have been debunked or diminished in rigorous replication attempts. Psychologists are now realizing it’s more likely that false positives will make it through to publication than inconclusive results. And they’ve realized that experimental methods commonly used just a few years ago aren’t rigorous enough.

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Lee Duckworth

Leaving a high-flying job in consulting, Angela Lee Duckworth took a job teaching math to seventh graders in a New York public school. She quickly realized that IQ wasn’t the only thing separating the successful students from those who struggled. Here, she explains her theory of “grit” as a predictor of success.

What I’m Reading

5 viewsPsychology & Christianity: Five Views edited by Eric Johnson. How are Christians to understand and undertake the discipline of psychology? This question has been of keen interest (and sometimes concern) to Christians because of the importance we place on a correct understanding of human nature. Psychology can sometimes seem disconnected from, if not antithetical to, Christian perspectives on life. How are we to understand our Christian beliefs about persons in relation to secular psychological beliefs? This revised edition of a widely appreciated text now presents five models for understanding the relationship between psychology and Christianity. All the essays and responses have been reworked and updated with some new contributors including the addition of a new perspective, the transformative view from John Coe and Todd Hall (Biola University). Also found here is David Powlison (Westminster Theological Seminary) who offers the biblical

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On the Lighter Side

Because, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones,” Proverbs 17:22.

Paul David Tripp on “The Big Gospel Picture” for Parenting

parentingDo you feel like you are approaching parenting “the right way” but still feel frustrated or like something is missing? Is it your tendency (like mine) to focus on what God is doing in your children through your parenting and fail to recognize that God wants to parent you through your parenting of your children? If you answer “yes,” then Paul Tripp’s book Parenting: The 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family would be an excellent resource for you (as it was for me.

To help you get to know a book that helps you learn the “why” of parenting that fuels the “how to,” I have included a PDF sample of chapter 2 (see below). This chapter makes eight points about grace that are tailored in their application to parenting.

  1. Like everything else God calls people to do, God doesn’t call people to be parents because they are able.
  2. God never calls us to a task without giving us what we need to do it.
  3. God’s grace works to open your eyes to see yourself as a parent accurately.
  4. God’s grace frees you from having to deny your weakness.
  5. God’s grace rescues you from you.
  6. God’s grace grows and changes you as a parent.
  7. God’s grace works to make your heart tender.
  8. God’s grace liberates you from the prison of regret.

This was a refreshing read for me. I love the practical books, so it took me a while to adjust to parenting book that didn’t give me collection of new techniques. But the more I read, the more I realized that having a deeper gospel perspective on why God chose to use in-process parents to raise in-process children it gave me more patience and skill with the techniques I already knew. I hope that you find the same.

To download a PDF of chapter 2 of Paul Tripp’s book click here.

Taken from Parenting: The 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family by Paul David Tripp, ©2016, pp. 33-44. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.
If this post was beneficial for you, then considering reading other blogs from my “Favorite Posts on Parenting” post which address other facets of this subject.

Council of Counselors: Words Spoken from Pain / Homosexual Neighbor / Boosting Emotional Intelligence / Depression & Heart Disease / Sanctification

This is a weekly post that highlights resources from other counselors that I have found helpful. The counselors may be from the biblical counseling, Christian psychology, integration, or secular counseling traditions. By linking to a post, I am not giving it my full endorsement, I am merely indicating that I believe it made a unique contribution or raised an important subject for consideration.

Words for the Wind by John Piper

In grief and pain and despair, people often say things they otherwise would not say. They paint reality with darker strokes than they will paint it tomorrow, when the sun comes up. They sing in minor keys, and talk as though that is the only music. They see clouds only, and speak as if there were no sky.

  • This article uses Psalm 103 as an example of how God allows us to express very raw honesty in the midst of our suffering.

Do You Really Want to Minister to Your Homosexual Neighbor? by Mark Yarhouse

“But I would tell you this: The most frequently asked question by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people — people navigating this terrain — is, ‘Do you want me here?’ And each and every one of us has to answer that question.”

How to Boost Your (and Other’s) Emotional Intelligence by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic and Michael Sanger

In fact, thousands of academic studies have demonstrated the predictive power of scientific EQ assessments vis-à-vis job performance, leadership potential, entrepreneurship, and employability. Moreover, the importance of EQ has been highlighted beyond work-related settings, as higher scores have been associated with relationship success, mental and physical health, and happiness.

Depression [Is] as Hard on the Heart as Obesity and Cholesterol by Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen

Depression poses a risk for cardiovascular diseases in men that is just as great as that posed by high cholesterol levels and obesity. This is according to a report recently published in the Atherosclerosis journal by researchers from the Helmholtz Zentrum München, together with colleagues from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the German Center for Cardiovascular Disease (DZHK).

10 Things You Should Know about Sanctification by Sam Storms

We all hear a great deal about Christian sanctification, but what precisely is it, and how does it work? Today we look at ten things about this crucial biblical truth.

What I’m Reading

depressionChristians Get Depressed Too: Hope and Help for Depressed People by David Murray. Many Christians mistakenly believe that true Christians don’t get depressed, and this misconception heaps additional pain and guilt onto Christians who are suffering from mental and emotional distress. Author David P. Murray comes to the defense of depressed Christians, asserting that Christians do get depressed! He explains why and how Christians should study depression, what depression is, and the approaches caregivers, pastors, and churches can take to help those who are suffering from it. With clarity and wise biblical insight, Dr. Murray offers help and hope to those suffering from depression, the family members and friends who care for them, and pastors ministering to these wounded members of their flock.

Tweets of the Week

Meaningful Meme

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On the Lighter Side

Because, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones,” Proverbs 17:22.

Jesus as Savior