Council of Counselors: Absent Father / Psychotropic Medications / Friend Magnet / Brainy Women / Grow Up

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.

Father to the Fatherless What to Believe When Dad Walks Away by Jonathan Edwards

A.W. Tozer says, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us” (The Knowledge of the Holy). What we think about our heavenly Father says a lot about who we are. But what if our thoughts about our Father are entangled with and stained by the abuse and abandonment of our earthly father? Anyone who has experienced the acute pain of dad walking out knows it can be all-consuming. I have, and I know. Dad driving away shattered the one thing I believed to be indestructible, superhuman even: my family. But family turned out to be more fluid than I once thought . . . and hoped.

  • If you enjoyed this post, consider Jonathan’s book Left highlighted in the “What I’m Reading” section below.

How Many Pills Are Too Many? by  

The point of prescription drugs is to help us get or feel well. Yet so many Americans take multiple medications that doctors are being encouraged to pause before prescribing and think about “deprescribing” as well.

How to be a Friend Magnet by Christine Hoover

So, for my darling friends who are worried about having too many BFFs to handle, this is what I would say: honor all and be deep friends with some. Be friendly and hospitable to all and give intimate attention to a few. Welcome all. Keep an eye out for all. Love all. You don’t have to be close friends with everyone, but you can certainly use your God-given influence to bless others and connect women with one another. Be a friend magnet and you’ll attract joy too.

How Brainy Women Benefit the Church by Hannah Anderson

Although I didn’t realize it then, our collective understanding of intelligence—and my perception of my own intelligence—had been taking shape for several years. A recent study by Lin Bian, a psychologist at the University of Illinois, reveals that children as young as six are already forming views about the nature of intelligence, including associating it with masculinity. Standing in that hallway was the first time I remember questioning whether being a “smart” girl was a benefit or a social liability.

  • For excellent resources on women’s ministry I have greatly appreciated the writings of Sharon Hodde Miller.

Growing Up: Six Basic Steps toward Maturity by David Gundersen

How can young people move toward maturity? How can adolescents grow into young adults? How can college students move through the college years with increasing integrity, character, maturity, skill, and productivity? Here are six basic steps to help the saplings of the next generation add rings as they reach for the light.

What I’m Reading

leftLeft: The Struggle to Make Sense of Life When a Parent Leaves by Jonathan Edwards. Nothing hurts like the abandonment of a parent. In Left, Jonathan Edwards writes a raw and riveting reflection on his life as an abandoned child. What should you do when you are left by a parent?

This book is brutally honest, but it provides hope for anyone struggling with the absence of a parent. For those who do not know this pain, Left provides a window into the lives of others. Abandonment always leaves scars, but Jesus heals. And He will never leave you.

Tweets of the Week

Meaningful Meme

compassion

On the Lighter Side

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

narnia

Has Your Marriage Been Impacted by Pornography or Adultery? Help for Both Spouses: Video Tandem 9 of 9

When sexual sin impacts a marriage there is often a great deal of confusion exacerbated by shame. A couple is not sure what to do and is embarrassed to ask for help. The result is often either passivity (pretending everything is okay or that things will get better without help) or reactivity (taking a bold action with little sense of purpose or intent to follow through). The False Love and True Betrayal series are meant to provide couples with guidance for these difficult times.

These two, complementing seminars are each comprised of 9 steps and are meant to supplement a mentoring or counseling relationship. The presentation material is longer for the earlier steps than it is for the latter steps for two reasons. First, the early steps are the time of greatest confusion and, therefore, require more guidance. Second, once a solid foundation is laid for restoration the latter steps become more self-evident.

These materials are meant to guide a couple through the marital restoration phase — taking a marriage that is broken or in crisis and getting back to basic working order.

The Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage seminar series is meant to guide a couple through the marital enrichment phase — taking a marriage that is in basic working order and refining it to be increasingly, mutually satisfying. Often it is a misunderstanding between restoration and enrichment that derails a couples sincere efforts at marital reconciliation after the discovery of sexual sin.

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).

True Betrayal – Step Nine

True Betrayal: Step 9 from Equip on Vimeo.

False Love – Step Nine

False Love: Step 9 from Equip on Vimeo.

Blog Post: 9 Questions to Help You Steward All of Your Life for God’s Glory

Council of Counselors: Parentings Teens / Post-Abortion / Cultural Humility / Signs of a Faithful Husband / Anger

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.

A High School Counselor’s Tips on Parenting Teenagers by Leia Joseph

I have had the privilege of spending the last 13 years working as a music teacher and crisis counselor for teens. The following six tips represent a handful of lessons I have learned along the way. If you are the parent of a teenager or pre-teen, I pray that you find this helpful.

Post-Abortion Counseling by Julie Ganschow

It is estimated that 43 percent of women under the age of forty-five have had an abortion. One in six women in the evangelical Christian church is post-abortive.1 We live in a culture that idolizes personal choice and convenience, and as a result, more women than we are aware of are dealing with the aftereffects of abortion. Because of this, we have to know how to minister to this group of people in our churches. Below, we’ll take a look at three key ways we can minister to them well.

The Need for Cultural Humility by Dave

I had an interesting conversation with a couple at church a few Sundays ago. They both were born in Africa, but have lived in the US for a number of years. In discussing children, they told me that they were concerned about raising their daughter in America because of the dangers here. Without a second thought, I knew exactly what they were talking about. As Americans we have become accustomed to comfort, such that we think we deserve it. We have grown cold to the suffering of those in the majority world, and we are greatly tempted to live only for ourselves.

  • If you want to learn more about cultural intelligence, see the “What I’m Reading” section below.

8 Signs of a Man Who Will Never Stop Loving You by Matt Duczeminski

We men sometimes get a bad rap. The stereotypical “man” doesn’t do any of the following. However, the only men who are actually like this are created by writers as sitcom fodder (hopefully). In truth, when a man finds the person he knows he’ll be spending the rest of his life with, he’ll certainly work his hardest to keep them by his side at all times. If you have a man that adheres to the following, you know he’s a keeper for life.

When Anger Rears Its Ugly Head by Duski Van Vleet

I’ve been trying to get control of my temper since my husband and I were married.  A day planned and interrupted by children with different agendas; a husband who needs my support instead of first offering his, longings unrealized; efforts unseen—all of this often leads me not to a dependent conversation with my Father, but to self-reliant angry outbursts demanding my desires be fulfilled.  

What I’m Reading

CICustoms of the World: Using Cultural Intelligence to Adapt, Wherever You Are by David Livermore. Taught by an international adviser to leaders of Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, and governments, this eye-opening course reveals how you can actively improve your cultural intelligence in an increasingly globalized world.

Based on groundbreaking research, these 24 lectures address dynamics and customs related to working, socializing, dining, marriage and family – all the areas necessary to help you function with a greater level of respect and effectiveness wherever you go. You’ll also encounter practical tips and crucial context for greeting, interacting with, and even managing people from other parts of the world.

In the first half, you’ll analyze 10 cultural value dimensions that researchers have identified as helpful for comparing cultures; and you’ll see how these “archetypes” play out in day-to-day lives. In the second half, you’ll look at 10 cultural clusters around the world that – when combined with your understanding of the 10 cultural dimensions – provide strategic insight into how to be more effective as you live, work, and travel in our globalized world.

Tweets of the Week

Meaningful Meme

fear

On the Lighter Side

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

As both a professor and a student I resonate with this one.

Has Your Marriage Been Impacted by Pornography or Adultery? Help for Both Spouses: Video Tandem 8 of 9

When sexual sin impacts a marriage there is often a great deal of confusion exacerbated by shame. A couple is not sure what to do and is embarrassed to ask for help. The result is often either passivity (pretending everything is okay or that things will get better without help) or reactivity (taking a bold action with little sense of purpose or intent to follow through). The False Love and True Betrayal series are meant to provide couples with guidance for these difficult times.

These two, complementing seminars are each comprised of 9 steps and are meant to supplement a mentoring or counseling relationship. The presentation material is longer for the earlier steps than it is for the latter steps for two reasons. First, the early steps are the time of greatest confusion and, therefore, require more guidance. Second, once a solid foundation is laid for restoration the latter steps become more self-evident.

These materials are meant to guide a couple through the marital restoration phase — taking a marriage that is broken or in crisis and getting back to basic working order.

The Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage seminar series is meant to guide a couple through the marital enrichment phase — taking a marriage that is in basic working order and refining it to be increasingly, mutually satisfying. Often it is a misunderstanding between restoration and enrichment that derails a couples sincere efforts at marital reconciliation after the discovery of sexual sin.

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).

True Betrayal – Step Eight

True Betrayal: Step 8 from Equip on Vimeo.

False Love- Step Eight

False Love: Step 8 from Equip on Vimeo.

Pre-Marital Mentoring FAQs: Are there articles or books I need to be reading?

This post is one in a series of frequently asked questions by those who use the Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage seminar series as part of their church’s pre-marital program. The responses are written as we use them at the Summit Church. Your church may need to tweak the responses in order to better fit your ministry context.

We would recommend beginning with the reading the five seminar manuals in the Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage seminar series. These will expose you to those materials that we believe are most consistent with the preaching and teaching of The Summit Church. In the process you will identity those books, subjects, or authors that would best enrich your marriage.

We would also recommend the marriage conferences presented by Family Life Today (www.familylife.com/events). These events are frequently hosted in or near RDU and are excellent.

Council of Counselors: Disability & the Church / Broken Hearted Children / Mental Health Creed / Ugly Porn Numbers / Creativity

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.

Disability Makes a Church Strong by Anthony Kidd

And if the daily burdens at home weren’t already enough, families with disabilities carry the possibility of their child being a disruptive force in worship. The one place where these families ought to feel at ease, comfortable, and settled in a grace-filled environment is often a place of palpable anxiety. And consequently, it’s the place where they tend to hide in the shadows the most. How do I know this?

I know this because I am not only a pastor of those who parent the disabled, but I parent a disabled child myself. I’m personally aware of the Sunday morning struggle: the feeling of needing to be considerately unobtrusive, instead of immersive and participatory, in order to avoid being disruptive or distractive.

  • For ministry advice for families with children who have disabilities I have found Dr. Stephen Grcevich’s blog “Church4EveryChild” to be very helpful.

5 Ways to Assist a Child with a Broken and Hurting Heart by Linda Jacobs

Let me ask you: if a child in a wheelchair showed up at your ministry, you would accommodate him, right? You wouldn’t expect him to jump and dance to a praise song. So when a child with a broken, hurting heart shows up, we need to learn to also accommodate that child’s situation.

  • As we think about the privilege of walking with another person (in this case a child) through their suffering, we often still be uncomfortable with this opportunity. This collection of resources on suffering may help you be more comfortable being uncomfortable.

My Hope for Mental Wellness by Aimee Caverly

This is something the Lord has laid on my heart to share.  I pray you will enjoy it and pass it on should it be of value to you or someone else experiencing a mental health struggle.

10 Ugly Numbers Describing Pornography Use in 2017 by Tim Challies

We all know that the world has become pornified, that the internet has made available to all of us an entire universe of pornographic content. Yet many of the statistics we rely on and commonly quote have become outdated. As technology changes and as new generations grow up, the pornographic landscape inevitably changes. I went looking for updated numbers and want to present some of them to you today. All of these are based on credible studies carried out in 2016 or 2017.

  • If you struggle with pornography, consider the False Love seminar as a resource to help you find freedom and the “What I’m Reading” section below.

Top Ten Quotes from Creativity, Inc. by Danny Franks

I first read this fantastic book when in came out in 2014. We recently re-read a portion of it for our staff meeting, which has generated new ideas and practices for some of our workflows. As the president of Pixar Animation and Disney Animation, Ed Catmull walks the reader through not only a history of the two companies, but lays the groundwork for how great teams pull together to get the job done.

What I’m Reading

closing the windowClosing the Window: Steps to Living Porn Free by Tim Chester. Pornography is everywhere. Far too many Christians regularly use and are addicted to it, warping their perception of sexuality and relationships, destroying marriages and ministries. But Christians who struggle with porn also long for change. When we realize the unfulfilling emptiness of porn, we come to yearn for freedom from it. But what do we do? Tim Chester says that we can be captured by a better vision–a liberating confidence that God offers more than pornography does. Moving beyond pat answers or mere willpower, Chester offers spiritual, practical and corporate resources for living porn free. He exposes the false promises of porn and redirects us to the true promises of God. With assurance of God’s grace and cleansing power, we can change our desires and escape the traps and temptations of pornography. However great the challenge, God’s grace is even greater. And we can come to a place where we no longer feel the need to use porn. Close the window on porn. And open the door to freedom, integrity and new life.

Tweets of the Week

Meaningful Meme

Easter Smart Phones

On the Lighter Side

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

This week you get a two-for.

Has Your Marriage Been Impacted by Pornography or Adultery? Help for Both Spouses: Video Tandem 7 of 9

When sexual sin impacts a marriage there is often a great deal of confusion exacerbated by shame. A couple is not sure what to do and is embarrassed to ask for help. The result is often either passivity (pretending everything is okay or that things will get better without help) or reactivity (taking a bold action with little sense of purpose or intent to follow through). The False Love and True Betrayal series are meant to provide couples with guidance for these difficult times.

These two, complementing seminars are each comprised of 9 steps and are meant to supplement a mentoring or counseling relationship. The presentation material is longer for the earlier steps than it is for the latter steps for two reasons. First, the early steps are the time of greatest confusion and, therefore, require more guidance. Second, once a solid foundation is laid for restoration the latter steps become more self-evident.

These materials are meant to guide a couple through the marital restoration phase — taking a marriage that is broken or in crisis and getting back to basic working order.

The Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage seminar series is meant to guide a couple through the marital enrichment phase — taking a marriage that is in basic working order and refining it to be increasingly, mutually satisfying. Often it is a misunderstanding between restoration and enrichment that derails a couples sincere efforts at marital reconciliation after the discovery of sexual sin.

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).

True Betrayal – Step Seven

True Betrayal: Step 7 from Equip on Vimeo.

False Love – Step Seven

False Love: Step 7 from Equip on Vimeo.

For the “Implementation Evaluation Tool” click here: Sexual Sin Plan Eval Form

Pre-Marital Mentoring FAQs: What should we know about pre-marital couples (just in case we forgot what this season of life was like)?

This post is one in a series of frequently asked questions by those who use the Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage seminar series as part of their church’s pre-marital program. The responses are written as we use them at the Summit Church. Your church may need to tweak the responses in order to better fit your ministry context.

The following seven points are taken from Preparing for Marriage: Leader’s Guide edited by Dennis Rainey (p. 24-25).

  • Many engaged couples are wearing blinders. An engaged person is often aware of negative characteristics in the one he or she loves, but figures, “It won’t be like than when we’re married.” In their excitement, they often fail to think rationally about potential problems that could sabotage the relationship believing instead that “love conquers all.” They are setting up themselves for disappointment when reality sets in.
  • Because of the hectic schedule leading up to the wedding and honeymoon, engaged couples are experiencing one of the most stressful times of their lives. Often couples will get less sleep during this time which naturally adds stress to the relationship.
  • This stress can cause couples to experience extremes in emotions as well. Be ready to talk through their sudden doubts about marriage if they arise. Those who begin to have doubts about whether this marriage is right will feel tremendous pressure to go ahead with the wedding anyway.
  • In this time, those who are not already having intercourse are struggling with keeping their desires in check. They are physically charged yet fatigued, making it hard to draw boundaries. Couple often sacrifice some biblical values for the sake of the relationship.
  • Often couples have had very little time to discuss normal financial habits and expenses. They may need to discuss the ever-growing expenses of a wedding as well.
  • Often couples will need to discuss differences of opinion in wedding plans (i.e., expenses, in-laws expectations, alcohol, etc…).
  • A significant number of couples have discussed only in part how their past has affected them. Many don’t know about serious relational baggage they are bringing in the marriage.

Council of Counselors: Mortify Sin / Helping Parents / Sexual Abuse / 6 Basic Struggles / Theology of Trauma

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.

How to Mortify Sin by Sinclair Ferguson

These are some of the things my friend and I talked about that memorable evening. We did not have an opportunity later to ask each other, “How are you going?” for it was our last conversation. He died some months later. I have often wondered how the months in between went in his life. But the earnest personal and pastoral concern in his question still echoes in my mind. They have a similar effect to the one Charles Simeon said he felt from the eyes of his much-loved portrait of the great Henry Martyn: “Don’t trifle!”

  • Session 3 in this series provides a 9 steps methodology for overcoming sin that attempts to “unpack the gospel in slow motion” for mortifying sin.

Help for Parents Who Want to Give Up: 10 Keys to Raising Kids by Ann Voskamp

I wish I had done that. I wish someone had told me that. There’s support groups for moms of preschoolers, but where’s triage for the moms of teenagers? #MOTS The older our kids become, the greater our isolation can become, because while mothers can instagram and commiserate together over the Terrible Twos — but mothers struggling through a stretch of terrible teens can suffer alone.

10 Things Sexual Assault Victims Want You to Know by Karen Swallow Prior

“What do you wish people knew/understood about experiencing sexual assault?”

Given the private nature of the question and the public nature of the medium, I anticipated only a handful of responses. I was astonished that dozens and dozens of people responded, whether directly on the thread or in private messages. (I should also note that I know most of the respondents in real life, including many who have been my students.) Their comments altogether filled up 60 pages.

Six Basic Struggles by Ed Welch

Most people would acknowledge at least six basic struggles.

  1. Anger
  2. Guilt and regret
  3. Shame
  4. Suffering, such as loss, victimization, sickness . . .
  5. Fear
  6. Saying “yes” when we should say “no”—this would include everything identified as an addiction
  • For another quality resource from CCEF see the “What I’m Reading” section below.

Why We Need a Theology of Trauma by Phil Monroe

We live in a world shaped by violence and trauma. This week that I write 147 Christian Kenyan university students were killed because of their faith. Such horrific forms of violence shock us. But they shouldn’t given that in our own country violence and trauma are everyday occurrences. While some of our local brothers and sisters face actual death, all of our communities are shaped by soul-crushing abuse and family violence. Take the most conservative numbers we have—1:6 males and 1:4 females have experienced sexual assault before age 18—and realize that a large portion of your friends and acquaintances have traumatic experiences.

What I’m Reading

how people changeHow People Change by Tim Lane and Paul Tripp. What does it take for lasting change to take root in your life? If you’ve ever tried, failed, and wondered why, you need How People Change. This book explains the biblical pattern for change in a clear, practical way you can apply to the challenges of daily life. But change involves more than a biblical formula: you will see how God is at work to make you the person you were created to be. That powerful, loving, redemptive relationship is at the heart of all positive change you experience.

Tweets of the Week

Meaningful Meme

corrie ten boom

On the Lighter Side

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

Has Your Marriage Been Impacted by Pornography or Adultery? Help for Both Spouses: Video Tandem 6 of 9

When sexual sin impacts a marriage there is often a great deal of confusion exacerbated by shame. A couple is not sure what to do and is embarrassed to ask for help. The result is often either passivity (pretending everything is okay or that things will get better without help) or reactivity (taking a bold action with little sense of purpose or intent to follow through). The False Love and True Betrayal series are meant to provide couples with guidance for these difficult times.

These two, complementing seminars are each comprised of 9 steps and are meant to supplement a mentoring or counseling relationship. The presentation material is longer for the earlier steps than it is for the latter steps for two reasons. First, the early steps are the time of greatest confusion and, therefore, require more guidance. Second, once a solid foundation is laid for restoration the latter steps become more self-evident.

These materials are meant to guide a couple through the marital restoration phase — taking a marriage that is broken or in crisis and getting back to basic working order.

The Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage seminar series is meant to guide a couple through the marital enrichment phase — taking a marriage that is in basic working order and refining it to be increasingly, mutually satisfying. Often it is a misunderstanding between restoration and enrichment that derails a couples sincere efforts at marital reconciliation after the discovery of sexual sin.

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).

True Betrayal – Step Six

True Betrayal: Step 6 from Equip on Vimeo.

False Love – Step Six

False Love: Step 6 from Equip on Vimeo.