When Love Hurts

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We long for companionable community and hope to find it in the church.  At the same time, we hate the church because it often can wound us deeply.  Counselors and leaders can often wound with their words, attitudes, actions, and demands.  Our relationship with those in church authority bring us face to face with life and death issues where our … Read More

Build Up or Tear Down

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None of us look forward to the experience of criticism.  Criticism can tear us down and overtime can cause to think we are unlikeable failures.  Feedback is received well when someone says they think we are doing good in one area but see where we could improve. The text of Ephesians 4:25-32 gives us some clear rules for governing our … Read More

What Do They Think

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As God’s children we know we are created for relationship.  God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit function as one God in a relationship of perfect unity.  We learn that as we have been created in His image we are created for unified relationships.  When many close friendships seemingly fade away, we can start to think … Read More

Relationships Fail or Thrive

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Relationships are hard work.  Some days it seems impossible to get along and love each other well.  There are a lot of reasons why relationships fail.  Our communication can tear us apart, but God gives us a means to enhance our speech.  There are five distinct reasons why relationships fail and four relational means to enhance and protect. Signs of … Read More

Are You Generative or Geriatric?

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As we listen to people in our American culture who are approaching their senior years there are two often repeated lines of thinking.  The first says, “I have worked hard all my life I just deserve to relax and do enjoyable things.”  The second is the belief that they don’t have anything of value to contribute because they are no … Read More

Are You a Sheepdog or a Shepherd?

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In our training for counseling and Christian leadership the emphasis can be on getting others to do what we want them to do.  To be focused on managing people in manipulative ways is not the same thing as leading them.  This can be likened to being like a sheepdog.  The job of a sheepdog is to forcibly scare by barking … Read More

Wisdom and Love in Boundaries

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We have been hearing so much in the news about the contentious topic of whether our country should have a border wall or not.  This strongly debated issue reminds us that we also struggle with whether we should have boundaries.  Boundaries are deeply familiar to us.  The word boundaries gives us an image of people wearing masks creating a subtle … Read More

The Desert of Conflict

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When we are in a conflict it can feel like we are in a lonely desert sitting in the scorching heat of emotion.  In the midst of this pain when we call out to the Lord He comes to give us wisdom from His desert temptations.  Imagine ourselves sitting on a rock in the desert watching the sun go down … Read More

How We Care?

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We, who know God, often wrestle with how we can help a person to know and experience His care. We must be able to answer the question, “Where is God?” First and foremost, He is the person on who we rely and talk to directly. But what does this mean as we share our faith and counsel another? It means … Read More

Cure Self-Justification

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In Christian community there will always be reasoning among us, in our hearts, as to who should be the greatest.   It is very common among all of us to struggle with self-justification as we compare ourselves to others, pass judgment, or condemn others. Self-justification is only overcome by the grace of the Holy Spirit. We must combat our evil thoughts … Read More