All posts in counseling

Why Teens Lose Their Way Sexually

There’s no debating that we live in a generation of sexual and moral confusion. This confusion is hitting our kids at earlier ages than ever! It seems that the center of Satan’s target for our young people is their sexual purity and identity. If he can cause them to lose their way sexually, then he can misdirect…

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Spiritual Weapons for Wayward Kids (Repost)

What can you do when your grown children begin to stray spiritually? I’ve seen a lot of parents hurt, mystified, and shaken by sudden and radical spiritual changes in the lives of their adult children. I realize, one day I may be one of them—and so could you. In these moments, some parents grasp for control—trying…

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If Following God Scares You…

Twenty-six months ago our family began serving the Emmanuel Baptist Church, in answer to God’s call. We were scared to death! Truly, this was the most fearful, most difficult, and yet most exciting thing God ever unfolded in our lives. One reason I write about this journey is that God has taught us much through…

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What to Do When You’re Down

Are you down? Ever? If not, this is not your post. If so, God gets it! He really does. In fact, He expects it. Fighting discouragement is a part of the fallen human experience. Sin stinks and it’s condemned us to a less than perfect world where emotions persistently try to get the best of…

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The Power of Solitude with God

Flourishing through Solitude with God Have you watched any news lately? It’s numbing isn’t it? Is it possible to flourish in a world that is truly floundering? Is it possible to abound with joy in a world that is abounding with chaos and confusion? The Psalmist in Psalm 92 believes so. “The righteous shall flourish…

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No Generation Gap!—What I Learned from Don Sisk

Dr. Don Sisk just spent two days with me and our church family. For many years, my office was about six feet from his office, so we talked and visited often. I have missed him. Few people have had as profound an impact on my life as this godly man. These past two days, he preached…

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6 Simple Words to Navigate God’s Call

Are you facing the possibility of a call to ministry? Or a call to the pastorate? Are you wrestling with God at the depths of your soul? Entering the ministry or the pastorate is not a light thing, and discerning that call and its implications can be a gut wrenching process. It was for me….

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The Crisis of God’s Call

Examining the Disruptive Call of God… Not long ago a young ministry leader facing a clear call wrote to me and asked about dealing with the painful reality when God’s call collides with everyone and everything you love and have given your life to. He is being called to leave people he dearly loves and…

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10 Ways to “Force-Restart” Your Heart

Do you ever find your heart (emotions) at odds with your circumstances—in need of an “attitude adjustment?” It happens to all of us. Maybe you got some bad news, ran into a grumpy person, remembered some burden, picked up an anxiety, or just generally slumped into self-pity. Gray days and emotional lows are a part…

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Passion—Life-Changing Lessons from Caleb!

Recently, in conjunction with our Sunday evening series from Joshua, I’ve been studying Caleb. Man, I love this guy! He just didn’t stop. He was a powerful picture of biblical, God-orientated passion in action. In Joshua 15, Caleb is 85 years old, and he’s waited for more than forty years to receive his promised inheritance….

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Best Books for Christian Parents!

Frequently someone asks what books I would recommend on youth ministry or parenting. They are generally the same books. While there are some good books on youth ministry, the most helpful to youth ministry are those on the family. Whether you are a parent, a youth pastor, or a pastor, I would urge you to…

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13 Critics You Should Listen To…

Critics are a dime a dozen, some should be heard but many are self-appointed sounding brass. The internet and anonymity empowers them. I’ve had my share is covert critics, and generally they are the same—intentionally deceptive and gifted at distortion. One thing is consistent, they NEVER contact me to get the truth. Truth would nullify…

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Like a Cardinal after a Storm

This morning I woke up to snow covered branches and rolling white drifts—the morning after a big storm. Amidst all the white, a flash of brilliant red caught my eye. A cardinal was blissfully darting back and forth from branch to branch across the yard—seeming to almost celebrate his survival. Two things struck me about…

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Have You Ever Been Hurt at Church?

Have you been hurt somewhere in your past—at church? At the one place on the planet that was supposed to be an oasis, a safe-zone, a place of rest and restoration—were you somehow bruised or broken? While a more brutish person would say, “Get over it and get right with God”—it’s just not that simple…

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Is This a Book You Would Read?

I’ve never done this. Will you help me out? I’m completing a book project right now about the normal, authentic, daily Christian life. It’s a book about all the misconceptions and misunderstandings that keep us from enjoying our relationship with Jesus. It’s basically the truths that have kept me walking forward with Christ when so…

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What Mary Teaches Us About God’s Will

In Luke 1, Mary’s world is disrupted by a Heavenly call. She had well-laid plans and dreams. Love, engagement, marriage, and a future. She had a good name and a gracious character. But God shattered her world with “His will.” You know, that fearful interruption to “our plans.” Why are we so scared by those…

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Cancer (Hardship)—A Gift of God’s Grace?

Are you facing a hardship? It’s a gift. Sounds crazy, I know. But go with me for a moment. It’s been 29 months since my last cancer treatment. But the fruit (the effects of the journey) are visible nearly every day. Somehow in the middle of that battle, God said, “Your life will never be…

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Top Ten Thanks!

Here are the top ten things that come to mind when I think of giving thanks! 1. Jesus—Saviour, Redeemer, Counselor, Mighty God, Creator, Healer, Advocate, and Friend. The best thing in life is to know Jesus, rest in Him, trust Him, and enjoy His unconditional love and absolute acceptance. “…and his name shall be called…

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The “Heaven’s-Eye-View!”

Looking into a fog? Struggling to see a solution? Confused, frustrated, wanting God to “make the crooked places straight?” Facing a difficult decision? Trying to untangle a messy place in life, marriage, family, or ministry? Is it complicated? Be careful. Wait. Step back. Breathe. Pray. Pray some more. Respond—don’t react. Oh, how we hate to…

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Do You Have a Problem Saying “No?”

Do you ever real trouble saying “no”? Many people do. And those same people are often overwhelmed with commitments to others and expectations of others. Saying “no” for some people is nearly impossible. If this is you, take a moment and consider a few things: Why do you say “Yes”?  There are likely several reasons…

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