All posts in counseling

Resurrection Week and Spiritual Battle

Can I share a few words for those spiritual leaders and Christians who are engaged in Gospel ministry this week and are simultaneously experiencing spiritual battle? Twenty-eight years into ministry I can tell you, any time you tackle a big effort to lift up Jesus, you can buckle up for some spiritual opposition of some…

Top

“Pastor, I’m Just Struggling!”

Why we struggle. How to struggle. Finding Hope in Struggles. On average, probably more than twice a week, I hear from another pastor who, in a moment of painful transparency reaches out to me saying, “I’m struggling.” It’s so common, I believe pervasive is a more appropriate word. I hear the same from church family…

Top

Processing Tragedy God’s Way

“Something about this being a church just strikes deeper at the core of our hearts,” she said, searching for some way to process the tragic shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Her name is Jennifer, a reporter for channel 4 news in Hartford, and she came by the church this morning asking me for a short…

Top

Standing in the Way of God’s Blessings…

This morning I read a great thought from Oswald Chambers in regard to obeying Jesus: He said, “If when God said ‘Go,’ you stayed, because you were so concerned about your people at home, you robbed them of the teaching and preaching of Jesus Christ Himself. When you obeyed and left all consequences to God,…

Top

Wanna Get a Cake?

A few years ago, my son, Larry, and I were on a preaching trip in Maine. I preached in the morning, and had a break in the afternoon, so we decided to have some “father/son time.” It was a very masculine thing—hang out, watch an action movie, and eat snacks. Total awesomeness. So on the way…

Top

My Post-Election Considerations

The morning after a long night of election results, I confess, my heart is neither more or less joyful than it was the day before. The source of my hope remains in Jesus and the gospel. Some aspects of the election encourage me, but others equally alarm me. Of all the elections of my life…

Top

10 Election Week Resolutions for Bible-Believers

I know you’ve had your fill of election blogs and opinions—personally, I’ve read so many good and encouraging thoughts from godly voices. Yet, I could not get away from the leading of God to share with you the resolutions of my heart as this week approaches. I pray you will approach this time in light…

Top

Monday Encouragement for Ministry Friends

It’s Monday morning. For a pastor, that’s a low time of the week—generally speaking. The typical demons of doubt and second-guessing attempt to do their work— “Did anything I said yesterday make sense?” “Did anything in the message actually help people?” “Were they thinking of the truth or the time?” The accuser tries to get…

Top

Strengthened In Your Storm!

Has God led you into a storm? Are you seized with worry, fear, confusion as the winds howl around you and water builds up in your boat? Feel like you’re sinking? Read on. This post just might be for you! This past Sunday we marked our 4th anniversary at Emmanuel Baptist Church. It’s hard to…

Top

14 Toxic Qualities of Leadership (Part Two)

In part one of this post, we explored the first seven qualities of toxic leadership. Are you ready for the next seven? We are discovering “what not to be” when it comes to spiritual leadership. For leaders, these are fleshly tendencies that can arise within any leader. By God’s grace we can be grounded in…

Top

14 Qualities of Toxic Leadership

Leadership is hard, and biblical leadership calls for gospel maturity more than many leadership roles. I’ve been exposed to many Christ-like and some toxic leaders. The road of toxic leadership is a bad one. The stories don’t end well for either the leader or those he leads. Eventually, the leader implodes; and those he led…

Top

Make It Easy to Make It Right

Some years ago, God gave us the privilege of helping some young people and their families through difficult trial. Satan had laid a cleverly disguised trap, sin had occurred, and as a result everyone involved was hurting. To make a long story short, God gave a wonderful victory over the period of many weeks. Hearts were…

Top

How to Validate God’s Call…

God’s will—how do you know when and how to step out in faith? God’s will is big. It’s also unknown. It’s wonderful. It’s also scary. And being certain that you are in God’s will is critical having the confidence to go forward. Perhaps you’re standing on the shore-line, looking out at the vast unknown that represents “God’s…

Top

How to Down-Size Your Problems

“And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” (Luke 6:12) Have you felt overwhelmed by problems you can’t solve? Have you struggled to find solutions to issues you can’t wrap your brain around? Have you been crushed by…

Top

Hope for Our Hurt

Nearly every Christian I meet has been hurt on some level in some context, and many have been hurt in spiritual contexts—environments and relationships that promised to be a haven from hurt. Hurt is not the exception, hurt is the norm. Everyone has a story of someone who hurt them at some point, or many…

Top

Help Your Graduates Prepare for the Future

A Tool to Help High School Grads Understand Their Own Hearts and Direction This is a repost that I pray will spur some ideas related to your teenage graduates as they chart their course forward. I want to encourage those who work with students to have a “senior appointment.” We have sit down appointments each…

Top

The Paradox of Sorrow and Joy!

The themes of joy and sorrow have been on my heart and mind these past several days and nights. I’m sure, to some degree right now, you have some level of sorrow in your life. How would I know that? Because sorrow is a given. It’s a part of life in a fallen world. It’s…

Top

How to Encourage Your Heart

Down days are part of every Christian life. Every spiritual leader, every pastor, every growing Christian wrestles with times of discouragement. Should it surprise us? No. Should we feel alone in it? No. Should we pretend we never deal with it? No. We should simply respond biblically and patiently. Emotions are shape-able. The heart is…

Top

10 Ideas for Enjoying God’s Word

Do you want to read God’s word consistently? More importantly, do you enjoy reading it? Or perhaps, like most Christians, you get stuck in the “duty and obligation” of the “ought to” attitude. Sure we “ought to” read God’s word, but there’s a better way! Reading, understanding, and applying the Bible is a “get to”, “want…

Top

Because of the Gospel…

Because of the gospel… The world can be falling apart, but my heart doesn’t have to. The world can persecute me, but that won’t destroy me. The world can mire down in political confusion, but I can press on in joyful clarity. The world can despair, but my joy can remain. The world can spite…

Top
1 2 3 4 Page 1 of 4

[email protected]

Thank you for reading Encouraging Words!