All posts in counseling

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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The Power of Your Words…

Have you thought about your words lately? They are powerful! They either build or destroy. They either encourage or discourage. They either pick up or put down. Words are weighty—powerful influencers. Words stay with people—for a long, long time. James compares words to fruit and water—things that are consumed and digested. What takes seconds for…

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When You Don’t Know What to Say…

A friend of ours has gone through unthinkable hardship in recent years. In fact, this hardship is so massive and so devastating that, when I see this friend, I really have no idea what to say. And so the temptation is to avoid the conversation. To say nothing. Don’t ask. Don’t call up the emotions….

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How to Survive a Tough Transition

One year ago, our family began the most difficult transitional challenge of our lives. God called us away from comfort and security, and into a journey of seeing a hurting church revitalized by His grace. We were terrified. In many ways, we still are. But a nearly a year into it, God’s grace has sustained…

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What Happens to Our Youth Group Grads?

It’s the time of year when many of your teenagers are graduating from high school and from the church youth group! What’s next for them? I mean—what’s next for them at your church? What’s next for them in ministry? Some go away to college. But many stay close to home. Is there ministry for them…

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8 Ways to Help Those Who Grieve

This week our ministry has experienced a devastating loss. Angie Larson—one of the sweetest Christian ladies I’ve ever met, and a joyful servant at Emmanuel Christian Academy, was suddenly taken home to Heaven on Friday morning. For Angie’s husband, five children, and our ministry family, this loss is indescribably painful. And the grieving process has…

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Five “Ministries” That Kill Real Ministry

(I use the word “ministry” in this post tongue in cheek.) It seems that some leaders and Christians have appointed themselves to unhealthy “ministries.” These are “ministries” that stifle the gospel, oppose growth in grace, quench the moving of the Holy Spirit, and kill the body life of a healthy local church. These are “blinding”…

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When You’re Spiritually Numb…

Have you ever been completely bewildered? Emotionally, spiritually, or relationally numb? Wondering where you are in life, how you got there, where God went, and what to do next? Are you there now? You’re not alone. But you are vulnerable. Life’s biggest mistakes are often made right where you are right now. SO… before you…

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Repost: Hitting a Wall

This post was written toward the end of my cancer treatments. I thought it might encourage you in facing the walls you might be up against today: Have you ever hit a wall in some aspect of your life? This is something that I haven’t written much about, but walls have become somewhat of a…

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20 Things I Learned about God Last Year

During a year of total change in life and ministry, God proved Himself to be more real, more powerful, more present, and more gracious than I’ve ever personally experienced. Can I share with you some things that God reminded me about Himself this year—in very real and personal ways? 1. He will pursue me relentlessly—Like…

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Trusting God in Tragedy

Seven Biblical Responses to Overwhelming Events This post is simply a resource for those who are hurting or know someone who is hurting. To hear the message from our Sunday morning service yesterday, CLICK HERE. Yesterday we studied “Trusting God in Tragedy”—seven biblical responses to overwhelming events. Perhaps they will encourage you in your time…

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What to Do When You’re Wasted!

Do you ever get completely exhausted? Some of the worst decisions ever made in human history were made in moments of exhaustion or depletion. When your spiritual, emotional, or physical gauges are on empty, you are in danger of doing the wrong thing every time! We weren’t designed to function on empty. In fact it’s…

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Falling Off the Wagon

Have you ever fallen off the wagon? I have. In fact, through all the transition of the past few months, I’ve just about fallen off the “blog wagon.” If you read these posts with any regularity, you know that. (Thanks for hanging with me, by the way!) But falling off the “blog wagon” got me…

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On Listening to God

Are you listening to God? Are you wondering what He’s saying? Here are a few things I’ve learned recently about listening to God’s voice and discerning what He’s saying: He speaks clearly and wants you to know His will—if you don’t know what He’s saying, it’s either because you aren’t listening, or He’s waiting to…

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My Way or His Way?

Perhaps the overwhelming struggle of the Christian life boils down to those five words—my way or His way. Recently, I was counseling a godly young lady who put the struggle very wisely. She was wrestling to open her heart to new possibilities that God was bringing into her life. She was so fixed on her…

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Making it Easy to Make it Right…

Not long 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…

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Repost: A Word to Weary College Students

I’ve had five conversations that went almost exactly the same this week. A battle-worn college student says, “I’m not even sure what I’m doing here. I feel like I’m doing nothing and headed nowhere. I’m not where I want to be, and I’m really thinking about what I should do…” The conversations were so similar,…

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Repost: How to Help a Wounded Person

One of the most difficult circumstances of life and ministry is to try to help someone who has been deeply hurt. These are hard moments. More than anything, you want to take away the hurt, undo the pain, and fix the problem. But it’s just not that easy. Woundedness—regardless of how it occurred—requires time and…

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If You Leave Your Family…

If you leave your family, you rebel… You rebel against and shame the name of your great God. You rebel against God’s Word and clear commands. You rebel against God’s design for marriage and family. You rebel against “who God has called you to be in Christ.”

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Spiritual Weapons for Wayward Kids

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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