In contemplating that leadership challenge, why turn to those four verses? The first, from James, is a reminder that claiming something — or saying — is not enough; there must be quantifiable action — or doing — to validate the claim. The second, from Peter, reminds me that leading is, first, a following. The third, from Paul, is a reminder of the responsibility to lead followers well. And, lastly, from Jesus, I am reminded of the impossible task of leadership perfection.Read More
This morning I heard on the radio that a 50-year-old man had been found dead in his apartment. That news was sad enough, but what made it even more tragic was that he had been dead for three years. Three years! For some of us, that news report expressed our greatest fear—dying alone and forgotten. But though dying alone may rouse the greatest manifestation of this fear, the fear of being alone takes many forms and is not limited to later in life. It can start much earlier.Read More
Our world is broken. We see evidence of this around us every day, in our communities, in the news headlines, and in our own hearts. As human beings, our natural inclination is toward selfishness. Sometimes it’s easy for us to point out the selfishness we see in others. But if we’re honest, we can also see it in ourselves. We hurt others and we reject God in our quest for self-sufficiency.
It wasn’t meant to be this way. Wars, addictions, poverty, abuse,
loneliness, greed, suffering . . .
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Eph. 4:29).
Words are powerful. Remember, we bear the image of God, who chose to create by simply speaking creation into existence. He gifted us with a voice, and our words carry a divine weightiness. They have the power to tear down and build up. In unique ways, our words can affect the soul and shape our reality.Read More
More and more research is showing a connection between religious beliefs and practices and better mental health (i.e., greater well-being, less alcohol or drug abuse, less depression, and less suicide).1, 2 Researchers are now utilizing this research gathered from observational studies to design and test religiously-integrated interventions for depression, anxiety, and post- traumatic stress disorder. I will briefly review some of that research here, then discuss the role that religious faith plays in the prevention of suicide, and finally describe a case that illustrates the complex interaction between faith and suicide.Read More
The threat of danger impacts our children on a regular basis. Tragic school shootings, violent crimes and the like all incite an array of heartache and anxiety. Even when the threat is not at our front door, it is booming from media outlets into our homes. The likelihood that your child is impacted is high. Regardless of where you live or how stable your family life is, the lives of kids and teens are being touched by violence to some degree and we must help them make sense of it.Read More
It seemed like a good idea when my husband and I decided to challenge our family to try to go a year without grumbling. The why was easy: Grumbling hurts relationships. Grumbling hurts our hearts. Grumbling rejects God’s goodness.
The problem was that the kids could easily see each other’s grumbling problems, but they had a harder time seeing their own struggles. This was especially true when their grumbling went beyond words.Read More
“Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen; My Beloved in whom My soul is well-pleased; I will put My Spirit upon Him, And He shall proclaim justice to the Gentiles. “He will not quarrel, nor cry out; Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets. “A battered reed He will not break off, And a smoldering wick He will not put out, Until He leads justice to victory.
Written by a Puritan pastor-scholar whose “affectionate theology” (in the words of his biographer, Mark Dever) is saturated with the love of Christ, A Bruised Reed is a great resource for those who struggle with doubt. In this book, Sibbes openly addresses what should be a distinguishing characteristic of biblical counselingRead More
Mom Guilt is real, and all mothers feel it. We feel inadequate, unprepared, overdone, and just really overlooked sometimes. Our kids and families are so important to us, and we want to show them that love and concern every day. We do our best, but somedays we don’t have it. Our love tanks, our energy banks, and our overall “I can’t take this anymore” buckets are full. Then that’s when we seem to get the statements, “You work, and have two little ones at home.” “Shouldn’t you be spending more time with your kids.” “You know that the formative years are the most important.” Wow, can moms get a break?Read More
God calls each one of us to love sacrificially (Eph 5:2). Loving this way is hard. In our home, this call meant becoming foster parents. Being a foster parent is not easy or simple, and sometimes it is not even fulfilling (as you and I are tempted to define it). It is hard, it is costly, and it is often thankless, but we do it nonetheless. Here are three reasons why we, as a couple and now as a family, choose to do what is hard.Read More