Thursday, June 19, 2008

more about being in the Word this summer:

This was written by Lisa TerKeurst, but I could have written it myself. ;) She suggests the very same things I suggest in order to dedicate each day to The Lord by starting it with a Quiet Time. No more excuses. Just DO IT. Here's some great ideas (Comments in parenthesis next to each one are from me!!)
If you are struggling with having quiet time with the Lord each day, try these helpful ideas:

Be honest with God and admit your struggle. Ask God to give you the desire to set aside time to be with Him. (He will SO honor this!)

Start with just a small amount of time. Even if it is just 5 minutes at first, give this 5 minutes solely to the Lord without any other distractions. Over the next weeks and months, your desire for more time with Him will increase. (It DOES! It becomes habit, and then you crave more!)

Use a version of the Bible that lends itself to study. I use the NIV Life Application Study Bible and I love it. It helps me understand the context each book was written in and gives me commentaries to understand specific verses. (this is my favorite Bible to use, and I recommend it all the time!)

Ask God for understanding as you read the Bible. When I first started reading the Bible I had a hard time, so I started praying that God would open my spiritual eyes to see the truths in a life changing way for me. (God's Word is meant to be applied, for sure!).

Write some of the verses that seem most applicable to your life on 3x5 cards and use them in your prayers. For example, Matthew 6:19-20 says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth… But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” So, I could use this verse in my prayer time by praying, “God, help me to know how to store up treasures in Heaven. Help me to relinquish my tight hold on my earthly possessions so I can use them to build your kingdom now. Show me how to best use that which you have blessed me with. Give me your mindset for the money I have.”
(my favorite 'tool', Beth Moore teaches this method so well, too).

Get involved in a Bible Study with friends. This will help hold you accountable to getting your study time done and will open up great discussions to deepen everyone’s understanding of applying God’s truths to everyday life. (AMEN!!!!!!!!! See the post below this one, and consider getting a good Bible study workbook to go through either solo or with friends this summer!).

(So, ladies, let's get in to the Word and stay there!)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Summer Bible Study, YES!!!!!!

OK, I thought I could go all summer without a structured Bible study. But I can't. I miss it, need it, crave it, and want it.
If you are looking for a very unique Bible Study opportunity for summer, this is IT! It is Kelly Minter's 'No Other Gods'. I wasn't planning on doing it until I watched this on the Living Proof Blog today (Beth Moore), and I decided I don't want to miss out. I will be one of those doing it solo, since I didn't get my act together sooner to try to get a few ladies to join me (any local ladies want to make a go of this-we can catch up!?). Anyway - I'm game, even solo. How about you??? Are you IN THE WORD this summer?
Go to, click on 'blog', and read about it there. Here's Beth's video post from today to explain what this is all about (more info is on the blog in today's post plus a prior post you will have to search back a couple of weeks for). (by the way, "Siesta" is her nickname of the blogging 'sisters'...long story).

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Father's Day Tribute

This is a 'Hollywood' type of tribute to dads. Not exactly spiritual, lol, but it is cute and the dads in your life might enjoy it!
Let's give thanks today to the Lord for our fathers and fathers of our kids!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

from the mouths of babes, to ONE ANOTHER.......

I was reading another blog today, that was discussing the fact that the most important 'job' we moms have is NOT to make sure our kids do all the right things (piano, Awana, etc)....but our job IS to introduce them to Jesus and spend time talking to them about Him. I stopped to think "have I done that enough? Have I done that this week?".
Then I remembered a conversation I had with my younger girls yesterday. My 13 year old (who has wisdom beyond her years) had been on the phone with a friend. I was listening to her side of the conversation, and heard things like this:
"NO, you can't do that, you need to respect yourself more than that". And, "our behavior is supposed to honor God, and that does not honor God when you do that". And, "You are being ridiculous and not listening to me. If you can't listen to my advice then don't ask for it".
I thought to myself "uh oh, I have rubbed off on her. She sounds like a mini-counselor (although that last statement could have been a bit less harsh, lol!)!". She hung up, and I asked her what was going on. She said her friend was having a bad week and threatening to join some peers in smoking pot. My daughter was adamantly against that idea (whew) and tried her hardest to convince her friend what a bad idea that is. Then my daughter got quiet for a minute, and finally said "Mom!! I am turning in to YOU!""I am treating my friend like I am her COUNSELOR!".
I got a kick out of that, because she is right. But then I realized that we should ALL be treating our friends like we are their counselor (and vice versa). It's Biblical! We are not to sit back and watch our fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord sin. We are to admonish, reprove, confront. We are called to LOVE ONE ANOTHER, and we can't be loving if we are watching our brother (or sister) disobey the Lord. Below is a great list of verses that are the 'one anothers' that we are called to follow towards one another! Use it as a checklist of sorts, and see if you are being a good 'counselor' to others!

1. Romans 12:10 - Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.
2. Romans 12:16 - Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
3. Romans 13:8 - Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.
4. Romans 14:13 -Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way.
5. Romans 15:7 -Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
6. Romans 16:16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings.
7. 1 Corinthians 1:10 - I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.
8. 1 Corinthians 16:20 -All the brothers here send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
9. 2 Corinthians 13:12 - Greet one another with a holy kiss.
10. Galatians 5:13 - You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature ; rather, serve one another in love.
11. Ephesians 4:2 - Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
12. Ephesians 4:32 - Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
13. Ephesians 5:19 - Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,
14. Ephesians 5:21 - Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
15. Colossians 3:13 - Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
16. Colossians 3:16 - Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
17. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 - Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
18. Titus 3:3 - At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.
19. Hebrews 3:13 - But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.
20. Hebrews 10:24 - And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
21. Hebrews 10:25 - Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
22. James 4:11 - Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.
23. 1 Peter 1:22 - Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.
24. 1 Peter 3:8 - Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.
25. 1 Peter 4:9 - Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
26. 1 Peter 5:5 - Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
27. 1 Peter 5:14 - Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.
28. 1 John 1:7 - But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
29. 1 John 3:11 - This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.
30. 1 John 3:23 - And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.
31. 1 John 4:7 - Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
32. 1 John 4:11 - Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
33. 1 John 4:12 - No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
34. 2 John 1:5 - And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

What is "Biblical Counseling"???

We live in a time where there are all kinds of offers of solutions to life’s problems. Just look around you – you do not have to look far to see what the world wants to sell you to relieve your discomfort. We can walk in to almost any doctor’s office and throw out a few symptoms (anxiety, depression, fear, stressed out, temper, etc), and walk out of there with a pill to ease our symptom. We can turn on the television any time of day – Oprah, Dr. Phil, The Today Show, and others all claim to have the answers to our daily struggles with our stress, our relationships and our lack of peace. We stand in line at the grocery store and can read the headlines about quick-fixes and miracle cures and self-help techniques. Bookstore shelves (even at Christian bookstores) are full of books under the heading ‘Self Help’, where people have written their opinions in to a format that will sell because it sounds so ‘right’ and we just aren’t satisfied until we get those answers that feel good. Drive around town, and notice how many counseling centers there are, offering the psychological answers to your perceived needs, for a hefty price.

Sometimes we find ourselves asking questions like “Why do I feel so discouraged and lonely all the time? I can barely get out of bed in the morning, should I go on an antidepressant? I pray, read my Bible, and go to church, so why am I feeling so depressed? Do these panic attacks mean that I am a bad Christian? Who can I talk to at church about my failing marriage? My kids are rebelling, what kind of help is there for me? I have chronic pain and just feel so defeated all the time – what hope is there? I am so worried all the time, how can I trust God when things are so bad? Why can’t I sleep at night? I’m so stressed out, how can that change? How do I get these negative thoughts out of my head?”, and so many more.

Where do believers go, then, for answers? There is a philosophy of counseling that is contrary to what you will find in the secular realm, and contrary to what you will find in many professional counseling practices that offer Christian Counseling.
This type of counseling, Biblical Counseling, is done in the local church by trained lay-counselors in the spirit of bearing one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2 “Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”).

There are several benefits to counseling in the context of the church. The counselor is held accountable to the church leadership, to ensure this his/her own walk is growing in a godly direction and that ministry is solidly biblical. The counselor and counselee often have a relationship within the body aside from the counseling context alone. This enables the counselor to be involved in the counselee’s life more personally and deeply. The counselee, as a part of the church body, is ministered to by more than just the counselor as he/she participates in church life, and therefore is able to be held accountable. The counselee, as progress is made, can be encouraged in to areas of service according to their gifts. Also of importance is that biblical counseling is a ministry, and therefore there often is no charge, making it available to virtually everyone.

The goal of biblical counseling is change in a godly direction. The Bible contains both the truth which describes the answer to the problem (2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”), and the means to change (John 17:17 “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.”). God has given us the Scripture for the very purpose of instructing, rebuking, correcting and training us in righteousness (abandoning sinful thinking and behavior). By His Word, God molds us into the kind of people He intends us to be. In this way He equips us to function as He intended us to live.

Application of scripture is the primary emphasis of biblical counsel. Counseling is the work of the Holy Spirit. He comes alongside the counselor and the one being counseled to apply the Scriptures to the human heart. Counseling is carried on with the understanding that the Spirit is the one who effects regeneration and sanctification. He produces His fruit in the life of the counselee. We also supply practical tools, to enable putting the Word into practice in life (Ephesians 4:22-24 “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”). The focus of biblical counseling is on the biblical solutions to problems, and when the counseling ends, the counselee can have victory and be a ‘doer of the Word’ in that area of his/her life (James 1:25 “But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.”)

My counseling ministry is currently thriving and growing. The counseling team I serve on currently consists of one certified counselor (me) and my pastor. God has seen fit to use the ministry to address some deep needs in the lives of women and marriages. The ministry has been focused on my church family, but is not necessarily limited to that. Currently the ministry offers 1:1 Biblical Counseling and discipleship for women and girls, as well as Ladies Bible studies in groups or 1:1. We also have available team counseling for couples. Referrals can be made for men and boys.
It is our desire to point people to the Word of God for the answers they seek, and walk alongside them through the process of change. It is an honor and privilege to see God change hearts and lives as we serve him!

Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”