First Steps In Overcoming the Past

July 22nd, 2014 No Comments

This may sound like a simplistic question, but do you ever control yourself? You said the church folks think you’re a godly family, so you must control yourself in front of the church. You also mentioned that your family life isn’t always crazy, so you must control yourself there at times as well. You didn’t say anything about a job, but I’m assuming you work and control yourself there?

It would be really good to talk with you face to face, even a phone conversation wouldn’t be good enough. However, God hasn’t given us that luxury, so we’ve got to go at it via email. Praise God!

I can’t keep from noticing that while you have a terrible life history, you are tempted to justify your present thoughts and behavior by blaming the past. I know that’s easy to do, most of us do it way too often. We all think, do, and say things we’ve turned into habits based on how we reacted to life along the way. You had a terrible upbringing. You learned a lot during that time, and you have created many habits that helped you cope and survive during that time. The memories of those events and the thoughts, emotions, actions, and habits that you used to deal with those events are what you are dealing with now. read more…

Power in Humility

July 21st, 2014 No Comments

“God gives us his power to obey when we believe that the blood of Jesus empowers our efforts at humility” (Heath Lambert, Finally Free).

Sin is essentially pride being manifested in a particular area at a particular time. Humility is the opposite of pride. Pride is thinking highly, or only of yourself. Humility is not thinking about yourself, and can only be accomplished by thinking highly of God and/or others. Humility is others focused.
Often people think being humble means thinking badly of yourself. But this is wrong. Some people think badly of themselves, but they are still thinking only of themselves–just that they are worms. This kind of thinking is just as self centered as thinking you’re the king of the universe. Some pride brings fat heads, other pride brings skinny heads, but pride always brings selfish heads.
Your quote rightly points us to Jesus. When we are thinking rightly of him, which is to say, only of him, we don’t have time to think highly of ourselves.And thus we are being humble and can freely serve him. In addition, because he is alive and ruling, he reminds us to think of him and to stop thinking of what we want for ourselves. His indwelling spirit calls us and empowers us to do and be what he calls us to.
We do what we do because we want what we want. And we want what we want because our hearts want to rule the universe–at least our part of the universe. But Jesus’ death and resurrection have spun who gets to be God around, and we are left rebelling against the God who died in our place so that we could fit into his world. Apart from humbling ourselves, dying to ourselves, and living for Jesus, our lives will always be train wrecks.
So, lay down your claim to your life. Submit to Jesus. Love him, serve him, love the brothers, pour yourself out for and to them. Don’t forget yourself, we’re not Buddhists, humble yourself and think of service as the goal.

Talking to Our Souls

June 24th, 2014 Comments Off

We recommend this Ed Welch post — Talking to Our Souls

The Battle with Temptation and Sin

June 18th, 2014 Comments Off

We are in a war. Sin wants to have us, but we must master it (Gen 4:7). The following is an outline for how a Christian might engage the enemy in an all-out war with temptation and sin.

  • Read Luke and study what the requirements are for becoming a disciple of Jesus and then be one. Give your life over to being a Christian and then be one. (Hmmm, is being a disciple the same as being a Christian? Yes!!)
  • Be immersed in the Word of God. Read your Bible at every break during the day. Read it at lunch, if you can. Read it in the evening, when you are alone. Get alone and read it in the evening.
  • When you read your Bible, I’m not talking about reading like you’re reading a manual. It’s reading like you’re having a conversation. You are relating, conversing, listening, talking to, and walking with God. He is your best friend. He is the one without whom you would die.
  • Make a decision before God and with God that you are not going to indulge in or play with your particular sin ever again. read more…

He’ll Think I’m a Loser

June 17th, 2014 Comments Off

“I can’t go to the counselor. He’ll think I’m a loser.” That’s what a lot of people say when confronted with a life gone nuts. They know they are in trouble, but don’t want anyone else to know about it. And they don’t have a clue how to “fix” things.

I have two arguments against this kind of thinking. The first comes from my friend Kim Kirkland. It goes like this: If your car has a funny sound in the engine area, we don’t usually have a problem taking it to the garage to be looked at. And if our heat goes out in the dead of winter, we don’t hesitate to call the heater folks and ask them to come and fix or replace it. When doing this, we don’t complain that the garage mechanic or the heater repair guy will think we are losers because we need help. We just call, get help, and go on our way. So, why, when something in our personal lives goes haywire, do we all of a sudden think we will be thought of as losers if we go to someone who spends a significant amount of time helping people with problems in living? Go to a good biblical counselor!

The second argument is one I thought up while we were discussing the topic. You know what? There was only ever one perfect person in the history of the world. Jesus Christ. Everyone else falls short of the standard. Everyone else comes up short. Everyone else is broken and needs fixing. In other words, everyone is a loser. You aren’t unique in that you need help. Everyone needs help from time to time and even when people don’t need immediate help, they will need it in a few minutes. Everyone sins; everyone needs forgiveness; and everyone needs a new life.

A good biblical counselor will acknowledge this and instead of telling you that you’re a loser, will come alongside you and point you to Jesus. Jesus is the only one who was ever perfect, and he’s the one you need to go to for fixing.

So, let me tell you this as sweetly and kindly as I possibly can: Get over yourself. You’re not perfect and never will be, and no one ever thought you were. Not even you. If you need help with your problem, go to a biblical counselor and get help.

Well, there you have it. You can call a biblical counselor because you need fixing, just like you would call a heater specialist when your heater breaks. Or you can call a biblical counselor because you are a loser like the rest of us and need help—like the rest of us. Either way, if your life is causing you or others trouble, get help from a qualified biblical counselor.

Be Grateful

June 16th, 2014 Comments Off

“…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Th 5:18).

“…giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…” (Eph 5:20).

The only thing you can’t give thanks for is sin you are about to do. What a great way to avoid falling to temptation. You can thank God for the temptation and then hide in his presence. You can thank him for giving you victory. You can thank him for keeping you and sustaining you and causing you to grow in grace. But you can’t thank him for the sin you are about to partake in.

So, make gratitude a part of who you are. Be thankful for everything, in every way. Make drawing near to God in thanksgiving your normal way of being. You can’t sin, if you thank him for everything.

Scholarships!!

June 10th, 2014 Comments Off

Some of you were waiting for this, I know. Well, here it is. Scholarships! Someone donated two scholarships to our Counseling in a Week: Windows of Opportunity Conference. That means to the first two people who want to come for free, you can now come for free. Woo Hoo!

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Who Are You Following?

June 3rd, 2014 Comments Off

by Lisa  Leidenfrost

But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.” … ‟I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” (John 10:2-4; 11, NKJV)

Notice certain things. The shepherd is ‘good.’ He sacrifices for the sheep in the highest form of sacrifice one can give – he gives his life. He also goes before them. They are not asked to go out on their own with a ‘good luck, I hope you make it.’ No matter where the path will lead, however dark, He goes before them, always. And what is even more amazing is that the sheep follow him, even into a dark valley. Why? They follow him because they trust him and know him, and are responding to His love. They would not follow a stranger.

Christ made the ultimate sacrifice for you. Do you love Him enough to follow Him anywhere even into the valley of death? When you make a choice to follow Him wherever He leads, before bad things happen, it will be easier to stay the course when the going gets tough. Make that choice now and when you get to the point where it is real hard, you will already know what you will do –you will follow.

But who are we following?

‟I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own” (John 10:14).

‟Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”

‟My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (v. 27).

There is a close connection here of familiarity. They would only follow someone that they know, and who is good.

What does His goodness give them?

‟And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand” (v. 28).

This is love, and a part of that love is protection, ‟no one is able to snatch them out of My hand.” It doesn’t mean that we won’t go through some pretty tough times, it just means that no one or no thing can take us out of His hand. We are in Him and will remain in Him forever, and He will not abandon us, no matter which way the road will turn.

Who is this God that we follow? He is good. He protects, He goes before and on the way. He gives help to restore the sheep so that they can keep going on.

‟He makes me to lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside the still waters.

He restores my soul;

He leads me in the paths of righteousness

For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil;

for You are with me;

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:2-4)

What are the key words here when you are going through a very dark time? ‟For You are with me.”

‟You number my wanderings;

Put my tears into Your bottle;

Are they not in Your book?

When I cry out to You,

Then my enemies will turn back;

This I know, because God is for me.” (Psalm 56:8, 9)

Not only is He with us, but He is also ‟for us.” Sometimes it seems like God is against us, but this is not true. Hang on to what you do know, not on what the circumstances seem to be telling you.

What is the end result of following Him no matter where He leads?

‟Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

All the days of my life;

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord

Forever.” (Psalm 23:5)

That goodness is there, even in the darkest night and His mercy is everlasting.

Counseling-In-A-Week

May 30th, 2014 Comments Off

In case you or someone you know is going to be in the area in July, you won’t want to miss this grand event.

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Here’s what others have said about it:

“I was very impressed with the teaching and content of Biblical Counseling in a Week. Every Christian should know how to use these techniques for family, friends, others they may meet who are without the hope that Christ can bring to their lives” — Jan Perley

“I have been struggling with the right ‘approach’ for asking intro questions for a new client. As we would cover a different case study, I began to see the routine of each one and yet the need for individuality of each case”— Alva DuBois

“I am happy to recommend the counseling training provided by CBC. The program is foundationally scriptural, and is a great resource for those who want to learn how to encourage others in their walk with God.” — Douglas Wilson

Where Is Your Focus?

May 21st, 2014 Comments Off

by Lisa Leidenfrost

It is helpful, when you find everything to be confusing and you can’t make sense of your situation or God, to always go back to what you do know. Stand on things that are fact and can never change. These things will give you an anchor for interpreting the confusion around you.

What doesn’t change? –God’s character and His promises.

If His character doesn’t change and what He says doesn’t change, then He is the same God through good times and bad. If He is good, then even in the midst of a really hard trial, He remains good in it. If He says He will never forsake us, then even when all else says the contrary, you can know that you are not forsaken. read more…

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