By

Greg Enright

Faith For Waiting {Transcript}

And the mind and the voice of unbelief is disapproval. And so it leaks out all over the place. And so we find 100 different ways to telegraph that disapproval, and then we’re mystified that they never call us. See, Ishmael is a voice that whispers to the wayward mind, and Ishmael speaks to that prodigal and says to him or her, “Oh certainly they love you. Oh yes, they love you. They just don’t like you.” Of course they love you, they’re your parents, of course they love you, they’re in your family. Of course they love you. They’re on record for loving you. You’re just not likable. They don’t really prefer having you around. You kind of represent something that’s kind of appalling to them. You’re disgusting to them.

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A Fool’s Story: From Simple-ism to Hope {Transcript}

One of the skills that you and I have learned is how to get somewhere. Our culture is built on it, teaches you how to get somewhere, especially if you’re in a white collar world, it teaches you how to get somewhere. Well, you went to kindergarten in order to get to … Excuse me, elementary school.

You went to that Subway sandwich. You went to … just being real.

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The Gospel Divides Families {Transcript}

e’ve already heard a lot about it. There’s some people who suffer in their families with unbelief. And some of the most disturbing words that Jesus ever spoke were about family. And in Luke 12 verse 49, he says, “I’ve come to cast fire upon the earth and how I wish it were already kindled, but I’ve a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished. Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth. I tell you know, but rather division, for from now on, five members in one household will be divided three against two, two against three. They will be divided father against son and son against father. Mother against daughter and daughter against mother and mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

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The Lost Sheep {Transcript}

I was thinking recently about the celebrity suicides we’ve seen recently and how several people have taken their own lives, people who were, from our assessment, living the life, people who seemed to have it all, people who seemed to have what we think would bring happiness, or what the culture around us would bring happiness. I think there’s certain people we can understand why that person would take their life, but these celebrities, like they’ve got it all. They’ve got fame, and they’ve got popularity, and they’ve got money, and they’ve got power. That seems like if I had those things I would be so fulfilled. I think that’s why our culture gets so rocked when celebrities, of all people, take their lives. We just can’t understand, “How could you have all that and still be missing joy?”

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Counseling from the Attributes of God

The task of counseling is inherently a God-ward task, with a God-ward focus. In order for us to truly be helpful to people, we must bring them to an accurate understanding of God through His word. In understanding God, Scripture says they are transformed from one level of glory to another. This session will help demonstrate for you why this is true, and how to go about this in the counseling process. 

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Rugged Love for The Wayward Soul {Transcript}

See, one of the things we begin to discover as we wait into this world of prodigality is that the worst lies aren’t the ones that our prodigals tell us. The worst lies are the ones we tell ourselves. This is why rugged love starts with strong enough to face evil. This is why I ask you to turn to Romans 12:9 where the word of God says, let love be genuine. Then, it pulls this second idea right up alongside of it, abhor what is evil. Then, we’re going to talk about the third idea in just a second. Let love be genuine.

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Ministering to Families with Disabilities

Regardless of the nature of the disability, its impact will be far-reaching. The disabled person is clearly affected, but so are those who have a relationship with that person, and they need the loving support of others. This session will encourage people to consider how the network of relationships in community, particularly in the church, can minister to the family affected by disability. 

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Profile of a Prodigal {Transcript}

The garden offers this extraordinary vision, this remarkable vision of the flourishing life, an existence that if anything was fully true and satisfying and good and delightful, but something happens. What happens? Prone to wander happens because paradise is not enough for these two. I mean, God has one simple rule, just one. That’s all there was, just one, and the serpent seizes upon this small law, this one rule, this one command ultimately based for their good, the serpent seizes upon it and incites this impulse to rebel, this impulse, this instinct to stray, to go rogue.

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Helping the Family Through PTSD {Transcript}

For those of you who have family members with PTSD, you can identify with them.  That you have bore brunt in many occasions.  That you have served in ways that are greater than most counselors ever have with your loved one.  That the family member is going to be there more than the pastor is.  I don’t mean that because that’s the best or I’m not trying to make a case for how the family should be.  I’m saying that, that’s the way it is that the wife is there, the husband is there, the kids are there.  The parents are there.  It’s the loved ones that minister most to those struggling with PTSD, so my goal has been to help angle ministry toward the family and helping equip the family with how they can respond and minister to their loved one who’s going through PTSD.

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Yours They Were: The Covenant of Redemption and Wayward Children

Oftentimes, when it comes to the salvation of their children, we find that our counselees hope was based on one of two things; their performance as parents or their child’s response to their competency. Imagine then the immense guilt they feel when their children reject the Lord. Their grief wavering between having failed miserably as a parent and the eternal destruction that seemingly awaits their child. Both of those self-centered hopes can bring about fear, deep pain, and profound regret for the counselee. This session will examine where things go awry and the truths we must rest our hope on as parents.

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Finding the Love of Jesus from Genesis to Revelation

For so many of us, the strange stories and bloody rituals of the Old Testament seem completely unrelated to our Christian faith…and yet, Jesus said that all the Old Testament was actually about him. In addition, frequently women feel like the Bible is biased against them and they wonder whether God is still a little irritated about that whole Garden of Eden thing. In this session, Elyse will explain what Jesus taught his disciples about the meaning of the OT and we’ll look at examples that will testify about God’s ongoing love for women.

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Helping the Individual Through PTSD {Transcript}

If you help people read the Bible through the lens of the suffering and difficulty that life has always held since the fall of mankind into sin. It can help them understand that they’re not alone. When they see the story of David who was a combat veteran, who went out, killed people, decapitated them, mutilated the dead bodies of his enemies to get his dowry, and then in Psalms 6, he’s describing sleepless nights where he’s soaking his couch in tears and his enemies surround him and he’s wrestling with these realities, that begins to help people connect their story to the story of scripture in a way that helps them understand, they are not alone.

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Resurrecting a Shattered Faith – Luke 24

Some of those whom we call “prodigals” have experienced faith-shattering events that contribute to their loss of hope in Christ, just like Christ’s earliest followers who found themselves reeling from the devastating events of Christ’s suffering and crucifixion. Wonderfully, the resurrected Christ meets these disappointed souls in their despair and reawakens their faith one step at a time.  As a result of His thoughtful ministry to them, their faith is revived and deepened; and we are left with an example to follow as we seek to minister to certain prodigals in our lives.

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PTSD as an Interpretive Phenomenon {Transcript}

nd they would come home, many of them my colleagues, and some of them my friends, would come home and were diagnosed and occasionally medicated. And some even given pensions from the VA because of what they were going through with PTS or PTSD. However, there was very little hope for change. As I was coming out of the military, my peers were diagnosed, and they were given resources to learn how to cope, but they weren’t given any promise that, “You can work through this,” that “It doesn’t have to be like this the rest of your life.” Or as Curtis was saying in our last session, that, “You are not your PTSD. It’s not your identity.”

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The Centrality of Love for Counseling

In our efforts to help, counsel, and disciple others, we seek to gain the appropriate knowledge and skills for the task.  But, in our attempt to be good counselors, good disciplers, or even just good friends, we can skip right past the fundamental requirement to all personal ministry: to love.  In this session we’ll explore why loving those we’re ministering to and caring for is so centrally important to the work we’ve all been called to.

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Counseling Sexual Struggles in Marriage

Sexual struggles are some of the most common, yet unaddressed, difficulties for many married couples.  To help a couple grow in their marriage will often involve counseling them through their sexual struggles.  But, as always, biblical counsel must begin with a clear biblical vision for what God created sex to be and how couples should view and understand it rightly in light of that design.

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Demystifying PTSD {Transcript}

This afternoon, you’ll actually get a chance to meet a couple of their instructors and learn a little bit more about that program throughout the day. So, that’s a little bit of my background. Why I am interested in this topic and why I want to share with you a little bit about counseling from the biblical perspective in helping those wrestling with post traumatic stress. So, the talk this morning, this session is called Demystifying PTSD, because I really want to help people understand post traumatic stress in a way that takes away some of the stigma. Some of the fears, some of the confusion that often shrouds this very difficult issue. For starters, the diagnostic and statistical manual, the DSM, which is the book that is used by psychologists and psychiatrists to diagnose and then, offer treatment for various different mental health issues. Defines post traumatic stress disorder as “an issue, a disorder, that arises in somebody after … One month after or anytime after one month from experiencing a traumatic event. And it is involves certain systems that are kind of clustered around three different areas”.

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The Gospel and Mental Health

We hear every day that our nation and our communities are in the midst of a mental health crisis.  But, what exactly is mental health?  Does the Bible have anything to say about it?  How can we, as Christians, understand what the world calls mental health?  And what, if anything, do biblical counselors have to offer to those struggling with these common and serious problems?

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Dealing with Wayward Parents

Many young adults face significant challenges from their parents. Issues include controlling parents, parents who disparage one’s spouse, parents who don’t properly fulfill their role as grandparents, parents who are financially irresponsible, parents who fall into serious sins including immorality and substance abuse, etc. What responsibilities do adult children have to their parents? What should adult children do when their own lives and families are being impacted by the waywardness of their parents? 

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Practical Issues in Church Discipline

Sound biblical counseling functions in the context of the local church. Counselees must be committed members of a faithful local church which follows biblical principles of church discipline. Counselors work with church leaders to follow biblical principles of church discipline so that counselees can be, if necessary, restored and so that the church will be kept pure.

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Great Men and Their Godly Moms

It may surprise us to learn how many of our Christian heroes were shaped by the attentiveness and godliness of their mothers. Even though they may have had fathers who were present, involved, and godly, still they would insist that their primary spiritual influencer had been their mother. In this session we will draw both challenge and encouragement from a few of them.

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What is Normal?

What do you do when someone you love leaves? And how do you pursue someone who has hurt you, who has sinned against you?
Whether you are dealing with an unfaithful marriage partner, a rebellious child, or a wayward friend, the counsel you offer needs to be pursued in a gospel-rooted approach, grounded in truth and practiced in the midst of Christian community.
This resource was recorded live at the 2018 Institute: Loving Wayward Souls: Grace for our Prodigals

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Departures, Desertions and Leadership Suffering

To be a pastor is to experience euphoric peaks and dark valleys. Often the most discouraging and depressing moments for pastors come when those they have served depart or desert the church. It often brings up questions about identity, endurance and calling, all summarized by “pastoral suffering.” This session will explore how the Apostle Paul navigated the same experiences and applied the gospel in powerful ways to the struggles of ministry. More importantly, the session is designed to impart hope to any pastors suffering under the cloud of a painful separation, or wanting to be equipped to help others cope with the loss of those they love.

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Faith For Waiting

What do you do when someone you love leaves? And how do you pursue someone who has hurt you, who has sinned against you?
Whether you are dealing with an unfaithful marriage partner, a rebellious child, or a wayward friend, the counsel you offer needs to be pursued in a gospel-rooted approach, grounded in truth and practiced in the midst of Christian community.
This resource was recorded live at the 2018 Institute: Loving Wayward Souls: Grace for our Prodigals

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The Gospel Divides Families

What do you do when someone you love leaves? And how do you pursue someone who has hurt you, who has sinned against you?
Whether you are dealing with an unfaithful marriage partner, a rebellious child, or a wayward friend, the counsel you offer needs to be pursued in a gospel-rooted approach, grounded in truth and practiced in the midst of Christian community.
This resource was recorded live at the 2018 Institute: Loving Wayward Souls: Grace for our Prodigals

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A Fool’s Story: From Simple-ism to Hope

What do you do when someone you love leaves? And how do you pursue someone who has hurt you, who has sinned against you?
Whether you are dealing with an unfaithful marriage partner, a rebellious child, or a wayward friend, the counsel you offer needs to be pursued in a gospel-rooted approach, grounded in truth and practiced in the midst of Christian community.
This resource was recorded live at the 2018 Institute: Loving Wayward Souls: Grace for our Prodigals

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The Lost Sheep

What do you do when someone you love leaves? And how do you pursue someone who has hurt you, who has sinned against you?
Whether you are dealing with an unfaithful marriage partner, a rebellious child, or a wayward friend, the counsel you offer needs to be pursued in a gospel-rooted approach, grounded in truth and practiced in the midst of Christian community.
This resource was recorded live at the 2018 Institute: Loving Wayward Souls: Grace for our Prodigals

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Rugged Love for The Wayward Soul

What do you do when someone you love leaves? And how do you pursue someone who has hurt you, who has sinned against you?
Whether you are dealing with an unfaithful marriage partner, a rebellious child, or a wayward friend, the counsel you offer needs to be pursued in a gospel-rooted approach, grounded in truth and practiced in the midst of Christian community.
This resource was recorded live at the 2018 Institute: Loving Wayward Souls: Grace for our Prodigals

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Profile of a Prodigal

What do you do when someone you love leaves? And how do you pursue someone who has hurt you, who has sinned against you?
Whether you are dealing with an unfaithful marriage partner, a rebellious child, or a wayward friend, the counsel you offer needs to be pursued in a gospel-rooted approach, grounded in truth and practiced in the midst of Christian community.
This resource was recorded live at the 2018 Institute: Loving Wayward Souls: Grace for our Prodigals

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Demystifying PTSD

Receiving the diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be scary or even debilitating to a person. It can also be intimidating to a biblical counselor who wants to help. The goal of this session is to pull back the shroud of mystery that makes PTSD so scary for both counselor and counselee, and offer the assurance that God’s Word does address this challenging issue.

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Interview with Shannon McCoy pt 2

Craig continues speaking with counselor and speaker Shannon McCoy about the issue of “instant gratification” and how to cultivate spiritual disciplines to counterbalance this problem. Shannon also describes what it is like to be a woman in the biblical counseling world and how she creates different opportunities to practice one-another care.

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CDC1-18. Temptation 1 {Transcript}

And David here what he’s doing with Bathsheba is such an act of ingratitude. The Lord’s said, “I’ve given you everything. How could you do this?” And I think if you were to know, and we don’t know for sure, but I doubt if David had written any psalms lately. I think, what he’s saying, is he had drifted from the Lord, drifted from the delight he had even when he’s dancing and rejoicing when the Ark of the Covenant comes into his capital. It appears that his heart has grown cold. He’s also guilty of neglecting his duty as king, verses 1 and 2. It says, “When kings go off to battle that he sends his underlings to go.” And in the context of that time in the rainy season you couldn’t fight. Now it’s spring, go fight. Another little detail in verse 2. Now when evening came David arose from his bed. Does that sound good to you? It’s not when I usually get up, in the evening, I don’t know. But you see what happens to David.

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CDC1-16. Worry/Anxiety {Transcript}

The implication there is, the real cause of worry, ultimately, is unbelief. They were not trusting in God. Oftentimes, the person who worries is desiring something in God’s place. They’re wanting their health. I had a person who was terrified of getting cancer, she doesn’t even have cancer, but she’s terrified of getting cancer. There are different issues going on. You could argue with her, well, statistically, it’s unlikely, you don’t have a lot of cancer in your family, you’re still fairly young. But can I tell her from the Bible, she’s not gonna get cancer? No, I can’t. Can I tell her she’s gonna live to see her children grown and married and grandchildren? No, I can’t make those promises. What can I tell her? I can tell her that God, Who is sovereign, has His plan, which is perfect for your life, and no matter what happens, whether He gives you cancer or not, that you can trust Him to do what is best, including taking care of your family. Some people, it’s financial security. They’re worried they’re gonna lose their house, they’re worried they can’t pay the bills.

And worry can become very life-dominating. That’s where all these things are together. A person who’s worried can get angry, when they’re threatened, they can become depressed. Worry can affect you physically. Laura talks about this, how when someone is really stressed on the inside, and they’re worried about a relationship, they’re worried about circumstances in their life, it’s going to affect you somehow, organically. Lack of sleep, tension in your stomach, digestive problems. Stress, worry, fear, all are related. And there are ways that we deal with worry sinfully when something concerns us.

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CDC1-13. Grace When Things Are Hard {Transcript}

And as you read in the Bible, trials are the ordinary experience of believers. People like in their families, people have these kind of idealized dreams of multigenerational peace and everybody’s on the same page. This isn’t what happens in Scripture. The very first couple, Adam and Eve, have one of their sons as a rebel against God who kills the other. And as you go through the rest of the people in Scripture, you have many, many trials. Abraham and Sarah where Abraham puts his wife’s purity at risk and then sleeps with her maid Hagar and there’s conflict in the home and Ishmael is kicked out with his mother. And on and on you go. In Jacob’s family, two wives and a brother beaten, tossed in, you know, Joseph tossed into a pit by his other brothers who were jealous and favoritism and on and on we go. In Ezekiel, you actually have an interesting chapter in chapter 18 where you have multiple generations. You have a believing generation followed by an unbelieving generation then another believing generation. The same thing happens in the books of the Kings where some righteous kings then they have wicked sons and vice versa. We’re going to have sometimes even in our own families. Jesus warned in Luke 12, From now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. They’ll be divided father against son and son against father, mother against daughter, daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law, the daughter-in-law against mother-in-law. The Gospel itself will bring us, attract more trials of persecution. People have trials, as I said, so many of their trials are in their families.

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CDC1-12. Peacemaking 3 {Transcript}

He has a passion that His church be pure. A person who calls himself a Christian and is cheating people in his used car lot, or in his insurance or investment business, is troubling the reputation of the church to the entire community. I actually got a call one day from a pastor friend and he said one of my deacons is on the front page of the local paper today, but it’s not good, he’s been caught embezzling. The church has to take action as well. So sins which can damage the Lords reputation, sins which endanger the purity and unity of the church. Paul warns about those who cause dissensions. He also warns about a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough. So if you have someone in the church, and this can also be a doctrinal issue, we talked earlier about differences of eschatology but we actually had in our church at one time two people who claimed that Christ had already come and was not coming back. That was it. And people who believe nutty things like that wanna share it with everybody else. And we had to clamp down on it and finally tell them to leave and they were no longer welcome here to protect the church from their influence. In a moral instance, that if you have, it’s just sadly so common today, people from Christian homes, young people claiming to be Christians and they’re living in fornication. A man and a woman not married to each other, take a cruise together or a vacation together, they’re gonna be in the same room, or it’s known that they’re living together and the church has to take action. What’s gonna happen if you don’t intervene? It’s going to spread and other people think it must be okay. And so there has to be again, loving confrontation but if they will not repent, that’s where it begins, you have to say, this is not right, you cannot do this and be a member of a church.

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CDC1-11. Peacemaking 2 {Transcript}

Peacemaking begins with confessing your own sin. Jesus said, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. In the way you judge you will be judged, and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? For how can you say to your brother, let me take the speck out of your eye and behold, the log is in your own eye. You hypocrite. First take the log out of your own eye. Then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” In almost every conflict which I’ve ever tried to mediate, when you get the parties together, what do they want to talk about? The other person, and what they did wrong. And the accusations begin to fly. Well Jesus is telling us that before you can deal with the sins of others, you must first deal with your own sin. He says, later you can get the speck out of his eye, but first you need to deal with the beam in your own eye.

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CDC1-10. Peacemaking 1 {Transcript}

Now, peace is kind of a funny thing because everybody says he’s in favor of peace, right? Even the President of Iran will say he’s in favor of peace and yet peace is hard to come by. We live in a world full of conflict, among nations, throughout the world. There are wars, there are revolutions, there are divisions. And among individuals, our courts are full of lawsuits, divorces, people in neighborhoods fighting, couples fighting, abuse taking place, shouting, hitting. Churches have divisions. Conflict sometimes over important doctrine and sometimes over the color to paint a room or the addition of another musical instrument that some people don’t agree with or a different kind of worship. Pair church organizations often have a lot of trouble with divisions that can take place there. Actually, one of our missionaries, I was checking during a break, and he’s teaching in a seminary abroad, and he’s concerned that the seminary, which has been there for many decades, may dissolve because of a conflict taking place right now among the leadership of the seminary. And he’s been teaching there for some years and he may have to go find another place of ministry.

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CDC1-08. How Do People Change? 2 {Transcript}

There are some people who would have stopped this talk after the first half and just said, “Great, just look to Christ, believe in him, and don’t do anything else.” And that is not a biblical perspective either. And there’s some who seem to break out in hives if someone uses the imperative and uses a command even though the Bible is full of these commands as well, including commands to believers. And they’re so fearful of what they call molism that they, I think, shy away from the biblical imperatives. They will even say, both in preaching and in counseling, just tell people what Christ has done for them, not what they should do for Christ. Well, it’s not either or, it’s both and. Tell them what Christ has done for them. Don’t neglect that. Even if they’re already Christians, keep telling them. But then because of what Christ has done for them, they need to respond. An example of I think the wrong kind of counseling. This is an actual case that happened to me. A couple came in and the husband was enslaved to pornography of a very perverse type. He was neglecting his wife sexually and they went to their pastor and the pastor who had this mentality said, “All I can tell you is look to Christ.” And the wife said, “Well, do we need to like, “cut off the Internet, or put a filter on, “does my husband need some accountability?” “Just look to Christ.” Now, I think we should tell the guy to look to Christ but I think the Bible says a lot more than that as well, like flee youthful lust, if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. In the same way… I heard one time, again, someone of this mentality preaching through the Book of Ephesians. And as he came to the section, very practical section in four and five, he took a really big chunk. Immorality, impurity or greed should not be named among you, no filthiness or silly talk, let no one deceive you, don’t be a partaker of darkness, don’t participate unfruitful deeds of darkness. And he’s going through all of these commands that Paul is making, and he said, “All you need to know is that Christ has fulfilled this for you.” Now I would agree with the guy that it’s important for us to know when we proclaim the law that Christ has fulfilled the law for us or we’d be in despair because we fall short. But I don’t think Paul would have agreed that’s all we need to say about that passage.

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Counseling an Abuser: 3 Steps

Topics:
This post was written by based on material from in "The Heart of Domestic Violence"

Typically, “why” questions are ineffective in counseling, as people are more likely to blame their sin on the behavior of another. This is especially true in the case of abusers. Asking an abuser why he hit his wife will open the door for him to blame her perceived lack of respect or submission, her chastisement of him, or some other aspect of her behavior that provoked him. This is not what the biblical counselor is after. Instead, asking “what” questions provides more specific, accurate, and valuable data. For example, asking the counselee “What did you expect your wife to do after you began calling her those names?” can expose the true desires of the heart. Through “what” questions, the counselor can discover the lust for control, desire for power, and overwhelming pride that is generally driving abusers. With this step, the biblical counselor should begin to look out for true, biblical repentance.

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035 Interview with Keith Palmer {Clip 3 | 1:02}


From the Video:

You don’t have to have a counseling center to be effective in your community. In fact, you know, I would argue from scripture that it’s you know, as you go you’re preaching the gospel so you know, the church is gathering together to be equipped, to be encouraged, and then we disperse, right? We go to our work places, we go to our schools, we go to our neighborhoods. That one-on-one ministry, where now we have some equipping to be able to address some of those life issues, you know I think as a pastor I’m thinking I want the average person at our church to be able to you know, talking to their neighbor next door that evening and a life issue comes up. You know, a teenager that’s addicted to something, or you know, they’re having marriage problems. I would hope that a believer at that point wouldn’t say, “Well hey, let’s go to our community counseling ministry,” although they could do that, but that they would engage them wisely and in a loving way from the scriptures to give them gospel hope in that moment.

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035 Interview with Keith Palmer {Clip 1 | 2:21}


From the Video:

You know something I heard another leader in the Biblical counseling movement, I heard him say years ago, and that is, “We don’t want to have a counseling ministry, we want to be a counseling ministry.” When I was first, I was hired at our church years ago as an associate pastor, to be about equipping the equippers, or discipling the disciples. So whether it’s men’s ministry, women’s ministry, [inaudible 00:08:53], children’s, youth, you know whatever, my role was largely was to come alongside those existing leaders and equip them and help them to do the shepherding work that they were doing. I didn’t really intend it to be this way, but I found the Biblical counseling curriculum that I received in seminary as a wonderful, rich source of material to help equip disciples.

So didn’t realize it at the time, but by teaching literally every leader in our church who was teaching at some level, taking them through a basic course in Biblical counseling, I didn’t tell them that. I said, “This is discipleship material,” but to get that type of training it really created a culture in our church that helping others with the gospel from the scriptures for life problems, for training children, training adults, you know, whatever it is, that’s normal church ministry. That’s what the Bible teaches us to do. So that’s been just wonderfully helpful in our church, because now there’s a culture of discipleship. We do have a formal counseling ministry, but I think if you were to bring our people into the studio here and ask them, you know, “What’s one of the facets of your church?”

That they would say, “We believe that it’s every believer’s role to minister the Bible to other people in the body of Christ”, whether it’s for some huge, life changing thing going on, or just the everyday you know, anger, anxiety, conflict, you know just that’s our role to again, going back to Ephesians Four you know the pastors and teachers equip the saints, but it’s the believers that minister to one another. I think that’s created a healthy culture of discipleship in our church. It really, it’s just an extension of our Ecclesiology, but applied in a way that I really think has had a wonderful impact on our church. That would be one area where I think it’s been helpful.

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035 Interview with Keith Palmer {Clip 2 | 1:48}


From the Video:

Biblical counseling, meaning in our view that’s just taking the gospel, taking the scriptures and ministering to hurting people that are struggling with life problems, that has allowed us to evangelize our community in a way consistent with our ecclesiology. What I mean is, we’re not trying to put on a show, we’re not you know, doing entertainment.

We’re not trying to attract people using worldly things. We are trying to minister the gospel to people who are hurting, who have life problems, marriage problems, and we’re doing it in a way that derives from what we believe about what the church should do and be. So for example, I may sit down with somebody in our church for community counseling and I say, “Hey, my name’s Keith, I’m one of the pastors here and I’m thankful you’re here.” We believe that all life problems are really just symptoms of our greatest problem, which is we were made by this creator God, but we’re alienated from him in relationship because of sin, and the personal work of Jesus Christ in his life, death, and resurrection is what restores that relationship and leads to every good thing that he has for us. So that’s how I’m going to counsel you, and this is God’s word, the Bible on my desk, are you okay with that? I’ve never had somebody say no.

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033 Interview with Brian Borgman {Transcript}

Brian Borgman:

I just think that this is really one of the most practical and helpful conferences that there is. IBCD itself is just a treasure trove of resources. You can go to the website there’s … You know you can just … You’re dealing with something, you can have people listen, you can listen yourself, and so I love what you guys do and, of course, love what George and Jim have built into this over the years. I personally have profited from it. People in our church have profited from it. We’ve done levels one and two for Sunday school, for the care and discipleship. I just see this as really just sort of a hands on equipping type ministry.

Craig Marshall:

Thanks so much for your contributions to that content as well. Having you come and speak and the way you open the word on these topics. I know it’s always, it’s fun for me as we think about a conference theme and then you and I talk a little bit and what aspects need addressed and you’re always willing to tackle something and see what the scriptures have to say about that, especially with the pastoral one another component of it. That’s really helpful.

Then your writings, Viewings In Faith and Spiritual Warfare, they’ve just been really helpful in pastoral counseling settings. Really appreciate having you on the team that was as well. Can you tell me a little bit about what you’ll be talking about at this year’s conference?

Brian Borgman:

Well, if you remember rightly, Craig, I tried to bow out of actually doing anything this year, but our mutual friend brought a little pressure to bear. The breakout session is going to be on pastoral lessons on dealing with addictions. Basically when you and I had talked about that as a workshop I though “Oh well that’d be great.” Well, then I started trying to put it together and it was really hard because there’s a lot of stuff that you realize we did that wrong, we did that wrong. So what I decided to do to kind of help prepare for this is three people that had been in drug or alcohol addiction that had, all three had been under church discipline. All three, or two of the three had actually been excommunicated. They ended up being restored, repented and restored to the church.

I sat down with each of them and just asked them a series of questions, just interviewed them. You know, how did you get into it, all the questions dealing with the sin itself to what did the church do that was helpful, what did the church do that was not helpful. Once I started to put that together and see the way that these answers were sort of jelling, then it became a little more clear as to the direction that I would take.

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033 Interview with Brian Borgman {Clip 4 | 2:37}



From the Video:

Well I think there’s two interrelated things that have to be in place. One is you have to have a culture, a climate, where helping each other is part of what’s expected. Part of building that culture, of course, is preaching and spending time on the “see to it brethren that there not be anyone among you with an evil heart of unbelief, that falls away from the living God, but encourage one another day after day.” For me what’s been really important in terms of preaching is not only the biblical admonitions to perseverance, but the way that the one another passages fit in with perseverance. We need each other to persevere in the faith. We are means of grace to each other. I think that’s one of the ways that the climate is built.

Then you have to actually put real tools into people’s hands. You can’t just say, this is what you’ve got to be doing and then let them figure it out on their own in a sense. You get some people that are going to gravitate towards that and figure it out on their own, but by and large you’re going to need to be equipping. So everything from the smallest things, like having a book room that’s stocked with books that are designed, so good biblical counseling books for instance. Seeing it modeled. Hearing it taught. Then taking specific opportunities to equip. I think the climate and then the particular equipping are actually two things that come together that help.

God has blessed us with a congregation that really loves each other. There’s really a sense of family. It’s not like we’re a tiny congregation, we’re not a mega church either, but we’re not a tiny congregation so it takes a little bit of work to be involved in people’s lives. I think that having that, in a sense, that biblical undergirding of “look we’re in this together and I’m going to help you and you’re going to help me.”

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033 Interview with Brian Borgman {Clip 3 | 2:15}


From the Video:

There’s something about these sins in particular that really … I want to say you shrink back from because you know what’s coming. Once things start to be uncovered you start to realize “okay here we go again” and you realize that there is going to be lying and deception and that this is going to take a lot out of our eldership. It’s going to take a lot out of the people that we ask to get involved. There’s a sense in which I really do kind of shrink back from this emotionally, just I don’t want to do this. But you also then realize how much is at stake and somebody’s out there destroying their life and not just theirs but a spouse, children, a church body, people around them.

You realize what’s at stake and you try to be proactive. You try to be assertive, maybe even at times aggressive, in trying to deal with it. This is not something that you can say “Oh, Craig, you had an outburst of anger, why don’t we get together every other week and we’ll work through this or that.” You’re talking about something that is so consuming that that person basically needs supervision 24 hours a day, if truth be told, right. Thankfully we have very good group of elders. We have very loving church, people that are willing to get involved, but it is a daunting task.

Your viewing a clip from the Care & Discipleship Podcast.
For more information about this and other episodes please visit the podcast page.


From the Video:

There’s something about these sins in particular that really … I want to say you shrink back from because you know what’s coming. Once things start to be uncovered you start to realize “okay here we go again” and you realize that there is going to be lying and deception and that this is going to take a lot out of our eldership. It’s going to take a lot out of the people that we ask to get involved. There’s a sense in which I really do kind of shrink back from this emotionally, just I don’t want to do this. But you also then realize how much is at stake and somebody’s out there destroying their life and not just theirs but a spouse, children, a church body, people around them.

You realize what’s at stake and you try to be proactive. You try to be assertive, maybe even at times aggressive, in trying to deal with it. This is not something that you can say “Oh, Craig, you had an outburst of anger, why don’t we get together every other week and we’ll work through this or that.” You’re talking about something that is so consuming that that person basically needs supervision 24 hours a day, if truth be told, right. Thankfully we have very good group of elders. We have very loving church, people that are willing to get involved, but it is a daunting task.

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033 Interview with Brian Borgman {Clip 2 | 2:47}


From the Video:

Yeah, our church is 24 years old and I planted the church. It seems that from our very inception we have dealt with people with drug and alcohol problems all along. What the talk is going to consist of is me basically talking about first of all lessons regarding the offender and the sin, just sort of common themes. Some of the stuff will be obvious, some of the principles or lessons. It was important too that I assess what we did that wasn’t helpful. I had files and notes and went back over things and thought man, if we were doing this today we would not do that. But then there was other stuff that was somewhat instinctive.

Trying to get a team of people around a person, because in one sense I want to say that the drug and alcohol abuse are sins like other sins, but we also know there’s something unique about these sins as well. It’s very consuming. Well, the counseling becomes very consuming. Just to see the way that in the past we just sort of instinctively put people around people that were struggling. People that had both experience, personal experience. People that were grounded. So those kinds of things.

One thing that has been very important is our approach to church discipline, which some people would think that under these circumstances, you know, for instance we just heard that every addict deals with shame, and not to downplay any of that but actually the weight, the gravity of church discipline has been a significant thing. In fact, there’s a woman here from our church who was on the brink of excommunication and God used the discipline process to bring her to repentance. She’s here. So just some of those kinds of observations, lessons, positives, negatives.

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033 Interview with Brian Borgman {Clip 1 | 1:46}



From the Video:

Yeah, I mean we’re always trying to help people. We’re trying to point them to Christ. We’re trying to bring word of God to bear on their lives and help them see how the bible really does have the answers. Not just an answer book, per se, but it is God’s power. What IBCD has done, and this goes back years, is that it puts practical tools on how to help people into our hands. I’m glad we have four or five people from our church here this year. Saw a guy from Wyoming this morning. I said “Hey, I didn’t know you were coming.” He goes, “Well you told me to.”

I just think that this is really one of the most practical and helpful conferences that there is. IBCD itself is just a treasure trove of resources. You can go to the website there’s … You know you can just … You’re dealing with something, you can have people listen, you can listen yourself, and so I love what you guys do and, of course, love what George and Jim have built into this over the years. I personally have profited from it. People in our church have profited from it. We’ve done levels one and two for Sunday school, for the care and discipleship. I just see this as really just sort of a hands on equipping type ministry.

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032 Interview with Caroline Newheiser {Clip 1 | 1:19}



From the Video:

Yeah. Let’s take the issue of living with an angry husband, my workshop, it’s wives who are coming and saying, “I need help.” Often it’s, though, it’s because their children are feeling threatened. Maybe a husband has pushed a son up against a wall, pinned him against a wall. And she’s going, “We need help.” She may be willing to endure what she’s going through but when it touches her kids, she’s out there and she’s saying, “I need somebody to come alongside.”

A lady like that might be hesitant to go to her pastor especially if her husband is part of the leadership. But if a wise woman is in the church, someone not even trained in the ultimate sense, but someone who’s a friend, who’s already involved in her life or she knows that she can go to and this lady is going to keep a confidence, this lady will give her wise counsel, biblical counsel, then that lady also should be prepared to come in and sit with this woman. Even in marriage counseling, to have a female sitting there listening to the counseling, I think is a great benefit. You’re going to get a two-for-one that way.

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032 Interview with The Newheisers

Craig sits down with Jim and Caroline Newheiser to catch up since their move to North Carolina. They talk about Jim’s new work and Caroline’s experience in the Master of Arts in Counseling program at RTS. Caroline discusses how women can become involved in one-another care and the opportunities women have to serve in the church. This interview was recorded live at the 2017 Institute “Addictions: Grace for the Journey.

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032 Interview with Caroline Newheiser {Clip 2 | 2:47}



From the Video:

That’s a great question and I think, obviously, these promoting women’s issues, our conference this year is about addictions. We had the pre-conference about domestic abuse. There’s an example where women need to be coming alongside. How do you get them to do that?

A lot of it is because women are talking to one another and in my workshop on “Living with an Angry Husband” I encourage the ladies to come alongside and ask questions if they see bruising, for example. Just in a loving way, “Could you help me understand what’s happening in your life because I care about you.” That’s happening on the one-on-one level in the church, and then those women are the ones who might be the people to encourage the ladies, the wives, to go to the leadership with domestic abuse or domestic violence issue.

I’m encouraged by reading 1 Thessalonians 5:11, which says, “Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up just as you are doing.” As preachers, you’re preaching from the pulpit that we should do the one another care. It should be happening individually in the church, but those ladies will need training, a lot of them, that’s why they’re at this conference.

Mainly, they were attracted to the topic or know somebody or they’re already involved in counseling and these issues are coming into the office. The pastor could encourage from the pulpit by preaching one another care and then organizations like IBCD, which bring counseling into the church is what we need to encourage women to take advantage of.

Not everybody has to get a masters of arts in Christian counseling, but they can do one another care and they’re called to. Older women are called to help younger women to love their husbands, for example. This is what the goal is, I know, of IBCD, and this is what we need to be reminded of. I wish that the pastors hearing this podcast will take that into account.

It could be that the culture of the church could be changed by that teaching. As it comes up in scripture, to just bring it out that even cross-generational, I’m not talking about even your pals, but looking out for the other women in the church, keeping an eye on building relationships with people outside of your category of age, and experience.

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030 Interview with Mark Shaw {Transcript}

Jim Newheiser:
What are some of the things you come up against most frequently that they’re seen differently? What are some of the most common things, especially for people listening who just aren’t familiar with all the ins and outs of those dynamics?

Mark Shaw:
The way that the world counsels is therapy and medicine. That’s what their hope is in and that, somehow, you’ll magically find the answers within your own self. We know the answers come from God’s word and by his spirit. That’s what changes one’s heart, motives, and desires.

They just believe that you help the girls, you get them on medicine, and you create a safe environment for them, which we want that, as well, but then their method of change is not one that brings, really, any lasting hope. It labels them. It gives them medicine. It keeps them, I think, from finding the freedom that’s available in Christ.

We’re going to do counseling. The world says do counseling. We’re going to do it in a Biblical way and offer them anger management skills, but do it in a Biblical way. Everything that the world has to offer, we can offer in a Christ centered, gospel-centric way.

Jim Newheiser:
I had a question. I’ve actually had the opportunity to supervise people who are your interns, I think, or one who’s your intern at Vision of Hope. One thing that impressed me is, those people are working … I gave the analogy, “You’re not working the maternity ward, you’re working in the trauma unit.” I would assume you’re dealing with addictions, you’re dealing with the really hard cases.

I guess I’d have two questions. One would be, how do you keep yourself and others encouraged, because I’m sure there are a lot of cases where people continue in their sin, which is not your failure, but how do you keep people going? What kinds of successes are you seeing?

Mark Shaw:
Yeah, the first one is tricky, because we kind of ebb and flow. Whenever a resident leaves the program, whether they leave in rebellion or we have to dismiss them, and dismissals are usually for reasons where they’re not safe, or they’re not helping keep other people safe, they’re putting them in danger … Whenever someone leaves, it’s always a dagger to the heart of the girls that I supervise. It is tough.

We have a weekly staff meeting, which I think is as important for relationship and encouragement as it is to cover the business of the week. We communicate well. You have to stay on the scriptures. You have to understand that some people get more connected to certain counselee in our place than others.

I think that’s my role, is to shepherd this group of ladies to help them to not take it so hard when someone leaves or there’s a failure. We do see a lot of that. We do have about a 30% graduation rate, which is great. I compare that … The world’s graduation rate, there’s a 45% success rate for 90 day programs. Typically, our girls are in our program 18 months or so, so we’re talking about a year and a half versus three months and we have a 30% graduation rate.

We think that’s a tremendous success rate and we’re thankful for that, but you do have to encourage each other. Hebrews talks about that, encouraging one another every day, exhorting one another daily. I think that has to happen in an environment like you described, because you nailed it on the head. That’s exactly what we deal with.

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Finding Rest When There Isn’t Any part 2 {Transcript}

Death. The kind of pressure that he’s undergoing. For some of us, we’re blessed. We have a position, we have a salary, we have people who are responding to the Word, responding to our counseling but we’re constantly complaining that God isn’t something and we just forget. Paul has no pension and Paul’s actual life is on the line and he’s saying, “I’m scared” and he’s looking to the Lord. The convergence of things that cause us hopelessness, despair, sadness, are legitimate. This is legitimate fear. I understand irrational fear very much in my own life. I’m a fearful person. A person of anxieties, person of melancholy. I am Eeyore, “We’re all gonna die.” My wife, Jessica, and you’ll know what I’m saying when you meet her, she’s Tigger. “It’s the morning, it’s a new day!” Right? But this is legitimate, sane fear. Emotional fatigue from external pressures of criticism, situational afflictions, bodily he’s tired, and all of this has made him sad. So let’s just pause there for a moment and say we get sad and we have pressures. Some of us imagine more pressures than there are but all of us have legitimate ones and there are times in your life when you will say, “I’m sad, I’m scared, I’m wore out, “I don’t have any rest, I can’t sleep, “and I’m afflicted”, and that statement, those statements, will not mean that you have no faith. Those statements will be undergirded by the faith you have to say them and to know that you are held by the one who undergirds all that stuff and gets through all that stuff. Because somehow he says, “But God”. Now here’s the thing, notice Paul can’t fix it all.

So number one, he can’t be everywhere at once, he’s local in a place. Number two, he has afflictions, he has fears that he cannot fix. Notice none of these circumstances change in his life. Something’s gonna change inside of him but his circumstances don’t change. It’s not fixed. It doesn’t go away. He’s gonna go to bed that night and everything is not made right and so you were never meant to fix it all. I know you’re trying so hard to. That’s why some of you are driving other people nuts. They have to walk on eggshells around you, they have to figure out how to talk to you ’cause you are constantly trying to fix it. And the thing is, being able to fix it all, being able to have the ability to do that, that’s described by a word like “omnipotent”, all powerful, able to fix anything and there’s only one person in the entire universe that has that quality and it isn’t you and it isn’t me, it’s God. You were never meant to repent because you couldn’t fix it. You’re meant to repent because you tried to fix it all. And Paul can’t fix it and he doesn’t know everything. He doesn’t know what’s gonna happen, that’s why he’s scared. He doesn’t know what’s coming around the next corner. He’s afflicted at every turn. To know everything is called “omniscience” and you and I, as a finite local creature, were never meant to know everything. Stop repenting because you don’t know everything. Start repenting because you’ve been trying to. That is the great temptation when these pressures come, to be like God: everywhere, fix it all, I know it all, I can manage it. And look at that remarkable penetrating freedom to deliver you from all that and just to say, “I gotta tell you, “this is a hard hard hard season of my life.” Just to say it. Because life under the Son is stressful. It involves criticism. It is psychologically, emotionally fatiguing and worrisome but God, but God, who comforts the downcast comforted us by whisking us away into a beach side cave where mystically He came down and we ate quinoa. It’s not like that. It’s just not like that. It’s not like that.

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030 Interview with Mark Shaw {Clip 2 |2:08}


From the Video:

Oh, yeah. It’s so rewarding. We talk about 30% success rate, but those 30% make the other 70 worth it. Even those 70, some of them have called me. We had a girl from California who once called and said, “I got saved the night before I was dismissed from your program. I was led to Christ. I repented and trusted in Christ the night before I left. I was dismissed the next day.” Usually those things are planned, especially long distance. She’s doing great. She’s one of those 70% who didn’t graduate but is doing great.

So you have those kinds of stories. We have girls that have been trafficked and treated just brutally. To see them now loving Jesus and having a different understanding of who God is, trusting him. It’s fabulous. They serve. They’re delightful to be around. The couple, few ladies I’m thinking about who have been trafficked by their own families, they’re delightful young women to be around. They’re so grateful for everything, because they’ve been in wicked, wicked situations, so they’re thankful. That’s always nice to see.

A lot of ladies will volunteer in our program, help us. Many take biblical counselor training and so forth. I mentioned one is in the Dominican Republic now, serving as a missionary, for a year. That’s neat to see. People who think, “Well, this is very hard and unrewarding. We should let other people, other than the church, handle this,” they’re missing out on the blessings of seeing God radically transform people who will just live for him in victory in a sacrificial way. They’re missing out on that.

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5 Resources for Helping Sexual Abuse Victims

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A heartbreaking trend began recently on social media. In the wake of the abuse exposed in the entertainment industry, women across the globe started speaking out about the harassment and abuse that they too have endured.

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are virtually overwhelmed with the hashtag #metoo, identifying people who have suffered at the hands of an abuser. As each high profile case hits the headlines, our hearts are burdened by the victim’s suffering and we long to help.

Over the years, IBCD has invited pastors and counselors to share with us how to speak the truth of God’s love tenderly to those who have been abused. The Word of God is a powerful comfort that rescues the weak and needy (Ps 82:1-4). We want you to know that these solid, biblical resources are now located together in one place and can be easily accessed as you seek to minister the love of God.

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Finding Rest When There Isn’t Any part 1 {Transcript}

There is a time when faithful servants must rest, and they have a role to play, because after all, someone had to stay behind in the city, didn’t they, with the baggage? I think about those of us as we get older, we’re not able to physically able to do what we once did, and we wonder if being with the baggage is noble. And the answer from the shepherd king is yes. I declare it, as a way of being in the world for us, this is our rule. And I think about those of us who have known mental and emotional fatigue and disablement, and we wonder if we matter, and with the shepherd king, he says yes, you do. It is a way of being among us. In our organizational culture, this is our way. We will not fight one another. We will recognize each person’s role with the amount of work that they can do and the rest that they need. And then he says, all of us, join in this spoil, because God has done it.

Are you emotionally fatigued? It is ugly prayer that you need.

All the physical rest that you desire will not bring the rest you need if it’s emotional fatigue. It will help, it is important, but you’re going to have to ugly pray. Have you ever thought or noticed it like this, like I’ll think to myself in the fall, Midwestern fall, leaves turn different colors and things like that, we eat foods called chili, we watch football. And I’ll think to myself, if I just watch a football game, I’ll rest. And even if my team wins, the game ends, and I am not rested. Even if I laid there physically and did nothing and just put food in my mouth, not chili of course, that would be difficult, but you know, you know what I mean? It’s because whatever’s troubling me internally requires strengthening in the Lord through ugly prayer and there’s no way around it. No amount of video games for younger men, no amount of work in the yard, no amount of physical tinkering in the garage, no amount of taking a nap from the kids, no amount of whatever it is is going to do it, I must ugly pray.

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030 Interview with Mark Shaw {Clip 1 | 1:12}


From the Video:

I always say, and I’ll probably say this tomorrow, is that … I always say that the church needs people who have been struggling with idolatry and addiction, because they know how to lay down their lives, they’ve just laid it down for the wrong thing, for alcohol and drugs. If you can get them to now love Jesus, and God has to do that, please understand, but if they make that change and you help them to now love Jesus, they’ll do so in a radical way, where they’ll lay down their lives for Christ, which is what we want.

We need people who have struggled with addiction. They understand sacrifice. They’re willing to do that. Proverbs 23 really gives some key insights. We’ll go through this tomorrow in the conference, but there’s just some very good things God’s given us in his word that help us to just understand the heart of an idolator, especially with a drug and alcohol addiction, that are laid out there in Proverbs 23, verses 29 through 35.

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What is Domestic Abuse {Handout}

Some Things to Consider

  • Power and control are at the hub of the wheel because they are at the center of violent relationships. Domestic violence is not caused by one or both parties being drunk, high, stressed out, or angry. Abusers want power and control over their victims and they will use any means they can to do so. (James 4:1-4)
  • Each spoke of the wheel represents a category of abusive tactics, ranging from emotional abuse to economic abuse to use of children. Although every violent relationship is different, they share many of these tactics in common. (Luke 6:43-45)
  • The rim of the wheel represents physical and sexual violence. Although some abusive relationships do not include the reality of physical and sexual violence, the threat is always there for the victim and the fear that goes along with that threat can be a powerful motivator for the victim to stay in the relationship.

“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.”                                                                                                                Proverbs 29:25

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CDC1-07. How Do People Change? 1 {Transcript}

And as we read the pattern, especially in the New Testament, the Biblical pattern, the Bible typically begins with the indicative, that is what God has done for us in Christ as the ground for the imperative, and that is what we do as a result. And you see this most clearly in the epistles of Paul where, for example, in Ephesians, chapters one to three, are description of the gospel, what God has done for us in Christ. And it’s a magnificent description of the gospel. Then, chapters four to six, it’s okay, therefore, and then it’s our call to be united and to love, and to put off and to put off, and to work these things out in our families. Likewise in Colossians, the first two chapters are description of what God has done for us. And then, three and four, put that into application. And Machen, J. Gresham Machen, says “Christianity begins in the indicative, not what we do. What God has done provides the foundation for what we do.” And I’ve been fascinated as well, in Ephesians, for example, where typically people will say, “Oh, well, the first three chapters of Ephesians are the doctrinal part, and chapters four to six are the application part.”

But when you read the application parts, when you read the very practical parts, these, too, are founded in the gospel, after Paul had presented the gospel in chapters one to three, when he starts giving these commands, he keeps going back to the gospel. And when he begins the put off, put on section, how we should not walk as the gentiles walked in all of their sin, then he says, “But you did not learn Christ in this way.” So the way we are to walk is the way we learn Christ. That’s the gospel. In verse 24, “As we put on the new self and the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” He’s talking about how this new self has been created by the new birth when we believe, when God made us alive, which he talked about in chapter two, in verse four, and likewise in Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other just as God and Christ has also forgiven you.” So even in the very practical section, he keeps going back to the fact, “How can I forgive?” It’s because God and Christ has forgiven me, it’s the gospel that enables me to do this.

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029 Interview with Ed Welch {Transcript}

Jim Newheiser:

I’d like to have a follow-up question, Ed, because sometimes ordinary counselors like ourselves, where they go, this is the guy that’s written all the books, he’s at CCEF, so probably all of his cases at least goes well as you just described. But I would guess that there might be some cases that don’t go as well, and how do you handle that?

Ed Welch:
That’s a nasty question, Jim.

Jim Newheiser:
But you said his questions were nice, and now mine is nasty.

Ed Welch:
Yeah. It’s … Yeah, that’s a great question. I have a drawer that I lock that has a lot of files in it from people that I’ve seen. I do different things with that file cabinet. One is sometimes I’ll call people, if I have a few extra minutes, people I haven’t seen for a couple of years I call just to see what’s happened, and more often than not, you see him who began this good work has continued it.

Yet, at the same time, there are a lot of files there where people I’ve seen once or twice and didn’t come back or people I saw for a longer period of time and they didn’t go back. It becomes an opportunity to pray for frankly lots of people. I couldn’t give you percentages of how that goes, but that’s certainly … I should say my particular counseling, there’s two different ways I do counseling. One is in the context of my church where it’s pursuing people, it’s having them over for a meal, it’s getting together for coffee, it’s getting together before church or after church. The other counseling is the actual more professional, people are paying. And you would think when people are paying to come, they would be fairly eager to really do something, and they’re coming to a Christian counseling center, but that’s not necessarily the case.

Going back to what I said before about how there’s probably not a day that goes by without me being encouraged by seeing the spirit and moving somebody’s life, there’s probably not a day that goes by without me being weighted down by a person who’s unmoved by the truth of Christ and persist typically in a habit of blaming everybody else around them.

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029 Interview with Ed Welch {Clip 3 | 1:19}


From the Video:

Ministry consists essentially of these two parts of knowing a person and knowing the Scripture. And I think historically, we tend to know Scripture fairly well, but sometimes we go quickly over knowing the person. And I would like there to be this generation after generation of material that when people read it, they say, that’s me. That person has described my very experience better than I could have described it myself. This person knows me. I would like us to do that.

I would like us to have stories and case studies of people that are vivid and three-dimensional and shows everything, the really good things in a person’s life and the hard things and the bad things all in one sort of composite mess. So first as a group for people to go away saying, not only did that person know me, but they know me in a way that I’ve never been known, they know me in depths where I haven’t been known before.

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028 Interview with Chris Moles {Transcript}

Jim Newheiser:

I’m intrigued as well by you talking about batting average. And I’ll sometimes tell people that even one blade of grass on the moon is a miracle. And even one person like this transformed from a person of anger and judgment to becoming a person of grace and love is a miracle. So tell us in terms of what kind of positive results do you see? I don’t know if you have percentages? Or instances of … How have you seen this happen since a lot of us probably haven’t seen many cases where it’s happened?

Chris Moles:

So I think you’re going to look at a few different things. So let’s just do the statistical rubrics which don’t tell us a whole lot about the heart. But interventions, statistically, has a higher or I should say a lower rate of recidivism. So a man convicted of a crime who completes a course similar to ours in anything, even biblical or not, has a lower rate of recidivism. Even self-reflection helps the behavior.
But as far as transformation, that’s something that is observed over time. So one of the passages I like to use when I’m talking with pastors about this because one of the things in biblical counseling is that, I think, some of us have been pre-programmed to, “Well, if this takes longer than eight weeks, then it’s not worth my time.” And this type of work is not an eight week work.

I mean I tell pastors, when we’re doing consulting stuff, that we should plan for at least a year of work. That’s really a conservative estimate. Because I like to use Ephesians 4, the idea of, “When’s a liar no longer a liar? When’s a thief no longer a thief?” Paul communicates that, for instance with the thief, he’s no longer a thief when he has a job and he’s become generous. That doesn’t happen after a couple weeks of counseling, right? He’s got to build an income. He’s got to be demonstrative in his generosity so over time, people can see it. I think the same’s true in our work.

So we can look at recidivism and say, “Okay, it works that way.” We can look at behavior change and say, “Okay, he’s not as violent and people at home seem to be safe.” But the really filter has to be transformation. In order to see that, we have to watch over time, as you just said a second ago. Has he moved from a person of violence to a person of gentleness? Has he moved from a person who exercises privilege as a husband to somebody who exercises leadership as a husband? And that’s only going to be observable over time.

I think those are the marks of transformation, is giving him every opportunity to succeed and then holding him accountable when he doesn’t.

Jim Newheiser:

One problem I’ve seen in cases of angry and violent men is worldly sorrow too.

Chris Moles:

Right.

Jim Newheiser:

Where you get enough pressure and for a period of time, the behavior will change but it’s only the Spirit who can move someone from the deeds of the flesh to the fruit of the spirit.

Chris Moles:

That’s a good observation. So two things there. One as I’m doing training, I often talk about the pivot point of repentance. We tend to like that in the Church when someone says, “Yes, I’m sorry. I won’t do it again.” And we can be guilty of then dropping the ball there in saying, “Oh good, everything’s good.” But that’s just the turning point and we need this eventual, observable repentance, that fruit of repentance over time.

The second thing that I like to say is that pithy little statement, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.” And then I say, “But you can’t feed him crackers.” We can’t force anyone to do anything and that worldly sorrow can come by pressure along. But Godly sorrow comes only after a man is thirsty enough to see not just the how dastardly his choices were in the past, but how amazing the opportunity is in the future. And so I want to see men become so thirsty to be the type of man that God’s designed him to be that they abandon that old way and they embrace the new way. So yeah, that’s a wonderful observation.

And the key to that in many ways, is time and then avoiding hoops for an individual to jump through. So we don’t just want things to check off the list when we hold men accountable. We want concrete measurable, observable steps in spiritual development.

So yeah, he might be a Bible scholar now because he’s reading his Bible every day but is there a gap between that as practical theology? Evaluating that, and again guys, this comes back to how positioned biblical counselors are at this. We’ve been doing this with other things for so long. We’re really positioned to speak into this maybe better than any other field I know.

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CDC1-17. Fear {Transcript}

Psalm 23 is a good verse for fearing people, I’ve got an outline on that in your notes, I’ve got audios on that, to learn to trust God. That He cares for you as a shepherd. He’s the one who protects you. You can’t ultimately protect yourself. Those who are trusting God are characterized by boldness. Proverbs 28, the wicked flee when no one coming, pursuing, but the righteous are as bold as a lion. And when facing fears, especially OCD type fears, the critical question is what would God have me to do? I can’t, quite frankly, if God wants you out working, it’s safer to get out of the house than to be in defiance of God, watching TV all day. That safety is found in doing God’s will. There’s famous quotes by Stonewall Jackson, who said I feel as safe on the battlefield as I felt on my own bed. Now, there may have been a bit of unbiblical fatalism in some of what Stonewall Jackson said, but there’s also some truth in the sense that he had this trust in God that, for him, he was doing his duty. And if he’s doing his duty, he’s as safe as a man could be. Not to mention the fact that when the bullet finds me I’ll be with the Lord anyway. So safety is in doing the will of God.

Some people are fearful because of fear of imperfection. I may mess up, so I won’t even try. Yeah, you’re gonna mess up. Only God is perfect. You have to trust Him. Only God possesses certainty. Only God has absolute control. He is to be trusted. And that means you need to stop trusting in yourself. The Scripture says as we look to Him, then you will walk in your way securely and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid. When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden fear, nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught. That’s Proverbs, chapter three, verses 23 to 26.

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029 Interview with Ed Welch {Clip 2 |1:36}


From the Video:

Seeing the simple teaching on idolatry that goes throughout Scripture and making it available to the topic of addictions came about by, and here’s one of the ways I think I’ve really appreciated seeing the nature of idolatry is this phrase voluntary slavery. It shows Scripture’s sophistication, understanding addictions where it’s voluntary, we do it because we want it, we love it, we love it more than life itself, but it’s also this abject slavery and it’s controlling us and telling us what to do even if we want to get out of it. Scripture brings both of those things to the struggle of addiction. So that’s, it came because I had friends I wanted to try to help.

In some ways I would say the book on shame, which is a more recent book, it doesn’t exclusively have addictions in view but as I was writing that book, certainly brothers and sisters I know who struggled with an addiction, all of a sudden, I realized this was so critical for them as well. And books on fear and anger and everything else that can become interwoven with our addictions.

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008 Q&A: Christ-like Leadership & Correction {Transcript}

Jim Newheiser:
We should go back to where it begins, study how Christ leads you and how Christ loves you, and the visual picture of Jesus washing the disciples feet is very important. Many men have a horrible misconception of what it is to lead, as if lead means I can be selfish and she can’t do anything about it that is anti-Christ-like. It’s a disgrace that men think that’s what Christian leadership is and it gives those of us who believe in a male headship and the wives submitting, gives us all a bad name that there are men out there who think leadership, “I’m the boss and everybody else has to do what I want.” Leadership is making sacrifices. Again, leadership is losing what is best to the glory of God, for the good of your family, not I get what I want. Again, that’s why needs to go spiritual that he has a passion for the glory of God.

Sometimes, leadership will be leading your family in a direction your wife may not take as a her first choice but you are not doing it because that’s what you want. You are doing it because that’s how you believe you can best serve God and serve your family, to make that concrete, maybe your wife would really love to have a new car of a certain kind but you believe based on Biblical principle it would be financially irresponsible to do so, you may have to deny her that. Maybe the church you think the family should be going to isn’t the one she does but you have reasons why doctrinally or practically you think this is the better option, what would be ungodly would be to say, “I’m going to buy myself the fancy new sports car and you are going to drive around in the piece of junk.” That’s what many men treat as leadership. Sometimes leadership is, as best I can tell, I need to do this. Again, the motivation is for the glory of God, to follow the scriptures, not an act of selfishness which is an anti-Christ-like act.

Craig Marshall:
A follow up related to this is, how can this husband help his wife understand that it’s not okay to belittle him in front of the children? It sounds like there is some criticism that’s coming out in front of the children, maybe in front of others. How do you deal with that lovingly as a husband?

Jim Newheiser:
The passages that come to mind are in Matthew 7 where Jesus says, “You need to get the log out of your own eye before you take the splinter out of your brother or your sister’s eye.” I would, if I were talking to that man I would ask him what are the log’s that you need to get out?” Jesus says, “When you’ve got the logs out, go get her splinter out as best as you can but what is she saying, even her criticism, even if she’s doing it in an ungodly way in front of the kids or in a sarcastic or unkind way, if there is truth, it’s between you and God and it’s sin and you need to do it with her. Maybe there are other issues that she’s not bringing up in front of the kids. First, repent before God then confess that to your wife and actually make a commitment as God helps you to change and then you can go to her. Matthew eighteen also gives an example, if your sister or your brothers stand against you, you first go to them.

Galatians 6 says you go gently for the purpose of restoring them. It’s not like I’ve had it with you criticizing me in front of the kids, and you criticize her back in front of the kids or you vent your anger to her privately so the kids hear you yelling through the door. It’s a matter of she has fallen into sin by doing this, probably she knows she’s sinning. If you come alongside and say, “I know I’ve sinned against you in these ways, I know that’s been very hard for you and I need your forgiveness.” I think you probably know you shouldn’t have done that in front of the kids. I would like you to ask you to forgive me for mine but also would you please in the future if you have a problem let’s talk privately and I admit that, I don’t know the details. There are a lot of situations, the wife says, should be, “I’ve been trying to tell him privately and I got so upset I couldn’t control myself.” For the spirit self-control that’s not an excuse but that is the way she lived it.

Have you been listening, have you tempted her to this? Then, you said, it, “I love you, I want our relationship to be better, I realize I’ve contributed to this and I want to forgive you,” to restore the relationship and not just to … One thing about the question is there is not really anything in the question that says, “This person sins,” their sin is being an important part of the problem.

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029 Interview with Ed Welch {Clip 1 | 0:56}


From the Video:

One is people raise these complex stories and situations that rightly should be overwhelming, and none of have these simple sort of, here, do this and everything will be better. Not that any problem has that as an answer. But that simple turn from knowing a person to, okay, how can we pray? Given what you’re saying, how can we pray? That’s what’s certainly I find great encouragement that essentially I’m introducing, there is a person to whom we can turn with this, and we might not even know what he says at this point, but we know to whom to turn and Lord teaches us to pray.

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028 Interview with Chris Moles {Clip 4 | 1:52}

Topics:


From the Video:

So as I look across a group of men, I’ve got a class of 20 guys or I’m doing an individual with a guy. Yeah, there’s a lot of work that’s got to be done but the reality is, for me, what keeps me going? Twofold. One there’s hope, right? This is not an indescribable monster in front of me, this is a human being who yes, has made wicked and sinful choices. And that’s why Jesus came and did what he did, praise God. And secondly, each man that I minister to or work with, is representative of a family, behind him. So with every face of every man, even if he’s rebellious or angry or bitter at me or whatever, there’s a victim, children, maybe potential victims that are there.

So to me, it’s worth the effort even if the batting average is low. Because Jim’s exactly right. I love the blade of grass analogy. You can go for weeks or months and just things seem to be hopeless and that Sisyphus type thing, which is like, “I got to push this boulder again and nothing’s happening.” And then you have that one incident where this guy comes to you and he says, “Hey I was baptized last weekend. I’m being discipled by my pastor and he wanted to talk to you.” Or, you have the one guy who years after the program, you find out that he’s working at a Church camp and his marriage is great. Or you worked with a guy for weeks upon weeks and then his wife sees you in a restaurant and she hugs you out of nowhere.

While those are rare, right? Those are great reminders of how efficient and powerful the Gospel is. So to me, I guess if you focus on that, it really doesn’t get you down.

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028 Interview with Chris Moles {Clip 3 | 3:20}


From the Video:

And I was talking to one of our participants here at the Conference earlier where he was talking about batting averages. He’s like, “It doesn’t seem like we have a good batting average.” And I said, “This is not an all star game. This is not a high percentage game because it’s hard, hard work.”

But with that said, Jim, I think what does distinguish, and I don’t want to say my work, but I think what distinguishes biblical counselors. Let me put it this way, when I first got involved in batterer intervention, when I was invited into this secular model of working with men to see behavioral change, I knew going in that that wasn’t my goal and I quickly found a partner or the lady who invited me into the program, my partner, I quickly found an ally. Once we began talking about the centrality of the heart and she’s also a Believer, it transformed the way that we did programming. Because we knew that behavior changes is not enough, right? It’s like stapling bananas on an apple tree, it’s only temporary. There had to be heart transformation.

And so over the years we’ve doing this, I discovered that this type of work fits our paradigm extremely well. Because at first, in order to do batterer intervention or abuser intervention, you’ve got to believe, I think, that change can happen. And you’re right, we get pushback. It’s interesting, I get some pushback from the biblical counseling movement, but I get more pushback from my secular peers who, “Men can’t change. You shouldn’t invest this much time in them. Some programs, they should only exist so that two hours a week, advocates can go to the house and try to persuade women to leave.” Some people literally see us as babysitters so they can try to go and work with the victim.

So I think for me, what really compels me is that we have the message of the Gospel that says, “Not only did Jesus die for us, He died for violent men,” as I like to say. That’s the reality. Not only did He die for violent men, He died in place of a violent man. It’s not like Barabbas was this every day dude. He was an insurgent. And so the very message of the Gospel reaches even to men who’ve used coercion, control, physical force. And so if we don’t hold steady that hope, then I think we’re — I don’t want to say we’re not Christian — but we’re a little less than Christian. And so we got to really hold on to that.

But I would agree with you, I think there is this model out there or this mindset that abusive people can’t change and that we should just kick them out of the Church, which my next question to that is always, “Well what about the next Church?” “We should remove them from the home,” and my question to that is, “What about the next victim?” Because if we do victim care, which I’m all for, I agree with you on that. We help a victim and I want to do that. But if we do really solid perpetrator work, then what happens if a man’s heart’s changed? Then that victim’s safe and every subsequent victim is safe because this is a men’s issue.

I’m proud in many ways to have that banner but I think it’s something that biblical counseling can really get behind because of all the models out there, we’re the one who believes that change is possible for anybody.

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028 Interview with Chris Moles {Clip 2 | 1:30}

Topics:


From the Video:

Several years ago I was on my way to a conference. I had not been speaking long, for very long on this subject, and I was on my way to a pretty large conference. And I called an advocate friend of mine, somebody that I trusted who has been in the work longer than me. And I asked her, I said, “Look, if you were in my situation and you were going to be addressing hundreds of pastors, what would you say?” And she thought for like just a few seconds and she said, “Chris, can you just remind them that the domestic violence is a sin?” And I think where that was coming from was all her years in the shelter, the place she had seen the most resistance was from the Church. And so I think there has been growing awareness in the Church. And I think the most beneficial thing we’ve done is we’ve actually reached out and had conversations with folks that maybe philosophically, we disagree with but we’ve acknowledged there’s a problem. They’ve been doing this work for a while. Let’s at least have a conversation, “How can we best help as members of the body of Christ?” Rather than just denying its existence. Once we recognize how severe of a problem it is, understanding we have a role to play.

And I think when service providers see that, especially in this day and age when government funding is down, where shelters are closing, where talk therapy’s not so popular, the Church actually has a pretty big void that we can fill. And if people who are doing this work see our compassion and our genuine sincerity, it can be an inviting atmosphere. So I think there’s plenty of work for us to do here.

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028 Interview with Chris Moles {Clip 1 | 1:32}

Topics:


From the Video:

Yeah, so I think one, you have to have an evangelistic heart. There has to be kind of a missional mindset to it so you understand that this is an opportunity for me to engage in the workplace. So I think I came into it first saying, “There are certain things about me that the people I work with and the people I work for need to know. One, I’m a Christian. Two, I’m a pastoral ministry. So my experience is not from some other field.”

One of the great blessing for me was I had a supervisor who told me one time, “Chris, you know, if we had a psychologist in this role, we would want him or her to speak to mental health. If we had a law enforcement officer in this role, we’d want them to speak to legal issues. So we want you to be free to speak in your area of expertise. So if a guy has a question about the Bible or you have some insight that can help them spiritually or from a faith-based perspective, we want you to feel free to do that.” So having that type of freedom was a huge blessing upfront in this particular work.

But also, I think, it’s just a matter of being obedient and allowing God to do the work that He’s called you to. And it’s certainly, not every community is going to be like my community. And there’s going to be maybe some resistance but I’d say if you’re really interested, give it a shot. And the first place to do that or how to do that is to maybe connect with some local agencies and get to know the believers that are there. Because they are there. There are believers in government agencies that are really looking for allies.

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Rebuilding a Marriage After an Affair part 1

In this two-part audio series, Wayne Mack discusses principles for recovering from an affair. He begins by discussing the nature of marriage and its relationship to Christianity as ‘heart’ religion. Wayne Mack also articulates how to properly confess an adulterous sin to a spouse.  He then finishes by discussing 12 steps for rebuilding the marriage.

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¿Qué es la consejería bíblica 2?

Hay varias maneras que los Cristianos confrontan los asuntos de la consejería. Esta sesión dará un resumen de cuatro de ellas. Va a mostrar que la consejería bíblica es la mejor manera para ayudar a las personas con sus problemas espirituales que son la raíz de sus dificultades.

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¿Qué es la consejería bíblica 1?

La idea de la consejería es una idea bíblica que tiene la noción de pastorear a las personas. Es la responsabilidad de los líderes de la iglesia pastorear las ovejas y esto incluye ayudándolas con sus problemas espirituales. Hay respuestas bíblicas para los problemas que tienen la gente. Esta sesión dará un resumen de lo que es la consejería bíblica y explicar la diferencia entre la consejería bíblica y la psicología.

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Gracia para cuando las cosas son difíciles

Las pruebas son experiencias ordinarias para cristianos que viven en un mundo caído. Puedes confiar que Dios está obrando en tus pruebas y que usa las pruebas para ayudarte a crecer. Esta sesión te ayudará ver la bondad de Dios en tus pruebas.

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Palabras tiernas o palabras destructivas

Hay más que ciento cincuenta referencias en el libro de Proverbios que nos habla de nuestra manera de hablar. Esta sesión tendrá que ver no solo de lo que sale de nuestra boca, sino también de lo que se encuentra en nuestro corazón. A medida que nuestro corazón cambia, nuestra manera de hablar cambiará.

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Counterfeit Heavens: How Treasuring Our Eternal Home Invalidates Addiction’s Lies

Everyone of us is homesick. We’re all longing for our true Home in heaven with all the redeemed and the Lord Jesus Christ. Because we suffer with this homesickness, we try to fill the void with fleeting pleasures that become habitual and turn into addictions. The way out of addiction is to wait patiently for the joys that are to come, and to live in the hope of the promises of God: Jesus has gone on before us as a forerunner guaranteeing our safe arrival and complete satisfaction and joy.

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Pastoral Lessons from Dealing with Addictions

During 25 years of ministry, we have seen many struggle with addiction. We have made many mistakes, we have seen people abandon the faith, but we have also seen God rescue souls. This session will focus on pastoral lessons learned and will also feature the testimonies of some who repented and were restored.

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Addicted to Food (and/or Exercise)

While some people turn to drugs and alcohol to get high or to relieve stress, many turn to food which can be just as dangerous an idol as substance abuse. Other people are addicted to fitness to the extent that it becomes harmful to their lives and relationships. How can we overcome temptation to make an idol out of our food and our bodies?

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Addicted to Shiny Things: Why & How to Find Freedom in the Age of the Internet

To say that we are addicted to our screens is axiomatic. As I wrote and researched this talk, I was in front of a screen. In this presentation, I will discuss a brief history of technologies, how they were received historically, how they changed the world for good and ill, and how pervasive this one is in our lives. I will talk about reasons to unplug (and levels of “unplugged-ness”) and ways to accom-plish that, all in the light of the gospel.

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Helping Family Members

Families of addicts often need help as much as the addicts themselves. This session gives biblical passages and practical help for counseling the families of addicts. It also discusses how idolatry im-pacts the family, how enabling hurts rather than helps, and what can be seen when an addict truly repents.

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Gospel Hope for Instant Gratification Junkies

Instant gratification junkies are hooked on immediate satisfaction at any cost. This trap can make you susceptible to addictions, anger, jealousy, and negative impulsive behaviors. The pursuit of instant gratification has detrimental effects on your Christian walk. When there is a problem, you want God to fix things quickly. When He does not, you take matters into your own hands making the situation ultimately worse. This seminar will expose the heart issues of instant gratification and will show how the gospel can help you escape the instant gratification trap.

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