Life Over Coffee | Blogroll

Are You Generous Understanding a Theology of Gift-Giving
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Are You Generous? Understanding a Theology of Gift-Giving

On Christmas day, people all over the world exchange presents. It is a cultural event full of fun memories for most people. I like many aspects of the cultural Christmas, but sadly, it loses its meaning for many folks because of its secularization. For them,… Continue Reading …

Are You Characterized as a Thankful Person
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Are You Characterized as a Thankful Person?

When you get to heaven, what will be the first words out of your mouth? I suspect it will be something like “thank you” for many of us. Two words. Two syllables. Sometimes less is more. Because gratitude and appreciation will be proper then, what… Continue Reading …

The Relatives Are Coming for the Holidays; What Am I to Do
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The Relatives Are Coming for the Holidays; What Am I to Do?

Relatives can avoid each other and conflict because of their busy lives and lack of intentional interaction throughout the year. Then there are those troubling holidays—and a few other special occasions—where we must engage those we don’t usually hang with in our day-to-day interactions. Minimally,… Continue Reading …

Dealing with Difficult Relatives During the Holidays
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Dealing with Difficult Relatives during the Holidays

There are two kinds of people in the world: Christians and non-Christians. Within these two groups are subgroups consisting of those you prefer to hang with and those with whom you would rather not spend your time. Loving others the way God loves us can… Continue Reading …

Assessing My Heart the Morning after an American Election
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Assessing My Heart the Morning after an American Election

There are two large groups of people in America today. They are the winners and the losers. The happy and the sad. The glad and the mad. The hopeful and the fearful. Which one are you on this morning (week) after an American election? What… Continue Reading …

No Thanks for Thanksgiving Confession of a Former Lonely Man
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No Thanks for Thanksgiving: Confession of a Former Lonely Man

As a former lonely man who dreaded the holidays, I know encouragement from a friend can make all the difference in the world. The holidays can amplify what we don’t have, and if a person is not relationally connected, this season intended for special memories… Continue Reading …

Should a Wife Respect Her Unkind Husband01
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Should a Wife Respect Her Unkind Husband?

One of the problems with some marriages is a lack of respect from the wife for the husband. A proper probing question follows: what does that mean? Is her lack of respect the entire problem in the marriage, or are other complexities that might contribute… Continue Reading …

A Girl Kissing a Boy Is Different From a Boy Kissing a Girl
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A Girl Kissing a Boy Is Different from a Boy Kissing a Girl

Boys and girls are different. You cannot say that aloud or the culture will cancel you. But it’s true, and when it comes to the act of love in reciprocal relationships, the different ways they respond to each other are fully displayed. God made Adam… Continue Reading …

Six Tough Questions that Examine Your Christian Maturity
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Twelve Tough Questions That Examine Your Maturity

Being reproved or rebuked is tough stuff. Nobody enjoys it. I don’t! When someone comes along pointing out a flaw in your life, it’s typically a tense moment because it cuts against the grain of our Adamic hearts. To be willing to have others speak… Continue Reading …

Beyond Your Ability Is Right Where God Wants You 02
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Beyond Your Ability Is Right Where God Wants You

Did you know God puts you in spots where He expects you to fail? This perspective might sound harsher than it is at first glance. But what if God could use your sins, mistakes, shortcomings, and weaknesses for your good and His glory? Have you… Continue Reading …

It’s Okay to Be Gay, and You Need to Know Why
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It’s “Okay” to Be Gay, and You Need to Know Why

Did you know that the rearing of the Millennial and Gen-Z cultures differs from the rest of us? Newsflash: It’s true! The moral lines were more straightforward for you and me: sin was a sin, and it was evident to most anyone. Regrettably, the culture… Continue Reading …

Six Thoughtful and Practical Responses to Halloween
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Six Thoughtful and Practical Responses to Halloween

From a degree of difficulty perspective, Halloween is the most challenging of all our American holidays. We must give a little mental energy to this tradition for a few days every October. The good news is that this makes Halloween no different from any other… Continue Reading …

What Happens to a Person Who Exchanges the Truth for a Lie
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What Happens to a Person Who Exchanges the Truth for a Lie

Have you ever wondered what happens to a person who exchanges the truth of God for a lie? Perhaps you know someone who has made this troubling exchange. They were once walking in the truth of God’s Word, but now they have created a new… Continue Reading …

When You Feel That God Is Not With You
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When You Feel That God Is Not with You

Have you ever been alone? I’m speaking of the worst kind of loneliness, not your run-of-the-mill loneliness. It’s a sting that penetrates the depths of a person’s soul. This peculiar kind of isolation is different from being by yourself, as though hanging with someone will… Continue Reading …

Dating The Artificial Season That Doesn't Count
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Dating: The Artificial Season That Doesn’t Count

“He was nothing like this when we were dating. He would send me little notes, hold the car door open, and be thoughtful about almost everything. I’m not sure I exist in his world, except when he wants sex. I seem not to matter anymore.… Continue Reading …

What Is the Litmus Test for a Leader, and Are You One
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What Is the Litmus Test for a Leader? Are You One?

The litmus test for a mature Christian leader is their ability to replicate themselves into someone else. If a leader does not copy himself into another person, the Christian mission stops—at least in that Christian’s immediate sphere of influence. A Christian leader is always thinking… Continue Reading …

Dear Pastor, Do You Groan When You Think of Me
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Dear Pastor, Do You Groan When You Think of Me?

What does your pastor think about when he thinks about you? Does that question sound strange to you? Perhaps you belong to a larger church where your pastor does not know you. Okay. But there is a leader at your church who does know you.… Continue Reading …

What Does It Mean to Nourish and Cherish Your Wife
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What Does Nourish and Cherish Your Wife Mean?

Paul told us husbands to nourish and cherish our wives. It’s stunning when you realize how much unfolds from these two words. Did you know if we understand and practice them correctly in our marriages, the benefit for us and our wives is invaluable, including… Continue Reading …

A Prayer to Help You Walk In the Spirit
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A Prayer to Help You Walk in the Spirit

This prayer is the primary one that teaches me how to walk in the Spirit. The Lord has used this prayer more than any other to keep me focused and directed. I pray some version of this prayer several times throughout my day, though not… Continue Reading …

Do You Know How to Train Your Inner Voice
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Do You Know How to Train Your Inner Voice?

God gave everyone an internal moral thermostat, the conscience. The word means con-science in Latin or co-knowledge. It is one of the means of grace that teaches us how to change. Along with the Spirit of God, the Word of God, and the people of… Continue Reading …

Is Your Church a Preaching Center or a Discipleship Community
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Is Your Church a Preaching Center or a Discipleship Community?

The preaching of God’s Word is essential for life transformation but preaching alone is not enough to change lives and families. A transformational church is both a preaching center and a discipleship community. A preaching center and discipleship community work in tandem from the pulpit… Continue Reading …

Three Characteristics of a Wonderful Leader
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Three Characteristics of a Wonderful Leader

When you think about the characteristics of a good leader, what comes to your mind? I suspect many of us would think about a pastor of a church or a boss in the workplace or perhaps a husband or father. Those roles would be worth… Continue Reading …

Proactive Plan For Leadership Development In the Church
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Proactive Plan For Leadership Development in the Church

One of the most challenging situations with any counselor or counseling ministry is placing counselees in a long-term “sanctification context” in their local churches where they may receive ongoing, life-long care from competent disciple-makers. At best, formalized biblical counseling is a fleeting season in a… Continue Reading …

The Wisdom of Introducing to Your Family
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The Wisdom of Introducing Sin to Our Families

One of the kindest things we can do is introduce a biblical sin plan to our families so they can enjoy the full benefits of the gospel. If we do this, we will begin to release an entire generation of people who will sin but… Continue Reading …

The Reason I Dated a Lesbian
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The Reason I Dated a Lesbian Was to Share Christ

When I was a single man during the 90s, I worked a third-shift, dead-end job at a glue factory. There were about thirty employees, three of whom were practicing lesbians. I was grateful to have the job, but it was a difficult place to work… Continue Reading …

A Lesbian Walked Into My Office Ready for Help
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A Lesbian Walked Into My Office Ready for Help

A lesbian walked into my counseling office looking for help. She had grown weary of her lifestyle, had a remote association with God, and thought maybe He was in her problems somehow, some way. She needed help sorting things out. It’s a great story. I… Continue Reading …

The Dangerous Dark Side of a Shared Belief System 01
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The Dangerous Dark Side of a Shared Belief System

There are two objective positives from being part of a group. One is that you all believe the same things. It’s the upside to “groupthink.” Not necessarily bad. The second is a psychological positive of feeling good to be part of the group. You believe… Continue Reading …

Hope and Practical Help for Those Struggling with Depression
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Hope and Practical Help for Those Struggling with Depression

Depression is a complicated problem that is the center of much debate. And though those arguments will always continue, there are a few things that you can do when struggling with depression. These practical suggestions will give you hope and will provide guidance for those… Continue Reading …

Learning How to Trust the Author of Your Story
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Learning How to Trust the Author of Your Story

Think with me for a moment about what it means to be a bit player in a grander epic. The Christian life is God inviting us into His story that is coming true. We are not inviting Him into our story, hoping He will make… Continue Reading …

The Interplay of Truth and Freedom That Sets You Free
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The Interplay of Truth and Freedom That Sets You Free

There is an interplay between truth and freedom that dynamically changes your life. The more the truth of God’s Word anchors you, the freer you are. Our example, as always, is Jesus Christ. He was supposedly the freest man ever to live. People’s opinions did… Continue Reading …

What Happens to Me When I Won’t Forgive Someone
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What’s Happening When I Won’t Forgive Someone?

Forgiveness is one of the most challenging concepts for Christians to come to terms with, especially when someone has hurt them. Recipients of unjust and unkind actions experience legitimate disappointment. Fortunately, we have the unjust suffering of Christ as a template for how to think… Continue Reading …

Now That I Want Forgiveness, How Do I Handle My Past Sins
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Now That I Want Forgiveness, How Do I Handle My Past Sins?

A friend asked me, “When you and Lucia realized you hadn’t asked for forgiveness for several years, how did you work out the gospel in that situation? You couldn’t go back and cover all your past sins against each other at that time, correct? So… Continue Reading …

Why It Is So Hard to Repent of Sinful Pride
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Why It Is So Hard to Repent of Sinful Pride

Pride is a catch-all word for sin. You could say that pride is sin, and sin is pride. Pride is a helpful word in that it accurately describes our fallenness. It is a word we know and a word we understand. For example, when I… Continue Reading …

An Analysis of the Evolution and Superiority of the Christian Mind
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An Analysis of the Evolution and Superiority of the Christian Mind

Our minds are an integral part of ourselves. The mind establishes a definitive trajectory for how we live in God’s world. Did you know the Christian mind is a progression into four different ones? Like mile-markers up the interstate, you begin with one type; it… Continue Reading …

Nine Ways to Disciple Your Husband While Submitted to Him
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Nine Ways to Disciple Your Husband While Submitted to Him

One of the primary responsibilities of a wife is to disciple her husband. She is the number one sanctifying human agent in his life outside of himself, of course. Nobody knows more about him than she does. To disciple any person well, you must know… Continue Reading …

Contentment Comes from the Blessing of Disappointment
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Contentment Comes from the Blessing of Disappointment

What is contentment, and how do we acquire it? Did you know it is a gift for the person who can live well on any point of the abundance to emptiness spectrum? Finding contentment seems elusive in our frantic and distracted world. Other matters weigh… Continue Reading …

Four Reasons to Praise God For Your Imperfections
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Four Reasons to Praise God For Your Imperfections

Utopia does not exist. It’s a mirage in a desert, similar to the person who wants to be perfect. My goal here is not to rain on anyone’s parade but to help gain a better perspective on living well in God’s world while releasing ourselves… Continue Reading …

I Met a Christian Who Refuses to Walk Away from His Sin
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I Met a Christian Who Refuses to Walk Away from His Sin

Can a Christian walk away from God? To help work through this question, we must first recognize and accept that Christianity is not neat, and sin has never been respectful of our preferred categories. We also have to admit that this conversation is subjective in… Continue Reading …

The Internet Is the New Frontier for Angry People to Hang Out
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The Internet Is the New Frontier for Angry People to Hang Out

The Internet is an angry place. It’s one of the sadder commentaries about the Internet period in church history to see how it has become a context to put our sinful hearts on full display before the world. Revealing my wicked heart is nothing new… Continue Reading …

“I Am Mad at God. There, I Said It.”
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“I Am Mad at God. There, I Said It.”

God is calling us to trust Him. There is a plan for this, and we are part of His plan. The tension, of course, is that He’s the author of our stories, and we are not. Preferably, I want to be the writer of my… Continue Reading …

Finding Your Voice To Be Who God Wants You To Be
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Finding Your Voice To Be Who God Wants You To Be

We have a herd mentality that drives us to conformity. The temptation to conform to the status quo is alluring. Rare individuals want to stand out and take a stand that is counter to the group’s norms, drawing attention to themselves that might be criticized.… Continue Reading …

Christian Legalism People-Pleasing and Performance Traps
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Christian Legalism: People-Pleasing and Performance Traps

Christian legalism is the bane of religion. It’s the persistent nemesis in all of our hearts. Though we usually discuss legalism regarding our salvation, I’m speaking about how it affects our sanctification after being born again. Most Christians I encounter do not struggle with a… Continue Reading …

An Unusual Place to Talk about Exporting Modesty to the Next Generation
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An Unusual Place to Talk about Exporting Modesty to the Next Generation

Typically, when people think about modesty, their minds immediately go to what a person wears and arbitrary preferences rather than the heart’s motivations that influence our external choices. Perhaps when I mentioned “modesty,” your impulse was similar: “Great, he will tell us what to wear!”… Continue Reading …

How Can an Aging Wife Compete With Cyber Women
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How Can an Aging Wife Compete With Cyber Women?

Social media is ubiquitous, and there are many redemptive applications of it. But with all good things, there is always the Adamic smell of death that lures some people into the darker side of what should be a means of grace. Social media has many… Continue Reading …

My Spouse Never Asks for Forgiveness; How Am I to Respond
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My Spouse Never Asks for Forgiveness; How Am I to Respond?

Mable came to me, exclaiming, “I’m frustrated! I am always approaching my husband with my sin, asking for his forgiveness, but he seems never to see his need to ask me for forgiveness. Many times he won’t even bother to forgive me. What am I… Continue Reading …

Bitterness Is Self-Induced Poisoning of the Soul
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Bitterness Is Self-Induced Poisoning of the Soul

There is an intrinsic nature to bitterness. The bitter person is like someone with a cup of poison. Each time they think about their problems, they take another sip. In most situations, the individual is not aware of what they are doing to themselves. It’s… Continue Reading …

The Top 50 Things I Want My Daughter To Know
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The Top 50 Things I Want My Daughter To Know

People often ask me for parenting advice. It’s a broad subject, and depending on the age of the children and a host of other factors, my response is always different. Sometimes I tell them what we did, not because we have figured things out or… Continue Reading …

The Top 50 Things I Want My Son to Know
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The Top 50 Things I Want My Son to Know

What would you say if you could share the top fifty things you would want your son to take into adulthood? If your son is young, you’re in a great spot to start teaching some of these things. If your son is in his teen… Continue Reading …

The Reason I Stopped Hating My Dad Was Life-Changing
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The Reason I Stopped Hating My Dad Was Life-Changing

Every child, to varying degrees, is treated poorly by a parent. I wish I had another story to tell. Victimization is not okay or straightforward, but it is a fact about the fallout of fallenness. If the child does not know how to process the… Continue Reading …

My Spouse Does Not See a Problem with Our Marriage
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My Spouse Does Not See a Problem with Our Marriage

It is not unusual for a marriage to be out-of-balance or spiritually off-kilter. There are many reasons for this problem between two formerly inseparable people who now have something between them that keeps them asymmetrical. Before addressing how to deal with a spouse who does… Continue Reading …

Practically Navigating the Contours to Help an Abuse Victim
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Practically Navigating the Contours to Help an Abuse Victim

Patiently loving the abused while listening to their story to comprehend what happened to and in them is vital. Additionally, you will represent Jesus most effectively if you do not move faster than they can go. Of course, you want them to experience restorative freedom,… Continue Reading …

The Carefulness and Competence Needed When Helping the Abused
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The Carefulness and Competence Needed When Helping the Abused

Sexual abuse is one of the most devastating and complicating sin crimes that someone forces on another human being. Though I don’t fully understand the horror of this type of abuse because it has not happened to me, I’ve sat with many victims of sexual… Continue Reading …

12 Tips to Help a Person Who Is Angry with Someone
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12 Tips to Help a Person Who Is Angry with Someone

Anger is one of our most common temptations. You cannot put two imperfect people together for an extended period and expect them not to have conflict. Anger will always be a recurring feature of their relationship. Knowing how to navigate the conflict while removing the… Continue Reading …

Pick an Enemy! Will You Do What Jesus Said Love Them
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Pick an Enemy! Will You Do What Jesus Said: Love Them?

Roll through your mental index, identifying the kind of person or people group you do not prefer, those you typically avoid. They do things you don’t like. Their attitude, mannerism, behavior, worldview, or [fill in the blank] is not your cup of tea. Perhaps it’s… Continue Reading …

A Reasonable Response to the Gun Control Debate
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A Reasonable Response to the Gun Control Debate

When mass shootings happen, many reasonable people stand on all sides of the gun control debate. Some folks want to limit the number of guns we have and how we use them. Others want to eliminate them altogether. Then there are those who want more… Continue Reading …

How to Prepare Your Heart When a Tragedy Happens
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How to Prepare Your Heart When a Tragedy Happens

Sometimes the English language is inadequate for conveying our thoughts. Words always seem to fall short when there is a personal or national tragedy. Tragedies remind me of Job’s friends who made a wise choice in the beginning not to speak so quickly. Horrific events… Continue Reading …

I’m Angry at God Because He Did Not Help Me
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I’m Angry at God Because He Did Not Help Me

A counselor friend asked how you encourage someone when they are angry at God for what happened to them. The lady is mad because Sovereign Lord did not protect her from horrific victimization. He has been meeting with her for weeks and wondered if he… Continue Reading …

To Those Who Are Angry with God for the Life They Have
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To Those Who Are Angry with God for the Life They Have

Everybody is a victim. We all received a raw deal. And life is not fair. I’m not mocking anyone, but merely stating the obvious. Nobody comes into the world unscathed. We’re fallen individuals. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve’s dastardly deed sent the… Continue Reading …

The Toxic and Damaging Effects of the Angry Dad
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The Toxic and Damaging Effects of the Angry Dad

Few things are more frightening to a child than an angry dad. An angry father in the home is the metaphorical equivalent of rolling a child’s heart through a minefield. The angry dad forces the child to live between two worlds: strive to be perfect… Continue Reading …

Dear Parents, Will You Stop Your Arguing Please!
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Dear Parents, Will You Stop Your Arguing? Please!

When children are young, they believe their parents are impressive in about every way. As they grow older and create proper categories for living well with others, they begin to see their parents’ good and bad behaviors. Observing flawed lives in the family dynamic does… Continue Reading …

Spiritual Warfare Tips for Fighting in the Spirit World
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Spiritual Warfare: Tips for Fighting in the Spirit World

We live in two worlds at the same time, the physical and spiritual. We can see, touch, taste, smell, hear, and intimately engage each other in the physical realm. The spiritual world is all around us, too, but differently. We cannot touch, taste, smell, hear,… Continue Reading …

When the Parent’s Anger Complicates the Life of the Child
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When the Parent’s Anger Complicates the Life of the Child

The angry heart does not have to direct its frustration toward anyone to complicate that relationship. All the angry person has to do is stand in the vicinity of those who receive the spillover of their anger. Whether you’re mad at someone or intoxicating the… Continue Reading …

Mean Wives, and Husbands Who Should Love Them
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Mean Wives, and Husbands Who Should Love Them

I have been accused (my word, not theirs) of writing too much about how husbands need to change. Of course, my “accusers” are husbands. They may be right. I do think a lot about husbands for two primary reasons. I am a husband, which motivates… Continue Reading …

I Could Not Stay Angry and Progress in My Marriage
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I Could Not Stay Angry and Progress in My Marriage

Transformation starts in a person’s soul as he relates to God while refusing to make excuses for why things are the way they are. The motivation for change must be a singular desire to glorify God while giving lesser consideration to the things happening in… Continue Reading …

The Anniversary of the Worst Day of My Life
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The Anniversary of the Worst Day of My Life

Two radically different things are knowing God through personal study and experiencing Him in the crucible of suffering. This autobiographical short story briefly walks you through the worst day of my life, the day I met the Lord in the crucible of suffering. Everything changed… Continue Reading …

The Surprising Truth of Why a Husband Devalues His Wife
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The Surprising Truth of Why a Husband Devalues His Wife

A husband who devalues his wife did not just become this way. There is always a trail that leads to this outcome. Devaluing a spouse is a symptom, not a cause. There are two ways to keep from marrying such a selfish, devaluing man. One,… Continue Reading …

The Art and Care of Correction among Friends
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The Art and Care of Correction among Friends

New Testament sanctification typically happens in corporate contexts, not in isolation. It is appropriate to say that you can do many things by yourself, but sanctification is not one of those things; it’s not possible to image the Trinity by living apart from the community… Continue Reading …

The Perfect Self-Help Book That Will Change Your Life
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The Perfect Self-Help Book That Will Change Your Life

If you want to change your life, you need a self-help book to guide you through the process. The good news is that there is a perfect book for you. It’s called the Bible, the world’s most perfect psychology book. Yes, the best psychology book;… Continue Reading …

Five Things to Know If You Want God’s Word to Master You
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Five Things to Know If You Want God’s Word to Master You

Bible knowledge is incredible and a non-negotiable for any serious believer. But knowledge without application is futile, practically speaking. For the Bible to master any of us, we have to do more than read it. Think of it like two silos side by side. One… Continue Reading …

Ten Habits That Will Transform Any Counseling Process
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Ten Habits That Will Transform Any Counseling Process

Traditional biblical counseling does not work well if a counseling session, sprinkled here and there, is all you have. That strategy places the burden of change on the counselor rather than on the individual who needs a new kind of habituated lifestyle. Biblical discipleship happens… Continue Reading …

A Practical Three-Step Plan to Lose Weight
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A Practical Three-Step Plan to Lose Weight

Authentic health initiatives require both body and soul transformation. In my article, Let’s Talk about Losing Weight, Practically Speaking, I spoke about this crucial worldview on body health perspectives. A comprehensive approach to losing weight is the secret sauce because behavioral modification might provide quick… Continue Reading …

Let’s Talk about Weight Loss, Practically Speaking
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Let’s Talk about Weight Loss, Practically Speaking

One of the most sensitive subjects we can talk about today is weight loss. It matters not if you’re a Christian; image-type discussions are more personal than the things we cannot observe about each other. Some folks are so opposed to talking about it that… Continue Reading …

A Practical Mind Map That Teaches You How to Manage Money
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A Practical Mind Map That Teaches You How to Manage Money

Part of every Christian’s calling is to take care of their Father’s money. Stewarding finances is one of the many privileges that He gives to His children. It’s a stunning thought to think that God would entrust something so needful to steward for our good… Continue Reading …

How Do You Want to Suffer, With or Without God
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How Do You Want to Suffer, With or Without God?

All people born in Adam have no choice about personal suffering (Genesis 2:16-17). It is part of the human condition. Not even Christ could escape it. To be human is to suffer. Knowing this reality about suffering is the bad news, but there is good… Continue Reading …

Do Unkind and Unfair Judgments Manage You
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Do Unkind and Unfair Judgments Manage You?

How do you feel when inconsiderate people say unkind things about you? If you’re like me, it stings a bit. It’s exceptional for a person to shrug off uncharitable comments completely. In these unsavory moments, sometimes a person will throw up Matthew 7:1—Judge not, that… Continue Reading …

His Money, Her Money Is Not Biblical Common Cents
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His Money, Her Money Is Not Biblical Common Cents

What are your thoughts about “his money and her money” in a marriage? Is it wise or unwise? Somewhere in between? As you ponder my questions, please include your thoughts on what a one-flesh marriage means. Perhaps you have heard the cliche about the left… Continue Reading …

The Problem with Cursing the Sun
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The Problem with Cursing the Sun

God promised that life would be challenging because of the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:17-19), and all those who came from the first couple would struggle similarly (Romans 5:12). From the fall of humanity to the end of… Continue Reading …

How to Respond to Angry People with Too Many Needs
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How to Respond to Angry People with Too Many Needs

Anger is a relationship-fracturing phenomenon that happens too often between individuals. The angry heart desires something from someone who does not provide it or is not responding quickly enough. Because their desire is not finding satiation, the craving soul begins to manipulate the other person… Continue Reading …

Anger, Alleviation, and a Quest to Be God
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Anger, Alleviation, and a Quest to Be God

All Christians bring parts of their past lives into their new salvation experience with God. If we do not see how we carry over these things from our pasts, we will continue to accommodate our old habits, practices, and delusions (Ephesians 4:22). The consequences can… Continue Reading …

To Be Angry Is to Be a Puppet on a String
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To Be Angry Is to Be a Puppet on a String

Angry people are like puppets on strings, always controlled by their cravings—something they cannot get from others. James said it this way, “You desire and cannot have, so you murder.” The mad puppet can’t get what he wants, so he reacts with manipulative anger. The… Continue Reading …

When You Get Angry, Do You See Yourself Correctly
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When You Get Angry, Do You See Yourself Correctly?

Sinful anger is a universal problem. Everybody does it. For many people, it’s the most recurring sin pattern in their lives. It’s easier to be harsh than kind, to uncharitably judge than think the best, to shut people down than build them up. For the… Continue Reading …

Silent Treatment Is the Sanitized Version of Murder
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Silent Treatment Is the Sanitized Version of Murder

Expressing anger through silence is an all-too-common communication conflict in too many relationships. The silent partner pretends the other person does not exist by ignoring them. Silent treatment sounds horrible enough, but if you place it within James’s framework for anger, what we’re talking about… Continue Reading …

How to Distinguish between Righteous and Unrighteous Anger
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How to Distinguish between Righteous and Unrighteous Anger

There are times when it’s hard to tell if a person’s anger is righteous or not. Of course, there is the added issue of thinking the best of ourselves when it comes to our anger. Thus, the temptation to reclassify our angry moments is alluring.… Continue Reading …

The Preface to My Book, Suffering Well
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The Preface to My Book, Suffering Well

On April 8, 1988, it all went wrong. I would later call that day the “beginning of woes.” After a full day at work, I walked into our home shortly past 5 o’clock and noticed the missing piano in our living room. I immediately knew… Continue Reading …

The Damaging Effects of Our Anger When We Don’t Own It
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The Damaging Effects of Our Anger When We Don’t Own It

Sinful anger is regularly minimized, even among Christians—or especially among Christians. We often reclassify anger to lesser-sounding offenses—to better-sounding sin categories. Typically, when I talk to people about being angry, the response is usually along the lines of, “Oh no, I’m not an angry person.… Continue Reading …

Diagramming the Heart of the Angry Person
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Diagramming the Heart of the Angry Person

Have you ever wondered what is going on in the mind of the angry person? It’s not what you might think. Anger is our most common and problematic enemy that can set up camp in our hearts. If practiced often, it can become a habit… Continue Reading …

Are You a Restful Soul How to Enter God’s Rest
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Are You a Restful Soul? How to Enter God’s Rest

Let’s free associate: what goes through your mind when you think about rest? What does rest mean to you, and how do you obtain it? Perhaps it would be good to ask yourself if you are a restful soul. Knowing how to rest and being… Continue Reading …

My Husband Does Not Love or Protect Me
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My Husband Does Not Love or Protect Me

There are times when we can deceive ourselves into believing we are doing good when we’re not. The deceptions of sin are subtle. Having someone speak into the things we cannot see is vital, which is what I did with Biff and Mable. This mindmap… Continue Reading …

Honoring Does Not Mean Giving Others Everything They Want
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Honoring Does Not Mean Giving Others Everything They Want

There are times when you have to do hard things for those whom you love. You do the difficult things because—in some situations—it’s the best way to honor someone. Some caring friends have a hard time applying this truth to those they love. Usually, they… Continue Reading …

What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up Here’s Some Advice
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What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up? Here’s Some Advice

What do you want to be when you grow up? It’s not just a question for the high school graduate. I did not figure out what I wanted to be after growing up until I was thirty-eight years old. Some of us are a bit… Continue Reading …

Eight Practical and Transforming Ways to Think about Your Past
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Eight Practical and Transforming Ways to Think about Your Past

Thinking about our past can be a good thing. There is a lot made of a person’s past in the counseling world. Our history is important because God was in our past. (cf. Jeremiah 1:5; Ephesians 1:3-11). The Lord did not show up in our… Continue Reading …

Every Christian Should Be Counseling; It’s God’s Call on Our Lives
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Every Christian Should Be Counseling; It’s God’s Call on Our Lives

One of the unintended consequences of the biblical counseling movement is that counseling is for a select number of Christians. Though God has blessed the biblical counseling movement over several decades, one of the problems with the unprecedented growth is that we forgot to tell… Continue Reading …

Are You Happy Time for a Post-Christmas Follow Up
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Are You Happy? Time for a Post-Christmas Follow Up

We express satisfaction about something based on how much we value it. The formula is “value creates satisfaction.” If we don’t value it, we won’t find satisfaction with it. For example, if you have received a long-anticipated or cherished gift, you responded with joy because… Continue Reading …

The Number One Sign of Authentic Christianity
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The Number One Sign of Authentic Christianity

Authentic and mature Christianity is always on the mind of any discipler because it is crucial to discern such things with those who receive your care. As much as you can subjectively understand, the actual spiritual condition of a person is essential to know. Here… Continue Reading …

When Unforgiveness Lingers, Resentment and Bitterness Enter
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When Unforgiveness Lingers, Resentment and Bitterness Enter

Supporter Question: As a full-time elder and pastor for twenty-seven years, I have seen and walked with people through many forms of offenses and relational conflict. Your articles are helpful and needed in the church today. In the following scenario, I wonder if you could… Continue Reading …

Enjoying the Cultural and Christian Christmas
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Enjoying the Cultural and Christian Christmas

The Christmas season is a double blessing for Christians. We get to celebrate the birth of Christ, a pivotal point of the gospel narrative, and we can enjoy the cultural Christmas too. Our family has always loved the cultural Christmas—gathering with friends, gift-giving, and the… Continue Reading …

The Gospel Is More Than a Birth-to-Death Story
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The Gospel Is More Than a Birth-to-Death Story

The gospel is more than a birth-to-death story. The life and death of Christ are part of an incredible golden chain that reaches from eternity past to eternity future. The best news is that we can enjoy the full benefits of the gospel by faith—no… Continue Reading …

How to Separate Well (from Your Spouse)
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How to Separate Well (from Your Spouse)

Marital dysfunction and the potential separation of a spouse is a horrible experience that happens too often in Christian marriages. Did you know there is a way to separate well and a way to do it badly? Separation and divorce are not what we should… Continue Reading …

Why Each Person Needs Care According to Their Uniqueness
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Why Each Person Needs Care According to Their Uniqueness

You have heard the saying, different strokes for different folks, right? It is a practical perspective when it comes to assessing people because every person presents a unique opportunity to figure out so you can care for them according to who they are. This concept… Continue Reading …

Five Core Elements of a Healthy Marriage
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Five Core Elements of a Healthy Marriage

What you are about to read are five core elements that are practical and replicate-able in your home. When practically applied, these ideas can have a transformative effect on those you want to influence the most. For some believers, the knowledge about the Bible far… Continue Reading …

What Does It Mean to Boast in Your Weakness
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What Does It Mean to Boast in Your Weakness?

What does it mean to boast in your weakness? Are you boasting in your sin, or is there more going on here? I am a jar of clay, but what does Paul mean when he boasts as a clay pot? My friend said, “I’m hung… Continue Reading …

You Just Caught Your Child Using Porn; What Are You to Do
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You Just Caught Your Child Using Porn; What Are You to Do?

A biblical counselor interviewed Rick Thomas about a situation he is counseling with parents who discovered their child is watching porn. The counselor asked questions that are in italics with Rick’s responses underneath. The fictionalized, flattened version of the story is the dad came to… Continue Reading …

A Practical Plan to Break Free from Being Controlled by Others
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A Practical Plan to Break Free from Being Controlled by Others

When the only opinion in the room that matters to you is the Lord’s, you’re as free as you can be. If you’re like this, you are like Jesus, a man who was not under the management of anyone else. Nobody could manipulate Him because… Continue Reading …

The Problem with Caring Too Much or Over-Caring for Others
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The Problem with Caring Too Much or Over-Caring for Others

Loving people is the biblical thing to do. For some believers, over-loving or over-caring is not biblical but one of the most accessible temptations to fall into, especially with those you love the most. If you do “over-care” for those you’d like to experience change,… Continue Reading …

How Do You Know If Someone Has Changed
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How Do You Know If Someone Has Changed?

The transformation process is not mysterious, though it can be a big secret hidden from a Christian. The steps for repentance are objective, sequential, and transforming. You can change, and you can help others in their progressive sanctification. I want to help you distinguish between… Continue Reading …

The Perfect Place to Reveal Your Dysfunctional Self
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The Perfect Place to Reveal Your Dysfunctional Self

You have no choice about being dysfunctional. We’re all broken in different ways. Even on our best days, imperfections show through like a stain under the white paint. Our collective fallenness is why the local church is so fabulous. It’s the place where you can… Continue Reading …

The Danger Of Guilt, and the Need For Good Friends
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The Danger Of Guilt, and the Need For Good Friends

Mable has struggled for many years with guilt. All of it is real, though much of it is not her fault. After twenty years of fighting, her guilt—true and false—is so convoluted that it is hard to sort it out. In one sense, it does… Continue Reading …

The Whine Meter I Want Life on My Own Terms
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The Whine Meter: I Want Life on My Own Terms

What comes out of your mouth when you do not get your way reveals your theology of suffering and theology of God, which shows your Christian maturity. Jesus was correct when He said that what comes out of our mouths explains what is happening in… Continue Reading …

Is It Wrong for Christians to Have Fun in a Dark World
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Is It Wrong for Christians to Have Fun in a Dark World?

One of our Supporting Members asked me about a worldview on having fun. She wondered if she was supposed to have fun, and she expressed how there seems to be an element of mystery about what fun should look like for a Christian. Are Christians… Continue Reading …

A Crazy Idea For Sanctification the Local Church
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A Crazy Idea For Sanctification: the Local Church

One-to-one interaction is the most efficient way to help another person change. For too many believers, discipleship in a community, in the context of a local church, is not the norm. Favorite books and preachers become our disciplers, which is not God’s best, no matter… Continue Reading …

When the Thing That Protects You Becomes Your Prison
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When the Thing That Protects You Becomes Your Prison

Some relationships can become so painful that you must retreat while implementing self-protective measures to prevent being hurt again. The unintended consequence is that the strategies for protection can imprison you, which is what happened to Mable. Her husband was harming her, so she did… Continue Reading …

You Must Know This Before You Counsel Anyone
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You Must Know This Before You Counsel Anyone

Sometimes stereotypical counseling can get in the way of what you want to do with an individual, especially when the counselee has a preconceived, pessimistic instinct about where you want to go with him. You’ll see this with some teenagers, for example, because they sense… Continue Reading …

Why Does God Bless Some, But Not Others
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Why Does God Bless Some, But Not Others?

Why God blesses some and does not bless others is a complex and sensitive issue requiring theological carefulness. Without that kind of carefulness, you might have a misunderstanding of the Lord and His purposes in your life. Recently, a supporting member wrote me asking why… Continue Reading …

How to Resist the Incremental Reality of Becoming a Dull Believer
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How to Resist the Incremental Reality of Becoming a Dull Believer

Spiritual dullness in a community of Christlike disciple-makers is hard to imagine, but it happens all the time. We can lull ourselves to sleep, lose our gospel edge, and before long, we are ticking the Christian boxes without thinking. If the practice continues, we will… Continue Reading …

Seven Tips to Help Your Friends Who Are Suffering
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Seven Tips to Help Your Friends Who Are Suffering

Sometimes the words we share when our friends are hurting are not the best things we should say. Saying the wrong thing is easy to do, which is why I’m sharing these seven ideas to help you navigate these challenging times with your suffering friends.… Continue Reading …

What Qualities Do You Look for in a Pastor
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What Qualities Do You Look for in a Pastor?

One of the most important questions you’ll ask when looking for a new church is whether the pastor is leading the local church. What best describes your pastor? How does he affect others? Can he care for your soul? Finding a pastor is a tedious… Continue Reading …

How the Ongoing Sin of Others Impacts Your Health
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How the Ongoing Sin of Others Impacts Your Health

The interplay between our physical and spiritual selves does not get enough talk time within the Christian community, especially how a conflict between two people can lead to diminishing health. I have counseled some couples with declining health problems that parallel the acrimonious relationships with… Continue Reading …

Let Me Draw You a Picture of a Marriage in Trouble
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Let Me Draw You a Picture of a Marriage in Trouble

The best marriages are those where the distinct uniqueness of each partner works in a beautiful symmetry that enhances the other’s strengths while compensating for the weaknesses. The worst marriages are those partners who do not know how to help each other become a mature… Continue Reading …

How a Teen Can React When Stuck in the Cyclic Effect of Victimhood
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How a Teen Can React When Stuck in the Cyclic Effect of Victimhood

All of us are victims. Adam dealt us a death blow. And to complicate matters, we’re also blameworthy. We are guilty victims or victim sinners if you wish. It’s not a comfortable thought, but it’s an accurate one. Everyone practically possesses these two polarizing truths.… Continue Reading …

911 A Study in Misplaced Faith and a Hardened Conscience
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9/11: A Study in Misplaced Faith and a Hardened Conscience

We will never forget the tragedy of 9/11. Many of us remember where we were on that tragic day. I was sitting in my counseling office when the news came. It continues to boggle the mind to think how anyone could be so twisted that… Continue Reading …

Can God Use Me the Non-Disqualifying Grace of God
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Can God Use Me: the Non-Disqualifying Grace of God

God is not looking for a few good men or women or folks with specific character traits. It’s not our personalities or our wits that God wants. That is not how it works in the “grace of God world” where you and I live. Though… Continue Reading …

Whose Reputation Is Most Important to You, Practically Speaking
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Whose Reputation Is Most Important to You, Practically Speaking?

When it comes to our reputations, the Christian has two choices from which to choose. We can build a personal, sacred monument to ourselves, or we can choose to enhance the reputation of Christ. When we take our theological exams, we know which box to… Continue Reading …

The Number One All-Time Personal Problem, Ever
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The Number One All-Time Personal Problem, Ever

All Christians have one common problem that sits foundationally at the core of their being; it is the biggest struggle in their lives. It makes sense, right? If each person’s mightiest battle were unique to them and dissimilar to everyone else, you’d have to be… Continue Reading …

What’s the Big Deal with You Get the Vaccine Already
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What’s the Big Deal with You: Get the Vaccine Already

The whole world is at war. It’s a war between good and evil—as always. Some of the skirmishes are between military combatants, but the purpose of this piece is not between those warriors in the traditional theaters. I’m addressing those other warriors—specifically, those who have… Continue Reading …

Investigating Legalism—Where in the World Is Worldliness
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Investigating Legalism—Where in the World Is Worldliness?

Where in the world is worldliness? How you answer this question will determine how you live out your Christian experience in God’s world. Your “system of Christian practice” flows from how you answer the worldliness question. Let’s investigate legalism. In this series: Part One and… Continue Reading …

Legalism Is a Fear-Based Culture that Leads to a Complex Life
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Legalism Is a Fear-Based Culture that Leads to a Complex Life

Legalism is a complicated subject. It stirs passionate responses from many Christians. If you’re in a legalistic culture, it’s hard to get out. If you did come out of it, it’s typical to overreact by going to anti-rule excesses. In this two-part series, I will… Continue Reading …

When the Gospel Becomes the New Legalism
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When the Gospel Becomes the New Legalism

The word gospel has been the most popular word in evangelicalism for many years. You can’t go wrong with the gospel. Or can you? Is it possible for God’s creation to take a good thing like the gospel and twist it into something not right?… Continue Reading …

An Appeal from a Former Sovereign Grace Ministries Pastor
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An Appeal from a Former Sovereign Grace Ministries Pastor

I wrote this piece in 2012 originally. I’m republishing it with a few edits since the sad saga continues to unfold. I was part of Sovereign Grace Ministries from 2003 to 2008, and for four of those years, I served as a pastor. It was… Continue Reading …

Why Can’t I Have My Life the Way I Want It, on My Terms
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Why Can’t I Have My Life the Way I Want It, on My Terms?

Every person has an idea of the kind of life they want. There is nothing wrong with thinking about your life while planning for a preferred outcome. But because of our universal fallenness, things do not always work out the way we hoped. How we… Continue Reading …

Responding to the Gay Guy Who Said, “I Was Born This Way”
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Responding to the Gay Guy Who Said, “I Was Born This Way”

Homosexuality is one of the more sensitive issues today, which should cause heightened awareness for Christians to guard their attitudes regarding how we respond to this problem. Following Paul’s advice would be wise when it comes to interacting with the gay culture. We must be… Continue Reading …

The Reason What You Believe and What You Do Are Different
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The Reason What You Believe and What You Do Are Different

Have you ever wondered how it is possible to believe the right things yet do the wrong things? It happens all the time—at least to me. I am put in situations daily where I have the opportunity to do the right thing. Sometimes, I make… Continue Reading …

Church Discipline How to Help a Person Get Right with God
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Church Discipline: How to Help a Person Get Right with God

What do you do when a Christian does not want to restore his relationship with God and others? Fortunately, the Bible does not leave us in the dark about this vital subject. Some people call it church discipline. Others call it church restoration. Both of… Continue Reading …

Here Are Rick’s Counseling Notes with a Counselee on Guilt and Fear
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Rick’s Counseling Notes with a Counselee on Guilt and Fear

These are the actual counseling notes from a friend that I met with for counseling. She permitted me to share them, which I altered slightly and flattened out for public distribution. Counseling notes miss a lot of data. While they cover the breadth of one… Continue Reading …

I Will Forgive You for What You Did If You Promise to Change
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I Will Forgive You for What You Did If You Promise to Change

Forgiveness is only one aspect of the change process. It is not a complete change when talking about repentance, but it is one of the mile markers that lead to change. Understanding the concept of forgiveness is vital because if you do not do it… Continue Reading …

Why the Term Emotional Abuse Is Unhelpful and Misleading
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Why the Term Emotional Abuse Is Unhelpful and Misleading

Emotional abuse is real and painful. If ongoing, it can have a detrimental effect on your body and soul. Understanding emotional trauma biblically is vital, which is why the term “emotional abuse” is misleading, unhelpful, and sub-biblical. The Bible has a better way of thinking… Continue Reading …

The Perfect Remedy for Those People Who Annoy You
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The Perfect Remedy for Those People Who Annoy You

Do you love Jesus with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength (Matthew 22:36-40)? Do you not particularly care for all of His children? Is there any individual in the body of Christ with whom you find it hard to like? Perhaps you can… Continue Reading …

Humbly Assessing How Our Behaviors May Push Others Away from Christ
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How Our Behaviors May Push Others Away from Christ

How do your attitudes, words, and actions move people? Our behavior motivates people in one direction or the other. We are pushing people toward Christ or away from Him. We’re not responsible for their choices, but we are vital secondary actors who must always think… Continue Reading …

Too Much Skin, Girl. Too Much Skin a Plea for Modesty
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Too Much Skin, Girl. Too Much Skin: a Plea for Modesty

While summer is an appreciated and welcomed relief from the blistering cold of winter, it does bring a different kind of difficulty. The summer months draw attention to our universal struggle with biblical sexuality, and the modesty debates take a prominent role in our conversations. You may… Continue Reading …

Twelve Addictive and Soul-Capturing Reasons Men Enjoy Porn
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Twelve Addictive and Soul-Capturing Reasons Men Enjoy Porn

The sin that nobody wants to talk about is our penchant for pornography. If you want to silence a small group setting, bring up the topic of porn. It’s uncomfortable because so many of our friends are addicted to it, and for many of us,… Continue Reading …

Four Essentials That Authenticate Your Christianity
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Four Essentials That Authenticate Your Christianity

Apart from your profession of faith, what is the supporting evidence you have that demonstrates that you are a Christian (John 3:7)? It’s a bold question, I know. But wouldn’t it be worthwhile on this side of heaven to evaluate such a vital matter? While… Continue Reading …

Five Practical Things to Know When Unbelievers Die
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Five Practical Things to Know When Unbelievers Die

Member Question – One issue I struggle with is the death of friends or loved ones who never appeared to come to the saving knowledge of Christ. There is not a lot said on this issue. There is a great joy, of course, for the… Continue Reading …

Are Generational Curses Real Do You Believe You’re Cursed
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Are Generational Curses Real? Do You Believe You’re Cursed?

Are you the victim of a generational curse? Is there something wrong with you that only makes sense when you filter it through a generational curse construct? Did you know that some Christians believe in generational curses? But what does the Bible say about these… Continue Reading …

The Vital Difference between Godly and Worldly Sorrow
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The Vital Difference between Godly and Worldly Sorrow

How do you discern the difference between godly sorrow and worldly sorrow? Though the question may seem to be your “run-of-the-mill” Bible question, how you answer it will determine the quality of your life and relationships. You may want to read: Here Are Rick’s Counseling… Continue Reading …

The Problem with Expecting Someone to Change on Your Timetable
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A Problem with Expecting Someone to Change on Your Timetable

In any discipleship situation, the discipler’s theology needs to inform the discipleship process. If not, the temptation of the discipler can cause the discipler to lose hope and even sin during the process. Let me share with you a case study to make this point.… Continue Reading …

The Strategically and Sad Way a Great Nation Falls
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The Strategically and Sad Way a Great Nation Falls

The Bible teaches that those who forget God will not last (Job 8:13). Whether we’re talking about a nation or an individual, the truth is evident: it is God who sits on the circle of the earth, and all of the inhabitants are like grasshoppers… Continue Reading …

Did You Know There Is a Better Way to Do Counseling
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Did You Know There Is a Better Way to Do Counseling?

Sometimes when some people hear the words “biblical counseling,” they think about a two-tier system within Christianity: those who can counsel and those who cannot. Suppose biblical counseling means that to you. Perhaps it would be wise to change your thinking. God has given every… Continue Reading …

A Simple Parenting Model to Use in Your Home
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A Simple Parenting Model to Use in Your Home

Here is a simple parenting model you can immediately apply in your home. It flows out of two words in Paul’s parenting verse in Ephesians 6:4. Paul is urging dads to bring their children up in the discipline and the instruction of the Lord. Discipline… Continue Reading …

What Is Christian Ministry and Why It Can Suck the Life out of You
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What Is Christian Ministry and Why It Can Suck the Life out of You

When a person sees ministry strictly as something they do at a church building that is separate from the rest of their lives, it is a setup for all sorts of problems—personally and relationally. We must not dichotomize ministry because all of life is our… Continue Reading …

The Care of Souls Is Mostly about Prayer and Prophecy
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The Care of Souls Is Mostly about Prayer and Prophecy

A friend asked what I would say to a counselee I have yet to meet. I said that I have no idea what I would say until I meet them. I’m not sure what he wants or what he is going to ask me. I don’t… Continue Reading …

A Tempting Facade for Defense That Further Enslaves the Abused
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A Tempting Facade for Defense That Further Enslaves the Abused

Counseling abuse situations is challenging. The temptations to succumb to bad strategies are numerous. One of those is teaching the abused to fake strength to prove to their abuser that gaslighting and manipulation have no power. It’s an attractive facade of a defense that further… Continue Reading …

Helping a Girl Who Longs for a Relationship with Her Mother
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Helping a Girl Who Longs for a Relationship with Her Mother

Many teenagers still long for a relationship with their parents, but they are unsure how to have one or what their role could be in thinking correctly about a parent and the possibility of restoring what the parent has broken. You may want to read:… Continue Reading …

How to Think about Losing a Family Member through Murder
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How to Think about Losing a Family Member through Murder

On April 18, 1997, I got the call that nobody ever wants to receive. My sister-in-law called to let me know that she killed my brother. I remember writing in my journal that it was a sunny, 67-degree day. It was a perfect day—until that… Continue Reading …

When the Terrifying Call of God on Our Lives Seems Comically Cruel
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The Terrifying Call of God on Our Lives Seems Comically Cruel

Some stories are so bizarre that you can only respond with shock and unbelief. It breaks our categories and reinvents how we are supposed to think about God. It happens when we hear about a horrific event that is happening to someone. Then God interrupts… Continue Reading …

The Power of Unforgiveness When Used as a Weapon
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The Power of Unforgiveness When Used as a Weapon

There are times in some relationships when a person will utilize unforgiveness as a tool for self-protection. These things happen after a person has been hurting for a while. They have been significantly frustrated and disappointed with someone. You must tread carefully, though courageously when… Continue Reading …

To Have Hope But Things Never Change May Lead to Despair
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To Have Hope But Things Never Change May Lead to Despair

Some folks have hope, but their situation never changes. They give up and become cynical because they won’t know a different kind of future. Then some have hope that keeps them going regardless of unchanging circumstances. Their hope of the heart buoys them during the… Continue Reading …

A Rattled Confidence during Disappointments Is a Sign It Is from God
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A Rattled Confidence in Disappointments Is a Sign It Is from God

Trials and disappointment are two unexpected ways the Lord blesses our lives. It’s a challenging way to think, but you know it’s true to the Bible’s narrative. The tension is that in those times in our lives where circumstances mount to such a degree, we… Continue Reading …

Take the World’s Greatest Personality Test To See What Type You Are
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Take the Greatest Personality Test to See What Type You Are

One of the many peculiarities of our over-psychologized age is our culture’s affinity for their various attempts to figure out personalities. The peculiarity is not so much with our culture’s fascination with the personality and human condition as it is how the church has jumped… Continue Reading …

Irritated over What a Person Does Will Keep You from Helping Them
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Irritated with What a Person Does Keeps You from Helping Them

Have you ever been in a situation with a person who needed your help but could not receive your help because your baggage was so significant that it interfered with what you could have done for the person in need? I’m talking about your hangups… Continue Reading …

He Is Risen Indeed. Now What Are We Supposed to Do (2)
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He Is Risen Indeed. Now What Are We Supposed to Do?

There is a heightened awareness of the gospel—the person and work of Jesus Christ—during Easter. Christians worldwide are celebrating what many consider to be the centerpiece of His work on earth. It is great news; He’s out of the grave! Now what? Christ risen indeed… Continue Reading …

To Live the Resurrected Life, You Must Die—to Yourself
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To Live the Resurrected Life, You Must Die—to Yourself

The more effectively you appropriate the death of Christ into your life, the more effectively you’ll be able to enjoy “a resurrection kind of Sunday” every day of the year. The key is knowing that your resurrection will only come after your death, which is… Continue Reading …

Are You a Tomb Dweller or a Resurrected Christian
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Are You a Tomb Dweller or a Resurrected Christian?

The resurrected Christian is a different kind of person—someone the world has never seen outside our community. The Christian is as diverse as darkness and light, death and life. For some Christians, their new birth’s authentic reality is challenging to practicalize in their day-to-day lives.… Continue Reading …

Seventeen Quick and Dirty Tips for Building a Relationship
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Seventeen Quick and Dirty Tips for Building a Relationship

The best relationships are the messiest ones. At first glance, it sounds odd, right? How can good friendships be dirty? Because we’re fallen, broken people, and to live well with others requires getting into the muckiness of each others’ lives. If you’re interested in going… Continue Reading …

Here Are Ten Reasons Why This Is a Mind-Blowing Easter
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Here Are Ten Reasons Why This Is a Mind-Blowing Easter

How many reasons can you think of as to why this is a mind-blowing Easter? Easter Sunday is the best day of the year for all Christians around the world. It would be a great exercise to list why you think it’s so. Will you… Continue Reading …

Understanding Someone Is Hard Work, But the Only Way to Build Well
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Understanding Someone Is Work, But the Only Way to Build Well

Understanding the other person in any relationship is foundational to building a life with them. If you don’t know them at a soul level, all your efforts to connect in an in-depth way will fall flat. You will end up as acquaintances, perhaps business partners,… Continue Reading …

How God Delivered an Entrapped Soul from Christianity’s Baggage
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How God Delivered an Entrapped Soul from Christianity’s Baggage

There are instances when Christianity’s baggage can entrap a person, and they never realize it. They never connect a lack of consistent joy, constantly trying to control how people perceive them, and hiding longstanding flaws to the Christian life they live. They genuinely love God,… Continue Reading …

Will You Please Help Me I Do Not Like My Spouse Anymore
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Will You Please Help Me? I Do Not Like My Spouse Anymore

When you fall out of love with your spouse, your marriage takes a drastic turn that few couples can alter. Long before the love sets sail, there are signs that point to a future disappointing season. Mable saw the signs but did not reach out… Continue Reading …

A Good Husband Is a Job for Superman, Not for Us Lesser Mortals
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A Good Husband Is a Job for Superman, Not for Us Lesser Mortals

Sometimes the job is so enormous that you can’t do it alone. You don’t have all the right gifts, the personality, the strengths, or the necessary know-how. It’s at these moments when you need something (or someone) more fabulous than you, a person who can… Continue Reading …

How to Train Your Flea, or How to Control Others
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How to Train Your Flea, or How to Control Others

Have you ever trained a flea? It’s a simple process. You place a flea or a flock of fleas (not sure if flock is the right word) in a Mason jar and tighten the lid. Next, you leave the flea(s) in the jar for three… Continue Reading …

Vital Teaching for Your Son Today So He’ll Be a Great Husband Later
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Vital Teaching for Your Son Today So He’ll Be a Great Husband Later

Statistically speaking, the chances of your son or daughter being married as adults are higher than their being single. This likelihood is not inside information but public knowledge. Boys like girls and girls like boys, and most boys and girls will tie the knot in… Continue Reading …

How to Tell If a Person in Trouble Is Genuine about Wanting Help
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How to Tell If a Person in Trouble Is Genuine About Wanting Help

You have a friend in trouble. They appear to be at the end of themselves, but you’re not sure. You’re not uncharitably judging them, but you know that the only way they can experience restoration from God and satisfaction in Him is by being at… Continue Reading …

Learning How to Trust God with Your Communication Problems
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Learning How to Trust God with Your Communication Problems

There is a problem trusting God when His ways seem foolish, and we have a well-worn habit of getting what we want through our self-reliant means. Of course, when we choose human wisdom and strength over God’s, it will have a debilitating effect on our… Continue Reading …

When You Make Your Child Work for Your Affection
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When You Make Your Child Work for Your Affection

Children should not work for affection. Christian parents imitate God; one way to do this is by loving them just because they are their children. We know our children are not perfect, and there is a time to deal with their imperfections, but love should… Continue Reading …

Do You Know How to Use the Unwanted Sin in Your Life Sinlessly
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Do You Know How to Use the Unwanted Sin in Your Life Sinlessly?

Are you able to use sin sinlessly? I am asking how do you respond to the inevitableness of sin in your life, whether it is yours or someone else’s. When wickedness comes, it will drive us in one of two directions. We will either fixate… Continue Reading …

The Benefit of Being Intentionally Intrusive in Your Relationships
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The Benefit of Being Intentionally Intrusive in Your Relationships

Living in a relationship with anyone means you will be disappointed and hurt by them. It is unavoidable. Since Adam fell in the garden, we have been helplessly unable to stay out of a relational conflict. Have you ever been hurt by someone? Have you… Continue Reading …

When You Are Discouraged You Need Your Soul Restored
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When You Are Discouraged You Need Your Soul Restored

Have you ever been discouraged? Silly question, I know. You are human, and you have battled our discouraging foe. Finite people living in an uncontrollable, infinite world create a formula that leads to despair. Throw sin into the mix, and discouragement is a guarantee. I… Continue Reading …

Learning How to Take All Your Bad Thoughts Captive
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Learning How to Take All Your Bad Thoughts Captive

Have you ever accused yourself of something that was not true? It’s when you gaslight yourself: telling yourself something that is not true. Any false argument launched against yourself can turn into a stronghold in your mind that could be spiritually debilitating. You are susceptible… Continue Reading …

There Are Times When You Have to Get into Conflict
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There Are Times When You Have to Get into Conflict

Sometimes in life, you have to get in a conflict with someone. This dreaded reality is not a wish, desire, or prayer request but rather a common-sense perspective that comes with living in a sin-cursed world. It is impossible to have two humans living close… Continue Reading …

What to Do When Your Life Is Turned Upside Down
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What to Do When Your Life Is Turned Upside Down

Have you ever felt upside down? Ever found yourself depressed? Discouraged? Apathetic? Have you ever felt like you were losing hope? It will be no surprise if you have been in such a place. And if you have, it means you’re a human. You are… Continue Reading …

Here Is How to Find Help for Your Most Important Questions
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Here Is How to Find Help for Your Most Important Questions

Our mission is to help people by providing practical tools and ongoing training for effective living. The joy of the mission is that people come from all over the world, hoping to find help for their most pressing problems, and God has positioned us to… Continue Reading …

It’s Not Are You Busy, But How Do You Spend Your Time
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It’s Not Are You Busy, But How Do You Spend Your Time?

To say “I’m busy” is like saying I breathed air today. Being a Christian and not being busy is an oxymoron. The un-busy Christian is the problem of the person who does not take the gospel seriously. To use another analogy, we’re like kids in… Continue Reading …

I Challenge You To Live 25 Years after You Die Do You Accept
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I Challenge You To Live 25 Years after You Die: Do You Accept?

Our published mission statement is to help people by providing practical tools and ongoing training for effective living. If you ask me, that is what I will tell you. But there is another mission statement I’m more passionate about, and it’s the driving force behind… Continue Reading …

To Recover from Broken Expectations, You Need to Know This
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To Recover from Broken Expectations, You Need to Know This

What expectations have you had that did not come to fruition? How did you respond when you did not get what you had hoped? All of us have had dashed expectations. To expect stuff is human. So is not getting life the way you planned,… Continue Reading …

Five Helpful Marks to See If Someone Has Changed
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Five Helpful Marks to See If Someone Has Changed

What is the most trustworthy indicator of a person who has authentically changed? How can you know—as much as one can understand objective, practical transformation? “He said he changed but did he?” Many folks have asked this question, and thankfully, Paul gives us our answers.… Continue Reading …

Here Is the Untold Story of God Using One Man to Change Thousands
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Here Is the Untold Story of God Using One Man to Change Thousands

There is a surprising backstory to why this ministry exists today. You don’t know this story because the person the Lord chose to elevate this ministry was just a regular guy who was obedient to the Lord’s call on his life. I want to tell… Continue Reading …

Sex before Marriage Is the Beginning of a Trail of Tears
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Sex before Marriage Is the Beginning of a Trail of Tears

In the last chapter, I talked about the differences between boys and girls and their unique sexual temptations. Now I’m going to talk about the long-term consequences of premarital sex by looking at a couple who had premarital sex and the long-term effects of their… Continue Reading …

The Most Important Things You’ll Ever Learn to Change
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The Most Important Things You’ll Ever Learn to Change

One of the more surprising things I have learned from a career in counseling is that the average Christian does not know how to change. The Bible’s word for change is repentance. Knowing how to do it is the most important thing you will ever… Continue Reading …

Can You Be Quiet — Ten Keys to Reduce the Noise in Your Soul
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Can You Be Quiet? — Ten Keys to Reduce the Noise in Your Soul

A few years ago, I was speaking with a friend who had a troubled conscience. She did not tell me that she had an uneasy conscience, but after spending time with her, it became apparent that she had a lot of anxiety in her soul.… Continue Reading …

How to Navigate the Quiet Contours of the Non-Talking Husband
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How to Navigate the Quiet Contours of the Non-Talking Husband

Most relationships begin with a lot of talking and not so many frustrations. As the communicators continue in their relationship, complexity increases. Sometimes one of the partners becomes silent. He becomes quiet while the other partner is left to speculate on what happened. In this… Continue Reading …

How to Overcome Our Most Damaging Response to Frustrating Times
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How to Overcome Our Most Damaging Response to Frustrating Times

It’s possible to let your thoughts run to places that are not redemptive during frustrating and disappointing times. We are in those times. The two primary strongholds are fear and anger. Fearfulness captures too many of us in dire situations while others respond angrily at… Continue Reading …

One Positive, Powerful Purpose for Your Disappointments
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One Positive, Powerful Purpose for Your Disappointments

Disappointments come into our lives nearly every day. Getting what you want, how you want it, when you want it is not always possible in a fallen world. One of the essential assessments you could ever make about yourself is learning what your disappointments reveal… Continue Reading …

Adversity Is the Condition That Teaches You Contentment
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Adversity Is the Condition That Teaches You Contentment

Is it possible to get to the point in your spiritual life where external things do not control you internally? The Bible says it is possible, but only through the portal of adversity. This truth is what Paul was hoping the Philippians would learn. … Continue Reading …

Counseling Today Standing on Jay Adams’ Shoulders
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Counseling Today: Standing on Jay Adams’ Shoulders

“I’m thinking about pursuing counselor training and had some questions about the process, as well as the type of training organization from which I should receive my training. The counseling movement has changed over the past fifty years. Would you be willing to speak to… Continue Reading …

Warning There Is an Algorithmic Version of You on the Internet
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Warning: There Is an Algorithmic Version of You on the Internet

An algorithm is a formula for collecting data about you to make your life better, so they say. It’s a collection of data bits that reflects your Internet habits; it’s a cyber-reflection of you. In marketing, an algorithm on a person helps sellers target specific… Continue Reading …

The Best Reason to Change Is So You Can Reach and Help More People
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The Best Reason to Change Is So You Can Reach and Help More People

One of the crucial keys to building a ministry or business is the process of redefining yourself. If you don’t do this, you will lose your impact and relevancy. Your voice in the marketplace will not grow. The “this is how we have always done… Continue Reading …

Letter to God I Need to Die; Will You Help Me
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Letter to God: I Need to Die; Will You Help Me?

Paul said, “To live is Christ.” In four syllables, he explained why and what for his earthly existence. Apart from asking the Lord to regenerate you, you could not make a more life-transforming statement. Why was Paul living? Christ. What was his point of living?… Continue Reading …

Trusting God Is Good, But You Need More When Suffering Comes
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Trusting God Is Good, But You Need More When Suffering Comes

When you think about your sanctification, what do you believe regarding your role in it? Are you beholding to passive or active obedience or both? Passive is sitting, soaking, and trusting, while active is doing something with your faith. When suffering comes, is trusting God… Continue Reading …

How to Respond to a Gossiper Who Wants Me to Do More
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How to Respond to a Gossiper Who Wants Me to Do More

Have you been on the receiving end of gossip? How did you respond? What did your reaction reveal about your walk with the Lord? One of the most challenging relational opportunities is when someone gossips about you. When it happens, there are several options for… Continue Reading …

Does It Really Matter Who Becomes Our Next President
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Does It Really Matter Who Becomes Our Next President?

What impact can the president of the United States have on our country? With so many moving political parts needed to make our country function well, can one person make that much difference? Is it possible that we have placed too much weight on the… Continue Reading …

Three Life Choices You Don’t Want to Miss before You Die
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Three Life Choices You Don’t Want to Miss before You Die

If you could live your life over again, how would you live it differently? What values would you instill to give yourself a meaningful life? What if you could instill those values now? An excellent way to think about these things is to ask someone—people… Continue Reading …

My Son Has Three Practice Wives to Make Him a Better Husband
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My Son Has Three Practice Wives to Make Him a Better Husband

The wedding day is not the best time to learn how to be a spouse. For too many young couples, they begin this way. Without prior training, they had to figure out how to get along with each other in the school of hard knocks.… Continue Reading …

What Is the Best Kind of School That Your Child Should Attend
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What Is the Best Kind of School That Your Child Should Attend?

How would you describe your worldview when it comes to children and education? What kind of school environment should you place your child into for their good and God’s fame? What are some of the elements of your decision-making that led to your choice? Rick… Continue Reading …

7 Conditions That Make It More Difficult to Help a Child
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7 Conditions That Make It More Difficult to Help a Child

There are specific conditions where it’s more challenging to help a child change. It’s vital to know these things if your child is not walking with the Lord. The great news is that there is always hope because you can do something about it. Hope… Continue Reading …

How to Respond When Someone Introduces Your Child to Bad Things
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How to Respond When Someone Introduces Your Child to Bad Things

Evil has never been as infringing on our families as it is today. If you wanted to find ubiquitous sin twenty years ago, you had to go somewhere to find it. Today you can get there in five seconds. Not only is wickedness easily accessible… Continue Reading …

You Have to Work to Rest If You Ever Want to Enjoy This Gift
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You Have to Work to Rest If You Ever Want to Enjoy This Gift

To live a life that is honoring to God requires a person to rest well. If you rest well, you will work well, and the other parts of your life will be satisfying, too. So important is rest that without a sound theology and practice… Continue Reading …

The Number One Reason You Need Someone in Your Life
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The Number One Reason You Need Someone in Your Life

The number one reason you need someone is not to meet your deepest longings but to image the Trinity in a relationship community. To fully grasp this, you must pretend—at least for a moment. Let’s go back to the Garden of Eden when there was… Continue Reading …

How You React to Fallen People Reveals What You Think about God
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Your Reaction to Fallen People Reveals What You Think About God

Every individual is part of the same human family, made by one Being, and connected to one another because of His creative work. The linkage that binds us together came from God’s mind and flowed through His creative hands—anthropomorphically speaking—in Genesis 1:27. Each person—regardless of… Continue Reading …

A Practical Message to Help You with That Toxic Person in Your Life
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A Practical Message to Help You with That Toxic Person in Your Life

Our pastor said, and I paraphrase, “Toxic people are magnets who draw shards of truth and untruth into their orbit to build an image of their making to accomplish their purposes. Their hearts are fictional factories. If you permit them to do so, they will… Continue Reading …

How to Live Your Best Alien Life Today
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How to Live Your Best Alien Life Today

Christians are aliens who live in a foreign land. This home is not theirs, but while they are here, they must live on a practical mission that penetrates the culture, hoping that others will follow them to their eternal home. Sadly, some alien Christians lose… Continue Reading …

Here Is the Perfect Goal for Your Child and How to Do It
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Here Is the Perfect Goal for Your Child and How to Do It

What is the goal for your child? It’s a good and fair question. What do you hope for him or her to be when they grow up? Most Christian parents would rightly say they hope that their children love God with all of their hearts,… Continue Reading …

The Trap and the Escape of the Christian Idolater
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The Trap and the Escape of the Christian Idolater

There is a problem for the Christian who believes he can live any way he wants to live because God has saved him. Though he is free from the penalty of sin, he is not free from idolatry’s consequences. Grace does not give him the… Continue Reading …

A Unique Wife Helping a Unique Man Change Is the Best
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A Unique Wife Helping a Unique Man Change Is the Best

No book can help your unique husband to become a better husband like you can. Sure, there are a zillion books, and we have the Bible, too. But when it comes to a wife’s role in helping her husband mature in Christ, she is his… Continue Reading …

Thinking of Yourself as Victim Is One of the Worst Things You Can Do
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Thinking of Yourself as Victim Is One of the Worst Things You Can Do

Daniel Berger and I talked about the word victim and how many biblical counselors are abusing the term, which has led to insufficient care within the biblical counseling movement ranks. Daniel told me the word victim comes from the Latin root vicarious, which means taking… Continue Reading …

Do You See How Similar You Are to Caitlyn Jenner
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Do You See How Similar You Are to Caitlyn Jenner?

Have you ever looked at something you disliked in the culture and then realized that you may be seeing a partial reflection of yourself? I hope so. If you can see yourself, at least some of your tendencies, weaknesses, and untoward desires in the things… Continue Reading …

Every Person Who Withholds the Truth Is Not Lying
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Every Person Who Withholds the Truth Is Not Lying

A counseling office is a place for trust, truth, and honesty, but sometimes getting to this place is not straightforward. For example, a counselee may withhold the truth about themselves because they are not confident the counselor is trustworthy. They are vetting the counselor. Every… Continue Reading …

Comparing Yourself May Make You an Accidental Pharisee
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Comparing Yourself May Make You an Accidental Pharisee

When you’re right about something, you know you’re right, the Bible affirms you’re right, and your friends do too, how do you steward your knowledge? Have you ever been right in the past, but now you believe differently? You were not right, but you thought… Continue Reading …

7 Things to Know If You Want Me to Counsel Your Teen
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7 Things to Know If You Want Me to Counsel Your Teen

A struggling teen is every parent’s concern. We all know that there is something dynamic happening to our teenagers, and the decisions they make during this season of their lives will set the course for the rest of their lives. If they are not doing… Continue Reading …

How to Know If Your Victimhood Has Become Your Identity
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How to Know If Your Victimhood Has Become Your Identity

Being a victim of anything is one of the most challenging circumstances for a hurting soul to negotiate. The journey out of the effects of victimization is long. Some contours will challenge the victim to the broadest expanse of their soul. Their ultimate goal is… Continue Reading …

When the Abuse You See Clouds Biblical Interpretations
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When the Abuse You See Clouds Biblical Interpretations

When abuse forms the lens through how you view what is happening in your life or among friends, it may discolor how you interpret and react to those experiences. I’m not suggesting that bad things are not happening to you or your friends, but I… Continue Reading …

Not Sure Who to Vote for This Year Here’s the Perfect Candidate
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Not Sure Who to Vote for This Year? Here’s the Perfect Candidate

In each election cycle, finding the best candidate can be a daunting and challenging task. To vote or not to vote is rarely the question, but who to vote for can be a problem. This year is no exception. The adage is true: what you… Continue Reading …

A Christian Perspective on the Presidential Election
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A Christian Perspective on the Presidential Election

Perchance you have been living under a rock for the past few months, which has kept you out of the political loop, a presidential election is happening in the United States this coming November. Americans will go to the polls and cast ballots for the… Continue Reading …

Abuse Is Not the Best Way to Talk about the Problem with Abuse
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Abuse Is Not the Best Way to Talk about the Problem with Abuse

Whenever we bring words, language, and constructs from the culture and wedge them into a biblical paradigm, things become awkward, and emotions tend to erupt. This problem is what has happened with the word abuse. We grabbed it from the world, with all its accompanying… Continue Reading …

Why Should You Talk to Your Children about LGBTQ+
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Why Should You Talk to Your Children about LGBTQ+?

One of today’s most popular and accepted lifestyles is LGBTQ+. The plus (+) symbol at the end means it’s a living label; you can keep adding to it. How does this new and accepted way to think about gender and gender roles make you feel?… Continue Reading …

The Abuse of Abuse Is Complicating Legitimate Abuse
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The Abuse of Abuse Is Complicating Legitimate Abuse

The word abuse has become a catchall phrase with too many Christians. It’s a construct that is full of all sorts of things, and it’s now in danger of losing its worth. When you dilute a subject to include virtually anything, the original meaning is… Continue Reading …

How to Help People with Different Opinions When Both Are Right
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How to Help People with Different Opinions When Both Are Right

Cornelius Van Til said there are no neutral facts. Meaning that two people can look at the same thing and come away with differing perspectives, and both of them are right. For example, a married couple can talk about the same event in different ways,… Continue Reading …

I Want More Than God; I Want Someone to Love Me
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I Want More Than God; I Want Someone to Love Me

To say that God is all you need reduces your life to a “you and God in a silo,” which might sound nice if you’re prone to spiritualize everything while not factoring in reality. Spiritualized sloganeering typically fails the eye test in real-world dynamics. For… Continue Reading …

Ronda Rousey – a Need to Die Is a Lesson for All of Us
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Ronda Rousey – a Need to Die Is a Lesson for All of Us

If you were to lose the most precious thing in your life, how would you respond? Perhaps you have lost something meaningful to you. If so, you’re well aware of the strength of your faith in your time of loss. I was thinking about these… Continue Reading …

Eight Signs of Spiritual Abuse to See If It’s Happening to You
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Eight Signs of Spiritual Abuse to See If It’s Happening to You

Can you give some clear examples of signs of how a pastor or church leader is crossing the line from being a shepherd to a spiritual abuser? It would be helpful to know when to support a pastor when he is genuinely trying to defend… Continue Reading …

Learning How to Encourage Disappointing People to Change
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Learning How to Encourage Disappointing People to Change

If a family member or friend does not meet your expectations, what is your primary way of motivating them to change? Do you encourage them toward a better way of living, or do you use other methods like criticism, nagging, and condemnation that tempt them… Continue Reading …

Are You Attractive A Way to Know Is If Sinners Hang with You
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Are You Attractive? A Way to Know Is If Sinners Hang with You

Are you an attractive person? I’m not speaking of cultural attractiveness. The peak of attractiveness has a biblical look to it. Jesus was a holy and righteous man, and non-religious people were comfortable hanging with Him. That’s the picture of attractiveness that I’m going for… Continue Reading …

The Need to Know How Choices to Feel Better Are Addictive
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The Need to Know How Choices to Feel Better Are Addictive

Every family in America has experienced the adverse impact of sexual-related issues. The Internet, sexual abuse, fornication, adultery, and our bent toward immodest clothes, makeup, and presenting ourselves a certain way are part of the word cloud that describes this sexual pandemic. What may surprise… Continue Reading …

7 Surprising Ways a Christian Acts like the Far-Left Liberal
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7 Surprising Ways a Christian Acts like the Far-Left Liberal

People are not equal. It’s a rational idea, but not everyone believes it. Some folks think there can be no disparities between individuals. Everyone gets a trophy. They teach that all outcomes must be the same, even if we have to twist the truth and… Continue Reading …

An Analysis of How to Destroy a Family, Church, or Country
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An Analysis of How to Destroy a Family, Church, or Country

I listened to a podcast from Bret Weinstein and his wife, Heather Heying, where they talked about what is happening to our country, how we got this way, and a possible path forward. I will not repeat what Brett and Heather said here but will… Continue Reading …

How Am I to Know When or When Not to Respond to a Fool
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How Am I to Know When or When Not to Respond to a Fool?

Proverbs 26:4-5 says that I’m supposed to respond to a fool, and then it says that I’m not to respond to a fool. What is the difference? How am I to know when I should respond to a foolish person or move on with my… Continue Reading …

How to Think about a God Who Permits Sin in Your Life
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How to Think about a God Who Permits Sin in Your Life

How many ways are available from the Lord to help you grow up in Christ? Most folks would say things like the Bible, prayer, church, and close friends. They are correct. Those are four essential means of grace for maturing in Christlikeness. Here’s one more.… Continue Reading …

Why I Am Number One and Look Out for Myself Most of All
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Why I Am Number One and Look Out for Myself Most of All

If you don’t look out for number one, you will fall by the wayside. Don’t expect anyone else to do it for you. Thus, the question is if you don’t do it, who will? Who is going to take care of you? Probably nobody, which… Continue Reading …

To Wear a Mask or Not Is Not the Most Important Question
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To Wear a Mask or Not Is Not the Most Important Question

Should you wear a mask in public? Perhaps you do, and it’s a non-issue for you. Praise God. I’m sure you’re aware that many of your friends are not where you are. It never occurred to me to write on this subject, but it has… Continue Reading …

Two Degrees of Woke the Innocent Idealist and Angry Activist
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Two Degrees of Woke: the Innocent Idealist and Angry Activist

One of the most hotly debated terms in the last decade is the word woke. It means to be aware, as in, “I have woke up to [this cause].” Formerly, you were not aware; now, you are. Woke is most often used in the context… Continue Reading …

Four Things to Know When Working through Abuse
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Four Things to Know When Working through Abuse

Abuse is a broad category. In today’s culture, it may include micro-aggressions, which can be anything from subtle to intentional slights toward another person. On the other end of the abuse spectrum are some of the most heinous events that can happen to a human being.… Continue Reading …

How to Love a Woke Person Who Does Not Love You
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How to Love a Woke Person Who Does Not Love You

2020 has brought about a new normal for almost everyone globally, part of which is the amping-up of the “woke crowd” in America. These seemingly new voices have chosen various political, social, and even religious subjects to express to the world that they are now… Continue Reading …

What Are Your Expectations and How Do They Manage You
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What Are Your Expectations and How Do They Manage You?

What do you expect from life? If you’re like me, you have many expectations, and some of them have not come to pass. To have expectations is to be Christlike. To have your expectations managing you is not like Christ. Your attitude about God, self,… Continue Reading …

How Do I Begin a Counseling Ministry at My Church
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How Do I Begin a Counseling Ministry at My Church?

Biff wants to begin a counseling ministry in his local church. The leadership is aware of the church’s sanctification needs; they want help and humbly acknowledge this need. They asked Biff to propose a plan. He asked me how to go about this new endeavor.… Continue Reading …

Vital Teaching for Releasing Your Children to the World
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Vital Teaching for Releasing Your Children to the World

One of the essential goals of parenting is the practice of releasing your children to the culture where they will eventually live. Part of this process is for them to live less under the governance of the parent’s rules and more under God’s authority. As… Continue Reading …

Learning How to Keep What You Want From Controlling You
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Learning How to Keep What You Want From Controlling You

What do you want? What would you like to have? Do these desires come from the heart of contentment? To want something does not have to be wrong. We should always want all kinds of things throughout our lives. To not want things is not… Continue Reading …

You Have No Choice But to Resolve Conflict with Others
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You Have No Choice But to Resolve Conflict with Others

Is there someone in your life with whom you struggle? Stated differently, who bothers you? Has someone done something that has brought friction into your relationship with them? What if you flipped the question around: have you done something to someone that has caused friction?… Continue Reading …

How to Experience Future Glory in Present Difficulties
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How to Experience Future Glory in Present Difficulties

There are many benefits to living in our world, and you should not feel guilty about these good things. However, we can become so accustomed to “our way of life” that when something disrupts our expectations, it can dismantle us. It’s precisely in these moments… Continue Reading …

The One Thing That Is Worse Than Admitting You’re a Racist
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The One Thing That Is Worse Than Admitting You’re a Racist

There is a twist of irony when one person condemns another person, even when the accusation is correct. If you do not guard your heart when you critique those who are doing wrong things, you may forget that you, too, are not a guilt-free person.… Continue Reading …

Thinking about Those People Who Are Not Like You
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Thinking about Those People Who Are Not Like You

As the divide in our country continues to widen, the temptation to be harsh, sinfully angry, or retaliate in ungodly ways toward those who think differently from you is high. There are times when we can think more highly of ourselves and less considerate of… Continue Reading …

The New Slave Owner Is a Liberal Paternalistic Government
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The New Slave Owner Is a Liberal Paternalistic Government

Our country is in a tailspin. The most popular word in America today is racism. Two hundred-plus years of striving and tension around race are spilling over into our streets. The noise is so loud. It’s annoying, tedious, and concerning. Some people are reacting with… Continue Reading …

Your Love Should Not Be Tough It Should Be Merciful
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Your Love Should Not Be Tough: It Should Be Merciful

“Tough love” has become one of the mantras in modern Christian culture, i.e., love languages. Like many popularized sayings, it has taken on an unintended—harsh—meaning that does not bring about the peaceful fruit of righteousness. What do you think about tough love? What comes to… Continue Reading …

You’re Only as Strong as That Which Provides the Most Hope
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You’re Only as Strong as That Which Provides the Most Hope

You’re only as strong as your hope, and if your main hope is not in Christ, you are not as strong as you should be. The way to know where you have placed your primary hope is by how you react to the difficulties and… Continue Reading …

You Can Experience Rest If You Give Up What You Want
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You Can Experience Rest If You Give Up What You Want

There is something about the title that sounds counterintuitive to our self-reliant and self-protective lives. Even so, doesn’t it have a biblical ring to it? You die to live (Matthew 16:24-26). You humble yourself to be exalted (Matthew 23:12). You give up something to gain… Continue Reading …

Why You Should Live in the Freedom of Knowing the Future
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Why You Should Live in the Freedom of Knowing the Future

In God’s mind, your life is over. He sees the end from the beginning. The Lord stands outside of time—a macro view, looking inside your timeline, which has a start and end date, and He’s helping you navigate your journey. You’re not sure where you’re… Continue Reading …

Here Is Practical Help to Restore a Broken Marriage
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Here Is Practical Help to Restore a Broken Marriage

Husbands and wives have a hard time putting a broken marriage back together. Typically, expectations and disappointments create a backlog of unresolved conflict. When a couple gets to this point, pride becomes the unscaleable wall between them. They have lost the vision for Christ and… Continue Reading …

Fellowship Is the Missing Link in Most Relationships
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Fellowship Is the Missing Link in Most Relationships

Many marriages, families, and churches have a common link—a missing one. In a word, it’s fellowship. I’m not speaking of having a social conversation with someone. Biblically speaking, fellowship is when two or more people willingly, humbly, openly, transparently, honestly, and vulnerably share themselves reciprocally,… Continue Reading …

How to Create the Aroma of Gratitude in Your Home
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How to Create the Aroma of Gratitude in Your Home

Describe the aroma of your home. Would you say it’s a place where joy, gratitude, and thanksgiving are regularly wafting through the rooms? As you think about the environment in your home, perhaps you can narrow the focus down to yourself (Matthew 7:3-5). How aggressive… Continue Reading …

Let Me Tell You About My White Privilege
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Let Me Tell You About My White Privilege

Some individuals within a specific ethnic group have been guilty of making every person within another ethnic or demographic the same. For example, all whites are the same; all blacks are the same; everyone on the alt-right is the same, as well as those on… Continue Reading …

Connecting the Gospel to a God Who Is Silent
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Connecting the Gospel to a God Who Is Silent

When your companion is darkness rather than light and your circumstances are overwhelming you in a season of acute need, there is no more of a critical time in life for God to reveal Himself to you. But sometimes your answer to your praying is… Continue Reading …

The Remarkable Way God Uses Your Brokenness to Heal You
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The Remarkable Way God Uses Your Brokenness to Heal You

God creates children in His image. Parents have a responsibility to shape their children for God with the hope and prayer that when they are old enough to understand, they will follow Him. Then things get off track. The parent makes mistakes. The child reacts… Continue Reading …

What Is Gaslighting, Its Effects, and How to React to It
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What Is Gaslighting, Its Effects, and How to React to It?

Gaslighting is the mental manipulation that someone does to another individual. It’s a psychological maneuver of abusive-type people who want to control you by making you believe you’re guilty of something you did not do. If they persist, you may give up and accept what… Continue Reading …

The New Unpardonable Sin Racism
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The New Unpardonable Sin: Racism

You can be an adulterer, but as long as you’re a civil rights activist, you’re accepted. You can be for killing babies, but if you’re not a racist, you’re okay. You can vote to legalize narcotics, but if you refrain from racist remarks, you’re fine.… Continue Reading …

Is It Wrong to Show Emotion When Helping Someone
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Is It Wrong to Show Emotion When Helping Someone?

I was chatting recently with a Christian counselor who said that her mentors taught her that Christian counselors should not show emotion during counseling sessions. She asked me what I thought about this kind of teaching. What do you think? It is okay to cry… Continue Reading …

What Is the Way to Work through Personality Differences
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What Is the Way to Work through Personality Differences?

Rick, recently you talked about how you tend to live on “military time” and Lucia lives on “island time” and how you both have had to work through your conflicting personality traits in your marriage. You also tied this to how the gospel speaks to… Continue Reading …

The Best Way to Connect with Someone to Help Them Change
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The Best Way to Connect with Someone to Help Them Change

What is your primary way of relating to people? Do you connect superficially, or do you engage them where they live? I’m talking about reaching a person in their hearts. It is imperative to reach folks at the right place so that they can experience… Continue Reading …

You Need To Budget the Expectation of Sin into Your Life
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You Need To Budget the Expectation of Sin into Your Life

One of the most natural things you will ever do is respond sinfully to the sin of another person. When you do this, it reveals a lot about how you think about yourself, the other person, and the Lord. Part of this problem is we… Continue Reading …

Here Are Three Powerful and Practical Parenting Strategies
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Here Are Three Powerful and Practical Parenting Strategies

Once a parent, ever a parent. Even after a parent loses hands-on oversight and care of their children as they get older, they never stop thinking about them—always wondering and praying for their well-being. Before that sad day of their departure comes, I want to… Continue Reading …

7 Things That Will Bring Change to Any Angry Teen’s Life
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7 Things That Will Bring Change to Any Angry Teen’s Life

Teenagers don’t have to be angry or disconnected, but many of them are. Rather than speculating on why they are this way, some practical advice on how to change would be appropriate. This article is for that teenager who is looking for help to change… Continue Reading …

10 Things That Will Motivate Your Teen Child to Change
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10 Things That Will Motivate Your Teen Child to Change

A rebellious teenager is a complicated problem with many sides to it. Loving parents want to motivate this kind of child to change, but too often, they are not aware of all that is involved in helping him. Here are ten practical things that any… Continue Reading …

Should People You Know Confess Their Sins to You
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Should People You Know Confess Their Sins to You?

My friend has a hidden, secret sin, which she is afraid to confess to me. I see her in bondage to what she has done and was wondering if it is right or if it would be helpful if she confessed her sin to me.… Continue Reading …

How to Practically Help Non-Christians with Marriage Problems
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How to Practically Help Non-Christians with Marriage Problems

I have heard that you cannot counsel non-Christians with God’s Word. It’s not true. You can help anyone with the Bible, no matter what their relationship is like with the Lord. The more relevant question is, how do you do it? What are some practical… Continue Reading …

A Few Essential Qualities Of an Effective Husband
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A Few Essential Qualities Of an Effective Husband

Every gardener has a garden. It’s common sense, right? If you plan to take up gardening, you must have one. It would be better if you knew something about gardening. My grandfather had one, and he was an expert gardener. You may want to read:… Continue Reading …

The Ultimate Solution to All Your Problems, a Cross Examination
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The Ultimate Solution to All Your Problems, a Cross Examination

God is acting decisively at the cross to work out His purposes to bring everyone from all nations, at all times, to Himself. Apart from the cross, there is no way to understand or enjoy life the way God intends. It’s a mystery as much… Continue Reading …

How Your Unguarded Strength Can Become a Double Weakness
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How Your Unguarded Strength Can Become a Double Weakness

What are your strengths and weakness, the primary ones that come to mind? I’m sure you guard against letting your weaknesses rule over you. But how vigilant are you in protecting yourself from your strengths? How aware are you that your strengths could be more… Continue Reading …

How to Connect the Gospel to Your Music Choices
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How to Connect the Gospel to Your Music Choices

The gospel connects to every aspect of our lives, regardless if it is things of primary importance or tertiary matters. One of those lesser but valuable loves in all our lives is Christian music, which makes knowing how to connect the gospel to your music… Continue Reading …

How Paul Connected the Gospel to Personal Suffering
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How Paul Connected the Gospel to Personal Suffering

Paul had a gospel-centered perspective on personal suffering. In 2 Corinthians 12, we learn that the Lord gave Paul a thorn in the flesh. Though we are unsure what his “thorn” was, Christians generally agree that it was a physical debilitation. I have written on… Continue Reading …

How to Connect the Gospel to Parental Discipline
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How to Connect the Gospel to Parental Discipline

Parental discipline is not just a behavioral interaction between a parent and a child. There are hearts in play, too—the heart of the parent and the child. If the parent does not connect the gospel to his heart, the discipline will not go well, and… Continue Reading …

How to Connect the Gospel to Physical Suffering
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How to Connect the Gospel to Physical Suffering

Connecting the gospel to physical suffering is one of the most essential things you will ever do. The “good news” is always perfect when there is bad news, but how to make those gospel connections are not quickly apparent, especially when your pain is acute… Continue Reading …

How to Connect the Gospel to Being Left Alone
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How to Connect the Gospel to Being Left Alone

How you think about life determines how you practically respond to life. Living in a broken world is hard, chaotic, stressful, and challenging. And if you have a skewed understanding of the doctrines of man, sin, salvation, and the Lord, you will not engage your… Continue Reading …

What Influences You the Most Is What You Love the Most
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What Influences You the Most Is What You Love the Most

You can’t come out of the world because you live in the world. This problem means that we need to take decisive actions about how to guard our hearts against the influences of the culture. Some choose legalistic separation, while others love the world too… Continue Reading …

The Deadliest Infection and Greatest Cure You Can Have
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The Deadliest Infection and Greatest Cure You Can Have

Hold on and brace yourself for these two bold and sobering truths. Today’s sophisticated culture does not accept them, and they may offend you. Everyone is going to hell, and the Lord has set up the agency of humankind to let the whole world know… Continue Reading …

Six Practical Thoughts When Helping Friends and Enemies
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Six Practical Thoughts When Helping Friends and Enemies

Living in a relationship with someone requires a practical awareness of how to do it well. Each person is on a private and personal journey that is unlike any other, which means there will be times when helping your friends or enemies will be challenging.… Continue Reading …

What to Do When You Can’t See What You Should See
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What to Do When You Can’t See What You Should See

Have you ever had a good run with the Lord, and then all of a sudden, you were surprised by your lack of faith? Something caught you off guard. It’s one of those “Just when you’re doing well, then, bam, something bad happens” scenarios. I’m… Continue Reading …

When You Finally Realize That God Is Not an American
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When You Finally Realize That God Is Not an American

What if God is not an American, and His primary concern is not to keep us from having first-world problems? Is it possible that the Lord has other plans than our pursuit of happiness and that He may not be totally on board with our… Continue Reading …

Speaking to the Practical Role of Fathers with Children
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Speaking to the Practical Role of Fathers with Children

Having two genders is not just a neat way to think about the human family. There are functional and irreplaceable roles for each gender. When it comes to parenting, the dad and mom have unique purposes, practices, and effects on children. In this article, I’m… Continue Reading …

Four Stages to the Christian Life. Where Are You
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Four Stages to the Christian Life. Where Are You?

The Christian life is progressive and transforming. To hang with Jesus means to be moving, growing, and changing. It’s a privilege of grace to experience a transformation that leads to maturity, but we’re not all in the same place. There are stages of the Christian… Continue Reading …

Here Is a Useful Way to Connect the Gospel to Arguments
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Here Is a Useful Way to Connect the Gospel to Arguments

There are times in a relationship when winning the argument should not be your first call to action. Jesus talked about turning the other cheek and going the extra mile with some folks. What relationships do you have where it would be a better experience… Continue Reading …

A Practical Perspective for Family Worship In Your Home
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A Practical Perspective for Family Worship In Your Home

Do you experience regular family worship? How do you all practice it? The Christian family worship experience is not a singular activity but a comprehensive lifestyle that breathes through all aspects of your lives. Will you consider these five essential elements to help you and… Continue Reading …

Will I Ever Be Free from My Recurring Temptation to Sin
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Will I Ever Be Free from My Recurring Temptation to Sin?

You have a recurring temptation. It won’t go away. How are you supposed to think about it? What does it mean? A friend asked, “What if I keep getting tempted by the same sin over and over again, and I worry it will eventually win… Continue Reading …

Sometimes It’s Better to Say Nothing When You’re Right
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Sometimes It’s Better to Say Nothing When You’re Right

Being right is a tricky thing. Did you know that being right does not always mean you have to communicate what you know to be true? How good are you at discerning when to speak and not to speak as you consider the person who… Continue Reading …

The Worst Happened When I Was Silent About My Sin
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The Worst Happened When I Was Silent About My Sin

Are you more concerned about what God thinks about your sin or what others may think about your sin? Your thoughts about this crucial question will determine the quality of your life. The way you can know the answer to what controls your heart is… Continue Reading …

How Do I Help My Teen When He Does Not Want My Help
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How Do I Help My Teen When He Does Not Want My Help?

How do you help a teenage son when he does not want your help? You feel him distancing from you and the family, but he won’t communicate with you. Should you relax your expectations? Perhaps a more in-depth question is how is his behavior a… Continue Reading …

Do You Know That Transformation Is Not Complicated
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Do You Know That Transformation Is Not Complicated?

Some issues in our lives are more resolvable than we think. Part of the problem is that we focus on the wrong thing, thinking it is the cause of our struggle. Over-complicating our temptations does happen. And though what I’m suggesting sounds simple on the… Continue Reading …

Why Should I Disciple If God Has to Grant Repentance First
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Why Should I Disciple If God Has to Grant Repentance First?

One of the most tedious and mysterious questions you will ever ponder is the tension between God’s role in our lives and our responsibility to respond to Him. Ultimately, the problem is unanswerable in a satisfying way. But an unresolvable conundrum does not mean we… Continue Reading …

These Five Words Are the Most Life-Altering You’ll Ever Believe
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These Five Words Are the Most Life-Altering You’ll Ever Believe

To believe in someone or something is part of what it means to be human, and there are many options from which to choose. When you think about all the things that you believe, what is the most vital one? What defines you above everything… Continue Reading …

Excellent Ideas That Will Help Your Church Before It’s Too Late
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Excellent Ideas That Will Help Your Church Before It’s Too Late

Everyone is carrying a silent disease in their body. You don’t know it and won’t know it until there is a visible manifestation of it. In some cases, it’s too late. The local church is similar. Sin is a silent killer that can infect an… Continue Reading …

Being Honest About the Limitations of Social Media Relationships
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Being Honest About the Limitations of Social Media Relationships

Social media draws from our hearts a mixture of likes and dislikes—all at the same time. We are thankful for these media platforms because of our ability to reach others easily, quickly, and helpfully. We struggle with these platforms because of the many inherent problems.… Continue Reading …

Responding to Friends Who Do Things That Make You Uncomfortable
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Responding to Friends Who Do Things That Make You Uncomfortable

When someone does something that you don’t like, you have several options from which to choose. You can consent to what they said or did and be like them. You could confront and rebuke them. Or you can try to ignore what just happened, which… Continue Reading …

The Ironic and Liberating Truth About Feeling Conviction
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The Ironic and Liberating Truth About Feeling Conviction

Conviction is one of God’s kindnesses to His creation. In the spiritual realm, the concept of experiencing conviction is analogous to the pain we feel in our physical bodies. Actual guilt that leads to conviction is God’s way of telling us that something is wrong… Continue Reading …

If Your Friend Is Not Changing, Will You Consider This
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If Your Friend Is Not Changing, Will You Consider This?

If you know someone who is not changing, do not despair. There is a way to think about them and the dynamics of change. In this article, I’m going to break down one of the essential elements in the change process. I hope that the… Continue Reading …

Do You Think It’s Right to Correct My Authoritarian Husband
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Do You Think It’s Right to Correct My Authoritarian Husband?

No human has absolute authority over another. This perspective should be common sense, but it’s not for everyone. A dictatorial husband and father can put wives and children in a difficult spot, which begs the question, do you think it’s right to correct my authoritarian… Continue Reading …

Gay Logic How In the World Did You Ever Believe This
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Gay Logic: How In the World Did You Ever Believe This?

Dear Gay Friend, as you read this or listen to the podcast, I appeal to you to differentiate between my affection for you and my opinion about your life choices. Agreement with your lifestyle choices and love for you are not mutual necessities. Likewise, I… Continue Reading …

When the Slave Battles His Master for Ultimate Control
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When the Slave Battles His Master for Ultimate Control

Let’s talk about slavery. I’m not speaking about what happens around our world every day or what went on in our country 150 years ago. I’m speaking to Christians who willingly came to Jesus and said, “I want to be your slave.” I’m talking about… Continue Reading …

God Is An Extravagant Lover In Your Suffering
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God Is An Extravagant Lover In Your Suffering

When my life does not go the way I hoped, it is easy for me to disengage and become discouraged. These are the moments when I must remind myself that when things are not working out the way I hoped, the Lord still loves and… Continue Reading …

Reflective Study On Victimhood and the Need for Hope
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Reflective Study On Victimhood and the Need for Hope

Living in hope while resisting the temptation of victimhood can be the hurt person’s most significant struggle. Hope is vital when bad things happen to any of us. Too often, legitimate victims place their hope on the wrong things, even if it’s anger or revenge.… Continue Reading …

Who Are You Voting For As President This November
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Who Are You Voting For As President This November?

This presidential election cycle is my sixteenth. Admittedly, the first one I do not remember because I was one year old. It was 1960. I do remember the second one in 1964 but had no opinion other than keeping Lyndon Johnson in there since he… Continue Reading …

A Practical Plan For You to Rise Above All Your Trouble
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A Practical Plan For You to Rise Above All Your Trouble

Every merciful, loving, and wise parent will not bail out their children every time but let them learn and mature through the difficulties in their lives. Thankfully, the Lord does this, too, so we can learn to rise above our troubles. You may want to… Continue Reading …

The Destructive Force of Empathy, and Why You Need to Know
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The Destructive Force of Empathy, and Why You Need to Know

Before you go any further in this article, please answer this question. The reason I want you to do this is that your definitions of empathy and sympathy will describe who you are, how you think, and the kind of care you provide for others.… Continue Reading …

If You Do These Things, You Will Be a Missional Friend
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If You Do These Things, You Will Be a Missional Friend

When you think about doing ministry, what comes to mind? What thoughts do you have when you hear the words “being missional through ministry.” Two things that should be somewhere near the top of your list are a biblical understanding of missional ministry and where… Continue Reading …

How to Disciple Someone So They Will Care for Others
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How to Disciple Someone So They Will Care for Others

Recently, I had a meeting with a pastor. He wanted to know how he could lead his church more effectively in discipleship. I am going to share with you the fruit of that conversation. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed thinking… Continue Reading …

Lazy People Aren’t Lazy Primarily, But Have a Pleasure Disorder
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Lazy People Aren’t Lazy Primarily, But Have a Pleasure Disorder

It is exceptional for a lazy person to be lazy. If you observe their lives, you will see many biblical qualities like intentionality, pre-meditation, work ethic, and imagination. The primary problem is not their laziness, though you may feel that the most. The underlying heart… Continue Reading …

The Revolutionary Cure for Shallow Small Group Frustration
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The Revolutionary Cure for Shallow Small Group Frustration

Is your small group living in-depth, transparent, intentional, reciprocating lives, who have strong desires to change personally and as a group? Perhaps it’s a men’s group or a community of ladies. It could be a mixed group that meets to go over the sermon or… Continue Reading …

What Can I Do About Being Fearful of Discipling Others
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What Can I Do About Being Fearful of Discipling Others?

Do you ever feel fear when it comes to the responsibility that comes with counseling people biblically? I teach with much fear and trembling, but not just because I am held accountable. When it comes to counseling people one-on-one, I find it fulfilling yet also… Continue Reading …

People Learn About Jesus By the Things You Say
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People Learn About Jesus By the Things You Say

Pretend your tongue is a paintbrush, and your heart is a bucket full of paint. You dip your brush into your bucket so you can paint a picture on a canvas for the world to see. The picture that you paint reveals your relationship with… Continue Reading …

The Unintended Danger of the Principle-Driven Life

The Unintended Danger of the Principle-Driven Life

One of the downsides of dividing the Bible into chapters and verses is that it can create a principle-driven discipleship methodology. What I mean is that we can turn the Bible into nuggets, snippets, and tips that are not in the context of the passage… Continue Reading …

What Are Your Thoughts About Wolves and Weeds In the Church

What Are Your Thoughts About Wolves and Weeds In the Church?

What are your thoughts about the warnings in the New Testament regarding wolves in sheep’s clothing or about weeds among the wheat? How am I to think about them, as well as respond to them? What is the best approach when dealing with this subject?… Continue Reading …

Biblical Sexuality and Its Distortions From Bad to Good
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Biblical Sexuality and Its Distortions: From Bad to Good

Physical intimacy in a marriage is a vital assessment of how a couple relates to each other. The challenge is having transparent conversations about their sexual relationship. If left unattended, sexual desires rarely cease but take on distortions that adversely impact the couple. Mable found… Continue Reading …

Four Sequential Steps to Change Your Life

Four Sequential Steps to Change Your Life

The way to change your life should not be mysterious or elusive. Paul gave Timothy a practical and replicate-able plan that you can implement in your life. If you do learn and practice these four sequential steps, your life will change too. You may also… Continue Reading …

The Victim of an Unwanted Divorce Learns to Forgive

The Victim of an Unwanted Divorce Learns to Forgive

Navigating a disappointing and painful relationship is something we all have to do. And though you can bounce back quickly from some of these strained relationships, others require more work. In the article, I am responding to a person who went through an unwanted divorce… Continue Reading …

How to Make Sense of Today’s Sexually Confused Culture

How to Make Sense of Today’s Sexually Confused Culture

It used to be that everyone identified as a male or female based on objective anatomical evidence at a child’s birth. In the past few decades, what has always been evident to the naked eye is now fluid; it is “to be determined,” based on… Continue Reading …

The Shallowness and Incompleteness of the DISC Model

The Shallowness and Incompleteness of the DISC Model

DISC is one out of hundreds of psychological creations that the non-Christian world has developed to understand themselves. Because everyone has to believe something, it makes sense for our unbelieving counterparts, who reject a sufficiency of Scripture worldview, to create a system of thought that… Continue Reading …

Should My Church Change Its Practice On Alcohol

Should My Church Change Its Practice On Alcohol?

Secondary preferences, at times, can move to primary prominence in some peoples’ minds. When this happens, division comes, and strong opinions prevail. One of the most hotly debated secondary issues in the church, historically speaking, is whether it’s a sin to drink alcohol. When helping… Continue Reading …

How to Find Comfort Knowing You Can’t Change People

How to Find Comfort Knowing You Can’t Change People

The unchanging person is the loving caregiver’s greatest struggle. You love them and want to help them. You pour out your heart for them. But they do not change. Sometimes you push too hard. Other times, you give up. Knowing how to respond to each… Continue Reading …

What Is the Cyber Effect and What You Can Do About It

What Is the Cyber Effect and What You Can Do About It

Technology can be a redemptive instrument in the hands of individuals who want to do good and know how to accomplish those positive purposes. Conversely, technology in the hands of someone who does not have redemptive values can damage their souls and all of those… Continue Reading …

When You Worry About Your Sin, You Hinder the Gospel

When You Worry About Your Sin, You Hinder the Gospel

The time it takes you to ask for forgiveness and feel forgiven while enjoying the freedom of that forgiveness reveals your practical understanding and application of the gospel. For some folks, when they sin, they go through a “worry period” because they have not come… Continue Reading …

Loving God When You Don’t Get What You Want

Loving God When You Don’t Get What You Want

What if the special thing you hoped for did not happen? Your dream come true did not come true for you. In those moments of not getting what you want, it’s imperative that you not only see Him, who is invisible, but He must govern… Continue Reading …

Practical Advice for Discerning the Differences In People
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Practical Advice for Discerning the Differences In People

Biblical discernment is a huge issue for anyone who wants to care for another person. Anytime you’re discipling someone, you have to make judgment calls about the person you’re helping. There is no way around this truth. All good disciple-makers have to be comfortable with… Continue Reading …

Enjoying God My Wife’s Break From a Legalistic Perspective

Enjoying God: My Wife’s Break From a Legalistic Perspective

Do you enjoy God? You know, like a good movie or a nice dinner. After a long day, you’re looking for a pleasant escape to something you enjoy. Is God at the top of your “things I enjoy the most” list? My wife was not… Continue Reading …

Why You Can Trust God When He Withholds Your Desire

Why You Can Trust God When He Withholds Your Desire

Everyone has asked God for things. And nobody has gotten all that they asked the Lord to provide. For the unbeliever, the denial of the request will generate disappointment, cynicism, and even anger. For the child of God, temporal disappointment or frustration may come, but… Continue Reading …

The Uncomfortable Benefit of God Being Silent
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The Uncomfortable Benefit of God Being Silent

Silence does not have to be a bad thing, even the silence of God. During the Lord’s quietness, He can communicate some of the most profound truths if you’re willing to listen. Ultimately, we have to trust the Lord’s wisdom in all matters of life… Continue Reading …

How to Move Your Marriage from Hostility to Harmony
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How to Move Your Marriage from Hostility to Harmony

Marriage is a marathon, and if you want to do it well, it’s vital that you understand and implement these seven practical keys. If not, it’s likely that hostility will come, and harmony will be a lost dream. There is transformative hope in God’s Word.… Continue Reading …

You Need More Than Preaching If You Want to Change
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You Need More Than Preaching If You Want to Change

The preaching event on Sunday morning and the working out of the preached Word during the week are not either/or activities. They both work together to help the Christian mature. The Christian life is not centered on the pulpit because the Christian life is lived… Continue Reading …

The Negative Effect of Fundamentalism On the Soul
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The Negative Effect of Fundamentalism On the Soul

Fundamentalism is one slice of Christian evangelicalism. In addition to the fundamentals of the faith, fundamentalists typically hold to strict sub-biblical, ascetic practices. Though they love Jesus and are passionate about following Him, many of them embrace legalistic preferences. The negative effect of this kind… Continue Reading …

Regret Lingering Reminders Of Our Broken Humanity
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Regret: Lingering Reminders Of Our Broken Humanity

Lingering regret is an ongoing sadness about a disappointing moment from your past. It is different from temporal sorrow. Temporary sad periods are normal human emotional responses to undesirable circumstances. You may want to read: Eight Practical and Transforming Ways to Think about Your Past… Continue Reading …

An Educator Shares Her Perspective About Our Training
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An Educator Shares Her Perspective About Our Training

Our Mastermind training course is an all-online curriculum that teaches Christians how to grow in their discipleship, and biblical counseling practices. Recently, we had a seasoned educator, who is also a student in our program, provide her assessment and personal experience of our training course.… Continue Reading …

A Few Practical Steps on How to Walk in the Spirit
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A Few Practical Steps on How to Walk in the Spirit

My number one all-time prayer is for the Spirit of God to give me awareness and perception regarding His work in my life and in the world where I live. Each day and throughout my day, this is my prayer. I want to know what… Continue Reading …

The Unparalleled Benefit of Living In an Unchangeable Situation
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The Unparalleled Benefit of Living In an Unchangeable Situation

What would you rather have if you only had one choice: a change of circumstances or a change of mind about your circumstances? This question is critical, as well as tied directly to the quality of life you will experience with God and others. You… Continue Reading …

Helpful Tips on How to Make Decisions, Big and Small
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Helpful Tips on How to Make Decisions, Big and Small

Every day you have to make many decisions, big and small. Some of them are life-changing events, while others aren’t as consequential. Having a good grasp of biblical decision-making is vital. I have for you a decision-making case study and then a few practical guidelines… Continue Reading …

Knowing You’re Bad Is the Beginning of Being Good
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Knowing You’re Bad Is the Beginning of Being Good

One of the most counterintuitive messages for anyone to accept is their inherent badness. If you are feeling bad about yourself, the key to overcoming this struggle is to accept that you’re not a good person. The culture says you are somebody. The Bible says… Continue Reading …

A Good Goal for Husbands Stop Trying to Be a Good Husband
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A Good Goal for Husbands: Stop Trying to Be a Good Husband

No doubt, being a good husband is a good goal. And you can throw in being a good wife too. You could say the same thing for being a good dad, mother, child, employer, employee, or a good friend. All of these roles are important,… Continue Reading …

What to Do When Your Biblical Counseling Is Harsh

What to Do When Your Biblical Counseling Is Harsh

If you are not able to counsel with tears, you’re not counseling the way Jesus did (Matthew 23:37; John 11:35). Biblical counseling is not as biblical as it needs to be if it does not happen in a context of compassion for the struggling soul.… Continue Reading …

This Worldview Will Change Everything About Your Life
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This Worldview Will Change Everything About Your Life

How you answer this question will give you insight into why your life is the way it is. To answer it correctly and live it practically will set the stage for one of the most incredibly adventurous experiences you can have. Are you ready for… Continue Reading …

The Sobering Truth for Why Some People Do Not Change
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The Sobering Truth for Why Some People Do Not Change

The more you want someone to change, and the more you are pulling for them to change, the greater the temptation to feel pressure regarding your role in the change process. In such cases, you must know that if a person wants to change, he… Continue Reading …

The Purpose of Suffering Is to Grow Your Confidence In God
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The Purpose of Suffering Is to Grow Your Confidence In God

Everybody suffers. It does not matter who you are. It doesn’t matter who you belong to—the world or God’s family. Suffering is suffering, and nobody is exempt from it. The difference between Christian and non-Christian suffering is how we view and respond to it. When… Continue Reading …

When You Give More Than Money, You’re More Like Christ
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When You Give More Than Money, You’re More Like Christ

When most folks think about giving, they automatically default to money. It makes sense because money is vital to living well in God’s world. But if money is the only thing we think about regarding giving, we will miss out on some of the most… Continue Reading …

How to Have a Relational Adventure with Someone You Love
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How to Have a Relational Adventure with Someone You Love

The most satisfying relationship a person can have with another is when they are mutually sharing their personal experiences with God. They cannot be more honest, transparent, humble, vulnerable, courageous, and life-giving. Though you can’t be this way with everyone, it’s vital to have one… Continue Reading …

The Wisdom of Revealing and Concealing the Truth
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The Wisdom of Revealing and Concealing the Truth

Telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth is a good goal, but it is not always wise to reveal everything that you know within any relationship. There is a time to be quiet and a time to speak, and you must know the… Continue Reading …

Parental Discipline Is Born Out of a Heart of Love
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Parental Discipline Is Born Out of a Heart of Love

Do you discipline your children? How do you do it? When it comes to corrective care, how does your child experience it? Just as important, what is your motive behind your discipline? Anytime you’re talking about parental discipline, you want to make sure you are… Continue Reading …

The First Thing to Know When Caring For Someone
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The First Thing to Know When Caring For Someone

When you are about to disciple someone, where do you begin as far as developing a plan for their discipleship care? Your starting point will determine how you will act during the process, as well as how you finish your care of them. You may… Continue Reading …

Practical Wisdom and Courage for Your Gossiping Friends
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Practical Wisdom and Courage for Your Gossiping Friends

It is not possible to keep from talking about others behind their backs. But when it happens, how are you to respond? Do you have the courage to lead conversations when the information is negative, or are you more apt to follow along while not… Continue Reading …

What Should a Single Girl Know about Guys Struggling with Porn
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What Should a Single Girl Know about Guys Struggling with Porn?

“I’m a single girl, and I read your article titled, “When Looking for Porn, Begin in the Heart.” It was a fabulous article, and several parts of it shocked me, though it makes sense now after reading it. May I ask you a few questions… Continue Reading …

When Looking for Pornography, Start in the Heart
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When Looking for Pornography, Start in the Heart

You’re helping a friend work through his porn addiction. Where do you begin? What is your starting point? To identify his most significant problem, where would you look? Would you start with what the struggler is viewing? What about the social effect? How about modesty?… Continue Reading …

All You Need to Know for Camping On Black Friday
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All You Need to Know for Camping On Black Friday

Each year in the states, we have Black Friday. It is the unofficial kickoff of the Christmas season. If you’re planning to camp out for a good deal, I recommend thinking like a Boy Scout: Be Prepared. Here are eight practical things to know for… Continue Reading …

The Truth about Repentance Is You Can’t Make It Happen
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The Truth about Repentance Is You Can’t Make It Happen

I have often said, in certain situations, that Biblical counseling is not the best way for sanctification to happen. I’m not throwing Biblical counseling under the bus, but being honest about the change process. Repentance is a gift given, which implies a need to think… Continue Reading …

A Weak View of Love Will Damage Your Relationships
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A Weak View of Love Will Damage Your Relationships

What does “bear all things” mean when Paul was talking about loving others from the love chapter? Am I supposed to permit or endure others to do what they want to do with me? Is this a “grin and bear it” theology of love? When… Continue Reading …

You Can Do Better Than a Bible Study Spend Time with God
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You Can Do Better Than a Bible Study: Spend Time with God

Have you ever thought about the difference between spending time with God alone versus doing a Bible study? Did you know there is a transformative, relational difference between those two disciplines? Though both of them are vital for your growth, one can be much better… Continue Reading …

How to Love a Difficult Person Without Them Controlling You
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How to Love a Difficult Person Without Them Controlling You

How do you stay true to what you believe while not offending those who aren’t willing to get on board with your perspectives and practices? What if you have a weaker brother or sister that you can’t correct? Does the “weakest link” in the relationship… Continue Reading …

Do Your Friends Permit You To Be Imperfect
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Do Your Friends Permit You To Be Imperfect?

There are two general categories of people who attend a local church meeting on any given Sunday. Those who sin and admit it and those who sin and are unwilling or tentative about admitting it. Two people groups and one common denominator—we all sin. You… Continue Reading …

People You Love the Most Can Hurt You Quicker than Anyone Else
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People You Love the Most Can Hurt You Quicker than Anyone Else

The people that you spend the most time trying to help may turn on you quicker than anyone else. Not every individual that you serve will react that way, but a few of them will not be responsive to change and may retaliate against you… Continue Reading …

Manipulating Others With the Things That Have Happened to You
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Manipulating Others With the Things That Have Happened to You

Overcoming past disappointments is hard enough in itself. But sometimes, our inability to move forward is self-inflicted, as we use our past disappointments to gain acceptance, love, respect, and pity from others. Biff was such a person. Clinging to the past not only gave him… Continue Reading …

Here Is Some Motivation to Love That Pain In Your Neck
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Here Is Some Motivation to Love That Pain In Your Neck

Let’s free associate: name a couple of people in your life that you cringe when you think about them. How about the person you would rather not be around? They are a pain in your neck. Do you have at least one in your mind?… Continue Reading …

How to Help Christians Who Don’t Act Like Christians

How to Help Christians Who Don’t Act Like Christians

Do you know of any Christians who do not act like Christians? Are they your friends? How would you help them? A friend asked me this question, and I gave him nine ideas that provided some clarity on how to help those who claim to… Continue Reading …

The Sobering Reason It’s Hard to Overcome Insecurity
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The Sobering Reason It’s Hard to Overcome Insecurity

It is typical for individuals to struggle with fear of man issues, which includes not knowing how to help others who are caught in this sin. This problem has a two-part solution: we must teach on the issue and create contexts so we can help… Continue Reading …

Struggling With Sin Is One Way the Lord Strengthens You
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Struggling With Sin Is One Way the Lord Strengthens You

Two people have a similar struggle. Both of them struggle with discouragement because of their ongoing patterns of sin. Rather than seeing sin as an opportunity to lean into God, they are heading farther down the path of frustration and fear. Sinning plus struggling with… Continue Reading …

If You Knew the Backstory, Would It Make Any Difference
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If You Knew the Backstory, Would It Make Any Difference?

The backstory is the story behind the story. There is always a backstory to every story. The story that you know is not all there is to what is happening to you. Behind every story, God is mysteriously working. How does not knowing the whole… Continue Reading …

Breaking Down My Heart When It’s Breaking Bad

Breaking Down My Heart When It’s Breaking Bad

How would people know you if you had no filter on your inner person? How would folks experience the authentic you? We live in a duality: our authentic selves and the person we present to the public. Closing the gap between the two happens when… Continue Reading …

Seven Keys that Will Transform Your Life
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Seven Keys that Will Transform Your Life

If you read approximately 4.25 chapters a day, you will be able to complete the Word of God in a year. Okay. But the more significant questions are, “How much of that reading is changing you? Is God’s Word transforming you, or are you a… Continue Reading …

How to Change a Home from Job-Centered to God-Centered
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How to Change a Home from Job-Centered to God-Centered

A man’s job was never meant to be like the tail wagging the dog. In this illustration, the tail is the job, and the dog is his family. When the job becomes the most significant thing to a man, the family will become a lesser… Continue Reading …

Do You Qualify to Have a Spouse
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Do You Qualify to Have a Spouse?

What would it be like if you had to qualify for marriage? What if being a husband or wife was like meeting the qualifications for a high-ranking job? I know it’s silly, and nothing like that would ever happen, but it is something to ponder.… Continue Reading …

When You Manipulate Change, You Damage the Relationship
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When You Manipulate Change, You Damage the Relationship

You may have a good desire for someone, but if your methods are manipulative and forceful, you will blow up the relationship. Each person is different, and you must understand them before you attempt to help them change. Knowing your audience, whether a spouse, child,… Continue Reading …

The Insightful Advantage of Comparing Yourself to People
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The Insightful Advantage of Comparing Yourself to People

Comparing yourself to other people can be a huge blessing when you do it the right way. Of course, that is the key—the correct way. The implication is that you must not choose outward behaviors as the only way for assessing people. If you do,… Continue Reading …

The Intricate Reasons Why a Teen Boy Rejects His Mother
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The Intricate Reasons Why a Teen Boy Rejects His Mother

My son is pushing away from my wife. He’s fourteen years old. I’ve noticed a growing embarrassment from him toward his mother. I’ve tried to talk to him about it, but he hardly responds, only to say it’s weird to be still hanging out with… Continue Reading …

Four Things We Do to Make Life Hard on Ourselves
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Four Things We Do to Make Life Hard on Ourselves

Every time I sin, there is a required response needed. The question is not, “Will I respond to my sin?” but “How will I respond to my sin?” There are four incorrect reactions to sin and one correct one. The right choice will set you… Continue Reading …

How Can I Get My Husband to Talk More
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How Can I Get My Husband to Talk More?

“How can I help you?” “We don’t communicate well.” And that is how many counseling sessions begin. The truth of the matter is that they do not have a communication problem. Or to say it better, that is not their primary problem. Rarely does anyone… Continue Reading …

How to Respond When a Spouse Will Not Meet Expectations
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How to Respond When a Spouse Will Not Meet Expectations

You have a desire that you want another person to meet. That desire does not have to be a bad thing. Desires only become evil when you demand them from others while punishing them for not meeting your expectation. You may want to read: When… Continue Reading …

How To Motivate Church People To Volunteer
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How To Motivate Church People To Volunteer

Volunteering to serve in a local church and within the surrounding community is at the heart of the gospel. Jesus best capsulated the idea of how the gospel connects to serving in Mark 10:45. The non-serving Christian is an oxymoron. You may want to read:… Continue Reading …

These Six Things Want to Control Your Life
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These Six Things Want to Control Your Life

The question you never ask anyone is whether something is controlling you. The reason because something or someone is always controlling us. The most independent and autonomous person you know is not as he presents himself to be. You may want to read: 12 Universal… Continue Reading …

Dear Daddy, I’m Not Your Little Girl Anymore
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Dear Daddy, I’m Not Your Little Girl Anymore

God makes children in His image, but parents have a way of reshaping that image by how they treat them. This sad letter from a wayward teenager to her daddy reflects the devastating power of parenting and the reactionary choices that teens can make. You… Continue Reading …

Knowing What to Do But Not Doing It Is a Problem
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Knowing What to Do But Not Doing It Is a Problem

God’s mercy comes to us without conditions but does not proceed without our cooperation. So too, our aid must begin freely, regardless of the recipient’s merits. But our mercy must increasingly demand change, or it is not really love. – Timothy J. Keller, Ministries of… Continue Reading …

What Does “All Things Work Together for Good” Really Mean
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What Does “All Things Work Together for Good” Really Mean?

A true story. Trouble came into my life. I hurt without mitigation. In time, the hurt was so bad that I didn’t care if God killed me. The burden was beyond my strength utterly. I began to despair of life. (2 Corinthians 1:8) Slightly Paraphrased.… Continue Reading …

What You Believe You Need Will Control You
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What You Believe You Need Will Control You

All people have a desire for approval and acceptance. When God made us in His image, He also gave us a natural yearning to be part of a community (Genesis 2:18). The problem arises when we try to satisfy our longing for others outside of… Continue Reading …

What To Do When Your Spouse Disappoints You
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What To Do When Your Spouse Disappoints You

Every relationship will be a disappointing one to some degree. This truth is unavoidable. The key to living well with others begins by having an attitude of forgiveness toward all offenders. You start developing this mindset by realizing how God extended His mercy to you… Continue Reading …

Hiding Behind Grace To Avoid The Hard Things
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Hiding Behind Grace To Avoid The Hard Things

Sometimes “extending grace” may mean you’re about to get into conflict. Though you should never look for a fight, you should also not be looking for ways to avoid soul care when it is within your competency and influence to help someone who is struggling.… Continue Reading …

Does Your Marriage Look Like This
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Does Your Marriage Look Like This?

A husband and wife are not just two people within the marriage. Yes, they have independent relationships with the Lord and with other people, but they are also one flesh. Like our blessed Trinity, there is perfect oneness that unites the three Persons. You may… Continue Reading …

Homosexuality Is Not In Our Genes
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Homosexuality Is Not In Our Genes

In the news this week are reports concerning a scientific study spanning two decades that allegedly proves that homosexuality is not genetic. There is no single gene in the human genome, so the articles go, that causes homosexuality. But this story is not news, as scientists… Continue Reading …

Surviving Adultery
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Surviving Adultery

There are not many things that will happen to a person more perplexing and painful than finding out that your spouse committed adultery. How do you survive? You may want to read: From Adultery to Restoration in Thirteen Steps We Fornicated While Dating, But Why… Continue Reading …

In Search of Significance Carey’s Story
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In Search of Significance: Carey’s Story

When you move the gospel from your functional center and replace it with other interests, even biblical things like “serving the Lord,” you will begin to grow in discontentment. And along with your restlessness will bring the temptation to satisfy your God-given longings through human-centered means.… Continue Reading …

The Story of the Boy Who Was Controlled By Others
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The Story of the Boy Who Was Controlled By Others

I was counseling a teen who said to me, “Mr. Thomas, you don’t wear Walmart to high school.” It was great! In his simple way, he clearly articulated what every human on the planet feels. He’s insecure, and he’s willing to give up his life… Continue Reading …

When Suffering Reaches the Limits of Your Endurance
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When Suffering Reaches the Limits of Your Endurance

The heat in Biff’s life usually has more effect on him than the gospel. Biff is like a lot of us. He can quickly become more controlled by his troubles than the Savior he loves and professes to follow. You may want to read: The… Continue Reading …

When the Weight of Your Sin Weighs You Down
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When the Weight of Your Sin Weighs You Down

When the weight of your sin weighs you down, you must make sure that you understand which sin you have in view. I’m speaking of the most significant problem. Typically, people struggle more with what they can see but don’t discern how the hidden motives… Continue Reading …

The Avengers, Scientism, and an Attack On Our World
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The Avengers, Scientism, and an Attack On Our World

Last week, millions of people worldwide enjoyed the blue-ray release of the movie Avengers: Endgame, and like almost every other movie, there existed an underlying philosophy beyond the storyline. I saw Endgame with my children, and immediately after the movie, we sat down to talk about the… Continue Reading …

When a Parachurch Ministry Tries to Run the Church
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When a Parachurch Ministry Tries to Run the Church

How much power should a parachurch organization have over a local church? Should a local church submit to a parachurch organization? When your parachurch ministry is interfering with a local church, where will you stand—with your ministry or the church? You may want to read:… Continue Reading …

Why and How Does God Bless Us
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Why and How Does God Bless Us?

Mailbag – I was wondering if God treats His people the same way regarding giving “blessing for obedience” in the new covenant. It seems all over the Old Testament—if God’s people obey, they receive a blessing; if they don’t obey, they receive discipline. Does God still treat us… Continue Reading …

When You Mix Suffering and Sovereignty Into Your Life
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When You Mix Suffering and Sovereignty Into Your Life

Suffering is the expected, ordinary life for Christians living as aliens in a fallen world. God knew this, which is why He equipped us to live as victors when engaging the realities of fallenness. “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain… Continue Reading …

Do You Leave Folks Better Off Than When You Found Them
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Do You Leave Folks Better Off Than When You Found Them?

You were in a horrible pit of sin. The Lord passed by, saw you, and lifted you out of your hopelessness. He left you better off than when He found you. His actions toward you gave you a goal in life: to imitate His gospel… Continue Reading …

Proactive Dads Keep Working After Coming Home from Work
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Proactive Dads Keep Working After Coming Home from Work

Generally speaking, there are two types of dads. One sees his job in a 9 to 5 construct. The other father sees himself as a full-time, 24/7 dad who provides spiritually and physically for his wife and children. Are you a part-time dad or a… Continue Reading …

Don’t Tell Folks What to Do Because They May Do It
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Don’t Tell Folks What to Do Because They May Do It

The fact any person would listen to me boggles my mind. I am a nobody who struggles like everybody, and when anybody pays attention to what I say, it is sobering, and I am cautious. There is a profound responsibility for all of us to… Continue Reading …

What You Communicate in Crisis Communicates the Real You
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What You Communicate in Crisis Communicates the Real You

There are two parts to every crisis: what is happening to you in real time and space, and what is spiritually happening to you as the Father matures you through the trial. You may want to read: I Trusted God, and My Life Fell Apart… Continue Reading …

Being Afraid of Your Daddy May Make You Afraid of God
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Being Afraid of Your Daddy May Make You Afraid of God

To fear God is not to be afraid of Him but to be drawn into ever-growing awe, amazement, and wonder as you think about and relate to Him. The love of our heavenly Father is extraordinary, though it’s not always a child’s first experience with… Continue Reading …

How Do Your Friends Help You Mature In Christ
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How Do Your Friends Help You Mature In Christ?

Who are your friends? How do they help you mature in Christ? What contexts have you created that help you pursue Christ together? Take a look at this verse about the importance of companions. You may want to read: The Benefit of Being Intentionally Intrusive… Continue Reading …

How to Be Awesome in Three Easy Steps
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How to Be Awesome in Three Easy Steps

What if your husband was awesome? What if your wife was awesome? How do you help your children to live in awesomeness? These are important questions, and, fortunately, the Bible does not leave us in the dark when it comes to being remarkable individuals. You… Continue Reading …

A Quick and Simple Way to Know a Person
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A Quick and Simple Way to Know a Person

Show me a person’s friends and the content that he consumes, and I will tell you what kind of individual he is. The quickest and most straightforward way to know a person is by assessing their relationships and the things that they put into their… Continue Reading …

Impacting Lives Near and Far, at the Same Time
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Impacting Lives Near and Far, at the Same Time

Travel Update – On June 1, 2019, our family set out for a 60-day trip through Florida. The purpose of this travel season was to speak, counsel, consult, and connect with churches, key ministry leaders, and donors who support this work. You may want to read:… Continue Reading …

The Man Who Destroyed Our Home Wants Forgiveness
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The Man Who Destroyed Our Home Wants Forgiveness

Biff destroyed his marriage. Shortly after that, he experienced conviction from God for what he did. In response to the Lord’s maneuvering in his heart, Biff made an authentic confession to God and his wife. You may want to read: Revenge: When Evil Comes to… Continue Reading …

How to Agree to Disagree and Still Enjoy Each Other
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How to Agree to Disagree and Still Enjoy Each Other

Some conflict does not end with an agreement. There are times when the best you can do is “agree to disagree.” As you think about this popular cliche, it’s vital to start with your heart motivations rather than the thing that is dividing you. In… Continue Reading …

Seven Tips for the Parent Who Blew It with Their Children
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Seven Tips for the Parent Who Blew It with Their Children

The Father regenerated me when I was 25 years old. My parents did not rear me in a Christian home, and you could describe my childhood years as dysfunctional. My parents could not have done a more mediocre job, but the Lord chose to save… Continue Reading …

Start Here When Working through Personal Hurt
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Start Here When Working through Personal Hurt

When a problem happens or someone does something to hurt you, where do you begin working through this relational problem? What is your starting point? May I make a suggestion to help you work through hurts, whether they are of your making or what someone… Continue Reading …

How to Keep from Being Overwhelmed by People Problems
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How to Keep from Being Overwhelmed by People Problems

Nobody loved people more than Jesus. Nobody was less controlled by people than Jesus. He found and lived in the perfect relational sweet spot of, “I love you, but you will not control me.” How about you? You may want to read: Do You Want… Continue Reading …

I’ll Do My Own Thing Since God Does Not Have My Back
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I’ll Do My Own Thing Since God Does Not Have My Back

If God is good, why is evil in the world? How can these two things—good and suffering—exist at the same time, especially if there is a loving and omnipotent God? A glance around the Internet says evil is in our world that is increasing, and… Continue Reading …

Being Honest about ADHD
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Being Honest about ADHD

Mailbag – Will you write about the differences between the secular view and biblical view of ADHD and depression? I would like to know if there are ever times when treating with medications are appropriate. I have multiple friends dealing with these issues. Thank you… Continue Reading …

Slow Down Before You Map Your Experience Over Others
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Slow Down Before You Map Your Experience Over Others

A blogger’s nightmare is when a person reads their article, pulls a point from it, and responds unkindly to the post. It often happens after I have posted a blurb on Facebook. Someone will respond uncharitably without doing the work of understanding the context or… Continue Reading …

I Am a Saved Legalist Who Struggles with Depression
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I Am a Saved Legalist Who Struggles with Depression

How you answer this question will impact the quality of your life on earth. Do you believe God sends people to hell, or do you think hell is the result for people who reject God? You may want to read: Sovereignty and Human Responsibility “I Am… Continue Reading …

The Powerful Upside and Downside of Habits
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The Powerful Upside and Downside of Habits

Part of God’s kindness to us is that He wired us to be habitual people. Habits are excellent because they make us better people. Of course, the opposite is also accurate in that habits can be our worst nightmares. You may want to read: Ten… Continue Reading …

Take the “Am I a Counselor” Test
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Take the “Am I a Counselor?” Test

Biblical counseling has generally been part of a two-tier Christian system: those who can counsel and those who cannot. The average Biff, the pew sitter on Sunday morning would more than likely recommend a counselor to someone than offer counsel to them. You may want to… Continue Reading …

Memories – Forgetting Past Relationship Thoughts
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Memories—Forgetting Past Relationship Thoughts

Our memories can play tricks on our minds, and if we’re not careful, we can grow in dissatisfaction with the life we have while giving unmerited honor to a past that we revised to fit the cravings of our hearts. Learning how to capture these… Continue Reading …

The Most Effective Way to Feel Better about Yourself
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The Most Effective Way to Feel Better about Yourself

Newsflash – I have always known that there was something wrong with me. But for the longest time, I did not know what it was. As I became older, I realized that I tied my “internal awkwardness” to a sense of shame that propelled me… Continue Reading …

Powerful and Practical Questions to Change Your Marriage
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Powerful and Practical Questions to Change Your Marriage

Most of the counseling that I do is marriage counseling. The reasons are that most folks who seek help are married, and marriage is a context where two sinful people have to live within proximity to each other for an extended period. Sin is always… Continue Reading …

Modesty Wars Hyper-Grace v. Legalism
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Modesty Wars: Hyper-Grace v. Legalism

Too often, discussions about modesty digress into contentious sparring matches between Christians with differing perspectives on this secondary issue. It does not have to be this way. There is no reason to be unkind, even when you don’t see eye to eye with another person.… Continue Reading …

Should I Count My Mean Husband More Significant than Me
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Should I Count My Mean Husband More Significant than Me?

Paul tells us in Philippians 2:3-4 that we should count others more significant than ourselves. He presses the point further by saying that we should not only look to our interests but the interests of others. This perspective, in his view, is what it means… Continue Reading …

Experiencing Extraordinary Favor During Disappointment
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Experiencing Extraordinary Favor During Disappointment

God provides ordinary disappointments for us to live out our faith while taking those everyday moments to do extraordinary things. Do you believe the Lord can use your regular life and typical troubles and do extraordinary things? You may want to read: The Anniversary of… Continue Reading …

I Need Help Counseling a Stubborn Couple
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I Need Help Counseling a Stubborn Couple

Every discipler knows that they cannot change anyone. This worldview becomes acute when you’re trying to help someone transform. Though you cooperate with the Lord in the “change process,” only He can grant repentance. This case study presents this dilemma with an angry, stubborn couple.… Continue Reading …

Which Do You Need for Your Maturity a Bible or a Mentor
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Which Do You Need for Your Maturity: a Bible or a Mentor?

Would it be better to have a Bible or a mentor? You could say my question is a trick question, though it is not meant to be one. The puzzle is intended to provoke you to think first, respond second, and discuss thoroughly. The obvious answer… Continue Reading …

Don’t Apologize. Don’t Say, “I’m Sorry.”
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Don’t Apologize. Don’t Say, “I’m Sorry.”

In our culture today, the phrase “I’m sorry” has become our first response when we sin against each other. The term has nearly wholly replaced biblical forgiveness. Though it may be a good start in relational reconciliation, it can never get the job done when… Continue Reading …

A Note to Quiet People It’s Time to Start Talking

A Note to Quiet People: It’s Time to Start Talking

The quiet husband, father, or friend is not the most authentic picture of Christ. Biblical leadership is verbal because to lead well requires words. God leads us with His Words; He is a talking God. If you want to impact and guide others, you must… Continue Reading …

Warming Butterflies, or How to Treat Your Wife
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Warming Butterflies, or How to Treat Your Wife

A few years ago, Lucia bought four milkweed plants and eleven caterpillars for our children. It was one of those science experiments in our laboratory, also called our home. And, per usual, God had additional plans for us. Going above and beyond our expectations is… Continue Reading …

I Am Unable to Believe God
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I Am Unable to Believe God

From the New York Times Magazine article, Coveting Luke’s Faith. This commentary provides excellent insight from a practicing atheist rearing a son, Luke, who is not embracing her atheistic faith. She is “open but cautious” as she strains to understand what is happening with her son. You may… Continue Reading …

You Have the Right to Be Comfortable in Your Own Skin
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You Have the Right to Be Comfortable in Your Own Skin

Imagine being untethered from the controlling opinions of others. Imagine not thinking about what other people think about you. Imagine being so connected to God that your daily experience is the enjoyment of His pleasure. You may want to read: A Practical Plan to Break Free from… Continue Reading …

I Failed as a Parent—Now What
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I Failed as a Parent—Now What?

When a person says that they failed as a parent, they are sharing the concern of every parent. Though parental failure can differ significantly, none of us do it ideally, which is why you want to think about your limitations and imperfections, as well as… Continue Reading …

Give Your Children Fewer Rules and More Attitude
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Give Your Children Fewer Rules and More Attitude

Being rule-centered may bring pseudo comfort because you are living within a “secure structure of codes,” but it will suffocate the life that God could give you if you were willing to walk in the Spirit. Rule-based living is a self-reliant way that leaves you… Continue Reading …

Three Stages to the Christian Life. Where Are You
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Three Stages to the Christian Life. Where Are You?

There are three stages to the Christian life. They are the innocent, naive stage. And then the complex, suffering stage. If you trust the Lord through your season of complexity, you will experience the restful and wisdom stage, which will be where you’ll find your… Continue Reading …

I Want to Talk You Out of Becoming a Christian
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I Want to Talk You Out of Becoming a Christian

The things they did not tell me when the Lord regenerated me would have affected my decision to become a Christian—humanly speaking, of course. Looking back on it now, I’m glad the Lord did not give me a peek into my future because I probably… Continue Reading …

Why It’s Not Wrong to Expect Love in Return
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Why It’s Not Wrong to Expect Love in Return

Is this statement true or false? Love is a commitment accompanied by action with no expectation of anything in return. The answer is “false” because loving someone should come with the hope that the other person will reciprocate your love. To think otherwise would be… Continue Reading …

Dear Evangelical, It’s Unwise and Unhelpful to Mock Joel Osteen
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Dear Evangelical, It’s Unwise and Unhelpful to Mock Joel Osteen

If you knew of a person or a group of individuals who were being deceived by someone, would you choose to mock them or their leader as a way to win them to the truth of God? You may want to read: Why Do You… Continue Reading …

I Think I Married the Wrong Person; Please Help Me
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I Think I Married the Wrong Person; Please Help Me

It is easy to make a decision when things seem clear, and the future appears bright. With an optimistic heart, you decide on that thing, only to find out months or years later that maybe it was not wise to do what you did. What… Continue Reading …

The Problem Letting Religious People Know The Real You
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The Problem Letting Religious People Know The Real You

Becoming a Christian does not remove the fear of being rejected by others. Christianity provides you with a new people group and new opportunities to belong, but it does not mean you are to live with your new friends while wearing a mask. I did… Continue Reading …

When Your Children Are Constipated (Spiritually Speaking)
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When Your Children Are Constipated (Spiritually Speaking)

If you sin but choose not to get rid of it by repenting, there will be an adverse effect on your soul and relationships. Mercifully, Christians can accept the “punishment of Christ” for their transgressions. But what about non-Christian children? This problem is why you… Continue Reading …

Interview with Pastor Mike Hawkins about Caring for Others
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Interview with Pastor Mike Hawkins about Caring for Others

I interviewed my friend, Pastor Mike Hawkins, about his life, pastoring, counseling, and how our ministry intersects with his on a day-to-day basis. I have known Mike for a few years, and we have been in the trenches with many counseling situations. Show Notes He… Continue Reading …

From Feminist to Hollywood to Pastor’s Wife
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From Feminist to Hollywood to Pastor’s Wife

I sat down with Sonja Piper Dosti to talk about how she went from a Hollywood executive to a pastor’s wife and how the Lord has been working in her life during those significant life events. You can find all three parts of my interview… Continue Reading …

If You Have Limited Time and Friends with Unlimited Needs
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If You Have Limited Time and Friends with Unlimited Needs

Do you have unlimited time? Do you have friends with a lot of needs? If so, you’re blessed, and so are your friends. You have the time, and they have the issues—what a beautiful world. Sadly, I don’t live in your world. You may want… Continue Reading …

Unkind Dads Tempt Children To Be Afraid Of God
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Unkind Dads Tempt Children To Be Afraid Of God

You can trace a poor relationship with God to a child’s relationship with their dad. Though a bad dad is never the ultimate cause of a person’s problems, there is a connection between any father and God the Father. You may want to read: How… Continue Reading …

Letter to a Counselor, Counseling a Rebellious Teenager
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Letter to a Counselor, Counseling a Rebellious Teenager

Building trust in any discipleship context can be a challenge. Some people’s hurt is so deep that they fortify their guardedness. Understanding the interpersonal dynamics between an untrusting counselee and the discipler is critical. You may want to read: One Reasons Children Rebel Against Their… Continue Reading …

How Do I Work Through a Porn Addiction
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How Do I Work Through a Porn Addiction

This podcast walks you through addictive behavior, specifically porn addiction, though you could apply these truths to anything that controls you, like overeating, shopping too much, or anger. Rick walks through the behaviors that need changing, as well as the heart (internal desires) that require… Continue Reading …

Four Essential Elements To Live A Well-Grounded Life
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Four Essential Elements To Live A Well-Grounded Life

Seeking a king of your unique choosing is rejecting God—a decision that always leads to slavery. There is no other being that you can submit yourself to that will make you happy, even if that “supreme being” is you. You may want to read: When… Continue Reading …

Should Your Child Go to College
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Should Your Child Go to College?

I am not making a case for or against a college education. It is about creating a worldview for biblical discernment and effective parenting that best suits and equips a child, whether male or female, to glorify God in His world. You may want to… Continue Reading …

A White Guy And Black Guy Talk about Racial Issues
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A White Guy And Black Guy Talk about Racial Issues

I sat down with Darrell Harrison and interviewed him on race-related topics that have been current and long-standing issues in our American culture. Darrell is a Christian black man who writes about race and culture. The six questions that I asked him are below. Part… Continue Reading …

Write a Book Review, Help a Life
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Write a Book Review, Help a Life

One of the best ways to get our books into people’s hands is reviews. If you have read one of my books, will you write a short book review on my Amazon page? Since 2008, I have been creating content for our site. Content creation… Continue Reading …

If You Exported One Thing To Your Child, What Would It Be
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If You Exported One Thing To Your Child, What Would It Be?

When your 3-year-old turns 27 years old, and he can only have one takeaway from your parenting, what would you want him to retain? What is the one thing that is more important than all the rest? You may want to read: Tips on Parenting… Continue Reading …

How to Live with People with Different Preferences
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How to Live with People with Different Preferences

The gospel practicalized is a transcendent lifestyle over cultural and religious traditions, preferences, and expectations. If you practically understand this idea, you will learn how to live with others who have preferences, desires, and wants that are different from you. Of course, if you don’t… Continue Reading …

Mind Mapping a Strategy to Change Your Life and Relationships
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Mind Mapping a Strategy to Change Your Life and Relationships

The apostle Paul gives you a profound and robust strategy to change your thought life. He goes so far as to say that how you think can not only improve your life, but it can change the lives of others. You may want to read:… Continue Reading …

Why All Other Psychologies Bow at the Foot of the Bible
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Why All Other Psychologies Bow at the Foot of the Bible

Presuppositional truth is vital when thinking about other psychologies outside the Bible. You must interact with the teachings in our world because nobody is unaffected by their perspectives, which is why your presupposition must be a “sufficiency of Scripture” worldview. You may want to read:… Continue Reading …

Instructive Synonyms for People-Pleasing, Insecurity, or Fear of Man
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Instructive Synonyms for People-Pleasing, Insecurity, or Fear of Man

Insecurity, peer pressure, or fear of man has many names. You can examine yourself to see how much you struggle with insecurity. The labels below are synonyms or characteristics to what we call fear of man biblically. You may want to read: A Practical Plan… Continue Reading …

Being Divorced Is Like a Man in a Tux and Brown Shoes

Being Divorced Is Like a Man in a Tux and Brown Shoes

All sin is the same in that any transgression will put Christ on the cross, but all sins are not the same consequentially. Divorce is one of those sins that ranks higher from a consequential perspective. Adequately describing it is hard. You may want to… Continue Reading …

Creating a Critical-Free Community On Facebook Platforms
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Creating a Critical-Free Community On Facebook Platforms

I have a like/dislike relationship with Facebook. On the positive side, I see Facebook as a great opportunity to stay in touch with family members and friends, especially those who live across the country or around the world. Facebook is also good, though not perfect,… Continue Reading …

How to Tackle the Biggest Battle in Your Soul
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How to Tackle the Biggest Battle in Your Soul

When things in your life turn dark and difficult, how do you usually respond to those circumstances? When trouble comes, you will either experience guidance and protection from a biblical understanding and application of the fear of the Lord, or a sinful fear will complicate… Continue Reading …

One Reason Children Rebel Against Their Parents
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One Reason Children Rebel Against Their Parents

Children are one of God’s many gifts to parents. As parents, we have the responsibility and the privilege to guide them into a practically biblical experience of knowing and loving God (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). Because they were born as fearful humans, a parent must understand a… Continue Reading …

How to Find Answers Today for Tomorrow’s Problems
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How to Find Answers Today for Tomorrow’s Problems

One of the most common counseling questions I am asked, if not the number one counseling question is, “What am I to do when (such and such) happens in my life?” Anxiousness about a future desired outcome is a common concern for all people. You… Continue Reading …

When Your Leadership Does Not Model Transparency
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When Your Leadership Does Not Model Transparency

They say there are no perfect churches. But what if that church is yours? How do you respond to a church that does not do community life well? What if the leaders are not setting the right example? Here are a few things to consider.… Continue Reading …

A Common Marriage Problem I Don’t Like You
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A Common Marriage Problem: I Don’t Like You

How you think about a person, good or bad, will be evident to that person if you are close to them. You may be able to hide your authentic attitudes from those who are not your most intimate acquaintances, but for those you love and… Continue Reading …

To Be the Man You Must Nourish and Cherish Your Wife
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To Be the Man You Must Nourish and Cherish Your Wife

If you are married, do you hate yourself? Let me ask it another way, “Do you dislike your spouse?” If you do struggle with your wife, you struggle with yourself because you’re not two individuals but one flesh. Your thoughts about your spouse reveal how… Continue Reading …

From Adultery to Restoration in Thirteen Steps
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From Adultery to Restoration in Thirteen Steps

The path to dysfunction is unmarked and hidden. Nobody knows they are on it until it’s too late. There are subtle indicators, but we rarely discern them. The most apparent one is an “I deserve better” attitude, which is what happened to Biff. You may… Continue Reading …

Three Keys When Confronting Someone
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Three Keys When Confronting Someone

If you had the opportunity to confront a person about a mistake they made, how would you go about it? What are a few key things you should consider when facing a friend with their problem? May I suggest three vital ideas that you must… Continue Reading …

Three Mind Maps on How to Change Your Thought Life
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Three Mind Maps on How to Change Your Thought Life

If your life was put in three different file drawers that represented your past, present, and future, which of the file drawers drains the most joy out of your life? If there is a disruption of your contentment, it would indicate something has gone wrong… Continue Reading …

Submitting Your Life to the Foolishness of God
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Submitting Your Life to the Foolishness of God

Frequently, our most pressing need is not our most important need. Sometimes God works in unsuspecting ways, maybe ways we did not perceive or even want. Ironically, His ways can seem foolish to the natural mind, as well as the spiritual mind. You may want… Continue Reading …

Breaking the Bondage of People-Pleasing
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Breaking the Bondage of People-Pleasing

God will fully receive anyone who accepts what Christ has done on their behalf. It’s an incredible opportunity as Jesus takes all your sin and gives you His righteousness. But this gospel message is not practically transforming for everyone. Some Christians continue to live under… Continue Reading …

Addressing the Little Bit of Narcissism In All of Us
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Addressing the Little Bit of Narcissism In All of Us

Imagine a person standing in the center of a universe that he has created. All of the roads lead to himself. To get near him is to be drawn into the vortex of his selfishness. Me, my, and I describe his primary relationships and daily… Continue Reading …

How to Assess Yourself to See If You Are Mature
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How to Assess Yourself to See If You Are Mature

The most significant test to examine your maturity is how you responded when you did not get what you wanted, especially if what you hoped for was a good thing. Responding with humility to disappointment magnifies the strength of God through your weakness. And that… Continue Reading …

The Wisdom of Boasting in Your Weakness
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The Wisdom of Boasting in Your Weakness

The counterintuitive irony of the gospel is that God calls us to a place of weakness so He can perfect His strength in us. This perspective sounds good conceptually, but it is hard to live out when you’d like to give someone a piece of… Continue Reading …

I’m Divorced and Want to Date – What Are Your Thoughts
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I’m Divorced and Want to Date—What Are Your Thoughts?

Member Question – I was recently divorced, and now I would like to remarry. I’m 42 years old and do not consider myself a serial dater. What advice would you give a person like me? I also have two children, ages 10 and 12. I… Continue Reading …

Connecting the Gospel to Evil and Unfairness
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Connecting the Gospel to Evil and Unfairness

The purpose of the gospel loudly proclaims that hard, challenging, and sinful problems do exist. Because evil does exist, there must be a gospel solution, which is why evil and unfairness do not defeat the gospel-centered person. That kind of individual is hope-filled when they… Continue Reading …

Diagnosing Disappointment with God When Trouble Comes
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Diagnosing Disappointment with God When Trouble Comes

Disappointment with God is one of the unmentionables in the Christian community. There are some things you don’t say out loud. It’s like family problems that some folks prefer to sweep under the rug. You may want to read: Abuse, Suffering, and Other Painful Disappointments… Continue Reading …

Mid-Life Crisis A Story of Redemption
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Mid-Life Crisis: A Story of Redemption

We surround ourselves with the things that we enjoy. The life we build around us reflects the values in our hearts. You’ll always find unity between a person’s inward desires and the life he lives, which is a good thing unless the inward value is… Continue Reading …

Mean Husbands, and Wives Who Want to Love Them
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Mean Husbands, and Wives Who Want to Love Them

Both husbands and wives can be mean to each other. This truth is sad as well as a call to mobilize your attitudes and actions to come alongside the erring spouse. How do you do that? How do you care for a mean spouse? You… Continue Reading …

The Critical Difference Between a Log and Speck
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The Critical Difference Between a Log and Speck

I want you to think about the last person who disappointed you. Do you have that person in mind? Great. What are your thoughts about them? How is the gospel guarding your mind from thinking unkindly or in other negative ways about that person? The… Continue Reading …

The Unintended Spiritual Benefits of Legalism
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The Unintended Spiritual Benefits of Legalism

Being holy is not legalism. Being an obedient and disciplined Christian does not have to be legalistic either. If something is wrong, an overreaction to that bad thing is also an inadequate response. You may want to read: The Reason I Stopped Hating My Dad… Continue Reading …

Four Reasons You Cannot Reconcile with Someone
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Four Reasons You Cannot Reconcile with Someone

In a perfect world, you can go the distance with any person who has sinned against you. Our problem is that we do not live in an ideal world. There are times when all you can do is forgive them, no matter how great it… Continue Reading …

Two Ways to See If You Are in the Faith
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Two Ways to See If You Are in the Faith

The Apostle Paul was asking one of the most critical questions a Christian can ask another Christian–are you in the faith? How do you know? The real issue here is what does it mean to test yourself or to examine yourself and how do you… Continue Reading …

The Necessity and Danger of Wise Risk-Taking Testing Your Belief
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The Necessity and Danger of Wise Risk-Taking: Testing Your Belief

Individuals who accomplish great things are willing to step into uncertainty rather than sitting back and doing nothing. Most people prefer certainty because their fear is more significant than their faith. People who are open to uncertainty not only walk on the moon, but they… Continue Reading …

Did God Want Clemson to Beat Alabama
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Did God Want Clemson to Beat Alabama?

The Clemson Tigers defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide in the national championship game for college football. One of the star players for Clemson said that God wanted them to beat Alabama. Did God want Clemson to beat Alabama? Did God want Alabama to lose? You… Continue Reading …

Cynicism Is a Response of the Disappointed
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Cynicism Is a Response of the Disappointed

An unprepared heart will not receive disappointment well. And when it comes, which it undoubtedly will, the temptation to become a cynic will be powerful. The cynic cocoons himself from hurt while distrusting the active goodness of God in his life. You may want to… Continue Reading …

I Trusted God, and My Life Fell Apart
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I Trusted God, and My Life Fell Apart

Let me go ahead and say what many of you are thinking: trusting the Lord does not mean everything will go okay for you. There is a thing called “disappointment with God,” and if you do not know how to navigate this truth when your… Continue Reading …

Do You Wanna Be Happy
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Do You Wanna Be Happy?

Show me a happy person. Are they generous? Probably. Show me a discontented person. Are they selfish? Probably. There is a circular Bible logic that goes like this: God loves happy givers, and if God loves on a giver, the giver is happy. You may… Continue Reading …

Here Is Your Radical Marriage Conflict Resolution Tip
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Here Is Your Radical Marriage Conflict Resolution Tip

The gospel is only radical when you bring its transformative power into your life and relationships. If any two people do what I’m suggesting here, they will experience the practical transformative power of the gospel in their lives. You may want to read: Rick’s 31-Day… Continue Reading …

Discipleship Is Not Primarily about Changing Circumstances
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Discipleship Is Not Primarily about Changing Circumstances

Imagine the Apostle Paul coming to you with a thorn stuck in his flesh, metaphorically speaking, and wanting your help. What would be your primary goal as you try to serve Paul? Would you try to help him change his circumstances primarily, or would you… Continue Reading …

The Secret That Will Change Your Life Forever
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The Secret That Will Change Your Life Forever

The animating center of your life should be a growing, adventurous, powerful, satisfying, and reciprocal relationship with God. If you are not incrementally and consistently heading in that direction, stop and turn around because you are going the wrong way. Let me explain how to… Continue Reading …

Mind Mapping Stinking Thinking How to Change Your Mind
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Mind Mapping Stinking Thinking: How to Change Your Mind

The noetic effect of sin means our thinking can be stinking at times. Humans, born in the image of God, fell into sin. Our fall broke the purity and clarity of the mind that God gave to us. We need a change of mind, which this mind… Continue Reading …

Emotional Problems Point to a Poor Thought Life
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Emotional Problems Point to a Poor Thought Life

Your emotions can be good or bad, but in either case, they reflect what is going on in your thought life. If the emotions are right, the person is thinking and responding biblically. If the emotions are not good, the person needs your compassionate and… Continue Reading …

Five Things You Need to Know to Change Your Life
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Five Things You Need to Know to Change Your Life

“How can I change” is one of the more common questions when people think through the challenges and responsibilities of transformation. While the answers given vary, sometimes they can be off the mark. For example, here are three not-so-good attempts to change: (1) Let go… Continue Reading …

Six Questions When Engaging Others, Especially Those Who Hurt You
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Six Questions When Engaging Others, Especially Those Who Hurt You

Self-righteousness is a sense of moral superiority that appoints us a prosecutor over other people’s sinfulness. At times, we can relate to hurtful individuals as though we’re incapable of the sins they commit, which is why governing our hearts is the first call to action… Continue Reading …

How Do You Help a Person Who Is Stuck on Herself
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How Do You Help a Person Who Is Stuck on Herself?

Trying to be perfect in an imperfect world to garner the good opinion of others will hurt your relationships with God, family, and friends. Let me illustrate how this works with my friend Mable. You may want to read: The Danger of Trying to Be… Continue Reading …

How to Care for the Professional Victim
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How to Care for the Professional Victim

Thinking like a victim is easy to do. Becoming a professional victim takes more work, but it can happen, especially if you’ve experienced repeated hurt for an extended period. And even though you are suffering, the Lord is calling you to a better life, a… Continue Reading …

God and the Bible Are Not All You Need to Change
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God and the Bible Are Not All You Need to Change

The Lord and the Bible will not work in the most effective ways if those two wonderful things are all you have. There seems to be a consensus of affirmation among many Christians who believe the Lord and His Word are all you need. The… Continue Reading …

Setting Aside Your Desires to Lead Your Husband
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Setting Aside Your Desires to Lead Your Husband

A wife can be a husband’s most significant asset or his greatest liability. I think most of us know this, but I wonder how many wives have thought through how to be an asset to their husbands by humbly leading them, even while being submitted to… Continue Reading …

Can’t the Local Church Do This
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Can’t the Local Church Do This?

Mailbag: Are the spiritual gifts to the elders sufficient to meet the church counseling needs? Should more elders acknowledge their God-given sufficiency to counsel? You may want to read: Did You Know There Is a Better Way to Do Counseling? Should You Have a Biblical Counseling Strategy for… Continue Reading …

A Good Discipler Is a “Rent-a-Friend”
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A Good Discipler Is a “Rent-a-Friend”

If you are an excellent discipler, most of your “friends” will be folks who want something from you and are less inclined to give something to you. Like a man with a truck, who has a lot of friends because of the service he provides. Good… Continue Reading …

When You Can’t See What You Need to See
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When You Can’t See What You Need to See

One of the bigger misunderstandings in the church today is how some people believe that a personal relationship with God is a private matter. To these folks, to follow Jesus does not mean that you follow Him into a personal experience with other believers. You… Continue Reading …

Four Absolute “Musts” If You Want to Get Along
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Four Absolute “Musts” If You Want to Get Along

Biff and Mable have pockets of silence between them. There are things Biff is thinking about, but he does not discuss them with Mable. There are things Mable is thinking, but she does not bring them up to Biff. You may want to read: Interview… Continue Reading …

Tips On Helping the Person Who Does Not Want Help
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Tips On Helping the Person Who Does Not Want Help

Do you have a friend who could use your help? Are there some people in your sphere of influence who are not looking for your help, but you long to speak into their lives? You may want to read: How to Help a Person Get… Continue Reading …

My Child Is LGBTQ+. Will You Help Me
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My Child Is LGBTQ+. Will You Help Me?

We are totally depraved but uniquely fallen. Sometimes our unique fallenness can tempt individuals to give into the LGBTQ+ lifestyle. If you know someone struggling this way, this resource will help you to respond well to them. You may want to read: A Few Thoughts… Continue Reading …

Idol Swapping—I Stopped One Sin and Gained 30 Pounds
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Idol Swapping—I Stopped One Sin and Gained 30 Pounds

All external, behavioral idols have the same insidious root cause. If you don’t deal with the heart problem, you could easily stop one sin while switching to a different idol. You may want to read: When You Can’t See What You Need to See Mind… Continue Reading …

Open Letter to My Culture I Have an Identity Too
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Open Letter to My Culture: I Have an Identity Too

The gay guy says you cannot discriminate against him because he was born that way. To hate on him because of how God made him is wrong, and according to him, you should not punish, boycott, or deride him because of his identity. You may… Continue Reading …

Engagement Without Understanding Leads to Violence
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Engagement Without Understanding Leads to Violence

Violence is born out of ignorance. It’s an ignorance that does not care to understand another individual. Without sympathy or understanding, it’s not possible to reconcile with someone who is different from you. You may want to read: Four Reasons You Cannot Reconcile with Someone… Continue Reading …

Mind Mapping a Marriage from Bad to Good
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Mind Mapping a Marriage from Bad to Good

Our behaviors reveal our hearts. If you get a discerning handle on a person’s actions, you will find clues to what may be going on in their heart. This kind of careful consideration of others will position you to be a “more effective Jesus” to… Continue Reading …

A Gospel-Centered Response to Criticism
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A Gospel-Centered Response to Criticism

When someone corrects you, and it hurts, one of the most significant tips for you to remember is that God has already said the worst things about you on Calvary’s hill. And with the most horrible comments about you previously communicated, you have nothing to… Continue Reading …

Do You Believe a Sinning Christian Can Change
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Do You Believe a Sinning Christian Can Change?

Your Christian friend is struggling and seemingly cannot change. Something has caught them (Galatians 6:1-2). Do you believe your friend can change? Perhaps that person is your spouse, child, parent, or church member. You may want to read: A Few Thoughts On an Unchangeable Situation… Continue Reading …

A Strong Appeal to Disciple Your Wife
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A Strong Appeal to Disciple Your Wife

One of the most important responsibilities a man will ever have is the discipleship care of his wife. Apart from his affection for Christ and the attention that he provides for his soul, he does not have a more significant privilege. You may want to… Continue Reading …

A Believing Believer Lives Practically What They Believe
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A Believing Believer Lives Practically What They Believe

It is possible to be a Christian and struggle with personal problems. Distinguishing between struggling believers versus unbelievers who wrestle with similar issues is critical. You may want to read: The Danger of Asking Jesus Into Your Heart Daddy and Daughter Discuss Justification and Sanctification… Continue Reading …

Will God Get It Right the Accusation of the Worrier
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Will God Get It Right: the Accusation of the Worrier

An individual characterized by worry is a person who is uncertain if God will get things right. Not only is the worrier unsure as to whether God will get it right, but the worrier will typically take matters into their own hands. You may want to read: A… Continue Reading …

Should I Say Something about Someone Who Is Messing Up
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Should I Say Something about Someone Who Is Messing Up?

Member Question – I have a friend that I believe needs to make some changes in his life. How should I let him know what I am thinking? He is not sinning, but I believe he is making some unwise choices. If he changes, I… Continue Reading …

One Powerful and Practical Way to Give Peace to Someone
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One Powerful and Practical Way to Give Peace to Someone

The peace of God comes to you in three ways. (1) God gives it to you. (2) You have to think about the right things to have God’s peace. (3) God’s peace will either be helped or hindered by those closest to you. You may… Continue Reading …

Should I Honor My Parents or Obey My Husband
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Should I Honor My Parents or Obey My Husband?

Recently, I posted a case study about honoring parents when you are married. This idea is a common question that counselors have asked me, hence the case study. You may want to read: Honoring Does Not Mean Giving Others Everything They Want Guidelines for Making… Continue Reading …

Do You Have the Gospel Edge
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Do You Have the Gospel Edge?

The gospel edge is a term I coined. It means you are allowing the gospel to cut away the things that hinder you from pursuing the Christlike life, which is the most dangerous and rewarding life that you will ever live. You may want to… Continue Reading …

From Dating to Divorce and How We Got There
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From Dating to Divorce and How We Got There

Marriage counseling is the most common kind of counseling that I do. The reason for this is that marriages are the most common, long-term relationship between two people. Children typically leave home after a couple of decades. Siblings tend to separate from each other as… Continue Reading …

Four Excellent Parenting Tips You Can Implement Today
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Four Excellent Parenting Tips You Can Implement Today

Parenting is challenging for every family, but it does not have to be an unresolvable puzzle. The Bible is full of information that can help any parent as they cooperate with God in this leadership opportunity. I’m going to share with you some of those… Continue Reading …

Seven Solid Tips That Will Change Your Life
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Seven Solid Tips That Will Change Your Life

Being a believer does not keep sin from trying to capture you. Regeneration is the way to heaven, but you need more to live victoriously while on earth. Learning how to appropriate the gospel to your sanctification is vital for you to live well in… Continue Reading …

We Fornicated While Dating, But Why Did He Commit Adultery
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We Fornicated While Dating, But Why Did He Commit Adultery?

If you fornicated during your dating relationship, don’t be surprised when other sins happen after you marry each other, even adultery. If God does not impose Himself on both of you, life will only become worse between you, as this case study reveals. You may… Continue Reading …

Why I Do Not Believe in God Any Longer
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Why I Do Not Believe in God Any Longer

It seems that nearly every person who becomes a believer and then walks away from their faith or away from the church does so because of disillusionment or disappointment. The simple response is to say that they never believed God, but that response lacks nuance… Continue Reading …

Three Tips For Moving Forward When Things Are Hard

Three Tips For Moving Forward When Things Are Hard

Moving forward in faith—believing God can do all things well for me— is one of the hardest things to do in our fallen world, especially when the decisions are difficult. Because of the complexity of deciding big things to move forward with life, the main… Continue Reading …

I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar Thoughts on Feminism
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I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar: Thoughts on Feminism

A person’s experience can be so powerful and painful that it discolors how they see life, even how they interpret God’s Word. Being blind to your blindness is the worst kind of blindness, which is where the feminist culture is today. You may want to… Continue Reading …

The Confession of an Imposter
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The Confession of an Imposter

There is a gap between who we are and who Jesus is calling us to be. You’re working to close that gap, or it’s widening. It never stays the same. The issue is not so much about the “imposter” that is in you, but what… Continue Reading …

Tips on Parenting a Child from Zero to Adulthood
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Tips on Parenting a Child from Zero to Adulthood

The goal of parenting is to release a child into adulthood as a man or woman living under God’s authority. This parenting process happens in three stages. You may want to read: The Best Things Some Parents Can Do Is Stop Parenting Helping an Adult… Continue Reading …

The Best Thing Some Parents Can Do Is Stop Parenting
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The Best Thing Some Parents Can Do Is Stop Parenting

You cannot create unity from disunity. “Kind begets kind,” as the King James Bible tells us. What goes in will come out. If disunity is what is in your marriage, disunity is what will come out of it. You may want to read: The Danger… Continue Reading …

Secret-Keeping Destroys Lives and Relationships
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Secret-Keeping Destroys Lives and Relationships

There is a temptation in all of us to keep certain things hidden from others. Our high sense of shame and self-awareness tempts us from the purpose of the gospel, which is transformation in a community of grace. You may want to read: Should I… Continue Reading …

Guidelines for Making Decisions as a Couple in Partnership
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Guidelines for Making Decisions as a Couple in Partnership

Biblical decision-making is not that difficult if you are the only one making the decision. There are challenges, of course, but it’s much easier if you’re the only one affected by the decision. Once the number of contributors to the decision-making process increase, the more challenging it… Continue Reading …

Some Days You Need to Feel Like a Counselee
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Some Days You Need to Feel Like a Counselee

Sometimes the Lord puts you in situations that humble you. Other times it’s your decisions that put there, but either way, it’s critical to learn from these moments. The humbled heart is a grateful heart. How are your struggles teaching you a humility that leads… Continue Reading …

Three Reasons God Is Not Able to Help You
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Three Reasons God Is Not Able to Help You

“Trust God” is an overused cliché that some folks often scorn as over-simplistic counseling advice that can, at times, come across as harsh or uncaring. Then again, to trust God is our greatest challenge as well as our greatest need. You may want to read:… Continue Reading …

Sovereignty and Human Responsibility
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Sovereignty and Human Responsibility

From Mark Webb After giving a brief survey of these doctrines of sovereign grace, I asked for questions from the class. One lady, in particular, was quite troubled. She said, This is the most awful thing I’ve ever heard! You make it sound as if… Continue Reading …

Too Much Truth Can Keep You from the Truth
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Too Much Truth Can Keep You from the Truth

One of the more interesting observations that I have made from years of counseling is how little I teach people about the truth of God’s Word versus how much time I spend helping them apply the truth of God’s Word. You may want to read:… Continue Reading …

Ten Things to Know Before You Can Help Someone
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Ten Things to Know Before You Can Help Someone

Talking about change and being willing to change can be two different matters. If you have not prepped your soul for change, you won’t change. You may modify your behavior. You may be able to do damage control with your relationships, but transformation is a… Continue Reading …

NFL Ratings Decline Because of the Players
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NFL Ratings Decline Because of the Players

The NFL ratings have dropped, and the “suits” are perplexed as to why people are disinterested in their game. Folks have offered many reasons, all of them carrying some merit. One of those reasons is the players they put on the field each week. You… Continue Reading …

Revenge When Evil Comes to You
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Revenge: When Evil Comes to You

What would you do if you had the opportunity to get even with someone who hurt you? What if the hurt was irrevocable? What they did to you changed you forever? What would you do? Would you want revenge? You may want to read: Rick’s… Continue Reading …

Leading Husbands, and Their Wives Who Want to Love Them
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Leading Husbands, and Their Wives Who Want to Love Them

The words husband and leader are synonyms. To be one is to be the other. The question that you never entered into the discussion is whether or not a husband is a leader. The more relevant and practical matter to talk about is the kind… Continue Reading …

Daddy and Daughter Discuss Justification and Sanctification
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Daddy and Daughter Discuss Justification and Sanctification

When my daughter was eleven years old, she asked, “If you do something wrong, are you still a Christian?” It was one of those “can you lose your salvation” questions. She asked it during a time when other things were going on, so I did… Continue Reading …

Sometimes God Makes You do Things You Don’t Want to Do
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Sometimes God Makes You do Things You Don’t Want to Do

How can a good and loving God allow such a horrific event in my life? It’s a valid question. If you have not asked some version of this question, you have lived a charmed life, or you have a faith that all Christians desire. You… Continue Reading …

How to Counsel Non-Christians With God’s Word
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How to Counsel Non-Christians With God’s Word

God’s Word is perfect for helping non-Christians. Learning how to use it to serve unbelievers is critical to your evangelistic efforts. Here are a few ideas to assist you in bringing God’s Word to bear on those who do not know Jesus. You may want… Continue Reading …

You Hurt Me, So I Don’t Love You Anymore
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You Hurt Me, So I Don’t Love You Anymore

The most effective way to know if you can live out biblical love is when you find yourself in a relational context in which you are disappointed by someone.  You may want to read: When Desires for Love and Respect Destroy Your Marriage Should… Continue Reading …

How to Think about and Respond to the Unchanging Person
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How to Think about and Respond to the Unchanging Person

God’s grace is sufficient. God can change anyone. The Spirit can empower a person to change. God’s Word is sufficient. So why do some people not change? You may want to read: Seven Reasons a Person Will Not Change Should You Waste Time with Unchanging… Continue Reading …

Learning How to Help the Person Who Hurt You
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Learning How to Help the Person Who Hurt You

Do you know how to distinguish between the symptomatic problems of a person and the “root cause” issues? A person can become so irritated with the frustrating behaviors of someone that they miss the real cause, which keeps them from providing grace-motivated, Bible-centered solutions to… Continue Reading …

The Simplest Counseling Advice You’ll Ever Receive
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The Simplest Counseling Advice You’ll Ever Receive

If you are discipling someone, I’d like for you to share this article with them. You will not find better counseling advice than what I’m going to share. I have also included a few assessment questions that will help you to care for them more… Continue Reading …

Should I Keep My Friend’s Sin Secret
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Should I Keep My Friend’s Sin Secret?

Your friend comes to you with a secret sin. How would you respond to him? You are his accountability partner, and he asks you to keep his sin confidential. You may want to read: When Confidentiality Is Smuggled into Christianity Gossip: When Someone Says Bad… Continue Reading …

Do You Want My Attention or Do You Want My Care
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Do You Want My Attention or Do You Want My Care?

Which is more important to you? To receive a leader’s attention or receive their care? What if you turned the question around and looked at it from your leader’s perspective? “What is possible: to give each person all your attention or to give them your… Continue Reading …

Why I Don’t Watch Football Any Longer
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Why I Don’t Watch Football Any Longer

Football and other sports can be fun as well as a distraction to the Christian life. For me, it has become a distraction that needs more moderation. At the end of this piece, you can examine yourself as to whether or not you’re a sportsaholic.… Continue Reading …

Counseling Is Not the Best Option For Change
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Counseling Is Not the Best Option For Change

Receiving counseling can be a good idea. But if you place the weight of your long-term change on a brief season of counseling, you will be sorely disappointed. Counseling office success should never shoulder the primary responsibility of transformation for anyone. You may want to… Continue Reading …

Is It Necessary to Use Biblical Categories to Problem-Solve
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Is It Necessary to Use Biblical Categories to Problem-Solve?

How you listen and respond to someone will determine the kind of help you provide. Everybody does not work through their problems biblically, which is why you must know how to come alongside the hurting so you can bring the best care to them. You… Continue Reading …

When Is Enough, Enough The Hardest Thing You Will Ever Do.
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When Is Enough, Enough? The Hardest Thing You Will Ever Do.

Everybody you love will not change into people that love God and others more than themselves. How you respond to this fact will determine the kind of rest you experience in your soul and how you relate to the unchanging person. You may want to… Continue Reading …

What to Do When Counseling Is Not Going Anywhere
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What to Do When Counseling Is Not Going Anywhere

Every person that you meet will not change after you talk to them. Your dilemma will be deciding on how long you should continue with them or terminate your care for them. This issue requires wisdom, as each situation is different. You may want to… Continue Reading …

There Is a Blessing Found in an Unconcerned Wife
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There Is a Blessing Found in an Unconcerned Wife

Does your wife show concern about what you do? Does she check up on you? Is she mostly aware or unaware of your thoughts and activities? Which of the following three categories best describe your wife’s attention to the details of your life? You may… Continue Reading …

Will You Help Me My Ex-spouse Is Ruining Our Children
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Will You Help Me? My Ex-spouse Is Ruining Our Children

Divorce is the worse thing that can happen in a marriage because it never ends. Death is final, but divorce has another life. And in that life, the ex-spouse can continue to complicate matters. In most of these situations, the problems have something to do… Continue Reading …

Counseling Can Be a Lying Profession
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Counseling Can Be a Lying Profession

I had a conversation with two counselees, and the issue of lying came up. I mentioned to them that telling falsehoods is a regular part of my profession. It was a sad but true statement. You may want to read: A Practical Plan to Break… Continue Reading …

Mind Mapping a Lady with a Small God
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Mind Mapping a Lady with a Small God

The path to a “small god” begins in childhood. It leads to self-reliant living, which is always destructing to relationships. The way out of this type of dysfunction is possible with a little help from competent friends. You may want to read: A Dad Is… Continue Reading …

Why I Can’t Tell My Spouse Everything I’m Thinking
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Why I Can’t Tell My Spouse Everything I’m Thinking

Being married and being a Christian does not automatically mean you will connect and relate to your spouse at the most secret part of your soul, which is your intimate knowledge of and experience with God. You may want to read: Rick’s Book: Redeeming Talk… Continue Reading …

Rick, Why Won’t You Counsel Another Way
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Rick, Why Won’t You Counsel Another Way?

A counselee asked why I won’t counsel another way. She discerned a death feel to my counseling, and she was struggling. Though she does not disagree with my counseling approach, she did feel compelled to share her internal angst with me. You may want to read: Practical… Continue Reading …

A Good Listener Listens on Two Levels
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A Good Listener Listens on Two Levels

To understand someone effectively, you have to listen on two levels. You listen to what they are saying, and you must listen at the heart level. There are two reasons you want to do this. You may want to read: Rick’s Book: Communication–Redeeming Talk Trouble Competitive Communication—Winning… Continue Reading …

I Went to a President Trump Rally Last Night

I Went to a President Trump Rally Last Night

We have been visiting Lucia’s sister in western Minnesota. She told us about the “Trump rally” next door in Fargo, North Dakota (Summer, 2018). We needed to get our van worked on at the Toyota dealership in Fargo, so we made it a twofer. You may… Continue Reading …

Do I Need to Be Certified to Become a Counselor
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Do I Need to Be Certified to Become a Counselor?

The question is, “Do I need to be certified to be a counselor?” The answer is, “No, not necessarily. You are already certified.” Let me explain, speaking from a Christian worldview. You may want to read: There Is No Passing Or Failing In Our Program… Continue Reading …

Have You Fallen for the Being Understood Trap
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Have You Fallen for the Being Understood Trap?

A desire to be understood can create a false continuum with some individuals. It happens this way: a person is so impressed with how someone understands them that they accept their solution for their problem without reservation. You may want to read: Personality Tests Are… Continue Reading …

Today’s Christian Replaces Yesterday’s Negro and Gay Person
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Today’s Christian Replaces Yesterday’s Negro and Gay Person

Some of us are old enough to remember how our culture discriminated against the negro and gay community. All of us have seen how that has changed. We have now replaced the persecuted negro and gay guy. There is a new oppressed demographic. You may… Continue Reading …

Are Children Better Off With Divorced Parents
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Are Children Better Off With Divorced Parents?

As long as there is a sin, there will be divorce. Sin divides, and one of the places where it enjoys carving up relationships is the marriage bond. You could argue that divorcing is at the “head of the class” when cobbled together with all… Continue Reading …

How to Stop the Fallout of Fatherlessness
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How to Stop the Fallout of Fatherlessness

Leading your family should not be a mystery because God has given us everything that we need for life and godliness. For most Christians, the issue is not a lack of knowledge but an unwillingness to apply the information that they already know. You may… Continue Reading …

Upside to Smoking Weed and Making Out at Church
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Upside to Smoking Weed and Making Out at Church

What do McDonald’s, Walmart, your local high school, Christian school, any back alley, and your church facility have in common? I suppose there are several ways to answer this question. How about this? You can “make out” or smoke weed in any of those contexts.… Continue Reading …

Mind Mapping Christian Maturity, Are You Mature
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Mind Mapping Christian Maturity, Are You Mature?

Let’s say that you’re discipling an individual. How would you know when you’ve finished with them? What does comprehensive and completed discipleship look like practically? This mind map gives you a step-by-step sequence that walks you through a full discipleship process. You may want to… Continue Reading …

Fussy Parents Make Insecure Kids
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Fussy Parents Make Insecure Kids

Parents have the opportunity to export security or insecurity to their children. The type of behavior they exhibit to their children will have a generational impact on them, either for good or evil. Shaping influences are powerful. Though parenting does not save a child, the… Continue Reading …

The Orientation of Your Home Follow the Leader
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The Orientation of Your Home: Follow the Leader

Every home has a leader. Someone must be in charge while everyone else follows. What’s the orientation of your home? Who’s in charge? Who can you trust to take the reins of your family? Who do you want to lead? You may want to read:… Continue Reading …

Counseling Is Not the Best Context for Long-Term Transformation
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Counseling Is Not the Best Context for Long-Term Transformation

Biblical counseling has a place in our community. And as long as we keep it in its place while elevating a better “means of grace” for people to change, we will see more people changing. You may want to read: Do You Fight Fires or… Continue Reading …

Should You Have a Biblical Counseling Strategy for Church
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Should You Have a Biblical Counseling Strategy for Church?

This article is a response to my friend, who is working on his thesis requirement for his MA in Biblical Counseling. He asked my opinion on the necessity of a biblical counseling strategy for the church. Here are his questions: You may want to read:… Continue Reading …

Storyboarding Marriage - from Dysfunction to Restoration
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Storyboarding Marriage – from Dysfunction to Restoration

When someone hurts you, the natural thing is to run from it. No person should submit to abuse. The danger is that we can run into another kind of trouble. This marriage storyboard walks you through this predicament. You may want to read: Four Steps… Continue Reading …

I’m Imperfect, You’re Imperfect, Let’s Get over Ourselves
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I’m Imperfect, You’re Imperfect, Let’s Get over Ourselves

One of the most challenging things a person will ever do is let others know the secrets of who he honestly is. It is ironic in a way because we’re all messed up. Everyone is the same. Nobody is perfect. You may want to read:… Continue Reading …

Why Do I Do That Can You Help Me
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Why Do I Do That? Can You Help Me?

Have you ever wondered why you do the things you do? Have you ever wanted to change the way you are? I think most of us are this way. We know things about ourselves that we do not prefer and would like to change. That… Continue Reading …

Striving for Character, Better Than Making A's
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Striving for Character, Better Than Making A’s

Our culture is quite clear: the path to success is through education. No doubt, becoming smarter is essential, but academic equipping is not the most important thing according to God’s Word. For all of you students who did not make straight A’s this year, I… Continue Reading …

Eight Sequential Steps to Change Yourself
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Eight Sequential Steps to Change Yourself

One of the most blessed things about the gospel is the transformation that it brings to us. And one of the most challenging things about the gospel is how many Christians find authentic and sustainable change elusive. You may want to read: Loving Me: The… Continue Reading …

Shame I Don’t Want Anyone to Know What's Happening
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Shame: I Don’t Want Anyone to Know What’s Happening

Biblical shame is genuine. It was one of the first things that happened to Adam after he sinned against the Lord. His response to shame was to grab a few fig leaves, which began a cover-up process that we all emulate. You may want to… Continue Reading …

The Number One Key to Endure a Relationship
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The Number One Key to Endure a Relationship

Your most satisfying relationships will be the ones you endured, not the ones you severed because the way became hard for you. This truth makes endurance an essential element to have fulfilling relationships. You may want to read: Why Close Relationships Become Hard Relationships The… Continue Reading …

Six Keys for Enduring an Unwanted Divorce
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Six Keys for Enduring an Unwanted Divorce

Divorce is one of the most painful experiences in life. The aftermath can leave you lost, hurting, and tempted to walk away from the faith. I want to share six keys that will help you endure an unwanted divorce. You may want to read: God… Continue Reading …

Future Planning What Do You Want to Do with Your Life
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Future Planning: What Do You Want to Do with Your Life?

What do you want to be when you grow up is one of the most mysterious questions you can ask a person. Planning your future is not an easy task. It takes time, insight, and wise advice. You may want to read: Let Me Teach… Continue Reading …

How to Divorce Well
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How to Divorce Well

Divorce is an awful experience. It is one of the more dreadful events a person could ever endure, especially if the person going through the divorce doesn’t want it and is unsure how to proceed. You may want to read: Six Keys for Enduring an… Continue Reading …

Time to Stop Praying and Reading, and Start Doing
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Time to Stop Praying and Reading, and Start Doing

It is easier to talk theology than to live it. It’s easier to talk about your problems than to do something about them. Sometimes it’s wise to put the Bible down, get up from praying and start living what you know. You may want to… Continue Reading …

Terrific Way for Introducing the Sex Talk to Your Child
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Terrific Way for Introducing the Sex Talk to Your Child

Is there a terrific way to introduce the sex talk to your child? Every parent is faced with the challenge, though every parent does not think about sex the same way. I suspect if you brought the talk up to a group of adults, there… Continue Reading …

Nine Tips for Managing Your Life and Calendar
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Nine Tips for Managing Your Life and Calendar

The phone rang. Lucia picked it up but did not answer the caller. She handed it to me because she knew two things: It was probably about work, and my profession was more important than her and the children. You may want to read: A… Continue Reading …

Six Ways Things to Make the Most out of Counseling
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Six Ways to Make the Most out of Counseling

Sound counseling can guide you, but it might not give you precisely what you want. These six things will help you to guard your heart as you make the most out of counseling. You may want to read: Mind Mapping How to Change from the… Continue Reading …

Competitive Communication - Winning Is All That Matters
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Competitive Communication – Winning Is All That Matters

In some relationships, communication is more about winning and losing rather than understanding each other. Guarding hearts and harnessing tongues is hard. You may want to read: A Dad Is a Powerful Picture of God the Father to His Child Rick’s Book, Communication – Redeeming… Continue Reading …

A Proactive Plan to Care for Others
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A Proactive Plan to Care for Others

A proactive plan to care for others assumes that you love people. If you don’t love people, your starting point is repentance. But if you do count others more significant than yourself, here are some helpful thoughts to motivate you to care for them well.… Continue Reading …

Forcing Someone to Change Will Blow Up Your Relationship
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Forcing Someone to Change Will Blow Up Your Relationship

Test yourself before you read this piece. How do you think about those you would like to see change? The areas of reflection are your motives and practices. If those two things are wrong, the change you are hoping for will probably not happen. You… Continue Reading …

Gossip When Someone Says Bad Things about You
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Gossip: When Someone Says Bad Things about You

There are many sides to gossip. Sometimes it’s a sin. Other times it’s not gossip at all. How you think about and respond to what others say about you will make all the difference in the world. You may want to read: Ep. 25 How… Continue Reading …

The Non-Negotiable First Step to Build a Happy Home
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The Non-Negotiable First Step to Build a Happy Home

A happy home does not just happen. Like all good things, you must have a plan and be willing to execute hard work (Luke 14:27). You may want to read: The Power of Unforgiveness When Used as a Weapon Am I To Forgive Someone Who… Continue Reading …

I'm Living Alone in My Marriage
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I’m Living Alone in My Marriage

One of the more common complaints I hear from spouses is when one of the partners in the marriage talks about being alone in the marriage. These lonely spouses perceive a seemingly invisible barrier between them. It’s a level of communication they cannot move past.… Continue Reading …

Personality Tests Are like Psychological Selfies
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Personality Tests Are Like Psychological Selfies

One of the more intriguing oddities that our psychologized culture has foisted on our Christian communities is their way of thinking about and explaining the reasons why people do what people do. I’m speaking primarily about psychologized personality tests. (In an employment environment, certain types… Continue Reading …

Deadbeat Husband - Wife Left to Ponder Her Future
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Deadbeat Husband – Wife Left to Ponder Her Future

Member Question – I’m trying to help a wife figure out what to do with her future. She’s working on her marriage but wants to be used by God in ministry. And she desires to make money. What advice do you have for me? You… Continue Reading …

Two Essentials If You Want To Change
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Two Essentials If You Want To Change

Transformation does not happen automatically or miraculously. If you want to change, you will have to challenge yourself at the deepest and most difficult level of your soul, and the two most fearsome hurdles you’ll have to cross are honesty and transparency. You may want… Continue Reading …

Should a Wife Submit To an Unrepentant Husband
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Should a Wife Submit To an Unrepentant Husband?

Submission is a hot topic in today’s culture, but it’s nothing new for the Christian. The Bible gives us guidelines on how to think about submitting to another person, even unrepentant spouses. You may want to read: Rick’s Book: Wives Leading The Power of Unforgiveness… Continue Reading …

12 Universal Assumptions You Can Make About People
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12 Universal Assumptions You Can Make About People

People are not mysterious. Where it matters, they are not different. The more you talk to people, the more you see the common threads that run through all of us. The good news is that you have what you need to understand others. You can… Continue Reading …

Let Me Teach You How To Predict the Future
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Let Me Teach You How To Predict the Future

Future predicting is easy. It’s a remarkable gift the Lord gives to any person who asks. With this ability comes the privilege and opportunity to change your future as well as serving your friends in doing the same. You may want to read: The Most… Continue Reading …

The First and Unique Step to Solving Your Problems
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The First and Unique Step to Solving Your Problems

To solve your problems, you have to start at the right place. How you begin problem-solving will determine how you will end. There is a unique first step to solving your problems, and it flows out of your worldview. You may want to read: There… Continue Reading …

There Is a Reason You Should Love Yourself and Others
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There Is a Reason You Should Love Yourself and Others

You’ve heard that love is a verb, right? That is because love is an action word. Action-less Love is like faith without works: both would be dead. But the question I want to ponder in this article is, who are you supposed to love? You… Continue Reading …

The Most Blessed Relationship Two People Can Have
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The Most Blessed Relationship Two People Can Have

Being a Christian is not all you need to have satisfying relationships if your Christianity does not connect you deeply with God and others. The Christian experience is spiritual first and functional second. If you’re not connected spiritually, your function will be religion and nothing… Continue Reading …

Can a Person's Family Become an Idol
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Can a Person’s Family Become an Idol?

Some people do not have a biblical worldview on the family. For them, the family is always number one regardless. The Bible teaches a different perspective. Listen to the podcast You may want to read: The Danger Of Hating the Sin and Loving the Sinner… Continue Reading …

A Good Reason to Remember Sin
A Good Reason to Remember Sin

A Good Reason to Remember Sin

Some individuals teach that you should forgive and forget. This teaching is correct within specific guidelines, but it can also be dangerous if you don’t talk among friends about what you did wrong. Without community, you may repeat the sinful behavior. You may want to… Continue Reading …

Number One Key When Working Through Relational Conflict
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Number One Key When Working Through Relational Conflict

The first step in resolving relational conflict with someone is to examine your heart while addressing your attitude toward the person with which you have conflict. You may want to read: Rick’s 31-Day Marriage Devotional Rick’s 31-Day Parenting Devotional Rick’s 31-Day Teen Devotional If you… Continue Reading …

The Natural Regression Of a Woman
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The Natural Regression Of a Woman

Everyone is a victim. Nobody escapes this life without experiencing hurt from others. The real question is not whether someone has hurt you, but how you are responding with humility to God so you’re not controlled by what has happened to you. You may want… Continue Reading …

How To Help a Double-Minded Person Ruled by Fear or Faith
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How To Help a Double-Minded Person Ruled by Fear or Faith

Every person has two heads. The human community is a world of two-headed people. James called this double-mindedness. At times we think and act one way, and at other times we think and act another way. You may want to read: Do You Know What… Continue Reading …

Dear Christian Are You a Christian
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Dear Christian: Are You a Christian?

Often in counseling, a counselee will say something like, “You have not told me anything that I did not already know.” I’m not bothered or put off by their comment, but I do wonder if they already knew what to do, why aren’t they doing… Continue Reading …

Understanding How Your Enemy Is God’s Kindness To You
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Understanding How Your Enemy Is God’s Kindness To You

Can God use sin sinlessly? Can God allow sinful things to happen to you? Can these sinful allowances be for your good? The answers to these questions are obvious. You may want to read: A Few Thoughts On An Unchangeable Situation How To Help a… Continue Reading …

13-Year Old Girl Divorced Five Times
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My 13-Year-Old Friend Was Divorced Five Times

To date or not to date is an interesting question the Bible does not mandate one way or the other. However, I have seen how serial dating can become the teen’s version of marriage and divorce. If done often enough, it sets poor relational habits… Continue Reading …

The Joy-Depleting Problem Of Being Reared In a Christian Home
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The Joy-Depleting Problem Of Being Reared In a Christian Home

We don’t like thinking about our awfulness because we resist the biblical declaration that we’re rotten to the core (Isaiah 64:6). A person with a high view of himself gets hung up on his fallenness. Ironically, it is the acceptance of your wickedness that releases… Continue Reading …

Self Pity Is A Window Into Your Soul
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Self Pity Is A Window Into Your Soul

Pity is a feeling of sorrow that you express toward someone who has suffered loss. Self-pity is when the person you are pitying is yourself. The self-pitying person looks at himself and feels sorry for himself because he realizes he has lost something that he… Continue Reading …

Three Things That Will Crush Your Faith
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Three Things That Will Crush Your Faith

What is the main thing that controls your thought life during any given day? When life goes sideways, what calms you down? Who or what stabilizes your soul when trouble comes? You may want to read You Know Your Faith Is Real When An Excellent… Continue Reading …

Man Alive! The Problem With The Resurrection
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Man Alive! The Problem With The Resurrection

The resurrection of Christ that we celebrate every day was a huge problem when it happened. It was hard for them to fathom or accept. Things have not changed. Do you believe in the resurrection? You may want to read: He Is Risen Indeed. Now… Continue Reading …

Cheap Law - Lowering God's Standard To Be Perfect
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Cheap Law – Lowering God’s Standard To Be Perfect

You have two choices. You can strive to be perfect, or you can accept the perfection of someone else. That’s it. The only way to be perfect is never to make a mistake or find someone who will vouch for you. You may want to… Continue Reading …

Can a Christian Divorce Another Christian For Abuse
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Can a Christian Divorce Another Christian For Abuse?

Few things in our culture today are sadder than the deterioration of the family. It matters no longer if you’re a Christian because that does not insulate you from sin’s encroachments. One of the more horrendous iterations of these attacks is when one spouse is… Continue Reading …

Surviving Suicide — When You’re Left Alone
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Surviving Suicide — When You’re Left Alone

Surviving Suicide. Death. Look at that word. Say it out loud. There is nothing happy about the word. It is gray, dark, sad, and hopeless. It is unflinching and unyielding. It makes no apologies. It is the point of no return. It is the end… Continue Reading …

The Fallacy and Futility Of Self-Esteem
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The Fallacy and Futility Of Self-Esteem

The idea of self-esteem has been around for a long time. It’s one of the major planks of the culture’s gospel. Because we live in the world, it’s imperative to be careful about engaging the world, especially when it comes to their psychology. You may… Continue Reading …

Spiritual Abuse - When It Is Time To Leave
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Spiritual Abuse – When It Is Time To Leave

Spiritual abuse is a broad category in that it can encompass many different kinds of relationships, contexts, and situations. Wherever there is a two-tiered system of leaders and followers, spiritual abuse can happen. You may want to read: How to Make a Good Decision About… Continue Reading …

Three Things To Know When Life Does Not Make Sense
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Three Things To Know When Life Does Not Make Sense

You most accurately reveal your view of the Lord during your times of difficulty. Life pressures expose your strengths and weaknesses. While you do not want to ask for trouble, you most definitely do not want to miss the opportunity to assess your faith when… Continue Reading …

A Progression From Pain To Purpose
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A Progression From Pain To Purpose

The progression from pain to purpose begins with God-centered thinking that elevates God over the suffering, which is the opposite of a problem-centered worldview. This perspective is the sufferer’s greatest challenge. You may want to read: When Obedience Collides With My Emotions Learning How to… Continue Reading …

Foster Children - The Forgotten Victims Of Abuse
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Foster Children – The Forgotten Victims Of Abuse

Some of the unsung heroes in the Christian community are foster parents. One of the most beautiful pictures of the gospel you’ll see are parents laying themselves on the line for the sake of a helpless child. You may want to read: Rick’s 31-Day Parenting… Continue Reading …

Four People Types Who Get Stuck In a Rut
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Four People Types Who Get Stuck In a Rut

Someone once said a rut is like a coffin with both ends knocked out. I’ve been in one of those coffin-like ruts. It’s an awful place to find yourself. My “rut” lasted nearly a decade. Seasons like these make walking with God hard. Prayers seem… Continue Reading …

Interview With a Victim of Adultery
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Interview With a Victim of Adultery

Adultery is a “form of death” that causes a “grief” like something died. In a way, there was a death. The difference is that there can be a “resurrection” of the marriage, but that does not change the grief. You may want to read: How… Continue Reading …

When Christianity Disappoints You The Death Of My Brother
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When Christianity Disappoints You: The Death Of My Brother

My brother loved God and served the church; until he was disappointed by his pastor. He walked away from Christianity because he did not expect disappointment and he did not know how to handle it. He was murdered two years later. You may want to… Continue Reading …

Abuse, Suffering, and Other Painful Disappointments
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Abuse, Suffering, and Other Painful Disappointments

It takes grace, courage, faith, humility, patience, and a passion for wanting to grow in your walk with God. And though it’s a counterintuitive worldview, suffering is one of the primary means the Lord uses to mature us. You may want to read: The Anniversary… Continue Reading …

How To Argue Well With Others
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How To Argue Well With Others

When trouble comes, what do you do? When conflict happens, how do you respond? Let’s face it; turmoil is part of all lives. You may want to read: Double Confession: How to Respond When Sinned Against The Most Important Things You’ll Ever Learn to Change… Continue Reading …

You Are Suffering, and I Am Glad” – Jesus
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“You Are Suffering, and I Am Glad” – Jesus

Sometimes, God is provocative in how He responds to us. The degree of provocation or outrage from us is proportional to our understanding of Him and His good desires for us. You may want to read: Why We Should Embrace the Crucible Of Suffering God… Continue Reading …

Defining and Establishing Your Life and Marriage
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Defining and Establishing Your Life and Marriage

If you were helping a couple build a stable marriage, where would you begin? What would be your starting point? What is the main thing that you would want to establish in their minds to help them? You may want to read: There Are Only… Continue Reading …

There Are No His or Her Problems In Marriage
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There Are No His or Her Problems In Marriage

There are no his versus her problems in a marriage. There are one flesh problems. Your physical body is an excellent illustration of this. If your finger is hurting, your body is aching. If there is something wrong with your one flesh marriage, regardless of… Continue Reading …

His Needs – Her Needs Aren’t Real Needs
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His Needs – Her Needs Aren’t Real Needs

How do I know when my desire for love has changed into a need for love? An excellent question! Let’s start with anger. Anger is the quickest and easiest way to discern if your craving for love has jumped from a desire to need. You… Continue Reading …

One Essential Quality Of an Effective Wife
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One Essential Quality Of an Effective Wife

One of the most critical questions a wife could ask herself is how she compares herself to her husband. Where she lands on this matter can shape the marriage for good or bad. You may want to read Rick’s 31-Day Marriage Devotional How to Lead… Continue Reading …

Why We Should Embrace the Crucible Of Suffering
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Why We Should Embrace the Crucible Of Suffering

It is crucial to accurately recognize how God is working in you during times of suffering. There is a greater temptation to see the pain in your life as something happening to you rather than resting in a great God who is doing something in… Continue Reading …

Ten Things to Know If You Want to Be a Counselor
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Ten Things to Know If You Want to Be a Counselor

I’m 18 years old and have been thinking about becoming a biblical counselor. I love the Lord and would like to serve Him in some capacity. I also love the idea of counseling. What would you suggest for a person like me? You may want… Continue Reading …

The Problem With Head Knowledge Versus Heart Knowledge
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The Problem With Head Knowledge Versus Heart Knowledge

There are some things that Christians say that are so catchy that they catch on as we popularize them. After a while, they become Christian cliches, which does not have to be a bad thing. You may want to read: Learning How to Take All… Continue Reading …

Great Advice - Date Your Wife Forever
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Great Advice – Date Your Wife Forever

You probably won’t find a guy at the local Barnes & Noble looking for a book on how to get a girl. Why? It’s not necessary: all guys know what they need to do to get a girl. You may want to read: From Dating… Continue Reading …

Do You Know What Your Wife Is Thinking
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Do You Know What Your Wife Is Thinking?

Most relationships begin with transparency and honesty. At some point, these things break down. The husband and wife drift from each other. Silence ensues. Even the best intentions derail if the couple does not know how to keep the transforming power of the gospel as… Continue Reading …

Ten Ways To Find, Develop, and Enjoy Wonderful Friends
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Ten Ways To Find, Develop, and Enjoy Wonderful Friends

To have a biblical friend is to be a wealthy individual. Do you want to be rich? In this article, I provide you with ten sequential steps to help you find and sustain good friends. You may want to read: The Wisdom In Handpicking Your… Continue Reading …

Five Ways You Can Love Your Church
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Five Ways You Can Love Your Church

The messiest place on earth outside our families should be the local church. Each family unit is a context where masks come off as we expose our real selves to each other. The local church is a macro context of the micro family. You may… Continue Reading …

There Are Only Four Problems In Life For You To Solve
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There Are Only Four Problems In Life For You To Solve

Did you know there are only four problems in life? Did you also know that you address them in one order? Both true. These are universal problems with one solution. Before I get to them, let me tell you a story. You may want to… Continue Reading …

God Is Incrementally, Systematically, And Purposely Putting You To Death
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God Is Incrementally, Systematically, And Purposely Putting You To Death

Dying to yourself is the hardest thing you will ever learn. And it’s not a one-time appointment with God. Death to self is a repeated act of submitting yourself to the Lord. The good news is that He helps you in this life-long process by… Continue Reading …

A Cry For the Victims Of Sexual Abuse
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A Cry For the Victims Of Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse does not resonate with everyone who hears about it. The reason is that sexual violence is not generally on our radars. It’s similar to the abortion debate. Most people involved with the pro-life cause have a passion for it because they have had… Continue Reading …

The Wisdom In Handpicking Your Friends
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The Wisdom In Handpicking Your Friends

Wisdom would say we should not quickly dismiss how the Savior approached picking His friends. It might benefit us to give scrutiny here to learn how friend picking could help us personally, impact our community, and bring glory to God by advancing His kingdom. You… Continue Reading …

The Wisdom In Giving Your Friends Room To Sin
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The Wisdom In Giving Your Friends Room To Sin

Death, taxes, and being sinful are assured until Jesus comes back to take us home. This chapter is not about death or taxes. It is about the prospects of being sinful—a sad reality we can never entirely eradicate from our lives. You may want to… Continue Reading …

When Education Becomes Deadly To a Child's Soul
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When Education Becomes Deadly To a Child’s Soul

An unguarded strength is a double weakness. One of the more common strengths parents want their children to have is education. If the parents are not wise in how they try to create this passion in their child, they can set the child up for… Continue Reading …

The Need to Forgive Even If You Don’t Reconcile
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The Need to Forgive Even If You Don’t Reconcile

Sometimes you can forgive a person and reconcile. Other times you can forgive but can’t reconcile. The first opportunity is transactional, while the second is attitudinal. Either way, you can experience freedom from the sin of others if you will forgive. You may want to… Continue Reading …

My Husband Is Immature. How May I Help Him Change?
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My Husband Is Immature. How May I Help Him Change?

Would you be willing to write about living with an immature husband and how to biblically respond to him? I need help; if you could give me some advice, I would much appreciate it. You may want to read: How a Wife Can Lead Her… Continue Reading …

Seven Tips For Living With An Imperfect Person
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Seven Tips For Living With An Imperfect Person

Imperfect people is a universal problem. Most of the time, we do not struggle with this truth about our fallenness until we start living with one of them; these seven tips will help you. You may want to read: Going Over Your Husband’s Head To… Continue Reading …

How Can I Be More Honest with My Spouse
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How Can I Be More Honest with My Spouse?

How honest can you be with your spouse? Is your marriage vulnerable and safe enough to communicate honestly? Are you free from critique and condemnation, which releases you to talk transparently? You may want to read: The Power of the Critical Wife The Power of… Continue Reading …

The Necessity of the Double Dependent Wife
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The Necessity of the Double Dependent Wife

What is the consistent spiritual direction of your home? And who is leading the family in that direction? Who is following? There is only one right answer to these questions: the Lord is the one leading, and everyone else is following. You may want to… Continue Reading …

Submission Is Never The Main Problem In Marriage
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Submission Is Never The Main Problem In Marriage

Whenever you talk about submission problems in a marriage, you should never begin with the wife’s lack of submission. You must find the correct starting point if your goal is to help a husband and wife work through their problems. You may want to read:… Continue Reading …

The Necessity Of Critiquing Authority Structures
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The Necessity Of “Critiquing” Authority Structures

Often a subordinate in a relationship comes to our ministry, asking if it is okay to have a voice within their hierarchal structure. The follower is afraid to bring critique to what they are experiencing. You may want to read: The Power Of The Critical… Continue Reading …

How a Wife Can Lead Her Husband
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How a Wife Can Lead Her Husband

A wife can be a husband’s most significant asset or his most significant liability. I think most of us know this, but I wonder how many wives have thought through how to be an asset to their husbands by humbly leading them while submitting to… Continue Reading …

Practical Thoughts On Leading Your Husband From Behind
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Practical Thoughts On Leading Your Husband From Behind

Every wife is coequal with her husband while submitted to him. These are not antithetical truths. They are two ways to serve the marriage toward one purpose: to put God on display to the world. You may want to read: How a Wife Can Lead… Continue Reading …

A Marriage That Is Living In the Freedom Of a Forgiven Past
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A Marriage That Is Living In the Freedom Of a Forgiven Past

It took a few years of doing our marriage the wrong way before we decided to blow it up and start over again. The first call to action was for both of us to experience brokenness before the cross of Christ. You may want to… Continue Reading …

Incrementally Introducing Your Children To the World
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Incrementally Introducing Your Children To the World

Every home is a laboratory where parents have the privilege of incrementally introducing their children to the culture around them. This incremental child development process prepares them to live in and engage in their world well while not being overcome by the culture. You may… Continue Reading …

When You Love Your Children Better Than Your Wife
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When You Love Your Children Better Than Your Wife

A husband and wife are one flesh, not two. There is nothing that should come between them, including their children. When a parent places the children in the center of home life, the family is out of order. You may want to read: What Does… Continue Reading …

Three Characteristics of a Fantastic Local Church_
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Three Characteristics of a Fantastic Local Church

The best local churches have values that are distinct from the culture, transforming to the community, and exportable to the next generation. If you are looking for a wonderful local church, make sure it has these characteristics. You may want to read: The Main Thing… Continue Reading …

Is God Harassing You
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Is God Harassing You?

Because of God’s mercy to us, He puts us in places where we cannot fix our problems. From this position of weakness, He perfects His strength. Marriage is the perfect place for the Lord to accomplish this kindness. You may want to read: Mind Mapping:… Continue Reading …

Three Keys That Will Make Your Small Group Dynamic
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Three Keys That Will Make Your Small Group Dynamic

Building a close network of friends inside a local church is one of the most challenging things you’ll ever do. If there is a temptation to dismiss this idea, will you consider how you could position yourself for this kind of community? You may want… Continue Reading …

The Cure For Self-Esteem
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The Cure For Self-Esteem

Mable walked into the woods one day, doused herself with gasoline, and set herself on fire. The newspapers said she suffered from low self-esteem. They were wrong. You may want to read: Loving Me: The Hidden Agenda Of Self-Esteem Day 29, Teen Devotion: Reevaluating Your Self-Esteem Anatomy… Continue Reading …

Make Your Friends Help You If You Want to Change
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Make Your Friends Help You If You Want to Change

Don’t assume others will love you the way you want to experience their helpful care. It is hard to care for people, which is why one of the best things you can do is make it easy for another person to care for you. You… Continue Reading …

The Blessing Of Doing Things Without Thinking
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The Blessing Of Doing Things Without Thinking

Doing things without thinking is one of God’s greatest favors to you. Great habits free you to image God more effectively because they enable you to focus on the better things in life. You may want to read: Let’s Talk About Weight Loss, Practically Speaking… Continue Reading …

Seven Reasons a Person Will Not Change
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Seven Reasons a Person Will Not Change

Every person who comes to you for help is not always interested in being free from their problems. Just because they are sharing their trouble with you does not mean they want to change. This issue is a common occurrence, and there are reasons they… Continue Reading …

The Danger Of a Man Providing For His Family
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The Danger Of a Man Providing For His Family

Providing for our families is an expectation the Lord places on us. But we rely on Him for the results. We work hard while trusting Him to provide what we need. Whether you’re poor or rich, God will take care of you. You may want… Continue Reading …

Going Over Your Husband’s Head to Help Him
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Going Over Your Husband’s Head to Help Him

It is easy for a person to confuse their various roles. A wife can be a sister, mother, employer, employee, church member, citizen, etc. A narrow or wrong view of her roles can limit all God has for her. One of the misguided roles that… Continue Reading …

Your Wife, Your Children, and Other Secondary Considerations
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Your Wife, Your Children, and Other Secondary Considerations

If everything in your life cannot be the most important thing in your life, what is the most important aspect to you? If you were to choose your top priority, aim, or goal in life, what would you choose? You may want to read: Rick’s… Continue Reading …

Am I To Forgive Someone Who Is Not Asking
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Am I To Forgive Someone Who Is Not Asking?

Member Mailbag – As a believer, does God’s Word require me to forgive a relative of mine time after time–essentially let her off the hook–for her unkind behavior and attitude toward me and the many cruel and untrue things she has done behind my back… Continue Reading …

The Danger Of Trying to Be Perfect
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The Danger Of Trying to Be Perfect

We all know to obey is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22), but that simple piece of biblical advice can create significant problems, particularly in those moments when we fail in our obedience. You may want to read: Why Do I Keep Doing the Same… Continue Reading …

The Danger of Pragmatic Parenting
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The Danger of Pragmatic Parenting

Parenting children is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. There are many temptations for parents, the biggest of which is to be result-oriented because it’s easier to make children behave than doing the hard work of training them. You may want to read:… Continue Reading …

How Cyber Relationships Affect Real-World Relationships
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How Cyber Relationships Affect Real-World Relationships

Have you thought about how your cyber relationships might be impacting your real-world relationships? Have you considered how those two different kinds of relationships influence each other? Which one do you prefer? Why do you prefer it? You may want to read: Why I Won’t… Continue Reading …

Sex For a Woman, According To a Man
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Sex For a Woman, According To a Man

Sexual intimacy is one of the quickest indicators that reveal how a couple is doing in their marriage. Why? Because it is the most physical and intimate thing they will do together. It is different from talking, dating, dinner, or a movie. Sex requires more.… Continue Reading …

Four Roadblocks to Better Health
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Four Roadblocks to Better Health

Choosing the road to health is within your grasp. But knowing the best path to walk or the right roadblocks to avoid is another matter. Here are four barriers you want to overcome. They are from the Active.Com website. You may want to read: Let’s… Continue Reading …

Husband, How Is Your Wife Doing
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Husband, How Is Your Wife Doing?

Your wife is a reflection of you, your skill, and your leadership style. Though she is responsible for her Christian maturity, don’t underestimate your influence on her life. You may want to read: One Essential Quality Of an Effective Wife Practical Thoughts On Leading Your… Continue Reading …

The Danger of the Grace Mistake
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The Danger of the “Grace Mistake”

Grace and gospel go hand-in-hand. You cannot have one without the other, and you never minimize either one. The first is the means to the second. Grace is the undeserved favor that permits you to enjoy the gospel. The danger in some “hyper-grace” cultures is… Continue Reading …

The Danger of Hating the Sin and Loving the Sinner
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The Danger of Hating the Sin and Loving the Sinner

What does loving the sinner but hating the sin mean? How is it possible to love someone well after they have hurt you? And what does loving them well look like in real life? You may want to read: Should Christians Separate From Sinners? It’s… Continue Reading …

ou Know Your Faith Is Real When
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You Know Your Faith Is Real When

Job’s wild ride through the crucible of suffering was coming to an end. The devil was defeated. The Lord was glorified. And Job changed. I knew the first two things were going to happen: Satan would lose, and God would win. You may want to… Continue Reading …

Loving Me The Hidden Agenda of Self-Esteem
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Loving Me: The Hidden Agenda of Self-Esteem

Thinking more about yourself is not the path to freedom. The self-esteem agenda demands that you turn your thoughts onto yourself. The Bible has a counterintuitive message: The more God thoughts you have, the freer you will be. You may want to read: The Fallacy… Continue Reading …

How to Have Authentic and Transparent Relationships
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How to Have Authentic and Transparent Relationships

This message is on “True Community: How to Develop True, Authentic, and Transparent Relationships With Another Person.” You may apply this teaching to any marriage, family, friendship, work relationship, and, of course, within the local church. Rick preached this message at Trinity Bible Church in… Continue Reading …

What Does It Mean to Love Others As You Love Yourself
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What Does It Mean to Love Others As You Love Yourself?

Christ told us to love others as we love ourselves, but how do you do that in fallen bodies and souls that have mixed motives that are continually driving us to love ourselves more than others? You may want to read: Loving Me: The Hidden… Continue Reading …

The Most Perfect Relationship You Will Ever Have
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The Most Perfect Relationship You Will Ever Have

We are relational beings because God created us in His image (Genesis 1:26). God, who has always belonged to a Trinitarian community, made us in such a way that we desire to belong to a reciprocal community (Genesis 2:18). Made in the image of God… Continue Reading …

How Can I Trust God When He Does Not Act the Way I Think
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How Can I Trust God When He Does Not Act the Way I Think?

When things do not go according to your plans and the losses keep mounting, it’s only a short step from walking away from God and caring friends who can persevere with you and your suffering. You may want to read: I Love God’s Sovereignty Until… Continue Reading …

An Excellent Way to Assess a Person's Authentic Faith
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An Excellent Way to Assess a Person’s Authentic Faith

If a Christian is going through the motions of Christianity, his Christianity is on par, functionally, with religion. God may have regenerated him, but his “doer of the Word” faith (James 1:22) will be lifeless and uncompelling. You may want to read: The Danger Of… Continue Reading …

Facebook Live Violence. Are You Surprised
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Facebook Live Violence. Are You Surprised?

Earlier this week (January 2017), a young man was abducted by four young people in Chicago. They tied him up and tortured him. They ran a live stream of the violence on Facebook Live. Does this surprise you? What do you expect from a culture… Continue Reading …

Why I Won’t Argue With You On Facebook
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Why I Won’t Argue With You On Facebook

I have stated my “love-hate relationship” with social media (SM) many times in different places, but because our ministry is growing daily, there are always new folks coming along who do not know why I don’t engage people on social media, especially those who want… Continue Reading …

Three Keys to Help You Look Beyond Your Suffering
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Three Keys to Help You Look Beyond Your Suffering

Does anyone love God because of who He is exclusively, or do we love God for what we can receive from Him? More personally, do you have faith that is larger than your self-interests? You may want to read: When God Whittles You Down to… Continue Reading …

When God Whittles You Down to Size
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When God Whittles You Down to Size

We have two possible responses to our problems. We can be problem-centered or God-centered. The first reaction leads to anxious complaining while the second is the path to peace, even in the midst of suffering. You may want to read: Have You Ever Tried Manipulative… Continue Reading …

Pre-Forgiveness Prerequisite Before You Can Genuinely Forgive
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Pre-Forgiveness: Prerequisite Before You Can Genuinely Forgive

Have you ever granted forgiveness to someone who hurt you? Did you mean it? I mean, did you really, really mean it, or did you just say, “I forgive you” because it is the Christian thing to do? You may want to read: Now That I Want… Continue Reading …

The Danger of Trying to Make Someone Change
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The Danger of Trying to Make Someone Change

Good desires for a relationship can cause us more problems than other temptations. We can want something so much that manipulating the other person to give it to us by sinning against them is easy to do. You may want to read: How to Motivate… Continue Reading …

The Terrible Lengths God Will Go To For Your Good
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The Terrible Lengths God Will Go To For Your Good

God’s salvation is a gift that we must steward, though managing His salvation does not imply we can lose it, an impossible feat. But we must share it with others. Suppose we do not steward God’s salvation by extending His gift to others. Who knows,… Continue Reading …

The Reward Of Doing It In the Dark
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The Reward Of Doing It In the Dark

Do you find it difficult to look your spouse in the eye so you can communicate intimately? Is it hard for you to be vulnerable with your spouse? If so, I have some practical advice for you. You may want to read: How to Fix… Continue Reading …

What Happens When God Is Not the Center of Your Home
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What Happens When God Is Not the Center of Your Home

Who or what is the animating center of your home? Whoever or whatever you center your life and family on is the functional and controlling entity of your life and family. You may want to read: The Power Of The Critical Wife The Most Effective… Continue Reading …

Do You Really Want to Know What God Is Thinking
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Do You Really Want to Know What God Is Thinking?

There are times when God can seem distant and possibly disinterested about what is happening in our lives. On the ground level, we feel all alone. We are muttering and sputtering through life, while God is off fighting battles that seem more important to Him… Continue Reading …

Ever Tried Manipulative Praying
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Ever Tried Manipulative Praying?

There is a unique place where good and evil intersect in a Christian’s life. That place is personal suffering. What the world, flesh, and the devil mean for evil, the Lord God Almighty intends for our good (Romans 8:28). You may want to read: The… Continue Reading …

What Kind Of Church Do You Attend Here Are Six Models.
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What Kind Of Church Do You Attend? Here Are Six Models.

Each church has a unique personality that is a reflection of the leadership. What kind of church do you attend? In this article, I examine six common church models by looking at their upsides and downsides. You may want to read: The Main Thing to… Continue Reading …

The Main Thing to Look For When Looking For a Church
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The Main Thing to Look For When Looking For a Church

The local church is the most necessary sanctification context outside the home, which is why finding the right kind of church is essential. If you were to look for a local church, what would be the main thing? You may want to read: What Do… Continue Reading …

Bringing God Down to My Level So I Can Argue With Him
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Bringing God Down to My Level So I Can Argue With Him

When the circumstances are the most adverse, the temptation will be the strongest to bring God down to your level so you can argue with Him. “Letting” God be God is one of our greatest fears. Listen to the podcast Our podcasts are on iTunes,… Continue Reading …

The Reason God Wants You to Be a Fragile Jar of Clay
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The Reason God Wants You to Be a Fragile Jar of Clay

A cracked jar of clay is not a bad thing if you know the Potter. It is God’s preference for you to be a fragile jar of clay, so His miraculous, surpassing power is put on display through you to your friends and community. You… Continue Reading …

Five Surefire Ways to Motivate Your Child to Use Porn
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Five Surefire Ways to Motivate Your Child to Use Porn

Before I get into five surefire ways to motivate your child to use pornography, let me establish two critical points. The first is that no parent wants their child to become involved in pornography. We all agree on this. You may want to read: Wise… Continue Reading …

Connecting the Gospel to Perfectionism
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Connecting the Gospel to Perfectionism

Perfectionism is a fear-motivated response from a person not comfortable with who she is. She realizes something is wrong with her. She senses an “internal awkwardness.” She is not comfortable in her skin. Rather than fleeing to God to fix what is wrong, her solution… Continue Reading …

Do You Make Your Spouse Pay For Their Sin
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Do You Make Your Spouse Pay For Their Sin?

When your spouse sins, who pays for it? Do you make her pay for what she did wrong or do you take her to Jesus and show her how His death is enough punishment to remove her transgressions? You may want to read: Rick’s 31-Day… Continue Reading …

You Cannot Need Someone and Love Someone Equally
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You Cannot Need Someone and Love Someone Equally

Jamal was born into a dysfunctional home. He told me that he did not remember a time when his parents were not arguing. He is 14-years old, almost 15. He said there were many nights when he would curl up in his bed, hug his bear-y, and… Continue Reading …

The Most Powerful Way to Help Someone Change
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The Most Powerful Way to Help Someone Change

Your friend needs to change. How do you help her change? Maybe your husband is stuck in a bad habit, and you want him to change. What is your change process? Perhaps your wife is nagging and criticizing you. How are you helping her model… Continue Reading …

The Power of the Critical Wife
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The Power of the Critical Wife

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat its fruits.” The wisdom of Proverbs teaches how a critical wife will eat the fruit of her words, good or bad. Her call to submission does not mean… Continue Reading …

The Danger Of Trying To Please God and Gain His Favor
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The Danger Of Trying To Please God and Gain His Favor

Obedience is not an act to please God as though you could gain His favor. Your obedience comes from a heart of joy that has been transformed by the gospel. You obey out of a heart of gratitude for the works of Christ. You may… Continue Reading …

The Most Effective Thing You Can Do In Your Marriage
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The Most Effective Thing You Can Do In Your Marriage

Full biblical repentance is probably the most important thing any couple can do in their marriage. I don’t think there is a way to overstate how important it is. Read more here The Doctrine of Repentance Rick’s 31-Day Marriage Devotion Eight Ways to Know a… Continue Reading …

Backward Porn Addiction Drawing Attention to Yourself
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Backward Porn Addiction: Drawing Attention to Yourself

I think most of us understand the traditional definition of porn addiction. Typically, it’s in the context of a guy lusting after a girl. Active lust toward another person is still the primary way porn is acted out in our culture. A backward porn addiction… Continue Reading …

There Is a Danger When You Try to Forgive Yourself
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There Is a Danger When You Try to Forgive Yourself

Forgiving yourself is an odd teaching that has crept into the Christian’s understanding of sanctification. It’s the idea of self-forgiveness. “You just need to forgive yourself” is a standard way this secular doctrine is put forth within the Christian community. You may want to read:… Continue Reading …

Five Helpful Tips For Arguing Well
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Five Helpful Tips For Arguing Well

It is impossible to live in a fallen world and not argue or disagree with another individual. From birth to the grave, disagreements are part of our life. You may want to read: The Hidden and Surprising Side of Anger Anger Does Not Get All… Continue Reading …

Mind Mapping Insecure Husband and Critical Wife
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Mind Mapping Insecure Husband and Critical Wife

The insecure husband and critical wife is a complex relational problem but not one without a gospel solution. This case study and Mind Map will carefully walk you through how to untangle this marriage problem. You may want to read: The Insecure Wife Who Lives… Continue Reading …

he Insecure Wife Who Lives With a Harsh Husband
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The Insecure Wife Who Lives With a Harsh Husband

When a wife has been shaped by her past to be insecure marries a husband who is prone to harshness, their marriage will be an endless loop of relational conflict. The first responsibility is for the husband to learn how to build up his wife… Continue Reading …

The Danger Of Asking Jesus Into Your Heart
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The Danger Of Asking Jesus Into Your Heart

Asking Jesus into your heart is a popular method that Christians use to evangelize unbelievers. Does it work? Is it the best way to think about salvation? You may want to read: Five Things To Know When Unbelievers Die Knowing Theology Is Not Enough If… Continue Reading …

Cynicism Is a Numbness Toward Life
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Cynicism Is a Numbness Toward Life

Negative, critical, and suspicious people do not rest in the practical and active goodness of God on their behalf. Cynicism is not a hopeful spirit that trusts the Lord. The Bible has a cure for the Christian Cynic. You may want to read: The Power… Continue Reading …

Do You Fight Fires or Change Lives
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Do You Fight Fires or Change Lives?

The best discipleship soul care happens in a community, not isolated, artificial settings where there is a disconnection between the person and the community. God can change lives in one-and-done meetings, but the most effective soul care needs time, people, and contexts. You may want… Continue Reading …

A Time to Forgive – A Time You Can’t Forgive
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A Time to Forgive – A Time You Can’t Forgive

Forgiveness is the exclusive domain and the divinely given privilege of the redeemed. It is the only way any of us experience release from what we have done wrong. Forgiveness is the means of grace that allows us to have relationships the way God intended.… Continue Reading …

Three Steps to Becoming the Excellent Husband
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Three Steps to Becoming the Excellent Husband

Becoming an excellent husband does not just happen. It takes work. And if you put in the effort to be a fantastic husband, there is a great reward. Here are three steps that can change your marriage. You may want to read: What Does It… Continue Reading …