The End of Worry

Summary of Preface and Introduction to The End of Worry: Why We Worry and How to Stop by Will Van der Hart and Rob Waller. Will is a  pastor working in London and Rob is a Christian psychiatrist. Both are recovering worriers.

1. Everyone worries. Every kind of person worries, it’s just the degree and nature of the worry that differs from person to person.

2. The effects of worry. Worry has many damaging consequences, including anxiety, bodily tension, headaches, tiredness, irritability, insomnia, shame, broken relationships, absenteeism, reduced productivity, and so on.

3. Christians are ashamed of worrying. Their shame focuses on why they can’t seem to trust God or obey his commands not to worry; which in turn causes even more worry about their spiritual state. As a result it is often hidden from the church and even those closest to us.

4. Christians tend to see worry as an exclusively spiritual problem.

In only a very few instances have people expressed any awareness of the contribution of psychological factors. Christians tend to believe that the problem is purely spiritual – one of simple disobedience and lack of trust. It is no surprise then that they often feel too ashamed either to acknowledge that a problem exists or to seek help to overcome it. (Preface, xii)

5. Worry tends to be preoccupied with tomorrow. This is on contrast with depression which generally tends to be focused more on the past.

6. Severe worry, or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), is common. it affects 44 in every 1000 adults. Less severe forms of worry affect 164 per 1000 people.

7. GAD is more like background noise. Unlike panic attacks which are so obvious or phobias which are specific, GAD tends to be in the background not the foreground of our minds and is like a constant fog.

8. Worry can be reduced. This involves spiritual, physical, and psychological work. Just as a physiotherapist expects us to do numerous exercises to recover from injury, so we should expect to do various strengthening exercises to get out of worry.

The End of Worry: Why We Worry and How to Stop by Will Van der Hart and Rob Waller.

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Say it in a Sentence
“One Thursday afternoon I went for a walk with my pastor. He asked me what my sermon was about for later that night. Four minutes into trying to explain what my sermon was about, my pastor interrupted me and said: “SAY IT IN A SENTENCE!” He said I wasn’t ready to preach until I could state what my sermon was about in one, clear sentence. That piece of advice transformed my preaching.”

Pastor Stress Statistics
“Why aren’t these pastors overflowing with the love, joy and peace of the Lord in their lives, families and ministries? What is the cause of their emotional problems and moral failures? A major factor is overwhelming ministry stress:

  • 75% report being “extremely stressed” or “highly stressed”
  • 90% work between 55 to 75 hours per week
  • 90% feel fatigued and worn out every week
  • 70% say they’re grossly underpaid
  • 40% report a serious conflict with a parishioner at least once a month
  • 78% were forced to resign and 63% at least twice, most commonly because of church conflict
  • 80% will not be in ministry ten years later and only a fraction make it a lifelong career
  • Seminary trained pastors last only five years in church ministry
  • 100% of 1,050 Reformed and Evangelical pastors had a colleague who had left the ministry because of burnout, church conflict, or moral failure
  • 91% have experienced some form of burnout in ministry and 18% say they are “fried to a crisp right now”

I Live with OCD and Tourette’s—Here’s What Anyone Who’s Facing Anything Can Learn with Me
“Medication was a turning point in my healing process. It completely changed my world for the better. After almost a year of chaos, I was slowly able to start living my life again. I wasn’t the kid I used to be, but I was able to establish a new normal. I could go all day at school with no panic attacks. I could hang out with my friends without fear that something bad was going to happen, and most of the irrational fears began to stop! I was able to jump back into sports. This was huge for me! After about 10 years, I was able to stop taking medications, and that was a great thing for me, too.”

How Porn Is Sidelining Missionaries
“Pornography isn’t just an affront to a holy God; it’s an oil leak in the engine of missions. If unaddressed, an engine with an oil leak will, drip by drip, cease to operate. And dose by dose, porn renders a heart unfit for missions. Just last week, I was asked twice why I think so many godly ladies are signing up to engage unreached peoples, while the men seem to be content on the sidelines. My answer: internet pornography.”

What you should know about women and pornography
“A myriad of reasons can lead to women watching pornography, such as curiosity, loneliness, boredom, rejection, stress, dissatisfaction, curiosity, comfort, connection, or to escape from reality.”

Mommy Drinking Is No Joke
“Since God wants to “set a guard” over “the door of [our] lips” (Ps. 141:3), here are three good reasons to think before speaking (or sharing) that “mommy juice” joke.”

Kindle Books

Making Sense of Salvation by Wayne Grudem $3.99.

How to Enjoy Reading Your Bible by Keith Ferrin $1.59.

Evangelism in a Skeptical World: How to Make the Unbelievable News about Jesus More Believable by Sam Chan $2.99.

Expedition 30: Two Houses

Here’s the video for Expedition 30 in Exploring the Bible. If you want to bookmark a page where all the videos are posted, you can find them on my blog, on YouTube, or the Facebook page for Exploring the Bible.

If you haven’t started your kids on the book yet, you can begin anytime and use it with any Bible version. Here are some sample pages.

You can get it at RHBWestminster BooksCrossway, or Amazon. If you’re in Canada use Reformed Book Services. Some of these retailers have good discounts for bulk purchases by churches and schools.

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10 Phrases that Encapsulate Your Journey with an Eating Disorder
This kind of timeline is worth bearing in mind when dealing with most counseling problems.

Dementia: A Biblical Approach for Care
This article demonstrates a healthy integration of biblical counseling and medical care.

Like the secular Medical Model, the biblical approach has a standard definition of dementia: decreased mental capabilities such as memory loss, inability to think abstractly, impaired decision-making, and the inability to communicate normally. The biblical approach values the contributions of physicians and considers dementia a medical condition that should be managed by a physician.[2] In addition, the biblical approach recognizes that people with dementia and their loved ones need counseling based on biblical truth. A biblical counselor is advised to take a personal interest in a counselee with dementia and visit frequently, be sensitive to spiritual needs, and encourage him or her from Scripture.

3 Dangers in Rejecting Mental Health Care
This article calls for the kind of integration outlined above to be practiced in broader mental health issues.

The rejection of mental health care sets up a polarization between two disciplines that should be helping each other. The lack of trust between clergy and mental health professionals is obvious and palpable in too many areas of our culture.

Let’s bring back the Sabbath to give us a true work break
A secular article on the benefits of Sabbath keeping.

It is time for us, whatever our religious beliefs, to see the Sabbatarian laws of old not as backward and pharisaical, but rather as the liberatory statements they were meant to be. It is time to ask what our society would look like if it made room for a new Sabbath–or, to put it a different way, what our society would need to look like for the Sabbath to be possible.

How to Evangelize Your LGBT Neighbors
y a voice you can trust, Rosaria Butterfield:

“I believe that if Christians lived communally, then people who struggle with same-sex attraction would not be driven away from the church for intimacy but instead would find real intimacy within the family of God.”

How stress affects your body
A friend who teaches in a college send me this video. She shows it to her students at the beginning of the semester.

New Book

In the Year of Our Lord: Reflections on Twenty Centuries of Church History by Sinclair Ferguson.

Kindle Books

A Proverbs Driven Life by Anthony Selvaggio $3.99.

Not a Chance: God, Science, and the Revolt against Reason by R. C. Sproul and Keith Mathison $1.99.

The Disappearance of God: Dangerous Beliefs in the New Spiritual Openness by Dr R. Albert Mohler

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Free Dead Sea Scrolls Download
“See key information about the Dead Sea Scrolls at a glance with this free quick guide by Dr. Randall Price! Get solid overviews, time lines, maps, and pictures of the Dead Sea Scrolls excavation sites with this free download. Find out how the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, what they reveal about the Bible’s accuracy and other key information at a glance.”

How to help a friend with mental illness
“You care about someone who is living with emotional or psychological pain, and you wish you could offer something that would help, but you’re not sure you can make a difference. Maybe you live with the misconception that only trained mental health professionals are qualified to provide any kind of care. After all, it seems like you’ve tried everything you can think of, but you’re pretty sure it hasn’t made any difference. Or, perhaps you believe the only way to help is to solve the problem and make the person feel better for good. Since you haven’t been able to do that, you’ve decided there’s nothing you can do. ”

He Will Hold Me Fast
“Have you ever feared that your faith might fail? Have you worried you might not be able to “hold out” or “hold on” in the long, arduous journey of the Christian life?”

Here’s How Christian Audio Book Summaries Help You Learn More…in Less Time
“A book summary is similar to the “executive summary” concept that’s so popular in the business world; it condenses the main points, thoughts, and arguments of a book into bite-sized pieces, so that you can get the gist of the entire book in only the time that it takes you to read the 7 – 10 page summary.”

Ministering Without R.C. Sproul
Burk Parsons shares his thoughts and feelings after nine months without his friend and mentor, R.C. Sproul.

Call Sinners to Do the Impossible
“we do not need to try to “protect” Reformed teachings by over-qualifying gospel calls. Go ahead and proclaim the impossible to sinners. Then watch God do what only He can do!”

After 50 Years of Ministry, 7 Things I Would Tell Ministerial Candidates Today
“From an older pastor to younger ones: some wise counsel from a pastor who served the Church faithfully for 50 yearz.”

Kindle Books

Humble Roots: How Humility Grounds and Nourishes Your Soul by Hannah Anderson $1.99.

A Woman’s Wisdom: How the Book of Proverbs Speaks to Everything by Lydia Brownback $2.99.

Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery by Eric Metaxas $1.99.

Encouragement to Courage

I was greatly blessed listening to this sermon by my PRTS colleague, Dr Jerry Bilkes. If you are feeling fearful and needing an injection of courage, this sermon will put steel in your spine. “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).