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Sermonic Echoes
Barry York with four ways to make sermons echo in our hearts and around the world after they’ve been preached.

Brain Malfunction verses Mental Illness
Paul Tautges has a go at helping us find better language for some mental/emotional disorders.

Is it time to overcome our cultural elitism?
“Let us get out from behind our cultural elitism and instead look firmly forward toward a vision of a church that is made up of all nations, all tongues and from every tribe.  Accents of all kinds are welcome here.  Workers from all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds are invited to join us in building healthy gospel centered churches in Scotland’s poorest communities.  The gospel destroys every dividing line.”

Responding to sexual brokenness in our churches and families
Some horrific stats here. And grace.

Christians, Mickey Mouse, and Baseball
Jason Helopoulos with a bullet-point theology of pleasure

The Threat of Gospel Amnesia
Here’s a great extract from a book I’m looking forward to reviewing in the next week or so. It begins: “I used to be a Christian who didn’t think about Jesus. I was bored with him. I remember telling my husband one day that I was tired of hearing him say, “Jesus loves you, Luma.” It all seemed trite and superficial. I wanted, I needed, something deeper.”

5 Tools Needed to Reach Today’s Teens


Top 300 Counseling Resources

I previously linked to the Top 200 Online Preaching Resources, and the Top 200 Online Leadership Resources. Now, here’s the Top 300 Online Counseling Resources. Usual disclaimer: Link does not imply full agreement or endorsement.

I start with a batch of links that look at counseling in general. I then list some links that concern some of the debates between Biblical Counseling, Christian Psychology, etc. Then I go on to list resources (in alphabetical order) for specific counseling issues like Abuse, Anxiety, etc. I have a ton of other links to resources that deal with (1) pornography and (2) depression. However, as I don’t want to crash the the Internet, I’ll post separate pages of links on these subjects in the next week or so.

General Counseling Resources

Are You Counseling a Saint, Sufferer, or Sinner?

Teaching Resources for Equipping Counselors

5 Definitions of Biblical Counseling

2 reasons why finding the root problem may not be a good goal for counselors

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, Woefully and Tragically Fallen

JBC Complete Library

20 Things Pastors Hear in Counseling

5 Reasons I Love Church-Based Counseling

Biblical Counseling and Church History

3 Simple Counseling Lessons from the Titanic

100+ Recommended Resources

Top 100 Counseling Resources on the Web

Things you won’t hear often in graduate counseling programs

Puritan Resources for Biblical Counseling

Helpful Truth in Past Places – Book Reviews

Surprised by Biblical Counseling

One Definition of Christian Psychology

Your Heart Matters More Than Your History

Do Men and Women Sin Differently?

The Local Church is THE place for Biblical Counseling

An Interview with Howard Eyrich

My pastoral confidentiality policy

The Christian Counselor’s Greatest Temptation?

Counseled by William Ames

The 12 Most Important Biblical Counseling Books of 2012

The Best Christian Resources Addressing Daily Life Issues

Counseling the (Really) Hard Cases

I Am a Child of God

Is All Counseling Theological?

What the Puritans Can Teach Us about Counseling

Be Counseled by Thomas Chalmers (1780 – 1847)

How Does Physical Exercise Relate to Sanctification?

When Hope Hurts

Which Book Should I Read First?

Are Sin and Sickness Linked?

Students of the Word and of People

Why We “Care” Instead of “Counsel” One Another

Gentle Answers #1: A Friend in Sin

Why Is It So Hard to Ask Personal Information?

Pastoring Isn’t Just Preaching

Gracious Candor: A Tutorial in Speaking Truth in Love

Ask the Counselor: What About “Spiritual Formation” and “Spiritual Disciplines”?

Being and Counseling Job

Spiritual Map Quest

The Top 9 Books on the History of Pastoral Counseling/Biblical Counseling

The Pastor As Counselor

Dump-truck Counseling

The Spirit in Counseling

How to Be a Miserable Comforter

The Future of Biblical Counseling

Victory Over or Struggling With?

How to Find a Trusted Counselor

Caring for a Loved One with Cancer: Don’t Forget About the Kids

What’s a Good Question?

37 Ways to Love One Another

Counseling with Music

12 Ways the Holy Spirit Energizes Discipleship Counseling

Strawberry-Rhubarb Theology: How Not to Quote the Bible to Hurting People

The Law and Church Counseling: Part Three—Scope of Care

Want to Change Lives?

10 Questions to Ask before Confronting a Brother or Sister in Christ

Heal thyself? Do we have the capacity?

The Mortification of Sin (Part 1) | Covenant Eyes

Fifteen Biblical Counseling Blogs You Should Bookmark

“I tried that…it didn’t work”: Responding to failures in counseling

The Gospel and the Oncology Waiting Room by Mike Pohlman

Edification

The Pastor’s Counseling Ministry

Difference between counseling at CCEF and in a church

D.A. Carson on how to avoid being pastorally insensitive and theologically stupid

The Puritans on Soul Care and Counseling

Powlison: God’s Grace and Your Sufferings

More Things Not to Say to Those Who are Suffering

Jesus Rewrites Our Stories: Counseling in a Crisis Pregnancy Center

Some Thoughts on How to Provide Long Term Pastoral Care

Some Thoughts on How to Provide Long Term Pastoral Care

Beholding Glory and Becoming Whole: Seeing and Savoring God as the Heart of Mental Health

How Should Seminaries Train Pastors to Counsel?—Part 1

Who Should Teach Pastors to Counsel?

Equipped to Counsel, Part One: How We Do Biblical Counseling Training in Our Congregation

7 Characteristics of a Competent Counselor

Counseling Debates

The Local Church is THE place for Biblical Counseling

“Closing the Gap”: The BCC’s Executive Director’s 2013-2053 Vision

Are You For Or Against “Psychology”?

The Biblical Counseling Movement After Adams

Psychology is the Devil: A Critique of Jay Adams’ Counseling Paradigm

Book Reviews | Review: The Biblical Counseling Movement After Adams

How to evaluate a new counseling model or technique: Step one

How to evaluate a counseling model or technique: Step two

Competing Models of Christian Counseling? Who is Right?

Biblical Counseling and Its Neighbors: Conversations Over the Fence

Inherent Liabilities with Biblical Counseling?

Psychology & Christianity

Extrabiblical Books and Scripture’s Sufficiency

Powlison on The Biblical Counseling Movement: History and Context

5 Approaches to Counseling and Christianity

eJournal : What Distinguishes Biblical Counseling from other Methods?

David Powlison on Redeeming Psychology

Psychology today | Marvin Olasky

Abuse

8 Ways to Protect Your Children from Sexual Abuse

Confronting an Abuser 

Shame Interrupted: A Review

Slaying the Shame of Sexual Abuse 

Churches taking abuse prevention seriously? YES

Advice for Pastors in Caring for Victims of Sexual Assault 

Shepherding Survivors of Sexual Abuse

The real damage done in abuse?

Justin Holcomb on Rid of My Disgrace 

What to Say, and Not Say, to a Victim of Sexual Assault

Rid of My Disgrace 

Lindsey Holcomb on Identity and Sexual Assault

Gospel Grace and Sexual Assault 

G.R.A.C.E. | Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment

Recovering from Child Abuse: Help and Healing for Victims

Getting the Right Treatment for Sexual Abuse? 7 Questions to Consider

When Prevention Fails: A Sexual Abuse Response Policy for Churches

The real damage done in abuse

What to Say, and Not Say, to a Victim of Sexual Assault

Read More


Check out

How abuse changes a child’s brain
Along similar lines: This is your brain without Dad. And, at last, hope of a blood test for mental illness.

White superiority, Majority ministers, and Minority contexts
I’m afraid that I identify too much with Ethan Seifried. Hoping to speak about this topic today at PRTS chapel. Here’s another challenge from Danny Slavich: Are you ready for our multi-ethnic, multi-cultural future?

What happens when you really disconnect?
Tony Schwartz assures us that if we can push through the pain barrier, there’s paradise on the other side.

Are you Counseling a Saint, Sufferer, or Sinner
Trevin Wax highlights some helpful distinctions from Mike Emlett’s book, Crosstalk.

Mental Illness and Medication
Ed Stetzer continues his helpful discussion of this difficult issue.

I’m just not wired that way
Marc Cortez on the blessings and challenges of being an introvert.


Ezra and Nehemiah Podcast

Download here.

This week’s Ligonier Connect/Connected Kindgom podcast covers Ezra, Nehemiah, Amos and Hosea. We look at some of the most important parts of these books and try to answer a few of the most pressing questions.


I’m just a…(fill in the gap)

“I’m just a plumber.” “I’m just a housewife.” “I’m just a secretary.” “I’m just a salesman.” “I’m just an accountant.”

People say this kind of stuff to pastors all the time.

What’s implied in these statements?

  • Your work is a divine calling, but mine isn’t.
  • My work is not as important as yours.
  • You are worth more to God than I am.
  • I wish I could serve God more than one day a week.

What’s at the root of all this is an unbiblical view of vocation, the wrong idea that only ministry callings are divine callings, that only ministry work is real work, that only overtly Christian work is worthwhile work.

As work occupies more of our time than anything else, these falsehoods have hugely damaging and negative effects upon us.

If you’ve ever said or thought such things, I’d encourage you to start viewing your work through the lens of Romans 11:36.

“For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.”

ALL THINGS, yes even your work:

  • Is of God: Your work is from God, it is His calling. He gave you the work, He designed you for it, and He’s called you to do it today.
  • Is through God: You do your work in dependence upon God, looking to Him alone  for guidance, protection, strength, and blessing. And if you do, you may be going about your job with more faith than some men in pulpits!
  • Is to God: You do your work for God’s glory. You work as if He was your employer, your manager, your boss. You wash dishes as if He was going to eat from them. You unblock drains as if it was His home, etc.

Does that not positively transform the way you view your work and even yourself?

  • As you mow lawns: “Of Him, through Him, to Him.”
  • As you change diapers: “Of Him, through Him, to Him.”
  • As you study Algebra: “Of Him, through Him, to Him.”

The ministry is not the highest calling. The work God has given you is the highest calling. 

The ministry is the highest calling only for those God has called to ministry (and as Paul said, God usually calls the least of all saints to that work). But if God has called you to another kind of work, then that is His highest calling for you.

Anything less that this equalizing of callings is a return to the pre-Reformation elevation of “sacred” work above “secular” work.

Martin Luther wrote: The works of monks and priests [we might add, "pastors and missionaries"] however holy and arduous they be, do not differ one whit in the sight of God from the works of the rustic laborer in the field or the woman going about her household tasks, but all works are measured before God by faith alone.”

William Perkins, the English Puritan, said: “The action of a shepherd in keeping sheep, performed as I have said, is as good a work before God as is the action of a judge in giving sentence, or of a magistrate in ruling or a minister in preaching.”

This is not to demean the ministry, to bring the ministry down. It’s to lift all other callings up to the high and holy level of dignity and significance that God has given them.

You’re not “just” an anything or a nothing. You are what God made you to be and today you’re doing what God called you to do. And that changes everything.


Check out

Apprenticeships need more respect
Some amazing statistics and profound lessons.

They can try to disrupt her funeral but they cannot dishonor her legacy
I was a passionate Thatcherite in my late teens and early twenties, so much so that I campaigned with one of Winston Churchill’s grandsons as he ran for a completely unwinnable seat in one of the most dangerous parts of Glasgow. Michael Milton’s article on Margaret Thatcher and the Boston bombings brought back a lot of memories. Barbara Challies reflects on Amanda Thatcher’s powerful scripture reading at the funeral. Anne was in the Houses of Parliament when the death was announced.

Are biblical counselors sin maximizers?
My friend Bob Kellemen interacts with an article I wrote that attempted to bring differing views/emphases in counseling a bit closer together. You can read my original article here.

Dear Son…
A Father writes to a son about how to pray out loud in front of other people.

When you need help finding an Old Testament Commentary
Remember Tim Challies’ commentaries series as well.

Top 10 ways to ruin your child’s imagination