Counselors Corner
Monday, 06 February 2012 19:20

The Necessity of Friendship

Written by Brenda Payne

In my years of working as a counselor, I have been struck by the number of Christian women who are disconnected from relationships in their local church. Many of these women have spent the bulk of their lives raising children and working a job. And by the time you add maintaining a husband and home, they simply have not had the time or energy to invest in meaningful relationships outside their family. If they have “friends”, they are often built on convenience and lack substance beyond an acquaintanceship. Unfortunately, when “the day of evil” comes they struggle to find the people resources needed to help them through their trial. They are in need of wisdom, encouragement, and accountability, but they don’t have anyone who knows them intimately.

Monday, 05 December 2011 17:38

Dealing with Grief at Christmas

Written by Brenda Payne

Christmas…the time to celebrate the birth of our Savior with family and friends! But not everyone will be surrounded by their loved ones this holiday season. Have you lost a spouse, child, close relative or friend? For those in mourning, Christmas can be the most difficult time of the year. If you are among the bereaved, the sounds and sites of Christmas are constant reminders of your loss. As in any heartbreaking situation, the greatest antidote for sadness, worry, or despair is to focus on loving God and your neighbor. I have had the privilege of watching great examples of grieving families tearfully, yet lovingly, deal with the pain of loss. The Word and their witness are my teachers and as a result I offer the following suggestions to help you as you grieve this holiday season.

Sunday, 06 November 2011 19:10

Helping Your Child with Identity and Worship

Written by Brenda Payne

Ever since our children were born, my husband Paul and I told them who they are and who they ought to worship. They were the covenant children of Paul and Brenda Payne and we worship King Jesus! For a long time, they never questioned this identity or the faith we held so dear. But one day that changed. My adolescent children, in varying degrees, began to question who they were and who or what they desired to worship. I have had a number of parents come to see me in despair because their once happy and obedient child seems to have been abducted by aliens! Perhaps, you are experiencing something like this and wondering when the alien will return your child in a normal state. After all, why would a daughter raised in a solid Christian family reject anything that is “girlie” or a son adopt the persona of a “wanna be gangster rapper”?

Think about the metamorphosis that is taking place in your child to grow from boy to man or girl to woman; while it may be normal, it’s absolutely monumental! It’s easy to take for granted how much is changing physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually in our children as they transition from child to adult. And at the core of what is happening they must come to grips with two foundational questions: “Who am I?” and “What am I living for?” These are the questions of identity and worship. If the process of discovery is a tumultuous road it can produce fear in the hearts of both parent and child leading to stress and strain in the relationship. As difficult as it may be, the quest for identity and worship is necessary for your child. I’ve heard it said, “God does not have any grandchildren only children”. Your child cannot get to heaven on your identity in Christ or your worship of the Savior; he must embrace these truths for himself.

Wednesday, 05 October 2011 19:17

Overcoming the Love of Money

Written by Lou Priolo

Last month we reviewed some of the dangers and pitfalls associated with the love of money. This time I would like to suggest what you can do to overcome the love of money.

Thursday, 01 September 2011 18:04

Mastering Materialism Part 2

Written by Lou Priolo

Last time we looked at some of the characteristics of materialistic individuals (covetous people who love money and what it can do for them more). This month I would like to consider the dangers and pitfalls associated with the love of money. It is not just the wealthy who are in jeopardy, but the wanna-be wealthy as well.

Friday, 05 August 2011 12:25

Mastering Materialism

Written by Lou Priolo

Where in the Bible can we find the word materialism?
“I don’t ever remember coming across that term in my Bible reading. Are you sure it’s in there?”
The concept is in there, but you are right—it’s not referred to as materialism.
“Ok, so what is the biblical word for what we call materialism?”
How about covetousness?

Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance
of the things he possesses. (Luke 12:15, NKJV; C.f. Hebrews 13:5)

Thursday, 07 July 2011 07:28

Helping Those Labeled with PTSD, Part 2

Written by Henry Beaulieu

Building on what I spoke to last month regarding a healthy response to traumatic situations, it’s critical to repeat that the basis of all genuine change begins when a person is yielded to Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Have you cried out to God to forgive you of your sins and cleanse your soul? Do you know the reality and the power of the Holy Spirit living in your life – do you know that you are a child of God, do you hate your sin, and do you desire to live for Christ? From my perspective and that of the Bible, this is the necessary foundation to good and lasting change.

Do you know someone who experienced tragedy or trauma associated with the tornadoes of April 2011? Do you have a military service member in your family who has rotated in and out of Iraq or Afghanistan? Have you been through a terrifying situation which was beyond your ability to control, where you believed life and limb was at stake, and where, at that time, there seemed to be no resources available for help? Does it seem to have changed you, or the person you’re thinking of, in a harmful way?

Wednesday, 04 May 2011 11:41

Modeling True Marital Love For Your Kids

Written by Brenda Payne

As a Christian wife and mother, I have a responsibility to love my husband biblically and to teach my children the true meaning of marital love. I cannot teach them what I do not understand. I cannot convince them of what I do not practice. If I allow my children to be informed by the culture, the view of love they will develop will be the very opposite of true love. Think about it. Most modern movies, TV shows, and songs picture marital love as something to get not give; something to feel not do; and something that is easily dissolved not fiercely protected. In fact, if I leave my children with no biblical explanation to shape their mindset and no godly example to follow, why would they get married at all? The predominant cultural view of marriage flies in the face of the sanctity of marriage found in the Scriptures. Hollywood portrays shacking up and splitting up not only as the norm, but desirable. Of course, Christians know that the eroding of marriage leads to a host of family and societal problems. So, what am I am to do as a mother who desires that my children embrace marital love as defined by the Scriptures? I can only do what I can do: teach, model and pray!

Thursday, 07 April 2011 14:33

Are You Bitter at God?

Written by Staff

Some people—yes, even Christian people—become bitter at God. It’s not that He has sinned against them and is in need of their forgiveness. It’s a matter of them mishandling a difficult situation which He has flung on them. In his trial, Job didn’t focus in on secondary causes—the Sabeans, the Chaldeans, the fire which fell from heaven, or the great wind which came from across the wilderness (c.f. Job 1:14–19). Rather, he kept his eyes on the character of God, who for His Own eternal purposes allows human suffering.

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