Some Resources For You!

I decided, because I had to go and update my auto insurance (which took a decent chunk out of my normal writing time) to give you all a list of awesome resources I have found invaluable in my walk with Christ, below are links and pictures, enjoy!

(click on the pictures for the link)

Desiring God
-For everything related to The Bible and life, plumb the depths of their many articles and sermons!
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Bible Gateway
-A great resource for looking up and reading scripture!

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Plugged In
-When it comes to new movies, it’s hard to tell how crude it’s going to be. Plugged In gives you every instance of Sexuality, Cussing, and anything else before you even watch it!

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Downcast (APP)
-The BEST podcasting app i’ve ever found, though it’s only on iOS, the interface is clean and easy to use. I found ALL of the sermons I listen to and easily download them daily. I great tool for sermon and teaching consumption.

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“Where’d You Hear That…?”  “Counseling”

You might recognize that quote from the popular (and rather good) movie “Fireproof”. As I wear my BCT (NANC) conference name-tag that movie quote popped into my head. I was reminded of the value of counseling and how critical it is. Though my Fiance’ and I are doing pre-marital counseling, I can see how everyone could be encouraged by it in every area of life.

As it was made very clear by the pastors and teachers of Faith Church, The Bible is one big counseling book from God. Though not meant to be a “do this, do that” kind of book (though there are those), but rather it was written in order to get to the heart of the human condition rather than just sprinkling moralism onto it.

So by that analysis, The Bible is quite “counseling-oriented” and gives vast amounts of help to our depraved hearts.

Going back to the beginning we see the origin of sin and the fall (Genesis 3). There we find God asking very piercing questions to Adam and Eve in verses 9-13. The questions that were posed are quite interesting. Take note that God already knew everything that happened (and knew before it happened) and yet still asked questions. He went right ahead and asked: “why?”.

God lets them see their sin by asking questions. Though they knew they had sinned, God was clearly convicting them of their motives and hearts. If He wanted them to just “stop doing bad and start doing good” then don’t you think it wouldn’t have gone down like this? Clearly, God is after our hearts, not outward actions.

The point is, Biblical counseling has been around from the very beginning and has continued for thousands of years through preachers, teachers, and laypeople as well.

Christ is also referred to as “Wonderful Counselor” in Isaiah 9:6. And just reading The Bible gives incredible counsel on all things pertaining to “life and godliness” as a whole.

Don’t believe me? Here are some examples:
-Romans gives us clear doctrinal teaching on many critical issues.
-Proverbs gives us very important life-lessons on a more practical level.
-Genesis gives us the historical account on lifes origins and how sin entered the world.

Though the Bible as a whole is perfect and helpful for all things, this is just a short list. But the point is very clear that the Scriptures contain countless areas that it speaks very clearly on.

So what does good doctrine, life tips, and history have to do with Biblical counseling? Everything! Without the Word of God we have nothing. Literally.

Without scriptural guidance what do you do with a couple struggling in their marriage? What council do you give a grieving widow? How do you instruct a young adult to grow in godliness? Do you say “just try loving yourself more” following the advice of modern psychology? Or do you point them to the Bible, showing them where God has spoken?

You see that as a Christian, giving counsel from a Biblical perspective is critical to your ministry in life (meaning your day-to-day living). When a friend asks for your thoughts on a certain passage will you have the basic understanding of what the Bible teaches? And if you don’t, will you have the humility to say “I don’t know” and do your own study?

Now I fully understand we never have all the answers. I by no means intend for everyone to know everything. Or even for every Christian to agree on everything.

My point is: Without a Biblical worldview what else do you have as a Believer?

A Summation Of A Great Trip (Conference Update #3)

I’d like to personally apologize for last Thursday’s rather lazy post. If you had seen me and how tired i was i’m sure you’d understand! But I hope today I can make up for lost ground. So… Where were we? Oh yes, I was at the conference. So, to continue!
The conference consisted of way over a dozen speakers, around 6 of them speaking per day (some multiple times). They covered IMG_4127topics like depression, marriage, parenting, sanctification, anger, guilt, and many more. It was basically like a college lecture setting, with my group and I sitting in a simulcast room seating around 80+ with the 600+ others in the other room listening to the live lectures.

The way the conference was set up was in tracks. My group and I were in track 1 along with hundreds of others, as you can see to your right (if you’re not on a phone) is our schedule for the first few days (the rest on the back of it). There are a total of 6 tracks, 1 being the most broad, and 6 being much more focused. That way you can go for 6 years straight and still get new teaching!

Anyways i’d usually wake up at 6am, get ready (i usually took a shower the night before) head downstairs, make a waffle at the breakfast area in the hotel, and sit down and enjoy my food while either reading the bible, or just sitting down and praying while I ate. Those mornings really set the tone for the day, as I’m not a morning person, so i had to get my attitude right to face the day.

IMG_4121So at 7:15 we would head out for the 5 minute drive to Faith Church, where the conference was held (pictured left). The Church had a very welcoming feel to it, people were nice, the church was big, but very well-built and very aesthetically pleasing. I felt very comfortable and at-home there (which is quite rare for me!).

So our sessions were done in the simulcast room IMG_4205(pictured right) where we and 80 or so others would listen intently to our speakers. My personal favorite speaker was the lead-pastor of Faith Church, Steve Viars. He’s written with authors like James MacDonald and is a very interesting, convicting, and engaging speaker.

So after 5 days of amazing lectures, awesome times with friends, disgusting fast food, my brain and heart are filled  to the brim. It was so encouraging being shown so much of the Bible and how it all applies to our lives. I learned how marriages thrive when Christ is put before the marriage, how we should never assume we know what someone is going through, and very importantly, how to listen! We all need someone to listen, whether that be a spouse, friend, or coworker, etc.
(Pictured left is the church’s bookstore lounge)

IMG_4145  So after the 20 hour drive home, I went home, crashed for a few hours, then  went to my brothers play at his college later in the evening, tired as i already was but feeling very filled from the conference. After the show (which he did quite amazingly in) we went home, and I went to bed, so tired from the week. The next morning at Church my Pastor asked me and my girlfriend to speak to the congregation about our experiences at the conference. It was a bit nerve-wracking, but i think it went well! We got what we wanted to say across I think.

The basic point I made was that as the church we’re ALL growing theologians, we’re either growing to be good ones, or bad ones. We’re always living out our theology, but sometimes it’s lived out very badly.
Same thing for counseling, every person we’re talking to we’re either leaving better or worse off from talking with us. So how can we take these biblical principles and learn good solid theology and good counseling for the glory of God? So I hope anyone reading this makes a point to study the Bible and make sure what you’re preaching is actually in it! Speak the truth in love.

Thanks for reading! If you have any more questions message me in the “contact me” section of my blog!

The Hotel Conference Life (Conference Update #1)

I’m sitting this fine tuesday night in a Quality Inn in Lafayette, Indiana where me and a few other people (with two of the guys and I sharing a room) are staying for the conference that has been much-anticipated (you would know this if you read up a little, but no worries, i’ll fill ya in). And I just thought it would be good to still update you all even though i’m away, just cuz I love this writing stuff. Especially when I know someone finds it interesting!

Where i am is at “BCT Conference” its a discipleship conference that deals with so many topics. But all learning to counsel people biblically to trust christ with their issues to grow and do practical things to help grow also. But ill explain more of that in later posts.

So Saturday morning I woke up at around 4:30am to take the 20-minute drive over to the church where we would be departing from. I arrived, got all my stuff into the van, consolidated most of the stuff, then headed out.
(Oh, and i’m writing this on an iPod, so it may not look like a normal post structure).

Anyways, from New England to Indiana is quite the drive!

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Though thats probably not the exact route, but it still speaks the well felt truth. 17 hours. Yep, it was quite the drive. And our fearless leader (the driver and a local leader) drove that whole way never sleeping. Luckily he has a wife to keep him awake. So it was long, crazy and fun, but its nothing compared to where we were at right now.

Where we arrived was “Faith Church” (i’ll hopefully have a link to it in a post once i’m home) is a local lafayette church that has an incredible prominence in the community proclaiming the hope and forgiveness of Christ in both relevant, but never compromising biblical truth for the sake of entertaining people. The pastor, Steve Viars (i’ll correct that if im wrong) has an incredible passion for proclaiming Gods word clearly and effectively, but also convictingly. He preaches straight up gospel truth with no intention of entertaining or sugarcoating Christs message, which naturally makes me like him a ton!
Though I can’t explain everything, you can find out more about the Church if you click here.

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So that next sunday morning (after a lovely few hours of sleep) we went to Faith for Church and the message was very good! (Auditorium pictured above). The message was all about a Biblical view of help and support for the poor, it was both convicting and interesting.
Later we began the intro lecture where he covered the basics of “why biblical counseling?”. Like the reason why we believe its biblical.
But, if you didn’t notice on the trip route picture, it’s late and i beed sleep! I’ll continue where i left off on thursday, but i’ll leave you with this quote:

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Many more of what I’ve been up to and what I’m learning to be continued, or you can tune in just for some nugget quotes, whatever works.
Anyways thanks for reading!