January 1, 2018 @ 9:10 PM

Here we are at the beginning of a brand new year. I like January. A fresh new year yet to be written lays before me with new challenges and opportunities for growth and ministry to others. I think it is exciting to have a fresh start and new beginning. But sometimes it is unbearably hard to begin again. Whether due to fear of the unknown or baggage from the past that feels like an anchor around our soul and spirit, we may find it hard to move forward. This is often the case when people come for counseling. They want to move forward in life, but something is holding them back. Something that keeps them tethered to the past. They often say they feel stuck. Perhaps it is an idol that they hold tightly even though they say they want to let it ...

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January 1, 2018 @ 9:10 PM

I am indebted to Neil T. Anderson, Dave Park, and Rich Miller for their clear teaching on the legitimacy of fear objects. In their book, Stomping Out Fear: Finding Courage in Christ, the authors address the issue of fear because fear is at the root of much of our sinful behaviors, speech, and thoughts. We grow fearful and try to cope through sinful defense mechanism such as blaming others, denial that we did it, lying to cover our tracks, minimizing what we’ve done by saying, “It’s no big deal!,” overworking/overeating/over-exercising/over anything, and many others.

Our first parents, Adam and Eve, did exactly the same thing! After sinning they were afraid and hid from God in the bushes. Adam declared to God, &ldquo...

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The
January 1, 2018 @ 9:09 PM

As the old saying goes, “the chickens are coming home to roost” in Hollywood, Washington D. C., and elsewhere. Allegations of sexual abuse, harassment, and even rape are being leveled against some of the most powerful men in the country. In this short article I want to focus just on the allegations in Hollywood. Producers, directors, star actors, and agents are being identified by actors and actresses as predators. It is big news because of the star power making the accusations but the truth is the culture in Hollywood has been morally depraved for many years.

If the term “casting couch” is unfamiliar to you, it is a term coined back in the 1920s in Hollywood. The idea behind the casting couch is that casting agents...

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January 1, 2018 @ 9:09 PM

I stopped making New Year’s resolutions a number of years ago. The resolve was there but the power of the flesh kept attacking my best efforts and I would fail. I don’t think I’m alone when it comes to failing to keep New Year’s resolutions. Check out the number of people who go on diets, join gyms, begin weight loss programs, etc. The numbers in January are huge but those numbers diminish from a gusher to a trickle by March.

I have taken to writing out goals on January 1 for the coming year. I group specific goals under 7 headings, all beginning with the letter “F” (hey, c’mon, I was a preacher for 30 years. What’d you expect?):

  1. Faith
  2. Family
  3. Finances
  4. Function
  5. Fitness
  6. Friends
  7. ...

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