April 1, 2020 @ 8:00 AM

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

Spring is indeed a season of hope as the whole earth awakens from the coldness and deadness of winter. Here in Minnesota we start to see new life again. Beautiful flowers start to appear from the still partially frozen earth, green plants sprout, and soon there will be buds on the trees. Birds chirp in the early morning hours. The best part of spring is Easter. It is indeed the season of hope. Easter is the first holiday to emerge out of the bitter cold of winter. Easter celebrates the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Easter celebrates “it is finished” and the...

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April 1, 2020 @ 8:00 AM

These are troubled times, aren’t they? It feels like the ground is shaking beneath our feet as everything we depended on to keep us secure, healthy, and happy is being removed. How do we cope with the uncertainty? How do we deal with the fear rampant among so many? I’m staking my peace on the promises of God. Man cannot give me peace in times like these. Only God can. Let me share with you my new life verses from the Bible. I have memorized the New American Standard Version of Philippians 4:6, 7 which says:

Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and minds ......

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April 1, 2020 @ 8:00 AM

Everywhere I turn these days I am inundated with news about COVID19, the coronavirus. Many people are panicking because of it and stocking up on essentials such as food, water, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, etc. Stores like Costco, Sam’s Club, Target, and Walmart have sold out of these products and as fast as they restock the shelves, boom, they’re sold out again!

What are we to make of this situation? The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared COVID19 a pandemic meaning it is greater and more widespread than an epidemic. Some in the media are minimizing it and declaring that it’s simply another form of the flu and nothing to fear. Alarmists are calling it dangerous and predict that anywhere from 20-60% of Americans...

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April 1, 2020 @ 8:00 AM

You’ve probably seen that bumper sticker on the rear bumper of a massive RV. You know the one I’m talking about. The one that reads, “Spending our children’s inheritance!” That does beg the question, “Should we leave an inheritance for our children?” There are several well-known entertainers who don’t think we should namely Kirk Douglas and Marie Osmond.

Kirk Douglas, who died recently at the age of 103 years, left the bulk of his $61 million estate to his charity, the Douglas Foundation. He did not leave anything to his son, Michael, also a film star. The probable reason is not because Kirk didn’t love his son but because Michael is worth $278 million dollars. He doesn’t need the...

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March 1, 2020 @ 8:00 AM

Should you trust him? Should you trust her? In relationships, trust is critical. To know that your partner is trustworthy is essential to true intimacy. How can you be intimate with someone you can’t trust? You can’t. One of the country’s leading authorities on marriage and relationships is Dr. John Gottman. Founder of The Gottman Institute, John and his wife,  Julie Gottman, have been studying marriages from a research standpoint at the University of Washington (Seattle, WA) for the past 40 years. Here are 5 criteria John Gottman says are keys to trust in dating, marriage, business, or family:

  1. Honesty
    • Do not trust someone who lies to you.
    • Don’t come up with excuses for why they lied, or talk ...
    • ......
    ...

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March 1, 2020 @ 8:00 AM

If you are familiar with the subject of Emotional Intelligence (EI), you know that it involves four skill areas. These areas are self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. The first two skill areas pertain to personal competence and the ability to have insight into who we are and why we react and respond the way we do. The second two areas pertain to social competence and the ability to have insight into other people and how other people react and respond to us. Personal competence is about ego strength while social competence is about empathy for others. A balance of ego and empathy is mentally healthy. Arrogant people overvalue themselves and are less likely to be empathetic. Less confident people...

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March 1, 2020 @ 8:00 AM

Perhaps you’ve heard the expression, “dissing.” It’s slang for disrespecting someone. Everyone wants to be respected. We want to be respected as people and we want our ideas and words to be respected as well. When we are not shown that respect we feel slighted and grow angry at the one who “dissed” us. Besides disrespect, there are six other disses which can trigger anger in us.

  1. Dismissive—Dismissive often goes hand-in-hand with disrespect. When we are dismissive we wave someone off as not worth our time or words. We dismiss them as unworthy. To be dismissed is to attack our sense of self-worth and when that happens we grow angry.
  2. Disobey—Every parent understands this one. When our ...
  3. ...

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March 1, 2020 @ 8:00 AM

“Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me.” Is that old child’s adage true? Can words never hurt us? You know they can. Words can wound our souls and leave scars that often last a lifetime. The Bible says, “With his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous will be delivered” (Proverbs 11:9) and “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). The bottom line is words, like stones, can wound, hurt, and even destroy. So what is the opposite? What are words which heal, edify, and nurture? Here are 7 healing phrases to use with your spouse, friend, or child:

1.      “I ......

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February 1, 2020 @ 8:00 AM

Someone asked me this question recently. I found myself trying to figure out what to say. We all know what love is, don't we … or do we? How do we explain and define it? What would you say? With Valentine's Day approaching, I think it is worth thinking about.

Irv and I showed a video clip to a couple recently on the subject of expectations. In the clip the wife came home from work on February 14th angry at her husband because she had not received flowers or candy at work like some of her female coworkers had. He assured her that he had a very big surprise waiting for her now . . . In the bathroom!! It was a brand new toilet with a big red bow on it!! Was she thrilled with her valentine gift? Not even a little bit. The point ...

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February 1, 2020 @ 8:00 AM

As counselors, Elsie and I know it is a big deal when people contact us for counseling. It takes courage and humility to reach out for help. Individuals and couples often face challenges that seem insurmountable. They need to hear objective, experienced, biblical counsel and that is what we offer.

We have been trained to be objective and look at the facts. We have been taught to be objective by keeping our emotions in check. We utilize objective assessments such as the Taylor-Johnson Temperament Analysis and PREPARE/ENRICH and we gather facts upfront from the Personal History Questionnaire which is designed to save fact-gathering time in session.

Elsie and I are experienced. Both of us have been counselors in churches and agencies for ...

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