Reformation Celebration and FREE Resources!

reformationJoin the Reformation celebration! While the kids dress up and trick ‘o’ treat, remember that today marks the 500th anniversary of the event that sparked the Protestant Reformation. 

On Oct. 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the wooden doors of a Roman Catholic church in Wittenberg, Germany. In his theses, Luther, a Catholic monk, attacked the church’s corruption and indulgences-for-sale system. Shares pastor Kevin DeYoung at The Gospel Coalition:

One of the things we must never forget to say is that the Reformation mercifully allowed fearful sinners to have a new kind of relationship with God. The Reformation reminded God’s people that they can have direct access to God through Christ. It re-centered the church on the lavish, scandalous good news of the cross.

Counseling Under the Cross Book!

To commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Bob Kellemen penned his latest book: Counseling Under the Cross: How Martin Luther Applied the Gospel to Daily Life. Below are links to wonderful free resources from Kellemen, who also is a biblical counselor, professor, and pastor.

He says,

Martin Luther not only reformed theology; his understanding of the gospel reformed daily Christian living, biblical counseling, pastoral counseling, one-another ministry, and soul care.

Through Counseling Under the Cross, you can learn how Luther richly, relevantly, robustly, and relationally book coverapplied the gospel to suffering, sin, sanctification, and our search for peace with God. And throughout, Kellemen shares lively vignettes, real-life stories, and direct quotes from Luther. They also help equip you to apply the gospel to yourself and others—finding hope and help in Christ alone.

Here, then, are the resources as well as a link to the book.

14 Free Resources

You can download all of the following resources here. Also, if you want to send this link to a friend, here’s a shortened version: http://bit.ly/LutherResources

  1.  95 Martin Luther Quotes of Note (PDF Version)
  2.  95 Martin Luther Quotes of Note (Word Document Version)
  3.  The Sufficiency of Scripture/Sola Scriptura quotes of note.
  4. Comforting the Suffering quotes of note.
  5. Looking at Life through the Lens of the Cross quotes of note.
  6. Preaching the Gospel to Yourself quotes of note.
  7. Growing in Grace quotes of note.
  8. Salvation by Faith Alone/Sola Fide quotes of note.
  9. Also enjoy 15 Q&A Responses by author Dr. Bob Kellemen on Counseling Under the Cross
  10. Download PowerPoint Slides: How Martin Luther Applied the Gospel to Suffering (PowerPoint Presentation from Wittenberg Germany on the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation)
  11. Get Outline Notes: How Martin Luther Applied the Gospel to Suffering (Lesson Handout/Notes from Wittenberg Germany on the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation)
  12. Download PowerPoint Slides: How Martin Luther Applied the Gospel to Sin and Sanctification (PowerPoint Presentation from Wittenberg Germany on the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation)
  13. Also get Outline Notes: How Martin Luther Applied the Gospel to Sin and Sanctification (Lesson Handout/Notes from Wittenberg Germany on the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation)
  14.  Plus, read endorsements for Counseling Under the Cross. 

Enjoy Your Autographed Copy!

You can purchase an autographed copy of Counseling Under the Cross on sale at 25 percent off. So, for $14.99, why not get your copy at RPM Bookstore?

Counseling Hearts to Hope (and Health)!

Peace? Anger? A Small Book About a Big Problem

peacePeace is a hot commodity today. We all want it in our anger-infused, Twitter-bombed world. But how?
Biblical counselor and psychologist Ed Welch offers hope for change for people who struggle with irritation and want peace. Really, who likes anger? And as Welch sound-bites: To be angry is to destroy. 
The 50 short meditations in A Small Book About a Big Problem: Meditations on Anger, Patience, and Peace helps you to unpack your anger and see its underlying cause. The meditations also encourage you to respond with patience and to pursue peace. Check the book out here.

Big Problem

Yes, anger pours out testy words. Eye rolls and sighs reveal the simmer. Slammed doors shake homes and relationships. Anger may whisper or shout, but is almost always destructive. And Jesus had much to say about anger and its antitode: God-honoring peace.
Welch fills the pages with scripture passages and with instruction to overcome anger. His target: the heart. His method: letting you see the yuck of anger and inviting you to want treasure in heaven most of all. It’s a self-versus-God attitude and choice, isn’t it?.

Hello, Peace!

On the path to peace, you’ll meet afresh the Prince of Peace: Jesus. You’ll also discover your need to forgive. And pray. And bless an enemy. Welch suggests you read the meditations a day at a time. This way your mind and heart absorb all that is anger and hate it. You also learn to love peace and seek the Peace-Giver.
So if you’re sick of anger and want peace, read this little-big book–all 50 days.

Meet the Author

Ed WelcjEdward T. Welch, M.Div., Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). He earned a Ph.D. in counseling (neuropsychology) from the University of Utah and has a Master of Divinity degree from Biblical Theological Seminary. Ed has been counseling for over thirty years and has written extensively on the topics of depression, fear, and addictions.

Empty Nest: Adjusting and Loving It! (Part 2)

empty nest 2Empty nest. My friend Karen excitedly watched her three young adult children take flight. But my frend Diane felt uneasy. Her son had made bad choices in high school. Would he waste college too? And Dee had one heck of a time getting her daughter to leave the nest.

All three are adjusting to the empty nest, but only one is loving it. So far.

In this two-part series on the empty nest, you’ll discover. . .

  1. Best way to prepare your empty nest, whether your kids are  just out of high school or farther down the road. Read part one.
  2. How to adjust and love the empty nest, including finding romance and investing in grandbabies.

The Empty Nest Book!

empty nest coverAuthor Michele Howe has written a book for any parent who finds herself in the midst of an empty nest. Preparing, Adjusting, and Loving the Empty Nest tackles the questions moms face, the emotions they encounter, and the changes soon to come. I strongly recommend it. See the book on Amazon here.

In a friendly, interactive style, Michele shares spiritual wisdom from the likes of seasoned biblical counselor Paul Tripp, take-away action steps, personal stories, and prayers. Indeed, it is a cross between a devotional and a parenting how-to book.

While an older empty nest-er would find encouragement, hope, and practical ideas in the pages of Preparing, Adjusting, and Loving the Empty Nest, it best suits moms who are entering this season of life.

Adjusting to the Empty Nest

DEALING WITH LONELINESS: One day Michele looked at the tree where her kids loved to climb, then her heart hurt. She tripped down memory lane–Easter egg hunts, Fourth of July fireworks, Thanksgiving feast, and Christmas joy–and began to feel lonely and sad. Isn’t it true that the older we get, we see life differently?

Michele says that one way to reduce emotional grief is by learning to live in the present and to be present. She asks, How can spending too much time reminiscing bring on sadness? How can you be more present today and look out for others in need of friends?

Take-Away Action Thought

When I begin to dip into sadness, I will search for those who need encouragement, help, and hope. 

INTERCEDING FOR YOUR CHILDREN: Don’t you agree that moms who take their worry to God in prayer fare better than those who don’t? One way to be consistent in prayer is by keeping a prayer journal. So how does it work practically?

When your son or daughter calls or texts to tell you of a problem their facing, turn to your prayer journal, jot the details, date it, and pray. “The more time I spend perusing my prayer journal, the more my faith is strengthened, and the more inner peace I experience,” Michele shares. Her prayer journal dates back ten years! (Another help is Transform Your Thought Journal — an ebook for godly mind renewal.)

How abundant are the good things

that you have stored up for those who fear you,

that you bestow in the sight of all,

on those who take refuge in you.

Psalm 31:19

Loving the Empty Nest

REINTRODUCING ROMANCE: Every couple struggles sometimes. So it’s important to honestly appaise your marriage, own up to your mistakes, ask forgiveness, and start afresh. But you also must plan time to talk and have fun together.

Take-Away Action Thought

I will proactively make plans for enjoyable activities together every single week by getting the calendar out and marking specific dates/time.

STEPPING UP HEALTHY LIVING PLANS: “When my fifty-something body rejects the idea of getting up and moving. . .I am grateful that my child-rearing days are over,” Michele quips. It’s time to reevaluate fitness goals and to eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep. (A superbly helpful guide is this eBook: Fit for Life.)

INVESTING IN GRANDCHILDREN: This takes intentionality! Plans that truly matter don’t just happen. Rather, you pray, you plan, you proceed!

When your grandkids live close, you’ll get to attend their school and church activities. But if you’re many hours away (by car or plane), you still can enjoy fun ways to love the little ones long-distance but you’ll need to plan. Right now list a plan of at least six different ways to practically show love to your grandchildren this month.

Friends, do you need prayer or have a question, why not contact me? I aim to answer within the day, God willing.

Sharing Hope with Your Heart,

Empty Nest: Preparing for Changes! (Part 1)

empty nestEmpty nest. Some women expectantly watch their adult children take flight and do life on their own. Other mothers fear their children leaving home. Still others must push them out the door. . .or the millennials may stay, like, forever.

In this two-part series on the empty nest, you’ll discover. . .

  1. Best way to prepare your empty nest, whether your kids are  just out of high school or farther down the road.
  2. How to adjust and love the empty nest, including finding romance as an empty nester, planning retirement, and welcoming grandbabies.

The Empty Nest Book!

empty nest coverAuthor Michele Howe has written a book for any parent who finds herself in the midst of an empty nest. Preparing, Adjusting, and Loving the Empty Nest tackles the questions moms face, the emotions they encounter, and the changes soon to come. I strongly recommend it and wished I had it when I counseled a 50-something mom I’ll call Mary. See the book on Amazon here.

Mary, whom I counseled by Skype, lived in western United States with her husband and adult son. The son was nearing age 30, had a decent paying job in sales, and hunkered down at home. And he promised to look for an apartment. . .soon. But his empty promise “was just a way to get me off his back,” Mary admitted. “How can I encourage him to face the world, and at the same time, prepare for an empty nest?”

In a friendly, interactive style, Michele shares spiritual wisdom from the likes of seasoned biblical counselor Paul Tripp, take-away action steps, personal stories as well as prayers. Indeed, it is a cross between a devotional and a parenting how-to book.

While an older empty nest-er would find encouragement, hope, and practical ideas in the pages of Preparing, Adjusting, and Loving the Empty Nest, it best suits moms who are entering this season of life.

Preparing for the Empty Nest

GRADUATING HIGH SCHOOL: Opening with readying high schoolers to leave home (whether for college or work), Michele encourages parents and children to talk about making solid choices, expecting stress and excitement, and relying on Jesus Christ.

Take-away action thought:

I will purpose to keep the big things the main things as I prepare my child for leaving home. Faith first and always.

BUDGETING: Teaching children — and reminding yourself — to handle money with care and prayer pays off as you enter the empty nest years.

PRAYER: Michele shares how she prays for her adult children.

Today is the only day that I have to get on my knees and express my concern for by beloved children. Tomorrow I may be gone. What better way to demonstrate a robust faith in the God who loves to hear from his children that to offer up heartfelt prayers for our kids?

She also suggests keeping a prayer journal, dating your prayers, and recording God’s answers.

LISTENING IN TOUGH TIMES: Learning to be a good listener strengthens your relationship, especially when your adult children come to you with one of life’s challenges. “We need to patiently listen to them speak,” Michele encourages. “Let’s not interrupt. Let’s not allow ourselves to sink into a fearul abyss because our children are teetering there.”

Instead of choosing fear, choose faith.

  • Remind your children that God has been faithful to your family through the years.
  • Champion his character into your kids.
  • Comfort your children over and over and over, as God leads.

TRUST THE LORD DAILY: In preparing an empty nest, you may feel undone. Does your wavering faith mean God has changed? No! Has he distanced himself from you? No, again. Does it mean you can prepare yourself for new times? Yes!

Take-away Action Thought:

When I feel myself pulling my children too close for their own good, I will ask for the strength to loosen my grip and send them off with a smile of my face and a song in my heart.

In part 2, let’s take a peek at adjusting and loving the empty nest. Feel free to send me your questions.

Until then. . .

Sharing Hope with Your Heart,

 

 

Dynamic Heart in Daily Life: Book Review

dynamic heartThe Dynamic Heart in Daily Life: Connecting Christ to Human Experience is a treasured tool I very highly recommend and use regularly in counseling. if you’re a counselor, you’ll appreciate this tool to help women and families. If you’re not a counselor, but want to understand why you feel, and say, and do, the way you do, then this book is for you too.

READ A CHAPTER –> Wouldn’t you like to read a chapter? Here’s a link to chapter one.

heart


In this brief article, you’ll learn from Jeremy Pierre’s book:

  1. What makes your heart tick
  2. How the heart is corrupted and redeemed
  3. A plan to counsel the heart

What Makes Your Dynamic Heart Tick?

Your heart responds cognitively, affectively, and volitionally to the life’s circumstances. It is multidimentional, it is dynamic. Most important, faith in Christ is the means by which your heart can respond to life differently, better.

Heart change leads to lasting life change

Did you know each person’s heart is both simple and complex? The heart has automatic responses to situations. But underlying these seemingly auto-responses are deep beliefs, desires, and commitments of which people are generally unaware.

However, people can become aware and should. While psychotherapy on the whole divides awareness into conscious and subconscious, Scripture has a multifaceted view.

The Dynamic Heart, Corrupted

The corruption of the heart began at the Fall (Genesis 3) and infects all of the dynamic heart: cognition, affection, and volition. It shows up as idolatry.

 Idolatry is a whole-hearted inclination that fails to believe God is God and worship him alone.

An alcoholic, then, is not worshipping a bottle but something deeper and more complex—a way to get something good apart from God. As this becomes habitual, the person loses sight what the idol is doing to him and he takes on the deadness of the idol to his detriment. God interrupts, he gives a Cross-shaped message of hope.

The Dynamic Heart, Redeemed 

Jesus redeems the dynamic heart so it can do what God intends: worship him in thought, desire, and choice. God made the heart to imitate his own. Did you know you are an image-bearer?

While God is unlike people in many ways (e.g., he is omniscient), he is like people in some ways. For instance, he reasons and has emotion. As believers respond whole-heartedly to God and without reservation in reflective prayer and careful study of Scripture, they become more like Jesus.

Counseling the Dynamic Heart

A plan for counseling the dynamic heart requires four tasks. They are:

READ: Hearing people’s hearts

Llistening is crucial to understanding a hurting person and her problem in its context. Hearing the heart includes paying attention to what the counselee is saying (and not saying).

REFLECT: Helping people understand their responses

Self-awareness helps a hurting her connect her intuitive (or, automatic) responses to their belief system. Then she can challenge her automatic heart responses and begin to change.

RELATE: Looking to Jesus

With greater self-awareness of one’s responses, she sees that the help she needs comes from Jesus. Just as a believer trusts Jesus for her salvation from sin, she also learns to trust him for helping her make new heart responses.

RENEW: Calling for new responses from faith

Commitment to change is key. This requires an active faith since “heart change occurs as it is lived out, shaping and reinforcing new values and commitments,” Pierre writes.

Resources for You!

COUNSELING:counseling Struggling? I offer biblical counseling by Skype and in person (greater Chicago). Learn more.

FIT FOR LIFE eBook: A comprehensive weight-loss and life change plan. Check it out. Click here for information.

ARE YOU A COUNSELOR? Join Heart2Heart Counselor Directory! Get details now..

Sharing Hope with Your Heart,

 

Get this 64 page ebook FREE when you sign up for my blog!

 

5 AMAZING NAMES GOD CALLS YOU!

Blessed, Daughter, Saint, and more!

In this delightful, four-color ebook, you’ll discover the precious names God calls you. Today so many Christian women don’t fully know their wonderful identity in Christ. Isn’t a time to know yours? Filled with scripture, photography, personal stories, and encouragement!

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