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Archive for June, 2010

Utter Distrust of Self?

June 30, 2010 Leave a comment

I read a Christian leader say recently that the early church leaders had an “utter distrust of themselves and a living trust in God” as they traveled and established the local churches in the book of Acts. 

I don’t know about you, but it was a refreshing thought to me since I live in day where religious leaders tend to trust themselves more than Christ Who is their Head.

We are to trust Him not ourselves. In fact, I have found nowhere in the Bible that says, “Trust yourself. Do what you think is right. Do what you feel.”

On the contrary, I read the opposite in Proverbs 3:5-8 below:

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
   and do not lean on your own understanding.
6In all your ways acknowledge him,
   and he will make straight your paths.
7 Be not wise in your own eyes;
    fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
8It will be healing to your flesh
   and refreshment to your bones.”

Nothing in this passage says, “trust your heart.” Nothing there to indicate that! In fact, the Lord says He will make straight your paths which means you are going to walk down crooked paths if not for His power to straighten your paths.

Let’s trust God and do what He says to do in His Word. Let’s get rid of “our experience” as the standard of living and live by faith according to His standards in the Scriptures. This is a key for both biblical counselors and counselees.

-Mark (utterly distrusting myself yet learning to trust Him daily as I walk and He straightens)

I’m Forgiven!

June 29, 2010 Leave a comment

I’m forgiven, not because I am good, but because He is good!

-Mark (praising His Name!)

Congressional Bullies

June 28, 2010 Leave a comment

I am as disappointed and upset about the BP oil spill as anyone, especially since I lived in Mobile, AL, for 20 years. I love that area and still have family living there. The area is devastated by all of this.

But after watching the Congress recently bully the BP oil executives around, I got angry. One governing official demanded that the head guy resign. Another official insinuated that in his culture, an executive would be considering suicide, or “haray caray.”

What struck me (among other things) is the lack of grace. But I shouldn’t expect people who have never been touched by God’s grace to be able to give God’s grace to others.

I’m not saying that BP should be given a free pass. Certainly not. They are responsible and this is affecting millions of lives. The leadership at BP is to blame. We all want the responsible parties to fix it.

But that’s just it for us spiritually. We are responsible for our sins but we cannot fix it. Only Christ can fix our sin problem! Praise His Name!

Learn this lesson. Like the oil spill, you are responsible for your sinful choices. And like the oil spill, you cannot fix the problem by yourself. You need Christ! That’s real grace that is found in God not mankind.

-Mark (thankful that Christ alone fixes what I cannot fix – my sin problem)

“This book works…”

June 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Check out this review at http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Addiction-Biblical-Perspective/product-reviews/1885904681/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1 entitled “This book works…” It’s a 5 star review that states:

I’ve struggled for years with drug and alcohol addiction. I was abusing pain killers daily and illegally for about 3 years (OC, LT, Perc, you name it). I have tried several times to quit with no luck. The longest period of sobriety that I’ve had over this time was 2-3 days. I didnt know how to manage the withdrawl symptoms, or the anxiety and depression that come with trying to get sober. More importantly, I couldnt figure out why I was an addict. Science will tell you that you have a disease, and once you have this diagnosis, you almost feel entitled to continue along your path as an addict. I picked this book up 3 weeks ago today, and I havent touched drugs or alcohol since that very day. Not only that, but I no longer have the cravings that used to DOMINATE my days as an addict. Make no mistake about it. Only God can get you off drugs. You can’t, your Dr. cant, and this book can’t do it for you. But this book gave me the tools to learn how to switch my addiction from drugs to God. It also helped to explain my situation from a Biblical perspective. If you’re an addict, and you’re reading this, you need to sit down and understand one simple fact…..YOURE NOT THE FIRST DRUG ADDICT IN HISTORY!!!!! The Bible is full of drunks and sinners. This book helps you see those people in a new light, and see how God worked in their lives as he will in yours. This book enabled me to turn to God to help save my life, my marriage, my job, and my relationship with the Father. This is a MUST READ for a Christian addict.

Wow, I needed a little encouragement and this review gave me A LOT of encouragement! Praise the Lord because all of the glory belongs to Him alone, not to me!

-Mark (glad to see the Holy Spirit is using my book to set captives free, reconcile marriages, and restore family relationships – but most importantly, to help people to know Christ deeply)

Lou Priolo to speak in B’ham on…

June 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Author and international speaker, Lou Priolo, will be kicking off our first annual B’ham training conference for NANC certification on July 22nd at Briarwood Church. All participants will hear Lou teach as Tracks 1 and 2 will attend his two sessions called:

Why Counsel?

AND

What Makes Biblical Counseling Biblical?

It will be an exciting time for me as Lou is one of my mentors. He is the reason I am doing biblical counseling at all. He’s a great teacher and a tremendous man of God who loves his wife and children and faithfully serves in his local church as a biblical counselor and supervisor to many!

Classes do not get much better than to have Lou Priolo teach. You will be blessed!

I hope you sign up today at bham_NANC_training@histruthinlove.org to hear one of my mentors teach us how practical the Word of God really is.

-Mark (thankful to God for using Lou Priolo to teach so many people over the years!)

quote

June 26, 2010 Leave a comment

My wife likes this quote from one of my books:

“Joy is a purposeful manner of thinking fueled by a thankful heart.”

It’s based upon Ephesians 5:19-20!

-Mark (praising God for His wisdom)

Medical Issues at the B’ham NANC Training in July-Aug 2010

June 25, 2010 Leave a comment

We are excited about Dr. John Fischer’s workshops at the upcoming NANC training at Briarwood. Dr. Fischer, a physician who works for Christ Health Center in the Bessemer clinic, will address these two medical issues:

How to Counsel Those with Physical Illness

AND

How to Counsel Those on Psychotropic Medications

I think NANC and biblical counselors get an unfair reputation as NOT embracing medical issues when NOTHING could be further from the truth. True biblical counselors love working with godly physicians like Dr. Fischer.

Dr. Fischer is a godly man and very wise. He is a medical doctor and we will all learn a lot from him. I’m co-teaching it with him and I know I’ll be learning so much myself!

Hope you plan to attend this FIRST ANNUAL conference for NANC Training in B’ham. The dates are July 22-24 and August 5-7th. Dr. Fischer is teaching on Thursday evening, August 5th in the plenary session so EVERYONE in tracks 1 and 2 will be able to hear his workshops! Sign up today!

For more information, go to our website http://www.histruthinlove.org or email us at bham_NANC_training@histruthinlove.org.

-Mark (so thankful to God for raising up Dr. John Fischer who is a tremendous blessing to many!)