But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

CCEF - Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation - Apologetic Report
Monday, 18 November 2019 23:44

“Worthy?”

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Recently I read the story of Jesus healing the centurion’s son (Luke 7:1–10) and was struck by the two times “worthy” appeared. Pay attention to the word as you read the story:

After he had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. ...

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Tuesday, 12 November 2019 22:57

Desire for Approval

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My wife at I were at odds. We were in the midst of the worst vacation ever. Curiously, the previous worst vacation ever was at the exact same location, so I suggested that the place was cursed and we should leave as soon as possible. We stayed and gradually worked through the conflict, but its...

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Tuesday, 05 November 2019 23:59

When a Command Became a Promise

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I have had a plaque resting over my bedroom door for years. It reads, “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps 46:10). I am a busy homeschooling mother, and I placed it there as a reminder to myself. When I leave my bedroom every morning, I walk into a day that will be filled with...

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Wednesday, 23 October 2019 05:15

Is Scripture Sufficient for Counseling?

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“They just use the Bible.” I have heard people say that about biblical counseling. I wouldn’t think about the comment except for two things. One, this is not a pat on the back; the word just gives that away. If I heard “they use the Bible,” I would be encouraged and...

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Wednesday, 02 October 2019 19:47

Look Up

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Lately I’ve been reading in the Psalms of Ascent. These are the songs sung by the Israelites as they journeyed to Jerusalem for their annual feasts. This morning I lingered over Psalm 123:

To you I lift up my eyes,

O you who are enthroned in the heavens!

Behold, as the eyes of servants

look to...

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Wednesday, 25 September 2019 01:29

Spiritual Abuse in Marriage (Part 2)

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This is the second blog in a two-part series on spiritual abuse in marriage. In the first blog, we looked at the damage done to wives whose husbands use Scripture to control and criticize them. This second installment focuses on how to help.

Spiritual abuse occurs when an oppressor establishes...

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Wednesday, 18 September 2019 05:39

Spiritual Abuse in Marriage

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This is part 1 of a 2 part series.

I often sit with wives whose husbands have used Scripture as a weapon to control them. Beth was one such woman. When I asked her how her husband, Joe, prays for her, she shared the most recent example. “Last week, he prayedMatthew 6:24over me,...

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Friday, 16 August 2019 05:42

The Skill of Living in the Future

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Here are two prominent spiritual skills:

  • live now, in today, rather than tomorrow
  • live in tomorrow rather than in gut reactions and unexamined decisions today.

The first is a familiar rule for anxiety. We live in the grace that God gives us for right now, and we trust our Heavenly Father to worry...

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Monday, 29 July 2019 01:01

Listening is…

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A student had a eureka moment. Key to care and counsel, he wrote, is listening. His words warmed my instructor’s heart. He was not saying, only listen. Instead, he gave listening a place of prominence in daily life.

I know another man who was a pastor. He asked his wife the same question every...

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Wednesday, 24 July 2019 03:59

The Beauty of Unexpected Help

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Have you had a time when things were so hard that you concluded God was too far away to matter? Maybe it seemed like he couldn’t even hear you. Perhaps it felt like he didn’t care about what you were facing. I believe this is a common experience for Christians. It’s challenging to...

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Wednesday, 17 July 2019 03:22

Faith as Sight

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Faith can have different meanings. We who follow Jesus Christ are called people of faith. This faith is something you either have or don’t have: you put your faith and trust in Jesus, or you don’t. Yet there is more. Faith is also a gift from God that can grow. You can have weak or...

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Monday, 08 July 2019 10:28

The Solid God

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Augustine tried to cast his cares on the Lord (1 Peter 5:6–7), and it didn’t work. That happens all the time with us as well. We ask Jesus to take away our miseries, worries, and despair and nothing happens, so we move on to other strategies. Augustine, however, learned that the problem...

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In one week, our CCEF family experienced the birth of Anne Pettit’s second son on a Thursday, David Powlison’s death on a Friday, and Megan Krimmel’s wedding that Sunday. Our concern was that while we knew it was time to mourn, and we could do that effortlessly, would we also know...

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David Powlison was invited to give the closing comments at the Westminster Graduation Ceremony on May 23, 2019. He was unable to attend personally but CCEF’s Dean of Faculty, Mike Emlet read the following on David’s behalf:

I grieve not to be with you this afternoon. I very much looked...

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Thursday, 30 May 2019 06:27

Left to Their Own Devices

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“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Proverbs 13:20

With the increase of technology in the lives of young people comes a host of concerns. We hear a great deal about the risks of sexting, unwelcomed advances by adults, pornography,...

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Wednesday, 22 May 2019 05:12

Martha as Heroine

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Scripture keeps our eyes on Jesus, yet there are mere human heroes, too, who are intended to capture our attention. Look for those who are identified as people of faith.

Hebrews 11 lists heroes—men and women—from the Old Testament: Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab and...

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Wednesday, 08 May 2019 05:12

#MeToo…( #ChurchToo)

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A movement has risen to both empower and support those who have been victims of sexual assault. The #MeToo movement gives a voice to those who are often silenced, and a face to a pattern that many are tempted to believe isn’t rampant. 

But as with any cause or movement, Christians must...

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There is a growing alertness among parents, educators, and the church about the need to teach kids tangible ways to stay safe. Until children are old enough to keep themselves safe, it is the job of parents and concerned adults to prepare them to navigate difficult situations that may occur when...

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Wednesday, 24 April 2019 06:21

God Comes Close

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“I am with you” is the gift to anxious people. Our worries usually imply that we need someone—the right protector, the right fixer—who is close and is for us. Only those who know Jesus actually have that someone.

The challenge is that God’s closeness does not always...

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Thursday, 04 April 2019 05:47

Doubts

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Scene #1. I had to get blood drawn recently. The blood was to be used for a procedure in which it would significantly aid healing. A small group of phlebotomists tried one arm, then the other, and then back again. For some reason, I had no blood to give that day.

On the final attempt I prayed...

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Tuesday, 19 March 2019 04:03

Help! I Keep Losing My Temper

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Anger in the Saddle

Losing your temper is a lot like losing your car keys—you never choose to and it always seems to happen at the worst moments. For some “losing your temper” means yelling, swearing, pounding a fist on the table. For others, lost temper is barely perceptible: a...

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Monday, 18 February 2019 05:46

Fear and Faith Conjoined

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Are fear and anxiety wrong? The answers we hear are not always clear. They can leave us with a resounding, “sort of” or “sometimes,” which does not help people who are already feeling uncertain and less spiritual than others. If you expect that spiritual growth will make you...

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Monday, 18 February 2019 04:13

Fear and Faith Conjoined

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Are fear and anxiety wrong? The answers we hear are not always clear. They can leave us with a resounding, “sort of” or “sometimes,” which does not help people who are already feeling uncertain and less spiritual than others. If you expect that spiritual growth will make you...

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Wednesday, 13 February 2019 00:02

Learning about Sanctification from Groundhog Day

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We recently celebrated that oddest of American traditions, Groundhog Day. Every February 2, the nation awaits a weather prediction from “Phil,” a groundhog who makes his home in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. If he sees his shadow that morning, it means six more weeks of wintery weather or...

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Tuesday, 12 February 2019 23:46

Learning about Sanctification from Groundhog Day

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image

We recently celebrated that oddest of American traditions, Groundhog Day. Every February 2, the nation awaits a weather prediction from “Phil,” a groundhog who makes his home in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. If he sees his shadow that morning, it means six more weeks of wintery weather or...

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