This past week, I felt compelled to change my Sunday sermon and to talk about a serious concern I’ve had as I’ve watched our collective response to the intensifying events of 2020. Based on our congregation’s response to the message, I wanted to share it here as well. This message is not a response to … More A Time to Mourn: Learning to Grieve in 2020
The church of Jesus Christ hosts the only repository of pure truth that exists in our world. God’s Word is ours, the Spirit of Christ resides in us, and the knowledge of God illumines our hearts and minds. We know the truth, and the truth has set us free. Why then is the church the … More Open Church
Pride, greed, and lust never have enough. This is one of many lessons we learn from Adam and Eve’s fall into sin. In Genesis 2:9, God creates “every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.” The Creator gifts Adam and Eve a garden filled with beautiful fruit-bearing trees. These trees are … More Never Enough
I don’t know what day it will be for you. No one does. But there’s coming a day—it might even be today—when you’ll feel like giving up. I’m not talking about a momentary feeling, a hazy sense of discouragement, a wisp of doubt and trepidation. I’m talking about full-blown disillusion—the wholesale evaporation of hope. I … More Don’t Give Up
I remember the last time I taught Introduction to Biblical Counseling in Rankin 101 on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. I finished the 1-hour 15-minute class, and about a third of the students lined up to say their goodbyes. They knew our family was moving to Houston. Near the end of the line was a senior … More No Small Moments
I do not have the answer, friend. I do not think I ever will. The only thing I have to lend: my ignorance, an inkless quill. I dare not lay an empty word upon your throbbing mystery. I dare not bare a blunted sword in answer to your inquiry. But maybe presence speaks a truth, … More The Ministry of Presence
How much does it hurt when someone slanders you? How long does it stay with you when someone shares negative things about you with others? How deep does it go when someone slices into your reputation with twisted words you know don’t represent the truth? Slander is serious business. It poisons hearts and fractures friendships. … More Five Slippery Steps toward Slander
It happened right after a Saturday night message at a church I was visiting. I had just finished my third message for a youth retreat when a 14-year-old I’ll call “Megan” found me at the back of the auditorium. She had heard me say the night before that I knew serious things were going on … More Drops of Grace: The Limits and Opportunities of Momentary Ministry
Holy Father, This morning I pray for all who find themselves discouraged and depressed, for all who find their souls numb and their vision blurred, for all who feel their lives slipping down to the pit. Help them turn to your Word, cry out for your mercy, trust in your promises, and rise to do … More A Prayer for the Downcast
“Should my personality influence my ministry?” A female student recently asked this question in a discussion about counseling, but it applies to any responsibility a person might hold. Whether leading, managing, preaching, organizing, parenting, or discipling, we often wonder how our personalities should affect our Christian responsibilities. The longer we live, the more we see that … More ASKED: Should my personality influence my ministry?
They just keep coming. Now it’s rabbi-counselor Shmuley Boteach and actress-model Pamela Anderson joining the growing outcry against pornography. Their joint Wall Street Journal article, “Take the Pledge: No More Indulging Porn”, arrives like an amateur medic rushing into a graveyard to inform the deceased that death is dangerous for us. The article is generally laudable. The timing … More Trailing the Prophets: Pornography’s New Firefighters and the Church’s Prophetic Witness
For a kaleidoscope of reasons, we often assume that lament implies doubt. We assume that crying out to God in our pain is somehow an inherent indictment against his character and our faith. We’re fearful or ashamed of expressing our frustrations, our complaints, and our sorrows to him — for a tapestry of reasons that … More Trusting God Enough to Lament
Bryan Baise is a beloved professor at Boyce College, soon-to-be PhD in philosophy, husband to Danielle and father of three, and my friend and office neighbor. When I was in Student Life, students talked constantly about his classes, and I always found him deeply compassionate and wise when we worked together to help students who … More “He Withholds No Good Thing from Us”: Marriage, Miscarriage, and the Goodness of God (by Bryan Baise)
ASKED: A New Feature This semester I’m teaching 230 students in four biblical counseling classes at Boyce College, the undergraduate school at Southern Seminary. CN101a: Introduction to Biblical Counseling CN101b: Introduction to Biblical Counseling CN201: Methods of Biblical Counseling CN481: Counseling Skills Development I Depending on time and topic, students ask 10-20 questions per class, and many … More ASKED: Should a younger Christian ever correct an older Christian?
The most important time to be at church is when you don’t feel like it. I’ve talked with three Christians this past week — two struggling with depression, and a third who just went through a tough break-up — who’ve all stopped gathering with God’s people during a difficult season. Whether for weeks or for … More The Most Important Time to Be at Church
Occasionally I share resources I’ve found helpful. These are my personal notes from a session with Dr. Jeremy Pierre at Southern Seminary’s recent Counsel the Word conference. These are not the speaker’s notes, nor are they a manuscript or transcript of the lecture, although I recorded the main points verbatim. Speaker: Dr. Jeremy Pierre | Dean of … More The Christian Imagination: Depression, Hope, and a Better Reality (by Jeremy Pierre)