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Counseling

Here is the first part that that I would like to provide to our readers.  This material is what I used when I was counseling someone in the past that struggled with depression.  It is not exhaustive, but I hope that it will be helpful in some small measure.

HEART ON THE TABLE

Goal:

  • To take every thought captive to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).
  • To be complete in Christ (Col. 1:28)
  • To trust and obey (Rom. 12:14-21)
  • To mortify idols in your heart (Col. 3:5-11)
  • To worship the Lord with holy joy (Jeremiah 15:16)

Before we even start, I believe that it is imperative that prayer is the necessarily step to be taken first. Prayer is a gift from God that He grants to us. As a gift from God, it should be used with great joy. As you eat food with great joy because it sustains life, so too should prayer be utilized with great joy because it sustains our spiritual lifeline. But before one takes a step into the holy of holies via prayer, one must be careful praying before a holy God. A holy mentality is much needed when it comes to fighting sin. Please read Psalm 51 to see David’s example of having a holy mentality in conjunction with prayer when it comes to fighting sin. The setting of Psalm 51 takes place after David committed adultery and murdered Bathsheba’s husband.

In lieu of having a holy mentality when praying to God, we need to understand that prayer is not only important because it is our spiritual lifeline, but our Lord and Savior expects us to pray. And since He is our Lord and Savior—that is enough for us to take seriously. Here are a couple of phrases from a couple of verses where Jesus expects us to pray: Matt. 6:5, “When you pray…”; Matt. 6:6, “But you, when you pray…”; Matt. 6:7, “And when you are praying…”; Matt. 6:9, “Pray, then, in this way…”; Lk. 11:9, “So I say to you, ask…; seek…; knock…” Lk 18:1, “Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray….” Other verses in the Bible that is very clear concerning prayer is Col. 4:2 and 1 Thess. 5:17. Col. 4:2 says, “Devote yourselves to prayer…”; and 1 Thess. 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing….”

Genuine prayers allow one to take every thought captive, be complete in Christ, to learn how to better trust and obey, mortify idols, and to express our joy to the Lord.

PART 1: Hear God’s Word concerning your sin.

Introduction:

In 2 Timothy 4:1-2, Paul instructs young Timothy to preach the Word. It is evident that when the Word is preached, there is a hearer. Hearing the Word of God was a crucial element in Old Testament and New Testament times, and is crucial now. God’s word helps us better understand God and His will for us.

Please listen to two sermons during this week and write down any notes that convicted you. You will need a journal. Since God has gifted the church with teachers and pastors, it is important to learn from them. For the first sermon, please listen to Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ sermon called, “Mind; Heart and Will.” Here is the link: http://www.mljtrust.org/sermons/mind-heart-and-will/

For the second sermon, please listen to Pastor Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ sermon called, “That One Sin.” Here is the link: http://www.mljtrust.org/sermons/that-one-sin/

Action:

  • Please summarize each sermon in your own words. You do not have to write an essay. A paragraph per sermon would be great.
  • What truths from the sermons impacted you (please provide a paragraph for each sermon)?
  • After reading Hebrews 5:11-14, please describe what time of listener you were during your episode of depression. Were you a bored listener or a joyful listener? If you were either a bored listener or joyful listener, please explain why.
  • In lieu of Hebrews 5:11-14, were you a milk drinker or solid food eater during the time of your episode of depression?
  • When you had depression (blues), did you wanted to remain as a milk drinker or solid food eater? Please explain why.

Reflection:

  • Please list down the specific sins that you need to put to death in your current life.
  • Please provide the biblical steps that you want to begin now in order to battle sin effectively.
  • Please list down how you are going to subdue depression when it becomes difficult.
  • Are you willing to take the necessary steps to put depression to death in your life after hearing God’s message about sin? Why or why not? Please explain.

Note: For the next few weeks on Sunday we will feature a review of books outside of theology, philosophy and apologetics.  Each review of a non-Christian book will also have a section titled, “What’s in it for the Christian?”

Naoki Urasawa's Monster

Can it be–that I, SlimJim, read a work of fiction?

I am not normally the kind of guy who reads fiction.  It has been over ten years since I have last done so in undergraduate, let alone a comic book (this is my first manga).  But I have to say with this was very good.  A young man in my church introduced to me and told me that I might find it interesting for the philosophical aspect of it.  The first volume gets you hooked right away with the story of a promising young surgeon who struggle with the idea that all life are equal which led him to the fateful decision of operating on a young boy injured in a grisly murder scene instead of a mayor.  That resulted in the death of the mayor and led the doctor being ostracized by his own hospital, his collegue, boss and fiancé.  The twist is that the young boy disappeared along with his young sister and years later would grow up to be a frightening murderer.  Once you start reading the first volume, you can’t put it down!

In total there is 18 volumes in this series.  With each volume the plot gets thicker and the suspense increases.  I loved how the story takes place over different part of Europe; there is a feel that this is “Jason Borne” in Manga form!  I thought it was also neat to see how this was originally in Japanese but the author and the artist gave great attention to detail concerning Europe, it’s “look,” the specific city and location and the subculture.  This series does a good job with developing the characters and getting the readers interested as soon as they are introduced.

The part that made me interested in this series are the philosophical themes throughout the book.  The antagonist is known as “him,” or the “monster.”  We often think of monster as aesthetically ugly but here the villain is someone that is attractive and seem normal.  This villain is also one who is able to perpetuate his plans by manipulating other people and taking advantage of what motivates them.  In some sense the monster is a demonic figure or an Anti-Christ.  It made me ponder a lot about how this illustrate spiritual truth of spiritual warfare that the devil out there is one who knows us and take advantage of our weaknesses and motivation.

 

What’s in it for the Christian: Often our culture portray Satan and demons as red creatures with pitchforks; I’ve always thought the devil was more sly than that.  This book’s villain is one that I think capture the reality of spiritual warfare in that our enemy is also one who is smart and often take advantage of using what we want and what we want to believe as a bait to fulfill the devil’s will.  This book’s “Monster” made me think about this a lot and the need for us to engage in biblical and sobering analysis of ourselves and our intentions.  We must be aware of our weakness!  The “Monster” in the series is one who is good looking and appear wholesome–it made me think about how Satan is no ugly beast but one who can aesthetically deceive others as angels of the light.

 

To Purchase Volume 1 (there’s 18 volume!): Amazon

wheelchair-ramp-fail

These are Presuppositional apologetics’ links gathered from November 8th-14th, 2014.

1.) The Sex Trade and The Bible

2.) Refuting Bill Nye and Atheistic Evolutionists

3.) 

4.) Faith and Reason: How Do They Work Together?

5.) The Atheist’s Mission: The Denial of ‘Why?’

6.)

Last installment: Early November 2014 Van Tillian Links

James White

Christian apologist James White has been a great gift to the church with his scholarly debates on a wide array of issues.  Dr. White has recently given a talk over at New Hyde Park Baptist Church in New York and lectured on the topic of the transmission of the New Testament and the transmission of the Qur’an.

The first clip is best watched 5 minutes into the video.

Watch it to be equipped to witness to Muslims!

[HT]

 

Lenin Face palm

I didn’t plan to write this three part series on the question “Were Early Christians Communists?”  It was originally in response to someone online and it just kind of happened as I thought about it more I ended up writing more.

I think it would be good to have one posts that links the series.  Here are the links to the three posts:

Were Early Christians Communists? Part 1: Acts 5

Were Early Christians Communists? Part 2: The Semantic of Communism

Were Early Christians Communists? Part 3: Matthew 19:21 and Luke 14:33 in Context

Bojidar Marinov

This is a debate Michael Jaworski and Bojidar Marinov.  Bojidar Marinov is a Presuppositionalist who use to work with American Vision.

He recently participated in a debate on the question: Must Morality Have A Basis In God?

Below is the video of the debate:

 

Happy Veteran’s Day 2014

MarineFallujah

Happy Veteran’s Day.

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