Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Biblical Counseling and Discipleship

I stumbled upon a YouTube channel the other day packed full of biblical counseling videos.  I will only post two here, but you can find several videos on the YouTube channel itself.  These videos are sponsored by BCDASoCal (Biblical Counseling and Discipleship Association of Southern California).

Here I have posted a video of Dr. Ernie Baker as he teaches on forgiveness.



Here I have posted a video of Dr. Bob Somerville.  He is sharing on the topic of
Trials and Suffering
.

I hope you find the truths contained here to be a rich a beautiful blessing.  I sure did.

Humbly,

Google Search Terms: Melissa Culver, School Daze, forgiveness, Dr. Ernie Baker, BCDA, biblical counseling and discipleship association, video, practicing forgiveness, biblical forgiveness, the biblical response to being forgiven, how do I forgive, what does forgiveness look like, Dr. Bob Somerville, trials and suffering, how do I biblically reconcile suffering and faith

Friday, April 18, 2014

God's Power on Display

My last post (Broken for Us) highlighted the brutality of the cross, but it stopped short of putting the resurrection on display.  Today's post will highlight more of God's amazing work.

Lately, I have been reading Rid of My Disgrace by Justin Holcomb and Lindsey Holcomb.  There, the authors highlight the great exchange: your sin in exchange for Christ's righteousness.  They also speak of the Upside Down Kingdom.  I first heard about The Upside Down Kingdom when I read Kraybill's book with that very title.  With those themes in mind, here are a few concepts to ponder:

     1. God is just.  And functioning within His character it is necessary that wrongs be dealt with.  Therefore, punishment for our sins is vital for God to remain true to His character.  So, what must be done?  Someone needs to face that punishment.  Jesus Christ, the Son of God, bore the punishment for our sins that we would be set free from the wrath of God and the punishment we deserve (Jeremiah 25:15, Luke 22:42).  Jesus drank the cup of God's wrath for us.
     2. Elyse Fitzpatrick in her book Give Them Grace talks about Jesus being our older brother who got punished for the crimes we did.  When you stole the cookies from the cookie jar...He got punished.  It wasn't a spank on the hand and a two-week grounding; it was death.  It wasn't just cookies and it wasn't a jar; it was cosmic treason: sin.
     3. Jesus Christ "bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness, for by His wounds you were healed" (1 Peter 2:24).  So, here we have the great exchange.  He took our sin.  He gave us His righteousness.  Without His righteousness one cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 22:1-14).
    4. We were enemies of God and He makes us His children (Romans 5:101 John 3:1).  We were orphans and He adopts us (Ephesians 1:4-8).

Monday, April 14, 2014

Broken for Us

Here is a post from the archives.  With Easter just around the corner, I pray this reminder is a sweet blessing to your soul.

I have camped out in Matthew 27: 27-44 for some time now.  I have also examined John 19:16-17.  Additionally, I've been looking at Luke 23:39-43.  And lastly, Mark 10:32-34.

I cannot help but bawl wildly, apologetically when I come to these passages of text.  I leave you with these images and thoughts:


Praetorium.  This is an artist's rendering of what the Praetorium may have looked like.  (Photo credits back in link)


Flogged.  Christ was flogged for me.  My sins.

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Un-Biblical Noah

Is the movie Noah a movie I should watch?  Is it Biblical?  Here is one post I found (authored by S. Michael Houdmann) that may help you answer those questions:

In preparation for the deluge (pun intended) of questions we are sure to receive, several members of the GotQuestions.org staff went and saw the Noah movie on the day of its release. We had heard a lot of feedback, mostly negative, from Christian leaders who were able to see the movie a little early. The director's comment that it would be "the least biblical biblical movie ever made" also caught our attention.

My reaction … the director is probably right. It likely is the least biblical biblical movie ever made. On top of that, it isn’t even a good movie. In regards to specific review points, I guess I'll start by breaking down what is biblical and what is unbiblical in the movie. Continue reading here.

Here is another great resource to consider: ArkEncounters.com offers a link to a panel discussion on the Hollywood movie.  Ken Ham facilitates this discussion.  You can find the link here.


Here is a great closing to this discussion.  If you have not seen Ray Comfort's movie Noah, then I encourage you to watch it.  And, if you can, sharing it would be helpful as well.  Here is the link.


Humbly,

Google Search Terms: Melissa Culver, School Daze, scripture, Noah the movie, comments, Should I watch Noah the movie?, Is Noah the movie, biblically accurate?, Genesis Flood, Ray Comfort, Noah, Ark Encounters, commentary, analysis, perspective, Gospel, salvation, hope, the Last Days

Monday, March 31, 2014

A Taboo Topic: Suicide Part 5

This is my final post on this series (A Five-Part Analysis of Suicide).  I started this discussion a few weeks back.  If you are unfamiliar with those earlier posts you can find them here: Introduction, The Girl In The Pew, What the Bible Says About Suicide, and Help! I'm Hurting.

In the New Testament, Jesus Christ shares more than one narrative that shines a light on biblical counseling and sacrificial love.  Here are three that I would like to highlight:


The Good Samaritan
Luke 10:30-37
30 Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Taboo Topic: Suicide Part 4

Maybe my other posts (IntroductionThe Girl In The Pew, and What the Bible Says About Suicide) were not very clear in how someone (maybe you) can face a panic-filled season of heartache, fear, sadness, or depression.  Or, how someone can recover from a hopeless season of tragedy after tragedy that never seems to let up.

I cannot give anyone specific advice about their unique circumstance or situation.  I am not a Certified Biblical Counselor.  I have a heart for Biblical Counseling, but I am not fully skilled in the details of counseling biblically.

In one of my earlier posts I directed my audience to this:
You can find a certified biblical counselor here...

If you are unable to find a "certified' Biblical Counselor in your area, you can still contact someone who might be able to point you in the right direction.  Another alternative is Skype.  Sometimes, Biblical Counseling happens over Skype.  It may not be face-to-face, but it is someone who is willing to hear your heart, listen to your cry for help, and guide you in the right direction.

Why can't I just give you a miracle pill of come kind?  Well, in my few years of counseling people I have found that there are unique circumstances across the board that need unique application.  Not everyone is immediately in need of

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Taboo Topic: Suicide Part 3

The last two posts covered the topic of suicide.  Post number one addressed people in my own environment who had chosen suicide.  Post number two addressed how to lovingly serve people around you who may be suffering from despair, loneliness, sorrow, or depression when life looks pristine, put-together, and lovely on the outside.  This post will address suicide or the desire to die as it appears in the Bible.

Original image and photo credits.

DESPAIR
This first group of people did not kill themselves, but they openly declared at some point that their despair was great.  At points they felt like their despair was too much to handle and that living any longer seemed too difficult.

Moses.  Moses had a small, narrow-minded perspective.  He was not looking at the situation from God's perspective.  Moses declares his agony, despair, sadness, and the overwhelmed nature of his heart to God in this transparent lament:
11 So Moses said to the Lord, “Why have You been so hard on Your servant? And why have I not found favor in Your sight, that You have laid the burden of all this people on me? 12 Was it I who conceived all this people? Was it I who brought them forth, that You should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom as a nurse carries a nursing infant, to the land which You swore to their fathers’?13 Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they weep before me, saying, ‘Give us meat that we may eat!’ 14 I alone am not able to carry all this people, because it is too [c]burdensome for me. 15 So if You are going to deal thus with me, please kill me at once, if I have found favor in Your sight, and do not let me see my wretchedness.” (Numbers 11:11-15).