North Dallas Christian Counseling

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Lord's Help for Angry Souls

By Steve Clay, LPC

Anger—everyone has struggled with it, or has experienced someone who does. Anger is prevalent in its various forms. On a continuum we can soft-sell it as frustration or watch it in the fit of rage. Our anger can make feel at once powerful, and then full of shame. Receiving another's anger can leave us feeling small, unjustly treated, and hurt or shamed. Anger has the capacity to do great damage, but also to do great good. How then should we think about it? What does the Bible say about anger? And what does my anger say about me? And what should I do about it?

The scriptures tell us that anger is anything but neutral, against much of what current thinking depicts about it. Anger, like nothing else, reveals what one truly lives for, values, and treasures. Our anger should get our attention, signaling the need for serious heart examination. Anger is a moral issue, always demonstrating adherence to God’s standards of the heart and conduct. But what else does the Bible tells us about our anger? And what does it reveal about me?

Read more: The Lord's Help for Angry Souls

Praying with Thanksgiving--A Prescription for Anxiety

By Steve Clay, MA, LPC

North Dallas Christian Counseling

Anxiety is a complex experience. Those suffering with it will tell you it is a taste of death. Whereas fear is the sense of immediate danger (as in a burglar in the house), anxiety is more future-oriented. It is the sense of expectant loss, pain, embarrassment, or discomfort. The reality is that more people experience anxiety than perhaps any other emotion. And anxiety is felt acutely in the body, making its presence known as a racing heart, sweaty palms, and shortness of breath. It has the effect of depleting its victim of energy, mental alertness, and spiritual vitality. It is a disquieting experience that leaves its owner with dread of its continuation, leading, at times, to a sense of desperation. Why is this so? And where is help to be found?

Read more: Praying with Thanksgiving--A Prescription for Anxiety

Heart Lessons from Mary and Martha

By Steve Clay, MA, LPC

In Luke 10:38-41, we have an account of Jesus as a guest in the home of Mary and Martha. When reading this narrative, we are all prone to see ourselves as a Mary, and others as a Martha. I hope you will read the account and have an open mind about what the Lord may want to say to you.

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.

Martha welcomed Jesus into her house.  We don’t know exactly what her reason was for the invitation, but from the context, it seems that Martha wanted a social experience that involved Jesus. She must have thought of Him as someone special, but we left to wonder if she did so in the right way. What was it that Martha treasured that caused her to invite Jesus into her home? Was it Jesus Himself, or Jesus plus something else? It seems that through this narrative we might learn something about ourselves. So let’s make a few observations and comments.

Read more: Heart Lessons from Mary and Martha

Dealing with PTSD

This is a short, but poignantly biblical discussion by Dr. Ed Welch about PTSD. As in our current mileu this issue is affecting more and more people, stemming from the horrors of terrorism to personal experiences of death and abuse, we need a word from the Lord on this matter. He will be with us! And He has the final word on the matter!

They Were No Fools--Examples of Faith-Driven Obedience and Forgiveness

My life has been significantly impacted by the life of Elisabeth Elliott, who only this past year came into the presence of the dear Jesus to whom she gave her entire life. A major piece of her life was her relationship to her former husband, now deceased, Jim Elliott, who, along with four other missionary men, obeyed the compelling call of God to share Christ with a primative tribe of people in a remote jungle in Equador. These faithful men paid the ultimate price with their lives. Later, Elisabeth, along with Rachel Saint, the sister of one of the other slain men, Nate Saint, returned to the same tribe of people. God, through their obedience, granted repentance to many of the tribe of the Huaorani indians. The story is recorded in Elisabeth's books, Shadow of the Almighty and Through Gates of Splendor, the latter of which was made into an inspiring and convicting movie by the same title. Later Steve Saint, the son of Nate Saint, produced a follow up movie, Beyond The Gates of Splendor, chronicling the lives of those of the tribe who were converted to Christ. One of those converts was the killer of five missionaries. These true accounts of the grace of God working the the lives of unlikely converts is a testimony of His power to save. And, perhaps most importantly, these are testimonies of the power of God in forgiveness and the impact of the choices of people to forgive one another. 

This year marks the 60th year since the death of these brave and faithful missionaries. The Gospel Coalition has commemorated this anniversary in a recent blog, THEY WERE NO FOOLS: 60 YEARS AGO TODAY—THE MARTYRDOM OF JIM ELLIOT AND FOUR OTHER MISSIONARIESthat is worthy of all our reading. This story is one which gives us all a since of living by faith, out of a clear since of calling, by faith, doing what seems impossible, and seeing the God of grace and power doing what only He can do. 

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." Jim Elliott