Category Archives: Counselling

Book review: And so to Bed…: A Biblical View of Sleep by Adrian Reynolds

As a pastor I spend a lot of time with Christians who struggle with sleep. This is far more common than we think. Some people struggle with sleep for some physical reasons (lifestyle issues like drinking too much caffeine or working too late) and some for psychological reasons (like depression, anxiety, etc). This is not a simple problem with a simple solution, the kind of pastoral situation that you have a ‘one size fits all’ approach. So it was with great joy that I came across a rather new book by Adrian Reynolds called ‘And so to Bed…: A Biblical View of Sleep‘.

Continue reading Book review: And so to Bed…: A Biblical View of Sleep by Adrian Reynolds

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Help with Spiritual depression

On Sunday we took a look at the very personal and prominent issue of spiritual depression. We had a very helpful sermon by Jamie Hurd on Psalm 42-43 that you can download here.

Jamie also reviewed a book of daily meditations that can really help us when we struggle called a shelter in the storm that you can buy here.

 

Responding to disappointment

So, I’m still thinking about this issue….A few friends have facebooked encouragements, and a few comments have shown that this is an issue for others.

When I searched my heart on this, one of the aspects of failure that breaks my heart is the way we treat the one who failed. Last night I went onto a toxic web site and read how some people seemed to take glee in the fall of a Christian. On the weekend someone mentioned how their friends were attacking another friend who had fallen.

It just makes me feel sick.

Am I right in assuming that people take joy in Christians falling?

So, how should we respond to those who fall (or don’t live up to the ‘throne’ we put them on):

  • Compassion
This must be our first response…no matter what the sin. How can we ever claim to have experienced the gospel of grace from a Holy God if we will not show others a glimmer of grace through compassion. Our heart should go out to them.
Is that your first reaction? Do you phone/ email loving comments? If not, do you truly understand grace?
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  • Charis
This is grace. Grace always takes the initiative, humiliation and pain. Even though we may not be the ones who have sinned – we must be the ones who take the initiative to love and restore. Indeed, grace goes further…we should think the best, want the best, and do everything we can for the best. What is the best? Restoration.
Do you pray for and encourage the restoration of the fallen?
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  • Conviction not Chamberlainism
Chamberlain was the Prime Minister who met with Hitler and said ‘Peace in our time‘….Hitler went on to bomb us! We don’t want to let things be swept under the carpet, we don’t want to ignore the sin. Thus, we need to ensure that the sin is fully repented of (this is of particular note when we are in pastoral oversight).
What we are looking for is the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
But we need to be very careful….
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  • Care not condemnation
We must ensure that we do not do the devil’s handy work and bring condemnation. In our conviction we must always bring care. We must show the grace that we have been shown. When someone falls or disappoints you, whose side are you on? Satan’s (condemning) or the Spirit’s (Convicting and caring)?
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I pray we would all act like this when we see someone fall or fail.