This is a weekly post that highlights resources from other counselors that I have found helpful. The counselors may be from the biblical counseling, Christian psychology, integration, or secular counseling traditions. By linking to a post, I am not giving it my full endorsement, I am merely indicating that I believe it made a unique contribution or raised an important subject for consideration.
Mental Illness, Marines, and Ministers by Scott Sauls
I am one of those ministers who has endured a handful of seasons of anxiety and depression. Most of the time, thankfully, the affliction has been more low-grade than intense. On one occasion, though, it pretty much flattened me physically, emotionally, and even spiritually. I call this particular season my ‘living nightmare.’
- If you benefited from this article, you might also like The Role of Language in the Stigma of Mental Illness.
The Ministry of Absence by Stephen Woodworth
In its simplest form, the ministry of absence is the ministerial practice of creating physical space for God to minister to individuals directly, without the aid of pastoral mediators. According to Nouwen, the instinctive urge for parishioners to call us to their side can often obscure the reality that they are uncomfortable being alone with God. Our physical presence provides a comfortable alternative to interactions with the Divine whose touch and voice are far less tangible.
- If you are wanting to engage with God more completely, consider my booklet Attributes of God: Rest for Life’s Struggles.
Seasonal Affect Disorder and the Christian by Kristine Johnson
The colder weather brings pumpkin pie, the return of those forgotten sweaters in your closet, apple picking with your family, and any number of cherished traditions. Maybe you love houses decorated with strings of twinkling lights, Christmas carols, and cookies as much as I do. But for some, the colder weather also means wrestling with Seasonal Affective Disorder.
- If you enjoyed this article, you might also want to read Seasonal Affective Disorder, Eskimos, and Cultural Intelligence
The Newest Take on Personality Disorders Focuses on Motives by Susan Krauss Whitbourne
Why do some people become narcissistic and others develop humility? What leads some children to feel chronically inferior and others to feel fulfilled even with their flaws? If we had answers to these questions, everyone’s life would be a great deal simpler, not to mention better. Personality disorders might also become more understandable with this knowledge.
- If you want to learn more about personality disorders from a biblical counseling perspective, consider the resource in the “What I’m Reading” section below.
What I’m Reading
Borderline Personality: A Scriptural Perspective by Cathy Wiseman. Frantic efforts to avoid unpleasant feelings. Perceived abandonment. Profound depression or extreme rage. These symptoms control sufferers of borderline personality disorder, as their intense feelings rule their hearts and choices, fill their relationships with disunity and strife, and seem more real to them than God’s Word or his Spirit.
But Cathy Wiseman shows us, in this detailed, thorough, and helpful study, that God’s Word holds the solution and his Spirit alone can heal the havoc of borderline personality disorder. She maintains that the loving assistance of a team of believers is also crucial, and she provides a wealth of information for biblical helpers, including an analysis of the disorder and its symptoms, exercises to use in counseling, and a list of references and resources.
Tweets of the Week
“You and I were never meant to repent for not being everywhere for everybody and all at once. You and I are meant to repent because we’ve tried to be.” – Zack Eswine ???
— Rachel Joy Welcher (@racheljwelcher) November 10, 2018
“Hope is thus bordered on one extreme by magnanimity and on the other by humility. Magnanimity points to possibility while humility recognizes limitations. Hope is inherently humble.” @KSPrior, On Reading Well
— Brooke Cooney ? (@LBrookeCooney) November 7, 2018
This simple truth has dramatic impact on the human experience…
"Little things repeated over time in community have a formative effect." @james_ka_smith
— Brad Peterson (@bhillp) October 31, 2018
On the Lighter Side
Because, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones,” Proverbs 17:22.
Funny in a thought provoking kind of way…
The classic elements of the spiritual life: solitude, silence, and fasting.
The distinctive elements of American life: privacy, earbuds, and dieting.#techwise
— Andy Crouch (@ahc) November 12, 2018