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.
Podcast: Miscarriage by Practical Shepherding
Miscarriage is a sorrowful, but all too common experience that calls for special pastoral care. Listen as Brian Croft discusses his own experience of a miscarriage, and how to care for others going through this loss. This episode address questions like: What is it like to experience a miscarriage? What do you say to someone who loses their baby? How does a pastor and a church care for someone grieving this loss? What does long-term care look like?
- For additional guidance consider this article on “The Pain of Infertility.”
People Change: New Research Shows That Personalities Change by Charles Hodges
People who struggle with fear, worry, sad moods and other emotional problems do no need to spend their lives believing that there is no hope for change. Current research tells us they can change. This has always been an essential part of the gospel message.
5 Signs You Might Be Due for an Insurance Checkup by Church Executive
If you filed a church insurance claim tomorrow, would your policy protect your church from loss and liability? If you’re not sure — or if the answer is “no” — it’s time to schedule a coverage review with your insurance agent or broker.
A good follow read would be “What Changes When Counseling Becomes Formal?“
3 Ways to Recognize Workaholism in Ministry by Eric Geiger
Ministry leaders, like all leaders, are prone to either laziness or workaholism. On your worst days, on days when you are not living in submission to Christ, you either move toward being lazy or move toward finding your meaning in work. By God’s grace, we don’t need to live in either. But how do we recognize workaholism in ministry? What does it look like in our hearts? Here are three indicators…
- If these descriptions fit you, consider this resource on burnout.
PTSD: A New Theory? An Old Treatment by Phil Monroe
Researchers Liberzon and Abelson at the University of Michigan have published an essay articulating a new way of conceptualizing what is happening in the brains of those with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. While you can’t read their essay for free, you can read this good summary here.
- If you or a loved one struggles with post-traumatic stress, consider this resource.
What I’m Reading
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance. From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class. Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.
The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version. Vance’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother, struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. Vance piercingly shows how he himself still carries around the demons of their chaotic family history.
A deeply moving memoir with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.
Tweets of the Week
On the Lighter Side
Because, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones,” Proverbs 17:22.
jacked ref takes NO. DAYS. OFF. #nationalchampionship #Clemson #Alabama pic.twitter.com/kQrpuCExSg
— Michael Swander (@MichaelSwander) January 10, 2017