The VLOG (video-blog) Q&A is a regular series on my blog. In this series I interact with difficult life questions in a 4-8 minute webcam videos and then offer supplemental study suggestions.

If you would like to submit a question, it can be e-mailed to Summit’s admin over counseling at (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail). Please limit your questions to 3-7 sentences. This is not a forum for to request or receive counseling. No responses will be sent to questions other than those selected for a video response.

Here is a list of my top 9 vlogs from 2013. Click the heading to see the post. I’ve included the question for you to get a better understanding of the discussion.

Anger Versus Bitterness

Some people tell me I’m angry other people say I’m bitter. I don’t know the difference. It used to just make me mad and I’d tell people to mind their own business. Now I realize, whether I’m angry or bitter, I’m not happy and I want to change. My question is, “What is the difference in anger and bitterness? Is one just about old hurts and the other about new stuff? If there is a difference in the to emotions, is there a difference in how change happens?”

What Is Burnout?

What initially motivated you to write a booklet on burnout? What is burnout, anyway, I don’t think I’ve ever understood the term? What causes burnout? What are some of the main take aways from this booklet?What else is in the booklet?

Secrets in Marriage

Somehow my wife and I got on the conversation of whether a married couple should ever have any secrets. We started off wanting to say no, but it seemed like there would be some times when one spouse might not tell the other something. But we could never comfortably agree on how to decide when that might be. We didn’t get in a fight, but we left the conversation pretty uncomfortable. Can you help us sort through this issue?

Parenting on Masturbation

I know my son will eventually learn about masturbation. I don’t like to think about, but in our day it doesn’t make sense to talk to my son about sex and the dangers of pornography and neglect talking about masturbation. When (what age) and how do I have this awkward conversation?

Lust and Being a Widower

I was married for 30+ years before losing my wife a couple of years ago. As a young person and throughout our marriage I struggled with masturbation. Frankly, I can see how it prevented me from enjoying sex with my wife as God intended. I want to honor God better than I have in any other season of my life. But in my loneliness I am prone to fantasize about my wife and masturbate. I know it would be wrong to fantasize about anyone else. Should I abstain from fantasizing about my wife?

Why Pre-Marital Mentoring?

We just signed up for the pre-marital ministry at Summit and noticed that we’ll mainly be meeting with marriage mentors instead of more traditional meetings with a counselor or pastor. We wanted to know what the advantages are that caused the church to choose this model and anything you might advise us about how to get the most out of this opportunity. Would you mind helping with these questions?

Difference Between Guilt, Shame, and Regret

As I’ve listened to many of your seminars, I’ve noticed that you emphasize the distinction between how the gospel speaks to sin and suffering. This seems to correlate with the way you use the words guilt and shame. If I’m right, do you mind taking a few minutes to talk about this difference and any other emotional experience that would be similar but important to differentiate?

The Personality of Your Counselor

I was wondering if certain personality types in a counselor make them more or less effective with certain counselees or particular counseling struggles. Are extroverted counselors more effective with extroverted counselees? Are more highly compassionate counselors more effective with suffering cases and more straight forward counselors more effective with sin cases? It seems like this would be the case, but I wasn’t sure and would appreciate your thoughts on the topic.