Times of Crisis
Resources to equip you and to provide hope in the midst of some of life's crises
Pastoral Counseling is available should you need it. Contact Pastor Dana for an appointment.
Professional care from a licensed Christian therapist is a wonderful and needed option for many today. Please CLICK HERE for a list of Christian counselors from which to choose.
Death and Grief
For many modern-day Christians, death has become what J. I.Packer terms “the great unmentionable.” This attitude denies not only the reality of the human condition, but also the reality of God’s promises for believers beyond this life. The church needs to think more about death in the light of the gospel.
This compilation, edited by Nancy Guthrie, includes the writings of twenty-two classic and contemporary theologians and Bible teachers on how to prepare to die in faith. The short meditations are drawn from sermons, books, and other writings of classic theologians such as Jonathan Edwards and John Calvin, and of leading contemporary communicators such as John Piper, Tim Keller, J. I. Packer, and others. The writers provide a solidly scriptural and countercultural way to view the inevitability of death, explaining how and why believers can face physical death with hope, joy, and confidence in God’s promises for the life to come.
Contributions by John Piper, Randy Alcorn, Tim Keller, Joni Eareckson Tada, J. I. Packer, Michael S. Horton, R. C. Sproul, John Calvin, Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards, John Owen, B. B.Warfield, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Charles H. Spurgeon, Joseph Bayly, Richard Baxter, Abraham Kuyper, Richard Sibbes, R. L. Dabney, Jeremy Taylor, Thomas Boston, John Eaves.
Ligonier Ministries Resources: Articles and essays from R.C. Sproul, Nancy Guthrie, John Piper, Matt Chandler, and others on recovering from one of the greatest sources of pain we will all face: the death of a loved one.
Grief Share: It may be hard for you to feel optimistic about the future right now. If you’ve lost a spouse, child, family member, or friend, you’ve probably found there are not many people who understand the deep hurt you feel. This Christ-centered grief recovery program in a small group setting surrounds you with men and women who not only understand the darkness of the valley of the shadow of death, but who know the tender care of the Good Shepherd who is the God of life and death. Local groups are available for you to join.
Depression and Mental Illness
There has been a shifting conversation on the topic of mental health within the American church in the past decade, and Christian counselor Kristen Kansiewicz adds greater insight to that conversation as she responds to tough questions and shares real-life case examples. Christians who have suffered and even questioned their faith because of their struggles with mental illness will find comfort and compassion within these pages. Others in the church will learn how to respond with scientific and biblical understanding to those who are hurting.
Where Is God in the Struggle? Looking away from despair towards hope can feel risky. What if God doesn't come through for you? What if you don't feel instantly better? Instead of offering simple platitudes or unrealistic "cure-all" formulas, author Edward T. Welch addresses the complex nature of depression with compassion and insight, applying the rich treasures of the gospel, and giving fresh hope to those who struggle.
If you are one of the many people suffering from depression, there is hope and there is help a way up when you are down. This booklet provides manageable steps for getting started on the path that leads out of depression.
Even the most faithful, focused Christians can encounter periods of depression and spiritual darkness when joy seems to stay just out of reach. It can happen because of sin, satanic assault, distressing circumstances, or hereditary and other physical causes. In When the Darkness Will Not Lift, John Piper aims to give some comfort and guidance to those experiencing spiritual darkness.
Readers will gain insight into the physical side of depression and spiritual darkness, what it means to wait on the Lord in a time of darkness, how unconfessed sin can clog our joy, and how to minister to others who are living without light. Piper uses real-life examples and sensitive narrative to show readers abundant reason to hope that God will pull them out of the pit of despair and into the light once again.
Most people will tell you that separation and divorce are the most painful and stressful experiences they’ve ever faced. It’s a confusing time when you feel isolated and have lots of questions about issues you’ve never faced before. This Christ-centered divorce recovery program in a small group setting will begin the process of bringing you to a place of understanding and healing. Local groups are available for you to join.
Written by a Christian who has lived through an unwanted divorce, When the Vow Breaks is a valuable resource for those facing the dilemma and reality of a divorce. Joseph Warren Kniskern is a Christian attorney and certified Family Mediator. In this Divorce Recovery guide you will find practical advice on kids, finances, anger, depression, and loneliness as well as a comprehensive study on what the Bible says about marriage and divorce.
Recovering from Sexual Abuse and Assault
The statistics are jarring. One in four women and one in six men are or will be victims of sexual assault in their lifetime. But as sobering as the statistics are, they don’t begin to speak to the darkness and grief experienced by these victims. Because sexual assault causes physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual pain, victims need clear help, hope, and healing. In Rid of My Disgrace, a couple experienced in counseling victims of sexual assault explains how the grace of God can heal the broken and restore the disgraced.
Justin and Lindsey Holcomb outline an approach for moving from destruction to redemption. While avoiding platitudes and shallow theology, Rid of My Disgrace combines biblical and theological depth with up-to-date research. This book is primarily written for those who have been assaulted (either as children or adults) but also equips family, friends, pastors, and others to care for victims in ways that are compassionate, practical, and informed.
Shame controls far too many of us. Worthless, inferior, rejected, weak, humiliated, failure...it all adds up to wishing we could get away from others and hide. We know what shame feels like. The way out, however, is harder to find. Time doesn't help, neither does confession, because shame is just as often from what others do to you as it is from what you have done. But the Bible is about shame from start to finish, and, if we are willing, God's beautiful words break through.
Look at Jesus through the lens of shame and see how the marginalized and worthless are his favorites and become his people. God cares for the shamed. Through Jesus you are covered, adopted, cleansed, and healed.
Are you having suicidal thoughts and feelings? Perhaps you are convinced that life is not worth living. Your life seems hopeless, like a black hole with all love, hope, and joy sucked out. David Powlison describes the various reasons you might be feeling hopeless and explains that God is not surprised or put off by your hopeless feelings.
Your life is precious to God. He knows everything about you—even how many hairs are on your head. He wants you to bring your despair to him and cry for help. He will answer and replace your suicidal thoughts with hope for a future filled with love for him and others.
If you have ever purposefully injured yourself, it may seem normal, even right. But if you haven't, it seems impossible to understand those who have. After all, don't living creatures avoid pain?
Edward T. Welch writes this eye-opening and encouraging booklet assuming that you feel trapped in a cycle of self-injury or that you love someone who does. Welch helps loved ones to understand the self-injurer's world. And if you are the one who feels trapped by this behavior, he lovingly describes a cure that is more attractive than you think.
If you want peace and rest, you must look away from yourself. Look to Jesus--the answers reside in him.
Helping Your Teen
You've seen it on the news too many times to count. School shootings, adolescent addictions, bullying, eating disorders, depression and suicide, cutting, pregnancy. There is no lack of bad news to be told about teenagers today. Maybe you believe that will never happen to 'my child.' And maybe it won't. But crises aren't always the stories that make the evening news. The spectrum of crises an adolescent may face can range from something as (seemingly harmless) as getting caught cheating on a test to dealing with the breakdown of the family, to acting out and getting in trouble with the law. And the reality is that someone they know will likely experience some kind of crisis---and that can affect your teen significantly. Either way, when a crisis affects your teen, wouldn't you want to be prepared?Rich Van Pelt and Jim Hancock, both of whom have raised teenagers into adulthood and have spent decades in youth ministry and crisis management, bring together their expertise and insight to help you identify and understand what a crisis is and how you can help your teen live and grow through it. Inside, you'll find practical responses for issues like: * Suicidal thoughts or behavior* Accidents* Cheating* Death (of a friend or loved one)* Divorce* Eating disorders* Hazing* Pregnancy* Sexual abuse* Sexual identity confusion* Substance abuse or addiction* And more...In addition to learning appropriate responses to crises, you'll learn how to prevent some of these issues, and how to get professionals involved when necessary.Whatever it is your teen is dealing with, your influence in their life is still the most important one. So be prepared to walk them through their crisis with wisdom, compassion, and the tools to help them heal.
Counseling Children and Adolescents. Resources to aid you and your children during times of crisis.
For Those Struggling with Sexual Sins
Harvest USA. An evangelical ministry committed to bringing the healing power of the Gospel to the world of sexual brokenness
Truth and Mercy. Harvest USA's blog.
Harvest USA's Books and Resources. This page and the books therein are not to be overlooked. Everything from help escaping from porn addiction to helping your child when he or she tells you they are homosexual.
Pornography Addiction. For those caught in the web of pornography addiction.
For Those Caught in the World of Domestic Abuse
Hagar's Sisters. A local (Acton) evangelical ministry committed to ending the cycle of abuse through the transforming power of God.
Christian Counseling & Education Foundation (CCEF). A very helpful collection of articles, books, and other resources meant to bring healing and wholeness in Christ.