Marriage Counseling

One of the hats that a pastor must wear is the hat of a marriage counselor.  This is an area of ministry that I literally have no experience in.  Thus, when I heard about the problems of a married couple in Port St. Lucie, FL I found myself wondering how I would counsel this couple:

A Florida man awoke with a severe headache and asked his wife to drive him to a hospital, where doctors found a bullet lodged behind his right ear, sheriff’s deputies said.

“The nurse looked at him and said, ‘It appears that you’ve been shot,'” the Fort Pierce Tribune quoted St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara as saying. “And he said, ‘No way.'”

The wife, April Moylan, fled the emergency room when the bullet was discovered but later told deputies she had accidentally shot her husband as he slept early on Tuesday. She was jailed on a weapons violation charge while deputies pursued additional charges.

The husband, 45-year-old Michael Moylan, woke up with a head pain so severe he suspected he was having an aneurysm and asked his wife to take him to the emergency room, deputies said.

They arrested the wife after obtaining a search warrant and finding a gun and bloody rags in the couple’s home near the Atlantic coastal town of Port St. Lucie. The husband was hospitalized in stable condition.

There are just so many questions.  Why did she have a gun in bed?  How did he not wake up when he heard a gun go off in bed?  How did he not wake up when he was hit in the head with a bullet?  Why did she not wake him up?  If she was not going to tell him about the bullet then why did she take him to the hospital (Can you imagine that conversation?  “Dear, I think that I am having an aneurysm! Take me to the hospital!”  Oh no honey, just take a couple of ibuprophen and I am sure that you will feel better later.)?  Have they spoke since he found out his wife shot him, and didn’t even wake him up?  And on and on and on…

This couple is going to need some serious counseling, and I am quite certain that I would not want to be the guy doing the counseling.   

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The Westminster Confession of Faith: Chapter XI – Of Free Will

  1. God hath endued the will of man with that natural liberty, that it is neither forced, nor by any absolute necessity of nature determined to good or evil.
  2. Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom and power to will and to do that which is good and well-pleasing to God; but yet mutably, so that he might fall from it.
  3. Man, by his Fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation; so as a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, and dead in sin, is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto.
  4. When God converteth a sinner and translateth him into the state of grace, he freeth him from his natural bondage under sin, and, by his grace alone, enableth him freely to will and to do that which is spiritually good; yet so as that, by reason of his remaining corruption, he doth not perfectly, nor only, will that which is good, but doth also will that which is evil.
  5. The will of man is made perfectly and immutable free to good alone, in the state of glory only.

>Here we see that God created men to be different from the rest of creation. Man was created to make decisions that please God. Through sin man has made this impossible. However, through the Gospel God has again made this possible. Oh how we long for the day when our wills will be free to please God completely in a state of eternal glory.

20 Things that you should be praying for (pt. 2)

pew.gif11. For the leaders of the Church.
 -Acts 14:23
 -Romans 15:30-31

12. For the unity of the Church.
 -John 17:20-21
 -1 Thessalonians 3:10

13. For a discerning mind.
 -Philippians 1:9-10

14. For a knowledge of God.
 -Colossians 1:9-10
 -Ephesians 1:17

15. For the power to comprehend to love of Christ.
 -Ephesians 3:14, 18

16. For strength and endurance.
 -Colossians 1:11
 -Ephesians 3:16

17. For a deeper sense of God’s power to work in you.
 -Ephesians 1:16, 19
 -Colossians 1:10

18. For the physically sick and infirmed.
 -James 5:14-15

19. For the physical deliverance of God’s people.
 -Acts 12:5, 12

20. For wisdom.
 James 1:5-8

20 Things that you should be praying for (pt. 1)


1. For the Forgiveness of our sins.child-praying.jpg
 -Matthew 6:12

2. For our own faith.
 -Luke 22:32
 -Luke 21:36
 -Mark 9:24
 -Ephesians 3:17

3. For deliverance from temptation.
 -Matthew 6:13
 -Matthew 26:41

4. For deliverance from the evil one.
 -Matthew 6:13

5. For daily provision.
 -Matthew 6:11

6. For the ultimate salvation (vindication) of God’s people.
 -Luke 18:7

7. For the ability to remember the hope of our glorification.
 -Ephesians 1:16, 18

8. For the salvation of unbelievers.
 -Romans 10:1

9. For those who are proclaiming the Gospel world wide.
 -Matthew 9:38
 -Acts 13:2-3

10. For the ability to understand, and articulate God’s word.
 -Ephesians 6:17-19
 -Acts 4:29

Book Sale

(talk about an attention grabbing title…)

Just wanted to give all me readers the heads up on a really good book sale. Every book in the Desiring God book store will be $5 on June 27-28, Wednesday and Thursday next week.  This sale is only on-line, and apparently there are no limits. 

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Book Review: Preaching the Cross

Preaching the Cross
by Mark Dever, J. Ligon Duncan III, R. Albert Mohler Jr., C.J. Mahaney
Contributions by John MacArthur, John Piper, R.C. Sproul1581348282.jpg

The collaborators of the ‘Together for the Gospel’ conference have come together again, this time to produce a book dedicated to the next generation of preachers. “Preaching the Cross” (Crossway, 2007) is a book that has been widely anticipated, and heartily received. The list of contributors to this book reads more like and all-star line-up card: Dever, Duncan, Mohler, Mahaney, MacArthur, Piper, and Sproul. These men are the best of the best, and they have come together to record their collective thoughts on preaching. The book is aimed at preachers, and as a young man developing his skills as a preacher this book was important for me. As I read through the book I felt almost as if I was receiving personal advice from the authors themselves. Each author dealt passionately with subjects close to their own heart. The topics from each chapter matched their author perfectly:

  • Mark Dever: ‘A Real Minister’
  • Ligon Duncan: ‘Preaching Christ from the Old Testament’
  • Al Mohler: ‘Preaching with the Culture in View’
  • R.C. Sproul: ‘The Center of Christian Preaching: Justification by Faith’
  • John Piper: ‘Preaching as Expository Exultation for the Glory of God’
  • C.J. Mahaney: ‘The Pastor’s Priority: Watch Your Life and Doctrine’
  • John MacArthur: ‘Why I Still Preach the Bible after Forty Years of Ministry’

In addition to being a “must read” for pastors, this book will prove to be a valuable resource for any Christian looking to mature in his walk with Christ. Within this book you will find scriptural exposition, doctrinal explanation, personal encouragement, and exemplary illustration; all of which will be profitable to any Christian. My expectations for this book were quite high, and rightly so! I must say that the content of this book exceeded all of my expectations. It left me encouraged and charged to not only preach the God’s word, but also to pursue Christ in all areas of my life.

I knew what to expect from many of the authors, but I was particularly impressed with Ligon Duncan’s chapter on “Preaching Christ from the Old Testament.” Duncan’s premise in this chapter is that the church must “preach the Old Testament as a Christian book.” Duncan uses negative and positive examples of OT preaching to illustrate his premise. This chapter provides many excellent resources for anyone preaching (or teaching in any capacity) from the OT.

I would highly recommend this book to all of my readers; it is especially profitable for those of us who were unable to attend the T4G conference in ’06. Let me conclude with Mark Dever’s own words,

Above all, as you read this book learn again to preach the cross. That is what a minister of the Word of God is called to do, from the New Testament and the Old, and in a way that is understandable and penetrating, faithful to the truth of justification by faith alone, visibly and verbally exulting on God’s grace, reflected in our lives, and shown over the years and decades of ministry that God may give you. Preach the cross. That’s why we came together. That’s why we wrote this book. We pray that is what you’re encouraged to do by reading it.

You can purchase this book HERE