Beginning this Wednesday night, April 1, at 5:30 we will be offering a DVD driven course from Christian Counseling and Education Foundation entitled “Instruments in the Redeemers Hands”. We are offering this seminar to only ladies at this time as it is a continuing education course for our ladies involved in our church’s jail ministry. Consider attending as it will transform your thinking about how people change and how we can effect change in the lives of others! Here is the description of the course right from CCEF. “In the Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands DVD Seminar, Paul Tripp and Tim Lane outline biblical, Christ-centered principles that equip participants for personal ministry to others. The 12-session seminar applies the principles in the Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands Study Guide and offers an overview of the process of biblical change that will transform the way you think about helping others.” Soli Deo Gloria
As I noted last month on a blog, Dr. George Scipione, from the Biblical Counseling Institute of Pgh. will be conducting an afternoon and evening seminar this coming Saturday challenging the contemporary church to counsel itself using the Word of God as it’s authority. It will be a most instructive and encouraging evening. The seminar is being hosted by our friends at the First Baptist Church of Clarion, Pastor Keith Richardson. Click for information Fall Bible Conference – Are YOU Competent to Counsel? Plan to attend, nothing is more important to the Church than this issue.
At CHCC, we have been using the Biblical based book “How People Change”, to gain insight into our natural condition in a fallen world and how God is in the process of transforming us into proper image bearers of Himself in all situations of life. It has been a great study. I am excited to announce that there will be a Bible Conference featuring Dr. George C. Scipione of the RPTS Biblical Counseling Institute of Pgh. on November 7th and 8th. This seminar will re-enforce what we have learned from God’s Word over the past several months, that we are in constant transformation and God’s Word addresses the “Heat” in our lives and our involvement in counseling of Christian brothers and sisters. The conference is being hosted by the First Baptist Church of Clarion, at the corner of Main and 7th streets in Clarion. There is no charge for the Saturday evening seminar and dinner is included. There is also a brunch being held earlier on Saturday for Pastors/Elders/Leaders. Check out the link below for further information and conference details. I can’t encourage you enough, if you are in driving distance, to attend this seminar. The church needs to get back to counseling one another through God’s Word. Join us on November 7th and 8th. Fall Bible Conference – Are YOU Competent to Counsel?
It’s summer time but here in western Pa. we haven’t had a ‘hot’ summer yet. If I have my say, it wouldn’t get above 75 degrees. So I’m enjoying these temperatures this year, thank you. However, usually by this time, we’ve seen muggy, thick, humid days that just want to make you stick your head in your freezer and breath deep. It’s amazing how the heat of summer puts some people, me included, into a lethargic state, longing for the crisp air of autumn. As I thought about this and our new Wednesday night study, How People Change, I realized there is a great metaphor between the summer heat and the spiritual heat of life. The folks at CCEF, writers of the study guide and book, use a counseling model, taken from scripture, represented by the HEAT-THORNS-CROSS-FRUIT diagram. You must see the diagram to appreciate the fullness of the model but in short the central idea is this. The HEAT is stressors of life i.e. bad drivers, rain on golf day, cancer diagnosis, job promotion, selling or buying a house, anything that causes stress in our life. The THORNS are the reactions to those stressors, i.e. worry, anger, anxiety, murder, theft. This is how the natural man, when left to himself, will ultimately react. When pushed to the limit, we act in accordance with our nature. The CROSS, is the cross of Christ, which represents the heart transforming grace which God pours out on His children upon our salvation. The FRUIT is the reactions to life’s stressors after God has transformed a person’s heart, i.e. love, patience, kind words, benevolence. One of the most striking truths about this biblical concept is that the HEAT is the same for all people. The stressors of life are no respecters of persons. Everyone faces trials and hurts of life. We each get the unwanted phone call from the Doctor’s office. All of our vehicles break down at the most inopportune time. Every parent has felt the sting of a child’s rebellion. We all pay taxes. The HEAT effects all of us alike. The questions is do we allow the heat to produce thorns or fruit. My neighbor advised me the other day that our tomato plants were not doing well because we haven’t had any hot nights yet. They love the hot humid nights. Not so, for yours truly. The same hot nights that produce red ripe tomatoes also cause irritation in me. You see the heat is the same, the results are different. So it is with our response to daily HEAT of life. Are the results of HEAT in your life THORNS or has the heart transforming grace of Christ enabled you to produce FRUIT? You’ll produce one or the other. Our study continues on Wednesday nights. Won’t you join us or contact us for more information.
You might say “Well of course we can”. Or “sure, if the issue isn’t too severe”. Or “maybe, if God’s given me the ability”. Or “no, only professionals should delve into that field”. I have been amazed at the contemporary church’s lack of assurance in the power of the scriptures to change lives, not the soul’s eternal destiny but the power to “renew the inner self day by day.” The church today has invited the lost into the doors of our local houses of worship to address their need for a Savior but then turns them out the same doors to a world which scoffs at the God of creation for advice and counsel for struggles pertaining to daily living. What makes us think that the God who saves eternally can’t equip us to live victoriously in a fallen world? Is He and His word sufficient or not? 2 Tim 3:16,17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. The Bible also teaches that we as Spirit indwelt believers can discern the word of God and encourage and instruct each other in it. It isn’t left up to ‘professionals’ or seminary trained Pastors only. As Jay Adams has written, we are ‘Competent to Counsel’. The Apostle Paul wrote “I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.” With this said, I am excited about a new series that we will be starting in the next several weeks. ‘How People Change’, a book written by Paul David Tripp and Tim Lane, will lead us to understand that we can change. That we are fallen creatures living in a fallen world but that God has redeemed His people to live as a people of hope in the midst of a thorn infested environment. We will be announcing the start very soon for 12 weeks on Wednesday nights at the church. Come and join us and see that you and those you encourage (counsel) can ‘bear fresh fruit through real heart change’.