Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Biblical Counseling for Spiritual Growth

I'm still in the middle of studying and absorbing some great material that the Girl Talk bloggers posted last week from renowned Biblical counselor Dr. David Powlison. It's been some fantastic stuff--and don't let the title of the blog fool you. Dr. Powlison offers wonderful Biblical wisdom for both men and women on the specific topics of anxiety, anger, and escapism. I highly recommend it as a detour from your normal devotions or whatever you do to grow with God. The post index is here.

The series has been so profitable to me (and I haven't finished it yet) that I hope to start posting soon some of my thoughts and insights based on what I'm learning. Meanwhile, regardless of whether you work through all the posts, you need to check this out. (If you want the tunes for the hymns, you can do a quick search and hear them at CyberHymnal.org.) Here's the explanation from Girl Talk:

Whichever of the common deviancies you’re choosing, first read and ponder these hymns (and, if you’re so moved, sing with heart and voice!). Notice how we’ve parsed the hymns,

--The pressures of life are described in italics, those things (‘good reasons’) that provoke us to anxiety, anger, escapism. These are the circumstances within which our battle plays out.

--The Lord’s promises and self-disclosures come in bold, these invitations (‘better
reasons’) to live differently. These are ways the Redeemer enters human life. Notice how these things that God says compete with the voices and pressures that woo and provoke us towards anger/grumbling, fear/anxiety, escapism/addiction.

--Our responses of faith are underlined. This is the heart of change.

Read all the italics. Then read all the bolds. Then read all the underlinings. Then worship.

This is a fantastic new way to experience these hymns. I hope you'll check it out for yourself!

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