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Foundations' Blog

The Relational Side of Going Back to School

It doesn’t seem too long ago that we were celebrating the end of the school year and looking forward to endless pool days and ice cream with friends, beach trips, and maybe even a lazy day or two; and suddenly we are seeing a few rogue leaves falling and school notices coming in the mail. Despite our best efforts to keep summer going even a little bit longer, the school season is upon us. With that, it’s a good time to prepare our kids for returning back to school, whether it’s homeschool, public school, or something in between, this is a season of transition back to schedules and homework. If you are anything like me, this is going to require some preparation for us as parents as well, not only our physical schedules but also our own hearts.

For some students, school brings a sense of normalcy and routine back to their lives, they get to see friends every day and interact with others in a way that summer does not always allow. For other students, the return to...

Redefining "Good"

When life seems overwhelming and trials seem to be queued up awaiting their turn, it is easy to ask God whyWhy does HER life seem so easy? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why does God ALLOW this pain to continue? Is Romans 8:28 only relevant after I'm through my trial? For some of these questions, we will not have answers on this side of eternity; however, one basic truth helps them all make a little bit more sense: 

As human beings, we do not get to define good

Webster's dictionary defines the word as "something enjoyable." That human definition certainly does not effectively portray the meaning of this verse! If we expect Romans 8:28 to translate to "all things work together for something enjoyable," it will be impossible to trust God's Word.

However, what if good is not defined by me? If I'm going through trials in my marriage, if the orders just came through for another deployment, if I lost my job, if...

"As Is" - Part 1

I’ve been researching used cars to replace mine for the past few months. I often come across a used vehicle on Marketplace being sold “As Is.” In other words, the car has cosmetic or engine issues, and the seller will not do anything to it. If one takes the keys and buys it “as is,” they must put the money and effort into any repairs. I might be attracted to such an offer if I was a handy person or a mechanic. However, I am not. So I will easily pass on most things sold “as is.”

Sometimes we are challenged to accept things “as is” - or just as they are. We often go to a place of denial so we don’t have to accept things as they are. Whether it is a situation, a health diagnosis, a death, or something else entirely, acceptance of the situation “as is” is a process and frequently the last step of the process (such as Kuhbler-Ross’s stages of grief). 

Acceptance is a key aspect of every relationship, even...

Benefitting from Christ-centered Counseling

Are you feeling led to pursue Christ-centered counseling to work through the issues in your life? That's wise! Counseling can be incredibly helpful for growth and healing. But to make the most of this method of therapy, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. The counselor's role is to guide you towards Christ and help you apply God's Word to your life (James 1:22), but you also play an important role. The effort you put into the process will, in part, determine what you gain from it. With the right mindset and expectations, counseling can lead to life-changing breakthrough. Approaching it with honesty, vulnerability, and a desire for change by God's grace can be a pivotal time in your life. However, the choice is ultimately up to you. Ready to get started? Here's what you need to know…

Preparing for Your Counseling Session:

To make the most of your session, consider these tips:

  1. Create a list of questions and concerns you want to discuss. Write them down...

The Struggle of People Pleasing and How to Overcome It

Can you relate to this feeling? The nagging urge to say yes when you really want to say no. The desire to make everyone happy even if it leaves you exhausted and overwhelmed. We often struggle with people pleasing and fearing what others think of us. We want to be liked. We want to make a good impression. We want to fulfill the command to love our neighbor. But at what cost? When does our need to please shift from love and service to anxiety and approval seeking? If you constantly worry about offending others or struggle to be authentic in your relationships, it may be time to overcome your tendency to be a people pleaser.

Why We Tend to Fear People & Seek to Please Them

As embodied souls, created to be relational, many of us innately desire to appease people and win their approval. This urge often stems from our fear of rejection and desire for acceptance.

  • We worry about what others think of us, so we try to meet their expectations. We say "yes" when we should say "no" to keep...

Freed by Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a profound concept that can lead to healing broken relationships, restoring peace, and promoting emotional growth. It can often reduce feelings of anxiety, anger, resentment, and depression as well. Forgiveness is a central theme that resonates throughout scripture too. It's not only an act of mercy and compassion but also a divine command that echoes God's love for humanity. In this post, I’d like to consider the significance of forgiveness for everyone (not just the Church), its impact on individuals and communities, and its transformative potential.

The Command of Forgiveness
God's Word repeatedly emphasizes forgiveness as a central aspect of the Christian faith. Jesus Christ, the embodiment of love and compassion, taught His disciples to forgive others as God forgives them. In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus specifically instructs believers to ask for forgiveness and to extend it to those who have wronged them. Then again, in Matthew 18:21-22, Jesus encourages His...

True Perfection, in Christ Alone

Have you ever felt an underlying nagging sense of shame or embarrassment? When you pause to think about it, you know you didn't do anything wrong, yet it feels like you have. If you have ever felt this way, you are not alone and there isn't something wrong with you. It just means there is a place inside of you the Lord wants to apply His truth so you can experience more of the abundant life He came to give you.

In Webster's Dictionary, shame is defined as "a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety." For the sake of this blog post, I want to highlight the words shortcoming and perfection. The type of underlying shame I am focusing on today has to do with an underlying sense of falling short, not being good enough, or somehow missing the mark but not actually knowing how you missed it… it's just a nagging feeling. This nagging feeling can stem from various sources, but let's focus on the distinction between worldly and religious perfection...

How the Church Can Respond to Mental Health Struggles

Sometimes it’s hard to know what to say, what to do, and how to respond when confronted with challenges. Often our first instinct is to avoid them, ignore them, or pass them off to someone else to deal with them so that we will not take up our time or increase our stress. Oddly enough, this is how many churches and congregants respond to people with mental health struggles. We don’t know what to say or how to help. The struggles seem above and beyond our experience or expertise. We refer them to speak to someone else, give them trite answers, avoid them, or let them know we’ll pray for them and move on. These responses remind me of the parable of the Good Samaritan. 

In Luke 10:25-37, Jesus responds to the question by an expert in the law, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus answers by sharing a parable (30-35):

“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him, and went away,...

The Origination of Mental Health Struggles

In 1949, Congress passed legislation marking the month of May as Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States. The purpose of this month is to raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with those who struggle with mental health issues. The term "mental health" is not found in Scripture, but it does encompass various aspects the Scriptures teach, including dealing with our emotions, thoughts, spiritual walk, and the suffering in our bodies.

Somehow in the church, there is often this strange belief that having faith in Jesus makes one immune from mental illness.

Somehow in the church, there is often this strange belief that having faith in Jesus makes one immune from mental illness. Some say that if our walk is close to God, we should not suffer from mental illness. Our prayers and our devotion to God should be enough, and if one does struggle with mental illness, their faith is weak, and they need to get closer to God...then they will no longer struggle.


Mental Health Awareness and the Church

In today's often chaotic and increasingly complex world, the importance of mental health awareness cannot be overstated. Mental health struggles affect people from all walks of life, regardless of their faith, background, or status. As a Christian, it is vital to understand the significance of sharing our own struggles with those around us. This honesty is not only beneficial for personal well-being but also for fostering a supportive and compassionate community that reflects the gospel to others, both within and outside of the Church. 

Acknowledging Our Vulnerability
The first step in navigating mental health issues is acknowledging our own vulnerability. We are not God and that’s a very good thing. We’re humble creatures, created by an all-powerful and perfect Creator. Contrary to the common misconception that Christians should have unwavering faith, the Bible reminds us that even the most faithful individuals faced moments of emotional despair and mental...

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