Recently someone asked me if there was a busy season when it came to counseling. I replied that there wasn’t really a busy season, but January seems to be when people are most focused on personal change so sometimes things get busier around this time of year. In light of that I am going to do a series of blog posts reviewing some of the booklets from the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF) series that you might find helpful.
First, Here are a few reasons why I like this series:
1. Short and to the point: Each booklet, mini-book, is intentionally limited to about 20-25 pages. If you eliminate one facebook, Instagram or twitter session and you could have enough time to get through one of these booklets.
2. Great authors: The people that wrote these books are established authors on the subjects. Most are Christian counselors like David Powlison, Ed Welch, Robert Jones, Tim Lane etc.
3. A wide range of great topics: I have 30 titles displayed in my office, but there are about 80 to choose from, you can check out the two different sets by clicking Here or Here.
Here are three booklets that you might find helpful:
1. Depression: For many, the months following the Thanksgiving and Christmas are hard ones, in fact some refer to the third Monday in January as “Blue Monday,’ because some studies say it is the most depressing day of the year. I have recently talked to some that are missing loved ones, or are contemplating the weight of an unfulfilled desire and others who say this time of year is challenging just because of the gray skies!
There are varying degrees of depression, and this common yet often silent struggle affects everyone differently. If you have felt “down” or “low” then maybe this resource, written by Ed Welch could help you understand what it means to believe even when you don’t feel it, and what it looks like to turn to the Lord in the midst of a challenging season.
2. How Do I Stop Losing it with My Kids?: Did Christmas break bring any angry outbursts? Long car rides, extra time in the house or maybe worse, someone else’s house can bring up in us things that we hate about ourselves, but where is that coming from and what do we do about it? In this booklet, William Smith helps diagnose and turn from angry parenting. Spoiler alert his solution is not only aimed at your children’s heart, but yours as well. Here is a doozie of a convicting quote, “When your agenda, your will, your desires, and your reputation become more important that God’s, that’s a sign you are trying to be your child’s god.” Here If you know you should read this, but don’t want to, then maybe you should.
3. Conflict: Now that you have had a little time to get perspective on some holiday “fun,” maybe it is time to consider what it would look like to honor the Lord in the midst of a new or longstanding conflict. In this booklet Tim Lane points out that each conflict has a divine purpose and encourages readers to turn from ungodly strategies of winning, pleasing, or avoiding. If these are your go to approaches then this short resource help you consider more godly ways to move forward.
I have these titles and more on the bookshelf in my office, come grab one or more for free. They are small so you can slip it into your Bible or your pocket if you feel like it, or you can just carry it around showing others it is a good thing to recognize issues and to turn to Jesus for help. If there are any other categories that you want to have help selecting good resources to think through let me know. As pastors, it is our joy to walk with you in times of blessing and in times of trial.
Author: Rev. Dave Kulp