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Disability: Two Common Temptations, Part Two

In our attempt to understand God’s ways in the midst of our suffering there are two common temptations which often fight to claim the higher ground in our mind. Second Temptation: The Temptation to Remake God in Our Image If our conception of God is that he is only, or predominantly, love, and by this we mean that he does only what we perceive as good (for example, whatever does not involve pain), then irrational suffering tempts us to change our view of God to match our experience. An example of this is found in Nancy Eiesland’s influential book The Disabled God: Toward a Liberatory Theology of Disability. The author, a college professor in Atlanta and a lifelong sufferer of […]

Craig Svensson on FamilyLife Today

Craig Svensson, author of The Painful Path of a Prodigal, walks us through his son Eric’s painful journey with drugs and addiction. Beginning in elementary school, Eric’s drug abuse escalated around the age of 15. Though Craig talked to Eric repeatedly, and even had the police talk to him, nothing changed. After taking several steps to stop Eric’s drug use, including sending him to a special program and moving to another state, Craig and his wife continued to pray that Eric could be rescued from this downward spiral. Tune in on your local radio station, or listen here: FamilyLife Today: A Downward Turn with Craig Svensson – November 18, 2020

Disability: Two Common Temptations, Part One

In our attempt to understand God’s ways in the midst of our suffering there are two common temptations which often fight to claim the higher ground in our mind. First Temptation: The Temptation to Blame Someone Automatically connecting personal suffering to personal sin is a typical human response. “Since God is good,” we reason, “he cannot be behind this accident, tragedy, or evil. Therefore, it must be the fault of the one who suffers or someone connected to him or her.” Thankfully, the Holy Spirit wrote the Old Testament book of Job at least in part to correct that response. The book of Job is essential to our understanding of suffering because it destroys the credibility of the notion that […]

The Heart and the Trivial Life

More often than not, if we are honest, most of our time is spent in the direction of self rather than the direction of others. And, if we are really honest, most of our days are spent pampering ourselves rather than serving others. Something is seriously out of whack. The Heart is the Problem The heart is mentioned over 900 times in the Bible and 77 times alone in the book of Proverbs. Often when the Bible talks about your heart, it refers to the core of who you are. It’s your thoughts, motives, emotions, personality, and the spiritual part of your makeup. Your heart is basically who you are. One of the more well-known verses on the heart is […]

Disability: Whose Fault Is It?

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:36) Fifteen years ago, my wife and I were standing in the kitchen of the old farmhouse we had planned to renovate. She said, with tears streaming down her face, “What did I do wrong? Was it something I ate during my pregnancy? Or was it something I failed to eat? Is God punishing our daughter for something I’ve done? Am I the cause of our precious little Kayte being born deaf?” As I held my wife, her heart did not agonize alone. I was also asking questions, though only inwardly: “Lord, I’ve given my whole life to your service, and […]

Interviews with authors Nate Brooks & Anna Mondal

This week, the Biblical Counseling Coalition and the Institute for Biblical Counseling and Discipleship have both featured interviews with Nate Brooks & Anna Mondal, authors of the new LifeLine Mini-book Help! Our Sex Life is Troubled by Past Abuse. Check them out at the links below. You can buy the mini-book here. Why we wrote Help! Our Sex Life is Troubled by Past Abuse Nate Brooks: I want readers of this book to know that they are not alone, that their struggle is not a “weird” one, and that the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and its implications offer them hope in the midst of sexual struggles due to past abuse. Sexual difficulties are rarely spoken of in the […]

Your Life: Trivial or Weighty?

Why does your life (and mine) often trend toward that which is trivial? Because the default mode of the human heart is bent toward triviality. Unless intentional action is taken, you are always going to lean in the direction of pursuing that which is trivial. Just as your computer settings will operate under their default mode unless directed by you to do otherwise, so will your life. It’s not hard to pursue triviality because you have naturally done it your whole life. But what if there were some kind of work-around, intentional reset or deliberate action on your part to move away from triviality, to a life of meaning and purpose? What if you could push back against the default […]

Coming Soon: ‘When Disability Hits Home’ plus five LifeLine Mini-books

Shepherd Press is pleased to announce When Disability Hits Home: How God Magnifies His Grace in Our Suffering and Weakness by Paul Tautges with Joni Eareckson Tada, a book to nurture practical faith in people who are directly or indirectly affected by disability. In disability, the heart of man becomes tethered to pain, thereby providing an unusual opportunity for God’s grace to be magnified and faith is trained to be dependent upon the Lord. In this book, written with compassion and sensitivity, Paul Tautges, with Joni Eareckson Tada, draws upon key biblical principles to nurture faith. Includes a Study & Discussion Guide. Pre-order here – expected to ship in late October / early November 2020. Also available for pre-order are […]

Wise Words for Moms App Update

Two weeks ago, we became aware that the Wise Words for Moms App for iOS was no longer available on the iOS App Store. Worse, customers who had purchased the app found that it had disappeared from their devices. We investigated the issue and were able to resolve it yesterday. The Wise Words for Moms App is once more available for purchase from the App Store, and customers who have previously purchased should be able to reinstall it if it does not reappear on their devices automatically. We apologize for the lapse in availability and will do our best to keep it from happening in the future. Wise Words for Moms is also available as a calendar-sized chart and functions […]

Life in the New Creation & The Imitation of Christ

Continued from Beholding and Becoming Life in the New Creation Paul describes the change believers have experienced as a new creation. In Ephesians 2:10, he says that we are the workmanship—the masterpieces!—of God “created in Christ Jesus for good works.” Similarly, Paul reminds his readers that when they “learned Christ,” they were taught to “put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:20–24).26 A parallel passage in Colossians 3 says the new man, “is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator” (v.10). And 2 Corinthians 5:17 exults that, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” […]