Tuesday, May 10, 2016

5 Indicators of an Evil and Wicked Heart

By Leslie Vernick

As Christian counselors, pastors and people helpers we often have a hard time discerning between an evil heart and an ordinary sinner who messes up, who isn’t perfect, and full of weakness and sin. I think one of the reasons we don’t “see” evil is because we find it so difficult to believe that evil individuals actually exist. We can’t imagine someone deceiving us with no conscience, hurting others with no remorse, spinning outrageous fabrications to ruin someone’s reputation, or pretending he or she is spiritually committed yet has no fear of God before his or her eyes. The Bible clearly tells us that among God’s people there are wolves that wear sheep’s clothing (Jeremiah 23:14; Titus 1:10; Revelations 2:2). It’s true that every human heart is inclined toward sin (Romans 3:23), and that includes evil (Genesis 8:21; James 1:4). We all miss God’ mark of moral perfection. However, most ordinary sinners do not happily indulge evil urges, nor do we feel good about having them. We feel ashamed and guilty, rightly so (Romans 7:19–21). These things are not true of the evil heart. Below are five indicators that you may be dealing with an evil heart rather than an ordinary sinful heart. If so, it requires a radically different treatment approach.

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Thursday, May 05, 2016

May is #LymeAwareness‬ month. How easy is it to contract Lyme?

I get asked a lot of questions about Lyme disease but interestingly enough some of the first questions receive revolve around the national discussion on how prevalent Lyme is. There is conflicting information out there. Often they ask me where I was when I got it.‪

Myth 1: Lyme is only in certain areas. It was either Washington State or possibly Alaska.

Myth 2: Even more frequently I am asked if I was bitten by a tick. The belief that Lyme is only transferred by a tick bite is not true. I was not bitten by a tick. It was likely a mosquito.

Myth 3‬: Did you have the bull's eye rash? It's believed that unless you have the rash, you don't have Lyme. Yes. I had a small bulls eye rash. No, you don't have to present a rash to have Lyme disease.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

There will always be times of conflict in relationships. They are opportunities when we can become more acutely aware of God's grace, how it can transform us, and by the Holy Spirit inform us on how to act in Christian love. We naturally take the low road. We fear, we speculate, we ruminate on the failings of others. We exaggerate our fears and their power over us, as if Christ dwelling in us is powerless to save us. We justify our faithlessness by exaggerating just how powerful evil is. We lose a sense of the reality of Christian living. It's a tailspin. But it doesn't have to be. Live in Him, in the transforming power of him. Root your confidence in faith and live in the knowledge of His love for you and for others.

I appreciate the post from Shepherd Press today. It gives some sound practical advice on how to communicate gracefully.
Once again, someone in your life has offended you. Your frustration boils over. How many more times will you have to put up with being offended? So, you take matters into your own hands and let the offender know how you feel.
You tell him just how annoyed and offended you are. You don’t care if he is your brother or your coworker, enough is enough. Afterwards, you think you feel vindicated, you think you feel better, you think you have stood up for your rights. But something is not right. You still feel edgy and angry.
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