Friday Counseling Issues: People

People are interesting, aren’t they?

I swim laps at our local YMCA.  When it gets busy, you expect to share a lap lane with another swimmer.  There’s plenty of room for two people in a lane.

Not for one woman. She feels she’s entitled to her own lane, and anyone else can just wait. If you happen to be in “her” lane before she gets there, she makes things uncomfortable.  She has actually gotten into pushy/shovy arguments with others. This is a woman in her 60’s, and  you’d think she’d know better.


A counseling office is not set up like a medical office, where two or three people have the same time slot with the doctor, who goes running back and forth among them while they are undressing, or dressing, or just sitting there cooling their heels. In our counseling office, a counselor is scheduled with ONE client at the top of the hour. A counseling session is 45 minutes.  What’s the extra 15 minutes for?  Notes, bathroom breaks, time to stretch and get your head back on straight before the next client comes in.

The other day, this guy comes in with no appointment, demanding to see his counselor RIGHT NOW!  “Sorry,” says the secretary. “He’s on vacation and won’t be back until next week. I’d be glad to set up an appointment. . . .”

“I NEED TO SEE SOMEONE RIGHT NOW!!  Isn’t there anyone who’s free?  I’ll see anyone!”

“I’m sorry, Mr. Fuss and Feathers, but all our counselors are with clients and they all have people coming in.”

“Well, tell someone they’ll have to wait!  Don’t you understand?  I need to see someone NOW!”

Mr. Fuss and Feathers continued to rant until one of the male counselors dismissed his client and came out to see what the bother was.  He talked with Mr F&F  for about 15 minutes, giving up his bathroom break.  And of course the problem wasn’t really all that serious.  Mr. F&F must be a pure joy to live with.

Then there was the lady this morning who hesitantly tapped my shoulder as I surfaced to make my turn in the lap lane, asking me if she could share my lane. Of course, says I, no problem.  And we swam comfortably together for maybe 15 minutes until the lane next to her cleared out.  She thanked me and ducked under the lane divider.

See how easy it is to just be polite?

On Tuesday morning, first work day for me after the huge snowstorm, I pulled into the parking lot, which had been well-plowed, and parked my car with no trouble at all.  Someone else pulled in right beside me, on the driver’s side, parking too closely for me to get out.  I put my window down and made a “roll your window down” motion. He lowered his window, and I explained the problem. You just never know how someone is going to react.  There are no markings in our gravel parking lot, so you just have to be paying attention when you park.

To my immense relief, he apologized, backed out, and re-parked so that I had plenty of room.

See how easy it is just to be courteous?

Mr. Fuss and Feathers could take a few lessons from Miss Manners.  You don’t have to agree with everyone all the time, but you can always just be polite.

Strengthened by Might

Ephesians 3:16.”That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man;”


In Galatians 6:9, Paul urges, “And let us not be weary in well doing; for, in due season, we shall reap if we faint not.”

I know what that weariness is about.  So do you.  Especially in ministry to others, there are times when you’ve poured so much energy into the ministry that you truly don’t think you can do it another day.

But God–Who has unlimited resources–stands ready to give us inner strength to work another day, if only we will ask.

Philippians 4:13. “I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me.”

Whatever He gives us to do in His Name, He also gives the power to perform. That covers everything from serving in the home with small children and a husband to serving in church ministries to serving in a foreign land.  It includes serving as a prayer warrior, as a testimony at work, as man who is husband and father and must lead his family.

I Cor. 10:31. “Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. “

Named in Heaven

Ephesians 3:15.  “Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, ”

All believers are named as such by God.  On earth, we call ourselves Christians, after Christ Jesus.  The word actually meant “little Christs,” and was somewhat derisive when applied by unbelievers.  Many in the family of believers are already in heaven,  and we are all named of God.  Maybe He calls us Christians, too.  I don’t know.  What I do know is that He knows each of us (Psalm 139) in an intimate and specific way; He has known us before the world began, and  that is hard for us to understand.

What helps me with that is to remember that God does not function according to time,  as we do.  The past, present and future are all one to Him.

His ways, His thoughts, are higher than our ways and our thought.

I Bow my Knees

Ephesians 3:14. “For this cause I bow my knees  unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,”

Chapters 1 and 2 contained Paul’s prayer for knowledge.  In this chapter, we are privileged to share his prayer for love.

For this cause. . . .”  For what cause?    It  is because of his deep interest in the people of God, because of his desire that they should enter fully into their privileges in Christ, and understand the great mystery of which he had spoken that Paul goes to his knees before God in behalf of other believers.

I’d like to suggest you read verses 14-21 each day as we walk through this passage.  You will be blessed.

Faint Not

Ephesians 3:13. “Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.”nasb_ephesians_3-13


Another translations says, “Do not be disgraced by my sufferings for you.” We need to remember that Ephesians is one of the “prison epistles,” written while Paul was incarcerated because of his fearless preaching and his outspoken defense of the gospel.

One thinks of Saeed Abedini, who was recently released from a three-year incarceration.  I watched the video that has been on Facebook, observing the difficulty he seemed to have in coming down the steps from the airplane to meet his parents here in the States. He would have said the same thing.  It is not a shameful thing to be persecuted for Christ. It is not a shameful thing to be identified with someone who is being persecuted.  Rather, we should glory in knowing that God was there during the whole ordeal. and the cause of Christ is alive and well today just as it was in Paul’s day.

It will never be defeated.



This and That

It’s Friday, but my usual Friday Counseling Issues post didn’t happen.  Several things going on.  For one, my PC is on the fritz, and I usually do my blog posts there.  Second, I had a doctor’s appointment at 8:45 this morning.  And very good news!  My A1C has come down from a high of 8.9  to 7.5 to 7.1, held there for about six months, and today it’s at 6.7!

Yay, Me!  I’ve been tracking carbs since early October.  I’ve lost 17 pounds.  Also, I started swimming in October, and I’m doing 25 laps now.  A mile is 33 laps. So my doc is very pleased with me, and I’m feeling pretty good.

At one this afternoon, I had a class I’m teaching on research papers.  Twelve really nice kids who are all homeschooled, and they’re all doing a great job.  On my way home  I stopped at my daughter’s, then made a quick Walmart run. So my normal Friday wasn’t so normal.

It’s snowing, a big storm that’s supposed to last all day tomorrow.  Chicken Little is alive and well.  People get so churned  up, partly because the news scares you half to death with all their dire predictions.  A little common sense goes a long way, so batten down the hatches and enjoy taking a day off, if you can.  If you are  an “essential person” like an EMT, medical staff, and so on, then my prayers are with you as you drive back and forth.  I am thankful for you, for the truck drivers that keep the road cleared, for the law enforcement people who don’t get the day off.

And now I’m done.  Good night 🙂

Study God’s Word



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stopped at my daughter’s, then did a quick Walmart stop.  So my normal Friday wasn’t normal 🙂067_chickenlittle


There’s a huge snowstorm coming our way, and Chicken Little is alive and well up and down the east coast.  The sky indeed would seem to be falling.  Frankly, I see it as a great opportunity to train in and secure for a day or two.  It’s supposed to snow all day tomorrow.  Maybe I’ll get back on track with the blogging, but not tonight.  I feel a very relaxing evening tonight, and a nice quiet day tomorrow.


Boldness and Confidence

Ephesians 3:11-12.  ” According to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:  In Whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him. ”


God has always had a plan, a purpose.  Nothing, no one, will stand in His way.  What may seem like a setback to us now is only a hiccup to God.  His ways, His thoughts, are so much higher than ours.  They are higher, even, then other so-called faiths that threaten us, or government systems that try to shut down the Word of God.

Because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Who  gave us access to God, we can have boldness and confidence to approach Him as beloved children.

Boldness, not arrogance.  Not self-righteousness.  Not self-confidence.  Not self-anything. If we would only get SELF out of the way, what a difference it would make in our personal lives, in our churches, in our nation.

We can have confidence that God wants to hear us, wants to give us what we need and even what we want.

Hebrews 4:16.“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

The Wisdom of God

Ephesians 3:10. “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.”

The great mystery, the Church, was not revealed to anyone–not even the hosts in heaven–until Jesus Christ  first proclaimed it in Matthew 16:18. It was not revealed in the Old Testament, but was hidden in the mind of God until the time was right. Then, through Jesus Christ, the mystery was revealed even to the angelic hosts of heaven, that God, in His incredible wisdom, was establishing a new thing in the Church, where all believers would come together as one body to proclaim the gospel of the grace of God to all mankind.

Of course, Satan had a toe-hold in that process right from the beginning. He has been busy creating dissension, hatred, anger, and division ever since.

However, Jesus said that the gates of hell would not prevail against His church, and that is the promise we must hold onto.

The Mystery

Ephesians 3:9. “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, Who created all things by Jesus Christ:”

I think, in order for us to understand what a huge job God had given to Paul, we would need to go back through the ages into the mind of Judaism as it existed in the Old Testament. They knew that God had made them the people of the promise.  What promise?  That through them, the Messiah would come; all the nations of the earth would be blessed;  that they would multiply like the sand on the seashore, the stars in the sky. To them was given the Old Testament Law.  They were God’s peculiar (special, set aside, chosen) people, and they were keenly aware of that status.

Then Jesus came, and they didn’t recognize Him. After His death and resurrection, many Jews finally did see the truth. Persecution arose, and they dispersed into the surrounding nations.  Paul visited wherever God directed him, and always found a reception among believing Jews who, it would seem, had been sharing their new faith with their Gentile neighbors.  Still, the majority of the known world at that time had never heard of Jesus Christ, and Paul was tasked with changing all that.

Less Than the Least

Ephesians 3:8. “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;”

Paul was not the only one used by God to spread the gospel.  He was, however, the only one  to write so much of the New Testament; the only one who traveled as far and as often as he did; the only one who withstood Peter to his face. He was not the only one to die for his faith and his constancy in preaching; not the only one who was humbled by the gracious gift God gave him to be the channel of blessing to so many.

We are so blessed today to still have the company of the mighty witnesses of the first century who dedicated their lives to serve their risen Savior.

The unsearchable riches of Christ.  What a  statement.  We cannot ever, not even in heaven, search out the riches of Christ to completion. All eternity will be given to that end, and there will be no end.

 Paul is already there, considering himself the least of all the saints.  Peter, James, John, the women who served Christ, so many are all there ahead of us.  For me, heaven grows more real and more desirable with every passing day.