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  • Expecting “Wrong” Sweetness

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    A surprising Jesus Story that’s not as sweet as we expect
    Snickers. Mounds and Almond Joys. Hershey’s. Smarties. Twizzlers. Kit Kat. Necco Wafers. Milky Ways. Sweet Tarts. Bubble Gum. Halloween candy, remember? What was your favorite to find in the bag, pillow case, bucket, or carryall when you got home that night? Mine were Snickers and Mounds.

    Remember the next morning, waking up to your stash? Not like Christmas probably, but better than most mornings as a kid (at least for me). “How much did I get last night?” “What can I trade?” “What can I take to school today?” Whatever the thought, you expected a sweet day, right?
    A while ago…
    …late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel suggested to parents that they play a prank on their kids the day after Halloween. “When your kids wake up after Halloween, tell them you ate all their candy…” and then film their reaction! The…

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  • “Wrong” Sweetness, Buckle Up!

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    Jesus is asking us, “Are you in? If so, buckle up…”
    A client, faced with an immediate and difficult choice, reminded me of the scene in the Bourne Identity when the young woman, Marie, is forced to accompany Bourne as he tries to elude the police. At this critical point, when she barely knows him but has already seen him handle the stress and chase, they are parked in her car. He’s in the driver’s seat. The police are closing in and he gives her the choice; “you can leave now, or else you will be entangled with me from here on out.” The camera shows her reaching over her right shoulder; for the door handle or the seat belt? She buckles up.
    There are times in the gospels where Jesus seems to offer a similar choice…
    That is at least one way to imagine the brief scenes we looked at in the…

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  • Finding “True” Sweetness, Love!

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    “When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” (Matthew 8:18-22, NIV)
    Get your priorities straight before it’s too late …
    Let’s go back and review Matthew 8:18-22 one more time.

    This time, we look at the man who is not quick to follow, but slow. He’s preoccupied with other matters. Jesus is not sympathetic or encouraging. Jesus sounds like he’s saying, “This is it, pal. It’s now or never. Forget your…

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Alexandria, VA

"The training and ongoing supervision that our lay counselors have received from LCI has been invaluable in shepherding our congregation. While we respect the role that professional counselors play in personal Christian growth, and refer our members to professionals when appropriate, one of our bedrock philosophies at APC is the belief that God equips and gifts the local congregation to minister to one another in significant ways.

Counseling is an important ministry in every church. God has used our lay counselors to help bring about real change in the lives of members in our congregation. It has been deeply encouraging to not only witness true change in the lives of our members, but also to observe the impact in the lives of our lay counselors, as they witness the Holy Spirit using them in the lives of others in ways they could not have imagined. I am a firm and enthusiastic supporter of lay counseling ministry and am thankful that the Lord has placed this rich resource, LCI’s lay counselor training in our backyard. The shepherding ministry at APC is healthier and richer because of it."

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