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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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McLean, VA

"Lay counseling at McLean Presbyterian began as a grass roots effort by several members of the church family. We sent a survey around to the church members and learned that our church was not doing well in attending to the brokenness both of our members and the larger community. As a result, a group was formed to figure out how we could better care for others. We found that the LCI model was the best fit for us. Since we began our Lay Counseling ministry several years ago, the lay counselors have been one piece of the pie in how God is moving MPC to be a care station for the hurt and broken.

We have seen lay counseling begin to change the culture of our church and it began by changing us. We have a better understanding of our own brokenness and the grace God has given each of us. We are able to live more authentically ourselves and in doing, so encourage others to live the same. We have seen God transform and redeem so many lives and situations in sometimes totally unexpected ways. LCI was, and continues to be, a driving force in this change process."

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