Confession, Conflict, and Reconciliation

In Christian counseling, I have found that three elements stand out as essential components for effective resolution for both presenting and underlying issues: Confession, Conflict, and Reconciliation. During the course of my training, I quickly identified these three to be mainstays of not only what occurs during the course of a counseling session, but also helpful guideposts of how well the process of counseling is proceeding.  It is the counselor’s responsibility to help manage these three aspects of the session so that our clients will benefit from the manner in which they can come to grips with them in their … continue reading…

The Lost Art of Apology

Dan McHugh picture

All of us have been hurt at one time or another by someone, and an insincere or insufficient apology leaves us even more discouraged. Our world overflows with public and private examples of poor apologies in politics, sports, business, church, and personal arenas.  Media critics demonstrate their own inability to distinguish a poor apology from a sincere one when they comment about publicly prominent apologies. Much has been written about forgiveness–what it means and what it doesn’t mean, who “deserves” it, how to achieve it, and even the health benefits of forgiving. Much less has been said about good apologies, … continue reading…

Winning the Gold!

Donna McHugh picture

I love the winter Olympics! Well, actually I really only love the figure skating events, although I do follow some of the other sports because NBC makes me wait while they move back and forth through the different events. I have especially fallen in love with the ice dancing and the pairs skating over the past three or four seasons of the winter Olympics. I love the creativity, the artistry, the skill and gracefulness of the couples, the synchronicity of their moves, the colorful costumes, the selections of music and the stories they often tell.  I love watching the lifts … continue reading…

Adding Peace to Our Pace

We live in a culture that values multitasking, packed schedules, achievement, and speed. And we get bonus points when we don’t “need” a lot of sleep to make it all happen. Most of us have probably asked someone how they are doing and the response is, “busy!” Even when we bemoan how full our schedules are, there can be a level of pride in all the demands on us. This pace contributes to the high levels of anxiety seen in our current society, and while it is certainly not the only cause of anxiety it is a contributing factor worth … continue reading…

True God and Our Becoming Selves

I find myself reacting today to a familiar Evangelical concept: “The idea that we can tolerate sin in our lives while we enjoy fellowship with God is a direct contradiction[1]” (p. 77).  I grieve about this awful mischaracterization of the Biblical God that drives a wedge of distance between us and him. Consider this picture instead: The God I know joyfully enters our worst dens of iniquity and eats with us there. He is not ashamed or embarrassed by us.  He does not reject us if we do not live up to standard or wait for us to get it … continue reading…