Bell Creek Community Church

A non-denominational church in Livonia, Michigan with Biblical teaching, worship, and kid's ministries.

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David Murray blogs on ministry, leadership, preaching, counseling, technology, and theology.
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Tue, 09/25/2018 - 1:00am

“Living Dangerously”
“The passive seeker must be taught that the voice which comforts him where he is and tells him he is in a good place, when in fact he is in the place of greatest danger, is Satan, his enemy; whereas the voice which speaks the truth, and tells him that he is living dangerously if he remains where he is, and  says Strive, Agonise, make haste as in the quote above is the voice of the One who seeks his greatest good, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

The Unattainable Perfectionism of Millennials
“The young adults of the Millennial generation are showing a higher rate of mental problems than previous generations.  A study says that the problem is perfectionism and their inability to attain it.”

You Won’t Make It Alone: Five Reasons You Need Good Friends
“What next steps might you take to cultivate deeper friendships? Identify a few people and plan time to get together, such as a weekly rhythm of coffee or lunch. Reach out to a friend you’ve lost regular contact with. Plunge your conversations below the shallows and into the deeper waters of life. Oxygenate your friendships with affirmation and encouragement. God helping us, let’s make it to our deathbeds without relational regret.”

How to Pray Like a Pastor
“I pray for one of these traits each day, using the bullet points as a guide. Perhaps you will find it helpful to do something similar.”

Confessions of a Ministry Introvert
“Temperament appears to be heavily influenced by neurochemistry—the collection of brain chemicals and the path of blood flow through the brain. Emerging brain science tells us introversion and extroversion show in our neural pathways. One study found that introverts have more blood flow to their brains than extroverts, indicating more internal stimulation. The study also found that introverts’ and extroverts’ blood follows a different pathway through the brain. In introverts, the pathway is longer and more complicated, with blood flowing to the portions of the brain involved in internal experiences like remembering, problem-solving, and planning. Extroverts’ blood flows faster and follows a shorter and less complicated route. It goes to the parts of the brain associated with sensory processing. Introverts are wired to focus on internal stimulation; extroverts external.”

How to Raise Spiritually Mature and Mentally Healthy Kids
“Forbes reports a new study from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health found those who were raised religious or spiritual as children are more likely to have happier lives as adults. Those who attended religious services with parents or prayed or meditated on their own had healthier lives and improved mental health. Those who attended church at least once a week as children or teens were 18 percent more likely to report being happy as 20-something adults than those who never attended services. After reaching adulthood, church-attending kids were 30 percent more likely to do volunteer work and 33 percent less likely to use drugs.”

Kindle Books

Enjoy: Finding the Freedom to Delight Daily in God’s Good Gifts  by Trillia Newbell $1.99.

Finishing Our Course with Joy: Guidance from God for Engaging with Our Aging by J. I. Packer $3.99.

Disability and the Gospel: How God Uses Our Brokenness to Display His Grace by Michael S. Beates $2.99.

The End of Worry

Mon, 09/24/2018 - 2:00am

Summary of Preface and Introduction to The End of Worry: Why We Worry and How to Stop by Will Van der Hart and Rob Waller. Will is a  pastor working in London and Rob is a Christian psychiatrist. Both are recovering worriers.

1. Everyone worries. Every kind of person worries, it’s just the degree and nature of the worry that differs from person to person.

2. The effects of worry. Worry has many damaging consequences, including anxiety, bodily tension, headaches, tiredness, irritability, insomnia, shame, broken relationships, absenteeism, reduced productivity, and so on.

3. Christians are ashamed of worrying. Their shame focuses on why they can’t seem to trust God or obey his commands not to worry; which in turn causes even more worry about their spiritual state. As a result it is often hidden from the church and even those closest to us.

4. Christians tend to see worry as an exclusively spiritual problem.

In only a very few instances have people expressed any awareness of the contribution of psychological factors. Christians tend to believe that the problem is purely spiritual – one of simple disobedience and lack of trust. It is no surprise then that they often feel too ashamed either to acknowledge that a problem exists or to seek help to overcome it. (Preface, xii)

5. Worry tends to be preoccupied with tomorrow. This is on contrast with depression which generally tends to be focused more on the past.

6. Severe worry, or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), is common. it affects 44 in every 1000 adults. Less severe forms of worry affect 164 per 1000 people.

7. GAD is more like background noise. Unlike panic attacks which are so obvious or phobias which are specific, GAD tends to be in the background not the foreground of our minds and is like a constant fog.

8. Worry can be reduced. This involves spiritual, physical, and psychological work. Just as a physiotherapist expects us to do numerous exercises to recover from injury, so we should expect to do various strengthening exercises to get out of worry.

The End of Worry: Why We Worry and How to Stop by Will Van der Hart and Rob Waller.

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Mon, 09/24/2018 - 1:00am

Say it in a Sentence
“One Thursday afternoon I went for a walk with my pastor. He asked me what my sermon was about for later that night. Four minutes into trying to explain what my sermon was about, my pastor interrupted me and said: “SAY IT IN A SENTENCE!” He said I wasn’t ready to preach until I could state what my sermon was about in one, clear sentence. That piece of advice transformed my preaching.”

Pastor Stress Statistics
“Why aren’t these pastors overflowing with the love, joy and peace of the Lord in their lives, families and ministries? What is the cause of their emotional problems and moral failures? A major factor is overwhelming ministry stress:

  • 75% report being “extremely stressed” or “highly stressed”
  • 90% work between 55 to 75 hours per week
  • 90% feel fatigued and worn out every week
  • 70% say they’re grossly underpaid
  • 40% report a serious conflict with a parishioner at least once a month
  • 78% were forced to resign and 63% at least twice, most commonly because of church conflict
  • 80% will not be in ministry ten years later and only a fraction make it a lifelong career
  • Seminary trained pastors last only five years in church ministry
  • 100% of 1,050 Reformed and Evangelical pastors had a colleague who had left the ministry because of burnout, church conflict, or moral failure
  • 91% have experienced some form of burnout in ministry and 18% say they are “fried to a crisp right now”

I Live with OCD and Tourette’s—Here’s What Anyone Who’s Facing Anything Can Learn with Me
“Medication was a turning point in my healing process. It completely changed my world for the better. After almost a year of chaos, I was slowly able to start living my life again. I wasn’t the kid I used to be, but I was able to establish a new normal. I could go all day at school with no panic attacks. I could hang out with my friends without fear that something bad was going to happen, and most of the irrational fears began to stop! I was able to jump back into sports. This was huge for me! After about 10 years, I was able to stop taking medications, and that was a great thing for me, too.”

How Porn Is Sidelining Missionaries
“Pornography isn’t just an affront to a holy God; it’s an oil leak in the engine of missions. If unaddressed, an engine with an oil leak will, drip by drip, cease to operate. And dose by dose, porn renders a heart unfit for missions. Just last week, I was asked twice why I think so many godly ladies are signing up to engage unreached peoples, while the men seem to be content on the sidelines. My answer: internet pornography.”

What you should know about women and pornography
“A myriad of reasons can lead to women watching pornography, such as curiosity, loneliness, boredom, rejection, stress, dissatisfaction, curiosity, comfort, connection, or to escape from reality.”

Mommy Drinking Is No Joke
“Since God wants to “set a guard” over “the door of [our] lips” (Ps. 141:3), here are three good reasons to think before speaking (or sharing) that “mommy juice” joke.”

Kindle Books

Making Sense of Salvation by Wayne Grudem $3.99.

How to Enjoy Reading Your Bible by Keith Ferrin $1.59.

Evangelism in a Skeptical World: How to Make the Unbelievable News about Jesus More Believable by Sam Chan $2.99.

Expedition 30: Two Houses

Sat, 09/22/2018 - 7:56am

Here’s the video for Expedition 30 in Exploring the Bible. If you want to bookmark a page where all the videos are posted, you can find them on my blog, on YouTube, or the Facebook page for Exploring the Bible.

If you haven’t started your kids on the book yet, you can begin anytime and use it with any Bible version. Here are some sample pages.

You can get it at RHBWestminster BooksCrossway, or Amazon. If you’re in Canada use Reformed Book Services. Some of these retailers have good discounts for bulk purchases by churches and schools.

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Mon, 09/17/2018 - 1:00am

10 Phrases that Encapsulate Your Journey with an Eating Disorder
This kind of timeline is worth bearing in mind when dealing with most counseling problems.

Dementia: A Biblical Approach for Care
This article demonstrates a healthy integration of biblical counseling and medical care.

Like the secular Medical Model, the biblical approach has a standard definition of dementia: decreased mental capabilities such as memory loss, inability to think abstractly, impaired decision-making, and the inability to communicate normally. The biblical approach values the contributions of physicians and considers dementia a medical condition that should be managed by a physician.[2] In addition, the biblical approach recognizes that people with dementia and their loved ones need counseling based on biblical truth. A biblical counselor is advised to take a personal interest in a counselee with dementia and visit frequently, be sensitive to spiritual needs, and encourage him or her from Scripture.

3 Dangers in Rejecting Mental Health Care
This article calls for the kind of integration outlined above to be practiced in broader mental health issues.

The rejection of mental health care sets up a polarization between two disciplines that should be helping each other. The lack of trust between clergy and mental health professionals is obvious and palpable in too many areas of our culture.

Let’s bring back the Sabbath to give us a true work break
A secular article on the benefits of Sabbath keeping.

It is time for us, whatever our religious beliefs, to see the Sabbatarian laws of old not as backward and pharisaical, but rather as the liberatory statements they were meant to be. It is time to ask what our society would look like if it made room for a new Sabbath–or, to put it a different way, what our society would need to look like for the Sabbath to be possible.

How to Evangelize Your LGBT Neighbors
y a voice you can trust, Rosaria Butterfield:

“I believe that if Christians lived communally, then people who struggle with same-sex attraction would not be driven away from the church for intimacy but instead would find real intimacy within the family of God.”

How stress affects your body
A friend who teaches in a college send me this video. She shows it to her students at the beginning of the semester.

New Book

In the Year of Our Lord: Reflections on Twenty Centuries of Church History by Sinclair Ferguson.

Kindle Books

A Proverbs Driven Life by Anthony Selvaggio $3.99.

Not a Chance: God, Science, and the Revolt against Reason by R. C. Sproul and Keith Mathison $1.99.

The Disappearance of God: Dangerous Beliefs in the New Spiritual Openness by Dr R. Albert Mohler

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Tue, 09/11/2018 - 1:00am

Free Dead Sea Scrolls Download
“See key information about the Dead Sea Scrolls at a glance with this free quick guide by Dr. Randall Price! Get solid overviews, time lines, maps, and pictures of the Dead Sea Scrolls excavation sites with this free download. Find out how the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, what they reveal about the Bible’s accuracy and other key information at a glance.”

How to help a friend with mental illness
“You care about someone who is living with emotional or psychological pain, and you wish you could offer something that would help, but you’re not sure you can make a difference. Maybe you live with the misconception that only trained mental health professionals are qualified to provide any kind of care. After all, it seems like you’ve tried everything you can think of, but you’re pretty sure it hasn’t made any difference. Or, perhaps you believe the only way to help is to solve the problem and make the person feel better for good. Since you haven’t been able to do that, you’ve decided there’s nothing you can do. ”

He Will Hold Me Fast
“Have you ever feared that your faith might fail? Have you worried you might not be able to “hold out” or “hold on” in the long, arduous journey of the Christian life?”

Here’s How Christian Audio Book Summaries Help You Learn More…in Less Time
“A book summary is similar to the “executive summary” concept that’s so popular in the business world; it condenses the main points, thoughts, and arguments of a book into bite-sized pieces, so that you can get the gist of the entire book in only the time that it takes you to read the 7 – 10 page summary.”

Ministering Without R.C. Sproul
Burk Parsons shares his thoughts and feelings after nine months without his friend and mentor, R.C. Sproul.

Call Sinners to Do the Impossible
“we do not need to try to “protect” Reformed teachings by over-qualifying gospel calls. Go ahead and proclaim the impossible to sinners. Then watch God do what only He can do!”

After 50 Years of Ministry, 7 Things I Would Tell Ministerial Candidates Today
“From an older pastor to younger ones: some wise counsel from a pastor who served the Church faithfully for 50 yearz.”

Kindle Books

Humble Roots: How Humility Grounds and Nourishes Your Soul by Hannah Anderson $1.99.

A Woman’s Wisdom: How the Book of Proverbs Speaks to Everything by Lydia Brownback $2.99.

Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery by Eric Metaxas $1.99.

Encouragement to Courage

Mon, 09/10/2018 - 2:00am

I was greatly blessed listening to this sermon by my PRTS colleague, Dr Jerry Bilkes. If you are feeling fearful and needing an injection of courage, this sermon will put steel in your spine. “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

A Song for the Depressed

Mon, 09/10/2018 - 1:00am

My son, Angus, sent me this beautiful song with the suggestion that it would be suitable for a husband to sing to his wife with depression (and vice versa).

“I’ll be your voice till you’re able,
And I’ll lift up your hands when you can’t.”

And here’s the touching story behind the song.

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Wed, 09/05/2018 - 1:00am

A Letter to the Church: The Problems of Moral Failure and Misconduct Are Real and Must be Addressed Now
“Although quite simplified, let me offer a starting place for both pastors and church leaders who now face very difficult questions from their congregants and for congregants who have more questions than answers.”

After 50 Years of Ministry, 7 Things I Would Tell Ministerial Candidates Today
“From an older pastor to younger ones: some wise counsel from a pastor who served the Church faithfully for 50 year.”

Suicide, Depression, and Pastors: One Way Church Members Can Help
“Yet, these pastors tell us, the greatest pain is not the criticism and cynicism by some of the members. The greatest pain is when the “good members” remain silent, when they do nothing to come to the aid and defense of their pastors. The good members don’t want to rock the boat. They don’t want to incur the wrath of the pastor attackers. They think they are maintaining unity. Instead they are tearing down their pastor with their malignant silence. Their efforts to maintain peace sow the greatest seeds of destruction.”

How Reformed Churches Are Growing on the Arabian Peninsula
So encouraging.

Why Pastors Should Consider Preaching (At Least) 5 Minutes Shorter
“Here’s the bottom line: there’s no need to preach for an hour when 40 minutes will do. The truth is most people will be glad for a shorter sermon. The parents with children in the pew certainly will be. Your wife just might be too. And the nursery workers will rise up and call you blessed.”

Columns from Tabletalk Magazine, September 2018
The September issue of Tabletalk considers the Christian life as a life lived between two worlds.

Cringing at Church: What It’s Like as an Autistic Person in Your Congregation
What an eye-opener.

Real Sermons Are Not Lectures or Moral Stories | Desiring God
This is an important contribution from Burk Parsons:

“I think what happens is that pastors begin to feel the pressure to have this perfectly polished message, so it ends up looking more like a lecture, more like a lesson that could be taught really in any Sunday School class. It becomes that rather than a sermon as a part of the worship service.”

Kindle Books

The Forgotten Trinity by James R. White $1.99.

Called to Create: A Biblical Invitation to Create, Innovate, and Risk by Jordan Raynor $1.99.


The New City Catechism Devotional: God’s Truth for Our Hearts and Minds by Collin Hansen $2.99.

Fear and Faith: Finding the Peace Your Heart Craves by Trillia J. Newbell $1.99.

Preaching the Gospel to Yourself In the Midst of Depression and Anxiety

Tue, 09/04/2018 - 7:56am

This is one of the most powerful sermons I’ve heard in years. It’s entitled, ‘Preach The Gospel To Yourself When Your Soul Is Downcast,’ and was preached by Pastor David Sunday, a dear friend and a Christian brother I greatly admire and respect. It’s the kind of sermon that took years to prepare and I pray it will get a wide hearing and help thousands of souls. The Scripture reading starts at 2.13 and the sermon at 7.04.

Expedition 29: Heavenly Treasure

Fri, 08/31/2018 - 1:00am

Here’s the video for Expedition 29 in Exploring the Bible. If you want to bookmark a page where all the videos are posted, you can find them on my blog, on YouTube, or the Facebook page for Exploring the Bible.

If you haven’t started your kids on the book yet, you can begin anytime and use it with any Bible version. Here are some sample pages.

You can get it at RHBWestminster BooksCrossway, or Amazon. If you’re in Canada use Reformed Book Services. Some of these retailers have good discounts for bulk purchases by churches and schools.

Check out

Wed, 08/29/2018 - 1:00am

Final Installment: Songs from The New City Catechism
“It’s taken nearly two years, but Songs from The New City Catechism is now complete. All 52 questions and answers from The New City Catechism have been set to music word-for-word.”

Can Someone Be Spiritually Healthy and Still Experience Mental Health Challenges?
“My prayer for this article would be that it: (a) encourages sincere Christians who feel undue guilt for persistent mental health struggles that their personal devotion does not remedy, (b) equips pastors to think more robustly about how their preaching and teaching influences church members with mental health challenges, and (c) increases the quality of one another care that exists in small groups and other settings by improving the understanding of the intersection of mental health and spiritual maturity.”

Eight Ways Church Members Can Help Pastors Avoid Burnout
The eight tips are:

  1. Let the pastor know he should not be 24/7
  2. Be an encourager
  3. Insist the pastor takes some time off
  4. Respond to critics for your pastor
  5. Become a prayer intercessor for your pastor
  6. Help protect the pastor’s family
  7. Find ways to help the pastor’s family have fun times together
  8. Pay your pastor reasonably

Some PhD FAQs
Kevin DeYoung continues his series on the pros and cons of a PhD.

Pride and the Preacher
“One of the greatest problems for preachers is pride.  It is an insidious and relentless foe that will look to creep in at every stage of a life spent in ministry.  What might we be proud about?”

The Sacred Trust of Pastors and Christian Leaders
“Ministry is not just a task. It is a sacred trust between the under-shepherd and the flock that has been entrusted to him by God. To misuse and violate that trust to achieve sexual conquest, or even emotional dependence, is a particularly deplorable behavior.”

New Book

The Man of God: His Calling and Godly Life: Volume 1 of Pastoral Theology  by Albert N Martin. I cannot commend this highly enough. I heard Pastor Martin’s pastoral theology lectures on tape over twenty years ago and have longed for the day to see them in print.

Kindle Books

Mindscape: What to Think About Instead of Worrying by Timothy Z. Witmer $2.39.

Unashamed: Healing Our Brokenness and Finding Freedom from Shame by Heather Davis Nelson $2.99.

Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good by Amy L. Sherman $4.99.

20 Causes of Teen Anxiety

Tue, 08/28/2018 - 2:00am

So, if teen anxiety is so widespread, what’s causing it? On the basis of personal experience, counseling, and research, here are what I believe are the most common causes of teen anxiety.

Unresolved guilt: Teen years are often sin-filled years, especially in the area of sex, both virtual and real-life. This causes fear of being found out, fear of God, fear of consequences, and fear of judgment.

Unbelief: Related to the above, many kids are not saved, they have no peace with God, because they have never believed in Christ for salvation. But even teens who are believers suffer from anxiety through unbelief, just simply not believing God’s promises.

Physical problem: Oftentimes it’s not a sin or faith issue but a biological issue, where the “fight-or-flight” mechanism is disordered, constantly or periodically flooding the body and brain with “anxious chemicals” such as adrenaline, cortisol, etc. (I’ll have more to say about this in another post)

Impossible expectations: Teens can impose on themselves perfectionistic targets in school, sport, work, and other areas of life, causing huge anxiety when they fail to live up to them. Although young, there’s often a sense that bad decisions already taken, or bad exam results, will ruin the rest of life, and that there’s no way back.

Parental pressure: Parents add their own unrealistic expectations, often with a view to getting scholarships, or of maintaining their social standing with other parents. Related to this is the problem of over-protective parents. Many kids are so spoiled or protected by their parents that they are totally unprepared for what the world throws at them as soon as they venture outside of the cocoon.

Over-busy parents: And the opposite of the above. Some kids just need quality and quantity time with Dad and Mom.

Broken homes: This is one of the most under-reported causes of teen anxiety.

Sleep deprivation: Teens need 8-9 hours of regular sleep to thrive, but many are getting less than six causing significant physical, emotional, and intellectual damage.

Technology addiction: The teen brain is being fried by the constant sizzle of social media and gaming, giving the brain no opportunity for calm and repair.

Social media: Regardless of the impact of how long and how often teens are on social media, there’s the constant performance anxiety that flows from seeing other teens “perfect” lives online.

Physical immobility: Teen bodies were not made to sit down all day. Lack of exercise reduces healthy brain and body chemicals and increases damaging ones.

Friends and enemies: There’s constant pressure to please and keep up with friends, and especially for girls, these relationships are often complex and fragile. Then add frequent bullying from enemies, sometimes in real life, but today more often online.

Neglect of Sabbath: God made the Sabbath for our good, but very few teens take a day off a week from studies, work, sports, shopping, etc., and are suffering the consequences of going against our Maker’s instructions.

Bad news: Our teens are exposed to a constant diet of negative news from the media, feeding anxiety and fear.

Unhealthy diet: Sugar, carbs, soda, and caffeine drinks make up a large part of many teen diets, a lethal cocktail for mental health.

Bad time management: Bad organization, wrong prioritizing, doing the wrong things at the wrong times, procrastinating, taking on too much, all combine to create a constant background hum of stress and tension.

Money worries: Poor planning, indisciplined spending, taking on debt, impulsive shopping, all stretch the budget and the nerves.

Practical Godlessness: Without God as the foundation and framework of life, everything depends on us. Teens, yes even Christian teens, often go days and even weeks without praying and reading God’s Word. This results in a lack of a sense of God’s presence, plan, and power in their lives.

Faulty thinking: Teens can fall into a range of

Trauma: Abuse, unexpected bereavement, exposure to violence, accidents, etc. can result in degrees of PTSD.

As you can see, parents, there are multiple cause of teen anxiety. I hope this list helps you to think and talk to your teens as you try to explore what factors may be contributing to your teen’s worries — it’s usually more than one. Unless we find out the causes, it’s unlikely we’ll discover any cures. I’ll pick out some of these in future posts for further explanation.

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Tue, 08/28/2018 - 1:00am

When Our Negative Emotions Can Come in Handy
“Although emotions can be disruptive in our lives, they don’t have to be. In fact, there are some surprising ways that emotions benefit us:”

7 Reasons You Should Pray the Psalms
“I think every Christian should learn the habit of praying through the Psalms. What can I do to persuade you to do this, if you don’t already do so? I have developed the arguments at greater length in Teaching Psalms, volume one. But here are seven good reasons.”

What Does Prophecy Offer that Scripture Does Not?
Tim Challies takes on Matt Chandler’s idea of modern day prophecy.

It’s Not Enough to Have Your Sins Forgiven: Why the Imputation of Christ’s Righteousness Is Essential
“If the forgiveness of sins is all there is to the doctrine of justification, then we have a significant problem. As essential as it is to have our sins forgiven, if we only have our sins removed, we still stand before God empty without a positive righteousness that gives us favor with God.”

The Tyranny of the Immediate in Short Attention Span Theatre
Might help you recalibrate your social media intake.

20 Quotes from a Profound New Book on Death
Solemn and sanctifying (see below).

New Book

Remember Death: The Surprising Path to Living Hope  by Matthew McCullough.

Just How Bad is the Teen Anxiety Epidemic?

Mon, 08/27/2018 - 2:00am

Over the past year or so, I’ve noticed a significant increase in the number of people asking me for help with anxiety issues. While it seems to be affecting people of all ages, the most common problem is teens with anxiety, as the following stats underline:

  • Anxiety is the most common mental-health disorder in the United States, affecting nearly one-third of both adolescents and adults, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
  • Nearly a third of all adolescents ages 13 to 18 will experience an anxiety disorder during their lifetime, according to the National Institutes of Health, with the incidence among girls (38.0 percent) far outpacing that among boys (26.1 percent).
  • More than 6 million American teens are grappling with an anxiety disorder of some kind.
  • Anxiety is now the most common issue for which people of all ages seek counseling.
  • Over the last decade, anxiety has overtaken depression as the most common reason college students seek counseling services.
  • Since 1985, the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA has been asking incoming college freshmen if they “felt overwhelmed” by all they had to do. The first year, 18 percent replied yes. By 2000, that climbed to 28 percent. By 2016, to nearly 41 percent.
  • The American College Health Association has been recording about a 10% annual increase in anxiety rates over a number of years.
  • Recent studies have declared millennials, especially women, the most anxious generation in history.
  • Among 10- to 24-year-old females, seven to 14 per cent will experience an anxiety condition in any given year.
  • There’s been a doubling of hospital admissions for suicidal teenagers over the last 10 years, with the highest rates occurring soon after they return to school each fall.
  • A 2015 report from the Child Mind Institute found that only about 20% of young people with a diagnosable anxiety disorder get treatment.
  • Based on data collected from the National Survey of Children’s Health for ages 6 to 17, researchers found a 20 percent increase in diagnoses of anxiety between 2007 and 2012.
  • One Christian counselor said, “When I first started counseling twenty-four years ago, probably one out of every twenty kids coming in were dealing with anxiety,” she says. “Now, out of my new appointments, I would say at least sixteen of every twenty families are here for that reason, if not more.”

Just how bad is the teen anxiety epidemic? It’s really bad, isn’t it? I list these statistics, not to make everyone even more anxious, but to try to re-assure anxious teens and their parents that anxiety is a very normal abnormality. Due to the stigma that still surrounds anxiety and depression, especially in the church, many people suffer in silence and secrecy. They think, “I’m totally weird….There’s no one else like me.” Nothing could be further from the truth. The statistics say otherwise. We are surrounded by kids who are suffering like this but most are afraid to admit it, and so are many of their parents. The kids therefore often continue to suffer without help or support.

I’m planning on writing a series of posts in the coming weeks that will hopefully help concerned parents understand what’s going in with their anxious kids, offer guidance on how they can help them, and give practical and biblical advice on how they can contribute to their healing.

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Mon, 08/27/2018 - 1:00am

Why sleep should be every student’s priority
Sleep your way to academic success.

10 Lessons I’ve Learned While Working on my PhD
“Once you see top-notch scholarship, you realize you aren’t doing much of it! You do what you can in your specific (micro)field and stay humble about 10 million others things you don’t know. ”

5 Actions a Counselor Can Take In-Between Meetings
“What could we be doing in-between counseling meetings with a counselee in order to prepare for our next session with them? Here are 5 activities I engage in the week in-between meetings to prepare for an upcoming counseling meeting. ”

My Decision to “Retire”
“I published an article about a year ago titled “The 8 Questions I Need to Answer Before I Decide to Retire.” In it, I said that I did not know when I would “retire” and that I was taking it year by year. I had no idea that just one year later I would be writing about my decision to retire; it seemed much further away at that time.”

10 Things I Wish Church Leaders Knew About Divorce
“Here are 10 aspects of divorce I’d like to share with church leaders to help them love the brokenhearted while not condoning divorce.”

What Not to Say to Someone in the Hospital
“When we lift away the bedside curtain, the following suggestions for what not to say may help to build up those we seek to love, rather than tear them down.”

How to Help a Friend with Mental Illness
“To prompt your own thinking, here is a small collection of ideas for helping a friend with mental illness.”

New Book

Depression, Anxiety, and the Christian Life: Practical Wisdom from Richard Baxter by Michael S. Lundy.

Kindle Books

A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God’s Sovereignty by Joni Eareckson Tada $2.39.

The Disciple-Making Parent: A Comprehensive Guidebook for Raising Your Children to Love and Follow Jesus Christ by Chap Bettis $1.99.

On Guard: Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse at Church by Deepak Reju $2.99