January 1, 2016

By Gary Younghans, LMFT

Clinical Director at Cross Connections

Gratitude is a way of life based on awareness of God’s eternal presence and his goodness.   Paul writes to the church in Colosse: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or in deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Col 3: 16 & 17) A life of gratitude knows the gifts are good, they are from God, and thankfully and humbly receives them.

May 1, 2015

by Bob Brockmann, MA, MSW

Ephesus, the city to which the Apostle Paul wrote his epistle, was a prominent city in western Asia Minor (now Turkey). The town had built a large harbor and was connected with various trade routes throughout the region. Because of this, Ephesus became a successful and sizable commercial center with a wide variety of ethnicity, culture and religion. We certainly can see some similarities with Ephesus in Paul’s time and America today. We live in a land of vast economic prosperity, unencumbered personal liberty and the unfettered pursuit of happiness. For the Christian, however, all these distractions can certainly come at a potential expense.

April 1, 2015

 by Susan Reusser, LCSW

“Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.” II Corinthians 10:12

We humans LOVE to compete. From cutest baby to pee-wee soccer to Friday night lights to class rankings to climbing the corporate ladder we are always looking to be better than the other guy. As a counselor, I am knee deep daily in the stuff of human relationships. I often see the results of competition that goes way beyond sports or talent shows. What exactly is it that we are missing when we compare ourselves with others? How does this demonstrate that we just don’t understand what Christ has done?

February 1, 2015

by Susan Reusser, LCSW

With the beginning of February, the New Year is well under way. This is often the time when resolutions are abandoned. In the “bleak midwinter,” comfort food often replaces our plan to lose a few pounds, there are more parking spaces available at the gym, and our plan to read through every book in the Bible may once again dwindle into a quick verse or two before bedtime.

November 1, 2014

by Lisa Lessing, MA

When was the last time you slept through the night and woke up feeling refreshed and rested?  Or, are you one who echoes Job’s words: "When I lie down I say, 'When shall I arise?' But the night continues, and I am continually tossing until dawn.” (Job 7:4). 

September 1, 2014

by Matt Konow, Executive Director

This year it’s different. For the past 16 years I have had friends and family ask me the question, “Are the girls ready for school to start?” This year, however, the question that has been posed is “Are YOU ready for school to start?” The reason that the question has changed is that my wife, Amy, and I are reaching a rather significant milestone.

July 1, 2014

by Bob Brockmann MA, MSW

When we think of marriage it often produces an idealistic image of a wonderful relationship with a beautiful person who will forever share our hopes, dreams and goals. We will take romantic walks at sunset while exchanging our innermost feelings and passions. We will live in a lovely home complete with a picket fence, respectful children and a dog who is perfectly potty trained.

May 1, 2014

By Susan Reusser, LCSW

We are told in scripture that there is “nothing new under the sun .” Ecc 1:9. There are many researchers and theorists who describe human behavior and the interactions that seem to improve our relationships. It is reassuring to me to know that God, the author of marriage, family, and our community in Christ, has also given us guidance about how to live together.

March 1, 2013

By Don Luedke

By this time of year many of your New Year’s resolutions have already taken a permanent hiatus. For some of us however, we still are on course with our new resolutions. This forces us to ask ourselves some serious questions, “Why is change so difficult?” “Why are unwanted habits so hard to break?” And lastly, “How can I develop good habits that lead to lasting change?

November 1, 2012

Have you ever had a friend or family member tell you that you needed to go to counseling? They might as well have told you that you had purple skin with green spots or a banana growing out of the top of your head. As much as our culture has officially and outwardly embraced the idea that counseling is healthy and beneficial, when it is offered as a personal suggestion, we often interpret it to mean, "There is something really wrong with you! I've never met anyone as messed up as you are!" What does God's word tell us about the need to share our burdens with others? What can we accomplish in a counseling relationship that we may not be able to do alone? If I've got a relationship with Jesus, isn't that all I need?

March 1, 2013

In the Sermon on the Mount, after Jesus has encouraged us to look beyond the law to the condition of our hearts, He says, "You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). Later, after Jesus illustrated the impossibility of human perfection to the rich young man, the man became discouraged and "left in sorrow." Jesus told his disciples, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible" Matthew 19:26.

Does God expect perfection? Are we to become perfect people in order to assure our salvation? How do we get there? Must we become perfect before we can be useful for God's kingdom? These questions are raised often in counseling. Our awareness of our inadequacy often threatens to cripple us for service in God's kingdom.