Parents in Pain

Where did we go wrong? I never dreamed our son would make the choices he has. Didn’t our values sink in at all? And how do we relate to him now? What should or shouldn’t we say to him?

  1. Sharing Your Story
    Prodigal: a parable of pain ~ Luke 15:11-32
  2. Coping With Grief
    Eli and his wayward sons ~ 1 Samuel 2:12-26
  3. Dealing With Disappointment
    Chaos in David’s family ~ 2 Samuel 13:23-39
  4. Knowing How to Relate
    David longs for Absalom ~ 2 Samuel 14:1-33
  5. Feeling Their Pain
    Peter disowns Jesus ~ Luke 22:54-62
  6. Believing in Miracles
    Jesus forgives Peter ~ John 21:1-25

12 Steps

I’m hooked, and this thing is stronger than I am. I know I need a “Higher Power’ and I know that ‘Higher Power’ is God. How can God help me break the stranglehold of this addiction?

  1. Going Beyond Denial
    A Pharisee and a tax collector ~ Luke 18:9-14
  2. Naming the Higher Power
    Elijah and the prophets of Baal ~ 1 Kings 18:16-40
  3. Coming to God
    A possessed man set free ~ Luke 8:26-39
  4. Confession
    Josiah’s reform ~ 2 Kings 23:1-25
  5. Making Amends
    Zacchaeus makes things right ~ Luke 19:1-10
  6. An Addiction-Free Lifestyle
    Crossing the Red Sea ~ Exodus 14:5-31

Abuse

The hardest thing I ever did was share my darkest secret. Now that I’ve dared to open up the wound, what can I do to heal the pain? I know I’m not alone, but who can help me through this?

  1. Expressing Emotion
    Tamar raped by her half brother ~ 2 Samuel 13:1-22
  2. No More Shame
    Jesus heals an ‘unclean’ woman ~ Mark 5:24-34
  3. Matters of the Heart
    The unmerciful servant ~ Matthew 18:21-35
  4. You’re Not Alone
    God speaks to Elijah ~ 1 Kings 19:1-18
  5. Walking in Love
    David spares Saul ~ 1 Samuel 24:1-22
  6. Hope for Healing
    On the road to Emmaus ~ Luke 24:13-35

Grief and Loss

Since he died, I’ve felt like half of me died too. Why did he die and leave me so alone? I keep waking up in the night, thinking he’s there. What stages do I have to go through to get some relief?

  1. Denial
    Elisha and a woman in denial ~ 2 Kings 4:8-37
  2. Anger
    Naomi: empty and bitter ~ Ruth 1:1-22
  3. Bargaining
    David “bargains” with God ~ 2 Samuel 12:15-25
  4. Depression
    Jacob mourns for Joseph ~ Genesis 37:12-36
  5. Acceptance
    The suffering of Job ~ Job 2:1-10
  6. Hope
    Jesus raises Lazarus ~ John 11:1-44

Picking Up After Divorce

The divorce is final, but I still feel numb. On the outside, things haven’t changed that much. But on the inside, it’s another matter. I feel lost. Alone with my anger. How can I ever start to heal?

  1. The Death of a Dream
    Naomi: empty and bitter ~ Ruth 1:1-22
  2. Dealing with Anger
    Cain and Abel ~ Genesis 4:1-26
  3. Taking the High Road
    The unmerciful servant ~ Matthew 18:21-35
  4. Lost Identity
    Jesus heals an ‘unclean’ woman ~ Mark 5:24-34
  5. God Cares
    Elijah and a single mother ~ 1 Kings 17:1-24
  6. Hope for Healing
    On the road to Emmaus ~ Luke 24:13-35

Healing Broken Relationships

My family and I have hurt each other in the past. That’s why I turned my back on them. But time is running out and in my heart I want to try to make things right. But I’m afraid and need some help.

  1. I Have a Dream
    Parable of the Prodigal Son ~ Luke 15:11-32
  2. Heart’s Desire
    Longing for reconciliation ~ 2 Samuel 14:1-33
  3. Called to Reconcile
    The unmerciful servant ~ Matthew 18:21-35
  4. Taking the Initiative
    Joseph reaches out ~ Genesis 45:1-28
  5. Anxious Anticipation
    Jacob prepares to meet Esau ~ Genesis 32:1-21
  6. Homecoming
    Jacob and Esau reunited ~ Genesis 33:1-20

Healthy Habits

I’ve read so many books. I’ve tried so many diets and exercise plans. They either don’t work or I don’t stick with them. I hate what I’ve become and I can’t stand to look at myself in the mirror. What do I do? I feel like giving up.

  1. Frustrations
    The disciples in Gethsemane ~ Mark 14:32-42
  2. Healthy Habits
    Daniel’s discipline ~ Daniel 1:1-21
  3. Living in Balance
    Enough manna for each day ~ Exodus 16:1-35
  4. A Matter of Control
    Israelites crave other food ~ Numbers 11:4-34
  5. Don’t Give Up
    Children of Israel turn back ~ Numbers 13:26-14:45
  6. Consistent and Persistent
    The walls of Jericho ~ Joshua 5:13-6:21

Growing Older

Others may say I’m too old, but I want to feel like the best is yet to come! How can I look back with gratitude, and look ahead by passing on to someone else what I’ve learned?

  1. Faith Journey
    The call of Abrams ~ Genesis 11:27-12:9
  2. Never Too Old
    Noah builds a boat ~ Genesis 6:5-7:12
  3. The Power of Blessing
    Simeon and Anna bless Jesus ~ Luke 2:21-40
  4. Leaving a Legacy
    Moses commissions Joshua ~ Numbers 27:12-23
  5. Looking Back
    Remembering God’s faithfulness ~ Joshua 23:1-16
  6. Looking Ahead
    Jesus raises Lazarus ~ John 11:1-44

Empty Nesters/When the Kids Are Gone

I guess I wasn’t prepared for the kids being gone. It’s like part of my identity went with them. I feel like it’s halftime and a whole new strategy needs to be made for the second half of life.

  1. Tough Times
    Naomi: a bitter empty nester ~ Ruth 1:1-22
  2. New Perspective
    Naomi gets a grandson ~ Ruth 4:1-22
  3. Looking Ahead
    Parable of the rich fool ~ Luke 12:13-21
  4. Hearing God
    The call of Abram ~ Genesis 11:27-12:9
  5. Investing Yourself
    Moses and the burning bush ~ Exodus 3:1-22
  6. Taking Risks
    Peter steps out of the boat ~ Matthew 14:22-33

Caregivers

I want to help any way I can, but their constant demands are so draining on me. How can I care for others without burning out myself?

  1. Taking a Break
    Manna and the Sabbath ~ Exodus 16:1-35
  2. Dealing with Demands
    Moses gets weary ~ Exodus 17:1-16
  3. Sharing the Load
    Moses decides to delegate ~ Exodus 18:1-27
  4. Setting Limits
    Mary chooses what’s better ~ Luke 10:38-42
  5. Surviving the Stress
    Jesus withdraws to pray ~ Mark 1:29-39
  6. Heeding the Call
    The sheep and the goats ~ Matthew 25:31-46

Living with Pain

I feel like I’m dragging a ball and chain around with me. How can I deal each day with the pain I’m in, plus the guilt I feel for being such a burden to others?

  1. Where is God When I Hurt?
    The pool paralytic ~ John 5:1-15
  2. Pain and Blame
    Why was he born blind? ~ John 9:1-34
  3. Pain and Shame
    Jesus heals an ‘unclean’ woman ~ Mark 5:24-34
  4. Pain and Comfort
    Four friends who cared ~ Mark 2:1-12
  5. Pain and Perspective
    The suffering of Job ~ Job 2:1-10
  6. Pain and Persistence
    Parable of the persistent widow ~ Luke 18:1-8

Financial Stress

My house isn’t paid for. And I’ve got all these other loans to pay off. And now these credit card bills. How did I get myself into this mess? I could ask a relative for a loan, but I would rather die than admit I’ve blown it. What do I do?

  1. Hard Times
    Hitting Bottom ~ Luke 15:11-32
  2. Facing the Stress
    Jesus faces pressure ~ Luke 4:14-30
  3. Taking Responsibility
    Parable of the talents ~ Matthew 25:14-30
  4. Tough Decisions
    Parable of the shrewd manager ~ Luke 16:1-15
  5. Mutual Aid
    Believers share their possessions ~ Acts 4:32-37
  6. In God We Trust
    The widow’s oil ~ 2 Kings 4:1-7

Self-Esteem

No matter what others do to show their love for me, I just can’t seem to accept it. People say that since God created me I’m special. I want to believe that, but I’m having a hard time feeling it.

  1. By Design
    Created in his image ~ Genesis 1:1-2:3
  2. Accepted by God
    Jesus and Zacchaeus ~ Luke 19:-10
  3. Chosen by God
    David chosen for his ‘heart’ ~ 1 Samuel 16:1-13
  4. Healthy Humility
    A Pharisee and a tax collector ~ Luke 18:9-14
  5. Gifted and Endowed
    God empowers Moses ~ Exodus 4:1-17
  6. Making a Contribution
    The widow’s offering ~ Mark 12:41-44

Entrepreneurs

I was excited to start my own business, but now I’m not sure. Rather than working when I want to, I’m working all the time. It’s a huge investment. Will my dream become a nightmare?

  1. Following My Dream
    Jacob leaves Laban ~ Genesis 31:1-21
  2. Risking My Reputation
    Laban pursues Jacob ~ Genesis 31:22-55
  3. Paying the Price
    Jacob’s financial & emotional toll ~ Genesis 32:1-21
  4. Forfeiting My Stability
    Jacob wrestles with God ~ Genesis 32:22-32
  5. Putting in My Time
    Jacob’s slow going ~ Genesis 33:1-20
  6. Measuring My Success
    Jacob returns to Bethel ~ Genesis 35:1-15

Bored and Burned Out

My job is like a broken record. The same thing over and over. By 10 a.m. I’m already tired. By noon, I’m ready to go home. Is it me… or my work? Maybe I need an attitude adjustment.

  1. Why Work?
    A bedridden paralytic ~ John 5:1-15
  2. Why Am I Here?
    Philip does productive networking ~ Acts 8:26-40
  3. Where Am I Heading?
    Abram’s call to move out ~ Genesis 11:27-12:9
  4. How Can God Use Me?
    Peter’s windfall ~ Luke 5:1-11
  5. How’s My Attitude
    Trouble on the horizon ~ Jonah 1:1-17
  6. To Stay or to Go?
    Gideon seeks God’s guidance ~ Judges 6:1-40

Finding the Right Job

For years I felt like I was in over my head. Then I didn’t even have a job for a while. And now I’m overqualified and unfulfilled! Will I ever be content?

  1. Overqualified
    Jesus takes a job beneath him ~ John 13:1-17
  2. Over My Head
    Moses asked to do too much ~ Exodus 18:1-27
  3. Laid Off
    Joseph loses his job ~ Genesis 37:12-36
  4. Unemployed
    Moses called in the desert ~ Exodus 3:1-22
  5. Unfulfilled
    Bored as a brickmaker ~ Exodus 5:1-21
  6. Finding My Passion
    Paul’s passion revealed ~ Acts 16:1-32

Business Ethics

It sounds easy to succeed in the business world, but how many ‘shortcuts’ am I prepared to make? Is it really possible to do the right thing in regards to other people and still get ahead?

  1. Life of Integrity
    Job loses it all ~ Job 1:1-22
  2. Lack of Integrity
    Ananias and Sapphira ~Acts 5:1-11
  3. Values of Integrity
    Rich fools faces regret ~ Luke 12:13-21
  4. Integrity and Conscience
    Parable of the shrewd manager ~ Luke 16:1-15
  5. Integrity and Authority
    Paying taxes to Caesar ~ Mark 12:13-17
  6. Rewards of Integrity
    Job receives just reward ~ Job 42:7-17

Too Much Stress

The stress I’m under every day is incredible. Deadlines, projects, personnel — plus home and family. If I don’t find a way to release some of this pressure, I’m gonna crack!

  1. Stress From My Work
    Calm for the storm ~ Mark 4:35-41
  2. Stress on the Job
    Sexual harassment ~ Genesis 39:1-23
  3. Stress in a Secular World
    Abraham pleads for Sodom ~ Genesis 18:16-33
  4. Stress From a Changing World
    Tower of Babel ~ Genesis 11:1-9
  5. Balancing Work and Rest
    Jesus feeds 5000 ~ Mark 6:30-44
  6. Keeping Stress Under Control
    Moses gets a grip ~ Exodus 17:1-16

Relationships at Work

I don’t know which is worse — working under someone or supervising others. I’ve done both and either way I’ve been frustrated. How can I get along with the people I work with?

  1. Life with My Co-workers
    Who is greatest? ~ Mark 10:35-45
  2. Life with My Boss
    David spares Saul ~ 1 Samuel 24:1-22
  3. Life as a Supervisor
    Boaz lets Ruth glean ~ Ruth 2:1-23
  4. Life with my Competitors
    Elisha deals in strength & grace ~ 2 Kings 6:8-23
  5. Letting God Be The Boss
    Gideon takes orders from God ~ Judges 7:1-25
  6. Letting the Spirit Guide Me
    Paul follows the Lord’s lead ~ Acts 18:5-17

Surviving Day to Day

I am stressed out. I have to do everything! Beg people for a ride. Make a C average in school just to stay on the team. Everybody’s on my back. And my best friend didn’t call tonight. Life stinks.

  1. Stressed Out
    Facing storms ~ Mark 4:35-41
  2. Daily Grind
    Slaving away in Egypt ~ Exodus 5:1-21
  3. Making the Grade
    Parable of the talents ~ Matthew 25:14-30
  4. Feeling Alone
    Jesus in Gethsemane ~ Mark 14:32-42
  5. Dealing with Disappointment
    Jesus is betrayed and arrested ~ Matthew 26:47-56
  6. Facing Failure
    Peter disowns Jesus ~ Luke 22:54-62