RickThomas.net 
29Jul
You can rest if you work at it. Do you work to rest NS

You can rest if you work at it. Do you work to rest?

Key Takeaway - To live a life that is honoring to God requires a person to rest well. To rest well is to live well. Rest is as necessary as work if you want a satisfied life. It is so important, that our work will be diminished without a sound theology and practice of rest. Rest is not something that is separate from doing, doing, doing. It is an integral part of what it means to work well. You cannot work well if you do not rest well and you cannot rest well if you do not work well. If Read
29Jul
The most effective kind of parenting flows out of good marriages NS

The most effective kind of parenting flows out of good marriages

Every counselor knows when a parent brings a rebellious teenager in for counseling, there will be a need at some point in the process to talk about the condition of the parent's marriage. From a practical wisdom perspective, the most effective kind of parenting a child can receive comes from marriages that are biblically sound and God-centered. The Bible is not a parenting book, which is why it gives so little parenting advice. It is a relationship book. Rather than providing us with parenting tips, it gives us a plethora of information about how to have great relationships within any Read
28Jul
Who controls your life and what have you become NS

Who controls your life and what have you become?

Two bold and sobering truths: (1) Everyone is going to hell and (2) the LORD has setup the agency of humankind to let the whole world know there is another option.[ref]This is an application of the sermon preached at our church by Jim Thompson on 07.27.14. Click here to find and listen to the sermon preached on that date.[/ref] Do you believe in the exclusivity (Jesus is the only way to heaven) of the Christian message (John 14:6)? If you do, then how are you cooperating with the LORD in letting the world know about this option (Romans 10:13-14)? Read
26Jul
Radical marriage conflict resolution tip NS

Radical marriage conflict resolution tip

A few years ago I was counseling a couple who were angry with each other. Imagine that. There was a low-grade anger running underneath the surface of their lives that would spike every few weeks into full-blown arguments. During our counseling I asked the wife what was wrong with the marriage. Without hesitation or skipping beat, she gave me a long, clear, and detailed list of all the things that were wrong with her husband. Amazing. There was no question about it: he was a failure. Because I like to play fair, I then turned to the husband and asked Read
25Jul
Ten questions to examine the real you NS

Ten questions to examine the real you

Most people come to counseling looking for behavioral change. There are things that are wrong in their personal or relational lives and they would like to see those things changed. The counselor and the counselee are in agreement--they both hope to see effectual, measurable, and observable change in the person's life. Though their end goal may be similar, their understanding and methods for accomplishing the end result are almost always different. It is rare for a counselee to see the importance of working deeper than the surface of their lives. Their desire, which is a normal one, is to remove the heat (disappointment, Read
24Jul
Why it is easier to lie than to tell the truth NS

Why it is easier to lie than to tell the truth

Most Christians are Christianized enough to not tell big bold lies. We know better. It is morally wrong to not tell the truth. To willfully alter the truth to something that is not the truth should not be part of any Christian's game. The difference between truth-telling and lying is easy to discern. If the sky is blue, we say the sky is blue. Only a fool would try to convince a person the sky is brown, when it is not. Then one may ask, "Should we rightfully assume Christians do not lie?" No, not at all. Every Christian is Read
23Jul
Watching my daughter die NS

Watching my daughter die

For the past two years, my family has been pursuing an adoption. In December of 2013, we finally brought home our first China Doll, Kya. My husband (Carlton) and I knew adoption would be tough, but we were not prepared for the roller coaster ride God had planned for us.[ref]You can read more of our adoption story by clicking Prayers4Kya.[/ref] The LORD saw fit to only let us have Kya in our lives for less than six months, where most of the time was spent in the hospital. What follows are a few thoughts from a grieving mother as I watched Read
23Jul
Four reasons to praise God for your imperfections NS

Four reasons to praise God for your imperfections

Statistically speaking... I will always labor under a predetermined ceiling of intelligence. We are all going to become old if we live long enough. None of us will be sinlessly perfected in this life. Everyone is a hypocrite to some degree. Most people will not make it to heaven. Jesus died on a cross. Our beloved Paul could not rid himself of his thorn in the flesh. If you drop your cone of ice cream, it may land upside down. My goal is not to rain on anyone’s parade, but to try to gain a better perspective about how we live in God's world, while Read
21Jul
If your friend is not changing, consider this NS

If your friend is not changing, consider this

Ryan was living in a secret sin. Ryan is a Christian. Ryan did not tell anyone about his secret sin for many months and the longer he held on to his sin, the more frustrated, distant, and hardened he became. Eventually he was found out, which was a mercy from the LORD because Ryan had no intentions of telling anyone about what he was doing. He is a modern day David, in the sense of keeping sins secret. For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was Read
20Jul
Let’s free associate What kind of person do you not like NS

Let’s free associate: What kind of person do you not like?

Roll through the Rolodex in your mind, identifying the kind of person or people you do not like? Who is the hardest kind of person for you to love? Who disappoints you most often?[ref]These are my sermon notes preached from my church. Click on 07.20.14 to find and listen to the sermon.[/ref] Poor people Gay people Black people Other non-white people Rich people Democrats Non-Christians People who sin differently from you Dumb people Arrogant people Overweight people God (yes, Him too)   What if we make our list more personal? What about your spouse? Your child? A parent? How Read
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