He Will Deliver Us: Christ-Centered Counsel After Combat

He Will Deliver Us: Christ-Centered Counsel After Combat

Veterans are more numerous than most any other portion of the population. Every congregation likely has one or many. Of the 23 veterans that take their lives daily, how many were in a pew on Sunday? How many pastors or members of their local church body knew the war that was being waged silently for the heart and soul of this veteran? How many families are falling apart because of the battle warriors are facing that only begins on American soil? If you talk to pastors, sit in seminary classes, counseling programs or other ministries being championed by the local church there is a gaping hole in the ministries of almost every one of these churches staring right at them and it is once wore dog tags, combat boots and kevlar. Veterans are in desperate need of the few thing churches have to offer that no doctor, government agency, therapist or fraternal organization can offer; The Gospel of Jesus Christ, the care of a local congregation and a pastor who knows that though they may have some tangible physical needs that can only addressed by medicine, they have the ability to minister The Word of God that is the only salve for the soul.

As a Marine, a veteran, and one who knows the power of The Gospel of Jesus Christ, I am writing He Will Deliver Us: Christ-Centered Counsel After Combat to shine light upon this urgent issue that must become a priority for local churches lest we turn a blind eye to some of the people and families that need the gift we have received the most.

My preliminary outline is below and a topical introduction and thesis is available here 

He Will Deliver Us: Christ – Centered Counsel After Combat

Foreword

Why Counsel After Combat?

                (Intro/Thesis with quantifiable statistics of veteran data and issues)

What Are Veterans Facing After Combat?

PTSD and Moral injury

Survivors Guilt

Fear and Anxiety

Depression and Loss of Purpose

Family Dynamic

The Human Brain, Physical Symptoms and Neurology

Christ-Centered Counsel after Combat

                Gospel Gap: A Review of the resources and treatments that do not offer healing to the heart

                Gospel Hope: Victory, Peace and Rest for the warrior’s soul

                From Depression to Desire – Training the Heart toward the Glory of God

                        Forgiveness by Faith – Understanding the Providence, Sovereignty and                                 Grace of God

                        The Resurrection Reality – The Person and Work of Jesus Christ offers a                             real sense of safety and comfort both physically and spiritually.

Christ-Centered Counseling for Combat Vets

A Note to Pastors

A Note to Congregations (will a believing combat veteran please stand up?)

A Note to Friends and Families

Afterward: He Will Deliver Us, An encouragement to my believing brothers in arms

Appendix

                Stereotypes, Military Culture and Things to avoid when counseling vets

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Five Encouragements for Everyday Work | from Desiring God

Five Encouragements for Everyday Work

by Joseph Scheumann at Desiring God

Most Christian ministry is not vocational.

Far and away, those not getting paid to do ministry are collectively doing much more on the frontlines for gospel advance than those getting a paycheck. According to Ephesians 4:12, the paid ministers aren’t supposed to do all the ministry themselves, but “to equip the saints for the work of ministry.”

The Church, in all her glory, is vastly more lawyers, administrative assistants, doctors, construction workers, and mechanical engineers than she is vocational pastors and paid missionaries.

So we do well to think carefully and Christianly about our everyday work. Here are five simple encouragements for the vast majority of Christians who labor vocationally outside the pastoral office.

1. Do your work well.

As creatures made in the image of God, we have been given the privilege to create in a manner that echoes God as creator. The common refrain in Genesis 1 is that what God has created is good. Although we do not create out of nothing, everything we do ought to be done well because we are made in the image of God, and he does all things well.

2. Work to provide for your family and those in your care.

Work pleases God when its results provide for the ones dependent on us. Paul writes in 1 Timothy 5:8 that “if anyone does not provide for his relatives, especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

Paul says that failure to provide for your family means that you have denied the faith. This means that there is an organic connection between the gospel and our work to provide for our family — and when we do not provide for our family, the link is severed.

3. Work because God uses human means to bless.

Work is important because God often uses the work of people to bless others. Gene Veith writes,

The ability to read God’s word is an inexpressibly precious blessing, but reading is an ability that did not spring fully formed in our young minds, it required the vocation of teachers. God protects us through the cop on the beat and the whole panoply of the legal system. He gives us beauty and meaning through artists. He lets us travel through the ministry of auto workers, mechanics, road crews, and airline employees. He keeps us clean through the work of garbage collectors, plumbers, sanitation workers, and sometimes undocumented aliens who clean our hotel rooms. He brings people to salvation through pastors and through anyone else who proclaims the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost. The fast-food worker, the inverter; the clerical assistant, the scientist; the accountant, the musician — they all have high callings, used by God to bless and serve His people and His creation. (God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life, 14–15)

4. Work knowing the results are finally up to God.

The lines of cause and effect are much blurrier than we can see. We often don’t know the long-term effect of our work. Martin Luther helpfully captures how faith affects the way we think about the work:

Work and let him [God] give the fruits thereof! Rule and let him prosper it! Battle, and let him give victory! Preach, and let him make hearts devout! Marry and let him give you children! Eat and drink, and let him give you health and strength. Then it will follow that, whatever we do, he will effect everything through us; and to him alone shall be the glory. (As quoted in Veith, God At Work, 152)

5. Work to give.

Paul writes in Ephesians 4:28, “Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.”

Paul not only endorses work, but commands it. And he commands it for a reason — so that we can gain money and other possessions in order to give to others in need. Working so that we can give is a way that we can love our neighbor and bring glory to God as we bear his name to the world.

Used With Permission. Originally posted at Desiring God.

 

Tim Keller on The Church, Faith, and Work

Quote

HT Justin Taylor

Tim Keller on the need for churches to equip believers to integrate faith and work:

Most American Christians have been taught to seal off their faith-beliefs from the way they work in their vocation. The gospel is seen as a means of finding individual peace and not as a ‘world-view’–a comprehensive interpretation of reality that affects all we do. But the gospel has a deep and vital impact on how we do art, business, government, media, and scholarship. Churches must be highly committed to support Christians’ engagement with culture, helping them work with excellence, distinctiveness, and accountability in their professions and in ‘secular work.’ Developing humane, yet creative and excellent business environments out of our understanding of the gospel can be part of the work of restoring creation in the power of the Spirit. Bringing Christian joy, hope, and truth to embodiment in the arts is also part of this work.

Christians, he argues, need at least the following from their churches:

First, theological education about how to ‘think Christianly’ about all of life, public and private, and about how to work with Christian distinctiveness. They need to know what cultural practices are ‘common grace’ and can be embraced, what practices are antithetical to the gospel and must be rejected, and what practices can be adapted/revised for use by believers.

Second, they need to be practically mentored, placed, and positioned in their vocations in the most advantageous way. They need cooperation with others in the field who can encourage, advise, and advocate for them. They need help to do their work with excellence and in a way that really helps others and strengthens social cohesiveness rather than weakening it.

Third, they need spiritual support for the ups and downs of their work and accountability for living and working with Christian integrity.

Click Here to Watch Videos by Timothy Keller on Faith and Work and for links to several good resources.