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    May God continue to extend his compassion through your hands, his truth through your voice and his love through your heart. We thank God for Veritas Counseling and for your passion to help people build intimate relationships with God.

    From A Veritas Client

    Adultery of the Heart

    By Patrick Doyle, Founder of Veritas Counseling

    Adultery is the byproduct of someone being completely self-consumed. No one ever gets into a situation of adultery instantaneously. It happens gradually as we harden our heart toward God until we reach the point of breaking our marriage vow. God said to Moses, “Okay. I am going to allow this divorce because of the hardness of their hearts.” The best antidote and prevention for adultery is intimacy with God. If we remain intimate with God, conviction will reign.

    Adultery sneaks up on us. It is a process we rationalize a little at a time. It might look something like this: I am hanging out with a person. I rub shoulders with them and I think, “Oh, that probably was not right, but it didn’t hurt anything.” And then two weeks later I see them again and I give them a hug, maybe just a second too long and I think, “Well it didn’t hurt anything. There wasn’t anything wrong. I just hugged her. It is no big deal.” So slowly, we build a wall of denial, one brick at a time. Then all of the sudden we have the required hardness to take the next step. It is a rarity where somebody is in love with their spouse today and tomorrow having an affair. More often it’s people who never dreamed they would ever be able to do such a thing, church leaders and lay people alike who once said, “Oh, I could never do that.” But then over time their hearts harden and they find themselves sitting in my office saying, “I can’t believe I did it.”

    Read the entire article by Patrick Doyle here.

    Big Month for Mars

    December is a big month for viewing Mars. It is the bright, fiery “star” shining with a steady glow in the east during evening. Look for Mars in a rich sky area near Orion, according to the website of McDonald Observatory near Fort Davis, Texas. It helps to compare the color of Mars with that of the red giants Betelgeuse to its right and Aldebaran high to its upper right. Much later in the evening, this panoply climbs very high in the southeast and Saturn rises in the east below Regulus. The planets are lovely to behold. But they point to One who is more beautiful, glorious and satisfying - the One who spoke the universe into existence and sustains it with his power. When we look at the stars we echo Paul’s doxology: “(Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:15-17). To read the whole chapter, click here. To watch a movie about tonight’s sky, click here.

    Myths of Marriage

    By Ron Kirkegaard, MS, LMFT

    We all have ideas in our mind about what a perfect marriage should look like. But is our thinking about marriage correct? No, says author Michael McManus, founder of Marriage Savers, an organization dedicated to the preservation of marriages and conversely the reduction of the divorce rate. He offers several myths about marriage:
    1. The purpose of marriage is our personal happiness.
    2. The goal of married life is to get my mate to submit to my way of thinking.
    3. Love is what holds a marriage together.

    Read the entire article by Ron Kirkegaard here.

    Battle of the Sexes

    By Ron Kirkegaard, MS, LMFT

    I know there are indeed differences between men and women other than the obvious physiological ones. I also have to admit that I am having trouble coming up with hard, fast characteristics that are applicable to all men or all women. In my opinion, it would be far better to help men and women understand what healthy relationships look like, and how their different personality types can complement one another in a marriage relationship rather than solidifying the “battle lines” that already exist! What do healthy relationships look like and how do we let our differences complement one another and promote unity rather than division in the context of a marriage relationship?

    Read the entire article by Ron Kirkegaard here.

    Communication in Marriage

    By Patrick Doyle, Founder of Veritas Counseling

    Often in marriage, people don’t know how to communicate. You don’t get a course in it at school. Unless your parents were good at it, they taught you bad habits and so you come to this marriage with all of these things behind you. It’s easy to build mountains of distance between you and your spouse and you can’t seem to get past it. A lot of times - I don’t think it is intentional - but couples keep ramming into the wall. They think they are incapable or maybe they think their spouse is brain-damaged! They don’t see any hope that things will ever change. But there is hope.

    Read the entire article by Patrick Doyle here.

    Is There A Justifiable Lie?

    Were the midwives justified in lying to the Egyptians to protect the Hebrew babies from slaughter? Was Robin Hood justified in lying to the oppressive French to help feed his starving British countrymen? Was it right for Rahab to lie to protect God’s spies from the people of Jericho? Is it okay for a spy to lie to guard his country from foreign invaders? Is there a justifiable lie? We must look at the ethical principal, said author and teacher R.C. Sproul. “We’re always called to tell the truth when justice commands it,” Sproul said. What is right is defined by what is just. Give justice to whom justice is due. If a killer asks a mother, “Are you hiding your children in the basement?” she should say no because the killer doesn’t deserve justice. In the case of the midwives, they feared God and God dealt well with them; God is pleased and blessed them with families. But this is not an unbridled license to falsehood. As David said, “You delight in truth in the inward being.” Psalm 51:6 Read another example of a mother who lied to protect the life of her baby. I Kings 3:16-28. From R.C. Sproul’s Tape of the Month February 2006. Learn more from R.C. Sproul.

    Halloween or Reformation Day?

    Most Americans know October 31 as Halloween. But some of us celebrate October 31 as Reformation Day. Here is a Reformation Day Q&A with the Rev. Robert E. Smith of Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Learn about Reformation Day or more about Luther and Project Wittenberg.
    Q: Reformation Day is Wednesday, October 31. On this day in 1517 in the German town of Wittenberg, Martin Luther posted the 95 Theses on the Castle Church door. Was it because of his belief that salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone?
    A: I’m afraid not. Luther posted the 95 Theses because he thought salvation was by works! He thought that indulgences let people off the hook too easily and that people had to be truly sorry for their sins to earn forgiveness. In short, he out-Romed the pope! Under the pressure of controversy, Luther was to reexamine everything by the Scripture and soon rediscover the gospel and other precious truths. It didn’t hurt that at this specific time he was also lecturing on Romans.
    Q: In Luther, a 2003 movie that would be good to rent this week, Martin Luther stands before church authorities and proclaims, “Unless I am convinced by Scripture and by plain reason and not by popes and councils who have so often contradicted themselves, my conscience is captive to the word of God. To go against conscience is neither right nor safe. I cannot and I will not recant. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me.” Did he really say this?
    A: The statement in the second sentence is from much later, when Luther had already been excommunicated and was testifying at the Diet of Worms before the Emperor as to his faith. There is also a bit of doubt as to whether or not he said, “Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God, Amen.” Of course, we say at Concordia that even if he didn’t say it, he should have.

    Big Full Moon

    Step outside October 25-26 to see the biggest full moon of 2007. It’s no illusion. Some full moons are genuinely larger than others and Thursday night’s will be as much as 14% wider and 30% brighter than lesser full moons we’ve seen earlier this year. Check http://spaceweather.com for the reasons why. But wherever you find yourself and however busy you may be, walk out your front door and look up at the heavens declaring God’s glory. (Psalm 19.) We can say with David, “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8) Even if there is cloud covering this weekend, the moon will still be proclaiming God’s handiwork as Job described: “He covers the face of the full moon and spreads over it his clouds.” (Job 26) There are no rogue molecules in God’s universe, not even a cloud hiding the harvest moon from our view.