Far Above Rubies

hyde-parkFaith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny, Iowa was the site of two of the greatest accomplishments of my youth. The first was getting the powers that be at FBBC to award me a degree without them realizing how much I still I still had to learn. My second, and greatest accomplishment, was convincing the most beautiful and talented woman on campus to marry me!

This Sunday, May 30, Sandy and I will have been married 35 years and we will be celebrating on a week long cruise. Today, I want to exercise my editorial prerogatives and preempt Jay’s daily posting so I can use this space to “rise up and call her blessed.” I don’t believe I have ever conducted a marriage counseling session when, after dismissing the couple, I did not give thanks to God for His goodness in giving Sandy to me. If I ever publish a study bible I would place a picture of her in the margin next to Proverbs 31.

Happy Anniversary, Babe. I love you!

Nouthetic Counseling . . . in Iran!

Shawn Safavi, a good friend of ours who lived in the Seattle area, is laboring to translate the basic books of Nouthetic counseling into Farsi, the language of Persia (Iran). The work is slow as he is only able to work in his spare time after work. If you have a burden for reaching the people of Iran with solid biblical literature and would like to underwrite this project please contact Shawn at his website: 

http://www.farsinet.com/moshavereh_masihi/

You should check it out just to see what Jay’s books look like in Farsi!

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Interesting Results

Well, this has been both a profitable exercise and a failed experiment. First, the survey results have been most instructive and we are grateful to everyone who has taken the time to respond. We will be leaving the survey up throughout the weekend so if you have not yet responded please help us out and do so. I will share some of the results next week.

Click here to take survey

The failed experiment has been opening up “comments.” You will note that we have not posted any as it seems leaving the door open has let the bugs in. I did not know spam bots were out there searching for blogs. So far I have learned where I can obtain pharmaceuticals which will make me smart, energetic, lose weight, grow hair, more virile, less sad, and even smell better. I have learned that I have won three different Irish lotteries and that there are at least seven different widows of Nigerian bankers who want to give me money. Then, of course, there are all those who have an ax to grind with Dr. Adams about psychology and their various “mental illnesses.”

So, we will leave the comments turned off and continue to provide a “feedback” link at the end of each posting. We will receive your e-mails that way without the hassle of plowing through all the spam.

Finally, it seems I had misunderstood where Jay was headed this week. I received the folllowing from him earlier today:

Cabin in the north woods?  Only wish it were so!

I’m stuck in a motel-type room studying the book of Zechariah all day long in Gatlinburg TN while Betty Jane works away for three days in painting classes. The chairs afford little better sitting comfort than an old, hard, board.  The food is abysmal (sausage biscuits are the highlight!) and there isn’t even a fridge in the room.

Don’t you believe all you read. Donn sure heard me wrongly.

But the study is coming well – in spite of everything.  And the preliminary painting I’ve seen looks good.

So,

It’s all worthwhile.

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Take Our Survey

Jay and Betty Jane are taking a brief mountain cabin vacation where he will be out of internet range for a few days. While he is away refreshing his blogging pen I thought I would take the opportunity to do some data gathering and try to get a better picture of who exactly our audience is. Would you help us by investing a few minutes in our brief, ten-question survey? We will leave this page and the survey link up through the weekend.

Click here to take survey

I am also going to turn on the “comments” feature through the weekend and invite you to leave your comments about our blog, the Institute for Nouthetic Studies, and about Dr. Adams.

The Big Umbrella

UmbrellaCoverSample22For many years I have been scouring eBay and other used book sites for copies of The Big Umbrella, marking them up exponentially from the price I paid, and reselling them to grateful students of biblical counseling. With this republication my little cottage industry comes to an end but my loss is great gain for biblical counselors everywhere. When my friend, Joe Bianchi at Calvary Press, asked me which of Dr. Adams’ books would be most valuable to bring back into print this volume was clearly the first choice.

The Big Umbrella was the second book Dr. Adams published dealing with biblical counseling. It appeared less than two years after Competent to Counsel and before his other foundational books The Christian Counselor’s Manual, More Than Redemption (later titled Theology of Counseling), and How to Help People Change. The book consists of lectures Dr. Adams gave in various situations expanding upon and defending his first book. While these lectures were delivered in a different context than ours today, as you read these words you will find they are still fresh and speak pointedly to our situation almost 40 years later. Good exposition of the Scripture has no expiration date.

From the beginning we have required our students at the Institute for Nouthetic Studies to read the first section of this book as a part of our first introductory course. That chapter alone is worth far more than the price you will pay for this entire volume. You Are Your Brother’s Counselor should be required reading of anyone holding office in a local church. I believe anyone who is involved in biblical counseling will find this book, written almost 40 years ago, still to be one of the most helpful volumes he has read since, well, Competent to Counsel. And now you don’t have to pay my confiscatory prices to do so!

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You can order your copy directly from Calvary Press at their website here.

BARP

I have a confession to make. After growing up in a Baptist Church, graduating from a Baptist Bible College and a Baptist Theological Seminary, pastoring a Baptist church in Florida and Iowa, I am now a member of a Presbyterian church. How did it happen? How do I assuage the anguish of soul my mother experiences? What do I tell my Baptist friends who are burdened for me?

Let me explain how I became a Presbyterian and then allow me to draw some lessons from my life as a BARP (which I only recently learned is my official designation as a Baptist in an Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church). When we moved to Greenville we were surprised to find that while there is a Baptist Church on every corner they fell into several distinct categories—Southern Baptist, Pro-Bob Jones University Fundamentalist, and anti-Bob Jones University Fundamentalist. Without getting into an explanation of the nuances of each, all three categories had the following in common—they were Arminian in theology, mystical, and refused to do church discipline, all of which vexed my righteous soul.

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“This Is the Worst Trip, I’ve Ever Been On”

That was the conclusion of the Beach Boys at the end of their voyage on the Sloop John B, and my conclusion as well after a long anticipated family cruise. Halfway through our Disney cruise my son, Paul, and I both came down with the flu! Paul’s case was so bad they had to pump IV fluids into him. We both were confined to our stateroom, by order of the captain, lest we infected other passengers. I will spare you the gruesome details and simply report that it has been many years since the last time I was this sick.

Happily, we are back on dry land and Paul and I are both recovered. Tomorrow Jay leaves for his cruise during which he will celebrate his 81st birthday (January 30). If you would like to send birthday greetings we have set up a temporary mailbox for you to do so at  Jay@nouthetic.org. Please pray for Jay and Betty Jane as they travel and Jay as he teaches.

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Open House at the Institute for Nouthetic Studies

If you are planning to travel to attend the NANC conference next week, or if you live here in the upstate of South Carolina, plan to join us this Sunday afternoon from 12:30 to 3:00 for an open house and buffet lunch at our offices. Feel free to come and go whenever it is convenient for you. We want you to see the wonderful office space God has given us and give you an opportunity to enjoy a leisurely lunch and good fellowship with others who share your burden for the ministry of the Word of God in the counseling room.

Our offices are located in what was once the headquarters of Oliver B Greene’s radio and evangelistic ministry. The weather is supposed to be perfect for eating and fellowship on the patio by the pool (that’s right, I said “pool”). For more information including directions and a map follow this link to our website.

It would help us plan if you would e-mail us at the link below and let us know you are coming. Still, if you find you are able to join us and have not let us know please come anyway. I am assured by those who are planning the meal that there will be far more food prepared than we will be able to consume. It would be a joy for us to greet you this Sunday after church.

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The NANC Annual Conference is Next Week

I apologize if you have surfed by expecting to read another thoughtful and pithy blog entry by Dr. Adams. Today I am claiming editorial privilege so I can urge you to attend next week’s NANC conference here in the upstate of South Carolina. You can get complete information about the conference at the NANC website by following this link.

I want to highlight two important sessions that will be held on Tuesday, October 6. At the 9:00 a.m. general session Dr. Adams will be honored for his lifetime of ministry and faithfulness. Jay is now 80 years old and is retiring from NANC’s board of directors. He anticipates that this will be the last conference he will be able to attend. Later, at the 1:15 p.m. hour Jay will be delivering a farewell address which he has entitled, appropriately, Competent to Counsel. This may well be your last opportunity to hear Dr. Adams teach unless you live here in South Carolina and are able to sit in on a class he teaches in his local church. Plan to join us. A large crowd in the middle of the afternoon would be a great encouragement to him.

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