Turning from a Reduced Repentance
by Brent Osterberg on October 20th, 2020
It can be argued that repentance is not a popular subject to bring up these days, even in the church. And your response to such a statement may be, “Yeah, and it wouldn’t take much to make that case either.” Assuming that this is true, how should this neglect be addressed? More sermons on repentance? A Sunday school series, perhaps? Those are good answers, but only if the repentance that is taught...  Read More
Your Goal in Suffering
by Brent Osterberg on July 15th, 2020
I have never met someone who enjoys trials. Yes, many believers enjoy the spiritual maturity and deeper relationship with God that come as a result of trials, but I have not met one that enjoys the trial itself. When trial strikes, we all desire escape to one degree or another. This can be seen in the way that many of us pray in trials. In desperation we plead with God to make it all stop with lit...  Read More
Temptation Begins Earlier than You Think
by Brent Osterberg on July 15th, 2020
It is no secret that believing lies leads us into sin.  We see this as far back as Genesis 3 when Eve believed the lies of the serpent and ate the fruit of the forbidden tree (vv. 1-6).  But perhaps it is not as obvious that we also believe lies as we seek to repent of the same sins that were influenced by lies in the first place.  This is, of course, not true repentance, but rather, a false repen...  Read More
Redeeming the Time in the Days of the Coronavirus
by Brent Osterberg on July 14th, 2020
Only a matter of days earlier, life was remarkably different than it is now.  It may be that we are living in a time that has not seen its equal in our country for a hundred years.  Many of us are working from home, with kids out of school, and it seems like each time we check the news something else has been closed or canceled to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  We are trying to practice social d...  Read More
The Importance of the Worship Service for Biblical Counseling
by Brent Osterberg on July 14th, 2020
In our day and age when we have access to sermons galore on demand and immediate contact with friends through our devices, the importance of commitment to the church worship service may be a hard sell for some people. However, there are solid reasons why every believer should count this as one of the highest priorities in life, and for every biblical counselor, why this should be a staple homework...  Read More
The Benefit of Biography in Biblical Counseling
by Brent Osterberg on July 14th, 2020
No doubt, there are many people who read biographies out of curiosity. With the release of a biography of some prominent historical figure, there are those who pick up the book off Amazon because they are fascinated by the individual and they want to know more. Why was this person the way he was? What made him tick? Why did his life end so tragically?There is nothing wrong with such curiosity, but...  Read More
Religious OCD: Don't Trust Yourself
by Brent Osterberg on July 14th, 2020
A couple of years ago, my second son was learning to ride his bike without training wheels. As with many children, he was quite anxious about the prospect of losing his balance and crashing. With each new try, I would hold the back of his bike seat until he got going fast enough and then I would let go. A tendency of his when I let go was to stop pedaling. When he felt himself losing balance, this...  Read More
Religious OCD and Morbid Introspection
by Brent Osterberg on July 14th, 2020
Review of Religious OCD Post 1In a previous post, I labeled Scrupulosity or Religious OCD as being characterized by obsessions related to issues that are specifically moral or spiritual in nature. In contrast to obsessions centered around cleanliness and orderliness, the person struggling with Religious OCD battles obsessions centered around moral purity and a persistently-plagued conscience. The ...  Read More
The Truth About OCD
by Brent Osterberg on July 14th, 2020
OCD: More than just repeated hand-washingWhat do you think of when you think of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)? In contrast to cleanliness, health, or order, there are people who obsess over issues that are specifically moral or spiritual in nature, like obsessing over whether something they are doing is sinful or whether they will commit a sin that they are particularly disturbed by. This ki...  Read More
Comfort: Don't Keep it to Yourself
by Brent Osterberg on July 14th, 2020
In our suffering, we can often respond with much self-focus. If you’re like me when you get sick, you find it challenging to think about much else beyond, “Wow…I feel crummy and I don’t want to feel this way anymore.”  When life hurts, you have likely asked one or more of these questions: “Why?” “Why me?” “When will it all stop?” “What do I have to do to get out of these circumstances?” “Why does ...  Read More
The Threat of Reading the Bible with a "Fix-it" Mentality
by Brent Osterberg on July 14th, 2020
Whether you are someone struggling with trials and/or sins, or you are a counselor helping a person who is struggling with trials and/or sins, you must be careful not to read the Bible with a “fix-it” mentality.  What I mean is that you must be cautious of reading God’s Word in such a way that fixing a problem becomes your main goal for reading. Certainly, the truth of the Word is our lifeline in ...  Read More
Keeping Your Brothers and Sisters from Crisis
by Brent Osterberg on July 14th, 2020
I have a great passion for the ministry of biblical counseling.  The training I have received through ACBC (The Association of Certified Biblical Counselors) has been invaluable to my ministry as a pastor, and seeing the Lord transform lives through His Word in the counseling room has been one of the true highlights of observing God in His church.  I often recommend our annual biblical counseling ...  Read More