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Already and Not Yet

The Already and the Not Yet

By:  Lianne Johnson, LPC

I was out walking one day when I saw this tree.  I was immediately struck by how the tree appeared to be both alive and flourishing, as well as dead.  Half alive and half dead.  Can you see it?  The left side of the tree is green, while the right side is dark and displaying what I am calling deadness.

“Wow,” I thought to myself, “this is how I feel.  Regularly.”

As you can see, the caption I wrote under the picture is – The Already and the Not Yet.  For those of you who are Christians reading this, you may be familiar with this phrase.  The Already:  We are made alive by Christ’s death (His act to save us from ourselves), which gives us our aliveness, our life.  The Not Yet:  We live in a broken world where we see and experience suffering. We live in the “in between time” from Christ’s death on the cross and until his return when everything will be made right.

This tree is displaying our internal reality as well.  We are alive in Christ, yet daily we live and struggle with the pain and toil of our day.

It was good for me to see this tree.  It was good for my heart and mind to be reminded that Christ has made me ALIVE.  It was good for me to remember that while the “dead” part (the pain and heartache of today) will remain a part of my daily reality until Christ returns, I am also ALIVE.  It was good for me to remember that Christ has conquered death.

Merry Christmas? Or just Christmas?

By: Katy Martin, LPC
As a parent you suddenly realize you have this responsibility of teaching your kid(s) things.  Important things.  Things concerning faith, forgiveness, how to love/care for other people, manners, etc.  These little people who have been entrusted to us are looking for guidance as they grow and learn.  Yikes.
This time of year is no different: the holidays.  For most, it’s probably the busiest, craziest time of year.  We get to decide to prepare for Santa, celebrate Jesus’ birth, or both.  We decorate, go to parties, sit on Santa’s lap, bake Jesus a birthday cake, look at Christmas lights, and visit with family.  (Just to name a few things.)
These decisions are based on our own convictions and desires.  But where do they come from?  Have you stopped to really think about that?  How does faith, family, and your experience affect how you approach this time of year?  
Are the holidays a letdown to you?  Or are they everything you want them to be?
As we approach this influential time with our kids, we also have the opportunity to engage in the traditions we deem important and create the memories we desire for ourselves.  How can you truly make this a MERRY Christmas, and not just Christmas? 

Our Missional Vision

All too often it seems that a counseling center will exist as its own entity.  Avenues Counseling desires to partner with churches and para-church organizations throughout the St. Louis area to help encourage and support them as they carry out their vision.

Check out our website for more information about this distinctive way Avenues is impacting the community.