"The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
Ministry of John the Baptist
3 In those days John the Baptist appeared in the desert of Judea announcing, 2 “ Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven! ” 3 He was the one of whom Isaiah the prophet spoke when he said:
4 John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey.
5 People from Jerusalem, throughout Judea, and all around the Jordan River came to him. 6 As they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. 7 Many Pharisees and Sadducees came to be baptized by John. He said to them, “ You children of snakes! Who warned you to escape from the angry judgment that is coming soon? 8 Produce fruit that shows you have changed your hearts and lives. 9 And don’t even think about saying to yourselves, Abraham is our father. I tell you that God is able to raise up Abraham’s children from these stones. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be chopped down and tossed into the fire. 11 I baptize with water those of you who have changed your hearts and lives. The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out. ”
What do you do when a parishioner tells you that his or her marriage is in trouble? What should you say? What resources can you turn to? In this helpful book for clergy, Charles Rassieur provides some clear and practical answers. Pastors will find in this book a plan for short-term counseling with married couples that gives the pastor a quick plan to put in place at the first signs of marital trouble. Because the plan for short-term counseling is simple, straightforward, and focused, it allows both the pastor and the married couple to concentrate on the problems with confidence. Rassieur presents a detailed outline for short-term counseling that focuses on the issues that are at the core of most troubled marriages, so that within just a few sessions the pastor will be ready to recommend next steps, which may include a longer-term plan for counseling. The book contains step-by-step plans for short-term counseling, copies of a covenant for pastoral marriage counseling, and questionnaires for use in analyzing marital situations.