Blessed are the sorrowful?

Although the gospels never record the laughter of Jesus, they do record his anguish and tears ( Mt. 26:34-38; Jn. 10:35; Heb. 5:7-9). The prophet Isaiah identified the coming messiah as “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, who would bear our grief and carry our sorrows” (Isaiah 53).


Blessed Are Those Who Mourn (Beatitudes #2) by loswlAs quietness came over the crowd, with anticipation they awaited Jesus’ words. But who would have expected his first words to be a blessing on the poor in spirit? Like the opening of the Psalms, Jesus started with a declaration: “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!” (Matt. 5:3). Is Jesus serious? The poor in spirit are blessed? This is not what anyone would have expected!

As usual, Jesus spoke counter-cultural truth. He challenged the assumptions people held about what it means to be blessed. We think of the poor in spirit as broken, crushed and contrite — not blessed. They’re the ones who know they have nothing to commend themselves to God. They have no claim upon God beyond his mercy. They are bankrupt in spirit. 

Jesus draws his audience immediately to the grace of God. Heaven is reserved for those who know they don’t qualify. The blessed (those who have God’s…

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When counseling others…

Consider four keys to influence. Counsel the whole person. Follow seven guidelines


Care-Ministry-Logo-FOR-WEBMeaningful relationships will involve opportunities to encourage and counsel others. Consider some practical guidelines for being an effective friend when giving counsel to others.

1. Slow down and listen

  • Proverbs 18:13 – “If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.”
  • James 1:19 – “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak…”
  • Proverbs 18:17 – “The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.”
  • Proverbs 20:5 – “The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.”

2. Counsel the whole person (avoid the trap of being one-dimensional)

Three dimensions of life

  1. Physical beings with bodily needs
  2. Social beings with relationship needs
  3. Spiritual beings with spiritual needs

Three dimensions of personhood

  1. Intellect (mind, thoughts, imagination)
  2. Will (volition, decision-making)
  3. Emotions (affections, feelings)

3. Consider four keys to influence

  1. Develop a relationship of trust and respect
  2. Know…

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Out of the heart …. the mouth speaks

There are some very clear areas where our faith forbids and requires certain ways of speaking.


What kind of claim does Christ make on our speech? Should being a Christian affect the way you talk? How important are words? Do they matter to God? What does our way of speaking say about us?

Let me clarify that I am not concerned with ways of talking related to geography. When your with people from New Jersey or New York or my home town of Philadelphia, you can tell by their accent. The same is true regarding ethnicity. My wonderful Italian friends from South Philadelphia had a specific way of talking that distinguished them.  My English friends speak with a refinement unlike my friends from Jersey. I don’t believe that being a Christian requires uniformity of style and tone.

But there are some very clear areas where our faith forbids and requires certain ways of speaking.

Forbidden speech:

  1. Lying (Ephesians 4:25; I Peter 3:10; Psalm 34:13)
  2. Slander…

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Are you a wise and discerning person?

I was unaware that gaining wisdom required…


a931d-tears4“To be wise is to know reality, to discern it. A discerning person notices things, attends to things, picks up on things. He notices the difference between tolerance and forgiveness, pleasure and joy, sentimentality and compassion.”

“Discernment shows a kind of attentive respect for reality. The discerning person notices not only the differences between things, but also the connections between them.”

“The really discerning person, the one whose discernment marks genuine wisdom, does not merely inspect reality, or analyze it: the one who discerns also loves.”

“To discern realities at their deeper levels, we have to become engaged in them, to bring both empathy and care to what we know. Discernment of the hopes and fears of other persons, for example, depends on compassion for them: knowledge of these persons comes in to us only if our hearts go out to them” (Cornelius Planinga Jr., “Not The Way It’s Suppose…

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Have you been blessed?

41riFO7MGmL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Share in the blessing!

The 18 Year Factor
Box 118,
Millersville, Pa. 17551

I need a group of starters. Direct your giving to urgent matters of direct impact.

Will you be part?


Steve Cornell

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canstock16254897Will you join with me?

An urgently needed ministry!!

Please take a moment to understand my new direction.

Special ministry focus developed over the past 20 years

I became increasingly aware that more and more people were carrying unresolved issues from their childhood. I began to refer to those years as the 18 Year Factor.

The 18-Year Factor is an engaging way of pointing people to the first 18 years of life — the most formative and impressionable years of our lives.

As I continued to understand the lingering and damaging effects of childhood adversity, another study began to gain significant influence – ACE research (Adverse Childhood Experiences). This study offered groundbreaking insights – particularly regarding health issues stemming from childhood trauma. This study is now a required part of the preparation in education, medicine, and counseling. Most states in the USA are also committing themselves to be trauma-informed states regarding adverse childhood experiences.

Former President of the American Academy of Pediatrics stated that “Adverse childhood experiences are the single greatest unaddressed public health threat facing our nation today” (Dr. Robert Block, the).

Our 18-year factor forms a template for the way we think, how we feel, and how we act — especially in adult relationships. We all benefit from looking more closely at our upbringing — no matter what kind of home we experienced.

Christian leaders and counselors are often guilty of ignoring or naively overlooking issues regarding adverse childhood difficulties. Discipleship training in Christian living tended to be one-dimensional on the spiritual part of life. This deficiency seemed to entertain the mistaken notion that being a new creation in Christ involved God hitting a clear button regarding our past.

Secular approaches, on the other hand, seemed carelessly dismissive of the spiritual dimension of life. They tend to tip a hat toward spiritual expressions as if they were unnecessary unless one found them helpful. God made us physical, social, psychological, and spiritual beings – with three dimensions of personhood: emotion, intellect, and will. We must not disrespect any aspect when helping others.


After almost 20 years of speaking and counseling on the subject, I finally wrote my book “The 18-Year Factor – How our upbringing affects our lives & relationships” (available on Amazon).

My book consists of 13 chapters to fit a quarterly study. Each chapter concludes with discussion points and engages gripping real-life stories from my work. I wrote it with the hope that readers could not get through two pages without wanting to highlight or underline something helpful and insightful.

I wrote the 18-year factor by applying my years of experience to the latest findings in the field of psychology. I aim to reach the broadest possible audience and to encourage public school teachers, counselors, and social workers who are required to understand ACE research (Adverse Childhood Experiences).

At the end of my book, I focus on restoring the whole person, where I address the spiritual dimension of restoration and explain why I chose Christianity as the most realistic and plausible understanding of spirituality.

A story behind your story

Most people recall positive and negative experiences from their upbringing. You are now an exception to a new rule if you had an overall healthy 18-year factor. Yet, whatever the case, it remains beneficial to look more closely at the influences that shaped the way you see yourself and relate to others.

This benefit is especially real for those who are married or planning to marry. Marriage is one of the primary places where 18-year-factor issues emerge. Differences in upbringings are a familiar source of disagreements. We are wise to engage in conversations about these differences before conflicts arise. These conversations should be required parts of preparation for marriage.

The way we communicate, resolve conflict, process anger, and many other essential parts of life arise from influences during our 18-year Factor.

Exploring the 18-year Factor takes us on a journey back. This journey allows us to look closely at how the people, circumstances, and experiences of our past affect our lives and relationships.


I am available for speaking at conferences, training seminars, workshops, or churches.


I need a support team who will be the STARTERS of this exciting opportunity.

Steve Cornell, The 18 Year Factor (LLC)


The 18 Year Factor
Box 118,
Millersville, Pa. 17551

I need a group of starters.

Will you be part? Contact me at

If 100 starters help me @ $25.00 per month, this ministry can launch.

Thank you,

Steve Cornell.

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A great Word of advice

Some great advice we are wise to follow.

Before trying to sort things out in the lives of others and before making judgments about others, pray this prayer,

“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life” (Psalm 139:23-24).

This will protect us from the dangerous and deceptive sin of considering ourselves to be righteous and looking down on others. (See: Luke 18:9-14) 

Steve Cornell

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Why does it feel so hard to live for God?

We easily forget how dependent we are on the Lord and He must painfully remind us of our dependence.


Answering the "Why?" of lifeHow are you doing? Feeling exhausted and weak? Helpless? Maybe hopeless?

An encouraging truth 

You are in a good place for seeing a display of God’s power when you come to the end of yourself — when you don’t have the strength or resources to handle the challenges of life. And there is nothing unusual about being in such a place.

The apostle Paul had this experience

“We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead” (II Corinthians 1:8-9).

The lesson in the apostle’s near-death experience was to teach him to transfer trust…

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Are you the owner?

sun.earthI’m researching the subject of ownership in Scripture. I initially thought of the early church.

  •  “All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.” (Acts 2:44-45).
  • “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.” (Acts 4:32).

This subject might become more important in the days to come. Scripture has a lot to say about ownership.

Start with 3 boundaries for the subject

  1. “you were made from dust, and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:19).
  2. “we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.” ( I Timothy 6:7).
  3. “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;” (Job 1:21).

Mentioning boundaries, consider this instruction –

  • “When you arrive in the land the Lord your God is giving you as your special possession, you must never steal anyone’s land by moving the boundary markers your ancestors set up to mark their property.” (Deuteronomy 19:14).

So much to say on this subject!

Consider what Acts 5 contributes to the subject of ownership – What was the root cause to the problem?

“Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.

Then Peter said, ‘Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heartthat you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.’

When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.

About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, ‘Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?’ ‘Yes,’ she said, ‘that is the price.’

Peter said to her, ‘How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord?Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.’

At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.”

Is ownership an inate reality?

It doesn’t take long for children to become aware of ownership. Where does this come from and what does it tell us about ourselves (start a conversation about this).

Consider (on a somewhat humorous note) –

10 property laws of a toddler

  1. If I like it, it’s mine.
  2. If it’s in my hand, it’s mine.
  3. If I can take it from you, it’s mine.
  4. If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine.
  5. If it’s mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
  6. If I’m doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.
  7. If it looks just like mine, it’s mine.
  8. If I saw it first, it’s mine.
  9. If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically becomes mine.
  10. If it’s broken, it’s yours. (by Deb Lawrence)

More thoughts to come on ownership.

Steve Cornell

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Discouragement – a “dis” on courage

The word “courage” is part of the word “discourage.” It’s like the word dis-heartened (a “dis” on heart or a loss of heart).


Answering the "Why?" of lifeDiscouragement is a “dis” on courage!

Have you ever thought of it that way?

It’s a loss of courage, confidence or hope. Discouragement includes some degree of fear. 

The word “courage” is part of the word “discourage.” It’s like the word disheartened (a “dis” on heart or a loss of heart). 

Don’t let life “dis” on your courage or heart! 

Why do our words need prefixes and suffixes?

When we rebelled against God’s good plan for us, our existence required prefixes and suffixes to negate otherwise good words. Dis -courage, dis-obedience, dis -able, dis -agree, dis -advantage… Faith-less, hope-less, etc…

We must come to see sin as something that not only disobeys God’s will but also spoils the good and corrupts worthy virtues. Discouragement assaults and spoils courage.

This is why we need exhortations like the one to “….. stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the…

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