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Faith Based Christian Counseling; Are You Qualified?

Depending on whom you ask, you will get different answers on what actually qualifies one to become a counselor. Those persons who have taken the time made the effort, and paid the financial costs to go to college will argue that the steps they took are the correct and only steps to qualify. I cannot and will not argue for or against their point, but I will say that I respect their choice to go to college and earn their degrees. I attended college, I got my degree, but I believe that there is also another workable option.

What is Christian Counseling Really, Anyway?

“Counseling is indeed an ambiguous enterprise. It is done by persons who can’t agree on what to call themselves, what credentials are necessary to practice, or even what the best way is to practice—whether to deal with feelings, thoughts, or behaviors; whether to be primarily supportive or confrontational; whether to focus on the past or the present. Further, the consumers of counseling services can’t exactly articulate what their concerns are, what counseling can and can’t do for them, or what they want when it’s over.” (Kottler & Brown, 1996)

What is Counseling Actually? Here are a few different definitions:

What Steps Should You Follow to Get Started as a Counselor?

My strongest recommendation to you is to find an organization or ministry that will offer training in this area. Yes, it will probably cost some money, but it will be worth it. On the other hand, I want to warn you away from groups that offer “weekend” training and certification. Without a doubt, I can tell you (after about 30 years of experience as a counselor) that nobody can train effectively as a counselor in just one weekend. Yes, you will find these type groups, and they will “certify” you as a counselor, but, my experience over many years is that the vast majority of people who get the weekend training/certification actually do not go on to real counseling.

Handling the Session with Good Interviewing Skills

It is important that the counselor always listen, not just to what the client is saying, but how they say what they are saying. Careful listening skills can lead the counselor to identify the root of a problem, and not be side tracked by the complainant.

Listen to what they say . . .

Clients will often unknowingly guide you in how to interview them by the things they say.

The New Life Christian Counseling Map (A Format to Follow)

While there will probably never be a single “format” to follow with every client in exactly the same manner, haphazard counseling can prove ineffective for the counselor and disastrous for the client. Failure is not an acceptable outcome for either the counselor or the client. Therefore, to have the highest expectancy of success we need a clear working theory to follow, a process that allows for individual input while dictating a specified course, and certain specific techniques that to follow faithfully in every case, situation, and circumstance. This method will provide the capability for the counselor to self-evaluate by using measurable data and not rely solely on personal emotional criteria to decide progress and success.

Using the Principles wisely in Counseling

Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out. Proverbs 20:5 (KJV)

Scripture is full of practical and useful counsel on how to manage our lives. The Bible provides much immediate and practical instruction. Your job as a Christian Counselor is to learn these truths and learn how to use them in your counseling.

Not all truths have specific verses associated with them. Often you arrive at truth when you study verses, passages and/or stories found throughout the Bible. The combination of these will lead us to understand certain and specific truths for our lives, these truths are the principles.

The Church and Security

It is time for churches to take action and prepare for the worst so they can avoid it if possible. Church shootings are the most well-known dangers that are probable, but many other dangers still plague churches. Below I list on some of the shootings in a church, but below that I will also give some additional information on other dangers and problem areas.

Counseling and Your Personal Life

The tendency on your part will be to give more and more to your counseling. I will agree that you have to be ready to make a real sacrifice, and put the necessary effort and time into your ministry. I also say that you have to learn to balance that with other important things in your life, especially your family and marriage, if you are married. Counseling will make a big demand on you, but you must control how much and what you give. Give your best, but give carefully. Pray before you go into your counseling session (and as often as you remember). Pray after the session, as well. Pray away those “spirits” that will want to attached themselves to you. Pray even when you don’t feel the need. You can use all the prayer you can get.

Your relationship with God

There is nothing that will prepare you for a real, effective, healthy, productive, successful, and meaningful counseling ministry as much as developing a real and personal relationship with the Lord. Your strength will come from Him. Your wisdom and discernment, without which you are of no use to anyone at all, will come from Him. Those times of rest, when counseling drains you to your very soul, comes from Him. He is your all in all, and there will never be a substitute.

What Does It Mean To Love Jesus?

Pastor John Piper said, “If you don’t love Jesus, you don’t love God, and if you don’t love God you don’t love Jesus.”

I came across a dilemma, not long ago. I questioned myself about my love for the Lord. I asked myself what it meant to love God. Was it some feeling I was supposed to have, or was it solely to be proven in obedience? In John 14:15, Jesus said, “If you love me you will keep my commandments.” In other words, He said, you will show me that you love me if you do as I have commanded you. Was He saying that the obedience alone demonstrated my love for Him, or was He saying that because I did love Him I would obey Him?

What Is A Christian?

I will attempt to give a generally good description of who we are, as compared to what others say about us. There is NO onedefinition for all of us. The all-encompassing word, Christian, is used as though it clearly identifies a specific group of people. It does not. Here are some examples of what I mean.

Cognitive Distrotions

Understanding the problem to understand the solution. People do the things they do, because they BELIEVE the things they believe. This is the key principle for the counselor to use in guiding the client to a healthy mental and spiritual life. However, to ignore this principle, is akin to running around in circles but expecting to go down a straight road anyway. It will not make sense. You cannot fix a problem that you do not know exists. Once you identify a faulty belief, for example, then you are better able to identify the distorted thinking process (relating to that belief) and replace the faulty belief with the truth. It is putting the truth into practice that will actually bring about the necessary changes in the client. Therefore, we will consider ten beliefs that adversely affect people.

Límites Personales En La Consejería

· Mediante el uso de la cultura popular, ha convencido a muchas personas de que aunque estén casadas, siguen siendo dos personas completamente separadas.

· En muchos casos, esto produce una atmósfera de contención, con ambos intentando ganar el control sobre el otro.

· Esto se debe a que en lugar de ambos individuos trabajando juntos para lograr metas mutuamente beneficiosas, cada uno trata de alcanzar metas que se benefician a sí mismos.

Stop Playing The Game

One of my brothers called me one day. I could tell from his voice that he seemed stressed a bit. “You doing anything?” he asked. “Nope,” I answered, “just watching TV.” “Oh, he said, “I’m heading for a doctor’s appointment.” “Oh, yeah?” I responded, and added, “I hate doctor’s appointments.” He was quiet for a moment and said, “Yeah … I have to be there in an hour.” “Oh,” I said, “I guess you’d better hurry.” He was quiet again for a moment and then said, “Well, I guess I’d better let you get back to your TV, you wouldn’t want to miss anything important.” “Okay,” I answered, and we hung up.

An Immigrant’s Story

This is an email sent to me by a precious person who also was a client of mine a while back. I wanted to share this story with you to give you a glimpse into the struggle that many Mexican immigrants have as they enter and live in the United States. I changed some details (names and such) which would identify the person, but the story is real. – @PastorJuan

Choosing A Church

People choose churches based on various things, as you know. In my opinion, the list includes the following in this order:

  1. Location– If someone can find a church which includes all, or most of, the rest of this list, they will go to that church first.
  2. Doctrine – People can, and do, ignore closer located churches if one that is further away adheres to their doctrinal choices.

What Does Love Feel Like?

While sitting through the movie, “The Shack,” along with my wife, I was struck with an odd idea. Well, to be honest, odd to me. The main character was going through a dilemma which tore at his very soul.

On the one hand, he blamed himself for the death of his daughter, and on the other hand, he was angry with God for not saving her life. The main point, I think, at least regarding him, was that he was blinded to what he was really struggling with because his anger and bitterness kept getting in the way. The “odd” idea which came to me was whether I was going through something similar.

Reglas Para Mi Vida

  1. Soy responsable de mí mismo, de mis acciones y de mis decisiones.
  2. No culparé a los demás por lo que decido hacer, ni por los resultados de lo que hice.
  3. Otras personas me deben nada, a menos que haya habido un acuerdo claro antes de tiempo, sobre lo que se debe. (Por ejemplo: mi trabajo)

Reglas Para Mi Hogar

  1. Este es un hogar cristiano. Siempre reconoceremos a Dios, y estaremos agradecidos por Su misericordia a nosotros.
  2. Todas las personas que viven en esta casa asistirán a la iglesia. Esto significa, por lo menos, los servicios de Domingo.
  3. Todas personas serán tratados con respeto. Esto significa que la grosería, responder con falta de respeto, el maldecir a alguien, la violencia y otros comportamientos similares, no son aceptables bajo ninguna circunstancia.

A Happy Marriage – The Elusive Dream For Many

As a counselor of 30 years, I have had the opportunity to speak at many marriage seminars, retreats, and other similar gatherings. On top of that, I have counseled with hundreds of persons, as well as many couples, regarding their marriages. I have come to the conclusion that those of us who do choose to get married, do so with a dream in mind that often turns out to be elusive.

“I’m Not Sure I Believe Anymore!”

These were the words of a young wife who came to see me for counseling. Her husband of a few years had left her for someone else, and she was angry and mortified at the prospects of divorce. “Can’t God just make him get right?” she cried. She grew up in church where she heard and was taught that God, not only could, but would, help His “children” resolve and fix all their problems.

Did Jesus Make Mistakes?

The answer to this question is not a simple “yes,” or “no.” A religiously motivated person will have no problem instantly shouting “No!” to the question, at the top of his or her lungs. On the other hand, those of us who have actually read the Word and consider it’s teaching, will understand that while Jesus was fully God, He was also fully human. Humans make mistakes. Mistakes are not “sins” in the “I willingly choose to disobey the Father” variety. To come to a Biblical and healthy, as well as not heretical, understanding of this subject, we must consider a couple of things:

Adult and Minor Children – How to handle problems

Helping is doing something for someone that he is not capable of doing himself.

Enabling is doing for someone things that he could and should be doing himself.

How Do You Know?

During a recent conversation with a fellow Christian who was arguing that he wanted to start digging deeper into the things of God, I challenged him with what seemed a simple question.

I asked him, “Do you believe that the earth is spinning at 1,000 miles per hour?”

He paused a moment and answered, “Everyone knows the earth spins.”

“How do you know that for certain?” I asked.

Blind Leading the Blind

The problem with spiritual blindness is that those who are spiritually blind don’t know it.

This is why we are exhorted in the Word to make a self-examination.

(See 2 Corinthians 13:5 (NASB), “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you – unless indeed you fail the test?”

Does evil exist?

PracticalCounseling.Com recently received an email for Pastor Juan Pérez. In it, the person asked an important question which deserves review. Here is the question, and Pastor Juan’s answer.

WHY DO I HAVE TROUBLE OBEYING GOD?

Why do some people struggle so much living the Christian life as they understand the Lord wants from them. They tell themselves that they want to do what is “right,” but they find themselves often going against this desire, and giving in to baser urges.

Put to the Test

In chapter 2 of the book of Revelation, in the first seven verses, Jesus sends a message to the church at Ephesus. In this message, He makes one interesting statement, among the rest. (NASB, verse 2) “I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false.” It caught my attention that the Lord indicated that there is a way to “test” church and ministry leadership.

The “Mind” of Christ?

An article I recently read spoke about “mental models which are used “to view the world.” It went on to say, “These mental models are not reality. They are tools used to view reality. They are our perspective on life.”

Words of “Affirmation?”

A while back, I had the opportunity to discuss the topic of “positive affirmation” with a fellow believer. Her argument was that she was not receiving an adequate amount of positive affirmation from people in her life. She stated that her “love language” was “Words of Affirmation.”

Life Sucks And Then You Die!

Great title, right? It got your attention. But more important than that, to many people that is the truth. Life has not been good for many thousands, if not millions or people worldwide. All that anyone has to do is turn on the news channel and you will hear of atrocities, death, violence, war, terrorism, and so on.

Your House is On Fire!

Ten Lessons We Learned From a House Fire

On 12 April 2013, I was driving to a restaurant with my brother and his wife for breakfast. As we drove, I received a call from my youngest son, who was waiting to go to the Navy to begin his enlistment. His words chilled me, “The house is on fire.”

Counselors Like King Solomon

First Kings 3:16-28, tells a story of two women who came before King Solomon. Each was claiming that a certain baby was theirs. What had happened, was that one of the women accidently killed her baby by rolling over on it during the night. When she awoke and saw what she has done, she went and exchanged her dead baby with a living one of another woman. When the other mother realized what happened, she search for and found her baby in the custody of the other. The situation grew to the point it was brought before King Solomon.

A Happy Marriage – The Elusive Dream For Many

As a counselor of 30 years, I have had the opportunity to speak at many marriage seminars, retreats, and other similar gatherings. On top of that, I have counseled with hundreds of persons, as well as many couples, regarding their marriages. I have come to the conclusion that those of us who do choose to get married, do so with a dream in mind that often turns out to be elusive.

How Do You Know?

globeFrom the first day you entered a school class, you were faced with a globe of the earth. The concept of a round earth was immediately implanted in your mind, and then it has been reinforced continuously since then. We hear about space, and trips to the moon, and possibly other planets. We are told the earth spins around at 1,000 miles per hour, and 67,000 miles per hour around the sun, and over hundreds of thousands of miles per hour through the Milky Way Galaxy. We are told that nothing existed, but that the nothing exploded and, due to that, we now have a universe. I could keep on going with all that we have been taught, and we have accepted all of that with little to no real proof. If the scientists say it is true, we accepted it as truth. You can go outside this very moment, look up into the sky, and if you pay attention to your natural senses alone, you will notice nothing that proves the earth is spinning. Yet, regardless of what your senses tell you, your mind will argue that the earth is spinning. Why? Because that is what you already believe.

Getting Lost In The Story

Counseling 1New counselors have one bad habit they must work on to become better counselors. They must learn not to get lost in the story.  By this I mean that the counselor will get so focused on what the client tells them is going on, or that the counselor begins to side with one person over the other. In either case, the counselor has become less effective as of that moment. Good and healthy counseling requires that the counselor be objective when dealing with opposing points of view. When the counselors chooses sides, they are no longer the best counselor in the case. As well, when the counselor gets all focused in the client’s story, he or she is in danger of choosing sides, or at the very least, may start jumping to conclusions before he or she has all the needed data.

Unconditional love? I’d Rather You LIKED Me!

Chicho - LoveWe are instructed to “love” one another, but we don’t have to like anybody. In the Bible, the word used as love has three Greek meanings; Eros, Phileo, and Agape. I will not go into all the translation details in this article. You can “google” “Greek words for love,” and get plenty of information on the subject. My point, though, is to emphasize that there is no one way to “love” others, and that depending on the way you are “loving” someone else, there are conditions.

8 Marital Principles That Can Work, Starting Today

RingsAre you struggling with that hard-headed husband who seems to never grow up? Does your wife sometimes make you wish you weren’t married? Does he constantly make promises and then not keep his word? Has she been going on spending binges, when you have bills that have not been paid? Are you unhappy with the way some things are in your marriage? Today you will get answers that CAN force change in your married life, if you’re brave enough to use them.

Do you REALLY take time to pray?

prayingThe question of prayer has long been an obstacle over which I have had to prevail. No, not that I have had problems with whether we should pray or not, that has been made clear in the Bible. We are instructed to pray always (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and for everything (1 Timothy 6:17). The problem I struggled with for many years is that of when, how, for how long, and for what to pray.

Savior, But Not Lord!

JesusNot long ago, while counseling a client, I came to a conclusion I had not thought about before. The client was struggling with “trying” to follow the process I was counseling, but kept failing. The client was struggling with the desire to view pornography and the desire to be a “good” Christian, at the same time. He and I began the counseling months ago with exploring various possibilities of why he got started and why he continues. Each aspect we discovered and dealt with helped him to understand another part of his character, and cause him to become more determined to change. Though he would have success, he would also fail again. We were almost to the point of running out of probable answers, when I received an inspiration from the Lord.

What Is My Calling?

I found my “calling” by trial and error. I tried some ministries and found they were not for me. But, I did not just wait around for God to send me some sign, a sun ray from the sky, or for some other person to give me a “word from God” about what God wanted me to do. You will probably need to do the same. Don’t wait for something to happen, it may not.

Healing Is A Conscious Decision

Lydia carChanging the way we think is up to us. We can choose to do so or just tell ourselves that we cannot change and therefore we won’t. Because God truly wants us to be transformed, He would not ask us to change the way we think if we really could not do so. The truth is that even though it may be a hard road and, at times, difficult, we can change our thinking. Philippians 4:13 teaches that we can do all things with the strength He gives us. This applies to difficult and uncomfortable things, as well as spiritual ones. This is a truth. Even though we may struggle during the process, we can change any or all of our thinking.

Many Are Called, But Few Are Chosen

The counseling ministry is not for everyone, but it is for those who are willing to obey God’s call on their lives to serve. Many persons take the Counseling Training Course for different reasons, though not always to minister to others. It take a special person to make this type of sacrifice. How special? well, read the article for the answer.

 Teen Dating Violence – AssistanceMarisol Lucio

Marisol Lucio, FBCC (Faith Based Christian Counselor), was tasked with putting together a short list of websites which offer assistance to teens, especially girls, in relation to dating violence. Read this and send us your suggestions as well.

The Power that Works In Us

BibleI have a habit of searching for verses and passages within the Sacred Scriptures which catch my attention, and there are many. Each catches my attention, often, for different reasons. Usually the reason is because the verse, or passage, seems to be saying (or teaching) more than what seems obvious. When this happens, questions pop into my head regarding what I just read, and I want to know the answers.

Religious Abuse

Roy GomezSpiritual abuse just as emotional abuse affects one emotionally, while physical abuse inflicts pain and bodily injury on its victim, spiritual abuse affects one spiritually. It is the result of a spiritual leader or system that tries to control, manipulate, or dominate a person. This control is often in the form of fear. This is considered a major factor in mind control/coercive (relating to or using force or threats) persuasion or thought reform. There are those who feel the latter comes into play in cases such as these, while others feel the thinking is in error. Regardless of where one stands on this, it does not lessen the effects of spiritual abuse.

Women Need to Learn to Love and Respect Themselves

Linda Martinez - photoWomen with no self-respect and no self-love, see themselves as unworthy of anything good in their lives. They accept mistreatment, abuse, and rejection as a normality. They are accustomed to being treated as worthless, therefore many believe they don’t deserve more. They become lazy and don’t strive for greater things. Their relationships become detrimental. They wind up hurting others and themselves. They do not love themselves and do not know how.

Married Women Dealing With Abuse

Marisol LucioThough I am not currently married, nor have I ever been, I felt drawn to write on this subject considering that it hits very close to home – with my mom. Also, I was told once that I was starting to take after her,when it came to choosing the guys I would date. The thought of that frightened me. Not because I could end up with an abusive, manipulative, controlling man, but because I could probably become a woman who does not love herself enough to walk away.

How To Stay Angry

Here is a guaranteed formula on how to become a consistently angry person.

Be picky and finicky.
Take pride in being a perfectionist. Some of the angriest people in the world are perfectionists.

Don’t listen to another person’s point of view.
In discussions be concerned only with getting your own opinions across. One of the keys to being a consistently angry person is to be a poor listener.

Godly Love versus Human Love in Marriage

Chart - page 2As a counselor, I have worked with many couples in my 28 years in this ministry. One thing I have learned that is the source of many conflicts between them is the mistaken idea of what they believe love means. When someone uses the word “love,” they are actually saying many other things.

My Spouse’s Relationship With Our Children

IMG_0088Conflict is the tool of change. People make changes, compromises, and adaptations based on the outcome of conflict. Without conflict, things will remain the same forever. Stale relationships are just not interesting, nor do they prompt the person to improve the circumstances. Conflict will bring change, sometimes what we want, and sometimes what we do not want. The conflict between your child and spouse will produce a change. What the change will be will be dependent on some of the factors described in this article.

“Key Words” in Counseling

Counseling is about hearing the words of a person, and deciphering what they mean, so that the counselor may then use his or her own words to give instruction to that person on how to resolve their concerns. Words are “key” to effective counseling, and “key words” are important to counseling effectively. In this article, I want to cover the issue of “Key Words” and how the counselor may use them.

Cómo Controlar el Enojo Antes de que lo Controle a Usted

Manny AngerTodos sabemos lo que es el enojo y todos lo hemos sentido, ya sea como algo fugaz o como furia total. El enojo es una emoción humana totalmente normal y por lo general, saludable. No obstante, cuando perdemos el control de esta emoción y se vuelve destructiva, puede ocasionar muchos problemas en el trabajo, en las relaciones personales y en la calidad general de vida. Puede hacerlo sentir como si estuviera a merced de una emoción impredecible y poderosa.

Conflict Resolution, Before or After?

conflict-resolutionConflict is best resolved when two persons are able to communicate their separate concerns and together are able to reach compromises which work in the favor of the relationship. The question is, “Do I want to win, or do I want us to win?”

Resolución de Conflictos, ¿Antes o Después?

conflict-resolution

Counselor GuideConflictos se resuelven mejor cuando dos personas son capaces de comunicar sus preocupaciones individualmente y en conjunto y son capaces de llegar a compromisos que trabajan a favor de la relación. La pregunta es, “¿Quiero ganar yo, o quiero que ganemos los dos?”

Counselor Guides

on SexImage result for guide
on Forgiveness
on Financial Problems 
on Depression
on Communication Issues
on Adultery, Infidelity, or an Affair?
on Abuse

8 Things Which Should Be Real in a Christian Counselor’s Life

Christian counselors should be people who live what they preach. The one trait that gets people to trust their counselor is that they believe the counselor counsels in the way the counselor lives. This means that if you want people to trust what you are going to tell them they should do about their problem, then you should be doing those things already. For example, we want the client to take steps to avoid future problems, right? Then we must also take steps to avoid future problems. For example, what will happen if you died tomorrow? Are your burial arrangements already worked out? Have you made sure that there is enough money to cover the expenses? What if you get hurt and cannot speak for yourself? Who will make the decisions for you? Do you even care?

The Use and Study of Valid Reasoning

Logic helps the counselor to make certain and specific conclusions which may be used to determine the probable root problem, and what steps must be taken to reach a healthy solution. For example, Julie presents that she and her husband, Pedro, have been fighting often lately. She argues that she cannot “put a finger” on what she thinks is the main reason for the constant arguing between themselves. She states that she is frustrated and getting weary of the constant fighting, to the point that she is considering a separation. Logic will help the counselor figure out something that may help resolve, or at least reduce the conflict between these two people.

Perception

The “truth” is often clouded by the perception of the person. A client will always tell you one, or more, of three things when presenting their concerns to you.
1. What they believe the truth is concerning the behavior of other people (husband, wife, relative, friend, etc.).
2. What they believe the truth is concerning their own behavior in the circumstances presented.
3. What their worldview tells them is true about life in general, especially about themselves (that they are victims, failures, unfairly treated, etc.).

How to Read (Study) the Bible

Image result for bible readingReading the Bible randomly does not provide the Biblical student with the best opportunity to learn correct interpretation of the Word of God. This post touches on three basic areas of Bible reading (study) which will help the new Christian begin a life of productive, if not just enjoyable, Bible reading.

God’s Power Is In His Word

powerThere is a movement today seeking for the manifestations of God. Speaking in tongues, being “slain in the Spirit,” prophecy (foretelling), “name it and claim it,” and other popular and similar things, draw in large crowds of people to popular churches. Why is this happening? Because people want to experience a “move of God,” His power.

Why You Should Study The Bible

BibleAs a Christian I can only speak about us, and even then I can only speak of those who believe as I do.  I started off my Christian walk with lots of questions. Who and what is God? What is this thing called sin? Why are there so many groups and denominations within Christianity? What makes Christianity different, and maybe better than the rest? And, many, many, more questions.

Are Churches Training Members For Ministry?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur churches are full of people who attend faithfully and participate in Sunday service with their songs and attentiveness. The problem is that only about ten percent of the people are active in some form of service at church (usher, teacher, choir, etc.), but even fewer are ministering in accordance with God’s calling on their lives. Ephesians 4:11-17 clearly instructs that the people be trained in accordance with their calling, so that, “By what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”

The Law of Practicing

What You Practice Becomes Part Of Your Character, And Your Character Proves Who You Really Are.

Customs and Traditions:
• People of different nations, cultures, races, and so forth, have differing customs and traditions that they follow.
• These became customs and traditions because they were continually repeated by those peoples, week after week, month after month, and year after year.
• Many customs and traditions are followed just because they have been followed for so long that some of the people who follow them no longer even know why they do.

Proof That God Exists

God's EyeI have been a Christian for about 33 years, and I have had the question asked of me many times. What is the proof that God exists? I have heard many variations of the same question as well. All the variations have the same idea in mind, when asked by certain questioners. The argument is usually that there is no valid proof of the existence of God. One of those times that I was asked whether I could prove God’s existence, I answered that I could. The gentleman who asked the question almost rolled his eyes at me, but instead smirked and challenged me to prove God to him. I smile at him for a moment, and told him that he was confused. I explained that I said I could prove the existence of God, not that I could prove the existence of God to others. He argued that I knew what he was asking, but I argued that I could not read his mind any better than he could read mine.

True Change, True Benefits

ChangeWhen you allow change to take its course in your life, you will eventually come to accomplish that which you have always wanted, or at least be heading in the right direction. Those who do not take advantage of change will probably find a strange sort of comfort and security in the changelessness, but will always wonder, “what if.”

 Rules For My Life

RulesI grew up angry. I will probably be an angry man the rest of my life, but I will not allow anger to control me. To accomplish this, I  developed personal rules which I follow in my daily life.
1. I am responsible for myself, my actions, and my choices.
2. I will not blame others for what I choose to do, or the results of what I did.
3. Other people do not owe me anything, unless there has been a clear agreement ahead of time on what will be owed. (For example: your job)

Should Marriage Have Rules?

Juan-Lydia 3 My wife and I married shortly after we met. We didn’t know what we were doing. We just knew we wanted to get married, so we did. Our first six years were miserable. We were separated the seventh year and going through a divorce. It was only by God’s mercy that our marriage was saved. That was 33 years ago (as of 2015). We have now been married for 40 years, and we got here the hard way. We both thank God for intervening in our lives and changing the course of our disastrous relationship.

Rules For The Home?

RulesBefore we were saved, my wife and I lived in a marriage full of troubles. Besides having no healthy rules for our marriage, we also had not healthy guidance for our home. Since our salvation, she and I have come to understand that a home without boundaries is a home that will produce confusion. Most of our societal ills stem from children growing up in homes without healthy direction and instruction. My wife and I decided that we did not want to continue to live in a home where confusion could rule. The answer to this is setting rules and guidelines that will govern our home and those who choose to come into it.

The Marriage Agreement Process

AgreementThe Goal: Your goal is to solve problems, eliminate circumstances which may lead to problems, and to avoid future problems where you can.
Follow the process the way it is intended. Do not jump to a step further along without finishing the current step. If you change the process it may not work for you, and you may not accomplish what you hope for.
To begin with, let’s suggest some rules to follow for this process:
1. Make time to discuss the process and get started. This means do not try to work on this process while dealing with children, household duties, and/or in a hurry. You will need to be able to concentrate patiently with each other. Do not schedule time for this right before or after another event, such as a football game.

Pre-Marital Counseling Format

manny#6 001The purpose of this course is to acquaint the counselor with the tools used in pre-marital counseling.  This course is intended to be used as a stepping stone to knowledge, not an all-inclusive/comprehensive reference.
In counseling couples before marriage, the counselor should be prayed up and willing to listen to both the couple and the Lord.  It is important that the counselor be willing to listen and help the couple understand the step they are about to take.  Premarital counseling should always touch on each subject, with the couple gaining an understanding of what a marriage is.  Many problems that occur in marriages today occur because of lack of premarital counseling.

What We Can learn From Sheep

sheepOr, How To Be A Better Pastor
1. Too many words confuse sheep. The shepherd learns the language that his sheep will recognize, then he uses that language to guide them around. The sheep learn the language and voice of the pastor, and they hear his voice when he calls to them. Harsh language disturbs sheep, while words of encouragement move them in the direction desired. ““I know my sheep and my sheep know me” (John 10:14)

Psalm 23

ShepherdThe 23rd Psalm is a useful outline of the things we can learn about how God wants pastors to treat His people. He is the Shepherd, and we are His under-shepherds. The pastor who can grasp the leading of the Lord through this simple Psalm, will gain the knowledge which God wants applied to His church. Those pastor will reap the benefits of obedience, and bring in more members as a result.

Belief Therapy

Image result for belief therapyAs A Christian Therapeutic Treatment Modality Dr. Paul Carlin, who was a Scripturologist not a psychologist, introduced Belief Therapy to the public in November 1997. The modality was developed during his 20 years of restorative justice ministries in the Texas Prison System. He used the prisons as his laboratory and prisoners as his subjects. Carlin claims his basic premise can be traced to both the Old and New Testaments, that teach, “People do what they do because they believe what they believe,” i.e., “As a man thinks in his heart so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7) This modality utilized many of the characteristics of other styles of therapy but its distinctive quality is that it is founded on the truth of the Word of God, the Christian Bible.

True Change, True Benefits

Before we start to consider what it means to be transformed, we need to explore what it means not to be transformed. I like the way the (MSG) version puts it: “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.” The words “well-adjusted to your culture” are so right on. The idea behind these words is that the person (maybe you or me) reacts and/or responds according to the pattern we have already developed over our lifetime.

The Power of Prayer in Christian Counseling

PrayerChristian counseling is about applying the principles in God’s Word to the circumstances and situations presented by the clients. There are certain things which are known about most Christians who come to counseling. Of those things, it is their lack of knowledge concerning the Scriptures which stands out the most. The Christian who does not know his or her Bible is condemned to fail over and over.

Spiritual Warfare in Counseling

Spiritual WarfareSpiritual “Warfare,” as such, and Christian counseling are mostly synonymous. Spiritual warfare has at its core the intent to conquer the works of the enemy, and Christian counseling does very much the same by helping the client learn effective and practical Biblical ways to conquer the works of the enemy in their lives. Spiritual Warfare begins with obeying God.

What Do You Believe?

How well do you know your Bible? Here is a simple test you can use to give yourself a good idea of your knowledge of the Word of God.

Success In Counseling

counselingIn one of my training classes, a man asked me what he would have to do to become a successful counselor. I started to answer in one way, but after thinking for a moment, I changed my intended response.

Success in counseling will depend on the counselor’s point of view. On the one hand, for example, one can count how many persons and couples come for counseling and how many of them finished the counseling with success in their case. Or, better said, that their time spent in counseling resulted in them accomplishing the goal they expected or desired to get. If one is going to measure his success in this manner, then the percentage of success will be around 60%, with the possibility of 65% at times. I don’t like those numbers.

Are You Preaching or Training?

As pastors and Bible teachers, included in our intentions for those we teach, we must desire to train them in the way that they should go. Helping people to come to know the Lord and be saved is only the first step. Training them, is what is expected of those who lead people to the Lord. God is not only interested in “saving” people, but He also wants them trained to do the work He wants done.

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