SPIRITUAL FOOD FOR THOUGHT! & SPIRITUAL GROWTH! 2
“Your attitude should be the same as that of CHRIST JESUS:
Who, being in very nature GOD, did not consider equality with GOD something to be grasped, but made HIMSELF nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, HE humbled HIMSELF and became obedient to death ~ even death on the cross! Therefore GOD exalted HIM to the highest place and gave HIM The NAME that is above every name, that at The NAME of JESUS every knee should bow, in Heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that JESUS CHRIST is LORD, to The GLORY of GOD The FATHER!” Philippians 2 ~ WORD FOR TODAY ~
~ THOUGHT FOR TODAY ~
JESUS CHRIST is our ONLY PERFECT example. He was both miraculously divine and yet still a sinless human man. He never did, said, or thought anything wrong. How amazing! He died upon the cross & rose with ALL POWER to SAVE us from eternal damnation… He overcame sin in the flesh for mankind. For this we should be eternally grateful. He was RIGHTEOUSNESS personified in the purest highest form ever. It is because of HIM we too are able to overcome sin in the flesh as we submit to HIS WILL & HIS WAY. He truly is THE GLORY of GOD!
Many serve the Lord to be served. Many serve to have power and authority over others. A dedicated committed servant of the Lord is willing to serve the Lord with gladness. They realize that absolutely nothing is hidden to Him. He or she seeks above all to be pleasing to the Lord. We all are accountable to the Lord for our actions. It is so very important to build a strong sure foundation upon the Word of God! Whenever we stand upon His Word He stands with us.
Serving the Lord does not mean that we are to make others or ourselves feel comfortable in sin. Sin actually separates us from God. We are supposed to “Walk in the Light.” We can choose to call upon our Lord and Savior to Help us anytime, anywhere 24/7. HIS WORD is necessary Spiritual Food for our soul. His Word is alive and it quickens our souls. It is important to hide His Word within our hearts. As we embrace and implement its Truth in our daily lives we becomes spiritually stronger. God wants us to be whole!
“Therefore whoever HEARS these sayings of MINE, and DOES them, I WILL liken to him to a wise man who built his house on The ROCK; and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it DID NOT fall, for it was founded on THE ROCK!” MATTHEW 6
We should make a sincere attempt to live in anticipation each day as though our Lord were going to return. Our main focus in life should always be the Lord. This actually is what helps us to better navigate through the maze of life. God is Omniscient. His Word lights our path. Make it a point to regularly and consistently spend time with the Lord in His Word. This is how we continuously grow in His grace, love, wisdom and understanding. We should daily seek the direction of the Lord in all areas of our lives.
We should not want our Lord to be a stranger whenever we see Him face to face. Therefore Live Everyday; “To GOD Be the GLORY!”
Serve the Lord because HE deserves to be served. “For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant.” I Corinthians 7
Upon the profession of our FAITH HIS HOLY SPIRIT becomes alive within us and HELPS us to rise above sin. God has created each of us with a purpose in mind. It is our choice to discover His Will for our lives. We All need Him as Savior and Lord. It is a BLESSING & a PRIVILEGE to be able to call upon HIM as our Personal Savior. “For ALL of us have sinned and fallen short of The GLORY of GOD!” Romans 3.
Let’s not continue to make excuses for any sin or shortcomings. Instead learn to call upon JESUS! Whenever sin beckons, allow the Savior to help you rise above it. God wants us to be complete in Him. This is how we become better people. This is how we become whole. When we live to please the Lord we will always eventually become victorious! Always remember;“What can wash away my sin; nothing but The BLOOD of JESUS! What can make me whole again; nothing but the BLOOD of JESUS! O precious is the flow that makes me white as snow. No other HELP I KNOW nothing but the BLOOD of JESUS!”
Is A Great Marriage Still Viable?
The answer is YES!!!
Today some have opted out of the marriage. Their spouse has not been faithful and or has not or will not repent. Divorce is also sought because both or one spouse was not honest when they married. It is not their intention to work together for a mutually satisfying marriage. Sad put true some marry to get what they can and leave. Quite often they want what they want when they want it. Their first priority is what they want rather than what is best for the marriage. This can leave the injured spouse in a state of flux. He or she will often overcompensate by continually giving into to their endless wants even to the point of financial despair.
Parental disharmony also causes additional conflict within the children. They pick up the vibe between their parents. The children wants become excessive to compensate for their void. Unconsciously they feel that their well being is a secondary priority. Children usually prefer that their parents stay together.They too begin to act out. The parent who is most concerned must or should then take responsibility and address the needs of the children. Since you are hurting, this is not easy but necessary. It important to instill within your children healthy boundaries.
As they get older the children will begin to better understand. Their parents were not able to resolve their conflict which resulted in divorce. Right now in this 21st century we have a generation of children that are confused about “Marriage God’s Way” more so than ever before! Although it did not work for you the first time; it is important to let them know that God has ordained marriage as the proper relationship for sex. let them know there is hope for them.
Our current and future generations of teenagers have fewer and fewer positive moral traditional role models. Too many fractured marriages and families. This also can cause some of them to question their own sexuality. They wonder if marriage is still even viable? They are all to often seduced to seek alternative ways to satisfy their sometimes overwhelming desire to appease raging hormones… They are often pulled into experimenting with same sex relationships with their peers. This can cause them to be confused sexually or possibly even become bi sexual or promiscuous?
Freely share with them what God says about sex in a non threatening way. Keeping in mind you are not trying to incite rebellion. You want them to learn self-control. You want them to realize that their are consequences for our actions.God allows us the freedom to choose. Love is patient so if you are over anxious take some time and chill out.
We can prevent this from happening or lessen the frequency of this occurring by teaching them the importance of respecting their own bodies. Letting them know that they are valuable and they have the right to say “NO!” to anyone. But most important that they can honor God in their body and its never too late to start!
Yes! A favorable future marriage is still viable…
There is much spiritual warfare that attempts to draw our teens away from God’s natural design for sex. This is a vulnerable stage of life for them! Peer pressure is already a constant factor in their lives… How their bodies are beginning to develop is a concern as well. Many of them will not say how they really feel. They will tell you what they think you want to hear! They often will seek unwise advice. Therefore they can be easily led down an ambivalent primrose path that further adds to this already complicated period of growth and development! Instead abstinence and discipline should be encouraged!
Think about this for a moment. Did you know that if no one practiced sex outside of marriage there would be no one to cheat with? Fewer broken homes! Fewer STD’S! Fewer Abortions! Fewer marriages ending in divorces where people are unable to reconcile their differences! It’s hard to imagine! God has given us His Word to protect us! He has even told us that there is “no temptation common to man that He has not prepared a way of escape.”
A committed married monogamous relationship is the only way that God honors a sexual relationship! He has provided and ordained marriage. You see God has designed marriage as the only proper way a man and woman can fulfill their natural sexual desires. He is not the designer of any other method. If you have been taught or thought otherwise you are fooled. I don’t care what Mommy, Daddy, Grandpa, Grandma, Aunt, Uncle, Friend, Doctor, Minister, Pastor. Bishop, Apostle or Foe has said there are consequences! You see it is time out for living in the dark. Especially if you have confessed to be a Christian! It is time to stand up and speak out for what God has said is right.
We must speak the TRUTH in LOVE! Many are so confused about what LOVE really means. They often misunderstand you when you try to LOVE them for real! Loving someone is NOT making them feel comfortable in sin. Part of LOVE is correction with patience. Sometimes we have to simply “step back.” But always PRAY! This is why we ALL so need the LORD! “GOD IS LOVE!” God is always available to help us properly express HIS LOVE!
Let’s HELP this next generation; these teenagers of this 21st century “where anything goes.” Start by giving them better moral role models! Let’s open up the lines of communication so they can validate their feelings. Make yourself available to them. Give them a phone and tell them “to call you anytime they NEED you” Let’s HELP them so they do not feel that they have to give parts of themselves away in order to be accepted! Let them know that they have the right to say NO to anyone who tries to take advantage of them. Give them more “hugs” & quick kisses on their foreheads. (some of them feel too big for kisses)
Teach them how to be respectable and to demand respect as well. Remember they watch what we say and do. Better examples and less criticism and more compassion and understanding. Less bickering and fighting and more constructive ways to resolve conflict such as Powerful, loving biblical instructions! Just think if it is hard for adults it is even harder for teenagers…
Counselor & Counseling
Gary Collins has written a comprehensive counseling guide to assist Christian leaders. The author commences each chapter presenting a case history and biblical information to assist the reader with a biblical perspective of the discussion at hand. It is a valuable resource guide for professionals, pastors, individuals as well as students. It has a plethora of information for those who desire a greater understanding in regards to human behavior. It lucratively incorporates a biblical perspective that is quite necessary for those who desire to be “Christian Counselors”.
In the second chapter of his book the author discusses, “The Counselor and Counseling” He states; “Counseling can be gratifying work, but it doesn’t take long for most of us to discover that this also can be emotionally draining, difficult work.” I find this to be a true statement. Whenever you attempt to help someone you must always be aware of your motives. This will help you to keep abreast of your role. As a counselor one must also be aware of their limitations. It is advisable to inform the counselee of your role up front. This will provide the counselee with the opportunity to make their own decision to further engage in counseling. This also positions them in a posture to initiate control in their personal decision making process during counseling. There is a tendency in dealing with certain personalities that transference readily begins to formulate with the counselor. If not addressed they will relinquish and shift control to you. Understanding the nature of compulsive or addictive personalities will assist you in not becoming bogged down. This can also result in feeling drained. There is a great deal of emotional energy that is expended during counseling. The Christian Counselor has a responsibility to present and adhere to biblical ethics. We do not have the power to change anyone. We are to present viable options to assist one in their quest for emotional resolve. I believe that the counselee always has the right to choose even if it is contrary to what I think? God always allows us the right to choose.
The author states “It always is difficult to evaluate your own motives. Perhaps this is especially true when we examine our reasons for doing counseling. A sincere desire to help people is a valid reason for becoming a counselor.” God is aware of our motives. I believe for one to be an efficient counselor they must be certain that it is a “calling from the Lord” and not just a job. Prayer and continual personal Bible study is a necessary tool for the Christian Counselor. This well help you to keep healthy boundaries with your counselee. As a counselor we must be friendly but we should not seek to fulfill our own personal needs. The responsible counselor realizes that their counselee has a need for a professional relationship. The Counselor will help them pinpoint the problem locale and seek to assist in alleviating immediate areas of stress. Although the counselor must be friendly and compassionate they must remain objective. A friend is not always the best person to counsel professionally.
The author talks about varying counseling dynamics such as, the need to control or rescue the counselee. Both of these are dynamics that need to be examined. I personally believe as stated earlier in the counselee’s right to make their own decisions. Rescuing is equally dangerous because we can in fact create an environment where we become part of the problem rather than the solution. Rescuing results in dependency. Dependency results in enabling. The healthy counseling environment should never resort to manipulation. In some cases it is not until you further investigate that one discovers dependency tendencies. Some problem areas may be systemic and need the attention of a specialist. A ready willingness to refer the counselee should be embraced. Again the priority is to help the counselee. A competent counselor should make a conscious decision to keep the environment safe for both the counselor and counselee. I believe the Christian Counselor must be committed to Godly principles. The author states, “Counseling sessions are not likely to be effective if the counselor has a need to manipulate others, to atone for guilt, to please some authority figure, to express hostility, to resolve sexual conflicts, or to prove that he or she is intellectually capable, spiritually mature, and psychologically stable.” When the counselor examines and applies Godly principles this will keep them in check of who is in charge and where their obligation resides. The counselor must always seek to resolve any of their personal behavior issues; but not in the context of a session with their counselee. “Healing ultimately comes from God and a counselor is one of the many instruments used to facilitate the process.
As counselors we should ask ourselves “Why do we counsel?” The author states “Emotional over involvement can cause the counselor to lose objectivity, and this in turn reduces counseling effectiveness” I agree. As a Counselor we are to be involved. We should also be compassionate but not to the degree we loose our objectivity. We do this when we discipline ourselves to incorporate proper time constraints and practice proper guidelines. It is most helpful to let them know that you are a person with shortcomings as well. When I don’t have an answer I just simply tell them “I don’t know.” Then suggest perhaps either or both of us could further investigate information that would enhance and enlighten. I have adopted and freely share the thought “We are all becoming. We never arrive. Life is a continual growing process and when we have learned what the lord wants us to learn we ultimately go home to Him!” Again this is why the scriptures are so important when we desire to counsel. I firmly believe that counseling is a “Ministry”. The scriptures tell us that Jesus is a “Wonderful Counselor.” He is our only perfect example! I agree with the author that expresses “we are His agents doing His work, representing Him. His Holy Spirit is our Comforter and Guide and will lead us to deliver those He has brought to us for help.”
I believe that the Holy Spirit will alert you when a counselee may not have the proper intent. The author states “Regretfully this does not always happen. Some counselees have a conscious or unconscious desire to manipulate, frustrate, or not cooperate. This is a difficult discovery for the counselor who wants to succeed and whose success chiefly comes when people change.” People will often mistake meekness for weakness. They will misinterpret your desire to help. They can see this as an opportunity to manipulate you. That is why you must know that your intentions as a Counselor are honorable. (I learned a great deal working with the homeless.) Quite often there are those who can not financially afford counseling. I have found it important that they realize the value of my time even when it is a very minimal fee or pro bono arrangement. This is not to put myself in a superior position. It is because I have learned that there are those who will “help themselves to you, if you let them.” People do not respect what they do not value. This is why we must always keep and reinforce healthy boundaries. Counseling is often a plea for attention. I have a known case that taught me a very valuable lesson. In my attempt to mentor and counsel I had a scenario that almost got out of hand. It became quite clear to me that this person was trying to control me. They became very demanding. I calmly told them that it would not be a good idea to continue. That they needed help beyond my capacity to help them. I did find out that this person had extensive psychological problems. They appeared to be very sweet. This person initially approached me. They also attended my church. Keep in mind I had learned a great deal of information about this person in counseling. I had also committed not to share anything about them or anyone else unless they resulted to violent or suicidal behavior. They decided that they were going to make my worship environment a difficult place for me. To some degree they were successful. The church was already in an uproar for a number of reasons. However, I stayed before the Lord in prayer. I could not go to the pastor because she had his ear. I later learned she had a lot of information on many members including the pastor. She was an expert at manipulation. To make a long story short I have learned that people will believe almost anything; even in an environment that is supposed to be spiritual. You must continually pray for direction. When your helping is not helping you need to know when to refer them. I have a sign in the office that says “Character is who you are when nobody but God is watching.”
As a Counselor we must uphold Godly principles. We must not support or condone improper morals or conduct. We must learn to balance counseling, prayer, meditation and our personal life in order to prevent burnout. This is true of any profession for a Christian. I make a sincere attempt to help those who the Lord puts in my path. I continue to evaluate, read, take classes, attend workshops and listen to tapes that help my continued growth and education. I take very seriously my responsibility to minister via counseling. I will not compromise my commitment to the Lord or jeopardize the peace He has given me. My partner and spouse are my supporter and encourager. He helps keep me grounded. Collins concludes the chapter stating, “The Bible describes Jesus Christ as the Wonderful Counselor. He is the counselor’s counselor –ever available to encourage, direct and give wisdom to human people helpers.” It is my belief that all Scripture is the infallible Word of God! God is awesome! “To much is given much is required.” God does not entrust us with anything that we are not able to handle. When we finish our life’s quest we have to answer to God! God holds us accountable for our actions. A proper relationship with God is crucial in maintaining an effective counseling ministry.