Rodgers Christian Counseling Soul Healing Love Tue, 16 Apr 2019 16:21:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How to Handle Money Conflicts in Marriage Tue, 16 Apr 2019 16:21:17 +0000
April is the time of year that Americans focus on taxes and this leads to discussions about money. Since research show that money is the number one topic of conflict for most couples and that 50% of the divorces in this country are because of money differences, it is worth a great deal of attention in marriage. We have learned that money is typically not the real issue that couples fight about. But rather it is what money represents that can cause the rub. So rule number 1 in dealing with money in marriage is to know what it represents to you and your spouse.

What does Money represent to you and your spouse?

For most people money is more than a tool for survival. It means something much deeper. It can be prestige, power, possessions, or status, real or falsely created to heal a faulty self-esteem. Money can be a means to control others and get your way. It can mean that you are valued or worthy or taken care of. The meaning of money can direct you in financial ways that are not healthy for you or your marriage.
Some spouses go on a spending spree because they feel they are not getting their needs met by their partner. Some even shop to inflict pain on their partner consciously or unconsciously. Some spend in a child-like manner secretly desiring their spouse to be the parent and meet their immature need for possessions. Other spouses buy fancy suits and cars they cannot afford to look prosperous and cover for feelings of failure at work. Money can be a means for you to feed envy, competition or jealousy. If that’s the case you may be consciously or unconsciously keeping up with the Jones which is a game you will never win.
If envy and competition are you goals then you are playing a futile game because the elusive “enough” you are searching for will always be just out of reach. This does not only cause a terrible internal battle for your soul, but if your spouse does not play the same game you will have conflict. If your spouse is a frugal saver who is not envious or competitive, but is far more content with life then you will have conflict. Over-spenders need to seek contentment and satisfaction, not only on a physical level but on a spiritual level as well. Poor financial habits can be a direct result one’s background which leads to rule number 2 in managing money conflict as a couple. You need to learn how your background and family-of-origin affects your philosophy and attitude about money.

Learn and discuss how your background affects your notions about money.

This is where the Soul Healing Love Model is so helpful. In counseling we have couples look at their childhood and how it has affected them in their current relationships and with the issue of money they ask several questions, such as what is your socio-economic background and how did it inform your notion of money? How did your parents handle money? What was their attitude about spending and saving? Did they have money fights or did they agree on money issues? Did your parents see the value of tithing and charitable giving and instill that in you? Did they teach you how to view and manage money in a healthy way? The answers to these questions may even cause a soul wound to surface as it did for me.
I grew up with a single mom with 4 kids who supported us as a waitress and with the child support my dad sent. We barely had enough to go around and it was hard as I got older to watch some of the other girls in my school dress in the latest fashions while I got second-hand clothes. When any of us asked for things her constant refrain was, “We can’t afford it.” So eventually I stopped asking and began work to earn my own money at age 14. As a result, I became an obsessive saver. When we got married I wanted to control our finances in the same obsessive way I had learned to do in childhood. I was sure I was right because being frugal is a “noble endeavor and spending is frivolous.” I would scold Tom for buying a big gulp at the local 7-11 when he should just drink water! My fear led to unhealthy control. Tom would say that I would pinch a penny till Lincoln’s eyes popped out. It is funny now but then my fear of losing everything because of my upbringing caused conflict in our marriage.
Tom grew up in a middle class home in California with two working parents so he was afforded many things I didn’t have. I would tease him and say he was rich because he had carpet and indoor plumbing! We can laugh about this some 40 years later because we learned to understand what was smoldering underneath our money fights. This is why it is important to learn how your family background affects your spending patterns and money habitudes today. If you grew up with a family that budgeted and saved and your mate grew up getting everything that you asked for and lacked for nothing, then you could have very different ideas about money and the management of it. Opposites do attract and this is no more true than in the management of money or the lack there of. Most couples marry their opposite in many ways. It’s what makes for the excitement in marriage.
Famous Financial Advisor and Author, Larry Burkett says, “If two people just alike get married, one is unnecessary.” We believe that God brings you your opposite in order to chart your course of growth and to teach you a different perspective. Being open to listen and share each other’s perspectives and the wounds they have around money can help you understand each other better and move to healing and compromise rather that a constant power struggle. Financial Counselors also advise that couples look for similarities in their money styles. Find the ways in which you are alike in your philosophy of money. Say both of you want to pay off school debt or save for a great vacation. Use these similarities as a springboard for compromise and healthy conflict resolution. This gets us to some more practical suggestions in healthy money management in marriage. Rule number 3 is to be transparent about all money matters. Keeping secrets of any kind can torpedo a marriage, and secrets about money can be even deadly.

Be transparent about money.

A recent American Express poll found that 91% of people avoided talks with their partner about finances, and 1 in 3 acknowledged lying to their partner about finances. A 2017 study by Ramsey Solutions had similar findings. Financial Advisors have a term for this. It is Financial Infidelity. That term may seem harsh but if you are the spouse that has been deceived or lied to you know that the term fits. A common problem we see in our office is that the spender hides purchases or opens credit cards in secret keeping important information from his or her spouse. There is a saying that a relationship is only as healthy as its secrets. It is so traumatic for a spouse to discover that their partner has racked up $10,000 in credit card debt without their knowledge. This can often mean that there is an untreated shopping addiction that needs attention immediately. We also see that the main breadwinner lies or obfuscates the truth about his or her earnings or bonuses. Thus the other spouse thinks there is more money in the kiddy than is actually there, so they spend it often lavishly getting the family in financial hot water. You may think that you are avoiding conflict by hiding the truth but you are only complicating your money situation that will eventually have to be dealt with.
Money secrets undermine trust which is essential for a marriage to thrive. Betrayed spouses feel much like their mate has had an affair. They feel lied to, deceived, let down and unprotected. The reality that they once knew is not real so they doubt everything in the relationship and trust is shattered much like the victim of adultery. If you have hidden information about your finances there is no time like the present to confess, come clean and ask for forgiveness. You may need a marriage counselor who understands the deeper soul wounds in both of you to help you heal. Being open and honest in the first place forces you to talk calmly, compromise and develop a workable financial plan. This leads us to Rule Number 4. Develop a financial plan together.

Develop a financial plan.

In being transparent you sit down face to face and develop a summary of your net-worth. What do you own and what do you owe. It is a good idea to get a free credit score on a regular basis to keep track of your debt and review monthly expenses to determine if you can cut or add things. Ask each other about their financial philosophies. Do you desire to save? Do you give charitably? What are your financial goals: Get out of debt, Save for retirement, Start a savings account for your kid’s college? What is it that you want and how are you planning to get there? Yes, it can be daunting and you both may want to avoid this reality, especially if you know your budget is limited by your earnings or circumstances, but ignoring the elephant in the living room can only cause it to run amuck and cause great damage. Dave Ramsey says he gets asked often who should pay the bills and his answer is “both of you.” Both people should know what is coming in and what is going out so that they are not left in the dark about what they have and what they owe.
This leads to a dreaded topic for many couples and that is The Budget. For some this conjures images of scarcity and confinement but it can actually be liberating says, Financial Advisor and author of Smart Money Smart Kids, Rachel Cruze. She states, “The purpose of a budget is not to limit freedom, but to give you freedom —with some boundaries.” Financial Planner, Ron Blue says that you should have your budget and financial plan written down and in front of you so everything is visible, then you see what you can and cannot spend. There are plenty of apps to help you examine your spending patterns and develop a workable budget. Quicken and Every Dollar are just a few. If you or your spouse have a hard time hearing the word, “No” this will be hard but it can also be a great growing experience for him or her. Being stubborn about what you hear as you start to budget can lead to passive aggressive (secret spending) or buying in rebellion and expecting the spouse to just “deal with it” and find the money from somewhere else. These are all bad money habits that not only cause conflict but can lead to divorce. Your money belongs to both of you and you both need to compromise on the budget. What if one spouse wants to budget and the other doesn’t? Since we know opposites attract we know that this is common and extremely difficult.
So for some, seeking financial counseling can be helpful. For others marriage counseling may be indicated. Dave Ramsey says that bad relationships create money messes and money messes create bad relationships. Marriage counseling can help you deal with these messes. It helps you look at how your childhood affected your money habitudes and see the deeper meaning of money in your life and in your spouse’s life. You can then learn healthy ways to communicate about money that bring about understanding, enhance empathy and foster forgiveness and healing in your marriage.
You don’t have to keep having the dreaded money fights.
There is a way out!
What is a Healthy Way to Deal With Anger and Conflict in Marriage Tue, 02 Apr 2019 17:16:26 +0000 Every marriage has conflict. In fact, famous marital researcher, Dr. John Gottman, says good marriages that last the test of time are not void of conflict. Healthy couples just know how to resolve these inevitable disagreements. It has been our experience as marital therapists for the last 40 years that most couples fight about superficial, surface issues, and often miss the real reasons that lie beneath their anger. The chronic conflict over your husband not cleaning up his crumbs from the counter may not really be about crumbs at all. There could be a deeper root. Finding the deeper root can help couples resolve conflict and even bring healing to each other.

Reactivity and “Soul Wounds” in Marriage

In the Soul Healing Love Model we help couples determine that deeper root by looking at their soul wounds. We define a soul wound as a need from childhood that was not met. Yes, you can have soul wounds in adulthood and especially in a previous dating relationship or marriage. All of us have soul wounds of one type or another. There is no perfect family, life, or situation. Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” But it is important to note that the purpose of recognizing your soul wounds is not to play the “blame game.” The reason we look at childhood first is that the wounds that occurred early in our development can cause the deepest emotional scars. These childhood soul wounds are also easily triggered in adult relationships, and can bring about a great deal of pain and emotion. In the brain past trauma is processed in the old brain, the seat of the limbic system where our fight flight or freeze mechanism is located. That means that when we sense real or perceived danger in our relationships we can over react emotionally.

When these soul wounds are triggered in marriage (and they will be), couples often become reactive, giving a current situation more emotional energy than it deserves. This is called—Reactivity. When one mate over reacts, it typically triggers reactivity in the other mate and they are both over reacting at the same time. We call this phenomenon –Interactivity. When couples are in a state of interactivity, neither is being rational. You can easily see how marital conflict can get out of hand, and become extremely unhealthy. Sadly, we hear of this regularly in our office. This is not what the Lord had in mind when he created for Adam, “a helper suitable.”

The Lord wants us to live in peace. Proverbs 14: 29, says, “A wise man controls his temper. He knows it causes mistakes.”

It is very hard to control your temper when soul wounds in the old brain are being triggered because when the limbic system is triggered it shuts off the new brain or the pre-frontal cortex which is the rational problem-solving part of the brain. Couples in high conflict are not in their rational mind and say and do things that are highly reactive and interactive. At that point they may not even be aware of the real issues underneath their anger. Because of this we have developed a communication technique designed in the Soul Healing Love Model that helps couples determine the root of their anger and stop unhealthy reactivity and interactivity. The tool is called The GIFT Exercise and i helps them deal with what is underneath their anger and know what they are really fighting about in the first place.

What You Can Try: The GIFT Exercise

The GIFT Exercise Psychodynamic anger theorists teach that anger is not a primary emotion. It is a secondary response to four primary emotions which are: Guilt, Inferiority, Fear, and Pain (Trauma). Since this list is hard to remember in the “heat of battle,” we developed an acronym to help couples remember it.

It is the word—GIFT.

  1. Guilt
  2. Inferiority
  3. Fear
  4. Trauma

This process becomes a gift to the couple, enabling them to communicate through the impasse of conflict by recognizing the root of their rage.

The GIFT Exercise also helps couples guard their words more carefully so that destructive, unhealthy anger is less likely to occur.

Here is how we explain it to couples.

We tell them that when they get angry hold their hand up and grab their thumb. Grabbing their thumb provides an anchor for them in the present and gets them out of the past and outside of their old brain. When they grab their thumb they will see 4 fingers which they are holding up. Label each finger.

The index finger is GUILT, the middle is INFERIORITY, the ring finger is FEAR, and the pinkie is TRAUMA.

In Anger Theory the emotion is actually PAIN but that would not make a good acronym so we substituted the word TRAUMA which is a close synonym. We instruct couples that when they are triggered and start getting reactive to grab their thumb and use their remaining fingers to identify their underlying emotion. Then they can explain what they are upset about more peacefully.

So in the case of the wife who gets reactive over the crumbs on the counter in looking at the GIFT Exercise she realizes that this action on the part of her husband makes her feel Inferior. She feels unimportant and like a maid not a cherished wife. This is similar to the way she felt as a child when her single mom went to work and she was left with all the chores at a very young age. When the wife gets angry at the husband he feels Fear. He fears the anger will lead to more unhealthy actions. His wife’s anger reminds him of when he was yelled at as a child and lived in fear of his mom’s anger and sometimes rage.

In Conclusion

Using the GIFT Exercise helped them connect the dots and understand themselves and each other in a more healthy way. It also did 2 things. First they were aware of why they got so mad and couldn’t seem to get it under control and calm down, and secondly they were able to talk about the real problem instead of the superficial issues of the crumbs on the counter. Knowing why they were triggered and what that emotion was all about quelled their reactivity and interactivity and helped them talk in a more peaceful fruitful way. We have found that if one mate is calm and can explain the root of their anger, it causes the other mate to be calmer as well. This calmness allows them to move into their new brain and listen to each other instead of becoming reactive and defensive. Then they are in a place to problem solve and find workable solutions to their differences. Proverbs 15:1 says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath but harsh words cause quarrels.” The GIFT Exercise helps couples find the gentle answers they need that stop quarrels. It is sheer joy to watch a once-volatile couple talk peacefully about their differences and come to an understanding and work together to problem solve.

Published with StoryChief

How to Heal Past Hurts and Painful Experiences Sun, 10 Mar 2019 00:38:02 +0000 How to Heal Past Hurts and Painful Experiences
By Drs. Bev and Tom Rodgers
March 2019

We all have experienced painful things in our past; a betrayal from a trusted friend, or spouse, negative words spoken in anger by a parent, and some have even experienced physical abuse at the hands of those who were supposed to love us. We call these hurts, Soul Wounds. We specifically look a wounds in childhood because they have a great impact on us today. There is a neurobiological reason for that. Trauma or Soul Wounds are not recorded or processed in the new brain or neocortex, the part of the brain that is logical, objective and solves problems. Soul Wounds or trauma are processed in the old brain or the lower functioning part of the brain. This part of the brain is where the limbic system is located. This part of the brain is subjective, irrational and prone to perceive danger and become reactive. This is the seat of our fight, fight, and freeze emotions. The old brain does not have a sense of time so a soul wound that occurred at age five can be relived at 25 with the same feeling and emotion. Childhood soul wounds can be easily triggered in adulthood because they have a greater impact on our memory since the brain is more formable in childhood. You could say they leave a bigger “scar” on the brain.
These wounds can be triggered in our adult relationships in 1/16 of a second and you react as if you are in grave danger even if this is not the case. Giving your current situation more emotion and energy than it deserves because a childhood trauma is triggered is called reactivity. When you are reactive, you are not in your new brain, your calm, objective, problem-solving part of the brain, and you are processing from your old brain or amygdala to be exact. Thus you are subjective and highly emotional. This can wreak havoc on your life! But you can change your brain. Neuroscience had found that the brain is changeable. This is called Neuroplasticity and this enables you to indeed heal from past pain and even abuse.
A major way to heal the trauma in the old brain is by Repetition. Repetitively speak healing words, think healing thoughts, and pray healing prayers. Yes, this is hard to do when you are wounded but the Lord can help you. When you think thoughts you grow dendrites in the brain. These are like thought trees that get stronger and stronger with repetition. Negative thoughts release negative brain chemicals and positive thoughts release positive brain chemicals. So you want to kill negative thoughts that haunt you by not thinking them, and you want to grow positive thoughts by repeating them regularly. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “Take every thought captive to the truth of the word of God. God’s word says He loves us with an everlasting love and has great plans for us to give as a future and a hope. Speaking these words repetitively can grow positive dendrites and release positive brain chemicals like serotonin that can help you feel and act better.
The problem is you have to repeat these thoughts a lot, a minimum of 8 times a day for at least 21 days. We say 40 days because that a Biblical model. Some stubborn negative thoughts may take even longer. Dr. Daniel Amen calls these thoughts Automatic Negative Thoughts or ANTS and recommends KILLING ANTS regularly. It is helpful to think of Killing Ants when you are re-programming your thought patterns and negative beliefs.
In killing ants we cannot ignore the fact that the Enemy of our souls is at war against us and loves to remind us or our past pain. He continues to tell us the negative things about us. The scripture says, “Be careful and watch for attacks from the Devil, your enemy, who prowls around like a roaring lion looking
for some victim to devour,” (I Peter 5:8. NLB). We need to wage war against Him by staying positive. Regularly praying against the Enemy’s attacks helps you heal.
We have an exercise in the Soul Healing Love arsenal that is designed to help you repeat positive thoughts and words, kill negative ones, and apply God’s love and grace to change your Story from Pain to Praise. It is called THE RE-MIND because it is to help you reprogram your mind but also to remind you that you are not inferior or unworthy. The RE-MIND Exercise has 5 practical steps to change your brain and your life.
There are five steps that require you writing in five columns. They are:
1. What is your negative thought? i.e. “I’m not good enough.” “I’m unworthy.”
2. What is your behavioral adaptation from the negative thought? People pleasing, giving up, etc.
3. Re-tell or Re-Context your story. Share it with an empathetic listener who helps you see God’s perspective. (This can be a therapist, pastor, or trusted friend).
4. Remind yourself of the positive thoughts you have created to combat the negative ones. State them, think the, pray them. Thoughts such as; I am worthy of love, God’s love heals my soul, I am fearfully and wonderfully made, God has plans for my welfare and gives me hope. Pray and memorize Scriptures like Jeremiah 29:11.
5. What will I do and how will I act in the light of these positive thoughts? i.e. Join a group, seek friendships with positive people, forgive those who have hurt you.
The RE-MIND needs to be done a minimum of 8 times a day for 40 days in order to change your brain. We have heard from many clients that it works! Romans 12:1-2 says, “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind which is in Christ Jesus.” That is exactly what you are doing, you are being transformed and healed. More information can be found in Soul Healing Love: Turning Relationships That Hurt into Relationships That Heal by Drs. Beverly and Tom Rodgers.

How Christian Counseling Saves Marriages Sun, 10 Mar 2019 00:35:16 +0000 February 2, 2019

How Christian Counseling Saves Marriages

Christian Counseling is different because in addition to using evidence based models, tools and techniques it also incorporates the client’s relationship with Jesus Christ and how that relationship can be healed by experiencing His Love and Grace in their lives. This is what the Soul Healing Love Model does. People come to us with wounds from childhood or past relationships or marriages which we call Soul Wounds and we help them apply the Soul Healing Love of God to heal those wounds. With this
healing they can then be instruments to help heal their spouses as God’s love spills out of them and over on to their spouse.
Betty and Barney (not their real names) came to Rodgers Christian Counseling for marriage counseling and attended one of our Couples Intensives. They had been to three other counselors before us who didn’t focus on the spiritual aspect of their relationship. The word Spiritual can have many meanings in this day and age and what we mean by that is focusing on each person’s personal, vibrant real relationship with the Lord. This couple was in the deep end of the ocean in their relationship and needed both marital counseling tools as well as spiritual grounding.
They shared about the wounds of their past as we carefully and prayerfully helped them understand how these wounds from the past affected their marriage today. They were stunned at how their past was still controlling them as we explained how the brain works in dealing with trauma from the past. (For more details see our book Soul Healing Love: Turning Relationships That Hurt Into Relationships That Heal). Often in Couples Intensives we share our own stories of our soul wounds and healing. This one was no different and our couple could relate. Both had wounds in childhood similar to ours that made them feel as if they were not important to their parents and somehow inferior or inadequate.
We say in our work that “blame is not our game”. In other words we do not want to blame our parents. In fact, we are parents ourselves and know that we all “fall short of the glory of God.” We don’t want to blame we just want to understand why we do the dysfunctional things we do in our relationships. Both Betty and Barney were reminded in the Couples Intensive how much the Lord loved them and this helped ground them spiritually. They also learned that much of what they thought about each other was pure assumption and they were in a power struggle that neither could win.
In the Soul Healing Love Model we define a Power Struggle as a relationship in which there is an underlying tension which is characterized by fear that breaks down communication and leads to assumption. In the power struggle we always assume the worst and project that onto your partner. This couple practically lit up when we shared this. They realized that they had been in a power struggle since the birth of their first child and that they saw only the bad in each other. Dr. John Gottman, marriage researcher and author, calls this “negative sentiment override”. This couple were indeed experiencing this and were able with our guidance and knowledge of Scripture to see the good in each other and change their paradigm of their relationship.
The Bible says in Phillipians,” What so ever thing are pure, holy and beautiful, think on these things.” Both Betty and Barney realized that because of past hurt they were only thinking of the negative and not the positive things in their relationship. The Couples Intensive helped them refocus on what was good and help them move back to those loving behaviors that they had early in their marriage.
We often say that when couples meet that Romance is a Noun. They have a Romance. But as we journey in marriage Romance should become a verb. This means that couples should consciously, intentionally Romance each other by doing caring, loving behaviors that tell their spouse that they care. First you have to clean out the hurt “cob webs” that have stopped you from romancing in the first place. This is what Christian Marriage Counseling can do. It helps couples move from a hurting place to a healing place by utilizing Scripture and Spiritual healing in the process.
We helped both Betty and Barney realize that God loved them and he would heal their souls and help them allow that to heal each other. Soul Healing Love has healed hundreds of couples by applying those same truths to their lives and relationships.
It is nothing short of miracle to see a couple move from hopelessness and despair to healing and restoration with the help the Holy Spirit of God. We are so grateful to be used of God in the Christian Counseling process.

How to Keep Romance Alive in Marriage Mon, 18 Feb 2019 14:35:43 +0000 In our busy fast paced lives Romance doesn’t just come naturally after we get married. In order to keep Romance alive you actually have to work at it. Here are some dos and don’t’s of keeping romance alive.

1. Don’t take your mate for granted. When you marry you have a romance. It is noun, but when you
stay married you must Do romance. It then becomes a verb. It is easy to think that your mate
“just knows” that you love them. Even saying it can get old if you don’t take the time to make
each other feel special.
2. Don’t assume that you and your partner have the same Love Language. Dr. Gary Chapman wrote the
classic book, The Five Love Languages. We all have a way we feel loved be it quality time, acts
of service, gifts, or words of affirmation. If your love language is gift giving, you may give
gifts to your spouse and he or she may desire words of affirmation. Learn to give them what
they need not what your need.
3. Men don’t assume that sex is all the romance a relationship needs. Romancing for women can mean
conversation, affection, and help with the kids. Create an environment of love and affection so
that sex is the culmination not the whole event.

Do’s of romance

1. Date regularly.
2. Do know what makes your mate feel special.
3. Talk about your “US,” what we love about each other, show interest in what interests your
spouse. Discuss your hopes dreams not just kids, schedules or work. That’s not romantic!
4. Have fun, laugh, play, learn something new together keep your romance growing.

Make Sure It’s a Fair Fight Mon, 11 Sep 2017 21:45:53 +0000 Conflict is inevitable in relationship, especially in marriage. You can’t take 2 different people with different personalities, from completely different environments and upbringings, ask them to pay mortgages, manage careers, and raise humankind in an enclosed space called a house without some conflict. That being said conflict is inevitable but combat is optional! So the key is how you do conflict. How do you handle conflict? Do you get mad and get even, or do you stonewall and punish? Either way is unhealthy and tends to guarantee that your issues will not get resolved in a healing way. Here are some Fair Fighting Rules that we have found over the years that help resolve conflicts in a healthy way:

  • Know what your are really fighting about. Look at the deeper issues in your life.
  • Stay on the topic. Don’t go global and throw in the kitchen sink!
  • Take responsibility for what you are feeling. Use “I statements” rather than “you statements.”
  • No finger pointing, blaming, shaming, guilting name calling, or threats of breakups. In other words don’t say things that are so critical or inflammatory that the spouse has little course but to defend themselves and retaliate.
  • Don’t assume you know what your spouse is thinking and feeling. Because in combat we typically assume the worst. Check out your assumptions by asking your mate what they are thinking or feeling.

Set a mindset of restoration rather than retaliation. If you practice these you can have the inevitable conflict without the combat.

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Whatsoever is Good, Lovely, Pure Mon, 28 Aug 2017 20:29:11 +0000 There is so much negative in the world today it can be easy to miss the good, the positive, the smile from the grocery clerk, cooling rain on a hot summer day, a beautiful sunset. Just watch the news and you will get an earful of tragedy, misery and pain. The Apostle Paul saw the good even in a terrible situation. We have traveled to Rome and seen the terrible prisons the early church disciples were confined to. They are basically a stone dungeon with maybe a small hole in the wall or a semblance of light. Yet is was in these conditions that he wrote this passage in Philippians 4:8, “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, just, pure, lovely and are of good report, if there be any virtue or praise think on these things.” This inspires me to think about the good and to encourage my clients to do the same. It is an honor for me to walk beside God’s wounded children who are going through trials and tribulations and be a tour guide of God’s goodness along the way.


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What do you believe about God? Mon, 14 Aug 2017 16:24:34 +0000 Sarah Young in her great devotional, Jesus Calling, makes the statement that wounded people have trouble with faith. We agree . If you were told or made to believe by a parent that you were not loved, or not good enough this can leave a deep wound of inferiority in you that we call a soul wound. This sense of worthlessness from your soul wound can cause you to see God in much the same negative light as you did your parents.  As a young Christian I (Bev) thought of God as a celestial parent who only loved me if I did good and punished me if I did bad. It took years of therapy, education, study of Scripture and a lot of prayer to change that message embedded in my brain. The good news is it can change. Memorizing Scripture about God’s love and care can be a great place to start. There are so many Scriptures about the God’s Unconditional Soul Healing Love. I challenge you to make your own list and replay them regularly in your mind. If you do this you will watch your faith soar.

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Our Thoughts Matter Mon, 31 Jul 2017 20:22:08 +0000 Our thoughts matter because Neuroscience teaches us that thoughts have matter. Quantum Physics reinforces that finding stating that thoughts can be registered on special computers. Oh how I wished I had paid more attention in my physics classes!  Dr. Caroline Leaf says that thoughts are measurable and occupy mental “real estate.” Thoughts are active and influence every decision, word, action, physical reaction and behavior. It is so healthy and God-honoring to look at what kind of thoughts are taking up space in our brain’s real estate. It’s a discipline to “Take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5. The Message says it this way, “Fit every thought, emotion, and impulse into the structure of life shaped by God.” Our life’s work is to do this ourselves and to encourage those with whom we are privileged to work to do that as well.


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Positive “Thought Trees” Mon, 17 Jul 2017 20:21:58 +0000 “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.” Proverbs 23:7. That means that you are what you think. New research in the field of Neuroscience is proving this Scripture to be true. For years we thought that the brain could not be reprogrammed or changed. But now we know from this field that the brain can be reformed and changed, a process called neuroplasticity. Each thought creates a “thought tree” in the brain called a dendrite. Negative thoughts create negative thought trees and the more you think negatively the more those trees grow. These negative thoughts lead to negative attitudes like low self-esteem, hopelessness, lack of faith in God, depression and more. Negative attitudes lead to negative behaviors, control, anger, and selfishness. The good news is you can stop these negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. The brain can be rewired to think positively but it will take practice. It will take daily renewing your mind and Paul says in Romans 12:2, “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind which is in Christ Jesus.” Our thoughts shape our lives, so let’s start growing positive “thought trees” so our attitudes and behaviors become positive as well.

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