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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

I can do all things

Tuesday, January 31, 2023 @ 8:13 PM

How many times have you heard someone who is struggling say, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me? This is often said without understanding what Paul, who wrote these words actually meant. Paul had just written of blessings he received as well as the adversity he had faced in the work he did in the proclamation of the gospel of his Lord Jesus Christ. One commentator states, "(Paul) makes it perfectly clear that this contentment did not arise from his own inherent or innate resources. Quite the reverse. His self-sufficiency was entirely due to the sufficiency of Another, and so it was very different from that of the Stoic. The preposition ἐν has been taken in an instrumental sense to denote personal agency (= ‘through [him who strengthens me]’), but, while this is possible, it is probably better to understand the phrase in an incorporative sense, that is, ‘in vital union with the one who strengthens me’, with the implication that the One who so strengthens Paul is Christ. Later scribes inserted the word Χριστῷ and so made explicit the apostle’s intention. ἐνδυναμόω (‘to strengthen’) is employed elsewhere in the Pauline corpus to describe the mighty work of the exalted Christ in the lives of individual believers. 1

Most cherry-pick this verse while missing the meat of the chapter. In verse 14 Paul says, while the above is true, "I thank you for standing with me in my trouble. Here the commentator states, "Paul turns from his discussion of learning to be content (4:11–13) and returns to the important theme of partnership.2

You see this is the meat of the chapter. We are not in the work of sharing the gospel on our own. We belong to a congregation of brothers and sisters who share in this work. Earlier in Philippians Paul tells us, "Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others. (2:4) We are called to be shoulders to lean on for those who are suffering, and struggling with the tribulation of this world. It is also important for those who are struggling to reach out for aid and not try in pride to be a lone ranger proclaiming "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!" in an attempt to be stoic.

2. Hansen, G. W. (2009). The Letter to the Philippians (p. 315). William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

1. O’Brien, P. T. (1991). The Epistle to the Philippians: a commentary on the Greek text (pp. 526–527). Eerdmans.

Monday, January 30, 2023

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)

Monday, January 30, 2023 @ 4:26 PM

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a type of psychotherapy that emphasizes acceptance as a way to deal with negative thoughts, feelings, symptoms, or circumstances. It also encourages increased commitment to healthy, constructive activities that uphold your values or goals.

ACT therapists operate under a theory that suggests that increasing acceptance can lead to increased psychological flexibility. This approach carries a host of benefits, and it may help people stop habitually avoiding certain thoughts or emotional experiences, which can lead to further problems.

Unlike cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), the goal of ACT is not to reduce the frequency or severity of unpleasant internal experiences like upsetting cognitive distortions, emotions, or urges. Rather, the goal is to reduce your struggle to control or eliminate these experiences while simultaneously increasing your involvement in meaningful life activities (i.e., those activities that are consistent with your personal values).

This process involves six components:

Acceptance: This means allowing your inner thoughts and feelings to occur without trying to change them or ignore them. Acceptance is an active process.

Cognitive defusion: Cognitive defusion is the process of separating yourself from your inner experiences. This allows you to see thoughts simply as thoughts, stripped of the importance that your mind adds to them.

Self as context: This involves learning to see your thoughts about yourself as separate from your actions.

Being present: ACT encourages you to stay mindful of your surroundings and learn to shift your attention away from internal thoughts and feelings.

Values: These are the areas of your life that are important enough to you to motivate action.

Commitment: This process involves changing your behavior based on principles covered in therapy.

ACT may be effective in treating:

Eating disorders
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
Substance use

One core benefit of ACT is the impact it has on psychological flexibility. Psychological flexibility is the ability to embrace your thoughts and feelings when they are useful and to set them aside when they are not. This allows you to thoughtfully respond to your inner experience and avoid short-term, impulsive actions, focusing instead on living a meaningful life.

Psychological flexibility can improve your ability to accept and function with symptoms of conditions like anxiety or depression. Often, those symptoms may lessen significantly as a result of this, increase in psychological flexibility,

ACT is sometimes referred to as a "third wave" or "new wave" psychotherapy. The term "third wave" treatment refers to a broad spectrum of psychotherapies that also includes:

Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
Schema therapy
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT)

Historically, third-wave treatments were seen as particularly appropriate for people who were not benefiting from pre-existing treatments like classical CBT. However, it is now believed that for some individuals, a third-wave therapy option may make sense as a first-line treatment.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Many Voices, One Truth

Thursday, January 26, 2023 @ 6:12 PM

Tracy Taris’ Many Voices, One Truth teaches the reader to discern the voices that vie for our attention: Self, Satan, Society, & the Savior.

Many Voices, One Truth is filled with practicals to teach the reader how to enter a space of quiet so that one can hear that “still small voice” of our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

I Ate the Cake: A Journey for Justice

Tuesday, January 24, 2023 @ 7:29 PM

I Ate the Cake: A Journey for Justice is a nonfiction narrative crafted memoir. The journey of the author's decisions to surrender her fears, desires to retaliate, and personal career aspirations become the opportunity to bring change. Change in the leadership who orchestrated neglect of children and employees trusted in their care. A change that is much needed.

In her debut writing, I Ate the Cake: A Journey for Justice, Darline Amos-McElroy poignantly describes her faith walk with a balance of encouragement for the reader. The author shares her internal struggles to apply spiritual lessons in two hostile workplace environments within the same school district. Finally, Darline realizes that she must take a stand amid her influences. Most importantly, she must have the faith to trust God despite the obstacles.

Darline Amos-McElroy currently resides with her husband, Pastor Robert B. McElroy, and their four children in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas.

Lifelines Recovery Program

Tuesday, January 24, 2023 @ 1:31 PM

Every Friday evening at 7PM PST I have the honor of leading Lifelines Recovery Program. Lifelines is an award winning, nationally recognized faith based recovery meeting for anyone affected by addiction issues (and their family members).

Lifelines meets at The Crossing Church located at 2115 Newport Blvd. Costa Mesa, CA. It is also live-streamed on the official Lifelines Facebook page located here:

Every Friday we have amazing speakers including therapists, pastors, authors, psychologists, etc. Past speakers include Dr. Daniel Amen, Dr. John Townsend and many other highly respected mental health and addiction professionals who are faith based.

Email for more info.

Friday, January 20, 2023

Homeschool Mother Anxiety

Friday, January 20, 2023 @ 2:45 PM

“I can’t believe you are thinking about homeschooling! Don’t you know that your kids are going to grow up to hate you, rebel against, and worst of all…….THEY WON’T HAVE SOCIAL SKILLS!!!!”

If you are a homeschool mom or dad chances are you have heard comments similar to these. These comments might sting coming from a random person on Facebook. However, they hurt more when it comes from your friends and family. These type of comments may make you think twice about whether you are doing the right thing. If you are considering homeschooling then you may not want to do it in order to avoid the wrath of the social skills mob. In this post I want to address how to handle anxiety when you are a homeschool mom.

Let me start with the question of why? Why are you homeschooling? If you’re reading this and haven’t started out why should you? If you’re reading this and hate homeschooling why are you reading this article? To begin to address these “why” questions let’s start with the purpose of education. While the crowd reading this may be different, most of us went to public schools. For the sake of clarity, I went to public school growing up. I cannot tell you how many times when I was in school the topic of making it into a good college was discussed. “You have to get a good score on your ACT in order to get into a good school and receive scholarships.” “You have to graduate in order to get a good job.” And “you have to have a good job in order to have a productive life.”

To oversimplify: the public school reasons for education are:

1. Graduate

2. Go to college

3. Get a good job.

Is this an oversimplification? Absolutely. But I believe this is a fair representation of the public school approach. To be fair, none of these reasons are bad. I think graduating, going to college and getting a good job are fine things. However, this is not the reason for education. Education is the process of learning more about God’s creation and how to steward his creation.

Simply put, this is God’s world. We are just living in it. Homeschooling allows the ability to teach your children from this worldview. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to make your homeschooling a glorified Sunday School where the answer is always “Jesus!” Education can be playing in the dirt to learn about the ants God created. Learning more about God’s world and how to appropriately interact in it is education at its core.

Homeschooling has been around for some time. When I was a kid in the 90’s the stereotype was only weird kids in long skirts homeschooled. If you’re a weird kid in a long skirt reading this then I mean no harm! However, homeschooling is growing rapidly in popularity. This is true across the country but is certainly happening in Oklahoma and Texas. I believe in this post COVID world this trend will continue. When the lockdowns hit in March 2020 public schools started doing virtual learning. Many parents started to realize the benefit of being present with their kids during their schooling. Some moms realized the joy in helping their kids with their education and figured they could keep doing this even after the restrictions were lifted. Others were horrified to see the scary worldviews their children’s teachers were imposing on them. Still others yet didn’t send their kids back due to all the restrictions. Regardless of whatever your reason is for homeschooling I want you to take time to answer “why?” Why were you initially drawn to homeschooling? Why are you continuing to do it? Why are you constantly going back and forth about whether you should homeschool or not? I will not and cannot answer this question for you. However, figuring out your why is the basis of where we go. If your answer to this question is rock solid then we need to figure out ways to make your homeschooling experience the best it can be. If your answer is shaky or you don’t have it yet then don’t fret! Take your time and figure out your “why.” There is no time period on how long this should take. What is important is that you answer it.

Once you know the why then move toward protecting your answer. For instance, if your why is “I want my children to have a biblical worldview in their education” then let’s find ways to make that happen. Many times homeschool moms get stuck in their head. They may start feeling anxious related to how others view them. It is important to have an active mindset. Anxiety is very passive in nature. You are stuck inside of your head just living in doubt. This is why I wanted you to start with your “why” question. When your answer is rock solid then doubting just stops you from accomplishing your goal.

However, be careful with well meaning advice such as “Be kind to yourself” and “You’re a great mom. Keep believing that.” Now, at face value these are fine statements. I’m certainly not getting on to you if you say that or share things like that on social media. My concern is what it can lead into. It can start getting into a type of self reliance and almost a New Age type of spirituality. Allie Beth Stucky has a wonderful book called You're Not Enough (And That's Okay): Escaping the Toxic Culture of Self-Love

This book helps show some of these concerns of what these type of sayings can lead into. The fact of the matter is you aren’t enough. I’m not enough. No one is enough! But guess who is? Jesus! So, instead of looking into your inner power, look towards Christ! Here is a wonderful verse to help address anxiety and what to do when you experience it.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6 ESV)

I love the ESV version and use it for most all of my Bible reading. However, there are some words that you need to wrestle with a bit more due to the translations more literal nature. When you read the word supplication in the above verse it means to ask or beg for something earnestly or humbly. When you ask things it has to come from that spirit of humility. Sometimes when I ask for things I do it from a place of entitlement. Like I deserve to have whatever I am praying for. But this is from the wrong place. We need to be like a beggar. Someone pleading for help from an extremely humble position. Again, you are not enough. But Christ is! Keep that in mind when you have another bout of anxiety.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

New Book Called PACE to Peace: Finding Inner Rest in a World of Unrest

Wednesday, January 18, 2023 @ 8:45 AM

This article consists of excerpts from the Introduction to the book entitled PACE to Peace: Finding Inner Rest in a World of Unrest.This book is a tool to facilitate transformation of the inner person. Why is inner peace only possible through constant change? The an swer will become apparent as you read, study, and apply the truth found here. We will explore themes discussed in the Bible, especially the book of Hebrews that directly connects our relationship with God and the quality of the inner rest of our souls (see Hebrews 12:14-15, 3:1-12). Increasing the quality of our relationship with God requires constant realignment of our thoughts, actions, and patterns of behavior (Romans 12:1-2). Transformation and sanctification are processes of consistently reordering our old attitudes, beliefs, and standards of living to align with God’s. 

“Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be
defiled” (Hebrews 12:14-15 NASB). Looking at these verses in context of the book of Hebrews from the beginning of the chapter to the point where they appear, the sanctification of our soul emerges as a very dominant theme. Faith is defined in the previous chapter, Chapter 11, in the passage best known for introducing the “heroes of faith.” Chapter 12 offers specifics of how faith is lived out.

First, Jesus is the “founder” AND “perfecter” of our faith (see Hebrews 12:2, ESV). The Passion Translation (TPT) expresses it as, “Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection”—that is, completion. There is a beginning and a completion to faith in Christ. Believing in Jesus at a conversion experience begins a process of completing faith’s work the remainder of our lives.
Secondly, verses 4-11 speak of growing, as children grow in their Father’s (parents’) care. Growth involves change and stretching of what is, into what it needs to become. The growth process requires discipline. A commitment to this kind of change brings about joy and peace.

Now to verses 14-15, quoted above. Sanctification is explicitly mentioned “without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). Without completion of faith in Jesus through the sanctification pro
cess (change and growth through discipline toward holiness), we have no faith at all. This ongoing change is to be pursued, intentionally sought, and not merely expected to happen on its own. Moreover, this process is intrinsically linked back to our conversion to faith in Christ, and forward to establishing the conditions for our inner peace.

Bible Says Much About Peace

God’s purposes and plans for peace are far greater than our personal experiences of escaping the feelings of unrest inside. However, our inner life is very important to God. So important that he commands complete surrender of our ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving in exchange for his. The psalmist reflects, “Those who love Your law have great peace, and nothing causes them to stumble” (Psalm 119:165; NASB). God’s ways are superior to human ways. We are wise to accept this truth, “How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace” (Proverbs 3:13,17 NASB).

Jesus himself had some things to say about peace. Jesus didn’t come into the world to chase away conflict (see Matthew 10:24). He came to deliver us from enslavement to conflict. First, the conflict that exists within our own soul, and the conflict that puts us at war (sometimes literally) with people around us. Without Christ, conflict is inevitable within, but with and through Christ conflict is, was, and will be an nihilated. Since the first sin of mankind, conflict within and conflict without (our environment) are built into the default nature of every human being. Putting our faith and trust in Jesus means we are yielding to his power to remove the grip of unrest in lost parts of our souls.
Often at the root of conflict is bitterness. Bitterness is created by the seeds of failed expectations, disappointments, regret, hurt, or offense. Roots of bitterness are specifically mentioned in these verses in Hebrews as destructive anti-growth agents. Bitter roots are weeds that will “defile” (reduce the productivity of the garden of our hearts). Bitter roots can take the form of ill-willed thoughts, envy, jealousy, malice, slander, and the like. The critical, condemning thoughts and opinions turn into blame, resentment, hatred and even sometimes revenge.

Our tendency to want to rule our own fate causes our failure to trust God to work all circumstances for good. God’s justice demands that only he can sit on the throne as Judge. Our demands to think and act as Judge create conflict. The rebellion against God at the core of this conflict is why the “Prince of Peace,” Messiah Jesus, came to this earth (see Isaiah 9:6).

Conversion AND Convergence

This goes to the heart of the gospel message. Luke records Jesus as saying, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10 NKJV). Until recently, like most Christians, I thought of “lost” souls coming to faith in Jesus in a conversion experience as the full extent of interpreting the meaning of this statement in Luke 19.
However, God is challenging me with a deeper understanding. The inner peace stolen by the enemy of our soul with the entry of sin into the world is part of the loss that Jesus came to redeem. Through the transformation and sanctification process, the seeking and saving of the losses in our lives continues. Faith in Jesus makes us whole. All the broken parts of our soul still touched by the losses are being brought together into the wholeness God intends for us from the beginning. Is is a process of convergence.

Sanctification is God’s divine plan. Being made whole through holiness (set apart on the inside) yields the fruit of increasingly greater degrees of outwardly “holy” behavior. Becoming completely at peace with God’s plan in our innermost being begins at conversion and is fulfilled through a lifelong PACE. I call this a PACE, as each letter in the word corresponds to one of the four parts of this book; Prepare, Accept, Cooperate, and Engage (described below);

I grew up in the Christian church thinking the “salvation of souls” refers merely to the conversion of souls. However, the term salvation includes sanctification as well. It includes Jesus completing the faith he has begun. It includes the discipline of growing the faith into maturity. It includes the inner peace Hebrews calls the “peaceful fruit of righteousness” (see Hebrews 12:11).

Soul Harvest

The “harvest” of souls includes all of the above. Let’s be clear that believing in Jesus is not just a decision of the mind to repent (turn around) from one way of life to another. It is a radical surrender to a process of heart transformation as well. For a Christian, seeking the sanctification of our soul is not an option. Responding to God and allowing him to change our heart from the inside out will yield greaterdegrees of inner peace. Inner peace can be a gauge for measuring our progress. The more we surrender to God, the more peace we will have in our soul. 

Inner change is difficult, but we can be at peace with the uncertainty change brings when we are trusting God through our faith in Jesus. An inner peace and assurance of what Jesus has accomplished
for us, AND what he continues to empower us to do, is foundational for facing the challenges of life. It’s all about his power, not ours.

In summary, I offer my paraphrase of the Hebrews 12:14-15 verses quoted at the beginning. “Pursue inner peace through reconciliation with God, for yourself, and seek this condition for every person you know. Practice surrendering your heart to God for the purpose of a holy being, until the day you see Jesus face to face. Make sure you are living the fullest of God’s purposes for your life by rooting out any bitterness that remains—i.e., admitting your critical judgments, surrendering all judgments to God, and releasing all demands for justice so your relationships (with God, others, and self) can be made whole.” This book is a tool to help guide and encourage you on the journey

Four Parts to P-A-C-E
P-repare the Heart
A-ccept Our Broken Heart Condition
C-ooperate with God through Surrender
E-ngage Inner Change as a Lifestyle

Summary of the P-A-C-E

The journey through this book begins in Part One with preparing the heart. Recognizing what makes us “tick” (so to speak) is critical to making any kind of positive directional changes. Our heart is like a house. The center of all activities for a farm is the farmhouse. The farmer eats, rests, plays, plans, and finds shelter in the farmhouse. When the farmhouse functions well to meet the needs of the farmer,the foundation for the success of the mission of the farm is secure. Part Two of this book is about accepting our broken-down heart condition. Without God, our farmhouse and therefore our entire farm is in disrepair and cannot be fixed on its own. Self-honesty about the true condition of our heart is key to taking first steps toward positive change. The humility to continue taking steps toward God is essential to grow out of our brokenness. Part Three walks through cooperating with God to restore our heart so it can thrive once again. Surrender is a key. Gaining something new requires giving up the old. That’s easier said than done when it comes to old (familiar) patterns of thought and behavior. We must become “wholly” dissatisfied with our own ways to gain satisfaction with God’s “holy” ways (see Proverbs 14:11-12).Part Four deals with engaging transformational growth as a lifestyle. Changing to be a better person is great, but God’s purposes are far beyond our imaginations and expectations.

The only way to discover God’s greater purposes is to embrace inner change by drawing ever closer to God. This includes nurturing a healthy discontent with how far we’ve already come. The moment a farmer becomes too content with his farm’s productivity, conditions out of his control (e.g.,severe weather, pests, economy, thieves) will push things in a declining direction. We must remain vigilant in fighting our broken world’s declining tendencies. We must embrace our need for constant change from the inside out.

I provide some practical tools along the way, and in the appendices. Also in the back of the book are a group of questions for each chapter. The questions are designed to help the pace reader on their own journey to peace. I encourage writing out the answers for each chapter before going on to the next chapter.
Inner life change begins with a better understanding of our inner life. So why not get started now. If you don’t have a copy of the book yet, order the print or ebook version and dig in. Buy the book at:

More info at:

Saturday, January 14, 2023

5 Steps to Goal Setting Success

Saturday, January 14, 2023 @ 11:45 AM

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. ~Chinese proverb

Before we set out to accomplish anything at all, we must begin with a clear picture in our minds of already having achieved our goal.

We wouldn’t even imagine trying to glue broken pieces of pottery back together without any idea of what it’s supposed to look like.

So, why should we go through life without a clear purpose? Once we begin to visualize something, we can begin to figure out how to make it happen.

Following are steps to consider in setting goals:

A Clear Purpose

The first step is to have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish.

Consider the lifestyle you want to live, your motives, and your priorities.

Recall what others have confirmed as your gifts and talents.

Think about what you are passionate about.

Create a clear picture in your mind and see yourself having reached your goal.

Imagine what you would be doing and what life would be like for you.

Think about what it means to you to fulfill your goals.

A Course of Action

Once you have a clear purpose, it is time to take action in setting goals and in achieving them.

The best way to begin is to make your goals measurable, and organize your objectives by writing them down. Before any building is ever built, a blueprint is drawn. Without it there would be no plan or direction in what do, how to do it, or what materials to use. In the same way, life goals need a clear course of action.

Think of the first steps you must take to achieve your goals.

Now write down at least 3 short-term goals and 3 long-term goals.

Some short-term goals can be daily or weekly. Record deadlines for each goal, and be sure to check them off when they are reached. This will give you a sense of accomplishment and help you stay motivated.

Each new goal you set will give you hope and anticipation for its fulfillment. And with each step you take, you will grow and accomplish new things.

Creating S.M.A.R.T. Goals

S = Specific [answer the questions - Who? What? Where? When? How?]
General goal = Lose Weight
Specific goal = My goal is to join Jake's Fitness Center next week on Monday, February 18th and begin working out 3 days a week [Mon, Tues, Sat].

M = Measurable [How much? How many?]
Example- My goal is to lose 10 lbs (2 lbs a week).

A = Achievable [you can attain most any goal you set if you plan wisely, persist and stay motivated]

R = Realistic [answer the questions - Can I accomplish this? Do I have the ability and skills needed?]

T = Timely [set time frames for each goal]
Example- My goal is to lose a total of 10 lbs starting March 1st for 5 weeks ending April 5th.

To Your Success,

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. ~Mark Twain

Monday, January 9, 2023

Worry - What It Is & How to Break Free

Monday, January 9, 2023 @ 5:38 PM

Worry is....

a mental activity. It is a repetition of negative thoughts about actual or potential problems or difficulties.

Worry does not solve problems. It creates new ones.
Worry is not a remedy for guilt. It reinforces it.
Worry does not maintain control. It loses it.
Worry is not inborn. It is learned.

There is no good reason or benefit to worry.
Worry is harmful to our lives (physically, mentally, emotionally, socially).
Worry is not unchangeable.

Worry chains can be broken because…


Habits are powerful things. Habits turn actions into attitudes, and attitudes into lifestyles.
~Charlene Armitage

We break the worry habit and lifestyle when we realize:
We can choose to stop deceiving ourselves or making excuses to justify why we worry.

We can choose to replace worry with…
Awareness (facing – not denying worry)
Acceptance of what we cannot change
Action - taking reasonable action & changing what we can
(if and when possible)

God's Perfect, Endless Love is greater than Fear, Worry, Anxiety, Panic!!!

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18, NKJV

RESOURCES to help you release fear and worry....

Overcoming Anxiety, Worry, and Fear In Christ (Scriptures taken from the book IN CHRIST I AM...)

There are so many reasons we may experience unrest (anxiety, worry and fear). We live in a world that is filled with problems, disasters, tragedies, and evil. No matter what we are experiencing, our Lord promises to be with us and give us peace.

This video - Overcoming Anxiety, Worry, and Fear in Christ - is filled with His empowering promises (Bible verses for anxiety)! May God's promises strengthen you and help you to rest in His loving care.

© 2017, 2023 All Rights Reserved.
Written by Krystal Kuehn, LPC, LLP, NCC

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Ask a Counselor

Thursday, January 5, 2023 @ 5:11 PM

Do you ever wish you could just ask a professional counselor a question about mental health? Janie Stubblefield will host an "Ask a Counselor" hour on Friday, January 13, 2023. This meeting is open to all, however questions will be answered on a first come basis due to the limited time. Attendees may email questions in advance to

This is an informational meeting open to the public, and is intended for informational purposes only - no diagnosis nor therapeutic interventions. This is NOT a HIPAA compliant meeting and attendees may be able to see each others personal information.

Cost = FREE

Lone Star Ethics for Counselors

Thursday, January 5, 2023 @ 5:10 PM

A two hour live workshop including Q&A with Janie Stubblefield, MA, LPC-S meets the requirement for Texas specific ethics training for Texas LPCs. The structure is a planned workshop and Q&A.

Cost $40

Managing Anger: When You Say The Wrong Thing

Thursday, January 5, 2023 @ 12:50 PM

One of the hardest things to do when dealing with anger is controlling our tongue.

We may be overcome with emotion and say something hurtful, damaging and/or inappropriate. When we calm down, we often feel some regret and wish we could take back our words.

Although we are not able to go back and change what we said, we can take some positive steps in dealing with anger.

First, we can take responsibility for our actions. It may be humbling to apologize, but simply saying "I'm sorry" or "I shouldn't have said what I did" can bring healing and restoration to the situation and relationships that may have been affected.

We also can and must forgive ourselves and accept that we are only human and imperfect.

Finally, we can learn some healthy coping skills for dealing with anger that can help us throughout our lives.

We have two choices when it comes to dealing with anger in our lives: We either learn to control it or it will control us.

Anger is not something we can avoid or ignore. Whether it is our own anger or someone else’s, much of our days are spent dealing with anger and its consequences.

Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret. ~Ambrose Bierce

Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry. Ephesians 4:26

Making Peace with Your Past

Thursday, January 5, 2023 @ 12:47 PM

The day the child realizes that all adults are imperfect he becomes an adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult; the day he forgives himself he becomes wise. ~Alden Nowlan

Are regrets, bad memories, or losses keeping you from enjoying each new day?

Is the past keeping you from moving into the future with hope and anticipation?

I recently heard a man say that it was not until he made peace with his past that he truly began to live. It changed his life so drastically that everyone noticed there was something different about him. It was not until 20 years after losing his father that he began to grieve the loss for the first time.

He finally allowed himself to face his past with all the anger and pain. There was so much that he missed out on. There were lost opportunities and things that would never be, so many regrets, poor choices, and bad experiences that would affect the rest of his life.

This man went through a process of acceptance and forgiveness. He felt the pain. He felt the anger. He mourned what was and could have been. And then, he released it. He made peace with his past, and he was ready to move on with his life.

Suddenly, new opportunities before him became exciting. He began to fully appreciate what he had, the people in his life, and what he had become. He began to hope for a better and brighter future. He was ready to give more of himself to others. And he began to enjoy his life more and more.

For the first time since he could remember, he felt free—free of burdens from the past, free of unresolved pain, free of bitterness and self-pity. He was free indeed!

He was free to enjoy his life, his family, and all that he had like never before. The past would no longer steal his joy and hope. It could not hold him back, and it was not going to keep him down any longer.

Is your past keeping you from fully enjoying your life?

Sometimes we do not stop and think about it. Just like the man described above, we might have regrets, unresolved pain, sorrow, anger, or unforgiveness. These things keep us bound to the past.

The past does not have to negatively influence our future. We can release it as we face it, deal with the emotions, come to accept what was and now is, and forgive our past.

Making peace with our past will lead us to experience healing, wholeness, and freedom to live our life with true joy. Every day is a new day to appreciate and enjoy. We do not have to allow our past to keep us from being truly happy today.

Choose to be free and take the necessary steps to be free now. (We might want to have a professional counselor help us go through this process.)

Following are questions to reflect on and steps to take in making peace with our past:

1. Face your past. What are your regrets? What caused or still causes you pain? What are your losses? Have you grieved them?

2. Face your feelings. Does your past make you angry, sad, feel bad about yourself, bitter, damaged, cheated?

3. Forgive your past. Do you have any bitterness, hatred, or unforgiveness towards anyone (including yourself)? Why are you holding on to it? What would it take for you to release it and free yourself from its control in your life?

4. Accept your past. When we cannot change something, the healthiest thing we can do is accept it. Can you accept your past? What have you learned from it? How can it change you for the better?

5. Make peace with your past and be free. When your past no longer controls your life—your peace, your hope, attitude, relationships, ability to love others, give and share of yourself, dream, believe, and trust once again, then you are free!

It is my hope that this has helped you in making peace with your past, and in looking forward to better days ahead!

Faithfully yours,

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

© 2023

Marriage Help: Restore Your Marriage & Fall in Love Again

Thursday, January 5, 2023 @ 12:04 PM

Discover 12 Proven Relationship Building Tools to Build a Strong, Loving and Successful Marriage!

Do you have marriage problems? Are you thinking about separating? Are in need of some marriage help?

If so, there's a solution: MARRIAGE HELP: Restore Your Marriage & Fall in Love Again (Self Help to Resolve Marriage Issues with 12 Proven Relationship Building Tools)

All marriages will face problems and challenges, even times of questioning love for one another. Yet, most couples want their marriages to work. They want to restore what was lost and fall in love again.

Couples with marriage problems that seek help are more likely to stay together, learn from the difficult times, and discover renewed love for one another! If you have decided that marriage difficulties will not keep you from believing that your marriage can be restored, this book is for you.

You’ll receive 12 proven relationship building tools and empowering ways to apply them. In this highly effective and engaging approach, you will be encouraged to make positive differences in the way you relate to one another. You will work through marriage issues and discover successful solutions.

With tools, applications, insights and inspiring reflections, you will embark on a lifelong journey to better communication, unconditional love and understanding, and genuine demonstrations of affection and heartfelt gratitude.

In Marriage Help, you’ll discover:

• The greatest indicator of success in a marriage

• What increases intimacy and romance

• How to feel alive and special again

• The one thing that makes you become happier in your marriage

• The secret to drawing closer to each other

• How to be on the same team

• How to connect emotionally with your partner

• The key to understanding each other

• The most difficult thing to do but reaps great rewards

• What to say to get more understanding, forgiveness and grace

• The wise thing to do instead of giving advice

• The power of attention and why it works so well

• One of the most common forms of destruction and how to avoid it

• What you can do to leave your partner with tender memories and fondness that will last forever

• And much, much more!

Plus, you’ll receive 4 BONUS Free Downloadable Handouts and Poster included with this book.

MARRIAGE HELP: Restore Your Marriage & Fall in Love Again (Self Help to Resolve Marriage Issues with 12 Proven Relationship Building Tools) can provide the marriage self help you need to overcome problems and to bring true hope, new life, and true love back into your marriage again!

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

How to Find Peace in a World of "Why?"

Wednesday, January 4, 2023 @ 2:43 PM

Pain and suffering are a part of the human experience. No one is exempt. Tragedies occur, leaving us in shock and devastation. Diseases weaken and destroy bodies. The innocent are abused and exploited. Families are broken and hearts are shattered. Losses leave us to grieve and cry out from the depths of our souls: “Why?” This question is so often directed to the only One who knows the answer. We plead for God to help us understand. We want to know why He allows people to hurt so badly and suffer unjustly.

Not understanding why people must suffer is the reason many people question the love and sovereignty of God. They reason, “How can a loving God allow such evil? Being all-powerful, He could easily stop it if He really cared.” Yet, their questions go unanswered and some deny God or pull away from Him. Sometimes it is for a season and sometimes it is for a lifetime.

Pain and suffering do not have to keep us from seeking God and going to Him with all of our questions, confusion, pain, and anger. He knows how we feel and what we think. He understands what we are going through. When bad things happen, it does not mean that He is no longer with us or present in our situation. It does not mean He loves us any less, or that He doesn’t care. However, it can be very difficult to believe this when we are hurting so badly. But nothing can ever change who God is. He is good no matter what happens. His plans for us are good, regardless of how things might appear.

Nothing can ever keep us from His love and grace. They never cease. Only we can keep ourselves from receiving His love and grace. He wants us to know Him, and all He has for us. That is why He invites us to draw near to Him and allow Him to draw near to us. We think we need answers, but He will give us so much more. He will give us His love that endures forever. He will give us His peace and will calm our minds. He will comfort our hearts and hold us up. He will be gracious and merciful to us. He will give us beauty for ashes. He will turn our mourning into dancing.

If you have ever asked Why? in the midst of circumstances that are beyond your understanding, you are not alone. When there is no answer or reasonable explanation, the way you handle it will determine how it changes you. You can choose to trust that God is still good, that He restores and comforts, brings healing and inner peace, and helps us learn and grow amid pain and suffering. And most of all, that He is the answer to all that we seek.

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief… and unspeakable love. ~ Washington Irving

Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve. ~Earl Grollman

Grief can’t be shared. Everyone carries it alone. His own burden in his own way  ~ Anne Morrow

Grief is the price we pay for love  ~ Queen Elizabeth II

Can I see another’s woe, and not be in sorrow too? Can I see another’s grief, and not seek for kind relief?  ~ William Blake

Though our feelings come and go, God’s love for us does not. ~ C.S. Lewis

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning. ~ Lamentations

Mourning is one of the most profound human experiences that it is possible to have... The deep capacity to weep for the loss of a loved one and to continue to treasure the memory of that loss is one of our noblest human traits. ~ Shneidman

We find a place for what we lose. Although we know that after such a loss the acute stage of mourning will subside, we also know that we shall remain inconsolable and will never find a substitute. No matter what may fill the gap, even if it be filled completely, it nevertheless remains something else. ~Sigmund Freud

If it were not for hopes, the heart would break. ~Thomas Fuller

Grief is a normal and natural response to loss. It is originally an unlearned feeling process. Keeping grief inside increases your pain. - Ann Grant

Allowing children to show their guilt, show their grief, show their anger, takes the sting out of the situation.  ~ Martha Beck

We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope. ~Martin Luther King

My job is to take care of the possible and trust God with the impossible. ~unknown

Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, faith looks up. ~unknown

Worry is a total waste of time. It doesn’t change anything. All it does is taint your mind and steals your joy. You can’t have joy without peace, and there is no peace without God. ~unknown

How to Find Peace in a World of "Why?" written by Krystal Kuehn
Published in the Mirror Magazine, Faithfully Yours section

Copyright © 2023 All Rights Reserved

As a Man Thinketh - A Timeless Classic (Annotated) by Krystal Kuehn

Wednesday, January 4, 2023 @ 2:28 PM

James Allen's beloved and timeless classic of As a Man Thinketh is a life-changing book that has inspired countless people to take charge of their thinking and live a life of true joy and fulfillment. Krystal brings this timeless classic to life in a fresh, new, simple way by interpreting the message and language that is likely to cause difficulty to modern readers (annotated from a Christian perspective). >>Check out this inspiring and insightful annotated version of As a Man Thinketh and be inspired to renew your mind and change your life!