IR Spotlight

Bishop Dr. Cassandra Montgomery

Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling International Representative Spotlight

Dr. Cassandra Montgomery of Gwynn Oak, MD is a Certified Pastoral Member of the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling and has been an International Representative since 2000.

I am a servant leader, affiliated with the National Christian Counselor’s Association (NCCA) and the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling (SACC) since 2000.   I am also a Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor – Advanced Certification with faith-based advanced certifications in all ten areas.  It has been my pleasure to serve as an NCCA Clinical Supervisor since 2004 until the present. While serving in a Certified Academic Institution, I have been honored to teach the NCCA and SACC curriculum.  One of the most intriguing assets of our curriculum is the Arno Profile System (APS).  This amazing counseling technique provides a success rate of over 90%.  It also allows me to utilize the tool to detect certain temperament tendencies.


Upon becoming an International Representative with the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling in 2003, I experienced an awesome opportunity to teach the pre-requisite course which we offer at our school entitled Created In God’s Image.   This course provides Biblical, historical and scientific background on Temperament Therapy, evidence of the theory of temperament as a guide to understanding human behavior from a Christian perspective, and reasons why and how temperament is important.  Additionally, I have taught Creation Therapy.  This course entails how to resolve personal and professional relationship conflicts using a proven faith-based model, a simple five-step method for counseling and coaching, and a faith-based perspective on human behavior and how God’s plan works when understood and applied in our lives.  Created in God’s Image gives the students an opportunity to decide whether they should pursue another program in the realm of biblical studies or continue onto the next step of our counseling ladder; the knowledge gained will give them a sneak preview of what Creation Therapy entails.

Upon the passing of my husband, Apostle Bishop Eddie A. Montgomery in August of 2017, I became the Pastor of our Ministry, Family Bible Ministries Worldwide, Inc. University (FBMW). After serving very diligently for two years, challenges arose.  In October 2019, I vigorously asked the Lord for direction on what to do. In mid-November 2019, the Lord directed me to resign as Pastor and President of FBMW and close the ministry.  On December 29, 2019, I obeyed the Lord’s mandate and delivered my last sermon at FBMW.

The first week of January 2020, at 4:00 a.m., the Lord gave me the new name for His ministry. He said to me that “He redeemed me, released me and will rule over me in my next assignment.”   The name of the ministry is Divine Bread of Life International, Inc. (DBLI) – John 6:48-51.  We are a Christ-centered, God glorifying faith ministry with an international vision. He instructed me to have a school and a church fellowship so that His people can obtain salvation, so that His people can be delivered, that His people can be set free and trained according to His Word. God’s people must know that it is possible to live a devoted life for Jesus Christ and not a life of doublemindedness. Definitively, the Lord spoke and instructed me to teach His people the way to live for Him is by receiving the Holy Ghost.  He then instructed me to teach them how to continuously live for Him; and to let them know that His people must know that they can be delivered, and they can stay delivered. 

Divine Bread of Life International, Inc. is currently in the process of receiving tax exemption as a 501(c)(3) organization.  Additionally, in March 2020 DBLI partnered with Northwind Institute/Seminary under the auspices of President Rev. Dr. Robert J. Duncan, Jr., Ph.D.  As a result of this partnership, DBLI is affiliated with The Council of Private Colleges of America.   The N.C.C.A. and S.A.C.C. curriculums utilized through our C.A.I will enhance the totality of Divine Bread of Life International, Inc.  Our counseling program will provide the students with the skill set and knowledge to identify individual temperament needs, and so much more.  I have enjoyed teaching the Certified Temperament Life Coaching Program where we are showing the students how their spiritual gifts can work together with Christian Counseling and Temperament Life Coaching. 

RESURRECTION POWER

At DBLI we know that if you fail to realize the resurrected power of Christ and participate in the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings, then you will not experience the fellowship of the Holy of Holies.  The following are qualifications of those who learn to experience Christ in the Holy of Holies: 

  • Those who are unafraid to let Him display His awesome resurrection power before their very eyes.
  • Those who can shake off the grave clothes of the former life and enjoy the freedom of the resurrection.
  • Those who are not satisfied with the things of this world.
  • Those who are willing to have all earthly perspectives stripped away and allow God to renew their minds to a fresh capacity for understanding. 

Don’t you want to know Him for the joy of kneeling in His awesome presence?!

HEAVEN’S FORETASTE

How infinite is your grace for us?  This is just a foretaste of what’s to come.  You have prepared mansions for your children.  We’ll find our custom-built mansions beyond the pearly gates.   We are going to a place where sorrow is a stranger; negatives are non-existent; the church will shout the victory; hospitality will be the host; fellowship will be forever; the river of life will flow freely; the eternal will be visible and at last the saints will behold His face.  Praise Our God, I can hardly wait!  He will wipe every tear from our eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said I am making everything new. Then He said, “Write this down for these words are trustworthy and true” (Rev. 21:3-5). Come Lord Jesus!

A special thanks to the Founders Drs. Richard and Phyllis Arno, Rev. Steven M. and Erin Baran, Rev. Dr. Robert J. Duncan, Jr.  and all SACC and NCCA Staff for the support you have provided.  You have helped enriched so many lives.  Lastly, I look forward to our continuous working relationship as I continue to serve, equip and prepare kingdom leaders.

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IR Spotlight

Dr. Orville L. Eacker

Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling International Representative Spotlight

Stepping Stone Ministries, Inc., Stepping Stone Church, Stepping Stone Counseling Center, Stepping Stone School of Christian Counseling were founded in 2006 by Rev. (Dr.) Orville L. Eacker. He has been an International Representative (IR) Certified Pastoral Member with Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling (SACC) since 2008. He is also a member of the National Christian Counselors Association (NCCA) since July 2005. As an NCCA member, he is a Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor-Advanced Certification; Licensed Clinical Christian Counselor; professional Clinical Member, and Clinical Supervisor-Diplomate. Dr. Eacker holds a Doctorate in Christian Counseling from Andersonville Theological Seminary, and a Master in Science and Bachelors in Arts Degree from the State University of New York at Albany.

Stepping Stone School of Christian Counseling is located in Gouverneur, New York, and has been approved by the NCCA as a Certified Academic Institution (CAI) since February 12, 2012.

As an International Representative with SACC, Dr. Orv has founded and developed a counseling practice and a school of Christian counseling utilizing Creation Therapy (CT). Using CT as the core course, he has mentored many counseling students to know, understand, and implement Temperament Therapy into the student counselor’s life; and they, in turn, incorporated it into their own practices around the State of New York. Dr. Orv has now taught and worked with CAI students from Connecticut, Ohio, Vermont, North Carolina, West Virginia, Ohio, California, and Tennessee. Many of these students are still in various phases of Christian counseling training, and some have gone on to start their own ministries.


Many of these new students have come as a result of an association with the GEI Institute out of Ohio. GEI stands for “Global Entrepreneurs Institute,” and they provide training in Biblical principles from the book of Proverbs to folks all around the world and the United States. Dr. Orv is the course director for GEI’s course called “Addiction, Control and Unclean Spirits,” with students now in several countries. (For more information on this please contact Dr. Dave Migliore at dr.dave.@gmail.com

The primary focus of the Stepping Stone School of Christian Counseling as a CAI has been in and around the greater New York State area; with students in Clifton Park, Long Island, Ithaca, Binghamton, Monroe, Rotterdam Junction, Gouverneur, Rennsalaer Falls, and Long Island.

Stepping Stone Counseling’s vision is to build a team of Creation Therapy trained counselors across the largest geographical country in NYS: St. Lawrence County. Their objective is to train counselors in Creation Therapy for the greater St. Lawrence County, New York region in several “need” areas.

One of those needs has been a significant increase in suicides in the county

over the last 10 years. CT trained counselors have seen a need to reach out to their community. A few of the Stepping Stone trained Christian counselors have attended QPR Suicide Prevention Training and Mental Health First Aid training to be ready to assist the county mental health crisis response team. Last year two young men in relationship difficulty were referred to them, as they had no recourse. These young men have since dedicated their lives to Jesus, have moved forward in new relationships and jobs, and are well.

Stepping Stone CT trained Christian counselors have started a fund called “Stand in the Gap SOUL Support” to address the need for Christ-centered available counselors; the need for folks trained to listen any time – day or night – to folks with suicidal issues, and to provide avenues to transport and assist getting folks in want state-of-the-art, mental health medical assessments, which currently do not exist in our area.

Another need area is what Dr. Orv calls “General Practitioner” counseling needs. Since the greater Gouverneur area is rural, every pastor across the county is dealing with every life issue that would occur in any city, but on a much smaller scale. A rural GP Christian counselor may encounter life issues such as drug and alcohol, marital, or suicidal tendencies. Therefore, creating a team of Creation Therapy trained counselors linking arms across the county would allow easier referrals to another counselor with an expertise in a particular counseling need area and provide a quicker repose for appointments. Before the Corona virus hit, the NYS

Wellness Centers in their area were overwhelmed with requests for counseling; causing folks to wait 45-60 days to get to see a mental health counselor –perhaps longer. We are not psychologists or psychiatrists or state licensed counselors, yet we are a relief valve for the stress and pressures of an area with high incidences of opioid use, depression etc. due to very high unemployment and the need for Jesus Christ as Lord and savior.

The other need is for those young adults with special needs. Therefore, Stepping Stone is starting a farm getaway program for teen to adult special need folks to get together in a Christian environment where they can have a voice and a listening ear, can hear Biblical Christian principles taught, as well as participate in simple, safe outdoor farm activities.

Stepping Stone Christian Counseling Center is busy counseling, leading folks to Jesus, and training students in CT today, tomorrow, and for as long as the well-trained CT Christian counselors know what their agenda is and remain committed to that goal. Proverbs 16: 2-3:

Proverbs 16:2-3 New King James Version (NKJV)

2 All the ways of a man (agenda) are pure in his own ( A ) eyes,

But the LORD weighs the spirits.3 ( B ) Commit [ a ] your works to the LORD , (what is your commitment to your agenda) And your thoughts will be established

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IR Spotlight

Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling International Representative Spotlight

Dr. Margaret Virginia Rives McBride (Ginger) is a Certified Pastoral Member of the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling, and has been an International Representative since January, 2018. She is also an NCCA Licensed Pastoral Counselor. Dr. McBride’s ministry is: Almost Home Behavioral Health Ministries.

Journey in Temperament


God is so smart! I am awestruck at the thought of our Creator and His love for us. He did not stop with creation. He made a plan for our lives, and wrote it down in a book before we were born. (Psalm 139:16) What freedom to know God created us with purpose and meaning! Seeking His plan for our lives is our quest.

Temperament is the foundation of our journey. God “packed our bags “for us, and in them He put everything we would need. We do not always know everything that is in our suitcase. That is where prayer comes into the big picture. We must always seek His will. If we think we have it all figured out, and strike out on our own, we get in trouble. God knows we will not get in trouble if we remain dependent on Him.

Joshua had the monumental task of leading the Israelites into the Promised Land. He sought God’s plan in crossing the Jordan and overtaking Jericho. (Joshua 3:7-17; 6:2-5, 20) Ai was small. Surely the Israelite army that had besieged Jericho could handle little Ai on their own, but they could not. (Joshua 7:3-5) Joshua needed to understand God helped the Israelites across the Jordan River. It was God that brought the walls of Jericho down. With their defeat by Ai, God taught an important lesson. God wanted Joshua totally dependent on Him for this important assignment of conquering the Promised Land. That story is written in the Bible so that we do not make the same mistakes, but we do- over and over again.

In 2015, God put Debbie McClure, Sandy Burford, and me in jail ministry through an organization called Purchased: Not for Sale. It was all God’s doing, because never in a million years would I have thought visiting women in jail would be such a blessing to me. Every week, our team would meet and pray before visitation. Then, our team leader would give us names of women who needed a visit. These women in jail had either been arrested for prostitution, or were known prostitutes. We would ask them about their week, share Bible verses to encourage them, and pray with them. It was a short 15 minutes on a telephone through thick plexiglass.

Then, God then gave us the opportunity to minister inside the women’s cell block during a church service held every Tuesday night. Our chaplain would share words of encouragement and pray with us before service. He said he wanted us to study and pray before our visits to get a fresh Word from God. He wanted us to bring “fresh bread” to the altar. Because we did not have counseling experience, he recommended Temperament Therapy. In 2016, we started taking Christian counseling classes. We continued to minister in the jail, but discovered God provided jail ministry as a stepping stone for other endeavors.

God wanted more. During the fall of 2017, God spoke to Debbie and told her one hour a week was not enough. He wanted her to open a home and minister to women getting out of jail. We were in the habit of fasting and praying for our ministry the first 21 days of the year. Needless to say, opening a home for women was our main prayer focus of January 2018. We did not feel we were worthy or equipped, but we knew if God was in it, we could do it. We knew that prayer was the most important element in accomplishing any God-sized task. Also, in January, as an International Representative (IR) with Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling (SACC), I began teaching Created in God’s Image to those who were interested in the class.

During jail ministry, we found out jail will get a person clean and sober, but if a person truly wanted to stay clean upon leaving jail, it was almost impossible. Through their addiction their family had most likely rejected them, unless their family was part of their problem. When they were released, there was no place to go, except back to the same environment that got them in trouble. Maybe it was just an excuse, or maybe it was not. It seemed to us that God was leading us to give them a safe place to recover and start making better decisions.

Again, for the first 21 days of the year we fasted and prayed for God’s guidance in a ministry He had already put on Debbie’s heart. On January 22, God showed us a place and gave us a ministry, Almost Home Behavioral Health Ministries. The house was in foreclosure and needed a considerable amount of work, but we knew if God was in it, it would happen. God provided a Christian banker and a Christian lawyer. By February 1, 2018, we had keys and a contract for the purchase. The banker told us we could start with renovations and treat the house as if it were already ours. He said he would take care of the foreclosure, and he did. God is so smart.

In 2019, our first 21 days were spent praying and fasting for another house. We thought it would be a home for men finding themselves in the same predicament. God had another plan. Debbie was inundated with requests of women. God found another house for women, and we were able to renovate and furnish that home as well.

Now, in the beginning of 2020, we find ourselves ministering to 20 women or more at any given time, and running two households. It takes time, money, staff, and volunteers. As an IR, I have been able to offer Created in God’s Image and Creation Therapy to anyone interested.

Our staff and many volunteers have taken the classes. For us, it has opened up a deeper understanding of who these women are, and how they think. People, even those with like morals and values, do not always think alike. What would seem so logical to us, may seem bizarre and irrational to someone else. So, add in unhealthy environments of abuse, addictions, selfishness, immoral behavior, etc., and no one can begin to understand each other. But God understands us because He created us. As we study Temperament and begin to understand ourselves and others as individuals and unique creations of our Heavenly Father, we can intently listen to others’ views and thoughts. Temperament and environment have helped shape us and others. Even though our shapes are different, God uses us in His big plan.

As women move through the 3-month program, we administer the Arno Profile System (APS). During counseling sessions, we discuss who God created them to be, and their Temperament needs. We help them determine how to meet their Temperament needs in Godly ways and assist them in discovering the purpose God intended for their lives.

In the last month of the program, we teach the women to work. First, we train the women as volunteers, and then, help them find employment. This serves a three-fold purpose: It teaches the women a work ethic that they may have forgotten, or they did not have. It provides an honest income, and allows them to feel a sense of worth and accomplishment. It helps them establish confidence and work references so that when they leave the program they will be able to continue in the jobs they have, or find employment elsewhere.

Success comes in many different packages. Even though a graduation celebration is held for participants that complete the 3-month program, the women can stay at the home as long as they comply with the house rules. Some women come and leave within the first two weeks. Others leave without graduating. The women who leave early, know they are loved and they know where they can find help. Even in those cases, they may be successful if they have grasped the concepts that their past does not dictate their future, they are capable of making their own decisions, and they are responsible for the decisions they make.

Some graduate and decide to hang around and save some money in order to leave with a plan and financial ability to implement it. Still others start making plans to leave within days of starting the program. Some leave; some hang around and graduate. Others may leave and come back to start all over. If this is the case, before they leave they understand that certain criteria must be met before they are allowed to return. The staff at Almost Home wants the women to leave confident in themselves, and totally dependent upon God.

One particular lady entered the program. I had the opportunity to talk to her within the first few days. She seemed very timid and shy. More than that, she portrayed worthlessness to the point of saying that her children were better off without her. She seemed to believe she deserved every bad thing that happened to her. She felt that Debbie was going to ask her to leave the program even though she could not give a legitimate reason why she felt that way. I assured her that she would not be asked to leave without just cause and that the Debbie and all the staff at Almost Home wanted her to get well and succeed in life.

During subsequent visits, I found out she has an accounting degree and has worked for a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). I also found out she has sold cars and furniture. She liked sales because she was around people. In sales, her ultimate goal was to get a customer the car or the piece of furniture that would meet their needs.

Her APS revealed she is Phlegmatic Sanguine in Inclusion, Choleric in Control, and Sanguine in Affection. I carefully discussed her Temperament pointing out her strengths before exposing areas for work and growth. After 2 months, she started looking for work. Because of her accounting degree, she was hoping to find a job with a CPA. I reminded her that Temperament traits suggest she needs a lot of interaction with people. I told her I believed she did well in sales because of her ability to meet people, and make them feel special. She told me that she had considered her Temperament while she was looking for a job. She said that she had applied for the job as a receptionist for a CPA firm, so she would be getting interaction with people. She thought she would be an asset to the firm because she knew something about the business. Wow! In 2 months she had been transformed from having a poor self-image to the “take-charge” kind of person God had created her to be.

At Almost Home, we have the opportunity to give these women a little something more. It may be the results of their APS. It may be learning to embrace their Temperament. It may be understanding the consequences of their actions. It may be a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, or a closer relationship with God. It may be they feel real love and acceptance for the very first time. It may be the development of a work ethic. It may be a safe place to heal, free from drugs, alcohol, and abuse of all kinds. They have the opportunity to start making their own decisions and being responsible for the decisions they make.

God created us and gave us purpose, but we have to search for it. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13. He provided us everything we need for life, but we must find it. Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3. He offered us the privilege of prayer, but we must act on it by asking for what we need. …ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full. John 16:24. He gave us the Bible to instruct us, especially in our relationships with God and others, but we have to apply it to our lives. And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39. He offered us Christian friends and prayer partners, but we have to make the right choices. “ …he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.” John 13:20. God is so smart.”

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IR Spotlight

Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling International Representative Spotlight

Kathleen Willey Peterson is a Certified Pastoral Member of the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling, and has been an International Representative since September 5, 2013. She has also been an NCCA Licensed Pastoral Counselor since April, 2016. Kathleen is the Founder and International Director of Aaron & Hur International Ministries.

Intuitive Leadership: Leadership and Temperament

Leadership is a privilege and a calling. It is more than a position on a flowchart or a simple job description. It demands of the leader creativity, forward thinking and high levels of sacrifice. You can read through the 40,000 books on leadership sold by Amazon and still feel overwhelmed and lost in the role as leader, especially if you do not understand how God has uniquely created you and each one of your team members. This is true of any leader, and especially the men and women God has called to lead within the church. Like any leader, the church leader works with plans, budgets, personnel, vision casting and much, much more! They in fact are running a business! But this organization is different from other businesses, because this business involves tensions that the local hardware store owner does not have to face. The church environment has at least two distinct differences from a corporate setting, the intensity of spiritual warfare and the expression of temperament.

Though we know that the war against sin and death was won on the cross of Jesus Christ, there is a battle for the hearts and souls of millions around the world.

Church leaders are in the forefront of the battle. They deal with the business of church but also are privy to people’s lives and homes at a level that no other person is invited. They walk in to the hospital room to sit by the bed of a dying church member, they are asked to counsel people when their marriage is in trouble (regardless of the state of their own marriage), and they are called to officiate the funeral of a 16 year old suicide victim. They have to be at church rather than home for most of the holidays, they are expected to be at every pot-luck dinner, birthday party and children’s concert at the church. As the icing on the cake, they are subject to criticism on every front from what their child posts on Facebook to the lengths of their Sunday sermon. Those external factors do not compare to the internal struggles they face with their own identity, insecurities, and wounds from the past, and battle to keep their relationship with God fresh and personal. So we must recognize the pastor has unique challenges that differ from leaders in other arenas.

Another difference between the church leader and other leadership roles is found in the setting. The church setting, though it has similarities to the business setting is quite different. As students of temperament using the Arno Profile System we study the individual in three areas, Inclusion – Control – Affection. In a business setting the temperament areas that present themselves are the areas of Inclusion and Control. In fact, the APS Personnel report only includes these two areas. But, the Church is intended to be much more than a social club (Inclusion) or a business (Control), it is a Family (Affection). As church was meant to be, the whole of the person is expressed in the context of Church. Since most church leaders do not understand temperament and, much less, the three areas of temperament, they find themselves struggling within themselves and with their staffs and congregations. They try to create a mold of what a good Christian should look like. Usually that mold is determined by the leader’s temperament. The Melancholy in Inclusion leader determines that the spiritually healthy person should be quiet and reserved, contemplating on the depth of theological truths. In contrast, the Sanguine in Inclusion pastor thinks that a spiritually mature church member will be outgoing and hit the streets evangelizing every person they meet! Often, the standards that are set are impossible to meet. One national church leader described his feeling in this way, “I feel like I am wearing a coat that was not made for me, it is the wrong size but I am expected to wear it!” His temperament profile revealed that he was PG-S-PS. He was expected, by his supervisors, to lead as a Choleric in Control rather than learning to lead with the pastor’s heart of the Supine!

Aaron & Hur International Ministries purpose is to minister to church leaders and their families with the goal of helping men and women fulfill their calling in the Kingdom of God without losing their families or their sanity. A&H has teams in USA, Colombia, Brazil, and Cuba. Besides these countries, we have ministered to leaders in Panama, Costa Rica, England, Ireland, Austria, Uganda and more. We provide counseling, discipleship, and training to these church leaders.

As part of our training program for our team we developed a series of classes. Our introductory class is title Original Design. This class is focused on helping leaders and teams understand God’s design in them and the natural needs, wants and motivations of each temperament. We have three other classes developed as advanced classes— Intuitive Leadership: leadership and temperament, Team and Temperament and After God’s Own Heart: Ministering to Ministers in crisis.

In 2019 we presented workshops to over 1000 church leaders and ran 1075 APS Reports in countries around the world. The testimony of church leaders filled our hearts with joy, as they discovered the beauty of God’s reflection in themselves, in their spouses, children and in their ministry teams. In the past year we have seen pastoral marriages restored, pastor’s kids hearts return to the Lord and pastors recover the joy of their salvation! We are honored to serve the Lord by serving his Church Leaders! All for the Glory of God!

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S.A.C.C. Member Spotlight

COUNSELING CULTURALLY DEAF CLIENTS USING THE APS

She is an Advanced Practice nurse (RN-APN) with a specialty in women’s health, a BSN in Nursing from Wagner College, a Master of Arts degree in Advanced Nursing Science from New York University and a PhD in Christian Counseling from Cornerstone University.

People from all walks of life facing a crisis, issues, and problems oftentimes find themselves in need of Christian Counseling (CC). This includes a group of people who are considered a linguistic minority, the Culturally Deaf. Culturally (capital D) Deaf people are those who are generally born Deaf, are enculturated into Deaf Culture and who use American Sign Language (ASL) as their primary language. They may have parents who are Deaf and they may be schooled in residential schools specifically for the Deaf where ASL is the primary language used for communication. This group of people should not be confused with (small letter d) deaf, which generally refers to people who have become deafened after the development of linguistic skills and who are enculturated into the hearing world, learning and speaking a distinct voiced language as acquired from their biological family.

Spoken and foreign languages by people of different cultures can more easily be translated into a written language that is easily read and understood by the person fluent in that particular language. As an example, the Arno Profile System (APS) is available in both English and Spanish. A Christian Counselor who is fluent in English and/or Spanish or who is bilingual in both languages is able to manage a Christian counseling session with ease, including administering the APS and offering Biblically based counseling. For the English and Spanish speaking client, the APS, administered in their own language, is an effective tool for temperament analysis profiling necessary for effective Christian counseling.

For the Deaf ASL client seeking Christian counseling, this is not the case because ASL is not a written language, but it is rather a three-dimensional (3D) language that makes use of space, referred to grammatically as Prenominal Reference and/or Sign Space, and sometimes, Listing Technique. Within the ASL 3D grammatical sign space, classifiers (for people, animals, vehicles, objects, geographical locations) are used where all of the following can occur interactionally: dialogue, movement and reference to geographical locations, etc.

As a general rule, Culturally Deaf people who use ASL as a primary language do not understand the grammatical features of the English or Spanish language well. In order to hold effective Christian Counseling sessions with the Deaf, the counselor either needs to be fluent in ASL, or an ASL interpreter needs to be provided. In most states, the American Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates that health care providers and health care facilities must provide a qualified ASL interpreter for each Christian counseling session. It is not always legally advisable for the Deaf client to bring a family member to the session as their interpreter. Although not necessarily against the law, the family member’s skill in interpreting exactly what is said during the CC session may not be accurate and more importantly, the client may have their HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability) rights violated with family members at a session who are not specifically part of the counseling process themselves (as in the case of dual client counseling for marriage and family where husband and wife are present).

Because ASL is not word for word English and because the ASL language relies on the use of 3D space as a distinct grammatical linguistic feature, the results of offering the Deaf client a written APS in English or Spanish would more than likely not reflect accurately the temperament of the Deaf client. In addition to the use of 3D space as a major ASL linguistic feature, combined with this is the fact that the grammatical syntax of the ASL language follows a TNAV (Time, Noun, Adjective, and Verb) word order. An example of an English word order sentence transposed into ASL word order would be interpreted in ASL grammatical syntax as follows:

English: If it rains heavily tomorrow, I think I will just stay home relaxed because I hate traveling in the rain.

ASL: Tomorrow (Time) suppose rain, rain, rain (If is interpreted in ASL as suppose and the sign for rain is a Noun that is modulated in space to reflect HEAVY rain so the sign for rain is signed three distinct times in succession), me (personal Pronoun), home (Noun), relaxed (Adjective) remain (Verb), W-Y (in ASL, W-Y/Why is equivalent to the English word, because), Me (Noun), rain, rain, rain, (modulated in space, Noun), travel (Verb), I (personal Pronoun) hate (Verb).

The above ASL interpretation from English into ASL grammatical syntax is offered to show the reader how difficult it would be to re-write the APS using ASL linguistic features required by Deaf people for maximized linguistic understanding.

An Example of a response as written on the currently used APS (60 question) form is as follows: (ADULT APS, response # 9), this response in English reads: I make an effort to have others around me. In addition to the necessary ASL vocabulary needed to clearly sign this sentence, the ASL interpreter would additionally use 3D sign space to clearly portray the statement’s exact meaning. To do this, the ASL interpreter would sign myself, then use a people classifier (portrayed as an ASL d-hand placed in 3D sign space). Next, an ASL people classifier using a 4-hand would be used and moved through 3D space (to) within close proximity of the (already) classified and placed myself d-hand (indicating others around me), followed by two additional signs, I (and) want. The point in sharing the intricate aspects of the ASL Deaf language is for the CC to realize how ineffective the English (Spanish) written instructions and responses currently existing on the APS is to a Culturally Deaf client. Deaf people are a forgotten minority when it comes to health care services, including Christian counseling, but with an understanding of Deafness and the specific ASL linguistic needs of Deaf people, adjustments in how the APS is administered can be easily made.

The heart of our mission is simple. In everything we do, we want to live out Romans 15:13: May the God of hope fill you with all peace and joy as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with confident hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

In conclusion, how best can the Christian Counselor effectively counsel the Culturally Deaf client who relies on ASL as their primary language? The guidelines for effective and accurate Christian Counseling and APS administration are listed as follows:

  • The Christian Counselor realizes that Culturally Deaf people, although a linguistic minority, have their own language which is ASL and this unique 3D language is grammatically and linguistically different from spoken languages, such as English and Spanish.
  • The Christian Counselor should at all times use a qualified ASL interpreter for each counseling session with Culturally Deaf clients who use ASL as their primary language.
  • Possibly a qualified ASL interpreter be professionally videotaped for all versions of the APS response forms, including those currently in use for the Adult, Teen and Child. The video is professionally produced and includes a rationale for administering the APS as well as instructions and APS responses for each section listed on the APS form in ASL for viewing by the Deaf client. A separate sheet of paper is provided for the client to write their numerical response to each section of the APS form in use.

Deaf people are made in God’s image and are loved by their Creator. The only thing a Deaf person can’t do is HEAR! The Deaf client’s individual temperament along with identified strengths and weaknesses inherent in their temperament is an important adjunct to effective Christian counseling. Every Christian counseling session is a God-given opportunity for the counselor to present the Gospel to the client, believing that by the power of the Holy Spirit, the client will be saved! May every Christian Counselor be truly blessed as they strive to understand Culturally Deaf people and include them in the opportunity to be counseled within a Biblically-based Christian environment where the Gospel is presented for emotional, physical and spiritual healing and the eternal gift of salvation.

You are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, not with ink but with the Spirit of the Living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of the heart.2 Corinthians 3:3

IR Spotlight

Zakk Gammon

Creation Therapy & Mental Health
“ And The Church… The Truth”

William Zakkary Gammon of Owensboro, KY is a Member of the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling and has been an International Representative since March of 2019.

One of the things I’m most often amazed by is how God takes the broken and shattered pieces of our lives and turns them into beautiful examples of His love, grace, and mercy.

I encountered the power and wisdom of temperament, and the love of a Christian Counselor, at one of the darkest points in my life. My marriage was on the brink of divorce. I was about to lose my family. My life of hidden sin had come to light. I was in a place where I could no longer lean on myself, and I could no longer run from God. I’d been a Christian for most of my life, but never truly understood how I am fearfully and wonderfully made until I reached my lowest point, and my only option was to look to Him.

With nowhere else to turn, my wife and I began meeting with a friend and fellow SACC International Representative, Dr. David Ralston. Dr. Ralston introduced us to temperament and helped us to learn about how God created us as unique individuals made in His image. Learning and understanding the APS allowed us to appreciate both our similarities and our differences, as well as learn to communicate in a healthy, productive way. The APS taught us how to rebuild our marriage. It also taught me that the addictions I struggled with were a result of my own unmet needs and that by truly turning to God, He could fill the voids in my life. The results were simply astonishing. He took a relationship on the verge of falling apart and turned it into one solely focused on Him.

The amazing thing about the Lord’s work in our lives is that the journey doesn’t end in our own healing. Instead, He calls us to take the work of our transformation and share it with others so that they may experience that healing as well. Following my own transformative work, God began working in me and showing me His calling on my life — to serve others and show them their unique identity in Him, just as someone had shown me. I enrolled in the Creation Therapy course and later completed my degree and licensure as an NCCA Pastoral Counselor. In learning the Arno Profile System in greater detail, I was struck by how intricately He creates each of us, and how we can use that wisdom to learn to meet our needs in healthy, godly ways.  

Through those studies, God gave me a vision and mission to launch a ministry dedicated to helping people find spiritual, emotional and physical wellness, and through Him, my wife and I launched Revive Christian Counseling in 2016.

When the opportunity arose to become an International Representative, I jumped at the chance, because it provided the ability to share and educate our community on the power, wisdom, and understanding of temperament in an even greater way. Since becoming an I.R., our ministry has also launched CrossPointe College, a Certified Academic Institution offering the Creation Therapy course, as well as the NCCA degree programs.

Our organization of humble beginnings has grown steadily over the last three years, and along the way, God has brought people into our lives who share our heart, mission, vision, and values. Revive Christian Counseling has grown to a staff of eight SACC/NCCA-trained counselors and two administrative staff members, where we have the opportunity to share the Lord’s love, grace, and mercy to countless individuals each week. As inquiries for our counseling services continue to grow, we anticipate hiring additional staff members within the next few months. Additionally, we recently opened a second location in nearby Hartford, Kentucky, and the response has been so great, that we are already looking for opportunities to expand in that area by bringing on an additional counselor there as well. We continue to stand in awe of how He is working through us to reach others for His glory.

It is truly an honor and a blessing to be able to share temperament with our local community. Through our work, we’ve had the opportunity to share this wisdom in several local ministries, including a sizeable local recovery program, an outreach ministry for at-risk youth, and some local marriage and family groups. In fact, the leadership in some of those ministries are presently enrolled in the Creation Therapy course themselves, so they may then teach ways of meeting needs that are honoring and pleasing to God, as well as how to communicate effectively in marriages, families, churches, and workplaces to the individuals in their care.

The heart of our mission is simple. In everything we do, we want to live out Romans 15:13: May the God of hope fill you with all peace and joy as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with confident hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I am so grateful to our family at the Sarasota Academy, not only for what I’ve been able to learn but also for the chance to share it with others. Through this process, God constantly reminds me of a simple fact: although He creates us as unique individuals, we’re also all the same — lost and broken, needing grace, and needing a Savior. Thanks to the SACC, we’re able to reach the lost and broken with a powerful tool that we see changing lives every day in our community.

Presently, the Lord is calling us to a new mission: to have temperament integrated into every local church and ministry in our area within the next five years. This God-sized task may seem daunting, but I am confident with His leading and the prayer support from our SACC family, we’ll be able to accomplish this noble goal and grow His kingdom.

Onward!

IR Spotlight

Nancy Fujii of Wilton, CT is a Certified Member of the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling and has been an International Representative since January 28, 2019. She is also a Certified Temperament Christian Counselor and member of the NCCA.

Nancy Fujii is Founder and Executive Director of The Family Peace Center in Wilton, CT. The Family Peace Center is a Christian non-profit that helps families build healthy relationships through a children’s ministry, Christian counseling ministry and L.I.G.H.T. (Living in God’s Holy Truth) development program ministry.

After a 30-year career in corporate administration and project management in Chicago, Los Angeles, Manhattan and Brussels, Nancy became a mother. Following the birth of her daughter, she made a life-changing decision to follow Jesus, and after resolving her own past experiences through the lessons of grace, dedicated her life to spreading God’s love to heal, strengthen and transform other lives by planting seeds of hope in broken hearts.

Nancy has taught in eight different Christian children’s ministries. In 2013, while attending Saddleback Church in Southern California, she became a Certified Christian Church Counselor where she served in Saddleback’s Counseling Ministry.  

In 2017, she became a Certified Temperament Christian Counselor through the National Christian Counselor Association. In 2019 Nancy became a Minister of Pastoral Care. Nancy is currently continuing her education through the NCCA with an emphasis on child and adolescent Christian counseling.

In October 2018, the Family Peace Center opened its doors in Wilton, CT. One of the ministries focuses on teaching people how to live in God’s holy truth. This month, the Family Peace Center began offering classes as an International Representative through the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counselors where Created in God’s Image, Creation Therapy and Creation Therapy Spanish courses are offered.

Nancy strives to be faithful with the stewardship that God has entrusted her with to be the voice of truth to reach, rescue and restore lost souls to Jesus. She wants to counsel and comfort those whose homes and hearts are broken.

Nancy is grateful for the opportunity to be an IR and to offer this curriculum to help heal the lives of so many who live in relational brokenness. She looks forward to seeing the fruit of how God will transform people through the hard work and dedication that Drs. Richard and Phyllis Arno have dedicated their lives to in understanding and developing temperament theory.

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IR Spotlight

Tihomir and Dimka Tenev of Sliven, Bulgaria are Certified Pastoral Members of the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling and have been International Representatives since January 18, 2012.

Being in the pastoring ministry for 25 years we have always had a heart for people and have been doing our best to helping them be strong in the Lord and to succeed in life and in their relationships. Though we ourselves have tried to live according to the Biblical principals, we have always been looking for something more to know about ourselves, in order to be able to understand many of the situations through which we had been going through and how we could deal with them more effectively and in the best way!

Creation Therapy supplied us with the necessary knowledge and information, in order to be able to explain what we have never been able to understand before, though all our knowledge on the Bible.

It is already more than 10 years since we are using APS for helping people finding solutions for their difficulties in life.

What we realized was that it is very important and foundational to teach people of the Biblical principals, in order they could have a successful life. But what APS supplies, namely the understanding why you do what you do; the possibility of getting to know yourself and to balance your life – is VERY important and useful thing.

We have been impressed how during the APS sessions people have shared that for first time they feel they have been understood and receiving practical help for their problem, though they are coming from a church whose pastors are our friends and we know they are wonderful people and preachers and teachers!

This is just confirming more and more of the necessity of more knowledge that we receive through studying at NCCA.

The truth is, that most of the people’s situations in life need more that just a good loving heart and knowing the Bible!

During the years we have faced up various fates of people and have been witnessing restoring of many relationships.

Sometimes the effort of someone to be excellent before the Lord, including his temperament needs to be principled would push him to extremes.

We had a case with a family and on the very first meeting they shared they had problems in their sexual relationship. Some of the religious books that the young lady had read have turned her to be a fanatic that was not able to fully enjoy making love with her husband.

After having a few conversations with them and prayed for them and gave them to read some good books and watched a family seminar, we managed to help her to start looking at sex as something she could fully enjoy and pray God to bless. The APS of both of them opened their eyes to get to know each other like never before and learn how they could start giving to each other what they need.

We have seen children of 8 or 9 years old, who are so principled and they insist their parents to be the same, just because it is their personality. It was very useful for the parents to understand this, because they would see a new way to bring their kids up, that would build them up without being hurt or have their spirit crushed.

We have worked with parents who have done their best to teach their children to be independent, without realizing their temperament need to be helped, in order to be able to build up their self-confidence and the feeling that they are competent.

The necessity of counseling in Bulgaria is quite big, though the people still do not realize it. More and more people in our Christian world today share the need they feel of professional help.

The modern technology today is giving us a lot of possibilities to counsel both people who live in Bulgaria and out of Bulgaria, by using Skype, FaceTime or Viber applications.

Also, our son is broadcasting a weekly video-show in which there is a lot of discussion about love, sex, marriage relationship, and family. It is a wonderful possibility to advertise the APS and people are calling us asking for help.

We are also working with non-Christian people and have sewn the love of Christ in their lives. After that some of them have visited our church and we pray so that God would finish the good work He has started in them!

God has also opened a door for us to teach the whole subject of Creation Therapy at one of the Bible Colleges in Bulgaria, where one of the students was Macedonian and he decided to study the Creation Therapy and was certified by SACC and now he has his own counseling ministry in Macedonia, counseling through APS.

Being International Representatives gives us the possibility to sign up students, just like this Macedonian, from different countries to be trained as Christian Counselors through Creation Therapy.

Looking back in everything that has happened through our ministry, we see God’s hand over us! So today it is already more than 10 years we are serving people in the area of counseling through Creation Therapy!

We can say nothing more but that we are serving to a Great and Unique GOD! To Him be all the glory forever and ever – AMEN!!!

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IR Spotlight

Sarasota Academy
International
Representative
Spotlight


Chandy Powell of Murfreesboro, TN is a Member of the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling and has been an International Representative since 2009.

Currently, I am excited to have the opportunity to share with you what is going on at New Life University, located at Branches Counseling Center in Murfreesboro, TN where I am the supervisor and the International Representative for this school.

New Life University began in 2008, and I came on board in 2010. There have been many changes and growing pains to get the school where it is today. Currently, we have about 50 students who are actively working toward their licenses and degrees. We began in 2008 with 3. My how the Lord can work when we give Him some space!

When we first began the school, we had our clinical director at Branches look over the curriculum to see if she had any extra advice to offer. So, we added 2 classes, Suicide Prevention, and a Counseling Practicum.

Suicide Prevention has been a wonderful addition to the curriculum. As we all know, this is a very serious situation, and it walks into all of our offices. Knowing the proper steps that line up with each student’s state laws is quite beneficial and empowering to the students. This class is taught in one weekend, a Friday night and Saturday.

The Counseling Practicum introduces all of the types of counseling outlined in our Basic Christian Counseling curriculum. The students learn about each type and each is assigned one type to write a paper on. The students also have a time of counseling each other under the supervision of a professional to give them tips on how to word questions and what and when to ask them. The students are usually quite nervous about this class, but they have all been very appreciative for being assigned to take it. This class is a full participation class and takes place in 2 weekends.

In the beginning, when Branches was just beginning to grow, and we had limited teachers, we only taught 5 classes at the center. Now, because the Lord has so richly blessed us with so many wonderful counselors, we offer weekend classes for all of the initial classes and even some of the advanced courses. The Cognitive Therapy class has been a longtime favorite.

I teach the Creation Therapy class and have, just this year, put the main concepts on power point. I taught it this way for the first time a few weeks ago, and I loved it! It was so nice to have everything on the screen for discussion and to be able to email the slides to the students. I am happy to report that all 7 new students made A’s.

It has been and continues to be a joy to be a part of this school. Several of our students have graduated and opened their own practices. I began a peer group with 4 former students. We meet the first Wednesday of every month in a suite that 2 of the students rent. It is lovely. One of our graduates is the partner in a prayer ministry here in town, and another is working hard to get a teen version of Narcotics Anonymous going in our community.

I am very proud of all that our students have accomplished, and feel so blessed to have been a part of watching the Lord call and equip them for the services they are bringing to our community.

Thank you for letting me share the wonderful news of New Life University. I hope everyone has a blessed Christmas and New Year!

 

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IR Spotlight

Sarasota Academy
International
Representative
Spotlight


Dr. Roy H. Cantrell, II (Howie) of Gallatin, TN is a Certified Pastoral Member of the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling and has been an International Representative since
2015.

Currently, Dr. Cantrell is the Director/President of Gateway Institute, a Certified Academic Institution College of the N.C.C.A. Also, through the N.C.C.A. Dr. Cantrell is a Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor-Advanced Certified.

 

Many years ago, at the early age of 13, I was asked to get involved in counseling. You see my father, Dr. Roy H. Cantrell, I, was a youth camp director in Mississippi and asked me if I would like to be a C.I.T. “Counselor in Training.” My answer was yes! I did not know at the time how this would affect me later in life and in my career as a pastor, counselor, teacher, and trainer; as well as, a mentor.

I learned about the Arno’s program through my father and with much encouragement enrolled through my local church with the Institute of Counselor Development.  The reason it took a lot of encouragement was that I was working on a Masters Degree in Theology at the time. It was definitely a challenge!

As I studied counseling and the art of counseling, I became a master illustrator with word pictures. I thought this was something that everyone could do, but soon found out it was a gift. It was later in reading a book by Mark Batterson, titled “The Circle Maker,” that I discovered talking in circles (thought by some to be a bad thing) was actually the way that Jesus taught, and His ability to paint word pictures was my inspiration. Pretty good role model despite popular opinion, don’t you think?

I’ll give one of these illustrations:

I keep a large silver coin in my pocket and when presented for inspection to the person they are instructed that “Heads” is mercy and “Tails” is Justice. I then ask these two questions.

1. If you were standing in front of a judge and were about to be sentenced to 10 years in prison, would you choose Mercy or Justice? They almost always choose Mercy.

2. If you were standing in that same court room watching the person who hurt your family member about to be sentenced to 10 years in prison, would you choose Mercy or Justice? They almost always choose Justice.

I then lay the coin on the table and ask them to pick up Mercy without picking up Justice. They look at me puzzled and usually say, “I can’t.” The explanation then becomes one of God being the only one who truly is the righteous judge.

       Romans 9:15 “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy.”

       Exodus 34:7a “Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and

       transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty;”

This is usually a defining moment for the person with whom the illustration has been shared. Getting a person to think outside of their normal thought process is a key to helping get them unstuck.

Many years ago God blessed me with a definition for counseling. It is simply…

“A conversation with a goal.”

The goal in our conversation must always be to help our clients to get “unstuck.”

In many conversations with my father we have compared notes on subjects of all kinds, but one stands out above all the rest, it is this… neither of us have ever had a client, or clients, that didn’t have a spiritual issue at the root of their problem, or problems.

If we can’t get them to see how critical it is to get unstuck, or more importantly to get free, then as counselors, we have done them a huge dis-service. It is impossible to do either of these two things: (1) Get them unstuck or, (2) Free, without the Holy Spirit’s presence in the counseling office.

I thank God on a regular basis for the vision that He gave the Arno’s to help people through Christian Counseling; in particular Creation Therapy. I don’t know how pastors counsel their members and people in their community with any success without the God given wisdom of this program.

I do however want to say… God is the door opener! It’s our job to walk through.  One of the many things that I have had the privilege to do as a counselor is to work with the courts as an instructor in a domestic violence class in the county where I live. I use my training in Temperament Theory/Therapy to explain to the people who are there how to understand themselves, as well as, understand why they are doing what they are doing. I love to watch the light bulbs come on as they, one by one, get it. I wish I could say they all get it, but they don’t.

I do this on a volunteer basis and offer each and every person in the room a free session with me, if they will just call. Some do, some don’t. My thoughts are simple on this matter; if you are going to change the game, you have to “get in the game”!

Along with all the other things we do in our community, my wife of 34 years, Becky Williamson Cantrell, of which I could have never done any of what I have accomplished, and I have gone on to launch City Gate Church in Gallatin, Tennessee. We have also launched Gateway Institute where we currently have 17 students in our Counseling and Theology programs in three different states. By the way, we could not have launched Gateway Institute so successfully without the help of April Mooneyhan and Kathy Verblaauw.

I have decided to be a life long learner and by the help and grace of God, along with the help of the Arno’s and Baran’s, I will be a game changer to all God puts in my path.

 

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