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.
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.
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!!!
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!
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 since2015.
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.
Sarasota Academy International Representative Spotlight
Cindi Estep of Shreveport, LA, is a Certified Member of the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling and has been an International Representative since August 22, 2017. She is also a member of the NCCA.
Teaching identity is one of my greatest passions in life! Until we fully understand who we are in Christ and the inheritance we’ve been given in Him, it’s very difficult to live a life of freedom and joy. If we don’t have a good mental picture of where we are going, staying on the course is nearly impossible! I believe the same can be said of not understanding your God-given design, which we now know to be the inborn temperament.
Working with people through freedom ministry, coaching, and counseling, I’m continually amazed when I learn the temperaments of those I work with. What keeps me in awe is how it often seems that God gave just the right temperament blends to His children. Once a foundation of understanding of temperament is laid, those people also begin to see the unbelievable care and precision Father God took in designing each one with the exact measure of what they’d need to be overcomers in this life! He made no accidents, and there are no “bad” temperament blends.
Becoming an International Representative has been thrilling for me! Once I learned enough to feel confident in communicating temperament, I decided to teach classes of no more than ten people at a time in my home to my church community and fellow ministry workers. I am now teaching my second Created in God’s Image class and absolutely loving it! I’ve been able to share temperament theory, as well as teach specifics of the Arno Profiling System to people both locally and distant through online video. Soon, I’ll step out and do some coaching with temperament as a basis. I chose the word “coach,” because some people don’t think they need a “counselor” or “therapist.” However, who couldn’t use a “Coach” from time to time in life? I want people to know I’m in their corner cheering them on and helping with strategy for the wins in life.
I believe this information is so valuable to everyone. I continue to receive feedback that testifies of the power that understanding temperament holds to transform relationships, communication patterns, and how we interact and perceive other individuals. It’s beneficial to every arena in life. I’ve been able to use it to encourage frustrated parents, give understanding to misunderstood teens,and energize unfulfilled adults. I’ve seen husbands and wives see each other through new lenses now understanding and appreciating differences that were once unbelievably frustrating.
Seeing such tremendous growth and unveiling of hearts in those I’ve shared it with has given me the courage and desire to continue pouring this much-needed knowledge into the body of Christ (along with anyone else who’s interested). It’s now my ongoing mission to train and teach people about temperament, and I’ve started with those who serve alongside me in ministry. My desire is to share enough knowledge with the church that we can all begin to see people with eyes that see past surface. It’s my desire that those who continually feel (and may have even been told) that something is “wrong” with or defective about how they process things will once and for all understand WHY they are wired the way that they are and begin to appreciate and accept those God-given qualities.
Only when there’s understanding of identity can a person fully become all that Christ has designed and called them to be. Each has strengths. Each has worth. Each has specific needs. Each has a place in the body of believers. We are all made to be in community with each other and none are meant to live isolated or misunderstood. With temperament knowledge, we can all learn to celebrate each other’s differences and see past words right into hearts, understanding the needs. We begin to truly see through lenses of grace.
What freedom can come sometimes simply by a person feeling understood… some maybe for the first time in their life! It’s a feeling like no other when one no longer feels the need to make excuses or cover for a need being met. It offers hope to the one who’s been mentally and emotionally drained, because they’ve had no understanding of how much and what kind of rest they need to make room for in life. It gives people permission to be who they are and not feel ashamed because it’s different from someone else. Insight into temperament also helps us navigate our weaknesses and take time in making decisions or wrong moves that we might later regret.
What an adventure it’s been thus far! I look forward to the next phase I’ll begin soon teaching Creation Therapy to those on my ministry team and those wanting to go deeper. Through some amazing Kingdom partnerships and other local ministry leaders, I hope to get this valuable knowledge and resource into the hands of all those doing Kingdom work. What an exciting day it will be when through ministries we see identities being restored one APS at a time!
Sarasota Academy International Representative Spotlight
Dr. John Pelizzari of Belton, Texas, is a Certified Pastoral Member of Sarasota Academy and an International Representative. He has been an International Representative since March 6, 2002.
I believe that you are reading this because you have a heart for people, and as we all know, people come with problems…lots of them. Our passion in healing the brokenhearted, restoring those in need of deliverance from themselves and their past; to free those who are captives in their minds and in their hearts and to guide those that have been bruised in life, is the foundation, in my opinion, of what Creation Therapy is all about.
I have been involved with this dynamic method for over 15 years. When counseling couples, by utilizing the counselor’s suggestions on their profiles, many marriages have been radically changed for the better. Directing the couple to begin looking for ways to ‘out give’ or bless one another on a continual, daily basis helps in meeting their spouse’s temperament needs. As their outlook changes, their lives change. Intimacy returns and marriages grow stronger.
Using the principles of Creation Therapy and the APS reports is just as effective when counseling families as well. Addressing the differences in their temperament diffuses the strife and the conflicts within that family and healthy changes occur. Time and time again families received healing and restoration.
Whether we are teaching the Creation Therapy class or counseling individuals, we have found that a domino effect takes place; especially when using the APS reports. First, we see that our students/clients are coming to a place of self-acceptance when their temperament is explained. Second, as we encourage them to seek ways to meet their temperament needs, a healthier perspective on life develops and an inner freedom becomes more evident. They find themselves being able to live and work with those around them becoming easier.
We have used this on a larger scale in our prison ministry. We have identified that the majority of inmates are incarcerated due to unmet needs which led to criminal behaviors. In addition, we are in the process of teaching Creation Therapy at our prison missionary training facility in New Mexico as part of the curriculum.
Understanding the differences in temperaments, incorporating the APS profile along with prayer brings a standard of excellence to ones calling to help a hurting humanity. In our church and ministries, as an IR, we make Creation Therapy available and the responses are always positive. Some have even taken the course more than once. Our students report that it is both informational and therapeutic to themselves as well.
‘For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” Proverbs 23:7 KJV
SARASOTA ACADEMY INTERNATIONAL REPRESENTATIVE SPOTLIGHT
Ginger McBride of Grand Cane, LA is a Certified Pastoral Member of the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling and has been an International Representative since January, 2018. Ginger is also a Licensed Pastoral Counselor through the N.C.C.A.
Currently she is teaching Created In God’s Image and has five (5) students. She plans to teach Creation Therapy to those students soon.
Claiming God’s Promises by Ginger McBride….
It was February 20, 2018. Twenty days into this precious project and God has accomplished so much. I called Debbie around 7pm for an update. She and her family: her husband, children, brothers, and others, were working into the night by the lights of tractors, getting gutters on the house before another rain. She had to let me go. They were at a tedious point.
That’s the way it has been every day since she signed a lease with Heritage Bank on a repossessed home with 3 bedrooms and 2 ½ baths. She told the banker her story. God told her that prison ministry for one hour a week was not enough. God wanted her to open a half-way house for women coming out of the prison system, women He treasured. The banker believed her story and also believed if God told her, it would happen. By the way, the first three months of the lease were free.
This is a story of what happens in the natural while God works in the supernatural. It’s a story about what God does with prayer, fasting, obedience, and claiming His promises. When we take small steps to make these things priorities in our lives, life is not hard – it’s fun. The Bible is full of promises that assure us of an abundant, adventurous life, we just have to have the faith of a “mustard seed” to take those small steps. Our Creator knows what stretches us and builds our faith. He will put one test at a time in front of us. If we cannot pass the test (or refuse to take it), He will send us back to our lessons until He tests us again.
Debbie McClure and I have learned to take the test the first (or second) time. Debbie and I met on a mission trip to Peru. Then, God put us together on a mission trip to Haiti. We were part of a construction team after the earthquake in 2010. Being the only women, we had time to share our hearts for missions with each other. We both felt the Lord leading us to be a part of ministry where no one else was working. We talked about starting a non-profit, but God had to be in the middle of it. We knew we had to start with prayer.
My friend, Sandy Burford had given me a book on fasting a few years ago. If ever we needed to know God’s will, it was now. We fasted and prayed the first 21 days of 2011. We began to see God work. Dusty Feet Missionaries became our first non-profit. It reaches so many needy families. We work with missions’ organizations, but we search to find areas outside the scope of their ministries where we can help at home and around the world. God has taken us on some exciting adventures. We have been His voice, as His love through Jesus Christ has been proclaimed. We have been His hands and feet for those who needed to feel His compassion.
Participation in jail ministry came about as we usually get involved in ministry. My daughter-in-law mentioned that she thought I should join the work of Purchased: Not for Sale, a ministry to prostitutes in the Shreveport/Bossier area of Louisiana. They were having orientation classes on Monday nights in July. Sandy and I went to see what they were all about. After the first class, I called Debbie and asked her to come check this program out. Even though she lives 3 hours away, she made the Monday night classes, including the make-up class.
After the classes, we were given the opportunity to sign up for the different areas of ministry, including visiting women in jail. While I was making my way to talk to the director and tell her that I would be praying for her ministry but I didn’t think I was called to this particular ministry, Debbie was signing us up. I wasn’t so sure about all of this, but I didn’t take my name off the list.
Debbie would drive up every Tuesday. We would meet the volunteers for prayer before visiting inmates. Some volunteers came to see one girl. We would see as many as we could during the Tuesday visitation time. One of the guards asked us if we would like to participate in Tuesday night church services. We set up that orientation and soon we were visiting in the afternoons and going into the women’s cell block in the evenings.
Since there were already women ministers for this cell block, we asked if we could go into Female Mental Health where no one was holding church services. The chaplain asked us if we had counseling experience. We told him no, so he sent us right on in to Female Mental Health. Later he recommended to us, Temperament Counseling through Sarasota Academy and the National Christian Counselors Association.
Debbie and Sandy volunteered me to take the first class. The Created in God’s Image class met on the same night as jail ministry and we weren’t ready to give that up completely. Just as the Purchased orientation, I wanted them to experience these Temperament classes for themselves, so we all started taking one class at a time, through Creation Therapy, Life Coaching, Phase I and Phase II until we were certified.
Somewhere in the middle of all these classes, Debbie began jail ministry a little closer to her home with her nieces, Sherry Patten and Jill Thompson. That’s when the Lord spoke to her and told her one hour was not enough. At first Debbie resisted, but God insisted. She filled out the paperwork for another 501(c)3. We decided Almost Home Behavioral Health Ministries, was a good name for a “more-than-half-way” house.
For the first 21 days in January 2018 we fasted and prayed for Almost Home. We knew only Jesus Christ could make a difference in the lives of the broken. We prayed for the girls. We prayed for God’s will and God’s way. We prayed for the paperwork. We prayed for a place.
The first weekend of January, Debbie and I had the opportunity to be Prayer Boot Camp facilitators, a prayer Bible study from the movie, War Room. Claude King from Lifeway Christian Stores in Nashville, Tennessee, was leading the study at First Baptist Church, Bushnell, Florida. Even though we try to limit our trips during our fasting, it doesn’t always work out. Our prayer time is sometimes in solitude; and sometimes while we are on the go. This year, we would go to Florida for the weekend and start Created in God’s Image classes on Monday night. Our typical prayer and fasting times happen more like Brother Lawrence’s: He prayed while he was “rattling his pots and pans.” We decided this prayer retreat would be good for us and good for the ministry. Rev. Claude King allowed us to share about Almost Home that weekend, then he prayed for us and the ministry. The whole church was excited about what God was leading us to do. Many came offering us words of encouragement.
On January 22-23, Louisiana Southern Baptists held their Evangelism Conference. That’s a meeting that I always enjoy, if I’m in the state. Monday night was class night, but I could be there for the Tuesday sessions. Sandy and I attended our first breakout session on prayer with Dr. Greg Frizzell. He shared on Biblical principles of prayer and his testimony of how God turned a church back to Himself, when the congregation humbled themselves in prayer.
Our next session was with Karen Abercrombe who played “Miss Clara” in the movie, War Room. She shared about Rahab the prostitute and how God used her to be part of the lineage of Jesus. After her talk, Sandy and I went up to introduce ourselves and tell her about our ministry to prostitutes and women in jail due to addictions and bad behavior. She too, was excited and prayed for us and the ministry. So much has been about War Room. I’m pretty sure we will be meeting the Kendrick brothers before the year is over. They will want to pray for us as well. Our state Women’s Ministry Director, Janie Wise, overheard our conversation with Karen. She wanted to know about the ministry and do what she could to help us.
God continues to put people who can pray for us in our path. We met Dr. Brook Bello at the NCCA Conference October 2017. Debbie and Brook have kept up with each other through texts and Facebook. Brook called Monday, February 5, for a prayer time. She had specific prayer requests for her ministry, and we had specific prayer requests for ours. We agreed with each other in prayer. It was a sweet, sweet time.
Pastors and lay leaders from denominational and nondenominational churches have prayed in the house, for the ministry and for the women who will be living there. They have promised to go back to their churches and ask for financial support. We need the financial support, but more importantly, we need their prayers. Others came on weekends to bring donations and work on pending projects. God supplies our needs through money, volunteers, donations of goods and services, causing things to happen and preventing bad things from happening. We accept them all as gifts from Jehovah Jireh.
As I said before, we signed the lease February 1, and the actual work on the house began. Debbie’s daughter-in-law, Angie Wilson, stepped in to help. Angie has been at the house early in the morning until late afternoon, when she goes home to take care of her own household. She sticks by Debbie as Ruth did Naomi. Angie helped paint the Leslie Wilson Room in memory of Debbie’s daughter, and then she has painted all the other rooms that had not been painted. Debbie and Angie are a painting machine. Debbie cleans and primes; Angie paints, and when a Melancholy paints, it’s perfect.
As people sponsor rooms in memory of loved ones, their healing process continues. This community is broken because of pre-mature deaths of too many young adults. Some suffered addictions and overcame them; some were overcome by them. As family members and friends sponsor rooms for their loved ones, and as they see the lives of these broken women healed of their addictions and destructive lifestyles, they will know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, God is in heaven and He cares for each one of us, most especially those who the devil is so dead set on destroying.
Please pray for us. Pray that God will anoint us with every ministry gift. Pray that God will give us strength for body, soul, and spirit to reclaim and restore lives the devil has stolen for himself. He cannot have them. Pray that God will continue to send willing workers. Pray for longevity of the ministry that will stop recidivism in our prison system.
Pray that the women we touch with our words and deeds will come to have a true relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Pray that their lives will be restored. Pray that they will see themselves as God’s treasures. Pray that they will understand God’s unique plan for them and be able to implement it. Pray for programs and curricula that will teach in a way that is easy to learn and apply.
Pray that we would always humble ourselves before Almighty God, and give Him glory, honor, and praise for allowing us to be a small part of His mighty work.
“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
“Everyone whose heart stirred him and everyone whose spirit moved him came and brought the Lord’s contribution for the work of the tent meeting and for all its service and for the holy garments.” Exodus 35:21
“Then I will rebuke the devourer for you so that it will not destroy the fruits of your ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes,” says the Lord of hosts. Malachi 3:11
“The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
“This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24
Pray that we will be bold to claim and implement all of God’s precious promises for His priceless treasures.
SARASOTA ACADEMY INTERNATIONAL REPRESENTATIVE SPOTLIGHT
How Temperament Analysis Helps Us Equip Clients for Spiritual Warfare
Paul tells us in Ephesians that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces of evil. He is talking about demons in our earthly realm as well as those in the second heaven.
Can the Arno Profile System, which pinpoints a person’s inborn temperament with associated strengths and weaknesses, help a Christian counselor equip clients more fully for personal spiritual warfare?
The answer is “Yes!” and I want to share how we do this.
Above & Beyond Christian Counseling engages in traditional individual, couples and family counseling and we employ conventional counseling tools and approaches.
However, over half of our clients find us because of our focus on deliverance ministry, setting the captives free from demonic strongholds that most standard counseling techniques do not address. This service is hard to find in the Body of Christ; more than half of those we help are located in other states and countries around the world.
Praise the Lord for excellent web conferencing technology!
For those clients who complete the five-step process, we strongly encourage them to continue and learn about their unique, God-given temperament. We explain how it helps prepare them for the unclean spirits return to the house (Matt 12:43-45).
The battlefield is the mind, and our counselors adapt the findings in each profile to equip them to discern and resist the devils.
We begin by emphasizing that when the spirits return they will:• Put thoughts in their mind• Stir up past memories in their soul memory• Work through others (actions and words) to initiate thoughts and memories• Instigate life situations to get us to revert to the old stinking thinking.
The battlefield is the mind, as we are well aware. Taking thoughts captive quickly and discerning the (likely) spirit behind it is crucial to successful warfare.
There are not demons behind every problem, and we are careful to clarify that with our clients. Each person has a free will and must take responsibility for their actions and behaviors. While we see deliverance ministry as a powerful tool in our arsenal, we are adamant that it is not a quick fix nor “magic bullet.”
Each person has a responsibility to walk deliverance out and act upon biblical counsel as they move forward in their walk with the Lord.
We emphasize the importance of gaining control of one’s thought life and how thoughts can originate from a variety of sources, including demon spirits. Paul urges us to remember that our struggle is against powers of darkness so we must know their tactics. They are fine-tuned depending upon their target’s temperament.
When we understand a client’s background and presenting issues, we can coach them to prepare for a specific scenario they are likely to encounter when the spirits return. The process (not the recipe) generally goes as follows. They are to:
• Capture the thought/memory
• Identify the emotion that the thought generates
• Discern the likely spirit that is tormenting
• Command it to leave, and
• Speak the Rhema word over the situation to build up their faith
Sample Warfare Tactics by Temperament Type
Here are some examples for each temperament:
They have active minds that do not shut off, and there is a tendency to relive the past. If the memory of an abusive parent’s actions keeps coming back, we encourage the Melancholy to analyze the thought, discern the emotion it is stirring (say, rejection) and respond out loud in a manner as follows:
“I have forgiven and released judgments against my father/mother. You spirit of rejection you get out of here and leave me alone, in Jesus’ name. I am a daughter/son of the King, and You will never leave me nor forsake me”.
Guilt over past failures and sins is often an issue for Supines. Demons are masters at stirring up past memories so the client must be ready to deal with this everyday tactic. We encourage the supine to declare something like this:
“Yes, I did that, but my Father has forgiven me, cleansed me of my sins and remembers them no more. You spirit of guilt and shame, you get out of here and leave me alone in Jesus name. There is no condemnation for those found in Christ, and I am found in Him.”
If a lover has rejected them and they have sought comfort in the wrong places, they will be tempted to seek out that love again. We encourage the Sanguine to adopt this type of approach:
“Yes, Joe did abandon and reject me, but I have forgiven him and released all judgments. I am a daughter of the King, and He has a godly husband for me. You spirit of self-pity (or whatever else they discern), you get out of here and leave me alone in Jesus name. Thank you, Father, that you will meet all of my needs out of your glorious riches. You will be my husband, Jesus until the chosen one comes into my life.”
Cholerics have little grace for dealing with the emotions or weaknesses of others. They can learn how to move in that area (“fake it until you make it”) but it begins with consciously discerning the tendency to dismiss or move on when the situation arises. We encourage the Choleric to declare:
“Lord help me to see Hank as you do. Thank you that I have your heart for him Lord and I will respond to Him as you would. You spirit of impatience, you get out of here and leave me alone. Thank you, Lord, that you have taken out my heart of stone and given me a heart of flesh.”
Stubbornness and passiveness associated with Phlegmatics make them ideal targets if a spirit of stubbornness seeks to return to the house. They are actively motivated to cope and do as little as possible. When they discern that, we suggest the Phlegmatic to counter as follows:
“Thank you, Lord, for setting me free. I am yielded to the Lordship of Jesus in my life, and I recognize that I am under the authority in this office. Mary is my supervisor, and I purpose to clean up my office (or whatever) as she has asked me to do. You spirit of stubbornness, you get out of here and leave me alone in Jesus name. Lord, I obey this directive as unto You.”
Once again, these represent small samples of the process we employ. They are not formulas to follow blindly. We can tailor specific counsel to the client because we know their life history and the demonic strongholds that have been tormenting them.
I hope you have found this article helpful. I will be blessed if you are motivated to learn more about how to include spiritual warfare in your therapy. Deliverance can help set the captives free, but they need help in this area in addition to counseling. We have seen that the saints heal and mature more quickly when they are equipped to discern and resist the demonic realm.
SARASOTA ACADEMY INTERNATIONAL REPRESENTATIVE SPOTLIGHT
Yenny Vargas Plata of Pinellas Park, FL is a Certified Member of Sarasota Academy and has been an International Representative since September 27, 2012.
We are ending another year—a time to share, eat, meditate, enjoy with our loved ones and thank God for all the blessings received, for what we did and for what we could not complete. I personally thank God for a wonderful year filled with spiritual success, and fulfillment of personal and professional goals. None of this would have been possible without the CreationTherapy tool. Five years ago, my life began to take a turn for healing and restoration, after coming from a dysfunctional home with many empty, emotional wounds and unanswered questions.
Years later I met Jesus and in spite of my tireless search for answers, nothing seemed to work, my voids were not so deep anymore, but they continued. It was when I first learned to know myself and to understand God’s design in my life through Temperament. That’s when I began to see a real meaning to my life, my wounds were healed and my questions that troubled me for so many years were answered. I am the product of transformative change and I have achieved the knowledge to understand and maintain a balance between my spirit, soul and body.
Today I am not only a product of transformative change; I am an agent of change. As an International Representative for Sarasota Academy and Director of Redoma Christian College, I have had the opportunity to process almost 1,200 A.P.S. I have been blessed to see countless lives changed (the vast majority of them believers), both in counseling and with our students, who have been impacted by the transforming and restorative power gained through this wonderful knowledge of Temperament. I feel very blessed to be part of the great army of Christian counselors that make National Christian Counselors Association. I pray to God to allow me to continue to be an agent of change in the divine legacy given to us by the Drs. Richard G. Arno and Phyllis J. Arno, and so, this great army will continue to grow in numbers, blessed and strengthened, to continue impacting our society that needs it so much.
Proverbs 11:14 New International Version (NIV) tells us: “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.”