Book Review

The End of Me: Where Real Life in the Upside-Down Ways of Jesus Begins

By: Kyle Idelman

Have you ever come to the end of yourself? Maybe it was that day when your life changed forever. The day that your house was foreclosed on, you discovered your spouse was having an affair, or you were told you only had months to live. In those moments, all the plans, dreams and ambitions you had for yourself came to a crashing halt. And you discover that all you have left is Jesus.

In The End of Me, Kyle Idleman explores these difficult moments by looking at four of the beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount. In the first section of the book, each chapter will focus on a different paradoxical teaching of Christ. In the second half, you’ll look at real-life examples of people who have lived the upside-down life that Jesus describes. Only when you come to the end of yourself will you begin to be transformed into the whole, blessed person God made you to be.

For more information, including a video from Kyle Idleman,
please click here.

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Temperament Corner

WHAT IS LOVE?—CHOLERIC IN AFFECTION

How many times have you, as a counselor, been asked?

“WHAT IS LOVE?”

Your first response would be to tell them GOD IS LOVE (I John 4:16) and direct them to read John 3:16: “For God so loved the world…” (See also I John 4:8-10.)

Your second response would probably be to direct them to I CORINTHIANS 13: “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love.…”

How many times, as a counselor, have you been asked?

“HOW CAN I LOVE MY HUSBAND, MY CHILDREN, AND MY FAMILY?

Your response could be to tell them that they need to love them with God’s love and direct them to read I John 4:12b: “…If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.”

How many times, as a counselor, have you been asked?

“HOW CAN I LOVE MY DEEP RELATIONSHIPS WITH GOD’S LOVE?”

Dr. Phyllis J. Arno
Dr. Phyllis J. Arno

Your responses could be to explain to them that after giving their heart to Jesus, His perfect love will flow through them. The only way they can truly love their deep relationships is by stepping aside and allowing Him to love their deep relationships through them.

Now it is no longer their imperfect love that is loving their deep relationships; it is His perfect love flowing through them.

Dr. Douglas A. Wheeler points out in his book Betrothed: “We need to learn to accept God’s love.” He wrote: “The love of God has nothing to do with you and all to do with Him. You cannot earn the love of God, because it was there for you from the foundation of the world.”

Your counselees need to learn to rest in God’s love and not strive to meet their own needs for love and affection because God will supply their needs. In so doing, they will be able to meet the needs of their deep relationships.

Nehemiah 8:10 tells us …for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Putting Jesus first, then Others, then Yourself = JOY!

Psalm 139:14 tells us that God is our Creator: I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

As you know, we are triune beings made up of BODY, SOUL and SPIRIT.

Our BODY is our physical makeup.

Our SOUL encompasses our mind, will and emotions. In temperament we call these areas of the SOUL: Inclusion, Control and Affection.

Mary said in Luke 1:46-47: My SOUL doth magnify the Lord, and my SPIRIT hath rejoiced in God my Savior.”

Our SPIRIT is our only connecting link with God.

John 4:24 tells us: “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

Since our Spirit is our only connecting link with our Lord, how can we help our counselees make that connection?

We begin by teaching them that they need to have their Body, Soul and Spirit in balance.

Each area of the Soul (Inclusion, Control, Affection) is trying to meet its needs—either in godly or ungodly ways.

Once we help our counselees learn how to bring balance to their Soul area, then the Spirit can take its rightful place.

We are going to look at ways we can help our counselees line up their Affection area with the Word of God.

In review, Affection is the need to establish and maintain a satisfactory connection with deep relationships for love and affection.

The needs within the temperament range from expressing love and affection to all deep relationships to expressing love and affection to only a select few.

They also vary from wanting love and affection from all deep relationships to wanting love and affection from only a select few.

Affection is the need:

  1. To express and receive love and approval.
  2. For deep personal relationships.

Affection determines:

  1. How many of our emotions we share.
  2. How emotionally guarded or emotionally open we are.

Affection is unique because:

  1. The temperament needs of Affection cannot be genuinely met without a deep, emotionally close relationship with our Lord.
  2. It determines how intimate we are with the extremely close people in our lives, and it also determines the depth of our feelings.

Each person tends to see the Lord from their temperament perspective. Their individual temperament affects their interaction with the Lord.

They will tend to express love and affection to the Lord in the same manner as they express love and affection to their deep relationships.

If they resist opening up and establishing deep, intimate relationships with others, they may also resist a deep, intimate relationship with the Lord.

Jesus Christ is the Living Word, and when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior, He reveals the Written Word (The Holy Bible) to us.

All He wants in return is for us to ask Him into our heart and to love Him with all our heart.

In other words, the temperament need of Affection cannot be fully met without a deep, emotionally close relationship with our Lord.

In this issue we are going to look at some of the Choleric in Affection tendencies and what they need to do in order to line up their Affection area with the Word of God.

CHOLERICS IN AFFECTION TEND TO:

  1. Use affection as a means to motivate (control) deep relationships.
  2. Want to be in control of the relationship, and will place conditions on the love they express.
  3. Reject deep relationships if they do not provide love and affection according to their terms. This is because they feel that if their deep relationships really cared, they would provide the love and affection on their terms.
  4. Become angry when deep relationships leave them.
  5. Develop relationships with people who are weak-willed.
  6. Perceive tears and emotionalism as a sign of weakness.
  7. Be unforgiving and vindictive.
  8. Be perfectionistic and expect perfection from their deep relationships.

CHOLERICS IN AFFECTION NEED TO:

  1. Learn to genuinely love their deep relationships. See Romans 12:9-10 (NIV): “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
  2. Learn not to control their deep relationships but rather motivate them with love. See I Corinthians 13:4-5 (NIV): “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”
  3. Learn to accept love and affection from their deep relationships. See Romans 14:19 (KJV): “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.”
  4. Learn to let go of the anger and forgive the deep relationships that leave them. See Ephesians 4:31-32 (KJV): “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamourand evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice. And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
  5. Learn to love their deep relationships as Jesus loves them and not hold them in contempt because they are not as strong-willed as they are. See Colossians 3:12 (KJV): “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering….”
  6. Learn to allow their deep relationships to express love in the way God created them. Their deep relationships, like them, are fearfully and wonderfully made. See Psalm 139:14 (KJV);I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
  7. Learn to forgive their deep relationships. See I Peter 3:8-9 (NIV): “Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”
  8. Learn that only God is perfect and seek to love their deep relationships as God does with their imperfections. See Romans 5:5 (KJV): “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

PLEASE NOTE: These are temperament tendencies, and, as always, while you are counseling the Choleric in Affection, you must take into consideration their walk with the Lord, learned behavior, personality and birth order.

In the next issue we will look at What is Love?—Melancholy in Affection.

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IR Spotlight

 SACC
INTERNATIONAL
REPRESENTATIVE
SPOTLIGHT

Dr. David Ralston of Conroe, TX is a Certified Pastoral Member of the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling and has been an International Representative since 2011.
Currently, Dr. Ralston is an Associate Pastor of Counseling and Recovery at The Ark Church, Conroe, TX.
Dr. Ralston is also an NCCA Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor-Advanced Certified.

 

A HUGE MOVE

God has a way of taking us in directions where only He can see how it will turn out, and how much it will bless us.  When my wife Ann and I took the step in 2007 to move toward my becoming a Christian Counselor and hopefully moving into full-time ministry, we had no idea what that might look like.  All we knew was that we were supposed to take the step.

Psalm 119:105 reads, “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.”  A lamp only illuminates the path in front of my feet far enough to see the next step.  And that’s exactly what God has done in our lives; only provided enough light to see the next decision He wanted us to make.

Like many of you, I journeyed my way through the NCCA training and credentialing program:  Certified Temperament Counselor.  Licensed Clinical Christian Counselor.  SACC International Representative.  And last fall, after nearly ten years since beginning the journey, completed my PhD degree in Clinical Christian Counseling from Colorado Theological Seminary.

During those years, Ann and I grew into our own 501(c)(3), Life Training Christian Counseling, in Owensboro, Kentucky.  We witnessed how God multiplied this ministry from meeting with a couple in our living room, to several years later seeing clients every day in a professional suite near the city center.  During these years of growth, we had prayed continually that He would continue to widen our territory, and also that He might bless our faithfulness with a more stable income and lifestyle than this small counseling practice could provide.

In March of this year, after nearly four months of interviewing, we were called to a full-time church staff position in southeast Texas.  I was called to become the Associate Pastor for Counseling and Recovery at The Ark Church in Conroe, Texas (www.thearkchurch.com).   And Ann was called to a part-time position in the same department, as well 🙂

The Ark is an exciting, growing church, with over 7,000 in weekly attendance.  Although Conroe is only 40 miles from Houston, it is less of a suburban culture and more of a small, rural city on a rapid growth trajectory.  In fact, the US Census Bureau reported recently (https://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2017-05-25/fastest-growing-us-cities-are-in-south-4-of-top-5-in-texas), that Conroe, Texas is the fastest growing city in the United States.

Prior to our joining the team at The Ark, there were three parallel ministries – Biblical Guidance (lay-counseling), Marriage Mentoring, and Recovery Groups – each under the oversight of a different staff member.  My newly created position was to bring all three of these together into one multi-disciplinary restoration ministry under my leadership and shepherding.

Turning the clock back a few years… God had given me a ‘vision’ one night while I was sleeping.  I put vision in quotes, because I’m not really sure what a vision even is.  I just know that I awoke one night about five years ago with a very clear picture of a broad-based counseling and recovery ministry, and God had even given me the name of the program as well as many of the details of what it would look like.  The only problems were, at that time I was not on staff in a church nor looking to begin a counseling and recovery ministry.  So a few years later, when The Ark asked my vision for the newly created ministry here in Texas, I really only had to unfold what God had already given me.

TURN

The picture God had placed in my heart was for a ministry program called TURN.  This would be an acrostic for the four phases of restoration from brokenness or shame:

Turning from toxic people, places, and things (Behavior phase)
Uncovering the lies and false beliefs (Shame phase)
Rediscovering who I am in Christ (Identity phase)
Nurturing hope in others (Service phase)

We will be launching the TURN program here at The Ark this fall with nearly fifty trained volunteers on our team.  The team is made up of lay counselors, couples lay counselors, recovery group leaders, and mental health consultants.  All fifty of these folks just completed the “Created In God’s Image” course (Click here for more information) under my teaching.  And two women in the class have heard God calling them to move ahead with taking “Creation Therapy,” and becoming credentialed by the NCCA.

The weekly Tuesday night TURN program will consist of an hour-long large group teaching/testimony time, followed by multiple breakout opportunities. In the sixty-minute breakouts, participants will be provided the options of attending a topic-specific breakout group (i.e. codependency, sexual purity, chemical dependency), or an individual or couples lay counseling appointment.

Also, we will be offering a class each semester (a different day during the week) through the church’s Adult Ministry, intended to supplement the principles taught in the TURN program.  One class will focus on healing the shame in a person’s life, addressing the “U” phase of TURN.  At this point, the class will be a study of the book, “The Search for Significance” by Robert McGee.  The other primary class – “Created in God’s Image” – will help the participant discover their unique identity in Christ, the “R” phase of TURN, through coming to understand their God-given temperament.

We will be using temperament as a general backdrop for every area of the TURN program.  When I am teaching in the large group setting, I intend to incorporate references to the temperaments into each week’s lesson in some way.  The small group leaders will allude to temperament in terms of why our needs may be unmet, or being met in ungodly, unhealthy ways.  And in our lay counseling ministry, clients will be made aware of the strengths, weaknesses, and needs of their unique temperament combinations as the lay counselor leads them toward biblical solutions to the struggles in their lives and relationships.  We will be offering the book, “The Missing Link”, by Drs. Arno, to any of our lay counseling clients or group participants who would like to learn more about temperament.  And, as mentioned before, we will be offering the “Created In God’s Image” class at least once or twice during the year.  Participants who either desire to learn more about their temperament, or who are needing deeper counseling work, will be referred to me, who at this point is the only NCCA licensed counselor on our team. It is my prayer that God will raise up an entire team of NCCA certified and licensed counselors to accommodate what I feel certain will be a growing demand in the months to come.

EFFECTING CULTURE

In the few months since Ann and I have come to The Ark, we have begun to sense a growing interest and momentum toward the APS temperament profile, and how it can benefit a person’s individual journey, as well as their relationships.  With the clients who Ann and I see in our office, the APS is used with each and every client.

There is becoming a great deal of hallway conversation throughout the church about how knowing your God-given temperament can change how you see yourself, or how you can understand your spouse, or why your parents may have been the way they were or done the things they did.

I look forward to seeing what God will do in this wonderful church community, not to mention what He might be up to in this rapidly growing city.  It is so exciting to be on the leading edge of introducing the APS temperament model into a culture for the very first time.

 

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