Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pray for your life

Dr. Who often says 'run for your life!'

I would like people equipped to Pray for their life.  Seriously.

Some situations can only handled well by those trained in prayer.

This means training in:

  1. How to implement Safe Spiritual Warfare,
  2. How to set up the Jesus-in-between Shield from Curses,
  3. How to cut soul ties and shut down openings another has to one's soul,
  4. Being able to direct the authority of God's voice - the present active voice of God - against abusive core beliefs.
These needs are both immediate and long-term.  If you and your family do not know how to handle these situations then the enemy of our souls and his very human agents will undermine, attack and eventually destroy you and your family.  This is the one who Jesus said is out to rob, kill and destroy.

The problem with getting that equipping is that those who claim to teach on these topics often are used as agents of the devils and convey the teaching of demons in order to destroy the Body of Christ.  For example, what you will be taught on spiritual warfare will give Satan the victory on a silver platter.  When you listen to these teachers you will open the gates to your city and invite his forces to attack you.  They will and do attack.

The enemies within the camp are on two wings.  On one extreme are those who attack God's servants in a broad attack against everything they don't understand and cannot reconcile with scripture.  These have been the witch hunters who launch and publish books against inner healing, deliverance and other works of the Holy Spirit.

However, I am also concerned with those who embrace inner healing, deliverance and spiritual warfare but implement these in such a way as to completely undermine their best intentions and cause more harm than good.  In some there are many good things being taught and one error undermines the good.  

I would like to talk about this error.  It is an error of pride that suckers us out of the position of humility.  In the position of humility, wearing the 'Cloak of Humility,' we are in a position of protection.  Suckered by Pride we will become over engaged with demons and evil powers and it is that over-engagement that empowers them over us.  

I will get into the details in another blog post.  For now, keep your eyes on the Lord and do not get too focused on battling the enemy.  Look for my articles on binding principalities and powers on either www.HealMyLife.com or www.Listening-prayer.com.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Addiction, compulsion and Our Personality Demons

Our Father created us for healthy and thus holy living.  Healthy is holy and holy is healthy.

The narrow road to life involves a necessary cooperation with the Creator and with the way we are created.  It is unhealthy and unholy to interfere with the way we were made to live.  Cut off the cooperation with the Creator and we cut off health and the Holy Spirit.  We become like a sailboat with no wind in our sails.

As parents we must provide the nurture needed and the order and discipline needed for our children or they will grow up in a distorted way.  Their 'personality' will limit them, restrict them and block them from healthy and holy living,  Cut off life, love and the Holy Spirit that sustains our inner being and we become vulnerable to death, disease and evil.  we wither and die cut off from the source of life like a plant blocked from the sunshine.

One place this is seen is in sexual addiction. Sexual relationships meet several needs of the human being - one of the most important being a long-term need for a secure attachment in which one is secure and receives support and comfort when needed. We have very real needs for 'love' which is different from 'sex.'

My clinical intuition is that unmet needs for love and healthy attachment within authentic relationship are associated with increased 'needs' for sex and an enhanced drive toward sexual expression. In other words when one's inner being does not receive love and affection, or cannot hold and sustain the inner assurance of being loved, one is more likely to have a sexual interest, drive and expression.
In individual with inner emptiness - a deep sense of being separated from others and the experience that one is not able to connect with them - is, therefore, much more likely to express sexual behaviour with a desperation that others would see as not natural or 'addictive.'

Individuals with such 'addiction' seem to keep options for a love and sex partner available with the same kind of desperation that an alcoholic who hides available supplies of alcohol. The similarity of this type of behaviour associated with physical addictions is what leads us to association the language of addiction to sex and love. 

Of course I do not expect all the characteristics of a drug or alcohol addiction to be present in someone manifesting sex and love addiction.  Within my experience as a Christian counsellor and prayer therapist the stronghold is just as strong as is the manifestation of the evil one in that stronghold.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

divorce, marriage and relationship breakdown

We need to recover from, learn from and grow from our failures in in love partnerships  and marriage.

Careful rethinging is need when answering such questions as:

What is God 's core or essential plan in relation to love, sex and marriage?

How can Christians discern Life-giving (vs Vampire) relationships?

How should the church repond to a marriage where no unity, connection or love bond is present?

If God calls us to close intimate relationships with others is it a sin if we habitually and unconsciously avoid close intimate relationships and, therefore, sabotoge love.

This means that we will develop habits that allow us (unconsciously) to avoid close intimate relationships (love). These habits are like addictions. They only partially and artificially meet our real need.

Marriage is the institution many persons turn to for love, to meet the god-given need for close, safe, bonding with another.
Marriage is not Love. Marriage is built by people who habitually and unconsciously avoid close intimate relationships. Marriage is a legal institution but it comes without guarantee of love.
This means that marriages will systematically build in avoidance of close intimate relationship with one life partner.  Bonding in marriage is weak.  The marriage bond or love bond becomes strained and can break.  Therefore most of us would clearly benefit from a set of sessions in bonding focused couple therapy also called emotionally focused couple therapy.

We will very often become addicted to marriage as a way of escape from real intimate relationship. Marriage provides us with some companionship (so we are not alone), safety (another lives with us) without requiring the risk of love, the vulnerability of intimacy.  The result is no love bond or marriage bond.

George Hartwell M.Sc. Christian counsellor provides Christian counselling ( counseling / therapy ) through 90 minute in person sessions at his office in Mississauga.  As a professional Christian Marriage counsellor George provides Christian marriage counselling counseling for couples in Oakville, Mississauga, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Love avoidance and marriage avoidance

What happens when we mess up by avoiding the marriage or love bond?

God calls us to close intimate relationships with others especially our spouse or life partner. In general we are called to "love" one another.  In marriage God call us to 'cling to,' bond with, become emotionally and securely attached to our partner.

Many of us habitually and unconsciously avoid close intimate relationships and, therefore, the marriage or love bond.  We mess with God's plan.  We fall (sinfully) short of God's plan.  We do not cooperate with God in His "putting you together."

Instead we develop (sinful) habits that allow us (unconsciously) to avoid the marriage bond.  By avoiding close intimate relationships we mess with God's provision - the love bond. We too much act in ways that "put assunder."

The (sinful) habit patterns and personality patterns we fall into can be compared with addictions. Like an addiction there is some reward.  Like fig leaves that only partially cover our shame and reduce our vulnerability, these habits only partially overcome loneliness and somewhat unsatisfactorily meet our need for emtional security.

Marriage is the institution many persons turn to for love, to meet their god-given need for close, safe, bonding and real communion with another.  However, a civil and religious institution cannot meet our needs; cannot guarantee love.

Marriage is not, ultimately, holy.  Only God is ultimately holy and the source of life, love and health.

Love, itself, is holier than marriage.  Love is of God and God is the ultimate source of love.  Legal marriage claims to sanctify sex but my intuition is that love bonding, the marriage bond, is what sanctifies sex, not marriage.

Marriage is not Love. Marriage is built by fallen broken people who habitually and unconsciously avoid close intimate relationships. Each of us has our dark side (the potential for evil in our emotional repertoire).  Therefore each partner carries the potential to undermine their marriage.  Once you let your 'dark side' take over your marriage bond, your love bond, the heart and core of your marriage will soon die, the cord of life broken.  What remains is not life giving.

The sinful fallen nature in each of us will allow us to avoid close intimate relationship with God and our life partner.  Our dark side will allow the marriage bond to weaken and, eventually, to break.  Therefore, most of us would clearly benefit from a set of sessions in bonding focused couple therapy also called emotionally focused couple therapy.  (These are links to my web site: www.HealMyLife.com.)

Marriage Addiction is dependence upon a substitute for real, holy, life-giving marriage.  Marriage addiction provides  some companionship (so we are not alone) and some safety (another lives with us) without requiring us to to take the risk of love bonding.  In marriage addiction we avoid the vulnerability of intimacy and so fail to achieve a love bond or marriage bond.  Outwardly this may look like marriage but in reality it is silent divorce.  It lacks the power of  God's real holy marriage.

In marriage addiction  we are in a state of disobedience to God and avoidance of love bonding.  We are living without a life-giving relationship.  We are living in death and that is not good for our health.

What is holy is healthy and what is healthy is holy.  This is why Jesus insisted on healing on the Sabbath and why he declared that man is not made for the Sabbath but the Sabbath is made for man.  True love in a secure marriage bond in life-giving and healthy.  So how healthy and holy is a marriage where there is no real, holy, life-giving love bond?

George Hartwell M.Sc. Christian counsellor provides Christian counselling ( counseling / therapy ) through 90 minute in person sessions at his office in Mississauga.  As a professional Christian Marriage counsellor George provides Christian marriage counselling counseling for couples in Oakville, Mississauga, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Parental prayers for 3 year old afraid of monstors

There is a new formulation of inner healing called the Immanuel Approach and the practitioners have a thorough training in various forms of inner healing, including TheoPhostic, and have gone on to a very healthy focus on direct experience of Jesus.  Here is one report.

Reposting from drkarl@kclehman.com:

Zevian, Monsters in the Closet, and "BIG JESUS.":

Three year old Zevian first began to be afraid of monsters when he thought he saw one in his closet as he was getting ready for bed. His parents reassured him and showed him that there was nothing there, but he was still anxious as he got into bed and was glad to be sleeping next to his big brother. After this first episode of monsters in the closet, each night seemed to get a little worse. His mom and dad continued to reassure him, and talked to him about how Jesus was with him and would take care of him, but his fear just kept getting worse and each night he would talk about how Rawrs (his word for monsters) were going to get him. He started getting back out of bed after the usual bed-time rituals, and would come to his parents and ask to sleep with them. One night they heard his terrified shrieks and then the shouts of his siblings, and when they rushed into his bedroom they found him shaking with fear. When Janelle, his mother, picked him up he clung to her desperately, and his little body was rigid with fear. After this particularly upsetting episode Janelle began rocking and singing him to sleep each night, but she knew this wasn't solving the real problem because he continued to express intense fear that monsters were going to get him.
Then one night, as Janelle noticed Zevian's rising fear and tried to reassure him with, "Zevian, you're safe. Nothing's going to get you," she was shocked and dismayed when he responded, emphatically, with, "Mom, Jesus is Rawr. Jesus get me." Janelle recalls vividly, "Those words hit hard. What does a mother say to such a sinister lie placed in the heart of her sweet, little boy? I said, 'No Zevian, Jesus loves you. He would never get you.' Yet, I could see that my little boy believed this lie and my words had little effect. I was helpless to convince my son of God's goodness."
Thankfully, this wasn't the end of the story. As Janelle remembers, 
"Helplessness has its benefits though, because in that moment I knew only Jesus could sort out this mess. I took my boy in my arms--my heart aching to feel his body stiff with fear. I asked him to close his eyes and I prayed protection upon this moment and upon our hearts. Then I asked Jesus to show Zevian what He is really like, and I waited. Almost immediately I felt his body start to relax. At first he kept his eyes closed while a big smile crept across hi
s face. And then after about 45 seconds his eyes popped open, dancing with joy instead of fearful, and he laughed out, "BIG JESUS!" His whole countenance had changed as he started to pull himself out of my arms in order to get back in bed, looking at a specific place in the room as he did so (I can only guess this is where he saw Jesus). Then as he started to put himself under his covers, light and happy, he added one more gem about his time with Jesus. He said, 'Jesus like me.'"
Since seeing "BIG JESUS" in his bedroom that night, Zevian has been a different kid. He now regularly, spontaneously talks about Jesus, he always wants to pray, and after Janelle prays for him at bedtime he often reports things like, "Jesus says He's going to play at the park with me in my dreams." Oh, and the problem with monsters has completely resolved. There was one night a few days later when Zevian began to get fearful at bedtime, but Janelle once again prayed that he could see Jesus, and after a brief pause he laughed aloud and said, "Jesus eating crackers. He sharing with me."* Now when Zevian talks about monsters, he's the one getting them.

This is a cool, beautiful, encouraging story, but you probably noticed that Janelle didn't coach Zevian to recall positive memories, stir up appreciation, establish an interactive connection with Jesus, and then focus on Jesus and ask Him for help regarding the monster problem. She just held him in her arms, offered a quick prayer for protection from demonic interference, and then asked Jesus to show Zevian the truth about Himself. You might reasonably ask, "So what makes this an Immanuel approach story, as opposed to just an encouraging prayer story?" The answer has to do with the context in which this simple, powerful interaction occurred. Even though this was the first time Zevian perceived and recognized Jesus' tangible presence,** he has been surrounded by the Immanuel approach for most of his life. For example, he has observed the older children at his church participating in simple Immanuel approach exercises, such as deliberate appreciation and perceiving Jesus' presence, he has observed Immanuel approach principles and tools being applied in his home with his older siblings, and he has often heard his parents talking about how they experience Jesus' presence in the context of Immanuel approach emotional healing.

Janelle perceives that her own Immanuel work has also contributed to her ability to facilitate this simple yet profound Immanuel connection for her son. As she reports,  
"I believe that my encounters with Jesus through Immanuel Prayer had a huge impact on Zevian being able to see Jesus. In the past, I don't think I would have really believed that Jesus would come and help Zevian in his fear. I may have said I believed it, but when it really came down to it I don't think I would have turned to Jesus. I would have believed it was up to me. Because I trusted Jesus, then Zevian didn't feel fear and hesitation from me. If I had attempted Immanuel prayer with him earlier, he may have felt my worries, questions, and fear, but since I have been having my own experiences of Jesus' Immanuel presence, Zevian was able to attune with my faith and see Jesus as well."
Our observation is that when Immanuel approach principles and tools are integrated into a person's church community and family (as is the case with Janelle and Zevian), we routinely see powerful Immanuel experiences with even the most basic Immanuel approach interventions (as was the case with Zevian's experience in response to Janelle's incredibly brief, simple prayer).
In the course of our correspondence about the monsters in the closet, Janelle  also shared another beautiful story of Zevian's new awareness of Jesus' presence. One day Janelle was in a lot of pain regarding a piece of her own healing journey, and as she sat on her bed crying, Zevian came in and noticed her distress. He climbed up on the bed with her, gave her a big hug, and said, "You need Jesus with you." Janelle responded that she knew he was right, but that she couldn't feel Jesus right at that moment, and then she asked Zevian if he could feel Jesus. He responded promptly with, "Yes, He's right there" (pointing to the spot immediately behind her on the bed). And as soon as Zevian pointed her to Jesus, the anxiety that had previously been visible on his face resolved completely (apparently he thought she was in good hands). He then jumped off the bed and trotted out of her room to go play with his siblings. Janelle summarizes Zevian's ongoing Immanuel experience with, "Knowing Jesus is with him seems to be his normal state right now."
*By the way, Zevian particularly loves crackers (actually, he sometimes has a problem with sneaking them out of the cupboard).
**In light of the fact that Zevian was initially afraid of Jesus, believing that Jesus was a monster and that Jesus would "get him," I think we can safely assume that Zevian had not had prior positive experiences in which he perceived Jesus' tangible presence (and recognized it for what it was).

Quick Links: 
For more information about Dr. Lehman and hiswork, visit the following websites: 

Only God can Heal My Life

I made an important discovery in my life a long time ago. The best and easiest way to get psychological and emotional healing was to let God do it.

I was working in a mental hospital - psychiatric facility with 1,200 patients.  I knew a lot about mental health and was learning more as we did in service education events.

I read a lot of self-help books.  This was the 1970's.  there were no e-books, blogs or even personal computers back then.

I attended special workshops, weekend training, even a week long conference at a retreat center.  I learned something from this week-long conference that always stuck with me.

During the conference I set up a commitment to a self-change project.  I even had an accountability partner.  We met every week to check in an encourage one another toward our change target.

I do not remember what the change target was.  I do not remember any of the meetings that Wayne and I had together.  All I remember is that the conference was in the summer and that sometime in the fall we stopped meeting and the change stopped.  

For all the education, commitment, cooperation and time that we invested, we had not achieved any significant change.  

George Hartwell M.Sc. Christian counsellor provides Christian counselling ( counseling / therapy ) through 90 minute in person sessions at his office in Mississauga.  As a professional Christian Marriage counsellor George provides Christian marriage counselling counseling for couples in Oakville, Mississauga, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Be a Friend of Your Heart

Psychology is starting realize that we have two control and decision-making centers in our brain.  They even could be seen as two 'selves.'  There is the cognitive brain and the rational self.  Bern wold call that our Adult.
There is the emotional brain and the passionate self.  Psychology is beginning to find good reason to hold that the passionate self is engaged when we make decisions and that the cognitive brain is unable to make decisions apart from this engagement of the emotional brain.
To complete the picture, in my Christian model of personality there is a third self which is the human spirit.  This is based on the understanding that our inner being is a spiritual being.  It based on the biblical account of God's breath (Spirit) giving Adam life.  It is my understanding that the spirit permanently leaves the body at death and, temporarily, in experiences where we are 'out of our mind' or 'astral travelling.'  
For the human spirit to leave the body is not safe or healthy as indicated by comments about the dangers of an 'empty house' by Jesus.  It is important to occupy your body and your mind.
You occupy your mind by developing and maintaining a clear strong sense of identity,.  A strong identity is found in persons who can make firm 'I" statements.  Those with a weak sense of identity quote others and do not speak for themselves.
One's identity is also expressed through emotions.  It reflects a strong identity to be emotional when appropriate.  It weakens your identity if you suppress your emotions.  When you are without emotion you are out of touch with your identity.
The energy of the spirit is life.  Those with a strong flow of this energy as seen as lively, awake and interesting persons. Those whose flow is severely restricted seem dull, lifeless and unattractive.
Energy is related to physical health and to emotional health.  Low energy may reflect poor physical health or being in a depressed emotional state. 
People wonder what depression is.  The best way to understand depression is as low energy.  Thinking of energy as a flow it is blocked or restricted energy.  In the Bible depression is spoken of as a faint spirit as in "my spirit faints within me.'  Psalm 142, 143.
This flow of energy is, in my Christian model of personality, access from a nonphysical source.  The human spirit - in this model - acts like an antennae that collects energy from nonphysical space.  That energy is the source of life.  That energy is spiritual.  Some might calls this energy Chi, or psychic energy.  
The Bible uses various images such as 'streams of living water,' or 'light of the world' as well as images of breath, wind and Spirit to refer to this invisible life sustaining energy.  
In my Christian model of personality, hat energy is the source of life.  expression of this energy is in passion and emotion. In emotionally healthy (intelligent) people this energy is moving, passion and emotion are active and present in the person's face, eyes and voice tones.  
Life is a flow and those who enter the flow and allow the flow are healthy.  This means that healthy people experience and express their feelings.  Being a friend to your heart means you find lots of healthy ways to be expressive of who you are with feeling.  People pay attention when you have feeling about what you are saying because that makes it personal.
 Let go of all that self control if it turns you into a talking head.  People do not like to listen to talking heads because of the lack of emotion.  
A marriage can be undermined by emotional shut down.  You spouse will find it hard to trust you if you always come across as a 'talking head." 
Trust comes from the heart.  The heart trust if you speak the heart's language of story, picture and feeling.  It 
 it out and get your psychic energy moving! It will absolutely change your state. T
If all else fails, let your emotions out! You MUST, however, do this in a totally responsible way, never infringing upon another person’s space or making a nuisance of yourself.
So, hop on your bed or the couch, lie down and kick and scream.

 The biblical term for the energy within us is spirit.  The energy of life is received in our spirit and flows through our heart - our emotional center.
God's breath gave Adam life.  The Hebrew word for breath and for wind is the word spirit in Hebrew .  Another way to think of spirit is as being.  Being relates to the verb 'to be.'  Think of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob giving Moses a 'name' foor God based on the verb 'to be.  What would that look like?  
We need to appreciate that a name in ancient time allowed on to control the one named.  That is one significance of Moses not really getting a name but an action statement based on the verb to be.  What God said is something like "I am who I am"or "I will be who I will be."
In other words Moses did not get a nice label to say who sent him back to Egypt to free the slaves.  Instead he got a phrase asserting God's right to be who he chose to be.  Say "I am" sent you.  Moses needed a sense of awe and humour to understand what God was saying to him.

'What is spirit but the being energy  As a Christian therapist I chose to use I call it the flow of the spirit
 Let it out and get your psychic energy moving! It will absolutely change your state. T
If all else fails, let your emotions out! You MUST, however, do this in a totally responsible way, never infringing upon another person’s space or making a nuisance of yourself.
So, hop on your bed or the couch, lie down and kick and scream.

George Hartwell M.Sc. Christian therapist provides Christian counselling ( counseling / therapy ) through 90 minute in person sessions at his office in Mississauga.  As a professional Christian Marriage counsellor George provides Christian marriage counselling counseling for couples in Oakville, Mississauga, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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