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Exchanged Life Counseling Matters

Forum for Galatians 2:20 Disciplers and Counselors, sponsored by Grace Fellowship International

Spirituotherapy Workshop

The Spirituotherapy Workshop is our favorite event because of the way the Lord ministers to the participants over the four days as we learn, train, and interact. Here’s a comment from a pastor’s wife, answering What was most helpful?

“Christ’s life being IN me which gives me not only a new future, but a new past. Christ’s life is eternal and therefore … I am dead, buried, and raised with Him! Soul and spirit was explained and I understood these as separate parts of me for the first time. I can appropriate Christ’s life in me by faith.” … “I truly enjoyed learning something new every day. The Holy Spirit has been working, and I believe He still is working to continue to clarify and solidify these truths [in my life].”

A video of four of the participant’s testimony is at GFI’s YouTube channel:

The next GFI Workshop in Pigeon Forge, TN is scheduled for November 6-9.

Emotions

a re-post from Dr. James Dobson

As the summer rolls to a close, I want to share a thought with those of you who are struggling with your faith at this time. Some have encountered life-altering physical illnesses. Others have offered prayers that were seemingly unanswered. Still others have suffered financial setbacks and frustrations. As your troubles accumulated, you have wondered if God is really there and if He cares about you and your family. If that has been your experience in recent days, I have some good news for you. It comes from my book, When God Doesn’t Make Sense. You may be a victim of your own confusion about what the Lord is doing in your life. Let me explain.

I wrote another book many years ago entitled, Emotions, Can You Trust Them? It took me 200 pages to say, “No. You can’t believe everything you feel.” Your emotions are suspect at best and often lie to you with a straight face, especially about spiritual matters. Here’s the reason why.

Continue reading: Emotions_Can_You_Trust

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Here are two other articles on this topic:

Your Palette of Emotions (J. Woodward)

How to Overcome Disagreeable Emotions (Hannah W. Smith)

 

Suicide: The Temptation to Exit

Living Waters has just produced another culturally relevant movie: Exit: The Appeal of Suicide. “Before you finish reading this, one individual will have ended their life by suicide—because they think they have no other choice. According to the World Health Organization, a massive 800,000 people take their lives every year—one death every 40 seconds. That’s 3,000 a day. For millions who suffer from depression and despair, “EXIT” points to a better way. This compelling movie shines a powerful light in the darkness and offers true hope to those who think they have none. Someone you know may be secretly considering their final exit. Watch “EXIT,” and share it with those you love.” View the trailer here: www.theexitmovie.com

A book that addresses this traumatic topic from an Exchanged Life perspective is Suicide: An Illict Lover. The author identifies the strangle hold of despair and then shows how claiming our co-death and co-resurrection with Christ is an exit that protects life–now and eternally. See ordering information at the GFI online bookstore here.

Empathy Versus Sympathy

(Global Leadership Summit)


Comment: Empathy is an important counseling skill. Whereas sympathy denotes feeling sorry for someone, empathy is to feel with someone.

In non directive counseling, skills–such as using empathy–can become the primary content and model of counseling. However, biblical counseling is different; it is directive. Exchanged Life Counseling has a distinctive message (the Christ-centered life), and methodology.

Yet, in directive counseling empathy is still important. A counselor who is eager to facilitate discovery and progress may forget to empathize. In a therapeutic context, the helper talks with the counselee in a caring way rather than talking at him/her. We are to be quick to listen, and slow to speak…(James 1:19), and we then speak the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15). – JBW

Your New Identity

One of the key issues in Christ-centered personal ministry is to help a struggling believer to discover and appropriate his/her new identity in Christ. Rose Publishing produces a pamphlet: “Who I Am in Christ: 14 Keys to Understanding Your Identity in Christ.” Here is a sample in PDF: Rose Bible eCharts WhoIAm 14Keys

Announcing “Site License” Option for Online Lecture Series

Grace Fellowship announces a new policy to help ministries cultivate biblical counseling teams. As of May, 2017 there is a new option to take Solomon School Online Lecture Series.

Previously, those walking through the Exchanged Life Counselor certification process would register for this 25 video & notes series at the individual rate ($325) and view them on their own. Although the single viewer track is still standard practice, now ministries have the option of purchasing a site license for this module. For a one time fee, your ministry team will have open access to the 25 online lectures and notes.

Some ministries will fund this $950.00 fee by identifying it as a sponsorship project. (It is easier to raise funds for a one-time site license that will have ongoing benefits for the whole ministry than for an individual’s expenses.)

One advantage of the site license is the use of the video lectures as a group training process. This is how our affiliate in Minnesota, Cross to Life Discipleship Ministries, went through this module of training. The use of the videos in a group setting allows for helpful discussion, feedback, and application to your local ministry.

The other requirements for individual certification remain the same, although some ministries also do the Exchanged Life Conference as a group via DVD rather than (or in addition to) the live event.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact John Woodward at GFI. God bless the development and deployment of Christ-centered counseling ministries!

Testimonial Interviews

One of the most uplifting ways to learn about the value of Exchanged Life discipleship and counseling is through testimonies. Grace Fellowship is beginning a podcast series of audio testimonies.

Listen to Dr. Al Scardino tell of his journey to know Christ as Life. Some time after resigning from the Roman Catholic priesthood, he embraced the plan of salvation and was born again. He shares about how he and his wife benefited from Exchanged Life Counseling in Colorado; he was later trained in this type of ministry in Florida. In 1988 Al became Director of Biblical Counseling at First Baptist Church of Atlanta under Dr. Charles Stanley, and led that staff and lay ministry for two decades. Listen/download here.

Lay counselor, Mary Louise McDonald testifies of her journey to experience Christ as Savior, Lord, and Life. She was trained by Dr. Judy Unruh and counseled at church and eventually from her home. In spite of a cancer battle and ongoing physical handicaps, Mary Louise draws on God’s grace and faithfulness daily. Listen/download here.

Pressing on to Maturity

Maturity_Alliman

The author notes, “Nearly all seminaries seem to avoid the basic distinction between spirit, soul, and body. Distinctions that the Apostle Paul and the writer of Hebrews clearly pointed out as an underlying force in the personal understanding of what God has done on our behalf, and how he is always pressing us forward toward maturity on the path of righteousness. This is not something that we must wait for in the age to come, but much of that completeness is for God’s people right now, today, as we rest in his faithfulness and promises of the wholeness that he has given his children for this life. We must learn to express our trust in God by releasing ourselves to follow through with the actions that are necessary to validate and express our true identity to the world around us.”

let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God...(Hebrews 6:1).

This new book is available via Amazon.com here.

Certification Congratulations to Yvonne

We congratulate Yvonne Ward on completing her certification process in Exchanged Life Counseling with Grace Fellowship International. Here is her testimony:

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The Grace Fellowship International certification program has been one of the most positive and beneficial experiences in my Christian life. I did exchanged life training in the mid to late 90’s through a related ministry in Tennessee. While I learned much during that training, I feel the training I’ve received from GFI has been a deeper and more usable.

Since my certification with them almost twenty years ago, I’ve done a lot of Biblical/ discipleship counseling. The reason I chose to go through the GFI work was two-fold. Mainly, it was because I wanted to review and gain new insight for my personal life, as well as my counseling ministry. Through this process, I feel better equipped to share through the Spirituotherapy materials and training.

Personally, I’ve been reminded of my own identity in Christ. I lost my husband (to cancer) three years ago and found that I wasn’t sure where I fit anymore after my husband was gone. No longer a wife, a missionary, and not ministering alongside my husband was heartbreaking. I believe part of personal healing has been through the Holy Spirit using the truths I’ve been reminded of during my training with GFI.

Currently, I am serving in my church as a Biblical/discipleship counselor.  I don’t know what God has in the future but my desire is to continue to minister to hurting women through the means of the Spirituotherapy methodology.

Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of the ministry at GFI. I value the friendships I’ve made and hope to continue them.

Yvonne
yvonneward50@gmail.com

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