Caring for the Soul

January 8, 2022

The Exodus of the Youth from Church: In Search of Answers to a Dark Dilemma

I recently sat in a lecture “Why Are Youth Leaving the Church?” I listened to the most recent statistics, compared one opinion to the next, looked at the latest church involvement research and even explored some emerging themes of why people in general leave the faith. All the information was very interesting and contained an impressive collaboration of ideas. The research does not lie and opinions are to be valued. However, honestly what good does this enlightenment do us when we sit back and do nothing to correct the problem? We are so used to youth leaving our church that we have become complacent with pews filled with “ancient dinosaurs” in the words of a young lady just last week. We have become so overwhelmed with data that we forget to look at the real picture of why our next generation of leaders are leaving. Or perhaps we do nothing because we simply don’t understand young people’s true motivation for leaving the church. The answers may be uncomfortable for some but they deserve deeper exploration.

Youth are leaving the church but this does not necessarily mean they all are leaving the faith. Many young people of today have much more faith than some of the pew fillers whom have their assigned seats with their pillows and blankets left to save their spots. So if this is the case that they still have a genuine relationship with Christ but simply don’t want to be within the four walls of religion, so to speak, should we not explore the million dollar question differently? We should not excuse away their leaving to agnosticism, postmodernism or neopaganism regardless of how cleverly it takes the focus off of the real concerns and sins of the “church.” It is not a very popular idea to confess the sins of the church which is ironic when we proclaim to be a house of confession. Perhaps confession is only good for the soul as long as the sins are not our own. Behind the irony rests a darker problem, one that is responsible for many young people leaving the church.

For years the church has been a place of hypocrisy and today’s young generation is one that is fed up with the dishonesty and is willing to take a stand. They are so disgusted they can no longer keep silent. They are not willing to “tweak the numbers” of the church financial records or work their way up the hierarchical ladder. They see through the masks and are not willing to compromise. Young people are tired of religious politics, bickering, back stabbing and lying. If we, the church, do not open our eyes to this now, if not yesterday, it will be too late.

This young generation is wandering looking for a place of refuge and they no longer find a safe place in the church house. The church regrettably is no longer safe. You cannot genuinely express your feelings, concerns or doubts without them being the topic of the message on the following Sunday morning. There is no longer trust within the church. The place of worship has turned into a place of gossip. A spiritual encounter has been replaced with a social gathering. The leadership of the Holy Spirit is no longer considered because we are too busy worrying about the opinions of others. So if by now you are still puzzled as to why the today’s youth are leaving the church then my heart is deeply saddened.

Nevertheless, we need to make a self-less effort and remember that the church does not exist for our personal entertainment. Realize it is not a prize to possess but is a treasure to be given away to the next generation. We must do whatever it takes to restore the tabernacle to its original purpose; to call its people back to holiness. We must be willing to give up our seat to the next generation before it is too late and there is no body left willing to fill the void.

Postscript: This article was written based on the following word the Lord gave me June, 2011: “The Church is not a prize to possess but is a treasure to give away”.

Uncategorized @ 1:06 am
Comments Off on The Exodus of the Youth from Church: In Search of Answers to a Dark Dilemma

December 8, 2021

Ethics and Online Counseling or icounseling

We live in a fast-paced society where virtually everything is just a click away. With the click of a button, you can pay your bills or even have merchandise shipped to your front door without ever leaving the comforts of home. The Internet has made this and much more a reality. The number of Internet users today is reported at 972,828,001, which is 15.2% of the world’s population and the percentage of population usage growth during 2000-2005 was reported at 169.5% (Internet World Stats, 2005). As the number of Internet users across the globe continues to soar, more and more resources are becoming accessible online. The possibilities of services that can be offered on the Internet are endless. Today, one can even receive online professional services such as counseling.

Online counseling is a relatively new service. Therefore, there currently exists limited research to support or disconfirm its effectiveness. The long-term ramifications of such an experience are yet unknown. There are many concerned with the ethical dilemmas associated with online counseling. Below I will briefly explore the ethical issues centered around online counseling, beginning with a definition of a traditional counseling relationship:

A traditional counseling relationship is an interpersonal relationship between a client and counselor in which the counselor provides the client a reflection of the client’s self in a safe atmosphere in which the client feels comfortable enough to completely relay information to the counselor in order to gain order over personal conflicts.

The first and most obvious ethical dilemma with rendering mental health services over the Internet is one of confidentiality and privacy. The Internet is an open network and therefore is not secure. Consequently, when communicating through an insecure source one cannot be completely guaranteed that what is being revealed in a counseling relationship remains only in that relationship.

Because the Internet is not secure, there are numerous opportunities for an invasion of privacy. Such could occur if one were receiving counseling while at the work place where his or her email is subject to being read because it is considered company property. Other possibilities include, but are not limited to, that another could access confidential emails intentionally by eavesdropping or unintentionally if information was misdirected and intercepted.

Another ethical issue associated with online counseling involves client and counselor identification. Without being able to confirm the identity of a client during each interaction, one cannot be certain of who is being counseled. The danger in this circumstance is that one could easily misrepresent him or herself and the counselor could be mislead to believe that he or she is counseling a particular individual when in fact this may not be the case. If this were to happen, confidential information could be unintentionally divulged to a third party.

Additionally, if the client were to misrepresent his or her own identity, for instance their sex or ethnicity, this could be just as damaging and could hinder the counseling process. If a counselor does not fully know with whom he or she is working, then the story which is being revealed by the client cannot appropriately be put into context, thus resulting in misinterpretation of what the client is communicating.

Virtual Relationship:
One of the most common negative results of interacting online is the phenomenon of being in a virtual relationship. Both the counselor as well as the client are in a sense unreal, they are simply “cyber-beings” as the author likes to describe them. Being in a virtual relationship causes an individual to have no sense of commitment to the counseling process. The client is simply writing another email via a keyboard and has minimum personal connection to the counselor.

Due to the lack of a personal relationship with the counselor, a client may be more easily offended by the advice that is given in an online counseling session. A client may feel that a cyber-being has no right to become so personal. If this is the case, then a client may also be more apt to end the relationship either temporarily or permanently by simply clicking a button.

The first and foremost responsibility of a counselor is to protect the welfare of his or her client. Yet, if one is counseling a virtual person then it is nearly impossible to be able to ensure the client’s safety. A counselor does not even truly know whom they are counseling or the location of the client’s residence. With this being the case, a counselor cannot intervene if a client is a danger to him or herself or others. A counselor’s hands are tied when it comes to his or her “Duty to Warn.”

As a result of communicating over an insecure source to a cyber-being, a client receiving online services may not be willing to be straightforward about all information. Additionally, when information is shared with a lack of commitment to the counseling process this could lead the client to actually falsify information. Not only is there a danger that a client might be misleading or may even lie, but there is also the risk that a client could intentionally leave out parts of his or her story. A client may feel the need to be deceitful due to the fact that he or she may fear a breach of confidentiality or simply feel no responsibility to be honest because no personal relationship exists between counselor and client. If this is the case, then the counselor cannot work at full capacity because of a lack of all the pieces of the client’s history.

Dishonesty leads to confusion which makes the counseling process difficult if not impossible. If a client were able to be assured that what is said would stay only between counselor and client, then there would be more freedom to be completely honest. Also, if a client were in a face-to-face relationship, they may perhaps feel more of an obligation to be upfront.

Lack of Nonverbals:
Nearly 94 percent of all communication is nonverbal. We communicate with our facial expressions, posture, eye contact and so forth. Needless to say, reading nonverbals is an essential element of counseling. If one is being counseled online, these nonverbals are unobservable and such is detrimental to the counseling process. Nonverbals which cannot be observed during an online session are nervous behaviors, whether eye contact is maintained, angle and distance of body in relationship to the counselor, etc. Also, a client may be typing content which appears to be uplifting, but at the same time may be crying. Conversely, a client may be typing distraught messages but may be laughing while doing so. Such is evident of inappropriate affect and is a good indicator of possible mental diagnoses.

Abandonment Issues:
Another responsibility of the counselor is to not abandon a client. Yet, abandonment may be impossible to avoid when counseling occurs online due to the instability of the Internet. Communication could be hindered because of technology failures or glitches or as a result of a poor Internet connection.

If a relationship is suddenly ended for any reason, it would be almost, if not, impossible for a counselor to get back in touch with his or her client due to the fact that in an online counseling relationship the client is anonymous in most of the cases; thus making abandonment impossible to avoid. Furthermore, if a client were to abruptly leave a counseling session after threatening to harm him or herself or others, then not having the ability to protect your client would be the ultimate case of abandonment.

There appears to be many “ifs” in the ethical dilemma of online counseling and not enough certainty. “If” we as counselors could guarantee the privacy of our clients, “if” we could make certain of who we are counseling, “if” our client is completely truthful and “if” we were guaranteed they would not terminate before a session is over, then there would be little debate over whether online counseling should be attempted. Nevertheless, as of now, the “ifs” do exist.

Counseling, whether online or in person, involves much responsibility. When counseling an individual, you are placed in a position where you are a major influence in that person’s life. A counselor holds much control over the mental health of another. If Internet counseling is attempted, it should only be done by a competent professional who is well-educated in the field and should only be done via secure websites or with an encryption technological e-mail communication application.

Counseling online is a great responsibility as is counseling an individual face to face. As well, such a relationship should be treated with the highest ethical professionalism. Regardless of that an online client is communicating in a virtual world, his or her problems are still very much real.


Internet World Stats (2005). Usage and Population Statistics, downloaded from on 12/2/05. 10 a.m.

DATE WRITTEN:  January 17, 2006

Uncategorized @ 1:07 am
Comments Off on Ethics and Online Counseling or icounseling

November 8, 2021

Hope for the Hippocampus: A Look at Covid Traumatic Effects on Learning

By Kathryn Donev, M.S., LPC/MHSP, NCC

Covid Trauma has caused great emotional distress in many children resulting in disrupted attachment, impaired emotional regulation and cognitive delay. This stress of uncertainty and fears associated with sickness, has had a “silent” physical impact on our children’s brain development and more specially on their hippocampus. The hippocampi are two curved organs that look like seahorses. They are located in the medial temporal lobe that form an integral part of the limbic system and play an important role in emotion regulation. They also store your memory. When you learn something new, a unique neural pathway is created. But a traumatized or stressed hippocampus does not allow for these memory pathways to be revisited to become stronger, thus hindering the hippocampus from recalling information. So a traumatized brain struggles to recollect memories and details. Learning becomes difficult. For teachers, this can be extremely frustrating when you feel your students are not retaining information. A subject that was “mastered” the week prior is now a foreign concept because the ability to remember is hindered.  But, there is hope.

The following are four ways to activate this memory center. The first is physical exercise. Movement stimulates neurogenesis or the process by which new neurons are formed in the brain. Secondly, mental exercises are just as important. This can include memorization activities like retrieving vocabulary or simply doing a puzzle. Stress management is the third way to assist the hippocampus. Reducing stress decreases the neurotoxic effects of cortisol on the hippocampus. Children find routine to be very calming. Besides mealtime and bedtime, routine can include structured play and family activities. With socially distancing in mind, staying connected with small acts of kindness can also aid in stress reduction for children. Fourthly, healthy eating habits make a healthy hippocampus.  Fish is among the most beneficial foods for your memory because of their omega-3 fatty acids which boost our cellular structure and brain signaling. Blueberries and dark chocolate releases antioxidants and dopamine which is great for fast learning and memory.

Uncategorized @ 1:20 am
Comments Off on Hope for the Hippocampus: A Look at Covid Traumatic Effects on Learning

February 26, 2021

Children and the Corn: Possible Hidden Cause of Disruptive Behavior

By Kathryn Donev, M.S., LPC/MHSP, NCC

Recently in conversation with a friend, she shared of her child’s corn allergy.  Listening further, the behavioral issues described intrigued me to do further research on the topic.  Could it truly be corn that causes children to exhibit defiant and unruly behavior?  “Eat your vegetables!” Or not? 

Well firstly, the body actually cannot digest corn fully. Humans have no way to break down the insoluble fiber of the cellulose molecules in corn. But this is not to say that corn in its whole natural state is all bad. Its high fiber content can aid in digestion. It also contains B vitamins and provides our bodies with essential minerals such as zinc, magnesium, copper, iron and manganese. And corn just tastes so good.  It tastes good, because it’s sweet.

We avoid giving our children excess sugar because we know it’s effects on behavior, but we don’t even think to consider the sneaky vegetable/grain/fruit, “corn” and its sweet derivatives.  I was shocked to learned that there are nearly 200 corn derivatives in foods today (see photo for some). And recent studies have found that corn can indeed cause disruptive behavior.  A 2009 study conducted at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy identified detectable levels of mercury in nine out of 20 samples of commercial high fructose corn syrup. These findings were also confirmed by former food investigator for the FDA, Dr. Renee Dufault and published in 2017.  Mercury is toxic in all forms and may also cause damage to the brain and nervous system, which in turn effects behavior.  Mercury also can suppress genes involved in developmental problems such as autism and ADHD.

So why is corn allergy not a well-known concern? One reason is a lack of recognition of the severity of the problem. The FDA only requires the first eight major food allergens to be labeled on food products and they do not require corn derivatives to be listed along with other ingredients. So a can of peaches that typically will contain high fructose corn syrup could also contain a manufactured form of citric acid, which is commonly derived from a starch-based media of corn. Another reason why corn allergy is not well-known is because symptoms are unique and each person suffers differently making it extremely difficult for parents to pinpoint the cause of behavioral issues. 

All of this is not to say that corn should be avoided at all cost unless advised to do so.  I was raised on fresh corn straight from my grandparent’s garden.  But, unfortunately corn is no longer what we remember.  Hopefully this article will raise awareness about what we are feeding our children.  Perhaps, we could begin to monitor more closely our child’s eating habits and associated behaviors to determine if there is a connection between corn consumption and unruly behaviors.  And then, adjust diets accordingly.  Instead of seeking out medications, we could return to unprocessed, unmanufactured, non-GMO, natural foods and hopefully we will witness natural states of being. 

Uncategorized @ 1:15 am
Comments Off on Children and the Corn: Possible Hidden Cause of Disruptive Behavior

July 8, 2020

Steps to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking

If you are reading this article I don’t even need to tell you the statistics related to public speaking. You already know that it is the number one fear even above the fear of dying. Why is this? Why can we overcome jumping out of plains or driving 100 mph but not conquer the small step going in front of not even two and a half people and one of them is our spouse? In the tone of Seinfeld, What is up with public speaking? We know how to speak and we know how to be in public but we can’t do both at the same time.

This fear of public speaking is one that paralyzes some to the point they cannot breath, see and sometimes hear what is going on around them. Some experience the fear so great that they will pass out or tremble to the point of nearly passing out. Those knees for some reason just can’t take people staring at them from a distance. So how do we make our knees strong, how to we put a leash on our out of control heart beat, our shaking hands and our trembling voice. Well the answer is simple … never ever again go in front of absolutely anybody to speak. Simple enough and my job is done. Thank you for reading and continue looking for my latest work, Spitting In the Soup: Famous Techniques of Adlerian Therapy.

Now honestly we know that this can never happen. We cannot remain in bondage by our emotions and fears. We have to find ways that work for us to overcome them. We are in control of our lives and not vice-a-versa. The following are some steps and suggestions that you can take in order to overcome the fear of the dreadful public speaking.


First of all it is important that we see circumstances realistically. If we allow our mind to blow things out of proportion then we have already lost the battle. So remember you are not going war or performing a life-threatening surgery, you are just talking in front of people. Big deal! You talk to people everyday and the only small difference is that there might be a few more than you are used to and that they are sitting facing you in a very intimidating position having their hands folded and their legs crossed and some may not even be paying attention. It’s really okay. Don’t let your thoughts distract you. Disregard the voice which suggests you must not be doing a good job because the audience doesn’t even having the decency to look at you while you are talking. Just because your audience isn’t making eye contact doesn’t mean they aren’t paying attention and just because some aren’t paying attention doesn’t mean you are boring. Well at least this is the theory.


If by chance you are boring, change something up or you will never conquer this fear. Nobody wants to waist their time listen to an unconfident drab. It is extremely mind-numbing to listen to a monotone voice. Quite frankly I have listen to some speakers whom have no other that an impressive gift of curing insomnia. Five minutes into the “whont, whont, whont”, I’m sound asleep. Just the tone and frequency of your voice will determine the attention level of your audience. Learn how to project your voice and control your pitch. If you doubt this to be true, observe child-adult interactions closely and you will notice the difference. People enjoy a calm, soothing, lower toned voice rather than a high pitch fast one. Use pictures, use PowerPoint’s, use some sort of illustrations if you have to. These techniques will actually assist you to gain your composure. If people are looking at your visual aids or the lights are off due to the use of technology then all eyes are not on you. Some will even begin with passing out a handout which not only helps the listener follow but diverts attention. Ice breaker activities also will have the same results and allow a nervous persona to adjust to being in front of a crowd. Perhaps even try changing the flow of your talk every 5-15 minutes depending on the length. Ones attention span is not like it used to be.


The secrete in the art of public speaking is breathing. Well duh, hum. Now you are thinking, do I even need to read further. Of course the choice is up to you. And for those of you whom have continued on I truly feel for you because if you are still reading then this means that you are really struggling with this fear and have tried everything imaginable and have said, “Hey reading a few more pages can’t hurt”. Do you like so far how I have broken the flow of this piece to make it much more intriguing? We all know this “secret”, but for some reason we don’t practice it, why? For a lot of us we don’t know how to breathe. This is as I have already said an art. If you learn how to breathe properly and take in deep breaths and exhale through your nose you will get the needed oxygen to your brain which will help control most important your heart rate and also help with dry mouth and scratchy throat. By simply taking two deep breaths at the beginning of your speech can help you master this fear of choking in a literal sense. And remember even if you do choke, it’s not the end of the world. On a side note, if you do know that you suffer from dry mouth always have a bottle of water handy.


You have to gain the confidence to overlook all of these “what if” scenarios. If you are obsessed with thinking about whether or not the audience thinks your jokes are funny or if they like you or if they think you said something stupid then you will never be able to give your attention to giving the best speech. You cannot worry about what if you trip walking up to the stage or what if you have something in your teeth, just keep trucking. When you are engaged in public speaking you have to only be worried about one person’s opinion and that is yours. You are not going to be so successful that you please 100% of the people at 100% of the time. Not even the greatest speakers of all time can accomplish this. So set realistic expectations for yourself. However this is not to say that you should go on a whim and not check for the broccoli between your teeth.


Also keep in mind how much time you are given to speak so you can keep your pace. Know that if you have five points and that you have be given twenty-five minutes to present these points you need to take five minutes per point in order to get done on time. If you find yourself after fifteen minute being on your first point you should pick up the pace in order not to get nervous at the end of your time. If you have set realistic goals of how much you will be able to cover in a certain time frame then you will not feel overwhelmed and this will take of some pressure before hand. You cannot present your research findings of three years in three minutes and you cannot have three minutes worth of information to cover a 30 minute time slot. In order to perfect this skill, one has to rehearse in real time and not just imagine what you think you will say. Sometimes it sounds all great in our head but when it actually comes out it is quite different and it takes a completely different amount of time than thought.


You can never be too prepared. To be a successful orator you have to be prepared, especially if you have nerve issues. If you know exactly what you are going to say, at what moment you are going to say it, and have rehearsed your talk several hundred times then your speech will in a way go on an auto pilot in order for you to gain your composure and overcome your nerves. If you are able to accomplish this success at the very beginning of your talk then you will notice that your heart beat will begin to decrease and your voice will get clearer and this in turn gives you great confidence to continue and will give you the most needed tool, a clear head. Here comes a really good tip, when you have a clear head, you can think. When you can think you can talk logically and not ramble and this all has to do with being prepared and not only with what you are going to say, but with what PowerPoint or note you will use, what handouts you will give and if you will or will not use any public speaking techniques.


Another important note is that you should be aware of your environmental surroundings. It will give you peace of mind to know exactly in which room or location you will be talking. This way you will not have to stress over being late or not being able to find the location. Is this room well lit so you can read your notes, is it cool, where are the air vents. Then make sure you are not standing under a vent if you know this will mess up your throat or cause your voice to tremble. Or the opposite may be true if you are a hot natured person. Be aware of where people will be entering and exiting the location of your talk in order that you are the farthest way so it will distract you the least. Also, if you are using a laptop you need to be positioned and know where the nearest power source is. This awareness can prevent a major mental breakdown when your laptop dyes and you start crying in front of everybody. So in order to accomplish all of these minor, but major tasks it is crucial that you take the necessary steps to be on time. This will allow you a moment to regain your composure and help your body acclimate to the environment and not experience of shock of coming from a hot outdoors to a cold inside or vice-a-versa. It will also allow you time to converse with the people whom you will be speaking in front of so that you can see that they are just normal people like yourself and not super smart critics that just came to make fun of you.


As long as it’s not out loud so people won’t think you are coo-coo, you might want to try some self talk. Yes I know it sounds funny but we all do it and it doesn’t make you crazy. Tell yourself, it’s going to be okay, this is not as scary as you thinking, even rehearse your lines in your head, or maybe even tell yourself once I do awesome, I’m going for ice cream. But seriously a nice reinforcement to look forward to following all of your hard preparation could be just the needed motivator for success. It is also helpful to envision the end goal. If you can convince yourself that you will be successful then there is a greater likelihood you will be successful.


One helpful sight to overcoming the fear of public speaking is to know yourself. Observe what makes you nervous and what makes you calm. Maybe if your fear is associated with low self confidence then perhaps you should take time to pamper yourself before you get up in front of people. Or if you are introverted then maybe you need to reserve your energy and go to a quite secluded place just before you speak. Everybody is different. Everybody experiences the fear of public speaking differently.


If you know that you will have difficulties with even getting the first word to come out of your mouth, don’t panic. Allow yourself a few seconds to get used to being in front of everybody. They are not going anywhere and they can wait. These few seconds, what might seem to you as a lifetime, are really just a few seconds. And keep this in mind when you feel that you are struggling for a word and you think you are taking a half an hour to come up with it this is just your nerves talking and you should put them on their leash; because if you don’t take the time to go slowly you will not be able to continue.


Just like any fear, the fear of public speaking can be overcome. And this is not accomplished by avoiding the fear. It is overcome by facing the fear head on. The more opportunities you have to speak, the better. It will get easier. Your hands will begin to be less sweaty and your voice will become clearer the more you practice speaking in front of people. However, do this the smart way. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Start small. Being wise and you will be successful. This success will not come overnight but remember you have to be realistic, be open to learning, and keep on trying. The butterfly in your stomach is a good thing. It is good stress. It is what keeps us on our toes and reminds us that we will always be more successful when we are prepared. It is when the butterflies fly away that we should be worried. So let us appreciate their fluttering wings and remember that this is just a normal part of life.

Uncategorized @ 1:09 am
Comments Off on Steps to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking

October 8, 2019

Ethics & Foundations of Moral Development

Moral development is defined as the development regarding rules and conventions about what people should do in their interactions with other people. Such development involves the development of thoughts, feelings and actions concerning standards or what is right and wrong, which includes an interpersonal and intrapersonal dimension. The intrapersonal dimension accounts for ones actions when they are not engaged socially and the opposite is true for explaining the interpersonal dimension.

The social learning theory suggests that we learn via social experiences. Meaning our behaviors and actions result from what we model from others. Therefore, the social learning theory might explain moral development in children as a result of modeling observed moral behaviors and actions. When a child is provided with models that behave morally, that child is prone to adopt the observed actions.

Social learning theorists believe that moral behavior is influenced by a particular situation and that ones ability to resist temptation is closely correlated with self-control. Therefore, a child must be taught to control impulses, learn to be patient and to delay being gratified. This is best done through role modeling and providing appropriate examples. It is also suggested that when a child is rewarded for acting out a modeled behavior the likelihood of that behavior re-occurring increases. The opposite is also true; when the behavior is punished or not rewarded then the behavior will likely decrease. Therefore, it is crucial to not only provide a child with the appropriate models, but a child must be encourage for acting out moral behaviors in order to understand that such behavior is a good thing.

However, when there is no reward present is when this intrapersonal dimension comes into play. This is when one does moral acts for the sake of doing what is right. It is important to instruct a child at an early age and instill within them this concept of right and wrong in order for one to act morally when it is thought that no one is watching. When no one is watching is when the true sense of morals arises.

DATE WRITTEN:  July 18, 2006

Uncategorized @ 1:11 am
Comments Off on Ethics & Foundations of Moral Development

April 8, 2018

Beyond the Self

In today’s postmodern western context there is a great desire to become more aware of the self. Who am I? What do I want out of life? What will make me happy? These have become common questions. This fixation with introspection stems from our desire to reach a certain level of self-fulfillment. Some believe that the better they know themselves, the more likely they are to be fulfilled as individuals. Undeniably, introspection may produce a certain level of satisfaction, but there is also the danger that the more one looks inward, the less one has the ability to see through another’s eyes. When we become too consumed with ourselves, egocentrism sets in and it becomes difficult to value the opinions of others.

Having Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in mind, it appears that this desire to look inward is most prominent when basic needs have been fulfilled and an individual is comfortable and safe within a certain way of living. Thus there exists a connection between achieving self-enlightenment and having one’s needs met. It is when one is secure that he or she begins to look inward. So, if one were to be removed from his or her comfort zone it is reasonable to conclude that he or she would be more readily to look outward, beyond the self. Consequently, once one is removed from his or her comfort zone, then one becomes less concerned with the self and finds a greater appreciation for other perspectives. In other words, being away from one’s familiar context ultimately produces a greater appreciation and sensitivity for the unfamiliar.

If we reach a point of becoming so secure and comfortable that our vision of the world beyond us becomes blurred and we become immersed in our own world, then how can we reach true fulfillment? It is only when we look beyond ourselves that we are truly able to enjoy life fully. When we step out of our comfort zone our eyes are opened.

It would be safer to remain secure in our small self-centered worlds, yet this is not what God called us to do. He said go unto the uttermost parts of the world. This is a command to live outside of what is comfortable: to look beyond. We can attempt to be fulfilled or satisfied through remaining in a safe zone where all our needs are fulfilled and therefore are able to reach a certain level of enlightenment, yet regardless of how introspective we become, satisfaction can only be achieved through knowing our creator and not through knowing the creation.

So being consumed with ourselves, being safe with our lifestyles, being surrounded by what is familiar will not satisfy. It is only when we move beyond ourselves, beyond our comfort zones into the unfamiliar that we can reach true fulfillment. It is then that we are doing what creation is purposed to do and that is to go beyond the walls of comfort and security, to step out in faith and to listen to His voice to go wherever He leads and do whatever He commands.

Uncategorized @ 1:13 am
Comments Off on Beyond the Self

December 19, 2016

Merry Christmas From the Caring for the Soul Team

Merry Christmas

, , , ,
Uncategorized @ 6:30 pm
Comments Off on Merry Christmas From the Caring for the Soul Team

September 2, 2016

The Death of Dying Churches in the Context of Church Planting: 6 Reasons That Motivate us To Seek Church Planting Versus Church Rehabilitation

church dying

With the ever growing trend of Church planting, we have lost sight of the reality that too many churches are dying. We try to pretend that churches are not closing down everyday by creating hype with campaigns to rally around the numbers of new churches being started.

But if one church opens while another closes, what’s the benefit towards the Kingdom? The math simply does not add up. If a church is opened and has five people saved in the first service and 11 baptized the following week, but we close the doors of two other churches that same month, and this translates in an entire frustrated generation of youth exiting the church into a secular world of drugs and alcohol, then the Kingdom economics is lacking.

When there is a birth, we rejoice. When there is a death we cry. Death is damaging, painful and entangles us in a multifaceted web of emotions and responses. Sadly Christian churches today are dying for six major reasons:

  1. The Bible has been abandoned: “Feel-good” preaching replaces fundamental Biblical principals, morals and truths.
  2. We listen to too a multitude of church experts instead of hearing from one Divine voice.
  3. We treat the Church as a social club paying our 10% membership dues.
  4. There is more emphasis on evangelizing social media than the evangelizing the lost.
  5. We like the church box and the comfort of the walls and forget about the hurt and dying world beyond.
  6. It’s at times easier to close a church down to avoid dealing with the real problems

Death is so damaging to the entire body of believers. Should we not focus on church care rather than closing, and reevaluate the effectiveness of putting more money into opening new churches. What is it that motivates us to seek after church planting versus church rehabilitation?

  1. Money is in church planting vs. debt is in church maintenance.
  2. The honeymoon period of a new church is much more glamorous vs. the trials of a struggling church.
  3. The problems of church planting are limited compared to the problems of dying church.
  4. We all want to rejoice in a birth instead of caring for the sick or morning the dead.
  5. A grand opening celebration is more appealing than a long and strenuous rehab process.
  6. Positive reinforcement and recognition comes with church planting. Negative reinforcement, and at times rejection, is associated with church care and problem solving.

If you work with people you will have problems and the more people you have the more problems you will have. And the more time you have these people, the more likely you are to have bigger challenges to overcome. But this is no reason to give up and avoid the hard times. Let us not let our existing churches dye while we have our eyes on starting new ones. It is when we embrace unification and restoration that bones come together, flesh develops out of past nothingness, skin covers the flesh out of former defeats, breath enters the bodies to all replace past failures and unforgiveness, and a vast army stands up stronger than ever. What some see as a dying church, Christ sees as His resurrected and indestructible army!

, , , , , , , , , ,
Uncategorized @ 5:20 pm
Comments Off on The Death of Dying Churches in the Context of Church Planting: 6 Reasons That Motivate us To Seek Church Planting Versus Church Rehabilitation

January 24, 2016

Free CEU Online Course Credit 2016 FROM PESI

Compassion Fatigue Prevention & Resiliency: Fitness for the Frontline

The Body Keeps Score with Bessel Van Der Kolk, MD

5 Questions to Ask Your Patient: Motivating change
Motivational Interviewing in Healthcare with Stephen Rollnick, Ph.D.

Palm the Present Moment: A practical mindfulness tool

, , , , ,
Uncategorized @ 6:56 pm
Comments Off on Free CEU Online Course Credit 2016 FROM PESI
Next Page »