set free from infidelity

A young Christian couple came for marriage counseling.  When I asked them what brought them to counseling the husband volunteered to explain.  He stated very forthrightly that he had repeatedly been unfaithful to his wife over their 8 years of marriage and she became aware of his last affair and confronted him about it in January.  He admitted his infidelity and told her of the previous affairs, but he was unapologetic and unrepentant, so they separated and he moved into an apartment and left his wife in their home with their 3 children.  Three months later she filed for divorce and he was still unrepentant until four days later.  He suddenly realized the impact of his actions and how he was losing his children and family, and he fell to his knees and confessed his sin to the Lord, asking for forgiveness.  He asked the Lord what He wanted him to know, and God told him to "go home."

The young man went to his wife and tearfully, humbly confessed his sins and asked for her forgiveness.  She forgave him and invited him to come back home.  They went to church on the following Sunday and he rededicated his life to the Lord.  They sought counseling with a Christian marriage counselor but felt like it was unhelpful and was not dealing with their underlying issues.  This is not surprising because marriage counseling is so difficult.  A psychologist recently spoke at a mental health conference in Oklahoma and told the large audience, "I'm a terrible couples counselor!  Every couple I have ever counseled has ended in divorce."  A friend of this couple referred them to me and they called and set up this appointment.  

In order to understand the underlying issues involved I asked permission to ask about his background.  He stated that he was raised by his biological parents who fought a lot physically, and his mother was abusive to his father, with whom he was very close.  His mother was very manipulative and angry, especially after her stepfather died when this young man was 12 years old, which led him in high school to drink, be rebellious and disruptive, and to use many girls.  When he graduated from high school he went to college where he drank heavily and got into fights.  He graduated and began working in a high-paying job.

After college he met his wife and they got married and began having children.  Initially, they got along well but then he began to secretly have affairs while working out-of-town, and he began to verbally abuse his wife.  Sometimes the fighting escalated and he physically abused her, but she tolerated it and they regularly attended church.  After four years of marriage his father died and this was very difficult for him.  He buried himself in his work and began having more affairs.  I explained how underlying feelings of anger and grief can lead to sexual affairs in order to make the individual feel better, and I explained how the Lord could take those feelings from him.  He was ready and willing to have the Lord take them from him.

I asked the young man which feeling was most painful, the anger at his mother or the grief over his father, and he said it was the grief.  I explained that there were two steps to releasing his grief, first to make a list of what he missed about his father, and second to ask the Lord to take the grief and carry if for him.  When I asked him what he missed about his father his eyes became red and he broke down in tears.  His wife moved close to him and held his hand as he began tearfully sharing what he missed about his father.  He missed talking to his father, hearing his voice, going hunting and fishing with him, going to ball games with him, his sense of humor, and many other things.  He identified 15 things he missed about his father and then he prayed and told the Lord each item and asked Him to take his grief from him.  Afterwards he said that "He loves me" and he felt peaceful.

However, he still felt some sadness about his father because he never got to meet their third child, he was treated so badly by his wife, he suffered from cancer, and because this couple had to ask him to leave their home due to his wife's intolerable behavior.  He identified 7 reasons for his sadness and then he tearfully prayed and gave it all to the Lord.  Immediately afterwards, he said that he felt "at peace" and his tears stopped.

We had been meeting for well over an hour but this man wanted to release his anger so I asked him what he resented about his mother.   He resented her for her anger, her addiction, her blaming him for everything as a child, her moodiness, her saying hurtful things to him and his wife, and her her habitual lying.  He identified 18 resentments and then he prayed and told the Lord each resentment, and asked the Lord to take his anger from him.  I prayed and asked the Lord what He wanted this man to know.  The only thought that came to him was "let it go."  I asked him how he felt about his mother now, and he said he felt "peace."  His anger was gone and he could think about her without any anger or hostility.

As we concluded our session, he looked very relaxed and calm.  I asked him what he thought about this prayer process and he said, "It's amazing!"  He and his wife were very encouraged and he left with a smile on his face.  His wife said she wanted to meet with me to resolve her feelings.  This couple has some more issues to resolve but they are well on their way to a new relationship with one another and with the Lord.  What a wonderful thing it is to see the Lord save marriages that appear to be hopeless, and to set people free from their emotional bondage that was destroying their marriage!

Angry Since Four years old

A man volunteered for prayer at the Mental Health Epidemic and the Church conference in Ft Smith, Arkansas. We had spoken for two days about how to overcome feelings of anger, grief, shame, depression, and from addiction and traumas and the audience appeared to enjoy hearing accounts of people being set free. But the best part of the conference was, undoubtedly, at the very end of the conference, witnessing the power of the Lord to set people free through prayer.

I asked this man what he wanted to pray about. He said that he had been angry at his father since he was four years old and he had never talked about it with anyone. I asked him what he was angry about. He said that his father was a bad alcoholic and he beat this man’s mother, sister, and himself into unconsciousness on many occasions until he was 18 years of age. The audience suddenly became very quiet and still at this shocking revelation. “What else makes you angry at your father?” I asked. He said, “My father was verbally abusive with me. He told me that I was fat and was an embarrassment to him.”

I continued asking him what else made him angry. He said that his mother looked so bad after she was beaten and it made him angry at how badly his father had brutalized her. He said that they often drove to hotels to pick up his drunken father, where he had been with other women. He also stated that he resented his father coming to his high school ball games and shouting angrily at him during the games and embarrassing him. It also made this man angry to think about how badly his father had emotionally damaged him and his sister.

I asked his man if he would like to get rid of this anger and he said “Definitely.” 

I asked him to repeat after me as I led him in a prayer giving his anger about these seven resentments to the Lord. As I began leading him in the prayer, he repeated after me, holding back tears of anger until I mentioned the verbal abuse about his weight. He struggled silently trying to maintain control of his emotions; I suggested at one point that he could just say the words silently to the Lord. He finally repeated the words and told the Lord all the reasons for his anger toward his father. Then he told the Lord he was tired of being angry and he asked the Lord to take his anger from him, in Jesus’ name.

I prayed, “Lord, is there anything that you want him to know right now?” I sat quietly for a short while until he said, “I am your father.” I asked him where he thought that thought came from and he said, “I know where that came from; it was from God.” “How does that make you feel?” I asked. It makes me feel very peaceful. I feel more peace than I have ever felt before” he said. “When you think about your father and all of these things that he did, how do you feel now?” I asked. He said, “It’s in the past. I feel peaceful, and I feel no anger.” I asked him to imagine that his father came walking through the back doors into the church sanctuary and then walked down the aisle and sat on the front row in front of us. I asked him how he would feel and react. He said, “I would be okay and I would want to give him a hug.” Everyone was amazed!

What a wonderful conclusion to the conference, to witness the power of God and the power of prayer to set us free from our emotional bondage. God is truly awesome!!

general articles

the harvest is plentiful

feb. 27, 2017

"Seeing the people, [Jesus] felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the Harvest to send out workers into His harvest'" (Matthew 9:26-28).

While my daughter is in the hospital in Denver for treatment of her Cystic Fibrosis-related lung problems I am not able to see clients in my office or counsel men in the drug program I usually visit each week. However, there are still ample opportunities to share the good news of healing with people because we are surrounded by hurting people.


After settling into our hotel across the street from the hospital on Wednesday, I went to the Gift Shop and found some interesting metal hearts with the words “love,” “joy,” and “hope” on them. I asked the nice, black woman behind the counter if there were any hearts with the word “peace” on them and she could find none. I told her that we cannot have any love or joy without peace, and she agreed. I shared with her that I had been a counselor for forty years and learned a simple way to get rid of grief through prayer and that there were no other techniques that worked. She seemed very interested so I asked if she had ever lost anyone close to her and she stated that she had. I encouraged her to make a list of things she missed about her loved one and ask the Lord to take it from her. She said that she would do this and I gave her a grief booklet. I told her that I would be around for several weeks and would check back on her.

On Friday I was sitting in a Starbucks at about 6:30 am, working on my computer. A young black man was sitting nearby working on his computer and he appeared to be working on some school work. I was curious and decided to be friendly and asked him if he was in college. He said that he was a student from an African country and he asked me what I did. I told him that I had just retired after 40 years of work as a mental health counselor and that I was now teaching people how to release feelings of grief, anger, and shame which counselors and psychologists cannot do. He looked very interested so I asked him if he had ever lost anyone close to him. He stated that he lost his father about a year ago and he still missed him. I shared with him how he could get rid of his grief by identifying everything he missed about his father, and then praying and asking the Lord to take his grief from him. He thanked me and said he would do that. I gave him a grief booklet and I told him that I would check back on him.

On Sunday, we stopped at a Farmer’s Market and my wife went to buy some food. I followed her a few minutes later but was accosted by a young lady standing outside the front door who said she was an environmentalist from a group called “Green Peace.” I listened to her share facts about the environment and global warming and deforestation, then told her I was more interested in helping people find inner peace because there were so many angry, depressed people. She agreed with me and seemed like a very nice young lady, so I shared with her that I had learned how to help people overcome feelings of grief. I asked her if she had ever lost anyone close to her and she said, “fortunately not.” I asked her if she had ever broken up with a boyfriend and she said she had. She said that she was initially very hurt but was feeling much better and is currently down to about 15% of her initial feelings. She told me that she and her boyfriend broke up about a year ago and she admitted that she still had some anger and missed him. I explained how she could get rid of her anger and her grief by thoroughly listing the reasons for her anger and grief, and then praying and asking the Lord to take those feelings from her. She agreed to try this and I gave her a grief and anger booklet.

Later today, Rachel had a break from her IVs and we took a walk to the Gift Shop again. I took another look at the metal hearts on the counter and commented to the elderly gentleman who was behind the counter that there were no hearts with “Peace” on them. He joked about it and I told him, as I had told the former clerk, that you cannot have any joy or love without peace. He thought about that momentarily and then agreed. I shared with him that I had been a counselor for 40 years and learned that counselors and psychologists cannot help people with grief, but I had learned a simple way to help people get rid of grief. He asked me how to get rid of it and I shared the two simple steps that I had shared with the others. He listened intently then told me that his wife lost her mother ten years ago and had never gotten over it. I commented that grief is the cause of 87% of all depression and that when people are depressed they are prescribed antidepressants that don’t work. He nodded and agreed with me and said his wife was taking antidepressants and they were not helping her. I gave him a copy of the grief booklet and told him to call me if she wants help in getting off the antidepressants. He thanked me and shook my hand.

Everywhere we go we are surrounded by hurting people who need help and hope. The Bible says, “Seeing the people, [Jesus] felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest’” (Matt. 9:36-38). Pray that the Lord will open our eyes and hearts to see the hurting people around us each day and share the truth about how the Lord can heal them and set them free.