Counseling part of healing process
The Rev. Darrell Brazell, pastor, New Hope Fellowship, 1449 Kasold Drive:
If I were not a “preacher,” I would be a Christian counselor or therapist.
My own journey of recovery from addiction has led me down a path of understanding myself, my God and others in ways that continue to prove incredibly helpful to me and to those I counsel. This is especially true in understanding the way our interpretation of the past affects the way we interpret our present.
Like many, I used to think I simply made decisions in the moment. Good, bad, right or wrong, I thought I made decisions based on the information in front of me. I was mostly blind to the impact of my past, especially of my childhood. This blindness often led me to repeat negative and even destructive cycles.
I realize now that understanding our story empowers us to see more options and to make choices we could not previously even see let alone choose. An especially powerful process I’ve experienced personally and use with others is “Immanuel prayer counseling.” Immanuel is one of Jesus’ names meaning “God with us.” We are learning that allowing God to show us Jesus’ presence in different memories brings incredible healing. I’ve both experienced and seen others experience Jesus’ presence in traumatic places where he replaced deep-seated lies with his truth and the change is amazing.
Jesus’ last words before ascending into heaven were, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). As a preacher, I love telling the story of Jesus and especially about his abiding presence.
As an “Immanuel counselor,” I get to see people go beyond understanding the concept to experiencing the reality.
— Send e-mail to Darrell Brazell at firstname.lastname@example.org
Workers bring morality to jobs
The Rev. Gary Teske, pastor, Trinity Lutheran Church, 1245 N.H.:
I have always been pretty good with words and my undergraduate degree is in education, so I suspect that I would be a teacher or a journalist or possibly an ad writer. I’ve always enjoyed coming up with catchy and creative ways of describing things.
However, more importantly, I hope and pray that whatever else I might do, I would strive to do it in the way that God would want it done — namely, with a concern for justice, fairness, compassion and how it ultimately expresses God’s love for people.
I recently heard a report on a book was titled “Dear Undercover Economist” on NPR. In it, an economist drew on economic theory to respond to people’s everyday concerns much like Dr. Phil or “Dear Abby” might do. In an example from the book, a college senior asked for help since he was overwhelmed with papers, tests and responsibilities such as being the captain of the karate club.
“The Undercover Economist” advised the harried senior to borrow and barter. He could borrow more time by taking stimulants that would enable him to get by with less sleep. He could also barter his karate skills for another’s composition skills by having a nerdy member of the karate club write his dissertation for him in exchange for beating up the boyfriend of the girl who the nerd had a crush on. In other words, he advocated taking drugs, cheating and violence, all of which made sense from a strictly economic point of view. His final words were, “Capitalism is not always pretty.”
Indeed, there is no morality in the work world apart from what we, the workers, bring to it. I pray that whatever I might do, I would bring a concern for something more than just profit and personal or partisan gain.
— Send e-mail to Gary Teske at email@example.com.