Last Friday I wrote about teaching the Celebrate Recovery lesson on Daily Inventory the night before. This lesson is connected with Principle 7 which reads: “Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, bible reading, and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will.” This message has stayed with me throughout this past week primarily because God knows I haven’t mastered this third part of the principle: “gain the power to follow His will”. Maybe it is because I’m a man and men have to use their own power in order to “be a man”. Also, a man who surrenders has to give up his pride thinking “he’s weak and incapable”. Regardless of the reason/s, I know God is wanting me to learn to “gain the power to follow His will”. This means to be dependent on God’s Holy Spirit within me rather than trying to muscle through my struggles and fail over and over.

This principle also says that in order to gain this power I must know God and His will for my life. These past 6 months of learning to live life as a “new creation” has brought me into a level of trust and faith in God I’ve never had before. Learning to surrender to Him and lean only on His Holy Spirit for strength is huge. Even writing about it right now is huge. I’d much rather write about what I’ve learned, not what I need to learn.

This morning’s devotional scripture was from Luke 22:31-32 (from The Passion). In it I placed my own name as I read it out loud. It says (using my name instead of Peter) “Earnie, my dear friend, listen to what I’m about to tell you. Satan has demanded to come and sift you like wheat and test your faith. But I have prayed for you, Earnie, that you would stay faithful to me no matter what comes.” Isn’t this amazing?! Jesus is praying for you and me just as He did for Peter. His Holy Spirit will stand up against Satan if we will get out of His way by surrendering rather than attempting to fight using our own strength. BIG LESSON!


What a trip! The time yesterday morning with the biblical counseling program folks was superb. They answered everyone of my questions and added insight when I asked them to tell me what I needed to know which I hadn’t asked about. I loved their solid foundation, yet the personal touch their process has to accommodate each one who comes seeking help. This trip has provided the insights I’d hoped to find and along with this, the confidence to move forward knowing God is fully in charge. There is a good deal to continue to process, but I can do so now with blessed assurance.

It is amazing to me the transformation God is making in my life. I have never walked into a new situation in my life with confidence that this will work. I’ve always walked into the new territory with hope that even though it was me walking into it, God would honor the work anyway, in spite of me. Today, for the first time in my life, God is providing for me the confidence that He wants me doing this for Him and I know that because His Holy Spirit is leading each step, I can be at peace. I’ve always started everything new with anxiety and a large measure of fear. Today, I surrender these traits of old me for the blessed assurance that Jesus is in charge and I get to be the one doing this. It just makes me smile with humble thanks!


This trip has been so meaningfully worthwhile. I knew it would be profitable to spend time with my brother-in-law, but it has been far richer than I’d expected. Simply talking through different points of counseling and the problems brought to the table have been very insightful. This morning I will go to the church housing the biblical counseling program and spend a few hours with a couple of the leaders. I am truly looking forward to this.

An item I’ve kept in my mind throughout my recovery was brought to the table in talking with my brother-in-law last night. With each of the counselors I’ve spent time with in my recovery, I’ve been told that the struggle with porn will likely always be with me. Because the root cause goes so deeply into my response mechanism I will have to deal with it. I’ve never wanted to accept this as truth for me, yet it has been true for me even today. This morning I journaled about this asking Jesus for His thoughts. He reminded me of yesterday’s message and that is to believe, trust, and have faith. These are ways a new creation deals with the flesh while I live in the flesh.

In my devotional, this morning’s message in part read, “I have no desire for you to walk with the weight of remorse on your shoulders. All I ask is that you offer me your heart again. My only requirement is full surrender–total yielding to my love and forgiveness. I am the God of restoration. I am the Father who loves you just the way you are, the One whose love flows with healing virtue. The areas that have haunted you with regret will become testaments to my grace….”

Today, I believe! I trust! My faith is strong!


I’ve written many times this year thus far that reading the bible through using the Passion translation has been a huge blessing for me. At this particular time in my life, God is growing in me the depth of meaning for being a new creation. Reading through the bible this time seems as though the words are alive with new meaning and purpose. This morning I read the Love chapter, I Corinthians 13. I’ve read it through countless times, but never have I read it with such clarity which this translation brings out. I have always appreciated the emphasis Paul gives to love in this chapter. But, in this translation the translators are able to give a depth of meaning to love I’ve not seen before.

In one footnote the translators give some clarity to the scripture I want to quote here. It comes with vs. 13. It states: “Faith and hope both spring from love, which makes love the greatest virtue of all. Faith and hope are temporary, but love is eternal. Paul gives us ten characteristics of divine love which are: 1. Love is patient under stress, 2. Love is kind at all times, 3. Love is generous, not envious, 4. Love is humble, not self-promoting, 5. Love is never rude, 6. Love does not manipulate by using shame, 7. Love is not irritable or easily offended, 8. Love celebrates honesty, 9. Love does not focus on what is flawed, 10. Love is loyal to the end.

I have never thought that faith and hope are characteristics for human use and will not be needed once we pass through death into eternity. God provided for us these gifts of mercy until we will no longer need them. By living with mature faith and hope while in the flesh, we can better live in the fullness of love Paul is outlining so well for us. I have much growing to do now being a new creation. Yet, having a deeper understanding makes all of this so much more joyful.


God never ceases to amaze me. Yesterday’s trip to western Oregon went so smoothly that I wonder why I’ve waited so long to make it? Timing is everything when following God’s lead so I know that we are here at the right time and the smooth trip is simply God’s gift of travel. Yesterday already began God’s Light being shared with me by my brother-in-law regarding an immense amount of detail I want to be able to carry home with me regarding the process of Christian, biblical counseling. We had several hours to begin conversations regarding the work he is already doing and connecting it to the training he has taken which is what I am now taking online.

My devotional message this morning confirms all over again that God has created this trip as an assignment for learning. Its message reads in part: “…The unveiling of mysteries will be seen in the coming days as you continue to walk with me. These are the days when I will pour out heaven on the earth and shake all that must be shaken so that you will come before me with the purest of faith. Stay close to me, and I will reveal my might and power in your life.” This message coincides with the scripture reading of I Corinthians 12 where Paul outlines the Spiritual Gifts. These gifts are the power of The Holy Spirit. I’ve known this for many years but I am only just beginning to see the power of this knowledge coming to life as I live each new day. God is growing my faith and confidence as each day comes. How I love our Father God!


Today Kathy and I head to western Oregon to stay with my brother in law and wife and to visit the counseling program which I am attempting to pattern ours after. I am eager to do this and admit right up front that at the same time I’m eager, I’m anxious. The anxious is all about the details I want to walk away with and forget to ask or look for. I can’t write here how many times I’ve asked God to help me get all the info I need. He has pointed out over and over how He is the author of every detail and I don’t need to fret. Yet, here I am admitting my “fret”. It is a deeply rooted human trait I carry. But, I’m not letting it rule me–I give that job to Jesus–my Savior, Lord and Friend.

So often I wonder if I am capable of this counseling. Every time I see a fault in me I tell Jesus that this is the reason I shouldn’t be doing this. He then reminds me that this is the reason He has me doing it. Seeing our faults and not letting them rule us is something Jesus wants me to help others do. He wants to be our focus and our strength to complete all that He gives to us. This is truly a day by day assignment. How grateful I am for God my Father, Jesus my Savior and Lord, and The Holy Spirit my Guide and Strength.


Last night I taught the lesson for our Celebrate Recovery group. It was lesson 20–Daily Inventory. The lesson focuses on the importance of daily journaling to identify the “good of the day” and the “bad of the day”. It allows one to make amends quickly for the wrongs done and it also allows one to see patterns of behaviors we miss when we don’t take the time of identify them. We begin to see the real “me” that others see and we have been blind to. This all ties to Principle 7 and Step 10 of the recovery guidelines. Principle 7 reads: “Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will.”

As I was teaching the lesson I was just emphasizing the importance of the third benefit–“gain the power to follow His will”. It has taken me a very long time to grasp the truth of this statement. I have tried for most of my life to overcome my obstacles on my own strength thinking God would make me stronger rather than learning to surrender all of my efforts and become “helpless” so God would be seen and known by me as my strength. HIs Holy Spirit has been within me waiting for me to access Him.

This morning’s devotional read in part: “All that I am is inside of you. My power is not diminished because it has found a home in a temple of flesh. I am vast enough to fill all of creation, yet wise enough to fit my Spirit within vessels of humanity. Never limit the greatness of my glory within you. My strength is not limited by the weakness of its surroundings….” God is truly wanting to awaken in me (each of us) the truth in this promise. His Power (Holy Spirit) is within us waiting for us to realize how much He wants to use us for His Glory purposes.


Today I once again ponder (struggle) with writing this entry. I am deeply into learning about biblical counseling. I’m taking an online class which challenges so many of my human beliefs. These are things like, secular counseling leaves God out of the picture as God being the One Great Healer. In no way do I not believe this. However, my own counselors I’ve had (3 total) have used “what is called secular counseling tools” and used them as Christians. These tools worked for me for I didn’t find God’s healing otherwise. Yes, I knew God was my Great Healer, but the tools provided helped me find God in my lifetime distress. I see God using tools which man creates all the time in all walks of life. I don’t write this to condemn this process of counseling. The greater part of it is excellent as it demonstrates helping a counselee see God in the midst of their storm and seek Him as their Healer.

Man has always questioned man and his wisdom. I don’t want to question God and His Wisdom. I want to sort through all of this so I find myself simply ready. Somehow I know this connects directly to God’s Holy Spirit. He is the provider of God’s Wisdom and God’s Word is the final authority. Somehow this will all come together–I Trust and I Believe!


Stepping into this area of counseling has me thinking/processing what I hear differently than ever before. Last night I was meeting early with a young man who is in our step study class. He had missed a lesson and I was catching him up. He is in his late 20’s and his responses were reawakening in me how I thought at that age about God and His care/lack of care for “me”. As I heard this it instantly brought to mind the question–“How would I counsel someone in this?” Of course, now that I look at this I remember that the Holy Spirit helps us at the time we need it. Instead of trying to answer the question from my own thinking, I need to be prepared to hear God’s voice when the comments are made and wanting counsel. I could easily give my response, but instead, I want to give the guidance the Holy Spirit provides.

I use to think that God’s Wisdom was something some people just had. I’m beginning to better understand that those with God’s Wisdom are those who listen well to God’s Spirit within them. The Holy Spirit is always ready to lead us as we surrender our own spirit to Him and let Him lead. These are lessons where I want to get better and better.


Welcome to summer! It has been such a cool start to summer that I haven’t opened the swimming pool. Today, however, I have 3 grandsons coming so we can get it cleaned and ready. The joys of being a grandpa!

I’ve been wanting to visit a church in Oregon that has the same counseling program in operation that we are starting here. Yesterday I was finally able to schedule a visit with them for next Tuesday. I’m excited for this to take place. To see one that has been in operation for several years will help me a great deal. The added benefit to this is getting to stay with my wife’s brother and his wife. This brother-in-law is the very one who got me connected with Celebrate Recovery 15 years ago, helped me focus on the restoration classes we now offer and even this counseling work. God has used him in my life over and over. It will be a great opportunity to visit this church and to talk with someone who is doing the counseling presently.

Every day God helps me grow in Him and in my faith in Him. I exposed yesterday what He is teaching me. Today was no different. I had journaled with Him about my humanness and my sin nature and how I wanted to do this counseling well, but what about this nature of mine? His response was in my devotional which read, “Never doubt my power to fulfill your destiny and to make your dreams come true. I am the Father of fulfilled dreams and the God of sovereign power. Nothing can defeat my plan for your life, except for your fear and passivity. Arise now, my child, and place your feet upon the promises; make them yours, see them fulfilled, and go out to conquer. I am your God, and I will never leave you nor abandon you. Shout with victorious joy over these truths!”