Early in my pastoral experience, I discovered that I was failing to help two groups of people through the regular ministries of the church. Their problems were not being solved by the preaching of the Word, commitment to Christ Preface
Early in my pastoral experience, I discovered that I was failing to help two groups of people through the regular ministries of the church. Their problems were not being solved by the preaching of the Word, commitment to Christ, the filling of the Spirit, prayer, or the Sacraments.
I saw one group being driven into futility and loss of confidence in God's power. While they desperately prayed, their prayers about personal problems didn't seem to be answered. They tried every Christian discipline, but with no result. As they played the same old cracked record of their defeats, the needle would get stuck in repetitive emotional patterns. While they kept up the outward observances of praying and paying and professing, they were going deeper and deeper into disillusionment and despair.
I saw the other group moving toward phoniness. These people were repressing their inner feelings and denying to themselves that anything was seriously wrong, because "Christians can't have such problems." Instead of facing their problems, they covered them with a veneer of Scripture verses, theological terms, and unrealistic platitudes.
The denied problems went underground, only to later reappear in all manner of illnesses, eccentricities, terribly unhappy marriages, and sometimes even in the emotional destruction of their children.
During this time of discovery, God showed me that the ordinary ways of ministering would never help some problems. And He began to enable me to open up my own heart to personal self-discovery, and to new depths of healing love through my marriage, my children, and intimate friends.
God then led me to enlarge my pastoral ministry to include special care and prayer for damaged emotions and unhealed memories.
In the twenty years that I have been preaching, teaching, counseling, and distributing tapes on this subject, I have heard from thousands of formerly defeated Christians who have found release from emotional hangups and who have experienced the healing of crippling memories of the past.
In this book, you will meet some of those people. You will read of attitudes and feelings that are familiar to you or to someone dear to you.
Any resemblance to real persons is completely intentional. All of the people in this book are very much alive; their stories are used with permission. Names and locations have been changed to protect their confidence.
Any resemblance to your life may seem coincidental, but it is also intentional. For most of us have the same needs and longings.
I pray that these chapters will be helpful in picturing God's ways of repairing damaged emotions, of recycling hangups into wholeness, and of transforming crippled Christians into healed helpers. ...Continua Nascondi