(note:  This is the welcome and info article and it does not change.  Scroll on down for the most recent article addition.)

I believe in the power of truth.  I also believe in the power of freedom.  I am neverendingly impressed at how truth sets us free, and how freedom opens us up to the truth.  Though I have some posts that are personal to me, this is my ministry site.  I post articles about all kinds of things that are of interest to me… and I also find great joy in answering, or at trying to answer, or at least discussing, questions.  Feel free to ask them here.

I am still working on these sites, but the best way to navigate this material is either the tabs at the top of the page – these take you to totally different pages with targeted information.  If you are researching me as a personal therapist, click the Counseling/Therapy tab… if you are a man looking for encouragement, ideas and support in life, click on Phalanx… if you are considering me as a speaker, teacher, pastor, or consultant, that information should be available there.

Most of my work hours are spent serving at FBC’s South Campus in Tyler. Check out the amazing ministry there.

I am also the lead therapist at the Alethia Counseling Center in Tyler, Texas… and I love the team of Counselors we have here, so…

I want to introduce you to our team of counselors at the offices:


You can meet them HERE.


If you are interested in scheduling with any of us, call us at 903 561 8955 today!

…If you are more interested in browsing my articles, then your best bet might be the catagories list to the right.  If you are interested in me writing an article on a given topic, you can request it in any comments section… I will try to get to it as soon as I can!

I will continue to post all new articles here as well as on the targeted site, so either option should still give you the chance to find what you are looking for.

Typically, my series, sermons and seminars will be found at:  Talks

Thanks for stopping in… God Bless you and Keep you.


More Information on my specific Counseling

My style of therapy is generally called “eclectic” which really just means I make use of many different styles and techniques of counseling.  I believe that every human life has intrinsic value, including yours.  No amount of pain, guilt, shame, regret, resentment, anger, depression, depravity, or brokenness can change that.  Every person has a story that is worth hearing, no matter how much hurt, love, purpose, abandonment or normality that life includes or lacks.

A big part of why I believe what I just said is that I am a proclaimed follower of Jesus, The Christ, into Life, death, and Life again.  I think life can often feel a lot like a series of life and death patterns.  I believe it is hopeful to know that those are a parable of the larger Epic story.  I believe in a Creator, and I therefore rationally think the most foundational thing in life is to have a right relationship with our Creator.

It seems reasonable to me that it would be impossible to over-estimate philosophically how important it would be for a created thing to know its creator.  After doing decades of research, of the major views on this problem, only Christianity has been able to offer what I consider the most reasonable answers. So, with that understanding, I am a Christian therapist.

However, as a “style” I am not exclusively what is called a “biblical counselor” nor do I offer counseling only for other Christians. Far from it. I agree with the way I was taught: I expose my faith, but am careful not to impose my faith on my clients. It isn’t always an easy integration, but that is my goal. The main way that my faith and philosophy impact my counseling is in regards to truth. I believe in the power of truth to set us free (John 8:31). I think it is vitally important for everyone to be able to acknowledge the truth about their lives – this point is also made in Orwell’s “1984” when it is noted that true freedom begins with the freedom to speak the truth.

Until we can say what we know is true, we are still bound. I make use of reality therapy techniques, Gestalt work, psychotherapy, Jungian archetypes, personality theory, paradoxical work, REBT, transactional analysis, and virtually anything else I come across that works and fits within what I believe is true.

I believe that each human being is so complex and unique that no one therapeutic theory covers everyone. Generally, I talk to people for about 50 minutes in the session, but the real work comes in the hours of integration in-between sessions. I encourage people to deal with the past and not ignore it – to speak the truth about their past. This is not about living in the past. Understanding, speaking and accepting the truth about our past is a work of the present.

I also encourage people to face the present and future honestly. Reality therapy becomes vital when dealing with the present. I think that many more people could really benefit from counseling than get it. It takes a certain level of emotional health to be able to risk coming in. Coming to counseling the first time can be pretty tough, so I applaud anyone strong enough to do it, especially those who are able to come in before they are in stage 4 sickness… Counseling isn’t meant to last forever, so come in with some specific goals and you and I will work together to identify and deal with those and any others that arise.

Final words for this section: beware of coming in for counseling when it is storming and the roof is leaking, and then quitting when the rain quits rather than when the roof is repaired.

any questions?

A friend who is a minister to Muslims sent me this report – this is an “open letter” from many in Muslim leadership to the followers of “ISIS”… and their leader.  It shows the breach that is developing in International Islam, and exemplifies that many in the Muslim world do proclaim that Islam can live without conflict with others.


Meme Logic Fails

The joy of Facebook politics and religion is inspiring me today!

The joy of FB is the way a crazy, hard, complex amalgamations of ethics, faith in God, political policy and more are converted into something so simplistic that a cute meme can somehow clear it up for everyone.

I promise that I am not picking on anyone here, except maybe one or two atheist friends who I comment on later… but just the mass inundation on my home section of refugee memes from both sides of the conversation.

How about this: when I let someone into my home it is a complex decision involving my sense of hospitality, availability, resources, ethics, faith, wisdom, intelligence (I mean that in the military sense as well as the IQ sense) and so much more!

Some people I let into my house. Some people I don’t. Some people I give a key.

If I do not know you are coming and I don’t know who you are, especially if I am not there to greet you, you will likely find the door locked and maybe the alarm armed.nativity refugees

Those aren’t because I am a bad Christian (thanks, atheist friends for telling me in memes what makes for a bad or good Christian – try to remember that you think Christians are fools, deluded or worse, so trying to use your meme logic will fail on us in any case)… but because allowing someone into my house is a complex decision.

What will actually serve that person best? Helping often creates long term problems for people… How will they interpret my helping them?  To what degree should I help?  Am I creating yet another dependent culture on me? (ok, that one is admittedly a culture question – not just about someone coming into my house)  Also, what will serve my family best?

In real life, there are often competing goals that sometimes don’t play well together.

Are you desperate and in need? That will certainly play a role in me letting you in.  Of course, especially as a Christian, but just as a believer in truly objective right and wrong, I hate to see any human suffer.

12240125_1171063369589223_3683907875217567825_nI pray that an answer can be found, even in a hard complex situation like this that allows us to take care of these hundreds of thousands of hurting and desperate people.

I do imagine myself like the man to the right.  If those are his children, I can fathom doing whatever it took to find safety for them.  Is there a way to offer them that within this complex problem?  I hope so.  I also know there there are thousands of dads like that all over the world not getting the attention he is.  How many can be helped?  One more than now, is all I can think of.  I know that Compassion International, for example, has one more child you can help right now, if you are more than just about posting memes about how governments should help and are willing to do something with your own money right now.

(back to the refugees, I know there are Christians by the droves already syrian-humanitarian-crisis-deepens-Abod_tcm15-71798trying to help, as they are refugees all over the world already… this isn’t a new problem… and since we are part of a Body, I am a part of that.  I am hoping they know what they are doing to help these people in ways that help.

Are my resources limited? That will play a role too.  How long can I help before I have doomed you and everyone I let into the house?

Is there someone out there that I know wants to kill me and has been known to disguise themselves as you? Not your fault, but it may mean more hesitation on my part to let you in.

I am not trying to relate directly letting someone into my home to letting certain refugees into the US or not… in fact, my point is that making that call must be at least hundreds of times more complex than me and my house.

Which is hundreds of times too complex to be simplified in a meme.  I do not think we do anyone justice by all racing to post something this week and then move on to the meme flood of the week next week.

I look forward to the day when people can remember that life is actually complex and that rarely is it valuable to summarize your opponents’ views into something that can be posted in a little picture with some words on it.

Or at least, make sure you don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you are making a compelling point that way.

The Thief comes to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly.”  Jesus Christ.

For years I have talked to mostly men, and a few women, about issues connected to the temptations particular to pornography.   Since the incidents of women engaging in pornography is apparently on the rise, I have decided to go back and add both genders to the conversation here…

Hooked on love

Hooked on love

“Porno-graphy” is the combination of two Greeks words meaning the graphic representation or the graphic version of sexual immorality.

It isn’t new.

Since people could carve stone, there have been examples of pornography.


And for years, I have wondered at the roots of why it is tempting to us.

When you take out all of the factors that might “explain” the temptation – unhappy life, unchosen celibacy, and even the general drive toward sexuality – and all of these can be removed as variables – there is still an intrigue.  Why?

Even if we are happily married to a beautiful person with an active, varied and adventurous sex life… and we aren’t particularly in the mood for engaging sexually at some point we can still find ourselves tempted by pornography!

Now, before I go on, I want to clarify that I believe that viewing, reading, or participating with pornography is sin.  The fact that it is a temptation generally common to all people doesn’t make it less destructuve.

All sexual immorality is condemned as sin in the Bible.

See passages like 1 Cor 5:1, 1 Cor 6:18, 2 Cor 12:21, Col 3:5, and 1 Th 4:3.  It is sin, and as such, is toxic to human life.

God desires something better for us – a  more full, meaningful and life-giving way of living…

But Pornography is incredibly destructive to relationships and famously addictive… worse, it isn’t like alcohol or drugs.  As lethal as these are, they are external of the person.  Technically (though it is incredibly hard), a person can just leave drugs or alcohol somewhere and stay
away from that place.  Sexual addictions, like pornography (once it is inside your head) is like food.  You can stop doing meth…

But you can’t stop eating and you can’t stop being a sexual person.  It can make the addiction that much more lethal.

The endorphins that make the experience so addictive come from inside our own body, and they are some of the strongest feelings we
have.  The linkages can be very strong.

So, as we begin to look at some of the aspects of temptation posed by pornography, I don’t want it to be taken as treating sin with kid
gloves.  Far from it.  I think it can be healing and empowering to understand things.

Truth sets us free.
When sin is brought into the light, it loses a lot of its strength.  Additionally, for those NOT tempted by pornography, it may be valuable to hear and understand more.  So, let’s get to it:

Why is pornography tempting?

*  I believe that it is a “normal”, healthy thing that men are attracted to the female form (or in the case of a female, the male form).

*  I believe that it is also so that men are typically specifically intrigued with the parts of the female form that are special and different from the male form (and vice versa).

* I believe that it is also healthy for men and women to be intrigued with sexuality.

I believe that these are generally God given desires and interests.  Certainly most women and wives would feel like something was wrong if the men and husbands in their lives did not have these interests!

Again, I think these are God given healthy desires that anyone might want to find in their husband, son, etc.

Note:  I am not making any comment about homosexuality or any other specific individual attractions.  I can do that in another article  ometime… and attraction is a very complex science that would requires more than I am willing to take here.  I am speaking in general terms at this point.

God has offered an amazing provision for the experience and expression of these desires and interests… a place that is meant to be safe,
free and full of grace (http://chrismlegg.com/2011/03/07/facets-of-sexuality-part-2-intimate/)…

… called marriage.
Marriage is particularly crafted to offer this place of safety for handling something as powerful as sexuality.
Marriage is like a secure castle wall in which the power of sexuality can be safely engaged with and enjoyed…

Does anyone doubt its power?
Like a fire, in the proper setting, sex is life-giving and enchanting;  out of the proper setting, it creates a constant risk of death and destruction.

I didn’t anyone doubted it… we all know how powerful it is.

Those listed above are God-given and healthy interests.

But there is a rule about that here on planet earth…

If there is a God given yearnings and God given provision, then there are also going to be alternatives…

Believe it.  Satan offers us many alternative ways to fill the God-given desires.  I don’t think he can create true desires.  He can only offer substitute provisions for the desires that God created.

So he does.  He has provisions too.


Pornography is one of them.

More on this battle we face next time.

Talking to Kids About Sex Part I

I married a girl who grew up in the city… with no guns in the house.  Naturally, she was concernedpDSP1-16568032dt
about us having guns in our house, especially when we began to have children.

So, I called my father and asked him about it.

It’s ok, don’t worry… this article is about talking to kids about sex…
hang with it….

I remembered that I had never really been even tempted to get into the guns without dad – but I didn’t know why.  Sure, I feared the
consequences of getting caught… I knew it would be really bad… but that certainly wasn’t enough.  The guns were stored in a gun cabinet right in the hallway outside my room, and though it was locked, I knew where the key was.

He told me that I had no reason to ever sneak to the guns… I knew perfectly well that all I had to do was ask.  There was never any reason to go without permission, because there was even more freedom in involving my dad.

Plus, I was taught to understand guns as what they are – a tool, not a toy… from a very early age.
Though I saw them as special, meaningful and powerful, I did not see guns as a taboo topic with my father and there was no value or purpose to trying to make them something to sneak on my own.

I want that same attitude for my kids for guns too… that they respect and understand certain things without fearing them.

This touches on one of my basic rules for parenting that I have:

I want my kids to think of me as someone who brings freedoms and new experiences to them, rather than someone they have to wrest truth or freedom from.  I never want to be a barrier to them getting what they need, while being a strong barrier against the things that would damage them.

Man, these are two tough concepts to integrate, am I right?  However, I was sure that I wanted to apply it to this topic…

I want that for other topics as well…

Movies, food, tools, money, and


So, we have tried to create, from very early, the impression that we are comfortable talking about sex.

Further, a few times, we decided to intentionally engage in conversations about sex.   We were seeking to be responsible to initiate the conversation.

Very few parents seem to do this part… initiate… even if they are willing to have some kind of talk.

Unlike the “talks” I hear about…

 that seem more like a mythical legend given how many people know it is supposed to happen versus how many seemed to have ever experienced anything healthy,

we wanted actually to have age-appropriate, normalized, sober and honest freeing conversations with them about these subjects.

Since I have had many people ask about this, I thought that I would report on the process I went through with my oldest son.   I know that each parent has to decided before God what is the best way for them to go about this, but this will be a report on our conversations.

First, I would like to take a stand against the conversations about sex that are essentially child abuse… ridiculous attempts at giving one’s own children a magazine published for men still stuck in adolescence… the whole point of us as men teaching our children about sex is so that we can be the main voice in their lives about the truths of sexuality.

My good friend Matt Lantz referenced that God was the only and most powerful voice for Adam and Eve about good and evil until they ate from the tree of such… then the truth became muddled by other voices.  I desire to be main voice in my children’s lives about this kind of important matter!

As almost all of us know, the pornographic world will be happy to be their main voice, and it certainly will be if we aren’t.  Why on Earth would we introduce that world to be their voice?!?  It is vital that we keep all those voices as far from our children as we can… that is why we cannot
have them in our houses… and any access points (televisions, computers, the mail, etc) need to be filtered.

This isn’t about fear – it is about making sure my children learn God’s perspectives on sex and knowing it well before the world’s excrement gets a shot at them…

The men I know who struggle least with issues of pornography in its various forms are those who were given the most time to mature before
they had to face its addictive power.

Now, on to the format that I decided to use with Mark.

First of all, I wanted to find a good Father/Son event that would create ample opportunities to talk alone and to debrief if he wanted
to.   Further, I wanted to create at least 2 or 3 distinct chances to talk spread over a few years.

There is a Buffalo River trip that some guys go on each year in Tyler – Mark wanted to go on that one, so it seemed perfect.  So, at some point on the trip for the last 3 years, I have initiated the conversation.

Year One:  God’s purposes for sex

Year Two:  The biology of sex

Year Three:  The broken aspects of sex

Next week I will go into more detail on each of these… Part II here.

Emotional Numbing


This is a great read for anyone.

Now, another other option(go back and read part I and II if you have not)  is to sit still, or move away, and develop more and more resentment about not getting your “needs” met. (Sex is not a need, and that is why I put it in quotes in recognition of how many other counselors and others refer to sex as a need. Unlike air or water, an individual can survive without it.  The four needs, as everyone knows, areinternet-4-necessities water, shelter, food and internet connection)

By the way, if you are both content, then you still aren’t done – because life changes and circumstances can change desire and opportunity in either of you.

Also recognize that there are seasons of life – when you have more or less energy to do what doesn’t come naturally to you… or that requires emotional or physical energy at all!

Did you know that allegedly, each parent loses about 2 hours of sleep per night during the first year of the child’s life? That represents 730 hours of sleep in a year lost!

104 nights of 7 hours of sleep lost.

In one year.

And this is merely one of the stressors to our energy levels that come with little children…

(I am going to publish an entire article on this thought soon, as well… about marriage satisfaction)

And it means that it is that much tougher to engage in activities that do not come naturally, or to express attitudes that do not come naturally. Sex, and the initiation of sex are common examples of such – things that

So, it becomes even more important to do the things that create the feelings and attitudes that would make a sexual encounter seem like a good idea for both marriage partners… and both partners can help create those as well.

So, if you are interested in having your spouse more often, sexually, (for understanding why I use this term, read here)… then it will be important to try to create the right conditions for your spouse to have the energy… and interest… to engage with you. Security, rest, affection, encouragement, and appreciation are some of the things I hear about the most often.

And, as the sex talks above will make clear, it is vital that you make sure your spouse knows that you choose him or her above sex itself… that you want them – even if sexually is the way you want them – not just sex.

If you are the spouse who desires sex less frequently, then you may need to figure out if there is any special reason – low testosterone (your doctor can check for you)? Masturbation? Scripting created by pornography, feeling bad about your body, messages about sex, resentment, hurt feelings, past experiences, exhaustion, a combination of these?

Examine your life and your heart and see what barriers there might be.

Then deal with them.

If you aren’t willing to try to adjust your thinking or learn and grow, for the sake of your spouse, then there is probably a problem that needs to be dealt with.

The rule of thumb is that if you are in a boring marriage, it is most likely because you are a boring person… we are not passive victims of boring marriages.  Check it out.

Get counseling if you need to… and you will likely need help to deal with many of those things listed above. Also, there are some great books and online resources to help.

There are great resources out there for better understanding of sex from the perspective of freedom and truth.

I recommend Feldhahn’s materials

And, I recommend Shannon Ethridge’s materials  Shannon’s material is especially valuable in evaluating the motivations, and de-motivations, in regards to sex.

And there are others, but those are other good places to do some research to learn better and more, after you have exhausted the resources here.

I think God intended for sex to be a powerful agent of connection, affection, strength, peace and unity Marriage Heart Healthin marriage. If sex is NOT generally in that role in your marriage, may I recommend reading, studying and perhaps getting counseling to help that change! Also, I and some of my therapists are available for seminars and conferences to help you and some friends and maybe your whole church, turn this around!

But since we are talking about frequency… there is so often a problem with couple’s sex lives and a change in frequency seems like it would be the solution, but rarely is it. Frequency is rarely going to have the same threshold for two different people when your resources for loving each other are limited.

Granted, I have met a few couples who were content with it.

But you came here for a quick answer, didn’t you? You wanted to see if you were right and she/he were wrong? Maybe you just came seeking understanding of your sexually manic/frigid spouse.

Ok, the answer is:

Keep working on it. Keep learning about it.  More… learn about THEM.

This is one of the powerful advantages of sex within the context of a lifelong covenant… you are learning a person, not just a behavioral technique that only partially transfers to another person. understanding-people1 Instead, you earn the PhD in the inner (and outer) workings of another human being!

This plays into the power of intimate sexuality – having another person rather than just having sex.

There is no such number that would be accurate for everyone.

Remember that I said there were a few couples who were, from a frequency perspective, content with their sex life?

Early on, if a couple claimed to be content or happy with that, I would ask how often they engaged sexually.

I am not kidding, that of the few couples who said they were content (and I do not think they were lying about any of it) I had one couple claim to typically engage sexually 2-3 times per day. You read that right.

This was not one week after marriage, this couple was in their late 40’s and had been married for quite a while.

It is not easy to not seem surprised at some answers, let me tell you, but I casually asked them how they managed this.

“Without kids home anymore, we typically have sex in the morning and at night and sometimes I come home at lunch and we have sex then.”

I don’t think they were kidding me.

I am sure that much less and they would have been discontent. That could’ve created conflict for them.

I had another couple who were JUST as completely content with the frequency of sex, both of them, tell me that they had sex about 6 times a year.

Typically (but as I understand it only about 70% of the time, the man in the marriage desires sex more frequently than the woman), so I checked in to make sure that was cool with him. I assure you I was convinced it was, and that he was not expressing sexuality in any other ways, either (more on that later)…

Here is what I would tell you when it comes to frequency. For Couple A, the answer was 2-3 times a day (at least in that stage of their lives). For Couple B, the answer was about 6 times per year (at least at their stage of life).

What is the number for you and your spouse?

If you are not both content and satisfied, then you don’t know either… at least not yet.

And that is ok.

Chaos theory teaches us that complex things are incredibly difficult to study in detail… and that the more detail we seek, the more the attempt to quantify the more error is made. Measuring a shoreline is impossible because of all of the factors and changes. Human personality, sexuality, and relationships are more complex by far… so something this complex will need to be in motion and dynamic… it can change week-to-week.

You must keep talking about it. Find out if there are emotional drains making it impossible for one of you to desire sex as often as the other… AND, then talk about how to create a life that is not so packed Lakewood-Drain-Cleanersin that it creates the margin necessary for the recharge needed! It may mean sacrifice.

Marriage success is defined by sacrifice – or at least modeling the kind of love God has for His people, which is best exhibited by sacrifice.

What that means is that the fact that a husband and a wife do not desire sex at the same time, or the same way, or at the same frequency, must be seen as an opportunity… An opportunity to love that person by moving toward them!


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