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Welcome.

(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.

Chris

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?

This next Wednesday, November the 9th, FBC and Alethia Family Counseling will host two short seminars for adults – moms, dads, grandparents, teachers and others –

We will be in the Great Room at FBC South Campus (just south of the new loop) at 9:30am (hoping that is convenient for parents who drop off kids at school and can make it then) and again at 6:30 that evening in the same location.

Do not hesitate to reach out to either the church or Alethia.

 

Hello everyone – a few years ago, I was invited to speak at a church about talking to kids about death.  Recently, a child had died in their community, and they wanted tools to talk to their children about it.  Recently, in our community a child was kidnapped and apparently killed.  As Alethia scrambles to get resources to the seminar, you might find this video helpful (there is a part two as well):

I think this will be of great value to anyone regardless of what the holidays mean for you! We will be covering all topics related to enjoying and navigating the highs and lows of the holiday season.

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All proceeds are donated to The Boys and Girls Club of East Texas. To join us please RSVP by calling 903-561-8955.

This is a group I highly recommend that is starting in November:

mother-and-daughter-anxious

For every mom who has ever been overwhelmed by their child’s fears, for every mom who feels isolated and unsure of how to deal with the extreme emotions their child displays regularly, for every mom who could use a little guidance in helping their child move through their anxiety – this group is for you.

 

Join Millie Tanner, LPC and Allison Cooper, LPC  for 3 group sessions to discuss healthy ways to navigate anxiety and all the challenges of parenting a child with anxiety. Beginning November 1st we will equip you to with insight and practical steps to guide your child through the stress in their world.

 

Topics we will cover include:

  • Learning how to explain anxiety to your child
  • Common red flags to look for with your child
  • Effective ways to parent an anxious child
  • How to best discipline a child who is anxious
  • Guidelines for determining what is manipulation and what is anxiety
  • Specialized coping skills you and your child can use together

 

Cost is $50 per session and seating is limited. You can call to register at 903-561-8955.

 

 

Family Time

Psalms 118:24

“This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

I remember as a kid wandering around the neighborhood with other kids, all of us dressed in costumes, and going house to house greeting neighbors I rarely saw at other times… usually parents would come along – mine always did.  I would guess that it was the only time that our neighborhood gathered or united together for anything in a typical year.

I also remember when due to a combination of fearful Christian teachings and the rumors of reports (which turned out to be false, as I understand it*) of people poisoning candy and putting razors in apples, we stopped trick-or-treating for a few years. *http://www.snopes.com/horrors/poison/halloween.asp

Over the years, I consistently heard the Christian teaching on Halloween become more isolationist.  I heard about how Halloween was “The Devil’s Day” (or even the Devil’s Birthday!) when pagan Druids did evil things and that Christians should essentially avoid doing anything on that day that would smack of a Halloween celebration.  What did we have to do with the celebration of witches, ghosts, goblins, and candy corn (especially the ones with the brown layer made especially for Halloween), on the Devil’s Birthday, anyway?

So, the evangelicals generally boycotted Halloween for what seemed like at least a decade. Some still do.

In the last decade, there have been some changes.  Now, many of our churches are hosting “Fall Festivals” that happen to fall on the same weekend as Halloween and have lots of candy (ironic, since the pagans celebrated what would loosely be a “harvest” or “fall” festival and “Hallowe’en” (“All Hallowed Day’s Evening”) was the Christian name for the celebration).  At least, we seem to see this as our token capitulation – if the kids are going to be doing bad things in Satan’s name, we can at least give them a righteous version of that event… or at best,  perhaps we are just doing what our ancestors did:  throwing a bigger and better party than the pagans.

In my extensive and maybe exhausting (not an accident) discussion of the history of Halloween and other holidays (https://chrismlegg.wordpress.com/2010/10/25/historical-understanding-of-halloween/) I reference how so many of the pagan practices have been absorbed in our celebrations of Easter, Christmas, and Halloween… but that is not actually precisely what I really believe.  It happened for sure, but something else happened first.  The thing that happened first was that the pagans tried to absorb some the good things of God’s creation!

I believe that God created everything… first… and still owns everything.

I believe that God, not druids, created evergreen trees to be green all year long.

I believe that God, not pagans, created bunnies, eggs, and bright colors.

I believe that God, not witches, created pumpkins, harvest, and children having fun.

I think it is error for us to abdicate ANYTHING to Satan.  Just because some of his representatives throughout time have tried to take control of some of the things God, in His artistic brilliance, designed and brought into creation, doesn’t mean they get to own it!

October 31st, this year, and every year, is a day the Lord has made.  I think we should rejoice and be glad in it.  Satan doesn’t get a day.  He didn’t make one, and though he may be the governor of Earth at some level at this time (a discussion for another day), he created none of it.

Of course, as a family, we have some boundaries about what our kids can dress as… but that is not primarily about us thinking that it is inherently evil for them to dress as mythical or even pagan symbols… since they come up with some pretty crazy things in their own imaginations.  Plus, if we really examine it, our standards are pretty cultural, not moral (we would probably say no to an axe murderer costume, but not to a Darth Vader costume… no to a witch, but not to an Egyptian princess (who I assume would have have been a polytheistic pagan too))   I recognize and accept the tough line being drawn there…  Honestly, I prefer them to dress up (and this is in regards my children, who often dress up to some degree almost every single day!  As I mentioned in the Phalanx, my eldest son wore a cape for 2 years! http://phalanxmen.wordpress.com/2010/08/13/phalanx-introduction-2/) as people or ideals that we can find something honorable or admirable in them to appreciate (Phil 4:8)… like heroes, princesses, and race car drivers (ok, so that last one is a stretch😉

None of this is about denial – I believe that evil spirits and devils exist… as well as axe murders, hippies in too-short skirts or French maids, but we do avoid glamorizing such things with our children.  These are icons that communicate something.  It isn’t fear that causes me to avoid them, but I want my children to think of Holiness and modesty as not flippant topics.  Man, being a parent can be tough, can’t it?

…but primarily these choices end up being about appropriate dress (modesty), not too scary for other kids (compassion), not ‘gilding’ something that has nothing good in it… and of course, we make an attempt at avoiding offending… based on the Romans 14 mindset.

So much about the grace filled life is about motivation and the heart behind something.  The kids design faces and we carve pumpkins pretty much every year, and some years the kids pick scary faces.  We are not trying to scare off evil spirits (we count on our Savior and His hosts for that), or celebrate something evil.  We just enjoy goopy, messy, creative fun with dad.

Great evidence of the truth that this day is not somehow owned by Satan, is that almost 500 years ago, on this date in 1517, Martin Luther nailed 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church.  Though the Christian reformation had been ongoing for many years, this date marks whenthe Protestant Reformation was finally fanned into a rolling flame.  God’s Day, not Satan’s.

So, my vote is that Christians don’t bunker up or hunker down with their dark porches and hide behind the couches on the “Devil’s Day”  with crucifixes in hand and the guns loaded.

I vote we have fun and celebrate as only people with new life, abundant life, and eternal life, can.

Celebrate this day as others – it is good as a reminder of the lives and deaths of Christian Martyrs, many of whom will likely die on this day again this year, as on every other day of the year (www.persecution.com)!  Thank God for His faithfulness.  Have fun with your neighbors on typically the one day that neighbors join together on something anymore – make the most of it!  Meet them, greet them and invite them back for dessert and love them in the name of Jesus Christ… and love their little witches, axe murderers and even Power Rangers who come knocking at your door.

But that’s just my opinion.

I think this will be of great value to anyone regardless of what the holidays mean for you!

 

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Full Audio of our Parenting in Freedom Seminar

This is the audio from our recent parenting seminar.  All kinds of good stuff for parents and grandparents.  General philosophy, anxiety for kids, discipline ideas and boundaries.  Check it out.  We are excited to offer input and support for families.