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Attached are devotionals. Please provide feedback in 1-2 paragraphs on each devotional ensuring
that each has a heading (Dev. 1, 2, 3, etc).
The following is an excerpt from Richard Foster’s book Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True
Today the heart of God is an open wound of love. He aches over our distance and preoccupation.
He mourns that we do not draw near to Him. He grieves that we have forgotten Him. He weeps
over our obsession with muchness and manyness. He longs for our presence.
He is inviting us to come home to where we belong, to come home to that for which we are
created. His arms are stretched out wide to receive us. His heart is enlarged to take us in.
For too long we have been in a far country; a country of noise and hurry and crowds, a country
of climb, push, and shove, a country consumed by technology, a country of frustration, fear, and
intimidation. And He welcomes us home: home to serenity and peace and joy, home to
friendship and fellowship and openness, home to intimacy and acceptance and affirmation.
The key to this home, this heart of God, is prayer. And if the key is prayer, the door is Jesus
Christ. How good of God to provide us a way into His heart. He knows that we are stiff-necked
and hard-hearted, so He has provided a means of entrance. Jesus, the Christ, lived a perfect life,
died in our place, and rose victorious over all the dark powers so that we might live through Him.
We may enter through the door of God’s grace and mercy in Jesus Christ.
The following is an excerpt from Richard Foster’s Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home:
“Prayer is the inner bath of love into which the soul plunges itself.” St. John Vianney
How very strange that the Prayer of Examen has been lost to we who live in an age of obsessive
introspection. It is actually possible for people today to go to church services week in and week
out for years without having a single experience of spiritual examen. What a tragedy! What a
loss! No wonder people are weak. No wonder they are barely hanging on.
How much richer and fuller is the biblical witness. The Psalmist declares, “Yahweh, you
examine me and know me” (Ps 139:1). King David witnesses, ‘The LORD searches every mind,
and understands every plan and thought” (1 Chronicles 28: 9). Paul reminds us that “the Spirit
searches everything even the depths of God” (1 Cor 2:30). These folks of faith knew the examen
of God, and they experienced it not as a dreadful thing but as something of immeasurable
strength and empowerment.
So what is this prayer of examen? It has two basic aspects:
1. Examen of Consciousness through which we discover how God has been present to us
throughout the day and how we responded to His loving presence. It is the means God uses to
make us more aware of our surroundings. He invites us to see and to hear what is around us,
and, through it all, to discern the footprints of the Holy.
2. In the Examen of Conscience we are inviting the Lord to search our hearts to the depths. Far
from being dreadful, this is a scrutiny of love. We boldly speak the words of the Psalmist, “
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any
wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Ps 139: 23-24).
Precious Savior, why do I fear Your scrutiny? Yours is an examen of love. Still I am
afraid…afraid of what may surface. Even so I invite You to search me to the depths so that I may
know myself and You in fuller measure.” Amen.
From Jesus Today by Sarah Young:
When you trust in Me, you take refuge in Me. So trusting Me is much more than a matter of your
words; it is mainly a matter of your will. As you go through this day, you will encounter many
things that can make you anxious, including some of your thoughts. If you don’t stay alert,
anxious feelings can slip into your day without your noticing them. When this happens, you may
wonder why you suddenly start to feel bad. Usually, you just ignore those feelings. Or you may
try to numb them with food, drink, television, gossip, or other distractions. How much better it is
to “catch” the worry-thoughts before thy take hold of you. That is why I say, “Be on the alert!”
If you are watchful and alert, you can choose to take refuge in Me whenever anxiety comes to
you. A refuge is a place that provides protection or shelter: a safe haven. It is something you turn
to for help, relief, or escape. I am eager to be your Refuge, and I am with you at all times.
Nonetheless, you must exert your will by turning to Me for help. Thus, you make Me your
refuge, demonstrating your trust in Me.
I Peter 5:8, Proverbs 18:10, Ps 57:1, Ps 34:8
The following is an excerpt from E.M. Bounds Prayer:
It was said of the late Charles Spurgeon that he glided from laughter to prayer with the
naturalness of one who lived in both elements. With him, the habit of prayer was free and
unfettered. His life was not divided into compartments, the one shut off from the other with a
rigid exclusiveness that barred all intercommunication. He lived in constant fellowship with his
Father in heaven. He was ever in touch with God, and thus it was as natural for him to pray as it
was for him to breathe.
That is the attitude with regard to prayer that ought to mark every child of God. There are, and
there ought to be, set seasons of communion with God, when everything else is shut out and we
come into His presence to talk to Him and to let Him speak to us. And out of such seasons will
spring tat beautiful habit of prayer that weaves a golden bond between earth and heaven. Without
these seasons of prayer, set as a pattern in our lives, the habit of prayer can never be formed;
without them, there is no nourishment for the spiritual life. By means of them, the soul is lifted
into a new atmosphere—the atmosphere of the heavenly city, in which it is easy to open the heart
to God and to speak with Him as friend speaks with friend.
Thus, in every circumstance of life, prayer is the most natural outpouring of the soul, the
unhindered turning to God for communion and direction. Whether in sorrow or in joy, in defeat
or in victory, in weakness or in health, in calamity or in success, the heart leaps to meet with
God, just as a child runs to his other’s arms, ever sure that her sympathy will meet every need.
Lord Jesus, help me to live in an attitude of prayer. May I not allow worries to consume me;
instead, may I pour my heart to You, and learn to rest in Your arms as I learn to pray with a
sincere heart. Amen.
We must pray with great urgency, with intensity, and with repetition. We must not only pray, but
we must also pray again and again. We must not get tired of praying. We must be thoroughly in
earnest, deeply concerned about the things for which we ask, for Jesus Christ made it very plain
that the secret of prayer and its success lie in its urgency. We must press our prayers upon God.
Too often we get fainthearted and quit praying at the point where we ought to begin. We let go at
the very point where we should most strongly hold on. Consequently, our prayers are weak
because they are not impassioned by an unfailing and resistless will. God loves the importunate
pleader, and send him answers that would never have been granted but for the persistence that
refuses to let go until the petition craved for is granted. E. M. Bounds
Dear Heavenly Father, help me to remain persistent in my prayers. May not become discouraged
or fainthearted. Help me to remain passionate about prayer. Help me to continue with my quiet
time and not make excuses. Help me to listen to Your still quiet voice, and to wait in Holy
From Jesus Today by Sarah Young:
I want you to love Me, listen to My voice, and hold fast to Me—for I am your Life. This is the
way of wisdom. I am training you to stay close to Me as you walk along perilous paths. In any
close relationship, listening and loving are vitally important—and they are interconnected. Listen
to Me as I rejoice over you with gladness and quiet you with My Love. Ask the Holy Spirit to
help you receive My glorious Love in full measure. This will dramatically increase your love for
The world is full of dangers so it is wise to hold tightly to My hand. Listen through my Spirit and
My Word while I talk you through tough times. Pour out your heart to Me, remembering I am
your refuge. As you stay in dialogue with Me, I help you handle whatever is before you. Hold
fast to Me, beloved, for I am your Life.
Deuteronomy 30:20, Zephaniah 3:17, Ps 62:8
From Jesus Today by Sarah Young:
It has been said that a family can survive without a nation, but a nation cannot survive without
the family. God established the family by bringing a man and a woman together in marriage.
Then came children and grandchildren. That is His order.
The Bible tells us, however, that in the last days there will be an attack on the family. One of the
signs of the end times will be a lack of respect for one’s parents. We read in 2 Timothy 3, “But
know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves,
lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy”
We have certainly lost sight of God’s commandment to “Honor your father and your mother, that
your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12).
Notice the commandment is to honor your father and mother—not honor your father and father,
or your mother and mother, or your mother and her live-in lover or partner. We tamper with
God’s order at our own peril.
Know this: Satan always hates what God loves. God loves the family. He established the
marriage of a man and woman as a physical representation of His love for the church and the
church’s love for Him. God effectively says, “You want to know how much I love my people?
Look at the way that Christian man loves his wife. You want to know how much My people love
Me? Look at the way that Christian woman loves her husband. This is my model. This is my
example for all of you to observe.”
Therefore it should come as no surprise that the devil would try to undermine the family.
By Greg Laurie
Welcome to Coun 5083 Counseling Theories
and Family Therapies for Professional
Counselors and MFTs
Greetings future counselors and colleagues. I am thrilled
to have the opportunity to contribute to your training as
a counselor. I am particularly excited to help guide you
through the variety of approaches to therapy. Together
we will get through this next seven weeks of gaining
skills that will serve you for the rest of your careers. My
humble prayer is that God will enable each of you; will
use your personality; will use your style. My advice to
you is to stay keenly aware of God’s presence in all that
you do to satisfy the requirements of this course. If you
show up each day, so will I and so will He. By the way,
even 38 years down the road of being a counselor, I
entered each new session of therapy with this same
awareness. God has never failed to show up.
So, again, welcome. Please keep in mind that the hard
work you will put into this class is not only for a
grade but for creating a foundation on which you will
build your career as a counselor My role in all this is to
assist you in being successful. First off, please know that
I am very accessible. You can email me with basic
questions or concerns. If you have something you
believe needs a more immediate reply, you may text me
(be sure to identify yourself). But the most important
thing is to communicate. I can only assist you if I know
what is going on.
I pray for all of you each week. I can’t wait to get started!
Put all of you into all you do;
And you will always love what you’ve done.
My name is Shelley Espinoza and while I am originally from Southern California,
I now call Bryan, Texas my home. My husband and I have been married for 21 years.
We have a beautifully handsome 15-year-old son named Adam. Adam is an award
winning competitive swimmer ranked in the State’s Top 10 of his age group.
I have a BS in Applied Behavioral Health and currently work for a nonprofit as a
Case Manager for MHMR. The office where I work supports seven different counties. I
am on track to graduate next. I honestly have not decided if I want to pursue my LPC or
LMFT. I love what I do and am grateful to God daily for the people He places in my life.
I believe He will reveal what direction I should take.
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