Month: March 2018

What is the True Cost of Freedom?


By Jerry Lankford, MBA, MACC, MDiv, LPCS

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

because he has anointed me

to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives

and recovering of sight to the blind,

to set at liberty those who are oppressed,

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”  — Luke 4:18-19

These words are Jesus’ Mission Statement. The rest of the Luke demonstrates how he fulfilled this mission.

I am struck by the words, “He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives.”  These are words that resonate strongly with us as Americans.  Yet, isn’t it much riskier to be free than we realize?

Of course, one of the best examples would be prisoners. Prisoners long for freedom, yet when they are released, they quickly realize that they must now find a place to sleep, a job, and they must feed themselves.

These would be daunting tasks for someone who has lived his life with clarity and limited choice.  There has been a designated place to sleep, no choice. There were three meals a day, no multi-page menu.  There was an assigned job to do, minimal choice.

Freedom represents an opportunity to succeed. It also presents the chance to fail.  Is it a big wonder that many manipulate their circumstances to return to prison?  I would think it may seem safer.

The Israelites had the same experience when they left Egypt.  They longed for freedom, but when they “caught” it, they began to long for the good old days.  It is risky to be free.  In fact, the only way we can handle the risk is through faith.

In my counseling practice, I see many men and women who are in captivity.  They believe their current circumstance is safer.  Bluntly, it’s safer to stay the way I am than to change. This can apply to employment, depression, addictions, and relationships.

These fears force many of us to do nothing.  As captives, we endure lives of quiet desperation because we are afraid. Indeed, fear is a cause of the mental illnesses I encounter.  Freedom requires risk.  Risk costs us something.  Thus, Freedom can be pricey.  We can’t just sit back and wait for others to take care of us.

We fought the American Revolution to win our Freedom.  We know it’s worth it.

Are you willing to fight for your Freedom?

I think the lesson, the connection between the American Revolution and our own, is that both require a band of brothers or sisters around us to help us in that fight.  You need training and preparation, but you can be free.

Build your army.

When people you can trust support you in the battle for your life, you can cement your faith.  Then, step-by-scary-step, when the Son sets you free, you are free indeed.

When a Man Feels Lost, Step I is to Grab the Map

by Steven Price, MA, LPCA

We often see clients struggling with anger, sadness, stress at work or at home and even with violent outbursts toward others. There is a common thread shared among so many of them, especially when the clients are men. Many, many times, men say, “I feel lost” or “Something is missing” or “I just don’t know who I am.” This lostness or lack of identity is a very real concern, and with more men growing up without positive male role models in their lives, it is no wonder they struggle to identify who they are, who they need to be, and especially who they are meant to be.

As Christian counselors, we believe we KNOW who we are, and we know who these men are, too. Scripture tells us that we as men are all Beloved sons of Almighty God, and women are all Beloved daughters. This is true of ALL men, believers or not. The trouble is, many men do not know, or perhaps they do not believe, that this is true. Even Christian men struggle with this.

There are Christian men who believe that their identity lies in God, that they are beloved Sons, and this is critical. What we believe matters and it matters very much, but if men have never experienced the love of a good father, never experienced belovedness, they may struggle with their identity and with expressing themselves in loving ways.

As counselors who walk alongside men who are struggling with their identities and therefore struggling in their lives as sons, brothers, friends, husbands, and fathers, we want to first address the current behaviors by helping men deal with their anger, sadness, stress, or outbursts. But most important, we want men to know who they are and to begin to experience who they are so that they can then become who they are meant to be—wholehearted men, beloved sons, loving husbands, and amazing fathers, free from their previous struggles. This can be a wonderful journey, and the destination is definitely worth the effort.

What is the True Cost of Freedom?

By Jerry Lankford, MBA, MACC, MDiv, LPCS “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good …

When a Man Feels Lost, Step I is to Grab the Map

by Steven Price, MA, LPCA We often see clients struggling with anger, sadness, stress at work or at home and even with violent …

The Silence of Adam

by Jeremy M. George, MA, LPCA Plato said, “We can easily forgive a child when he is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy …