God takes great delight in you!

I learned this verse as a young man at Camp Sankanac.  Zeph. 3:17  was the theme verse for thatcamp.  That was about 40 years ago when I memorized it in the KJV, “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.”  

zeph 3 17

Most of my clients would benefit greatly by putting by meditating on this verse.  To know that God takes great delight in you, that he rejoices over you with heartfelt singing is a life changing thought.  Ifyou are struggling with an unhealthy self-image, this verse will bring you healing.  Also the middle section of the verse where it says, “God will quiet our hearts with his love,” would greatly benefit my clients who struggle with anxiety and fear.  The NIV translates this section, “In His love he will no longer rebuke you.” Ponder the wonder of this verse today and be refreshed by God’s enthusiastic love for you. u. domaine chandon brut classic

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The date for the 2018 Golf Tournament will be July 13







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Low Self-esteem and Shame Dispelled

self imageIn II Samuel 4:4, we are introduced to a young boy, Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan and the grandson of King Saul. He wasfive-years-old when his father and grandfather were killed by the Philistines.  His caregiver, in her haste to flee from the advancing Philistines, picked himup and then dropped the young child, and he became crippled.

In II Samuel 9, Mephibosheth reappears. David is now king. Mephibosheth is living as a lowly servant to a merchant in the city of Lo-Debar.The name Lo-Debar means, “of no significance” or “of no regard.” The grandson of a king is living a life of no significance when King David searches for, and finds, him. When King David speaks to Mephibosheth and tells him that he wouldbe eating at the king’s table for the rest of his life and have his family’sinheritance restored to him, Mephibosheth could not believe it. He responded,“What is your servant, that you should regard a dead dog like me?” (II Samuel9:8). He was devalued, depressed and disabled, yet the king spoke value, kindness, and redemption to him. The honor of being a king’s child was restored to Mephibosheth. Incidentally, the name Mephibosheth means, “dispeller of shame” or “to drive away shame.” The king called him by name, as if to say, shame will be driven from his identity for the rest of his life!

Anyone who is struggling with low self-esteem and a sense offalse identity will often have difficulty believing that the King has anything to do with them. Yet, the King desires to have us all eat at His table foreverand to give us our inheritance. The King searches to find us, redeem us, restore us, and bless us. Our identity then becomes linked to the King. There is no better significance than realizing that we belong to the King because ofHis love for us and redeeming work on our behalf.

As Christian counselors and ministers, we have the distinct privilege of serving like Ziba, King David’s servant, who sought and found Mephibosheth. Clients who come to us are often feeling “of no significance” because of the various disappointments, abuse, and traumas that occur in theirlives. We have the ability, as Ziba did, to bring our clients to the King in order for Him to speak their names and redeem and restore them to healing and their true identities. In Isaiah 43:1, the Lord declares, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!” True, unshakeable significance indeed!

Robert B. Shaw, D.Min., M.A., M.Div., LPCS, BCPCC

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Divorce Filings

SEPARATION AND DIVORCEDid you know?? 1/3 of all divorce filings have the word “facebook” in them. Be careful out there! This tool of communicating is also a tool of the enemy to break families and hearts!

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James E. Thornton, Director/Counselor

Jim is an experienced counselor having worked as a professional counselor for 16 years in and around Binghamton, NY.  He has logged over 8,500 client hours and almost 1,800 group hours with over 2,000 different clients.  He has experience counseling a diversified group of people from respected professionals to those with mental illness, addictions or criminal convictions.  Jim believes the ability to help an assorted population comes from truth found in the Word of God and not from his personal wisdom.

Jim uses his spiritual gift of discernment and the Holy Spirit’s guidance to help him find the root to the problems people face.  He is not judgmental, and does not feel he is better than those he counsels.  He sees himself as a wounded healer, helping others out of the pain he has experienced.

Major areas of experience include marital conflicts, sexual abuse and sexual addiction, codependency, anger and depression.  He has also developed and taught courses to train professional counselors, pastors and lay counselors.





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Family Dinner’s

A Nurturing Tradition That Feeds the Soul

Yet another research study indicating the benefits of family meal time for children and adolescents! If you aren’t already doing this, try it out for great emotional benefits for your children – the more you do it, the more they benefit!
http://usat.ly/10u3RWuFamily Dinner3

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Divorce Filings

Did you know?? 1/3 of all divorce filings have the word “facebook” in them. Be careful out there! This tool of communicating is also a tool of the enemy to break families and hearts!Marriage-Crisis

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In the News:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed into law on August 19, 2013 legislation that bars licensed therapists from trying to turn gay teenagers straight.  The New Jersey Senate Bill 1172 seeks to prohibit “any counseling to minors seeking to diminish or eliminate unwanted same-sex sexual attractions, behavior or identity.”  I would like to talk about this from a counselor’s viewpoint.  Most of the information concerning this controversy comes from a political viewpoint and I think the troubled teen is overlooked in the process.

I have counseled many a perplexed teen asking questions about their sexual orientation.  They need someone to listen to them in a safe and encouraging environment.  Where else can they have this conversation?  Most don’t discuss it with their parents.  Many of their peers give them advise but they themselves are in the throes of coming up with their own identity. Now the governor of New Jersey has legislated that you can’t talk about this to a licensed counselor.  How does that make sense?

Let me give you a common scenario that I have experienced in the counseling office.  A young teen tells me that he thinks he is gay but he’s not sure.  I ask why he thinks he is gay and he tells me about an incident that happened a few years ago when he was molested by an older boy.  He enjoyed parts of it and therefore decided he must be gay.  Also he is shy and although he likes girls, no girls are interested in him.  Under this new law my hands would be tied and I would have to say we can’t talk about that issue.   Again, does that make any sense?  I say, keep the politics out of the counseling room and don’t try to legislate what goes on in between a professional counselor and a questioning teen.

This law is an astounding overreach by the government into the realm of counseling and should be nullified. I agree with the Liberty Counsel that says, “This law is politically motivated to interfere with counselors and clients.”  I also stand with the American Association of Christian Counselors.  They are committed to doing everything possible to advocate for Christian principles and religious freedom in counseling, as well as to protect the rights of clients.

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Unhelpful Thinking Styles

  • 1. Mental Filter – This can give us tunnel vision when we filter out some information to concentrate on some other information. Often this involves looking at the negative aspects of something and filtering out the positives.  Example: 5 people say positive things about but you concentrate on the one person who doesn’t appreciate you.
  • 2. Jumping to Conclusions – This is when we have a hunch about something and presume that we are correct.  We cannot read other people’s minds or predict the future.   When we try we often cause ourselves trouble and disrespect the one who is interacting with us.  We often interpret negative thoughts and feelings when they are not intended.
  • 3. Personalization – This occurs when you blame yourself for things that you do not have control over.  Carrying a high percentage of the blame will leave you overwhelmed and discouraged.  Although accepting responsibility for      your actions is considered a positive characteristic, it is unhelpful to accept more responsibility than is yours to carry.
  • 4. Catastrophizing – This is another way of saying you are making mountains out of mole hills.  This happens when we view the situation as terrible, awful, dreadful or horrible.  When we do this we are likely to self-fulfill our thoughts.
  • 5. Black and White Thinking – This is similar to all or nothing thinking.  People are often proud of this characteristic but it can place friction mobile casino between you and those who don’t see things the same way.  This also keeps us from accepting and learning from others.
  • 6. Should’ing and Must’ing – When we apply this way of thinking it often leads to unrealistic expectations.  Also when we fall short of the “should’s” and the “must’s” we can easily get frustrated, angry or disappointed.  Be careful not to set the bar too high for yourself and others.
  • 7. Overgeneralization – We do this when we make broad generalizations and global conclusions based on limited evidence.  Many times this includes using statements such as, “all”, “never”, “always”, or “every”.
  • 8. Labeling – By defining yourself or another person by one specific behavior we often ignore other positive qualities and characteristics.  Note: people including yourself often live down to their labels.
  • 9. Emotional Reasoning – Occurs when we live according to our emotions. When we live this way we tend to accept our emotions as the ultimate truth.  It’s like we are saying to ourselves, “I feel, therefore it is.”  Then we don’t allow rational thoughts or objective facts to influence us appropriately.
  • 10. Magnification and Minimization – This often means we magnify the attributes of others and minimize our own attributes.  However, this can      also work the other way as well.  We can get in the habit of minimizing our own involvement in a problem and place the blame on others.
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Client Profile: Abuse

Client profile:

This is the background of a 43 year old women who called for a counseling appointment this week.  Her original complaint was that she was a compulsive liar and therefore was having trouble maintaining a relationship with her live-in-girlfriend.   This is not a case that I looked forward to handling.  I wasn’t that interested in helping this woman improve her lesbian relationship.  However, I sensed a prompting of the Lord to find out the background of this woman and give her some help.

During our first session, I found out that she had been sexually abused by her uncle between the ages of 8 and 13.  I also found out that when she was 17 she was raped by the father of a little girl she was babysitting.  She never told anyone about any of these abuses.  She has attempted suicide four times and each time she has ended up in the hospital psyche ward.

This girl was bullied in school because as you can imagine her self-esteem was low and she was overweight.  She eventually dropped out of High School and never finished.  Turning to the gay lifestyle she moved in with a woman who also abused her emotionally and physically.  She stayed with this abusive woman for 22 years because she didn’t think she deserved anything better.

When she finally broke free from that relationship, she was harassed from a distance and has been lying to her new girlfriend to cover up the crazy things that were taking place.

This client is a woman that God loves and He wants to heal her heart from all the abuse she has suffered.  The Center of Hope will be there to listen, empathize and encourage this dear soul.  I’m not sure where the counseling will take us but I was glad that I accepted this appointment.

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