I was inspired by a sister in Christ named Sandy to share this video of me singing and speaking at Christ the Living Word Alliance Church in Toronto. My stepbrother, Tim, is an elder there.
God can make lemonade out of the lemons of your life! I paint for you a scene from my life to illustrate my point.
I pray to God for a release from the pain of my abuse from my schizo affective father. God answers the prayer of a despairing five year-old boy as I sit by a willow tree near our home. Six years later in the light of morning’s dawn my Mom drives my brother and me away from our unrelenting terror. The living hell I write about in a piece on this site entitled Lord, please rescue me from my private hell, tells more about the painful experiences of that time.
A wise counsellor wrote to me recently. He said and I quote:
Let me emphasize that you have a strong calling on your life which includes but is not limited to music and writing. Your major calling is Christian Clinical Counseling. The fire of preparation to be a healer of souls is the long and horrible suffering you endured by having a father who was terribly ill and often cruel. You also suffered cruelty by others during your formative years, all the way through high school. When Jesus said “count the cost” this is what He meant. Salvation is free but following Jesus requires a cross. The cost is much, much greater for a major gift such as yours.
Whatever gifts I have come from the Lord. They will be used for His honour and His glory.
I will share with you some major blessings. I have officially been accepted into a combined M.A.-Ph.D. program in Clinical Christian Counselling by Dr. Heyward Ewart, who is the President of St. James the Elder Theological Seminary. I highly recommend you check out this school, which gives you more than the training required to become a psychologist. Graduates are accepted as chaplains approved by the Veterans Administration and are admitted as members in the prestigious American College of Traumatology Examiners.
Dr. Heyward Ewart personally mentors each student through their program. He appoints a graduate to help you set up your counselling practice. The school offers ongoing support while you are engaged in your practice. Here is the link to find out more.
I am still continuing with my Master of Theology Missions thesis with South African Theological Seminary. This school now is accredited at the same level as regional U.S. accreditation. I have found their staff to be most helpful and prayerfully supportive. I am learning much from them about preparing a thesis. They encourage and pray for me in my struggles and rejoice with me in my victories. If the Lord is speaking to your heart to find out more about them, here is a link to their President, Dr. Reuben van Rensburg, speaking about why SATS is a school to prayerfully consider for your Christian training.
My thesis is entitled From Liability to Blessing -A Study of the L’Arche Richmond Hill Community in Toronto. It will be an emperical study of how the residents of L’Arche Richmond Hill with developmental challenges go from the perception of societal liability to blessing as they teach us what it means to love unconditionally. I will be spending time at L’Arche worshipping, laughing, singing, and listening to the life stories of the residents.
I am praying that this thesis will serve as a major contribution to society and the Church. It is my hope that it will teach us all about how special the residents of L’Arche are. In times of retreat with them they have blessed me with their open hearts and the sharing of their lives.
Those with physical and developmental challenges need to have a far more inclusive role in society and in the ministry of the Church. They have much wisdom to share about being vulnerable people.
I am humbled that St. James the Elder Theological Seminary has given me the following honours to which I give God the glory: Diplomate in Creative Ministry, Doctor of Science (honoris causa) in Christian Counselling and a Doctor of Divinity (honoris causa ).
I am sharing this news with you not to give glory to myself, but to my Lord. I want my testimony to be a witness of what God can do with any life fully submitted to His will.
God can make lemonade out of the lemons in your life too! All you need to do is give your heart to Him. Trust that even in the darkest of circumstances He’ll be with you.
I take Romans 8:38-39 as my testimony.
“I have become absolutely convinced that neither death nor life, neither messenger of Heaven nor monarch of earth, neither what happens today nor what may happen tomorrow, neither a power from on high nor a power from below, nor anything else in God’s whole world has any power to separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord!” (J.B. Phillips New Testmanent).
Stretch out your arms and say, “Lord, I give you my heart. I ask You to save me from this life of pain. Oh God, take all of the painful circumstances of my life — fear, abuse, misjudgements of my character and rejection and heal my wounded soul. Lord, I can’t make it through this life with all of its challenges, all of its hurt, without You. Make sweet lemonade out of all of the lemons of my life. Amen.
If you prayed that prayer or something like that in your own words to God, you have been saved. That simply means you have entered into a relationship with God. You recognize that you are not a power unto yourself. God is your power. God is your hope. God is your strength. God has ownership of your life.
For those who know God, why not say to your Lord today, “Lord, help me to remember the joy I felt when you saved me from my sinful life. I want Christ to really be more alive in my heart. I want to know You more in my heart and life than I ever have. Teach me, oh God, as I walk with you. In the storms of my life, help me to keep close to Your heart. Protect me from the power of that sly, cunning and deceitful Enemy, who offers temporal carnal pleasures, and wants me to reject You. I know with You by my side, Lord, I am more than a conqueror. I claim the victorious life in Christ, which you promise to every believer. Help me to grow in my walk with You. Hear me in my struggles. Let me sing songs of joy to You as a message to the Enemy that You, Lord, own my heart and my life. Amen.”
I am here to listen as you share your life with me.
May the Lord shower His richest blessings upon you!