We are eager to share with you the following testimonies of actual counseling situations that God by His grace and power through the servants in Truth in Love Ministries brought lasting transformation for His own glory:
RECONCILED AFTER ADULTERY
I wanted to write you to say, “Thank You” to you and your church for offering Truth in Love Ministries. I was desperate for help, hope, and God’s guidance in a troubled marriage. I didn’t even realize that I had a troubled marriage until news of my husband’s affair was revealed to me.
After traditional counseling didn’t work, I felt hopeless! My world was crumbling around me and I did not know what to do. I wanted to do anything I could to save my marriage and provide our daughter with a two parent Christian home. I sought God’s guidance through prayer and Bible reading. However, I needed more support and that’s exactly what I got from Truth in Love Ministries.
God uses the counselors from Truth in Love Ministries to speak the truth of His Word in a kind and loving way. I began attending alone at first. Then, my husband was invited to attend a separate session. God worked in both of us! Eventually, we attended sessions together.
The counselors from Truth in Love Ministries used God’s Word to show me to trust God and forgive! Without God working through the counselors from Truth in Love Ministries, I could never have forgiven him! I had to learn to lean on God instead of my own understanding of the circumstances. I had to have the counselors from Truth in Love Ministries to teach me how to do this!
God, of course, gets the ultimate praise for saving my marriage. However, I will always be so thankful to you and your church for providing this opportunity! I am sure that my family isn’t the only family touched by Truth in Love Ministries. However, it has made such an amazing difference in my family!
My daughter has her Daddy back; I have my wonderful husband back; and We have a chance at a new beginning with God at the center of our marriage and our lives!
Thank you again for offering this ministry!
I spoke with my husband after talking with you. He said that he would be glad to talk with anyone regarding Truth in Love Ministries. I, too, would be willing to come with him.
REAL LIFE “FACING THE GIANTS” TESTIMONY
On Friday afternoon, March 28, 2008, Truth in Love Ministries launched its team biblical counseling ministry by scheduling only two sessions utilizing just three biblical counselors. It is our value to practice team counseling, or co-counseling, where two biblical counselors work together in the same session. Today, May 18, 2012, TIL continues to practice team biblical counseling with approximately 40 counseling sessions per week and over 70 biblical counselors participating in the greater Birmingham area.
From the beginning, God has yielded His fruit in His ministry. Starting with the very first case, a teenage girl was saved by God’s grace. This testimony is concerned with the other case on that first day of biblical counseling. In that second counseling session on that first Friday afternoon, a young woman was grieving the breakup of a serious relationship. She said she had broken up with him recently because of his lying and deception related to his drunkenness. He persisted in his drinking even though she had tried to help him and given him the book, The Heart of Addiction. Hurting, she had decided not to marry him or pursue the relationship any longer and she was seeking biblical counseling for comfort, understanding, and perspective.
During one of our subsequent sessions, I asked her if I could call her ex-boyfriend to reach out to him. She agreed with one condition: “Do not tell him that I want to reconcile with him because I don’t and I do not want him coming in for counseling for me.” I could tell that she meant it so I agreed.
I called this young man one day. (He has since told me that he rarely answered a call on his cell phone “because I was either drinking or feeling bad from drinking or just generally in a drunken haze” but he is sure that the Holy Spirit had everything to do with his answering that phone call that day.) When he answered, he was surprised that he was now speaking to the author of the book he had read several months earlier. We chatted and I asked if he would come in to meet with me and Dr. Jeff Young, a biblical counselor in our ministry who was a longtime football coach and now a teacher and chaplain at an elementary school. That is significant because this young man was also a high school football coach. In Alabama, football coaches are important people with great influence.
In our session, Jeff and I lovingly challenged this young man about his faith. I asked him, “Can God be trusted?” and went further to say to him, “Then why don’t you trust Him to help you give up drinking to live for Him?” I challenged his heart and his faith since he professed to know Christ but was not living in obedience to Christ.
In the days following this session, the young football coach said that the question, “Can God be trusted?” haunted him for days. He could not get that question out of his mind no matter what he tried to do to forget it.
One of the homework assignments we gave him was to watch Flywheel. He told us that he had already watched the Facing the Giants movie produced by Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, GA, about a football coach who repented and began living for Christ rather than himself. We wanted him to see what “repentance in action” looks like and Flywheel demonstrates it well. After watching that movie, the Holy Spirit caused this man to realize that he was lost and going to hell. His childhood profession of faith in Christ had not been genuine and he immediately prayed, repented, and trusted in Christ alone for eternal life. Though it was very late into the night, he woke up his parents to tell them the good news with tears streaming from his eyes. Delighted to hear the good news, his father said that they had been praying for him and knew that things were not right in his life.
This young man was born again by God’s grace! He had heard the Gospel presented through biblical counseling, movies, books, and friends but it had never gripped his heart until that moment. We were so excited about his testimony that I wanted to share it with his ex-girlfriend who had never given up praying for him even though she had no desire to reconcile. We arranged for her to be present while we placed a call to the coach, asking him to share what had transpired. We put the call on speakerphone so we could all hear what he had to say. We all listened to him share what Christ had done in his life and we were all weeping by the end of his testimony. It was incredible. In time, the two of them began dating again.
During the season, this coach brought his football team to hear a Christian speaker in the local area and 13 of the young men decided to commit their lives to trusting and following Christ. There were going to be some changes in the atmosphere of the football team going forward when he explained to his team and coaching staff that one of the specific rule changes was that curse words were no longer allowed for the players or the coaches. Modeling the changes from the movie Facing the Giants, he outlined penalties for those who broke this rule and players and coaches alike would be held accountable! A very challenging yet rewarding season resulted. Later, one of his high school players, a committed Christ follower, told the coach that he had been praying for him to become a Christian and that it was evident God had answered that prayer!
The coach decided to take our biblical counselor training courses and volunteered to counsel alongside Dr. Jeff Young (his previous counselor) one evening per week to disciple young people who were struggling. One of our ministry’s goals is to see counselees move from counselee to counselor and from disciple to disciple-maker which occurred in this case by God’s amazing grace.
Had I not been an eyewitness to this testimony, I would have thought it was only possible in a movie but I know all things are possible through Christ alone!
-Mark E. Shaw
REALIZATION OF A SINFUL HEART ATTITUDE: OCD
I am thrilled to have read this blog today on OCD. While reading up on heart issues and looking for some good articles to pass on to those who attend our Saturday Bible Study in a large regional shopping mall, I literally stumbled upon it . . . . obvious the Holy Spirit had much to do with it!! Hallelujah.
I remember the day in the fall of 1979 when my wife and I first began turning our hearts toward Christ through His Grace that I became aware of my OCD symptoms. Looking back now I can see both my carnal fears and sin and prompting from our common enemy, Satan’s, involvement CLEARLY.
In reading this piece this afternoon I am on my knees in tears before the Lord, confessing and repenting of my sin, all these years. I never knew . . . I simply swallowed the worldy wisdom that it was a “disease” I’d have to live with.
Well, as of today, this very moment I am deceived no longer, the enemy has no power over me in this area. I am free in Christ, never to be drawn back into this darkness.
I plan on sharing this testimony with everybody I know, as they have known for years of my “problem”. They, like me, will be glad to know that I am free. I am so very thankful Mark that I found this blog today as my life is truly changed. I will be able to serve Him in freedom and joy and peace such as I have not known.
Thank you very much for your faithfulness. Thank you Jesus!!
God bless you,