Processing pain using the Immanuel approach

September 9, 2014

It is a simple exercise, you simply say, “Lord, help me to perceive you,” then when you see where he is, you say, “Lord, help me to perceive you more clearly.”

Then you quiet yourself and enjoy being with him. After all, Jesus is always with us, even if we do not believe in him, so the sense that we are alone is a matter of our perception, not reality. He is there. With me. With you. All the time.

The other night I was watching a DVD with my family when a memory flooded back—losing my new red bike to my brother. Before you conclude that my parents are heartless, let me explain. I was the second of five children and had received a new bike, a rarity, for my birthday. I eyed the shiny wheels and frame and my heart sang.

Then a few months (or was it years?) later my older sister got a new bike for her birthday, so all the bikes bumped down the peaking order: I got her old one, a used blue heavy thing with fat, slow tires and my bike went to my younger brother. I remember well the sting, the sense of outrage. It was, after all, my bike!

So I prayed silently, Lord help me to perceive you. All at once I saw Jesus in the garage with us kids, he was sad, too. He understood. Then I saw myself on the red bike, my bike, and was astonished to see my arms and legs akimbo. Was I that big? Was the bike so small? In the next scene, Jesus and I were racing down the hill that was our driveway, side by side shooting out on to the street then cutting right then left over to the dead end where we kids often rode. The dead end! I had forgotten that the side street did not go through when I was young, but there it was! We were laughing out loud, ear-spilting grins plastered on our faces.

Where there had been sadness, now there was only peace and joy. I laid back, resting my head against the back of the chair, as my body relaxed and the tension and pain flowed out of me. There is nothing like connecting with Jesus to restore the soul.

But what if, when we ask Jesus to help us perceive him, we feel shame or anger?
I’ve seen this over and over again in my office when I ask someone to picture Jesus standing in front of them and then next thing I know they are sobbing. “I feel so unworthy,” they say. Or, “I feel so angry! Where was he when I was being abused? I cried out to him and he did not rescue me!”

The answer is ironically to turn to the very one you are angry with, to tell Jesus just how you feel. Once you vent, then ask him for his point of view. Listen with your heart. Ask him to help you identify any barriers and ask him what he wants you to know. He is very good at uncovering the lies that block our relationship with him.

We were meant to live in joy. The kind of joy that comes when we know we are the apple of someone’s eye. Jesus’ eye! Feeling blocked? Confused? Angry? Check out ways to connect to him such as Theophostic Prayer Ministry or the Immanuel Apporach here:, especially the recording of a live session, or read my article in Charisma ( Or go to for more on the Immanuel approach.


I love this story!

July 21, 2014

We’ve been teaching about the joys of multigenerational community–at least three generations together, interacting. Here is a great story of how it is working in the life of an 89 year old WWII vet and a toddler boy. I only wish they could stay neighbors.

Where have you experienced multigenerational community?

Was it healthy?

What did you like about it?

What was not so good?

How can you expand your base?  Who can you befriend who is downstream from you?  Upstream from you?

Be blessed today!



Join us for our annual conference with Life Model leaders David and Jan Takle and Ed and Maritza Khouri

July 17, 2014

We will be learning how to journey Further in and Further up into the heart of God as we engage with him to change us from the inside out. Ed Khouri will be focusing on using the pleasure of eating to bond with God and the ones we love instead of attaching to the food itself. Something we all could learn to do so we eat with true freedom as God intended.

What I love most about the Life Model is that you learn the concepts then do simple exercises to rewire your brain so that your instinctive response is healthy and full of joy!  You have to experience it to see how it works as it engages both hemispheres of your brain.

I hope you can make it. Details at

Fairfax, Virginia

July 31 to August 2

Are you a leader? Join us for our Leadership Advance, July 31 as we learn from the Takles how to lead from rest!

Theology of the body! Love it

July 4, 2014

Christopher West making a difficult subject simple.


God’s intent for sex in marriage, by Dr. Peter Payne

March 31, 2014

This is from a friend who is now touring Europe debating atheist.  I thought he made some good points.  Comments?

God intends sex to be part of the bond that unites a man and a woman in life-long love, that brings them together into a complementary whole, a whole that reflects the union of Christ with his church, and that provides a setting within which children can be raised and receive the complementary nurturing of a father and a mother.

 Differing visions on right and wrong

      Secular ethics — Christian ethics

Secular Ethics:  Free to do as one wants (as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else)

                        Seek to promote others’ happiness

                        Every person is of great worth

Christian Ethics:  Love God with all your heart

                            Love your neighbor as yourself

                            Every person is of great worth

    Western secular ethics arises out of Christian ethics and shares much in common with it.  E.g. both agree on the third point—something not true in the ethics of most non-Western cultures.  And for both, ethics implies a concern for the welfare of others (2nd point).  Note, however, that “Love your neighbor as yourself” is stronger than the secular mandate.  Christian ethics, however, differs radically from secular ethics on the first point.  It is not the case one is free to do whatever he/she wants.  Love for God and the desire to do as God calls us to do, takes precedence over what we think will make us happiest or what we want.  Doing the right thing does not always equate with what I think will make me happiest.

Christian Sexual Ethics  vs  Secular Sexual Ethics

Secular:  (a)  Sex for the fun of it    (but be careful)

               (b)  Sex with a life partner      (“true love”)


    1.  Oxcitosin  – Why “sex for the fun of it” hurts.

    2.  The societal need for strong controls on sex.      

          Marital stability, longevity, fidelity for healthy 

          child rearing.  (Modeling of father and mother)

Secular sexual ethics has two elements.  One is that one can do whatever one wants (as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else) but be careful!  The other is that once you get married, you should be faithful to your spouse.  What this often means is that you can play around with sex for a while, but when you decide to get serious, you limit your sex life to that one person.  The earlier pattern makes more difficult the latter constraint.

     These two ways of thinking can bring about problems.  One is that the sex act releases oxcitosin in the brain which creates emotional bonding.  You may want sex just to be for fun, but biology runs contrary to this, and when the relationship breaks there is hurt.  (About twice as much oxcitosin is released in women than in men, so women often feel the emotional hurt stronger than men.)  

     Another problem is that there is a societal need for long-lived strong marital bonds, bands needed for raising emotionally healthy children who become mature contributors to society.  And this means that there is a societal need for strong controls on sex.  Sexual freedom—do as you please—undermines the stability and longevity of marriages for it makes it more difficult to maintain the vow to sexual fidelity once one enters into marriage.  Traditional Christian ethics is good for society even though it can mean that the individual’s desires are not met.

     (A point made earlier in my lecture was that one can have a rich and fulfilled life without being sexually active.  The high standard for sexuality in Christianity entails considerable self-restraint on the part of heterosexuals as well as homosexuals.  And homosexuals are not the only ones for whom marriage is not a option according to Christian standards.)  

Christian Sexual Ethics  vs  Secular Sexual Ethics

Secular:  (a)  Sex for the fun of it    (but be careful)

               (b)  Sex with a life partner      (“true love”)

Christian: (a) Being sexual activity is not a right

                (b) Sex only within the marital bond of husband and wife

                (c) Personal happiness does not determine what is right and wrong

                (d) Ethics involves relationship with God not just relationships with 


(Conceivably, there could be a society that strongly restricted sex to marital unions and applied this to homosexuals as well. But for such societal norms to hold there would need to be corresponding values and beliefs to ground those norms.  It is doubtful that secular ethics is capable of providing the needed values and beliefs.  [Note: The need of sexual fidelity for good child rearing would only apply to homosexual couples raising children, making even more problematic a secular justification for insisting on sex only in a marital bond.] One can ask why God hasn’t mandated such a system for sexual ethics,  but he hasn’t.  And it is rather rash on our part to claim that we know that such an arrangement would be better than one that meets all the elements present in the statement above—namely the statement about God’s revealed intention for sex.)

Forming, a work of grace, day 11

March 8, 2014

On page 63 Takle writes about gratitude.  Gratitude is a wonderful bridge to seeing Him in our life.  We can practice gratitude intentionally. “We can open our heart to Him in a spirit of gratitude for His abiding presence. As we do so, we can begin to take notice with our spirit that He is closer than our own breath.

Lord I am grateful for a warm house on a frigid day (we just bought a new heat pump and the house is so much warmer)

For my husband Sam who is loving, even while sick with a bad cold.

For good health

For helpers! Cheryl, Roxy, Deborah, Louise, June, Sam

For peace while I work and for fulfilling work.

For friendships and family.

There is so much to be grateful for, even when we suffer there is always some consolation!

Forming, a work of grace, day 10

March 7, 2014

Takle writes:  “Many Christians even have memories of times when they sensed God’s presence, but have little awareness of him in their everyday life.  When we pray we may feel as if we are sending messages out into the void . . .  Our first step is to believe with all my heart that he permeates the membranes of my body and exists in and between every cell of every part of me.”

Lord, help me believe with all my heart that you love me and are in me.  It is hard to believe that you were not reluctant to take up residence in me!  I must be a disappointment to you.

G-d: I did not hesitate. I was so glad that you came to me. I had been watching you your whole live, waiting for the moment you would turn to me. I was excited to see it coming. The angels rejoiced. You have no idea idea how happy you made me when you turned my way and cried out to me. I did not hesitate but reached out to embrace you.  I am not disappointed with you. I saw it all. I saw your suffering. I understand why you made the choices you made though they made me sad. That was why it was such a delight to my heart when you came to me. I can help you. I am your source of life. You can’t have a satisfying life without me, so now that we are in love, there is no limit to what I can do in you. I am so excited!  Take my hand, I have so much to show you!