The Perfect Lie

There are many false beliefs we can latch on to.  Some of those beliefs are no more than little quirks, others have detrimental effects on our mental and/or physical health.  Of all the lies I’ve seen, one of the worst ones is perfectionism.  The idea that I have to achieve perfection in everything has left many in states of utter devastation.

Setting the bar at perfection can be a setup for failure.  We usually fall short of perfection.  If I value myself by the results of my endeavors, I’m building an unstable image of self-worth.  Underneath the setup for failure and unstable image, we often find underlying self-loathing or self-doubt.  Am I very critical of myself or self-depreciating?  If so, I may have been bit by the “perfect” lie.

Striving for perfection is actually a fundamental moral belief of Christianity.  When Christ invites us to be perfect as the Heavenly Father, he’s not trying to set us up for failure.  He’s giving us a direction.  Instead of settling for a mediocre life of doing the bare minimum to be considered a “good” Christian, he challenges us to embrace a life of virtue, to become more and more like him.  Even though we will never become as perfect as God, we’re invited to embrace Him, to love Him, to fight for Him… to treasure Him above all else.  We’re treasure hunters.  If God is the treasure of our hearts, then we will pursue Him and His Word every day of our life until our soul rests with Him eternally.

Be a light to your world today!


The Long and Winding Road

It’s a fact of life that most things don’t come easily.  Whatever you want, you have to fight for it.   Sometimes you have to wait for circumstances to align themselves.  If we were to plan a future for ourselves, we’d make our goals easier to achieve than they actually are.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a straight path to follow, bathed in sunshine with the sweet chirping of birds and the tamed wildlife to keep us company?  It would… but our road is long, winding, often laden with risks, fog, and other uncertainties.

Looking back at my life, I see the long and winding road I’ve had to take to get to where I am today.  Although I wouldn’t be thrilled to go through it all over again, I wouldn’t want to go back and take a different road.  It made me then man I’ve become.  It brought me the many blessings for which I am thankful to God.

I look at the present and at what is to come, and there are circumstances in my life that are truly annoying and inconvenient.  I would prefer that they be different, but I know that God will lead me to a better and happier life.  I am reminded of these words from the prophet Jeremiah:  “I have not lost sight of my plan for you, the Lord says, and it is your welfare I have in mind, not your undoing; for you, too, I have a destiny and a hope.” (Jr 29:11)

Be a light to your world today!

Walking Through Fog

Recently, I was talking with a friend who basically told me that he doesn’t take on challenges or endeavors that don’t come with a laid out plan.  He feels angry with God that he doesn’t find more purpose to his life.  Needless to say, he’s not happy with the way things are right now.

If there’s one thing that my 36 years of life have taught me so far, it’s that most things come without a laid out plan.  If it does, the plan usually changes along the way, so it doesn’t matter all that much in the end if you had a plan or not.

I’ve followed God down paths that didn’t always make sense to me (I could write a very long blog on that topic alone).  Did things turn out the way I thought they would?  Never.  In fact, my expectations were often surpassed.  Most of my life has been like walking through a fog.  I never see far ahead of me, and sometimes I get disoriented, but God’s always lead me on a good path, even though He didn’t give me many details as to what I should expect along the way or when I reached my destination.

If you’re afraid to take on a challenge or a project because you can’t figure out a plan, take the few steps you can see in front of you and see what’s revealed to you as you go.  You may be surprised by the doors that open up to you.

Be a light to your world today!

Being a Christian Counselor

I have to say that I absolutely love being a counselor.  It is such a privilege to be able to sit down with people and help them work through life’s challenges.  I am privy to very personal and intimate details about them, which simultaneously helps me to appreciate human nature’s resilience and weakness.

In all honesty, I don’t know how I would do this work if it weren’t for that Christian Faith that I rely on so heavily.  My faith has been an important part of my life for the last 20+ years.  It has always served as a guiding light in all the important decisions and changes that I’ve had to do, and it is no different in the work that I do.  This Faith is a guiding light for my mind.  When in doubt, back to basics.  The basic principles of the Faith have often been the frame of reference I’ve needed to figure out how best to help others and myself.

The reason why I’ve chosen “Lighthouse” to be the name of my practice is because the truth and morals that come from my faith are the guiding light that lead me safely to my self-fulfillment.  It also serves as a guiding light in helping others in my practice, like a lighthouse helps guide ships at sea.

In the next week or two, I will be opening a new WordPress account as a support for other mental health practitioners who share the Christian Faith, or people who are considering becoming Christian mental health practitioners.  It is my hope that this new blog will be an interactive source of information and support.

Stay tuned…

Be a light to those around you today!

Fight for Your Dreams

In my last two posts, I wrote about changing the world and working smart.  In my life and faith journeys, I have learned another very important life lesson: fight for your dreams.  I found it easy to settle for what’s comfortable and readily accessible, but that doesn’t fulfill your dreams.  Dreams are beautiful and ambitious, sometimes an unrealistic fantasy.  Out of all our dreams that are realistic, how many of these have we attained?  How many of these are we still fighting for?  How many have we given up on?  I spent many days asking God why I could never finally settle with a stable job and a comfortable income.  It seems like every time I got comfortable, something would pull the rug from under my feet.  I honestly lost count of how many times this happened since I left the seminary 10 years ago.  Truth is, I understand today that those moments of comfort were but a rest area on the highway to God’s plan for me.  Looking back, I see that every setback lead to something better, helped me to learn to trust Him more deeply.  Through all of this, I understood that if I am to fulfill my life’s purpose, I can’t settle for comfort or a mediocre life.  These will hold me back.  I have to fight.  I have to push the boundaries.  I have to get out of my comfort zone and brave unchartered territory.

Be a light to those around you today!

Walking on Water

There’s something thrilling and nerve-wracking about taking great risks.  Life has thrown many curve balls in my life, particularly lately.  The turn of events has opened up a mountain of possibilities that make me want to climb it, and yet there remains the nagging thought that it could all turn out very badly in the end.  Managing feeling both afraid and excited at the same time is almost like being pulled in two directions like a wish-bone.  It feels like something’s going to give sooner or later.

All the great ones in history embraced daring risks in their life, without which they wouldn’t have left the legacy they have.  So why do we hold back?  We’re afraid to lose, to suffer, to pay dearly.

In my experience, it’s been important to find a happy medium between daring and cautious.  The daring part takes that leap off the cliff and trusts that the landing will end well, while the cautious part of us does everything it can to make the daring leap a success.

It’s like Peter walking on water towards Jesus.  The daring part of Peter is to walk on water trusting that Jesus wouldn’t tell him to just to let him sink and drown, while the cautious side of him needs to remain focused on Him and do everything that He tells him to do.  Along the way, the excitement in him fails and fear takes over when he loses his focus and begins to doubt.

I wish I had a fool-proof recipe to taking risks.  I don’t know how things will evolve from here, but I do know that I’m pushing through.  All I can say from experience is that if your gut instinct tells you that you need to take a certain path, then take it.  Stay close to God and trust that He will provide in time, even if it is at the last minute.  Do everything that you can do and He will take care of the rest.

Be a light to those around you today!