5 Reasons You Need to Come to the CTPM Retreat in May 2021

Friends, I speak at only about one conference a year (and the 2020 one was cancelled, of course), so this is a big deal for me, and I’m super excited.

This Retreat Conference, sponsored by Joy Forrest’s Called to Peace Ministries, is called “He Makes All Things New.”

It will take place in the Asheville, NC, area over four days, Thursday through Sunday May 13-16, 2021.

To someone like me who comes from little (maybe you can relate) it looks expensive! That is, the retreat conference itself costs $200 before March 31 and then $300 after that.

On top of that you’ll need to pay for your room, which will cost $20-$125 per night depending on the room and the number of roommates. (So if you stay 3 nights, the minimum would be $60.)

Five meals are included (three on Friday, breakfast on Saturday, and breakfast on Sunday). Thursday evening’s dinner and Saturday’s lunch and dinner are not included in the package.

Reason #1 you should come: Scholarships Are Available

I want to say right up front that Joy Forrest has said “We never want finances to prevent anyone from attending!” So, if you would love to come but finances are the only hindrance, you can email info@calledtopeace.org to ask for a scholarship. You can also ask there about getting a roommate for the retreat.

Reason #2: It’s Designed for You

This Retreat Conference is for those needing rest and restoration after oppressive and harmful relationship(s).

It’s also for people helpers who want to be better equipped to support and care for those who have been wounded.

I’m guessing that covers just about everyone who reads my website.

Reason #3: The Location Is Amazing

Your rest and restoration will be aided by the absolutely gorgeous setting at Lake Junaluska near Asheville, NC. Joy calls this a “Retreat” instead of a “Conference” because she does want you to truly rest and be restored here.

Reason #4: Leslie Vernick Will Be There

The primary presenter will be popular speaker and relationship coach Leslie Vernick, who speaks at way more than one conference a year, lol. She wrote The Emotionally Destructive Relationship (a best seller) and The Emotionally Destructive Marriage, among others.

Reason #5: Others Will Also Be Speaking, Including Me

The schedule of all the speakers should be coming out soon on the Retreat web page. I know there will be several breakout sessions, but at this point the only one I know about is mine.

At Joy Forrest’s request, I’ll be presenting something I haven’t spoken much about publicly but have been quietly doing for five years, and very regularly for three. Here’s the formal description, which will go up on the Retreat page soon.

Immanuel Approach Prayer Ministry to Help with Healing of Trauma Wounds

Christian psychiatrist Dr. Karl Lehman developed the Immanuel Approach through years of counseling, study of the human brain and mind, practicing EMDR, applying other prayer ministries, and developing an ever-deepening relationship with Jesus Christ. 

He found, and describes in his book, that even those who haven’t been through many years of formal traditional counseling training can learn to use this prayer ministry model with great success if they love Jesus and listen to the Holy Spirit.

Rebecca Davis, author of Untwisting Scriptures, tells the story of her own discovery of prayer ministry (or “spiritual coaching”). She explains how Immanuel Approach prayer ministry helps to increase a person’s capacity for joy, which will then increase the capacity to process pain. She describes how this ministry can be used even in the most extreme cases of abuse, when a person’s soul has been fragmented into numerous “parts.”

The wounds are many, the devices of the enemy are many, and the need for prayer ministers is great.  But the prayer ministry process can also be very rewarding, as we see our great Healer, Jesus Christ, bring His beloved children to greater and greater healing, joy, and strength in Him. 

This is a topic that can be stretching, to say the least, to those who have never experienced prayer ministry before. But it can be a very helpful tool in the toolkit for Christian mentors, life coaches, and even licensed counselors.

I’m super excited to do this breakout session at Joy’s retreat conference.

Sign-up details and answers to questions can be found at the Called to Peace Retreat page here.

I hope to see you there!

How Jay Adams Would Counsel a Pedophile

Part 1 in the Series: Competent to Examine Jay Adams and His Nouthetic Counseling

I have posted about “nouthetic counseling” (later rebranded to be called “Biblical counseling”) more than any other tagged topic on this blog.

But this series will examine Jay Adams’ writings themselves, drawing from the work of Valerie Jacobsen on her Facebook page, with her permission.

Because all Christians have the Word of God and the Holy Spirit and life experience and access to the findings of brain science, so all of us can be competent to examine Jay Adams’ teachings. Continue reading “How Jay Adams Would Counsel a Pedophile”

Hope for the Weary at Advent (guest post by Teri Zalk)

This little manger scene has graced each Davis Christmas for over 30 years.

The following post is written by Teri Zalk. Thank you, Teri!


For the month of December, I’ve been participating in a special Advent devotional study.  During what is normally a very busy season, this has been a wonderful time to really slow down.

It has been a time to focus on what Advent means and how extraordinary the Christmas story is.

In week two of the study, I came across a verse that I had seen many times:

Isaiah 9:6 … “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace…” 

It just really hit me; it gave me pause.

Some of the first words to describe the baby Jesus, the Savior that was to come, are exactly what we as survivors of abuse need to hear and know.

We want to let God’s Word sink deep into our soul and heart.

Wonderful Counselor

We desperately need someone that will come alongside us, walk beside us and hear our pleas, hear our cries, hear our begging for clarity and discernment.

Someone who will believe us, weep with us, listen to us, and comfort us.

A counselor with all wisdom and knowledge, one who will lead us out of despair and darkness.

This, Isaiah tells us, is our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Mighty God

God and God alone is all powerful! He is mighty to save us.

We have been overpowered, abused, shamed, tortured, crushed and wounded, but God is a mighty God, powerful enough to break those chains and set us free.

He can and does rescue us. He will bring justice in His time.

Eternal Father

Many of us have had fathers that neglected and abandoned us. Some had horrific abuse in their childhood.

The damage runs deep, even to the core.

BUT God is our eternal Father. He is truly good, He is gentle and kind, full of compassion.

He promises never to leave us or abandon us.

He will never verbally, sexually, emotionally, physically, or spiritually assault us.

He promises that to the depth of the damage that an earthly father has done, He can heal and restore, beyond the damage.

The most profound healing can come from Him as we run into His arms and rest in Him and His love.

For those of us who are in Jesus Christ, we are His sons and daughters, and we are precious to Him. He is proud of us and He delights in us. We can dance, sing, and rejoice because of our Father’s great love for us.

Prince of Peace

My dear sisters, a heavy sigh might come when you think about peace. Oh, how many nights have we fallen asleep with tear-stained faces! How many nights crying out to God for peace, just a moment of calmness.

We have lived in utter turmoil, distress, confusion, and chaos. But God sent to us the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. Jesus is the reason that we can have peace. He brings rest. He brings the firm foundation on which we can build our lives.

Isn’t that a beautiful reminder as we go through this Christmas season?

Hundreds of years before Jesus was born the prophet Isaiah spoke the words to give us understanding of the baby that was to come.

“And they shall call His name Immanuel, which means … God with us” (Matthew 1:23)

May you truly know the depth of God’s love for you this Advent season!

Here’s Why “Gratitude Motivation” Isn’t Biblical—and What’s Better

I’m grateful

It’s the season of Advent. “The Coming.”

I’m preparing for “the coming” of all four of our children, with their spouses, together for Christmas for the first time in 6 years. Maybe “the coming” of a new little niece, our second granddaughter, might be at least part of the reason they’re eager to gather.

While I prepare, I’m enjoying wonderful songs about that First Coming, the birth of our Savior. Continue reading “Here’s Why “Gratitude Motivation” Isn’t Biblical—and What’s Better”

Your Pastor Isn’t Moses: a Response to John Bevere’s “Under Cover”

A while back when I posted on Facebook a question about authority teachers, one person told me that John Bevere’s book Under Cover had taught “church authority” in such a way that that it had nearly destroyed her and her family.

So I bought the book and started reading it.

I saw that the presentation of authority in the book was indeed dangerous and  . . . I might even say craftily presented. Continue reading “Your Pastor Isn’t Moses: a Response to John Bevere’s “Under Cover””

Small to Great (guest post by Rochelle Sadie)

I’m delighted to post this week from my friend Rochelle Sadie’s blog My Dear Sister. In spite of her blog’s name, please know that this post is not only for women but for men as well, anyone who has been harmed by a spiritually abusive system and made to feel “small.”

I could feel the cold hard wood floors on my feet as I stumbled in the dark, looking for my glasses. “Okay, feed the dogs, getting my coffee…” Continue reading “Small to Great (guest post by Rochelle Sadie)”

Reflections on my 63rd Birthday: The Box of Things I Don’t Know What to Do With

I’ve found that it takes me about four years to be ready to blog about something hard in my life. So here we are.

Four years ago my birthday blog post was called “A Warrior’s Tale.” Of the few pieces of creative writing I’ve done, it might be my favorite (even if all its Facebook “Likes” have been removed).

Maybe that’s because I know what was behind it. That piece of work was born through retching sobs.

My birthday post has been an annual tradition since my blog started in 2009, and in 2016 I was ahead of the game, having already written one for it in July.

Then came August 2016. Continue reading “Reflections on my 63rd Birthday: The Box of Things I Don’t Know What to Do With”

That “obey your leaders and submit to their authority” Scripture: examining Hebrews 13:17

For anyone who still wants to follow Jesus after having been treated devilishly by those who claim to be His followers (His shepherds, even!), Hebrews 13:17 might stick in the craw.

Jim Jones, one of the most famous cult leaders ever, none of whose followers can learn about Hebrews 13:17 now because they all drank the Kool-aid. Literally.

Continue reading “That “obey your leaders and submit to their authority” Scripture: examining Hebrews 13:17”