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!

An update on my one-on-one ministry

Religion that pleases God the Father must be pure and spotless. You must help needy orphans and widows and not let this world make you evil. ~James 1:27


Since 2017 I’ve been involved nearly full time with abuse victims and survivors, primarily using prayer ministry (based on the Immanuel Approach prayer ministry model developed by Christian psychiatrist Karl Lehman) to help them connect with Jesus and process their experiences, including traumatic memories. Continue reading “An update on my one-on-one ministry”

That time I tried to be transparent in a small group . . .

About 15 years ago I joined a certain group because everyone else was doing it and it seemed like the thing to do in order to be a better Christian, which of course I wanted very much.

The group followed a format that I found out later was typical, but it was all new to me at that time: We listened together to the respected speaker for the first hour, and then split up into small groups for the second hour.

This is where we would be transparent. Continue reading “That time I tried to be transparent in a small group . . .”

Why the Jeffrey Epstein case matters to Christians

It may feel like voyeurism, reading about it, if you don’t know any of these people.

But as I’ve been saying for some time now, I can be pretty doggone certain that you do know or at least interact with a survivor of sex trafficking, even if you don’t think you do. Because they are all around you.

My primary work is with those who have been sex trafficked in the Christian world. And believe me, there are parallels.

One person or small group of people is/are the traffickers. They may be relatively obscure, as Epstein was.

Others, the wealthy and elites (in my experience, it’s primarily been the wealthy and elites in the Christian world) are the buyers who take advantage of the trafficker’s “services.” (Flying in to the trafficking location is not a problem for the Christian elite.)

There’s a lot to learn about how this all works by reading about the Jeffrey Epstein case. Continue reading “Why the Jeffrey Epstein case matters to Christians”

Here’s what’s wrong with God looking through the “filter” of Jesus to see His children

It’s supposed to be encouraging when we hear that God the Father sees His children through the filter of His Son Jesus Christ. I’ve seen Christians almost come to tears when they talk about how God the Father is wearing “blood-colored glasses” to look at us, seeing the righteousness of His Son instead of our sinfulness.

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So, we are told, He sees His blood-bought children as holy instead of the unrighteous, filthy, utterly degraded, deceitfully wicked, totally sinful vile creatures we actually are. Continue reading “Here’s what’s wrong with God looking through the “filter” of Jesus to see His children”

Reflections on my 62nd birthday: “What if your life were written as a story?”

The question

I’ve spoken in a number of Christian school chapels over the years. As a professional storyteller I’d speak in chapel with a true story from one of my missionary books, and then as the “visiting author” I’d go around to the classrooms and answer questions.

One of the questions I’d often get was this: “If your life were written as a story, what would you want it to say?”

(A student would ask it, but I always had a sneaking suspicion that it was a teacher who came up with the question.)

My reply would consistently be, “Oh, I’d never want my life to be written as a story. My life is way too boring.” Continue reading “Reflections on my 62nd birthday: “What if your life were written as a story?””

You should come to church to “give” and not to “get”

Years ago when we were visiting a large and well-endowed fundamentalist church here in Greenville, South Carolina, the Sunday school teacher went on a bit of a tirade about how wrong it was to come to church to “get.”

“You’re only supposed to come to church to GIVE,” he rebuked us. He went on to express his disgust with people who come to church wanting something, Continue reading “You should come to church to “give” and not to “get””

Thirsty yet?

Ho! Every one that thirsts! Come to the waters . . . Drink!

New Year’s Resolution #2,019: Drink more water.

Have you ever noticed that you can systematically drink less and less water, way less than your body needs, without feeling thirsty? Counterintuitive, I know. But that thirst mechanism behind your throat sort of atrophies or something. Continue reading “Thirsty yet?”

Here’s the Joy looks back over 2018 and looks forward

As far as this blog is concerned, 2018 came in with a bang, with David and Louise Turpin: the picture perfect homeschooling family, the post that broke my blog when it garnered over 55,000 views in a day (almost 100,000 to date). Ironic thing was, of the many commenters, some of them thought I was an anti-homeschooling blogger (I was compared to Hitler, which is always a fun experience), when in reality  Continue reading “Here’s the Joy looks back over 2018 and looks forward”

At Thanksgiving, here’s one of the people I’m thankful for

Six years ago when I first began to learn about extreme abuse, when I was first introduced to dissociative identity disorder as something more than a movie plot, when I began to dip my toe into a world of darkness beyond what I had previously ever comprehended, I eventually (after months) asked the Lord—complained to the Lord, actually—“Lord, why is it you want me to learn about this awful stuff? I don’t know any of these people!”

His answer was as clear as if I had heard a voice. “You will meet them. You will know them.” Continue reading “At Thanksgiving, here’s one of the people I’m thankful for”