All posts by Finally Alive Counseling

About Finally Alive Counseling

Finally Alive Counseling Ministries is a Christian based counseling facility. We help those suffering stress, anxiety, anger, depression, and more.

EP-33 Is The Pope Wrong For Changing The Lord’s Prayer?

Original article about Pope and Lord’s Prayer here

I disagree with most of Pope Francis stance on LGBT here.

I disagree that an atheist can be redeemed without faith is possible (2nd paragraph here).(Read Romans 10:14-17 )

Abortion pdf here

Word for word vs. Thought for thought Bible versions

 

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EP-32 Can I Learn How To Stop Worrying?

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EP-31 This Is The Real Way To Study The Bible

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EP-30 10 Super Practical Ways To Be Thankful No Matter What

 

Continuing from our last show: EP-29 How To Be Thankful No Matter What

It’s too easy to forget the blessings we have. We have a tendency to focus more on the negative than the positive and THAT is where we must discipline ourselves.

It takes work to be thankful. It will be a conscious decision you must make sometimes daily. Is that too much for you? Is this where you say, “I quit”?

We laid down the ground work in our last show, so here are some practical ways, that I’ve shared in counseling sessions, to practice thankfulness:

STOP!

Everything below is WORTHLESS if you’re just going to read it. I want you to be successful. That means that for you to have any success in what’s written below, you can’t just read it. You HAVE to ponder, pray, and take action on these ideas.

If you are willing to do this, then continue reading.

Continue reading EP-30 10 Super Practical Ways To Be Thankful No Matter What

EP-29 How To Be Thankful No Matter What

Personally, I think it’s alot easier NOT being thankful. Yup, I said! Would you rather me lie to you?

Let’s just be honest here. It’s easier to dwell on the negative than the positive. I’ll even say, for some, it’s natural to be pessimistic (I’m raising my hand).

I see this often in any counseling situation I’m in. Finding something to be thankful for isn’t on the forefront of your mind when you feel depressed, angry,  or anxious. How does one stay thankful if they’re going through problems and needing  couples counseling?

Say “Yes” to negative

OK, this already sounds crazy, right? But, here me out…

In counseling, many people want to just forget the negative. I don’t recommend that! You don’t want to mask your problem with fake smiles while there’s an elephant in the room. That’s not being truthful nor is it being true to yourself. No facades here. We’re facing it.

By faking  or masking it, you will prolong the issue because the problem is still there! This is what I help people accept in counseling sessions. Let’s just accept that not everything is ok. Now, you’re being real!

Now, stop chasing the pain!

Chasing the pain is when we continually dwell on the negative that has happened. Sure, it’s natural to go there, but  everything in moderation and balance is key. We want to acknowledge that there are problems, NOT dwell on problems. Dwelling gets you down or worried, and we know what Jesus says about being anxious…

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? ~Matthew 6:27

The answer is obviously, “No”.

If you are going through a loss and experiencing grief, this can be tougher for you, but it’s also understandable. There is a degree of “chasing” that you will do. This is part of the grieving process. You just do your best to get through those moments. As time passes, you can begin to see less chasing, but eventually, it must be you who wants to move on/ move forward.

Be a Disciple

Jesus’ ministry was all about making disciples worldwide.

The way you, as a person, will grow is learning! Believe it or not, THAT is the secret!

Bad things are going to happen; that’s a given. The question will be, “Are you will to learn from your issue/ your problem?”

Some issues are bigger than others, but every problem truly has a blessing in disguise. There’s always opportunity, and there is always an answer (in Christ).

But, will you accept that? Will you accept defeat AND accept the lesson? It’s interesting how God will tend to give us the test first and the result is either a testimony or a great lesson.

 

And… Action! Be Proactive.

This is so cliche. We see this posted all over the place and here’s why; IT’S TRUE! The decision to be more spiritual, happy, thankful, fill in the blank, comes from YOU!

If you need help, YOU need to speak up!
If you want to guidance, YOU need to pick up the phone!
If you want to be thankful, YOU must consciously seek this with a laser focus.

This will pass you up if YOU are passive!

 

Next time, I will give you some practical ways on how to be thankful…

 

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Stop Beating Yourself Up For Being A Quitter

Don’t quit! Never quit! Quitting is for losers!

Sayings like this have become so cliche, but many times,  in the spiritual realm, that’s backwards! The truth of the matter is that sometimes we do need to quit. How so?

Quit, in the sense of: acting prideful, acting selfish, with always putting yourself first. These things we must quit!

 “He must increase, but I must decrease.” ~John 3:30

There’s always things not to quit on. For example, you don’t quit on Jesus, you don’t quit having faith, you never put that down. You never quit trusting in the Lord with all your heart. These are the tenets of our Christian Counseling and Couples Counseling.

On a more personal note, there have been things I had to quit. I had to quit a job in the past because it wasn’t good for me. I’ve had to close down businesses because it was no longer profitable or worth the time. I’ve had to quit relationships that were toxic to me, and guess what, so do you!

We have to use wisdom when it comes to quitting. Obviously, if a person is on drugs, quitting would be the wisest decision. If someone is in an extremely abusive relationship. Sometimes the only option is to quit because the abuser doesn’t want to change and may never change. You can’t control that, but you can control you!

So how do you know when to quit?

Go to God= You must pray

Talk to God about what to do about the situation. Not every problem will be the same, some will be easier than others, but regardless, we must take to the Lord to get proper guidance.

I’m not a believer in long winded repetitive prayers (Read Matt. 6:7 to find out why). I think the best prayers tend to be the ones with the fewest words.

Peter, in my opinion, has the best prayer ever uttered.

But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!

Matt. 14:30

Guess what. The Lord did…

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. Matt. 14:31a

Go to God’s word

The better you understand God’s word, the better you’ll understand God’s patterns, and  the better you understand God’s patterns, the more likely you are to choose wisely.

I mean, it’s simple logic. If you study cookbooks more, you’re going to find new terms, and yes, patterns, that, by repetition, will start to make more and more sense.

Read a little bit of Bible everyday and see if something positive doesn’t happen!

Go to people who are wise

This could be tough because you have to gauge the person before you ask. I often tell people to not get marriage advice from someone who has never been married.

Personally I’m not moved by someone who is enthusiastic or charismatic. I’m a content kind of guy. So their “content” must be sound also.Their life or their lifestyle tells me a lot about them. Are they living a healthy Godly life.

Living a healthy Godly life doesn’t mean that they never have problem. I want to see what they do when problems happen. This will tell you if they walk in God’s wisdom.

And, don’t look for the perfect person, because you’ll never find them. Just look for someone who has gone through it and survived.

This could be a family member, a friend, or a colleague, a lot of times your pastor can help, and if all else fails, you’re very own Christian Counselor.  🙂 Sometimes, books or blogs, such as this one.

We have to realize that a lot of the things we go through, others have gone through already. That’s why I’m a big fan of going to the Bible 1st and then going to people who have experienced it. This is wisdom!

Common sense

Yes, as simple as that sounds, we tend to complicate things. Many times, using common sense can save us a lot of headache. Complicating typical issues for introverts, like myself, is over-thinking. Many times, over thinking creates what they call analysis paralysis. But if I use common sense, I’ll tend to analyze less and just use the facts, and generally make an objective decision.

So, yes sometimes you have to quit. You have to let it go, you have to put it behind you.

Quitting doesn’t make you a loser. If you quit drugs or if you quit a horrible relationship, and yes, even quitting on some people, sometimes makes better sense.

Even Jesus tells us:

And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town.  ~Matt. 10:14

That’s Jesus himself telling us to quit when we’re supposed to. That didn’t make the disciples losers, that actually made them wise.

Now I’m the type that doesn’t like to quit. I believe in “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”. I’m stubborn that way.

But, if He must increase and I must decrease, that means that I have to be willing to quit sometimes . God’s ways must be considered more than my own ways.

EP-28 How To Improve Trust in Your Marriage (Podcast Edition)

Click on How To Improve Trust In Your Marriage to read the article.

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Toxic People

9 Toxic People That Will Suffocate Your Soul

I talk a ton about toxic people during individual counseling sessions and in our podcast.

People tell me that I just don’t understand or that the toxic person doesn’t always act that way. All these may be possible, but see for yourself if that person fits into any of these listed below.

The Jacob

In Genesis 27, you learn about a character named Jacob. He cheats his brother out of his inheritance and lies to his dad to steal it. These people are the liars, cheats, and thieves in our lives.

They can be very conniving and very convincing. It could be a significant other who continuously cheats on you and may need couples counseling.

These are the people that are the most toxic in our lives and need to be distanced, and some very far.

The Me, Myself, and I

In Matthew 18:23-35, Jesus talks about a servant who receives mercy, yet doesn’t give mercy. They’ll borrow, but won’t let others borrow. It doesn’t stop there, they will be merciless. They may even put you down for wanting to borrow something from them.

No mercy and it’s all about themselves.

They get a new car and it’s the greatest thing, but you get a new car and they find reasons why it’s sub par.

These people are depressing and many times, leeches on your life. You are just another cog in their world until you’re not needed. Toxic people like this need to be distanced.

The “Oh, That was different”

This is that person who gets mad at you for not standing up for them, but throws you under the bus for something similar. When you confront them on the issue, they tell you “Oh, that was different.”

These people tend to be very hypocritical and many times, have a double standard. They can be selfish and in it just for themselves.

The Chicken Little

This is your typical “Debbie Downer”. They have the scoop on all things negative and sometimes, it could feel like  the sky is falling. Maybe they’re a little too into the conspiracy theories.

Most times, they are harmless, but too much negativity can take a toll on a person.

The Siskel and Ebert

This is that person in your life that has nothing good to say, but has plenty of criticisms. They criticize the way you look, chew, walk, etc. It’s almost as if something negative could happen if they ever complimented you.

This type of relationship is toxic!

The “Brother Bad Luck”

These are those people in your life that you help, but for some reason, your help is needed again, again, again, again, again, again,again,again, oh finally we’re done..but then, again, again, again, again,again….. I think you get it.

For some reason, they just seem to keep having this streak of bad luck. Brother Bad Luck might be praying for a miracle, but, “the Lord” keeps testing him. In a sentence or two, they might bring up the struggles of Job, in the Bible, as a comparison.

The moment you think the helping is done, it’s not. This, in many cases, are those stuck in a victim mentality. These are the people who can walk, but choose not to.

Note: There are cases where the person is genuinely handicapped. These are not to be considered as The “Brother Bad Luck”, and I would recommend helping those who genuinely need it.

The Al Bundy

If you ever watched this (silly) show, you’d recall the speech that Al, the father, would constantly recite. It was about how in 1966 (while in high school), he had scored four touchdowns in a single game.

While that’s fine and dandy, but Al was far from high school and was married…. with children… (Sorry had to).

The point is that Al was still stuck in “the good ole days” and hadn’t moved on. There are those who constantly bring up the past because, unfortunately they still live in the past.

The Pitch Perfect

This is that person who is so nice and sweet. They’re actually a joy to be around, but they have a tendency of over promising and under delivering.

This is that person who constantly says that they miss you, but won’t pick up the phone to call. They may constantly promise to hang out, but something always comes up.

They’ve got the perfect sales pitch to make you feel great, but there follow through is horrible. Perhaps because they give everyone they meet the same pitch they give you.

The Frank Sinatra

They might not be singing I did it my way, but their actions sure scream it. It’s there way or the highway. You have a say, but you don’t. You might be told you’re important, but don’t get in the way.

How about when Frank gets angry because something didn’t go his way. That anger could be outrageous, but later, it’s justified their way.

Nobody is always right, and nobody can always get there way without eventually hurting the people around them. That could be very toxic!

 

Sure, we got through this with some light humor, but I hope you can realize the seriousness of some of these characters we’ve painted.

Toxic people are everywhere and the truth is we (me included) have been toxic at some point. We all go through our rough patches and some break through it.

If you are dealing with toxic people in your life, it’s best to keep at least a little distance. Some deserve to be completely cut out of your life, specifically, those who are abusive.

Sometimes, God will give us an opportunity to speak life into the toxic person. Other times, all we can do is pray for them.

If we can be any help to them, please share this with them, or feel free to contact us below.

Call us now: (626)244-8113

or Text us at: (657)246-2461

 

If you feel like you or someone you know is suffering and may need counselingcontact us now so we can talk about our Individual Counseling in Brea, CAMinutes away from Fullerton, Placentia, Yorba Linda, La Habra, Rowland Heights, Anaheim, and Anaheim Hills.

If you are in a crisis or if you or any other person may be in danger – don’t use this site. These resources can provide you with immediate help.

Temperament Counseling Individual Counseling  | Addiction Counseling  | Anger Management | Anxiety Counseling | Stress Counseling | Depression Counseling | Christian Counseling | Couples Counseling | Marriage Counseling | Grief Counseling

EP-27 How To Choose Your Spouse Like A Winner Part 2

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How To Improve Trust in Your Marriage

It’s never easy when someone has broken your trust. This is a common issue in Couples Counseling, so you are not alone on this one.

Trust Issues in Marriage

Maybe your spouse cheated on you which leaves anyone feeling betrayed. The lies can get old and make anyone feel regret and want to give up.

In marriage counseling, we have learned that there are some very important things that you have to do.

To build trust, you have to work on T.R.U.S.T.

Traction, Repetition, Understanding, Simple, and Time

Traction

When trust in a marriage is lost, it’s very difficult to rebuild, especially if you hurt your spouse deeply or more than once. To build trust, you have to build traction and momentum. Since the relationship is damaged, the healing can’t start right away.

It’s like getting a paper cut on your finger. The very first thing you do is stop the bleeding. Your relationship is the same way.

You stop the pain by stopping whatever is causing your spouse the pain! This is how we start to slowly build traction to get to the healing part.

Repetition

You have to be repetitive, in the sense of predictable. You have to have habits that repeat daily as sure as the sun will rise in the morning.

When you have the same (even boring) habits every day, your spouse doesn’t need to think twice about where you are, why you’re 5 minutes late, etc.

The repetition is what builds the stability to build trust in your relationship.

Understanding

If you have hurt your spouse deeply, then this is the time to be even more understanding. That means that when they call you some bad names, you take it. Yes, you are going to get an ear full, but you would probably do the same if they hurt you the way you hurt them.

You have to be willing to be extremely patient, lenient, and understanding with your spouse. Communication must be built again to build trust.

Nobody said this would be easy, but this is the price we pay for redemption with our spouse. It will be worth it after you two get passed this part.

Simple

Keep it simple! You can’t be mysterious in anyway. If they want to see your phone, you have to show it! No mystery, no explanations. If you’ve done other things wrong, you have to (eventually) come clean.The more elaborate/ lies that are discovered, the longer all of this process takes.

Nothing about you should be complicated. The simpler you are to your spouse, the better.

Time

Experts will tell you that it takes 6-12 months for there to be improvement. I would add that it might take longer. Look, you broke their trust. What did you expect?

But, here’s your hope. No matter how long it takes to build trust in your marriage, it’s worth it! This is what love is; sacrifice! (John 15:13, 1 John 3:16)

Sure it will seems impossible sometimes, but is that going to be your excuse? Tough it out, just like your spouse has to bear with you. You’re not the only one suffering. Think of all their pain and memories that will haunt them.

Be patient, stay in prayer, and hold tightly to God and His Word.

If you need anything, we’re right here if you need us.

Call us now: (626)244-8113

or Text us at: (657)246-2461

 

If you feel like you or someone you know is suffering and may need couples counselingcontact us now so we can talk about our Couples Counseling in Brea, CAMinutes away from Fullerton, Placentia, Yorba Linda, La Habra, Rowland Heights, Anaheim, and Anaheim Hills.

If you are in a crisis or if you or any other person may be in danger – don’t use this site. These resources can provide you with immediate help.

Temperament Counseling Individual Counseling  | Addiction Counseling  | Anger Management | Anxiety Counseling | Stress Counseling | Depression Counseling | Christian Counseling | Couples Counseling | Marriage Counseling | Grief Counseling