christian counseling Archive


the fruit of the spirit - apple orchard

10 Sep Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” ~Glatians 5:22-23 (NIV) As we read this list, it’s quite clear that these traits should be descriptive of those who follow Christ. But living them out in daily life is much easier said than done. Unfortunately, it can be easy to put these qualities on our Christian-living “to-do” list without actually realizing that they flow from a deeper source: the Spirit. Now, that might seem obvious since they’re called “the fruit of the Spirit,” but sometimes the obvious is worth exploring.  The Water Cycle: Receive Imagine that your Christian life as similar to the cyclical pattern of water that connects the atmosphere, land, and oceans. Rain falls and fills bodies of water and runs off into the earth. Water then evaporates from the surface of the earth, rises into...

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freedom from sin - cross in the sunset

20 Aug Freedom in Christ: Part 2 – Sin

For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!  ~Romans 5:17 (All verses are in NIV) In Part 1 of this series, we discussed how one element of God’s plan in sending the Messiah, Jesus, was to free us from the law. This freedom from the law brought about freedom from sin at the same time.  The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, ~Romans 5:20 Out of context, this verse may be slightly confusing, but the point the Apostle Paul is making here is that sin existed before the law. However, when the law came about, it highlighted how much sin was rampant in their society.  While the...

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sozo training in arizona - sozo basic training Christian Counseling Phoenix - macro closeup of cactus leaves

10 Jun Upcoming Sozo Training in Arizona (June 2019)

Have you ever had a deeply meaningful or poignant experience that led you to pursue training in how to offer to others that same experience? That’s what happened to us when we received Sozo prayer ministry: we wanted to be able to offer this powerful healing ministry to others. At Agave Sozo in Chandler, we’re a group of people whose passion and mission is in working to minister healing to others in the Phoenix Valley. If you've had a similar experience with Sozo prayer, or you're one who carries a passion to minister healing to others, we are excited to invite you to join us for our upcoming Basic Sozo training in Arizona. Who We Are Agave Sozo in Chandler is a partner of the Bethel Sozo Network across the United States. As a part of this network, we are under the covering of Bethel Church and the Transformation Center in...

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eel stuck in life - woman dancing with scarf

20 May Do You Ever Feel Stuck in Life?

Feeling stuck in life is an extremely common human experience. As the Bible testifies in Ecclesiastes, there are seasons in life. There is a time to weep and a time to laugh. A Time to plant and a time to uproot. A time to search and a time to give up. A time to keep and a time to throw away. The difficulty we face is when it’s time to move on to a new season, but we feel lost and unsure about how to reorient towards a new path. At Agave Sozo in Chandler, AZ, we believe every season holds guidance and wisdom for us, and that freedom is our ultimate trajectory. So how do we move on when we feel stuck in life? Moving from Stuck to Free In a culture that celebrates progress, achievement, and moving forward, when we feel stuck in life it can feel like...

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praying without ceasing - young woman praying with eyes closed

23 Apr The Best Question You Can Ask God

Praying without ceasing doesn’t mean you have to be in a contemplative state or a quiet place in order to do so. Prayer can be as simple as a continuous conversation that flows throughout the day. When moments arise that require guidance or wisdom, a silent internal prayer can be all it takes to discern the right steps forward. Or when you find yourself happy or thankful for something in your life, a moment of silence and gratitude can instantly connect you to the Source of all things. Bringing God into these daily moments opens a world of intimacy, connectedness and clarity. Prayer is a Two-Way Street God not only enjoys listening to us, but He also loves to respond back to us. You may have grown up in an environment that didn’t encourage you to listen for the voice of God. And while God certainly communicates through His Word, His...

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memorizing and praying the Psalms - woman's hands on bible praying

08 Apr Memorizing and Praying the Psalms

Memorizing and praying the Psalms is a tradition that has been practiced since the Psalms came into existence. In fact, some of the Psalms were written specifically for the purpose of communal prayer and worship. If you’re looking to take your prayer life to a deeper level, we highly recommend joining the saints from all ages and making the practice of memorizing and praying the Psalms a daily habit. The Benefits of Memorizing and Praying the Psalms The richness of this tradition shows that there are numerous benefits to memorizing and praying the Psalms. As pastor Tim Keller says, “There is no better way to meditate on a verse and draw out all the aspects, implications, and richness of its meaning than to memorize it.” In the New Testament, we’re urged to pray without ceasing. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in...

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emotional triggers--learn to identify your emotional triggers and how to respond to them - man stands in front of lake

08 Mar What are Emotional Triggers and How Can You Respond?

What’s Going on When You Feel Emotionally Triggered? Maybe you’ve heard the term before, or maybe it’s a new concept to you. But one thing is certain, we all have emotional triggers. You’re having a casual conversation with a friend or family member, and suddenly—BAM! Your heart rate skyrockets, your muscles tense, and you feel overwhelmed with anger or with some other heavy emotion. It might have been a simple passing comment that threw you into this tailspin, but here you are in this unexpected emotional place, and now it’s your turn to respond or react. What you choose to do or say next often feels instinctual, as though you barely have control over your reactions. That’s because these situations send signals to your brain which release a cascade of chemicals that are known as your fight or flight hormones. Because their goal is pure survival, once released, these hormones begin to...

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emotional pain - rear view of woman bowing her head

07 Mar Do You Run From Emotional Pain or Sit with It?

How Do You Deal with Emotional Pain?   The natural, subconscious human response to physical pain is to flee from the source of the pain. If you touch a hot stove you don’t have to think about what to do next; your body instinctively jerks away from the heat and removes itself from harm or danger. Much like wanting to avoid negative physical pain, over time we can also learn to avoid our emotional pain, because we are afraid of it and we feel it will harm us. Our avoidance is often instinctual and tends to be subconscious. To soothe our emotional pain, we choose coping mechanisms like busying ourselves, eating, shopping, or any of the other million things we can choose from. Unfortunately, this evasion has negative consequences. And it’s not just the extra pounds you may put on, the dent in your savings account or the pure exhaustion from overworking yourself....

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sense of belonging - two people at a table with coffee cups

20 Feb Developing a Sense of Belonging

As human beings, our need to feel like we belong is innate. In fact, it’s in our genes. Our ancestors of long ago had a fiercely tribal sense of belonging to their group because it was the difference between life or death. Groups were often homogenous in behavior and thought. To act in a way that was different from the group meant potential ostracization and therefore, no provision or protection from the group. There are a number of social and psychological benefits to this sense of belonging. An article in Psychology Today has this to say about belonging: “A sense of belonging to a greater community improves your motivation, health, and happiness.  When you see your connection to others, you know that all people struggle and have difficult times. You are not alone. There is comfort in that knowledge.” Just as a sense of belonging has benefits, conversely, a sense of...

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psalm 16 contentment - person walking alone through a forest

11 Feb Psalm 16: Contentment and the Path of Life

The 17th-century French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer, and Catholic theologian Basiel Pascal, once said: “All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. The will never takes the least step but to this object.” Obviously war is not an ethical or Biblical way to pursue happiness, but I find this perspective interesting nonetheless. Every move we make and action we take, even if it’s deferring happiness in the moment for a greater, future fulfillment of happiness, is somehow in an effort to satisfy our desires. And depression, which would seem like a lack of happiness altogether, is still a symptom of this desire for happiness, but a failure at finding it. In a previous blog post we discussed the Christ-centered...

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