Posted by: lanceandjenn | April 14, 2011

To Diagnose or not to Diagnose

So this quarter I finally learned all about the DSM IV TR or the Diagnostic Statistic Manual fourth edition Text revised… This is a thick book full of different diagnoses that our culture loves to give whether you call yourself Bipolar, or OCD you might be surprised to find that you’re wrong.  When I started this class I was concerned that I would see myself or my friends as having these disorders.

So I walked away from this class learning that first people with these psychological disorders don’t have them they struggle with them.  This perspective is really healthy like love the sinner hate the sin people with psychological disorders are people that are coping.  The second thing is that in order to be diagnosed with a psychological disorder most of the time it requires that it is clinically significant.  For instance Obsessive Compulsive Disorder requires that a person spend over an hour a day on their compulsions.  Then things still have to be clinically significant so please quit telling your friends they are bipolar or ocd and if they are please have compassion and recognize that this is how this person copes with life.

Overall, I feel better equipped to diagnose people and that I am also ready to help people.

Side note:  I was accepted into San Diego Vet Center as a Marriage Family Therapist practicum student.  I am really excited to come alongside our troops and help them readjust to living in the states.



Posted by: lanceandjenn | January 5, 2011

First quarter is over

So I have now finished my first quarter with the MFT program.  Since I have been here I have been really enjoying learning about all of the different psych things as well as meeting new friends/cosufferers in the MFT program.  Coming back to school has been one of those huge faith steps of leaving a great job that we could have done for years and the transition over the past few months has made me feel that God has definately called us back here.

I feel that God will provide for both my wife and me wherever we go.  It has been difficult as I would leave for classes and see Jenn looking for jobs.  It has finally happened.  Jenn is going to be a therapist for Autistic Behavioral Consultants.  I am so happy for her and feel that she will be able to do exceptional work for this company.  She will be working with autistic kids and their families.  This job will provide many narratives to draw upon for future ministry.  I believe she’ll make a tremendous impact with these kids and their families. 

I have been praying about working with military families after graduation and liscensure.  I feel that when soldiers return from different tours they need help with adjustment from being on high adrenaline rushes 24/7 to coming back to slow going in america.  I am going to be looking specifically at PTSD, moral injury, and anxiety as I work towards the call God has on us.  This movement is one I am praying about and would appreciate all of your prayers as well. 



Posted by: lanceandjenn | June 21, 2010

The Move

So after a long time in prayer and asking the Lord what is next for us we have felt that the Lord is calling us to move back to LA and for me to attend Fuller Theological Seminary to work on/finish a degree in Marriage Family Therapy.  This has been a long process of prayer and discerning.  It was three years ago that we left Pasadena knowing that coming to Farmington was going to be the “training ground” for us.  Our time here in Farmington has really shaped Jennifer and I.  We have learned a lot about who we are and who God is calling us to be.  I have really enjoyed being a part of a church that has a heart for missions and local outreach.  It has been amazing to serve side by side on the mission field.  However, during our times I have ran into many tough times and tough cases.  I have had to deal with PTSD, suicide, infidelity, and more.  I sometimes would go home and just wonder if I had done the right thing.  I feel that these experiences will help me as I go back t school and seek to learn.  Typically I am a part of the peanut gallery giving teachers hard times and cutting up during class but this time I feel that returning to school will be quite the opposite of the typical.  I really want to learn and be able to take these principles to help make a difference in people’s lives.  I ask that you would pray for Jennifer and I as we make our move.  We recently found a place to live now we need to sell our house and find Jenn to work.  I know that God has called us together in marriage and if I am being called somewhere so is she.  We want to find that perfect fit for her that will help her to make a difference as well.



Posted by: lanceandjenn | August 20, 2009

Social Outreach Sunday

This last Sunday our church celebrated Social Outreach Sunday.  The goal of this service is to remind our church that we are called to be a light to our community.  Social Outreach is in my opinion one of the best ways to do that.  You are not only sharing Christ but bread, clothing, shelter, and love to the community.  The combination of the two are crucial.  I am very proud of the work our church does and look forward to thinking through ways we can better serve our community.   Check out the video to see some of the stuff our church does.

Some of ideas to better serve include:

Starting a community garden that instead of charging money as for 10% of the first fruits to give back to our communities’ needs.  We would find people (green thumbs) in our church to help people that have never grown a garden before so they can learn something new.  One of the goals is to make a difference in our community and develop deeper ways to show people that they can make a difference.  Another goal would be to help people connect with the Christ followers in a meaningful way.  I feel the more that we can connect with people in these types of ways the easier it is to invite them to follow after Christ.

Another need we see in our commnunity is a transitional center for families who are in need and want help.  This would allow for us to connect with the needy in our area who don’t really have a place to go to.  If you are a woman there is a place but for a whole family there is not many options.  We want to help meet that need.  It’s a big project so I believe that we’ll have to continually bring this before the Father and ask for guidance. 

What are some ways that you have reached out to your community?  What has that experience been like? 

Peace and love,


Posted by: lanceandjenn | July 15, 2009

Surfing without a leash

I recently wrote an article for our Church Newsletter that I think might be cool for some of you to think about:
To end this newsletter, I would like to share with you a story from this last month that is still impacting me. Last month, I took two of our youth to Los Angeles so that I could get some intense mentoring time with them. During the trip, I took them to hear my mentor share at two of his Bible Studies. We also went to Skid Row and fed the homeless. I was also blessed to have many of my friends from seminary reach out to encourage the guys. Of course, while we were down there I taught them how to surf as well. We actually were able to go four times in between the other stuff on our five day trip. On the last day, we decided that we should go one more time for a dawn patrol (early morning surf session). It was awesome! A good portion of my friends in LA made the trip with us. We had so many people that we were running slim on surfboards leaving us with what we call a beater board (beat up crummy board) for me. As we arrived at Topanga Beach the morning marine layer (smog) was not too bad. The waves were smaller but still had a pretty good shape. We pulled the sleepies out of our eyes after waking up at 4:30 am and waited for the team to show up. One of my dear friends showed up and had brought an extra surfboard with him. It was like the clouds had opened up as he told me I could use his board. The downside was that his board was missing a leash (used for retrieving your board after being hit by a wave also help to protect you and your board from having to swim all the way onto the beach to pick your board up). I knew I could surf this board still but was apprehensive about having to retrieve it if I messed up as well as if I were to do damage to it. But as we were walking out my buddy looked at me and said “Just because it doesn’t have a leash… pause… doesn’t mean you should hold back.”
It was in that moment that I felt like I was hearing a lot more than my buddy’s voice. I felt like there was some spiritual significance to what my buddy was saying. While I was out surfing I felt freedom to go for the waves and that I had the ability to save my board from being lost. The spiritual significance is this: Christ has given us not only freedom but a purpose. As we go out and live our lives we don’t have to hold on tight, we can feel God’s call to be “unleashed” to serve and make a difference. I feel like sometimes as Christians we can get caught or stuck in many ways, but in 2 Corinthians 3:17 it says “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” If we live by the Spirit through continued prayer and seeking to grow and understand Scripture, then we can walk in this freedom.
While I was surfing I caught some amazing waves and on a couple I lost my board. I was able to swim in and carefully climb over the rocks to grab the board, and then paddle back out. The same is true in our walks, if you ever loose it make sure you swim in and grab your truth or whatever it is you lost and paddle back out there. I pray the Lord will bless and teach you that he has called you to be “unleashed” on Farmington to spread the good news that there is freedom in Christ.
Oceans of love,

Posted by: lanceandjenn | October 29, 2008

Jenn’s First Post

I went home today for lunch and discovered our adorable little puppy, Kensie, was up to no good!  She ate all the laces out of my shoes!  This, only a few days since she chewed up Lance’s socks!  She’s still a puppy, but I thought we moved out of the chewing phase a few months ago.  And now it seems to be back… 

She's So Cute

She's so cute


            Well, we’ve learned from our friend the Dog Whisperer (aka Cesar Millan) that dogs will get into mischief when they’re not getting enough exercise.  Cooped up in the house all day with no one to play with, a dog will get into things it knows it shouldn’t.  This sounds like Kensie.  If we exercise her more, she’d burn her energy in healthy (non-destructive!) ways. 

I think that, sometimes, when we don’t get enough exercise, we get into mischief, too.  I’m not talking about just physical exercise, but spiritual exercise.  It seems that when we’re engaged in spiritual exercise – reading our Bibles regularly, stretching ourselves in service to others, holding ourselves accountable to spiritual trainers, and such, we are much healthier.  We grow, we learn, and we stay focused on living lives that glorify God. 

But when we aren’t getting enough spiritual exercise… when we aren’t pushing ourselves to discover new layers of who God is and who we are in Him, when we coop ourselves up into ministry areas that we don’t have a heart for anymore, when we aren’t stretching our hearts and souls by serving others and caring for people beyond ourselves, we can get bored, restless, and can find ourselves getting into mischief.  We start thinking of ourselves before thinking of glorifying God.  Our flabby spiritual muscles allow us to give in to temptations that provide immediate satisfaction but long term destruction.  I’m sure Kensie quite enjoyed those shoelaces at the time!  But the pleasure was short lived, as it often is when we lose focus of living for our Lord. 

We’ve got to make some changes at home so that Kensie will put her energy into healthy activities that will enrich her days instead of get her into trouble.  And maybe we humans should check our routines, too.  Are you getting the spiritual exercise that you need to grow and enrich your days?   If you’re ever feeling stuck, we’ve got plenty of Spiritual Personal Trainers available to help you get in shape! 

If you see me walking Kensie around the neighborhood, be sure to wave! 




Posted by: lanceandjenn | October 16, 2008

First Frost

Well this summer was my first experience of trying to grow my own food.  It was a ton of fun to watch our vegetables grow.  It was even more fun picking them from the vine.  Unfortunately, the first frost has come and has wiped out our vegetables.  We were able to pick some zucchini, tomatoes, and cucumbers before the first frost.  So we’ll have some more zucchini bread and salads to look forward to.  I feel that through my first attempts of gardening I have excelled in my spiritual life.  I started with soil that needed crap/fertilizer to fill it with crucial nutrients.  Next I picked out plenty of vegetables some of them did great and others not so much.  I learned that I had to water my garden everyday and watch it.  It took over a month for our first tomato to come up but with that came the joy of being a farmer.

I feel like a lot of the people I have been mentoring have come with just that.  I helped them in thier lives to see how the crap inside them can be used to create fruit.  We tried many different things and some worked.  One thing that was really important was to continually keep in touch and help them along the way.  Nothing compares to the fruit that comes from their ministry.  I feel God is doing an amazing thing and am very thankful for where he has placed us. 

As we step into this next season I pray that I might learn of the beauty of the changing of leaves and seeing how important warmth is when it gets cold.  How have the seasons been impactful to your spiritual walk?

Posted by: lanceandjenn | October 8, 2008

Here is a link to the Article

Posted by: lanceandjenn | September 29, 2008

The Paper

I was so encouraged this last week because the Daily Times our local paper for the Four Corners wrote a whole page on our new service.  They called me early in the week to ask if they could do an article on us and I felt like that was a good idea.  The best part was they did an excellent job with the article.

I felt a little concerned because I have been misquoted before and that is never fun.  My favorite misquote has to be “I think hate crimes are bad.”   Someone called me and spoke to me for a half hour and that was the most they could get out of our conversation.  What a joke.  Anyways, this one went really well so excellente and thank Daily times.

Have you ever been misquoted?



Posted by: lanceandjenn | September 24, 2008

Surprised by Hope

I just watched this and also am a fan of NT Wright and his works Surprised by Hope is on my bookshelf.  Once, I read more and more about the after after life I became a lot more excited about why we need wholistic ministries.

What do you think?



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