Blog Archives

5 Keys to Common Sense Biblical Counseling

Now, I’m not talking about the kind of counseling where you need a plaque on the wall to do it. I’m talking about the “‘down and dirty’ representing Jesus to help someone” kind of counseling. As Christians, we are called to be available to help others throughout life.

Let me give you five quick keys to making sure that your Biblical Counseling time is fruitful:

Key #1: Keep Christ First and Last

If you are going to sit down and provide someone with counsel, make sure that you start and end the time in prayer. This is the moment where you can invite the Holy Spirit to be part of the conversation. Ask Him to lead the conversation and help you hear what needs to be heard. Too often we just dive right in without taking time to pray. Take a few minutes to focus on God… it will make all the difference in the world.

Key #2: Listen More Than You Talk

This simple key has revolutionized my ability to counsel. There is something about silence that makes us want to fill it. I get uncomfortable when no one is saying anything so I try to fill it with words. When counseling, you need to embrace the silence. Sometimes, the silence allows the opportunity for the person you are counseling to say what they normally avoid saying. Don’t be afraid to sit, be silent and let THEM fill the void.

Key #3: Don’t Excuse Behavior or Make Excuses for Them

In the past, I would find myself trying to defend or “make sense” of people’s situations. This is not my responsibility. Trust me… people can make enough excuses for themselves and they don’t need my help. I am not here to justify mistakes or actions that they have done, but simply hear them through. Bite your tongue next time and don’t let yourself make excuses.

Key #4: Delineate Between the Need for an Ear and the Need for Advice

Sometimes people just want someone to listen to them. In fact, I’ve found that some people can actually come up with great conclusions for their lives by simply hearing themselves speak. Others, however, need an action plan or steps to apply to their lives by you. As you are counseling them, try to keep an ear open to what their need is. This can happen by asking them near the end of your time, “What are you going to do with what we talked about?” If they don’t have an answer, this may the moment for your two cents.

Key #5: Don’t Tell Them What to Do, But Allow Them to Search Scripture and Pray to Make Decisions

In Biblical Counseling, I want to point people to the Bible and Prayer. God wants to speak to His children. He wants to lead them in their decisions. The more that I can get someone to focus their heart, mind and attention on God… the more wisdom they will be able to attain from Him. This will happen, sometimes, by opening up the Bible and pointing to verses that deal with the subject of the counseling time. It can also come from giving them portions of scripture to read, think about and commit to memory. Point them towards spiritual action and you allow them to develop strong, healthy habits.

There it is! A few keys to help you help others. Now, get out there and get busy helping people make great decisions and find wholeness in their hearts and lives.

– Pastor Greg

Remnant Youth Ministry

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Hey guys, Pastor Jeremy here. I just wanted to give you a little bit of an update on what’s going on with our Remnant Youth Ministry. We’ve been averaging over 30 kids every week, and have an amazing group of teen leaders! We have youth helping out in many areas of the church including kids ministry, worship, first impressions, and in the sound booth.

I am very excited about our current message series. We have been spending the last few weeks talking about purity. It has been an amazing time where we have discussed purity of the soul, purity of the body, and purity of the mind. We started off talking about purity of the soul, because we believe that purity in our lives starts by being right with God. Then we moved on to purity of the body where we talked about some of the issues kids will deal with. We discussed drugs and alcohol, body image, and sexual relationships. We will be following this up with purity of the mind, which one really delve into the way we think about purity in out lives. Now this is where you can help out. At the end of the series we want all of the kids to make a purity pledge, and have a special ceremony where they will all receive purity rings. We have kids from a wide range of home situations. Some of these families cannot afford these rings. If you would be willing to help sponsor a youth so they can receive a ring we would love to have your support. If you are interested please contact me at jeremycourliss@gmail.com or call me at 520-518-0742.

Thank you so much for your prayers in your support. Continue to pray as we move forward and complete the series.

Bible College Classes in Wickenburg! “The University” at THE PLACE launches Spring 2014

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THE PLACE Church is taking a step towards greater Biblical education and has partnered with Portland Bible College to make this a reality by launching their new CERT Program (Christian Education Resurgence Training). This means that there is an opportunity for actual Bible College classes in Wickenburg, AZ. These videos are actual recordings from classrooms at the Bible College and are offered at only $25 each with THE PLACE subsidizing the difference.

The Spring Semester launches in January with three potential options:

Tuesday and Thursday Mornings: New Testament Survey

Launches on January 7, 2013. 8:30am – 9:30am.

The New Testament introduces an exciting new dynamic into the scripture – the work of Jesus Christ on the cross and the work of the Holy Spirit. This course will help establish for the student seamless connection and continuity between the Old Testament and the New Testament. Equally important this class will provide the student with the historical and cultural backdrop that influenced the writing of each of the New Testament’s 27 books. By grasping the original intent of each book, the audience it was written to, and the unique challenges and events being addressed by the author, the believer can better comprehend and apply the timeless truths the text contains.  The course begins with an overview of the history, political structure, sociological groups, religion, and philosophical mindset of the first century world. The course then proceeds to examine each of the 27 books that comprise the New Testament. This examination will include each book’s historical context, the circumstances surrounding their writing, their author, the date and the main messages being presented.

Tuesday Evenings: Old Testament History

Launches on January 7, 2013. 7:00pm – 9:00pm.

Old Testament History has the reputation among PBC students as one of the best courses offered at the college. Under the instruction of Ken Malmin, the historical journey of the nation Israel and the key characters of that era, literally come to life. Section one features the stories found in the books of Joshua and Judges.  The book of Joshua retells the inspiring and incredible winning streak that Israel experienced under Joshua’s leadership. It is an excellent study on how to fulfill our individual destinies and how to move into the purposes and promises of God for our lives.  The book of Judges examines the rollercoaster capacity within people to serve God during one season and abandon Him during others. These books show us how to learn from both positive and negative examples of Israel’s experience.

At Home Study: Old Testament Survey

Available on January 1, 2013

More than sixty percent of the Bible is contained in the Old Testament. Yet, the material seems so different from the life we live today that it can be difficult to see the merit of studying it. This course will bring these ancient texts to life by exploring each of the 39 Old Testament books in light of their historical context, circumstances surrounding the writing, author, date, and the primary messages within them. The truth is, without basic knowledge and understanding of the events, people, laws and religious practices in the Old Testament, it is impossible to fully understand and appreciate many of the concepts, principles and doctrines expressed in the New Testament.

To Sign up to Learn More… Click Here -> http://bit.ly/1bqznL5

Decisive Moments: 3 Recent Changes

Recently, at THE PLACE, we have made some changes that are proving to be decisive moments in our church body. They haven’t been major changes, but subtle shifts that have helped us make big decisions in the direction and future of the congregation. We believe that these decisions are Biblical and stand to help us follow the call of Jesus Christ in our community. Without any further ado, here are the changes and our commitments:

We are committed…

To Minimize Debt

We were recently at a crossroad where we could have taken on a significant amount a debt for a new facility. All the pieces were in place and the option was on the table, but there was an uneasiness in the hearts of the leaders to move forward. We made a decision that we are called to lead with the future in mind and, by stretching the congregation financially, we were putting the church on shaky ground.

We still believed that God could move and that God could do a miracle in the midst of that moment. But, we also knew that God had given us His principles throughout Scripture and His Holy Spirit to guide us. In that moment, we weren’t being guided to take on this debt. In fact, we were being guided to do just the opposite. We were being called to minimize debt, pray and watch God lead us to our next facility.

To Raise Up Leaders

We also saw the need for more leaders to be developed. This was two fold. On one end, we knew that we needed more leaders to do the work of the ministry. But, on the other end, we saw a hunger in the hearts of people to develop as leaders. We knew that we had to do something to “officially” teach and empower our church in the principles and concepts of Godly leadership. This led us into partnership with Portland Bible College.

We found a course entitled “Leading People” that was offered to be taught through lessons which were recorded during the actual classes at the college. In other words, we were able to offer “college level” courses to those interested in developing their leadership edge. We started this course last month and have received incredible feedback about the format and the wisdom that is being gained. We look forward to adding more correspondence courses in 2014.

To Take Discipleship Seriously

Through examining Scriptures and praying for the direction of THE PLACE, we have decided that we are not going to count success in the same way as many other churches. Many churches gauge their success with two numbers: attendance and offering. We are going to gauge our success through the mandate given by Jesus Christ in Matthew 28. We will focus our attention to making disciples.

Last month we began taking people through “one on one” discipleship. These people meet for 45-60 minutes a week and go through a lesson with a “discipler”. There is a time for prayer and questions and accountability. Each one of these people will be challenged to take one person through the series of lessons once they reach the halfway mark. We will begin to live by this slogan, “Each one, Make one”. In other words, we need to be a disciple and we need to make a disciple. This simple truth will be the guiding light for our congregation.

This is just a little peek into a few of the changes we have seen as a congregation. The last four years has been an epic adventure as we’ve seen the small group of 12 people grow into a congregation of over 250. But, we know that this will only continue when we are financially wise leaders who are raising up disciples. When we take these attributes and build on the solid rock of Jesus, we are sure to have a “generational church” which will last for years to come! 

Pastor Greg

If you would like to see our newest sermon series, click here and find the banner “Your Church, My Church, Our Church”. Also, if you want to go through our video teaching of “Christianity 101”, click here and begin your journey with Jesus. Remember… God has an amazing plan for your life! Surrender everything to Him and great things are sure to follow. 

THE PLACE takes over old Tattoo Shop in Wickenburg

I am so excited to announce that THE PLACE is taking over the old tattoo shop at 854 West Wickenburg Way!

New Church OfficesNew Church Offices

This will become the new site of our church offices and the new home of “Logos Spiritual Library”. This Spiritual Library has thousands of books, DVDs, CDs, and more that are available for check out to those in the town. As a church we believe that the entire community should be shaped spiritually by our presence in it. Because of this, we can’t wait to finish renovations so that the library will have regular hours throughout the week. Check out some of the current photos.

Future Logos/Coffee-shop SiteFuture Logos/Coffee-shop Site
IMG_1694Future Logos/Coffee-shop Site
Future Kids Section of LogosFuture Kids Section of Logos
Future Office AreaFuture Office Area
Unfinished Offices in Rear of BuildingUnfinished Offices in Rear of Building    

Please continue to pray for us as we work hard to improve our community and shine the light of Jesus to the world! We are continuing to be good stewards with all that He brings us and leverage our resources for the Kingdom! We couldn’t do it without each of you!

Thank you for standing with us.

GP

Former Suns Gorilla Preaching at THE PLACE in July 2013

THE PLACE is pleased to announce that nationally recognized speaker and former Phoenix Suns gorilla, Henry Rojas, will be speaking for two Sundays next month. Mr. Rojas will be speaking at all three of THE PLACE’s services, 830am, 945am or 1115am, for two weeks in a row – Sunday, July 7th and Sunday, July 14th.

Henry Rojas

Henry Rojas: Speaker, World Changer and Former Phoenix Suns Gorilla 

Growing up he was a class clown, a basketball fanatic and the baby of the family. Nearly all of his adult life he has been a dad and being a young dad matured him as he developed into a family counselor, teen mentor, Presbyterian youth pastor, American Baptist Associate Pastor, Missionary Alliance interim pastor and non-denominational preacher. He founded a non-profit ministry called Lifestories to prevent hurting families and teens from needing intrusive intervention. He was the Director of Christian Growth Services and Chaplain at Remuda Ranch.

Henry’s life will be featured in an upcoming ESPN documentary and he speaks to colleges, public schools, and keynote for conferences and retreats. He also meets privately with individuals seeking meaning in their own life story as a spiritual director. Henry says his richest achievement is learning to let God love him.

THE PLACE invites you out to see Henry Rojas and deepen your relationship with God. Learn more at their website www.theplaceaz.com .

THE PLACE has Sunday Services at 830a, 945a or 1115a

Henry Rojas will be speaking on July 7th and July 14th.

You’re Invited to a Candlelight Christmas

Christmas Eve Service

Come join THE PLACE as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, in a special candlelight service.

The title of the night is “Storyline” and we will hear how the stories of so many different people tied into the ultimate storyline of God. In the same way that their stories tie in… your story does too. Come on out and see how!

Monday, December 24th

6pm or 8pm

864 West Wickenburg Way

www.theplaceaz.com

For more information, email the church office at theplaceaz@gmail.com.

Cooking Christmas Day 9

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PEANUT BRITTLE
Submitted by Betty Matiska
2 cups white sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp. soda
1 lb. raw peanuts
salt
Boil sugar, corn syrup and water until it threads, add peanuts, boil until syrup looks golden brown. Stir in soda just befor removing from heat.  Pour onto buttered cookie sheets, spreading to one peanut thickness.  Sprinkle with salt.  Cool.

Cooking Christmas Day 1

smoothie

OK. I’m into smoothies now and I absolutely LOVE them. One trip to Jamba Juice had me hooked. Now I make them every day and try all kinds of different things. Here is a good one that is packed with vitamins and good stuff for you. I hope you enjoy!

GP Smoothie

1/2 cup cranberry juice

1/2 cup orange juice

1 banana

1/4 cup frozen strawberries

1/4 cup frozen blueberries

2 scoops non fat frozen yogurt (any flavor,but orange is my fave)

1/4 cup fresh (or frozen) spinach (don’t worry… you won’t even taste it and it’s packed with good stuff for you)

1 1/2 cup ice

Take it all and blend it up! I use a Ninja (look them up, they are awesome), but a normal blender will probably work well too. Pour into a glass and enjoy. It tastes great and it’s great for you… now that’s a wonderful combo!

GP

Community Picnic at Aztec Mobile Home Park (photos)

On April 14, 2012, THE PLACE decided to have a church picnic. However, instead of the normal inclusive picnics that are solely for the members of the church, we decided to take our picnic to a public venue… and the natural location for us to go was a trailer park… so Aztec Mobile Home Park became our venue.

There were many reasons why this was the perfect location, but the greatest one was the wonderful Park Manger named Pat who is a member of THE PLACE. She works tirelessly in the park to help the many residents and we saw this as a great opportunity to be a blessing to her and the people that she has grown to love so much.

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Aztec Mobile Home Park in Wickenburg 

 

When we first showed up, I (Pastor Greg) had the opportunity to go trailer to trailer with my translator and past missionary pastor Roy and invite every family to the picnic. Everyone was so happy that we would come out and the kids were super stoked to have some new faces in the park. We wanted to do everything first class and simply wanted to bless the socks off our new friends.

We decided to have our grill master Tom barbecue up some Tri-Tip which was SO GOOD! All I heard all day long was how impressed everyone was this amazing meal. Many went back for seconds and thirds and even fourths (including me! Shhhhh. I did fifths too 😉 

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Tearing up Chef Tom's Tri-Tip

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Enjoying a Great Meal!

In addition to the amazing food, we had one of the members from THE PLACE who owns an interactive game company called Party Outfitters bring the “bouncing giraffe” to hang out with us for a while. This was a HUGE hit with the kids. They were lined up in front of that thing until we pulled out of the park 3 1/2 hours later.

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The Party Outfitter Giraffe

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We had a line all day long at the bouncing giraffe

All in all, the day was more than we could have asked. As a church, we were able to be salt and light to our community. At one table, I started a conversation with a mom who had four kids running around her. She barely spoke English and through an interpreter I was able to share about the church with her. I told her how our heart is to reach all people and that we had Spanish interpretation at our 11:15am service. She was amazed. She hadn’t been to church since she moved to Wickenburg because there wasn’t a “Christian” church that spoke her language. I smiled big and told her…

“There is now a church for you in Wickenburg.”

It was a beautiful moment. The kind that you can only pray to have and when it actually happens you are speechless. That moment was one of many that we have been experiencing lately at THE PLACE. Please continue to pray for us as we work hard to shine Jesus’ light to our community… and ultimately the world. 

Much Love,

GP