"Real change happens when we acknowledge that God alone can change us."
My Education, Experience, and Mission
On a personal level, I am a genuine and compassionate person. I care deeply about the well-being of the people around me, while recognizing that human suffering is part of our world. I’m good at observing what is really going on, and I love to encourage people to grow into their potential. I do a great job of seeing people’s strengths and helping them accept their weaknesses so that they can take their needs to God our Father Who is the only One Who can meet our deepest needs. I think He is wonderful, and I can’t stop talking about Him all the time.
For those who like to know what a person’s credentials are... I have a PhD in psychology from Texas A&M University. I worked in the psychology field for over 20 years, in private practice, community clinics, nursing homes, universities, and medical schools such as UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX. In my last academic job, I was doing too much paperwork and following too many institution rules. How was this helping anybody? Happily, I left the academic world behind in 2015. Since then, I have re-discovered my ability to get to the heart of the matter and my own sense of humor in communicating the bottom line.
Now I take my knowledge of psychology, relationship attachment, and the nervous system and teach people how to use this in their spiritual life. People often ask, “is there any common ground between psychology and our relationship with the Lord God?” Granted, psychology has been closely linked with secular humanism in the past.The difference is now in this decade, we have hard facts about our brains and nervous system.
Some great books in this area come from Curt Thompson, a Christian neuro-psychiatrist and his explanations of healing from shame (https://curtthompsonmd.com/). Another author that I like is Peter Scazzero who wrote Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: It's Impossible to Be Spiritually Mature, While Remaining Emotionally Immature.
Okay, yes, I am a neuroscience geek BUT, I am not going to get into any of those complications. Your eyes would glaze over. When I speak and teach, I simplify for you my study of about 30 years, books, classes, research and everything I have pursued in understanding how God made our bodies and brains.
I’ve done the hard work of reading and made it practical. You know: get to the heart of the matter and get rid of abstract, academic answers. (By the way, you have my permission to call me out on this one in case I don't notice your eyes glazing over). I also get rid of the "churchy" and psuedo-spiritual sounding answers. God made each one of us with a mind, a will, and emotions! We get to experience these miracles and sometimes wild roller coaster rides everyday. Instead of accessible, our churches often make the faith walk difficult to understand. Sometimes when I hear a sermon on these topics, I wonder if the preacher is speaking in Latin.
I've turned this information about how God made our brains and nervous systems into fun, interactive workshops and groups so that you can explore and experience it for yourself. Discovering your identity in God is an adventure when you have some ideas of where to look. It’s like finding puzzle pieces to a breathtaking picture or finding clues to buried treasure.
Why Biblical Truth
The short answer is that the secular approach to counseling or coaching teaches you new ways to “lean on your own understanding” rather than trusting God. Real change happens when we admit to God and to others that we can’t fix ourselves and acknowledge that God alone can change us.
I observed that secular psychology can make small improvements, but I wanted to see life change. Many people would feel better for a short time and then fall down the rabbit hole again. All the best methods of my education didn't allow people to really change their life; they couldn't maintain the improvements in positive emotion and outlook. Standard worldly techniques are not the long-term answer that I hoped they would be.
The answer came when I began to understand character. Psychology and our entertainment-driven world is obsessed with personality, but God is interested in our character. Psychology says that someone with repeated and life-long unhealthy patterns of thinking and behaving has a personality disorder that is almost impossible to improve. However, a book entitled Bold Love opened my eyes to the power of God's love changing us. From the back cover, "We’ve come to view love as being “nice,” yet the kind of love modeled by Jesus Christ has nothing to do with manners or unconditional acceptance. Far from helping you “get along” with others, Bold Love introduces the outlandish possibility of making a significant, life-changing impact on family, friends, coworkers―even your enemies.” This is what I had been searching for all my life.
I began to see the power of God's word working in the life of every believer. I had spent 12 years in higher education and more than 10 years in psychology practice but had to face the reality that no amount of human knowledge could compare with God's power, mercy, compassion, and love. Like the apostle Paul, I had to admit about my psychology training, "I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done." Philippians 3:7
In the last 14 years I have experienced the healing of God's word in my own life and witnessed it in others through Life Recovery Groups. Life Recovery is not just for alcohol and drug addiction. Christ-centered life recovery is for any sin problem no matter how “small” (i.e., little white lies and gossip) or large. I attended Celebrate Recovery for seven years and completed four Christ-centered 12-step groups to overcome the habit of people pleasing. I also celebrate victory over perfectionism, workaholism, anger, and resentment.
My mission now is to help others see the patterns that keep them from living with contentment and peace. For example, the secular world doesn’t see that people pleasing is a problem. People pleasing is almost the definition of being “nice” and “helpful.” In the world’s view, workaholism is not seen as a flaw, but celebrated as a way to be successful. It doesn't mean that I am “fixed” and do everything perfectly. It means that I now know Who to run to when I am weak. Which of course means every day. It also means that I have compassion for your struggle. I encourage you to change your relationship with God so that you can truly find comfort and strength in God’s love rather than following a list of rules.
I won’t give you the usual Christian answer which is to pray more and read the Bible more. These are important but that answer alone is too simplistic. We need an honest and authentic community of believers to help us live out God’s word: to understand the application and to practice applying it to our lives every day.
What Others Say About Me
“I liked your style in the workshop. [You are] down-to-earth and tell it like it is.” – Christian Counseling Association Annual Meeting
Rob E., McKinney
"Jae, I liked the handouts and information you gave in your talk so much that I used it the next week in meeting with my men’s group. " - Invited talk on brain development in adolescents
“Delivery of material was excellent. Heartfelt and speaks with passion and experience. Very genuine and authentic.” - TCOG Area Agency on Aging Seminar