My favorite part about teaching at Johnson is: Seeing the students make a connection in what we are trying to teach them. I love to see the passion come alive for them and see them make a genuine connection related to their calling. I believe that I am called by God to water and it’s God who gives the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6). Students who are passionate about their educational calling are a joy to work with. I believe that as teachers, we are part of God’s plan to equip and instruct in such a way that prepares them to walk boldly in the calling upon their lives. In doing so, God provides a snapshot of not only who they are, but what they are called to become.
When I’m not teaching, I love to: Spend time with my family and just slow down a bit. I love working out and going to the gym when I am able. I have several hobbies, one of them being yard work. I can take an afternoon and spend it quietly just reading or watching a sporting event. I am also known to enjoy going to a museum and learning something new. When time allows, I love to go to new places and enjoy the vastness found in God’s creation.
In my classes, students can expect: To gain new insights and learn something new. Students can expect to be challenged and gain new levels of understanding. I believe education is an experience and God provides us with the opportunity to grow and gain new wisdom. I want students to achieve that understanding through the gift that knowledge presents. In doing so, life-changing wisdom is achieved (Proverbs 4:7). The core of my teaching philosophy is like that of a carpenter. A carpenter is a skilled craftsman who never leaves home without his tool bag. Carpenters use long-held skills, patience, and wisdom in creating and repairing. Having said that, carpenters repair, fix, teach, and make new out of raw materials. In a word, therefore, I believe I am called to teach. This is not something I take lightly. God has carefully and skillfully crafted my mind, heart, soul, and spirit to implant information into the minds and souls of others. He has communicated to me that my tools include a zest for learning, a desire to impart information, and an intense desire to mold and shape the zest for learning in others.
My best advice to a new student in my program is: Embrace counseling as a ministry and not just something we do. I believe that helping others is a calling that is not for everyone. Many are called but few are chosen. There is a spiritual connection that God allows when we connect with the hurts of others. I would suggest gaining a firm foundation in God’s word and how it applies in healing the hurts of others. I would encourage an open mind and heart that are receptive to what God is going to pour into you. It is here that we come to a greater knowledge of God’s purpose for our lives as counselors. Lastly, be prepared to work. Preparation takes an investment in time, hard work, and application. I think you will see your hard work rewarded often through the transformation of human lives and the power of God’s restoration.
Because of my influence, I most want my students to become: Renewed and ready for every good work, totally trusting God in all things, acknowledging him in all you do, and he shall direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). Counseling is challenging and you will be stretched. Yet this stretching has a divine purpose. I often view counselors as an extension of hope and healing. Faith-based counseling is more than just an opportunity to help someone. It is an opportunity to help others to connect in such a way that they know hope is more than a word but an experience that will transform their lives.
The myth-busting truth about my discipline I most want people to understand is: Counseling is a bridge that connects people in ways so much deeper than just feeling better. We understand in 1 Corinthians 1:3-5 that not only are we comforted in our own tribulations by God but we may be a comfort to those in trouble with the same comfort we have been given. Counseling is not just receiving but it’s redemptive. We are essentially joined with Christ to be comforters through the process of healing that our Lord orchestrates. Through the comfort, healing, and restoration counseling provides, there is a deeper connection and human experience.
A quote that influences how I live is: “The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility” (Proverbs 15:33, NKJV).
Developing a reverence of divine fear of the Lord is wise as it will guard your heart, ensure a sober mind, and develop a deep sense of purpose.