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Your Failures Don’t Disqualify You from God’s Best

3 steps to replacing the critical voices in your head

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where someone was unabashedly destroying you with their words. Tell me if any of this sounds familiar “You stupid idiot, why did you do that?” Or how about “Can’t you do anything right?” Or how about “You are not as pretty as, smart as, fast as, rich as, loved as…the list seems to never end.” If you have ever been talked to like this you know how awful it feels. How we can feel paralyzed and hopeless when someone who is close to us criticizes us like this. How can we value ourselves if someone who is supposed to be for us betrays us like this? Many of us have had a parent talk to us like this. Others, like me, have suffered feeling not good enough by the absence of a parent. But right now I am not talking about any of them. I am talking about you. What if this is the way your internal critic talks to you. Ouch!

The great news is today is your day to take back control. God did not wire us to tolerate critical and abusive words. He wired us to live and give love and that is where we are headed today. You have already done Step one and that’s identify the critical voices that are not serving you well.

Step two is to identify who they sound like from your present or past. If you are not sure then ask if it sounds like a male you know or a female you know. Sometimes you may need to pray and listen to identify the origins. When you get the answer write it down.

Step three is to look up in your Bible (or just ask Alexa) who God says you are. Ask how much He loves you and how He sees you. Does he think you are worthy of love, intelligent, good enough, and worth fighting for? If you are still not sure then Jesus dying to take your place is a good start.

Step Four is where the rubber meets the road and you activate God’s truth in your life. Select the top 5 scriptures and phrases you have found and immerse yourself in them. Do this a minimum of three focused times per day. This could look like morning, noon and night. In addition to reading and memorizing what is true, where a rubber band or set alerts on your phone to remind you to look at them throughout the day. And every time the negative voices begin spewing their venom choose to replace them with God’s truth. And watch your belief system slowly but surely begin to shift.

Shawn Maguire is a Licensed Professional Therapist who has served marriages, families and individuals for almost 25 years. He is the owner of New Vision Counseling, a place where therapists integrate. their faith with cutting edge counseling techniques to offer hope and healing in any circumstance of life. You can find out more about Shawn and his team at NewVisionCounseling.org or follow him on facebook and Instagram at NewVisionCounseling.

Your Comeback is Way Better than Your Set Back

Have you ever felt taken out by a person or a circumstance and felt like all hope was lost? Maybe that’s where you’re at today? This reminds me of a man in the Bible named Peter. Peter was the kind of guy who went all out for Jesus. He left his family and fishing career and was the guy who walked on water for at least a minute. Peter was rewarded by seeing miracles, being one of the 12 disciples and even an intimate part of Jesus’ most trusted inner circle of three. They ate together, traveled and ministered together and talked about issues like who would be the greatest. Peter’s dream of restoring Israel back to her former glory was happening and he was at the center of it all. He even told Jesus that even if everyone else deserted Him, he would not. For Peter, life was great.

And then Judas betrays Jesus and the life that he knows is jeopardized. But Peter is fierce and doesn’t go down without a fight. He brandishes his sword and defends his Jesus and the dream life he has been living. What happens next was the beginning of the end for Peter and the life he knew. Jesus tells Peter to put the sword away then heals the man Peter wounded. Soon after, the son of God who cast out demons and raised the dead was taken prisoner.

This was too much for Peter and he fled. He fled because everything he thought to be true had just been wrecked. Peter lingered at a distance and denied knowing Jesus three times as Jesus was being judged. He had lost his identity because his identity was in the dream of who he wanted Jesus to be and not who Jesus really was. And then Jesus was crucified and the finality of his loss was made certain. This was Peter’s darkest hour.

But then the resurrection and hope was restored! Jesus met up with Peter as the risen King. He then asked Peter 3 times “Do you love me?” The conversation reached the point where Peter was really hurt and said “You know I love you.” Jesus had to acknowledge the depth of shame and pain Peter felt in his failure and lost identity to prepare Peter to receive a new one. This would be Peter’s come back. Then Jesus said “go and feed my sheep”. This is the equivalent of Jesus saying your shame and failures do not disqualify you from your calling. I am validating you as a loved child of God who is qualified by what I have done. The focus has now shifted from Peter’s identity being in his beliefs and abilities to Jesus and who He says Peter is.

How have you experienced a set back or felt like a failure?
Pray and ask God to show you how he wants to take you from Set Back to Come Back?

Shawn Maguire is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has served marriages, families and individuals for almost 25 years. He is the owner of New Vision Counseling, a place where therapists integrate their faith with cutting edge counseling techniques to offer hope and healing in any circumstance of life. You can find out more about Shawn and his team at NewVisionCounseling.org or follow him on facebook and Instagram

4 Steps to Silence and Replace the Critical Voices in Your Life

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where someone was unabashedly destroying you with their words. Tell me if any of this sounds familiar “You stupid idiot, why did you do that?” Or how about “Can’t you do anything right?” Or how about “You are not as pretty as, smart as, fast as, rich as, loved as the list seems to never end.” If you have ever been talked to like this you know how awful it feels. How we can feel paralyzed and hopeless when someone who is close to us criticizes us like this. How can we value ourselves if someone who is supposed to be for us betrays us like this? Many of us have had a parent talk to us like this. Others, like me, have suffered feeling not good enough by the absence of a parent. But right now I am not talking about any of them. I am talking about you. What if this is the way your internal critic talks to you. Ouch!

The great news is today is your day to take back control. God did not wire us to tolerate critical and abusive words. He wired us to live and give love and that is where we are headed today. You have already done Step one and that’s identify the critical voices that are not serving you well.

Step two is to identify who they sound like from your present or past. If you are not sure then ask if it sounds like a male you know or a female you know. Sometimes you may need to pray and listen to identify the origins. When you get the answer write it down.

Step three is to look up in your Bible (or just ask Alexa) who God says you are. Ask how much He loves you and how He sees you. Does he think you are worthy of love, intelligent, good enough, and worth fighting for? If you are still not sure then Jesus dying to take your place is a good start.

Step Four is where the rubber meets the road and you activate God’s truth in your life. Select the top 5 scriptures and phrases you have found and immerse yourself in them. Do this a minimum of three focused times per day. This could look like morning, noon and night. In addition to reading and memorizing what is true, where a rubber band or set alerts on your phone to remind you to look at them throughout the day. And every time the negative voices begin spewing their venom choose to replace them with God’s truth. And watch your belief system slowly but surely begin to shift.

Shawn Maguire is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has served marriages, families and individuals for almost 25 years. He is the owner of New Vision Counseling, a place where therapists integrate. their faith with cutting edge counseling techniques to offer hope and healing in any circumstance of life. You can find out more about Shawn and his team at NewVisionCounseling.org or follow him on facebook and Instagram at NewVisionCounseling

How a Funeral can Help You Overcome Fear of Rejection

For most of my life I have been ruled by fear of rejection. I remember being paralyzed in elementary school when they were picking teams for kickball at recess. I wanted to be picked first, but kids picked their best friends first so I was left somewhere in the middle or end. Sometimes I wouldn’t even play. In junior high I was afraid to ask questions in many classes because I didn’t want to look dumb and be made fun of. As a result my grades were average because I didn’t ask for help. And I won’t even go into how many countless opportunities fear of rejection stole from me in college, my career and potential relationships. Lets just say the words painful and regret come to mind. Can you relate?

You may be wondering how this relates to a funeral? Great question and this story will explain how. I remember being at a loved ones funeral several years ago. I looked around and it was a big church with only about fifty people in attendance. I was hoping more people would come to my funeral. The pastor got up and shared some obscure story about the man that further validated my suspicion that the pastor didn’t really know the deceased. I couldn’t help but thinking this guy lived into his seventies and this is it! Only 50 people say you are important enough to take off work and be inconvenienced for an afternoon.

I remember reading a book that stated at most funerals 10 or less people actually shed more then a few tears and actually cry. And the number one factor determining whether or not 50 % of the people go to the gravesite is the weather. So this man lived his whole life and the weather can sway someone that easily? Sadly, I don’t think I went to his gravesite so I fell on the bottom half of the 50%. If he got another chance I wonder what he would do different. Do you think he would have let fear of rejection stop him? I mean, where were all the people he was afraid of? Where were all those he didn’t want to fail in front of or be rejected by? What about going for it in his career? Would he have chosen to go to school and do something other then manual labor all his life? Possibly?

At some point in the funeral I came to a conclusion. Do I want a church full of more then 50 people I have loved and who have loved me? Do I want more then 10 people to weep because of the impact I have had on their lives? Or do I want to continue living my life out of fear of not wanting to be embarrassed or out of my fear that compelled me to always please others? I thought, “I don’t care what they think of me anymore. “They” or the fear of being rejected by “Those people” has controlled me long enough! I think of a man named Oral Roberts who built a place called the “City of Faith” in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The city consisted of three skyscrapers built with the vision to bring all the healing power of God and medicine into one community to bring God’s best to all people. I bet when Oral arrived in Heaven God DIDN’T say; “Oral, I just wish you would have had a little more faith and and took a few more risks.” No, I bet He said “Well done; you believed me for everything and entered heaven having spent all his opportunities here on earth.”

I see the great men and women throughout history have one thing in common. They refused to allow the opinions of others, perceived or real, control them. And at their funerals families, communities and nations weep at their departure. I want to be such a person! How about you?

Shawn Maguire is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has over two decades of experience helping people heal from their past wounds and creating lives worth celebrating. He is the owner of New Vision Counseling where he works with a team of highly trained and compassionate therapists whose mission is to change the world by caring for one person at a time.

One Simple Step to Overcome Anxiety and Sadness with Joy

I don’t know what you believed growing up, but I thought it was all about me. I wanted my mom to serve me, buy for me, and take me places I enjoyed. When I dated girls I thought of how they could meet my needs. On my birthday I looked for people to make me feel special. It was about me, me, me… . This created a state of anxiety because rarely did anyone, including myself, meet the standard of what I needed to feel valued and satisfied. So I worked harder to get my needs met and became progressively more anxious and unhappy in the process. Can you relate?

God outlines a different way to live. He says to focus on how I can serve and bless others. To stop evaluating my happiness by what I get and live my life to invest in helping others get what they need. And as for me, look to God for my identity and for Him to meet my needs. This is more then a simple changing of the mind, it is a chaining of a belief system. A shift that says others are as valuable as me and worthy of my attention and investment. Today’s growth opportunity is to make this shift through Identifying three people you can serve in some way over the next week.

As you make this shift you really enjoy the coming changes. You will begin to experience the reward of your outlook on life growing brighter as you become a light to others and joy growing in your heart as you become a blessing to others. This simple yet profound principle of sowing and reaping will keep you on the bright side of life even when circumstances of life grow dark.

Shawn Maguire is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has served marriages, families and individuals for almost 25 years. He is the owner of New Vision Counseling, a place where therapists integrate their faith with cutting edge counseling techniques to offer hope and healing in any circumstance of life.

How Sports can Help You in Life

In so many ways life is like sports. So the question is, are you playing or are you a spectator? Sure, its fun to watch the Oklahoma City Thunder play. I get excited when they win and disappointed when they lose. But really, I don’t have any skin in the game.

Unfortunately, many of us have lived much of our lives as spectators. Instead of taking risks and pursuing friendships, jobs, and other opportunities we have settled for what comes to us easily. I hear so many clients talk about careers they wish they would have pursued in college but where afraid. I hear the previously married wish they would have tried harder before they lost their family through divorce. I am wondering what regrets you may be having as you are reading this?

The great news is that like sports, you can improve. There is usually a next season. You can seek out new players, new strategies, new locations as you learn from your mistakes and grow into who God made you to be. Refuse to let your past define you. Accept that life is not a spectator sport. It is a full contact sport that requires you to practice and play and then practice and play again. And win or lose the game goes on and so must you if you want Gods best for you and those you love.

Tonight, write out areas you want to improve in and the specific small steps that you can take to begin the process. You can do this, as God made you to win at your life!

For more information about our counseling services contact us at (405) 921-7776

One Myth About Change You Probably Still Believe

In our fast paced society we are taught to expect our food, movies, and now even dates to come to us on demand. And for a bonus, Staples can install an “Easy” button so that all this requires minimal effort. Wow, if that were only true in changing bad habits.

How hard is it to change a habit? Well, I know that for me it can be tough depending on the habit and its meaning. Recently, I sold my house of 14 years to my pastor. After we moved, guess where I went when I left work on more occasions then I want to admit? You guessed it, my previous house. Why did I keep doing this? It wasn’t because it was close to my new one, as it was in the opposite direction. It wasn’t because I missed it because I was really enjoying the new house and land we lived on. So why?

I continued going back to my past house because that is what I had done before. I did it without thinking about it. On my drive home I do things like pray, process my day, plan my evening and make phone calls. I was distracted and operating on autopilot. I remember on one occasion talking with my pastor and ending up on the road to my old house. So how did I change my unconscious autopilot?

I needed to be focused and intentional when I left work. This means I removed all distractions. I didn’t make calls, pray, or process my day until I was on the right road going the right direction. I had to do this many, many times before it became native to go to my new home. Thankfully, after five months the changes are sticking and my unconscious belief about my home has shifted from my old address to my new address.

I shared about going to a new home. Consider what home or habit you want to leave behind and what new place or habit you want to create. How can you be intentional in the little areas to have a big impact? And how can you ensure your success through doing these little activities daily?

For more information about marriage and family counseling contact us today at (405) 921-7776

The Best Thing I did For My Son

My son Hayden was turning 9, and I knew that his double digit trip was important. You may be thinking, what is a double digit and why is it important? Well, in America we don’t have clear transitions from boyhood to manhood. And boys DO NOT become Godly men by accident. We lack clear definitions and thus most boys learn to measure their progress into manhood by the billfold (money), the bedroom (sexual conquests) and the boardroom (success in careers). I wanted something different for my son and His double digit trip was his first ceremony that clearly defined and celebrated what that difference would be.

Hayden is an amazing boy, but we were having struggles with his relentless strong will which he demonstrated through arguing about most things, making excuses for behavior, and simply trying to get out of being responsible for himself. To guide me in my journey I researched Scriptures on Biblical manhood and read books like King Me (Steve Farrar) and Raising a Modern Day Knight (Robert Lewis). I also sought out the advice of men who had raised boys who became men who love Jesus. My son Hayden is a true warrior. And all warriors wield incredible power to help or to harm depending on who they serve and are loyal to. I, like many of you reading this, want my son to bend his knee and surrender his life to live for God and not self. So, you are likely wondering how the double digit trip helps? Great question.

First, the trip takes him away from his family, friends and normal life. We then have an open space and the margin for him to hear from me and God in ways that typically aren’t available in his normal routines. This was our “man’s” trip and he had looked forward to it since I took his sister on her double digit trip two years earlier.

Second, I wanted to grow closer in our relationship. And men and boys do this best through activities and most specifically adventures. You can go hiking, camping, fishing or something way different. We chose to go to Legoland, a marine wildlife center, six flags, and the zoo. We shared meals at fun restaurants. At the Rainforest restaurant the waiter had him standing on a seat by a Gorilla and beating his chest in front of the entire restaurant. In that moment he was ushered into bravery by a waiter who called him out to not be afraid of what people think. He was able to be himself and embrace the moment.

Third, I had very clear messages I wanted to sow into his heart. I wanted him to reject passivity, accept responsibility for himself and those God calls him to, and lead courageously no matter who follows. I shared these messages while we drove, on our adventures, and when we faced adversity during our trip. When you are looking for them, circumstances will provide the backdrop to teach these lessons. We were rained out on the day we planned to go to six flags and he was heart broken as this was the highlight of our trip for him. We prayed and discussed how God calls us to handle unmet expectations as we ate lunch. We then purchased ponchos and headed to the theme park. As soon as we parked and got our ponchos on the sun came out…Amazing! We were only a handful of people that were at the park because of the rain and we have a story about God’s faithfulness along with other situations that didn’t work out. We had the entire car ride home to process the adventures we had and the lessons we have learned. And by God’s grace and faithfulness, Hayden has accepted the calling up and has done better at rejecting passivity, accepting responsibility, and leading courageously since our trip.

So where are you today? You may feel like its too late or this is too overwhelming to even think about starting. I have great news, God is on your side. In Malachi 4:6 God says; “He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers.

* What are three actionable steps you can take this week to begin preparing to raise your son to become a Godly man?

Here is one step I took when I realized that I needed help. I sought out other Godly men who had sons and others that I knew would love my son and invest in him. I knew I couldn’t do this alone and you don’t have to either! And if you are a single mom this step is crucial because we cannot give away what we don’t possess.

Shawn Maguire is the Owner of New Vision Counseling in Oklahoma City OK where he serves with a team of counselors to help individuals, marriages, and families recapture the vision God has for their lives.

What to do When God doesn’t make sense

I grew up learning about God on Sunday mornings and was taught so many amazing attributes of God. I was told, that the God we serve, heals. The God we serve, will bless you financially, if you tithe. That He would give you strength in your time of need and even give you the words to speak in difficult situations. But, when I fell out of a tree and almost died, God didn’t supernaturally heal me. When I was bullied at school and prayed, I never saw angels with swords battle on my behalf. And when I had to do a presentation to get money for college, I froze and got $0. I grew up not understanding the disconnect between what the Bible said and the lack of inheriting those blessings. Why didn’t God move mountains for me? He said He would if I would just believe.

If you’re alive, then you have likely experienced your version of the blessings not coming right away. It’s likely you have felt despair and maybe even given up hope in God? I sure hope not, but if you have, then take heart. I am going to share how we can at least start to make sense of the disconnect between the Bible stating we have everything we need for life and Godliness, and the reality of where we, the broken vessels, really live. First, I have a confession to make. I confess that I spent much of my Christian life wanting to believe that God was all about blessing me. That he wanted me to live a comfortable life where I was patient in all circumstances and experienced His constant pleasure. That I was blessed coming in and blessed going out. Now, I have had moments and seasons more like that, but I don’t always live there. I think the proper term for that place is Heaven. The problem with this way of living was my expectations. I expected life to be easier than it was, and when I suffered, I felt like I was missing the mark. I felt like I was doing something wrong or not enough because I wasn’t receiving my inheritance now. When I started tithing, I was frustrated because I immediately expected a financial miracle. There was story after story about someone sowing into a ministry or making some obscure investment and then boom. The money began to pour in. I had also heard some suspect teaching that said if I would sow into their ministry I would be reaping a millionaire’s reward. I bought into the name it and claim it philosophy for a while. The way I believed it was that I could name purity and claim it without all the hard work. That I claim my financial inheritance without working for it because my God owns a cattle on a thousand hills. When I was at Oral Roberts University I tore my ACL in my knee playing basketball. I was prayed for by Oral Roberts and Benny Hinn for my torn ACL to be healed and I still needed surgery. How confusing. I was at the mecca for physical healing, prayed for by two ministers who have seen thousands healed…but not me?

So, what do we do with all that? I will tell you what I did. I continued tithing and I invested in a financial advisor, so I could save money every month. This empowered me to progressively step into my financial inheritance. Because I had a strong desire to stay pure before marriage, I sought out a high-level accountability. I was so serious about receiving my inheritance that I had to pay money if I chose to sin. In addition to that, I sought out a Godly counselor and began working through my issues related to rejection and value. And when it came to tearing my ACL in my knee, I had surgery and went to physical therapy every day for three months. I worked intensely to rehabilitate that knee. And God brought healing in His way and in His time. I also had to grieve that God didn’t supernaturally heal me because I really believed He would. I learned that I needed God to adjust my expectations of how I receive the inheritance.

Some people will say that all the blessings come through God’s grace and we are just to sit back and receive them. As my pastor AT Hargrave says, “Grace is not opposed to work, its opposed to earning.” Can you imagine how that would work in parenting? I also grew to realize that just because God promises us an inheritance doesn’t mean we automatically get it. The Bible tells a great parable about a prodigal son who squandered his inheritance and was starving to death because he received it before he was ready. And when that happens, it’s almost guaranteed to be wasted. King Saul could have been so much more, but he chose to live for this world. He allowed fear and jealousy to rob him of His relationship with God and eventually his life. What are you believing God for today? Are you expecting Him to bring your inheritance to you, or are you faithfully submitting your time and resources to God, so He can prepare you to receive it in due season?

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