• PERSONAL & MINISTRY UPDATE May 2020 Carrie and I wanted to share some news with you as this is a time of great change in our lives. Before you read on, nothing is wrong! It’s all good! Personal Update May has been a busy month as our son Ryan graduated from WTAMU with a BBA in Management, graduating pretty close to the top of his cohort, and is currently working for Faith City Mission helping lead their accounting and finance department. He is quickly having a positive impact on their daily operations. Pray for him as he has been given the opportunity to combine his desire for ministry with his business acumen. Our daughter Ashleigh graduated from high school as well this month! She was valedictorian of her home school class (of course you also know what that means on the other end of the spectrum)! Ashleigh is leaving in late July (pending COVID-19 restrictions) to travel with a road team from Life Action Ministries to help revitalize families and churches across the country. In addition, we are adding a daughter to our family, as Ryan and his fiancé, Taylour Weldon, tie the knot on June 12. Taylour also graduated in May from WTAMU with a degree in Social Work and is currently exploring options that combine her passion for ministry with her degree. She has been serving as the college intern at Paramount Baptist. She is a perfect complement to Ryan and we are grateful and full of joy that she is joining our family. Due to COVID-19, celebrations have had to be curtailed and plans have changed. Nothing has gone off as scheduled, as is probably the case in your family. Pray for us to handle our emotions well as we work through the change and as we launch our young adults into the world. We will be empty nester’s around August (depending upon Ashleigh’s departure date), and to that end, we’re getting a puppy! Piper is a female chocolate Labrador that will be joining our family around July 4th. Carrie and I are looking forward to this new companion. Please pray for us as we transition into life without our children at home. It’s a time of change and there are many unknowns, yet we are confident in God’s sovereignty in all and through all that will come our way as we walk in His peace and rest in His love during these challenging times. Ministry Update Our counseling load and depth of issues has increased this year. Carrie and I have been able to pursue our own individual, couple, and counseling growth in 2020. Our theme this year has been, “In Our Lives First,” taken from a book by the same name. The author, a counselor herself, has helped us better understand the work we do and its impact on our lives and souls. She has written and reminded us that there is a cost in doing this work, and we have to tend to our souls in relationship to Christ, because without this, we will either be destroyed by the work or will destroy those who come to us for help. She emphasizes that in following our call, we counsel in some hard and ugly places; places full of evil and darkness, deception, and the exploitation of others. 2020 has been especially vivid in the types of issues we are dealing with, much more so it seems than in the past. COVID-19 has shown signs of magnifying the difficulties of the issues we are working with. As Carrie and I bring the life and love of Jesus into flesh and blood realties in the lives of those we disciple, please pray for us. Here is the specific prayer that I’m asking you to pray. It comes from a teaching of Oswald Chambers. He says we must learn to “never allow anything to come between ourselves and Jesus Christ, no emotion, or experience; nothing must keep us from the one great sovereign source.” The Lord is opening some intriguing doors personally and for Biblical Solutions. Please know that we seek sound counsel and guidance as we move forward with new opportunities. There’s a new truth we are learning, “active patience.” As always, please continue to pray that the hearts of those who walk through the door (or meet us via technology) to be humble and open, and that they would be broken for the Lord by whatever means necessary. Difficult issues require difficult prayers. God hears them all. Thank you for your faithfulness. Walking by Faith, John & Carrie Echols
    1. published a newsletter

      ReadBiblical Solutions
      Empower ~ Equip ~ Encourage

      May 2020 Ministry Update

      Fb7ff9fde32f468eb2acf7ba31ee808d

      PERSONAL & MINISTRY UPDATE

      May 2020


      Carrie and I wanted to share some news with you as this is a time of great change in our lives. Before you read on, nothing is wrong! It’s all good!


      Personal Update


      May has been a busy month as our son Ryan graduated from WTAMU with a BBA in Management, graduating pretty close to the top of his cohort, and is currently working for Faith City Mission helping lead their accounting and finance department. He is quickly having a positive impact on their daily operations. Pray for him as he has been given the opportunity to combine his desire for ministry with his business acumen.


      Our daughter Ashleigh graduated from high school as well this month! She was valedictorian of her home school class (of course you also know what that means on the other end of the spectrum)! Ashleigh is leaving in late July (pending COVID-19 restrictions) to travel with a road team from Life Action Ministries to help revitalize families and churches across the country.


      In addition, we are adding a daughter to our family, as Ryan and his fiancé, Taylour Weldon, tie the knot on June 12. Taylour also graduated in May from WTAMU with a degree in Social Work and is currently exploring options that combine her passion for ministry with her degree. She has been serving as the college intern at Paramount Baptist. She is a perfect complement to Ryan and we are grateful and full of joy that she is joining our family.


      Due to COVID-19, celebrations have had to be curtailed and plans have changed. Nothing has gone off as scheduled, as is probably the case in your family. Pray for us to handle our emotions well as we work through the change and as we launch our young adults into the world. We will be empty nester’s around August (depending upon Ashleigh’s departure date), and to that end, we’re getting a puppy! Piper is a female chocolate Labrador that will be joining our family around July 4th. Carrie and I are looking forward to this new companion. Please pray for us as we transition into life without our children at home.


      It’s a time of change and there are many unknowns, yet we are confident in God’s sovereignty in all and through all that will come our way as we walk in His peace and rest in His love during these challenging times.


      Ministry Update


      Our counseling load and depth of issues has increased this year. Carrie and I have been able to pursue our own individual, couple, and counseling growth in 2020. Our theme this year has been, “In Our Lives First,” taken from a book by the same name. The author, a counselor herself, has helped us better understand the work we do and its impact on our lives and souls. She has written and reminded us that there is a cost in doing this work, and we have to tend to our souls in relationship to Christ, because without this, we will either be destroyed by the work or will destroy those who come to us for help.


      She emphasizes that in following our call, we counsel in some hard and ugly places; places full of evil and darkness, deception, and the exploitation of others. 2020 has been especially vivid in the types of issues we are dealing with, much more so it seems than in the past. COVID-19 has shown signs of magnifying the difficulties of the issues we are working with.


      As Carrie and I bring the life and love of Jesus into flesh and blood realties in the lives of those we disciple, please pray for us. Here is the specific prayer that I’m asking you to pray. It comes from a teaching of Oswald Chambers. He says we must learn to “never allow anything to come between ourselves and Jesus Christ, no emotion, or experience; nothing must keep us from the one great sovereign source.”


      The Lord is opening some intriguing doors personally and for Biblical Solutions. Please know that we seek sound counsel and guidance as we move forward with new opportunities. There’s a new truth we are learning, “active patience.”


      As always, please continue to pray that the hearts of those who walk through the door (or meet us via technology) to be humble and open, and that they would be broken for the Lord by whatever means necessary. Difficult issues require difficult prayers. God hears them all. Thank you for your faithfulness.


      Walking by Faith,


      John & Carrie Echols

      1. published a newsletter

        ReadBiblical Solutions
        Empower ~ Equip ~ Encourage

        No April Fool's in 2020

        What a year we had in March, and that's no joke! Each and every one of us has been affected by COVID-19. There's a new normal for the time being, and many may feel like they have lost control of life. Thankfully, we know that God is ultimately in control. During this time, here are some scriptures to encourage you and give you HOPE.


        2 Timothy 1:7 says: For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.


        Psalm 4:8 says: In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.


        I Peter 5:6-7 says: So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.


        Philippians 4:6-7 says: Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.


        Isaiah 41:10 says: Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.


        John 14:1 says: Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.

        1. No April Fool's in 2020

          What a year we had in March, and that's no joke! Each and every one of us has been affected by COVID-19. There's a new normal for the time being, and many may feel like they have lost control of life. Thankfully, we know that God is ultimately in control. During this time, here are some scriptures to encourage you and give you HOPE.


          2 Timothy 1:7 says: For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.


          Psalm 4:8 says: In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.


          I Peter 5:6-7 says: So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.


          Philippians 4:6-7 says: Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.


          Isaiah 41:10 says: Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.


          John 14:1 says: Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.


          1.  — Edited

            New Year ~ New You

            Maybe you've heard this phrase or something similar in the first few weeks of 2020. Maybe you've joined a gym or started a new Bible reading plan. Maybe there are some other "resolutions" you've started. I hope those are going well for you!


            I want to remind you that the things we do are just that, things we do. They shouldn't form the core of our identity, yet Satan deceives us into thinking that our success or failure in any of these areas is the main driver of our identity. Nothing could be further from the truth!


            Jesus asks His disciples in Matthew 16:15-16, "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”


            Simon Peter answered correctly. Notice that he gave a very simple answer, one that was foundational to all the other things Jesus was doing. "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."


            In social settings, the easy question to ask is, "So, what do you do?" This invariably leads to a discussion about work and jobs and how much we like or dislike what we are currently doing.


            In Genesis 3:9, right after the fall, the Bible says, "Then the Lord God called to the man, 'Where are you?'"


            This wasn't a geography question, God knew exactly where Adam was. This was a spiritual question. Separation had occurred.


            Thankfully, Jesus came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10).


            As a believer, Jesus now asks this question, "Who are you?" How would you answer? Would you rattle off a list of items that included your family, job description, church service, or community activities? These are all well and good, and can bring glory to God, yet they miss the foundational aspect that Peter recognized about Jesus.


            If you've been around Biblical Solutions for any length of time, you've probably heard this phrase, "I am a loved, saved, forgiven child of God." This is the foundational identity truth for each of us as believers.


            Everything else flows from this. Everything else rests on this. Your family, job description, church service, and community service could all be taken away from you in an instant. If that happens, and your identity was built upon those, what would you have left? The answer is nothing.


            In 2020, my encouragement is to build your foundation on the fact that you are, "A loved, saved, forgiven child of God" and allow everything else in your life to flow from that identity truth.


            Follow Biblical Solutions on these platforms!


            Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

            1. published a newsletter

              ReadBiblical Solutions
              Empower ~ Equip ~ Encourage

              New Year ~ New You!

              Maybe you've heard this phrase or something similar in the first few weeks of 2020. Maybe you've joined a gym or started a new Bible reading plan. Maybe there are some other "resolutions" you've started. I hope those are going well for you!


              I want to remind you that the things we do are just that, things we do. They shouldn't form the core of our identity, yet Satan deceives us into thinking that our success or failure in any of these areas is the main driver of our identity. Nothing could be further from the truth!


              Jesus asks His disciples in Matthew 16:15-16, "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”


              Simon Peter answered correctly. Notice that he gave a very simple answer, one that was foundational to all the other things Jesus was doing. "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."


              In social settings, the easy question to ask is, "So, what do you do?" This invariably leads to a discussion about work and jobs and how much we like or dislike what we are currently doing.


              In Genesis 3:9, right after the fall, the Bible says, "Then the Lord God called to the man, 'Where are you?'"


              This wasn't a geography question, God knew exactly where Adam was. This was a spiritual question. Separation had occurred.


              Thankfully, Jesus came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10).


              As a believer, Jesus now asks this question, "Who are you?" How would you answer? Would you rattle off a list of items that included your family, job description, church service, or community activities? These are all well and good, and can bring glory to God, yet they miss the foundational aspect that Peter recognized about Jesus.


              If you've been around Biblical Solutions for any length of time, you've probably heard this phrase, "I am a loved, saved, forgiven child of God." This is the foundational identity truth for each of us as believers.


              Everything else flows from this. Everything else rests on this. Your family, job description, church service, and community service could all be taken away from you in an instant. If that happens, and your identity was built upon those, what would you have left? The answer is nothing.


              In 2020, my encouragement is to build your foundation on the fact that you are, "A loved, saved, forgiven child of God" and allow everything else in your life to flow from that identity truth.

              1. published a newsletter

                ReadBiblical Solutions
                Equip ~ Empower ~ Encourage

                Don't delete this! Merry Christmas!

                Lots of emails in your inbox! Here's a quick update for 2019.


                Because of your support, Biblical Solutions continued to have an impact in 2019 for the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth. Through the generosity of one of our partners, we've been able to move into office space that has provided greater flexibility and a more inviting atmosphere where people feel welcome and safe.


                We continue to grow in the numbers of individuals, couple, and families that we serve. John completed his Master's Degree in Biblical Life Skills and John & Carrie became certified facilitators for RelateStrong | MarriageStrong, both Restoration Therapy programs that, coupled with Boundaries and Biblical Solutions teachings, provide a comprehensive framework to help people live the back half of John 10:10.


                Beyond the physical growth, the spiritual growth of most that we are working with has been excellent. This is because the Holy Spirit is working through open and humble hearts. That's the only real way this works - with open and humble hearts. To this end, we ask that you pray specifically for those we are working with that continue to close their hearts to the leading of the Holy Spirit. These are folks who are being deceived by lies and not allowing truth to triumph, still living the front half of John 10:10.


                As we move into 2020, Biblical Solutions continues to help people answer two foundational questions, "Am I Safe?" and "Am I Loved?" Thank you for laboring with us through prayer, participation, provision, and planning.


                John & Carrie Echols

                1. The Letter R

                  Sesame Street & The Letter R

                  I want to take you back to your days of watching Sesame Street when they would introduce a letter of the alphabet. Today we’re going to talk about the letter R.


                  Here at Biblical Solutions, the letter R plays an integral role in discipleship.


                  We talk about four R’s. They are: Repentance, Renewal, Rest, and Reconciliation.


                  Repentance is a change of mind and turning to faith in God.

                  Renewal is focusing on your identity in Christ. Who you are. You are a loved, saved, forgiven, child of God. Who I am. I am a loved, saved, forgiven, child of God.

                  Rest is a concentration on how Jesus loves you and me, a concentration on what Jesus has given us in his completed work. Remember that the turning point of history is when Jesus said, “It is finished!”

                  Reconciliation is about first receiving forgiveness from God, and then extending that forgiveness to others and seeking forgiveness from others.


                  The letter R: Repentance, Renewal, Rest, and Reconciliation. These form the basis for an abundant life in Christ.

                  1. It's Your Choice

                    Two Mindsets

                    The Bible describes two mindsets. You can either set your mind on what God wants, or you can set your mind on what the world wants, it's your choice, and you make that choice in your soul. Your soul is comprised of your mind, will, and emotions.


                    God’s will is for us to be transformed. Notice that Romans 12:2 says that we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Most people, however, seem to be transformed by the renewing of their emotions. If I just do this or do that, then I’ll feel better about this person or that situation. Trying to change others behavior or your own behavior by transforming your emotions just doesn’t work. It leads to a living death. Satan deceives us by our emotions.


                    Don’t hear me wrong. Emotions are good, but all they do is tell you where you are, not how to act. Too many of us in this world act on our emotions. Emotions and feelings are to be governed, employed rightly, expressed honestly, and most of all, submitted to God’s authority and sovereignty. Emotions serve us, we don’t serve them.


                    Finally, our will is where we make our choices, based upon our mind or emotions. So as we think about these two mindsets, focusing on what God wants or what the world wants, we need to be reminded of what is driving us, and make sure that we are being transformed by the renewing of our minds, allowing our will to make choices based on God’s truth, and letting our emotions follow that truth. That truth? You are a loved, saved, forgiven, child of God.

                    1. published a newsletter

                      ReadBiblical Solutions
                      Equip ~ Empower ~ Encourage

                      New Teaching Videos Available!

                      Every Thursday at 8 PM, Biblical Solutions releases a short teaching video. These messages are meant to equip, empower, and encourage you as you walk by faith. Click here to watch them on Facebook or go here to watch them on our website.