Who We AreLife Is Full Of Choices is a tool for all ages to utilize personal power, responsibility and freedom.
John and Sheryl Emra
John and Sheryl have always wanted to make an impact on the lives of inner city kids.
They started working with “at-risk kids” while they were dating. For one year, they “adopted” a teen in Seattle’s juvenile detention facility. “Working with Brenda was quite an eye opening experience.”
After college, and after working in the business world for a few years, they responded to God’s call to become missionaries. “We loved our time in Honduras. We thought we would spend the rest of our life working with this wonderful, gracious and friendly people.” They spent three years in Central America learning the language and culture before God moved in their hearts and they transferred to Los Angeles.
The mission had been given an old church building in East Los Angeles. Their task was to develop a ministry, apart from Church, that would reach people in the Community.
“We designed and developed Life Is Full Of Choices as an after school program centered on empowering “at risk kids” in East Los Angeles. Keeping kids in school, off the street and out of the gangs was our goal. We did this by using tutoring, recreation, Bible Club, mentoring and outings as tools to train the kids to identify the choices they were making and the consequences that would result from those choices.”
Working with inner city kids since 1986 has given them a unique understanding of what these kids are facing at home, in school and on the streets.
“Over many years we had more than 1,000 different kids in the Center, but our energy was always focused on mentoring a smaller core group of kids.”
“While working in East Los Angeles we saw great changes in some of the kids with whom we were working. But no matter what we could accomplish we were still only working with one group of kids on one corner. We saw the necessity of training adults who then could work with kids on many corners in many cities.”
Now, they are choosing to share the wisdom they have accumulated over the years with adults, who, like them, have a heart for working with kids.
John and Sheryl have helped start twenty-one after-school programs in Los Angeles area Churches as well as in Churches in Northern California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Bismarck, North Dakota. They taught these principles to Missionary Staff and Church leadership in Guyana, South America. They traveled to China where they led various seminars teaching the principles of Life Is Full Of Choices to Pastors, Parents, Teachers and Seminary Students. They even helped an after-school program start a choices curriculum.
“As we have trained adults to work with kids we have heard from those people that Life Is Full Of Choices would be helpful in their own lives and as they interact with other adults.”
Life Is Full Of Choices has evolved into a tool for all ages to use in order to utilize power, responsibility and freedom.
John and Sally Childress
Life is Full of Choices Europe is passionate about coming alongside those who are struggling with addictive behaviors and habits.
John and Sally have a unique ministry together. They met later in life. John had already lived his life of addictive behavior and was seeking God’s perfect will for his life. Sally had been a missionary on various fields. God has put them together. John has a perspective from the road of hard addictions. Sally has a perspective from going through many years of depression and the everyday addictive behaviors that she depended on in order to get through the day.
John and Sally use their life stories, biblical counsel, seminars, and printed material to share the hope they now have in Christ Jesus, with whomever they meet.
God has led John to write a book: www.theaddictschoices.com and he is leading a life free from addictions, and now, by God’s amazing grace, leading seminars. Sally is working alongside John, helping lead the seminars.
They are available to speak internationally, and after working for 6 years in the center of London, forming a recovery ministry, they have just been registered in the UK as a charity, “Free! Recovery,” a work that comprises resources for local churches to set up their own support work for those struggling with addictions. Their “flagship” material consists of 10 sessions plus stories, about to be filmed (2022) plus training and guides to accompany a support group ministry. To find out more, and to partner with this vital ministry, go to www.free-recovery.org, their website in the UK.
Rick and Janet Hann
Run by Rick and Janet Hann, Hale Ho’okipa provides a week’s retreat for Christian pastors and missionaries (both couples and individuals) to decompress and recharge, located on the Big Island of Hawaii. Serving Jesus Christ is a great privilege, but sometimes His servants get weary and need some time away. Hale Ho’okipa provides a safe place for leaders to share as well as time to have fun. Rick and Janet also meet with Pastors and their wives to support them in their ministry.
Rick has served in pastoral ministry for over 45 years. Janet has served in ministry with Rick during their 40 years of marriage. Beside church ministry, they have hosted and cared for numerous people and families in their home.
Rick and Janet have walked through very difficult and very blessed times of ministry. They know the struggle and the joy of serving the church. They have learned from personal experience that real refreshment comes from time away and the opportunity to debrief with trusted and caring prayer partners. Stress, burnout, and loneliness are sensitive issues in ministry. Rick and Janet will be listening ears, prayer partners, and encouragers for those who deal with ministry’s unique challenges. They would be honored to journey alongside those ministry workers who are seeking God’s refreshment and rest.
The 3 Cornerstones
Life is full of choices, and the choices I make today will determine the qualities of my life both now, and in the future.
Life is full of choices, and the choices I make today can affect the circumstances of my life and other people’s lives, both now and in the future.
Life is full of choices, and even though I have not chosen all the circumstances of my life, I alone determine its qualities, because life is full of choices, and the choices I make today will determine the qualities of my life both now, and in the future.
The 4 Core Needs
Anything I say or do to make a child feel loved and cared for or valued for who they are.
The pre-arranged limits that I place on behavior.
Doing what I said I would do.
The actions that I take to instill in a child the understanding of right and wrong in order to shape their character so they learn how to make healthy choices.
What Life Is Full Of Choices means by “Empowerment”
The concept of “empowerment” that is popular today seems to be tied to “power” and how to manufacture it, create the feeling of it or take it away from someone else. In the book Cornerstones and Core Needs of Growing Kids the first Cornerstone is an illustration of how Life Is Full Of Choices uses the word empowerment. It says:
“Life is full of choices,
and the choices I make today
will determine the qualities of my life
both now and in the future.”
“The moment a person of any age understands the ramifications of these words is the moment they take control of their life. They begin to see how choices are considered and made all day long. They realize that every moment provides a choice waiting to be made and that every action reveals a choice already made. Once that thought sinks in they have taken control of that portion of their lives. At that moment they are empowered!”
True empowerment is not something Life Is Full Of Choices can manufacture out of thin air, create the feeling of in your life or take away from someone else and give to you. Maybe others can, but we are not in that business. God created me with the power to make the choices in my life that would determine the qualities in my life. With that God-given power comes the responsibility for the choices I make.
Whether I recognize that my choices determine the qualities in my life and that I am responsible for those choices or not does not alter the fact that I am. In this life people will hold me responsible and ultimately God will hold me accountable for the choices I make.
If I live my live without recognizing that I have choices I am un-empowered. By contrast, when I understand that I am responsible for my choices I am empowered.
Life Is Full Of Choices has not created power, can not create it and can never give it to you. All we can do is reveal to you the power God has given you to choose the qualities in your life. With that revelation you become empowered.
Life Is Full Of Choices has not taken power from someone else in order for you to have it. God gave it to you. You have always had it.
As we use the term “empowerment” please remember that the power you are looking for has already been given to you and it can never be taken from you.
You can ignore it. You have the power to make that choice – and that’s the point of empowerment.
Our Core Beliefs
- We choose to believe there is one and only one living and true God. He is among other qualities; Holy, Immortal, Immutable, Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient.
- We choose to believe God exists in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- We choose to believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, His sinless life, His miracles, that He chose to sacrifice for us through death on the cross, His bodily resurrection, His ascension to the right hand of the Father and His personal future return to reign forever.
- We choose to believe the Bible is the fully inspired, infallible and authoritative Word of God.
- We choose to believe the only means of being cleansed from sin is by choosing repentance and faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
- We choose to believe that the human race’s creation in Godlikeness included the ability to choose between right and wrong; human beings are therefore morally responsible. But we also believe that the grace of God is fully paid for by the shed blood of Jesus and freely bestowed upon all people who choose to believe on Jesus Christ for pardon and cleansing from sin and who turn from sin to righteousness.
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