May 7, 2020


Dusty is a Professional Counselor with Cord of Three Counseling Services.

Do you remember that broken down house we talked about last month? It’s taken a long time to build that foundation. Sometimes it takes so long you wonder whether you will live to enjoy the finished product at all. Having done so much working and waiting, though, you want to be sure what is built on that foundation will last. This is what Paul had in mind when he continued in 1 Corinthians 3. He warned his readers, “Let each one take care how he builds upon it.” because a revealing fire is sure to come “to test what sort of work each has done.”
As he left us, Jesus gave us the directive to make disciples. Specifically, he said “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” Paul was in the midst of this discipleship work when he began talking about houses and how to build them. He acknowledged that although he labored in planting the Corinthian church, Apollos watered the plant. He built upon it. We all are called to fulfill the great commission by laboring in discipleship, and we ought to do so like skilled builders, being careful what materials we use. Some of the work will last and hold fast to the foundation, while the rest of it will be burnt away.
 Have you ever heard of a McMansion? This is the term used by architects and designers to scoff at the way a lot of extravagant homes were built in the late 80s, 90s, and 2000s when people suddenly had a lot of money (or a lot of debt). To be clear, these were not the stately homes that last through the centuries. The emphasis was on the show– 27 bathrooms, 5 swimming pools, hollow columns that aren’t supporting anything, fake gold on things that should never be gold. You might think, what’s the harm? Aren’t those critics just being arrogant? Why can’t they live in what makes them happy? Trained architects, however, see a different story. Everything you build affects the integrity of the house. Ceiling height, window shape, concrete, wood, steel, or stone–it all matters.  Time has taken a toll on many of these McMansions, which are now falling apart, costing enormous sums of money to maintain, and worth essentially nothing.
Beware the discipleship models that seem attractive but have no depth to them. Programs in churches can include the most entertaining games, the best food you’ve ever eaten, and endless positive reinforcement in the form of badges, awards, trips, and anything else you can imagine. All of those things draw the attention of an onlooking public, but after fires of scandal and cultural change have burned through it, will anything be left standing? Beyond church gatherings, personal discipleship is not immune to poor workmanship either. Close communal relationships, like a strong temple column, are vital to upholding the disciple-making process, but when fires of trial and disagreement burn through the relationship, will Christ be the core of that column? Or will it be found to be hollow, like the aging facade of that decayed McMansion?

 So what materials should a skilled discipler use? 1 Peter gives us insight:

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the

​             tested genuineness of your faith

more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire–may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
 1 Peter 1:6-7 

So Peter tells us that faith–that is, genuine tested faith–is an even better building material than gold. When the fires come, it will not be burnt up. Instead, like other refined metals, it will be made even more beautiful. Can you imagine a house built of such a material? If it is completely engulfed in flames, it will only be more beautiful in the end! Peter goes on to say “though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

So let’s get practical. In your discipleship, what are you training others to do? Here’s a list from the last part of 1 Peter chapter 1:

  • Prepare for action
  • Be sober-minded
  • Hope completely in the grace of Christ’s revelation
  • Don’t be conformed to old passions (before Christ)
  • Be holy in all your conduct
  • Have a healthy fear (reverence) of God’s judgment
  • Understand the great price paid for your ransom
  • Purify your souls with obedience to the truth
  • Love one another earnestly from a pure heart

Are you discipling others in obedience to the command of Christ? Are you being discipled? If so, does the discipleship look like this list, or is it full of things that will not matter in the long run? Let’s be clear: discipleship requires community. Jesus lived his life alongside 12 men whom he discipled. They weren’t seated in desks while he stood at the chalkboard. Rather, these conversations took place over meals, walking down the road, spontaneously when Jesus saw a tree and was hungry. At least once, it took place when his nap was interrupted. The context was community, but the content was eternity.

So as you seek to make disciples and to be discipled yourself, think carefully about the methods, and the motivations, in your discipleship. Ancient, sturdy houses had lots of attractive features, but they also had a purpose. Those columns weren’t there just to look cool. Be sure that what you are doing has purpose. “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”1 Corinthians 10:31

Training and Discipleship

The Cord of 3 training and discipleship program serves the community by offering educational seminars on various mental health and related topics (parenting subjects, coping with loss, warning signs of addiction) as well as conferences, retreats, and seminars for area churches on matters that pertain to God’s design for the family.

Counselor Education & Supervision

Cord of 3’s Counselor education and supervision program is deigned to support interns who are completing their master’s degree, counselors who are working toward licensure, and professionals who are working to integrate their Chritian faith into their clinical practice.

Equine Therapy

Cord of 3’s equine therapy program is designed for individuals ages 7 and up as well as women ages 13+ and families. Equine therapy can help individuals and families overcome challenges, cuiltivate healthy relational skills, build trust, improve interpersonal and behavioral functioning, and create positive self-concept and identity in Christ.

Play God’s Way

A Christ-centered play therapy model to meet teh spiritual, emotional, and mental health needs of children. Through play therapy, children learn to accept responsibility for behavior, engage in healthy coping strategies, acquire problem-solving skills, develop empathy for others, and gain an understanding of identity in mChrist.


Addictions always originate in pain… The question is never ‘why the addiction?,’ but rather ‘why the pain?’” (Dr. Gabor Maté). Counselors can help those struggling with addictions address underlying painful issues and then break the addictive patterns.

Child & Adolescent

Behavioral issues at home or in school often have an underlying cause, such as trauma, depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions. The experienced staff at Cord of 3 meets each child with love, builds trust, and applies effective treatment that approaches the root cause of the behavior.

Marriage & Family

As in couple’s counseling, family counseling focuses on the relationship and dynamics within the family unit and between the individual members of it. Counselors will help clients identify unhealthy or unhelpful patterns, and to address them by developing healthier communication and conflict resolutions skills, create realistic expectations, and restructure familial roles to benefit everyone. The ultimate goal is to help the family be better able to thrive as a team.


Every person will at some point have at least one potentially traumatic experience, but this doesn’t impact everyone in the same ways. When struggling to process and move on from negative life experiences, therapy offers a powerful method of finding support and healing.


Individual counseling can help overcome the sometimes overwhelming fear and hopelessness by helping you better understand the conditions that led to the emotional brokenness you are experiencing, and applying healthy coping skills against them.