Tag Archives: AART

Can Horses Help us Find the Path of Life?

Horses have been used by mankind for centuries:  they have been trained and employed in myriad ways. Horses provide travelers aid, power farmers’ plows, help soldiers fight, carry burdens and manage herds.  Parents employ horses to teach children responsibility while building  physical and relational skills.  Of course, millions simply use horses for pleasure and enjoyment.  Currently, researchers are exploring the utilization of horses for academic and psychological therapy.

With all of those great roles for horses, one assignment surpasses them all:  helping establish or restore human beings to relationship with their Creator.

The God of the Bible is a relational God.  He created humanity because He loved…and love cannot be fulfilled outside of relationships.

Horses, being herd animals are naturals at relationships.  We humans crave connection, but the fall of humanity from connection to God (Genesis 3) impairs every relationship. Often we are blind to the things we do in the context of relationships.  Horses reflect what we do not see or feel in ourselves.

Perhaps more importantly, horses and humans share a common desire–a desire a horse understands more than a human.  Our craving for connection that arises from our broken relationship with God clouds are thinking.  It was at the fall that fear, shame and hiding entered the world.  Through that darkness, we pursue relationships.  A horse, on the other hand, pursues relationships exactly for the reasons we crave connection:  security.

When Adam & Eve chose to walk the path God had forbidden, they lost their security.  They also lost the identity God had given them; they chose to create their own.  Without their God-given identity, they had to craft their own significance as well.  Those two losses–security and significance–continue to plague humanity.  Connecting with a horse requires understanding that need from the equine view…which opens eyes to our own needs.

Even people who do not like horses, often want to ‘pet their nose’ and look with awe at their power and strength.  Horses, though, aren’t longing for our friendship or worship.  They want a leader they can trust.  As we engage with a horse to understand its needs, we begin to see our own needs–and the magnificent, costly way God has met every need for us.

Anxiety is the number one mental health issue facing Americans today–Christians included.  Join Heartsong Ministries in changing this – click the picture below and visit the Facebook Page for more information!

Finding the Answer to Anxiety

January 28, 2018 – 3:30 – 5:00 PM

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Family – training for relationship

God created us for relationship–and family is intended to be the safe place for learning and practicing relationship skills.  We become our very best…and relate our very best to others…when we know who we are designed to be and how to live fully in Christ!

What we learn only in our heads can be difficult to put into practice.  A.A.R.T. (animal-assisted relationship training) helps weave knowledge from head to heart to heels!

 

Riddles, unknown objects, observations, errors & blindfolded walking brought truths of our identity in Christ into the light.  AART isn’t a magical solution to building family relationships.  It is a tool to help each person grow more into the likeness of Christ and share more of the glory of God in their interactions with others.

Check out the ways Heartsong helps bring the wisdom of the word to individual walks.

Do I matter? Does anyone care?

It is the question we hate feeling:  Do I matter?  Does anyone care?  We spend much of our lives seeking activities and relationships that give us an affirmative answer.  There is only One who can answer that to our complete satisfaction.  The only One who can answer it is the One who created us.

Animals are amazingly helpful in leading us to the Answer.  You don’t need to come to an A.A.R.T. session to experience the power.  Use your own pets…even observe on in the wild and ask yourself some questions.  Come on an AART discovery with me!

ABCS of Safety, Security & Significance

In the Garden of Eden, the choice to reject God’s one command cut humanity off from the Need Meeter. When we seek to meet the needs that God built into us…instead of seeking Him…we sin & become captive to that sin. Restoring connection to the Father begins the process of healing…and fulfillment…and loving ourselves. From childhood to senior citizen, we must find how Christ is the answer we seek and understand how to apply that answer to diverse situations.  It isn’t a ‘one and done’ process.  Life gives us new challenges DAILY.  Living fully means knowing IN THE MOMENT, every moment, who we are in the eyes of God.

Acceptance by God restores IDENTITY for individuals.  It provides strength for life in a changing world. When roles or actions give a person identity, they never learn the unique design God gave them. “Who am I” is a necessary question because the answer gives stability.

Animal-assisted Insight

  • How & when did you become a ‘pet parent?’
  • Are they conscious aware of your  care & provision?
  • Does their awareness of your effort change your care for them?

God-sightings:

  • What does God do for you that you may not have noticed?
  • How does awareness of His provision change your view of your worth?

Scriptures:                  Psalm 139:13-14

Belonging to God restores boundaries that provide safety and security. In the natural world, safety is an increasing concern from childhood to old age. Involvement with animals requires learning to be observant of body language and danger zones. It is easy to appreciate the value of fences, leashes and lead ropes. Let’s extend those truths to things we face daily:  the internet, to strangers with candy or puppies and to individual choices.

Animal-assisted Insight:

  • What ways to do you protect your pet?
  • What happens when they break through those boundaries?

God-sightings:

  • What ways does God ‘limit’ His children?  Where do you feel limited TODAY?
  • How does He make us aware when we break through those boundaries?

Scriptures:                  Psalm 46:1

Calling of God restores purpose to lives. The Word tells us God has created us for good works…and for connection to Him. He treasures His children and cares for them. Using the natural needs of animals (nutrition, coat & hoof care, exercise), coaches draw parallels to caring for the body as the temple of God and caring for others.

Animal-assisted Insight:

  • What needs do you meet for your pets that you tend to neglect for yourself?
  • What do you expect from them?
  • Are your animals meeting a need for you that they are not designed to meet?

God-sightings:

  • Christ died so we could take our needs to God:  What needs do you take to God?
  • Are there things you know God desires for you that you do not press toward?
  • What need are you facing today that you are trying to meet on your own–or even with your animals?

Scriptures:               Ephesians 2:10

Heartsong AART

Birthing a new program feels like extended labor.  My gratitude to those who labor with me and listen as I seek to articulate the vision of my heart.  I wanted to share part of the labor with you for feedback, prayers and interest.  We have a new booklet, A.A.R.T., Animal Assisted Relationship Training, which outlines the sessions currently in development to aid in discipleship.

This piece of Heartsong will grow with other animals but the heart remains the same:  to see Christians LIVE out the calling God has placed within them.  Another popular activity is a children’s workshop, “Buddies or Bullies” that utilizes the characteristics of bunnies to point out bullying tactics.

 

Here is a sample of what A.A.R.T. will provide:

ABCS of Safety, Security & Significance: In the Garden of Eden, the choice to reject God’s one command cut humanity off from the Need Meeter. When we seek to meet the needs that God built into us…instead of seeking Him…we sin & become captive to that sin. Restoring connecting to the Father begins the process of healing…and fulfillment…and loving ourselves. From childhood to senior citizen, we must find how Christ is the answer we seek and understand how to apply that answer to diverse situations.

Acceptance by God restores IDENTITY for individuals; it provides strength for life in a changing world. When roles or actions give a person identity, they never learn the unique design God gave them. “Who am I” is a necessary question because the answer gives stability. AART activities help us see through our facades. Scriptures focused on identity in Christ & being treasured by God. (Psalm 139:13-14)

Belonging to God restores boundaries that provide safety and security. In the natural world, safety is an increasing concern from childhood to old age. Involvement with animals requires learning to be observant of body language and danger zones. It is easy to appreciate the value of fences, reins and lead ropes. Extending those truths to the internet, to strangers with candy or puppies and to individual choices is the goal of the coach in the follow up. (Psalm 46:1)

Calling of God restores purpose to lives. The Word tells us God has created us for good works…and for connection to Him. He treasures His children and cares for them. Using the natural needs of animals (nutrition, coat & hoof care, exercise), coaches draw parallels to caring for the body as the temple of God and caring for others. (Eph 2:10)