Share Immanuel – Book Review.
Wilder, E. James, and Coursey Chris M. 2010. Share Immanuel – The Healing Lifestyle. Pasadena, CA: Shepherd’s House.
The booklet has only 21 pages but is an excellent introduction to and summary of the Immanuel approach, which was developed by Dr. Karl & Charlotte Lehman and is part of the Life Model teaching at Thrive! conferences and Thriving recovery classes. It has already been used successfully in several different countries and cross-culturally situations.
The healing lifestyle of “Share Immanuel” includes only three simple steps:
- Sitting with God
- Sharing minds
1. Sitting with God
means spending time in God’s presence, so to say “on the hill top.” This works much better as starting point for working through painful memories, than sitting in your pain, waiting for God to intervene and trying to “climb uphill.”
A good starting point is either remembering a situation where we experienced an interactive time in God’s presence (called the “Interactive memories seat”) or remembering things that fill us with appreciation (called the “Appreciation memories seat”). The later can include thankfulness for God’s gifts, or just special moments like a sunset or the smile of a child.
2. Sharing minds
means synchronizing our perspective with God, understanding how he sees things, and thereby making sense of things that trouble us. This results in “God peace” – a peace that is so perfect that you can’t improve on it.
This step often includes a “question time” with God, where we can ask him, for example, where he was in the painful moments, what keeps us from seeing him in the painful memory, and what we need to know about a certain situation. Once we have received his perspective on things, we can share the joy with others.
refers to telling the Immanuel story you just experienced to others. It helps us to consolidate the new perspective and it creates hope in others.
We can tell the story from two angles: the “Once I lived in thorns” version has the bottom of the hill perspective, elaborating on all the pain we experienced – this will trigger similar memories in our listeners and depress them; while the story “What I appreciate about Immanuel” is told from the hill top perspective and encourages both story teller and listener.
This is the basic idea of “Share Immanuel.” The booklet includes of course much more, such as more details on how to tell the story, explanations on how we process pain, a chapter on solutions when you get stuck in the process, frequently asked questions, and links to more resources. I found that the booklet explains the process very well and in a way that anybody can understand, even without knowing the Life Model.
It is exciting to hear how the booklet has already been used in workshops in different countries and caused a snowball effect – participants who learned the basic steps, then shared their Immanuel story with others, and through this helped others to start “sitting with God” and experiencing Immanuel.
The booklet is a great summary and tool to share the Immanuel process with others.
I found one phrase in the booklet especially descriptive:
God offers hospitality!
Let’s accept the invitation – come and sit with Him!
The booklet can be ordered here.