The church has lost its way in terms of true Spirit-empowered, Bible-centered counseling. The Lights Home is not a method per se, as much as it is a re-connection of biblical counseling and biblical discipleship. The Lights Home is not about building a silo for those with acute sin; rather, it is about Spirit-filled believers having gospel conversations that point to the freedom that flows from the Cross of Christ. This is not about professionals providing services to patrons, but it rightly returns biblical counseling to the church, and the spectrum of Jesus-centered, Spirit-dependent discipleship.
Andrew Pack, Pastor, Anchor Church – Seattle, WA
What should we expect from biblical counseling today? Gospel centered counseling must teach and shepherd from a Christ-centered worldview, focusing solely on the finished work of Christ. I cannot think of many counselors who embody gospel counseling more than James Noriega. The counseling and training that James provides will not only have an incredible impact on your church, but it will have a profound impact on you personally. By pointing to the atonement and boldly challenging our default response towards works righteousness, James embodies the charge of the Apostle Paul of speaking the truth in love. James challenges, encourages and reminds us that there is nothing that we need to accomplish besides becoming who we already are in Jesus Christ.
James Noriega’s teaching has impacted me in a very profound and powerful way. James’ training and counseling is cemented in the truth of who we are in Christ. His teaching highlights the freedom that we have as Christians in resting in the finished work of Christ. He lovingly and boldly challenged the works righteousness that I had let seep into my theology. James taught me the confidence and freedom that can only be found in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We need more biblical counselors like James who rightly teach the gospel. I say with all confidence that James Noriega’s teaching will greatly influence your walk with Christ, and have a profound influence on how your church counsels and shepherds its people.
Pastor Andy Phipps, Pastor, Mars Hill Church – Bellevue, WA
God has used James Noriega to help deepen Spirit-led, church-based, gospel-centered healing in our church and in our counseling ministry. I am grateful for the impact of this ministry to the church to take back counseling and equip leaders to become the arms and voice of the Wonderful Counselor to the world today.
Ethan Burmeister, Pastor, Coram Deo – Omaha, NE
As I have journeyed as a pastor over the many years, I continue to learn how to shepherd God's people that have been entrusted to my care. Along this journey, James Noriega has brought a component that has helped shape my life and ministry that continually comes back to Jesus and the freedom that he offers. The simplicity of gospel truths that James Noriega infuses into his teachings in order to equip the saints for the work of the ministry are invaluable. They are great reminders of our identity established by God's word, especially in the arena of counseling others to the cross of Christ.
Pastor Gary Shavey, Biblical Living Pastor, Mars Hill Church – Bellevue, WA
The Light's Home has provided training for Good Roots Community to grow in our experience of the life-changing gospel of Jesus and walk with others toward freedom.
The Light's Home training is unique because it is delivered experientially with the intent of empowering. It is unique to find training that is experiential and empowering. The Light's Home offers biblical teaching on how to navigate the heart where you learn in tension and constantly are reminded of our need for God to teach, heal, grow and lead.
Jeremy Schumacher, Pastor, Good Roots Community – Milwaukie, OR
I have enjoyed serving alongside James in many counseling situations over the years. He has been an incredible blessing to me as I encountered people wrestling through deep issues of sin committed against them or those who find themselves in patterns of sin they cannot break. James’ help came from his deep understanding of the Bible and his wisdom in practically applying the grace of God to these people. James is bold, confident and wise in his application of the Word.
AJ Hamilton, Pastor, Mars Hill Church – Bellevue, WA
When I met Pastor James, I was living my life allowing sin to define who I was. Although I was born again, I felt trapped in sin and in bondage to my anger and my desperate attempts to feel like I belonged. As I lived life along side of James, he helped me to see that I was making my life all about me. Before I met James I would ask the Holy Spirit to help me out when things were not going as I wanted (my life my story). James called me to repentance, showing me through scripture that this is God’s story. The story is about Him and his plan to redeem his people. James helped me to see through Paul’s writing in the book of Romans that God is good and I am wicked. It is through Christ’s obedience to the Father by his death on the cross - that when I sin and I take it to the cross of Christ, I find fellowship there with him - not condemnation, but his love. Here are a couple of ways that these truths have freed me from bondage– I have been unemployed a lot lately and I have been able to rest in the fact that this is God’s will for me at this time. I am seeing that I have not lost God’s favor, but rather am getting to see a side of His character that I have only read about before. I now experience him leading me through life, depending on him for my resources. Secondly, my anger no longer controls me as it once did. I now know that where I just once gave thought to it, that much grace has been shown to me by God–and he expects me to give that same grace to those who I judge to be sinning against me. I don’t have to be angry, and I do belong –I belong to Jesus.
Tom Schmidt, Redemption Group Leader and Deacon, Mars Hill Church – Bellevue, WA
I am most grateful for the influence Pastor James Noriega has had on our marriage and personal relationships with Christ. Pastor James is the “go to guy” for biblical counseling. Discernment of the Holy Spirit is truly evident every time we sit down and discuss where I am at in my walk with Christ.
I attended a Biblical Counseling training course instructed by Pastor James. Immediately, James began to cut out the deception and false perceptions I had created or been taught about counseling and dealing with hardship in life. He instilled true identity in Christ within me, before I could even think about counseling others. This has changed my outlook on my faith and relationship with Christ every day.
Pastor James was most impactful in my marriage when he walked my wife and I through a extremely difficult battle with personal sin and infidelity. James led us down the hard road of confession and repentance. I believe we are still married today largely in part to Pastor James’ ability and willingness to listen to the Holy spirit and his loving heart to shepherd us well. We were given a new marriage on that day, and are forever grateful for James’ involvement in our lives.
I cannot say enough about the profound impact and teachings of Pastor James Noriega, his reputation speaks for itself throughout the endless stories of redemption in our community. His biblical counseling is theologically sound and effective. His style of counseling continues to redeem our relationships daily. Churches and leaders everywhere need to hear this wisdom.
Westin C. Goetz, Church Member, Mars Hill Church - West Seattle, WA
I was privileged to be trained by Pastor James Noriega in my position as Biblical Living Director for Mars Hill Church – Federal Way. Although I had a few years of biblical training, Pastor James taught me how the gospel applies to any counseling situation. I began to look at the Bible with new meaning, and application not only to the lives of the people I counseled but to my life first. The training I received from Pastor James was invaluable to me, my family, those I counseled, and those I lead. I have had many people in our area from other churches come to our church for biblical counseling, stating that their church didn’t offer counseling. It is difficult to comprehend the total number of people that God has touched through the teaching, training, and leadership development of Pastor James Noriega. I would recommend him in any position to any group that he felt God calling him to.
Mike Davis, Biblical Living Director, Mars Hill Church – Federal Way, WA
On behalf of the Webster Family, I would like to publicly thank you for your ministry. Over the years your discernment, strength, and conviction that all sin is covered by the cross and your encouragement to see the Gospel as relevant to every aspect of our lives has transformed how we see God, His Gospel, and subsequently each other. Our walks with Christ and our marriage have been benefited in a variety of tangible ways by your council.
Thank you for all you have done for us. You have served us and shepherded us very well and our gratitude is beyond words.
Brett Webster, Deacon, Mars Hill Church – Seattle, WA
[The Light’s Home] has been restorative to my own personal faith—I’ve been walking with Jesus for over 35 years now—and yet I felt a lot of gentle, good correction...Being able to think properly about that world that we don’t “see." Trusting the Spirit’s power more and more and not fear whatever that may look like.
Wendy Iannetta, Good Root’s Community Church – Portland, Oregon
I always told myself, "You really should treat your father better than you do." I suppose I lived most of my life believing that one day I would just "get my act together" and treat him better. But it never happened. One morning I told James that I had a voicemail from my father and I didn't really want to return it, and that I've often felt that I should treat him better. Instead of discussing how I could handle my father differently, James challenged me to ask the Holy Spirit what was going on in my heart that created a desire not to treat my father with the honor and respect of a son.
I was amazed at what came out – an almost-instant confession from deep inside my heart that I regretted being my father's son. I had judged my father as unfit to be my dad, and this sin was coloring both my actions toward my father but my attitudes toward many other things in my life. James demonstrated what it looked like to gently shepherd someone through repentance, and that afternoon I called my father.
When I did, it was clear that the Spirit was indeed at work. We had perhaps the most amazing, close, restorative conversation of our lives; one that I will never forget. And that day I stopped caring so much about changing my behaviors, and I started caring a lot more about how my behaviors raised questions about my heart and how the Spirit was speaking to me about those things. It was the most important change of perspective of my entire life and one that has changed me fundamentally as a Christian.
Business Owner, Seattle, WA
I recently had a powerful and sobering conversation with [The Light’s Home]. I was having some fears about a relationship I am in and [they] really revealed my heart through the conversation. [They] posed some really penetrating questions that brought to light a lot of my fears and also a lot of lies that I was believing. [They] asked gospel centered questions that focused on Identity, in that way we treated the cause and not the symptom…When I remembered this truth peace immediately came upon me and my fears and doubts were relieved. [The Light’s Home] has been blessed with wisdom from the Holy Spirit and God has appointed the Holy Spirit to work through [them] by loving and counseling [their] neighbors.
Scott Roth, Seattle, WA
Hard, heart-level, healthy conversations are not intimidating to James. He seeks the leadership and direction of Holy Spirit in his pursuit of godliness within those he councils. God has spoken through him into my life, marriage and business. I am thankful for the bold words spoken in truth and with love. He also has a comprehensive understanding of the gospel and many pointed narratives taken from history which God purposed to show us His beautiful intention for creation. James has a unique ability to teach and show the body of Christ in modern day what church is suppose to be which includes life engagement at a level where we are seeing God heal each other through each other.
Jerrod Sessler, CEO, HomeTask Network – Burien, WA
I very much enjoyed the counseling training. The teaching was straightforward and more than I expected to learn during the course of the day. I was given very practical tools that I could implement immediately in my life and ministry. I was shepherded toward very practical, spirit-led tools, which I was able to use the very next week in during counseling sessions. I am very glad I attended!
Dan Mariner, Redemption Group Leader, Mars Hill Church – Ballard, WA
My wife and I have been hoping to give thanks for James's commitment in speaking to Good Roots Community Church in Oak Grove, OR for some time now but didn't know how till I found this website. Anyway, we just wanted to say that we were really challenged, provoked, enlightened and grew in the spirit during the weeks we could attend and know that our community was deeply gifted by God through James and the labs he set up, no matter how awkward it was at first-ha ha! Thanks again and we will be keeping your ministry in our prayers.
Jeremy Boldt, Good Roots Community Church – Oak Grove, OR
I was living life as a Christian "in turmoil." I have a loving wife and a wonderful family, but I struggled with my thoughts...of women. I tried to "guard" myself against lustful thoughts, so every time I saw a women I would go into "guard" mode. I was really just struggling with lustful thoughts and needed to be free from those thoughts so I could interact with women without the emotional struggle.
I attended a counseling session and prayerfully walked through my situation with James. He asked me questions that led me to the realization that I needed to admit my sin/struggle and to ask God the Holy Spirit to free me from the bondage; he prayed and I prayed and the burden was lifted. Thank you Lord! My wife was present to join in the healing with me.
Friend of The Light’s Home, Renton WA
For the last five years James has not only been my teacher but my counselor, always leading me to the reality of my need for transformation by the truth of the gospel rather than my own ability. I can't even count the number of conversations we've had that not only led to major change in my life, but also equipped me to lead others to the hope and healing that comes through the powerful work of Jesus on the cross. Even though I've been counseling on my own for a few years, and run an organization to help survivors of commercial sexual exploitation, I still regularly call James for help because he embodies a faith in the gospel that I still aspire to and learn from.
Amanda Hightower, Founder and Executive Director, REST - Real Escape from the Sex Trade – Seattle, WA
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