I was a cutter off and on for about 4-5 years. It was never something I got real serious with, just something that I used every now and then to ease the pain I was feeling. I had various things ...Read Full Testimony
My name is Mike Cleveland, and I'm the founder of the ministry Setting Captives Free. I'll be with you as we work through the lessons in this course together, and I look forward to seeing your course work and reading how God begins to work in your heart and life as a result of your studying here with us.
Just a brief background on myself, I came out of a very hurtful background with my parents divorcing when I was six years old and then being raised by my grandparents, an aunt and sometimes a mom and step-dad or a dad and step-mom. I had no solid foundation in my life and as I got into my teens I looked to many things to try to relieve the hurt in my heart. I began drinking and taking drugs and also partying and exploring sexual activities, all of which only seemed to numb the pain temporarily but in the end did not truly help and in fact only increased the hurt in my heart and the pain that was such a large part of my life.
As I grew up I was hoping that marriage would somehow take away the pain, but I did not find the wholeness I was looking for there either. My life spiraled down as I got involved in pornography and illicit sexual activity along with ongoing problems with alcohol and drugs, and even gambling became a big part of my life. All of these things had a temporary calming effect, enabling me to forget the pain in my heart and the troubles of my life for a short time, but always the pain would resurface and I felt almost "forced" to redo my sinful activity again and again simply to numb the pain in my heart.
Well the rest of the story I'll tell you as we proceed through this course together, but for now I will just summarize it for you to say that I have found true and lasting healing for my heart which has enabled me to entirely turn away from all the above mentioned false sources of comfort and to find fullness and satisfaction, wholeness and a sure foundation. I found the exact healing that the Bible talks about in Isaiah 53:
Would you like to be healed to? That is what this course is designed to teach. I'll describe what happened to me for you a little more each day, just to show you how God has set me free from all those things I mentioned above. The good news is that the same solution I found for freedom can be yours as well, and the same healing that happened in my heart can happen in yours too.
Throughout this course you will hear input from Ruth Robertson who will be sharing testimonies of Gods love and power through seeing people set free from self-harm.
Just so you'll know the process that we have developed, when you enroll (at no cost) in our "By His Wounds" course, you will be assigned a mentor, (if we have enough to go around), who will walk with you through this course and be there to answer any questions you might have, pray for you, give you correction or encouragement along the way as needed. If we do not have enough mentors at this time then you will still benefit greatly by going through the course, and it might help you to consider copying in your pastor, or brother or sister in Christ as you send in your answers. There is a place to do this at the bottom of each page where we have added a "friend email" box to type in the email address of a friend who you would like to see your lesson answers.
It will be up to you to come back to www.settingcaptivesfree.com each day and log back in to this course and complete another day of study as you have time. This study is unashamedly taken straight from the Bible because we believe and know that "the truth will set you free" (John 8:31), so you can expect to study the Bible and look for the answers to the questions as you do your coursework each day. Also, as you go through this course, you will read numerous stories of others who have found complete freedom from cutting/self-harm as well, so that you will know that if you do indeed apply these principles that you will be set free also. And what a different life you will have as you find complete and entire freedom; the compulsion will be gone and healing and wholeness will take its place!
Finally, as you study each day of the course, I do want to encourage you to pray before you study, pray about the truths that are being taught and pray about how you can put them into practice in your own life, pray and ask God to help you make any needed changes. I believe if you do these things, you will be set free also, like the thousands of others who have come before you and are now walking in freedom from the things that have harmed them. In fact, this is a good place to share a short testimony of Teresa Laughlin who has found the same freedom I have.
Teresa writes: "I was a very messed up and angry girl during my adolescent and young teen years. Due to my being sexually molested at age 4 I found anger to be the way in which I dealt with situations that were hurtful to me or that I could not control. Anger and rage became my two best friends which eventually led to a cutting addiction which began at age 14 and continued through age 20. I would cut in order to transfer pain from my heart to somewhere else on my body, thereby masking the heart pain and exchanging it for body-pain. I would cut when I was angry, I would cut when I was discouraged or depressed, and I would cut even when I was happy. It was a horrible addiction that has left me with the lasting marks on my shoulder where I would cut to transfer pain. In my early twenties something changed. The only way I can describe it is through meeting Jesus Christ, and His healing me at the cross. I know that sounds strange, but it is truly what happened to me. At church one day I found myself kneeling, in my mind, at the foot of the cross where Jesus died. I saw His wounds! I saw His bleeding. I saw that He was wounded for me to forgive my sin and to heal my heart. I turned to Him and begged for forgiveness and I have been forgiven and changed and made new. The cross was my place of healing, and I have not cut now in nearly 4 years."—Teresa Laughlin
Your story might be the same as Teresa's or it might be much different but the truth is that how she found healing and forgiveness and freedom is exactly how you can find it too. I'll show you how this happens throughout this course and invite you to come and find the same power that Teresa found that changed her life.
So right now, the next thing to do is to click "Enroll Today For Free" above, (Note: You will have to register first if you are not registered to our site already) and if you have time you can begin your Day 1 study right now, or you can come back to it later, whichever is best for you. God bless you as you seek Him first, and God bless you as you study here with us. I'm looking forward to seeing the work of God in your life as you continue!
Pastor Mike Cleveland
Many people want to know what type of a time commitment it takes to do the lessons each day. The average is probably around 45 minutes to an hour a ...Read Complete Answer
No. These courses will be ineffective by themselves to release men and women from bondage to sin. It is not the courses that set people free, it is Jesus Christ ...Read Complete Answer
Absolutely! Without a doubt. The reason we can make the claim that you can be totally delivered, is because we believe God can and does change people. What you will ...Read Complete Answer
We are an alternative to psychology, "Christian" or otherwise. We believe in biblical counseling, and that God's Word is sufficient for all the problems of mankind. If you are ...Read Complete Answer
Setting Captives Free is an evangelical, non-denominational ministry operating under a board of directors. It is affiliated with several different churches, rather than one specific church or denomination. We believe ...Read Complete Answer