• Rev. Carlene Appel-M.Div.

Grace and 4 Year Olds

Updated: Aug 2, 2018

Recently, I heard a Christian comedian (yes, there are such people) saying the most delightful thing. He said, "God spreads grace like a four year old spreads peanut butter; He gets it all over." Thank-you Mark Lowry!!!

Now I'm a sucker for a good illustration because word pictures if they are any good at all, are such effective tools to convey meaning. There are few people who can't picture a 4 year old eagerly spreading peanut butter on a slice of bread....and the counter, cabinet, chair, floor, and being so proud of their accomplishment. Clorox has a recent commercial where Mom peeks into the bathroom and sees her probably 4 year old son, mopping the floor in earnest. She's really proud of her boy you can tell. That is, until he puts his mop into the white porcelain "mop bucket." You know, the one with the fancy flush handle. You quickly get the picture. One of the best word picture artists from whom I learned the fine art of painting with words, is the now sadly disgraced Garrison Keillor. As I listened to another adventure in Lake Woebegon, he painted a word picture of freshly fallen snow on a hillside so well, my mind's eye could see the individual granules of snow there.

Scripture is full of word pictures. Ephesians chapter 1 affirms that beautiful and funny word picture about God, peanut butter, grace, and four year olds in verse 8. But let us start at verse 6 for a fuller picture. " the praise of his glorious grace that He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace that he lavished on us." Wow! That just blows me away. It also paints me a picture of a Coach for the winning team getting drenched by them with Gatorade at the Super Bowl, in celebration of their hard won victory.

For victims of assault or abuse of any kind, it's very normal to feel so dirty and like damaged goods, that they believe even God would have nothing further to do with them. "How could He love someone like me?" they ask. Because, Ephesians 1 affirms that He spreads His grace all over us like a four year old spreading peanut butter. So too, those battling alcohol & drug addictions, those who have hurt others or committed crimes for which they are incarcerated, but are genuinely sorry and truly repentant. Or the runaways who ended up on the streets and had to do things they are terribly ashamed of just to survive, or survivors of sex trafficking. I could go on and on, but if any of those are you and you wonder if there is any hope, any love, any forgiveness to be had, be comforted by these verses. Every tear you cry God knows about. For situations like these, Jesus died on the Cross. For you and for me.

Maybe you've been a taker all your life. "God so loved the world He gave." Whoever is sorry for their sins, wants to 'fess up and let that only Son He gave have their heart and life, do it and God will make you into a new creation with your slate wiped clean. A second chance. Jn 3:16-17 The God of the Bible is the God of second, third, and fourth chances if you're truly sorry and want to come back. Read the story of the Prodigal son. He understands that His creations sometimes trip and fall flat on their faces. He understands how strong addictions want to hold onto you. He understands you were just trying to survive when you did that disgusting stuff just to buy a meal. He understands the violence you endured at the hands of the pimps and the traffickers if you didn't turn enough tricks some nights.

Turn it all over to the Great Physician, who can forgive you, lavish grace upon you, heal you, and make you whole...perhaps for the first time in your life. Read Ephesians 1 in its entirety. In fact, I invite you to read the entire letter. Composed of 6 short chapters, but packed with oh so much hope and goodness, you'll find yourself smiling like that 4 year old joyfully spreading peanut butter all over, like God spreads grace. Let me hear from you what the Lord has been showing you as you read through the Letter of Paul to the Ephesians.

Until next time.......

Love and Blessings

Rev. Carlene

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frequently asked questions










Is New Day just for people who are religious?

Not at all. Owner, Rev. Carlene Appel, works with all people regardless of whether or not they hold to a particular faith, or set of beliefs. She has even worked with atheists under Hospice care.


How does Pastoral Counseling differ from regular Counseling?

In addition to Counseling, a Pastoral Counselor also has specialized education and training in matters of spirituality, religious faith, and different religions. Thus, if a client wishes to include any of these during their sessions, a Pastoral Counselor is qualified and competent to do so.


Rev. Carlene holds a Master of Divinity degree (M.Div.), from Northern Seminary, and is an Ordained American Baptist minister. Additionally, having been raised Roman Catholic, she has been able to help countless numbers of Catholics every year. Over the past year, she has become a vessel of healing to survivors of predator priests. 


Is New Day a faith-based Counseling Practice?

Yes. This means Rev. Carlene or any Counselor working for New Day, won't discourage clients from exploring their spirituality or faith-related questions. Some clients have had questions of faith for years, but fear rejection from their clergy or people they have been worshipping with. Some have walked away from their faith or religion entirely. 


Wait a minute, aren't faith and religion the same thing?

Not at all. Religion is a human-constructed system providing a set of specific organized beliefs. While many find religion helpful to explain life, provide a moral compass, and connect them to the Divine, others do not. Some have suffered abuse or been otherwise deeply hurt by clergy or religious people.


OK, so how is faith different from religion then?

Faith, is something we are endowed with by our Creator. We first utilize faith shortly after birth. Though not aware of it or what it is, a helpless newborn, if not abused or neglected, soon develops a sense of faith and trust that s/he will have their needs met. While most people have faith in the God of their understanding, others claim faith in Science, nature, or even their own abilities. On a more basic level, humans practice blind faith every day that their car is going to run, that they will get to work, school, & back home safely, and that they will live to see another day.


I've heard that New Day is Christ-centered. What does that mean?

Glad you asked. It's a way of being. New Day strives to imitate Christ in the way business is conducted and how we treat all people, not just our clients. This means standing beside someone, not over them and building relationships with people regardless of race, class or gender. Being honest, ethical, accountable; practicing good listening skills. Extending compassion, dignity, grace, forgiveness, mercy, respect, and unconditional love. It also includes speaking up about and holding people accountable for injustices, and not keeping silent when they plan or are actively doing damaging & destructive acts to themselves or others.

So a New Day Counselor won't push religion on me?

Absolutely not! That would be very un-Christlike. He was always invitational and respected a person's choice. New Day strives to always imitate Jesus Christ. So whether you're religious or not, it doesn't matter. We stand ready to help: if you are dealing with depression, grief, trauma, abuse, marital conflict, etc. If you need mentoring, life coaching, or premarital counseling. If you have become disabled. If you have a loved one with Alzheimer's or Dementia.


Whoever you are, New Day invites you to lay your burdens down with us and experience compassionate, non-judgmental care wherever you call home, or at a safe location if the home isn't safe, or online (known as e-counsel, or telecounsel).




Healthcare providers, agencies and facilities here's the solution  to the time and expense it takes to create temporary and PRN spiritual care positions. New Day is the FIRST Contract PRN Service Provider of Chaplains/Spiritual Care Coordinators to Hospices, home health agencies & other health care providers, as well as assisted living, memory care, and nursing & rehabilitation facilities, retirement communities, and supportive living centers. If you need a Spiritual Care person as a fill-in, while in transition, or while searching for a permanent Chaplain, think SOLUTIONS by New Day for all your temporary spiritual care needs.



Owner Rev. Carlene Appel is:

  • Fully insured for liability.

  • BLS-AED Certified.

  • Fluent in multiple Medical software programs including McKesson, Healthwyse, Allscripts, Homecare Homebase (HCHB), Kinnser, HospiceMD, Optima.

  • Always professionally attired, so your company always looks good. 

  • Always greeting customers with a Million-dollar smile.

  • Always ready to go with minimal orientation time. 

  • Knowledgeable in the business side of healthcare.

  • Experienced since 1985 with Senior Adults and Dementias.

  • Serving Hospice patients and their loved ones since 2007.

  • An active member of the Bloomingdale & Bartlett Area Chambers of Commerce.

  • Certified as a Trauma Professional and Emergency Response Chaplain

  • Certified Dementia Care Specialist.

  • A visionary. Her 5 & 10 year business plans include adding more pastoral care professionals as New Day grows. Rev. Carlene believes that in the future, agencies like hers will become as commonplace as PRN Nurse agencies.

Rev. Carlene also offers a variety of interactive presentations for staff in-services, patients, family members, and your community. Topics include Compassion Fatigue, Trauma/Grief & Loss, Suicide Intervention & Recovery, Hospice 101, and Alzheimer's Disease & other forms of Dementia: Improving Visits and Care Delivery. 



Rev. Carlene was inspired to birth a new kind of Counseling and Care service to serve those who were needing a Counselor but unable or unwilling to travel to see one. For some, it's lack of transportation, a perceived stigma about mental illness, fear of leaving one's home, shame, embarrassment, or a thousand other reasons people can't or won't get the help they need.


God drew her attention to the benefits of providing this much-needed service to the Chicagoland area and beyond, wherever people call home. This was to be available to anybody, religious and non-religious alike, affordable, and without regard for things like race, class, or gender--the exact same way Jesus treated people. 

New Day Pastoral Counseling Services was born April 1, 2018--no April fools joke! In-home visits are available in these 7 Chicagoland Counties: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will.  ON-LINE Video TeleCounseling is available anywhere in the U.S. and Internationally.
Rev. Carlene is a Certified Trauma Professional (CTP),Certified Dementia Care Specialist (CDCS), Certified Compassion Fatigue Professional (CCFP), & Certified Emergency Response Chaplain (CERC)
"You have impacted our patients greatly and that will always make you dear to us."
                                              Lamari Brayboy III
                             Meridian Hospice & Palliative Care

"Carlene is empathic and caring, with a strong background in counseling, and especially in the area of long-term health issues and elder care. "

                                                             Susan NC Price

                                             SPrice Editorial Services

When it comes to HIPAA compliance and confidentiality, New Day is like a mother bear protecting her cubs. 

  • Our main computer is protected with Sophos. No back door for hackers to break into your data. 

  • Continually monitored by an off-site top-level clearance Cybersecurity Specialist.

  • All devices have a VPN line. 

Our customers' security is top priority--NO compromises!




Rev. Carlene Appel began her ministry career in 1994,

  • Earned her Master of Divinity degree (M.Div.) in           2001 from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary                      (now Northern Seminary), Lombard, IL

  • An Ordained Minister in the American Baptist           Churches U.S.A.  denomination since 2001.  

  • Experienced. Has served as a Senior Adult Pastor, Hospital Chaplain, Hospice Chaplain (14 years), Solo Church Pastor, and more.

  • Certified Trauma Professional

  • Certified Dementia Care Specialist

  • Certified Compassion Fatigue Professional

  • Presenter of Interactive learning workshops and seminars

  • Trained first responder.

  • Founded a Chaplain Corps for the Specialized Interagency Response Team (SIRT) of the Henry County(IL) Sheriff's Dept. and served as its Coordinator, recruiting and training local pastors to respond to WMD incidents and natural disasters.

  • Experienced suicide interventionist and trainer.

  • Trained in WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) and WMD Incident Commander (COBRA), through the Depts. of Justice (DOJ) and Homeland Security.

  • Training and Certificate in Critical Incident Stress Mgt. CISM 

  • Graduate of Citizen's Police Academy Training through the Bloomingdale and Glendale Hts. Police Depts.

  • Certified Emergency Response Chaplain (CERC) currently serving at the Glendale Hts. Police Dept.

  • Has worked with Senior Adults, particularly those with Alzheimer's Disease or other Dementias since 1985.

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Contact us



PHONE: (630) 557-6229

FAX: (630) 491-1594

Rev. Carlene makes house calls throughout the Greater Chicagoland area in the following counties: DuPage, Cook, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, & Will.

For persons outside of these areas,try OUR SECURE E-Counseling!!! This service is available to clients anywhere geographically. When requesting an appointment, please indicate your preference for in-person or online service. IF YOU ARE IN IMMEDIATE DANGER, PLEASE CALL 911 OR ONE OF THE FOLLOWING NUMBERS:





"You have been with me every step I took, forwards or understand who I am. What has been so hard for me, you say to me [that] I can do it" 
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