• Rev. Carlene Appel-M.Div.

The Right Tools Get the Job Done Right

Updated: Dec 21, 2019

Greetings In the Name of Jesus Christ!

Rev. Carlene and her new "toy," a pneumatic framing nail gun

Many people are surprised to find out that I, a Reverend, Pastoral Counselor, Hospice Chaplain, Pastoral Care Provider, Wife, Mom, & Proud Grandma, enjoy building and construction type work. Yes! I love my tools, drive a Ford F-150 truck, and get as excited as Chip Gaines about demo. Taking out a wall or floor with a sledgehammer is a great stressbuster. For my January birthday I became the proud owner of a framing nail gun. Having the right tools is important and key to getting the job done right.

Similarly, when I'm counseling someone, I help them to make up a toolbag, so that in-between sessions they are able to avert going into crisis mode. For example, rape or sexual assault victims feel like they're, dirty, unworthy, damaged goods, and to blame for the senseless violence they have endured. A mirror is a good tool to have. Useful for affirming oneself, claiming the love of Christ, rebuking the Devil in the Name of Jesus, etc. Another good tool is music. Casting Crowns song "The Voice of Truth" reminds the victim not to listen to those fearful voices in their head blaming, name calling, telling them how worthless, weak and dirty they are. I recommend this tool when the hurtful, blaming voices are getting unbearable. "The Voice of Truth tells me a different story. The Voice of Truth says 'Do not be afraid'." goes the lyrics.

There's the key truth. Look through the Bible. Whenever the Lord or His Angel makes a visitation to call someone to service or reassure one who loves and serves Him from Genesis [see 15:1] on through the New Testament, you will notice the heavenly assurance that there is no need to fear. I teach my clients to learn to discern what voices they are hearing, particularly those recovering from sexual assault, abuse, PTSD and depression. The Voice of Truth which is God's, does not blame, condemn or shoot the wounded. Ephesians 6:10-17 warns us that we are engaged in Spiritual warfare. We must make sure we put on a full set of God's armor for daily wear against "the wiles of the Devil" (v.11). Read the passage to find out what that is. Get in front of that mirror and read Scriptures that affirm God's got your back. Play "The Voice of Truth" by Casting Crowns as many times and as often as needed.

If you are a victim of assault or abuse of any kind, start making up a toolbag, as part of your armor. Rest assured our God is a God of justice and He has nothing but compassion and grace for you and your suffering. His only Son, Jesus, suffered for the benefit of all of us

(Jn. 3:16-17) and wants to reach out to heal and restore you (Matt 11:28).

New Day Pastoral Counseling Services offers compassionate help and guidance for you in the comfort and safety of your own home. If home is not safe, there are alternate safe locations. Rev. Carlene provides non-judgmental services to you regardless of religion, race, or gender, and can meet with you in person in the Chicago area. E-Counseling is another option, and is available to you from anywhere. With your laptop, Smartphone, or tablet we can meet via Skype or Facetime anywhere you are, anywhere you choose. All connections are HIPAA secure. New Day's computer system is monitored off site by our Cybersecurity Specialist. Go to the Contact page and request an appointment today.

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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 (