The Purpose for Smeltzer Counseling is to recognize and heal the
problems that keep our lives from working. We trust God to reveal the problems and heal them.

I believe true Christian counseling should be based on the principles God values. Jesus simplified what is most important to the Father when He said, "love God with our whole heart, soul, mind, strength and our neighbor as ourselves."

I am deeply committed to helping you in your relationship with God, with others, and with yourself.


I have been counseling and helping Christians since 1966 to strengthen their relationship and walk with God and to help resolve their dilemmas that they have with themselves and other people.

I graduated from the Univeristy of Colorado with a degree in psychology from Dallas Theological Seminary in 1966, with a ThM Majoring in Greek, and from Trinity Southern with an M.A. in psychology.

After graduation from seminary, I began to pastor on church staffs. For over 24 years, I served on the church staff of six different churches from Bible Churches, to a Baptist church to those that embraced all of the gifts of the Spirit, from Boston, Massachusetts, through Texas, to Anaheim, California. Of the churches that I pastored, I was privelged to have helped start two of them.

In my pastorates, I spent many hours doing pastoral counsling, starting in 1966. In 1979, I began a completely separate counseling service in Fort Worth, Texas, called the Christian Center, and have now for 31 years, served as a professional counselor.

In 1992, the Lord led me away from the dual role of pastoring and counseling into full time counseling. It has been my great honor to be trained as a pastor and as a professional counselor, to have been licensed by the State of Texas, and to have understood and experienced from God Himself some of God's ways to restore and heal people, and to specialize in people's healing.

I currently live in Texas with my wife of 43 years, Joyce. I have two adult children, David and Amy, and have been blessed with two grandchildren, Axel and Anthony.

I believe that if counseling is truly Christian it has to help people with the two things that interest God most: loving Him and loving our neighbor. Practically, I deal with these two things by helping people who can't make their Christian lives work in relationship to God and I help them with problems they have in relating to other people. Both of the Lord's commandments to love Him and to love our neighbor directly relate to the heart, soul and spirit. To be able to love God and our neighbor, our hearts, souls and spirits need to be healed from the wounds, damage and brokenness that are caused by sin, life experiences and Satan, the enemy of every Christian whose goal is to devour and destroy their lives. All the healing done in my ministry is done by the power of the Holy Spirit through teaching, listening, revelation and prayer.

To understand how this works, imagine a square with four squares inside it. The upper left square represents our memories and history which involves 4 things: our personal pain, our beliefs about ourselves, the strategies we devise to defend those beliefs and our paradigms in life (larger beliefs about life and God). I believe God heals all four of these things. Through teaching, listening and praying for specific issues in all these areas which are different in every individual, God heals memories and renews the mind by changing wrong beliefs.

In the upper right hand square is the heart, soul and spirit. Healing the memories and history doesn't repair the damage done to the structures of the heart soul and spirit. For example, if I'm walking down the street and someone ambushes me and breaks my arm, God asks me to forgive the person. When I do, it heals my anger and my beliefs but I'm still left with a broken arm which needs to be repaired. The heart, soul and spirit are like the broken arm. Even when our painful memories are healed and our beliefs are changed, our hearts are still broken. This explains why, for example, after forgiving someone who hurt you, your anger returns and you wonder why the forgiveness didn't work.

The lower left hand square represents things from our generational history that afflict us. Many Christians deal with their own personal sin but not their generational history. When we look closely at our family history we recognize how certain physical problems, character traits and sins are common to many family members. God has provided a way to be healed of problems that are directly related to our family history and have afflicted us for years. Through prayer the family patterns can be broken.

The lower right hand square represents how we relate to others. Each of us finds ways (styles) of relating which help us cope with our sins and problems and make us feel safe with other people. These adopted styles cause problems in our relationships. In my counseling relationship with my clients, these styles of relating emerge. As they do, I deal directly with each client's particular issues as they affect my own personal relationship to them.

My commitment is to the inerrant, verbally inspired word of God. I believe in the Trinity; I believe in the incarnation of the eternal Son; I believe in the substitutionary work of Christ on the Cross; He died for our sins, was buried and rose on the third day. I believe that all of the gifts of the Spirit are meant to be experienced today. I believe in the visible and invisible church. I believe that God desires to heal and heals today in the physical, social, personal and spiritual realms.

To make an appointment, contact John at

With the exception of One-Week Intensives, all other sessions meet bi-weekly for two hours. If you are a new client, please note that Forms are available online for your convenience and should be brought to your first appointment.

General Sessions

Most counseling sessions are 2-hour biweekly sessions and the fee is $240.00 ($120.00 per hour). Two hour sessions offer more continuity and an opportunity to explore a single issue more thoroughly.

Week-long Intensive Sessions

Clients who come for a 15 or 20 hour week of intensive counseling and prayer are charged the hourly fee of $120.00. The fee for individuals who schedule a 15-hour intensive amounts to $1800.00. The fee for couples who schedule a 20-hour intensive amounts to $2400.00.

A required deposit of 50% of the total cost is paid at the time the appointment is scheduled.

For your convenience, please click on the forms below, print them and bring them completed to the first appointment.

A word about the life-history questionnaire:

The purpose of the questionnaire is to give John as much information as possible before the first session. It not only saves the client time but also gives John an opportunity ahead of time to begin thinking and praying about the significant issues you will be dealing with together.

Since many of the quesetions are extremely personal in nautre some clients feel uncomfortable about revealing the information to a stranger and / or putting it in writing.

IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO ANSWER EVERY QUESTION. However, the information you give helps him to undersatnd you and the issues you struggle with. The more he knows, the more quickly he can get to the heart of the problems.

A few comments from friends and clients:

"Every time I'm around you, I just want to shout to the world and especially the church that I finally know a leader who is his message."--Cindy Bumpas

"John Smeltzer...has shown me what life is supposed to be."--Ralph Freeman

"Your counsel, gifting, and being a true sage has been pivotal in our lives.""--Bart and Tannah Hansen

"I actually like [who] I am today because of all that God did for me through you."--Amy Blue

"John is a scholar with a father's heart & a prophetic spirit that testifies of Jesus."--Chris Berglund

The following Essays and CD series are written and produced by John Smeltzer and are the result of his passion to understand the inner workings of man and the dust from which we all come.

Freedom from Christian Prison: Truth About the Heart (CD Series)

Freedom from Christian Prison is a 5 CD, 6 message series designed to help Christians discover what keeps their spiritual lives from working. In the American church we are desperate to know how the Christian life works since we are so often told what to do and believe, but not how to do what we already know in our heads. This message is meant to show that by living from our hearts, we can genuinely live the Christian life we seek.

The Ordinary Christian (Essay)

Knowing what it means to be ordinary and then accpeting our ordinariness liberates us. It is the core reality of Christianity and Christian living and is the secret key to experiencing the Christianity we long for.

Journey Out of Religiosity (Essay)

Much of the American Church is religious, not spiritual. John helps us to identify religiosity and to understand how it keeps us from living the Christian life.

Fifteen Stages out of Religiosity (Essay)

In this article, John describes 15 stages he has experienced in his own journey out of religiousity.

The Heart: Part I (Essay)

Many of us live our Christian lives trying to please God through works. Learn more about why our lives aren't working according to the scriptures.

The Heart: Part II (Essay)

Learn how to live in your heart fully, thus fulfilling the commandments to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself.

Essay Package

This essay package includes all five of John's currently available works: 1) The Ordinary Christian, 2) Fifteen Stages out of Religiosity, 3) Journey out of Religiosity, 4) The Heart - Part I, and 5) The Heart - Part II.

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I believe true Christian counseling should be based on the principles God values. Jesus simplified what is most important to the Father when He said, "love God with our whole heart, soul, mind, strength and our neighbor as ourselves."

I am deeply committed to helping you in your relationship with God, with others, and with yourself.

Freedom from Christian Prison is a 5 CD, 6 message series designed to help Christians discover what keeps their spiritual lives from working. In the American church we are desperate to know how the Christian life works since we are so often told what to do and believe, but not how to do what we already know in our heads. This message is meant to show that by living from our hearts, we can genuinely live the Christian life we seek"

CD 1: The Nature of the Heart

The Scriptures teach truth about the heart that has long been lost for some reason to the American church. My hope is that these secrets will once again belong to the church and that the church will begin to live more fully in and from its heart so that the Lord Jesus Christ is honored and glorified as never before in the church’s history.

When I speak about the heart, I of course am not talking about the organ that pumps blood through our body. I am speaking of that immaterial, invisible part of us that is our actual personality. The heart is who we is our true personality. What most people are afraid of when they think about living in their hearts is not their hearts but their flesh. No want or desire comes from the flesh; only impulses, cravings, compulsions and addictions. From the heart come wants, needs and desires. So learning these distinctions can help us greatly.

Thus, this series begins with two secrets: our heart is the real us, our real and truthful personality; …And second, this marvelous heart is also cleansed from sin and contains righteousness, both by the blood of Jesus washing the heart and by the power of the Holy Spirit who grants us Jesus’ righteousness. To embrace these truths and to begin to live life by them is historic. My prayer is that it will become true for everyone who listens to these CDs

CD 2: Living in the Heart

If living in the heart is so important, how can we do it? What are the characteristics of living in the heart? To answer, there are several: First, we must be aware of our surroundings using our five senses, the feelings in our hearts, and the random thoughts in our minds. Second, living in the heart requires risk taking. In fact I believe this may be the number one rule for living in the heart. It requires continuous and daily risk-taking. Risk-taking forces us out of our thinking and out of our false sense of security. It deliberately creates insecurity which requires trusting the heart instead of the mind. Every time we risk, we are being trained to “trust in the Lord with all our hearts,” rather than depending on our own understanding.

Third, living in the heart means trusting our hearts. If we trust our hearts then we trust the following experiences: First and foremost, we trust our inner knowing. The heart knows, the mind thinks. As Pascal said, “The heart has reasons that reason knows nothing of. Second, we trust our feelings. Third, we trust what our body senses. Fourth, we trust our wants. Fifth, we trust our need. Sixth, trust what brings you pleasure. . “whatever your had finds to do, do it with all your might” even enjoying the desires of your heart that you love and enjoy. Seventh, trust what you want to do with your life.

Fourth, living in the heart means waiting. When we live in our hearts a stillness descends into our lives. And fifth, living in the heart means friendship with Jesus. Friendship with Jesus means hearing His voice and doing what He tells you. Living in and from the heart then is what our American church needs as much as anything else. It is not complicated. It is relatively simple to learn to do this. Not easy, but simple.

CD 3: The First Reason We Do Not Live in the Heart

The first reason most of us can’t live in our hearts is because we’re religious in a negative and destructive way…I’m not talking about a religious spirit; I’m talking about you and me being so religious that we can’t walk with Jesus. The most important thing I found out (in my personal journey) is that religiosity is not a matter of behavior, but it’s a matter of the heart. I discovered over a long time that there are three conditions of the heart that make a person religious. If a Christian has a hard heart, a hidden heart and a blind heart, that person is religious, no matter what other spiritual behaviors he engages in. And I discovered to my shock that I had all three conditions in spades.

CD 4: The Second Reason We Do Not Live in the Heart

The second reason we can’t live in our hearts is because we have a style of life and a way of relating to other people that is compulsive, predictable, rigid and unworkable. We have a survival sytle of relating that is destructive. There are three choices we make when we relate to other people. In every conflict that arises, every discussion we engage in and every opportunity to choose, we either resist, we submit or we separate from the other person in the relationship. Some of us have trouble making these choices, thus we find one that is most suitable to our temperament and it becomes a rigid mode of relating to others. If we don’t feel the freedom to make all three kinds of choices in our relationships with others, then we’ll have troubled and unhealthy relationships.

CD 5: PT 1- The Third Reason We Do Not Live in the Heart

The Christian life may sound complex but it is relatively simple. It is the simple fact of Jesus Christ being asked to express His life through us as continually as our humanity will allow. When one lives through the whole heart, he is aware of the two sides of himself. He is aware first that there is a magnificent side to himself. His heart is clean, his human spirit is supplied with righteousness and his soul is purified. But there is another side to ourselves that we become increasingly aware of when we live in our full and whole hearts. This may be the single and most powerful reason that many of us do not want to live in our hearts. On the last CD, number four, I indicated from the scriptures that we are really ordinary people. God knows no super-ordinary people. Ordinary means that we are weak, limited, wounded, needy and sinful. When we live in our whole heart, we become astonishingly aware of our ordinariness.

God accepts us this way, as a sinful person. Although He does not accept our sinful behaviors or our sinful experiences, He does fully accept our sinful being. And He never changes our sinful being... Rather, He requires that we depend upon Him for everything that we need that we aren’t: our Holiness, our confidence, our security, or temper, our anger, our impatience, our lack of love, our irritability, our discouragement, our pessimism, our unbelief and so on."If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water" (Jn 7:37-39).

CD 5: PT 2- How to live in the Heart

On this CD we will discover three very important closing ideas about living in our hearts: first we will discuss the simple process that gets us into our heart, second we will see how to let Jesus live through our hearts, and finally we will briefly learn how to distinguish our flesh from our desires and our flesh from the Devil.

Learning to live in the present moment is fundamental to living in the whole heart. When we get present in the moment, when the focus of attention is on our very own experience in that moment, when we become fully aware of what we see with our physical eyes, what we hear with our ears, what we smell and taste, and what we identify as sensations of touch in our bodies, then we are on the way to becoming present in that moment.

This is essential for several reasons: First, being present immediately puts us into our hearts. It is the door to our hearts. Second, it gives us Jesus in a fresh and continuous way. Most of us don’t get Jesus experientially because we don’t live where He is. He is with us, right next to us always, and He is in us. Therefore getting present puts us in the dimension where He is. And third, we connect with others in a deeper way through our souls when we are present with other people.

The second idea that I am concluding this series with is that we consciously ask for and allow Jesus to live—not in—but through our hearts. If the Holy Spirit is not pouring the life of Jesus through our hearts moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day, then it is impossible to experience the Christian life. The Christian life is the life of Jesus literally being poured through and experienced by the believer through the Holy Spirit.

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