Monday, September 11, 2017

Ground Zero

Four of us from Life Way Counseling Centers spent a few days at Ground Zero. It was just two weeks after the shameful attack on civilians by pagan cowards.  Two of us had the shift from 1:00 AM until 1:00 PM, usually described as the "Graveyard Shift" and it was anything but a quiet and docile time. 

The three tents were placed just a couple of blocks from the downed towers and the air was filled with tiny bits of their remains. One night I sat next to the morgue tent that sat empty but expectant of being filled with the bodies of men and women brought out of the carnage. But none came because everything had been atomized when a hundred weighty floors fell. 

While there I, as a Chaplain/Counselor, was able to listen to the long, painful stories of police and firemen who worked day and night to recover their family members, colleagues, and friends. 

We were all sad to look ahead and see the reality of wars to come to eliminate the evil men that planned such a horrible event. Here we are today mourning the fact that more good men and women have lost their lives and homes as the result of bitterness and hate unleashed on our nation. 

One of the jobs of a Christian like me is to lead people that have suffered to leave their bitterness behind by following the teachings of Jesus to forgive. Ground Zero is an example of what happens when people have no faith leaders that teach redemption and starting over. 

Our Father who art in heaven 
Hallowed be thy name
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses 
As we forgive those who have trespassed against us. 
And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from the evil one.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. 

Let us pray this often; even daily.

Gary Sweeten

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Serenity Prayers for the Myers-Briggs Types

Those who know the Myers Briggs will enjoy this.
  • ISTJ - God, help me to begin relaxing about little details tomorrow at 11:41:32 am
  • ISFJ - Lord, help me to be more laid back, and help me to do it exactly right
  • INFJ - Lord, help me not be a perfectionist (Did I spell that right?)
  • INTJ - Lord, keep me open to others' ideas, wrong though they may be
  • ISTP - God, help me to consider people's feelings, even if most of them are hypersensitive
  • ISFP - Lord, help me to stand up for my rights (if You don't mind my asking)
  • INFP - Lord, help me to finish everything I sta
  • INTP - Lord, help me be less independent, but let me do it my way.
  • ESTP - God, help me to take responsibility for my own actions, even though they're usually not my fault
  • ESFP - God, help me to take things more seriously especially parties and dancing
  • ENFP - God, help me keep my mind on one thing - Look, a bird - at a time.
  • ENTP - God, help me follow established procedures today. On second thought, I'll settle for a few minutes
  • ESTJ - God, help me to try not to run everything, but if You need some help, just ask.
  • ESFJ - Lord, give me patience and I mean right now
  • ENFJ - God, help me to do only what I can and trust You for the rest. Do You mind putting that in writing?
  • ENTJ - God, help me to slow downandnotrushthroughwhatId

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Confusion about Leadership

Bob Robinson is a Great Servant Business Leader

The number of articles, books, and conferences with "Leadership" in the title indicates several thing to me. 1. The need for leaders is great. 2. Need for people already in positions of "leadership" are not very effective and want to learn how to improve. 3. A lot of people think they know something about leading and are eager to lecture the rest of us. 4. Nobody knows what leadership is and everybody is scrambling to find out. 5. ___________________ Fill in the blank.

I have a "pet peeve" on the topic. I think there is great confusion about leadership and many times people are stuck in positions where leadership is needed and required but they are over their heads. Leading, to me, indicates a gift of facilitating a movement of people and ministry toward a mission, a vision, and a goal.

That can be a big problem in churches if the designated leader, the Minister/Preacher is a gifted talker but lousy at leading. Steve Griebling and I were consulting with a church of about 1200 people several years ago. The Preacher was chosen because he was a terrific speaker that drew Christians to hear him by droves. However, he had no ability to lead the organization. He preached at every board meeting, staff meeting, and committee meeting. In a congregation of over 1,000 people he had never even led a committee planning meeting successfully.

Yet, he faithfully attended high power leadership training conferences at the suggestion of his Elders who desperately wanted him to improve his leadership skills. Every conference was filled with great speakers that gave him five to ten points of leading. They did not know how t lead either, but they knew how to preach.

We learn how to lead big organizations by trying our skills out at home and in small groups. 

I. Timothy 1-7 If anyone wants to provide leadership in the church, good! But there are preconditions: A leader must be well-thought-of, committed to his wife, cool and collected, accessible, and hospitable. He must know what he’s talking about, not be overfond of wine, not pushy but gentle, not thin-skinned, not money-hungry. 

He must handle his own affairs well, attentive to his own children and having their respect. For if someone is unable to handle his own affairs, how can he take care of God’s church? 

He must not be a new believer, lest the position go to his head and the Devil trip him up. Outsiders must think well of him, or else the Devil will figure out a way to lure him into his trap.

In fact, I think that few persons gifted in Preaching are also gifted in leading.  Find people gifted, talented, educated, and experienced in LEADING in home, house church, committee, staff, and Elder meetings and place them as the daily leader. 

Want to lead, teach, or minister? Go here to learn. 

Selective Outrage at Evil?

A Wall Street Journal article said: "For the record, of the 20th century’s malign ideologies, Nazi ideas of who should be murdered and why strike me as slightly more odious and frightful than Maoist or Stalinist ideas of who should be murdered and why. The applicability to current U.S. events is slender, though."
This confuses me. Why is mass murder because of race ethnicity/ religion worse than mass murder because of class/ economics? 
Today's mass murder of people with a disability, being unwanted, or being an inconvenience seems just as evil to me. 
Is there a difference in the morality of Leftist Nazis and Leftists Communists? 
Both violate the Commandment, "Thou shalt not murder". 
Both hate their neighbors.

Neither honors their fathers and mothers.

See our web for love!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Can't Forgive?

Those that are engaged in Past Pain will be stuck in the present and unable to think about the future.

Come to Be Trained as a Mentor

We get to do it again! For the third year we will train adults to Befriend high school kids. The goal is to be a caring, supportive adult to a young person. That alone can encourage them to take positive steps toward achieving more in life.

If you have some warm friendship to plant as a positive seed in a kid's life, try it.  98% of the Mentors we trained last time said they loved the training and the practice of helping the young men and women. It helped them personally and in their volunteer work other places. 

And, it will last forever! 

Come and join in the fun and challenge of helping a young man or woman make it in life. 

You can find other information here.  

Friday, August 25, 2017

Gifts, Talents, and Personalities on a Team

We had terrific people on our staff at College Hill Presbyterian. The gifts, talents, interests, and temperaments were varied and we worked hard to communicate. It is not easy for each and every member to be included and needed. All of us took the MBTI and discussed it in many staff meetings. We had a lot of fun and it helped us reduce irrational conflicts. 

Conflicts and anger are inevitable, but bitterness is optional. Jerry was a great communicator and we enjoyed each other despite some big differences in type. 

We also wanted our sermons, teachings, and writings to take the Personality Preferences of our audience into account. We tended to add time for silence and some quiet music for Introverts in services but that often resulted in the High Extroverts being fidgety. 

Since over 85%of Ministers nationally are Extroverted iNtuitive Feelers, a staff must work hard on communication when others are wildly different. Thankfully, not everyone was an N or F. As a result, we had a good balance. 

Go to Sweeten Life for more interesting stuff unless you want to stay unhappy!