Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Health Indicators in our Region

A recent report by a collaboration of several groups. Xavier University, The Health Foundation and The United Way. Go to this link for the report.

The report is really an overview of health statistics. Some of the data reveal how many people live and act in ways that are deemed "unhealthy" and other data is simply information on population and other demographics.

One of the things that caught my eye was the lack of any mention of spiritual factors. I am surprised and disappointed because Xavier is a Jesuit University that advertises itself training nurses as "Holistic practices including those coming from a Jesuit Catholic tradition. In this report, nothing would indicate that religious practices impacts our individual and community health in any way.

Several years ago Redbook Magazine did a research study on marital satisfaction. One of the main indicators of satisfaction was the couple's sexual intimacy. On a hunch, the statistician included a few questions about religious practices. To their shock and surprise they discovered that religious couples were more sexually active than those who were not religious.

If that is not enough, they found a powerful correlation between the amount of a couples religious activities, sexual activity, and sexual happiness and marital satisfaction. This was enough to make the face of Redbook really red! Those very sophisticated editors and writers in New York who had long dismissed religious persons as prudes who hate sex faced a dilemma. How do we report these facts? They fly in the face of our prejudices and beliefs but they did come out of the research. Are we going to honestly report the facts or cover them up.

Obviously they reported the facts or I would not know what they found it. However, they failed to expand on the facts with any kind of explanation or elaboration.

The data that looks at habits that correlate healthy lives always includes religious practices. The more religious we are the healthier we are, the longer we live and the better we act. Not that religious people are perfect. We are not and that fact makes us healthier. We who believe in a merciful, gracious, loving God are healthier mentally, socially, physically and relationally.

So, why are religious factors not even included in the report? Why would Jesuit University that markets itself as a "Holistic Educational Institution" leave holistic spiritual considerations out?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Learning to Ruminate

Why do we find Rumination so easy to do and Meditation so hard? Why do we seem to automatically slip into Pessimistic Stinking Thinking when we face any type of Adversity?

Ruminating on Negative Thoughts and Stinking Thinking is so popular and easy to do that we Counselors have an acrostic that describes it. ANTS: Don't let the ANTS get us down. This acrostic stands for


Let's say that your favorite teacher makes a cutting comment to you in front of others. One day while at U. C. I came into contact with one of my favorite Professors of Management. He introduced me this way: "Gary is a country boy trying to be like a city boy". I was crestfallen, embarrassed and hurt.

I was immediately overwhelmed with anger, guilt, remorse, fear and panic and a rush of powerful negative thoughts filled my mind and heart. I smiled awkwardly and left the cafeteria. My mind was racing and I began to Ruminate on all the things that were wrong with me as well as all the bad things I thought he meant by that remark. I could not stop the ANTS from intruding into my head. I was unable to focus on anything else the rest of the day. My Stinking Thinking level was at least an 8.5 on a scale of 10!

My Stinking Thinking and ANT dominated thinking was so powerful that it made me anxious, depressed and skittish all day. I was in a bad mood and was unproductive. The university did not get much out of me after that incident.

Back then I had not learned how to renew my mind. I was very prone to thoughts of blame and shame. I said to myself that "Dr. _____ made me feel badly. he upset me. He made me sad and depressed." I would no longer say things like that to myself. I have learned that my greatest enemy is me! My own Ruminating mind. My very personal Stinking Thinking made me sad.

Until I learned to change my mind, take every thought captive to Christ I was often miserable. I had to decide to trust what God says about me and not worry so much about what other people think. So, I was often miserable. I am rarely miserable now even when other attack or disagree with me. I have come a long way in that regard. (Just ask my wife of 50 years.)

Back then, my wife could make me miserable' my kids could make me miserable; my teachers could make me miserable; even the weather could make me miserable. I was out of control! I gave control of my life to everyone else. I gave others the power to make me feel mad, sad, glad or shame.

Thank God I am changing. Why? Because the Bible tells me so. Why does the Bible tell me to change? Because my old way if thinking made me miserable and God wants me to have joy.

Ruminating on my many weaknesses, fears, problems and possible catastrophes will always lead to misery. Meditation about God and His love, power, truth and wisdom leads to joy. I like my current thinking better.

Only I could change me. I had to stop trying to change my wife and change myself. At first I hated it. It was not fair. She was the problem, I thought. Why was I supposed to change? But it was the only way to be joyful and satisfied and happy in my marriage.

What about you? Whom do you want to change?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Meditate or Ruminate

The Bible tells us to Meditate on God and the Word of God. At the same time, it warns us not to Ruminate on things of the world.

Psalm 4:1 Answer me when I call, Oh God of my righteousness

Be gracious to me and hear my prayer

4:3 You must know that the Lord has set apart the godly man for himself

4:5 So tremble and do not miss the mark

Meditate in your heart upon your bed and be quietly peaceful before him

Godly believers have been set apart for God so rest in him and meditate on him.

Have you ever learned to meditate? Meditation means to ponder, consider, chew over and over in our heart, mind and spirit. Prayer can be done quickly and usually consists of telling God what we think He is missing. Meditation is focusing on God and Listening to what He wants us to think about and do.

The best way to do that is to find a place where we can rest, be quiet and relax for awhile. Let the peace of God descend upon on us and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal herself to us.

Then breathe deeply and allow the Spirit to bring passages of the Bible and godly events into our mind and heart. Think about God, his mercy, grace, goodness and provision. Praise him and sing songs of joy and blessings. Worship and praise allow us to rethink what God is saying to us.

This is Meditation.

Rumination is like meditation in that it happens when we focus our minds and hearts on anything but God. The focus is on our sins, guilt, works, disaster, fleshly desires and condemnation. It leads to spiritual exhaustion and emotional death. The Bible says, "I have set before you death or life so choose life." Why do we choose death so often when we Ruminate?

I was a world class RUMINATOR. I used Ruminations to motivate me to achieve more and defeat others. When I Ruminated I got mad.

First I was mad at me. Then I was mad at someone else. I was mad a lot. I was defensive, divisive, proud of my ability to "Speak the truth" but I discovered that I was bitter not better; judgmental not helpful; harmful not helpful.

I needed to change. It took a long time but I am getting better. I will tell more about how later.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Why are Cliches so Rampant in Christianity?

I read an interesting post on a blog called "The Phillipian Jailer" on cliches. He mentioned one I dislike intensely because it IMO so badly mangles the good news of the gospel. I responded as posted below.

Way back in the Seventies I met an Inter Varsity Christian Campus Ministry leader who was wont to ask more questions that give cliches. His name was Barney Ford and he ended up as Vice President of IV.

One of his questions was, "If you want to know how to add or subtract or multiply, we need to know something more basic; "What is the base number system you are using?"

Cliches are not intended to get at real answers but to put off difficult questions. I have been a Family Therapist and Minister for many years. This brings me into contact with a lot of people who need God's counsel on marriage and parenting. This is where cliches reign big time.

Who do you think only knows that a wife must "submit"? The husband.

Who knows that the husband is always supposed to "lay down his life for his wife"? The woman.

There is no need to understand the deeper things of God, the Bible, marital relationships, etc. Just quote one text out of context and that text is used as a pretext.

We need an understanding of what we and the Bible means by "SIN" and how that impacts humans. We must also understand what it means to a non-believer as a human and a believer as a Christian human for they are very, radically different.

In Genesis 1 and 2 there is no sin but the garden party goes sour in Chapter 3. Here and throughout the Bible we see that the Fallen Nature of all humanity is impacted in 4 ways.

All humans are Rebellious and choose their own ways.

Everyone is in Bondage in every way; body, soul, spirit, relationships, family, generation ally, etc.
Every person suffers from true Moral Guilt and deserves the Justice or wrath of God.

Every person suffers from Shame, a loss of personal identity and inheritance.

Thankfully, God sent Jesus to redeem us from Rebellion with Conversion, Bondage with Regeneration, True Moral Guilt Justice with Justification and Shame with Adoption.

Believers have remnants of these but are now God's children, in His forever family and on the progressive road to health, maturity and freedom in every way.

Cliches will not speak to the whole gospel or to the whole person. Thus, we have a truncated view of fallen nature, a truncated view of the gospel and a truncated view of Christian redemption.

Cliches then are forced to fit into the shallow view of fallen nature and a weak gospel.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Are Fathers Important

This is a good question. So many babies are now being born without a father at home to greet them and love them that politicians can get into trouble by even suggesting that men have any value to a child. Many of us remember that hue and cry that arose from the Progressive Wing of American Politics when Dan Quayle criticized a popular TV show for indicating that a single mother could easily rear a new daughter.

The feminist movement in the Western Democracies have fought hard to bring the value of women out of the dark ages into equal opportunity. Women certainly have rights equal to or superior to men. Since men cannot bring new people into the world by carrying them in a womb for nine months, we need to honor and elevate the importance of females.

Unfortunately, one of the casualties of the feminist movements has been the importance of have two parents not only produce a child but rear it. Today men often feel like a sperm bank and little more. Many government policies make men in the home a liability not a positive. But the government is wrong and the worth of men in the home is actually priceless.

Several years ago I was studying the impact of parenting on the physical health of disabled children. There was not much research written at that time, or now, on the impact of a father and mother on the well being of a chronically ill child. However, I did find one study about the impact of dads on the symptoms of a child with Muscular Dystrophy. It was astounding.

If a father joined with the mother to take their MD child to the Doctor, the symptoms of the child saw more relief than if the dad did NOT join with mom on the trip.

Just imagine that data. All dad had to do was drive them to the Doctor and the child was more likely to get better. That is not much but that shows how important it is for dad to be around for the little things.

Not long ago an article in the Wall Street Journal reported that dad's and moms have very different styles of parenting. Moms tend to be calm and dads tend to be wild and wooly. Traditionally, moms have attempted to get dads to be more like them and calm down. In other words, be more feminine. Unfortunately, they have been very successful to the detriment of the kids. The "feminization" of America has been detrimental to the children. This is especially bad when we see that men are largely absent from the home and kids grow up without a father.

so, dads, be with your kids and do not let mom feminize you into being effete and calm when you play with the kids. Be rough and tough and have fun. And, ladies, you do need a man around. More importantly, the kids need a man around.

Future Misery

On June 15 I posted about how we can make ourselves miserable by choosing to practice Stinking Thinking. This means that we have develop ed the very bad habit of Ruminating on disaster, problems, powerlessness and pain. Why would anyone do that?

Well, the way our brains develop causes it to default into negative thinking, miserable beliefs and a lack of faith in God. We are saved by grace through faith in God not by our own works! And, we are kept sanely peaceful by grace through faith in God not our works. But it does take some work to remind ourselves that God loves and cares for us.

On June 15 I wrote about Ruminating on the past with "If Only Self Talk". This is an easy thing to do and causes us untold misery. It looks at the past through the eyes of disbelief in God's goodness. The next one, "What If____" looks at the future through the eyes of disbelief in God's goodness. It brings misery from the future into the present.

Do you fill your mind with thoughts of a disastrous future? Do you ask, "What it my child dies" or "What if I cannot work" or "What if I fail"? This is future Rumination on disaster instead of futre meditation on god's goodness.

Being positive will not make us rich, handsome or live forever but it will enrich our lives and help defend us against colds, the flu and heart disease. It does help us stay healthy and live longer and happier lives.

High Tech Demands High Touch

While fetching my digital camera from the repair shop, I noted a bunch of clunky old film cameras and their flashes lining a back table. I thought no one used film anymore. Wrong.

The proprietor explained that a growing subset of young people like to work with old-fashioned film technology. Here are kids who computed by the time they crawled, and they're hanging out in darkrooms with negatives and vats of chemicals.

In his 1982 bestseller "Megatrends," John Naisbitt predicted this kind of thing. The more high-tech there is, he wrote, the greater the need for the antidote of "high-touch." He said, "We must learn to balance the material wonders of technology with the spiritual demands of our human nature."

Naisbitt sure got that right. Today's tech giants bear touchy-feely names like Google, Twitter and Apple. Meanwhile, very high-touch women's cosmetics -- basically paint applied by hand -- tout their complexity. For example, Estee Lauder's Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator advertises "Triple-Optic Technology."

As for the cameras, "there are hipsters in Brooklyn that are dedicated to old films and old processes," Steve Smith, who heads the Rhode Island School of Design's photography department, told me. "Those people are true sentimentalists."

Professionals generally work with digital but might switch to film only for large formats, Smith said. However, "there's a huge waiting list" for the Fujifilm FinePix X100, a new camera that combines the two technologies and partly resembles the classically retro Leica.

The renewed enthusiasm for film cameras is part of the larger Slow Movement, which seems to have begun with food in Europe. "Slow Food" is an effort to preserve local varieties of chickens, apples, artisan cheeses and other edibles against the onslaught of multinational agribusinesses selling homogenized products grown and processed to travel enormous distances. The related "locavore movement" encourages consumers to eat locally produced, organic foods.

Look at the popularity of the back-to-the-'50s simple commuter bicycles. Look at the very successful website, on which people can sell their hand-knitted sweaters, homemade jewelry and other crafts.

As corporate consultant Naisbitt wrote decades ago, we want "soft-edges balancing the hard edges of technology."

High-touch married to technology can make big money: Started by a frustrated woodworker, Etsy is now a private business valued at $100 million.

But what about words printed on paper? Can they be saved in a world in which one can download a novel instantly and for less than it costs to buy the paper version? Yes, says former Random House CEO Alberto Vitale -- the first book-publishing executive to insist that contracts with authors include digital rights.

As Vitale sees it, books that do go into actual print will evolve into "much more precious products." They will be "better-printed, better-bound, better-produced and better-marketed, even at much higher prices," he said in an interview with the Wharton (School of Business) Digital Press. The e-books we download on our Kindles, iPads and their like will become something like the paperbacks of the past.

In a similar vein, e-mail has not killed off old-fashioned letter-writing, but set off a counter-reaction. Well, for some of us, anyway. Apparently, precious communications -- such as thank-you notes -- are more often being handwritten on fine paper. (Check out the shop at And there is a strong market for vintage and new fountain pens, plus inkwells.

As much as I love my gadgets, I've been trying to turn them off at the end of the day and instead tend to my heirloom tomatoes. Amazing that John Naisbitt had this figured out almost a decade before anyone had even conceived of a World Wide Web.



Saturday, June 18, 2011

Loving Our neighbor

An organization here called Cincinnati Innovates sponsors an annual contest to spur creativity and entrepreneurial activities. Last year we entered and came up from last to third place in ten days. We are starting earlier this year and believe you can help us win. Here is our plan:

About 21% of all kids from birth to 18 in Ohio have a disability. Few groups support them as a family. We will train volunteers and family members how to come alongside the entire family. We did yearlong research study with parents who said, "No one ever asked how we were doing in our marriage; no one ever asked to pray for us or our child.

You can vote weekly for us at

Go there and read all about our ministry and the $90,000.00 in prizes. Look for this title:
Village initiative with Parents and vote. If all my friends vote for us we will win in a landslide.

Check the web for a deeper understanding of our call to minister to these stressed out families

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Making Myself Miserable or Happy

My post a few days ago focused on Stinking Thinking and how it makes us miserable. The term I used to get attention was, "If Only".

That term is an obsession with the past and causes us to become anxious, sad, depressed and in a funk. And, that makes us hard to be around. People as a rule do not like to be miserable people.

Events in the world or in the past do not cause us to have bad feelings. Nope. My past failures, sins and mistakes do not make me miserable. It is the ways I think about them that makes me sad, mad or glad.

I was a school teacher for five years. I left it because I worked for a man that was unfair to the students and to me. He gave me very low marks on teaching, discipline, relationships, and so forth. I felt like a failure, a sap and a loser. I made myself feel badly because I ruminated on the bad things that happened as though God could not bring anything good out of them.

Rumination is meditation on negative things. Godly meditation is placing my faith in God and His goodness. Rumination is placing my faith on past mistakes and problems as if they are too big for God to resolve. If I have been Ruminating on negative things, Stinking Thinking, it causes my brain to develop a deep pathway of negative thinking and feelings. These pathways are hard to overcome. It takes a long time to repair those brain pathways and to develop new positive pathways. But it can be done.

Go back to yesterday's prayer and meditation exercise. Go over ti again and again. It takes at least 30 days to repair the brain once it has developed a pattern of negative thinking. That is a lot of work, but it is worth it.

Remember that teaching job that I failed? I do but it does not cause me pain. Because I did so poorly there I went back to Graduate School and studied Counseling. I also received a Doctorate and have travelled the world teaching people how to live joyful lives. Had I been stuck in "If Only Thinking" I could have missed the opportunity to get those degrees and build a life of joy, excitement, and success.

Meditate do not Ruminate!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Want to Let Go and Let God Bring Brain Change?

Serenity Prayer and Meditation June, 2011

This Prayer/Meditation uses YAWNS to facilitate peace

1. Get Comfortable

2. Purposely Yawn as many times as you like

3. Breathe Deeply

a. Breathe Out Negative Ideas and Self Talk

1. (Automatic Negative Thoughts)

2. Fears

3. Worry

b. Breathe in God’s Love, Peace, Blessings

4. Recite a Prayer, Song or Blessing

A Prayer for Courage and Serenity

Rev Reinhold Niebuhr

God, grant me the serenity to accept

The things I cannot change

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference

Living one day at a time,

Enjoying one moment at a time:

Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace:

Taking, as Jesus did,

This sinful world as it is,

Not as I would have it:

Trusting that you will make all things right

If I surrender to your will:

So that I may be reasonably happy in this life

And supremely happy with you in the next

5. Allow names and faces to spontaneously flow throughout the singing, praying

6. Bless all the people God shows you with Love, Grace, Mercy, Peace, Forgiveness, Healing, Shalom, Prosperity

a. Ask God for faith to believe in healing and growth

b. Forgive anyone that has hurt you

c. Bless those who have used you

d. Enjoy the positive feelings and thoughts as long as possible

e. Listen for guidance from the Holy Spirit about anything you need to say or do

7. Move out and do what the Holy Spirit directed

a. Be “Aglow in the Spirit” and bless all you see

b. Love those nearest to you with patience and kindness

For additional prayers and other resources go to:

©Gary Sweeten

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How to be Miserable

Pain is inevitable but misery is optional. Anonymous

We have met the enemy and it is us. Pogo the Possum (Walt Kelly)

Stress is a communicable disease that disables millions and rushes many to an early grave. Every year we see lists of the top ten most stressful jobs. We read articles by Doctors and Counselors about how to reduce stress and those who take the Bible seriously know it says, “don’t be anxious about anything…” so we get more anxious and stressed out because we are anxious.

Let me offer some insights about the issue of stress, anxiety, depression and its opposites. In most things, stress does not come from events outside us. Second, the most powerful source of stress or relaxation; anxiety or peace; depression or joy comes from one place; an organ in my own body! My brain! Take a look at this simple ABCD diagram.

A = Activating Events: My job, family actions, weather, illness, etc.

B = Belief System: What I think, say and believe about that Activating Event

C = Consequential Feelings: How my Beliefs make me FEEL about the Actions

D = Decisive Behavior: Arises from my Beliefs and Consequential Feelings

In real life, stuff happens and we automatically react with C and D in a millisecond. The reaction is not CONSCIOUS in my Beliefs, but my Belief System is active in the feelings and actions. So, what can I do to stop being overstressed and upset? Changing my reactions to events is hard. Since stress is everywhere, why not boost it to levels of misery and a total funk? Here are my guidelines on how to do that.

It is well known that we can make ourselves miserable by the ways we think. Allow me to suggest if you want to be miserable you can do it by allowing yourself to think about all the failures of the past. It is simple, just say to yourself, "If Only I had not...

Married my husband

Dropped out of college

Failed to study in school

Had kids so young

Waited to have kids

Not had so many kids

Had more kids

Saved more money

Bought better things

Did not spend so much on good things

This is called "Stinking Thinking" and it is focusing so hard on changing the past that we drive ourselves into depression and or anxiety. Have we ever been able to change our past? (OK! I know Michael Fox did in "Back to the Future". that movie must have been written by a person whose self talk is filled with "If Only___" )

If we practice this kind of irrational and impossible thinking it causes our brain to develop deep pathways or highways that automatically cause us to fall back into "Stinking Thinking". It takes real effort to STOP it and meditate on the reality of God's grace and mercy. Here is one way to STOP Stinking Thinking.

When an If Only idea comes into your mind: Say STOP. Then fill in the blank with reality.

If Only I had not Married Joe______.


Fill the blank with: "I did marry Joe and I will make the best of it. I will trust God to take that decision and bless it and me to His glory!"

If only I had saved more money _____.

STOP! I did not save much in the past but will save money now and make it up with God's help."

STOP Misery. Start Joy and Enjoyment! You can do it.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

God Can Change Your Brain

Now that is a provocative title if I ever wrote one. Am I just being radical to get your attention or is it true that God can change your brain and my brain?

I have been studying the brain for some time. I am certainly not an expert on the brain, and even if I were I would be a novice because God put together the most complicated and interesting organic machine imaginable when He made the human brain. I am amazed by the speed, power and memory of a computer. However, no computer can stand up to the brain of a tiny baby let alone an adult.

In my last post I showed a diagram of a brain. A simple diagram. A very simple diagram. Yet, we can get a sense of how the brain works by looking at it. First of all, the brain consists of quite different parts. Each of those parts seems to be there for a certain purpose. Some parts seem to hold one kind of memory and another part another kind. And, there are pathways that allow communication from one part to another.

For several years I have used what is called, "Cognitive Psychology" to help people who are distressed. The most common kinds of distress are called "Mood Disorders" and that means Anxiety and/or Depression. Cognitive Psychology is based on the notion that most feelings are caused by the way we think. In other words, emotions are not independent or caused by the actions of others but by the ideas, self talk, values and thinking of ourselves.

For example, a husband may go to a Counselor and say, "My wife made me so mad that I cursed at her." As a Cognitive Counselor I would listen to his explanations but say to myself, "His wife did something he disagreed with and he made himself mad." This approach is consistent with the Bible. you may remember that St. Paul, whose thorn in the flesh was possibly anger, wrote, "Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your own mind".

Let me paraphrase Paul to this husband: "Joe, your wife is not making you mad. You are conforming to her behavior and to be peaceful you need to renew your mind. Do not give your wife power over your thinking and feelings."

If a person goes through life and conforms to the world's thinking, as we all tend to do, then we actually build "Pathways of Habits" that become like ruts on a road. These pathways will automatically, it seems, cause me to get mad when something happens that I do not like. Those pathways need to be changed if I am to develop the fruit of patience and kindness. (The Bible calls these pathways, "The Flesh".

Fleshly Habits are powerful. St. Paul says in Romans 7 they caused him to do things he knew were wrong. "I know what is right but I cannot do it." Theologians call the ongoing process from "walking in the flesh" to "walking in the Spirit" Progressive Sanctification. It takes time, energy, spiritual practices and support from others to progress from fruit of the flesh to spiritual fruit. (See Galatians 5 for a list of each.)

Research with brain scans over the past few decades show that certain spiritual exercises can actually cause different parts of the brain to light up on the scanners. Prayers cause one part to light up because it is changing. Worship causes another apart. Meditation impacts another. So, in a way we can say that a relationship with God changes the brain. Just as physical exercises change the body spiritual exercises change the soul and our brain is the hardware of the soul.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Personal Peace

We seem to be living in the age of anxiety. I have been involved in the Ministry of Pastoral Care and Counseling for a long time but I don't remember ever seeing so many people who are worried about something or many things.

In Graduate School I learned to do assessments. Before we can treat a Client for a problem we must first figure out the kind of problem it is. Once we have a 'Diagnosis" we can come up with an appropriate Treatment. If a person is suffering from anger we are supposed to come up with some kind of standard Treatment and make the Anger go away. If the Diagnosis shows the problem is Social Anxiety or Bi-Polar Disorder we go to the Psychological Medicine Cabinet and get another Expert Intervention and deliver it to the Client and they will be fixed.

The origin of this approach to Counseling is The Medical Model of treating physical illnesses applied to the Care of the Soul. (Psychology is "Study of the psyche or soul.) This came about because we wanted to get paid by insurance companies for our work and they only pay for medical Problems with a Diagnosis. In today's secular humanistic world where Professional Psychology and Psychiatry people no longer believe in a "soul or spirit" we are led to believe in the "Miracle of the Pills".

Historically Church Leaders and Christian Friends had the job of what has been called, "The Care and Cure of the Soul". They took care of the fears, anxieties, worries and traumas we had. Their tools were love, caring, prayer, meditation, retreats, laying on of hands, confession, repentance, forgiveness, worship and the sacraments. These are considered old fashioned and outdated by secular humanist Counselors and Pastors.

However, some of us still believe in these practices in addition to pills and medical treatment. In fact, research over the past fifty years indicates that the quality of interpersonal relationships with God, self and neighbors is more important to , growth and change than medicine or Psychological Treatments.

Sweeten Life Systems is developing a new focus to assist Parents of kids with a Special Need. Our approach to The Care and Cure of Souls is wholistic. We believe in bringing God's best in spiritual, emotional, medical and relational skills together to support people in need. Over the years we have discovered that Prayer and Meditation as well as Bible study, Worship and Caring fellowship are powerful positive interventions. Recent brain research is especially insightful about the positive ways Prayer and Meditation can relieve anxieties, depression and actually retrain the brain to overcome stressful lives.

Stay tuned for a wonderful new approach to Care and Cure of Souls that brings together all of God's good gifts. We are going to ask you to help us get the word out about this innovative and powerful new approach to bringing hope, peace and relational support to Parents and their families.