Friday, February 28, 2014

Growing with A Self-Test

I am speaking Saturday and Sunday at the Southbrook Christian Church in Miamisburg. The topic is the fourth message in a series called Sex and the End of the World. We call it Life in a Warped World. 

We will focus on healing from shock, trauma, abuse, pain, and unwanted behavior that came as a result. First, we want to make sure we offer people HOPE! We want people to realize that God has a plan for us despite the habits and difficulties we find so hard to change. See my book, Breaking Free to be all God wants me to Be. It is on sale for only $3.99 right now so go online and order it.

People of this era are not the first to face pain and difficult behavior. The Bible is full of stories that tell how God used people with deep issues of emotional pain and addictive behavior who experienced healing with God's grace. In fact, one of the world's greatest leaders of healing and change was John Wesley.  Wesley was a genius in healing and growth. His James 5 Groups followed the practice of asking these questions of each other. A SELF-EXAMINATION TEST of The Holy Club of Oxford: The questions they asked themselves each day were:

1. Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I really am? In other words, am I a hypocrite?
2. Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate?
3. Do I confidentially pass on to another what was told to me in confidence?
4. Am I a slave to dress, friends, work or habits?
5. Can I be trusted?
6. Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?
7. Did the Bible live in me today?
8. Do I give it time to speak to me every day?
9. Am I enjoying prayer?
10. When did I last speak to someone else of my faith?
11. Do I pray about the money I spend?
12. Do I get to bed on time and get up on time?
13. Do I disobey God in anything?
14. Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy?
15. Am I defeated in any part of my life?
16. Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy or distrustful?
17. How do I spend my spare time?
18. Am I proud?
19. Do I thank God that I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisee who despised the publican?
20. Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold a resentment toward or disregard? If so, what am I doing about it?
21. Do I grumble or complain constantly?
22. Is Christ real to Me?

Copyright 1992, 1997, 2000 by Wycliffe Bible Translators International and Laura Mae Gardner, D. Min. Permission granted to copy for non-profit use.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Planting Seeds in the USSR

We have a very small ministry in Russia which has the largest land mass of any nation in the world. Yet, despite the tiny nature of our group it is mighty through Christ. Can such a few people really make a difference?

We think so.

In 1992 I went into Moscow to meet a Doctor that was also a Psychiatrist. Those two things were astounding enough but she was also a strong Christian! It was unheard in those heady days after Perestroika.

I recruited her to come to the USA to study in our Christ-centered, in-patient, psychiatric hospital with a strong program for addicts. It was eyeopening for her and for us because she saw God working in the lives of hopeless, helpless people. She returned to Moscow to set up the small ministry there which was designed to bring Christ, the Great Physician to the former USSR. Now, 22 years later it is happening, ever so slowly.

She is returning to see us in early May. Can you contribute to her travel expenses? Any amount will help us pay for a ticket and expenses. Pray about it.

Go to our web page to donate.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Famous Place for a Wedding in Moscow

Russia is not all grim and sad. The hill overlooking the forum for the Olympics in 1980 was a great gathering place for people. It is the tradition in the USSR that continues to celebrate in a public square. Enjoy this fast paced, powerful Your Tube Video.

Ministry in Ukraine

Our Russian team has an in-depth ministry with the people of Ukraine. They have been  vital link to the Professionals who make up the Psychotherapy Association as well as training churches and Pastors how to reach out to the sick, poor, addicted and victims of abuse and abandonment.

After the uprising in Ukraine the team was asked to do a seminar for the Psychotherapists who serve on a a Shock-Trauma Intervention Team.  The online seminar will be focused on training the team members how to help the people who were involved in the Civil War.

Focus of Training
1. How to help the people avoid being overcome with the shock and trauma of war.

2. How to help the Team Members from being overwhelmed by the pain of the victims/clients. The suicide rate and alcoholism rate of the First Responders is usually very high.

Pray for our team and for the Ukrainians. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Sexual Healing (Not the Song)

Six of the top ten most read articles in World and Christianity Today magazines in 2013 were, if my memory serves me right, about sex. In fact, they were about what can be called USA (Unwanted Sexual Attraction).

The articles themselves were all by Christians with a conservative theology. In most cases they were filled with emotional attacks on people to struggle with USA, especially those who do not struggle but accept them attractions.In fact, some seemed to indicate that having an Unwanted Sexual Attraction was tantamount to being an unpardonable sin.

This coming weekend Charlie and I will try to answer the pressing question whether it is possible to a person who has been involved in non-marital sexual relations for many years can be changed, healed and transformed. Is Breaking Free a reality? Read my PDF. download and see

What think ye?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sex and the End of the World

My friend Charlie McMahan, the Chief Catalyzer at Southbrook Christian Church in Dayton is doing a fantastic job of teaching/preaching about sex and the Bible. It will expand your horizons if you can take it! It is NUCLEAR!!

The talk he gave the past three weeks, including today, are perhaps the best I have ever heard on the topic of sex, relationships, fallen nature and marriage. I urge you to watch all three but the message of today is not up yet. (News Alert: It is up and running.Do not miss it.)

There is enough to shock and maybe offend typical believers so be careful lest your assumptions get shaken.  This is not your high school parent volunteer who is embarrassed about his own sexual exploits.

Get ready by ordering my book, Breaking Free because you are going to need healing after you watch these great sermons. By the way, Charlie and I finish up next week with a dialogue discussion on healing and growth.  I wonder what I can say?

With broken hearts, broken families and broken bodies all around us it is a series of great importance to healing and Christian growth. 

Communication and Miscommunication are Rampant

After having tried to teach interpersonal communication, and conflict management in several nations and many parts of the US, let me applaud those attempting to clarify the issues. May I suggest some keys to good relationships?

1. Every interpersonal communication event is “Cross Cultural”. No two people come from the same culture.Yep, even siblings and family members have different parents. So listening rather than talking is the key to accurate understanding.

2. About the greatest cause of misunderstanding between people is not a disagreement over the answer but a lack of agreement over the question. "I realize you are upset with what you think I said but you do not realize that what I said is not what I meant. In fact, what are we discussing?"

3. In a disagreement our brains get all fuzzy, confused and interested in Fight or Flight. This makes clear communication even more challenging.

4. The single most important skill is listening to clarify not talking to make a point. Clarity about the issue, the question, the emotional importance, etc will make or break a disagreement. 

5. What is “truth” is not necessarily “factual”. When my wife asks, “Does this dress make me look fat,” she does not want facts.

6. My perceptions are my reality. The human brain is not interested in facts. It is always on alert for ways to protect and survive. My reaction is to my perception not your reality.

Want to learn more? See my book, Power Christian Thinking.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

What does it take to have a great relationship?


Unfortunately, most people misunderestimate what it is.  This video says there is a lot of empathy here but I am not so sure. See what you think.

Gary Sweeten

Slow Changes; Why So Long? 3

We can see people go through these different stages in the Bible. Read the following report and see each stage Peter goes through.

Acts 10:10 At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort, a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms liberally to the people, and prayed constantly to God. About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius.” And he stared at him in terror, and said, “What is it, Lord?” And he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa, and bring one Simon who is called Peter; he is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the seaside.” When the angel who spoke to him had departed, he called two of his servants and a devout soldier from among those that waited on him, and having related everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.

The next day, as they were on their journey and coming near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour. 10 And he became hungry and desired something to eat; but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance 11 and saw the heaven opened, and something descending, like a great sheet, let down by four corners upon the earth. 12 In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. 13 And there came a voice to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” 14 But Peter said, “No, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” 15 And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has cleansed, you must not call common.” 16 This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven.

17 Now while Peter was inwardly perplexed as to what the vision which he had seen might mean, behold, the men that were sent by Cornelius, having made inquiry for Simon’s house, stood before the gate 18 and called out to ask whether Simon who was called Peter was lodging there. 19 And while Peter was pondering the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men are looking for you. 20 Rise and go down, and accompany them without hesitation; for I have sent them.” 21 And Peter went down to the men and said, “I am the one you are looking for; what is the reason for your coming?” 22 And they said, “Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man, who is well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, was directed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house, and to hear what you have to say.” 23 So he called them in to be his guests.

Anybody here struggle to change when God calls? 

Does this encourage you or discourage you as a Christian?

Let me know! 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I am Changing Slowly 2.

There is much evidence in the Bible that says people do not make dramatic changes quickly. It often takes God and man several interactions to motivate people to change.  Prochaska and Di Clemente discovered Six Stages in each case of change.

1.     Pre-Contemplation: I have not thought I had a problem. Ignorance of a problem.
2.     Contemplation: A light goes on and I think I might have a problem.
3.     Considering a Change: Someday I will make a change.
4.     Change Begun-I will do it now
5.     Change Continues-Maintenance-
6.     Change Completed
7.     I added #7. Integrating insights for Wellness

Monday, February 17, 2014

Slow Changes in Life 1

There is a good bit of resistance from people when we say that change is usually long and hard fought. Many seem to think that any and all change SHOULD be instantaneous. Smokers and drinkers SHOULD be able to stop those habits immediately. Husbands SHOULD be able to lay down their lives for their wives and wives SHOULD be able to peacefully submit to a husband without a struggle. I am sure you can think of other areas in which a person SHOULD be able to stop old habits and start new ways of living.

Many of us love to SHOULD on others about how to change. When we see a friend do something we consider to be wrong we think and even say: “They SHOULD act differently.” However, research on change indicates that all of us go through various stages before any major changes are made and kept.

There is much evidence people do not make dramatic changes quickly. Prochaska and Di Clemente discovered Six Stages in each case of change.I added another Stage. They are:

1. Pre-Contemplation: I do not think I need to change.
2. Contemplation: I think I might need to change some day
3. Count the cost of a change.
4. Make the Change Decision
5. Continue to work on change and not relapse.
6. Complete that particular change
7. Continue to add changes into my wellness
 Want to know more? Get my book, Hope and Change for Humpty Dumpty.
Can you think of any big decisions with these steps in them?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Inforgraphic on Love

What think ye about these items?

Famous Facts about Valentine's Day

                                       Facts Of Love

  • For every 100 single women in their 20′s, there are 120 single men
  • The first diamond ring was given by the Archduke of Maximillian of Austria to Mary of Burgundy in 1477
  • About 189 Million roses are sold on Valentine’s day in the US
  • It would take 30 years of Valentine’s Day spending to amount to one day of Christmas spending
  • In Uganda, a mix of herbs and a grey crowned crane egg is considered a love potion. It is supposed to increase monogamy and affection
  • The seed of the silphium plant has been suggested as the source of the heart symbol
  • In 2010, the average cost of an engagement ring was $2100
  • About 1000M valentines are sent each year (including in-school valentine exchanges)
  • Americans eat about 46lbs of candy per year, per person.
  • 8 billion candy hearts will be produced this year
  • In ancient Greece, carrots were perceived to be an aphrodisiac.
These came from the education site, Edudemic.