Thursday, June 30, 2016
Did you realize that the percent of people with addictions in the former USSR was higher than most inner cities in America? When we first heard the Lord call us to raise up people in Russia we asked some experts about drugs and alcohol abuse.
One of them said, "Alcohol abuse is very bad and other drug use is growing. As many as 75 to 80% of adult males are alcoholics.
I did not believe him. Then I visited Russia, walked on the streets and spoke with those attempting to help. They thought it was higher still!
When digging a little deeper I discovered several main causes or roots to that massive epidemic.
Only 20% of the men born in 1923 survived WW II! They would have been 17 to 20 years old during the war and most were killed.
The trauma and grief left by such slaughter in the entire nation is unimaginable. The entire nation suffers from PTSD. It will take tens of thousands of people trained in Inner Healing to liberate the Russian people.
Pray for Russian Christians as they minister inner healing with God's love and power.
Gary Sweeten Support us as we tackle that task.
Pray for Paul, a recovering alcoholic, who leads groups and trains others to lead.
Sunday, June 26, 2016
Does caring over the long haul really make a difference? It can be hard work to listen. It takes patience and time and commitment. There are usually no immediate changes and there may never be any radical changes.
So why do it?
Watch a video that does not answer these questions but can nudge us toward an answer.
Gary Sweeten you can support us here.
Saturday, June 25, 2016
The battle between those wanting faith and government to come closer are me with great resistance. Many think faith and religion has no place in business or government.
Can you explain your faith better than this guy from Harvard?
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
We are in the midst of a lot of drug problems and even some deaths. Many people use the term "Epidemic" but that is too strong, in my opinion.
This chart indicates that heroin use has about doubled since 2002 when it was one person per 1000 people. That is a huge problem. When I first went to Russia, drug abuse was much higher and we called that an epidemic. We have seen our work with building healthy families produce dramatic results.
Even if the rate of use and deaths had not increased, we need to do all we can to reduce it. However, I find that the best ways to reduce both the use and abuse of drugs is not "education".
Drug users already know a lot about drugs. Even if they do not, the ability of straight, educated, middle class people lecturing potential users on dangers will likely backfire. We know from outcomes on the DARE programs that after taking DARE, kids may be less likely to intervene and help a friend that is starting to use.
The key to prevention is to get to the roots not overly focus on the fruits. Make sure kids have great relationships with parents, teachers, coaches, youth leaders at church, etc.
Make sure they have an opportunity to develop relationship with God. Pray for your kids and with them. Go to services and share the good news.
there are no guarantees because people can do what they want. But prevention always begins with great relationships not lectures.
See our stuff on great relationships.
Sunday, June 19, 2016
Eager learners in Russia
I just learned that another class of Seasoned Believers is to graduate from the Liferoute School for Care and Counseling. The ceremony is this Wednesday, June 22.
Will you join me in thanking God for faithfully calling and supporting these men and women to minister. They are dedicated to restore Christian Soul Care to the people of Russia. The needs of the people there is deep and strong but God is faithfully raising up a wave of people with tough love to combat the evils put on them by 70 years of aggressive atheism.
Support Russian Christians at our web site.
My colleague and I were training Counselors one day and listened to one the them tell about the difficulty of one family. She was stymied about what to do.
The story was not unusual to most veteran counselors, but this young woman was barely out of college and the family posed an overwhelming mystery. As she talked, the terms she used were always about the troubled child and his mother. I naturally asked, "Is the father dead or gone? I don't hear him mentioned."
The lady replied, "We always work with the mother and child. Fathers are not important".
I did not attempt to correct her but saw she is a victim of modern psychology and social training that rejects the importance of a man in the home. However, almost without exception, research data says that is wrong. Dads are critical to the growth and maturity of both girls and boys.
Single parent households led by a female are not destined to leave dysfunction children, but they do more often than two parent homes where a man is present. Maybe that is why scripture pays so much attention to care for widows and orphans.
Adverse Childhood Events' Research show shockingly higher rates of diseases, early deaths, addictions, violence, etc in homes with an absent father. Why so much urban violence today? Out of wedlock births are very, very high!
Do we see any fathers weeping at the deaths of their kids in Chicago, Baltimore or Cincinnati? rarely.
Dads, keep the faith. God and science are on your side.
Thursday, June 16, 2016
The current political and social upheaval in America as well as around the world is had to understand and even harder to solve. Why are so many people so angry and bitter?
Our family life, culture, schools, friends and faith builds within us a set of values and rules that always seem right and special so when we interact with those with different values it is a challenge to know how to respond.
Persons from a home and culture that has helped us "Leave home" by developing the ability to think clearly, reasonably and cooly are able to encounter differences and challenges by responding without losing control.
This is a rare thing to behold. When we meet a person like that we need to learn from them.
It is far easier to REACT with anxiety, fear, defensiveness, anger, aggression, etc. It is a "The Fight/Flight Response" that indicates he/she has failed to integrate his views and has a deep fear that others will force him or her to change.
Take this scenario. I am interacting with my young son who says, "Father, I am ready to leave home. You are oppressing me and I must be on my own".
(The kid is obviously immature and REACTIONARY!) But his immaturity is a real test for me. Does this attack by my son push a button in me that I also REACT as badly as my child?
Could I respond with the same coolness and calmness that the father in Luke 15 did? Am I as mature and peaceful as he? Can I could Respond in love and patience or be as REACTIONARY as the elder brother did when his little brother came home from sowing wild oats.
It is a big challenge to respond with Fruit of the Spirit instead of bitter attacks. It can take a lifetime of worship, Bible study, prayers, worship and pain to become peaceful in the presence of immaturity in others at home, work and politics!
Renew your mind with a Power Christian Thinking eBook.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
The Bible has a lot to say about healing the brain. Unfortunately it can be easily missed by those who misunderstand the way Jewish people communicated in pictures/visuals. We in the west tend to think in parts as if the mind comprehends things better than pictures. We like analysis better not entire concepts.
For example, in the Creation Account, the Bible uses vivid pictures to convey the processes God used. It talks about light, water, darkness, the Spirit moving like a bird, green gardens and so forth.
It is simple and wholistic. "In the beginning, God Created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was without form and void..."
Had a western scientist written the Bible is might say, "In the beginning, the molecules came together in a millionth of a millisecond and a great explosion expanded to a billion miles instantly.
Do you see any difference? Scientists now communicate about the brain in similar ways. The brain has billions of cells and synapses that communicate at the speed of light.
the Bible talks about images and feelings with terms like heart, soul, and guts to say the same things.
"Her leads me in green pastures, beside still waters..." How can we forget that mental image or Brain Map?
Get my book, Power Christian Thinking to learn more and change your mind.
Can you think of other terms about pictures and images?
Monday, June 13, 2016
Traumatic events actually leave an impression or map in the brain. And, the pain of the original even can get worse over the years. How does that happen?
It is rather easy to explain. The pain increases the same way a habit, good or bad, increases over time is we continue of practice the same behavior.
We have lived north of Interstate 275 around Cincinnati for almost 15 years. The entire time we lived here we exited the ramp from I-71 to Field's Ertle Road by turning into the ramp and stopping in a few yards at the traffic light. We could go straight or turn either direction on Mason Road.
This summer they changed the exit. It now loops around the exit to take me straight onto Mason Road. Each time I come to the exit my old habits return and I am tempted to turn down the exit the same ways I have fo 15 years. It takes mental energy and conscious thought to restrain my "natural" habit. That temptation can remain for months or even years.
Old Habits Die Hard!
The more we develop a habit, the stronger it can become and the longer it takes to change it. Imagine for a moment that you and the family go out after a big snowfall with tubes to slide down the hill behind your house.
The first few slides you can't guid it too well because it tends to choose it's own path. However, after five or ten repetitions, a nice, deep pathway has been formed and it is easy to slide down that worn path. And, it is not easy to steer the tube out of the path.
The brain is like that is well. Events that are good, bad or even traumatic can be deepened and strengthened when after the initial event we think about it over and over. So, if we want to build a strong habit of a positive nature, meditate on it over and over. In the same way, rumination, or negative meditation, will build a bad or painful habit.
Every person develops both so if you want to delete negative habits and strengthen great habits, read my books found in Ebook PDF form at Sweeten Life Systems.
Friday, June 10, 2016
You may wonder why I have been posting about phantom limb pain. Hang on why I tell you.
Most of the people in psychological/emotional pain suffer from Phantom Oppressors! The pain is still present in their minds but the oppressor is long gone, even dead.
Years ago when my mom was in the hospital, I drove back to Illinois to visit her. While waiting for the surgery to end, my aunt and I chatted about our family tree.
I said, "Aunt Lena, why are you such a strong Republican and my dad your your dad were such strong Democrats"?
Her face instantly became red, her eyes blazed and the veins in her neck stuck out. She said between clenched teeth, "No SOB Democrat is going to tell me how to vote"!
I was stunned at her intense reaction and said, "Who is trying to make you vote Democrat"?
"MY dad!" she practically shouted.
Her father had been dead for over 50 years yet he was still oppressing her every day. How can that be? He was a phantom from the past, yet he was still yelling at her at age 75.
Most of the people I have worked with over the years are still reacting to events in their past to oppressors long dead. Despite the fact that the "limb" beating her is buried it needs to be straightened out.
How can we do that?
Thursday, June 9, 2016
A couple of days ago I wrote about biblical ways to change our mindsets and relieve our pains. Romans 12:2 says we can change our brain and mind in ways that what we Perceive reality will be altered.
Question: Does this mean that we can stop having pain from a phantom limb by altering the way we think?
Answer: Yes, because the pain is no longer in the arm. It is in the brain.
Q: How can that be? Is the brain actually damaged from the injury? Is it real brain damage?
A: Not exactly damaged. The brain does not develop lesions. However, it does develop new and stronger pathways for the pain messages of the brain to make us feel as though the pain is in the body.
Q: So, how does renewing the mind actually change the brain?
A: We need to overwrite the old mental picture. The Mind Map developed as a result of the accident must be changed. It can be replaced by thinking new thoughts and developing new images in the brain.
Q: What happens if we do not replace the original Mind Map? Can pain get worse?
A: The more we think about the original events that caused the pain, the deeper and stronger than it was as a result of the event. So, the pain can get worse.
Want to learn more about how to replace old, painful Mind Maps? Get our books at Sweeten Life Systems.
Sunday, June 5, 2016
It must be obvious to that a limb that has been amputated cannot be the source of chronic pain. If the limb is gone, we cannot feel the sensations from it. The limbs are sometimes buried miles away.
When an explosion, accident or disease first occurs the nerves travel at the speed of light to the brain and the brain draws a little map of the injured area. It immediately sends a message back to the body that says, "There is a problem. I have been hurt. Protect me."
From that point on, the brain has a memory map or mental map of the hurt area. Unless something occurs to heal that brain map, it will continue to send messages of pain to the body as if the limb was still there. Since the brain remembers many things from the past that are long gone and far away, why not the pain from an accident.
Want to know more about healing brain maps? Go to my book store and get some of our materials.
Friday, June 3, 2016
When I learned that Listening deeply and patiently was the very best way to influence others to grow, change and be healed, it shocked me into rethinking my approach to care and counsel.
then I learned about the power of Renewing the Mind and I started applying it to my own life with great benefit to peace and joy. (It also gave me a powerful tool to teach others about.)
When I learned about Prayer Therapy it led me to seek prayers for my own inner pain and I saw God's Spirit unravel a lot of baggage within me and my friends.
When I learned about how families relate as emotional systems from generation to generation it led me to act like Sherlock Holmes and find out all about my ancestors!
Then I decided to put all of these ideas together into a systematic system of wellness. We called it "The Teleios Model" of life. (Teleios means Wholeness).
We have been equipping Christians all over the world for decades to adopt and use the Teleios Model in churches, families and communities. I love to tell about it and I love to teach the classes because so many people are released from past dysfunctions through them.
This summer I get to teach a lot of folks Family Systems from generation to generation. It be at the Vineyard in Tri-County for 5 weeks on Monday nights starting July 11. No registration and show up a little before 7:30 PM.
See their link for child care and schedule.
You can get the entire Book on my web page. It is How to be Me in my Family Tree.
Ya'll come on down on any night. I guarantee a lot of action and fun. Bring your dysfunctions with you and leave them at every session.
Thursday, June 2, 2016
One of my family members lost an arm. The brother of the man found it and took it to the funeral home and they buried it. Later, the victim complained that his arm hurt. Terribly. It was, he said, buried in an award way so it was hurting him.
The friends and brothers went to the burial ground and dug it up. They opened the box and straightened the arm as the victim watched. As soon as it was straight, the pain left the man's phantom arm.
How can that be?
Why was there pain in the first place?
Where does pain come from? The arm of the brain? If it is the arm. How could it hurt after the limb was gone from his body? If it is stuck in his memory bank the pain will remain as long as the memory is there.
Why did the pain leave after the arm was straightened out? What changed?
Tell me what you think.
(Hint! It is not in the arm.)
Go to our eBook store and get my book on Power Christian Thunking and you will discover how to remove old painful events like a dead arm.