Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Healing Damage to the Brain




It has become quite clear that damage to our brain can occur when we suffer from two kinds of  adversity. Harmful Interventions and Harmful Neglect. The slides above do correlations between Adverse Childhood Events  Scores (ACE) and later difficulties in life. ACE Scores are drawn from the number of severe losses in a person's life. Key scores arise from the loss of a parent or loved one to death, divorce, drugs, mental illness, chronic illness, etc. 

Look at the slides and see how the issues of drug addiction and suicide are clearly related to the number of Losses in childhood. A ACE Score of Zero has very few incidences of addiction or suicide but a high Ace Score of 4 or more has a large correlation. 

Two points come to mind from these data.
1. Let us do as much as possible to prevent loss, trauma and abuse. It is impossible to prevent deaths but we can provide big brothers and sisters for orphans. Second, we can focus on treating people with addictions and supporting families with a parent in prison or on drugs. 

2. Let us do everything possible to provide inner healing for the brains of those suffering from high ACE Scores. 

Please read about the ACE Score for Nikolas Cruz, the young Hispanic man that begged for help for his panic stricken life and got little if any. 


Harmful Neglect: 

Lack of Housing
Lack of Food
Lack of  Clothing
Lack of Nurture
Lack of Encouragement
Lack of Education
Lack of Morals
Lack of Protection and Safety

Harmful Interventions:

Harmful Physical Punishment
Harmful Verbalization
Harmful Sexual Treatment
Harmful Emotional Rejection

There are Three Levels of Harm:

Shock: Rare or Occasional Occurrences
Symptoms: Interruptions in ability to interact with others. Excessive shyness, anxiety, fear of others, withdrawal, etc.
Hyper interactions with others; ADHD, compulsive talking, hyper extroversion

Trauma: Common Occurrences
Symptoms: Fight reactions, easily angered, bitter, 
Flight: Hides from disharmony, cannot stand conflict

Abuse: Regular and Harsh Occurrences
Mental/Emotional/Physical disconnections 

Send me suggestions about how churches can provide help for people in pain. 

See our web page to get helpful hints about healing.
www.sweetenlife.com                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Prayer Request is Attacked by Unbelievers





When I read this story I found it hard to believe. Why would people be so hateful they would make harsh comments about a famous actor's prayer requests? Have we ever seen such lack of compassion in our nation before? 

Go to the link and search for Chris Pratt.

Chris Pratt asks for prayer for a friend and gets hammered.

As a Spirit-filled Christian I thoroughly believe that prayer can and often does impact our health and welfare. In fact, the research is clear that faith, prayer, and God's love are life giving.  One study shows, 

STUDY
A new study shows that elderly persons who attended religious services every week were 46 percent less likely to die during the six-year study period than people who attended church less frequently or not at all.


The study, published in the July/August issue of Journal of Gerontology, lends to the growing belief that a connection exists between religious involvement and better health. The lead researcher, psychiatrist Harold Koenig of Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., says the effects of regular religious attendance were so strong that he equated it to that of not smoking cigarettes.


"Participating in religious services is associated with significant health benefits in elderly people, even when you take into account the fact that religious people tend to start out with better health practices and more social support," Koenig says.
The findings are based on the study of about 4,000 elderly people living in North Carolina. Of the 1,177 people who died during the six-year study, 22.9 percent were frequent church-goers compared with 37.4 percent who did not attend church regularly.


People who regularly attended church also showed better abilities to cope with life's ups and downs and were less likely to engage in destructive health habits, such as smoking and excessive drinking.

AIDS Relief

Certain psychological factors appear to promote survival in HIV-positive individuals, researchers have found—optimism, life involvement, emotional expression, a collaborative relationship with one’s physician. And now another psychological attribute seems to enhance survival in such persons as well. It is religion.


This finding comes from Gail Ironson, M.D., Ph.D., a psychiatrist and psychologist with the University of Miami, and her colleagues. They reported it at the recent annual meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society in Savannah, Ga.


Dr. Ironson and her coworkers explored the religious outlooks of these two groups. First the subjects received an "I Worship" questionnaire that dealt with such issues as view of God, view of others, and belief in the possibility of an afterlife. The subjects also received the COPE test, which explored how the subjects had coped when they had found out that they were HIV positive and whether religion was one of the tools that they had used in their coping with that discovery.

The long-term survivors were more likely to report participating in religious activities such as attending services and praying or meditating; to have a more compassionate, respectful view of others; and to use religion as a strategy to cope with their illness. All results were statistically significant, the researchers reported.


Want more on healing? Go to our web store and download some PDF books.

Unbelievers welcome

Monday, February 26, 2018

Mental Illness and Guns



Many people, including the President and other political leaders are attempting to solve the issue of killings in America. One theme is to deny everyone that is "Mentally Ill" the right to buy a gun. As a result, they could not hunt or protect themselves. 

Such an idea makes sense on its face. The notion that a madman like those in the movies getting machine guns is scary and should not be allowed to get any gun.

The kid that killed all those folks in Florida was not, as far as I have read, been diagnosed as being "Mentally Ill". But he was dangerous and needed to be stopped. 

In America, anyone that seeks Counseling for Anxiety, Depression, Alcohol/Drug Addiction, Down syndrome, Autism, Grief, Post Partum Depression, etc, is categorized as "Mentally Ill". In order to have the Counseling/Psychotherapy paid by insurance, it must be "Diagnosed as a Mental Illness". (Beth Brinsko, correct me here if I am wrong.)  

This is why some of us are concerned about making laws based on categories that can be misunderstood and misused. It is like the HIPPA Law. I visited a man in the hospital that was a member of our church. He was registered in his middle name so they would not give me his room number. A well intended law applied badly.

Plus, I will add one additional thought. I will donate $10.00 to a charity for every person murdered in Cincinnati that was shot by a person with a legally owned and registered gun. 

Let us pray for wisdom for our politicians and educators. 

www.sweetenlife.com/store

Great Churches William Carey






Do you wonder what he most influential in church history in the past 100 years were, and 

what trends did they set and how they expressed their influence?  Can those past churches’ successes help us today?  

Read, The Ten Most Influential Churches in the Past Century, published by Destiny Image Publishers by Elmer Towns.  Order this book from Amazon.com


William Carey Baptist Church, Calcutta, India

I took a two-day tour of Calcutta, India, in October 1978, while getting ready to take a gospel team from Liberty University to visit the region.  On Wednesday night I slipped into the prayer meeting at Carey Baptist Church, there were around 100 in the room.  I attended this prayer meeting with Roscoe Brewer, head of missions for Thomas Road Baptist Church. 
The sermon was good, it contained gospel truth, but there was no passion, no fire, nor urgency.  Many people in the congregation prayed, not passionately with tears like I had heard in other churches. 

The church was open for gospel services on January 1, 1809.  There were approximately 660 people when William Carey and Marshman served as the pastors of the church. There were no records kept of baptisms or attendance in the early days. 

      William Carey was born in 1761, a British missionary representing the Particular Baptists.  He had preached his sermon on missions with a slogan that ultimately became famous, “Expect great things from God, attempt great things from God.”  He was the founder of the Baptist Missionary Society in October 1792.  Carey founded the first college in India and translated the Bible into Bengali, Sanskrit and numerous other languages and dialects. Because of that he was called the “father of modern missions.”  

Look at our web to learn how to impact others. 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Great Churches The Full Gospel Church, Seoul, South Korea





I first visited this church on a Wednesday night in August 1978, it was my 25th wedding anniversary. I had arranged for a one-hour interview with Pastor Yonggi Cho because he had built the largest church in the world; I was searching for the secret for his church’s growth.   We met at 5 pm in his office, and sat at a large table that could seat 50 people, where the church elders met.  I did not realize that behind me was a door that opened right on to the platform of the 8,000-seat auditorium.  Cho sat across from me.

“What is the best symbol of the church in the New Testament?” Cho asked me. 

I was challenged by the question, embarrassed I might give the wrong answer. I momentary prayed and said, “The body . . . the physical body is the best illustration of the church.” 

“That is the secret of why my church is so large.” Cho explained, “The body grows by the division of cells.”  Then he explained, “When a man’s semen is joined to a woman’s egg, they produce a single cell so small it cannot be seen with the naked eye. But when examined under the microscope, a single healthy egg will be seen dividing into two cells.  The process continues from one cell to two cells, then . . . four cells . . . eight cells . . . sixteen . . . thirty-two . . . sixty-four . . . etc.” Cho explained his church grows when the small cells of approximately 12 to 15 people divide. Then both new cells grow.

Cho told me the great secret to great churches was not in the construction of buildings as we did in America.  He explained, “If I built my church like the American Baptists, I would have to build a campus as big as UCLA, which was 12 blocks by 15 blocks near Los Angeles, California.  He mentioned, “Americans build small Sunday school classes for 10 students each.  I could not build a church with 7,000 small Sunday school rooms for all my people.  My church building would be as big as UCLA.  He said construction would be a financial barrier and “the city fathers in Seoul, Korea, would never give me permission to construct a church building that large.”

“So my cells meet in living rooms, recreational rooms, and laundry rooms to build the largest church in the world.”  It is then that he explained to me the secret of the small cells. “Everything the larger church does in ministry, is done in the small cells of approximately 15 people each.
Cho’s thinking began to radically change my mind about church buildings.  Why couldn’t we use our church buildings several times on Sunday; we could even have church services on Friday and Saturday nights.


WANT TO READ MORE?

What churches were the most influential in church history in the past 100 years?  What trends did they set?  How did they express their influence?  Can past churches’ successes help you today?  What can the ministry of past successful churches teach us today?  Read, The Ten Most Influential Churches in the Past Century, published by Destiny Image Publishers by Elmer Towns.  Order this book from Amazon.com


Childhood Trauma and Teenage Problems

For decades researchers have been unlocking the ways Adverse Childhood Events (ACE) impact us later in life. The correlation between ACE and smoking, drinking, drugs, violence, suicide, and early death are staggering. As a result, there is a new approach to counseling and education called Trauma Informed Care.



As we ponder how to prevent violence, we cannot overlook the people that do violent things. Why are they violent? Can we do something to prevent violence?

In an earlier post I differentiated among the three levels of Adversity. Trauma does not cover all of them but it is a short-cut name we use for all three.

Shock: Minor to Occasional Adverse Events
Trauma: Regular Adverse Events
Abuse: Chronic Adverse Events

Adversity can be of two large types:
Adversity from harmful Interactions
Shocking Interactions-Dysfunctional relationships; hyperactive, withdrawn, anxious
Traumatic Interactions-Fight/Flight reactions; Easily angered, deeply depressed, social anxiety
Abusive Interactions-Deeply troubled with scattered thinking; Suicidal, out of touch, project feeling

Adversity from harmful Neglect: A lack of nurture, education, food, care, understanding, compassion, medical care, training, boundaries

Shock from incidents of Neglect
Trauma from incidents of Neglect
Abuse from incidents of Neglect

Adversity from harmful Interactions: A loss of a loved one through illness, death, addictions, mental illness, incarceration, work, armed forces, etc. yelling, bullying, hitting, rape and unwanted sex,

Shock from harmful Interactions
Trauma from harmful Interactions
Abuse from harmful Interactions

We must focus on both Prevention of and Treatment

What regular people and churches can do.
1. Learn to Listen
2. Teach everyone to Renew their minds
3. Prayer for healing
4. Nurture and affirm people
5. Preach grace and mercy

My books and videos can help.
www.sweetenlife.com/store







Organizational Success



My friend Jim Buchan writes a blog with great insight and wisdom. His latest post was on one of the key reasons Billy Graham was a successful leader.

Click here to read it.

Other dimensions of success can be found here on my web and store.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Revivals and Awakenings



In the history of America there have been several national Spiritual Awakenings. In 1993 Robert Fogel of the University of Chicago won the Nobel Prize in Economics. Much of his research had to do with these Spiritual Awakenings.

In my reading and experience, every Spiritual Revival is followed by an Awakening. Revivals are events that bring new life to masses of people with God that result in salvations and new interest in the things of God.

Awakenings are what these spiritually renewed and reborn people do after they become mature in Christ and want to impact society. The culture and society itself is impacted in work, play, caring for the sick, the poor, and rejected.

I was very engaged in the great Spiritual Revival that came about in America in the 60's and 70's. It brought numerous new believers into the Kingdom of God and a high percentage were broken in mind, emotions, and relationships. Many people became engaged in delivering care, counseling, and healing to the new people brought to faith in the revival.

I saw similar activities in Scandinavia in the 80's and Russia in the 90's and Asia also in the 90's. Revivals followed by Counseling and Healing ministries. Today we need new revivals and new healing. I am praying for both to happen.

Go to Sweeten Life for ways to minister.


Great Churches Spurgeon in London






Do you wonder what he most influential in church history in the past 100 years were, and 
what trends did they set and how they expressed their influence?  Can those past churches’ successes help us today?  

Read, The Ten Most Influential Churches in the Past Century, published by Destiny Image Publishers by Elmer Towns.  Order this book from Amazon.com


Spurgeon’s Metropolitan Tabernacle

The Tabernacle dates its history to the 1650s, when the English Parliament prohibited worship by Christian denominations (Descenders) who were not members of the Church of England. In 1688 when Baptists were allowed freedom of worship, this group built their first chapel in Tower Bridge.

In 1720, the famous John Gill became pastor and served for 51 years till 1771.  By 1850, the congregation had dwindled to a small number.  In 1854, a young 19-year-old Charles Haddon Spurgeon was called as pastor, even though he had no experience as a pastor.  Spurgeon became the most popular preacher in his day.  He began preaching in the chapel on New Park Street but the crowds became so large they moved their meetings to Surrey Gardens Music Hall. Then the church moved into its large sanctuary near the James River in south London.  Spurgeon served the church for 38 years and they had total membership of 5,311; he died in 1892. 

The church building burnt down in 1898 leaving the front portico and basement intact.  It was once again destroyed in 1941 by German bombing of London during WWII.  Again the portico and basement survived.  A new tabernacle but much smaller in design was then built. 

I led a group of Liberty University students into the basement, directly under the location of Spurgeon’s original pulpit.  At that spot a group of “watchers” gathered every time Charles Spurgeon was preaching, to kneel and intercede for power directly under the pulpit as Spurgeon preached above them.  I had read about the dining room table they gathered around, sitting on dining room chairs, with seating pads.  The watchers would place the pads on the floor then kneel to pray the entire time Spurgeon was preaching.  Many believed their prayers were the reason Spurgeon’s Tabernacle became the most influential church in the world. 

When the students and I visited the basement, the dining room table was pushed to the side as a museum piece, with ropes to keep out visitors.  There was a sign that said, “Do not touch or sit on the chairs.” 

My message to the students, “This church was great because of effective intercession, but now this table is just a museum piece to remind present day worshippers about the past.  Perhaps if there was a group earnestly praying for this church, as they did 100 years ago, they might be as powerful and large as it was back then.  

WANT TO READ MORE?

What churches were the most influential in church history in the past 100 years?  What trends did they set?  How did they express their influence?  Can past churches’ successes help you today?  What can the ministry of past successful churches teach us today?  Read, The Ten Most Influential Churches in the Past Century, published by Destiny Image Publishers by Elmer Towns.  Order this book from Amazon.com


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Great Churches in History Wesley Chapel






Do you wonder what he most influential in church history in the past 100 years were, and 
what trends did they set and how they expressed their influence?  Can those past churches’ successes help us today?  

Read, The Ten Most Influential Churches in the Past Century, published by Destiny Image Publishers by Elmer Towns.  Order this book from Amazon.com

The New Room – John Wesley Chapel, Bristol, England

In 1973, I led 420 students from Liberty University to several Wesley preaching points throughout England.  The free trip was promised to all students who attended the college that year.  New Room had been built in 1739, and was the first and oldest Methodist Chapel in the world.  Rather than being located on a main street in Bristol, Methodists were known to choose inexpensive out of the way plots of ground to build churches.  New Room was built on a plot of ground between two streets and is approached by a passageway.  

In the original day it would seat around 1000 worshipers, I had over 400 students listening to me as I lectured on the John Wesley Fast and its influence in reaching the world for Jesus Christ. Once a month John Wesley held the conference in that chapel, where all of the circuit-riding preachers attended 2 or 3 days of preaching/teaching sessions.  These preachers were called “plowboy preachers” or “shopkeeper preachers” because they were recruited by John from the ranks of Methodist Chapels to surrender to preach and go out to plant a circuit of 30 to 40 churches. 

Wesley said he would ordain a young man who had the skills of reading, writing and he possessed the Holy Spirit.  These men with very little education created a movement called the Methodist Church that within 50 years became the largest Protestant movement in the world.  During the War of 1776, there were only 243 Methodist churches in the United States.  By the War of 1812, the Methodists had grown to approximately 5,000 Methodist churches.

There were five bedrooms on a second floor balcony called “preacher rooms.”  In these rooms leaders would fast on bread and water for 10 days as they prepared sermons for the circuit-riding preachers.  After they rode their circuits for approximately 23-25 days, they returned home to attend a Methodist conference to hear sermon after sermon from great leaders.  They would write these messages down and preach the same sermon when they returned to their circuit. I preached to the students from Liberty University that we could influence the world as the early circuit-riding preachers. I told them we could create the largest movement in the world. 

Contact us to learn how to build a great church. 


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Mental Health and Emotional Distress at Church and School




It is not helpful to use the term "Mental Illness" for everyone that has emotional distress, a disability, or interpersonal challenge. I developed a simple, one page chart to help Ministers and Lay Helpers assess the level of need of a person in distress.

Clinical Therapists use a book with 900 pages and many, many categories of distress to diagnose and treat people. Ministers and Lay Helpers can help support everyone in distress even if they are also in need of Clinical expertise. 

Type A Persons:
About 70% of a church with no life-interrupting problems. 


Level I Very mature and healthy individuals -10%
• Able to lead if equipped
• Strong in relationships and fruit of the Spirit
• Stable and deal with life’s problems
• Full range of emotional life
• Not blown about by every new thing Need: Discovery of mission, gifts, call

Level II Can vary in healthy lifestyles from weak to developing-60%
• Some are fragile but dealing with life • Need to be discipled so Challenge to grow

Type B Persons: Some 30% with differing types and intensity of problems

Level III Ongoing issues and problems that cause disruptions-15%
• Drinking too much • Worried or anxious, sad, angry and dissatisfied with life or spiritual conflicts
• Is strong enough to work and learn from counsel
• No harmful thoughts about self or others Need: Pastoral or lay care and counsel, support group

Level IV Ongoing problems and pain-10%
• Cannot meet personal, work, family or church responsibilities and cannot change
• Misses work due to depression, anxiety, stress, etc
• Compulsive behaviors with sex, drugs, food, gambling, anger, etc.
• Unresolved family conflicts Need: Professional Counseling and church support

Level V Acute Pain-5%
• Lay and Professional counseling have failed to help and the pain increases
• Ideas are distorted, cannot manage life, may think about harming self or others
• Dangerous use of drugs Need: Intensive care in a safe place


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Childhood Trauma and Christians




I was teaching about inner healing in Connecticut in the 80's. Breaking Free was the fifth class in our series of equipping Lay Ministers.

The first is Listening for Heaven's Sake.
Second is Power Christian Thinking
Third is Speaking the Truth in Love
Fourth is How to Be Me in My Family Tree
Fifth is Breaking Free from the Past

The research on how best to bring relief to people suffering from Shock, Trauma, and Abuse concludes that a combination of interventions is most effective. 

First, always treat people with Genuine concern, Respect, Empathy, and Warmth. (GREW). We teach those first.
Second, Renewing the mind from Pessimism to Optimism. From Hopelessness to Hope. From Despair to Faith. We teach this in Power Christian Thinking. 
Third, reconnect with the family. We cover this in "How to be Me in My Family Tree."
Fourth, heal hurts with prayer and forgiveness. "Breaking Free".

I had sent a copy of the Breaking Free from the Past book to Pastor Doug Rumford in advance of the retreat. It allowed him to choose people in advance who had been through the preparatory classes and experiences. We wanted to make sure they were mentally and emotionally mature enough to be engaged in the Breaking Free Small Groups and our intense prayer times.

I was available to visit any small group that needed special attention or that got stuck. One group was trying to assist Mae, a woman in her late 40's who was compulsively trying to develop a better "Self Esteem". She had several degrees with honors and wonderful reviews from her work life, but still had bouts of self doubt and anxiety about herself. Mae had spent thousands of hours in Psychotherapy with little relief.  She was desperate. 

When I attended the group they were stuck after hearing Mae's story of successful life and still felt so badly. I asked if I could focus on her childhood and she agreed that it was OK. When I asked her if she had experienced any severe shocks and trauma during her childhood, she mentioned being lured into a house with food and candy by five German soldiers during WWII. She and her family were extremely hungry so she was trying to get something for them. While there, she was molested by some of the men and then sent away with gifts of food.

The prayer group was immediately caught up in the story.We prayed that God would heal her memories of that awful event. After a time of emotional release and waves of spiritual power, Mae was greatly relieved. However, we sensed that there was still an area of unrest in her.

I gently probed. "Did the Holy Spirit bring anything else to your mind. She thought  for a moment and replied, "I feel guilty because I disobeyed my mother when I went into the house. She had warned me not to go into any house with Nazi soldiers but I wanted the food and candy so badly that I did anyway. Then I lied to her about what happened. I never told my family what those men did to me."

I summarized what she had said and asked her if she had ever confessed her sin to clear up her conscience. She said she had not so we gave her permissions to pray for forgiveness. Mae tearfully poured out her heart to the Lord and asked for forgiveness. Then symbolically she asked her mother to forgive her for events that had occurred so many years before but still remained stuck in her heart and soul.

All this came about after about two hours of listening, prayers, and discussions. The immediate result was a tremendous release of guilt, shame, condemnation, and hidden pain. We do not know the long term results but the Pastor reported that she was a "different person" at home and church.

It is easy to pray for obvious shock and trauma but we need to be open to additional issues as well. By pressing on and in we discovered the basic issue was guilt. 

In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and he answered by
setting me free.(Ps 118:5)



If you want to learn more, go to our web page and see the videos or buy a PDF copy of our books.






Wednesday, February 14, 2018

HEALED AND WHOLE


                             Get the Monkey off your Back


One day I dug a little hole
And put my hurt inside
I thought that I could just forget
I'd put it there to hide.

But that little hurt began to grow
I covered it every day
I couldn't leave it and go on
It seemed the price I had to pay.

My joy was gone, my heart was sad
Pain was all I knew.
My wounded soul enveloped me
Loving seemed too hard to do.

One day, while standing by my hole
I cried to God above
And said, "If you are really there
They say, you're a God of Love!

And just like that -- he was right there
And just put his arms around me
He wiped my tears, his hurting child
There was no safer place to be.

I told him all about my hurt
I opened up my heart
He listened to each and every word
To every sordid part.

I dug down deep and got my hurt
I brushed the dirt away
And placed it in the Master's hand
And healing came that day.

He took the blackness of my soul
And set my spirit FREE!
Something beautiful began to grow
Where the hurt used to be.

And when I look at what has grown
Out of my tears and pain I remember
every day to give my hurts to him
And never bury them again.

By Carol Parrot


If you want to be healed on the inside, be forgiven of guilt, freed from shame, and learn how to have joy, see our web and bookstore. Thousands have and have gotten better.



Thursday, February 8, 2018

A song for Helpers and Heroes



It may not be angels literally but God has many messengers who lead, guide, and show examples of God's love. As I John 4 says

16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.

18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.19 We love because he first loved us. 


Angels among us. A welcome song.

I was walkin'home from school
On a cold winter day,
Took a short cut through the woods
And I lost my way.
It was gettin' late, and I was scared and alone.
Then a kind old man took my hand, and led me home.
Mama couldn't see him,
But he was standing there,
And I knew in my heart
He was the answer to my prayer.
Oh, I believe there are Angels Among Us,
Sent down to us from somewhere up above.
They come to you and me in our darkest hours
To show us how to live
To teach us how to give
To guide us with a light of love.
When life held troubled times
And had me down on my knees
There's always been someone
To come along and comfort me
A kind word from a stranger
To lend a helping hand
A phone call from a friend
Just to say I understand
Now ain't it kind of funny
At the dark end of the road
Someone light the way with just a single ray of hope.
Oh, I believe there are Angels Among Us,
Sent down to us from somewhere up above.
They come to you and me in our darkest hours
To show us how to live
To teach us how to give
To guide us with a light of love.
They wear so many faces,
Show up in the strangest places
And grace us with their mercies in our time of need.
Oh, I believe there are Angels Among Us,
Sent down to us from somewhere up above.
They come to you and me in our darkest hours
To show us how to live
To teach us how to give
To guide us with a light of love.
To guide us with a light of love
Songwriters: Don Goodman / Becky Hobbs
Angels Among Us lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Monday, February 5, 2018

Blind Spots



I was heading up to Centerville, Ohio near Dayton last week to meet with a friend at Starbucks. I sent him a Message to ask for directions.There are many coffee shops in Dayton and I have gone to the wrong places many times when scheduled to meet at a chain cafe.

His message was clear. Starbucks is across the RT 741 from Lexus.  So, with time to spare I started to drive the 45 minutes up to the appointed place. I went up 741 for miles and never saw a Lexus Car place. In fact, I drove around so long I needed gas, stopped and asked a man where the Lexus dealership was so I could find the coffee shop. He sent me about five miles East but that did not sound right. 

On my way I stopped for lunch and asked a guy sitting at the table next to me, and he said, "Oh, just go back here on 741 to the third stop light. It is on the corner." I had been up and down that road looking several times but I tried it one more time.

Sure enough,at the third stop light I saw Starbucks and turned in to the parking lot. However, there was no car dealer anywhere around! Confused and frustrated, I went in and took a seat. I looked across the street to see the sign out in front of the building. To my shock, it said: Lexis Nexis!!!

I was looking for Lexus Automobiles and was unable to SEE Lexis. I had a blind spot so when I passed by the LexisNexis Building, I did not actually say it the same as Lexus automobiles. I had what is called, "Perceptual Blindness". Our brains can only process one thing at a time. 

It is why we can miss so much others are saying. My friend's text was accurate but my mind did not interpret it the same. 

No wonder couples spend half their time asking, "What did you say?" No wonder we can read the same Bible passage and "see" different meanings. 

No wonder we see President Trump's actions so differently. If I see Trump as a positive force, his comments about immigration are reasonable. If I see him as an evil man I will interpret his comments as racist. 

We have a Blind Spot that can keep us trapped in our own, distorted perceptual world. Was the Nunes memo trying to destroy the FBI or is it designed to clean it up? What is your blind spot?

Romans 12:2 says we can "Transform our minds by Renewing it supernaturally." Yes, we know that every person carries around a distorted mind. But hope is on the way.   

Get my book Power Christian Thinking to learn how to Renew your Mind according to the Bible and remove some blind spots. 





Ready for Your World to Change?



                           This group did not prepare for the future.



Just a few things for us all to ponder, especially the younger ones amongst us. Did you think back in 1998 that three years later you would never take pictures on film again? In 1998 Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85 percent of the photo paper worldwide. Within just a few years their business model disappeared and they went bankrupt. What happened to Kodak will happen in a lot of industries in the next 10 years and most people won't see it coming.

Yet digital cameras were invented in 1975. The first ones only had 10,000 pixels, but followed Moore's law. So as with all exponential technologies, it was a disappointment for a time, before it became way superior and became mainstream in only a few short years. It will now happen again with Artificial Intelligence, health, autonomous and electric cars, education, 3D printing, agriculture and jobs. Welcome to the 4th Industrial Revolution. 

Welcome to the Exponential Age.
Software will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years. Uber is just a software tool, they don't own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi company in the world. Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don't own any properties. Artificial Intelligence: Computers become exponentially better in understanding the world. This year, a computer beat the best Go-player in the world, 10 years earlier than expected.
In the US, young lawyers already don't get jobs. Because of IBM's Watson you can get legal advice (so far for more or less basic stuff) within seconds. With 90 percent accuracy compared with 70 percent accuracy when done by humans. So if you study law, stop immediately. There will be 90 percent less lawyers in the future. Only specialists will remain. Watson already helps nurses diagnosing cancer, which is four times more accurate than human nurses.
Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. In 2030 computers will become more intelligent than humans. (NEVER says Albert)
Autonomous cars: In 2018 the first self-driving cars will appear for the public. Around 2020 the complete industry will start to be disrupted. You won't want to own a car anymore. You will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You will not need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance and can be productive while being driven. Our kids will never need to get a driver's license and will never own a car. It will change the cities, because we will need 90-95 percent less cars for that. We can transform former parking spaces into parks.
1.2 million people die each year in car accidents worldwide. We now have one accident every 60,000 miles (100,000 k), with autonomous driving that will drop to one accident in 6 million miles (10 million km). That will save a million lives each year. Most car companies will probably become bankrupt. Traditional car companies try the evolutionary approach and just build a better car, while tech companies like Tesla, Apple, Google will do the revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels.
Many engineers from Volkswagen and Audi are completely terrified of Tesla. Insurance companies will have massive trouble because without accidents, the insurance will become 100 times cheaper. Their car insurance business model will disappear. Real estate will change. Because if you can work while you commute, people will move further away to live in a more beautiful neighborhood. Electric cars will become mainstream about 2020. Cities will be less noisy because all new cars will run on electricity.
Electricity will become incredibly cheap and clean. Solar production has been on an exponential curve for 30 years, but you can now see the burgeoning impact. Last year, more solar energy was installed worldwide than fossil. Energy companies are desperately trying to limit access to the grid to prevent competition from home solar installations, but that can't last. Technology will take care of that strategy. With cheap electricity comes cheap and abundant water. Desalination of salt water now only needs 2k Wh per cubic meter at 0.25 cents. We don't have scarce water in most places, we only have scarce drinking water. Imagine what will be possible if anyone can have as much clean water as he wants, for nearly no cost.
Health: The Tricorder X price will be announced this year. There are companies who will build a medical device (called the " Tricorder " from Star Trek) that works with your phone, which takes your retina scan, your blood sample and you simply breathe into it. It then analyses 54 bio-markers that will identify nearly any disease. It will be cheap, so in a few years everyone on this planet will have access to world class medical analysis, nearly for free. Goodbye medical establishments.
3 D printing: The price of the cheapest 3D printer came down from $18,000 to $400 within 10 years. In the same time, it became 100 times faster. All major shoe companies have already started 3D printing shoes. Some spare airplane parts are already 3D printed in remote airports. The space station now has a printer that eliminates the need for the large amount of spare parts they used to have in the past. At the end of this year, new smart phones will have 3D scanning possibilities. You can then 3D scan your feet and print your perfect shoe at home.
In China they have already 3D printed and built a complete six-story office building. By 2027 10 percent of everything that's being produced will be 3D printed. Business Opportunities: If you think of a niche you want to go in, first ask yourself, "In the future, do I think we will have that?" If the answer is yes, how can you make that happen sooner? If it doesn't work with your phone, forget the idea. And any idea designed for success in the 20th century is doomed to failure in the 21st century.
Work: 70-80 percent of jobs will disappear in the next 20 years. There will be a lot of new jobs, but it is not clear if there will be enough new jobs in such a short time. This will require a rethink on wealth distribution. Agriculture: There will be a $100 agricultural robot in the future. Farmers in 3rd world countries can then become managers of their field instead of working all day on their fields. Aeroponics: Will need much less water. The first Petri dish produced veal, is now available and will be cheaper than cow produced veal in 2018. Right now, 30 percent of all agricultural surfaces is used for cows. Imagine if we don't need that space anymore.
The times they are a changing! Are you preparing for them spiritually, economically, educationally, ETC?
John Schwendler is a retired AF NCO and teacher

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Inner Healing





Inner Healing that Impacts Physical Healing

In 1972 I met an Episcopal Priest from Atlanta who taught about Inner Healing or Prayer Therapy. I had a Master's Degree in Counseling and was working on a Doctorate but had never heard these terms before. Indeed, they are missing from all secular humanist dictionaries. However, they are essential to Christian Care and Counsel. Any Christian that reads James 5 can attest to the fact that inner healing and physical healing are intertwined.

I was very eager to learn more about Inner Healing. It is what the church has traditionally called Soul Care. For  hundreds of years Soul Care was the focus of the church. Physicians focused on healing the body but Christians healed the soul. All that changed with Freud, a Physician that had a passion was healing the inner person. Freud and his followers, however, were poorly prepared to deal with the primary causes of inner pain heart problems, but they did discover that many physical issues were the result of past trauma and loss such as sexual abuse and parental deaths.

Childhood trauma that is left unhealed will often show us as hysterical symptoms in the body. I remember a teenage girl that suffered from hysterical blindness when she was reminded of a trauma as a baby. She had no physical reason for her inability to see but she was blind. By paying attention to her childhood wounds she recovered.

I was counseling a Vietnam Vet who was a drug addict. When we met it was obvious that his addiction was the result of deep depression. Finally, one day we had a conversation like the one I wrote below.

Joe: "Do you believe killing in a war is wrong?
Gary: "My opinion is not very important. It is what you believe that is important."
Joe: "The Chaplain said it was OK."
Gary: "What do you think?"
Joe: "I think killing is wrong even in war."
Gary: "But you had to kill people in the war."
Joe: "Yes."
Gary: "Have you asked for forgiveness?"
Joe: "No. I tried but they said it was not wrong and refused to let me."
Gary: "Would you like to confess now?'
Joe: "Yes, but not out loud. Just to God."
Gary: "Sure. When you are finished say amen and I will pray.'
Joe: Silent for a few minutes. Than, "Amen".
Gary: "On the authority of the Bible that says if anyone confesses his sins God will forgive them, I declare you forgiven in the Name of Jesus."

After that, Joe never returned to see me and he quit drinking and drugs. Ten years later his wife called and said he attempted suicide. I met with him and we went more deeply into his heart aches. His new depression lifted and he went back to church and became emotionally balanced.

If you want to know more about inner healing, get my PDF eBook, Breaking Free. Click the link below.


Gary Sweeten
Sweeten Life Systems, INC
A 501c3 not for profit ministry