Monday, May 14, 2018

Update on My Heart Treatment

Thanks so much for the encouragement and prayers. 

After the angiogram last Friday, Dr. Kereiakes came into my room to explain the results. He said although my heart was beating strongly and looked healthy there were three arteries that were seriously occluded. They were to long to fix with stents so he recommended bypass surgery. 

Dr. Kereiakes had his colleague, Dr. Griffin come in and explain the procedure of taking vessels from other places and putting them to bypass the occluded ones. 

Today his office called to give me the schedule:
1. Tuesday at Christ Hospital for pretesting and instructions.
2. Thursday arrive at The Christ Hospital at 8:00 AM for preparation.
3. Surgery scheduled for 12:00 Noon Thursday.
4. Surgery will likely last about 4 hours.
5. Recovery in the hospital for 6 days with exercise and instructions. 
6. Return home on about May 23 for recovery for two months. 
7. Dance in the Spirit to thank God for His love, power, and provision of surgeons, nurses and medical personnel as well as great technology. 

Post Script: I am rereading the old book Healing and Christianity by Morton Kelsey. He traces the healing of body, mind, and spirit by prayers and physicians. He notes that some of the greatest names in Christian history promoted healing by multiple means. Prayers, Fasting, Anointing, Medicine, Dreams, ETC. One of the very first free hospitals in the world was set up by St. Gregory in Caesarea in the 4th Century, AD. 

I want to receive everything God has for me so pray all you can whenever you can. There are no bad side effects or fear of an overdose!

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Thursday, May 10, 2018

John Donne 1623

This is always first. Everything must bring praise to God!
A Hymn to God the Father

Will You forgive that sin where I begun,
Which is my sin, though it were done before?
Will You forgive that sin through which I run,
And do run still, though still I do deplore?
When You are done, You are not done,
For I have more.
Will You forgive that sin which I have won
Others to sin? and made my sin their door?
Will You forgive that sin which I did shun
A year or two, but wallowed in a score?
When You are done, You are not done,
For I have more.
I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun
My last thread, I shall perish on the shore;
Swear by Yourself, that at my death Your Son
Shall shine as he shines now and heretofore;
And, having done that, You have done,
I fear no more.

Psalm 103:12 "as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us." 

Micah 7:19 "He will again have compassion upon us, he will tread our iniquities under foot. Thou wilt cast all our sins into the depths of the sea."

Give thanks and honor our God.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Great Churches Thomas Road

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

Thomas Road Baptist Church, Lynchburg, Virginia

I first visited Lynchburg, Virginia, in 1968 doing research on the book, The Ten Largest Sunday Schools and What Made Them Grow.  That book eventually became a bestseller and remained on the list for over 14 months.  During my first Sunday visit, I taught the Pastor’s Bible Class in the main auditorium to around 2,000 people.
What captivated me most was the sermon preached by Jerry Falwell, the church’s founder and pastor. His sermon was taken from Acts 5:28, “Behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine.” Jerry explained every church should fill its “Jerusalem” where it is located.  Falwell explained Saturation Evangelism, “Using every available means, to reach every available person, at every available time.”  He wanted to preach to every person in America over television and his aim was to air the Old Time Gospel Hour in every major television market in America.  He also created a mailing campaign to get the gospel out to everyone.  I walked into the first auditorium to see four large computers, larger than a walk-in refrigerator.  The data for 100,000 mailing addresses were kept on those computers. Today, that amount of data can be stored in a smart phone.  Jerry Falwell was committed to raising the money, paying the price, sacrificing his time and effort to carry the gospel to the entire world. 
Out of Thomas Road Baptist Church has grown Liberty University, the largest Christian university in the world (and perhaps in history).  When I retired as dean of seminary and School of Religion there were over 113,000 students enrolled online and in the resident program.  There have been graduation class of approximately 20,000 people, with over 4,000 young people going into ministry.  Many report that there are more Liberty graduates from Liberty in fulltime ministry than any other Christian university and seminary in the world. 
That morning when I first visited the church, Dr. Falwell announced to the audience that I was preparing a book on the ministry of Thomas Road Baptist Church.  He said, “If you have been saved at this church, grab a visitor cards and write your testimony on the back of it, or use two or more cards. Put it in the offering plate and we will give it to Dr. Towns to help his research.”
Jerry handed me an old cigar box packed with over 100 testimonies of those who had been saved in the church.  I went back to Harvey’s Motel, sat on the floor with the concept of Saturation Evangelism in my mind.  I began placing different testimonies in piles with others who were saved using the same evangelistic method.  People were saved through the jail ministry, television ministry, radio ministry, Sunday school bus ministry, evangelistic crusades, telephone outreach, tract distribution, etc.  As I read the testimonies I wept.  God had touched my heart through what He had done in many lives, alcoholic, broken families, abandoned, etc.  In my opinion, Thomas Road Baptist Church was doing more to get the gospel to their entire “Jerusalem” than any other church I had experienced.  I prayed that night that I might have a part with this church, not knowing that one day I would be the Co-Founder with Jerry Falwell of Liberty University.


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

We train Christian leaders how to build a great church regardless of size. Tune in to my Sweeten Life Web page and buy my books to learn more about building great Christian relationships.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Sexual License and Despair

The "Me Too " tag has unleashed a torrent of complaints from women accusing males of accosting them in ways large and small. Hardly a day passes that we do not read about some famous person who was previously lauded as being "Pro Woman/Pro Feminist" that has been outed as a sexual predator.

A recent article on the sexual revolution has a stinging assessment of the past and present damage done to America because of it.  Women, who were led blindly into the revolution expecting a wonder filled heaven of pleasure and freedom but have instead found the life of sexual license filled with predators and pain.

God always has the good or humans in mind when He tells us about the limits we need to set up on our behavior. God set limits of our sexual behavior and we have disagreed and we thought we knew best with tragic results just as God predicted when He said, "I have set before you death and life. Choose Life!"

The article lays out the tragic results of going astray for us as a nation and the citizens that must pay for the errors. As always, Christians who follow the ways of the Lord will pick up the pieces because we continue the works of The Great Physician.

I recently spoke with a man in his fifties that greeted the sexual revolution and volunteered to lead the charge in his region. He and his wife had been fighting for decades and he could not figure out why. I asked if they had had sex before marriage and he said, "Are you kidding? Everybody had sex back then. I do not know of a single man that did not."

I asked, "Have you asked your wife for forgiveness?"

He "Forgiveness? Why?"

Me, "Were you a confessing Christian?"
He "Yes".

Me "Was it wrong to do it?"

He "Well...Yes".

Me "Then go home and ask her forgiveness."

He "Well, I know a lot of guys that need to confess."

Me "So, now you can tell them how you did it."

Want to know how to recover from past errors? Get my books.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Drugs, Suicide, and Mental Health

In the paper recently there have been several articles about the deaths of people from drugs and suicide. The death of one person from an accident or disease is terrible but when it occurs in the life of a seemingly healthy person it hits us doubly hard.

The survivors of deaths from drugs and suicide are especially hard hit. It leaves the family and friends asking themselves a lot of questions and pain because we wonder what we might have done wrong or left out that "caused" our loved ones to take such a drastic action.

Both suicide and drug abuse are hared to prevent. What signs of real depression or anger did I miss that I SHOULD have caught? Did they hint at their despair? Did some comment of mine cause them to lose hope? We just do not know, and that is an awful feeling.

In each situation we often read how happy or well adjusted the person was and how surprised we are a his or her decision. In some situations the person is in Therapy and the Therapist is as surprised as everyone else. So, intervening is difficult.

Some of the usual preventive factors are an active involvement in a faith group and a solid sense of self respect, not just self image.

Fellowship with good people and a faith in God are very good acts of prevention. Learn more on our web page.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Why So Much Despair?

The correlations between drugs, alcohol, smoking, pornography, and a despairing lifestyle is highly correlated with early childhood losses and trauma. As long as we as a nation have women having babies and rearing them without a man around to love, nurture, discipline, and support the child we will have increasing despair. 

The lack of agreement in our society that sex outside marriage is harmful has damaged the psyche of millions of people and brought about an anti-commitment attitude in millions of people. This has been exacerbated by the honoring and idolizing of people like Hugh Hefner and Larry Flint have led many people to fulfill their lusts with no consideration of the consequences in themselves, their partners and their offspring. 

Hefner ended up with leading beautiful triplets on a leash around his mansions like a slave owner proudly showing off his chattel. But, the truth was far different. Hefner was unable to have sex with any woman and spent his days watching gay porn in a bizarre display of failing to live anything but a nightmare. 

The more recent evil acts of Harvey Weinstein and others who acted out the violent fantasies they saw on pornographic videos. Several have asked, "Where were his parents?" but it is more likely that they knew nothing of his desperate search for sexual highs though brutality. 

Despair leads to acting out desperately in ways that bring death rather than life. God told His people that He had set before them "Death or Life and to choose life". Hefner knew his scripture but he rebelled against it and chose death rather than life.

Scoffers make fun of VP Pence for being a prude but he has chosen life not death. When I was a teenager I met the Lord in a dramatic manner. To the consternation of my drunken friends I stopped all the drinking and partying and they protested strongly. One great former friend even threatened to "Kick my _________" if I refused to drink with him. Why do  humans that chose  activities of despair demand that we join them? 

To abstain is to judge! People in despair know they are choosing deathly actions. When we show we can change it is convicting to them and they get angry. 

Jesus told us in Luke 10 to ignore Scoffers who point their bony fingers at us and accuse us of evil. My friend who promised to "Kick my ____" did not. I just smiled and said, "Would you also get mad at me if I did not want to eat green beans?" He laughed and let it go. 

But the evil haters want to attack us because of politics and religion so they will not stop. They are addicted to despair and cannot stand happy people. 

Want to be happy? Get my practical books on living well.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Despair and Death

                                                            Disaster Awaits Me

Unless a person is under a rock, we all know that drugs, depression, and self harm are killing  many, many people. There is a recent article about it here. 

The article points out, as have others, that people are frustrated and lost the meaning of life. They are living in despair.

As a Christian, an educator, and a Counselor, I am convinced that it will take more places of Recovery but much more to make an impact on the problem of drugs and the problems behind the drugs. For example, the article mentions that many drug users have given up hope of getting a better job or getting out of the bad parts of town. These are issues of imagination and identity. For millennia people have had to scratch and labor to make it in life. Before the current era 90% of the US had to work in menial jobs. But they did it and most did not become addicts or depressed as a result.

I am not sure why but I wonder if it was because our expectations were low. Now, expectations are sky high ands when we do not all become famous, we may conclude we are failures. Dr. Martin Seligman studied distressed, depressed, and anxious people. He came to the conclusion that people in despair had a faulty or easily overcome Belief System.

Seligman said many depressed folks have an Explanatory Style of Pessimism that leads them to view Adversities in an especially devastating manner. Maybe you or someone you love has such a style of thinking.  Hang on and I will lay it out for you in my following posts.

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