Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Adverse Childhood Events and Adult Diseases

Activists, politicians and Politically Correct extremists tend to assault traditional marriage. It seems that we who practice and promote long term marriages of men and women are on the retreat.

When we point out the facts we are accused of hate speech. The data about solid marriages is clear: They produce healthier children. But social scientists who point that out are greeted with jeers not cheers.

We have statistics on our side but data are not popular. The data  from one of the largest studies in history show a high correlation of broken families and broken adults when the children grow up. If you want to know how to minister to these victims of childhood trauma, see my books. Especially Breaking Free and Family Tree.

There is a high correlation between the loss of a parent and Adult Diseases of all sorts. The Cincinnati Enquirer has been doing a series on the dangers of growing up in Cincinnati. As I read the stories about how many kids around age 14 are murdered or struggling, I ask one question: "Where was Dad when this happened?" The answer is almost invariably, "Gone or never there!"

If you want to see more adults with serious diseases and early deaths, attack traditional marriage, promote promiscuity and sexual irresponsibility. 

he ACE Study reveals a powerful relationship between emotional experiences as children and our physical and mental health as adults, and the major causes of adult mortality in the United States 

ACE shows the conversion of traumatic childhood experiences into organic disease and psychological problems later in life

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Needs in Russia

The TV News and Papers are filled on a daily basis with the challenges our nations faces as the leaders try to deal with President Putin. I am not a politician and have no answers for the President about what to do. However, I can say what is needed spiritually.

Our friends and students have been doing the Lord's work in the Russian Federation and the former USSR for over 20 years. Our training started during the early days of Perestroika and we were able to build a solid foundation. Now the results of our work are evident in the lives of many hundreds of Christians and churches.

Families, former addicts, pastors, priests and missionaries live in freedom because of the great work by our Russian friends.

We will hear all about their work from one of our Russian friends who will be here in May. If you are interested in meeting her let me know. Go to the web to get our contact information.

Caring for the Chronically Ill: Help Carry the Burden

This burden is too heavy! Help me carry it. 

The comment made by one of our faithful readers was right on. Being with a family member with mental and emotional distress is very difficult. We are trying to equip churches and community groups how to get involved and support the families and care givers as much as possible. (Hope and Change for Humpty Dumpty is an overview of the training.)

There is a lot of research that indicates that folks with a serious mental challenge can be significantly helped by Peer Helpers (Trained Lay Persons) who Befriend them and spend regular time with them. The goal is friendship and an ongoing relationship of relaxed time together.

When friendship occurs, symptoms decrease.  Anxiety, depression, acting out, etc seem to happen less often. It is not a miracle but, as scripture says, "Faith, hope and love remain but the greatest is LOVE!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Caring for a Family Member with a Chronic Need

The number of people in the USA who are caring for a family member is growing by leaps and bounds, but we have not seen anything yet. Those numbers will continue to soar as the kids with severe disabilities expands and the aging population increases. This is sure to bring on severe burn out among the care givers. 

There is ongoing research being done to improve the treatment of these patients. That is great. However, little attention is played to help the care givers.  That is where we come in.

We have been doing research for the past four years on ways to support families and other care givers. You can see some of our work at the Sweeten Life web page.

We are also setting up a new organization to carry out our insights. It is called Patient Home Advantage and we will  "Give families a voice" in the care and treatment of loved ones. We will help those who offer medical care and counseling deal more effectively with the mandates of Obamacare.

If you have a story about being a care giver let us know about it. Leave your comments here. A visit to our web page might be helpful because we have several video tapes and written materials designed to teach families how to relate better and prevent burn out.

Friday, April 18, 2014

What Battle Was Won At Easter?

Theologians use terms such as "Substitutionary Atonement" for the work of Christ on the cross. That it was.

However, it was and is more than a substitution for what we deserve. It is sometimes told in a rhyme.

He paid a debt he did not owe,

because I owed a debt I could not pay.

This emphasis is based on the notion that the primary battle Jesus won on Christmas was a battle over True Moral Guilt. I was found Guilty of violating the laws of God and a fine had to be paid. It was impossible for me to pay that huge fine and God sent His Son to die in my place as a substitute for me.

This is essentially a Roman Catholic view of sin but it is eagerly and energetically defended by most Christian groups. The followers of the "Guilty as Charged" groups are obsessed by confession and getting rid of Guilt. They divide sins up by their seriousness and how mad God is because of my many sins.

I was reared in a Conservative Evangelical church tradition that focused on Rebellion. The answer for me was Repentance and choose to follow Jesus. The battle won by Jesus was over my Rebellion so I could be Converted.  I do not ever remember a talk about my Guilt and the need to confess it and be forgiven. I needed to make a choice to change. Because I was taught to make my behavior central to the reason Jesus died, I was obsessed by my own sins large and small. I needed to find the "Perfect Will of God".

The Classic Theology was different. It said a battle was raging between God and Evil for the souls and bodies of all people. The humans were Dead in Sin and the work of Christ at Easter was to give me life; it was a Resurrection of Jesus to offer me Resurrection from eternal death.

Calvin and Luther grabbed this view and taught that we cannot really choose because we are DEAD and dead people do not make choices. The focus in daily life is on God's Sovereignty not my behavior. My choices are not very important because God is in charge.

These are the three traditional views of Easter. Which were you taught? Which do you emphasize in your Christian life?

My book The Healing Release of the Holy Spirit lays out these three views plus one more I added. It makes a difference because our view on these things impact how we live every day.  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Why is Easter Important?

I was in England teaching at a YWAM school in 200. Each day my family and I rode a train from 30 miles outside London into the city as tourists. On one of those trips I read a review of "As Wide as the Waters" a new book about the translation of the Bible into English. It is an exciting and powerful story that helped me understand the incredible power of the scripture to change individuals, governments and nations.

But the Bible, despite its message of love and joy, brought persecution, wars and martyrdom to many who tried to translate an d preach it. Why? One reason was it dethroned kings who claimed to rule by "Divine Rights ordained by God" and taught that "All men and women are created in the image of God."

When ordinary people saw this in Genesis they began to challenge the monarchs and insist on the rights of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". The people in power, of course, resisted as they resit even today.

Reading the Bible leads to revolutions and redemption.

My book, The Healing Release of the Holy Spirit tells much more about this.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Making Divorce Easy

If you want to get a divorce quickly after you marry, make sure you lose your own identity in the person you love. Read books that say your mate should meet all your needs for love, intimacy, friendship and communication. Make your expectations high-Very High!

When he or she fails to do what you expect, remember that they are failing as a mate and let them know it. Don't just hint but make sure you attack them loud and strong so they get the message.

In summary, BE MEAN!

It works every time if you are tired of marriage and prefer a dog. (After the divorce and broken heart, read my book on healing called Breaking Free. It will also be useful for praying for your damaged kids.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Why Is Easter Necessary?

This is Holy Week. In the USA, we don't think about it that way very often but in Europe everything closes down and there are parades, worship services, celebrations and a strong emphasis on the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Why is Easter the central focus of Christianity? What is it all about?

In order to answer that question, we need to understand what can be called First Things. Those are the things that the Bible records in Genesis 1,2 and 3.

Genesis 1 and 2 tell us how important humans are to God. We are created in the image of God as male and female. We were created to co-rule the planet with God and our mates with mutual love and deep communication that brought about harmony and cooperation.

That is the only time that the planet an d humans were normal. (See my book, The Healing Release of the Holy Spirit for a deeper level of understanding.) 

Why was the Bible such a threat to the Church hierarchy and the Kings? why did they burn the Bibles and their translators at the stake? 

The reason is found in Genesis 1 and 2. Want to guess the answer?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Marriage, Conflict and Divorce: How to Get a Divorce

As I mentioned before, we know from years of dealing with couples how divorce happens. Read the following posts carefully and you can certainly speed up the destruction of your marriage or ongoing relationship.

There are Seven Stages of an Emotional Meltdown, Breakup and long term Bitterness! Maybe you have already mastered those stages, but in case you have not yet figured out how to "Leave Your Lover" read on. And, it will not necessarily take 50 ways because three or four out of the seven will very likely work.

Stages of Developing Bitterness

1. Start off with finding a Soul Mate! You love being together and the chemistry between you is intense, thrilling and a bit overwhelming. You see this person as "Larger than life" and "The Soul Mate that will meet all my needs".

When together you feel "Lost in reverie and your soul merges with him/her". This is my lifeline to heaven! I think about her/him all the time and want to be together constantly.  I can't stand to be apart from her/him.

Get my book, Hope and Change for Humpty Dumpty for an overview of relationships. We also have over 20 free video of building great marriage relationships on our web site.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Marriage and Divorce

If the researchers are correct, and I think they are, many if not most marriages break down because of an over reaction to differences. If we never learn how to deal with differences without getting upset, the many deep and abiding differences between men and women will surely develop into unhealthy conflict. Healthy conflicts build deep and abiding love and nurture but unhealthy conflicts are those that have personal attacks in them.

In my opinion, the "Grievance Industry" has made unhealthy conflicts more prevalent and more bitter. The Politically Correct Police are constantly playing amateur psychiatrist and projecting deep Freudian meaning to every nuance of male and female relationships. If a man and woman argue today there is always the attack the "You women are all too emotional that is why you are upset with my use of pornography!" Or she might say. "You sexist pigs are always insensitive to strong women!"

Here is one of my guidelines for resolving differences.

"Never Offend" try never to attack, demean or disrespect another person.

"Never Defend" try never to defend yourself to anyone else.

Especially a spouse!!!

Bless and do not curse the ones you love.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

4. Marriage, Faith and Divorce

Research on communication and influence is rather surprising. The circle graph shows the four areas of our communication influence with percentages assigned to each piece of the pie. I am leaving it blank to ask you to think about how you and I attempt to influence people.

Here are the four ways we communicate:The topic here is marriage and family life so let's apply these percentages to our  interactions at home.

1. The actual words we use. How articulate we are.
2. The trust others have in what we say? Am I believable?
3. The tone of voice, the physical stature, and other non-verbal cues.
4. The actual interaction of the persons in the family.

When there is anger, personal attacks and lack of forgiveness couples get hurt and cannot stand to be around each other. The greatest cause of divorce in America is:

An inability to resolve differences; even small differences. 

When we fail to agree to disagree agreeably, we tend to hurt and maim each other. How do we attack? What of these communication variables do we misuse and abuse? 

What think ye? All together these data add up to 100% of our influence. What do you think has the greatest impact? The least?

My books talk about these things a lot. See Hope and Change for Humpty Dumpty for skills building.

Friday, April 4, 2014

3. Marriage, Personal Faith and Divorce: Causes of Divorce

As we examine these data, it has to make us wonder why so many people fail to make marriage work. I have never heard a person say at their wedding vows, "I take you to be my first wife/husband". We start with good intentions but too often end up with a disaster.

Dr. John Gottman, a Psychologist, has written several books and papers on this topic. He says he can tell within a few minutes if a couple will divorce. Then he lays out the reasons he has discovered over three decades of research with couples. Before I offer his reasons, I would love to hear your expert opinions as to the main reasons folks fail at marriage.  Read Hope and Change for Humpty Dumpty for insights.

Feel free to write on the comments here or on Facebook. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

2. Marriage, Christian Faith in Relation to Divorce

As you look over this chart it can be pretty disappointing. It is for me. It seems to me that the research on divorce in the past indicated that Christians had a lower rate than others. These data do not show thatis true.

In my limited experience, most churches actually do very little to build strong marriages and families.  At the most, there is some preaching and teaching against divorces but after that the church leaders are silent. These data seem to reveal that the most active and highly active and committed Christians have the lowest rate of divorce but their rates are hardly anything to write home about.

The highest rate of divorce comes in the Conservative group. Does this indicate that those who are most conservative theologically but not so active in involvement are at a great risk of couple conflict?  It seems so. This seems to correlate with research I saw from years ago about depression for different Christian groups. The highest rates of depression came in Pentecostals who were not active in church.

In fact, passive belief may be harmful in many ways. Is it related to the statement by St. James that "Faith without works is useless"? Faith with follow up is useful. Belief in God and His love is useful if followed by personal application. If I am unable to apply God's grace and mercy and love to myself and my family I am likely to get burned out and depressed.

Almost every person that came to our in patient hospital unit was a conservative Christian. However, they were unable to apply their faith to themselves so it was worse than useless. This is one reason I write so much about Power Christian Thinking to rid ourselves of Stinking Thinking. Applied faith is a living faith that gives us life.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Marriage, Christian Faith, and Divorce 1.

Wow, this is a subject that causes blood pressures to rise. Especially when we combine it with what couples should do versus what they really do. And, another item that stirs the pot is remarriage when there has not been a reason for the divorce that was "biblically sound".

In this series of posts we will just discuss the statistics about which group of Christians divorce with more frequency and wonder why. I have my ideas. Take a look at the above chart and tell me what you think.  All the couples married at age 25 or younger. Is that a factor in divorce?

Get my book How to be me in my Family Tree for hints on developing stable marriages.