Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Church Withdraws from Daily Life

Healing the body, the soul and the spirit promotes a Christian view of God's call to the church and each Christian. That is why the Communists told the churches in the USSR to stop every program having to do with Pastoral Care, Counseling, Healing, Medicine, Child Care, etc. 

This attack by the Bolsheviks was a terrible thing. Under the most benevolent circumstances those orders would have been hard to implement. However, according to Solzhenitsyn, the most devastating result,was agreement by church leaders.  When the Atheists said, "You say you focus on the other world then you must stop your focus on this world", the Clergy agreed with them!

As a result, the focus of the church became “other worldly”. The church’s entire practical ministry to humans was lost.  The spiritual life of prayer and the after-life was the emphasis. Pastoral care, childcare, counseling, marriage, family life, medicine and economic issues were totally neglected. This was tragic!

The church answered the Communist Party by saying:

You are right to prohibit these things. We only multiply our sins by occupying ourselves with good works. We have not yet learned to pray-how could we get involved in kindergartens. The church is for prayer and not for worldly cares.

This reduced the church from teaching about new life and the care of body and soul of the faithful to an emphasis of caring for only one’s own soul. This led to a lack of interest in social relations, family life, work, health care and Christian growth. This was a return to the Gnostic heresy! It leads us step by step into a split between body and soul; between the mind and the heart; between work and worship; between money and ministry. Gnosticism  sees the body as dirty and evil and only the spiritual nature can be holy and pure.

Read my book, The Healing Release of the Holy Spirit to get insight into such a heresy. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Loud Speakers

When the Bolsheviks took over Russia in 1917 there were several new technical innovations coming along to help governments communicate better with their people. All of Europe and the United States chose the telephone. This new technology facilitated an incredible burst of economic and political and human interaction. Everyone was able to communicate better. Families grew closer, businesses grew and reduced costs and the West prospered.

What about Russia? They chose another new technology. It allowed the central planners to communicate to the people but the people could not talk back. it was one way preaching and controlling by the central planners. It was pushed on the citizens. 

The Loudspeaker! They used it to push patriotic music, state focused propaganda and five year plans dreamed up by bureaucrats who never, ever asked the people what they needed or wanted. 

The US Federal Government is similar. They are always looking for loudspeakers. That way the agenda can be pushed by central planners, Comrade. Just fall in line and do what you are told.

In my visits to Russia it is easy to see why the USSR collapsed. The central planners thought they know what the people SHOULD have. They never, ever asked what the people wanted and, in fact, punished anyone that disagreed. 

Get our materials and learn how to educate yourself.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

ASD for Workplace

The growing number of people diagnosed with Autism is a great challenge to the parents, the government agencies charged with supporting them and the educational and service groups they go to. Millions of dollars are being spent annually to better understand the best ways to treat people to facilitate their development and help them gain some kind of meaningful employment.

There was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal recently that offers some hope for those of us interested in supporting all our citizens.

The Wall Street Journal: New Job Interview Advice for Adults With Autism. 

Sweeten Life Systems has been researching better ways to support the parents and care givers of all persons with a disability. There is so much more that can be accomplished by showing ordinary people how they can enhance the lives of their neighbors with these challenges.

Churches are especially valuable in showing the way to help every person develop healthy relationships. We do not need special training or education to do good deeds.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Obamacare is a FINE Piece of Work

According to the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post, poor people who have been getting a subsidy to help them pay for the new insurance policies, may be getting too much. Here is a report.

(A) million people have claimed subsidies to which they are not entitled under the law, and the administration hasn't figured out what to do about it.Adrianna McIntyre of the pro-ObamaCare site explains that the framers of ObamaCare included a provision to give it to these people good and hard:
Intentionally lying about income to boost your Obamacare tax credits could get you into hot water--$25,000 to $250,000 of hot water. 

That's a key takeaway from guidance recently released by the Obama administration. . . .

According to the regulation, the $250,000 penalty is for "knowingly and willfully" providing false information. The more modest $25,000 fine can apply in cases where people provide incorrect information without malicious intent. In both cases, these are the maximum penalties that the government can impose. . . .

These regulations were just finalized, but the Obama administration did not design the penalties; they are spelled out in the text of the Affordable Care Act itself.

So, these people are so poor they cannot pay for insurance and Obama gives them a stipend. However, if these people make a mistake in writing down their annual income, the IRS will check the fact and fine them $25,000.00! 

If the IRS thinks they tried to fool them the fine is.....$250,000.00 

The Future of Russia and the USA

I have been watching a very interesting video that featured an interview with the just retired Ambassador to Russia, by Peter Robinson. If you want to understand why America is doing what we are doing, you need to watch it.

It will also help you understand why we who pray for Russia need to pray hard every day. Americans are generally not very knowledgeable about foreign nations or why we care for them. (I saw several interviews last night of ten college students Tragically, none of who had ever heard of Benghazzi where four Americans were murdered.)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Confused Liberal College Student Demand Sensitivity

                               Heretics Must Be Punished!!

"Students have demanded trigger warnings at Oberlin College, Rutgers University, the University of Michigan and George Washington University as well as UCSB. The Times reproduces an excerpt from an Oberlin "draft guide," which reads

"Triggers are not only relevant to sexual misconduct, but also to anything that might cause trauma. Be aware of racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, cissexism, ableism, and other Issues of privilege and oppression. Realize that all forms of violence are traumatic, and that your students have lives before and outside your classroom, experiences you may not expect or understand."

("Cissexism" refers to prejudice in favor of men and women who identify themselves, respectively, as men and women.)" (This the very first time I ever heard this term. I confess I am guilty of calling myself a man and my wife, mother, daughter, etc women. I am a serial cissesist. Is there any hope for me?) 

The penalty for violating these rules but I know that Stalin insisted on sending people to do hard work in labor camps where they could be 're-educated". Currently, several NFL players have been sent for re-education, an owner of a NBA franchise fined and sent to re-education camp.

I understand that in such camps we can achieve two goals: 1. Cease speaking in ways that might wound the persons who are confused about whether to sit or stand when doing # 1.) 2. Lose weight because the food allotment is very restricted. 

The Whole Earth Groans

How do Christians explain suffering? More importantly, what do Christians DO when people suffer?

Those are questions confronted and answered at Southbrook Christian Church in Miamisburg over the past few weeks. It is another great series by Charlie McMahan and his team of intrepid worship leaders. This link will get you there. 

In this talk Charlie and I engage in 30 minutes of dialogue about how to best respond to a crisis like Sandy Hook, 911 and personal sickness. The week before this on Mother's Day, Cyndi Wineinger and Charlie discussed how having a Special Needs Child impacts a Believer. Her testimony and the song she wrote are powerful examples of persevering under extreme stress.

If it is fresh, practical teachings, Southbrook is the place to get it along with unbelievable music and  warm acceptance.

Our materials also teach practical skills of ministry.

Good News from Moscow

Small cells of Christians dedicated to helping others meet regularly for prayer, fellowship and learning. Pray for them. 

The battle for sanity and sobriety in Russia is progressing. Despite the resistance of the wickedness of drug pushers, the past trauma of Christians and churches, the lack of widely accessible Christian recovery ministries, we see numerous people having good experiences.

1. Hundreds are finding Christ.
2.Pastors and Priests are being healed and strengthened to lead.
3. Churches of all sorts are gaining strength and impact after 70 years of suppression, persecution and poor leadership.
4. Ministries dedicated to growth, healing and recovery are growing despite strong governmental disapproval.
5. Our colleagues have multiplied over and over from Moscow to Siberia to Simferopol.

You can send a donation to Russia at our web page.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

She Made it Home to Moscow

Our friend made it home. PTL! It was a long and winding rip with delayed flights and missed connections as well as callous airlines.

Support Our Work in Russia

Group work is essential!

Over 20 years ago we felt the Lord nudge us to go to Russia. It was under the control of the USSR then so I was sure we would not be allowed to set up a ministry there. But in 1989 Perestroika came and we decided to fly from Norway to Moscow to visit a person I met at a Christian conference in the USA. She took me to meet her friends at a meeting of a group trying to form a "Christian School of Psychology". It was a meeting that God orchestrated.

Out of 200 million Russians, I met the one person I could work with to advance God's love in the former USSR. This person had the training and personality needed. They had started  a school to teach Christian Counselors because they saw the destruction around them.

I liked that but I knew that academic psychology was not the answer. I wanted to equip believers to promote growth and healing in a society ruined by Atheism. I had seen the power of Ephesians 4 when care and counsel is not only taught in theory but practice to ordinary lay people. It takes a unique person to lead such an endeavor, and God provided that person.

The Requirements

1. Well educated in basic psychology but teachable and open to integrate the Bible and counseling
2. An innovator with great flexibility.
3. A deeply committed Christian who does not reject psychology
4. Honest and trustworthy
5. Able to teach others
6. A strong will
7. Not power hungry
8. Speaks English well
9. Is tough, assertive and frank instead of passive and dependent on rich American churches.

I met such a person. Like General a Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, the best man for the job was a woman.

Thank God for such a find. Thousands are being redeemed as a result. You can find out more at the Sweeten Life web.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Why the USSR Attacked Christians

Why did the USSR, (United Socialist Soviet Republic) want to kill the churches, pastors, priests and people? What religious philosophy drove them to do such evil things?

The basic principles of socialist religion are: 

Abolition of private property, destruction of religions other  than atheism, destruction of family and destruction of individual human rights. 

They say that sex within marriage is a terrible thing. Thus, marriage must be destroyed as an institution. 

Berdyaev says, that both socialism and religion emphasize equality. Religion achieves this ideal by promoting creation by and contact with God, the highest plane of human existence. (imago Dei) Socialism, on the other hand, aims to get equality of persons by destroying all the higher aspects of the personality.  These include, love, kindness, mutual commitment, family life, sanctity of life, intellectual achievement, motivation, self-esteem, etc. All are to be banished, rooted out with a viciousness usually reserved for mad dogs.

 Women and children always suffer the most from these socialist regulations for they are given the hardest work.  (P 30) We are restoring Christian love, truth and power to these wastelands of atheist, socialist destruction. See how at Sweeten Life Systems web.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Russian Seminary Training

The Soviet Socialists forced the Russian Orthodox seminaries to stop teaching love, kindness and compassion. For example, priests learned to verbally attack widows who wept or showed signs of grief. Children were harshly rejected and not allowed to ask questions or show any emotional needs. 

The Soviets rejected all signs of tender loving care and required the priests to treat people hatefully. Church leaders followed the orders very closely. The toxic ideas promoted by the Soviets’ infected the church with harsh behavior at every level.  These evils are still blossoming in our Church and Seminary.”

Following my 45-minute talk, one professor stood and attacked my ideas with great vigor, in English. He insisted that such things as care, counseling, helping addicts and marriage support was impossible in Russia and the Orthodox Church. Since I try never to argue with such a person, I introduced my colleague from Moscow, an MD Psychiatrist.  She answered all the questions posed by the professor and the faculty and students entered into a delightful debate about the possibilities of such practical ministries.

Protestants were persecuted as well. Baptists and Pentecostals are bitter at the state. They were forced to reject any signs of emotional life or fun. The philosophy for 70 years led some parents and pastors to severely punish children who got out of order. Some of these habits continue even today. Our teaching emphasizes love, nurture and healing adults wounded by such extreme trauma. Violence is rampant in Russian society and some areas of the church. Only a long-term, sustained program of biblical teaching and emotional restoration can turn the situation around.

The Soviets used their knowledge of Pavlovian Psychology to foster Learned Helplessness among the populace because they hated anyone that was aggressive or assertive. The only antidote is good theology, good teaching and a lot of healing. Evangelism alone will fail to touch the hearts of the Russian people. Christians must add teaching on nurture, mutual care and family life. 

Read our materials at Sweeten Life Systems to discover how you can learn to care in the Name of Jesus. We really need your prayers and support.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Let the Little Children Come to Jesus

Unfortunately, many churches in Russia continue to reflect the Soviet view instead of the bible. Some leaders reject ministry to the whole person. They fear counseling, psychology, medication, 12 Step Groups and any “non-spiritual interventions”.  The Church turned its back on those suffering from medical, educational, mental, emotional and relational difficulties during the Soviet era and came to think the Communists were right. 

Several Baptist leaders angrily told me that harsh threats were the only biblical way to treat believers, including children. One US Evangelist went to Russia to preach to the unconverted but discovered that the way the churches treated their children and youth was so cruel they returned to train youth Ministers and children's Ministers. 

See our web page for ways to show love wherever you are

We will draw more with sugar than we will with vinegar. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Ministry in Russia to Restore Compassion

The traumatic history of Europe in general and Russia/USSR specifically has serious implications for Christians. For centuries the secret sauce of success for world missions has been "Find a practical need and meet it".  In many instances that has led them to deliver high quality medical services. In that way people saw the love and care of God through Jesus the Great Physician. 

Because the Communists chose to throttle the Christians in Russia and the USSR by forcing them to stop all benevolent ministries, the care and cure of the soul was severely neglected by everyone. The church was not allowed to care and the state rejected the idea that the soul existed. The result was a disaster. 

In the midst of a 70 year reign of socialist terror, all formal nurture was drained from the culture. For example, people were suspected of evil is they showed others open respect, empathy, or warmth.  People stopped the practice of welcoming a neighbor with a smile and polite "How are you?" Kindness, the oil of human interaction was soon drained from society and replaced with a callous disregard for mutual compassion. 

Only Christians with the fruit of the Spirit can restore those nations to healthy living.

Russian believers whose goal is to build the Kingdom of God needed to relearn the Christian approach of "Loving our neighbor". Much of our work is designed to help Christians re-engage with humanity. Our books and classes all focus on listening, caring and mutual respect.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Helping Addicts

                       The Healing Teams (No White Coats!)

If you want to know how my colleagues turned the corner on addictions, divorce, poverty and violence in Russia come to meet Galina Chentsova at Dwelling Place next Wednesday night at 7:00 PM. The church is on 9335 Remington Road, Loveland. It will be worth your time to see how they have built an intensive program and process of spreading the good news around the former USSR. 

When I first visited men were passed out in droves all over the streets.  Over 50% of the men were alcoholics. It was much worse than Over the Rhine in Cincinnati. Now, there are many ways and places they can get sober and their families get healed. 

The things we tried first failed! Failed miserably! The traditional Medical Disease Model also failed in the days of the USSR. Then we tried our own Medical Disease Model but we had to learn what would work and what would not work!

If it works, DO MORE 
If it fails, STOP IT

Most of the ideas being suggested to deal with drugs in America have and will fail. But not before we spend BILLIONS trying to do things the wrong way. 

Come and hear her speak and talk with her. By the way, we have books and teachings on doing it the right way. But our way is cheap and non bureaucratic. 

Implications of Massive Trauma for Christians

Graduation for a class of Christian lay men and women who have competed the courses to be Helpers, Group Leaders, 12 Step Facilitators, etc. They will join dozens of other people dedicated to restore love and truth to a culture traumatized by atheism.

At the turn of the 20th century, Berdyayev wrote about the revival of Russian culture. In his mind, it depended on Christians gathering in small groups around the kitchen table to discuss scripture, pray and encourage each other to live holy lives. The Communists saw the dangers of that force and tried to eliminate fellowship, mutual support and the practical application of the good news. House churches as well as public churches were attacked.

If you want to know our philosophy of ministry to "Heal the broken hearted and set the captives free" as Jesus told us, see my books. It is very much in line with Berdyayev's approach. 

Any ideals that did not bow to Socialist philosophy were deemed too dangerous to be allowed.  They chose to destroy all religion but especially Christianity with its emphasis on building healthy social ties. When one’s own religiousness becomes our main interest, the fate of the rest of the world loses all meaning. (See James 2:18 on faith and works)

Where to Now?

These issues have serious implications for missions and Russian believers whose goal is to build the Kingdom of God. We must work diligently to help Christians re-engage with the world of humanity on earth. 

Unfortunately, many churches in Russia continue to reflect the Soviet Socialist instead of a biblical world-view. Some Orthodox and Protestant leaders reject any kind of ministry to the whole person. They reject counseling, psychology, medication, 12 Step Recovery Groups and other “non-spiritual interventions”.  

The Church was fooled into thinking Christians had no biblical basis for helping those suffering from medical, educational, mental, emotional and relational difficulties. They did not realize that the view comes from a Socialist pagan theology rather than God's inspired Bible. 

Go to our web for more information about how our ministry is restoring basic Christianity to Russian culture. Pray for the ministry and, if possible, send a generous donation to Sweeten Life Systems.

We have one of our good friends from Russia with us for ten days. We are visiting with old friends and new so call me if you want to meet with us. We will be at an open house next Wednesday night at 7:00 PM in Dwelling Place Church on 90335 Remington Road in Loveland 45140.  

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Communists Had No Compassion or Empathy

The Soviet Union was the first state to have an ideological objective to eliminate religion. They confiscated church property, ridiculed religion, harassed believers and propagated atheism in schools, government, science and universities. The persecution of religion was determined by state interest. This meant that few groups were completely outlawed.

The main target of the anti-religion campaign in the 1920’s and 30’s was the Russian Orthodox Church.  Because it had the largest number of faithful followers and the most clergy it suffered most. Nearly all its clergy, some 92,000, were shot or sent to labor camps. Theological schools were closed and church publications were prohibited. By 1939 only 500 of over 50,000 churches remained open and about 12,000 were destroyed or used as museums for atheism. 

The top people in the Communist Party said, "We must put down these people with utmost brutality." How can we heal the children and grand children of those who were brutalized? I Have several stories about it in my book, How to Be Me in My Family Tree.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Berdyayev was a great writer and observer of society. He saw the dangers of the Bolsheviks. He said that both socialism and religion emphasize equality. 

Religion achieves this ideal by promoting creation by and contact with God, the highest plane of human existence. (imago Dei)

Socialism, on the other hand, aims to get equality of persons by destroying all the higher aspects of the personality.  The higher dimensions include, love, kindness, mutual commitment, family life, sanctity of life, intellectual achievement, motivation, self-esteem, etc. All are to be banished, rooted out with a viciousness usually reserved for mad dogs. 

Why Do Some Politicians Hate Religion, Faith and God?

Women in the USSR

The following comments come from a book Under the Rubble, by Alexander Solzhenitysn, Mikhail Agursky, Evgeny Barabanov, Vadim Borisov, F. Korsakov and Igor Shafarevich, Regeny GatewayWashingtonD.C., 1981. See Schism Between Church and State, pp 172 ff by Evgeny Barabanov.

The USSR leaders hated God and tried to destroy every religious leader they found. Why did they kill so many Russian Orthodox Priests and Protestant Ministers? 

It might be summed up as "Socialism is a religion and very jealous of any other God." They always act with total brutality when it comes to attacking a rival such as a traditional religion. 

The destruction of individual human relationships is essential to socialism. Love, family, parenting, compassion, concerns and responsibility to assist others is rejected. In fact, the worth of an individual is rejected. (P 58) 

Anyone reading the Communist Manifesto with an open mind will be shocked to see the space given to the destruction of the family, rearing children away from their parents in state schools and to wife sharing.

The basic principles of socialism are: Abolition of private property, destruction of religion, destruction of family and destruction of individual human rights. All such groups think sex within marriage is one of the worst things imaginable. Women and children always suffer the most from these socialist regulations for they are given the hardest work.  (P 30)

This is exactly what happened under the Socialist governments in Europe and Asia. While proclaiming belief in the rights of women and children these groups receive the very worst treatment. 

How can we respond as Christians? Our call from God was clear. Go to Russia with Faith hope,and love and start by teaching about Recovery from Alcohol and Drugs. 

We did what God said. As a result have been training leaders in former Communist countries for 21 years! Why is it taking so long? The number of people who suffered abuse and neglect from the 70 years of Communism was overwhelming. Plus the churches and Christian groups that usually ministered to the poor and needy had been forced out of business. And, the people are so damaged that repair takes a very long time. Destruction can be fast but Recovery is very long and hard with many relapses. 

Christ is the only hope for Russia. See How to be me in My Family Tree. 

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Saturday, May 3, 2014

Healing Traumatized Nations

Socialist Soviet Attacks on Christian Ministry

The Soviet Union is one society that attempted to throw off all vestiges of religion. It was a disaster we never want to repeat it. In 1929, the Central Committee of the Communist Party said:

You say that you are not of this world. Well then, there is nothing for you to do in this world. That is why I forbid you (the Church) to: setup benefit societies; to offer material aid to your members; to organize children's and young person's groups for prayer and other purposes, or general biblical, literary or handicraft groups for the purpose of work or religious instruction and the like, or to organize groups, circles or sections; to arrange excursions and kindergartens, open libraries and reading rooms, organize sanatoria or medical aid.

The Soviets forbade the Church from being involved in the practical, daily needs of their members. The priests and lay people were not allowed to teach children, give medical or mental health assistance to them or to provide prayer meetings for the young. The government prohibited Christian orphanages. Ministers were even forbidden to support grieving families. The church’s long history of practical care and compassion was attacked as unbiblical and anti-Soviet.

Many church leaders continue to think that nurture, care, support for widows and orphans and kindnesses are not biblical. The demonic attacks of Soviet thinking almost completely infiltrated Christian practices. Anything that is practiced for a long time will seem to be biblical even if the enemy introduced it. I am doing everything in my power and the power of the Holy Spirit to eradicate these ideas and replace them with insights from the Lord.

Russian alcoholism rates of over 50% among adult males. Premature death is rampant. Of all modern countries, only they have a decrease in longevity. In 1988 President Gorbachev, an atheist, reinstated the pastoral activities in the Orthodox Church and other faith communities so they would positively affect the society. Until the older generation dies most of the church cannot accept pastoral care. In fact, Putin is re-instituting the old rules.

Thanks to the Dwelling Place Church 9335 Remington Road, in Loveland,  you can hear about our work to heal the Russian people from the PTSD of Communism’s 70 year reign. 

Dr. Galina Chentsova and I will share at 7:00 PM Wednesday, May 14. We want to educate and recruit partners to bring peace to Russia.