Friday, March 27, 2015

Should we Help the Poor?

I find it very difficult to challenge the current ways of helping poor people. Perhaps because of my own path toward freedom from poverty.

Or, maybe it is because of my training as an Educator I dislike doing too much for poor people. I saw what happened when parents did their kids homework, chores and house work.

Or, maybe it is because I have been  Counselor for a long time that I do not like the emphasis on current ideas about compassion, love and caring.

You see, I do not think it really helps poor people to do too much for them.

How do we decide when to give and when to withhold? Is there scripture that can guide us?

See Hope and Change for Humpty Dumpty for my take.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Who Can Help Single, White Mothers?

To whom do people go when they are stressed and need support? Whom can really assist a Single, White Mother? Can all go to a Psychologist or Psychiatrist? No, because there are few of these people and it costs money.

Here are the latest statistics  of who people share with when stressed and ready to collapse. 

Non Professional Help?
      Family and Friends are consulted 200% to 500% of the time!
      Stressed out women make Multiple Attempts
      How many seek assistance form Professionals?
      42% see a Clergy
      18% see a Physician

      8% see a Mental Health Counselor

Stress and Nervous Breakdowns

Indiana University researchers, found in 1996, more than 26% of adults said they had felt an impending nervous breakdown.

It is Up from 19% in 1957

       Another 7% had experienced a mental health problem, a question not asked in the 1957 survey.
       Both (26 + 7) = 33%

The people with the greatest RISK factors were: 

Single, white, mothers with no education and no religious involvement.

Look at this demographic. What are their needs? 
      Single Mothers need?
      White Women need?
      Mothers need?
      No faith community need?

Now look at the recommendations from the Professors who did the research. 

      More money for crisis counseling agencies

      Nothing about marriage
      Nothing about religion.

      Is this Malpractice?
      Is it anti faith bias!

      Ralph Swindle, Jr., Kenneth Heller, Bernice Pescosolido, and Saeko Kikuzawa The American Psychologist, Volume 55, Number 7, July 2000

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The first round of in home interviews of families with a special child gave us a clear picture of the problem. The current approach to supporting these families is not working but we did not know why. We did the research to discover why!

After the interview, one researcher said, "Well that changed my life. I will never teach Special Education to college students the same way again." When asked why she said it she said, "Although we train Special Ed students we do not talk with their families. We do not go into the homes to discover why they and their parents have so much difficulty completing school requirements. 

We get frustrated with the parents because we accuse them of getting in our way. Now I see it is a completely different world than we thought. The whole family is overwhelmed by the demands of caring for a child with a special need. We have to take our students into the homes so they can understand the family's world."

There is a paradigm shift occurring today. We must connect these two worlds! Real support and education is impossible if the educators and case workers never enter the world of the students and families. 

The traditional approach to supporting a child begins and ends with the academic and physical problems. However, a family needs much more than that. The family needs psychological, social and spiritual support. The Federal and State each require schools and agencies to support children and families in ways that include their culture, faith, and community supporters. We do that well. 

We are developing tools that bridge the gap. We have a self assessment tool called The Family Resource Builder that allows parents to figure out exactly what they want and need.

If you want to learn more as a professional involved in an agency or school contact us at patient home advantage.

If you are involved in a church contact us at Sweeten Life.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Black Kids with Special Needs in Ohio

An estimated 570,913 Ohioan children (20.9%) under the age of 18 had at least one special health care need in 2008 (71.7% of children did not have a special health care need and the status for 7.5% is unknown).

Black children are disproportionately represented as having a special health care need. Some 16.2% have a special need but Black children represent only 13.6% of kids in this population.

I want to do everything possible to support the parents of these children. Unless the parents get the support they need, the children will not be able to thrive. All  children are dependent on the health and abilities of adults. Parents must be the real focus of our care.

See our new organization to find out how to be trained to assist parents.

Cross Cultural Ministry and Christopher Wren

In 1675 a fire devastated London England. Nine years later Sir Christopher Wren laid a foundation stone in what would be his greatest architectural achievement--the building of St. Paul's Cathedral. It took him thirty-five long years to complete his task, and when it was done he waited breathlessly for the reaction of her majesty, Queen Anne. 

After being carefully shown through the structure, she summed up her feelings for the architecture in three words: "It is awful; it is amusing; it is artificial."

Imagine how you would feel if words like these were used to describe the work of your life! But if you were to read the biography of Sir Christopher Wren you would learn that upon hearing these words from his Queen he heaved a sigh of relief and bowed gratefully before his sovereign.  

How could this be? In 1710 the word awful meant "awe-inspiring," the word amusing meant "amazing," and the word artificial meant "artistic."

What to our ears might sound like a devastating criticism were in that time words of measured praise. Adapted from Illustrations from Biblical Preaching, by Rev. Brett Blair 

Can you minister to people who use different terms than you? or, perhaps even more of a challenge, can you minister to others whose terms are similar or the same but who mean different things than you? 

Our book, Hope and Change for Humpty Dumpty can assist you to listen and respond to those from different age groups and cultures. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Show Me The Money

I recently attended a gathering of parents and child workers at a conference on improving the health of kids with a special need. Every person in my small group spoke in the round table discussion and every single one promoted one idea. What do you think they want?

I will share the answer in just a moment but right now let me say that what they all want is probably impossible or at lease highly improbable. What do you think happens when large numbers of people long for something that is out of reach?  Anger! Frustration! Hopelessness!

I agree with all those possible emotions but I am adding another sure fire outcome that is even worse. People tend to give up and quit trying to innovate. IMO, the greatest need in health care improvement is innovation and creativity. But hopelessness and helplessness will squash the creative spirit in all of us unless we get a hit of hope.

My friends at the conference all wanted more money from the government. However, more $$$ is NOT coming. With Obamacare, government funds are being drastically cut back. Many are broke financially but the new law promotes much more home care by parents and family members. 

Let us think out of the box and create ways we can help ourselves and each other. What we need is the application of American CAN DO, possibility thinking. As long as we are dependent on the government and its money we will be pushed around by centralized planning and overwhelming bureaucracy.

For decades scholars warned that the explosive growth in world population was going to doom us to poverty and starvation.  Those predictions have certainly been wrong! Why? What has happened to stave off starvation?

At Sweeten Life we are innovators in the fields of family life, counseling, church life, integrating theology and life and health care. Join with us in our exciting ventures.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Discipleship, Equipping and Impacting the World for Christ

Loren Cunningham, founded YWAM, one of the largest and most innovative mission organizations on earth. I met Loren when I taught at the YWAM College in Hawaii. There, we discovered that each of us had Master's Degrees in Student Personnel Counseling that led us to a call to Disciple young people for Christian impact.

At first, some of the YWAM leaders resisted my Listening Classes.  They thought Apples was "Too Psychological and emphasized empathy and not enough teaching. Loren reminded them of the book he and Dr. Thompson wrote called The Plumbline. In it they said Empathy was the key to healing!

Thank God for a leader who wants to touch the whole person not just the "soul" or "spirit". Since getting a Master's Degree in 1967 we have set up numerous Equipping Centers that integrate Faith and Practice.

We are always building a lifetime of great relationships with God, self, and others.

1. The Teleios Center at College Hill Presbyterian Church
2. Equipping Ministries International
3. Life Way Counseling Centers
4. Life Way International in many nations
5. Sweeten Life Systems
6. Patient Home Advantage
7. Teleios Norway, Teleios Denmark, Teleios Sweden, Teleios Moscow, ETC.
8. YWAM uses the materials all over the world.

See our web for discipleship materials that can change your life and the lives of many others.

One of the Russian Brothers that leads Recovery Ministries. He is using a tablet we provided to store his teaching materials.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

How Can we Best Impact People and Society?

Leigh and Bob Fopma took Teleios Ministries to many places. Here is Leigh holding up one of our Christian Discipleship folders.

I went to a Work on Purpose event today. It was very well planned and very well attended. It appears that there are a lot of people interested in integrating their Christian faith into daily life and labor.

I strongly applaud that idea. I am happy to see believers leave the unbiblical model of separating life from faith. For too many decades we have seen faith as an opponent of life and work as an indication of greed.

This anti-biblical idea has produced far too many "Ministers" and committed "Laity" that were either "So heavenly they were no earthly good" or so "Earthly greedy they were of little spiritual good".

Many years ago I read a book entitled "Fully Human, Fully Alive" that excited me greatly. It was from a Christian point of view and focused on using our minds to serve God and humanity at the same time.

I was a Psychological Counselor at the time and had a strong desire to pursue God's call in my profession. Some of my Christian elders said,

"Stay away from Psychology because it is from the devil".

Some of my Secular Humanist teachers at  U.C. said,

"Stay away from faith in God because it was evil!"

I replied,

"A pox on both your houses". 

God's world encompasses both heavenly and earthly truth.
I have found more psychological truth in the Bible than any other book and I have found unlearned people in both camps.

See my web pages for more books, videos and papers on how to integrate faith and work and family and fun!

Kjell Aanensen, a Teleios Norway leader training Pastors and leaders in Mongolia how to have a great marriage. From Cincinnati, to Norway to Mongolia!

Kjell has trained thousands how to improve their marriage and parenting skills as well as leadership skills with our materials! Business Leaders thrive with Life Skills. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Want to Talk or Listen to God?

I read a great article several years ago written by Ralph Winter, the great missions thinker. He asked why so much training of missionaries and the ministers who took over the new churches on foreign soil were so poorly equipped. Then Ralph gave his own answers to that question.

After 30 years of reading that article I do not remember the details but I do remember the gist.  The Wrong people are teaching the Wrong people the Wrong stuff.

What do you think?

See my free video tapes at Sweeten Life.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Cheap Grace

I love cheap grace. In fact I love free grace. Nothing is cheaper.

I can't stand expensive legalism. Far too many people must pay for it with grief, anxiety, depression, burn out, panic, fear, anger, worry, and a shallow relationship with God.

18 Reasons it was Impossible for the Early Church to Grow

We know that faith in Jesus impact the world greatly in a few short years and are we doing it His way now? I never get tired of pointing out that Christians grew from about 1,000 when Jesus was crucified to about 35,000,000 when Constantine became Emperor in about 300 AD.

That is a growth rate of 45% per decade! How did that happen?

The barriers to growth were many.

1. No printing press
2. No Radio
3. No TV
4. No youth ministry
5. No children's ministry.
6. No worship band
7. No place to meet
8. No sound system
9. No heat or AC
10. No rides to church.
11. No seminary
12. No homiletic's professors
13. No freedom of speech
14. No paid staff
15. No safety from persecution
16. No roads
17. No cars
18. No Sunday school

Sunday, March 8, 2015

How to Multiply Ministers

Go into the whole world and make students into workers so they will do everything I have been doing. Mt. 28:19-20

What is the process of making disciples/students into active ministers? Have you ever been trained to actually Do something new and different? These guys were fishermen IRS agents, sheep herders and hunters. How are they supposed to do ministry like Jesus?

How were you trained to play a sport? Play an instrument? Wash a floor? Fish for bass? Drive a car?

Check the following areas in which you have learned how to DO things in a practical manner.

Listen to lectures____
Discuss the expected action with others.________
Think about how to do it.__________
Practice it in your mind with visualization.________
Watch a film._________________
Read a manual._________________
Practice the skills._______________
Have a coach give you feedback.____________________
Have a video of your practices.___________________
Pray about it.____________________________
Sing about it.__________________________

What do you prefer?__________________________________

Go to the web for materials, videos and books in Sweeten Life and Patient Home Advantage, L3C. 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

How To Multiply Money and Ministry

I hope this title got your attention. I am fascinated by the way so many of us Christians think we are smarter than God. Maybe Jesus was not so intelligent after all. Maybe his model for eliminating poverty and  evangelizing the world was wrong. Otherwise, why would so few Christian leaders teach the opposite of Jesus?

Jesus said, Multiply! Not poverty!

Multiply not Add!

Disciple not Preach!

Equip not Teach!

What a scheme. Let us put it to the test with $$$$$. That is where the rubber hits the road! I will multiply money each year and see what happens.

It is called "Compound Interest". Rich people do it every day and they keep getting richer. Poor people try to add and get poorer every year.

Rich people multiply by saving and investing. Poor people add by increasing the minimum wage.

Rich people work smarter and poor people work harder.

Rich people are contented and poor people are covetous.

Politicians love poor people because poor people can be manipulated.

I want to be rich, so I save and invest. If I have $1,000.00 in the bank and get 6% interest at the end of year one I will have $1,060.00.

That $1060.00 will get me 6% interest again in year two so my interest is "Compounding" every year by building on not only the original capital but also on additional amount I made.

This saving and investing will break the poverty cycle.

That may not seem like much but if I leave it in the bank for 12 years it will double my money and I will have $2,000.00. That amount will double again in 12 years. That gives me $4,000.00 and it will also double in 12 years! for $8,000 and that will double again and again and again!

How do I know it will double in 12 years? It is simple math that I will explain in another post. 

How does that sound?

Get my books and watch my free video tapes to learn how to Multiply your financial, spiritual and emotional life.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Tell Me a Story

The Bible is a collection of stories about His Story. That is one reason it is "New every morning" and why we love to read it.

Jesus was a fantastic story teller. We call many of those stories Parables because they tell a deeper story than what is on the surface. Think about the story about a man with two sons as told by Jesus and reported in Luke 15.

Two brothers. One was rebellious and the other was stuck at home. The younger took his inheritance and spent it all on wild living but returned home, hat in hand when he was broke to find a warm welcome from Dad but a cold rejection from an elder brother.

Can you quickly think of three or four applications to real life and or spiritual life in that one story? It is brimming over with applications but Jesus usually allows us to apply whatever we want to any parable.

Do you tell parables to your family, friends and co-workers? The Decker Company tells why they are important to leadership.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Ten Reasons Why Men Should Not Be Ordained For Ministry

10. A man’s place is in the army.

9. The pastoral duties of men who have children might distract them from the responsibility of being a parent.

8. The physique of men indicates that they are more suited to such tasks as chopping down trees and wrestling mountain lions. It would be “unnatural” for them to do ministerial tasks.

7. Man was created before woman, obviously as a prototype. Thus, they represent an experiment rather than the crowning achievement of creation.

6. Men are too emotional to be priests or pastors. Their conduct at football and basketball games demonstrates this.

5. Some men are handsome, and this will distract women worshipers.

4. Pastors need to nurture their congregations. But this is not a traditional male role. Throughout history, women have been recognized as not only more skilled than men at nurturing, but also more fervently attracted to it. This makes them the obvious choice for ordination.

3. Men are prone to violence. No really masculine man wants to settle disputes except by fighting about them. Thus they would be poor role models as well as dangerously unstable in positions of leadership.

2. The New Testament tells us that Jesus was betrayed by a man. His lack of faith and ensuing punishment remind us of the subordinated position that all men should take.

1. Men can still be involved in church activities, even without being ordained. They can sweep sidewalks, repair the church roof, and perhaps even lead the song service on Father’s Day. By confining themselves to such traditional male roles, they can still be vitally important in the life of the church.