Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Family Involvement

Karen and I drove back to Illinois last week to be with my older brother Maury and his wife Angela for the memorial service for her 99 year old mother. In the midst of sadness there was also peace.

Jerry Carpenter had lived a very full, loving and Christ centered life for most of her 99 years. With that in mind we celebrated her life with great stories from her family, friends and neighbors.

The breakdown of the family with bitterness, single parents and broken relationships is sad and very destructive. Deep love brings grief but not like those who have no hope. Angela and her family have the sure hope of being with Granny Jerry again so the grief is tempered with hope.

If you do not have a healthy family, get busy and make peace.

If you are not a Christian, go to the Father for eternal life.


Gary Sweeten

Want to know more about the family from generation to generation? Watch these You Tubes. You can also read my book, How to be Me in My Family Tree.

Basic Family Tree


Extensive Family Tree


Saturday, January 16, 2016

What is a Disciple?

"Go make disciples!" 

OK, How?

First, What is a Disciple?

How does one become a Disciple?

What are the characteristics of a Disciple?

Where would you go to learn to be a Disciple?

Have you ever been in a place that made Disciples?

Go to our web and see if these questions are addressed?

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Seinfeld and Bad Communication

Seinfeld showed us failed communication patterns. 

George Costanza: You've got to apologize. 
Jerry: Why? 
George Costanza: Because it’s the mature and adult thing to do. 
Jerry: How does that affect me?

Friday, January 8, 2016

The Most Important Aspect to Great Communication

Our tagline is, "Building a Lifetime of Great Relationships" so communication is a basic, foundational skill we need to posses and we must develop in others.

So, what is critical to that? Most people think it is being seductive.  Just look at the TV ads with all the beautiful people. However, that can actually backfire. Half the time when I see a TV ad I cannot remember the product.

That is a huge FAIL!

The #1. Law of good communication is:

Know the audience.

Know them personally and not just stereotypically. Not all women are alike.

Not all Christians or Muslims or Hindus ar alike.

Get to know who they are and what they need.

Go here to learn more.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Communication Failures Galore

Can you remember some embarrassing communication fails or you live alone in a cave. If not, you are a very, very careful person.

I am a professional communicator in both broadcast and in narrowcast. I speak often to large groups and I write a blog that can be read by thousands. (HA! That is a stretch.) This means that I have a lot more opportunities to offend and misspeak than most.

I was teaching in Taiwan about the importance of healing shame. Guilt is a message from the heart and mind that says, "You broke one of God's commandments so you deserve to be punished". The answer to guilt is the forgiveness of God.

However, shame is totally different but feels similar. It is a message that you are imperfect and only perfect people can be in the family of God and humans. Thus, shame can be a mixture of a guilty conscience together with shame based feelings of self-revulsion and total rejection. The answer is biblical adoption.

When I said the term adoption, I immediately saw a negative reaction on the faces of the 50 Pastors at the seminar. I paused, and asked through my interpreter, "I can see that I made a mistake in what I said. What did I do wrong?"

This was a big fail on my part. As a result, we had a thirty minute discussion about what shame means  in the Chinese language.

I had taught Chinese leaders for over a decade but missed some very important cues, and it blocked my ability to communicate well. Thank God those Pastors helped me change.

I messed up and I had to face my fail and clean it up. Have you ever embarrassed yourself like that? 

What did you do?

Famous misquotes from the Bible:

“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you . . .’” Jer 29:11.

It was written to people in captivity.It told them to work hard while there not to take them out of bondage immediately. 

See our web for ways to improve your communication. LISTEN!

You Goals for 2016

My goals are?

That you get a raise?  

That the Bengals win the Super Bowl?

That your church doubles in attendance and triples in giving? 

Or, maybe that you will be as excited by your faith as you were back when God first came into your life?

Philippians 3:10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings,becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. 

But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 

14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Goal #1. Press on. We are not holy yet. Like Paul we are just progressing. 

See our materials, videos and books on Christian growth and healing. 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Who Blessed You in 2015?

There are "Top Ten" lists everywhere. But nobody asked me about my Top Ten on any topic. Here is your chance.

List some people and or events that blessed you and or inspired you in 2015? Yesterday I mentioned my friend in Russia, Dr. Galina Chentsova. She has given her life, and career to serve hurting people.

Has a Doctor, Minister, Child, Family Member, Neighbor, Teacher, Small Group Leader, touched you? If so, let us know.

The President honors Great Americans every year. The Nobel Peace Prize is given to a Great International person annually. But, 99.9% of all good works are carried out by people who get little if any recognition!

Here Goes a suggestion from my life in 2015:

1. The wife of a friend that cared for her sick husband through thick and thin and was nearly always upbeat while refusing to be in denial about his illness.

2. _____________________________ ?????

You can bless us her by ordering our materials, watching a video or making a donation!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Communion and Prayers Welcome 2016

On new Year's Eve, a few of us met for food, fellowship and thankfulness for last year and hope for the next. Each had an opportunity to share a memory of someone that had inspired us in 2015.  I shared about a woman.

Galina Chentsova, a Medical Doctor in Moscow that serves the Lord and leads an organization that provides care, counsel and support to hundreds of individuals and families. Despite the hard economic times she and her team have ministered selflessly to victims of wars, family trauma, addictions and loss.

Pray for Galina and her team. Pray for Russia! The wonderful people there are struggling deeply. We are friends with so many who need our support.

Go to our web for ways to support people in crisis.