Thursday, March 30, 2017

A National Scandal in the White House

The Twitterverse went nuts.

MSNBC was almost catatonic with shock.

Senator Schumer called for an immediate resignation and a Special Prosecutor.

Two Congressional Committees have been called to investigate the occurrences which are occurring more frequently every week it has been reported.

The Feminist Bikers have called for another March for Freedom and released a memo called the VP shameless, and anti-woman.

The DNC has called for impeachment and former President Clinton has called for laws demanding that Trump  increase the educational budget for training preschoolers about the dangers of following in the footsteps of such anti-American values.  


The charges are raw. Ask the children to leave the room in case and adult reads them aloud.

There are three main charges.
1. VP Pence never takes a woman to lunch or dinner alone without having his wife along.

MS Magazine just ran a special edition of 600 pages writing a series on "Men and Power who Batter their Wives!" Mr. Silver of the Times is using his IT skills to dig out the times an emergency bus has been called to the Pence home on Super Bowl Sunday when so may wives are battered by men high on testosterone after watching other men get hit in the Super Bowl.

2. VP Pence will not attend parties where alcohol is served without his "Love Slave" Mrs. Pence being at his side. That is totally callous and a lack of concern for her welfare having to breathe in second hand alcohol fumes.

3. VP Pence brags that Mrs. Pence is his,.........."wait-wait-wait" PRAYER Partner!!!!!!!!

This is a clear violation of the separation of church and state. Does VP Pence not KNOW he is a Govt. Employee!!!??? Pray? He is not allowed to pray. What could be next? Singing Hymns?

I am sending a petition for you to sign. Print it out, sign on the line saying, "I pledge to send $100,00 per month to the group promoting this petition.

Thanks and happy days are here again!


U-ben Had


Monday, March 27, 2017

Soul Care

Religious leaders are five times more involved in delivering mental health care than Mental Health Professionals. 

Ministers, Lay and Professional, deliver more care and counsel than all other professions combined. When we add friends, Bible study groups, healing services, church counseling centers, Alcoholics Anonymous and other self-help groups the percentage of influence raises dramatically. 

At least 95% of all emotional support, counseling and therapy in the USA is delivered through religiously oriented individuals and groups.

This certainly shows that the propaganda from anti-Christian groups is bogus. 

One commentator noted that India is the most religious nation on earth and the least is Sweden. It appears that America is a nation filled with Indian citizens but ruled by Swedes.

According to a recent NEWSWEEK poll, 84% of Americans believe God performs miracles today. They also found that 48% have personally experienced or witnessed a miracle. However, many doctors and therapists do not agree with their patients and refuse to accommodate their faith and hope. The lack of support and affirmation causes much unnecessary client pain. Some would say it is malpractice.

Several years ago a psychiatrist friend asked me to see a patient who had been under her care for several years. The diagnosis was depression and delusional ideas. The treatment was medication. 

The patient never improved and kept asking the psychiatrist, a Christian, to discuss her spiritual condition. The patient believed she had committed the “unpardonable sin” and was doomed to hell.  The doctor refused to discuss religion but decided to ask me to help the lady with pastoral care and counseling.

I saw the lady for several months. I  patiently listened to her stories about why she believed God had left her. After some time I asked if I could pray for her.  She agreed to but knew it was hopeless. However, before long the patient began to feel better and after some months of probing and prayer started to consider the possibility that God was still with her.

The client currently takes no anti depression medications and is free from depressive symptoms. She was not delusional but theologically confused. She is now convinced that God loves her. It was a slow but remarkable recovery. 

She will tell you it is the result of prayer. In addition to prayer it was patience, supportive interactions, cognitive interventions including scriptures on the love and grace of God.

This lady has been under psychiatric care since 1955 but did not find any therapist that would take her spiritual concerns seriously until she met with me.  The Medical Model intentionally ignored the patient’s beliefs and convictions. That led her to live in misery for 50 years.  That is medical and psychological malpractice.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Healing, Health and Wholeness 1.

Find a therapist/doctor who will treat the whole person and the whole family.  (David Larson, M.D. of Duke University, The Forgotten Factor in Physical and Mental Health, 1992)

As a therapist my interest in faith and medicine began in earnest in 1968. I received a telephone call from my Mother saying Dad was near death from an auto accident.  Dad was dying and the doctors only hoped he would survive until my brother arrived home from Korea. My older brother Maury and I went back home to be with Mom and Dad. We took turns holding on to Dad’s arms to keep him from pulling the tubes from his nose and mouth. It was an awful experience. I felt so helpless and hopeless.

After some time of trying to hold Dad’s arms, I began to silently pray for God to heal him. I had never prayed like that before. Our denomination did not believe in miraculous gifts. We “Prayed for the sick we didn’t pray for them to get well,” we joked but this was no joke. We had always asked God to “Bless the patient, the doctors and nurses and comfort the family” but never asked for a miracle. This time I was so desperate that I forgot my theology and prayed for a miraculous healing.

My prayers were awkward, mumbled and panic stricken. They were not filled with faith or even hope. Despite my hesitancy and poor faith I sensed the presence of a powerful force come into the room. The hair on my head stood up and I had chills down my spine. About the same time Dad became quiet and his labored breathing was smooth and peaceful. His body was calm and sleep replaced the thrashing and resistance we brothers were trying to control.

I knew Dad had been deeply touched and that allowed me to follow his lead and relax. His hands fell quietly on the bed. I thought God had answered my prayer, and, He had. Dad recovered fully. He lived another ten years. But I was also changed. I could no longer deny that the reason Jesus was known as “The Great Physician” was because He healed the sick. I was thrust into a fledgling healing ministry with no preparation but one great personal experience.

My profession resisted this story and so did my church. Neither was thrilled by hearing about God’s healing touch. Nor did either bless my desire to learn and do more about spiritual healing. Few of my friends welcomed my new faith in a healing God. Preachers and teachers who regularly talked about the Great Physician were shocked when I mentioned what He had done to integrate our theory with His experience. 

I was caught between the Scylla of fearful, unbelieving Christians and the Charybdis of anxious disbelieving psychologists. Before I went to graduate school in Counseling my Sunday school teacher warned me to “Stay away from psychology! It’s from the devil.” My religious friends were frightened about using love or prayer to heal.  I also found that my professional friends were deeply suspicious of any healing other than their own brand of theology from Freud, Skinner or Rogers.

During a class in 1972 a Professor of Sociology refused to allow me to research the effectiveness of Alcoholics Anonymous. “We are a public university and we cannot violate the separation of church and state,” he pompously said.  His rigid stand against anything with a spiritual component shows how closed the minds of my teachers were.

A.A. is not, of course, a church, but they do allow clients to acknowledge God. Research shows clearly that A.A. is effective in treating addictions but that fact did not convince my agnostic teachers ending suffering was enough reason to teach the power of faith. Although that teacher was a practicing Buddhist, he was frightened about the idea that there is a spiritual reality in the world and he used all kinds of bogus excuses to forbid its study.  

The event with Dad at the Good Samaritan Hospital spurred me toward further study. In 1974-75 I wrote a doctoral dissertation that integrated psychology, theology and prayer. During my studies I found few believers and fewer psychologists willing to support my quest.  Even today some people are militantly against all expressions of religion outside a sanctuary. Recently an honor guard Chaplain was fired for speaking about God. He ended his graveside talk with "God bless you and this family, and God bless the United States of America," he would say as he presented a folded flag to them. Because of that, he was released from his duties.
However, despite what we read about government religious phobia, most Americans want doctors and counselors to integrate religious practices into their work. In 1993 and again in 1997 Eisenberg and colleagues surveyed Americans about their use of medical and psychological treatments that include spiritual alternatives. The percentage of persons who use at least one alternative therapy increased from 34% to 42% in those four years. The percentage who sought care from an alternative source increased from 36% to 46%.

Between 1990 and 1997 there was a 47% increase in visits to alternative practitioners, from 427 million to 629 million, exceeding the total number of visits made to all conventional primary care physicians in 1997.  The estimated amount paid to alternative practitioners increased 45% to $21.2 billion. The total estimated out-of-pocket expense for alternative therapies in 1997 was $27 billion, comparable to the amount paid out-of-pocket for all physician services in the United States. (1998 JAMA)

The numbers of persons seeking soul care from “alternative sources” has always exceeded those who visit professional counselors. Some 42% of distressed persons seek help from pastors, priests and other religious leaders.  An estimated 18% seek help from a primary care doctor and only 8% look to professional mental health practitioners. However, 100% speak with family members, friends, colleagues and church before seeing anyone else. Similar statistics hold for Ohio and for the nation.

Religious leaders are five times more involved in delivering mental health counseling than Mental Health Professionals. It could be said that ministers deliver more care and counsel than all other professions combined. When we add friends, Bible study groups, healing services, church counseling centers, Alcoholics Anonymous and other self-help groups the percentage of influence raises dramatically. 

At least 95% of all emotional support, counseling and therapy in the USA is delivered through religiously oriented individuals and groups. 

If you need and want Professional Counseling, call Life Way. 

If you want to be trained to help families in need to support for a member with an illness contact Sweeten Life Systems. 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Devastation in our Land

There is a problem in our land. Because of terrible political leadership, many people are falling behind in their ability to interact with an educated population. This means that the percentage of young people who are unemployable is rising dramatically.

You can quickly review my post about the impact of technology on educated citizens so imagine how it is going to impact those with little education.

For the past two years my colleagues and I have been training volunteers to Mentor  high school students in our urban schools. The people that volunteer give up time, energy, and attention to support these young men and women. They are as wonderful and caring as any adults I have ever met. Despite our good intentions, the young people with whom they are paired find that positive change is extremely difficult.

Many of the youth do manage to study, try and make some dramatic changes. However, it is awfully late in their young lives to alter what their aberrant behavior.  Many have almost no positive family and community support. It is a dog eat dog existence!

That is why our Mentors work so hard to help them. Many of the young men and women are bright and try hard against a strong head wind. Most come from single parent families regardless of race or ethnicity. Broken families are devastating generations of kids just as the Bible suggests.

Scripture warns us that broken families will produce generational problems and healthy kids and intact, caring families will very likely produce generations of strong kids.

I wish every church and every public agency would urge dads to marry and stay married when they produce offspring. Too many liberals have promoted the idea that marriage is unimportant and that concern about single parenting is racist.

It is racist to promote policies that destroy Black families and it shows hatred toward the poor of any race or ethnicity to promote anti-family policies like those passed by President Johnson called "The War on Poverty" when it was a war on the poor.

Vice President Dan Quayle was 100% correct way back in the George H. W. Bush Administration when he had the audacity to suggest that TV shows which glorified "alternative forms" of marriage and family life were dangerous.

Come and visit the inner city and volunteer to help these devastated moms and their wounded kids. Then tell me how all the "alternatives" are just as healthy as traditional marriages and traditional families.

Go to our web and learn how to live and love with greater health for all involved.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Jobs Now and Then

The skills and knowledge needed to thrive today are very different from those in the past. At the very least current and future workers must be able to get along with each other. Those skills are often called Emotional IQ Skills or EQ.

As I look at the skills and attitudes currently demanded I am struck by how rare it is to find a school and/or church that has a focus on them. Each is a skill used by those with good EQ but our world is tending to crush EQ in favor of revenge, riots, hate, and insane marches.

Where in our public square do you see:

1. Complex Problem Solving
2. Critical Thinking
3. Creativity
4. People Management
5. Coordination
6. Empathy
7. Patience
8. Forgiveness
9. Peace
10. ETC.

What are you and you family doing to improve EQ Skills? Here is my advice.

Get busy and start learning asap!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Times are a Changing to EQ Skills

It is a very small step from Google and Amazon to a robotic invasion in every sphere of life. Robots are operating in our daily lives and we currently like the results.

I prefer to go to Amazon and buy books because it is easy, convenient, fast, and cheap. However, the entire Amazon enterprise run by Jeff Bezos is operating almost exclusively with robots and digital communication.

And, it is a heartless operation based on digital robots that are making Bezos and his stockholders tons of money. (He is said to be worth about 73 Billion Dollars.) Almost all jobs that require hands on technical skills are doomed.

The people that can rise to the top of the business pyramid must have good skills and education in how to plan and operate with great speed and wisdom. One thing is sure. The future is fraught with unknowns. Those with a High EQ will survive and thrive. 

Learn EQ Skills here. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

From Gutenberg to Google

                                   God is Love!
                              Love One Another

1.     The world has transitioned out of the Gutenberg world into a Google world.
2.     Google world: Experiential, Participatory, Image-rich, and Connective.
3.     The interface of today’s world is E.P.I.C.
4.     The Gutenberg world was rational; today’s world is experiential.
5.     The Gutenberg world was logical and linear encouraging people to “intellectually comprehend and understand.”
6.     Google world people want to experience God.
7.     The church can better interact with the world today by shifting to become more experiential rather than just intellectual as a basis of outreach.
8.     We are in a taste and see world.  People want to experience God, not just have rational thoughts about God.
9.     The Gutenberg world valued individual performance; now people value participation.
10.     People live in a “karaoke” culture centered around interaction not just receive listening and observing.
11.     The church must shift from performance of the gospel to participation in the gospel.
12.     Gutenberg world was communicating words, but now people value images.
13.     Today’s culture is picture-rich, image-driven.
14.     The advertising industry utilizes storytelling with images more than words

Are you and I ready to teach, train, and lead in the future? What can we do to get ready? For Christian leaders, the model of Gutenberg can help us. The very first publications on movable type were Bibles! That is a great metaphor for us today. Can we lead the way in providing high quality digital images of biblical stories? 

I say, "YES we can!" 

Gary Sweeten

Friday, March 10, 2017

Pontificating Politicians and Performers

We have become an arrogant generation that virtue-signals that we can change the universe when in reality we cannot even run an awards ceremony, plow snow, fix potholes, build a road or dam, or stop inner-city youths from murdering one another.

Victor Davis Hanson is one of my favorite writers and thinkers.You can read the entire article here. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Christianity is a Modernizing Faith

1.     The newer emerging Christianity is modernizing parts of the world where it is growing.
2.     Women’s roles are not restricted as seen in foreign culture, but they are a force in transforming their cultures.
3.     Foundations are being laid for civil societies and government (the church was the foundation of American democracy).
4.     Churches emerge that believe in healing, purity, and economic political stability.

Forty or fifty years ago, everyone was predicating the end of the church . . . killed by urbanization, modernization, industrialization. You come back today and it is exactly those factors that have been most responsible for the growth of churches . . . taught their believers ways of coping in an industrial world . . . they are the ultimate social and cultural revolutionaries.  ~Philip Jenkins 

5.     Christianity not only heals societies but also brings growth, stability and liberation from former tribal thinking and acting. 

This photo shows a new group of Christians in a public school in another nation. We help people all over the planet how to set up small groups of Believers so they can build each other up in their new faith. 

Get equipped here!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

What God Is Doing In The World

 Elmer Towns, of Liberty University

 - March 2017 Newsletter

1.     Explosion of multisite churches around the world. One church (with one pastor, governance, and DNA) located in multiple locations with a singular vision and values. This new strategy of church planting is a possible way to finish the Great Commission.
2.     National Fellowship of Born Again Pentecostal Churches of Uganda, Africa, is a church of 22,000 and Bishop Alex Mitala has begun over 10,000 additional new churches in past few years.
3.     World Harvest Center, Suva, Fiji, Suliasi Kurulo pastor; (the world’s 164th poorest nation) has planted over 5,000 churches throughout the islands and other nations. The home church has 5,000 people.
4.     Bethany Church of God, Surabaya, Indonesia, seats 25,000 with a weekly attendance of over 140,000 worshippers not including its 600 daughter churches in every island of the nation.  The pastor told me, “Even though we are the 5th largest nation in the world with the largest Muslim population there are more Pentecostals in our nation than any other in the world.”
5.     Word of Hope Church, Manila Philippines, David Sobrepena, is pastor of the church that seats 4,000 with attendance of 70,000 each week in multiple services and home groups, not counting attendance in 60 satellite churches.  Plans to have 250,000 through home cell meetings. 
6.     Jotabeche Methodist Pentecostal Church, Santiago, Chile, seats 14,000 with 120,000 worshipers in the Central Cathedral, and 20 temples (attendance 2,400 each) and 80 churches averaging 100, and multiple missions.  There are multiple church complexes like this throughout different cities in Chile with approximately 5 million in Chile.

7.     The Full Gospel Church, Seoul, South Korea, Yonggi Cho, founder, had 760,000 members; the largest single church since Pentecost.  It had 34,000 home cells, and 50 satellite churches.  When Cho resigned 10 years ago, all satellite churches were released to be independent churches; now the mother church only averages 300,000 members.

This shows how greatly our God is turning people from darkness to light. 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Small Group Questions for Leaders

The Holy Club of Oxford
John Wesley's Holy Club asked themselves each day in devotions
1. Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I really am? In other words, am I a hypocrite?
2. Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate?
3. Do I confidentially pass on to another what was told to me in confidence?
4. Am I a slave to dress, friends, work or habits?
5. Can I be trusted?
6. Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?
7. Did the Bible live in me today?
8. Do I give it time to speak to me every day?
9. Am I enjoying prayer?
10. When did I last speak to someone else of my faith?
11. Do I pray about the money I spend?
12. Do I get to bed on time and get up on time?
13. Do I disobey God in anything?
14. Do I insist on something about which my conscience is uneasy?
15. Am I defeated in any part of my life?
16. Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy or distrustful?
17. How do I spend my spare time?
18. Am I proud?
19. Do I thank God that I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisee who despised the publican?
20. Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold a resentment toward or disregard? If so, what am I doing about it?
21. Do I grumble or complain constantly?
22. Is Christ real to me?
Copyright 1992, 1997,2000 by Wycliffe Bible Translators International and Laura Mae Gardner, D. Min. Permission granted to copy for non-profit use.

Support us here. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Healing PTSD

Members of  a  Ministry for Healing Addictions in Russia. 

Adverse Childhood Events and other traumatic events in life can be substantially healed. Many of them leave our brains addled and our nerves shot.. Our natural response to trauma is to react to defend ourselves for the possibility of future trauma. So, we tend to develop protective habits of anxiety and fear. 

I have often shared how we developed groups and classes in caring and renewing the mind as well as prayer to equip believers how to seek personal healing. These same groups are also very useful to equip believers to carry the healing love of God to others. 

1. Caring skills of Genuineness, Respect, Empathy and Warmth (GREW) that convey grace, mercy and peace. Nothing is more important in promoting growth and healing in ourselves and the people around us.

2. Renewing the mind so we can "Take every thought captive to the mind of Christ". Our approach is to teach people how to stop Stinking Thinking and developing Spirit directed thinking. If we can think about life through a lens of the mind of Christ we will be set free from past stresses and traumatic events. 

3. Learning how to implement prayers for healing the results of past trauma. People suffering from depression are often victims of trauma that soaking prayer and the love of God. Even those with habits of drugs and anger, have seen great healing from prayer

We warmly accept, love and care for all persons. When it is the right time and place we may also turn to James, Chapter 5. and implement his suggestions on healing prayers. 

 If you want to know howto minister growth and healing get my PDF book, Breaking Free, along with Power Christian Thinking. 

Family Health and Sickness

"Our society is undergoing a time of great regression."

I first heard of social regression when studying Counseling and Psychology from a perspective of Family Systems. Family Systems is based on the notion that our issues and problems lie not just withing us but also in-between us.

Freud and most other theorists that developed western Psychological ideas thought that a neurosis or psychosis was primarily caused by our inner brokenness, distortions, and confusion. Those of us who studied Family Systems do not disagree with that but also suggest that the entire family as a unit can and does develop patterns, relationships, and habits that we adopt ourselves to cause us to act dysfunctionally.

For the Jews and Christian readers I suggest you reread the many passages in the Bible that talk about generational blessings and problems. My main system's teacher was Rabbi Ed. Friedman.

The topic of Family Regression key to understand why poor people become worse off and rich people get richer over time. Healthy families tend to produce healthy kids. The new families they develop keep that pattern up from generation to generation.

Educated families tend to produce educated children who produce educated children for many generations. Educated people tend to marry others who are educated and people that are healthier mentally, emotionally, and relationally tend to find mate with a similar level of health.

Spiritually Mature families tend to produce spiritually mature kids. Spiritually mature families tend to be much healthier mentally, emotionally, physically, and relationally than those who are not spiritual.

Over time, the only way to develop Family Progression is to support healthier family practices over time. When we do that, these families bond together to form Social Progression. However, when a lot of families Regress emotionally, and interpersonally, they begin to drag society at large down as well.

This is Social Regression.

Our model at Sweeten Life Systems includes equipping people to grow in every dimension of life as an individual and family. Few models can say that. Get our tremendous materials here!

By the way, there is a great book that shows what happens when several generations of family patterns has a lot of alcohol and anger in it. And, how healing is coming to one brave woman. 

God's Hand?

Elmer Bendiner was a navigator in a B-17 during WW II.  He tells this story of a World War II bombing run over Kassel, Germany, and the unexpected result of a direct hit on their gas tanks. "Our B-17, the Tondelayo, was barraged by flak from Nazi antiaircraft guns. That was not unusual, but on this particular occasion our gas tanks were hit.”

"Later, as I reflected on the miracle of a 20 millimeter shell piercing the fuel tank without touching off an explosion, our pilot, Bohn Fawkes, told me it was not quite that simple." On the morning following the raid, Bohn had gone down to ask our crew chief for that shell as a souvenir of unbelievable luck.

The crew chief told Bohn that not just one but 11 shells had been found in the gas tanks. 11 unexploded shells where only one was sufficient to blast us out of the sky. It was as if the sea had been parted for us. A near-miracle, I thought. Even after 35 years, so awesome an event leaves me shaken, especially after I heard the rest of the story from Bohn.

He was told that the shells had been sent to the armorers to be defused. The armorers told him that Intelligence had picked them up. They could not say why at the time, but Bohn eventually sought out the answer. "Apparently when the armorers opened each of those shells, they found no explosive charge. They were as clean as a whistle and just as harmless.”

Empty? Not all of them! One contained a carefully rolled piece of paper. On it was a scrawl in Czech. The Intelligence people scoured our base for a man who could read Czech. Eventually they found one to decipher the note. Translated, the note read:

"This is all we can do for you now… using Jewish slave labor is never a good idea.”

“To know God in the Scriptures always goes beyond information to intimacy” (Erwin Raphael McManus).

Deut. 31: 8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."