Friday, July 28, 2017

Lord Grant Me Serenity

Serenity Prayer

Pastor Reinhold Niebuhr

God, grant me the serenity to accept
The things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time:
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace:
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it:
Trusting that you will make all things right
If I surrender to your will:
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life

And supremely happy with you in the next

Part of this famous prayer of Serenity is used by Recovery Groups around the world to find peace for any person who is struggling with stress, fears, anxiety, and cannot find rest. 

Anyone following the current political frenzy and insanity in Washington, DC will find the prayer essential.

To read more about finding a calm mind, get my PDF book called Power Christian Thinking.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Peace, Peace, Pray for Peace

St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master,
Grant the I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
And it is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.


One of the most important things we focus on in our writings and teachings is PEACE. Jesus thought Peace was so important that He blessed His followers with it just before the final time in Jerusalem. Jesus also sent His Disciples out to preach by telling them to "Go as lambs among wolves and bless them with peace".  When we as lambs face the wolves in life we need the peace of the Holy Spirit. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Insanity is Spreading

The reality of what we call "Post Modern Philosophy" has overtaken our society in many places. We can see it in the inability of many people to tell right from wrong, good from bad,  facts from fantasy, and  good. In fact, the prevailing foundation of life is under attack from those who say, "There is not such thing as truth or Facts. Everything is simply a part of the way we see things.

For a long time I saw these ideas as so ridiculous that they would never take hold. but was I ever wrong. This is the basis of the Political Correctness wave of thinking that controls the media, the educational system, and much of psychology. It is even threatening our faith.

Can you see how it might be impacting your life? Let me offer a couple of quick examples. Some years ago I was coaching a Christian employer how to defend himself against the bogus and ridiculous charges of "emotional abuse" by an employee. They arose from his moving her to a different desk in the office that was not as close to the front door.

At the hearing, the facts were presented and the employee did not disagree with them. However, she felt misused and abused by the move and demanded a large amount of money because she was "victimized". The person from the Department of Labor who was overseeing the process said, "If she feels misused and abused, she was misused and abused."

Feelings are always more important than facts in Post Modern, PC  world. Victims must be protected and whenever any one or any group claims victimization, they must be believed and must receive some kind of recompense for their pain.

Do you remember the terrorist in Canada? He killed one person and severely wounded another. The Premier set him free and gave him millions of Dollars. He claimed to be "victimized" and Trudeau gave in.

Is there truth? Are there facts?

See our materials for real facts.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

A Christian Brand worth Billions

The headline I saw in the Wall Street Journal this morning really grabbed my attention. It was:

After Jacques Hamel’s murder, his archbishop asked God for help loving his enemies.

Fr. Jacques was Roman Catholic Priest in France murdered by Islamic terrorists. Afterward, the Premier of France called the Archbishop and said, in my paraphrase, "Please, let us discuss what to say before you go public. I do not want national riots. What will you say?" He answered

"I will ask God for help in loving my enemies".

What a great Christ inspired response. I am unsure If I could have replied with such mercy and grace myself.

The Archbishop is blessed because he is a peacemaker.

May God give us the strength to be peacemakers.

Monday, July 17, 2017

If Christian Leaders Had a Cooking Show

I must admit that I am frustrated with the education and training of Christians. The focus of both Jesus and Paul was Discipleship. Raising up mature men and women who wanted and were capable of doing ministry. It was practical as well as theological. Many schools that train Christian leaders teach only theories of leading and preaching but few practical skills.

I am reminded of the top Surgeon in Japan. He wrote a 700 page textbook for Medical students. At the end of the school year the government had him travel to each graduating class to test the knowledge and skills of the students.

Here was his unbelievable discovery. Many students could quote portions of the text he wrote. It was an amazing feat of memory. There was one problem. Most of them had no practical skills in the daily practice of medicine. Most could not take a patient's blood pressure!

I have a friend that graduated from a top rated American seminary. After years of Greek, Hebrew, OT and NT theories he graduated.

His first assignment was as an assistant in a small church in New York state. Soon after arriving the Pastor left on vacation, leaving the church in the "capable hands" of the newly minted Minister. One Sunday he had to baptize two young girls by immersion.

They went out to a lake to do the baptism and he was ready.  He wore his brand new Doctoral robes and carried the Bible he received at graduation.

As the three of them walked out into the shallow lake, they suddenly sank like a stone. Before long they all went into the deep water with robes flowing, new Bible sinking, sermon notes floating, watches and new suit ruining, and teenage girls screaming.

He had never before performed a baptismal service in practice or reality. The words Rev. Newsboy screamed in panic must have been Greek or Hebrew because he had to promise never to repeat them again at any public event.

Preparation of all professionals must improve with internships, that mix practical and theoretical knowledge as the base.

We have both! Get the theoretical and theological here along with videos that show models.

Christian Influence

As a Christian I was born to have an influence. When a baby is born to a member of the royal family he or she is immediately a royal with immense influence. However, like any normal baby, a royal comes into the world as a person that needs to be trained in the proper behavior of a member of the royal family, traditions, and protocol.

Last year Karen and I watched The Crown on Netflix. It is a fascinating story about Queen Elizabeth from birth to adulthood and it covers in some dramatic detail the many things she was required to know and do, many of which she hated. For example, Elizabeth promised her sister she could marry a divorced man but discovered from Winston Churchill that it was not possible for her to give such permission. Rather than having enormous freedom and authority, the Queen was constantly reminded that she served at the pleasure of the Crown or Kingdom rather than her own desires. The scripture uses kingdom in a similar way.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. I Peter 1:9 

We who know Christ were born again as royalty and like all chosen people we must learn the skills, patterns, and protocol required. That is called Discipleship in the Bible and the process of making disciples is called Equipping. One of the key things to equip royal Christian babies is how to act and speak properly so as to have positive influence rather than negative influence. 

Like the young Queen we may want to do things we have no authority to do. We may wish to demand and command that those with whom we disagree should be silenced. That is not allowed. Everyone in our world has the freedom to speak. As a Christian I sometimes want to stop people from misquoting scripture or interpretation is wrong. But I do not have authority to do that.  

P&G spends 8 Billion Dollars annually on marketing. They are very careful to use their money and knowledge wisely. I wish every one of us would be as careful as P&G to always be positive, uplifting, and encouraging. 

Go to our web for videos and written materials on building a positive influence.  

Monday, July 10, 2017

Special Needs Families and Conflict

It is widely reported that parents who are also caretakers of a chronically ill family member suffer themselves as a result of the additional stress.  I believe it.

The stresses are high and sometimes they cause additional conflicts. In fact, many marriages do not survive. In many cases, siblings also develop resentments from feeling left out.

However, rumors and poor memory can exaggerate the frequency of divorce among caregivers. We sometimes hear that 85 to 90% of the couples with a disabled kid get divorced, but that is too high, but it is higher than other couples.  It take hard work and exceptional skills to develop a solid marriage for anyone.

We have interviewed many caregiver parents to hear directly why they are stressed. We could guess but we want to instead of ask directly to learn what we can do to help them overcome it. As a result we are getting ready to launch a new web site and tool to foster family cohesion and communication. Keep us in your prayers so we have the most creative and beneficial tools possible.

We already have some great tools that facilitate family peace and growth available at the Sweeten Life web site.