Thursday, July 30, 2009

White House Summit Great Relationships

A funny satire of the Beer Summit at the White House can be found at The Big Hollywood Blog

Sunday, July 26, 2009

You Shall Receive Power at Brave Heart Blog

I spoke this morning at Lifegate Church in Northern Kentucky. They meet at 10:00 AM at the Scott County High School. Dennis Cole is Pastor and he along with wife Sheila are our West with the Navajo Indians with whom they have partnered for years. You can get my talk on a podcast if you want.

Over the last few months I have had a hunger to rekindle the fires of the Holy Spirit and get back to basics. I have known Dennis and his Father Desmond ever since the Jesus Movement in the early Seventies. their congregation has been on the cutting edge of the move of the Holy Spirit for four decades.

I spoke this morning on Acts 1:1-8 where Dr. Luke the Apostle writes to his friend Theopholis about the ministry of Jesus. Ends ends up with this very powerful comment. "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the far reaches of the world."

The Holy Spirit is s spirit of power! That is dunamis in Greek and dynamite in English. Why do we need so much power? To be witnesses.

The term Dr. Luke uses here shows that he meant more than talk for talk is cheap. No, he used the term martyrous or martyr. "You shall be my martyrs" and it takes God's power to die to self.

Die to self in Jerusalem so you can win the neighbors to Christ.
Die to self in Judea, the wilderness country so you can win the farmers, huntsmen and shepherds to Christ.
Die to self in Samaria so you can win the hated non-Jews there to Christ.
Die to self in the far reaches of the world so you can win the pagan idol worshippers to Christ.

Every attempt to share the good news is a cross cultural communication challenge and demands that we lay down our fleshly prejudices and bless the people in love, peace and joy.

Think it over. Take four Post-It Notes. Label one Jerusalem, one Judea, one Samaria and one World. In each square write the people God's Spirit places on your heart to pray for.

Pray about whom God would have you list and let me know what happens.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Marriage Mentoring

Almost every day news media cover some terrible and tragic stories about the results of sex outside marriage and babies/children without two parents in the home. For example, today in the Cincinnati Enquirer there is a story about a mother and father who are fighting over the custody of their daughter.

Mom and Dad were never married but had one child, at least.

Mom had another child earlier with another man who is living with a foster family.

Dad got a court order to have visitation rights but Mom disagreed.

Mom is currently living with a man with whom she is not married.

Mom kidnapped the child and hid her from Dad and the police.

Mom was arrested.

Police found the child.

Police took the child into custody and would not allow Dad to have her despite the court order.

This is a mess and is costing our government many thousands of dollars. It will damage all the children involved and very likely result in several generations of damaged, addicted, traumatized adults and cost millions. Few of these kids will get an education, keep a job or make enough money to take care of themselves. Many will be involved in violent crimes and end up in prison.

Almost 40% of all children born in America are to single Mothers who are on welfare. the kids will be on welfare their entire lives. Medicare is broke. Medicaid is broke. But the financial, social and psychological destruction of this epidemic is far worse than either Medicare or Medicaid.

What is the answer? Marriage before sex or at least before children. Husbands and wives staying together and rearing their children, making sure kids get a good education.

These are critically important.

This requires churches and Christians who know how to minister healing and wholeness to their people. Every church needs 12 Step Groups, Peer Care and Healing, Divorce Recovery and Prayer Groups.

Sweeten Life Systems
to learn how to be a healthy church. On August 29 I will teach a seminar on Mentoring Marriages. Sign up at the web site.

Prayers for Russia

It is dangerous and difficult to live in Russia, especially if you are trying to make positive changes. I have enormous respect for my friends in Russia and keep them in my prayers. I am asking you to pray for them as well.

Although this story about the killing of people in Russia has nothing to do with our friends or with the church there, it is a reminder of the need to bring the good news of Christ into a dark and dangerous world. We in the USA are so blessed to live in a safe nation that, for the most part, protects its citizens.

Here is the story from Russia.

Just days after the kidnapping and murder of prominent human rights activist Natalya Estemirova, another civil rights activist in Russia has been buried after being found dead. The body of Andrei Kulagin, head of Spravedlivost ('Justice'), was discovered in a quarry on July 10, roughly 600 miles north of Moscow.

Please keep the Russian people in your prayers. The Believers there are doing their best to bring peace, love and joy as well as healing to the populace. It is a long hard road but in Christ still possible.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Obama: Doctors do Surgery in Office

Mr. Obama is desperate. How else can we explain his nonsensical statement about Doctors doing surgeries on kids because they will make more money?

AP: In trying to rally support for health care overhaul, Obama described a patient who sees a physician for a sore throat, or a parent who brings in a child with a sore throat.

"Right now, doctors a lot of times are forced to make decisions based on the fee payment schedule that's out there. ... The doctor may look at the reimbursement system and say to himself, 'You know what? I make a lot more money if I take this kid's tonsils out,'" Obama told a prime-time news conference. The president added: "Now, that may be the right thing to do, but I'd rather have that doctor making those decisions just based on whether you really need your kid's tonsils out or whether it might make more sense just to change; maybe they have allergies. Maybe they have something else that would make a difference."

General Practice Doctors do not do surgery. They refer to a specialist. The President has lost his way on this issue.

Change is Everywhere

Back in the Sixties and Seventies a couple named Toffler wrote some very provocative books about the rapidity of change and the overwhelming nature of the increasing speed of information. Father Lou Guntzleman, a local Catholic Priest, wrote an interesting article about what they predicted about today's marriages some forty years ago. It is in the Enquirer. I think you will find it insightful and worrying.

My desire to establish a Center of Influence that will bring together men and women who are cutting edge thinkers comes to my mind when I read these articles. We desperately need some thinking that is deeper than the usual fare of Christian leaders if we are to touch contemporary people in ways that make a real difference.

Who would you like to meet and discuss critical issues about religion, values, politics and spirituality? Write down the people and topics you think that will be of interest to thinking Believers.

I need to hear from you.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Flush the Viagra!

London’s Daily Telegraph reports on a frightening trend:

With every passing month, another 870,000 people turn 65 and the world’s cohort of pensioners becomes larger still. Thanks to rising life expectancy, their ranks will soon be growing by almost two million a month and, by 2040, their numbers will have doubled to 1.3 billion. . . .

People over 80 are multiplying faster than any other age group, with their ranks are set to grow by 233 per cent.

Man, there is too much Viagra around so these old people are reproducing too fast.

We need more Seasoned Believers to help us.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Great Relationships

Why is the Federal Government spending money like drunken sailors and everyone else is cutting back? Why does Congress think they can just print money with no long term consequences?

Why are so many men in power going crazy and losing their jobs, careers, wives and reputations for a few nights of hot sex?

I don't know all the answers but I do have some help for couples and families. On August 29 I am doing a Marriage Mentors Training. One of the best ways to save money is to save your marriage. Couples in conflict spend more money, drink too much, eat too much and smoke too much.

I will also tell you why Governor Sanford lost it despite having an "Accountability Group" and an "Accountability Guru". He needed help from a wise minister and counselor. He needed and needs: (Fill in the blank) _________________________ !

What would you have done if Sanford was in your small group and you saw his temptation? How do we prevent men and women from going crazy?

Healthy couples have longer lives and happier times when they are alive. They have better sex, better homes and better realtionships with their in laws.

Go to my web page for more information.

The Wrath to Come

I want to be a great ancestor. One of the most important ways to leave a great legacy for my children, grand children and great grand children is to have a clean conscience myself. As Hebrews 12:12-15 notes, a "root of bitterness causes troubles and defiles many generations..."

Bitterness takes root in my heart any time there is a lack of grace toward myself an/or others. One of my childhood habits, and a very bad habit, was to beat myself up every time I messed up, sinned or failed. I have a strong motivation to succeed. I desperately wanted to win, be perfect and never stumble. Needless to say, I failed at that goal often. Perfect I am not.

I had a faulty Belief System that said "Gary, you should be perfect and could be perfect if you tried hard enough." It did not help that my dearest Grand Mother, Mom Taylor who was my substitute Mother and my spiritual Mother, was a member of the Holiness groups who firmly held that perfection was not only possible but attainable. This doubled down on my genetic personality of trying harder but it just magnified my failures and the shame they brought to me.

I became an expert in self shaming. I had some favorite self talk that helped me along the way.

You are stupid
You will never amount to anything
You are an awful student and will always fail
People are laughing at you

The fact that I was the valedictorian in elementary school made no difference to my self talk and could not change my beliefs. The fact that I had a straight A average did not matter. This way of thinking and self talking brought about an emotional volcano inside. I hated myself and was constantly angry at others because they were always putting me down. (I was very suspicious and even paranoid.)

I developed a root of bitterness toward myself and other people because I lacked the ability to judge myself with grace instead of justice. Justice is getting what I deserve because of my Guilt. At every failure and sinful act I meted out strict Justice. Because I so feared the wrath of God's Justice I hurriedly beat myself as a way of saying to God, "You won't have to beat me and punish me because I have already done it to myself." But that did not relieve my anxiety about God's wrath so I had my wrath and God's wrath to fear.

This is not, of course, a recipe for a legacy of love, hope and peace. It is a prescription for disaster. How did I get better? How did I develop faith, hope and love? Stop in again soon and find out.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


How do you want to be remembered? That question was asked of Jonas Salk several years after he had developed the Polio Vaccine. The answer he gave surprised me but it makes sense at the same time. He said, "I want to be remembered as a great ancestor."

Wow! That is heavy. I love his answer because that is my goal. I am a father of two kids and Grand Father of four. I want them to grow up with healthy lives, strong Christian family values and using all their gifts, talents and develop skills to add value to the well being of the world. I cannot control those things, of course, but I can plant seeds and develop systems that foster them.

This was the topic I spoke on tonight at the chapel service at Mason Christian Village. The scripture I chose was Hebrews 12:12-15

Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet," so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.

Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

The writer starts out by giving us his goal of healing, peaceful relationships and holiness so we can see God at work in our lives. That is a very impressive set of goals. Overwhelming, in fact. How can it be done? What is required of us? How much education, money, hard work and striving is it going to take for these things to occur? See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

It will require God's Grace. Not Gary's striving but Christ's finished work and the power of the Holy Spirit. Now THAT'S good news.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hate on Campus

New research shows conclusively that administrators, faculty and students openly discriminate against Evangelical Christians on campuses. Here it is.

Don't think it isn't real. I was on a Doctoral Committee for a Christian who would have been black balled if I had not objected.

Friday, July 10, 2009

New and Improved!

Our web is geting a new face lift. Take a look.

The Purpose of Abortion?

Reduce the population of unwanted persons in the USA. So suggests Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg.

Here’s a transcript of that portion of the Times' interview:

Q. Are you talking about the distances women have to travel because in parts of the country, abortion is essentially unavailable, because there are so few doctors and clinics that do the procedure? And also, the lack of Medicaid for abortions for poor women?

Justice Ginsburg: Yes, the ruling about that surprised me. Frankly, I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion. Which some people felt would risk coercing women into abortions when they didn’t really want them. But when the Court decided McRae, the case came out the other way. And then I realized that my perception of it had been altogether wrong.”

Justice Ginsburg assumed that abortion was to kill off as many unwanted minorities as possible and yet, despite this assumption, she strongly promoted abortion rights as the counsel for Planned Parenthood.

That is callous.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Gov Palin's Special Child

As you may know, Sweeten Life Systems has been awarded a grant to research the needs of parents with kids who suffer from such things as Down syndrome, Autism, Fragile X syndrome, etc. We are interviewing twelve families and learning all about their struggles, victories, challenges and support systems.

In one of the first articles showing Gov. Palin in a positive manner, The Huffington Post, lays out the challenges in a well written essay. I heartily suggest you read it.

Go to our web to read more about out research.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Why Are Christians Behind in Innovation?

I just read the Ashoka story again and it is wonderful. Take a look yourself at their web page and see what can happen to bring great changes in a family, community or nation when ordinary people feel called to do something great.

I believe that the Christian community has the greatest power for good that the world has ever seen. Whey are we so far behind when it comes to developing ways to foster innovation and change. Maybe I am wrong, and I hope you will tell me that I am wrong, but commercial and secular non-profits seem to go all out to enroll people in programs and processes to change the world.

Microsoft spent $9,000,000,000.00 in 2008 on Research and Development. They are the biggest and richest group of software producers in the world yet they are spending nine billion dollars on ways to grow.

Asoka works hard to discover men and women who are making a difference and then funds their efforts. This is R&D in Social Innovation. What Christian groups seeks to find cutting edge ministries and creative innovators they can support financially? Most churches won't even honor and support their own people let alone strangers.

I will close by asking my readers to pray about supporting innovators wherever they can be found. I hope God's spirit raises up thousands of cutting edge men and women who will lead the way into the 21st Century.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Famous for Fifteen Minutes

Watch the video bt the Wall Street Journal's Dan Henninger on "Being a Celebrity".

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Sanford's Hole in the Soul

Gov. Mark Sanford said Tuesday that he "crossed lines" with a handful of women other than his mistress--but never had sex with them. The governor said he "never crossed the ultimate line" with anyone but Maria Belen Chapur, the Argentine at the center of a scandal that has derailed his once-promising political career.

"This was a whole lot more than a simple affair, this was a love story," Sanford said. "A forbidden one, a tragic one, but a love story at the end of the day."

During an emotional interview at his Statehouse office with The Associated Press on Tuesday, Sanford said Chapur is his soul mate but he's trying to fall back in love with his wife.

No one in his right mind would say these things. How can his "spiritual adviser" allow him to further ruin his already tragic life? Counselors, Pastors and Coaches take note: When our client has lost his way we must step in and make sure he is protected from himself.

Any grown man who so loses himself to another woman has proven that he is living on the surface of things. He is out of touch with his soul and that leads to a loss of conscious choice about reality.

Mr. Sanford was under the care of a "spiritual adviser' who, by overemphasizing consciousness failed to help him plumb the depths of despair and pain in his soul that only God can heal. James Chapter 1 says

12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

13 When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to

The term here, evil desire, can be translated, "Hole in the soul" and that is exactly what men in midlife must allow God's Spirit to heal if they are to escape the trial and temptations of a "soul mate".

Obedience and strengthening the will are useless unless we allow God's Spirit to bring up all the old pain and hurts and heal them. Face your pain; face your guilt; face your weaknesses and allow God to heal that hole in the soul.

God is our soul mate. Only God can fill that heart shaped vacuum in the soul. To think a woman can fill my soul is raw idolatry.

When there is no God? Chaos!

"A couple of Swedish parents have stirred up debate in the country by refusing to reveal whether their two-and-a-half-year-old child is a boy or a girl. . . .

In an interview with newspaper Svenska Dagbladet in March, the parents were quoted saying their decision was rooted in the feminist philosophy that gender is a social construction. 'We want Pop to grow up more freely and avoid being forced into a specific gender mould from the outset,'

Pop's mother said. 'It's cruel to bring a child into the world with a blue or pink stamp on their forehead.' "

June 23, 2009

Are the Swedes alone in denying reality? Evidently the mother has chosen a female role. What would happen if she chose to be a male and got pregnant?(

If it is a female, I would like to see her stand and pee.)