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You shall love the lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your strength and your neighbor as yourself.
Why do we have the Slogan "Building a lifetime of great relationships"?
The Bible places a lot of emphasis on building healthy relationships. Jesus said, "You shall know them by their fruit" and Paul noted that the Fruit of the Spirit all focus on relationships. These ideas are highly correlated with research on leadership, influence and healing. Effective managers have great relational skills as do effective teachers, parents, physicians, pastors, psychologists and salespersons. This is why what Sweeten Life Systems' does is applicable to so many people and so many categories of interaction. Only hermits do not need us.
This may make it difficult to fully understand our ministry. If we only talked about marriage you would call us a marriage ministry. If our only emphasis was on counseling, or healing or disability or pornography you could sum up our work in a few words. Since we are experts on building great relationships of all sorts the newsletter reflects broad ideas that apply to almost every situation and every problem where relationships are involved.
We Need Your Help to Continue this Work
Over the years we have helped thousands of people live a more abundant life. We made a promise to God in 1969 to "Equip the church to be centers of hope, healing and growth." We want to help you grow in health, wholeness and power. If every person that has benefited from our ministry would regularly donate just $100.00 our current financial squeeze would disappear. We are asking God for a generous response to our request.
|It Takes a Whole Village|
|Insights from our Research and Training
One of the important insights from our Village research families came when we gathered all the parents together to share their ideas, needs and learning. Every parent indicated that organizing, understanding and paying medical bills were overwhelming tasks. One parent shared her frustration, confusion and anger at insurance companies and government agencies. Another mother who is an accountant said, "I have figured out the system very well. Here is one thing I would advise you about. Never, ever pay a bill from the hospital, doctor or pharmacy for a full six months."
Several parents gasped. "How can we do that? We will be arrested or penalized in some way." The mother/accountant said, "You will not be punished and 90% of the bills are wrong. If you pay them too quickly you will mess up the book keeping and have to spend a lot of time correcting the mistakes later."
My wife, Karen takes care of the Medicare and insurance needs for her 94 year old mother. She says that 99% of the bills are wrong and the people she calls to get clarity are 90% wrong. Special Needs Families must practice DEFENSIVE BILL PAYING! How about you? Can you learn from those talented parents?
|Leaders - Motivating Others|
|How Do You Motivate the Un-Motivated?
In almost every one of our classes, books and counseling sessions we reiterate some basic principles about the best ways to motivate family, friends, workers or clients to change. Sadly, most leaders fail and De-MOTIVATE their people. Too often when we try to motivate the unmotivated we motivate them to be less motivated to do what we want them to do.
How to De-Motivate People: Try to "push" people to buy our faith, our ideas or our products. It will not work. Remember, Romeo and Juliet were not attracted to each other until their parents forbade them to "date". The more mom and dad pushed for them to cool it the more deeply they fell in love.
In our book, Hope and Change for Humpty Dumpty, Steve Griebling and I tell folks how to improve their influence. First, be Patient. Anxious pushing will backfire. Peace promotes forward movement. Next , understand the 3 stages we all go through in making an important change.
- Stage I. Visitor: Willing to interact with no conscious desire to change, even if they are in trouble.
- Stage II. Complainant: There is a problem but it is not mine to solve. Someday I may need to change if the pain gets bad enough.
- Stage III. Ready for Change: I see I need to do something different. Others need to change also but I can't change them.
But, what do we do at each stage? My suggestions are simple but not easy. First, act with sensitivity and understanding to the person's needs, wants and interests. Take your anxiety and concerns to God and ask for His peace so you can bless the person with. Second, never act like the smartest, wisest or most experienced person in the conversation, especially if you are. (Humility!!!)
- At Stage I. Visitor: We all need to be a good Host so Visitors feel comfortable to share. Serve tea, listen, interact and do not try to force any ideas on the other person. This is especially true for family members.
- At Stage II. Contemplating Change: I must be a good Host and add good questions, clarifications and interest in their ideas to my interactions.
- At Stage III. Ready to Change: I continue to be interested in respectfully helping them to find a great solution. We set goals, brainstorm ideas and options and agree to do something different.
Memorize these simple steps and remember to apply them in most conversations.
|Support Sweeten Life Systems
Our work is a story of collaboration and community. Your donation to SLS will help support our training ministries in Russia and the former USSR as well as our work training and giving pro bono assistance to ministers, missionaries and key Para Church leaders.
To support Gary and the team you can:
Mail your donation to:
Sweeten Life Systems, Box 498455,
Cincinnati, Ohio 45249
Sweeten Life Systems