A good idea

What is it

A good idea is a thought that includes a motivating action to implement it for an anticipated personal benefit for its actor. That benefit may be one that is anticipated as being positively beneficial for the actor himself or herself. That would make it somewhat selfish. The anticipated benefit would be better if the choice to implement it included someone else other than the actor in it. It would be better if that person was the spouse of the actor, another relative of the actor, a particular friend of the actor, a neighbor of the actor, an associate of the actor, or just a person that the actor has spotted who needs some help to function effectively in his or her personal daily living situation. The anticipated benefit would be best if it included a benefit to the actor’s personal relationship with God.

How to cultivate a good idea

Make sure that the specific idea is clearly identified in its citation in your mind and that its anticipated benefit is to be directly applied to a specific person in your life and not general group of individuals. It will be very difficult to get the benefit of your thoughtful choice to be applied directly to a general group of people, like all of your relatives or friends or neighbors or associates. Each of them will be different individuals with particular personal needs that could not be well met by a single dose of positive benefits. I believe that only Satan or God have the power to effectively influence a group of individuals with their sets of preferred benefits or blessings. In most cases the idea for a particular course of action to establish and to maintain its intended benefits to a specific group of individuals will be given by God to a particular individual like Abraham or Moses or Joshua or Samuel or David or Isaiah or Amos or Peter or Paul or by Satan to a self-serving individual like Saul or Judas or a materialistic idol worshiper like Solomon.

Make sure that the idea in your mind with its anticipated benefit for a specific person has been directly approved by God for you as its actor to have God activate it through His Spirit in your role of personal service for God’s glory in this world. Your ideas are part of your called role of service as you share with God in His authority over the creatures of this world (Genesis 1:26-28). Make sure in your prayerful effort to implement a good idea with its particular benefit and assignment that it has been anointed in your mind by God and that it is not just a personal idea and project that you have generated in your personal efforts to help others for your own glory and not that of God’s. This is in keeping with Paul’s instructive guidance to disciples like us that we need to “guard” our “hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” and think about those ideas that are “true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable …think about these things” (Philippians 4:7-8) rather than the “things of the flesh” (Romans 8:5). God will never anoint an idea with its intended course of action with His transforming power and love that comes from our selfish “flesh” rather than from our redeemed and renewed hearts and minds that have been “set free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2).

Let’s talk about this

So what good idea have you conceived in your mind that you would like to implement in your life? What makes it “good”? How could it be improved? Has it been anointed by God for implementation by Him in your life? What personal benefit are you hoping to experience from this good idea? As you think about developing a good idea for implementation in your life, give your attention to this message in this site:

Help from a big stranger

The incident

I had left my small Retirement apartment in a big city to go and visit with my son and his daughter to celebrate his 70th birthday. I knew the city streets and toll way and small city streets that would take me to his home in the small suburban city that was a little more than 60 miles away. I made the trip alright and we enjoyed a few hours of nice fellowship and some pizza before I left to return to my apartment. His wife was nervous because I had decided to drive back after it got dark, but I indicated that I would be OK as long as I could see the street signs in these small cities. Well I turned onto the first street that I came to and immediately recognized that it was the wrong street, although I hadn’t been able to see the street sign. In my effort to turn around, I missed judged the width of the shoulder next to the road way, and my right front wheel ended up in a ditch. This put my car in a tilt with the left rear drive wheel two feet off of the pavement while the right rear drive wheel was still on the pavement. I tried to back my car up to get the front wheel out of the ditch, but the right drive wheel didn’t have enough traction to move my car backwards. As I was calling my son to come and help me out of the ditch, a stranger pulled up and asked if I needed some help. I said “Yes” I needed to get my front wheel out of the ditch. He asked if my car had front-wheel or rear-wheel drive, and I indicated that it was rear driven. He got in the driver’s seat and his big size added enough weight in my car to give the single drive wheel on the pavement enough traction to pull my front wheel out of the ditch so that my car was now completely back on the roadway where I could continue my way home on the right roads, and I did not have to call for son’s help or to get a tow truck to pull my car out of the ditch. Of course I thanked him, but he left quickly as I forgot to give him any money for his help. I think that the Lord quickly brought him to me when it became evident that I was going to need some help to get back on the roadway.

The meaning and application of this experience

As I reflected on this episode, it became evident to me that the help of a big stranger can be very beneficial in some situations in which our unwise decisions place us, and my loving heavenly “Father” was caring enough to send me this big stranger who was exactly the right helper that I needed in my situation. As I gave further thought to this episode in my life, I realized that the relationships that we enjoy with various “brothers” and “sisters” in God’s family and even with those individuals who may be outside of HIs family and our familiar group of friends can be very good sources of practical help when we get ourselves in some “ditch” of trouble, and they don’t have to be professional helpers that we would have to employ to help us. It is a great blessing to be part of human family of relatives and a divine family of God’s children who are pledged to the ministry of helping and encouraging other individuals in or out of these families with their personal problems and needs.

Let’s talk about this

When have you had such an experience of being helped by a stranger or a family member when you were in some situation of concern from which you could not help yourself? How did you feel when someone freely helped you? How did such an experience prepare you to be more helpful toward others whom you might encounter in some routine daily outing that was not a normal part of your daily experiences with other relatives or friends? Did such an experience draw you closer to God and your “brothers” and “sisters” in Christ as members of God’s personal “family”? Let’s talk about this.

Good sense

What it is

Good sense is the ability to recognize what is important in your life and how to get it. It is a quality of acquired knowledge and practical decisions that enable you to avoid making decisions in your daily life that would subject you to consequences that would harm your body, spirit, or soul for a period of time or even forever. Good sense is the acquired ability to make personal choices in your daily life that will enable you to be safe from permanent harm and comfortable in any situation in which you find yourself. Since it is your thoughts that determine that focus of your decisions and your will that enables you to make personal choices, good sense is a quality of your stored mental body of knowledge and your committed pattern of behavior. It is a basic factor in your total personal identity and not just a set of good habits.

How you get it

Your parents, as they are committed to your welfare, will try to teach you some of the basic principles of good sense that they hope you will apply to your personal choices as you become more independent in your personal life, but their efforts will be conditioned by your personal thoughts and will. Some of the principles for good health physically and mentally that you may learn in school or from books will be principles of good sense, but they will only get applied to your thoughts and decisions as you accept their authority in your life. In accord with your freedom to make personal decisions in your life, you will always have the ability to reject the wise and loving guidance of your parents, your psychologist, your doctor, or other teachers or your pastor regarding the personal standards that you are going to apply to your personal decision. No one will or can prevent you from being foolish in some of your personal choices as you grow up. It is evident now that there are some powerful authorities who are committed to indoctrinating everyone and particularly the young generation with their particular agenda for the acquiring of what they want for their safety and comforts in life. They will use the authority of civil laws and public curriculum to establish and to maintain their selfish agendas, and their authority is not easily apposed or overcome, because their agendas are often very popular with many adults and youth and choosing children. The standards for your choices that should be applied in accord with your good sense are very different from those that you might apply from the popular authorities in the culture in which you live.

The best source for good sense

Since it is evident that acquiring the ability to act in accord with the principles of good sense in your life is a process of learned behavior in making personal choices, it is well for you to be careful in regard to whom you choose as your basic teacher for how you should seek to live in this world. It is the authority of that teacher that you accept for your personal decisions in the course of your life that will determine your basic personal daily and eternal experiences. Basically you have three options for your choice of this basic teacher: yourself, Satan, or God. You may think that another human being could be wise enough to serve as your basic teacher, but he or she will have the same limitations on his or her ability to learn the principles of good sense and how to apply them as you do. So choosing another human being as your basic teacher is not going to enable you to acquire a dependable level of good sense in your personal choices. You have to go outside the realm of human teaching authorities to find one that has the ability to influence you outside of the realms of human knowledge and willful choices. Satan and God are the only super-human beings who have that power to influence your personal choices in your life. Each of them want to attract the devotion of your personal willful choices to them and their agendas for your personal spirit and soul after your body has passed away or been changed for your personal state of existence in eternity beyond the time dimensions of this world. Satan’s agenda for you is to bring you into his realm of active battle with God for personal rule over all that exists in the spiritual realm of heaven and the physical realm of the universe. That agenda is basically marked as being “evil”, and will subject you to eternal personal suffering apart from God. God’s agenda through His influence in your life through His Spirit is to bring you into a personal relationship with Him that will be marked with freedom from harmful and uncomfortable experiences and be filled with His quality of peace and joy and security in the Kingdom of God. That agenda is basically marked as being “good”.

It was the knowledge of these two realms of authority and their different agendas that God wanted His two initial human beings, Adam and Eve, to avoid acquiring for their personal human hearts of wants and minds of wills in the “garden” where He had placed them. He gave them this specific commandment: “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17). In giving Adam and Eve this specific commandment regarding how they should use their freedom to make personal choices in the environment where God had placed them, He was instructing them to refrain from seeking the “knowledge of good and evil” for themselves but to trust Him to personally guide them in their particular choices regarding what they should decide to consume or otherwise do in the presence of so many options in His “garden”. Trusting God and His Spirit for guidance in these choices is really good sense, because God is really the only being who really knows what is “good” for the human beings that He created and whose agenda it is to give it all to them as they accept His authority over their personal lives with their devoting trust.

If you would be interested in reading a more complete biblical historic record of this matter, you can check out this statement on the website of which this blog is a part: https://www.christianityetc.org/God-has-a-unity-in-his-will-and-messages.php. Note the specific list of individuals who have benefited from God’s good sense in their lives and ministries.

Let’s talk about this

When in your daily experiences have you become aware of the influence of good sense in the choice that you were making? What do your credit as the authority for that influence in your choice? How did you come to accept that authority in your life? How would you evaluate your use of good sense in your life?

A good friend


Every one will probably recognize that it is very helpful in this life, no matter where you live, to have a good friend whom you know is going to be there for you in a time of personal need. This person is very special in your list of contacts on Facebook or other social platforms, and you probably contact him or her frequently, not just in case of personal emergencies, but just for some personal fellowship with someone that you knows really cares for you. I am sure that you have discovered that it is not easy to find and to create the appropriate connection that will result in the development of a good friend in your social network. The connection has to be deeper than one of just liking you. Many contacts on social platforms will say that they “like” you without getting to really knowing you or making themselves available to you at a moment’s notice. You may have discovered that a good friend cannot be bought or otherwise manipulated into becoming your “good friend”. Such a person cannot be legally required to be your “good friend” even if he or she is a blood relative or even your spouse or a dependent or your boss or a working associate or even a team member. Neither you nor this person are required to be morally “good” persons in order to be a good friend, so personal goodness is not a requirement for being a good friend. These qualities of personal relationships and your inability to apply them to anyone in your social community means that a good friend is probably scarce in your network of contacts.


In the above statement I have described some of the basic qualities of a person whom you might choose to become a good friend of yours, but there are some more. This person must be free enough and mature enough to be able to make his or her own personal decisions in his or her personal relationships. Coercion or childish foolishness should not be a part of his or her decision making procedures. He or she must have a high level of respect for others and for law and order in personal and civic business and have a good reputation among the respected leaders in your community. A good friend must love himself and herself and basically know how to love others in unselfish ways. A very selfish person cannot really be a good friend to anyone. A good friend should be humble and practical in his or her standards for living. A good friend should share a lot of the personal values for morality and spiritual believes that you have. Severe differences in these values will not enable a good friendship to develop. A good friend should have some free available time in his or her personal daily schedule of responsibilities to be able to respond to you. A person whose time is already committed to other responsibilities is not going to have much time to give to you and your needs, although sometimes short conversations with a friend can be encouraging and prayers will always be helpful. A good friendship takes time to develop and to operate. A good friend should have some personal resources that could be beneficial to you in accord with your needs. Available funds can be helpful, but they are not absolutely necessary to be a good friend. A person who does not have any such resources, does not have anything to share with you. A good friend should be able to understand you and to feel your needs. Without such personal qualities in his or her personal experiences, he or she is not likely to be able to be a good friend. Your expressions of concern and requests for his or her help would be constantly encountering walls of confusion that would only produce experiences of mutual frustration and disappointment.

Becoming a good friend

This process will take a lot of time for you and the person with whom you would like to develop such a relationship. Becoming a good friend will require a lot of patient and genuinely loving exchanges. Mistakes and poor expressions and actions will have to be forgiven, and both individuals will have to be willing to humbly work together to prevent them and to overcome their effects in their efforts to become a good friend to each other. Some good friendships have been permanently broken by unresolved simple misunderstandings. Becoming a good friend to others will require some personal changes in yourself that are not quickly or easily generated or maintained. Most of us human beings are too selfish to easily give up our preferred wants and habits to be a good friend with someone who is different from us.

Let’s talk about this

I think that the above statements have clearly expressed the challenges of finding and being a good friend in any personal relationship. What do you think of these challenges? What do you find to be difficult in this process of being a good friend? What do you recognize as being essential to becoming a good friend with another person? Who is your good friend, other than your pet dog? What makes him or her so good?

A good website

Basic features

A good website provides its internet viewers with these details:

  1. A profile that cites who you are in regard to your personal identifying features: legal name and nick name, gender (male or female), year of your birth, birth place, marital status, current country of residency, basic language, race, religious preference, and perhaps a good head-shoulder photograph
  2. Education
  3. Basic work experience and skills
  4. What you have to offer to your interested viewers, its costs, and how they can get it
  5. How you may be contacted for further information and personal help


Edit these details and arrange their display in your website so that everything taken together in the content of your website states a clear and friendly message of invitation to your viewers regarding how you would like for them to respond to you and what you have to share with them. You can be clear and complete in your message without it being perceived as being too aggressive or in some way insulting. Answering all of their anticipated questions about you and your material in a polite and clear message should enable you to avoid any real negative responses.

Design and Style of your displayed website

You may pay for the services of a company who can offer you a basic template that would be suitable for the display of the content and its particular features of your website on the internet. If you choose to use such a service, they would have their technicians available to help you with the various options that they provide for your material. Or you can choose to create your own set of files for the display of your website. These would include the basic CSS file of codes that would determine how each specific element would be displayed in the basic blocks that you have set up for the display of your material on the pages of your site. These blocks would include one for the Header that displays the basic subject of your website, a block for links that take your viewers to specific elements of your content, a block for the display of those selected elements, and a Footer block that would include closing details regarding your message. Then you would need PHP files for the display of each particular Page of content. The actual content would be set in HTML files that would be displayed in accord with the CSS codes and those in your PHP files. You can get printed guides that can instruct you in the development of these different coding languages. Once you get the basic CSS and PHP files set up, it is easy to use a WordPress editor to configure the file of code for each new or revised Page in your website.


A good website gives viewers on the internet the basic address of your Home base of operation, who you are, and what you have to offer them from your personal years of training and experience in this world. What you have to offer should be helpful for anyone regardless of where they live. Factors of gender and marital status and age would normally affect how individuals would use your material and your personal advice, but the content of your website should basically be global and practical in its use by your viewers.

Let’s talk about this

Let me know if you have any questions about my perspective regarding a good website and its creation. I do not claim to be an expert in this matter, and I have created a website that has attracted some followers on the internet. I would be glad to discuss your questions and comment with you in this blog about a good website.

A good plan

Historic plans

I advise you to recognize to that you are living and experiencing your life in accord with a plan that has been put in place for you by God. Even secular scientists now affirm that the physical universe in which we all live has an intelligent plan as its operating controls that give it order even in its smallest and frequently implemented details. Nothing happens in our lives by any random accidents. The initial plan that God put in place for the implementation of His authoritative will in what He would reveal about His nature and glory is known as Creation. The report of its implementation and operation is contained in the documents of Genesis 1-2 that are available to us human beings in various printed versions of God’s verbal work of creating and controlling this universe and our world in which He placed His human beings who were commissioned to cooperate with Him in its operation (See Genesis 1:28 and 2:19-20) When that Creation plan was hampered by Adam’s choice to disobey God’s commandment against seeking the knowledge of what would be “good” or “evil” in their daily lives (See Genesis 3:1-7 and 8-24), God implemented a new plan for His work of Redemption that He put in place that would implement and control the operation of the physical universe and its human beings in their daily lives. You can learn about this plan and study its details by going to this statement on this website: https://www.christianityetc.org/redemption.php. I will be glad to answer any questions that you may have about this Redemption plan in this Blog or in personal email inquires to me.

My historic plan

When I became independent enough in my own personal life, I decided that it would be “good” for me to have access to a female human being who would give me sexual pleasure when I wanted it, regardless of any laws against such activity in the Redemption plan that God had in place for my life. I was able to bring such a female into my life. We produced a family of three sons and engaged in good jobs of secular and Christian service for twenty five years. That went on until I decided to divorce her because she was not giving me the sexual pleasure that I wanted when I wanted it. So I continued to implement my very selfish plan for marriages with females who would satisfy my addiction for sexual pleasure. I was able to do this with three other women over the course of the next forty-one years. The first two marriages in this series of relationships ended in rather quick destructive divorces by the women. The last marriage with a very special woman, Betty J., lasted for thirty-one years, and it was ended by her peaceful death in the living room of our home. It provided many experiences of God’s blessings in our lives, but we also experienced the consequences of our human selfish wants in our marriage. This only demonstrates that none of us human beings are wise enough or strong enough to implement a consistently “good” plan for the operation of our daily lives in accord with God’s standard for what is “good” in our personal choices.

My new plan

When Betty died on the last day in December 2022, I was left to choose a plan for the operation of my life that would be ultimately “good” for me and protect me from the “evil” consequences of my selfish personal choices in my daily life. One of the blessings that I received from God in my marriage with Betty was that I could live in a “good” satisfying relationship of marriage with a female partner in which I did not require the pleasures of sexual activity. Her devotion to me and my ministry enabled God to free me from my addiction for sexual pleasure in my human relationships. This means that I can now give the attention of my thoughts and personal choices to the qualities of “good” loving that are present in God’s Redemptive plan that operates on the holy principles for unconditional (“agape”) love that God is now seeking to activate in my life.

This means that I am now seeking to build a network of personal friends in my life after being a shut-in with Betty as I tried to take care of her in her helpless condition in our home for the last four years of her life. I have resumed to participate in the fellowship and service of a local church where I am being blessed by encouragement of these “brothers” and “sisters” “in Christ as I learn how to trust the Spirit in my heart and mind for His wise and transforming power in my life. The details of this operation of trust are being expressed every day in my personal choices, even as I write this Post in my blog in the platform of the website that the Spirit has given to me. I am amazed by how this new Plan is working in my life! I am finally learning how to love God with all of my heart, , soul, mind and strength and to love my neighbor in the same way that I love myself (Matthew 22:37-38 and Mark 12:28-31). The process of implementing this Plan in my life is not easy or automatic. There is a battle going on in my heart and mind between God’s will for His Redemptive plan in my life and the ongoing selfish wants of my “flesh” that are still present in my mind. I am encouraged in this process, because I continue to experience the transforming wisdom and love of God in my heart every day, so I know that God is not yet through with me. I am really excited to clearly see what God has planned for me in the next role of service that He is preparing for me at this “old” stage in my life. I do not think that it is going to include any more marriages to any female human beings, which is fine, because I’m still not wise enough or strong enough to handle such relationship very well.

Let’s talk about this

What Plan are you seeking to implement for the daily operation of your life? Whom are you seeking to trust in your personal thoughts and choices every day, the Spirit of God, your own selfish will, or the Devil’s “evil” temptations? How are you changing the nature and operations for your personal relationships in your life? What is really most important in your list of personal accomplishments for your activities each day? Let’s talk about this. We can do that through a discussion of your comments to this Post.

A good time

What it is

A good time is the time that you purposefully choose to set aside in your daily activities to enable you to relax. You consciously decide to clear your mind from anything that regularly concerns you and frustrates you with your inability to fix it. You forget all of your past failures and don’t give any attention to worrying about future threats to your peace and safety. You focus the attention of your thoughts on activities that you are confident will enable you to relax and to get refreshed by some time, several moments or even hours or days, that you will spend having a good time.

It may be playing a digital game on your small computer that your competitive spirit assures you that you can win again. It may be watching a good team of athletes compete in a dynamic contest of skills that you can enjoy watching their personal struggles. It may be listening to a favorite musical concert or letting your mind rest in a good story or uplifting article. It may be turning your home into a entertainment center where you can relax with your family or even with some friends in some activities that you know you can all enjoy doing together, like eating some delicious food or playing some table games or just talking with each other as you share positive words of encouragement with each other in face to face conversations. It may be going with your family to a distant place for an extended vacation away from your normal work responsibilities where you can enjoy some beautiful sights and physical and mental activities, like sitting around a campfire making and eating smores and then going to bed covered with a blanket of fresh air surrounded by members of your loving family. It may be going to your favorite beach and playing in the surf as you enjoy the caresses of the waves or surfing upon them. These are all activities that could give you a good time.

For a report of how the initial groups of Christians had a good time, I invite you to check out this statement on my website: https://www.christianityetc.org/fun.php. Note the specific ways in which they chose to have a good time and relax.

Let’s talk about this

What impressed you about the ways that these early Christians had fun and a good time in their daily lives? What are your favorite ways of relaxing in your daily life? What makes them to be a good time in your daily experiences? What can you do to provide more opportunities for a good time in your daily experiences? Let’s talk about this.

A Homeschool


Whether or not you have officially established a school in your home, you are operating a homeschool for the next generation of people in your life if you are spending much time with any of them in your home. If they are there with you, they are learning a lot of basic lessons from the adults and others in your home from what you are doing together and saying to each other regardless of whether or not these factors are organized into a curriculum of lessons or even intentional in their teaching objective.

The basic lessons

Early in these children’s experiences in your home, they begin to learn how to express how they are feeling, what they want from their elders, and how to move around in their environment. These are basic communication and mobility skills. While they are learning these skills, they are also learning some basic lessons about how to relate to individuals who are different from themselves. The elders may seek to impose some rules upon the children in regard to how they respond to these lessons, but these children will always be seeking to utilize those skills of communication and behavior that they see as being most effective in communicating their messages and getting what they want. Learning in your homeschool is always done between everyone who participates in the process. These basic lessons of communication skills and behavior with others become so acceptable in their thoughts and habits that they will often influence their attitudes and behavior with others when they are outside of your home and with other individuals who are not usually a part of the social gathering of individuals in your home. These attitudes and behaviors may not be easily changed so they may have their influence upon these trained children throughout their lives. These factors of attitudes and behavior are commonly recognized as qualities of character in the young generation that they learned in the homeschools in which they were raised.

Good homeschools

But, adults who are concerned about the poor quality of personal virtues and relational skills that are being promoted and taught by the teaching authorities in their communities don’t have to just accept such standards for the quality of the homeschools that they want to provide for the next generation of residents in their homes! The Google search service provides an excellent list of resources from well experienced adults who have been able to publish detailed reports of their high quality homeschools in its list on “blog-homeschools”. Interested adults will be able to find much wise guidance for the establishment of such homeschools in these reports. I would also invite adults who are interested in this process to check out the guidance that is provided in this statement on the website that is attached to this Blog: https://www.christianityetc.org/a-good-marriage.php. A good marriage between a man and a women is God’s nest for the training of each generation of children that are brought into this world. God has not revised His standards for that nest!

Making your home into a homeschool that is going to provide the next generation of its residents with a good learning experience of personal virtues for the development of their characters and knowledge and behavioral skills for effectively living in this world of many personal dangerous influences is not easy. The inherited nature of all human beings to prefer their own selfish pleasures and comforts rather than learning how to cooperate with other individuals who will also be seeking to secure their own selfish pleasures and comforts rather than seeking those that would be practically good for everyone is a persistent barrier against learning how to live with others in a loving process of cooperation and maturation in the various schools that life provides in the various cultures for social living and training that large groups of people have accepted as having some authority over this process in their lives and that of subsequent generations of children.

Let’s talk about this

I am not interested in debating God’s marital standards in this Post, but there could be some practical benefits for interested adults to discuss this process here. What do you need to do to make your home into a high quality homeschool for its residents? Whom are you willing to trust for wise and loving guidance in the establishment and ongoing operation of such a homeschool? How are you going to handle and overcome the opposition to such a homeschool by some influential authorities in your community? I will be glad to publish your sincere personal comments regarding homeschools in this Post. This is a very important and timely matter in our world!

Being positive is always good


Being positive in your comments regarding personal concerns or projects that you are seeking to handle in your daily activities with your spouse or partners or neighbors or friends is always a good approach to effectively dealing with the matters, because it enables you all to avoid the problems that are created by having to deal with the effects of the negative comments in your relationships and work together. Everyone tends to take negative comments personally, which means that they apply them to themselves as criticisms of them and not just comments about their behavior. So the efforts of the individuals become those that are intended to defend themselves from the personal criticism rather than to find a way to effectively deal with the personal concerns or to fix the problem that is the focus of their joint work. This shift of focus from common concerns for good teamwork to deal with common problems in one’s daily situation to having to deal with personal negative criticisms regarding the nature and quality of the individuals themselves who are seeking to work together can be so judgemental and so bad that they can permanently destroy the relationships between the individuals who are so caught in such negative verbal exchanges.

The words that we use in our comments with others are very important expressions of how we regard them and how we want to relate to them in our daily lives. If they express the qualities of mutual personal respect and caring for each other and the sincere hope for some positive benefits from the joint work that is free from any efforts to manipulate or to control the behavior of others, then they will always produce good benefits in their teamwork otherwise they may damage the relationships. Perhaps some of you have experienced the destructive effects of negative comments from others with whom you were engaged in personal relationships that you treasured and enjoyed. It is never easy to forgive others for such abuse, and sometimes the broken relationship can never be repaired. That is why it is always good to focus the points of your comments to others with whom you are working on common concerns on what you intend to do with your resources and personal abilities to express your personal responsibilities in regard to the matter without seeking in any way to control or to manipulate what they choose to do as individuals in the common situation. Every individual in any relationship with another human being is always unique and his or her resources and insights and wants and emotions will always be somewhat personal in regard to how they are invested in expression of joint work in their daily life. That is why keeping your comments regarding matters of common concern and teamwork positive is always good.

Let’s talk about this

How have you seen the positive qualities of your comments with others in your teamwork with them on common matters of concern and work made a beneficial difference in your relationships and work together? How did the expression of negative comments affect your relationships and teamwork in your situation? What is the most beneficial comment that a person can make in his or her efforts to promote good relationships and teamwork with others?

Additional help

Here is a link to a statement on my website that may help interested viewers to select very positive words for the comments that they share with others in regard to their teamwork with them: https://www.christianityetc.org/meditate-to-feel-good.php . Do not brag about what you intend to personally invest in your teamwork. Stay humble, because you are only one individual in the team, and such words of boasting may be interpreted as your efforts to manipulate the behavior of others.

Good love

Its nature

I am sure that everyone in their personal relationships wants to experience some good love. That would be love that is really sincere. Paul cites it this way in his teaching for Christians: “Let love be genuine” (Romans 12:9). The Greek word for “love” in that statement is “agape”. The apostle John uses that same word, “agape”, in this teaching statement about “love”: “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:8). This means that most of us human beings are wanting “genuine” “love” in our human relationships that matches the quality of “love” that is present in the basic character of God. Wow! That is a quality of “love” that is totally unconditional, non-manipulative, unselfish, and dependable. That is the quality of “love” that Jesus demonstrated for human sinners when He surrendered His body to be crucified and accepted the shame and pain of being crucified to justify God’s price for the bloody sacrifice of an “innocent” life to enable Him to redeem sinful rebel human beings from their personal rejection of God’s righteous and wise will for their personal lives in this world where they were subject to the “evil” influences of Satan and their own selfish desires.

Its absence from most human relationships

As children grow up in various situations of living, they have the opportunity to experience various qualities of love in their relationships with their parents, other relatives, neighbors, friends, and associates from different groups of daily contacts. They learn that all of the experiences of “love” that they have in these various relationships are not of the same quality and few of them, if any of them, are really totally unconditional and consistently unselfish. When they personally reach the stage in their lives when they can become personally independent in their choices, they often seek a personal mate with whom they hope to experience a personal bond of “love” that will fulfill all of their dreams for a loving relationship that will meet all of their desires for physical comfort and safety and emotional happiness in their lives. It may not take these independent adults very long, particularly when the “honeymoon” is over and some persistent personal and social problems appear in their marriages, that the unconditional and unselfish “love” that they sought and expected to be receiving from their mates was not being consistently expressed to them. One or each of the individuals involved in this “troubled” marriage of personal tension and pain may be aware that something is wrong in their relationship but they may not know exactly what needs to be done to fix it or have the caring humble will to seek its cure. The couple may go on in their “broken” marriage for the achievement of some greater social purpose with the children or themselves or they may end the brokenness with a divorce and take their uncured faults with them into another relationship or wait for death to end their misery.

Our story

The story of my marriage with Betty began in 1986 when I met her in the hall of our apartment building and she offered me a piece of home made pie. We didn’t immediately become real good friends, because I was busy with some other personal interests following my divorce from my third wife. I became attracted to an old friend, Esther, whom I knew from graduate school where my first wife and I lived across the hall in the apartment building from her and her husband. Esther was now also divorced, and we decided to meet in her home in a distant city. Our meeting immediately became a powerful emotional drawing experience, but she wasn’t ready for another marriage. I got a new good professional job in a distant city, and we continued to engage in a stimulating courtship, sometimes by long distance but sometimes by close fellowship in the town where I was working. I finally decided to quit my job and move to where Esther lived to see if I could convince her to marry me. When she made it clear to me that that wasn’t going to happen in 1990 after a couple of years of courtship, I decided to move back to the apartment building where Betty lived to see if she might be interested in getting married to me. She was, and so we started to make the appropriate arrangements after she accepted my proposal. One of these arrangements involved getting a divorce from an old friend that she had just married to avoid getting married to another uncaring man like her previous two husbands were. After she easily secured her third divorce, we were happily married on February 2, 1991 at the ripe old ages of 60 for me and 63 for Betty.

The honeymoon began right away and continued for the next twenty years as we both began to work together to rebuild our broken lives and to share some “genuine” love with each other. All of her anniversary cards during the first decade of our marriage were signed in these words of commitment “Your devoted wife, only forever, Betty”. In 1993 Betty began to encourage me to get back into the ministry that I had lost when I was divorced by my second wife in 1981. With the special help of a couple of former ministering associates in key positions, Betty was able to get me into a position as the interim pastor at the age of sixty-two of a local church to which we moved to live in an acquired apartment. I served this church for several months, baptized seven youth as new converts in one service, and enabled the church to get a young couple as their new pastors. When we left that church, I took another interim assignment for a couple of months before I was called to another church in 1994 as their resident pastor after they had been served by a non-resident pastor for twenty-five years. Betty and moved into their restored parsonage where we lived for about a year and half before I retired in 1996 from my professional service as a Baptist minister and we moved into our new manufactured house in a mobile-home park in Rockford, Illinois.

Something happened in the early years of the second decade of our marriage that broke the “honeymoon” mood of our relationship particularly from her perspective. I “broke” her “heart”, which she acknowledged to Mike, her son, during the early years of the second decade in our marriage. This “break” in her devotional commitment to me was inevitable, because neither one of us knew how to prevent it or to fix it because we were each participants in three divorces in our previous marriages. We continued to work together during the years from 1996 to 2010 in various Christian ministries in our local church where I was teaching a Sunday School class and serving on the governing Board of the Congregation and Betty took on a leadership role in the church’s Women’s Missionary Society, which was a new experience for her. We eventually decided to leave this church because of the lack of support from the pastor for our personal services, but I was able to use an old computer that I had received from a man in the church from which I had retired to create and to operate a personal Christian website that gave me a world-wide platform for my special writing and teaching ministry, and Betty got me a nice roll-top desk and a big book case to help me handle this ministry from a bedroom in our home that I had converted into my office. I also had the opportunity to serve as the interim pastor of three other local churches to which we moved to live temporarily in furnished apartments and Betty actively and personally supported me in these ministries away from our home.

During these enjoyable years of service, Betty began to experience some minor physical strokes that would cause her to fall to the floor. This happened once before I took the last interim assignment for my ministry, but Betty quickly recovered from the incident and was willing to move with me to the distant church for our new service. While we were there Betty had two more strokes that caused her to fall in our apartment. In each case I was home and able to take her to the local hospital to get her arms treated for the skin wounds that she had suffered in these falls. These episodes convinced me that I needed to give up this ministry to take Betty back to our home where we could begin to treat her for this medical problem in her body. We were doing this when she had another fall in 2011 in which she broke her left hip. She got a hip replacement and went into a nursing facility for therapy, but she suffered some physical abuse from an aid there that caused us to bring her home before her incision for the hip replacement had completely healed. She got an infection in the hip tissue that required two more surgeries and the replacement of the hip joint with a spacer bar that left her with permanent and persistent pain in her left hip although she could stand up and move around with the help of a walker. Although she was offered more physical therapy treatments to enable her to walk without a walker, she was too afraid of falling again to do the necessary personal work to do that. So now it was up to me to help Betty move around our home safely without the risk of falling and to be somewhat comfortable in our bed, in her chair, on the couch, at our table for meals, or on the toilet as I helped her with all of these moves and the changing of her under garments and clothes during the day and at bed time. This physical work from me was not easy, because I suffered from persistent physical pains in my back and left hip and leg from a serious injury that I had suffered in high school and I now had Copd and my childhood asthma had returned which often left me out of breath. We were now two old people trying to take care of each other with our severely damaged bodies and no available local helpers.

With my own physical handicaps and discomfort, I was not always as careful and as comforting as Betty needed in her personal situation, particularly when we were each trying to get ready for bed every night. There were a lot of different physical moves for each of us that were required to get through this process, and sometimes Betty would complain to me, as her son explained was her normal pattern of behavior when she was uncomfortable with what was being done to her by someone, even through their efforts were intended to be helpful. When I talked to him on the phone about her critical habit, he urged me not to take it personally, but that was hard for me to take. So in my ongoing frustration with my inability to make her comfortable and my inability to get some help with her care and her criticisms of my efforts, my response was often to suggest to her that she could contact Mike, her son, to have him arrange to take care of her away from me. I learned from some personal notes that she had made in several notebooks that had found as I was cleaning out our home that when I made this suggestion she took it to mean that I really wanted to get rid of her in my life and that I was no longer lovingly taking care of her in our daily lives. I now recognize that my inability to positively handle the pressures of taking care of her by myself with my own painful handicaps “broke” our marriage by destroying her mental and spiritual devotion to me as her husband and it refreshed the memories of the loving and comforting care that she had received from her sisters whom had often taken care of her and supported her and protected her from the abusive physical and emotional treatment that she had received from their angry father who was personally very frustrated in his inability to get his children to live the proper moral lives that he sought for them. All of his children suffered personally from his angry outbursts of abuse and they each left home early to get away from it as they learned to comfort each other in their independent lives.

I recognized this change in Betty’s perspective in our caring relationship, but I wasn’t able to get her to talk with me about it so nothing was done to correct it. In her very handicapped experiences in our home that later included another broken hip and the experience of becoming blind, she had concluded that “Bob” was the only person who was daily available to her in her moments of need who could make her to feel somewhat comfortable and safe. In her moments of confusion from the Alzheimer’s disease that also began to affect her mind, she wasn’t always able to remember that this “Bob” was her husband, but she never hesitated to call for “Bob” when she needed some special caring attention, and she became very nervous when she didn’t know that he was close by her. This expression of her devotion to “Bob” was a big encouragement to me, although I now know that her calls to “Bob” were not calls of devotion for him but they were only calls of practical dependency that he was the only person in the world that could make her somewhat comfortable in her helpless condition.

On the afternoon of December 30, 2022 Bob had to leave the house to meet with the surgeon and his team for a preliminary consultation session to guide him through the surgery for the hernia that he had that was scheduled for January 13, 2023. Since it was obvious that Betty was experiencing the final stages of her body’s permanent sleep, I had made arrangements for Betty to be placed on a bed in the living room of our home by the local hospice service, and Kathy, one of their volunteer care givers had come to sit with Betty for the couple hours that Bob would be gone in case that she needed some comforting care. Betty became physically alert when she was present and they began to talk. Betty told her about her sisters and how they had cared for each other as they were growing up after leaving their angry father. Kathy told Betty that her “husband” really loved her a lot, but all that she could say in response to this commentary regarding his care for her was “that is what he says all of the time”. In this brief conversation with Kathy, Betty expressed her personal feelings about her husband. Betty had previously mentioned to her husband that she knew how hard it was for him to take care of her every day and night by himself. In these days that she was experiencing her body shutting down, she even expressed her willingness to help him to fix some meatloaf for a meal or to do the dishes or do some laundry. And at one point in these days, Betty told her husband that she would soon be “out of your hair”, which was an expression of her conviction that he wanted to get rid of her in his days of overwhelming care that he had accepted for his role in their marriage. When Bob returned from his consultation with his surgeon, Betty was now resting quietly on her bed as the living functions of her body continued to shut down. Later that evening as I prepared to go to bed, I gave Betty a shot of sedative in her mouth in case she needed to be calmed down during the night, but she couldn’t swallow it and I couldn’t get her to do so by closing her mouth. Sometime during that night or in the hours of the 31st Betty’s body went to sleep with her broken heart but her peaceful spirit as she passed out of our marriage and the personal struggles of her daily life. These calls to “Bob” were used by the Spirit of the Lord to free me from a persistent bad addiction that I had in my spiritual and personal life for many years, and her peaceful passing assured me that my personal efforts to provide her with physical comfort and freedom from mental fears and stress in the final years of her life had been effective.

In spite of our personal handicaps and failures in our personal lives, I believe that God brought Betty and I together in a somewhat committed marriage of imperfect love so that He could do His loving and transforming and comforting work in our respective lives. When Betty’s role in that work was done, He took her out her personal situation of stress and fears in a very easy and stress free experience of complete bodily sleep, leaving me with the benefits of our special marital relationship to move forward in a refreshed experience of faith in the personal expression of service to which He has called me in my marriage with Betty.

Let’s talk about this.

What marks “genuine” love in your life? What is the quality of love that you commonly express and experience? What are you willing to do to repair the misunderstandings and faulty judgments that are hampering your experiences of love in your marriage?

What is good for you?

In this blog

I try to make the focus of this blog and the various topics that it presents on matters of personal secular and social interest and concern. It is written to generate thought and discussions about these matters and comments about this in this platform. These Posts don’t seem to produce many comments in this blog, but I trust that they do produce some good thoughts about these matters in our daily lives. My focus in these Posts is to be practical on what can really work in your life rather than just being theoretical. I have lived a long time (now 91 years) and gone through a lot a different personal experiences, some successful and many failures, including lost jobs and several broken marriages. I have many years of formal education in the fields of liberal arts and several career specialties that have enabled me to function as a preacher/teacher and writer in various private services. I continue to write, but I no longer need to sell anything that I write. I write to try to make a positive difference in my reader’s personal lives. I invite you to think about this Post and the many others that I have published in this blog to evaluate what good benefits they may have provided for you.

In my website

The focus of the material in my website, christianityetc.org, of which this Blog is a part, is on matters of spiritual interest and concern, like what my readers believe about theology and practice daily in their moral choices and spiritual habits. This means that the particular focus of the statements and resources in my website are on the issues that influence the cultivation of my reader’s personal spirits rather than just their personal social lives. This gives them some significance for their time in eternity rather than just for the duration of their physical lives in this world. Again, my objective in these statements and resources is to provide some material that can have practical positive benefits rather than just theoretical benefits in their lives. Since I do not often get personal feedback from my readers regarding their responses to my statements and resources, I am not sure about the good qualities that these statements and resources actually provide to my readers. I invite you to review some of this material and to give some thought to the benefits that you receive from it.

The source of what is good in your life

You may not have previously recognized this before, but I would like to remind you that all that you experience and receive in your daily lives comes from what you choose to think about in the moments of your daily lives and whom you decide to trust to provide you with what you want. These possible providers are either yourself, Satan, or God. You will never be wise enough or mature enough to know in accord with your own insights what will ultimately be “good” for you out of all the possible options that you have every day. The options that Satan will offer you will never be “good” for you, because they will be designed and applied to you to make you into his slave, which will have deadly consequences for your physical and eternal lives. God is the only source of what is “good” for you, because He knows very clearly what will be “good” for you and He alone has the power to bring it to you over the foolishness of your own selfish options and deadly options of Satan, and He loves you more than any of your other possible providers. Your best choice for what is “good” in your daily life is to trust God to provide you with it as you surrender your selfish will to His loving and wise directions.

Let us talk about this

What is basically being good for you in your daily life? From whom are you getting it? How long does its effect last? Is it worth the cost that it takes to get it? What are your practical options for getting what is ultimately “good” for you in your current daily life? Are you only expecting it to come from what you can experience through your five senses or could it come from a source that is outside of these senses? What changes are you willing to make in your daily thoughts and choice to get what is “good” for you? Finally, is this Blog being well displayed in your online device? I will be glad to publish your comments about this matter as attachments to this Post.

Emotions: Good and Bad

What are emotions

From my study of psychology and theology and my personal experiences of trying to learn how to survive and enjoy my personal daily experiences in this world of thousands of options for my personal choices, I have recognized that the emotions that I feel in my mind are the God-given chemical or electronic tags that God has designed into my brain to help me to evaluate the quality of the choices that I make each day as to whether they are coming from sources that are either “good” or “evil” and whether the experiences that they bring to me will be either beneficial or harmful. These sources that I choose to trust are either God, my creator, or Satan, my enemy, or my Self, who has been created by God in His image to make free personal choices and to reproduce myself in generations of children and personal relationships in accord with whom I choose to love with my heart and mind.

God warned my initial parents, Adam and Eve, about the possible dangers of this choice for whom I would trust in His commandment not to eat the fruit of “the tree of knowledge of good and evil” that was in the “garden” where He had placed them or they would “die” (see Genesis 2:7-24). But, when they chose to disobey God and to seek this knowledge for themselves in response to Satan’s appealing lies, their physical bodies became subject to death and they became separated from God in their personal direct relationship with Him in this world that had now become corrupted by their “sin” with its selfish and Satanic influences were now to be inherited by all of their children, including me (See Genesis 3:1-24). So now I have to struggle in my daily choices with my emotional feelings and the various tags of evaluation for the personal experiences that they produce in my life so that I can experience what is “good” that comes from God and avoid what is “evil” that comes from Satan and not get distracted by my own selfish passions and wilful choices.

How to manage different emotions

Some of my emotions mark experiences that brought me personal pleasure and comfort and peace and joy that made me feel “good”. Other emotions mark personal experiences that were “evil” and made me feel abused or harmed my personal relationships or made me very uncomfortable and frightened about my daily and eternal safety in relationship with God, my creator, and my family and friends. Some emotions that were produced by my selfish choices were mixed in their qualities and were “bad” making me feel sad or bitter or angry or sorry or anxious about the experiences that they influenced me to make although they were initially made for the “good” benefits that I thought that they would produce. That is the nature of selfish choices; they are always mixed with “good” and “bad” experiences.

My mind is full of both “good” and “bad” habits of behavior that have produced both “good” and “bad” daily experiences from the thoughts and subsequent choices that I have made in the moments of my life. The quality of the experiences that my choices bring to me in these moments of my life will depend upon whom I choose to love and to trust, God or Satan or Self, in my daily choices. These choices will depend upon the quality of humble repentance that I offer to God, my creator and Lord, for my rebellious and selfish sinful choices against His loving and wise will for my life and my willingness to surrender all of my heart and mind to Him and to trust Him and His loving powers to protect and deliver me from the “evil” lies of Satan and his tempting appeals to my worldly comforts and security and selfish pleasures.

Although I have surrendered my heart to God and am trusting His Spirit for His personal guidance in my mind, the battle between Satan and my selfish desires and my Spirit-directed choices continues moment by moment every day because God has not completely finished His redemptive and transforming work in renewing my mind in accord with His perfect love and will for me. So I have to constantly decide in my thoughts moment by moment every day whom I’m going to choose to love and to trust for guidance in the personal choices that I make, God or Satan or Self, and I’m thanking God in these moments for His grace and wisdom that He gives to me through the presence of His Spirit in my heart and mind who helps me to make choices that are personally and eternally “good” for me. Here is a statement from my website that describes this process: https://www.christianityetc.org/meditate-to-feel-good.php.

Let’s talk about this

What are the primary emotions that you constantly feel every day? What are you choosing to do about them and their influence in your daily life? Whom do you recognize as the sources of these emotions in your life? How do you expect to experience inward personal peace in your daily struggles between these “good” and “bad” emotions and habits in your life?

Good Teamwork

Its nature

Good teamwork is recognized as being necessary for any winning athletic team. It is also necessary for every successful business, non-profit agency, governmental body, military unit, family, or other social group. A team is a group of individuals who are committed to working together for the achievement of a common goal that they believe is worthy of a high level of their personal effort. It is different from a group that just gets together to discuss topics of common interest. They expect to have to work hard to achieve their objective, and to submit their personal incentives to the task of being trained in the personal disciplines of behavior that are required by the particular tasks that are required for the effective achievement of their common objective It may be winning athletic contests, manufacturing and selling a good useful product, providing a necessary personal service for others, making wise political rules for the conducing of personal civic operations, getting along with a spouse in the raising some dependent children, defeating an enemy in violent military conflicts, or just achieving a worthy objective with a group of associates.

It is usually assumed that a good team has a specific coach, or boss or supervisor, chief executive officer, or ranked military officer, or family head, or chairperson. But, the operation of a good team cannot be managed by one single person. It must be done by each of the team members sharing the functions that are required for the achievement of their common objective in an ongoing process of shared leadership that involves every member of the team, not just its stars or most talented individuals or most experienced workers, or even the owner of the business. Good teamwork cannot be purchased with a big budget, and it cannot be commanded by a line of officers or supervisors. It is a quality of cooperative work in which each member of the team automatically implements the appropriate function that will enable the team to achieve its objective and to maintain its organized effort. This is a process of shared leadership that is the mark of any successful team and a demonstration of good teamwork.

Task functions

These task functions are specifically designed to enable the team to clarify and to solve any emerging problems that they encounter in their cooperative efforts to achieve their common objective. The first task is one of initiating, which is proposing subsequent tasks or goals, defining the problem, and suggesting a procedure or ideas for solving a problem. Then next task is one of information or opinion seeking, which is requesting facts, seeking relevant information about team concerns, and asking for suggestions or ideas. The next task is information or opinion giving which is offering facts, providing relevant information about team concerns, stating beliefs, and giving suggestions and ideas. Then the next task is one of clarifying or elaborating, which is interpreting or reflecting ideas or suggestions about the team’s concerns, clearing up confusions, indicating alternatives and issues before the team, and giving examples. Now someone can provide the task of summarizing, which is the function of pulling together related ideas, restating ideas or suggestions that have been discussed, and offering a decision or conclusion for the team to accept or reject. Then someone can provide the task of consensus testing, which is sending up “trial balloons” to see if the team is nearing a conclusion or how much agreement has been reached. Finally someone can implement the task of testing feasibility, which is applying suggestions to real situations to examine their practical ability to work in their situation. It should be evident that these functions have a natural sequence to them in the work of a team, and they are best implemented by the automatic cooperation of every member of the team rather than being implemented by any single “leader”.

Building and maintenance functions

These task functions are designed to enable a team to maintain the productive way in which its members work together and to enhance their loyalty to each other and the team. The first task is to be encouraging to each other by being friendly, warm, and responsive to them for their contributions and giving them more opportunities to be recognized for their helpful participation in the team’s work. The next task is one of expressing team feelings that express the ongoing moods of the team regarding the relationships that are being established between the members of the team. Then the next task may be one of harmonizing any emerging disagreements by reducing any tension between members and getting them to explore their differences. The task that can do this is one of compromising by getting members to admit any personal errors when their ideas were not apparently helpful in achieving their common objective and their status in the team became one of conflict rather than one of mutual cooperation. The task of gate-keeping, which is working to keep the channels of communication between all of the members open and facilitating the participation of each member rather than falling into the pattern of having one member take charge of the team’s work. The task of setting standards for the member’s work together as they seek to achieve their common objective will help them to build and to maintain the positive qualities of their teamwork. The final task in this set of functions is one of following, which is just agreeing to accept the decisions of the team by listening carefully to contributions of each member and the decisions of the team that are being made. These functions should enable the team to preserve its identity as a group of cooperating individuals rather than just the expression of one “star”.

Non-functional behavior

This is self-centered behavior that is focused more on the achievement of individuals on the team than on achieving its common objective. The first of these behaviors is that of blocking, which is interfering with the progress of the team by going off on a tangent, such as one’s personal experience that is unrelated to the team’s objective or arguing too much on a personal point that the teams has resolved or even preventing the team to take a vote. Aggression is acts of behavior that are critical of other team members without relation to what has happened in the work of the team. Other acts of behavior that are non-functional are seeking recognition to one’s self by excessive talking, suggesting extreme ideas, or boasting about one’s accomplishments in an unhelpful way. An example of this is special pleading that one’s idea or suggestion should be considered by the team because it represents the opinion of a recognized larger popular group of individuals. Another non-functional type of behavior is personally withdrawing from the ongoing discussion or work of the team by just becoming passive to its work or whispering to other team members or giving your attention to more personal matters of concern.. Dominating the work of a team by attempting to manipulate its discussions by “pulling rank” or constantly interrupting other team members in their efforts to participate in the work of the team is very non-functional behavior in teamwork. Unless these expressions of non-functional behavior are eliminated from the ongoing work of the team, they will destroy its efforts to accomplish its common objective.


Good teamwork is basically the cooperative effort of various individuals who are personally committed to the achievement of a common goal to which they will give their thoughtful attention and selfless energy and personal insights and skills. It cannot be ordered by any authoritative leader or purchased by any wealthy “boss”, but all of its task functions and building and maintenance functions must be implemented by members of the team as they work together in the process of shared leadership to eliminate any non-functional behavior that will destroy their efforts to accomplish their common objective.

Let’s talk about this. What is your positive and negative experiences in working as a member of a team? Which of these functions do you recognize as being most essential in good teamwork?

Happy New Year

Where is it?

If you didn’t have a calendar, how would you know when it arrived? If you listened to the news from the world’s media platforms, where would you go to experience some “happy” days? There doesn’t seem to be much happiness being announced anywhere these days. Various political authorities who are in charge of the civic operations of the different forms of government in place in our world don’t seem to be offering any positive solutions to the “old” social and personal problems that confront the residents in their countries. All of their strategies seem to be the same “old” forms of government power and control that have been demonstrated by the historic systems of communism, socialism, democracies, dictatorships and their various economic forms of doing business that are right now not providing any real practical daily benefits to anyone anywhere. Efforts are being made to establish “global” systems to establish civic forms of government that can provide some benefits of “happy” days to the different residents of cooperating nations in this world, but they only seem to be drastically dividing people in accord with their different personal agendas rather than their abilities to provide real positive solutions to the common problems that we all face every day. Dictators are seeking to maintain and to expand their personal power over the residents of their “realms” of authority in spite of some popular protests for civic reforms, and they are even seeking to take over more areas of possible resources for their wealth and power by the violence of military wars and civic agreements. There are almost no areas of secure “peace” and daily happiness for individuals and their families in this world.

With God

The only source of a happy new year and daily “peace” in your life is with God. History has demonstrated over and over again that He is basically in charge of what happens in this world that He has created and which operates in accord with His absolute authority. God’s Spirit is the only authority that anyone can trust to provide them with any “happy” days in this world. God is the creator of this world, and He is the only one who knows what is “good” for any of its residents. Any daily choices that human beings make for what they seek that they hope will provide them with a “happy new year” that is not in accord with God’s wise loving guidance will separate them from God and cause their days to be filled with various personal struggles and deadly consequences. For some resources that are “good forever” and could provide anyone with a “happy new year”, I invite the interested readers of this post to check out this website at https://www.christianityetc.org. I will be glad to answer any questions that anyone has about any of these resources and statements. Let’s talk about this. A “happy new year” is available to anyone through the choices that they make to spend their days with God as they trust Him for His wise and loving guidance in their daily choices.

Good therapy

What it is

Good therapy is the application of physical, medical, and spiritual treatments for the relief of those who are suffering from an injury or illness or spiritual disability. Such treatments would including the use of physical activity, the administration of appropriate drugs, and the use of such spiritual disciplines such as prayer and Bible reading and spiritual counseling by a trained Christian therapist. These treatments would be designed to provide relief from the physical pain of the person’s affliction, the mental stress of his or her disability, and to enable the person’s body to return to its normal condition of good functional physical and spiritual health. The therapy would be continued until the patient’s physical and mental and spiritual condition has been sufficiently improved to the point that the patient is feeling well enough to manage his or her daily activities and responsibilities without feeling an abnormal level of physical discomfort or mental stress or spiritual hopelessness.

Its ongoing personal necessity

One’s physical body has been basically designed to be functionally healthy, although some disabilities and sensitivities to harmful items may be inherited and require regular care to prevent serious harm from them. God’s initial design for human beings was for them to personally exist in the world where He had placed them in personal relationships with Him that would provide them with what would be “good” for them physically and spiritually and would enable Him to protect them from any “evil” or harmful elements that could destroy them. But this relationship of loving care was broken and severely corrupted by the initial choices of Adam and Eve, God’s initial human beings, to disobey God’s commandment to not seek “the knowledge of good and evil” for themselves, but to trust Him for His care in regard to these matters in their existence. So all humans beings have inherited the deadly spiritual disease of “sin” that hampers their personal relationship of loving care and health from God their creator. And they may not be sufficiently motivated to consistently practice the necessary physical and dietary activities of exercise and balanced nutritional meals along with daily periods of refreshing sleep and positive mental attitudes to keep them healthy and totally free from the germs and other causes of sickness and stress that hamper their normal conditions of functional health. There are too many “enemies” of good physical and mental and spiritual health present in the human situation to make the maintenance of good health an easy process of personal management.

My recent experience with good therapy

I recently experienced some very helpful sessions of good therapy that saved my life from the possible deadly effects of a blood clot in my lung, the stress of my poor physical condition, and the spiritual crisis of my selfish choices in my daily life. Physical and occupational sessions of therapy have enabled me to improve my ability to move around without extreme pain in my joints, medicine has opened up my lungs to the proper flow of air and blood through them, and some spiritual guidance from a Christian guide has enabled me to experience God’s forgiving grace and transforming love in my life as I dedicate more of myself to Him in my personal choices. I am very thankful for the good care that I received in the hospital, the ongoing care of therapists who came to our home to continue to help me to improve my health, and the prayers and words of spiritual guidance and encouragement that have been expressed for my welfare by fellow Christian servants and friends. How have you experienced good therapy in episodes of physical and mental and spiritual crisis in your daily life? Let us talk about this. Your experiences may help some of the readers of this Post in my Blog. Good therapy is designed to produce the benefits of good physical, mental, and spiritual health in us human beings who live on this battlefield in which we are frequently engaged with powerful “enemies” who are constantly seeking to destroy us or to inflict us with physical, mental, and spiritual conditions that will hamper our efforts to function as healthy individuals in this world. Let us talk about this.

Cultural healing

Issues that divide us

The people in these United States are practically divided by their personal issues of politics, race, gender, age, religion, work, education, and bank account that tend to establish their personal culture for their behavior. . Individuals experience various levels of “abuse” from others in their communities, neighborhoods, work places, schools, home, and public places that they expect the laws of this nation to protect them from. When these laws and their enforcement by various legal authorities fails to protect them from being “abused”, they live each day with an undercurrent of anger and frustration from this persistent culture of personal behavior and “abuse” that they face every day.

Laws are limited

The passage of new laws and even the enforcement of existing laws often doesn’t seem to relieve these feelings of being “abused” and frustrated, because even when their abuser are brought to some level of judgment for their behavior, it is not practically perfect or complete or enduring in its benefits, because the underlying personal quality still remains in the life of the individual who can’t change his or her race or gender, and the changes that he or she makes in the other issues don’t seem to make any practical difference in the personal level of “abuse” that he or she experiences every day. Laws and protests cannot force individuals to love, to respect, and to be kind and considerate of others who are “different” from them. The best benefits of law are to define what is illegal behavior, but they can’t do anything against abusive attitudes and even speech, like name calling which is a very popular strategy for dealing with personal feelings of anger and frustration that come from living in such a divided, abusive, and unjust culture.

Only love can heal our abusive culture

Jesus states a basic law that we should “love our neighbors as we love ourselves”. The acceptance of this law of behavior and attitudes in our daily lives would go a long way in healing our culture of personal abuse in this nation, but such love in our personal relationships and attitudes cannot be legally established. It can only be established by the sacrifice of our selfish desires and prideful attitudes. It can be taught in our churches, but it has to be modeled by our parents who are initial and primary teachers for the formation of loving character in the culture of our personal lives. Love cannot be required in others. It can only be implemented and demonstrated by one’s own choices. Let’s love our neighbors and see our culture become healed. Let’s talk about this.

Online security

It’s Necessity

If you do any online shopping or work from home on your computer, you recognize the necessity of having some software for online or internet security installed on your computer to protect you from possible invasions of viruses or spyware or malware into your computer that can steal personal data or hamper the operation of your computer or cell phone. Maybe you have already experienced such an invasion, so you really understand the problems that they can create with your computer, phone, and your sources for your personal financial funds, like your bank account and credit cards. Some of these problems may have cost you some funds that were stolen from your financial accounts or the costs of professional repairs to remove the intruders and to fix the problems that they create.

Possible resources for online security

Your operating system for your computer and phone probably come with some basic software for online security already installed on these devices. They are usually well designed to protect your devices from the basic online threats. There are many others that you can choose to add that could create different levels of protection or protection against specific threats with their specific filters for your chosen fields of operation. You just need to make sure that all of the installed programs will work well together without creating new problems. Another thing that you can do to prevent such intrusions is to carefully handle phone calls from strangers who may call you about some possible problem with any of your online financial accounts or business. If any of these callers ask you click on the key “1” to get connected to another clerk to help you with the possible problem, hang up. Such a simple action on your phone could give them remote access to your computer and control over its files and access to your personal data, unless it is well protected. It is a good policy to never give any personal and particularly any financial data to any stranger over the phone, even if they claim to be from a legitimate business or financial or government agency. Such businesses or agencies will usually not expect you to conduct such business over the phone

Your experiences and recommendations regarding online security

If you are willing to share some of your personal experiences with us regarding online security and the problems that you have encountered from intruders to your devices, your reports of these experiences might be helpful to others. Please share any recommendations that you may have, in addition to those above, that you may have for effectively dealing with online security. This is a very important personal matter for many of us these days. Your help with online security will be greatly appreciated. Let’s talk about this.

A bad back

My accident

In 1945, when I was a freshman in high school, I suffered a severe fall in a gymnastic practice in the gym after school. It knocked the wind out of me, but I was able to stand up and move around without any severe discomfort or limitations. When I went to a orthopedic physician to be checked for my condition, he put me in a girdle for several weeks just to give my back some support. I was able to return to my gymnastic team and to engage in their practices and displays and contests for the remainder of my high school years.

My early years of life and Christian service

I was able to proceed with a normal daily life of further education and work after I graduated from high school. In 1950 I chose to enlist in the navy, after I had completed a year of college, and was able to pass their physical examination, excepted that it was noted that I had asthma, but no other problems were noted. I persuaded the examine board to accept me, which they did. When I arrived in boot camp, I had at usual attack of asthma, which I had often had in the course of my childhood and youth, but they hadn’t kept me from being very active in swimming and other athletic activities. Anyway, I was discharged from the navy in two weeks and was free to pursue other interests in my life at the age of 19. Before I returned home to continue my education in athletics for a career in aquatic management and safety, I received a call from God to become a Christian minister and my asthmatic disease was miraculously removed from me. I returned home to complete my education with a new emphasis on preparing to become a minister. I got married in 1953 and began preaching in a local Baptist center that year after my local Baptist church had licensed me. I graduated from college in 1960. During these years of further education and work I had not experienced any severe discomfort in my back or limitations on my mobility in my daily activities. I was puzzled that my right leg appeared to be shorter than my left leg when I was dressed in pants, but I didn’t know why. I graduated from seminary in 1960, was ordained by the American Baptist Convention of churches for service in their agencies until in retired in 1996 from my professional ministries. I then developed a personal ministry of service through a website of Christian resources for other ministers and children of God and those who seek to relate to Him, which I continue to manage every day on the internet through the Spirit’s enabling power and guidance.

Discovery of my severe spinal injury and its early treatment.

Years later when I started having some pain in my lower back, I went to a chiropractor for some treatments for this discomfort. The X ray of my back discovered a severe dislocation of the lumbar vertebra that was causing the pinching of some nerves. I continued with his regular adjustments for several years, getting relief from the minor pain in my back with the help of some minor pain pills from time to time, as necessary. Eventually I was able to discontinue the treatments and even able to stop with the pills through some supplements that kept the nerve damage under control so that I could move around every day without any severe discomfort or limitations.

Recent increase in pain and immobility in my left leg and lower back.

About the beginning of August 2020, I began to experience pain in my lower back, so I decided that it might be helpful to resume the chiropractic treatments to get some relief. But before I could arrange to start them, a new pain was experienced from the tighten muscles in my left leg that was now being caused by the damaged nerves in my dislocated lumbar vertebra. So in addition the chiropractic treatments I am getting, I am now getting some medicine from a orthopedic specialist in the treatment of joint pain.

Current condition and concern

As of the middle of September, 2020, my pain levels are less as long as I don’t try to move around very much or walk without a walker. The medicine is helping to reduce the swelling and inflammation in the tissue in the lumbar area of my back to relieve some of the irritation on these nerves which should enable me to resume some normal mobile activities for my daily responsibilities. But I’m not sure that these present course of treatments and medicines are going to be able to give me the relief that I need in order to take care of my severely handicapped wife and myself in our home and to continue to operate my personal website with its spiritual resources and guides for Christian ministers and God’s children and seekers around the world. I don’t think that I could manage my website from a small room in a long term assisted living care facility. I can operate my laptop from a small table, but I need more resources of books and files of papers to assist me in this service that would have to be moved into my our living space. I don’t have a personal partner who is able to take over the management of my website and this special ministry, so unless I get sufficient relieve from these physical problems in my back and leg to allow me some range of normal mobility in my daily life, I will probably have to close down this website and remove these resources from the internet. I know that the Lord can heal individual cripples from their particular problems, but I’m not sure if He through His Spirit is ready to give me the relief that I need in order to continue with this ministry. Your prayers for the Spirit’s guidance in my ongoing efforts to treat these problems in my back and leg and to continue with my website ministry will be greatly appreciated. I will keep you posted regarding the Spirit’s work in my life and ministry regarding these matters. I know that God is good and that God has called and gifted me to conduct a very special ministry, and I’m willing to trust His Spirit for the enabling strength that I need to continue to serve Him from day to day. Amen

It’s a good time to

  1. Avoid any personal close association with any possible sources of infection from the coronavirus or sinful attitudes and choices of behavior.
  2. Give your serious attention to any symptoms of a physical disease or a spiritual condition of personal sin.
  3. Repent of your poor choices and seek immediate help from health professionals or the Lord Jesus, who has secured the resources for your spiritual salvation.
  4. Make your home where you and your wife can protect you and your dependents safe from this virus by daily habits of cleanliness and spiritual righteousness through the enabling guidance and transforming power of the Lord’s Spirit who can radically change your daily lives.
  5. Begin to have your wife and the mother of your children to home school your children in the basic courses of personal knowledge and skills for them to be able to effectively function as independent persons in this world. I’m sure that the resources for this educational service are readily available from appropriate publishers after decades of such service in thousands of homes.
  6. Make your home a center for the worship of God and the encouragement of your relatives and neighbors and friends in healthy living and spiritual faithful daily living. You don’t need a professional “pastor” to do this for you in some distant facility.
  7. Tune into the wise and loving guidance and instructions of the Lord’s Spirit through a personal discipline of daily prayer and meditation upon the goodness of God in your life rather than upon your fears and confusing personal opinions and foolish choices. Turn off your TVs and cell phones and open your Bibles.

Let’s talk about this, particularly how we should respond to the deadly effects of sin in our world. The coronavirus is giving all human beings a wake up call regarding the possible deadly effect of a single unhealthy organism, which is very similar to that of sin in our communities and jobs and schools and homes in this world. And it is not too late to make some radical changes in how you respond to this disease of sin.

Good help

What it is

Good help is providing practical assistance to someone who is requesting your help in order for them to meet a current need or want in their life. You may be a relative or a friend or a stranger to the person requesting the help, but you seek to provide the requested assistance as soon as possible with sincere compassion for the person making the request.

What it is not

Good help is not a request by someone to evaluate the cause of their need or them in regard to their situation. Regardless of who you are in your relationship with the person, you will probably not know them well enough to really understand what is causing them to request some immediate help from you. If someone comes to you on the street of a city and asks you for directions to a local site, good help will not be provided by you seeking to evaluate what has caused them to get “lost” or disoriented in regard to where they are and where they want to go. Good practical help cannot be provided to another person by seeking to evaluate or to make judgments about the cause of that request or the person making it.


Good help is seeking to provide someone else with immediate practical assistance without making any judgments about their current situation or person. It would be OK to ask them questions in order to clarify exactly what they feel that they want in their current situation. Once the specifics of the help that they are requesting has been clarified, it would also be OK for you to indicate that you cannot provide them with any guidance or resources that you feel would not help them in their current situation without making any judgement about their situation or them as you sincerely care for them in their situation.

Let’s talk about this

When have you requested some practical help from someone else? How was your request handled? How do you usually respond to such requests? How do you define “good help” to others in our daily lives in this world?

Feeling good

The basics

You have been designed by God, your creator, to feel good all of the time. All of the systems in your body and spirit have been designed to function in harmony with each other in order to enable you to be comfortable and to feel good in the circumstances in which you live.

Your nerves are equipped with sensors that will create feelings of pain to alert you to the fact that some of the cells in specific parts of your body are not working in harmony with other related cells. You are then faced with some options to take steps to enable your body to fix the problem. If something in your situation doesn’t seem to be working in a way that contributes to your comfort and sense of well being, sensors in your emotional center will alert you to this condition by creating feelings of stress or worry or frustration or depression or sadness or even hopelessness in order to motivate you to take steps to take some course of action that might be good for you.

How these systems work

As you grow up your mind is programmed with pathways of learned skills and mental abilities that give you various levels of control over what you subject your body and your mind to that you have learned produces various levels of comfort and pleasure and satisfaction from what you are experiencing. The basic tool in your mind for starting your learned steps of action in your body and spirit is your thoughts. Your thoughts are the basic “links” to your choices that you have “tagged” with various adjectives of priority for the benefits that you have come to expect from the course of action that is implemented in your body and spirit. These “tags” will indicate in your range of thoughts what choices are apt to be most “helpful” or “wise” or “loving” or “right” or what ones are your “favorites” or “easy” or what ones are “momentary” or what ones are “risky” or “expensive” depending upon the condition that they produce in your situation and your resulting feelings about it. So you are confronted every day or even moment by moment with a series of choices that you must make to determine what you do in your body and spirit in order to remain comfortable and safe and at “peace” in your situation, and the “link” or trigger to your range of choices is in your thoughts. And you have a lot of control and freedom over those thoughts. You have not been designed as a robot, even for your own good.

Wise choices for feeling good

Since it is not always easy to know confidently what is going to make you feel good in your situation, and some previous choices have proven to produce less than comforting and good results in the experiences in which they place you, you are faced with the frequent challenge of trying to figure out which thought (link) to activate to take you to the experience that you hope will be comforting and good for you.

In God’s creation of your initial parents (Adam and Eve) He warned them not to seek the knowledge of what was “good and evil” in their own mental abilities, because to do so would produce results in their nature and physical situations that would be fatal, not good at all, and would severely corrupt their natures with “evil” influences and severely break their direct and personal relationship with God. They refused to heed God’s warning, and they claimed this knowledge for themselves and they and all of us human beings since them have inherited the deadly consequences of their rebellious choice (the account of this episode in our history is recorded in Genesis 2:16-3:24). Part of those deadly consequences is experienced in our inability to really know what is basically “good” for us and to be wise enough in our mental options to make choices by our thoughts that will be free of the “evil” influences of the devil in our hearts and minds and our own self-serving passions and rebellious attitudes against God and His authority in our lives.

Paul, an early apostle of Jesus and teacher of God’s loving redemption for us rebels and the wisdom of His will in our lives, has taught us that in order for us to live in daily experiences in which we are really comfortable and feeling good that we need to give our attention in the thoughts of our minds to choosing those courses of action in our lives that are in keeping with God’s almighty powers to supply us with desirable comforts and eternally lasting good gifts in our daily lives. We can make these choices by activating thoughts that are “true” and “honorable” and “just” and “pure” and “lovely” and “commendable”, trusting God to provide us with what is “good” rather than depending on ourselves or the devil to do so (see Philippians 4:7-8 in the New Testament for Paul’s teaching and citation regarding these thoughts).

Securing these choices

Like learning any new challenging skill or sets of new bits of information that you can activate with new thoughts and choices of actions, learning to trust God and the guiding wisdom of His Spirit in the challenging moments of your daily life will not be easy. The process will require that you spend concentrated moments in the repeated mental exercise of these good thoughts and healthy choices of trusting God with Bible study and prayer so that your mind will become programmed to enable you to harvest the “fruit of God’s Spirit” throughout the days of your life. Focus the attention of your thoughts on the personal blessings that the Spirit has already given to you in your relationship with God, and make your choices in accord with His wise and loving will that He has already implemented in your life. The devil is going to persist in trying to distract you with thoughts of previous sinful pleasures and “bad” choices of conduct and remind you of all the times that you fail in your efforts to trust God, but part of your efforts of exercise in this process is to trust God and His Spirit to engage the devil in these spiritual battles so that you can continue to live and to function with His blessings of “peace” and “self-control” in your daily life. Changing your thoughts and choices through this process of trusting God will give you many experiences of feeling good in your daily life.

Let’s talk about this

For an additional explanation of this process, I invite you to check out this resource Page on my website: https://www.christianityetc.org/blog/meditate-to-feel-good.php. What do you think about the possible benefits of this advice? What might hamper the reception of those benefits in your daily life? What could you choose to do to prevent or to hamper these negative effects in your life?