Watch “7 Faith Actions To Restore Hope and Healing” on YouTube

The Persistence of Suicide

Every 14.2 minutes a successful suicide

Every 34 seconds an attempted suicide.

Why?

Psychologist, sociologist, and theologian generally agree that suicide means giving up on life.  Someone has reached a point where hope has left the horizon and the pain of living is greater than the desire to live.  That is mega pain.  Instinctually, communally, and in faith we are leaned to living.  Everything about us individually and relational wants to live and gave meaning and purpose.  What happens to destroy such a powerful force in a thriving human?

Every situation is a little different.  One is abused or denigrated or stripped of portions of humananity.  Another meets horrendous circumstance from which there seems no retreat or advance.  A sort of limbo leading to destruction looms in heart and mind. I can’t see my way out so I take what I see.

For some attempted suicides are cries for help and compassion.  They are hoping someone leans into their pain with hope and healing.  But any attempt is an acceptance that you might be successful.

St Augustin in the City of God explored the subject. My summary? On their way to dying, they died.  We are all intended for physical death from the moment of conception.  We are all intended for significance during those minutes or hours or weeks or months or years of life. The two are complimentary. Suicide strips the latter destiny short.

Suicide is certainly not the unforgivable sin.  It does leave an indelible mark on the social soul of the remnant that live. Our questions are unanswerable? Could I have done more? Did I contribute to the angst? Is there something I can do to prevent the next?

The last questions has answers. The first two are personal to your situation and should certainly not to be left unanswered in quiet counsel between you and God and mentor. Social conversations are not the place to seek understanding to these. 

What about, ‘What do I do now for other?’

1. Get trained in mental health first aid. Be a first responder to family and friend.  https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org

2. Take an inventory of the people in your 36 square feet of change.  3 ft to your right and left and be for and behind could be someone in distress.  After addressing suicide this week in a conversation, one listener cane to me the next day. “That was me you were discussing. I was that person looking to leave.  Now. I have hope.” I had missed clues, hut now am watching closely.

3. Build your faith foundation. Hope is a powerful force.  Faith is more so.  Faith splits resistive pain with healing balm. Build it. Use it.  Hclive.org

The Think Doctor – Phil

We Are The Difference

worditout-word-cloud-1956501-prudentThis is Black History month, friend. History causes us to reflect on the shadows cast on us by our forefathers. We did not create them, but we are certainly affected by them. A friend shared a picture from 1918 in Arkansas where 237 Black Americans were slaughtered in an effort for the “whites” in the area to assert their control and fear. To put it in perspective, those participating would be the grandparents of those in their 60’s and 70’s today and the great grandparents of the millennials. 100 years is not a long time. The sins of the father go into the third generation and affect their thinking. And the blessings can also.

Friend, we and this generation can break the chains. This generation can set a new standard. If we to chose violence and anarchy, we simply continue the chain. (Read the family facts below on the rising incidence of sexual violence among preteens and teens.) If we chose reason and connection to Christ with moral standards, we can see a different world.

Let’s Pray: In this world, Father, we will have trouble. There is greatness in us. There is greatness in all of us. Yet, trouble tends to bring out the not-so-great in our emotions and actions. Teach us, Father, that hardship is a pathway to peace. Teach us, Father, to accept as Jesus did, this world as it is not as we would have it to be. Teach us to have courage to change what needs to be changed and give us grace to accept with serenity that which is not ours to change.

Family Facts: One of the disturbing trends in our society is violent sex among those at younger and younger ages.
“Significant numbers of teens (15-18) are experiencing emotional and mental abuse as well as violence in their dating relationships; this is even more prevalent among teens that have had sex by the age of 14.” Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence review of Liz Claiborne study. http://www.caepv.org/getinfo/facts_stats.php?factsec=11
Another look at the impact;
http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/datingviolence

Providing accessible and affordable community education for social skills, problem solving, family, co-parenting, relationships, anger and hurt resolution, and parenting is the right thing to do.

Support us as we make inroads in the rural and urban/rural communities of North Texas. https://solumcommunity.net/give/ In 2017 help us meet two objectives: 1. Match the gracious challenge gift of $68,250 for 2017 2. Have your dollars matched dollar for dollar with our $20,000 matching donor fund. Your dollars are doubled when you give this year.

The Serenity Prayer – by Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)
Complete, Unabridged, Original Version.

God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Amen.

Phil Larson, President ;-{)
cell/text 405.388.8037
Community Transformation Initiative
National Offices 940.580.4887
3404 N Grand Ave, Gainesville, Tx 76240

Ask – Answer – Action

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Over the last several years, we’ve been able to be a word of encouragement to leaders.  Alongside, we offer information relevant to family building.  Our nation struggles with family building and suffers in relation to this struggle.   What came first, the struggle with family or the plethora of related social ills associated with the breakdown?  That is a question with few answers.  The question that makes a difference is, “What do we do with where we are to go where we want to be?”  Now that is a question worth ask, answer, and action.

 The link below is a quick read with some limited, but worthy notes of what can help when budgets are tight.  Focusing finances is task we all must achieve with effectiveness and efficiency.  At SOLUM CTI, we are launching a purposeful kids community education program targeting what works in the community closest to us.  We can’t do everything, but we can do one thing.

 I pray for you, friend, that you and those you work alongside find the one thing that can make a definable difference in your community.  Move it forward.  Move it closer to where it needs to be.  Ask – answer – action.  Sure, it is not that simple.  It takes work, coordination, communication, consternation, and consideration.  The community is worth it.

 Thank you for serving, friend.  May the The Father, from which every family get’s its name and commission, meet you in the hallways of decision.  May He pour wisdom into your soul and insight into your vision for your community. May He open 2017 as an Age of Adventure like no other year you have lived.

 Family Facts:

http://www.irp.wisc.edu/publications/fastfocus/pdfs/FF17-2013.pdf

Institute on the Research on Poverty  University of Wisconsin-Madison  Katherine Magnuson

excerpt from summary: Several early childhood interventions have also been shown to produce short-term and long-term benefits. Magnuson notes that the evidence supporting the effectiveness of high-quality, center-based early childhood education is strong, concluding that, in times of tight budgets when difficult funding decisions must be made, the research findings summarized in this brief imply that investing in policies and programs aimed at families with young children is a good use of restricted resources

 Phil Larson, President ;-{)
cell/text 405.388.8037  solumcommunity.net 
SOLUM Community Transformation Initiative
National Offices: 508 Tumbleweed Dr. Yukon, Oklahoma 73099

Branch Community Center: 3404 N Grand Ave, Gainesville, Tx 76240

 

 

This is a free and apolitical encouragement with informational additions.  If you would like to be removed from the encouragement please reply to this message with the word ‘unsubscribe’ in the subject line.  May the Lord bless you and keep you.  May the Lord make His face to shine upon you.  May the Lord give you peace.

2016 – 230 – Something Different

This missionary adventure is a challenge worth living. 230 families and their friends impacted in 90-day research and evidence based workshops in 2.5 years is a phenomenal start on a long haul journey.

Friend, leaning back in my easy chair is no easy task. The phone will ring. Someone will come to the door looking to reunify or stabilize a family. I’d like to lean back, but the press of lives leans me forward. September 2013 was the refresh launch of Community Transformation Initiative with a mission to put dads active in the home and connect kids with connected parents. Life Long Dads. We Need ‘Em. That was and is our pursuit.

As we continued for months in the suburban and urban sectors a laser vision focus took precedence. The number of resources was overlapping in Tulakes Elementary and the Jesus House and other places we served. The coordination seemed bleak and confusing to those needing integration. Churches had a heart, but not the tenacity needed to get the job done. Unabashed, we pushed on to find solutions.

The journey took us to rural America. Resources for families are non-existent or sparse. Cooperation with the Community Supervision (probationers) delivering Life Skills (cognitive self-restructuring with social skills and problem solving) and then Parenting and then Couples Communication and Recovery brought us insight and awareness. A once 14-year meth addict pulled up and out is now a volunteer facilitator. A once crushed mom with an imprisoned son is now becoming a top facilitator. A once fractured family single mom is a regular assistant in the work. A once displaced homemaker disappointed and discouraged is a boost to the teens. A once gang leader is an intern and standing up tall.  On and on it goes. Discouraged, defeated, disappointed, drugged, and dysfunctional have become the healers of the next group. While working through our workshops, they have become healed healers.

  • Other pastors are asking for training to do the same.
  • The mayor has asked us to help train others.
  • The Boys and Girls Club is ready to host Dad’s University on a monthly basis.
  • The County Attorney is ready to begin a community wide faith based program in the jail and have us oversee it.
  • Child Protective Services is sending us 2-3 families a week.
  • Every time my car is parked outside people stream in the building ready to learn.
  • One school with WatchDOGS is ready to be two schools with WD.

Friend, I’ve seen marriages rescued, kids placed back in the homes, and a community get hope. This is repeatable across the United States in like communities. This isn’t just the workshops, we have discipled a pastor in Franklin, NH via Skype that is ready to launch with the same approach. He already has a group of men, whom he has been training in Franklin and now a small group of students in New York has started to meet with him and catch the vision. I teach him every Thursday morning and then he passes it on to these. Discipleship. Mentoring. Duplication.

The urban areas of the United States for the 2010 Census contain 249,253,271 people, representing 80.7% of the population, and rural areas contain 59,492,276 people, or 19.3% of the population. US Census Bureau

Inside of this rural population are cities of varying small sizes that qualify as urban due to concentration, but find themselves as islands with low resources for families due to isolation from metro centers.

Starting small with tiny funding, we set out with a BHAG, a Big Hairy Audacious Goal. What if we could establish a viable church, business, community, government, education, and media cooperative effort to fix fractured families? Could we package it to be used across the United States in similar communities? Could we start a revival of wisdom and compassion in our families? The answers are Yes, Yes, and Yes.

You know me. I don’t do little things, just big ones. But everything starts little to grow big. Now we need to grow big. Now we need an influx of resources to multiply cities and states.

This lead chart is Gainesville, Texas in Cooke County. We are reaching tipping point of impacting over 10% of the population of the county. 1 person impacts 15. 300 impact 4500. The county has 43,000 citizens. We will cross the 11% generally accepted cultural tipping point next year. I believe we already have by the calls and visits we get every day and the referrals by lawyers, courts, CPS, and others.

My office in Moore is kept open in positioning for our better days at SOLUM COMMUNITY. It doesn’t cost me much. As we begin to duplicate, I plan to coordinate activities across the state and nations from this centrally located spot. In Oklahoma, 20 locations would not be enough.

Every workshop we give is solidly entrenched in a Biblical worldview. They are research and evidence based, but we only use those that are also Biblically sound. If we can’t support the wisdoms from a transdenominational Biblical perspective, we don’t use that material. We don’t teach Bible in our government sponsored workshops, we live it in our delivery and treatment of people and they ask us and we answer.

SOLUM COMMUNITY Transformation Initiative is a Christian non-profit. That makes us a bit different. We are gospel hungry. We lead people to Christ, grow them in Christ, and keep them in Christ through collaborative church plant.  That is part of our secret sauce. Every workshop is covered in prayer. When a participant asks for extra advice they are told up front it will be Christian/Biblical advice. Some of our workshops like Anger Management and Couples Communication are research and evidence based with Biblical foundation training.

This model works, friend.

I have no qualms asking for your support. To get where we need to go we have contracted with the county for juvenile provision, taken small fees from probationers, received individual giver support, used community service hours to get work done, emptied personal savings, worked outside contracts, asked my wife to work full time so we have health insurance, and received from church planting organizations. It is not enough.

Let’s meet (hangout, skype, office), answer your questions, brainstorm ideas to get more people involved, and pray. Every day, I live in a world of miracle provision. How can I pray for you?

I want to bring copies of two new books when we meet. By Grace is an innovative book leading church leaders, small group leaders, and interested Christians on a path of obedience to go into the hiways and byways and compel people into the kingdom. Transformer’s Prayer is a quick four principle guide to help you and others get answers. Both will by available on Amazon and Kindle by the time you read this.

SUPPORT

The Calling

encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.

1 Thessalonians 2:12 NIV

When the Father brings you into His family, He opens a call in your life. It is up to you to find it out.  He wants you to discover in Him your destiny.  I pray for you. These callings are your fingerprint in life.

For me, I have discovered a few for my life. Prayer, discipling/growing people, presence of God, voice of God, father/pastor.  These mark everything I do and all I am.

God then commissions you to do works. I work on unity in the kingdom. I work on developing solutions where others struggle.  I work on family health.  These commissions are done with the call.

When you accept the commisaion, He gifts you.  He equips you.  It may be through trial or a moment of supernatural empowerment. It may be through education. But He will equip you when you receive the call, accept the commission, and take action.

What is a piece of your call? Do not limit God to only call you to a limited and small life.  Some tell me, “I want to preach.” Maybe declaring the goodness of God is a call in you.  How has He commissioned that call?  Through acts of mercy and kindness.  Through a life of peace and character in business? Through speaking publicly?  What other calls has He added? There are many ways to preach. Most involve 90% serving and 10% speaking.  Show me your faith by your actions.

I pray for you to listen for the call and receive it with humility and a servant heart.  Then I pray for you to see a commission, a place to serve and be you in the home of the local church, Christ’s design for occupying this world. And, I pray for you to step out in faith and be empowered from on high.

I pray for you. I love you. He is full of better and bigger days for you.

The Prize Goes to the Winner: Success has 4 Cs not two.

How does it work? The 4 Cs of Success produce a consistent and congruent contribution. Here is the formula (Character + Competence + Compassion + Chemisty) x (Consistency + Congruency) = Contributi…

Source: The Prize Goes to the Winner: Success has 4 Cs not two.