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WHO IS WISER?

Wisdom of Groups

Who is Wiser?

WHO IS WISER?

As a leader and decision maker, is it not better to consider collective wisdom from both clinical and empirical resources than to repeat old patterns or draw from subjective biases? How does a group know it’s building the Kingdom of God and not the Tower of Babel? Big data technology within a spiritual community gives light to wisdom. What are you building?

Simple math; Christ in ALL of us is much greater than Christ in a few.  Leveraging our individuality, unique experiences and opinions collectively make us wiser and gives us power to calculate decisions with greater accuracy within the ‘Will of God”.  First, a clarification is needed to understand the “will vs. the ‘wisdom’ of crowds. Next, the most significant observation about groups and finally, if applied, the ten (10) benefits of leveraging big data within a fellowship.

CLARIFICATION

The WILL of the mob is uniquely different from the WISDOM of the crowd.

The WILL of crowds (the mob), recorded in the Bible, which DID NOT have good endings, for example:

  • The Tower of Babel (Genesis 11)
  • Mount Sinai and the golden idol (Exodus 32),
  • Mistrusting God in Horeb and the 12 spies (Deuteronomy 1)
  • Choosing Saul as king (1 Samuel 8) POINT: Crowds can make really bad decisions and be destructive.

All of these examples demonstrate mistrust in God and disobedience of a specific command of God. The crowds did not display wisdom, but rather their WILL as opposed to God’s WILL and there were disastrous consequences.

However, the WISDOM within each enlightened follower of Christ [believer(s)] is summarized by Paul in the following phrases and prayers collected from the New Testament.

  • believers have the mind of Christ
  • believers are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another.
  • believers are competent as minister –our competence comes from God
  • believers have the Spirit of wisdom and revelation
  • believers are filled to the measure of all the fullness of God…
  • believers have [collective] power

POINT: Believers are wise in Christ and collectively are even more powerful because of God’s love uniting them together.

Paul’s prayer focus for new believers was consistently asking God to ‘fill them with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.’ It does not appear that the Apostle Paul wanted to see believers walking around insecure, doubting themselves or worry about their lives due to the confidence they possess in Christ.

OBSERVATION

In the book, “The Wisdom of Crowds,” by James Surowiecki. He cites a number of examples regarding the decision-making process and how to arrive at the best solution to a problem by having a large number of people help solve it. This is significant because life in a spiritual community necessitates problem-solving. To illustrate, let us begin with the popular game show, “WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE?” From the book…

“This [is] a simple show in terms of structure: a contestant was asked multiple-choice questions, which got progressively more difficult, and if she answered fifteen questions in a row correctly, she walked away with $1 million. The show’s gimmick was this: If a contestant got stumped by a question, he or she could pursue three avenues of assistance.

  1. Remove two incorrect answers from a choice of four possible answers.
  2. Place a call to a pre-selected ‘smartest’ friend or relative and ask for assistance.
  3. Poll the studio audience.

We might have a tendency to think that our greatest help in choosing the correct answer would be through the pre-selected intelligent individual friend or relative, and in fact, these experts offered the correct answer under pressure 65% of the time. Surprisingly, the correct answer was selected most frequently, an astounding 91% of the time, by the audience, yet just another example of the collective wisdom. [“The Wisdom of Crowds” by James Surowiecki, Copyright 2004, Random House. (pages 4,5) nonscientific study]”

POINT: Crowds can be really smart under certain conditions. [4 conditions to be named later]

APPLICATION – the old vs. new

OLD THINKING

The idea that a few “enlightened” individuals or small leadership group possess the most wisdom is a fallacy. This erroneous reasoning method increases errors and risk factors because the wisdom pool is too shallow. Bottom line, when decisions lie in the hands of a few with limited perspectives, even qualified experts, the results will not be as solid as those made to include a greater number of people in the process. The real issue is not who makes the decision but the derivative nature of the decision. No disrespect intended to those at the “top,” but the main issue is not the man but the math.

NEW THINKING

Big data technology ‘makes sense’ of our diverse thoughts and forms a theospheric neurological network of wisdom. The Theosphere is the natural exchange and integration of spiritual thought in response to a message or lesson by its listeners. Ministry metrics strategies are applied for maximum results in helping decision makers better evaluate what’s really happening in order to build wiser.  See video blog: “Cognitive Computing in the Church” below to learn more about the flow of communications between pastors and their audience.

BETTER RESULTS

Ten (10) benefits of implementing big data technology into a fellowship:

For ministry staff:

  1. Make informed decisions by knowing the condition of the flock
  2. Create laser accurate lessons week after week
  3. Inspire member participation and reduce attrition rate
  4. Captivate new visitors and have them aching to return
  5. Increase contribution and trigger organic growth after just weeks

For a participating member:

  1. What you think and feel matters!
  2. Provided a safe platform to give feedback in response to sermons and lessons.
  3. Attract involvement with like-minded people and join relevant activities
  4. Be confident and eager to share your experience with others
  5. Make informed decisions regarding the value of financial giving

POINT: Big Data Technology + spiritual community = PEACE leading to > things

Finally, believers are empowered individually but together, rooted in love — limitless. Who are the wise and powerful among us? WE ARE together…more to come!

Cognitive Computing and the Church…What is Truth?



Cognitive computing will forever change the church by responding instantly to the question:  What is truth? In a world fragmented by religious dogma and politics, a fresh look at the ‘truth’ will perhaps set us free, yes? If you have not taken the time to read “Big Data @ Church – Calculating the Will of God” it can be purchased on this site. Important to note is the basic PREMISE of this blog within the next three sentences.

Big Data technology  within a spiritual community ‘makes sense’ of our cognitive diverse thoughts and forms a theospheric neurological network of wisdom. The Theosphere is the natural exchange and integration of spiritual thought in response to a message or lesson by its listeners. This communication dynamic between a leader and his/her audience forms a sphere of thought which is aggregated within context then made available to decision makers. Some benefits of incorporating big data technology within a spiritual community are :

For a spiritual leader– learn how to:

  1. Make informed decisions by knowing the condition of the flock
  2. Create laser accurate lessons week after week
  3. Inspire member participation and reduce attrition rate
  4. Captivate new visitors and have them aching to return
  5. Increase contribution and trigger organic growth after just weeks

For a participating member:

  1. What you think and feel matters!
  2. Provided a safe platform to give feedback in response to sermons and lessons.
  3. Attract involvement with like-minded people and join relevant activities
  4. Be confident and eager to share your experience with others
  5. Make informed decisions regarding the value of your financial gifts

 

 

The TRUTH Behind the Technology

The technological time-line and principles described at IBM’s ‘IMPACT 2014′ conference by Mike Rhodin,  are vitally relevant to the ‘business’ of spiritual communities on a local, regional and global scale. Incorporating big data technology leveraging IBMs ‘Watson’ creates a new communication dynamic between spiritual leaders and their flocks never quantified before. Unveiling this technology within a spiritual community can create an enormous impact on commerce and global peace.

First, taking care of business. Is this new ‘cognitive computing’ technology justified financially ? It’s an important question.

1- In the U.S. alone, spiritual communities spend an estimated $80 billion dollars in annual giving to churches per year’ according to Outreach Media Group [OMG]

2- Christian consumers are one of the “largest, most faithful, highest spending market segments in the United States” (Faith-Based Marketing: The Guide to Reaching 140 Million Christian Consumers). [OMG]

3-   Churches by their very nature are growth-oriented, and growth-oriented organizations need resources. Leaders will spend thousands of dollars annually learning how to grow and maintain their memberships. [OMG] Utilizing big data technology within a spiritual context drastically improves decision making, reduces operational cost, and reveals hidden resources with predictability power.

Why is this relevant? Church leaders have great influence over the decisions and buying behavior of the people in their churches because they are a trusted resource.  When people with passion and purpose incorporate IBMs Watson within their fellowship, the business community can flourish exponentially. Spending has deeper significance than merely what the amounts reveal.

The Technology Time-line 

I designed the graph below based on information presented by  Mike Rhodin of IBM at ‘IMPACT 2014′

 

New9_24_2014

 

 

General Explanation of Technological Development

  • Tabulating Systems Era of the mid 1800s to the 1900s –mechanical tally systems that counted things. ‘Electro computing devises’– 1’s and ‘0’ s — bean counters.
  • Programmable Systems Era began around the 1950s. The world of electronic computing began to soar, the main frame developed [1960s] and ever since engineers have been in the business of miniaturization of those components. Later on in the  late 90s , PCs, I-Pods, I-pads, all mobile devises, Programs and Apps
  • Cognitive Era – from 2011- IBMs ‘Watson’ Jeopardy Experiment,  present –> beyond. It thinks, reasons deducts, within context and responds  based on the best probable answer to a question. Deeper than a search, ‘IT’ thinks and decides based on ‘confidence’ level after scanning millions of relevant documents and streaming information. This new era makes decisions based on streaming intel versus an APP or a static programmed response.

 

How does the Church Compare to the Technological Development Chart ?

  • Tabulating Systems Era’ – Most church technology software functions as information “tracking” for such categories as attendance, members, visitors, contribution, registrations, discipleship goals, and more. Think of tracking in terms of hunting. After an animal has already passed the hunter searches for “tracks” to follow. The greatest Spiritual leaders did not track their followers but captured the multitudes because of a resonating message of hope and inspiration. Tracking information in ministry is a good ‘first-step’ but would this would be the equivalent to the ‘Tabulating Systems Era’ of the mid 1800s and early 1900s when the best technology of the time was ‘bean counting’. Time to update.
  • Programmable Systems Era’ . The internet, PCs and all mobile devises have given the church a major jolt as far as its search capabilities. Its impact can be compared to the historical impact and invention of the printing press  There is an endless amount of  available resources, tools, apps, programs, and archived documents that no one individual could read, research, watch, listen or download in 100 lifetimes. Even though numerous books on discipleship models and structures have been written by ‘experts’, the church still faces repeated growth struggles with only a few exceptions. [see blog “Church Evolve  OR Dissolve”]. Programs and static structures last only a short time and contribute to the overall shrinking of the American churches for the last forty [40] years.   Even though endless resources are available, connecting all the semi-structured and unstructured data without context is a daunting task when searching for  a quick solution. Time to update.
  • ‘Cognitive Era’ -Big data collaborative church technology can connect people with wisdom at a level that is unprecedented in our churches and spiritual communities. It is the best platform to collect, synchronize, and pool the wisdom of God that dwells in the heart and mind of each participant. The kingdom within can now connect to a theospheric world without: without bias, restraint or fear, leading society towards peace.

 E-book REVIEWS on What Others Think

  • Very thought provoking, especially for someone who grew up in a traditional, fundamentalist church where new or independent thinking not encouraged. Utilizing technology for the betterment of a congregation makes a lot of sense. I agree we should embrace, not fear, technology. [Sweet p ]
  •  Very unique take on the relationship between Science and God. Well written and thought provoking. Whichever side of the discussion you find yourself on, this book will open a new path of possibilities to be explored. [Neal]
  • Enjoyed the read; It’s a very cool concept! To be able to unite so many people from all over is in itself an amazing opportunity, but to be able to get feed back so quickly is the world changing aspect! [Quin]
  • Enjoyed very much. I think the concept of a very real feedback is amazing. [WF]
  • Church leaders (and others) take note. Keep up with changing technology or lose touch and be left in the dust. Read, study, and learn. Mike Sanicola lays it out neatly for us all here. [Christine]

Lasers, Big Data, and the Church

Eye Laser Surgery

“It isn’t going to work…just STOP !”

Imagine that in the 1950’s scientist were testing and experimenting with lasers {light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation}. Early experiments show the power of focused light and its ability to cut [weld] through steel. At that time, nobody connected the dots scientifically that we would someday be harnessing the power of laser light to adjust vision on the human eye while not burning a hole through the patient’s skull.

When an American Nobel Prize-winning physicist[1] and educator Charles H. Townes (born July 28, 1915)  introduced his research with both maser and laser devices, he shook up the scientific world. As a matter of record, “Theorists like Niels Bohr and John von Neumann [EXPERTS] doubted that it was possible to create such a thing as a maser [microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”).  Three months before the first successful experiment they tried to stop him: “Look, you should stop the work you are doing. It isn’t going to work. You know it’s not going to work, we know it’s not going to work. You’re wasting money, Just stop!”.[4] [wiki].

‘Surprise , surprise, surprise’ Gomer Pile would smile and boast. More accurately, NOT a surprise about a group of experts shooting down one of the most powerful tools ‘harnessed’ in our lifetime, RIGHT !? Yet today,  ‘laser-blade’ eye-surgery is performed every day plus The U.S. National Academy of Engineering has chosen the combination of lasers and fiber optics—which has revolutionized communications—as one of the twenty most important engineering developments of the twentieth century.*

Big Data Technology and the Church

In the same way, trying to imagine how big data technology can help church builders become EXPERTs may be a stretch to wrap your head around initially, but a new ‘opportunity’ has dawned for the church. The collective wisdom created in the theosphere comes from massive amounts of inspired feedback from an audience responding to the issues in a lecture. Solutions are found faster with increased accuracy. In ministry, this means that the flock’s concerns [faith needs] are being addressed, and the ministry staff is not experiencing burn-out or bottle neck communications. The responsibilities and daily operations of the ministry function harmoniously as circumstances change, with less risk in ‘judgment’ errors. The group or theosphere grows increasingly more intelligent [see: Meet Big Data Church, Chapter 1 – “Big Data @ Church – Calculating the will of God”].

One question is…Do church leaders recognize this vital communication transformation? The advent of a global theospheric neurological network is a game changer for all who seek truth and wisdom on every level. Leadership groups can now visualize a color-coded image of the “mind of Christ” generated by each participating individual, while observing the synaptic flow of energy of the masses.  I know, sounds a little ‘out there’? Perhaps, but this is NOT NEW science and neither is the concept. What can we compare this to ?

Dr. Frank Luntz, founder of Luntz Global is a genius in this area.  His case studies and list of clients are undeniable, including presidential candidates.  His work should be taken extremely serious by the  church.  The real question is , ‘How long will it take before church leaders ‘get it’ and see the light’?

Lessons from History

Historically, Christendom as a whole does not have the brightest record even though Christ left a perfect DISCIPLSHIP MODEL. This of course does not negate the faith or heroic efforts of good intentioned missionaries over the years regarding their personal acts of love and kindness. BUT, case in point, the church in the United States has been in a downward slope over the last forty [40] years. See my previous blog: [Church – Evolve OR Dissolve]. If we were to explore this topic of church growth on a global scale, it’s within reason to speculate the trend is dropping even further. Obviously, some of the mega-churches and their impact do not reflect this overall trend, i.e. Joel Osteen, Joyce Myers and a few others and should be recognized. Interestingly, they are highly criticized by their contemporaries. A completely different ‘jar of worms’ that we will not open in this specific blog.

Ironically, numerous books have been written about ‘how to’ make disciples and models have been crafted and structured to perfectly emulate the model that Jesus left as an example. Unfortunately, with all books on discipleship, there are even fewer figs on the tree.  Word on the street, net, blog, cyber space… 1.3 million ‘believers’ are walking away from traditional church models each YEAR in the USA alone. How should a church leaders and spiritual shepherds feel about this? That depends how this information resonates in your heart which goes deeper than your understanding of how big data technology relates to healthy church building. Simple, if it bothers or concerns you then this is a sign of life, hope and WISDOM.

“There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience and that is NOT learning from experience.” [Archibald McLeish]

Historically,  when a new discovery or deeper truth was revealed that conflicted with tradition or religious dogma, people paid the ultimate price. Hopefully, the church will not repeat its history of stoning its own prophets [or their wisdom] like in the past. When church leaders catch on and embrace big data technology within a spiritual context the shrinking trend will be reversed. Many successful business leaders today rely on big data insights to attract buyers. The church should not ignore or take lightly the deeper truths of utilizing big data technology within their fellowship. Leaders who embrace big data technology, without a doubt, will set the world ablaze with wisdom; growth occurs naturally.

 

Michael Sanicola

CONTACT ME FOR A FREE CONSULT AND LEARN HOW I CAN HELP YOUR GROUP

*Copyright notice: Excerpted from pages 107-12 of A Century of Nature: Twenty-One Discoveries that Changed Science and the World edited by Laura Garwin and Tim Lincoln, published by the University of Chicago Press. ©2003 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of U.S. copyright law, and it may be archived and redistributed in electronic form, provided that this entire notice, including copyright information, is carried and provided that the University of Chicago Press is notified and no fee is charged for access. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the consent of the University of Chicago Press and of the author.

I AM Love – The Secret Logos

The Secret Logos

Compassion Color

Love I AM, that…I AM–I birth life because I can

Love connects the heavens, every starry host –gave each its measure, column and post

From breath above to earth below –bonded together, they came a glow

She fashioned the earth and gave it life –Created man and formed a wife

A system was set based on choice –Good and evil…each with a voice

Some wanted more–It led to war–it led to chaos, rich and poor

Love’s heart was grieved and she felt pain–‘Let’s start over,’ she cried, so it started to rain

It went well for a while, but not for long, love lacked –so much went wrong

Mistakes were made — light for dark, dark for light–

man’s ideas created a plight –Love is light, but fear forged a fight

Now creation was desperately lost –Now love would count the ultimate cost

Enter the Prince— poised as a pauper –A carpenter’s child — living in exile

Exile is what we were told –but near the Nile was a secret code–A mystery kept hidden, soon to be told

Within the Price was a powerful voice–A message of love that all could rejoice

When the demons caught wind, they shook their heads –gnashed their teeth –wanting him dead

The Prince was wise and gave his blood –His soul cried out– a mighty flood

He shook the earth, denied the grave –within a flash, rose to fame

I AM the way, the truth and life–Trust in me and be the light.

I in Him, you in me, may we be brought to complete unity.

From Alpha to Omega I AM–Life is eternal and death banned

The Logos inside is the voice that can–I AM love– in everything I AM.

 

Michael J Sanicola © May 2014 [reprint from: Big Data @ Church -Calculating the Will of God]

 

Why nearly 1.3 million walk away every year

1 Traditional dynamic

Todays discussion…Why nearly 1.3 million walk away every year

.How to stop the BLEEDING.

The Power Point Presentation the show is based on (great graphics!):

PPt How TheoSphere Works (4.0 MiB, 670 downloads)

@thetheosphere.com

Myth #1 Sheep are Dumb – ARE SHEEP STUPID?

Myth #1 Sheep are Dumb – ARE SHEEP STUPID?

‘Although I do not want to over-personify sheep, I found an interesting study about their characteristics. In an article by Susan Schoenian, regarding sheep behavior, she writes:

“Over the years, sheep have acquired a reputation for being stupid. This is because of their strong flocking and following instinct and lack of individual initiative. Their docile and non-aggressive behavior adds to this belief. But, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that this is not the case. Sheep may possess some smarts. It turns out that sheep, ridiculed for an unquestioning herd mentality, possess a sharp sense of individuality and can recognize the faces of at least ten people and fifty other sheep for two years or more. Scientists at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge also discovered that sheep react to facial expressions and, like humans, prefer a smile to a grimace. Further studies reinforce the notion that sheep are more sophisticated in their thinking than previously believed, showing that sheep mourn absent individuals and distinguish one sheep’s bleating from another and form friendships with one another. Scientists claim that such findings are increasingly challenging the belief that farmyard animals, including sheep, have no sense of self” (Sheep 201, A Beginners Guide to Raising Sheep).

It seems unlikely that ‘stupid’ sheep can recognize faces, react to facial expressions, prefer smiles, mourn absent individuals, and distinguish between the vocalizations (vibrations) made by people and other sheep. Yet, according to the study cited above, they can. Certainly, sheep do not have the same capacity to reason as humans do. Our ability to reason is what distinguishes us from all other life forms on God’s green earth. Intriguingly, the acceptance found in a leader’s face and the familiarities of his voice are important characteristics in spiritual leadership. Conventional commentary mentions that Jesus commonly compared his ministry to the sheep-shepherd relationship because herding a flock was so common during the first century. Do you think that Jesus might have known what behavioral scientists would discover in the 21st Century? Could our newfound insights be the underlying reason why Jesus chose the sheep-shepherd relationship to illustrate basic leadership principles?’ [reprinted from “Big Data @ Church – Calculating the Will of God”, Chapter 4]

The sheep respond to the environmental cues received from those around them and act accordingly. Energetic, positive, and smiling shepherds resonate the I AM within their audience. As a result, people return to hear more. Assuming sheep are smart is a great place to start. Introducing big data technology to the flock reveals how smart they are.

So if church leaders expend the time to explore big data technology within a spiritual community — learn its insights — the church can transform into a dimension never quantified before.

This I know for sure. RESPOND : WDYT [what do you think]

Michael —  Tweet @TheTheoSphere

sheep-with-shepherd

Join me Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 11am [MDT] Skype

WebmasterRadio.FM: CLBR INTV Big Data @ Church – Calculating the Will of God – new e-book

 

Myth #3 God is IN Control

Victoria Osteen was accurate in her comments regarding God wanting you to be happy and feel good. See Victoria Osteen criticism on the Blaze, Glenn Beck

Starting with the basics. Learning and understanding the article below is a good first step in understand why all the fuss. More later…

Myth #3 God is IN Control

‘Sounds like blasphemy, does it not? The point is simple. At the beginning, God breathed life into the nostrils of man, whom he formed from the mud – including stardust – creating life! Our physical form is derived from this energy and held together within this field, including all that is invisible.

Pinocchio

Pinocchio the Puppet

 

Are we predestined and programmed to become someone who we would not have chosen to be? Only if you perceive life that way, and create those rules. God did not set a static purpose or fix a permanent stamp and mold regarding our destiny. Permanence means unchangeable, but the only thing that is unchangeable is the power to change. I thought that I was still under construction, but in reality I’m doing the constructing, because my God and creator gave me the authority to do so. I am no longer under construction, but a creator at work. God gave me the free will and control to choose. So in reality, the logos in me (God’s Spirit), is in control. The creative power of I AM in you is real; a ‘god’ who must grant you permission to choose your destiny just makes no sense. If this doesn’t make sense (or add up), then keep calculating. We can create and choose our purpose, within the will of God (logos), in order to fulfill our DNA destiny. God handed the ‘control’ over to us at the beginning- in love.’ [from “Big Data @ Church – Calculating the Will of God” – Chapter 4]

 

Let me know your thoughts and join me Wed, September 10th, 2014 11am [MDT] Skype

Tweet @TheTheoSphere

WebmasterRadio.FM: CLBR INTV Big Data @ Church – Calculating the Will of God – new e-book

 

Cancer 5 Years Later: A Parents Journey

Michael Therapy

In September 2009, Mike was holding a chemo bag.

“Cancer”, a long silence and whimpering, “Michael has tumors all over.”

The day was 09-09-09. Our family was residing in North Carolina, but I was working in Colorado, when I got the infamous call. I was fifteen hundred (1,500) miles away from my son and my brain felt like it was boiling inside my head. My buddy Kraig arranged a flight out of Denver and immediately drove me to the airport. As I waited in the terminal for my departure, I could not control my weeping or breathing. I kept sweating profusely and my heart was racing; I could not be still. The other passengers around me were staring because of my unintended, tearful outburst. I approached the service desk to explain my situation in case another traveler reported me as a “passenger with a problem.” I could not imagine being detained by TSA if I were mistaken as a security threat. I finally arrived at the Raleigh/Durham Airport and was rushed to the hospital to be with Michael. When I walked in and saw his face — looked into his eyes — my heart melted like wax.

Two days later, on Friday, 09-11-09, the morning began with the doctor diagnosing our son with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Stage 4 (four). As my wife Dena and I sat and listened to the doctor, neither of us heard one word after he said stage four (4) cancer. We were told that chemotherapy would begin that evening and were handed a very large binder containing the names of thirteen (13) drugs that would be administered to combat the disease.

The day was a blur. I remember that the hospital and waiting room was packed with friends from Apex Elementary School. Kids were lining up getting their heads buzzed to near baldness, showing love and support for Mike’s battle. It was a beautiful time for everyone. The kids were all smiling, joking around, and having fun. Just what the doctor ordered.

As the day grew late, and all visiting family and friends had gone home, our lives changed even more. The inner most part of my being was about to descend to a place the human heart should rarely sample. My wife too, is experiencing her own descriptions of the horror.

When the chemotherapy drugs were delivered, all who made contact or had involvement with the drugs were fully dressed in a protective wardrobe, including eye glasses. After the nurse hooked the bag up, the red fluid began to enter the port in his chest. In an instant he sat straight up and turned red from not being able to breathe. Alarms were going off as my wife and I watched in horror. He turned white, then blue. Everyone was running around. The head nurse yelled at one of the orderly’s to get the right size oxygen mask. I yelled as firmly as I could for her to run instead of walk! She returned with the wrong size and had to run out to retrieve the right mask.

The seconds are like hours when your kid is dying in front of you. Paula, Michael’s nurse, kept her head and saved my son’s life. She is our hero and we will never forget her. It was an hour-and-a-half of pure hell, and afterward we were all like zombies. My wife eventually passed out on the hide-a-bed next to Michael, and I knelt down and prayed at his feet the rest of the night.

I’ve had many long nights in my life related to our children’s health issues, but this night would be the longest, so I thought. I was struggling with one glaring question: If the chemotherapy does not work, what chance of survival does our son have?   The doctor’s said that they were going to try again in the morning. I wasn’t sure if my heart could handle the stress if he responded the same way again. All I could think was that our son was so brave.

The morning arrived with a team of doctors huddled outside of my son’s room. The next chemo treatment was about to begin. The hospital staff was very professional and on alert to prevent anything from going wrong. Before the treatment, the doctor pulled us aside and confessed something that actually made me happy. He said, “The Pharmacist accidentally mislabeled the bag last night; the chemo cocktail your son received was for a woman with breast cancer.” They were confident that the life and death drama only hours before was very unlikely to happen again, but pointed out that their ‘team’ was present to help if they had another incident. They took full responsibility and we were not angry at the moment. We just needed hope that the treatment would work!

We re-entered Michael’s room with smiles of love and confidence. As the red fluid began to travel down the tube I prayed fervently, begging God for mercy, even wanting to give my life in exchange for my son’s life. I was desperate. The morning passed and the day went much smoother for Michael (besides the normal side effects). After a month of being in the hospital, he was able to return home. I needed to return to work in Colorado and had to physically leave my son’s presence. This was so painful for me, a literal tearing of my heart. For the next three months my wife and eldest son Nico drove him back and forth to the chemo lab. Nico was to begin community college in Denver, but placed his plans on hold to be with his brother.

Besides the throwing up, loss of weight and baldness, Michael would drop to the ground from severe headaches that came on with ‘ice pick’ sharpness. This would go on for months. The pharmaceutical pain medication did nothing to relieve my son’s suffering.

Fifteen hundred miles away from my sick child I was reeling. My nights were filled with fear. I could not sleep or eat very much, knowing that my son was in constant pain. I would pull my hair out as I combed through the three inch binder, searching to see if the headaches were a side effect of chemo treatments. Reading all the potential side effects of chemotherapy did not help me sleep any better; it drove me deeper into fear.

I was becoming a different person. My body chemistry had changed. Food no longer tasted the same and my hair was turning grey. Knowing that my son’s pain was chronic was the most difficult and grueling part in my mind. My soul was being provoked on a level I had never experienced before. I was on the phone constantly, speaking with the doctors and trying to get my son help. In the innermost part of my being, I knew faith was all I had. I just needed to keep breathing and be strong for the rest of the family, especially my wife.

It’s now six months after Michael’s initial diagnosis. We are visiting the oncologist to follow up on his scheduled scans and blood work, and review his progress. She told us Michael had another issue going on, separate from the cancer. The scan had revealed a ‘chiari’ brain malformation. This explained all the symptoms that were unrelated to his chemotherapy treatments. Then came the hammer. “Michael will need brain surgery immediately to relieve the pressure off his spinal cord to allow the spinal fluid to flow freely again,” said his doctor.

Again, when you hear the phrase brain surgery, as a parent, the words disconnect you from reality. You begin to float, sounds echo, and fear floods your veins. All we could do was look indirectly at my sons’ nearly bald head to think that they were going to cut into his brain. Eight weeks ago he had just completed six (6) rounds of chemotherapy, four (4) blood transfusions and three (3) surgical procedures related to the cancer. Now this!

I was paralyzed in thought and speech, and remember standing in the elevator on the way down, staring at the back of Michael’s head. Boiling tears were rolling down my cheeks into my mouth. I wiped the tears before we exited the elevator so that Michael didn’t see me struggling so desperately. Also tough was watching my wife’s spirit atrophy even more –after already enduring six (6) months of cancer treatment.

Michael’s health challenges impacted our entire family, including aunts, uncles, cousins, classmates, teachers and coaches. When he was able to get out in public, his baseball team held a pizza party for him at the local hangout to encourage him. One of the coaches called me outside and started bawling because he loved my son so much. Michael was the starting shortstop and lead-off hitter for his team and they missed him very much. I only went to the baseball field one time after his diagnosis. It was tough being there without him on the field and not seeing him in the batter’s box.

Cancer really sucks, but there were profound lessons to be learned for all involved. For me personally, it was a crossing over to an entire new realm in my relationship with the divine.   I could not easily toss away my deep spiritual connection to God or His mysterious ways, but I was struggling big time. Jesus himself cried out in Psalms 22 “My God, my God, why have you forgotten me.”

This all had to add up to some significant value, and I had questions. What do you want with me God!? Am I being punished for my past sins? What am I supposed to learn and pass on to others? Am I no longer protected by your love and grace? What do I need to change?

 

Bitter or Better?

1- Diagnosed with cancer just a couple weeks before his thirteenth (13) birthday and needed brain surgery eight (8) weeks after chemo treatments.

2- My son was misdiagnosed nine (9) months earlier by the ENT doctor.

3- He was given the wrong prescription and almost died.

3- The orderly’s were walking instead of running to help my son.

4- I had to be separated from him due to work.

5- Chronic emotional pain due to my son’s physical pain.

6- Feeling the emotional burden and responsibility to help my wife and other two sons.

7- No more sports for a while, especially baseball.

Turning bitterness into something better.

1- My son is alive and survived cancer! His brain surgery completely cured him of his ice pick headaches and other symptoms.

2- I send positive thoughts in thinking of the ENT who misdiagnosed him. The feelings I transmit are diligence and sharp awareness.

3- Again, I send positive thoughts to the orderly’s. May they be more urgent to act with compassion when others are in need.

4-The hospital staff reported to us that they did indeed change their protocol on administering chemotherapy, which prevents other families from going through the same horror.

5-My son is a very grateful young man and has a great perspective on life. He says, “Cancer made me a better person with a purpose.”

6-My three sons are best friends, and going through this difficult time has bonded them together forever.

7- Our extended family rose to the level of helping us with everything- always serving, giving and encouraging. We are so grateful to all the special people that came into our lives during our transformation.

Honestly, I’ve been bitter and better with the hope of getting better all the time. This month, marks Michael’s full recovery from HL-4 and for this we rejoice! Even more special, is that Mike will celebrate his 18th birthday on September 27th with his family and friends! Our hearts go out to all families and parents who face the chronic emotional pain and fear/faith inducing transformation. Over time, we saw that it was extremely instrumental in finding peace and harmony between the mind, body and spirit, for this we are grateful.Michael 5 Year Photo

Today, Michael is a healthy Junior at Centaurus High School in Lafayette, Colorado. HUGE HUGS to ALL those affected by cancer! Grace and Peace…Michael J Sanicola [reprinted from the book “Big Data @ Church, Calculating the Will of God] www.TheTheoSphere.com

At what ‘Point’ was Lazarus given breath to rise from the dead?

Scripture reference John 11: 1-44

QUESTION:

At what ‘moment’ was Lazarus given the spirit of life in order to rise from death?

Was it when Jesus said in a load voice, “Lazarus, come out!”? My opinion is NO.

If you read the bible, you’ll see the progression clearly that immediately after he was deeply moved in spirit, he said, “Take away the stone.” Why is this relevant today?

Science is pointing to the fact that the feeling and vibration of prayer delivers the transformation. Literally, the point where words do not exist, pure passion determines the ‘miraculous’ outcome. Author and scientist Gregg Braden lectures about this and has studied for years spreading the word that divinity and science are not separate and that our emotions are the driving force of healing prayer.

Another interesting observation is that the healing or transformations must be rooted in love and compassion or the frequency will not accomplish the stated goal. All of this regardless of one’s culture or even religious indoctrination. How liberating! The scope of healers ranges in frequency [literally], as in the case of Jesus who possessed the ‘spirit’ without limit, being the son of God.

For more on this subject, read “Big Data @ Church – Calculating the Will of God” [e-book]

Be healed today! Grace and Peace to you!

Radio Interview — 600 WMT

What’s Happening with Doug Wagner AM 600 WMT – speaks with Mike Sanicola,  Big Data ‘at’ Church, Calculating the Will of God — New e-book, The Theosphere, Big Brother vs. Big Brotherhood, Collective global wisdom. Are you ready?