Addiction

You hear a lot about opium addiction and its derivative drugs from opium/heroin, so why is it so addictive? Because of the high that it gives, being such a euphoric feeling, even with a small amount of drug such as four milligrams of hydrocodone. It is a very easy and very much addicting group of substances.

Why am I bringing this up? I took a dose of cough medicine which had hydrocodone in it last night. I may have taken a little bit more than the amount the doctor told me to take, but I wasn’t expecting the reaction, the outcome, the high that just a little more put into my system. I didn’t take it to get high, I wasn’t taking it to “try it out”. I won’t be taking it ever again.

My point in this is: why would you do such a thing when it makes you feel terrible afterward? My entire day was blown yesterday and I was ill for almost the whole day. Did it feel euphoric while I was “high”, yes, but not worth doing it again that’s for sure!! Please read this as a warning, it is addictive and some of these new opiate drugs are even more addictive than what I took. Please seek out some other form of “high” if that is what you need!

Praying for all who read this. Seek out Jesus and His Salvation in your life, eternity is a better and LONGER high than anything here on this Earth! Amen?

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Do you believe?

In the world today, there are many who don’t believe in Jesus or the Bible itself yet it is the inspired Word of God. Although many people don’t believe even that the Bible is God’s Word but just a collection of stories written by a bunch of men. The Bible is so much more than that!

It was written under the direction and influence of the Holy Spirit and the words which are contained in it come from God. Yes, it was written by forty different men over a period of more than 1500 years. That in itself is amazing because if all of those men from different times, even centuries apart, could write a book which told of a Savior Who would come to save the world, then how could they have made the stories up?!

Belief is also bound up in faith because you can’t believe in the miracles or in our Savior without faith even if it is as small as a grain of mustard seed. The tiniest bit of faith can be used by God to accomplish many things, far beyond what you would think. When the will of God is involved in anything, it will be accomplished no matter the size of your faith!

Give your life and your heart to Jesus, as well as all that you have, and He will multiply it back to you and into His Kingdom in ways that can’t be imagined. I pray that this will encourage you to follow Jesus and ask Him into your life. Why? Because, I have to…it is my job to tell others about Him! I can’t keep quiet because He is in control and His power goes into the world to heal from this time forward! God has not stopped healing or mending broken hearts and lives.

Thank you for your time and may God richly bless you in all of the ways that you need, in Jesus’ Holy Name, Amen.

Why?

Are we so blind to suffering and heartache that we don’t see it? Are we that indifferent and uncaring toward those around us? What happened?

It started many years ago and we didn’t notice, or maybe we just were too busy at the time. The Vietnam war was going on, our President had been murdered, unrest was rampant all over and I was about four or five years old. My parents weren’t getting along, things were happening that I didn’t understand, and our country made a law that has had massive repercussions in the years since then.

That law had to do with using the Bible in school and also prayer in schools too. It pushed God out of our education system at a time when He was sorely needed. He is even more needed today than He was then, but the laws have become even more restrictive. Chaplains can’t use the name of Jesus in their prayers for our servicemen and women anymore, the traditional family has been broken apart and now consists of accepted relationships which are against God’s laws.

We have changed our society to the point of being so different from the nation that our forefathers envisioned until they wouldn’t recognize it today. Many of them would be arrested for the words that they used in writing our Constitution. Why?

Political correctness, we don’t want to offend anyone or at least anyone who isn’t a Christian. Most of the laws enacted today are against the values and truths which we hold dear in our churches and it will likely get worse in the future. Why? Because we have pushed God and His Truth out of education and out of most areas of public life. We can’t show nativity scenes during Christmas on the public square. Parades during this time are called holiday parades or winter parades. But, if you want to show your support for any other religion…that is fine! No problem at all.

We are becoming a country which began as a nation founded with ideals drawn from God’s Word but today we have pushed Him out and we are in rebellion against Him. Why?

Read God’s Word, in particular the books of Daniel, Isaiah, Ezekiel and Revelation. These are the prophecy books that most people try to avoid, but the time that all of them refer to is now or at least it is beginning to be. We hear about or witness things which defy a real explanation other than “you don’t believe the way I do” or something similar.

What is happening in your world?

We all live in different areas of the world and we are influenced by our own culture, regardless of what kind of culture it may be. Some of us have grown up in areas where there is an intolerant attitude toward other cultures or beliefs. If you have grown up in an area like this, it may not seem to be a bad thing. Because to you and your family and friends, it is normal to be that way. But, what about the rest of the world? How do they perceive your culture? Do you even care how it is perceived?

Today, it seems that many people don’t really care about perceptions from outside their culture. Many people don’t even care about what their family and friends think, particularly if they are from a different cultural or religious background.

Why are we so polarized into left and right, right and wrong, do or don’t do, or even “if you don’t believe the way that I do, I will kill you!”

All of this is happening because of Satan and his influence over our world and our cultures. Many in our world today don’t want to admit that he even exists, let alone that he is the influence behind the back-biting and religious intolerance and all sorts of hate that is going on around us. If we could just learn to live by the principles taught in the Bible, there wouldn’t be so much strife in the world, but sadly Jesus predicted that this time would come.

And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” Matthew 10:22

We are to endure with patience and follow His example in these times. We are not to slander and hate others because that is what they are doing and we are called to be like Jesus, not like the world. So, why is it that we have so much trouble between cultures and beliefs? Again, the answer is Satan and his influence on our world. He hates us and it doesn’t matter what religion that you cling to because he wanted to rule the world and make it his. God gave us dominion over the Earth, but Adam handed it over when he disobeyed God so long ago. We have been living under the assumption that we still have dominion over it but we don’t really. It is just an illusion that we have been led to have by him.

God is in control of the outcome, no matter who thinks they are. We are the ones who need God and not the other way around. Trust in Him, learn of Him, ask Jesus into your life and your heart because one day, in this life or the next, you will bow to Him. It needs to be in this life because after this life, you will bow to His judgement if you didn’t ask Him into your life while you yet live.

Is your life easier today?

Some days are easier than others, whether you are speaking of mental issues or just everyday living. Do you have more problems now than you did a few years ago? Some of us do, especially as we get older. Joints which didn’t hurt a decade ago, now hurt every day and sometimes keep us up at night.

Then there are financial problems and relationship issues that we all have to deal with. How do you handle all of these on a daily or weekly basis? Some of us deal with it by counselling, some by leaning on family members, some rely on their spiritual life. We all have our own ways of handling our problems no matter how big or small they may be. I still have days where I want to run screaming down the road, but that won’t solve anything. It will just create another problem…like getting myself back to the house and explaining why I did what I did (thankfully I haven’t done it, but that doesn’t  mean I haven’t thought about it).

There are days when we all have “hair-pulling days” but somehow we get through them. Most of us tend to count to ten or twenty, some of us pray and then count to twenty, but we all have a way of dealing with those days. Jesus said that we would have trouble in our lives, but He would send the comforter…the Holy Spirit to help us and strengthen us so that we can make it through those times. God loves us and He doesn’t leave us alone in those trying times, regardless of what is testing us. Whether it is a disease or a financial problem or whatever it might be, He is there to help.

Seek His comfort and counsel in your days of trouble, no matter how big or small it may be. He loves us and cares for us and He will be there with us through it all.

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.  Matthew 6:33

A life well lived

What can you say about someone’s life when it comes to an end. If they have lived a long life, you can say that they have truly had a great run of it in some respects. If they are not so lucky and they have come to the end by some strange accident or even something which is incurable at a young age, then you think, “Man, they died so young? What happened?” A very strange way to begin a post about living successful, I know, but sometimes it just has to be talked about.

Life is funny that way. You get to live a long time and have a life that is almost like having a “Midas touch” where everything or almost everything just works. Then, there are some of us, the normal people, who make mistakes almost on a daily basis and never seem to get much right at all. A life well lived is actually where all of the normal people spend their time actually. It is also something…a place which doesn’t get any “air time” because you are so normal. Nobody seems to care what happens to you or your family until something actually does happen and even then, if the crisis is over too soon, nobody cares.

Your family cares and maybe your church cares for a little while, but after a few months everyone moves on and nobody asks how your health is any more because simply, “NO ONE CARES!”

That is where I am right now. My depression is creeping back in and I am beginning to hate my life again because apathy has come home and taken root in our house and our extended family. The problem seems to be that this seems to have an effect on absolutely nobody except me. I am the only one who seems to notice and I feel like a wimp or a cry-baby, but that is what depression does to you.

It makes you feel as if you are worthless. Like you don’t matter and that nobody cares about you or your life! The problem with this is that it is a LIE! God does love us, each one of us, regardless of the huge size of the universe and our tiny, microscopic place in it! He knows where we are and why He put us where we are. Our place and our reason for being here are important to God, the Creator of it all! Isn’t that GREAT!

Yes, many people see this as a cop-out or a crutch to lean on, but that is not the way that I see it. Think about it like this: The Creator of EVERYTHING knows you and me and He knows exactly where we are, what we are doing and what we are capable of doing! We matter!! If you look at a model of the universe from the limits of our telescopes, you can barely see the galaxy that we live in, let alone the solar system and the star! So why do we matter to God?

Because He said that we do and because this planet is the one place where He has decided that His attention should be. Why? I don’t know, ask Him! Yes, there are trillions of other planets out there that He could’ve paid attention to, but He chose here and He chose to create mankind on this one. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be another race created in the future on another world, but right now the one that we know about is ours. God loves us and all of creation on this world. He takes note of the birds of the air and every other life on this rock in space. Why? Because He is God and He can do whatever He wishes to do.

I apologize for the down nature at the beginning, but that is how today has been for me. Sometimes it takes a little writing to pick myself up and start over from the place that I am supposed to be living, not the one that Satan is trying to get me to live in.

Thanks for listening and I hope that it might help you too.

Depression, a thief which steals your joy!

I have been staying in God’s Word lately, every day, because the spirit of depression is trying to come back into my life, into my head, and I don’t want it there! God’s Word is truly like a two-edged sword because it cuts out what Satan tries to put into your life, if you will let it. God loves us and He doesn’t want us to live a life defeated and down, depressed because of whatever Satan wants to saddle you with at the time. I am not saying that you will live a life of wealth and health and prosperity like some “preachers”, but God doesn’t want to leave you in the ditch either.

Jesus came so that we could live an abundant life in Him and through Him and it is up to us to hear His call on our lives, and decide to follow Him…to ask Him into our lives. Don’t walk away when you know that it is Jesus calling to you! You may not wake up tomorrow and tonight may be your only chance to come to know Him. It doesn’t matter whether you are young or old, Jesus takes you as you are and transforms your life and you into the person that He knows you can be!

Don’t let Satan have a laugh at your expense, cling to Jesus and ask Him to give you the strength to fight back the “bad days” of depression. He will do it and you will be better because of Him.

Live victorious!

Your life and mine are tangled up in life and all that it brings with it. The bills, the worries and frustration of daily life, running from here to there and barely being able to cope with it all. Life is tough, but it is also beautiful and full of hope.

Victory can be yours over many of life’s problems, you just need the right team to work with. Some can find it in a team which you have worked with for a long time like police departments or at a fire station. But, many of us don’t have that camaraderie in our everyday lives. We long for the fellowship and close-knit ties of friendship that comes from shared experiences and trials, but most of the time it is out of our reach. Because we are all different. Everyone doesn’t want to be in a department, even though we like the idea of having close ties with others like they seem to have.

That is what fellowship is for. Nobody can be alone for their entire life, it isn’t natural nor is it healthy. We all crave a little “alone time”, but for an extended period it is not a good idea. This is why our inner self or your soul craves the Presence of Jesus. Whether you believe in Him or not is not the point. There is always a spot inside you that you have felt that something isn’t right, like something is missing and until you find out what goes there and fix it then it will always be an empty feeling.

That is where seeking Him out comes into play. If you feel that emptiness and long to fill it, seek Jesus out. Even if you aren’t part of a church or a family that believes in Him, seek Him anyway because when you are looking for Him, He will find you. He is always close by, waiting for someone to ask Him to come into their lives. The problem in our world is that there is another who is also waiting, ready to provide a counterfeit of Jesus in your life too.

Seek out the company of a believer or a church, get into the worship service and read the Bible. Pray for God to show you what you need and He will do just that. This is the way to a complete life, one that is fulfilled and on the way toward a future in eternity and one with a True purpose. Give your heart and life to Jesus and He will give you a passion for Him and a purpose to show others what you have found and Who you found.

Holiday depression can be bad

How bad are you feeling today? Are you in a place where you feel like you are under the bus? We all have days, sometimes weeks where we may not feel good about the situation that we are in, whether it is one that we put ourselves in or our health may have put us in this spot. Did you do it to yourself or did God allow it to happen? For some of us, it is something which we actually are responsible for the situation, good or bad but usually bad, that we find ourselves in. Then, depending on how bad it may be we get into a pity party over it and carry it into other people’s lives so we won’t be alone. Is your situation caused by dependency on drugs or alcohol? Then, you got yourself into it and nobody can get you out until you make that decision to do so. God can give you the strength and the courage to get out, but it is still your decision to take the first step away from where you are.

For many people, that first step is the hardest one to take, especially if you are addicted to drugs or alcohol. Why is that? Because, our body reacts with the chemicals which we put into it and depending upon how they make us feel, we get strongly addicted to them. The stronger the so-called “good feeling” is, then the stronger the addiction is which makes it harder for you to break the addiction and get away from it. Why am I bringing this up during the holidays? Because, during the holidays is the time when many people get depressed over money or relationships or ??? Who knows what can cause these feelings, but it seems to happen during Christmas more often than it should.

We see people who seem to be happy in their lives, smiling and laughing and getting stuff to give to each other and if we aren’t able to do the same thing, then it makes us miserable. How do you know that they really are happy? That may just be a “fake happy face” that they use during this time of year! We don’t let people see the real us most of the time, that is reserved for close family or sometimes nobody knows the “real me”, you know how that feels? I do.

I have lived it and been that way for years and didn’t realize how much damage that I caused in my own life and in my own relationships until recently. I went into a real depressive state earlier this year and it took reading and praying my way through the Psalms to get me out of it. Depression can make you feel like you are not just under the bus, but that the bus is parked on top of you and you feel like there is nothing or nobody who cares enough about you to help get you out! Although, sometimes we want to stay in that condition. We don’t really care to get out or maybe we don’t want to get out from under this cloud and feel better.

Well, I am here today to tell you that you can do it! It is possible to come out from under the cloud and the bust and the addiction because there is Someone Who loves you dearly, even if you don’t feel lovable and may not even love yourself! God loves you and has loved you for thousands of years. Jesus came and died on the cross for you, so that you can come to know Him and the Father because of His sacrifice which covered not only your sins, but everyone else’s sins in the world as well! He came down to Earth in human form but with God as His Father and He had no “sinful nature” inside of Him like we do, and yet He still died for our sins, our weaknesses, our problems even though He didn’t have to…He did it because He loves us. Not because we are lovable, but because if He hadn’t, we would be doomed to eternity without knowing Him or God. We wouldn’t have been able to make ourselves right with God because it just isn’t part of our nature.

Jesus came into the manger as a babe in swaddling clothes, clothed in flesh so that He could know our troubles, our weaknesses, our fears, our heartaches and give us comfort through all of them because He has been there. He knows about your trouble and your triumph, your fear and your joy. He knows your pain and the pleasure of love without the sinful nature that we have to deal with. He and the Father love each one of us regardless of our trials and faults. All that we have to do is believe that He conquered our troublemaker and our sickness and then ask Him to come into our lives and give us the strength to make it out from our place of pain…out from under the bus. Then, pray and seek His strength to do it again tomorrow and the next day and the next day. Being free from the pain of addiction is possible, but it takes us and Jesus to move, to take that first step, and then another and another until we are clear of it and we can see the Light and His love for us.

Do you want to live?

This is a question that is hardly asked of us in our daily lives. It is one you hear occasionally in movies, which makes it mildly entertaining. What does “life” mean to you? What does “living” mean to you?

Life and living should have the same meaning in our lives every day. But, exactly what kind of life should we all have? The kind that super-star athletes live? The kind that celebrities have with money and fame and all that goes with them? Absolutely not!!

I don’t want a life with all of the problems that fame and that kind of “fortune” brings into your home and your life. Yes, I would like to have a little more money than I have today, but if I were to win a lottery or something like that…I would give most of it away. I would pay bills, build a house with no payments and take care of my aging father in law, but beyond that I would not spend and buy my way into being broke again. I would just give most of the money to worthy causes and to my church.

Living is a process that we all go through. How we live is a reflection of our character. It is that which defines us and makes us who we are. Things and money and houses and cars don’t add anything to your life except stress and more stress. Some of it may bring you a bit of prestige in someone’s viewpoint, but once the money is gone…what then?

Living involves much more than many of us admit to knowing, let alone doing. Living with an eternal goal in mind is real living! This life here will be over far sooner than many people realize and at that point, there won’t be any way of getting back any of what you have lost. The things that you have said or done can’t be undone or unsaid. Just as these words on the Internet are here to stay unless someone creates a worm or program of some kind which wipes out certain undesirable content, the words and actions in your life can’t be fixed just because you want to.

So, how can we live with eternity in mind? By looking forward to a reward which will come when this fleshly shell dies away to reveal the eternal, immortal soul within that will carry on. What reward will your soul receive? Will it be one which welcomes you with love into a life prepared for you in God’s presence? Or, will you refuse the gift which He prepared and offered to you during your life only to be pushed away until next time, until your heart has grown so hard and cold that He isn’t heard from again in your lifetime? Your good deeds, if any, will not help. Neither will sitting in church, refusing to go and ask forgiveness but believing that you are doing your part and God would surely let you in.

If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Savior and asked His forgiveness for those sins which kept you away from church and from Him, then nothing has changed. You are still a sinner and one who is unrepentant in their sins, thinking themselves to be holy and good but only to the point that the teachers of Jesus’ time were. Clinging to their “law of Moses” and their favored status as God’s chosen people, and yet denying that their Messiah had come to offer them forgiveness and salvation. Dead “life” is what they had, the same as what exists in the church today. Many sit in the pews today all across the world, thinking that they are right with God and that nothing is wrong. Satan has them all fooled into thinking that they are good enough without Jesus and they will end up in hell just as he does one day and wonder what went wrong.

Living with and through Jesus is the only real living, anything other than that is just a false life, one that is temporary and destined to go to the pit of hell.