The Battle Of Addiction

Consider these statistics: About 2.7 million American women abuse alcohol or drugs. Twenty-eight percent of adults admitting to Internet sexual addiction are women. And, according to the National Council on Problem Gambling, almost half of those seeking help for a gambling addiction are female.

It is no secret that addiction of many varieties runs rampant in our society. And while there are just as many varied reasons as to why someone may stay in the grips of addiction, I believe crossing the line into the recovery process begins with one simple question which must be answered by anyone who is seeking freedom: do you want to get well?

A picture of this reality is illustrated in the biblical account of a paralyzed man, whose story is found in the New Testament book of John, chapter 5. The reader witnesses Jesus conversing with this man who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. He had apparently been lying all those years by a pool which was said to have healing properties. Yet, this man had never experienced the freedom that this pool of water afforded him.

While paralysis and addiction are two completely separate issues, I believe there is a very powerful principle embedded in the short dialogue that took place between Jesus and the man. In a simple and straightforward manner, Jesus looked at the man and asked: “Do you want to get well?” The man’s reply is full of excuses: “Sir, I have no one to help me, and when I go down, someone gets in my way.” As I read this, I can’t help but wonder: Could it be that the man had adopted the identity of being paralyzed? Or perhaps even the identity of being a victim? In order to be healed, the man had to want to change before anything could change. And so it is with the addict.

With the disease of addiction–whether it is to food, alcohol, money, sex, relationship–there is a tendency for the addict to be split, or double-minded. On one hand, she desires to be free, yet on the other she desires to remain in addiction. Because although destructive, the addictive behavior has been her only way to cope, to survive, to get her deep soul needs met. Yes, the addict will often say that she wants to get well, if only God will take away the addiction quickly and easily. However, in reality, she doesn’t quite want to fully surrender her secret struggles and trust that life on the other side is indeed better.

Recovery from addiction, while not easy, is also not complicated.

Personal experience taught me that recovery–in my case, from alcoholism and bulimia–is a hard-work miracle experienced one day at a time. Yet the journey begins with only one word. Do you want to get well? YES!

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Live the life you want

There is no sense in worrying about the events that goes around you in the every day life of being a human being.   The way I see it is if you worship your heavenly father Jehovah God and let your burdens on him then everything else will come in due time.   An example that I like to use is one that was given to me by a brother giving a talk to my congregation for, he stated that Jehovah God feeds the birds so, why wouldn’t find a way to feed his people who are loyal to him?   Well it took me a lot of time to think about that and I went home to discover hey that’s true if I remain in  God’s love and come to know his ways then I can have a better path set out for me.

When it came to dealing with difficult people I look at different accounts in the bibles such as when Moses cautioned people that their murmuring was not merely against him and Aaron but also against Jehovah God.

Looking in the account of Exodus 15: 22-24 –  Later Moses caused Israel to depart from the Red Sea and they went out to the wilderness of Shur and marched on for three days in the wilderness, but they did not find water.  In time they came to Ma′rah,but they were not able to drink the water from Ma′rah because it was bitter. That is why he called its name Ma′rah.   And the people began to murmur against Moses,saying: “What are we to drink?”

Another account that I read in Exodus was Exodus 16: 2-12 where it goes on to state ” And the entire assembly of the sons of Israel began to murmur against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. And the sons of Israel kept saying to them: “If only we had died by Jehovah’s hand in the land of Egypt while we were sitting by the pots of meat, while we were eating bread to satisfaction, because YOU have brought us out into this wilderness to put this whole congregation to death by famine.” Then Jehovah said to Moses: “Here I am raining down bread for YOU from the heavens; and the people must go out and pick up each his amount day for day,in order that I may put them to the test as to whether they will walk in my law or not.  And it must occur on the sixth day that they must prepare what they will bring in, and it must prove double what they keep picking up day by day.” So Moses and Aaron said to all the sons of Israel: “At evening YOU will certainly know that it is Jehovah who has brought YOU out from the land of Egypt.  And in the morning YOU will indeed see Jehovah’s glory, because he has heard YOUR murmurings against Jehovah. And what are we that YOU should murmur against us?”  And Moses continued: “It will be when Jehovah gives YOU in the evening meat to eat and in the morning bread to satisfaction, because Jehovah has heard YOUR murmurings that YOU are murmuring against him. And what are we? YOUR murmurings are not against us, but against Jehovah.” And Moses went on to say to Aaron: “Say to the entire assembly of the sons of Israel, ‘Come near before Jehovah, because he has heard YOUR murmurings.’” Then it occurred that as soon as Aaron had spoken to the entire assembly of the sons of Israel, they turned and faced toward the wilderness, and, look! Jehovah’s glory appeared in the cloud.   And Jehovah spoke further to Moses, saying: 12 “I have heard the murmurings of the sons of Israel.   Speak to them, saying, ‘Between the two evenings YOU will eat meat and in the morning YOU will be satisfied with bread; and YOU will certainly know that I am Jehovah YOUR God.’”

I can understand the dealings of what Moses had to go through for dealing with a lot of seemingly ungrateful individuals whom were delivered out of the land of Egypt to dwell in the wilderness was stressful.   Like in the day of Moses and the land of Egypt we also have a lot of difficult people that we must deal with similar to the situation placed upon Moses and Aaron.

As long as we are all living you are going to deal with all types of people with a wide range of personalities but, there are some that are going to get under your skin for who knows that reason maybe; however, there are ways of overcoming such things in our lives.   if you do not walk the same path that they follow then they will speak negatively of you, this means that you should not alter they way you are in order to please them because there are consequences of being a people pleasure.

If you try to please everyone then you don’t make you what is you.  Remember those videos that call for standing above the influence and going against peer pressures?  If not you may want to take the time to look over those videos and better access them to see how you can stand above the influence.

Staying about the influence and dealing with difficult people is the two things that causes stress in many individuals but, as long as we worship god we all can over come those challenges that we face each step of the way.

 

On Virtue by Phillis Wheatley

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O Thou bright jewel in my aim I strive
To comprehend thee. Thine own words declare
Wisdom is higher than a fool can reach.
I cease to wonder, and no more attempt
Thine height t’ explore, or fathom thy profound.
But, O my soul, sink not into despair,
Virtue is near thee, and with gentle hand
Would now embrace thee, hovers o’er thine head.
Fain would the heav’n-born soul with her converse,
Then seek, then court her for her promis’d bliss.
Auspicious queen, thine heav’nly pinions spread,
And lead celestial Chastity along;
Lo! now her sacred retinue descends,
Array’d in glory from the orbs above.
Attend me, Virtue, thro’ my youthful years!
O leave me not to the false joys of time!
But guide my steps to endless life and bliss.
Greatness, or Goodness, say what I shall call thee,
To give me an higher appellation still,
Teach me a better strain, a nobler lay,
O thou, enthron’d with Cherubs in the realms of day.

What to the ethics of dating?

After reading articles on dating and what people views are in the world of love and happiness how can people take marriage seriously?  The questions that younger generations are asking go beyond the boundary lines of personal questions that go to far.

The recent article I have read is that men and women are asking a person’s credit score, what difference does a person’s credit score make?  In addition why does it matter if a girl is a virgin or not? Why do so many want to have one date then have sexual intercourse?

What happened to abstaining from sexual intercourse to date a person to know them as an individual and they in turn can learn you as an individual?  What can sexual intercourse do to make you learn a person well enough to marry them?  Don’t people stop to think that if you have sexual intercourse that your relationship will not last that long because then the other person loses trust in them the morning after they had sex?  I find having sexual intercourse before marriage means that you cannot be mature enough to marry nor loyal to having one spouse so, you are more than likely to have more than one sex partner.   In addition there is a hefty price of promiscuity, promiscuity from its root word promiscuous is clearly a bad thing. It means immoral, loose, licentious and wanton. This is not all, it is also necessary to factor the cost of promiscuity such as:
• Sorrow,
• Pain,
• Anguish,
• Disease,
• Unwanted pregnancy and
• The sense of guilt
• Damage to sense of self-worth
• Disruption of one’s progress in life, to mention but a few.

We need to factor these costs also. All considered, abstinence is the way of the wise and premarital and extra-marital sex is the way of the foolish. It is like water and beer. Water is the drink of the wise while beer is the drink of the foolish, even as it is popular. Sexual promiscuity may be popular or common place, but it is still foolish indulgence and can never be elevated beyond that regardless of the wording and grammar used to postulate it.

If we all elect to abstain from premarital sex, there would be enough quality marriages to ensure that nobody have to stay many years in need of unfulfilled sexual urges. It is because of easy sexual intercourse from people of easy virtue, prostitutes and loose morals that is hindering marriages.

Sexual intercourse between a man and a woman is ordained of God in legal and lawful marriage relationship.

Part of our responsibility on this earth is to learn to master our appetites and control our urges to enable us be turned into the godhood that is possible for all of us. Sexual and other sensations are serving purposes of testing our ability to grow. The fact that people get tired of having sex with their sex-partners is a pointer that it is not meant to be frittered away as part of fun getting. Sexual intercourse has a big place in the scheme of creation. Used within that bound, it is a beautiful experience even when you are not able to get the wow or blow-job of it. No sexual intercourse can compare to sexual intercourse in purity – within bounds of legal and lawful marriage or what Church people would call holy wedlock.

Regardless of what is said here, each individual know the price they pay. People should count their costs on this subject also so that adults do not stand by and watch a goat give birth with rope around its neck.

Many people have been able to survive the setback caused by premarital sex in their lives and still made good and sometimes great strides and thrived. One thousand times that number is not able to survive it. That choice to get involved in premarital sex changed the course of their lives for bad and they could not escape the price tag.

We have the power to choose what we would. But we do not have power to choose the consequences of our actions. This is called agency or freedom to choose. Our world is created by choice. We are in it by choice and each individual’s choices would shape their character and ultimately their destiny.

However, there is so many loose people in the world that finding one that does not have sex before marriage is very rare.   I do not see why people cannot suppress their sexual desires in order to make a strong foundation to a relationship that can lead to years of happiness.
First of all what is the sole purpose of dating?
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Among all people whom are placed upon this earth, dating has an honorable purpose—to help a young man and woman determine if they want to get married to each other. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you need to make wedding plans the moment you start dating. In fact, many people do not end up marrying the first person they date. At the same time, a person shouldn’t date if he or she isn’t ready to shoulder the responsibilities of marriage.  So if you have the intention of being married then you need to abstain from sexual intercourse during the time period of dating but, if you are having sex with the person then why get married?

If the one you are dating is pressuring you to have sex or sexual intercourse then you are better off without them in your life.   Says James 3:17: “The wisdom from above is first of all chaste.”  So if they do not respect you enough to not have sex then move on to someone else.
In addition one needs to ask themselves is this person right for me?  What are the qualities that you are looking for in a potential mate?  Does the person need to be spiritual-minded, Friendly, Trustworthy, Morally Upright and Goal oriented?  There is nothing wrong with the traits that are mention but, when you are more mature the traits should determine if the person is right for you.
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Know Yourself First

Before you can consider who might be right for you, you need to know yourself well. To learn more about yourself, answer the following questions:

What are my strengths? ․․․․․

What are my weaknesses or vulnerabilities? ․․․․․

What emotional and spiritual needs do I have? ․․․․․

Getting to know yourself is no small task, but questions like those above can get you started. The more you understand yourself, the better equipped you will be to find someone who will amplify your strengths rather than your weaknesses. What if you think you’ve found that person?

Will Just Anyone Do?

“Can I get to know you better?” That question will make you either cringe or leap for joy—depending on who’s asking. Suppose you answer yes. Over the course of time, how can you tell if your boyfriend or girlfriend is right for you?

Suppose you want to buy a new pair of shoes. You go to the store and find a pair that catches your eye. You try on the shoes, only to find that—much to your disappointment—they’re too tight. What would you do? Buy the shoes anyway? Or look for a different pair? Clearly, the better choice is to put the shoes back and look for others. It would make little sense to walk around in a pair of shoes that just didn’t fit!

It’s similar with choosing a marriage partner. Over time, more than a few members of the opposite sex may catch your eye. But not just anyone will do. After all, you want someone you’ll be comfortable with—someone who truly fits your personality and your goals.

Looking Beyond the Surface

To answer that last question, look at your friend objectively. Be careful, though! You might be inclined to see only what you want to see. So take your time. Try to perceive your friend’s true nature. This will take effort on your part. But that’s only to be expected. To illustrate: Imagine that you want to purchase a car. How thoroughly would you research it? Would you be concerned only about the outer appearance? Wouldn’t it make sense to look deeper—perhaps learning as much as you could about the condition of the engine?

Finding a mate is a much weightier issue than choosing a car. Yet, many who date don’t look beyond the surface. Instead, they quickly point to the things they have in common: ‘We like the same music.’ ‘We enjoy the same activities.’ ‘We agree on everything!’ As mentioned earlier, though, if you’re truly past the bloom of youth, you look beyond superficial traits. You see the need to discern “the secret person of the heart.”

For example, rather than focus on how much you agree on things, it might be more revealing to note what happens when you disagree. In other words, how does this person handle conflict—by insisting on his or her way, perhaps giving in to “fits of anger” or “abusive speech”? Or does this person show reasonableness—a willingness to yield for the sake of peace when no issue of right or wrong is at stake?

Another factor to consider: Is the person manipulative, possessive, or jealous? Does he or she demand to know your every move? “I hear of dating couples who fight because one person can’t stand that the other hasn’t constantly ‘checked in,’” says Nicole. “I think that’s a bad sign.”—1 Corinthians 13:4.

Issues such as those raised above focus on personality and conduct. However, it’s just as important to learn something of your friend’s reputation. How is that one viewed by others? You may want to talk to those who have known this person for some time, such as mature ones in the congregation. That way you will know if he or she is “well reported on.”—Acts 16:1, 2.

to be continued……