Addiction is a Disease, Not A Weakness

Today’s Verse:  Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I read an interesting article over the weekend on addiction.  Basically the premise was that addiction is a disease, and not a weakness.  I have often said this, just as I have said that mental disorders such as ADD are a disease, and not just a behavior problem.

It is encouraging to see that people may finally start to see addiction in a new light. There is nothing more discouraging to an addict then to be told:  “just be strong”, “shake it off”,  “give it up cold turkey”.   This is easier said than done, and anyone that has ever been addicted to anything knows this all too well.

I have long been a proponent of doing it one day at a time.  Goals are very important, but if we set unrealistic goals, we will be discouraged and never get there.  When we are fighting addiction, we can’t look long term.  We need to do it just for today, and celebrate each day as a victory.

Addiction also has a way of wooing us back again.  We may quit smoking for several months or we may diet, or we may go to rehab. But sooner or later there she is – calling us back again.   That is when we need to be strong.  That is when we need to fight the disease with everything we have.  We need to ask for help.  Help from friends, family and most importantly, the Lord.

Along the way, we must pray.  Although God may not answer immediately, he does hear our cries.  He does help us.  You have to have unending faith in the Lord.  I met a young man recently who has been hooked on pills, alcohol and pot for a long time. He has lost his wife, his 6 year old son, and his job.  He is living in a homeless shelter and eating at soup kitchens. But he told me that three months ago God saved him. God helped him to get off the pills, booze and pot.  He goes to church every Sunday and Bible study every Wednesday.  He said that God has literally saved his life.   He has great hope for a great future.  It is not easy, but he calls on the Lord to help him every day, one day at a time.   God can help us too!   Put your faith in the Lord and pray without ceasing.  He will not abandon us. Blessings to all of your journey to good health!


Overworked and Under Appreciated

Today’s verse:   Ephesians 4: 29  Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Years ago, during an unfortunate first marriage that stretched out for too many years, I was routinely verbally abused. To me, the words cut deep and left a lasting scar.  For example, I was often treated to such delightful statements as my cooking was terrible, my butt was too flabby, my sewing skills were laughable, my choice in clothing was pathetic, and even my breath smelled like dog poop!  worked like a dog to try and please him, but always remained overworked and under-appreciated.

Thirty years later, after a divorce and re-marriage, I still worry obsessively about these things.   Every time someone offers me gum or mints, I cringe and wonder if they are offended by my breath, although my close family tells me that my breath is harmless. The worries about my cooking skills and my sewing skills paralyze me sometimes.  And as for that flabby butt, I’ll spend the rest of my life at the gym trying to firm it up!

Does he ever think about what he did to me? Do we ever think about the effect our words have on others?   Sometimes even a careless word is enough to send someone into a depression or worry.  It can shake someone’s self -confidence and make them feel less worthy.  It can be so hurtful, even when we don’t mean it to be.  Sometimes we lash out at our spouses, or our children, and we hurt them without even knowing it.  The hurt can be lasting, and lead to depression, bad habits, acting out, or worse. The loss of self esteem is so harmful to our health.  We need to be so careful about what we say and how we say it.

The reverse of using hateful words is true.  Words of kindness can build someone up, help their self-esteem, and give them confidence.  Sometimes someone just telling me they like my dress, or my haircut, or my shoes can make my day.  I feel better, stand taller, and feel more confident for the rest of the day.  Words work wonders to lift up spirits and make someone feel like a champ instead of a chump.  It is better to show appreciation for small acts of kindness, rather than having someone overworked and under appreciated.

The Bible has many verses about hurtful words, gossip and slander.  It advises us against all of this, and tells us to use our words to build someone up.  We all need to remember that Jesus wants us to love one another.  Loving means words of kindness and support, even when it is hard to do.  Being strong in our faith helps us to be kind. Being kind helps us to be better Christians, and lead others to the light.

<a href=””>Overworked</a&gt;

Invitation to Well-Being

Today’s verse:    Matthew 7:16-20  You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

Today I extend an invitation to all of you.   I invite everyone to jump on the well-being train.   This is not the same as wellness.  Wellness is concerned with your body and your health.   Well-being is for your mind, body and soul.   It is the complete package.  It is the route to happiness.   Unhealthy people can be happy, and healthy people can be unhappy.  But if you have well-being, you have health and happiness! People with a high sense of well-being have positive relationships, are generally happy, and have a great deal of control over their life.

So how do we get to this state of well being?   There are studies that suggest the following 5 things can help to acheive a sense of well-being.

  1.  Connect – relationships are extremely important.  The more positive relationships you have with family, friends and colleagues, the better off you will be.   Make sure to spend more time with your family – turn off the TV and the phones and have family time.  Volunteer or join community groups.  Build a social network.  This takes work but it is worth the time spent to develop these relationships.
  2. Learn  –  New skills add to a sense of achievement and boost your self-confidence.  Learning about something new helps toward your well-being.   Take some courses, learn a new skill, read about something new, learn a language, learn how to repair something in the home.   Anything to mentally challenge you is good.
  3. Exercise- being active fights depression and anxiety.  You don’t have to be an exercise freak – you can dance while doing housework, stand up while working, and park farther away in the parking lot.   Little 10 minute spurts of exercise add up to a day’s worth of well-being.
  4. Giving – It is always heartwarming to give.  Give anything, whether its your time, your money, or your words.  Being kind to someone has the ability to improve your well being.
  5. Mindfulness – be aware of the present.  Really taste your food,  really feel your clothing, really notice everything “in the minute”.   It all brings about a a positive change in the way you view life.

In addition to the invitation to well-being, I invite you to join me in spiritual exercise.   “Spend your time and energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness.  Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important for it promises a reward in both this life and the next.  This is true and everyone should accept it.”   (1 Timothy 4:  7-9)

Blessings to everyone who reads this and I hope you will join me in well-being!


Judge Not, Lest Ye be Judged

Today’s verse:    Ephesians 4:29  Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

It is difficult in today’s world to keep your chin up and stay positive.   Social media drags us down whenever someone’s opinion is different from ours.  We get angry reading posts that go against our opinion.  The election has divided this nation in ways we haven’t seen in our lifetime.  Even the mention of politics makes me excuse myself from the conversation.

Anger is not good for us or for our health.  It can add to depression and anxiety, lead to or increase addictions, and make us compensate by indulging in bad habits, such as over-eating.   We need to let the anger go.  We need to keep open minds.  How do we do that?   How do we stay healthy and positive in a negative world?

We should not judge someone based on their politics, religion, choice of lifestyle, or any other “opinion” they may have.  Try to be fair, listen to others, and most of all, keep an open mind.  This is what Jesus taught.  It is not our place to judge others – that is up to God.  I cannot say it any better than this verse from Romans 14: 1-13. Read it, absorb it, and live by it for a happier, healthier you!   Blessings to all!

1 Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. 2 One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3 The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand. One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. 10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister ? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written: “ ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’ ” 12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. 13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.




Reboot Your Life

Today’s verse:  Job 17:9 the righteous shall move onward and forward; those with pure hearts shall become stronger and stronger.

Sometimes life doesn’t go as we plan.  We fall into old, bad habits.  Our health deteriorates.  Our addictions overwhelm us.  Our kids don’t do what we want them to do.  Our parents get old and need care.  We sometimes feel like such failures.

But we then must call on our inner strength.  We all have it, but we don’t always exercise it.  Sometimes we like to wallow in our misery for a while, and hope that everyone feels sorry for us.  But this is so unhealthy, and leads to a worse state of being.  So we need to dig up the inner strength and move forward.  But how???

What do we do when our computers or TVs or other gadgets fail us?  The answer is always the same – reboot!   And amazingly, it always seems to fix whatever the problem was.

So let’s reboot our life!  We can turn off the negativity, turn off the bad habits, turn off the addictions and start fresh. Even if it is our health or the health of a loved one that is failing, there are ways to re-boot and feel better. Exercise is a lifesaver, literally. Healthy eating habits are another. Affirmations that we are great, said every morning out loud, do wonders for our mental health. Taking one hour a day just for ourselves is also important.  Don’t dwell on the negative, but rather focus on the positive.  Pray without ceasing.  God always listens to our prayers, and our prayers should not only be for help, but also to give thanks.  We should never forget the source of all of our blessings.  With these actions, we are re-booted and working fine! It may take some effort on our part, but the end is worth the trip!   Blessings to all on your journey to a better life!



Fighting Temptation

Todays’s Verse:   Matthew 6: 13  Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil   

There is much written these days about resolutions and commitments.   And we are tempted to break them within a week, a month, two months tops.   But let’s take this opportunity to resolve to be a new you!

Temptation is all around us, every day.   We are tempted to break resolutions, revert to bad behavior, and give in to excesses.  We need to be strong and fight temptation.   Below are just ten of the many Bible verses that refer to temptation.  Read them, study them and resolve to follow them this year.   Your life is better when you resist temptation and sin.   Blessings to all of you and strength and comfort in your fight!

1 Corinthians 10:13  No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

James 1: 12-16  Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.

Hebrews 2:18  For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Ephesians 6:11  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.

Matthew 4:1-11  Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple …

Mark 4:38  Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Ephesians 4: 27  And give no opportunity to the devil.

James 1: 2-4  Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Luke 22:40  And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

<a href=””>Tempted</a&gt;

No Mope, Just Hope!

It’s the last weekend of the year.   We are getting ready to start a brand new, exciting year.   No moping about what you didn’t accomplish in 2016- let’s celebrate what we will do in 2017.

This is a chance to wipe the slate clean and make a brand new start.  It sounds like a cliche, but it has a ring of truth to it.   So we didn’t lose the weight we wanted to this year, so what?   It is discouraging, but let’s start over again with renewed effort.  We can make resolutions, but those always fall through.  Instead of resolutions, let’s make commitments and goals.  Write them down and chart our progress.  It’s easy to follow through when you  have committed something to writing.

So no mopey faces this weekend. mope No defeatist attitudes.  No saying ” I can’t do it!” No mope, just hope!   And what is the greatest way to hope?  Believe in Jesus Christ.  Make a commitment to have Him in your life more this year.  Whatever you do, do more for Christ.  If you don’t do anything, make a commitment to start – just start by praying or attending church or talking to someone about religion.   If you already are committed to Christ, do more.  Take the extra step – invite someone to join you on your journey.  Help the needy.  Give more time or finances.  Do something to step it up.  Jesus doesn’t want us to mope – He wants us to be happy and celebrate life.  So whatever ails you, whatever failed you, leave it behind this weekend and start a new year with the full light of Christ shining on and through you.   Blessings to all for a safe and happy New Year!

<a href=””>Mope</a&gt;