For “Scripture Sunday”;
Substance Use Is Not the Answer
Looking for a way of escape through alcohol, drugs or other substances is no escape at all.
“The reason that some people are seeking a temporary high is that they are void of God. They are going to the wrong source who they hope can fix whatever they are going through.
Recently a photo was published of a man and woman passed out in the front seat of their car. Their backseat passenger was very alert, awake and alone: He was the 4-year-old grandson of the unconscious woman.
The safety director in Cleveland, Ohio, who released the photo said he and others wanted to send a strong message to addicts. They should find safe places for their children when using debilitating drugs. I can add to that: The adults need to get help!
Seek God. Don’t go for a temporary fix that will only get worse and wreak havoc on your family, your children, others and yourself.
More than 30 million Americans are currently struggling with substance abuse or alcoholism. Fatalities, traffic accidents and injuries related to substance abuse take thousands of lives each year, not to mention the accidental overdoses that occur more frequently among prescription drug addicts. In April this year, my son-in-law lost a distant cousin and her husband. They were hit head-on by a man who was drunk and going the wrong way on the interstate.
In the month of August Cincinnati, Ohio, police saw a staggering 200 overdoses. Eight people could not be saved. Besides those who die from overdoses, there are other victims—children, like this 4-year-old grandson—who reap, arguably, much worse consequences. Children who face being taken away from their parents, and if not taken away, abused, neglected or exposed to harmful drugs themselves. Three-month-old C.J. from Dayton, Ohio, was born addicted to heroin and spent his first month in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Miami Valley Hospital. The infant was on a morphine drip for that first month. What a terrible way to start life.
In most cases, children (and animals) who end up in foster care are from drug-addicted parents who can no longer care for them. Many grandparents and other relatives have to take on this additional responsibility.
Why does this happen? Because people are looking for an easy way out or a form of escape, not thinking about all the people around them who are affected, including their children.
Recovery Connection lists 10 reasons people abuse drugs. Four of them that affect young and old alike are:
1. Feelings of emptiness. People are looking to fill a void.
2. Experimentation. Sometimes people are just looking for an escape from boredom; so they experiment with drugs to get a temporary high.
3. They make you feel good. They can help you relax from the temporary pressure of life for a while.
4. Peer pressure. Everyone wants a sense of belonging, so they feel use of drugs or alcohol does this. You can read more here.
While working on this article, I talked with Don, one of our delivery men. Don walks with a limp. I never knew why until our conversation recently. He told me that in 1993 he was hit by a drunk driver. His neck was broken, and he lost part of his leg. He is in pain every single day. Don is a victim of someone seeking a temporary fix, a temporary high, with no thought of anyone but themselves.
Because of so many overdoses occurring, police, teachers and workers in the medical field are armed with Narcan, which revives a victim after an overdose.
This temporary fix is no fix at all! Don told me that he knew a guy who worked in an emergency room that treated overdoses. One night they revived an overdose victim, and no sooner had the doctor turned his back that the patient already started trying to shoot up again for his next high.
While people will need treatment to overcome this drug and alcohol addiction, the real fix is turning to God for help. He is the one who needs to fix the empty heart and heal their broken soul. If you have a problem with drugs, get help, but turn to God for complete emotional healing. His fix is not temporary!
The reason that some people are seeking a temporary high is that they are void of God. They are going to the wrong source who they hope can fix whatever they are going through. Seek God. Don’t go for a temporary fix that will only get worse and wreak havoc on your family, your children, others and yourself.
God made us to be incomplete without Him. Jesus said: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew11:28-30).
All the things you use to fill the void—drugs, material possessions, whatever else—will never make you complete. It is only as good as your next high. Fix your empty hearts with God! And seek medical help! Lay down those temporary fixes. Get the medical help you need, and do it with God. Do it for the sake of your family, your children, and for yourself!
Here is the number for American Addiction Centers. Get help today! They are experts in addiction treatment: (888) 970-8544 .”
The nations have sunk down in the pit which they made; in the net which they hid, their own foot is caught. The LORD is known by the judgment He executes; the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Meditation. Selah.
“Talk about poetic justice! David describes how God’s enemies set traps for God’s people, but the enemies end up trapping themselves. This reminder of God’s ultimate justice counteracts our natural discouragement and feelings of unfairness when it seems the enemies have the upper hand.
Thankfully, God is also a God of mercy, and the enemies of God—sinners, which all of us have been—can be forgiven and released from the traps of sin” (Romans 5:10; 6:6-7).
To learn more about God’s ability to forgive, read “What Is Forgiveness?”
Choose Your Own Adventure
Make choices every day that lead toward the ultimate goal: the Kingdom of God.
“God, who created us to live our choose-your-own adventure life story, makes it evident which decisions He is hoping we will make.
Books ignited my imagination when I was growing up. The turn of each page brought new worlds to dive into and fascinating people to meet. They spurred my love of adventure that catapulted me off the page and into explorations of my own.
One type of book I read often as a kid was the “choose your own adventure” story. At the end of each chapter, the reader was given a choice. For each choice you made at that juncture of the story, you turned to a particular chapter. It made me feel as if I was actively participating in the unfolding of the plot.
The decisions we make on a daily basis clearly have great impact. They set the course of our lives and have the ability to affect how our children, our families, our friends and our coworkers make decisions.
Often, and usually hilariously, I made a choice that would lead to something like, “Unfortunately, taking the land route to your destination led to a giant boulder rolling down the hill and crushing you to death.” (It seemed to parallel my playing the Oregon Trail computer game where my party of pioneer settlers always seemed to contract dysentery or have our raft bashed to pieces while floating down the Columbia River.)
No matter. Recovery was simply as easy as restarting the game or making a different choice at the end of each chapter.
Recently I was thinking how life is really one big choose your own adventure story. At key points in our lives we make choices that lead us down different paths, some good and some bad. But ultimately, there are only two paths that we can take: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). God is giving everyone an opportunity to live a life of making better choices, some now and some later (2 Peter 3:9; 1Peter 4:17; Revelation 20:4-6; Matthew 12:41-42).
We all have to make the daily choices that lead us closer to one final destination or the other. God, who created us to live our choose-your-own adventure life story, makes it evident which decisions He is hoping we will make. His words echo down to us as strongly as they did when He first spoke them to the ancient nation of Israel, whom He wanted to be a model nation for the rest of the world: “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy30:19).
The decisions we make on a daily basis clearly have great impact. They set the course of our lives and have the ability to affect how our children, our families, our friends and our coworkers make decisions. “ Rest of article at: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/blogs/choose-your-own-adventure
While it was cold we mostly worked inside the guest house, stapling up more of the batt insulation and then the foam board insulation over it on the walls. We don’t need to finish out the walls just yet, just trying to get it comfortable for working in there this winter.
The weather turned warmer so Roy, my helper, was able to slide under the guest house and tie in some more lines to the 4” drains. They are all done except for the sink drain in the kitchen. Then another day we capped off several places where we had stubbed out the water lines. They are the ones that don’t have to hooked up right away, like the sink in the greenhouse, the water for the little 3/4 bathroom which will be off the laundry room, and the laundry room itself, as I still can use the laundry in the big house. I have an extra little sitz tub/shower out of an RV that will fit in there. It will be handy to have that little tub just off the laundry room anyway.
My new foster cat arrived, a great big gray 16 pounder! His name is Napoleon, and he is a very laid back, slow moving, sweet cat. But his nails look like the talons on an eagle and he catches them in things when he walks, but he wouldn’t let us cut them. He had been locked up in a room since his “Mom” was taken to the hospital, so he is very reluctant to wander around the house. But he does sleep on a corner of my bed some of the time, and rubs against me, and loves on me, so I guess he likes me. But little Purrcy was taken back to the Cat Habitat at Petco, because they were a cat short in there, so he didn’t stay here very long. He was a live one! A really darling little guy, and I miss him, but not his antics!
Napoleon won’t eat any canned food, and a dry-only diet is SOOO bad for a cat. It eventually messes up their kidneys. (It isn’t that great for a dog, either.) I tried to buy him some refrigerated food, “FreshPet”, it comes in a 1 or 2 lb pouch of little soft tasty morsels, and my other foster cat loved it, but that refrigerated case was out of order at the store, so they didn’t have any. He drinks an unusual amount of water, so I hope his kidneys haven’t already been damaged.
The sweet little dog that was taken to the owner’s daughter’s place last week was picked up by her drunken owner, and two days later she dumped the dog back in my subdivision. The little dog got loose from there, and ran all the way to my house. She ran up to me just as happy as she could be, wagging her tail so hard that her whole body wagged. OK, enough is enough. I had to step in and do something about this poor little dog that had been abandoned three times that I knew about. She was taken to the vet for shots and a check-up, then she went to an SPCA trainer who will housebreak her, get her spayed and the sweet little dog will be adopted by responsible people.
I had kept some of the lamb meat from last Sabbath before making the lamb bone broth, and made it into ‘Dirty Rice with Lamb and Veggies’ for the church potluck. I also took ‘Roasted Squash and Onions’. Both crockpots were empty when I brought them home. There was a lot of good food and fellowship, as usual.
The Bible readings were Gen. 41:1-44:17, 1 Kings 3:15-4:1, and Acts 7:9-16. These are mostly about Joseph, the Pharaoh’s dream, and how Hewbrew Joseph became a high muckety-muck in the land of Egypt. The Teaching was about how the new year is just a marker of time, and how we can make resolutions at any time of the year to change our lives.
The weather was great, and it was a wonderful day.