Addicted Marriages

Addicted Marriages

I have seen people in relationships stay together because they have both become addicted to prescription medications (or illegal drugs, or alcohol, or the money they make together, or having an appearance of success, or having perfect kids, etc…) even though they are miserable. The drugs, alcohol, pressures of earning $, trying to keep up with making your kids turn out perfectly, or pressures of maintaining a false front cause them to become so weary that they cannot keep up with the demands required of them to continue giving more of themselves to the addiction AND the relationship.
The relationships die first. Their marriage and their children suffer the most. Then extended family, friends and their jobs suffer. They also are suffering physically, mentally and spiritually from the effects of the drugs, rat-race, etc… Then they become more and more unhealthy in their physical bodies. Finances crumble and escape them. Sometimes legal issues interrupt them, sometimes it is their health that gives them a scare…
And if they wake up then they are much more likely to turn it all around. But if not, then they end up killing relationships and themselves, slowly but surely…
The addiction never dies… And SIN is what this is called. We are all guilty of it in some form or fashion. But praise be to the Lord God who gave us the answer because truly, if we come to know Jesus, then we can be made new and change this destructive cycle of living!
SIN is just a name for destructive behavior. We like to get upset if what we are doing is called sin… But God had to give a name to what He knew was behavior that would not benefit us and He calls it SIN – which means “missing the mark” or “falling short of His glory” – God’s will for us is for us to prosper and be blessed to be a blessing to others. We are not going to prosper if we continue to choose to fall short of His glory by choosing to do things that He told us and we know will kill us, steal our joy and destroy our family.
Can we be saved and keep choosing to live these lives of lies? I cannot say if you are saved or not… But let us ask this question of ourselves and ask the Lord to give us the answer: Do I trust Jesus? If we say “Yes, but…..” Then we need to work out that but… There is no sin that He won’t forgive. There is no human that He will not forgive and come into their heart to live inside of them and to help them to love and be loved.

Jesus says: “Come to Me all of you who are weary and who are heavily burdened and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

Are you weary today? Do you want true rest? Jesus will give you rest because He carried ALL of our sin to the cross and nailed it there (Colossians 2:14). He has already paid the price for your soul. He already knew you when He died on the cross. You were chosen before the foundations of the earth were laid. He wants to come into your heart and give you rest.
Many couples stay together for the wrong reasons… if you claim to love and trust Jesus and you are married then surely you can stay together and work on your relationship for the right reasons. If you truly know Jesus, then you just need to press in to Him and listen to the Holy Spirit for guidance.

If you are one of these couples that has just run out of all hope because you are both addicted to something, especially alcohol or drugs, PLEASE ADMIT THAT YOU NEED SOME ASSISTANCE AND GET SOME HELP FROM A FAITH BASED DRUG & ALCOHOL ADDICTION PROGRAM, CELEBRATE RECOVERY GROUP, AA, NA, A DOCTOR, TELL SOMEONE THAT YOU TRUST, FIND HELP FROM SOME FACILITY OR PERSON THAT YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE GOING TO FOR HELP….. You cannot do it all on your own and Jesus never intended for any person to go it alone, even though He is with you. Jesus gave us one another to lean on and bear each other up. So do not think that you have to do this alone!! That is part of what is keeping this phenomenon going!! Shame and guilt! But if you want out of this destructive cycle then all you have to do is admit it and seek help. Only Jesus will get you set completely free of all of the chains that bind. And He came to save, not condemn (John 3:17).

AND IF YOU KNOW A COUPLE LIKE THIS AND IT IS NOT YOU: SHAME on YOU if all you do is discuss them with others and criticize their weaknesses!! Jesus weeps for us when we are lost like this. Do not make them feel like they have no where to go for help. A LOT of people in this situation stay there because they just do not know how to get out of it. The Bible tells us that the lost are stumbling around in the darkness because they are blinded. Who is going to share light with them? Are you? Or are you going to sit back and watch them and criticize them for their blindness or laugh at them for not being able to see like you? Pray for them. Pray for the sorrow that comes from God granting them mercy that leads to repentance. Pray for grace to abound in their life so that they come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Just as we have been forgiven may they be forgiven as well. (Again, I am not saying that everyone in this situation is “lost” and doesn’t know Jesus at all… some are learning and just need help growing up in Jesus and maturing as believers. Are we really discipling others?)
**disclaimer** This post is NOT about any one couple or anyone in particular. I do know a lot of people that this could apply to where they have either been there, are there, or are headed there…. or were there, were coming out of it and now are struggling with it again… Take your pick but don’t even bother with trying to figure out “who is she talking about?” If the shoe fits, then wear it if you need to until you can get past this. And yes, we have been there so I am speaking from personal experience as well.**

Another Disturbing Dream! And a Warning Against Sexual Sin!

Another Disturbing Dream! And a Warning Against Sexual Sin!

I had another disturbing dream that I awakened from just a little bit earlier. I awoke around 3 a.m. again, this morning, just like yesterday morning. This time I had a dream that was more like a movie, except that I was in the movie and felt all of the emotion of every scene. It was almost as if I felt the emotions of everyone in each scene as it came their time for their part to be played.

Well, the dream was so disturbing because the dream had to do with sexual sin.

For some reason, in the dream, my husband and I were at a gathering of family and friends and someone handed us a flyer and invited us to a “real” party. On the paper there was a picture of a man and some women. It showed very explicit pictures of the women and as we were looking at this paper it appeared that the man’s looks changed from an obvious pimp-type person into a man obviously influenced by demons.

The paper did say explicit terms about having a “good time” and sex any way that you wanted to have sex and made sure to say that they had men and women who were ready for any and everything possible that you could want. While my husband and I were looking at this paper, in the dream, we were saying: “What on earth is this world coming to when you can just hand out flyers to people and try to sell them sex?” And at the same time, in this dream, we were feeling strongly tempted, both of us, to see what we might be interested in – since it was so accepted to do so and everything – in the dream.

As those feelings came along, that is when the man on the flyer really looked devilish and the words on the paper actually said: “My name is _____(?)___ and I work for the devil. I am one of his main men when it comes to selling sexual sin. God is a liar. Keep reading this paper and prove it. Ignore Him, ignore God. Turn this paper over and see more pictures of what we offer and ignore God. Ignore Him again. He is a liar.”

In the dream, we were horrified at what we had been feeling tempted about and we wadded up the paper and we began vowing to find a way to put this to an end and to stop people from being tempted by this man that was on the flyer. But then the dream jumped to where we were with a woman, who seemed like a lonely housewife whose husband had left her for another woman. She seemed like she needed someone to talk to and we were with her in someone’s basement and talking to her. Then, all of us in the room began to feel a strong sexual temptation, a stirring of lust. We could feel each other almost flirting with the idea like being drawn into a spell the temptation was so heavy in the room. But we came to our senses just in time, like we all were snapping out of a dream – in this dream.

So, I awakened with strong feelings of warning against sexual sin and warning of my husband and myself to keep our marriage bed pure and to not even think evil or lustful thoughts in any way shape or form. Which is what we have vowed to the Lord and to one another, but we have had issue with this in the past, when we were addicted to alcohol and drugs. And we have been set free from those things now, but God’s Word says to be alert! God’s Word says to stand in His strength and might and to be alert and to watch and to pray! I am sure that when God reveals something to me, He would like for me to share this with others.

Also, another reason that I may have had such a strong dream with warning about sexual sin is that I know of several in my life right now that are dealing with sexual sin – yet they do not see how it is hurting them or anyone else. I read Ezekiel 23 and 24 yesterday. Let me tell you! God hates sexual sin for many reasons and the main reason that God hates any sin is because of the pain and destruction and death that sin causes. One sin God hates is for innocent blood to be shed and there have been over 56 million abortions in this country since they were made legal by our Supreme Court.

Sexual sin is sin to God because He created man and he created woman. God knows how our bodies work. He knows that when two people have sex, that they are exchanging bodily fluids and coming together as ONE. It’s like becoming “blood brothers.” I remember seeing that on the Lone Ranger or old western movies as I was growing up. It seems like it was usually a cowboy that made friends with the Indians and they would make a pact to always be like brothers to one another. Then they would each cut their hand to make themselves bleed and then they would put the cuts to each other so that their blood mingled. Could you imagine that happening today???? Would you ever trust some stranger to come up and mingle your blood with theirs in an open wound???? NO! So why would anyone sleep around with complete strangers – and don’t say that a super thin little piece of plastic wrap is going to offer much protection even 99% of the time.

I have been there. My husband has been there. We have had unprotected sex, we have had unmarried sex, we have been with different people before we met and had a lifestyle of debauchery even while married at one point when our drinking and drug abuse was at its highest point. I understand why this lifestyle is pursued and accepted and why people do commit sexual sin. Because at the time, you are blinded to what it is that you are doing, by the lust in your body, in your flesh, and or, by the toxins and the demonic influence that you allow into your life.

Make no mistake. Sexual sin is sin and God hates it because you are ignoring His commands and His commands are there to protect you. One man joined with one woman because that is the safe and clean way and the way of love. Your brain was even designed to be this way. There are several articles which describe what pornography does to the brain – using porn is like using a drug – it is a short cut and a cheap way to gain the satisfaction that one should be getting from the relationship which God ordained for a person to get sexual satisfaction – marriage. All of man’s shortcuts are showing up to cause so much damage to one’s own self, not even to mention all of humanity. In Biblical days, idol worship involved drunken orgies. One product of these orgies were unwanted babies. Abortion was not like it is today where man has found a way to make it seem less like murder – in those days, the unwanted children were burned on altars to the gods that were made up of stone and wood, etc… The children were too many to be cared for that were born due to the sexual sin involved in the worship of the idols. I am not sure that the people even cared about the idols, surely they knew that these things were man-made and could do nothing for them. They just wanted to keep doing what their lust led them to do and their addictions. They were blinded by these things, the lust and the addictions. And so they gave birth and then sacrificed the children because they could not and did not want to bother with them. How is that any different than today? Other than now, we suck them out piece by piece from a mother’s womb – or we melt them with chemicals – and various other methods which are used to end the life of an unborn child. The remains of the unborn children are often burned in incinerators. Wow. No wonder God hates sexual sin. It leads directly to death, to innocent children and those who practice the sin, and tears apart relationships and lives.

Friends – abstain from sexual sin. Do not ignore God’s teaching regarding this matter. God is protecting you. And stand up and let other people know that God doesn’t like it because people are hurt by all sin and not just sexual sin. God has a reason for what He tells us. He is our loving Father, you know?

Here is a link to one article about how porn affects the brain and behavior of those addicted to it: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/26/brain-scans-porn-addicts-sexual-tastes

Here is a link to resources for fighting sexual sin and remaining sexually pure:

http://www.gospel.com/topics/sexual+purity

These are the links found on page one of the above information:

Just One Click – Robert J Baird, Ronald L VanderBeck
Did you know that one in five Americans (including Christians) uses the Internet for pornography or cybersex? That 37 percent of pastors struggle with pornography? That child pornography is one of the fastest-growing businesses online? And it’s all just one click away.
http://faithaliveresources.org/Products/155249/just-one-click.aspx

Sexual Purity
Here are some practical ways to maintain sexual purity.
http://reviveourhearts.com/topics/downloads/index.php?id=9580

Why We Do the Things We Do…
Literature Ministries began in 1996 to create tools–online and in print–to enable Christians to minister more effectively in areas that lack strategic evangelism or discipleship resources. We call this “kingdom strategy”–publishing and consulting with like-minded ministries at home and abroad to uniquely benefit the kingdom of God in today’s world.
http://litmin.org/index.php

THE S.A.F.E. Site
Welcome to The S.A.F.E. Site! Literature Ministries has always been proactive in the battle for purity. Believing that personal purity has never been harder for the Christian than it is today, we now supplement our own publications with carefully chosen resources. They are right here on The S.A.F.E. Site. Literature Ministies’ biblically-based approach to dealing with online temptations has always included both prescriptive and preventative steps, emphasizing reliance on the Holy Spirit.
http://litmin.org/safe.php

Spiritual Self-Defense and Overcoming Temptation
Sexual purity, discipleship handbooks that are easy to read and handy for constant referral. They offer clear biblical guidance to help men and boys resist sexual temptation, and give practical counsel to develop a lifestyle of purity.
http://litmin.org/store/products.php?catid=1&do=list

“Enticed by Evil”
Temptation is inevitable, but Dr. Jay Waggoner wants believers to know the biblical principles for defeating temptation. 13 practical chapters (138 pages) get to the point. Also includes outlines and questions for group study.
http://litmin.org/store/products.php?prodid=1038&do=list

“Escape the Trap!” 
Highly visual handbook gives young men and boys a biblical basis for resisting temptation and winning battles with sexual temptation. Excellent guidebook for personal use, accountability and discipleship groups, parents with teens. Special emphasis on winning over porn.
http://litmin.org/store/products.php?prodid=1020G&do=list

How to Ruin Your Dating Life: Matthew Paul Turner and Kerri Pomarolli
How to Ruin Your Dating Life Dysfunction? Christian dating? The two shouldn’t go together, but they often do.
http://navpress.com/store/product.aspx?id=9781600061394

My Beautiful Disaster: Michelle Buckman
My Beautiful Disaster A Novel Relationship and pregnancy, what is a girl to do
http://navpress.com/store/product.aspx?id=9781600060830

A United Front for wives at Setting Captives Free
Is your husband involved in pornography or sexual sin? Please understand that you are not alone in this! We are here, and we will be glad to help you and your spouse become a “United Front” against the temptations of pornography.
http://settingcaptivesfree.com/spouses/

 

 

A New Level of Pain – A New Level of Faith

A New Level of Pain – A New Level of Faith

A new level of pain – bringing a new level of faith and strength from the Lord and more rejoicing and more hope!

Half the day is gone and I have mostly cried it away – crying with the pain of missing my husband and not knowing when he will be able to return to me and our babies, not knowing how I will provide for us while he is away, crying out for comfort and peace and in faith knowing that Jehovah, Rapha will heal us all, He is Jehovah Shalom, our peace, and Jehovah Jireh will provide! Also crying with thanksgiving for the spiritual growth and sweet presence of Jesus that we are experiencing. Praising Him with tears because I know that He is good! And I trust Him! And this is answered prayers from me and Jerry. To be in this place of complete surrender.

Crying? Yes. Hurting? Yes. But this reminds me of something that Paul wrote:

2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”[b] Since we have that same spirit of[c] faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

I wrote in my journal recently about having this treasure, this all- surpassing power that is at work in us from God and not from us – and that it in us, jars of clay…. molded and shaped by the Potter.

Who are we the clay to question the Potter. He made some us weaker. I praise the Lord that He loves jars of clay. I praise the Lord that He comes to the poor and the needy. I praise You Lord that You love me and Jerry and that You picked us up out of the miry clay and set our feet on the Rock! I thank You Lord for Your presence and power that is getting us through this and with strength and the power of Your might and not our own. We may be down, but we’re not out. We may face consequences on earth for past mistakes but You are our Judge and our faith is worth far more than anything on this earth and we mean this with all of our hearts! May Your will be done and I praise You and trust You to lead and guide and direct us through this time. I know You will provide for every emotional, spiritual, physical and financial need. I thank You for my faith.

I have prayed and Jerry has prayed the words to two very bold songs. I am going to link to them in this post.

We invite you to join us in our brokenness in the sweetness of His presence and His healing and peace and power. There is no love like the love of Jesus! There is no life without abiding in Christ! May you be blessed to be as desperate for Jesus as we are. I trust Him with my death, eternity AND my life.

Did I realize in those verses above exactly what dying daily meant? Do Christians today understand this? Is Jesus truly Lord of your life? Examine your heart today. If you want more of God, more of His presence, are you willing to be pruned, go through the refining fire and the cleansing flood? I tell you it is worth it! I testify that Jesus is worth it!

Not just meeting Him in heaven…. we are told in His Word that a faith that perseveres to the end will be rewarded. I wanted a real and genuine faith. I asked for it. I prayed for it. I never wanted another rock bottom experience. I now realize that the rock bottom is what got me to the mountain top. His presence is sweet in the rock bottom. No, I do not want rock bottoms that come because of my mistakes or my husband’s mistakes. But I am thankful for the experiences that have caused me to taste and see that God is good. I am thankful for the times that have made me run to my Father God through Jesus shed blood and accept His forgiveness and rest in Him.

Hallelujah! God bless you. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and may God richly bless you with more of Him.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1m_sWJQm2fs <- Link to Hillsong United “Oceans”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UI1obeb3A9c <-Link to Sidewalk Prophets “Keep Making Me”

The Devil’s Best?

The Devil’s Best?

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I was able to visit Jerry in jail last night. One of the things that we were talking about was “the devil’s best.” Jerry told me how he had been sharing with a younger cell mate who has two small children. The cell mate was telling Jerry that he was afraid that he was going to have to spend a lot of time in prison and miss his children growing up. Jerry had already told the guy about how Jesus has changed his own life. This younger cell mate had come back to talk to Jerry some more about what he could be facing.

Jerry told this fellow prisoner: “If you keep playing around with the devil, the only best that the devil has for you is here (in jail or prison) or dead. If you don’t choose Jesus and let Him change your life, then you are choosing to let the devil have your life. The devil wants you imprisoned, with no freedom, your life destroyed or you dead.”

Jerry also explained to him how he knows this other than reading it in the Bible – he knows it because he has spent many years in jail and prison – because he thought that he could live his own way, enjoy what he wanted and not hurt anyone or anything. Jerry has lived this and knows this from experience. He has tested this theory in his own life and has seen the results of being a slave to sin. Sin is pleasurable but for just a season! Sin is wrong because it hurts us and others around us and it will reap it’s own reward which is death and destruction!

Also, Jerry shared with his cell mate that a life serving Jesus is so much more rewarding, not only when we die and get to see Jesus face to face, but also here on earth. Jerry shared the love that he has been given by God through a wife, children, extended family, friends and a church family that is supportive and loving. He also talked about how the peace of God that comes with living a life with Jesus as Lord. The small things that we take for granted, like laughing with our children or hugging our wife, are what Jerry said are the most beautiful.

Jerry’s cell mate’s reason for being in jail was related to substance abuse. Jerry and I both have come from that background. For me, being sober and being fully “in” the moment with my family is precious! How I ever chose to drink, take pills or smoke marijuana and think that I would enjoy those moments more than being fully sober is such a mystery, now. I do understand. I have been there. But, now, being sober and loving it – living life on life’s terms and being able to face problems head on and with Jesus’ strength and power at work in my life – being able to laugh a genuine and sober giggle with my children – is far more precious than any drug or alcohol induced haze.

Come out with us! Listen to Jesus knock on the door of your heart! Do you want to be free and to know that Jesus is Lord of your life? Please join us in the family of God!

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The Power of the Gospel! God’s Best!

Video

2fools4Christ We All Ask Why? How Is God Like Our Father?

This is towards the end of our first taping. We sat down over coffee to share some of what we believe and are learning in our Christian walk. In this part, we are talking about how we all have questions and ask why. Also, we talk about how God is our Father and He loves us.