What I am about to share may upset some people, shock some people, and may set some people free!
We are going to be seeing addiction in a completely different light very soon.
There are many people who have not considered themselves or their family members as addicts because they have been taking prescription drugs for a long time under the care of their doctor. But, as time goes on and the use of these drugs continues, it is going to become unavoidable to see things for what they are.
These drugs destroy lives. They destroy families. They destroy identities and careers and dreams.
I am mainly talking about all of the opiate and synthetic opioid drugs. But, I am also talking about anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications and even those drugs which are prescribed as stimulants – that are given to kids diagnosed with ADD & ADHD – because I know so many people who were prescribed opioids and as part of their pain treatment were also prescribed all of these other drugs, as well.
I am also talking about calling out the drug companies and the doctors who prescribe these drugs. I am talking about the law-makers and the overseers who did not do their jobs and allowed this epidemic to fester and cause so much harm to so many! I am also talking about we the people who have trusted our doctors and our government to the point that we have allowed millions to become enslaved and destroyed while we have turned judgmental and blind eyes to the damage.
When I say that very soon we are going to see just how far this problem goes, you can mark my words. Families have been hurting in silence. Shame has kept many from speaking out. Shame has kept mothers and fathers from exposing the needs of their children. Shame has kept many who knew they needed help from asking for it. Lots of people have kept on going in their addiction for shame of being found out and seeming weak or abnormal or outright bad. Denial has become a powerful tool to many people who don’t want to face the pain of the truth. Shame and denial have become powerful tools for death and destruction because they keep people from getting help!
I say no more!!! Tell your stories! Tell the truth!
Let me start. I have family members who were injured in some way at a young age. In their 20’s and early 30’s they were each pronounced with a need for pain management. They were told that they would experience long-term pain for injuries sustained and for genetic issues, as well – such as spinal deterioration… So, they were prescribed Lortab and/or Percocet in the beginning. As time went on their prescriptions grew to include Ativan, Xanax, Klonopin, Adderall, Prozac, Vicodin, Suboxone, and much more… (forgive sp?) Now, 15 or so years later, here we are and they have lost everything! Their homes, cars, jobs, children, marriages…. everything!
Why? Because you cannot take these drugs long-term like that and not need higher and higher doses to sustain the same effect. Also, they affect the way you think and carry out your life. They change the chemistry of your brain. They enslave you before you know it and when someone decides to cut off your supply – you do anything to keep getting it. That is the truth. There may be a few who have just walked away from these drugs without help – but I dare say it would be very few. I have been in the hospital on the psychiatric floor and met patients in there to detox from these drugs because they need the professional help to do it. These patients are male and female, they are white and black and all races, they are professionals and blue-collar workers, they are stay at home moms and doctors! These drugs do not care what degree you have, how long you have gone to church, where you work, what color you are, or if you are rich. They destroy. Period.
With my own struggles with depression and bipolar disorder, I took many prescription drugs at one point in my life. Thankfully, I never got prescribed opioids more than 7 days at a time. Because I love how they make me feel. I can see how easily it would be to take these drugs and use them to do more and be more active. They did give me a euphoric feeling that made me more talkative and energetic and I felt like I could clean the whole house in an hour or talk to anyone on the planet about anything. And I could tell when I stopped taking them that I was missing them not only for the physical withdrawal symptoms that quickly set in, but also for how good they made me feel.
This specific class of drugs has not been my addiction and I am thankful for it. But I have had addictions and do know what that is like. I also have family members that I dearly love that this has happened to and I miss them. I love them and pray for the day that they recover and heal and are set free. I pray for the day they have their families back and they see total restoration in every area of their lives.
That is why I am going to shout the truth in love as loudly as I can. Let he who has an ear, hear….
I came across this article in my newsfeed on Facebook and I am going to share a link to it for you. It is by Ashley Welch on CBS News online: “Drug overdoses killed more Americans last year than the Vietnam War.” Can you wrap your head around the fact that so many have already DIED from OVERDOSES in one year? Can you understand that is just the tip of the iceberg if we do not share the truth in love with others? Because I promise you there are thousands more people out there who have not admitted they are addicted or are in denial of the fact. There are many more who are headed to homelessness, joblessness, loss of family, jail, institutions, and death! All because they have believed the lies of our doctors and pharmaceutical companies and are too ashamed to come out and say they need help.
This is not meant to be exhaustive of what I know and have to say about this issue at all. Stay tuned for more and feel free to share, comment, and add!!!
May this be the year
instead of grumbling and complaining
we pray and we praise
We are grateful.
instead of telling God all about our problems
we tell our problems about our GOD
We trust the LORD.
instead of telling everything that’s wrong
we talk about what all is right
We focus on the good.
instead of speaking out our doubts and fears
we proclaim truth from GOD’s Word
We declare the promises.
instead of filling our minds with whatever is on TV
we purposely renew our minds with the Word
We feed our spirit.
instead of being consumed by entertainment
we get up and go out and be the church
We entertain angels, unaware.
instead of begging GOD
we believe GOD
We walk by faith.
instead of just hearing and agreeing with God’s Word
we do what we say that we believe
We walk out our faith.
instead of worrying so much about how we look
we examine our hearts, daily
We look in GOD’s mirror.
instead of following just a diet and exercise routine
we fast and pray and flex our spirit
We are changed from the inside out.
instead of listening to doom and gloom
we practice seeing the view from God
We get GOD’s perspective.
instead of being conformed to this world
we break the mold and follow the example that Jesus set
We transform the world.
instead of seeking popularity and approval from men
we live to please our Father
We live for an audience of One.
instead of worrying about what everyone thinks about us
we walk in the knowledge and the power of who our Father says that we are
We walk in Christ.
instead of measuring everything by worldly success
we compare everything to GOD’s standards
We set the standard.
instead of fitting in and blending in
we stand firm in the Truth and in our faith
We contend for our faith and for Truth.
instead of hiding in the dark
we fan the flame within us
We shine like stars in a world full of darkness.
by Angela Dingler 1/2/2016
This is a video that is on YouTube and that I saw originally posted from the God’s Not Dead Facebook page. They have a blog post on the God’s Not Dead Website with a link to this video, “The Kalam Cosmological Argument.”
Info from the YouTube video:
For more resources visit: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/kalam
Reasonable Faith features the work of philosopher and theologian Dr. William Lane Craig and aims to provide in the public arena an intelligent, articulate, and uncompromising yet gracious Christian perspective on the most important issues concerning the truth of the Christian faith today, such as:
-the existence of God
-the meaning of life
-the objectivity of truth
-the foundation of moral values
-the creation of the universe
-the reliability of the Gospels
-the uniqueness of Jesus
-the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection
-the challenge of religious pluralism
Feeling led to share in a way that is clear with everyone because I was somewhat scattered in my focus and sharing last week.
Jerry, my husband and best friend and partner in ministry –
is in jail.
Yes, he is in jail right now. I did not really want to share that this clearly for a few reasons, but I trust in the Lord that He is our Protector and Deliverer and I have no fear in sharing this.
Shocker for most and for us as well. This was not expected to happen right now. Jerry and I began a blog to share our story in all of the ugly and the beauty of what God can and will do and is doing. We are compelled to share the gospel and to lift high the name of Jesus. Not us! Our story, our lives do not point to us at all because without God and His grace and mercy, we are nothing. That is not hard to see in our lives. When not led by God, without following Jesus and taking every thought captive, when we rely on our own understanding, we are lost.
Here is some of the beauty that I hope you can see. Jerry is in jail, right where God wants for him to be right now so that he can share his story about how Jesus is real to him and changed his life and made him whole.
Yes, Jerry is also in jail because of crime that he committed in 2010. Yes, Jerry is also in jail because he relapsed in Nov. 2013 and had contact with the police. The entire events of that night are unclear, but one thing is clear, he was charged with being under the influence and he is waiting on his court date. Yes, even though Jerry has fallen in the struggle with alcohol during the past several months – God picked him back up every morning with His mercy that is new every morning for every believer. Jerry has been believing that and in God’s unfailing love and forgiveness and humbling himself before the Lord every time that he has fallen. Yes, he has fallen and struggled, but his resolve to serve the Lord and know Him better and be in His perfect will has grown with every fall. Just like a baby learning to walk, Jerry got back up under the Lord’s hand and grabbing His hand and has taken new and more steps towards the Lord. For that I am truly grateful. For the fact that Jerry has continuously sought the Lord every time that the devil has tempted him, even when Jerry allowed temptation to get the best of him, and that God kept His hand upon him, kept him safe, brought him home to his family, and kept Jerry’s heart tender to His touch and has drawn Jerry back to Him – I am happy and count this as answered prayer and evidence of God’s grace and mercy and saving and resurrection power.
Jerry’s struggle with this particular sin is very visible and the consequences very high. It is hard to understand how a person could ever be tempted to do something that could cost him his freedom and cause his loved ones so much pain. But God has used this to change me and to help me see that I must rely and trust only and wholly in Him. And God has taught me and Jerry much more about what a heart knowledge of His love, forgiveness and will is. All of us struggle with sin. Some sins are not as visible and the consequences do not appear to be as high. What is our motivation for not sinning? What is our motivation for not wanting our spouses, our friends, our family to sin? God dealt with me about how I wanted Him to fix Jerry so that our lives would be more secure. I shouldn’t pray for God’s will and then tell him how and when I want Him to do it. I shouldn’t want God to fix others for my convenience. I shouldn’t want my life to be comfortable and convenient so I can have no trouble or pain and forget about the Holy Spirit bearing fruit in my life. God gently whispered to me to let Him work in me to resolve my own imperfections and get out of His way so that He could continue working in Jerry for His glory – and not mine….
Jerry told me right before we left to go see his probation officer that God had a place for him to start ministering to people that he could help with his story and that God would put him right where he needed to be. Jerry also said right before we left that he knew that the devil was going to attack us because we started the video blog and because we were so committed to serving the Lord and sharing the gospel. But Jerry said that he didn’t care what the attack was or what happened; that he was going to serve the Lord for the rest of his life without turning away from the Lord ever again.
These are the kinds of things we have been talking about for a very long time. Especially after Nov. 2013 and after Jerry went to an inpatient Christian rehab. center early in 2014. Jerry left there early and now I know why. God changed him and healed him of some deep hurts there. Jerry went there voluntarily to dedicate his life to Jesus and to seek Him with all of his heart, mind, soul and strength. He could have left there when he began missing us and doubts crept in and he became worried and overcome with the desire to leave and come home. But, he chose to trust the Lord and put Him above us, his wife and his kids. That took guts. I admire him for that. I saw the fruit of that. Several weeks later when he did come home – I truly saw that Jerry was more of the man that God intended for him to be. Our marriage was totally renewed, better than ever, in every way! The kids minded and had a strange calmness and respect that came from the work of God in Jerry’s heart and life. I can’t explain it all… But God did a work. We cut off the TV except for cartoons every once in a while, under Jerry’s direction. We spent more time talking, laughing, playing, reading the Word, praying – as a family. We kept our morning quiet time ritual, too. Jerry’s leadership as our spiritual leader was strong. I saw him at his strongest.
For anyone wondering, Jerry has been applying for jobs for almost 2 years. He finished going to college for a degree as an Automotive Service Tech, but has not had any blessing for getting a job in that career. He has done some work for individuals that has gone well, but no job. He has interviews that seem promising until they get to his record. You can’t blame them. But he has kept looking for a job and kept applying and interviewing and emailing. He has done just about any job that has been offered to make money for our family. God has provided several small and odd jobs here and there and even a “job.” Employment doors have remained closed or closed after opening. Our prayer has been for God’s will. For Him to open the doors for us that He wants us to walk through and to close the doors that He doesn’t want for us to walk through.
My point is that our idea of success and God’s is different. Our way to success and our idea of what looks like we are bringing God glory doesn’t always go with what God knows is best. Jerry is in jail. How is that good? Well, Jerry knew from what God revealed to his heart that God was going to put him right where he needed to be in order to minister to others. He also knew that the devil thought he was going to hurt us. Well, God takes what the devil meant for evil and turns it for a blessing. Joseph was in prison, Paul was in prison, Daniel was put in the lion’s den. God knows best and we trust Him no matter what. The Bible is also full of men and women who fell and who God redeemed and used for His glory. Paul himself said that he struggled with not doing what he wanted to do that was right and doing what he didn’t want to do that he knew was wrong. The fact that we are struggling, that our spirit is struggling against our flesh and that we are seeking to follow and know Jesus more every day is a testimony that He has given us new life, that we are born again.
As believers and followers of Jesus, we reach out to anyone who wants to know Jesus. We share our story. We do not boast in ourselves at all. We do not say that we are strong. We do not say that we are sinless. We say that in our weakness that He is strong. In our failures He loves us and picks us up and dusts us off and helps us get back up and walk in Him and abide in Him another day, to share His love. When we are “doing well” and walking in His strength and power and not our own and wearing and using the spiritual armor that He gave us, it is by His grace and His work in us to will and to act according to His good pleasure. No, we do not brag about a thing but God and His Son Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is the only way to the Father. He paid the price for our sins to be forgiven, He tells us to walk in His righteousness and not our own. He has blessed us with the ministry of reconciliation – to share with our fellow man that all who come to Jesus can know Him and be found, made whole, made new, be saved. Salvation is for anyone who will believe in Jesus. There is no difference between race, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, social status… nothing. We are all in need of a Savior, Jesus.
Jerry is in jail and we can rejoice because we know that God is with him and our family even though we are apart, God is with each of us and is keeping us in His peace. I saw Jerry in jail and he was almost glowing because he said that God was giving him peace of mind. He said that he was sharing our testimony and Jesus with those who wanted to listen. He said that he was resolved to trust in the Lord. Jerry said not to worry or keep talking about what might happen, but just to trust the Lord. As his wife, I can say that Jerry encouraged me with his faith and love for the Lord. I got a call from someone Friday morning letting me know that Jerry could have his reading glasses if I would bring them to the jail. He said that Jerry really wanted his glasses because he was having trouble reading the Bible. He said that he was very serious about getting them so that he could read the Bible. He also said that Jerry wanted us to know that he missed us but that his spirit was good.
Thank You Lord! Thank You that You are working in us to will and to act according to Your plan and that You prepared all of these things in advance. May many come to know Jesus wherever You take me and Jerry and our family.