Rethinking Addiction

AddictionThis is a fascinating video that may just revolutionize the way you think about addictions and addicts.

Near the 4:45 mark of the video the statement is made about a new way of interacting with others. This, I believe, is what the Christian church should be doing. If we aren’t, I doubt we are living out the good news that Jesus taught. If you want to do an interesting study, check out how many times the phrase “let us” is used in the New Testament. Also note that the word saint never appears in the New Testament in the singular, but it is always saintS. This tells me that we were designed to be together.

“Human beings have a deep need to bond and form connections. It’s how we get our satisfaction. If we can’t connect with each other, we will connect with anything we can find—the whirr of a roulette wheel or the prick of a syringe…. We should stop talking about ‘addiction’ altogether, and instead call it ‘bonding.’ A heroin addict has bonded with heroin because she couldn’t bond as fully with anything else.” —Johann Hari

What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comment below?

Book Reviews From 2015

Links & Quotes

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“There is a sacred art in being able to handle the shield of faith. Let me explain to you how that can be. You will handle it well if you are able to quote the promises of God against the attacks of your enemy.” —Charles Spurgeon

“Action is eloquence, and the eyes of the ignorant are more learned than their ears.” —William Shakespeare

“It is vain to expect any advantage from our profession of the truth, if we be not sincerely just and honest in our actions.” —Archbishop Sharpe

John Stonestreet discusses the dangers of rushing to legalize marijuana. Also check out my book review of Going To Pot by William Bennett, and some quotes from that book here.

Max Lucado reminds us, “God’s grace is greater than your failures.” Read more about how God uses failures.

Detroit Tigers fans know this is obvious: Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker should be in the baseball Hall of Fame!

“Science is finally catching up with the truth and its findings are simple: porn is harmful. Did you know that porn can mess with your head, seriously rewiring the actual chemistry of your brain?” Read more in this Fight The New Drug’s post.

Look at the cold, hard data: strong marriages and families build a strong economy.

Links & Quotes

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“‘God works for those who wait for Him’ (Isaiah 64:4). The proper connotation of saying God works for me is that I am bankrupt and need a bailout. I am weak and need someone strong. I am endangered and need a protector. I am foolish and need someone wise. I am lost and need a Rescuer. ‘God works for me’ means I can’t do the work.” —John Piper

“Pure holy simplicity confounds all the wisdom of this world and the wisdom of the flesh.” —Francis of Assisi

The Cedar Springs Post has a nice article about our residents which are featured in the Heart of West Michigan’s ArtPrize. Glad our town is so well represented!

This is pretty amazing: why the information in our DNA points to a Creator.

Eric Metaxas explains how the heroin epidemic in our country is a great opportunity for the church.

5 lies that lead to burnout.

[VIDEO] Cecile Richards admits under oath that Planned Parenthood has lied about providing mammograms—

And here is a list of how beyond lying to the public, Planned Parenthood continues to break the law!

Links & Quotes

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“God is not merely mending, not simply restoring a status quo. Redeemed humanity is to be something more glorious than unfallen humanity would have been, more glorious than any unfallen race now is (if at this moment the night sky conceals any such). The greater the sin, the greater the mercy: the deeper the death, the brighter the re-birth.” —C.S. Lewis

“Zeal for God feeds itself upon the thought of the eternal future. It looks with tearful eyes down to the flames of Hell and it cannot slumber: it looks up with anxious gaze to the glories of Heaven, and it cannot but bestir itself. Zeal for God thinks of death, and hears the hoofs of the white horse with the skeleton rider close behind. Zeal for God feels that all it can do is little compared with what is wanting, and that time is short compared with the work to be done, and therefore it devotes all that it has to the cause of its Lord.” —Charles Spurgeon

“For those who know the sound of a Goliath, David gives us this reminder: Focus on giants—you stumble. Focus on God—your giants tumble.” —Max Lucado

Frank Viola has some excellent thoughts for Christians to respond to the narrative of the culture.

Porn surveyFight The New Drug shares the results of a survey of pornography actresses, that shows their lifestyles are highly unhealthy compared to the general population. Read the full article here. Here is the important takeaway: If you are watching porn, you are keeping these young ladies in bondage to these destructive habits.

Jeffrey Kranz at the Overview Bible Project has a great infographic to help us all understand why publishers sometimes change an English translation of the Bible. (And while you’re there, check out all the other great resources on the Overview site.)

Links & Quotes

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“A Christian mind asks questions, probes problems, confesses ignorance, feels perplexity, but does these things within the context of a profound and growing confidence of the reality of God and of his Christ.” —John R.W. Stott

“How can we expect to chase satan out of our churches, our homes, our troubled children, if we don’t pray? How can parents expect God to impart spiritual power to them when they argue, fight and gossip in front of their kids? How can they expect to possess authority when they go out drinking, and then fly into a rage when they learn their kids smoke pot?” —David Wilkerson

“An increase of love, a more perfect apprehension of Christ’s love is one of the best and most infallible gauges whereby we may test ourselves whether we have grown in grace or not. If we have grown in grace, it is absolutely certain that we shall have advanced in our knowledge and reciprocation of the love of Christ.” —Charles Spurgeon

“Actions have consequences! In the book of Genesis we read how Joseph placed his loyalty above lust when he was tempted by Potiphar’s wife. His primary concern was the preference of God when he said, ‘How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God’ (Genesis 39:9)? The lesson we learn from Joseph is surprisingly simple: Do what pleases God. Your co-workers want to include a trip to a gentleman’s club on the evening agenda. What do you do? Do what pleases God. Your date invites you to conclude the evening with drinks at his place. How should you reply? Do what pleases God. You don’t fix a struggling marriage with an affair, a drug problem with more drugs, debt with more debt. You don’t get out of a mess by making another one. You’ll never go wrong doing what is right. Just do what pleases God.” —Max Lucado

Seth Godin has a great point: We usually tell people how to do things, but rarely do we tell them why to do things. Check out Seth’s insight here.

Don’t Click It!

Fight The New Drug parent flyerI’ve said this before and I’m going to keep on saying it: Pornography is NOT a victimless indulgence. You cannot say, “It doesn’t hurt anyone for me to just take a little peek.”

Yes, it does hurt. Pornography websites make their money by views. So every time you go to a website, you are keeping someone enslaved in an industry that uses, abuses, and then discards women and children.

Parents, you need to be aware of the dangers of pornography. Fight The New Drug is coming to Cedar Springs for a special presentation on Friday, May 8. Get all of the details by clicking here.

Shelley Lubben used to work in the porn industry, so she knows firsthand what’s going on. She flat out states, “So when people click [on porn], they’re contributing to sex trafficking, they’re contributing to STDs, they’re contributing to people who are mostly alcohol to drug addicts.”

Shelley goes on to say, “Of course different girls are gonna wanna say they’re empowered by their sex work, because what you can’t beat, you’re gonna join. You don’t want people to think you’re weak when you’re in porn; you wanna act like you love it and you love rough stuff, and you love being violated, and called degrading names. It’s all just a pack of lies. People do porn because they need the money, and most of them don’t have other options or education.”

Shelley was asked what she would say to someone who is looking at porn. Read her words carefully―

“You’re contributing to your demise. And to your family’s demise, and your wife’s. I can’t tell you how many porn addicts have lost their families and jobs. It’s really sad. And they’re contributing to children being raped. … Just think, right now as I’ve been talking to you, there are little children that are being drugged and raped. How could anyone click on porn knowing that?” (emphasis added)

You can read more of Shelley’s interview by clicking here.

11 Quotes From “Going To Pot”

Going To PotWilliam Bennett and Robert White have given us an important book, especially during this time when so many are rushing to legalize marijuana in our country. You can read my full book review by clicking here, and below are some of the quotes and statistics I found quite interesting.

“Today’s marijuana THC levels are in the double digits―we’ve gone from about 3 to 5 percent THC in yesteryear’s marijuana to just above 13% THC―but common strains are available that go much higher, into the 20 percents and beyond. The difference between 3 to 5 percent THC and 13 to 30 percent THC is very significant. It is like comparing a 1twelve-ounce glass of beer with a 1twelve-ounce glass of 80 proof vodka.”

“No scientific studies documented the safety or efficacy of marijuana for patients with cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis, or glaucoma.”

“Marijuana stays in the brain for a long time so that the brain is still experiencing the effects from pot smoking days after the drug use as stopped, in contrast to alcohol use…. Unlike cocaine, which often brings users to their knees, marijuana claims its victims in a slower and more cruel fashion. It robs many of them of their desire to grow and improve, often making heavy users settle for what is left over in life…. Marijuana makes its users lose their purpose and their will, as well as their memory and motivation.” ―Robert Dupont, psychiatrist 

“Frequent marijuana smokers can have many of the same respiratory problems experienced by tobacco smokers. … There are 33 cancer-causing chemicals contained in marijuana. … When equal amounts of marijuana and tobacco are smoked, marijuana deposits four times as much tar into the lungs.”

“Teenagers who use marijuana regularly are at greater risk for long-term brain damage and declines in both IQ and cognitive functioning years later.” ―Psychology Today

“Most drug users, over 90 percent of them, including marijuana users, started using drugs in their adolescent years. In fact, if one abstains from substance abuse up to the age of twenty-one, the chances one will ever have a substance abuse problem are next to zero.”

“Marijuana also raises heart rate by 20-100 percent shortly after smoking; this effect can last up to 3 hours. In one study, it was estimated that marijuana users have a 4.8-fold increase in the risk of heart attack in the first hour after smoking the drug.” 

“Nationwide, over 70 percent of teens admitted to a substance abuse treatment program claim marijuana as their primary drug of abuse. Neither alcohol, tobacco, nor prescription drugs are responsible for over 70 percent of teen substance abuse problems. It is marijuana that has that dubious distinction.”

“Accidents would increase, healthcare costs would rise and productivity would suffer. Legal alcohol serves as a good example: The $8 billion dollars in tax revenue generated from that widely used drug does little to offset the nearly $200 billion in social costs attributed to its use.” ―Kevin Sabet, a former adviser to President Barack Obama

“In constant dollars, the money spent by Americans on marijuana went up from $21.6 billion in 2000 to $40.8 billion in 2010. That is more than Americans spend each year on pornography, Halloween, and video games combined.”

“Sixty-two percent of the adults who first tried marijuana before they were 15 are likely to go on to use cocaine.” 

Going To Pot (book review)

Going To PotI have been concerned for some time about the pro-legalization (or de-criminalization) movement throughout our country. There seems to be haste to un-do the laws that have served our nation well for many, many years. One especially troubling aspect is expertly addressed in Going To Pot: Why the rush to legalize marijuana is harming America by William Bennett and Robert White.

One by one, Bennett and White dismantle each of the pro-legalization arguments that are being promoted. And these gentleman are truly in a position to speak authoritatively: William Bennett has served as the Drug Czar and as the Secretary of Education (both Cabinet-level positions), and Robert White served as an Assistant US Attorney. In short, these guys know what they’re talking about!

Bennett and White systematically lay out each argument, and then share the facts which completely destroy the arguments. They talk about drug policies that haven’t worked internationally, and they also show the failure of the legalization of marijuana within our own borders. In addition, they also lay out a very thoughtful plan for our country going forward.

This topic is going to continue to come up for a vote on the State-level, so concerned citizens should read Going To Pot to arm themselves with the facts that will contradict the hype and rhetoric of the pro-marijuana crowd.

I am a Center Street book reviewer.

Fight The New Drug

Fight The New DrugPornography is ripping off our culture.

It’s robbing youth of their innocence. It’s robbing women and children of their dignity. It’s robbing married couple of intimacy in their relationship. It’s fueling the sex trafficking industry.

Porn is a drug that is addicting, and its destroying lives!

Fight The New Drug is confronting this addiction head-on.

Science shows that the same parts of the human brain “light up” when someone views porn, as if they were taking drugs. This is what not only gives pornography its addictive nature, but then something even worse begins to happen: the law of diminishing returns kicks in.

The law of diminishing returns says that in order to get the same “high” someone has to take stronger drugs, or take them more frequently. So porn users have to look at harder and harder material, or they have to view it more and more often.

Fight The New Drug is coming to Cedar Springs. Local youth pastor Chris Anton has helped coordinate this much needed event to make students, teachers and parents aware of the drug-like dangers of pornography. The En Gedi Youth Center is making this event available on Friday, May 8, at 3:30pm in the Cedar Springs High School auditorium.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Pray for open hearts and minds at this event.
  • Give financially to help cover the expenses for this event.
  • Tell the teenagers, parents and teachers that you know about this event.
  • Attend this event with your teens.

Let’s help save our culture from the ravages of the destructive drug of pornography.

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