Addictions & Suicides

Children Need Acceptance

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Most folks hate these social ailments, which often act as triggers for disparaging tragedies.

Bullying, shaming, varied prescribed medications and illicit drug abuse, among other uglies, have been blamed for a tremendous rise in teen-aged suicides. Another horrifying stat is how many children become active members in violent youth gangs, or simply develop behavioral issues. It’s my belief that teen suicide and gang involvement are two maladies that share roots in the same detriments.  

Results (of polled police departments) contradict the long-standing perception that gangs are primarily an inner-city phenomenon. Granted, the prevalence is highest in large cities, with 74 percent of those jurisdictions acknowledging the presence of gangs. But suburban counties aren’t far behind, at 57 percent, which is considerably higher than small cities (34 percent).”—Healthy Children Organization 

Come back to this link to an organisation in-the-know: Healthy Children Org.

 

It’s one of the worst feelings in the world. There are many teens who find no other escape from their heart wrenching emotional agony than ending their own lives. It’s like a bandit stealing off with the soul’s sense of self-worth—as a valueless object to be discarded by society as worthless. Many suffer this malady and spiral down into deep depression, even developing physical illnesses. Some of them become criminals, maybe even psychotic killers.  

 

Below’s a link to just one of thousands: News reports on teen-aged suicides. There’s just as many on the increased danger of children joining street gangs. But you can come back to this later. 

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Imagine feeling that nobody wants you, nobody loves you—you just can’t seem to find any place where you fit in, a place to belong. It’s a hollow ache. Have you ever experienced being totally convinced there’s no group of people anywhere with whom you could have a sense of belonging? Street gangs prey upon young boys and girls who have this belief and offer them a sense of acceptance and camaraderie. Sometimes, it’s excitement and action that draws kids into gang life. But their emotional and social needs are legitimate. A healthy Psyche’ includes a sense of belonging—everyone possesses a need to be loved.  

 

I watched several videos of little orphan children from all over the world, many of whom lived on the streets. They were picking through garbage bins trying to find something to eat. Their little melancholy faces stirred my heart—I wanted to break down and cry. But some orphans reside at orphanages or missions. At least they are fed a little. All of them apparently have the exact same hope of acceptance, and to have a family. They need to belong somewhere, with someone—other souls. Love is a fundamental need. 

We have an extensively vast foster care system here in America. Dismally, many of the people who serve as foster parents only do so for the money. Unscrupulous ones even use the orphans as a free labor force, treating the children like slaves, as objects to be manipulated into profits. 

 

What do you suppose every orphan hopes for? 

 

That’s right, to be adopted by someone who will love them, protect them, and give them a home, and care for them. Someone who will give them a place to belong. Just one person to accept them would be enough, but better a group of people who would say “You’re one of us!” What they need—what they hope for, is a family. 

 

Well then… 

 

When a couple has a child born to them they have no way of choosing what that child will look like. They can’t even choose whether it will be a boy or a girl. Parents try to teach their children moral values and rear them in a way that they’ll turn out to be good people, but there are no guarantees about that either. So, I want to share something with you about ADOPTION.  

 

Those who have been adopted have been chosen over other people. There’s a whole lot of children to choose from. That makes a child feel very special. Adoptive parents have looked out across the whole world at the many thousands of orphaned children. Think of it, out of all of them, they choose YOU! That makes you pretty special. 

 

To God, all of us are just like young Children. 

 

My point here today, besides drawing attention to these social ills, is to highlight a stellar fact. If you trust the God of the bible, and you have made Jesus the Lord of your life, and you’ve taken Him as your Savior, then:  YOU’VE BEEN CHOSEN BY GOD TO BE ADOPTED INTO HIS FAMILY. 

 

I’ll begin an explanation, but then, I’m asking us to follow the reasoning of the selected scriptures provided below. 

 

When you’re born into a family on earth your parents cannot choose you, you’re just born to them. But God knew all about you before you were ever born, and He chose you to be His child. (Later on, read Psalms chapter 139.) 

This, and other passages reveal that God knew everything there is to know about you, before He chose you. And the following scriptures assure us that God did in fact, select us, and it tells us at what point in time He did so. 

 

For He chose us in him before the creation of the world… He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will. Ephesians 1: 45.  

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15 NLT 

Jesus said, “For the Father himself loves you dearly, because you love me and you believe that I came from God. John 16:27 

 

So what is it to love Jesus? What does it really mean to love Christ? He tells us. 

 

Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. Let that part sink in for a minute.

Then it continues: 

And I will love them and will reveal myself to each of them.” John 14:21 NLT 

 

Think about this: How has Jesus revealed Himself to you? 

 

So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. Ephesians 2:19 

 

When we are saved, or, born again, we’re born into the family of God, and that’s what the bible is talking about when it says He adopted us. It also calls us “Children of the light.” 
 

Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God. 1 John 3:9 

 

Now then, what are some of the benefits a child receives by having a family? 

I’ve listed several of them. We’ve already established that they will be loved. 

 

LOVE 

 

Provision for every need 

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19. 

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:25-26  

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11  

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. Malachi 3:10 (There’s many more). 

 

Protection  

Psalm 144:2, “How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you wouldn’t let me.”  

“The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.” Psalm 121:8  

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10  

“(You) who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:5  

 

Inheritance  

“Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Romans 8:17 

“The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever.” Psalm 37:29  

“Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” Acts 20:32  

“And giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.” Colossians 1:12
  Romans 8:32 Eph. 1:18, 

 

Security  

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” Romans 8: 35 

 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8: 38-39  

And Jude 1:24 “To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy.”  

 

There are other benefits too, of course, such as guidance, wisdom, a name, and lots more! 

If you’re not already a part of God’s wonderful family, you can be! Feel free to contact me via Email at Penman4u@gmail.com. I will be happy to share with you how to do that. God Bless You. I hope you enjoy this version of a great old hymn as much as I did: “The Family of God.” 

 

Categories: Addictions & Suicides, Christian Living, Faith, Family, People, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What You Need To Know

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An insidious influence of wickedness has been embraced by our society, as evidenced by the fact that it is legal. Ted Bundy, a name that invokes horror, and before he was apprehended, terror, into the hearts and minds of Americans, testified about this disease that America seems to love. He told of the affect it had upon him, and how addicted he became to it, until he began acting out the sexual violence that this pandemic invariably produces in those who partake of it. Bundy raped and killed 30 young women and girls.

 

Ted Bundy, however, is far from the only person to have had his moral and ethical restraint enervated by pornography. In his final interview just hours before his execution, he speaks of his many years in prison and the myriad of other men who testify of how pornography had so corrupted their thinking that they too had reacted violently in the perpetration of sexual crimes and murder. Invariably, these men point to the exact same underlying socially accepted evil that led to their crimes: pornography.

 

There have been scores of underdogs who have championed the cause of eradicating pornography, at least displace it from resting under the flags of legitimacy with some groups hoping to make even soft porn a crime. Many of these people operate under the banner of halting the objectification of women. But porn did not stop with women. Today it does not discriminate, and men too are painted as objects to be used and abused for the satiation of unnatural sexual gratification.

 

It is human life that is devalued, degraded, and cheapened by the inundation of sexual stimulus throughout the entire spectrum of the entertainment industry. Television shows, commercials, movies, magazines, music—it has hijacked every form of stimulus that comes into our homes. Everywhere we look we see and hear SEX, SEX, SEX! America is preoccupied with sex. We’ve created the market for pornography by our rebellious demand for the legalization of everything that we think will bring pleasure. We are a hedonistic society and have gone absolutely mad with pleasure seeking. Monogamy has become an outdated concept. Never mind how well the biblical model of marriage works, and how much better a society of monogamists get along together.

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Freedom of speech and freedom of expression have been used as licenses to do anything our little hearts may desire. As a nation, under the laws established to make us free to worship God, we now worship Satan, the nemesis of God, who is blatantly anti-God, antichrist and is in fact the father of disorder and chaos. Teens wear the anarchist symbol hoping for freedom from all restraint, without having the faintest idea of what anarchy is, nor the results of such a chaotic society. But we can clearly see the results. Rebelling against God has never brought the freedom we expected. Lucifer approached Eve in the Garden of Eden, convincing her that rebelling against God she could be like God, having to answer to nobody but herself, and Adam went along with it. He was deceived too. Instead of becoming free, they were enslaved to sin, depravity, sickness disease and death. Even the earth itself became cursed. It’s the very same temptations facing the world today.

 

Freedom from the restraint of God’s laws enslaves us to everything that is harming us, everything against God, against peace, harmony, order, safety, blessing, and love, against everything that is good. Our sins have separated us from our God, and He is the One we need to turn back to, if we hope to be truly free. “He whom Christ sets free is free indeed!” Free from what? Free from the powerful and negative and addictive sins that have made our world a place that is totally unfit for human habitation.

 

The war of the ages will come to a climax, and we call this the apocalypse, the end of days, just before Christ’s return. You will either be in Christ, and fully for Him, or you will be against Him. He is the winner in the end, and if you hope to be on the winning side, you’d best get right with God by placing your faith in His Son, Jesus the Christ. The first time Jesus came it was as a suffering servant, the meek lamb, so that He could redeem mankind back to God, to reconcile us to Him. The next time Jesus comes He will come with His Saints as the Lion of Judah, in great power and glory.

 

We have the testimony of Enoch telling us in Jude verses 14 &15, “Enoch, the seventh from Adam, also prophesied about them: “Behold, the Lord is coming with myriads of His holy ones to execute judgment on everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of every ungodly act of wickedness and every harsh word spoken against Him by ungodly sinners.”

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Image from rikberry.com

 

But addressing again the nefarious evil influences upon the world…  We know that the prince of the power of the air, the god of this world (Satan) is behind all of the evil things perpetrated upon the earth. But there are also his human servants, many of whom are organized groups motivated by huge money, power and sex. Hollywood and the major media outlets are nothing but puppets of those who truly hold the strings of power and control all major industries, high ranking political and military offices, including banking.

 

It’s not as if Spirit led Christians have ever been unaware of what is happening, or why—nothing has caught them unawares. God’s word has prophesied most of this, and the Spirit gives insight and discernment into the remainder.

 

So what is the point of this message? Why do I open myself up to ridicule and persecution by speaking the truth? I assure you, this is not a segway into any form of retaliation, or motivated by hatred, bitterness or pride. This is a call to safeguard your children from participating in the things of this world that are against God and the bible and human decency.

 

Please speak to your children about the dangers of pornography. Talk to them about the beauty of sex in the home between a man and his wife, as an intimate expression of real love, not lust.

 

One man and one woman, living under the authority of our Creator, reconciled to Him through a relationship with Christ Jesus who bore the penalty for all sins.

 

If you’ve not yet done so, cry out to the Lord—humble yourself before Him and agree with what the bible says about all of mankind: we are all sinners in need of a Savior. God has provided that Savior for us: Jesus, God’s only begotten Son died for you and me, and all who will place their faith and trust in Him. For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God and not of works that nobody can boast” Ephesians 2:8-9. God loves you!

 

He demonstrates his love for us in this, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

 

He has made a way for us to escape condemnation, simply by placing our faith in Jesus and in His finished work at the cross and at the grave in rising from the dead on the third day, according to the scriptures.

 

“”Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household.” Acts 16:31

 

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Romans 10:9&10

 

I would not wish eternal torment upon anyone. My heart aches in the knowledge that out of the quintillions of people who have ever lived, a small percentage shall be saved. That’s what Jesus indicates in His teaching.

 

Please! Be one of the few, the godly, the loving, the saved. ♥

 

 

 

Categories: Addictions & Suicides, Current Event, Salvation, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Warning Signs

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We’ve known the man in the above image (Doug) for many years, and have often ministered to him and his needs. He is a homeless drug addict, and he is just one of a myriad of individuals just like him that I’ve done my best to help. His sign reads “Down but not out.” To know Doug is to realize the irony of that statement. Doug gave up a long time ago.

I’d like to open a topic that’s a little different from my normal posts, just this once. So for a moment, allow me to switch hats, that I may share foundational information gleaned from Psychology classes, addiction treatment seminars and experience.

Physical pain is a faithful messenger, heralding a problem that must be addressed. It’s the harbinger of a difficulty which requires action. As infants we quickly learn to avoid pain. It took only once to discover that fire is hot, don’t touch it. Doing the wrong thing gets you a stinging swat on the behind, so do the right thing.

On into our adult lives we are programmed to recoil at the very prospect of physical pain, though most of us have learned how to live with it. These days it is not so much the pain our bodies feel that frightens us. We can tough through that, at least to some degree. Heartache and mental anguish, however, are what is most dreaded. These are far worse and quite difficult to alleviate.

Nobody is alone in this quandary of learning to deal with emotional wounds. Nearly every alcoholic and drug addict has, at the root of their addiction, some mental nightmare from which they hope to flee. So often we find ourselves numbing the pain by travelling down a rabbit hole into a dark world that offers false hope for relief. Some people may abuse sex or become addicted to pornography as a means of feeling better. Some even resort to damaging gossip addictions. Various drugs are a quick trip to an illusory wonderland. There are some who never return from the darkness, because they’ve found false relief. They’ve gone through the rabbit hole and come out the other side to find another world: A place where all their dreams come true, and fantasy becomes reality. To come back means to feel the pain all over again, only then, it is exacerbated. This world of their own making is seen only by them, and outsiders are unable to perceive their blissful paradise. Outsiders see only the reality of a lost soul suffering delusion.

In my mind this points to one glaring issue. It appears to be largely overlooked by various community organizations and agencies who work with at risk youth and adults. Early detection is essential in the prevention of drug and alcohol addictions, and more importantly in teen suicides.

Identifying life situations which activate traumatic emotional response is key to early preventative treatments. Some examples are broken homes, long term illness and many other stressors. Identifying potential markers and learning to recognize early warning signs is mandatory if we hope to offer preventative assistance.

We already know the big issues that lead to these social ills: Broken marriages, single parent homes, long term illnesses, chronic pain, bullying and psychiatric issues are among the top dilemmas which cause young people to seek artificial peace. But there are others as well. These issues activate a response, a need for relief from mental torment. How many teen suicides may have been prevented if a teacher, a counselor or doctor had recognized the key indicators of emotional upheaval and addressed them? Parents also need to be aware. We need more educational programs for parents that teach them to recognize the ‘problem-indicators’. This will help tremendously. Yes, there must be a plan of action in place. Treatment begins through conveying knowledge to the sufferer. The following three very simple, yet key pieces of information is what the potential sufferer needs.

  1. They are not alone. (There are people who care about them.)
  2. Others are experiencing the same thing they are. (They must not isolate themselves)
  3. Help is available. (Any kind of hope is better than no hope.)

These three key pieces of knowledge alone, though they seem obvious to us, are the 3 biggies which cause problems. Do not take it for granted that people know these things. Knowing these can buy enough time to get the person in contact with the right help. And maybe prevent many addictions or suicides. The difficulty is in convincing the sufferer of these truths. Support groups are highly beneficial, and in a group setting, many times the patients come up with alternative plans to soothe what’s going on inside. Isolation is the largest cause of people responding in the wrong way to their intense inner misery.

Questions to consider

What are the signs to look for that a young person may be at risk?

Who do I talk to when I notice someone is at risk?

What help for them is available in my community?

Do I have the phone numbers for help on hand?

Do I care enough to help?

 

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.  Philippians 4:6-7

Categories: Addictions & Suicides, Ministry, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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