Be Bold, Be Strong for the Lord our God Is With Us

Faith, Youthwork and Family…


March 2012

The power of Addiction

I recently heard a talk where the local NHS staff were having a meeting about something called “dual diagnosis“, this is where patients/clients have an addiction/depency but also are receiving support from a clinician for a mental health issue.  The problem that clinicians used to/still have is what to tackle first, the depression may have caused alcoholism/drug dependency in the first place but now that the person is unable to shake the addiction/dependency it is causing them to be more depressed and/or have other “mental health issues”.  It’s a chicken and egg problem!

Even if you are not under the care of a “clinician” you may be having similar struggles.  When you have a really bad day, and it seems as though nothing is going right, what do you do to forget about it all and unwind? Is it a “crutch”, does it become one? Drinking one glass of wine a night, can easily become drinking a whole bottle of wine a night!  Does your “relaxing activity” cause you to become distracted from real life and your family?  The virtual world may seem a good place to chill out and chat to random people, but you need to be careful you don’t spend too much time there!  I heard a story of one lady who spends so much time on her computer on “Secondlife” that she ignored her husband and children, the husband did all the housework, childcare and apart from sleeping and going to the toilet she did pretty much nothing else but chat to other people in this virtual world and now was divorcing the husband!

So are our “harmless” past-times sinful? Well only if:-

  • they cause us to be selfish with our money/time/energy/resources by forgetting the needs of others!
  • they cause us to lust after another person (male or female) who we are not in a relationship with.
  • they cause us to be wistful and wanting what someone else has.
  • They cause us to think that we are better/more attractive than other people, by making others feel worthless and ugly!
  • they cause us to ignore God’s direction by not making time to pray or read the bible
  • they cause us to get angry towards other people due to our own bigoted views which have been fed by more biased opinions.
  • they cause us to lie to others as we cannot be truthful even to ourselves about how much time we have really spent (wasted) on the past-time which hasn’t helped us in the slightest.

God created everything, so he wants us to enjoy ourselves but not everything is beneficial , and as I said a  few weeks ago, everything in moderation.  If we spend so much time enjoying ourselves and seeking things to make us feel better, we forget the whole reason I believe we are on this planet!  God created us, gave the Levitical rules as there was a whole manner of activities going on which were not what he created us for, sent Jesus down as a “final solution”, Jesus gave new rules which were easier to follow i.e. love god, love others, realise god loves you!

It is up to us to take time away from twitter/facebook/x-box/PS3/Nintendo Wii/chat rooms/the couch/the church pew/our beds and anything else which is keeping us in our own little world/pity party so that we can once again get into God’s word, hear from God and have our eyes open to other peoples needs!  God has life and life in abundance waiting for us, we just need to open our eyes or at the very least move them away from the things which are taking our attention away from the cross and we will see how many opportunities life has for us!

What do you think?


The Blog of the Sower

I read this week the story of “the parable of the sower“, it’s a well known story and Jesus explains the meaning pretty well, but I started thinking about how effective blogs are, and a friend of mine who has started blogging a little more, wrote a blog post about how he felt about blogging and his thought process of whether he should keep blogging or stop.  You can find his blog here

The parable talks about

  • The sower sowing the word (message)
  • The seeds falling on the road represent those who hear the word but dismiss it straight away – the wicked one (Satan) is what takes the word away
  • The seeds falling on the rocks represent those who hear the word, but only accept it shallowly – these sorts of people reject the word as soon as it causes them affliction or persecution.
  • The seeds falling on thorns represent those who hear the word, and take it to heart, but allow worldly concerns, such as money, to choke it.
  • The seeds falling on good soil represents those who hear the word, and truly understand it, causing it to bear fruit.

I am not comparing my blogs to Jesus, (nor would I even think that people would even consider the idea)!  But I do wonder whether my/other blogs are treated like this.

I/someone blog(s) about what they feel they want to share/encourage/discuss and how is the content treated?

  • not even read properly- nothing sinks in, you don’t feel it’s relevant or interesting?
  • you skimread as you haven’t got much time, still nothing is taken on board
  • you take time to read the post (thanks by the way!) but you forget about whatever was said within a few hours?
  • You read it and some part of it actually challenges your thought process! But it changes nothing and your life is no different!
  • You take on board something that was written and you talk about it with others because it actually changed how you perceive a situation or deal with what life throws at you!

I do get encouraged when I see people reading what I have to say, and I hope something I say/write strikes a chord with someone. I enjoy seeing how people end up on my blog, the record of what was searched for amuses me sometimes.  I only write these blogs because otherwise I would be like Lord Byron who apparently said:-

“If I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad.”

Hopefully my blogs don’t come across as incoherent ramblings, and some may say that they do! But if anything I do say/write is encouraging or challenging to you then I have done what I set out to do!  Please comment on a post if you ever want to disagree or challenge my opinions I am also willing to rethink how I see life!


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