Author Archives: Just Pray NO!

Synthetic Marijuana like K2, Spice and Fake Weed can Kill

K2, Spice and Fake Weed unlike natural marijuana, can cause a huge variety of symptoms, which can be severe and even deadly.

In recent years, one of the most commonly abused drugs – synthetic cannabinoids, has caused such an alarm that all 50 states have banned “synthetic marijuana.”

The federal government has classified some of the chemicals used to produce synthetic cannabinoids as schedule 1 substances, making it illegal to buy, sell, or possess anything containing those chemicals.

In response, manufacturers and vendors package the drugs as incenses or aromatherapy products, often alongside labels that claim the drugs aren’t for human consumption. The clever packaging lets sellers skirt laws and the oversight that would otherwise prohibit sales.

Legal loopholes make synthetic marijuana as easy to get as buying a candy bar, according to US Sen. Charles Schumer who urged the federal government. According to Schumer, the US has banned only 20 of the 300 chemical substances used in synthetic drugs, leaving drug makers several steps ahead in what he called a game of “whack-a-mole.”

Synthetic drug use is on an upswing, and that is largely because synthetic drug makers are skirting around restrictions that have been put in place by developing new, dangerous chemical compounds that are not yet regulated,” Schumer said. “As a result, more and more kids are ending up in the emergency room, and it is time for federal law to catch up.”

Synthetic marijuana or synthetic cannabis such as K2, Spice and Fake Weed unlike pot, however, can cause a huge variety of symptoms, which can be severe. These symptoms include: agitation, vomiting, hallucination, paranoia, tremor, seizure, tachycardia, hypokalemia (a life-threatening deficiency of potassium in the bloodstream), chest pain, cardiac problems, stroke, kidney damage, acute psychosis, brain damage, and death.

A major issue with synthetic marijuana is its potency. “Its potency can be up to one hundred or more times greater than THC – that’s how much drug it takes to produce an effect,” says Paul Prather, PhD, professor of pharmacology and toxicology at the at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. “So it takes much less of them to produce maximal effects in the brain. So these things have higher efficacy and potency…These things are clearly very different from THC and thus not surprising that their use may result in development of life-threatening adverse effects.”

Unlike heroin and cocaine, synthetic cannabis not made using just one chemical. Synthetic marijuana can be made with nearly 100 different chemicals that are often sprayed onto dried, shredded plant material. While different chemicals are used, the compounds have similar traits. All of them are active at the CB1 receptor in the brain. Cannabinoid receptors, located in the brain, are part of the Endocannabinoid system which is involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory. This is the same receptor activated by consuming marijuana which is why this class of drugs is commonly called “synthetic cannabinoids.”

Yasmin Hurd, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry, Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics, and Neuroscience at Mount Sinai Medical Center, says that the wide distribution of CB1 receptors in the brain is exactly why they’re so toxic. “Where they’re located is important – their presence in the hippocampus would be behind their memory effects; their presence in seizure initiation areas in the temporal cortex is why they lead to seizures. And in the prefrontal cortex, this is probably why you see stronger psychosis with synthetic cannabinoids.” The cardiac, respiratory, and gastrointestinal effects probably come from the CB1 receptors in the brain stem. It might be any one of these that produces the greatest risk of death.

A synthetic cannabis overdose looks totally different from a pot “overdose.” Clinically, they just don’t look like people who smoke marijuana,” says Lewis Nelson, MD, at NYU’s Department of Emergency Medicine, Division of Medical Toxicology. “Pot users are usually interactive, mellow, funny. Everyone once in a while we see a bad trip with natural marijuana. But it goes away quickly. With people using synthetic, they look like people who are using amphetamines: they’re angry, sweaty, agitated.”

When we consider the vast number and types of substances that are being abused and the devastation that they cause to the abuser, their family and our communities, we can be overwhelmed and look at “The War on Drugs” as a losing battle. But if we look to our Lord and Savior, we can find strength, resolve and confidence that there is hope for deliverance and freedom from the bondage of addiction.

“I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” Jeremiah 32:27

“Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.” Jeremiah 32:17

The same omnipotent God that made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them can empower those who are powerless against their addiction to be set free if they are willing to surrender their lives to Him.

Alcoholism and other drug addictions are spiritual bondages that result in physical and mental illnesses and can lead to death.

First of all, we must recognize who or what we are fighting:

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12

Drug abuse is not just a physical addiction or a biological or chemical problem – it is a spiritual stronghold. Pharmakeia is a word found three times in the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. It is the root word from which we get our English word pharmacy or pharmacist. Pharmakeia is translated as witchcraft or sorcery. It speaks of the occult magical arts which are often found in connection with idolatry. Drug and alcohol abuse like witchcraft, are powerful, demonic strongholds.

Secondly, we must know how the battle is fought:

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:4

To break the bondage and tear down the strongholds of addiction, we who have placed our trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross need to pray for the addicted so that they will come to the end of themselves and seek God for deliverance and forgiveness of their sins.

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:13-16

Our prayers of faith can be further empowered through fasting:

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?” Isaiah 58:6

After Jesus was baptized by John, he left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness where for forty days he fasted and was tempted by the devil. When the devil had finished all this tempting, Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit.

He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:16-19

As followers of Christ, God has authorized and empowered us to participate in the ministry of His beloved Son. We too are to proclaim the good news of the gospel, and in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, set free those who are slaves to addiction.

If you are abusing alcohol or other drugs and want to lead a victorious life and be set free from addiction you need to have a relationship with the LORD God, Creator of the heavens and the earth. To find forgiveness and freedom, pray the following prayer or a similar prayer in your own words –

“Lord Jesus Christ,

I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to earn my way to heaven. Although I deserve God’s wrath, by God’s mercy, I accept your free gift of eternal life by faith. I believe that You were born of a virgin and died on the cross to pay the price of my sins. I believe you were buried, rose again on the third day, have ascended into heaven, and will soon come again.

Lord, please forgive me of my sins, come into my heart and take control of my life.” AMEN

The Fifteen Most Commonly Abused Drugs According to the NIH

According to the National Institutes of Health, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health, and one of the world’s foremost medical research centers, the following are the 15 most commonly abused drugs:

  • Alcohol – Ethyl alcohol, or ethanol, is an intoxicating ingredient found in beer, wine, and liquor. It is a central nervous system depressant that is rapidly absorbed from the stomach and small intestine into the bloodstream.
  • Club Drugs – Club drugs tend to be used by teenagers and young adults at bars, nightclubs, concerts, and parties. Club drugs include ketamine (A dissociative drug used as an anesthetic in veterinary practice. Dissociative drugs are hallucinogens that cause the user to feel detached from reality), MDMA (Ecstasy), Methamphetamine, and LSD (Acid).
  • Cocaine – Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant drug made from the leaves of the coca plant native to South America. It produces short-term euphoria, energy, and talkativeness in addition to potentially dangerous physical effects like raising heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Hallucinogens – Hallucinogens are a diverse group of drugs that alter perception (awareness of surrounding objects and conditions), thoughts, and feelings. They cause hallucinations, or sensations and images that seem real though they are not.
  • Heroin – Heroin is an opioid drug that is synthesized from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of the Asian opium poppy plant.
  • Inhalants – Many products readily found in the home or workplace—such as spray paints, markers, glues, and cleaning fluids—contain volatile substances that have psychoactive (mind-altering) properties when inhaled.
  • Marijuana – Marijuana is a dry, shredded green and brown mix of leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. In a more concentrated, resinous form, it is called hashish, and as a sticky black liquid, hash oil. The main psychoactive (mind-altering) chemical in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
  • MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly) – MDMA) is a synthetic drug that alters mood and perception (awareness of surrounding objects and conditions). It is chemically similar to both stimulants and hallucinogens, producing feelings of increased energy, pleasure, emotional warmth, and distorted sensory and time perception.
  • Methamphetamine – Methamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant drug that is similar in structure to amphetamine. Due to its high potential for abuse, methamphetamine is classified as a Schedule II drug and is available only through a prescription that cannot be refilled.
  • Opioids – Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin as well as powerful pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine, fentanyl, and many others. These drugs are chemically related and interact with opioid receptors on nerve cells in the body and brain.
  • Prescription Drugs & Cold Medicines – Some medications have psychoactive (mind-altering) properties and, because of that, are sometimes abused—that is, taken for reasons or in ways or amounts not intended by a doctor, or taken by someone other than the person for whom they are prescribed. In fact, prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are, after marijuana (and alcohol), the most commonly abused substances by Americans 14 and older.
  • Steroids (Anabolic) – “Anabolic steroids” is the familiar name for synthetic variants of the male sex hormone testosterone. The proper term for these compounds is anabolic-androgenic steroids (abbreviated AAS)—“anabolic” referring to muscle-building and “androgenic” referring to increased male sexual characteristics.
  • Synthetic Cannabinoids (K2/Spice) – Synthetic cannabinoids refer to a growing number of man-made mind-altering chemicals that are either sprayed on dried, shredded plant material so they can be smoked (herbal incense) or sold as liquids to be vaporized and inhaled in e-cigarettes and other devices (liquid incense).
  • Synthetic Cathinones (Bath Salts) – Synthetic cathinones, more commonly known as “bath salts,” are synthetic (human-made) drugs chemically related to cathinone, a stimulant found in the khat plant.
  • Tobacco/Nicotine – Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cigarette smoking results in more than 480,000 premature deaths in the United States each year—about 1 in every 5 U.S. deaths—and an additional 16 million people suffer with a serious illness caused by smoking. In fact, for every one person who dies from smoking, about 30 more suffer from at least one serious tobacco-related illness.

Abuse of any of these fifteen categories of drugs can result in serious physical, emotional, and psychological illness or death. Alcoholism and other drug addictions are spiritual bondage and must be fought with spiritual weapons.

If you are abusing alcohol or other drugs and want to lead a victorious life and be set free from addiction you need to have a relationship with the LORD God, Creator of the heavens and the earth. To find forgiveness and freedom, pray the following prayer or a similar prayer in your own words –

“Lord Jesus Christ,

I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to earn my way to heaven. Although I deserve God’s wrath, by God’s mercy, I accept your free gift of eternal life by faith. I believe that You were born of a virgin and died on the cross to pay the price of my sins. I believe you were buried, rose again on the third day, have ascended into heaven, and will soon come again.

Lord, please forgive me of my sins, come into my heart and take control of my life.” AMEN

Drugs and God – How Can a Christian Help an Addict?

Drug abuse and the problem of mind-altering practices have been a problem since Biblical times. The practice of witchcraft – against which the Bible is most emphatically opposed – frequently involved the use of altered states of consciousness (often obtained through drug use). Drug abuse is not merely a physical problem, but a spiritual one as well. As such, Christians should feel a certain duty to help those afflicted. Not only this, but the Bible also condemns the kind of behavior which often results from substance abuse. For example, believers are exhorted to obey the laws of the land, to live a life ‘beyond reproach’, to live selflessly, and treat their neighbors with kindness and forgiveness no matter the sin. They are also taught to respect their lives and earthly bodies, and the Pauline letters condemn excessive drunkenness and alcoholism. Taken all together and viewed through the lens of drug use, these strictures indicate that we should not only try to avoid the pitfall of drug abuse ourselves, but should also treat those who have stumbled in this manner with the kindness and love which runs as a constant thread throughout the teachings of Christ. But how?

‘Rescuing’ someone with a drug problem is nearly impossible. True change has to come from within, it cannot be instilled from without. When turning to Jesus, one must do more than simply attend church and recite Scripture by rote. One must willingly open one’s heart and love Jesus from within. The same principle applies to those with substance abuse problems. They must want to be healed in order to be healed. It is thus frustrating for many who wish to help substance abusers, as those who are on a self-destruct cycle will continually thwart efforts to improve their situation. So what can you do?

Firstly, get rid of the idea that you can proactively ‘rescue’ a drug abuser. For more on why this will not work, try reading this article. Instead, let the sufferer know that they are valued, that they will be forgiven, and that a loving support network is waiting for them should they decide to get clean. Simply being there, offering unconditional forgiveness and believing in their power to improve their lives can encourage many a suffering substance abuser to take steps to address their issues. Prayer can be a major help in this case – not only to help the afflicted individual, but to give you the strength to cope in what can often be a trying situation. Finally, have faith!

By Laura Chapman

Effective Fervent Prayer Must Be According to the Will of God

Some people think prayer is a matter of our trying to convince God to do something He does not want to do.

Where did we ever get that idea? Not from the Bible. Jesus taught us to get in line with God’s purposes and to pray: Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:9-10

God is not unjust. Confusion has arisen because of the parable in Luke 18:1-8, where a widow pesters an unjust judge until he finally relents and gives her justice. The divinely inspired lesson of the parable is provided at the beginning of the story: Men always ought to pray and not lose heart.

Jesus said God would ultimately avenge injustices against His people. So, this is not a matter of our trying to convince God against His will. God will avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them.

So, why pray? First, we should pray because God tells us to pray. Second, it honors God for us to humbly bring our petitions to Him. Third, it pleases God when  we seek His will and get in line with His plans and purposes. Fourth, God is glorified when He answers our prayers. Fifth, the fellowship we have with God is greatly enhanced and we come to love Him more – whether He answers our prayer or not.

Unfortunately, many of us grow up pestering our parents until they give in and give us what we want. But, when God is not cooperative, we want to find another god, who will go along with our requests. But remember – Our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases. Psalm 115:3

One man prayed for the salvation of his uncle for over thirty years. The uncle was especially antagonistic against women preachers. When the hard-hearted man was on his deathbed, he relented and agreed to listen to a woman preacher tell him the Gospel. He was saved two weeks before he passed on. It is sad the uncle’s pride kept him from enjoying God’s forgiveness and peace all those years.

The LORD has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all. Bless the LORD, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, heeding the voice of His word. Bless the LORD, all you His hosts, you ministers of His, who do His pleasure. Psalm 103:19-21

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us, and if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. 1 John 5:14-15

Jesus, the Son of Man, willingly submitted Himself to His Father’s will as foretold by the Prophet: Then I said, “Behold, I have come – in the volume of the book it is written of Me – to do Your will, O God.” Hebrews 10:7; Psalm 40:7-8

Therefore, when Jesus, was faced with having to drink the cup of our iniquity on the cross and be alienated from God because of our sins, He prayed saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Luke 22:42

Article submitted by Walter D. Willet, author of Before Time Began: The Eternal Purpose of God

Psychotropic Medications Alter the Brain’s Chemical Levels!

A psychotropic medication is any psychiatric medication capable of affecting the mind, emotions, and behavior by altering chemical levels in the brain.

The phrase, “psychotropic drugs” is a technical term for psychiatric medicines that alter chemical levels in the brain which impact mood and behavior. A psychotropic medication is any medication capable of affecting the mind, emotions, and behavior.

Antipsychotics, antidepressants, ADHD drugs, anti-anxiety medications and mood stabilizers are some of the more commonly used psychotropic drugs in the United States.

A person who is psychotic is out of touch with reality. People with psychosis may hear “voices” or have strange and illogical ideas (for example, thinking that others can hear their thoughts, or are trying to harm them or that they are some famous or important person. They may get excited or angry for no apparent reason, or spend a lot of time by themselves, or in bed, sleeping during the day and staying awake at night. The person may neglect appearance, not bathing or changing clothes, and may be hard to talk to–barely talking or saying things that make no sense. They often are initially unaware that their condition is an illness.

These kinds of behaviors are symptoms of a psychotic illness such as schizophrenia. Antipsychotic medications act against these symptoms. These medications cannot “cure” the illness, but they can control many of the symptoms or make them milder.

Although they cannot cure psychotic illness, there are over 72 documented side effects of antipsychotic medications including anxiety, birth defects, depression, diabetes, heart problems, muscle spasms, seizures, and thoughts of suicide that result in their use.

Antidepressant medication, used under the guidance of a mental health professional, may relieve symptoms of depression. But antidepressants also come with side effects and dangers. Most mental health experts agree that when depression is severe enough to impact your ability to function in life, medication can be helpful—even lifesaving. However, research shows that antidepressants fall short for many people.

A major National Institute of Mental Health study showed that fewer than 50 percent of people become symptom-free on antidepressants, even after trying two different medications. Furthermore, many who do respond to medication soon slip back into depression, despite sticking with drug treatment.

Other studies show that the benefits of depression medication have been exaggerated, with some researchers concluding that—when it comes to mild to moderate depression—antidepressants are only slightly more effective than placebos.

When you first begin antidepressant treatment, depression medication side effects can be physical symptoms like headache, joint pain, muscle aches, nausea, skin rashes, or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and temporary.

Many people notice trouble sleeping when they first start taking an antidepressant — trouble falling asleep or that they wake up easily during the night. Other side effects include increased appetite and weight gain, fatigue and drowsiness, blurred vision, constipation and irritability.

It’s normal to feel anxious from time to time, especially if your life is stressful. However, excessive, ongoing anxiety and worry that interfere with day-to-day activities may be a sign of generalized anxiety disorder. People with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Often, anxiety disorders involve repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks).

These feelings of anxiety and panic interfere with daily activities, are difficult to control, are out of proportion to the actual danger and can last a long time. Symptoms may start during childhood or the teen years and continue into adulthood.

Examples of anxiety disorders include social anxiety disorder (social phobia), specific phobias and separation anxiety disorder. A person can have more than one anxiety disorder.

Anxiety medicines do have some severe side effects in some cases. But it’s actually not the side effects that are the reason to try to avoid medications. The main reason is because they can cause physiological and psychological dependence. This is when your body and mind actually start to need to drug to cope with anxiety, so that it becomes even harder to cure the anxiety without medication over time.

But the most common side effects of anxiety medicines such as Xanax and Valium, etc. are as follows: Hypotension (low blood pressure), decreased libido, nausea, lack of coordination, depression, memory loss and difficulty thinking.

Fully 1 in 5 Americans take at least one psychiatric medication.

Fueling the perception that America is an overmedicated society, a new Mayo Clinic study finds that nearly 70 percent of Americans are on at least one prescription drug, and more than half take two.

Researchers found antibiotics, antidepressants, and painkilling opioids are the most commonly prescribed. And one of five patients are on five or more prescription medications, according to the findings, published online in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Modern day psychiatric diagnosis of psychosis, depression, general anxiety or a particular phobia often result in the psychiatrist prescribing one or more psychotropic medications that do not cure the problem but only help alleviate the symptoms. These medications all have deleterious side-effects.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1Timothy 6:10

The global pharmaceuticals market is worth $300 billion a year, a figure expected to rise to $400 billion within three years. The 10 largest drugs companies control over one-third of this market, several with sales of more than $10 billion a year and profit margins of about 30%. Six are based in the United States and four in Europe. It is predicted that North and South America, Europe and Japan will continue to account for a full 85% of the global pharmaceuticals market well into the 21st century. Companies currently spend one-third of all sales revenue on marketing their products – roughly twice what they spend on research and development.

According to the World Health Organization, as a result of this pressure to maintain sales, there is now, “an inherent conflict of interest between the legitimate business goals of manufacturers and the social, medical and economic needs of providers and the public to select and use drugs in the most rational way”. This is particularly true where drugs companies are the main source of information as to which products are most effective. Even in the United Kingdom, where the medical profession receives more independent, publicly-funded information than in many other countries, promotional spending by pharmaceuticals companies is 50 times greater than spending on public information on health.

With an insatiable appetite for more profits, the pharmaceutical industry is constantly barraging the public with promises of instant relief from physical and emotional pain. Instead of promoting healthier lifestyle practices and the use of natural supplements, doctors are over prescribing medications. Prescription drugs are now killing far more people than illegal drugs, and while most major causes of preventable deaths are declining, those from prescription drug use are increasing.

Pharmakeia is a word found three times in the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. Following is the definition of the Greek word “Pharmakeia” as found in The KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon:

  • The use or the administering of drugs
  • Poisoning
  • Sorcery, magical arts, often found in connection with idolatry and fostered by it
  • Metaphorically speaking as “the deceptions and seductions of idolatry”

Drug abuse is not just a physical addiction or a biological or chemical problem – it is a spiritual stronghold. Pharmakeia is the root word from which we get our English word pharmacy or pharmacist. Pharmakeia is translated as witchcraft or sorcery. It speaks of the occult magical arts which are often found in connection with idolatry. Psychotropic drug dependency, like witchcraft, becomes a powerful, demonic stronghold.

A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”

“You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “How long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”

 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.

 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”

 “From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”

 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up. Mark 9:17-26

“You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” Acts 10:38

Natural science encompasses any of the sciences (as physics, chemistry, or biology) that deal with matter, energy, and their interrelations and transformations or with objectively measurable phenomena. Since God is not measurable, a much larger percentage of scientists in the United Stated are atheists compared to that in the general population.

The majority of psychiatrists and evolutionists teach that man’s inborn instinct to have faith in God is a product of evolution. Materialist neuroscientists and philosophers hold that mind, consciousness, and self are by-products of the brain’s electrical and chemical processes, and that RSMEs [religious/spiritual/mystical experiences] are “nothing but” brain states or delusions created by neural activity. Accordingly these scientists and philosophers believe that there is no spiritual source for RSMEs, that is, they think that the human brain creates these experiences and, in so doing, creates God.

Due to the rejection of God and disbelief in the spirit realm, most psychiatrists seek to treat emotional and mental disorders by prescribing medications and provide secular counseling. The medications only suppress the symptoms and have a plethora of side effects. The secular counseling seeks to promote behavior modification without addressing the inner man (the person’s heart) and possible spiritual issues that a person may be dealing with.

Instead of seeking instant relief through pharmaceutical medications, it might be more beneficial take time and effort to address the core issues that led to mental and emotional illness.

A lifestyle that includes regular exercise, good nutrition, getting a proper amount of sleep, reading the Bible and praying regularly not only enhances physical and mental health but also spiritual wellbeing. Biblical counseling and deliverance can address spiritual oppression.

Some practical tips to combat anxiety, depression and fatigue include:

  • Greatly reduce or completely eliminate sugar and refined carbohydrates (white bread, white pasta, white rice, etc…). The reason for this is that big fluctuations in blood sugar create stress in our bodies and too much sugar weakens the immune system.
  • Greatly reduce or eliminate caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant and enhances anxiety
  • Get enough sunshine by walking outside for 20 minutes 3 or 4 times a week.
  • Use herbal supplements that naturally enhance emotional health
  • Use the medicine of God’s Word to combat the spirit of heaviness

Prescription Drug Alternatives

DEPRESSION:

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.  Psalm 42:5

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

INSOMNIA:

I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8

In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves. Psalm 127:2

My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble; when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Proverbs 3:21-24

ANXIETY:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7

If you are abusing alcohol or other drugs and want to lead a victorious life and be set free from addiction you need to have a relationship with the LORD God, Creator of the heavens and the earth. To find forgiveness and freedom, pray the following prayer or a similar prayer in your own words – 

“Lord Jesus Christ,

I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to earn my way to heaven. Although I deserve God’s wrath, by God’s mercy, I accept your free gift of eternal life by faith. I believe that You were born of a virgin and died on the cross to pay the price of my sins. I believe you were buried, rose again on the third day, have ascended into heaven, and will soon come again.

Lord, please forgive me of my sins, come into my heart and take control of my life.” AMEN

 If you sincerely prayed this prayer, then you have just made a decision by faith, to accept the free gift (God’s grace) of the substitutionary sacrifice of the Messiah (the Christ), whose suffering and death paid the price of your sins. You have been born again. As a new born, you need to be nourished.

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38

In order to grow and mature spiritually you need to:

  • Be baptized into Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ)
  • Speak to God each day through prayer. (Pray each day in the name of Yeshua/Jesus).
  • Read your Bible every day. When you read the Bible, God speaks to you through His Word. (If you don’t own a Bible, then we will help you get one.)
  • Find a Bible believing church and attend regularly – both worship services and a Bible study.
  • Share with someone what God has done for you.

We have a variety of resources for you on our website such as:

Biblical Insights into Combating AddictionTeachings on Prayer and Fasting, links to Christian resources for the addicted: Find HelpHealing Scriptures and information on our Annual Weekend of Prayer event.

Leaving Behind an Addiction to Chaos through Christ

If there was any doubt as to the stance of the Bible on being kind to oneself, the answer lies in 1 Corinthians 3:16, which states that the body is a temple. Christ recognized the light that shone within each of us and encouraged His disciples to live in such a way that they could share this positive, kind, compassionate light with others. Some people, however, are not able to share the best of themselves with others because they are addicted to chaos; in other words, they feel most comfortable with, and therefore seek out, people, situations and environments which are filled with tension and drama.

When chaotic is comfortable

If you know someone who is attracted to chaos, it is important to understand that they may embrace this way of life because it is what they have grown up with. When they were children, their parents may have communicated by shouting and screaming or there may have been drug or alcohol abuse in the home. When a house is filled with tension, chaos becomes ‘normal’ and people can become surprisingly uncomfortable when there is too much peace or stability in their lives. There is a difference between being attracted to tension and being addicted to it; addiction is present when one is unable to function normally in a work, social or family setting. It can be witnessed in some people who have quit drug or alcohol use; instead of feeling happy about their newfound stability, they can provoke a fight or otherwise create a tension-filled situation, as a way of managing their anxiety.

How to manage an addiction to chaos

To leave addiction behind, it is vital to change your heart through the power of the Holy Spirit. When you are born again and you receive Jesus as you Savior and Lord, you are liberated and you can begin to follow the example set by Jesus, of compassion, sacrifice and love for others. Jesus died because he loved you, so you should not feel guilty about loving yourself, treating yourself kindly and taking all the steps you need to enjoy the true wonder that comes from a peaceful life.

Faith is a pillar, but so, too, should your deeds reflect the new, free person that you are. Identify all the relationships, people and circumstances that have brought chaos to your life in the past. You may not necessarily be able to make immediate changes, but you can definitely lean on the Lord to help you make a long-term plan. For instance, you may be unhappy because you are in the wrong job; we all have obligations in life, and it may be impossible for you to leave your job immediately. However, you can begin to make changes that will enable you to find more suitable employment in the future (for instance, by studying a course).

When you have been freed from chaos, try not to ‘relapse’ into your old behavior. If you find that when you are tense, you provoke an argument with your spouse or you feel tempted to indulge in drugs or alcohol, remember that Christ lives inside you and that as a Christian, it is your duty to ensure that both body and mind are temples. Avoid toxic substances, places and people, since they will offer you temptations which are best avoided.

Your faith will also stand you in good stead when it comes to setting your own limits. As Christians, it is our duty to help others when they have problems, to sacrifice material and other needs to help those who are ill, suffering or poor. However, this does not mean that we should allow others to use us as a punching bag. We all know people who love dwelling in negativity; those who constantly criticize others or complain incessantly, even when things are going well. This type of person may actually be what you once were before you welcomed Christ into your heart: a person who is addicted to chaos. Speak to them about your faith and how it has helped free you from addiction, but do not be guilty about seeking distance if you feel your personal limits have been overstepped.

By Laura Graf

To view the article, “Are You Addicted to Chaos” by Lindsay Kramer, go to: http://www.recovery.org/pro/articles/are-you-addicted-to-chaos/

 

The Deadly Truth About Painkillers

Prescription drug use is continuing to increase Worldwide, and with that comes more abuse and more problems. This infographic, The Deadly Truth About Painkillers, covers these problems, from over prescribing and drug-mixing to addiction and more. Take a look at this infographic and you will learn all you need to know about this important issue.

The Deadly Truth About Painkillers

Infographic courtesy of 
Jason Gilbert
KLEAN Treatment Centers

 

Addiction Is Costly

Addiction is costly. It may cost you your job, your friends, your family, your health and even your life.

economics-of-addiction-

 

The Last Days Calendar: Understanding God’s Appointed Times

Last Days Calendar book cover

The average person has scant knowledge of biblical terms and events. There are even those who attend church regularly who haven’t read the Bible in its entirety. The Last Days Calendar is written to reach people with little or no Bible knowledge as well as to bring new insight concerning end time events to seasoned Bible students.

The key that The Last Days Calendar utilizes to unlock an understanding of Bible prophecy, is the fact that all Old Testament Scripture proclaim Jesus Christ as the true Messiah sent to redeem the world. The author, a Jewish believer in Christ, examines New Testament prophecy through his understanding of the feasts, fasts, and festivals in the Old Testament. 

Just as the first coming of Jesus Christ to earth was promised in numerous places in the Old Testament, there are clear passages and allusions to the Second Coming of Christ. An understanding of the festivals found in the Old Testament with their frequent descriptions of the nature of Jesus Christ in His person, is therefore most valuable in comprehending Bible prophecy For example, the traditional Jewish wedding ceremony is an illustration of Gods relationship to the church. Therefore, knowledge of Jewish betrothal and marriage customs is necessary to interpret the meaning of Christ’s wedding illustrations in its proper context.

 Jesus Christ fulfilled the spring cycle of biblical festivals in His First Advent by instituting the New Covenant at the Passover; being entombed during the Feast of Unleavened Bread: resurrecting on the Festival of Firstfruits; and sending the promised Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Find out what the Bible reveals concerning Israel’s fall feasts and the Messiah’s Second Coming.

Author Steven L. Sherman, is a Jewish believer in Jesus Christ who is a gifted teacher and lecturer on biblical prophecy. Steven is also the founder of “Just Pray NO! Ltd. Since 1991, “Just Pray NO!” has sought to unite Christians from around the world in intercessory prayer on behalf of the addicted and their families by sponsoring the annual “Just Pray NO!” Worldwide Weekend of Prayer and Fasting.

All royalties go directly to the ministry of “Just Pray NO!” Not only will you get to read a great book but you will be supporting a great cause – fighting drug and alcohol addiction.

To order THE LAST DAYS CALENDAR: Understanding God’s Appointed Times, go to: Redemption Press

To arrange for a personal interview with “Just Pray NO!” Founder and Author Steven L. Sherman call: (727) 647-6467
or email: justprayno@aol.com

The Roots of Alcoholics Anonymous 12 Steps are Bible Based

Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine. Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper. Your eyes will see strange sights and your mind imagine confusing things. You will be like one sleeping on the high seas, lying on top of the rigging. “They hit me,” you will say, “but I’m not hurt! They beat me, but I don’t feel it! When will I wake up so I can find another drink?” Proverbs 23:29-35

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18

Alcoholism

According to the National Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism, drinking too much – on a single occasion or over time – can take a serious toll on your health.  Here’s how alcohol can affect your body:

Brain: Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, and can affect the way the brain looks and works. These disruptions can change mood and behavior, and make it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.

Heart: Drinking a lot over a long time or too much on a single occasion can damage the heart, causing problems including:

  • Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle
  • Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure

Research also shows that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol may protect healthy adults from developing coronary heart disease.

Liver: Heavy drinking takes a toll on the liver, and can lead to a variety of problems and liver inflammations including:

  • Steatosis, or fatty liver
  • Alcoholic hepatitis
  • Fibrosis
  • Cirrhosis

Pancreas: Alcohol causes the pancreas to produce toxic substances that can eventually lead to pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.

Cancer: Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of developing certain cancers, including cancers of the:

  • Mouth
  • Esophagus
  • Throat
  • Liver
  • Breast

Immune System: Drinking too much can weaken your immune system, making your body a much easier target for disease.  Chronic drinkers are more liable to contract diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis than people who do not drink too much.  Drinking a lot on a single occasion slows your body’s ability to ward off infections – even up to 24 hours after getting drunk.

Based on the analyses of 100 individual country profiles, The World Health Organization (WHO) has released The Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health focused on analyzing available evidence on alcohol consumption, consequences and policy interventions at global, regional and national levels.

The harmful use of alcohol is a global problem which compromises both individual and social development. It causes harm far beyond the physical and psychological health of the drinker, including the harm to the well-being and health of people around the drinker. Alcohol is associated with many serious social and developmental issues, including violence, child neglect and abuse, and absenteeism in the workplace.

The harmful use of alcohol (defined as excessive use to the point that it causes damage to health) has many implications on public health.

• Harmful use of alcohol results in the death of 2.5 million people annually, causes illness and injury to millions more, and increasingly affects younger generations and drinkers in developing countries.

• Alcohol is the world’s third largest risk factor for disease burden; it is the leading risk factor in the Western Pacific and the Americas and the second largest in Europe.

The harmful use of alcohol is also associated with several infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). This is because alcohol consumption weakens the immune system, reduces inhibitions, effects judgment and has a negative effect on patients’ adherence to antiretroviral treatment.

In the United States:

  • Each year, more than 600,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.
  • 95% of all violent crime on college campuses involves the use of alcohol by the assailant, victim or both.
  • 90% of acquaintance rape and sexual assault on college campuses involves the use of alcohol by the assailant, victim or both.
  • Every day, 36 people die, and approximately 700 are injured, in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver.  Drinking and drugged driving is the number one cause of death, injury and disability of young people under the age of 21.

The origins of Alcoholics Anonymous can be traced to the Oxford Group, a religious movement popular in the United States and Europe in the early 20th century. Members of the Oxford Group practiced a formula of self-improvement by performing self-inventory, admitting wrongs, making amends, using prayer and meditation, and carrying the message to others.

In the early 1930s, a well-to-do Rhode Islander, Rowland H., visited the noted Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung for help with his alcoholism. Jung determined that Rowland’s case was medically hopeless, and that he could only find relief through a vital spiritual experience. Jung directed him to the Oxford Group.

Rowland later introduced fellow Vermonter Edwin (“Ebby”) T. to the group, and the two men along with several others were finally able to keep from drinking by practicing the Oxford Group principles.

One of Ebby’s schoolmate friends from Vermont, and a drinking buddy, was Bill W. Ebby sought out his old friend at his home at 182 Clinton Street in Brooklyn, New York, to carry the message of hope.

Bill W. had been a golden boy on Wall Street, enjoying success and power as a stockbroker, but his promising career had been ruined by continuous and chronic alcoholism. Now, approaching 39 years of age, he was learning that his problem was hopeless, progressive, and irreversible. He had sought medical treatment at Towns Hospital in Manhattan, but he was still drinking.

Bill was, at first, unconvinced by Ebby’s story of transformation and the claims of the Oxford Group. But in December 1934, after again landing in Towns hospital for treatment, Bill underwent a powerful spiritual experience unlike any he had ever known. His depression and despair were lifted, and he felt free and at peace. Bill stopped drinking, and worked the rest of his life to bring that freedom and peace to other alcoholics. The roots of Alcoholics Anonymous were planted.

An alcoholic from New York has a vision of the way to sobriety and is introduced to a like-minded doctor from Akron. Their first meeting will lead to the creation of a Twelve Step recovery program and a book that will change the lives of millions.

Following Bill W.’s spiritual awakening at Towns Hospital (late 1934), he and wife Lois join the Oxford Group — a nondenominational movement whose tenets are based on the “Four Absolutes” of honesty, purity, unselfishness, and love — and begin to attend meetings at Calvary House, behind Manhattan’s Calvary Episcopal Church there. Bill is inspired by the charismatic rector Rev. Dr. Samuel Shoemaker, who emphasizes one-on-one sharing and guidance.

A short-term job opportunity takes Bill to Akron, Ohio. In the lobby of his hotel, he finds himself fighting the urge to join the conviviality in the bar. He consults a church directory posted on the wall with the aim of finding someone who might lead him to an alcoholic with whom he could talk. A phone call to Episcopal minister Rev. Walter Tunks results in a referral to Henrietta Seiberling, a committed Oxford Group adherent who has tried for two years to bring a fellow group member, a prominent Akron surgeon, to sobriety.

Bill is asked to speak at a large Oxford Group meeting at Calvary House. His subject is alcoholism, and after the meeting Bill is approached by a man who says he desperately wants to get sober. Bill invites the man to join him and a small group of alcoholics who meet at nearby Stewart’s cafeteria after the meetings. Bill is unsuccessful in his efforts to reach these alcoholics. Eventually his ability to help alcoholics grows, after he seeks counsel from Dr. William Silkworth of Towns Hospital. Dr. Silkworth suggests he do less preaching and speak more about alcoholism as an illness.

Henrietta Seiberling, daughter-in-law of the founder of the Goodyear Rubber Company, invites Bill to the Seiberling estate, where she lives in the gatehouse. She tells him of the struggle of Dr. Robert S., and the meeting of the two men takes place the next day — Mother’s Day, May 12, 1935. In the privacy of the library, Bill spills out his story, inspiring “Dr. Bob” to share his own. As the meeting ends hours later, Dr. Bob realizes how much spiritual support can come as the result of one alcoholic talking to another alcoholic.

Bill joins the Smiths at the weekly Oxford Group meetings held in the home of T. Henry Williams and his wife Clarace, both particularly sympathetic to the plight of alcoholics. Soon, at the suggestion of Dr. Bob’s wife Anne, Bill moves to their home at 855 Ardmore Avenue.

Dr. Bob lapses into drinking again but quickly recovers. The day widely known as the date of Dr. Bob’s last drink, June 10, 1935, is celebrated as the founding date of Alcoholics Anonymous. Dr. Bob and Bill spend hours working out the best approach to alcoholics, a group known to be averse to taking directions. Realizing that thinking of sobriety for a day at a time makes it seem more achievable than facing a lifetime of struggle, they hit on the twenty-four hour concept.

Dick B. is considered the world’s leading Alcoholics Anonymous historian and has written several books about the Biblical roots of A.A. Some of the following information is taken from his book, “Cured: Proven Help for Alcoholics and Addicts.”

…But we [Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob] were convinced that the answer to our problems was in the Good Book [the Bible]. To some of us older ones, the parts that we found absolutely essential were the Sermon on the Mount, the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians, and the Book of James”

The Basic ideals and principles found in A.A. were originated by Christian believers, who used Christian-based practices to cure an unbelievably high percentage of early alcoholics, commonly referred to as the “Pioneer Program of Recovery,” or, “Pioneer AAs.”

“Bill Wilson frequently declared that AAs did not ‘invent’ their program; nor did anyone invent it, he said. The AAs borrowed it. And they correctly called their ‘spirituality’ reliance on the Creator.”

The Pioneer Program of Recovery which acknowledged our Creator and was based on practices rooted in the Bible had an amazingly high success rate of curing alcoholics.
The success rate of A.A. today has plummeted since the days of early A.A. as members now use terms like, “Higher Power,” instead of applying and adhering to its true Christian roots. In the pioneer days members would proclaim, “They had been cured by Almighty God! They had merely to look in their Good Book. What’s to fear!”
Today, from the moment a newcomer enters the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, they are told that they have the “incurable disease” of alcoholism.

The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe. Proverbs 29:25

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

The simple fact that there is a cure makes it wrong to tell the newcomer that there is no cure. The newcomer would feel extremely better and more confident knowing that there is a cure through belief in God and His Son, Jesus Christ.

Here are Dick B’s comments on this issue, “What a prescription for life-long bondage-bondage to illness, bondage to treatment, bondage to therapy, bondage to negatives, and bondage to endless sick ideas within and outside of A.A.” Furthermore, “The Creator, God Almighty-whose name is Yahweh, not ‘Higher Power’-can cure, has cured, and has healed alcoholics”

The original 12 Steps of A.A.

One: We admitted we were licked. Alcohol was our master. We prayed: “O, God, manage me because I can’t manage myself.”

Two: We became “willing to believe” that God could cure us; to “act as if” He would; and to take the action that proves God really can and does cure.

Three: We “made a decision” to “rely on the Creator” for help and to “do His will.”

Four: We gave ourselves a written, moral test, checking our life by the “four absolutes”-the standards of God’s will taught by His Son Jesus-honesty, purity, unselfishness, and love.

Five: We admitted our moral failures to God, to ourselves, and to another believer.

Six: We became “convicted” of sin against God; were “willing” to “hate and forsake” the sins uncovered, and to ask that God “remove those sins” from our lives.

Seven: We “humbled ourselves, submitting ourselves to God;” were “born again” of His spirit and therefore became a “new creature in Christ;”could thereafter be renewed in the spirit of our mind; and could put on the new man which is created in righteousness.

Eight: We became “willing” to “agree with our adversaries,” obey God’s command to “love you neighbor as yourself;” and to set things right with others.

Nine: We took action to (1) reconcile ourselves with any brother that had anything against us; (2) restore to him anything wrongfully taken from him; and (3) forgive him for any of his trespasses against us.

Ten: We continued to watch for, and pray for the removal of, those “major” sins blocking us from fellowship with God-namely resentment, selfishness, dishonesty, and fear. When they cropped up, we applied the same corrective steps involved in our initial housecleaning; we tried to adhere to a new code of love and tolerance; and we began reaching out to others.

Eleven: Before retiring, we checked our behavior against Christ’s moral standards, asking forgiveness where we had failed to observe them and guidance toward doing better in the future. We sought daily fellowship with God and other believers through Bible study, prayer, seeking His guidance, reading Christian literature, and often through church attendance. We turned to God for peace, and our reliance on Him provided relief from anxiety and fear.

Twelve: Having received the power of God through accepting Christ, and having the ability to bring into manifestation that power of the Holy Spirit, we passed on to others the Steps we had taken, and tried to do God’s will in all our affairs-particularly emphasizing the principles spelled out in 1 Corinthians 13.

Deliverance from alcoholism comes from repentance and submission to God by receiving Christ as both Savior and Lord of your life.