How to Overcome Offenses

family resources Jul 18, 2017

People hurting us is a part of life. The question is how are we going to respond.

When it comes to offense, we can begin to deal with it by asking ourselves an important question. When are we most like Christ?

Is it when we read our Bibles? When we pray?

Is it when God uses us to do powerful miracles in His name?

The truth about this question may shock you. But to get to the answer, we must first answer another question – why did the Jews want to kill Jesus?

In Luke 5, some people lowered a paralyzed man through the roof down into the house where Jesus was. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “your sins are forgiven.” (Luke 5:20)

Now watch at how the religious leaders respond:

“But the Pharisees and teachers of religious law said to themselves, “Who does he think he is? That’s blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!” (Luke 5:21)

They wanted to kill Jesus because He said he was God by saying that he forgave someone’s sins!...

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When Your Loved One’s Addiction Ruins Your Summer Vacation

family resources Jul 09, 2017

It’s that exciting time of year when you’re ready to enjoy the vacation you’ve been planning for months.

The bags are packed, the car is gassed up, and you are ready to hit the road.

Finally, you are relaxed. The wind is blowing as you roll down the windows and cruise to your destination.

You arrive. The hotel is nice. The pool is inviting. And you have plans to explore for the next 10 days.

And then everything changes.

The person you love disappoints you with a broken promise – a promise never to use drugs or alcohol again, especially on your family vacation.

All the problems from the past flood in and hit you at once. You remember the fights, the late nights, the tears, and the efforts to help. All to no avail.

Now, not only are you dealing with someone you love who is using drugs or alcohol again. But you are dealing with it on your summer vacation.

The question is what to do about it.

How do we handle such a disappointment at this time of year? What can...

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When I learned that I didn't have to stay quiet to be humble

personal blog Jun 24, 2017

I'm 31 this year. My entire 20's has flown by as I've spent them fully engaged and committed to growing a non-profit to help drug addicts and it's been a great journey.

I serve today as the Executive Director alongside my wife for the organization of Shenandoah Valley Teen Challenge. It's awesome. 

5 years ago I found myself in a quandary, we had just made a decision to purchase a piece of property for the ministry that cost almost 1 million dollars. This property would enable us to help more people struggling with addiction. We made the move and for a while, the phones were ringing and our beds were staying full and everything was going according to plan then one day the calls stopped coming.

Like completely stopped. 

It was quite the pickle. 

After I exhausted my contact list to let people know we had space, I began to read books to learn about how I could better market our ministry so people knew we existed. I had never read much into marketing. 

I was...

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Fun Noodle Obstacle Course - Vlog

personal blog Jun 09, 2017

We had a great birthday party for Chloe today and celebrated with a Fun Noodle Obstacle Course. 

We played a couple of different games with the course.

First, the two teams lined up, each person ran the entire course, came back and tagged their partner. First team to get all their members through the course win. 

Second, a relay race. One Team Member at the beginning of each obstacle. They tagged each person and ran through. 

A couple of things that I didn't mention in the video. Use duct tape for the rings. It holds them together well.

Supplies Needed

48 - Fun Noodles @ $0.98/each
22 - 1/4" round x 48" long wooden dowels -$.68/each (cut into pieces and placed in the ground to hold the obstacles in place)
2 - Kiddy Pools - $6.98/each
Roll of Duct Tape
Water Balloons

6 Sponge Balls - Sponge Ball Instructions

 

The kids seemed to enjoy the course and we saved the noodles to use at another party we are having later in the summer. 

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Continuing the Restoration of Your Relationships

family resources May 25, 2017

When addiction gets into the family system, the thought of holiday family gatherings, conversations at dinner, and other events that functional families experience rapidly fades. Our perceptions of normal life, as we once knew, all but disappears.  Emotions become tense and fearful that the addicted family member will get arrested, hurt someone else, or even die because of the intensity of the habit. As loved ones, we become as involved with the addiction as the addict. Most hopes and dreams for a normal family life almost entirely disappear. What most parents do not realize that the non-user or family member becomes just as involved in a life-controlling situation as the user. This makes any hope of an immediate restoration tough. The past continues to linger on even though the addiction to drugs/alcohol may have ceased.

As believers, the Bible gave us the answers but will never see the solutions unless we apply them.  Our goal is to tear down the barriers before we move...

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Relationship Restoration: A Starting Point

family resources May 08, 2017

The bible tells us that forgiveness is not an option for a Christian, 

Eph.5:31-32. "Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you." 

But one thing that we often separate from forgiveness is reconciliation. 

They are not the same. This is a process that goes way beyond forgiveness and may always take time to jell. 

The bible also tells us that as Christians we all are in the ministry of reconciliation. 2 Cor 5:19. that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 

We see that God did two things for the Apostle Paul.  First, he reconciled Paul to himself through Christ, and second, he gave Paul the ministry of reconciliation. For the unbeliever, the same principals should still apply. ...

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There is No Way They Would Use Drugs

family resources May 04, 2017

“This can’t be happening!”


“There is no way my kid would do that.”


“I taught them better than this. I mean they know better.”


“He grew up in the church.”


“She’s always been so responsible.”


Do any of these statements sound familiar?


These are many of the statements that parents rehearse when they find out that their loved one is trapped in addiction.


You tell yourself stories to avoid the grief associated with that child now being stuck right in the middle of a problem that controls their life. A problem that if not dealt with could cost them their life. It’s pretty dangerous.


The truth of this, just like with any grief. You deny the problem. It’s the first step in coping with a reality that has smacked you hard in your face.


“My Kid is an Addict.”


As a loving parent that prognosis is not one, you want to accept. So the initial gut-check response is to deny it or ignore it.


That...

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Day 4 of My New Life..........Again.

addiction resources Mar 29, 2017

So, here we are. It's day four, and you know, I'm feeling kind of good. In a strange sense, It's a little easier to do this time around because frankly, I know what to expect. I know how my body is going to respond and how long it's going to take to feel normal again.


But yet, of course, there is that voice of regret in the back of my mind as well. It's the voice that's inwardly scolding myself for not getting it right the first time around. The voice that's saying..well why weren't you just strong enough to stick to what you started in the first place. So each day I feel that I am living in this tension, on one hand, knowing that the cravings and the achings in my body will eventually pass and once this new routine is habit I will be feeling fantastic and back to where I was before in no time.

Last May, I started a diet program that many of my close friends at our home church were doing, and they were having a lot of success.


At first, I didn't think I needed to change, but then I...

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I went six months without smoking, when I finally had another cigarette the unthinkable happened

addiction resources Mar 10, 2017

I'll never forget the last pull I had on a cigarette. Back in 2005, I had been in Teen Challenge for quite a while and was having a terrible day. We were out participating in a door-to-door fundraising activity in the suburbs of Long Island. Nothing went right about that day. Every attempt to raise money ended with one resounding no after the next. To make it worse my fundraising partner was just altogether angry at life in general. My day was conspiring against me to make sure nothing went right.

After a few more hours of misery and rejection from every house I went to, I found myself in a conversation with my fundraising partner about how nice it would be to have a cigarette. It seemed that after of 6 months of not smoking this stress was enough to merit breaking the streak.

After a few more houses my fundraising partner chased me down with a lit cigarette in his hand and informed me he had been successful in finding one.

Without a second thought, I grabbed the cigarette from him,...

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Helping Without Enabling: Is It Wrong to Hold the Addict We Love Accountable? Part II

addiction resources Feb 20, 2017

In Part I of this blog post, we talked about helping an addict without enabling.

And we ended by asking how to deal with the guilty feelings that come with such strong expectations. We feel like we’re being un-Christian by not “helping.” So, how do we deal with these negative emotions and truly help the ones we love overcome their struggle?

Let’s look at how Jesus handled the situation and see what we can learn about addressing these feelings in ourselves as we move forward.

In John Chapter 8, a group of religious people brought a woman they caught cheating on her husband to where Jesus was. The law said to kill her for what she did. The leaders asked Jesus what he thought they should do. Jesus pointed out the fact that none of them were perfect. Embarrassed about their own shortcomings, they all left. Only the woman remained there alone with Jesus. So, he asked her who was there to condemn her for her crime. She said, She said, “No one, Lord.”...

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