Getting Clean It's More Than Just Quitting

The story of Naaman is a very interesting story in the scripture. When we dig into this story, it gives us a really good perceptive on Getting Clean.

In 2 Kings 5:1-14, we read the story of a great and powerful man that had an issue that he tried to conceal well from everyone around him. He was a commander of a Syrian army, who was stricken with a terrible condition.

We know from the scripture that the King, Namaan’s wife, and the servant girl knew about this issue. I wonder how many others knew.

The servant approaches Namaan and gives him a scenario of how he can get free. After a few conversations and some controversy with the kings, he ends up at Elijah’s door.

Elijah gives Namaan a very clear way to get healed. The caveat is that Elijah gives these instructions through a servant. “Go wash in the Jordan 7 times.”

Namaan’s pride is hurt. He’s furious because he has traveled all this way and Elijah doesn't even speak to him.

Isn’t it...

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Letting Go and Letting God

Such a frequently used phrase yet in reality is a challenge for the majority of us to do. The other day I began to contemplate the story of Joseph’s life. What an amazing story about letting go and trusting the purpose of God irregardless of what he suffered.

I saw the correlation here with Joseph and to those of us who have suffered on account of family members battling with addiction.

If you really think about the life of Joseph the beginning of his struggles started at the hands of his family members. Gen. 37

The story of Joseph is a commonly told story but in short, Joseph spoke out about a dream that he had to his brothers and as a result they got angry, wanted to murder him, and settled for selling him into slavery.

Think about this; Joseph was sold into slavery by his family.

That is tough! How could the people we love and care about so much be the result of so much pain and hardship in our lives?

While we have never experienced exactly what Joseph did many of us...

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How do I really help the Addict?

This is the all-encompassing question. The truth that every loved one is searching to answer. So often these topics of codependency and enabling come up when folks begin making attempts to help their loved one that is an addict. They are not just topics or ideas, but quickly and easily become realities when the family that is helping is not careful and focused in the direction of their efforts to help.

I am certain that codependent and enabling relationships are simply healthy efforts to help, turned unhealthy.

Let’s be honest. When the struggle shows it’s face in our families, we are not prepared for it. We don’t expect it and so we have absolutely no clue how to cope with the thought of the children we love and care about living bound by a life-controlling problem.

So how do I help?

Get Help

We know the addict probably needs rehab of some sort. Whether inpatient, outpatient, medicinal, or non-medicinal. Do they need a doctor? Do they need a therapist? Should I...

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Can this Hurt Have Meaning?

The grief of watching a loved one battle an addiction can be absolutely overwhelming. It can leave a person depressed, worn out, physically & emotionally sick. Just to name a few.

As we go through this struggle of helping someone we care about we will never be okay with the addiction. The pain of this battle can cut deep over and over again. If we don’t find a way to channel all that we have been through into something positive and life giving, it can eat away us.

I don’t think I have to spend time elaborating on the hurt. I think we all connect to what it means to grieve pain and hardships. I think what’s important here is that we focus on finding a way to use this hurt to help others.

I was thinking about this and how my parents were able to use this struggle. They initially got the call of God to launch the Teen Challenge program around the same time 3 children were beginning to actively fight addiction.

At the beginning, they fought with the thoughts of...

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You Didn't Cause the Problem..Dealing with False Guilt

I grew up in a great home. I had two amazing parents that cared for me and loved me so much. They did their absolute best to ensure that I had everything I needed to live a successful and productive life.

My parents never gave me drugs or encouraged me to party. Yet there was still a point where I chose to follow that path. I share my personal experience with this because it would be absolutely absurd for me to realistically blame my family because of my poor choices.

Yet many parents; after making attempts to help their loved ones, will live with a false sense of guilt. They take the blame on themselves.

“I remember a lot of emotionally, charged conversations with my parents during the end of my addiction. When the topic of finally going into a program would come up, I would do a lot of blaming. In the midst of the moment, Mom would reply with comments like “What did I do to cause this?” “What could we have done differently?” My addiction existed...

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Am I Enabling or Empowering?

One of the topics that often comes up in the world of recovery is the topic of enabling. This is a common issue for those close to anyone with an addiction.

Often times it’s hard to see the difference between whether we are helping or harming those we care about.

Enable is defined as: give authority, to allow, to permit, to make it easy.

I want you to think about this. When you enable, you shield your loved ones of the consequences of poor choices. Stephanie, who is currently serving as our receptionist, recently shared her story about this.

She said, “My parents compromised with me, agreeing with me that using in the house was okay because it was only marijuana.  That little compromise my parents made with me enabled me to take it and run with it.”

Again, look at our definition here; enable is to allow, to permit, to make it easy. You have to be careful that you’re not making it easy for your loved ones to make poor choices that will lead to their...

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Stop Avoiding the Problem...Start Now!

You're overwhelmed. Life is going on all around you and suddenly crisis happens. You're faced with a problem.

Ever been there?

You don’t need to have experience in addiction or have had to battle with a family member in addiction in order to understand the nature of dealing with a problem.

Though for many of us our initial reaction is to try and find a way to avoid dealing with the problem. We don’t want to be inconvenienced by what we're facing so we move on and tell ourselves we will get to it later.

The bigger concern is sometimes this becomes a pattern. We move from problem to avoidance to a new problem to avoidance. After a while we end up standing on top of a mountain of issues.

I’ve been involved in a few remodeling projects throughout the course of my life. One of them we worked on is a building that had been built in 1937. It seemed that every time we pulled a piece of Sheetrock off or began to work on a room, we would uncover another issue that we...

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Five Steps to Restoring Broken Relationships

In my last post I discussed how it’s going to take Hope to move us out of the place of brokenness. Jesus is the true giver of Hope and as we receive this Hope we can start to see the pieces of our lives being put back together.

Another part of moving beyond our broken past is truly seeing God restoring our relationships.

It’s hard to see the beauty when we're still standing in the ashes of broken relationships.

If you're ready to see your relationships begin to come back together, the best place to start is asking God for help. He longs to help you!

James 1:5 - “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

Search His word for Wisdom and guidance and He will give it to you. Here are five steps for restoring relationships.

5 Biblical Steps for Restoring Broken Relationships

     Be committed in Love
It’s important to know that true love empowers...

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How to Move Beyond Your Broken Past

One Word: HOPE

Hope- a feeling of expectation and desires for a certain thing to happen, goal, plan, wish, expectation, a feeling of trust

One of the biggest struggles that we face in trying to move forward when dealing with a loved one in addiction is what seems to be a lack of hope.

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick but a longing fulfilled is the tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12 )

It’s hard to see the beauty when you're still standing in the ashes
This has to be the biggest battle you're most likely facing today. So many times you’ve been filled with false hope and the truth is that when Hope is put off time and time again, or when we get our hopes up to be let down, we live with heavy hearts. From a place of heaviness we can find ourselves making poor choices; choices that cause us to break boundaries we might have not previously broken.

How do we move beyond this brokenness? In our human frailty, broken pieces cause hurt and pain, but God who is full of...

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Do You Hear the Phone? A Lesson on Delusion

I was sitting in church one day and right as the Pastor got up to speak I began to hear a really faint ringtone. It wasn’t your traditional phone ringing. Someone had put a long song as their ringtone. At first I thought that I was the only one hearing it and it would just go away. After a few minutes I began to look to try and figure out where it was coming from and began to notice that other people heard the ringing as well. Now generally most people when their phone goes off during a service they notice it quickly and rush to turn it off. It typically catches a person off-guard. (Also just a side-note this is really awkward when you're the speaker.  True story, my cell phone rang from the pulpit before. I have been caught in quite a few moments just like this one.)

It seems that someone was really trying to get a hold of them because the phone rang for a good 15 minutes during the service. What was astonishing is that everyone else around them would glance periodically...

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