torch bearer
bringing the light of Jesus to a dark world John 8:12

Self Medicating

10/18/2007 06:50:00 PM
We hear all the time about how people self-medicate. We shake our heads and say that it is a shame that they can't deal with whatever the hurt is in their life in a more appropriate manner. Why is it that it is so easy to turn to something else when the hurt is so bad. "Well, if I do this activity, then the pain from the last activity will be diminished." What incredible, logical thinking that is! What is strange (ok, sad) is the amount of self-medicating Christians that there are. Now I'm not talking about taking drugs, alcohol, food or sex to self-medicate. What I'm talking about is the abandonment of the body when you get hurt. We fall into a false belief that we can teach our self at home and all will be ok. The hurt will go away if I just run away. I can't imagine trying to heal the hurt by trying to teach yourself. This is the same confused logic of taking a drug to make past hurts go away! Satan has been good at convincing us that we can abandon public teachings and the family of God, and still stay healthy in our walk with Christ. See, there is a strength in numbers. There is a healing that can only take place if we stick with each other. In Deuteronomy 32:30, which is usually taken out of context, it says that one can put 1,000 to flight and two 10,000 to flight. This is a statement of what the enemy can do to us when we do not have the power of God in our lives! It doesn't take as much work for the enemy to scatter us if we are trying to walk in our own power. And guess what, we walk in our own power when we run from the body of Christ and ignore public teachings. Yes, you can argue that we can use the TV, internet or CD's, but how easy is it to drift toward the teachings that 'tickle our ear'? Ephesian chapter 4, as well as other areas, talk about the importance of unity in the body. And to have true unity, we must actually be together. Teaching yourself only, or self-medicating, will not accomplish the unity that the body of Christ is suppose to have. And, if you have been so hurt by the family of God, and unfortunately it happens, that you can't go back to that part of the family...then go somewhere! But complete isolation or self-medicating is not healthy. Just as we would tell others that it is not safe to cover up their hurt with harmful substances or actions, I believe God is saying the same thing to us a followers of His Son, Jesus.
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Slow Fires

10/13/2007 09:53:00 AM
Well, it is October now, and guess what...we are having to build fires in the fireplace. I don't mind really. I like fire. Ok, I'm not an arsonist...I just love fire. The beauty of the flames...the heat that it produces...the things that it does to the wood. All of it. I just love fire. Today, as I was building one, I noticed something about myself. I had made a perfect prefire setup. Paper wadded up not too tight and not too loose. Small, skinny, dry pieces of kindling stacked back and forth like a Tic-Tac-Toe board. A little bit bigger pieces of wood on top of that in the same pattern. Man, I was ready. I grabbed the lighter and did my thing. I lit the paper. And as it slowly started to burn, I grabbed the bellows and started puffing away. 'Come on fire! Burn, burn, burn!' When it didn't take right away, I puffed even harder. It finally started to go. So I closed the door a little and walked away. Satisfied. I looked back at it a few minutes latter, and the dumb thing wasn't burning like I thought it should be. So I got back down there with the bellows again, and started puffing away. Then it hit me...what is my stinkin' hurry! I constantly talk about how life is a process and it all takes time, and here I am rushing something that I know takes time itself. Too often in my life I think I do the same thing. 'Ok God, You prepared the perfect setup, You have a desired out of my way and let me puff this thing into reality." I think the problem is that I used to use Coleman fuel to help start bon fires years ago, and now I expect the same result in my home fireplace. Instant, big fire! But even using Coleman fuel was not a great answer...the fire would flare up fast but not really catch anything on fire. I know I don't really want this for my life, not to mention that is also not God's plan for my life. He wants to build the perfect 'prefire' set up in my life, then light it, and let it burn at the right speed. See, God knows that good fires take time. He doesn't need my help. He doesn't want a big fast fire that doesn't actually burn anything. He wants a fire that burns deep. One that produces His outcome. So, I think I will just let Him do that. Produce that long lasting, deep fire that is not easily put out. I will leave the fire of my life to the Ultimate Firestarter!
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Asotin, WA, United States
Follower of Jesus, husband, dad, and called to be His torch bearer to the world.
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