Take Risks With Outside-The-Box Thinking

Thinking outside the box is not for everyone, only the brave and courageous take risks. Have you ever been in a situation where you needed to step across the boundaries, and take a stand? Words have power and create solutions in the atmosphere, but once they turn to action the consequences become visible to others.

Read moreTake Risks With Outside-The-Box Thinking

Colby’s Story – A Child Abandoned

Colby’s Story – A Child Abandoned is one of many stories that will grip your heart when a child falls prey to devastating experiences. Studies have shown that there are similar backgrounds of those who get enslaved by addiction. One is genetics. Another is environment. Others are basics like peers, adventure, or mental illness.

Read moreColby’s Story – A Child Abandoned

Stories Of Restoration From Drug And Alcohol Addiction (part 3 of 3)

What is hitting bottom for a drug addict? Do addicts need to hit their bottom before getting help? Ending up in the hospital or sitting in a prison cell — the bottom? It’s different for everyone. Many live as functioning addicts for a long time before realizing they need help. And drug addiction knows no bounds and can enslave anyone from the educated to the non-educated, and Christian families are not always exempt. This is the last interview in the series. Tristan is an articulate 27-year-old young man from Bermuda who graduated from the 12-month program at Teen Challenge in Winnipeg, Manitoba. 1.  What is your family, job, and education background? I have a mother, but my father passed away in 2011 from cancer. My mother struggles with alcoholism and drug addiction. I was employed in the insurance industry. And my educational background is a Bachelor of Arts in economics. I’ve done first year law. 2.  What one thing contributed to your drinking and drug use? Peer pressure and insecurity. 3.  Were you affected by alcohol or drugs growing up? If yes, how? My mother was a drug addict and an alcoholic. I grew up in a divorced home. I … Read more

Stories Of Restoration From Drug And Alcohol Addiction (part 2 of 3)

Bethany grew up in a Christian home and went to church but completely walked away from her faith. When serious health issues hit this twenty-something young lady, she realized she was out of control and needed help. 1.  What is your family, job, or education background? I have three sisters and my job background is basically little jobs. I worked at a grocery store and a gas station. I have my high school for education. 2.  What one thing contributed to your drinking and/or drug use? I would say the two major things…I was sexually abused as a child, and so that definitely played as a factor. And also growing up I felt unloved and unwanted. My parents fostered other children and I felt like they came first next to me. So just the feelings of being unwanted and unloved. 3.  Were you affected by alcohol or drugs growing up in your family. It was actually never around. My parents did not drink and never used drugs. I never saw it. The reason I got introduced to it at age 12 is that since my parents didn’t drink, but at Christmas time they got wine bottles so they stored them. … Read more

Stories Of Restoration From Drug and Alcohol Addiction (part 1 of 3)

Drug and alcohol addiction has many faces with people of all kinds backgrounds falling prey. From professionals with a Ph.D to teenagers, to the homeless addiction knows no bounds once it gets you into its grip. It was my pleasure to interview Lisa, an articulate 31-year old, who graduated from the 12-month program at the Adult & Teen Challenge in Brandon, Manitoba. A compelling story of redemption in Christ. 1.  What is your family, job, and/or education background? Ph.D. Alternate Medicine, computer programming design, military, professional cooking. Family..2 children age 14 (has autism) and 9 (haven’t seen since a year old). Family of Origin…youngest of 4 girls from father’s first family, and now have half brother and a half sister; mother is deceased. 2.  What one thing contributed to your drinking and/or drug use? Difficult to narrow it down to one thing since there are many things. But for me the one that contributed to my downslide was the death of my mother. Six weeks after that I lost my job to recession. In Proverbs it says that an inheritance gained too early in life is a curse and not a blessing. That inheritance definitely led to my…. 3.  Were … Read more

Why Are We So Quick To Judge?

Why are we so quick to judge? How do we know what others are living through unless we have a relationship with them or have factual information.

dreamstime_xl_31737918
Photo credit www.dreamstime.com

So often we judge by the cover of the book and not the content. In reality, people pick up a book first by its cover. If the cover doesn’t appeal to them they may never pick up the book to read it. First appearances are important in our society as we are judged by what we see on the outside. Going for a job interview is a daunting task where first impressions count. We put emphasis on outward beauty, especially in the acting or music world. An artist who is visually appealing on the outside will get more breaks than others.

Justin Bieber- An Example

Recently we have watched celebrities caught in the clutches of the media as they expose their behavior on every media outlet…electronic, paper or social media. Unbecoming photos of celebrities are plastered in front covers of trash newspapers in the grocery stores. One can’t help by see them. This makes me sad as the business of selling news is more important than the lives of individuals who have feelings. Sarcastic comics and ads can be seen all over. Sounds like fun, but to whom?

Television talk shows reveal all kinds of information on famous people.  An example is Justin Bieber. Although I’m not a fan of his music, I feel for him as he is dragged through the media storm. Is he the only one to blame for his behavior now that he is considered an adult at 18.  Addiction counsellors will tell you that your parenting days are over when a child becomes an adult. Parents no longer are responsible for their adult children`s behavior.

Research on the Teenage Brain

Brain research reveals that the teenage brain is not fully developed until early twenties. This article states that addictions start in the teenage years. So the impulsive behaviors of teenagers result from a physiological and emotional development of the brain. A quote from a Harvard blog states:

Recent research has shown that human brain circuitry is not mature until the early 20s (some would add, “if ever”). Among the last connections to be fully established are the links between the prefrontal cortex, seat of judgment and problem-solving, and the emotional centers in the limbic system, especially the amygdale. These links are critical for emotional learning and high-level self-regulation. (http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog-extra/the-adolscent-brain-beyond-raging-hormones)

Courtesy of Dream Designs via www.freedigitalphotos.net
Courtesy of Dream Designs via www.freedigitalphotos.net

Is a 19-year-old too young to be able to make good choices for physiological reasons alone?  Add alcohol and drugs and you have undesirable actions. The flow of constant money is a big factor as well as close associations with peers. There are all kinds of reasons why Justin Bieber’s behaviors right now are deplorable and will certainly hinder his career if he doesn’t change. In my opinion, he needs some kind of an intervention as he is so young . He will need support as well. That`s where the parents come in: more support and less  codependency.

Reasons We Judge

This brings me to the point of my topic about judging. Why do we judge so quickly? One reason is that we lack factual information. We jump to conclusions about someone, especially celebrities since their lives are so public. We have a distorted view all based on media since we don`t know them personally. I fell into this trap with a young female pop singer. I judged her based on one questionable video interview. A lesson learned I admit.

Another reason we may judge so quickly is that we have not walked in another person`s life journey. As the saying goes, “Don`t criticize until you`ve walked a mile in their shoes”.  I`m not convinced that you have to walk in the same experiences in order to be supportive. We can have a loving attitude towards others who are struggling and speak words of encouragement. When making judgments about public figures, we can keep quiet and pray until our heart is right. People get so worked up about what they hear in the media that it affects their own heart attitude. The scriptures talk about judging, and there is constructive criticism that has its place, but negative uninformed judgments have no place coming out of our mouths.

Our own insecurities can cause us to blame others. We think we know better or that we are better at handling situations. Laying the blame solely on parents of troubled teenagers is not always right. We don’t know what they are going through.

Luke 6:37 NIV Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

John 7:24 NIV Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.

 What do you think? How have you reacted to recent media reports about celebrities? How can you support someone who has a loved one who is struggling with addictions?