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The story is told of a man in England whose lifetime ambition was to take a trip to the United States of America. One day, a friend of his surprised him with the gift of an envelope. In opening it, the man discovered a ticket for a boat trip from the English port of Southampton (where he lived) to New York City. Overjoyed, and overwhelmed by the generosity of his friend, the man realized his dream was soon to come true.
On boarding the ship, the man's joy could be seen by all. Yet one thing differentiated him from the others on board. During meal times, the rest of the passengers went into the dinner lounge to enjoy sumptuous gourmet meals. Instead, this man went back to his cabin and opened the little bag he carried with him on board containing crackers and cheese, and day by day, he consumed the contents, alone.
Undeterred, the man, if it was possible, was only growing in excitement. He knew that in a short time, he would see America for the first time. In fact, he understood that there would be relatives waiting to meet him at New York harbor. The long sea crossing from England seemed a short one to him, because of the wonders he knew were awaiting him at the journey's end.
Since the alcoholic, addict or dysfunctional person cannot be helped until he or she wants help, it is necessary that we begin to pray for them, asking that God will bring them to that place that he/she will seek help. Do not be discouraged. Things might get worse before they get better; but remember, God answers prayer.
2. Offer the Gospel
In Romans 1:16 we read, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth."
So often, we tend to try everything but the power of God in helping the addicted or dysfunctional person. Now it is true that he may always need medical help, possibly psychiatric help, and the help of a counselor may be profitable; but without the power of Christ working in the life of this individual, nothing will be of lasting value. Witness to him or her of your own faith in Christ and through your church, putting them in contact with others who have a vital testimony to the power of God to change lives.
Good Christian literature will also be a help in getting this message across and we would be glad to make suggestions as to what books he might find profitable.
One of the strongest points of recovery groups is the fellowship that they have one with the other. It is necessary that when an alcoholic, addict or dysfunctional person makes a step toward recovery that we be willing to offer them fellowship, to make them feel welcome, to make them feel needed and to encourage them to share with others. This could be done through CIR or through the fellowwship of a church or a Christian businessmen's committee such as a Gideon Camp.
It's difficult to live in this culture and not hit negative body image. It's particularly potent for those of us struggling with disordered eating and image issues. Check out the statistics:
Numerous correlational and experimental studies have linked exposure to the thin ideal in mass media to body dissatisfaction, internalization of the thin ideal, and disordered eating among women. The effect of media on women's body dissatisfaction, thin ideal internalization, and disordered eating appears to be stronger among young adults than children and adolescents. This may suggest that long-term exposure during childhood and adolescence lays the foundation for the negative effects of media during early adulthood. Pressure from mass media to be muscular also appears to be related to body dissatisfaction among men. This effect may be smaller than among women but it is still significant. Young men seem to be more negatively affected by the media images than adolescent boys are.
(Media, Body Image, and Eating Disorders:
We cannot underestimate the influence of media. George Orwell warned us of that sentiment years earlier:
"The people believe what the media tells them they believe."
I often find myself going over and over the past,like when I am trying to go to sleep at night and can't because of these thoughts. All the fear and panic of the past creeps into my present. It is as if I re-live it all in real time. It can be extremely painful both spiritually and emotionally.
I have come to learn a few things.
1. I can always learn from my past and I think we are supposed to learn from our past mistakes and missteps.
2. Satan can use the past to keep me in bondage. And that is certainly not the will of God. The last thing I want is to be doing what Satan wants. So, when these thoughts come back to me I pray. I ask God for healing in this area of my life.
When the past comes back to haunt me it can be something from years ago or from just yesterday. Usually the result is confusion in my entire being. But scripture teaches:
For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace. 1 Corinthians 14:33
So I have to wonder if it is not Satan who drags some of this stuff up to confuse me, to make all of these emotions boil over and create a mess. Now, I am not saying I have to ignore these feelings and emotions. They should and must be dealt with in a godly and biblical fashion. But I cannot allow them to create confusion and a mess in my life. I have to be aware of these emotions and deal with them, not allow the pot to boil over.
"Actors search for rejection. If they don't get it, they reject themselves."
As someone with a theater background, I've often encountered rejection.
I've endured many auditions and have heard my fair share of no. I didn't look the part, sound the part, I couldn't get a handle on a certain accent or I simply was not "good enough."
Ah, yes, "good enough." For many of us perfectionists and/or recovering addicts, this little phrase cuts right to the core.
In one way or another, we are recovering from something in life. And yes, it's often fueled by rejection.
We're in the middle of cold and flu season; sickness abounds.
And, it's at this time of year, I think about healing. It's one thing to be flu-ridden, queasy, achy, possessing a high fever and wish to be well.
However, it's another thing if we struggle with addictions and compulsions; they are also referred to as "disease." With that situation, we're often conflicted at best and resistant and unhealthy at worst. What is our response to the question, "Do you want to get well?"
Hey, even Jesus asked the question.
We are living in an age where stress pushes at us from all sides. We live with a real threat of nuclear war. There is armed conflict in parts of our world. Famine, natural disasters, inflation and unemployment are nationwide. Things are going from bad to worse.
Apart from the pressure in the world, each one of us face stress and tension in our daily lives and situations. Underemployment and unemployment are very real problems that hurt us not only financially, but threaten us with feelings of inadequacy and loss of self-esteem.
Another cause of stress can be attributed to a simple lack of communication - on the job, between husband and wife, or between parent and child. We have the young mother with a thousand seemingly endless duties at home. There is the husband at work with pressure to meet deadlines. At day's end, when the husband comes home, there can be real conflict unless there is an attempt to honest communication.
There is stress in the life of the single person who may have feelings of loneliness or rejection. There is the ministry whose life may become a seemingly endless cycle of handling one counseling crisis after another, while still expected to be an outstanding church leader, perfect husband, and loving father. There is the worker in the factory saddled with what seems to be a boring, dead-end job.
The point is, all of us face stress and tension in our lives. To a certain degree, everyone also experiences occasional feelings of unworthiness or inadequacy stemming from an improper self-image. 0 r self-image also tends to change somewhat as our circumstances change.
Q: Aren't most offenders strangers?
- A: No. 29% of perpetrators are relatives of the victim, while 60% are
acquaintances and friends. Only 11 % of perpetrators are strangers.
Q: If sexual abuse only happens once, does it really cause any harm or damage?
- A: Sexual abuse is about power and damage to the core identity of a person. Any incidence of sexual
abuse leaves an imprint.
Q: If the abuse isn't violent and causes physical injuries, is it really sexual abuse?
Abuse is usually coercive. In most cases, the child is engaged by means of
persuasion, bribes, and threats, rather than by physical force. A
perpetrator likes to convince the victim and others, that the child was a
willing participant. This causes many victims to experience confusion,
shame, guilt, lowered self - esteem, betrayal of trust, fear of intimate
relationships, and a distorted view of sexuality. Most victims do not have
Never again will I confess, "I can't"
For I can do all things through Christ which Strengtheneth me Philippians 4:13
Never again will I confess lack, for
My God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory
by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
Never again will I confess fear, for
God has not given us the spirit of fear,
but of power, and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
Never again will I confess doubt and lack of faith, for
God hath given to every man the measure of faith. Romans 12:3
Never again shall I confess weakness, for
The most useless thing to do ...........Worry
The greatest Joy...............................Giving
The greatest loss.................Loss of self-respect
The most satisfying work................Helping others
The ugliest personality trait......................Selfishness
The most endangered species...................Dedicated leaders
The greatest "shot in the arm"..................Encouragement
The greatest problem to overcome.............Fear
Most effective sleeping pill..............Peace of mind
The most crippling failure disease.........Excuses
The most powerful force in life.............. ........Love
The most dangerous pariah.................................A gossiper