Addiction is a dependence on a legal or illegal substance, drug, or medication. While alcohol and nicotine are legal substances, they are also considered to be drugs. Many addictions begin with experimental use of a substance in social situations. When individuals become addicted, they are not able to control the use of the substance. This is in spite of the mental or physical harm that the drugs may cause. Addictions can lead to an intense craving for the substance. The risk of addiction and how fast you become dependent upon the substance varies by the drug. The person may try to quit, but most people find they cannot quit on their own.
Drug addiction symptoms or behaviors include the following, among others:
- Feeling that you have to use the drug regularly-daily.
- Experiencing intense urges for the drug.
- Driving or conducting other risky activities while under the influence.
- Failing in your attempts to stop using the drug.
The Bible clearly states that addictions are a real problem people face in this world, however, according to 1 Corinthians 10:13 – “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” Secondly, the Bible is clear about finding help for addictions. This help ultimately comes from God as we replace old habits with new ones. Colossian 3:8-10 affirms, “But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”
Addictions are a very real issue, but they are not impossible to overcome with the help of God and God’s people. Scripture offers much encouragement regarding the reality of addiction, God’s power to fight addiction, and the strength of God’s Spirit for the believer who seeks to fight against addictive struggles.
If you are struggling with addiction and need to speak with someone, email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are feeling anxious and need to share your thoughts immediately, contact the church office at (404) 691-5770 during office hours. After 6:00 p.m. and on weekends, contact our on-call Pastor at (404) 313-4225.
Anger is “an emotional state that varies in intensity from mild irritation to intense fury and rage. Anger is accompanied by physiological and biological changes. When we get angry, our heart rate and blood pressure increases, as do the levels of our energy hormones, adrenaline, and noradrenaline. Anger can be triggered by a person or an event (traffic jam, canceled flight); or the anger may be caused by worrying or brooding about personal problems. Managing anger is an important life skill. Christian counselors report that 50 percent of people who come in for counseling, have problems addressing their anger. Anger can shatter communication and tear apart relationships; and ruin both the joy and health of many. Sadly, people tend to justify their anger instead of accepting responsibility for it. Everyone struggles, to varying degrees, with anger. Thankfully, God’s Word contains principles regarding how to manage anger in a godly way; and how to overcome sinful anger.
Anger is not always sin. There is a form of anger of which the Bible approves, often called “righteous indignation.” God is angry (Psalm 7:11; Mark 3:5), and believers are commanded to be angry (Ephesians 4:26). Anger becomes sin when it is allowed to boil over without restraint, resulting in a scenario in which hurt is multiplied (Proverbs 29:11), leaving devastation in its wake. Often, the consequences of out-of-control anger are irreparable. Anger also becomes sin when the angry individual refuses to be pacified, holds a grudge, or keeps it all inside (Ephesians 4:26-27). This can cause depression and irritability over small matters which are often unrelated to the underlying problem.
We can address anger biblically by seeing God in the trial. This is especially important when people have done something to offend us. James 1:2-4, Romans 8:28-29, and Genesis 50:20 all point to the fact that God is sovereign over every circumstance and person that crosses our path. Nothing happens to us that He does not cause or allow. Though God does allow bad things to happen, He is always faithful to redeem them for the good of His people. God is a good God (Psalm 145:8, 9, 17). Reflecting on this truth, until it moves from our heads to our hearts, will alter how we react to those who hurt us.
If you are struggling with anger and need to speak with someone, please email email@example.com. If you are feeling anxious and need to share your thoughts immediately, contact the church office at (404) 691-5770 during office hours. After 6:00 p.m. and on weekends, contact our on-call Pastor at (404) 313-4225.
According to MedicalNewstoday.com, ‘anxiety’ is a general term for several disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worry. These disorders affect how we feel and behave, and they can manifest real physical symptoms. Mild anxiety is vague and unsettling, while severe anxiety can be extremely debilitating, having a serious impact on daily life
People often experience a general state of worry or fear before confronting something challenging such as a test, examination, recital, or interview. These feelings are easily justified and considered normal. Anxiety is considered a problem when symptoms interfere with a person’s ability to sleep or otherwise function. Generally speaking, anxiety occurs when a reaction is out of proportion with what may normally be expected in a situation.
A real, genuine faith requires us to actually believe that God will provide for us. When we take the focus off of us and what we can do, it makes trusting in God and what He can do much easier. Anxiety is all about you and nothing about God. That is why we are commanded to stop being anxious. In Philippians 4:6-8, the bible says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
God has a plan for every step of your life. Anxiety is only a stumbling block and a hindrance to walking the path that God has set for you. If you are feeling uncontrollably anxious, and need to speak with someone, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need to share your thoughts immediately, contact the church office at (404) 691-5770 during office hours. After 6:00 p.m. and on weekends, contact our on-call Pastor at (404) 313-4225.
He has not forsaken you! Life can throw some major blows our way… like the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, a failed relationship or the diagnosis of an illness. At times, the normal ups and downs of life can seem unbearable to cope with. You may struggle with overwhelming feelings of emptiness and despair. You may feel out of sync and isolated from everyone and no longer enjoy life. If you are experiencing any of these feelings, know that you are not alone. When we are faced with difficult times first and foremost pray and seek God’s guidance. Despite what you are going through he has not forgotten about you. In Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV He says “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you. He will never leave or forsake you.”
If you are going through a season of depression, do not be ashamed or afraid to seek support. We implore you to find someone you can confide in such as a family member, friend, a medical professional or your pastor. Surround yourself with a team of individuals who have your best interests at heart. This is a necessary step in the healing process. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10 NIV)
In challenging times, meditate on the words of God, continue to pray, remain faithful and know that a breakthrough is on the way.
If you are struggling with depression, and need to speak with someone, please email email@example.com. If you are feeling anxious and need to share your thoughts immediately, contact the church office at (404) 691-5770 during office hours. After 6:00 p.m. and on weekends, contact our on-call Pastor at (404) 313-4225.
Sometimes the injury is slight; other times it is major. Regardless of the severity, you feel something must be done to right a wrong. Your sense of justice demands retribution. Such feelings are common, part and parcel of the human condition. Yet, our calling as Christians requires of us a radically different response when a wrong has been committed. Jesus himself set the standard for forgiveness; the behaviors He expects are clearly not what the world demands. He teaches that we have heard it said, “Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.” But He tells us, “If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Matthew 5:38- 39) Was it perhaps this understanding that caused the outpouring of forgiveness by church members to the man who had entered their sanctuary during Bible study and randomly shot and killed those gathered? In the reports of what transpired, there was no mention of attempted defense or retaliation.
The old saying, “I can forgive, but I can’t forget,” does not meet Jesus’ forgiveness standard. In Romans, Paul writes: “Do not repay anyone evil for evil…If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge…but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written, ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord…Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. ” (Romans 12:17-19, 21)
Forgiveness comes through a process:
- You must acknowledge the offense.
- You must identify the offender.
- Talk to someone “spiritual” about how you feel.
- Seek God for healing and forgiveness.
Often it is said that an unforgiving spirit is as harmful as the wrong that provoked it. The believer’s most powerful weapon when dealing with the issue of forgiveness is prayer. The Lord’s Prayer offers the simple yet effective recourse: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” It is when you forgive others when they sin against you that God in turn forgives your sins. Forgiving and being forgiven are the keys to being at peace with God and man.
If you are struggling with the issue of forgiveness, and need to speak with someone, please send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are feeling anxious and need to share your thoughts immediately, call the church office at (404) 691-5770 during office hours. After 6:00 p.m. and on weekends, contact our on-call Pastor by dialing (404) 313-4225.
The death of a loved one is life’s great trauma that shakes the ground beneath us, forever altering the landscape of the familiar. As Christians, we are not immune from death’s sting. The hole in our heart that the loss carves is common to all humanity. Walking through that “valley of the shadow of death,” we can expect to encounter the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, sorrow and acceptance; as documented by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.
I joined the ranks of the bereaved seven years ago when my husband of thirty plus years died suddenly. Following his internment, my older brother suggested that I read the Book of Job, one chapter a day. That daily reading recounting Job’s relationship with God after his devastating losses along with the Christian meditations in the book, Grieving the Loss of Someone You Love, was strengthening and life affirming.
As Christians, when death comes, we turn at some point to the author of our faith and remember His promises. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 reminds us that “there is a time for everything, a time to be born and a time to die.” The prophet Jeremiah tells us of God’s promise to “turn their mourning into gladness; to give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.” Jesus himself said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Paul writes, “Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope.” And the Apostle John’s words in Revelation 21 offer great comfort: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain…”
If you are struggling with grief and need to speak with someone, please email email@example.com. If you are feeling anxious and need to share your thoughts immediately, contact the church office at (404) 691-5770 during office hours. After 6:00 p.m. and on weekends, contact our on-call Pastor at (404) 313-4225.
Most importantly, stay rooted in God’s word.
The theological concept of salvation is relatively simple; yet some believers struggle to understand what it means beyond the generic “deliverance from danger or difficulty.” The Christian believes salvation is specifically “deliverance from the power of sin and restoration of right relationship with God.”
Salvation cannot be earned. There is nothing the believer can do to achieve it. Salvation is God’s gracious gift to us originated in Jesus Christ and His atonement for our sins on the cross. Christ’s crucifixion offers salvation to all who accept Him as the risen Son of God. With that confession, a person is saved. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that who so ever believed in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) Here is how salvation happens. But that is not the end of the story. We receive the gift of salvation with an understanding that it frees us to turn from the sin that held us captive; with God’s grace we then turn toward a life that is the opposite of the one we lived before.
The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church reads, “When a person, by the grace of God, accepts God’s “pardoning love,” he or she enters into a transformational process of salvation.” In other words, God’s salvation, a “done deal,” by Jesus’ crucifixion, is ours to claim; but also ours to maintain. And perhaps it is in this stage of the Christian journey that the concept of salvation gives us pause. How do we continue the process of transformation offered by this gift? God’s Word is the best resource. We affirm with the Psalmist, “The Lord is my light and my salvation.” (Psalm 27:1) We acknowledge “He alone is my rock and my salvation.” (Psalm 62:2) And we hear when Paul writes, “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and act according to his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:12-13)
Salvation – Atonement, Justification, Reconciliation or Redemption – whatever you may call it, is God’s gracious gift to all. If you are struggling with understanding your salvation, and need to speak with someone, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are feeling anxious and need to share your thoughts immediately, contact the church office at (404) 691-5770 during office hours. After 6:00 p.m. and on weekends, contact our on-call Pastor at (404) 313-4225.
Are you in a season of pain and hopelessness? Is your world crumbling around you? Perhaps you feel like no one could possibly understand what you are going through and believe that the only solution is to end to your life? If you are contemplating suicide we want to help. God loves you and He can restore a sense of hope in your life. You can overcome these feelings and turn the tables on your suicidal thoughts. Let the word of God guide you from this period of darkness. God did not create you haphazardly. You were created with purpose. He tells us in Jeremiah 29:11-12 NIV “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” It may feel like all hope is lost, but it is not. Connect with God, lay it all on the table and tell Him what is bothering you. Ps 18:2- 3 NIV tells us “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Meditate on His promises and know that His plans for your life are far greater than what you can imagine.
The Cascade family loves you, and we are here to help with resources available to you. Please email the church office at email@example.com or call (404) 691-5770 during office hours (9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.) After 6:00 p.m. and on weekends, contact our oncall Pastor at (404) 313-4225.
Visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention www.afsp.org or call the National Suicide Prevention Life 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.