A Word to the Wise

10-19-2018 – A Word to the Wise:  Colossians 2:21-23. tells us abstinence will not work. What does? The root problem is selfishness, leading to obsessive compulsive behavior. The spiritual treatment for obsessive compulsive behavior rooted in addiction is handwriting out 25000 things you are grateful for beginning with conception.

The list includes things the Lord has done for you, friends, family, even enemies. For instance how many dirty diapers did your caretaker change for you? How much thanks or even consideration has been given for those clean diapers?

You see it is not how hard it will be to come up with the 25000, rather how much has been forgotten.

Why does this assignment work? It takes the mind off what one craves and places it on what one has received. One is able to crave only one thing at a time.

However this is only one part of the equation. The second has to do with anxiety.

A Word to the Wise

10-18-2018 – A Word to the Wise:  Often I am ask to give suggestion on how to ‘cure’ addictions. When I worked on the Substance Abuse Unit at Terrell State Hospital I frequently would tell and alcoholic how to stop drinking, that is take Anabuse. In 15 years and 5000 clients only 5 took the advice.

That advice was humanistic in nature. After praying about addiction, The Lord said, any type, alcohol, drug, sex, oil dirt, blood, food, etc. may be pushed out of the heart by one simple assignment.

I have given it numerous times, no one completed it, though several have been helped by starting it.

A Word to the Wise

10-10-2018 – A Word to the Wise: As a counselor often you find yourself working with strange people or situations. This seems to be particularly true of addicts.

I had one case where the person (this was new to me) was addicted to eating oil dirt. That is they would drain the oil out of vehicle into the dirt, move the vehicle and then proceeded to eat the dirt. Now to be honest I found that somewhat odd until the next person.

Now oddities seem to come in pair. This person would burglarize blood banks and steal fresh blood and drink it. Now that is a strange addiction.

But there is an even stranger group. This group of people, (a lot of Christians) who firmly believe that their parents owe them support for the rest of their life. Not only food, clothing, and shelter but they are expected to pay for their alcohol, drugs or other addiction, pay their bills and get them out of legal trouble. Now according to this group that is being a loving parent, or friend.

Now most of us would think that is foolish, and to be honest it is. However, along with this concept many others hold to a belief called ‘unconditional love.’That is the demand of others that we do anything and everything demanded based on the idea that Christians are to love unconditionally, meaning giving anything ask of them regardless. The Bible does not teach that in fact it teaches just the opposite.

Now as we look at those concepts we see just how foolish they are and yet there is another group of Christians, at least they call themselves Christians, who go to church, give a couple of dollars when the collection plate is past and consider that Christianity. On the week days, they lie, steal, cheat their neighbors, cuss like a sailor, get angry over the smallest matters with family, friends, neighbors and not a few enemies, and call that living a holy life.

Most of us are able to see that these things are not what Jesus requires of us. But there is another group probably which I and many of you are a part of that do and believe things inconsistent with a godly way of life.

Do you care to list your misdeeds?

A Word to the Wise

10-9-2018 – A Word to the Wise: – Personal history

Sometimes the Lord does something that absolutely astounds you, it just leaves you breathless.

In 1982 I was diagnosed with diabetes. Now there are certain indicators that you have a problem but if you’re unfamiliar with the indicators, well you learn. One of the big indicators is that you cannot pass a bathroom without stopping, yes you have to visit them every ten or so minutes.

The police department at that time required everyone to qualify with their weapon every six months. Rain or shine, hot or cold, snow or ice, the only excuse for not showing up to qualify was if it were lightning.

I received my noticed and made plans to go out to the firearms range. Before leaving I took my blood sugar. It had been high it was still not under control. In fact it was over five hundred (suppose to be 80-120).

Getting to the fire arms range I made the usual stop at the bathroom, halfway through the lecture I went again. While driving out I noticed my vision was somewhat blurred. I hoped it would clear up.

I get up on the 25 yard firing line look down at the target and I had double vision! (Not unusual with such high sugar levels, but new to me). I could not see straight.

The command comes over the loud speaker, ready on the firing line. Then as if that were not bad enough it began to rain! A real down pour. Did not make a difference have to qualify in the rain. Could not see the target clearly before now, well let’s add a little rain. It’s pouring down rain.

Finished the combat course, go down to get my score, did not even want to look at the poor target. Instructor handed me the score card, and ask if it were the first time. Looked at him, looked at the score, and it was a perfect score. What, I do not understand. How is that even possible?

Finished, left the range and once out the gate I ask the Lord, what was that all about? That was not possible. His answer; I just wanted to lift your spirit.

Every time I go out to qualify I look up at that board, only 9 Reserve Officers in 50 years scored perfect scores. The Lord did that, just to lift my spirits.

You see the Lord does care for His children, He is God, and there is no other.

A Word to the Wise

10-2-2018 – Personal History – Exodus 12:38 makes a simple statement of fact; “a mixed multitude went out with them.” The text indicates that a large group of non-Israelites left Egypt with Israel. Ever wondered why? I have an opinion. This group had witnessed the power of the Lord nine times, no doubt some were even first born who had taken refuge in the homes of the Jews and their life saved.

You see they had witnessed the power of the God of Israel, and they wanted to give their allegiance to Him. Egypt had been decimated by this God, He was now their God.

I think there are a couple of lesson here for us. First if you reflect back are you able to count the number of miraculous interventions the Lord has made in your life? Situations that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt the God did that for you. None? One? A dozen? More? Ever tell anyone about them?

Because we do not share these miracles we find it difficult to convince, children, relatives, friends, even enemies of just how powerful the God is that we serve.

It seems to me that there is a special place in God’s word just meant for these testimonies. In my bible it’s located at Psalm 136. Here the Lord is listing a host of interventions He has made for Israel, and also for all of His creatures.

It is a perfect place for my own list of miracles. One day my children and maybe grandchildren will come across the list.

It starts all most from the day of my birth. A twin, premature, hardly breathing. That is just the beginning. Shortly thereafter he saved my eyes. If He had not, then years later I would not have been able to join the military, and thereafter the police force.

I still clearly remember the day I ask the Lord to allow me to marry my wife, Mary. I had just met her, a miracle in itself. His answer was Matthew 7:7.

One event after another graces the page. Graduating with a four year degree in two and half years, with honors!! Me who could hardly pass high school. Or the huge one rescued me from bondage. If that is not enough then to testify about the numerous times he protected me from dangerous situation where my very life was threatened.

Nor does it stop there. He has given me honorable children who love and serve Him. He gave me a name, He did these things how can I but testify to the world His gracious deeds.

But the real point is this. We look around and try to tell others to serve Him and they turn their backs, or do not want to hear it. I think the reason is we do not have personal stories to tell them what the Lord has done for us. Or we are fearful that others will laugh at us or tell us God stopped doing miracles 2000 years ago.

He did not. We just have stopped asking Him for them. So what has your God done for you?

A Word to the Wise

9-28-2018 – Personal History – The news headlines lately has brought up for me a very painful experience that occurred some 50 years ago at this time of year, and experience which was to have a profound effect on my direction in life.

I had just graduated from graduate school. I accepted a ministerial position at a small church in northern Arkansas. Been there about three months when a woman in the church accused me of making obscene phone calls too her ( Of all the evil deeds I had consider doing in my life, even had done, making such phone calls never entered my mind).

It was assumed that I was guilty regardless that a polygraph showed that I was innocent and investigation showed I was eight hundred miles away at the time.

However, as is mostly the case with slander the truth is not important and people believe the accuser regardless of the facts. Even the school that I had graduated from believed the lies.

My faith in people was crushed and within a year I quit preaching altogether. Took a job at Terrell State Hospital, and joined the Dallas Police Department as a reserve officer.

I learned a few important lessons though. It really is unimportant what people think of you, and more importantly the only thing that is really important is whether the Lord is pleased with you.

Another discovery was the real pleasure one receives from putting evil doers in jail. I guess only police officers can identify with that experience. Because I worked where really bad people committed really horrible crimes I never tired of hauling the evil ones to jail. I never arrested someone who was innocent or failed to jail the guilty.

Sometimes late at night I wonder is the world better off for the 200 or so I brought to the Lord, or of the thousands I put in jail?

As for the counseling, I do not know how to judge its value or purpose. I really cannot take credit for it because it is more the Lord’s doing.

The Lord shows me what is in the heart of the person, and guides my words to them, so I cannot really take credit for the 11,000 or so I have worked with in the last 30 years. Only He is able to judge which activity pleased Him. Regardless, I do hope I have pleased Him for that is really the only reason for being here; to please the Lord.

A Word to the Wise

9-24-2018 – A Word to the Wise: To sin, to really sin wounds the soul so deeply that no salve can redeem the pain.

Yet it is the one who suffers such wounds, who knows, really knows the price of forgiveness.

For the one who escapes such depravity they have no reason to know the futility of sin, and the cost of personal failure.

Perhaps, then when we behold those who have suffered the loss of everything, we learn the deeper lessons of persistence, courage, and dignity, and discover for ourselves the price we must pay if we are to escape the ravages of sin.