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Showing posts from 2014

Heroin use on the rise and destroying lives!

Having lived in the Greater Cincinnati/Tri-State area for the past 28 years, I have seen the challenges of our communities to combat the drug epidemics that have come through our region.  Over the 23 years I have been active in what I’m hoping is making an impact on the drug problems/epidemic throughout our region as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor.  A recent article in the Cincinnati Enquire I believe accurately tells the story of the Drug Epidemic in 2014.  ( http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2014/06/28/heroin-cheap-pure-plentiful/11697157 ) In the past 23 years I have counseled thousands of individuals that are struggling daily with an addiction either to such things as alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, diet pills, benzo’s (Xanax and Valium) and many other drugs. However, I have not seen a drug that has torn through the very fiber of our society as Heroin has over the past 5 to 7 years.  The following tragic re-wording Psalm 23 by an anonymous heroin addict set the reality for

Am I Standing strong for my faith?

Am I standing strong for my faith? What are you going to do, when it is illegal? The news is full of stories that remind us of the book of Acts were we read several accounts of individuals being persecuted for their faith, and ironically it is almost always done in the name of religion.  History has continued to be full of men and women that have died for their faith, their unwillingness to compromise their belief in God.  Wether it was the Jews of the Old Testament that wouldn’t bow to the idle of the conquering nations, the martyrs in the Roman coliseum, to the Chines or Russian believers in atheistic nations that have turned their back on God, or those that follow the Islamic Shariah laws.  Please don’t misunderstand me, I have read church history and the Christian churches have had their share of bloodshed and persecution to mandate someone to believe in God. Regardless of who is doing the persecuting it is wrong, every individual worldwide should have the choice of accepting

Tragedies and more tragedies ....

I can’t help but look to heaven and ask why? There seems to be so many tragedies recently from airplanes crashing, to ferry’s capsizing, bus crashes, and countless other stories around the world of dozens and even in some cases hundreds dying.  I realize that the news media (24 hour/7 day week) coverage plays a role in how we react to the news of death. I have spent my entire adult life serving in the church, as a pastor, associate pastor, children’s pastor, men’s leaders, and college instructor. Helping people in crisis is difficult at any time, when a family member or friend dies after a long health related illness, we ask questions. When a young person commits suicide we look for answers.  When a plane crashes or ship sinks we demand answers.  Sadly, many times there is no good or acceptable answer. What there is; are frustrations, anger, resentment, denial, and multitude of others emotions that are so common of people in crisis and coping with a personal tragedy. As pastors an

Is there a Balance between an Awesome God and Mental Health?

Is there a Balance between an Awesome God and Mental Health?               I sit in my office and deal daily with patients that have dual-diagnosis; they suffer from addictions to alcohol, crack, pot, and any number of substance and life controlling problems.   However, that is not the worst of it, some also struggle daily with the problems of mental health issues.   Issues such as depression, anxiety, post trauma stress disorder, Bi-polar, and this list could go on.             Each of these issues in there own right could cause serious life problems for the individual.    They cause arguments, miscommunication, frustration, anger, resentment, and who knows how long this list could be.   Family members want the individuals to just do what is right, get over it, pull themselves up and move on, don’t sit around an mope all day.   The individual has a sense of confusion, why am I this way?   But the despair and inability to kick these feeling just keeps looming overhead, and frus

Ethics is always easy!

Ethics is not always easy! David Yonggi Cho, pastor of the world’s largest church, was convicted recently for embezzling twelve million dollars. Evidence was presented, witnesses were heard, and disagreements were voiced about court room procedure. I am disheartened that I am subjected to only the opinions of the various news media and their biases. Several well-known pastors have focused on just the greed aspect of this case in articles they’ve written or in their blogs. I believe that they have left out an important aspect of this case: ACCOUNTABILITY , as in the ethics of our actions and behaviors within the ministry and all the relationships within that ministry. The past is littered with these types of cases where a minister goes astray, becomes unaccountable to his ministry, and destroys many relationships. This is a very scary thought that is described in scripture. Accountability is not only required of all ministers in the financial aspect of the church, but in wh