This is an extract from the book “Words Pressed: A Short Biography” (Available on Amazon)

Addictions come shrouded in various cloaks. Whether it be pornography, gambling, smoking, shopping, work, or the most illusive (as well as the most popular of all) drugs.

I am always delving in and out of¬†Psychology Today¬†which continually refers to addictions as a disease and also an “act that has harmful consequences”. ¬†A disease is a¬†malaise¬†contracted from society which gradually has an adverse affect on ones body and mind. ¬†These harmful consequences soon spread into our homes, the workplace, amongst our children and family. ¬†Many live in denial¬†believing¬†they can prevent and control this disease. However, at what point does an individual say that they actual want to be¬†set free¬†from what it is that bounds them? ¬†Possibly it is at that time when realisation hits a certain organ in our body e.g. our brain which then tells the heart that there is a need to regain a structure in life in order function like everyone else around us. There are many testimonies to tell and much to be admired; however none can be simpler than that of:

Reverend Stephen Derbyshire (senior pastor): “When I was at senior school, I became very disillusioned with life. ¬†At around the same time I became friends with a group of boys that were experimenting with drugs. Before long I was dabbling in the same drugs and two years later I had my first injection of heroin. ¬†I was soon injecting a few times each day. After spending time prison I hit rock bottom. At my lowest point, I cried out to God from a place of desperation and said “if you are real, reveal yourself to me.” ¬†I now realise that God heard my prayers because from that point of despair I started on a journey of discovery. ¬†One day, I went to a small church and heard how Jesus had died upon the cross to set me free from a life of emptiness. ¬†Although I heard this before, it was as if I was hearing it for the first time in my life. ¬†The minister offered to pray for people and I went forward. ¬†As he prayed, I experienced an¬†overwhelming¬†sense of love and acceptance. ¬†Since meeting Jesus, I have never felt alone. I have found a true sense of purpose. ¬†Following Jesus is an amazing adventure and I have never regretted the night I made the decision to surrender my life to Him.”

Addicted by Stephen Derbyshire – available on Amazon

Fight the Good Fight

by Jennifer Valentine-Miller

If like me you have been involved in a few tussles over the years, can you also say that some of the worse confrontations were with those you thought understood you or those you were close to?  There are at least three things that can be done when being confronted or attacked. One can stand there and be insulted, move away from the situation, or defend ones-self.
In the book of Timothy we are told, ‚ÄúFight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life.‚ÄĚ What are you or I to do then? ¬†‚ÄúFight the good fight of faith.‚ÄĚ That sounds great but, what exactly is the ‚Äúfight of faith‚ÄĚ especially when there is a sense of feeling so alone. Hence, I add YOU ARE NOT alone.¬† Others are also fighting too, and within that there is the awareness that I or you are not the sad deceived soul who needs to get a life.¬†¬†Our enemy wants us to think we are the odd one out. The more this thought pattern is eliminated from our minds, the stronger we will grow.¬† This is why the enemy has tries to keep us isolated.¬† I am told that solitary confinement is the worst place to be in prison.¬†In order to or us to fight we need to be strong and to attempt fighting whilst in confinement will place you only two steps backwards from where you are now.

For most people a good fight is a fight that you win.  That is why therefore we must never give up. The stakes are too high. Quitting is not an option. To quit is to admit defeat. Any soldier or those in the middle of a battle have to go through a course of training before they receive an assignment. During this time they go through a very rigorous physical and mental time of training.

The sole purpose of this training is to get us ready and prepared to do the job, and be properly equipped to do whatever it takes to get the job done even under the harshest environments. However we are not doing physical battle such as what military soldiers do, we are doing spiritual battle and the training we do is in the spiritual realm. We have been given God’s amour to do battle, to defend ourselves from the onslaught of the enemy, and to take back what has been rightfully purchased for us. This doesn‚Äôt mean there won‚Äôt be a fight; it means we just keep on fighting with God’s spiritual weapons. This means that with our eyes of understanding, we have an answer.

Be aware that the enemy will work overtime to keep us from seeing the key issue of the battle. Any fighter without endurance is a fighter who will eventually give up especially during the  time of mental  battle.

Copyright © Jennifer Valentine 2012

Healing From Damaged Emotions

For what ever reason there are many individuals whose emotions are strained from all its natural resources. However, there are far too many who also keep a hold of their mental strains!

There are those too who keep up outward observances by praying but inwardly they are going deeper and deeper into disillusionment and despair. There are those whose problems were buried underground, now only find that they reappear later in all manner of illnesses, eccentricities, terribly unhappy marriages. Sometimes this can lead to the cause of emotional destructive children. There are many Christians for example who have found release from emotional hang ups and by experiencing the healing memories through God’s way of repairing. The result is wholeness and transformation for those crippled with emotional despair.

Just like a tree, the rings of the bark reveal their developmental history year after year and the autobiography of its growth. The rings are the scars of long stand painful hurts, which cause all kinds of interpersonal difficulties.

Within the rings lie our long suffering thoughts and emotions which deeply and effectively affect ones concepts, feelings and relationships.

We are made aware that counsellors constantly have to pick up the pieces of people who have been utterly disillusioned and devastated because immature Christians have tried to cast out imaginary demons. And we all know what the simplistic syndrome is. It is instructions like: read your Bible, pray, have more faith, and the most classic being you would never get depressed if you didn’t have these hang-ups. Those who say such things are not only being far from the truth but they are also being extremely insensitive towards someone who has a deep emotionally rooted problem. But most importantly, they are denying that person the pastoral care they so desperately need.

I discovered three good pointers when reading the book *Healing from Damaged Emotions by David Seamands:

(1) Does an individual want to be healed? This is what Jesus asked the sick man who was lame for thirty years (John 5:6). Do you really want to be healed or do you just want to talk about your problems.

(2) Prayer: We need to continually ask the Holy Spirit to show us what are problems are, and ask Him how we need to pray. The book of James reminds us that sometimes we do not receive because we pray for the wrong things (James 4:3)

(3) Forgiving yourself: Many will say, yes, I know that I am forgiven but I cannot forgive myself. Terms cannot be contradicted; God cannot forgive us unless we forgive ourselves. It has also been quoted that areas of darkness are buried in the sea of forgetfulness and forgiveness. ¬†Corrie Ten Boom (a survivor from the Nazi‚Äôs occupation of Holland) once said “He then puts a sign on our past emotions which says No Fishing!¬†¬†Let us not entertain our past hurts.¬† Leave them with Him and just walk away.

Copyright © Jennifer Valentine 2012

*Seamands, David (1981), Healing From Damaged Emotions