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Understanding Abnormal Behavior

Since Jerry and I have been in Lake Havasu, we have come across a large number of people who have terrible alcohol and other drug addictions. In our years of ministry, in either of our churches, I can’t recall ever coming in contact with such a high percentage of people who are fighting these problems. I’m not sure if this is just a reflection of our current society, or if such is peculiar to the area here.

I have a hard time understanding the actions of these people, and have made a concerted effort to gain knowledge about their problems. I have contacted ministers who work with restoration programs for persons with addiction problems, and have asked them specifically about cravings. “Do they crave alcohol in the same way I crave food,” I asked Rev. Rick Faulker.

“Yes, they do. They crave the sugar in alcohol.”

I’m not at all “putting-down” these people. Quite the contrary is true. During recent weeks I have met precious women who are as bound by drugs as is a hardened criminal bound by shackles, and I weep for them. I’m desperate to have them emerge from these black days into the light of redemption and deliverance. I know God is their ultimate answer, but I see they need help from every available source. I want to understand them.

I sat in her living rooms as Jerry and I gave her and her husband a Bible study. Full of resolve, promising to be in church on Tuesday night, the very next morning after the Bible study she was drinking again, and could not keep her promise to her family, to Jerry and me, and to God. I grieve for this beautiful young mother.

This past Tuesday night, she and her family came into our Bible study session. “How are you doing?” I asked her as, before the service, we hugged.

She laid her head on my shoulder as she replied, “Not well. Not well at all.” We stood embraced for a long time.

Her husband greeted me, and as I asked the same question of him, he replied. “She’s not doing well, and it gets very hard.” A beautiful young lady stood beside him, and the man introduced her. “This is my daughter.” Later I learned her age to be 15.

During the service, when Jerry asked if anyone had a prayer request they wanted to speak aloud, the wife said, “I do,” then proceeded to speak. “I have a terrible addiction and I want to get over it.” She looked around the room, as though pleading with all of us. “I don’t want to do it. I really don’t want to.”

“Let’s all reach our hands to her now and pray for her,” Jerry said later, and so we did. My heart nearly broke as that sweet family of three sat on the front row and prayed, the dad reaching across his daughter as he extended his hand to his wife. The daughter had placed her arm around her mother, and now wiped tears from her juvenile eyes.

So then, I was intrigued to read the following article from Wired Magazine. Please read it and let me know what you think, and more especially tell me how to help these precious people I know. If you’ve had success working with addicts, or if you have been down that road yourself, I am eager to hear from you.

Being crazy is hard, but it’s worth the effort. Especially if you’re a cop, paramedic, or social worker who may someday need to deal with a person having a psychotic episode. At those times, empathy can be crucial.
That’s where Virtual Hallucinations comes in. The training device, created by Janssen L.P., is a rig with earphones and goggles that plunges the wearer into the mind of a serious schizophrenic. The system offers two interactive scenarios. In one, you’re riding a bus in which other riders appear and disappear, birds of prey claw at the windows, and voices hiss, “He’s taking you back to the FBI!” The other features a trip to the drugstore, where the pharmacist seems to be handing you poison instead of pills, and hostile customers stare at you in disgust.
Developed with psychiatrists and endorsed by advocates for the mentally ill, Virtual Hallucinations is being used by law enforcement, corrections, and health care professionals in at least half a dozen states. “It’s very effective,” says Margaret Stout, executive director of the Alliance of the Mentally Ill of Iowa, who’s tried it herself. “It really allows you to feel like your mind is just not working well.” For cops who have gone through the training, she says, that can make all the difference when it comes to understanding what a mentally ill person is going through. And there’s nothing crazy about that.

By Shirley Buxton

Still full of life and ready to be on the move, Shirley at 81 years old feels blessed to have lots of energy and to be full of optimism. She was married to Jerry for 64 years, and grieves yet at his death in August of 2019. They have 4 children, 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren...all beautiful and highly intelligent--of course. :)

26 replies on “Understanding Abnormal Behavior”

5-29-07 Perhaps it would be better for me to remain silent for it appears that I have entered a discussion wherein some are coddling and giving credit to man’s programs over God’s Word. AA and NA, to put it precisely correct, are in no way on an equal par or even close in comparison to the gift of the Holy Ghost, the HOLY BIBLE, or JESUS! In all due respect, it is high time to wake up and smell the coffee because it is done. Although these man-made programs may have some good in them, the BIBLE has the answers for all of mankind’s dilemmas. A trashcan may have some good things in it, but it is still a trashcan.

Raised an Apostolic preacher’s son, to put it succinctly, precisely, and in a nut shell, I went from tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, hashish, various sedatives, various stimulants, cocaine, to heroine addiction, and then to prison with scores of girlfriends in between. Let’s not forget dealing most of that stuff on top of it. Who in the world are some of you attempting to kid? It sounds as if there is a mutual admiration society and everyone wants everyone to accept everything everybody else is saying. Listen; I am crazier than Jeff Arnold and Charles Mahaney put together and fear nothing but God! Henceforth, here comes truth. Haven’t you noticed that The Word of God has been cited in all my writings to you? I give no credence to manmade programs wherein God’s Word is not addressed as the final authority with the answers to all man’s problems!

If AA was so great, then why was it that my Father would be led of the Spirit to make certain turns when he came into town for a tractor part and would find Frank King staggering across a vacant lot in town somewhere in a drunken state and Frank would ask him, “Why do you always find me when I’m like this, preacher?” Why is it that AA wasn’t there the night the power of the Holy Ghost got a hold of him and shook him like a rag doll with tobacco and rolling papers going one direction and a bottle of booze going the other and he was delivered immediately when he was filled with God’s power? Where were AA and NA when the Apostle Peter preached on the day of Pentecost? As a matter of fact, I never remember my Dad telling me that AA delivered him or anyone he knows. Rev. David F. Gray never mentioned the benefits of AA or NA as I served under him. Where were AA and NA when I needed help? Neither those programs, psychoanalysis, substitution of one drug for another (methadone), or any other ill-conceived program designed by flesh to address a spiritual problem gave me the assistance or assuredness I needed. My help came directly from Heaven when Jesus refilled my soul with the precious gift of the Holy Ghost while in prison.

Dean, in regards to some being unable to or choosing not to put a name to the higher power, the Word of God addresses that. Case in point: Mark 8:38 “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” In addition, Acts 1:8 clearly states, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” In no way does this reduce the believer to some emaciated, weak, spineless, and immobilized character. Shank 101: If you can’t name that higher power as Jesus Christ, then you are not truly delivered! That’s as stupid as being baptized in any other name than Jesus; in that case your sins have not been remitted and you only got wet!

Greg, please pay attention to all the previous. Clearly Jesus unnamed remains Jesus. No one has the authority to remove His name. That’s basically elementary. Somewhat akin to someone choosing not to use your name; you are still Greg! However, one that is ashamed or afraid to mention His name has the spine equivalent to that of a jellyfish. And, excuse me; experiencing God has no comparison to anything else and you will definitely know it is He! You want to know why I know that? Next scripture please: 1 Corinthians 14:33 “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” One will know it is God they are experiencing, otherwise they are confused regarding an experience. And, yes, love is necessary for the addict because love is what they are missing and many times searching for. Reference in the Word once again: 1 John 4:8 “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”

You ask me not to “discount the experience of God found by those who don’t even know they are experiencing God” and your direction discounts the Holy Bible because what you are requesting is not conducive to it! Are you not aware that many people, not only the rich and famous, are continually going in and out of programs to alleviate them of their addictions, and that to no avail? If God was in the program, deliverance would be available there and one would know it was from God. But you can’t program God!

By the way; please don’t insult us “yanks” with your diatribe of how well you Aussies can spell. You have four misspelled words in your first sentence, nothwithstanding the fact that there are several others throughout the body of your discourse. Suggestion: run spell check next time instead of insulting Americans! We DO live in the greatest nation on earth and have helped everyone that needed it, yet we are hated and it seems so popular to put us down!

In addition, depending on the instructor or facilitator, one of the main problems with AA and NA is they teach you that you were born an alcoholic or drug addict, have always been such, and always will be. Perhaps it is not in their literature, but they teach it. That is a direct cop out or attempt to absolve self of the blame for making wrong and bad choices. That theory is in direct defiance of the Word of God (Try reading Genesis). Yes, there are instances where a child is born to either an alcoholic mother or drug addicted mother. In those cases, the child is perhaps deformed, addicted, or both. If you want to see the absolute most horrible torture a human being experiences besides the Cross of Calvary, visit an obstetrics ward where a newborn is going through withdrawals. The writhing contortions of a small infant’s body, the screams of agony brought on by withdrawals, and the endless crying will make Hell real to you!

The reason NA and AA are accepted in society is because society has always embraced false doctrine. However, neither AA nor NA died for me on Calvary; Jesus did! If what I have said is simply too strong for any of you, I cannot apologize for the truth. (By the way, I went to Law College after getting out of prison. Please don’t debate facts.) Furthermore, I would rather tell truth and be despised than be politically correct and loved of all. Praying for all addicts to find the truth is a must. But false teachings will not deliver them; only God can do that!

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If you don’t mind, let me add another thought – – – there is another thing that hasn’t been spoken. Addicts must desire deliverance before it will come yet, they are bound by strongholds that we must help pray the power for those chains to be broken. They need our love and support, but most importantly we must touch God for them. I do believe AA and other such programs work if the attendee, as Bro. Oggs would say, “…have the want to.” We read about diet programs for overweight people and they always have testimonies of successful people. They were only successful with that diet because they made up their mind to follow it. However, the majority of people don’t keep the weight off until they completely change their lifestyle. Same with the drug/alcohol programs. If the person has hit bottom and seeks change more than anything else, the class can help. Truth is, most people return to their old habits until they completely change their lifestyle. Nothing works better than a powerful touch of the Holy Ghost, combined with our love, prayers, monitoring, teaching, and helping them break into a new circle of friends.

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Good morning, everyone.
In a few minutes I will be teaching a ladies Bible study here at DJs RV park. Within that group will be a lady named Janey, whom we met after we moved here. She now attends our fledgling church. In her own words she comes from a family of drunks and gamblers. Seven years ago, through attending AA and other meetings of that ilk, she overcame her drinking problem. So, I have no doubt these programs are helpful to some people.
Janey also says, though, that she needed more, and she has gone from church to church trying to find the spiritual help she knows she needs.
This addiction problem, I’m learning, is complicated, and I’m leaning on Jesus—and on help from good concerned people—who are helping Jerry and me as we minister to several people who are so bound.
Dean, you’re a wonderful man, and you’re right, of course, God is not through with you. Recall that the “gifts and callings of God are without repentance.” Probably don’t have that scripture quite right, but I’ll look it up later. I also want to refer you to Joel 2:23-27. Read it and weep…weep with joy and hope!
Greg, thank you for being here. I love the line, “Jesus un-named remains Jesus.” Oh, what a Saviour, He is.

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Hey Shirley – people who haven;t experienced the world of addictoin find it incredibly difficult to understand te addict and their behavious. Your loving of Sandra and her family is what is required – love and acceptance through all the hiccups and slip-ups it’s at these points where the rubber meets the road so to speak.

I have been an addict and have craved the chemical release that drugs gave me and only found release through Jesus – however, I have learnt not to underestimate the power of God through programs like AA. I went to AA meetings when I was in gaol (jail for all you yanks – I’m in Australia where we know how to spell!) and found a closeness to God and felt release come to me as I worked the steps.

Jesus un-named remains Jesus – whether we consider him a bus that get’s us to meetings, te meeting itself or a burning bush – rev shank and others please dont discount the experience of God found by those who don;t even know they are experiencing God.

After a long absense glad I’m back to pay a visit Shirley

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Good morning yall. I need to be careful what I say, not to speak in generalities on this blog. hahaha. I have many dear friends who have new lifes because of a “higher power”. Some cannot, or will not, put a name to this power. I have never been shy or reticent in giving it up. I may not be what others expect or demand , but Christ Jesus is not through with me yet. I cling to him. I pray to him. I give him the thanks for what has been done in my life and the lifes of so many others recovering alcoholics. I take no offense, and I really hope I have not given any. It is a great pleasure to read these posts, knowing that all is said with love. peace

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Dean, in no regard was I attempting to disregard your connection with the only true HIGHER POWER, Jesus Christ. Obviously, I do not know you or what you have been through personally. But those programs I referred to refuse to name that HIGHER POWER as JESUS CHRIST. Consequently, much discourse is produced needlessly on a false doctrine that anything can be your higher power. Read and understand Romans 13:1-2, which states the following:
1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

Realizing that this is also referring to government, we must comprehend it is not relegated solely to that entity. Why? Because the first verse clearly states that “there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” God does not ordained in His sole, divine ordinance anything chosen by mankind is capable of being a higher power. Perhaps psychologically one may attempt to focus on a false reality and false sense of reaching a false higher power, but a statue of anything and an intangible imagination deemed to be a higher power is purely idolatry and nothing more.

If the whole world could meet Jesus and worship Him as God, the whole world would know peace because He alone is the Prince of Peace. He alone has all power (Matthew 28:18). Once again, in my writing, not in the minutest scintilla of expression or implication was there either anything associated with discounting your experience with Jesus or disrespecting what you said. And yes, getting ready is just that. In essence, so far down there is no direction to look but up. Reference: the prodigal son found in Luke 15. Reading between the lines can be dangerous. Whether or not that is the case, let’s not go there, OK? God bless you.

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Thank you, Dean. As you are quite aware, I know your background as a child and as a young adult. It is not surprising to me that when you “came to yourself,” you reached to God.

What do you mean, though, “…anything can be your higher power?” Can that truly be so?

sjb

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Hi again, I hope Sandra stays close to you and Bro. Buxton. I am sure she will be directed well. I am not sure what getting READY is for everyone. For me it was being mentally, physically, morally and spiritually bankrupt. Having lost most of my pride, 2 very good paying jobs, and the threat of loosing my family and home, I had reached rock bottom. This was when I reached in to my background and came to the realization that I needed that HIGHER POWER . While it is true that anything can be your higher power, for we who know Christ, we certainly are quick to name that HIGHER POWER !! Peace

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There are some advantages to going through the school of hard knocks. Notice I said “going through” because at one point or another either you will fail or graduate! The reason the Lord allows us to keep going into adverse situations is because we willingly go there ourselves. Until one has finally reached the point of disgust from falling into the same old mud puddle, he/she will not change or conquer that thing. That point is related in the Word of God as a point of repentance wherein you finally build a bridge and get over it!

Sis. Allard, I am working on a book and actually praying for the right words in several areas addressing this end time wherein the church is dealing with people that have been led astray by teachings incorporating self-help theories and practices in direct contrast to the Bible. Please keep us in prayer for that as well as the Home Mission work we are doing.

Dean, Many of those who have finally come to the truth after having gone through one addiction or another are qualified to address this issue. Your point well taken is the fact that until one is, as you put it, ready, one will not change as I stated before. Furthermore, although many programs such as NA and AA use the expression “Higher Power” in their teachings, anything may be your Higher Power. Consequently, a doorknob, a rock in the yard, or your favorite whatever is able to be your higher power. The true emphasis on our God, Jesus Christ, is absent from what they teach, therefore the recidivism rate is grossly high in comparison to those that adhere to the message related in Acts 2:38. True repentance is a complete turning away from whatever is that “sin which doth so easily beset us.” (Hebrews 12:1) In addition, according to 1 Corinthians 12:3, “…no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” Hence, one must be filled with the Holy Ghost in order to truly acknowledge Jesus as Lord. Let me say this to you, the only reason Jesus has never failed you is because Jesus never fails and cannot fail. He is for you, loves you, cares for you, and desires for you to retain that “never give up” mentality “because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) God bless you as you keep fighting the good fight of faith. (1 Timothy 6:12)

Tituswoman or Sandi, what you must share with them is Jesus. Jesus said in Matthew 5:14, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” Then He spoke in the following verses: John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. John 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. Notice when speaking to His disciple, he told them they were the light of the world, then He said that He was, then He clarified in John 9:5, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” In essence, after He departed, He returned as the Comforter (See John 14), that is the Holy Ghost, to reside in us; thereby fulfillment of Matthew 5:14 is manifest in believers of today because according to Colossians 1:27 Christ is in you, the hope of glory. Therefore you are the light of the world! Share Him with them! God bless you and keep you in His care, as with the lost this Jesus you share! (Yes, I also write much poetry also!)

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Hello everyone, and again, I truly appreciate your interest, your insight and your suggestions.
The couple was in church yesterday morning without their daughter. School is out here in Lake Havasu and she has gone a few miles away to spend time with some other family members. (I suspect this action has been taken to remove her from this trying situation.)
From this point on I will refer to the young mom as Sandra, although that is not her name. She seemed a bit subdued yesterday, but loving as always. During the services, both she and her husband join in every activity–praying, singing, clapping, etc. During the closing of the service as we all circled, holding hands for prayer, both of them were weeping.
The husband assured Jerry that there is no alcohol in the house, and at the family BBQ today, he is allowing none to be there.
Sanda promised to be in our Ladies Bible study here at the RV park in the morning. I’m going to call her today to prod her a bit.
Dean, maybe this is impossible to answer, but what makes a person ready? Is it plunging to the depth of despair, is it hopelessness, is it a particular incident?…what causes one to be ready?
Rev. Shank, yes of course I knew your fine parents. Thank you for being here and for presenting very clear and elegant writing.

Titus 2, I wish you every success as you deal with these precious people. Hugs back.

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I really appreciate this post. I live in a poor (but changing) neighborhood and have regular conversations with many homeless and alcoholic friends while walking on the way to the library or the store, etc. Such a precious people! I don’t really know what else to share…. (((((HUGS))))) sandi

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I think everything written so far is wonderfully accurate. I feel qualified to add but one thing.
After many failed attempts to straighten up,fly right, sober up, live right,do right,follow your heart, I was unable to achieve any quality sobriety, until I was finally READY!!!!! So now I simply ask others…..”Are you READY to turn your life and all your problems over to a HIGHER POWER?” I call on this higher power to give me the strength I need daily. Jesus has yet to fail me. Peace

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Sis. Buxton – you are on my prayer list and I feel confident God will send revival to your new work.

Bro. Shank – I think it would be wonderful for you to write a book. In fact, it would be a neat idea to write one that would share the testimonies of several who have received deliverance. My husband and I were PK’s and you are right in saying sometimes preacher’s kids go overboard. When my husband was a teen, his parents were missionaries in a foreign country where my husband did not have any Christian friends. He got caught up with the wrong crowd and has his own testimony of deliverance. My brother-in-law was an addict at a very early age. He shot up heroin at 13 years old and “did it all.” When he was in his 20’s, he came to God and upon receiving the Holy Ghost he was immediately delivered. He has been an awesome Christian now for more than 27 years. Truly, the best deliverance is a strong dose of the Holy Ghost. I guess we try to use other methods in our zeal to try and “deliver” those that maybe aren’t quite yet ready to surrender all. God bless you in your work for Him.

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Correction: Dad was actually the first Secretary/Treasurer for the Pentecostal Conquerors of the Western District and helped establish that group. That’s when the Western District was comprised of Arizona, Nevada, and California.

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Sis. Buxton, the unfortunate thing about being raised a preacher’s kid is the fact that most people seemingly expect us to come wrapped in cellophane, live in a sterile environment, and make no mistakes. Consequently, many preachers’ children have a tendency to go overboard in various ways. I have been viewing your site for quite some time, although I truly do not know you well personally. Perhaps you may have known my parents who pastored in Brawley. They were in the same organization Bro. Gray was prior to the merger in 1945. Dad was actually the first Secretary/Treasurer for the Pentecostal Conquerors and helped establish that group. Also you may have known my Mother’s brother, E. J. McClintock. She won him to the Lord.

Now, back to the issue. I am sure most can agree that we all go through certain circumstances in life in order to help someone else down the line. Folks that entertain the thoughts of how wonderful jail or prison ministry is, many times serve in that capacity without ever having the experience thereby having much less of an impact than they desired. Conversely, one having that unfortunate experience generally will have a greater effect with better results because of the burden coupled with the anointing and being able to relate. I know this can be debated, but someone that has been down the road can relate to the bumps and ruts in that road better than one who has not.

Perhaps this is the reason God (the Word) became flesh and dwelt among us. I perceive that although He is omniscient, the feeling of being tempted and experiencing the confinements of a human body were not real to Him until He became Jesus. According to Hebrews 4:15, Jesus “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

Clarification: It is not necessary to go deep into sin in order to be effective ministering to lost souls with a sin problem. But result oriented soul-winning attitudes are the products of burdens born of compassion or visa-versa. Humility goes far with the lost where arrogance never leaves the starting point. Prayer, fasting, and study of God’s Word develop the power to withstand the demons of addiction coming at you with fires birthed in hell in an attempt to disqualify and destroy your message.

I recall Bro. Gray asking me to testify one evening, and I did somewhat in a nutshell without expressing the horrible details. Directly after my testimony, a well-known evangelist had the service turned over to him and he asked his wife to address the congregation momentarily. She stood behind the pulpit, stated she had been raised in the church, and thanked God that He loved her so much she never went out into sin. But the true fact is, Jesus didn’t love her any more than He loved me! How do I know that? Because the Word expressly states in Romans 2:11 “For there is no respect of persons with God.”

My advice would be to use the ACTS program; I strongly endorse it over any other program when dealing with drug/alcohol abuse situations. (Of course it falls real short compared to the Bible!) Also, continue in the Home Bible studies because they produce results. You are great people of God and he will use you for His glory and guide you through unfamiliar waters. Never give up on those that are lost!

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Hello, Rev. Shank. Welcome to my site, and thank you for commenting. Hope you’ll be here often.

No, I had not known of your drug problems, and you’re right all the details are not necessary for me to know. It is so helpful, though, to hear your advise and insights on this issue. I do appreciate the offer of personal contact from both you and Jana.

Please continue to pray for Jerry and me that God will give us wisdom as we endeavor to lead these dear people to a walk out of darkness into the light of the Holy Ghost.

sjb

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Jana, again, thank you for what seems very helpful material for our situation here in Lake Havasu. I really did not know you and Brian had been so closely involved with these issues there in Delano. God bless you for the work you have done for these people.

I spoke with the young mom’s husband yesterday, and tried to impress on him the need to continue seeking God himself, despite what his wife continues to do. “God is her ultimate hope,” I reminded him, “and you need to be right here leading her and showing her the way.”

He agreed, and again promised they would be in church on Sunday, although our Monday night Bible study will have to be postponed because of a family Memorial day BBQ.

Thank you for all your advise, and please help us pray for this family. They are so precious, and it grieves me when I consider their plight.

Love you.

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Perhaps you do not know the story of my experiences, but the degrading details are not necessary. Let me simply say I was born a preacher’s kid and became an addict. Perhaps I’ll write a book someday to help others.

Drug and alcohol addictions are like all other addictions. Although I have taught the ACTS program and know the founder well, it must be noted that it was originally designed as a contact maker due to inmates being ordered by the court to attend AA or NA. Furthermore, we may speak on the effects and affects of different drugs including the drug alcohol, but users know more about them than those that purport to be the information dispensers. Statistics, results of use and abuse, comparisons, stories relating to, and all the other methods incorporated into our attempts to alleviate one of such a problem are simply intellectual approaches to a spiritual problem.

In my ministry I have dealt with severe cases involving people addicted to one substance or another. The success stories regarding freedom from these addictions were neither the results of some series of counseling sessions, classes designed to teach the non-experienced teacher what these substances are about, nor a well-designed 12-step program. The success stories are the results of repentance, baptism in Jesus name, and the infilling of the Holy Ghost. In essence, they are the results of a one-step program and that one step is called JESUS!

Unfortunately, in the “Christian” world, it appears we attempt to utilize the methods of the world and the flesh to address spiritual problems. Psychology is a “science” based mainly on theories and the Word of God is based on truth, not theories. Any time a person has an overwhelming situation and the stress level ascends to an all-time high, the world responds with what I term “psycho-babble” drugs because our society places more credibility on Medical Doctors than the Chief Physician, Jesus Christ. Prayer, love, and longsuffering are the basics for helping an addicted person becoming a saint of God. However, there are times wherein tough-love helps significantly.

The methods used by the concerned soul-winning person should be approached only after much prayer and through the direction of the Spirit of God (Holy Ghost). The primary purpose of the ministering person should be to help the addicted person realize the sin nature of their actions. It is a given that they are reminded repetitiously by self and others about what the addiction is doing to others as well as them. But they must be reminded that it is addressed in the Bible as sin.

You may do everything within your ability to help an addicted person become “normal” again. The old saying, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink” is still viable in these situations. Why? Because that person MUST have a deep desire to want deliverance prior to being delivered or they will not be! God created us in his image, thereby giving us the ability to contain freedom of choice or free will as an innate part of our makeup. Consequently, freedom or bondage, darkness or light, addiction or independence, all become reality only through our personal choices.

The demoniac of Gadarenes in Mark 5 had a desire deep inside to be delivered by Jesus of his demon possession, otherwise he would not have “ran and worshipped him” in Mark 5:6. That human occupied by demons wanted to be delivered or else he would not have been!

It is my firm belief that those categorized having a psychological disorder are merely people oppressed by the devil. Not all of them are possessed. The so-called intellects of our society believe doctors can help people out with drugs because they merely have a psychological disorder sometimes caused by a physiological problem.

In regards to those you are seeing in conditions most folks raised in church are not familiar with, if I may be of any help, please contact me. God bless you.

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Jakes books are not necessarily pertaining to addiction, but they deal with issues that may cause one to become chemically dependent. If a person can learn how to let go of their past issues that have caused them so much grief, it becomes easier to get rid of the chemical addiction.

In the situation of the lady you speak of, she may actually need to enter a rehab where she cannot obtain any drugs or alcohol and then, as Naomi said, be monitored 24/7 following her release. It seems as though she is actually hesitant to be delivered. Because of that, I also feel she is trying to run from something in her past. If she can overcome the past, she will have a greater chance of being delivered from her addiction. Another thought is this – is she also abusing prescription drugs? The reason I question this, is because if her husband and teenage daughter want her changed, they should eliminate all alcohol from the house and not allow her to have money where she can buy alcohol. They need to practice “tough love.” However, if they did that, she could still be staggering from prescription drug abuse. Sad to say, but we know of people in ministry who are abusing prescription drugs. They justify it by saying the doctor gave it to them. In this case, the spouse needs to call the doctor and stop him from refilling meds.

Another thing, people who abuse prescription drugs often go to several different doctors and pharmacies. That is when you have to contact the pharmacies and get them to work together to stop filling the prescriptions for this person. We have had to deal with that, too. Pharmacists can refuse to fill a prescription if they suspect abuse. In our case, the pharmacist worked with my husband and they managed the meds for this person until they recovered. We have dealt with so much of this I could talk about it a long time.

Last thing – when we taught the A.C.T.S. program to the high school, we first told them the community looked upon them as losers because of the school they were attending. We challenged them to prove the community wrong. By doing so, we began to build their self-esteem and tell them they could be somebody. Next, we told them we knew most teens are smarter than adults (smile) and therefore we knew they wouldn’t listen to everything we had to say. However, we drilled in them each week to promise us to never get in/on a vehicle with a driver who has had ANY amount of drugs or alcohol. We frequently told them stories and shared pictures of young people who weren’t drinking but rode with someone who was and then were killed or critically injured. If their reflexes were slowed one second from maybe just having one beer that relaxed them, that one second delay could cost them their life – and we broke down how far their car would travel if they were going 55 mph, slammed on their brakes with a second delay. (They would already be through an entire intersection before the brakes are hit.) We gave them our personal cell phone numbers and told them they could call us day or night and we would pick them up and give them a ride. This caused these kids to trust us and then they would listen better to our lessons. When we taught a lesson, we would really break down what the drugs did to their bodies. For instance, 99% of the cocaine sold on the streets is not pure. A common ingredient used to cut it is Drano. We take a very small amount of Drano, put it into a paper cup, add a few drops of water, and it would soon eat through the cup. We then told them when they snort cocaine they always take a handful of water and snort behind the cocaine to make sure they get it into their system and that their nose is clean. What happens then? The cartilage between their nostrils is eaten away. We found object lessons for each drug and this was most powerful with the students. We agreed the drugs might make them feel good for a few moments, but this is what it does to your body. Since we couldn’t talk about God, I think we scared some of them into straightening up. LOL Years have passed, and we have people all over our town who hold good jobs, have become “somebody” and they owe it all to our class. We have had employers thank us. These programs can work – especially with God’s help. I am praying for you and your work.

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Thank you, Jana, for this good information. I have heard of T. D. Jakes books, but did not know they pertained to addictions. I will take a look at them.

We have made contact with Rick Faulker who is working with the ACTS program, and we will probably get something set up here.

I, too, have observed that when some people come to God, they seem to be instantly delivered from their problems, while others have to constantly fight to overcome their problems.

We need your prayers for our work.

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My heart is saddened to read about this lady. Brian and I have worked with addicted people for many years. Several things factor in to each situation. First, I have witnessed people who were addicted to drugs and alcohol come to an altar of repentance, receive the Holy Ghost, and be immediately delivered and never tempted again. However, that requires a very strong power of God. As Sis. Naomi said, sometimes the addiction stems from a past situation that they want to drown. In this case, we have used T.D.Jakes books as study guides. They are, “Woman Thou Art Loosed” and “Loose That Man and Let Him Go.” We have actually team taught these two books for weeks at a time and have had success. Another program we have used is the A.C.T.S. program. We taught this program at a continuation high school and we broke the program down much greater than the study guides. We weren’t allowed to speak of God, but we could have “testimonies” come to our class and they could say anything. We got very plain in speaking to these kids. I gotta run, but if you want to know more, e-mail me.

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Good afternoon, Naomi, and thank you so much for this frank and helpful post. I have read it a couple of times already, and will read it many times more, I am sure. I so want to help these people here in Lake Havasu, especially the young woman of whom I spoke in this post. The family is so precious, but fairly grief-stricken over the terrible addiction of the mom. I feel helpless, yet at the same time, full of faith and courage because of my full understanding that God can deliver her.

God is glorious and wonderful, and I have no doubt that He will meet any need we may have. The big problem is ourselves: first of all recognizing that God truly is the solution, and then fully surrendering ourselves to Him.

Please pray for these precious people, and for Jerry and me. We need wisdom and God’s guidance.

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Sis. Shirley: I have your feed coming into Awasu RSS on my desktop. I am so glad I do.

I was an alcoholic and addicted to prescription drugs. My life was a living hell on earth for several years. I had two small children at home. Can I say, you do not want to understand nor can you, as like the Holy Ghost, the experience cannot be explained in words alone. I remember to this day, although I was delivered 35 years ago, the horror of that life.

Deliverance is the only way to overcome these addictions. AA and other sources can help but it takes constant survelliance…24/7 and there is no true deliverance without God. The need for the drug and/or alcohol bypasses the senses. People want to give it up but they can’t without constant help. In my case, JESUS did it in one night at a Pentecostal Altar..(UPC of SanJose to be exact)…. It took another 2 years to clear out of my system and constant torture by the devil by running
to the altar to be able to NEVER again desire these chemicals. I believe the craving is spiritual where an evil entity has hold of the ‘human spirit’………. He let go of me that night in 1972 but kept trying to return for over 2 years. It’s the battle of the mind from that point. As long as I ran to JESUS each time, not caring what anyone thought of me, I could get through. It was the mental torture that the enemy brought into my mind when I least expected it. (he was trying to cause me to come back to him and it was like a computer where all my past came forward to my awareness and it made me want to give up. My mentor taught me to use those times as a blessing and say, AH HA!…and cast them out in The Name of Jesus!) All the things I did with him at my side all the years before….he tortured me. It took 2 years to reprogram my computer……I had a wonderful mentor who I could call on each time ….. he helped me through it as did my nightly trips to the altar. At one point I saw a huge black root with tenacles reaching out….come out of my body. I know it sounds like I was crazy but it was the most awesome experience I had ever had. After that time, I could forgive my dad for molesting me, I could love everyone I met. I loved my dad from that day forward and didn’t pretend anymore. Many other things happened after that and I felt light for the first time in years. He still bugged me now and then with shame but I had his number by that time! 🙂
You see why I believe your friend may need to be helped through forgiveness issues and a deep submersion in God’s love.
The enemy does not give up at conversion. God gave me the power to go through it. He has been healing my emotions even now but I am able to help others by sharing my testimony.

I believe you can help this friend by guiding her through the shame she suffered as a child and teach her how much her real Daddy loves her. When she falls in love with him more than the relief she gets from indulging in the mind dulling substance, she will come through. When she realizes HIS PRESENCE is with her 24/7!

Those substances do NOT dull the heart.
Hope this helps. Sis. Naomi (Auntie to Shawnna)

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