By Judy Davis –
While sitting in the dental office I picked up a People magazine and started reading an article. What I read gripped my heart! It gave staggering statistics for powerful and highly addictive medications. According to the article more Americans will die this year of drug overdoses than in any other type of accident–including car crashes. In most cases those deaths are caused by pills that are in many peoples’ medicine cabinets.
Drugs are now the number one accidental killer in the U.S. with the vast majority of deaths caused by prescription medications. Addiction to drugs and alcohol is a powerful and sinister evil in our society. Many of these drugs are given by the individual’s physicians. According to statistics there is one death every twenty-four minutes.
Wikipedia states avenues of obtaining prescription drugs for misuse are varied: sharing between family and friends, illegally buying medications at school or work, and often “doctor shopping” to find multiple physicians to prescribe the same medication, without knowledge of other prescribers. Increasingly, law enforcement is holding physicians responsible for prescribing controlled substances without fully establishing patient controls, such as a patient “drug contract.” Concerned physicians are educating themselves on how to identify medication-seeking behavior in their patients, and are becoming familiar with red flags that would alert them to potential prescription drug abuse.
What can parents do to help their loved ones overcome this problem that is destroying lives?
- Take them to a professional and/or a rehabilitative clinic. They need to get help to overcome the desire to take more than what is prescribed by their physician. Give them the medication when it is scheduled and lock up the rest.
- Pray and seek Godly wisdom for your loved one.
- Hope that those who are caught up in addiction to drugs will have a desire to change their life.
- Don’t ignore the Word of God.
“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful” (Joshua 1:8 NIV).
PRAYER: Dear Father, so much evil is destroying our families. Guide us daily to seek You with all of our hearts. Help us so we will have an answer to give to those caught up in the awful addiction to alcohol and drugs. Only You, Lord, can help them to overcome in Jesus’ name.
By Judy Davis –
“John 10:10 changed my life—it showed me the truth about the devil, and about Jesus….Jesus tells you to believe Him, and that the reason He came is to give LIFE to you…and to give it to you MORE ABUNDANTLY.” Oral Roberts Commentary
Are we living a happy and abundant life? Are we truly convinced God loves us? He loved us so much that He sent His only Son to die so we may live forever. With His guidance and precious Holy Spirit living within our heart, let’s live a life pleasing to Him. And when we fall and we will, He is there to help us and forgive us.
The greatest example of living a full life is to know how our Lord lived. He always stopped to talk with others no matter where they were in their spiritual life. Living a full life requires being selfless. Thinking of others and putting them first takes time and patience. We should be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and let Him lead us to those who are in need.
Are we secure in who we are? Do we like ourselves? Spend time taking care of you. Our lives are important to God and who we are depends a lot on how secure we are in what we accomplish with our lives.
We should have a good attitude and this requires discipline. Choose each day to be filled with God’s love, peace, joy, and our attitude will show that we have spent time with Him.
Examine our hearts. Those subtle sins we commit such as anger, criticism, gossip, complaining and murmuring must be dealt with. Before giving our tithe we should pray and ask God to forgive us of any sin and guard our heart. This pleases God when we humbly come before Him asking for His grace and mercy daily to overcome those areas that are not right.
“There is just one thing people need in order to live a happy, abundant life: to be convinced that God loves them.” David Gregory
PRAYER: Thank You, Father, for the abundant life You have given to those who have made Jesus Christ Lord and Savior.
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10 KJV).
By Judy Davis –
My friend Debbie shared her story of how her husband walked out of her life leaving her with 15-month-old twin sons and two daughters, ages three and seven. She waited and prayed. After several days, she realized that he was not coming home.
Two weeks after he left she was humiliated as she applied for food stamps and welfare assistance.
To her, even with four children, the house seemed empty. Somehow during the day, she managed to maintain a semblance of order for her children. Meals were prepared, and the children were dressed and cared for. At night, however, after she had finally tucked the kids into their beds, she wanted the privacy and solace of her bedroom.
She said, “I pulled a pillow over my head to stifle my sobs. Guilt consumed me. I had caused it. What if I had handled the quarrel differently? What if I had pleaded with him to stay? Soon the bank was forced to close our business. As bills piled up and I made calls of explanation to creditors, rage surfaced within me. What a coward my husband was to dump all of the responsibility on me! Didhe really believe that he could run away? I hated him—and I loved him. Nothing made sense any more.”
Eventually she smothered the loneliness by going to bars. “I was looking for anyone to restore my broken life. Instead, a series of tragic relationships only confirmed my low opinion of myself: I had little merit and would probably never amount to much.”
One morning, Debbie prayed and committed her life to Jesus. “At last I had found someone who would never abandon me. Peace and joy encompassed me, and I knew that somehow my children and I would be all right. God took away fear and torment. I felt freed from all my emotional pain and my sins. Jesus had cleansed me and healed my pain. Even though my life had been sin-filled and chaotic, Jesus loved me! I was touched with the immensity and reality of His love for me. That day was the beginning of my friendship with Christ. In Him, I have found peace of mind, hope for the future and a solution to loneliness. What a privilege to be His!”
Debbie learned that she can take steps to ensure that her single-parent family stays on course. Daily she seeks God’s wisdom for her life. “Time with Him in the morning helps me set priorities and reminds me that I am not alone in the day’s happenings. I commit the lives of my children to His care. I want Him to be involved in the decisions and the problems we face as a family. We have seen answers to prayer that prove His faithfulness.” Through relationships in her church family these kind people have played a significant part in the healing process.
PRAYER: Father, please comfort single parents today. Help them to see they are not all alone but have You to make them strong through the days ahead.
“No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5 NIV).
By Judy Davis –
While reading the Bible through each year I love to read about the women whose faith in God made a difference in their lives. One of my favorite stories is about Ruth. The book of Ruth is more than a beautiful love story. It’s about an attractive but lonely widow who steps out in faith and, through perseverance and endurance, achieves the seemingly impossible. Her life is changed dramatically from poverty to abundance. How can this happen? Ruth chose to leave her home, the country of Moab, and follow her mother-in-law, Naomi, to the land of the Israelites, God’s chosen people.
As Naomi was leaving, both daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth, followed her; however, Orpah decided to return to Moab. Ruth couldn’t wait to arrive in Israel. She had seen the love of God’s people and faith had risen in her heart to turn from everything unlike God. Even though Naomi tried to change Ruth’s mind about going, Ruth told her, “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God” (Ruth 1:16 NIV).
When they arrived in Bethlehem, Ruth immediately went to work as a gleaner, gathering crops that were left by the reapers. Not long after she started working in the fields she noticed Boaz, the owner of the fields. Each day he would speak to the field workers, always leaving with a smile. His way of saying thank you was, “May the Lord be with you.”
After Ruth told Naomi about Boaz, she was surprised to hear he was a relative. According to Jewish custom, a relative was expected to marry the widow of the deceased.
Boaz began to notice what a hard worker Ruth was. He also saw her sincerity and integrity. Love began to work a miracle in Ruth’s life. Because of her kindness and willingness to give of herself, God blessed her. It was not long before Boaz, a mighty man of God, fell in love with Ruth.
Ruth proved love could lift one out of a life of misery. Love can shed its light, like a sunbeam, on all that it touches. When she stepped out in faith, leaving her home, family and friends behind, her life could never be the same. It is faith that moves the hand of God.
Materially, Ruth had nothing; yet, she had so much to give. She gave up everything when she followed Naomi to Israel. She gave a labor of love when she went into the fields to glean what the reapers had left behind.
And, because Ruth gave of herself, God multiplied it back to her in a way she could never have dreamed. God made her name honorable throughout the end of the ages. For after her marriage to Boaz, she had a son, Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David, the ancestor of Jesus Christ. What greater honor could one receive?
PRAYER: Dear Lord, we come boldly before the King of Kings seeking you with all of our hearts. Help us today to move forward having faith to believe that with you all things are possible.
By Judy Davis –
Spring will soon be here. With spring comes a feeling of renewal. A renewal of spirit and a renewal of life-that has not been felt all winter. Easter also arrives this month and as we celebrate this most wonderful time of the year may we focus our heart and life on Jesus Christ and His resurrection.
As we draw near to Easter let us reflect on what Jesus did for us. Are you going through trials and tribulations? Any problems that seem bigger than you can handle? If so, remember that much suffering and pain came before the miracle of the Resurrection.
Jesus was betrayed by trusted friends, abandoned in the Garden, and agonized in Gethsemane without sleep. He had a phony trial, heard Peter deny him and was sentenced to a criminal’s death. He was spit upon and taunted by His captors and suffered a severe beating. He went through this abuse for us!
Are you experiencing any setbacks this Easter week? Christ went through much more and He was victorious. There is victory in the cross. All of us need to succeed, to go over the top, to reach our goals, to have the ability to amount to something. Reconciliation with God is the beginning of your victory.
Let’s forget about our problems and remember what Christ did for us. Reach out to a neighbor or friend who may be hurting. Turn your attention to others who truly need the touch of the Master’s hand.
PRAYER: Precious Father, we humbly come before You giving thanks for the beauty of springtime and the newness of life. Thank you for the beautiful flowers in bloom in every color of the rainbow. Most of all thank you for Jesus Christ, Your only son. He lived and died so we may be set free from the bondage of sin. Help us to always remember what You did for us so we may live according to Your purpose and plan.
“Jesus said, ‘Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God”’” (John 20:17 NIV).