"A Time to Think"- The Young Man- Written by a student in the 180 Program

This came to me in a letter from one of the students who began the 180 Program in jail. He has now been transferred to prison, and is excited to have been accepted into a drug rehab program. He still faces years behind bars, but he now has hope and is motivated to turn the despair that was once so familiar into encouragement for others to overcome the bondage of addictions.

This is part of his story, and I'm only sharing it because he said to me: "I would like to share with people my story of addiction and how I've been brought out of the darkness, saved by grace, and brought back into the light. Even though I've lost a lot of people and things in my life, God has given me joy. ...This is a portion of my story, my life and it's dedicated to my family. Please forgive me for allowing drugs and the devil to take control of my life. I now live life holding onto the mercy of God and I pray every night for forgiveness. I was told in a card from a friend- don't look around, look up! I can honestly say that I've found me and 'I've let go and let God'."

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"A Time to Think"- The Young Man

A young man was asked what came to mind when he thought about drugs. His immediate answer was, "Getting high." Another question was asked, "Why not think in the other direction?"

"I don't know," the young man responded. The young man was then asked, "What problems have drugs brought into your life when it comes to having a relationship with God and your family?" The young man gave no response.

Then the voice began to ask, "Do you have a job? Have you lost things that you've owned? Could your lifestyle have been from wrong thinking and bad decisions?" The young man looked into the mirror and started to cry.

As the young man cried, the voice asked him, "Where's your wife and kids now?" Then the voice said, "Don't cry! Just kill yourself, take the easy way out. That's what you've tried before."

The voice then again spoke to the young man and said, "Read Proverbs 23.7. If we accept a thought and entertain it, we become a slave to that thought." The young man, trying to be tough, said: "I'm nobody's slave!"

The voice then laughs and says, "When we think on something, we program our minds to accept it or reject it." The young man thought: when he was programming his father-in-law's computer, he only got out of the computer what he put into it. Could we expect it to be different with our minds?

The voice then said, "Our minds are like the roots of a tree; if poison is poured at the roots of a tree, the tree will not think or ask questions, it will just absorb the poison." The young man thought this to be true.

The voice then says to the young man, "You have a much greater advantage than the tree. You can think!"

The young man asked, "Who are you, and why can't I see you?"

The voice then said, "Read Philippians 4.8-9; there you must see, or are you blind to what life has to give?" The young man curiously read Philippians, and as he continued to read, a voice of a woman came to him and said for him to stay away from him/from his old playgrounds and playmates, as she asked him to focus on the things of God.

Now the young man has heard this voice before, but he just couldn't put it all together. The voice was of one he had loved.

The next day, the young man tried to carry on with his life, but another voice appeared. This voice was different from all the ones before, and this has made the young man furious. As Paul had said in Ephesians 4.22-23, also to let God help you and get your mind renewed. This voice had told the young man to not look for doing revenge to whom he feels has helped ruin his life, but instead to read Psalm 119.9-11.

The young man gave this a try, even though he knew that his friend had lied on him, he searched for help to change his anger. The voice then explained to the young man; "Many got to jail or prison as a result of using drugs. After we give ourselves over to drugs, the devil will begin to show his hatred for God's creation."

The young man was very confused and he realized that in this world, he had been tricked. A new voice then said, "The devil had started a destructive force in your life that had destroyed your family and friends."

The voice then asked the young man, "Can you see how you've been deceived by those who sell drugs?" The young man had no response.

The voice said to him, "What you saw was the fun life and the exciting time, but as you look back over the destructive path of your life, you see the destruction in our schools, in your family, how your marriage hit the rocks, how you have forgotten about your loving wife and children, how your friends have turned their backs on you and the terror you've put in others. The devil is the only one enjoying this."

The young man started to cry again, this time in front of others, trying to seek help because for once he knew that he needed all the help he could get.

The young man then says, "While some of us sit behind jail or prison walls, others are dealing with a broken home because of drugs. The world is still playing the devil's game and everyone loses."

How is your hind sight? I can see clear now as I look back at all the wrong things that I've done. Read 1 Thessalonians 5.22-23 and believe what I say to be true because I am that young man.

 

 
She's Also a Mom

She saw them standing waiting to be seated. Trying not to look their way, she hesitated, in hopes that someone else would get to them first.  Oh, the relief … the relief…oh wait… they are headed right for my section.  They don’t fit the culture of the restaurant let alone sitting at the bar.

As I sat down the female bartender who couldn’t weigh more than 100 lbs wet came over to us. 

“What can I get you?” Her shoulders drooped and her arms are crossed in front of her body, thinking that that somehow would cover her up. But in reality, she was clothed more than most teenagers headed to our local mall.

As she continued to ask us what we would care for,  I realized that the dropped shoulders and arm crossing was a hidden instinct for her that this couple now sitting at the bar was here to judge her and somehow try and make her feel even more shame, because of where she worked.

We ordered our food and struck up a conversation, the restaurant only had a few tables being occupied, so she was able to talk.

By the time we had finished eating our dinner, we knew that she had a pre-school daughter, she had just bought a house, and this was just a part-time job, because she had a full-time day job.

By the time we were leaving her body language had also loosened up knowing that we were not there to judge her.  We were there to eat, but while eating, we also wanted to get to know who she was as a person….

She’s also a MOM. 

So many times we judge people because of a place of employment, the way they dress or the way they act… Before you JUDGE get to know the person.  

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 The Ruby Red Dress
 
As she stood in her closet looking at all her options, waves of emotions started flooding in. Her wet hair was wrapped tightly in the towel, catching a glimpse of herself in the mirror she felt a twinge of shame, but quickly dismissed it with the words she has heard over and over for the past year, " if you want to make it in this world this is what you have to do". She pulled out the new dress that was left for her earlier that week by "him".

Ruby red was its color, the card said "it compliments your sandy brown hair". Putting the dress on, as somehow it would magically change the way she felt inside, she reminds herself again, "if I want to make it in this world"......

As Saturday night is upon us please do not listen to the lies of this world. Do not listen to the lies that say "follow me into the night and let's see how much fun we can have". Or the lie that says "take this or drink this, it'll take the edge off".

This week we had a young lady who "had a bad day and wanted to take the edge off".... She doesn't even remember being arrested or the what she said or did. It did not take the edge off it just added to her complications of getting her kids back.

Don't let the world trap you into thinking it's ok. Don't let the world tell you "it's only once", "it's just this", "it won't hurt you, I promise". These are all lies that we believe because we want something more. Something that the world promises. But in the end the consequences are not worth it. I promise.

To find our more about how to get off the cycle of Saturday night lies and regrets email us. Start living the life you were meant to live as a "masterpiece".

Ephesians 2:10 We are Gods masterpieces, created anew in Christ Jesus to do the good works which He created in advance for us to do

#selfesteem 
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