Thursday, July 25, 2013

Disney-World Christianity and When Your Rope Breaks

 So many books, so little time, is always my motto. I can't wait to have the heavenly home of my dreams where there is time to read all the books I would like to read. A really good non-fiction book I'm reading is "When Your Rope Breaks."

One chapter talks about Disney-World Christianity. It seems to be true that many people try to say that if you accept the Lord then all will be well in your life. The very opposite is true for many and they really don't know what to do when all hell breaks out in their family. Although it is very true that the enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy it is not comforting to be walking in the midst of his attacks.

Ask the mother who has lost her child to suicide how she felt when her rope broke. Ask the father whose little princess suddenly changed and didn't want to have anything to do with him anymore or the mother who is afraid her daughter's pill addiction will end her life if they believe in "Disney World Christianity."

I say work on getting better, not bitter as bitterness is a cancer for the soul.  Ephesians 4:31 says, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice”

Three quotes I loved in this book are:

 "One of the great problems as believers is that some of us think nothing bad will happen to us when we begin to follow Christ. Some feel that God is in the business of preventing tragedy and are devastated when their ropes break. They become bitter. You see, they have not prepared themselves by learning sound doctrine and studying the Bible seriously. Disney-World Christianity may work in a world where everything is clean and fun and right. But it simply won't work in a world where there is disease, death and heartbreak. You've got to have a tough faith for a tough world."

"Understanding that everything comes from God and praising Him for it is an effective way to prevent bitterness. Learn to thank God in the little things like traffic jams, late appointments, crying children, angry husbands and burnt toast. Then when the rope really breaks you will have established a hedge against bitterness."  

“We ought to pray: Father, here I sit with my broken rope and I’m angry. Bitterness wells up in me, and I don’t know what to do about it or even if I want to do anything about it. I now take the situation I don’t like, and I give it to You. You deal with the situation as You see fit, and you deal with me as you see fit. I trust You to give me an explanation when I get to heaven, if I need one.” "When Your Rope Breaks" by Steve Brown

 For further reading this scripture brings the comfort that we need.
The Bible says: "Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner. If you’re abused because of Christ, count yourself fortunate. It’s the Spirit of God and his glory in you that brought you to the notice of others. If they’re on you because you broke the law or disturbed the peace, that’s a different matter. But if it’s because you’re a Christian, don’t give it a second thought. Be proud of the distinguished status reflected in that name!...So if you find life difficult because you’re doing what God said, take it in stride. Trust him. He knows what he’s doing, and he’ll keep on doing it." 1 Peter 4 The Message








Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Why Don't They Just Quit? a book by Joe Herzanek is a must-read!

"Addiction is an equal opportunity destroyer" was the most profound quote written by Joe Herzanek in "Why Don't They Just Quit?" If you are a parent of an addict you will relate to that quote profoundly. This book should be in every home if addiction has challenged your family in any way. "Why Don't They Just Quit?" is a family education course in a very easy to read book with bold subtitles, questions and answers and others stories at the end. Hope is woven all through it. There are contemporary quotes throughout, and scripture is interwoven as well as comments from the family who went through the trenches with Joe Herzanek. He has paid his dues in addiction and recovery and has gone on to be a blessing to others through his work as an addictions counselor, as a chaplain at the Boulder County Jail and the president and founder of Changing Lives Foundation.
He portrays that there are many different ways to walk a recovery walk and gives help for both the addict and their loved ones. Chapter titles such as, Dying for a Cold One, Houston we Have a Problem, Siblings, the Forgotten Ones, Different Strokes for Different Folks, Drugs, the Gifts that Keep on Giving, Whole Person Recovery, and Relapse, Plan On It make for interesting reading.
One quote that is key "But no matter what happens, at some point addicts need to deal with their issues, move forward and take control of their future."
The Questions and Answers with Joe at the end is a resource in itself and he also includes a self-test for addiction and many stories and resources at the end.
I felt his family's presence while reading. His mother's comments as well as his ex-wife and oldest daughter were meaningful and I have a whole new respect for Judy who tirelessly advocates her husband's work. The pain she and his new family went through as he healed from Hep C was shown. There truly are always two sides to every story and Joe does well showing the other side also.
Another quote from Joe, "That was then and this is now, I can't change the past no matter how traumatic it may have been, but I can change the future." He mentions, "Some parents are willing to jump in and take the blame, convinced that there was something they could have done to prevent the problem. But when my mother would ask me why I used drugs, I'd just tell her the truth: I don't like the way I feel when I'm straight."
Joe also says, "At some point we all need to become willing to deal honestly with our stuff. When an addict confronts his own issues, he can start to put things into perspective and make peace with the past and with himself."
I'm a big fan of of this book and recommend it to professionals, family and friends.