The Only Thing Necessary…

 The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. - Edmund Burke

Unless you’ve been on Mars and have had no contact with Earth, you would know that people are dying like flies and lives are being destroyed by the voluntary slavery of drug abuse.  

To prevent this evil from triumphing, the faith community has been coming together to fight this evil at the Relapse Prevention Walk & Benefit on Saturday, September 8 at 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Bensalem, run by Conquering Life Prison and Recovery Ministries (CLPRM). 

Between Bucks and Montgomery County, 1044 lives have been wasted from overdoses.  

Back in 1972, Neil Young called attention to the danger of drugs in his song “The Needle and The Damage Done”.   Young had this to say about the song: “I am not a preacher, but drugs killed a lot of great men.” Interesting that Neil brought up a preacher in this context! 

Although someone very close to me got clean for months, past use caught up to her and God took her home.  I got to see the evil, dark world of drugs, and the past love of my life inspired me to do something to help others to keep this evil from triumphing.  After unsuccessfully battling her voluntary slavery for decades, she acknowledged that it was only her coming to faith In Jesus that gave her the victory. 

Faith-based anti-drug programs work! As I’ve said in earlier blogs, all the King’s horses and all the King’s men can’t put broken people back together again. Only God and His Word can! 

Sponsorship for the Relapse Prevention event has recently doubled! 

Christians are teaming up for the event.  Some Christian groups have been promoting this noble cause on their Facebook pages. Some have been posting about it and interacting with other entities, sharing thoughts and Biblical knowledge and applying to helping people break free from the chains of voluntary slavery. I’ve been reading posts on the Breaking The Chains of Addictions Facebook page as well as on the CLPRM page and its website. I’ve also been reading brochures from various Christian programs, many of them left at CLPRM’s  Conquering Addiction meeting. I’ve found these resources Biblically sound.

To better serve those struggling with addictions, I’ve been reading as much of this material I can find, along with books on addiction, counseling and the Christian faith, as well as the Bible. The Bible addresses all of life’s problems of the heart, and equips us to deal with them.  

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” -2 Timothy 3:16 

Hope for Depression

People have depression for different reasons. Being homeless is depressing. I know; I’ve had a taste of it. But with God’s help, you can be delivered and lead a productive life.

The world doesn’t see it that way. All the King’s horses and all the King’s men can’t put people back together again. Ultimately, the world writes people off. In Bucks County, PA, a hustler from the county mental health industry approached me and others with a proposal that we resign ourselves and allow us to be labeled as a lost cause and essentially become a ward of the state.

The Bucks County establishment sees the homeless as a lost cause.

This is the case with Odysseus’s men in The Odyssey when they were in The Land of The Lotus Eaters. Like kids who don’t want to leave a place they like and their parents have to make them leave, Odysseus had to get his men to leave this sleepy land.

“In Greek mythology the Lotus-eaters, also referred to as the lotophagi or lotophaguses were a race of people living on an island dominated by lotus plants. The lotus fruits and flowers were the primary food of the island and were narcotic, causing the people to sleep in peaceful apathy.” –Wikipedia  

By contrast, in John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, Christian and others get through trials and temptations along their journey from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City.

God sent people to help the pilgrims through tough times, such as Mr. Great-Heart and Mr. Valiant for The Truth. Two pilgrims had a problem with depression and anxiety – Mr. Despondency and his daughter “Much Afraid.”  In fact, Mr. Great-Heart and company rescue Mr. Despondency and Much Afraid from Doubting Castle, where they were held prisoner by the monster Giant Despair.

Pilgrims in Mr. Bunyan’s allegory of the soul also are nearly trapped on their journey when they find a soft spot to sleep. At this spot they were just supposed to rest up but not linger.

We need to encourage one another, including the weak and weak minded. One pilgrim in the 17th century story, Mr. Feeble-minded, lingers, hesitant to continue on the journey to the Celestial City. Mr. Great-heart takes him under his wing. “But brother … I have it in commission, to comfort the feeble-minded, and to support the weak. You must needs go along with us; we will wait for you, we will lend you our help, we will deny ourselves of some things, both opinionative and practical, for your sake; we will not enter into doubtful disputations before you, we will be made all things to you, rather than you shall be left behind.”

In a post on the Biblical Counseling Center’s site “Lessons Learned from the Dark Valley of Depression”, the poster relates the testimony of Bob Somerville, a Biblical counselor and professor at the Master’s College in Santa Clarita, California.  Dr. Somerville fell into a deep depression after he had major back surgery and after having been worn out by a tough work schedule.

“Everything was black and hopeless. I truly believed I would never preach or teach again,” he said.

Dr. Somerville explained how God brought him out of this dark valley.

He read the Bible daily, read Christian literature/publications, got Christian counseling and was supported by his wife, who stayed by his side during the ordeal. He counted on God’s grace.

One of the lessons Dr. Somerville learned after his bout with depression is deeper empathy for those who suffer from depression.

There is no quick fix for depression. In the 12 Step journey program I attend we learned that overcoming our problems, whether it be depression, anxiety, anger, alcohol or drug abuse, takes time. Wounds don’t heal overnight, but, if you stay on the right path as John Bunyan’s pilgrims did, you will find peace.

Years ago, I strayed from the King’s Highway, the road to the Celestial City in Pilgrim’s Progress, and like some of the wayward characters in the story, suffered as a result. But God sent circumstances and the right people my way and I got on the right road.

In The Pilgrim’s Progress, Christian gets stuck in the Slough of Despond, which is composed of the decadence, scum and filth of sin and cries out for help and is pulled out by the character “Help,” and goes his way on solid ground towards the Wicket Gate, where sinners saved by grace can enter the narrow way.

“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” –Psalm 40:2

We’ve Got to Get Out of This Place

“We’ve got to get out of this place

if it’s the last thing we ever do

We’ve got to get out of this place

Girl, there’s a better life

for me and you”

-Eric Burdon and the Animals

These are the sediments of many homeless people.  In fact, it could be their theme song.

Some sleep in their cars, some on walkways with padding and blankets, and others in tents in the woods.  The latter group is pestered by bugs and animals.  The homeless who are out in the elements are challenged by the elements — they try to keep warm and dry.  Bedding , their food and their shelters get wet, and so do they sometimes.

And there’s the authorities, who sometimes evict the homeless from their sites.  Sometimes raids are precipitated by some bad apples causing problems, so everybody has to pack up and leave.

There’s also the ambulance chasers, representatives from Penndel Mental Health Center, who went on what became recruitment missions when they accompanied other members of the lower Bucks County, PA community when they went on a meet and greet with the homeless.

There is more vacant property in Bucks County, PA than there are homeless people.  After much discussion, ad infinitum, ad nauseum, about using this property to house the homeless, nothing has been even been started!  I think a reason for this is that the Bucks establishment wants to keep people dependent, and the homeless are perfect for this.  They are viewed as an underclass, who need mental help.  And Penndel Mental Health Center is there to tap into government subsidies, for customers who are almost as agreeable to this service as rocks and trees are to be the constituents of environmentalists.

Like much of the mental health community, the Holy Grail to solving mental health issues at Penndel Mental Health is medication — legal drugs.   When I talked with a representative from Penndel Mental Health, the rep initially asked if I was willing to take medication.

Although I wasn’t homeless, like Captain Hook, I was taken in by the representative’s welcome grin.  I was really messed up at the time.

I recently quit using the Penndel Mental Health Center.  First I stopped taking medication, and then I quit my therapy.  The therapist implied that I shouldn’t be getting therapy because I wasn’t taking medication.  Evidently, this was a package deal.  It’s like buying a 45 rpm single record back in the day, when if you are only interested in one of the songs, but you get both.

The psychiatrist didn’t even determine if my problem was organic — if it was biological, medical, before he prescribed Paxil.  I don’t believe my problem is organic. Evidently, he believes that medication is the sine qua non for treating people’s problems.

When I considered pursuing help through a secular mental health clinic, I was egged on by friends at the Salvation Army Community Center church.  One of them remarked that I was like a rag soaked in gasoline ready to flare up.  So I needed help outside the church.

Referrals to the psyche world from the church has been common for decades.  Pastors have found that after they sent members of their flock to the shrink, however, that they were returned to sender, a  damaged package, address unknown.

But this is changing.  As pastor and counselor Jay Adams says, “There is a new kind of person to whom you may refer people. It is someone who doesn’t try to play shrink, who wants to work with physicians and can be of great help to these people who need counseling rather than medicine. I refer to the new breed of ecclesiastical cat that is prowling around much of this country today.”

Besides getting myself more in touch with God and his Word through resources at the Salvation Army, Christian literature, the Bible, fellowship and prayer, I’ve been attending a Biblical based 12 Steps program, modeled on the original 12 Steps program started by AA.

One of my brothers in the program told me, when I was using Paxil, that I would not need medication once I got my life in sync with God.  Since stopping the Paxil, I’ve been taking the advice of the new breed of ecclesiastical cat and have been working out my problems by following the counsel of the Lord.  As was pointed out in my 12 Steps Journey program, the healing process is slow, but it’s the only sure fire way of getting out of this place in my head.

It will lead to a better life for me and you.

“And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.”  -Luke 10:27, King James Version.

One way to show love towards thy neighbor is to contribute to helping the homeless in Bucks County, PA find shelter.  You have the option of skipping the ad after a short wait.