We are living within a pressure driven society! There is a myriad of social pressures that are imposed on one to make them feel the need to fit in. This can at times cause undue stress and result in unfavorable behavior. These behaviors are not readily discussed but are becoming more prevalent! Fitting in is not easy and makes it harder to transition through the stages of youth and early adulthood development. For some it is much more difficult than others. As a matter of fact we have a growing number of individuals that are self mutilating themselves in order to relieve intense inner pressure. Self injury is on the rise!
What? Yes, they harm themselves; they are a part of the growing number that leans towards cutting themselves. Growing up can be painful and difficult! Did you know that not being like everyone else really is okay! Once you accept this you won’t have to cut yourself to feel okay! Everyone still on this side of Heaven is here to learn and grow… You are like a beautiful flower waiting to bloom!
What is cutting?
Cutting is when someone takes a blunt object, pin, paper clip, scissors or a razor blade and proceeds to make cuts on their wrists, arms, legs, thighs or torso to the point that they bleed. Some will even burn themselves or harm themselves in some other way. This is usually done in a place that is less noticeable! It is becoming an increasing reoccurring behavior that can become addicting. It often goes unnoticed because the self mutilator will make excuses for the cuts and bruises or try very hard to keep them hidden by making excuses. Oh the cat scratched me, or I fell in the bushes, i slipped, or I scraped myself on the… Cutting is considered an impulse – control behavior reaction!
Who cuts themselves?
Cutting is something that is done by both genders. It appears that female teens and younger women are primarily the predominate participators. However there are a growing number of guys who cut themselves as well. There are a number of reasons why they result to such drastic measures. Some cut because they know that their friends cut themselves. One viable cause that jumps out is the need for inner, “relief!” They are tormented and driven by thier pain. These individuals feel and enormous amount of pressure!
Books on Cutting
Someone who is cutting can’t always freely express themselves and they often feel as though they are emotionally knotted up. The need for a release is why they begin cutting. Some like the way the cuts look and when they begin to heal will reopen the cuts. You can’t really force someone to stop cutting. So what do you do? Lend a listening ear and let them know that you care! Yelling at someone who is cutting is not very helpful. Approaching them with patience and concern is a much better method if you really want to help them. Be firm in letting them know that they need to get some relief; but in a healthier way. Allow them some time to vent… Encourage them to seek help!
Signs of Cutting
There are a few signs that you might notice such as …………Continue Reading
Music for Healing – “Balm In Gilead”
I waited enthusiastically when I discovered that Whitney Houston was going to be interviewed by Oprah Winfrey. I made sure my husband and I left the office early enough so I could hear the interview. Although I missed the first few minutes, this in itself let me know that it was going to be an interesting and intriguing treat. It was absolutely PHENOMONAL!!!
Whitney Houston is a dynamic soulfully expressive, lyrical songstress. This singer’s singer has sold over 170 Million combined videos, CD’s and albums. She has (7) seven times over had the No.1 Billboard Hot consecutive release. “The Guinness Book Of World Records lists Whitney as music’s “most awarded female artist of all time.” Whitney has gracefully shared her blessings. She has The Whitney Houston Foundation For Children Inc., her foundation cares for homeless children, children with HIV and self esteem problems and empowerment issues. In addition to this she has labored sponsoring many charity benefits around the world.
No doubt Oprah genuinely loves Whitney. She later exudes her enthusiasm and sheds tears of sheer joy as Whitney renders one cut from her new project! Oprah set the tone by spotlighting Whitney Houston in a wonderful intimate environment on stage, up close and intimately personal. It was in this arena Whitney Houston opened and bared her heart with her friend Oprah . The two talked intimately about her life and what has been going on. They together allowed us the viewing public to listen in as well as Whitney Houston firsthand shared her bewildered journey over the last couple of years.
So often because of the level of fame, fortune and stardom it is often forgotten that regardless stars and superstars are still people. The difference is they often live in glasshouses. Where the press lurks all too often prodigiously waiting, readily armed with a camera for the opportunity to capture them in a dimmer light. To magnify their flaws and undermine their right to hurt, feel pain and force them to publicly showcase their struggles as they flounder to overcome an apparent issue, or personal crisis. After the unfortunate death of Michael Jackson it is wonderful that Whitney Houston was able to rise above her addiction. She vehemently testifies that with Faith, through the supportive arduous love of her Mother a strong viable Christian woman, family and friends she remains on this side of heaven proclaiming her victory is in the Lord!
Whitney Houston was born on the 9th of August in 1963 in Newark New Jersey. She is from a musically multi talented family and down through the years have performed with some of the greatest. She has sung on just about every continent. Whitney Houston no doubt is a child of God and the foundation of her Faith and belief in God has spurned the buoyancy that led her through her prodigal detour from which she has emerged victoriously! She veraciously shares her spiral into cocaine abuse. She candidly shares her and Bobby Brown’s passionate, fun, dysfunctional rocky tumultuous and often turbulent episodes during their marriage. No doubt it inappropriate. Whitney Houston then verbalizes her deep abiding Faith and Trust in the Lord and her Mother’s perseverance to help turn her back to her roots. After Counseling, Reading, Prayer, much Love and support from family and friends and applying the Scriptures abetted breaking the strongholds.
Whitney Houston’s Mother the infamous Cissy Houston and Aunt Dionne Warrick are stars in their own rights; along with a host of many others expressed their love and thankfulness for Whitney’s outstanding vocal ability! She has a beautiful vocally talented teenage daughter Bobby Christina that was born during her marriage to Bobby Brown who has supported her all the way!. Whitney has accomplished much in her lifetime. Her single “I Will Always Love You” was the biggest commercial single release in history.
It was during her marriage to Bobby Brown that Whitney Houston began a momentarily descent into Cocaine and marijuana use. It is with intensive honesty that she shares the details of this passionate and life changing marriage, fight, fuss, make up, breakup then finally ending in divorce! “Yes I did cocaine.” admits Ms. Houston. She and Bobby had a very passionate, physically sexual marriage and yes, she always remained faithful! Despite his many infidelities she believes in HOLY MATRIMONY! Not trying to excuse or encourage the path of pandemonium that took place she shares the intense passion they shared along with the destructive extremely addictive use of cocaine and marijuana. “She loved that man …” I won’t tell it all here. This interview is a definite must see!
What I will say that my heart clapped as she glowed with honesty sharing her trip to rehab with her beloved daughter at her side. She unequivocally and explicitly expressed her love for the Lord, her daughter and her Mother. Whitney shares how she longed to just live away from the spotlight. Yes, she not so gracefully stepped away momentarily and irresponsibly binged on cocaine. Even tried to step back to be Mrs. Bobby Brown . She admitted this too was a faulty mistake to attempt to live in his shadow. But now Her triumphant escape from Bobby although she still waited for him to …. Whitney’s roots in the Lord go deep. Because of it she has persevered and her FAITH in God has been fortified! She is glowingly unashameably as she testifies to the awesomeness in her transitioning from her detour back to where she belongs! Her God given gift refined just that much more!
As Oprah and Whitney peered into each others’ eyes you could feel the genuine cohesiveness they emitted in their desire to share transparently their frank, truthful conversation. Remember Whitney Houston ‘s Body Guard record was the biggest selling soundtrack ever, then Waiting to Exhale and Preachers’ Wife? Whitney has matured and she is Better than ever! There is no doubt that Whitney has a God given gift of singing. The title song is a spirit-filled fabulous testimonial rendition! The resilient vibrancy in her soul rings clear with such unmistakable clarity! Her new Project “I LOOK To YOU.” Is dedicated to God who is the source of her strength. It is already No.1 on the charts! Blessings Whitney! Keep looking up!
Unfortunately on February 11th Whitney Houston was found dead at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles on the eve before she was to perform at the Grammy Award’s Ceremony! Currently the cause of her death is unknown… There is no doubt that Ms. Houston was an extremely talented and gifted woman! No doubt she wrestled relentlessly with pain and was noticably in despair! We must always be prayerful the spiritual warfare is vehement… The enemy lurks and waits for the opportunity to find a weak link or a point of vulnerability to bring the children of God down… May her passing motivate others to be mindful to stay close to the LORD! For we know not when we will draw our last breath! Lord have mercy! She passed away at the tender age of 48 years old! Prayers and Condolences for her Mother, Daughter and Family! She will be missed by many! May she Rest In Peace!
Have you ever had a situation when you did not know what to do? Have you ever had a problem that you thought was so big you did not know how it could ever be resolved? Have you ever felt that no matter how hard you tried to explain something no one would understand? Have you ever felt so discouraged that you felt as though the weights of the world were upon your shoulders? Have you been physically ill or near death and felt that you were at the point of no return? Has death knocked on the door of a friend or love one unexpectedly? On the other hand has God freed you from narrow minded and shallow view thinking religious folks? Have you ever been persecuted, forsaken, maligned, misunderstood or unappreciated? Or have you just been so spiritually blessed you can just not express it in words? ( I am sure there are a few scenarios I forgot?) If you have ever experienced one or more of the above I have some great news for you! Nothing happens in your life that God is not aware of!
I want you to know that there is absolutely nothing that is too big, hard, and deep or complicated for GOD! More important all of the above are reasons to really get to find out what He is really all about “God is Love.” As a matter of fact in I Corinthians 13 the Scriptures tell us “Love never fails”. Never as a truism meaning never; it just won’t happen! Now don’t get me wrong. I said have you ever felt like? Did you know that your feelings can transport you into a realm of thought that you really do not have to enter? If you do enter you do not have to stay there? How do I do that? You must pluck some good ole spiritual fruit? Take just a slither of “self control”. Gradually digest it’s nutrients. This will help you take the helm. You must begin to get in gear. Shift by not allowing your feelings to get the best of you? How do I do that? Begin by acknowledging how you feel. Good, Bad or indifferent? Do not lean to your own understanding. Remember God is a Spirit of Truth! The Truth truly sets you free! Did you know that God will do exceedingly above and more than you could ever wish when you are obedient? He can, wants to and will direct your path. This is why it is important that you do not get bogged down in your thoughts nor into what someone else thinks. As simple as this might seem all you must do is shift your FOCUS!
For a moment let’s just imagine life as an obstacle course. Always keep in view, that at the end of your course your reward(s) awaits. To help you keep focused just know; your rewards are guaranteed and determined by God. Nobody can change or alter that fact. How many, much or few those rewards are is actually between you and God. God created you for a purpose. Each individual has a purpose. Once you embark into existence there is no way out unless you finish. Each individual has a time in which to complete their course. That time can be premature; prior to birth or instantly, after birth. That time can span a few minutes, days, weeks, years, decades or a century plus. There are no two paths designed that are exactly alike. Therefore you cannot navigate in the same manner as someone else. The Holy Spirit as the ultimate guide wants to and awaits too direct your path!
God who is all wise and all knowing has given us guide lines and instructions. This is why His Word is so very important. Now, just know that you can select some, all or part of His instructions. But are you ready for the consequences? You can practice them legalistically or even disregard, modify, add your own, or totally ignore the instructions. But are you ready for the consequences? Keep in mind there are actually some instructions that you do not have to do any more. Why is that? When Jesus came He left us with a better way. He is our only perfect example. He actually fulfilled the law. We are now free from the law. You must become familiar with His Word. It is full of history and wisdom. It is important to know what they were and what they are now! When you read His instructions you will be fed spiritually. This way you can really appreciate all that He has done for us! This will also help you when someone else gives you direction. You will know the difference when you have faithfully studied the instructions. Always remember you can opt to ignore all of them. But, again there will be consequences. Free choice was designed so we are not mechanical robots. Your intellect was actually designed for you to think intelligently. How do you think Adam named all those animals? It is crucial that you intellectually as well as spiritually yield to the Lord’s way. Yielding helps you to subscribe to His will being done in your life. Here is where you will find true freedom. You will also know “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty” But He tells us not to use our liberty to cloak maliciousness! Remember absolutely nothing is hidden from God! God is sovereign! This also helps you to keep focused!
God has given us the opportunity to have an internal guide. But you must first acknowledge Him as Lord of your life. To shift to this level of functioning you must invite His Son as your Savior to come and abide in your heart! Now you are ready! When all or any of those feelings I talked about earlier come what do you do? You shift your Focus to God. God our Father, our Creator and Maker of all things. Colossians tell us that there is not anything that was made that was not made through Jesus Christ. This world as we know it was spoke into existence. The Word, became flesh and dwelt among us! His Word is Jesus! He really does know all about your Troubles, Temptations or Trials. He really does have a way. That is why He says “I am the Way the Truth and the Life.” Jesus is the only door to Him!
When your life becomes burdened down with the troubles of this world remember it is only a test? Life wants to distract you from your purpose. You were created to worship and praise God. I also have a little secret that just might help you? It does not matter how much or little someone thinks of you? It does not matter how much or little you have? It does not really even matter how many, or few titles that are in front of or behind your name. It does not even really matter what others say; especially when it is just not true . God knows the intent as well as content of our hearts. Hallelujah! Many will draw conclusions and make assumptions based on little or no factual data. Problems and situations are seasonal. God is eternal! He always was and always will be! This is why it is so important not to get drawn into how you feel. Feeling is a good thing, anyone that does not feel is ready for the grave. Just don’t let your feelings control you. It’s never too late to change. Begin to learn to take in several bites of self control. It really goes a long way. You can learn to be objective when you deeply examine situations. Many are often deceived. Remember, you must learn to focus. This will give you the proper motivation to do the right thing at the proper time. It will also give you a taste of another fruit which is inner peace. This will also let you know what is important. What really is important is; that you know and obey God. God will never lead you to do anything morally, physically or spiritually that goes against His principles.
Start today by incorporating in your daily diet His fruit. Galatians 5 will teach you all about the fruit of God’s Spirit. It also lets you know by contrast the works of the flesh. You have as much tine as you need to accomplish what He wants you to do. Oops! By the way it might seem to others when you take a bite of patience you have, or are………whatever? Patience often does work tribulation. Oh but HOPE will take you through tribulation. Hope helps you not to be ashamed. It will definitely help you keep focused! But your hope must lie in God! Did you know your mind can bring you down and confuse you when it is not properly focused? It can allow you to distort the facts. Remember God’s Love never fails! Now if you have not confessed and believed in your heart you may or should I say will have a problem with all of this. Why? It so simple that it is difficult. Be careful who and what you yoke yourself up with. There are those who major in worry. Have you ever heard the expression “If you are going to worry why pray?” God’s yoke is easy and His burdens are light. His burdens are not to weigh you down. They come so you can what? Put it all in His hands.
Always remember who and what awaits you. Better yet who is with you? His precious Comforter, the Holy Spirit! The way this world is going, it’s just no telling, you might just be one of those who ends up being caught up in the air with Jesus? Either way at the end of this course God has reward(s). Keep your faith and trust in Him. He really does have it all under His control. This is why it is very important to always keep in view; God has a purpose for you! This is why He says be anxious for nothing! But in “all things through prayer and supplications let your request be made known… “If your mind is stayed (focused) on Him He will keep you in perfect peace.” All you must do is “PUT IT ALL IN HIS HANDS”
To God be the Glory!
Click Here to listen/download the single “Put It All In His Hands” by Percy Gray & The Chapter Ministry Singers
Addiction is something few want to readily discuss. Addiction inhibits intimacy in the marriage! Transparency is necessary in order to build intimacy. Transparency and intimacy are essential components in building a strong satisfying marriage. Addiction prohibits you from being transparent!
Addiction is a clear indicator that you are hurting! You have simply found an unhealthy way to cope with your pain. Your addiction can be alcohol, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, uppers, downers, caffeine, illicit sex, pornography, food and even shopping! Yes and there are more… Guess what? You have only found a way to momentarily relieve or somewhat ease your infuriating inner pain; it is still there!
I say momentarily because while under the influence or indulging in the activity you are able to somewhat escape. However the cause still remains because the pain returns. Often more vehement than ever causing you to each time pursue passionately that which you are addicted to! Addiction of any kind can be life threatening because you are out of control. Your desires