It was touching to read about Erika Hurt, 25, in Hope, Indiana because she exemplifies actions, although not the same, we all have that can cause grief to those we love or are closest to us. Erika was found unconscious behind the wheel of her car because of a drug overdose. With needle still in hand and her 10-month old son crying in the back seat, the police report says she was administered two doses of the life-saving heroin antidote narcan. Following hospital treatment Erika was booked on charges of child neglect and possession of drug paraphernalia.
We are hearing that parents are doing things like this more often with helpless children in the car. It would seem the young children don’t disapprove or probably know what is going on. We could speculate that if Erika were asked if she loved her child she would reply with a passionate “yes”. It would not seem that way to most everyone else.
One thing we notice in situations like this is that our actions cause those we love to lose while we get what we want. It happens all the time with all kinds of actions. I have seen some very stressed family members of alcoholics. Then there are marriages where one partner is unfaithful or doesn’t want to be intimate while the other does. The family bread winner may supply the material needs of a family while neglecting them by working extraordinarily long hours. While the list could go on, in every case someone is more focused on self rather than the other.
So what is love? Someone with true love is one who performs an action knowing they could lose so that others might win. One might even think about measuring the strength of your love by how much you are willing to risk or give up that someone else might benefit.
The Bible tells us the very nature of God is love. It also says God considers love to be the greatest thing. Are you striving for what God considers best? Is there something in your life you need to change today? If you would like to talk, there are two methods of communication listed on this web site. We look forward to hearing from you.
It has now been a month since Natalie Cole died in Los Angeles from congestive heart failure. She was 65. There was a glamour side to her life, in that she was a nine-time Grammy award-winning singer. Her life also had a dark side. When Natalie was in high school she began experimenting with drugs. At the start of college, she dated a boy named Jimmy and began singing with his band. Natalie was on drugs at this time. After college she began using heroin and her drug use increased. After a brief hiatus from drugs, she got married, had a son, and began using drugs again. This time it was cocaine. There were car accidents, a divorce, child neglect, lack-luster performances and missed shows.
She first entered rehab in 1982, but after a 30-day stay, she went right back to drugs.
Some thought she was going to die, so she entered rehab again in 1983. While this stint in rehab seemed to work, substance abuse took a toll on her health. In 2007 she contracted hepatitis C from sharing needles in the past. Treatment for liver disease damaged her kidneys and her health continued to deteriorate.
Whitney Houston, another Grammy award-winning singer, died in 2012 of drowning as a result of heart disease and cocaine use. Her brother introduced her to drugs.
In each of these cases, someone close became an influence that resulted in death. The Bible tells us not to be deceived about bad company ruining good morals. It also says to stay away from people with anger or those that make promises since you will learn their ways and fall into a trap. The friends you chose will likely affect your life and those around you as long as you live.
The greatest friend to have is God. The Bible says to draw near to him and He will draw near to you as you cleanse your hands and purify your heart. Are you being influenced by the greatest friend of all?
Sometimes you would never expect a person at the top of her college class to slip into heroin addiction, but that’s just what happened to Nicole at age 20. It didn’t just happen in one day. At age 13 she began using marijuana, alcohol and some drugs. Eventually more drugs entered the picture and she was taking ecstasy, cocaine and then opiates. She lived in Massachusetts which has recently seen an average of four heroin deaths per day, which is twice the national average. Journeys like Nicoles can be devastating to the addict but also to families and communities. After a long road Nicole has now been clean for a year at age 26.
We can often see or hear of situations like Nicole’s being played out all around us, regardless of where we live. When we ask the question of why heroin is so addictive, we are drawn to the research at John Hopkins. In 1972 they found that human brains contain natural receptors for opium. When substances such as codeine, morphine and heroin enter the body they have a natural landing spot in the brain. The active ingredients in opium and it’s derivatives are nearly identical to chemicals we have in our brains called endorphins. It’s what makes you feel good and gives you a sense of euphoria.
While some people exercise to feel good, others can get a stronger feeling by injection. None of the opiates work faster than heroin. When the feel-good response is over stimulated, the brain becomes fatigued and needs even more stimulation to produce the same high. This is why heroin addicts eventually take higher and higher doses until finally an overdose occurs.
Politically-correct people will call heroin addiction a disease. We don’t do that here. Let’s ask ourselves what’s life all about anyway. Much of it appears to be the gravitation toward pleasure and the avoidance of discomfort. We see that in heaven and hell. Jesus tells us people in heaven will have abundant life while those eventually cast into the lake of fire will be in torment. It’s feeling good or feeling bad. Many of our decisions on a day-to-day basis are geared to bringing pleasure or relief in some way even though there could be an attached negative implication for body, circumstances or relationships. Smoking and fast food are two examples that come to mind.
The question really becomes: do the desires and lusts of the body control our actions or do we control the actions of our body by adhering to some standard or purpose? The Bible says a person without self-control is like a city broken into and left without protection. It also says God gives His people a spirit not of fear but of power, love and self-control. Is your life one of self-control? Have you tried Jesus?
Delegate Dan Morhaim, a Democrat, Maryland lawmaker and emergency room doctor, is concerned about the increasingly visible wave of heroin abuse in his state. He would like to propose legislation that would provide free heroin for some addicts. He thinks this might reduce the propensity of an addict to steal in support of his habit. People also conjecture it could reduce the number of pushers, make for a happier addict, and reduce infection risk since the drug kit would be sterile.
While the heroin would be free for the addict, someone will have to pay for it. In this case it would be the taxpayer. In short, it would come out of your paycheck.
While this is clearly thinking outside the box, the Bible says whatever overcomes a person enslaves him. Also, the Bible frequently condemns acts such as intoxication which is contrasted with the virtues of alertness and self control.
If you wanted to do the right thing, what direction would you take?