EMM Main Blog
While the internet brings a wealth of information instantly to our finger tips, it also throws our children into an ocean of risk. Too often, our kids navigate those waters without a life preserver and become bait for the enemy’s piranha-like feeding frenzy to attack the weak.
Parents today have more than their neighborhoods, schools and kids’ friends to worry about. The enemy is cleverly casting nets online fishing for their souls and God’s men must be aware of where their kids are swimming. For example, social media has brought the world together, while giving predators tools to connect while disguised in sheep’s clothing. Online video gaming, once a harmless recreation (remember Atari?), now provides realms of obscene and violent behaviors. And with every online search, marketers of all kinds of dangerous material get closer to home.
When a simple handshake “bet” between friends on Sunday’s game becomes an overpowering, heart-racing compulsion, you might want to check yourself. Whether it’s a roll of the dice, flip of a card, a big game or a number in a race, too often the pleasure of a possible big payoff costs more than your hard-earned cash.
It’s no great surprise that gambling is popular among millions of Americans. Vegas was built on “donations.” As much as $5 billion is spent on gambling in the United States every year.
Yet, I offer serious caution against gambling. Unfortunately, the odds are against you and it leads to a destructive, behavioral addiction. A simple search online about “gambling addiction,” surfaced this:
- With every bet, gambling releases dopamine in the brain, the same neurotransmitter triggered from drug or alcohol use.
- Gambling addicts all too often experience financial ruin, accruing tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.
- The cycle spirals downward quickly as many addicts turn to crime to payback debts and afford the next rush.
- The destruction leads to despair and eventually gambling addicts have a high rate of attempted or successful suicide.
- Mon Nov 25, 2013
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Marijuana use is experiencing a new “high” in popularity, particularly among baby boomers, according to the recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The “medicinal” use dispensaries popping up in several states, which have turned their reddened eyes away from the Federal laws, provide easier access for anyone seeking temporary relief from a wide variety of pains.
Most Christians think the Bible doesn’t provide guidance about the wonder weed, however, you might be surprised. Smoking pot gets in the way of God’s plan for your life.
Admit it. You masturbate. Either in the past, or recently, heck maybe this morning. All men, married or single, young or old, struggle with this self-indulgence.
While it would be easy to get caught in the debate of whether or not it’s a sin (and I believe it is), let me suggest that, in my own journey as a God’s man, the reward of saving my sexual appetite for my wife is soooooooooo (!!!!) worth waiting for.
But that’s easier said than done, especially with culture flaunting the female body and shoving sexuality in our faces. The temptation to “relieve” yourself with a helpful hand puts men smack dab in the middle of a battle for the mind.
We justify it. “Well, it’s not in the Bible.” Or “I only fantasize about my wife.” Or “God made us in His image, so He gets it.” Or “As long as I’m not having pre-marital sex, or cheating on my wife, it’s okay.”
I know. I know. I’ve heard these and other justifications before.
My ears reverberated with echoes so loud my brain hurt. I could not hear anything but the massive wave of sound made of shouts, yells, and screams. My eyes saw a sea of fist-pumping fans, jumping in the stands, snarling as they cheered for their home team. It was the “loudest crowd roar” in the Guinness Book of World Records, and it was just a few Sundays ago at CenturyLink Field, a stadium seemingly built for noise production.
People wore their home team jerseys, hats and waived foamed fingers -- while others, poked plugs in their ears.
Got me wondering...tap...tap...tap...what do I worship with this enthusiasm? And, what have these people become?
The first answer is...I worship God fervently in my spirit, but honestly, I don’t wear jerseys with his name on my back, or shout so loud that I lose my voice. Although my worship is 24/7 and doesn’t crescendo like it did at the stadium, it’s authentic, yearning for God and honoring him.