November 10, 2014 Uncategorized Comments Off on Marijuana and Your Son
For many of us the idea of legalizing marijuana brings us to a heightened level of alarm, however for others, it is no big deal. Still some, a very small population, have found medical uses for marijuana and are very much in favor of its legalization. Where does that leave a parent with a teen son? Should you be concerned?
In the article found at www.sciencedaily.com it states “The nature of the teenage brain makes users of cannabis amongst this population particularly at risk of developing addictive behaviors and suffering other long-term negative effects.”
The article goes on to say that the way the teen brain is made puts a teen who uses marijuana at high risk of more addictive behaviors and brings the huge potential of long-term negative effects. This is according to the research at the University of Montreal and New York’s Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
The article goes on to say, “Of the illicit drugs, cannabis is most used by teenagers since it is perceived by many to be of little harm. This perception has led to a growing number of states approving its legalization and increased accessibility. Most of the debates and ensuing policies regarding cannabis were done without consideration of its impact on one of the most vulnerable population, namely teens, or without consideration of scientific data,” wrote Professor Didier Jutras-Aswad of the University of Montreal and Yasmin Hurd, MD, PhD, of Mount Sinai. “While it is clear that more systematic scientific studies are needed to understand the long-term impact of adolescent cannabis exposure on brain and behavior, the current evidence suggests that it has a far-reaching inﬂuence on adult addictive behaviors particularly for certain subsets of vulnerable individuals.”
As a parent it is very important that you engage your teen in a conversation about marijuana and its potential legalization in your state. But first, and of even more importance, is for you to become more educated about marijuana; its risk and potential habit forming properties. Be open with your teen about your thoughts as you engage him in his.
If you are raising your son to know Jesus then it would be a good idea to research what the Bible says about marijuana. I know…marijuana is not in the Bible, right? But many other topics are that point the reader to make their own ideas about marijuana’s use and its destruction. Let’s look at a few.
Ezekiel 16:49 talks about pride, gluttony and laziness. Talk with your teen in the area of pride. Pride will keep your teen from listening to your counsel. Gluttony simply means too much of anything and we know it is difficult to be a hard worker when a teen is doing things he should not be doing.
Proverbs 6:1-3 tells a child to honor their parents so they will have a long and productive life. As a parent you have certain standards or rules in your home of which you want your teen to honor.
Mark 15:23 says “They offered him wine drugged with myrrh, but he refused it.” Myrrh is used as a stimulant, among other things. Jesus did not want to engage in anything that would alter his state of mind as he hung on the cross to cover all of our sins. A time when it would have been understood, anything to mask the pain. But Jesus said no. He refused it, the Bible states.
If you have discovered your teen is engaging in the use of marijuana or any other substance, call us. At DMI, we care. We know the damage, danger and perpetual denigration of your teen if they are left unaided. Please know there is something you can do. We are here for you. Let DMI help you so you can help your teen son.
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August 16, 2013 Uncategorized Comments Off on What Parents Should Say
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August 15, 2013 Uncategorized Comments Off on Grace-based Parenting
| Tharticle The article below was written by Billy Graham’s grandson. A Tale of Two Lunches
Below is an excerpt from my forthcoming book One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World (David C. Cook, October 2013).
I was sixteen when my parents kicked me out of the house. What started out as run-of-the-mill adolescent rebellion in my early teens had, over the course of a few short years, blossomed into a black hole of disrespect and self-centeredness that was consuming the entire family.
I would lie when I didn’t have to, push every envelope, pick fights with my siblings, carry on, and sneak around-at first in innocent ways; later in not-so-innocent ways. If someone said “black,” I would say “white.” Nothing all that terrible by the world’s standards, but given my Christian context and upbringing, it was pretty egregious.
Eventually, everyone involved reached the end of their patience, and looking back, I can’t blame them. It’s not as though my parents hadn’t tried every other option. Private school, public school, homeschool, counseling, interventions-you name it.
Anything they did just made me want to rebel more. Eventually, my lifestyle became so disruptive, the fights so brutal, that my parents were forced to say, “We love you, son, but if you’re going to continue living this way, you can’t do so under our roof.”
My parents were well loved in our community, and their friends could see the heartache they were going through with me. I remember two separate instances of people caring enough to ask them for permission to talk with me one-on-one to see if maybe they could get through to me.
The first time was early on, when I was still living at home. Their friend picked me up after school, brought me to Burger King, and read me the riot act. “Look at all that God’s given you. You’re squandering everything. You’re making your parents’ life a living hell, acting so selfishly, not considering your siblings. You go to a private school. You have this remarkable heritage. Shape up, man! Snap out of it.” Of course, he was 100 percent right. In fact, if he had known the full truth of what I was up to (and what was in my heart), he would have had every reason to be even harsher. But in the first five minutes of this guy talking to me, I could tell where it was going, and I just tuned out. As far as I was concerned, it was white noise. I could not wait for it to be over and for him to drop me back off at home.
This first friend was the voice of the law. He was articulating the standard that I was falling short of-what I should have been doing and who I should have been being-and he couldn’t have been more correct. The condemnation was entirely justified. His words gave an accurate description of who I was at that moment.
But that’s the curious thing about the law and judgment in general: it can tell us who we are, it can tell us the right thing to do, but it cannot inspire us to do that thing or be that person. In fact, it often creates the opposite reaction than the one that is intended. It certainly did for me! I don’t blame the man in question-he was trying to do the right thing. It’s just that his methods completely backfired.
The second experience happened about a year and a half later, and by this time I was out of the house. This man called me and said, “I’d love to meet with you.” And I thought, Oh no, another one of my parents’ friends trying to set me straight. But I didn’t want to make things any worse between my parents and me, and the free meal didn’t sound too bad either, so I agreed to get together with him.
Once we were at the restaurant, he just looked at me and said, “Listen, I know you’re going through a tough time, and I know life must seem very confusing right now. And I just want to tell you that I love you, I’m here for you, and I think God’s going to do great things with you. Here’s my phone number. If you ever need anything, call me. If you want to tell me something you don’t feel comfortable telling anybody else, call me. I just want you to know that I’m here for you.” And then he switched the subject and started talking about sports. That guy-the second guy-is still a friend of mine to this day. He will forever be marked in my personal history as an example of amazing grace.
Most parents and spouses, siblings and friends – even preachers – fall prey to the illusion that real change happens when we lay down the law, exercise control, demand good performance, or offer “constructive” criticism.
We wonder why our husbands grow increasingly withdrawn over the years, why our children don’t call as much as we would like them to, why our colleagues don’t confide in us, why our congregants become relationally and emotionally detached from us.
In more cases than not, it happens because we are feeding their deep fear of judgment-by playing the judge. Our lips may be moving, but the voice they hear is that of the law. The law may have the power to instruct and expose, but it does not have the power to inspire or create. That job is reserved for grace-grace alone.
In Romans 7, the Apostle Paul makes it clear that the law illuminates sin but is powerless to eliminate sin. That’s not part of its job description. It points to righteousness but can’t produce it. It shows us what godliness is, but it cannot make us godly.
The law can inform us of our sin but it cannot transform the sinner. Only the gospel can do that.
As Martin Luther said, “Sin is not canceled by lawful living, for no person is able to live up to the Law. Nothing can take away sin except the grace of God.”
The law may expose bad behavior, but only grace can woo the heart.
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April 19, 2013 Uncategorized Comments Off on Teen Suicide
“If only I would have known about the DMI Program, maybe my son would still be alive.”
Recently a sobbing mom shared these words with me as we sat in the theatre like chairs in the church auditorium. Tears streaming down her face she described the last moments leading to his suicide. He had called her and told her he needed help. Not knowing what was to come, she lovingly told him she would call him the next day with help, although she did not have a plan. Her son had become a crystal meth addict and she was desperate to get him off drugs.
Although this son had grown up in a Christian home, surrounded by loving parents who were workers in their church and community, offering life and hope to those around them in Jesus, there are no guarantees in life. These good parents came to realize even they could have a child who would become lost in a spiral downward to the worlds allure of fun and good times.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2011 statistics, suicide accounts for 13 percent of all deaths among youth and young adults aged 10 to 24 and is the third leading cause of death for that age group.
Not only did suicide attempts increase among teens, the center reports even thoughts of suicide is on the rise. A survey by the CDC shows that 15.8 percent of those surveyed reported they had seriously considered attempting suicide, up from 13.8 percent in 2009. As reported by the CDC nearly 1 in 6 high school students has seriously considered suicide.
The American Psychiatric Association says young people who suffer from depression will eventually attempt suicide at least once. This is a staggering report. More than 7% of young people who attempt suicide due to depression, will die as a result. And the report goes on to say 53% of teens who commit suicide abused alcohol.
From the National Bureau of Economic Research comes the following paragraph: “Previous research documents a strong link between drug and alcohol abuse and suicidal behavior. But according to Sara Markowitz, Pinka Chatterji, Robert Kaestner, and Dhaval Dave writing in Substance Use and Suicidal Behaviors Among Young Adults (NBER Working Paper No. 8810), that research does not establish that substance abuse has a causal role in youth’s suicide thoughts or actions. Substance abuse can cause social isolation, low self esteem, loss of work or school, estrangement from family and friends – all events that can build a core of stresses that may lead to suicidal tendencies. Substance abuse also can increase impulsiveness and decrease inhibitions, making one more likely to act on suicidal tendencies. But the earlier studies did not adequately explore the effects of other major influences on suicidal behavior, namely depression and other psychiatric problems, nor the idea that suicidal tendencies actually may spur the drinking and drug abuse.
In this paper, the authors conjecture that if substance use causes suicidal behavior, then policies designed to reduce the consumption of alcohol and illegal drugs may succeed in reducing suicidal behaviors.
Something must be done. But policies alone are not enough. Teens need help. Call us and talk with us about your teen. Let us help you as a parent. It is our desire to show you a solution that only God can answer.
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April 8, 2013 Uncategorized Comments Off on Addiction and Grace!
“No! God please, no!” I can only imagine the breathless words of the eldest son as he knelt in the dirt beside the dusty road, holding a lifeless father he would never have an earthly conversation with again. The car had slid into the ditch causing a rollover that would propel the father through the window and into an empty field releasing his life for eternity. No man’s land for as far as the eye could contain. This rugged land met by the mountains in the background had become the resting place for a man scarred by a life of addiction, yet recently named by God as “REDEEMED!”
Two years earlier God’s Grace, with arms wide open, swept up the father in the midst of his addiction and gave him new life. His four children loved him to Jesus. They unconditionally loved him to life. The father’s verse in life became the symbol in his death.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! ” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
And new life this father enjoyed for two years; a renewed relationship with his children, new friends, new purpose, new future. He lived each day as though it was his last. He knew the value of life as never before. This father began to share with many others how they too could know Jesus and His amazing forgiveness and love. Not one time through many years did his children give up believing God could and would touch the heart of this father, searing his heart with the love of the Lord.
The message is really about love and forgiveness and the POWERful restoration God can and will do in the heart of a man. “As long as there is life, there is hope” the children said. They prayed, they sent birthday and father day cards, they called him, they loved him. They wooed him and by so doing, got out of the way, so the Holy Spirit could speak to the father. These children were God’s representative of how the Holy Spirit draws us to God.
Redeemed is the theme of his life and his death. As a young man, he learned how to blot out life’s troubles and pain through heroin. As an old man he learned he could live fully alive, REDEEMED by the blood of the cross. A new man. A new life.
A few years ago I read the book Addictions and Grace by Gerald May. This father and his four children understood the depth of God’s Grace.
DMII is honored to establish a scholarship fund for teen boys in this fathers honor. To donate to the CG Haire REDEEMED Scholarship Fund please click on the DONATE tab or the REDEEMED Scholarship Tab on behalf of a teen boy who so desperately needs the opportunity to experience a redeemed life through DMII. All donations are tax deductible.
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August 12, 2012 Uncategorized Comments Off on Hearing God Speak
A couple of years ago a friend and I were hiking Thunderbir dMountain having a great time in conversation about the Lord when I mentioned how God talks to me. With astonishment my friend, who was in the lead, stopped dead in her tracks, turned around to look at me and asked, “Did I just hear you say God talks to you?” At first I thought she was kidding but I soon realized by the intensity of her gaze that she was totally sincere in her question. Stunned, as I thought all believers heard from God, I answered humbly, “Yes, God talks to me.” As we continued our hike at a slower pace, my friend asked “What does God sound like? How do you know it is God talking to you?” and many other questions. For the remainder of our hike we ruminated over the answers to her inquiries.
Later as I reflected on my friend’s questions and how God has spoken to me through the years I realized not all Christians hear God talking to them. I came to a further conclusion there are three transformations that must take place in the believers’ life in order to hear God’s voice; live a spirit led life, listen for God to talk and have an active desire to walk by faith. These transformations were the crux of my life change, giving me the ability to hear God and empowering me to be willing to implement His call to found Discipleship Ministry International, Inc. (DMI).
First I had to be Spirit led. In 1990 I met a woman who began to disciple me. I knew my life was a mess. My problem was I did not know how to get my life turned around. Having lived in dysfunction as a normalcy for so long I had come to accept my lot in life. As I studied Ephesians 5:18 “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit” I began to understand the word ‘be’ in this verse. This word is an active word which means to ‘continue to be’ as in ‘being’. At that moment the rhema Word (the Word alive in Greek) became clear that this ‘being’ is something I must continue to practice. It is not a one time filling. No, on the contrary it is a continuous activity of reading the Word and meditating on it, having quality prayer time, staying in fellowship with other believers, being accountable to my husband, other leaders and peers; those in authority, asking for prayer in decisions, abiding with Jesus moment by moment and day by day as I walk out my life. As God reveals any thing in my life that is not pleasing to Him, according to Psalm 139, I must confess it as quickly as possible so as not to hinder this flow of God’s Spirit as He pours into me as it speaks He will in 1 Corinthians 2. It is out of this overflow of filling I can pour into the lives of others. This is the Spirit Led life.
The next transformation that took place in my life was a willingness to hear God speak to me. The other evening my husband and I were at dinner with a husband and wife who had just come back together to work on their marriage. We were talking about God revealing truth to us when I opened my little purse Bible to I Corinthians 2:9-12 and read, “However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him, but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us”. As I emphasized verse 12 to the husband he responded that he did not need to hear from God. Shocked, as this man is a believer, my husband and I began to relay times in our lives that God revealed to us wisdom in situations that we did not have an answer. This man apparently did not need to have God’s wisdom. Having a desire to hear God speak is an exciting adventure in the Christians life. How boring if we always knew what each day would produce. Oral Roberts often said, “Today expect a miracle!” As the years have passed by, this phrase has become more and more a reality as I have seen many miracles. If I expect a miracle I will see it and the same with listening for God to speak. If I listen, then I will be available when He does.
As I was being discipled it became very clear to me many other women would benefit from the experience that had so radically changed my life. God began to stir within me a desire to see spiritual multiplication as emphasized in 2 Timothy 2:2 “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.” I was listening to God speak to me. I was hearing His voice. It was impossible or so I thought at first. But looking back I can see that the next transformation in my life had to take place in order for the message to go forth.
In Hebrews 11:6 it says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Faith is the key to the third transformation that I began to see happening in my life. Anything not of faith is sin and sin hinders the believers’ life keeping them from experiencing a Spirit led walk. I knew as God was speaking to me about spiritual multiplication I had a decision to make that required my faith to be tested. As I prayed and God nudged I shared with others what God was saying to me. It was not long and I began see a contagious energy around me. Several ladies caught the vision and we joined forces to disciple, minister through seminars and brunches and soon DMI was birthed.
Today DMI is a 501c3 ministry equipping hundreds of men, women and teens to live a spirit led life, listening to God speak and walking it out by faith.
By Cathy Cheshier
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Yesterday I was at the skate park (yup in the heat of Phoenix & I mean heat) with my awesome 7 soon to be 8 year old skater grandson who lives and breathes skater world. How can a grandma resist?! So at the skate park was this young man who told me he was 18. He was sitting at the picnic bench under the umbrella of the only shade amongst the concrete park. As we sat together I began to ask him about his life and so forth. Within 15 mins I saw a young man who was the identical kid I have been reading about, a millinneal. I asked him the right questions and he responded exactly as I had been learning he would. He started by telling me the world was ending this year as he had become a believer in the Mayan Calendar. A few more questions told me he believed in God, reads the Bible once in a while and used to go to church. He has no direction, does not know his purpose and has no idea of any talents or desires, especially in light of no need for these things due to the worlds demise….although I was able to share with him that no man knows the end of days, not even Jesus. So that opened the door for us to talk about life purpose. Before long he got up, skated around the park for a little bit, came back and sat down. He said he remembered that he was thinking about joining the Navy or Army. We talked about that. Then I asked him if it would be ok if I prayed with him. I told him that praying was simply talking with God like he and I were talking and that we didn’t even need to bow our heads or close our eyes. He said yes…not a nod of the head but he actually said yes. He did bow his head though and I prayed for him…for purpose…for direction….for desire. Short, sweet and wonderful. Right there in the skate park, in the heat of the concrete, under that canopy and at the picnic table, God ordained us to be there at that time for His glory and this young man’s life. He told me he missed the bus to get him home and that was why he was there. He said nothing happens by chance. I agreed and invited him to come Sunday night to a local church that has a Sunday evening band and ministry just for young people his age. His name is Willy. I pray he remembers and shows up. I drove him home, shook his hand and gave him a final blessing. I hope to see him again. I gave him my card and suggested he call me if he has any questions about anything we talked about. He said he might just do that. I am so glad I pushed past my lack of desire to go to the skate park and sit in the concrete heat. God is AWESOME!
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April 28, 2012 Uncategorized Comments Off on ‘Be’
It is quiet this morning….Saturday, ah a day to relax. But then guilt sets in. I have so much to do. I am reminded of the verse in Galatians 5:18 which says, “do not be drunk… for this is a waste but rather be (ing) filled with the Holy Spirit.” I paraphrased the verse some but you get the basic meaning. The reason I am reminded of that verse is because of my tendency to ‘do’ as opposed to ‘be’. (I bet you thought I was going to say something about drinking here didn’t you?) The word in the verse ‘be’ is an active ongoing word which means ‘being’. In John Chapter 15 the entire chapter speaks of the word ‘being’ as resting in, relying on, waiting for, taking comfort in…all of course in Jesus. Being in Jesus. This is not about what I do for Him but rather what He will do in me as I rest in, rely on, wait for, take comfort in, be in….Jesus! How often I get caught up in doing one more seminar, or training one more person, or taking on another task when my plate is already heaping full and overflowing. Kind of like a glutton who cannot pass a serving of food without putting some on his plate. Ouch! However I reason to myself, “there is so much to do!” Really? I look out my windows and examine them seeing every water spot from the splashing of the pool to dust from the long winter. I notice the mark from a poor bird who mistook the closed window for open air and crashed his poor little head into it knocking him silly. I must wash the windows……but first let me sit here a minute more….being in Jesus.
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January 16, 2012 Uncategorized Comments Off on Prison Life-What was I thinking?
Who would have guessed going to prison could turn out to bless the socks off me! That is exactly what happened Saturday night. A fellow warrior woman in Christ and I went to Perryville Prison, a woman’s prison in Arizona, which houses over 4,000 inmates. The unit we went in was Cruz which has more than 750 women in medium security. Most are charged with theft, trafficking stolen items, assault, and so on. My friend and I share the Christian message and this night it was my turn. She is a fabulous singer and has her own worship music and speakers and causes the house to ‘rock’ when she turns it all on. On the long drive out to Perryville we prayed for our journey into Cruz. Never do we want to take any of this for granted. It can be dangerous although in my limited year of going once a month I have found it to be anything but dangerous, but this is where caution cannot be thrown to the wind….so we always pray for protection. This night we prayed specifically for anyone battling homosexuality as this is a big battle for the women, even if they have never had a sexual attraction towards another women. Women long for intimacy which is often the very thing that got them in prison in the first place; wrong and unhealthy male relationships leading weaker and unstable women to do things they might not have done otherwise. In prison, this intimate longing leads women to women, who don the attire and attitudes along with the strides of a male figure, even shaving their heads. As I gave the message I noted a women in the front row. She had a shaved head and tattoo’s along her neck on both sides. At the end of the message I asked for a show of hands for those that had never invited Christ into their life. Her hand shot up! Earlier that day I felt impressed there would be a woman who needed to be bold in her proclamation of faith. I prayed and wrapped up the night. This bald headed woman with a male stride came up to me. I grabbed her hand and began to pray for her. She said it was the first time she had heard a message that touched her heart. I spoke of the wounds from the past holding us in bondage to discover who God really is. She confessed to me she had made the decision to change her life. I immediately knew she was the one I had been impressed about earlier in the day so I told her, “let your hair grow!” What in the heck was I thinking!? Did I forget where I was? She could have socked me really good right then. She looked at me and said, “Oh no I can’t.” I shared with her what I felt God had impressed me about and that she was the woman who God was saying to be bold. So I told her “yes you can!” After much discussion she said she would commit to pray about it. We go back next month and I can’t wait to see what God said to her and what her response will be to Him. Unknown to me before we even started, music blaring, a woman came to my friend for prayer regarding her homosexuality in prison. We were blessed as we drove home and thanked God for an awesome time in prison!
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