Category Archives: One Word: Blessing

The Blessing of: Addictions

Breaking Free

My personal One Word for 2014: Blessing


This past week I spent time training for my position of employment that involves working for an agency that provides services for people facing barriers in meeting their needs for survival. I enjoy working in positions where I get to serve and assist people who are in need of a variety of resources for living. A large number of the patrons who rely on this agency have substance abuse issues.

Addictions create a number of problems for people wanting to maintain consistent employment, attend training programs, or find permanent accommodation. Opposite of this are the many people with additions who are able to maintain their employment and provide for their own cost of living.

I wish I had the answer to poverty and addictions, but I don’t. If there is anyone out there that has a solution for ending these two problems for humanity once and for all, please let every level of government in North America know your secret. I would love to sing along with Andre Crouch and say, “Jesus is the answer for all the world today…”, but it doesn’t quite work that way. I would never force my religious beliefs on anyone, especially those who are most in need and marginalized within our society.

Addressing substance abuse without contradicting my spiritual beliefs can sometimes be a challenge. I have been asked a number of times why I would work within a Harm Reduction facility as a Christian and to this question, I say, ‘I’m not offering people illegal substances and I’m not pouring alcohol or Listerine down people’s throats.’ There are no contradictions with my beliefs in the job duties that I perform.

Source: Stepstorecovery
Source: Stepstorecovery

When addressing addictions, our provincial government promotes and practices what they refer to as Harm Reduction.

What is Harm Reduction?

“Harm Reduction refers to policies, programs and practices that aim to reduce the negative health, social and economic consequences that may ensue from the use of legal and illegal psychoactive drugs, without necessarily reducing drug use. Its cornerstones are public health, human rights and social justice. It benefits people who use drugs, families and communities.

Harm Reduction is underpinned with the knowledge that many drug-related problems are not the result of the drugs themselves; rather they are the consequences of the unregulated manufacture and trade of drugs and the enduring commitment to failed policies and ill-thought-out and inequitably applied laws.

Finally, Harm Reduction ensures that people who use psychoactive substances are treated with respect and without stigma, and that substance-related problems and issues are addressed systemically.” (Source:

I don’t support illegal drug use and I don’t support the misuse of prescription drugs.

I can’t speak for other cities across North America, but our province has made note of many positive outcomes resulting from the use of the harm reduction model. I am happy to hear there are positive outcomes for those using a Harm Reduction approach, but I will say this; as believers we must have faith that we can overcome any addiction that we have.

An addiction is an addiction. I won’t get into any discussion about which substances are more difficult to withdraw from. The most important point that I want to make is that it doesn’t matter what the substance is, we have been given the strength and the power to overcome any addiction that has held us in bondage. Until there is scientific evidence that clearly shows that there are human beings who are incapable of ending their addictions, I will continue to believe what I believe.

I won’t say that one method works better than another method because I believe that people with addictions have a variety of factors that will influence the type of treatment method that is best for them. What has been a life saver for one person might not be a suitable or realistic option for another person.

Judging those with addictions does not help them recover, it only makes their recovery a more difficult process. I’m not here to judge or offer the ultimate solution to everyone’s problems, but I do want to let people who are struggling to be free of their addiction know: yes, you can overcome your addiction! It is not a onetime event, instead, it is one day at a time. For those who are believers, don’t forget what Jesus asked “Do you wish to get well? (John 5: 6).” Jesus reminded us who He came to earth to serve, “… Jesus said to them, ‘It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’ (Mark 2:17)” We are all in need of the great physician.

Steps to recovery

Jesus was a healer, God is still a healer. Folks, we CAN be healed of any addiction, but you must believe you can be free. It is the belief in your freedom that will help you to: attend medical appointments, maintain participation in whatever treatment you choose, face the pain that had driven you to addiction, and it is your belief in your ability to be healed that will keep you returning to God day after day in asking Him to be with you during your life long process of healing.

God doesn’t judge you where you are at, He loves you where you are at.

God’s love is powerful enough to transform us; it is not a type of love that meets you where you are and then leaves you there. No one who has accepted God’s offer of healing has ever been left the same. Never. Isn’t that exciting? Thank you LORD, your love has healing power.

Pray for those WITH addictions and alcoholism

I will continue to work in an environment that supports and practices a Harm Reduction model, but I will never believe that any human being on this planet is not able to overcome their addiction. I will be there for them and help them as best as I am able to at whatever pace they are going at; and do so in a way that places no blame and judgement on them or their circumstances. For those who do not believe they can ever overcome their own addictions, please know that I believe you can, and most importantly there is a God who knows that you can be healed. He knows this because He is the healer.


For more information on the topic of addictions recovery, please read below.

Public Policy Statement: Definition of Addiction (

Short Definition of Addiction:

Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.

Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death. (Source: American Society for Addiction Medicine)



Life’s Healing Choices – From Saddleback Church

Life's Healing Choices

Celebrate Recovery

National Association for Christian Recovery

Resource site with links to a variety of programs and information


The Blessing of: Respecting Yourself

Respect figure

My one word for 2014: Blessing

Respect is a word often misused in our vocabulary and unfortunately it is commonly demanded from people who are the least deserving of it.

respect give it

Let’s find out what respect really means, at least according to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary:


“: a feeling of admiring someone or something that is good, valuable, important, etc.

: a feeling or understanding that someone or something is important, serious, etc., and should be treated in an appropriate way

: a particular way of thinking about or looking at something”

“: high or special regard:  (esteem)

b : the quality or state of being esteemed”

I have worked in my share of low-paying, toxic, and unethical places of employment where supervisors and managers have demanded “respect” from employees. I have also seen a few pastoral staff and Christian leaders in the community demand respect from people. Respect is important, but as I like to say, ‘If you have to demand respect, you don’t deserve respect.’ The conclusion I’ve made is that people often confuse respect for subordination. What they really should be saying is, ‘You are not being subordinate to me’ or ‘you are being insubordinate’.

Subordination (noun):

“a bending to the authority or control of another”

Subordinate (adjective):

“: in a position of less power or authority than someone else

: less important than someone or something else”

This discussion about subordination and respect has had to take place between myself and several staff in the workplace. These were supervisors and managers who had placed me in a situation where my safety was at risk; it was also a workplace that had numerous complaints made about bullying and harassment at the hands of those we were subordinate to. Eventually almost all of these managers were fired. In the end it didn’t make a difference in my life because I am still struggling with a work related injury that resulted from my managers’ bullying, harassment and violation of labour laws.

no disrespect but

We need to respect the work that we do, we need to respectful towards the customers and clients that we serve, but when management starts demanding respect, I automatically question why these managers need to demand respect instead of having been freely given it by their staff. In the workplace I will be polite, kind, cooperative, a team player, and all the other adjectives and characteristics that make for a healthy workplace, but I can honestly say that I won’t freely admire and look up to a manager. I certainly wouldn’t recommend sharing these values with a manager; that would be a ridiculous thing to do and could likely lead to bad manager-employee relations and at worst, the loss of your job.

I would caution people in using the word respect without fully knowing the meaning of the word and whether or not you are actually deserving of the act of being respected. If you demand that people respect you, you are more likely not to be respected by them.

respect character

Instead of demanding and trying to force people to respect you, let us remember this:

Romans 12: 3-20 (From BibleGateway)

Humble Service in the Body of Christ

3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Love in Action

9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[c] Do not be conceited.

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[e]

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


respect accornym


The Blessing of: Introvert Faith

Thank You!
Thank You!

One Word 365

My One Word for 2014: Blessing

Yeah, for Introverts!

In dealing with the Evangelical Christian community, I’ve had to let people know that I am an introvert and I don’t need to change. If the church can’t find a way to include those of us who have introvert personalities then I don’t feel the need to change who I am in order to fit into Christian church culture. Jesus, as described in the Gospels, is an introvert. If he didn’t feel the need to change, then I take that as a sign that being an introvert is alright with God.

Being an introvert isn’t a sin or a character flaw. Instead of pressuring those who need to have alone time in order to refuel; respect them enough to let them be who they are and literally, leave them alone when they want to be away from the noise and the crowds.

Yes... we exist :)
Yes… we exist 🙂

Here are a few ways to let Introverts be at peace Introverting:

-Don’t force them to pray out loud. A silent prayer is equally as effective as a spoken one.

-In small groups they might not always answer right away. There are times when they prefer to ponder questions and answers internally.

-If you ask, “How are you?” and they answer “Fine.”, it’s alright. If they choose not to tell a group of people how they are doing, don’t take it personally, forcing a lengthier answer only makes an Introvert uncomfortable.

-For some introverts, stranger evangelism is extremely uncomfortable. It doesn’t mean they don’t want to share the “good news”; what it means is that they are more authentic and relational doing so with people that they connect with. For introverts, evangelism often requires a more personal method.

-Journaling is a form of quiet time that a lot of introverts engage in. Pen and paper is a style of meditation where their deepest thoughts and reflections are written. Part of the joy in journaling is that anywhere you are becomes sacred space as you shut out the world and spend time with God.

-Don’t expect Introverts to have a definite answer to some of the most pressing questions of faith. Because introverts tend to be deep thinkers, they don’t always like to have answers to spiritual questions. It isn’t their goal to have the mysteries of the faith answered. They find solace in not having to know the answer to every question humankind has posed to God.

introvert recharge

Whether extrovert or introvert, it’s important to remember that God has made us all with different personality types. One type is not better or worse than the other, they are all simply different. Our relationship with God is going to look different for each of us because our personality types influence how we view, worship, and communicate with God. We worship one who has enough love to accept us and see the good in each personality type. God doesn’t want us to develop the negative aspects of our temperament, so therefore His Spirit is with us to help develop the healthy personality traits which lead to a more Christ-like character.


  • Are you an extrovert or an introvert? (This means you lean more towards one side of the extrovert-introvert scale than the other.)
  • How do you react towards introverting introverts? (Do you take it personally when they turn down your invites? Do you expect them to always share what’s on their mind? Do you try to force them to be more extroverted?)
  • Have you been able to recognize the spiritual gifts, talents and contributions that Introverts contribute to the Christian community?


  • If you have a difficult time understanding Introverts, ask God to help you be more aware of the traits of other personality types. Not for the purpose of changing them or judging them, but instead, for the purpose of loving them as they are and seeing their value.
  • If you struggle with accepting your personality type, ask God to help you be at peace with the temperament you were born with. If the negative traits of your personality type are causing trouble in your walk of faith and in relationships with others; ask God to help you be aware of the issues and make changes that will develop the positive aspects of your temperament.


There's a spectrum
There’s a spectrum

The Blessing of: Uncomfortable Christianity

Source: Jesus is Afflicted by Astrid
Source: Jesus is Afflicted by Astrid

One Word 365

My One Word


Last week I spent an intense and very educational week learning and exploring the theme of Land and Justice from a Christian perspective. I enjoyed this time of applied theology because of the varied discussions and daily self-inventory, yet, at the conclusion of our time together some of us did not have an answer to the question of how we relate to land and justice as Christians and what we could do to address any troublesome issues regarding how to care for God’s creation.

I couldn’t help but reflect on the painful history of how the early Christians applied their understanding of land and justice when colonizing North America. The land was taken away from Native Americans through deceptive means and the taking of their lives. The land was then tended to and developed by African-American slaves and eventually indentured servants were added to the labour. For the longest time I couldn’t understand why Christians were uncomfortable with the history of our continent. Why was the story of our continent developed into delightful and heroic historical narratives based on non-truths? What was it that made Christian culture avoid revisiting the truth of its history with this land we call North America?

The only conclusion, and this is a partial conclusion, that I could surmise, is the belief that mainstream Christianity avoids uncomfortable truths. The gospel is filled with examples of people who were uncomfortable with Jesus’ teachings, but it didn’t stop him, he just kept on preaching and teaching. If the teachings of Jesus were comfortable, it would not have been effective. When we are confronted with the need to change our beliefs or our actions we experience a certain uneasiness.

As individuals and as a cultural community; what would happen if our Christian culture taught us to be brave enough to face the uncomfortableness of having our non-truths challenged by fellow Christians? What would this look like in our culture? What would we gain, what would we lose?

How do you deal with the modern day methods of Jesus, and by methods I mean that Jesus was:

Forthright in his interactions with his religious community

Cognizant of the ethnic and religious disparity and injustice among his people

Not afraid to correct the incorrect teachings of the religious leaders in his synagogue

Filled with compassion for those who were oppressed, shunned, and despised by his ethnic community

Amazing enough to extend his love to those who gave him lip-service, called for his death, ignored him, and discredited him for speaking and practicing biblical truth

Jesus’ entire ministry and life was filled with engaging people in those uncomfortable truths. People were uncomfortable with the idea that yes, they too could be forgiven, embraced, and loved by God. There were those who were uncomfortable with being told that what they thought was biblically true was actually misunderstood. Some were uncomfortable with being challenged about power imbalances within the religious community. There were twelve who were uncomfortable with Jesus’ explanation as  to what God had called him and them to accomplish here on this earth.

From Genesis to Revelation I see how God’s revelations and truth created uncomfortableness within and among those who believed in Him. Developing meaningful faith in our relationship with God involves varying levels of discomfort in our devotion to living in a manner that we define as Christ-like.


We all have different areas where we experience religious and spiritual discomfort, but I want to pose this question to you for self-reflection and without judgement.

On the Stages of Change, where would you say you were at when it comes to facing spiritual discomfort in relation to being open to hearing and addressing the issues of land and injustice within our Christian culture and communities?

Would you be able to address issues of land and injustice using the same methods as Jesus did within his own community?

Stages of Change Cycle
Stages of Change Cycle

 stages of change


Prayerfully consider how you view the correlation between land and justice from a Christian perspective.

Ask God to reveal to you any topics of justice that cause you discomfort. Pray for His spirit to guide you to safe people, resources, or places that can help you process your discomfort.

Be easy with yourself, we all have spiritual challenges in being people who seek and practice biblical justice.  God will continue to show us the injustices of this world and He will be there with us as we move towards a Micah 6: 6-8 life of faith in Him.


Communion with Jesus
Communion with Jesus