Slavery Worth Protesting!

We’re going to begin with something you haven’t heard in a while—an actual piece of bona fide good news. We could all use some after a week that included threats of a North Korean nuclear holocaust, a bloody “radical left vs. radical right vs. anything-related-to-the-Civil-War” street fight in Charlottesville, and topped off with another deadly ISIS-directed terrorist attack in Spain. And if that wasn’t challenging enough, the “news” diet we’ve been asked to consume was served by the usual parade of frowning faux journalists clamoring to see who can air the most shocking video captioned with the most inflammatory Trump denunciation, coupled with the most paranoia-inducing prognosis for the future.

Refusing the “New Normal” ~
We’re going to resist this “new normal” and inject some good news. In light of all that prior conditioning, you might want to take a seat and prepare yourself before continuing. Close your eyes for a minute, prop your feet up, relax your facial muscles, and take a few deep breaths. After all, the shock of positive information carelessly thrown into the brain’s matrix of media-manufactured negativity without advance preparation could trigger Continue reading

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Pornography Epidemic: Psst! It’s Not Just Men Who Use It ~ Guest Post by Beckie Lindsey

The following guest article is a fitting capstone over the last few weeks for our brief series on the topic of addiction.  It was written by Beckie Lindsey and originally published on her blog on July 17, 2017.  Beckie is a gifted author and committed follower of Jesus whom I am privileged to include in my list of special friends and colleagues. You will find this piece to be more than insightful because in addition to her spiritual perspectives, there is statistical information about the plague of pornography and links to resources for any who might want to explore more.  

It’s no secret that the digital age has made pornography more accessible and pervasive than ever. Just a click or tap away, technology has ushered porn into the mainstream culture where it has become increasingly accepted.

There have been numerous studies and stats compiled in recent years to help us understand more about who is using pornography and its effects. Below is a compilation based on a few of the current studies along with some helpful sites for pornography addiction.

The intention behind this article is to bring awareness, show scientific evidence of the damages of porn, and provide hope. I’ve seen first-hand how porn can tear relationships apart. I know too many Christians who are “hiding” their Continue reading

Posted in Addictions ~ A Christian Perspective, Faith, Family, and Culture, Guest Posts, Insights, Series Topics, Wake Up Calls | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Focus on Addiction Continues ~ Guest Blogger Coming Tomorrow

Coming Tomorrow ~ We’ll be putting a capstone on our brief series on addictions tomorrow, and to help do that, we’ll introduce you to a gifted author, committed follower of Jesus, and treasured friend and colleague, Beckie Lindsey, who will be our guest blogger this week. My hope is that this bit of advance notice will encourage you not to miss her piece on the epidemic of pornography addiction. She posted the piece on her blog last month, and I asked for the privilege of sharing it with all of you. My prayer is that information like she shares in her piece helps to raise awareness of the worldwide plague that pornography addiction has become.

As always, my prayer is that God will bless you for the time you sacrifice to read, and for what it says about your devotion to Him and your ongoing faithfulness in supporting “Right Side Up Thinking in an Upside Down World.”

Thanks for keeping an eye out for tomorrow’s post!

© 2017 Gallagher’s Pen, Ronald L. Gallagher, Ed.S.  All rights reserved.

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Posted in Addictions ~ A Christian Perspective, Faith, Family, and Culture, Guest Posts, In the News, Insights, Marriage and Family, Series Topics, Wake Up Calls | Leave a comment

Addiction Rewired ~ from Heartache to Heaven

In last week’s post, Addiction—Hardwired for Heartache, our cat, Dusty, helped to briefly illustrate one facet of the pervasive plague of addiction, perhaps the most persistent, destructive, and costly epidemic our nation has ever faced. We mentioned that the obsessive pursuit of sin’s empty enticements, an identifying hallmark of addiction, does more than establish a repetitious pattern of behavior; it can also re-program the way our brains react to certain stimuli. Regarding that phenomenon, an article on genetics and the brain had this to say:

Busy Brain–Image by TZA

“As the brain continues to adapt to the presence of the drug [or its own chemical response to certain compulsive behaviors], regions outside of the reward pathway are also affected. Over time, brain regions responsible for judgment, decision-making, learning, and memory begin to physically change, making certain behaviors “hard-wired.” In some brain regions, connections between neurons are pruned back. In others, neurons form more connections.

Once these changes take place, drug-seeking behavior becomes driven by habit, almost reflex. The drug user becomes a drug addict.”

An Elusive Enemy ~
The search for a counteractive response to addiction that is safe, effective, dependable, and accessible has devoured Continue reading

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Addiction ~ Hardwired for Heartache

We had a cat once. His name was Dusty, although having his own name was not something he seemed to find particularly engaging. If it ever mattered to him one way or another, he kept it to himself. Dusty was masterful at demonstrating indifference. He could remain detached and disinterested in regard to almost anything unless it interfered with his primary preoccupation, napping, or involved potential access to something edible, and only then if he happened to be in the mood for it.

Hardwired to Hunt–Image by Sharon Brogan

Once in a while, we expanded Dusty’s role in the household a bit and involved him in some ‘G’ rated family entertainment. We discovered that if we took a bright light and a little mirror or one of those red laser pointers and started flashing a little dot of quickly moving light around him, the response was incredible.

He couldn’t restrain himself. He became a cat possessed, totally psychotic and out of control, wildly chasing that little spot of light around like whatever was left of his Continue reading

Posted in Addictions ~ A Christian Perspective, Faith, Family, and Culture, In the News, Insights, Series Topics, Wake Up Calls | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

No Natural Explanation

Things that appear to be supernatural are fascinating, aren’t they? When I was about 16, I paid fifty cents to see “Marvel the Magician” at our local county fair and was thoroughly intrigued and mystified by his power to magically produce some things out of nothing and to make other things disappear. It sure looked like magic and was definitely exciting but believing that such power actually existed was challenging and confusing. After all, if “Marvel” could really pull a rabbit out of a totally empty top hat, couldn’t he just as easily pull out a handful of Continue reading

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