Archive for September, 2013

abortion

This is a little off subject as far as drug addiction and substance abuse. I guess this one will be about Becoming Free from Ignorance.

So you may have heard of that woman in Louisville Kentucky giving birth and then throwing her baby in the trash?

It’s disgusting and absolutely wrong. That child didn’t get a chance at life, let alone a spoonful of baby food. This was all done in a Kohl’s bathroom too, of all places. Usually we hear of babies winding up in dumpsters. It’s not that often, but these things happen. And when we hear about it, our blood boils. How could she? Why? She should be killed for something like this!

And the press is having a field day on it.

Well, guess what… it’s going on every day. I think the statistics are every 15 seconds a baby is executed? Well over 1 million babies are killed each year. By who? Our government. Government funded abortion clinics such as Planned Parenthood, whose name makes no sense at all, performs 330,000 of the 1.2 Million, that’s 27% of all American abortions. (http://www.lifenews.com/2012/05/29/planned-parenthood-does-one-abortion-every-97-seconds/)

Our country allows abortions to happen. This whole prochoice thing, where a woman has the right to choose whether or not her baby lives or dies, is just out of control. We have websites, federally funded of course, like the National Abortion Federation NAF, http://www.prochoice.org making abortion sound safe and comforting. Yeah? The underlining conclusion is a dead baby! They can make it sound smooth and painless all they want, it’s not smooth and painless for the baby.

Now check this out, when scientists find a clump of bacteria, which in turn has no brain, heartbeat or inner organs, on Mars they call it “Life on Mars”. Yet a clump of cells found inside of a woman which will indeed grow a brain, have a heartbeat and inner organs is considered “Not Life”? Are you serious?

And they continue sucking out first trimester babies with a vacuum. Second and third trimester abortions are so gruesome, I refuse to discuss it in detail. Lets just say the baby is removed in one way or another with clamps, pliers and other devices. Here you can see First through Third trimester abortion methods, but even the American Pregnancy Association won’t give you the fine details in which they extract the baby. (http://americanpregnancy.org/unplannedpregnancy/abortionprocedures.html)

So should we be surprised at this woman from Kentucky doing this to her baby? Why are we so surprised? It’s going on every day! Go ahead, type ‘abortion’ in your search bar and do a search of images. It’s disgusting. Lifeless babies and baby parts in trash cans. Do your own research. Find the truth behind this epidemic.

Another truth. There are millions of Americans looking to adopt a child, a new born, a baby. Why isn’t something being done? Something must be done. We are not animals where if we are not wanted we deserve euthanasia, we deserve to be ‘thrown away’, pulled out, piece by piece and placed in a stainless steel canister.

Choose Prolife, your mother did.

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I went out and picked up a new smartphone not too long ago… the HTC One. It’s a sweet phone. Has all the bells and whistles, literally!

All in all it’s a great phone. It’s very practical. I can check my email, send email, glance at my calendar, go online, use the GPS, take photos, videos and so much more. It has a quad core processor, Beats Audio sound, a big screen with amazing graphics and all the apps one could ever need to explore the world through just a single touch. YouTube, Facebook and yes, even Word Press are at my fingertips. Phone calls, texting. I can even control my bank accounts and purchase things online at any time. I mean, what more could I ask for? You got to love technology!

There are many different smartphones out there. However, all serve the same purpose. Some are quicker than others. Some smartphones are more rugged, some are even water and dust proof. You get the one that fits your needs. One you are happy with.

But there is one thing every smartphone has in common. One downfall. One universal CON, one thing that these smartphones need… and that is SERVICE. Other than battery power, without service and a mobile data connection, these things are about as useful as a paper weight. I know when I have no service or a bad connection, just about every option and opportunity is rendered useless; the phone doesn’t produce all it has to offer very well. And every app on my phone turns into nothing but a thumbnail.

We are the same way. We are highly intelligent, highly functional and capable of doing just about anything we put our minds to. We are more than conquerors! We can learn, we can teach. We have the ability to explore and create. We have the power to make decisions, the power to take control and the power to help one another.

Nonetheless, IF we are not connected to a Good service, all our gifts are rendered useless as well. If we do not surround ourselves with productive, purposeful people, our lives will not be purposeful. If we are not linked into a strong network, one with a solid foundation, we will not be used for what we were designed for and our purpose will not be revealed.

I mean, how many times have you wanted to grab your phone and chuck it off the wall? Doesn’t it aggravate you when your phone doesn’t perform when you need it most? The answer for your problem is right in your hand but it becomes useless. I wonder how God feels when we screw up and don’t perform the way we’re supposed to. When we ignore what we are supposed to do and do what we want to do. When we walk around like we are deactivated, lifeless and discharged. What good are we???

As a smartphone needs a strong connection to be fully functional, so do we. Be connected, stay connected. Find a service that fits your needs. You have a purpose, find out what it is when you are linked in!

Become activated. Become the difference!

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

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I found this toy in the dirt on a job I was on. We were digging dirt away from a foundation to expose some cracks in the foundation wall for mortar filling. It’s a Denmark toy from the 1950’s. In good condition it’s worth anywhere from 90 to 150 dollars.

But after removing some of the dirt. I realized it wasn’t restorable. The tires were missing, the cast metal frame was broken in areas and the interior was simply destroyed. Too bad, because it’s a rare item, and would have been worth something. It’s funny, I come across a lot of old jars and old toys that used to have life. That used to have meaning and a purpose. But all too often they are rendered useless due to the condition they are in.

My dad likes to go out to the beaches with his metal detector. He digs up some pretty cool things. One time, pretty recently actually, he was at the beach swinging away with his little beeping machine. A couple saw him and approached him in distress. “I lost my wedding ring!” says the wife of a concerned husband. And of course, my dad, who has the appropriate tool for the job, starts swinging left and right looking for it. Not too long after, he finds it, hands it to the wife and the couple lives happily ever after.

In this case, what was lost, was found. Still worth the same amount it was before it was lost… why? It didn’t have a chance to corrode. It didn’t have a chance to become deteriorated by its surrounding elements. It was strong enough to go through it’s little endeavor. That ring was lost for a very short time and was recovered. It’s purpose was reinstated. There was no loss.

I know for myself, my body definitely needed to recover from my many years of abusing Oxycontin. Railing cocaine from 8 at night to 8 in the morning. Sniffing what ever pill you had and I could find. Drinking myself into a lushified (not a word) state to attempt to reduce the depression. I abused my body, my mind and my soul. It took close to a year to recover and I thank God I am able to talk about it and share what I have gone through.

Unfortunately, not everyone battling with addiction gets to talk about their past. Not all addicts make it through the storm. I have lost a handful of friends to substance abuse in this past year alone. It’s horrible. Each one of them came to their own conclusion. Each one chose to fuel themselves to the point of self destruction. They didn’t get a chance to become restored. They corroded too quickly. The elements engulfed them. Their mind, body and soul were compromised. What they were; strong, intelligent, courageous, adventurous… was quickly brought to an end. Their purpose was consumed. They were brought to a level where they could not be restored.

If you are reading this, you or someone you know has a chance to become restored. It’s not too late. Becoming restored takes time and perseverance. Restoration involves cleaning. Fixing what is broken. Installing new parts that are missing. Refinishing the surface. Rebuilding the internal components. Revitalizing, rehabilitating, reconstructing and so on.

If you have breath, you have a chance at a whole new life. A life where you do not have to live broken down and corroded.
That toy car I found had lost its value. You have it in you to gain your value. Do not let yourself go and lose your purpose. Do not give up! Become restored through the One who is calling you! Feeling like a ton of bricks is on your back? Like you’re surrounded by dirt and can’t get out? Feeling weathered and beat up, have no strength to move on? Feel like a beat down, worn out, useless piece of junk? WELL YOU’RE NOT.

Become free, become renewed, restored through Jesus Christ. The Way, the Truth and the Life.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16.
Yes, a popular verse and a very important one. It’s about restoration. About not wasting away. Becoming new.
Another relevant verse is “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come; The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17.
You mean if I just accept Christ in my heart, I become a new creation, just like that? Yes! Just like that! It’s free, no one is going to call you for additional sales pitches, no “hey, not only will you get a new life, you also get a chance to get a new car!”, none of that.

I know for me, God has been calling me for years. I used to dip my toes into the water, but never just jumped right in. Today, I’m swimming… come on in!

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10

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If I was asked to play a game of football with a pro team, I know I wouldn’t just throw on some shoulder pads and jump right in.

Do you think it would be safe with just a helmet? How about just putting on some shin guards? Absolutely not! You wouldn’t last very long. You would be in severe pain and you would have broken bones, especially if a 6 foot 4, 260 lb linebacker, like say Brian Urlacher, just ran you over. Even in Pop Warner games, the kids are fully geared up. So I think it is safe to say being fully geared up for tackle football is a wise idea? Would you want to see what happens if you played without gear?

Every single piece of padding and protection has its purpose. The helmet protects the head. The shoulder pads guard the shoulders, collarbones, chest and back of a player, and so on. Every necessary garment is designed to protect what it is covering. Protective gear is also designed to protect for defensive and offensive purposes. So whether you are tackling someone or getting tackled, you are shielded and protected. From your helmet down to your cleats, which, by the way, give very good traction on the playing field, to maneuver in and out of the traffic of players trying to take you down.

Too bad in this game of life, there aren’t any referees to call us out when we go out of bounds or do something against the rules. And if there were, a five yard penalty would be a walk in the park. However, there is a way to gear up for it. There is a way to protect ourselves from falling. To protect ourselves against a day where we may be tempted to use. A day where we may have a trigger. A day where we are just plain weak, mentally and physically.

We can get protection by putting on the Full Armor of God.
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” Ephesians 6:11-18

We are capable of standing our ground. We are capable of defending ourselves. We are even capable of using our offense, and overcoming. Swords are not for looks. They are for protecting and striking. When we feel like we are being attacked, we should pray and use the Word of God to strike against the devil’s schemes, the powers we can not see. There are many voices that can lead us astray. Many temptations. Addiction attacks from all angles. Addiction has no rules. Addiction cheats. So make sure you are fully equipped to fend off the many ways in which addiction strikes. Most importantly, have faith. With faith we can extinguish ALL the flaming arrows of the evil one!

Addicts: You can get your Full Armor of God for free. Read your bible and learn. Further your education. Surround yourself with others who are trying to better their life. Listen to others who have made it through the storm. Ask questions. Search the Truth. Seek. Listen to others who are no longer slaves to addiction, they will have the best advice!

The statistics are staggering. Prescription and nonprescription drug abuse is on the rise. Millions of Americans are resorting to painkillers and mind altering substances each day to take their problems away. To bring them to a whole new and different level. To take them on a synthetic mind altering vacation.

“Substance abuse treatment admissions for non-medical use of prescription pain relievers have increased more than 400 percent over 10 years, according to a new government study.”
(http://www.drugs.com/news/more-americans-abusing-painkillers-25570.html)

Yes, we can blame the government all we want. We can blame our friends, the doctors or the drug dealers. However, the underlining decision is made in our heads. That mass in between our ears called a brain. We choose our path daily. We have no one to blame but ourselves.

“Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC’s) analysis shows that 38,329 people died from a drug overdose in the United States in 2010, up from 37,004 deaths in 2009. This continues the steady rise in overdose deaths seen over the past 11 years, starting with 16,849 deaths in 1999. Overdose deaths involving opioid analgesics have shown a similar increase. Starting with 4,030 deaths in 1999, the number of deaths increased to 15,597 in 2009 and 16,651 in 2010.
In 2010, nearly 60 percent of the drug overdose deaths (22,134) involved pharmaceutical drugs. Opioid analgesics, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone, were involved in about 3 of every 4 pharmaceutical overdose deaths (16,651), confirming the predominant role opioid analgesics play in drug overdose deaths.
The researchers also found that drugs often prescribed for mental health conditions were involved in a significant number of pharmaceutical overdose deaths. Benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety drugs) were involved in nearly 30 percent (6,497) of these deaths; antidepressants in 18 percent (3,889), and antipsychotic drugs in 6 percent (1,351).”
(http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2013/p0220_drug_overdose_deaths.html)

Unfortunately, there are more and more synthetic drugs turning up on our streets. And unfortunately drugs like Molly, are making statistics on their own. No matter what the name, no matter what color it is and no matter how it infects our demographic, drugs destroy.

There is some good news. Recovery seems to be on the rise as well. About 10% of Americans are recovering from drug addiction. There seems to be enough strength left to overcome these statistics if we work together, help one another and fight this war on drugs.

“The Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) study is an important contribution to the public’s understanding of recovery, as it represents the actual voices of millions of Americans whose lives have improved because they are living free of alcohol and other drug problems,” said Steve Pasierb, President and CEO of The Partnership at Drugfree.org. “This new learning provides a big reason – more than 23 million reasons – for all those who are struggling with their own, or a loved one’s substance use disorder, to have hope and know that they are not alone. These findings serve as a reminder that addiction is a treatable disease and recovery can be a reality.
(http://www.drugfree.org/newsroom/survey-ten-percent-of-american-adults-report-being-in-recovery-from-substance-abuse-or-addiction)

With over 23 million people getting stronger and learning from their mistakes. With over 23 million people knowing what it is like to suffer from drug addiction. I think if we continue to let others know what happens and what could happen when using and abusing drugs, we, together, can make a difference in these statistics. If we become the difference. If we are willing to share our time with people, willing to offer help and a way out, we WILL be the difference!

Relapse? I hate to say it but it’s part of recovery, it’s part of learning and part of growing!

There is nothing worse than being close to having a year clean and then blowing it! What was that voice that said “one more”? And why did you contemplate with it and in turn, agree with it? Why is it that the same voice that tempts you to use is the same voice that ridicules you after you do? Oh, and once you relapse, it’s not just a walk in the park to get clean again. Usually we go for a nice ‘run’ thinking nothing of the consequences of our actions.

Funny isn’t it? But deep down inside we know what we are doing is absolutely ridiculous. We know we can’t live like this. All the meetings, prayer, rehab time, talks and all the promises we have made start taking toll on our conscience. It’s a battle. This is why relapses get shorter and shorter. This is why we sometimes need to relapse. To remind our brains that this is definitely NOT the right way to live.

It’s not recommended. You will NEVER hear “go and relapse one more time to remind yourself of how bad life gets” in an AA or NA meeting. Or at church for that matter. You’ll never hear it. Why? We know what it does. We know it will destroy our lives and our relationships! We know it may kill us! We also know for a fact we can not moderate it. So ‘once’ is ludicrous. Thinking ‘one more time’ is an absolute joke. We are addicts. We do not understand what one or once means. It’s a different language. A language we will never understand. So the next time you tell yourself ‘just once more’, get ready for a painful journey.

Getting better after a relapse or a run is just simply painful. If you end up back in rehab or a detox, the first question that repeats itself during your insomnia is “what the heck was I thinking?” Guilt, shame, heartache. “I’m never doing that again.” …That’s what you said last time.

Maybe this time will be your last time? Maybe you learned your lesson? MAYBE you had to go through the painful process one more time, to wake up and realize, “I can’t do this on my own.”

Well, your way got you here, to rehabs and institutions. Your way got you to the bottom of the pit.
Some of us seem to relapse for a living. We get a few weeks or a few months and we are back at it! Years and years of getting better then messing up.

What’s missing? When will I get to my own conclusion on how to control this virus infested thought process? One day you will. One day you will overcome this so called disease of addiction. One day, if you haven’t already, you will come to an understanding that you alone will never conquer addiction.

There is nothing YOU can say or do that will minimize the effects of this evil empire. Addiction is on steroids, awake at all hours, doing push ups and eating fire for breakfast. It’s always a million steps ahead of you. It’s the Manipulator, the Persuader. Battling it by yourself is simply suicide. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12.

Call upon God daily. ‘IF’ He is with you, who can stand against you? Go to meetings. Call people. Further your education, explore your recovery. Get your feet wet! Ask questions! Persevere in faith until your believing becomes knowing! KNOW God is with you every step of the way!

Relapse does make you stronger. Relapse is also a painful reminder of what not to do. Yes, it does happen. If you fall, get back up and move forward!

Remember, a skyscraper takes years to build and only seconds to destroy. Be strong, Be courageous!

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Why do people use? Why do people hurt themselves? Why do we tend to do what’s bad for us?

We smoke. We use drugs. We drink ourselves to an oblivion. We murder, rape, start wars, fight, argue, steal, cheat, lie, commit suicide and you know there’s much more.
So I guess it’s safe to say that if someone kills someone they most likely have some issues correct? I know it’s an extreme, but it’s also true. If someone robs a bank, there is an underlying problem. If someone decks you in the head, whether it be that you deserved it or not or if that person just had issues, it happened for a reason.

My point is we didn’t just one day say to ourselves “I’m going to start using drugs and destroy my life” or ” When I grow up, I want to be a drug addict”. There is a reason why we chose our drug, be it alcohol, drugs, overeating, cutting, pornography, whatever it is. Either there was something missing and we tried filling it or we simply got led astray and came to love it. Either way, we got addicted. We had an absolute love and desire for it, yearning for it day and night.

Finding out what’s behind why we do what we do will allow us to grow. If a tire has a nail in it, you remove it right? If your computer has a virus, you remove it. If there is something keeping you from moving forward, don’t you want to know what it is that is holding you back? Getting to the bottom, the foundation of our problems, will allow us to understand, overcome and reveal our purpose.

Our hearts do not want to be exposed while we are in addiction, so getting to the underlying issue may take time and may be painful. What ever we are covering up, we are covering up for a reason and we most likely have a very strong wall over it. Letting people into our dark past can be difficult. We do not want our secrets brought into the light. Our pains, our struggles, our losses, our regrets. I mean, the last thing you want to do is tell someone something that you think will make them think differently of you. And obviously it’s something important and personal.

So how does one remove an underlying issue? How do we put the past behind us? How do we let go of our darkest secrets and move forward?
1- Repenting, asking God to forgive you of your past. Being an addict hurts everyone you love, including yourself. So asking God to forgive you of your destructive path will renew you. “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” Acts 3:19

2- Tell someone. Now, this can be difficult but it is also very helpful. You may break down and cry. You may start shaking and cursing and God knows what else, but it’s worth every second of it. The bible tells us “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9. Oh, well that’s a bunch of BS. No, it’s not, I am living proof and so aren’t millions of others! Whether you confess to a person you can trust or to God Himself, you will be cleansed in one way or another! Crying is a sign of surrendering, giving up, a removal of a wall. There is absolutely nothing wrong with crying! This weakness will make you stronger!!!

3- Forgive. If something happened to you in the past as a child or you got cheated on, going through a divorce… Forgive. “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14 Forgiving may take time but once you do, you are letting go!

I think these three things are extremely helpful in getting to the underlying issue of addiction. Once you release the problem you can then start working on the issues. Becoming free, becoming unchained, becoming unburdened from our old way of living will lead us in a whole new direction and open a life changing path to travel on! And knowing why it is you do what you do, is overcoming an obstacle you may never have to overcome again!

sick and tired

If you are a full blown addict, you know there are days where all the lying, cheating and stealing has caught up to you.

Nobody trusts you, nobody wants to be around you and nobody cares. You have exhausted all your resources for scheming money and you’re broke as a joke. Withdrawals and depression are setting in and there are thoughts racing through your head; robbing stores, stealing money, your mind is coming up with crazy ideas to make itself feel good. There is nothing you can do so you sit on a couch or lay in bed all day.
You’re starving but you can’t eat, you have to piss so you lean over and piss into a Gatorade bottle. You’re stomach is making noises and shivers set in. The only time you get up is to release diarrhea out your rear end every half hour. Your legs start moving in a bicycle pattern; trying to get comfortable. Hot and cold sweats arrive, heart palpitations, cramps, insomnia, racing thoughts and nightmares from 10 minutes of so called sleep. Hygiene is out the door.

You are so fatigued, walking even seems to be too much. That Suboxone you had saved for today is gone. Why you thought one little corner of a Suboxone would make your life better is a mystery. You make a frantic phone call to your drug dealer to get anything to make you feel better and he’s not answering, you pissed him off too. You know you’re screwed. There’s nothing you can do. Now it’s time to think of ways to die.

Suicide sounds like a very good alternative at this point. But as quick as you think of it you realize you can’t do it.

People, here is a new definition of being Sick and Tired. What is explained above is a tiny bit of what a drug addict goes through. Why do we put ourselves through this? Ask me now, I can’t give you an answer… ask me then, I would have had plenty of answers!

Believe it or not, these times where we get sick are probably the best times where God is most likely shouting at us… “HEY, WAKE UP, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LIVE LIKE THIS!”

Although it’s depressing and we feel like we’re dying, it’s the lowest we can go, the only way from here is up. Yes, it may be the 700th time you have stopped cold turkey but you know deep down inside you can’t keep doing this. “Why do I do this to myself?” “Why can’t I stop?” “Oh my God, I have a serious problem don’t I.”

Listen, there are places, especially today, everywhere, that offer help. Rehab is a great place to get away, take a vacation and get better; think of it as a spiritual retreat. Because that’s exactly what you will be doing, figuring out why it is you do what you do, why you turned to drugs and why you destroyed your life.

Once you get some clean time under your belt, you start seeing more clearly. The obvious is revealed. Happiness slowly becomes a daily feeling. Bridges are mending. Family starts trusting. Money is getting saved. You start filling your gas tank instead of just putting a few bucks in just to get from one hustle to the other. You don’t wake up in the fetal position, sweating and freaking out anymore. Life is good.

It’s a daily walk. You do a devotion every day. You pray. You pray for yourself. You pray for others. You want to help others with what you have learned and the experiences you have gone through. You go to church. You fellowship with other people with this common bond of addiction. You have clean time and you are stronger than ever!

And you realize it’s not you. It’s God. It’s ALL HIM. That daily reprieve, that daily surrender, that daily prayer is what is keeping you from using again and keeping you from not wanting to live a life of being sick and tired all the time.

One thing I have noticed along my journey, even today, is everyone who is living a clean life and continues living a clean life from their drug abused past, in one way or another, has God first in their life.
Be grateful. Be humble and remain teachable!

Drug use isn’t becoming an epidemic, it IS an epidemic.

It seems like people are trying to solve every one of their problems with a pill.  Every other commercial on TV seems to offer a pill for every problem we can possibly come up with.  Anyone can simply go to the doctor and complain about anxiety and get a prescription.  I guess now a days, one can actually claim a social anxiety issue and become disabled and start collecting from the government!

What happened to learning and growing?  What happened to persevering through tough times and becoming stronger from them?  Why are we giving up so easily?  Are we setting a good example for the next generation?  Hey!  Feel like crap?  Take a pill?!!!  As a matter of fact, take these for the rest of your life!   Become a zombie!

Our bodies were not designed for this.  We need to be strong, learn from our troubles and move forward.  We need to grow together.  Hold each other accountable.  You got questions, ASK!  This generation is learning to give up too easy and resort to chemicals that stimulate our minds, our souls and our lives.  Drugs destroy, take hold of your life today!