Addictions: Is There a Way Out?

addiction aid bottle capsule
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Before I begin with this blog post I want to say that addictions in our country is one of the hardest issues we deal with. The complications an addiction can bring to one life are so saddening. It often goes from wasting precious time to the loss of life. Regardless, addiction is not only a personal illness or disease. Addictions to substances or actions affect everyone the addict is in connection with. The worry, the concern, and the stress caused by being in connection with an addicted person can wear away at the life of those who love them.

Let’s Take a Look at the Bottom Line of Addiction and the “Whys” 

I’m going to just put this out there. It’s pretty simple actually. Every addicted person feels that they lack pleasure in life and need a substance, action, or even person, to bring comfort from the difficult feelings one has. For some reason every addict seems to believe that life is supposed to be blissful, joyful, and problem free all of the time. NOT TRUE! Life is a learning journey and there is no way any life will ever have complete peace all of the time. This world is filled with problems from relational to humanitarian. It might seem simplistic but one of the greatest battles to fighting addiction is for an addict to first come to the understanding that life will have challenges and will not always “feel” good all of the time. Going by feelings instead of faith or practical knowledge is probably the first mistake any addicted person makes. We all feel and all can be sensitive to one thing or another. Yet, being driven by feelings alone can create a multitude of issues.

Bottom line, we are not meant to be comfortable all of the time. Masking the hard issues in life by using a substance or situation only stops a person from receiving the life lesson they need to grow up as a human being. What is the result? Stunted growth; especially spiritual growth.

So what about the pleasure centers of the brain? 

Our brains are an amazing part of our creation. The brain is meant to control our bodily functions, guide our lives and record them. We also have pleasure neurotransmitters that are like carriers to the rest of the body. They tell us we are having a good experience or not. Sometimes they can control how we look at life if we allow them to. For instance, someone who has depression usually does not maintain adequate serotonin in the brain and therefore “feels” depressed. An anti-depressant can be given to help the brain maintain serotonin in order to correct the problem. Depending on the person, the same can be accomplished by helping the brain maintain the right level of dopamine. Both of these neurotransmitters are like “feel good” connectors. Those who have issues with neurotransmitter imbalances struggle with every day life and being able to enjoy life’s simple pleasures.

Much to our misunderstanding there is a way out of addictions and what they do to the brain chemistry. The neuro-pathways of the mind can be rewired by meditation, affirmation, and also hypnosis. Spiritual practices can also be just as uplifting as an anti-depressant given that the practice is created as a good habit in life. There is a way out! If you struggle with addictions of any kind you can correct the imbalances in your brain that life has created and actually overcome the addictions that plague you. Also, learning how to deal and cope with life’s setbacks is a real important part of the process. Dedication and desire come into play because without these nothing else will work out. If you really want out of the addiction trap the good news is there is one! The decision that you must make is if your dedication and desire are strong enough to really work on making the necessary changes. Often if a person experiences enough pain created by their addiction it can be enough to create a strong desire to change and heal.

Your life is waiting ahead of you! Why not consider making the change from being trapped in a nowhere life to really living the life you have been given! If you need help in this area, please call and find out how you can overcome your addictions!

++IMPORTANT Note: Detox from any substance such as a drug or alcohol is a very serious process and should not be attempted alone. Please seek medical attention before beginning any other process or along side a new process. Your overall health must be assessed. Remember, if you have been altered for a long period of time your entire body has been altered down to a cellular level as well. 

Loving you from here,

Dr. Jenine Marie Howry, PhD.  832-484-8306

Life Lessons by Jenine Marie 

Why It is Good to Pray FOR Your Enemies

Praying WomanMatthew 5: 43-48

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

As we live on this planet it is impossible to not have those who dislike us or even can’t stand us. Having enemies or even those who have hatred for us is a part of living in this world. Where I agree it is hard to have those who are against us, it’s also a challenge to grow in heart, in life, and in spirit.

One of my favorite sayings is “Those who pray for their enemies have no enemies.” Jesus made His statement clear that it is easy to love our friends and those who love us, but where is the reward in that? Our true reward is in becoming more like our Lord and that means praying for, and loving, our enemies. I agree, it’s hard. This does not mean we have to agree with them. It does not mean we have to hang around them, because often their hearts have not changed, nor will they ever. What praying for, and loving our enemies does, is it puts us in a place of love that lays itself down for others. Jesus also taught us that there is no greater love than to lay down ones life. Of course, He put this in the context of being “friends”.

Praying for our enemies helps to change OUR hearts for the better. Loving those who do not love us back is the greatest love we could possibly have and also the greatest way to keep hatred from entering into our hearts. Can you agree that maybe we have enough hatred in this life? Granted our enemies might have too much pride to even draw near us or befriend us, but our goal is not impressing others. Our goal is becoming closer to being like our Lord and Savior. We want to be formed and fashioned into the image of our heavenly Father who sees us all as His creation. We might not all be His chosen, but we are all His creation.

To have hatred is to kill or murder from the heart. Think about that statement for a second. All open actions begin with our thoughts and what is in our hearts. If this is true then we are capable of doing things we might have never done had we not harbored hatred inside of us. Praying for our enemies changes this. Now, hear me in this; this does not mean our prayer is “God do something horrible to that person”. It means, “God please bless this person, keep them safe, help them to love more, come into their lives, be their Savior, reveal Yourself to them, change them from the inside out, and make them more like YOU!”

A dear man I was honored to be connected with, a father in the faith, prayed over peoples photos and had many that he posted in front of him while he prayed. I loved this practice and I came to adopt the very same thing. This helps us to see and visualize the person as a human being and in the presence of the Holy Spirit, we can genuinely come to love them as we pray for them to be blessed. In this way we are more like our heavenly Lord and also we spiritually create ways to build bridges instead of burn them.

Don’t we need more bridge builders in this life? What victory do we have in keeping our enemies wrapped in the heart of hatred? We only have victory when we allow love to win out. The Bible tells us that true love always wins. When we pray for our enemies and love our enemies we always win and so do they. They might not know it, or even recognize it, but they will win. Praying for those who hate us turns hate to love and shows we have grown into a greater maturity. Our prayers might not win humanitarian of the year award in someone else’s eyes, but God sees them as sacred.

If you want to do good in this world, start in your prayer closet and post Scriptures, pictures, prayers, and loving statements. How can you help but shine in the presence of your heavenly Father when you show Him your love and maturity?

Loving you from here,

Pastor Jenine Marie Howry

Jenine Marie Coaching and Ministries 

Are You Backing Into a Tomb? Lazarus Come Forth!

11988378_10153670839814255_4027848974804248960_nThe Lord’s promise is if we were to wake and find ourselves sitting in darkness that He would be the light that shines to bring us through. Sometimes life causes us to back into a dead place. Maybe we think God has forgotten us or that we have made too many mistakes to fulfill our calling or destiny. Take heart, Jesus is calling you forth!

 

 

 

On a Wing and a Prayer

Praying WomanDuring the days of the early church, the Apostle Paul never ceased to emphasize the power of prayer. Often from a dank prison cell he lovingly sent the new Christian church letters asking for prayer as he prayed for them. He made it pretty obvious that he knew the power that was contained within our Godly connection through prayer.

Jesus prayed often to Father God while on earth. In fact, He went off to quiet places and prayed passionately at the spiritual throne. In teaching His disciples, He prayed that the Kingdom of God would come to earth the same as it is in heaven and that we would all be one. Jesus angrily overturned the tables of money changers in the court of the temple and proclaimed His “Father’s house” to be one of prayer.

Now, we are the temple of God through His Holy Spirit. Nothing has changed since Jesus’ proclamation about the temple. We are the place where prayer is to originate and take up residence. Both personally and corporately our prayers press into the power of God and bring Kingdom dynamics from heaven to earth. Our prayer life is our wisdom and our connection to the creative force that brought the world, all that is in it, and surrounding it into being. Our connection with the One who gave us breath is our very life and remains our breath.

Our prayerful moments give us the power to face our giants, to fight spiritual battles, to learn to walk in wisdom and to wait on God’s instruction. In fact, waiting is one of the most powerful blessings we can receive. The Bible instructs us as we wait we can rise up on wings as eagles. There is a strengthening that happens as we pray and wait on God for His response. Waiting perfects our inner diligence and in that developmental moment when our heart is wrapped with God’s we can discover the ability to soar in ways we never thought possible.

Prayer brings us into the presence of the Godhead. Our inner temple connects to God in high heavenly places and in that moment we are completely One as a baby is within its mother’s womb. It is in those moments where we literally place ourselves into the womb of God that we perfect our faith, arise to meet our destiny, connect with the One true love that created all things, and find our identities within His grace and compassion.

There is no greater moment than those precious moments when the human soul connects with the love that eventually will bring us all home. Whether in precious silence, or in passionate petition, our hearts connect with the only thing in life we could not possibly ever live without; the God who knows us better than anyone ever could.

Take this moment as one to spend time with God in prayer and practice moments with Him daily. In practice, we learn to continually connect ourselves spiritually and to pray without ceasing as the Bible instructs us. Our lives depend on it and our destinies are driven by it.

Prayerfully yours,

Pastor Jenine Marie Howry

Jenine Marie Coaching and Ministries

Is It Time For Refreshing?

bear-canyon-falls-1Life has become routine, disconnected, filled with negativity, and a sense of being somewhat lost. Are you experiencing these things? If you are, then God is calling you to the throne and it is time for some refreshing. Taking time to spend only with your heavenly Father is essential for your spiritual and life health. It is like taking a trip to the doctor only so much better! Yes, we should spend time with God daily, but sometimes we need a concentrated time of refreshing.

This might just be your time when God is calling you to the throne for some evaluation, inspiration, and a dose of His love for you! When was the last time you took at least a week and set time aside to spend just filling yourself with God’s word, prayer, and listening for His wisdom for your life?

If you feel a bit lost, kind of alone, and don’t know why. Maybe you are craving some much needed God time! Put it on the schedule and don’t miss your date with Him! He has been waiting for you!

Pastor Jenine Marie Howry

Jenine Marie Coaching and Ministries 

Today I Challenge YOU!

14208503182375381246Matthew 44-47

44 “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?”

Its pretty easy to pray for our friends. We want the best for them, always. Today I challenge you to take a step up higher and pray for your enemies. Every person has had someone who has persecuted them or put them down. Think of one person, situation, or world issue, and pray for it for a solid week! This is a challenge! Ready for this? Send forgiveness, pray in the Holy Spirit. Ask God for Him to forgive them. Send scriptures to their hearts or situations.

If you need to, put up a photo of that person or situation for a visual. Ask God to lead you in intercessory prayer. The Body of Christ is a praying Body. We are chosen by God to press into the issues not run from them or ignore them. We are charged by Jesus to love one another! Set aside the urge to “correct and direct”. Just pray blessing over that situation or person.

Then do an observation after ONE WEEK of dedication to this prayer time. What has this done in your heart? What other changes have occurred?

The challenge is ON!

Pastor Jenine Marie Howry

800-421-1765

Jenine Marie Coaching and Ministries 

Sometimes All I Need is Faith and COFFEE.

Avoid-Caffeinated-BeveragesAnyone who truly knows me knows that I have fought through God knows how many obstacles to obtain my college education. Unlike some, I began my undergraduate work when I was 35 years old. I used to take my kids to school for their breakfast, sit with them through part of it, then take off for my classes. I arranged my time so I would have my classes  finished by the time the kids were home. I was a single mother at the time and putting my kids in first place was always my priority.

Over the years so many obstacles hit my plans like a bullet and sometimes it seemed relentless. I had a vision, though, and nothing was going to stop me. At one point I began to really go through hard financial times. I was in a cycle of just losing everything and no matter what I did it seemed like it was just not getting better. The one thing I refused to ever lose was my degree track! I have been determined to end up with a Master’s Degree come heck or high water and I knew it might end up taking both!

Around 2012 I was working for a woman caring for her mentally disabled daughter during the day and going to school online at night. All I could assume was that she was having a financial issue because my paychecks were not coming in the way they were expected to. It was dead in the middle of winter and so cold that year. I think it dipped down into the low 20’s at night real fast. Financial issues began to loom and the first thing to go had to be my internet connection even though I really needed it for school.

So my practice was go to a nearby McDonald’s, Starbucks, or the library, so I could access their free internet to work on my homework. One particular night I was really struggling with my emotions with it all. I had come to the end of my last nerve and I really wanted to break down and cry. I was in the library, so I figured that might not have been a great time to do that. My feet were cold, my brain was tired, and all I could think of was “Dear Jesus, please help me get through this so I could go home and sleep!”

I decided to go into my car and play some praise music to get my spirit stronger again and maybe my emotions in check. I reached into the middle compartment in my car to grab a CD and right there in the change area was a FIVE DOLLAR BILL! I know that does not seem like a lot of money but to me it was like a million! I immediately went to the nearest place to get a coffee and something to eat! Its amazing what a little food and coffee will do for a persons emotions! I listened to praise music all the way there and back to the library. This time I sat there with my laptop and a coffee in my hand. The coffee tasted like it was sent right from heaven!

Sometimes we need words of encouragement. Sometimes it might be a good night sleep or for God to touch our spirit. Yet, others we might just need God to touch our experience and therefore strengthen our spirit. This time He did both! I’m not sure if it is true all of the time but that particular night all I needed was Jesus and coffee to get me through to the next day! (I got an “A” on my paper I was working on)!

Something happens to the human spirit when we know we received a miracle! Every miracle is special, even when it is a sudden discovery of a small amount of money that gave us everything we needed just for the moment!

Keeping In Faith AND Coffee,

Pastor Jenine Marie Howry

800-421-1765 for prayer

 

Bear Your Soul

cry-out-to-jesusI’m not sure if this blog post is education or expression. Maybe it’s a little bit of both of them. That would not be altogether a bad thing, would it? Expression is important to us, especially when we direct it toward God. He listens and hears even when others pass us over. In fact, He listens to the silent pains of our hearts. Just like he did with Hannah. Hannah wanted to desperately have a child and she was taunted because she could not produce. Her pain was so intense that when she prayed she could not even get words out that could even match what was in her heart. So she silently prayed in anguish before God in the temple. She felt crushed and bruised on the inside and she felt rejected and forgotten by God.

1 Samuel 1:11 (12)

“Crushed in soul, Hannah prayed to God and cried and cried—inconsolably.”

“Hannah was praying in her heart, silently. Her lips moved, but no sound was heard.”

Sometimes we get like that. The issues we deal with in life are so hard that there are no words that can even express them. If we were to give them to people, they sure would not sound very good. Plus there comes a time when expressing to people no longer serves us and only God can console our hearts.

For Hannah, she just had to get it out to God, and in a way that was honest and true. Her silent petitions inconsolably went before Him in ways maybe human ears should never have heard. I’m sure her pain was overlooked by those who looked down on her for not being able to conceive a child during times when producing children identified a woman. God and God alone was her only option. I am sure she must have felt He was her last option. (He should have been her first option).

There she was, bearing her soul to the One who made her and understood her. She let out her hurt, her anger, her anxiety, depression, and sadness. Her words of promise went before Him. She requested if God would allow her to conceive she would dedicate her child to Him in service. God saw her, heard her, and met her in that place. He also granted her petition of faith and she conceived a child.

There is something about bearing our soul to God. It is a powerful move. His power and strength are shown great through our weakness and vulnerability. Don’t ever be afraid to be vulnerable before God. He knows you. He made you. If we want strength, and also to be heard, sometimes it takes a silent petition of the heart to God. Healing comes from bearing our soul. Sometimes we need to emotionally bleed out in order to remove old scars and allow healing to begin. This is what Hannah did. She bled out her heartache. Jesus did the same in the Garden of Gethsemane before He bore the cross. Both Hannah and Jesus had to accept the will of God after their petitions. One birthed a child, the other died on a cross and birthed us all. They bore their souls and God responded according to His perfect will.

If you are at a place of truly needing healing, and to be heard, and you have emptied your entire self to other people without understanding, maybe it is time to bear your soul to God? What does it solve to keep it inside of you? If you have prayed with others, talked your head blue, and wondered why things are not working with no results, then maybe it is time to drop to your knees and pray like Hannah. When you do, remind God of His promises and then accept His will. Be real. Be authentic. God knows it all anyway, so let it all rip. Believe me, it helps more than you might know.

Prayerfully on the journey,

Pastor Jenine Marie Howry

800-421-1765

From the Closet

prayer-closetAs a little girl, I remember learning to pray in a small Lutheran church. I had already learned to  talk to God  on my own. My mother used to put me in front of those old black and white movies about Jesus when they came on around Easter. Talking to God was an innocent automatic thing with me. I fell in love with the Jesus those movies portrayed. I had no idea that prayer seemed to have some sort of structure, at least that is what I was picking up.

As time went on, as a very young woman, I started to hear about “the prayer closet”. Before I really understood what that meant, I had visions of me sitting in a dark closet all alone feeling kind of creepy and wondering if God is in there with me. It all sounded a bit scary! I guess at the time it never dawned on me that I could put a light in the closet so it’s not so creepy!

Matthew 6:5-6 

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room (closet), close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

It really got strange when I started having children. I would be in prayer, the phone would ring, a child would answer, and I would hear them say, “Mom is in the closet right now, she can’t come to the phone”! Now there is a lovely picture of insanity!

As I grew in my faith and understanding I came to know that our bodies are the temple of God’s Holy Spirit and He resides inside of us when we invite Him. The Bible also says we should pray without ceasing. It became clear to me that praying was something that happened from the inside ongoing through life. Talking to God and listening became a whole lot easier when I just let it happen as my soul moved closer to Him. Wasn’t that what I did as a child?

1 Corinthians 6:19 

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? 

1 Thessalonians 5:16 -18

“Rejoice always,  pray continually,  give thanks in all circumstances;for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

It has been a blessing because I also discovered that I can hear God very well this way, minus the creepy part of course! It comes easy because of the love we have for one another; mine for God and Him for me. Over the years my heart and mind turned to Him continually, not just as a friend, but as a best friend. I discovered that it is amazing to be a walking prayer closet. That way, I know I am ready to face anything at any time. I have Him and He has me. myfirstlove2

You would be astounded as to what you witness and come to know when you learn to practice inviting God into your inner prayer closet! The temple is empty without Him. Turn your heart and mind toward God often and you will see just how easy and natural it becomes to have a living Father who loves to communicate with you and instruct you for your life.

Holy Father, bring me to Your temple, Your closet, in my heart. Join me there, and you can be my God and I can be Your child, forever and ever, AMEN!

From the closet,

Pastor Jenine Marie Howry

800-421-1765

Jenine Marie Coaching and Ministries

**Photo credit-The Rock Miami