The following online webinar is brought to you by the NCPG –
EVENT – The Hidden Battle: Addressing Problem Gambling Among Veterans
EVENT DESCRIPTION – An exploration of the often-overlooked challenge of problem gambling among veterans, this webinar will investigate the prevalence, causes and consequences of problem gambling within the US military veteran community and provide insights into effective prevention and support strategies. Participants will explore the ways military culture may predispose veterans to developing a gambling problem. Additionally, the webinar will shed light on the correlation between suicidal tendencies and problem gambling among veterans. Understanding these complex dynamics can play a pivotal role in shaping a more compassionate and informed approach to supporting veterans impacted by gambling-related harm, ultimately contributing to a safer environment for those who have served.
Link – https://www.ncpgambling.org/event/the-hidden-battle-addressing-problem-gambling-among-veterans/?instance_id=565
I love fishing. Most people do!
Fishing requires several key components. Normal fishers will rise early. It is as common belief that the fish are more apt to bite early in the morning, thus rendering the trip a numeric success. Fishing requires patience to the utmost. No one is both an impatient fisherman and a good fisherman. They simply do not coexist. Instead, a fisherman is patient to the point where a fish can land on his line and he STILL does not pull in the hook immediately. Rather, he baits the fish further until the fish is unable to retreat. Then he pulls in the line, having used patience as his most deadly weapon.
Finally, a fisherman needs silence. This is to be differentiated from patience. A fisherman must learn the art and essential n nature of being perfectly silent and still. This often results in long periods of time without speaking, singing, or noise of any kind. In other words, boredom is a temptation. But what results, a successful catch is well worth the wait, silence, early morning, and every other sacrifice.
Now, fishing is often a great metaphor for life. This includes recovery and the journey that awaits for the man or woman. seeking to recover from gambling addiction.
Like the fisher, we must rise early, taking ahold of the day. Setting that standard is essential in our recovery pathway. We must be patient – with life, with others, and not the least, with ourselves. And we cannot neglect the benefit of sitting in silence and stillness. We will find many golds nuggets for life and recovery if we separate ourselves from the noise and bustle of life, and sit in stillness. This not only regains our focus, but it is using the human capacity that we were created with by Almighty God.
Healing and recovery will not come by us standing idly by. We were created to fish, and in so doing, journey towards our healed selves.
Addiction is so difficult to overcome.
No matter the amount of time you put into recovery, health, and overcoming the challenges of gambling addiction, there is the part of you that knows deep down, that overcoming addiction is just simply too difficult for you. It is more than challenging; it is impossible.
And it is supposed to be.
We are often reminded of our own brokenness in life. But there is just something that is in full purpose with human suffering. It challenges, motivates, shapes and brings us to a point where we are confronted with our own inadequacy and change is necessary. It changers our lens and shows us that the world is bigger than just ourselves. In this, we find purpose, and motivation to impact others through our story. Our healing story.
We must recognize and learn from the very things that would drag us down. There is so much purpose and value found in such weakness that it must be embraced; for it is a core factor and critical part of the healing journey we are on.
How far from healing we remain, when we fail to even consider that others who have gone on the healing journey before us have persevered through difficulty! When we understand how essential our own weakness is, and how suffering produces endurance, which in turn produces character – when we understand these things, we are guided down the healing path.
I want to believe.
I want to believe that my healing is happening. The desire is there! The heart is willing, and the motivation is present.
So why has my haling not arrived? Why is there frustration, lack of progress, and pain?
I want to believe. But I am tired, weak, and struggling.
Isn’t this the story of so many people? It is all too common for men and women to be left feeling all alone during the healing journey. While this is not uncommon, it should not be accepted as the norm. The natural arena of healing is one that is grounded in accountability and friendship, rather than isolation.
So the remaining question is – are you one of these people? Are you wanting to believe, but you are in isolation? Are you frustrated, feeling as if nothing is going your way? Does your healing seem clouded? Do not settle for that. Help, accountability, encouragement, assistance – all of these are available. But it must be said, these are all not just beneficial; they are necessary. No one can experience and live in healing through the doorway of isolation. We need each other.
Do you believe in your healing story? Embrace the day, no matter the circumstances, and walk the journey. Healing awaits.
Freedom is amazing.
So many take it for granted; they forget the significance and feeling of freedom and the joy that it brings.They fail to remember that although freedom is ever present around them, it was not always this way. And the failure to remember that, renders freedom for granted.
Isn’t it ironic that freedom can be a vice? Is it not full of irony that the concept, pursuit and life of freedom can be a source of bondage and captivity?
If taken for granted, freedom remains a concept instead of a reality. This is a crucial concept to understand. Repeat this to yourself. See and feel the significance! In order to truly live in freedom and to live out the message of freedom, one must be intentional, rational, situational, and if need be, unconventional in nature. In this way, freedom can be fully achieved and realized.
Now what if I told you, that although you assumed I was referring to the freedom we have here in America, that I was not speaking of that? Rather, I was speaking of the personal freedom you can have and yet choose to take for granted.
Freedom must be personal before it is congregational; that is, before a body of people desire it, an individual must desire it and seek to achieve it. A man or woman wanting to be free of bondage will find other men or women in bondage, and in turn they will find others. What does this result in? A group of people! A body, a congregation, a nation. Living in freedom.
Freedom and healing go hand in hand. We do not find them far apart from each other. May we find them ever close together in our own lives. May we live in Freedom.
Everyone desires the word, and yet almost no one knows what the word means.
Instead, what we usually end up with is piece. A partial aspect of the solution we desire. One that temporarily satisfies and contains promises, but one that ultimately fails.
Such is the case in many areas of our lives. Including that of healing! We want and crave peace, but we do not achieve it. Instead, we have a piece of the world, and it is a very disappointing one at that.
If only we realized the true source of peace! If only we understood that (1) it is very achievable and (2) it is something much better than we dreamed of!
HINT: It is not found within yourself.
So often we find the problem within ourselves, and so we look to the solution within ourselves. This is incorrect and empty. Peace is found outside of ourselves. Peace has been gifted to us. Peace was bought with a price. Peace must be received in thankful and humble heart.
Peace is found in healing, and the Healer. We are the healed, the broken but redeemed, the ones who have a story to tell.
Go in peace, and be healed.