Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Lady GaGa Pushes the Envelope Yet Again

posted by Linda Mintle

Lady GaGa is such a mixed bag. She is talented singer, but so disturbing at times. And this is one of those times.

One moment she is helping children stand up to bullying, the next she is smoking marihuana on stage at her concert in Amsterdam!

And her latest antic is all over You Tube and the Internet. Now, teens can watch one the biggest music stars glorify pot smoking and actually engage in the behavior in a public forum. With impunity, she lit up on stage and talked about her love for weed to an audience of screaming teens.

How irresponsible! Yes, you can smoke marihuana in Amsterdam legally, but that is hardly the point. You can also drink yourself into a stuper legally, but that doesn’t mean you should.

Great role model for those kids trying not to be victims. Last time I looked, drug use is not a path to success for teens! And for most kids who will emulate her love for weed now, they won’t be affording the expensive drug programs to get them functioning again once the addiction takes hold. But GaGa, with all her money, can simple go to celebrity rehab if she gets in trouble. And more disturbing, this from a woman who overcame an addiction to cocaine before she reached her current fame.

I had hoped she would be different in terms of the usual rock star who drinks herself into oblivion and gets high to be “inspired” or check out of reality. It appears not. She is taking the predictable path. Next thing you know, we will have a behind the music show documenting her road to darkness and attempt to climb back.

Do you think this is just another desperate move to stay in the spotlight and be relevant? How far will she go to be outrageous?  And how sad  considering her immense following and actual talent. I’m afraid we are about to watch another pop star implode. Some people would argue  that this is only another pop star indulging her every wish, allowing money to make her reckless and doing anything to get attention.

But Lady GaGa is  a woman who could lead a generation another way and be a positive influence. She has moments of goodness but this overshadows her light.

 

 

 

You Don’t Want to Be This Mom!

posted by Linda Mintle

Melissa denied she was an alcoholic despite two DUIs on her driving record. Mandatory adult alcohol education classes did little to curb her drinking. She had no intention of giving up alcohol because she didn’t consider herself a drunk.

Mornings, however, were tough for Melissa. Hung over from the night before, she could hardly pull herself out of bed. Tired of feeling hung over, she swore she would cut down on the amount of alcohol she consumed every evening. But this morning would prove to be too late and a living nightmare.

When Melissa awakened from yet another night of heavy drinking, she found herself lying in a hospital room. Tubes were stuck in her arms. Her head pounded and memory of the night before was foggy. The news she was about to hear would change her life forever. Last night, a drunk driver killed her seven-year-old son, Ryan. The drunk driver was Melissa.

The night before was no different than most nights. Melissa began drinking in the early evening hours to unwind from her stressful day. Her son, Ryan, had a scheduled sleep over at a friend’s house. The friend only lived a mile away so Melissa told Ryan to get his things and hop in the car. As Melissa buckled into the front seat, she didn’t notice that Ryan wasn’t wearing his seat belt. Driving through the winding roads of the neighborhood, she lost control of the car and hit a tree. She survived the crash but Ryan did not. He was thrown from the car and instantly killed.

We know that drunk drivers kill people. What you may not know is what researchers reported in the May 3, 2000 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association—that drunk drivers who are responsible for the deaths of children under the age of 11 are usually relatives or moms like Melissa.

Researchers studied the crash fatalities records of children killed between the years of 1991 and 1996. Two-thirds of the children were killed while riding in the drunk driver’s car. The other third died from being hit by drunk drivers while walking, skateboarding, riding their bikes or being transported in another car.

The sobering reality is that driving drunk makes you a potential child killer. The incredible risk that is taken every time you get behind a wheel is staggering. If you have an alcohol problem, admit it now. You don’t want to end up like Melissa—an alcoholic responsible for the death of her child. The pain from that kind of loss is unimaginable. Help is available.

(Melissa is a fictional character based on a real life story)

 

Click on this link to find resources to stop drinking.

How Do I Love My Gay Son?

posted by Linda Mintle

Q: Dr. Linda, my son recently told me (his dad) that he is gay. I am having the most difficult time because of my Christian faith. It bothers me to think of him with other men. How do I deal with this?

A. Many parents don’t know how to approach their children and end up cuting off their relationships. But gay sons and lesbian daughters need parental love even when they don’t have approval for the lifestyles.

I talked to a dad not too long ago who said he couldn’t talk or even look at his gay son. Consequently he’d been avoiding him for over six months. He kept thinking about his son with another man and couldn’t stomach the thought. He asked, “Why should I talk to him? He’s living a life my faith does not support.”

My answer was simple, “He’s your son. He’s a person and he still needs a dad.” I asked him these four questions:

1) Did you love your son prior to knowing his sexual identity? His answer was, “Yes, of course.” Then remember that he is still a part of you. He’s still your son. You don’t have to accept his gay lifestyle, but you  love him unconditionally. That’s the model of Christ. God doesn’t always find us acceptable. We sin, disappoint Him, but He loves us just because we are His children. Love him, he is your child.

2) Does his sexuality define your relationship? Surely there is more between you and your son than his sexual identity. Focus on those aspects of the relationship. Stay connected and committed to wanting the best for him. Many gays struggle with feelings of inadequacy. You don’t want to add to those feelings by rejecting your own child who is desperate for your love.

3) As difficult as it is to do, try to get to know him. Ask him about his journey  and how his sexual identity has impacted his life. Know his story. It will help you know how to specifically pray for him.

4) What would Jesus do? It’s a cliché now because of all the times we’ve seen and heard it. But it is still a good question. Jesus loves the gay person as much as the straight person. He came to earth to heal the broken-hearted not avoid them. Your child is in a difficult place if he is cut off from you. Ask God for the wisdom to deal with him. Your acceptance of him may be key. Rather than alienating your son, be a part of healing his hurts.  He probably knows your struggle. But he wants your love. Loving him does not mean you agree with his lifestyle.

5) Consider family counseling. It may be helpful to find a Christian counselor who can help you talk to your son and keep the relationship going. The focus would not be on trying to change each other, but on how to be in a relationship. I am sure both of you know how the other feels. He was raised in your family and knows your position on his lifestyle. Now he is being honest about his. You can talk about why you both feel the way you do, your beliefs and faith, boundaries,  and how to continue to be in a relationship with differences. Having those types of conversations may take the help of a third party.

Is Buying a Lottery Ticket Gambling?

posted by Linda Mintle

Are you one of many who have said, “What’s the harm in buying lottery tickets?” Have you made a few wagers on Monday night football? Did you help plan Casino night at your kids’ school? Are you constantly hoping you’ll win the lottery in order to end all your financial problems?

If so, are you  gambling?

Yes, according to Rex Rogers and his book, Seducing America: Is Gambling a Good Bet? You may or may not agree but Rogers says

Rogers says gambling is a problem for a Christian for these reasons:

* Not justified in the Bible

* A dependence on luck and chance rather than God’s sovereignty

* A violation of our stewardship

* An undermining of our work ethic

* The result of covetousness

*  A form of theft

*  Potentially addictive

* Often associated with social and personal vices

Gambling usually begins as a harmless flirtation, but becomes a problem for many people. In fact, it has become an acceptable and mainstream addiction in American culture. The church has been strangely silent on this issue.

Gambling addiction has psychological and spiritual components similar to physical addiction and can take hold of a person’s life. We know that pathological gambling often begins in late adolescence for men and later in life for women. At first, it may be viewed as entertainment. Over time, a preoccupation with the action, excitement and winning develops. The addiction takes hold and all resources are used to get money to support the habit. Some people ravage their savings, destroy relationships and become preoccupied with gambling activities Others engage in illegal activities to keep a steady supply of cash and wind up with significant legal, relationship and moral problems.

A gambling addiction is a serious and often difficult to stop. Left untreated, a person’s life can spin seriously out of control. Compulsive gamblers lie, deny the seriousness of their problems, and become irritable when trying to quit. Like other addictions, gambling fills an empty place, covers depression, anxiety, guilt or helplessness, and allows someone to escape immediate problems.

Talk to anyone who lives with a compulsive gambler and he/she will tell you about the destructive forces at work with this type of addiction. It’s not a coincidence that the state of Ohio prints warnings on their lottery tickets that say, “Compulsive gambling can be treated.”  If you have a gambling addiction, get help.

 

 

Do you agree or disagree? My Facebook peeps are weighing in but you can also comment here. 

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