Article in the Kingston Daily Freeman

Imagine this headline in a secular paper in New York: Tillson author parents with help from God. Well it's true! Read it on-line and support these kinds of articles with a comment.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


             These  are the rest of my notes from the  presentation that I did in January on: Overcoming Addiction Through Prayer:

6. Realize that God is in control, but you aren’t. Let go of your prodigal or circumstance. This is a difficult but necessary step. Sometimes you just have to let your prodigal fall if that’s what they’re bent on doing!  Don’t let anything manipulate you : From pg. 70 Letters to God on a Prodigal Son: "Tough love is necessary when dealing with an addict. Don’t say something  and then do another. Stick to your word and don’t give into your prodigal’s demands. Try to find out what’s really happening and make your decisions based on that. Go to a counselor together with your spouse and decide on a course of action. Plan ahead for several different scenarios so you can be prepared and not get tripped up by your loved one. Addicts are very good manipulators, and they will admit they pull on their parent’s heartstrings—so be aware."

7. Ask for wisdom in each situation you encounter. Ex. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. … (James 1: 5). Seek the advice of others who are godly and understand the particular bondage your prodigal faces or your particular circumstance. Still your heart and listen for what the spirit is speaking to you. Read the word of God and let it speak to you. Ex. Kindle the fire of the Holy Spirit, even when you feel overwhelmed. He will give you strength Phil. 1:19.

8. Personalize what the scriptures say, add your name and speak to your circumstances. Examples:
      You are “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. Surely he (You) will save Ben from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence.” (Psalm 91:2).
      “You look upon his (Ben’s) affliction and trouble and forgive all his sins” (Psalm 25:18).
Let the Holy Spirit empower you personally. Rely on Him.

9. Learn spiritual warfare tactics: Be covered with the blood, clothed with the full armor of God Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whrmor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand" (Ephesians 6:12).

Break bondages of addiction through praise and worship, pg.104 LTG "Though I need to continue waging spiritual warfare against this evil, I also need to press on and praise God. I’ve continued to read Worship Warriors and it’s helped me to see that worship can break the chains of the enemy."

pg. 105 (LTG) "I bind the strongman, his addiction to drugs, so that he will no longer have power in Ben’s life. I break this bondage of addiction and drug use. I cover Ben with the blood of Jesus, and pray that he would repent of this sin. In Jesus’ name. Amen."

10. Thank God for small steps, progress p 65 LTG "Help me to see the positive side of this situation. Ben is back, alive and well. Help me to “Trust in the Lord with all my heart, lean not unto my own understanding. In all my ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct my paths” (Proverbs 3:5). Thank God for doing what He says He will do before you see the circumstances changing, pg.105. Use scripture and precede it with Thank you, pg. 154:

"Dear Lord,
Thank You that You “Uphold all who fall. And raise up all who are bowed down” (Psalm 145:14). You have lifted Ben up by your mercy and grace. You didn’t allow him to stay in the hole and die there. You picked him up. “And lifts the needy out of the ash heap” (Psalm 113:7). Thank You so much for your mercy. “Oh, give thanks to the Lord for He is good! For His mercy endures forever” (1Chronicles 16:34). Thank You Lord that You had mercy on me and my son. I will be eternally grateful. In Jesus’ name. Amen!"

If you would like prayer for a prodigal, contact me at

Sunday, February 12, 2012

"Jesus Loves Me," Yes Whitney You Were Right

So Whitney Houseton’s dead. Another causality of drugs and alcohol addiction, though nothing official has come out about her cause of death. While she might not have of OD, most of us know her addiction ruined her career and may have taken her life. She’d been to a number of rehabs, but never got completely clean for long. Why? I can only surmise, but I can hazard a guess that she never personally surrended her life wholeheartedly to God, though she may have had an inkling that Jesus loved her. Interesting that her last song was “Jesus Loves Me.” Though poorly sung, that’s not the point. If only she would have fully accessed the power of that truth—Jesus loved her.

According to one old fashioned preacher, he learned all the doctrine he really needed to know in that one song. It’s really the crux of the gospel. Jesus loved us while we were yet sinners and died on a cross for our sins. His love was unconditional. While Whitney was partying, doing drugs, etc., God still loved her. He also loved me while I was living a sinful life, and He loved my son while in the midst of his addiction. The problem was Whitney didn’t fully receive that love. If she had, she could have accessed the power behind that love (God) and applied it to her life, then she would have been able to break free from the bondage of addiction.

But perhaps she had an inkling of Jesus’ love and that spurred her to sing that childhood song in her final days. Perhaps God’s love was breaking though to her, though her life was falling apart and soon to be ended. While I cannot know her heart, only God can judge that, I can pray that others, who are battling powerful addictions, can come to know the power of Jesus’ love. A love so strong that it not only died for us, but forgave our sins: as in the example of the woman who the Jews wanted to stone to death because she was caught in adultery. Jesus was not condoning her actions, but loving her while she was yet chained to her sin. He challenged the crowd, “If any one of you is without sin, cast the first stone at her” (John 8:7). When no one did, her life was saved. Then he challenged her, “Go and sin no more” (John 8:11). Some believe this was Mary Magdalene, who followed Jesus closely, but who she was is not that important. What’s paramount is the Jesus’ love rescued this woman and changed her.

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I challenge you (and myself) to think about the true meaning of love. Most Christians consider 1 Corinthians 13, the treatise of love, which it is. But I believe that the life of Jesus is the living example of that love letter, lived out in the flesh. He left heaven, where he was a ruler and creator and came to earth, lived in poverty, was shamed and despised, mentored a group of ignorant fishermen, whom he poured his life into and became his disciples, then he endured one of the most painful ways to die: Roman crucifixion. Finally, and most importantly he arose so that we might have new life in Him… a free gift to all. He did it for us, so that we can be set free! Now that’s love…love that wants to release us from all the chains, bondages and addictions the world, our flesh, and the enemy of our soul, throws our way.

To all the Whitney’s of this world, I pray you come to know the power of God’s love. It’s strong enough to break those bondages in which you are entrapped. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it’s available to you. To learn more about this read a free sample chapter of Transformed—Inspiring Stories of Freedom and/or Letters to God, on a Prodigal Son—Overcoming Addiction Through Prayer.