As Risky as Cigarettes? A New Study on Sleeping Pills

“He gives to his beloved sleep.” Psalm 127:2

At http://www.Brokenbelievers.com, our focus is mostly on the spiritual realities of being disabled, and yet a believer in Jesus. We honestly need these things as a man needs air. They are  things that we look into, and are crucial to our spiritual survival. Yet sometimes we encounter something on the physical/medical side that is important enough to merit our attention.

The latest off the wire, is a recent study on prescription sleep aids. For many years, our doctors have strongly suggested that if needed, we take a sleeping pill to enable us to “rack out.” A lot of people use them. In 2010, between  6 and 10% of adult Americans used a sleeping aid. Recently, researchers took another look. The drugs tested were Ambien, Restoril, Lunesta and Sonata. These, and a few others were tested. If your really interested, you will find the report on WebMd.com.

What they found was that users of these drugs to promote sleep faced a 5.3-fold higher death risk. They also had a 35% higher risk of cancer, the study found.  That made me perk right up.

The study was conducted at California San Diego which commenced in the early seventies. I encourage you to dig this up, and especially if you are taking a sleeping aid prescribed by a doctor. It could help you to decide on taking these meds, or not.

Perhaps, the issues are not substantial or significant to you. I do confess that the results are provocative.  And yet they do guide us into a fuller understanding. I have taken “Lunesta” for almost 4 years, every night.  My psychiatrist has explained to me that in his mind Bipolar Disorder can pretty much be a sleep issue and we need to treat it as such. Hence the Lunesta. But my shrink is not alone on this.

I suppose that I must admit a fear of  not being able to sleep. Sleep has been quite honestly the state that has carried me through many of my issues. I guess when I do sleep, I retract many things, and my “decks” are cleared for new ones.  The fear of losing this ability to really sleep, keeps me from not taking seriously the Lunesta I take every night. Inside, I just can’t see giving it up, in spite of the statistics.

In many ways, I suppose that sleep has become my deliverer. And as a believer, this should scare me. Jesus, after all, has redeemed me. He has done the work, after all. And yet I look at sleep as a sort of deliverance from my difficult issues. I don’t know what you are getting, but right now I’m sleeping 10 or 11 hours a night. And somewhat rarely I’ll take a 1 or 2 hour nap in the late afternoon.

“At this I awoke and looked, and my sleep was pleasant to me.” Jer. 31:26

Something funny: I once saw this posted on a wall in a church nursery, and thought it was very humorous, “Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed” 1 Corinthians 15:51.

The study is reported yesterday on http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/news/20120227/sleeping-pills-called-as-risky-as-cigarettes

Wardrobe Necessities

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“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”

Romans 13:14, ESV

Some verses are like this. When the Holy Spirit touches it, it will expand and broaden out into a theological treatise. It is remarkably potent as verses go. We certainly do well examining it closer. Just maybe it will leak good things on us.

“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ,” entails becoming someone else. More precisely, it has to do with becoming Jesus to the watching world. We are to so absorb him that our identity changes. Paul tells us that this is a deliberate act of our will; a decisive decision to clothe ourselves with Jesus.

This goes beyond what we consider to be the Christian faith. In some of our churches we seldom hear this message being taught. It seems radical and we don’t understand the ‘mechanism’ by which we do it. It reminds me of Nicodemus struggling with becoming “born again” (John 3:1-14). Sometimes spiritual truths defy human reasoning.

“And make no provision for the flesh,” is the second part of this principle. Both have to be working to complete the idea. If we ‘put on,’ but continue to provide for our flesh, the verse simply will not work. It’s a ‘binary’ action that requires activation of both at the same time.

The Greek word Paul uses for “provision’‘ is real nifty. It means “to consider in advance; to plan for or supply ahead of time; to think beforehand.” This zeroes in on our exceptional ‘talent’ in giving in to sin. We somehow gravitate to our particular favorite sins. There is a ‘magnetic pull’ toward dark things.

This binary only works if these two truths come together. We must ‘put on’ Christ, and then ‘put off’ our evil deeds. I believe that these two things constitute the intentions of the Holy Spirit for our growth. Dear saint, what are you wearing?

Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”

Colossians 3:9-10

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Fine Dining

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“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.”

Psalm 23:5

The six verses of Psalm 23 are truly ‘lightning in a bottle.’ What they contain can’t be found anywhere else. This psalm exists to encourage the faltering and fearing.

The heart of a ‘broken’ Christian can find solace and comfort in each verse; the peace given truly lights our darkness like nothing else. Yet verse five is my favorite. The Father is revealed as the “hostess with the mostess.” 

A waiting table is set for us. I assume it is full of wonderful things– things that are delicious and delightful. It looks inviting. And we are His guests.

“In the presence of mine enemies,” tells me that I’m not dining alone. The word for ‘presence’ is literally ‘in the face of.‘ Satan is so aware of our blessings. Also note: the enemies are plural. This motley bunch have become witnesses of God’s grace and mercy on a sinner. I am a man who feasts while they can only watch.

To be ‘anointed with oil’ evokes the Shepherd’s care for His sheep. The oil would not only be medicinal, but also defining. It would define ‘ownership.’ Only His sheep would receive this tender care. And again, the enemies see this.

“My cup runneth over,” is the ultimate blessing. We find ourselves being given the best metaphor of an overflowing life. I once picked apples and used a five gallon bucket; I had so many apples the bucket wouldn’t hold them all. That’s the way the Kingdom of God works. We’re always blessed with a ‘super-abundance.’ And all is grace.

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God Will Finish What He Started

He Will Complete It

3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

Philippians 1:3-6

We sometimes begin things we don’t finish.

Thank You, Lord for this precious promise that You never leave a job half done.  And here’s a simple poem . . .

Getting There, by Deb Feller

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We thank You, Lord as we joyfully pray for

You are faithful and working always in our lives

finishing what You’ve begun ’til we’re no long “in progress”

but complete, with Your Son.

Amen.

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