Rev. Denny Smith

Rev. Denny Smith
Long time contributor to Cherokee Scout newspaper

Weekly Articles by Rev. Denny Smith, Founder and Director of Christian Love Ministries

Reverend Denny Smith contributes a weekly column in the Cherokee Scout newspaper of Murphy, NC. These Christian based mini sermons reflect ideologies learned at Christian Love Ministries in Murphy. CLM is a non-profit Christian drug and alcohol treatment center founded in 1986 by Rev. Smith.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Drug Addiction and Christian Recovery

One of the main reasons it has been so difficult, I believe, to find adequate and sufficient treatment over the past decade or so is due to the fact that insurance companies are requiring so much more of the individual and his or her policy. Certain limitations and coverage technicalities have allowed insurance companies to "escape" without having to pay for even a part of drug and alcohol treatment and recovery. Perhaps for this reason so many have found it easier to seek treatment from Christian organizations which deal with and manage such societal deficiencies.

As the cost for treatment for addiction and alcoholism soared in the 1980's many drug insurance companies began to create policies which did not cover entrance to a facility. Who would be filling out paper work and circle themselves or a family member as an addict or alcoholic anyways?

Addiction to alcohol or drugs is classified as an illness and is understood by the treatment community to be a disease, but many Christian leaders have found they hold the keys to answering the problem and have responded by creating Christ based recovery centers all over the United States. These centers fill a very broad spectrum of curriculum and adhere to varying ideologies and doctrines. Finding one of these centers that suits can be especially difficult.

Christian Love Ministries, in Murphy NC has offered treatment for addictions since 1986. Perhaps as an answer to receding numbers of treatment options, God called the founder of CLM to start building this treatment center in the early 1980's. Three times its Market Place thrift store would be washed away with the Hiawassee River. Many additions and building plans were created without the funding for their creation. The money simply would prove to be their right when necessity called for their implementation. Thus, the ministry has never had to take on a loan or pay off any debts since opening.

The success of Christian Love Ministries has touched the lives of 1000's of individuals over the years. Many have only been participants as volunteers, donors or as Wednesday church service leaders at the ministry. These volunteer and staff positions have been filled by just the right person at just the right time to offer an individual and unique approach to treatment at Christian Love Ministries. As a student entering the program one is met with confidence, respect and assurance that their needs will be met and filled.

Over the years a separate center for women has been planned, built and continues to thrive. Even working at their own market place in Blairsville, GA, Mary's House has been able to offer what truly lacks in the area of addiction treatment- recovery for women. Dealing with issues specific to gender has been either overlooked or ignored by many programs mistakenly as they came to fruition. An entire program geared towards women's issues is crucial to being effective on an individual level.

Post treatment care at Christian Love Ministries goes a step farther than traditional centers by including a halfway house for men and women. As addicts try to get their lives back in order, many of them have found that living with other addicts and a specific set of guidelines has become necessary. Christian Love Ministries attempts to answer specific demands on an individual level. While offering this tailored and individual treatment, CLM has become a true leader in the field of Christian Recovery.


Most of the programs which are in operation currently were not open when Christian Love Ministries answered a calling by God to help other addicts. The ministries have served to offer a tremendous amount of support and guidance to other centers as they each became self- sufficient. Many of the students that Christian Love has graduated have become drug an alcohol addictions counselors. A connection with a local community college program encourages such scholastic achievement.

If you or anyone you know has a problem or addiction to drugs and / or alcohol, you should contact one of the licensed counselors at Christian Love Ministries for help.

Christian Love Ministries Blog, April 23, 2010.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Unknowingly Cursed?

Have you ever “played” with a Ouija board, gone to a fortune teller, called a psychic, or drawn an “X” on your windshield when a black cat ran across the road in front of you? If so, chances are very good that the devil, or one of his demons has a hold of some kind in your soul (mind, will, emotions): “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but, rather, reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret” (Ephesians 5:11-12). Please don’t fall down laughing yet. The devil is doing his best work when he has people convinced “there’s nothing wrong with what I’m doing.” If you have taken part in any of the following you could have unknowingly cursed yourself, or others: gone to a fortune teller, had your palm read, read your horoscope in the newspaper, read Jean Dixon, etc. had your astrological chart drawn out, consulted an astrologer, had Tarot cards read over you, gone to a séance, indulged in levitation, used a medium, witch, or warlock, clairvoyant, E.S.P. practitioner, had your tea-leaves read, or coffee grounds, or bones cast to tell your fortune, called on a necromancer, cast a spell or had one cast on you, taken part in “magic,” studied voodoo or attended a black mass, seen ghosts, goblins, elves, etc., indulged in homosexuality, been involved with a religious cult, viewed or read pornography, been hypnotized, observed Halloween, been addicted to rock & roll music, been a drunk or drug addict, or any activity you wonder “is this alright/ should I be doing this?” If you, or someone you know has taken part in any of these activities, chances are good that you’ve given the right to the devil, or demons to attack and oppress you: “Neither give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27). There are many more occult activities than these. If you wonder if something’s wrong with what you’re doing, it is wrong.


The resources God has provided for you to use are prayer, and bodily control: “this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:21). If that verse is missing in your Bible, you need to get yourself another Bible.


If this article applies to you there are 4 steps you need o take: (1)Confess the sin. Tell God specifically what did (see 1st John 1:9). (2)Claim the blood of Jesus on that sin; “the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin” (1st John 1:7b). (3) Accept forgiveness because Christ died for that sin (see 1st John 2:2). (4) Ask God to take back the spot/place in your soul that you gave to the devil when you indulged in those activities, and beg God to claim that spot/ place for Himself: “Neither give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27). Ignorance is no excuse (see Ephesians 4:18). God provides the way out (see 1st Corinthians 10:13). I’m sure you had no idea you had unknowingly cursed yourself by being involved in the above.

________________


By Reverend Denny Smith of Christian Love Ministries; Article also found in The Cherokee Scout newspaper of Murphy, NC

God Created Man

“God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them” (Genesis 1:27). I was very curious to see the fossil that was in the news this week. Supposedly it was found over a year ago, and kept secret until this week. It was talked about as the “missing link” between animal and man in the evolutionary pathway. It surprised me to see that it was an animal with fur, and a long tail not much bigger than a cat. Artists drew what it must have looked like, and it greatly resembled a lemur. How in the world did this become such a big story? I praise God for science, and the many good things mankind has researched and helped us to understand our world and the lives we live, but that theory is such a big stretch. There is no missing link to be found. God created man.


Science has proven that every human descended from one common ancestor, a man that lived in the area of where Iraq is today. The Bible speaks of him as “Adam,” an ancient word that simply means “the first man.” Why is that so hard to believe? Opinions are like belly-buttons. Everybody has one. The evolutionary theory is an interesting opinion, but according to the Word of God that’s just not how it happened; “The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man whom He had formed” (Genesis 2:7-8).


I thank God for the measure of faith He gives each human; “God has dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Romans 12:3). The word faith simply means “believing, and receiving every thing God has revealed in the Scriptures.” The smarter a person perceives themselves to be seems to make it hard for them to keep it simple. The answer to everything we need to know is right there in one book, the best selling book there has every been, or ever will be- the Bible. It means what it says. Won’t you make the decision right now to find your answers there? “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you;” (Matthew 7:7). “Search the Scriptures” (John 5:39.) “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32).

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By Reverend Denny Smith of Christian Love Ministries; Article found in the Cherokee Scout

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Every Living Thing is Suffering

I try hard not to whine, but the first thought I remember having this morning was “I’m so tired of being in pain.” I’m fortunate to be alive. I broke my neck in a car-wreck thirty years ago, and I live with chronic pain. I’ve learned to thank God that I’m alive, rather than to give in to self-pity. The Bible says: “the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together” (Romans 8:22). Every living thing on this planet is suffering.

The Living Bible paraphrase of that verse says; “even the things of nature, like animals and plants suffer in sickness and death.” We have a big old daddy Canada Goose that limps terribly every step he takes, protecting and teaching the little brood of 5 hatchlings he and his mate have how to survive on planet earth. He and his wife return to our pond every year. We know it’s the same pair because of his limp. My son found a small box turtle Tuesday of this week. It’s shell was badly broken in three places where it had been injured. It’s not going to die from its injuries, but it makes me hurt to look at it, knowing that it too, lives in pain.

There’s a strange kind of comfort that comes when we realize we are not the only ones hurting: “there hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man” (1st Corinthians 10:13). Everyone, and everything suffers. That’s why “all creation is waiting patiently and hopefully for that future day when God will resurrect His children. For on that day thorns and thistles, sin, death, and decay- the things that overcame the world against its will at God’s command- will all disappear, and the world around us will share in the glorious freedom from sin which God’s children enjoy” (Romans 8:19-21 Living Bible Paraphrase).

God’s children have always suffered. Can you imagine what the Apostle Paul must have looked like with his shirt off? “5 times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods. Once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck” (read 2 Corinthians 11:23-28). Beaten with a cat of nine tails for 39 licks usually killed a person. Paul went through that 5 times! Paul was ultimately beheaded by two Roman esquires, Ferega and Parthemius in 67 a.d. (Foxes book of Marytrs). Jerome says Peter was crucified upside down. Bartholomew was beaten, crucified, and beheaded in Albinopolis, Armenia. Andrew also was crucified. Matthew was killed with a spear by Hercanus, the king of Ethiopia.

James was thrown off the highest wall of the Temple in Jerusalem. That didn’t kill him, so a huge pole that was used to stir laundry in boiling pots was used to beat him to death. They buried him right there where he fell. The other James was crucified in Egypt during the reign of Trajun, the Roman emporer. Hebrews 11:35-38 says many were “tortured, mocked, scourged, slain with the sword and even sawn asunder (sawed in half!). Every living thing suffers. Some more than other.

How's Your Thought-Life?

We experienced a great tragedy in our home last week. One of our miniature horses had her baby colt in the middle of the night. It couldn’t free itself from the plastic-like sack it had been formed in for the past 11 months, and it suffocated and died. Our daughter, Brandi is the animal lover of the family, and the experience crushed her soul, bringing on uncontrollable weeping. She said: “I’ve lost so many animals!” It truly broke our hearts. Life is so hard, and a harsh reality is that suffering is a part of life we need to expect, and prepare for.

Every living thing on this planet is suffering because sin is, and suffering is, and Satan is. These three facts of life must be factored into our thinking: “Take captive every thought” (2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV). The Revised Standard version of the Bible says: “take every thought captive.” This is a matter of personal responsibility. It is up to us how we allow ourselves to think. Join me right now, and let this become your belief, and your attitude by saying: “I must take charge of my thinking!” God cares about everything we go through. He is aware of it, and He is always there to go through it with us: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). God is faithful. We don’t know why some things happen, but we need to always remember Romans 8:28-29; “all things work together for good.” How is it going to work out for good? Because the things we go through help to make us more like Jesus all the time.

God has predestinated that we should be conformed to the image of His Son. There are only two kinds of events we face in this life- (1) caused by God, or (2) allowed by God. God doesn’t cause bad things to happen. In His wisdom He allows us to face tough situations. We need to always remember that God is not nearly as concerned with what we are going through as He is with our reaction to what we’re going through. I made a plaque for my daughter that says: “If you help God’s creatures your heart will be broken. Help God’s creatures anyway.” She’s helped baby robins, homeless cats and dogs, turtles in the road, etc. etc. Those things haven’t always turned out good, but we’ve learned a lot of good things because of going through it. Brandi decided to thank God for all the animals she still has instead of allowing herself to be crushed by the one she lost.

My twin sister committed suicide 18 years ago. Out of all the things our family has faced over the years that was by far the toughest. God gave us all what we needed to make it through that when we decided to thank God for the 40 years we had had her instead of being bitter over the years we would not have her. We must take charge of our thinking, and make ourselves be thankful for what we do have rather than being bitter over what we think we should have. We must “take captive every thought” and take responsibility for how we allow ourselves to react to what we go through in life.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

UNITY

By: REV. DENNY SMITH

God’s will for you and me is unity with other children of God: “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word. That they may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You” (John 17:20-21 NKJV). This prayer of Jesus is specifically for you. Did you know that Jesus prayed for you personally? He did. He prayed that we would be united in our faith, so all the world would learn that God sent Jesus down here in the flesh. Are you “one” with all the other believers? It’s a sad commentary that the people who claim to be Christians are prejudice, and can’t get along with each other. How are they “prejudice”? By looking at other believers, other denominations, and speaking badly about them because they don’t see things the same as you do. Pay attention, and see if you find yourself speaking negatively about other Christians. If you do you should realize, “I am failing at what Jesus prayed I would do- be one with other believers.”

A major problem with the ones who claim to be the children of God is that they can’t get along with the other ones who claim to be the children of God. Do you know what the biggest problem is that missionaries face out there on the mission field? It is not that they can’t relate to, and get along with the ones they are seeking to minister to.

The problem they come home talking about is that they can’t get along with the other missionaries. They both have the same goal, helping others, teaching them about Jesus, but they refuse to get along because of petty differences. Paul says: “All the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another” (Galatians 5:14 & 15).

The biggest problem with the church is TOO MANY CHIEFS, AND NOT ENOUGH INDIANS. Jesus is supposed to be the only Chief, and He wants all His under-shepherds to get along. Whining and complaining about other Christians is not God’s will. You’ve probably heard it: “They don’t believe in speaking in tongues,” or the opposite, “they are wrong to speak in tongues,”- “they believe the rapture comes before the tribulation”, or “they don’t believe in the rapture”- “they disagree about the baptism in the Holy Ghost”- “they don’t use the King James Translation of the Bible”- “they play rock music over there”- “the women wear pants to church”-“they think the Sabbath is Saturday”-“they allow drinking alcohol”- “they don’t believe in smoking”- Waah, waah, waah.

Jesus wants unity, not division. Talk about the things we agree on, the important things like “Love one another/ bear one another’s burdens/ all who believe on Jesus will be saved” (1st John 4:7 & Galatians 6:2 & Romans 10:13). God wants us to “be one” and live in unity.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Criticizing Others

CRITICIZING OTHERS


DENNY SMITH

If you find yourself being critical of another person you obviously think of yourself as a “superior person.” The Apostle Paul had the right attitude when he said that he was the worst sinner there ever was (see 1 Timothy 1:15). It takes God a long time to convince us of the wrong belief that if others don’t see things the way that we do they must be wrong. “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, He shall be holden up; for God is able to make him stand. One man esteemeth one day above another; another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind” (Romans 14:4 & 5). I wish I could walk around humming and singing “Home On the Range” all of the time, but I forget to do it. The best line in that song (to me) is “Never is heard a discouraging word.” Being critical of others, speaking negatively about them is the mark of being immature in our faith. Paul said; “Let us not, therefore, judge one another any more; but judge this rather: that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way” (Romans 14:13). When I judge others and criticize them I miss the mark and become a stumbling block, hurting others, when my real desire is to help them. The core of our faith is supposed to be “Love one another” (1st John 4:7). Colossians 3:13 says; “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any; even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” There are no good people on planet earth- “no, not one” (Romans 3:12). We waste a lot of time trying to convince others to think like we do about so many unimportant things, instead of focusing on the most important thing that because Jesus died on the cross they are forgiven period. Paul said: “I determined not to know anything among you, except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2)


Many years ago I had been studying the Book of Revelation. My Pastor had put me in the position of teaching the adults at the Wednesday evening services. I began the class one evening by saying: “Brothers and Sisters. We are going to study the Revelation. The wisest, most mature man in the class said: “Brother Denny all those prophecies in the Revelation are amazing, and good, but I don’t even understand my salvation. Can’t we study all that happened because Jesus died on the cross for our sins?” My pride was shattered. I felt like my jaws had been smacked and I had been rightly put in my place. I wrote a poem shortly after that night that says; “The more I know, the more I know that I know nothing. Little do I know.” We are supposed to demonstrate love to this dying world. Loving God, and loving others is what we should be doing (see Matthew 22:36-40). The next time you find yourself getting ready to say a critical word about others, put your hand over your mouth: “If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, or if thou hast thought evil, lay thine hand upon thy mouth” (Proverbs 30:32).

About the Editor

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Having worked with computers since age 7, thanks to an uncle who worked for IBM during the early 80's, I started with the PCjr, have owned and used the best, and now opt for the best only- which are 2-5 year old AMD 64bit dual core chips (Athlon / Turion)... I3, 5, 7, I200- Piece of crap as Intel has been since 2004.   

Owned my own business since 1997 as a Senior in high school, even through college and traveling.  Opened business in San Diego with most customers being from Charlotte and Greensboro.  Living in Hickory, NC today- I'm grateful for those connections I made around the world, but most especially for my beautiful 2 year old, Asheleigh and her mother- Monica.  


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