Impossible Odds (Episode 1)

EPISODE 1 of 3: Running From Myself

This week (May 12) on Shabbat Night Live, Rodney Thompson knows what it means to be addicted. He started using drugs as a teen, but it didn’t stop there. His habit turned into an addiction he couldn’t escape.

This episode is an especially powerful lesson for parents and relatives of someone trapped in addiction.

Watch the episode — included on this blog post.

While you watch, consider the questions below. The timeline for each discussion topic in the video is noted on each question. Post your answers in the comments section and let’s get some discussion going!

  1. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 16:00) Why are so many believers reluctant to recognize the will of YeHoVaH in personal experiences that might seem circumstantial or even trivial in their individual apostolates? How might more seekers of salvation be able to develop their spirituality through the example of Elijah, who discerned the divine presence in the “still small voice” that followed the wind, the earthquake, and the fire (1 Kings 19:12)?
  2. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 20:00) How does the “orphan spirit” resonate with the fundamental ethos of our opportunity to follow YeHoVaH? How has its potential for an orientation toward sin and self-destruction tended to overshadow its affirmative challenge to obey the divine law by turning from sin and recognizing the range of meaning in Yeshua’s claim to bring “not peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34) into the lives of his followers?
  3. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 24:00) How can many contemporary social ills be attributed to the failure of many fathers to discern the true nature of their influence in family life? How does the exploitation of authority in the form of domestic bullying and verbal abuse potentially allow for the insinuation of the demonic, as indicated in Colossians 3:21’s exhortation against fathers discouraging their children? 
  4. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 28:00) Similarly, how can the influence of the demonic be discerned in the prevalence and range of addiction in virtually every present-day socioeconomic level? Has this presence been the result of a decadent search for novelty by affluent individuals, or have we allowed our materialism to deprive us of our divinely-given ability to make choices based on the knowledge of good and evil?
  5. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 32:00) If indeed such institutions as rehabilitation centers and the pharmacology industry may be viewed as false gods by those believers who are suffering from addiction, how does this support the notion of substance abuse as a tool of Satan? How has the widespread advocacy of prescription medication in schools served to encourage dependency and the rationalization of questionable lifestyle choices within families?
  6. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 38:00) Similarly, how has the phenomenon of opiate addiction among citizens who lead otherwise conservative or abstemious lifestyles served to demonstrate our essential vulnerability as human beings and our need for vigilance against temptation? Have we unwittingly lost a crucial measure of self-control in our dependence upon medication, despite its identity as a means of ensuring health and longevity?
  7. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 42:00) Can the advent of crack cocaine be tenably viewed as a decisive intrusion of the demonic into virtually all sectors of society? How does its propensity for causing what has been described as “instant addiction” represent Satan’s orientation toward targeting the family as a means of destroying YeHoVaH’s creation, to say nothing of eminent show business personalities who have become casualties of the “white powder madness”?
  8. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 46:00) How do experiences such as those recounted here demonstrate the severe yet affirmative power of YeHoVaH to allow our sins to reach a point of near-fatal danger as a message of the need for repentance? How must we often “contend with God” as denoted by the name of the patriarch Jacob before we may discern the divine will that serves to direct our futures away from sin and toward redemption?
  9. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 50:00) Again, how can the crack cocaine epidemic be viewed as a machination of Satan in light of its ability to subvert our judgement, even to the extent of depriving us of our divinely-given free will to choose between right and wrong? Moreover, how has this been exacerbated by personal testimonies of recovery that are given sensationalist presentation in the mainstream media, often by the very institutions that encouraged the addiction?
  10. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 54:00) As noted at the outset, the presence of YeHoVaH often manifests itself to us through subtle whispers rather than cataclysms. Why is this impetus toward repentance and reform so often overlooked by believers in their desire to receive proof of divine influence in their faith lives?  How does the private epiphany by the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:19 dramatize this reflex in his willingness to return to his father as a mere hired servant?