ESCAPE, Lesson 1 of 4: Douglas Jacoby and Steve Brand have joined forces to teach a series called ESCAPE. Steve Brand is a professional counselor and expert on addictive behaviors. The series explores addictive substances and behaviors and what God's word has to say about them. There are four lessons in the series. Here's the provisional plan:

  1. The psychology and neurochemistry of pain, escape, and addiction. Focus: marijuana, alcohol, pain medication.
  2. Alternate fictional reality. Focus: movies, novels, worlds of gaming, TV.
  3. Fantasy proxy relationships. Focus: pornography.
  4. Computer and internet behaviors. Focus: gambling, shopping, surfing, smartphones.

The series tackles the importance of not being conformed to the world (Romans 12:2), or falling prey to the many tempting avenues of "escape."

To listen to the first lesson in the series Escape, click on arrow.

To listen to it later, right click on "Download Podcast" and "save target as" or "save link as"

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Addendum 1 (from Sept/Oct 2014 issue of Does God Exist?, used with the permission of John Clayton):

POT LEGALIZATION. One of the most dramatic changes in American social views is the new attitude towards marijuana. At the time of this article 21 states and the District of Columbia sanction medical marijuana. Colorado and Washington have now legalized recreational marijuana. There are wild claims made by both the supporters and detractors of marijuana, but in the June 14, 2014, issue of Science News some basic facts are listed (page 17). Marijuana affects the amygdala of the brain, causing altered emotional states. (The amygdala performs a primary role in processing memory, decision-making, and emotional reactions.) Marijuana reduces motor activity in the basal ganglia, an area of the brain which is associated with voluntary motor movements, eye movements, procedural learning, and cognition. Marijuana also affects the brain's cerebellum, causing impaired coordination. It alters cortex thinking, making it hard to pay attention or switch quickly between two tasks. Another part of the brain affected by marijuana is an area critical to short-term and long-term memory, the hippocampus. This makes memory less efficient, making it harder to learn and remember new information. The hypothalamus, which controls hunger, among other things, is stimulated by marijuana, increasing appetite and creating the “munchies” effect. It also targets the nucleus accumbens, which plays an important role in pleasure, causing the pot user to want to use it again. In spite of claims to the contrary, marijuana can be addictive. Ten percent of users become dependent. We are reminded of the need to take care of the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16). Source: Science News, June 14, 2014, pages 17.\

Addendum 2 (based on frequent questions submitted to this website):

If everything God created is good, including the plants (Genesis 1), then why can't we enjoy marijuana?

The many plants that the Lord created include the poisonous as well as the health-giving. Of course, everything God created is good. How about lava? Common sense dictates that we keep our distance in many cases.