Ted Stone & Philip Barber

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FIRST-PERSON: How far is rock bottom?

DURHAM, N.C. (BP)--We often hear the remark that a person will never turn his life around until he hits rock bottom. For some, "rock bottom" is a light wakeup call; for others it may be a traumatic event with terrifying consequences.

FIRST-PERSON: Opening the doors to God’s family

DURHAM, N.C. (BP)--The nearly full house watched in awe and celebration as the high school and college ministers of First Baptist Church in Russellville, Ark., baptized 18 young people. Pastor Stephen Davis beamed with obvious pride as he observed the proceedings from his front row seat. Later that night, he joyously reflected that the winds of revival were sweeping across his community and that his whole church family, young and old, had made needed adjustments to open the door to God’s miracles.

FIRST-PERSON: Crack cocaine, a raging epidemic of misery

DURHAM, N.C. (BP)--The bearded husband and father flopped into the restaurant chair, parking himself in front of a hamburger and fries, and began to spill the truth about his current state of crack cocaine addiction.

FIRST-PERSON: The depressing truth about anti-depressants

DURHAM, N.C. (BP)--The Food and Drug Administration recently required that all anti-depressants be labeled with the strongest possible warning, informing patients that symptoms of depression may worsen and that there is an increased risk of suicidal ideation that may accompany the use of anti-depressants in children and adolescents.

FIRST-PERSON: Tough love works

DURHAM, N.C. (BP)--The grief was still present in the eyes of the messenger to the Southern Baptist Convention as he recounted that his son recently had died from a drug overdose. The pain filled the airport limousine as we headed toward the convention center hotel, and little could be said to ease the tragedy. had died from a drug overdose.

FIRST-PERSON: ‘Don’t do drugs, take your medicine’

DURHAM, N.C. (BP)--Speaking in a medium-sized rural church recently, we included as part of our message a warning to parents of the potential dangers of some pharmaceutical agents meant to reduce hyperactivity in children. Our position soon came into focus and our audience realized that we stand unapologetically opposed to the use of such control medications.

FIRST-PERSON: Rejoicing in a psychiatric ward

DURHAM, N.C. (BP)--A concerned associate pastor, spurred by the early morning message he had just heard, suggested that we and his Sunday School class visit a neighboring hospital. Our visit to the young man who suffered from longtime drug abuse problems would be brief because we were scheduled to speak at the second morning worship service.

FIRST-PERSON: Tear-stained prayer lists

DURHAM, N.C. (BP)--A neatly attired, middle-aged churchgoer had carefully written the names of 11 family members, neighbors and friends on a folded piece of paper. At the bottom of the page he had penned the words, "youth of the church."

FIRST-PERSON: Make the final days of year sober ones

DURHAM, N.C. (BP)--As 2002 draws to a close many of us will enjoy time with family and friends during the Christmas and New Year holidays. By the time this article reaches its readers, many of the celebrators will be returning to work. However, some will not. Many will have fond memories to immortalize in the archives of the family photo-album. And many will be mourning the untimely loss of a loved one.

FIRST-PERSON: Calculating the cost of recovery

DURHAM, N.C. (BP)--The Apostle Paul says, in 1 Cor 6:12 (KJV), "All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient."