Blogs & Articles

The Dunamis Initiative & CMDA

Pictured above is Dr. Don Middleton with Dr. Mike Chubb, CEO of CMDA We’re excited to share a recent development as we continue to bring The Dunamis Initiative to churches and Christian organizations all over the world. I (Don) am incredibly honored and humbled to have been given the opportunity to serve as Chair of…
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Transform the Mind to Transform the Life

Recently, I had the privilege of speaking at the national conference for the Christian Medical Dental Association (CMDA) on how to support people going through 12-step recovery for addictions of all kinds. It was great to be at a conference where 1200 professionals could proudly bow their heads and give thanks to their savior, Christ…
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Why Does Someone Use In The First Place?

In a recent conversation with a friend, he posed a fundamental question in the realm of addiction medicine. Hailing from a religious tradition that staunchly prohibits alcohol, recreational substances, and gambling, he inquired, “Why do people try alcohol and drugs in the first place?” While the answers are undoubtedly multifaceted, they can be distilled into…
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Is Someone on Suboxone Really Sober?

As children, we knew a song about an old woman who swallowed a fly. She then swallowed a spider to catch the fly, a bird to catch the spider, and so on until she swallowed a horse and died – of course. This nonsensical song is a reminder that sometimes we mistakenly get caught in…
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Hi, I’m Don, and I Am a…

I’m Don, and I Am… Sometimes I just can’t help myself. I love to stir the pot with a bit of mischief. I know, I know – it’s a character flaw that I am working on. Sort of. Okay, not really. I found in AA meetings that a way to ruffle feathers is to not…
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How Do We Build Spiritual Core Strength?

We’re all creatures of habit, and regardless of the setting, we tend to gravitate towards the same seats. Although I didn’t know Carlos well, he always occupied the chair next to mine during our morning meetings. Hence, I couldn’t help but notice when he seemed to be experiencing back problems; he got up tenderly and…
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Heal the Family…Heal the Person

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1 in 10 young adults has an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, and 1 in 7 is addicted to alcohol or some other drug. In a recent Kaiser Foundation survey, two-thirds of American young people said they had someone in their family who suffered from addiction. These numbers…
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Understanding Addiction: A Journey from Ancient Debates to Modern Insights

While the understanding of genetics has developed over the past century, the debate surrounding the origins of addiction is ancient. Countless writings have explored the choice versus compulsion argument, with scholars grappling with the complexities for generations. In Plato’s “Protagoras,” Socrates suggests that individuals always act in what they perceive to be their best interest,…
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Naaman the Leper and Addiction Recovery

Have you ever studied the story of Naaman, a high-ranking Syrian commander, as recounted in 2 Kings 5? Despite his success and wealth, Naaman harbored a secret: he was afflicted with leprosy, a condition that, in those times, could lead to severe social exclusion and eventual death. For a man of his stature, the implications…
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Dunamis…but what does it mean?

Pronounced as “doo’-nam-is,” the Greek term “Dunamis” refers to a (miraculous) power, might, and strength, as defined in Strong’s Concordance. During my tenure as a pre-med student at Northern Arizona University, my foundational knowledge was built upon various scientific disciplines. It included inorganic and organic chemistry, zoology, botany, and microbiology, which ensured I spent countless…
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‘Tis the Season…Sobriety and The Holidays

The holiday season, often stretching from Halloween to New Year’s Eve, poses a significant challenge to those newly embracing sobriety. This period, which may also encompass events like the Super Bowl and St. Patrick’s Day, is rife with parties where alcohol is prevalent if not the focal point. Coupled with the stress of family gatherings,…
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Why Not Just Send Them to AA?

It’s not a unique story.  A family presents themselves to a pastor with a combination of fear, sadness, and anger. What did he do wrong? Nothing. They want to talk about a family member who won’t stop drinking. They have begged, pleaded, threatened, and offered incentives, and at times he seems to get it together…
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How should we define addiction in layman’s terms?

The word ” addiction “ used to be whispered in hushed tones and with implied shame, but it has worked its way into our everyday vocabulary. It isn’t even always used as a bad thing anymore like when a person might say, “I’m so addicted to that new sushi restaurant!” We’ll discuss the why use…
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Providing a way out of addiction

Providing “a way out” of Addiction

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 Few problems encountered by a 21st-century pastoral…
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How is Dunamis Effect (formally Him and Them) different from AA?

Anybody that says “Dunamis Effect” is anti-AA, obviously hasn’t read the book. There must be at least a dozen times where AA is described as a divine gift, and its members a national treasure of wisdom. While Dunamis Effect (formally Him and Them) is designed to be a stand-alone program, throughout the book one is…
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Christian courage in action

Month 4, Step 4 – Courage. Two men decide to ride their bikes across Death Valley which is a remarkable feat of endurance pitting man against some of the harshest conditions mother nature has to offer. The first is young and strong and fills his water bottles to start his trek without telling anyone in…
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How do I talk to my children about my addiction?

Addiction can be like a dozen grenades thrown into a home. You never know who or to what extent that collateral damage will be, but can be assured there will be damage. Too often the “grown-ups” get so deeply entrenched in their needs that they forget to pay attention to the littler folks occupying the…
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Lesson from St. Patrick

Patrick lived approximately 1500 years ago in an area not known for extensive written history. It is a bit hard to know a great deal about his life, but we do have what some people consider to be his autobiography. There is a lesson in it for us as we try and ignore the fact…
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Faith verses hope in addiction

“Wake up! Wake UP!” yells 5-year-old Tyrell, as he pulls at the sheets of his brother. “Its Christmas! Let’s go see!!” “It’s still dark. Go back to sleep!” Moans 10-year-old Jordan, suppressing some excitement in favor of a few more minutes in the warm bed. “Let’s go see if he came!” insists Tyrell, and his…
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I’m sober, why don’t people trust me?

Mike screwed up his marriage in a huge way. After being introduced to sexual harm very early in his life, he mistakenly learned to use sexual content to soothe his anxiety. Since he grew up in a Christian house hold, and was now married to a Christian wife, he felt extraordinary shame about it, which…
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Transformed Love

“All you need is love, love. Love is all you need.”   Lennon and McCartney This week contains Valentine’s Day, and truthfully, I’m getting pretty sick of seeing millions of red hearts all over every store since the day after Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very pro-love, and have been blessed with an amazing…
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Coming to Believe

Hello February; we’ve been missing you. The second month means a look at the second step. “We came to believe that our Heavenly Father could and would restore us to sanity.” “Came to believe” is an interesting phrase. Most people read step 2 and either say “Of course I do.” or “There’s no way I…
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A Life Well Lived

The guy in the picture above is my dad at 87. He died last week and everyone appropriately says, “I’m so sorry for your loss.” I want to take this opportunity to scream, “It’s Ok! He did it right!” Dad was a kid that grew up kinda poor, and after serving in the Korean conflict,…
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