The religious right of Jesus' day hated Him. The liberal left disregarded Him entirely. He came anyhow. He came to the poor, to the broken, to what would have been the alcoholics, addicts, and homeless nobodies of His day. He came to the religious and the pagan too, the left and right, poor and wealthy, nobody excluded.
He came to me, two millenia later. I'm not sure why I have been given this gift of grace, but I accept and believe that He is the Son of God, that He died for my sins and rose from the dead, and is Lord. I am grateful for the eternal life I now live in. I am a work in progress with many issues that need fixing. I am recognized as a follower of Jesus by those around me, a devoted believer by some and a hypocrite from others...that's ok. I am convinced nonetheless.
Being this work in progress, much of the the change has been accomplished. Mainly, in the area of my view of others, who to exclude, and who to accept. All of my pre-conceived ideas regarding grace have been re-worked by the Master Potter. He continues this shaping and molding me into the image of the One who paid the ransom to free me from eternal separation from God. I really know, without question, that God loves everyone equally. I have put down the sword I have used to fix you by cutting away, or prunning off bad branches I don't think you should have.
Why God uses you or me as believers, is because we make ourselves availaible to Him use for His purpose. We, as God uses us, should not even think for a moment that we are to fix a convert, we don't know how. Jesus wants us to "fish" for lost mankind. But we need to realize this...you catch em' and I'll clean em, is the mission. We seem to think that the Holy Spirit needs us to help Him fix all who come to Christ. No, it is the other way around, He helps us.
"And when He (the Holy Spirit) has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment....when He, the Spirit of Truth is come, He will guide you into all truth...John 16:8, 13a Read the whole passage 16:5-15, get the entire context.
This is the reality of my service to Him. I present the Truth, the Holy Spirit draws the hearer, and as they accept and believe, the Holy Spirit enters their heart to live forever! He then, as He has done in me, and millions of believers since Pentecost, guides the willing heart of the believer. I can and should mentor the new follower of Jesus, and instruct them in grace, with mercy and kindness, not beat them over the head with Biblical doctrines. Seriously, I can't give them the whole counsel of God in one setting.
The process then begins for the new follower, they get to learn their purpose in Christ. We don't learn the process as a believer by doing nothing. The Gospel of Jesus is action, just not the action of making little "me" out of others. Like Jesus, I want to be known as a friend to the sinner...they don't listen to their enemies.
I have no desire to rip people out of believing in Jesus by telling them, now that you are following Jesus, you need to pray all the time, read at least an hour each day from the Bible, and lay hands on every sick person you see. I just want to accept that they know Him, invite them to attend church, and then remember them in prayer. I can offer them my number, email, and request they keep in contact, help them along in their walk. I don't want them to be taken by wolves that are out there, teaching false doctrines.
This song, by Casting Crowns is eye-opening. I want to compel the lost to come to Jesus without placing conditions on their salvation. True conversion is obvious by the change in every individual that enters life. They have the Holy Spirit inside to guide, He will do the fixing. They will run from sin for their love for God, the litmus test of all believers.
I still need fixed, and you do too. We only need to yield to the guidance of the One in our hearts. Many have rejected Christ bacause of our actions, attitudes, and demands as believers. Let's end this poor performance by loving, caring, and sharing without demands.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all. Keith
To rest on our laurels is to position ourselves for utter and complete disaster. Complacency is a place of seeming peace, but in truth a place of darkness. That is where I see myself way too often. I have a good job, a place to live, food, clothing, a vehicle to beat around in...all is well. I am grateful to God for all of His provision and remember times I had those things but not the gratitude. When I feel comfortable, I need to make myself uncomfortable, or I'll become numb to others around me, and my spiritual fitness.
It is too easy to lay back for several days in a row, not even having the slightest hint of returning to old thoughts and ways of living, and wind up smack-dab in the middle of the old ways. Too tired to pray, to busy blogging to read the Word, and I had a tough day, I think I'll skip the recovery meeting, or church service, I convince myself. I suddenly become interested in things I could care less about like primetime TV, and reality shows that waste my time.
I used to walk 2-4 miles several days each week. When I began writing my book I walked a couple of times weekly. In time I was so busy with my book, recovery meetings, and mentoring, I quit completely. It shows and I feel it. Getting back to that form, and losing the 10 lbs, (all abs), I gained with complacent living is really tough. It is the same way spiritually for me. I am not legalistic regarding how much time in prayer or Bible reading I do daily. Truth is, I know when I skip a day of devotion to the very One I care the most about..it shows, and I feel it.
I may live long without walking those miles daily, or doing 100 pushups each day, but the quality of my life is affected greatly. I remain a follower of Jesus whether I spend X amount of time in His presence daily or not, but the quality of my spiritual life and conduct is affected...ask those around me at work, and at home. If I do not notice that, they do. I have become comfortably numb.
"These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me." Matt.15:8
I can play the part of spiritual goodness and understanding, but in the quietness of my home, alone in thought, I'm thinking, why have I allowed myself to become complacent...again? I enjoy relaxing, that must be it. So I try to justify my actions, and the next thought enters, well, I'm always or normally at meetings or doing stuff for others, I need some me time. I know then that I have fallen into resting on my laurels and need to shake off the numbness, and attend to others, beginning with God.
Do you have these times of sitting back in comfort because of all those things you do and have done for others? I hope you don't. I hope that this is something unique to me, but i'm sure that's not so...you have them too. Or maybe you do nothing for nobody except your family or friends. This is the danger zone. This is the place where new addictions can easily formulate in your thoughts, and turn into action. Porn, gambling, adulterous affairs, are easily accessed via the internet, and can take you down a road of complete dispair and misery. Run for your life.
Run to God if you're in this predicament. Find others to help. Read a good book, the Good Book. Spend time with loved ones and family members. Be wary of becoming comfortably numb...its like a drug, ready to destroy you and me.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all. Keith
America celebrates the annual day of observing the fallen heroes of our history Monday. This day becomes more dear to me as I age. I want to honor those brave that paid the ultimate price to secure our freedoms we hold dear, and protect our borders from aggressors. There are many men and women living in harm's way today that we need to remember in our prayers, that they remain safe from the enemies of democracy worldwide.
I concern myself with many unnecessary things these days, mostly foolish worries of no consequence. I do have a concern for how we, as Americans, take this annual observance for the purpose of pleasures without the slightest thought of what Memorial Day is all about. Some time back, the VFW memorial put this statement out:
"Changing the date merely to create three day weekends has underminded the meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed a lot to the general public's nonchalant obsevation of the day." (This was in regard to making memorial day on Monday instead of the set day)
We could observe the half-staff flag until noon, the moment of silence at three pm, and even go to a parade, but does that really reflect patriotism and true heart-felt meaning of this sacred day? Have you ever had a conversation with family members regarding the fallen? What about your children, have you talked about the lost lives that helped to secure those nice things you enjoy?
Most people would have to say no, I haven't. Or I am not much on history, besides, they learn that stuff in school. I didn't. When my children were growing, I didn't take the opportunity to make this holiday a special time for my young ones. I truly regret that.
You see, Memorial Day isn't about the Indy 500. It isn't about the cookout with the family, or the church picnic, or the big sale going on at Walmart. It isn't about the pool opening, school letting out, or a weekend vacation. It is about a young person, lying in a foxhole, knowing their life is nearly over in the next few minutes, their ambitions and aspirations lost to the ages. It's about those 56 that signed the Declaration of Independance, men of means, but lost nearly everything, some dying in poverty, to secure a life free of tyrrany.
These along with the multitudes throughout our history, are not to be forgotten because we haven't taken the time to talk to family, especially our kids, to inform them of these who gave all. Why not start a tradition? Take 10 to 15 minutes in your family gathering to tell a hero of the republic's story. Tell the story with enthusiasm, make it interesting. If you cannot think about a real event, go online, get out an encyclopedia. Use someone from anytime in history, the founders, the wars, etc. Just do it.
Your children love to hear stories coming from the one they love...that's you. Don't let them grow and not know, and teach them to spend time in prayer for those serving today. The fourth of July will be here soon, and then do it again. Make the holidays memorable, and start new traditions your family will carry on for generations.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all. Keith
Whoever is holding the baby is the first to know when the diaper needs changed. Shortly thereafter, everyone in the room knows about the needed change. If I need to change or alter a character defect, I know I need the change. When I neglect the problem, soon, everyone else knows I need to make a change. Some needed changes are beyond my abilities to alter, I am in need for God to step in, and He does if I ask. Sometimes I am directed to others who have had the same issue, and they help me fix what was unfixable for me alone.
Everyone needs fixing..that's right everyone, no one is exempt. Change for remaining clean and sober is extremely vital for the addict. We have to redefine our lives completely and without exception. Old friends we drank with can remain old friends, but until we can maintain a long period of sobriety, we have to stay clear of them...completely. Places that serve alcohol must be avoided for a time. Areas where we went to cop dope cannot be areas we even drive past, alluding those "triggers" and a desire to return to the old life.
Embrace change. Realize the importance of improvement in every area of life, body, soul, and spirit. We should see, or smell, that this baby, myself or yourself, needs to improve every area. Thinking you are unique can really make change even more necessary. "I'm not like that, I am different," can be a recovery killer.
AA and NA, as well as certain Christ-centered rehabs, and Celebrate Recovery start their meetings with the Serenity Prayer:
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the difference to know the difference"...
This is a portion of the prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr, that is used for the meeting, but is used by the recovering addict and alcoholic throughout the day, knowing it will take the help of the Lord God, to remain clean and sober. The agnostic, or atheist even use that prayer, but direct it to some power greater than themselves, the universe, or their particular recovery group. If they do not believe in God, and they continue in recovery, they will be contacted.
In time, when we make these important changes throughout life, we can even be grateful for bad things that happened and brought about change. We can be unaware of areas we need to change. You may have no problem with drugs or alcohol. Do you look at the addict, and think, why don't they just quit? There is a problem area YOU need to change. Do you ever get in a conversation like, did you hear about the Smiths? They are split up. That is a issue change must address. We may not see it as a problem, it is. You are looking down at others, not across where your vision is clear, and reality exists. Change your diaper.
Trying to control others, worrying about everything, blaming everyone and everything for your problems, constant complaining, always upset about the messy house, etc, these are all hangups and addictions. Followers of Christ that see sinners without offering prayer to God for them, but condemning them, needs change in the worst way. There is good news.
"For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." Phil.2:13 NKJV
God wants you complete in Him. God wants you well to be a help to others, and that itself, is where true life is found. There are perks to serving, joy, peace, courage, confidence...and everything that is good, though intangible, manifests it many tangible ways. Change your diaper. It is full of self, waste, and really stinks. When you're finished there will be more.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all! Keith
I have always had a certain amount of curiousity regarding some conversions to following Christ. Some new converts become extremely zealous, others quietly make the decision, the rest somewhere in between the two. There are examples of these in scripture. The radical conversions intrigue me more than the others, I suppose because when I came to Christ and received the gift of salvation, it was not a radical change. I didn't run to everyone I knew to testify of my new-birth experience. My conversion was gradual in realization of the transformation.
That is wonderful for me. I have to receive in bits or I may get overwhelmed. Saul of Tarsus experienced the radical redemption experience to the point that the entire world was changed, not from he alone, but through his ministry and its offspring. Saul wrote in each epistle, of how the Gospel of Jesus meant everything to him, and he reached everyone he could, even to the most poweful man in Saul's time, Caesar, who had him put to death. Saul's name was changed to Paul, meaning "little." Some say he was small in stature, I think he, being well educated, a Roman citizen, kind of a movie star type of his day, reduced himself to put Christ on top of importance, himself the least.
I have known many people in my lifetime who have had the radical change. One, a dear friend who sells cars for a living. I know all of the car salesmen stories, you can tell them to your children. (Do salesmen lie and cheat? Yes, some think they win that way, but never do. Customers lie equally as much, though this is only discussed by salesmen.) My friend Jim, I will use only his first name, became a Christian many years ago. There is a good chance, when you meet Jim, you will hear the gospel of Jesus. I have witnessed this many times, selling the car to the individual comes second, presenting Christ is what really matters to Jim.
I have a another friend that I love dearly, Russ. Another radical work of the Holy Spirit, Russ lives the Gospel. The Matthew 25 Gospel, literally. Russ is at the jails, the hospitals, visiting and presenting Jesus everywhere he goes. His love for God, and desire to see everyone come to the knowledge of the truth, is his purpose in life today.
Russ and his wife were vacationing, and his wife decided to sleep in a while, so Russ went to have a bite of breakfast. The restaurant where he sat down to eat was crowded, and a gentleman asked to sit with Russ, who replied, of course. The man, an attorney, began to tell Russ how travel was hard on him and his relationship with his family. Russ said that Jesus is the answer, came out of his mouth before he had time to think. The attorney, stunned for a moment, replied, as I prayed this morning, I asked God for a sign, God has been dealing with my heart for three years about entering the ministry. I am going home and make the plans to be obedient to Him. Russ has dozens of similar stories, where his zeal for God has led him into supernatural experiemces.
Both Russ and Jim have the gift of evangelism. Many have come to Christ from their obedience. Those who received this gift of grace, in turn, may have led others to Christ, that may have led others to Christ, and on and on. Their legacy may reach into every country in the world. Their wives, knowing their committment, have played second fiddle to the Gospel, and share in Jim and Russ' legacy of service. How enriched is God's family because of these two servants?
I heard a story some years ago, so the details are somewhat vague, but the gist you'll get. An auction was held, and an old beat up violin came up for bids. No one even wanted to bid on the beaten, weathered instrument. An elderly man stood up and walked up to the auctioneer's podium, picked up the violin, took a minute to tune it, and then played masterfully a most beautiful melody that touched every heart in the room. The bids went through the roof, and the violin sold way above its value. What was the difference? Little becomes much when its placed in the Master's hand.
Paul, and these two modern day apostles, Jim and Russ, were taken by the Master, and their lives have been, and will be played long after they have passed from this life. It may have been the radical gift of grace, it is definitely their obedience, but any of us, all of us, have a gift of service to God's kingdom. We have to allow the Master, to tune us up, tweak us a bit, and then play our life song through giving ourselves to doing kingdom business...with zeal.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all! Kei
As a child in elementary school, I dreaded the day we received our six week report card. As the end of the school day approached, the teacher took the stack of manila envelopes sitting neatly on her desk, and passed the accursed cards out to each pupil. Terror struck my heart, fearing what may be my last few moments of freedom from being grounded. Maybe mom and dad will let me choose what I can be grounded from this time...like riding my bike. After all, I never ride it in the winter.
I wasn't afraid of grades so much. I had my folks convinced that my teacher despised me, and only liked the girls in my class. (Teachers pets, I loathed them when the teacher made over them.) My fear was, at the top of the card was the little boxes for conduct and effort. If an S was in those boxes, I'm good to go for six more weeks. If a U was there, oh brother, the kiss of death. S meant satisfactory, U meant Unsatisfactory, or for me...unhappiness.
Looking back on those days is now humorous, and also revealing. I started a pattern of behavior as a child that carried me into my upper childhood years...my late forties. Good conduct was not my forte, especially while I was drinking. Boistrous and overbearing was my address, I needed to be the center of attention. No amount of advice to "chill" was any concern of mine. Mind your own business, jerk. I didn't like criticism from nobody.
That did take a dramatic turn when I entered AA in humility, broken, beaten, and with a huge U on the report card of life. Working to improve my behavior has been an ongoing goal being clean and sober. The first of the twelve steps to recovery, was a mirror I had to look into, that reflected the truth about me. I was powerless over alcohol, my life had become unmanagable.
This began a new way of living for me. I heard someone in recovery say, you can't think your way into a new way of living...but you can live your way into a new way of thinking. I found this to be true. The people in AA/NA, and Celebrate Recovery, taught me that growing up into adulthood is good for me at any age. It is true. I was when I accepted this truth, and began to look deeply into what scripture had to say about how I conduct myself, that God then had something He could work with in me.
"But you know better now, so make sure it's all gone for good; bad temper, irritability, meaness, profanity, dirty talk. Don't lie to one another. You're done with that old life. It's like a dirty set of clothes you have stripped off and put in the fire." Col.3:8-9 msg
That is truth. Old behaviors and actions had to die in me. Some of those were easy to kill, some are still kicking and screaming to live through me. Though the physical part of me wants it's way, too bad, the spiritual me must thrive. I cannot even think of trying to cease from inihilating the sin nature to conform to Christ. It hurts, it can be terrifying, looking at that manila envelope handed to me by the Teacher, revealing my sin, and shortcomings. Life is found from dying to self. Confidence and faith is discovered in conducting my life in the light of the Word of Truth.
"So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you; compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline, even temper, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive quickly and completely as Christ forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love"... Col. 3:12-14 msg
I know I have a way to go, but this is the way of joy, peace, and happiness. I didn't think so, conduct cannot have that much of an effect on my experiencing joyous living, but it really does. Read over these passages, and see how you conduct yourself. Putting yourself first, always blaming others and happenstance, having to be right, can only bring a life of misery, addictions, and seclusion for your life. Conduct really matters.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all. Keith
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People's ghost remain trapped in this dimension, if they have unfinished business they failed to accomplish before passing. That is folklore that many people truly believe. The restless spirit may not even know they have passed and cannot rest in peace. Movies portray the spirit as either possessing some living person, or finding a way to communicate to the living so they can accomplish their business and move into rest.
I believe this is reality, but not for the person who expires. It is for the dead...that live. I do not refer to vampires, those blood suckers that throughout the twentieth century murdered the innocent for blood, but here in the twenty-first century are sweet, loving, creatures that hang out with you in high school, date, marry, you know, the normal things living dead people do. The new bad guys are the demon-possessed werewolves and vamps. These guys are so evil, they could be elected to the house or the senate with the real serial killers of society and freedoms.
There are so many dazed and confused people just existing today, unaware of having any purpose other than to suit up and show up, daily indulging in whatever drives them to remain in their meaningless world. Some perk up for opening day of Major League Baseball, or during football and basketball season. They show some life until their team is on the ropes for yet another dis- appointing season. The majority of the time they rise each day hoping for some news on TV or radio, that will give them something to talk about around the water cooler on their job.
The unfinished business is living. To merely go from home to work without noticing life going on around us is not living. Getting up each day wondering how you will get money to feed your drinking or drug habit is not living. Going to church each Sunday, leaving the place of worship without a clue as to what the sermon was about is not living either. It must be the high-life that is what makes life good, having everything, loaded with dough, a palacial estate, etc.
That is what the masses live for, the realization of every desire fulfilled. Isn't it strange that happiness eludes us all. Having everything is only excitement for a moment, then what? If you have watched children receive a table full of presents on their birthday, and how they tear open each gift, toss it aside, and move to the next, and want more when the ripping and tearing is over. They have no idea what they received, and have no interest in the gifts they received. The thrill was in the discovery of what was in the package. This is how the wealthy tend to behave over their assets, thrilling for a short time...then look for the new thrill.
Suddenly the world rocks us with tragedy, loss, or collapse of all we trust in, all we believe. Our mundane job is lost, and we see its importance. The banks seize all of our assets, and the smallest little personal belonging becomes priceless. The doctor tells us fatal news, and all we can think of is our unfinished business.
"If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake, will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?" Luke 9:23-25 (NKJV)
We gain, we lose. The man who strives for everything and wins, loses, and leaves behind the unfinished business of service and self-sacrifice. With sorrow comes and goes day to day as the living dead, consuming while being consumed, unaware that the joy of life is the daily cross and giving himself to a higher standard of living. The others we pass daily, in the rut of day to day survival, do no different, and go to their end with unfinished business of never trying to improve.
I certainly do not want to end my days that way. Instead I want to "find the need and fill it, find the hurt and heal it." Robert Schueller said those words and they never left my thoughts. To put these words into action is my ongoing business that only God can help me accomplish.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you a
Sunday is the day of worship for the majority of Christians, and this particular Sunday, we recognize and honor our "Moms," you know, the one who brought us into the world.
Mom didn't just bring me into the world after nine months of toting me around inside and like eighteen hours of labor, (I have always been stubborn), she did much more. Mom determined to raise me to know God, to believe in His unbelievable abilities, and to follow Christ lifelong. Of course, my strong free-will got in the way. I decided that I could go my way and proceded to disappoint her and dad for a time as the prodigal son, outside of the fold.
I am convinced that mom would not stop praying for my return to sanity and into the "Kingdom of God," until the day she would return to the "Kingdom of Heaven" to be with Christ. Those prayers she and dad prayed are the reason I "came to myself," and was freed from a life of addiction to alcoholism. I am eternally grateful and when the eons in eternity never cease, I will continue to tell her so. She is eighty-one and continues in prayer for me, my wife, children, and all in the household of faith. Thanks mom!
Not all have had this blessing of a praying mother, that clothed me in prayer
protection from evil and danger. Many people today are being raised by their grandmother, or aunt, because their mom is still living out her personal desires and placing her children last, less important than her offspring that still adore her anyhow. They will have future grief for their actions, let God judge.
Nonetheless, most children do have someone they can look to as a mom in their upbringing. Today or tomorrow, honor them. If your motherly influence has passed away, honor another mom you know who have given themselves to raising and nuturing children...theirs or others children.
How should I honor mom? Okay you men, we are inept in knowing how to do anything outside of man-stuff, so here is a couple of hints. Don't have mom make you a big dinner, and then do the cleanup while you watch baseball and sleep on the couch. You can take her out, or carry in lunch or dinner. You could even make her dinner if you know how...no bologna sandwiches, dummy, peanut butter and jelly is better. Clean up after the meal, make sure she rests on the day of honoring her. Make it a tradition.
Find things that need done around her dwelling, and fix it, or have it fixed. Take genuine interest in your mom, grandmother, or whomever is responsible for helping you survive in life. This day, don't whine about your troubles to ma, ask her about her upbringing, about her mother and grandmother. You may learn thing you never knew.
Ladies, be sure to tell your mom thanks for everything. That of course being you are thankful. Maybe your mom didn't raise you, and left you with her mom, or you wound up in foster-care. Forgive her as your gift for Mother's day. If you cannot, as a gift, pray for God to heal you so you can forgive, and pray for her good. (Men do the same if the shoe fits)
Mothers can sometimes make mistakes that really mess up their kids. Mothers also have a tendency to enforce their will on their children to be better than they were, and cause severe damage to the relationship. They really want to control your life so you don't err, instead of surrendering their will and trusting God for their children's future. Love is their reasoning, and unguided faith their oversight. They do want the best for their little ones, give them a break, you'll do the same if you are not surrendered to God's will for your, and your children's lives.
For you whose parents have passed, or do not live in the same geographical area, make a Mother's day phone call...the first thing so you do not forget. If mom is with Jesus, as I stated earlier, find another mom to honor. Maybe a neighbor, a friend's mom, an aunt, or seeing a mom with kids in passing. The main thing is, get outside of your head for another, and Sunday it is for moms.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all. Thanks again mommy! Keith
Working with a new person entering into recovery from addictions to alcohol and drugs, there are a few questions I like to ask regarding their consequences from the addiction. Normally before I ask these questions they have already filled in my blanks by letting me know what I will be getting into if I sponsor or mentor them. Some people, have had few consequences remarkably, and the largest part of folks have had the "norm," divorce, bankruptcy, ovi's or dui's.
There are some, however, who have been through a literal hell on earth with their consequences, and after years of sobriety are still paying. That is why I think it is important to know a little about their past...I may not be able to help them properly.
Not yet, is the answer I get to most of the harder questions. Have you been jailed for drinking....not yet. Have you been through divorce?....not yet. Have you lost your home, car, or job?...not yet. Have you killed anyone driving drunk or doped?....not yet. I have to say that from time to time, those questions are all answered with a yes. When it is, the sorrow in their eyes is deep and remorseful.
There have been so many people in and out of AA, NA, Celebrate Recovery, and every offered program that offers help, that have seen repeatedly people who have quit the program, or quit praying daily for God's help, and thought they could handle their addiction on their own, and now have these consequenses for real. Not yet is now reality. Some have never recovered and died.
"Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety." Prov.11:14
"The way of the fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise." Prov.12:15
"There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death."Prov.14:12 (NKJV)
To reject counsel because of pride or fear, and not ask for help and choose a sponsor/mentor in recovery is foolish, and consequences you thought you would never deal with may become reality. It seems right for us to think we're unique and what happened to others won't happen to us. Our way feels right, they cannot tell me what I don't already know, we think. Do you know you are irresponsible and do not want anyone to know anything about you to make you feel less than perfect in others eyes? Your pride will drop you into an abyss of self-will.
There is hope for you and I. God's foreknowledge designed these programs before you experienced their pain and lived by their poison. We ask His help to be free of the addiction and find ourselves among people as desperate as we are. Why not throw yourself into recovery entirely like you used and drank? Give it all you have, while continuing to ask God to keep you clean and sober? As they say in these meetings...It works if you work it.
You may not believe this, but I know people who have had consequences enough for five people, but still try to "religion" their way clean, or self-will themselves sober. Church is good and a must in my estimation. However, those people sitting next to you in the pew have no understanding of how to help you. They make take courses on addiction counseling, and know "street-speak," but they do not know how you tick, and how the addicts mind works. Self discipline is great, but in time it fades...and you fail.
Try sobriety meetings, humble yourself "O great one." Or please just admit you're not finished using, boozing, and losing. You have not had enough, not yet.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all. Keith