I can be fixed on my personal way of thinking that I cannot see another's point of view. The way I was raised was the right way. The foods I grew to enjoy were the right foods. The clothes I wore were the right clothes, there was nothing that my family did that was wrong. I'm sure you felt the same about your upbringing. The many things in life that I refused to accept as the right way changed for me and in time, and increased learning, I came to believe that there was other ways of doing things. Today I don't feel there is much left of my past way of thinking I hold on to.
I have always held onto my belief in God even through years of alcoholism and drug use in which I seldom prayed or thought of God. When i came to the end of myself and began to ask God for help, He then took me places I didn't expect, to experience things I would have never believed was right earlier in life. I finally made myself attend a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous because I could no longer manage my life. I was powerless over alcohol, the drink had whipped me good.
Step two: "Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous pg.59
This step puzzled me. A power greater than ourselves...isn't that God? I thought they should say God could , not a higher power. I later discovered that AA is a program to help everyone, even the atheist or agnostic. Anyone seeking help would get help. All they needed was a desire to stay sober whether they believed in God or not. Many came to faith after they came to sobriety, because they came to believe. In AA/NA, Celebrate Recovery, and many other addiction programs, when people come to, they come to believe in God, at least the majority do.
Sanity needs to be restored for the addict/alcoholic. We have tried to control our drinking and drug use through various methods, switching from hard liquor to beer, drinking six days per week instead of seven, or going to pot smoking to avoid drinking altogether. But none of these methods came close to relieving us of are addiction. What worked for those early pioneers of AA was there same thing that relieved me. It was surrender. The total admission of my powerlessness and need for God's help was the beginning of a new life, drink and drug free.
I have stopped thinking that my way is the right way. I have given up running the universe, that got me a seat in AA and was very expensive. Not money only, but broken relationships, loss of property, and letting down people who looked up to me. How about you? Have you surrendered your will and life over to God's care? Maybe you are not an alcoholic or drug addict, but a family member is, and you are codepedent. Surrender is a must for you too. God is waiting, come back to the land of the living, you won't be sorry.
Thanks for reading, God bless and ke
"Just be yourself," is a phrase we hear regularly when we are nervous about an interview, or a date, or speaking before a group of people, etc. That advice is good and may be terrible. What I mean by that is, if you are going before a group of people to speak but you are extremely shy, you may want to be a different person throughout your speech. If you are taking a person on a date for the first time, you may want to talk about them much more than about yourself. If you are sitting in front of an interviewer and having questions fired at you, you need to answer confidently and concisely, not fumble around on your answers. I do mean to lie about anything, or be phony. In certain situations, we need to step outside of the way we are, and adopt a certain boldness, or be devoured by fear.
Warning, Danger Ahead!
Empowerment is a popular term. Everyone looks to be empowered by others positive reinforcement, or past reminders of personal successes we have had. In my time in recovery from alcoholism and drug use, I have noticed how that when the recovering addict or alcoholic become clean and sober, they get this feeling of empowerment feeling it is unnecessary to continue working on their recovery, and cease going to meetings, cease praying and improving themselves. This "comfort zone" is the "danger zone" for each person that this is true about.
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interest, but also in the interest of others." Phil.2:3-4 NIV
How do recovering addicts, alcoholics, porn addicts, gamblers, overeaters, etc, enter the danger zone by no longer attending meetings like AA, Celebrate Recovery, NA, and the like? It is the thought process in the individuals mind, the thought that I haven't thought of doping or drinking in years, or I don't think pornographic any longer, that puts that person in the area of pride, and pride is a personal invitation to the evil one.
"So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful you don't fall!" 1Cor.10:12
That is just how I am.
I thought at one time that once I was sober, I would replace recovery meetings with church. I would put all of my efforts into doing the "work of God." Afterall, these meetings are full of people that curse, hate religion, and especially dislike Jesus. My sponsor warned me that those were bad ideas. He was right. I watched several try that and as far as I know, they are still out there drinking. Church does not replace recovery meetings, and recovery meetings does not, could never, replace church. Well, I am not into drunk-meetings, I am not going to do anything but go to church. Okay, that's your choice. You have realized that you are special, not like others. Is that it?
Giving it back.
Keep this in mind, where did you come from? How did you get sober? Who delivered you from filthy thoughts every waking hour? If you do not know, it was God that got you to the recovery meeting, and it wasn't just for you. He wants you and I to give ourselves to others, to move away from being you, and become Jesus to those suffering, or struggling to stay sober. You need recovery meetings because others need you. You really need to attend church if you are a follower of Christ, and fellowship with the family. This is a balance we all must get to, or continue the struggle.
Do you think there is another way?
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all!
My home town has a page on Facebook that really gives me a sense of pride, not arrogant pride, but rather pleased and assured feelings. We have our local fan page for the Wildcats, to support the teams, and we love all of the teams, and the band that is so faithful, as well as the cheering groups, and boosters. There is also a page to remember the alumni passed on. There are several different pages that are great for memories and for fellowship via the social network scene.
The page that is the topic of this post, is a page devoted to prayer for needs within the community. Whatis great about this page is that though we are all from the same town, we really do not know each other so well, but 373 people are a part , or belong to the page, and pray for complete strangers. If you have a need , jump on board, and we will pray!
Jesus said this:"Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am in the midst of them."
So this group gathers together in His name and asks for help from God, in an age that is desperately trying to kill God off, and convince His children that He doesn't care for man, if He even exists at all. Have I got news for them, He cares, He hears, and He answers!
Some say I would like to be a part of that group, but I don't know how to pray. Don't overcomplicate prayer. Have you a brother, or a sister, a friend or parent, that you could tell anything to? That is how you talk to God, like a friend, or a family member. You do not have to use old English, big words at all. God knows all about you, but He also wants to hear your voice His direction. I recently started writing ebooks. I have two so far that may be a bit rough, being new at the ebook game, but I love to write and share thoughts. The reason for telling you about the ebooks is because the first book I put out there is a 22 page book entitled, "How to Pray Constantly." This book is about how to pray over every little detail of life, praying about things we normally would not pray about. The idea is to get yourself into the praying habit. You can check it out, you don't have to buy it because it is in Kindle's lending library. Just go to kdpselect.com and you can sample, or check it out.
These days are very troubling, we need to be all about praying, especially for the needs of our families, particularly for our children. The people in Franklin are praying for each other, we agree in prayer for our needs and the needs of the community. Drugs and crime is trying to rule us, and we have to have supernatural help that can only come through prayer united.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.
Each time I reach the other end of a major trial in life I ask myself, Why didn't I see that earlier? I really did not have to go through so much heartache or stress in that situation, or in any situation I face. What gets in my crawl is the next time I face that same problem, it is as though I never learned the lesson at all. I ask God to help me in those situations, but there is silence. He wants me to remember how I came through this trial the last time when I asked Him for help. He helped me see my way out, or He delivered me out of the problem. My forgetfulness is a result of my lack of "spiritual fitness," or spiritual awareness.
This is how it works as a parent. Your child falls into mischief, and you readily help them out of the trouble they got in. When they repeat that behavior, you may help them again. When that behavior continues, you eventually say to them, "its time for you to learn how to fix your own problems." This is letting them grow into adulthood and maturing into a responsible adult. If you continue to get them out of their problems, you become codependent with their bad behavior as though you did the bad deed yourself. God is not going to be codependent with my bad behaviors, and He requires you and I to be spiritually prepared, or fit to face our problems. Remembering is very important to spirituality.
"My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; for length of days and long life and peace will they add to you." Prov.3:1-2
I get the message and see this as a major issue for those individuals that are in recovery from addictions. They are dramatically brought out of possible life-ending addictions, receiving help from people that are not paid to help them. These people share their experience, strength, and hope with anyone wanting to get sober and willing to do whatever it takes to do so. They get involved for a time, but soon forget how these meetings with those caring individuals led them to God, and how they got better. Soon they become complacent, then forgetting how bad it was for them when they entered into recovery. Soon they are gone, back in their old ways, or even lost to the ages. Remembering is vital to sobriety.
"Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth." Eccl.12:1
It is okay to forget, it is excusable because we are human. But to forget the pain you felt when you received the gift of sobriety, to forget the help you received from others, and to forget the God who brought you out if the living death you were entrapped by, may be all it takes to finish you off. Don't allow this to be your story. You may be like me and have to go throught the same tribulations over and over, but don't forget to remember the God who helped you, how He helped you, and the means He used to help you, so when you get in a pickle, you look back and remember.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.
Is everything in your life going as you expected it to? In my time living sober, I have a new perspective regarding my own expectations. As I entered into this way of life, all I could see was a broken past with lost dreams I had given up to live with the in-crowd. I held on to the hopes of high-living all the way through years of drinking.
In time I was able to shake off the guilt and the failures, and began working with others seeking help from drinking and drugging, and helping them through the 12 step program. I originally planned to never lose even one I sponsored, thinking how I could change the traditional way of guiding the one needing help with my excellent leadership abilities. That, as you probably know, didn't work. Every expectation I had was shattered. The harder I tried to hold on to their being successful, the more I failed, the more disappointed I became. Those I expected to failed, continue to prove me wrong and the ones I thought would surely succeed, failed miserably.
"I have held many things in my hands and lost them all; but whatever I placed in God's hands, that I still possess." - Martin Luther
Hold on loosely
As a child develops learning skills, they become so interesting to talk to. It is a pleasure to watch them learn to write their ABC's and read from a book. They cannot be pushed too hard or they struggle to learn. But with encouragement and motivation, their skills may come smoothly. If we go step further and pray for the child learning, and place the outcome into God's hands, the learning may come even easier, still with our encouragement and motivation. We turn our expectations away from the child, to the Father above. The same approach must be taken with those I may work with in recovery. Remove the expectation and pressure, let them initiate contact, and their journey is much surer, my frustrations were fewer.
I have the same experiences in my walk with Christ. I learn daily how far above His ways are above mine. I think I am doing things right by sharing my experience, strengths, and hopes with others by writing these posts and helping others in their recovery, but I can see that I leave out time with God to do those things. What that does for me is dulls my spiritual awareness, and I wind up spending precious time struggling to think of how to say the right things. When He is my priority, the thoughts flow and I seem to have an answer, a topic, and a spirititual insight for needed help. Yet I hold on to my way, and my failure prone expectations.
The answer for us all is this: Our "ministry" does not matter, if we hold onto the control buttons, as though the message belongs to us. It is God-given. The paradox is that we place the work, and it's outcome into His hands to see it succeed. Like the small child learning, our entire life is learning to hold loosely, and be willing to let go. Does that make sense?
What we hold.
We have all heard that when we pass away we leave it all behind. The saying, "you can't take it with you," is the popular way of saying that. I beg to differ. I will not leave it all behind. Jesus said these words:
"Do not lay up treasures for yourselves on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven where neither moth or rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matt. 6:19-21 NKJV
What treasure does He mean? He isn't talking about dollars, silver, and gold, that are uneccessary in heaven. My account, your account is based on our life and service here on earth. Giving love to the unlovely, time to the lonely, strength to the weak, has comforting rewards on earth. Doing the work of Jesus by serving those in need, brings Him to life through us to them. We benefit as much or more than the ones we help. And our treasure grows in heaven. Paydays with God are unending.
I understand that this life here is the place where we learn from trial to trial, to conform to the image of Christ, learning and developing the "fruit" of the spirit to where we instantly know to let go and let God, or to hold loosely and trust the outcome to His hands, but it remains a hard thing to do. But we continue to do what is needed and build treasures in our eternal account. The important thing to remember is to give Him the time and not put a clutch-hold on anything, allow each experience to be a lesson, and be trusting as a child for the results.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.