I have been sick recently. I haven't been blogging, attending recovery meetings, or church services very much. It isn't just being sick that kept me from doing those important things. We also purchased a home and work has had a few surprises too with overtime that was totally unexpected...la substance de la vie. I am only able to focus on getting better.
Funny how sickness slows you down to think, to resolve, and to change. The first thing that happens as I get better, is looking inside myself for answers on how to NOT experience this illness again, and making life changes to heal those other sick areas in myself.
Here are some things I truly plan to do BETTER in 2014:
Body, Soul, Spirit
It takes quite a bit of study and experience to understand la substance de la vie, (the stuff of life), when you are as hard headed as I am. It was the book of Proverbs that opened my eyes to the true wisdom of living, in simple words.
"The wise are glad to be instructed, but babbling fools fall flat on their faces"...."people who accept discipline are on the pathway to life, but those who ignore correction will go astray"..."the blessings of the Lord makes a person rich, and He adds no sorrow with it". Proverbs 10:11,17,21 NLT
Healing the whole me is real wisdom God reveals in Proverbs. Many people improve themselves through personal determination. In most cases only the mind, or the body, or the spiritual side improves. But in surrendering of self to God's plan in humility, knowing I cannot fix me, He can and will teach me the "imago Dei," (image of God), that I am, developing body, soul, and spirit. I could place emphasis on the body, get fit, feel good. Who does that help? Just me.I could be the spiritual know- it -all, and truly help others...then drop dead from ignoring the body. The whole self is a mission only God performs to make me better.
Have you set any goals for 2014? If you have, I suggest commit them to paper and placing them where you see them every day. Don't allow past failures to stop you from thinking, planning and acting. "If you aim for nothing, you will hit the target."
Here are my aims at being "Better" in the year ahead. (If I can, I want to expound on some other insights on being better in posts for the next few, so stay tuned.)
2014, Better Spiritually
I am convinced Jesus Christ is Lord, but became a servant and suffered, died, and rose to life for all. I want to be like Him, have the same attitude toward lost humanity, and the body of followers..no matter their denomination. I want to become more acquainted with God as Abba, and friend, and imitate Him. (Eph.5:1) I want to be better to realize the Holy Spirit is inside me guiding, teaching, warning, me...making the Word reality, and giving me the words to speak, or not to speak at all.
2014, Better Physically
This is a biggie for me. Getting back to walking 4-5 times per week requires real time-balance, setting the time ahead of time and not wavering...just do it. Eat better, drink more water, and exercise.
2014, Better Mentally
The removal of bad habits leaves an empty spot in me, that has to be filled with a good habit. I like to read, and I'm convinced it can be garbage in garbage out, or life in, life out. Whatever I put inside my heart and mind produces the same. The Bible is my fav, but I also read scores of blogs, and other books. There's is no time for wasting so I only want readings that uplift and build, or bios and stories that have a point, or direction. Quiet meditation on good things read is life-changing.
2014, Better Recovery
It can be a paradox. Talking about self-improvement and serving in recovery. That is saying, take better care of yourself you are giving away. Recovery depends on giving back what you have been given...even more than you have been given. It is a balancing act that takes God's help to achieve. Knowing when to stop and rest, and knowing when to go when you do not feel like moving must come from a power greater than me, or I become of no use to anyone.
I want this to be my way in 2014:
None of my 2014 hopes can be realized if I try to do these within myself. I need God's help. I need to seek help from others. 8% of all resolutions are achieved. These are slated for 2014, but the reality is they take a lifetime to achieve...one day at a time.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all...happy new life!
For all who take a moment to read this post, I ask you to take another moment and ask God to help those recovering to stay strong through the holidays and beyond. Pray that God will remove pitfalls from their path, from those whose hearts are bent on evil and intend to tempt the recovering to returning to their addiction for their profit.
It may be hard to believe that during this time of year regarded as "holy," the addicted and the drinker struggles intensify. drinking parties, football games, and melancholy draw their attention, temptation looms over their thoughts, "maybe I can just have a couple." Yielding to one or two drinks or one little stop at the dope house, may be their final trip.
Anheuser Busch, Miller, as well as the makes of Crown Royal, Absolut, et al, would love to see you yield to the temptation. Since you stopped boozin' their stock dropped. "Drink Responsibly," their ad says. That means get drunk with our brand, but we have to say that in our ad so everyone thinks we are making the product only because people like the flavor...oh yeah, so you cannot sue us either. The holidays make these companies rich, which isn't their aim. They just want to give the people what they want. What a kind service.
But also be prayerful for those with anger issues, families divided from bitter sibling rivalries, or from differing views how to raise children, from inheritances unequally divided. Those examples are not a rarity, most families have similar issues from their beginnings. Siblings often feel they do not get the attention the parents show to the other. Dysfunctional, non-communicating parents add fuel to the fire. Sadly, their anger and bitterness is passed to their children too.
So pray for God's peace in your family, and those families you are acquainted with. Do something different, read the account of Christ's birth in Luke 2, before opening presents or engorging yourselves with food. Try to see into the life of those around you, offer your ear, your shoulder, your help. These are real gifts that last eternally. We really don't know their struggles or what they may be facing in life. It isn't to spread their problems all over town, but to be Jesus to them. A burden shared is half a burden.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.
I have not been blogging much lately. I would love to do so daily but I have been inundated with work, recovery meetings, and preparing to move to a new old home. There is some excitement involved with moving. As a recovering alcoholic drug user, I tend not to try to focus on all of the work load produced from what needs done, just do the next right thing, one day at a time. Someone said, "you know it is December and Christmas is a few days away."
Thanks. I am aware of the month and the holidays, but unsure of the day of the week most of the time. Furthermore, I have yet to get that "spirit" of the season, but have had several quarts of eggnog, yum! (non-alcoholic)
How do I get into the swing of the season? It's the same way I do everything in recovery, or cross over RR tracks, stop, look, and listen. I have to stop whatever I am currently focused on, open up "The Book" and read those familiar passages regarding Advent, God sending grace to man, then listen to the sounds of the season. Not the familiar "frosty and reindeer" songs, but the growing unfamiliar carols that herald the "day of days."
"O holy child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray. Cast out our sin and enter in, be born in us today."
"Therefore the Lord HIMSELF will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel." Is. 7:14 NKJV
Just typing these words causes me to get the "feelings" of the season. To think that God Himself would conceive a plan so brilliantly for mankind that rejected Him, leaves me awed by His unrelenting mercy and unfathomable grace!
The alcoholic, the addict, the broken heart, the lonely and friendless, the poor, orphaned and widowed all get the picture when they open their hearts to this Advent of total healing and restoration. God is no longer against us...Immanuel, He is with us.
If you are having that "isolated" feeling that Christmas doesn't feel like Christmas; take a few moments, stop, look, and listen to bring back the reality of Advent. Have a personal Advent. He, Immanuel, will come in and decorate your heart for the season.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.
This is the time of year we dig into our pockets through the lint and pull out a few cents for charities. Generosity throughout the year to remember the needy is noble and important, and comes with promise when done with cheerfulness and out of love and concern.
"Honor the Lord with your wealth and the best part of everything you produce. Then He will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine." Prov.3:9-10
We should also be good stewards of what God gives us, whether it is your salary, or donating your clothing and items of value. For example; the name Goodwill Stores indicates a place for donations, where the proceeds go to needy people. Goodwill is privately owned and 0% goes to help needy or poor people. Here are some others:
Less than 5 cents from each dollar goes to the cause. The CEO has a 1.2 mil salary, perks, including a Rolls Royce to drive.
The United Way
CEO gets nearly $400k and many perks...and the larger percentage of donations goes to controlling the population, especially in the poor and middle-classes.
In spite of what you believe, The American Red Cross and the March of Dimes, also have highly paid CEO's and pennies go to help from every dollar.
Be smart, give to worthy causes. The ones to give to are like The Salvation Army. Their CEO receives a $13000 salary per year, plus an apartment. Samaritan's Purse, Matthew 25 Ministries, Operation Blessing, as well as local food banks are all worthy causes.
The American legion, Amvets, Make A Wish, St. Jude's hospital, Ronald McDonald House, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and The Lions Club Int. all are worth giving to with 100% of donations going to the causes.
The main thing is give, give wisely, not off-the-cuff, or uncaring. There are many worthy causes to donate to that I haven't mentioned, some unworthy...even some "ministries" you do not want to give to. Be wary before generous.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.
Done shopping yet? I tend to wait until everyone else has finished so I can start. Each year, I re-think gift giving. Mainly because over the years I have watched how running up the credit cards affects the giver and the recipient. Here's what I observe: The recipient forgets who gave them what gift, the donor struggles for months to pay back creditors.
Gifts that REALLY GIVE
Here are some ideas that have a profound, lasting effect:
Phone calls. (No texting please)
Pick up the five-thousand pound phone and call someone that has had a part in your recovery, or your personal development. They will never forget you for that. They may not even know they made a difference in your life.
Call someone elderly that lost their mate, now alone. Or, maybe someone who lost someone close, a spouse, a child, or parents. That will be a marvelous gift they will remember.
Face to face, telling someone they are important goes miles with them. When someone pays you a compliment, it changes your entire day. Perhaps someone struggling to stay clean and sober needs a pick-me-up, and you telling them to hang in, they can make it, may be all that is needed to keep them from relapse. They will remember your gift of encouragement.
Random acts of kindness
Opening a door for someone, helping someone bag their groceries, visiting someone unable to get out of the house, helping the elderly next door...anything that comes to mind can change someone's day...definitely change yours. If you have a few extra bucks, buy the person's meal behind you at the drive thru, like McD's or Burger King.
Happy Birthday, Dear Jesus, happy birthday to You! (sing this)
God will smile when you do for others. Do little things anonymously is even a greater blessing. Doing it with joy because all He has done for you even pleases Him more. Joyful giving leads to joyful living.
This is contagious behavior, a great habit to form. People will not forget the gift, and who gave it to them. You will see the way God sees the hurting, the lonely, or people in general, for when you open your heart to them, He opens your eyes to Him. Bring Advent to others, be Jesus today to everyone...what a great gift idea.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all!