Christian Recovery: How could this happen to me?

RecoveryHow could this happen to me? How could this happen to my child?
Have you ever asked those questions? Isn’t addiction something that happens to, “Those people?” But I’m not one of, “Those people,” or my child is not one of, “Those people.” The truth is we are all, “Those people.” Like everyone else our desires and our children’s desires are to get through this thing called life. But as we have all figured out by now the real world is a cold hard place and life is seldom fair.
We come across all sorts of challenges in school and work, with family and friends, and in the community. We find ourselves facing anger caused by blocked goals. We face anxiety of the uncertainties of life. We confront depression as some of life’s situations seam beyond repair. Each and every situation in life, big or small, presents challenges. The question is, “How well will I solve these challenges?” To put it another way, we lack problem solving skills.
In Recovery we learn we don’t have a drug, alcohol, or compulsive behavior problems, we have life problems. Our compulsive behaviors are often our solution. When we don’t feel accepted or have the approval of others, when we don’t have joy or peace in this life we often turn to a compulsive behavior to ease the pain, dissociate, or help us feel as if we are in control.
Everyone does this at some level. When life gets challenging some turn inward and get lost in a book or a movie, some turn to food, others turn to shopping, still others find respite in pornography, gambling, drugs, or alcohol.
To make things worse many of our compulsive behaviors are addictive. What began as something we went to for comfort has slowly begun to take control of us. As the process plays out we find the addiction spreading like a deadly cancer to different areas of our lives. There comes a point when we believe we need to be rid of our addiction. The challenge is the addiction has become a crutch to help us through the struggles of life. When faced with the possibility of living life without the crutch we often become anxious. We can liken the situation to taking the crutch away from someone with a broken leg before the leg had time to heal. When we try to take the drug away before we deal with the challenges in life that led us to or keeps us living in our addictions we fide it very difficult.
This life is challenging. We all cope in different ways. Many find healthy ways to secure love, joy, and peace in life. Others turn to compulsive addictive behaviors. Young and old, rich and poor, doctors, dentist, school teachers, and lawyers, all are susceptible to addiction. From the rich and famous to the down and out we are all, “Those people.”
Perhaps the most well-known verse in all the Bible says this, ““For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” So remember, Christ died for, “Those people.”
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or compulsive behaviors please don’t wait, get help today. Start the healing process. There is a greater peace beyond your current pain.

Thank You for the Wind

tree-bent-wind-sheeps-head-peninsula-leaning-west-cork-ireland-43076172Testing equals perseverance
A shopping mall was in the process of remodeling and had decided to get rid of all of the indoor trees. One of the mall managers eagerly suggested that he would love to plant some of the trees in his yard. The owners of mall agreed and the mall manager arranged for the trees to be delivered.
Immediately the improvement on the property was stunning. The man could not have been more proud of his new landscaping. A month after the trees had been planted a storm came through and uprooted every one of the new trees. The man’s excitement and satisfaction turned to devastation. Why had all of his trees been so easily uprooted?
The answer is because the trees came from a mall. They were indoor trees. They had grown up without the outside pressure of the wind making the tree work hard to grow strong roots to withstand the heavy winds.
The Bible says in James 1:2-4, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
It is never fun to go through trials. No one likes the winds of life tearing through and causing pain. In the end, however, the winds of pain make our roots stronger. The testing of our faith produces in us the ability to stand strong in future storms.
I’m feeling the winds today. How about you? Will you join me in praying? “Father in Heaven, holy is Your Name! In You infinite wisdom You have planned these storms to come that I might grow strong. See me through this storm I pray. Help me grow stronger through these trials. May I glorify You in all I think, say, and do as I pass through these trials. Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever AMEN!

Memorize This

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This post is dedicated to Pastor Jim Wellsand, who tirelessly reminded us to daily read the word of God! Thank you Pastor Jim!

 
If you want to play the classical guitar and make beautiful music, you would do well to memorize the notes on the fretboard. You would do well to memorize all the different scales and practice them often until it become second nature. Then when you are given a new song to play you will be ready and equipped to play those notes with confidence and competence.
The same is true of the Living Word. If your desire is to make a melody that is pleasing to the Lord God, you would do well to memorize His word. Memorize the various verses, and be familiar with the various passages. Then when life hands you difficult situations that you must play out, you can tackle them with confidence and competence.
Make Scripture reading and memorization a part of your daily life. You will be glad you did.

A Beautiful Look at Life From Inception

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Whenever speaking about controversial topics such as abortion, or homosexuality it is imperative we remember the fact that the heart of God is one of grace and mercy.  The Bible says it this way:

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” (Psalm 103:8)

Grace is God’s unmerited favor.  Grace is a gift we do not deserve and can not earn.  Mercy is not getting the punishment we do deserve.  Not one of us can stand before the living God on our own merits.  We must all accept His marvelous gifts of grace and mercy through the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ, God’s Son, in our place.

Abortion takes the life of an innocent baby.  The Bible calls this murder.  God’s heart to those who have committed this act is one of compassion and grace to all who confess and turn from their sin.

1 John 1:8-9 Says, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

This is one of the best explanations of unborn babies I have ever heard!  God’s blessings!

Stop Trying to be God!

 

to be GodA personal note:  This is a struggle for me.  I love helping people work through some of the tough stuff in life.  I love helping people discover, apply, and find victory through Biblical truth applied to their individual situations.  The problem is I then take their problems on as my own.  I worry myself sick about the broken marriages, families, relationships, and lives of those I counsel.  I can almost hear God screaming, “STOP TRYING TO BE GOD!!!”

Ecclesiastes 4

Being a Christian can be tough. God calls us to carrying one another’s burdens to support, help, and encourage each other. This can be overwhelming and draining if done in our own power. Paul reminds us in his letter to the Philippian church that it is God who is at work in us to will and to work according to His good pleasure. The truth is we don’t always rely on the power and strength of the Holy Spirit for the work God calls us to do. When this happens we end up trying to carry the burdens of others in our own strength. We end up trying to fix problems only God can fix. We end up worrying about things that are not ours to worry about.
Father in Heaven, help me today to minister in Your strength alone. Help me too, I pray, not to worry about things that are not in my control. Help me to keep in step with the Holy Spirit in everything I think, say, and do and leave the rest up to you. Help me find my own comfort and peace in You. You are great. I love You and thank You for Your miraculous love for me. I pray these things in Jesus Name, AMEN!

We are in BIG Trouble

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Psalm 18:16-21

16 He sent from on high, he took me;
    he drew me out of many waters.
17 He rescued me from my strong enemy
    and from those who hated me,
    for they were too mighty for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
    but the Lord was my support.
19 He brought me out into a broad place;
    he rescued me, because he delighted in me.

20 The Lord dealt with me according to my righteousness;
    according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me.
21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord,
    and have not wickedly departed from my God.

King David wrote this Psalm after a miraculous deliverance from those who sought his life.  The feeling of the whole Psalm is jubilant.  David was so thankful for the power of God to rescue him from the depth of despair.

Have you ever been in a similar situation where it seems as though things couldn’t get any worse?  I’m reminded of those times in the winter where the car hits a patch of ice and you lose control of the vehicle.  You cry out to the the living God, “HELP ME LORD GOD!”

King David made a bold statement when he said, “The Lord dealt with me according to my righteousness.”  This thought occurred to me, “Am I comfortable with the idea of the Lord dealing with me according to my righteousness?”  How about you?  Are you comfortable with the idea of the Lord dealing with you according to your righteousness? Many of us would not dare pray such a prayer knowing that we have been living in unrighteousness.  In fact if God dealt with us solely according to our righteousness, many of us would be in BIG trouble.

Time after time the Bible reminds us of the truth, God blesses those who walk in righteousness.  Psalm 119:1 says, “Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord!” Psalm 37:6 says, “He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.”  May we allow God to bring forth our righteousness as the light, that He might deal with us bountifully, according to our righteousness!

The Generation of the Righteous

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King David said in Psalm 14:1-3

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
    They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds,
    there is none who does good.

The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man,
    to see if there are any who understand,
    who seek after God.

They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
    there is none who does good,
    not even one.

He went on to say in verse 5, “There they are in great terror,
    for God is with the generation of the righteous.

Today, like in the time of King David, we find ourselves living in a culture of moral corruption and abominable deeds where doers of good are hard to come by.  What we as a society are in desperate need of, what we the family of God in Christ are in desperate need of is the power and presence of the living God manifest in our daily lives!  The wicked will tremble when God is with us and God is with the generation of the righteous!  May we in this generation, be the generation of the righteous!

Father in Heaven, holy is Your most magnificent Name!  Your Kingdom come, Your will be done in this generation as it is in Heaven.  Give us today our daily bread, and forgive us of our abominations and corruption as we forgive those who have sinned against us.  Lead us not into temptation but deliver us by Your great and awesome power from the work of the enemy.  Yours is the Kingdom, so may we live for Your Kingdom, Yours is the power, so may we live by your power, and Yours is the glory, so may we live by your glory, in this generation and forevermore!  In the mighty Name of Jesus we pray, AMEN!