Time, where does it go? I wanted to use these past four days off from work and write a post each day, but didn’t, couldn’t. Inundated with household duties and distractions, I didn’t even have time enough to finish those important things. I missed CR and AA this week, an NA meeting on Sunday afternoon. I really didn’t realize this weekend was Palm Sunday! This afternoon I return to work for a three-week stretch. There is more wah-wahs, but I will spare you.

Surrender…again
It may be hard to realize God, in the middle of turmoil we face in life. Having all of these things that need taken care of can even take our time with the Father away from us to the point we question our own faithfulness to Him, and His calling on our lives. God where are you in all of this? What does this all mean? Why can I not do what I feel you want me to do?

One great lesson I learned about recovery from addictions is that I must surrender. I must surrender every area of my life, relinquish all control, putting to death personal desire and expectations, that Christ may reign through me. Even surrender what He has for me to do. That lesson came as I recovered from alcoholism and drug use, not in church.

“Let this same mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” Phil.2:5 NKJV

Jesus laid aside all of His regal rights, all of the beauty of heaven, to come to a place and live in a body with a mere five senses, be hated, and rejected. That is surrender we could never imagine. He did that, experienced everything we experience so that we could never say…”God, You don’t understand what I’m going through!”

We cannot understand what he did fully . We can try to conform by surrendering self’s ambitions to reign with Him now. When I say, “okay Lord, I give up every bit of hope that my writing will bring me notoriety, or any recognition by others,…but honor You and help people.” When I fully realize that my best efforts are taking preeminence over His glory, and I take those things and place them where they belong…in His hands, I have surrendered, He brings the bounty.

“I have held many things in my hands and have lost them all. Those things I placed in God’s hands, those I still have.” Martin Luther

What it all means is that you and I have no ability to control the stormy seas of life. If we follow Christ, there comes a point in which we think we have arrived, we control situations, we are leaders. When appointed, we fearfully rule, suspicious of shadows or possibilities that someone or something will topple our plans, so we rule as though we are in charge. Friends, we are not. That stifles personal growth, splits churches, silences great voices, blocks inspirational writings.

My understanding of God’s purpose in my life of sobriety and Christian service comes in bits and pieces. Sadly, I have to re-learn some things, especially surrender. Jesus got it right the first time, to our benefit as we believe and follow Him. I want His mind to be my guide. Then I can let go of thinking I must perform or disappoint, time to write will come, and days off will be peaceful and restful.

Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.

(This post is directed toward the individual’s personal anonymity, not groups.)
The reason for an individual in recovery to remain anonymous is not to keep their identity hidden from those inside recovery, but to keep the outside world unaware of their need for recovery. Some reasons are legitimate.

Keeping your identity hidden in recovery is important to some. For me personally, I would have went on national TV and admitted I was a drunk. I wanted to be free from the daily insanity that enslaved me. I didn’t care who knew I was attending AA. Everyone knew I drank, I didn’t hide it. People like me don’t care if others know they drink. They do care that people find out they need help from too much drinking, too weak to stop on their own. Pride keeps many chained on their tumble to the bottom.

Anonymity can keep our ability to help others confined within our particular circle of influence. We may help people in meetings we attend. That is great. But if your best friend’s child has an addiction, we can easily turn a deaf ear to their desperation, fearing everyone finding out that they are in recovery. So do you let their child die in their addiction? Do you offer help?

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a candle and hide it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matt. 5:14-16 ESV

All of us in recovery, whether you consider yourself recovered or in recovery, have been given  great light. Should we conceal it? There are individuals that must do so. But from personal experience, and from other’s experiences, we regularly receive opportunities to help the addicted find the light, and get on the path to life, not death.

What will people think? That concern has led many to an untimely spot in the cemetery. I once talked to a woman whose daughter was attending AA. Drinking was killing her. The woman actually told me she talked her daughter out of attending, fearing what people may think. Wow.

“The fear of man brings a snare. But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.” Prov.29:25 NKJV

You are one of nearly seven billion people on the Earth. Don’t feel you are a unique person, unlike the rest, you aren’t. Your being honest carries much more weight than quietly getting free and being so self-diluted of your popularity that you let someone lose everything or die to keep the reputation you think you have intact. You don’t have to blab to everyone. Just don’t let opportunity to give help pass you by.

Would you be willing to tell your deepest, darkest secret; if you knew someone’s life may be saved?

Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.

In my last entry, I wrote about mixed messages people hear from Christian leaders. The war within the body of Christ is raging, while the world is spiraling downward. Christian leaders want to throw stones at Joel Osteen and the “prosperity message” as though that message is destroying people’s salvation, and they are the holy hammer intent on stopping this heresy. Poppycock. Before I entered into recovery from drug use and alcoholism, I stumbled onto a TV show, (Joel), and heard the message that God loved me, He wasn’t angry with me, and I wept, and repented.

I shortly thereafter went to recovery and returned to the Father like the prodigal I was. I also heard someone at my home praying the “sinner’s prayer” while watching that program, and gave their heart to Christ. Many I have talked to have done likewise. Like Joel O or hate him, people come to Christ through his ministry, and he does not talk against his accusers.

My message to these men who feel they have the whole council of God and feel “led” to steer us away from prosperity preachers is…just preach the Gospel, not your gospel.

I also receive dozens of emails that point out America’s fall from grace. These emails want to correct this country spiritually, steer us back to the way it began, godly and moral. I see the point and truly believe God directed the founding and the morality of the countries fathers. The problem is that they were not all godly and some owned slaves, and we don’t want to return to that way, ask any African-American.

These emails also end with the fear of what will happen to you on judgment day if you don’t forward the email…“if you are not ashamed of Christ, you’ll forward this,” they warn. I delete them. My salvation is not based on passing emails nor am I ashamed of Jesus. Many are, so the emails continue on.

The Great Provocation
Why America is on a moral downward trend has more to do with Christians than our godless government. Christians have arrived at the same place Israel arrived at when the spies returned from the land of promised and made this statement:

“But the men that went up with him (Caleb) said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.” Numbers 13:29 KJV

Okay, God had delivered Israel out of Egypt with showing His power. God opened up the Red Sea and drowned the pursuing army trying to return them to slavery. So they are afraid of those people in Canaan? They must have decided that God was leaving the rest up to them, no longer helping them.

I want to tear my clothes in grief over how we provoke God by doubting He has become limited with age. He no longer heals or prospers. Confessing the Word is heresy and will not bring you favor. The gifts of the Spirit passed with the apostles, we have the Bible today. God is neatly packaged and very predictable. Paul wrote for us to covet earnestly the best gifts, but rather that we prophesy. But that is over. I wonder, if God withdrew these gifts, did He withdrawal salvation too? I really wish He could make up His mind.

I want to respect everyone’s beliefs. Sorry if I sound cynical, I don’t know it all. I have had it with our chasing after prosperity ministers and uppity know-it-all preachers. We only need to see Jesus, love Him, serve people He died for. I choose to believe nothing is too small or too great for God. I certainly do not want to provoke His anger by saying He can’t or He no longer will.

Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.

Bear with me a moment. This post is moving away from recovery to address new followers of Christ regarding messages they may hear among the “warring tribes” in Christendom. Please read with an open heart and mind. I would love to say something to steer you clear of the foolish way “leaders” tend to pick seeds off of the strawberries.

Some of these leaders have used the truth, even twisted it, to play an age-old game of “I’m right, and you are the devil.” They claim to be protecting you from false doctrines because they are right, having God boxed neatly into their doctrinal truths, how He works, how He thinks, and what He is doing. The truth is, these “protectors” divide the body of Christ, and make a killing doing so.

Paul had a problem dealing with “Judaizers” that infiltrated the early days of the church. According to Paul, they were teaching a different gospel…no gospel at all. In fact, their gospel was to take followers of Christ and make them Jews instead.
“You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ. Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you.” Gal.1:7-8 (NLT)
The grace received from Christ was being distorted by certain Jews telling the new believers they had to follow the law of Moses, including male circumcision, or their faith is false. Paul was broken by this deception. And wrote the Galatians to try to correct them.
Jesus had the same issues with those who Pharisees who were constantly following Him around trying to fix Jesus’ doctrines to agree with theirs. Neither Jesus, nor Paul wrote a best-selling book to protest these “word cops” opposition to them. They didn’t have a website to expose the evil beliefs. But had that been possible in their day, the Pharisees and the Judaizers would have such.
Listening to the “Bible Answer Man” (BAM) on my XM station, a man called in saying he didn’t know who was right or how to believe. He said he thought Joel Osteen was a good man, but the BAM says Joel perverts the gospel with his message. BAM even wrote a book in an attempt to “warn” believers how evil Joel, and other ministers are, i.e. Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyers, etc. BAM doesn’t see what God sees…not even close. Dividing the family isn’t what Jesus prayed for in the garden before His death. The spirit of the Pharisees is alive and well.
Leave Joel alone. I don’t know how many have come to Christ under Joel’s ministry. If you feel the way BAM does, check your heart. I am not endorsing any ministry, just Christ. I want us as a group to not play into the hands of the enemy, bringing reproach on Jesus, and driving the lost away. I have heard every argument. I found the best approach to questionable ministers is praying for them. Has BAM got to his knees for Osteen? Has he missed a meal or two to seek God’s direction regarding him?
 I have noticed Joel nor others under attack by their brethren, do not bother responding…cudos. That is how Jesus reacted. They just go forward doing what they feel God wants them to do.
If you want a proper Biblical response go to Acts 5, read what Gamaliel, a Pharisee and teacher told the others, determined to kill the disciples spreading the gospel:
“So my advice is, leave these men alone. Let them go. If they are planning and doing these things merely on their own, it will soon be overthrown. But if this is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even find yourself fighting against God.” Acts 5:38-39 (NLT)
I don’t expect the BAM to even know this post exists. If he did I would have to ask this question: If you want to attack evil, why not write a book about addictions? That is evil personified in our society, but in truth, those books don’t sell really well.
Are you tired of the war within the body of Christ? Say what you think, make a comment.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.

The question in the Saturday morning meeting was this; how do you define sobriety? Most everyone in the room had an answer that differed because sobriety does mean something different to nearly every person in recovery. The answer varied mostly to the attendees length of time sober. Without any doubt, the newbies answers ring out more life to my ears. Us “older” to recovery often go deep, trying to hit the big one out of the park, sending the entire group reeling…but too often we don’t make it out of the infield.

Sobriety to me is change of purpose. Sobriety encompasses the total me, body, soul, and spirit. Sobriety is vision. In truth, all of these are unattainable without God’s help, those he places in our path to help us,  or for us to help.

Sobriety’s meaning goes far beyond the definition in any dictionary. It isn’t just about not picking up a bottle or taking a drug, but I can throw those ideas in its definition too. I like to say that living sober is a loss of my insisting ego that I need to be first. It is these descriptions, and my desire to conform to Christ’s image that makes the definition complete. Well, there is one other add-on. That is being like that new person, keeping sobriety’s benefits fresh in my thoughts and being grateful each day.

How would you define sobriety?

Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all

symptoms
For patients with lack of joy due to depression or outside influences, negative environments and attitudes, and/or unhappiness related to self-serving, self-will, and any self words that focuses on problems not solutions.

Recommended dosage
Take this medication every 2 to 3 hours for extreme cases, 4-6 hours for moderate cases, and 2 times daily for generally good humor patients.
Laugh hard from lower abdomen, (deep belly laugh). Do this medication for no particular reason. DO NOT STOP TAKING MEDICATION!

From Ye Olde Shoppe of Remedy
“A happy heart is a good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” Prov.17:22
“A glad heart makes a cheerful face…Prov 15: 13a
…he who has a glad heart has a continual feast [regardless of circumstances] ” Prov. 15:15b AMP.

Precautions
This medication can be taken with or without food but is not recommended while drinking milk. This medication does not cause drowsiness.

Side effects may include: 
feelings of well-being, euphoria, constant smiling for no apparent reason resulting in sore jaws, a loss of depression, a loss of desperate feelings of worthlessness, easing of tenseness and misery, and is highly addictive and extremely contagious.
If these symptoms continue, call your Doctor immediately and relate some Physician one-liners, i.e. Patient: Doctor, everywhere I take my finger and touch my body, it really hurts…why? Doctor: You have a broken finger.

Additional info regarding this medicine
If you are having trouble starting this medicine, go to the mirror and take a look, or try to remember teenage expectations about life, or preconceived notions regarding personal uniqueness. Laughing for no reason may cause the patient to seem insane, so be sure to keep this web address for verification that you are whacked in the head and they can become nuts too by simply reading this post and using this medication.

Start medicine immediately.

Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.

“From the fruit of his mouth a man’s stomach is filled; with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied”…..
…because
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
Proverbs 20:20-21

Meditate on these two passages. That means to roll it over in your mind, again and again. After you have done so for a few moments; think about how you speak. Take this literally. Every syllable rolling off of your tongue has a real effect on your day, your week, month…your life!

These passages are from scripture, so many of you reading this may not agree or believe that the words we speak have any power, merely words. Yet, even scientific studies have proven your words determine outcomes. Our mouth speaks what our hearts believe about ourselves and life in general.

To Die For
In recovery meetings or in casual conversation with people striving for freedom from their addictions, you often hear phrases like...”AA, or Celebrate Recovery doesn’t work for me”…or I can’t get a grip on sober living, I have been using and drinking most of my life”…and this; if only I had been raised differently.”

Don’t buy in to these thoughts or speak them with your lips. When I say crap like this, or hear it coming from others, I want to puke, literally. When it is my mouth blabbering garbage like that, I can hardly believe my mouth has the audacity to speak death. I don’t say those words above. I say things much worse at times.

The problem is that when we are being negative in the mind and heart, our tongue thinks it’s duty is to verbalize the gloom. The best way to get over the junk talk is to remember passages like those above, and take a step back any time we feel blue, mull them over, and then realize we are free from living to drink, drug, or from any addiction.

Life-maker Words
Using words like; I can, or better, with God’s help I can! I am grateful, I am changing for the better daily, and you can think of more, can produce an atmosphere conducive to personal and spiritual growth. When down times hit you and me like a ton of bricks, we can step back, remind ourselves how God has brought us into clean and sober living. As a follower of Christ, those times are opportunities to remind myself of who I am in Him, where I am headed in this life and the life to come without end.

God bless and keep you all! Thanks.

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