Little Reminders

In my book, Under The Influence, I wrote of the importance of doing the little things consistently. By doing the small daily tasks, the larger things become smaller and easier to do. That is, we learn diligence by doing something, even small and seemingly insignificant, as opposed to doing nothing, yet still expecting something to happen. When nothing is acted upon, small or large, something does happen, we sink deeper into sloth, procrastination, and self-loathing.

I have recently struggled hard with many issues in life. Of late, I have not taken my own advice and avoided many of these little issues. That is a dark place for anyone who is a recovering addict or alcoholic.

Making a to-do list before lying down at night is relatively simple. Asking God to help me stay sober each morning, turning my will and life over to Him each day is a snap. Taking five minutes to read a short page from a devotional isn’t difficult either. Each small task can become a monumental task in my mind. That happens only because I stop making these life changers a habit.
Every time I see someone in relapse-mode, or actively back doing what destroyed them before, I think, “why are they”…..you fill in the rest of the sentence. I want to jerk them up by the hair if available, and say, “what’s wrong with you!” But inside myself I get a “spiritual jolt” saying, “they stopped doing those little things they did to get sober…just like I am doing now.” My immediate anger for their downfall turns into gratitude for the little reminders God sends me.
Think, Plan, Act
Maybe you are there now. Take a moment to examine your recent actions, think about recent thoughts or confrontations with others. When you were actively working on your recovery, thoughts and actions controlled your temper. Spiritual fitness was your daily aim. Are you still there? Think about where you are now. Plan, your next meeting, pray for God’s help right now. Act on your thoughts and plans. Return to humility, remember how you came to sober living.
Or maybe someone you know has stopped going to recovery meetings and you notice a change in their behavior. What action should you take? Walk the razor’s edge. Don’t start-up a conversation that directly points out their obvious slide downhill. The way of wisdom would be to ask them about how they got sober in the first place, or ask them what recovery meetings are like. Use a little imagination.
In most cases, they will appreciate your interest. People like to talk about themselves, and they will probably say something like, “I need to get to some meetings, I have been skipping and slipping lately.” If you are really concerned, ask them to take you to an open meeting. Showing genuine interest is a motivator, and by your taking a few moments and having real concern, you may save them from full-blown relapse.
Little reminders are of major importance. If you are struggling in sobriety, do a check-up from the neck-up, a run for help today.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.

12 thoughts on “Little Reminders

  1. A good message Keith but to be honest, I think those who are organized are lazy, they just don’t want to look for things, I’m defiantly not lazy.

    Seriously though, being close to God is like having a close friend who we Love deeply, we don’t have to make ourselves want to spend time with them we just want to.

    Do you still say your an Alcoholic Keith or do you believe that you are?

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne

    • Thanks Anne, I love that “defiantly” not lazy. That may be the true point I failed to make in the post. It seems that when I performed those dreaded small tasks, I began a habit of looking for what I may have missed, eager to find more to do. Spending quality time in the Word and in prayer time, I anticipated instead of kneel down with nothing to say,with thoughts everywhere but there in prayer. Nothing was what I received.Little tasks, little prayers, short passages I read became chapters, and actual petitions and adoration. In short, you fall in love with the Father through Jesus.
      I say different things regarding recovery. I know no good thing dwells in me outside of Christ. But I have been known to give a detailed account of who I am today in Jesus. 1Peter 2:17!
      Do you feel that a person should no longer identify their new life with the old? Blessings to you, I love your comments!

  2. Hi Keith, I was so excited to read you were eager to find more jobs to do, I can relate to this, I have just spent most of the week organizing my Kitchen, I still have more to do but to keep you from being selfish and keeping all your jobs for yourself is there something I can do for you, sharing is very important 🙄

    All jokes aside Keith, what you shared has great Truth, the Scriptures show us that reflecting on the past without guilt and shame is very good, Paul did it and we read many accounts of the lives of people in Scripture who messed up but were later used by God and had His assurance of their worth to Him. I never condemn anyone because I know how messed up I was and it is by God’s grace alone that I am who I am now and like you, I give thanks to Him constantly for this and that I’m precious to Him and that He delights in me.

    God tells us to take Godly Pride in who we are in Christ Jesus ( see below ) so I don’t say I’m a gambler anymore, I have been delivered by Him and to say I still am is denying His mercy and grace in my life, I affirm instead that I have been set free and thank Him from my heart for doing so, as a man/woman thinks in their heart, so their actions follow.

    Galatians 6: 4 Each one should understand their own actions. Then they can take Pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to others.

    Romans 11:13b I take Pride in my Ministry.

    Keith I was hoping that it would be ok for me to share some questions with you, there is 5 although I do have more and feel all of them apart from being good to ponder on, also have much Truth but it is your choice to read them or to respond to them.

    Christian Love from us both – Anne.

    • Certainly Anne, I would be glad to try and answer any question. I have bee slow to respond due to the passing of my wife’s sister, and I have been working the graveyard shift. It may be best to use my email address kbarn897@yahoo.com in case you would like to keep the Q and A private. Let me know, blessings to you both, Keith.

  3. Hi Keith, thinking of your wife, you and your family at this time, hoping you have wonderful memories to look back on.

    Sorry that it took me so long to respond about the questions, I have just changed from a Laptop Computer to a Desktop and it took me quiet a bit of time to do so.

    The questions are not personal they are theological, I hope it is ok to post them here but please feel free to e-mail me if you wish to respond privately.

    Questions…..

    1. If we are to reckon ourselves dead to sin, should we continue saying that we can and do sin when we are in Christ Jesus? ( Romans 6:11) as a man thinks in his heart, so he does! and God tells us no temptation will be greater than we can bear.

    2. If God asks us to be perfect as He is but not what the world thinks, do you think it’s impossible and if so does this mean that what He asks of us is not really attainable ? ( Matthew 5:48 ) (1 John 4:17-19 )

    3. If it is our Sin Nature that causes us to sin by polluting our spirit and we put it to death by The Spirit, ( Romans 8:13 ) ( Galatians5 ) does this mean we can no longer sin as the Scriptures tell us in (1John3:9)

    4. God asks us to walk as Jesus walked (1 John 2:4-6 ) and He walked in Love without sinning and when we are Born again of God’s seed or Nature, (1John3:9) and Jesus lives in us ? and He dose not choose to sin, so do we? (1Corinthians 2:16 )

    5. If we ask for God’s wisdom as He asks us to do, ( Proverbs 4:7 ) because in the flesh we all lack it, we were not born with it, so we are to seek after it, do we then doubt that we or others have received it and if we do, are we saying that God does not do what He says and so we are calling Him a liar ? (James 1: 4-6)

    Thank you Keith perhaps we will be perfected in Love soon, like Paul, I’m aiming for it like God tells us to do. (1 John 4:17-19 )

    Christian Love from both of us -Anne

    • Thanks for the opportunity to attempt to answer these questions. Thanks also for the nice thoughts regarding my wife’s sister. I have some things to take care of today, but I will answer asap. Get back to you real soon.
      In Christ, Keith

    • Hi Anne, these questions may come one at a time, but here goes!
      Q1. 1 John 1:8-2:2 is the direction of my answer to this question. First of all, I am in Christ, part of the beloved. I do not claim to be above sin but dead to sin. I sin willfully and unwittingly. Every Christian does as long as the are in the body of flesh. The Spirit within me convicts me of sin, and as I confess and forsake the sin, He leads me from “glory to glory” until He conforms me to the image of Christ. I grow as long as I heed His direction. God does not tempt us as we know from scripture. He always makes a way for us to escape, yet we yield to sin…even daily. Jesus sits at the right hand of God as our advocate, or lawyer defending us as the accuser points out our sin. Jesus’ blood cleanses me from past, present, and future sins.
      How am I dead to sin if I commit sin? I am dead to sin because I choose to follow Jesus, and reject my old life, and do not desire to ignore the conviction when I sin. Before, as I lived in death away from Christ, I sinned without remorse, without thought. I know I have passed from death unto life because I love the family of God, one of many proofs.

      Willfully sin? How can this be?
      We do. We just refuse, from arrogance to think we do not. Example being, do you lash out when offended, become angry and say things to defend yourself in a rage? When someone asks you “do you like my dress?” and you say yes when you know it is ugly? Do you have any bad habits of poor diet, smoking, trying to control thoughts and actions of others? Do you have any pride that tells you you are right and others are wrong? Do you judge the homosexual, the prostitute, the thief, but overlook the obese preacher’s obvious sin?
      All of these are sins we all commit. We are not above sin. We are dead to it because we choose to forsake them, follow Jesus until we are fully grown into the full stature of Christ.

      This idea in the body of Christ that we can use the grace of God to live as we did before is deception from the enemy. Paul said, do you steal? Stop stealing and work with your hands. That goes for sexual immorality, greed, self-serving, etc. We forsake these, die to the desire for wrong doing, to follow Him. We may all differ in our tenets, believe that sin has levels, but God hates all sin. Sin management is rampant in the body of Christ today. We are guilty of the sins we point out in others, but we often believe our sins to be socially acceptable among the brethren.

      This is the short answer to this question,lol. I’ll continue later. Keith

    • Q4. Good question. Many believe the original sin was disobedience. I agree that the original was partly disobedience, but when the serpent said, “you will be as God”, she ate, wanting to be as God, knowing good…and evil. Gen.3:4-6
      With knowing Christ is in me, I no longer desire to, or choose to sin because I want to please Him in all I think, say, and do. Example: If the clerk at the grocer gives me too much change, I do not walk away thanking the Lord for having extra money. I return that money because I know that is pleasing to Him. As you have explained through scripture, I’m dead to that way of thinking.
      Furthermore, I know that there is a wage sin pays. If I keep the excess change from the clerk’s mistake, stealing that money, I receive the thief’s reward. I fear the Lord knowing everything produces after it’s kind. Sin begats sin, the cycle begins, and does not end unless I repent and forsake the sin.
      Christ lives in me, through me. Choosing sin is not an option. Yet, there are times when this body of flesh fails, we sin…even choose to do so by walking in the flesh, not the spirit. Is that possible?
      Paul talks of being dead to sin, but in Philippians 3:1-16 he says he ahs not obtained perfection, but is pressing forward toward it. I know there is a battle in the spiritual realm that every believer fights. I also believe that if Christ dwells in our hearts, our focus should remain on Him. Holiness is loving the things God loves and hating the things He hates. He hates sin.
      I could say much more on this question, but every time I try to give time to them, interruptions flow. Thanks Anne…I’ll do Q5 asap. Love in Christ, Keith

  4. I have learnt Keith to be up front and to use God’s words to confirm His Truth but they can only be understood by the empowering of The Holy Spirit as Jesus leads us into all Truth, ( 1Corinthians 2:9-16) of course it is not always appreciated and I have been abused , rejected, ignored, and deleted.

    I share with others what God has shown me since I asked for His wisdom and received it but what I find is some don’t want to believe the Scriptures but Trust in what others have taught them or what they think themselves and what fits in with their own agenda. The Holy Spirit does not say one thing to one person and something different to someone else when they contradict and God does not say to agree to disagree either, He tells us to come to Him and He will show who is in error and He uses His inspired word to do this.

    If I was to answer fully your statements Keith I would be writing till tomorrow and it’s almost time for bed, so I will respond to just a few but please let’s resolve our differences not argue, God is a God of Unity not division.

    When we are Born again we have God’s seed or Nature and the mind of Christ and He does not choose to sin ever.

    1 John 3:9 No one who is Born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been Born of God.

    God tells us to to reckon ourselves dead to sin not to say we will or do sin and we are to put to death our evil flesh which causes us to sin and we can do this because Jesus has set us free and no temptation is greater then we can bear.

    John 8:34-36 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

    What people get confused about are weaknesses and shortcomings, which we all have but they are not judged as sin. Such as overeating is not a sin if it comes from hurt and pain, and the same as anger when it comes from grief or confusion but we do not let it lead us to bitterness an resentment. Jesus came to heal not condemn , man judges critically and without Love and compassion, because he looks on the outside but God sees the heart and knows the motivation or the reason.

    Disobedience is the forbidden fruit.

    1 John 2:4-6 He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the Love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.

    Romans 6:22-23 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    1John 3 – No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as He is righteous.

    Romans 6:18-20 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

    Colossians 3:4-6 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.

    1John 4:16-17 And we have known and believed the Love that God hath to us. God is Love; and he that dwelleth in Love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our Love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world.

    Romans 6:6- 7 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

    If we claim we have not sinned an don’t need Salvation we are calling God a lair but if we continue to sin we are still in darkness, yes we can be-forgiven if we come to heart repentance but that means we reject sin and no longer sin by the empowering of The Holy Spirit.

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne

    • Thanks for your reply Anne. Sorry for the delay. I only have a few days before I return to work. I am trying to attack necessary tasks I’ve ignored due to recent events. Back to the questions. I will not take issue with any differences in doctrine, as to use answering them to be a platform for an agenda. So I will attempt to keep them short and to the point, answering according to the light I’m given…or a better way to say it, according to my maturity level in Christ.
      Q2: No. As followers of Jesus, Romans 12:1 begins a teaching from Paul on Christian conduct, emphasizing how we live in this world Christians before believers and unbelievers. 12:2, not conformed but transformed by renewing your mind. In Galatians 4:19 Paul says he labors “again” in birth until Christ is formed in them.
      These two passages, Paul says, you conform, and I pray for your conformation to Him…again. In other words he reveals the struggle of the believer to grow into Christ’s image. A process, not an event.
      Every book in the new testament from Romans through Jude, the writers stress conduct for Christians to follow. Perfection is to be strived to attain throughout our walk through life.

      Q3: Anne, our bodies are mortal. The body still craves what it enjoys. We die daily to its lustful desires, or yield to them. As Paul said, I haven’t achieved perfection, but press toward it. If I have, through believing on Jesus, attained perfection in my belief, and feel I am above sin, my arrogance will take me to destruction. I have to rely solely on Him, and His complete work. If I am above sin, this world cannot contain me. If I cannot sin, perfected in the flesh, then I have no need to put on immortality, I’m already there. But I know better. I fall, He picks me up. I disappoint Him, He forgives me. It’s all Him.

      I will return to finish, time for Church!

  5. Yes I agree with you Keith we do grow up in Christ meaning we mature and so we are perfected in this life not after we die and having been perfected in Love we do not go on sinning or do we want to and having God’s seed we cannot sin, because we are perfected. Paul tells us He received the crown of righteousness. (2Timothy 4:7-8) and that others were perfected in the Church.

    Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect

    Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

    Philippians 3:14-16 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, where to we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

    2Timithy 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

    1 John 4:17-19 Herein is our Love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in Love; but perfect Love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in Love. We Love Him, because He first Loved us.

    1John 4:16-17 And we have known and believed the Love that God hath to us. God is Love; and he that dwelleth in Love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our Love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in Love; but perfect Love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in Love. We Love Him, because He first Loved us.

    1 John 2:4-6 He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the Love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. He that saith hebideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.
    2Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in Peace; and the God of Love and Peace shall be with you.

    So many disregard the Scriptures that tell us we do not and cannot sin when we are Born again and are perfected in Love. Having the mind of Christ means we do not choose to sin.

    1 John 3:9 No one who is Born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been Born of God.

    1 John 5:18-20 We know that no one who is Born of God sins; but He who was Born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.

    John 8:34-36 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed

    Romans 6:6- 7 For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

    Romans 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    1 John 2:4-6 He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the Love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.

    Romans 6:22-23 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    1John 3 – No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as He is righteous.

    1 John 2:28-29 And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. If ye know that He is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of Him.

    Romans 6:18-20 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

    We must put our flesh to death by the Spirit so we can be Born again.

    Romans 8 :12-15 Therefore, brothers/ sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. or if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

    Colossians 3:4-6 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.

    Galatians 24 -26 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. if we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

    2 Corinthians 7: 1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

    2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

    Galatians 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

    Romans 8:1-4 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

    Christian Love from us both – Anne

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