Relief for Holiday Depression

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!
Right. “Maybe for you, but not for me. I can’t even afford presents for my children. We plan to have a bowl of corn flakes and toast for Christmas dinner.”
“If my husband would just quit drinking for the holidays, then we may be grateful.”
“How can the holidays be happy when your child is clinging to life after an overdose? Christmas will never be the same.”

These are some of the laments of families facing personal problems during the holiday season. I empathize with them. My heart goes out to those suffering depression brought by outside forces, or household divisions from addictions. I also have sorrow fro the lonely, those who have no one to enjoy the season with. The unmarried, widowers, orphaned children in foster homes that do not celebrate, etc.

There are also people so caught up in their work so deeply, or in so much debt, they cannot see celebration or purpose in Christmas. This form of depression hides itself from its victims, and renders killer-stress eventually. Where is relief for the many problems?, how can we celebrate and get free of depression during this time of year?

Pat answers are many in number; be grateful for what you have, pray, get counsel, go to an AA or NA meeting, (for those in recovery), etc. But none of these seem to help at our darkest moments, which may compound around this time of year. I want to offer something different to the mix of answers. This will take minimal effort but I know this works.

Many families read the Christmas story found in Luke 2 as an annual tradition. Try this, read around that story. Luke 1 is the story behind THE story. The angel appearing to Mary with the message of her selection, being the mother of the Promised One.
…”let it be to me according to your word.” was Mary’s response in verse 38, and the angel had said to her in vs. 37, “for with God NOTHING shall be impossible.”

These two passages are two sentences, as a person believes them, and speaks them, have tremendous power to affect the attitude with faith, in replace of the inward fears resulting in  depression. The pit of depression is a place of hopelessness. Saying prayers may seem unthinkable to the depressed and hurting, having tried to pray already, getting no results. But praying what is written, what the Word says, causes faith to rise and fear to run.

Here are two short passages, read them aloud every day until Christmas. Along with that, read aloud, or even better, pray aloud the Magnificat, Mary’s praise to God in vs. 46 through vs.55. Make it personal, saying to God in prayer:

“My soul magnifies You Lord, and my soul rejoices in You, my Savior. For You have regarded my lowly state, and from now on, people will call me blessed…You are mighty and have done great things for me”….

Continue this praise to God through verse 55, and do this aloud until Christmas Day. Get alone by yourself, sit in your car, or in a secluded place in your home. Take this serious, do it in praise and thanksgiving to God in your dark moments, in spite of the problems you face, or the challenges ahead that seem impossible…nothing is too hard for God. Scripture reveals the heart that is broken or fearful, will be liberated as that person praises God. (i.e. 2 Chron. 20, Nehemiah 1)

It is okay to doubt this. God is not angry at you for doubting. You’ve tried everything else, things of physical, or mental in nature have not worked. Let’s move over to the unseen, the spiritual things, bringing The Savior into your situation. Whether you doubt or not, put praise to God in your day and He will invade your world with life, joy and celebration.

Let today be the day you have the courage to believe in Christ’s purpose, and find your purpose. One more thought; read more of the stories around The Story, chapters 1-2 of Luke. The whole story is great and faith-building.

Ideas For 2015

This is my first post in 2015. I understand there are a half million bloggers in the US. Thanks if you landed here by accident or on purpose. I’ll try to be brief and give you a few ideas to help you along in 2015.  

For those in recovery from addictions and follow my blog, take your recovery serious this year. Treat recovery like a person with diabetes. If they don’t take insulin, they’re a goner. If you do not pray, get to meetings, help others, and follow Good Orderly Direction (GOD), your recovery is subject to failure.

IDEAS For 2015

1. Hold on loosely. People, places, and things change. Gripping hard leads to disappointment.
2. Tell God thanks for grace and what you have. More comes to the grateful…the truly grateful.
3. Smile, for no reason. Even when you are alone.
4. Trust God only. People fail us. Don’t doubt that.
5. To move up, accept where you are as though you will always be there. That is surrender. Surrender opens doors to change.
6. Pray for your enemies. Do that everyday, pray for them first. Cover your loved ones in prayer. If you don’t…who will?
7. Choose to go second, or be last in line.
8. Finish well, in every endeavor.
9. Serve with fervor.
10. Give. Not just money. Time and effort are more valuable than your money at times, most of the time.
11. Read something worthwhile, no one. Let them feel they are not forgotten.
12. Listen, learn, love, live to know God better. That intention if serious will lead to devotion. That devotion will lead to understanding. That understanding will lead to knowledge of the Holy. That knowledge will lead to God imparting His wisdom to your life, leading to joy, peace, and love.

Daily prayer for 2015, from Psalm 19
Let the words of my mouth, the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. I am grateful to You for everything you have given me, the things both good and bad that You used to teach me, and what You have in store for me today to grow closer to my being like You.

Prediction of the year 2015
I predict that Jesus will be the God-man of the year, as He has been for two millennia plus. He is also prepared to come to your house if invited.

Judgment’s Effect On Me

It irritated me to no end. During break-times on the job, all of the younger guys sat and stared at the small apparatus in their hands. Geez, what’s the attraction?

That’s how I thought four years ago as the smart-phone craze developed. Then, I got my very own smarter-than-their-phone. With every free moment, I was doing what aggravated me so much about them. No more conversation with co-workers unless it was about how to use my hand-held tech better. I had become what I hated about the gen x-ers. Too busy with learning how to be a tech freak to hold a simple conversation.

“And the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, and what I dreaded has happened to         me. I am not at ease, nor am I quiet, I have no rest, for trouble comes.” Job 3:25-26

Everything you and I may judge about others, we face. At one time I pointed my self-righteous finger at people living at the local tavern. I detested how anyone could spend their life at the bar when they had children and a spouse at home. That finger-pointing landed me a spot on a bar stool for nearly two decades. The thousands of dollars I gave to indulgence bought me a wonderful seat in recovery meetings too. Of that, I am grateful, but it was costly beyond measure.

Lessons in life come with our inability to view others kindly, without condemning them to eternal punishment, using scripture to beat people with, being a Pharisee religious people often become. God loves us enough to not allow us to feel we are better even though we seem to do the right things.

God loves that poor old sot in the pub too. He does not appreciate anyone standing in spiritual authority, judging with an iron fist. WE will always face what we find unlovable about others. We, like Job, will face what we dread at some point.

     “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end, 
       they are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness.” Lam.3:22-23

Learn to love the lost souls of this world. Everyone living drug free needs to love the addict enough to pray for them. These need forgiveness…the dope dealer too. The prostitute, the porn-freak, the overweight, the gambler, the angry, the slothful, the…you name that sin you think you are above, and ask God to help you get a sense of how desperate they are for deliverance, and much He loves those in addiction of any type’s grip. There’s no time for hate. We really need to feel their pain from love, or we may feel it from experience.

God allows us to face what we hate. We need to be spiritually fit enough to recognize and forsake that loathing of others, seeing ourselves in their shoes, or we will wear them. Think about that.

Someone very close to me relapsed and is now a full-blown heroin addict again. God did the miraculous in their life, delivering them and placing them in a position to fulfill their apparent calling. The enemy dangled pleasure in their face. Innocent pleasure they felt they were missing. They followed that temptation and fell. God have mercy!

That person often said, “why would anyone go back to heroin addiction once they get clean?… they must be crazy!” I feel such grief for them. I understand. I tried to help but I, according to them, don’t need to tell them anything. They know what they are doing is wrong…”I don’t need your hypocritical, self-righteous mouth saying anything!”

They are right, somewhat. I need to tell the One who can do something about it, not judge the individual and move on wherever I can help.

Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all!

It IS About You

Before I dig into these thoughts I want to make a brief statement or two. First, thank all of you that follow my posts. I am truly humbled and grateful that anyone would take the time to read what I write. I hope they help you. If so, give what you get from them to someone else. Second, I have been inconsistent writing posts of late and unfortunately that is out of my control. When I post, I try to keep it short, under 600 words so they are easy to read. This post may not be one. Of all I have written in the past, this may be  the most important. If you cannot read all of this in one reading, bookmark it and read when it is more convenient. 
Also, I covet your prayers. Tremendous attacks from darkness are weighing heavy, but through the prayer in faith, God is able and will deliver me.

In recovery meetings and from pulpits, you hear this popular phrase:
“It’s not about you.” 
I understand the meaning to not be so egocentric in life, stop taking everything personally. But I also disagree. People tend to react to the saying as to mean live and let live, don’t get involved, don’t do what is needed to personally grow so you are ready to help when called on. Or in other words, go on your merry way and let God take care of others problems. Also, some tend to use that adage to say, stay out yourself and the drama around you. After all, you can’t fix it. 

No matter how you take the meaning please consider that everything you experience, every good thing, every bad thing in life…is about you. You don’t anything for others until you learn how yourself. Can you show someone how to find bread if you don’t know where it is? Is there anything in life you automatically know the answer to? 

I say no, I had to learn by study or experience everything I know today, including understanding my need for salvation.
I could not possibly help another in recovery from drinking and drugging without being taught myself.

   “God uses everything for His glory, even my sin.” Anon

How is it about me? 
You and I have to realize our purpose, and why that knowledge is important. God did not cause me to fall into alcoholism. He did not condone any sin I have committed. If I have surrendered to Him in full realization of my brokenness and inability to fix myself, He removes the sin and the guilt attached, burns up the embarrassment of admission, replacing what held me in the place of silence to boldly proclaim there is hope to others. I am able to help the broken because I am. It is all about me. My willingness to be free of the facade of perfection, exposing my flaws that are many, that God says in effect, “Now I have something to work with.”

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.” 1 Pet. 5:6

It is about our making the decision to improve our lives by using the spiritual as key to fixing the mental as fallen and deceived. Our minds, geared to self-absorption, diluted from years of self-service and delusions that this is the way we are built, and there is no reason to try and fix that, must change. It is about ME. I have to see myself in the light of becoming able to do, not fixated on the myriad of reasons I cannot change. Having the moment of clarity, an epiphany of the possibility of accomplishment in life come more often than we think. But knowing “I never could” in the past darkens any thought of rising above my shattered self to reign in life as a king. The words coming from the depths of my heart are polluted by wrong thinking.

Well, that’s the way I have always felt.
I’m not good at that. 
I never could get into doing this.

These words, hold us hostage to the gene-pool we flowed from.  One man told me his father said to him, “son, don’t try to go above yer raisin in life.” When you accept Christ as Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit comes to indwell you. everything about YOU dies. That moment, changes you, though completely invisible to the eyes of flesh, but alive to the eyes of the spirit by faith. The acceptance of what occurred can move you into brilliant light, a new heritage, a new understanding, if you continue in Christ and refuse to just hang out as a spectator. God will take the willing heart and develop a new you. That is about YOU, allowing Him to re-mold you.

In recovery from addictions, there is a similar occurrence. You listen and learn you can have the moment of clarity revealing your powerlessness and un-managebility over…everything in life. That is, not just powerlessness over your addiction. Every one entering recovery doesn’t get it. Many hear, even agree with what is said, but walk away, returning to their misery. That doesn’t make sense to those determined to stay. But that is about THEM too. They realize to recover means giving up their identity they worked hard to develop. Having to re-think, to change friends, hang-outs, or doing what they “love” to do has to go away. The price is too high. Or they feel they won’t make it from the many failures in the past, and have nowhere to go but back to their old neighborhood and family. That is tragic.

It is about you. What I have stressed above is mainly geared at recovery from addictions and following Christ. There are other things to consider that are about you.
What type of student are you?
How good of a parent are you? Do you take education seriously?
What type of parent are you? Are you just a buddy to your children? Or do you teach them right from wrong, good and bad behaviors, discipline and reward?
Are you a good employee, diligent on the job, faithful in attendance and on time?
Who are your friends? Does the friendship create a desire to be a better you, or are they gossip opportunities when you are together?
How are you with your immediate family? When you all come together, are you still involved in sibling rivalries?

It is ALL about YOU. You can disregard this post, and say, that was a waste of ten minutes I’ll never get back. Or you can ponder what I’m trying to convey. What is about you is everything necessary to giving yourself away to find joy, peace, and love. People would give all they have for this. Robin Williams had it all many thought. Why would he end his life? I don’t know, nor may never.

I do know that many who end their life don’t realize just how much this existence here is about them. They have a false notion it is about their wants and needs and learning how to get what they want. It is about themselves. Had they learned it is about YOU, perhaps they may have taken the ME approach in life and grew to understand it being about ME is learning to be about learning to be about YOU, bringing God glory. Don’t let that statement confuse you. The point is we have to see without the blinders of self. That takes effort, and thought, and prayer. It is all about YOU, and your making a choice to develop a you committed to change and service, or about YOU that sees only its needs, thinks every moment, every conversation, every event is because of their existence.

Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all!

What Lies Ahead (let this lift you)

A topic came up in an AA meeting recently that caused me to think about what the recoveringthinks about. Drama is not just a word to describe a movie type when selecting something to watch. Drama is what recovering addicts/alcoholics call problems they own, or that others own, and anyone striving to recover aim to stay clear of. They are aware that the drama coming from whatever source is unhealthy mentally, when one desires to live clean and sober.

So why dwell on drama? Why is that the frequent topic?
Drama does not belong to those living a life of successful achievement. Especially the follower of Christ living and walking according to the scriptures, maturing in the Faith, and knowing their purpose. They have drama to be sure. They may also have their mind-set on the eternal home, dwarfing any problems in this life that sidelines their growth, their personal recovery, their ability to pursue serving God by serving people. They hear the drama from others, deal with their own as well, but find no need to allow the temporal things and problems of this life to be constant in their minds.

What lies ahead?
When many of us think about heaven we think about harps, clouds, golden streets, those friends and family members already there, and sometimes God. I would like for you to step out of the “Hollywood heavenly thinking” of heaven, try expanding your mind’s eye to imagine what lies beyond the gates of pearl.

“If you have been raised with the Messiah, seek what is above where the Messiah, (Jesus), is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not what is on the earth.” Col.3:1-2

Imagine colors so vivid that you cannot stop looking…at anything there. Imagine aromas so wonderful that you actually feel them. Imagine sounds that captivate so intensely that you have to become aware your feet and body are moving with the sounds, as is everyone around you. Imagine tasting foods where every morsel melts in your mouth, or every hand shake or embrace feels far beyond anything felt here, in this life. You feel everything, words, smells, tastes. Imagine being captivated in conversation, meeting those from history, hearing their story. Joy and excitement everywhere, and everyone busy!

Imagine the first moment you see the One who made your arrival there possible. The brilliant light of His countenance, indescribable love radiating from Him, His words hitting your ears with the sounds of thousands of people laughing, “welcome home where you belong,” He says to you, “wanna see your place?” And suddenly what appears to be Him becoming two people separating, a familiar second Person says to you, I’ll show you”…No wonder  He looks familiar...The Holy Spirit, so sweet, so personal, taking you to your place Jesus prepared. “Lets make a stop on the way,” He says.

Suddenly, you hear sounds that stir every emotion, every good feeling you ever experienced, and you have this sense of total awe…and unworthiness. Your breath wants to leave as you behold the Almighty’s splendor and majesty! Face first you fall as a natural reaction to the force of His magnificence! You hear this beautiful sound you have never heard, and looking up you see the source of the sound H-O-L-Y in duplicate coming from these two beautiful creatures circling the throne. With each time they circle the throne they see a new characteristic of the One seated...El Shaddai, The Lord God Creator, saying to you…well done, enter, I have so much for you to see…just a moment in His Eternal Presence and your mind id filled with knowledge and understanding!

(In my personal view of heaven, we may know and understand much the moment we arrive, but not everything. I believe that God designed us for discovery, and a desire to find out things by searching. We will still have the desire to achieve. We will have eons to discover so much of what our heart ultimately desires…God Himself.)

You are guided by the Holy Spirit to your place…a galaxy that seems to extend forever. You see a greeting line of people welcoming you…but very few are familiar. Who are all of these people?” you ask the Holy Guide. “These on the left are your lineage all the way back to Adam and Eve. On the right, everyone you influenced in life, either personally, or by another in this line, they all came to your homecoming party.”

What lies ahead for us may not be like what I see so much. The implication, however, is to give thought to the eternal destination with imagination more than the drama of this life. Set your thoughts on the Eternal One. Think of the brilliance you encounter there, but realize He is in you here thus the drama has little impact. C. S. Lewis, in his book, “Mere Christianity,” wrote:

“Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you will get neither.” 

I’m aware not everyone in recovery has the hope of heaven. I pray they do eventually. Our minds will have something on them constantly. We choose drama, or we choose to think growth and moving ahead. Though everyone views differently, things temporal, things eternal, life takes a major turn for the good, for the believer, when Home, not drama is the aim.

Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.

A Change of Focus

There are endless words to help people trying to recover from addictions to, well, everything they struggle with. People in general do not like the truth that they have a problem, but we all do. When they do become aware of their problem, they want to fix it by willpower or continue to deny or ignore it all together.

Rest assured, there are, in every person, dead or alive since Adam, addictions, personal issues, and personal sins. The important thing for each of us as individuals is not to judge one another for any reason. However, judge others if you want, but be willing to suffer the consequences you WILL face.

I want to continue to write about recovery. At times I have such a feeling of inadequacy when I write, knowing I have so many issues I personally struggle with. Ironically, many are the same I blog about to help others. Some would laugh at my struggles saying, “how is that a problem?’ ‘That isn’t even a sin, why are you having such a hard time with that?” The answer is because I write about them, I teach about them.

“Not many should become teachers, my brothers, knowing we will receive a stricter judgment: for we all stumble in many ways…” James 3:1-2a

Though recovery from addictions has been my focus. My personal conduct, our conduct as followers of Christ has been weighing heavily on me of late. I feel a change of my main focus to write about that issue. It is an issue, a major issue. Of course, conduct of Christians can easily couple into recovery. To live free of an addiction that took you down, that took me down, takes a change of conduct to have any success and ultimately be free to the service to others, to God’s glory.

People are confused about living as a Christian today more than anytime in Christian history. Christians have to carry the bulk of the blame for that. The more I read the New Testament, I feel my personal issues, sins, every action, needs my being aware of the “cloud of witnesses” about me watching every move I make and word I say. WE Christians have brought reproach on Jesus, grieving the Holy Spirit within us, in ways unimaginable before the eyes of the world we live in. That must change.

I want to be under the scrutiny of the Holy One living in my life. He is supposed to be the One guiding, teaching, and revealing spiritual matters to us, bringing us into maturity through conforming to the image of Christ. Spiritual matters can only arrive at our door when we give them preeminence in life. No one wakes up in the morning suddenly spiritual. That is learned behavior from God- hungering souls.

Like recovery, there are requirements in following Jesus that I want to fully comply to. That is not dressing the part, acting holy or pious, and certainly not restrictive from a life of pleasure, as so many think. It is life, it is joy unspeakable, it is living waters flowing from us to share to those dying from spiritual thirst. It is real recovery.

Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.

Happiness?

I am trying to get this into my thick head once and for all; STOP TRYING TO BE HAPPY!People cannot make me happy. Mark Twain’s famous quote,“familiarity breeds contempt…and children,” may be true to a point. Expecting happiness to come from another person is saying your happiness depends on that person meeting your expectations of them. Good luck with that one.

I bought a new Chevy truck, a crew cab, 4×4 Silverado with all of the gingerbread, bells, whistles, and stuff I have no idea how to work. It didn’t make me happy. I also purchased a nice Cape Cod home with all wood floors, manicured lawn, and a back yard that looks like an arboretum. No happiness did I find here either. Things do not provide long-term happiness either.

The thought of going to Europe, the Far East, the South Pacific, or spending the summer in the beauty of America’s great Northwest, or New England in the fall, Florida in the winter should make me, or anyone happy, one would think. Nope, not happening. Although I have not had this experience, I’m sure a week or two outside of home would leave a void and take away the happiness I thought I would find there.

In recovery, I have learned that people, places, and things are unreliable in providing happiness. Those items can put me back on a bar stool if I make them my aim, or give them my worship. Early in sobriety I was taught to shun them like the plague. Going back to old friends, haunts, and doing the same things are ground zero for relapse. The same holds true for followers of Christ. Idolize this world and the belongings that render me immediate sensual gratification, and Christ is removed from my center, only I matter. Selah.

“You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Ps. 16:11

God sees to the removal of happiness from my life. That’s not a bad thing. It is a wonderful thing because He replaces fleeting happiness with something  permanent…joy. Taking a trip, sitting peacefully in the back yard watching my little dog play, (Kitty’s her name), or taking a drive in the truck, knowing God is the center and the reason for all good things…and present within me, makes me say to myself, “shoo happiness, you deceiver, joy lives here.”

Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.

Dads…and Being One

“I miss my kids. My ex won’t let me see em’ since we’re split. I was a good dad, I just messed up one time too many. My “best friend” and the ex hooked up…I shoulda never trusted him. But I’ll get even, you can bet on that. I’m a good dad.”

Those words, and words similar, I’ve heard many times in recovery meetings. I don’t question those young, and not so young men saying such. If I sponsor someone that is separated from their offspring, I offer what advice I can to help them. The recovering young men want to get straight so they can be involved in their children’s lives. In my humble opinion is that they have a vague conception of what fatherhood means.

Even “straight” men know little about being a dad, often taking what they see on TV and movie dads as the proper way of rearing children. Some have a twisted notion of fatherhood from what their father did, or didn’t do in their upbringing. You know that story, my father gave me nothing so I’ll make sure my kids get everything. Or, my dad gave me what I wanted, so I have to do the same. In both cases, things take priority, purpose and virtuous living has no place in their thoughts of how to raise children.

I am no genius. I see horrific mistakes I made in rearing my three children. I had many of these same ideas. I really thought keeping the kids active covered a multitude of sin opportunities. Entertainment, sports, and the like were priorities…I thought. There was one right thing their mother and I did. We TOOK them to church regularly in their adolescence, when they are the most teachable. The failure, I think, is my thinking that fifty-two plus hours at church yearly would teach them all there is to know about God. If they turned out bad, at least I did my part. How ignorant.

The public school system has over a thousand hours each year to convince our children otherwise. Biological evolution, random chance, meaninglessness, have become the tenets of disbelief we now fight to undo today. Sadly, from what they learn in society and not from their parents, young men and women in recovery rooms worldwide grow up thinking there is no one to answer to for their lives, no principles to guide, no committment to uphold….if it feels good, do it.

Well, it felt good, they did it, they sit in rehabs, jails, recovery groups, and in total confusion of why they are there, how it came to this, and why they cannot see their children. After all, “I’m a better dad than Homer Simpson,” some of them think.

So what should we do? How can I be a better dad? 
(Look in the Book, the Manufacturer’s manual. For the best results, follow the directions.)
“Hear my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.” Prov.1:8-9

There is more to say than what I can put here in trying to keep this post short and readable. I will do my best to post again some thoughts I have learned as a parent, both good and bad. For now, think about this; what are you teaching your kids? They will be what you and their other parent are,…is that a good thing? Do you really believe you give enough time in training and teaching them right and wrong? Do YOU know right from wrong?

Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all!

Why Relapse?

I can help myself stop thinking about it. I have a job now. I get to see my kids and have a place to stay. Things are better now than they have been in years…why can’t I just stop thinking about using again?

Last evening in a small group discussion, not one, but two men said these words. Others in the group nodded their understanding, going through, or having been through the same thing. The fear of relapse is heavy on them. So heavy, in fact, that they cannot see solutions, hopelessly rambling to relieve some of the pressure. 

“Keep doing what you are doing and you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.”

I heard this statement early on in my recovery from alcohol and drug use. That goes for recovery as well as using. If you and I keep doing what helped us get clean and sober, we stay clean and sober. If we keep using and boozing, we will keep losing. The one straddling the fence, however, has one foot in the past and one in the future and miss the concept, “just for today.” We only have a daily reprieve, and that is only if we do what is necessary to maintain freedom from addictions.

When most people struggle with their compulsion, they wrestle using willpower, doomed to fail and relapse. Forgetting how we received the gift of sobriety is where relapse begins, and that long before one actually does the deed. For some, they feel it would have been better for them to have never gotten clean, than to go back and do it again, killing their confidence, disappointing their loved ones.

“But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: A dog returns to its own vomit, ‘ and ‘a sow, after washed, to her wallowing in the mire.” 2 Pet.2:22

So if you are struggling to stay clean and sober, how did you get sober in the first place? If it came from being incarcerated, or from family insistence, or from most rehab programs, you have little to fall back on to maintain your freedom. If sobriety comes from getting to meetings, prayer, working the steps, serving others, etc., you have something to fall back on. Being diligent goes miles in recovery. 

In short, if you are having a bad time with the compulsions, get to your knees, ask God for help. Get to a meeting, get on the phone to your sponsor…or get a sponsor, get into your devotional readings, get out of self and help another. The word get implies action and diligence. Diligence from the onset of recovery can keep the desire to do it again nothing more than a passing thought. 

Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.

Top 10 Reasons for Living Sober

I would be dishonest if I said everyday of clean and sober living was a perfect day. Life has ups and downs as we all know. When actively drinking, I didn’t know how to face life on life’s terms. I had to drink, I thought, for any and every reason, good or bad. 


What I have found out through a life of sobriety are 10 good reasons to remain that way. One benefit not in this list is laughter. Freedom from addiction’s enslaving power is a reason to laugh. I hope the following list gives you a smile.

The Big Ten
1) When a police cruiser is behind you in traffic, you don’t make God promises you won’t keep; “O God if you get m out of this and I don’t get pulled over, I’ll never drink again!” And you bowels don’t yield either.

2) When you get up in the morning, you don’t look to see if your car came home with you from the bar the previous evening, or to check to make sure it isn’t damaged, or any blood on the finish.

3) People eventually stop walking up to you in public places demanding you pay them back the ten-bucks you borrowed from them at the bar a year ago.


4) The family gatherings become more memorable. Literally, you remember the event.

5) Your kids don’t mind your coming to their sports events. Now that you are clean and sober, you no longer threaten to shoot the ref, or hug and kiss their coach for helping you become a better player.

6) You quit calling radio talk shows, cursing the guest and host, giving them your address on the air, and inviting them to stop over so you can introduce them to your left- right combination.

7) Your paycheck last much longer…oh yeah, you actually have a job!

8) You fall asleep at church during the sermon  from being sleepy, not from the slight hangover.

9) Your neighbors talk to you again since you returned the stuff you borrowed from them, that you never used anyhow. 

10) You actually pray on your knees by your bed…not the commode where you prayed for help between heaves.

These are a few of many benefits of living life clean and sober. I hope you enjoyed this humorous view of a serious, joyous, and peaceful way of life.

Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all!