Watergate’s Gift to Us

The events of 1972’s Watergate scandal left a dark stain on American politics…putting it mildly. The truth is, that incident ruined political careers, sent men with unblemished records to prison, pressured Richard Nixon into retirement. Believe it or not, something wonderful came out of that dastardly affair.

Chuck Colson was one of those men that ended up in prison. He passed from this life in 2012, but not before the second part of his life shook the gates of darkness good, really good. He became a follower of Christ feeling the weight of the scandal, his spirit broken, wanting answers, or wanting to die.

That conversion was followed by his starting prison ministries and angel tree which is a program for the children of prisoners. He authored many books, held a daily radio commentary, began the Colson Center…to name a few of his accomplishments after coming to faith in Jesus. (There is more to say, but I’m trying to shorten posts for readability.)

What Satan meant for evil for Colson, God meant for good. Who knows the mind of God? Like Paul wrote in Romans 11:33; God’s ways are past finding out! And Isaiah 55:8-9, God declares His ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts higher than our thoughts. Mortal minds could never conceive of a plan like this. Thousands upon thousands of lives have been changed by….Watergate?

It really is not that scandal transforming lives, but rather the working of the Holy Spirit in the life of one willing to give their gift, risking embarrassment and scorn, falling on the grace of God in total surrender.

 How does this relate to recovery from addictions to drink and drugs, or anything else?You can allow your past to entrap you for the rest of your life if you feel God couldn’t or wouldn’t possibly use your story to bring hope to others. Chuck’s story is a lesson of hope for you. God may have used Chuck’s prominence, but throughout church history, God has taken ordinary people and done extraordinary things. Be recklessly willing to give your brokenness for God’s glory and perhaps someone may be writing about you.

Merry Christmas.

The Mighty Fall

We think one person has developed to the place in recovery that they are above temptation’s ability to deceive them. Our admiration of such a person places them as heroic in our minds. Then, this mountain of stability takes a major tumble into relapse. Some of us are quick to point out why, in a judgmental pose from our own perch. Others say, what’s my chance to stay clean and sober when someone with their knowledge of sober living comes  to this? They go ahead and give up, and relapse. “What’s the use?” they ask.

We cannot be deceived to think we are too full of recovery smarts that we cannot fall. Relapse can come from many sources, in ways unexpected. The first way is pride. The thought that we do not need to go to meetings regularly.

Never think that you have paid the price and can’t see the need to get to meetings. Prideful people are very fast to judge other’s sobriety. I really feel pride has such a negative impact on an individual that it’s presence affects the spiritual plane of our existence, causing one to face the weaknesses they see in others.

Another biggie is complacency. This little booger is closely related to pride. The difference is the complacent individual is awareness they aren’t above relapse. Their issue is not “feeling” like going, not feeling like reading positive materials, or praying, or helping others. This kills most people’s recovery about a year, more or less, ahead of the actual fall back into their addiction.

Procrastination, the five syllables of death has ruined the recovery of many. Putting off working the steps to recovery, or doing the next right thing because they are so loaded down with other tasks they cannot see a meeting, calling their sponsor, or helping a neighbor, etc.

Also, some are laden with consequences from the past. They try too hard to “fix” or undo their past by taking on the bigger problems. If unsuccessful, they just quit. Do little things first, the big ones will become easier as each little problem solved builds confidence.

Religion can be a bad thing for a person choosing to go the church attendance route instead of AA, NA, GA, CR, etc. I am all for church attendance for aiding recovery. Keep this in mind; Recovery meetings teach you how to recover from your addictions, help you understand and accept and surrender what you have become, and help you learn to deal with consequences.

Church meetings can reinforce and help with these problems, but it is highly doubtful the weekly sermon will be about your recovery. Many take this route because of pride, not wanting anyone to know they are anything other than a sinner, not a weak, out-of-control addict or drunk.

There are other things that bring down the mightiest of recovering individuals. For your information, I don’t have these thoughts from just observing others. I have, and still do face many of these issues personally. My enemy, or addiction is me. Self- serving is my real problem, addictions to anything are side effects.

For all of us working our recovery, don’t get too smart. Don’t be dishonest of where you are when things are awry. Total honesty is an admission that may save us from pride, complacency, and putting off recovery. The season of joy is here when we celebrate the birth of Christ, and welcome the new year. Humbly ask God’s help for understanding the purpose of Christ’s coming, and the purpose He has for you today, the upcoming year, and direction to keep you from falling.

What do you think? What would you add as a reason for relapse?

Seeing Where I Walk

I was looking at a coyote sitting still, possibly drawing a bead on its next meal. It was around three in the morning when I first noticed the animal’s presence. It was very dark that night, and visibility was limited, but I looked its direction, curious as to what it was stalking. The night hound stayed completely motionless and I became impatient. I shined my flashlight in that direction only to see the coyote was actually a tree stump. I was convinced it was a living creature I gazed at for that hour or more. Darkness can play tricks on what my eyes tell my brain I am seeing.

So it is in my spiritual life. It takes the Light to help me see ahead. Being pressed within my desires and needs will cause me to look away from the light and focus on personal fulfillment. What I see in the dark I call God’s will, but it is a deception of my spiritual eyesight, telling my heart I see the path correctly…go that direction.

So I walk that way. My desire for the Holy begins to fade. The hunger to do good is then obscured by experiencing personal pleasure, good food, good fun,...”good Lord, where have You gone? Why have You moved away from me?” I question. Thinking I know God’s will takes a broad turn when what I thought I saw goes awry and I feel removed from doing anything right.

I to trip each step, getting further from having the ability to see spiritually at all. The path is no path at all. I am fully among the thorns and the briars and see no way out of this trap. I need  light to see.

“The path of the righteous is like the morning sun that shines ever brighter till the full light of day.” Prov.4:18

You have been there too, I’m sure. God doesn’t move away from us. We move away from Him, looking for that which is not. We always tend to think our eyes aren’t deceived, or we can’t be wrong…we are followers of Christ, we are clean and sober and free of addictions. This is the home of constant error, the arena of spiritual defeat from arrogant pride, not leaning on the Eternal and trusting Him. We are restless, bored from doing the “norm.”

I experience pain from not looking at the lighted path ahead and winding up swamped in the quick-sand of sin and ignorance because I think I see spiritual matters so clearly. The only way to remain in the light and see trouble ahead is to reject the notion I have arrived and have the answers the world seeks.

Prayer gives me sight.
Prayer isn’t tossing up foolish repetitive words toward heaven hoping they stick. Praying with purpose brings results as Paul says he prayed for the Ephesians:
“I pray that He will give light to the eyes of your hearts, so that you will understand the hope to which He has called you, what rich glories there are in the inheritance He has promised His people.” Eph.1:18
This type of praying in faith moves God into action for us and far transcends “now I lay me down to sleep”… Even though Paul prayed this for others, pray that for yourself.

The Word gives me sight. 
“Your Word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.” Ps. 119:105
If my focus is on God’s precepts, totally convinced His Word is truth and my steps are ordered by His decrees, I will stay in the Light of truth, unable to fall. But I don’t, we don’t. We all tend to stray from the Light from time to time. The Word, however, implanted in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, brings to our attention that we are drifting away. This is why we need to give time to the Word daily.

My moments with the phony coyote were comical. I also laugh at myself after I am drawn back into the Light spiritually as well. The truth is, I seem to spend too much time off of the path until the pain is unbearable. God’s mercy and grace is awesome! Like Jesus said, He comes looking for me, the lost sheep, misguided by self. Thank You God for the Light.

Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.

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!

Song of the Captives

Life’s lessons come at a very high price at times. Seldom does anything make us a better person by osmosis but rather experience. I have found that giving serious regard to the lessons of history can steer me away from having to experience very bad things. Parents warn us about what may be if we do wrong, and we may comply. I can say I was not that type. If my parents told me it was bad, I may have believed them but found it necessary to check it out. Shoplifting and skipping school seemed to be the right wrong things to do, so I did. I was a real rebel. The price paid was painful, very painful.

Wising up didn’t appeal to me until I was out of my teens…er, twen…thirt..into my forties when I began to sense my mortality. To keep it short, I have found lessons in scripture, of Israel’s history to be the story of me…of us all. We have choices to make as Israel did. Life or death, blessing or cursing, freedom or captivity, and the directions that take us to the choices are laid out elaborately so we know how to choose right. In short, Israel chose to reject God, and captivity resulted. So did I.
Deep into my rebellion I became so self-indulgent that led to alcoholism and drug use. I was a captive. The joy of life, my hopes, ambitions or dreams were gone. There was no song in my heart, no reason to sing. I was a slave to self-service. Those close to me eventually wondered, what’s wrong with him? I had no song to sing about this strange land I was living in.
“By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept when we remembered Zion. We hung our harps upon the willows in the midst of it. For there those who carried us away captive asked of us a song, and those who plundered us requested mirth, saying, ‘sing us one of the songs of Zion!’ 
How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?”  Ps.137: 1-4
This passage and the entire message of do right and all will be well with you, or don’t do right and the consequences of wrong will follow, rings true to us all. Addictions and self-indulging behaviors we live out now have placed us into a captivity that has removed any understanding of a joy-filled existence. What seemed like fun, or felt good at the time was deceptive and led to a compulsion to revisit a feeling that never seems to return. The fun we knew left with our refusal to say, “this is wrong, I cannot do this.” But now we are captive to our desires, the music died.
In time, God had mercy on Israel once more. He returned them to the land He promised them. That story is powerful. That story is for us to see the truth in as well. God has provided a way for you and I to return to freedom in life. No more addiction to dope, no need for another stiff drink that turns you into a stiff. This lesson is the lesson you can agree is really the truth for all once experienced, and kept. It is the freedom that comes from dying to self, to the norm of what we think is acceptable today, choosing to believe in Christ’s redemptive blood for your sin. Just ask God for that gift. He will not refuse. Then stand strong, stay free, and sing.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free and do not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Gal.5:1
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!

Prosperity Gospel

There are many controversies of late within the Christian faith. One major issue is the so-called “prosperity gospel,” and those opposed to it. The opposition view that message as anti-gospel, apostacy among believers. Their war against the name it and claim it teachers are reasonable, but not entirely correct. You see, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a message of prosperity for the body, soul, and spirit of all who believe.

Sadly, the real truth of their argument seems to be that the popularity of the prosperity message is more popular than the message those opposed to it preach, and they don’t like it. They seem to be envious more than concerned about believers falling into folly.

As a follower of Jesus, I realize that not every day is a zip-adee-do-dah day. I realize that those that live godly in Christ shall suffer persecution, and to know Jesus in the power of His resurrection is also to share in His sufferings. But I also realize the joy, peace, and love fills my life by following Jesus far out-weighs the suffering. According to the Peter, the man who walked and talked to Jesus on a daily basis, belief in Jesus is very profitable.

In 1 Peter 2, Peter gives us a brief look of the prosperity message he preached:

  • we are living stones built into a spiritual house
  • we are a chosen generation
  • a royal priesthood
  • a holy nation
  • God’s own special people, called from darkness into light

(vs.5, 9-10)

Sure, he speaks of hardships we go through as we live for Christ. So does Paul the apostle, who goes even further speaking of such hardships he personally suffered. But Paul too, expressed the glory of God in the life of the believer when he said in Ephesians 2:1, we are made ALIVE in Christ! The writer of Hebrews also brings our attention that as a result of the sacrifice of Christ, shedding His innocent blood for our sin, we are reconciled to God and may walk right into His throne room and boldly ask to have our needs met. Does this sound anything like a gospel of poverty?

I know that everything we experience in our life of serving Christ is not so glorious on the surface. But in the realm of the spirit it is. Jesus said there is nothing that we give, money, land, goods, even ourselves that isn’t repaid a hundred times in this life and a bonus of eternal life beyond. But the real clincher is this; by our belief in Jesus as Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit supernaturally comes into, and abides in our hearts…forever! Think on that. A member of the Great Holy Trinity…in our hearts! True prosperity.

All of these things are foreign and totally impossible to the unbeliever. No MRI, x-ray, or CT scan can see into the spirit of man. Sorrowfully, the unbeliever has no conception of man having a spirit and any of what is written above is only fantasy. Even more tragic is that we who are called into this life of prosperity refuse to accept its reality. Some say the gifts of the Spirit passed with the apostles. Others argue that our power is only in the written Word. We divide on issues of grace, free to all. With the division we keep the unbeliever in unbelief, and stifle and grieve the Holy Spirit.

You can bet there are charlatans preaching a different Christ, an unscathed life for those who follow Jesus. And they do it for money…your money. But if you think the Gospel is anything less than a message of prosperity, read what the Word says without allowing the nay-saying unbelieving “minister” to tell you how to believe. Read it and believe it is for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open the truth to you and keep you from falling into folly.

Thanks for reading, God bless and keep, and prosper 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!

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!

What Does It All Mean?

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.

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.