Monday, September 25, 2017

Family Traditions

So it is with Christ's body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. Romans 12:5

I think yesterday's devo really hit the mark with some. After receiving emails about the traditions others do it got me to thinking about traditions that we do within our 12 Step Meetings or Celebrate Recovery meeting.  And with today's verse I am reminded that we do these things as all the parts of one body and how we do belong together.

One of the most profound memories I have of going to my first Celebrate Recovery meeting was the giving out of the chip indicating anniversary's of sobriety. Everyone cheered (and rather loudly too) celebrating the victories of others. Not everyone received a chip that day. In fact only 2 people did. But it was profound. A little chip.

Relationships are built at meeting like Celebrate Recovery or 12 Step programs where you begin to talk and understand the root of each other's problems and can begin to support each other. And isn't that what our body does. One part helps support another in order to function together?

If you haven't tried a support program yet, I highly encourage you to try one out in your area. Be supported as part of one body. God made us to enter into relationships with others and to find our support from Him but also from those who he created. He does work alone at time but most often He works through others.


Sunday, September 24, 2017

New Traditions

Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus itself. Ephesians 2:20

I was reading my devotions this morning and the topic was about belonging and I began to think about the community of those who have addictions. Feeling isolated is for many a huge trigger that fuels the addiction. No one gets me. No one understands. I feel so alone.

Her topic was about family traditions and wouldn't it be great to start something new - something that can be passed down through the generations to remind our kids of where they belong.

We have some of those in our family - things like giving the kids $20 on vacations for them to spend any way they want OR to keep it at the end. This way, we don't hear "Can I get....." at every souvenir shop. Or attending a family retreat for families affected by disabilities the first week of August every year. Or getting slushies after bike rides with the kids.

BUT, in our house we have a tradition that is laced around the fabric called recovery too. When my husband quit his addiction a few years ago, he made a pact with a good friend. This pact is filled with actionable items to keep him accountable to God, to me, to our kids and friends and most of all himself.  The words of the pact hang on our wall for everyone to read and each person signed it as well as a pastor that came to pray with us on this day.  The tradition part is that every December right around the anniversary of the pact, our families get dressed up and go out for a meal to celebrate.  We want to honor the men in our lives and the decision they made to be men of faith. Our children understand a little about what we are doing and my prayer is that as they grow older they will begin to see that we do in this one meal is so important and the importance of the decision their fathers made.

And so, I challenge you today. Traditions don't just have to be something that you think is outside of the recovery world - especially when fighting addiction is part of your world. Perhaps, it's time to start a new tradition.  Have a great day and prayers for thinking about starting a new tradition.



Saturday, September 23, 2017

Musical Devotional ~ Matt Redman's 10,000 Reasons



Matt Redman - Ten Thousand Reasons (10,000 Reasons) (Bless the Lord), New Album - 10,000 reasons, Year: 2011

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

Jesus, I'll worship Your holy name
Lord, I'll worship Your holy name

Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name
Jesus, I'll worship Your holy name
I'll worship Your holy name



Friday, September 22, 2017

The Good and the Bad

The Good And The Bad - from Our Daily Bread

Recently, I began studying the kings of the Old Testament with some friends. I noticed on the chart that we were using that a few of the leaders of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah are labeled good, but most of them are labeled bad, mostly bad, extra bad, and the worst.

King David is described as a good king who “followed [God] with all his heart” (1 Kings 14:8) and is an example to follow (3:14; 11:38). The bad kings are noted for their willful rejection of God and for leading their subjects into idolatry. King Jeroboam, the first king to rule Israel after the kingdom was divided, has the legacy of being remembered as one of the worst kings—“who sinned and who made Israel sin” (14:16). Because of his bad example, many kings who came after him are compared to him and are described as being as evil as he was (16:2,19,26,31; 22:52).

Each of us has a unique sphere of influence, and that influence can be used for evil or for good. An unfettered faithfulness to God is a light that will shine brightly and leave a legacy of good.
It’s our privilege to bring glory to the Lord. May others see His light shining through us and be drawn to His goodness.

Oh, make me, Lord, so much like Thee,
My life controlled by power divine,
That I a shining light may be
From which Thy grace may ever shine. —Robertson

Thursday, September 21, 2017

IamSecond.com ~ James Caldemeyer - I Lost Everything in this world


The Story from IamSecond.com ~ James Caldemeyer

Today James Caldemeyer serves as a fishing guide on a Texas lake and competes in bass fishing tournaments around the country. Affable and eager to serve his fishing clients, James engages in all sorts of easy conversation on the water. Yet his demeanor belies a deeper secret- that at the age of 21 he was responsible for an alcohol-related car accident that killed a person and resulted in losing his job, wife, and family.
With the guilt, anguish, and hurt overwhelming, James struggled to live. Yet in his darkest hours he found God waiting for him, with both the iron-fist of consequences and the mercy and grace that saved him from rotting in prison.



Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Take Cover

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:1-5

Yes, I keep adding on each day to the verse we have been studying. There really is so much in it that for our short daily devo's I think it's best to take it in pieces and reflect on that piece for the day.

I titled the devo today "Take Cover" because when I think of the word shield I think of a force field kinda like an umbrella - maybe it's the science fiction in me from having boys and all the super hero stuff they watch. But the shield in this verse is amazing - it's God's shield.   In my kids shows, somehow the shield just doesn't seem to last or is broken through. But not so with God's shield..it's of God's power.  And any reading of the Bible will turn up such amazing and powerful examples of how mighty God's power is that I have no DOUBT in my mind as to the strength of God's power.

And so, when we read this verse it clearly states that the inheritance promised by God is being protected by the shield of his power. I envision in my head his amazing force field over my inheritance. Too bad I just can't make out what that inheritance is. Huh! Well, the end of the sentence tells us when we get to see it "revealed in the last time". 

If God is actually protecting my inheritance then he must think it's pretty special and needs to be guarded for me. That's awesome and makes me want it all the more. This is the God who created everything - and so I know the majesty and creativity of his creations. I truly believe this inheritance to be special because of that.

Today, rejoice in your decision (if you have made it already) to renounce the life of addiction, hurts, hang-ups and habits and embrace the life Jesus has for you. If you have not made that decision yet, I pray that you will soon find peace.



Tuesday, September 19, 2017

What's My Inheritance?

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you 1 Peter 1:3-4

What kind of inheritance is this? I bet your might be saying "Umm..I'm not getting an inheritance. I squandered away the saving my parents had to try and help me but I just used it to get drugs" or "I've been banished from my parents and they want nothing to do with me." Yes, all too often in our addiction community we might not have the support that we need and have been cast away from our families because of the choices that we made. And so we will receive no earthly inheritance.

But, in Christ, you will get an inheritance and as the verse says, it's forever and it can't spoil, fade, perish and it's yours! When we have that new birth and renounce our ways and follow Jesus, he promises this inheritance. He knows our lives here are going to be riddled with troubles that we must overcome for His sake, and he has a reward planned out. But this inheritance is not for this earth. It's waiting for us when our time here on earth expires. And here is where that "living hope" comes into play that I wrote about yesterday. 

It's so easy to say "Oh yeah, that's the future" and not really think about it or even dismiss it. But this new hope was so precious to those beaten down (see verse 1 or the devo from 2 days ago) that this is what they placed their hope in. And it's the same with those dealing with a life of addiction and trying to become sober. 

It's intangible really. Do I know what that reward is? Nope. Do I have any idea what heaven will be like?". Nada again. It's so abstract that it's hard to grasp BUT I do know this-- Living a life here on earth filled with addiction  and sin is painful and filled with bad consequences that given the hope Jesus promises of an eternal life filled with reward - I'm thinking it's going to be a good thing. Because no addict or sinner has said ever - "My life is so filled with rewards!"

Following Jesus doesn't mean your life will be filled with less sadness, grief, etc as you break away. You might find yourself lost feeling you have no identity because you can't hang with the old friends because they really are bad news. But take your identity in Christ. That's what the folks in verse 1 did.