Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Constructive Thinking

So I saw that there is nothing better for people than to be happy in their work. That is why we are here! No one will bring us back from the death to enjoy life after we die. Ecclesiastes 3:22

This is where I struggle. In fact, it's often the root of my depression. I have stayed home with the kids every since they were babies.  I gave up a great career in IT as a programmer/developer to take care of my kids. I do have a special needs child and when he was younger I knew that staying home is what I was being called to do.

But now they are in school and I often have the itch to go back.  But, with working full-time, it would be such a challenge.  My son especially needs the structure of mom home in the mornings and afternoons. And I sometimes get called to go to school during the day for situations.  And that depressed me --  Won't I ever get to go back to work full-time?  Wouldn't it be nice to have some extra money for vacations?

But, isn't work not about making money but about being purposeful? Isn't it about being able to make a difference in someone's life?  So lately, the more I dwell on this the more I realize that right now God has set my life up to take care of the boys (which has a purpose) and also to be able to continue with the development of recoveryBox.  I get to help others because of our own family journey through addiction.

It's not always easy to see God's purpose and often harder to accept it.  Ultimately, life is about contributing to something that is bigger than ourselves. But in whatever you do, we must do it to the best of our abilities - always!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Fall to Our Knees

When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and earth. I pray that from his glorious unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Ephesians 3:14-16

Recently a friend and I were discussing how life becomes so overwhelming with so many difficult situations that we just don't know where to go with it and how easy it is to freeze in fear. Fear of not being able to solve anything.  And then she remarked how we don't need to solve everything.  In fact, God has it worked out - we just need to ask Him for his help!

And so, she and I will pray for each situation in our lives.  But we tell each other our struggles too so that we may pray for each other. I do pray for God to fill her with resources - he truly does have everything at his disposal.   But I also pray for strength and sometimes it's just strength to hold back and let situations play out.

Sit back and close your eyes. I want you to think about how God created the heavens, the animals, the thunder, the lightening, people, grass, bees, think about the human body and all the cells and bones and the complexity of how it all works.  We have an amazing God - so yes he does have unlimited resources that he can send our way.  He created everything and can do anything!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Encourage Each Other

So encourage one another and build each other up, just as you are already doing. I Thessalonians 5:11

This verse packs a punch. Either you are convicted of not doing it, or you feel good that you do offer that support to one another.

I truly believe that encouraging and support that others give to someone who has an addiction is the equivalent of a life preserver. It can truly keep someone afloat during hard times.  It's why I build recoveryBox (the mobile addiction recovery app) to have that accountability piece.  If used correctly, your sponsor should be supporting you during the bad as well as the good.

But now let's extend this verse to other areas of our lives.

Do we encourage our children or just tell them they can do better?
Do we praise our coworkers when they get a promotion or do we stew in jealousy because we felt passed over?
Do we help out in need when we clearly see someone struggling or do we hope someone else will step up?
Do we eat that juicy burger in front of someone so desperately trying to lose weight?
Do we offer help to the mom in the grocery store when her child is melting down or do we think her parenting skills need improvement and then we walk away?

Obviously I could go on.  I just want you to note I am guilty of all of the above I mentioned which is why they came so easily for me to think of as examples.  My point is that even as good as I am in one area, there are other facets of my life that I need to extend this verse to.

So, today, when you see someone struggling with something, offer help.  Or if it's not appropriate in that situation, pray for them.  Sometimes that is what we are called to do instead.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Ask Me for Anything

At Gideon, the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, "Ask for whatever you want Me to give you." I Kings 3:5

Ever get annoyed when someone uses a lot of words and kinda beats around the bush rather than asking you outright for something?  It's like pulling teeth, huh ? Well, the same thing can happen to us when we pray.  We can beat around the bush with God rather than just saying what we want. Keep in mind, He already knows what's on our heart so why do we do this?

I think as an addict we sometimes so this because we feel not worthy.  And that will change in time as you are further in your recovery journey and your walk with God grows deeper.  For now, make an effort to be direct with God.  He wants honesty and openness from us.

But also pray for wisdom so that we can hear his voice and discern what He is telling us rather than our own inner voice. And pray too that we can accept His answers.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Musical Devotions - I Surrender

Get Help Today - Be accountable to someone! Use this with your Celebrate Recovery or 12 Step Meeting, accountability partner or sponsor!  It was created by someone recovering from a Habit, Hurt or Hang-up attending a Celebrate Recovery program. Accountability does work. Good luck and Blessings to you on your recovery journey!

Download recoveryBox, Addiction Recovery App - Your Complete Sobriety Toolbox

Scott Allen Matthews - I Surrender
From the movie - Home Run

I have left the battle lines
There's a hope that lies in front of me
I've discovered who I am
And I found I was the enemy

I have struggled for so long

I lay it down
I give it up
I'm letting go
Of this war I've always know
I wave the flag
I humbly fall
On my knees 
I've tried to do it all
On my own

I Surrender

I have waged unholy war
And have left a trail of misery
Can a hard heart be restored?
Can a prisoner find his liberty?

I have struggled for so long

I lay it down
I give it up
I'm letting go
Of this war I've always know
I wave the flag
I humbly fall.
On my knees 
I've tried to do it all

You gave me hope
And I walk the road
And I'm holding on
To this love I've come to know
You gave me hope 
And I walk the road
And I'm holding on 
To this love I've come to know

And I Surrender
Jesus, I Surrender
Lord I give me life to You right now
I Surrender
I give you my everything all to you
I Surrender
I can't make it on my own

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Terrifying Moments

Terrifying Moments - from Our Daily Bread

When our first child was born, my wife, Marlene, was in labor for more than 30 hours, creating tremendous stress for both her and the baby. The doctor, a fill-in for her regular physician, was unfamiliar with her and her pregnancy. As a result, he waited too long to make the decision to perform an emergency Caesarean section, and the resulting trauma put our infant son in the neo-natal intensive care unit. There was nothing they could do to help our baby to overcome his trauma-induced condition.
By God’s grace, Matt recovered—but I cannot remember any moment in my life as terrifying as when I stood by his crib in intensive care. Yet I knew the Lord was near as I talked with Him through prayer.
In the terrifying moments of life (and all the other moments as well) nothing can bring comfort to the hurting heart like the reality of God’s presence and care. The psalmist David wrote, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (Ps. 23:4).
When fear is overwhelming, the Lord is there. His comforting presence will carry us through our deepest trials.
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll—
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
“It is well, it is well with my soul.” —Spafford

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Sweating, Sweets and Tummy Tucks

You must not have any other gods but me. You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other Gods. Exodus 20:3-5

Why can't we be pleased with our body images?  (Trust me..I'm right here in this category!) Why must we put body image on such a pedestal that we do crazy things to make ourselves "perfect". Diets, surgery, starvation, over exercising, and so much more.

First we have to face that what you see in the media that is portrayed as perfect - well it's a lie!  Yes, Hollywood and all those skinny ladies with perfect skin - yes it's a lie!  Shocker, right?!?  Umm..no. So comparing yourself to that standard is downright wrong.

Yes, we are to take care of our bodies as they are a temple that God gave to us.  And yes, we must eat healthy to live as well as exercise to keep our bodies strong  - but the moment we start to "obsess" with how much we eat or how much we exercise it becomes an idol. We need to stop spending so much time thinking about us - our weight, wrinkles, diet, etc. And we need to start thinking more about Him - and what he wants for us.

Some people have a hard time appreciating how eating disorders or over exercising can fall into the addiction category, but the moment that you let food or exercise or body image consume your thoughts and action - well, it has now become an addiction. But, like all other addictions, you CAN overcome.