Saturday, May 27, 2017

Musical Devotionals - City on the Hill from Casting Crowns

Casting Crowns - City on the Hill

Did you hear of the city on the hill?
Said one old man to the other
It once shined bright and it would be shining still
But they all started turning on each other

You see, the poets thought the dancers were shallow
And the soldiers thought the poets were weak
And the elders saw the young ones as foolish
And the rich man never heard the poor man speak

And one by one, they ran away
With their made up minds, to leave it all behind
And the light began to fade, in the city on the hill
The city on the hill

Each one thought that they knew better
That they were different by design
Instead of standing strong together
They let their differences divide

And one by one, they ran away
With their made up minds, to leave it all behind
And the light began to fade, in the city on the hill
The city on the hill

And the world is searching still
But it was the rhythm of the dancers
That gave the poets life
It was the spirit of the poets
That gave the soldiers strength to fight
It was the fire of the young ones
It was the wisdom of the old
It was the story of the poor man
That needed to be told

It is the rhythm of the dancers
That gives the poets life
It is the spirit of the poets
That gives the soldiers strength to fight
It is the fire of the young ones
It is the wisdom of the old
It is the story of the poor man
That's needing to be told

One by one, will we run away
With our made up minds to leave it all behind
As the light begins to fade, in the city on the hill
The city on the hill

One by one, will we run away
With our made up minds, to leave it all behind
As the light begins to fade, in the city on the hill
The city on the hill

Come home
To the city on the hill
Come home 
To the city on the hill 

Friday, May 26, 2017

A Debtor

A Debtor - from Our Daily Bread

Thursday, May 25, 2017

I Am Second - Alex Kendrick

Alex Kendrick - The Story (from I am Second)

(this video is a little long - but well worth the watch..esp starting at minute 7:30)
I can personally say that we did the Love Dare in our marriage during counseling due to our issues with addictions in our lives..and God spoke to us in so many ways. 
Alex Kendrick is living proof that God can use obedient people to accomplish the seemingly impossible. How can he and the pastors of a small Georgia church produce, direct and market one movie-much less four theatrical released films- that keep impacting the lives of millions of people.
In this I am Second film Alex details the incredible story of how God worked to create and distribute the movies. He also reveals how God was convicting him in many of the same areas as the movie topics. His dilemma-if he could be obedient in making movies for God, could he also be obedient in making changes in his life, too?
Movies I recommend watching, Facing the Giants, Fire Proof and Courageous

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Renewal - It's Essential

Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

Renewal - desperately needed on so many levels. We take vacations from work to be able to recharge ourselves to be able to relax and therefore be refreshed and be productive. Stay at home moms need to take small retreats from their kids to be able to find an inner calm, reenergize and remember their purpose. I could give lots of examples but you get the idea.

Jesus even took spiritual renewals. When he needed to get recharged, he retreated from life, isolated himself and prayed to His Father - Our Father. And we are encouraged to do the same.

But not all renewing is meant to be done in isolation.  For those with an addiction, there are different types of renewal.  There is the time needed when one has to be alone to process through all the decisions and choices that need to be made.  But then there is the renewal that needs to be happen in a group setting such as a traditional 12-step meeting or a Celebrate Recovery meeting.  This is a time where one gets recharged about the challenge of sobriety but with encouragement from others who are going through the same thing - or the encouragement from sponsors or accountability partners..the people who have gone before and conquered.

I guess that's why I like the idea of weekly meetings (and for some it's daily meetings).  Let's face it - our lives are crazy busy!  And with different stresses pouring down on us daily it's so easy to slip up. But with going to a place of renewal on a regular basis we get that recharge that we need to face life for another week. And yes, those in recovery do face life one day at a time so daily encouragement is really required to be sober.

If you are in recovery for an addiction, I encourage you to pray and read the Word daily (and don't forget those are Green Light activities in recoveryBox) and then I encourage you to find a local meeting to find encouragement from others who understand the life of addiction.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Riding a Bike

"And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their relatives, saying "You should know the Lord.' For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me already," says the Lord. "And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins." - Jeremiah 31:34

I love that God is forgetful about my sins that I confess to him. Don't we wish everyone was like that?  The thing is, in order to grow in faith and leave our addictions behind we are going to have to take chances. And we most likely are going to make mistakes...kinda like riding a bike. You have to muster up the courage to get on the bike but there are bound to be falls - at first. But get the courage to try it again and eventually as success happens you will forget about the falls and enjoy the sweet fragrance of victory.

And so it is with our addictions - muster up the courage to take that first step and admit that there is a problem.  Then the work begins. Recovery is a long process and there might be mistakes along the way too.  But, you've got to confess those to God and try again.  The awesome thing is that he promises in Jeremiah 31:34 that he will forget about our sins. Please don't take that to mean that we will not have to deal with consequences of our actions.  That's different. This means that Our Father in heaven will not hold it against us that we messed up.

Don't let recovery scare you. Confess today, get on that bike and pedal. You might fall - but the bruises will be temporary.  But the eventual ride of a lifetime will be worth it.

Monday, May 22, 2017

I Know For Certain Whom I Can Trust

He will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

It is important - no imperative- that you have someone you can trust. And I am speaking especially to those who are just beginning their addiction freedom journey. It's why I believe so much in the premise behind the recoveryBox app along with attending a traditional 12 Step program or a Celebrate Recovery meeting- and having an accountability partner or sponsor who has walked the walk and can talk the talk too. That person WILL be your eyes and ears when you need it most.

I understand that friends and family can us. But let's be honest - trust is a hard thing to gain when we have hurt these people repeatedly because of our addictions. And so, when you have that accountability partner, they will give "it" to you straight when a friend or family member might shy away or just close the door when you are in need most.

BUT, the good thing is that you have someone besides a sponsor or accountability partner.  You have God. Our Lord will NEVER let us down when we seek him.  When you need comfort or guidance or inspiration or love - He will always be there to give that freely.

I find it awesome that besides having someone in the earthly realm to help us fight our addictions, hurts, and hang-ups - that we have someone so powerful in the heavenly realm who "has our back".  We just need to trust.

So when you feel alone or left out - lift your eyes and ask Him for that something special today. Ask him for the love that only our Father can give.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Count Our Blessings - Literally

James 1:12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

Some people feel that they never receive blessings in life. That everyone else has the best luck and not them. I contend that we all have blessings bestowed upon us - it's just a matter if we can actually see them. Sometimes we are just so down in life that we can't see the rainbow..because we are facing the wrong direction.

So, I have a challenge for you. You can do this in a journal, post it notes, or even in the recoveryBox app in the 12 Step Section as step journal entries.  

Write down each and every blessing you receive on the day. Do it for a week straight.  And I mean every blessing. I think what you will see is that on day 1 you might write 5 or 6 things down..if that.  By Day 7, I think you might find that you can see life a little better because you are actively searching and your list will be much longer.  Our outlook on life is how we see life - sometimes we just need to turn around to see it all.

Good luck and I truly hope you do this to see how you are blessed.

PS. If you use recoveryBox on a daily basis - don't forget to count this exercise as a Self-Care Green Light.