Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wake Up And Smell the Coffee

"When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!'" Luk15:17 (NIV)

Lately I've been struggling to get up in the morning. It's probably because here where I live it's dark early and cold - and frankly I don't like the cold. So I just want to snuggle deep in my bed and keep hitting the snooze button. In fact, it's gotten so bad that I don't want to even hear the alarm.

I've come to realize that my alarm is only as good as I allow it do be. I mean, if I don't want to hear it - I'm just going to ignore it because my desire to be warm and remain in bed is so deep within me.

That's the way it was with the son of the rich man in this story - he was living the life of a slave even though there was food and good clothing and love at home. But, he just didn't want to hear about it (or think about it). But when he finally came to his senses, he realized how foolish he was being! At this point he realized his life had to change AND that he had the power to change it!

Have you come to that point yet with your addiction or hurt or hang-up or habit?  Sometimes we just need to have that good wake-up call BUT, if we aren't in the frame of mind to hear it, it's no good. Perhaps you are thinking that you aren't good enough to deserve to change, or that you can't change or that God doesn't love you. All of those are lies that you tell yourself. If you finally have that moment but do nothing about it, then the moment is wasted. So when you have that moment of clarity (almost an "I get it" moment- don't let it slip by. Act on it!

Ask God to work something new in you - and take the right steps. Attend a meeting by Celebrate Recovery or a traditional 12 Step, ask for forgiveness or offer it to someone..whatever and wherever you are in your recovery process...act on the AHA moments.

And then, be accountable to someone that you trust. I am such a believer in that accountability does work.  A trusted friend/sponsor will be honest with you and help support you.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Because I Live

“Because I live, you also will live”. John 14:19

Despite how gloomy the future seems sometimes, it is important to remember that your life and future are in the hands of God. The Christians fate is not rules by blind fate; God is in control of every situation in which you find yourself. He knows your needs and is always there to provide.
“Because I live, you also will live”. John 14:19
Through his death and resurrection Jesus not only gave you life, but also a reason to live. Through the Holy Spirit He provides you with the skills to cope with life. Choose life and live it in the abundance of Jesus Christ, giving Him the glory.
—I’ve got to say that I think for every person dealing with an addiction of some sort (or just really tough problems in life), this devotion speaks it all. We are not alone, he knows what we need and give it to us. Seems to me like it is up to us to just do the asking. Lord, I ask that today you help me make wise choices and deliver me from tough situations.
Grace for Each Moment

Monday, January 16, 2017

To Whom Do You Belong?

To whom do you belong, and where are you going? Gen 32:17

Life must have purpose and significance if you are to live meaningfully. One of the great truths of the Christian life is that it changes your attitude. Previously you lived without hope or expectation, but Christ now plants new hope in your heart.
When you truly start living in Christ, you look at life with a new understanding. You will never again have to ask, “Is life worthwhile ?” When the thoughts of Christ fill you and the Holy Spirit saturates your spirit, you realize the rich quality of your faith, and your life takes on new and exciting dimensions.
To whom do you belong, and where are you going? Gen 32:17
— I believe that for those who are in the midst of an addiction and haven’t hit rock bottom that you might not get this devotion today. I think when you hit that point and realize your are not in control and give it all up then its so much easier to see and accept that yes life IS worth living. Jesus came so that we might live the abundant life so freely given. Take it! He wants you to have that abundant life.
Grace For Each Moment 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Totally Authentic

In his kindness God called you to share in his external glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and will place you on a firm foundation. 1 Peter 5:10

Being a totally authentic person is absolutely frightening for some us. It means we can’t hide behind a fantasy to guard our heart [or to deal with life]. It might mean becoming transparent, which means putting away the status; the piety; [the allusion of striving for the perfect life that doesn’t exist, putting away the booze, the drugs, the pornography]. It means we have to forfeit the props so that the real character can be known.
Are you ready for your true self to be restored? I hope you consider [coming to the party as you are- as God made you]?
— for those suffering in the torment of dealing with life by using drugs, alcohol, viewing porn, taking crazy risks, caring for others to ones own demise- let it go! Be yourself! God will restore you, support you, and strengthen you..but only if you let Him.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

I Hear Voices In My Head

Isaiah 43:18-19 "Forget the former things;do not dwell on the past.See, I am doing a new thing!Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?I am making a way in the desertand streams in the wasteland.”

The voices in our head that we hear can be so exhausting and draining and not always telling us the truth or what we need to hear.

"we don’t have to be diagnosed with schizophrenia to know that we deal with a barrage of nasty voices that spread us too thin. Things we literally make up, conclusions we jump to, and fantasy "showdowns" we have to set the record straight. I know you know what I’m talking about: the articulate positioning, perfect timing , and final zinger you "share" with that person who harmed you; the venting that happens over and over again- but only in your head."

Come on, we all do it. I can think of many a nights I couldn’t fall asleep because (in my head) I was trying to get someone to see things my way…tossing and turning…to finally drift off just hours before I needed to get hop in the shower to have those voices return..ding..round 2!
Even when I know I’m dead right and that person is wrong I can spend so much mental energy on this. It’s so draining.
"Spending so much time dwelling on hurts, wrongs, and misfortunes is a waste of time. How many hours each week do we squander, pondering how we’ve been wronged and how we should defend our honor? Consider the outcome if we took that time and did something useful with it. Like maybe read a book, call someone who makes us laugh, listen to upbeat music, or better yet- pray. Imagine the positive energy we would gain by putting a stop to more negative thinking."
Yup, she’s right. I want that peace but yet I allow myself to get sucked in to harmful, self-destructive way of thinking. And I can say from experience, even when I have had a chance to deliver my well rehearsed zinger, it did not resolve things and left me with a new round of inward negative thinking.
For those in recovery from an addiction this is where working the 12 steps is so helpful. As you move through identifying your own faults and then those who hurt you, it releases these thoughts in your mind. You develop healthy ways of dealing with situations/people in which you were wronged..but now you have skills to deal with it. At least I have. And these are healthy skills…not the addiction self-soothing skills. I truly believe that there is healing in working the traditional 12 steps or the Celebrate Recovery steps.
As the author concludes “it’s not easy, and it typically requires me to be conscious of my thoughts and diligent of my actions. But the effort is worth it.”
Not only is it worth it, but I’m worth it!
Positive Thoughts
1 year book of inspiration

Friday, January 13, 2017

Musical Devotional - Gungor's Please Be My Strength

Sometimes the lyrics to songs are so powerful that we can use these as devotionals especially when they are based on scriptures. Gungor's songs reminds me of the Psalms when King Davis is crying out to God to be his strength because he realizes he's not in control - and never was.

 "Please Be My Strength" by Gungor

I’ve tried to stand my ground
I’ve tried to understand
but I can’t seem to find my faith again

like water on the sand

or grasping at the wind
I keep on falling short

please be my strength

please be my strength
Cuz I don’t have anymore
I don’t have anymore

I’m looking for a place

that I can plant my faith
one thing I know for sure

I cannot create it

I cannot sustain it
It’s Your love that’s keeping (captured) me

Please be my strength…

at my final breath

I hope that I can say
I’ve fought the good fight of faith

I pray your glory shines

through this doubting heart of mine
so my world would know that You

You are my strength

You and You alone
You and You alone

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A Neighbor On The Fence

A Neighbor On The Fence from Our Daily Bread