Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Misplacing Our Joy

Psalm 30:5

For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning

Sometimes we have our joy, only to misplace it. There are as many ways for joy to elude us as there are personalities in the world, but one way we lose it is by not being present in the now.

[What do you mean in the now? I’m here living right? As part of addiction recovery I’m dealing with the past .]

Living in the not-so-perfect life, I’ve experienced the consequences of sin. - my own and those bestowed on me by others. I’ve made mistakes that shame me to no end; sins that if I dwelled on them and failed to receive the forgiveness freely given, would send me into a black hole from which I would never return].
Well that about nails where the addiction comes in. The author doesn’t even know it but she’s right..dwelling on the pains caused by us and to us would never allow us to release it and immerse ourselves in addiction recovery. Right in one paragraph she is a actually writing about several of the 12 steps of recovery.
She goes on to write “and I have also experienced sin on the receiving end : abandonment, betrayal, manipulation, and emotional abuse. Accepting my failure, as well as those of others, is the only way to deal with a fallen world. And moving on is the only way to hope.”
Nope, this devotional that I am blogging about each day is not for those with addictions, but it does show that everyone has pains and hurts..but its how we deal with it. And today is the day to let go of those hurts and grab ahold of your joy.
“Joy is a state of contentment that cannot be affected by outside forces. Remember , yesterday is an outside force.”
Are you ready and willing to let go? Stop living in the comfort of the past..what do you chose?
For me, I choose to be in on the now.
— Finding your joy - Letting Go of Yesterday
1 year book of inspiration, Ellen Miller

Monday, December 5, 2016

Be Still

Psalm 46:10

New International Version (NIV)

10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;    I will be exalted among the nations,    I will be exalted in the earth.”

Sorry today's devotion is late...it's been a journey at our house today (well starting last night really). My son (the one with special needs) had a huge meltdown at a church event last night. And this type of meltdown is the type that some day might just lead to putting him a mental hospital for a few days for med management.

The reason I tell you this is because in the past, this type of event would have thrown both my husband and I for a loop and would have ended up with both of us acting out and returning to that life we are leaving behind.

During times like these I often don't have the words to pray and sometimes I feel like my prayers are a broken record. But at least during the rough times both my husband and I have learned to lean on God and pray as our first resort rather than our last even if my prayers feel so inadequate.  This morning, as I did my devotion with my friend, our book talked about praying first which just felt like confirmation to me that our ways are changing and that I can actually see the fruit of all this hard work.

Often when we hear the "Be still" verse we only remember the first part "Be still and know that I am God" but I think the second part is actually the more amazing part. The verse says (and mind you this is God speaking) "I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth." God is telling me to be still and basically let him work it out - he will be exalted through all of this.

There are two definitions of exalted (I know because I looked them up). The first means to be put in a place of high regard. The second definition means a state of extreme happiness. 

When I read this verse today and think about my life, this is what I figured out...Be Still in your troubles because "I got this". I am working this all out so that everyone may know that I am God and it will all bring me extreme happiness. See, God is not happy to see us suffer and so he is working on our behalf to bring us into his world of no pain, no suffering and complete happiness. No, it's not our world now, but for those who believe it will be.

Today, I'm being still and letting God work it out!

PS. The verse that came from my devotion today (really got me thinking) was Matthew 7:7-8.7 "Ask, and it will be given you. Seek, and you will

find. Knock, and it will be opened for you.
8 For everyone who asks receives. He who seeks
finds. To him who knocks it will be opened.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Who Are We Trying To Please?

Galatians 1:10 ESV / 367 helpful votes

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

A coworker once asked me what I thought was an innocent question. "Who are you trying to please?" Of course I was totally caught off guard and started to mumble what I'm sure was some sore of rambling response of what he wanted to hear. But he stopped me and didn't let me answer. Instead he asked me to think about it.

Grr..that get's my goat for sure. Or at least it used to. Yes, I used to be the type of person who tried to please everyone with the right answers, helping out all the time, going the extra mile until it nearly killed me. Yes, even being that person in the family that everyone goes to  for help "solving their problems".

One of the things that I soon came to grips with in recovery is that there is only person I need to please and that is The Lord. If I can please Him, then my actions should be good enough. Well, that's actually easier said then done really. Pleasing The Lord means that we need to understand what is actually pleasing to Him. Yikes! It's getting complicated especially for someone who is dealing with CoDependency. I've come to realize that I need to analyze my actions to see if they pass a litmus test to speak.

In order for God to be pleased it means he has to like my actions right? So, I must accept that I am a sinner and that my actions of the past are forgiven because I asked Him for forgiveness. This helps me not fall into the "nothing I do is going to be good enough trap."  And knowing that I am a sinner and have so many faults, it helps me also accept that no matter what I do - it's not going to be perfect. But if I do it with the correct intentions, he will be pleased.

The Lord also isn't looking for us to be perfect. He already knows we live in a broken world full of sin which is why He came and died for us. What God is really looking for, I believe, is that we trust Him. It's why Paul tells us that by good deeds along we are not saved.

So, I ask once more. Who are you trying to please? Man, yourself, your sponsor or accountability partner? It took me a while to realize that the only being I need to please is the one who created me. Sure, others will be disappointed in me, but I've learned that I can't make everyone happy and I shouldn't try either. It's just not my job.  Now that is freeing!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

There's a Party In the House

Psalm 65

For the choir director: A song. A psalm of David.

What mighty praise, O God,
    belongs to you in Zion.
We will fulfill our vows to you,
    for you answer our prayers.
    All of us must come to you.
Though we are overwhelmed by our sins,
    you forgive them all.
What joy for those you choose to bring near,
    those who live in your holy courts.
What festivities await us
    inside your holy Temple.

So many of us live with the thought that we can't draw near to God because we are so full of sin. While that is not true, it's hard to wrap our mind around the thought that someone wants to be with us - one so filled with sin.

But King David (who was a sinner too remember) shows us that there is hope - there is joy in drawing near to God. In fact, he writes that there are festivities in the holy temple. It's a party! And nothing is more joyful that a party!

In order to really enjoy the party, we must truly believe that God has fully forgiven our sins and what our conception of this God is. Once you confessed to God your sins, you are forgiven..completely. So I wonder, what do you believe? Is your party filled with joy?

Friday, December 2, 2016

God Remains in Control ESP When We Aren't

There are time when it seems as if everything is going wrong. Throughout history, nations and individuals have struggled through disasters, hardships, dangers, sorrow and adversity.

Before becoming despondent, however, acknowledge the greatness, glory and constancy of God. He called the word into existence, He created man and has kept vigil over His creation, caring for us through the ages and sheltering us in every disaster.

He is the Creator God who will never abandon His workmanship. Hold onto His promises; place your entire trust and faith in the living Christ and through Him you will survive the dangers and adversities.

He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. Col 1:17

-- Yes, even though it seems like no one understands what we are going through, it's such a wrong attitude. First of all, there are scores of others who are currently going through your life of addiction recovery and scores more who lived through it to be victorious. We are NOT alone. God is with us. How do I know? I mean my life is so rough, how do I know He is there? Well, a few days ago we read in our devotions that we need to see the little blessings in life. Count them. Each day try and find one more than the day before. You will eventually begin to see God really is here with us and we need to wake up. He truly is in EVERY part of our lives. He celebrates the victories of passing on a drink and is stroking our face praying for us when we make the wrong choice and pass out from too much to drink. He IS there.

Have you seen Him today? I have!

Grace for Each Moment

Thursday, December 1, 2016

God Waiting

God Waiting - from Our Daily Bread

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Light on Your Way

When we look back along the road we have traveled, we tend to focus only on the negative things. Because the past had its share of problems, many people expect the same from the future.

But this is a negative way of looking at life. The prayers of your heart every day should be, "Lead me, O Light of the world!" Jesus Christ is still the Light of the world and He has promised that those who follow Him will never walk in darkness. Take His hand in faith and trust and experience Him as the light of your life.

God said , "Let there be light," and there was light. Genesis 1:3

-- It's so very hard to try and be positive in the midst of battling an addiction, but this is when we need to stay positive the most. Because of past behaviors it's very hard to trust ourselves to make the right choices for the future and we might even be very cynical that we can. But the great thing is that we don't have to be the one leading the charge. God does. We just need to follow Him. If I allow myself to make decisions through the lens of His redemption of me, I know I'll make better choices. Don't forget about all the tools that are available for you - He created those. Use them.  The Bible, 12 step meetings or Celebrate Recovery Meetings, accountability partners or sponsors, counselors, friends, Bible studies, devotions, prayer and yes, even aids like technology apps are all things available to you from Him to help you reframe your perspective on life.

Grace for Each Moment