Faith Builders

Trying to Find Your Way Back?

Every so often the familiar and even somewhat predictable "amnesia scenario" is resurrected for another made-for-TV-movie or sitcom. The actor stares blankly into once-loved faces and professes no recognition whatsoever. Places, sounds, smells, even names--nothing seems familiar. Memory has been lost; hence, a sense of identity has been lost as well.

And that is exactly what has happened to us--all of us. We have lost our memory. Like the prodigal son's older brother who toiled endlessly and joyously in the fields, we have forgotten who we are and where we came from. But the forgetting goes beyond the pigsty from which the Father has rescued the prodigals. It extends back to the beginning--to a time when our identity was secure in our fellowship with the Father.
Before the rebellion...
Before the fall...
Before the exile.

As a result, our world is in the midst of an ongoing identity crisis. We walk around, day after day, year after year, generation after generation, trying to find our way back to....somewhere.... hoping that when we get there, someone will recognize us and tell us who we are.

The problem is, even if we figure out where that "somewhere" is, we cannot get ourselves back there, contrary to a song that was popular in the late '60s and early '70s that proclaimed the need to get ourselves back to the Garden.

The Value of Trials

REJOYCING
There are those who would consider that going through the recovery process is far from joyful. For most of us there is a great deal of pain along the recovery path.

    James 1:2-4 (Amplified)
    Count it all joy, my brethren, when ye fall into manifold temptations;
    Knowing that the proving of your faith worketh patience.
    And let patience have its' perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, lacking in nothing.

Are You a Shining Light? or Are you Living in the Shadows?

Vere after verse, the New Testament tells us that Jesus is the Light of the world. He came into this darkened world that is so full of sin, as a righteous, spotless Lamb, who would become the eternal Lamb and final sacrifice for all sins. No longer would lambs' blood have to be offered for the sins of the people. And this Light would be for all people, not for the Jews alone.

For those who have accepted the Light, Jesus, have the Light liviing in them. Therefore, they shine a mighty glow when they walk in God's ways.

Easter: The Big Event, and then—what?

Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.

SunriseNow what?

Remember the feeling of December 26th? The big buildup, the anticipation, and the excitement of The Big Event, and then—what?

Disappointment? Disillusionment? What do you do when the day after the big day is just like any other day?

Easter always feels like that for me. The full parking lot and the overflow crowd at church, the incredible music, a special sunrise experience, a wonderful meal.

Christos Anesti (Christ is risen!)

Alithos Anesti (He is risen indeed!)

And then suddenly it’s Monday, and the traffic’s congested and my friend’s grandpa dies and my talk for next week isn’t coming together. Nothing’s changed.

Now what?

It’s so easy to get excited by the “mountaintop experiences” that transport me to another world.

Learning to Trust

Trusting others has been difficult for me. People have hurt me over the years and trust did not come naturally for me as a result. My husband, Patrick, never gave me a reason not to trust him, but still I questioned him in my mind. After he stopped drinking over a year ago, I wasn’t sure I could trust he would continue to abstain.

This lack of trust carried over into my relationship with Jesus. Could I trust Him? Could I take His Word for truth? Could I believe He loved me despite the past I carried with me? I worked against God’s way for so many years, how could He possibly love me?

Uncomfortable Silence is a Teacher Too

Recovery-from much of anything - is often not done in the steady hum of encouragement. It's frequently done in intimidating quiet. Even with support groups, sponsors, treatment centers, churches and any number of "support structures," we are still left with our true selves. And, no matter what affirmations we have heard and learned, we alone are left to apply them. There is no uplifting outside cheerleader. There is just our decision.

I know this comes across as negative, especially concerning "the Higher Power" factor.

As a person of faith, I'm not dismissing the role The Most High plays. Rather, I see how the Divine shows up in disguised forms, one of those being the unanswered quiet.

Wisdom to Know the Difference

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.James 3:17


The Serenity Prayer is believed to have been written by American theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr sometime in the 1930’s. Although at the time it was written, it was not directly related to alcoholics, later it was adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous as the prayer stated at each of their meetings. It would then become a regular prayer at many other recovery meetings, including that of adult children of alcoholics.

Our Light of Life

As I reached to turn on the little lamp beside my bed this morning, I remembered that there have been a couple of times when I pulled the chain that the light flickered and went out. I had to replace the bulb because it no longer gave out any light. Thank God that we have a light that will never flicker or go out and His name is Jesus.

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. John 8:12 KJV

He is the light of the world and the light of life. He is the precious Son of God and His name is above all names. He is to be respected, cherished, adored, loved, honored, obeyed and held in the highest esteem. There is no other name like the name of Jesus. It is an honor and privilege just to think about Him, much less say His name.

Many times we walk in the darkness of the world by becoming involved in pornography. I have received emails from people whose hearts are broken because they have loved ones who have become addicted to this terrible thing. People who have been trapped in this addiction not only hurt their loved ones, they hurt Jesus. Yet, we are not to judge and condemn. That is God's right. We are to pray for these people because God loves them as much as He loves us.

Reasons for Not Worrying

George MacDonald tells of a castle in which lived an old man and his son. Though they owned the castle, they were yet very poor. They could scarcely get enough bread to keep them from starving. Yet all the time there was great wealth, which, if they had known about it, would have supplied all their wants. Through long generations there had been concealed within the castle—very valuable jewels, which had been placed there by some remote ancestor, so that if he or any of his descendants should be in need, there would be something in reserve.

For a long time the old man and his son suffered for lack of food, not knowing of the hidden treasures. At last, however, they learned in some way of the jewels, and instantly their distress was ended. Yet all the years of their pinching poverty, these treasures had lain there, ready to furnish comfort, if only they had known of them.

This story illustrates the case of many Christians. They are living in

Heaven Encountered in the Midst of Tragedy

Spinal Cord Injury denotes varying degrees of damage to the nerves in the spinal cord. The body's amazing design incorporates a number of protective safeguards, and often this extremely serious injury isn't immediately medically life threatening. Even when paralysis prevents most voluntary movements, life-sustaining automatic functions continue. Injuries high in the neck sometimes create breathing issues and cause dependence on a ventilator, and comprehensive treatment addresses a long list of other potentially critical concerns. But SCI is primarily chronic and forces adjustments to just about every aspect of life.

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