Forgiveness of God

John: "Sin is My Sickness"

I am powerless over sin. That's my problem. I used to feel damned because my life seemed to be falling apart. By the grace of God I learned that although I was just as much at fault for the problems in my life as the people in my life, God was not so cruel as to torment me for my sinfulness. In fact only he could restore me to sanity. My higher power volunteered.

Luke 4:18
He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.

Jody: "I was broken by Crack"

I came to God a broken person. I was terribly addicted to crack cocaine. I had lived ten years with the guilt and pain I was causing my family and myself.

I was raised to believe in God, but I didn't know how He could help me, or that He would want to. I had never learned that Jesus died so I wouldn't have to live in the misery of my past. The more I learned about Jesus the more I realized how much He loves us and wants to help us.

I Was Addicted to Sex and Could Never Get Enough

My name is Jeff and I am a recovering sex addict. It all started when I lived at home with my parents. My father was and still is a sex addict and alcoholic to this day. I can remember when my mother would go to bed, my father would turn on the cable adult channels and allow me to watch them with him. He also had pin up posters and other adult stuff in the household. My father was verbally abusive to us and my mother. After 23 years, my father walked out on all of us. I moved out shortly after, when I turned 18. I lived from place to place and I would hang out with my friends during the week and watch porno movies and drink beer. On the weekends we would go to clubs and try to pick up on girls to have sex with. All I wanted was sex. Little did I know that the craving and the snares of Satan began there.

I slept with a lot of women and could never get enough. I was married at 26, only to last 9 months. I could not be loyal to one woman. A year later I married again but the problems did not stop. I became addicted to pornography on the internet. I was spending at least 18-24 hours a week on the net. I met women, had sex with them and I got deeper and deeper into it. My wife became saved, and I did shortly after but it did not even stop there. I was so bound to my addiction. I had an affair on my wife again and this time I confessed to her. Things were better for a while but I found myself back on the net again.

I am a Homosexual Choosing to Walk Under God's Authority

During my quiet time with God this morning, I was reminded of the words from a song written centuries ago: "0 Love, that wilt not let me go." These words have stayed with me all day as I have sought to better understand what they could mean. Throughout the day, I have spoken them over and over many times. They have put a smile on my face and given me a deep inner peace. They have also made me weep from the bottom of my heart.

Two pictures come to mind as I think about these eight words: "O Love, that wilt not let me go."

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.

God Chooses the Improbable

"You did not choose me, but I chose you..."John 15:16a

I know what you're thinking: "God chooses others, but not me."

You think it's because of your secret, don't you? The awful thing in your past — that abortion or that affair; your divorce; the rape; the sexual abuse; the shameful business failure; your drug usage; alcoholism; criminal past. etc. Like the clumsy, nearsighted child no one picks for playground sports, you want God's favor, His grace, but it seems beyond your wildest dreams. It's not.The poem "The Chosen Vessel" tells how God picks a vessel to use: "Take me," cried the gold one. "I'm shiny and bright,"I'm of great value and I do things just right." But God passes by the gold, silver, brass, crystal, and wooden urns, and chooses the vessel of clay. The poem explains why:

Then the Master looked down and saw a vessel of clay.
Empty and broken, it helplessly lay.

No hope had the vessel that the Master might choose,
to cleanse and make whole, to fill and to use.
"Ah! This is the vessel I've been hoping to find,
I will mend and use it and make it all mine."

Tapping into the Unknown

Part 1 Breaking Habits | Part 2 Tapping into the Unknown | Part 3 Breaking Habits and Sin | Part 4 God's Love | Part 5 Scary Secrets | Part 6 Are You Ready?

The unknown can be a scary place. We might ask God to guide us through the maze...

God, I'm not even sure if you exist, but I know I want to be free from of this habit. My motives are selfish and not totally pure, and I might be blind to other things in my life that also need changing, but I ask You to open my eyes to who you are, and to my need of you. Come close to me. Open my mind as I continue in my life, and give me the courage to do what I should do.

It's not hard to imagine that anyone could break habits if they had didn't have the supernatural power of God flowing through them. Its also hard to believe that we have the ability, right now, to tap into this power, but our beliefs prevent us from doing so. One of our biggest stumbling blocks is to think that we are so contaminated, or that God is too Holly for us to relate too. The fact is – we are, but we must develop a belief, deep within that God has paid the "cleaning bill" for us when He gave up his life on the cross.

The Valley Called Decision

One day a man walked into his place of worship and to his surprise the devil was at the altar weeping bitterly. When the man asked him, "Hey, what's wrong with you?" His reply was, "Everyone blames me for everything!"

This fictional story serves to remind us how easy it is to point fingers. We, like water, seek out the easiest course to follow. You see, it's so much more convenient to blame everyone rather than to look deep into ourselves. Not until I began to honestly take inventory of my own personal life, was I able to admit to myself that I was in dire need of a total spiritual and emotional make-over.

It's a humbling experience for anyone to look into the mirror and say, "I have met the enemy and the enemy is me!"

But, like a master sailor uses the contrary wind to get him to safe harbor, we too can use our imperfections as a driving force to relearn and refocus on our true self and mission on earth. Be comforted in knowing that because of Gods amazing grace, He is able to draw a straight line using a crooked stick.

If we will fearlessly open up the chapters of our past, I think we will be surprised to see that many of our hell-on-earth experiences have been caused by the inability to make right decisions. Never forget, we are the very ones who chose alcohol and/or drugs as a solution to life's problems. (Some may say, "Alcohol, drugs? That's not my problem!" That may be true, but take a good look into the cup from which you drink, is it filled with fear, pride, unforgiveness, greed or guilt?) If your answer is yes, then we welcome you to join us as we seek for the solution.

The 3rd step in the big book of A.A. reads "We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him."

The word decision means: The act of making up one's mind. When a person lacks this ability they are likened to a double minded (doubting, hesitating) man who is unstable in all his ways (James 1:8 paraphrased). One never builds a mansion on a unstable foundation, much less will a marriage built on sand (unstable people) survive the storms of life.

But wait! There is a better way. For He who has all POWER says to us,

"For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

But for us to enjoy the fruit of this better way we must pass through the Valley called DECISION.

Many of us have missed out on excellent opportunities in life, due to the inability to make up our own mind. You see, when we doubted and hesitated, another came and snatched up all that was dear to us. In the twinkling of an eye, family, friends, careers and even our own self respect was gone.

Your New Identity in Christ

There I was, sitting in the green room of the Oprah Winfrey television show, waiting for my turn to share with the world how my new identity had transformed me from the inside out. I stood in front of the floor-to-ceiling mirror startled by my own image. The mirror reflected an image of a tall, slender black woman with shiny, wavy hair that sparkled like dew drops on a crisp autumn morning. The chestnut eyes beamed with vibrant life. The air was filled with deep love, passion, and hope. I didn't recognize "me."

As I crawled out of bed the next morning, just out of curiosity, I checked in the mirror. I now saw what I had seen hundreds of times before: an under-tall—5 feet, two inches and shrinking to be exact—Caucasian, over forty-nine and holding, work-in-progress lady.

Perhaps it was just a dream that seemed so real to me. Ten years later I still remember the precise details of my "Oprah adventure."

Confused and baffled by my identity, I wondered: Who am I anyway?

God's Washrag

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18 KJV

When I get up in the morning, I wash my face so that I will be alert and clean. There are many times during the day when I have to wash it again because I get hot and it refreshes me. So it is with Jesus. When we pray the sinner's prayer and ask Him to forgive us and wash us in His atoning blood, He cleanses us from all sin. However, because of living in a world that is sinful and corrupt, our hearts sometimes become filled with unforgiveness, resentment, bitterness, jealousy, sarcasm and criticism.

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