Hope

Won't You Listen?

Won't you listen my friend to the words that we share.
Won't you open your heart to a power that cares.

For within each of our souls is the spirit of living,
Within each of our hearts is a gift of giving.

Won't you be free my friend to open your mind,
to know God is with us One day at a time.

Copyright 1997, by Neil Wright San Francisco, CA.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Alcoholics are Special

Do you know why alcoholics are special? They are special because they have an uncanny ability to keep drinking alcohol even after the last person has left the party. You might be thinking, “That’s not special, that’s downright unhealthy.” Well, what do you think alcoholism is? Alcoholism is unhealthy in every form imaginable – physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.

Alcoholics have always been a minority of misfits, drinking all night long, hardly able to manage the next morning, until the next drink, and then starting all over again. I’m talking about myself here – I can’t speak for all alcoholics. I literally felt like a misfit when I was in the depths of addiction. Anyway, the repetition or vicious cycle is what makes an alcoholic an alcoholic. If he or she could stop at one or two drinks they wouldn’t be alcoholic, right?

Actually what makes an alcoholic special is the sensitivity of their hearts when they are sober. Notice I said, when they are sober. Through my own research, and asking former alcoholics, I’ve come to the conclusion that alcoholic’s have a high sensitivity level towards people and their feelings that exceeds that of non-alcoholics, in general. This is why sober alcoholics and drug addicts almost always find themselves in a serving type profession helping other people combat their addictions and personal problems.

On Stormy Waters?Premium Content

(Based on Matthew 14:22-34)

Experienced fishermen shuddered when the wind howled out of the mountains and onto the sea. Then the waves became choppy and unpredictable. Men who worked these waters knew to haul their sails and make for harbor.

But sometimes-and this night was one of them-high seas would not permit sailors to gain the shore.

The small boat circled the middle of the sea, an eerie spot, wild, unsettled, dangerous-and according to some reports-haunted. In watery graves below lay the sailors' fellow fishermen waiting for them to join them, their boats reduced to waterlogged splinters,their bones picked clean by the same denizens of the deep they had come to harvest.

By three in the morning, as a false dawn dimly lit the sky, the men had been pulling on the oars for hours against the wind. No nearer shore, shelter, or sanctuary, exhaustion was setting in.

Then one man caught a glimpse of something unsettling on the seas. For a few moments, a trough obscured his vision, and while he waited for the lift of the next wave, he pondered whether he was seeing things. When the wave lofted them upward, he looked steadily over his shoulder. There it was again!

He gave a shriek of terror and pointed as the boat was again swallowed by a curl of water.

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Seven Principles for an Addiction Free LifePremium Content

1. Bring Past Out Into The Open

Talk about your past with your counselors or trusted friends. The goal is to rid your past from your spiritual bank by forgiving all the people you need to forgive. It is also important to forgive yourself! If you have a difficult time forgiving, express yourself on paper and then mail it to them. Give up your past by not hanging on to it any longer. You can be free of your negative past for good when you just let “it” go.

2. Treat Yourself With Love and Kindness

You don’t have to beat yourself up every night, for whatever reason you might try to do that. You have to treat yourself good. Addiction does not make you a bad person – addiction in itself is bad, period! There is a beautiful person behind the addiction that needs and wants to break free from its hold – let yourself free. Breaking free deserves loving the person you are. Because you love who you are and care about the person God created you to be, you can break free from addiction and live a productive, healthy, and happy life.

3. Take Control of Your Addiction

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Do You Have a Broken Wing?Premium Content

It is quite probable that someone reading my words this moment is fighting an inner battle with a ghost from the past. The skeleton in one of yesterday's closets is beginning to rattle louder and louder. Putting adhesive tape around the closet and moving the bureau in front of the door does little to muffle the clattering bones. You wonder, possibly, "Who knows?" You think, probably, "I've had it... can't win... party's over."

The anchor that tumbled off your boat is dragging and snagging on the bottom. Guilt and anxiety have come aboard, pointing out the great dark hulks of shipwrecks below. They busy themselves drilling worry-holes in your hull and you are beginning to sink. Down in the hold, you can hear them chant an old lie as they work: "The bird with the broken pinion never soared as high again. . . ."

Allow me to present a case in opposition to these destructive and inaccurate accusers. It may be true that you've done or experienced things which would embarrass you if they became public knowledge. You may have committed a terrible and tragic sin that was never traced back to you. You may have a criminal record or a moral charge or a domestic conflict that, to this moment, is private information.

You may wrestle with a past that has been fractured and wounded by a mental or emotional breakdown. Futile attempts at suicide may add to the previous scar tissue and increase your fear of being labeled "sick" or "nervous." It is possible that you live with memories, covered now by the sands of time, of an illicit relationship or a financial failure or a terrible habit or a divorce or a scandalous involvement. You feel that any one of these things might mar or cripple your reputation if the dirty details ever spilled on the table of gluttonous gossipers.

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Spiritual Warfare Prayers

One of the most important aspects of Prayer is Spiritual Warfare. The Bible tells us that we are in the midst of a Spiritual battle, and our advisory the devil is like a roaring lion seeking to destroy our lives. Paul says,

We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against Spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12


Satan and his forces of darkness are trying to destroy your life, and it is imperative that we learn to pray against these forces of darkness in order to gain victory in our lives.

*SPIRITUAL WARFARE PRAYERS*

1. I arise today with the power of the Lord God Almighty to call forth the heavenly host, the Holy angels of God, to surround and protect, and cleanse with God’s Holy light
all areas vacated by the forces of evil. I ask the Holy Spirit to permeate my mind, heart, body, soul and Spirit , creating a hunger and thirst for God’s Holy Word, and to fill me with the life and love of my Lord, Jesus Christ.

2. We use every verse in the Holy Bible that wars against the demonic forces. We bind and loose spirits. We tear down strongholds. We command civil war in Satan's Kingdom. We loose the Love of God, Price that Jesus Paid, Holy Spirit, Word of God, Blood of Jesus and Cross of Jesus against the forces of evil. All these things we do in the name of Jesus Christ , our Lord, Master and Savior, and for the Holy Trinity.

Are You Living on the Bridge of Grace?

Is your life a bridge of Grace to the world you encounter each day? The same grace that is saving, growing and changing you is also intended to draw those around you to Jesus. How so? His awesome grace works from the inside out in our lives; changing us from glory to glory and wooing all whose lives we touch. Here are some of the incredible ways that his grace works in and through our lives.

The Bible portrays God’s Grace as the Manifold Grace of God. That simply means His Grace has many facets. It’s like looking at a fine diamond with many sides or facets. As such, grace has innumerable expressions to and through those who have placed their faith in Christ. Another way of understanding this great Grace is seeing it as a bridge that God builds toward and out from those who believe the Gospel of Grace.

Each facet of His Grace expressed in our lives is another plank of that bridge. He builds this bridge of Grace to ensure that we successfully walk out the Christian journey. As we walk in Grace others are drawn to that very same Grace. What a wonderful and gracious God! Let’s examine some of the planks on this Bridge of Grace. First, consider with me some of what the Grace of God means in our lives.

Prayer for Protection and Guidance

Oh Great an Wondrous Jehovah,
I slip into the mighty protection of Your hand.
Lord, forgive me for not trusting You with
the disappointments in my life.
Sometimes, I let all the little things add up
and rob the precious joy I find in You.
Help me to see when I put unreal expectations on
others, especially my friends and family.
It is harmful to us, affecting our relationships
in a negative way. Your Word teaches and gives me
wisdom for each and every day.

The Three Graces: Powerful to Equip YouPremium Content

The Three Graces are known in both Greek and Roman mythology as the muses of poetry, music and of course, art.

Lately, I've gained an intense appreciation for their numerous depictions in sculpture and on canvas.

I've been working on an article concerning body image; therefore, I've researched how beauty definitions have changed over time. This, inevitably, brought me to “The Three Graces.".

Centuries ago, the Rubenesque body shape, defined as a voluptuous female figure, was desirable.

In the 1600's, artist Sir Peter Paul Rubens was inspired by this fuller figure in his 1635 work, The Three Graces.

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Freedom from BondagePremium Content

We celebrate our nation's freedom yet there are so many people who are still in bondage. They are in bondage to schedules, deadlines, television, sports, alcohol, drugs, sex, profanity, and all the other things that come before Jesus and keep them from serving Him and spending time with Him as He has commanded us to do. He has told us that we should have no other gods before Him. However all too often we allow things that will one day mean nothing come before Him and our service to Him.

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Matthew 6:24-26, 33-34 King James Version

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