Regeneration

Are You on the Safe Side?

The Safe Side!

There are usually two sides:
the one dangerous--the other safe;
the one is uncertain--and the other is sure.

It is always the wisest--to be found on the safe side!

Look at the unbeliever:
He denies the Bible to be God's book.
He walks by his own reason.
He gratifies his senses and his lusts.
He lives in sin.
He must soon die.
He has no Savior.
He has no true hope.
If the Bible is false--then he is safe; BUT
if the Bible is true--then he is damned forever!

Behold, I Will Do A New Thing! - Genesis 1 StudyPremium Content

Several aspects of these verses in Genesis struck me in a powerful way, and for several reasons. However, they are all related, and so I want to attempt to tie them all together in this post.

The first aspect of this Scripture that really spoke to me is in Genesis 1:2, when the Lord says,

The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Have you ever felt lifeless, without energy, kind of like a worthless "formless," lump on a log? I know I have. And, quite often, I still can find myself in that place if I do not watch my thoughts. I can feel totally powerless to do anything positive about my life and my circumstances.

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Help for Today's Pastor, Minister, or Priest Who Wants to Help the Alcoholic or AddictPremium Content

Help for Today's Pastor, Minister, or Priest Who...

Has experience with alcoholics and addicts in his church and elsewhere; wants to be of help; has heard strange things about or has concerns about A.A.; and doesn't want expensive or expansive alternative programs? In fact, that servant wants his church active in a knowledgeable, effective, Christian recovery effort. And, here's what he or she can do.

Start with the Facts
Here is the early Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship program - as briefly summarized in A.A.'s own literature - which repeatedly evoked the comment, "Why this is First Century Christianity! What can we do to help?"

Actual Seven-Point Original Program

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Making Choices

Romans 6:16-18 NRSV
Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that you, having once been slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which you were entrusted, and that you, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

The Lord has been talking to me a lot lately about how I make decisions. There has been instilled within me a strong Puritan work ethic: God only helps those who help themselves. And while I do believe that Christians are commanded to work and to work hard (and often), I think that my own worldview has been corrupted with the idea of American self-determination.

Romans is an interesting book. Of all the books, this is the one that is the least personal. All of Paul's other epistles are letters written to churches with whom he had personal relationships, but the letter to the church at Rome was written to people he had never met. Thus, Paul takes the time to outline the doctrines of Christianity. In essence, this--even more than the other epistles--is a book of the Bible written to us for this time, a church which Paul never meets and a church which desperately needs the anchor of correct Christian thought and practice.

Rebuilding Your Old Ruins in Christ JesusPremium Content

And they shall rebuild the old ruins,
They shall raise up the former desolations,
And they shall repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations.
Isaiah 61:4, NKJV

This Scripture really spoke to me this morning as I thought of how so many of us come from places of brokenness, of loss, of deep wounding. We can sometimes wonder if wholeness is a real possibility for us again, or is it just a pipe dream?

I do not believe Jesus is the Author of pipe dreams. Nor is He the author of confusion and the chaos that comes from our addictions and sin and life-controlling problems. But He is the Author of Life, the Author of the rich, eternal, abundant Life that flows forth from within His Spirit and up into our hearts and spirits as He pours His Love and Hope into our hearts:

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Moving from Being "in Recovery" to Having "Recovered"Premium Content

Would you like to recover from alcoholism and addiction? Do you believe that God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, can relieve you of those problems? According to the fourth edition of Alcoholics Anonymous--known affectionately within A.A. as the "Big Book"--an effective way to recover from alcoholism is to establish a relationship with God.

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Profiting from the ScripturesPremium Content

(1) For one thing, begin reading your Bible this very day. The way to do a thing--is to do it; and the way to read the Bible--is actually to read it! It is not merely meaning, or wishing, or resolving, or intending, or thinking about it--which will advance you one step. You must positively read. There is no royal road in this matter, any more than in the matter of prayer. If you cannot read yourself, you must persuade somebody else to read it to you. But one way or another, through eyes or ears--the words of Scripture must actually pass before your mind.

(2) For another thing, read the Bible with an earnest desire to understand it. Do not think for a moment, that the great object is to turn over a certain quantity of printed paper, and that it matters nothing whether you understand it or not. Some ignorant people seem to imagine, that all is done if they advance so many chapters every day, though they may not have a notion what they are all about, and only know that they have pushed on their bookmark ahead so many pages. This is turning Bible reading into a mere ritual form. It is almost as bad as the Popish habit of 'buying

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When Bad Things Happen to Good People

Job 42:7 MRSV
After the Lord had spoken these words to Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite: "My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has."

Job was a righteous man, a man who loved and served God with all his heart and might. He was a man who had prospered in an earthly sense, owning many flocks and having twelve children. He also was a man blessed with good health. All of this God allowed Satan to take from Job. Job’s life went, in a matter of days, from being comfortable and happy to being alone and miserable.

There is a saying: Bad things happen to good people.

Traumas and Addiction (Workshop Transcript)Premium Content

Obie-Host: "Welcome to our Workshop on Trauma and Addiction. We will be discussing trauma, abuse and as well as addiction. Would someone like to open us in prayer?"

"Yahweh, thank you so much for the freedom we have to gather together in fellowship with you and each other - Thank you that Yvonne is giving us her time to teach us -Holy Spirit open our eyes and ears - that we may see and hear what you would impart to us today - Have your way - may your will be done. Amen"

Obie-Host:"Welcome everyone to the Workshop on Trauma and Addiction - our leader today is Yvonne Ortega. She has credentials as long as my arm, as well as personal experiences in everything she talks about. Yvonne, please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about yourself."

"Hi you all! Thank you for having me. It is a blessing to share with you all. Yes, I have credentials, but, I've also learned through the school of hard knocks.

Trauma refers to situations in which a person is rendered powerless and great danger is involved. The situations involve death and injury or the possibility of death and injury.
Those events evoke a state of extreme horror, helplessness, and fear. They are events of such intensity and magnitude they would overtax any human being’s ability to cope.

Such events can be childhood physical abuse or sexual abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault and rape, natural catastrophes such as hurricanes and tornadoes, car accidents, war and combat, and a life-threatening disease. Just as the body can be traumatized, so can the psyche.

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Silkworth: The Little Doctor Who Loved Drunks

An Introductory Look at Silkworth as One of A.A.'s "Co-founders"

William Duncan Silkworth, Jr., was born in Brooklyn on July 22, 1873. His family remembers him as a deeply spiritual man, not interested in any particular denomination. But he was, they said, a devout Christian. For many years, he attended Shoemaker's Calvary Episcopal Church in New York.[1]

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