Self-Examination

Keeping Things in Focus

I do a lot of long distance driving and there are many things I have learned to keep me alert. It is important for me to realize just how quickly things can go horrifically wrong if I take my eyes off of the road or "zone out" for just a second or two.

Recovery has parallels to that. I can think I am sailing along just fine, been in recovery for years. No problem.....

I start zoning out....

and not paying attention to the details.....

life is good.....

W-H-A-M !!!!!!

Reaching Perfection?

Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. Deuteronomy 18:13

The artist, Salvador Dali is famous for stating one of my favorite quotes:

"Have no fear of perfection. You'll never reach it."

Image taken from About.com
Indeed, if you look at his art, there was a challenging of the perfect, of the “normal," of the expected. Surreal images were not about depicting something as it occurred in life. Stretched out clocks and manipulated human bodies captured that artistic representation.

If one cannot find his depiction of perfection in his work, the same, however, cannot be said about the existence of excellence there. It is pervasive. Imagination, bravery and human imperfections are all there. And, I believe, that's part of why we identify so strongly with his art. We can relate to

Are You Doing Your Spiritual Press Ups?

"...Look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."
Luke 21:28

I've recently taken on a newer kind of exercise routine - and it has nothing to do with weight loss.

After years of mysterious flares of right side pain, I have been diagnosed with a bulging disc. This was, in addition, to the mild form of Scoliosis which was never completely resolved when I was twelve years old. So, in between those two realities, I've had bouts of intense, radiating pain which now require physical therapy. Hence, the exercises. And the star of those exercise are the press ups.

Keep Going (While Going Through Hell)

I love Winston Churchill's sentiment:

"If you're going through hell, keep going."

Life is tough. Sooner or later, we'll experience a trying situation which feels like hell. It isn't actual hell, thank God. Nevertheless, the power of that notorious situation/trauma makes us feel tortured with pain, despair and hopeless evidence. Eating disorders, addictions, compulsions, loss and grief are just a few examples of things which can feel like hell, if, indeed, torture is its calling card.

It's painful and almost impossible to see future, life, possibility or God. We can, instead, much more easily see ourselves as failures, weak, forgotten and ruined. It's, therefore, inevitable we come to a screeching halt; we stop in the mire and can only feel ourselves sinking…down to where? Greater depths of hell and torture?

But that's not God's truth about us. Even in the middle of hopelessness, God is there… living… loving… working…

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28

"Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?" Jeremiah 32:27

It can be tempting to believe that

Talking about Healing: Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am?

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.Ephesians 4:29


"Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am?" by John Powell (Niles, IL: Argus Communications, 1969) is one of my favorite books.

Powell suggests that people are afraid to tell you who they REALLY are because you may not like them, thus, we reveal ourselves in "levels" or stages: According to him.

The lowest level is cliché.

"Hi, how are you?" "Whazzup?" When you met that special someone, did you really care who he or she was or was it because you had a hidden agenda and maybe did not even know it? Did that first conversation sound something like this? Do you come here often? So you're a whiskey sour lady, let me buy you a drink. 'I thought you was somebody else'.

This level is safe. There is no sharing of the human experience. You do not know anything about me and I don't know anything about you. What you don't know is she might be going through a heated divorce. He could have just got out of prison for armed robbery.

The second level is

Why Are Unhappy People Unhappy?

This article is about unhappy people - not depressed people.

True happiness is within self. Unhappy people are usually unhappy because they have not mastered the ability to be happy within themselves. Therefore, they may try and gain happiness/pleasure through others no matter what that entails. Don't get confused with my usage of unhappiness and then compare it to depression because they are two different things.

An unhappy person often uses others to get what they need out of life. At first this may work, but after a while the relationship begins to experience problems because their partner cannot tolerate the life getting literally sucked out of them. This kind of needy and spongy behavior is what the medical and psychiatric establishments like to call, "codependency".

There is nothing really wrong with these kinds of people, except for the fact they need to come out of their selfishness, grow up, be accountable and take responsibility for their own happiness. Unfortunately when certain establishments coin codependency as some life long emotional problem, people don't take responsibility for their behavior. For them it's always someone else's fault why they drink, why they look at porn, why they do drugs, why they have an anger management problem, why they feel like the whole world owes them

Do I Choose My Way or God's Way?

His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants of the divine nature.2 Peter 1:3-4


What do I need from life? Depending on the day (or time), it's likely I would give a number of answers. I might need calm or quiet or money or acceptance. I might be looking for someone to care about me or someone to listen to me. What's interesting is

God’s Plan For You This Year

Have you thought about wrapping up the old year? How about plans for the new year?

It’s that odd time of year when we spend equal time looking to the past and the future. It’s sort of like doing taxes—you summarize the past year while figuring out what needs to change going forward.

One of my internal principles tells me to pay attention when I encounter the same issue in different contexts. I figure someone’s trying to tell me something. Recently I’ve run across a few folks who are asking, “What does God want me to do next?”

In the introduction to "Relentless Grace" I expressed my reluctance to claim that “God told me” to take a particular course. I won’t speak for anyone else, but I suspect I sometimes use “God’s plan” as an excuse to do what I wanted to do anyway.

I do believe that God speaks to us, and I certainly believe in His absolute sovereignty. Nothing is beyond His control; nothing escapes His attention.

Recovery, Choices and Holidays

"The doctor is real in."

Those words are written on a psychiatrist stand the character Lucy has in the Christmas classic, "Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!"

That got me thinking. We're once again, at that festive time of year, with all of its parties, concerts, kiddie pageants and assortment of other holiday events. There seems to be an overwhelming amount of stuff to go to. And yet, during this festive season, it's more than difficult to get a doctor's appointment. Or is that just my experience?

When I was sixteen years old, I got the chicken pox at Christmas. Ho ho ho! There was not much I could do; there was no doctor I could see, because every single one of them were off for the holiday. So, it was me, the movie, "It's a Wonderful Life" (colorized version), some calamine lotion, a couch and itching. Because I didn't get chicken pox like most kids, at age six or seven and because I was this late bloomer, my stint with the itchy stuff lasted about three weeks. It was not a festive time.

And, years' later, I seem to have run into the same dilemma repeatedly whenever I try to schedule an appointment with the doctor or dentist. Most of the time, the doctor is real out. So, what's my option? Where do I go from there?

Well, there's a potential and dangerous choice out there, left unchecked; I could turn to my definition of a panacea. Instead of dealing with the discomfort and pain in the moment, I could choose to numb, escape from and soothe it. Sounds like classic addiction, doesn't it? We try to cope and turn to anything to attempt to make that happen. Those coping methods can include a wide variety of consumption choices for each one of us: food, alcohol, drugs, sex, shopping, just to name a few. And the excuse we possibly use for turning to them? The doctor was out.

Guidance: A Lesson from "The Bishop's Wife"

A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.
Proverbs 16:9


During the holiday season, we're inundated with many Christmas movies: "It's a Wonderful Life," "Miracle On 34th Street," "Frosty the Snowman" and many variations of the Charles Dickens classic, "A Christmas Carol."

But one that my husband and I became aware of years ago is "The Bishop's Wife," starring David Niven, Loretta Young and the debonair Cary Grant. Indeed, Mr. Grant plays an angel, named Dudley, assigned to the bishop and his wife, as they are challenged with raising money for a cathedral.

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