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note: Members may discuss this workshop in the Message Boards HERE
Welcome to our Special Workshop tonight
"Surviving the Holidays with a Dysfunctional Family" Workshop
For many, the Christmas season is not a time of warm cozy feelings and precious memories. For some, it is a time of reliving the nightmares of childhood abuse and not wanting to return home for Christmas. It is a reminder of broken relationships and children in the custody of “the other parent.” It is a season of struggles to stay clean and sober and out of trouble when attending Christmas gatherings. How can we not only survive, but also thrive during the Christmas season?
The following are unsolicited, direct quotes from real people who have been ministered to by CIR. Though Jesus Christ, CIR impacts lives, saves lives and changes lives.
The CIR site is a central meeting point for many who may otherwise not have found and entered recovery -- especially Christians who struggle with secular recovery programs. They find other Christians in the CIR program they can identify with and they can freely speak about their Christian faith and beliefs. This program and web site has helped thousands of people globally with their recovery and spiritual growth.
Hagar couldn't bear to watch - or listen.
She tucked her son beneath the scant shade of a spiny bush, staggered about 100 yards away, and tried to plug her ears against his cries for help. But through the flesh and bone of her fingers, she could still hear him.
"Mama! Water! Please, Mama!" he begged, his voice cracking with adolescence and thirst.
Although the heat was oppressive, Hagar shivered with horror. Her baby was dying and she was helpless against the relentless sun and parched winds.
Soon she, too, would die from thirst. More painful than the thought of her own demise was the pleading voice of her son asking for the basic necessity of life that she could not give him -- water.
Even though it is rarely discussed, men can be abused by women verbally, physically, psychologically and/or sexually. Here is extensive information to help you identify and deal with this situation.
According to Triumph Over Darkness: Understanding and Healing the Trauma of Childhood Sexual Abuse. Wood, Wendy A. Beyond Words Publishing. April, 1993.
1. We grew up feeling very isolated and vulnerable, a feeling that continues into our adult lives.
2. Our early development has been interrupted by abuse, which either holds us back or pushes us ahead developmentally.
3. Sexual abuse has influenced all parts of our lives. Not dealing with it is like ignoring an open wound. Our communication style, our self-confidence, and our trust levels are affected.
Abuse can take several forms: physical, mental, emotional, religious, sexual, verbal and/or spiritual.
Abuse is rampant in our time. Every day there are stories of teachers, priests, and ministers who have abused someone. The Christian home is not even free from abuse. The abuser is often addicted to their behavior, and they find it very difficult to stop without help. Verbal abuse includes withholding, bullying, defaming, defining, trivializing, harassing, interrogating, accusing, blaming, blocking, countering, diverting, lying, berating, taunting, putting down, edifying, discounting, threatening, name-calling, yelling and raging.
- If your are greatly disturbed either spiritually, mentally or emotionally, it is imperative that you seek professional help IMMEDIATELY. Online resources and meetings are not to be confused with group therapy or professional counseling sessions.
- Suicide National Hotline
National Suicide Hotline
National Youth Crisis & Suicide Hotline
National Adolescent Suicide Hotline
"...and that's when I became a warrior!"
I recently caught this statement trending on social media. It's no surprise why it has caught on. With so much suffering in the world, taking on a fighting perspective can be empowering.
No matter what we've experienced in our lives, God has placed within each of us a warrior spirit. He knows full well of our challenges, setbacks, relapses, pain and loss. He also knows of our mighty purpose as well.
And it is precisely that reason why the warrior emerges. I'm sure you've heard the phrase, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." It's that kind of thing which attaches itself to our every breath. It's that thing which does not give up, no matter how many times we feel we cannot go on.
Whatever you have survived in your life - loss, trauma, addiction, abuse, extraordinary pain- God wants you to do something with it, in spite of it.
Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.
Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:8-9
He wants to turn those ashes into beauty (Isaiah 61:1-3).
But He doesn't stop there. He doesn't just want you to fight for fighting's sake. He wants to give you the Victory as well!
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57
God wants you to experience overcoming that enemy. He didn't say it would be easy, instant or painless. But He has assured us that Victory is ours.
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4
And that is often what awakens the warrior within us, often, without our own awareness. Some call it "instinct." But again, it's "that thing" which keeps going when everything and everyone else tells us to give up. It's God given.
And because it is God given,
There are many of us out there who have been bullied and abused.
Whether we've been beaten verbally, emotionally, physically and sexually by a family member, have been teased, thrown in lockers or picked last for teams as kids or, worst case scenario - all of the above - it certainly is a challenge to live through that, let alone, overcome it.
Many of us are underdogs, the forgotten, the least likely.
And that is precisely why one of the things that I love most about God is His viewpoint on that status. God's "M.O." is one of championing the underdog, encouraging him/her, and exalting/promoting that individual, not just in spite of the odds, but quite often, because of them.
Helen Keller once said: “The world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming it.”
Perspective plays a role in how we view our current physical, emotional, spiritual, and attitudinal situations. Is the sum total a barrier or an opportunity? Like a kaleidoscope, we can tweak the patterns of what we see, what we feel, how we respond via our perspective.
For Helen Keller she chose to see the human situation of suffering and seized every opportunity to overcome suffering. When we stop and think about it, overcoming is a lifetime decision. We can either wrap ourselves in a cloak of suffering to insure our self pity and woe is communicated clearly and heard by the masses, seeking sympathy with “poor me. No one knows the trouble I bear.” Or we can embrace an attitude of bravery in Christ—overcoming the suffering.
There are many tough, life-impacting decisions in our lives, but choosing to wallow in the mire of our pain and be satisfied with a life of self pity just doesn’t seem like a healthy life decision. In fact, that’s not why God created us.
First and foremost, God created us to have a personal loving relationship with Him. Hmmmm.... Based on my personal research, Bible study, and life experiences, this means a two-way relationship, including a:
-A relationship with God
-Freely inviting God into every aspect of your life.
No sloughing off here, because God wants every part of you in this relationship. Your mind, soul, spirit, body, and heart. Don’t hold back, or you’ll end up back at that pity party, and we don’t want that do we?
John 10:3-5 gives a relationship view for us to strive for: