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Surviving the Holidays: Some Tips for People in Recovery

For most people, the weeks between Thanksgiving and the New Year are a special time of joy and celebration. Yet, it can be an extremely difficult and stressful time for those who are just beginning to recover from addiction to alcohol and drugs. Spending the holidays in a shelter or residential recovery program is hard.

Here's a few simple thoughts that can make the experience a little more tolerable

A. Remember the spiritual significance of the holidays - This time of year is a major commercial event for America's retailers. It is also a time for special celebrations of family and goodwill. Still, we must remember that "Jesus is the Reason for the Season". Above all else, we are celebrating God's sending of His only Son to be our Savior and Redeemer. Keeping Christmas as a spiritual celebration puts all of our other expectations for the holiday season in proper perspective.

B. Don't isolate - The holidays can be the loneliest time of the year for the recovering addict. On one hand, we are reminded of all the relationships we've messed up. Some will spend Christmas haunted by memories loved ones and friends they've alienated with destructive and manipulative behavior. We know, too, if we want to keep our sobriety, we must avoid people who are still using alcohol and drugs. What's the solution? Take advantage of the new sober acquaintances God has brought your way. Reach out to those around you and use this holiday season s as a special opportunity to get to know them better.

Is the price Jesus paid for you and me enough?

"It cost God plenty to get you and me out of that dead-end, empty-headed life we grew up in."

Is the price Jesus paid for you and me enough? Do you feel that you need to add your (good intentioned) efforts-kind of like the "Cross of Calvary", plus you? We may need to meditate on the following scriptures to sort out the before questions.

I posted this recently, but have a strong sense from God that someone desperately needs this truth, right at this moment! Please stand with me in intercession for those who truly can't live another day without the revelation of Calvary.

How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He's the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth's foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.

Punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And just barely free either; abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, and everything on planet earth.

Defeating Lies with the Truth

Lie #1: "I can't trust God."
The TRUTH: God is faithful.
1 Corinthians 1:9 (NKJV) God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.


Lie #2: "God is against me."
The TRUTH: God is for you.
Romans 8:31 (NKJV) What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Lie #3: "I'm not good enough to be blessed."
The TRUTH: Christ is your righteousness, and you have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Him.
Philippians 3:9 (NKJV) Not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;

I Am AddictionPremium Content

I Hate meetings... I Hate higher powers... I Hate anyone who has a program. To all who come in contact with me, I wish you death and I wish you suffering.

Allow me to introduce myself, I am the disease of addiction. I Am cunning, baffling, and powerful. That's Me. I have killed millions and I am pleased.

I love to catch you with the element of surprise. I love pretending I am your friend and lover. I have given you comfort, haven't I? Wasn't I there when you were lonely?

When you wanted to die, didn't you call on me? I was there, I love to make you hurt. I love to make you cry. Better yet, I Love to make you so numb you can neither hurt nor cry. When you can't feel anything at all. This is true gratification. And all that I ask from you is long term suffering.

I've been there for you always. When things were going right in your life, you invited me. You said you didn't deserve these good things, and i was the only one who would agree with you.

Together we were able to destroy all the good things in your life.

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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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That Unquenchable Thirst for FulfillmentPremium Content

From that magical moment of birth, we all set out on a life consuming quest to satisfy an unquenchable thirst for fulfillment. It was then that we filled our little lungs with air; oh, what an overwhelming experience that must of been! In fact, we loved it so much that we have never intentionally stopped doing it.

Then came our need for nourishment and comfort, which in turn triggered a God inspired train reaction of magical events We instantly learned a beautiful reality, which was that the inhaled air (filled with oxygen) in our lungs not only insured a healthy body, but we could use the exhaled (void of oxygen) air to stimulate our little vocal cords and have our needs met. David the great Psalmist of Israel was so right on when he pinned this revelation of his God and maker:

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully made; Wonderful are your works, my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14

You see, it only took a mere whimper and our world stood at our command. Mom would come running into the room and filled our empty tummies or some one would answer the call and have our soiled diapers changed, and to add icing on the cake, the louder we cried, the higher people jumped. It seemed that life couldn't get any better.

THE WORLD WAS OUR STAGE
Then it did get better; can you remember your adolescence years? You know, the year when mom & dad were placed on the back burner and now it was all about that prince charming/goddess who sat next to you in class. Wow, if I could just get her to notice me and maybe fall madly in love (our limited knowledge of it) with me. Then this unquenchable thirst would be filled and for a season it did just that. But sadly, some one ended up with their first broken heart and OUCH, it sure did hurt.

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Knots Prayer - a Prayer for StrengthPremium Content

Dear God,
Please untie the knots in my mind, my heart and my life.
Remove the have nots, the can nots, and the do nots that I have in my mind.
Erase the will nots, may nots, might nots that may find a home in my heart.
Release me from the could nots, would nots and should nots that obstruct my life.

And most of all, Dear God, I ask that you remove from my mind, my heart and my life all of the "am nots" that I have allowed to hold me back, especially the thought that I am not good enough. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

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The Jackal of Addiction: Unleashed

Most addicts and alcoholics who have tried running on sheer willpower and defiant rebellion sooner or later discover they lack the internal strength to change, especially if there's a Jackal on the loose.

The Jackal, wearing me down, bracing me up, hardening me, softening me, worrying me, confusing me to where I could no longer pinpoint the basis of my being or direction, plays a deadly game of manipulation, of aggressive control, of parasitic reliance, a game mastered because of its cunning and persistence. It seems there is no way to out maneuver it. During the brightness of day or the darkness and chill of night, the beast stealthily creeps in against the close warmth of cleanliness and sobriety. At other times, it confronts me, making no attempt to conceal itself. The Jackal possesses a rancid aroma of smoke and scorching chemical and is worn like a rash. It devours my spirit and tears at my flesh, for I am wounded prey and a defenseless meal. Grimaced with invisible and obvious fatigue, I am left with nothing but my interpretation of how life should and should not be.

“What if I can’t be fixed?”

“What if I can’t be fixed?”

You ask a bunch of guys about their biggest fears, and you hope for some open dialogue. You don’t really expect someone to whisper from the depths of the fog.

“What if I’m hopeless? This addiction killed my dad and my grandma. My sister’s relapsed over and over for fifteen years. And I’ve prayed and done everything I can for a decade, but I keep falling into the same pattern.

“What if I’m broken so bad that even God can’t fix me?”

How are you gonna respond to that? Think carefully, because whatever you say better not rhyme. It better not be some platitude or theological truism. He’s heard them all, and they’re salt rubbed in an open, bleeding wound.

We don’t want to hear “God can’t.” Our first reaction is to argue — God can do anything! And when that fails — you can’t argue your way out of the fog — we’re tempted to retreat to the safety of the Christian cocoon where the light’s bright, the fog’s clear, and people don’t talk about the hopelessness of addiction and depression.

Little Sins

"Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same — will be called least in the kingdom of Heaven." Matthew 5:19

A great many people are careful about breaking large commandments and committing heinous sins — while they commit "little sins" continually and without scruple.

They would not tell a direct lie for the world — but their speech is full of little falsehoods!

They would not steal money from the purse or drawer of another — and yet they continually commit small thefts! For example, by mistake the grocer gives them a penny too much change — and they do not think of returning it. Through the carelessness of a postal worker, the postage stamp on a letter is left uncancelled — and they take it off and use it a second time.

They would not purposely try to blacken a neighbor's name or destroy his character — and yet they repeat to others the evil whispers about him which they have heard, and thus soil his reputation.

They would not swear or curse in the coarse way of the ungodly — but they are continually using such minced oaths such as, Gosh! Gees! Heck! and other mild, timid substitutes for overt swearing.

They would not do flagrant acts of wickedness to disgrace themselves — but their lives are honeycombed with all kinds of little meannesses, impurities, selfishnesses, and bad tempers.

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