General Recovery

Alcohol, Homosexuality, Broken Family & Marriage - Christ Healed them All

It was Feb. 21 10:00A.M. I stood, outside my home, drinking orange juice mixed with white wine. Now days I was drinking a little over 1/2 gallon of wine per day. To say I was bewildered is an understatement. I felt numb or a better description is, I felt dead inside.

I had read every self help book around. I tried rejoining the church of my youth hoping their rule of total abstinence from alcohol might save me. It didn't. I was drinking more then ever and teaching Sunday school with a hangover. I was 40 years old and had now been drinking alcoholically for 20 years.

Haunted (Eye Hath Not Seen)

The month of October, leading up to Halloween, has emphasis on ghosts and haunted houses. Indeed, the telling of ghost stories is common as we approach October 31st.I have a few of my own ghost stories, of sorts. They involve the mystery that is my family. I’ve shared much about my dad’s abusive nature; that is familiar to me. What, however, is NOT as familiar, is knowing about him.

Like many immigrant families, the past was not discussed. I know very little about the exact country my family came from. Likewise, I don’t know much about my dad, apart from his rages and his obsession with farm work. The unknown reality, therefore, has left me haunted, especially within the last few years. I now have the responsibility of clearing my childhood home, a house in which my dad, his siblings and parents all resided.

The house, itself, is one hundred years old, filled with decades of memorabilia. And, in organizing, clearing and cleaning the house, I have stumbled across some relics, like his Army dog tags, which create more questions- and yes, ghosts.

Practicing Patience and Addiction

What a mysterious thing is this enemy of ours - as mysterious as life itself.

Addiction is sometimes without explanation. However, we are aware of its presence and how miserable it makes us feel. How little we like to speak of it, discuss it, or consider its importance! When cornered, we discuss the thought as quickly as possible. That being said, doesn't it seem strange that we spend so much time feeding our addictions? Furthermore, when we have finally had enough, why do we not spend an equal amount of time and energy trying to recover from those same addictions.

Are You Cultivating Life Saving Fruit?

Let's imagine that recovery grew on a vine, and like grapes in a valley, it would need proper soil cultivation, sunlight, water, fertilization, and pruning to bear fruit.

Wouldn't it be nice if your recovery would bear enough fruit to eliminate fruit-bearing guides, books, classes and counselors? That being asked and answered, what would your mandatory concerns be to make that a reality in your struggles to grow recovery-bearing fruit?

Your concerns should be the following:

  • Make sure your potential fruit-bearing recovery plan is connected to the vines clearly with unobstructed prayer.
  • That you cultivate and prune your life by working a Twelve-Step Program.

Trying to Find Your Way Back?

Every so often the familiar and even somewhat predictable "amnesia scenario" is resurrected for another made-for-TV-movie or sitcom. The actor stares blankly into once-loved faces and professes no recognition whatsoever. Places, sounds, smells, even names--nothing seems familiar. Memory has been lost; hence, a sense of identity has been lost as well.

And that is exactly what has happened to us--all of us. We have lost our memory. Like the prodigal son's older brother who toiled endlessly and joyously in the fields, we have forgotten who we are and where we came from. But the forgetting goes beyond the pigsty from which the Father has rescued the prodigals. It extends back to the beginning--to a time when our identity was secure in our fellowship with the Father.
Before the rebellion...
Before the fall...
Before the exile.

As a result, our world is in the midst of an ongoing identity crisis. We walk around, day after day, year after year, generation after generation, trying to find our way back to....somewhere.... hoping that when we get there, someone will recognize us and tell us who we are.

The problem is, even if we figure out where that "somewhere" is, we cannot get ourselves back there, contrary to a song that was popular in the late '60s and early '70s that proclaimed the need to get ourselves back to the Garden.

God Chooses the Improbable

"You did not choose me, but I chose you..."John 15:16a

I know what you're thinking: "God chooses others, but not me."

You think it's because of your secret, don't you? The awful thing in your past — that abortion or that affair; your divorce; the rape; the sexual abuse; the shameful business failure; your drug usage; alcoholism; criminal past. etc. Like the clumsy, nearsighted child no one picks for playground sports, you want God's favor, His grace, but it seems beyond your wildest dreams. It's not.The poem "The Chosen Vessel" tells how God picks a vessel to use: "Take me," cried the gold one. "I'm shiny and bright,"I'm of great value and I do things just right." But God passes by the gold, silver, brass, crystal, and wooden urns, and chooses the vessel of clay. The poem explains why:

Then the Master looked down and saw a vessel of clay.
Empty and broken, it helplessly lay.

No hope had the vessel that the Master might choose,
to cleanse and make whole, to fill and to use.
"Ah! This is the vessel I've been hoping to find,
I will mend and use it and make it all mine."

Power In Discovering Your Audience

Coming from a theater background, I'm no stranger to an audience.

"All the world's a stage... And one man in his time plays many parts..."

In William Shakespeare's play, "As You Like It," Act II Scene VII, purpose-filled life is compared to that of a theatre stage.

How much more does that apply for those of us recovering from addiction, disorder or abuse?

Besides my theater background, I also have an eating disorder history as well. In college, I battled both anorexia and bulimia.

Indeed, during my sophomore year, desperate in my bulimic behavior, I began to dumpster dive...

"... I'd try to play it off, pretending everything was normal as people passed by me scrounging in the dumpster... in broad daylight... I couldn't hide any longer from others what I was doing... people were noticing..."*
*Excerpt from Sheryle Cruse's book, "Thin Enough: My Spiritual Journey Through the Living Death of an Eating Disorder"

This was an unwelcomed audience for me.

Nevertheless, people saw. And, no matter how I tried, I could not escape the Presence of the Most High.

For a long time, I fought God.

Using Our Recovery Feet

Over the years, I have learned about boundaries and the discernment needed in determining when to stay and when to go.

"And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet." Matthew 10:14; Mark 6:11


These scriptures often deal with the spreading of the Gospel. And that is certainly the case. But I also see them applying to addiction/recovery matters as well.

1. We admitted we were powerless over a substance or behavior ─ our lives had become unmanageable.

Step One challenges our "I have this under control" lie we often tell ourselves.

I have encountered this from close family members, most specifically, my mother.

I was rather late arriving to the therapy party when it came to addressing my disordered eating/image issues. I wasn't in therapy as a skeletal anorexic, an impulsive bulimic or a ravenous overeater. No. It was a matter of "years later" when I finally decided I needed to face personal issues about myself. And I did it alone.

I did it alone because, when it came to dealing with those unpleasant and difficult issues, my family was unwilling to participate in unflattering truth's revelation.

I first encountered this as an emaciated anorexic.

Breaking Habits, Are You Ready?

Part 1 Breaking Habits | Part 2 Tapping into the Unknown | Part 3 Breaking Habits and Sin | Part 4 God's Love | Part 5 Scary Secrets | Part 6 Are You Ready?

Procrastination Inspires Paralysis
One of the character defects that I struggle with is that of procrastination. Boy, howdy, does this give me fits. It comes from willfully pausing my life's pursuits just before success is achieved. It is fear that success will bring more responsibility and I will have show that I'm ready to accept this change.

Tapping into the Unknown

Part 1 Breaking Habits | Part 2 Tapping into the Unknown | Part 3 Breaking Habits and Sin | Part 4 God's Love | Part 5 Scary Secrets | Part 6 Are You Ready?

The unknown can be a scary place. We might ask God to guide us through the maze...

God, I'm not even sure if you exist, but I know I want to be free from of this habit. My motives are selfish and not totally pure, and I might be blind to other things in my life that also need changing, but I ask You to open my eyes to who you are, and to my need of you. Come close to me. Open my mind as I continue in my life, and give me the courage to do what I should do.

It's not hard to imagine that anyone could break habits if they had didn't have the supernatural power of God flowing through them. Its also hard to believe that we have the ability, right now, to tap into this power, but our beliefs prevent us from doing so. One of our biggest stumbling blocks is to think that we are so contaminated, or that God is too Holly for us to relate too. The fact is – we are, but we must develop a belief, deep within that God has paid the "cleaning bill" for us when He gave up his life on the cross.

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