Step 1

The Gospel According to JesusPremium Content

The Message of Jesus’ Love
The Message of the Kingdom of God
The Message of the Church and Body of Jesus Christ
The Message of the Ages and the Revelation of Father
The Message of Holy Spirit through the Word and the Believer!

The supreme wonder of the gospel is its present realization of life - life of such unfathomable and enduring quality that it cannot fade for all eternity. World religions may claim to have the answers to the present misery of the individual, but what does it profit a man to achieve harmony with nature yet lose his soul? Jesus offers eternal life now. He said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die." John 11:25, 26 God bless you. ~Reinhard Bonnke.

The Gospel imparts a hope that is beyond sin, judgment and fear of exposure or death! You will never exhaust the vast ocean of God's love. You will be forever discovering greater lengths, widths, depths, and heights of His love.

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Hitting Bottom - A Neely O'Hara Moment: "God-d-d-d-d!!!" Premium Content

I recently watched the cult classic, "Valley of the Dolls," the chick film based on Jacqueline Suzanne's legendary book. The film took the 1960's by storm for its dish-y look at starlets in Hollywood as they deal with fame, sex and drugs.

One of its lead characters, Neely O'Hara, played by Patty Duke, indeed, travels down a rocky, highly dramatic and addicted road of stardom and self-destruction. It's drama queen chick film at its epic best!

And, at the end of the wild ride, Neely suffers the damage done to her acting career, via her drug addiction. She is reduced to being in an alley, at night, screaming, "God-d-d-d-d!"

Yeah. I believe one calls this "hitting bottom."

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How to Control Your BehaviorPremium Content

You can't!!! Do yourself a favor; quit trying! And stop acquiescing to other's attempts at controlling what you "do?" or "don't?" do! Yes, I'm referring to all authority figures in your life. There is no one in your life (including yourself) that has the power to change your behavior or even your (quote-unquote) "want to?"!

Christianity (Authentic or the fake Political Christendom) is not behavior modification.
Even if they were compatible; behavior modification does not change behavior-it only gives the behavioral theorists' something to do-keep bureaucratic statistics. However they manipulate the stats; have they/you checked with the individuals who are yet struggling that they pronounced changed? I have and it's rather troubling!

Helping people control their fleshly appetites through human effort and adherence to rules is not only thankless but a never-ending task. Religious leaders tend to employ any strategy that promises even a measure of success, whether it is guilt, shame, condemnation, or threats in God's name as viable options.

Let's look at what God's Word has to say about behavioral modification:

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Biblical References for the 12 Steps (Long Version)Premium Content

Note: all quotes are from the King James Version (KJV). If you have difficulty understanding the KJV we strongly recommend that you get a copy of a more modern language Bible such as The New Life Version Bible, New King James Version, New Revised Standard Version, Today's English Version, The Message, etc.

Step One: We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and dysfunctions and that our lives had become unmanageable.

--For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing:
for to will is present with me; but [how] to perform that which is
good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil
which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not,
it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. Romans 7:18-20

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Emotions & Recovery – Self Awareness Premium Content

A. The importance of emotional self-awareness.
In a 1992 SRI Gallup study, commissioned by the Knox Area Rescue Ministry, six critical "life themes" were identified in the lives of people who recovered from homelessness. Among the most important was the "Self-Awareness " theme, which they described in this manner:

Persons who are high on the Self-Awareness theme are in touch with their own emotions. They can name the feelings that are surging through themselves... As they grow, they can discuss their emotions with other people and they will tend to express them to other people rather than keep them inside. Then, they can talk about how they feel about their own life and its hurts; they can say that and then ask for help in making the corrections. They can own the bad things that have happened to them in their life, and they can know the good feelings that they want to achieve.

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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.

What Should My Response to Suffering Be?

2 Thessalonians 1:3-8 NRSV
We must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of everyone of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith during all your persecutions and the afflictions that you are enduring. This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, and is intended to make you worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering. For it is indeed just of God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to the afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

It’s interesting that Paul doesn’t address the persecutions of the Thessalonians in the same way that we often address persecutions. If you think about it, most pastors tell us that our faith is exemplified when we take authority over Satan and believe that our trials will disappear based on God’s love. But Paul, rather than preaching that, says that faith is based on persevering through afflictions.

We need to ask ourselves what we believe.

Prayer for Those in Recovery from Substance Abuse

Dear God,
I pray for those who struggle with alcohol or other drugs. Please let them know how much you love and care for them.

Please don’t let them bury themselves in guilt and shame. You are a God who forgives. You are the God of the second chance and even of the third and fourth chance.

Help those in recovery find a job. Give them an employer who understands addiction and will make it possible for them to work and still be able to attend recovery meetings.

Give them real friends who will love and respect them and hold them to the standard of staying clean and sober.

Bless them with a sponsor who will both encourage and challenge them to do their step work.

TODAY is the Day!Premium Content

I was right on the cliff-edge, ready to fall, when God grabbed and held me. Psalm 118:13, The Message.

Rage-filled and loathing self, I was in a battle and determined to destroy myself. Not the self. My entire being. I did not know Christ within me, the Hope of glory! In my own eyes, I was evil. Unable to control my temper, ashamed, and drowning in a sea of self-created guilt and pity, I wanted out. I stepped to the precipice and looked deep into the darkness with longing to never again see the light of day. But when I jumped off the edge into the night, I found my cry answered by the Voice of Love and Grace, and my fall was broken by the gentle hands of Jesus catching me in His arms; He has held me close to His heart ever since, promising to never let me go! Praise be to Him forever! Alleluia! Amen!

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Denial Needs to GoPremium Content

Denial is actually a defense mechanism implemented to protect us, to keep the mind solvent in lieu of perceived danger. It's a form of personalized reframing, neuro-linguistic manipulation meant to increase survivability. Yet many of us turn it into a catalyst which allows us to continue our voluntary journey into perdition.

Denial is the ability to lie to one's self in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. It is the ability to delude one's self with reasonable to superb success. Only when denial diminishes does character take root.

And, once again, character is identified and maintained by one's personal beliefs.

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