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So far, I haven't thrown the Christmas tree out the window, but I feel if one more inappropriate comment is made at a holiday party/festivity, a certain sidewalk could possibly look a bit merrier.
"It's nothing personal." It's a well-worn phrase, sometimes used as a dismissive slight, just to get a dig in.
Unfortunately, in the context of holiday parties, this personal minefield, be it in the form of a question or comment, can wreak some extremely sensitive havoc in our lives, especially those of us who are in recovery from eating disorders. Be it a personal question or a personal comment, the impact is still destructive and can tempt the best of us to look for the nearest Christmas tree to launch out of the nearest portal.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue:
and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Proverbs 18:21
Some people out there may think I've completely lost my sense of humor. Can I be honest here? I think those are often the people who find "fat jokes," for example, extremely funny. Laughing at someone who's struggling- hilarious.
Nevertheless, as someone in recovery from eating disorders, the holidays can be a touchy and downright miserable situation to be in, when a person asks or comments about food or body image issues; it's triggering. A few examples…
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.
By Mark R. Rushdoony
Some Christians shun the Christmas tree as inappropriate or even ungodly because of its long association with pagan usage. This writer sees the Christmas tree as a Biblically sound tradition that represents a significant victory for Christendom over paganism.
The origins of many of our traditions are often obscured by centuries or millennia of customs from a multitude of sources. There is usually not one history of such practices, but rather a complex set of many histories that blend into a modem usage. The Christmas tree is one such custom. Some believe it to be a very pagan symbol inappropriate for a Christian celebration. Others see it as an important part of Christmas celebration. Both views, in fact, can be correct. The tree has a long history of use in both pagan and Christian representations of life. These conflicting representations are, in fact, represented in Scripture itself.
God represented the great eternal and moral issues before Adam and Eve by means of two trees. One tree was called the "tree of life" and was in the midst of the Garden of Eden. In a manner decreed by God that we cannot understand, this tree physically gave life to Adam and Eve and was fully accessible to them. It was, in effect, a sign of God's covenant of life with Adam and Eve. The only other named tree was called "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." This was the only tree forbidden to our first parents.
Holidays are so difficult; my in-laws are so mean to me. Can I just stay home?
First of all, in order to stay home, would you have to make up an excuse or could you tell the truth about why you wanted to bow out of the activities? In this case, doing the right thing may be very difficult, but no less necessary.
I would guess that you could come up with several people who would be very hurt and disappointed by your absence. My advice is to focus on them. Make those few people your comfort for the day. You can sit by them, talk to them and lean on them for support. Focus on your support system instead of those few hurtful people who try to make you suffer.
"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.
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;
An Open Letter to My Family
I am an alcoholic. I need help.
Dont allow me to lie to you. If you accept my evasions of the truth, you encourage me to lie. The truth may be painful but try to get at it.
Don't let me outsmart you. This would only allow me to avoid responsibility and would make me lose respect for you at the same time.
Don"t accept my promises. The nature of my illness prevents my keeping them, even though I mean them at the time. Promises are only my way of postponing pain. And, Dont keep switching agreements; if an agreement is made stick to it.
Don't let me exploit you or take advantage of you. If you do, you become an accomplice to my evasion of responsibility.
God is not looking for you to "DO" more for him. He is simply and passionately looking for more "OF YOU". He is looking for more of your heart.
His constant passionate cry is:
My child, give me your heart. (Proverbs 23:26)
For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show HIMSELF STRONG on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to him. (2 Chronicles 16:9a, NKJV)
(Based on Matthew 14:22-34)
Experienced fishermen shuddered when the wind howled out of the mountains and onto the sea. Then the waves became choppy and unpredictable. Men who worked these waters knew to haul their sails and make for harbor.
But sometimes-and this night was one of them-high seas would not permit sailors to gain the shore.
The small boat circled the middle of the sea, an eerie spot, wild, unsettled, dangerous-and according to some reports-haunted. In watery graves below lay the sailors' fellow fishermen waiting for them to join them, their boats reduced to waterlogged splinters,their bones picked clean by the same denizens of the deep they had come to harvest.
I am writing this message as an appeal to those who have received so much from Christians in Recovery’s ministry over the years.
This past year, after her diagnosis with cancer, Obie (the Executive Director of CIR) approached me and asked if we could bring Christians in Recovery aboard as a program of TechMission. I believe in her ministry as I’ve been in recovery for 18 years and also I saw what cancer did to my own mother, so I told her we would be glad to help in whatever way we could. I explained to her that TechMission was financially challenged as our budget has decreased from $2 million to $500,000 and we’ve had to cut all our staff.
This past year, TechMission’s role has mainly been to provide accounting for CIR, but we have not had any funds to provide them. Moving CIR under the umbrella of TechMission may have caused some people to think that TechMission was providing funding for CIR, thus thinking they didn’t need to donate any more. TechMission does NOT provide any funding for CIR.
So far in 2014, donations to CIR are one-third of what they were in 2013. Because of that, there have been three months so far this year that there have not been funds to pay Obie. If donations do not increase, then Obie will make less than $10,000 this year. 100% of all that you give will go to CIR as a program rather than TechMission overall.
Since 1992, Obie and many volunteers have poured their lives into Christians in Recovery. What most of you may not realize is Obie has worked 60-80 hours a week on the ministry, her pay has typically been between $10,000 and $15,000.
I write all this as an impassioned appeal to ask you to please consider giving online to Christians-in-Recovery. We are all doing what we can to get by. I know that people with such big hearts like Obie often are more comfortable giving help than asking for it, so I’m trying to come alongside her and ask for your help on her behalf. If possible, we ask that you consider giving a recurring monthly donation.
Please make a donation now: http://christians-in-recovery.org/AboutCIR_Donate_HowTo
Thank you for your consideration.