Daily Articles

Addiction: Hope, Anger & Courage

St. Augustine once uttered this powerful statement:

"Hope has two beautiful daughters: anger, at the way things are and courage, to work for change."

Upon reading it, my mind went first to the Serenity Prayer and then to how hope plays its role in addiction and recovery.

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference."

Indeed, hope is not a neutral word. We have feelings about it, be they negative or positive.

What You Say Matters

And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him. Luke 1:66 King James Version

Two days ago when I was at the store, I saw a precious little baby who was probably one month old. When I looked at him, he immediately started smiling at me, clapped his hands, kicked his feet and started laughing. He got excited and happy because someone was paying attention to him. How sad and tragic it is that when children grow older, we stop paying as much attention to them as we did when they were little. Sometimes we turn on the television and let the television become our babysitters so that we can do the things we want to do and not be bothered all day with the children. The thought came to me “This little baby is already acting like a missionary because I see the kindness of Jesus in his face”.

What Transforms Tender Hearts to Hard Hearts?
What happens to make these precious tender hearted and sweet babies turn into people who end up with hard hearts, become criminals and possibly even end up on death row? There has to be a reason that they stop loving people and start hating people. I believe it is because as they grow older and people begin to criticize them for everything that they do and say harsh and sarcastic things to them that their confidence begins to fade. They become suspicious of everyone and they stop trying to do nice things for others. I believe that they think what is the use of trying anymore as I will just be criticized again.

WhenDiscouragement Sets In

Why Christians Loose

Many Christians are still locked into the conviction that the Bible speaks to a very narrow slice of life. Of course, all Christians believe that the Bible has some very specific things to say about prayer, Bible reading, worship, and evangelism. But many Christians are not convinced that the Bible has some very definite things to say about civil government, the judicial system, economics, indebtedness, the punishment of criminals, foreign affairs, care for the poor, journalism, science, medicine, business, education, taxation, inflation, property, terrorism, war, peace negotiations, military defense, ethical issues like abortion and homosexuality, environmental concerns, inheritance, investments, building safety, banking, child discipline, pollution, marriage, contracts, and many other worldview issues.

All Christians must remove their blinders and widen their scope of ministry to include the world. This will mean the development and implementation of a comprehensive biblical worldview. Put simply, a worldview is the way you and I look at things. How did we get here? How did the world get here? How does it run? Who or what runs it? What laws govern us and the world? What role if any do we have in the government of the world? What does God think of the world? How does He want it to run? Who has He put in charge of the world? What are His plans for the world? Basically, the Christian's worldview should be the same as God's worldview, the creature thinking the thoughts of the Creator.1 Is God's view of the world comprehensive? Is He concerned about every nook and cranny of creation? Did He give His life for the "world"? Is He Lord of "all things"? To all of these questions we would answer "Yes!" Then, why should Christians limit their scope of the world? Why should Christians have a lower view of the world than God does? Why should humanists have a higher view of the world than we do? George Grant writes:

Whose Are We?

We are who owns us. We derive our nature and uniqueness, our very selfhood, from our owner. Furthermore, we willingly join ourselves to God in Christ. Being forced to go to church, or feeling under coercion, ordered to be who we are, is like telling a bee it must gather pollen and fly to the hive. If it were unnatural to be who we are, the Christian life would be alien, foreign and against our will. But we belong to God.

All Mine are thine, and thine are mine, and I am glorified in them. John 17:10

Through His gracious generosity, in Christ Jesus, God has adopted us. We are not natural born, but supernaturally born children, through the cross and resurrection of Jesus; He owns us. That's the reality. Embracing any other owners, or powers is like swimming upstream or committing spiritual suicide. As long as we remember that we belong only to God, and continue to assemble to worship Him and do the work He has given us to do, we will be who we really are and do what we truly should do.

Letting God

"Letting God" testifies to the release of tension, the surrender to trust, and being at ease instead of in "dis-ease." What is offered in each day's meditation is relaxation and peace in Christ. You will be called to turn over control of your steering wheel. You will be urged to relax your power and control and open your door to the priceless gift of serenity in our Lord and Savior. You will be presented with scripture, stories, short essays, and even humor as ways to let God take over.

I have learned in forty years of experience with alcoholics and other addicts, that living the Gospel truth AND Twelve-step recovery creates a hallowed and holy life. This holiness is not sainthood but a serene state of being, achieved as cease our striving, halt our stressful efforts, and fall into the arms of our Higher Power, Jesus Christ.

"Letting God" is the key to most all experiences of sacredness and spirituality. The surrender to the divine within and without, the acknowledgment of the humanity of the Holy and the holiness of the human ls to "Let go and let God." As we allow God to be God, without trying to fix or manipulate his reality in heaven or earth, we welcome his healing love. We let love flow. We use no force, no struggle, no strain, no competition, no trying harder, no willpower. We admit and accept our weakness and God's strength. If we do not make this unconditional surrender to God, our own spirituality will lie dormant and lifeless. Our selfish will becomes our god, and we run rampant toward our own self-destruction, screaming to the end, "I can do it myself!"

A Prayer for the New Year (by Matthew Henry)

"My times are in Your hand!" Psalm 31:15

Firmly believing that my times are in God's hand, I here submit myself and all my affairs for the ensuing year, to the wise and gracious disposal of God's divine providence. Whether God appoints for me...

    health or sickness,
    peace or trouble,
    comforts or crosses,
    life or death--

may His holy will be done!

All my time, strength, and service, I devote to the honor of the Lord Jesus--and even my common actions. It is my earnest expectation, hope, and desire, my constant aim and endeavor--that Jesus Christ may be magnified in me.

The New Year: With the Hope?

"In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again."
~Lewis Carol, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"

The new year: it is a minefield. There can be this weird concoction of hope and discouragement, effort and apathy.

A social media post, once again, caught my attention concerning this point. It was of the literary figure, Alice, from Carol's classic work, essentially binging.

And this was the image's caption...

"I can relate to Alice. She just keeps randomly eating and drinking everything she sees with the hope that it might actually solve all her problems."

Are You a Slave of Fear?

"...We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace." Jeremiah 30:5


"Fear" is spoken of over 500 times in the Bible. So, to me, that signifies it's a topic worth noting.

I believe the 1980's science fiction film, "Bladerunner" makes a powerful statement on fear.

There are various discussions about the story and the complexity of the Roy Batty character in particular. He's often viewed as the villain. But, if we dig deeper, perhaps there's more to the story.

Batty is a kind of futuristic robot who has an expiration date of four years. This tactic is implemented to ensure that, in the event a robot develops troublesome feelings, emotions and agendas, humanity is safeguarded by the possible destruction the robot could cause.

However, Roy Batty has apparently experienced these turbulent human emotions firsthand; hence, he is viewed as that much-feared threat to human beings.

Therefore, the "bladerunner," a robot killer for hire, is assigned the task of destroying him before it's too late.

And, after Batty's rampage and search for knowledge about his existence, he eventually shares his observation on fear.

Gift of Existence

Fearfully, wonderfully, birthed from a void,
Given sweet gift of existence, of breath,
We bask in miraculous sentience employed
In business of plumbing our mystery's depth.

Carried by hands that encourage, that tote
Our penchant for darting down perilous trails,
Plucked once again from recesses remote,
Beneficent breeze filling prodigal sails,

We channel, in time, a vision proclaimed
While all was potential, nothing was set,
And ride vibrant wave of awareness unchained
Since mystified Mary held Child to her breast.

Merry Christmas!

Where’s The Peace On Earth?

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Luke 2:8,14

Christmas Eve more than 2000 years later, it’s fair to ask, “What happened to ‘peace on earth’?”

War. School shootings. Terrorism. Racism. Death. Families torn apart. An observer might wonder if Silent Night is anything more than a song.

A few years later the baby born that night would teach His friends about a different sort of peace.

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27

It’s the peace that doesn’t depend on circumstances. It’s peace that sustains like the eye of a storm while life’s chaos swirls around it.

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