note: Members can discuss this workshop in the Message Boards HERE
Andy-host> It is my Honour to introduce Martin Author of
Andy-host> The Gospel and the 12 Steps
Andy-host> From Ashes into Gold
Andy-host> WELCOME Martin Davis
Andy-host> Please GA Martin
Martin> Thanks Andy
Martin> I am glad to be here.
Martin> I am not very experienced in chat rooms so bear with me
Martin> before we get started I want to invite those of you
Martin> who are interested to send me your email addresses
Martin> I write a monthly article
Martin> on spiritual topics of interest to CIR’s
Martin> I send it out by email and would love to send it to you.
Martin> my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Martin> also I invite you to visit my website at
Martin> www.mannabooks.org. There’s lots to read there
Martin> especially in the questions and answers section
Martin> So let’s get into the workshop now
Martin> stand by and let me try something
[Obie-CoHost] While Martin is trying something, ….
[Obie-CoHost] you all can learn a bit more about this workshop and the books…
[Obie-CoHost] Mr. Davis has written here: http://christians-in-recovery.org/Tools_Workshops_Schedule
Martin> Sorry. I got los for a moment. I want to start the workshop off by talking with you for
just a few minutes. Then I would like to spend the rest of our time by taking questions from you.
Martin> So let’s get into it by reading
Martin> the following passage of scripture
Martin> Fore the grace of God that brings salvation
Martin> has appeared to all me.
Martin> It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness
Martin> and worldly passions,
Martin> and to live self-controlled
Martin> upright and godly lives in the present age.
Martin> while we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior,
Martin> who gave himself for us
Martin> to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself
Martin> a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good
Martin> Titus 2:11-15
Martin> Keep that in the back of your minds. BTW,
Martin> we are scheduled to go for an hour, but
Martin> if we need to go longer that’s OK with me
Martin> so long as its OK with everyone else.
Martin> Here’s a question for you…
Martin> Get ready…it’s an important one
Martin> Why did you get up this morning?
Martin> That’s right. that’s the question
Martin> was it because you had to get up and go to work?
Martin> Was it because you have children that need tending to?
Martin> was it because you have project that needs doing around the house
Martin> was it because you wanted to go fishing
Martin> or shopping?
Martin> OK. I’ll stop beating around the bush
Martin> and get to the rel question
Martin> I’ll even put on my old professor’s hat and
Martin> wax philosophic
Martin> Why are we here on this earth?
Martin> What is the purpose of our lives?
Martin> If you understand
Martin> the answer to the question
Martin> then everything you do…
Martin> as well as all the difficulties and hardships that we all face
Martin> will suddenly be filled with purpose and meaning
Martin> We will have a reason to get up
Martin> not only this morning but every morning
Martin> If you can answer the question as to why we are here on this earth
Martin> it won’t matter what your present circumstances are
Martin> I realize that is a bold statement
Martin> it will not matter whether you are rich or poor
Martin> in good health or shut in with health or emotional problems
Martin> if you know why you are here on the earth
Martin> then all the things that concern the world
Martin> and we see it on TV every night
Martin> money, possessions, power
Martin> prestige, sex and glamor, relationships
Martin> all that stuff will no longer be important to you
Martin> you may even grow to the level of spiritual maturity
Martin> evidenced by one of my great biblical heroes, the apostle Paul
Martin> He wrote: I consider everything loss
Martin> compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord
Martin> for whose sake I have lost all things
Martin> I consider them RUBBISH
Martin> that I may gain Christ and be found in him
Martin> Phil. 3:8
Martin> then he wrote
Martin> one of my favorite passages
Martin> I have learned to be content
Martin> whatever the circumstances
Martin> I know what it is to be in need
Martin> and I know what it is to have plenty
Martin> I have learned the secret of being content
Martin> in any and every situation
Martin> whether well fed or hungry
Martin> whether living in plenty or in want
Martin> I can do everything through him (Christ) who give me strength
Martin> Phil 4:11-13
Martin> and whoa again!! What a passage!
Martin> If you are still sitting in your chair
Martin> rather than fallen out on the floor
Martin> you may not be getting this
Martin> go back a few lines on your screen
Martin> if you can
Martin> and read this stuff again
Martin> I have pondered these passages for years
Martin> and they still blow my mind
Martin> I consider everything loss
Martin> I consider it all RUBBISH
Martin> money, possessions,power
Martin> relationships, prestige and fame
Martin> all rubbish compared to knowing Christ
Martin> then he says I know how to be content in all circumstances
Martin> OK, gang…
Martin> Do WE know how to be content in all circumstances?
Martin> Think about it. Don;t let this just run by you
Martin> As for me
Martin> I gotta admt it that I am still working on all this
Martin> But I am way further down the road than I used to be
Martin> I don’t claim perfection, but I do claim progress
Martin> So how can Paul write this stuff?
Martin> What is his secret?
Martin> I’ll tell you the answer.
Martin> Paul knew why he got up in the morning.!
Martin> No moans and groans, please. I’m getting there
Martin> the answer of course goes back to the scripture
Martin> we quoted at the beginning of the workshop
Martin> in corporate terms, that is
Martin> at the level of the family or group
Martin> that’s us
Martin> God is purifying himself a people that are his very own
Martin> As CIR’s, we are of course part of that people
Martin> but less take it down to the level of the individual
Martin> let’s make it up close and personal
Martin> the reason that you and I, as Christians, get up in the morning
Martin> is so that we can be transformed more and more
Martin> into the image of Jesus Christ
Martin> You see, the reason we are here
Martin> the reason we get up in the morning
Martin> is so that we can participate in God’s program
Martin> and here, I am talking bout
Martin> the Twelve-Step program of the Universe!
Martin> the Big Show1
Martin> God’s program is to transform us into his sins and daughters
Martin> that’s right!
Martin> royal children of the King of the Universe
Martin> who will share the joys and responsibilities
Martin> of eternity with him
Martin> those of you who know your theology
Martin> know that we CIR’s are already the children of God
Martin> that’s true.
Martin> but at first
Martin> we are like street urchins who have been adopted
Martin> by the king as his own children
Martin> we are dirty and scruffy and we don’t know a whole lot
Martin> about being kings and queens
Martin> so we have to learn
Martin> God is transforming us, you and me,
Martin> into the likeness of Jesus Christ
Martin> so that we can live and reign with him forever
Martin> because he loves us so much
Martin> he wants to share the joys of his existence with us
Martin> He wants us to be able to enjoy and
Martin> experience the beauties
Martin> the challenges
Martin> and the responsibilities
Martin> and the opportunities
Martin> all the great things in the universe
Martin> that God enjoys every day
Martin> He want to share them with us forever.
Martin> Man! I may break into song just thinking about it!
Martin> God has work to do
Martin> and WE are the work!
Martin> I think it will help us a lot
Martin> if we can remember this
Martin> if we can remember why we are here in the first place
Martin> it will put things into perspective for us
Martin> it will especially give meaning
Martin> to our trials and difficulties
Martin> I know that sometimes it seems
Martin> that we go through trials and difficulties for no reason
Martin> but all our difficulties
Martin> can become opportunities
Martin> if we look at them in terms of our purpose
Martin> here on earth
Martin> We need to look at our lives as a training ground
Martin> God is making something of us
Martin> He is molding and shaping us into fit vessels for his use
Martin> So when you look at things from the eternal viewpoint
Martin> it doesn’t really matter what
Martin> your circumstances are
Martin> Don’t you see?
Martin> This was Paul’s secret
Martin> This is why he could be content
Martin> in any and all circumstances
Martin> and BTW, did I tell you?
Martin> Paul was under house arrest
Martin> and chained to a Roman guard
Martin> twenty four hours a day when he wrote all this
Martin> Even under those circumstances
Martin> he could write,
Martin> I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances
Martin> I don’t know about you
Martin> but I call that grown-up spirituality!!
Martin> So it really doesn’t matter what kind of job you have
Martin> or don’t have
Martin> whether you are good health or not
Martin> whether you are shut in for various reasons
Martin> because it’s all fodder for the mill
Martin> tools of the trade
Martin> the raw material of God’s creative activity
Martin> All that matters is that you show up for training everyday
Martin> and God will use YOUR circumstances
Martin> your difficulties
Martin> your hardships
Martin> your pain and sorrow
Martin> all that stuff that life throws at us
Martin> God will use it to transform YOU
Martin> into his radiant, glowing,
Martin> ever-joyous son or daughter.
Martin> He will make you like Jesus Christ. All you gotta do is show up!
Martin> And that , my brothers and sisters,
Martin> is why you get up in the morning!!
[Obie-CoHost] WOW. Thank you Martin
Andy-host> OK now Martin will field questions,I will recognize you in order
Andy-host> Please GA obie
[Obie-CoHost] One thing that always confuses me….
[Obie-CoHost] is that I agree with everything you said…
[Obie-CoHost] but when I am in the throws of temptation….
[Obie-CoHost] or the midst of tremendous difficulties…
[Obie-CoHost] the pain I feel….
[Obie-CoHost] can numb me to these truths…
[Obie-CoHost] do you have any suggestions?
Martin> That is reality
Martin> we live in a world full of pain
Martin> and we cannot escape it
Martin> the thing that helps me
Martin> is to remember that GOD went through the pain hinself
Martin> in Christ, on the cross
Martin> Jesus knows what it is like
Martin> to be numb to all these things
Martin> after all, he cried out
Martin> my God, my God why have you forsaken me
Martin> If when we don’t remember
Martin> even when we are weak and all
Martin> Jesus will remember for us
Martin> After we stumble and lay there a while
Andy-host> my place is a Disaster
Martin> he is there to lend us a hand and pick us up
Martin> to get started again
Martin> Hope that helps a bit
Andy-host> Please GA Dixie
dixie876> Being pragmatic how does an individual take what you said and find God’s plan
or purpose for their life?
Martin> God’s will for our lives
Martin> as individuals, not in a general sense
Martin> that is one I wrestle with all the time
Martin> have for years
Martin> it’s one that most preachers duck
Martin> I won’t duck it
Martin> but first, am I getting at what you are asking?
Martin> If your children (hypothetically) are playing in the backyard
Martin> you probably don;t care whether one is in the sand box
Martin> or open is on the swing set
Martin> so long as they are safe and happy. Your will is that they be happy
Martin> How they play, more or less,
Martin> is up to them
Martin> God is like that with us
Martin> We find his general in the Bible
Martin> but to get to his specific will for us
Martin> we have to think in terms of a two way street
Martin> it’s not just
Martin> what does God want me to do
Martin> It’s more like what do God and I want to do together.
Martin> some preachers talk about God’s perfect will
Martin> that’s not what we need to hear
Martin> We are God’s co-creators
Martin> his partners so to speak
Martin> so got wants us to work together as a team
Martin> I am talking about you as an individual working with God, not talking about a group
Martin> So God doesn’t care whether you play in the sandbox
Martin> or on the swing set
Martin> So long as you play by his rules
Martin> you can do as you wish
Martin> So the question then becomes
Martin> Who am I?
Martin> Who has God created me to be?
Martin> What is the desire of my heart?
Martin> How do I want to live my life?
Martin> These are not selfish questions.
Martin> I thought for years that tey were.
Martin> But it gets down to who is the unique person God made you to be?
Martin> And how can you serve hi, out of your uniqueness
Martin> The answer lies within you
Martin> What are your desires?
Martin> Where is your life?
Martin> What makes you feel alive?
Martin> When you answer those questions
Martin> and only you can
Martin> you will have a good idea of the direction you need to go in
Martin> and God will bless that
Martin> but remember, you must seek his will
Martin> but, please
Martin> do not assume, as I once did
Martin> that God’s will is contrary for you.
Martin> If Jesus Christ is in your heart
Martin> and you are surrendered to him (Step 3)
Martin> then your desires are his desires.
Martin> Go forth, serve the King, and have a ball in the process!
dixie876> thank you Martin for understanding and responding
FullofHope> wow.. very insightful – thanks
Andy-host> Please GA Brian P
Martin> a that’s it
dcir> thanks Martin!
bearzzz> first they need to line up with God
BrianP> Martin, thank you for the reminder about Paul working under house arrest
BrianP> I have physical limitations, and am rather housebound…
BrianP> I am glad to have the reminder that I, too, can minister. done
Martin> Being housebound
Martin> does not keep you out
Martin> of GOd’s training school
Martin> Use the time to learn to know him better
Martin> to pray for others
Martin> and to praise God
Martin> prayer and praise are ancient
Martin> and honorable ministries of the Church
BrianP> ty Martin
Andy-host> Please GA Delores
Delores> I am having a hard time right now in my life….
Delores> motivated w/anything..
Delores> but particularly my spiritual walk…………..
Delores> how do you get your motivation back Martin…if u ever have that problem? thanks done
Martin> Yes. I have had that problem many times.
Martin> There is a such things as
Martin> the dark night of the soul
Martin> sometimes referred to as the well running dry
Martin> That usually happens to persons who have been
Martin> Christians for quite a while
Martin> Doesn’t happen to newbies
Martin> they are still all bubly and excited
Martin> and its good they are. I love it
Martin> But you can’t get your motivation back.
Martin> It has to come to you.
Martin> You don’t want to be in the dry well I know
Martin> but that is part of it
Martin> the trick is
Martin> can you trust God even when the well runs dry
Martin> can you trust God that the living water will begin to flow again
Martin> It’s hard to do when you
Martin> are in the midst of it
Martin> you don’t even have to like it
Martin> you can even be impatient with God
Martin> you can complain
Martin> Man, have I done that
Martin> All that is OK
Martin> God can take it.
Martin> But the water will return
Martin> all you can do is pray for it and wait.
Martin> If you would like, say something else to me
Delores> cant think of anything………..but thank you .
Andy-host> Please GA dcir
dcir> Martin, I started reading your book Ashes into Gold, and have to tell you…..
dcir> that the INTRODUCTION alone….
dcir> has been a “meditation” tool for me…..
dcir> a lot of what you have shared today…..
dcir> about our “journey” in life…..
dcir> is really spoken of in this “fairy tale” story in the introduction….
dcir> Each day I read it……
dcir> God speaks to me more about MY life….
dcir> I wonder if this is something anyone can read……
dcir> or do they have to get the book? smiles
Martin> Not sure what you mean
dcir> The introduction of the book…..
Martin> My wife and I would appreciate any an all
Martin> who want to spend bucks for books
Martin> Adhes into Gold
Martin> and I am not trying to sell a book here
Martin> might really be good for Delores
dcir> can it be copied and pasted and posted I guess is what I am asking?
Martin> It’s all about being in the ashes
Martin> sounds kinda like that where you are Delores
Martin> Maybe you could try
Martin> Back to DCIR
Martin> what did you mean?
Andy-host> Please explain dcir
Martin> I see
Andy-host> oh ok
Hemmy> could the intro to your book be posted in such a way that CIR members
could have access to it via CIR message boards perhaps ?
Martin> I am OK with copying the INTRO only
Martin> but pleas give me a great sales pitch when you do!
Martin> Also do it only for a limited time
dcir> Of course!! smiles
Martin> so two or three months
dcir> okay…great!! Thanks Martin…wonderful Book!!
Andy-host> Please GA Obie
[Obie-CoHost] I encourage everyone here to get both of Martin’s books…..
[Obie-CoHost] CIR is not making any money off of them…
[Obie-CoHost] They are wonderful books that everyone in recovery should read…
[Obie-CoHost] What you have seen here tonight…
[Obie-CoHost] is the tip of the iceberg…
[Obie-CoHost] Martin is full of practical wisdom….
[Obie-CoHost] that you can apply to your own recovery….
[Obie-CoHost] Visit his website: http://mannabooks.org/
Delores> ty Obie
dixie876> !PS if no one else has a question?
Andy-host> Does anyone else
Andy-host> Please GA Dixie
dixie876> Thanks Andy
dixie876> the initial scriptures
dixie876> you referred to no to ungodliness
dixie876> and worldly passions
dixie876> i have heard some many different definitions of these
dixie876> depending upon what pew you sit in
dixie876> how do you personally come up with values?
Martin> Values come from the bible
Martin> no where else
Martin> God’s law believe it or not
Martin> Law gets a lot of bad press with evangelicals
Martin> but law reveals the mind and character of God
Martin> SO God says don’t steal
Martin> that is a value
Martin> and I am sure you know the rest
Martin> but in the final analysis
Martin> there is only one law
Martin> Love God
Martin> and love your neighbor as your self
Martin> those are the true values of the Kingdom of God
Martin> how to apply all that is not something
Martin> that can be written down as a recipe
Martin> So what we do is we lean all we can
Martin> about Jesus
Martin> He is the supreme example of love
Martin> then we copy him as best we can
Martin> as far as ungodliness
Martin> and worldly passions
Martin> we all have that o one degree or another
Martin> the AA guys are much smarter than many
Martin> theologians we they saw we seek progress not perfection
Martin> right now
Martin> we are in a sort of transition state,
Martin> the old sinful nature is dying
Martin> and the new man and woman in Christ is being formed
Martin> we talked about that earlier
Martin> we have this battle going on
Martin> between the old and the new
Martin> quite frankly
Martin> none of us can obey God at all without his help
Martin> but we are not robots
Martin> he does not do it all for us
Martin> he helps and we cooperate
Martin> but in the interim
Martin> that is, in this life
Martin> there is the old battle
Martin> between the flesh and the spirit
Martin> and it ain’t going’ away!
Martin> I don’t care
Martin> what some theological traditions say
Martin> But the good news is that we are not saved
Martin> by what we do
Martin> or don’t do
Martin> that is not the point
Martin> God has done all the doing for us
Martin> in Jesus Christ
Martin> But now he is gently
Martin> not ALWAYS gently
Martin> reshaping and remaking us
Martin> it takes time
Martin> a whole life time
Martin> and probably more
Martin> again, our job is to show up and stay the course
Martin> this is not easily program we have signs on for
dixie876> thank you!
Andy-host> Please GA Dorcus
Dorcus> Thank you.
Dorcus> I am sorry I cam in late
Dorcus> and if this is already
Dorcus> talked about I can
Dorcus> But could you tell us
Dorcus> some good ways to speed
Dorcus> the process
Dorcus> on from the old man to the new…..
Dorcus> I know
Dorcus> the Lord does the work
Dorcus> But I am sure you have some
Dorcus> good ideas on what we can do to help ourselves. Thank you. done
Martin> Great question Dorcus.
Martin> You remind me of me!
Martin> If you don’t mind me saying it
Martin> you are a true CIR!
Martin> As I am
Martin> We cannot speed up this process
Martin> Perhaps its a poor analogy in this context
Martin> but its like fine old wine
Martin> it takes time to make it
Martin> I am 56 years old
Martin> and I keep saying alright God
Martin> don’t you think we have got this thing figured out now
Martin> And then God shows me how little In really know
Martin> In fact,
Martin> the older I get, and the more I learn
Martin> the less I know
Martin> And so I wonder
Martin> God why did you have to wait till I was so old
Martin> to get me to this point
Dorcus> Like are we gonna bee an oak tree or a clinging vine.
Martin> You see, I thought I was already to do seminars
Martin> and workshops
Martin> for CIR”S ten to fifteen years ago
Martin> and I did a few
Martin> But thankfully,
Martin> God did not turn me loose to do more
Martin> I know now that I would have blown it big time
Martin> I did not know it then
Martin> but God did
Martin> so he cooks me for another ten or twelve years
Martin> and here we are today
Martin> and I am thinking
Martin> OK God are we ready now
Martin> Only difference is
Martin> I am leaving it up to him
Martin> If he says go
Martin> I will go
Martin> If not
Martin> I will be disappointed, yes
Martin> but I will obey.
Martin> I could not have gotten here any quicker
Martin> my spiritual depth is at a place it
Martin> could never have reached if God hadn’t turned me inside out
Martin> for six long years in the nineties.
Martin> I talk about that in Ashes into Gold
Martin> What we have to do
Martin> again, is to show up
Martin> Of course we will learn faster
Martin> if we study, meditate, pray, etc.
Martin> but still
Martin> God works very slowly in us
Martin> and if he didn’t
Martin> it would KILL us
Martin> and I mean that literally
Martin> Its not up to us to set the pace
Martin> And God works might slow, my friends
Martin> at least it looks that way from here
Martin> but I truly believe that he knows what he is doing
bearzzz> i am 61 & i so agree…it takes what it takes…it took Him YEARS to help me get ‘teachable’…ty
dcir> Ty Martin!
Dorcus> Thank you Martin. I appreciate the encouragement.
FOH> TY.. I’m pretty impatient with myself too.
Andy-host> Does anyone else have a question
Andy-host> Please GA Delores
Delores> just gotta ask if you would come do this again martin? done
Martin> I was just thinking about that
Martin> this has been great!! at least for me
Martin> If it is GOd’s will, maybe we can do this again in a few months
dixie876> thanks martin
Roses_Mush> thank you for a lovely presentation, Martin.
Roses_Mush> job well done.
Delores> thanks martin!
FOH> yes thanks – lots of food for thought here tonight.
dcir> Yes, awesome!! Yeah God *\o/*
cindy> thanks so much martin!