Issues & Solution: Recovery Pros

Listen and Encourage

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad. Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it! Proverbs 25:11, 12: 25, 13:12, 15:23, King James Version

Something very exciting and wonderful happened to me last night and I felt like I was going to explode with happiness but there was nobody around that I could share it with so I lost some of the joy and excitement that I was feeling. It was like someone had taken a pin and pricked a balloon and some of the air went out of the balloon.

While it is important that we listen to people when they are hurting, I believe it is just as important, if not more important to listen to them when they are excited. If we stay on the mountain tops of happiness, excitement and joy, we will spend far less time down in the valleys of despair, hopelessness, depression and discouragement.

Don’t let anyone tell you that it is impossible to stay on the mountain tops because that is a lie straight from the pits of hell! Yes, we will have times of discouragement, loneliness and despair due to difficult circumstances, heartaches, criticism, ridicule, scorn and sarcasm. However if Jesus lives in our hearts, He will be faithful to once again refresh our hearts with His understanding, joy, unconditional love, happiness, mercy, grace and kindness. Indeed, Jesus is able to keep us on the mountain tops.

Two years ago, I received an email from a pastor who was very discouraged and hurting. He told me “I preach my heart out and nobody says “Amen,” smiles or laughs at the humorous points in my sermons.” He said that he had been the pastor at this church for five years and no one had ever invited him and his wife to dinner. The pastor told me “I love God and it is my desire to serve Him, but I am human and sometimes I get very discouraged. Would you please pray for me?” How my heart went out to Him!

Self-created Hells

Let all things be done decently and in order. 1 Corinthians 14:40

Internet surfer that I am, I recently came across a meme which could be described as a drama queen’s motto:

“I don’t want to be overdramatic. But today felt like a hundred days in hell.”


Yes, within the faith community, it is often agreed eternal torment is some kind of reality, even if it is beyond our finite minds.

Nevertheless, we do ourselves a large disservice to ignore our own self-created and contained versions of this most unpleasant torture. For indeed, even those pious Christian versions of us need to admit something hardly “Christ-like” or flattering. Sometimes we like to create our own little Hells. And then we further enjoy tossing others – and ourselves – INTO them.

Know the Difference: Healthy or Unhealthy Support System?

“Know the difference between those who stay to feed the soil and those who come to grab the fruit.”


This sobering statement recently came to my attention. I don’t know who originally said it, but it resonates, all the same.

It has personally factored in heavily as I have learned, firsthand, who was a part of my healthy support system…and who was NOT.

Indeed, this concept plays a MAJOR role for each of us as we navigate our addiction/recovery journeys. It is usually not too long in life, before we encounter the all too common cliché dysfunction of co-dependency, narcissism and/or exploitation.

Are You Lacking Kindness?

Kindness:
This attribute is powerful, possessing tremendous relevance and meaning.

According to The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, some of the benefits include:

  • A rush of euphoria, followed by a longer period of calm, after performing a kind act is often referred to as a “helper’s high”, involving physical sensations and the release of the body’s natural painkillers, the endorphins. This initial rush is then followed by a longer-lasting period of improved emotional wellbeing.

Conquering Worry

When you are inclined to worry — don’t do it! That is the first thing. No matter how much reason there seems to be for worrying — still, there is your rule. Do not break it — don’t worry! Matters may be greatly tangled, so tangled that you cannot see how they ever can be straightened out; still, don’t worry! Troubles may be very real and very sore, and there may not seem a rift in the clouds; nevertheless, don’t worry! You say the rule is too high for human observance — that mortals cannot reach it; or you say there must be some exceptions to it — that there are peculiar circumstances in which one cannot but worry. But wait a moment. What did the Master teach? “I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.” He left no exceptions.

What did Paul teach? “Don’t worry about anything!” He did not say a word about exceptions to the rule — but left it unqualified and absolute. A good bit of homely, practical, common-sense wisdom, says that there are two classes of things we should not worry about — things we can help, and things we cannot help.

Evils we can (correct) — we ought to (correct). If the roof leaks — we ought to mend it; if the fire is burning low and the room growing cold — we ought to put on more fuel; if the fence is tumbling down, so as to let our neighbor’s cattle into our wheat field — we had better repair the fence than sit down and worry over the troublesomeness of people’s cows; if we have dyspepsia and it makes us feel badly — we had better look to our diet and our exercise. That is, we are very silly if we worry about things we can help. Help them! That is the heavenly wisdom for that sort of ills or cares — that is the way to cast that kind of burden on the Lord.

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Who or What is Your Miracle Worker?

“Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?”
Jeremiah 32:27

I recently caught the 1960 Academy Award winning film, “The Miracle Worker.” It portrays the relationship of Helen Keller and that of her groundbreaking teacher, Annie Sullivan.

Most of us know the basics to the story. Helen Keller was blind, deaf and mute and, before Sullivan’s arrival, seemingly hopeless in her circumstances. If she could not see, hear or speak, how could she ever communicate, let alone, live in the world?

The situation looked bleak.

That was until Sullivan’s arrival…

Clueless or Purposeful Recovery?

As we bump along in life, we often misunderstand things, especially concerning our recovery. I recently caught a cartoon which captures that reality.

In it, we see Jesus and His disciples on a fishing boat. One disciple is in a festive mood, complete with some castanet shaking. This prompts another disciple’s response…

“You idiot. He said cast the nets.”

Does this spotlight, once again, our human cluelessness?

Perhaps, rather, it taps into the purposeful recovery-from-addiction meaning in our lives, should we choose to embrace it.

Let’s take a gander at the fishy verses…

When I am Ignored

It is so hard to share with someone seemingly endlessly with no fruit seeming to bear. I have been through this with various people — some regarding faith and others regarding recovery. They do not want to hear about God, the Bible or church. Or they are not interested in getting sober, getting out of that codependent/abusive relationship ior changing their life in any way. I believe it is a problem with their eyes not seeing and their ears not hearing.

It is not a matter of my not saying the right thing. The issue may be that it is not the right time.

I am sowing seeds on dry hard ground. (see: Mark 4:3-9 and Mark 4:10-20)

Are You Doing Your Spiritual Press Ups?

“…Look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”
Luke 21:28

I’ve recently taken on a newer kind of exercise routine – and it has nothing to do with weight loss.

After years of mysterious flares of right side pain, I have been diagnosed with a bulging disc. This was, in addition, to the mild form of Scoliosis which was never completely resolved when I was twelve years old. So, in between those two realities, I’ve had bouts of intense, radiating pain which now require physical therapy. Hence, the exercises. And the star of those exercise are the press ups.