Info & Help, General Recovery

A Lifelong Reconstruction ProjectPremium Content

One of the most sobering chapters in all of Scripture can be found in Deuteronomy 6. In this well-known portion of the Old Testament, we are informed that the Law of God is more than just a series of directives handed down by a Divine Deity. In fact, we learn that obeying the Law is not only a life-long pursuit, but a pursuit that can actually lead to a longer life (6:2). We are also told that obeying the Law is “for our good always and for our survival” (6:24). Further, we are tasked with the mission of not only obeying this Law ourselves, but of passing it on and teaching it to our children (6:6-7). Any one of these three components, when considered on its own, should be enough to convince us that God takes His Law seriously.

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Are the 12 Steps the Only Way?

Question:
Is it acceptable to have or receive a different approach than following the traditional Twelve Steps only?

In Christians in Recovery, the 12 Steps are only some of the tools available to those seeking recovery. The Bible and Biblical principles come first and foremost. CIR is not AA. Our Lord Jesus Christ and God Almighty are our "Higher Power." The Bible is our handbook. The Holy Spirit is our Teacher and our Guide.

The 12 Steps are just tools. They work for some people and other people simply have no use for them. That is fine. If they work for you, by all means use them. Many people find the 12 Steps bring them into a closer relationship with God.

Taking the First Step: You Have the Key

You look ahead with such despair
and feel all hope is gone,
for life has been so difficult
already you feel worn.

But living life in happiness
is not so hard to do,
first make somebody happy
and joy will come to you.

But if you fear rejection
of love you have to give
and fear to reach your hand out
you'll never learn to live.

The first step is the hardest,
just take it and you'll see
that life is worth the living
for now you hold the key.
~ Ruth March 1978

The Half Empty Glass Is LeakingPremium Content

Do you consider yourself an optimist? Why (or why not)?

I'm doing a talk this week for an Optimist Club, so I'm thinking about optimism. I did a little research to find out what optimism is, where it originates, why some folks have it and some don't.

Frankly, for much of my life I was a confirmed pessimist. I not only saw the glass as half-empty, but I was certain it was leaking and eventually would be completely dry.

I was the second person in this exchange.

Optimist:"This is the best of all possible worlds."

Pessimist: "If that's the case, then things can never get any better."

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Learning God's Purpose for Your Life

But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God's purpose for themselves,
not having been baptized by John.
Luke 7:30, NASB

We hear a lot about the importance of “purpose-driven lives,” but is it enough to follow any purpose… or does it matter whose purpose we choose to follow?

The above verse in Luke tells us that the Pharisees and lawyers rejected God’s purpose for their lives. Why? Because they hadn’t been baptized by John. What does that have to do with it?

We Begin at the Lowest Grade

"Learn from Me"--for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:29

Are You Wasting Your Life?

"So teach us to number our days aright--that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12

What is it to number our days?

One way is to keep a careful record of them. That is a mathematical numbering. Some people keep diaries and put down everything they do--where they go, what they see, whom they meet, the books they read. But mere adding of days is not the numbering that was in the thought of the Psalmist.

Who is Your Hero?

I recently heard a surprising, thought-provoking response to that question. A critique group gathered to practice their public speaking skills. They challenged each other to do a two-minute impromptu talk answering the question, “Who is your hero?”

The last speaker began with an attention-grabbing opening line: I am my hero.

Sounds a bit self-centered, doesn’t it? I wondered immediately whether the guy had trouble getting his big head through the door.

But his explanation made a lot of sense. He’s right, and I really admire the unique look at a common question. Based on his thoughts, here’s my take on myself as my own hero.

I’m a Hero?

Do You Question God's Strength and Ability to Help You?

I will strengthen thee. Isaiah 41:10

God has a strong reserve with which to discharge this power; for He is able to do all things. Until you can drain dry the ocean of omnipotence, until you can break into pieces the towering mountains of almighty strength, you never need fear.

When We are No Longer InvinciblePremium Content

My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
Psalm 73:26

The older I get, the more I become aware of my own frailties. When we’re young, particularly if we’ve been blessed with good health and strength, we fall into the trap of thinking we’re invincible: someone else may step into the street and get mowed down by a truck; someone else might get cancer and die before their thirtieth birthday; someone else may drop dead of a heart attack in the middle of shooting hoops with friends. But not us.

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