Info & Help, General Recovery

Asking for Support: Getting the Help You Need - Part 2Premium Content

by Dale & Juanita Ryan | see: Part 1

We resist getting help

In spite of the abundance of God's love and grace and the many ways in which love and grace are available to us, we do not easily reach out for the help we need. Even when we have acknowledged our need for help, we may find ourselves hesitating, finding excuses, resisting. Resistance to getting help is often the result of a mixture of fear and despair and shame.

Fear

It can be frightening to get help. In the process we feel vulnerable and exposed. Jim's Dad had made cutting remarks about him all his life. Jim was so accustomed to hearing that he was lazy and stupid and irresponsible that every time he shared in his support group, he expected to hear these same hurtful comments in response. Even though people didn't respond this way, Jim imagined that everyone must be privately thinking these things about him. As a result, he would sometimes begin to share only to freeze with fear and find himself unable to talk.

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Asking for Support: Getting the Help You Need - Part 1Premium Content

by Dale & Juanita Ryan
See: Part 2 | Part 3

The God of the Bible is a God who saves and heals. The Bible is clear about this: He will deliver the needy who cry out, he will rescue them from oppression and violence. Psalm 72: 12,14) When we see our need, acknowledge our inability to save ourselves, and cry out, God delivers us. God rescues us from oppression and violence. Whether it is the oppression and violence of our compulsions and addictions or the oppression and violence of abuse and neglect, God delivers us and heals us. God is powerful enough and loving enough to deliver us from all of the oppression and violence we face.

This is the good news proclaimed in Scripture. And it is the basis for our hope on the recovery journey. We cannot save ourselves. Or heal ourselves. But God can. And God will.

Sound simple? It turns out to be anything but simple. There are several reasons for this. First, we find it hard to believe that God is

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What about Coincidences?Premium Content

"Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous."
Albert Einstein

I love this quote by Mr. Einstein. How true it is! When we think of the word, "coincidence," we tend to think along the standard definition's description:

    "a chance happening: something that happens by chance in a surprising or remarkable way; happening without planning."


Ever had one of those experiences like that definition? You know, those weird, in sync, "hmm" kinds of moments which just seem to be too timely/helpful to be believed? If you call yourself a human being, more than likely, at one time or another, you probably have had a few. Meet God, being anonymous.

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Are You Taking Advantage of Kingdom Synergy?Premium Content

Historically, no outpouring of God has lasted very long apart from intentional Kingdom Synergy. What is "synergy?" Synergy happens when two or more entities decide to join their visions for the purpose of an agreed upon outcome. They realize that doing this greatly enhances the outcome they could ever achieve alone.

Many places in the New Testament, believers were instructed to be of one mind and heart. As a matter of fact they were told to do nothing but pray together in the Upper Room until they came into oneness-'Kingdom Synergy'.

After His death, he (Jesus) presented Himself alive to them in many different settings over a period of forty days. In face-to-face meetings, He talked to them about things concerning the Kingdom of God. As they met and ate meals together He told them they were on no account to leave Jerusalem, but must wait for what the Father promised: the promise you heard from me. John baptized in water; you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit. And soon. Acts 1:3-5, Msg.

If you can be patient with me for a moment, I'll share a bit of "Ron's" (loosely held) theology. My experience is my experience. I'm not saying any one has to agree with or mirror mine.

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Do You Have Tenacious Resolve?Premium Content

A dear friend and brother gave me a medallion to remind me of "tenacious resolve". It has the words "finish strong" inscribed on it. I keep it in a place where I will see it often. I don't know about you, but I need reminders. God is great about giving us sign-posts and reminders. There are always little, and even big reminders along life's path---they are there to show us that he is still our strongest encourager.

Here is one of my favorite "tenacious resolve" Scriptures:

Therefore, we do not lose heart. So we are not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see will last forever. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 Msg

We are prone to loosing heart and giving up without this level of regular encouragement. It's bad enough without negative reporters, naysayers, critics, and discouragers. They seem to abound the harder circumstances become. Which am I-a spiritual cheerleader or "frump grump"? Never heard of a "frump grump"? They only prognosticate on how much worse it's going to get.

So, what do we do with all the evidence of things seeming to fall apart around us? First, resolve not to ever give up! It's just not an option. With that "tenacious resolve" you will not lose heart. Once you lose heart-it is easy to become overwhelmed to the point of seeing only the negative and missing all the positive signs around you.

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Do You Belong In Bethlehem?Premium Content

What would Jesus think if I showed up in Bethlehem?
I’ve been trying to spend some time each day during this Christmas season at the nativity scene, wondering about the thoughts, emotions, and experiences of each character. And I found myself wondering how Jesus would respond to the presence of a disabled person in that holy circle.

I’d probably try to stay away. I’d list endless excuses to stay in my own warm, safe environment and let someone else go.

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Christmas: It's About the FoundationPremium Content

Appearances can deceive.

Over the weekend I watched one of those DIY shows. A young woman purchased a cute, completely refurbished bungalow. After a few months the surface restorations began to crumble because the previous owner merely covered over serious, costly-to-repair problems.

As a first-time owner, she was overwhelmed and tempted to walk away. But the house had a solid foundation and structure. Experienced professionals peeled away the shiny appearance, exposed the systemic issues, and repaired them properly.

The show reminded me of a story. An architect visited the Wexner Art Center at Ohio State University. The building design reflects a post-modern view of reality. Pillars support nothing. Staircases go nowhere. The idea is that there’s no pattern—to the building or to life.

As the guide explained the designer’s vision, the architect asked, “I wonder if they designed the foundation the same way.”

“Of course not,” replied the guide, “the building would collapse.”

Exactly.

Maybe Christmas is a bit like that. As we get lost in the lights and tinsel, the gifts and expectations, we forget that appearances can deceive.

Maybe we decide the whole thing’s a sham. It’s all wrapping paper and commercialism, and when you strip that away there’s nothing worthwhile. So we toss aside the whole notion and walk away.

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Things I am Learning from Cancer

When I was diagnosed with cancer it was as if God had slammed me over the head with a 2x4. I was stunned -- stopped dead in my tracks. I was emotionally and physically numb. It took months to come to terms with what it actually meant. How was this going to affect me? my relationships? my loved ones? What about the future? Do I even have a future? What will happen to my loved ones after I am gone? Questions whirled around inside my head.

Chemo has not been successful There is not much anyone can do yet I can clearly see that God is in the process of teaching me some important things.

Run, Don't Walk to Your Forgiving Father

You know, we don't really believe that the Bible is true. We say we do, but often we ignore things in it. We say, "Well, there must be another way" or "In this case, it won't happen like this." But the fact is, the Bible is unequivocally true. Everything it says will happen the way it says it. Period.

When wickedness comes, contempt comes also;
and with dishonor comes disgrace.
Proverbs 18:3 NRSV

With wickedness comes contempt and with dishonor comes disgrace. In other words, we can't hide our sin.

Be sure your sin will find you out. Numbers 32:23 NRSV

King David was absolute ruler over all his kingdom. Not only that, but he could have any number of wives and be well within his rights... as long as the women he chose were available to marry him. In other words, he could have any woman except one who was already married. And, of course, human nature being what it is, he wanted a woman who was already married. We all know the story. He had an affair with her and she got pregnant. So, David arranged for her soldier husband to come home, hoping that the husband would have sex with his wife and never know that the baby she bore wasn't his. Unfortunately for David, the husband was a more honorable man than his king and refused to enjoy his "vacation" while his men were still fighting and dying on the front lines. So David, in a frenzy not to have his sin found out, sent Uriah to the front lines to be killed in battle. And so he was.

Are You Living the Jabez Experience?Premium Content

He (Jabez) was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, "Oh that you would bless me and extend my lands! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!" And God granted him his request. 1 Chronicles 4:10, NLT


Before you impugn this request as being too "me" centered, consider the following. According to Scripture Jabez was a man described as honorable. And as to motive; a deeper look will reveal a very God-centered heart. Jabez clearly reveals that it has always been God's desire to bless and prosper His children.

Let's consider an expanded (amplified) version of his prayer. This is a look behind the words "bless me" to their shades of meaning. Jabez' prayer actually provides a window into the true heart of God. And it reveals that our only true route to being a blessing for God is by embracing all of His blessings toward us. Consider this version as a revelation of some of the multitudinous ways God desires to Bless His Children Daily!

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