Archive for July, 2009

Are You a Stumbling Block?

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. Romans 14:13 King James Version

On August 14, 1980, I humbled myself and admitted that I was a sinner. I repented of my sins and asked God to forgive me and invited Jesus into my heart to be my personal Saviour. The cleansing atoning blood of Jesus was applied to my heart for the forgiveness of my sins. I was saved but I was a stumblingblock to those around me. I was very judgmental. Not only was I a stumblingblock, I was also a hypocrite because I had not forgiven the people who had hurt me.

We read in the Bible “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye” (Matthew 7: 3 – 5).

Yes, I was saved but I still harbored unforgiveness, bitterness and resentment in my heart for those who had hurt me. I really was a hypocrite. However, before you start judging me, search your own heart and see if you are a hypocrite. Have you really forgiven those who have hurt you? Have you forgiven them from your heart or did you just give them lip service when you told them that you had forgiven them? What about it, are you a stumblingblock to your family, your friends and to those around you?

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JoanneCopyright 2009 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved.
Used by permission.

He Always Wins

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 King James Version

No matter how many times satan tries to discourage us and steal our joy, we have a Saviour who always wins over satan. He always wins! I got up at two o’clock yesterday morning. After I got ready for the day and spent time with Jesus, I turned on my computer. I couldn’t get on the internet. I couldn’t send or receive email. I couldn’t do anything.

I did a system restore. It didn’t help so I did it two more times. I was still getting error messages. I don’t know what happened because I had just scanned my computer for viruses and it didn’t report any virus. I was starting to get discouraged. However instead of allowing satan to discourage and defeat me, I prayed and asked God to give me wisdom.

I did a complete system recovery. Even that didn’t help so I put a new operating system in my computer and my computer is working wonderfully now. I spent over twenty two hours working on my computer. I went to bed at two o’clock this morning and got back up at four o’clock this morning to finish setting my computer up. I was determined not to let satan defeat me.

Greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world. Whatever trials and crises you have in your life, give them to Jesus. He will always bring you through them victoriously if you will trust Him. Thank You, Jesus, for encouraging us when satan tries to pull us under for the last time.

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JoanneCopyright 2009 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved.
Used by permission.

Where Do Your Treasures Lie?

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

What is God’s will for our lives? God’s purpose for our lives should always take a precedent over our own desires, and that includes all aspects of our marriage, work, career, family, and play. If we are not sure if we are doing the will of God, then we need to carefully consider our actions and pray about it. I know it is difficult to make God first in our lives, but He has shown us how to give Him first place in our hearts.

So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” Or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:31 NIV)

I do know that by looking at our earthly and spiritual treasures it gives us an idea of what our priorities are. What do you treasure now for your life? What values do you have over your material possessions? If someone said you had to give up all your material possessions before you could go to heaven, what would you do? What spiritual possessions do you have embedded within your character now that you apply into your daily life?

God is a compassionate and loving Father because He does not ask us to give up the material things that we have, he only asks us to make Him come first over what we have! Have you done that? Can you do that? That is what Christian priorities is all about; learning to let down our pride and let God. We have all erred in this way – no one is immune to portions of greed, selfishness and pride, or basing our life upon our own understanding of “what we think is right”. This is how many of us sin without even realizing it.

We are so caught up in the world’s amoral and corrupt ways that we have not stopped to see that we Christians sin every single day of our lives! We may not be committing sexual sins, and other abhorrent atrocities, but what we are doing may even be worse! We’re supposed to be God’s servants, God’s messengers and God’s ambassadors, and yet, how can we do those things, if we have not placed God first in our lives? What are we showing others about our lives?

Where do your treasures lie? When friends and family come over to your house, what do they see? More importantly, what do they see in you? If we remember that we are to first seek God’s Kingdom on earth and His righteousness over us, then we will surely be doing the will of our father in heaven.

So for the Christian our treasure is in heaven first, which is knowing what our spiritual gifts are and then applying them into our lives in whatever capacity and purpose that God has set out for us. And then, and only then can we will be a blessing to others and to family and ourselves.

…But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that is already laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:10-11 NIV)

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Copyright 2009 by Angie Lewis. All rights reserved. Used by Permission

Spirituality and Addictive Thinking

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Psalm 57:1
Be merciful unto me,
O God, be merciful unto me:
for my soul trusteth in thee:
yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge,
until these calamities be overpast.

When you begin to realize where your drug addiction and alcoholism have taken you, and what it cost to get there, life can start to get better if you surrender and admit that your life has become unmanageable. The chaos and confusion that you go through makes it hard to believe that you are not alone. Help is available if you ask for it and let go and let God.

Addictive thinking can make you turn your back on the spiritual awakening that will help you recover from the addiction and alcoholism that stole your soul. Some people have been mentally wounded for so long, they think it is not worth it to ask for help. Alcoholics and addicts are convinced that nobody will ever trust them again. Addictive thinking is a strong negative influence. It is not usual to sabotage any chance to get clean and sober because you think you do not deserve help.

The addiction and alcoholism make it almost impossible to make good decisions. Instead of thinking about a solution to a problem the focus is on the problem. At times, it even seems that there is no solution and the only way to deal with it is to not deal with it at all.

You start to believe getting high or drunk will stop the emotional physical mental spiritual pain that you suffer. Denial starts to convince you that the problem is not as bad as it is. Do you know anyone who kept missing appointments to see their parole officer? The addiction makes them believe they can convince her that they should be given another chance to not be served with a violation. They believe since they have not been involved in any criminal behavior, except of course for using drugs, a violation is not fair.

Asking for help is hard because that is the last thing that an addict or alcoholic does until either they are forced to through an intervention or they deteriorate to the point that their body just cannot take it anymore. Chemicals are so powerful that every part of your body goes through so much stress that it is impossible to make any sense of the chaos and accept the reality that you need as much help as you can get.

A higher power can heal your body and lift your spirits high. You can be blessed and have peace if you let your higher power guide you. Addictive thinking is so strong you make bargains with yourself that only make the situation worse. It makes it hard to trust anybody but the drugs. You claim you do not need anyone, and then expect loved ones and friends to cover up for your behavior and the consequences.

How it Works from the Big Book tell us God could and would if he were sought. Prayer changes things when we stop doing the things that are not in the will of God. His love for us will not falter when we are in trouble. His love is unconditional

God has all power in his hands. Power over misery and pain when you go through the fire burden down with care praise the lord and remember all things are possible if you only believe.

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Copyright 2009 by Jimmy Cathey, all rights reserved. Used by permission.
Jimmy Cathey is a substance abuse counselor and educator. He founded Support Systems, a substance abuse education program that helps families learn about the negative consequences of addiction and the rewards of life in recovery. He was a staff consultant to small and emerging non profit organizatons at Management Center in San Francisco, California.

Our Loving Heavenly Father

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies. Psalm 103:1-4 King James Version

Heavenly Father, we come to You this morning praising You and thanking You for being our loving Heavenly Father. Thank You for loving us when we were so unlovely. Thank You that You are gracious and merciful and that You forgive all of our sins and never hold them against us again.

Dear Father, please help us to be children who bring joy to You. Forgive us when we fail You. Search our hearts and if there is anything in our hearts that hurts You and brings shame to You, we ask that You would please remove it. Cleanse our hearts and make us fit for the Master’s use. Thank You for loving us so much that You sent Your beloved Son to die for us so that we may be saved.

Thank You, Jesus, for paying the price for our sins. Thank You that You love us so much that You allowed them to crucify You on a cruel cross of horror and excruciating pain. We love You, Heavenly Father. We love You, Jesus. We love You, Holy Spirit. Thank You for all that You have done for us and for all that You do for us every day. Amen.

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JoanneCopyright 2009 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved.
Used by permission.

Weary Yet Pursuing

Friday, July 10th, 2009

Then Gideon and the 300 men who were with him came to the Jordan {and} crossed over, weary yet pursuing (Judges 8:4, NASB, emphasis added).

The story about Gideon and his meager band of men defeating a massive enemy gathering is always inspiring to me. First, I’m reminded that no battle is ever won in my own strength. Second, I’m encouraged by the fact that nothing is impossible with God.

This last week, however, as I reread this familiar passage of scripture, three little words jumped right off the page and into my heart: “weary yet pursuing.” Wow. Though this story emphasizes God’s strength and power and sovereignty, it also points out what is required of us as we partner with Him in battle. Certainly we will grow weary, for the battles continue throughout our lifetime here on earth. But even when weary, we are to continue pursuing!

What does that mean? In the story found in Judges 8, we see the victorious Gideon and his 300 men pursuing the pagan kings who had escaped. Though we as believers aren’t called to pursue pagan kings, we are definitely called to pursue the King of kings—even when we are weary—for it is in His presence that our strength is renewed. If we give in to our weariness and fall by the wayside, we will miss seeing the victory that God has already won. And oh, how the enemy would love for that to happen!

Beloved, it is God Himself who fights for us, but He has called us to keep pursuing His heart, His presence, His mercy—even (and most especially) when we are weary. As the world changes about us and life as we have known it melts into the realities of fulfilled prophecy, it is more important than ever to pursue God with each step, clinging to Him and His Word with every breath, refusing to turn aside from following hard after Him (see Psalm 63:8, KJV).

May our motto today and always be that we are “weary yet pursuing,” for God will see that our pursuing is rewarded by His presence!

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Copyright 2009 Kathi Macias, all rights reserved. Used by permission.
Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored 26 books. Her newest book “Beyond Me. Living a You-first Life in a Me-first World” and Mothers of the Bible Speak to Mothers of Today (New Hope Publishers) The author can be reached at:

Always Enough

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Philippians 4:19-20 King James Version

Two years ago, I received an email from someone who said “There’s more month than there is money.” The person went on to tell me that he didn’t have enough food to eat at the end of every month. I can relate to that and I’m sure that a lot of you can relate to that also. We have good news. God has promised to supply all our need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Not only does God supply all of our physical needs; He also supplies all of our emotional needs through the encouragement of Jesus. Our precious Saviour is always here for us whether we have physical or emotional needs. It is such a comfort to know that at the end of the month when our money is gone and there is no food to put on our tables that Jesus is still with us.

When the heartaches and crises of life overwhelm us and try to pull us under for the last time, Jesus picks us up in His strong arms and holds us close to His loving heart. He carries us through all the dark valleys of our lives. I am so thankful that because Jesus loves us unconditionally, there is always enough love to see us through every problem and difficult situation.

What a Saviour! What a friend, this Jesus of Nazareth! There is no one like Jesus. What a privilege it is to be loved by the Saviour of the world. If you are hungry today for food to eat or for encouragement, put your trust in Jesus. He will never fail you. He will feed you physically and also emotionally.

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JoanneCopyright 2009 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved.
Used by permission.

Do You Feel Your Sins Cut You Off From God and All Hope of Change?

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

This is written for those who say:
“The things I have done and said weigh on my heart like a mountain of lead. This burdens me and keeps me from Christ. My sins cut me off from all hope of heaven. I am afraid that my past eagerness to relish my behavior has so twisted my mind, seared my conscience, and hardened my heart–that I will never be able to repent with any hope of pardon!”

But I answer you,
Is your sin greater than wicked King Manasseh’s, who “sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced witchcraft and divination, and consulted mediums and spiritists”? (2 Kings 21:2-7)

Is your sin greater than Paul’s drinking up the blood of saints?

Is your sin greater than any of theirs in that black bill, (1 Corinthians 6:9-11,) who, despite that, were afterward given repentance–and washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus?

Is your sin greater than that horrible sin of killing Christ Jesus? And yet the murderers of that Just and Holy One, after their true repentance of heart, were saved by that precious blood which they had cruelly spilled, as water upon the ground!

But no matter how heinous your sin may be–a scarlet sin, a crimson sin, a crying sin–and add to it Satan’s malicious aggravations, and all that horror which the dejectedness of your afflicted spirit, and darkness your imagination can add upon it–yet Paul’s precious antidote holds triumphantly sovereign: “Where sin abounded–grace over-abounded!” (Romans 5:20)

Yes, your past weighs heavily on you and your heart, now truly wounded with horror and hate of your sin, will cling to the truth and tender-heartedness of Jesus Christ and His promises, You can fall into His arms, which are lovingly stretched out to comfort and refresh you, As the wickedness of your sin abounded before–so His grace will now over-abound to the same proportion, and much more!

…It is His promise not only to pardon common sins–but also those which are as deep as scarlet, and blood-red as crimson. It is His free compassion to cast all our sins into the depth of the sea! (Micah 7:19). Now, the sea, by reason of its vastness, can as easily drown mountains, as it can drown mole-hills! Just so–the boundless ocean of God’s mercies–can easily swallow up our mightiest sins!

With His merciful power He blots out our sins as a cloud. The strength of the summer’s sun is able to scatter the thickest fog, as well as the thinnest mist–more, to drive away the darkest night! In the same way, the irresistible heat of God’s free love, shining through the Sun of Righteousness can far more easily dissolve the vilest works of darkness, and most horrible sins into nothing!

based on: Robert Bolton, “Comfortable Walking with God”

Old But New

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day and for ever. Hebrews 13:8 King James Version

The words to the song “Tell Me the Old, Old Story” came from a poem that Catherine Hankey wrote. I believe that these inspiring words came from the depths of her heart. She had contracted a severe illness and she wrote this poem during her recovery. “Tell me the old, old story, tell me the old, old story, Tell me the old, old story of Jesus and His love.” To know that the Saviour of the world loves us should comfort and encourage us.

Preachers have been preaching about the love of Jesus, singers have been singing about it and writers have been writing about it for years. However, I never get tired of hearing that Jesus loves me. When we wake up in the morning if we will listen with our hearts, we will hear Jesus softly and tenderly say to us “I love you”. He loves us as much today as He did yesterday and He will love us as much tomorrow as He does today. Thank God for the unchanging love of Jesus!

Heavenly Father, we give You thanks for the unchanging love of Jesus. Thank You that You opened Your heart of unconditional love, mercy, grace, compassion and forgiveness to us and sent Your beloved Son to be our Saviour. We love You, Heavenly Father. We love You, Jesus. We love You, Holy Spirit. Thank You for all that You do for us. May we, Your children, always bring joy and happiness to You. Again, thank You for loving us unconditionally. Amen.

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JoanneCopyright 2009 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved.
Used by permission.

A Spiritual Awakening

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Psalm 34:13-14 Keep thy tongue from evil,
and thy lips from speaking guile.
Depart from evil, and do good;
seek peace, and pursue it.

Have you ever been in a situation where you wanted to lash out and just let those guile words roll off your tongue because someone did something that you did not like? Was it driving in your car and the driver in another car made an unsafe lane change in front of you? Was it when you were standing in a long line to pay for groceries and the cashier takes the customer behind you to make them first at a new line? Did you ever try to explain to the utility company that you cannot pay you bill until tomorrow and they tell you your service will be interrupted today?

When those kinds of things used to happen to me, I would always use guile words and threaten to use evil behavior to handle the situation. I did not think about what I was going to say or if my actions and language would harm another person.

Addiction makes it just about impossible to make the connection between what you say and why people do not want to have anything to do with you. It becomes easy to think that any time you say things that offend people or do things that hurt anyone it is not your fault.

Addiction thinking can make you believe the other person is wrong because they did not see the situation from your point of view. No matter what happens after that, they “deserved” to be threatened or spoken to with guile words.

It was not my negative way of thinking that caused problems, it was my whole way of thinking. It was never my fault. The other driver did not care, the cashier did not like me, they utility company was out to get me, never mind the fact that I was three months behind on paying my bill. Addiction is a web of evil actions and negative thinking. Anything and everything has to be your way or no way.

When we continue to practice the principles of recovery through a spiritual awakening in all our affairs, we begin to realize that guile words, evil behavior and negative thinking are the foundation of misery and self deception. One day at a time, when we let go and God, life gets better. Alcoholism and addiction do not happen overnight, it takes many years of misery and suffering before you realize you have been standing at the front gate of the devil’s cesspool of lies. He is the dictator of everything that is against what Psalm 34:13-14 tell us. We have to hold to our faith and lean on the grace of God and he will see us through.

We do have a friend in Jesus and he will bare all of our sins for us if we only believe. All things are possible through him one day at a time. We need Jesus on our journey through recovery because we cannot make it on our own

Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !

Copyright 2009 by Jimmy Cathey, all rights reserved. Used by permission.
Jimmy Cathey is a substance abuse counselor and educator. He founded Support Systems, a substance abuse education program that helps families learn about the negative consequences of addiction and the rewards of life in recovery. He was a staff consultant to small and emerging non profit organizatons at Management Center in San Francisco, California.