Archive for August, 2012

Is Recovery Black and White, All or Nothing, Good or Bad?

Monday, August 6th, 2012

Today’s Reading 1 Corinthians 12-14

Have you ever felt like your recovery seems so black and white, all or nothing, good or bad?

Have you ever felt because of what you have been through that God can’t use you, or you have nothing to offer anyone?

I have sometimes, but the great news today as I read this is, no matter what, God has gifted each of us in some way.  No one is without talents and special abilities. When we put ourselves down, we are rejecting these gifts from God rather than delighting in them. Image delighting in our gifts in stead of dwelling on our past, to me that sounds worth a try, what about you?

We don’t need to build up self-esteem; we just need to see more accurately who we are and how God has gifted us. Whether we recognize it or not, being in recovery is a unique gift in itself. Having suffered through the process of failure and deliverance, we are uniquely gifted to help others struggling in similar ways. By sharing what God has done for us, we may be giving the gift of life to someone else in need,and reflecting the greatest gift of all, love.

Wow, just think about it, we have an unique gift to help others, today in our studies the word talks about what the greatest gift of all is and that is love. (1 Cor 13: 4-7:) “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Loves does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record or when it has been wrong. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

This summons up God, doesn’t? Just think as we work our recovery and God works in our life, we to can reflect the character of God and bring this into all our life and those God allow to come into our life who also struggle with what they are struggling with. We can show them that we too have been there and show the love of God, as He has shown us. What a gift don’t you think?

Today, as I medicate on what I read and think about how God has reflected his love toward me, I pray that I can then show this upon others I come across today. What about you?

God bless you.

Nadine

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Step 12 is Only the Beginning, Not the End

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

I read this recently on the Chalcedon Foundation web site and it makes sense to me concerning Christian recovery:

“Defective faith seeks to reduce Biblical faith to a man-centered minimum, salvation. Now salvation, our regeneration, is the absolutely essential starting point of the Christian life, but, if it is made the sum total thereof, it is in effect denied. Salvation is then made into a man-centered and egotistical thing, when it is in fact God-centered and requires the death, not the enthronement, of our sinful and self-centered ego. We are saved for God’s purposes, saved to serve, not in time only, but eternally (Rev. 22:3). To be saved is to be members of a new creation and God’s Kingdom, and to be working members of that realm.”

In other words, we stop short. We get saved and think that is it (we have arrived at our destination). Or we recover and that is the end of our recovery journey. In these cases it is “all about me.” The truth is it is all about God. Salvation and recovery are just the beginning! We are saved and recovered so that we can begin a new life of serving God and his Kingdom. We have our work cut out for us to reach out and help the next person. We have our work cut out to tell others what God has done in our lives. It is all about God and others. It is no longer about me. Step 12 is only the beginning. It is not the End.

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“Follow” is an Action Verb

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

I learned something important from the IJM Freedom Tour:

“Follow” is an action verb. It’s almost impossible to follow without moving.

Matthew 25:23 records a blessing I hope to hear one day. “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

“Well done.” Not well said, or well thought, or well hoped. The blessing is for the one who actually did something, acted, took a risk.

Lots of us immerse ourselves in Bible study. That’s a good thing; we need to know God’s word.

But I’m wondering if studying the Bible becomes a way to hide, a safe place to be a Christian without actually taking any action.

Knowing about Jesus isn’t the same as journeying with Him. I’m learning that following means doing something with the gifts He’s given me.

How does “well done” show up for you?

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Copyright 2008-2012 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

When Others are Honored More Than We Are

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

“Saul has slain his thousands,
And David his ten thousands.”
Then Saul was very angry, and the saying displeased him (1 Samuel 18:7-8, NKJV).

Saul and David were both Israelites, part of God’s chosen people; they were on the same team and therefore should have been supporting one another. David recognized this truth, but apparently King Saul did not. When the women began to sing about Israel’s recent triumph in battle, all Saul could hear was that David got more credit than he. That made him angry. Verse nine tells us that from that day forward, Saul eyed David with suspicion and displeasure, and eventually even attempted to murder David.

This is an extreme reaction, to say the least, but I wonder if some of us who are “on the same team” sometimes become displeased when others are honored more than we are. Perhaps you sing in the choir, and though the choir is often complimented from the pulpit, one particular singer (other than yourself) seems to receive the most kudos from the congregation. Maybe you’ve heard that your book has blessed many readers, but it’s someone else’s book that wins all the awards. Doubtless that sort of slight doesn’t send us into a murderous frenzy, but is it possible the news displeases us and we begin to eye others in a different way? Does jealousy or envy raise its ugly head?

We all like to be recognized for our hard work and achievements, but I doubt that any of us consciously wishes to harbor resentment toward others for their successes. If we will keep in mind that we really are on the same team, serving the One who spoke the world into existence and yet visited it with a humble Servant’s heart, we will better be able to keep competition out of the equation and instead rejoice with others and cheer them on.

Is there someone you need to encourage or congratulate today, someone who may have been rewarded in a way you had hoped for yourself? Ask God to forgive any envious thoughts you might have, to change your heart, and to enable you to step forward and offer the words you know God wants you to say. The results will be threefold: a stronger bond between you and that brother or sister who serves the same Lord and Savior as you; a powerful witness to those watching us and weighing our words/actions; and glory to the Name above all names, the only One who graciously allows us to partner with Him in ministry, serving together on His universal team of humble followers.

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Copyright 2009-2012 Kathi Macias, all rights reserved. Used by permission.
Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored 30 books.
“Beyond Me. Living a You-first Life in a Me-first World”

“Mothers of the Bible Speak to Mothers of Today”

She also writes novels:

Deliver Me From Evil, (finalist for the Golden Scrolls Novel of the Year Award) and Special Delivery.
No Greater Love, More than Conquerors

The author can be reached at: http://www.kathimacias.com

Heal Me

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Jeremiah 17:14: “Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.”

“Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed” became my heart’s cry when I went through breast cancer treatment eleven years ago. I would repeat the entire verse several times a day.

The last part of the verse, “For you are the one I praise” would lead me to play praise and worship music each day. Somehow a life-threatening disease didn’t seem as scary when I focused on praising God.

You may not ever have cancer, but you will have trials in this life. Perhaps you struggle with the loss of a loved one or the loss of a job. Maybe prodigal children have broken your heart. The economy may have wreaked havoc on your finances. Maybe you face divorce or widowhood. Perhaps you fight to hold your family together after the sexual abuse of one of your children.

Whatever your battle, you can say as I did, “Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.”

I wrote this verse on sticky notes and placed them on my bathroom mirror, a kitchen cupboard, the dash of my car, and on my desk at home and at work. You may want to do the same thing too.

I memorized this verse and said it several times throughout the day. As you repeat this verse time after time, you will also memorize it.

Praise and worship music filled my home and my car. My alarm would go off each morning with praise and worship music. You can play your favorite praise and worship music CD or download Christian music on your iPod or iPad if you have one.

As I continue to praise God with my heart, soul, mind and strength, I sense his healing saving power at work in my life. I pray you will have that same experience.

Dear God, please heal me and save me. Amen.

Application: When will you praise God this week?

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Copyright 2010-2012, Yvonne Ortega, LPC, LSATP, CCDVC

All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Yvonne is a Speaker, Author, Counselor, Cancer Survivor and
serves on the Board of Directors of Christians in Recovery.
She is the author of Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer.
If you would like to have her speak for your organization or church, please contact her through
her website: http://YvonneOrtega.com