Step 11

Do You Seek the Product Instead of the Producer?

1 Kings 19:11-12 NKJV
Then He said, "Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord." And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.

How To Damage Your Relationship With GodPremium Content

I ran across a list the other day, one psychologist’s list of relationship killers. No groundbreaking information, but it got me thinking about my relationship with Jesus.

It’s clear that relationship is God’s primary intention. Jesus’ central mission was to restore open, transparent interactions with God, others, and self. So this simple list prompted me to wonder what attitudes or self-talk might be getting in the way.

I’m convinced that whenever I feel distant from Him, I’m the one who moved. So here’s a list of five ways I might damage my ability to maintain a close, authentic relationship with God.

CRITICIZING

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A.A. 12-Step Christian Parallels: Steps 10-12Premium Content

Step Ten through Step Twelve

We have many times documented the frequent statements by A.A. cofounder Bill Wilson that his friend Rev. Sam Shoemaker was the major source of the Big Book ideas and Twelve Steps.1

And you can find almost exact parallels between the language Bill Wilson used in the Big Book and the language Shoemaker wrote in his many Christian books, articles, and pamphlets. Sometimes Bill's parallel language is found in the instructions of the Big Book for "taking" the Steps. Sometimes his language is found in the Steps themselves.

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Spiritual Cleanse For The Heart, Mind and Soul Premium Content

Worksheet at bottom of article

Often times when we don’t feel well, we cleanse the body for physical health to prevent surgery, feel good, look younger, and live longer. What about our spiritual health? Did you know that if we cleanse the mind of unwanted toxins our physical health would also improve?

Spiritual cleansing is excellent therapy for negative and destructive emotions, depression, sadness, drug and alcohol addiction, and all other addictions that have to do with the mind and attitude.

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Discord in Relationships

Proverbs 6:16-19 NRSV
There are six things that the Lord hates,
seven that are an abomination to him:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that hurry to run to evil,
a lying witness who testifies falsely,
and one who sows discord in a family.

It's interesting that Solomon begins with "there are six things . . . seven . . ." Matthew Henry notes, of this beginning:
"and the last of them (which, being the seventh, seems especially to be intended, because he says they are six, yea, seven) is part of his character, that he sows discord."

Change Requires Choices

Proverbs 2:1-5 NRSV>
My child, if you accept my words
and treasure up my commandments within you,
making your ear attentive to wisdom
and inclining your heart to understanding;

if you indeed cry out for insight,
and raise your voice for understanding;
if you seek it like silver,
and search for it as for hidden treasures --
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.

I was having a discussion with a woman online one day. She was explaining that she had this (sinful) compulsion and had dealt with it over and over again. She wasn't really distressed about it, just simply saying that this was who she was.

Manifest the Life of Christ in Our Daily Living

True religion will manifest itself in every phase of life. We sit down in the quiet and read our Bible--and get our lesson. We know it now--but we have not as yet got it into our life--which is the thing we must really do.

Knowing that we should love our enemies, is not the ultimate thing--actually loving our enemies is.

Knowing that we should be patient, is not all--we are to practice the lesson of patience, until it has become a habit in our life.

Many know the cardinal duties of Christian life--who yet have not learned to live them. It is living them, however, that is true religion.

Serenity is on the Horizon

The following is dedicated to all of you who have worried in the past, to all of you who are presently worrying, and to those of you who will possibly be worrying in the future.

Everyone worries about something on a daily basis. No matter how small the problem may appear, constant worry can drain our lives of joy day after day. And there is not one of us who doesn’t desire to replace it with peace of mind. The question is, “How do we find serenity and integrate it into our lives?”

Are You Spreading Germs of Discouragement?

When we are sick and have germs we are very careful not to spread them to babies, yet we spread germs of discouragement to new Christians. We spread them by our holier than thou attitudes and we try to impress them with our knowledge of the Bible and our wisdom. How sad that is because instead of encouraging them by our patience, understanding and kindness, we discourage them with our impatience and criticism.

How is Your Relationship with God?Premium Content

Why are some people afraid to get close to God or have a meaningful relationship with him? I think it is because when we sin, or when we commit habitual sin in our lives, we feel guilty over it. God has equipped every one of us with a conscience for this very reason. A guilty conscience is a warning signal that goes off in the mind, letting us know that we have done wrong. The problem is people try to eradicate those guilty feelings without eradicating the cause of it. But this is like taking painkillers instead of treating the disease.

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