I was lost and undone until I met His Son, when he reached down His hand for me. I will be a Christian in Recovery for 19 years. I don’t tell you this to boast in any way, because I certainly didn’t accomplish this miracle, God did. I’d tired every thing anyone could do and I couldn’t stop drinking. I drank a 40 oz. bottle every day of my life just to survive.
I have learned to trust God. I have faith my past is gone. I have let it all go and given it to God to handle. This is just the beginning for me, though.
My journey through recovery begins with Christ and it continues with Him. I could not have started nor could I continue without His help and guidance through all of the steps of recovery. I may not be an alcoholic or addicted to a drug, but I have other issues to contend with as a result of living with addiction.
- Each day I must turn my need for control over to God’s care.
- Each day I must turn over my past shopping compulsion to God because He is enough to fill any void I have.
- Each day I must rid myself of co-dependency and be fully dependent upon Him to comfort me.
I would like to welcome everyone to the Spiritual, Emotional & Sexual Abuse Workshop. DvoraElisheva is our leader today. She is joining us from Israel.
Being raised in a Christian home did not protect Dvora Elisheva from physical, spiritual, or sexual abuse. As an adult, her memories were more like short video clips with significant parts of the plot missing. In 1982 she moved to Israel. She became friends with a Vietnamese-Chinese family that had found refuge in Israel during the Vietnam war. This led to her 20+ years of work amongst Chinese students, teaching English using the Bible as a textbook.
After having built up a successful life in Israeli hi-tech and within her spiritual community she met her husband over the Internet in 2006. They married in 2007 and she relocated to the US to be with him and a new ready-made family. In 2010 her husband died and in 2011 Dvora returned to Israel.
Well-acquainted with grief and loss, Dvora has been transplanted back and forth between America and Israel, is a Messianic Jew living in a land that views such faith as a betrayal, and plays an active role in a Chinese church in Israel.
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
click on image to see video
In all circumstances! This comes as a surprise when one considers the vicissitudes of human life. Sickness and health, poverty and wealth, joy and sorrow–are all ingredients of the cup placed to human lips–so all must come within the scope of thanksgiving. Why be thankful for everything? Because God causes everything to work together for good to those who love Him.
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A godly farmer was asked to dine with a well-known gentleman. While there, he asked a blessing at the table as he was accustomed to do at home. His host said jeeringly, “That is old fashioned; it is not customary nowadays for well-educated people to pray before they eat.”
The farmer answered that with him it was customary–but that some of those on his farm never thanked God their food.
“Ah, then,” said the gentleman, “they are sensible and enlightened! Who are they?”
“My pigs!” the farmer answered.
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Charles Dickens said that we are somewhat mixed up here in America. He told an audience that instead of having one Thanksgiving Day each year, we should have 364. “Use that one day just for complaining and griping,” he said. “Use the other 364 days to thank God each day for the many blessings He has showered upon you!”
It seems like many are transfixed with death, not that we are interested in experiencing it, but that we want to avoid it. One of the big topics of conversation about universal healthcare is the idea of people not receiving “certain” care and thus dying. It’s always interesting to me that we think that there is a medicine, a procedure, or a doctor that can prevent our death.
Euripedes said “but learn that to die is a debt we must all pay.” The fact is, everyone is afraid of death. That was the point! What the unsaved failed to understand is that “the sting of death is sin” (1 Cor. 15:56 NKJ). For even those who deny that there is anything after death, within their hearts there is the fear of what they may have to face after death.
Perhaps one of the things we fear about death is a loss of control,
2 Peter 3:11-12
Hebrews 2:1, 3 NKJV
Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. . . . how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him.
There was a time in the American Church when we didn’t believe that salvation was simply a one-time experience that we could do, forget about, and still retain. There was a time (and in my lifetime) when those who attended church understood that their behavior was an important part of the salvation process, not that we earn our salvation, but that we appropriate it through our choices day by day.
- “We must give the more earnest heed.” The NRSV translates it: “We must pay greater attention.” How do we measure how much attention we give something? For me, it means what I think about, what I focus on. Do we spend time focusing on the things we have heard (meaning the Bible and the things of God)? Or do we spend time on other pursuits? How much do we know about the Bible compared to other things we know about? What consumes our conversations?
“I will love them freely.” Hosea 14:4
This is a condensed version of the glorious message of salvation which was delivered to us in Christ Jesus our Redeemer. It hinges upon the word “freely.” This is the glorious, the suitable, the divine way by which love streams from heaven to earth, a spontaneous love flowing to those who neither deserved it, purchased it, nor sought it. It is, indeed, the only way in which God can love us as we are.
The text is a death-blow to all sorts of conditions: “I will love them freely.” Now, if there were any fitness necessary in us, then he would not love us freely, at least, this would be a mitigation and a drawback to the freeness of it. But it stands, “I will love you freely.”
We complain, “Lord, my heart is so hard.”
“I will love you freely.”
“But I do not feel my need of Christ as I would like.”
“”I will not love you because you feel your need; I will love you freely.”
“But I do not feel that softening of spirit which I desire.”
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (2 Cor. 5:17)
There are a number of aspects to salvation. Salvation isn’t just getting out of hell and into heaven. There are many different things which make up what we refer to broadly as salvation — things which themselves are great and marvelous, and which together make up a mighty work which only God could conceive and carry out, and which, like all His works, depends only and entirely on His purpose and power and not on anything in the work or its result.
If while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (Rom. 5:10)
Before I was a Christian, and even for a while after my conversion, I couldn’t figure out why we call it Good Friday. What on earth could be good about the day on which the hands of godless men nailed Jesus to the cross? But as time has progressed, and with it my knowledge of Scripture, I have come to see that it is indeed good Friday – the best Friday in human history.
Jesus did indeed die on what we call Friday – the next to last day of the Jewish week, of which the seventh day was the sabbath. We use essentially the same week, though instead of paying special attention to the seventh day, we give heed to the first day of the week; instead of the sabbath, we celebrate the Lord’s Day. But whatever we call the day – Friday in English, el viernes in Spanish, other names in the other languages of the world – on this particular Friday, Good Friday, we turn our minds to the infinite good that took place on another Friday, 2,000 years ago.
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he… Proverbs 23:7
We can really do a number on ourselves with our faulty thinking.
How many of us have said the following things to ourselves, about ourselves?
…never good enough…”
And then, if we’re plagued with disordered eating and body image issues, it gets amplified even further.