2016 Day 121

Isaiah 41:10 Do not be afraid. I am with you. Do not be terrified. I am your God. I will make you strong and help you. My powerful right hand will take good care of you. I always do what is right.

I have watched more people walk away from recovery than have completed it, all because of ‘fear of the unknown.’

We have all heard the saying ‘it’s better the devil you know.’

I want to tell you it isn’t. Recovery is a scary and sometimes thankless process. I want to tell you today, having spent many years in recovery. It is worth it.

Do not quit! The smallest step forward is still a step in the right direction. I heard many years ago the slogan: ‘You only fail when you stop trying’ So just keep moving forward and I promise you – It will get better.

 

In what ways has your recovery been worth it?


Prayer:
Lord help me today to keep moving forward.

2016 Day 116

Bible_leatherOn Saturday afternoon I was looking for a specific book in my many books collection. I couldn’t find it. What I did find was an NIV- ‘SERENITY’ A Companion for Twelve Step Recovery. I haven’t seen one or read one for years.

The one I had found was prebiously owned by Major John Henderson, given to me by Major Lillian Henderson after John’s death. What made it so special for me was that inside of it their were some hand written sermon notes written by Major Henderson, I can remember him using that particular Bible at ‘Bridge Program’ and ‘Family Store’ functions. As I read the notes I could hear John Henderson sharing them with me and I thank God today for Major John Henderson.

It was he who recruited me to The Salvation Army Family Stores staff in Adelaide, it was he who mentored me for so many years as I grew in recovery and faith. It is because of Major John Henderson I am the man I am today and I am truly blessed for having known him, worked with him and being able to call him my friend.

Love you John – THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING!

2016 Day 114

Bible Reading: Leviticus 26:14-42

After a harsh warning for disobedience to his laws (26:14-39), God shows great love for his people in this promise of restoration. He delights in restoring those who repent. Jesus came to earth, died, and was resurrected so that we could experience God’s forgiveness for our sins. A large part of our change of character through the process of recovery results from:

Confess our sins (Steps 4 and 5)

– In order to help me change, I will investigate and record with God’s help
my sinful habits and attitudes.

– On completion of my list of sinful habits, I will confess them to God and
to someone that I trust.

Soften our hearts (Steps 6 and 7)

– After discovering my sinful habits and attitudes and confessing them,  I am now willing to let God change me.

– Through acknowledgement of God’s supreme power, I humbly ask Him to help me change my sinful habits and attitudes.

Make Amends (Steps 8 and 9)

– As part of the process of change, I will identify and record  everyone I have harmed and through prayer become willing to make restitution to them.

– Having identified the people I have harmed, I will now go and make restitution to them. Unless to do is going to cause them or other pain or suffering.

Leviticus 26:40-42 “If they confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors, their treacherous betrayal, the defiance that set off my defiance that sent them off into enemy lands; if by some chance they soften their hard hearts and make amends for their sin, I’ll remember my covenant with Jacob, I’ll remember my covenant with Isaac, and, yes, I’ll remember my covenant with Abraham. And I’ll remember the land.”

2016 Day 113

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Working together with Him, we also appeal to you, “Don’t receive God’s grace in vain.” Corinthians 6:1

God’s grace was my only hope. Alone in a rehabilition far from home in 1989 I knew I had messed up. I knew I had let myself, people and God down and I needed to get serious about changing my life. So I did the only thing I had failed to do in my life, I prayed to God and he answered me. From that day to this day I have been “Working together with Him.”  Continally in communication with Him, listeming to Him, trusting Him and following Him.

Today I “also appeal to you” God does not put a limit on the number of times we can come to Him. So if you have never gond to Him or if you have and then turned your back on Him and gone back yo your old ways. I appeal to you today to come to Him and “receive God’s grace.”

Nehemiiah 9:31 says “You are a God of grace and compassion.” and He is waiting for you to come to Him. Take the firts step of faith today and turn to Him for help with whatever you are going through.

2016 Day 112

llr_blue.jpgEcclesiastes 8:6 There’s a proper time and way for people to do everything. That’s true even though a man might be suffering greatly.

The Bible tells us there is a time for everything because God sets the times. He has a plan and a purpose for our lives and everything that is meant to happen to us and for us will happen in His time.

Now I need to say right now I am not the most patient, or level headed person in the world. I have been known to ‘lose the heed’ sometimes.Today is one of those days. Things I expected other people to do they hadn’t done (for whatever reasons) and I got a bit angry. And, Rangers lost in the ‘fitba’ this morning after me getting up early to watch.

I find myself sitting here now, alone in God’s presence, hearing Him ask he question “Is it really that important?”  The result of the person not doing what I expected the to just means I have to wait a bit longer. The results of the Rangers match has no bearing whatsoever on their football season they are back in the Premiership Division next season and they are in the Scottish Cup Final on May 21st.

What has all that got to do with God? I hear youa ask. Well, the bible encouraes us to rely on God for everything  but when we rely on our own agendas and let our own feelings and emotins dominate things,  in my experience they usually go ‘pear-shaped’

So today I want to encourage everyone reading this to ‘RELY ON GOD’and the verse in  Matthew 19:26 “With God everything is possible”  Don’t let your feelings and emotions stop your from  obeying Jesus command  in John 14:1 “Do not be worried and upset,” Jesus told them. “Believe in God and believe also in me. Always ask youself the question “Is it really that important?”

2016 Day 111

I got up this morning and thought “I’ll cook myself some breakfast” After the breakfast was cooked I thought what to do now and God said “Open your Bible” Now I don’t know about anyone else but when God says to me open your Bible, without telling me where to open it I always go to Proverbs. There are thirty-one and you can open the one for whatever day of the month you are on.

So I got my Life Recovery Bible andopened it up at Provebs twenty and verse one said Wine produces mockers; alcohol leads to brawls. Those led astray by drink cannot be wise.” That verse led me to remember times in my past where drinking too much or taking too many drugs has landed me in trouble. It reminded me of times growing up where I thought I was wiser than I was and made the wrong decisions and choices in my life because of it.

I remeber a few years ago I asked my mentor at the time,  Robert Colman, “How do I become as wise as you Robert?”  He seems to know the right answer for everything and he said to me “Keep doing what you are doing until you are 74.” Robert was 74 at the time

Psalms 119:97-98 Lord, I really love your law! All day long I spend time thinking about it. Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, because your commands are always in my heart. Gods Word makes us wise. True wisdom goes beyond gathering knowledge. True wisdom is applying the knowledge we aquire in our lives through our own experiences and the experiences of others, good and bad in accordance to God’s Word and His plan for our lives.

2016 Day 109

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Simply trusting every day.
Trusting through a stormy way,
Even when my faith is small,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Normally I would start my posts with a Step and a Bible verse. But today is different! Different because I am different and God has called me to ‘BE DIFFERENT AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE’

Over the last ten years I have produced this blog, unsure of whether God wanted me to share my experience of recovery or of living life recovery. You might say “What’s the difference?” The difference as I see it, after spending the morning talking to God about it is this:

To share my experience of recoveryall I have to do is tell you my understanding of someone elses curriculum and how they recommend you apply to your life. And, don’t get me wrong IT WORKS! To share my experience of living life recovery means sharing my own personal experience of recovery, telling you what God has done in my life, how it has changed me and what He is doing in my life right now.

Twice now (probably more but I can only remember two at the moment) people have said to me “Is Living Life Recovery for Archie or for everyone?”  I don’t know the answer. All I know is through living life recovery God has change me and I am a better person because of it.

Living Life Recovery has twelve steps. They are based on the process I took to get sober, stay sober and give my life to Jesus.

Living Life Recovery is structured into three areas of life RECOVERY – REPENTANCE – RELIVING. Because that’s how I changed ny life. I didn’t come into recovery looking for God, I came in looking for recovery and through the process of learning and adaptig the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous to my life I discovered the need for spiritual progress and the only way I knew how to get spiritual progress was through relationship with the God of the Bible. Who I learned about by attending The Salvation Army Sunday school and The Boys Brigade as a kid.

When I realised I needed spiritual progress I realised I realised I needed to change me because there is no way the God of the Bible would approve of how I was living my life the way I was – That’s why I had to REPENT.

When I repented and God into relationship with God I knew I had to change my way of living so I started studying God’s Guide Book for Living and applying what I learned from it to my everyday living.

Living Life Recovery, not a lot of people know has a slogan which is: RECOVERY IS ABOUT LEARNING TO LIVE LIFE… LIVING LIFE IS NOT JUST ABOUT RECOVERY… You see I tried early in my recovery to do things the A.A. way, and I love A.A. it’s a program of living that taught me how to stay sober and it saved ny life, but it didn’t teach me how to live. Life is not all about meetings and remembering. It’s about developing your own way of living in accordance to God’s Guide Book , discovering what He wants you to be doing and getting on with it. God has an individual recovery plan for all of us, nobeody else can live mine and I can’t live theirs and the only way to discover yours is through personal relationship with God’s Holy Spirit, who knows everything.

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This is the original logo God gave to me for Living Life Recovery. The dross reperesents Jesus as The Way to recovery. The hands represent me, reaching up to Jesus for His help, and the dove represents the Holy Spirit meeting me at the cross when “I decided to follow jesus, No turning back.”

Living Life Recovery has a preamble. I was developed in discussion with the Holy Spirit after attending numerous recovery fellowships Christian and secular. It is I believe the way God wants me to condusct myself in the reovery groups I attend and lead.

When you talk to people about recovery, in the church and outside of the church they all believe recovery is for the addicted. Yet the Bible tells us we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We have all made mistakes, intentinally of unintentionally and we all need  help to recover, repent and relive.

Is living life recovery just for Archie or for everybody? I don’t know the answer, but I have a blog on which I will keep writing and sharing my experience, strength and hope with others. Hoping that God will use it to reach those who need to be reached and will helpt them to find His recovery plan for them and encourege them to follow it.

The sone at the top of this post is a song I learned in The Salvation Army that helped me to put my recovery in persepctive and move forward. Trusting Jesus, even when my faith is small. The Bible tells us ‘faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains.’

If you are struggling with life at the moment and don’t lnow how to cope, visit your local church and speak to the Pastor or drop me an email archie.boyle@bigpond.com and I will try to point you in the right direction

2016 Day 107

IMG_0661Step Six:- After discovering my sinful habits and attitudes and confessing them, I am now willing to let God change me.

1 John 1:6-8 If we claim that we experience a shared life with him and continue to stumble around in the dark, we’re obviously lying through our teeth–we’re not living what we claim. But if we walk in the light, God himself being the light, we also experience a shared life with one another, as the sacrificed blood of Jesus, God’s Son, purges all our sin. If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense.

Actions Speak Louder than Words. 

  • Actions mean little without faith
     Jesus arrived from Nazareth, anointed by God with the Holy Spirit, ready for action. He went through the country helping people and healing everyone who was beaten down by the Devil. He was able to do all this because God was with him.  Acts 10:38
  • There must be faith behind your actions.
    Unless you do far better than the Pharisees in the matters of right living, you won’t know the first thing about entering the kingdom. Matthew 5:20

  • God uses the actions of faithful people.
    If you persist in staying silent at a time like this, help and deliverance will arrive for the Jews from someplace else; but you and your family will be wiped out. Who knows? Maybe you were made queen for just such a time as this.”  Esther 4:14

  • Believing God’s Word leads to obeying God’s Word
    Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! James 1:22

2016 Day 105

Step Five:- On completion of my list of sinful habits, I will confess them to God and to someone that I trust.

Acts 2:1-6 When the Feast of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force–no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them. There were many Jews staying in Jerusalem just then, devout pilgrims from all over the world.  When they heard the sound, they came on the run. Then when they heard, one after another, their own mother tongues being spoken, they were thunderstruck.

Conflict resolution is vital to recovery today, just as it was to the early church. The early believers acknowledged their limitations, set their priorities, and laid out specific tasks that would fulfill their needs. In this case they sought God’s wisdom and selected seven Spirit-filled, well-respected leaders to administer the food program. No problem in recovery is insurmountable. With God’s wisdom, together with a network of godly support, we can work through old dysfunctional patterns and find healthy, balanced ways to rebuild our life and meet the needs of the people around us. (Life Recovery Bible)

In Acts 5:29  is says Peter and the apostles answered, “It’s necessary to obey God rather than men.” 

Recovery is about establsihing and keeping priorities:

  • Romans 12:18 If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody.
  • John 15:18 “If you find the godless world is hating you, remember it got its start hating me.”(Jesus)
  • Luke 6:22Count yourself blessed every time someone cuts you down or throws you out, every time someone smears or blackens your name to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and that that person is uncomfortable.”

Sometimes in recovery conflict is inevitable.

  1.  We need to learn to ‘Love God and love others.’

  2.  We need to remember not everyone we encounter is in recovery so they aren’t going to agree with what we are learing and implimenting in our lives.
  3. We need to always remember where we came from, how we got here and that God has our future in His hands.

2016 Day 103

Step Nine:– Having identified the people I have harmed, I will now go and make restitution to them. Unless to do is going to cause them or other pain or suffering.

Genesis 33:1-11 Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming with his four hundred men. He divided the children between Leah and Rachel and the two maidservants. He put the maidservants out in front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph last. He led the way and, as he approached his brother, bowed seven times, honoring his brother.But Esau ran up and embraced him, held him tight and kissed him. And they both wept. Then Esau looked around and saw the women and children: “And who are these with you?” Jacob said, “The children that God saw fit to bless me with.” Then the maidservants came up with their children and bowed; then Leah and her children, also bowing; and finally, Joseph and Rachel came up and bowed to Esau. Esau then asked, “And what was the meaning of all those herds that I met?” “I was hoping that they would pave the way for my master to welcome me.” Esau said, “Oh, brother. I have plenty of everything–keep what is yours for yourself.”  Jacob said, “Please. If you can find it in your heart to welcome me, accept these gifts. When I saw your face, it was as the face of God smiling on me.  Accept the gifts I have brought for you. God has been good to me and I have more than enough.” Jacob urged the gifts on him and Esau accepted.

  • Who are you afraid to make amends to?
  • Do you have a mentor, sponsor or trusted friend who will support you as you complete Step Nine?