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ArchieB

I was born in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland.

I now live in Melbourne Australia with my wife Karen and my three children Duncan (23) Mitchell (22) and Ashleigh (18).

I am a recovered alcoholic. recovered through the Saving Grace of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit living in and working through me.

My life mission is to help people suffering from addiction to discover personal relationship with Jesus Christ so they to can experience what it means to be truly sober.

Any Lengths

Page 58 – Chapter 5 The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any lengths to get it you are ready to take certain steps. At some of these we balked. We tought we could find an easier softer way but we could not.  Remember we deal with alcohol, cunning, baffling and powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power – that One is God. May you find Him now.

How far are you willing to go to achieve and maintain your recovery from addiction and compulsion? Have you tried and failed in the past? Do you get so far, seem to be going well and then relapse? Thinking you were going well as you became complacent, stopped attending meetings, implementing what you have learned?

Tonight, I want us to take an honest look at our willingness to go to any lengths. What are we doing to discover God’s will for our lives and seeking His power to carry it out?

I. TRUST GOD IN EVERYTHING
Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Proverbs 3:5-7

II. THE ENERGY YOU ARE EXPERIENCING IS GOD’S ENERGY That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure. Philippians 2:13

III. PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING
Stay alert; be in prayer so you don’t wander into temptation without even knowing you’re in danger. There is a part of you that is eager, ready for anything in God. But there’s another part that’s as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire.” Matthew 26:41

IV. KEEP MOVING FORWARD
Your heart’s been in the right place all along. You’ve got what it takes to finish it up, so go to it. 2Corinthians 8:11

 V. WORK AT IT Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won’t be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple. 2 Timothy 2:15

VI. RECOVERY REQUIRES CHANGES
Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32

VII. THERE IS A PURPOSE TO RECOVERY
We neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing. Ephesians 2:10

DISCUSSION STARTER

2 Corinthians 10:3 I do live in the world. But I don’t fight my battles the way the people of the world do.

Recovery causes conflict. You will find that because of what you are learning in recovery you no longer think like other people. You no longer act like other people. For some of those people that is going create conflict.

In Luke 12:51 Jesus says “Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you. I have come to separate people.”

There is no middle ground in recovery. You are either in or you are out. It requires commitment. Even when conflict arises. Conflict for me in the process of recovery meant moving away from everyone and everything I knew and loved. It added a new dimension to the phrase. If you love it set it free.

ARE YOU WILLING TO GO TO ANY LENGTHS TO OBTAIN AND MAINTAIN RECOVERY

ALL THIS AND MORE

The time has come When the Lord will save his people. Your shame and disgrace are ended. Everyone who sees them will know That they are a people whom I have blessed. Isaiah 61:2,7,9

The proclamation of Isaiah, six hundred years before Jesus came on His mission and ministry. Those of us who have experienced rock bottom are able to clutch tightly to this message of redeeming power. Centuries before His arrival on earth Jesus was announced as our Deliverer. Able to reach down into the lowest parts of our lives and carry out a rescue mission on our lives. The problem is not enough people on this earth have relented from their self-imposed captivity and called upon Him to deliver them from sin and oppression.

How blessedly relevant is the ‘Good News’ Christ IS our One True Higher Power. He brings us release if we allow Him complete control of our lives. He imparts songs of joy which overthrow sorrow and remorse, grief and distress. He is a life promoter. He establishes righteousness. He plants us like trees in His Kingdom, transplants us from our old wilderness.

All of this placed alongside the promise made to those who have squandered much of life. It is time to about-turn , trust God, turn to Him and allow His wonders to come into uout hearts and lives.

What The Bible Says

There’s no such thing as self-rescue, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. The cost of rescue is beyond our means. Psa 49:7-8

Wait and watch for God— with God’s arrival comes love, with God’s arrival comes generous redemption.
Psa 130:7

God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ. Rom 3:24

“These are some of the signs that will accompany believers: They will throw out demons in my name, they will speak in new tongues, they will take snakes in their hands, they will drink poison and not be hurt, they will lay hands on the sick and make them well.” Mar 16:17-18

PRAYER
Maker of heaven and earth redeem my past according to Your will and purpose. Fit me for service, lift me from sin by Your saving grace. Bring me deeper into relationship with You. Amen

GOD’S PLAN FIRST

Proverbs 16:7When the way you live pleases the Lord, he makes even your enemies live at peace with you.

In the process of recovery, you will always have mockers.

As I have matured in recovery, especially in the early days it is surprising how many people have wanted to take credit for my development.  I have often wondered how many of them would still want to take credit if I fell in a heap? One of the hardest things I had to do in my life is accept that I only have to please an audience of One. One of the best messages I ever received from God came from a throwaway line by Pastor TD Jakes who said ”What if God wants to do something totally different right now and He wants to do it through you?” I think about that question often

What The Bible Says

God is pleased when you are faithful to Him. It demonstrates you commitment. Joh 6:29  Jesus said, “Throw your lot in with the One that God has sent. That kind of a commitment gets you in on God’s works.”

God is pleased when yo obey Him. It demonstrates your love. Joh 8:29  “The One who sent me stays with me. He doesn’t abandon me. He sees how much joy I take in pleasing him.”

God is pleased when you trust Him. It demonstrates your faith. Heb 11:6  It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him.

Have you ever had to ignore others to follow God?

REBUILDING

It is common for people to think that their experiences, their convictions, are true and should be the norm. Different peoples ideas are thought to be inferior or invalid. What matters is what God’s Word says. The more we know God’s Word, the more we read it, study it, memorize it, and meditate on it, the better we will be able to decide what is right and best practice for our lives.

We are in the business of repairing damage done to us and by us. This entails rebuilding our lives to a standard of God’ order.

Demolition of the walls we have erected and tend to hide behind can be ruthless and far reaching. Nothing of our past should be left untouched if we plan to move forward in our lives. The new plan for our life requires dismantling our whole structure of living.

No one can be my disciple who does not carry his own cross and follow me. “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first getting estimates and then checking to see if he has enough money to pay the bills? Luk 14:27-28

In 1990 I was involved in The Salvation Army’s Alcohol Awareness Week the slogan of which was “Some Drinking Costs More Than Money.” Recovery costs it is simple but not easy. Let God lead, let Him help you to rebuild your life and become the person He is calling you to be.

PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY

Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

What we do affects other and what they do affects us.

Recovery is not a part-time process and God will not be happy with us just doing the right thing some of the time.

That means not only paying attention to ourselves but also paying attention to others. And when we have to challenging them about the wrong things they are doing. Personal accountability is important in the recovery process. That means obedience to God at all times is important. As our Higher Power he is in control. We gave Him that position in our recovery and lives and we need to continually monitor our beliefs, actions and behaviors to ensure they line up with His

What The Bible Says

A fool thinks he needs no advice, but a wise man listens to others.
Pro 12:15

Am I a God who is only in one place and cannot see what they are doing? Can anyone hide from me? Am I not everywhere in all of heaven and earth? Jer 23:23-24

How can we be sure that we belong to him? By looking within ourselves: are we really trying to do what he wants us to? Someone may say, “I am a Christian; I am on my way to heaven; I belong to Christ.” But if he doesn’t do what Christ tells him to, he is a liar. 1Jn 2:3-4

What things are you doing in your life that don’t line up with God’s plan for you?

DISCIPLESHIP

Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Mar 8:34

Discipleship is demanding; it can be frightening. In Luke 9:57-62 is an account of three people who volunteered to become followers of Jesus, but they had more important things to do first. They wanted to follow Jesus on their own terms. It was unacceptable to Jesus then and it is unacceptable now. Discipleship requires placing ourselves completely under the leadership of Jesus. It says in todays text “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead.” Has to be ready and willing to do what He requires. Costly but correct. The only way to successful Christian living.

If Jesus is our One True Higher Power the He must be Lord over all, and everything in our lives must be surrendered to Him. It is a call to serve, to suffer, to live simply and to be wise steward of all He allows us to handle and posses. Remember the cost of His commitment for our benefit.

What The Bible Says

A disciple is not above his master. Mat 10:24

“Whoever gives even a drink of cold water to one of the least of these my followers because he is my follower, will certainly receive a reward.” Mat 10:42

“Anyone who wants to be my follower must love me far more than he does his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, or sisters—yes, more than his own life—otherwise he cannot be my disciple.Luk 14:26

It was in Antioch that the disciples were for the first time called Christians. Act 11:26

FOLLOWING GOD

Proverbs 21:2 Everything a man does might seem right to him. But the Lord knows what he is thinking

None of us intentionally set out to do the wrong thing. We do what we believe is right. Unfortunately, sometimes it isn’t.

I first made a decision to recover from addiction in 1987. I entered a rehab, I attended A.A. I learned and applied the Twelve Steps according to my understanding to my life. I thought I was doing okay but eventually I relapsed because God wasn’t involved in the process.

My goals and thought process during that time were very much focused of what I wanted.

Recovery became a reality when I asked God what He wanted and shaped my life around making His reality my reality,

What The Bible Says

Jesus said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Mat 18:3

“Now it’s time to change your ways! Turn to face God so he can wipe away your sins, pour out showers of blessing to refresh you,” Act 3:19

Say the welcoming word to God—”Jesus is my Master”—embracing, body and soul, God’s work of doing in us what he did in raising Jesus from the dead. That’s it. You’re not “doing” anything; you’re simply calling out to God, trusting him to do it for you. That’s salvation. Rom 10:9

Where is God in your life?

The God For All

Act 7:31-32   “I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

We hope the picture painted of each of these man depicts contrast in character, and yet God chose each of them. He was wiling to be identified with each of them. Jacob the most likely of the three, had come to the point of termination with old habits, submitting to God’s order of things. None of us is outside of God’s interest and concern. He wants to be our God regardless of where we have been or what we have done.

What The Bible Says

God is live and mercy revealed He is God of the everyday and God for everyone. The God of the individual; your God and my God.

1Pe 5:7  Let him have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.

Without Help It Is Too Much For Us.

Page 58 – Chapter 5 The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and to go to any lengths to get it you are ready to take certain steps. At
some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier softer way but we could not.

Remember we deal with alcohol, cunning, baffling and powerful! Without
help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power – that One is
God. May you find Him now.

TRUST GOD IN EVRYTHING
Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Proverbs 3:5-7

PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING Stay alert; be in
prayer so you don’t wander into temptation without even knowing
you’re in danger. There is a part of you that is eager, ready for anything in God. But there’s another part that’s as lazy as an old
dog sleeping by the fire.” Matthew 26:41

RECOVERY REQUIRES CHANGES Make a
clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with
one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly
as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32

Join us Thursday night at 7:30 pm to hear more on this subject.
https://tinyurl.com/y98ao32b

DON’T LET PRIDE TRIP YOU

Proverbs 16:18 If you are proud, you will be destroyed. If you are proud, you will fall.

With humility comes wisdom and with wisdom comes honor.

Before coming to The Salvation Army Bridge Program I was also in a rehab in Rockingham in Western Australia. Where I learned all the right things and did all the wrong things. I remember the Director saying to me “I hope I am around when you finally get serious about recovery. It will be something to watch.”

I never knew what he was talking about but I do now. I was so proud of my achievements I was a relapse waiting to happen. When it did I fell further than I have ever fell before. The glory for my recovery today goes to God. I am just a guy who made a decision to stop and trust Him

What The Bible Says

If anyone respects and fears God, he will hate evil. For wisdom hates pride, arrogance, corruption, and deceit of every kind. Proverbs 8:13

When pride comes, shame follows. But wisdom comes to those who are not proud. Proverbs 11:2

From within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts of lust, theft, murder, adultery, wanting what belongs to others, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, pride, and all other folly. Mark 7:21-22

  • Are you proud of your recovery or thankful to for it?