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Self- examination

Since coming to recovery one of the things I do religiously is take time to self-examine. My motives, my attitudes, my actions etc.

I heard a quote back in July of 2010 which said ‘If your output exceeds your input your upkeep will be your downfall’

Many of us especially in early recovery want to give, give, give. Even when we haven’t established the corect process of feeding ourselves. God commands us to share, but He also comands us to rest. We need to make sure we take time to regularly.

Again in my papers I came across a hand written check sheet for my self-examination.

1. What was I like pre-Salvation?
            who did I associate with and why?
            what sort of places did I frequent and for what purpose?
            what problems did I have and what caused them?

            How has this changed?

2. What was the process of change I experienced through the ‘Bridge
    Program’?

           process of recovery?
           process of repentance?
            process of renewal?

            How has this changed me?

3. How do I apply a Biblical based recovery to my daily living?
               seeking God?
               identifying His direction in my daily living?
               applying His commands to my everyday life?

               Am I living a Biblical based Recovery?

4. What is the next step God wants me to take right now?
               
family?
                     church?
                     work?
Am I listening and doing what He wants me to do?

This is only a part of what I wrote. Try asking yourself these questions today. Write down your answers. I do, evaluate where you are lacking and set a plan of what you can do to improve.

If you want the rest of my ‘Personal Evaluation’ email me livingliferecovery@gmail.com  and request it.

 

Opportunity

As we continue in recovery and learn to trust God He opens doors for us creating opportunity to enhance our experience and lifestyle.

In 1991 whilst I was the Assistant Manager of Red Shield Industries in Adelaide, South Australia the Salvation Army conducted National Alcohol Awareness week. Richard Berry the Manager of Promotions at the time asked if he could interview me with a view to sharing my story of recovery during Alcohol Awareness Week. I agreed and the result was incredible.

My story featured in the War Cry, Drug Forum and a number of other national newspapers. I was interviewed by Paul Makin on Channel 10 News. As a result of this interview I was asked to feature in a Christian Television Association advert that featured on South Australian television for a number of months. This in turn opened many invitations and opportunities for public speaking engagements. It also put my story and life very much in the public arena.

During this time my spiritual growth and reliance on God developed rapidly out of necessity. Philippians 1:6 says “I am sure that God who began the good work in you will keep right on helping you grow in His grace”

Since I accepted Christ as my Saviour I have had hundreds of God given opportunities and I thank Him daily for equipping me to carry them out.

The Power of God’s love

I have been going through some old papers, of messages and testimonies I have delivered since coming to recovery.

One was a time during a ‘Spiritual Campaign’ at Eden Park in Wistow, South Australia (the Bridge Program rehab where I obtained sobriety and became a Christian)

The topic for the campaign was ‘The Power of His Love’ (the theme song)

What I said was this:

To tell you the story of the power of God’s love in my life I first need to tell you of the power that was working in my life before I came to the Bridge Program. The power of evil, and that is what it was.

A detox worker rang me, from detox to tell me she had someone in detox who reminded her of me. A person everyone was afraid of because it was obvious he wasn’t a nice person. That made me think what was I like when I arrived at the Salvation Army.

My life like so many of our lives was a mess. I was aware people were wary of me. Not because I was anyone special but because of the obvious evil and hatred I had inside me. Hatred of everyone and everything. Hatred I realised on the program that existed from the realisation I had allowed myself to get to where I was. It was my own doing. I had good jobs, nice homes, relationships with women who I believe really loved me but I was incapable of loving because of the evil in my heart. When I drank I believed the worst thing that could happen to me was get killed. I figured if someone did that they would be doing me a favour, so I had nothing to lose.

The power of evil that existed in me was a power I felt comfortable with. A power that existed for a long time. I had heard of God, attended the ‘Boys Brigade’ and ‘Sunday School’ at the Salvation Army in Paisley as a child. But, I never witnessed any evidence of a loving God.

My parents split when I was young. After arriving in Australia alcohol took over my stepfathers life, and he was a violent drunk. It was very difficult for me to understand how a loving God could have allowed the violence and abuse I experienced growing up to happen. In order to overcome the hurt I experienced I had to accept both my father and step-father were not perfect. They did the best they could with what they had.

I am convinced I am one of the lucky ones. The world is full of individuals, caught up in addiction, who will never make it to recovery. Never be given the opportunity to experience God’s love for themselves. Never understand their is another way to live, other than the one they currently live.

My topic for this campaign was verse two of the song ‘The Power of His love’

Line 1&2 Lord let me experience Jesus for myself, let me begin a growing, loving relationship with Him. Unveil my eyes by allowing me to see my need for His forgiveness in my life.

Line 3 Teach me to be open minded and receptive to your loving and leading in my life.

Line 4 This song assumes we have already decided to follow Jesus. That He already is Lord of our hearts and minds. Some of us may not yet have made that decision. If we haven’t we can do it, now, today, here.

Line 5&6 The Lord can not only renew our minds but can renew every part of our being. He did for me! 2 Corinthians 5:17

The final two lines in this song affirm to us our walk is daily and we need to experience the Power of His Love fresh everyday. Experience His strength for every circumstance we find ourselves in.

My life before I met Jesus was nothing… Today I have everything I need in life. I received and continue to receive it through the POWER OF GOD’S LOVE WORKING IN MY LIFE. All I ever wanted was to be happy. I found my happiness in Jesus and so can you.

This message is as true in my life in 2011 as it was when I shared it so many years ago. That’s why I wanted to share it today.

Intentions

God knows our real intentions. He doesn’t confuse admission of guilt with selfish motive with true repentance. He know our hearts. Wrong intentions lead to relapse. In order to live right we must not only so right but also do it at the right time, with the right intentions.

God wants complete and instant obedience.

TRUTH

True
Deuteronomy 25:15 Use only one weight, a true and honest weight, and one measure, a true and honest measure, so that you will live a long time on the land that GOD, your God, is giving you.

Realistic
Exodus 29:46 They’ll realize that I am their GOD who brought them out of the land of Egypt so that I could live with them. I am GOD, your God.

Uncovered
Matthew 5:14 You’re here to be light, bringing out the God- colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill.

Tense
1 Chronicles 28:20 Don’t be anxious or get discouraged. GOD, my God, is with you in this; he won’t walk off and leave you in the lurch. He’s at your side until every last detail is completed for conducting the worship of GOD.

Honest
2 Kings 20:3 Remember, O GOD, who I am, what I’ve done!
I’ve lived an honest life before you, My heart’s been true and steady, I’ve lived to please you; lived for your approval.

Obedience to God determined the strength of our foundations

I am acceptable to God because of Jesus. God will never disappoint me if I continually trust Him. This is my foundation. Through the Holy Spirit I can accept others and feel safe as I move forward in recovery.

Friday Night Surrender

When I first became a Christian I was already to old for youth events. Today I am glad I have two teenage sons and an excuse to visit some. On Friday night I took my two sons as part of the Belgrave South Baptist Church Youth Group to ‘Surrender’ at Belgrave Heights Convention Centre.

The speaker who was meant to be on didn’t arrive on time so Jarrod McKenna spoke instead. I must confess I did not expect much but am happy to say I was very, very wrong.

Jarrod began by talking about the need to fight or flee when you encounter danger, Then went on to share a personal story about his encounter with a guy who was down on his luck at a railway station in Western Australia. The fellow demanded Jarrod give him his wallet, Jarrod then proceeded to give the guy $10.00/ As he did he stuck out his hand and introduced himself ‘Jarrod’ he said, which to his surprise made the guy apologise for having to rob him and share the fact he was doing it tough. Jarrod then proceeded to get a Gideon’s Bible from his art bag and offer it to the guy, who said “what am I going to do with a Bible, I am going to hell” “We are all going to hell” Jarrod commented “that’s why Jesus came”

A girl (friend of the guy) then ran past saying “we have to get out of here” the guy told Jarrod he had to go began running off but returned to take the Bible. Going in the same direction as the thief Jarrod saw a car with numerous youth in (the crew of the guy who robbed him) the girl telling them “I got a handbag” Jarrods assailant stating “I got ten bucks and a Bible”

What happened to that guy and the Bible? Nobody knows! The point is Jarrod when confronted by fear decided to let God lead and the result was a lot more positive than if he hadn’t.

The youth in our churches have so much to teach us. A powerful witness by Jarrod on Friday night moved many young people to join him in the altar call at ‘Surrender’ youth need to see examples. Not examples of what Jesus has already done but examples of what He is doing in and through us.

Thankyou Jarrod for challenging me to be bolder in sharing my God walk with the young people I encounter in my life, including my two teenage sons.

Don’t lie to your friends – it hurts

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