Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

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It’s better to have a partner than go it alone. Share the work, share the wealth. And if one falls down, the other helps, But if there’s no one to help, tough! Two in a bed warm each other. Alone, you shiver all night. By yourself, you’re unprotected. With a friend, you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snap.

Supportive, healthy relationships are necessary for successful recovery. Standing alone we are vulnerable. We need to learn to trust others, so support others and to admit we need others. Through healthy relationships, we gain strength, wisdom, and relapse to our old ways of thinking, behaving and living.

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Keep It Simple

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What The Bible Says:

The answer’s simple: Live right, speak the truth, despise exploitation, refuse bribes, reject violence, avoid evil amusements. Isaiah 33:15

God’s Decree. “There is something I’m looking for: a person simple and plain, reverently responsive to what I say. Isaiah 66:2

He’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don’t take yourself too seriously– take God seriously. Micah 6:8

Don’t cook up plans to take unfair advantage of others. Don’t do or say what isn’t so. I hate all that stuff. Keep your lives simple and honest.Zechariah 8:17

His message was simple and austere, like his desert surroundings: “Change your life. God’s kingdom is here.” Matthew 3:2

“Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! Luke 6:31

My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. Colossians 2:6

Proclaim the Message with intensity; keep on your watch. Challenge, warn, and urge your people. Don’t ever quit. Just keep it simple. 2 Timothy 4:2

Throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your lifeJames 1:21

The WORD For Recovery

Sing To The Lord and Be Not Silent

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Psalms 89:1 Your love, God, is my song, and I’ll sing it! I’m forever telling everyone how faithful you are.

When the Jews were taken into captivity in Babylon they lost all desire to make music or sing. “Alongside Babylon’s rivers, we sat on the banks; we cried and cried, remembering the good old days in Zion. Alongside the quaking aspens, we stacked our unplayed harps; That’s where our captors demanded songs, sarcastic and mocking: “Sing us a happy Zion song!” Oh, how could we ever sing GOD’s song in this wasteland? “Psalms 137:1-4

When we are living in estrangement to God, in a foreign land of exile to Him there is never going to be the kind of inners response of singing that should be in the heart anyone in tine with His will.

We can have a song of salvation in our hearts. A song of being in accord with Him. We can cope with His help with whatever comes our way.  Romans 6:13 Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time–remember, you’ve been raised from the dead!–into God’s way of doing things. What an exciting prospect. Living life according to His will, doing things His way. The prayer of St Francis says:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.

Recovery is about seeking to find and to do God’s will in order that others will note our example and seek recovery through Him.

His Part and Ours

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Romans 4:14 If those who get what God gives them only get it by doing everything they are told to do and filling out all the right forms properly signed, that eliminates personal trust completely and turns the promise into an ironclad contract! That’s not a holy promise; that’s a business deal.

We never really know how bad we are, until we try to change. It is true we become more aware of how selfish we are when we start to care for others. We do not appreciate the defects in our character that are dragging us down until we try to practice right behaviors. It is a big task to depart from our own way of doing things to doing things Gods way.

We limit Christ, minimize His excellence when we allow sin to rule within us. Romans 1:7  says “I am writing to all of you in Rome who are loved by God and are called to be His own holy people. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.”

We are called to be Gods own people, but it is the character of Jesus Christ that saves us. Through spiritual growth, His character changes us and shapes us into the people God calls us to be. Our part is subjection to His Lordship in our lives. His part is to plead with God on our behalf.

1 John 2:1 If anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the One who is truly righteous.

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We are All in This Together

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James 5:16 Admit to one another that you have sinned. Pray for one another so that you might be healed. The prayer of a godly person is powerful. It makes things happen.

We are all in this together. The purpose* of recovery fellowships is to support. We are not here to fix each other. Fixing our lives is God’s domain, not ours. In recovery, we are here to support one another and to encourage one another.

Over my years of recovery have met many different individuals from many different backgrounds. All with one thing in common. We all need recovery. We all have problems and issues in our lives for which we need God’s help and the help of other people. Don’t be a lone ranger.

  • When have you known you needed help and tried to go it alone?
  • How did that workout or you?

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What Others See

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2 Thessalonians 2:5 Don’t you remember me going over all this in detail when I was with you? Are your memories that short?

logo_transparent_bg“I hope I am around when you get serious about recovery.

In ‘Serenity Lodge’ in 1987, when I was 23 and had been in recovery just a couple of months, I was called into the Superintendents office. I was playing games and he knew it. I went there expecting reprimand because he knew what I was up to. Instead, he invited me to become a volunteer leader on the programme leading Twelve Step Groups. I agreed and as I left his office he said to me “I hope I am around when you get serious about recovery, it will be worth watching.”

You know back then, I laughed when I heard that. But thinking about it now I wonder; what do others see when they look at me? What did that Superintendent see that I didn’t see or understand?  At 23 I began a journey people wait all their lives to get on. In my recovery life, I have been given more opportunities than most people. At a young age, early in recovery, I was introduced to leading recovery groups an opportunity to make a difference and an opportunity to change my life. It wasn’t till I was 25 and had created more havoc I actually began to take the process seriously and apply what I had taught so many others.

Every day I thank God for the opportunities He has given me, is giving me and will give me. Today I think entry into the recovery process with God’s help and guidance is the greatest opportunity any of us are given to obtain life transformation and productive living.

When people look at you what do the see?

The Crucifixion

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As they led him off, they made Simon, a man from Cyrene who happened to be coming in from the countryside, carry the cross behind Jesus. A huge crowd of people followed, along with women weeping and carrying on. At one point Jesus turned to the women and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t cry for me. Cry for yourselves and for your children. The time is coming when they’ll say, ‘Lucky the women who never conceived! Lucky the wombs that never gave birth! Lucky the breasts that never gave milk!’ Then they’ll start calling to the mountains, ‘Fall down on us!’ calling to the hills, ‘Cover us up!’ If people do these things to a live, green tree, can you imagine what they’ll do with deadwood?” Two others, both criminals, were taken along with him for execution. When they got to the place called Skull Hill, they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.” Dividing up his clothes, they threw dice for them. The people stood there staring at Jesus, and the ringleaders made faces, taunting, “He saved others. Let’s see him save himself! The Messiah of God–ha! The Chosen–ha!” The soldiers also came up and poked fun at him, making a game of it. They toasted him with sour wine: “So you’re King of the Jews! Save yourself!” Printed over him was a sign: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. One of the criminals hanging alongside cursed him: “Some Messiah you are! Save yourself! Save us!” But the other one made him shut up: “Have you no fear of God? You’re getting the same as him. We deserve this, but not him–he did nothing to deserve this.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom.” He said, “Don’t worry, I will. Today you will join me in paradise.” Luke 23:26-43

Through His suffering, Jesus fully identified with us. Through suffering, He completed the work necessary for our salvation. Our suffering can make us more sensitive to the suffering of others. People who have experienced pain to oy=thers are able to reach out with compassion to the hurting and lost of this world. Whatever suffering you have experienced ask God how you can be used to help others on the road to recovery.

You can’t love God and resent others.

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Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples–when they see the love you have for each other.” John 13:34-35.”

Step Eleven: Having gone through these steps and discovering the importance of an individual relationship with God through Jesus, I will try to live according to His principles and to lead others to a personal relationship with Him

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