Archives for : January2016

Sacrifice

Addiction

SURRENDER

The beauty of living with the disease of addiction is that it has propelled me to the end of myself. To the place where self-will, ego, self-propulsion, pride and fear do not work; for they are the friends of addiction feeding the disease that will slowly kill me. The solution to this problem lies in Surrender to God which leads to a life of freedom and love.

It sounds simple, however it is not. Surrender requires a letting go of false ideas and beliefs. It requires asking questions of myself like; have I perceived myself accurately in the eyes of a loving God? Have I stopped worrying and trust my God has all things in control? Have I surrendered all parts of my life to Him?

This is the work of recovery. Living in recovery requires ACTION. Daily action. Often I see people who have quit drinking or drugging but none of their behaviors have changed. Not only are they at risk for relapse, they are miserable folks; often angry and disillusioned. The action of recovery is in meditation, serving others, prayer, and a host of other things. Recovery for me will look different than it will for you. There is no magic formula. Our action comes from knowing ourselves well enough to know what action is required in our recovery today. It requires self-awareness and introspection. We cannot surrender something we can’t identify. I have to be willing to admit fear, pride, hurt, control and so on to be able to surrender it and walk free.

~ Terri Johnson

Faithbooking

This month we are pleased to welcome Shelley Johnson, a vivacious mom, homemaker, and speaker.   We think you’ll enjoy this idea!

Faithbook Challenge for 2016

Have you ever made a Faithbook? It’s a book that chronicles all the amazing things God has done in your life. Have you ever taken the time to write down some of your personal accounts of how God rescued you, sustained you, strengthened you, and provided for you? If not, why not? Let’s resolve to make 2016 the year we follow the Lord’s commands to REMEMBER and SHARE all the ways He has worked in our lives and in the lives of those around us. It’s not only a positive reflection exercise that will change your personal attitude and perspective, it will be a blessing to all who read your stories for generations to come.

In Deuteronomy 4:9, Moses tells the people, “Be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen, or let them slip from your heart as long as you live.”

Deuteronomy 6:5-7 says, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up

And David adds in Psalm 78:4, “We will tell the next generation the praise worthy deeds of the Lord, His power and the wonders He has done.”

And the prophet Joel says in Joel 1:3, “Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation.”

The Bible is pretty clear that we are to pass on our faith stories and not have them die with us someday. But how does one do that? It’s not as daunting as you may think. Start simple.

Take the time to write down the story of how you first came to know God personally. What led you to the decision to follow God? Did someone help you along? Did someone mentor you? In what ministry areas have you served where you have witnessed God doing mighty things? How did God provide for you when you needed something – money for necessities, direction in decision making, healing, or strength to get through an illness? Does that get you thinking and remembering?

If those around you don’t know your faith stories, make 2016 the year that you make a Faithbook and “tell the next generation the praise worthy deeds of the Lord, His power and the wonders He has done.”

 

Quote From Eleanor Roosevelt

Yesterday is History

Tomorrow is a Mystery

Today is a GIFT                                ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

 

 

The Bible study I have the privilege to facilitate this January will be an introspective look at what it means to live in the day. Living in The Day does not come easily in our fast-paced performing, producing, and power-hungering world. But TODAY is a one-time offer. May we be open the GIFT of TODAY and use it well & wisely.

Psalm 118:24 says it this way; “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

~ Mary Z.

Go For It!

A time for new beginnings . . .

Shortly after my husband’s death, our son and daughter were talking about some of the best things they had learned from their dad.  They both agreed that one of his most important gifts to them had been his Can-Do attitude.  He practiced this, and he instilled in them a sense that they could do or be anything they set their minds to.

During their college years, I had to admit that their idea of going up to Alaska to earn money during the summers—working on the slime line in canneries, living in tents or working on board small fishing boats in the treacherous waters of the Bering Sea wasn’t my idea of the safest way to earn money.  But their adventurous dad cheered them on.

After our daughter graduated from college and before she enrolled in graduate school, she decided to take a backpacking trip around the world (using some of the money she had earned in Alaska).  She set off alone, equipped only with her backpack and a small tent, working as she went, for one of the best adventures of her life.  She did, indeed, go around the world twice—once in each direction.  It made for some anxiety on our part, but we were proud of her independence, and couldn’t wait to hear all about it.

Early on I had also benefited from my husband’s Can-Do attitude.  When our children were preschoolers, and I was a stay-at-home mom, I confided in him that I had always wanted to be a writer.  Though I had earned a degree in English, I’d had no courses in creative writing.  That year for Christmas he gave me a correspondence course in creative writing from the University of Minnesota.  It was his way of saying, “You can do it.  Go for it!”

This course was the impetus I needed to develop some skills that eventually resulted in my selling hundreds of magazine articles—a dream I would probably never have had the courage to pursue without his encouragement.

So my point is this:  It’s a NEW YEAR, a time of new beginnings.  Dare to try something new.  Maybe for you it’s a quilt you’ve always wanted to make.  An ancestry study.  A college course you’ve been meaning to take.  Hot-air ballooning.  Volunteering at a hospital or nursing home.

Now is the time.  Go for it!

©Sharon Sheppard