All posts tagged: Christianity

Finding Rest

I found the words this morning! So, I am going to go with it, with very little editing… so I hope this all makes sense. I guess the coolest thing I’ve found about studying the word trust is that it keeps leading me to new words. This morning the word was REST. First of all… here is what I’ve learned about what it means to trust God… He is a place of refuge, and (in) Him we are surrounded by His protection and embraced by His compassion. Trusting Him means: to lean on Him, to rely on Him, to hold onto Him, to flee to Him for protection, to stay, to hope, to expect, to be patient, and to linger in expectation… and wait. It also has a lot to do with being on the inside. Examples are: to be firm (in), to confide (in), to have confidence (in), to be secure (in), to seek refuge (in), to feel safe (in), to have assurance (in), to abide (in) and to find rest (in). This morning finding rest in …

Scrolling Up

I’ve had an unusually hard time finding interesting things to photograph, so I’m sticking with my plan to try new and different ways to edit and display them. In case it’s not clear, this is a tree framed on a scroll.  (it’s hard to know how it’ll look on various devices!) I’m also going to spend more time on ONE image.  I’m always pointing out what I could have done differently… so from now on I’m doing things slower, and hope to make those changes first– then post. I’m aiming for improvement now, rather than speed. (which is a real feat for this speed demon!) In other news… and speaking of being slow… I’ve been in no rush to update my other blog because I’m really thinking things through. Being young in both recovery and my walk with God, I’m finding more and more that I still have ample work to do. Nourishing my soul and allowing my roots to grow deeper, for starters. My relationship with God MUST come first, before anything. So I’m spending more time with …

In This Moment (Trust)

Separating topics is not easy. Not on the blog, anyway. I did some tinkering and there is no logical way to do it. I think that going to regular A.A. meetings (and looking to be of service) was the real STEP that I needed to take, and I’m doing that. At least I’m gaining clarity! Anyway, it’s been four whole days since I started studying the word TRUST, and I want to share my first day. I chose Psalm 40, verse 4. Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie! What REALLY struck (and amazed) me were verses 1-3. I waited patiently for the Lord; He inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put …

Walking My Walk

So… I guess this would be the portion of my blog where I share about my walk, and where I’m at; the My Journey section. Maybe I over-complicated the whole thing by trying to explain it. I do that sometimes. In time it will all make sense. The main thing I want to do is properly categorize. I hope to organize this “hodgepodge of a blog” and it ain’t easy. Eventually I will nail it. I emailed my sponsor about my decision to dive back into A.A. and to start making myself more available to be of service (which I guess you could call re-committing). I just love her! Her reply was right on point… “We can preach a better sermon with our lives than our mouths.” One thing I failed to mention in my last post is that ALL of the meetings I’ve been attending these past six months are not your typical A.A. meetings. That information probably helps to make sense of my thoughts. Monday night recovery is actually a class at my church, and it’s taught by our …

A Bit of Humility?

Awhile back I received a private message from someone about my blog. In the message, they mentioned something about my attachment to religion. Believe it or not, the very first thought I had was: “RELIGION!?! I’m not attached to religion! I have a relationship with God!” I didn’t reply to the message with that thought, but it’s exactly what came to mind. Where on earth does my blog say that I am attached to religion? If you were to review my posts all the way back to day one, I would bet a dollar that you would rarely- if ever– find the word religion. Not that I intentionally omit it, mind you, it’s just a word that I don’t use very often. Or even think of really. So… today is actually the perfect day for this post. It is the seven month anniversary of my baptism. Alright, so maybe THAT sounds religious. Anyway, my point is that today is a good day to share what I’ve been learning this past week- which will also explain more …

The Valiant Blogger Award

HALL OF VALOR Liz of Daily Warriors  created, and nominated me for the Valiant Blogger Award. Thank you so much Liz! The Valiant Blogger Award is for the blogger who is brave and courageous. It is dedicated to someone who, despite being faced with the most difficult obstacles in life, chooses to fight on and never give up. It is for the lionhearted, one who faces fears and challenges, who has become an inspiration to others along the way. RULES: 1. Post the award on your blog (Done). 2. Provide a link to the Hall of Valor (See above). 3. In 200 words or less, share about the greatest challenge in your life and HOW you got through it (See below). 4. Give one piece of advice to people who are struggling with something in their life (Look to God). 5. Thank the person who nominated you, nominate a new blogger for the award, and make sure to let the blogger you chose for the award know that you nominated them (See below). The greatest challenge in …

Dark Places

Last night I had an amazing God shot and this image works perfect for the story. Anyone following my story knows that I’ve been my own worst enemy for the better part of my life. I overthink, doubt myself, and self-criticize. Just before bed I was pondering my previous stories about my angst, my fears, and the imaginary THEY’s that I’d been conforming to please (although I did come up with some REAL). Who’s Out There? I was thinking back to my talk about the enemy’s whispers in parts two and seven- when I brought up the question: Who told me those things? That’s when it happened. Genesis 3:11 WHO TOLD YOU THAT YOU WERE NAKED? I’ll tell you right now that this must have come from God because I can’t even remember how or why it burst into my head! And never have I pondered the question that God asked Adam and Eve, or imagined that it meant something more than how it appears on the surface. But last night, I knew that it was important. Who DID tell them?? I discovered that there are …

Eyes Wide Open

For it is not mere words that nourish the soul, but God Himself, and unless and until the hearers find God in personal experience, they are none the better for having heard the truth. The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their being, their spirit. -A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God

2016 Reflections

What a year! My cousin posted on Facebook that she was tired of hearing people talk about how bad 2016 has been—so she listed all of the good things that happened in her life throughout the year. It’s been one helluva year, that’s for sure! I have to say it’s been a good helluva year though. First and foremost; I got sober! 2015 was insane. If I had to count, I’d say I had about seven relapses that year. And then 2016 was my major turning point. Everything started to make sense, and life changed. I have a very LONG way to go to rebuild anything that shows outwardly—but that’s OK. I’ve had a lot and I’ve had a little—and I have the same amount of joy no matter what! I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:12-13 I have two Bible …

Roots

Root is an extremely important word for me today. Throughout the past two years I have been reflecting on my life and writing about it, in an attempt to get to the ROOT of my problems. Noun: The basic cause, source, or origin of something Verb: Establish deeply and firmly (be rooted) As of January 7, 2015, the day that I first attained sobriety (though relapses occurred), and the day that my wholehearted search for God began bearing fruit, I’ve spent a lot of time becoming deeply rooted in Him and His Word. And as of March 7, 2016; the day that is now my sobriety date, I’ve worked at being well rooted in my recovery program. Gil always reminds me that we have seasons in our lives. I do see that, and I believe that after many, MANY months of reading not only God’s Word, but some great books by C.S. Lewis, Max Lucado, Philip Yancey, and even A.W. Tozer; my roots—although baby roots—have taken hold. I also believe that in starting this blog, a new season came upon …

The Big Picture

So, I was reminded of something while reading a fellow blogger’s post (thank you Rob) this morning. It’s something that actually helped me a great deal not too long ago… Looking at the BIG picture. Being new to Christianity, and fairly new in the program—the first things I had to face were my defects. My wrong thinking. My sinfulness. I had learned, early in life, how to dodge my fears by becoming someone that I was not. You know…a people-pleaser. Give them what they want. Tell them what they want to hear. Be who THEY want you to be. The problem here is that now I’m not even sure who THEY were. My peers when I was young? Well, that’s not what I want to dwell on. I’m getting sidetracked. The point is that once I looked in the mirror and faced the bad head on, I lost complete sight of all the positives. I almost couldn’t remember the good things I’d done in life. That might be why a lot of my posts are about my memories. I’m …

Conversation with God

Father, you feel so far away,I’m not sure that my words are right.All I ask is to feel you near…Did you hear my prayer last night? Open your eyes my little one,Remember the veil was torn apart.Be still, and know that I am God…for I am speaking to your heart. I’ve summoned the wind to join us,My spirit stirs amidst the breeze.Look! The branches, they dance about…Rustling leaves whisper melodies. Forever and ever I am with you child,I’m everywhere, and in everything.Your words need not be perfect…I know your heart, I hear it sing! Oh thank you Heavenly Father,for this song that you’ve given me.I’ll be back again tomorrow…to dance beneath our sacred tree.

I Said YES

PAY ATTENTION! I hear those two words a lot. I have a very short attention span. I get lost in thought, so being “present” can be a challenge for me. There’s a little world inside my head, and I need to limit the amount of time I spend there. It’s my private little dwelling space, and that’s what I do there… I dwell. I think about the future, and I mull over the past. There’s a fine line to tip toe around in recovery. Don’t dwell in the past, but never forget where you came from. That’s a very fine line, indeed. Writing helps me with that. Write it down and move on! And I daydream! I used to do way too much daydreaming. I can conjure up some pretty wild “expectations” in my daydreams. There’s a lot to be said about the disappointments that we encounter in life, due to our own expectations. The bottom line is that most people can’t live up to them. Not even ourselves. I speak from experience here, TRUST …

Through God’s Eyes

There was something else on my mind when I first contacted my friend Gil. I was trapped in that little world that I call SELF and I knew that I needed to get out of there. I wanted to make a contribution to this world. I’m going to back up and talk about the man that I saw for four months, who finally admitted he lived with a woman. I actually mentioned to him that I’d written about him in my story. I had to assure him that he was anonymous just to bring some color back into his face (and later I learned why!). Anyway, he had hopes that I likened his character to Chuck Norris, but I’m going to call him your average “Joe”. It was never my intention to present a one-sided version of this particular saga. Obviously he was dead wrong to withhold that crucial piece of information from me, but in spite of THAT, there are some really nice things I could say about Joe. We had many laughs together, he …

Fighting to Win

Never be afraid to tell your story because there’s somebody who needs to hear it. I have to keep telling myself that. I get those little twangs inside, telling me to just stop—that I’ve already said enough. But, I’m not going to let fear win. When I mentioned taking down the enemy in my last post; I was talking about sobriety, and my own spiritual battle. I wasn’t declaring war on men. I just want to make that clarification in case it wasn’t clear. Anyway, after doing some careful self-examination I started to realize something about my man pursuits. Not to sound cliché, but it wasn’t them—it was me. After getting some male opinions, the general consensus was that—for them—it was like a hunt. Chase, conquer, pick up your trophy and go home. I’m not quoting them, but that’s what I took away from it. I mulled it over for a bit, and thought about how it compared to my own pursuits. It was startling to discover that I followed the same pattern, in a …

A Sprinkle of Faith

There were a few things that were weighing heavy on my mind when I first reached out to my friend Gil. He’s the one that I wrote about in Hearing God’s Whisper. I had reached a point in my life—and in my drinking—where I knew that I was not only ready, but I NEEDED to find God. The life I had been living was without faith, without belief, and—looking in the rear view mirror—seemed pointless. I had no purpose. One of the most significant things that changed my perspective entirely. Gil inspired me to write my story. It wasn’t so much that he encouraged me to write, it was that he proposed that I “write about how people can change at any age.” I think that’s when I had my first epiphany. I was ready to accept the challenge! I was going to write the story of how my life was transformed. This actually meant something HUGE. In order to fulfill the mission, I actually had to change! I HAD A PURPOSE! I started with …

Danger: Isolation Ahead

Our pastor is always saying… “Surrender is THIS way…” as he points ahead, “and everything else is that way,”as he points behind his back. Move towards recovery and spiritual growth, or keep going back to what you’re accustomed to; the things that aren’t healthy. In the fourteen months that I spent going up and down, and in and out of recovery, I began to grasp the concept. I realized that there were two major factors that kept causing me to fall, and they actually went hand in hand; loneliness and unhealthy relationships. The loneliness was brought on by my tendency to isolate. As I started “week one” of this blog, I felt that pull. I was sensing the desire to withdraw from all of the things that have gotten me this far, hunker down in isolation, and write. It was a swift reminder of the pastor’s lesson: “Keep moving forward… not back to where you came from!” The more I nurture my relationship with God, the more I feel His layer of protection around me. …

Hearing God’s Whisper

Whenever I talk about finding God, I always wonder how people perceive that. You know… like… I wonder if they think I saw a vision (or thought that I did). How else DO you acknowledge that you’ve found something that can’t be seen or touched? Sometimes people come into your life, and whether they stay long or just pass through briefly, they leave you with something. They have an impact on you. To me, that’s God. When I was younger, the handful of times I attended church had discouraged me. I showed up. I tried to understand. Sadly, I was like a fish out of water. I felt nothing. It was like walking into a theater… in the middle of a movie. The entire time you’re watching it you’re trying to catch up, but it’s not making any sense! Everyone there knows something that you don’t. They know the WHOLE story. I spent months on end corresponding with a dear friend of mine (the one who inspired me to share my story) when I was drinking …

The Author of My Life

The first thing I want to throw out here today is that I’m new to blogging. Maybe that’s already obvious, but I’m adding a disclaimer to be safe. Doing a little C.Y.A. (as we used to say at the office). I just dropped my anchor here and jumped in. I’ve got a habit of diving into the water before getting my toes wet. I’m notorious for it. What matters is that I’m doing it. Typing my heart out, and bopping away to the beat of my own drum. I’ve always danced to the beat of my own drum. Maybe it stems from feeling like such an outsider in my early years. At a pretty young age I started exploring self-help books and read whatever I could about becoming the magnificent Author of my Life. I was always STRIVING. I strove to be ultra-independent, to make money, and to be totally self-reliant. Then I strove to be stress-free so that I could somehow be happy and content! The only thing that ever stood between me and the …

In the Beginning

Adolescence. Such an awkward time in life. My personal experience with it was life changing. Mainly, I remember mounting depression. I left grammar school anticipating fall, when I would be entering Junior High with my fresh suntan that I’d spent all summer working on. I was brimming with excitement and I had so much to look forward to! Much to my chagrin, life had other plans. I was confronted with unforeseen changes. I was also suddenly more aware. I began to question everything. Who am I? What is the meaning of life? Why do we have to die? Death grew to be an obsession with me. It was ugly and unspeakable. My lifeless body would someday be six feet under, disintegrating… for eternity. Life would continue on without me, and eventually one day I would be completely forgotten by all. I had such a difficult time fathoming all of this. Why are we here anyway? We’re all just headed in the same direction. To the grave! It made absolutely no sense. No sense at all. …