This blog will serve as an opportunity for CR encouragement, shared changed life stories, resources and mini-testimonies.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Is This Mess Defining or Refining Me?

From Lysa TerKeurst's blog - This carries with it the message of Celebrate Recovery!  God Never Wastes a Hurt!

Turning North
We all have messes in our life. Financial messes. Relationship messes. Health messes. Kid messes. Home messes. Business messes.

There is usually some kind of mess in our life.

Sometimes messes are small and just feel like a slight annoyance. Other times, they’re so huge they strip the hope right out of our life. But here’s a thought to ponder right in the midst of your mess…

Am I letting this mess define me or refine me?

The answer to this question is crucial.

If I am letting a mess define me, I will feel hopeless.

If I am letting a mess refine me, I will be hopeful.

This was the crux of my message this weekend at the EWomenGreenville event. For those of you who were there, remember the application step I told you. Write your mess on a 3×5 card and then write Deuteronomy 2:3 on the other side.

It’s time for our messes to stop defining us.

It’s time to embrace the refining process and turn north.

Here’s the “Turning North Go-To Scripts” we handed out this weekend. You’ll notice they’re similar to the “Healthy Eating Go-To Scripts” that can be found here.  But, I’ve changed them up a tad so they can apply to any mess we find ourselves in.
Turning North Go-To Scripts
If you find yourself stuck in a defeating mess, try replacing your old thoughts with these empowering thoughts. I call these “Go-to scripts.” In other words, these statements can become our new patterns of thought as the Messiah touches our mess and turns it into a great message of hope to this world.

1. I was made for more than to be stuck in a vicious cycle of defeat.
Deuteronomy 2:3, “You have circled this mountain long enough. Now turn north.”
2. When I am considering a compromise, I will think past this moment and ask myself, how will I feel about this choice tomorrow morning?
1 Corinthians 6:19, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”
3. When tempted, I either remove the temptation or remove myself from the situation.
1 Corinthians 10:13-14, “…God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. Therefore, my dear friends, flee…”
4. I don’t have to worry about letting God down because I was never holding Him up — God’s grace is sufficient.
2 Corinthians 12:9-11, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness…for when I am weak, then I am strong.’”
5. I have these boundaries in place not for restriction but rather to define the parameters of my freedom.
Romans 6:19-20, “I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.”
For a printable pdf of these please click here.

Which of these statements means the most to you and why?

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Step 3 Practical Applications

Practical surrender: Reminders for ACTION - “B’s Attitudes”
(from Assimilation Coach and Men's Mixed Issues small group leader - Brian)
  • I must remember that God’s loves ME and in Jesus Christ I am a new creation- John 3:16, 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • I must work on my relationship/friendship with God
  • I keep coming back
  • I will not feel unworthy of recovery- Romans 3:23
  • I am not alone; others have done this too and will help me- Ecclesiastes 4:12
  • Temptation itself is NOT sin, my response to temptation can be.
  • My focus should always be on “keeping my side of the street clean”
  • I will not/do not have to recover in a day
  • Every thought or feeling that comes to me is not true or valid- therefore, I DO NOT have to act on it
  • Surrendering my hurt, habit, or hang-up WILL NOT kill me, and surrendering my control over another will not kill them
  • I will learn/pray/believe the Serenity prayer and Step 3 prayer
  • I choose to serve where God would have me
  • Without God, I can’t; without me, God won’t
  • I choose to begin to love myself
Principle/Step 3 Prayer (from CR Participants Guide):
Dear God, I have tried to do it all by myself, on my own power, and I have failed.  Today, I want to turn my life over to You.  I ask you to be my Lord and Savior.  You are the One and only Higher Power!  I ask that You help me start to think less about me and my will.  I want to daily turn my will over to You, to daily seek Your direction and wisdom for my life.  Please continue to help me overcome my hurts, hang-ups and habits and may that victory over them help others as they see Your power at work in changing my life.  Help me to do Your will always.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Serenity Prayer
GOD, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to Your will; so that I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with You forever in the next.  AMEN

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Two Parts to Asking for Help

There's really two parts to asking for help, when you think about it.

There's the "please help me" -- the part where you ask for help.  That's hard enough.

But the real heavy lifting is in actually hearing and accepting whatever help is offered; without ego, without defiance, without resentment, without filters...

Sometimes in life it's taken almost everything I have to just ask for the help.  Anything more than that felt like it was beyond me.

As dramatic as that sounds, it's true.

Thankfully, when I run out of power, I have God as my power source which has never failed me when it comes down to it. 

Adapted from my favorite AA blogger - Mr. SponsorPants.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011


(Inspired by March 12th’s Courage to Change in Alanon.)

Another person's mood, tone of voice, or state of dysfunction need not affect my course of action, unless I decide so.

In the past I would frequently find myself arguing with a person whose sole purpose seemed to inflict guilt on me. Why did I always take the argumentative path? Was it me, just following the lead of someone more determined than me? 

I have had quite enough of this default path.  I am finally allowing program to make its subtler points to me. Just as today’s author says: “I do not have to react just because I have been provoked, and I don't have to take harsh words to heart. “

Let me remember that my provocations are probably coming from a person who is in pain. I never need to allow a hurting person to provoke me into contributing more pain to our interactions. Before I argue, let me take time to feel compassion for both of us.   

“Detachment with love means that I stop depending upon what others do, say, or feel to determine my own well-being, or to make my decisions.”   Do I find myself afraid of my parent’s destructive attitude and behavior? Let me remember I have the power to “Love their best and never fear their worst.”

...."Detachment is not caring less, it's caring more for my own serenity..." In all our affairs 

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Monday, March 21, 2011

The Different Kinds of "Help Me"

From my favorite AA blogger Mr. Sponsorpants

Sometimes "Help me!" is really "help me keep doing what I'm doing, even though it's really not working for me anymore." (I guess that would be classified as enabling, if you buy into that one).

Sometimes "Help me!" is "help me keep doing what I'm doing, because it's about to work, but I've run out of time/resources."  I guess to do that would actually be helping.

Sometimes "Help me!" is "I don't want to have to do anything to make a change or come up with an answer -- plus if you do it all I can blame you if I don't like it or it doesn't work out."

And sometimes it's "I don't know what to do to make a change, please show me."

I know I'm painting with a pretty broad brush here -- it's just struck me lately how sometimes the best way I can help someone -- as a friend, family member or sponsor -- is to stop and consider which of the above might be going on.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Turning the Other Cheek

How often has it happened that someone has hurt you by words, actions or physical contact? For codependents, our reactions can vary from “what did I do to deserve this? What can I do to change you?” Or, "Oh, it’s OK, they didn’t really mean to hurt me”. As addicts, the response may be to turn to our drug or habit of choice to cover our feelings or not to deal with the situation. Anger responses tend to focus on revenge, either passive or aggressive.

Have you ever heard the expression, “You must turn the other cheek”? Christians tend to throw this around a lot. Even non-Christians like to use this phrase. And most of the time when I hear it is when someone is trying to remind me to check the response I’m having towards a person who has done me wrong. (Actual or perceived).

Recently I read a devotion out of the “Living Faith”, a small devotional book I keep handy. Patricia Livingston wrote a short piece on “Turning The Other Cheek” that set me on my heels. I hope it gives you pause for thought, too.

Matthew Chapter 5, a little ways past the Beatitude principles we use in CR, in verse 39 it says “If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other one as well”

Scriptural Scholars have brought to light some interesting things that change the tone of this scripture and may change the way you feel about it.

First of all, in biblical times, left handedness was seen as evil. People never used their left hands for any public task, even slapping a person. The only way to strike someone on the right cheek – using your right hand, would be to backhand them. And, only “”inferiors” could be backhanded. That would be slaves, women and children. Striking and “equal” (a free man) with a backhand would incur legal punishment.

So think about it. You can only use your right hand. You can only back hand inferior people, and the only way to backhand someone with your right hand is to strike the right cheek. So when Jesus tells us to turn the other cheek to him as well, He is saying if someone treats you as an inferior, backhanding your right cheek, turn the other cheek and challenge him to treat you as an equal. This is a form of nonviolent resistance, a call to using inner strength.

So next time you feel the pain of a verbal backhand or someone treats you as an inferior, stand up to be treated as an equal, not backing down to accept more of the same. That’s what Jesus would do.

Women's Small Group Leader

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