Tuesday, March 20, 2012

One Thing…..How do you get free?

From the old movie with Charlton Heston "The Ten Commandments"
You shall have no other gods before Me. Exodus 20:3

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

I like movies especially when I can use them as an example in something like this. Here is some dialog from the 1991 movie, “City Slickers”
Curly: Do you know what the secret of life is?
[holds up one finger]
Curly: This.
Mitch: Your finger?
Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don't mean ----
Mitch: But, what is the "one thing?"
Curly: [smiles] That's what *you* have to find out

Disclaimer: I am Not endorsing this movie! They are wrong in their conclusions. Now if they had choose Jesus as their “One thing” that would've worked!

Something that’s been on my mind (as you can see from my posts) is addictions, chains……How do you get free?

Well…..let me first suggest, as I have before; The 12 Steps…Step one is; “We admitted we were powerless over our addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable.”

This one is all about honesty (truth), you can’t solve your “problem” if you don’t think you have one! I find this interesting; This is “Step One” and as I said in "You Hypocrite!" the “belt of truth” is the first piece of armor in the Armor of God in Ephesians chapter 6. Jesus even said Himself, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” John 8:32

What I want to talk about in this blog post, however, is step 2: “We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves (Jesus) could restore us to sanity.” and also step 3: "Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God (Jesus Christ)"

This is important because I think that when we become “addicted” to something it becomes larger than life, it becomes our “god”. A great book (I have mentioned before) for “recovering persons” I have is called, “Letting God” by A Philip Parham. Parham says, “A great third-century Christian said, ‘Idolatry is the principal crime of the human race, the highest guilt charged upon the world, the whole cause of judgment.’….Anything can become an idol, the object of our heart: food, status, success, sex, power, money, fame, gambling, a person, cars, alcohol, drugs, boats, computers, houses, furniture, gardens,-the list is endless….”

The Bible says,
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:4 Jesus quotes this verse in Matthew 22:37. Now if something is repeated over and over in the Bible (things like: Love, Jesus, Messiah, Peace, Faith, Hope, Joy….) Pay attention! You know these things are important!

Jesus also said, “…Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

.....Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve....As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15

How did you become “chained” or addicted to this thing that now consumes you? By “yielding” to it:

Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? Romans 6:16

Oswald Chambers said, “There is no power within the human soul itself that is capable of breaking the bondage of the nature created by yielding. For example, yield for one second to anything in the nature of lust, and although you may hate yourself for having yielded, you become enslaved to that thing. (Remember what lust is— “I must have it now,” whether it is the lust of the flesh or the lust of the mind.) No release or escape from it will ever come from any human power, but only through the power of redemption. You must yield yourself in utter humiliation to the only One who can break the dominating power in your life, namely, the Lord Jesus Christ. “. . . He has anointed Me . . . to proclaim liberty to the captives . . .” (Luke 4:18 and Isaiah 61:1)….. It is easy to sing, “He will break every fetter,” while at the same time living a life of obvious slavery to yourself. But yielding to Jesus will break every kind of slavery in any person’s life. ““My Utmost for His Highest” March 14th

“When we begin to “be restored to sanity”, our moment of truth arrives. It finally dawns upon us: we not only worship idols; we have surrendered our life and will over to the care of lesser gods that enslave us and tear us down. When we decide to bow down to only God the father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we are freed from our addictive idols and lifted up.” A. Philip Parham, “Letting God”

So how do we get free? By yielding to God and saying, “No” to the things that enslave you, turn to Him! I know, I’m still continuing to be freed of all my chains, but I know He has the answer, so I press on…Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

So why not yield to the only One Who can break your chains?

This is a song about this very subject- if you are brave: LISTEN: Jimmy Needham- Clear the Stage

About how men's focus on the wrong "One Thing" had disillusioned me: One Thing; Why I Hate/Love Men

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Disease of Sin

Hi, my name is Susan and I am a sinoholic. Although I am in recovery, I will always be a sinoholic. I have gone through these 12 steps. These may sound familiar to you:

1) I have admitted I was powerless over sin and my life had become unmanageable.
2) I believed that Jesus Christ could restore me to sanity.
3) I made a decision to turn my will and my life over to Him 28 years ago and my life has not been the same since. It was the very best decision I have ever made.
4) I continue to make a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself. Mostly, I come up very short but, Praise God, He’s still working on me!
5) I have admitted to God, to myself and to another human being the nature of my wrongs. Mostly, I am too honest, sometimes with people which makes them uncomfortable. Certainly we should all be able to share our weaknesses with God, however, He already knows them anyways!
6) I am entirely ready for God, no one else, OK? :-), to remove all these defects of character.
7) Humbly, I have asked Him to remove my shortcomings. How else could it be, but humbling to give God this LONG list?
8) Making a list of all the persons I have harmed, I was willing to make amends to them all. This one can be overwhelming. It was what Zacchaeus did in Luke 19:8, only fourfold, yikes! I don’t think God would have you overwhelmed but may bring the obvious things to mind first and later may bring more to light. I am sorry for when I was disrespectful to my parents. I didn’t get into any of what you’d call “major” sins, but sin is sin in God’s book and it needs to be dealt with.
9) I have made direct amends to such people whenever possible.
10) I continue to take personal inventory and when I am wrong promptly admit it, for example, I still lose my temper and will go back to my husband or my children and apologize. We all have to “eat crow” sometimes!
11) I seek to know Christ more through reading His word and praying to Him and meeting with a local body of believers, usually twice a week. I truly want to do His will and know He gives me the power to do it.
12) I have had a spiritual awakening as the result of Jesus Christ. I seek to practice these Biblical principles in all of my affairs and carry this message to other SINOHOLICS.

It’s OK with me if you call alcoholism a disease but I chose to call it an addiction instead. It seems to be that most sin IS addictive in nature. To me it is merely a symptom of the great disease of SIN. If I’m addicted to cigarettes is that the disease of tobaccoholism?

I once asked my father-in-law (whose been in AA for many many years) , “Suppose you inherit this disease, and never take a drink, would you still be an alcoholic?” He replied “The disease would manifest itself in a different form.” You know, I am in total agreement with him, although I wouldn't call it alcoholism, I'd call it sin. I had myself in mind, perhaps my children when I asked this question. I don’t drink, although I used to and I hope my children will also choose to abstain from alcohol although the Bible says only “Do not be drunk with wine” (Ephesians 4:18). Perhaps they will drink only in moderation? I don’t know, but I do hope to break this endless(?) cycle of dysfunction and I believe "With God all things are possible" (Mark 10:27). My life is no longer “unmanageable” but my sin does still manifest itself from time to time in overindulgence, lust, anger, greed ETC.

In the book of Galatians chapter 5 (verses 19,20&21), Paul lists these SINS, which if we continually practice, keep us from Christ. The next verses are about “The fruit of the Spirit” which we get when we give over our will and our life to Jesus Christ; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and self-control.

You may have noticed that I am NARROW (Jesus said to enter by the NARROW gate),yes, if you choose any “god” “as you perceive him” you are in a dangerous position where you make Satan the “god” of your life! I don’t believe in relativism. I believe in absolutes. All gods are not the true God! That is totally ILLOGICAL!

I believe you should worship Christ in a Bible-believing church. You may see some hypocrites there, but don’t worry about them. You may also feel lead to go to AA or a good Christian counselor. Let me tell you about my AA friends whose “Higher Power” is Jesus Christ. John and Rhonda went to church with us many years ago. They were in their mid-forties, at that time. Rhonda had health problems from her prior drinking, she was on dialysis for her kidneys but always had a smile on her face and never voiced a complaint. Reading other books is fine (like AA’s “Big Book”) but Rhonda had her priorities straight! She’d say, “I have my ‘Big book’ too!” meaning her Bible. One day I came to church and I needed to talk to someone and I prayed for God to lead me to someone I could talk to. I went to our church’s gym where we ate before Wednesday night Bible study, Rhonda was sitting there already reading her Bible I felt God was saying “Talk to her, she cares about what I think”. So I did. A few months later Rhonda died. At her funeral they read one of her favorite Psalms; 121, which starts, “ I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, who made heaven and earth….” Yes, our help with the “disease of sin” comes from the Lord Jesus Christ who loved us so much that He died on the cross to save us from our sins.

It is all very beautifully expressed in that old hymn which goes:
‘There is a fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains.’

Do you have this disease? The Bible says in Romans 3:23 that we all do! Jesus Christ is the answer!
Are you having trouble with an addictive sin? Why not give these steps a try?

 Here is a poem I wrote about the 12 Steps.

For a great Christian 12 Step group check out:  Celebrate Recovery 

Also: Alcoholics Anonymous

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Chonda Pierce on Depression

This goes with several of my posts about BiPolar Disorder  ("An Unquiet Mind" -October 2010, "My Southside Story" & "Soap Box"- April 2011 etc.) - Love this woman! See also the article on my website: Brokeness

 My latest post about my BiPolar: The King of Hearts

 2015: get my new book of poetry on Amazon here: The Seven Story Tree 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Dr. Peter Marshall on Judgment Day

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:12-13

For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Romans 14:10

I had shared this before on facebook in September 2010:

I’ve had Judgment Day on my mind since a conversation I had a few weeks ago. Someone I thought knew the Bible very well said she thought she would be found innocent of any wrong doing on Judgment Day. But the Bible states “All have sinned…” Then the Mandessa song Amber sang (“Not Guilty”) on Sunday- so appropriate and I remembered this which I read some years ago, from my grandmother’s old book , “A Man Called Peter” by Catherine Marshall. Peter Marshall was chaplain of the Senate when he died in 1949.

So, this is what Dr Peter Marshall had to say about Judgment Day and…..I think he’s right on:

One night a friend questioned (Peter) about whether he really thought we shall ever stand before God on a Judgment day and hear a roll call of all our sins.

“Yes, the Bible makes it quite clear,” Peter answered promptly. “Some day, somewhere, somehow there will be an accounting for each of us”
He paused and seemed lost in thought as he stirred his third cup of tea. “I think I may have to go through the agony of hearing all my sins recited in the presence of God.”

“But I believe it will be like this- Jesus will come over and lay His hand across my shoulders and say to God, ‘Yes all these things are true, but I am here to cover up for Peter. He is sorry for all his sins, and by a transaction made between us, I am now solely responsible for them’”
Suddenly Peter smiled, “And sister, if I’m wrong about that, I’m sunk.”

And if he's wrong...I'm sunk too!


I stand accused, there's a list a mile long
Of all my sins, of everything that I've done wrong
I'm so ashamed, there's nowhere left for me to hide
This is the day, I must answer for my life
My fate is in the Judges hands,
But then he turns to me and says

I know you, I love you
I gave my life, to save you
Love paid the price for mercy
My verdict, not guilty

Mandisa- Not Guilty

This goes with what I'm about to post today about Judgement Day....