Thursday, July 30, 2020

Live By Faith

"Live by Faith"
By Carol Holmstrom, National Communications Director

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible." Hebrews 11:1-3 NASB

I saw this quote recently: "Faith is not just an action of your brain; it's an investment of your life."
Faith is the deep-seated belief that God exists and that should radically change the way we live. But Biblical faith is unnatural for us. It goes against our human logic and culture to believe in something greater than our self. For me, pride can easily take over and convince me that I'm my own God. The need to control my circumstances runs deep.

Celebrate Recovery has given me the tools to recognize those places where my pride wants to take over and control, and God's faithfulness has shown me without a doubt that He does exist, that I do matter to Him, and that only He has the power to help me recover. While I have a responsibility to my actions and my words, I don't have to control the things out of my control and I don't have to have all the answers to the "Why?" questions. I only have to get out of His way and let Him be God. When I do that, I am living my life as though I believe God exists. I am living by faith.

It's exhausting trying to control my own universe. I think I'll let God do that.

How about you?

Monday, July 27, 2020

Hardwired to Live For God

Hardwired to Live for God
By Carol Holmstrom, National Communications Director

I read a quote recently that said, "God is the environment in which we live."
Every morning when we rise, we can't help but bump into God. We look outside and see the trees, the birds, the flowers, the sunrise... These things were created, not by human hands, but by a Creator. The reality of God is everywhere around us. We would have to work hard to deny God's existence because it is everywhere we look. The psalmist writes, "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above declares his handiwork. Day after day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard." Psalms 19:1-3

We are hardwired to live for God. Everything we do and every decision we make is in some way done in reference to God and what we believe about Him. For me, this realization brings a weight to it, but it also brings great comfort and freedom. Surely the God who created the expanse of the universe can handle whatever comes up for me in my small world. His perfect creation around me is enough to put my trust in Him. He continues to be faithful as I seek out that relationship with Him on a daily basis.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

He Works Through Our Praise

He Works Through Our Praise
By Rodney Holmstrom, National Field Director

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Mark 4:8-9
I was struck rereading this familiar passage in Matthew 4 this morning. This is the passage where Jesus is tempted multiple times by the deceiver.
Here we have Jesus, the author of goodness, beauty and truth being tempted by Satan with what he tries to sell as much better.
Satan says, “You can have all of this if you will just worship me.”
I don’t know why that struck me as funny, but think about it. Isn’t that just like the enemy in his deceiving ways? Jesus already had all He ever needed from God and the enemy still tried to convince Him in His struggles that it wasn’t enough, and that he had something better for Jesus.
What was Jesus’ response?
“Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” (v.10)
Jesus’ response to the temptation was to worship God.

This reminds me of the old song, by Michael O’Brien “Crown Him”
“When you’re up against the struggles that shatters all your dreams
And your hopes have been cruelly crushed by Satan’s manifested schemes.
And you feel the urge within you, to submit to earthly fears,
Praise the Lord, He can work through those who praise Him.
Praise the Lord, for our God inhabits praise.
Praise the Lord, for the chains that seem to bind you.
Serve only to remind you
They drop powerless behind you
When you praise Him.”

The enemy may be trying to offer you something that promises to be better than what God has to offer.
Don’t forget that what the enemy is offering you can’t even come close to what Jesus offers you.
Let’s make our response today be to praise Jesus, the only One who can satisfy our every need.
Praise God in your struggles. He can work through those who praise Him.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Daily Inventory

Have you ever kept a daily inventory before? I know for me it allows me to see progress and areas where I may be back sliding when I'm not directly noticing either way. Let me give an example. Say I kept working out in the garden day after day, from sun up to sun down. Now I'm a glasses wearer so working out in the yard gets my lenses pretty filthy. But I usually can't tell til I stop and notice. But say I'm getting up the next day to go outside and I grab my glasses and throw them on. Now I don't take them off til later in the evening after it's dark and I'm tired so I'm already squinting and not noticing if they are dirty or not. But after several days without me noticing my lenses have gotten FILTHY. It isn't until I stop mid day one day for lunch and notice my glasses need a cleaning, an help me see clearly now. That's similar to why keeping a daily inventory can be so beneficial. Keeping track along the way helps us reflect throughout the week, then be able to look back and notice patterns and celebrate the victories and pray consistently over the areas we need to surrender. If you've never kept a daily inventory, might I suggest this little pocket sized journal. It's a great start.

Daily Inventory Can Help Keep us on Track
This small, pocket-sized notebook was designed to make that process easier. Carry this notebook in your pocket, purse, backpack, or leave it on the nightstand. The goal is to carve out a few minutes every day to answer the seven key questions provided for you. By doing so, you will ensure that you stay aware of any patterns or issues that need attention. You will also be able to see how you are growing in recovery and what you should CELEBRATE!

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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Feeling alone right now? Let’s talk

Hi everyone, 

From the moment we are born, a “chip” inside each of us starts searching for a connection to the right network, one that will provide us with the energy and information to go beyond our present ability, experience, and performance. And this searching, this needing a connection, is not optional for any of us. It is hardwired and always on, even when we don’t know it and even when we don’t even desire it. As long as you are alive, your heart and mind and soul will be searching for a connection. 

Over the past few months, many of us may have felt disconnected or even isolated from others.  I’m going to talk to you about how to get connected to the right people and to stay out of the depths of loneliness and isolation.

And you may also find this helpful to you as well: Identify the safe people you can connect with.

Until next time … 

If you’re already a member of Boundaries.Me, log in here to access this entire course.