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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Check one off my life list ;)

Last night I received a 'chip' for completing my 12-step recover program through Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-based 12-step recovery process for anyone struggling with 'hurts, habits or hangups'. I attend this program at Perimeter Church in Duluth, GA.

It marks the way along a long process for me. Not a point of completion, but a milepost to mark progress along the way. Someday I'll write my testimony and make it publicly available; I'm just not ready yet.

So this is a very good thing. Not something I have always been looking forward to, but a good thing - hence the joke about my life list: Climb Mt. Everest. Check! Sing the National Anthem at a ballgame. Check! Complete a 12-Step Program. Check!

Sometimes you need to laugh to keep from...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

God Speaks!

How does God speak to us?

Many sermons have been preached on this, and there are lots of biblical citings on it. Here's my personal testimony:

God speaks to me through timing and arranging coincidences - what I call godincidences. For example, bringing up the same topic from multiple sources - like in my previous post on forgiveness: a CR lesson, a chapter read, a bible reading from my devotional time, a radio sermon - all coming together on forgiveness. Followed by an 'ah ha' moment that comes from the Spirit within me. That's the holy confirmation that this is from God.

Another way is through answered prayer. Sometimes in the course of prayer I'll offer up a problem to God. I'll invite him into the solution, rather than stubbornly fighting on under my own strength. I'll simply ask for help in forming a solution. And then zap the solution comes to me, all in a rush, in a timing much faster than I could have arranged on my own. And it all makes sense immediately - by revelation rather than by step-by-step analysis.

That's how I know something is given by the spirit: the speed of understanding. All aspects come in parallel, perceived by me at one time and in a whole.

Contrast that with temptations that come from the devil: they are step-by-step analyses of a situation. Somewhere in there is a lie or perversion of truth or deliberate obfuscation of truth. I don't pick up on the lie and believe the final analysis.


Last week, our Celebrate Recover topic was Forgiveness. Last night I picked up a book I hadn't read from in nearly nine months. The chapter topic was... Forgiveness.

Last week at CR, someone quoted how bitterness is like a poison you take and hope the other person dies. Last night the quote at the top of the next unread chapter was... resentment is like a poison you take and hope the other person dies.

I get the hint!

In my walk with Jesus, he's taken me to the point where I need to make my amends. This has two main aspects: forgiving those who've hurt me, and asking forgiveness of those I've hurt.

Often discussions of forgiveness swing back and forth through the two aspects, greatly confusing me. So at this point, I'm going to focus on forgiving others for hurts. There are then three groups to forgive: 1) others who've hurt me; 2) God, whom I mistakenly blame for hurting me; 3) myself, whom I need to forgive of past mistakes.

The point is to purge my body of that poison, bitterness and resentment. It's getting in the way of me healing and growing.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


My sense of security in an intimate relationship is directly related to my confession of failures, sins, faults and inadequacies. By confessing them [to that person], I remove the anxiety provoked in me by the prospect of their discovery. Once this anxiety is removed, I am free to participate [fully] in the relationship without need to manipulate it. I no longer need to manipulate [people] for the purpose of preventing discovery of my faults. Thus I’m free to focus on the needs of the other person; free to engage my curiosity and join the other person where they are [as opposed to dragging them to where I am].

I am free to disagree without criticizing.
I am free to agree without co-opting.
I am free to postpone without fear of retribution.

Monday, August 6, 2007


Grass grows green. New leaves emerge;
And with them the life-new air of spring.
Yet in it I can detect a whiff of Winter’s decay.