As we pass the end of March and on into April, it might be a good time to check in on the resolutions we made earlier in the year. In the unlikely event that such self assessment doesn't confirm the same steely resolve you started out with in January, a moment of clarity may now be at hand. In Mark 4:5 we learn that it's possible to respond to God's word with an enthusiasm that on one hand appears genuine, but on the other, leads only to a short lived spiritual surge that lacks a meaningfull long term change. Unfortunately this kind of immature faith yields unrealistic expectations which will ultimately produce discouragement. In 1 Sam 17 we see a young man named David gather for himself five smooth stones from the stream as he prepared to face down and ultimately kill the giant Goliath. What was it about David's faith that allowed him to expect such an unlikely and audacious victory? David's expectation wasn't pegged to a vague hope or generally hopeful feeling that something good was going to happen. Instead he knew that when he took a stand, his God would be there with him.
Wednesday, April 01, 2009 - 21:46:07
Picture a paddle with an elastic string and at the end of that string a little rubber ball.The paddle hits the ball. The ball having been hit, shoots outward…but the string pulls it back. The paddle hits it again. It soars off in the distance. It is drawn back again. Over and over this happens, a childs toy, no matter how hard the ball is hit. Until finally, the ball breaks free and sails off..
See the Yo-yo? It's deftly twirling up and down its string like a spider. Down and up. Up and down. Doing amazing tricks. Until it makes its last descent and lies still at the end of the string.
Visualize a spinning top, just released from its stringed catapult. Whirling frantically on its minuscule point. Then. Slowly, imperceptibly at first, it begins to wobble, lose its momentum and wildly spins out of control, rolls and comes to rest…all spun out.
Tell me. Do you see addiction? Do you see an addict? I see Me? Do you see You?
Saturday, March 14, 2009 - 13:52:57
I am only one bad decision away from picking up! Now I do not always think that way and I certainly do not always feel that way - but I know it's the truth. I can't begin to tell all the times I have said, " I will never do this or that" only to find myself doing what I said I would never do!
I told myself I would never steal, but I did. I swore to myself I would never be unfaithful to my spouse, but I was. I exclaimed that I would never use drugs! Yet, again and again and again I did! Said I would never lie, cheat, deceive, hurt, or disappoint, but I was unable or unwilling to do it. Powerless. A slave to sin (Read Romans 7)
Saturday, March 14, 2009 - 13:22:48
Whenever it became apparent that someone in the group was about to use drugs or alcohol again, a brother in our CR group would ask this question; "Do you have another run in you?" He would go on to say, " 'cause I don't! If I go back out there, in the streets again and use, I might not make it back! " That conversation always resonates with me. How far can I go, will I go, should I go, before my time is up?
I remember visiting a place called Low Falls, a small waterfall in upstate NY. There was a rope tied to a tree that was used to swing over a pool of water at the bottom of the falls. People were swinging on it and jumping in. It looked like a lot of fun. So I decided to try it. But I didn't want to jump in because I was fully dressed. I grabbed the rope and looked over the ledge, it was about two stories high. I, however, was about 10 times higher - on marijuana! I swung out and came back to the perch. It was so nice I had to do it twice. On the way back to the rocky ledge, I missed my footing and swung out again, this time on a different trajectory.
Monday, February 16, 2009 - 17:46:02