THE TWELVE LIFE RECOVERY GIFTS :: COURAGE

REACHING HURTING WOMEN MINISTRIES OFFERS FOUR THEMES FOR CONTEMPLATION EVERY MONTH OF THE YEAR.
EACH OF THE POWER-PACKED THEMES ARE A 12-MONTH STUDY SERIES ASSIGNED TO A SPECIFIC FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH BEGINNING IN JANUARY. IN MONTHS WITH FIVE FRIDAYS I’LL BE REVIEWING TOUCHING INSPIRATIONAL MUSIC. COME ALONG. LET’S LEARN SOME NEW THINGS TOGETHER!
For my addiction recovery work this year I’m going through The Twelve Gifts of Life Recovery by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. On the third Friday of each month in 2021 I will be sharing the blessings God brings us to honor our choices and encourage our recovery journey.
This is the ninth post in the series. Today we are learning about the gift of courage.

The gift of courage: the ability to do something that frightens us… It replaces our old cowardice with boldness, strength and initiative. ~ The Twelve Gifts of Life Recovery

COURAGE: the quality of mind which enables us to encounter danger and difficulties with firmness, without fear or depression of spirit.

Remember to stay alert and hold firmly to all that you believe. Be mighty and full of courage. ~ 1 Corinthians 16:13

Before most of us had the courage to change, we had to come to the complete end of ourselves. We had to get to the place where the pain of staying the same was greater than the fear of change. It requires courage to stop living in denial and face the reality that we need the help of others to get better.

“To succeed in life recovery, we must confront our fear and conquer it. By God’s gift of courage, we can succeed!” ~ The Twelve Gifts of Life Recovery

It takes courage to faithfully walk in daily realities when we’d rather self-medicate ourselves or simply run from them. Whatever our drug of choice was, sex, gambling, shopping, eating, or alcohol — they were all a mechanism we used to hide from life instead of facing the challenges in front of us.

This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. ~ Joshua 1:9

With God’s gift of courage we can solve our problems instead of avoid them. We can go forward working our Life Recovery Steps no matter how difficult. As we do, our self-worth improves and soon we will see those old character defects turn into new positive traits.

God replaces our cowardice with His gift of courage!

Receive it today! Amen.

Be blessed with this beautiful song by Tim Hughes.

THE TWELVE LIFE RECOVERY GIFTS :: SELF-CONTROL

REACHING HURTING WOMEN MINISTRIES OFFERS FOUR THEMES FOR CONTEMPLATION EVERY MONTH OF THE YEAR.
EACH OF THE POWER-PACKED THEMES ARE A 12-MONTH STUDY SERIES ASSIGNED TO A SPECIFIC FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH BEGINNING IN JANUARY. IN MONTHS WITH FIVE FRIDAYS I’LL BE REVIEWING TOUCHING INSPIRATIONAL MUSIC. COME ALONG. LET’S LEARN SOME NEW THINGS TOGETHER!
For my addiction recovery work this year I’m going through The Twelve Gifts of Life Recovery by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. On the third Friday of each month in 2021 I will be sharing the blessings God brings us to honor our choices and encourage our recovery journey.
This is the eighth post in the series. Today we are learning about the gift of self-control.

The gift of self-control is the ability to control our emotions, desires and actions especially during difficult situations.

When the Spirit of Christ empowers your life, you are not dominated by the flesh but by the Spirit. ~ Romans 8:9

When we give in to our weaknesses and system of addictions we are opening the door for the enemy to attack us and shutting the door to God’s protection over our life. This is very serious. God has called us to live in His kingdom not the kingdom of this world. We aren’t supposed to look like the other people or behave like other people.

As you yield to the dynamic life and power of the Holy Spirit, you will abandon the cravings of your self-life. When your self-life craves the things that offend the Holy Spirit you hinder him from living free within you! And the Holy Spirit’s intense cravings hinder your self-life from dominating you!  ~ Galatians 5:16-17

Self control isn’t something we have the power to create in ourselves. It’s a fruit of the Holy Spirit.  When we make a decision to walk in our addictions we aren’t walking in the Holy Spirit. We’re actually grieving or squelching the Holy Spirit when we give in to our areas of weakness. We are preventing the Holy Spirit from having full reign or room to live in us.

God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. ~ Romans 1:24

If we continue giving in to our weaknesses God may eventually give us over to those fleshly desires and allow us to go down the dark spiral of death. Sure we might still make it to heaven. But we will have lost our witness and the opportunity to bring others with us.

The gift of self-control changes our orientation: Instead of seeking to accomplish our own will, we desire to understand God’s will for us. The more our desire to do God’s will overrules our own will the more our experience of self-control grows. It’s not our willpower that does it; it is God’s gift to us in our recovery. ~ The Life Recovery Bible

We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry it out. ~ Step 11

Let’s protect ourselves, our life, our family, our future and our testimony by leaning in to God’s loving hands. He will be with us and protect us as we do.

Be blessed by this short teaching by Stephen Arterburn on The Gift of Self-Control.

THE TWELVE LIFE RECOVERY GIFTS :: WISDOM

REACHING HURTING WOMEN MINISTRIES OFFERS FOUR THEMES FOR CONTEMPLATION EVERY MONTH OF THE YEAR.
EACH OF THE POWER-PACKED THEMES ARE A 12-MONTH STUDY SERIES ASSIGNED TO A SPECIFIC FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH BEGINNING IN JANUARY. IN MONTHS WITH FIVE FRIDAYS I’LL BE REVIEWING TOUCHING INSPIRATIONAL MUSIC. COME ALONG. LET’S LEARN SOME NEW THINGS TOGETHER!
For my addiction recovery work this year I’m going through The Twelve Gifts of Life Recovery by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. On the third Friday of each month in 2021 I will be sharing the blessings God brings us to honor our choices and encourage our recovery journey.
This is the seventh post in the series. Today we are learning about the gift of wisdom.

The gift of godly wisdom is a combination of the depth of our relationship with God and our ability to bring our experiences into relationship with Him. ~ The Twelve Gifts of Life Recovery

WISDOM: knowing what’s right and doing it.

And if anyone longs to be wise, ask God for wisdom and he will give it! He won’t see your lack of wisdom as an opportunity to scold you over your failures but he will overwhelm your failures with his generous grace. ~ James 1:5

“All of us have made wrong choices that have led us into trouble, ultimately affecting our relationship with God and with others. When we ask God for wisdom, He is more than willing to give it. Since God is the source of all wisdom, we can make fewer unwise decisions by turning to Hi for guidance. In recovery we are told to improve our conscious contact with God so we can better know His will for us. This can be achieved by studying God’s Word and praying regularly.” ~ The Life Recovery Bible

We develop the gift of wisdom as we seek God’s will and carry it out. Through daily prayer and meditation in God’s Word, His truth will eventually begin to infiltrate our lives. We will begin to make wiser decisions and soon become strong enough to overcome our weaknesses.

One caution is the sneaky false pride that may try to creep in, telling us that we are strong enough to make it in our own power. That’s a recipe for certain disaster and relapse. Scripture teaches us that pride leads to a fall!

When you act with presumption, convinced that you’re right, don’t be surprised if you fall flat on your face! But humility leads to wisdom. ~ Proverbs 11:2

Stay fully surrendered to God. Do whatever it takes to change your life and keep it changed! It takes a humble heart that’s willing to change and continue a life of recovery.

Be blessed with this sweet song by Colton Kelley.

THE TWELVE LIFE RECOVERY GIFTS :: ABUNDANCE

REACHING HURTING WOMEN MINISTRIES OFFERS FOUR THEMES FOR CONTEMPLATION EVERY MONTH OF THE YEAR.
EACH OF THE POWER-PACKED THEMES ARE A 12-MONTH STUDY SERIES ASSIGNED TO A SPECIFIC FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH BEGINNING IN JANUARY. IN MONTHS WITH FIVE FRIDAYS I’LL BE REVIEWING TOUCHING INSPIRATIONAL MUSIC. COME ALONG. LET’S LEARN SOME NEW THINGS TOGETHER!
For my addiction recovery work this year I’m going through The Twelve Gifts of Life Recovery by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. On the third Friday of each month in 2021 I will be sharing the blessings God brings us to honor our choices and encourage our recovery journey.
This is the sixth post in the series. Today we are learning about the gift of abundance.

When we have a scarcity mindset we cling to our possessions and our toxic relationships….The gift of abundance leads us to lives filled with new and fulfilling opportunities that we may never have dreamed of or thought possible.”   ~ The Twelve Gifts of Life Recovery

Actively living in our addiction we had a scarcity mind-set. We were always making sure we didn’t run out of our drug of choice. We were living guarded lives that robbed us of much joy and pleasure.

The thief has only one thing in mind—he wants to steal, slaughter, and destroy. But I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect—life in its fullness until you overflow! ~ John 10:10

When we give our lives over to Jesus Christ and begin the life recovery journey, the gift of abundance begins to emerge. Instead of having a fear-based scarcity mind-set that is focused on losing what we have, we begin to have a grateful heart attitude and appreciate what we do have.

Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you. ~ Ephesians 3:20

As we work our life recovery steps, especially Steps 4 (Looking Within), 9 (Making Amends) and 10 (Daily Inventory), we mustn’t focus on what we’ve lost.  Instead we can reframe every past mistake and every current problem into an opportunity for something new and good to come about in our life.

“As we learn how much God loves us, we will become confident that He is able to do far more in and through us than we could ever imagine! We can bank our recovery on this truth!” ~ The Life Recovery Bible

As we stay obedient to God and faithful to the life recovery journey we begin to see God’s promised gift of abundance displayed in our daily lives. Soon we will have an abundance of peace, harmony, time, energy, money and health in ways some of us have never seen in our lifetime

Contemplate how the gift of abundance is showing up in your life as you enjoy this beautiful song by Jesus Culture. Be blessed… Tamara

THE TWELVE LIFE RECOVERY GIFTS :: SECURITY

REACHING HURTING WOMEN MINISTRIES OFFERS FOUR THEMES FOR CONTEMPLATION EVERY MONTH OF THE YEAR.
EACH OF THE POWER-PACKED THEMES ARE A 12-MONTH STUDY SERIES ASSIGNED TO A SPECIFIC FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH BEGINNING IN JANUARY. IN MONTHS WITH FIVE FRIDAYS I’LL BE REVIEWING TOUCHING INSPIRATIONAL MUSIC. COME ALONG. LET’S LEARN SOME NEW THINGS TOGETHER!
For my addiction recovery work this year I’m going through The Twelve Gifts of Life Recovery by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. On the third Friday of each month in 2021 I will be sharing the blessings God brings us to honor our choices and encourage our recovery journey. This is the fifth post in the series. Today we are learning about the gift of security. 

Those of us on the life recovery journey can tell many stories of close calls we had while actively living in our addiction. For most of us there was no risk too great that could keep us from the next high we were seeking.

Sometimes a tragedy is required to shake us out of our addictive life fog. For me, God stepped in and put me in a physical time-out. Ironically, jail was the beginning of freedom from that dark lifestyle which was leading me to a quick death. It was confined in those gray cement block walls behind iron doors where I slowly began my walk back to God. This was the first in a long series of steps I had to take that would lead me to one of the most important gifts in the life of recovery: Security.

security: The state of being free from danger or threat; feeling safe, stable and free from fear or anxiety.

When I was living full blown in my addiction I was my own worst enemy. My insatiable desire to escape from reality became life threatening to me, my marriage and my family. Before God can begin a work in us, sometimes He has to save us from ourselves.

We all experience times of testing, which is normal for every human being. But God will be faithful to you. He will screen and filter the severity, nature, and timing of every test or trial you face so that you can bear it. And each test is an opportunity to trust him more, for along with every trial God has provided for you a way of escape that will bring you out of it victoriously. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13

The life recovery gift of security isn’t pain free or easy. It won’t be without temptation or trials. But one thing for certain… we are safer with God now than we ever were any day without Him.

“The purpose of trials is to teach us things, to keep us focused on our recovery, and to help us grow stronger in our faith.” ~ The Twelve Gifts of Life Recovery

If you’re walking the wide road that leads to death and destruction, I pray you will take a few minutes right now and ask God to save you from yourself. Don’t let another day go by. He isn’t far away. He loves you more that you know. You can trust Him. His ways are loving. In His arms you are forever safe.

Be blessed with this beautifully touching song by Victory Worship.

 

THE TWELVE LIFE RECOVERY GIFTS :: CLARITY

REACHING HURTING WOMEN MINISTRIES OFFERS FOUR THEMES FOR CONTEMPLATION EVERY MONTH OF THE YEAR.
EACH OF THE POWER-PACKED THEMES ARE A 12-MONTH STUDY SERIES ASSIGNED TO A SPECIFIC FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH BEGINNING IN JANUARY. IN MONTHS WITH FIVE FRIDAYS I’LL BE REVIEWING TOUCHING INSPIRATIONAL MUSIC. COME ALONG. LET’S LEARN SOME NEW THINGS TOGETHER!
For my addiction recovery work this year I’m going through The Twelve Gifts of Life Recovery by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. On the third Friday of each month in 2021 I will be sharing the blessings God brings us to honor our choices and encourage our recovery journey. This is the fourth post in the series. Today we are learning about the gift of clarity.

“The gift of clarity could be defined as the absence of denial–even the absence of a need for denial. Instead, there is a transparency, even purity, in how we present ourselves and see ourselves.” ~ The Twelve Gifts of Life Recovery

When we are actively struggling with our addiction or compulsions we are living in denial or a false sense of reality. Usually we think of denial as a way to fool others. But really denial is designed to distort our thinking so that we won’t confront the problem at hand. Only after the Light of Christ shines His love and healing grace on our lives can we have any hope of coming to the transforming clarity that recovery gifts to us.

Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:12

In recent days I’ve been in put in a position where my commitment to sobriety was tested. Thank God I passed those tests.  And I not only passed them, but I came away from each situation with a stronger resolve than ever that there is absolutely no turning back!

Everything I have worked for during these past 16+ years of life recovery is not worth a few minutes to try to satiate a temporal, insatiable physical desire. Thank God for His gift of clarity that continues to help me stay focused on the truth of what is important in my life, not only for me, but for my family.

“When we are actively in recovery, we receive the gift of seeing things with clarity, and the truth comes back into focus.” ~ The Twelve Gifts of Life Recovery

Contemplate the gift of clarity in your life with this beautify song by For All Seasons. Remember if your life isn’t good, God’s not finished with it yet!

THE TWELVE LIFE RECOVERY GIFTS :: POWER

REACHING HURTING WOMEN MINISTRIES OFFERS FOUR THEMES FOR CONTEMPLATION EVERY MONTH OF THE YEAR.
EACH OF THE POWER-PACKED THEMES ARE A 12-MONTH STUDY SERIES ASSIGNED TO A SPECIFIC FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH BEGINNING IN JANUARY. IN MONTHS WITH FIVE FRIDAYS I’LL BE REVIEWING TOUCHING INSPIRATIONAL MUSIC. COME ALONG. LET’S LEARN SOME NEW THINGS TOGETHER!
For my addiction recovery work this year I’m going through The Twelve Gifts of Life Recovery by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. On the third Friday of each month in 2021 I will be sharing the blessings God brings us to honor our choices and encourage our recovery journey. This is the second column in this series. Today we are learning about the gift of Power.

We admitted we were powerless over our problems and that our lives had become unmanageable. ~ STEP 1

I know that nothing good lives in me… I want to do what is right, but I can’t. ~ Romans 7:18

We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. ~ Step 2

God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. ~ Philippians 2:13

The gift of power comes when we recognize and admit that we truly are powerless over our dependencies. In a sense that admitting brings relief because we realize it’s not our power that will keep us from falling into temptation, strengthen our walk or find our freedom.

“As we cease striving and begin to acknowledge in prayer the gift of God’s power in our lives, we experience growth in our recovery.” THE TWELVE GIFTS OF LIFE RECOVERY

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. ~ 2 Timothy 1:7

Sure we have a responsibility to make wise choices with regards to friends, media input, behaviors and environment to avoid potential trigger points. But ultimately, it is the gift of God’s power that will give us the ability to say no to the temptation triggers.

So beware if you think it could never happen to you, lest your pride becomes your downfall. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:12

The minute we think we’ve got this recovery life all figured out and can withstand temptations, that’s when we have stepped out onto the slippery slope that will most assuredly lead to a relapse. The gift of power must be protected! Our life recovery journey must be guarded at all cost.

By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. ~ 2 Peter 1:3

In time God’s gift of power will flow over into other areas as this life recovery journey becomes stronger. Soon we have more confidence to help others in their recovery walk as well. God’s power gift keeps working in and through all we do.

Meditate on the lyrics below and then take a few minutes to soak in the music video by Elevation Worship. Blessings… Tamara

“My weakness is hidden within your glory. Jesus my strength is in you The odds are against me . But you are for me Jesus. My strength is in you.”

THE TWELVE LIFE RECOVERY GIFTS :: HOPE

REACHING HURTING WOMEN MINISTRIES OFFERS FOUR THEMES FOR CONTEMPLATION EVERY MONTH OF THE YEAR.
EACH OF THE POWER-PACKED THEMES ARE A 12-MONTH STUDY SERIES ASSIGNED TO A SPECIFIC FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH BEGINNING IN JANUARY. IN MONTHS WITH FIVE FRIDAYS I’LL BE REVIEWING TOUCHING INSPIRATIONAL MUSIC. COME ALONG. LET’S LEARN SOME NEW THINGS TOGETHER!
On the third Friday of each month in 2021 we’re studying the Life Recovery Gifts. We’ll learn about the blessings God brings us to honor our choices and encourage our journey through the Twelve Steps of Life Recovery. This is the first column in the Life Recovery Gifts series.

For my recovery work this year I’m going through The Twelve Gifts of Life Recovery by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Each month of 2021 I will be discussing what I have learned on my journey. Today we are learning about the gift of Hope.

HOPE: desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment; believing that something good will happen.

Now may God, the inspiration and fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his super-abundance until you radiate with hope! ~ Romans 15:13

“The gift of hope is the motivation for our continuing on the same track when something is painful or difficult.” ~ The Twelve Gifts of Life Recovery

For those of us on the Life Recovery journey, it’s important that we stay connected to a support group and/or an accountability partner. If we don’t and then try to do life under our own power, our lives quickly become unmanageable and we set ourselves up for relapse.

We admitted that we were powerless over our problems–that our lives had become unmanageable.  ~ Step One (The Twelve Steps of Life Recovery)

When we stay close to our support system, be it a Bible study group or an accountability partner, we draw hope and courage to continue our journey. The  gift of hope is shared between each member as it inspires everyone to not give up.

Hope is a gift because it is something that is beyond our human power and abilities. It comes through God’s power which is founded in our relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

The gift of hope gives us motivation to press on when temptations arise, times become difficult and we don’t see anything happening in the natural.

Reach out to God today. Let Him put His super on your natural. Ask Him to fill you with His strength and transforming power that will give you the hope to carry you through!

Prayerfully listen to this classic hymn sung by David Crowder and Tauren Wells. You will be blessed!

TAKING AS CHRIST DID

In The Serenity Prayer column each month we’re studying this well-known prayer phrase by phrase and applying it to our life today. These columns will be published the first Friday of each month in 2019.

 

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 Christ did this sinful world as it is…

 

Taking as Christ did. In this passage of The Serenity Prayer we are asked to take our world as Jesus Christ did. We’re to surrender to God’s will in and for our life. We are to accept the things we cannot change and see that our hardships can be the pathway to Peace if we will accept them with the right heart attitude.

Walk in courage. As we walk in courage, not fear or resentment, God will give us the needed wisdom to make right decisions and to carry the burdens we are to bear. One day at a time, maybe even one moment at a time, we may have to endure hurtful people and difficult situations.

Look to Christ. We can look to Christ Who Scripture says, never trusted himself to man because He knew their fallen state. He took His assignment and for the joy that was to come, endure even the worst death a person could die — crucifixion on a Roman cross.

Follow Jesus’ example. As Christians we are to follow in Jesus’s footsteps, being willing to sacrifice our lives for Him. Our sacrifice may not mean physical torture or death like millions experience every day around the world. But every time we sacrifice our selfish desires, accepting the path put before us, we can know that God sees our heart and efforts and will honor them with His grace to make it through.

Surrender. When Jesus accepted His assignment and came to earth in human form, He demonstrated the ultimate act of surrender and love. He surrendered His authority and power for a time so that He could live as we do. He wanted to experience the temptations, pain and suffering that humanity does. It is here His sacrifice takes on its full meaning of hope. When Jesus took our suffering He cleared our pathway to a direct relationship for us to have with the Father through the Holy Spirit.

Jesus’ surrendering and taking the world as it is allows us to surrender and receive God’s amazing grace and love.

Prayerfully listen to this powerful worship song by Hillsong. Contemplate taking on the heart attitude of Christ, surrendering all selfish desires… lay them at His feet and He will draw you near.

SERENITY

In The Serenity Prayer column each month we are dissecting this well-known prayer phrase by phrase and applying it to our life today. These posts will be published the first Friday of each month in 2019.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change…

serenity:  a state or quality of being serene, calm, tranquil, peaceful; having an inner calm in the midst of the ups and downs of life; involves learning to be content with the things in our life that can’t be changed. (Serenity’s opposite is agitation.)

Human beings aren’t naturally serene creatures. We don’t have to be taught agitation. It seems to come with the inner selfishness which is built into our nature. I certainly lean more towards agitation with most things in life. That’s why we need God’s help!

Our lack of peace is directly related to our thought life, worry and ingratitude. The Apostle Paul teaches this in his letter to the Phillipians:

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Now brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worth of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.              ~ Phillipians 4:6-9

It’s to us to decide what we’re going to think about. No one can control our thoughts but us. When we look for good we will usually find it. The opposite is also true.

Stressing over situations and people that we can’t change only makes more stress. If we can settle into life as it is, finding a way to be content, we can trust God will work all the good and bad for our good.

Let’s lean into God and put Paul’s teaching into practice. Then the peace of Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, will put a guard over our hearts and minds, and ultimately our life.

Take a few minutes to contemplate Christ’s peace with this beautiful worship song by Bethel Music.