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 :: CHARACTER

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 Character.

Our walk of faith is similar to the process of life recovery. We begin with a decision and then follow that decision with a process that brings healing, wholeness and growth… But it’s not automatic. We must continue to move forward in growth and maturity. Gradually we heal, and gradually we receive the gift of character. ~ The Twelve Gifts of Life Recovery

For most of us our faith and character grow through times of stretching, trials and struggles. These are the times when we have to lean in to God’s hands more intentionally. When times are easy, we are more likely to not reach out to God for help. It’s just human nature.

Self-Sufficient vs God-Sufficient

When we were living in our addictions, thinking we had it all together, we certainly weren’t looking to God for any help.  But when we finally came to the end of ourselves and turned our life over to Christ things changed. Maybe they didn’t get better right at first. But step by step we worked the program, grew in faith and character.

Character Building Steps

Steps 4 through 7 of the Twelve Steps of Life Recovery are considered the character-building steps because they are at the heart of where we need to change inside. Step 4 leads us through our fearless moral inventory. Step 5 calls us to share our inventory with God and someone we trust. Step 6 reminds us to ready ourselves for God to remove our negative character trait. Finally, Step 7 leads us to humbly ask God to indeed remove those negative character traits from our lives.

Everything we could ever need for life and godliness has already been deposited in us by his divine power. As a result of this, he has given you magnificent promises that are beyond all price, so that through the power of these tremendous promises we can experience partnership with the divine nature, by which you have escaped the corrupt desires that are of the world.

So devote yourselves to lavishly supplementing your faith with goodness,

and to goodness add understanding,

and to understanding add the strength of self-control,

and to self-control add patient endurance,

and to patient endurance add godliness,

and to godliness add mercy toward your brothers and sisters,

and to mercy toward others add unending love.

Since these virtues are already planted deep within, and you possess them in abundant supply, they will keep you from being inactive or fruitless in your pursuit of knowing Jesus Christ more intimately. ~ 2 Peter 1:2-8 (TPT)

One-Stepping Misstep

Some think that all they need to do is accept Christ in their lives and their addiction troubles will be over. Accepting Christ is the most important step, but it is only the beginning.  Depending on this “one-step” is a serious misstep that will keep us from truly growing in Christ and maturing our faith.

The life recovery journey is a process — not just one step. As we grow in Christ, God’s character becomes our character. Like the image above, each step is a ripple effect that builds and grows to the next step. Walking and working each of the Twelve Life Recovery Steps we grow closer to our gift of character.

Contemplate the character and attributes of God with this lovely video.

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!