LONG LASTING LIFE CHANGE

Jeremiah 17:7 Blessed is the one who trust in the Lord

 

I can most definitely attest to this.  I spent way too many years doing my own thing.  Always looking out of number one (Me).  And even when I would give God the finger, He still loved me, still watched over me, kept me alive when I should have been dead.

I finally came to my senses.  I realized that there is more to life than me.  I saw that I was fighting against the only one who truly loves me unconditionally.  The only one who would dare to give his life in hopes that a ragged ol’ drunk and drug addict would repent.  Well I did.  I trusted in Christ Jesus for my forgiveness of sin and the weight of oppression was lifted from my life.  I became a new man.

Even today I walk in that newness which God so freely gave me 12 plus years ago.  My life has been truly blessed ever since.

If you are in need of the weight of sin being lifted from your life please don’t hesitate to take a brief moment to pray the most simple but important prayer of your life.  It goes something like this:

Heavenly Father, I know I have done some bad and maybe even terrible things.  Please forgive me.  I want to change.  I trust that you sent your son Jesus Christ to live a sinless life and die in my place as my sacrifice so I can live for You.  I thank you Father God for your love and mercy over me.  I don’t deserve it but you freely give it.  I trust in you God through Christ Jesus that I am made new.  Amen.

And that’s it.  Let the blessings flow.

I’m not saying there won’t be hard times or that people won’t turn against you and make life difficult.  You may even have to pay back for some of your past.  But you can be certain that you will have peace through these storms and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  A shoulder to lean on when you need it and also an ear to listen to your problems.  And every day you awake will be blessed with new mercies, grace, peace and more love than you could ever think humanly possible.  Give it a try.  Taste and see that the Lord is good.

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The Problem With Nothing

About 6 months ago I celebrated 10 years clean and sober. WOW! This is a major milestone in my life. I am very proud of myself but I must give credit where credit is due. My continued success over addiction is solely attributed to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. You see, my weaknesses are exactly where God can step in and help. When I think to myself, “I got this”, I render Him powerless because at that moment it’s all about me and what I think I can do.

Luke 9:23 (again…I quote this verse frequently) Jesus said, If anyone would come after Me he must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow Me.

Note…He didn’t say if you got this then take up your cross and follow me…He did say to “deny yourself.” A very humbling thing to do. To admit I can’t handle this. To profess my weakness.

You calling me weak Brian?

Well, if the shoe fits….wear it

Addiction is man or woman at their weakest. When you have no control over your self ordained dependence I would say that is feeble. When you have a persistent compulsive use of a substance that you know is harmful. When you are unable to resist the temptation. When you will do anything to get this vice again and again no matter who it hurts. When you are characterized by tolerance and well defined psychological symptoms. When you rationalize your usage. When you try to quit but find it impossible.  When you lie, cheat or steal to feed your habit you are weak.

How about this…

Are you easily upset and turn to your vice to smooth things out? Are you unable to handle the pressure or sustain the weight of a situation so you go to your comfort zone? Have you ever hid from others to avoid condemnation for your behavior?

These are just a few questions and if you answer yes to one or more then yes, you are fragile. Your strength is lacking.

But take heart, you are not alone.

There are millions of us who have struggled or do struggle with addiction.  Some of us end up in jail ( some more than others ) some in the hospital. Many of us homeless. The majority of us barely survive regular life. Moving from place to place, barely putting food on the table, struggling to pay bills, going to the bathroom only to realize there is no paper, always looking behind you because there is no insurance on your car or truck. The list goes on. We live a meager existence and justify it by saying, “This is the hand I was dealt.”

Dare I say that this lifestyle is not normal.

How do we start out and/or end up this way?

Since the beginning of time man and woman have been deceived into thinking that nothing will happen if we do these things that we know are wrong.

Journey with me back in time to Genesis. Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. God instructsd them not to eat of a certain tree. Satan comes along and basically tells them that’s not what God said. They believed the lie and ate the fruit. (Genesis chapters 2 and 3) As soon as they ate it they knew something happened but there was no physical evidence that anything happened. They went on about their day with some behavioral changes but still thinking nothing happened.  Until God shows up as He did everyday and they hid their self in fear and shame.

We are much the same and one addiction starts much the same as the next. The first time you use the desired effect is achieved and nothing terrible happens. You didn’t physically die, didn’t go to jail, no hospital visit. Nothing bad happened…in the physical.  So you give it another go….then another…and so on.

But there is so much more to life than physical.  We are actually a spiritual being housed in a physical body. When we sin (and believe me abuse and addiction is sin) we separate ourselves from out Creator.  God physically put Adam and Eve out of the garden to show us today of the separation.

That is the problem with nothing.

In the physical we don’t see any change. In the spiritual we become distant from God and our fear and shame keep us there. The physical tells you it was so good you want to do it again. Soon enough you become anesthetized to the spiritual separation and all that matters is the physical. At that point we have bought the lie.

John 10:10

The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. I (Jesus) am come that you might have life an dc have it more abundantly.

Abundant life begins when you realize your weakness and inability to control your life. When you reach out to God to tell Him you are sorry for rejecting Him. You admit that you are powerless without His power.

If you are at this point in life and ready to start 2018 free from addiction, full of joy and at peace with yourself and with God, pray this prayer with me.

Father God, I know I have done wrong. I have sinned against others and I have definately fallen short of what You made me to be. Please forgive me God. I want to change. I need You to help me change. I give my life to you God. I believe Jesus came as my savior, died for me and in my place, paid my price for my sins and now lives as my mediator so that I can once again be right with my Heavenly Father. I give my heart, body, mind and soul to You God. I pray this in the Mighty name of Jesus Christ, amen.

If you prayed this with sincerity you are now a child of God, your past is forgiven and it’s time to move forward in the new life that is now yours.

If anyone is in Christ He Is a new creation. Old things are passed away and all things are made new.

2 Corinthians 5:17

Find yourself a copy of The Holy Bible, dig in and start to grow. Get yourself baptized. And pray. Talk honestly with God. Lastly seek out a Bible believing and teaching church who will love you and support you in your new found faith. If you need guidance and direction in this new found walk of faith please feel free to contact me here or on FB and I will do my absolute best to help.

My prayer is that it’s going to be a GREAT 2018 year as we walk and grow in our Lord Jesus. May His richest blessings be yours!!!

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The Problem With Porn PtII

I write on this subject again because I find it such a massive setback in so many lives in and out of the church and the Christian community. Yes, there are Christians who have struggles, hang ups and addictions that they are trying desperately to overcome. It is possible to be a truly born again Christian and still be thrashing about with the ravages of addiction. My hopes and prayers are that you, the reader, will identify with the evils of pornography and in turn make a conscious decision to flee the enticement that enslaves our minds and hearts through pornography.

First of all let me pose a question. Would you have an encounter with a prostitute. Some would answer yes and some would reply that they have committed such acts. My guess would be that the majority of you would come back with an emphatic “NEVER!”.

In retort to your insistent answer I would like to present this to you. If you have ever viewed pornography you have already devoted yourself to what we could reference to as documented prostitution. The word “pornography” deriving from the Greek  pornograophos, adj. writing about prostitutes, from porne or prostitute + graphein or to write. We obtain pornography or documentation of prostitutes. If the ancients would have had a method of filming the ideas that they perceived as provocative I assure you that they would have done so. Now, you may say that you are not paying for the service and you could well be true in this statement. But professionally filmed porn is a paid profession and until more recent history all objectional material was sold for profit and regulated by the government.

Secondly I would like to present to you that prostitution and pornography are never our childhood dream. These situations generally come about through various troubles, mental anguish, distress, pain, sorrow, suffering and the like. Through a series of events in ones life they find themselves immersed in what seems to be an irreversible lifestyle of sexually related acts that do not gratify themselves but rather that of the other. While their life is empty and void of being able to truly feel loved they press on through life living the harsh reality that it is meaningless and a large percentage of prostitutes find themselves addicted to drugs and alcohol and try to anesthetize the reality of what has happened to their life. Others choose the more painful way out which is suicide.

As a response to this I would offer to you that there is hope. Freedom from all addiction, forgiveness for all past wrongdoing and peace in your heart and life is available through Christ Jesus. But before we go on any further there please allow me to write a few more lines on the problem with porn.

The mechanics of porn and prostitution work through eroticism. It has nothing to do with healthy sexual contact or communication between two individuals. It is all about male domination of women. Not only in the sexual aspect but in a way of being. We are taught through porn that the whole of the sexual experience is about the penetration and ultimately the ejaculation of the man. Almost as if there is a genetalial hierarchy in this world and the woman was only placed here for the pleasure of the opposite gender.

It is clearly seen through porn and prostitution that whatever a man finds arousing is acceptable. So called Gentleman’s Clubs offer a visual stimulation that excites and arouses the sexual areas of the brain and therefore we as a society have legalized this form of prostitution. Porn comes in so many different genres that almost any fantasy can be visually fulfilled. But where is the real implementation of the sexual understanding of your partner? Is there any genuine communication between you and the other? Are we so vain as to think that the only need is my own? Should we think that it’s just sex and that nothing else matters? I was actually told this by a partner of mine at one time who had been unfaithful. She was addicted to porn as well and when I confronted her the response I received was, “It’s just sex.”

The Bible goes as far as to tell us that when we encounter someone in this was we become one with them. ( 1Cor 6:18) Spiritually speaking I believe this to be true. That is why we find it extremely difficult to be unchained from the binging and purging when we try to find a release of the sin of pornography. The images are brutally ingrained into our psyche that we find it necessary to refuel that which we have tried to crucify and forever rid our self of. Sex as designed by our creator was never meant to be solely about pleasure although it is a very sensual and pleasurable act when given the proper context. There is an unfathomable and profound communication that is full of meaning. An exchange of caressing, hugs and kisses that were given us by God Almighty as gifts to share and explore with our mate. When this is seen through the lenses of a porn camera it is not about any of that. Sex becomes an all consuming act of nothing more than penetration and ejaculation even if it is uncomfortable for the other person.

We are all vulnerable to pornography. Please don’t think that it’s just some back alley filth that degenerates sneak around to arouse their demented animal desires. Oh no! Porn is in front of us daily and has made it’s way onto Prime Time Television, grocery store magazine racks at the cash register, billboards selling anything and everything with scantily clad people who look better than most of us will ever dream of looking. I’m telling you the truth, we are being more and more exposed to porn than any of us could ever imagine.

I could go on and on with this subject. There is too much material to cover. So in closing I will say that there will be a Part III to this message. I want to leave you with a scripture to meditate on.

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit. Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:15-20

We have not even touched on the freedom that is available from addiction. Please look back through the previous pages of my blog and consider how I have found the strength to overcome the adversities of addiction through Christ Jesus and the strength He promises us through the Holy Spirit.

If you have never trusted Christ as your Redeemer it is very simple. Scripture says that If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.(Romans 10:9)

With the smallest amount of faith tell God that you know that you have sinned against him and that you are in desperate need of forgiveness and salvation. Tell Him that you believe Christ lived and died for my sins and now He is risen and sits at the Father’s right hand and that He lives to intercede between myself and God Almighty. I pray for strength and power from on high to help me live the life you have for me Father and I have this hope and promise that one day I will be transformed and be in Heaven eternally. Through the Mighty Name of Christ Jesus I pray, AMEN

If you prayed this prayer for the first time or for the 500th time and believe what you have petitioned God with is true welcome to God’s family. You are a son or daughter of the Most High and will be forever starting this very moment. If you need a Bible please message me and I can direct you to a free copy of God’s Word. Go and tell someone of your new found savior and what He has done for you already. Also pray for God’s direction in finding a Christ centered and Bible believing church that you can worship with in peace and harmony. And let the following scripture encourage you!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity” Jeremiah 29:11-14

 

 

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ACCOUNTABILITY

No matter how bad you don’t want it you are ALWAYS accountable to someone.

Accountability causes you to be honest
causes you to confess when you are wrong
strengthens your relationship with your accountability partner
makes you think before you act
forces yo to realize your weaknesses and strengths
Aids in the confession process
Helps you to realize that you are a sinner in need of grace and mercy

We need each other!

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
James 5:16

I implore you to also confess your strengths, your daily victories as well as your faults. No matter how small they may seem, they are triumphant take overs in areas that have previously defeated you. These conquests are the building blocks that make you stronger. The success over sin that has previously made you stumble and fall. These ever so small or miniscule accomplishments add up to HUGE VICTORIES!!!

We must crawl before we can walk and we must walk before we can run and we must exercise repetitively before we are capable of running a marathon. Start out simply, with one goal and accomplish it. Don’t try to tackle the world on day one.

Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment 1 Peter 2:2

I encourage you all to get a copy of the Bible that is easy for you to read and pray for God through His Spirit to help you understand. There are many books in the New Testament that can be read in a matter of minutes. These shorter books can give you a sense of accomplishment as well as feed your spiritual desire for God’s Word. Talk with the person you have selected as your accountability partner about what you are reading and learning. If you can’t make church services or just feel like for some reason you won’t be accepted there, try to find some online and live stream them. Listen to Christian radio. Download an app to your mobile device or tablet. Immerse yourself in God’s word. And speak openly about it. THERE IS POWER IN OUR SPOKEN WORD!!!

The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences. Proverbs 18:21

for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. Matthew 12:37

For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes Romans 1:16a

And they overcame him (Satan) because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony Revelation 12:11a

SPEAK OUT DEAR FRIENDS!!! Don’t be silent about what God has done and is doing for you!!! Not only to your liability colleague but to others who don’t believe that you are strong enough to be who you say you are in Christ. When I first quit drugs I told everyone who I came in contact with the changes that were taking place. Many didn’t believe what I said. After all, I had tried to change my lifestyle many times before. Many didn’t want to believe. They wanted me to stay the same as I had been. But through my persistence, the grace of God and the strength of the Holy Spirit inside me and through the power of the Word of God, I am celebrating another year of sobriety and gaining close to being clean for a decade!

So brothers and sisters, if you are under attack from the enemy and besieged by addiction of any kind, please allow me to speak words of encouragement into your life and spirit. THERE IS HOPE!!! I was an addict for 30+ years and am now living an abundant life free of drugs, alcohol, pornography and a myriad of other dependencies that had me so deeply ensnared that I thought there was no escape and no expectation of deliverance.

Only through the help of God Almighty, our Creator, His Word the Holy Bible and the power of the Holy Spirit who Christ promised to all of us who believe can I maintain from day to day this life of freedom and sobriety.

In fact, it says,“The message is very close at hand;it is on your lips and in your heart.”And that message is the very message about faith that we preach: If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved Romans 10:8-10,13

More of that spoken word thing I was just talking about. Speak it out dear friend.

Heavenly Father, I am in no way worthy to ask anything of You. I am a sinner and I am in desperate need of Your love, mercy and grace to help me live my day to day life that I am so good at making a mess of. I do confess Jesus right now and I trust in Your Written word and my spoken word to you. Please hear my cry out to you Father God and save me. Help me to understand Your Word. Help me to be the person that You created me to be. Through Christ my Lord I pray and trust, AMEN!!!

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AN HOUR WELL SPENT

http://victormarx.com/the-victor-marx-story/

This video is the testimony of Victor Marx. God is good y’all!!! This man is another story of the healing and redemptive power of our ever faithful Savior Jesus Christ. Please take time and enjoy his story

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Serenity

http://serenityprayerproject.com

This was given to me by Louise. Please enjoy!!! and Thank you Louise

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The PROBLEM WITH PORN

U. S. NEWS recently stated that the distribution of porn in all the world has it’s heart in America.

I am writing this chapter in hopes that I can disseminate the lies that are distributed through pornographic material and open the eyes of you, the reader, to the dangers of even casual viewing of such material and the final outcome of morality as a result of this damaging subject matter.

First of all I want to give you a couple of statistics:

1987  more than 75 million people bought or rented XXX related material.

1992 490 million and in 1996 an astounding 665 million bought or rented XXX material. The number is no longer calculated in the United States because of the internet and the amount of free sites to view porn. Estimates and surveys today say that more than 40% of men visit a porn website daily. The percentage of women that daily view internet porn is rapidly increasing.

Society in our present day and age wants to dictate to us the views and morals of sexuality should be free to the individual. And in truth they are. Each person has the free choice to view or not to view porn. You are living in a time where the sexual moral standards are rapidly changing and the demoralization of men and women through porn is extensive.

Hollywood has jumped on the bus too. Rarely can you view a movie or television program without the interjection of sexual content. As for TV commercials, if you want to sell anything from chewing gum to food to automobiles, use sex or sexual innuendos and it will sell. We are bombarded daily, even hourly through all types of media from movies to TV to internet and social media with the sole idea that sex sells. Pop ups on your internet browser and sponsored links on your email present to you a visually appealing offer of happiness through the right person or partner. Don’t get me wrong. I am not advocating for or against dating sites. I honestly believe that legitimate, lifelong relationships can and do result from these web sites. I am, however, in favor of promoting an anti pornographic society. One where I nor my children are introduced to the ravaging mental and spiritual struggles associated with the viewing of inappropriate sexually inspired material. Whether it be in the form of what is considered today as “Prime Time Television” viewing, video games, Hollywood movies or on the cover of magazines at the checkout line of our local supermarket and convinience store. A culture where the social order is one of purity, morality, modesty and respect for others.

Pornography has given us exactly the opposite. Instead of seeing others as “created in the image of God(Genesis 1:27) we have  “changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever.” (Romans 1:25) We are created by a God who would have us “love one another” (John 13:34) instead of in “lust of the flesh” (1 John 2:16)

So… if you will allow, I would like to be transparent, truthful and real for the next couple of minutes of your time with me. I was addicted to porn. THERE, I SAID IT! My compulsion started at a very young age. Even before I really had any idea of what I was viewing. All I knew was that what was before my eyes was “Forbidden Fruit” and I was stimulated in some unexplainable way by it. As I grew older, I started to look at more illicit images and search out more fuel to arouse my obsession. Now this was all occurring in the late 70s to early 80s. We had no Internet then, so my viewing was restricted to magazines that I was now stealing from the local convenience store. At home I was abused by my Grandmother. Not sexually abused mind you. But physically and emotionally. This gave more energy to my compulsion to look at females as someone to release my aggressions on and sexually was the only way I could find. I was sort of shy and had been rejected for a few dates with girls I had crushes on, so, I returned to my own little fantasy world of porn and self-gratification. I realize now that I had become a compulsive masturbator and would indulge myself with images which I had stored in my memory at anytime I pleased. At home, in public, at work. I would find a few private minutes to oblige my infatuation and soon be back to my daily affairs. My increasing drug and alcohol habits gave more fuel to the fire and I was completely out of control.

The one thing about a porn addiction is that it can easily be concealed. It is a private fixation between you and your object of desire at the time. Or so it may seem. Physically it is as if you are just looking at an object and gratifying yourself. But there is another dimension present with us and within us that is injured and broken as we commit the lustful act. The spirit of man is joined also in the performance and takes on the sin of the flesh. And oh what a treacherous sin it is to be shackled to pornographic images that have been literally burned into your brain and haunt you even when you have resolved to repent and turn from your wicked ways.

Over and over I found myself begging God for forgiveness only to find myself once again taking just a peek at something unsuitable and soon be back in the demented dungeon of prohibited porn. I would cry tears of sorrow. I would beg for strength. And still I would return to my illicit world of fantasy. And that’s exactly what it is. A flight of the imagination taking you to a demented destination where nothing is real and untruths are the normative castle in the sky. These types of fantasy are truly damaging. Not only in our fantasy world but also to our real life relationships. We begin to seek out partners who can fulfill our improper desires. When one fails to do so we pitch them to the side and the hunt for another begins. In between partners the compulsion is fulfilled in the ever so comfortable pornographic world where fleshly desires are met at every whim. When the conquest of a new partner has been met a new and more challenging mission must be pursued. The delusion that satisfaction will be achieved pushed me deeper into my addiction.

Only when I found the life changing verses from Romans chapter 12 did I finally open my heart to the truth that God, through Jesus Christ and the power of The Holy Spirit could revive my old tired spirit and give me the peace and power I needed to overcome the adversary that had kept me bound for so many years.

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:1,2 NLT

Still when I read this it breathes life into my soul. These words have become very much alive to me and they have literally changed my life.

You see, I had trashed my mind for so many years that I didn’t know any other way to think. But God was telling me that if I would present my body to him in a spiritual service of worship and NOT conform to the world’s set of values, morals, standards and principles then HE could do the work of changing the way I think. He would renew my mind!!!

I promise you this was a process, but it was a course of action that produced in me a new way to look at women. Instead of seeing them as sexual objects, God let me see them as His creation, made in His holy image and  set here for good works. God led me into more scripture from The Holy Bible to help me see clearly how we are to think and act as decent, moral and respectable men. God showed me through His word that He is a gentleman and expects me to follow His lead. I have learned modesty and integrity. I carry propriety and decency with me everywhere I go. I am becoming more and more what God has intended for me. Not that I am perfect. Oh no, not close. (Philippians 3:12)  But this I do know

God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. 1 Corinthians 1:30

 

So my friend, if you share in this struggle with pornography please know that there is hope. There is a blessed expectation through Christ Jesus our Lord. We have an eternal forgiveness, redemption and salvation and we have been made pure, holy and FREED FROM SIN!!!

If you have not made the decision to make Christ Jesus the Lord over your life please do not hesitate another minute. The peace of God awaits you. The forgiveness of sins is in store for you. The assurance of  God’s divine love lies before you. He is not angry with you. He is not waiting for you to change or clean up your act. He has the simple request that you come to Him just as you are and confess to Him that you understand the deprived sinful state you are in and that you are helpless without Him.

Heavenly Father, I know that I have wronged you. I have done things that are inexcusable and even things that I would think unforgivable. I have sinned in every imaginable way against you and against others as well as myself. John 3:16 says that You sent your Son to die for me, for my sins so that I would not have to take that punishment of death for my transgressions against you. Right now Father God, I accept the blood of Christ as my remission of sin. I confess to you my sins. I confess Jesus Christ as my savior and I give my heart and life to You. From this day forward I turn from my own ways and give myself to you to seek out Your perfect and Holy will for my life. Please lead me and guide me daily. Give me a newfound desire for Your Word. Open my eyes to see, my ears to hear and my heart to accept the things you have for me. In Jesus name I pray, AMEN

 
Welcome to God’s family. As a child of God I encourage you to seek out a Bible believing and teaching church and to find new friends that share your new found faith. My prayer for you is that you grow and mature in your walk with Christ and that you life be filled with the Love, grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ!

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LEAVING FACEBOOK

I’m sure most everyone knows that I have removed myself from FB for several days now. My sabbatical was very intentional. Those of you who know me well enough know that I whole heartedly believe what the Bible teaches. My life was not always this way and my lifestyle reflected that for over 30 years. Only by the grace of God, the forgiveness offered through Christ suffering and the power of the Holy Spirit which was left for those of us who believe can I survive from day to day and maintain the life that was originally intended for me. God’s plans for me never involved drugs, alcohol, illicit sex or any of the other worldly sins that I chose. My pastor, Tom McDaniels says, “What you choose chooses you.” This is SO true!

With that being said, I now choose to live a life that honors my Heavenly Father instead bringing shame and disgrace to being a Christian. Although I do try to live this life out everywhere I go, this is not about how other people perceive me. This is about integrity. What and how I act away from others view. When it’s only me and God there. Scripture tells us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. (Phil 2:12)

I recently had an issue with FB. I’m not going into the whole matter but I will say that it was terribly disturbing to me. It caused me to re-examine a certain part of my life in light of what God says about it. If you want to scrutinize any area of your life, pray and jump into the Bible and see what it has to say. The reason most of us don’t do this, the truth hurts. But the Bible says,

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” 2 Tim 3:16.

After my time off from FB and an introspective look at my life, I have decided that it is my best interest as a Christian and a man who dearly loves his wife and family to delete my FB.

I said before my FB fast that I have control over the media content that is brought into my household. My post fast view is that we should monitor and filter what media that is brought into our homes by Scripture. And as I said before, if it offends you, cut it out. If it offends God, get rid of it.

Some may think me to be too conservative. Perhaps you consider me old fashioned or even too radical. Maybe you call me a fundamentalist. I say possibly those are not bad things. I say that God has called us to be different. A peculiar people set apart for His service. A people who walk the narrow path that leads to life instead of the BROAD road that leads to destruction.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the years of feeding some of you the Bread of Life through Scripture on a daily basis. Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matt 4:4 I am thankful and honored that God chose me to carry out this task. It pleases me greatly to see some of you hold tight to the Word and live it out in your lives. I’m sure God is smiling on you also! But now the narrow path Jesus spoke of is leading me away from FB.

I want to challenge some of you to take up the torch and daily post a scripture on FB so that others will receive a taste of the abundant life God promises us through Christ Jesus and His Word. Sometimes just a morsel of bread is all that is needed to rearrange someone’s life and set their feet on the right path. The seeds planted are vital to someone’s life and their spiritual nutrition. No matter how trivial you may think the scripture is that day it can prove to be life changing to someone else.

It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it Isaiah 55:11

If you want to continue to follow with me and keep up with my spiritual journey you can catch me at brianssobriety.com and subscribe. I will regularly contribute on this blog site.

In closing FB friends and family, I pray blessings over you all. And as Paul wrote to the Philippians,

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.
Phil 2:12-18

And as Moses blessed the Israelites I pray for you,

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace
Numbers 6:24-26

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CAUSTIC LOGIC

I AM A LIVING, BREATHING MIRACLE OF GOD!!! Six years ago on August 10th I made the life changing resolution to get sober. Not realizing at that time I would struggle, wrestle and even fight to stay that way. Yet I have followed through. I have persevered. I have steadily persisted in my actions and beliefs that sobriety is attainable and that with the help of my Creator I have not only found that temperance which was long-lost to me, I also have managed to regain control over my life. I have found that conquering drugs and alcohol, along with a myriad of other addictions, was not to be controlled but overcome. It’s more than just having power over the substances that once controlled my existence. It’s about rising above, conquering and triumphantly standing strong over all areas of my life. It’s about waking in the morning and thanking God Almighty that I am alive and able to serve Him. It’s about making sound decisions throughout the day. It’s about going to bed at night and once again giving thanks that I have made it through another day clean and sober. It’s about the power of God working in the course of my salvation through Jesus Christ and the authority, influence and rule of the Holy Spirit in my life. Leading and directing my paths just as the Bible promised.

My point is, I can not handle this life alone. That is a hard thing for a man to say but it’s true! We were NOT created to live this life out alone. Which is the first point of caustic logic I want to make.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

My life as a devotee to drugs and alcohol was EXACTLY the opposite of what God had created me for and the Divine plan He has for my life. When you are high all the time, from your waking moment until you shut your eyes for sleep, if that were to happen, your mind is fixated on sustaining the unrelenting cycle of dependence on substances that will never fulfill, will always provide you with failure and calamity and will destroy any expectation of being happy and content in the future. In and out of jail, an excursion to the emergency room practically dead, waking up in places only to realize that you have no idea where you are, never having money to pay your bills and little things like having no toilet paper consume the existence of an addict. Those are just the exterior things, the physical. There is also the mental anguish of failure, the depression that comes along with not being in control and the anger at one’s self that can only be released against others. Yep, addiction is a terrible vice of the Devil. And most would have you believe that once you are ensnared in this trap that you are irrevocably locked in for the rest of your life. Let me tell you that is another point of the Caustic Logic I am exposing today.

And you will know the truth, and that truth will set you free John 8:32

There is FREEDOM!!! You can experience liberty, independence, choice and free will through the simple act of just knowing the truth. You see, Caustic Logic is all lies. Caustic Logic are things we have been taught that keep us contained in solitary confinement away from the truth being ambushed at every turn and feeling worthless because we cannot break free. Caustic Logic makes you return to the very depths and places you know you should not go. It draws you to your computer in the middle of the night to look at porn. It leads you along the path of destruction of your marriage. It draws you in to arguments that divide families. Caustic Logic tells you that there is no way out of your situation and that your need to delve deeper to find some type of comfort. These are all lies and let me tell you that there is HOPE and that hope is in TRUTH!!!

So what is truth? I thought you would never ask!

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the TRUTH and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

and when Jesus was praying He said these words

Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17

A lie is an untruth. A falsehood or a fabrication of the truth. It is deceitful at it’s very root. Caustic Logic is the very deceit and deception that lies are based upon. Have you ever been told “once an alcoholic always an alcoholic”? Have you ever heard the saying that “I am this way or that way because my daddy was”? “I was born that way”? “I can’t help myself”? Or the biggest fib of all, “The devil made me do it”?

All these are Caustic Logic that will erode your perception of the truth. Once we hear these untruths and fall victim to believe such lies we have programmed ourself for failure. In essence, we predestined ourselves. But the Word of God, the TRUTH, says that God predestined us to be adopted into His family (Romans 8:29,30) (Ephesians 1:5 & 11). Not to be addicts and prisoners to sin. But rather be sons and daughters of the Most High and Holy God living an abundant life full of joy and peace as a result of the grace God has given us. A life filled with love for ourself and for others. A life redeemed through forgiveness. A life set apart from the world through self-control. A life that represents God through our ability to be kind, to be faithful. A life where we spread the goodness and gentleness of God to everyone we come in contact with. The life that God has called us to through salvation. A life of FREEDOM!!!

If this is the lifestyle you are searching for I urge you through the power of God and His Truth, Jesus Christ to come to terms with our Creator. Admit to him that you have been blinded by Caustic Logic and that you are truly a sinner. Confess that you can not overcome your obstacles of sin. Tell Him that you open your life and heart to Him and to the truth.

Heavenly Father,  I have sinned against myself, against others  and against You! I need to know that You still love me and that Your still care. I need forgiveness God. I need to know the Truth! And I need Your power in my life to help me overcome the barriers that I have created between us. From this day forward I dedicate my life to You. I give myself to You. Body, mind and soul. Teach me Your Word Lord so that I may walk in truth. Help me and empower me Lord. Through Jesus Mighty Name I pray, AMEN!!!

The word  (truth) is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” Romans 10:8-11

If you have just dedicated your life to Christ I applaud your boldness and welcome you into the family of God’s children! Please find someone you can trust and tell them about your new-found faith in God. Prayerfully search for a Bible teaching and believing church so that you can meet others with your same desire to know the Truth. If you have and questions I will be more than happy to give you good Godly guidance.

God Bless You My Friend and Brother/Sister in Christ. I will see you one day in Glory!!!

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Y O L O

This acronym for “You Only Live Once” has become particularly popular in today’s school of thought. The idea that one should go all out with no thought for tomorrow or the consequences of one’s actions is not a newfound or original initiative. Almost as old as history itself I would imagine. I too held to this belief for many years. I had no consideration for others, no deliberation about my actions and certainly no reflection on what had been done. These processes of thought would take way too much time from my daily affair with self-preservation. My central focal point was “ME”. Careful attention and attentiveness had to be paid to my habits, dependence and cravings. I truly believed that my short time here on earth was all I would have and my goal was to search out and acquire every pleasure that was physically obtainable. “You Only Live Once” resonated within me.

The truth is, YOLO is accurate, to a certain degree. Humanity will only get one chance at our life here on earth. We are created in a fleshly dwelling to physically live and die one time. The difficulty with YOLO is the agnostic theory that when you die it all ends. The notion that there is no life after death is atheistic in belief and is the backbone behind the well liked and fashionable YOLO premise.

Even the Bible clearly states that there is a time to be born and a time to die.  (Ecclesiastes 3:2)  But what happens after bodily death? Is there really an afterlife or do I just return to dust? Well, I thought you would never ask!

Almost every religion worldwide supposes on an afterlife. Most obtain their doctrine of where you will stand in the post mortem are obtained through what you did here on earth. If your good outweighs the bad then you are granted a pass to enter into the here after. The spiritual world will welcome your soul into eternal rest. Some religions are pronounced with harems of virgins for those unblemished souls who were fortunate enough to perform up to standard. Still others believe that you can meditate you way into a consciousness and oneness with your Creator and thus gaining access through the doors of eternity. The conflict with these outlooks  and the YOLO standpoint is in the essential doctrine of how much good must one perform to obtain salvation.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

There are many religions in the world. There are many people who follow each religion. There are many who claim no religion at all. And there are many who are following the YOLO philosophy,  not knowing that they have created a religion all their own.

YOLO’s approach gives no thought to afterlife. It also gives very little thought to life here on earth. The notion that you can do whatever you want with no consequences has been proven over and over again to be false. Go ask someone who is doing a life sentence in prison for intoxicated vehicular manslaughter or someone dying from HEP C because of intravenous drug use if they are paying the price for what they did here on earth. I think you know what they would say. They would tell you exactly where YOLO got them.

Another scripture for you:

Make no mistake about this: You can never make a fool out of God. Whatever you plant is what you’ll harvest. If you plant in [the soil of] your corrupt nature, you will harvest destruction. But if you plant in [the soil of] your spiritual nature, you will harvest everlasting life. Galations 6:7,8

There is a cost to be paid for every action.

So Brian, where do I go from here? I have done so much bad and I don’t want to reap the harvest of the seeds I have planted. If this is you, and you want to find freedom from the heaviness of the life you have created there is an answer.

My reaction to these questions was a heartfelt cry out to God as we know Him from the Bible. The only one that I know that could offer me more than peace of mind but could present to me salvation for my soul. Christ has promised us forgiveness of our sins, serenity for our soul, harmony with our Creator, strength when we are weak and an everlasting life with Him in Heaven.

An easy and effortless prayer can set you on the path to eternal and undying life with our Maker. If your hearts desire is to live not just in the moment of YOLO and make a positive change in your life, Jesus is your answer. If your desire is to break free from YOLO and have not been able to find the right path then Jesus is your way. If  you are left empty and craving more out of life than YOLO then Christ can fill you.  If your yearning is , “There has to be more to life than this” then Christ Jesus wants to complete you.

Please say this prayer with me. The words are not as important as the longing of your heart.

Heavenly Father, I have done things that I am not proud. I know I have done wrong in your sight. I want to find freedom from YOLO. Father, I ask you to forgive my wrongdoing through the blood of Christ who died for me. Wash me clean and give me a fresh start. Please help me to find the freedom I am searching for. I give my life to You God and I pray that you give me strength and show me the path that leads to everlasting life with You. Thank You Father. Through Christ Jesus my Lord and Savior I pray, AMEN

If you prayed that prayer from the heart for the first time or the fifty-first time I welcome you to the family of God. You are one of His children. You have just broken the grip of YOLO! And as a child of God you have certain unalienable rights such as eternal life with Him.

Chances are you may know someone who is a Christian. Seek this person out and tell them of your newfound faith. Tell them of your desire to serve the Living God. Find yourself a church and worship God in spirit and in truth. Get your hands on a Bible and let the Living Word began to transform your life by the renewing of your mind. And give thanks to God every time you think about Him. I promise that He is faithful and He will not let you down!

If you need some Christian guidance please feel free to leave a comment and I will do my best to point you in the right direction.

God loves you and so do I!

Posted in alcoholism, Christian Sobriety, freedom from addiction, SOBRIETY, substance abuse, substance dependence, Uncategorized | Leave a comment