Posts Tagged ‘meeting’

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Addiction is the kind of disease that can really break a person down. It causes embarrassment, guilt, and feelings of inadequacy. People struggling with addiction often feel worthless and or wonder how they can ever live a meaningful life again. Focusing on a person’s spiritual health during recovery is important because it provides peace and hope. Jesus is the source of all peace, and by listening closely to what he has to say, someone struggling with addiction can experience a new kind of love, an unconditional love that will help with true recovery.

If we listen, we can hear our Savior speaking to us, even during addiction and recovery. Through Bible study and prayer, and through interactions with other Christians, someone in recovery can learn what things Jesus has to say to them. Let me share 7 of the many tips Jesus shared with me which not just set me free from my addiction, but melted my hardened heart, renewed my mind, and transformed my life.

1. “I love you so much that I died for youNot for you to feel guilty, but to be set free!” We read in John 3:16 that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” A Christian’s faith hinges upon this passage. Our Savior’s love is beyond comprehension because it caused him to die to take away the wrong things we have done. For the struggling addict, this means that Christ has a love for them that will never fail.

2. “No matter how much you relapse and struggle, I still love you and always will.”The guilt and baggage that go along with addiction often keep people from accepting the help that is offered to them. They feel undeserving of a new life, and sometimes spend months or years trying to make up for their past. But Jesus reminds us that even the addiction, the lies, and all the past wrongs can’t keep him from loving us. He reminds us in Jeremiah 31:34 that “I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

3. “Let me connect my yoke to you and carry most of your burden while you grow in strength to bear up more of it at a later time.” Recovery is a difficult journey, and many people grow tired of the fight against the triggers and temptations to use. Jesus promises to help us with our burdens and to be the strength we need to get through the toughest of days. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) For the addict, even when they want to quit the fight, Jesus is there to help them through.

4. “I will always advocate for you to my Father and you will be my brother at the ultimate banquet table.” Jesus wants to have a relationship with us, and He calls us his brothers and sisters. “On behalf of a man, He pleads with God as one pleads for a friend.” (Job 16:21) This means the world to someone who has experienced strained relationships with family and friends because of addiction. Jesus wants us to go to Him with all our worries, and to look forward to a heavenly home together in heaven some day.

5. “I came to heal the broken-hearted and set the captives free (Isaiah 61:1, Luke 4:17-21). I want to set YOU free.” Sometimes the thought of maintaining a substance-free life is daunting, just as trying to live life free from lying, cheating, or stealing is overwhelming. We all have sins that try to weigh us down, and it is a daily struggle to follow God’s commands. But life is a lot harder when you don’t follow His commands, and you already know that. Through the Holy Spirit, we gain power and strength, and when we fall short, we can remember that God still forgives. “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18) God tells us that if we are his followers, we will have the mind of Christ in us. We will also have the Holy Spirit who will empower and guide us, but we have to listen to his urging and humbly follow it.

6. “The thief, Satan, came to steal, kill, and destroy, but I came that you would have life abundantly.” (John 10:10) Finally, Jesus tells us that we can have new life through Him. Jesus wants us to not just have a so-so life, but have a life of psychological and spiritual abundance and fulfillment. If we follow His teachings, they will set us free to live the abundant life He wants us to have, He died so we could have access, and God has designed us to live. These words are empowering to the addict in recovery, as he faces the daily struggles of life and learns to trust God’s will for his life.

7. “I know you are confused, overwhelmed, and afraid, but I will bring you peace and stability.” Digging out of the addiction hole or stopping the downward spiral is difficult. Many decisions need to be made each day, even each hour, to stay sober and moving forward. Making those decisions when stressed, hopeless, emotional, and foggy usually leads to wrong decisions. Peace to think clearly and not make knee-jerk or impulsive decisions is essential to start making one good decision after another. “You (God) keep him (addict) in perfect peace whose mind is stayed (focused) on you (God), because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3) We need and crave peace, especially when our world is caving in. Jesus is the rock to build your peace on, so keep your eyes and mind on Him and you will have the peace you need to start a positive spiral and dig out of the hole of addiction and into the light of Jesus’ love, grace, and freedom!

Infidelity Survivors Anonymous (ISA) is starting a new meeting in Austin this Thursday, December 7th. The meeting is at 11:00 am until Noon at the Yellow House Foundation, 120 Commercial Parkway, Cedar Park, TX 78613.
Infidelity Survivors Anonymous is a support group for individuals who have experienced infidelity-induced trauma caused by any form of sexual betrayal in their relationships.
Additionally, ISA is planning their first retreat January 5-7 at Camp Allen in the greater Houston area. Room is still available for a few more ladies to sign up. Also, I understand that some scholarships may be available. For more information about the retreat, go to
For more information about ISA go to

Our host building, River Oaks Tower will be closed  on Wednesday night, November 22nd in observance of Thanksgiving so we are canceling the Castimonia Wednesday night meeting at this location. The meeting will resume the following Wednesday night at its regular time and location.

Our host church, Grace Fellowship United Methodist Church will be closed  on Thursday, November 23rd in observance of Thanksgiving so we are canceling the Castimonia Thursday night meeting at this church. The meeting will resume the following Thursday night at its regular time and location.

His work: Since the man by the pool was an invalid, he may have made his living by begging. His character: His role in the story seems almost entirely passive, perhaps in keeping with his character. He showed evidence neither of faith nor gratitude after the miracle of his healing and even went so far as to give evidence against Jesus to men who were hostile toward Jesus. Sin appears to have played a role in his condition. His sorrow: To have been paralyzed for nearly forty years. His triumph: To have been instantly healed. Key Scriptures: John 5

A Look at the Man

“Do you want to be healed?”

It was an outrageous question to ask a man who had been paralyzed for thirty-eight years, a man forced to beg for a living.

But there was a reason for the question. Perhaps, in fact, the paralyzed man wasn’t happy about the prospect of being healed. Maybe his disability offered a certain kind of security, enabling him at least to make a living as a beggar. His sudden cure would have undermined his many dependencies, his familiar routine, his ingrained view of himself. He would have had to start life all over again.

Or maybe he was offended by Jesus’ warning against sin. Perhaps he thought it would do Jesus good to receive his comeuppance at the hands of the religious leaders.

The story of the man by the pool reminds us that displays of God’s power are not enough to create faith in a person’s heart. Though the man had suffered for many years, he showed no evidence of gratitude and no evidence of belief. We expect him to fall on his knees when he is miraculously healed. But he doesn’t. We expect him to show some kind of curiosity about the person who healed him. But he doesn’t even ask Jesus his name until their second encounter. We expect him to protect Jesus against his detractors, to be scandalized by their blindness and self-righteousness. Instead, he reports Jesus to men he knew to be hostile toward Jesus.

In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus denounces the cities that had witnessed most of his miracles, because the vast majority of people there had failed to repent (Matthew 11:20). His words remind us that, even though miracles are evidence of God’s power and compassion, without faith we are still free to reject them, still free to conclude that his offer of mercy is irrelevant or unnecessary.

Though none of us know what went on in the heart of the man who was healed, we are troubled by the way he responded and the way he failed to respond to the miracle he experienced. We may even wonder if by his own choice he finally succeeded in placing himself beyond the reach of God’s mercy. Only God knows.

Reflect On: Psalm 86:1–8 Praise God: For his grace, mercy, and the faith to believe. Offer Thanks: For the blessings of healing and wholeness. Confess: Any tendency you may have to blame others rather than to admit your own sinfulness and receive Christ’s pardon. Ask God: To give you courage to stand, face those crippling hurts, and live with freedom and hope.

Today’s reading is a brief excerpt from Men of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study of Men in Scripture by Ann Spangler and Robert Wolgemuth (Zondervan). © 2010 by Ann Spangler. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Enjoy the complete book by purchasing your own copy at the Bible Gateway Store. The book’s title must be included when sharing the above content on social media.

by Bevill and Associates

You’ve tried it all. You’ve lectured. You’ve given ultimatums. You’ve staged an intervention. Still, your loved one continues to spiral deeper into drug or alcohol addiction. If you didn’t care about this person so much, you’d have given up long ago. And, as much as you don’t want to give up, it feels like you’ve run out of options.

Before you lose all hope, consider the following suggestions from Rodney Robertson, D.Min., MA, M.Div., family therapist at The Ranch drug rehabilitation center in Tennessee:

#1 Listen more than you talk.

When someone needs help, it’s natural to do a lot of talking — educating, offering guidance and problem-solving. What comes less naturally to most of us is listening.

With someone struggling with addiction and its defense mechanisms like denial, it can be more effective to “listen to what they have to say with empathy so that you understand where they’re coming from,” says Robertson. This way, when you do start talking, there’s a better chance your loved one will feel heard and understood enough to listen.

When it’s time to talk, “be clear and direct, not critical, condemning or judgmental,” says Robertson. The message should be “Im concerned and I want to know if youre concerned too. Can we talk about what it would look like to get help?” You’re not trying to make the decision for them but you want them to realize they can’t do this alone.

#2 Get others involved.

If your loved one wont listen to you, they may be open to hearing the same message from someone else. “This person needs to be someone they trust, not someone you trust,” Robertson warns.

Particularly if the family relationship has been compromised or trust has been eroded, other influences may be able to work with the addicted person to recognize the seriousness of the problem and map out where to go for substance abuse treatment. “As a close relative, you may not be in the best position to help,” says Robertson. “The relationship may be too close and too involved, where its easy to overstep boundaries.”

The best support a loved one can offer, Robertson says, is realizing they can’t heal an addiction. What they can do is help the person struggling with addiction to reach out to others who can treat the illness, such as a support group or therapist.

#3 Step back and allow natural consequences to do their work.

You can’t control another person, and a person struggling with addiction has to take responsibility for their own recovery. Trying to manipulate, bribe or make decisions for someone is a sign of codependency, a condition in which someone is excessively emotionally or psychologically reliant on a loved one struggling with addiction.

“In some cases, loved ones put so much effort into reaching out, convincing and offering help that it can actually prolong the process of going to treatment,” says Robertson. As a result, the addict never feels the full financial, legal and personal consequences of their actions and continues to blame others for their problems.

Stepping back can be the hardest thing to do when someone you love is suffering. It feels neglectful and risky. But the good news is that “when a family member finally lets go and steps back, it doesn’t take long for the addicted person to realize they need help,” says Robertson. “Often, it’s when you back off and the addict is left without support that they come to terms really quickly.” Other influences such as the legal system may be the ones they’ll finally listen to, but for the message to get through, you have to take a step back.

#4 Build your own support network.

Sometimes your concern for your addicted loved one overrides your concern for yourself. Although understandable, this approach depletes you and focuses your attention on things that are beyond your control. “Take heart that you’re doing what you can and then take care of yourself and your needs,” says Robertson. Turn to people who love and support you, including friends, family, a therapist, a support group like Al-Anon and other parents in similar situations.

Sometimes the most powerful steps you can take are the ones that, to an outside observer, may look like giving up. But what you’re really doing is giving your addicted loved one a chance to see what their life has become and discover their motivation for getting better. Addiction took them away, but they aren’t gone forever — treatment can help bring them back.

By Meghan Vivo

… and this is a GREAT thing!  THIS is what church should be but many are too concerned with production value and broadcasting of the services and fail to be “real” when it comes to spreading the Gospel, the dirty, beautiful Gospel of Jesus Christ and His power of redemption.  It “falls short” because it is not trying to live up to the production standards of some of the churches in the area who pride themselves on “entertainment” rather than spreading the message of God’s love and our redemption.

Come worship God with other broken individuals

Those of us in recovery will sometimes walk into our church service thinking that others are looking at us with downcast eyes; Pharisees? This is especially true early on in recovery when we have just been “found out” or rumors spread of our marital or personal problems.  We fear that these “normal” people are without addictions or compulsions and look down upon us that struggle with these issues.  We feel that the people in this room have never committed adultery, been black-out drunk, or used illegal drugs.  We fear that these people have never sinned; at least not like us.  This, of course, is not the case at a Prodigals service.  Those that attend this service are all broken, are all sinners, and are all loved by God.  This is because we are not blind to the fact that we are sinful and selfish people. For most of us attending this service, the 12 Steps have taught us this about ourselves; we are no longer blind.  Performing a deep and thorough inventory of who we really are has enlightened us of our character and leaves us with no choice but to turn to Jesus and His power to set us free.

The message at Prodigals is largely Recovery-based

The setting is fantastic, intimate and inviting.  The worship music is tailored to resonate with addicts and the broken.  It cuts to the core of our want and need for redemption and our cry out to the Lord to heal us from our affliction; to free us from our self-imposed bondage.  Freedom.  Along with the praise and worship music, a testimony is given in this service which adds to the welcoming environment needed by those of us in recovery.  We feel like we are not alone after hearing a testimony to which we can relate.  The short but effective sermon is one that we can also relate to.  It typically includes recovery-related themes with recovery-related language.  It also is raw, unblemished, and truthful.  They are not afraid to share of their brokenness or of their addiction.  They are not afraid to speak truth to those of us who are listening.  And they rejoice at having been restored from a life of addiction and compulsion to where the Lord can now use them for His good purpose.

If you are in any recovery program and feel like you don’t “fit in” at your church, I encourage you to visit the Prodigals service and see for yourself how powerful the experience can be worshiping the Lord with other recovery individuals.  Even if you are comfortable at your own church like I am, visit the Prodigals and experience a different side of praise and worship and the Word of God with your fellow recovering members.  Experience hope! It is an experience you won’t soon forget.

Prodigals information is written below:

Location: Loft Worship, Student Building of The Fellowship
Date: Every Saturday Evening
Time: 5:30PM