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Three Aspects of Peace — Part 3

god healing progress Dec 20, 2020

Part 1 was about peace with God, which is the result of being reconciled to God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Part 2 was about the peace of God that comes in response to making requests to Him with thankfulness and giving our cares over to Him.

This post is about a peace that rules in our hearts, a ruling peace. It turns out that this has been the most difficult aspect of peace to write about. I pictured an armored sentinel at the door of my heart keeping everything out except peace. She would be peace personified. I was actually daydreaming about this as an analogy—until I got cut off in traffic and she disappeared. But I persisted in this line of thinking until I found myself standing in a FedEx location frustrated with the clerk about a lost package. I know, just little things, but how quickly my peace went missing!

After taking another look at the passage, I realized that my analogy wasn’t very good.

“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to...

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How Do I Get Unstuck?

healing progress Dec 15, 2020

I recently asked my 12-step home group: What do you do when you are stuck? I asked the question because I felt stuck. As always, I got some great wisdom from the group. Here some thoughts on the topic:

Admit it to someone

Two things that have been vital in my recovery: I have to bring things into the light and to be honest about my weaknesses. When you go to the hospital to get a wound fixed they don’t examine you in a dark room. When I had open heart surgery, my open chest was flooded with powerful lights so that the surgery staff could do their work. The darkness was not a good place to be in our addiction; healing began when things were exposed to the light, whether the exposure was on purpose or not.

One of our 12-step meeting guidelines is to lead with our weakness. I don’t find that very pleasant because I want everyone to think I have it all together. But I don’t have it all together and if I can’t admit that among my fellow recovering addicts, where...

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When 5 Percent Becomes 100

getting started progress Dec 01, 2020

In my experience, couples counseling is fraught with danger. Often it is just a formality before a breakup or divorce. The counselor is there to be an objective observer that can help us see though the emotional clouds of our conflicts. They will be the one to help us examine and correct our own contributions to the relational problems.

That is the ideal. But what if one partner has already given up on the relationship and is just going through the obligation of counseling? What about the situation where one party wants the relationship to work and proposes counseling—but the other person doesn’t see the need and attends reluctantly?

The natural consequence is that we each seek an ally in the counselor. We want them to help us “straighten out” our partner. Certainly, they are the problem, or at least most of the problem. So we lose the benefit of the counselor’s observations and objectivity and focus on our partner’s part of the blame.

It’s...

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Three Aspects of Peace — Part 1

god healing progress Nov 25, 2020

Being at peace in my heart is something that I am more aware of as I continue in recovery, growth, and healing. Having a clear conscience and inner peace is foundational in my relationships with others. There are three aspects of peace to consider:

Peace With God

Think of two enemies at war with each other and they decide to reconcile; they make peace with each other. This is what happened to me over 36 years ago.

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1, emphasis added).

It's hard for many people to believe that they are enemies with God, but that is exactly what the Bible says. "And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works...."

For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life (Romans 5:10, emphasis added).

Peace with God comes from reconciliation to Him. He did His part through the death,...

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The Folly of Tomorrow

getting started progress Nov 22, 2020

Earlier this year, I got on the roof of my house to install brackets for an awning. When I was up there, I noticed that the asphalt caps on my roof were cracked and decayed. Months have passed since I looked at them so I am not sure of their current condition. But one thing I am sure of: the condition of the shingles hasn't improved.

Entropy is a fixed law of nature. When things are left alone, they break down and decay. It's true of things in nature and our physical bodies. It takes energy and effort to maintain or improve them. Our non-material lives are no different; without work, they don't improve, they decay. Things left alone won't be better tomorrow. They will be worse.

You may be facing an uncertain future. Perhaps you have been caught in your addictive behavior and suddenly realize that your life has become unmanageable. You have awakened to the fact that meaningful relationships are on the verge of breaking up. Or maybe you have confessed to your spouse and feel that a...

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Break the Acting Out Pattern

getting started progress Nov 17, 2020

Recovery is a process not an "event." Growth doesn't happen, it is happening. We have gotten so used to the acting out cycle of thrill then disappointment, creativity then shame that the new paradigm of recovery is difficult to adapt to.

We want sobriety and recovery to be a quick fix: get in, find the magic cure, and then get out. We crave fast food and not a healthy, slow-cooked meal. But it's time to put away the thrill-seeking and false comfort and instead seek for clarity, understanding, and wisdom. These are the things that last and bring growth and healing.

The good things come slowly and deliberately. We have to actively seek them with the same energy that we sought our drug. We can't expect instant gratification because there are years of negative patterns and chemical connections that have to be transformed. Renewing of the mind takes time but it will happen. "The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day."

Sobriety and...

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