Archive for the ‘My Addiction’ Category

hello I’m Dr. ed Peterson the host of the me and I Am post and podcast. Thank you for joining me on my journey of INTENTIONAL living. This is the conclusion of a three post series i began on Monday but for me this is the most important element as it contains the lessons learned thus giving me new tools for applying God’s word to all situations in my life. For whatever reason this series has no podcast as every time i recorded it and went to post it, it would erase. yet every night when I would do a test it would work fine. One of those things that makes you go hummmmmmm????

It has been my experience that soon after i have decided to surrender to a more God filled life and i have set my intentions on Him that i soon afterward feel as though my favor with God and man has evaporated! My great God experiences seem to dry up. In those times i’m not even able to consider spiritual things. This was one of those times and I can’t give you any specific reason for why it occurred.

In the past i have considered these type of moments as a great loss with regards to my relationship with God. In this situation i am thinking differently. i am recalling how blessed i have been in my relationship with Him and even though it may seem like or feel like it has ceased to exist, I know that it has not! Knowing that allows me to look at this whole situation as not a great loss but a great benefit.

Galatians 5 talks about this matter. “But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).”

i heard the voice of the spirit… and the voice of my flesh… and made a choice of my own free will… gratify the cravings and desires… of my human nature without God. So you might be thinking that i’m making this to spiritual or that i’m being overly dramatic… perhaps just so i have something to post about? Since these posts and podcasts are about my personal life i assure you there is no lack of material.

So what did happen? The simple  answer… there was a battle. Two opposing thoughts, two opposing voices. Galatians 5:17 says, “ed’s desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to ed’s flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that ed is not free but is prevented from doing what ed desires to do.”

my inner strength was not enough to defeat my outer collapse because as i read down further in Galatians 5 it explains that “the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].”

Someone is saying that’s all well and good ed but you still haven’t explained what happened! Okay… It has been my experience that soon after i have decided to surrender to a more God filled life and i have set my intentions on Him that i soon afterward feel as though my favor with God and man has disappeared! Great God experiences seem to dry up. In those moments i’m not even able to talk about spiritual things. Heaven on earth is the farthest things from my mind which leaves me with little or no hope.

So now what? First i had to confess my actions of wrong doing and ask forgiveness of God. Through posting this i’m asking Ann Marie to also forgive me. Finally i’m asking each listener and reader for forgiveness as what i did was not according to the word. Is that necessary one may ask? Absolutely!  The word says, “to whom much is given much is expected.” i have been given this privilege and platform to share life with others. With that comes this responsibility, “ed is not to seek his (self) own good and advantage and profit , but [rather] each one of the other [let him seek the welfare of his neighbor].” 

If ed lives by the [Holy] Spirit, let ed also walk by the Spirit. [If by the Holy Spirit ed has his life in God, let ed go forward walking in line, ed’s conduct controlled by the Spirit.]

It’s now almost a week later and guess what? my want is back, my “in the moment” satisfaction is nowhere to be found. Self satisfaction, surrendering to self wants is fleeting. The struggle is now stronger because it had previous success. But… i can assure you that as of this moment the battle has already been won, the victory is mine and the Glory is God’s.

And those who belong to Christ Jesus (the Messiah) have crucified the flesh (the godless human nature) with its passions and appetites and desires.

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Hello i’m Dr. Ed Peterson, the host of the me and I Am post and podcast. i’m glad you decided to join me today as i share with you about my journey of intentional living. Again before i start i must apologize that there is no podcast. After attempting to record 3 times… well, i gave up. Not sure what the issue is because when i tested it last night everything worked fine. You can come to your own conclusion… i’ll just leave it that, i’m not supposed to podcast it for whatever reason.

FranticIt was around 9 P.M., i was in for the night or so i thought. i had been to the store earlier and had rejected the idea of buying any of that “stuff”. Now, i know none of you have ever experienced this but i did. As i sat in my comfy recliner, watching mindless television, it hit me. “i…  want something,” meaning of course… a snack, something sweet, which i was now regretting having not purchased anything earlier. i remember thinking on the question of what i wanted as though it was worthy of great consideration.

The next thing i know i’m at the store, grabbing a cart and making my way down the isles. In the bakery section i loaded my cart with 4 pieces of chocolate cake which by the way had plenty of chocolate frosting covering them. i would have selected more but there was no carrot cake with vanilla crème frosting to be found. After further, careful consideration of countless other possibilities i decide on an almond coffee cake… for the next mornings breakfast of course, but knowing that i might have a slice tonight should my other items not fulfill my want. Continuing down the isles i looked left and right examining the shelves from top to bottom as though i was listening intently for something to call out my name. When i hit the ice cream freezers the choices were endless… which is why i ended up with three, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Recesses Peanut Butter with Chocolate Chunks, and Vanilla Toffee Crunch. After a stroll down a few more isles again listening intently, i made my way to the check-out counter where the two clerks immediately began discussing their favorite deserts with me. Somewhere in their exuberant sharing the cashier says, “so your having a dessert fest?” and now there’s a  name to go with what i was doing.

Returning home i carefully laid out the selections buffet style making sure that each could be seen easily, but… there was no need to choose… the intention was clear… eat them all! And within an hour most everything was gone and within 24 hours it was all gone.

Now one might ask, why? What came over me? Why the extreme, especially for someone who has had relatively little in the way of sweets for over a year? A single five letter word… FLESH/self as in my mind, my will and my emotions. As clear as i spoke “i want” a still small voice inside me began resisting. At every isle the voice asked me, “are you sure you want to do this, what are you doing, what’s going on?” But not once, not for a second did i pause to consider the voice. i might as well of said, “shut up and leave me alone!”

i’m not sharing this because i’m proud of it, quite the opposite. Now please listen or read very carefully. i don’t regret the things i’ve done, i just regret the things i didn’t do when i had the chance. What i didn’t do when i had the chance was listen to the Spirit inside me, i didn’t do the wise thing for my health and i didn’t consider Ann Marie when i had the chance.  i brought her on this rampage with me, without any regard for her. She has been struggling to get back on track with her diet and i added to the struggle. 1 Corinthians 10:23 the verse i shared in the opening has a following verse which says, “Let no one then seek his own good and advantage and profit, but [rather] each one of the other [let him seek the welfare of his neighbor].” Now, eating all that was in no way for my own good, advantage or profit. my point here is that i did not seek the welfare of my neighbor, more specifically the welfare of my best friend, my wife. What example did i set for her? my misplaced encouragement… and let’s just leave it at that… misplaced.

So there you have it, “the story.” What you don’t have are the lessons learned which are the most important elements of these posts. As the verse above says, “let him/ed seek the welfare of his neighbor” i always want to be respectful of readers and listeners time and this is running longer than i anticipated. i am unable to cut it short as the lessons are what i will take with me as i move forward from this… and face new… challenges in living my life INTENTIONALLY for God.

Thank you for joining me on me and I Am and i look forward to you joining me in just one more wake up for the conclusion of this series on Permissible And/Or Profitable.

 

Hello I’m Dr. Ed Peterson the host of the meandIAM posts and podcasts. Todays title is Permissible… And/or Profitable…

After recording today’s podcast 5 times and each time while saving it, it disappeared, i have to assume that it just wasn’t meant to be. So i apologize for any inconvenience but here it is in print.

1 Corinthians 10:23 (AMP) says that, “All things are legitimate [permissible—and we are free to do anything we please], but not all things are helpful (expedient, profitable, and wholesome). All things are legitimate, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life].”

GroceryQuestion? What do 4 slices of chocolate frosted cake, 3 pints of ice cream, and an almond coffee cake have in common? Yes, they all have calories. They are all sweets. No they are not all desserts all though i suppose the coffee cake could be a dessert depending on when you eat it? The answer is… flesh/self. It was actually a trick question, that is unless you had spent the last year growing INTENTIONALLY in relationship with God, and… had been on some type of fast the entire time which included the removal of sweets from your lifestyle.

It was around 9 P.M., i was in for the night or so i thought. i had been to the store earlier and had rejected the idea of buying any of that “stuff”. Now, i know none of you have ever experienced this but i did. As i sat in my comfy recliner, watching mindless television, it hit me. “i…  want something,” meaning of course… a snack, something sweet, which i was now regretting having not purchased anything earlier. i remember thinking on the question of what i wanted as though it was worthy of great consideration.

Want to hear more? At all curious what i did with my want? And how does 1 Corinthians 10:23 fit into this? You’ll have to join me in just two more wake-ups as my grandchildren would say when they are anticipating a visit from me. Two more wake ups and i’ll share the lessons learned while uncovering the questionable choices i made and the actions that resulted. So until two more wake ups be blessed and live life INTENTIONALLY!

 

Did i mention that besides not posting i also did not think or look at my “12 steps” either? It’s like an alcoholic who has fallen off the wagon by drinking again. For me sin became a non issue, not once during that time did i give it a thought. i didn’t purpose to sin, but i also didn’t purpose to not sin. What i noticed is that the excitement and the anticipation i felt back in December toward 2013 has faded. It’s as i said yesterday, i lose my way because i lose my Why.

Early on in the book of Genesis 4:6-7 God spoke to Cain: “Why this tantrum? Why the sulking? If you do well, won’t you be accepted? And if you don’t do well, sin is lying in wait for you, ready to pounce; it’s out to get you, you’ve got to master it.”

i am not having a full-blown tantrum but… it is a tantrum non the less. i am not sulking all day but… sulking is a part of my day. The part that captured my attention today are the words, “And if ed does not do well, sin is lying in wait for him, ready to pounce; it’s out to get him, ed has got to master it.”

Sin is like a parasite:

  • sin feeds off my desires, it cannot exist in a vacuum

  • sin hides itself in what is good and then distorts it

  • sin vandalizes the knowledge and hope of heaven

  • sin becomes a foreground and pushes God and His promises into the background.

The first chapter of Genesis gives me the origins of the world i live in and that it was created by and belongs to God. It tells me that God has made me and that life is not an accident but part of a specific plan. Genesis 2 describes the uniqueness of me, being made in the image of God which sets me apart from the rest of the universe. Genesis 3 explains what went wrong and why the world i live in is so different than my wishes and dreams. Genesis 3 also analyzes the root of evil and my rebellion and desire to be my own god. Genesis 4 pictures the fruits of that rebellion.. In chapter 4 i learn that disobeying God has a continuing chain of consequences . Not all of them are immediate.

It’s best described in the old story about a bacon and egg breakfast the chicken makes an offering, the pig makes a sacrifice. This is probably the only scenario where i don’t mind being called a pig.

King David said when the Jebusite offered to give him everything he needed to make an offering to God? “I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing” (2 Sam 24:24). This to me says that i cannot give God a few crumbs of my day. Posting daily costs me in many ways. Staying on track with my “12 Steps” costs me as well. “I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” i can not pull from past experience, and present it as fresh offering.

If i do well, i will be accepted? And if i don’t do well, i will still be accepted BUT… sin is lying in wait for me, ready to pounce; it’s out to get me, i’ve got to master it.”

Hello my name is ed and i am a sinner… “God’s child, born again of the incorruptible word of God, which lives and abides forever.

Peaceful Living – Comes from Acting on Basic Biblical Truths – Structured Into A Program For Daily Life

GROWING IN PEACE – Peace is living in the complete wholeness of God

Many disagree with my belief that it is possible for me to live without sin being a part of my daily life. Regardless, my belief from studying the word is that it’s a very real possibility. It’s not a goal for my flesh as though i would have accomplished some great thing, but it’s a goal for God’s glory and honor. To accomplish it is as though God glorifies Himself.

i might concede that it’s not practical or probable. When God made me new, He purified my heart. Then i would say that i am sinless from the time i got saved until my first sin after that. i get the feeling that i devalue God when i routinely confess to Him that my heart is full of sin and utterly evil, when/He has brought it out of that state AND of course living in obedience to His word.

The fact that Adam, Moses, Abraham, and anyone else you want to name did not live their lives without sin does not discourage me in any way. While it is true that the only man to do so is Jesus i take that as encouragement. Just because it hasn’t been done by anyone other than Him… well no one had ever flown before, there were no automobiles before, there were “no” a million other things before, but that did not stop people from trying and succeeding.

i was given this verse to argue against my view. 1 John 1:8-10 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. At first read you would think that says it all? It doesn’t! This cherry picking the word, one verse pulled out of context to make a point.Go and read the entire chapter for yourself.  i believe it even makes the case for my belief stronger.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (AMP) 13 For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken me and laid hold on me that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to me that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let me be tempted and tried and assayed beyond my ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation HE will [always] also PROVIDE the way out (the means of escape to a landing-place), that i may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.

The 12 Steps are just one way, the way for me, that He has provide as my way out of a life controlled by sin.

Romans 7. We have the old man slung around our necks until we become glorified, until then we will have a battle to beat our flesh into submission to the Law of God. That’s absolutely correct i have to battle, beat my flesh into submission to the law of God.

Peaceful Living – Comes from Acting on Basic Biblical Truths – Structured Into A Program For Daily Life

GROWING IN PEACE – Peace is living in the complete wholeness of God

Okay… i’m taking a deep breath for two reasons, one is that today’s post is really long and the other is because i am bringing this series of posts to a close. That does not mean that it ends for me, only that i will occassionaly post on my progress and possibly do so from a different blog. i just got a comment today that said the person became bored with the series and so they removed me from their daily blog list. I’m sorry, but this blog is not really designed for just reading, it is more of a record, a journal for my families recollection when i am gone. If anything else, it is written for stirring up, so as to get shared participation. It had been my hope that just one would comment that they would join in with me and walk with me through these 12 steps. That was not the case and so i must move on. i must do today what others will not so that tomorrow i can do what others can not. The commenter also said they had read the past few days and found them worthy of their time so i am back on their daily blog list. Huuuuuummmmmm?

Since the start of this series, i have found many versions of the 12 step program. People use it and then find ways to personalize it. i have personalized it several times. This was my first attempt.

B.I.K.E. – Build a better life, Introducing God as the focus, Know my purpose and core values, Effectuate the Word

Build A Better Life This is the over-all purpose, that my life would be better than it currently is with this addiction controlling me.

2 Timothy 2:15 Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.

“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching, Love like you’ll never be hurt, Sing like there’s nobody listening, And live like it’s heaven on earth.” – William W. Purkey

I – Introduce God As The Focus – this is where the 12 steps begin by changing my focus from my addiction to God.

Colossians 3:2 And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth.

My outer collapse takes place because my inner experience cannot sustain it.” – Gordon MacDonald

     Step #1- Honesty: Admit I’m broken

Romans 7:17 – But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.”

“To conceal anything from those to whom I am attached, is not in my nature. I can never close my lips where I have opened my heart.” – Charles Dickens

     Step #2 – Faith: Develop faith

Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title-deed) of the things [i] hope for, being the proof of things [i] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].

“Faith is not the belief that God will do what you want. It is the belief that God will do what is right.” – Max Lucado

     Step #3 – Decide: Who’s in charge

Matthew 11:29 – Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

“Crying is all right in its own way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do.” – C.S. Lewis

K is – Know Your Core Values And Purpose

The secret to achieving inner peace lies in understanding our inner core values – those things in our lives that are most important to us-and then seeing that they are reflected in the daily events of our lives.” — Hyrum W. Smith

     Step #4 – Fearless: Moral Inventory

Lamentations 3:40 Let’s take a good look at the way we’re living and reorder our lives under God.

“You were put on this earth to achieve your greatest self, to live out your purpose, and to do it fearlessly.” – Steve Maraboli

     Step #5 – Confess: To God, Ourselves, Others

1 John 1:9 If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].

“Never do anything that you can’t admit doing, because if you are that ashamed of whatever it is, it’s probably wrong.” – Ashly Lorenzana

     Step #6 – Forgiveness: Ask God, Ourselves, Others

Luke 17:3-4 Pay attention and always be on your guard [looking out for one another]. If your brother sins (misses the mark), solemnly tell him so and reprove him, and if he repents (feels sorry for having sinned), forgive him. And even if he sins against you seven times in a day, and turns to you seven times and says, I repent [I am sorry], you must forgive him (give up resentment and consider the offense as recalled and annulled).

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” – Mahatma Gandhi

     Step #7 – Transform: My Character

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].

“Most people in America, when they are exposed to the Christian faith, are not being transformed. They take one step into the door, and the journey ends. They are not being allowed, encouraged, or equipped to love or to think like Christ. Yet in many ways a focus on spiritual formation fits what a new generation is really seeking. Transformation is a process, a journey, not a one-time decision.” – David Kinnaman

Effectuate The Word

     Step #8 – Relationships: Thorough Examination

Ephesians 4:2-3 Living as becomes you] with complete lowliness of mind (humility) and meekness (unselfishness, gentleness, mildness), with patience, bearing with one another and making allowances because you love one another. Be eager and strive earnestly to guard and keep the harmony and oneness of [and produced by] the Spirit in the binding power of peace.

“Nothing will make us so charitable and tender to the faults of others, as, by self-examination, thoroughly to know our own.” Francois Fenelon

     Step #9 – Reconciliation: Make Amends

2 Corinthians 5:18-19 All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them.

“Moments of kindness and reconciliation are worth having, even if the parting has to come sooner or later.” – Alice Munro

     Step #10 – Growth: Mature Relationships

2 Timothy 3:16-17 Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action), So that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work.

“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.” Andy Rooney

 B.I.K.E – Build a better life, Introduce God as the focus, Know my purpose and core values, Effectuate the Word

     Step #11 – Awareness of God

John 14:26 But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.

Count your blessings. Once you realize how valuable you are and how much you have going for you, the smiles will return, the sun will break out, the music will play, and you will finally be able to move forward with the life that God intended for you with grace, strength, courage, and confidence. – Og Mandino

     Step #12 – Service

1 Peter 4:10 Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help.

“From now on, any definition of a successful life must include serving others.” George Bush

Peaceful Living – Comes from Acting on Basic Biblical Truths – Structured Into A Program For Daily Life

THE END!

Peaceful Living – Comes from Acting on Basic Biblical Truths – Structured Into A Program For Daily Life

GROWING IN PEACE – Peace is living in the complete wholeness of God

Step 12 – i am to serve others by sharing what i have learned.

As i said yesterday i would have said that i have a huge jump-start on step 12 because i am always serving others, one way or another. It’s what Ann Marie and i do. But as i continue in my FEARLESS moral inventory, this verse came to light and i was left asking questions as to if that’s true of me.

1 Peter 4:7-11 Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. This is a work in progress in alignment with steps 8 thru 10 Living “IN” peace with others. Love makes up for practically anything.

Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: Here’s where it gets a little shaky. if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. With all honesty (FEARLESS moral inventory) that’s not always the case. i somehow, many times manage to mingle in my words with a few of God’s words, not always but more than i care to. Hind sight is a great tool.

Then to many times i help and it’s even heartily, but it’s me and not necessarily God. Why one might ask? Simple self. When i get to big for my britches i think i spill out into an other wise good God opportunity. “Let it be God’s” and that’s the rub, because i prefer to be in control. Example, many small churches come to the campus and have very little money. i most of the time make a way for them to be there by charging little or next to nothing. After months or even years of  Ann Marie and i having to believe for our finances due to charging them to little they then give up and quit. On the surface that would seem like a God story but many of the times it was not. They could have better spent the finances in outreach. But because i stepped in and used my faith they missed the opportunity to trust God instead of Ann Marie and ed. It’s not that i want recognition, but i often think i know best, i miss the purpose, and because i do want to help, especially the underdog, what i do gets in the way of God.

“That God’s presence will be evident in everything, that He’ll get ALL the credit.” Someone might perceive that it’s God when in fact it’s ed just doing what ed does.

That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!

Peaceful Living – Comes from Acting on Basic Biblical Truths – Structured Into A Program For Daily Life

GROWING IN PEACE – Peace is living in the complete wholeness of God

“Everybody can be great.  Because anybody can serve.  You don’t have to have a college degree to serve.  You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve…. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve.  You only need a heart full of grace.  A soul generated by love.  ” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Step 12 is about ministry, according to the original 12 steps.

The assumption according to the founder of the 12 steps is that by this time i have had a spiritual awakening as the result of these 12 steps. i am now to carry this message to others, and practice these principles in my life.

Galatians 6:1-3 Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.

i completely agree with their assumption that a spiritual awakening has taken place, that is unless someone does not engage in the steps and only learns them as more knowledge unapplied. i would use a different word for step 12 other than ministry and it’s just a matter of preference. i would call step 12 Service! George Bush said, “From now on, any definition of a successful life must include serving others.”

i would have said in the past that i have a huge jump-start on step 12 because i am always serving others, one way or another. It’s what Ann Marie and i do. But as i am continuing in my FEARLESS moral inventory, i was awakened to some eye-opening info.

1 Peter 4:7-11 Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!

Peaceful Living – Comes from Acting on Basic Biblical Truths – Structured Into A Program For Daily Life

GROWING IN PEACE – Peace is living in the wholeness of God

Right Perspective as i shared yesterday is very important but today i am increasingly aware that Right Position is of equal importance.

Perspective: the state of existing in space before the eye: the proper or accurate point of view or the ability to see it.

Position: status or standing, to put in a particular or appropriate position.

There is another word that must be put in front of these two words, RIGHT, (in accordance with what is good, proper, or just, that which is morally, legally, or ethically proper). Perspective and Position, Right Perspective who God is! Right Position- Who i am, in Him!

If i were a glass half full kinda guy then i have perspective but it’s not the best or right perspective… FOR ME.

Elijah offers what i see as the perfect example of right position. i have studied this chapter many times and missed this.

1 King 17:1 And then this happened: Elijah the Tishbite, from among the settlers of Gilead, confronted Ahab: Some background about tis man. First Elijah means Yahwee is my God. The history of this great man is introduced very abruptly; his origin is hidden in obscurity. He is said to be a Tishbite. Who was his father, or from what tribe he came, is not known. Further he seems to have been the prophet of Israel, as he never prophesied in Judah. Many think he was born of a miraculous birth. Others believe that he had no earthly parentage; that he was an angel of God, united for a time to a human body, in order to call men back to perfect purity, both in doctrine and manners.

“As surely as God lives, the God of Israel before whom I stand in obedient service, Now that’s a right position! Elijah does not walk into town and declare a thus says the Lord to get the job done or insinuate some authority. He is the authority! He knew he had it and used it. Used it not for his personal gain but for the Glory of Yahwee, his God. Think about it for a moment, he has never been heard of before, he is a stranger, in this land and to this king, but definitely no stranger to God. He declares “as surely as God lives”! In my past i have declared thus saith the Lord, thankfully not in many years, but i do not ever recall declaring “as surely as my God lives.”

There is authority in those words, and he says, just in case you don’t know who i am declaring alive, it is the God of Israel. He is leaving no room for doubt about where his authority is coming from. Then he says, “before whom i stand in obedient service.” Elijah is speaking from the right position:(status or standing, to put in a particular or appropriate position). The whole reason for this series and my engagement in the 12 steps is to put myself in that very position.

This is the ed translation. Look king, my God does not deserve to be treated the way you and your people are treating Him. i am declaring that you put a stop to it. I will not tolerate my God being treated with such disrespect. And here is what is to be done about it… “the next years are going to see a total drought —not a drop of dew or rain unless I say otherwise.” Unless i say otherwise? Unless Elijah says otherwise? yes, and i checked several translations to see if this was right. Elijah’s position was one of authority in his God, Yahwee. There is no thus saith the Lord, no God told me, it’s simply, unless I say otherwise. Elijah knew that God would do His part and actually stop the rain.

Right Position – Who I am – and knowing it as surely as my God lives. i have always thought that i knew who i was in God better than most… all i needed to do is look at this one man to know otherwise.

The entire 11 steps thus far are guiding me to find the right perspective and the right position as God intends for me.

Peaceful Living – Comes from Acting on Basic Biblical Truths – Structured Into A Program For Daily Life

GROWING IN PEACE

Step 11, Awareness— is not a belief about something. It is the experiencing of God’s presence. It’s  not hoping that God is present— but it is the focused consciousness of God’s presence. It’s not making God become present, but becoming aware of The Holy Presence that is always here, now.

i know that i am not writing the following but it shares my current understanding about what is to… not be accomplished, but what is to “be experienced” through Step 11.

Exodus 33 7-10 Moses used to take the Tent and set it up outside the camp, some distance away. He called it the Tent of Meeting. Anyone who sought God would go to the Tent of Meeting outside the camp. It went like this: When Moses would go to the Tent, all the people would stand at attention; each man would take his position at the entrance to his tent with his eyes on Moses until he entered the Tent; whenever Moses entered the Tent, the Pillar of Cloud descended to the entrance to the Tent and God spoke with Moses. All the people would see the Pillar of Cloud at the entrance to the Tent, stand at attention, and then bow down in worship, each man at the entrance to his tent.

11 And God spoke with Moses face-to-face, as neighbors speak to one another. When he would return to the camp, his attendant, the young man Joshua, stayed—he didn’t leave the Tent.

Imagine this conversation! 12-13 Moses said to God, “Look, you tell me, ‘Lead this people,’ but you don’t let me know whom you’re going to send with me. You tell me, ‘I know you well and you are special to me.’ If I am so special to you, let me in on your plans. That way, I will continue being special to you. Don’t forget, this is your people, your responsibility.”

14 God said, “My presence will go with you. I’ll see the journey to the end.” End of story, right? Wrong!

15-16 Moses said, “If your presence doesn’t take the lead here, call this trip off right now. How else will it be known that you’re with me in this, with me and your people? Are you traveling with us or not? How else will we know that we’re special, I and your people, among all other people on this planet Earth?”

Moses are you listening? I said, “My presence will go with you. I’ll see the journey to the end.”

17 God said to Moses: “All right. Just as you say; this also I will do, for I know you well and you are special to me. I know you by name.”

18 Moses said, “Please. Let me see your Glory.”

19 God said, “I will make my Goodness pass right in front of you; I’ll call out the name, God, right before you. I’ll treat well whomever I want to treat well and I’ll be kind to whomever I want to be kind.” i sense a slight word of correction for Moses?

20 God continued, “But you may not see my face. No one can see me and live.” God’s protection!

21-23 God said, “Look, here is a place right beside me. Put yourself on this rock. When my Glory passes by, I’ll put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with my hand until I’ve passed by. Then I’ll take my hand away and you’ll see my back. But you won’t see my face.”

Step 11 – For me… nothing more and nothing less!