Monday, April 22, 2013

LIGHT SHINES BEFORE US - from Our Journey Home


Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

You can't whitewash your sins and get by with it; you find mercy by admitting and leaving them. A tenderhearted person lives a blessed life; a hardhearted person lives a hard life.
Proverbs 28:13 -14 The Message



“Honest men fear neither the light nor the dark.”
-Thomas Fuller, M.D.

Light Shines Before Us

Once we have been honest and real with another person we should take some time for personal reflection. Taking the time to reflect gives us the chance to look back over the spectrum of our recovery experience and absorb more deeply all that has been happening in our minds and in our hearts. We’ll want to thank God and our listener for the love and the acceptance they have given to us. We should also acknowledge ourselves for being courageous and determined in our recovery work. Reflecting back, we can begin to see that God has been there alongside of us all along. He was with us in the conversation that we had with our listener, and even before that. Now, we can begin to see that He’s been reaching out to us, even before our recovery began. For you see, God is always one step ahead of us. He is always there, waiting for us to show up, honestly sharing with Him the truths of who we really are.

The conversation that we had with our listener has been a real “first” for most of us. Now, having had this “first of its kind” experience, we can sit quietly, alone and at peace, experiencing our bodies, our minds and our hearts being comfortable and at rest with one another. The angst, the resentment and the ongoing distrust that we have felt for ourselves and others can now begin to slip into the past. We can sense a new kind of feeling. We can feel that the world that we live in is a good world and that we are a valuable part of the goodness that God makes. Thank God for our Step Five experience. Let’s continually ask Him to help us grow in honesty. Let’s ask Him to help us to let go of the remaining burdens that we place on ourselves and others.

Journaling what we have discovered is important so that we don’t forget the past. We are more likely to end up where we don’t want to be if we forget where we’ve already been. Also, sharing our experience with those in our recovery fellowship helps us to keep moving forward, too. With this kind of progress we will sense a new kind of confidence deep inside of us. We won’t be alone anymore. We have seen a glimpse of God’s accepting love and we have experienced the joy of having someone else know our secrets and not turn away. Knowing that we are accepted by God and another person helps us to change. We can accept ourselves, failures and all. Redemption has begun. To the degree that we recognize and accept the value that God has for us, we will recognize, accept and value ourselves, too.

We can see that our future will be different from the past. While still capable of addictive self-destruction we know that the downward spirals that we have known before are no longer inevitable. We can live large, in a world of imperfect but wonderful people who, when honest with God and others, make themselves available to be loved by a strength and a power that is capable of giving life amid all hardship and sorrow. Sharing is caring. We become living miracles in the lives of others when we share, honestly.

from Our Journey Home - Insights and Inspirations for Christian Twelve Step Recovery, By David Zailer Copyright David Zailer, 2011

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WILLINGNESS EXPRESSED THROUGH ACTION - from When Lost Men Come Home, not for men only

Willingness Expressed Through Action


Real willingness — always expressed in diligent action — is absolutely indispensable. By honestly recognizing our need for help and open-mindedly accepting help from others, we willingly display the kind of fortitude that is needed to continue our work of recovery. Recovery requires courage. Courage is the objective willingness to move forward in spite of our fear – to move in the very direction in which we are afraid.

            When you made the decision to turn your will and your life over to God, you became a partner with Him, partnering to develop His miraculous purposes in your life. Now, doing your personal inventory is your partnership ‘response-ability.’ No one can do this but you. While we are doing our work, God helps our hearts trust and our minds to think in healthier, more productive ways. 

 
“It is not your diligence; it is not your examination of yourself that will enlighten you concerning sin.  Instead, it is God who does all the revealing…  If you try to be the one who does the examining, there is a very good chance that you will deceive yourself.”
Jeanne Guyon

 God is in charge of human life, watching and examining us inside and out.
Proverbs 20:27 MSG

 
The first step toward fortitude is dissecting our fears to find out what it really is that we’re afraid of, then asking ourselves, is this fear legitimate? When we take the time to look at our fears in this way, most often we’ll find that the fear overlooks God’s active presence. If the fear is one of loss, remind yourself of God’s promised provision. If the fear is one of ridicule, thank God you have an opportunity to grow in humility! Remind yourself that nothing can happen to you apart from God’s watchful care. He doesn’t blink, and He can use any circumstance for His good.
Gary L. Thomas, The Pursuit of Glory

 
He is working in you. God is helping you obey Him. God is doing what He wants done in you.
Philippians 2:13 NLT

           
Sexual addiction is not the cause of our moral failings nor is sexual addiction a moral failing in and of itself. Sexual addiction and the subsequent moral failings are the result of spiritual and emotional malnourishment. When making a moral inventory we sift through our past and present behaviors in order to recognize selfish thinking, misguided or inaccurate beliefs and the ineffective emotional developments that promoted our addictive behavior. It is essential that we see these things for what they really are, so they can be changed or eliminated from our lives. A man’s hidden nature creates his external actions, and moral failings will continue if they are not faced and dealt with honestly. 

You are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy – full of greed and indulgence! You Pharisees! First wash the inside of the cup, and then the outside will become clean, too.
Matthew 23:26 NLT

            Making my personal inventory helped me to see specific things in me that promoted my addictive thinking and acting. I was able to see how self-centered I was, how lonely I was, how angry I was and how frustrated I had been most of my life. My personal inventory was a practical, measurable commitment to clear the ground in preparation for the construction of a new person made by the design and resources of God, The Master Builder of Life. Gaining increased objectivity about myself in this way set me on course to bring my heart and mind together in agreement with God. No longer alienated spiritually from God and from myself, I sensed I was becoming a member in the family of the most blessed of all men. 

“If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.   That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, The Big Book pg 83-84 

 
This is an excerpt from When Lost Men Come Home, not for men onlycopyright, david zailer 2012

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

ALL THINGS GOOD - from Our Journey Home


We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

The time is coming when everything will be revealed; all that is secret will be made public. Luke 12:2 NLT

“To state the facts frankly is not to despair for the future nor indict the past.” --John F. Kennedy


All Things Good

Jesus Christ is the definitive break in what has previously been an unbreakable cycle of human effort, human trial and human failure; a cycle that has been repeated in every human life throughout history. But no more. Through Christ, God changes all the rules. In Christ, the new rule is human trial, human failure and redemption for every man and woman who trusts in the redemptive love of God. It’s very simple, really. God, through Christ, has done for us what we could never do for ourselves. So, we no longer need to be concerned with getting ourselves right with God. We need only concern ourselves with honestly addressing the reality of our addictions and our sins. For this reason, it is vitally important that we understand our shortcomings with as much clarity as possible. Because, we can accept God’s love only to the degree that we accept our personal shortcomings. God will do for us what we cannot do for ourselves, but He will not do for us what only we can do for ourselves.

Looking back over our lives, we will inevitably see that we have made some bad choices along the way. Seeing things from an objective point of view, we can see that the choices that we made, even the bad ones, usually made sense to us at the time that we made them. Being objective in this way, we can give ourselves compassion and understanding which will help us to move forward and live our lives with more freedom. We don’t need to judge ourselves anymore. Judgment is God’s job, after all, not ours. For our part, we just let the facts be what they are. God makes perfectly enlightened judgments about the things we do and why we do them. For you see, God does not judge us solely on what we do. He does not define us by our actions alone. He defines us by the love that He has for us. He knows that we don’t know all that we need to know. He knows that we are not always in control of ourselves. He knows that we are instinctively fearful and self-centered and that sometimes we do bad things with good intentions and that other times we do things that look good on the outside but are done with selfish motives. Knowing all things, and with His perfect judgment, God does not define us in terms of good versus bad. Having created us as very complex creatures, God is fully aware, as proven through Christ’s compassion, that we live conflicted lives in a conflicted world. From God’s point of view, we are defined by the simple reality of His revolutionary love for lost and addicted sinners like us.

Because of Christ, it is no longer necessary for us to avoid or escape the pain that we experience in life. In Christ, we can find a good purpose in everything. In faith, we believe that He makes all things good. And because there is no limitation to the meaning of “all,” we can accept every pain and difficulty as an opportunity for goodness. Pain can be a great teacher and a wonderful motivator. Pain compels us forward, motivating us to reach out. It’s as if our past problems, fears, pains and sins become monuments along the road of our journey. They become memorable points of progress that help us, and others too, to journey deeper into the empowering love of God.

We want to be as thorough as we can possibly be and, at the same time, we want to recognize that our faith is in God and not in our own efforts. When we feel anger, we write about it. When we sense fear, we write about it. When we feel resentment, we write it down. We write everything down so that we can talk it over face to face with God, and man to man with another person, too. We don’t need to be perfect, but we do want to do the best that we can. As we get a better grasp about how we feel, we will get a better grasp of who we are and how we have harmed ourselves and others. Then, we become evermore ready to change. We become ready to live in this world in a new and better way.


An excerpt from Our Journey Home - Insights and Inspirations for Christian Twelve Step Recovery
By David Zailer Copyright David Zailer, 2011

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HAVE YOU BEEN FOOLING YOURSELF? - from When Lost Men Come Home, not for men only

Have You Been Fooling Yourself?
You cannot become the person God created you to be if you play games with the truth. To make a real claim for the kind of faith that leads to recovery, it is your responsibility to pursue self-clarity, so you can learn to understand who you are, what you are about, why you think the way you do and why you do the things you do. This may even mean admitting how hopeless you still feel, or how weak you feel your faith to be. If we want to know God personally, the place to start is with the truth about ourselves. 
            God is a God of truth. He is a God of reality. To procrastinate in this work of self-honesty is to avoid the process of growing in relationship to God, who is our only hope. All God is asking you to be is completely honest — right now. With your addiction as obvious evidence, you were not honest in the past, and tomorrow may never come. Your opportunity for recovery is to face yourself honestly, today and every day. Procrastination is deadly to sexual addicts. 
The moral inventory is a cool examination of the damages that occurred to us during life and a sincere effort to look at them in true perspective. This has the effect of taking the ground glass out of us, the emotional substance that still cuts and inhibits.
Bill Wilson, As Bill Sees It

You want me to be completely truthful, so teach me wisdom.
Psalm 51:6 NCV
           
            There is no effective substitute for a truthful, realistic perspective of who you are. Honesty, openness and willingness — the very things we run from in our addictions — are required. Most everyone in Operation Integrity will readily admit they felt fearful and reluctant about making their own personal inventory. It can seem like an impossibly uncomfortable thing to do. We all needed help. Being open-minded, we were willing to ask for the help we needed. And we got it. We got help from our sponsors, our mentors and our counselors. If you need help, ask for it. You are not alone. 


This is an excerpt from When Lost Men Come Home, not for men onlycopyright, david zailer 2012

Monday, April 15, 2013

OPERATION INTEGRITY PRAYER

OPERATION INTEGRITY PRAYER
I pray that I will learn to desire obedience more than blessing or comfort and to know that the greatest blessing in life is to live obedient to your will. May I learn to better give up my will and find my complete and total satisfaction in your will. My self-centeredness destroys me but seeking you and doing your will brings life to me. Realizing this, I have decided that my mind, my heart and my will, will be directed to you. I will find my purpose and identity in knowing you more personally & living more powerfully according to your Spirit. Amen

Monday, April 8, 2013

GETTING INTIMATE WITH GOD - from Our Journey Home

We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.

As he went out into the street, a man came running up, greeted him with great reverence, and asked, "Good Teacher, what must I do to get eternal life?" Jesus said, "Why are you calling me good? No one is good, only God. You know the commandments: Don't murder, don't commit adultery, don't steal, don't lie, don't cheat, honor your father and mother." He said, "Teacher, I have—from my youth—kept them all!" Jesus looked him hard in the eye—and loved him! He said, "There's one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me." The man's face clouded over. This was the last thing he expected to hear, and he walked off with a heavy heart. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and not about to let go. Mark 10:17-22 The Message

“A saint is not someone who is good but someone who experiences the goodness of God.” -Thomas Merton

Getting Intimate with God

Scripture is full of people who can help us become more intimate with God. But it’s not always because they had such a good relationship with God themselves. One such person is the man we read about in Mark 10. Let’s call him Don. From what the Bible says, we know that Don rushes around in a big hurry, with all kinds of drama, all in an effort to do what he thinks he needs to do so that he can live forever. Sounds like some of us, doesn’t it?

From what we read we know that Don was intensely committed to his religious practice, rituals he had kept since childhood. Speculating a little, Don was probably the kind of guy who attended church without fail. We can almost see him, tall and well put together. We can bet that Don took really good care of his appearance, presenting himself to the world with great care and consideration. He knew he was doing good and it was important to him to impress others with just how good he was. He probably drove a nice car and, secretly of course, he was proud that he kept his car looking and running better than anyone else in his neighborhood. For sure, Don was well respected at church and at home. This made him feel important. Being the man that he was, Don was obsessed with learning all that he needed to know in order to get rid of anything that limited the life that he loved so much. It seems like Don thought of Jesus as little more than a means to an end. Because Don was committed to getting everything that he thought was important, he inadvertently treated Jesus as if Jesus was just an object that was there to give Don what he thought he needed. Don was in control, or so he thought. In the most subtle of ways, Don was playing God. This is what we do when try to use God to get our way. It happens even with our best intentions. None of us means to objectify God but we do, at least to some degree. It’s really not a question of if we have, but how often have we.

Jesus gives Don an amazing comeback. He didn’t directly confront Don’s religiosity and pride. He just suggested that Don should keep doing more of what he was already doing. Then, being such a hard worker and all, Don was apparently overcome with a deep, deep sadness. After all, since childhood he had been working harder and harder to get a better life and it obviously hadn’t been working for him. If it had, he wouldn’t have been so desperate for something more. So, deep in his gut, he knew it wasn’t going to work now. Do you know this feeling?

Here the story could have taken a great turn, but it didn’t. Jesus continued to respond to Don by challenging his attachments. (Don probably had some addictions mixed in there, too.) While challenging Don to detach and free himself from the things that he held so dear, Jesus extended an invitation to enter into the intimacy of living with Jesus on a day-to-day basis just like the rest of Jesus’ followers did. Sadly, Don could not make this decision. He could not find it within himself to let go of the old life of religion and take hold of this new life of relationship.

We need to be careful not to speculate too much because we can’t read Don’s mind. We can only know for sure what Scripture tells us. Perhaps Don just didn’t believe what Jesus was saying. Perhaps he couldn’t fathom the idea that gaining eternal life did not depend on him alone. Or, perhaps Don just didn’t really want what Jesus had to offer. Don seemed determined to think that his religious discipline and control would be enough to get himself right with God forever. He chose pride over life.

Don’s story will only benefit us if we are willing to learn from it. Sometimes we learn the most in observing the failures of others. It is important for us to relate ourselves to Don and his encounter with Christ, failures and all. For you see, Jesus is about more than just overcoming an addiction. He is about more than just going to heaven when we die. Any reason and all reasons are good reasons to come to Christ, but the only way we will continuously bring life to our sinful existence is to seek intimacy with Christ for the sake of God himself. Any other reason becomes sin sooner or later. Jesus is more than a religious icon. Jesus is how God identifies himself to us in a personal way. In Jesus, God shows himself as the perfect human so that all of us imperfect humans can enjoy a perfected relationship with God. It’s simple really. As we make the decision to surrender our will and our life to Jesus we get close, we get real and we get intimate with God. It’s a love story, not a religious story. God looks deep into us and no matter of what he sees, He loves us just like Jesus loved Don. What Jesus did for Don, God is doing for us. He challenges us. He calls us. He invites us to let go of the things which have been holding us back, most notably our religious attempts to prove ourselves worthy. God frees us from the demand that we get our act together. He knows that even if we did ever get our act together, all that we would ever have would be an act.

Christ, is here to give us His life if we are willing to let go of the lifelessness that we have known up to now.

He has done his part now. Let us do ours.

An excerpt from Our Journey Home - Insights and Inspirations for Christian Twelve Step Recovery
By David Zailer Copyright David Zailer, 2011

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SAY HELLO TO YOU

Say Hello to You 
We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
—Step Four from the Twelve Steps
 
 Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.
—Lamentations 3:40
 
Complain if you must, but don't lash out.
Keep your mouth shut, and let your heart do the talking.
—Psalm 4:4 MSG
 Stay alert; be in prayer so you don't wander into temptation without even knowing you're in danger. There is a part of you that is eager, ready for anything in God. But there's another part that's as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire."
—Matthew 26:41 MSG
 
                  Sexual addiction is about escape. The addictive acting out we have done made it possible for us to temporarily avoid uncomfortable and painful feelings like inadequacy, fear, hopelessness, loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted or unloved. But we could not escape these painful feelings forever. Sooner or later they always returned, usually with a vengeance. And, because most of us grew up having painful feelings we could not escape, we may have grown callused to them, and not realized we felt like we did. We often even trained ourselves subconsciously to avoid our feelings through thoughts, fantasies and other intoxicating experiences, thereby losing connection with what was really going on inside us. It’s like we had unknowingly developed our own world of make-believe and become lost in it. But this will never work for long. Anyone who wants to recover will have to leave their fantasies behind them, and accept the real truth of who they are and the reality of their lives.
            Making an inventory of our feelings, beliefs, attitudes and actions is a pursuit of this reality. It is a commitment to recognize and acknowledge one’s personal truth, so that our wounds can be healed. Personally, I would have much preferred to do someone else’s inventory, but I was the one who needed recovery, so I stuck with taking inventory of myself. It was not fun and it was not easy.


This is an excerpt from When Lost Men Come Home, not for men onlycopyright, david zailer 2012

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

IT'S A GOD THING - from Our Journey Home

We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

I will love You, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies. Psalm 18:1-3

“The strength of a man consists in finding out the way in which God is going, and going in that way too.” -Henry Ward Beecher

It’s a God Thing

Medical doctors call addiction a disease because it embeds itself into our bodies physiologically, creating dependencies that have definitive symptoms. Psychologists will often refer to addiction as “attachment” because in addiction we become “attached” to things in ways that are destructive to us. Religious teachers often call addiction idolatry and sin because of the way that addictions skew our personal priorities. Because addiction can be seen from differing points of view it is important for us to understand that each viewpoint has merit because addiction affects the whole person. That is, physically, mentally and emotionally and spiritually. Addictions hook our bodies by creating bio-chemical dependencies in our brains. It takes hold of our lives by creating attachments to people, places and things that we addictively think are necessary for us when they really are not. And, our addictions keep us from having a meaningful connection with God because we value the things we are addicted to more than we value God. Whichever viewpoint is considered, the result of addiction is the same. Lives erode and people die in one way or another.

It has been said that addiction is the most human of all diseases. After all, addiction has been around since man has been around and in one way or another we are all addicted to something. In the past, addiction has affected us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. But we don’t need to stay addicted any longer. When we become willing to seek a spiritual solution to our addictions, we will begin to find solutions for the physical, mental and emotional problems as well. The willingness to look for a new kind of spiritual solution is a kind of grace. We say it’s grace because as we admit that we need help and in coming to believe that we can be restored to sanity, the downward spiral of our addiction has been interrupted. This is something that we could not do on our own.

Furthermore, it is grace that we have the opportunity to take steps that will help heal us. This is a decisive dignity that we had once lost to our addictions. Somehow, in grace that is at the precise point where our hopeless desperations collided with the hopeful desire to find sanity for our lives we’ll find a decisiveness that we didn’t have before. Because the pain of staying the same was more than the pain of changing, we decided, without even realizing it, which is grace, to reach out and grab onto what we’ve come to believe will restore sanity to our lives. Seeking to recover from our addictions, through the power of grace, we seek the Kingdom of God which means to simply make God the King of our lives. For you see, The Kingdom of God is nothing more than the place where God is King.

Remember our friend David from Psalms 38:3-8? Some believe that David had serious problems with addiction. We don’t know for sure but it’s possible that David may have been addicted to sex. Considering how he pursued a sexual relationship with Bathsheba, who was a married woman, and how he orchestrated the circumstances where her husband would be killed in order to hide his sexual impropriety, there is evidence to the real possibility that David was addicted to sex. Most poignant of all is that he seemed to be in deep denial of the consequences of his actions. David, like any addict, was blind to see how his actions where hurting others.

To David’s credit, when his wrongs came into the light, he did not waste a lot of time arguing. He not only realized how wrong his actions were but he also realized that he had unwittingly become, in his addictions that is, his own worst enemy. This helps to explain how David, as he wrote in the Psalms, “I'm on my last legs; I've had it - my life is a vomit of groans,” had found himself at a decisive crossroads. He realized, as we have, that his life was unmanageable and he needed to change in order for his life to change. David was, as we are, at the crossroads of faith and decision. The ultimate question for David, as it is for us as well, is what will the future be like. David, in Psalms 18:1-3 tells us how he expressed his willingness to reach out and connect with a Power that would make a difference in his life.

Our friend David would not allow his addiction to define his entire life, though there was no escaping the consequences of his past. He decisively committed in his heart and mind to seek out a relationship with God. In so doing, David began to find a new and healthy identity for himself. Ultimately, David came to be known as a man after God’s own heart, even in spite of his addictions. The same can happen to us. As we come to believe that we can be restored to sanity, we gain the opportunity to discover and live out a whole new identity. It’s an identity and life that is a perfectly scripted plan for our lives by the design of a loving and caring God. The possibility to live this miracle is here so the only question for us is, will we be willing to live it out?


Our Journey Home - Insights and Inspirations for Christian Twelve Step Recovery By David Zailer Copyright, David Zailer, 2011

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GRACE - from When Lost Men Come Home, not for men only

Grace
 
I know God loves all people including those of us who became addicted sexually. God not only loves you, He delights in you and wants you no matter who you are or what you have done. I am convinced of this because I have discovered it for myself. He reveals himself to me through the opening door of my honest, open and willing surrender. Thankfully, having an authentic relationship with God is not a matter of how smart I am, but how sincere I am with Him. He takes care of the rest. It’s simple, it’s effective and it’s called grace. Grace is God’s gift of a new life, no matter who you are, where you are or what you have done. God is concerned for you and He reveals himself to anyone who is interested in Him. When you are ready to receive and accept it, God’s grace will always be there to meet you. He’ll make His home in your heart. From there He will move into every aspect of your life, continually expanding His presence and filling you with Himself.
            I believe all people — whether they know it or not — intuitively long for a spiritual and eternal Father, one who knows exactly what they need, one who is eternally committed to love and care for them perfectly. We all need an authentic relationship with a perfect Father. And this is where Jesus comes into the plan for our redemption. Jesus is the One Person who has always known God as the Perfect Father. He reveals who God the Father is and what God the Father is like. God may never be exactly what we want Him to be, but He will always be everything we need Him to be. There has always been only one whose life displayed perfection of purpose, whose death exemplified the perfection of love and who lived again after death, proclaiming the perfection of power that altered the course of world history and changing individual lives.
            In Jesus, I experience someone whose destiny offered Him all privileges but — by His own choice — gave up His entitlements, preferring to love others in surrender and obedience to God his Father. He embraced those who admitted their need for Him, anyone who was willing to ask for His help. He forgave those who sought to destroy Him. He never retaliated, nor defended Himself. He expressed love for those who killed Him, because He knew they did not understand who He was or what He was about. After giving up His life, He lived again and appeared to His followers, proclaiming once and for all His role as The One who is capable of giving life to dying men. He chose to associate with those who, like me, were socially and personally ravaged, drawing us to Himself, to His love and to His Father. 
            I am empowered by Jesus Christ according to His power and the gift of faith I have in His power. It is in Jesus that I have life and confidence in God’s care. Thank God Jesus loves the sexually addicted like me.
 
This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person's failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.
John 3:16-18 MSG
 
            The man and the life of Jesus can never be contained in a history lesson or a theological discussion. The only place for Him and His Spirit to be is in the lives of men and women who, like me, become infused with His Power as a result of their faith and hope in Him. His life is my life. His God is my God. My life is His. God does not exist for me. I exist for God. Looking through the lens of eternity, everything begins to make sense. I am increasingly aware of the joy God brings, His excellent plan for me and the assurance that my life, the world around me, and the universe as a whole are loved by Him completely. The love of Jesus is changing my heart and as my heart changes, my mind is changing too. The recovery I am receiving is not about rule-keeping, religious moralizing and self-imposed corrections. I have experienced a complete change of allegiance, now preferring an intimate relationship with God above my sexual addictions, above my life, above everything. Jesus lived courageously, died lovingly and lived again eternally so we can know that God eternally forgives you and me. Are you ready to say…?
 
Dear God, I pray that I will learn to desire obedience more than blessing or comfort and to know that the greatest blessing in life is to live obedient to Your will. May I learn to better give up my will and find my complete and total satisfaction in Your will. My self-centeredness destroys me but seeking You and doing Your will brings life to me. Realizing this, I have decided that my mind, my heart and my will, will be directed to You. I will find my purpose and identity in knowing You more personally and living more powerfully according to Your Spirit. Amen
The Operation Integrity Prayer

This is an excerpt from When Lost Men Come Home, not for men onlycopyright, david zailer 2012

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