Forgiveness is the Key to Restoration

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This weekend I learned something which needed to be put into practice:  Forgiveness.  There are a lot of family, more specifically, and friends who have been hurt by me; whether justifiably or not, it is time to put those things behind which inhibit relationships and growth.  When you are harboring pain, hate, anger and vengeance, you will not be able to fully have a relationship with God.  God is about forgiveness and love and expects no less from us.  I prayed asking God to direct me in this process.  You can say it and mean it, but it is something which takes place over time as you begin to clear the garbage out of your being.

I learned to forgive doesn’t necessarily mean to “forget”.  What it means is to withdraw the consequences from them you once thought.  It means letting go of the feelings and words you used which showed others where you were despite how you portrayed yourself to them.  God says He forgets our sins.  Is it possible?  God merely withholds the punishment due us replacing it with love because we ask Him to forgive us.  It doesn’t mean in forgiving relationships will be established.  This can only take place if there is change between the two principles and opportunity presents itself to do so.

I prayed asking God to help me to forgive someone in my life but said I didn’t know how to begin.  Today, someone gave me a card to send to my mother!  Could this be a prayer answered?  I believe it is.  This, too, is about “letting go and letting God”.  So, I begin to take the steps of healing.  If there are people in your life who could use a little forgiveness on your part, why not make this the day to do so.

 

Forgiveness doesn’t require the other person to respond to your efforts.  However, it does require God to go into action to bring it about in your life, where it counts the most.

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It Must Be Their Choice

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Today, I stayed in bed as long as I could not wanting to get up and venture out in the very chilly morning as I was late getting in, last night, due to an invitation to join friends in watching a boxing match on a big screen; but, I have to get up and go to a meeting I facilitate for people involved in addiction.  Fifteen minutes after the scheduled time for the meeting to begin, the two brothers, who also enjoyed the fight last night, assured me they’ll be there, weren’t!  This is not the first time they’ve done this so I made the decision, with my friend who kindly permits us to use his facility, we will cancel this ministry until further notice and guarantee of commitment.

Two lessons were learned just an hour ago:

  1. You cannot expect from others what you are willing to do, and
  2. Stay committed even when others will not.

When you’re involved in the ministry of helping those who struggle, part of the struggle will be within yourself.  There will be those cold mornings you do not wish to go out as well as receiving the cool reception some of those you minister will give you.  You must remember the life of Christ, our Great Leader, who often met with skepticism and disappointment.  If He should encounter this, should we expect any better?

Keep in mind the Great Commission is:  “Go ye into the world.”  There is nothing which says they’ll be on time or will even show up!  It’s really their choice what they wish to receive.  Just be prepared to give.

 

“I don’t care”, is what I used to say.  Helping others now, is what I do today.

Vikki Blossom

Serenity Prayer

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“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.” –Reinhold Niebuhr 

This is often quoted after meetings in, “the rooms”.  Yet addicts do not really know the power of prayer, nor those who are their friends and loved ones!  Too much time is spent in “the rooms” and not enough time spent in the “Upper Room”.  Prayer is an intrinsic part of the experience of overcoming.  This is why the enemy gets us involved in drugs and alcohol; because they numb our brain and this is the only method of communication between God and man, prayer.

Prayer is the only method a man, or woman, can come out of addiction and a simple quoting of words is not going to cut it.  If we understood the power which prayer provides, we’d spend more time on our knees and allow our souls to cry out than just simple recitation.  When given an opportunity of speaking to the Savior while dying next to Him on the cross, his prayer was generated from a heart of need, “Lord, remember me…”  Reciting words learned won’t get anyone anywhere.  The Devil has fooled us into thinking our simple demonstration of reaching God is working.  It’s any wonder if those who do this have a time of prayer or is it the only prayer, if it can be called such, given in their lives?

It might be short, cute and nice to quote, but it does nothing to bring true power into the lives of those countless millions who are being destroyed by addiction to substances.  More would be achieved if they replaced that prayer with a meaningful, “Lord, save me…” and then mean it.

 

An addict must fight for clean-living; as a man drowning fights for a breath of air.

Let Them Go

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This message is for both the addict and family and friends who love them.  I’ll speak first to the family and friends.

It’s time to let the addict go.  Too long have you held onto that person thinking you are helping them, but you are prolonging their journey in addiction!  Consider your motives.  Are you doing what you are doing because it is best for them or because it makes you feel better by doing something?  If this is the case, then your intentions are not pure and you are stepping in the way of God who is only able to help them.  You must let them go.

Now, for the addict.

You must learn to let go, too, of your family and friends who are supporting you.  You are causing them much pain and grief and would do them, and yourself, a world of good by letting go and finding your way in the journey of addiction.  The only way you can be restored in the company of these good people is to be like them.  You are not and know this all too well.  Today, say your good-byes and close the door without looking back and begin to see what God has planned for you.

It is never easy to let go but it is necessary in relationships.  We have all heard the little poem about letting something we love go.  If it never returns there wasn’t love at all.  At least give them, and yourself, an opportunity to see the power of love.  God’s love is greater and He knows what is best for each of us by:  Letting go and letting God. 

 

Save me, Lord, from me, myself, and I.  If I stay in control, I will surely die.

Vikki Blossom

Time of Healing

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Of late, I am encountering many who make this statement, “Overcoming addiction will not happen overnight” or “Just as long as the addict was addicted will take about as long for the addict to be rid of it” or some stipulated time-frame based upon some statistic or other for when an addict can say they’re sober.  These statements are propagated usually by those who themselves were never addicted but it provides a comfort level as they relate to addicts who might have been family or friends.  They search out groups like Al-Anon to provide them with answers in dealing with questions they’re perplexed, and together the addicted one is further held back from achieving freedom from addiction by the very ones who are held back in believing them;  a vicious cycle.

The Bible states: “Jesus healed all manner of illness, sickness, and disease” and torments and He did this by a word and the people were healed, in the majority of cases, instantly!  The question begs to be asked, “Could any of these people been addicts?”  If you’re one to believe addiction is a disease, then the answer would have to be, “yes”.  If you’re one to believe addiction is demonic possession (torments), as I do, then the answer would have to be, “yes”.  If you’re one to believe addiction is a sickness, then the answer would have to be, “yes”.  Jesus was not held to some sort of standard of timing mechanism and neither should we when it comes to believing what He is able to do for us.  He is still able to heal you and I, instantly, but, it is according to our faith.

If I claim to be healed, by God, from addiction, I refuse to allow you to control my ability to exercise and live in a state of clean-living because your time-frame has not been satisfied!  Perhaps, you should go sit at the foot of the Cross as I have done and get a little bit of “forgiveness, healing and peace” from the One Who has given it to me.  Let’s pray for each other. 

 

If God can speak the word of healing, can I not receive it—now?

Precious Diamonds

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This devotional was inspired by my God-daughter, Vikki, who shared with her mother in a letter from her prison cell due to substance abuse:  “Where would God put His most precious diamonds?  Where we would!  We would lock them up and put them away, just like God did with me!”

This is such a profound thought when you think for a moment of what God does for some of us.  He puts us away, a “diamond in the rough” so we’re able to mix with others who are polishing us so when we came from being locked away, we would shine, shimmer and reflect the light of His love toward us.  Many of us would have only been given second chances from prison.  There are so many who fail to reach prison and die so we should count it a privilege if we can be placed, for our own good and for that of others, to spend quality time with God in prison, especially if we’ve failed to do so in our churches.

God is giving each of us an opportunity of meeting Him so we might be saved.  God challenged me in September of 2002 and asked if I were serious enough to want to quit my own addiction, would it be okay if He sent me to prison.  On His second attempt to reach me with the same question, I agreed it would be.  A week later, I would find myself housed in federal lockup for 26 months.  When the door was finally opened and I was set free, I was “freed” from the addictions that went inside with me.

The only shame of going to prison is if you come out the same way you went in! 

 

Thank you, Godfather, for being part of my story.

Vikki Blossom

 

You’re welcome, God-daughter.  And, I love you!

Bro. Roy


Note: Because of this particular post and moment of inspiration, during my last incarceration 2010-13 I wrote a book entitled, “God’s Gems” which gives inmates an idea of how to behave and conduct themselves while in prison believing we are “God’s Gems” merely being polished, clean and stored for later shining to others.  It can be read on my website.  Feel free to download and/or copy and print for your loved ones who are incarcerated.

It’s Who You Know

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I hadn’t seen Frank since I left for Atlanta October ’07.  He was sitting outside a small restaurant I often patronized but not today. I was in town to use an ATM and get a favorite snack and deciding not to stop over to visit friends, crossed the street and into the path of Frank.  It was good catching up sharing what we’ve done in the past two years.  When I shared with him my involvement in drug ministry and wrote a book he mentioned a local radio station, just several buildings away who’d be interested in hearing my story, so he said.

Instead of letting me go and introduce myself he went with me and walked right into the studio where the DJ was sitting behind his equipment, who rose and shook hands with Frank and motioned who I was.  I gave him about 30 seconds of information and he responded, “Get ready, you’re going on the air in a few minutes!”  For the next twenty minutes I shared my testimony, mentioned my book and website and afterwards walked out wondering what had just happened!

I’m beginning to learn in this life—this ministry, it isn’t who you are which will get you in doors but who you know is the key.  Oh, you’re probably thinking I’m talking about Frank.  Actually, I’m talking about God who knew just when to send me on an errand and ended up perhaps reaching thousands of listeners and hopefully even just one life might have been changed for the best.  I guess that’s why I entitled my book, “If You Send Me, I Will Go.”  I’m still doing it.

 

You cannot dictate what you will do and say, when God is in charge of your day!