Welcome to the Greene Street Letters. It has become my venue for sharing what is going on at Vineyard Recovery Church. Don't let the word Church scare you. The Greene Street Letters is a daily posting to simply say that there is more to life than what you see. More to life than "stuff". My simple take of 60+ years of following Jesus. Some days were good days...some days I managed to get off in the ditch. He is worthy of the pursuit, so that is what I do........I pursue Jesus in everything I do. Not the Jesus of the church. Not the Jesus of the denomination. Nothing wrong with those things, but Jesus is so much more. Thanks for dropping by and I hope you return from time to time to stop and ponder your own relationship with Jesus. God on you....mb

Thursday, October 30, 2014

NOW!!!!


Couldn't believe it....
Driving home from town the other night....
Checking out the stations on the radio and managed to hit 96.5 out of Huntsville.
What did I hear?
"Have yourselves a merry little Christmas"
You've got to be kidding me. It's October 28th.
I waited a little while to make sure I was hearing correctly.

Sure enough, that  little tune was quickly followed by "Chestnut's roasting on an open fire."

We were entering into the Christmas season.
Can't wait...
Doesn't matter that we have two more holiday's before Christmas. We've got to get at it right now.

Impatience.

Impatience is defined as an eager desire for relief or change.
This is a cornerstone behavior in addiction.
Impatience.
I want to escape everything right now.
It's about relief in the moment, from the moment.
Too much guilt.
Too much shame.
Too many problems to deal with.

I want what I want, and I want it right now.
What I want the most is to be high so I don't have to think or deal with anything.


Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ. The power of what took place over 2000 years ago has been brought to bear in my own life through my repentance, confession and acceptance of Jesus as my Higher Power (Lord and Savior).

It is no longer I who live, but Christ the Messiah lives in me. My will has been traded in for His will and direction. I know that this will continue to be a battle, as my own will surfaces from time to time to exert it's power. I must be diligent and faithful to follow not what I want to do, but rather what I ought to do.

And the life I now live in the body, I live by faith (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) in the Son of God. The life I NOW, today...this moment....I'm alive. I have a choice. I have been given this moment. I will enjoy it and not be driven by impatience to look beyond it. I will not keep my focus either on the past or into the future, but will live in the NOW moment. I will do so by faith. I will place my trust in Jesus. I will not allow impatience to rob me of the blessing that comes from living in the NOW moment.

Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.  I was a mess. He died for me so that I could have real life. I was a liar and a manipulator. He loved me all the way to the cross and beyond. I wanted nothing to do with Jesus, His church, His people, or the so-called life everyone kept talking about. He loved me into His kingdom. Because of such love, I laid down every vestige of Michael Bynum and embraced this Jesus. I didn't know where this would take me. Still don't. But I have come to learn that this journey I'm on is much better than the darkness I use to dwell in. I have learned the value of living in the NOW. I have learned to be content with NOW. I have learned that there isn't any future without a NOW.
I guess you could say "I have learned."

God on you...
mb

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

It Was A Good Night


Acts 2:42
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayers.

The room was dark.
The music playing softly in the background.
Kevin Prosch singing, "Come and meet the healer."

The three men sat there with heads down, eyes closed.
Each one inviting God to come and meet with them.
Such a thing would not have taken place in the lives of these men a few months ago.
The very thought of waiting on God to hear from him was a foreign concept.

Yet here they were.
They were ready to study the word of God.
They were ready to hear from God.

They were ready to meet with God.
And they were ready to experience all that God had for them.

We looked to the book of James and Romans.
Testing and trials have a purpose, and are not merely a perceived punishment sent by God.
The ultimate result of going through such times, is that we get to see the "REAL" us. Hard times brings out our true belief's and allows us the opportunity to change as God would have us change.

Onward to Genesis 22, and the story of Abraham being asked by God to sacrifice Isaac, his son.
"Surely God didn't really intend for him to do this, did he?" This opened up a whole new thought. Would God require us to do such a thing? Hebrews showed us that Abraham, knowing full well that Isaac was a promise given by God to the be the first heir of a nation of people. Abraham believed that no matter what, God was going to keep his word. God would keep his word, even if it meant Abraham did kill Isaac. In other words, Abraham believed and had faith that even if he went through with God's request to kill his only son, God would raise him from the dead.

Hebrews 11:17-20 - By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, "in Issac your seed shall be called," concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.

Bible study concluded.
Prayers begin.
A sweet smelling savor that rises to heaven to be received by the Father.
A time of honesty for all of us.
A time to admit our weaknesses and frailties.

A time to be honest and transparent before God and each other.
A time to heal.

Amen....

Handshakes and hugs all around.
More conversation as we head for the door.
Heaven had come down into that room.
God had come with healing and now we were ready to go back out and face what ever may come our way.
Shouldn't it always be this way when we gather together to meet with God?
I think maybe yes, it should be this way.


God on you...

mb

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Our Call And Mandate


I Timothy 1:4   Amplified Bible
Nor to give importance to or occupy themselves with legends (fables, myths)
and endless genealogies which foster and promote useless speculations and questionings rather than acceptance in faith of God's administration and the divine training that is faith (in the leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence).

I am questioned, from time to time, by well meaning individuals who do not understand the nature of addiction. I do not take offense at their comments or questions.
The problems facing someone coming out of addiction are multi-layered and, without Christ, are insurmountable when approached with human will and spirit. In other words, the addict is overwhelmed by his destruction once they are sober. Too many issues to work through. Too many relationships destroyed. Too much restitution and fines to pay. Such is enough to send them back into the darkness. Couple this with the fact that an addict suffers from low self worth and you have a precarious situation.

Such is why our focus on Saturday nights is Just Jesus!

His saving power and grace, freely given to those who encounter a Step #3 moment. The revelation that we are not God. We are powerless and in need of someone greater than ourselves who could restore us to sanity. The thought that Jesus is the missing piece in our lives prompts us to turn will and life over to His care.

Over the past three weeks we have been teaching a series on what it means to be a follower of Jesus. To live by faith that He is who He claims He is, and will do what He has promised He would do. That is the key to sobriety and a new life. Such is why each Saturday, if you come to VRC, the topic of the evening will be Jesus. We don't look into end-time events. We simply trying to live in the moment or, as A.A. proclaims, one day at a time. We firmly believe that God's end time plans will be carried out. We trust Him! With such knowledge, we attack the current day. God has granted us 24 hours to maintain an incredible gift that has eludes us for years. Sobriety. Knowing that we possess the ability to make a choice, we choose Christ. We choose to follow Him. Knowing that as we string together day's of sobriety, life will take care of itself. Yes, there will be hard times. Yes, there will be times when we face problems where there seemingly aren't any answers. But we stand on the firm foundation that Jesus IS that Higher Power that can see us through whatever comes our way.

Vineyard Recovery Church is a place of acceptance. No matter where you are on this journey to recovery, we love you. If your still out there in your addiction, yet you have the desire to stop...come and join us. If you've got multiple years of sobriety, come and be a part. We are simply a gathering of people who have found value and life in Jesus. We belong to the greatest brotherhood and sisterhood of humanity ever to walk the face of the earth. Those who have been rescued from the hell of addiction. Dead men and women set loose from the tomb by the saving Power, grace and mercy of Jesus.
We are all on this journey of discovery.

Our goal is equip those who come with teaching and instruction that will enable them to leave, go back out and know how to follow Jesus. To have gratitude for what God has done for them, and give it away to others by sharing their story to those who need to hear it. In other words....we want to make disciples.

This Saturday night, we'll be taking a look at what it means to worship God. Debbie Handy will be doing the teaching as she unravels the idea of what true and real worship is. Come and be with us. This Saturday -- 7 p.m -- downtown at the Vineyard.

God on you...
mb

Monday, October 27, 2014

Kindness = Freedom


Romans 2:4
Are you unmindful or actually ignorant (of the fact) that God's kindness is intended to lead you to repent (to change your mind and inner man to accept God's Will)?

One thing about addiction that is true, is that it distorts our view about the truth of God.
We look at our lives and the destruction that we've brought about and judge ourselves to be worthless people. Our self worth is bottomed out and we put up a defense that tells our mind "How could God love me!"


Every time we encounter anything or anyone that points to God, we automatically go on the run. It is to painful to think about God because in our minds, we know that He is out to get us. That we have crossed over some imaginary line that will prevent us from ever being saved. Our own distorted thinking, which comes from our distorted heart, tells us that "we are hopeless...we are what we are, and addict, and we will never be able to change." Such thoughts are powerful in keeping a person locked up in the prison of addiction.

But God's love.....
Pure, holy and divine...
Is what fuels him to reach out to us.
A God who did not wish to save those who cannot save themselves would never reach out.

A God who only wanted to punish humanity for their sins would never have sent His Son to die on their behalf.
It is God's love that calls out to us in the darkness of our sin.
It is God's love that tells me that I have worth.
It is God's love that breaks through the haze of an addicted mind the crazy logic that drives it, to proclaim the truth that there is life and freedom.
Life and freedom from drugs and alcohol for anyone who will simply give will and life over to His care.


The one common thought I hear from those who have accepted God's gift of life is "Why didn't I do this years ago?" A gratitude and an appreciation for this new way to live life.
To see them smile and laugh.
To see them grow and mature, and face whatever problems may come up rather than run away to a bottle, a pipe, or a pill.

To fall head over heels crazy in love with this Jesus, and then go tell others about what has happened to them.
That is what the kindness and love of God can do.
It truly is the most powerful force known to man.
The divine love and kindness of God, that can break the penalty of sin.
Love that can break the presence of sin.

And love that can break the power of sin.
Now that is some kind of love.

God on you...
mb

Saturday, October 25, 2014

It Will Be A Good Day



Saturday....
Well into my second cup of coffee.
Feeling grateful.

Aches and pains from the mileage, but the years have been kind to me.
Sometimes in the quietness of my home I feel God's blessings.
Sitting in my chair, letting my thoughts roam too and fro, I find myself smiling, thinking back of all the good times God has given to me.


Good friends....
Good music....

Much laughter....
The love of a godly woman who has made for us a home.
The connection between two hearts, now one, committed to seeing this journey all the way to the end......
And beyond.
The two become four..
Four becomes six..
Then another generation adds two to our ranks.
Physical, tangible evidence of God's blessings.

I apologize for the advertising at the beginning of the video I have posted,but the song is, and has been, important to me.
Forever Young....

The body ages....
The spirit doesn't...
The body breaks down...
The spirit doesn't...
I look in the mirror and wonder who is that old man that stares back at me.
I kind of like the face...
Lines and wrinkles....
Hair, no longer a part of my head, has now migrated to my ears and nose. What's up with that?
Beard has moved into shades of winter and snow.
But the heart.....

The very center of who I am is still young and strong.
Forever Young........

God on you...
mb