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

Friday, September 30, 2016

VRC Now Available on ROKU


Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!
VRC is on Roku. You can listen to our messages through your Roku device.
I purchased one yesterday, and was in the process of downloading the channels I wanted to watch when low and behold I came across the platform we use to share our messages.

I don't understand how all this works, but it's pretty amazing to me.
I think maybe it involves Internet Elves and Streaming Gnomes....

Anyway, if you have ROKU, then look for SermonNet in the "religious" channels.



Once there type Vineyard and look for Vineyard ReCovery Fellowship (yeah, I know...I've got to change the name to VRC). Anywho...just wanted to update you on this latest way to keep connected.

God on you...

mbb

Spiritual Glue....Spiritual Power


Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].

Faith....that invisible concept that everyone seems to struggle with.
That part of Christianity that binds us to God through Jesus.

That spiritual glue that keeps us from wandering as the Holy Spirit leads us.
Yet with all this ethereal talk and lofty religious ideas, faith is a real and tangible as the chair I am sitting in.

Faith is a gift given to us by God. In fact, faith is given to everyone person before they come to a saving knowledge of Christ. How else could one be saved if they did not have faith. Faith is a fact, not a theory. Faith is the understanding....the knowing that God is truly who He claims He is, coupled with the fact that God will do what He has promised He would do. Such an anchor will keep you from being tossed about by life's storms.

Faith is the difference between working a program of recovery....
And simple making your way through some steps that you hope will keep you sober.
Faith is the very thing that turns those words to the steps, into life.
Faith binds you to the very o
ne....the Ultimate Higher Power .....that can lift you out of the darkness and pain of your addiction, into the light of a new life. 
No brag...
Just fact....


Faith is the place we have been called by God to live in.
II Corinthians 5:7- for we walk by faith, not by sight [living our lives in a manner consistent with our confident belief in God’s promises]
Did you catch that? We walk out (move through out daily lives) in a manner that is consistent with our confident belief in God's promises.
We don't use our emotions or feelings to guide us.
We don't use what society or culture tells us is the "right" thing to do.
We are learning to live by the economy of heaven....faith.


I like the last part of Hebrews 11:1 as the amplified put it....
Faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].
This is the reality of how the Twelve Steps work...
Faith in God the Father....
Faith in Jesus the Son...
And Faith in the Holy Spirit....

THIS is why I turn will and life over to His care.
And I do so in faith.

God on you....
mbb

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Choices



Luke 11:23 (The Message Bible)
Jesus speaking - "This is war, and there is no neutral ground. If you're not on my side, you're the enemy, if you're not helping , you're making things worse."

I rolled over and looked at the clock this morning.....3:45.
I chose to stay in bed a little longer.

I finally got up and went to the kitchen.
"How many cups of coffee do I need to make?"
I chose to make four cups.
I looked out the door to see if the paper had come. It had.
"Do I go now to get it? Or do I wait until Vicki gets up?"
I chose to go get it right then instead of waiting.
Life is filled with choices. Most of them insignificant.
Most of them not life threatening or destiny changing.


But during our day, we all will come across a choice that has the potential to change our life.
The choice may seem small at the moment, but if you follow the trail it lays out in front of you it will alter your life. We don't really like to think about such things as the power of our choice, but truth is......we all need a spiritual compass that will guide us in making these choices.


One of the biggest choices we can make is to choose who we are going to follow. There really are only two choices in this matter.
You're either going to follow God....being guided by His Holy Spirit.
Or you're going to follow the devil....being influenced by his whispers to listen to your flesh (sin nature).
That's it...only two choices, and in spite of our following our old sin/nature, God still pursues us in love to point us in the right direction.


Romans 3 (The Message Bible)
Since we've compiled this long and sorry record as sinners, and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious life God will for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we were in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.

It all boils down to who are you choosing to follow.
A God who offers you strength, mercy and His grace.
A God who draws you into a relationship that will extend beyond the boundaries of this life...

Or a fallen angel named Lucifer who only has your worst interest at heart.
He has only one purpose in this world.
To deceive you through any means to reject God.
To steal, kill and destroy you, and anything you touch.

Seems to me the choice is pretty clear.
What do you think?


Today, I choose to follow God.
Today, I choose God!


God on you...

mbb

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Truth And Gratitude



John 8:32
And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

The following was posted on Facebook by Jeffrey Cothran.
Long time friend, and brother in Christ, Jeffrey has fought many battles to be free from his addiction. I think the thing that draws me to him is his honesty. In fact, in recovery what is needed is a level of transparency and honesty that has no place for secrets.


With all this hating on the debate, I think I wanna say something about a "whistle" instead.
When I was a kid, out playing, round dark, a whistle would sometimes pierce the fading light.
My dad.
Not only was it unique, it was meant for JUST me. I knew WHO it was from, and I knew WHAT it meant. I knew what would happen if I avoided it. Saying I didn't hear it NEVER worked. I had 2 choices, come home, or face consequences. As a young 
R€B€L, saw my share of consequences. Truth.
Why didn't I want to come home? That's what I find myself askin me this morning. I mean, home was safe, I was loved, I needed to rest for school...BUT, my answer to the why, is straight up selfishness. Gonna do my way today dad! I was doin what I wanted to DO! Even though finishin offGabe Armstrong and Nicky Allen in that game of basketball wasn't > above said consequences, I liked doin things MY way. Always have. Not a good trait, if it is even a trait. Truth.
All that to say, a little over a year ago (Sept 7, 2015 to be exact) I heard a "whistle" pierce the darkness that had surrounded me. No mistake, it was for me. I knew WHO it was from and WHAT it meant!
It meant, time to quit playin boy, come home. It's WAY past dark!
At home, YOU are loved, YOU will be safe, and YOU will find "rest for your soul". For some grateful reason, my 2 choices merged into 1. I happened to be standing outside a Dr.'s office when I heard this whistle. In this "moment of clarity", the only option I could see, was goin home. That day, I did not care to finish the game.
Truth.
That was 386 days ago today. Understood, these sober days are small compared to the hell I've raised, so this fo shaw ain't bragging! Just truth. Although, not gonna sell this short either. Each day is "another brick in the wall" (pink Floyd btw)
It's been hard shakin the marks left on me by addiction, won't tell you it's easy. But, just ask me if its worth it!
Cmon man?!
My mind is startin to see thru the smoke, I'm getting fat (ha), I'm happy, I'm learning to be a better father, I'm involved heavily with an awesome group of ex outlaws that mess up life and are honest enough to ADMIT their defects (be a great concept to add to most RELIGIOUS organizations btw), and today...I woke up "Unchained" (Van Halen btw)
Seen more n my share of friends die active, go to institutions, or just fade off into the unnecessary. I heard yesterday in a meeting that (sobriety) ain't for those who need it, but for those who are willing to do whatever it takes to get it. So, last thing, maybe YOU don't need to be like me. Don't wait for the "whistle", come on home early. Grip this life, it does work my friend.
All I got. Thanks fo lettin me speak it.
One day at a time♠️

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Are You In The Bleachers? Or On The Field?


Matthew 28:19
Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

I think maybe what I am about to say may not be received by some. I'm o.k. with that. In fact, if you think I am in error, then please pray for me.
Personal responsibility......
In life....
In work....
In our homes....

And especially in our relationship with Jesus.
I had never really thought about the passage from Matthew until I downloaded a teaching on the book of Acts. The speaker made the comment that what the church calls "THE GREAT COMMISSION" was give to the disciples before the church was born. It was given before the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came in fullness for all who believed.
In other words, the great commission was a personal commission given to the first disciples, who in turn shared it, saw others saved, and taught them. It grew from this concept given to them by Jesus before His ascension back to heaven as generation took the personal responsibility to tell their story of what Jesus had done to them.....for them....and through them.

Now I know that some may say that when it comes to evangelism the church can do more than individuals, and I would have no argument with that. But it is so easy to hide in the church and neglect the personal responsibility that still is in effect for every believer.  


We too have been called to be salt and light in our communities, our schools, our jobs, in the market place. Here's the other part that I feel is most important. Such a work should come forth by the Holy Spirit working in us. If we are truly walking by the Spirit, then the Spirit will show us who we are to move toward.

Our sharing should not  be in a religious, verse quoting, speech that we memorize....but rather in a lifestyle where the love of God flows from us and we speak from the heart and not a memorized plan. Don't get me wrong, i am not putting down the "ROMAN ROAD" way to lead someone to salvation...but I think it needs to flow from us naturally (If the Holy Spirit desires us to use that method). Bottom line is we need to be open to how the Holy Spirit wants us to approach others. What if our job is to first establish relationship with a person before we ever share with them? Don't doubt that such a thing could ever happen. I think we get in trouble when we act out of behavior rather than faith. When we have a prearranged way of approaching someone rather than asking God, "How do you want me to address this individual. Call me strange but I just believe this is the way it works (at least for me).

Going back to the personal responsibility thing......
We like being on a winning team.....
But we don't like to practice for the game....
we had rather sit in the stadium, wear the jersey....but the big #1 foam finger and yell at the ones on the field. If they win the game, we proudly proclaim "WE WON!!!" as if we had been an intricate part of the effort that was carried on on the field. Get it!!!

We have got to get in the game....why? Because we have been a given a personal responsibility by God to do so. To share His story (which is our story) with those around us. To literally love them into the kingdom.

As you work the Twelve Steps, you'll come to Step #12. The step of giving away what has been freely given to you. Taking the message to others who need to hear it.  Sounds like moving in such behavior is a place of freedom. A place of gratitude....A place where we literally become the person God intended us to be. Sounds like such may actually be good for us. What do you think?

God on you...
mbb