Monday, December 31, 2012

End Of The Line




Here we are....
Last day of 2012...
Lot's happened this past year. As January came in, I was recovering from my heart attack. Grateful that God had let me live, but unsure as to what the future held. Well, He has given me 2012 and I sit here this morning full of gratitude for who God is to me. Grateful for a Savior, Jesus Christ, who is Lord over my life.
Grateful for good friends and a wonderful family.

You know, it is not seen as being Vogue to talk about the return of Jesus.
The 2nd coming.....
I have run into a number of believer's who want to change the subject when it comes to the return of Christ. I don't know if this is true or not, but what I have noticed is that some folks are in love with life here on earth.....the thought of leaving everything they have to be whisked away to heaven is not a pleasant thought to them.

Well........I can hardly wait.
I'm not so much all up into the "streets of gold" or the "pearly gates" as I am to be able to worship in the presence of the one who died for me......JESUS!
To be able to converse with the Old Testament and New Testament saints about their time here on earth. Who would not be excited about such things?

This has been a wonderful year for me as it relates to God's word.
I began following QUICK STUDY bible study on the Internet on January 1st, and this morning I competed the year with the last chapter of Revelation. It has been a good study....notes....scribbles in my Bible and I am grateful to begin again, in the morning, to start another year.

Maybe 2013 will be the year that Jesus returns....
That is both wonderful and frightening...
Wonderful in that I am ready.......
Frightening in that I am painfully aware that there are people who aren't ready for his appearing.....
their own personal choices have taken them outside the realm of God's mercy and placed them squarely in the kingdom and rule of darkness....under the bondage of Satan.
We have to tell our story....
We have to tell HIS story....
Let's make 2013 the year of telling!

Maranatha, Lord Jesus......
God on you.....
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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Born To Be Free -- Part VIII



Born to Be Free: Episode 8
Our continuing journey in recovery as we live our lives.....One..Day...At...A..Time!

Enjoy..
God on you...
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Friday, December 28, 2012

New Audio Message From 12 - 15 -12

Downloaded new message from December 15 in the sermon archive section of this blog (located on right hand side of blog).
When you click on "Sermon Archive" banner, it will take you to the audio page....
Look for Message:   God Answers Prayer-----Now

Enjoy...
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COMMON BOND by Pat Terry



"COMMON BOND" by Pat Terry from his album Film At Eleven
There was a group of musician/songwriters that I classified as "Zealots"...
Loved Jesus....Loved music....took the words from their heart and transferred them to notes in a song. Their songs stirred us and kept us on track in our daily walk. We were challenged by these songs.....We were drawn to the men and women whose love of God outweighed the money of the world. Yes, they had to make a living...yes, they had families to feed...but the integrity of the song and the message outweighed their need to write a #1 hit. I am grateful for Pat Terry....Mark Heard....Larry  Norman....Randy Matthews....2nd Chapter of Acts...Love Song....Barry McGuire.....Daniel Amos....Honeytree....Kelly Willard.....and countless others whose music defined a generation that was searching for more....


God on you....
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Let It Be



Luke 1:38
....."Let it be to me according to your word".....

Mary's response to the angel Gabriel's announcement that she had been chosen to be the mother of Jesus. A simple reply. One that conveys a sense of "getting ones self out of the way." To put it bluntly, the angels proclamation to Mary is a pretty far out word.
Let's see...
"You've got plans of your own....but God has bigger plans. You're going to be impregnated and give birth to God." Yeah..that's pretty big stuff right there.
But Mary's response of "O.k. whatever your word has declared, then let it be done to me...I'll cooperate with you in this matter."


Now I know it might seem a stretch to you who are reading this posting, but the same mindset has to be in place as we begin this journey in recovery. "Let it be done to me according to your word."
In other words, I'm going to get out of the way...my will and life..and I'm no longer going to live according to what I want. Rather, I'm going to simply do what I know to do and follow your directions, O' Lord.

I have dealt with some people who make this recovery thing way to hard. They want to wrangle with the steps, questioning the "why" of doing them. They put up ten million reasons why they are so different and why it will be extra hard for them to live clean and sober. They balk at every turn and roll their eyes when you make statements of truth such as..."This can be the last rehab you have to go to!" These poor unfortunates actually are not ready for recovery.

Steve Yarbrough, founder of Rapha, use to say, "When you're sick and tired of being sick and tired..then you're ready to recover." When you quit asking questions at every turn, challenging the steps..then your ready. That is the heart and mind that is needed by an individual before the journey can begin. I don't care what brings you to rehab....whether you were court ordered or your momma made you...what I care about is how you leave. At some point during the seven weeks of a stay in our rehab...the lights should come on and you should come to the conclusion that you are powerless over your addiction. Or,as I like to put it..."Your best thinking...the top of your game, got you sitting in yellow chairs at white folding tables." If this is the best you can come up with...maybe you need to change the way you're doing business with life and the world.
When a proclamation is made as to your recovery...your response should be..."Let it be done to me according to the word of God."

Sounds to simple, doesn't it?
It's is simple.

God on you...
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Thursday, December 27, 2012

John Wimber 1994: Teaches on "A season of refreshing, renewal, revival and order"


I am...
And always will be a "Vineyard" Pastor....
I am a firm believer in the kingdom now, but the kingdom not yet..
That we are in a transistion period awaiting the completion and fulfillment of the Kingdom of God.
I have had the honor and privilege of being a part of the "Vineyard" family for 19 years....
We saw a tremendous outpouring of God back in January of 1994....
This visitation changed us all....made us fall in love with Jesus more...
Gave us the opportunity to go and "Do the Stuff" as John use to call it...
Doing the works of Christ.....
Pray for the sick and see them healed...
Cast out and off demonic spirit's....
Feed the poor....
Visit those in prison.....
I have never lost my love for this part of Kingdom work....
I wanted to share one of John's messages as he speaks openly and honestly about this visitation.
If you will click on the "SERMON ARCHIVE" banner it will take you to the audio...
You can listen to it now...
or download it for later.....
This is part 1 of the message.

God on you....
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2013 The Year Of Favor


Isaiah 61:2-3
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God.
To comfort all who mourn...
To console those who mourn in Zion..

To give them beauty for ashes...
The oil of joy for mourning...
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness..
That they may be called the trees of righteousness..
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.


I have spent the better part of last week and this week in prayer and study about the coming year. What is to be our focus? What does God want to say? It's not like God came down and put out a blueprint before me, but I did receive direction as to where we were to head in our Saturday night meeting at Rapha.

2013 is to be the year of proclamation.
A year of truth...
A year in which the gospel is presented in a clear and concise way.

You see, recovery (The Twelve Steps) is still our focus...but the truth is, you don't take the 12 steps and fit them into your life or into the life of Christ. You find your salvation and recovery in Christ and from that point, He will empower you through the presence of the Holy Spirit to walk out the directives known as the 12 steps.
Part of our focus in the coming year will be "lifting our vision higher."
By that, I mean we are going to see that the way of living we are presenting is so much more than the absence of alcohol and drugs.
I realize that by time someone comes to Rapha for treatment, the drugs and alcohol are the main area that is targeted. But you can't take something away from a life without replacing it with something better. The better that I am talking about is Jesus.


I have watched over the past 15 years as God has raised up an army of clean, sober, Spirit-filled men and women who use to live under the shadow and sentence of death we call addiction. I have seen countless lives turned around. Lives that had been tossed upon the garbage heap of humanity, left for dead. Lives that God saw value in. He came and reclaimed those lives for His kingdom. It is for this very reason that I do what I do.
There is not much in this old world or in my own life that I can say with certainty, but the call God has placed on me to minister and serve those trapped in addiction is as real as this computer I am using this morning.


In December 2009, Seth Barber spoke at the Saturday night gathering and his message was "Rarely have we seen anyone fail who has thoroughly followed our path." God spoke to me that night and gave me directions for the coming year of 2010. We began a journey in January of teaching the 12 steps. One step a month until we arrived at Step 12 in December. Well, we are going to take that journey again, only the focus will be different. We are going to teach a Step-a-month for the next years. I am hoping to post the messages in the audio section of this blog. You will be able to access them by clicking on the "Sermon Archive" banner.
Won't you join us in the coming year?

God on you....
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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

We Are In Need Of The Fire Of God



If ever there was a time....it is now.
If ever there were a people...we are them...
If ever truth existed, it must be seen and heard.
Now is the time to awaken from our slumber and hear the truth of the gospel...
We are in need of being shaken from our complacency and awakened out of our selfish sleep....

We are in need of "hearing"....not just seeing.....
We are in need of "hearing"....not just experiencing.
We are in need of "hearing"...hearing the Word of God.

We are in need of REVIVAL!
I know such words are steeped in tradition and covered with a view of being antiquated and outdated, but the fire of God that falls to awaken a sleeping people is never outdated. It burns away the world that has infected us and brings us into a new awareness and understanding of who God is.
Revival is God's love falling on a people.
It is a people falling in love with God.....


The song in the video is one that was sung during the Welsh Revival in 1904/1905. Being from Welsh descendants, it stirs my heart  when I hear it. It is my prayer and my cry for God to start a Revival among those in Recovery and out there still in addiction. To start a fire in this county, this state and this country that would draw people into a loving relationship with Jesus. You think I'm a dreamer? You think I am not being realistic? I don't share that view. "For nothing shall be impossible with God!"
Let this coming year be the year that the Fire and Presence of God fell upon this nation.....
Come, Lord Jesus, Come!


God on you....
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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012


Merry Christmas to all!
Now...I can stop and rest..
It has been a season and time of going and coming....all very fulfilling.
Went to the movies with the grand kids....."Wreck-it Ralph"...much laughter and giggles and memories.

Last Night's Communion / Candlelight service at Christ Central was much needed for myself. Sometimes it really good for me to go and just be a part of the service...
Saw many friends....
Hugs and "Merry Christmas" all around..
Home to a good meal....many cups of warm coffee to soothe the body and mind.
My couch....my slippers....my oh my...
My son Chad comes by to pick up his Christmas stash that has remained hidden from his family....Looking forward to today with him, Robin and the grand kids...

More coffee and a snickerdoodle..the bestest cookie in the world...
Watching Christmas Story for the umpteenth-gazillion time...
I know every one says it....but for me it's the truth....I was "Ralphie Parker" with the Red Ryder Range Rifle 200 shot carbine....

Sleep........glorious sleep.........
Now here I sit at my computer with this posting....
It is Christmas 2012...

If I could....no child would get up on this day without a present under the tree...
There would not be any thought or tears as to why Santa didn't come to their house...
There would be jobs for Dad's who couldn't find work....
And warm house shoes and coats for Mom's who are alone....

But....
I'm not Santa....
Life truly isn't a reflection of what our television's tell us about how Christmas is suppose to be...
Life doesn't feel the tears of a child....
Life doesn't care about the pain of a broken home or an abusive parent....
Life goes on....grinding up and spiting out those who are in the way....
But....
There is one....
One greater than life....

One who will bring comfort in spite of the pain....
One who will bring peace in spite of the loneliness...

One who can take us through anything life throws at us....
He is the reason I can say, "Merry Christmas".....
Jesus....
Christ the Lord....

Do you know Him?
If not, today is a good day to start....


Merry Christmas from the "B's"....

God on you...

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Every Grain of Sand




In these days of confused situations and events that leave us with out answers, it appears that sanity has become in short supply....
There is truth that I cannot escape nor would wish to.
That no matter how hard I try...No matter how bad I want to....
I stand before God helpless without him.
Our Society and culture seek to exalt the human will and effort...
To celebrate our ability to think and reason...
to build from our dreams, monuments to our humanness....
Polished pillars of glass, concrete and steel..
medals and trophies....
building's with our names and statues of our likeness....Thinking all the while it will last forever....not so.

Like I said, I know the frailty of life...
One moment you here...the next your gone..
I know that the eternal offer and gift of life and redemption is at the fingertips of everyone who draws breath...
It comes down to the surrender of heart and will...
The acknowledgment of a Savior and redeemer..

A confession of wrong to be made right...

During this most holiest of days...I am drawn to the song "Every Grain of Sand" By Bob Dylan... A reminder that God is larger and more infinite, not to mention real, than my mind can comprehend...
In fact the more I see and draw life from God, the greater my awareness is of my need for Him....


Merry Christmas.....
God on you....
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He's Everywhere...He's Everywhere

I John 3:7-8
Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil  has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

Did you ever wonder why you don't read that much about the devil in the Old Testament? Oh, he's there among the stories...you see  him in Genesis....there are a few verses about him in Isaiah and Ezekiel...but for the most part he seems to be hidden.
Then when you get to the New Testament, the devil seems to explode on every page. We have the temptation of Jesus....the downward spiral in the life of Judas as he eventually falls prey to the devil and turns Jesus over to the authorities....

Jesus refers to the religious folks as being from "their father, the devil." Over and over and over again we keep running into either the devil himself, or references to his work and purpose.

You see, in the Old Testament the presence of Jesus had not yet come in the form of man. The devil could hide and peek and boo himself into the lives of people and bring destruction and death. Who do you think was behind Pharaoh and the whole "Kill all the male children by throwing them in the Nile river" thing...
The devil! He knew that God was going to bring forth a Messiah, a deliverer...the Christ so it only made sense that whenever God was perceived to be at work, the devil would try to thwart it and stop it. If God was going to come down in the form of a baby boy....then let's kill all the baby boy's.


The idea behind this posting is that Jesus is the answer to my problems....Notice I said answer...I didn't say fairy god mother..
Jesus did not come to wave some magic wand and make all my problems and troubles disappear. He came to break the power of something so heinous and hellish, that it has enslaved countless millions and has sealed their fate for all eternity.....what would that be? Sin.

Sin is the reason that 20 children lay dead in Connecticut.
Sin is the reason that people get behind the wheel of a car when they're drunk. Their brain tells them one thing....sin whispers, "It's o.k., you can do this..go ahead and drive." Once the wreck happens....or you get stopped and arrested for DUI, then sin laughs and points to you saying...."What an idiot! I can't believe you actually did that!"

Sin is the driving force behind all demonstrations of hatred.
Sin fuels jealousy and anger and rage....
Sin is behind every needle...every pipe....every line of dope...every pill.....promising that it will make you feel better.

Sin is behind every adulterous affair that breaks up homes and destroys the lives of families.
Yet....
Jesus came to destroy that presence of sin...the penalty of sin and the power of sin...Giving those who believe the hope of a new life with Him.
The greatest Christmas present ever!

You no longer have to fall prey to sin.
You no longer have to count yourself a victim of sin...

You no longer have to identify yourself as "addict"..
You can be free this day....
This isn't an empty promise.
It is a fact.


God on you.....
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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Thoughts....

Random thoughts and ruminations this morning....
I came away from our candlelight service last night full of gratitude and thankfulness that God has given us another year. The room was awash in the soft glow of candles as we sang "You have Redeemed my soul from the pit of emptiness," realizing that the majority of men in that chapel should have already been dead. It wasn't fate, or karma....it wasn't the luck of the draw or the roll of the dice. The planets didn't line up in some sort of cosmic convergence that brought about this extended life that should have already ended....it was because God Almighty himself declared that he wasn't finished with them.


Today is my wife's birthday!!! She was a Christmas baby, born at the doctor's office....didn't make it to the hospital. Because she was born on the 22nd...I've tried to make her birthday special and separate from Christmas. Growing up, she told me that her relatives would give her a present and tell her..."This can be your birthday and Christmas present!" Bummer....
So when we started dating and eventually tied the proverbial marriage knot, I promised her that no longer would she suffer that "Twin present" syndrome. With each passing day, I am learning what real love truly is. Happy Birthday Vicki!!!!

My family has come down with the crud that seems to be going around. They are in different stages of crud-dom. Some on the upswing...some in the valley of "I just want to pull the covers over my head and sleep." So our family hoo-ha is up in limbo at this time. We will eventually gather for a meal and memories....just not yet.

By the way....
If you're looking for something to start your Christmas off on the right foot....
My good friend, Todd Bagley will be holding a "Come and go" communion on Christmas eve at the Gadsden Vineyard Church, located downtown Gadsden on Broad Street across from Gadsden Variety store. I think it begins at 4 p.m. It is a wonderful time to stop by and take communion. It is a very special time and a piece of our Christmas tradition.


I've got to make it to Wal-mart today and buy some tangerines...
In the Bynum household, Christmas doesn't officially start until ol' Dad has eaten a tangerine.
Growing up...Christmas was different. That is a kind way of saying that you didn't get a lot of presents, not like some kids do today. One of the highlights was our Christmas stocking...It would always be chocked full of fruit and nuts and peppermint sticks. My most favorite fruit was tangerines...so I have always equated them with Christmas.


Well, the coffee has finished perking and so have I.
From our household to yours...here is wishing you Jesus....
Whether you receive a gazillion presents or not...
Whether your Christmas is picture perfect of a quiet evening with family and friends...
We wish for you the knowledge and wisdom of a renewed relationship with Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas from the "B's" in Attalla.

God on you....
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Friday, December 21, 2012

Well...We're Still Here


Matthew 16:3
.......(Jesus Talking)..."Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky........but you cannot discern the signs of the times."

Man.....
You can't depend on anyone.
All that hype....
All that build up.....

And those Mayans couldn't even get it right...
December 21, 2012....end of the world...
I was looking forward to not paying taxes next year...
So much for that...


Such is the folly of man...
Let's file that one away with the Y2K...
Only God, the Father knows when it's check out time....
Truth be known....each one of us probably has family and friends that don't yet know Jesus. They aren't saved....
To see the end come now would seal their destiny of an eternity outside the will and presence of Christ himself. That is a nice way of saying..."Since they haven't been saved, they will spend eternity in hell.
Doesn't have to be that way.
Isn't it amazing how the devil and his minions spread rumors and false information....and we, as humans, buy into it.
According to stories I've read on the Internet (And you know that can't put anything that isn't true on the Internet)....there were people all over this old world who really thought that December 21st would be the last day for this planet and mankind.

My Bible has a different take and slant on the whole "it's all over" thing.
II Thessalonians 4:16-18
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout...
with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God...
And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Did you catch that?
Comfort one another with these words?

We are not to love this world....
We have to live here...
We have to work here....
We build a life and home and family...
But our hearts are to be focused on Jesus and His return.
I should live each day as if it were my last.
Let nothing be left unsaid....
Love like it's no ones business...
Give away freely what has been given to you....(Oh yeah..that includes your finances).
And should Jesus return today...you'll leave this old planet in the assurance that you have done what your heavenly Father expects of us all, who claim the name of Jesus....

And just by chance, you don't know this Jesus as your Lord and Savior...
It's a good day to make right everything that has been wrong in your life.
Talk to Him....( I know...you'll feel foolish, but trust me...He hears and He will answer).
Tell Him your tired of living life on your terms...
Confess the simple fact that you have believed in Him but you never really took the whole "Bible" thing to heart...
You kind of did your own thing, never wanting God to interfere.
Tell Him that you need Him, His forgiveness, His love, His mercy...well, just tell Him you want the whole package...
Tell Him that you are confessing....speaking out...telling that He (Jesus) Is Lord and that in your heart of hearts, you know that God raised Him from the dead....
Guess what?
You are now a part of the Family of God!
How cool was that?

Merry Christmas from the "B's" of Attalla!
God on you....
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Thursday, December 20, 2012

John Piper's THE INNKEEPER



This has become a favorite of mine...John Piper's "The Innkeeper".
I have posted this video each Christmas here at the Greene Street Letters, and I hope that you can take the time to view it.
It will be the best "8 minutes" you'll spend today....
Enjoy....

Merry Christmas from the "B's" in Attalla!

As a side note...
We will not be having church at Rapha this Saturday (Dec.22)

We will be having a candlelight service this Friday night (Dec 21) at Rapha. The service begins at 6:30 p.m.
Come out and join us....

God on you....
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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

You Can't Have One Without The Other


Luke 2:11
For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord....

The days are counting down until Christmas is here.....
People are rushing about looking for that last minute gift for that special someone.

The radio plays old familiar songs and new renditions that are foreign to me...
Churches every where are preparing their programs and music to celebrate the time and season....
You turn on the TV and there is "Miracle on 34th Street"...or "It's A Wonderful Life."
It is Christmas....One day out of 365....
We can set aside the day...
But we can't set aside the event that Christmas surrounds...

It is merely one in a string of events.

You see, at Christmas we celebrate the birth of Christ.
We celebrate a manger that held the incarnate God who had stepped out of heaven to take on the flesh of humanity...

A manger, built for holding food..now held the bread of life.
But you really can't have the manger without a cross.
These are probably the two most opposite kinds of contraptions ever conceived.
One held the baby Jesus...a celebration of life...
The other, the cross, held the broken, bruised and battered Jesus....it too a celebration of life.
You can't separate the two...
You can't have one without the other....


The story doesn't end there...
You can't have the manger...
or the cross......
without the tomb.
The tomb stands as the exclamation point to this entire plan.
Jesus was born...
to die....
To live again....so that I would not have to suffer the second death of eternal separation from God.
He was born to die....
And He died to live again....
The power of sin, death and hell was broken...
That breaking began in a manger....
It was magnified in a river called Jordan at His baptism...
God thundered in the heavens as the Holy Spirit was released..."This is my boy!!!"
Satan was given notice that the one he'd been looking for since Genesis 3:15 was now on the scene.
To me...that is good news of the gospel.
I now have been given the gift of eternal life, to spend it with Jesus.
I don't fully understand how it will work....but that's all right.
I have this thing called faith that Jesus is who He claims to be...
and can do what He claims He can do....

So as you look at your Christmas tree this year....
Don't forget a manger....
When you think of the manger.....remember that the shadow of the cross falls over it..
If the cross comes to your mind, let joy fill you as the you realize that the tomb is waiting....
When your thoughts enter that tomb.....shout for joy! He is risen.....

Merry Christmas from the "B's" of Attalla....
God on you...
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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Essentials For New Life ----Part 6


Part 6
Go to the next level ----excellence

Over the past weeks, I have posted what could be referred to as "helps" in order to see this relationship with Jesus as more than a mental exercise.
When I was saved, God placed inside of me His Holy Spirit.

He was given to me to be more than something that makes me feel all fuzzy and warm whenever I hear "Just As I Am."
The Holy Spirit IS my comforter....
The Holy Spirit IS my help...
But the Holy Spirit is also my teacher, my guide and my strength.

In this relationship, I am called to grow and mature in my belief and trust in God.

I have been given the most incredible gift in the world. A transference of my very soul and being from a place of doom and destruction on an eternal level....
into a kingdom of light, peace and the presence of God.
There I will truly "know" God.

I'm not there yet....I may be looking for the "Sweet by and by"....but truth is, I'm living in the "Nasty here and now". 
So while I'm here in this time and walking out this life....
I want to learn of what God expects of me.
I want to be disciplined and trusting Him at every turn with every decision I have to make.

I know that what I write may sound like a bunch of "Do's and Don't's" ....but it is so much more than that.
It isn't about keeping a bunch of rules....
It is more about falling in love with this Jesus....

You know, love will cause you do some crazy things, won't it?
You do those things not because you have to....
You do them because you want to.
The things I do for Jesus...
The life I lead in chasing this Jesus is not because I have to...
It is because I WANT TO!!!!


I like the verse from Psalm 18--
God "makes" my feet like the feet of deer so I can run on the high places.
In other words, God will direct me and equip me to do things that I normally could not do on my own. This is one of the incredible by-products of this new life with Christ.
You may have tried recovery...you may have tried to quit. You may have even had some success at it...but you always seem to return to your old ways...
God will equip you to run high above the addiction...He will grant you strength and ability that is beyond your own capability.
That is a promise....
Think on these things today....

Merry Christmas from the "B's" from Attalla
God on you....
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Monday, December 17, 2012

It May Be Dark......But God said



Genesis 1:3
Then God said.........

Lot's of God-haters out there....
Especially after this past weekend.
"Where was God when those innocent children were being killed by that mad man?"

"I can't believe in a God who would let such things happen to children!"
I catch myself, in such times as these, wondering myself.
Not "where was God?"

But how it all fits together.
You see, I think we, as humans, want these kind of events to fit in a nice, neat little package of understanding. But they won't. It is hard for us to balance our theology with the acts of a mad man. Here is Christmas....a time of love and peace on earth....Tell that to the parents of those who lost children.
You can't make sense out of that which is insane and inhuman.
There aren't any answers to satisfy our human understanding.
I'm not going to sit here and act as though such events as the murder of children doesn't affect God. I truly believe it does.
I believe that God grieves over the actions of sinful men and women.
I believe that God is stirred when free-will and choice runs contrary to His desires.
Maybe that is what we are suppose to see and understand.
That what I do and the choices I make do affect those around me.
I don't believe for one moment that God allowed this to happen to teach us a lesson.
Lessons come from every event....
We learn from every situation.


You see, I believe that such events as the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting was conceived and carried out by the devil himself. He has no qualms about the destruction of innocents. It bothers him not in the least to see suffering and pain. In fact such things only butter his bread and whets his appetite. But at every turn, God will bring out of the destruction...out of the pain....out of the darkness......light.
No matter what the devil does....
God has the last word....

..."And God said!"
The devil may work through the deeds and dark hearts of those who are outside of God's grace ..but God himself will speak to the hearts of those who have suffered the greatest loss. These words that God will say to them are not hollow....or flowery.....or meant to give a paper mache' hope....When God speaks, it is the building of a firm foundation within the heart of those parents who have lost children.
No matter how dark it may fall upon the lives of these men and women....
God is there to speak into that darkness and show them the eternal light of his purpose and grace and yes.........even his love.

The devil may have taken the lives of those children in a heinous act of hatred and gunfire.....
But God himself ushered each one of those precious souls into his presence.
The separation between each child and parent is not forever.....

There is comfort in knowing that there will be a reunion...
How do I know this?
Because God said it....


God on you...
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Sunday, December 16, 2012

THATS My God !!!!



Psalm 71:23-24
My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing to You...
And my soul, which you have redeemed.

My tongue also shall talk of Your righteousness all the day long,
For they are confounded...
For they are brought to shame who seek my hurt.


I am full this morning...
Full of the mercy and grace of God.
Never at any point in my life have I ever experienced such an outpouring of God before....

It only fuels me to chase after Him harder...
To want to see Him...
To talk with Him and listen as He speaks....

IT is more than church.....
IT is more than religion.....

IT is more than anything the world has ever offered to me...
The world kept a ledger of my offenses and trespasses against God....
The world took every opportunity to remind me what a total wreck and loser I was....
"Why would God want anything to do with you?" The world would whisper in my ear....
For a time, I listened.
I looked around me to justify my own behavior ("I'm not as bad as some people!")

But nothing could ever remove the shame and guilt I carried. It clung to me like the very skin of my body...
It taunted me at every turn and offered no rest or peace.
Then I met God........


Where I stand today is so far removed from where it all began.
Isn't that the way it truly is....?
Spiritual progress....day by day, growing and learning?

Day by day, putting into practice the things that God teaches you?
It really is like a spiritual awakening...
One day, you just suddenly realize that you have grown and moved on in your life.

You feel more comfortable in you skin...more comfortable with yourself....
You still have a lot of things to work on....but somehow that's o.k.
That is the beauty and wonder of the Grace of God.

Grace- The empowering presence of God in my life that enables me to be who God created me to be, and to do what God has called me to do.
There's you a definition of Grace (From James Ryles). It has served me well over the years and I am constantly walking, living, and sharing in this grace given to me by God.
The work of the Holy Spirit in us is this grace....
It is evidence of the POWER we have sought for so long to live free and clear from out sin/addiction.

So, let me just declare to you this morning exactly HOW GREAT IS MY GOD!!!

The video is from Danny Daniels....One of my most favorite Ge-tar players in the world...
Easy on a string with a voice that begs to be listened to...
Enjoy this worship song from Danny.....

Merry Christmas from the "B's" of Attalla...
God on you....
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Saturday, December 15, 2012

God's Timing



Luke 2:20
Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

These shepherds had had a divine encounter as God had told them and then lead them to the place where Jesus was born. There in that stable, among the smell of dung and urine, with the sound of bleating sheep and the lowing of cattle, they had seen for themselves the Messiah.....The Christ....The deliverer.......
With full hearts and joy beyond description, they left the couple and their newborn son to return to the fields and eventually home, sharing this incredible story with anyone and everyone...and time passed.
Days turned into weeks....
weeks moved slowly toward months.....
Months began to stack up on one another until there was an accumulation of years.....
Do you think maybe that as time passed, those same shepherds looked back to that fateful night and wondered if it truly had happened?
I mean, let's get real here....
We have this wonderful declaration from heaven that the Messiah had been born...it was good news for all men......"Today in the city of David a Savior has been born who is Christ the Lord"....But now it has been thirty years.....30! No evidence was seen as to this salvation that was suppose to come. The baby of the stable turned into a young boy....The boy grew and worked among his family...daily chores....routine after routine....But no evidence of the Messiah anywhere to be found....

In fact things had gotten worse....
The heel of Rome was even stronger on the neck of the nation....
King Herod was bleeding the people with taxes in order to finish the Temple building project....
I wonder at times if those same Shepherds who came to Bethlehem even lived long enough to see Jesus begin his ministry.....Thirty years is a long time.
What I need to remember is that when the declaration of Jesus' birth was made....it was a promise....a promise from God. And God is not slack when it comes to His word. His time is unlike my time.
I look around at situations and circumstances and loose hope....
Yet the Promises and Word of God are "yes" and "amen".....
My Bible states that at some point, Jesus is coming back.....
If I look with my eyes, I don't see much evidence of that....
Death at a small school in Connecticut....
Shootings and killings all over our town and state....
Children abused and beaten....
The list goes on and on.....
Just like on the Judean night long ago when a group of Shepherds was given a promise.....I too receive this promise of the return of Christ....
I hang on to the words of Christ when He declared that "he would never desert us or forsake us"....
I refuse to let the darkness of this world dim the hope and light given to me by God.....
In fact the more I look around at the death and destruction, the tighter I hold on to the promises of God.

Jesus commanded His disciples, in John 14:1..."Let not your heart be troubled...you believe in God, believe also in me." In other words, no matter what is going on around us....hand tight to what is happening inside of us....
It may look like everything is out of control, but rest in the knowledge and assurance that God has not lost His grip.
It may look like God has forgotten His own promises or that His word has lost power...
Hold fast to God and walk at His pace.
He is a God of His word....

Merry Christmas!
God on you....
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Friday, December 14, 2012

Left With My Thought's


Memories....
What an incredible gift God created for mankind when he gave us the ability to remember.
Memories take us back...
Take us back to good times....
And times that maybe weren't so good.

It really is like the photo above....memories are like going back down a long straight stretch of highway in our minds....
Memories are not bound by time or space, but are simply snippets and snapshots we have stored away in our noggins.
This time of year always stirs my memories up and they come spilling over in waves of pictures and thoughts.
Christmas memories......


Cedar trees....
Dad and I always went into the woods to cut our tree...
"Buy a tree? Never!" was my dad's motto.
Cutting the tree down and getting it into the stand to be decorated was the only "job" my dad did when it came to Christmas. I don't ever remember him helping to decorate the tree.
When I think of decorating the tree, my mom is as clear in my memory as this room I sit in.
Two things were always present on the night the tree was decorated....
Cashews and orange slices....
Don't ask me why, it was just my mom's most favorite candy in the world.

Now when I speak of orange slices, I'm talking about those "jellied" candy in the shape of an orange slice that was covered in sugar sprinkles...We always had those on the night the tree was put up in the Bynum household.

I don't want you to get the wrong impression about my dad. He was a little kid when it came to Christmas. In fact, whenever I watch "CHRISTMAS STORY" Darrin McGavin's character was a lot like my dad. Gruff....colorful...and wanted his two boys to have a special Christmas each year. My dad usually worked 2nd or 3rd shift at Republic Steel...so if he was on 2nd, Christmas came early to the Bynum house. I'm talking like 2:30 or 3 a.m.
I can't tell you the number of Christmas mornings I was awakened to my dad yelling out at the top of his lungs....."Get up! Get up! I've caught him...I've caught Santa! Hurry...hurry.....get up!" You know, that's enough to give a young boy a heart attack....my own dad...abducting Santa right there in our own home.


My most vivid Christmas memory was from 1957, the year my brother got his RCA High Fidelity Stereo Record Player. Dude...I thought we had finally arrived..music for the Bynum household. Along with the record player, there were two albums....Bobby Darrin's Mack The Knife and Tennessee Ernie Ford's Star Carol. You have to remember that our Christmas started early, early, early..
So my dad, in his infinite wisdom (and who knows for what reason) raised the windows to our living room....(it's only 20-something degrees), placed the speakers in the window...put on the Tennessee Ernie Ford's album and commenced to play "Joy To The World" as loud as the thing would play. My dad went outside in the yard, and with the strains of that wonderful carol echoing up and down the valley of our community, stood there conducting an unseen orchestra. "Y'all come out here and listen to this!" My mother was mortified as lights from the neighboring houses came on one by one. I'm sure that those poor souls  thought that Jesus had come back! That was my dad.

Then there was the Church Christmas supper. That was such a special time for me. Everyone dressed up in their best. Gathering in the fellowship hall, candles everywhere....Nancy Lutes playing carols on the piano as folks milled around talking and laughing. These people were my second family. Most of them have passed on but I'm telling you they made an indelible impression on me. To me Christmas has never really been about the presents....it truly is about celebrating the birth of the Christ child. Christmas is simply being with family and friends.

Now I'm a grand father...
This time of year of I am filled with such memories of Christmas times that I am so very grateful.
On the 24th, I will once again stroll out into my neighborhood before midnight. Been doing this for many years. I don't know if you know this or not, but I have found that Christmas eve is the quietest night of the year. You don't hear any traffic.....no one is out moving around.....if you stand outside and close your eyes to listen....now I mean really listen....it is as though God himself has commanded everyone and every thing to be silent in honor of His Son's birth.

Next weekend my kids will be coming home.
Chad, Robin, Tyler and Ashley...
Josh and Heather along with the newest addition....Baxter, their dog.
Vicki will fix up a feast worthy of the finest royalty.
We'll break out the "Christmas" dishes and set a table that would rival the finest five star restaurant.

There will be ample portions of laughter and love, around that table.
And once again we'll tell our stories...not so much for our benefit as it is for the grand kids....They love to hear stories about their dad and uncle Josh growing up.
I do love Christmas....
To those of you out there who have grown up and become weary from the daily battles.....refresh yourself by seeing Christmas differently this year. Choose to lay down all the hoopla that our society and culture uses to define what Christmas is and isn't....and love. Love someone.....smile at every stranger you meet and wish them a "Merry Christmas!" Put an extra dollar in the Salvation Army kettle and thank that person ringing the bell for their service. If you see a policeman or fireman....nurse or EMT...thank them and wish them a merry Christmas.
Say and extra prayer for your Pastor, asking that God would grant him great grace and mercy to bring the Word in the coming year.
I guess I've rambled enough...
Merry Christmas from the "B's" in Attalla....
Michael and Vicki.....

God on you....

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

My Doesn't The Sky Look Full


Night after night brought the same thing.....
Supper.....
Chores around the house.....

Taking care of the little ones with runny noses and stomach aches....
Thoughts of the day crowded out any peace that could be found....
"How am I going to come up with the money to pay my taxes?"

But there was the star in the night sky.

Neighbors dropped by and shared their stories....misery loves company.
Taxes are going to be increased to help pay for the new Temple...

Thoughts of a Messiah or a deliverer were nothing more than a pipe dream....
But there was the star in the night sky.

Dropping into bed, muscles sore and aching from the day's labor, you thought you'd find an escape from the troubles of life....but sleep did not come easy...
It's hard to turn your brain off...
But there was the star in the night sky.

All through out Jerusalem and the surrounding country, life went on....
Day after day....Markets opened and people plied their ware...selling and buying...

There were marriages and funerals....birth's and death's....
But each night, without fail, there in the night sky was the star.

Finally travelers from the East came and word spread quickly that they had come to worship a new born king.
They had followed a star.


Matthew 2:1-2 reads: Wise men from the East came to Jerusalem saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him."
People everywhere in the region had lived their lives, gone about their business....yet only a group of men from the East had seen the star.
The religious rulers and people of Jerusalem...the very ones given the authority and power to search and find the Messiah....did not see the star. They knew the prophecies concerning the birth of the Christ Child, but they did not see the star.
King Herod, fearful and paranoid toward anyone and anything that might pose a threat to his rule and power, knew of these prophecies...yet he did not see the star.

You can know something.....but never see it, if you don't stop and look up.
You can know all about A.A. and recovery....
You can know the big book backwards and forwards....

Higher Power....
12 Steps....
But if you don't look up and see Jesus....it's all a bunch of empty promises.

You've looked inward long enough for a solution.
You've searched your heart and found only the problem.....
Now, look outward...
Look up for a Power greater than yourself who can (not might or could..but can) restore you to sanity.

To be restored to sanity must mean that you and the world around you has grown insane.
The answer has always been there.....just like the Christmas Star.
You just had to look up and see it.

Don't miss the answer to every problem you face by not seeing it.
Don't miss the one thing that has been lacking in your life that would enable you to move beyond addiction and sin....He's always been there, waiting for you to see Him..........Jesus.


Merry Christmas from the "B's" of Attalla....Michael and Vicki.

God on you...
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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12 - 12 - 12 ...God the Father...Son....and Holy Spirit!

What does it all mean?
12 - 12 -12?
Not the norm when it comes to our numbering of days....

Only rolls around once every 100 years, so I'll probably not be around to see the next one.
Does it mean anything, for these 3 numbers to be today's date?
I don't know.


Twelve, in Scripture, is the number for government.
Twelve tribes of Israel....
Twelve disciples....

In the book of Revelation, we read where there are 24 elders seated around the throne of God. That would be 12 x 2...two being a double witness.
Maybe it is about the government of God.

This unusual day falls in the last month of the year, so maybe we are suppose to give thought to God's rule and reign not only in this world, but in our lives.
The Kingdom of God.....
The Kingdom of heaven....

Isaiah 9:7 reads: Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end......
Without faith, we cannot see God's government at work here in our world.
We look with our natural eyes and see only greed, destruction, hatred and the implementation of a government that will one day lead to a one world rule.

Let's be real honest here...
We never thought we'd see the day when this nation would be in the current moral and spiritual mess that it is.
We truly are seeing the fulfillment of II Timothy 3...."In the last days stressful (or perilous) times will come..."
Such events that are happening around us tend to draw us away from our faith.
We loose heart...
We grow discouraged....
We feel as though God and the church have become like a Chaplain on a cruise ship.

No one needs the Chaplin until the boat starts to sink, then everyone wants him.

I don't think it is a coincidence that in the last month of this year, 2012, God wants us to focus on Him and His rule and plan for this planet. That we would find hope and faith to carry on.....
God has not forgotten this world....
He is bringing forth His plans....in the lives of believers, and those yet to believe.


Luke 2:10-12
The the angel said to them,"Do not be afraid, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you...You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger."

.....And this will be a sign for you....
You will find God in the places that you least expect to find him in.

He will appear to you when you are not looking for him....
It may not be at a church....
You may not find him during a Christmas play or cantata....
God may suddenly appear to you while you're sitting at a red light, worn out form the hustle and bustle of this season....

As strange as it seems, God may appear to you at the dope house.....A Savior born this day, to rescue you from the damnable darkness of sin and addiction.

You may be sitting in a jail cell, broken and defeated, thinking that your life is over....When suddenly you find that Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths....
Only He is not longer that sweet, gentle babe laying in a manger....
Now He is the risen, glorified Christ who alone carries the authority and power to save.....

May you find Him!

So here on 12 - 12 -12....
Let this day.....
Let these numbers....
Direct our hearts and our thoughts to the one true King....
Let us find hope in Him.....


Merry Christmas from the "B's" in Attalla....
Michael / Vicki

God on you.....
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

God's Payday

II Timothy 2:2
And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
Payday....
What a wonderful word....
"The Eagle Flies"......
"A little touch on the hip"
"Got some jingle in my pocket."
But, you know what? There are many different kind of payday's.

Last night I sat in Wallace Hall at Gadsden State Community College and had a payday.
It was graduation for those who had attained a GED diploma.
Hard work....
Dedication....
And a desire to rise above whatever circumstance or choice that had kept these men and women from finishing high school.

A young man took the stage to give his speech concerning what this GED meant to him.
His story wasn't much different from the ones I hear every day.
Hard life....
Bad choices....
In and out of courts and jails...
Time in prison.
As he put it, he was a byproduct of his environment.
Fast life, fast money....slinging dope.
But he took it too far...He didn't quit while he was ahead...
To many 2nd chances had done nothing to slow him down.
Back in court with a judge who wanted to put him away...
A deal was struck to send him to Rapha.
This young man realized that he had been given a golden opportunity. He was going to make the best of it.

He applied himself at every turn.
He found Jesus and the rest is history (at least for now...much more to be written).
This young man began a relationship with this Jesus.
This was the missing piece in his life...this was the part that brought him full circle to put him on a new path...a new way of living.
Last night was the first of many "new" things for this young man.
He stood on that stage, in front of hundreds of people, and declared his love and devotion to Jesus, thanking Him for the life that this young man has now been blessed with.
Standing ovation!
That my friend....is payday!

God bless you, Ricco!
May there be many payday's in your life and in the days ahead.

Merry Christmas from the "B's" in Attalla.
God on you....
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Monday, December 10, 2012

Now The Rest Of The Story ---The Serenity Prayer

The Truth Behind The SERENITY PRAYER

By Susan Cheever

For many people who attend twelve-step programs, reciting the Serenity Prayer comes as naturally as breathing. So it may come as a surprise to learn that the prayer was originally conceived not as an antidote to addiction but in response to the barbaric evil of Nazi Germany that threatened civilization itself during World War II. Written during the darkest depths of the war by the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, a first-generation German-American, the prayer captured the dreadful ethical predicament faced by Niehbur and his fellow German anti-Nazi émigrés in the United States, who were safe from persecution but powerless to intervene against Hitler.

When he wrote it, Niebhur was particularly haunted by the decisions made by his closest friends and fellow teachers at New York's Union Theological Seminary, Paul Tillich and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, whose responses to the war in their homeland were very different but equally fateful. “The historical meaning of this quite modern American prayer is bound up in the war against one of the greatest evils posed during a violently evil century,” wrote Niebuhr’s daughter Elisabeth Sifton in her 2003 book The Serenity Prayer.

The original version of this famous prayer was delivered by Niehbur at the conclusion of a sermon he delivered at tiny Union Church in Heath, Massachusetts, a farming village where he summered with his family. At the time, the United States was still mired in war on the Western Front. Though the German Army had recently been defeated in the Battle of Stalingrad, the genocide of Europe's Jews was still in full swing. Few people at the time yet realized that the tide had turned against the Third Reich.

What would become of German Christianity, the legacy of Martin Luther and the Reformation, in a Germany where theologians and church leaders had either been outlawed or co-opted by evil? And what should—what could—prominent dissidents like Niebuhr, Tillich and Bonhoeffer do about it? “God give us the grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed,” Niebuhr prayed with his small congregation an ocean away from the cataclysm of destruction, “courage to change the things that should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.”

“God give us the grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed,” Niebuhr prayed with his small summer congregation an ocean away from the cataclysm of World War II, “courage to change the things that should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.”

Accepting tragedy with serenity was the approach embodied by Niehbur's close friend Paul Tillich, who was a respected writer and professor at the University of Frankfurt when Hitler first emerged on the political scene. An early opponent of the rising Nazi movement, Tillich used his prominent perch to lecture movingly against National Socialism, and was ditched from his post in 1933, soon after Hitler was elected chancellor. The professor's prospects in Germany were dire. So when Niebuhr offered him a position at Union Theological, Tillich quickly accepted. Moving his family to New York, he learned a new language, and eventually established himself as one of the 20th century’s most important Christian theorists. During the war, from 1942 to 1944, he faithfully broadcast, through Voice of America radio, hundreds of political pleas to his fellow Germans, urging them to recognize and resist the moral horrors being committed in their name by the Hitler regime.

Their friend Dietrich Bonhoeffer took a far different path, choosing the courage to change. The wealthy and dashing Bonhoeffer was one of Germany’s most outspoken critics of National Socialism and German Christianity’s rabid antisemitism. He started an anti-Nazi Church and an underground seminary before fleeing Berlin for New York City in 1939. But despite strong pressure from his friends, he soon regretted his decision to leave his embattled homeland.

“I have come to the conclusion that I made a mistake in coming to America,” he wrote to Reinhold Niebuhr. “I must live through this difficult period in our national history with the people of Germany….Christians in Germany will have to face the terrible alternative of either willing the defeat of their nation in order that Christian civilization may survive or willing the victory of their nation and thereby destroying civilization. I know which of these alternatives I must choose but I cannot make that choice from security.”

Bonfoeffer ended up returning to Germany on the last steamer to cross the Atlantic. Back in Berlin, he immediately reconnected with the underground and joined first a secret effort to rescue Jews and then a secret plan to assassinate Hitler, which he hoped would bring the catastrophic war to an end. But in the summer of 1943 the assassination plot was exposed and Bonhoeffer was sent to prison. He was hanged in April 1945, just weeks before Hitler’s own suicide and the Nazi surrender. When he wrote the prayer, Niebuhr was in a kind of sympathetic spiritual agony over the alternately failed and doomed choices his two friends had made.

Niehbur's Serenity Prayer struck an immediate chord. His Massachusetts neighbor, Dean Howard Robbins of the Federal Council of Churches, asked Niehbur if his little prayer could be included in material that the Council provided to army chaplains in the battlefield. In 1944 it was published for the first time in The Book of Prayers and Services for the Armed Forces. At the time, Alcoholics Anonymous was still in its formative years. Someone in the fledgling fellowship apparently saw the short prayer and brought it to the attention of AA founder Bill Wilson.

With Niebuhr’s permission, Wilson began using a shortened version of the prayer in meetings he led in his wife’s house in Brooklyn and in Akron, Ohio, where he was working with Dr. Bob Smith to convert alcoholics to sobriety. Less lyrical and less theologically complex—the plea for God’s grace is eliminated and the things that “should” be changed become the things that “can” be changed—the Serenity Prayer soon became as familiar at AA fellowships as the window shades at the front of the room printed with the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

It's rare for us to be able to see and touch evil in our daily lives. We sometimes recognize such moments as a result of other people’s behavior—and our own complicity or silence. There are times when human beings—individuals, families, even entire societies—are possessed by powers that seem to contradict everything we think of as human. Occasionally these times are so disorienting that the victims can often seem stranger and crazier than the perpetrators and bystanders. That is what it was like to live in Germany under Nazism, and, on a much smaller scale, that's often what it's like to live in an alcoholic household. Action seems necessary, but confusion, danger or powerlessness render action seemingly impossible.

Addiction may be a disease, but it is also an evil that many people prefer to ignore. All we can hope for is the courage to strike out against it when we can, and the serenity to accept its existence when we can’t.

Susan Cheever is a columnist for The Fix, and the author of many books, including the memoirs Home Before Dark and Note Found in a Bottle, and the biography My Name Is Bill, about AA's founder.



Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Door Isn't locked



Psalm 118:19-22
Open to me the gates of righteousness. I will go through them, and I will praise the LORD.
This is the gate of the LORD, through which the righteous shall enter. I will praise You,
For you have answered me, and have become my salvation.
The stone which the builder rejected has become the chief corner stone.

Here we stand....
Life is a mess.....
No real friends, to speak of.
Family has turned away from us for their own safety and security, and not be pulled under with us.
Weighed down by shame and guilt....burdens too numerous to count or name....
Physically hurting....
Spiritually numb.....

emotionally, a wreck......
And you want to tell us that we don't have to live like this anymore!
Do you think we want to live like this?
Do you think we enjoy it or relish in it?
I know we keep chasing the pipe, pill, bottle and line....

It is the only answer to the pain we know.
It promises relief.....

Even though the promise is a lie, we keep going back for more........and more........and more.
Each time we embrace it, we loose a little piece of ourselves.
We comfort ourselves with like minded people.....

Like they say......"Misery Loves Company."
And we have a bumper crop of misery...enough to go around for anyone who needs some. And we are happy to share.


But there is a solution....
A door....
A door that opens into a way of living that we truly believe is impossible for us to attain.

Funny part in all of this........
The door isn't locked.......it is merely closed.
Our nature is look for another way....
A window....
An opening.....anything.
Rather than go up and turn the doorknob and walk through....
We look for another way....
But there isn't one.
Just the door...

Just the door that isn't locked.
There isn't anyone guarding the door....
No one to tell us "You can't come in!"

But the voice in our head keeps whispering, "It's a trap...you don't know what's behind that door. Why risk it? What if you open it and there's no way out? You don't really want to open that door?"
So we listen to the voice....
We listen to the voice and continue to die, bit by bit.....piece by piece.


John 10:9 --- I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out to find pasture.

Funny part in all of this, is that when we picture Jesus as the door to our new live, one free from the sin/addiction,we tend to think of Him in terms of the church.
We have somehow created a little formula in our minds that says...." Jesus=Church." And because we may have been hurt by someone long ago in the church we don't want any part  of it. We may have had a bad experience with church, or maybe we just didn't understand "Those" folks......

Separate the two....
We are coming to Jesus ......we enter this new life through Him into a relationship with Him.
Let's get the first part down before we start worrying about the second one.
We surrender will and life over to His care.....
Then we can now start learning to live and do business with the world differently than we did in our life.
But it begins with Jesus....
It begins today....
Why not think on these things....Let them get down in your heart.....
It is Christmas, you know.....
What better gift could you ever receive than a new life....a fresh start....filled with hope.
That is only possible with Jesus.

IF I could wish you anything during this time.......
it would be that you come to know Him ....
Merry Christmas!


God on you....
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Tuesday Bible Study

Psalm 119:130 The entrance (or unfolding) of Your words gives light. it gives understanding to the simple. Pulled up at the camp last ...