Saturday, December 1, 2018

As Of December 1st....
The Greene Street Letters has officially moved
to Vineyard ReCovery Church Facebook page.
Go to Facebook and type in Vineyard ReCovery Church and you will taken there so you can continue to follow the Greene Street Letters.

Thanks to all who have followed us since 2008. Merry Christmas and may 2019 be the year of Grace to us all.

God on you...
Michael Bynum

Wednesday, November 28, 2018


Step # 12 - Having had a spiritual awakening, we try to carry the message of Christ's grace and restoration power to others who are chemically dependent and to practice these principals in every aspect of our lives.

I Thessalonians 2:12 - So that you may walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own Kingdom and glory.

Thought: God continues to transform my life as I walk in His principals.


Step # 12 is the "give away" step.
By sharing our message and being there for others who are trapped in addiction, we are unknowingly helping our own recovery and sobriety. It is the Spirit of God inside that we are learning to listen to and follow in our every day decision making. Not relying on our own wisdom or understanding. We now have a clearly defined set of live giving boundaries in which to live and work and play. The 12 steps are these boundaries that we find a spacious, good life in.

Practicing the 12 steps means incorporating the principals into our thoughts and behaviors every day. It means admitting our powerlessness in difficult situations. It means believing and trusting God to take care of the things that we cannot. It means turning our situations and ourselves over to Him, and it means continuing to take our inventories, make our amends and deepen our relationship with God.

Today....
Just today....
I will trust you, God.
I will trust you with my life, both here and in eternity.
I will trust you with my family.
I will trust you that you will in fact guide me and give me insight and wisdom through your direction to make not just good choices today, but godly choices.
I thank you for this 24-hour period you have given to me today as a present.
I pray that I spend the 24 hours wisely and not squander them away on my own selfishness.
I look to you to reveal the "real" me in every situation.
That I may put aside any wrong or sin that you show me, through repentance and confession.
You are God...
I am not...
Help to remember my place in this relationship.
I bless you and thank you for another day of sobriety and for allowing me to participate in Your Kingdom rule here on earth, in my town and in my home.
I thank you for the physical, tangible Word that you have given to us and that you have given me a hunger to not just read it, but to study it.
Help me, Lord, to give away through the telling of my story to others.
In Jesus name...
Amen...

God on you.....
mb

Monday, November 26, 2018

What A Beautiful Name




Revelation 2:13
"I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan's throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith......"

Yesterday I found myself @ Eastaboga Baptist church with my son and his family. The church family was having a special service in their newly built family center. The guest artist were the Kempter Family.
As you can tell from the video I posted, they are extremely talented.

As sat there, listening, taking it all in, I was taken by the song "What A Beautiful Name". You could just sense the presence of God as the voices filled that room, which caused me to consider the name of Jesus.

We know through scripture that His is the name by which we are saved. There is no other way. His is the name that, when sounded at the end, will cause every knee to bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord. I want to be in the group that falls to their knees our of love and reverence for that name, not the other one who is driven to their knees because of the Power of that name.


All this thinking about the name of Christ caused me to see that if you don't have a relationship with Jesus...If you've never been saved, then His name means nothing to you. It carries no weight against the darkness that has enveloped your mind. A darkness so thick and powerful that you can't see truth...you can't understand the spiritual state you are living in. Kind of like when you live in active addiction where your entire existence does not make sense. When life doesn't make sense, we rationalize that others are wrong, not us. We live a lie and what's worse, we live in a lie. 

But that name....
That beautiful name...
That wonderful name....
The name of Jesus has the power to liberate, heal, and restore.

Jesus claimed that He had come to "SAVE THAT WHICH WAS LOST!"
When He says "Lost" he is laying claim to everyone and everything that has been taken by the devil and his lying minions to be held captive under the sway and power of sin.

Think on the name of Christ today...
Let it take root deep in your heart...
Say it out loud so you can hear it with your own ears.

He is there with you.
What a beautiful name!!

God on you...

mbb

Sunday, November 25, 2018

The Need To Understand How To Pray Effectively




Prayer....
Most misunderstood portion of having
relationship with God and the
dynamics that take place between
us and God.

We pray small prayers....
We pray wrong prayers.....
We pray "wordy" prayers...
We pray bold prayers....
We pray doubtful prayers...

I don't know that I have all the answers
to prayer.
I think prayer is something that God
teaches you how to do.
After all, Jesus' disciples asked him,
"Teach us how to pray."

It is an ongoing communication that takes place
as I grow in Him and learn what fills His heart.
I want to breathe back to God what
He has breathed out on me that has stirred my
heart to communicate with Him.
I think this is prayer.

David (the King...remember him...shepherd boy...giant killer?)
wrote in Psalm 4:3 that
"Know that the Lord has set apart the godly for
himself. The Lord will hear when I call to him."
God has set apart or sanctified those who have
accepted him (born again/ saved), and
in this setting apart, God proclaims that He
will hear when we call to Him.
He will hear, but He will answer according
to His will and plan.
God always answers our prayers.
He does so in 3 ways....
1.) yes
2.) No
3.) Not yet
and in these three possible answers to our prayers
we find the will of God. His desire is that we obey.

I love to pray.
I keep a running prayer all day long as I move about.
Throwing up sentence prayers for situations and
for people around me.
In the middle of talking, I am also taking time
to listen for God's answer.
I love to pray.

It's all part of the package when you come to Christ.
It's a comforting part when you ask and then see
God move on your request.
It builds your faith.
It causes you to trust God more.
It is the open heaven, communication link
that keeps me sane here on this insane planet.
Gotta love it!
mb

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Danny



Got the news yesterday morning.....
Danny Moon had shed the confines of this world, and had gone home.

No more pain....
No more doctors....
No more hospitals...
He was free...

I wanted to be sad....
I did cry...

But that was the selfish part of me that doesn't want to let go of friends and loved ones as we've all grown older. Seems to happen with alarming frequency these days.
But in my heart, I could never move beyond...."Danny is free!!!"

Images and memories of Danny flooded my mind, and to be truthful, I don't think there was a bad one in the whole bunch.
Going through the door at Gadsden Music, Danny would be helping someone, or he'd be behind the counter working on somebody's guitar. He'd be standing there with that big ol' goofy grin on his face, cutting lose with a big, "Hey man! How are you? What can I do for you?" Like most every other musician in this county, I probably bought more than my fair share from Danny.

Danny bailed me out more than once when I was doing our Saturday service "THE HOUSE OF BLUE" back in the days of recovery. Someone would not be able  play on our worship team...I would call Danny up asking if he could fill in...
"Sure. What time do I need to be there." There is something about musicians that brings up their ego (especially if they are talented), but I never heard or saw Danny play that ego card. He was incredibly humble. Danny just loved to play. Danny loved to surround himself with other musicians, and seem to feed off of what they brought to a song.

I went into my office and sat down at my computer.
Words seem to float into my mind, so I wrote them down.

I grabbed my guitar and begin to put some chords down.
Thank you Lord for letting me know Danny.
I know I'll see him again some day when it's my turn to leave this ol' world.
Isn't that what real life is all about....
The Hope that God plants in us that no matter how much sadness this world tries to drown us in, God is bigger.

Until we meet again Danny...thank you for being a friend.

DANNY
One by one I've seen them fall
In this journey we call life
Pushing ahead, they never gave up
Dealing pain, the grief and the strife

The world was richer and I was a
better man
to be surrounded by all of these friends.

We made some music
Sang a song or two
Now the songs seem empty 
because we are few

One more soul has gone home...
One more soul has gone home.

Psalm 116:15
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.

God on you...
mbb

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

REAL HOPE




Life is a funny thing....
Not in the sense that it is humorous....at times it is.

Not in the sense that it is tragic.....we all have experienced this part.
But in the sense that as hard as we may try, we can never seem to grasp it by
the throat and make it do what we wish it to.
To navigate the in's and out's to fit our own needs, wants and desires.
Life seems to have us by the coat tails dragging us, sometimes kicking and screaming, into the future.
Reading Chuck Swindoll this morning, I came across this bit of wisdom


Hope is  wonderful gift from God.
A source of strength and courage we need
in order to face life.

When we are trapped in a tunnel of misery, hope points to the
light at the end.

When we are exhausted and overworked, hope gives us fresh energy

When we are discouraged, hope lifts our spirits.

When we lose our way and confusion blurs the destination,
hope dulls the edge of panic.

When we struggle with a crippling disease or a lingering illness,
hope helps us persevere beyond the pain.

When we fear the worst, hope brings reminders that God is still
in control.

When we must endure the consequences of bad decisions
hope fuels our recovery.

When we find ourselves unemployed, hope tells us that we
still have a future.

When we are forced to sit back and wait, hope gives us
patience to trust.

When we feel rejected and abandoned, hope reminds us
we're not alone......we'll make it.

When we say our final farewell to someone we love,
hope in the life beyond gets us through our grief.

To put it in simple terms, when life hurts and dreams fade, nothing heals us like hope Not hope as the world defines it, but hope which has a name.
That name would be Jesus.

I Peter 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a "living hope" through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Hope?
Don't leave home without Him!!!

God on you...
mbb

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Thanky....Thanky....Thanky!!!

Psalm 100:4
Enter His gates with thanksgiving. Go into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and bless His name.

The devil (yes, Virginia there is a devil) is a mean motor-scooter and wants to mess with our heads a.k.a minds.
He wants us to stay focused on what we don't have in this life....
To measure our existence based on how terrible things are for us and around us.....
What a bunch of loser's he tries to make us out to be.
In other words, he doesn't want us to think on the things of God.
The Psalm passage says we are to enter into the rule of God, the presence of God with thanksgiving.
So what do I have to be thankful for today....
1.) A great family.....the Bynum's aren't perfect, but dog gone it, we are a fun bunch. My wife, Vicki...if ever there was physical, tangible evidence of a godly woman, it is Vicki. Everything you read in Proverbs 31 is true. My sons, Chad and Josh....godly men with a heart for the Kingdom. Daughters-in-law, Heather and Robin......the same as Vicki, women of integrity and love of God. Two grand children, Tyler and Ashley....the love of my life.

2.) My health. I have been blessed beyond measure with good health (so to speak). Oh there are days when I crawl out of bed and my bones and joints sound like a bowl of Rice Krispies ,but that is all part of growing older. There is only one alternative if you don't want to grow old.........that is die young.

3.) Friends. I have been blessed to have some really great people in my life. They make me a better man. Their lives are an encouragement to not give up or go back to old ways.

4.) My relationship with God. Saved in 1961. Up and down over the next few years. Really on fire 1968 through 1972. Walked in darkness from 1972 till 1979. 1980-1991 began a journey of chasing God. 1991-1993 preparation for what is happening today in my life. 1993-2006 training/ ordination/ full time ministry. 2006-2013 Staff pastor at Rapha Treatment Center. God bringing everything full circle as I returned to the Vineyard in 2013.  Through it all....through my foul ups and my "getting it right" God has been the one constant. I am thankful and grateful for His presence and His grace in my life.

I could go on and on listing things I am grateful for.
Coffee.....
Color TV....
Dogs......
Morning rain......
Good sounding guitars and people who know how to play....
Nori, Barbie Kelley.
Danny Daniels.....
The Barnett's ....John and Marie
My car....The Notorious Gray Goose.....
Early morning rain....
Breakfast with Jim Bentley @ Jacks on Monday
Breakfast with Wayne and Barry @ Hardee's on Wednesday (Yep! I am part of the codger club)
The sound of Owls at night.
And most of all....
At the top of the list....
No...
Beyond the top of the list....
Jesus Christ.....
Today I am grateful....

God on you....
mb

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Knowing The Truth


Reprint From 2009 Greene Street Letters

Sometimes in the process of putting together a message for our service, I will find myself parked in certain portions of Scripture that seem really odd at first glance. Such was the case yesterday as I was reading in Luke. It being the Christmas season, I though it might be good to begin to look into the portions of scripture that deal with the birth of Jesus.
Reading in Luke chapter 1, I found myself locked onto a particular verse........verse 4.

"So that you may know the certainty of the things that you have been taught."

Luke writing to a man named Theophilus wanting to provide for him an orderly account of the events surrounding Jesus' life and death (and resurrection). Luke driven by the thought of wanting his friend to know, understand, come to grips with and be settled once and for all time in his mind and life the value and truth of all that he had been taught.

Do you know without a shadow of doubt of the certainty of the things you have been taught? Or do you find yourself swayed and buffeted by popular opinion? Everyone has an opinion, especially during this time and day. Each person holds high their opinion as being a banner of truth. Truth has become an understanding that has no part in the everyday practice and ability to live life.
Truth may be that it is alright for you to be unfaithful to your spouse.
Or that cheating on your taxes is not a bad thing as long as you don't get caught.
When we do not know the certainty of the things we have been taught, then we are open to compromise and we will trade the eternal things of God for the shiny, flashy, temporary things of this world.

If we are not being taught the basic Biblical principals of God, how can we expect to live a life that is truly within the calling of salvation? We somehow have a constructed a religion that has found its place in the mainstream of Christianity that allows for the sin to be forgiven and justified without asking anything of the sinner. That is why it is important for you to know the certainty of the things you have been taught. If you are not being taught or you consider such things a foolishness ask yourself this question, "Why am I upset by reading this post?" Is it that the Holy Spirit has uncovered things in your life that you thought were o.k. but, in truth, were an offense to God?

Repent and turn to God.
Become a student of the Word of God.
Ask God to show you how to live.
Do it!

God on you...........
mb

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The REAL Addiction



Amos 6:6 (The Message Bible)
Woe to those addicted to feeling good-----life without pain

This was part of the message that Amos spoke to the people of Israel and warn them of the evil that has crept into their lives. Silent, subtle evil that move hearts and minds from worshiping God and turn inward to worship "self".

The funny part (not ha-ha funny) is that a person who was living in this manner could still go through the ritual and practice of worship. They could attend each time the door was opened. They could bring their sacrifices and offer them. Give to the poor....help the needy, and yet at the same time be as lost as the ones they are trying to serve.

Now I will be the first to admit that I do not like pain. The bottom line is that pain is a part of life. I'm not going to go looking for it, but, at the same time, I'm not going to live my life in such a manner that all my efforts are not poured into "feeling good".

I love television commercials.
Did you ever notice the beer ads? It's usually a group of young people all hanging out, having fun, talking and laughing. (and oh yeah....everyone looks like they just stepped off the pages of a fashion magazine). No pain in this ad. Life is party hearty...
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not one who thinks you're suppose to measure your religion by the droop of your frown...Or that we are all to be a continuous bunch of suffering servants. But our comfort and pleasure should not the driving force in our hearts.

We pray "Your Kingdom come, You're kingdom-will be done, here on earth as it is being carried out in heaven." How can I focus on my own comfort when I have just prayed to make myself  available for God's will to be done? Praying, "Lord! Here I am. Use me."  As with any addiction, the intent and focus is "self". Meeting the needs, wants and desires of "Self" at the expense of everyone and everything else. Maybe there is a greater danger living this way than we realize. After all, didn't Jesus tell us in Luke 9:23 that if we truly want to follow after Him...to have a relationship with Him that we have to deny ourselves? That His call to follow outweighs my need for comfort? I think maybe He did. Not a very popular message, but one that is necessary for me to hear, and live.

Think on this...
God on you..
mbb

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

"Really? You're Going Back?"


Psalm 119:9
How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.

Rainy, rainy day....
Turned off H'way 77 and started down that stretch of road I've driven countless times. I was going home.

Not home as where I live, but home where my heart is.
Rapha....
It's been a back and forth relationship with the men who come into treatment there. There have been seasons where God leads me back to teach and serve, and then after a time, He will tell me to pull back and wait. But even in the "pulling back" seasons, I still go out to Rapha to stay connected.


Back in 1998 when I started going out to Rapha, It was about the program. My allegiance was to the program...to share what it meant to those first coming in to receive treatment. In 2004, i was asked to join the staff as the pastor over the facility.  But in 2013, after God led us back to Gadsden Vineyard to start Vineyard ReCovery, things changed. The focus was now on the men. Funny part in all of this, at that time, God put me in a position to be there for the staff also. To make myself available to pray for, counsel with, and encourage those who worked for Rapha.


Yesterday, Barry Hooks and I met at Rapha to begin teaching afternoon classes three days a week. 
Using the material from the series "SEARCH FOR SIGNIFICANCE"....we have taken 7 weeks of material and boiled it down to 7 sessions. This had to be done in order to make sure everyone got at least a start to learning what really is their addiction "problem." 

We met in the chapel and it was a good start. Barry taught the first session, and I think the one point that set the table and standard for this teaching is the simple fact that Barry shared....
He said, "This is where I got sober, referring to Rapha. And this is where I found God."

It let the men know that Barry knew exactly what they were going through. That Barry had fought his battles over in Dorm # 2 /  Room #2. 

Today, I will teach the sessions, and I'm looking forward to it. I guess today's posting is my way of keeping you up to date on what's going on, as well as asking you to please pray for Barry and I as we establish ourselves once again at Rapha. 


How long will be do this? Only as long as God tells us to and gives us grace to carry it out. Oh yeah, by the way.....just to let you know. Six men were saved in our first session. That God!!!! He's something else isn't He?

God on you...
mbb

Monday, November 12, 2018

LOSER


Matthew 10:39
"He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it."

Got to speak at Catalyst Recovery last night (one of my favorite places to go, and the focus for the month of November is on the word "LOSER".

There are actually two ways, according to Jesus, of looking at this label of "loser". The world uses the word to describe someone who will not, or cannot succeed. People in addiction are labeled as losers by family and friends. While others may not call a person this to their face....the label is real. When that label sticks to an individual hard and fast, that person will typically give up. "What's the use in trying? I've failed at everything, any attempt at recovery will only end in the same way." I would refer to such belief as a "false belief". The idea behind these thoughts goes something like this...."I am what I am...I cannot change...I am hopeless."


But what does Jesus says?
quiet the opposite.
He tells us that if we turn loose of our old life....
If we "lose" it and turn to Him, then we will find new life.
We are shedding ourselves of this old mentality of being hopeless...
In order to embrace a new way of looking at, and facing every day life.
So as a "LOSER" for Christ, what do we loose?
Well, for one thing, the police won't have anything to do with you anymore.
Judges will not want to see you in their courtroom.

CRO and Community corrections will take your file and store it away, not expecting you in their office.
Old so called "friends" will not be a part of your life.
There will be old places you won't want to go to.
In other words, you lose a lot of spiritual darkness that only added to, and fueled your desire to chase the high.


I'm may not be the brightest crayon in the box, but that sounds like a good deal to me. So why not proclaim at the top of your lungs...
"Hey world! I'm a loser for Jesus!"


Make it a good Monday.
God on you...
mbb

As Of December 1st.... The Greene Street Letters has officially moved to Vineyard ReCovery Church Facebook page. Go to Facebook and type ...