Tuesday, December 23, 2008

January CR Newsletter

res⋅o⋅lu⋅tion - 1.a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something.
2.the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.
3.the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.

This time of year people make "resolutions". I used to participate in this New Year's "tradition". However, I stopped many years ago because honestly I wasn't keeping them and then I struggled with this list of things that I hadn't accomplished. I was condemned by my own desire to do things but my inability to carry them out. You know I can relate to Paul in Romans chapter 7. The Message puts it this way (vs. 17-20) "But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can't keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don't have what it takes. I can will it, but I can't do it. I decide to do good, but I don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time." Have you ever been there? Wanting to so something good, but not knowing how to do that very thing.

As the new year starts I would encourage you to throw away the lists of things that you probably won't accomplish. I would ask you to try looking into God's word for His lists of things for us to "do", "be" and "accomplish". These lists have eternal value and are even better then losing "x" amount of pounds (if you can believe that..hahaha!). Micah 6:8 says "No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." (NLT). That list is a LOT shorter then the ones I make for myself. How about this list in Luke 10:27 (HCSB) "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself."

Be blessed as you enter 2009. Please know that if you struggle with wanting to do good, be good, change the way you are YET are not able to do so, that you are NOT ALONE. There is a place for you in CR. Join us on Tuesday nights as together with me and lots of other people we admit that (Janelle's version of Step 1) we are powerless over our hurts, habits and hang-ups, and that our lives have become unmanageable.


Janelle Flint

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dec. CR Newsletter Entry

What an odd thing. An upside down tree. From what I've heard and read these "novelty items" have been around for a few years. They HAVEN'T grown on me. Although I find them odd and somewhat disturbing I do find them an accurate depiction of the way we view the Christmas season. One of the premises of these upside down trees is "... just think how many more packages you'll be able to pile under the tree!". (from About.com:interior decorating). What a skewed view of the proper way to celebrate the most precious gift we have ever received...the Christ child.

I also find this "upside down" way of thinking relative to my recovery walk. I came to Celebrate Recovery thinking that I could be of service to those "hurting people". How lost and deceived I was. I was in complete denial of my own issues of pride, co-dependency and unforgiveness. The premise of my life was to try and fit as many "good" things as I could into my days. I thrived while pleasing man and knowing that I had done whatever possible to fit in to my surroundings. I was trying so hard to please God AND man and doing a miserable job at BOTH. Praise God that He opened my eyes to the reality of my life. I was living upside down. Although this lifestyle might have been "in vogue" with the world, it was SIN. Now I revel in the simplicity of my life. I praise God for Celebrate Recovery and the knowledge of the freedom that comes in living "one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time". I'm certainly not perfect. I have a long way to go. There are still upside down days where I struggle with self-sufficiency, pride, unmet expectations, poor attitudes, and unforgiveness. However I can now see those character defects for what they are...SIN. I submit them to the Lord, humbly ask Him to remove them and go back to living my life, HIS life in me. This Christmas realize that Christ came that you might "..have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10). Come and join us ANY Tues. night as we allow God to work in us and bring us back down to reality and out of the denial of our upside down lives. God bless you and Merry Christmas.

Grounded in Him,

Janelle Flint