Verse of the Day – Psalm 16:2

Psalm 16:2

Psalm 16:2

What I have in my life now, I have only because of His Grace that saved me from myself.

THANK YOU by JAKE HAMILTON & KIM WALKER-SMITH
Thank you for the summer
Thank you for the rain
And thank you for the pleasure
Thank you for the pain
And thank you for the flowers that bloom in early May
And thank you for the winter that washes fall away

I want to say thank you
I want to say thank you
Thank you for it all

Thank you for the deserts
Thank you for the trees
Thank you for the failures and for the victories.
Thank you for the pruning that gives me room to grow.
Thank you for the seasons where I learn to reap and sow

I want to say thank you
I want to say thank you
Thank you for it all

So come let us worship
Let us a release a joyful sound
Let us enter his presence
Let us all bow down
Let us enter his presence
Let us all bow down

Verse of the Day – 2 Thessalonians 3:13

2 Thessalonians 3:13

2 Thessalonians 3:13

Though sometimes other people make it hard to keep doing what is good, it is something I know I must push on and strive for.

JESUS DIED MY SOUL TO SAVE by POCKET FULL OF ROCKS
Well, I stand amazed at Your love for me
That lonely night in Gethsemane
This sinner’s heart can’t help but thrill
To hear You pray, ‘Father, not my will’

What depth of love, what reach of grace
Oh, how my grateful heart now aches
To sing it louder, the refrain
Jesus died, my soul to save

Atonement full applied to me
The blood that spilled at Calvary
Has swallowed all my sin and shame
I’m reconciled in Jesus’ name

What depth of love, what reach of grace
Oh, how my grateful heart now aches
To sing it louder, the refrain
Jesus died, my soul to save

Oh, such pleasure, oh, such pain
The Father’s wrath and fury laid
On Christ whom saints and angels praise
Jesus died, my soul to save

Come you broken, bound by sin
And let your weary journey end
Come and lay your burdens down
Where mercy rules and peace abounds

What depth of love, what reach of grace
Oh, how my grateful heart now aches
To sing it louder, the refrain
Jesus died, my soul to save
Jesus died, my soul to save

What can wash away my sin
Nothing but the blood
What can make me whole again
Nothing but the blood

Verse of the Day – 2 Corinthians 12:10

2 Corinthians 12:10

2 Corinthians 12:10

For some call me weak for suffering my alcohol addiction, yet in this weakness He gives me the strength to resist and fight the temptation.

STRONG IN US by JEREMY RIDDLE & KALLEY HEILIGENTHAL
Our God is strong in us
His love has overcome
He is alive in us
He is the risen one
The same power that raised Him up
Is the power that lives in us
Our God is strong in us
Our God is strong in us

When darkness rises all around us
We will see His glory
Breaking through the night
The King in all His wonder
Fills us with His power
Christ in us the answer
A hope for all the world

Our God is strong in us
His love has overcome
He is alive in us
He is the risen one
The same power that raised Him up
Is the power that lives in us
Our God is strong in us
Our God is strong in us

His promise stands throughout the ages
He will never leave us
We are not alone
Greater than our weakness
He is strong to save us
We will stand victorious
A hope for all the world

Lift Him up, let the whole world see
We will never stop singing
Lift Him up, let the whole world hear
We will never stop shouting
Lift Him up, every voice in praise
Everyone lift Him up, lift Him up

Playing Out Proverbs 11:14

Yesterday evening I sat down to catch up on my journal, I had failed to make an entry for Friday night, so I completed that entry and then last night’s.  That’s when it hit me really, how the events of Friday evening hadn’t really bothered me.

My past issues with drinking are no secret and form the basis of this blog, the recovery from struggling alcoholic, who when everything fell apart became so desperate to end his own life, only to find a way out through turning to God.

For about a year after I quit drinking I was still going to my local pub, quite happy in the same company of those I had previously drank with, but happy to enjoy just a lime and soda.  Eventually those friends drifted away and I just stopped going there early last year, around the time of my first sober anniversary.

Then around this time last year I began to sink into a depression, things began to change, everyday situations became that little bit harder to deal with, things that just weren’t right were almost impossible to deal with, I found myself spending time in tears for no reason at all.

As Christmas approached there were a few events that I was previously invited to and had agreed to go to, the first being the work’s Christmas dinner and the other being a good friend’s 40th birthday party.

Then a few weeks before the Christmas dinner, someone at work called me weak for having a drinking habit and deciding not to drink.  Obviously this person’s life is in such great shape they have never had to struggle at all and fell into a trap which they could not escape, the endless cycle that being an alcoholic involves.  So when it came to the day of the dinner, I had a massive panic attack and really didn’t want to go.

I couldn’t bring myself to get ready, I had made it clear well before the incident at work that I was only going for the meal and then going home, but now I didn’t want to go at all.  I had no fear of drinking, I just didn’t want to be there.

It was a last minute decision, but I pulled myself together, got ready and walked there, got myself a coke and stayed for the meal.  There was a sense of anxiousness all the way through the evening, it was like I was just watching the clock, not really involving myself in any conversation, just passing the time.  Then when everyone else left to carry on drinking around town, I walked home alone, the way I had always intended, but happy to be away from there.

Then when it came to my friend’s birthday I cracked once again.  He was one of the first people outside of those at Church that I told about my drinking problem and was extremely understanding, we had known each other since school and when I needed money, he gave me a few days work here and there.

But come the day I caved in, my panic set in and this time, I just hid.  I didn’t go, I couldn’t even bring myself to text or call him, to explain, I just chickened out, the fear had set in and I was hiding away from the world.

On both occasions I had no fear about drinking, I had no problem with being with people that drank, yet the fear of going into one of these places was so great I couldn’t do it, not without a deep internal struggle.  I made the decision a long time ago that I wouldn’t be going to this year’s Christmas Dinner, I don’t want to go, I don’t want to feel uncomfortable again, regardless of what anyone says, I won’t be changing my mind.

Yet all that being said, I’ve found myself in a pub twice this year and on both occasions I’ve had no fear, no worry, no panic, nothing.  Last night made me wonder why that was, that these two occasions were no problem, yet still the other ones are and I found the answer.

Proverbs 11:14

Proverbs 11:14

Both occasions I have been in the safety of my Connect Group, an abundance of Counselors.

I joined my Connect Group back in January last year, some of those people in the group knew my testimony and my problems, some were new friends that I have come to know that story as the weeks have passed.  I think I have the dubious honour of since January last year, being the only ever present, certainly in our Connect group, but in all the Church’s Connect groups too, that’s how much being within the company of these people means to me, I never miss.

So when a social night was arranged for not only our group, but a couple of others to come together for a quiet summer drink by the river, I had no problem with saying yes.  Even though that even back then I was definite that I wasn’t going to Christmas dinner because I didn’t want to be in that atmosphere, I was more than happy to sit with my Coke whilst my friends enjoyed a beer or a wine, my two old friends, with no fear, no panic, none at all.

Then a month or so ago, the idea of the group entering a pub quiz to raise money for one of the local schools came up, my reputation of being the quiz master of our group and indeed the Church meant the idea was welcomed with enthusiasm.  Once again, I had no problem with saying yes, because I felt safe with these people, even though a new couple who know very little about my testimony,  had agreed to go with us, I still had no fear at all, I was looking forward to it.

We had a great night, granted we were in the lead until the very last round, just missing out by two points, with a dubious double point picture round to finish, but we did well.  Once again I had no problems sitting there with a Coke whilst the others drank, the company meant more than anything else.

These people of my Connect Group have stood beside me all along, they’ve prayed for me when I’ve been struggling, they have become more than just friends.

My decision regarding Christmas hasn’t changed, I still won’t be going, nothing is going to change that.  It’s not that I dislike the people I work with, it’s not even that I fear drinking or don’t want to be around others drinking, it’s just that I feel far more content in the safety of those that I know that have my back.

Today is my 934th SoberDay, my 1000th SoberDay will be on Christmas even and that is definitely one anniversary I won’t be missing.

DON’T BE AFRAID by GREEN RIVER ORDINANCE
There’s a ringing in my head, there’s a ringing in my heart
That don’t belong
Drowning desperately in red
I know all the things I’ve said that don’t belong
And heavy hearted, I hear it calling

Don’t be afraid, any longer
But don’t be afraid, you’re so much stronger
Than this

There are lines we haven’t crossed
Aspirations that we tossed along the way
Even though we said we could
I just shook my head and stood there
In the way
And heavy hearted, I hear it calling

Don’t be afraid, any longer
But don’t be afraid, you’re so much stronger
Than this, know my love is here

There’s a spark in the way, of the dream that will no fade
It’s a light, in the dark, and you cannot find your way
Whoa, whoa.
There’s a spark in the way, another dream that will not fade,
There’s a light in the dark, that’s found your way

But don’t be afraid, any longer
But don’t be afraid, you’re so much stronger, you’re so much stronger
Than you used to be
You’re so much stronger, you’re so much stronger
Than you used to be
Know my love is so much stronger

Verse of the Day – 1 John 3:1

1 John 3:1

1 John 3:1

How great is that love that no matter how we feel about ourselves, He calls us His children.

HOW HE LOVES US by JESUS CULTURE
He is jealous for me
Love’s like a hurricane, and I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
And I realize just how beautiful you are and how great your affections are for me.

And oh
How He loves us oh
Oh how He loves us
how He loves us oh

He is jealous for me
Love’s like a hurricane, and I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
And I realize just how beautiful you are and how great your affections are for me.

And oh
How He loves us oh
Oh how He loves us
how He loves us oh

Yeah He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves

Yeah He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves

We are His portion and He is our prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in his eyes
If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking (ha ha)
So heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets
when I think about the way

He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves
Yeah He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves yeah yeah

hey yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

Yeah He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves yeah yeah
Yeah He loves us
He loves us
He loves us (ha)

[Kim Walker speaks]
Yeah
His presence. His love.
Is so thick and tangible in this room tonight.
And there are some of you here that have not encountered the love of God.
And tonight God wants to encounter you.
And wants you to feel His love.
His amazing love.
Without it these are just songs.
These are just words.
These are just instruments.
Without the love of God, it’s just like we’re just up here just making noise.
But the love of God changes us,
And we’re never the same,
We’re never the same
After we encounter the love of God
We’re never the same after we encounter the love of God
And right now if you haven’t encountered the love of God,
And you would know,
Because you wouldn’t be the same.
You would never be the same again.
And if you, if you, want to encounter the love of God right now,
You better just brace yourself because He’s about to just blow in this place
And we’re gonna encounter the love of God right now.
So God I speak to all the hearts
And I ask God that every heart be open right now
Every heart be open.
Every spirit be opened up
To you God. To You.
And a love encounter
A love encounter from you tonight
A love encounter from you tonight God.

Yeah He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves
Let it go deep go deep go deep

He loves us
Oh how he loves us
oh how he loves us
oh how he loves
His love is going deep
His love is going deep tonight
His love is going deep tonight
See the Father
Behold the Father
Behold the Father (ha)

Faded Mirror

FADED MIRROR

I’ve been looking in the faded mirror
The face I see I do not like
I don’t see the one You see

When I see ugly
You see only beauty

When I feel old
You call me child

When I feel alone
Your arm reaches around me

When I see failure
You proclaim my victory

When my scars begin to show
You wipe away my guilt

Forget that old faded mirror
Who I see is not who I’m made to be
Because You created me for greater things

Verse of the Day – 1 Samuel 16:7

1 Samuel 16:7

1 Samuel 16:7

Never forget that who you see in the mirror, is not who the Lord sees, He sees beyond all our insecurities.

JUST FOR A MOMENT FORGET WHO YOU ARE by THE ROCKET SUMMER
Coming up no plans
Betty AV, Monahans. Little in a football town
Waiting for some right to come around.
Praying for release
Bottle Rockets in the streets. Never really had a dad, no all that you had was your hope…
Keep your eyes open where you roam because you never know when your life’s about to change.

Just for a moment start to forget about the scars and forget who you think you are. Don’t say another word. You’re meant for greatness.

The mirror’s her nemesis from insecure accomplices.
And crooked blokes in disguise messed you up behind your eyes.
Now you’re scared to talk, scared to dance.
And sick of clichés about second chances, but it’s time to live or time to fade.
Somewhere in this place there is hope.

Keep your eyes open where you roam because you never know when your life’s about it change.

Just for a moment start to forget about the scars and forget who you think you are. Don’t say another word. You’re meant for greatness.
Just for a moment start to forget about the scars and forget who you think you are. All the fear within your world, you can take it…

And greatness isn’t what you think it’s not being up on that silver screen.
It’s not convincing people you don’t fall apart.
It’s just loving and serving and being who you are.

You were made in an image of greatness.

Just for a moment start to forget about the scars and forget who you think you are. Don’t say another word. You’re meant for greatness.
Just for a moment start to forget about the scars and forget who you think you are. All the fear within your world, you can take it…