Tag Archives: Green River Ordinance

Verse of the Day – Psalm 14:2

Psalm 14:2

Psalm 14:2

I am thankful that the Lord looks out over all mankind, that He looked for me even though I didn’t know Him or understand Him, He still looked for me, He pursued me and came for me when I needed Him most.

LOST IN THE WORLD by GREEN RIVER ORDINANCE
Summer rain falling all around you,

Washing all the doubts to the bone.
In the madness this world it has created,
Don’t forget you’re beautiful.

If you get lost in the world, lost in the world
I’ll be there to find you.
Give your heart and your soul, heart and your soul,
fighting to remind you.
If you get lost in the world, lost in the world
I’ll be there to find you.
Just know I bleed like you,
I bleed like you.

Something, somewhere there’ll be a silver lining.
Break through walls you’re fighting here.
We both know there’s no easy way around,
But through you’ll hear my words, ringing out.

If you get lost in the world, lost in the world
I’ll be there to find you.
Give your heart and your soul, heart and your soul,
fighting to remind you.
If you get lost in the world, lost in the world,
I’ll be there to find you.

Just know I bleed like you,
I bleed like you.

There’s no higher mountain I would climb,
To rid you of the fear that rules your mind.
There’s no higher mountain I would climb,
For you to see I am on your side.

There’s no higher mountain I would climb,
To rid you of the fear that rules your mind.
There’s no higher mountain I would climb,
For you to see I am on your side.

Ooh, oh oh. Ooh oh oh oohh.

There’s no higher mountain I would climb,
To rid you of the fear that rules your mind.
Your mind.

 

 

Tearing The Veil

It’s still hard to believe that five years ago this very day something happened that changed everything, that changed my life forever, it was the difference between death and life itself, without that moment in time this could all be so different and I really do not believe I would be writing this, I am convinced my life would have ended soon after.

The 19th March 2012 was the turning point of life, where what had gone before was ending and something new sprang forth. The day before I was on the edge of myself, staring into a mirror questioning my own life’s validity, I was convinced it had none,not until a voice silenced the screams and told me my children needed me, now I had resolved to make a change.

I now had the number for Gareth, the Pastor at Victoria’s church, I had met him a number of times, I had just a year before spent the afternoon in my own living room watching football with him and other people from his church, now I knew I had to speak with someone and I knew it had to be him.

Victoria had taken the kids to school and I was alone in the house. I remember sitting there that morning on the top step of my stairs with my phone in my hand, Gareth’s number at the ready, but in a state of turmoil, part of me knew I had to make that call, I needed to start living, but the other part of me, the addicted part, just couldn’t let go of it’s hold and sought to keep hiding.

I sat there for over 20 minutes, I had set a time in my head of 9.10am to call, just enough time to get into the office and at his desk, but not quite enough time to be busy with anything.
It took all I had to press the call button, I had to force myself, I was still in turmoil. I had created this veil for myself, one which I could hide behind, hiding my true self from the world and a veil which stopped me from seeing God, part of me desperately wanted to stay hidden.

Thankfully Gareth answered and I tried to explain who I was, he knew me as Victoria’s partner, I tried to tell him that, but then I realised I didn’t know who I was anymore, I wasn’t her partner anymore, that was over, so who was I? At that point I just broke down into tears, I could say no more than it’s Wayne, Vict…. Thankfully he realised who it was, Victoria had warned him I may call, so he asked how I was and managed to say something like not very good before breaking down once again. Every time he spoke to me I managed a few words before crying once again. But the long and short of it was, he realised I needed help and agreed to come to see me that evening, he said he would confirm it with me later, but we were set for that evening at 7.30pm.

That night Gareth came over with Alex, I had known Alex and his family for some time, so I was okay with that. When he came in he made it clear he wasn’t there to preach to me or to try to convert me there and then, but to speak with me and find out what help it was I needed and how it could be found. He asked questions about my drinking and the situation at home, I tried my best to answer them all honestly, between outbreaks of tears, I cried so much that night. But when they had left I felt so much better, much more at peace. I didn’t drink that night, for the first time in so long I got by without alcohol and I can’t actually remember wanting or needing a drink either.

Although that meeting is a major moment in my life, a real big part of what was a big turning point in my life, but now when I look back at it five years later, I realised the most important moment happened that morning.

Things could have been so different had Gareth had been like me. When my phone rings, if I don’t recognise the number, I do not answer it, I guess you get so many cold calls, you tend to vet them, so my attitude is leave a message and when I get time I will respond to it then. I know many people who do the same thing, I think many of us, unless we use our phones for business, probably do the same thing. But thankfully Gareth didn’t, he sacrificed his time to take the call.

In truth things began to change as soon as I ended that call. I hadn’t really been looking after myself, I was a mess, I hadn’t shaved for weeks, I didn’t really do anything with my hair, I was wearing worn clothes, socks full of holes and torn underwear. So when I put that phone down, I cleaned myself up and headed off into town to replace my worn attire, I began the process of looking after myself.

After all, you can’t be anything to anyone, if you’re not something to yourself.

But from that moment also, the fight against the grip of my alcohol addiction began, from that day onwards I never brought anymore alcohol into the house or consumed any within these walls, note I was still drinking at the pub, but far less and I had an element of control and was even losing the taste for it, until ten days later when I took that last drink.

We know that the ultimate sacrifice was Christ giving His life for us upon the cross,
at that moment the veil was torn so we could all see God.

When Gareth made that small sacrifice by giving up his time to answer my call, my veil was torn too, I let the world in and from that moment I began to see God, only two days later I would  pray for the first time and experience a peace I had never felt before.

Everything changed because of that phone call, had it not been answered, would I have had the courage to leave a message? I don’t think I would have, I think I would have bottled it that day, would Gareth have called back anyway? To be fair he probably would, but the impact and the moment may have been lost and the effect not as great as it was.

I truly believe that I was on a spiral to my own death, maybe the day before I wasn’t able to take my own life, but my health was a mess, my blood pressure was sky high, I have chronic high blood pressure anyway and without medication it rises to dangerous levels, but at that point I was on medication and it was still through the roof, almost as high as when I first went on the tablets, so I’m convinced I would probably have suffered a heart attack by the end of the year, had things not changed. Not only that, but I believe the episode of the day before would have repeated itself until the screams in my head had their way, that day wasn’t the first time I had considered taking my own life, but it was the last. So had I not made that call and had Gareth not answered, the consequences would be so different.

I got to share this in Church this morning, almost precisely five years to the moment that I made the call, I’m so grateful for getting that chance. My point was that so many people have their own personal veils, which stop them from seeing God and getting help, so what small sacrifices can we make that will tear the veil for someone?

BETTER LOVE by GREEN RIVER ORDINANCE
Faith is not an idle grace
Guide my fears and lead my way
Darkest heart that You have saved
I can’t find a better love

When I set out for ruined lands
Shadows heavy where I stand
You took death and called me friend
I can’t find a better love

You take me as I am
Now I understand

The greatest gift to give a man
Is to give him grace to live again

Faith is not an idle grace
Guide my fears and lead my way
The darkest heart that You have saved
I can’t find a better love

You take me as I am
Now I understand

The greatest gift to give a man
Is to give him grace to live…

My wages of captivity and death,
it waited there for me
You took me in and washed me clean
And gave me words and songs to sing

You take me as I am
Now I understand

You take me as I am
Now I understand

The greatest gift to give a man
Is to give him grace to live again

The greatest gift to give a man
Is to give him grace to live again

Verse of the Day – Proverbs 3:27-28

Proverbs 3:27-28

Proverbs 3:27-28

I am so thankful that I was deliver to a group of people who live by this command, God and His kingdom has been so good to me over the last month, I am able to rebuild thanks to them.

BETTER LOVE by GREEN RIVER ORDINANCE
Faith is not an idle grace
Guide my fears and lead my way
Darkest heart that You have saved
I can’t find a better love

When I set out for ruined lands
Shadows heavy where I stand
You took death and called me friend
I can’t find a better love

You take me as I am
Now I understand

The greatest gift to give a man
Is to give him grace to live again

Faith is not an idle grace
Guide my fears and lead my way
The darkest heart that You have saved
I can’t find a better love

You take me as I am
Now I understand

The greatest gift to give a man
Is to give him grace to live…

My wages of captivity and death,
it waited there for me
You took me in and washed me clean
And gave me words and songs to sing

You take me as I am
Now I understand

You take me as I am
Now I understand

The greatest gift to give a man
Is to give him grace to live again

The greatest gift to give a man
Is to give him grace to live again

 

200 SoberWeeks – 1400 SoberDays

I have said many times how I count each day and quietly celebrate every Thursday evening that passes, so tonight I celebrate once again, I love those little mile stones, those days which mean that little bit more, so tonight I celebrate…..

200 SoberWeeks

&

1400 SoberDays

It really doesn’t seem like two hundred weeks since I took that last drink.  The thing is I remember that half an hour of my life so vividly.  I remember so much walking across the grass from the Sport Centre to the Pub and suddenly this thought, this moment where I just said to my friend….

“If I don’t like the taste of this first pint, then I’m never drinking again!”

Maybe I was just looking for someone to be accountable to.  But also the last few times that I had drank at the pub, I had increasingly come to dislike the taste, each pint tasted worse and worse, not that they were bad pints, just that I no longer like the taste.

When I took the first taste of the pint that evening, it taste awful, the worse drink I had ever tasted, I am sure that it wasn’t a bad pint, it was probably just as good as any pint I had drunk in the past two years, but that night it tasted vile, that was it, I wasn’t drinking anymore.

I’ve thought about that last drink quite a lot over that last few weeks, not that I want to drink again, far from it.  I’ve tried to reason why it tasted the way it did.  But I am sure that it was made to taste this was by God, maybe this was how the sour wine that Jesus drank upon the cross.

Whatever the reason I am thankful that God set me free and thankful for every word or encouragement and support that I have receive in those two hundred weeks.

I love this song, it means a lot to me, especially the lyric….

“The greatest gift to give a man, is to give him grace to live again”

BETTER LOVE by GREEN RIVER ORDINANCE
Faith is not an idle grace
Guide my fears and lead my way
Darkest heart that You have saved
I can’t find a better love

When I set out for ruined lands
Shadows heavy where I stand
You took death and called me friend
I can’t find a better love

You take me as I am
Now I understand

The greatest gift to give a man
Is to give him grace to live again

Faith is not an idle grace
Guide my fears and lead my way
The darkest heart that You have saved
I can’t find a better love

You take me as I am
Now I understand

The greatest gift to give a man
Is to give him grace to live…

My wages of captivity and death,
it waited there for me
You took me in and washed me clean
And gave me words and songs to sing

You take me as I am
Now I understand

You take me as I am
Now I understand

The greatest gift to give a man
Is to give him grace to live again

The greatest gift to give a man
Is to give him grace to live again

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 – Psalm 90:14

Psalm 90:14

Psalm 90:14

No matter how dark the day or how black the night, tomorrow a new sun rises, a new start, a new day.

NEW DAY by GREEN RIVER ORDINANCE
In the city that never sleeps,
Restless hearts are moving through the beat
Trying to find out who we trying to be
Nowhere to go
Man on the corner asking for some change
Several arms are reaching for a way
So many times you know I hear them say
Nowhere to go

Whoa, yeah I need a hallelujah
I said, whoa,
Whoa, yeah I need a hallelujah
There’s a … Us all
Hurting and … To break my fall
I need a town
Whoa brother would you come and help me out

Whoa, yeah I need hallelujah
I said, whoa,
Whoa, yeah I need a hallelujah

When you walk in this fire, just open your eyes, sing

Need somebody, …get away
Never gonna … The lovers do, running away
Yesterday has gone away
You’re waiting on a new day
Need somebody, …get away
Never gonna … The lovers do, running away
Yesterday has gone away
You’re waiting on a new day
No lost in … We’re lost in …whoa
Need somebody, …get away
Never gonna … The lovers do, running away
Yesterday has gone away
You’re waiting on a new day
Need somebody, …get away
Never gonna … The lovers do, running away
Yesterday has gone away
You’re waiting on a new day.

This Silence Is Deafening!!!

So Victoria and the kids went off to camp yesterday and now it’s just me and the rabbit, who has been fed and had a little run around the room, she seems happy enough at least.

It’s true the silence in this house is strange, the house lacks soul because the kids aren’t here to fill it with noise, no Ben shouting at the Playstation or the sounds of Good Luck Charlie played loudly as Eve makes loom bands!

Do I prefer the noise and the annoying interruptions or the silence, well actually I would take the noise everyday of the year!

A few days ago I was pretty fearful of being alone in an empty house, fearing the worst parts of me would start to show, but at the moment, apart from this silence, I feel pretty content.

I’ve been out walking again this morning, another 8½ miles, no sunrise this morning, only grey skies and a downpour of rain, so no pictures to share, but I did have some great thinking time, working through in my head and in prayer how to approach the request for help from a friend across the Atlantic.  Which is also keeping my mind pretty busy this evening, it’s taken my mind from my own problems, to how I can used my experience to help another, not always an easy process, but I am glad that I can help in some way at least and early signs seem encouraging.

Hopefully the rest of the week is going to be pretty busy and my nights will be filled with things to keep my mind occupied and not drowning in silence.

NEW DAY by GREEN RIVER ORDINANCE
In the city that never sleeps,
Restless hearts are moving through the beat
Trying to find out who we trying to be
Nowhere to go
Man on the corner asking for some change
Several arms are reaching for a way
So many times you know I hear them say
Nowhere to go

Whoa, yeah I need a hallelujah
I said, whoa,
Whoa, yeah I need a hallelujah
There’s a … Us all
Hurting and … To break my fall
I need a town
Whoa brother would you come and help me out

Whoa, yeah I need hallelujah
I said, whoa,
Whoa, yeah I need a hallelujah

When you walk in this fire, just open your eyes, sing

Need somebody, …get away
Never gonna … The lovers do, running away
Yesterday has gone away
You’re waiting on a new day
Need somebody, …get away
Never gonna … The lovers do, running away
Yesterday has gone away
You’re waiting on a new day
No lost in … We’re lost in …whoa
Need somebody, …get away
Never gonna … The lovers do, running away
Yesterday has gone away
You’re waiting on a new day
Need somebody, …get away
Never gonna … The lovers do, running away
Yesterday has gone away
You’re waiting on a new day.