Recovering Addicts on Faith and Sobriety, A Guest Post by Amanda Bartow

man's head highlighted by light, black background

Image courtesy of pixabay

By Amanda Bartow

Many people are left feeling hopeless and devoid of happiness when they’re addicted to drugs or alcohol, but those who go through the recovery process often regain that missing piece of their life. Many even gain a closer relationship with God.

Faith can help a recovering addict stick with their sobriety, but likewise, sobriety can help someone find God and keep Him close at all times.

Eric, who abused drugs (including heroin) for two years, received significant help from A Forever Recovery’s faith-based track.

“I was just sucked in — I just loved it and everything about it,” he said. “The people that run it are awesome. We just have a good time — we sing, we get into the Word. I’m definitely going to continue that… I’m going to enroll in celebratory recovery classes and go to church. We all really come together and support each other. It’s just a great group of people here. You’ve got to do this for the right reasons and put the work in. I’m not going to say it’s easy, because it’s tough work. But what’s six to seven weeks compared to the rest of your life? Every time you load that needle up or do whatever you do, it’s like playing Russian Roulette. It’s the truth.”

Alex was using OxyContin, Opana and painkillers before going to treatment, where he too received help from God.

“Without my faith, I don’t believe I would have made it this far,” he said. “It instilled the values that I hold dear in my heart, and it really just helped me get through tough times. We did baptisms. I didn’t plan on getting baptized the day I did at all, but something spoke to me and told me, ‘Go ahead. Go through with it. Go into the water.’ And it was a really refreshing experience. It was like an old piece of me died and a new heart was beginning. I knew that my addiction and drugs were a problem, but I knew the main problem was with myself and how I dealt with hardships and disappointments. It blew me out of the water learning what I could do with myself.

“They helped me handle those negative emotions and gave me coping skills in so many different ways,” he continued. “They didn’t say, ‘Here’s the way we’re going to do it. Here’s the way you’re always going to do it.’ It’s not like that.

“Definitely get the help you need. I can’t speak enough on how valuable it is that you get help, and you ask for help. You can’t do it alone. I could not have done this alone. I strictly urge you to follow through with your instinct to get help.”

Wesley, another recovering addict, thanks God for the people who are “on the front lines of withdrawal” who “paved the way” and gave him the opportunity to give himself a chance at life.

“My favorite part, although it was hard for me, was to take an opportunity to give my growth some consideration,” he said. “I’ve gained some tools, some insight, some awareness to be able to not misplace hostility on people who have nothing to do with what is going on inside my head. I’m not scared because I’ve been prepared for the inevitable, and that is to take back my life. … Now I’m ready to move on with my life. I’m ready to be a productive member of society and take back a life that I so irresponsibly threw away.”

Addiction recovery facilities like A Forever Recovery and others are making a huge impact on people’s lives. Clearly, God and the faith He gives to people deserves a great deal of the credit as well.

Amanda Bartow believes there is only one greater feeling than being recognized for a job well done — the fulfillment that comes from honoring someone’s achievements! This is what inspired her to join the Recognition Works team. (Recognition Works is an organization that recognizes outstanding people.)

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Restoring Balance and Harmony Benefits Women and Men, A Guest Post by Michael Brine

A Guest Post from Michael Brine:

woman and childWhat is “God?”

What God is can best be described as the collectiveness of mankind, whether seen or unseen, and in the virtue of mankind’s existence, God, through that description, is unconditional and open-ended Love – because in the realisation of what God is is the realisation of what we are – that we are God and we always have been. That we are not evil or corrupt in our souls, as we have been taught. That we are really divine in our souls and with that learning – that profoundness of learning – it allows us the vision, the hope, the desire to become all that we can be, which is unlimited probability. That gets us out of the harshness of our own creations and gives us hope.

It teaches us how to love!

~Author unknown

Quoted from Servers of the Divine Plan on Male/Female Imbalance:

“It is evident that there has been an extreme patriarchal imbalance upon Earth for a very long time. The innate creative and intuitive qualities of the feminine spirit have been long-feared by distorted male perception, and as a result women have been repressed, dominated and persecuted throughout history. In order to bring equilibrium in a world that has known so much control by the male force, the majority of Server-souls upon Earth at this time have chosen to incarnate in female bodies. As agents of change, these valiant envoys of the New Spirit bring to the planet a very high concentration of feminine power that will presently resolve the  patriarchal problem upon Earth once and for all, restoring much needed balance and harmony that will benefit everyone in the New World, both women AND men. During the time leading up to the Great Transition, however, and since male authority is still presently the controlling power, female Servers will continue to experience something of the anguish of the collective persecution endured by so many women over the ages. Nonetheless, they are assured that their long awaited time of liberation and victory is today at hand.”

From Michael Brine:

I fully realise that some of the material I present in my columns may cause some readers to feel uncomfortable – even annoyed. It is not done to annoy but to suggest that perhaps there are other ways to view life. The world is passing through very disturbing times and much of this disturbance is being caused by severe religious differences. These differences are mostly caused by some of the more extreme followers of the three Abraham based religions – Islam, Judaism and Christianity. I imagine that the persons who originally gave of their wisdom those many years ago must be shaking their collective heads in great sadness when they witness how men have so corrupted their simple teachings such as, “Love ye one another,” and “Judge not.” Sadly, judgment would seem to have become a constant in all three.

Let me leave it at that – but I ask you to think about it.

Be well,

Michael Brine

If you wish to comment my e-mail address is: wild.brine621@gmail com.  Other writings of mine may be accessed at: www.missionignition.net/btb.

Man with a Plan

He was a teacher of Life, with a capital L—the important stuff. Oh, he loved his family, even had a profession and friends, but only a few wanted to hang with him. He was from another world and sometimes things got spooky, like when he knew what they were thinking. It took courage to stay with him, and a desire to see beyond what they could see with their physical eyes.

Life was hard, but he didn’t seem to care. He wouldn’t listen to their rants and he kept talking about love and forgiveness, beauty and joy. “Let me show you,” he’d say, and they’d sit together in a circle around a fire and listen to his stories. He seemed to be asking them to ignore the problems they had, to live and think in a whole new way, to express thanks to God for everything, even their suffering. Someone always stomped off when he talked of giving thanks for their suffering. “I will not!” they’d shout. “If God loved us, these things wouldn’t happen!”

“This world,” he would say with a sweep of his arm, “is not the real world. This is only a play, created by all of your thoughts. Only those who believe in this world are born here, for we are what we think, what we believe. How could you be born elsewhere when this is what you believe?”

“Close your eyes for a moment,” he’d say. He told them stories, which unfolded in their minds’ eyes. “Love and peace are gifts of your Father. Once you open your minds and hearts to what I am showing you, you will go and show others and they will go and show others. My work is your work. This is how the world will be healed of war.”

“The world will be healed of war?” one man asked, astonished. “How is that possible?”

“Love is irresistible and magical. It spreads in waves and when the wave hits, hearts and minds are made anew. Does this answer your question?” he’d ask.

“It is an answer, but I’m not sure I believe it.”

“Stay with me,” the beautiful, glowing man said, smiling. “And you will see it.”

Book Review of “The Eagle and the Rose” By Rosemary Altea

sitting manI was thinking this morning about our loved ones who’ve crossed over to the other side, perhaps because my mother, brother and middle son are visiting my son’s father’s grave site this morning. Ben died when my boys were two and five, which has caused me to feel for the families of the 19 firefighters who were recently overtaken by a raging fire near Prescott, Arizona, and the young families they left behind. Grieving is an intense form of suffering, especially when someone young dies unexpectedly. I have felt Ben’s presence and dream about him pretty regularly. I hope the families in Prescott come to know their missing parent is still there with them, just on the other side.

I left my body once and was exhilarated to be free of it, though I was allowed, thanks to the Good Lord, to return to raise my young children. I am certain that we exist beyond the death of our bodies and that, no matter what, if we sincerely ask to be forgiven, to ‘live with God,’ we eventually will. We should not fear death; it is not the end of us. It is simply a door to the ‘spirit’ side, where our spirit selves live.

I’m reading The Eagle and the Rose by Rosemary Altea, published in 1995 by Warner Books Edition. (I found it in a used bookstore.) It has only strengthened my resolve that we can love our relatives after the death of our bodies, and help them if we so choose. The book is the story of a woman, Altea, and her spirit guide, Grey Eagle, and how, working together, they open channels to deceased family members who want to communicate with their grieving loved ones.

Rosemary ‘saw spirits’ as a child and was tormented by unusual experiences that made her think she was crazy. Her mother wanted to be rid of her. A husband left her with a mountain of debt and a young child; it was a difficult period for them. In other words, her life wasn’t easy.

At age 35, she met a group of peaceful, healing people who ran a spiritualist church (which has speakers rather than ministers and sometimes, after prayers, if a medium is present, he or she brings messages to the attendees). This group of people helped Rosemary to understand that she wasn’t crazy and that with her gift, she could help desperate-to-communicate souls tell their loved ones that they’re okay, that they are not dead–only their bodies are dead. Grey Eagle, compassionate and tender, is always present, easing the process for the deceased, and guiding Altea. She sees Grey Eagle as if he is in a body in the room with her. If she can see the people who crossed over (sometimes she only hears them) she sees them as if they’re solid, too. In other words, they don’t look like ghosts.

Rosemary gives powerful case studies in the book, in which deceased people give so much detailed information, such as what their grieving relative was doing that morning, even true skeptics leave comforted by the knowledge that their loved ones truly live on, that there is life after death, and that they can watch over and guide their loved ones from the other side. If you’re skeptical, perhaps you can allow some space to contemplate the matter. Who knows? You could very well have a loved one who wants you to know they are only around a corner.

Return to the Now, a Guest Post by Mike Hopkins

Boy MeditatingBy Mike Hopkins
http://www.faith-restored.com/
billing12.htm

Prepare. Yes, prepare for the days ahead. Days of trials in fire and renewal of the Earth by waters rising.

Hard days, some might say, difficult days. All we will say is necessary days if Mankind is to continue on the path of evolution or evolvement into half human, half God.

Mans’ destiny from the beginning of time. Now, soon to be fulfilled in human time.
Man has chosen this although the ego will say not.

Man was once the ruler of ego and lived amongst all creatures both seen and unseen. Then a separation occurred and Man forgot what he truly was and why he had come into this existence known as being human.
Now, the time of remembrance draws near.

Man will once again recall what he really is and why he has chosen to incarnate into human form.
Balance will return again to Man. A balance you call between Heaven and Earth. A balance we just call, “our natural state of being”.

A madness has overtaken the human form but as with all illness, health returns when left to its’ own natural course.
Illness can be seen as nothing more than a non-alignment with Nature and the Soul or what can also be called the Self.

Some call it a higher Self, some call it ones’ higher nature, some call it the best part of ones’ humanity, we just call it oneself.
If seen from our point of view, a Self at play creating a life story. If seen from yours, a being struggling to survive in a harsh world.

It is all a matter of perspective. You look forward, we look back and where we meet is the eternal Now of Creation.
From the Now, past and future co-exist together with no division or separation.

The Now is the great revealer and equalizer.
The Now is both the seeds of possibility as well as the fruits of your labors here on Earth.

The Now is the quickest, safest and shortest route to ones’ Glory.
Being in the Now opens countless doors of opportunity as well as countless possibilities of being and doing.

Christ lived in the Now and brought forth great possibility as well as opportunity for Mankind to develop and evolve into something greater than yourselves.

Christ lived in the Now and great healings occurred. Healing is born in the Now.

A healthy past can be returned to and at the same time, a healthy future can be entered into.

Love returns in the Now.

Life returns in the Now.

All that one is, has been, and ever will be, returns and meets in the Now and this is why being in the Now brings about miracles of healing or miracles of change within the human organism.

Your psychologies are based upon dwelling on or digging into the past. This is why it is an ineffective system that often does more harm than good. Not that the practitioners are not well intended, but when did good intentions alone, without real knowledge and skills, ever bring about great internal changes in the human psyche?

If they rather brought their patients to the Now, then miracles would occur and a true healing of both body and mind would occur.

It’s the same with medical science. Rather than treat a person by looking at what is occurring now in a body, the practitioners look at past histories and family genetics which is not the place to look if healing is to occur.

This will change in time. Man will again remember knowledge that was long forgotten yet still resides in the Now. Mankind will also remember knowledge developed far into what you call the future and bring this back to the Now.

So, now perhaps you understand if not consciously, than unconsciously, the power of the Now. If Mankind began to access knowledge from the Now, then great progress would be made in all the sciences. Man would and will discover or uncover knowledge that is always available since past and future occur simultaneously within the Now of Creation.

So, now do you understand the power of the Now?

Now, for a moment we live in the Now.

Now!

Enjoy.

Why Does Evil Exist? A Guest Post from Paramahansa Yogananda

The problem of evil in human lives has always perplexed me. Paramahansa Yogananda writes extensively on, “The Role of Satan in God’s Creation.” I will periodically post more of his East/West teachings here. Quoted from: The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You, By Paramahansa Yogananda

“An ideal existence is not impossible, but it is for a different time and realm reserved for those who have graduated from the learning assignments of earth life. For the ordinary man in his present stage of evolution, a life without difficulties would be of little value. No lessons of growth would be learned, no transformations of inflexible natures into Godly consciousness, no compelling incentives to seek and know one’s Maker.”

Angel Notes on Easter Weekend

Angel says NoI’m slowly reading Edgar Cayce on Angels, Archangels and the Unseen Forces by Robert J. Grant. I had a long wait the other day, though, and got to read for a couple hours. One interesting idea from the Cayce readings is that God created all souls to have free will; we all knew then that we were of God and we created in relationship with God.

God’s Number One, Lucifer, began to envy God and started playing around with creation. I guess it was pretty thrilling and he began to move away from God, taking with him souls who wanted the same independence. Some souls didn’t go—they are who we call angels. Some moved away a little but still could feel God. The ones who fell farthest are us, the people of Earth. We are aware of our ‘deal with the devil’ now, aren’t we?

Grant says there is a great debate about whether or not the ‘falling away’ was part of God’s plan. Cayce said it was an unintended error and God wants us all to come home. Apparently, the creatures of mythology (giants, centaurs, etc) were real. They were the bodies created by the first souls who followed Lucifer into darkness. There was no way for them/us to sense God’s light in those bodies, so our human bodies were designed with seven spiritual centers. These can be activated safely through spiritual practices such as meditation, so that we may find our way home. After a while, Jesus Christ came to Earth to experience being human, activate the centers, and show us how to get home, for which he was killed. Many of us are thinking of Him this weekend. Continue reading

An Intro to “Secrets of the Ancient World”

cayce bookI’ve been reading SECRETS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD by Little and Van Auken. While most of Edgar Cayce’s (the Sleeping Prophet) readings were about healing for those who asked him for help, sometimes in explaining what was going on with them, information came about other subjects such as Creation and the fall from heaven.

While in a trance state, Cayce described the five root races. When spiritual, free-will companions of the Creator grew curious about the rest of creation, they projected themselves into a denser world and became the first root race. The second root race occurred when these fluid beings created humanoid forms, which they occupied.

Over millions of years, these humans lost more of their connection to the Creator and could no longer come and go out of the forms they created. They retained some of their spiritual powers, but used them mostly for selfish reasons. They created ‘things,’ thought-projections in animal/human and plant/human forms, to be their slaves. This period coincides with the origins of Atlantis, about 200,000 B.C. and they were the third root race.

The Intelligence that spoke through Cayce, says that Creation consisted of Continue reading

You Create Your Future, a Guest Post from the 11:11 Progress Group

Alabama USA
December 16, 2010
Received by Oscar

Teacher: “There is a lot of uncertainty in these times due to economic concerns. These are the moments some use to take advantage of the fear in their fellows, and attempt to foster more fear with fatalistic forecasts in order to strengthen their control. Many of you follow the news closely and observe how everything seems to be getting worst.

“You should know that you are the masters of your destiny. It is you who can decide what next will happen in this world. You are the ones who can create your future today. The decisions of the past — your collective decisions — have brought you here. Will you keep thinking the same thoughts and employing the same methods expecting different results?

“In a society as globalized as the present society on Urantia, the mistakes are no longer just the responsibility of a few leaders. Many countries have democratic systems to varying degrees. Many leaders of the most powerful nations are elected by the majorities in their respective countries. It is the duty of every citizen to be informed about the policies and the way of thinking of the leaders they are voting for, since through their being elected they decide the course of action they are supporting, and they are creating the world that will meet future generations.

“This is only the first step, but one that is often ignored by those who don’t take the time to inform themselves, and later blame their governments for the policies implemented — policies which they supported with their votes. The next and more important step is the internal progress — spiritual elevation — where each individual attempts to be better through the intelligent adoration of the Celestial Father and through the progressive communion with the presence of the Father in the heart and mind of each individual. This is the true engine that will move progress of civilization to heights not yet conceived in this world, when the government of men will move aside to install the government of God on Earth, because every human being would have reached self-mastery, self-governance, and will be motivated to serve their fellows by the spontaneous love that overflows each heart. On that day all problems will disappear.

“The solution to the problems of today, the complex problems festering in this sphere, depend only on a personal decision of each person in this world, or a significant majority. When a human being decides to search for the Father within, and therefore starts to become the best he or she can be, a new step forward is made towards the age of Light and Life in this world. This is the task facing each one of you today to improve the world you live in. Make your decision.”

© The 11:11 Progress Group.
Try coming out of the shadows, a little at the time—TA.

http://www.1111AkashicConstruct.com

Teamwork is the Watchword of the Universe, A Guest Post from the 11:11 Progress Group

Urantia, May 28, 2012
Teacher: The Beloved One
Subject: “A Lesson on Teamwork”

Received by Lytske

The Beloved One: “Teamwork is an art that requires mutual co-operation. One could see teamwork as a form of co-dependence, when one has to depend on others that certain tasks be accomplished independently. Inter-dependence is a more accurate term. I assure you that the universe, yea all of creation, depends on the service of all beings that inhabit it. In fact, teamwork is the watchword of the universe, as each being fulfills that particular function, which no one else fulfills. All creatures must necessarily fulfill their personal life function. The sooner humans find out what it is they are here for, the sooner they will find themselves in harmony and cooperation with the universe itself, feeling at peace with their inner selves also.

“It is an interesting thing for Me to watch some of you slowly becoming more aware of the important part you play on the stage of life, doing this without aggrandizement of ego importance, always reminding yourselves that the work is important, the self is not. Such an attitude is a must for successful cooperation with others, and it is truly a rarity to find a measure of such understanding cooperation between two or more people — working independent of each other, and yet slowly coming to a mutual understanding that this is a requirement for growing their individual souls, to work as a team, and at the same time investing in the growth of their souls for life eternal.

“Such partnerships will eventually become more commonplace although at first certain things or issues are not clearly understood by either one, or both, or even all. It is a matter of sublime trust that whatever you are engaged in will ultimately not only benefit yourselves but also countless others. No true endeavor ever goes un-noticed. Even when separated by great distances, such partnerships can occur, thus the sum total of a lone working servant’s achievement in the service of his/her Creator, can become exponentially more important, even when the work is carried out on the other side of the globe in a mutual, unspoken and unwritten agreement. More and more may join in, not one knowing the other, yet all may be bound together by the common purpose to work for the progress of all. A small group can become larger and larger, as the silent call goes forth to be of service to the upliftment of the planet. This is teamwork of the realm of spirit manifesting itself on the material world.

“However, the greatest service anyone can render is by seeking the Stillness in their heart, to affect cooperation with their heavenly Partner within. Indeed, to affect such a measure of cooperation that, unwittingly at first, they become a mighty partner in the most important teamwork anyone can engage in — a partnership with the Indwelling Adjuster of their Thoughts. This is the ultimate partnership in teamwork one can achieve in one’s material existence. This, eventually, is a requirement for all humans but to affect this of your free will, driven by an insatiable hunger to be of service is the triumphant culmination of a life well lived. Here dwells the greatest satisfaction amid the storms of life — the inner feeling that you, too, can cooperate with your Spark of God within. Rest assured, you could not wish for a better Partner than the One who lives right inside of you. Trust and have faith that in time this partnership will become more divine in teamwork and mutual cooperation.”

© The 11:11 Progress Group.
Try coming out of the shadows, a little at the time—TA.

http://www.1111AkashicConstruct.com

My Prayer Today is Simply, “Help me,” a Guest Post by Sharie at Sending Joy

Sharie from Sending Joy is the inspired author of many heartfelt posts; she helped me to heal my guilt–and others who’ve found themselves at her blog. This guest post sums up the essence of her messages for us.

Let’s take a quiet walk with God and allow our conversation to be a simple, ‘Help me.’

“Help me to see the world through Your eyes.”

“Help me to know the lesson here.”

“Help me to find peace in this.”

“Help me to see the miracles in all things.”

“Help me to recognize my Holiness.”

“Help me to see the Holiness in others.”

“Help me to see that all I search for is right inside of me.”

“Help me to see that all I fear is my own happiness.”

“Help me see that my lack of peace is my choice for war in some form.”

“Help me to not wage war with myself and others.”

“Help me to be grateful for everything, knowing every experience is here to help me in some way.”

“Help me to listen, hear and trust in You and Your Love and to see there really is nothing else.”

Each “help me” is a prayer to be used to serve you throughout your days. Then design your own “help me” prayers to fit your specific life’s needs and experiences. After each help me, don’t forget to take a quiet moment to walk with God and listen for His answer. And then say, “Thank you.”

Divine Justice, a Guest Post Received by Lytske, 11:11 Progress Group

Urantia, May 4, 2012.
Teacher: The Beloved One.
Subject: “Divine Justice.”

Received by Lytske.

The Beloved One: “Be assured that I know how hesitant you are to even start typing, as this new subject frightens you somewhat. The reason for this is that you were raised in the belief of the wrath of God, and that God was a stern judge. These are puerile emotions which only humans indulge in. How wrong those teachings!

“Still it remains in those records of old. You recall how you had difficulty in believing all those legends you were spoon-fed. Remember how many stories in the bible made as little sense to you as to many others. Therefore, the time has come to shine a new light upon justice, specifically Divine Justice, so that honest and sincere souls may feel at ease about the ‘coming judgment’, rather than living in fear, and like the olden seer John the Baptist expressed it, ‘flee from the wrath to come’.

“Being well versed in the bible and now with the enlarged revelation of your text, the Urantia Book, it will become a lot easier for you to understand how Divine Justice operates, as all mortals are their own judge and jury, needing to forgive themselves and others, as God automatically forgives those who forgive all.

“Your studies will allow you to acquire a better understanding of how Divine Justice operates in the time-space creations. It is on all the peopled planets of space where such lessons are learned. Lessons create understanding and understanding leads to wisdom. Life is therefore precious and the lessons are chosen by the mortals themselves, whether they are conscious of their own choices or not. Irrespective, life is, it flows, and progresses, regardless of the choices you make.

“Sooner, more often later, the dawning comes that, yes, perhaps you could have made better choices, or behaved more appropriately, or not have acted impulsively, or said something thoughtlessly, which may have caused misery for self and or others, and such performance would hardly be seen as doing the will of God, but consider this…

“You will see now, dear one, how important that one prayer is: ‘Not my will be done but yours’. This is Divine Justice in its purest form. By doing His will, you will become more conscious of the fact that God does not judge at all, he only forgives. This is true justice, as everything is based on love. Even the universes with all the myriad planets are created from nothing but love.

“Such is the extent of Divine Justice that He allows each mortal to make up his or her own mind about how they will conduct themselves throughout their precious lives. Eventually they will see it God’s way and adhere to that one commandment to become perfect even as God is perfect. Such is the love of God that He patiently waits, allowing each child to return their love back to Him.

“The eternal truth remains that when you decide to do, and abide by, God’s will, which is the way with the most love in it, you will be in the flow of pure creation and be living by Divine Justice.”

© The 11:11 Progress Group.
You lit a Flame, and it will become a Raging Fire—ABC-22.

http://www.1111angels.net