Recovery Without Relapse
Often we hear that relapse is part of recovery. More times than not this is true. However, relapse does not have to be part of recovery. Recovery is possible without experiencing the deep, dark discouragement and shame of relapse. 
Don't Forget Where You Came From
When I am found to be facing a challenge in life, be it relational, occupational, financial, or any challenge at all, I have the opportunity in a split second to decide which path I allow my mind to take me down. I can start to make assumptions based on similar situations played out in the lives of those around me, or it could be that I have, in fact, encountered a similar situation that did not end well. These all lead me down the path to defeat and discouragement. OR I can be intentional to recall the times that what seemed to be against all odds, the powerful and gracious hand of God provided for me, protected me, or delivered me. 
I’m Sorry, You Are Just Asking Too Much.
We live in a day and age where the term “irreconcilable differences” is applied to unfolded laundry, an introverted personality that isn't willing to live the lifestyle their spouse desires, or at times something as simple and selfish as who gets to park in the garage. Sometimes it's just pure laziness and a refusal to put forth effort when all the honeymoon emotions wear off. It could be a legitimate hurt, a very real offence that “because of the hardness of your heart” the situation has become irreconcilable. If a couple were married for 45 years and one of them developed Alzheimers or dementia and no longer recognized their spouse, no longer recognized the marriage, does this make them not husband and wife? 
You Are Called
Friends we can have all confidence that all that Jesus has called us to be and to do He has also equipped and empowered us to see it completed. As He has prepared the good work and He has prepared the worker. He doesn't call the equipped but equips the called!
Does God Address Mental Health in the Bible? (Part 1)
Godly information (God’s Word, teaching, preaching, fellowship with godly people, prayer, etc.) leads to godly thinking. Godly thinking leads to strong emotional health. All of this is powered by the Spirit of God that lives in you. If God’s Spirit is not alive in you, then there is no power to overcome mental and emotional distress, therefore you will become heavily dependent on medications, expensive therapy, and other programs to try and deal with your emotional distress.
Where Ya Going?
As a young child I didn't insist on following my grandpa because he was big and mean, or because he was the most glamorous man I knew. I followed grandpa because he was kind and loving. Because he made it known that I was welcome and that he wanted me around. He enjoyed teaching me new things and was nearly always gentle with me. These would not be the sole criteria I would use to determine who to follow throughout my life but are attributes that I find myself seeking to display to those that might follow me. We all follow someone, and we all lead someone. There is no way around it. We are constantly being influenced and being an influence.
The End of An Era
“Nothing is certain in life except death and taxes.” This phrase was penned five months prior to Benjamin Franklin's own death. Combine a chain of events in my own life with my wife’s very serious bout with COVID, and the recent death of a fellow Next Step graduate, Chris Durrence, the truth of this simple, and even at times comical statement, seems to ring all the truer as I read these first two verses in the book of Joshua.
Eight Things Successful People Do
During a much-needed break, my wife and I were sitting on the beach in Florida. Beach time is a great time of reflection and thinking for me. As I sat under my umbrella listening to the waves hit the shore and enjoying my Mountain Dew, several things came to mind that each of us must practice if we are going to find any measure of success in our lives. Successful people are not successful by accident. People who are living life with joy, happiness, and great fulfillment do so because of how they think and the actions they take. Here are eight things I jotted down on the beach that day that I believe will help anyone succeed and experience a fulfilling life, no matter what their circumstances.
Be Strong and Courageous!
The enemy, your enemy, my enemy does not need my life to be spun completely out of control in addiction. He does not need me to be sleeping in my car, under the interstate or behind the dumpster at Burger King. He does not need me to resort to meaningless sexual relationships, trying to find comfort in pleasure or significance in a relationship. None of these things are necessary moves in his playbook to win the fight. He only needs the smallest bit of doubt… but not just any doubt…. I must doubt God. 
We Are at War
I have no doubt that you and I are in a war. I am also confident that if we allow ourselves to, it would be extremely easy to hold on to an emotional state of defeat rather than one of victory. 
Can We Discuss My Options
 When I find myself in a situation that seems to be utterly hopeless. When the ever-mounting emotional pressure is too much to possibly bear. When I start to contemplate options in my life, and potentially stepping away from what I am so sure is God's will for my life. When I weigh that emotional pressure I just spoke of on the scales against the pressure and pain I not only have in years past put myself through, but also many of those I care so deeply for and I find myself saying those same words “Pete” said in John 6:68 “Lord, to whom shall I go…. “ and verse 69 “... I have come to believe AND KNOW that you are the Christ! The Son of The Living God!”
No Fear!
Now as a child of God, the Wrath of God is not part of my future. Not my near future or my eternal future! I HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR!! “TO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN!!” 
To Know Him and Make Him Known
This love, to willfully and sacrificial giving of oneself and one's resources for the benefit of another without any expectation of anything in return, is not just something God does! It is the absolute core of who HE is! God IS LOVE.
Why Won't the Pain Go Away?
Pain is a necessary component of life. Pain comes at us when we are heading in the right direction and the wrong direction. If you're on the road to success there will be pain. If you're on the road to failure there will be pain. The challenge for those in recovery is choosing which pain we want. 
Why is Addiction So Hard to Overcome?
Addiction recovery requires a new way of thinking. The mind must be renewed. People who struggle with addictions are trapped in old and toxic ways of thinking that are embedded deep in the brain. New ways of facing life must be introduced and practiced. 
Good Mental Health is a Choice
 Often, we like to believe that our mental health is driving our decisions, however the reality is that you and I choose the mental health condition we are in. Our choices determine our destiny.
No Slave to Sin
God’s Word reminds us that as Christians we are no longer slaves to sin. Through Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, sin has been defeated. However, many Christians wonder, “then why am I still stuck in my sin, my addiction, my anxiety, my anger, my lust?”
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