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#373697 - 10/29/11 10:20 AM Re: Daily Meditation [Re: JustScott]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2590
Listen carefully to my words, let this be the consolation you give me.
Job 21:1

Listening should be easy. But it is not. At a minimum, listening means that we have to be quiet. We cannot listen when we are talking. Not talking is the hard part. There are many reasons for this. We prefer talking over listening because it gives us a sense of control. We can control the silences between words by choosing when to talk. Since silences of even a few seconds can cause our anxiety to increase, we fill the silence with words even when we really have nothing to say.

It is a remarkable experience to have someone really listen -- to have someone's undivided attention and interest. When someone listens, they communicate to us on a very deep level that we are valuable. Their listening breaks our isolation and aloneness. And it decreases the fears which come when our thoughts and feelings are confused. Talking out loud in the presence of a person who listens carefully allows us to gain clarity and perspective. Gradually, being listened to can begin to convince us that we are worth someone's attention and worth being loved.

When someone listens with respect and acceptance we are comforted and consoled. Our pain is soothed. Our burden is lightened.

Thank you, Lord, for those who listen to me.
And thank you for the people who
trust me enough to allow me to listen to them.
Give me the courage to talk honestly.
Give me the grace to listen well.
Amen.

Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan


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#373832 - 10/30/11 10:24 PM Re: Daily Meditation [Re: JustScott]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2590
In your anger, do not sin.
Ephesians 4:26

Living in relationship with other people means that we will experience seasons of anger. Anger is a normal human emotion. It is an unavoidable ingredient of any fellowship.

Unfortunately, for most of us, anger is a problem. We know that anger can lead to destructive behaviors. Some of us have been on the receiving end of verbal and physical attacks from an angry person. And some of us have lashed out at others with our anger. So we fear anger because we have seen the destruction which results when anger leads to sin. We have seen how anger can damage relationships and lead to loneliness.

But anger does not have to be destructive. We can be angry without harming others. Anger can, in fact, be a constructive force in our lives. Anger alerts us to the fact that something is not right. As a result, anger can protect us and energize us to take constructive action.

The fellowship we need in recovery cannot always be conflict-free fellowship. There will be times of anger. And that can be a good thing.

I am afraid of anger, Lord.
But I know it can't be avoided.
Help me to acknowledge my anger
rather than hide from it.
Help me to use it in ways that are not destructive.
Let it energize me to risk and change and grow.
Help me to learn to live constructively with my anger
Amen.

Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan


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#373858 - 10/31/11 08:11 AM Re: Daily Meditation [Re: JustScott]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2590
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.
Matthew 5:23-24

The process of recovery increases our awareness of the ways we have hurt other people. For many of us this realization leads almost instaneously to shame. And shame leads almost immediately to increasingly desperate attempts to be perfect in order to mask the feeling that we are fundamentally flawed. The downward cycle of failure-shame-trying harder-failure will gradually immobilize us as our self-contempt and depression increase.

In this text Jesus invites us to give up on trying harder. He suggests a completely different and very practical way of dealing with failure. Notice that Jesus assumes that living in community will lead to the need for making amends. The assumption is that we will not be perfect. We can expect to fail from time to time. Failure need not lead to shame or perfectionism because failure is normal. We all experience it. Accepting this basic reality is the first step in the process toward a healthy response to failure.

Jesus suggests that awareness of our failure doesn't have to lead to trying harder. It can lead to honesty and making amends. We are to speak directly about the problem, ask for forgiveness, make amends as appropriate, and be reconciled if possible.

I fail, Lord.
And then I am ashamed of my failure.
And then I work twice as hard not to fail.
And then I fail again. Lord.
And then I become even more ashamed of my failure.
And then I work ten times as hard not to fail.
And then I fail again..
Help!
Free me from the cycle of failure-shame-perfectionism.
Give me the courage to ask for forgiveness and to make amends.
Amen.

Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan


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#373958 - 11/01/11 07:50 AM Re: Daily Meditation [Re: JustScott]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2590
Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.
Proverbs 15:22

A friend recently said, "The day my mother told me to lie about Dad's abusive behavior is the day I decided once and for all that no one will ever take care of me but me."

Many of us made decisions like this early in life. For one reason or another we reached the conclusion that it was not safe to need others. One of the longest-lasting effects of abuse and neglect is this kind of ruthless independence.

Unfortunately, because we may not have experienced appropriate care, we have not learned how to do a good job of taking care of ourselves. We are harsh with ourselves. And we have huge blind spots. We keep falling into the same ruts and traps.

The toxic individualism that comes from abuse and neglect is an illusion. We are needy. We need others to help us and support us. We cannot live whole, healthy lives in isolation. We need other people. We need their counsel and their honest feedback. Success is more likely when we work interdependently. We need love and acceptance. We need listening ears. We need to be held accountable. We need encouragement and support from other people. And others need all these things from us as well.

It may seem like a risk to allow ourselves to need anything from anyone. But it is a risk worth taking again and again and again. It is appropriate to be cautious and wise about the risks we take in relationships. But risks cannot be avoided. Mutual relationships of love and care are the basis for all real joy in life. They are worth the struggle and hard work.

Lord, you know the fear I experience
when I allow myself to receive good things from other people.
You know how hard it is for me to let myself need people.
And you know I struggle to believe I have anything to give to others.
So interdependence is difficult.
Help me, Lord, to give and to receive.
Give me the courage to risk love.
Amen.

Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan


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#374052 - 11/02/11 09:35 AM Re: Daily Meditation [Re: JustScott]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2590
If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
I Corinthians 13:3

We need to experience loving relationships in order to heal and grow. In loving relationships we experience the safety that allows us to face the truth. In loving relationships we experience the support we need to begin to change. And in loving relationships we learn that we are lovable and valuable.

Because we have been wounded in relationships, our instinct is often to run from relationships. We don't want to be hurt again. This leaves an enormous void in our souls. And it is this void which we desperately try to fill with addictions and compulsions of various kinds. This text focuses on two manifestations of religious addiction (compulsive altruism and religiously motivated self-abuse) and sums up the result: I gain nothing. The same could be said of all of our addictions. "I deliver my body to be burned" and "I gain nothing" are an accurate de>

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#374137 - 11/03/11 08:20 AM Re: Daily Meditation [Re: JustScott]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2590
Then they led him away to crucify him.
Matthew 27:31

There are days when we find it difficult, if not impossible, to sustain hope. The day of Jesus' death was such a day. It was a day of despair for all who had put their hope in him. It was a day of unbearable grief for those who had been changed by his love. In such terrible moments hope disappears. Darkness seems to be all that remains. God seems absent.

It is, however, one of the most fundamental convictions of the Christian faith that, in those times when hope seems unattainable, God is at work. In that moment when even Jesus had a difficult time sustaining hope in God's redemptive purposes, God was fighting the decisive battle which would extend the rule of the Kingdom to all peoples. In that moment of terror, the foundations of reality were exposed and God was at work on the deep structures of the world. God could do work at that moment which would have been impossible during ordinary times.

Much the same is true of our moments of hopelessness. It is when hope grows weakest that our foundations are most exposed. It is when the struggle to sustain hope is most difficult that God can work on the deep structure of our persons. It is at those times that God can reach the unreachable crevices of our hearts and work on regions where fear and despair seem to reign.

It is a terrible thing to lose hope. But all is not lost. Though we lose hope, God is still at work. It may be that during our season of hopelessness God will extend the rule of the Kingdom of God into new regions of our lives.

In those times when I cannot hope, Lord,
help me to remember the work which
you accomplished during Jesus' hour of darkness.
Remind me, when I lose all hope,
that all hope is not gone
because you continue your work in me.
Extend the rule of your kingdom
into the deepest regions of my heart
where fear and despair have reigned for too long.
Amen

Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan


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#374241 - 11/04/11 06:53 AM Re: Daily Meditation [Re: JustScott]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2590
. . . the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death
to guide our feet into the path of peace
Luke 1:78-79

Many of us grew up expecting bad things. Some of us learned to expect physical abuse. As a result we may find ourselves covering our heads to ward off a blow when someone is offering a hug. Others of us learned to expect to be neglected. As a result we may experience confusion or fear when someone shows an interest in getting to know us. Expectations which are formed early in life are difficult for us to change. It is not an easy thing to allow ourselves to hope when our hopes have been disappointed over and over again in the past.

Learning to hope, however, means opening ourselves to the possibility that the future may be different from what we have known in the past. To hope is to allow ourselves to anticipate the possibility of good things. Hope is the expectation of good. It is the ability to look for the rising of the sun, while sitting in the predawn darkness.

Our hope for the future is rooted in a conviction about God's character. It is because of God's tender mercies that we find it possible to hope. Because of God's character -- tender and full of mercy -- the sun will rise. We can anticipate good things because God is a good and loving God.
=

I know what it is like to live in darkness, Lord.
My house has been built in the shadow of death.
God of mercy, heal me.
God of tenderness, give light.
Build in me a capacity for hope.
Rise on my darkness, Lord.
Guide my feet out of the paths of fear
and into the path of peace.
Amen.

Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan


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#374242 - 11/04/11 07:36 AM Re: Daily Meditation [Re: JustScott]
Tyler845 Offline


Registered: 11/04/10
Posts: 276
Loc: U.S.A.
Hey Scott.

I really appreciate the stance you take on this site. Proud of you bro.

I want to share that I had a realization come to me earlier. I was watching a prayer crusade/ telethon on television. I kept thinking, "If I had it , I would give." I kept coming back to me not having anything to give. Money was the only way I could think of sewing.

I realized suddenly, that at the very simplest form of giving to god, we give obedience. It could be said we sew obedience, in order to come into covenant through Christ in order to be worthy of the blessings, the guidance, the safety that we all can have, if we simple obey. This is big for me, as I realize I do have something to give. I have my will, my heart, my words, to give. I've struggled lately with certain things, n out of shame I won't go into exacts, but I will say, I begin a new way of looking at sewing. I've begun to sew obedience, for guidance, blessings, all the things he would have for me. Thanks for your work here n I encourage you to keep it up. It is helping people, as I'm sure you know. Thanks.

_________________________
Most Often, The Child Inside Has Better Access To Execute The Flawless Potential Of Self.

Over-Ride Emotional Conflict With Rational Truths

You Are Freer Than You Think - Paul Berteaux

Come unto Me, all ye that Labor, and are Heavy-ladened. I will give you Rest -Jesus Christ

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#374349 - 11/05/11 10:06 AM Re: Daily Meditation [Re: Tyler845]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2590
Awesome to hear Tyler!

Reminds me of 1 Samuel 15:22:
And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.

Obeying isn't always easy and certainly we all struggle and fail, but God is faithful in His forgiveness!

Sounds like God is surely working in you and teaching you as you go!


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#374350 - 11/05/11 10:07 AM Re: Daily Meditation [Re: JustScott]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2590
I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will meditate on all your works
and consider all your mighty deeds.
Psalm 77:11-12

Sometimes hope fails us because of the pain of present circumstances. The intensity of the daily struggle can overwhelm us and crowd out hope for the future. We find ourselves unable to focus on a hope-full future because we cannot see beyond the burdens of the present. But we need hope in order to continue the journey. Without it we cannot go on. Without hope there is only the despair that comes when we think nothing will ever change.

Reviewing our experiences of God's help in the past is one way of nurturing hope. When present events crowd out hope, leaving despair and fear, we can turn to the disciplines of remembering. It can sustain our faith and renew our determination to continue the journey.

Remembering is not an easy discipline for us. Our memory is not good. Even miracles seem to age quickly - they become 'miracles of long ago'. Things that seemed unimaginably wonderful at the time can quickly fade in our memory as present concerns demand our attention. Dramatic breakthroughs in recovery that seemed to be powerful signs of God's grace and presence may seem painfully ordinary after a few months. For this reason it may be necessary to find someone to help us with the discipline of remembering. Hope can often be renewed by asking a trusted friend to remind us where we have been. An objective review of the journey to this point helps us see God's sustaining grace in our lives. And that gives us the hope to go on.

Lord, help me to remember the specific ways
you have sustained me in the past.
Help me to remember how I have changed.
Help me to remember your love and grace
so that I can grow in my capacity for hope today.
Amen.

Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan


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