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#374426 - 11/06/11 02:50 AM Re: Daily Meditation [Re: JustScott]
Tyler845 Offline


Registered: 11/04/10
Posts: 276
Loc: U.S.A.
Thanks Man.

_________________________
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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#374435 - 11/06/11 08:00 AM Re: Daily Meditation [Re: Tyler845]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2590
Those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Hope gives us strength. We need strength for the journey of recovery. We need strength to make the changes that need to be made -- and strength to grieve the losses which come with change. We need strength to keep on keeping on. Recovery requires a great deal of physical, emotional and spiritual strength. We draw that strength day-to-day from hope.

There are times when hope will allow us to soar. We will feel the exhilaration of change and new freedom. We will think about the future and imagine good things. We will soar with gratitude and joy because of hope.

There are other times when hope will allow us to run and not grow weary. We will keep going. Keep changing. Keep working. Keep feeling. We may get tired but hope will keep us from getting weary and wanting to give up. Hope helps us to keep running.

There are other times when hope will allow us to walk without fainting. Some days, in our recovery journey, continuing the journey at all is very difficult. The struggle we face may be so intense that we would faint if it were not for hope. But hope helps us to take the next step. One slow step at a time. Step by step, without fainting.

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of hope.
Thank you for the days when hope
allows me to soar.
And for the days when it
allows me to keep running.
And thank you for the days when hope
gives me the courage to walk
without fainting.
Thank you for hope.
Amen.

Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan


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#374537 - 11/07/11 08:04 AM Re: Daily Meditation [Re: JustScott]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2590
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

Hope is about the future. It may be oriented to the next hour, or the next day, or the next month or year or decade. But hope is always about anticipation.

Those of us who like to control things often find hope difficult because we do not control the future. Many of us are compulsive makers-of-plans. We are willing to work ourselves to death trying to make our plans become reality. But when our hopes and vision for the future are based only on what we can control, our vision is inevitably narrowed and impoverished.

We need to remind ourselves regularly, therefore, that God's vision for the future is better than our own. God sees possibilities and opportunities that we cannot see. The horizons of God's imagination are not bounded. When we root our hope in God, a totally different future is possible. It is not a future we can control. God's plans may not be the same as our plans. But we can return again and again to God as our source of hope.

God has been clear about our future. It is God's intention to give us a hope and a future. This is not a promise of a trouble-free life. It is not a promise of immunity from struggle. But it is a promise of hope. God has been with us in the past. God is with us in the present. And God will be with us in the future.

Thank you for paying attention to my future, Lord.
Thank you for making plans.
Help me today to rest in the thought that
your plans for me include blessing.
Open my heart today to the hope and the future
you have prepared for me.
Amen.

Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan


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#374629 - 11/08/11 07:51 AM Re: Daily Meditation [Re: JustScott]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2590
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

Hope does not usually come as the just reward for our hard work and struggle. It comes as a gift. The experience of hope is very much like the experience of receiving a surprise gift that is perfectly suited to our needs. A really good gift is one that fits perfectly both the giver and the receiver. Hope fits our needs perfectly. But if a gift is out of character with the giver, then it may be difficult for the receiver to accept without reservations. Fortunately, hope is just the kind of gift that fits God's character. It is a perfect fit for God. The God of Hope loves to give hope.

We need to remind ourselves daily that we do not serve the god-of-relentless-cheerfulness, or the god-of-naivete, or the god-of-blind-optimism. We serve the God of Hope. God is hope-full and loves to share his hope-full-ness with us. We can come to God with our fear, doubt and despair and God will give good gifts to us. When all other reasons for hope fail us, we can return to the God of Hope because God is greater than our disappointment, greater than our failure, greater than the problems and conflicts in our hearts and our homes and our communities and our world.

Surprise me today, Lord.
Surprise me with hope.
Open my eyes to see you clearly.
Help me to see your hope-full-ness.
By the power of the Holy Spirit,
cause me to overflow with hope.
Amen

Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan


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#374731 - 11/09/11 08:00 AM Re: Daily Meditation [Re: JustScott]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2590
The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners."'
Luke 7:33-34

One of the accusations made by the religious leaders of Jesus' day was that he partied with undesirables. It was unacceptable in their minds to associate in any way with undesirables. That would make you 'unclean'. But it was particularly unacceptable to party with undesirables. Then, as now, religion was thought to be very serious business, much too serious for the kind of celebrations that Jesus enjoyed. Religion was supposed to be about intellectual abstractions and theological detail - not about going to dinner parties with unsavory characters.

In his teachings Jesus draws extensively on the Old Testament themes of the Sabbath, the Jubilee and the messianic feast to make a point. Jesus told many stories about God's love for celebration. When the lost is found, the finder throws a feast. When the prodigal returns, the father has a party. When a single person repents, the angels rejoice. And on and on. Jesus, the man of sorrows, was also a man of celebration and joy.

Like the religious leaders of Jesus' day, we may sometimes find ourselves resistant to joy. We may resist joy because we fear disappointment. Or we may resist joy because it doesn't seen congruent with being a serious minded person of faith. We may resist joy because we have been shamed or even punished for being overly enthusiastic as a child.

It is a risk to make room for joy in our lives. Joy requires that we be open to the possibility of experiencing conflicting emotions. If we wait to experience joy until our anger, grief and self-condemnation are completely gone, then we will wait a long time. But it is possible to experience joy without denying or avoiding other more painful emotions. We can follow Jesus' example of joy today. When joy comes, we can receive it. It is a good gift from God.

Lord of joy,
Lord of celebration,
Open my heart to the possibility of joy today.
Help me to tolerate the confusion that comes when sorrow and joy
live side by side in my heart.
Give me the courage to
joyfully celebrate life.
Amen.

Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan


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#374857 - 11/10/11 07:48 AM Re: Daily Meditation [Re: JustScott]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2590
O lord, you turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
Psalm 30:11,12

Sometimes it can seem that all there is to life is grief. We face painful realities and allow ourselves to feel the painful feelings. But grief is only for a season. There will come a season for joy. In fact one of the most surprising things about the recovery process is that as we grow in our capacity for experiencing deep emotional pain we also enlarge our capacity for experiencing joy. Recovery is not just about learning to experience unpleasant emotions. It is about learning to feel the full range of life's emotions.

Imagine for a moment that you are 'clothed' in grief. God grieves with you. It is a time for wailing. Few words pass between you. But there is a great deal of emotion. Then, one day God brings you a new set of clothes. They are the clothes of joy. The time comes to change clothes. Your heart begins to sing. The time of wailing is over. The time for dancing has come.

Who can say how long this will take? It certainly cannot be rushed. But God is prepared to be with us through the whole process. God understands joy. God clothes us with joy and teaches us to dance and sing.

For teaching me to dance, Lord,
I give you thanks.
You are a good teacher.
My heart dances before you, Lord.
Your goodness endures forever.

For teaching me to sing, Lord,
I am grateful.
You are a good teacher.
My heart sings to you, Lord.
Your goodness endures forever.

Amen.

Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan


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#374963 - 11/11/11 07:52 AM Re: Daily Meditation [Re: JustScott]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2590
Daily Meditation for Friday 11th of November 2011

Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame
Hebrews 12:2

Shame does not coexist comfortably with joy. Experiences of shame eat away at the spiritual and emotional foundations on which joy is built. When we are consumed by shame, joy will keep its distance. But shame has a way of getting to us. Our defenses against the clever tactics of shame are not well developed.

Jesus is a powerful example to us of how to resist shame and make room for joy. First, Jesus 'scorned' shame. He did not give it a stature which it did not deserve. Experiences of shame did not define who he was. He was not just the sum of the shame he had experienced in life. His identity and person were securely rooted in God. So, he was able to experience shaming experiences without internalizing the shame.

Secondly, Jesus had 'joy set before him'. Experiences of shame hurt us. Shame is always hurtful. But we are not entirely defenseless. Jesus drew strength to endure shame from the anticipation of joy. Shame can be better endured if we allow ourselves to remember that God has plans for us that include joy. We are not aimlessly adrift in life, headed nowhere, wanderers in a meaningless maze. On the contrary, every day takes us closer to the fulfillment of God's purposes. Justice and righteousness will reign in the end. Jesus' followers share his conviction that joy, not shame, is God's purpose in creation.

Today we can root ourselves in God's love for us. We can scorn the shame. We can remind ourselves that God's plans for us include joy.

Help me to scorn shame, Lord.
Help me to root myself so completely in you
that shame has no power over me.
Help me to see the joy you have set before me, Lord.
Remind me today of your plans.
Help me to draw strength today
from the hope that your plans for me include joy.
Amen<

Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan


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#375078 - 11/12/11 10:36 AM Re: Daily Meditation [Re: JustScott]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2590
Praise the Lord, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Psalm 103:1

There comes a time in the process of recovery when we find ourselves seeing life in an entirely different way. Along with the pain, we sense with increased clarity that life is fundamentally a good gift from God. This is the experience of gratitude. Gratitude is a kind of participation in and response to God's grace. Without it, recovery would be a cheerless, and probably impossible journey.

The experience of gratitude is a response of our inmost being to God's grace. When gratitude breaks through, we are able to stop our frantic efforts to earn our way through life. In these moments of calm we see that our inmost being belongs to God. We are God's creation. Sometimes that is all we need. Other times this thought that we are God's creation is so far beyond all we could ever have asked, hoped or dreamed for, that our heart fills with praise and joy.

It is difficult to explain how, or why, or when gratitude comes. Sometimes we try to force gratitude on ourselves. Sometimes other people try to force it on us. But it cannot be coerced. It will not come from pretending. It will not come from telling ourselves that some people are worse off than we are. But it does come. And, when it comes, it breaks through our pain and surprises us with joy.

We cannot insist on gratitude today. But we can remind ourselves that we are God's creation. And we can wait for a new awareness of God's grace to surprise us with joy.

Give me a capacity for gratitude today, Lord.
Break through the clouds of pain in my life.
Surprise me with joy.
Fill my soul, my inmost being, with gratitude for life
and with praise to you.
Amen.

Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan


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#375178 - 11/13/11 01:53 PM Re: Daily Meditation [Re: JustScott]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2590
Suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.
Luke 15:8

God rejoices when we turn away from our self-destructive way of life toward a grace-full way of life. God rejoices.

The process of recovery begins when we are able by God's grace to recognize that our efforts to be God -- to control, to make things perfect -- have failed. When this happens we are able to face clearly the behaviors which have been destructive to ourselves and others. We can then turn from our sin to God. Even when this process involves a long search, God rejoices when we are found.

When a child is born, it is a joyful event. Functional parents prize the child. They hold the child and talk to the child and marvel over the child. The infant does not yet contribute much to the world. It comes as a bundle of needs. But the infant brings joy simply by being.

God is our Good Father. God prizes our existence in the world. God desires to have a relationship with us. Even when we are a bundle of needs and not yet able to contribute much to the world, God rejoices over us. When we are restored, reconciled, found, it brings God joy.

God rejoices over you. God experiences joy when you are found. God throws a party when your relationship is re-established. God finds joy in you.

Lord, help me to take it in.
I can't image myself as the object of your joy.
Help me to see that you find joy in me.
Amen.

Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan


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#375273 - 11/14/11 08:19 AM Re: Daily Meditation [Re: JustScott]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2590
Remain in my love. . . I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
John 15:10-11

It is sometimes difficult to imagine joy at all. When we struggle with failure, or we are faced with our need for change or we are grieving old losses - in those times joy seems unimaginable.

But joy can come in the midst of these struggles as we learn what it means to remain in Jesus' love.

We do not have to grieve or change alone. We learn early in recovery that we will not get very far if we remain isolated. We also learn early that we need to turn to a power that is greater than ourselves. To recover we need to learn to remain -- or abide or spend time -- in the love Jesus gives us. We are loved by God. And we are loved by other people. It is in these loving relationships that we find joy.

In John 15 Jesus has been describing himself as the vine, telling us that we are branches. He is our life-line. We need to stay closely connected to him. We can no longer pretend to be self sufficient. We must daily acknowledge our need for help and relatedness.

Jesus told us this truth because he wanted us to experience joy. "Remain in my love", Jesus said, "so your joy will be complete."

Lord, help me to remain in love.
Help me not to distance myself from you or from others.
Help me to give up pretending to be self sufficient.
Help me to remember that it is in loving and in being loved
that I will find healing and joy.
Amen

Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan


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