Gotta Love It
What is your passion in life? What is it that really gets your blood flowing and your mind racing? In the south many would say football and you can count me in on that one. Other answers would be as diverse as the stars in the sky, but in truth, we all need something that we love to do to bring out the best in us.
People, that's mine. Helping people, getting to know people, believing in people, serving with other people, and loving people. The song says "people, people who need people, are the luckiest people in the world". I love my alone time, but people fuel my spirit, especially people searching for God.
Think about the Apostles for a moment. They were certainly motivated by God's Spirit to serve and spread the word of Good News, but they needed people to talk to, people to respond to, people that challenged their faith and purpose to grow. What does it say about us if we say we don't need people or we don't like people? Maybe we have been hurt, maybe we are a loner or an introvert, but we still need people.
The human race is flawed but so are we. Accepting that others will not be like us is a key to understanding that God made us all different, and if he didn't this would be a very boring existence. I love the Alabama fans, the Gator chompers and the Who Dat Saints fans because they are passionate like me. But I really love folks who are lost and are looking to find some light at the end of a very dark tunnel.
Monday night a man who ATB had helped several months ago with his rent came up to me and handed me $100.
It lit me up because we had made a difference for him but in turn he wanted to make a difference for someone else. When Jesus healed the ten lepers only one came back to thank him, and he was a foreigner who may not have understood fully who Jesus was. But he came back and he lit the Lord up.
People, people who need people are the luckiest people in the world. And people, people who look for the good in other people, well they are really blessed. Gotta love it!
Our Secrets Keep Us Sick
We admitted to God, to ourselves, and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. Step Five
Take a moment to really think about it with an open mind. Is there something you may be holding inside in a secret chamber you may have locked up that is holding you back? It's so natural to not want anyone else to know our deep, dark secrets, but yet so harmful if we want to live a life of honesty.
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins from ALL (that's right ALL) unrighteousness. ! John 1:8-9
Sometimes folks are reluctant to work the 12 Steps because they are fearful of what they will have to do like what is required in Step Five above. In fact, all of these Steps came out of a spiritual movement called the Oxford Group back in 1935 where the formation of A.A. began. Every Step comes from scripture, every Step is there to promote honesty, faith and truth.
Our secrets keep us sick is a saying we use in the rooms of our meetings because they cause isolation and actually form the seeds that grow within us to bear bad fruit. There are some secrets and sins about me that some folks have had a hard time dealing with, but God hasn't and those who really know me haven't held those against me either. So what's the problem with confessing?
Ask David or better yet, read 2 Samuel 12:1-10. David hid his sins even though he was described as a man after God's own heart. When confronted with an analogy he criticized the one who was wrong before the prophet Nathan pointed out it was him. As a result, Nathan told him "the sword will never depart from your house" and we know David's life got very rough for keeping his secrets to himself.
Only you and God know if that is you, but what I am certain of in my own life is that I would rather be real than the plastic man I was in addiction. And if I keep confessing when needed, and my soul is free of those secrets, then I am free to be me, the me God intended me to be, and I am free to be clean and sober.
And the truth shall set you free!
Show Me A Sign Lord
And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come. I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth". Genesis 9:12-13
How many times have we asked God for a sign, and then he sent us one. We may have ignored it because we didn't like it, or we just weren't paying attention. Or maybe we weren't patient enough to wait for that sign, or possibly it was already there. Like the rainbow.
Coming after a rain shower, a severe storm or even catastrophic events like a tornado or hurricane, when the rainbow appears, it is a sign of hope, that everything is going to be okay. It's God's way of comforting us when we need it most - yes, he says, I am here, and I am watching over you!
Now these verses come after the flood that destroyed most of the earth, with the exception of Noah's family and two of every animal and birds. The symbolism to me is that even if everything else is destroyed in our lives, we are still here, we have us, we have Him, and we have a rainbow that says it's never going to be that bad again. Maybe bad, but never that bad again.
In my own recent experience of trying to eat less sugar during Lent as a covenant between God and I, I reluctantly admit a few slips. If we think for some reason God has slips like we do, we have missed many points of scripture that tell us emphatically God holds true to His word. I am thankful he extends forgiveness although I did have a flood in my apartment a few months ago.
Turns out, it was all restored. And I saw a rainbow the other day to remind me who made sure it was!
The Open Door
When I was in the Marines in training as a Radio Operator, I was summoned to the Colonel's office. He told me that because of my diligence, IQ. etc. they were offering me a full scholarship to the Naval Academy. I asked him what the catch was, and he replied 1 year at preparatory school, four years at the Academy and four years active duty in the Navy or Marines, whichever I chose.
I thought for a minute adding up the time, and at the age of 19, nine years seemed like a lifetime commitment, especially since I joined to go to war in Viet Nam. I declined that opportunity then serving a tour in Nam, eventually doing my three years and went on a destructive path of addiction, divorce and desperation. Who knows how things would have turned out if my choice was different, but I can promise you I would not be where I am now.
It was an open door for me that I shut and God had other doors for me to enter into. I do not regret my decision for a minute, but I do regret it took me so long to find the right one to walk through. Maybe you have faced similar choices and possibly chosen well right from the beginning, but for me, I was a hard headed man and I needed to face the consequences of my choices before I came around to Gods way for me.
If you are staggering now as I was, my suggestion is to get to know God, listen through his spirit as to what he would have you do, then do it. And if you interpret what he is saying, heading down the wrong road, he will course correct you through a set of circumstances where you know only he could create.
His formula is ask, seek and knock. Instead of having to bang down the door, he will open it if you don't miss that middle part, to seek. Seeking means we are looking for something, and God will always provide a sign, either a green light to go or a stop sign to look elsewhere. My problem, I always chose the easiest path to take which led me to doors I had to not only knock on but ones had to knock down.
Turning down the Naval Academy was a good decision for me on the surface, but since I did not consult God on that one, the road to get to where I am now has been filled with obstacles. What am I trying to convey here?
What may look like an open door on the surface could very well be a trap door to destruction.
Blessed to Be At ATB!
Greetings, friends of ATB! I am Allison, one of the newer team members, and I am excited to co-labor with the team at ATB.
After a life of destructive decisions, I began a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in 2007 that changed the trajectory of my entire life.
In 2008, I was led to become a certified Life Coach helping women thrive in life, relationships, and to reach their dreams. Between 2008 and 2014, I worked on healing and telling my story through printed word. In 2014, I released my book, Desperate for Love, with the hope of changing one life. Since its release, many have found a connection and a more authentic understanding of God's love for them. Some have been propelled to move into their greater purpose. During the following years, I worked as an independent contractor serving non-profit organizations in developing websites, organizing events, creating print and digital collateral, e-books, and digital marketing. I also helped Across The Bridge with digital needs on a volunteer basis. The Lord allowed me time to find my groove in living His way.
In 2020, after a season of serving on a prayer team for a women's ministry, I took a break, except for some volunteer work with ATB. It was during those three years that I gained a more profound understanding of my specific purpose.
It is woven into my heart to share how to be free from the wounding moments in our lives. I want people to know we can uncover the trauma and heal the wounds of that trauma in our hearts. Whether our injuries are from bullying, rejection, abandonment, abusive words, harmful actions, or the absence of a parent, there is a journey from the scars of trauma and brokenness to living in freedom and wholeness through the power of our Almighty God.
In late 2022, Glenn, a decades-long friend, invited me to work with the ATB team managing the website and creating collateral materials. Glenn has given me the honor of sharing my artistic creations, my book Desperate for Love, and messages of hope and healing to those crossing the bridge.
I look forward to meeting each of you. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve alongside the other team members of Across The Bridge.
He works all things together for good to those who love Him! Romans 8:28
He is close to the broken hearted. And binds up their wounds. Psalms 147:3
Praises to our Great God!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at email@example.com.