I remember how discouraged I was though few people really knew what was on my heart. It was a 3 year period for me of lower income, and decreased business, so much so that I had to have a little help from my friends to make it by and to survive. It sent me into debt, but we never missed a beat in ministry or in ministering to others. Thanks to many new blessings, I am in the process of paying it all back.
For all of us there is a time when we feel like we are wandering in the desert, it seems there is no light at the end of the tunnel, and life seems to be passing us by. Maybe we created that atmosphere, maybe we didn't, but it always either grows us closer to God or drives a wedge between us because we feel slighted and forgotten by Him.
For me it was the former, I drew closer, but not without some complaining in private moments with the Lord. But what I did find in those moments of darkness was the value that others placed on me in how they were willing to help get me through. It made me realize how much we need each other, and how God created us to have honest, vulnerable relationships that require taking off that mask we often wear.
In ATB, we practice having no masks by talking about reality. The good, bad and ugly are often on the table. Some like it, many don't because it requires a level of honesty they cannot get to. Folks in Churches feel threatened by those who actually talk about their sins even though that is what the Bible not only tells us, but commands us to do. Somehow we think the phrase "everything is great" makes us look better.
What is important about surrounding ourselves with "go to" people we can be real with, is that they are there for us, they don't run away when things get tough and greasy. There are 4 or 5 people to me who I would go to the end of the earth for because they have demonstrated not only belief in me, but have shown me God in the flesh. Several of them are reading this blog right now.
My point, others spurring us on makes us want to spur others on. And when we do, we are following God's plan to bring out the best in each other. If I get by with a little help from my friends, I create other opportunities when I am blessed to pass on that incredibly uplifting faith to another human being. And, it feels so awesome to see the process continuing to develop life long relationships that are real.
To some, this blog title is just an old Beatles song. To me it is what helped me to get where I am today. To you wonderful people who did, I will never forget, and I will always pass it on in your honor as well as His!
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.