With God Nothing is Impossible


The Following article was submitted for publication by Vivi and is a timeous warning on the danger of alcohol abuse.

‘I’m not an alcoholic’! – many alcoholics claim. The good news is, even if you are, you can be cured.

Alcoholics have been heard to comfort one another with the fact that although they are alcoholics at least they do not have cancer.

Someone by the name of Don who died of cancer, had this read at his funeral:

Cancer is so limited – it cannot cripple love – it cannot shatter hope

it cannot corrode faith – it cannot eat away peace

it cannot destroy confidence – it cannot kill friendship

it cannot shut out memories – it cannot silence courage

it cannot invade the soul –

However, unless alcoholism is prevented through abstinence – it can cripple love, shatter hope, corrode faith, destroy healthy diet, drink away peace, cripple confidence, kill friendship, break up marriages, decimate families, kill the body and sometimes (in accidents caused by drunkenness) even kill other, innocent people!

If you had cancer, would you search for some help or treatment?  Perhaps even have an operation to remove it, in the hope that it will not grow again.  Why then, I wonder, do people with a drinking problem take so long to recognize the fact that they might be on the way to becoming an alcoholic and continue drinking when all they need do is get some help?  To abstain means that the alcoholism is arrested – even overcome and the Lord loves overcomers!!

After a few years of marriage, my husband realized that his drinking habit was spoiling our relationship and although he tried to come home after work without stopping for some drinks on the way home, he’d tell himself: ‘I’ll just have ONE beer’ but, after one, his resolve was broken down and he’d come home having had four or five!

I was attending weekly Al-Anon meetings at a local church-hall and after a few narrow escapes while driving, my husband agreed to come to the weekly AA meetings on the same evening.  The meetings were remarkably interesting and educational in that we both learned just how addictive and how poisonous alcohol/ethanol is!

He realized he was actually addicted to alcohol, that is, he accepted he was  an alcoholic and kept trying to shake off the addiction, which some of those attending the meetings had managed to do, though certainly not all of them!

When I say, ‘shake off the addiction’ and in the heading: ‘you can be cured’, I should make it clear that there is no cure, except for abstinence and the addiction is only successfully ‘shaken off’ when it is no longer being fed!  That is only possible it seems, with the help of God.

In AA’s “Twelve Steps” the word ‘God’ is mentioned four times, and ‘asked “Him” to remove our shortcomings’ in the seventh step.  However, now, in order to keep those of differing faiths accepting, they call the Lord a ‘higher power’. For me – He is the Highest Power!be7295ddfb9c2160832b9d09b4855ed8

After a few ‘slips’ my husband asked the men at our Bible study evening to pray for him, because he really wanted to be free of the addiction.  They got up, stood around him and prayed for him.

On only one occasion after that did he drink and the result was he fell down the stairs from the garage to the house!  When I arrived home he tearfully told me it was his fault, because he had had a drink!  But after that, he never looked back!  He had seen his folly, made up his mind, asked the Lord for the strength and received it.  He has not touched alcohol since then; nearly twenty years ago!  We are so grateful to God with whom nothing and no-one is impossible!  (However, He does not force them)!

So the answer to the question of how to deliver your loved one from the clutches of alcoholism is: you cannot, but the Lord can and will.  However, He waits for the person who is addicted to ask Him and commit themselves to His guidance!

When alcoholism/nicotine addiction/any drug addiction has been in our family we need to forewarn our children that they may be susceptible so that they are forearmed.  Although no-one knew anything about DNA when the scriptures were written onto scrolls, God did – and He warned us that the sins of the fathers would be visited on the children to the third and fourth generation.

It sounds like a gong of doom, but it is not a curse, it is a warning!  God inspired the prophets to warn us (because He loves us)!  So if your dad is a heavy smoker, or your granddad was a heavy drinker, not only should you be aware that these habits can become addictions, but also, be aware that the susceptibility can be passed on to the next vulnerable generation!Alcoholism

God does not blame the children or punish them for what their parents did, see Ezekiel Ch. 18, in particular, vs 20, we can inherit traits (strengths and weaknesses) and susceptibilities from our parents, grandparents and even great-grandparents, especially when the traits are on both sides of the family!

Although the advertising of cigarettes has been stopped in this country and a warning of the danger of lung cancer is now printed on the packets, there is no warning on bottles of alcohol, that alcoholism could be the result of consuming the contents!  It is socially acceptable to have a drink and good times are continually advertised on television, interrupting your entertainment and ‘brainwashing’ you to get started or to have another drink!

Scriptures that tell us to guide and teach our children: Deuteronomy Ch. 4 vs 9: ‘Make them known to your children and grandchildren’ (your seed and your seed’s seed).  We are encouraged to keep God’s commandments so that it may go well with us and with our children after us, so that we may ‘prolong our days/live long on the land which the Lord is giving us for all time’.

‘I will appoint you as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations, to open blind eyes and free those that walk in darkness’.  If people cannot see that they are becoming addicted, they are blind to the disaster that could be lying ahead – and the Lord wants them to be free of that bondage – to whatever substance!

So the answer is to pray for those who suffer from alcoholism or other substance abuse and then encourage them to ask for help! They need to get to the point of acknowledging that they are addicted and the Lord will answer their prayer.

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Prayer…Seriously?


Have you ever pondered the scriptures where Jesus says that we should ask for anything in His name and the Father will grant it to us? I did, many times. I wondered why I was asking the Lord for things that I felt I needed but to no avail.

As I began to grow closer to the Lord, I learned that Jesus taught us to pray by saying, “Your will (the Father’s) be done”. So I began to ask Him for things ending off my prayer by saying, “…Lord if it be your will”. That way I started to learn that the things which did come to me, came by His will.Jesus Prays 2

When I learned that ‘Praying in His name’ meant praying in the character of Jesus, it began to put a new light on my prayers. How wonderful that God will use us in our daily circumstances to pray for situations and for those around us. It is relatively simple to pray for solutions according to what we think. However, it takes a bit more time and thought to pray out of Jesus’ character. What does Jesus see in the specific circumstance? How does HE feel about what we are experiencing at that point? What would HIS solution entail?

As we pray, we need to take ourselves ‘out of our shoes’ and put ourselves into Jesus’ shoes to start to understand HIS heart in the situation we are led to pray for. It is also fairly simple for us to pray for situations or people once off and not again – almost lightheartedly. What if the Lord requires us to have a real burden for our prayer topic? A burden that will occupy our minds day and night until it goes away. Are you so close to a situation or person that you are truly burdened to persistently seek God for help?

Jesus shares the parable of the poor widow seeking the Judge for legal protection from her adversary. Being a widow, she had no husband to help or protect her, so her request came from a very sincere and burdened heart. She had a clear need to keep persevering for her request. How deep and serious are the burdens we have for those around us?

Jesus speaks a parable where the Widow is being bothered by her opponent and that the Judge will have the solution to this troublesome situation. It is the same for us today. The Judge is God; the Widow is like us – burdened – and the opponent is the accuser of the brethren, the devil. As the Judge had the solution to the widow’s problem, so God has the solutions to our situations. Like the widow, we need to persevere in our requests. In order to persevere, we need to have a true burden. In order to have a true burden, we need to ask God to give it to us. If we have no desire to ask for the burden, we should ask God to help us with that as well!

In the parable, the Judge admits that he is no respecter of man or God, but that he needed to grant this Judge and WidowWidow her request for fear that she will wear him out with her persistent asking. Jesus goes on to say, “… now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly”.

As we go to the Lord daily with our prayer requests, let us ask Him for a burden for the particular topic we are led to pray for. That way we will find ourselves seeking God seriously for the things we ask ‘in His name’ (character). That way also, God will be able to answer us quickly as we cry to Him day and night.

Praying seriously for daily protection and other topics is something we have not deeply thought about. Draw close to the Lord as He draws closer to us. Feel the heart of the Father as we sit at His feet during our private prayer times. Then, as we pray ‘in His name’, the Father will grant what we ask.

From: “time with the Master…”

“…time withe Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and is published bi-monthly.
If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

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Being a container for the Lord….


I’ve heard the expression “desperate times call for desperate measures…” and can’t help but think sometimes my prayer life is something like that. We live in desperate times. Our country’s economy is currently very difficult and as a nation, we struggle with divisions along racial lines, not to mention our ownindividual situations of debt, personal relationships and work challenges.

Desperation - Homeless
Desperation – Homeless

Prayer, which is our communication with the Lord, is obviously influenced by these factors in our lives. One might argue that if we had no challenges in our lives, we probably wouldn’t communicate with God!

Recently, I had a conversation with someone at a fellowship gathering which went something like this:
I asked him how he was. He replied the he was very well.
I enquired after his wife and he told me she too, was very well.
An enquiry about their young son brought a similar answer.
I then asked him how Jesus was…..
There was a short silence and I could see he was a bit lost for an answer.

The thought then occurred to me, that if we are in constant communication with people, we generally know how they are and what they are currently feeling. Shouldn’t it be the same with the Lord? Shouldn’t we know what He is feeling at present ?

How are we currently communicating (praying) with the Lord? Are our prayers only born out of a place of desperation? – In other words, as our personal situations become more grave, our prayers become more intense. I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with these types of prayers, but there are additional ways of communicating with our Father.

Pray - Lord Teach Us
Pray – Lord Teach Us

“Oh Lord, teach us how to pray?”

Most of us are familiar with the scripture in
in Matthew. Jesus uses this example to teach us how to pray.
It is interesting to note the following:
Firstly…
“Our Father who art in Heaven….” – Exalting HIM
“Hallowed be thy name….” – Worshipping HIM
“Thy Kingdom come….” – Desiring HIS Will
Then….
“Give us this day OUR daily bread….”

It seems our needs (if translated as ‘daily bread’) are further down the list than the position of exalting, worshipping and desiring HIS Will. A point to ponder: When we measure this against how we pray – what do we find?

The King James Version of the Bible says “Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.” This portrays a picture of someone who is at total peace with the Lord. Not concerned about his needs or fretting in a given situation, but just resting his head on his Father’s heart – listening….

If we go to the Lord throughout the day and place our head upon His heart, we will find the same peace and joy as we listen out for what His heart is saying to us. Not always ‘bombarding’ Him with desperate requests, but listening for His will.

John on the breast of Jesus
John on the breast of Jesus

“Give us this day OUR daily bread”. If we ask the Lord, He will not only supply our daily need, but will give us ‘bread’ for those that we come into contact with on a daily basis. It may be a physical need, a prayer and words of encouragement or perhaps just being there for them.

Let’s desire to be a container for the Lord today. Let Him use us as a vessel to bless those around us. Before we leave home today, let’s ask Him for our daily bread – that which we can deliver to others on our Father’s behalf. What a privilege to be used by Him!

From: “time with the Master…”

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities
Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’
button).

How do I hear God


“One thing I’ve learned about relationships is that I tend to become more like the people I spend the most time with”.
Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said that we are the average of the five people with whom we spend the most time.

Considering the above statement by a person who is  generally promoting personal experience and scientific information, we need to accept that if we spend a lot of time with God, we will become like Him and be able to live a life of health, wealth, peace and power on this earth even as did Jesus

Continue reading “How do I hear God”

Mission Malawi – Chapter Nine


 

Field Trip

14th – 21st November 1994

The following is a report of a field trip completed by two disciples of the Lord. The purpose of the trip was mostly a teaching experience to see how the Lord can bless those who are willing to give of themselves completely to His will.

It should be carefully noted here that we would be foolish to try and test God.

A trip of this nature should never be undertaken without careful and prayerful consideration. Everything which we do must be born out of the seed of prayer. God will speak to those who are willing to listen and will teach those who are willing to be manageable in His hands. Often, our hearts desires and strong wills, prevent us from hearing the gentle voice of the Spirit.

Continue reading “Mission Malawi – Chapter Nine”

The Power of Prayer


Prayers 1.jpg

The Scriptures were given to us for many good reasons. Among these, they reveal God’s promises to us, they give the lost and forsaken hope and comfort.

We are always safe to take the words of the scriptures and to so place them, that they can be made into our own personal petitions to God.

Psalm 91 is a wonderful example of this – see God’s promise and reassurance to us, see His guarantee; that He will never leave us or forsake us. He asks that we should believe, what He tells us and in doing so, we harness his promise of power in our lives.

Continue reading “The Power of Prayer”

A Prayer for You, I and Those we Love


Nobody should be forced to live with fear.

‘Fear is my perception of what my senses are telling me’ (My definition).

My perception creates thoughts in my mind and these thoughts create emotions. Emotions effect my state of being – physically, mentally and spiritually.

The opposite of fear is faith. My definition of faith is: ‘believing something is, when all you senses tell you it isn’t.’

Jesus said to Peter, “Satan has asked to sift you like a grain of wheat, but I have prayed for you, so that your faith may not fail you…” Luke 22:31-31. Continue reading “A Prayer for You, I and Those we Love”

What is Prayer (Part Two)


Prayer is another way of saying; ‘speaking to God’. In many respects, there is a likeness between praying and our conversations with our fellow humans.

We would hold a conversation with a child in one way and an adult in another. We adopt one approach when discussing a serious matter and another in telling funny stories. Continue reading “What is Prayer (Part Two)”

What is Prayer?


You may have wondered what ‘prayer’ is really all about, and how is it that one ‘prays’. The question may also arise, ‘Who do I pray to’

In this series, I shall be talking about praying to the God of the Bible.  Continue reading “What is Prayer?”