Category Archives: FAITHFULNESS

Have U Ever DATED God?

I realized tonight that for most of my life God and I had a dating relationship.

My WW said that’s a very strange way to put it. But stick with me, I think U’ll “get it” like she did after we discussed it awhile.

I would call Him or He would call me and we’d set up a time to get together. Or, I would go to places where I’d been told I could find Him. Sometimes I did, sometimes I didn’t.

In the meantime, we would each go our separate ways. (at least, from my perspective, that’s what was happening) There were even times I’d find myself wanting to date others – because… Well, just because! That’s what I did.

One of the things I remember about our dating days is the feeling that I needed to always be on my best behaviors when we were together. I think that’s one reason I didn’t call Him more – He might not like the real me. The one I tried to keep hidden from others.

The 12th step in Celebrate Recovery says:

Having had a spiritual experience, we carry this message to others.”

I had a father and mother who were both ordained ministers, so I grew up with Jesus in my life. I can say that I had Lots’nLots’nLots of spiritual experiences. And they were just that. (and yet, more) I had an experience here, an experience next week, an AWESOME  time in His Presence at summer youth camp. While at camp, I was just sure that, “when I get home, God’n I are going to be happy and together for the rest of my life.”  Then, once again, life would get in my way. And my awareness of God would fade away. Until I’d call on Him or He’d call me and we’d get together again – for awhile.

3.1/2 years ago, when I entered the rooms of Alcoholic Anonymous, I read the AA step 12 –

Having had a spiritual AWAKENING, we carry this message to others.”

Through the processes and steps of recovery, and through God revealing Jesus to me in ways I’d never dreamed, He’s brought an AWAKENING to our relationship. I finally said “I DO” to His Invitation. I discovered how deep and lasting His commitment is to me. Even at times, if not usually, in spite of me.

He’s taught me more about HOW He loves than I ever dreamed. His LOVE for ME is the base of our relationship. The experiences He brings into my life today build upon that foundation and fit glove in hand upon yesterday’s experiences. I now know and trust that tomorrow’s will fit into today’s as well.

God and I are no longer dating. He Loved me until I discovered Him. Now, I Love and Trust Him in return. I love Him Because He Loved me first!



Thursday Mrng Reminencing

More than 7 years ago, I wrote in my journal – 

          “God, teach me to Trust U more.”

I’d been realizing for a long time that I needed and desired to have a deeper relationship with the Creator of my soul. But I had no idea how to get it. I’d tried being better. I’d tried being less bad. (Did U know there’s a difference?) I’d tried doing all the right things like praying, reading, giving, journaling, etc.etc.etc. But I just didn’t seem to be able to keep it up long enough to achieve “IT”   I kept getting distracted, busy, tired, lazy, feeling guilty!

Seven years ago tomorrow, my Mom passed away after battling cancer. Little did I know what lay ahead. I now realize that God was answering that journaled prayer in the only way I would let Him. I went (He took me?) to the deepest hole I’d ever known. 

It was THERE I found God in a way I’d had only  glimpses of in the past. I now call that place my Gift of Desperation 

It was there I finally came to a greater understanding of His Love for me. As I discovered the Depth of His Love, my response was to LOVE ‘n TRUST Him in return. 

It really is true: I Love Him Because He First Loved Me!    and    We can only Love if we have First Been Loved.  

I first posted the following in March of ’14

HIS Mysterious Ways

“Embrace Ur problem?”
“Nickname Ur problem?”
“Make friends with them?”
“Thank God for Ur problems?”
Say what?!? Yeah, it works… The name of my biggest problem was/is SIR JAMES!

U can read about him here: and here:

I don’t normally share the wisdom of others on my blog.
(hmmm, RU trying to tell me something. Lord?)
But today’s words by Sarah Young beg to be shared. I’m amazed at how it fits into some of the lessons I’ve had from God! I sure wish I’d learned it by listening to people like her instead of the way God had to teach me.
But, then, I blame SIR JAMES for that!!
Too bad he’s me!



Today’s – Jesus Calling:

March 5
by Sarah Young
(boldtype mine)


Make friends with the problems in your life. Though many things feel random and wrong, remember that I am sovereign over everything. I can fit everything into a pattern for good, but only to the extent that you trust Me. Every problem can teach you something, transforming you little by little into the masterpiece I created you to be. The very same problem can become a stumbling block over which you fall, if you react with distrust and defiance. The choice is up to you, and you will have to choose many times each day whether to trust Me or defy Me.


The best way to befriend your problems is to thank Me for them. This simple act opens your mind to the possibility of benefits flowing from your difficulties. You can even give persistent problems nicknames, helping you to approach them with familiarity rather than with dread. The next step is to introduce them to Me, enabling Me to embrace them in My loving Presence. I will not necessarily remove your problems, but My wisdom is sufficient to bring good out of every one of them.


We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.

—Romans 8:28 amp


But we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

—1 Corinthians 1:23–24

Now read this post: 

HIS Tapestry

4976tap Tapestry

At the end of the day… It’s just Me’nGod

 At the end of the day… It’s just Me’nGod
and I’m standing (naked) in the middle of the bridge
On my journey of Recovery

The other day while working and sharing with a young man I made this statement

Ralph Sponge
“Ralph” – Oakland Teen Challenge

At some point in your recovery it will be just U’n God

It won’t be U’n your wife. It will no longer be U’n and your counselor. It won’t be U’n Ur small group. It won’t be U’n Ur sponsor. It won’t be U, asking God about today’s problem. It will not be U, seeking a better, easier, more productive life. It will be U!, standing stark naked in the middle of the bridge making the journey from There to Here.

And you will be in exactly the place He wants you.

Until you have stood in the presence of God knowing that you are totally unworthy to be there. And you understand beyond any shadow of a doubt that HE loves you anyway.

You’ve never known the Love of God in the way HE wants you to.

That moment will forever change you.

I’m not talking about the place of isolation to which we as The Brokens tend to go. I’m talking about coming to an end of yourself. We ARE NOT designed by our creator to travel our journey alone. I’m not suggesting we do so. But at the end of the day, at some point of the healing, it WILL BE just – U’nGod.

It was the place King David stood when he penned the 139th Psalm:

Search me, Oh God… And know my heart!

Or, in the words of the old southern spiritual –

‘Tis not my brother, nor my sister, but it’s ME, Oh Lord
standing (naked) in the need of

Life changes at that place. Relationships change at that place. *I* changed in that place. Priorities change in that place. How U see God will change in that place.

Lex, my 11 year old grandson just asked me what “stark” means. I’m sure glad he didn’t ask what “naked” means – lol  – So I looked it up. Actually, I asked “Siri”, on my iPhone. She said –

Devoid of any qualifications or disguise or adornments

Stark” naked – before The Lord. That sounds Scary!
Sounds Scary, but in actuality, it’s the best place to be this side of Heaven

Have U been there?
Did He invite U to come and U covered up? Like Adam? Like Eve?
RU afraid to go there?

I am too, EVERY TIME! 

But He keeps asking. 

He keeps inviting. Me. 

He keeps Loving. Me 

He keeps healing. Me 

In that place



I’ve been up – in my morning chair since 4 AM. “Really Lord can’t we do this at another time instead of this ungodly hour?” Oh, wait…

Some six years ago in the first year of this journey God has been taking me on, my Bible developed the habit of falling open at Jeremiah 18:4.

“…but the pot he was shaping was marred in his hand. So the potter
formed it into another pot, shaping it as seems best to him

potter at work1

THIS MORNING IT HAPPENED AGAIN! it’s now about 6:15. I’ve had coffee, checked FB, sent a ThkQ to Jon for his help yesterday, snuggled with Logan, and wrote a blog post. (for another day) Then I dozed for a few minutes!

Logan stole my iPhone and took it to his bedroom so I pulled my Bible out of its slot and it opened to…. Sure’nough, Jeremiah 18:4

6 years ago, this verse was a promise of what God was doing in and for me. Today I see it as a fulfillment of that process. For the past 6 1/2 years, He’s been shaping me into a vessel suitable for His purpose.

Lest I come across as arrogant, let me assure you that for most of this journey, I’ve been dragged by Him, kicking and screaming all the way. AA has a phrase that applies here – “looking for a softer more gentle way.” I don’t want the rough road. I prefer the peaceful path through the meadow. I don’t like the 2×4 whops to the ego. I like the gentle nudges, the velvet covered slaps to the back of my head.

But HE knows what works best in me. He has been RELENTLESSLY FAITHFUL to do for me that which HE knows is for my ultimate best and for His purpose.


What about you? RU in process? Do you long to lay down beside the quiet stream and rest for a while? RU instead feeling the knife of the Master Physician cutting deep? RU in recovery from past wounds? Have U begun to recognize the shape of the vessel He has been forming in U? Yesterday? Last week? Last months? RU getting a glimpse of his purpose in you? Please share with us.

My dream and vision for this blog is for it to be a “digital-small-group” recovery meeting room. THAT can only happen if U share.

(Celebrate Recovery small group guideline#3)

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
Jerimiah 29:11(NIV)



GOD can give me ANYTHING but more TIME

I need to be Generous with EVERYTHING in my life, including my TIME, but I need to guard my time, because what I have is all I get.

I thought this the other day, and I expected it to just be one of those passing bits’o wisdom that comes and goes. But it’s sticking around in this hotel I call my mind. The more I think about it , the more it grows.

Tell me… Whatcha think?


 Recently, when people ask: “How are U, Jim“? I’ve found myself saying:

Better than I ever expected to be

I pray I never lose the amazement of it

But – I had to go through a deep dark pit to get here. I now call that place my “Gift of Desperation”. I now see that God took me there, and then He “rescued” me, BECAUSE HE Wanted me to have the life I have today.

I had asked Him to teach me to trust Him more. I recently found that prayer in one of my journals from about 8 years ago. Little did I know what lay ahead.

He knew what He was doing. NOW, I understand. But not at the time.



#19/21 day challenge


U can read part 1 HERE
U can read part 2 HERE


Hi! My name is JIM. I’m a grateful believer in Jesus. I am finding victories
over codependency and compulsive people-pleasing

THAT is how I usually introduce myself at our Monday night Celebrate Recovery meetings. I sometimes change it to “…a life-long believer who came to Celebrate Recovery and learned to be grateful.”

Probably one of the first truly important lessons I learned in CR was that I could, AND NEEDED, to say “NO!” I had found myself saying “YES” when I really wanted to say “NO”, and failing to follow through on most of my “YES”s. I found myself overwhelmed with people, activities, promises and commitments.

GRATEFUL??? I was angry, weary, and lonely. GOD was just another One who I felt kept demanding me to be something other than what I could be.

My journey from that place of darkness into the light(ness) of GRATITUDE began because I finally had to stop trying to be everybody’s hero. I was asked to lead a CR group. I said NO.(nicely) I was asked to teach a lesson. I said NO.(nicer) I said NO and the world continued to spin!! But something important was happening inside of me.

I began to find out what “I” wanted to be and do , instead of what everybody else expected of me. I became more content with me. I began to find “ME”  I became more GRATEFUL. I began to discover who GOD had made me to be.

The GRATITUDE I live with more and more with each passing day has been an inner work. That PEACE I have with ME has changed the relationship I have with people, places and things. And with GOD.

As I learned to say “NO“, I discovered that when I DID say “YES“, I was able to do so with more enthusiasm and intention to follow through.

OK, I guess I said all that to say this… People changed because I changed. Things in my life changed because I changed. I changed because GOD kicked me broken into a deep dark pit and then reached in and rescued me. For that I will be eternally grateful!

Never Perfection
But Always

#18/21 day challenge


We can see God continually working in our lives if we don’t focus on just the big things

I learned the most about the Relentless Faithfulness of God not only by finding Him in the dark times, but also when I took the little things to Him. The things about which I would say:

“This is too minor to bother God with, I’ll just handle it without him.”

But I’ve learned – and continue to learn – to trust Him with the seemingly insignificant things I encounter. Then when the BIG things come, andtheyALWAYSdo, He’n I already have a track record.

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
(‭1 Peter‬ ‭5‬:‭7‬ NLT)

#17/21 day challenge