Tag Archives: Care of God

“How can it get any Worse? / Better?”

Written on Sunday, March 7, 2015

This morning at NewLifeChurch, Alamo, CA, I sat in the Teen Challenge Corner!
N.L.C. Loves Teen Challenge!!During the Friendship Break I had a conversation with Kenny.

I’ve been watching the changes happen in this young man for the past few months. I’ve watched him turn the corner. I’ve seen as he’s had a Divine focal point shift from RECOVERY of the PAST to a new DISCOVERY of what is on the HORIZON for him!

He related Saturday’s experience as he was going door-to-door as part of the Teen Challenge Program. The stated purpose of going door-to-door is fund-raising, but that was not the Only Reason he was there.

He had an opportunity to pray for an elderly man recovering from cancer and then another man who’d had a heart attack and answered the door with his wife.

The elderly man stood in astonishment as Kenny prayed. The couple had tears in their eyes as Kenny finished his prayer. What touched me this morning was the excitement I saw in Kenny as he’s coming to realize God has a Purpose for him.

I mentioned Pastor Doug’s message from a few months ago in which he said that God works FOR us and IN us, and then THROUGH us.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/new-life-podcast/id309386201?mt=2&i=326403149

I’ve listened to other men from T.C. as they tell me with astonishment in their voices: “God is answering EVERY Prayer for me.” I call it their “honeymoon time” with God. It’s like God is proving to them that it “It really is just that simple” – He loves us! And He wants us to know it!

As Pastor Doug was coming to the platform and people were quieting down once again, I told Kenny that “He ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” I told him it keeps getting better and better. I told him about the prayer I wrote in my journal a few months ago: “Lord, NEVER let me lose the amazement of what You’re doing in my life.” (He hasn’t) I told him it just keeps getting better.

Kenny said one of the things that finally brought him to Teen Challenge was this question: “How in the world can my life get any worse than it already is?” But it did, it was – getting worse and worse. Something or someone had to change! So – here he is!! Smack Dab in the middle of where God wants him!

Every time I see Kenny, he’s more excited than the time before. Today he told me he’s staying at TC as an intern – another 6 months of change and growth. And becoming The Man God wants him to be.

I have good news for U, Kenny, U’re already God’s Man! Just keep unwrapping him! And Celebrate the Discoveries!!

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you,
will continue His work until it is finally finished
on the day when Christ Jesus returns
.
Philippians‬ ‭1‬:‭6‬ NLT

STUMBLY PATHs

A few months ago, my good friend, Angie posted on FaceBook:

                Someone told me you can know God’s path because it’ll be smooth &
                 filled with certainty. I’m not sure Jesus would agree
.” @John Alan Turner(pastor)

As she’s done before, she set my mind to spinning. She has a very unique way of doing that!

I responded with:

In a recovery meeting today, the topic was “Healing“. As I sat there listening and thinking, I realized that most of the healing in recovery for me has come in my relationships – with myself, with God, and with others. As I am learning to walk in that healing, my life has gotten a lot less hectic and stumbly.

Yes, that’s right, STUMBLY!  I like that word! That’s why I invented it.
It describes my life Pre-Process.

I no longer stumble and fall so hard over the lumps in the carpet I created by the secrets I hid.  My relationship with my past-self is being healed as I have found the safety and courage to stop hiding from it.

I no longer constantly stumble over the things I don’t understand, ’cause I know Somebody who understand everything and He promises to help me understand it when and if I need to.

I no longer stumble so severely over remarks that others say that hurt me, because I’ve come to know it may come from that place deep inside them that hurts like I did(and sometimes still do).

I no longer stumble over my faults. For most (all) of my life, I thought I needed to be better than I was so God would Love me more. As I’ve learned that God.Loves.Me.Just.As.I.Am. I’m amazed at how my faults are just not as important as they used to be. In fact, some of what I thought were my worst character defects have become some of my greatest strengths.

I no longer constantly stumble over people who don’t like me. Or who don’t approve of me. “Hey, this is me… Don’t like it? Let’s see if we can work it out. If we can’t, U go Ur way, I’ll go mine. I refuse to make my life stumbly because U don’t like me“. (I do realize you can’t, and shouldn’t do that with everyone)

I no longer stumble over my relationship with God. Recovery Step 3 says: “We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God…”   All my life I was told: “Be careful, God’s watching you“. I understood that to mean “He’s watching so He can catch you when you do something wrong – and punish you“. Now, I KNOW! He’s watching because He loves me. He wants to catch me, yes, but He wants to catch me when I fall. He wants to guide me. He wants to comfort me. I now KNOW He will discipline me when I need it, not to punish me, but to teach me.

I no longer stumble (so much) over all the things left on my To-Do-List. One of the greatest sources of satisfaction for me has always been My.List!  If, at the end of the day I had lots of red stripes on the page, it was a good day. Frustration arose if I got stuck on something. Today, I am getting better at setting aside My.List! in favor of PEOPLE! My life is richer because of it.

Future Stumbles are no longer a huge worry for me. I’ve seen time and time and time again how God has been there for me and mine. I have seen His RELENTLESS FAITHFULNESS. He has used some of my hardest and most painful days to make my life the way it is today. I can therefore trust Him to continue to do that tomorrow, next week, next year.

OF COURSE, I’d like to still pretend my life is perfect and I never stumble and fall in the pit anymore. But that isn’t my reality. (And neither is it yours) But since the day of my “Heart Attack“, God & I (mostly God) have changed my life in ways I never imagined was possible.