Posts Tagged ‘12 step’



Principle 6: Evaluate all my relationships. Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve done to others, except when to do so would harm them or others.

“Happy are the merciful.” (Matthew 5:6) “Happy are the peacemakers.” (Matthew 5:9)

Step 9: Made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23–24)


Tonight, we are going to finish discussing Principle 6. We have talked about how to evaluate all our relationships, offer forgiveness to those who have hurt us, and make amends for the harm that we have done to others, when possible without expecting anything back.

As we grow as Christians and as we grow in our recovery, we want to follow the guidance and directions of Jesus Christ. As we get to know Him better, we want to model His teachings and model His ways. We want to become more like Him. Honestly, if we are going to implement Principle 6 to the best of our ability, we need to learn to model God’s grace. But how?


The key verses of Celebrate Recovery are 2 Corinthians 12:9–10 (NCV): “But he said to me, ‘My grace is enough for you. When you are weak, my power is made perfect in you.’ So I am very happy to brag about my weaknesses. Then Christ’s power can live in me. For this reason I am happy when I have weaknesses, insults, hard times, sufferings, and all kinds of troubles for Christ. Because when I am weak, then I am truly strong.”

Celebrate Recovery is built on and centered in Christ’s grace and love for each of us. (more…)

Few approaches to addiction generate as much controversy as 12-Step recovery. On one side are the ardent supporters of the program, some of whom credit it with saving their lives. On the other side are the critics and those who found that the program didn’t resonate with them or even hindered their recovery. Both have valid points, and both, in the end, are seeking answers to a problem that defies easy solutions.
Although it is by no means a perfect program, many of the objections to 12-Step recovery are based on widespread misconceptions. Let’s clear up a few of the most common misunderstandings:

#1 You have to be religious or believe in God to make the program work.

Though some have openly criticized 12 step programs as being too secular , the 12 Steps contain numerous references to God or a higher power, and some meetings conclude with a prayer. The Steps were actually conceived from a Christian point of view, however because the core principals were believed to be something that could benefit those of other faiths, references to specific deities discouraged and the texts and concepts are left open to interpretation. Still , being founded on Christian principals it no surprise that the 12 steps have benefitted millions of people. .
Celebrate recovery specifically recognizes Jesus as the Higher Power. Even with that, many non-Christians and Christians struggling in their faith have benefited from the 12 step program. offered through Celebrate recovery.

#2 Powerlessness frees the addict from accepting responsibility.

The loss and negative consequences related to addiction touch every part of a persons life. Those who are addicted often face among other things, job loss, financial legal troubles, relational problems, and health problems. While the initial choice to use drugs or alcohol is within the individual’s control, once physical or psychological dependence sets in, they have lost control. Powerlessness occurs because prolonged drug abuse changes the structure and function of the brain, learned behaviors, relational patterns, and emotional health. It takes time in sobriety to repair the damage.
Powerlessness does not mean that the person with addictions is inherently flawed, exempt from thinking for themselves or incapable of recovery. Recovery does rely on God to come in and fix everything. Recovery involves taking steps toward changing and improving. To say that those who struggle with addiction are powerless, flawed or incapable of making choices, would contradict the entire premise of the 12-Step program. The powerlessness is a statement about the nature of the disease, designed to remove the blame and shame that often prevent addicts from getting help, and to show addicts one way of reclaiming power over their lives.

#3 Addicts substitute their addiction with a dependence on 12-Step meetings.

Many from 12 step meetings find the support and fellowship they desire. In meetings some find a place to encourage others, be encouraged, and connect with their self and others. It is no wonder that those in committed to their recovery may are enthusiastic about their meetings. Addicted or not, everyone needs support. The 12 step meetings are safe place to build support in the midst of recovery and hardships. Individuals are free to come and go as much or as little as they want. The ongoing participation in a program that is improving peoples lives is a far cry from the destructive nature of other dependencies.

#4 The 12-Step program is a cult.

Twelve-Step programs have overarching principles and traditions that may seem unusual to people unfamiliar with addiction and recovery. It is a close-knit group of people who share similar struggles, but this does not make it a cult. People are free to participate or not, and to take what works for them and leave the rest. There is hope that participants will embrace the wisdom of some of the 12-Step principles but they are also encouraged to think critically and to find their own way.

#5 There are too many rules.

Twelve-Step recovery is full of guiding principles and suggestions, but there are actually very few rules. Working the Steps is a choice participants make, of their own volition, every day. You can come and go as you choose, adapt the program to suit your needs, and if you relapse, the group will welcome you back with open hearts.
The 12-Step principles are not random or haphazard. Rather, they address specific deficits in learning, memory, empathy and other areas impacted by drug abuse. Sharing stories, along with routinely scheduled meetings and oft-repeated mantras, for example, help addicts remember the next right thing to do even when their thinking is still clouded by drugs.

#6 Twelve-Step recovery is losers, people lacking faith, people with no friends, and people who are too weak to do it on their own.

This misconception is based on inaccurate and outdated information. Addiction is a chronic, progressive illness, not an issue of willpower, and it affects all types of people. The opposite of weak, it takes tremendous strength and courage to reach out for help. Some people may be able to recover on their own, but most cannot – and there is no shame in that.
People struggling with addiction often feel they are different, better or less damaged than the people they meet at 12-Step meetings. In a group as diverse as is typically found in a 12-Step meeting, it would be surprising to instantly connect with, or even agree with, the perspectives of every member. You may look different on the surface but inside, the people in 12-Step recovery are fighting to stay clean just like you. Even if their stories are different, the underlying messages, struggles and goals are similar. Sometimes it takes more than one meeting, or a change in meetings to connect.

#7 Twelve-Step programs don’t work.

There are different schools of thought when it comes to addiction. The 12 step recovery has a long history and an abundance of testimonies as to it’s effectiveness. The Steps are not for everyone, but those who give it a fair try find that recovery Is not just about stopping an isolated behavior, but learning a new way of life.

Get Ready To Play (And Pray).

You are an important part of spreading the inspirational message of Home Run. Even before the film hits theaters, we can prepare hearts to accept the truth that hurts can be healed, habits can be broken and hang-ups can be overcome.

Spend your time and Energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness.

Physical exercise has some value but spiritual exercise is much

more important for it promises a reward in both this life and the next.

1 Timothy 4:7-8 NLT


I love it when I am “re-awakened” to experiencing God.  At any given time I can say, that I am blessed, that God is dwelling richly in my life.  I am in daily contact with God.  I put aside time each day to read God’s word.  But there is something profoundly different when I am actually in the midst of what God is doing in my life.  It is then, I look back and “remember”  the richness of God’s blessing  and love.   And realize that I have been settling for less than God’s best for me.   It’s like the difference between:  talking on the phone( or even across the room) to someone who loves me  and supports me, and actually being wrapped up in a big hug with that same person.  (Interesting the latter doesn’t really call for words).


So this weekend I “went forward” for prayer at church.  We have a time at the end of our service, where  we can go forward for prayer, a special touch from God,  repentance, healing,  or a refilling  from God.  Often going forward is like that big hug….NO Words necessary.  This week however, I went forward as I wanted to go to God in repentance.  Repentance  for the same things I confess  at least weekly  to my accountability partners and at meetings.  Step 5 We admitted to God ourselves, and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.  “Therefore confess your sins to each other, and pray for each other, so that you may be healed.” James 5:16 a

But “going forward in repentance”  is like step 6 and 7  :

We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.

 – James 4:10

We humbly asked Him to remove all our shortcomings.

“If we confess our sins He is faithful and will forgive us our sins

and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 

-1John 1:9.


I realized (a reoccurring realization)   that when I “go forward”   I am at that place where I am entirely ready to receive what God has for me.  I may be going forward to have God take away my defects of character…but I think that what really happens is God doesn’t take it… let it go… 

Admitting  and being accountable are good…but going to God in repentance is better.   Why?






I felt the healing power of God’s gracious forgiveness.  I felt God’s  favor.   I felt restoration as I my eyes were again open to the wonderful gifts He had for me and had already given me.  And what is more, being reminded of who I am in Christ, propels me to move forward in renewed strength that comes from the power of the Holy Spirit.

 So to wrap up…The act of “going forward ” to me is not just a physical action.  It is a spiritual action  as I am “going before God”  and receiving, from Him,  what is beyond words.    



Recovery Slogans

Posted: September 4, 2011 in Slogans, Steps
Tags: , ,

  (click here) for slide show
Step 1. We admitted we were powerless
over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that our lives had become

I know that nothing good lives
in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good,
but I cannot carry it out. (Romans 7:18)

Step 2.  We came to believe that a power
greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

For it is God who works in you
to will and to act according to his good purpose. (Philippians 2:13)

Step 3.  We made a decision to turn our
lives and our wills over to the care of God.

Therefore, I urge you,
brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices,
holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. (Romans 12:1)

Step 4. We made a searching and fearless
moral inventory of ourselves.

Let us examine our ways and
test them, and let us return to the Lord. (Lamentations 3:40)

Step 5.  We admitted to God, to
ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Therefore confess your sins to
each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. (James 5:16)

Step 6.  We were entirely ready to have
God remove all these defects of character.

Humble yourselves before the
Lord, and He will lift you up. (James 4:10)

Step 7.  We humbly asked Him to remove
all our shortcomings.

If we confess our sins, he is
faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all
unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

Step 8. We made a list of all persons we
had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

Do to others as you would have
them do to you. (Luke 6:31)

Step 9. We made direct amends to such
people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Therefore, if you are offering
your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something
against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be
reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:23-24)

Step 10. We continued to take personal
inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

So, if you think you are
standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! (1 Corinthians 10:12)

Step 11.  We sought through prayer and
mediation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge
of His will for us and power to carry that out.

Let the word of Christ dwell
in you richly. (Colossians 3:16)

Step 12. Having had a spiritual experience
as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to others and to
practice these principles in all our affairs.

Brothers, if someone is caught
in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself,
or you also may be tempted. (Galatians 6:1)

adapted for victims of abuse (click here)    adapted for financial recovery (click here)

First things First

Posted: September 21, 2010 in Journal Writings, Slogans
Tags: , , ,

This article was first published as “What Matters” on Crosstalkers  Click here to see original post

  • A strange car is in my driveway. Then sitting at my doorstep is a troubled friend, apologetic for interrupting my evening but desperate to reach out.
  • A phone call: One of my children has had an accident and needs to go to the emergency room where we sit for hours so the doctor can cut off the tip of his thumb and dress his wound.
  • A message on my answering machine: A friend has been in a car accident and is in a Coma in the hospital

I can think of many of more “then suddenly…” events. With these events there is no decisive moment where I say ok this is more important than what I am doing at the moment. It doesn’t take much thought to drop everything for these times. Of course  (after God) sick, hurting, or distressed family and friends come first.

So I am challenged, what about the project at work, or the ministry team at church, or the sale at my favorite store, or writing this blog. What does my choice to stay at work late without pay rather than be home with family, say about what comes first? Even now, what does this blog say about what comes first, when I have a call I need to make to a friend to confirm our lunch date?

…oops got to go! “Suddenly” I am reminded how important my (real living) relationships are.