Empty Hands

Choices. We make them everyday but they make us. Big choices like college over the armed forces or one job over another develop our skills, they are also developing our character.

character: the inherent complex of attributes that determines a persons moral and ethical actions and reactions; “education has for its object the formation of character”- Herbert Spencer

In working the 12 steps, step one is admitting powerlessness over the hurt, habit or hangup we face. When we surrender to God to help us in our circumstances and say, I can’t, He can, I think I ‘ll let Him, it is too easy to sit back and rest on our laurels, not making any significant changes to our heart, our thoughts and our circumstances. On learning to live life on life’s terms we go to the other extreme and instead of controlling every area of our life, we toss up our hands and say, ok God, you are running the show, I am done.

Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. (Romans 6:12-14 NLT)

Because of God’s great love for us, He gave us free will. The capacity to choose is always with us, even in powerlessness of another persons behavior toward us or illness or job loss. We cannot control situations or people, but we can control our reaction to them. The bare edge of freedom is insured and preserved inside us by God, and no matter what forces oppress us from without or within, we are indestructible if we choose to be.

Saint Augustine once said that God is always trying to give good things to us, but our hands are too full to receive them. What do you need to let go of in order to receive God’s grace?

20130525-085437.jpg

Stepping Out!

The 12 steps of A.A. are great tools to use for any situation, any life experience, they are for anyone and everyone…it isn’t just addicts that can utilize these principles for all our affairs! The principles we learn working the steps, these are also principles to look for to make sure you are living a better life, living your faith, living in recovery…are you living these in your every day life?

step 1: honesty
step 2: hope
step 3: faith
step 4: courage
step 5: integrity
step 6: willingness
step 7: humility
step 8: self-discipline
step 9: love
step 10: perseverance
step 11: spiritual awareness
step 12: service

We are all learning and growing, no matter what step we are currently working, no matter how long we have been a christ follower or if we are still kicking the tires of faith. These 12 steps really work. We can have changed lives and be engaged in this life for the good of it all and we can do it with compassion.

To find out more about the 12 steps and how we work the steps at Evergreen come to ER Tuesday nights. Potluck at 6pm, programming at 6:30. Childcare available.

Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love. (1 Corinthians 16:13, 14 NLT)

As people of God, we can do together what we could never do alone, and when you bring Jesus into the mix, there is no telling what we can do!!