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Jesus, Calvin, and 12 Step Awareness

Photo by: See the Holy Land

While reading John Calvin (1509-1564) on John 4:10, I found some thoughts that resonate not only with the text he was talking about, but also with some of the basics of what we know as 12 Step recovery.

Calvin says of the Help we all need, “We cannot aspire to Him in earnest until we have begun to be displeased with ourselves. For what man is not disposed to rest in himself?  Who, in fact, does not thus rest, so long as he is unknown to himself; that is, so long as he is contented with his own endowments, and unconscious or unmindful of his misery? Every person, therefore, on coming to the knowledge of himself is not only urged to seek God, but is led as by the hand to find him.”

Calvin was reflecting on what Jesus said to the Samaritan woman he met at Jacob’s well, at about noon, under the heat of the middle east sun. “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who I am, you would ask me, and I would give you living water” (John 4:10).

In commenting on this verse, Calvin anticipates what got the woman’s attention. Jesus unnerved her by indicating that he knew that she had been married 5 times and was now living with a 6th (17, 18, 29).

Am thinking that together these ideas are mirrored in the emerging awareness of the first two steps of recovery thinking:

1.  We admitted we were powerless over _____—that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

The woman who encountered Jesus becomes not only one of the first of the Samaritans to come into the Family, but also becomes one of the first “missionaries of the good news”. She runs back to her community with news that she met a man who knew “everything she had ever done”.

Calvin’s words (above) come as he reflects on how real change occurs somewhere between the awareness of our own mess… and the presence of the One who alone has the goodness and power to help us…

Seems to me that, in any day or language, this is about the worst and best moments of our lives…

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38 Responses to “Jesus, Calvin, and 12 Step Awareness”

  1. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Wow Mart,

    You don’t know how timely this is for me. When I saw the topic I thought I may have to wait for Steve to wake up and give me a hint but once I read it my mouth dropped open.
    I have come to that place of desperation and displeasure with myself and cling to the lifeline of salvation and hope that Jesus has offered me through His sacrifice.
    But today I have to go for an Xray and My ex partner also has a hospital appointment and is taking me.
    He has just become “engaged” to a Muslem, man who is of pakistan origin but born and bread in Britain and lives in Glasgow. He was recently forced to marry a girl in Pakistan and is awaiting her arival in the UK.
    My ex partner gave his heart to Jesus about five years ago and knows about the things of God but is absolutlely infactuated with this guy and will give all he has away to him.
    I have been praying for days as to what to say when we are together as I feel I cannot give him my blessing or re-enforce his delusion of being in love that all his friends are doing.
    He has had mental health issues and is also disabled by a nervous condition. I know when all this falls apart he will be a brokan man and that only Jesus can satisfy his emotional needs.
    Living water, Thanks Mart!
    I meet him in 45 minutes, Please Pray fot him.


  2. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    I guess I still love my ex, but in Jesus. When God gives you a passion for someones soul it hurts to see them going so blindly down the wrong road.

  3. SFDBWV says:

    Just to make things clear, I have been up since 4am plowing snow and taking care of all the duties of the morning. I only come to the blog when able to have the time to devote to reading it and responding if led.

    Bob nor no one need wait for me or anyone to open up the conversation. Just follow that still small voice in your heart.

    The topic is great, because it flies in the face of many of the self help programs that modern therapy now produce…The *ME* therapy.

    That somehow every thing is about *ME*…Making *ME* happy. I am ok, you are ok, evryone just be who they are and be happy about who you are….Self…The base of all sin.

    I could not agree more, we need to be aware of our failings and work on being a better person, but not dwell on it and become self loathing. This is not God’s desire for our mental well being.

    18.7 inches of snow during this snow event, with 7 days of forcasted snow ahead…Still we are better off than last winter so far. 13 degrees and a back yard full of deer…full…If I try to run them off they think I am calling them to dinner, and just come in for more… Have to admire their persistance.


  4. Charis says:

    GOSPEL means GOOD NEWS. The GOOD NEWS is that Jesus will set us free from the things that bind us, that we can partake of the living water, that this will be ever so much more satisfying than any “temporary fix”. It confuses me that people can be prominent in attendance and participation in evangelical christian venues for a lifetime (30 years) and remain as deeply in bondage as they ever were. Are the 12 Step groups bringing GOOD NEWS better than the churches? Shouldn’t the church be flowing so much with this living water that it is a river of LIFE?

    CS Lewis said in The Weight of Glory,

    “Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” -C.S. Lewis

  5. Charis says:

    I’ve been through therapy. It was not about “making ME happy”. It was about self-examination.

    The word “Hypocrisy” is of Greek origin and means “someone acting under a mask,”. If you have ever attended a 12 Step meeting, you will know that the people there are not wearing masks. The light of self exposure is a necessary ingredient of recovery.

    In People of the Lie: the hope for healing human evil, M. Scott Peck says:

    “The poor in spirit do not commit evil. Evil is not committed by people who feel uncertain about their righteousness, who question their own motives, who worry about betraying themselves. The evil in this world is committed by the spiritual fat cats, by the Pharisees of our own day, the self-righteous who think they are without sin because they are unwilling to suffer the discomfort of significant self-examination. Peck

  6. SFDBWV says:

    Charis, I must appologze to you. For some reason I seem to be the pea under your mattress.

    You are correct I have not needed to attend counciling in order to know how to feel about myself or how to feel about other people.

    I have not needed to read other peoples thoughts in order to have thoughts of my own.

    I am able to see my own good points as well as my bad points and am able to work out the details of my life without going to therapy.

    My comments are my thoughts, and it is fine that you don’t agree.

    I want mostly to be a supporter of other people, not highlight their shortfalls, I want to give comfort and encourage others in their struggles, not scold them for not agreeing with me.

    It is my desire to put love forth first in all that I do.

    Since I seem to have failed you in these attempts, I appologize to you. For the failure surely is mine not yours.


  7. foreverblessed says:

    I so agree, the time when I was at my lowest, was also the best of times, because it was then that Jesus directly answered me. In my despair I prayed, and He came. That was the best of times± the first time Jesus started to talk to me, finally I found Him!

    Then I thought, it is good when people get in a crisis, because then they will find Christ. But many around me did come into a crisis but do not find Him, or should I say find Him yet.
    It is today, when I read Mart´s citation of the Samaritan woman± She had 6 men, think of it… 6.
    That means 4 broken relations, maybe 5 times a crisis.
    Bob, I will pray for your friend he does not get to 5.

  8. poohpity says:


    When a person is sick they go to a doctor to get help unless they are in denial that they need help. When a person has emotional problems they go to a counselor to get help unless they deny they have emotional problems. When a person has spiritual problems they go to a pastor or some other spiritual representative unless they do not feel that spiritual problems exist. God told us to love him with all our heart (physical), mind (emotional) and soul (spiritual). Obviously God knew we would have problems in all these areas and has given gifts to people for healing in their own areas of expertise.

    If we do not seek help in those areas as needed then when we offer a helping hand to someone else to love them as we love ourselves then we help them in denial of our own deficits. Then we can not care for them totally as a whole person which God can but we are not God.

    The 12 steps were taken from the bible by a doctor who saw the light and wanted to share his experience but at the time the church did more condemning than healing. The first two are a representation of those that follow. First you have to be aware that you have sin (____) in your life then next to realize that only God can change you. Does that sound familiar? I think if one will look them up you may be wonderfully surprised at their content.

    I do not know that much about Calvinism but I do know that was the true meaning of intermingling of church and state.

    I think that Jesus knows us inside and out and only when we have awareness of our inside and out how do we pray for healing in those areas and it helps us to not put ourselves on a pedestal of self righteousness. Jesus knowing all the areas we fall short yet He still went to the Cross and that really helps us understand exactly how AMAZING his grace is.

  9. annalisa says:

    I have only left a comment once or twice before, although I read all of yours every day. I am truly inspired by ALL of you who write in because it helps me in my relationship with Christ. I have spent a lifetime of a twisted conception of what it is to be a Christian; as I was raised Roman Catholic, who’s family was allergic to attending church. I say that because it should illustrate just how corrupted (my) religious views came along.

    What has moved me to write was GARY (from the previous topic). I do NOT consider myself to be uneducated and yet I am reluctant often to speak out about my knowledge/ understanding of scripture; when time to blog permits. Often because I’m not sure how skewed my beliefs might be. In reading this blog I get a clearer understanding from those who practice what I now know to be truth. And yes, at times, information may come across to me as stoic but hat only challenges me to test myself & check myself, NOT easily welcomed but 99.9% of the time profitable (for me, of course & for HIS GLORY).

    Usually I find when someone hits a nerve within me, it’s because of some kind of fear that was alarmed within me; sometimes a “tiny issue”, sometimes a “greater issue”, nevertheless, its my issue & if I trust God I can examine it….. Then, I find I gained a fruit!

    ALSO SOMETIMES… it might be that the writer themselves is having an off day. Either way, we all have our own gifts- where I am weak you may be strong & together we are one in Him. I want to thank you (Gary)for being braver than me in taking risks to share because OFTEN I find YOUR writings helpful AS I DO the “police” :) because of the directness, I might not heed otherwise! And ALL others. I for one would be disappointed if you choose not to write.

    As for todays topic, happens to be, I am therapeutic counselor (with letters after my name even; WHICH MEANS NOTHING REALLY). I agree with the comments about the “ME” therapies in this age of what seems anything goes, “I’m Ok, Your Ok”. What actually brought me to know & love the Lord as a born again Christian was a 12 Step Program, how ironic or fortunate (but part of His plan )because although it was 12 steps… it was the first 2 that was the most important.

    After 5 or more years in that program & achieving their 12 Steps I realized it was in the first 2 I needed & yearned to know more about the 12 Step Programs are not enough something is surely lacking (we know it is JESUS). It was then I sought God & found Jesus; he wasn’t lost…I was! Even though I was in a quasi healing process I knew God had more for me to learn. So I guess you could say I took the long way , but whatever it takes…only He knows, it is His plan. And yet many never make it past 12 Steps to Christ because of man’s nature of willful unwillingness. I continue to receive the Lord’s blessing along with all of you & your help.

  10. foreverblessed says:

    Annalisa, I enjoyed reading your comment, I hope you will find time to post more!
    I was looking for the 12 step recovery, thought Calvin had to do something with it, and ended up reading about the Waldensians or Vaudois.
    Calvin was devastated by the massacre of the Waldensians at 1545.
    Fascinating, maybe the big wellknown church in Italy is not the original church, these people say they are from those who remained loyal to the old apostolic church, and that under Constantine a State Church was founded which was not. Interesting, what does that have to do with this topic.
    A 12 step recovery for the church,
    step 1 admit you are wrong,
    step 5 admit the exact nature of your wrong.. you are addicted to power play
    step 2 admit there is God who can restore the church
    I found the …12 step recovery.. when searching with these words.

    when I type here the signs do not appear right, only the . and , is what it should be.

  11. Charis says:


    Pleased to “meet” you. I have great respect for therapists having experienced more healing and deliverance from the ministrations of a secularly trained Christian therapist than from any preacher, church, or ministy in 30 years as an evangelical Christian. Course I realize that not all therapists are equal, but the Lord provided me one who was “Jesus with skin”.

    I am a cradle Catholic and have seriously considered returning at times. There’s some great strengths of the RC’s.

    Step 11 came to mind as you shared:

    “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”

  12. Jason says:

    Hello everyone, I was introduced to the 12 steps at 19 years of age.I now work at an addictions treatment center. What bothers me about the 12 steps is that they talk about a God of our own understanding. They leave it up to the alcoholic or addict to choose their Higher Power. While talking to people at work I have to bite my tongue and not talk about Jesus unless they bring it up first. My boss has said he believes in God but not the God of the Bible. To me choosing a Higher Power from our imagination kind of defeats the purpose because we would still be serving ourselves. I believe doing the steps and going to meetings can keep a person sober but the real recovery happens when we accept Jesus as our personal Savior.

  13. davids says:

    Bob, what a difficult situation. I hope that the Spirit helped you to navigate it.

    Annalisa, thank you for joining in the discussion.

    I have never been through a 12-step program, although I admit that I have suffered from addictions over the years. I generally managed to escape them on “my own”.

    In those years, I always believed in a Higher Power, which might have been part of the strength I had, but it did not stop me from falling into another different cycle of sin and remorse and recovery.

    Only eight years ago did the Spirit guide me toward the doors of the church and into the Word. Understanding what Jesus did for me caused me to reflect every day on the choices I made.

    I don’t claim to lead a blameless life. But I think that admitting their is a Higher Power might only help you out of a current problem. Accepting Jesus into my life helps guide me through the future.

  14. davids says:

    Jason, thank you. At the same time I was writing you said it better than I did.

  15. Jason says:

    Thanks davids, must be the Holy Spirit at work!

  16. Jason says:

    btw davids I don’t think I said it better than you.

  17. dja says:

    Almost 30 years ago, my husband who was an alcoholic, cried out to the Lord for forgiveness and deliverance (Step 1 & 2). He asked the Lord to take away the desire for beer and to make the smell of it disgusting to him. And that is what the Lord did. My husband has not had a beer since the Lord delivered him from this lust. Now, that being said, we will sometimes have a glass of wine with dinner, so he can have alcohol. Since that time, he has never had to have a drink, but has the freedom to have one without the fear of overindulging. He has spoken about this to many people, always giving glory to God for what He has done.

    However, my husband’s brother went through the 12 step program with AA and can not ever have a drink. He is not a Christian, and although he has been faithful to the program, he is counting on what he has done, not what the Lord has done. He does not have the freedom that my husband has-he lives with the fear of what would happen if he should have a drink. This is a shame because having a glass of wine or any alcoholic beverage is not a sin, but lusting after alcohol and overindulging is.

    Thank you for this writing, Mart. I spoke about it with a young friend I have been trying to encourage. He called me tonight to confess that he had given into a habit he has been struggling with, and he is so disgusted with himself. He said he cried out to the Lord for forgiveness and wants so much to be delivered from smoking this illegal “stuff”. He has come so far (such a hard life), and he has a wonderful opportunity for a training program, but he knows he will not get in the program if he is doing this. Please pray that the Lord will deliver him, and that he will get into this program.

    I haven’t written this week because I am in Virginia helping with my granddaughters. Tomorrow I travel home to NEPA. Only an inch of snow in VA-about 6-8in. in NEPA and more on the way:-)

  18. foreverblessed says:

    This site was unreachable this morning.
    When Mart writes about Jesus, who knew that the woman at the well had her 6th husband, I had to think about 1 Corinthinans 12 to 15, Paul wanted that there would be a gift of prophecy in the church, so that when unbelieving visitors would be touched at heart by the words that are spoken by the believers, probably something like what Jesus did: Someone here has had 5 husbands, and now is having her 6th, I tell you there is Someone greater than a human husband, namely Jesus Christ…standing at your door and knocks
    that the unbeliever who.s secret of heart was made known, will fall down and worship God 1 Corinthinans 14:24-25.

  19. BruceC says:

    I agree with what Mart wrote about Calvin. That we can’t aspire to be closer to Christ and receive His help until we are displeased with ourselves.But not so displeaed that we begin to think that God does not love us or that we are beyond His help. I think a balance has to be struck there. We are not worthy and deserve only damnation; yet at the same time we are loved so much by a righteous and holy God that he sent His Son to pay our debt and so that we may have a loving Father/child relationship.
    I agree with what one of the posters said about some of the programs. That they may lead someone to search further for redemption and find Christ. But, at the same time I agree with another that spoke about a “generic” higher power in the programs. When I began my law enforcement career I had to start out in the jail. Saw many a man go to AA and other groups and put faith in a higher power. During my talks with them I asked who that higher power was and was amazed at the answers. Not all said God. Many had their “own version”. I told some of them about Christian based programs out there and that beating an addiction is great; but by itself does not produce salvation and eternal life. That is Christ alone.
    I myself used to be a drinker. A “weekend warrior”. Didn’t do it much during the week. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a problem. To God’s glory I have not had a drop in almost nine yeras. I just no longer have any desire for it all. Just the smell of beer turns me off. Before that time I only drank about once or twice a year for almost three years until going without it entirely. God be praised!
    But there are other areas of my life that still need cleaning. I think it’s a continual process that only ends when we are in His presence in our new home and bodies. Then we will no longer be even in the presence of sin.

    Charis and annalisa,

    My wife was raised RC also by a family that was rabid about it. When she was born again and then baptised her family was not well pleased to say the least. Won’t get into details now; but suffice it to say that my wife and I know what persecution is about because of it. And after 33 years it hasn’t stopped. We are the “black sheep”

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  20. Charis says:


    Different experience with RC here. My father was the RC and my mother was Prot and agreed to raise us in the church. I went to parochial school for 10 years including a year of HS boarding in a convent. But my father was an abusive alcoholic who found AA when I was 11 and gave up alcohol but got worse- became a serial adulterer and was still abusive. (So I really never saw much value to AA until I attended Al-Anon some and visited an AA meeting a few years ago and found that my dad had missed a lot of the point). He divorced my mother after 21 years to marry a 22 yo and has been married 4 times and is now old and alone. He still attends AA religiously and has been sober for 40 years (but remains toxic in many ways and we are cordial but at a very safe distance).

    So, he wasn’t a very “good catholic” though he directed the choir every Sunday.

    Anyway, I was thinking recently about how Christians used to kill each other. Catholics had their “Inquisition” and Prots had their “Salem Witch Trials”. I’m grateful that nowadays the murder is mainly just with our tongues (speaking words of death instead of words of life). But I understand how the words of death still hurt even though they don’t kill our bodies. TBH, I can’t call myself evangelical anymore. I’m “Post-Evangelical” and in the days of the Salem witch trials, I would have burned as a heretic loving Jesus with all my heart even through the flames.

  21. SFDBWV says:

    Very similar to the woman at the well, I offer you all a *ONE* step program….Surrender your self to the life changing power and indwelling of the Holy Spirit by accepting the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart…

    Let Him be your spirit guide, your mentor, your healer, your conscience and your hope.

    If you are going to look for a program to fix your brokeness, I offer you Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, the promised Messiah, and the Great I AM.

    Then go out and proclaim HIM as your healer and show the way for others to find healing…true healing, through HIS program.


  22. Regina says:

    Good Morning All

    Just read Mart’s intro comment, and I realized that the Samaritan Woman actually received two (amazing) blessings:

    1. Jesus took out time to have a conversation with her (I’m sure there were other Samaritans who were living in a manner similiar to her), and, at the end of the conversation, she realized that she was talking to GOD (the Son)! Am wondering, though, if she perceived Him to be the Son of God or a prophet?

    2. She was adopted into the family of God, and she immediately began witnessing to others. Curious about the changes that she made in her lifestyle after meeting Jesus?

    37 degrees in my neck of the woods this morning.

  23. oneg2dblu says:

    What a book we could all write, about our life “after” meeting Jesus. That book is our testimony, to be shared in a world who believes, differently.
    For those who are in our Sphere of Influence, our actions, are our only “living testimony” as well.
    If they do not see a change, then what?
    I have a testimony to give you about modern worldly therapy. It is in the words conveyed to me by my brother, who I was compelled to reach out to “after” meeting my Jesus! Do not be offended by the MY context!
    It purpose will be served through… the rest of the story. t
    These are my beother’s words, “I spent fourteen years, and forty thousand dollars in therapy, and the last day I left that therapist’s office, I was just as GAY as the day I walked in.” Did he get his monies worth?
    Did he walk into each session holding the Hand of Christ
    or walking in the world?
    I will testify to this as being my witness,today, he is a PROUD GAY MAN, fully on for the gay agenda! Christ is not the center of his life, but being gay is!
    I know the therapist did his job, he esteenmed my brother to be himself, and to accept his own god.
    Without judging… we will all have an opinion we will
    take away from this story, to either serve ourselves, or, to serve Our Christ! Be Blessed in your own finding, and seek your therapy, where God leads you! Gary

  24. oneg2dblu says:

    Now if you are still standing… here is what happened to me when I saught therapy, before meeting my Jesus. Not before my having, Knowledge of Christ, for I was raised in the church, but before He became my Personal Saviour!
    I worked for New York Telephone, and had just finshed installing a new high tech phone system in a very upscale, and well appointed therapist’s office… so I had a good professional realationship with him when I left his office. When I arrived home that evening, I found my life completely turned upside down, as my wife laid naked in the bath tub, clentching a large chef’s knife.
    I was not capable of dealling with such a horrific sight! In a completely out of control emotional state I called that therapist. He with his training did his job as well, and helped me through a most terrible time in my life!! He became my savior…of choice! To make a long story longer, LOL, He helped me to realize that this was not of my making, and not my resposibility to correct or overcome. Although, I do not to this day know my wife,s mental history, which was hidden from me,he was well familiar. So, separation and then divorce,and much healing came through time as well.
    I believe that God had set the stage for this all to come about, even before I gave my life to him!
    Years later, my wife called me to say she was stable again, and that she had a fourteen year old son, I never knew about! Life is full of surprises, not all are easy, but all are God directed, and all are for our benefit, for He had started a work in me before I ever knew it! We all have a story!To God be the Glory!
    Therapy works! God is in control of all things…Gary

  25. poohpity says:

    I have watched over the years the difference of those that may have had some sort of counseling and those who have not. While reading the bible, I know who the Mighty Counselor is and that several times we are taught that there is much wisdom in many counselors. Any good counselor will help us become aware of behaviors that cause harm to ourselves and harm to others that is their job. If a counselor causes one to focus only on the “me” then there is a problem that has a diagnosis of narcissism. Some people are not aware that some of their behaviors are unhealthy like those who control others by doing everything for them and not allowing them them to grow and the list goes on.

    God can use anything and anybody he wants to help us become healthy in our physical, mental and spiritual areas. When it all comes down to it he wants us to live this life abundantly with Jesus as our example and the Holy Spirit as our guide.

  26. poohpity says:

    I think the one word that helps as you said Mart, was “AWARENESS”. Without that, one can not take the next steps to any type of change and then they would continue to live in “DENIAL” and that is not a river in Egypt/Africa. :-)

  27. dja says:

    Amen, Steve!

  28. foreverblessed says:

    Gary, onego2dblu, good to hear you again, and thanks for sharing your story, and what a story! Thanks be to Jesus who helped you;
    You could tell a bit more, how the story proceeded after the therapist help, how did you get to JEsus?

  29. oneg2dblu says:

    foreverblessed…I am sooo glad you asked!
    My testimony is written for all to see, but it is too lengthy to share through this space. It is off topic for one, and if we are given that opportunity, I will gladly post it!
    In the short story version…my Born Again sister, Sharon, sent me a Christmas Care Package in 1990. God had her put a copy of “Our Daily Bread” in that package!
    On January 1st, 1991, I started reading it daily, and have not missed one day since. But that is not the good part, the good part is, that on February 3rd, 1991, I gave my Life to Christ, directly from the feeding I received from the Influence of the God-directed Ministry of RBC. I owe my new life to a small booklet, freely given, that made the Word of God become Alive to me, for the first time! So, that is why I am here, to share to That Good News!Gary

  30. annalisa says:

    Wow this topic really generated many thoughts, Mart!
    I assuming everyone knows the 12 Step Prg came out of Biblical teaching a sort of watered down loose interpretation designed to be all inclusive regardless of one’s religion. So that those who for whatever reasons would not go to religion for healing, would perhaps go to peers who seemed to overcome their compulsions. Only the beginning of “awareness”. I agree with Jason & David as well, the real living comes in accepting Jesus as the Savior.

    And for some it is also interesting to me once again (as the shepherd were) The Lord is more often found by the weak, meek,and lowly who are more readily drawn near than the rich and powerful; seeking Him! Perhaps a thiner layer of ego and pride?

    Glad to met you as well Charis, you quoted Step 11 and Thank You for that point “….God as we understood Him.” And that was the problem for me with the 12 Step (insufficient) it never really brings us to the Cross or Jesus or the Holy Spirit! Therefore empty & in vain. Though these programs do have a place in this secular world & especially when they can lead one to know Jesus. Glad you were able to benefit from the tools of the steps, as well. Very well perhaps as Gary points to the “ground work” God lays long before we become saved. I know it surely was for me, too.

    (Bruce C & you nailed it twice- about persecution too, so your familiar).

  31. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Thanks for sharing about your brother.
    It helped me to understand some of your comments in the last topic.

    My friend I went to hospital with on Thursday has also put the pursuit of his gay lifestyle in the place where Jesus should be and he would not listen to anything I had to say to him, calling it mumbo jumbo, so I did not even try to have a conversation about his relationship and “engagement”.
    All I can do is pray for him each day and let God do the work.


  32. SFDBWV says:

    I am sorry to tell of of you that our old friend Charlotte, aka gr8granny has went home to the Lord.

    She had suffered with lung cancer for quite a while, and had refused treatment. She and her husband Sam came all the way from Texas to visit with us and meet Matthew. I am so glad she did. Her presence in our lives these past few years has been our gain.

    So it is with a mixture of saddness and for her, joy, that she is now reunited with her daughter and our Lord.

    Her grace and loving spirit will be missed.


  33. Bob in Cornwall England says:


    I am so sorry to hear about Charlotte. I know how much she meant to you and Matt.
    She never really let on how ill she was on here.
    No matter what our beliefs and knowledge of the things of God, it is always hard and sad to loose a dear friend.
    I know she will be missed!


  34. poohpity says:

    OOOH NOOOOOO!!! Steve will you let her family know how very very sad I am to hear of their loss of such a wonderful Godly woman. I have lost her phone number. My heart is just breaking for them and for us too, to be without her in our lives. Cancer is just a horrible, horrible disease.

  35. Charis says:

    I’m sorry to interrupt. I do join with condolences to the family and encouragement that gr8granny is now dancing with angels, or sitting with Jesus in His throne, or . . .


    JFTR, My husband has “isms” but I never believed that the AA paradigm did any good because of my sober but still very dysfunctional father.

    A few years ago (after some 25 years in the sheepfold of having been a born again, conservative, evangelical, seminary educated, former missionary, etc, etc, etc. . . ) my two sisters who both had attended Al Anon for some time prevailed upon me to visit Al Anon. I liked it and wondered why the Lord had not led me there 15 years prior when my husband’s ism of the moment looked pretty much like an alcoholic? Still don’t know why? Nor can I attend now because of the remoteness of my location and the lack of availability.

    So while I think the program can be helpful, it had nothing to do with my own conversion experience, nor am I personally involved with it now. I do know that the one AA meeting I visited had some very dynamic Christian members who were not afraid to let their light shine. It changed my view of AA from “witness” my father had borne.

  36. poohpity says:

    One of the steps I find very eye opening is the one that teaches one to take a moral and fearless inventory of self and when and where you have caused harm to another go and make amends. That step is a continual process step. It is also in the bible before you come before the Lord with your offering and you brother has something against you go and make amends so that the Lord will accept your gift.

  37. Regina says:

    Good Evening All,

    Enjoyed reading all of the comments for this blog topic. I’ve never attended a 12 step program nor do I know anyone who has attended one.
    Bob (Cornwall/1-13 8:18 am) You’re right, God does satisfy our emotional & spiritual hunger and thirst with living water!

    Steve – Wow! 18 inches of snow?! We got 11 -13 inches (maybe more) in Texas last year, and it was the largest snowfall I’d ever seen in my life. Sounds like you’re definitely surrounded by the beauty of nature, but it also sounds like you have your work cut out for you! Well, as the old saying goes, “if it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger.” Wondering if that’s always true?

    Great comment, Charis (1-13/9:27 am) I think some people don’t want to put forth the effort to tap into that “living water.” It’s so much easier to live in the carnal realm (lust of the flesh, eye & pride of life), and the day-to-day distractions/daily living can be another hindrance to walking in the Spirit.
    Your comment brought a (favorite/it’s actually my absolute favorite) Bible verse to mind…
    Heb. 12:1-2, NIV
    1) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2) Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

    Please pray for me BTA family. Having some mysterious cramping in stomach and thighs and I don’t think it’s the “visitor,” and I know I’m not preg… I have food sensitivities and I’m also sensitive to vitamin fortification in food. Thank you for your prayers.

  38. oneg2dblu says:

    Poohpity… good teaching, but as you say, when we follow the word, in context!
    Who is really “your brother” in the context of this teaching?
    Forgiveness is a very important element, to the freedom a believer can have, if they cross over the bridge of forgiveness, and make amends to the offended brother!
    I wonder “what are” the “Offences,” we need to amend?
    I guess it is those that “prey upon us,” more than anything else!
    What if Obedience to the Word of God, is found offesnsive by your brother?
    What if the offense the brother “holds against you,”
    is the very Stand you take for Christ?
    Do you also amend your position, as to not offend?
    Do we then become,the Silent Churched?
    Hilter, was allowed horrific attrocities against Innocent Jews, because “his church,” Turned
    the Cheek, and Remained Silent, for too long!
    Our schools are teaching today, in their preaching another form of silencing the church. First by their taking prayer out, and then, by teaching ungodly values!
    The churched, “sitting silent” in their Salvation, and choose to not stand against such things, Turning the Cheek, if you will, to that which IS offensive to God’s teaching.
    God’s word says, “Come as you are, but, Be Changed!”
    Be Forgiven, Be Born Again, and then…. go to school
    and be taught, another gospel, the gospel of societal
    liberty? Something is very wrong, even if man and his Appointed Judges, pass laws to make tresspases right for society, they will never change the Word of God!
    It stands, even to offend to the very core, the sin nature of the human “now offended” conditon!
    I know my not being silent, is the stand I must take, a step I must stand on! Even if this is a hard message, it is given in love!
    Be Blessed!

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