Poem: “Signed Drugs”

This work came to us from a man whose life is being restored through a local program.  Logos Lodge is a 10-month Christ-centered, drug and alcohol regeneration program for men. 

Addiction may seem to win for a time; but all things, including recovery, are possible with God.

We love “locking shields” with others working hard to help people transform their lives and rebuild their families.  Together, we make a difference; one life at a time.

Thank you, Steve, for your heartfelt warning and glimpse of your pain.  May it save another.  

I destroy homes, tear families apart.
Take your children, and that’s just the start.

I’m more costly than diamonds, more costly than gold.
The sorrow I bring is a sight to behold.

If you need me, remember, I’m easily found.
I live all around you. In schools and in town.

I live with the rich. I live with the poor.
I live down the street and maybe next door.

My power is awesome; try me you’ll see.
But if you do, you may never break free.

Just try me once and I might let you go.
But try me twice and I’ll own your soul.

When I possess you, you’ll steal and you’ll lie.
You’ll do what you have to, just to get high.

The crimes you’ll commit for my narcotic charms,
Will be worth the pleasure, but you’ll feel sad.

You’ll forget your morals and how you were raised.
I’ll be your conscience, I’ll teach you my ways.

I take kids from parents and parents from kids.
I turn people from God and separate friends.

I’ll take everything from you, your looks and your pride.
I’ll be with you always, right by your side.

You’ll give up everything, your family, your home,
Your friends, your money, then you’ll be alone.

I’ll take, I’ll take till you have nothing more to give.
When I’m finished with you, you’ll be lucky to live.

If you try me, be warned; this is no game.
If given the chance I’ll drive you insane.

I’ll ravish your body, I’ll control your mind.
I’ll own you completely; your soul will be mine.

The nightmares I’ll give you while lying in bed,
The voices you’ll hear from inside your head,
The sweats, the shakes, the visions you’ll see,
I want you to know these are all gifts from me.

But then it’s too late and you’ll know in your heart,
That you are mine, and we shall not part.

You’ll regret that you tried me; they always do.
But you came to me, not I to you.

You knew this would happen, many times you were told.
But you challenged my power and chose to be bold.

You could have said no and just walked away.
If you could live that day over, now what would you say?

I’ll be your master, you will be my slave.
I’ll even go with you when you go to your grave.

Now that you have met me, what will you do?
Will you try me or not? It’s all up to you.

I can bring you more misery than word’s can tell.
Come take my hand, let me lead you to hell.

Signed,
Drugs

A Reflection from Behind the Barbed Wire

Pieces of mail numbering hundreds of thousands have reached our office over the years.  The majority of our mail consists of study guide requests and completed lessons for our Student Correspondence Course.

Often, these requests and courses include notes of thanks for our program materials along with personal reflections; proof that our program leaves an impact on hearts.

We couldn’t help but share these powerful words coming from an inmate in Newton, North Carolina.

Dear Dealer,

I wonder, if you knew the destruction of what you do,
Would you stop?
Would you turn your life around,
Knowing you were saving lives and families by doing so?

If you could follow all the little bags you exchange for cash
On their full journey,
Would it make you feel remorse?

If you could see the child in fear, hiding in her older sibling’s bedroom
While their parents fight?

If you could see the children hungry,
Going to school with no lunch,
Making their own way there,
Because their parents had handed all their cash to you?

If you could see the children that cry themselves to sleep at night,
Because their parents have split up and they don’t see their dad
That they once were so close to anymore?

If you could see the wife that cries,
Because the man she loves with all her heart
Has lost his way and she can’t help him back?

If you could see the mother that gave life to
Such a perfect child,
Who raised and nurtured them to the best she could,
Whose heart now breaks as she has to watch that child,
Now grown,
On a destructive path she cannot protect them from
No matter how hard she tries?

If you could see the father, the protector of his family,
The man that is strong, that worked hard
To raise his family right and give them all they needed,
The man that promised his princess the day she was born
That he would never let any harm come her way
So long as he was still breathing…
If you could watch that strong, proud man cry uncontrollably,
Because his little princess,
Now grown into a beautiful woman
Has sold her body to a stranger for cash just to give to you?

If you could see the young man who once had a great job he was proud of,
But now lost because of the little bag he keeps buying from you,
If you could see him selling all his possessions one by one
He worked so hard to get,
If you could see him break into the elderly lady’s home while she sleeps at night
To steal whatever he can to give to you,
If you could see the fear that lady lives with for the rest of her life now?

If you could see all the depression,
All the pain,
All the heartache,
All the hopelessness,
All the fear,
All the people’s lives it destroys,

Dealer, would you stop?

Lord,

Help us to reach those who need You the most with Your message of hope, love, and change.

Testimonies from our Student Correspondence Course

Christian 12 Step Ministry has made its mark for the Kingdom through its Student Correspondence Course.

Written requests for this course are received every day.  These requests come from men and women in correctional facilities all over the United States; sometimes from outside the United States.  This course is available at no charge for anyone who is incarcerated.  The heart of Christian 12 Step Ministry is compassionate towards those in the criminal justice system.

To read more about this course click hereFor an overview of our program click here.

Comments received directly from this course recently:

“Being in prison, there’s not many things available for those wanting help for drug addiction.  By providing a study to me, you’ve given me a way to work the steps and build upon my relationship with Jesus Christ.”

“It was interesting how this study course, scripture, etc. can help change so many different addictions.  Through this course, I came to realize there were a couple of other areas I needed to address (which were hidden) in order to have a successful recovery.”

“This course is easy to follow, understand and worthwhile.  As I worked the steps I noticed the changes in my attitude and my life.  I appreciate that you gave me the chance to be a part of this life-changing course.”

“I enjoyed all of this course.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  This course has not only helped me immensely, but it is one of the best ones I have taken.  May God continue to bless you, protect you and motivate you to continue serving through this program because you are making a difference.”

“I enjoyed the scripture studies and meditations the most.  They helped me become deeply rooted in the material and helped me understand the scripture better.”

To read about our upcoming fundraising event click here.

To help us continue to mail this course to incarcerated men and women at no charge to them click here.

Thank you for considering supporting Christian 12 Step Ministry.  We cannot do what we do without you.

Why support us?

Social Services of all kinds are buckling under the tremendous burden of needs created by those struggling in addiction.  To read about the effects of drug addiction on society click here:  livestrong.com.

Recovery from addiction of any kind can be a long and winding road.  Sobriety and sanity can be deeply desired one minute and tragically elusive in the next.  For most, the battle is extremely difficult enduring bottom after bottom experience.  For many, they actually lose their battle to death.

So how does Christian 12 Step Ministry come alongside of those who are battle weary and seeking hope?

Believing that a compassionate, loving God is always pursuing us with the power we need to overcome through a relationship with Him:

  1. We make our Christ-centered recovery study guide available for free to anyone incarcerated anywhere.
  2. We have an accompanying Student Correspondence Course available for free for those desiring deeper study.
  3. We have a free Facilitator’s Training Correspondence Course available for those interested in facilitating groups.
  4. We have a Facilitator’s Guide that has taken most of the work out of preparing for a group.
  5. We are available at no charge to meet with and help guide those seeking recovery.
  6. We are happy to meet at no charge with family members or friends of struggling addicts to encourage or help guide them as well.
  7. We love sharing options for recovery services and treatment in the Marion County area.
  8. Our study materials are available to anyone.  However, materials are only free for those incarcerated at this time.
  9. We are happy to speak with members of churches about starting recovery group meetings.
  10. We love praying with people and telling them about the hope they have through Jesus Christ.  Every moment is a chance to begin again.

Why should you support us?

  1. Every gift is 100% tax deductible.
  2. Our ministry is 100% debt free.  Your gifts are fully funding materials for those incarcerated and our daily operating expenses.
  3. Through the gospel message we share, we help others become secure in an eternity with God.
  4. Mental health and substance abuse providers are looking for ways to bridge the gap between traditional therapies and faith.
  5. There is no limit to how an all-powerful, all-seeing, all-knowing and loving God may act on behalf of one who truly becomes surrendered to Him.

Would you consider a Sponsorship or Silent Auction Basket for our upcoming annual event?

Click on this event link for more information:  www.christian12step.org

Thank you so much for your consideration.  We cannot do what we do without generous supporters like you.

 

Can negative thoughts become idols?

Years ago, in the heat of my battle with negative thoughts, the Lord revealed something to me.

1 John 5:21 (AMP) says, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols (false gods)—[from anything and everything that would occupy the place in your heart due to God, from any sort of substitute for Him that would take first place in your life].”

Negative thoughts become our idols when:

  1. We believe them more than we believe God and His Truth
  2. We continually think about, ponder, and entertain them instead of thinking about, pondering, and entertaining God and His Truth
  3. We act out our life by adjusting our behaviors towards others or ourselves according to our negative thoughts
  4. We act out by choosing behaviors to fuel them (make them stronger) and affirm them (prove and confirm they are true to us)

One definition of worship in the dictionary is “showing devotion to”.  We “show devotion to” something by setting ourselves apart for it.

By believing, constantly thinking about, and acting out our negative thoughts we are worshiping them and not God.  We find ourselves in the middle of idol worship without even realizing it.

In John 5:5 (AMP), we are told the story of a man who had suffered with a deep-seated and lingering disorder for 38 years.  In John 5:6 (AMP), Jesus notices the man lying there helplessly.  Jesus knew the man had been there a long time in that condition.  Jesus asks the man, “Do you want to become well?  [Are you really in earnest about getting well?]”

We must ask ourselves the same question.

2 John 1:4 (AMP) says, “I was greatly delighted to find some of your children walking (living) in [the] Truth, just as we have been commanded by the Father [Himself].”

We, too, are to live in [the] Truth.  Our victory depends on it.

You are not forgotten by God.

Abandonment can be one of our most hurtful experiences, especially early in life.

When a child either perceives they are abandoned or actually is abandoned by one or both parents they may never feel wanted or secure again. Their sense of belonging can be destroyed. Many of us grow into adulthood living as the abandoned child we feel we are.  It can take a long time to be healed from the effects of abandonment, unless God enters our life’s story.

The God of Jesus Christ is omniscient; having infinite knowledge, knowing all things.  Explore 1 Chronicles 28:9, Psalm 139:1-6, Psalm 147:5, Jeremiah 1:5, Hebrews 4:13, and 1 John 3:20.

He is also omnipresent, present in all places at the same time. “There are not parts of Him spread out in every location. Rather, everything is immediately in His presence. This should be a constant source of comfort, His presence may be experienced at any time or any place. No one can escape God’s notice.” (www.blueletterbible.org)  Explore Psalms 139:7-12, Jeremiah 23:23, 24, Proverbs 15:3, and Hebrews 13:5.

So what does this conclude?

We are never unknown, unseen, or abandoned by God. He is always working to meet our every need.  He always pursues us because He greatly desires that we be in a relationship with Him.  He adopts us into His family through our belief and faith in Jesus Christ.

May the following prayer from the word of God help you find comfort and heal.

(From Lesson 23, Walking the 12 Steps with Jesus Christ)

You, O God, are a father of the fatherless, a judge and protector of widows. You have now placed me in a family, Your body, Your church, for all of the times that I have felt and still feel lonely, deserted, or ruined. (Psalm 68:5-6)

You are the helper to the fatherless, and whether I truly may have been forgotten and abandoned by my mother and/or my father or if I only perceive and feel that I was forgotten and abandoned by my mother and/or my father, (Psalm 10:14, Psalm 27:10) I now trust that You are able to now take me up, and adopt me as Your very own, You offer me adoption through my belief in, my trust in, and my reliance on Your Son Jesus. (John 1:12, Ephesians 1:5, Ephesians 2:19)

I thank You, God, that You have given me the opportunity to be led by Your Spirit and to be Your child.  Help me believe, trust, and feel how dearly You love me. Thank you, God, that the Spirit I receive from You is not a spirit of slavery that puts and keeps me in bondage to fear—no! You have given me the spirit of adoption to receive—by which I may cry Father! Father! (Romans 8:14-16, Galatians 4:4-6)

Show me, help me to remember all those whom you have placed in and throughout my life to help and to care for me when I was in pain, sorrow, or need (James 1:27)—even if it seemed they were there by “chance” and just for an instant, for I now know that there is no chance with You because Your eyes are in every place, and I have never been hidden from Your sight because You fill the heavens and the earth. (Psalm 139:1-12, Jeremiah 23:23-24, Proverbs 15:3, Hebrews 4:13)

You tell me in Your word that You will not in any way fail me, nor give me up, nor leave me without support, You will not, You will not, You will not in any degree leave me helpless nor forget me nor let me down—You will not relax Your hold on me. (Hebrews 13:5)

Therefore, I desire that my mind, my will, and my emotions be transformed now, by the power of Your Spirit comforting and encouraging me. I desire to confidently and boldly believe and to from now on confess that You are my helper (Psalm 121 all); I will no longer be afraid and I now choose to be more willing than ever to forgive all those whom I have felt abandoned by that I may truly be set free.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Have you ever thought of leading a support group?

How rewarding it is to walk with others through their recovery journey!

We wanted to share some helpful information about leading a support group based on our study guide, “Walking the 12 Steps with Jesus Christ.”

What are some characteristics of great groups?

• Focus remains on the subject
• Conflicts are managed as they arise
• Everyone feels valuable and comfortable when participating in discussions
• Members become a small community to support and encourage one another
• Members feel they share group ownership
• Members are able to respectfully hold each other accountable—when this is requested

What are some traits of great facilitators:

• Are committed, dependable, and love people
• Know the material well enough to apply to self and others
• Can be flexible, patient, friendly, and enthusiastic
• Are able to guide, model, encourage, and support
• Are great listeners and not afraid of silence
• Are able to stay on topic, enforce the Discussion Guidelines, and handle conflict
• Are able to encourage safe environments and harmony

We encourage facilitating rather than teaching, so what is the difference?

  • Facilitating consists of: more active listening, lots of questions and discussion, leader participation and guidance, keeping the group as a whole the focus, and smaller number of members.
  • Teaching consists of: the leader doing most of the talking, more lecturing and giving information, the leader is the focus, and larger number of members.

How do adults learn best?

• When they sense a need to cope with real-life situations
• When they take charge of their own learning through questions and discussing

Behavior is most likely to change when:

Adults can test and apply new knowledge and skills in their learning environment. This is why it is a good idea to practice Step Work whenever the group is willing. Step Work includes: identifying wrongs in the Step 4 inventory, sharing inventory in Step 5, doing the Soul Tie Breaking Prayer, Exercise for Confessing Sin, and Healing Memories in Steps 6 & 7, and practicing the Daily Personal Inventory in Step 10.

Be aware that:

• Adults approach new concepts with prior knowledge that may be unique to them. This knowledge can either help or inhibit new learning—sometimes we need to “un-learn” in order to learn.
• People make life choices based on how they receive and process information, how they feel, what they have experienced, and what is important to them. It is always wise to guard against making judgements.

Final thoughts:

• Group Facilitators are not expected to have the answer to every question!
• Our office is here to support and assist you. You are not alone. Feel free to contact us at lonnie@christian12step.org or renee@christian12step.org or call (352) 732-0877 with any questions or comments.

The Truth

The Truth

In John 8:31-32, Jesus tells us,

“You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.  And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

In John 14:6, during the last supper with his disciples, Jesus tells Thomas and those listening,

I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one can come to the Father except through me.”

As an “overcomer” through Jesus, I am reminded of the days in my addiction when I willingly lived a lie.  An addict plays a game in their own mind, changing reality to suit their own addicted fantasy. This game allows them to remain in their addiction, living in complete deception.

Living a lie produces nothing except a deeper rut that will eventually become a grave.

The One who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” is also the One who said, “…And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Jesus does not say that the truth may set you free.

He says that the truth will set you free.

Jesus tells us the way to both gain and retain the truth.  After his last supper with his disciples, Jesus was crucified and buried, but that was not the end.  He rose again to sit at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.

In John 16:12-13 Jesus tells his disciples before he leaves the earth, “There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now.  When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth…”  Jesus had to leave so the Spirit of truth could come (John 16:7) to dwell within us.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for your Holy Spirit who guides and leads us to the real, genuine TRUTH…JESUS, our protector, provider, and healer of our addictions, bad behaviors, and anything else that interferes with our relationship with HIM.