Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I think "tolerance" and "honesty" are one-sided concepts.

"I want you to be tolerant of me, but I don't want to be tolerant of you."

"You must be competlely honest, but don't ask me to be."

Why is that? I don't know. Well, I guess I do know, but it seems pretty screwed up. It's frustrating.

Why won't Walmart let me pay the cashier with my wife's credit card? "Sir, for the fifth time, it's our policy...we don't know if she really is your wife or a woman who just happens to have the same last name." Honest...this happened to me two nights ago. that's what the lady said to me...with a straight face...staring into my eyes with conviction...Wal-mart conviction...

Two problems with that particular policy: 1.) If I just happened to steal a credit card from a woman who just happens to share a last name as common as "Roulette", would I rush to Walmart immediately and buy paper napkins? and 2.) How would this policy be enforced if I just happened to go through the self-service checkout line? Would I not be using some woman's credit card who has the same last mane as me???

Why is the world not as consistant as I want it to be? It's all about me, right? Why is the world not perfect? What's that? You want me to be perfect too? I just want the world to be just like I want it.

I have a long way to go...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Not surprised

I don't know who is reading this, if anybody, but I am amazed at this ministry called Celebrate Recovery. It is so simple yet so profound. The 12 Steps, along with the Scripture that explains each step, are clearly God's track of Spiritual Formation for those of us who follow Him.

Yet, not surprisingly, this past week there have been several instances, three to be exact, of people coming and trying to suggest thet CR is ok as a way for Recovery, but it's not really hitting the "reaal" addictions. It's either someone saying their "ministry" is really hitting the mark, and that CR is falling short. Or there are those "militants" who have made AA their religion, and find fault with a recovery program that incorporates praise and worship, scripture, and Jesus as our higher power (as opposed to my plant being my higher power).

All that to say I'm not surprised. Everyone thinks their plan, idea, ministry, theology, etc is the one. That's fine. It's fine because that is usually a sign that they experienced hope, sobriety, and freedom through their way, and they remain fiercly loyal to that which worked for them. All I know is what God has done in my life and is continuing to do in my life through CR.

I just don't get the arrogance sometimes. I mean, what's the deal with those who can't just explain what worked for them, without having to tear down what works for me? How is it a man, 20 years sober, claiming to know Christ as his personal Lord and Savior can sit in a CR meeting with 8 other guys who are in a recovery meeting for the first time, who are perhaps vocalizing out loud for the first time ever in the presence of another human being their addiction and shame, how can that man sit there and trash a program that is Christ-centered, Biblically-based, and open to anyone? It boggles the mind!

The danger of being in Recovery is that after 20 years you begin to lose sight of what it was like at the start. You become so pompous and self-righteous that you feel entitled to bloviate your judgemental, critical opinion about what YOU think at the moment at the expense of the opportunity of actually reaching down and helping another person up. Isn't self-centeredness and entitlement at the heart of addiction? I can tell you that in my life it sure is. What good is a person that may have stopped drinking for 20 years, yet presently still displays defects of character, just packaged as "wisdom" and "being honest, telling it like it is."

Christ-like recovery leads us to take our eyes off of ourselves and look for ways to minister the comfort of God we received to others (II Cor 1). We suffer, often times due to our own bad choices, yet God can take that suffering and give it purpose. God takes us in with all our defects, mistakes, fear, shame, guilt, and re-builds us. Not so we can go out strong and insulting, but so we can go out and strong and humble.

I feel better now...

Monday, August 20, 2007


We just returned from the CR Summit in CA. 3300 people gathered together in one place to grow, share, network, and celebrate. It was pretty awesome. I came away from this realizing how good we have it here in Savannah with our church's support. We have phenomonal support fromt he senior pastor and elders. I came across a few people at the summit who are struggling to have that kind of support. It makes it extremely hard to have a successful CR ministry without support from the top down.