Who Am I?

Oh my God, Fred finally did what he promised-he killed Mother!  Next he may come after all of us-Donnie, Kenny, Debbie and me." Those were my first thoughts as I awakened to the piercing crack of what I knew was my stepfather’s gun. He often threatened us with it. Was the shot part of a nightmare or was it real?

We each had our own bedroom in the house on

Maryland Avenue

. It was the fourth house we had lived in since Mom had been with Fred. I was eleven years old. Donnie and I were twins and the oldest in the family. Kenny was eighteen months younger and Debbie was six years younger than Donnie and I.

Our real Dad left us when Donnie and I were six, so as the oldest boys we became the defenders of the family. When Fred first came into our lives, we were not afraid; we wrote his threats oil as the demands of a crazy drunk. It wasn’t until we lived with him awhile and his abuse escalated that we became fearful of him. I knew Fred was unhappy, especially with us. The entire time I knew him, he seemed tense and angry around us.

Seconds after I heard the shot ring out in the early morning hours I thought, "He’s coming. I hear his steps on the stairs. He shot Mom and is now coming to shoot each one of us."

Thoughts of Fred’s craziness raced through my mind. The painful memories of being forbidden to eat until he had, prohibited from talking while he was at home, restricted from sitting on his furniture, banished to my room whenever I forgot to do a chore flooded my brain. The sounds of Fred’s screaming rages; my mother’s crying, pleading and yelling; Donnie and I cussing him as we tried to fight- back and Debbie crying herself to sleep night after night reverberated in my head as I lay there trying to grasp what was happening.

For many years, I tried hard to please Fred. I even started signing his name as my last name. However, I soon realized that Fred didn’t want me to use his last name, so I stopped. I felt I didn’t belong anywhere. No matter how hard I tried, I never seemed to please him.

My heart raced as I listened intently in the silence. "Is Mom dead? Is Fred dead? Am I dreaming? Did I imagine the footsteps?" My mind would not stop.

At that moment, I realized that I was lying in a pool of my own urine. I was embarrassed that I still wet the bed at the age of eleven. Everyone in my family made fun of me. Fred often brought up my bed-wetting in public. I wouldn’t spend the night with my only two friends because I was afraid of wetting the bed, and Donnie and Kenny hated to sleep in the same bed with me whenever we went to Grandma’s. I even believed I could never get married because of my bed-wetting. It didn’t seem to matter what I tried to do, it still happened. I was eighteen years old when I finally quit wetting the bed.

"Ronnie, open the door," I heard Mother whisper outside my bedroom door. So I really had heard footsteps, and they were Mom’s! A moment of

joy replaced the flood of fear as I realized she wasn’t dead. I quickly opened my door, and Mother said, "Fred is passed out on the floor. He shot at me and missed." She told me to call the police and Fred’s father. "He means business this trine. If he wakes up before we get help, we’re all dead." After I made  the calls, she said, "Go get the other kids, put them in your room and shove the bed against your door."

That was the same bedroom door I had slammed on Donnie’s fingers as he chased me through the house only a week before. I remember him yelling, "Ronnie,. open the door. My fingers are caught in it." "You’re crazy,

Donnie, you’ll hurt me if I open that door," I yelled back. When I finally saw blood. on the floor underneath the door, I realized he was serious. Our sibling rivalry was extreme at times, especially when we released all our pent up anger on each other. Kenny and Debbie were stuck in the middle of our rivalry and many times they caught the brunt of our anger.

Fred’s dad was a retired Methodist minister, and he knew that Fred’s drinking was getting out of hand. In spite of Fred’s behavior, he and his family were highly respected in their upper-middle-class world. We always had the feeling that Fred felt we were misfits in his perfect family.

Fred’s dad responded to my call and arrived quickly, even though it seemed like hours before he got there. Fred was still passed out on the bedroom floor. As Fred’s dad went in to talk to him, the police surrounded the house. It was torture for all of us, huddling together in my room. I don’t remember exactly what happened next and neither do the others. For me, it remains a blur of fear. Whatever happened that night was a taboo subject between us for many years, and we each were left alone with our nightmares.

We moved out of Fred’s home that night and never returned. Although Fred never lived with us again, thoughts of him still lingered in our painful memories. For months after that awful night, Fred would call on the phone and threaten to come and kidnap Debbie. Many nights Donnie and I sat behind locked doors with baseball bats, waiting for him to fulfill his threats.  Not long after that time, Fred was killed in a lone car accident. He was drunk. The memories of Fred’s drunkenness haunted our lives for years.

My life turned towards total rebellion after Fred died. I remember as a young child vehemently proclaiming my disgust for alcohol and drugs. But by age thirteen, I was consistently violating my own rules. During the next four years, I had frequent episodes of heavy alcohol and drug use. I also created a "freak" or "hippie" image through my clothes, music, language, and behavior.

When I was fifteen, my mother married john. His was a world where intelligence, higher education and cultural pursuits were valued. john was a successful and socially prominent person in our community, and he saw my life-style as a threat to his social standing. John and I represented two different worlds which were often in conflict. I was living in obvious rebellion to him and all he represented. His opera music and my rock music didn’t mix. John’s conformity and my divergent behavior were like oil and water. His martinis and my marijuana represented the two different approaches that we took to escape our reality and to medicate the pain of our lives.

The years from 1967 to 1970 were tough for both of us. Mother and "Mr. John" (as he had asked us to address him) did everything they could to try to bring me under their control. The more they tried, the more I rebelled. Our family struggle was a microcosm of the general societal unrest in the late sixties. The emerging hippie culture, anti-war demonstrations and the Civil Rights riots were all a part of that era. Obviously, ours was not the only family engaged in a conflict.

I ran away countless times before I finally managed to leave home for good at the age of 16. During those years I raised "hell," running the streets all night, stealing to survive, using people and drugs at will. I was expelled from school and sat for hours sniffing glue or gasoline fumes or taking trips of frightful fantasies on the acid wings of LSD. I slept in the woods or in old cars. I panhandled for quarters in malls and on street coiners. I even went to jail-all in a desperate effort to fill the void in my life.

When I left North Carolina at 16, I headed for the party life in Florida. I was still searching for something but didn’t know what. I had no contact with anyone in my family, and for months they didn’t know where I was. I also didn’t have any friends. Gradually, I began to realize I was not going to survive very long the way I was behaving. Living in Florida didn’t change anything. Running and making geographical changes no longer helped me escape reality. I was empty, and I knew it. I hated the painful memories of my past, the emptiness of my present and the frightening thoughts of the future. I was headed nowhere.

It was then that I met Bill, a black heroin addict from Harlem, New York. Neither of us had any idea where we were going. His life appeared to be as empty as mine. We decided to flip the only remaining quarter we had to determine where to go next. We agreed that if the quarter came up heads, we would go west to Los Angeles. If it came up tails, we would go north to Toronto, Canada. The quarter landed on tails and off we went, hitchhiking our way toward Canada in October.

"It took us two days to get tl1rough South Georgia. The people of Georgia didn’t particularly like hippies or druggies at that time, and it was difficult to hitch a ride. Our first night out, a sheriff from Marshall County picked us UP! He threatened to put us in his jail and never let us out if we ever stepped foot in his territory again. He then literally, dropped us at the county line, swearing explicitly about worthless Chippies; draft dodgers and blacks. 

That night we slept in an abandoned house just over the county line. The next day we got a ride from a black man who was headed for Macon, Georgia. It wasn’t where we wanted to go, but we hoped it was a ride in the right direction.

When we arrived in Macon, the man let us ‘off on the main ‘street in the heart of the black neighborhood. Here we were, two long-haired hippies, stuck in .the middle of the black section of Macon, Georgia, in

1970. Bill was a mixture of Puerto Rican and Black American. He sported an afro and had light skin. His "fro" must have stuck out eighteen inches from his scalp and, I could have sworn it was full of roaches. We had no money and no clothes except for the poncho and jeans we were wearing. My pants were tied together down the side  with pieces of leather and shoestrings. We were barefoot and had not bathed in weeks.

Several months before, Bill had stopped at a rock festival outside of Macon on his way south to Jacksonville. While he was there, he had met an unusual man whose name he happened to remember. We bummed a dime, found the man’s number and called his house. He agreed to come pick us; up and let us stay in his home for the night.

Bob was different from anyone I had ever met. I expected a hippie van to pull up with the sounds of blaring rock music coming out of the windows. Bill hadn’t told me that this man was "straight" and even "preppie." Bob drove a conservative Chevrolet. He sported a short, neat haircut and wore slacks, a shirt with a button-down collar and penny loafers. I thought I left that world behind me in North Carolina and wondered why Bill called this nerd.

Bob introduced himself with a warmth I hadn’t detected in a voice for years. We soon arrived at his two-story home in the inner city of Macon; I later learned the house was in the process of being restored to the glory it had known almost a century before. As I entered the house, I was met with the mouth-watering aroma of home-fried chicken. Sarah, Bob’s wife, was in the kitchen preparing biscuits, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans and fried chicken-my favorite meal. My mouth almost hit the floor when I realized she was preparing this for us. I had not eaten a real meal in months. The closest I had come to home-fried chicken was retrieving throw-aways from dumpsters after closing time at Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants.

After dinner Bob offered Bill and me the opportunity to take baths. I didn’t have to wonder why. After months, I was ready for one. My bath that night felt how I thought heaven must feel. Bill and I even had our own bedrooms with double beds and fresh sheets.

I fell asleep while trying to figure out Bob and Sarah’s angle. What were they after? Where would Bill and I go tomorrow? In spite of their hospitality, I was still suspicious. At dinner, I had learned that Bob recently graduated from Duke Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina, with a Master’s Degree in Theology. "Mr. John," my stepfather, had also graduated from Duke University, and his father now taught there.

The breakfast Sarah served was as good and as plentiful as supper the night before. Afterwards, Bob and Sarah invited us to stay with them for awhile. They told us they felt we needed to get on our feet before we continued our trip. I could not believe what I was hearing-much less what I was experiencing. I thought maybe I was dreaming, and I wondered how something so good could happen to me.

None of us could have imagined what was to transpire in the years ahead. That sincere offer of hospitality turned my life around. Bob and Sarah did not appear to be intimidated by my life-style, and they didn’t try to intimidate me by theirs. Their ground rules were simple and fair-mutual respect and no violations of their drug-free environment. Although I didn’t know it at the time, Bob and Sarah were my first encounter with people in a Christ-centered recovery community.

The second night there, Bill and I went over to the campus of Mercer University, a Baptist college, and obtained some dynamite LSD. Without giving it a further thought, we did what any good drug addicts would do; we took it. But the moment I swallowed that acid, something happened to me that had never happened before. I freaked out.      .

For the first time in my life, I felt guilt and sorrow for letting someone down. Bob and Sarah were being good to us, and I was doing this behind their backs. I went straight back to their house and told Bob what I had done. Bill got as hot  As a firecracker at me. Bob’s response was consistent with everything else I had seen him do in the two days I had known him. He was the first person to ever tell me that he understood and that he would forgive me. "We’ll talk further in the morning," he said as he left the room and went to bed.

Bill was so mad at me that he did everything he could to cause me to have a "bad trip." For reasons I will never understand, it did not work the way he hoped. Instead, my "bad trip" was the first encounter I had with God. In my fear of losing my mind,  I asked God for help. I didn’t bargain, just asked .for his help in my life. What I didn’t realize was that God had been reaching out to me ever since the sheriff in South Georgia had kicked us out of his county and headed us away from Toronto and toward Macon. Bill really thought I had flipped out when he heard me praying, and

it wasn’t long before he left us. I saw him once much later in Jackson Square Park in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. He looked the same..,.-maybe even a little harder than he had before. I witnessed to Bill that day about the God I had met the morning after my last acid trip.

That day was indeed the beginning of a new life for me. Bob came to me first thing in the morning and told me I could stay with him and Sarah only if 1 was willing to follow their ground rule . I looked him straight in the eyes (which was also a first) and asked, "What makes you tick? Something is really different about you, Bob. You really do seem to care. You seem to have purpose and meaning in your life. In didn’t know better, I’d think you really knew where you were headed. You and Sarah have something I want."

Bob’s answer was simple and straightforward: ‘Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. We love him and we follow him. He fills the empty places and gives our lives direction, purpose and meaning." He told me I needed to ask Christ to come into my life, to cleanse me and to become my Lord and Savior. That’s exactly what I did and, true to his promise, Christ has worked in my life in the same way he works in the lives of Bob and Sarah. That day I entered the first stage of my Christ-centered recovery.

Bob and Sarah did not preach to me, but simply lived their faith. Their example filled me with my own desire for a better life. Never again did I use drugs or think about suicide. I lived with Bob and Sarah for nearly two years, during which time they nurtured my new life in Christ. When I first met Bob, I didn’t know he was a Methodist pastor creating a parish from the inner city streets of Macon. Nor did I know I was their first project.

During my stay with them, Bob, Sarah and I moved into a 33 room antebellum mansion where we developed what was later called "His House." In the 1970s, His House became a street outreach, halfway house, crisis intervention center and worshiping community composed of street people.

During those early years in Macon, Georgia, God used many people

to help me establish my new life in Christ. They became my first Christ-‘ centered recovery community. Today, 19 years later, many of these same people still worship God together and reach out to nurture people just like me.

After two years with Bob and Sarah, some of my old thoughts, feelings and behaviors returned. I began to tantalize myself with the notion that I could do my own thing and still follow Christ. I could not have been more wrong. It was during this time that I met the woman who would become my first wife. She was a senior at Wesleyan who came to His House to write a sociology term paper about the "hippies" who were being transformed there. I became the principal focus of her research. I must have intrigued her, perhaps because my life was so different from hers. She was from an aristocratic military family in Augusta, Georgia.

Within days of our meeting, I announced to my friends at His House that we were to be married. They promptly told me that our relationship was too new to be anything more than lustful and that possibly it was not God’s best plan for us. I wondered how they could know this and ques­tioned their right to tell me what to do. I left His House, determined to be my own person and do my own thing. After all, I was 19, and I knew what was best for me. How I deceived myself.  Not only did I not know what was best for me, I didn’t consider what was best for my future wife.

In June, she moved back to Augusta to be with her dying mother. I spent the summer with my family before entering college in the fall. This was the first time I had been with them in over three years. When I left home I was a drug addict and a high school dropout. When I returned, I was sober and had a high school diploma along with a new faith in Christ.

Both of my fiancee’s parents died of cancer within the next year. I transferred to Augusta College after my first quarter at Young Harris College. I was almost 20 years old, and I had received my first call to pastor three small churches about 20 miles outside of Augusta,. We were married the next spring and moved into the church parsonage.

Things were looking up. I thought I was living proof that I knew what was best for me. During this period, I believed I could live partly in Christ-centered recovery and partly in self-help recovery. That precipitated a whole new set of problems for me. I became a double-­minded person and ended up unstable in all ways, seriously compromising my recovery.

My relationship with my wife began to deteriorate as I became more and more self-centered. Both of us professed to believe in Christ and attended church together, but we lived according to our own youthful lusts. My old resentments, fears, insecurities, and difficulties with intimacy began to cause problems in our relationship.

I began to relate to my wife in the same way I had with my family of

origin. We never communicated; I manipulated her by using all of the sick patterns I had learned from my childhood role models. The ‘only dif­ference was that I was self-righteous and in deep denial about the dysfunc­tional behaviors that developed in our relationship.

For the next five years I lived the life of a hypocrite. As a young pastor, many people thought of me as a rising star in the Methodist ministry. I pictured myself as their token hippie convert. The truth was, I was actually playacting even more during those years than I had been before I accepted Christ. I said one thing, but did another. My marriage was miserable, and I immersed myself in pornography. I used, conned, manipulated and emotionally abused my wife. I cheated my way through school because I was too undisciplined to study. For me, school was a necessary evil and a prerequisite for achieving my goal of being ordained as a Methodist minister.

I stopped asking Jesus for his opinion. Instead, I preached my own interpretation of his opinions. I quenched the Holy Spirit within me by my sinful and hypocritical life. I used tales ‘of "spiritual" experiences to gain more attention. I was driven to prove myself to the father I never had, to my mother and "Mr. John," to Bob and Sarah and to all the other people in Macon.

Most of all, I needed to prove to myself that I was somebody. I was totally wrapped up in this deception. I carefully shut everyone else out of my life, especially Jesus. I know now that in spite of the way I treated him, Jesus never abandoned me.

Finally, my wife had taken all she could. Her incessant tears, confron­tations and pleading with me to face my problems and get help fell on deaf ears. As far as I was concerned, she was the one with the problems. In my opinion, all she needed to do was submit to me and accept me as I was. As a matter of fact, I thought she was darn lucky to be married to me. In reality, she was married to someone in serious trouble, but I couldn’t see the reality of any of my pain until she finally decided to divorce me and get me out of her life.

The hurt and rejection I felt over the divorce were severe. I went into a grieving depression that lasted for months. At first, I tried to change her mind by pestering, threatening and begging her to reconcile with me. When that didn’t work, I reacted with anger and cockiness. "I don’t need her anyway," I thought. "I don’t need anyone." Of course, I was too "religious" to admit my confusion and anger toward God. Somehow I convinced myself that living with her was limiting my ambitions anyway. I concluded that I was much better off without her.

It was then that I began to behave in much the same way as I had in my teenage years. The difference was that I hid it better this time. I was a pastor and a pillar in the United Methodist Church. I had my "religion" and my career to protect. Bars, strip joints, porno flicks and one night stands became a part of my double life. I was a repulsive character, especially to myself.

Finally, I began to see my depraved, sick state of being. I hit bottom for the first time since my conversion experience seven years prior. At this point I realized that I had been subverting the Holy Spirit within me by trying to manage my own life. Jesus was no longer my Lord and Savior; I was. Unfortunately, it took a failed marriage and hitting bottom to con­vince me that my only hope was through an honest self-examination, repentance and total submission to Christ as Lord.

I spent hours weeping with sorrow over the condition of my life. I truly wanted to be clear, clean, whole and functional. But there was a definite price tag. God required that I be honest with him, myself and others and that I return to Christ-centered recovery. Gradually, I began to see that I could only be healed if I made some major changes in my life. I had to face up to the wrongs I had committed, accept my responsibility and make restitution. I was guided by God to:  Ask my ex-wife to forgive me. .- Resign from my pastorate and make amends to my church.  Resign from graduate school and return my college degree with an

admission to the presidel1tof all my years of cheating. (The president returned my diploma with a stern admonition and a word of encouragement about the new-found wisdom he saw in my confession.)

– Contact all those persons I had ever hurt, stolen from, or abused. Make restitution to them by asking for their forgiveness and offering to pay back, with interest, any money involved.

– Become a functioning part of a Christ-centered recovery community and return to ministry only when I had made considerable progress in recovery.

– Spend large blocks of time in structured meditation and Bible study.

– Seek out a willing pastor or other person who would be a disciple and counselor for me and who would support my recovery.

During my time of repentance, I committed to my Lord Jesus that I would give my life over to righteousness; no longer would I allow sin to lie my master and me its slave. Through prayer, I came to believe ,that my future could be better than my past. I knew that if I did exactly what the Lord required of me, I would have another chance.

It was at this point that God called me to move to Titusville, Florida, and to serve in Pastor Peter Lord’s ministry.0ne of the associate pastors there, Pastor Robbie Goss, agreed to take me under his wing and help me work through the instructions God had given me for repentance. At the same time, I was involved in a ministry training program under Pastor Lord and the staff of Park Avenue Baptist Church. This opportunity proved to be an extremely important step in my recovery in Christ.

While in Titusville, I met Janis, the woman who was to become my wife. We submitted our relationship to God and to our pastors. This was my first honest relationship with a woman. During our engagement, our pastors helped us prepare for our life together. This period was also crucial to my restoration in Christ. Janis and I were married in June of 1980. She has since become the Lord’s agent for change in my life. Janis suppports me and speak  honestly with me jn a loving and caring way. She walks beside me in Christ-centered  recovery as we both seek his will for our lives.

Although we had been told it was unlikely that Janis could carry a pregnancy to full term, the Lord miraculously blessed us with our first daughter, Erin Joy, in December, 1981. In May, 1989, God generously gave us another daughter, Amy Elizabeth.

Being a father and husband, with Christ as head of our home, has been an indescribable joy for me. Becoming a cooperative, energetic participant in his community of recovery has become the single greatest factor in my personal faith pilgrimage.

Pastors Lord and Goss encouraged me, after working through the process of repentance and training, to purs1.le the ministry to which God had called me. They introduced me to Mickey Evans, founder and director of Dunklin Memorial Camp, a Christian alcohol and drug rehabilitation center, church, retreat center and city of refuge in Okeechobee, Florida. In his infinite grace, Christ called me to serve as pastor in this special recovery community. How my family and I grew with our brothers and sisters in this loving group! They spoke the truth in love when we needed it, prayed for us continually, laughed and cried with us, helped us and held us accountable for doing God’s will.

The call to pastor at Dunklin was a unique opportunity to see God’s grace at work in my life. He helped me minister to others in the very areas

where I had been most comforted- by him. Only through my time of breaking, repentance and restoration could the door to servanthood be opened for me. This opportunity to serve the body of Christ fulfilled a deep need in my heart and gave me a chance to become an ambassador of Christ again-this time with integrity.

The most important steps in my recovery where I clearly experienced the Holy Spirit’s healing presence were through:

          Reconciliation of my relationship with God.

            – Reconciliation of my relationships with my father, mother and    stepfather.

          Reconciliation of my relationships with my brothers and sister.

            – Restoration of my vocation and calling in Christ.

            – Healing from chemical addiction, unhealthy relationships and other self-destructive behaviors.

This is how I grew up and became an adult. It is the story of my recovery from a painful childhood to a healthy adult life in Christ-centered recovery. I no longer blame the people around me for my problems. Some of them are aware of my struggles and are encouraging my recovery. I am now able to realize that all who have been a part of my life are significant to me. All but one person graciously granted me permission to share my story of recovery in this book. My first wife was not consulted, and therefore is not referred to by name.

I have recently become aware that during my troubled years, my grandmother prayed daily for my recovery. This awareness has helped me to understand the many spiritual interventions that protected me and guided me into Christ-centered recovery. My grandmother spent the last years of her life suffering with Alzheimer’s disease, but even in that debilitating condition she focused her life unselfishly on praying for those she loved and to whom she could no longer relate.

Christ has taken my life from childishness to childlikeness, dysfunction to function and woundedness to wholeness. In Christ, I now have a purpose in life and hope for the future. The good news is that through Christ, we can all be healed. May your journey be blessed, and may you enjoy the fruits of the Holy Spirit in your life.

Individual Exercise

§      Identify the major traumas in your life during childhood.  ____________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

§      Describe the major traumas in your life during adolescence. __________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

§      Describe the major traumas in your life during adulthood. ___________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

§      What destructive behavior patterns did  you adopt to cope with the dysfunction in your home? ______

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

§      What motivated you to seek recovery?. __________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

§      Pray for guidance from Jesus to help you in your recovery journey and write your reflection. _______

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Group Exercise

§      In what ways have you tried to help yourself recover that have not worked?______________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

§      What motivated you to join a Christ-centered recovery group?________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

§      What areas of your life are causing you the most difficulty today? Explain.______________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

§      Share a meaningful experience in using the journal as part of your recovery process._______________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

§      Respond briefly to the question “Who am I”?. _____________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

§      What is your prayer request for yourself or others?. ________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_______________________is praying for me.  I am praying for _________________________________

            Prayer for Serenity

            God grant me the serenity
            to accept the things I cannot change;
            courage to change the things I can;
            and wisdom to know the difference.

            Living one day at a time;
            Enjoying one moment at a time;
            Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
            Taking, as He did, this sinful world
            as it is, not as I would have it;
            Trusting that He will make all things right
            if I surrender to His Will;
            That I may be reasonably happy in this life
            and supremely happy with Him
            Forever in the next.
            Amen.  -Reinhold Niebuhr

Principles for Christ-Centered Study Groups

As participants in this study group, we agree to abide by these principles:

         Provide a non-threatening system of mutual accountability

         Minister to specific areas of need with directed prayer each time the group meets

         Minister to each person in the group according to their needs

         Encourage one another to progress from here to there

         Aid one another in applying Bible truths to personal needs

 

 

 

Ground Rules for Christ-Centered Study Groups

         Come prepared to each meeting

         Maintain confidentiality

         Refrain from  crosstalk

         Encourage, Encourage

         Make a point of ministering in love appropriately

         Refrain from criticism

         Recognize the Holy Spirit is in charge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *