Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Other Mothers

Treat . . . older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity. —1 Timothy 5:2

I’m old enough to recall when you could get in trouble everywhere in your town by any female adult who felt motherly toward you. If someone caught you doing anything immoral, illegal, disrespectful, or even questionable, they were not deterred by the fact that they did not share your particular strand of DNA. Wrong was wrong, and if you were wrong, they felt a social obligation to step in and mother you occasionally. That was the downside.

The upside was that you also had a cadre of women who would love, support, and encourage you in areas where your own mother did not have a background for input. This is the aspect of having Other Mothers that allows young women to excel and spread their wings beyond their own heritage. When women who are not bound to you by relational duty look into your life and tell you that you are gifted, you tend to listen to and believe them primarily because they aren’t your mom.

You may be a woman who needs an Other Mother. You might be a woman with Other Mothering to give. Truth is, you’re probably both. I hope you will seek out the Other Mothers you need and give Other Mothering liberally to the girls coming up the path behind you.
—Anita Renfroe

Come Do Your Work In Me

David Wilkerson Today


by David Wilkerson
I believe if a Christian has an intensity for a holy life—if he desires to give his all to the Lord—there can be only one reason why he fails to enjoy the blessing and freedom promised by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. That reason is unbelief. As surely as Jesus could not perform his works when there was unbelief, so his Spirit cannot do anything in our lives when we harbor unbelief.

It is vital for every follower of Jesus not to judge God’s promises according to past experiences. If we cast ourselves fully on his promises—believing them with all our being, trusting him for a supply of faith, holding the Spirit to his own word—then we can know the results are all God’s responsibility. And
we’ll be able to stand on judgment day, having been faithful. We simply cannot give up our desire to enter into his promised blessings.

There was a point in my life when I had to cast my eternal future on God’s promises. I determined to trust his Word at the risk of my very soul. I put out this challenge to almighty God: “Lord, I’m going to believe you’ve given me your Holy Ghost. I believe he alone can deliver me from every chain that binds me. I believe he will convict me, lead me and empower me to overcome. I believe he causes me to obey your Word. And I believe he will never depart from me, nor will he let me depart from you. I won’t limit your Spirit in me. I’ll wait on him, call on him and trust in him—live or die.”

“Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord” (Ezekiel 37:4). We’re to do what the Lord told Ezekiel to do—pray the Word of God. We are to remind the Holy Spirit of God’s promises to us. We’re to tell him, “Holy Ghost, the heavenly Father promised me he would put you in my heart—and I’ve committed myself to that promise. I will yield and I will cooperate, for I want to be holy. You said you will cause me to walk in his ways and obey his every word. I don’t know how you plan to do that—but you made an oath, and you cannot lie.

This is all written in the Word, Holy Spirit. So, come—do your work in me. I’ve entrusted my very soul to this promise.”

Perpetua and Felicitas, Martyrs, Mothers, Brave to the End

The emperor Septimus Severus decided that the Jewish and Christian religions must be curtailed if Rome was truly to rule and command the masses it lorded over. There was no room for any other lord within the iron grip of the Roman empire and Septimus Severus had finally decided on one very specific way to put an end to non-Roman allegiance: outlaw conversion upon penalty of death. To further strengthen the decree he made it retroactive a number of months. Perpetua and her servant Felicitas were recent converts and they were caught up in the chaos of legalized death and persecution. Before the authorities could seize them, they were baptized by the priests of their congregation even as they knew this was signing their own arrest warrant. They along with a few others were arrested and imprisoned for the crime of their faith. Perpetua had just given birth to a baby boy and Felicitas was nearly eight months pregnant when they were imprisoned.

As a new mother, Perpetua was in pain and desperate to nurse her baby who had not yet been weaned. She suffered in her cell and struggled to maintain her faith even with the aid and comfort of her new sister Felicitas. Two deacons from her congregation bribed the jailer and secreted Perpetua's son into the jail. Perpetua nursed her baby boy and would remark that this single act of mercy by the deacons confirmed her faith in her in a powerful way. Further, it gave her renewed resolve to withstand the tortures that most surely awaited her and Felicitas. She wrote that after that blissful moment she felt as if her prison cell had become a palace. They were given something resembling a trial and given an opportunity to renounce their faith and save their lives. They refused and were taken back to prison with the words of their punishments ringing in their ears--"Cast them to the wild beasts and let them be torn to pieces."

That night Perpetua was visited by three significant events. Her father came to her carrying his grandson--Perpetua's baby boy--and begged her to reconsider her faith. He first pleaded and then commanded her to renounce her faith so that she might be a mother to her baby. Perpetua held fast and insisted that if she renounced her faith then she would not be a boon to her son but only a disgrace. After her father left she had a vision wherein she stepped on the head of a dragon and climbed a rickety ladder to a meadow of great pastoral peace. From the vision she found great peace and it further renewed her resolve to be martyred. Finally, she went to Felicitas who feared that she might not be allowed to be martyred with the others because of her pregnancy. As she was telling this fear to Perpetua and they were praying over it, she went into labor and delivered her own healthy child. In the morning, they were marched to the amphitheatre where they would be martyred and Felicitas carried her newborn baby with her. Christians accompanied them on the march and Felicitas gave over her daughter to a Christian woman so that the child might be raised in the Faith for which her mother was willing to die.

Once they were in the amphitheatre, they were whipped and beaten before the bloodthirsty crowd. Wild animals were released into the arena to kill the Christians and all but Perpetua and Felicitas were soon dead. Perpetua and Felicitas were mortally wounded but this was not enough for the fierce crowd. They gave each other the Christian "kiss of peace" as their executioner approached with his sword. He killed Felicitas and then turned to Perpetua. He was shaking at the thought of yet more murder and so Perpetua guided the blade of his sword to her neck and gave him silent permission to perpetrate the Empire's atrocities. 

Although the execution in the Coliseum was intended as entertainment, and enjoyed as such by most of the jeering crowd, some of the spectators, inspired by the martyrs' fearlessness, became converts; nor were these spectators the last people who would be encouraged by Perpetua and Felicity, who, even at the cost of their lives, worshipped God and not the state. They are celebrated on March 7. 

Fetal Position

I remember, the fetal position. It was not that long ago. And, no, I do not mean fetal as in womb. I mean fetal as in "pain". Not knowing where to turn. Not knowing who to talk to. Feeling so absolutely a l o n e .... even though I had people around.. I did not have people who understood.

Do you feel like this? Do you have days when you just can not cope? Are you dealing with your own addictio
n, or that of a loved one? 

I was dealing with a loved one. It was as if I was mourning on a daily basis for someone who was very much alive. We started off with so much promise. Love. Friendship. Laughter. But, this soon disappeared and became something entirely different. You do not stop loving an addict...you do not stop loving those who have a problem with alcoholism..drugs, etc. But, you can become as sick as the one addicted...or on the other hand, "your addiction" is affecting your family, your friends, your co-workers, your loved ones. Don't be in denial. It hurts everyone.

I did try Al Anon. I didn't think it was for me. One of the biggest mistakes I ever made was not continuing to find a meeting that worked for me!

For those of you contemplating Al Anon. Please GO! Don't hesitate. If you don't like the first meeting you go to, try another..and another, until you find the one, or two that fit you.

For those of you wanting to find help for your addiction. Go to an AA Meeting. If you don't like the first one, try another, then another, until you find the community of men, women or both that fit you. Don't hesitate..GO.

Do you need to talk to someone? Now? Contact theeffect. www.theeffect.org. We have Recovery Counselors wanting to speak with you. They have been there, on either side of the addiction. They are hoping to spare you from the ongoing, enduring pain of addiction. Don't get me wrong...recovery is ongoing..but you do not need to live in pain.

You might not be ready..but write this number down and keep it in your wallet or next to your phone...



recovery helpline

to visit us

27122A Paseo Espada, Suite 904
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

To check on our meetings / gatherings:  http://www.theeffect.org/gatherings/gatherings.html

Recoverying / Opening Up Our Eyes

I, never in a million years, thought I would be a part of a Recovery Community. I was not the one with the "problem" ... Have you heard that before ?? But, after years of being thrown into a life situation that is here to stay, I have come to grips with, and have truly come to believe that "We are all recovering from something".

I also have to share how appreciative of this Recovery Community that I am.
I am a normy...that's what they call me. No outward addictions, no rehab for me.. but I have learned what living the truth really means... living without false pretenses, living in the moment, being raw and open and real and what that really means. Feeling safe with people who do not judge and are so appreciative when you do not judge them.

My understanding has grown leaps and bounds over the years. Another cliche... "I wish I knew then, what I know now", is an understatement. I wish I had stuck with Al Anon all those years ago. I would have spared myself and my daughter soooo much pain. I am so grateful to have this group in my life now. I wish I had attended open AA meetings years ago. I would have grown to understand addicts and I would have developed compassion (and not so much anger) so much sooner.

I now have hope for those who are addicted. I have met recovering heroin addicts, meth addicts and alcoholics, as well as those addicted to prescription drugs. I say "recovering" because they use the term, but many of these people have been sober for 5 yrs, 15 years, 35 years!!  They know that with one mistake, they can fall back and they vow not to. They work their programs, they stay away from what would stumble them....they know they will always be a work in progress and they understand that and have come to terms with that. They collect their chips and cherish them and each other. They congratulate each other, they surround each other with support and celebrate each others ongoing recovery.  My hope is for those beautiful people that I know "now" who are still addicted. To see some of them you would think that there is no hope....but, I have learned that there is hope. It might take longer than I would pray for, but I know it can happen! I have seen it happen!

Now, isn't this the way that we should all live? Open, honest, raw, hopeful?  Those of us who are not addicted...I believe we all need a 12 step program.  Why?  Because it teaches you who you are. It shows you that there is a power greater than yourself, if you don't know that already. (I choose to call him Jesus). It teaches humility, and the fact that we all need each other. It teaches us how pride and arrogance will keep us down and how giving back will open up our lives and free us. It gives us a community of real, open, honest, transparent and transformed people that you can be yourself with....completely yourself. It gives you the the tools to know who "you" are and not what people want you to be.

Al Anon teaches us how to live in situations that are uncomfortable, but to never lose who we are. If we have lost ourselves, Al Anon is a program process of finding the person we once were and getting back to that place. Taking care of "you" first, then everyone else thereafter. Learning how to not live a lie, how not to cover up the truth, and fix things that you should not be fixing. Keeping our eyes on ourselves and letting others (who are going through their addictions/etc.) take care of themselves. We stop picking them up every time they fall, and guess what?, They start to learn to pick themselves up.

I am in awe of all of my friends in recovery. Real recovery, not white knuckle recovery. Your smiles, your laughter, your zest for life... So many people could learn from you. You have learned to appreciate life, and to not just "exist".

How many people can say that they are in that place?  I know that I am working on this daily! I'm learning from my friends in Recovery!  Thank you all!

Who Are You to God? Won't You Ask Him Into Your Heart?

Besides being His blessed child? 

But to all who have received Him--those who believe in His name--He has given the right to become God's children..(John 1:12)

You Will Have Peace:

And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7)

You are Justified and Redeemed:
But they are truly justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:24)

There is No Condemnation:

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! (Romans 8:1)

You are Accepted:

Receive one another, then, just as Christ also received you, to God's glory. (Romans 15:7)

You are a New Creation:

So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a New Creation; what is old has passed away--look, what is new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17)

And so much more:


If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9