Twelve Step Christianity

Twelve Step Christianity

Genuine Christianity is more than a set of beliefs–it is a relationship with Jesus Christ that involves hearing His voice and following His directions.

But how does one do this? What tools or spiritual disciplines enable Christians to live out their lives in dynamic submission to God’s will? Perhaps no set of principles is better suited to help Christians hear God’s voice and submit to His will than the Twelve Steps.

As a Christian who practices the Steps, Saul Selby knows them to be an invaluable tool for living out the Christian faith. Selby brings his knowledge to bear in Twelve Step Christianity, which teaches Christians in recovery to connect their faith with their program–and shows any Christian a clear path to a more intimate relationship with Christ.

Laid out in a workbook format, with room for readers to write answers and track their progress, Twelve Step Christianity explores the roots of Twelve Step spirituality, examines the connections and distinctions between Christianity and Twelve Step programs, and offers readers a deeper and broader understanding of the myriad of powerful reasons for applying the Twelve Steps to their lives.

001_59  Buy today >> Twelve Step Christianity 

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Finding God When You Don’t Believe in God

Finding God When You Don’t Believe in God

Here is an opportunity to listen in on fascinating conversations with people who found God when they didn’t really want to and weren’t even looking.

Through a series of deeply personal interviews with individuals from different walks of life, the authors conduct a captivating discourse on discovering a "higher power."

The interview subjects are not proselytizers, nor are they interested in comparing spiritual states. Their stories are neither tidy nor definitive. What they offer, however, is a remarkable, refreshing, and ultimately satisfying mosaic on the meaning and manifestation of God.

Finding God  Get today >> Finding God When You Don’t Believe in God

10 Benefits of Love

The Moment“I need somebody to love,” sang the Beatles, and they got it right. Love and health are intertwined in surprising ways. Humans are wired for connection, and when we cultivate good relationships, the rewards are immense. But we’re not necessarily talking about spine-tingling romance.

10 Benefits of Love.

The twelve-step recovery model of Alcoholics Anonymous

AA logo 2 The twelve-step recovery model of AA: a voluntary mutual help association

Alcoholism treatment has evolved to mean professionalized, scientifically based rehabilitation.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is not a treatment method; it is far better understood as a Twelve-Step Recovery Program within a voluntary self-help/mutual aid organization of self-defined alcoholics.

The Twelve-Step Recovery Model is elaborated in three sections, patterned on the AA logo (a triangle within a circle): The triangle’s legs represent recovery, service, and unity;

  • The circle represents the reinforcing effect of the three legs upon each other as well as the "technology" of the sharing circle and the fellowship.
  • The first leg of the triangle, recovery, refers to the journey of individuals to abstinence and a new "way of living."
  • The second leg, service, refers to helping other alcoholics which also connects the participants into a fellowship.
  • The third leg, unity, refers to the fellowship of recovering alcoholics, their groups, and organizations.

The distinctive AA organizational structure of an inverted pyramid is one in which the members in autonomous local groups direct input to the national service bodies creating a democratic, egalitarian organization maximizing recovery.

Analysts describe the AA recovery program as complex, implicitly grounded in sound psychological principles, and more sophisticated than is typically understood.

AA provides a nonmedicalized and anonymous "way of living" in the community and should probably be referred to as the Twelve-Step/Twelve Tradition Recovery Model in order to clearly differentiate it from professionally based twelve-step treatments.

From; Borkman T. The twelve-step recovery model of AA: a voluntary mutual help association. Recent Dev Alcohol. 2008;18:9-35.

See also;

10 Steps to Happiness

Happiness is; Small waterfall into stream Ten Keys to Happiness By Deepak Chopra

Physical well being is inseparable from emotional well being. Happy people are healthy people. The wisdom traditions of the world tell us that happiness does not depend on what you have, but on who you are. Let’s take a moment to reflect on what really creates happiness in us.

The following ten keys, gleaned from the wisdom traditions, may give us some insight.

  1. Listen to your body’s wisdom, which expresses itself through signals of comfort and discomfort. When choosing a certain behavior, ask your body, ‘How do you feel about this?’ If your body sends a signal of physical or emotional distress, watch out. If your body sends a signal of comfort and eagerness, proceed.
  2. Live in the present, for it is the only moment you have. Keep your attention on what is here and now; look for the fullness in every moment. Accept what comes to you totally and completely so that you can appreciate it, learn from it, and then let it go. The present is as it should be. It reflects infinite laws of Nature that have brought you this exact thought, this exact physical response. This moment is as it is because the universe is as it is. Don’t struggle against the infinite scheme of things; instead, be at one with it.
  3. Take time to be silent, to meditate, to quiet the internal dialogue. In moments of silence, realize that you are recontacting your source of pure awareness. Pay attention to your inner life so that you can be guided by intuition rather than externally imposed interpretations of what is or isn’t good for you.
  4. Relinquish your need for external approval. You alone are the judge of your worth, and your goal is to discover infinite worth in yourself, no matter what anyone else thinks. There is great freedom in this realization.
  5. When you find yourself reacting with anger or opposition to any person or circumstance, realize that you are only struggling with yourself. Putting up resistance is the response of defenses created by old hurts. When you relinquish this anger, you will be healing yourself and cooperating with the flow of the universe.
  6. Know that the world ‘out there’ reflects your reality ‘in here.’ The people you react to most strongly, whether with love or hate, are projections of your inner world. What you most hate is what you most deny in yourself. What you most love is what you most wish for in yourself. Use the mirror of relationships to guide your evolution. The goal is total self-knowledge. When you achieve that, what you most want will automatically be there, and what you most dislike will disappear.
  7. Shed the burden of judgment you will feel much lighter. Judgment imposes right and wrong on situations that just are. Everything can be understood and forgiven, but when you judge, you cut off understanding and shut down the process of learning to love. In judging others, you reflect your lack of self-acceptance. Remember that every person you forgive adds to your self love.
  8. Don’t contaminate your body with toxins, either through food, drink, or toxic emotions. Your body is more than a life-support system. It is the vehicle that will carry you on the journey of your evolution. The health of every cell directly contributes to your state of well being, because every cell is a point of awareness within the field of awareness that is you.
  9. Replace fear-motivated behavior with love-motivated behavior. Fear is the product of memory, which dwells in the past. Remembering what hurt us before, we direct our energies toward making certain that an old hurt will not repeat itself. But trying to impose the past on the present will never wipe out the threat of being hurt. That happens only when you find the security of your own being, which is love. Motivated by the truth inside you, you can face any threat because your inner strength is invulnerable to fear.
  10. Understand that the physical world is just a mirror of a deeper intelligence. Intelligence is the invisible organizer of all matter and energy, and since a portion of this intelligence resides in you, you share in the organizing power of the cosmos. Because you are inseparably linked to everything, you cannot afford to foul the planet’s air and water. But at a deeper level, you cannot afford to live with a toxic mind, because every thought makes an impression on the whole field of intelligence. Living in balance and purity is the highest good for you and the Earth.

Deepak Chopra

See also;

10 Principles of Addiction and Recovery

Smiling woman beside white pills uid 1278832 Alcoholism and addiction have several common threads with reciprocal recovery principles.

In their book, “Rethinking Substance Abuse,” editors William R. Miller and Kathleen M. Carroll to sum up what has been learned about the science of addiction. These are;

  • Drug Use is Chosen Behavior in the Beginning – for experimenting, peer pressure or otherwise its chosen at first.
  • Drug Problems Emerge Gradually – it takes time to become addicted.
  • Once Well Established, Drug Problems Tend to Become Self-Perpetuating – once the brain alters it number of drug receptor cells drug craving demands more of the same.
  • Motivation is Central to Prevention and Intervention – actively doing something toward change may be more important than the particular actions that are taken.
  • Drug Use Responds to Reinforcement. If you crave and use the drug use is reinforced.
  • Drug Problems Do Not Occur in Isolation, but as Part of behavior clusters such as mood disorders, school or work problems, legal problems, ill-health and family problems.
  • There Are Identifiable and Modifiable Risk and Protective Factors for Problem Drug Use – inherited and learned behaviour.
  • Drug Problems Occur within a Family Context – either dysfunctional family culture, genetics or parental drug use.
  • Drug Problems Are Affected by a Larger Social Context – social isolation is both a promoter and consequence; while bonding with someone else or a Higher Power may reverse the problem.
  • Relationship Matters in rehabilitation. That’s why Alcoholics Anonymous relies on a spiritual connection with another person or a Higher Power.

See also;

12 Steps to Wisdom

Step ladder Twelve Step recovery wisdom can benefit everyone

All of us—recovering alcoholics, addicts and non-addicts alike—can benefit from the practical wisdom of the Twelve Steps, first adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and subsequently adapted by other groups whose members struggle with various forms of addictive behavior.

Recovering people know they are always vulnerable to relapse. That knowledge keeps them vigilant, and that’s why they take a mind, body and spirit approach to life every day to avoid slipping into behaviors that caused them and their loved ones so much pain.

The strategies those in recovery employ to keep themselves clean, sober and serene are also good prevention tools. Awareness of what behaviors or “mind games” can lead to relapse can also keep a non-alcoholic person from turning to alcohol or drugs in the first place as an escape from problems, feelings, or situations that may seem unbearable.

In his book “12 Stupid Things That Mess Up Recovery: Avoiding Relapse through Self-Awareness and Right Action”, Allen Berger talks about some self-destructive behaviors that can sabotage recovery. His straightforward advice easily translates to everyone who seeks to live a more balanced life in which individuals tap inner strengths, their higher power, and healthy resources instead of turning to destructive behaviors or mood-altering substances.

For example, Berger cautions readers to be aware of “self-erasure” and self-hate. Self-erasing, a term coined by psychiatrist and writer Theodore Isaac Rubin, is an inappropriate dependency on others and the obsessive need to be liked.

When we self-erase, we try to become invisible by avoiding conflict and rejection, by denying our own needs, and by stifling our own opinions. In short, Berger says we give way to fear and abandon ourselves, thinking others have the power to make us feel good or bad. “This leads to an avoidance of both authenticity and intimacy,” he writes.

“If we are self-erasing, we are sabotaging our life. Any life based on a rejection of or alienation from self is doomed to failure.”

He says self-hate starts when we don’t live up to the person we think we should be. “When we don’t live up to our ‘shoulds,’ we despise ourselves,” says Berger, leaving us to feel unworthy of help, joy, happiness, success, freedom or love, and making us vulnerable to addiction or relapse.

The Twelve Steps encourage people to take an honest look at themselves and, by practicing spirituality and humility, place “self” within a larger and more realistic framework. “We must accept that life can be difficult and that most of the time the path of least resistance isn’t the best one,” says Berger. “We need to quit trying to get other people to yield to our demands so that we can feel better about ourselves.”

At AA meetings, members are often reminded that they are “as sick as their secrets.” The more honest we are with ourselves and with others, the more genuine our lives and our relationships will be. Abandoning our false selves leads us to a solid place of integrity, which Berger defines as “wholeness: a process in which we are committed to respecting our true or spiritual self.”

Recovery is called a “process” or “journey” because those in recovery know it is an unending endeavor that requires daily diligence. For instance, recovering people don’t just “make amends” one time for hurts they have caused others. They understand that they are imperfect humans who will make more mistakes. Instead of excusing themselves or blaming others for harmful or inappropriate behavior, they learn to acknowledge their own mistakes when they occur and try to repair any damage they have done. This practice, although difficult, can benefit everyone because it strengthens humility, lessens anger and resentment, and improves relationships.

You don’t have to be a recovering alcoholic to benefit from the volumes of sound advice those in recovery have to share.

AA has been with us since 1935, and the principles on which it was founded are timeless for some very good reasons: they make sense and they work.

Alive & Free is a health column that offers information to help prevent and address addiction and substance abuse problems. For more resources check the Web site at www.hazelden.org.

See also;

          12 Stupid Things That Mess Up Recovery: Avoiding Relapse Through Self-Awareness and Right Action
by Allen Berger Ph.D.

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Top Posts March ’08

Religious Recovery Fellowship Links

Ancient civilization

12-step fellowship of Catholic alcoholics maintaining their sobriety through Alcoholics Anonymous. Concerned with total abstinence, spiritual development and sanctification of the whole personality of each member.

Christ-centered 12-step support group for persons with any compulsive behaviors, as well as their families and friends. Uses the 12-steps of A.A. and applies them to the Scriptures. Uses Jesus Christ as “higher power.” Supplements involvement in other 12-step groups.

Network of recovering alcoholic women in religious orders. Helps Roman Catholic women who are, or have been, members of religious orders and are alcoholic, or chemically dependent, compulsive eaters, compulsive gamblers, etc.

For alcoholic and chemically dependent Jews, families, friends, associates, and the community. Networking, community outreach, retreats, newsletter, literature, spiritual events, and speakers bureau.

Christian-oriented 12-step support group for those recovering from alcohol or chemical dependency. Information and referrals, literature, phone support, conferences, support group meetings, newsletter.

Mutual support network for pastors and ministers who are recovering from addictions and actively participating in a 12-step recovery program. Provides phone network, information and referrals, and meets within other international 12-step conference.