Archive for the ‘Trust’ Category

This guy, Jonah Hadley, Big Pastor J, headed off to Wells Maine to start a church. Keep his travels in prayer, pray to keep his family safe and pray for the lost to be found up in Maine.
6 years ago I was lost. I was a bottom feeding self induced drug addict paving my own prison pathway to destruction and death.
I was in the Salvation Army Rehabilitation Center trying to find out why and how I got to such a rock bottom in my life after a 10 year addiction to opiates and other drugs. Well that sentence explains the rock bottom. I needed help and I needed it fast.
One night at the Salvation Army, during a meeting that we were required to attend, in walks Jonah, this big dude, full head of hair, bible on his side and a determined stare. Here we go right?
He started to speak and all of a sudden my ears opened up. Now I wasn’t new to this Christian thing, I’ve been one most of my life, just never walked my talk.
Jonah started spitting truth. Right from his heart. No beating around the bush, no watery phrases or advice of the world; he gave a short testimony and went on to talk about how you can basically become free from this so called ‘disease’ of addiction. There are about 100 guys in this room, and hearing Jonah speak like he was talking directly to me or someone one on one in front of so many roughed up men, was impressive.
God used Jonah to get to me, as well as so many, God also used the program, its counselors and as a matter of fact, other addicts as well.
Jonah would come in once a month to the rehab and keep offering this freedom. He kept offering the Word of God and freedom through Christ and how simple it was.
Me and a bunch of others would eventually attend service, meetings at Calvary, which is now Great Rock Church. There we met other addicts, other people with issues just like us. A real down to earth community of believers.
I always thanked Jonah for his sincerity and his honesty although he always told me “it isn’t me brother, it’s the Lord”… I said I know man, but you chose to allow Him to work through you, and for that I thank you brother.
I can proudly say Jonah is a true friend. Always there to listen and definitely there to tell you how it is! He’s all about Truth, accountability and telling it how it should be but from the heart and most of all from the Word of God.
Thank you for being there for me brother. Thank you for hearing me when I was down and hearing me when I am up. Thank you for your strength and your faith that is displayed for myself and others to live and learn by. A true leader, made through discipleship from other strong leaders as well.
We’ll be visiting you soon up in Maine brother and will enjoy many more years together in His Light.

We’ll be keeping your path and your family in prayer. I know God has big things coming for those who keep the faith!!
My pastor, my friend, my brother. Godspeed.
“May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you His favor and give you His peace.”
Numbers 6:24-26

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My mom, the one I probably hurt the most during my destructive journey.

Mom’s love their kids wholeheartedly and almost with a Godly love, an unconditional love. No matter what happens you know your mom will be there and love you no matter what. It’s such a comfort knowing that too.

Today is Mother’s Day and it was nice to be able to drop off some flowers to my mom and spend a little time with her. Things were not always this grand though. I caused some damage during my addiction and to be where I am today is simply a blessing. But there was a time when I didn’t speak to my mom for almost two years. Nothing she had done, just simply guilt and shame for what I had done.

I was a junky at the time and being a low class junky I did stupid selfish things. I stole, I lied and I manipulated. I should have ended up in jail for what I did, let alone hell for what I did. Walking around with no faith and no hope brought complete shame to me for my actions. I didn’t have the guts to call my mom up for two years. Disgusting.

I contacted her the day before I went into rehab. Why? Because I knew I needed change and that this change would help with our relationship. I knew that things would be better, not perfect, but better and I knew that I had some work to do, even to this day, building up trust.

But I knew, even to this day, that during those two years of not contacting my mom, she still loved me the way she always does. That agape love. The love you can not break. Did I take advantage of that? Yup. I hurt her bad. I hurt her and lied right to her face even when she knew the answer and she still loved me.

This is how God loves us. Unconditionally. We mess up, we hurt others, we destroy bridges but God always loves us no matter what. When we ask God to forgive us, He cleanses us from ALL unrighteousness, He forgives us as far as the east is from the west, He removes our transgressions! He is faithful and just to do so.

This is why asking for forgiveness is so important and confessing our exact wrongs to the people we hurt is so healing and powerful.

Going up to the person we hurt and simply saying “I was wrong, I hope one day you can forgive me…” may be tough but it takes the load off our backs. It’s giving a little of the pain away and allowing room for forgiveness. I am still, to this day, asking people for forgiveness for my past. It’s something we must do to improve ourselves and to move forward. It shows that we are not always first, that we can be humbled, be grateful and remain teachable.

My mom didn’t deserve one thing, not one repercussion, not one lie during my addiction. She forgave me. Her love persevered through a tough time. Because of the love she has shown for me, because of the love God has shown and continues to show for me, because of His wonderful Grace and His Mercy, because I have been given so many second chances, and simply because I know for a fact that I do not deserve any of it… I try to give back and love as best as I can.

This life of Recovery, the amount of gratitude I have, the chance to give back, the unsurpassing love and Grace that I have experienced from friends and family I have hurt, people that didn’t know me and offered their time to help me, complete strangers who offered advice, counselors, program directors, other addicts…

Thanks mom for your love and your strength. I love you. Because of you, I know how to love and I know how to be strong.

Become Free, Become the Difference!

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Trust is like a skyscraper, it takes years to build and only seconds to destroy.

We trust our mail man to deliver our mail to the right house. We trust our accountant to get our numbers right. We trust our bank teller to deposit our money into the right account. We trust that car pool or bus driver in the morning to get us to work in one piece. We trust that website we just gave our credit card to. We also trust that same credit card company not to jack up our interest rate to 29.99% for no reason at all.

We trust our tires to stay inflated while we are going 75 mph around a turn on the highway. We trust our washer machine to wash our clothes and not leak 30 gallons of water everywhere. We trust our roof on our house to hold up the weight of snow that builds up over the winter. And during that same winter, we trust our pipes not to freeze. We trust our insurance to come through after an accident, we trust our healthcare provider to support us when we need it and we trust our schools to contact us when something happens to our children.

We put trust into so many things, it’s crazy. Like the chair i’m sitting on, the computer i’m using and the glass of water i’m drinking. Trust is built all around us and we make it and break it on a daily basis. We trust our parents. We trust our children. We trust our family. We trust them to be there when something happens. We trust them to love us and show affection in a certain way, every time.

So what happens when this trust is broken? It becomes easy to trust someone when they have built up trust and can be trusted, but what happens when someone breaks that trust, that for so long, has always been a foundation on which they stood?

What happens when a father, or a mother, a brother or a sister, a cousin, a nephew, a niece, or a loved one, a best friend, a girlfriend or a boyfriend decides to relapse? And through that relapse, overdoses and dies.

It’s a selfish act. And we get angry. “You were responsible to me, to our kids, to our family and you threw it all away. You made a suicidal decision and thought of no one but yourself. You put yourself first and everyone who loves you second. You not only killed yourself, you killed us, as a family. Things will never be the same.”

Who was there to help? Was this person working their recovery on a daily basis? Did tragedy strike and all went out the window? Did some past trauma from childhood come back to haunt them? Whatever reason it may have been, we all are responsible for each other. And the first person to say they are not is a true definition of a egotistical, self centered, narcissist. I know we can’t control everything, but we can make a difference. Are you constantly looking out for number one? Yourself? Or are you planting seeds in someone’s life?

We are CALLED to love each other and to look out for each other! You think something is going on with someone, inquire. Intervene, ask questions, offer advice, offer help, do not judge, show compassion, show an unfailing love and concern, offer assistance. Offer what ever you can offer to help try to save a lost soul, a drug addict, a family member, an alcoholic. As much as you think that person doesn’t deserve it, you are judging them while they are down; they need help getting back up.

I have lost a handful of friends in the past two years and if you are an addict, you most likely have too. I have also lost family members to drug addiction. There were many times I didn’t step forward and offer help. Today I can. Today, I believe God uses me and many others to help save some people from personal destruction. Losing is the worst feeling, but to gain, to watch addicts turn their life around, to watch people accept Jesus Christ into their lives and watch them grow, is the best feeling in the world!

We lost an actor, a great actor to drug addiction. I didn’t know him personally but I sure know what everyone around him is going through. Please keep his family, the one’s who are living the pain, in your prayers. Please keep anyone you may know who is struggling with substance abuse in your prayers and if you can, reach out to them, love them and offer yourselves to them in any way possible.

Become Free, Become the Difference!

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13