Living for Years with a Stranger.

One of the hardest day’s to cope with in my recovery was the death of my Father. These are the days when the tyre hits the road. In the pain and disappointment in life was I still committed to recovery.

My Dad had cancer for years and had already been told it was terminal. Throughout the years he had became more and more ill. I had buried my head in the sand and pretended it wasn’t happening.

Reality said it was exactly that reality.

My Dad had become a Christian because he had seen the difference in my life. He told my Mother surely there must be a God.

At the funeral I wanted to do a reading. I wanted to do this as a way of telling him that I loved him.

The reality was that I had lived in the same house as him for 27 years and never knew him. I never had a real heart to heart with my Dad.

He was a stranger.

I made my mind up that day that I wouldn’t go into God’s House, the Church, for 27 years and not know Him. I pursued a relationship with Jesus.

Do you know who Father God actually is?

Are you pursuing Jesus with all your heart?

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Growing Order Out of Chaos

I have an allotment in Troon, this space I have grown to love. At the allotment Jesus has shown me things that I never understood. The first few years it was very hard work as the place was full of weeds. I never understood what I was doing so I had no plan.

I seemed to be doing the same things over and over again.

I would weed and leave the bare ground.

A couple of weeks later I would weed again and leave bare ground.

This continued for about two years.

It seemed to be like my walk with Jesus overcoming fear and ending up fearful after a few weeks.

The allotment was chaos. I then met a person who taught me to make raised beds. I tried it and enjoyed making them. After two years of making raised beds my allotment is full of them, it makes my life easier.

It brought order out of chaos.

When I learn to do the things that Jesus taught, which is actually applying them to my life. My walk with him becomes easier.

Jesus had brought order out of my chaos.

Are you allowing him to bring order to your chaos?

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Real Hope for the Hopeless

It never ceases to amaze me when I sit with a group of people who have been completely hopeless, but now they have found Jesus. I go every now and then to a meeting in Kilmarnock called Road to Recovery. The meeting is based on the 12 steps and the beatitudes.

A person sits at the top table and shares what their life used to be like and what it is now like with Jesus. The transformation is incredible.

Jesus performs miracles today when he gives real hope to the hopeless.

I often go to this meeting as it is real life, that is life as I used to know it. People share their innermost secrets, that is their deep down fears and issues.

Going to the meeting gives me a sense of perspective.

Sometimes I go to church and it is about grace. True grace is when Jesus touches someone’s life who is in the depth of addiction.

Sometimes the church is about love. True love is sitting with people who’s lifestyle might not be societies norm.

Sometimes the church is about acceptance. True acceptance is accepting everybody no matter what they have done.

Sometimes the church is about forgiveness. True forgiveness is about repenting for our sins and attitudes and walking completely free form the bondages.

Sometimes the church is about hope. True hope is sitting with these people at the meeting and hearing what Jesus has done for them.

Are you feeling hopeless today?

It is only Jesus who can bring hope to the hopeless.

Why don’t you ask him for a miracle today.

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Overcoming Negative Thinking

I was employed now for the first time in many years. The main problem that I was facing was hating responsibility. I had a deep down fear of making wrong decisions and not being able to cope with the outcome.

I had started the job as a school cleaner because I thought that was all I had the ability to do. This was the wrong decision as it was based on low self esteem. Low self esteem is negative thinking.

The consequences of this decision was having a poor wage, the inability to pay all our bills. I was offered a second job but again it was cleaning only this time it was a supermarket.

Deep down I knew these jobs were based on the wrong thinking. This was actually making things worse. What would the solution to this dilemma be.

Jesus wanted me to give up my life and let Him take control. Making decisions based on the wrong thought patterns is clearly me being in control. I had to hand over my thoughts to Jesus and let Him change my thinking.

This is what my heart longed to do but the fear gripped my heart tightly. This meant having to trust Jesus.

There was another problem I trusted no one not even myself.

The question was would  I let go and let God.

Today do you trust Jesus?

If not what holds you back?

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The Transformation Process Continues

I had been refused benefits and had to tell Trish. I was told you will just have to find a job then!!!! I had no idea what to do as I hadn’t looked for years. it was more a case of what could I do rather than what I wanted to do.

I was looking at all the jobs advertised but the important part was my thoughts of ‘what can I actually do’. Then I seen a job which was for a school cleaner. I can hold a brush and hoover. I will apply for that.

I told the woman at the desk I would like to apply for this job. She looked at the job details.

She looked at me.

She looked at the job details.

She looked at me again and said this job is for a school cleaner.

Yes I replied. I didn’t want to say I don’t feel good enough to do anything else.

She asked ‘have you did this type of work before?’. ‘ Never mind she said’. Can you attend for interview at 4pm tonight. I said yes.

I ran up the road to tell Trish that I had a job interview at 4pm that afternoon. She smiled. I told her it was for a school cleaner. She stopped smiling.

When I got to the interview the supervisor said ‘ your name is Richard McMinn?’ I replied ‘yes’.

She asked ‘do you know a Netta McMinn from Stewarton?’

‘yes that’s my mother.’ I replied.

I started work the next day. That was the start of Father God beginning to build up my low self esteem. I have done jobs that I never thought possible the last few years.

Jesus was transforming my life in a way that I never thought possible.

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God cultivates my Garden.

The first few months of marriage were a great learning time for me. I had no clue what it was to be a husband. I hardly knew how to live sober, it had been two years since my last drink. My life was like a garden and God wanted to cultivate it but first the weeds must be taken out.

One of the main roots in my life was dishonesty or telling lies. Many times in an Alcoholic episode I would wake up having blacked out. When people asked me what had I been up to I would just tell them what popped into my head.

After our honeymoon I wanted to be honest with the world, I was honest with Trish. It started when Trish asked me to provide money for her. I hadn’t worked for years and actually didn’t want to work. I said I could sign on and the Government will provide for us.

Trish at this point had lived by faith where she worked for a mate but got a car and free petrol. I told the woman at the welfare that I was married now ( the honesty part beginning) and I wanted to claim as a married person. The woman asked if Trish was working. I explained yes but she doesn’t get any money she just gets a car and free petrol. She lives by faith.

The woman replied ‘Do you really expect me to believe that?’ I was upset as I was being honest. I was refused benefits.

Jesus was about to do a miracle in my life, but first He was pulling out the weeds.

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Do you want to be remembered?

I was having a conversation this morning that made me think. There were 3 of us in the room, we had chatted about the usual stuff. One person in the room is getting married in August. They are in the middle of the preparations.

Yesterday was a bank holiday in Scotland so they (the two people to be married) were moving their belongings into a lock up to store it until they get married. The woman is a Christian so wants to be faithful to her beliefs. The man isn’t a Christian.

The conversation in the house was about belongings, if they were to throw out a lot of stuff they might not be remembered. The stuff that they wanted to keep was sentimental and they would be remembered by ‘the stuff’.

The person they were marrying didn’t need any stuff as they have kids and would be remembered by them. It made me think!!!!

Have I been collecting stuff so that I can be remembered when I pass away. Many times as Christians the present ‘earthly’ life is more important than the life to come. Many people in the bible are remembered because of what God done through them. Abraham, Moses, Joshua and of course Jesus.

Perhaps for me it is laying down my life and let Jesus rule and reign in me. It is about what we do for Jesus that counts. Today I will think about the junk that I am collecting and ask myself one question, WHY?

Am I prepared to dump the junk?

Are you prepared to get rid of your junk or do you want to be remembered through it?

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