We have been keeping busy this summer with various work projects. One of the things I like for the men to be involved with is serving people in the body of Christ. This summer we have been able to help move two families. It’s great interaction for the men in the program to be involved with giving of themselves to help others without expecting anything in return. Typically addicts are takers so it is always good to be able to involve them in projects that require them to give.
It always breaks my heart to see men leave the program before they are ready. Recently a new resident Doug decided the program wasn’t for him. so he headed back home against all advice from me and his pastors. These situations remind me of Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death” I teach this verse over and over at His Steps. It deals with human perception verses reality. What seems the right path of life may well turn out to lead to dire consequences, and, sad to say, in the life of addicts it usually does. Please pray for him.
I also had to ask Andrew that has been here 6 weeks to leave. He would not stop using tobacco and continued to give into his flesh. This broke my heart because at times I’d really see some growth in his life, but he continued to give into his sin. This was hard for me because I really liked this young man and as is always the case discipline is hard. But I knew as a spiritual father in his life I had to discipline him for his own good. My goal with all the men the Lord sends to His Steps is Colossians 1:28, “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.” Please pray for Andrew.
On a brighter note, during a counseling session with Derrell, I asked him how his life had gotten so far off track that he needed to come into a residential program. He had lots of shallow excuses but wasn’t able to pinpoint the reason until I nudged him into seeing that he had failed to trust God with what was going on in his life and had chosen once again to trust himself. He said, “Before I came here my pastors came and talked with me, because I'd been clean for a while. It was discouraging to me to have gotten back into it. I was walking well with The Lord, but I ended up back out there again. I see now it’s like you’ve said. I trusted in myself, and I know that leads to destruction. It always has and always will take me down the wrong path.” I asked, “So what's going to keep it from happening again?” He replied, “I know that I must live my life in a manner that is pleasing to God and deny myself. I know now I can’t touch it again. I can't moderate it. It has to be radical amputation for me. I must cut it and everything using drugs involves out of my life and live only for God and not for myself.”
We have been studying the book, “Relapse Prevention” (by Mark Shaw), and Derrell is gaining a biblical perspective on how he has been living in recent months which led to his destruction. Relapse is described in the book using 2 Peter 2:22, “the dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.” Derrell had been experiencing the freedom of a sober life, attending church, and growing in his relationship with the Lord. but one day he chose to return to the voluntary slavery of addiction. Mark Shaw explains it this way, “in a relapse, the choice a person makes to satisfy a temporal pleasure reveals a momentary loss of eternal perspective. All relapses involve a decision to live for the moment without regard for the far-reaching consequences and damage in this life and in the life to come.”
Derrell told me he now understands that he has been sinning against God and desires to live the rest of his life according to Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”
Be sure and visit our new website at www.hissteps.org
Please pray that the men would continue their diligent efforts at becoming fully devoted followers of Christ. Right now things are going very well around the house.
Please pray for all of the men that have volunteered to teach the evening Bible studies. They have been a real blessing to me in taking the teaching responsibilities for the evening sessions.