Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Changing Balance

Sameness is not always balancing! Some of us have bought into the illusion that we can work hard to get our lives organized and “balanced” and they will stay that way forever. Not so! Sameness is not balance. One of the givens of being human beings (like it or not!) is that we are constantly granted the opportunity and mandate to grow, to learn, and to change. Our houses and our cars keep trying to teach us that all material objects are in a constant state of disintegration, and we don’t want to believe them. How much more difficult is it to see ourselves and our world this way! Balance will never be attained once and for all. That’s just the way life is. That is the human condition. We can either accept it or keep trying to live in illusion. Some of us may choose the third option of doing both-accepting it for awhile or for some things and then not for others. We do it rough on ourselves. The most balancing thing we can do for ourselves is accept the joy of feeling balanced when we do, recognizing that the balancing and rebalancing of ourselves is an ongoing process that offers us a minute-by-minute opportunity. Take a look at any aspect of Ur life U believe U have “balanced” or are trying to keep the same and see if this is causing U stress. If so, try putting on new glasses and celebrating the balance that is there while accepting the change that is just around the corner. HugsBob

remembering 9/11:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


It takes six months to get into shape (I've been at it for four?) and two weeks to get out of shape. Once you know this you can stop being angry about other things in life and only be angry about this. What a great idea- an impersonal focus for our anger and rage. It's even better if we expand the picture a little bit to get a broader perspective, accepting that in general life isn't fair. Way back when I was younger I spent a lot of time exclaiming that it (whatever "it" was!) wasn't fair. Whenever I saw something that I perceived as being unfair (and, of course, there were examples all around me), I became indignant, self-righteous, infuriated, and sometimes (very rarely, of course) combative. As I look back, I'm not sure that any of these reactions accomplished much except to get me exhausted, beat-up, resentful, and in trouble. It took me a long time to come to the realization that life isn't fair. That's my reality and everyone else's. I don't have to like it. I do have to accept it. Life just isn't fair. I can't possibly see the whole picture, and, from my limited view, life isn't fair. Once the conclusion has been accepted, how do I move on? I can be as fair as I can, given my limitations. I can accept reality and move on. I can be kind, considerate, caring, patient, and supportive in dealing with those who experience great unfairness. Do you fight the unfairness of life? You could accept it and move on, contributing what you can. Acceptance! Hmm! HugsBob

Monday, September 5, 2011


We have our brush and colors-paint Paradise and in we go. We find in our experiences and in our daily reveries just what we anticipate. If we greet the day wearing a smile, confident that we are needed and able to make a contribution, we’ll discover that the day holds great promise. What we need to understand is that every day holds just as much promise as we’re capable of expecting. We carry within ourselves the image of the picture we’re creating. Since the choice to find happiness rather than sorrow and regret is our own, why does the latter even attract us? For no other reason than we fail to believe that we’re deserving of happiness. We know our own shortcomings; we’re aware of the details in our lives for which we feel shame. We think only the pure of heart deserve happiness. But we’re human. And this means mistakes are normal and expected. With wisdom comes full understanding of this fact. In the meantime, we can trust that happiness is our birthright. All that’s requested is our belief in it. Today will offer me all that I truly desire. Happiness attracts itself. HugsBob

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Skimming the Tree tops

tree topsPsalm 103:14 He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust. God is mindful that He created us as finite beings out of a few pounds of garden soil. He understands that...My question is, why don't we understand it? Why do we expect perfection of ourselves and of our associates?... U and I become terribly impatient with our own shortcomings and limitations and with each other. We despair because we think we ought to be in spiritual orbit by this time, when we're barely skimming the treetops...We think we ought instantly, constantly, and effectively to conquer vast territories for the kingdom, like some spiritual Alexander the Great. And when it doesn't happen- when victory seems elusive- we grow discouraged. Whenever I start feeling like that, I need to revisit the life of Moses...Here was a man who didn't become effective for God until he was eighty. Long after most of us would be riding a rocking chair or pushing up daises, Moses began his spiritual career. And guess what? God used him mightily! Are U available and ready? HugsBob

Sunday, August 14, 2011


I wish U the courage to be warm when the world would prefer U to be cool. For years we listened to the demands of the world and tried to meet them. We may have listened to our parents and did what they told us to do. We may have heard the needs of a lover or friend and tried to meet them all. We may have even paid heed to absolute strangers, making changes in ourselves to honor their opinions. Like a reptile, we may have absorbed the temperature of our surroundings and adjusted our body temperature accordingly. We may have found comfort in being warm when the world was warm or being cool when the world was cool. But we can, in the words of Thoreau, march to a beat of a different drummer. We can say no when others want to hear yes. We can set limits when others ask too much. We can even be warm when the world wants us to be cool. Others don't have power over us anymore. Only we have power over ourselves. I won't let anyone or anything have power over the way I feel. I can feel warm or cool it's my choice. HugsBob

Sunday, August 7, 2011


free heart
We succeed in enterprises which demand the positive qualities we possess, but we excel in those which can also make use of our defects. Those areas of our lives we struggle with the most, such as impatience, control, energy, or procrastination, offer us opportunities for great victories. But even more, they offer greater learning, and the greatest chance for further growth and development when we relinquish our struggle. We can be certain that any activity attracting our involvement will provide chances to demonstrate both our positive qualities and our defects. Our human need to be rid of defects can hamper our progress, keeping us stuck in old behavior. But when we've come to accept defects as normal we can even capitalize on them. They define who we are momentarily. We need to remember that defects are generally assets that have become twisted with use. Therefore, we can understand their origin and smooth off the rough edges. Assets and defects will switch places in our repertoire. We can use each for the greater good of the enterprise deserving our attention. Defects have so much to teach us. They offer us meaningful opportunities for growth and mature action. Today's assets were yesterday's defects and where we stumble today, tomorrow we'll glide. My defects will offer me new learning today if I relinquish my incessant urge to be free of them. HugsBob

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Infectious Joy

Ps 126:2 Our mouth was filled with laughter and our tongue with joyful shouting; then they said among the nations, "The Lord has done great things for them." Perhaps U find Urself among those in the if-only group. U say U would laugh if only U had more money...if only U had more talent or were more beautiful...if only U could find a more fulfilling job. I challenge those excuses. Just as more money never made anyone generous and more talent never made anyone grateful, more of anything never made anyone joyful. Without exception, people who consistently laugh do so in spite of, seldom because of anything. They pursue fun rather than wait for it to knock on their door in the middle of the day. Such infectiously joyful believers have no trouble convincing people around them that Christianity is real and Christ can transform a life. Joy is the flag that flies above the castle of their hearts, announcing that the King is in residence. HugsBob

Friday, August 5, 2011


Putting a question correctly is one thing and finding the answer to it is something quite different. Questions and answers lie within us. Unfortunately, they don't come in matched sets, numbered or color-keyed so we can match them up. Sometimes we think we have all the answers and we wish we knew the questions. In fact, the questions are often more difficult to find, especially questions that have to do with our deepest feelings. What do we want? How do we feel about it? Such questions threaten to expose us- to lay bare our vulnerable selves. For once we acknowledge that we want something, we risk not getting it. But if we can remain deaf even to question, we protect our vulnerability. The other side of that, of course, is that we'll never get what we want until we acknowledge that question. We must work to choose the risk of hearing the wrong answer over the certainty of deafness. Is lack of pain worth shutting down my capacity for pleasure? Let me strengthen myself to risk joy. HugsBob

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Many people feel "guilty" about things they shouldn't feel guilty about, in order to shut out feelings of guilt about things they should feel guilty about. Guilt has been getting a bad rap in modern circles. There's nothing wrong with guilt. In fact, guilt can be a very appropriate response to having done something we know is wrong. It's what we do with guilt that makes it a problem, not guilt itself. When we do something that we know (or come to know) does not fit into our belief system or something that we know is harmful to ourselves or others, or we know we should not have done, guilt is an appropriate response from our inner beings. It is appropriate that we feel bad about what we have done. These feelings of guilt can serve the very good purpose of being an activator to owning our behavior, making our amends, and moving on with our lives, all the wiser for our learnings. Indulging in guilt, on the other hand, can throw us and our lives out of balance. Indulging in guilt can be a massive, never-ending, self-centered process that serves no one. Guilt indulgence can only dig us in deeper. There's no learning that emerges. Are you hiding from some guilt that you need to feel or indulging in some guilt that you deserve to feel? Clean it up. HugsBob

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Proverbs 13:18 "Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline, but he who regards reproof will be honored." Discipline is one of the most hated terms of our times...right alongside patience and self-control. But have you noticed how often it comes up in the testimonies of those who win?...Here are some key uses of discipline : No runner completes the training or a race without it. No weight-loss program is maintained without it. No human body is kept fit without it. No mind is sharpened with it. No temptation is overcome without it. If you want to put a stop to mediocrity, to replace excuses with fresh determination and procrastination with tough-minded perseverance,  you need discipline!  Hmm! Hugs Bob

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Ecc 9:11"I again saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, and the battle is not to the warriors." Whenever I scope out the scene here where I live, I observe a large number of people who are pursuing the so-called successful life. They would say the way to make it in this world- the way to succeed - is to increase speed, get stronger, be competitive, think more cleverly, plan longer, and have a visionary strategy - hire people with skills that are needed and life will be successful. The race is on. Get up earlier. Go to bed later. Make work a priority. Don't get sentimental about stuff like children, marriage, home, and the family. All that will have to wait...And religion? Leave that for the over-the-hill gang and preachers....The philosophy of our day will attempt to suck us in and convince us that if we're going to make it, we've got to run faster...We've got to be stronger and more competitive and more clever, even more manipulative. Otherwise, we won't be successful ...Don't you believe it!! Hugs Bob

Monday, April 11, 2011


I don't like the word stranger. It doesn't fit for me anymore. The more centered I am in myself and the more connected I feel, it just doesn't fit. The word stranger conjures up some foreign and frightening images. When we see people as strangers, we assume that they are different from us and that we have nothing in common with them. The truth is that most of us are more similar to each other than we are different. As human beings, we have great, wonderful differences that are rich and exciting and we are also very similar. When we start noticing and really seeing people, we begin to become aware of our similarities. Did U ever notice that when U begin to smile and nod at people, many of them smile back? A simple hello goes a long way toward establishing feelings of connectedness between oneself and others. Probably the most exciting and important aspect of starting to say random hellos is that we begin to change inside. We begin to feel happier. We begin to like ourselves better. And, we just start sensing more positive energy coming our way. Loneliness is a decision and a state of mind. We have a choice. Start saying random hellos and see what happens. HugsBob

Sunday, April 10, 2011


But one of the attributes of love, like art, is to bring harmony and order out of chaos. The offer of love to the person sharing this time in our lives softens them, ourselves, and the events we share. Giving and receiving loving thoughts eases any momentary difficulty; loving and feeling loved reminds us that we are never alone in our struggles. In partnership we can survive any troubling circumstance. Love of self, of family, of enemies increases the harmonious conditions that affect us all. Like the ripples from a pebble dropped in a stream, the act of loving moves beyond the object receiving the love at this moment. In fact, the love we give is the love we'll receive. It is a demonstrable fact that hatred breeds hatred. Just as absolute is the knowledge that the love we offer another makes easier their gift of love to yet another. Love multiplies itself and the harmony created nurtures us all. Love makes partners of us all. No circumstances can fell me when I'm in company with another. I will look among my associates today for willing partners. HugsBob

Monday, March 7, 2011

Being Right

Do U prefer that U be right or happy? We have a tendency to get ourselves into situations where we can develop the illusion that being right is more important than anything else in the world. As the issues escalate in our minds, we get to a place where being right seems like a life-or-death position. When we get this way, we lose all sense of perspective. We forget how important certain people are to us and what they contribute to our lives. We find ourselves more dedicated to being right than to running the risk of getting what we want, which is often happiness, love, and friendship. What has happened to us? It seems as though we have plunged into moments of complete insanity. And, perhaps we have if insanity is related to forcing ourselves to lose perspective, lose contact with reality, and risk abandoning what is most important to us. Are our positions more important than our happiness? Is whatever point we are trying to make more important than people we love? Very doubtful. The next time U find yourself in this state of mind, stop. Ask yourself if U want to be right or happy. See if U really care that much. See if U can reach out- even let the other person be right. What does it really matter? Choose very carefully the hill U want to die on and try not to sacrifice yourself on too many unimportant hills. HugsBob

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Relief Instead of Revenge!‏

Proverbs 19:11 "A man's discretion makes him slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression. Are you aware of the joy-stealing effect an unforgiving spirit is having on Ur life? If Ur bitterness is deep enough, you've virtually stopped living ...It's not worth it. U need to come to terms with this lingering, nagging issue now. The peace and contentment and joy that could be yours are draining away, like water down the drain of an unplugged bathtub. It's time for U to call a halt to the dispute: the disharmony must be refused...Start by telling God how much it hurts and that U need Him to help U to forgive the offense...Get rid of all the poison of built-up anger and pour out all the acid of long-term resentment. Your objective is clear: Fully forgive the offender. Once that is done, U will discover that U no longer rehearse the ugly scenes in your mind. The revengeful desire to get back and get even will wane, and in its now-empty space will come such an outpouring of relief and a new spirit of joy that U won't feel like the same person. HugsBobOX

Monday, February 14, 2011

Laughter is Serious Business written by Scot P

Laughter is Serious Business
A great number of people have the perception of God as the sober inhabitant of a beautiful but austere kingdom.  Certainly someone to be in awe of,  and without any doubts to be respectful of.  Yet someone to laugh with – well... not so much.  But when we look into God’s word, we may be surprised to find that God indeed, is deeply invested in the lighter side of life.  Take into consideration  the word rejoice, in various tense forms, appears in the New International Version of the Bible an amazing 181 times. The word joy surpasses that, being recited 218 times.  The word joyful  adds 16 to the total number.  Henceforth leaving the word repent  in the dust at 39 appearances and the word judgment with 132 mentions.  The word sober  (clear minded for those of us in recovery) is mentioned but twice.
 In addition, the word rejoice is quite often used as a command:  “Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again: Rejoice! (Philippians 4:4).  “Our Lord God Almighty reigns.  Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!” (Revelation 19:6-7).
 Our God is not a gloomy Gus who likes to break up our fun and subdue our laughter.  Rather He is a God who encourages joyous outbursts of all kinds.  Perhaps it’s because He knows even better than we, that we have a great deal to be happy about?
 We all admit we enjoy laughter, and as inconceivable as it may seem, so does God.  So the next time you giggle, chuckle, laugh or guffaw, imagine Him right there along side of you!  Don't take life too seriously, be willing to laugh. Laugh with others, laugh at your own self, and laugh with God.  We were created in His image.
It is the soul that is not yet sure of its God that is afraid to laugh in His presence.  George MacDonald
God bless, Scot

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.            Proverbs 17:22 NIV

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Important

I’ve learned that the great challenge of life is to decide what’s important and to disregard everything else. We are such amazing creatures, we human beings. We get so busy and so involved with the rush of living that all too often we spend our most productive years in the pursuit of things that are not really important to us. When one stands back and gets some perspective on this situation, it seems quite foolish indeed. Yet, when we are in the middle of it, whatever “unimportant” activity we are investing our time and energy into seems quite legitimate. For some of us, it is only as we start to grow older that we realize that the important has been put aside for the expedient. No wonder our lives feel out of balance to us sometimes. We are not investing in our “importants” and we are squandering our valuable days, weeks, and years on things that really don’t matter that much to us. Luckily, we always have the option to stop, to back off, and to reevaluate what is important to us. Devote one day a year to taking stock. See how you are spending your time. List what is important to you and see how the two relate. Always be open to seeing the excuses you are using to justify doing “unimportant’ things. Share this information with someone close to you. Be accountable! Hugs,Bob

Saturday, January 22, 2011

From our Scot P.

We have been given a great gift. A gift that enables us to look at ourselves with humility and acceptance. And in doing so, we are able to see that we are prone to failure, pain, sin, and self pity. It also gives us the ability to see that we are capable of successes, joy, love and dignity. With this ability we can choose to look upon our positive attributes;  enjoying each moment as it presents itself, knowing that with the turn of the next corner it may flee as fast as it arrived. Our lives are an ever ending process influenced by circumstances out of our control.  Let us rejoice in the good times. Let's never take ourselves too seriously for we all have good and bad within. Let us abate our feelings of a false sense of security for tomorrow, perhaps the next hour, may bring with it a calamity. Remain humble. Don't let your pride puff you up with your successes, for any number of events can reverse them.  However , revel in the good. Be amused with the smallest of miracles and they will bring a smile to our face, followed by a chuckle. With the momentum gaining from each chuckle, we can laugh.  Laugh at our lives for at that moment they are great gifts from God. We know that we will have challenges ahead, but it is our choice, once again, to see them as temporary and rejoice in the blessings we have now. Trust that you are where God wants you right now.  With that we are going to have fun, and we're going to laugh out loud while doing so!
God bless, Scot P.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Out of every crisis comes the chance to be reborn... It is not our smooth passages that reveal new understandings, but the strenuous, uphill battles that benefit us with the knowledge we need to grow. Looking on our challenges as gifts whose resolution promises greater comfort makes them agreeable, perhaps even prized. Without them we stagnate, and life's joys are few. Life is a series of lessons. And our crises are our homework. The patience and the trust we developed while living through last week's crisis has prepared us for greater benefits from those that lie ahead. Knowing that a crisis guarantees us the growth we deserve makes its sting endurable. Every crisis is followed by a time of easy stepping. These restful periods let us adjust to our new stage of development, and they invite us to store up our strength, our energy for the tests that lie ahead. Every stage of an experience has its roots in the past and leans toward the future. I'll trust that whatever I encounter today I'm prepared for and will benefit from.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Be Patient

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in Ur heart/ And try to love the questions themselves. Patience with ourselves may be the first step toward patience with others. In getting to know ourselves, we don't find what we have expected. If we did, we would only be proving what we already knew. Sometimes growth comes in surprising ways. It may be in acceptance and learning to love what is unsettled or unclear within. Some of us want to rush through our learning and push our growth too fast. Others of us want to have a strong sense of confidence in our relationships with others but always feel vulnerable. Some wonder why their fears suddenly rise without warning. Another longs to know why certain things happened to him in his youth. Our growth is not our invention. When answers come, they are gifts, and we do not control them. In part, self-acceptance is to say, "Yes, I am a person with this question, this unsettled feeling. Being alive is to be actively engaged in knowing and loving my questions even when I find no answer." God, grant me the peace that comes with loving the unfinished part of me. HugsBob

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

She Testifies!

I would love to leave my past where it is, behind me; but there are others out there struggling with the same horrors I struggled with, and I feel a call to reach out to them. So I must be transparent every chance I get.

At the bottom of a rope, I admitted to an addiction to crystal meth fifteen years ago. Cross addicted, I later came to admit I was also an alcoholic. And today I can claim sobriety only one day at a time.

I am not a theologian, a psychologist, or scientist, but I know that in the past I have had a strong tendency to search for relief and escape in substance. In times of trouble I have ran to alcohol, drugs, and nicotine, but these are just the darkest of substances to which I have run. Many others are out there. What haunts you?

Many people had traumatic childhoods, but not all of these turned out to be drug addicts or drunks. Many human tragedies happen daily; just the unfair day to day events are enough to cripple us, why did I turn to drugs and alcohol? I have no idea. Was it because I was born with a predisposition? I don’t know. I do know that I thank the Lord for his deliverance before those substances drove me to an early grave or worse. I think hurting someone else in a drunken stupor would have been worse than death.

12 step programs were a catalyst for me. The 12 steps led me back to Jesus Christ. Those steps were a bridge back to the loving arms of the lover of my soul who had waited and longed for me to see Him through my broken world. Those steps were also an enlightening process that God used to show me a way back home – to Him.

And now I have a passion to share this story, to hold up road signs to others, road signs pointing to a bridge that leads to Jesus. Many suffer from addiction. Addiction in many forms, relationships, working too much, gambling, food, etc.

There is hope. Jesus is the answer, but sometimes it takes someone who’s been there to deliver the message. Sometimes it takes someone who shares your same character defects to realize you are not alone in yours.

Come visit us at FCC CR time/address is over here --->

Come hear Him say: Welcome Home.

With love ~ Kathleen

Friday, January 7, 2011

Scroll IX- I will act now‏

Remember this one:

1 John 3:18 “Dear children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.” “ Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.” A few years ago when I got my pacemaker and my activities were curbed dramatically, I was struggling with just getting by! Then I started the Thursday night AA meeting at North Phoenix Baptist and called it “Living vs. Existing”. Practice what you preach!! Ha,ha Tools are of no use to us unless we put them to work in the prescribed manner in which they were created. Faith based action gives me permission to live my life; to interact with others with unbridled motivation, and to selflessly give of myself without personal aspirations. I will act as I believe God would have me act. Helping others , friends and foe, first and foremost. To love others precluding any forethoughts or judgments. I will forego my human selfishness knowing that giving in itself, is the only and just reward I seek. Without these actions, even for a brief moment, my life as I desire it to be, as God intends it to be, will cease. A failure to thrive due to a lack of nutrients essential to my being and the welfare of those whom I have surrounded myself with. So today, immediately, without hesitation or contemplation, but rather instinctively, intuitively,; action will be the quintessential character trait I will command of myself and live. My thoughts grow to become what I speak. My words will become actions and with repetitive habits. With time my habits will be my character and my character will be the destiny God has planned for me. I choose to act in accordance to God’s Plan. 
                                                                                                                              ~Hugs/Blessings, Bob

P.S. “Talk doesn’t cook rice.” Ancient Chinese Proverb

Happy Friday!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

CR at FCC ~ The first day of 2011

~ Making the beginning is one third of the work. ~

HAPPY NEW YEAR to my dear friends! Don't look back" Don't let yesterday use up too much of today. " Going into the new year remember God's got a plan for your life and He's given each one of us gifts! Don't hoard them,but spread the wealth! Life savings "If we take of the moments, the years will take care of themselves."  ~ Hugs Bob

The NEW YEAR is always a good time for reflection. I know everyday we should reflect, but the start of a new calendar year naturally sparks questions like, "What was I doing this time last year?" "What have I done this year?"
Personally, I missed some 'goals'. I wanted to accomplish a few things that didn't get done, But looking back I am also amazed at how much progress has been made with His grace and power. I am more active, working a new job with more money, I am one more year sober, and, as if overnight, the CR group at FCC blossomed into a family!
So, I've decided that when I look back at 2010 it will not be to see where I came up short, but it will be to count my blessings and to see where the Saviour transformed, blessed, and forgave me. How about you? Happy New Year to CR at FCC! ~ with love, Kathleen