Category Archives: Tools

How I Liken the Scriptures to Myself

Liken the scriptures to us - President Ezra T. Benson quote

Church leaders, from Isaiah and Nephi to our modern day prophets have taught us to apply, or “liken” the scriptures to ourselves. In my life, this often takes the form of putting my own name into the scripture as if it is being spoken to me, or just thinking of it as if it were being addressed directly to me. Certain scriptures, when applied in this way, have formed foundational concepts for me – that is, they color or inform the way I think about life and the world. One of the most important of these is Isaiah 41, verses 10 and 13.


10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. 13 For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

This verse reminds me that I do not walk alone. I do not have to be strong enough to live my life without His help. I can turn to Him whenever I feel weak, inadequate or fearful. In fact, I don’t need to feel any of those things at all, because He is always with me. He stands by my side and holds my right hand. When I do feel those things, instead of dwelling on them or allowing them to control my thoughts, feelings and actions, this scripture comes racing into my mind and I turn to Him, pause to search for and feel His presence and His strength, and calmly face the situation. I am grateful for this reminder that although I am nothing without Him, He is always with me, and together we can handle anything life throws my way.

There are some passages of scripture that I liken to myself by rewriting them, changing the details so that they conform to my life and experience. This can be a very powerful exercise. The one that means the most to me is 2 Nephi 4:16-35, sometimes called “The Psalm of Nephi.” As my life unfolds, I modify my own version of it to be applicable to me in the moment. Likening this beautiful psalm to my life reminds me of my strengths and blessings as well as my continuing weakness and my need to turn to the Lord in each moment.


2 Nephi 4:16-35 (“The Psalm of Nephi”) Likening the scriptures to myself
  16 Behold, my soul delighteth in the things of the Lord; and my heart pondereth continually upon the things which I have seen and heard. My heart is full with gratitude for the blessings the Lord has given me. I am grateful especially for spiritual insight.
  17 Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities. Nevertheless, despite my many spiritual experiences and blessings, sometimes I find myself obsessing about my shortcomings and perceived weaknesses and failings. I feel guilty and unworthy of the blessings the Lord has given me.
  18 I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me. I feel so disappointed in myself for turning to old behaviors and forgetting to turn to the Lord when I am troubled.
  19 And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted. And when I want to be happy and joyful, the thought of my weaknesses and sins comes to my mind. Nevertheless, I know where to turn for strength.
  20 My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep. The Lord Jesus Christ has guided me through adversity: through losing a child, a difficult marriage, divorce, losing my job, illness, starting over in a new city without friends, a new marriage, step children, losing my parents.
  21 He hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh. At times I feel his love so profoundly, it seems to fill every fiber of my being.
  22 He hath confounded mine enemies, unto the causing of them to quake before me. He has helped me find recovery from my addiction and learn to recognize Satan and turn away from him.
  23 Behold, he hath heard my cry by day, and he hath given me knowledge by visions in the night-time. He listens to my prayers at all times and gives me personal revelation.  He has sent people into my life who have sustained and supported and strengthened me when I needed it.
  24 And by day have I waxed bold in mighty prayer before him; yea, my voice have I sent up on high; and angels came down and ministered unto me.
  25 And upon the wings of his Spirit hath my body been carried away upon exceedingly high mountains. And mine eyes have beheld great things, yea, even too great for man; therefore I was bidden that I should not write them. He has answered my prayers in glorious and sacred ways.
  26 O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath visited men in so much mercy, why should my heart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions? If I have been so richly and abundantly blessed, why am I still subject to the whisperings of Satan that cause me to doubt my spiritual experiences and my worthiness and why do I allow myself to be distracted from my focus on God?
  27 And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy? Why am I still tempted turn to distractions (like computer games) and comforts of the flesh (like compulsive eating) to deal with difficult situations and emotions?
  28 Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul. I rejoice in the Lord and remember His infinite love for me. I am eternally grateful for his blessings!
  29 Do not anger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions. I will not give in to temptation and turn to any other source of comfort or strength than the Lord.
  30 Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation. I will express my gratitude in prayer and thanksgiving.  I will share my joy and testimony with the world. My heart will be turned to the Lord in each moment!
  31 O Lord, wilt thou redeem my soul? Wilt thou deliver me out of the hands of mine enemies? Wilt thou make me that I may shake at the appearance of sin? Lord, please help me to trust Thee completely, to know that Thou wilt remove my shortcomings and defects in Thy time as I walk in faith.
  32 May the gates of hell be shut continually before me, because that my heart is broken and my spirit is contrite! O Lord, wilt thou not shut the gates of thy righteousness before me,  that I may walk in the path of the low valley, that I may be strict in the plain road! Because I am willing to turn to Thee in each moment, please help me to become deaf to the enticings of Satan. Please help me to turn my will and my life over to Thee in each moment and walk in conscious contact with Thee continually.
  33 O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thy righteousness! O Lord, wilt thou make a way for mine escape before mine enemies! Wilt thou make my path straight before me! Wilt thou not place a stumbling block in my way—but that thou wouldst clear my way before me, and hedge not up my way, but the ways of mine enemy. Lord, encircle me in the arms of Thy love! Please help me to walk in faith and not stumble.  Please help me to always remember thee and know that thou art by my side always.  Please help me to recognize and turn away from the whisperings of Satan.
  34 O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm. Oh Lord, I have trusted Thee to guide me through challenges in the past.  I know that all things work together for my good when I trust Thee and follow the promptings and counsel I receive.
  35 Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen. I know that Thou wilt provide for me and give unto me all that I need, when I need it.  Please help me to bend my will to Thine; to want only those things that would be good for me; to ask for that which it will be possible for Thee to grant, and to be grateful and satisfied with each blessing Thou givest unto me.  Please help me to remember Thee in each moment and to be still and trust that all will be well.  I pray for all things in Jesus’ Holy Name.  Amen.
  • What scriptures have brought you strength and peace?
  • Try likening them to yourself, either by addressing them to yourself, or by rewriting them so that they apply to you.
  • How does using this technique help you to feel closer to the Lord?

Please share your thoughts about this post by commenting below.

Related Posts: Staying Abstinent: Using the Tools – Part 2Being a 12-Step Sponsor is Like Serving a Mission


Answer to Prayer – Hymn of Comfort

Sheet music for Hymn 114: Come Unto Him. One morning, years ago, during a particularly dark time in my life, I awoke with a melody in my mind. I could hear it clearly, but it was unfamiliar to me. I had been praying very fervently for comfort from the Lord and it seemed to me that this melody might be related to that prayer.

It sounded sort of like a hymn, so I found my LDS hymn book and began looking through the pages one song at a time, hoping to find a melody that followed the pattern of the one in my head. I had looked at over a hundred hymns, and nothing seemed even close. I was beginning to wonder if I was on a wild goose chase, when I turned a page and found it clearly and poignantly staring up at me from the page. Even more astonishing were the words . They were comforting, uplifting and so relevant to what I was feeling!

Hymn 114: Come unto Him

I wander through the still of night,
When solitude is ev’rywhere–
Alone, beneath the starry light,
And yet I know that God is there.
I kneel upon the grass and pray;
An answer comes without a voice.
It takes my burden all away
And makes my aching heart rejoice.

When I am filled with strong desire
And ask a boon of him, I see
No miracle of living fire,
But what I ask flows into me.
And when the tempest rages high
I feel no arm around me thrust,
But ev’ry storm goes rolling by
When I repose in him my trust.

It matters not what may befall,
What threat’ning hand hangs over me;
He is my rampart through it all,
My refuge from mine enemy.
Come unto him all ye depressed,
Ye erring souls whose eyes are dim,
Ye weary ones who long for rest.
Come unto him! Come unto him!

Text: Theodore E. Curtis, 1872-1957
Music: Hugh W. Dougall, 1872-1963

Reading these words and singing this song brought me solace, comfort and peace in that moment and has done so many times since. Uplifting music is one of the tools of the 12-Step program. I find the third verse particularly poignant with regard to my recovery. He is my refuge from my enemy (at times my addiction, at times Satan himself). Depression seems to be a close companion to addiction. When I was active in my addiction it was very difficult to see things clearly. Were my eyes not “dim?” And I certainly did long for (emotional) rest.

I have come unto Him. I have learned to turn to Him for comfort and peace; for the power to do the hard things He asks me to do. The storms (which do come) go rolling by yet I can have peace and serenity. I can feel His presence. I can “be still and know that [He is] God.” (D&C 101:16, Psalms 46:10)

I don’t recall ever waking up with a melody in my mind prior to or since this experience. It was then, and continues to be a witness to me that God knows who I am. He knows what I need. He has the power to meet those needs directly, and through others.

I am grateful for my testimony of this.

  • How does the Lord answer your prayers?
  • How does uplifting music help you “Come unto Him”?
  • What can you do today to better rely on the Lord to be your “rampart” or “refuge from your enemy”?

Please share your thoughts about this post by commenting below.

Related Posts: Staying Abstinent: Using the Tools – Part 2

Read to Learn; Write to Grow

Read to Learn - Write to Grow. As I work on my recovery, I learn so much from reading. This includes 12-Step program literature, scriptures, spiritually uplifting talks by Church leaders, books and other sources. I get new ideas, see things I may not have seen before and gain understanding. I learn new tips and techniques for dealing with temptation or stress. I find metaphors that help me make sense of my own strengths and shortcomings and the journey I am on. I learn about the program and about the recovery process.

Nevertheless, most of this happens in my head, not my heart.  Reading about it does not make it a part of me.

We have long been counseled by our Church leaders to keep a journal. There are many different kinds of journal writing. Some people primarily record the events of their lives. Others share their deepest feelings, hopes and dreams. No matter what kind of writing you do, and whether you write in a journal or notebook or on a computer, I have found that writing accesses a different part of your brain than pondering or speaking.

When I write, I explore how the things I am learning apply to me; to my life. When I write I find new understanding and practical application of what I have read or heard.  I get ideas about how I want to implement these concepts and practices in my life. I make commitments to myself and to God about what I am willing to do today, and start conceptualizing what my life could look like in the future as I become willing to apply more and more of what I have learned.

As I write I report on my progress; report both to myself and to the Lord. I look back at what I have written in the past and see proof of it. As I work to articulate my feelings and my observations I gain keener insight into them and synthesize new ideas I did not even have when I sat down to write.

I am grateful for all that has been written by others; for the raw materials I find there. I am even more grateful for the ability and opportunity to write for myself and co-create the new me with God, starting with who I am today and using those raw materials to become more of what He has given me the potential to be.

I read to learn. I write to grow.

  • How do you use the tool of writing?
  • How does/could writing help you to grow?
  • What are you willing to do today to use writing to co-create the new you with God?

Please share your thoughts about this post by commenting below.

Related Posts: Staying Abstinent: Using the Tools – Part 2Tools: Quality PrayerChange: The AADWAR Process



Step 12: Service within the Program

Step 12: ServiceIn the ARP program, each of the steps is associated with a principal of the Gospel. Step 12 is called “Service.” I think it could just as easily have been called “Missionary Work” or “Endure to the End,” and I will write about those another time.

I attended an ARP meeting focused on Step 12 recently. As I listened to the step being read and to the other participants sharing, a flood of thoughts entered my mind about the many ways that we can serve within the program. Members of the Church talk about service a lot. There are so many opportunities for service in the Church and in the world. But for those of us whose lives have been changed by the ARP program, here are some ways that came to my mind that we can “give back,” thus expressing our gratitude to the Lord for this miraculous program of recovery.

Attend Meetings

Without people coming to the meetings, there would be no meetings! If someone really needs a meeting and looks forward to it and they are the only participant when they get there, they are, at the very least, disappointed. Sometimes I don’t feel like going, but I have made a decision to attend certain meetings faithfully, which is a service to others while strengthening my own program.

Be an Example of Hope

When I share my experience, strength, faith and hope at meetings or in private conversations it encourages newcomers who need to see living, breathing examples of recovery. Even those of us who have not yet achieved what we would call recovery can be examples of the determination to start again and keep trying. When I talk to people in the normal course of life, I frequently find that the ARP program comes up. That is probably because it is so important to my happiness and joy. I hope that if they are struggling and would be blessed by participating in the program, their hearts may be touched and they, too might find peace by using the 12 Steps to learn how to better apply the Atonement in their lives.

Invite Others to a Meeting

There are people who know I attend ARP meetings and have seemed curious about the program. When I feel inspired to do so I invite them to attend a meeting with me. It is hard for some people to go to their first meeting alone. What if they see someone there that they know, and are embarrassed? What will happen at the meeting? What if they are expected to share? These and many other questions can keep people from trying the program. When I invite someone to attend a meeting with me, it makes it easier and more comfortable for them to come. This is a service.

Offer a Ride

Some people have transportation issues that make it difficult to attend meetings regularly. When you talk to other participants after the meeting you may become aware of this. Being willing to pick someone up and get them to the meeting can be a great service.

Bear Testimony

If the program has made a big difference in your life, be open to bearing your testimony of that. Some of us do it in Testimony Meeting, others in smaller settings. Be open to the promptings of the Spirit, and seek the willingness to bear testimony of the program.

Share Your Story

On the Church’s ARP website there are wonderful stories shared by people who have received the gift of recovery. What a service to those who don’t know anyone in the program, or who have no meetings in their area or who cannot attend for some reason! Do you have a story of recovery? Would you be willing to share it? Here is a link to the page where you can submit your own recovery story. Share Your Story.

Be a Support Person

A Support Person (called a sponsor in other 12-Step programs) shares their own experience to help guide others as they work the Steps. I have written recently about this and plan to write more in the near future. This is a form of service that blesses the life of the sponsor and much as it blesses the life of the sponsee.

Be a Facilitator

A facilitator is someone who runs the sharing portion of an ARP meeting. If you have been sober for 12 continuous months and are willing to attend a meeting regularly, you may be qualified to be a facilitator. If you feel inspired to do so, contact your Bishop or Stake President and let them know of your willingness to serve. They can give you a copy of the Facilitator Application, which lists all of the qualifications. A facilitator willing to share his or her recovery story and how they apply the steps to their own lives can provide a real service to those who still struggle.

Become a Missionary

ARP meetings are conducted by Church Service Missionaries. These individuals or couples serve part time and live at home. They receive training on how to run a meeting. Sometimes they get to speak at 5th Sunday meetings or other meetings to share information about the ARP program with members of the wards and stakes from which their meeting participants are drawn.

Please feel free to share in the comments below other examples from your own life of how you render Service within the program. I look forward to hearing your ideas!

  • What kinds of service might you be able to give?
  • What are you willing to do?

Please share your thoughts about this post by commenting below.

Related Posts: Staying Abstinent: Using the Tools – Part 1Being a 12-Step Sponsor is Like Serving a Mission

Prayer, Meditation and Pondering

3 Spiritual Channels: Prayer, Meditation, PonderingWe are often encouraged by Church leaders to make prayer and meditation an important part of our lives, but they have said very little about how to meditate, or what they mean when they use that word. Some people use the word “meditation” as a synonym for “pondering” or “contemplation” but to me there is an important difference. This post is not so much about semantics or word definitions as it is about three important spiritual activities that we need to engage in to grow spiritually.

President David O. McKay spoke about the importance of meditation and related it to prayer. He also described pondering as something separate from meditation. (See the Teaching of the Presidents Manual for David O. McKay, chapter 4.)


Most of the time the word “prayer” applies to the act of communicating with the Father. It is sometimes done formally, often on bended knee. Other times prayer is less formal,  such as when we are in a hurry and ask God to help us find a close parking space or the missing shoe or keys. Readers of this blog know that my personal favorite way to pray is in writing. I write a letter to God most mornings. I think more clearly in writing.

Used in this way, as many people do, prayer is a kind of monologue. We give our gratitude and request lists to God, close “in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen,” and get up and go about our business, hoping that we might be able to discern an answer to our prayers during the course of the day, in our scripture reading, or in a talk at church.

In my opinion, prayer should be a dialogue, not a monologue. The Lord might be ready and willing to answer our prayers — or at least to speak to us about what is on His mind — as soon as we have said “Amen.” When we get up and go about our business without taking time to listen at the end of our prayers, we don’t give Him a chance to answer.


I think that when our leaders use the phrase “prayer and meditation” they mean for us to slow down, quiet our minds, experience the moment, and listen patiently for the voice of the Lord, especially after we have finished praying.  Usually His voice comes in the form of thoughts or impressions. It is important to keep in mind that the Lord may or may not speak to us exactly about the same topics we spoke to Him about in our prayer. In my experience, that is often the case.

Two-Minute Meditation

There are other, more formal forms of meditation, such as yoga, transcendental meditation, guided meditations, etc. They also help clear your mind, and experience the moment. Here is a useful meditation technique that takes only two minutes and produces an immediate, noticeable stress relieving effect. This is very helpful in trying to receive personal revelation, or answers to prayers.

  1. Sit quietly and close your eyes gently.
  2. Breathe in and out through your nose.
  3. Choose a phrase that you can use as a mantra, or quieting thought. I usually use “I am / at peace,” or “I am a child / of God.”
  4. Focus your attention on the end of your nostrils — the point at which your breath enters and leaves your body.
  5. As you inhale, think the first half of the phrase you chose, and as you exhale think the second half.
  6. Repeat this exercise slowly three times, then open your eyes.

When I do this I can actually feel the stress leave my body, and I am able to think and hear more clearly.


Pondering is a way of seeking truth by obtaining and using knowledge gained through study and life experiences. When I ponder a question or topic, I reflect on it, applying what I already know, trying to arrive at truth. Conference talks, studying scripture references listed in the Topical Guide, and/or talking to others are all ways of finding additional knowledge to help me come to an understanding that feels right to me as I ponder an issue.


Prayer is the process of communicating with the Father. Meditation is clearing and opening my mind to receiving truth directly from the Lord through the Holy Ghost. Pondering is seeking to find and apply knowledge to come to understand the issue. These are three different but important activities that contribute to spiritual growth.

  • Do you place as much priority on listening for answers as you do on praying?
  • Are prayer, meditation and pondering all spiritual activities that you practice?
  • What are you willing to do to improve your ability to to receive personal revelation and answers to prayers?



Structure: Like a Kite String

Dad and son running in meadow flying kiteA young boy was spending a glorious Saturday afternoon with his Dad. They were flying the new kite that the boy had received for his birthday. The gentle breeze was perfect for launching the kite and keeping it up in the clean, crisp air.  The sun was shining but not brutally hot; a perfect kite flying day.

As the boy let out the line a little bit at a time, the kite flew higher and higher. It was so much fun to see the kite dancing and bobbing in the sunshine! He felt the kite pulling against his hold on the reel. There was no more line to let out! He wanted to see how high his kite could go, but there was no more string. “Daddy,” he pled, “let’s cut the line so the kite can fly higher!”

Dad tried to explain to the boy that if they cut the line the kite would fall. The boy wasn’t buying it. It didn’t make sense! He could feel the kite straining against the reel, pulling the line taught, seemingly trying to go higher than the line would allow. Finally the wise father agreed to cut the line and stood by as his disappointed and confused son sadly watch the kite fall into a tree. The line, the very thing that was holding the kite back, was also what enabled it to fly.

In our lives there are also elements that enable us to fly, but may feel like they are holding us back. They are sometimes called rules, or laws, or commandments. In a more general way, they can be called “structure”.

Examples of Structure

I have learned that in order to have a great day, I need to get to bed early the night before and get up early in the morning. (See D&C 88:124.) Years ago, I stayed up late to try to get everything done. I was so exhausted by the time I got to bed that I woke up late and was still tired.  I wasn’t very productive, and I felt frustrated and overwhelmed. It took a leap of faith to try going to bed early and getting up early, but putting that structure in place in my life has given me productivity and accomplishment I never had before.

I have lived through periods of time when money was very tight. If you don’t have enough money to pay the bills, it is tough to believe that paying tithing could help. Another leap of faith, and willingness to try it and I found that the blessings that came to me from paying tithing far outweighed the apparent shortage of money. I found that I couldn’t afford not to pay tithing. Over time I learned to first eliminate and then stay out of debt. Structure in my financial life has given me peace of mind and freedom that I never had when my money managed me, rather than me managing my money.

I am a compulsive eater. In the days when I ate anything I wanted to, whenever I wanted to, I had to wear clothes much larger than what I wanted to, and my thinking became as compulsive as my eating. A compulsive eater cannot just stop eating, like a drinker can stop drinking, so what I had to do was put structure in place around my eating. I started by writing down everything that I was eating, and figuring out what actually satisfied me. I started planning my meals, including when, what, where, and how much I would eat. When I eat mindfully, according to my plan, to nurture my body with food that is good for me, I am not compulsive, and no longer think obsessively about food. This is what I have called “Planned Abstinence” in another post.

  • What areas of your life feel out of control?
  • What kind of structure could you put in place to help you with these things?
  • Are there any commandments or is there any guidance from Church leaders that pertain to this which you haven’t fully implemented?
  • If you can’t think of anything you haven’t already tried, who could you talk to who might be able to help you come up with some ideas?


Staying Abstinent: Using the Tools – Part 4

Tools of the ProgramThis is Part 4 of my series on Using the Tools.  I have described four more tools in this post that I have found useful in overcoming the temptation to use substances or behaviors that keep me from becoming the person I want to be.  In the previous posts in this series I have written about the following tools: Prayer and Meditation, Meetings, Service, Sponsorship, Telephone Calls, Writing, Music, Program Literature, Scriptures and Talks, a Plan of Abstinence, a Breathing Exercise, and Going to Bed. In this post I will cover Visualization, God Box, Fasting, and the ARP website. You can see all of the posts that have to do with tools by clicking on “Tools” in the list of categories in the right column on this page. As far as I know right now, this completes the list, but since I embrace new tools whenever someone shares them with me, someday there might be a Part 5!


If you cannot imagine what your life would look like if you abstained from your bad habits or addictive behaviors, it is hard to make a better choice.  Kimberly Schneider taught me to say “Who do I want to be in this moment, and what would she do?”  I have found that question to be an incredibly powerful tool. At first I thought of someone I wanted to be like and asked myself the question.  It helped me to imagine what that person would do in the same situation and then make that choice.  Over time, I learned to visualize what I would be like if I developed the habits and qualities I was striving for and this question helped me to make the choice that would be consistent with the person I was trying to become.

God Box

When you find yourself worrying or obsessing about something over which you have no control, irritated or annoyed by some large or small quirk or perceived offense, or having to stand by and watch as a loved one struggles with something he or she must master without your assistance, often the most effective thing to do is to make a decision to let go and turn the situation over to God.  This may be easier said than done, and making a “God Box” (or “God Can” or “God Bag”) may help.

Write the matter down on a piece of paper and, as a physical symbol of the act of “turning it over to God”, put the piece of paper in the “God Box.”  Then, if you find yourself worrying about it again, or trying to take back responsibility for solving the problem yourself, you will have to make a decision: either remind yourself that it has been turned over to God and let Him handle it, or take the piece of paper out of the box and tell God that you are going to work on this one yourself.  It is amazing how such a simple thing can make such a big difference.  It is also an awesome experience to read back over the slips of paper and realize how well God has handled the things that were so worrisome in the past.

Just to save you some time, let me assure you that it has been my observation over many years of sharing this tool with others that it does not work if you only do it in your mind.  You must physically write the problem down on a piece of paper and put it in a container of some sort. Trust me on this.


When we need more spiritual power than we seem to have, the best power source available to us is the Lord – through His power of the Atonement, or grace.  Brad Wilcox says, “…Grace is not a booster engine that kicks in once our fuel supply is exhausted. Rather, it is our constant energy source… Grace is not achieved somewhere down the road. It is received right here and right now. It is not a finishing touch; it is the Finisher’s touch.”

A very effective way to humble ourselves so that we can receive more of that power is fasting.  When we fast we are deliberately putting our physical needs aside and acknowledging our need for and dependence upon God.  This helps us to humble ourselves, get in tune with the Lord, and become more willing and able to receive his power.

ARP Website

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has developed a wonderful Addiction Recovery Program website with many features and great content for the support of those who are trying to overcome addictive behavior.  It also has a section for family members and loved ones and another section for priesthood leaders.  There are videos of people who have found recovery, telling their stories. There is content that discusses the nature of addictive behavior from a gospel perspective.  There are podcasts of twelve full LDS 12-Step recovery meetings – one for each of the steps. If you haven’t been to an LDS Addiction Recovery Program meeting, or if you need a meeting and there isn’t one available when and where you need it, listening to one of those podcasts is a great option.

  • I have listed seventeen tools is the four parts of this series. Which ones have you tried?
  • Which ones that you have not tried sound interesting to you?
  • Will you commit to trying them? By when?
  • Which tools work best for you?
  • Write about how using the tools helps you to make better choices when you are stressed and/or tempted.


Staying Abstinent: Using the Tools – Part 3

Tools for Staying AbstinentIn the last few weeks I posted Part 1 and Part 2 of my list of tools to use to help you stay abstinent. Here is Part 3, with three more tools. You can see all of the posts that have to do with tools by clicking on “Tools” in the list of categories in the right column on this page. These tools help me stay abstinent because they are productive behaviors or activities to do when I feel stressed or vulnerable and I would, in the past, have turned to my addiction for comfort. They keep me focused on the Lord so that I can access the power of the Atonement to overcome temptation and to make progress on my path to become the person God has given me the potential to be. Part 1 described the tools of Prayer and Meditation, Meetings, Service, Sponsorship and Telephone Calls.  Part 2 covered Writing, Music, Program Literature, Scriptures and Talks. 

Make A Plan to be Abstinent

Thinking ahead about what might happen in my day and what might make me vulnerable to my addiction can help me prepare for those circumstances. I can decide what I will do if I feel tempted, so that I will be able to use my tools to avoid giving in to my addiction. There are many different addictions, but they basically fall into two groups when it comes to abstinence: addictions to substances or behaviors which can be totally eliminated from my life (such as alcohol or use of pornography) and addictions to substances or activities which I must engage in, but which should not be done compulsively (such as eating, or spending).  I call the first kind “Total Abstinence” and the second kind “Planned Abstinence.”  In either case, having a plan will be helpful.

In the case of planned abstinence addictions, I will need to decide in advance how to abstinently do the things I need to do to get through my day.  For example, I can plan my food for the day, the night before, in the morning, or a week in advance so that I will not be trying to figure out what to eat when I am starving, or when nothing sounds good, or when I am tired. In the case of spending, a budget will allow me to know what I can afford, so that I can spend what I have planned without feeling guilty, and without getting into debt by spending money I don’t have.

I found that when I started writing down my food, I started losing weight! I wasn’t even on a diet, nor had I made a decision to change the way I was eating.  I just became mindful of every bite I was eating because I had decided to write it all down.  And magically, I started losing weight!  Once I had done some research and made a food plan to take care of my body, I lost even more, and I have been able to maintain that loss.  Making a decision ahead of time about what I will eat and/or how much I will eat makes me much more likely to enjoy meals and not feel guilty about them.

I came later to budgeting.  Since I started working with a budget I have more peace of mind, I am out of debt, and I have more in savings.  I know if I have money for something, and if I don’t, I don’t buy it! We have no contention about money in our marriage. It is awesome! For more information on how to do this I recommend taking Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University® class.

Breathing Exercise

Many years ago a friend taught me a breathing exercise that is quick and easy and which can dramatically reduce the tension and stress I am feeling in a difficult moment.  This is how it is done:

  1. Close your eyes.
  2. Breathe in and out through your nose, slowly and rhythmically.
  3. Focus your attention on the point at which the air is entering and leaving your body.
  4. Choose a phrase or word to say in your mind with each breath.  You can choose whatever you want but this is what works for me: on the in-breath I think “I am a child,” and on the out-breath I think “of God.”
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 three or four times with your eyes closed.

When I do this exercise I can feel the tension leaving my body in a very physical and tangible way. If I had thoughts of indulging in my addiction, they are often gone, or at least significantly reduced, in the few minutes it takes me to do this. This is big help to me in trying to stay abstinent.

Go to Bed

When I am tired I simply do not make good decisions.  It is almost as if I have a certain amount of “good decision” energy in a day. Sometime in the late afternoon or early evening my supply begins to run out and I start to mindlessly do things that I would never have done earlier in the day.  Once I get to this point, I am vulnerable to acting out, especially if anything happens to upset my apple cart.  When I first realized this, I tried to come up with various coping mechanisms to help me stay abstinent late in the evening.  Some things did help – a little. But nothing works as well as just going to bed! Whatever I was trying to get done is generally not worth the price of breaking my abstinence! I am much more productive in the morning anyway.

To Be Continued

Well, I have a few more tools to write about, and I try to keep these posts relatively short so you won’t put off reading them for “when you have more time” and never get back to it. So, look for Part 4 soon.

Staying Abstinent: Using the Tools – Part 2

Tools of the ProgramMy last post was Part 1 of a list of tools to use to help you stay abstinent by turning to the Lord instead of your addiction, or other inappropriate behavior in stressful situations.  Part 1 described the tools of Prayer and Meditation, Meetings, Service, Sponsorship and Telephone Calls.  Here is Part 2, which covers Writing, Music, Program Literature, Scriptures and Talks. There will be a part 3, but it may not be the next post, because I have some other things I want to write about, so watch for it.


love writing. I find that when I have a pen in my hand I use a different part of my brain than when I am just thinking or talking.  If I just start writing about something that I am struggling with, I often find that in the very act of writing, my mind has become clear and I can see and understand things that were hidden from or confusing me. When this happens it becomes much easier for me to stay abstinent. For more on writing see my post on written prayer.


Music can change my mood in an instant in a way that few other things can.  Identify music that lifts your mood and music that helps you connect with the Savior.  Keep a written list, and/or a playlist on your electronic device.  Create or find a Pandora station that plays what you need to hear.  Memorize a hymn or other song and sing it to yourself when you need a pick-me-up. Listening to the right music can help me become willing to be abstinent!

I had an amazing spiritual experience with music that was an answer to prayer once.  It was a particularly difficult and stressful time in my life and I woke up one morning with a melody going around in my mind.  It was not familiar to me, but it sounded like a hymn tune.  I got out my hymn book and started turning the pages, one at a time, looking for a melody like the one I was hearing in my head. When I got to page 114 it jumped off the page at me.  I didn’t recall ever having sung or heard Come Unto Me before, but the words – and melody – brought such peace to my heart and solace to my soul! I have memorized and used it for comfort in difficult times ever since. 

Program Literature

Have you ever escaped from dealing with the reality of life by reading a novel or watching TV? Then you know how media can serve the purpose of distracting you from whatever is causing stress in your life.  The problem with using those things to escape the moment is that when you stop reading or watching nothing has changed.  I have found that turning to my program literature, such as the ARP manual, The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, Al-Anon, or another 12-Step program, or He Did Deliver Me from Bondage by Colleen Harrison can distract me for the moment, and also remind me of the progress I am making and why I WANT to be abstinent.  Additionally I can find specific thoughts or principles in this literature that can help me turn to the Lord for the power to address the challenges I am facing, instead of my addiction or some other behavior that will not bring me peace or serenity.


The scriptures can also provide great insight and help when we struggle with life.  Use your Topical Guide in the back of Bible to search the scriptures by topic.  Use the footnotes to lead you to other scriptures that might be relevant.  Memorize scriptures that seem particularly helpful.  The scriptures contain direct counsel from the Lord.  If you are looking for guidance from the Lord to help you deal with a situation you can often find it in the scriptures. See my Resources page for some of my favorite program-related scriptures.


There is an awesome additional resource for obtaining counsel from the Lord: the writing and talks given by the General Authorities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  They are contained in the monthly Ensign magazine, and can be accessed  on the Church website.  The General Conference Addresses can be watched, listened to, printed or downloaded here. There are additional wonderful Devotionals and other talks given by Church leaders and BYU personnel which can be accessed at the BYUtv website or at BYU Speeches. Since the Church has created its own channel on Youtube, lots of great talks and videos are available there. Finally, checkout, another great site with lots of uplifting content where you may be able to find the guidance you need.

I have links to some of my favorites talks and links to sites where you can order the books I mentioned on my Resources page.

Staying Abstinent: Using the Tools – Part 1

Staying Abstinent by Using the Tools of the ProgramWhen I am stressed, I have a tendency to engage in behaviors that will relieve my stress. Duh! I wrote recently about how turning to those behaviors instead of the Lord can be like putting other gods before Him. So what can I do to help relieve my stress while staying abstinent from my addiction? What does it look like to turn to the Lord instead of those other “gods?” I have a number of tools that I have learned about from various 12-Step fellowships over the years, and some that I have found on my own. I am planning to write individual posts on some of the tools, but here is a partial list of the ones I have found most useful. My next post will have the second half of the list.

Prayer and Meditation

The first and most obvious tool is prayer and meditation.  If my boss is chewing me out or someone is being rude to me I can, in that moment, say a little prayer in my heart and ask the Lord to take away my anger or frustration and tell me how to proceed.  I can ask Him to help me see the other person through His eyes.  If someone in my family has pushed me to the breaking point and I know that I am about to do or say something that I will regret, I can go to my room, get on my knees and ask the Lord to take my burden, strengthen me to be able to bear it, or give me guidance. Sometimes when I do this, I tell Him that I am going to remain there, on my knees, until the feeling, craving, etc. is lifted. It is scary to put my faith on the line like that, but the Lord has always come through for me, although on occasion my knees start to hurt while I am waiting.


Going to a 12-Step meeting is an awesome way to remove myself from temptation and recharge my spiritual batteries. In meetings I can sometimes hear the Lord’s guidance to me through the voice of another person when my own spiritual ears are too clogged with the wax of hopelessness or pride to be able to receive personal revelation. I can serve others by what I say, or just by giving someone a hug or a smile. I can receive the same kind of service myself. I always feel closer to the Lord when I go to a meeting. If there is no meeting available, I can go to the ARP website and listen to a podcast of a meeting.


Attending a meeting is one form of service. I won’t even attempt to list all the other opportunities to serve, but here are some ideas.  Reach out to someone who might need it, donate time, do family history work, do temple work, take a new mom’s toddler to the park for an hour, mow someone’s lawn. Any kind of service that is given in Christ-like love can get me outside of myself and my own problems and bring me blessings and a new attitude. But I need to be careful that there are no strings attached to my service; that I am not shaming, throwing guilt, trying to control someone, or attempting to take someone’s agency as I serve.


Sponsoring someone, or being a support person to someone within the ARP program, is an awesome form of service.  As I sponsor I find myself prompted to say things which are just as important for me to be reminded of as they are for my sponsee to hear.  A sponsor is a guide; someone who can hold up a mirror so that another person can see themselves and their behavior more honestly and can learn how the Steps can help them find serenity and recovery.

Telephone Calls

Sometimes, when I am tempted to use my drug of choice and I cannot seem to find the strength to just turn away, I will make a phone call to someone and tell myself that I won’t act out until after I get off the phone.  Most of the time I call someone else who is working the steps and by the time we are done talking, I don’t feel the craving any more.  If I still have it, I can make another phone call, or try one of the other tools. Sometimes staying abstinent has to be done one hour or even one minute at a time.

To Be Continued

In the next post I will share more of my favorite tools for staying abstinent and close to the Lord instead of giving in to my addiction for comfort when I am stressed.

Have you tried any of these tools? Please feel free to share your positive experiences for other readers. I hope you will find some more ideas in this post, or the next one, that will help you stay abstinent.

Please share your thoughts about this post by commenting below.

Related Posts: Prayer, Meditation and PonderingStaying Abstinent: Using the Tools – Part 2Staying Abstinent: Using the Tools – Part 3Staying Abstinent: Using the Tools – Part 4


Tools: Quality Prayer

Tools of the ProgramThere was a time in my life when I found it very difficult to connect with God through prayer.  I studied my scriptures every day, and walked in faith to the best of my ability, but when I knelt in prayer, it felt like my prayers were bouncing around inside the room. My thoughts went around in circles and I often found myself indulging in “vain repetition.”  Answers? No real connection there either.  I saw that God answered my prayers sometimes, by the actions or words of others, but I longed for a direct connection.  I desperately wanted to feel like I could hear the Lord answer my prayers personally. Not knowing what else to do, I just kept praying.

Over time, I stumbled upon a novel thought.  For the most part, my prayer life wasn’t so much a conversation with God, as it was a monologue.  I would kneel and pray, following the pattern I had been taught, finish with an “Amen,” get up and go about my business, wondering why I couldn’t hear the Lord’s voice.  Perhaps, after I was done praying, I needed to wait and listen to give the Lord a chance to say something to me – really to give myself a chance to listen quietly and hear what He was saying!  I began to practice this “listening” phase of my prayer and started to recognize thoughts coming into my mind; thoughts that were not my own and sometimes not even related to what I had prayed about!  He was speaking to me! I was finally learning to “hear” the still, small voice.

Then I noticed a very disturbing thing.  By the time several hours had passed, I could remember that the Lord had spoken to me, but I could not remember what He had said! To me that seemed like the height of disrespect!  The great God of the Universe had spoken to ME and I couldn’t remember what He had said! So I started bringing a small notebook and a pen to the side of the couch where I prayed. As soon as I finished praying, I would write down what I heard.

Pretty soon I realized that it might be more useful to me to have His answers recorded if I also recorded the contents of my prayer.  It seemed like the answers I recorded in my little book were out of context.  So I decided to try writing my prayer. I wrote my prayer in one color, put down my pen, picked up His, listened, and recorded what I heard in a different color.

I discovered an amazing thing as I began this practice.  It seems that I use a different part of my brain when I write than when I am thinking or saying my prayer.  As I write my thoughts, they slow down and are not jumbled.  They are more coherent and the act of writing them down helps me to process them in a very helpful and productive way.  No more vain repetitions. No more wondering what I should pray for and about.  My thoughts flow as I pour out my heart to my Heavenly Father on the page.  I have been able to capture great words of comfort and direction in this prayer journal and go back and study it.  When I do not have time to write, it almost feels like I have been cheated.

Elder Richard Scott has spoken on several occasions about the way in which he uses writing to receive personal revelation.  There are links to some of those talks on my resources page.  I have shared this tool of written prayer with many people over the years.  Some people are not ready to invest the time it takes to do it in their relationship with the Lord.  Those who have tried it have found new insights and a new and deeper relationship with God.  Are you ready to invest your time? I could never put a price on the value of the return I have received on this investment.


Overcoming Discouragement: The Committee in My Head

Image of a discouraged person's head with committee members saying things at the same time coming out of the top.You know those voices you hear in your mind sometimes? Occasionally they are positive and uplifting but most are discouraging and disparaging. Some actually seem to echo voices of real people, often from our past – former teachers, leaders, parents, family members or friends. Others seem to come from nowhere. Even the voices of people who love us can sometimes give us bad advice or negative feedback.

  • “You are so clumsy.”
  • “You can’t do that – you are too dumb.”
  • “You can’t ask God for help with that.”
  • “You’ll never be good enough.”

Unfortunately these voices can make it hard for us to think clearly and move forward. Just when we think we have a plan and are ready to take a risk and try to do better – to do something new – to challenge ourselves, to overcome discouragement, one (or more) of those voices will tell us that we are doomed to failure.

I call those voices the “Committee in My Head”. I imagine them sitting around a conference table expressing their thoughts. Freely. Sometimes at the top of their lungs. Other times in a persistent whisper.

I have learned an interesting thing about my committee over the years. It is my committee, and I get to decide who is on it!  If someone on the committee is discouraging me, I can fire them!  I can tell them that they are no longer welcome on my committee and their advice is no longer needed. If they come back, I can refuse to let them in or listen to them.

Even better, I can deliberately choose new voices to invite onto my committee to drown out the old discouraging ones. How? By reading great books or blogs; by finding mentors who I trust and who have created the kind of life I want; by attending meetings and making phone calls and using the other tools of the program. I can fill my committee with cheer-leading encouraging voices.

  • “You can do it!”Image of an orderly committee meeting with happy participants.
  • “You are awesome!”
  • “Give it one more shot.”
  • “Maybe you should pray for the Lord’s help and try again.”
  • “Think of how much progress you have made!”
  • “God loves you and I love you, too!”

If I am going to have a committee giving me advice it might as well be good advice!  And advice that will help me overcome discouragement, not create it.

  • Do you have a committee in your head that sometimes offers negative thoughts or ideas?
  • Do you let these thoughts hold you back from doing what you would like to do?
  • Do you believe that you can learn to recognize and “fire” the voices that are holding you back?
  • What voices would you like to invite to join your committee?
  • What will you do today to let go of what is holding you back and nurture and support yourself in moving forward?

Please share your thoughts about this post by commenting below.

Related Posts: Help: Encircled about in the Arms of His LoveFocus: Riding through the Boulders

ARP Meetings – Where Two or Three Are Gathered…

I recently read D&C 6, and verses 32-37 absolutely jumped off the page at me as pertaining to the Church’s ARP meetings. I “captured” the impressions I received below.

32 Verily, verily, I say unto you, as I said unto my disciples, where two or three are gathered together in my name, as touching one thing, behold, there will I be in the midst of them—even so am I in the midst of you.

We gather as 2 or 3 or 12 or 20 in His name at every Addiction Recovery Program meeting, as touching one thing: recovery from addiction through the Atonement. And He is always in our midst. The Spirit we feel in our meetings is similar to what I feel in the Temple.

33 Fear not to do good, my sons, for whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye also reap; therefore, if ye sow good ye shall also reap good for your reward.

As we each take whatever tiny steps we can toward recovery, we are sowing good, and have hope in Christ of reaping good: recovery!

34 Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail.

We need not fear Satan nor those who are listening to his voice. We are built upon the rock of Christ and His Atonement. Satan will not win.

35 Behold, I do not condemn you; go your ways and sin no more; perform with soberness the work which I have commanded you.

He accepts us where we are. He holds no grudge. He is willing to wipe our slate clean if we repent and go forward with abstinence and sobriety, walking the path He has laid before us.

36 Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.

Keeping our focus on the Savior we have no need for doubt or fear. Like Peter walking on the water, we will be safe if we focus on the Savior in each moment.

37 Behold the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the nails in my hands and feet; be faithful, keep my commandments, and ye shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. Amen.

Focus on Christ, remembering the Atonement He has made for us.  Deliverance from sin may be ours as we receive the cleansing and other blessings of the Atonement through repentance. We will one day surely return to live with Him in joy.

Come to an ARP meeting and see how truly this applies. If you are trying to overcome a challenge in your life, come gather with us and let the Lord give you the strength that comes from learning to apply the Atonement in your life.

Keeping the Sponge Moist

“And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full. And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell.” Alma 12:10-11

Imge of old dry sponge that cannot absorb water.Consider a dry sponge. It has the potential to soak up and absorb water, but it is not prepared to do so. Pour a drop of water on it and it will just sit upon the surface. Try to wipe up a spill with it and it will just push the water around on the counter. However, plunge it into a bucket of water or hold it under a faucet and squeeze out the excess and the sponge is prepared to soak up any water it touches. Allowed to dry out completely again, it returns to its unprepared state: dry, hard and even brittle; containing little or no water and unable to absorb any.

My heart is like the sponge. If I allow my heart to dry out completely – squeezing out the last drop of living water and not replenishing it – then, when a drop comes my way, I cannot even absorb it. I just push it around dully, not able to drink it in and be nurtured by it. I receive “the lesser portion of the word until [I] know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then [I can be] taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction.”  How does this happen?  It happens when I give until I have no more to give, trying to please everyone, and fail to take care of myself by taking time to do the things that keep me close to the Lord. It also happens when I refuse to allow others to nurture me. When I allow self-will and self-sufficiency (thinking I can do it all, by myself) to replace love and humility in my heart, it can become dry, hard, and brittle.

When I find myself in this state I must find a bucket of living water or a faucet and plunge myself in – immerse myself in the love of God and the gospel. Where can I find this bucket, this faucet of living water?  At Church, in the temple, in 12-Step  meetings, in program literature, in the love of my family, in the scriptures, in prayer and meditation, in General Conference – anywhere the Spirit dwells. Then, I need to “squeeze out the excess” by sharing what I have learned with others.

I never want to become totally dry again. Where do I get the daily “misting” that will keep me prepared to receive; that will keep my heart soft and humble?  By daily use of the tools of the program; especially literature and music (including scriptures), meetings, prayer and meditation, sponsoring, telephone calls, writing and yes, even service.

  • Are there spiritual areas of your life in which you have potential but are not prepared?
  • What could you do to become prepared so that you can receive a “greater portion?”
  • What will you do today to start down that path?

Please share your thoughts about this post by commenting below.

Related posts: Change: The AADWAR ProcessTuning In


Learning to Let Go

Step 3

Step 3 of A Guide to Addiction Recovery and Healing talks about trusting in God.  It is easy to talk about that theoretically – how important it is to do it, why we should, how silly it is to doubt Him, etc. Actually learning to do it is another matter. Letting go of the things we want so desperately to control and turning them over to God can be hard!  Here are a few tools and techniques that have helped me learn to “Let Go and Let God”. I hope you find them useful on your own journey.


Writing uses a different part of your brain than just thinking or speaking.  When I write out my thoughts and the feelings of my heart, my mind slows down and I am able to discover thoughts and feelings and ideas that might have been too fleeting to capture any other way.  If I write about my desire to let go of something and my reluctance to trust that the Lord will take care of it to my satisfaction, I can often find the willingness to let it go.


Sometimes I just stand in the middle of an empty room and imagine putting whatever I am trying to let go of in a bubble resting in my open palms.  Then I lift my arms and visualize myself giving the bubble a little push up to send it on its way toward the Lord’s outstretched hands.  I see him receive my bubble and embrace it and I know that it is safely under His control. I know it sounds hokey, but try it. It really works for me! This works particularly well when what I need to turn over to Him is another person, usually someone who is making choices that concern me.

God Box

I have a box that I call my God Box.  (Some people have a can instead, because, after all, God “CAN”.) When I find myself obsessing about a situation or a person and I know I have done everything I can do to resolve it, I write it down on a piece of paper, date it, fold it up and put it in my God Box as a physical representation of having turned the matter over to God.  The next time I find myself obsessing about it, I have two choices.  I can either take it out of the box and tell God that I decided to take it back, or I can remind myself that I turned it over to Him and let it go. One amazing side benefit of using the God Box is that when I put something new in it I get to go back and reread all the old papers. Doing this reminds me of what a great job He did with all those other things.  In fact, He did such a fabulous job with some of those things that I don’t even remember what they were!

By the way, a “virtual” God Box does not work.  There is something about physically writing it down on a piece of paper and putting it in the box that is just different and more effective than doing it in your mind.


It is not that unusual, in the Church, for people to fast and pray for something they are concerned about. However, many times we use this tool as a way of “counseling the Lord”.  In other words, we know what outcome we want for the situation and we try to control it by telling the Lord what we want Him to do. We may even add the obligatory “if it is thy will” or “nevertheless, thy will be done” to the end of our prayer as we begin our fast, but I wonder how often we really mean that.

I am going to suggest a slightly different way of using the tool of fasting. When I have a situation that I know I cannot control and that I have done everything I can or should do about it, I will fast and pray to understand and accept the Lord’s will in the matter.  In this way, I invoke His help in letting it go, and turning it over to Him.

  • In which areas of your life do you need to do a better job of “letting go and letting God?”
  • Of the tools listed here, which you not tried before, feels the most comfortable to you?
  • What will you do today to try a new way of learning to let go?

Please share your thoughts about this post by commenting below.

Related posts: Problem Solving FlowchartForgiveness – the Essence of Step 8Becoming Entirely ReadyJealousy: Only You Can Prevent Forest FiresForgiveness – the Essence of Step 8Change: The AADWAR ProcessTrust: Do Not Put Other Gods Before Him