HelpingOthers

The world is a massive distraction that can take us away from what is really important for us to learn on planet Earth.  We have our jobs and our families and the media which pull us in different directions and compete for our time and attention.

Constant pressure to meet deadlines, keep the boss happy, stay emotionally connected to family members, pay the bills, obey the IRS and the laws of the land, all contribute to a sense of powerlessness and a feeling of being small in the shadow of government and the immensity of the Universe.

It is this intensity of pressure and obligations that make developing a spiritual life challenging.  Who has time to pray?  Who even wants to pray?  Does prayer even work?

Our lives here on Earth are training classes for our spirits to prepare for a life of eternity with God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy spirit.  I know that I do not spend near enough time nurturing my spirit and my relationship with Jesus, because I allow the world to distract me and to convince me that my job, my family or the media are more important  than where I spend eternity.

Time flies by faster and faster each year and what do we have to show for it?   Maybe we have saved some money for the greedy bankers to hold on to, maybe we are facing bankruptcy and financial ruin.  Maybe we have built a beautiful family and they are our most precious accomplishment.  Maybe we live in the painful world of divorce and our lives are shattered, but slowly improving.  Maybe we are happy and content and our material world feels good.  Maybe we are plagued by severe depression and suicidal thoughts beyond our control.

None of it matters if we are not on track to live with God when we die.  The devil would love to keep us so distracted with the ways of the world, so he can make sure we spend no time with God and no time developing our daily relationship with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  The world encourages each of us to be selfish and self-centered.  Many of us are spiritually dead because we only think of ourselves and what we can get out of our neighbor.  Selfishness and self-centeredness is the definition of spiritual sickness and there is an epidemic raging across the Earth.

The reading for September 26th in the Twenty Four Hours A Day book shows us how an attitude of selfishness and self-centeredness can be changed to a perspective that could help save the world:  “Look at the world as your Father’s house.  Think of all people you meet as guests in your Father’s house, to be treated with love and consideration.  Look at yourself as a servant in your Father’s house, as a servant of all.  Think of no work as beneath you.  Be ever ready to do all you can for others who need your help.  There is gladness in God’s service.  There is much satisfaction in serving the highest that you know.  Express your love for God in service to all who are living with you in your Father’s house.”

One more short reading from May 29th in the Twenty Four Hours A Day book:  “I will try to help others.  I will try to not let a day pass without reaching out an arm of love to someone.  Each day I will try to do something to lift another human being out of the sea discouragement that surrounds them.”

Helping other people is empowering and liberating.  When we reach out and help another person, God’s power is transmitted to the person we are helping and we are strengthened and healed in the process.  When we help one person, we may never know how many people are helped by that person.  Is it ten more people?  A Hundred more people…… one act of love can radiate out to the world and save countless lives.  To make a choice not to help other people only hurts ourselves and deprives the person we could have helped, of God’s saving grace.  It is our daily choice to become a flowing river of God’s love or a dead swamp.  We create our lives.  I encourage you to spend more time in prayer and in developing your relationship with Jesus, because life is short.  Choose well.

Peace, Love and Blessings to you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About The Author

Robert J. Allison lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota with his wife Rochelle Allison. Robert survived a 28-year battle with chemical dependency, including 13 chemical dependency treatment centers and homelessness. He surrendered his life to Jesus Christ and began his new life of faith and contented sobriety. Robert has been blessed with 18 years of sobriety and with his new freedom he now is helping other addicts to find peace, faith and the priceless gift of sobriety.

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It is only in the last few years that I have come to believe that I am in the middle of a fierce battle between good and evil, and that my soul is the prize to be won or lost. In order to help other people, we need to first ask for God’s protection, power and grace.  The closer we stay to God, the more effective we are in helping others.

The reading on September 19th in the Jesus Calling book, explains this struggle:  “There is a mighty battle going on for control of your mind.  The world exerts a downward pull on your thoughts.  The media bombard us with greed, lust, and cynicism.  When you face these things, pray for protection and discernment.  Stay in continual communication with Me whenever you walk through the wastelands of this world.”

The September 16th reading in the Twenty Four Hours A Day book teaches us, “If we live with God , our lives can flow as some calm river through the dry land of the earth.  It can cause the trees and flowers of the spiritual life—love and service—to spring forth and yield abundantly.” Many times we are surrounded and kept hostage by evil and temptation and we can become overwhelmed, unless we ask for God’s help.  The September 11th reading in the same book reminds us that, “God manifests Himself in human lives as strength to overcome evil and power to resist temptation.”   All we need to do is to stay close to Jesus in prayer, and ask for his help every day.  If we do not ask, we cannot receive.  Human beings are basically selfish and self-centered and this is the root of our spiritual sickness, and the cause of our unhappiness.  When we reach out and help another person, the power of God is released in us, and we become a river of love, hope and encouragement to that person.

If we decide not to help other people, then we become like a swamp: dead, stagnant with no water (life) flowing into us, and no water (life) flowing out of us.  I would much rather be a flowing river than a dead swamp.  A river gains its strength and power from the water flowing into it, and then it pours new life into the land and the sea.  The water flowing into the river is God’s love and power that we can have through prayer and helping others.  The new life or water flowing into our lives are the people we have helped, who can now join us as we help even more people.

Helping another person is the best feeling in the world and it feeds our spiritual life.  Let me share a secret with you.  Anytime that I have felt depressed or lonely or angry or confused or lost, working with others has always saved the day.  Without fail, all of my negative emotions— depression, loneliness, self-pity, anger, confusion or feeling lost, just seem to melt away, and I begin to think less of myself and more about others.

My whole perspective and attitude toward life changes.  I become more outward looking and less introspective.  I become more interested in helping others than in worrying about my own problems.  I experience real joy in my life. I have been freed from my own self-created prison.  If you are feeling lonely, abandoned, angry, depressed or confused or any other negative emotion, go out there and help another person.  It works!  Perhaps it is a fundamental spiritual law that when we help others, we receive love, peace, success and happiness!  Many of us have stored up love and compassion that must be released, if we are to be happy.
If we help other people first, then we will have everything we want and need.

About The Author

Robert J. Allison lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota with his wife Rochelle Allison. Robert survived a 28-year battle with chemical dependency, including 13 chemical dependency treatment centers and homelessness. He surrendered his life to Jesus Christ and began his new life of faith and contented sobriety. Robert has been blessed with 18 years of sobriety and with his new freedom he now is helping other addicts to find peace, faith and the priceless gift of sobriety.

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Today, I am a stranger to the person I was 18 years ago.  Back then, I was homeless, destitute, full of fear and anger and depression and living life on the edge of hell.  At that point, I had gone to 12 treatment centers for chemical dependency, I had untreated manic depression and I was inches away from losing all hope and dying the painful death of an addict.

I was so defeated and beat up emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually that I felt like I was already dead.  In many ways, I had already died spiritually and I did not think that I was going to survive.  It was like I was looking over the edge of a very tall cliff with the ocean’s waves crashing in below.  I could feel death’s cold breath on the back of my neck.  I was terrified!

That all changed with one prayer to Jesus.  At the end of my addictive journey, I was sleeping at night in an electrical utility closet in an alley behind my favorite bar.  I was physically sick with pancreatitis, mal-nutrition, hepatitis C and stomach ulcers.  I was devastated emotionally, mentally and spiritually and I was getting ready to give up.  I was consumed by fear, terror and a loneliness that I could feel in my bones.  I made my final surrender and said this simple prayer:  “Jesus, please help me.”

Three days later, I was at Hazelden Foundation, a chemical dependency treatment center in Minnesota.  I made my second surrender at Hazelden when I agreed to complete nine months of treatment.  I needed that time to begin to shed the old self and to recover from all of my near-death experiences as an addict.

I can tell you that 18 years later, I am not that person who was on the edge of death.  Jesus has given me my freedom and I have peace and love in my life today.  Second Corintians 5-17 describes this miracle:  “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”  Ephesians 3-9 reveals this:  “For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.”  Recovering addicts have been blessed with a tremendous miracle, and it comes with the power to help other addicts.

The AA Twenty Four Hours A Day book for September 6th shares this important point:  “This life on Earth should be largely a preparation for the eternal life to come.  I pray that I may live my life as though it were everlasting.”  The Jesus Calling book for September 6th highlights the importance of depending upon Jesus: “Do everything in dependence on Me….. But apart from me, you can do nothing: that is, nothing of eternal value.  My deepest desire for you is that you learn to depend on me in every situation.”

My old way did not work.  I am slowly learning how to turn to God for help and direction in all areas of my life.  It is a great relief to release my burdens and get out of the driver’s seat, and let God drive my life.  Peace to you!

 

About The Author

Robert J. Allison lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota with his wife Rochelle Allison. Robert survived a 28-year battle with chemical dependency, including 13 chemical dependency treatment centers and homelessness. He surrendered his life to Jesus Christ and began his new life of faith and contented sobriety. Robert has been blessed with 18 years of sobriety and with his new freedom he now is helping other addicts to find peace, faith and the priceless gift of sobriety.

 

 

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From First Corinthians , Chapter 13:

“If I could speak all languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.  If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it, but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

Love is patient and kind.  Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.  It does not demand its own way.  It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.  Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless.  But love will last forever. 

Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture!  But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless. When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child.  But when I grew up, I put away childish things.  Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.  All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

Three things will last forever—faith, hope and love—and the greatest of these is love.”

 

About The Author

Robert J. Allison lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota with his wife Rochelle Allison. Robert survived a 28-year battle with chemical dependency, including 13 chemical dependency treatment centers and homelessness. He surrendered his life to Jesus Christ and began his new life of faith and contented sobriety. Robert has been blessed with 18 years of sobriety and with his new freedom he now is helping other addicts to find peace, faith and the priceless gift of sobriety.