As we mark the halfway point of the Christmas/advent season, we light a special pink candle to emphasis the spiritual principle of joy. In this message, we share about how difficult it is for us to feel joy as humans, because it means accepting our vulnerability in the possibility of loss. We also learn about joy that comes not from the moment, but from the anticipation of the moment. This talk closes with a reading of the promises of recovery from the AA Big Book, pages 83-84 as the anticipation of “what is to come” in our recovery.
Sunday Sermon: Advent: A Season for Anticipating Change
December 1, 2019
On this first Sunday of the Christian season of Advent, we discuss the spiritual concept of hope, and talk about the hope that comes from inviting God/Higher Power into our lives. As God turned the world upside down with the birth of a baby on Christmas, our Higher Power has the ability to turn us inside out in our recovery, turning our despair into hope, our grief into joy, and our suffering into service.
November 3, 2019
This week, our spiritual message takes a look at the practice of sabbath day, a day set aside for rest, in both the Jewish and Christian religions. We are asked to consider how holy, set aside time, to rest in both body and spirit, can benefit our recovery. We are shown how the practice of Sabbath can teach us about both the spiritual principles of humility and gratitude on our journal towards a spiritual awakening.
The Promise of Freedom, Part 3: Once we take the first step in recovery, admitting our powerlessness over our addiction and the unmanageability of our lives, we ask for help and become free from the substance. What remains are the deeper conditions of our disease: resentments, fears, shame, and character defects. This third message on freedom takes a look at how the process of recovery, notably in steps 4-7, we gain freedom from these deeper issues that keep us bound to addiction.
On this Father’s Day, I thought I might tell you a familiar story with a slightly different message…The parable of the prodigal is not a story about two sons. It is a story about all of us and how easy it is to get lost in our own point of view and our own self will.
The emphasis in the story is not on the sons, but on their father. It is an unveiling of the mercy and the grace of God. The central truth of the parable is the picture of a Higher Power who wants to care for us and who is able to restore us- no matter how lost we have been.
This parable reminds us that we need the initiating love of God. The father did not wait for the son to ask for forgiveness. He was already forgiven and loved for exactly who he was. This parable shows us that amends are not just about our wrongs — they are about the exact nature of our wrongs and what it means to live a life run by self will. And finally, this parable explains why we need to be moved by the impact our actions have on other people. Addiction is a family disease. And whether you are the addict, a friend or a family member, you are probably mad at the people who hurt you. You might get stuck and frustrated when you feel like life isn’t going your way. You are unhappy in your self-will and your sense of superiority. That’s why the uniqueness of the transformation in Step 2 is offered to us all.
Spirituality is not an all or nothing concept. To be spiritual people, we must make spiritual choices. Rigorous honesty is a spiritual choice. Willingness is a spiritual choice. Working the Steps is a spiritual choice as well. So I encourage you to be in agreement with the power of the Spirit today and to do your best to ignore anything that tries to sway you from your primary purpose.
June 10, 2018: Sunday Sermon: You Have To Serve Somebody…or Something
We are all worshipping something, whether we realize it or not. In this talk, Stan explores the various “Higher Powers” at work in our lives like seeking the approval of others, chasing financial success or needing to control people, places, and things and compares them to the benefits of the Gospel of Jesus, the Eightfold Path of Buddhism, and the Twelve Step recovery process.
Singer/songwriter and piano player John McAndrew, Bogie Bowles, LMSW, and Tammy Stone, LADAC, LPC-SMHP take us on a musical and spiritual journey from self-centeredness to humility, using stories and songs. This journey is a long and difficult one in recovery. Recent studies show us that music can reach the parts of the brain that are linked to addiction, and can function as an integral part of recovery. This experiential session demonstrates how music and music therapy can be applied in a variety of treatment settings to bring about therapeutic change.
Cost for this workshop is $30 (lunch is included).
WHO: Anyone & Everyone!!
WHAT: Music and the Brain Workshop – A musical and spiritual journey from self-centeredness to humility, using stories and songs.
WHEN: Friday, July 27, 2018 from 11:30AM – 2:00PM CDT
WHERE: Belle Meade United Methodist Church, Fellowship Hall 121 Davidson Road
Nashville, TN 37205
God. Program. Family. In this talk I share a bit of my personal story and the powerlessness I felt when my husband relapsed. I had been working my own program, but when the relapse happened, my fear was bigger than my program, and my fear was certainly bigger than my faith. This tells the story of how I came to understand what surrender really means and what it looked like when I turned over my will and my life. Embracing God’s will for my life meant having faith enough to be obedient to the uncomfortable – and not just the uncomfortable but becoming obedient to the unenforceable. That’s really what living in today is all about. Can I have faith enough, just for today?
May 27, 2018: Sunday Sermon: The Rich Young Man Revisited
Our most treasured possessions are the belief systems we use to navigate life as we understand it. In this talk, Stan borrows from the Biblical story of a rich young man who could not envision another way of being in the world and missed out on the greatest opportunity of his life. And so it is for those of us faced with the choice of recovery or continuing to use.
April 29, 2018: Sunday Sermon: In this chapel talk, Stan explores the inherent dangers of spending too much time either in the past or the future. When we’re stuck reflecting morbidly on our imperfect past, wishing things had been different, we can end up angry, sad, and depressed. And when we zoom ahead to a future that doesn’t even exist yet, we worry and suffer anxiety over things that may or may not ever happen. Time travel prevents us from being present to the joy in our lives in the here and now. The key is learning the fundamental spiritual practice of living one-day-at-a-time, twenty-four-hours-a-day, while also learning to “Let go and Let God” take care of the outcomes.
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Your gift to Cumberland Heights through our annual and capital initiates gives immediate support to patients and their families. To make a longer term impact a gift to the endowment fund will provide patient assistance funding for years to come.