Tag Archives: Faith

Tag Archives: Faith


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.

Misuc & the Brain is a musical and spiritual journey from self-centeredness to humility, using stories and songs. This journey is a long and difficult one in recovery.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

REGISTER NOW

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.

Alumni Relations of Cumberland Heights invites to join us for an experiential activity and a day of fellowship experiencing emotions in a dynamic way! The Alumni Ropes Day consists of both low and high rope elements and processes. These experiential activities place the participant in scenarios, often outside of comfort zones, that allow emergence of a core truth about themselves. Concepts of powerlessness, surrender, keeping it simple, honesty, courage, community support, trust, faith, and many others emerge. The participant is able to draw parallels and metaphors from their experience then transfer it to practical application to their recovery journey.

What: Alumni Ropes Day & Escape Game (Boxed Lunch Included)
When: Saturday, April 27 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Where: Cumberland Heights Alumni Pavilion
Details: Limited space, register your spot now! RSVP to Jaime_Gibbons@cumberlandheights.org

Please wear comfortable clothing and closed toe shoes. Boxed lunches will be provided.
All participants will sign a waiver and must be over the age of 18

Cumberland Heights Recovery Blog - 7 Ways to Avoid Stress During the Holidays

The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.
– Sydney J. Harris

Stress and anxiety can ruin your holidays and your recovery. Setting realistic goals, seeking support and planning ahead can help to lessen the stress this holiday season. Check out the following 7 ways to practice recovery and avoid stress during your holiday festivities!


  1. Know your limits.
    Don’t overextend yourself. Don’t be afraid to set healthy boundaries and know when to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed.
  2. Go to a meeting, do step work, call your sponsor.
    Engage your support system and beef up your recovery efforts during seasons of high stress. Don’t be afraid to reach out or ask for help when you feel overwhelmed. Take a deep breath and go back to the basics of 12-Step recovery.
  3. Get some physical exercise, fresh air and plenty of sleep.
    Exercise stimulates the feel-good hormone serotonin. Getting out in nature and going for a walk, run or hike can help relieve stress and reduce anxiety. Yoga and meditation are also great ways to refocus, clear your mind and calm your nerves during times of stress. Getting enough sleep is also crucial when avoiding the holiday pressures and being able to think clearly.
  4. Focus on being grateful.
    Making a gratitude list helps put things in perspective. Expressing gratitude or just paying a compliment has a way of lifting others’ spirits by bringing a smile to their face and yours.
  5. Pray and meditate.
    Silent reflection is always a good way to refocus and reduce anxiety. Holidays can be a deeply spiritual time of year. Take time to connect with your higher power or something greater than yourself; it will help you feel calmer and more centered.
  6. Volunteer.
    Spending time doing service work or volunteering with those less fortunate helps put things into perspective. Wrap gifts for a local charity, volunteer at a homeless shelter, buy a gift for a child in need – whatever adds meaning for you.
  7. Set realistic expectations.
    Focus on fun and relaxation, rather than on creating the perfect table, meal or moment, and you will see your holiday stress melt away. The most precious thing we can give to anyone else is our time and attention. Tune in to the people around you and really be with them, so you don’t miss out on what counts most.

Blog Article Courage in Recovery - written by Angela Moscheo Benson, MDiv, MA, Spiritual DirectorPoet E.E. Cummings once wrote, “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” I have that quote hanging by my desk. It reminds me why I do what I do for myself and for others and of the courage it takes to work for both.

Every day the world sends messages to our egos telling us who and what we are. These messages also dictate who and what we should want to be, constantly encouraging us to compare ourselves to others. This message sending world is a human construct, material and subjective. It is not a spiritual message of love and tolerance. It’s no wonder we in recovery can feel so out of place in this world, especially in early recovery. Our program tells us a spirit of love and tolerance is our creed and yet our world tells our egos that an attitude of proud judgement and comparison is our way. The message sending world is selfish and wrong. It’s also a willing participant in the disease of addiction.

The disease of addiction could not thrive without the support of social human constructs. And yet, instead of promoting clean living, everywhere we look social media, TV, movies, music, drugs and alcohol are glorified and their use is commonplace. Those who choose not to use, and those in recovery, are considered square and dull by popular culture. And those in early recovery fear that message is true. I talk to patients everyday who worry about what will happen when they get out of treatment. With whom will they spend time? What will they do for fun if they aren’t drinking and drugging? Do they really need a recovery community instead of their old friend? These are legitimate concerns propagated by a culture of indulgence and instant gratification. So, how do those of us in the treatment field combat such strong messages?

For me, the key to success in recovery lies in Step 11. It’s written on page 98 of the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, “There is a direct linkage among self-examination, meditation and prayer. Taken separately, these practices can bring much relief and benefit. But when they are logically related and interwoven, the result in an unshakable foundation for life.” Those are simple instructions that also happen to be difficult to carry out. In order to practice the concepts of 12-Step recovery, one must be made aware of the spiritual principles. On the common list of spiritual principles, courage is named for Step 4, and where I agree with that principle for that Step, I also believe courage is the primary principle required for all of the Steps (and for most anything else in life). It takes great courage to admit we are powerless.

It takes even more courage to ask for help and to believe a Power greater than ourselves is the bedrock on which 12-Step recovery is based.

Yes, it takes courage and at least a sliver of faith and a dash of hope to begin this program, but it also takes courage to speak the truth, to set boundaries and to self-advocate. Once we become aware that addiction is a disease, we must come to accept that diagnosis applies to us. Then and only then can we begin the important actions required for a “personality change sufficient to bring about recovery…Most emphatically [I] wish to say that any alcoholic capable of honestly facing his problems… can recover, provided he does not close his mind to all spiritual concepts… Willingness, honesty and open-mindedness [and courage] are the essentials for recovery.” (AA p. 567 and 568)


Angela Moscheo Benson, MDiv, MA, Spiritual DirectorAngela Moscheo Benson is a Spiritual Director at Cumberland Heights. Angela earned a Masters of Divinity at Union Theological Seminary in New York City where she lived and worked for many years before returning to her hometown of Nashville. Angela’s focus is on the spiritual principles of 12-Step recovery and her spiritual pedagogy is concept focused and experiential. 

Angela is married to her childhood sweetheart, and they share an active home with her son and their seven rescue dogs.


In the days and weeks after leaving Cumberland Heights for a new adventure in early recovery, I discovered I was painfully shy when it came to meeting new people in the rooms.

Initially this made it difficult for me to make the meaningful connections so necessary for someone in early recovery to achieve and maintain sobriety.

I was afraid of them. I was afraid of me. I was afraid to be vulnerable enough to let anyone see how much I was hurting over what I’d done and how I’d hurt others and myself through my actions.

So, I went to the meetings, kept to myself and left immediately after for many weeks isolating myself in the crowds of recovering people. I warmed up slowly to the people in the AA groups I attended. I paid attention in particular to the women who demonstrated the kind of recovery I wanted to emulate.

One day, I stepped outside of my comfort zone and walked up to a woman I had grown to admire very much for the way she worked the program. I asked her to be my sponsor. Although she was not able to accommodate me, she connected me with a lady who became my sponsor and devoted friend for more than six years. Although she is not my sponsor now, she remains one of my most trusted friends in recovery.

Katrina Cornwell with members of her recovery community.
Katrina Cornwell with members of her recovery community.

Finding a sponsor who I could trust with my deepest darkest secrets, someone whom I could count upon to be my spiritual guide through the 12 Steps was another way I grew in recovery.

Working the steps with my sponsor solidified our commitment to each other, helping each other stay sober one day at a time, spending time together and staying in the literature.

I remember so clearly sitting down with her for my fifth step, not knowing how long it would take or what her reaction to all of my heinous sins would be. Never did she wince or cast a judging glance, she just loved me. She helped me grow until I became strong enough to reach out my hand to help someone else.

My sponsor took me to AA meetings, went to dinner with me and to the movies. She wrote a letter to the judge in my case. She even testified on my behalf at court twice. It was a connection like no other in the program, and it is vital to the successful recovery of the newly recovering alcoholic or addict.

Establishing this relationship in recovery helped make me the woman I am today.


K HeadshotKatrina Cornwell is a case manager at Cumberland Heights, a motivational speaker, blogger and three-time, first-place award winner in the annual Tennessee Press Association contest.

In her presentations, she speaks about her addiction to drugs and alcohol and how those habits led to a drunk driving accident which killed a man in October 2009.


Recovery is Possible

Recover Life.

Secure Contact: Confidential Email Form

Call Today: 800-646-9998

Stay in the Know

Signup for Emails

Get Confidential Help from Cumberland Heights Treatment Center

FOR A CONFIDENTIAL ADMISSIONS ASSESSMENT

If you or a loved one would like to speak directly with one of our licensed admissions staff, please call us now at (800) 646-9998 or submit the following information. If outside business hours, we will get back to you the following day.

* Required Field

×

Why is it so meaningful to give to Cumberland Heights?

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.

×