December 27, 2013
Lighthouse Network 2013 Newsletter
Lighthouse Network is thankful to have the privilege to bring you Stepping Stones Daily Devotional each day, sharing God’s truth with you. Our passion at Lighthouse Network is helping people live life successfully. God has given us an amazing ministry to help people find Addiction and Mental Health Treatment through the Lighthouse Network Helpline. Each year at this time we invite the Stepping Stones readers to consider partnering with us in helping to support the Lighthouse Network ministry. Please take a few minutes to read the LN Newsletter, we trust you will find it encouraging and consider partnering with us to help those struggling with addiction and mental health challenges find the help they so desperately need. Click here to read the LN Newsletter!
The Christmas holidays are such a special time of the year. The anticipation, excitement, traditions, spiritual aspects, and activities powerfully impact children of all ages and become wonderfully etched in our minds for the rest of our lives. Unfortunately, the Christmas season is also the most painful and lonely time of year for many. People are recovering from stressors ranging from the lack of enough money for gifts, fear of the credit card bills to come, disappointment from not getting the gifts they expected or hoped for, weariness from travels and rushing around, extra weight, or a cold from a month of poor health habits. to conflicts with a spouse or family member over where to “celebrate” or over other traditions and activities that needed altering to fit the hustle and bustle of the season.
Sadly, some have even worse stress like being estranged from someone we love – for trivial or serious reasons. Many are missing a loved one who will be absent from the celebration due to death, divorce, addiction, suicide, or incarceration. You see, addictions develop as coping mechanisms to “help” us deal with stress. So in this very stress-filled season, many fall prey to their addictions in order to cope. Whether alcohol, drugs, pornography, food, gambling, shopping, anger, guilt, self-pity, TV, sports, our kids, or details, we all have an addiction object that gets us through our more difficult times. But for some, this relapse is the start of a very destructive spiral, both to them and the individuals around them.
So many factors have the potential to bring us down. These struggles are amplified just after Christmas, when Christmas expectations go unmet and the foreboding empty days of winter lie ahead. Many people really suffer during this next 3-month stretch.
But you can be a Lighthouse. This is the time of year when you can make an impact (more powerful than you could ever imagine) by taking the time to encourage those who are struggling. In the Hebrews passage below, the word “encourage” comes from the Greek word “parakletos,” which means “called alongside to help.” Encouragement can be offering an uplifting word, but it can also be so much more than that, such as an opportunity to come alongside and help in a more powerful way.
Showing someone they have value and dignity, offering respect by taking action … doing something for them … has an amazing influence on others’ thoughts and feelings. Show that they matter to you and to God by putting aside your needs in favor of theirs. The idea of being created in God’s image and having value, so much so that God sacrificed His Son for them, needs to be brought tangibly to them. You are the vehicle God will use to get them this life-saving and life-transforming message.
Today, think of someone who needs you “alongside” them to help: your spouse, parent, child, neighbor, work colleague, or friend, or maybe someone you will meet today for the first time. When you stand alongside and offer help, you become a powerful vessel through which God channels courage, hope and happiness. You have the Holy Spirit within you, and you will bring Him directly to them. What better gift do you have to give than this? God will even bring people to you. Whether you are alert and step up to the plate to help someone, or you turn away and ignore their struggle is your decision, so choose well.
Lighthouse Network’s free national helpline, (844) 543-3242, can help find counseling or addiction treatment options for those caught in life’s storms. We are actually blessed to save lives on a daily basis! Please feel free to call us or give our number to those you know who need some treatment options.
Dear Father God, I thank You for sending Jesus to encourage me. I thank You for Your Holy Word that offers encouragement each time I open the Bible. I thank You for making it possible for me to encourage others. I pray, Lord, that You are helping me to become a courageous and faithful servant who encourages others. I pray in the name of the one You sent to encourage me, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children said – AMEN!
But encourage one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. Hebrews 3:13
The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. Acts 11:22-24