December 19, 2014
Lighthouse Network 2014 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 such as the lack of money for gifts, fear of credit card bills, disappointment over gifts they expected or hoped for, weariness from travels and rushing around, extra weight, a cold from a month of poor health habits, conflicts with family about where to “celebrate,” or traditions that needed to be altered.
Sadly, some have even worse stress like being estranged from others due to trivial or serious reasons. Many are missing a loved one who will be absent from the celebration because of military deployment, 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. We all have an addiction object like alcohol, drugs, pornography, food, gambling, shopping, anger, guilt, self-pity, TV, sports, our kids or details that get us through difficult times. But for some, this relapse is the start of a very destructive spiral, both to them and to the individuals around them.
So many factors have the potential to bring us down. These struggles are amplified just after Christmas, when expectations go unmet and the foreboding empty days of winter lie ahead. Many people really suffer during this next three-month stretch.
But you can be a Lighthouse. This is the time of year when you can make an impact—one more powerful than you’ve ever imagined. How? By taking the time to encourage those who are struggling. The word “encourage” in the passage below from Hebrews, comes from the Greek word “parakletos,” which means, “called alongside to help.” Encouragement can be offering an uplifting word, but it can also be 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, and 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 needs to be brought to them tangibly. You are the vehicle God will use to bring them this life-saving and life-transforming message: God sacrificed His Son for them!
Today, think of someone who needs you to come “alongside” them to help during this powerful, but for many, difficult time of year—your spouse, parent, child, neighbor, work colleague, friend or maybe someone you will meet today for the first time. When you stand alongside others 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 can you possibly give? God will even bring people to you. Whether you are alert and step up to the plate to help others, or you turn away and ignore their struggles, it’s your decision, so choose well.
Lighthouse Network’s free national Addiction and Counseling Helpline, 844-Life-Change, 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!
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. John 15:13
He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. Matthew 10:39
that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Philippians 2:15,16