Perspective and God's Love

Dear friends,
For many years, I knew that I had a weakness. I knew that I needed help. But, I felt that I would be even weaker if I reached out and asked for help. So, I lived my life in misery, sure that I was condemned; sure that I had made so many mistakes that God had given up on me.
Through a series of events that were painful, agonizing, and shameful, I let go of my ego. After years of throwing my money away to casinos in hopes that I might live a care-free, exotic, rich man's life, I looked at myself and decided that my approach to life was going to eventually kill me. I began talking to God. I asked him to come into my life, not knowing what that would really mean.
God is in my heart. In fact, He always has been. I guess the difference is that I have chosen to start listening to Him. I still have a lot to learn. Even in this transitional time, I have made mistakes and gone to the casinos. The difference now is that I do not feel like a condemned man. The difference now is that I see hope, not death. God is helping me to become a stronger man. God has shown me that strength begins with asking for help. Strength then continues to grow as I focus on His purpose for me and make choices to look for positive outcomes like peace, love and joy. I now know that a trip to the casino never brings peace, love and joy. Peace, love and joy are the only three things that I want in life.
My growth as a man of God would not be possible without some great resources. First, my family has prayed for me and ask God to comfort me in my dark times. Second, my quiet time in prayer with God helps to center me. His nudges and inspirations have changed how I view where I am today. Finally, reading messages that help me focus on God's guidance and plan have helped tremendously. There is a wonderful daily devotional that is free to all available online. It is The Daily Word (www.dailyword.com). There are countless days when I believe that the message has been written just for me. Today was one of those, and I would like to share today's message with all of you.

Choice
Following inner guidance, I make positive choices.
Every day I have decisions to make. With each choice, I experience both loss and opportunity. Each choice reveals expected and unexpected outcomes.

I treasure the gift of free will, and I make choices for the highest good of all concerned. As I prepare to make a decision, I go within for guidance. I get in touch with the still small voice within and let the flurry of my thoughts rest in a moment of silence. I find that the best choices have a sense of "rightness" to them.

It is comforting to know that the guidance of Spirit is within me. From a place of inner knowing, I make the right choice.

You will decide on a matter, and it will be established for you, and light will shine on your ways. --Job 22:28

Support Groups and the friends that I have made from connecting on this site have helped to transform me and bring me strength. If you are new to this site, please know a few things. First, we all understand the power of your addiction. We all have been ashamed and scared. We will not judge because we only want to help you heal as we heal. Second, write what is in your heart. This is a safe place. Third, read and reflect. Finally, if you want a closer connection, reach out to someone in a private message. I connect with a few people now. Their regular messages of support and reflection and struggle inspire me to stay focused on all of the work that is ahead to defeat this evil that I once embraced. In this community, individuals can feel supported and stonger than ever.
For me, leaning into God through this whole experience has been miraculous. His love and wisdom are more powerful than anything. May God bless each of you. May you feel His love and be saved by His grace.

Awesome post! Thanks so much for the inspiration to continue on the right path toward freedom from this addiction. God Bless You!

Agreed amazing post :) Having god in our lives make it all worth while. He loves us no matter what the one who loves unconditionally how lucky are we to have that.I know that no matter where i am in life he is there to comfort me to ease any pain i may have. God Bless and again amazing post :)

Thank you for posting this. I felt a sense of balance and calm from reading your post.

I have a really bad problem with gambling and it seems like it took over my life for many years. I keep telling myself that I would quit but never follow through. I'm an addict! As much as it hurts to say that but it's true. I need help and been seeking help for it. Today a took a Hugh step to stop. I filled out a form to restrict from going in my favorite gambling place The Oaks Club in Oakland and this should nip the problem in the butt because I can never go in there again. I'm proud of myself for doing it because I want to really stop .

Awesome, Jv. There are a lot of us here who want the same thing as you. We will keep counting the days away from the casino with you.

Jv you should be proud you are taking the steps to change all you can do is take it one day at a time. Know that you have support here. Gambling is just something that the devil uses against us it is that quick fix that us addicts look for. The possibility that we may hit that big one but deep down inside we all know we won't we can't stop we always want more and are never satisfied. It's not worth everything that we work so hard for. I know for myself i walked away with nothing more that i did with money in my pocket. You are starting at day 1 and it is the most important day. God Bless and be strong :)

JV we are in this together, I have trouble too and seem that I am always starting over again. I wonder if I should ban myself again too. I took myself off of that as it wasn't working and i was still going. They did nothing to stop me. Now starting this month though they are installing computer facial recognition to keep people out that have excluded themselves. Its 90% accurate. It takes your picture as you enter then alearts security. I guess I need to get serious. Anyways you did the right thing. Good for you. You have my support too. I hope for us all we can fight this addiction once and for all.
Sara

Thank you guys so much for your feed back. Its nice to know I have support out there! I am taking it one day at a time and today was a big step for me to do what I did. Thanks everyone for making me feel welcome in this support group!

Jv, Sounds like you are doing the right things to help yourself! Now you need to find something else to occupy your time and that will be the hardest part for you. Just know that we are here rooting for you and will be here with support through your journey. We are in this together. Stay strong and God Bless you!

Hello everyone,

I joined today because I need help! I am a gambler who has allowed my addiction to affect everything in my life. I am always trying to make more money to cover my debts but instead I end up creating more debt or making the debt that I have even worser. I say when I go to the casino I am only going to spend a certain amount but then when I loose I go into my rent money, utility bill money and even monies that I know belong to other debts and after all of that I come out feeling convicted, overwhelmed and in much grief for what I have done. I have asked God to forgive me on so many occasions that I feel like my prayers are becoming Amiss and He does not here them anymore. I need help! I want to be delivered from this addictions that so easily besets me! I want my life to be a complete example for Christ and I want that joy, peace and happiness that I know that only He can give. i am a believer that needs deliverence and I want to be delivered! Friends and family have turned their backs on me because I have borrowed so much from them and have paid them back but they are simply tired of me asking. Take my word for it robbing peter to pay paul does not work because being a gambler they both start running away from you. Please Help Me I Want To Be Delivered!!

Fran11Jones,
Thank you for sharing so much about your struggles. You are brave to tell us this; and, it is your first step in healing. I do not know many things, but I do know one thing: God wants to be with you. God wants you to come close to Him. God has already forgiven you. God loves you and is ready to help. I just read Psalm 16 this morning. I think that would be inspirational to you. Then, read Romans 8...also very inspiring.
Know that we are here for you. Know that we have all struggled. I have spent money I don't have. I have borrowed from those I love. They stopped offering money but never stopped loving. I know that they still love you. They are just scared and confused. If you open up and ask for help, they will surround you and help you.
May God bless you. I am saying a prayer for you right now.

Fran11 stay strong cause you are not alone, I really beleave in these times that all gods children are under attack the devil is hunting out our weaknesses and using them against us. Unfortunatley ours is gambling and it is a hard habit to break they say it takes 21 days to create a bad habit and 21 days to end one. I am on my 3rd week of no gambling and i would go a least twice a week if not more. You can fight this addiction. You need to find someone you can trust and have them take over your finances. I know for myself i cant have large amounts of cash cause i will blow it. God forgives no matter what his love is unconditional. I know for me reading other peoples post really helps me put my own life in perspective. It helps me know that i am not alone and there are many out there with the same problem. Posting was one of the best things you can do. Make your self accountable check in everyday i know for me being able to see Day 1 go to Day 21 is an amazing feeling i was able to be proud of something i was doing. Take care and God Bless
Beckers:)

fran11jones, You have done the right thing by coming to this website. The support here is tremendous! Myself and other support friends have come closer to God and our belief in his love has given us a new sense of a life without gambling. Please try to go to your church and confess to your pastor. There may be another group through your church that you maybe do not know about that can help you. I come to this site daily to read others posts and it helps me a great deal. Deep down you know you have the strength and with our help we can do this! I am here for you and may God bless you through this journey.