Over the last year I have written often about the necessity for us all to break free from the sinful habits that imprison us. Last week I wrote of the importance of visiting those actually in prison. Today I want to focus on a type of prison that has affected many individuals and families. This prison is alcoholism.With the holidays just around the corner there can be strong temptations for those who struggle with this disease of alcoholism.
Once alcoholism has affected a family, one of the more difficult things to find is healing and forgiveness. For some, the inability to forgive can become a prison. Sometimes those who are closest to us, especially family members can hurt us in the deepest of ways. And those hurts are often times the ones that are most difficult to forgive.
One of my dearest friends and someone I was in Friendship Group Reunion with for nearly 10 years is Joe Galloway.I am honored to introduce you to Joe who is a newly published author. His message is timely since his book is centered on a Thanksgiving celebration. In Joe’s story, alcoholism is used as the sorce of the family’s pain but the true message of the story is one of forgiveness. I want anyone who has ever been hurt and is struggling with forgiveness to read this story. Please take the time to download a copy of Joe’s new book and pass it on to those you know who are struggling to forgive someone and might benefit from its message. Now let’s hear from Joe.
You know from reading Brian’s 4th Day Letter that he is called to this ministry. He advocates that we are all called by Christ to step out in faith for the good of His kingdom.
In that same way, I had to write the story, Baked Oysters: a Thanksgiving Encounter. The story line came to me while taking classes in Pastoral Studies at Loyola University in New Orleans. A ‘ping’ of the Holy Spirit. He prodded me over the years to finish and wouldn’t let me off the hook-thanks be to God.
Baked Oysters is an inspirational work of fiction about finding peace and healing in overcoming the pain brought on by alcoholism. How many people are affected by this terrible affliction? The AA website claims over 2 million members! You may know someone who suffers from the disease or who has a family member who does. And this is just alcoholism. What about other addictions and dysfunctional behaviors that cause mental anguish if maybe even physical harm?
The story is set in New Orleans and told over the course of two emotionally packed days. The Davis family comes together for Thanksgiving, their first gathering since their father Pa-sir passed away almost two years before. Their mother Gert’s alcoholi sm makes them want to stay away. Her half-hearted efforts to recover only exacerbate her relationships with her children. And while Pa-sir enabled her, he was also the buffer and peace-maker. With him gone, who will soothe the hurts and offer fatherly advice?
Come share the holiday with the Davis family. Twenty-two in-laws and kids mean pandemonium. But in the midst of the chaos, each adult child experiences a strange and surprising encounter that will – well that’s in the book. Ultimately, they’ll learn the truth that they are loved. And in that love, they are to love in return and to forgive. And in forgiving they’ll find peace.
My own Cursillo weekend experience taught me that lesson-especially at the tabernacle visit. I am called to bring this story to people in hopes that if you are struggling with deep-seated hurts-a gnawing that just won’t go away, you need to find a way to forgive. Jesus tells us this in the parable of the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18: 21-35.
Please visit www.baked-oysters.com for more information on the book, including where to buy it. There are discussion questions for consideration at the end of the book, as well as a recipe for baked oysters. And on the web site you will find articles on forgiveness and stories of healing. Please send me your story to share so that others may benefit.
DeColores and God Bless you as you live your 4th Day. Your brother in Christ,
Dear Lord many people suffer from addictions which not only hurt the person addicted but it can hurt their families and friends.You taught us to pray these words, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Dear Lord, help me to be able to do that. Also Lord please give those who have been hurt by alcoholism or hurt for any other reason the ability to forgive. Shine your light on all in need. Amen.