Welcome friends to Consider Yourself Hugged episode 40. Today’s Hug: A Pastor’s Story: Addiction, Loving God, Loving People.(Click here to listen.)
I’m Dr. Tami West, here every week to bring you tips on living a life that brings you mental and emotional wellbeing.
There’s something Christians do that is not biblical but it is destructive. I’m not going to quote scripture but I think intuitively, Christian or not, you will know that it’s just not right. I see it. I hear it. And I'm embarrassed to say, I’ve done it. Here it is: We think or we say, How can so & so be a Christian when he or she _____, fill in the blank: Gossips, gets angry, parties, smokes, had an affair, had an abortion, has an addiction.
I have a chat today that will change your life. If you are not a Christian, if you have been judged by Christians, if you are a Christian who judges or who has been judged, this story is for you! It’s one of mistakes, consequences, overcoming, transparency, touching people’s lives, and love.
I have a very special guest today. I met Pastor Dan Smith in 2005 (I think) when Tim and I attended his brand new church in White House, TN. Tim had gone to a previous church with Dan and had known him for years. I, however, had never heard another preacher like him, so real, so transparent. As you will hear today, in the bio and in our chat, the church grew quickly and Pastor Dan began the biggest battle of his life. I’ve left in a few lengthy pauses. I wanted you to hear the sincerity in this man’s voice. He truly has a passion for God and for people.
Here’s the bio he shares:
Pastor Dan and his wife, Connie, moved to the middle Tennessee area in 1992. In 1998, he became a full-time pastor at Cornerstone Church in Madison, TN where he served dual roles as the Worship Pastor and Christian Education Pastor for eight years.
In January, 2006, he planted a church in White House,TN. Within three years, the church grew to a strong congregation of over 1,000. In April 2009, Pastor Dan was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, which led to a downward spiral of resigning his pastoral position and starting on a path of seeking recovery and restoration. He found hope and sobriety through his faith in Jesus Christ, realizing that His mercy is much bigger than sin.
As an in-patient at The Place of Hope in Columbia, Tennessee, he began rebuilding his life. After returning home, he continued recovery through a local 12 step program and through the unwavering support of his wife Connie and his two daughters, Mekenna and Moriah. He currently participates in weekly 12 step meetings and understands the importance of submission to a strong support system including accountability partners.
In April 2012, Pastor Dan and Connie, planted UNITED Church. Because of the very public struggles he has faced in his life, Pastor Dan is dedicated to, and has built UNITED on, the philosophy that there are no circumstances in life that can rob us of the hope that Christ offers. The DNA of UNITED is a message to everyone that God is a God of restoration and second chances!
I am proud to call him my pastor, Dan Smith. (Click here to listen.)
A few nuggets I took away:
· When did addiction start? When does a cucumber become a pickle?
· Alcoholism is a symptom of a real problem. The real problem is not the alcohol it’s the way you think.
· If you’d have told me it was a problem I would’ve said, No I just enjoyed the buzz.
· There’s a reason you try to escape.
· The entire time, I went to church because I wanted to be in church and be around God’s people!
· I knew God had called me to the ministry and I knew I loved God but I was still struggling
· It’s that battle that everybody has; everybody’s got something!
· God is it true that I can start all over again? Is it true there’s no such thing as too great a sin? Is it true you’ll take my life and put back the pieces of my broken heart?
· Nobody can pull themselves up from their own bootstraps.
· Everyone has a void. You may try to cover it. You may try to hide it. You may try to deny it. You may try to medicate it. Every person is born with a desire to have a relationship with their creator. Fulfillment in life happens through that relationship.
And that’s our time for today. I’m certain you learned something today about challenges, addiction, the love of God and second chances, and the importance of people! Please pass the show link along to a friend or two and subscribe, download, and review wherever you are listening. And please look around here at tamiwest.com to get info if you’d like me to speak at your next event. I’d love for you to follow me on Facebook, my primary social media home at facebook.com/tamiwestseminars.
I’m suspending the monthly giveaway for a bit as I decide what to do next. But still please leave a comment on the show notes. And thank you all for listening and growing our special community!
Finally, remembering our mental & emotional wellbeing goal, I hope that you will renew your thoughts daily, adopt empowering language that prevents verbal harm to yourself and others, and make positive mental and emotional choices on a daily basis.
And until next time, Consider Yourself Hugged 😘🤗