Persons in 12 step recovery have a dilemma. On the one hand, their literature recommends spirituality as a path to recovery. "If that be the case you may be suffering from an illness which only a spiritual experience will conquer. Well, that is exactly what this book is about. Its main object is to enable you to find a power greater than yourself which will solve your problem." Alcoholic Anonymous (Big Book), third edition, pages 44–45. On the other hand, many persons in 12 step recovery are down on religion and the traditional church. This book is an attempt to provide original Christian spirituality, straight from Jesus and the Bible, without all the trappings of religion. It has chapters of Bill W. and spirituality, Jesus, Bible, history of the church (yes, even revealing the warts), spiritual quotes which are life-giving gems, biblical truth, and spirituality, the futility of a "law" oriented religion, good books to read, suggestions on how to become a Christian, and how to find a healthy church. Jesus is presented, who offered people joy, peace, freedom, hope, forgiveness, grace, and a new life. St. Paul invites people to become a "new creation" in Jesus. All of these create a new reality, which is much healthier than the old reality of addiction. John 15:11 quotes Jesus as saying, "These things I have spoken to you that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full."
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About the Author
Rev. Paul Brunsberg grew up in Clearbrook, Minnesota. He graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota and from Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. Rev. Brunsberg also studied at New College, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland. He also did eight quarters of Clinical Pastoral Education at the University of Virginia Hospital, Charlottesville, Virginia. He served as parish pastor in Echo, Minnesota, Fosston, Minnesota, and Lake Park, Minnesota. For ten years he was a Chaplain Counselor at the Lutheran Social Service Counseling Office in Moorhead, Minnesota. He created and was Director of the Lost and Found Ministry in Moorhead, Minnesota. This program offered free Chemical Dependency Interventions (Johnson Institute Model) for families and loved ones. It also provided an addiction library for the community, composed of the latest books, videos, audio tapes, etc. of addiction (alcohol, drugs, sex, and gambling), codependency, marriage, parenting, abuse, divorce, etc. His final ministry was that he started a church for12 step persons. To help 12 step people feel comfortable in a worship setting, he took the religious language out of worship and he used the 12 step meeting format for the worship format. This ministry, Recovery Worship, is a functioning congregation in Fargo, North Dakota. In retirement Rev. Brunsberg created "Recovery Worship America," a ministry which tries to establish Recovery Worship ministries throughout the United State. He also writes books.