I thought this last Sunday the speakers were going to be a couple that recently returned home from their mission. So I selected two great missionary hymns. But then it turned out that the speakers were the couple that lead the Family Support Group that I used to facilitate. Darn it!
But it worked out perfectly because Brother and Sister Lunkley are officially serving a part-time service mission by leading this group. They've got the missionary badges/name tags and everything. So they talked about that a bit in addition to talking about the program and the 12 Steps. (It was such a privilege, honor, and joy to be able to serve with them in that group for about two years. I really enjoyed their talks!)
Plus, what is the purpose of missionary work? To invite others to come unto Christ. And what is the purpose of the Family Support Group? To help those that are dealing with the addiction of a loved one to come unto Christ for hope and healing.
Below are the two songs we sang, along with some of the lyrics that struck me as most applicable, and my own brief commentary.
Go Forth With Faith
Go forth with hope and courage strong
To spread the word abroad
That people of all nations
Are children of our God. (Because we are His children, He loves us infinitely.)
Go forth with love to tell the world
The joy of families--
That we may be with those we love
Thru all eternity. (The doctrine of eternal families can give us so much hope. But if your family member is not keeping their covenants, it can also be a point of anxiety. "Will my family member really be with me in the Celestial Kingdom?" Even so, we can't drag them to Heaven with us. They get to make their own choices. We just have to have faith that all will work out the way it should.)
That all may gain eternal life
Thru Jesus Christ, the Lord. (Your addicted loved one can gain eternal life through Christ's Atonement. You can gain eternal life through Christ's Atonement.)
Go forth to preach his glorious truths
Of peace, of joy, and love, (No matter what our trials are in life, we can have peace and joy.)
Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd
Dear to the heart of the Shepherd,
Dear are the sheep of his fold;Dear to the heart of the Shepherd,
Dear are his "other" lost sheep; (We are all dear to him, no matter our shortcomings or life circumstances.)
Out in the desert they wander,
Hungry and helpless and cold;
Off to the rescue he hastens,
Bringing them back to the fold. (There was a time in my life when I felt like I was wandering all alone in a barren desert. Life seemed very bleak. But once I started studying and applying the 12 Steps and turned my life over to my Shepherd and Savior, He rescued me.)
See, the Good Shepherd is seeking,
Seeking the lambs that are lost,
Bringing them in with rejoicing, (The "lambs that are lost" could be referencing our loved ones that wander in the desolation of addiction. We can't bring them back to the fold, no matter how much we cry/nag/yell/plead. Only the Shepherd can do that.)
Dear are the "ninety and nine"; (The "ninety and nine" could be referencing us. We generally consider ourselves firmly in the fold. But we still need the Shepherd.)
Dear are the sheep that have wandered
Out in the desert to pine.
Hark! he is earnestly calling, (He earnestly calls to us all because he loves us all and wants us all to have joy. But until we step towards Him and seek His help, calling and reaching out his hand is all He can do. He cannot and will not force us or our loved ones to make different choices.)