Hey Partners & Friends,

He stood on the hillside sabre in hand, the opposing army of four hundred advancing toward them for the sixth time. His company of a thousand had been reduced over the last six months to three hundred. Today after the first five attacks it was down to eighty remaining fighting men with virtually no ammunition. If the enemy broke through here, the war would most likely be lost. The thirty-four-year-old school teacher from Maine, Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain was faced with a critical decision. What would he do? His old seasoned soldier, Sergeant Tozier, a bullet hole in his shoulder plugged with a piece of torn shirt, said “Sir we won’t hold them again, you know we won’t.”

His brother Tom cried out “Joshua, here they come, here they come. Give an order.” In the face of what appeared to be certain defeat Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain made a radical decision, he could not retreat, he could not stay here. He decided to charge! Over the makeshift rock wall he and his eighty remaining soldiers rumbled. The rest is history, the opposition surrendered to eighty ragtag soldiers with no ammunition. Historians believe had Chamberlain not charged that day the South would have won the war. Had that happened it is believed that this nation could have been fragmented in up to thirteen countries. The United States of America would not have existed to fight and win, two wars on two fronts at the same time. That one decision, that one action to charge down a hill against overwhelming odds in 1863 has changed the world.

People who look whipped, feel weak, no strength left, on the verge of total defeat have a decision to make and an action to take that is even more critical than the one Chamberlain made. It is a decision and an action that will forever change their lives and will carry them and others into eternity.

Celebrate Recovery Step 3. We made a decision to turn our lives and our wills over to the care of God.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” Rom 12:1

That is a life changing decision and a radical action to take, pretty extreme, a living sacrifice. It’s not simply a notion, it’s a commitment that involves decisive action. Isn’t that what Chamberlain did and it changed the history of the world? Isn’t that what Jesus did? The decision and the action of Jesus Christ has not only changed the world but it has changed mankind throughout all of eternity. I cannot imagine what kind of world we would be living in were it not for Jesus. I cannot imagine where I would be, or where my family would be were it not for His decision and His ultimate sacrifice on behalf of all humanity.

Celebrate Recovery helps people realize they can’t run or hide from their hurts, habits, and hang-ups. Nor do they need to surrender to their destructive behaviors. There is a way to win, to overcome and experience victory even against overwhelming odds, when it seems impossible. That victory comes when we follow the Captain of our salvation Jesus Christ over the wall of fear and weakness into the battle with Him. Somewhat like those eighty battle weary soldiers followed Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain into history. We can follow Jesus Christ throughout all of our lives into eternity, free from the slavery of sin and addiction. The fight is then over, the enemy surrenders, a defeated foe.

Celebrating Recovery,

Jim & Pam


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