Hey Partners & Friends,
I remember my high school graduation. It should have been a celebration of successful effort, progress and significant accomplishment. But in my case and unfortunately many others it was just an event that marked the end of my formal education, and the surprise that somehow I had managed to get a diploma. It was more of a “give me” than an accomplishment. It wasn’t that I had a hard time learning I just didn’t care enough to work at it, to really learn. For example I missed 89 days my senior year, not because I was sick I just didn’t want to go. It’s hard to keep up when you’re not there. Especially in Algebra II, man was that a tuff subject. If it hadn’t been for my friend Diana, who sat across the aisle and conveniently placed her papers in my line of sight I would not have made it through that class for sure. My study regimen was simple, cram an hour before the exam and forget it. Needless to say I didn’t learn much. I’m not proud of myself; in fact it makes me kind of sad to realize I wasted a wonderful opportunity.
Well I went to another graduation ceremony the other night, of a different sort. It was a true celebration. A time of rejoicing and acknowledgment of an incredibly significant accomplishment. Eight men and I had ventured together through the 12 Steps of Celebrate Recovery. It took a commitment, to God, to ourselves and to each other. It also required effort to face the past honestly and openly. And it was work to plow through our hurts habits and hang-ups in order to find healing, freedom, and hope for a new and better future. We didn’t take this journey alone, we did it together. And with the help of the Holy Spirit were able to put major stumbling blocks from our crippled lives behind us.
These guys determined to spend one night every week for a year to come together in the name of Jesus Christ for the express purpose of experiencing positive change in their lives. Jesus said if as many as two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there with them. It’s true! He was there every week bringing insight, understanding and wisdom out of the most painful, hurtful, even ugly places in our lives. The awesome part is as we shared our lives with each other Jesus also brought strength, forgiveness, healing and a hunger for more.
This celebration was not something we just endured, got through and we’re done, not at all. It’s a celebration of healing and freedom that is a launching pad for new life in Christ. I’ve discovered there are no limits to the new life Christ has purchased for us. In fact I believe new life in Christ is never ending. It’s intended to be a continual progression toward our place and purpose in God’s grand scheme of things and primarily intimate relationship with Him.
I’ve participated in several of these CR 12 Step groups. I am humbled, blessed and amazed each time. We truly can Celebrate Recovery and graduate into new life!
I hope these letters cause you to celebrate what God is doing through you in this ministry.
Thank you for your prayers and support.
Jim & Pam
P.S. Remember take someone to see HOME RUN the movie opening weekend Apr.19-21st!