Thursday, March 27, 2014

ACTION


 

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

Monday, March 17, 2014

Mankinds Biggest Ability


Hey Partners and Friends,

 

I am so glad God created us with the ability to choose, aren’t you? Ever thought about how many choices you have everyday. Someone said, “We all make choices, but in the end our choices make us.”

 

This month I want to share another snippet of a CR principle. All the principles are critical for recovery but this one is HUGE. It is the crux of all the rest of them. The first two principles are the basis from which we get to the third, being the central theme of all the steps. 

  1. Realize I’m not God; I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life is unmanageable.
  2. Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him and that He has the power to help me recover.

And now;
3. C
onsciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control.

 

Read that principle again and let it soak for a minute. I mean think about it, if we miss this we are missing it all.

At times all of us get into a bit of a funk and just go about our daily lives doing what we have always done, the same old routine not really thinking about it. I believe God wants us to be conscious of the fact that we do not have to get stuck in routine, habitual cycles of behavior or thinking we can make choices. A very long time ago God said, “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! DT. 30:19NLT

I believe God meant it when he said it then, and I believe he means it today. It’s like every day I can choose good or bad, life or death, blessings or curses.  I used to think it was a command, but as I look closer I realize it is the plea of God’s heart. The bedrock of the Celebrate Recovery ministry is this principle, this choice. God has given us an indescribable ability, and that is the ability to choose. What we do, how we act, what we think and how we feel. People in recovery many times have lost site of this truth. They believe the lie that they have no choices they’re just stuck, addicted, trapped with no options. Jesus said, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Jn 8:32

So we do have choices and the choice above all choices is- what are we going to do with Jesus, all other choices in life pail in comparison to this one choice. We must, “Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control.” Today we can make that choice and everyday for the rest of our lives and just see what happens. Everyday when you wake up choose life, choose blessings, choose good. Choose to commit the day and your will to Christ’s care and control. Thank you that one of your choices has been to partner with us in this ministry.

God has made His choice, it’s you!

 Jim & Pam

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