Monday, March 28, 2016

Memories

Memories,

There is nothing more power packed than our memories. Especially the ones we have of what God has done in our lives and in the lives of those we know and love. Nothing more solid, filled with strength, unshakable, than those things we have seen and heard. At the risk of sounding heretical it’s more powerful than quoting scripture, unless of course quoting a particular scripture brought about the manifest intervention of God and is forever burned into our memory. It is difficult to deny the reality of the things we have actually experienced. People can argue with the things you believe but not what you have experienced. Your testimony is what you have actually been through, you know it is true. The devil cannot steal it, circumstances cannot detract from it. Why? Because you were there you saw it happen, you heard it, you felt it, it was real and nothing or no one can take it away from you. That’s why the psalmist says, “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.”Psm 77:11 REMEMBER.     

Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go just remember how far you have come. Remember everything you have faced all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome! And remember God’s faithfulness in them ALL!

So the mystery is in the memories!

Take time to make a lasting memory of the things God has done. Write them down. Not only do others need to be reminded of God’s goodness, but at some point…..you’ll need the reminder, too.

Even the bad memories can be an encouragement, a blessing if we do not dwell there but we rejoice because we are no longer there. God was and is faithful to help us get past those events bringing us to a place of healing and wholeness in spite of our past, regardless of how horrible it may have been.

DT 4:9 NLT “But watch out! Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren. Leave a legacy.

 “Your story is the greatest legacy that you will leave to your friends. It's the longest-lasting legacy you will leave to your heirs.” Not just the story “about” Jesus but the story of Jesus “in” your life.

“Let us live not only to serve God ourselves; let us live to help our children and their children live for God.”

We are all getting older and life is short. Psm 71:18 says, “Yes, even when I am old and gray-headed, O God, forsake me not, [but keep me alive] until I have declared Your mighty strength to [this] generation, and Your might and power to all that are to come.”

Declare what God has done not just in words but in power that is visible, real, a life giving example, demonstrated to the next generation, and passed on to the next and the next until Jesus comes. Put skin on it.

As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:20 niv. This is what we do at Celebrate Recovery every other week. People stand and proclaim what God has done in their lives which brings the hope of healing and freedom in the lives of all that hear. Families are being restored, addicts set free, lives transformed. Generations are being influenced for Christ.

Thank you for continuing to remember us in your prayers and support. God is making lovely memories in the lives of many.

Celebrating Recovery,

Jim and Pam

Thursday, March 10, 2016

STATUS


The first thing I need to do is apologize for the delay of this newsletter. It was pretty crazy through the holidays and the first of the New Year. Pam had a tough bout with the shingles, very painful which caused us to have to delay, cancel and/or reschedule several holiday celebrations. My computer crashed. I am helpless with that kind of thing. In fact after a couple of weeks of  talking to IT guys and taking it to a repairman, who was unable to help, I was looking up the geek squad phone number as a last resort when the problem disappeared, I don’t know what happened. I had been bangin around on it looking for information as to how to fix it for weeks and now all of a sudden it just works. That’s a miracle, halleluiah. I am so excited I can’t type fast enough. Not your typical CR testimony but God blesses us in all our endeavors. Enough about us, here’s what is happening in this ministry that you support and pray for so faithfully.

We celebrated with a group of nine men that recently completed their 12 step group. Each of them shared a bit of their take away from the experience of pursuing God through this model. It was a holy moment when these men, young and old, shared openly how God has set them free from many destructive hurts, habits and hang-ups. Two of these guys are continuing on in a new 12 step group as the facilitators for the group. Praise the Lord! That’s how it is supposed to work. They are now leading a group of 12 men on this life changing journey. We will be having another step group graduation ceremony this week for a group of ladies that have walked through the process together. I can’t wait to hear their stories of healing and new hope. God is so good. Also there is a couple in our CR who have been so radically blessed that they are preparing to move to Utah in a couple years to start a Celebrate Recovery ministry reaching out to Mormons, to introduce them to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Is that incredible or what? So here is a quick bullet point status report to let you know your prayers and support are producing continuous fruit.

*attendance has been running 45-60 for the past several weeks.

*Four, 12 step groups are in-progress (2 men & 2 women).

* Two groups recently completed the formal part of the process and people from those groups are continuing to serve in the ministry.

*a seventy-eight year old lady recently shared her testimony of how God has healed her of years of horrific abuse suffered as a child. Her psychiatrist came to the service and publicly confirmed the dramatic healing that has occurred in this sweet lady. Her words were, “I finally feel vindicated.” and at seventy-eight years old she said, “It is never too late.”

*We are enjoying a full team of volunteers, bbq team, sound and media guys, men and women small group facilitators, step study group facilitators, encourager coaches, assimilation coaches and training coach and worship team (we could use a drummer and a bass guitar player, but worship has been wonderful). Please continue to pray for us and our volunteers, Jesus said “The fields are white unto harvest,,,” they truly are. We are not running out of hurting people.

*AND ON RECENT TUESDAY EVENING 5 PEOPLE MADE A COMMITMENT TO JESUS CHRIST*

Thank You!

Pam & Jim