Monday, June 27, 2016

Nine Months

Hey Partners & Friends,

Nine months, typically is the time it takes between conception and delivery of a human child. That’s how long it takes. I find this a bit ironic when it comes to Celebrate Recovery and the recovery process. And make no mistake recovery is a process, it’s a journey, somewhat like the birthing of a child, a new life. Many times I have been asked by newcomers who visit CR. “How long does it take to go through the 12 Steps, twelve weeks?” It’s a logical question, assuming it takes a step a week to complete all twelve. Boy are they surprised when I answer.   

Sometime back I was talking to a professional addiction counselor. He had vast experience working with people who struggle with all sorts of addictions, drugs, alcohol, porn, gambling, you name it. He had worked at teen-challenge, in-house rehabs, half-way houses, short-term care facilities, outpatient care etc. We were discussing the general success or failure rate statistics associated with the various types of treatments and programs. He told me that it has been statistically verified that short-term treatment produces very little long-term recovery. However if a person engages in the recovery process for at least nine months to a year the success rate is dramatically improved.  

Experts say it takes generally nine months to a year to break free from destructive habit patterns and addictions. It is not instant.

This was very exciting to me because the CR 12 step process typically takes 9-12 months to complete. They are extremely successful for those who complete the whole process. We didn’t plan it that way, that’s just the way it is working out. Coincidence? I don’t think so, even with God good things need time to grow, mature and become a reality in your life. Complete recovery takes time to develop like a newly conceived child.

Nine months for a child to be born, nine months to a renewed life. New life is conceived in an instant but it is lived one day at a time,,,for the rest of eternity.

2Cor 5:17 NIRV When anyone lives in Christ, the new creation has come. The old is gone! The new is here!

Thanks for doing this new life with us.

Jim & Pam

Monday, June 6, 2016

Exciting Danger

Hey Friends,

My cousins and I were on a scary adventure, tempting fate really. I was the youngest and smallest one in the group.  We were hunting wasps. The chicken houses were empty so this was the ideal time to attack these evil demons without causing chaos and panic among the chickens. Not to make a play on words but we were certainly not chicken to do this, we were brave crusaders purging the world of danger. Sometimes in our quest we would wrap ourselves in blankets and carry a small board for a weapon, stir up the wasps and then the battle was on. It was great fun until a wasp would eventually find its way inside the blanket, eeyowww! At that point the fight was over.

This particular time the nest was just too big and the wasps too mean for that type of approach. So we stood back throwing rocks at the nest. They were getting really agitated, lining up on the edge of the roof of the chicken house looking for this invading enemy. Well the nest was a tiny bit out of reach for my throwing ability, the big guys were nailing it. So I decided to get just a little closer. At about the exact time I let fly with my projectile, something hit my shoulder. My rock hadn’t even reached the nest yet, but something got to me. This is when I learned the profound life lesson, “A wasp can fly faster than I can throw a rock.” Take my word for it, learning this from me is much better than learning from experience. That wasp hit my bare shoulder in the blink of an eye, I couldn’t believe it, I had barely let loose of the rock before, bam, bam, bam, the wasp had me. His business end bouncing up and down on my arm like a pogo stick. Did you know a wasp can sting repeatedly as opposed to a honeybee which can only sting once? Another lesson learned. I ran around that chicken house like I’d been shot out of a cannon, screaming bloody murder, finally able to knock the demon off my arm. Tears running down my face wishing I could amputate my arm. I paid the price of stirring up danger that day.

 To many times this is the way we deal with temptation. Treading just far enough away where we think we are safe but just close enough to reach it. Sometimes we become so arrogant that we play with temptation, tease it, and agitate it, daring it to come after us. It will, just like a swarm of angry wasps. The bible says “run away from temptations” for a very good reason. At CR we learn to do just that, avoid temptation, ignore it, and stay far away from the edge of danger.

 1Cor 10:13 The only temptations that you have are the same temptations that all people have. But you can trust God. He will not let you be tempted more than you can bear. But when you are tempted, God will also give you a way to escape that temptation. Then you will be able to endure it.”

The real life lesson here is ignore temptations, leave them alone, don’t stir them up, just walk away.

I think many times the primary escape route God provides is to just not get too close in the first place. He gives us the ability to choose to stay far away, not to fight with it. Because if we venture too near, temptation will attack us before we have a chance to run away. Here is the point, I have never been stung if I kept my distance from the wasps, if I simply ignored them and left them alone.
God always makes a way.

 Thank You

Jim & Pam