Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Shot


Hey Partners & Friends,

An excellent golfer once told me about his favorite shot in the game of golf. I was expecting him to say something like my favorite shot is the drive, or the chip shot or even the putt. Surprisingly it was not any of those, what he said was intriguing. He said his favorite shot in golf is the recovery shot! Think about that. Everyone finds themselves in a bad place occasionally. No one ever hits every shot perfectly, everyone duffs, shanks, or screws up a shot once in awhile, some of us do it quite frequently, and then there are those of us whose whole game is a disaster.

But what do we do when one or all these things happen? What choices do we have? We can quit, through our clubs in the lake, we can cuss and fuss, stomp and gripe. We can get mad get sad and continue to play bad OR we can go to our ball (if we can find it:) and do our very best to hit the next shot well. We can, to the best of our ability do the next right thing no matter how bad our past shots have been. The Recovery Shot!

It’s the same in the only game that matters-life. We may have had a really bad start. We may feel as though we have made a total mess of things and maybe we have. So what. No one does this perfectly, everyone has screwed up repeatedly, made mistakes, disobeyed God, hurt other people, sinned, all of us have. Just like in golf we don’t hit every shot well. And just like in golf we have a choice to make. What will we do next, quit? Oh poor me I just cant do it, throw our lives in the lake of hopelessness and give up. Or maybe we will get mad, throw caution to the wind cussing and fussing, compounding the problem with more bad behavior making it ten times worse on ourselves and others.

We do have another choice-“the recovery shot” if we get sick of doing it wrong we can change how we are approaching the game. Address the ball the right way. Address your life the right way. Recognize we have been doing it wrong and stop hacking at life. It’s called repentance. Seek help from people who have made some good recovery shots and are now playing well. Living one day at a time enjoying one moment at a time, playing the best they can till we get to the 19th hole. It is also essential to listen and follow the instructions of someone who knows how to do it well, in the game of life that would be Jesus Christ, He is the only one who has ever done it perfectly and He has made a way for us. Celebrate Recovery is a group of people who have learned that no situation is beyond help, with Jesus Christ there is always a way out of the trap. Life is kind of like golf, no one plays a perfect game. Everyone must learn how to hit a recovery shot.

Celebrating Recovery,
Jim & Pam

Friday, May 5, 2017

awkwardness....

In the next few weeks, I teach on the Celebrate Recovery Lessons addressing creating a personal inventory of ones issues on Tuesday nights at Believers Church.  Asking my hearers to reflect, document and then make eventual amends with one-self, God and others is awkward.  We generally have spent a life time denying, rationalizing, blaming self-God-others, and searching for ways to anesthetize our shame, guilt and conscience.  So I approach these coming weeks with an awareness, I make people feel awkward.   



Yeah, I know that sounds negative but I have come to cherish the role.  I love to challenge the notion that we have to needlessly, endlessly hide from ourselves, God and others, living life in the shadows of who we really are.   Over the last 30 years in my Wednesday  morning Bible study, I can recall multiple times I have shared my inner struggles with my non-CR brothers, only to see them stuff another donut in their mouths so they wouldn’t  have to share.  Vulnerability for guys is generally seen as weakness, and we all know we cannot have any of that.  The problem for me is the Holy Spirit keeps egging me on….maybe it’s the Spiritual Gift of fortitude (courage), or maybe I am just simply obnoxious….  Some people are fools for Christ, some of us…. maybe we’re just obnoxious for Christ.

I encourage you to consider finding freedom in fully submitting to Jesus Christ for His redemption, and journey to growing into the real you.  I believe we are all broken and will not be healthy, whole & complete until we are with Christ, so this journey will last the rest of your life.  I believe with all my heart that it is worth the work.  Jesus is the key, and while this world offers many counterfeits, pursue your Creator.

Having struggled to reconcile my hurts and issues over a lifetime with dead family members has been, and is, daunting.  Not impossible, but very difficult.  That’s a key driver to me to always urge my hearers to address their issues (hurts, habits & addictions…mental health issues….et cetera) with the living.  I have observed healings, great senses of relief and releases of unbearable burdens when people forgive, make amends, and clarify longstanding misunderstandings.  You have to want it badly enough to submit to the pain of the process, but it is the true added value to a life well lived I want you all to experience.

If you ever….ever, have questions about the decision points, the journey, the cost, and the peace with God for which you search, contact me……..


Blessings, Brother Rob 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Survival Kit

My head is still spinning and our hearts are full. What an amazing 50th Anniversary Celebration we enjoyed couldn't have dreamed of a better way to celebrate our anniversary than with friends and family over five decades of loving. We shared a small party favor at our party that I forgot to explain the significance of, so here goes, I think you will enjoy this.


 
Hey Partners & Friends,

Its summertime “and the living is easy, fish are jumping and the cotton is high.” Does that even come close to describing your life right now? I truly hope you are having an enjoyable summer. Sometimes we just need to take a break, relax, enjoy life, have some fun and a few laughs. God wants us to enjoy Him, and Jesus came so we could have and live the abundant life, life to the full! I don’t have to mention there is plenty of pain, heartache, trouble and tragedy in our world, just read the paper, or turn on the news. So I want to take this opportunity to say hey, we deal with all this garbage enough! There is plenty of tragedy to go around many times over. We deal with this stuff on a daily basis at Celebrate Recovery and have had our share in our own lives, so have most of you. Therefore I want to make a proposal DO SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU LAUGH, and laugh a lot! What do you do for fun? I think we should develop a survival kit – things we do for fun. If we don’t, life can get pretty heavy and we can find ourselves in a pit. I believe it is imperative that people, especially folks in recovery or dealing with people in recovery take time off to chill, relax and laugh.

I want to share some of the things that Pam and I have in our Survival Kit.




1.BIG RED WAX LIPS (one pair each)

Directions; Go to a public place, (we go to Branson) don your red lips and just do what you would normally do, stroll around, window shop, sit on a park bench, go to a restaurant, people watch. Try to do it as inconspicuously as possible. This is hilarious and at the end of the day you can chew your red lips, they are delicious. 

2. FART WHISTLE (at least one)

Directions; It is critically important that you remove your red lips so you will not be suspect! It is also critically important that you practice various fart whistle techniques, you certainly do not want to sound like a duck. I have found the short sputter or the long slow flopper works best, however this takes practice and the novice should start with just the spurrrrt. Again go to a public place, preferably somewhat confined, like a elevator, a crowded shop, a trolley, train or bus at Branson is ideal. Lots of old folks you can blame it on. Also you must conceal the fart whistle slyly in the palm of your hand and then nonchalantly rest your head on hand to operate. One of our best responses, on a crowded tram at Silver Dollar City a couple of seconds after the effective operation of the fart whistle (short sputter method) a gentleman the row in front of us turned and broke the awkward silence by saying “It happens.” This brings me to the next essential ingredient, two friends. Who with my wife were cracking up and totally blowing my cover! Sometimes we laugh so hard we actually do fart, without the whistle.         

3. TWO GOOFY FRIENDS (who have the guts to go with you). This is by far the main ingredient without which life can get really heavy and become a drag.  The joy of real friends is a treasure, people who know your stuff and still love you, you can be real sound effects and all! We are blessed with many. Laughter does good like a medicine. Pro 17:22

I hope this at least brought a smile to your face and encouraged you to go have some fun, enjoy life, laugh.

Thanks for being our friends in this ministry.

Jim & Pam