Saturday, July 10, 2021

Changing of the Guard

 I sat behind my computer, staring at the cursor blink for several minutes, hoping that the words would somehow land in my brain, extend themselves through my fingers. I hoped they would plaster themselves on the screen as I yield to what God wanted me to say as the new caretaker and editor of CRTulsa.com. But, since you're reading this now, we can safely assume that the words found their way out.  

Before we go any further, please allow me to introduce myself in true CR fashion. Hello, my name is Shane Tsosaikich. I celebrate recovery from:

  • Mild Cases of PTSD and Paranoia
  • Pornography dependency
  • Codependency 
  • Violent Rage
  • Haughty Criticism & Dismissiveness
  • Petty Passive-Aggressiveness
  • Manipulative Control Habits
  • Breaking Boundaries
  • The shame of Being Embarrassed

I am currently struggling with:

  • Deep Seeded Bitterness/ Resentment
  • Self Gratification
  • Stewarding Loneliness
  • Healing from Severe Hurts as a Child
  • Ruminating Thoughts Centered on Aggressive Self Protection and Punishing Perceived Offenders 
  • Aggressive overreaction to being accused

Thank you for letting me share.  At the time of this post, I have been in recovery for a little over eight years.  It did not always take the form of going to a Celebrate Recovery meeting.  In more recent years, I felt as though I was getting away from my recovery process.  I didn't like that.  I gave Celebrate Recovery another go.  This time I decided to try CR at a new church the Lord had led me to some weeks before.  I am not one to change churches, but I knew it was time for a change.  It was time to grow and a large part of that was through volenteering.  I gave back to my CR group in the media department, and my recovery went to a whole new level.


A few months ago, I was approached by CR's leader, Bryan Derricott, about stepping into the role of caretaker and editor for the Believer's Church Celebrate Recovery Blog. I was shocked, but not because of the responsibility of taking over an essential tool in helping people find the recovery they need. No. I was shocked because I had recently discovered my calling in life as a writer and creative. As a result, I actively looked for opportunities to write and create. So when Bryan offered me the responsibility, I was humbled that God would choose me to be a part of a healthy and growing community of brothers and sisters in Christ.

As it always has been, the purpose of this blog is to create a resource of testimonies of how God is working in people's lives. We strive to present practical lessons from various leaders in the body of Christ whose vision is to help aid in the recovery process. With that said, what follows are only a couple of testimony excerts from our community:


Kacey Cummins

Can't nobody tell me God isn't good! It's only because of Him I have been out of prison for only five months. He has already blessed me. His blessings showered my life when I most definitely don't deserve it, but His love for us is that strong! I have been clean for 16 months, have a good job, and my driver's license back. I own a car, have an apartment, and good people around me that encourage me. I am strong, confident, and able. It's only because of His grace and mercy. 

I've lost my children due to my selfish desires to chase drugs, and I just knew I was only on this earth to be an example to people of "what not to be." But the Lord said something different. I am a child of God most high, fearfully and wonderfully and made. God has a plan and purpose for my life. And He has only just begun. I never thought I would see my children again. When that pain became so great, I realized what I had done and what I put my kids through. I was now at the point where I couldn't do anything about it. I was stuck in an 8x10 cell alone, cold. I couldn't eat or sleep. I was so sick, and the only thing I could do was bow down and cry out to the Lord who saves, restores, and heals. Only He could heal me and the brokenness I had inside. 

He's restoring it all. He's done it for me, and He will do it for you. Do what you can in the natural, and He will do what only He can in the supernatural. Miracles are just where my God begins. He is for you, and He will never leave you. Just spend a little time with Him and watch what He does. Through the fellowship of CR and the support and healing that comes to us from Christ, nothing is impossible. Thank you, CR!


Jennifer Day

Before I came to Celebrate Recovery, I was in an awful place mentally, emotionally, and physically. I struggled every day to make it through the day, and many days, I just wanted to give up. I moved out here to this area in October of 2020 and began attending CR in February of 2021. I didn't know what to expect when I came because I had never been to a CR meeting or knew someone that had been. But, it was on the weekly church announcements, and I thought it would be worth a shot to try it out. 

When I came in, everyone was so friendly and smiling, and it was genuine, not like other places you go where you can tell people are fake. Here at CR, the people are real; they genuinely care and support, are transparent in what they have gone through or what they are going through, and there is no judgment. As I continued attending CR, I began to address things that I have never been able to admit to other people, and honestly, something that I had not admitted to myself. When I came in, I was dealing with suicidal thoughts. I was cutting, depressed, fighting as hard as I could not drink, isolated myself. I stayed away from men and was fearful to even talk to any man, guarding myself out of fear. 

As the weeks went on, I began to be able to open up and share, releasing things that I had been holding on to for years, even decades. I began to develop healthy relationships and even began to have everyday conversations with anyone. And this process has helped me not drink, I have stopped cutting, the suicidal thoughts are gone, the depression still comes and goes, but now I have people to rely on. CR has had a significant impact on my life and, more importantly, helped me to be able to maintain this change. 

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This is only the beginning. Even now, plans are in the works to make this website more equipped to help people find a CR group that works best for them in Tulsa and its surrounding areas. That is my priority. The blog isn't going away. We are plan to bring back our catalog of previous posts, along with new content from a wide variety of experts and leaders, to help in our recovery. Thank you all for your support! We'll see you soon, and is it Tuesday yet?

Monday, June 14, 2021

Testimony: Lay It All at Jesus' Feet

 

Testimony: Lay It All at Jesus’ Feet

By Celebrate Recovery

By Jill

I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ, who celebrates recovery over the loss of faith and struggles with codependency, love and relationship addiction, and sexual brokenness. My name is Jill.

I can’t think of a better way to describe my parents other than being a mule and racehorse. My dad was hot-tempered but steady, and my mother was beautiful while always on the run. I truly believe with all my heart that my parents love me and did the best they could with what had been modeled to them, which was a lot of their own childhood dysfunction.

I have two siblings, an older brother and a baby sister, who truly are and always have been my best friends. It is safe to say that we were inconveniences to my parents’ drama, often forgotten, and never afforded the emotional or physical space just to be kids. We were not the siblings who fought or argued with one another as we learned very young to be quiet, be still, and stay unseen. We stuck together to protect one another and keep the peace.

For the first half of my childhood, my parents were either wrestling to stay together or fighting to remain apart, and I was shuffled from place to place with different people who were not always safe. My earliest memory is of sexual abuse, which led me to believe that physical touch was love, and I was married for the first time at fifteen. Thirteen years and two beautiful daughters later, that marriage ended in divorce, and just moments after my divorce was final, I was dating again. I had already been “breadcrumbing” a man along, and it didn’t take long for him to accommodate my sexual needs and give me validation while doing so. I felt loved again. That marriage didn’t last either, and I repeated the cycle of going from one relationship to another into my 40s– hurting many people along the way, especially my daughters, who felt very unseen during my dysfunction.

I was still very active in my cycle when I first showed up at Celebrate Recovery. I had just left my then-husband and already had another man in my life who attended CR. He kept inviting me, and I would decline because I believed the lie that God didn’t love me or He would have protected me as a child. Over time though, I complied to satisfy my own desire to be with him. As I continued to chase him into the doors every Friday night, God showed up for me by putting women in my open share groups who were willing to share their stories that resonated with my heart. Their transparency not only encouraged me to step out of my anger at God but also helped me identify my own hurt and the cycle I was in. Before CR, I would have never allowed other women to speak into my life. These women kept drawing me back each week. I even found myself coming back when my date could not come.

Over time in open share, I learned that I am addicted to love relationships with a strong history of sexual brokenness that has led me to master codependency behaviors. I struggle to feel worthy of love– even God’s love. I’ve been a peacekeeper in my romantic relationships, using my physical needs to poorly communicate with my partners as I didn’t know what my true needs were. I don’t feel valued and loved if I am not physically engaged. And most importantly, I’ve learned all of these coping skills are rooted in my childhood trauma. In the Open Share group, God revealed my part of the dysfunction of my past, and my healing began.

One night, I heard a testimony that piqued my curiosity about codependency. I read the issue pamphlet and immediately knew I had work to do. Now that my issue had a name, I could fix it. That same night, I signed up for a Step Study and bought all the booksthe CR Bible, and the devotional book. I was determined to spend the entire weekend working through them all. I planned that by Monday, my life was going to work out. Let me mention that a Step Study is not designed to be worked alone for those who don’t know. It is a 9 to 12-month recovery journey, not an overnight success plan. I did complete that first Step Study and am now working on my third. I have realized that it took over forty years to get to the place I am now.  There is no way I could use one Step Study to unravel the ball of knots surrounding my heart. I am so thankful for the safety of a Step Study, and I cannot imagine my life without having a strong group of women to share with and support me. I have learned so much about myself: the hurts, hang-ups, and habits we so often talk about in CR.

I have also learned to dismiss the lie I believed that the abuse in my past was my fault. It is not my fault. Yet, I had to learn to stop giving it control over my life. If you have experienced abuse, it is not your fault, and it was not of God. There are bad people in this world, but God is not bad. If you are an abuser, remember that your identity is in Christ, and His mercy and forgiveness are awaiting you. His grace is greater than any sin or shame.

 I also had to identify my unhealthy need for sexual attention based on my childhood trauma, believing that sex equaled love. That is not how God created sex or love. Celebrate Recovery has taught me that God loves me. HE– the God of the universe, the one who breathed life into existence ­–CHOSE to create me, CHOSE to die for me; He CHOSE to save me.

By working Principle Six, I learned to accept God’s forgiveness. His forgiveness is complete and irreversible. All the mistakes of my past and the mistakes I have yet to make, when I lay them at Jesus’ feet, I trust His promise of mercy, grace, and forgiveness. God forgave the little girl in me who didn’t tell anyone; the mother in me who didn’t know how to be a mother; the wife in me who walked away from her marriages; and the woman who didn’t treat her body as a temple of the Holy Spirit. I had to do as the Bible instructs me to do: I had to forgive myself and ask for forgiveness from others.

Working on my recovery journey for almost four years now has taught me to be vulnerable, honest, and admit my wrongs, bringing new, beautiful relationships to my life. It has restored broken ones, too. I didn’t do it all wrong, but it makes my heart sad for my daughters to know their mother before Celebrate Recovery. I was less than what they deserved. When people or circumstances didn’t serve my need for love, I didn’t do the hard work. I walked away only seeing my own needs, which created a lot of hurt and trauma for them. By the grace of God and through my willingness to own my part of their hurt, they have forgiven me, and we now have wonderful relationships.

Remember the guy I chased into CR? Well, he is now my husband. We are both actively serving in Celebrate Recovery as leaders and volunteers, mentoring fellow strugglers, and working every day to learn what God’s desire is for a healthy marriage.

If you haven’t given Celebrate Recovery a try, what are you waiting for? CR has the tools to help you identify your hurts and break your unhealthy cycle. No matter what you’re running to or running from or what cycle you may be coping with, God will show up for you just like He did for me. God has a better plan for you because He loves you. The Bible tells us in Ephesians that God loved and chose us without fault in His eyes (Ephesians 1:4). The best part is you won’t have to do it alone. You will be welcomed right where you are, without judgment.  You can move forward on the road to recovery to live the life of abundance and joy that God has planned for you.

Thanks for letting me share.


Article originally posted at https://pastors.com/testimony-lay-it-all-at-jesus-feet/ on May 18, 2021

Monday, June 7, 2021

Trusting Versus Fear

 

Trusting Versus Fear

By Celebrate Recovery

By Rodney Holmstrom, National Field Director 

“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2

Have you ever seen the movie “Castaway”?

There is a scene where the main character is stranded on an island all by himself for four-plus years. His time on this island was one of misery and loneliness. His biggest goal was to eventually get off this island that had caused so much harm to his life. He was finally able to build a raft and, after many attempts, was able to escape the grips of the huge waves crashing down on and around him.

After escaping the island, there was a moment when he looked back with grief. You could see in his face extensive agony and pain as he saw the island drift away from his view. From the outside looking in, one might conclude that this man was out of his mind. How can he be grieving the separation from something so ugly and heartbreaking in his life? The reality is, although this place was difficult, it was also familiar and predictable.

Isaiah 12:2 reads, “I will trust and not be afraid.” From this, we find two choices we all have in the midst of difficult times.

One, I can walk into the space of trusting God, which requires humility and faith, or two, I can walk into the space of being afraid. While it seems odd for me to even consider the possibility of walking into that space of fear, my false sense of being in control can keep me stuck there. Walking in trust does not mean we don’t experience fear, anxiety, or pain. We are human. Instead, it just means in our pain, we lean in and trust the one who can help us face it with confidence, courage, and strength.

To walk into the space of trusting God and His will is to walk in humility, trusting Him every step of the process. We may not know where things will end up in the space of trust, but we can have confidence that God will be with us every step of the way, fighting for us as our defender on every front.

If you doubt God’s ability to rescue you in your broken space, hold onto this reminder from Isaiah, “Surely God is your salvation.” He is the author and source of every ounce of strength we will need to face the trials in our life. Clinging to this truth can help us decide to bring our fears to Him and trust Him with the healing process as He holds us through every step of the way.


Article originally posted at https://pastors.com/trusting-versus-fear/ on May 18, 2021

Friday, June 4, 2021

Surrender What Jesus Uncovers

 

Surrender What Jesus Uncovers

By Rick Warren

“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.”

Philippians 2:13 (NLT)

Jesus wants you to surrender your whole life to him. He doesn’t want just a part of your life, he wants all of it.

You may think you’ve surrendered enough to him, but Jesus wants it all. C.S. Lewis, the Christian apologist and author of the Narnia series, says Jesus is like a dentist. When you go to the dentist, you want him to fix your toothache. You want him to stop the pain. But the dentist isn’t willing to stop there. If he’s a good dentist, he’s going to poke and prod around your teeth to find out what is causing the toothache. He doesn’t just want to stop you from hurting, he wants to heal what is causing the pain.

This is what Jesus wants to do in your life. He wants to uncover all the sin and hurt and heartache that is keeping you from being the person he created you to be. As he uncovers these things, he corrects, comforts, and heals you.

He simply wants you to give control of your life to him. If you keep holding onto parts of your life, even as you follow Jesus, you will not experience the fullness of your new life in Christ.

But when you surrender everything to Jesus, there will never be a doubt about the outcome. When you “lose” your life for Jesus—surrendering it to him—you will gain real life.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Let's Settle This


Let's Settle This
By Andy Petry
National Landing Director

 

 

"Come, let’s talk this over, says the Lord; no matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can take it out and make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you white as wool!"   Isaiah 1:18 TLB

What a sweet promise, isn't it?  No matter how badly we've blown it, or how messed up we may be, God still invites us to draw near.  There's nothing we can bring to Him that will scare Him away and there's nothing we carry with us that He's not willing to forgive.  If you're like me when I first walked into recovery, maybe you think that seems too good to be true.  

"Does God really want to forgive my sins? Is God's love really that big?"  The answer that God again and again gives us is, "Yes.  I really do love you that much."  In our place of greatest shame and pain, God gives us an invitation to come to him, talk it over, and find the healing we desire.

This week at Celebrate Recovery, we get a chance to do that together as we walk through and acknowledge that we can't move forward unless we face what's holding us back.

Monday, May 31, 2021

Faith Is Everything

 

Faith is Everything
By Rodney Holmstrom, National Field Director

“So we are always of good courage. We know hat while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Cor 5:6-7 ESV

Why hasn’t it happened yet?  Why can’t I see the change or the thing I’ve been praying for?  Is anything really changing or happening?

One of the greatest expressions and evidence of the fruits God is growing in us is our ability to rest in Him even when we can’t or haven’t seen what we are praying for or longing for come to fruition yet. 

Walking with courage being grounded in our faith shows that even though we can’t see that breakthrough in our recovery as we’d like; we haven’t experienced the restoration in that relationship; or maybe we are still waiting to receive something we have been praying for to make life better. We know through our faith that God is in it and working.

God, I know You are working even if I can’t feel it, touch it or see it. Thank You Father.

“So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:6-7 ESV

What are you holding to today in faith that God is working even though you can’t see it?

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

But What If You Did

 

But What If You Did?

By Celebrate Recovery

Man Walking

By Roger Stanton, Nation Assimilation Coach

A year ago, my wife and I were faced with an incredible opportunity to move our family from the Pacific Northwest to Hawaii. We were met with a decision that pitted the life we loved against what may be an even better life for our family. In the end, we decided against the move, but we have spent the last year in quarantine, wondering what life would have been like if we did go.

Abram, along with his wife and nephew, faced a similar situation at the end of Genesis 11. While he and his family had set out for the Promised Land of Canaan, the Bible says they settled in Harran. And then Genesis 12:1 happened:

“The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’ So Abram went, as the Lord had told him.’”

Recently, I was asked why I thought God chose Abram as a father of our faith. To me, the answer is in verse 4, “So Abram went.” Abram was willing to leave his settled life and chase after God’s promise. Once he took that action step, God was able to hold up His end of the Covenant.

I’m not ready to say that staying in Washington was me missing my opportunity for the Stanton Promised Land. However, I know that I often choose inaction because the action seems too hard. This is what delayed me from finding Christ’s freedom through Celebrate Recovery.

On August 18, 2009 I asked myself, “But what if you did?” On that day, I took action and started my Celebrate Recovery journey. With Christ’s help and a whole lot of meetings, I continue to experience the Promised Land of blessing right here in the Pacific Northwest. I am seeing that Romans 8:28 proves to be true as Christ is my King and my relationships with my wife and kids grow more fruitful every day.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28

What if you did?

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Trust God To Provide

 

Trust God to Provide

By Rick Warren

Man's Hand Releasing Sand

 

“Since he did not spare even his own Son for us but gave him up for us all, won’t he also surely give us everything else?”

Romans 8:32 (TLB)

The major cause of stress in your life is worry. You worry because you wonder if you will have what you need when you need it.

If you want a cure for stress, you need to learn to turn to God to meet your needs.

Some people find their security in their job. But when they lose their job, they lose their peace of mind. Others put their security in their marriage. But when their spouse dies or they go through a divorce, they ask, “Who am I? What is my identity?” Or maybe they put their security in their money. But when the money’s gone, they lose their sense of self-worth.

Why would you put your security in anything that can be taken from you? You can lose your job, your health, your reputation, your spouse, and even your mind. But you cannot lose your relationship with Christ.

When you put your security in that promise, you can trust God to meet all your needs.

If God loved you enough to send Jesus Christ to die on the cross, don’t you think he loves you enough to take care of every other need in your life? Yes, of course he does!

God is going to provide. He’s going to take care of you. That’s a promise. Instead of stressing out, look to him to meet all your needs.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Testimony: From Hopeless to Hope Dealer

 

Testimony: From Hopeless to Hope Dealer

By Celebrate Recovery

Broken Chains from https://www.brokenchainsjc.com/

By Jeff

I grew up as the youngest of 4 children. My mother and father worked full time, leaving my sisters to take care of me most of the time. As I look back, I can see where eating became my way of comforting the lack of attention from my parents. It was easier to give me something to eat than to be bothered with me. I became overweight as a result and spent much of my adolescence as the “fat kid.” Others made fun of me, and I had a hard time fitting in.

At 13 years old, I smoked marijuana for the first time and drank alcohol. Soon I fitted in with the “cool kids.” By age 15, I began lifting weights and boxing. I decided that I would never be picked on again. Getting high and fighting became normal for me as a teenager.

After graduating high school, I joined the Army. I bought a motorcycle for cheap transportation to work. I learned that drinking and fighting were all I wanted to do during my off-hours. Soon I was shot in the leg in a bar fight. This took me off my feet for a while, and I again put on weight. During my time off, I began hanging out at a biker bar. I soon realized the biker gangs accepted almost anyone. In fact, as a violent drug and alcohol abuser, I not only found a place to fit in, but I soon became a leader. I went AWOL from the Army, received a dishonorable discharge, and spent the next 15 years as a motorcycle gang leader.

For years I was a functioning addict and alcoholic. Shortly after my big sister died in 2001, I tried crack cocaine which spiraled me completely out of control. Three years later, after putting my parents into bankruptcy, abandoning my daughter, and dropping out of treatment twice, I became homeless.

I was homeless for three years, in and out of jail. In 2006 I was arrested over 30 times. I ate out of dumpsters, slept in the crawl spaces under houses, and on cold nights I would walk all night because I thought if I stayed still, I would freeze.

On March 1, 2007, I was arrested for the last time. After a month in jail, I had what we call in recovery a moment of clarity. The truth is I didn’t want to quit getting high, but I did want to quit going to jail. I realized the only way to stay out of jail was to stop getting high.

I reached out to the only person I knew in Nashville that did not get high, Doc Ray Elder. Doc was a biker preacher that I had met in the bar several years earlier. He was happy to hear from me and invited me to church.

April 15, 2007, I walked into church for the first time. Long hair, t-shirt, blue jeans …. I was waiting for the judgment, but it never came. These people were nice to me; they loved on me. In fact, they loved me right back that next Sunday. April 22, 2007, I had a life-changing experience as I asked Jesus Christ to be the Lord of my life. That day something changed in me, but everything didn’t change. I still struggled with more bad behavior than I have time to list.

Three weeks later, I was invited to a Celebrate Recovery meeting at another church. I remember telling them that Jesus had delivered me from my addiction and I didn’t need a recovery program. Reluctantly I agreed to go.

That first night at Celebrate Recovery, I was amazed. I remember how freeing it was to attend a share group; to be able to be honest about myself without shame or embarrassment. I realized I didn’t have to be perfect to be a Christian which allowed me to be honest with others about my faults and failures.

As I plugged into the 12 Steps and 8 Principles of Celebrate Recovery, I uncovered the roots of my problems that I didn’t even realize were there. God cleaned me up from the inside out, and I began to live out the principles Jesus gave us to have a happy life.

Today, I am celebrating 14 years of sobriety from drugs and alcohol one day at a time. God has restored broken relationships with every one of my family members, including my daughter. I have a wonderful Christian wife with a new family that loves me. I own a successful remodeling company, and I’m an ordained pastor.

After serving as a Celebrate Recovery North Central State Rep for seven years, I founded the Broken Chains Jesus Christ organization. We are a fellowship of bikers and motorcycle enthusiasts who have found hope and healing in Jesus Christ through Celebrate Recovery’s ministry, helping others realize that change is possible. In the last four years, I’ve ridden my motorcycle over 80,000 miles.  Sharing the hope I’ve found with people I might never meet in church, at gas pumps, hotel desks, convenient store checkouts, motorcycle shops, and more.  God is not only using me to reach these folks, but Broken Chains has grown into an army of Hope Dealers. We have over 4,000 members in every state in the United States and at least 12 countries worldwide. God is using us to let people outside of the church know about the hope and healing we’ve found inside the church in Jesus Christ at Celebrate Recovery.

The enemy came to steal, kill, and destroy God’s purpose in my life. He was successful for 44 years. But when I plugged into the process of recovery, the process of discipleship that I found in Celebrate Recovery, I got my hands on the tools Jesus brought so that I “might” have life and have it to the full. I’ve learned that salvation is free, but freedom here on earth cost everything. I’ve given God everything, and Jesus has given me the full life I spent 44 years looking for.  Thanks for letting me share!

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Celebrating The Changes

 

Celebrating the Changes
By Rodney Holmstrom, National Field Director

April 19, 2021

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world,  but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Romans 12:2 NIV

 

Why are these people so happy? How can you say you are recovering from something like abuse, anger, relationship issues and more yet still have happiness? Every week I am so grateful to see a room full of people at Celebrate Recovery who have amazing beauty with an outpouring of joy.

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty." Maya Angelou
 
It is the growth and change that has taken place through the process that makes "those" people so beautiful and happy. When someone brings his/her struggles, pain and junk to the Father and is finally ready to place it at His feet, there is an incredible peace that comes over that person. That is when life begins to happen. There is nothing more beautiful than someone coming to the point of surrender and letting go of whatever they have been carrying. That can only bring a celebration within the heart.
 
Yes, I love to see the butterfly on the other side of the struggle, but I also delight greatly in the caterpillar just starting the process. It's not an easy process but oh so worth it!
If you are reading this, you are His beloved child, and He delights in you. He can and will transform you.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

What's His Name?

 

What's His Name?
By Rodney Holmstrom
National Field Director
May 4, 2021

 


If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10

Don’t you hate it when you see someone you know and you just can’t bring yourself to remember their name? This is such a helpless place. It takes courage to just finally say, “I’m so sorry. I completely forgot your name. Could you tell me again?”
 
Someone who will never forget our name is our loving and compassionate Father. He knows us better than anyone we will ever meet. I was reflecting on this a couple days ago and was struck with the power that is in a name. Even more, the power in His name, JESUS. When we reflect on His name, we can experience a place of feeling more valued, loved and seen.
 
Scriptures remind us that when we confess His name with our lips, there is power. By His power, lives get changed! Darkness can’t survive in the light of His name. Let’s rest in the power of His name that reveals a different aspect of who He is.
 
Take a moment and breath in His name, God, Yahweh, Abba, Father, Adonai, JESUS, the Christ, the Alpha, the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the Messiah, the Savior of the World, my risen Lord!
 
Now with each inhale we can take in who He is with confidence. With each exhale we can breathe out any and all things we may be holding on to today. Confess whatever may be hindering you from walking with Him today. Remember, because of who He is, we can walk in confidence and strength of who we are in Him.
 
Walk in His forgiveness and grace today.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Let’s start a wave of encouragement for others who need to hear hope today.

If you are celebrating your recovery and NEW identity in Christ, how would you describe your new life in Him?


Share your testimony today with one another!


Sunday, March 21, 2021

dealing with critics

 

Hi everyone,

You don’t have to please everyone in your life, and you don’t need everyone to like you. This applies to both your personal life and your professional life. Once you understand this, you can make decisions based on what is best, not on who is going to like it. In fact, not only do you not have to please everyone, you can’t … not even if you wanted to. It’s impossible. 

Once you understand that, you start spending your time and energy on things that bring meaningful results rather than on the impossible goal of making everyone else happy. You view criticism and feedback in a positive light, and you don’t let critics gain control over you. 

Let’s talk about how critics try to control you and what you can do about it.

Until next time … 

Cheers, 

Henry 

https://www.drcloud.com/

 

 

Friday, February 5, 2021

Gravy and Gratitude

 

Gravy and Gratitude
By Mary Owen

“It’s pure torture when you’re a growing teenager and an array of the greatest food ever created is laid out in front of you in the awe and splendor of your grandmother’s finest dishes, napkins bearing the images of autumn leaves folded neatly with gleaming silverware whispering sweetly to you, “Pick me up and dig in. What are you waiting for?  It’s going to get cold…eat, eat.” Then only to be interrupted by another voice, carried over the steaming mashed potatoes, the turkey and the stuffing asking the question that is the gatekeeper between you and an epic feast of magnificently gluttonous proportions...

 

“What are you thankful for?”

 

Sigh. What WAS I thankful for?  Same thing I am grateful for today, I imagine.  Each year the question was raised at our family Thanksgiving dinner. And I answered my monosyllabic gratitude with only enough enthusiasm to get me closer to those homemade rolls glistening with melted butter.

“Health.”

“God.”

“FOOD!”

 

I was asked this question again among Forever Family talking and laughing through our annual Fried Turkey “Fryday” Feast that preceded this past week’s Celebrate Recovery meeting.  Health, God, food, friends, family, a roof over my head, clothes on my back, safety, freedom, undeserved extravagant grace... I would have kept going, but the next batch of deep fried turkey that floated out of the church kitchen in the arms of one of our faithful volunteers had distracted the questioner.

 

What am I thankful for?  What am I truly thankful for?

 

I thought more about this question the next morning as I waited in the drive-through lane to buy an extra hot grande white mocha.  Am I thankful?  Am I?  I am aware of the blessings I have been given and I wouldn’t want to go without them.  I turn on the faucet in my bathroom sink and out comes clean, disease-free fresh water.  I casually flip a switch above the old leather chair in my living room and light floods the house.  I am cognizant of how “good” I have it, and have a theoretical (certainly not an experiential) knowledge of how bad it would be without these modern comforts.  But does that make me grateful?

 

In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 Paul writes, “give thanks in all circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

 

Maybe being grateful has nothing to do with what we have.  Maybe it has more to do with how we respond in the absence or delay of blessings.  Victor Frankl, an Auschwitz death camp survivor knew an existence where everything he had was taken from him.  About this he wrote, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

 

Perhaps it’s time to ask ourselves a different question before we pass the gravy around the table.  Not what we are thankful for, but will we choose a life of gratitude in any and all circumstances?  Are we able to say with the hymn writer, “whatever my lot... it is well, it is well with my soul?”