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.





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?”

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Celebration Place Launching

Celebration Place is officially launched!! 🚀

We are so excited to announce that Celebrate Recovery at Believers Church has launched Celebration Place children's ministry at the start of this new year, 2021. Celebration Place is a place where kids can come and learn about the recovery process in an age appropriate way. When the adults are learning about Denial or about making Amends, so are the kids. On the ride home from CR, imagine having a conversation with your kids about how God has the power to help us from a Principle 2 lesson night, and then you having the opportunity to sharing even more with your kids building off the night. WOW. Talk about Christ's power to restore families. 

We will put some resources and materials here on our blog to be able to help your family along utilizing this great tool of recovery. So, check back often

I Problem


I Problem
By Rodney Holmstrom

You will seek Me & find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.Jeremiah 29:13

I can remember being in Colorado on a camping vacation many years ago when our kids were pretty young. As we were walking in the great outdoors I saw some mountain goats on the side of some big rocks on the other side of the river and I took a picture of them.

To this day, we still can't distinguish the difference between the goats and rocks in the photo since the colors were causing the goats to be camouflaged amongst the rock. I know they are there, but we just can't see them.

Have you ever had eye problems? No, not 'eye' but rather 'I' problems? For a chunk of my life I found myself with 'I' problems that left me blind to seeing & experiencing His blessings and direction in my life. I was pretty sure I knew He was there but just couldn't see Him. Why? Because I was focusing on the wrong thing. I was focusing on myself and was staying in my unresolved dysfunction which kept me selfish and blind to His plan for my life.

Someone once said, "I pointed out to you the stars & the moon and all you saw was the tip of my finger.”

I am so grateful that as I have started tackling my character defects the Lord has improved my sight and focus. Less of me and more of Him is a good thing.

Today, I must again trust Him, & stop focusing on me, and turn my attention toward Him.

He has great things to show me and you.