Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 reflections to 2011

As we reflect on the year that was it is amazing how much has happened. On a sad side, we lost some loved ones, we saw many struggle with illnesses, and lots of hurt in a broken fallen world.
On a positive side though, we saw many lives changed in huge ways.
Did you know that just under 11,000 people, not counting teens and kids walked thru our doors here at Fellowship CR. Just under 900 newcomers entered our meeting on Friday night.
Marriages were restored, relationships reconciled, sobriety given to many, many people from alcohol, drugs, pornography, unhealthy eating habits. We had front row seats to people finding healing from destructive depression, smoking, unhealthy anger, loneliness, abandonment issues, and so much more.

We get to be a part of a ministry in its eighth year now moving and changing the heart and soul of NW Arkansas and the world. We saw Life’s Healing choices go to Mosaic and also go to 11 new countries including Pakistan, Syria, Algeria, Jordan, Iraq, Israel, and Egypt to name a few.

We saw our own recovery strengthened by our service in helping others thru their own hurts, habits and hang-ups.
I personally saw Jesus in the flesh in each of you. To see each of you in action loving on His children is something so beautiful.

So what is to come in the new year? 2011 is upon us and we can have great expectations and anticipation of what He will do next.

A friend of mine sent these questions from catalyst that we should all ask as leaders as we prepare for a new year.

Year End Review Questions:
1. What are the 2-3 themes that personally defined 2010 for me?
2. What people, books, accomplishments, or special moments created highlights in 2010?
3. Give yourself a grade from 1-10 in the following areas of focus for 2010: vocationally, spiritually, family, relationally, emotionally, financially, physically, recreationally.
4. What am I working on that is BIG for 2011 and beyond?
5. As I move into 2011, is a majority of my energy being spent on things that drain me or things that energize me?
6. How am I preparing for 10 years from now? 20 years from now?
7. What 2-3 things have I been putting off that I need to execute on before the end of the year?
We have an incredible night in store tonight. Powerful worship, Nail it to the Cross, Communion and four Baptisms.
Chris, from Robby and Patrick’s group, Sean, Missy, one of our CLC faithful and Greg from mine and Stephen’s group all being Baptized. So cool to see life change and the symbolism of what baptism means to us having died with Christ in our sins and rising with Him in new life!

Meal starts at 6:00pm, then worship at 7:00pm. Then we will walk over to the Student Center after service and enjoy some good conversation, fellowship, games, snacks etc. I know some of you won’t be able to stay until midnight but I hope you can stay for a little while for some fun.

Happy New Year brothers and sisters! I love you all dearly and can’t wait to spend another year with you in service. So grateful for each of you!

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Father, thank You for being with us in 2010 and comforting us thru tough times and blessing us thru the ups and downs of living life on life’s terms. Lord, we don’t like the tough times but we are glad we have you with us to strengthen our faith and lead us thru them. Thank You for showing Your strength and beauty even in the midst of storms that came our way. Lord, we ask for your guideance and protection as we enter a new year. Lord help us to be diligent in sharing Your Good News as we know Your return is nearing. Lord we thank You for Your goodness and blessings to help us and so many of our friends clsoe to us thru life’s hurts, habits and hangups. We give You the glory for all that has happened, all the healing that has taken palce and for all freedom given to each of us. Lord help us to become hungry and thirsty for Your Righteousness. Lord I pray that this new year the 1000 people that come into our meetings for the first time will stick it out and find the freedom we know about in our hearts today. Thank You for all the special leaders You have sent to this ministry to love and serve others seeking truth. Please bless this night as we praise Your name in worship. Tonight we celebrate You! In Jesus Name, AMEN

Friday, December 17, 2010

“The Spirituality of Waiting"

Here’s a Henri Nouwen reflection on “The Spirituality of Waiting”
"Waiting is not a very popular attitude. In fact, most people consider waiting a waste of time. For many people, waiting is an awful desert between where they are and where they want to go.

It impresses me, therefore, that all the figures who appear on the first pages of Luke's Gospel are waiting. Zechariah and Elizabeth are waiting. Mary is waiting. Simeon and Anna are waiting. The whole opening scene of the good news is filled with waiting people.

But what is the nature of waiting? What is the practice of waiting? How are they waiting, and how are we called to wait with them?

Waiting, as we see it in the people on the first pages of the Gospel, is waiting with a sense of promise. This is very important. We can only really wait if what we are waiting for has already begun for us. So waiting is never a movement from nothing to something. It is always a movement from something to something more.

Second, waiting is active. Most of us think of waiting as something very passive, a hopeless state determined by events totally out of our hands. But there is none of this passivity in scripture. Active waiting means to be present fully to the moment, in the conviction that something is happening where you are and that you want to be present to it.

But there is more. Waiting is open-ended. Open-ended waiting is hard for us because we tend to wait for something very concrete, for something we wish to have. "I wish that I would have a job. I wish that the weather could be better. I wish that the pain would go."

For this reason, a lot of our waiting is not open-ended. Instead, our waiting is a way of controlling the future. We want the future to go in a very specific direction, and if this does not happen we are disappointed and can even slip into despair.

But Zechariah, Elizabeth, and Mary were not filled with wishes. They were filled with hope. Hope is something very different. Hope is trusting that something will be fulfilled, but fulfilled according to the promises and not just according to our wishes.

Just imagine what Mary was actually saying in the words, 'I am the handmaid of the Lord...let what you have said be done to me.' She was saying, 'I don't know what this all means, but I trust that good things will happen.'

She trusted so deeply that her waiting was open to all possibilities. And she did not want to control them. She believed that when she listened carefully, she could trust what was going to happen.

The spiritual life is a life in which we wait, actively present to the moment, trusting that new things will happen to us, new things that are far beyond our own imagination, fantasy, or prediction. That, indeed, is a very radical stance toward life in a world preoccupied with control."

For information about Celebrate Recovery contact Rodney @ 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Free Gifts

Christmas time is a wonderful time of the year for most. But for other's it brings sadness, insecurity, depression and even doubt. So many Christmases this is where I've been, because of hard times and inconvenient times. With construction this is usually the time of year jobs start dwindling and income slows to a trickle. So many times I've wanted to get my kids something, anything, but just didn't have anything to give. Or at least that is what I used to think!




As a Christian I’m online with a resource even more valuable than Amazon.com when it comes to finding the perfect gift. God has an abundance of gifts to give us. His riches are beyond comprehension. Plus, the price is right for any budget because the gifts He gives, he gives freely. Yep, you heard me right—no money down, no cash payments EVER.


I’ll be honestly, some of those gifts we don't really want and some of those gifts we covet. For example, I love to sing, and always wished God would have blessed me with a beautiful and consistent musical talent. I mean, I can carry a tune, but I'm no rock star. I used to pray God would give me that gift, but that wasn’t in His plan.


Instead He chose instead to give me other gifts, gifts that some people don't necessarily see as valuable, like my gift with computers. It took me a long time to see the value of that gift and how I could use it for His glory.


There are other less desirable gifts, but one God sometimes chooses to give us. What about the gift of poverty? I mean, Matthew 19:24 says, “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” Translation—people who are rich and have everything they need are a lot less apt to turn to God and a lot more apt to worship riches.


America is a rich country. Let’s face it, most Americans will never know poverty the way foreign countries do. But these rough times have brought me a taste. I know what it is to have creditors call constantly. I know what it feels like to have to choose between paying the rent or buying food for my kids. I know what it feels like to not be able to give my kids new clothes, to be ashamed because all they have to wear at times has been too small or worn out or totally out of fashion. I know what it is like to only get my hair cut twice a year and then only be able to afford to go to the Cosmetology school. I know what it’s like to not be able to go to the doctor when I’m hurting or how much it hurts to see my husband not go to the dentist until he’s so sick he can’t even think because he has an abscess and no insurance. I know what it’s like to watch my dog suffer and slowly die because I can’t afford a vet. I know what it is like to have to live with my in-laws because we couldn't afford to put a roof over our heads. I know what it is like to have no Christmas presents under the tree because there was no money to buy them.



There was a time this led to sorry, shame, guilt, anger, doubt, depression and fear, but something changed. I finally decided to open the gifts God had given me. They were almost invisible, yet readily available, and I didn’t even have to wait for Christmas morning!



Last year I saw one of those gifts be unwrapped by my daughter, and that gift reminded me of how one gift leads to another. That gift was . . .


The gift of COMPASSION. My daughter knew last year she wasn't going to get much for Christmas. This hadn't been the first hard Christmas for her, so she knew how hard that would be on Cordel. She could have griped and complained or made a long wish list thinking only of herself. That would have lead her to disappointment, though. Instead she made her brother a gift so he would have something to open on Christmas morning--an amazing crocheted horse with a medieval blanket. The gift of compassion opens up your world and allows you to see people as Christ sees them. It allows you to feel their pain, which allows you to minister to them in ways beyond your comprehension. You start to see the value in others, and desire more for relationships than material things. Then, just like my daughter having compassion and empathy for my son, this gift almost always leads to . . .


The gift of GIVING. I think of the story in the Bible when the woman gave two coins and that was all she had. Why did she do that? It's the same reason that I can't pass a Salvation Army bell without putting some change in, even if it's just a nickel. It's because that gift does mean something. Those nickels, dimes and quarters add up. Someone who has been cold or hungry or needy is much more apt to understand how important those small gifts are. If we all gave in our abundance there would be no need for those bells and red buckets, because we have enough globally for everyone to be taken care of. In hard times, if you don't let your faith die or your heart harden, then you will become a giver even in times of hardship. And giving brings on . . .


The gift of JOY. I can't help but think of the scene in the Grinch Whole Stole Christmas when his cold hard heart was softened but the unconditional joy of the Whos. Joy is a gift Christ will give in hardship, but so many people choose to reject it. Joy is contagious! It's hard to be sad or discontent around joyful people. Joy helps sustain you through hard times and brings on . . .


The gifts of HOPE and EDURANCE. “ Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Phil 3:12-14 I used to be so depressed and felt so hopeless all of the time. If things were going good, I was great. If they got hard, I'd start griping and complaining. I had no endurance. Looking back most of those trials were incredibly temporary. Then there was the whole spec house thing, which lasted over four years. One night I found myself, right before the spec house foreclosed, sitting in the bathtub in the master bedroom of the spec house wondering how God could allow us to spend four years and invest so much of our time and money into something only to have us lose it all. But then God opened my eyes to all I had gained! That spec house brought Phil and I closer than ever. We worked together as a couple and as a family. It brought Stephen home and transplanted him back into our family after some hard times he'd gone through (which is probably why he helped, remember that whole compassion gift!). Endurance is a great gift. It strengthens our faith and develops . . .


The gift of PATIENCE. Now, this is a gift I used to pray for, but didn’t like what getting it meant. The thought did cross my mind that the years of hardship I had to endure were due to the prayer of a 14-year-old girl for patience. You see, I just wanted the gift for Christmas that year, right then and there, just to fall in my lap. But God’s gifts sometimes are wrapped up in box after box, layer after layer. You’ve had those gifts, haven’t you? You rip off the paper and open the box only to find another and another and wonder if there really is anything in the box at all??? But the gift in that set up is usually small but valuable, something you will cherish. That is how it is with patience. Once you have it, appreciate how much easier life is with it. Of course, I always seem just a box or two away from it still! Patience is important for preparing for the next gift . .


The gift of TRUST. Trust is one of the most precious gifts God has developed in me. I’ve learned to trust Him in hard times. Trust allows you to be free to tell God how you really feel. It lets you cry and laugh and open your heart to those deep dark places so God can shine His Light in. Trust is an awesome gift, but is often returned for doubt when hard times return. Such a shame, because trust leads to . . .


The gift of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. This gift is the hardest for wounded people to accept and for people in abundance to appreciate. It’s so beyond our comprehension that we look at it and think it must be meant for someone else. Nope, you’re wrong. This gift is for you and me and anyone who asks for it.


Sometimes I forget I have these gifts, especially when I look under our very bare Christmas tree. I place my precious gifts in a box somewhere that I think I’ll be able to find easily when I need them next, but I forget they are so close when times of trouble come rushing in.


I think this year I’ll pull them all out and place them on the walls of my house so I don’t forget about them. The greatest part about these gifts is that they are to be shared. I don’t have to feel guilty because I have them, because God has plenty of spiritual gifts to go around for all of us. My prayer this year is that He’ll remind you of all the gifts He’s giving you and bless you with many, many more!


Merry Christmas!!!

Terri

For information about Celebrate Recovery contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Sunday, December 12, 2010

What God Is For?

One of my accountability partners who is also one of those men that is a great a friend and a kindred spirit, has for the last several months has kept saying something every time we meet that I understood the truth of biblically and theologically, but I am not sure I have always lived out in a practical way in how I have viewed God.

My friend’s statement, his declaration really, is that “God is for me.” He said it again yesterday morning as we met. Yet, while I have always understood this in principle even from a biblical and theological place, yesterday morning it was as if I felt the Holy Spirit tap me on the shoulder and say, “Listen up, can you make the same declaration with the same conviction?” and as I looked inside, I have to admit, I found myself wanting.

So the last 24 hours for me I have thought about this question, “What is God for?”

The place to start I would guess would be the bible…

So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn't gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God's chosen? -Rom 8:31-33, The Message

Okay, when I stop and really look at what this is saying and the logic of it, how could I ever doubt that God is ever for me? Think about it, if He didn’t even blink when it came to given His only Son for me, why would I doubt that He would be for me in any other circumstance? Ah, there is my struggle right there!! I have bought into some bad theology. Amazing how the truth of scripture can point out the dark spots so quickly if I will allow it to shine into my life.

So what is the bad theology I have bought into? Well, yes, I believed that Christ died for my sins, and I have accepted Him as my Savior. So it is not in my salvation that is the worry, but in my view of God the Father and thus the struggle of entering into the “abundant life” or being a part of the vine, or how I am grafted into the tree is where I have missed it. The lie that I have allowed myself to believe for so many years is, “You may be a follower of Christ, but you are such crappy Christian that there is no way the Father could be very happy with you.” This lie comes in part from the society that we live in and part from a secret sin that I allowed myself to be so tied into for 20+ years that I felt like I had to earn the Father’s love for me. Because of this, the understanding of an unconditional love from the Father seems as foreign to me as trying to breathe air while underwater. At times I just cannot grasp it, I see it, and I know it is there, but it does feel like trying to grasp smoke at times.

So back to the scripture, looking at this thing logically, God is on my side. What does that mean?

That means He is for me with my struggle with sin.
That means He is for me in regards to my marriage.
That means He is for me in regards to me being a good father.
That means He is for me to be a good co-worker.
That means He is for me in my relationship with my family.
That means He is for me in my finances.
That means He is for me in ministry
That means He is for me in having a right attitude
That means He is for me in making right choices
That means He is for me in my recovery.

For me to REALLY start thinking this way is going to be some mind transforming stuff. I mean, normally I don’t see the Father for me in these areas. You see my normal mode seems to operate in such a way that He is just ready to put the “smack-down” on me if I screw-up, that He is just waiting for me to make a mistake to jump all over me, to point it out for all to see how I blew it. “Look here everyone!!! Tim screwed up again! I knew he would do it. Didn’t you?? See, what a shame, he just can’t cut it, such a shame, such a waste.”

However, in light of Romans Chapter 8, that does not sound like the Father I am reading about. Talk about your Stickin Thinkin!! There it is!! There is only one way to counter-act lies and that is with the truth. The place to start is with the truth that the Bible points out about the Father. As I read scripture, I have been trying to ask this question, “Father, what is this scripture saying about how You see me?” I know that may sound a little self-centered and even egotistical but I need to some ammunition. They say for that every lie that you heard, that you have to hear the truth nine times to counter-act it. How many times have I heard lies either spoken by the enemy or repeated by myself? Thousands, no more like tens of thousands of times I would guess over the years. Thus transforming my mind may take some time, so I need all of the truth I can get, and if it is a 9 to 1 ratio, then I am guessing I need at least 90,000!!

I might as well get started on it today. I realized something, I started off asking, “What is God for?” you know what? That is the wrong question, I should be asking, “Who is God for?” The answer: God is for ME! This is my declaration!! psstt – in case you hadn’t guessed He is for YOU TOO!!! Doubt it? Try this, put your name into Romans 8:31-33 as I have (see below), spend the next week reading it yourself this way, I plan on it, I bet it will make a difference. You know the next time that ‘ole lie peddler’ comes around in my life I think I will stick this in his face and tell him to “suck it!!”…God is for me, God is for us!!

So, what do you think? With God on Tim’s side like this, how can Tim lose? If God didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for Tim, embracing Tim’s condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn't gladly and freely do for Tim? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God's chosen, Tim? -Rom 8:31-33, The Message

Tim Kelley, Encourager Coach, CR NW Arkansas Fellowship Bible Church

For more information about CR, contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Log of Hopelessness in the Jungle of Lost

Ever been lost? I mean down right didn’t know where you where at, couldn’t find north, east, west, or south lost? I mean deep in the woods lost? Or you turned down a street and realized that you aren’t where you are supposed to be and didn’t know where you were at lost? The type of lost where you are looking for something familiar, some marker, some tree, some rock, some vista, something that will let you know where you are at but nothing looks familiar. I have been out of the country a few times and there were times when I was separated from our guides and interpreters and I felt lost. I didn’t know the land, couldn’t read the signs, couldn’t speak the language, I was lost.
How about you? Ever been lost like any these situations? No? Well, okay let’s imagine that you have been talked into an adventure; you are on a safari in the one of the deepest, densest, darkest jungles of the world. Not to worry, you are with a group of experts and have a great guide, along with a good friend of yours. You have your back-pack that is well stocked with supplies and all your needs for your trek through this jungle. As you are traveling your boot becomes untied, your friend offers to hold your back-pack while you re-tie your boot, when you rise up from lacing your boot you notice you are alone now. Your friend, the group, the guide are all gone. Apparently they didn’t stop to wait for you. It is as if the jungle has swallowed them up. The jungle growth is so thick that you can’t see what direction they went, you can’t hear them walking for all of the noise of the jungle itself. You keep spinning around looking in each direction. You are alone. You are not even sure what direction they were heading, was it over there to the right, no maybe there to the left, no back that way, maybe up over there? You go to pull out your compass but you realize that your compass is in you back-pack that your friend is carrying for you. Thirsty, you want a drink, but your canteen is in the back-pack too, along with your knife and any food you had. You are alone in the deep, dark, dense jungle. You have no way of knowing which way your party went; you have no water, no supplies. You are now lost. The canopy above you is so dense that you cannot even see the sun to which way is east or west and by now you have spun around so many times that you have lost track of the originally direction you were facing.
Sitting down on the nearest log, what emotions are you going through?
Fear? Certainly, that makes sense
Anxiety? Yeah, sure
Anger? Absolutely, anyone would understand that.
But there is one that is growing inside you the longer you are sitting there. As the reality of the situation you are in begins to take root, hopelessness begins to sit in just as deep. You have no idea what to do, no idea which way to go, no path to follow, no one to lead you out, no equipment. No hope.
Okay, now freeze that emotion for the moment. Can you feel for just a second how it feels to be out of your element? Out of solutions? Out of ideas and energy? Can you imagine, for just a moment, how it feels to be out of hope?
If so then, I dare say that you can relate to about 90% of all Newcomers that walk through the doors of Celebrate Recovery. Not only that, but I would bet dollars to doughnuts that if you are reading this, then you have found yourself sitting on your own log, in your own jungle at some point and that feeling of hopelessness was all too familiar.
The truth is; it is a jungle out there. Perhaps not like what was described above, but nonetheless it is just as dangerous and ruthless. Max Lucado puts it this way:
“For many people, life is - well, life is a jungle. Not a jungle of trees and beasts. Would that it were so simple. Would that our jungles could be cut with a machete or adversaries trapped in a cage. But our jungles are comprised of the thicker thickets of failing health, broken hearts, and empty wallets. Our forests are framed with hospital walls and divorce courts. We don’t hear the screeching of birds or the roaring of lions, but the complaints of neighbors and the demands of bosses. Our predators are our creditors, and the brush that surrounds us is the rush that exhausts us.” (Max Lucado, Traveling Light, p56)
Far be it from me to try and improve upon a great writer like Max Lucado, but I think would add to Max’s lists of predators one or two, like addictions, hurts, habits and hang ups. Regardless of what our jungles look like we all end up in the same place, sitting and the same ole dang log, our head in our hands out of hope.
I was there. I realized I was in a hole that I could not get myself out of. Oh I had tried for about 20 plus years to fight that battle and for 20 plus years I lost every time. Finally, I was at the place where I knew I was never going to win. Where I was never going to beat my compulsive behavior, my sin, I had prayed so many times for God to take it away, He didn’t. I kept trying to fight it, but in the end I knew it was hopeless, I couldn’t beat it. The only way out I could see, the only way to stop was to in taking my own life, but the pain I knew I would leave behind is the only thing that kept me taking that option.
Looking back at that last paragraph did you see my problem? One letter – “I”, I was fighting, I was trying, I kept, I, I, I, I!!!! Is it any wonder God didn’t answer my prayer; I was too busy getting in the way!!! I never gave Him opportunity to do anything!
The truth is that all my efforts to beat my compulsive behaviors, my sin, my addiction on my own left me devastated, drained and hopeless. The truth is I was at the point where I had no strength left to fight with and I had conceded that I would be in bondage to this sin for the rest of my life. I had sat down on my log, looked around my jungle, and was overwhelmed by the hopelessness of my situation. I remember thinking about asking God to do whatever it takes, but I didn’t actually pray that, I just thought about praying it. At that moment I believe all of Heaven, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit collectively sighed because now I was out of the way. Within a week God set my feet on a path that would one day eventually lead me out of the jungle.
So what is needed when a person is sitting a log in jungle without hope? What would restore hope? Again returning to one of my favorite writers Max Lucado:
“What would it take to restore your hope? What would you need to reenergize your journey?
Though the answers are abundant, three come quickly to mind.
The first would be a person. Not just any person. You don’t need someone equally confused. You need someone who knows the way out.
And from him you need some vision. You need someone to lift your spirits. You need someone to look you in the face and say, ‘This isn’t the end, don’t give up! There is a better place and I’ll lead you there.’
And perhaps the most important you need direction. If you have only a person but no renewed vision, all you have is company. If he has a vision but no direction, you have a dreamer for company. But if you have a person with direction – who can take you from this place to the right place – ah then you have one who can restore your hope…
…Your loneliness disappears because you have fellowship.
Your despair decreases, because you have vision.
Your confusion begins to lift because you have direction.” (Max Lucado, Traveling Light, p57)
The interesting thing is that as I surrender to Jesus I find that He is leading me out of the jungle; He hasn’t removed me from the jungle. The trees still cover the sky at times. There are still predators, there are still thorns. I am still getting bumps scraps and cuts along the way. The place I am in hasn’t changed, but I have. I see that I am not made for this place, I am not equipped for it, I don’t belong here and I need to keep moving towards the day when I will be free from the jungle completely. I now have a hope, because I have allowed the Guide to lead me, this Guide now gives me the fellowship, vision and direction that have needed all along. When I look at the jungle and the direction we are going I see no path as Guide leads, the reason is the Guide is the path, “I am the Way” He says, therefore I have to keep my eyes upon the Guide. Lucado says that “Jesus doesn’t give hope by changing the jungle; He restores our hope by giving us Himself. And He promises to stay until the very end.” (Max Lucado, Traveling Light, p59)
So as you read this there are three possible places you are in. First, you may have been lead out of your jungle by the Guide! Praise Him! Share with others the hope of getting out of the jungle, it is important that they know it can be done, that the Guide provides a way out. But remember tomorrow you may find yourself in another jungle you have never been in, so tomorrow if you find yourself on log with your head in your hands, you know what to do, its time to surrender call out to the Guide and follow.
Second, you find yourself in the jungle, but you have found the Guide and you are working your way out following Him. Keep you your focus on Him, He is your path. Along the way, you may get discourage, the going gets tough, listen to the stories of those that have made it out, take heart. And if by chance you see someone sitting on a log, take the time to let them know about the Guide that can help them out of their jungle. Keep surrendering to the Guide and follow.
Third, you find yourself sitting on a log, lost in a jungle, head in your hands, exhausted, and drained, with no hope. Your heart is broken or you are in bondage to some addiction or there is some kind of hurt, habit or hang up that has left you hopeless. You have a choice, you can continue to sit there and continue in your pain and/or dysfunction and lost in a deep dark jungle that you will never be able to find your way out of and that you are not equipped to, or you can make the choice to surrender to the Guide and follow. Allow Him to provide you with the fellowship, vision and direction you need to lead you out of the jungle you are in and the healing you need. Surrender to the Guide and follow.

Tim Kelley, Encourager Coach- CR Fellowship Bible Chruch NW Arkansas

For information about Celebrate Recovery call Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Why do we "celebrate" in worship

Doing some reading on a familiar book and favorite of mine, “In a pit with a lion...” by Mark Batterson.

Great reminder for me that we should stop asking God to get us out of a difficult circumstance and start asking Him what he wants us to get out of those difficult situations.
Prayer is less about changing our circumstances and more about changing our perspective.

I don’t know what all you are going thru this week but God is with you and is walking thru it with you. I am reminded that it is important that I stop spending all my energy making plans for God and start seeking Him more. I pray you are seeking Him in your walk as well.

Why do we worship? Why do we celebrate every Friday night? Worship is not about pretending all is well and acting happy. No, "Worship is about forgetting about everything that is wrong with us and remembering what is right with God." Wow! That is what Friday Nights are about aren’t they?

The simple fact that we are breathing is a reason to give thanks to Him.

For more information on Celebrate Recovery contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanks In Thanksgiving

“Enter His gates with Thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to him; Bless His name.” Psalm 100:4 (ESV)
This year, don’t miss the THANKS in Thanksgiving…
Traditions.
Turkey…Dressing…Pumpkin pie…Football…Macy’s day parade. All fun. And for many, a part of family gatherings. Traditions that give us pause to share warm memories, and the opportunity to make new ones. Occasions to relish in the old traditions passed from generation to generation, or perhaps, to even begin a new one.

Holiday. A time to knock off for a day. Rest. Relax. Forget the bills, the problems, the pressures of life. Slow down from the hectic, insane pace that drives us to exhaustion, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Take the day off…and enjoy it!

Attitude. An attitude of self-less-ness. In sports, one bad attitude on the team can, and usually does, hurt the whole team. Self focused and self absorbed attitudes destroy the heart of Thanksgiving. This year…have an attitude…of gratitude.

Nation. Thanksgiving was birthed as a part of our American heritage. The Pilgrims and the Native Americans joined together to establish what is now a favorite annual celebration. Our Nation’s foundation was built on thanking God. Spend some time thanking God for this great Nation.

Kinfolk. Family trees. Of course, it seems like in every tree there is an “old sap” that may be a bit cantankerous (you’re smiling aren’t you?). This Thanksgiving, put aside petty differences and simply enjoy each other. Strengthen relationships, and your family tree will grow strong and well rooted.

Sacrifice. Remembering the ones who gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we can celebrate and “feast” in Freedom. And especially thank our Heavenly Father for His Sacrifice, Jesus Christ His son, freely given, that we might have eternal life…

“Give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness…offer sacrifices of thanksgiving…tell of His works with joyful singing.” Psalm 107:21-22 (NASV)
During your festivities this week, make a special effort to bring alive the “THANKS” in Thanksgiving…
And go easy on the turkey and dressing…


Thanks In Thanksgiving
November 23 – November 29
American Association of Christian Counselors » Blog Archive » Thanks In Thanksgiving

For information about Celebrate Recovery contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Can We Resist Temptation?

In 40 days Jesus was in the desert He faced trials and temptation just like us.
Luke 4:3-10
1. Tangible needs: the temptation to separate yourself from God to get what You need . v. 3
2. Own power: the temptation to use your own gifts and power to gain profit for Yourself v. 6-7
3. The temptation to locking onto a power other than God. V. 9-10

It is so easy in our recovery to fall into the temptation trap. Ironically it is when we start to make progress in our recovery that we may be hit from the enemy even harder. We can get rolling in our recovery and see tangible changes in our life, our relationships and even our over view of our self as children of God.

Why is it that we fall into this? Well, it is important to know that none of us can escape temptation. You might be thinking, "Wow! Rodney, that really gives me hope!"
But the truth of the matter is that we will always be in a good spot from time to time and then the next moment be faced with some sort of temptation. Sometimes it is at different extremes but a temptation nonetheless.

Even Jesus was faced with temptaion and yet He was without sin.
The question is that when face these temptations what do we do with it?
In the past we would hide due to possible embarassement. This can be fatal to our recovery progress.
Hiding our temptation gets us into big trouble. It may be a tangible tempation like binge eating, viewing pornography, burying our self in work, responding in anger, becoming prideful in a correction situation or even withdrawing from people because we have ourselves have painted a thought into our head and believed they were against us. Maybe we think they dont like us becasue "they havent said good morning." Sounds silly, but the enemy can put lies into our head and when he does, because we know he will as he is persistent and deceiving. We can either renounce those lies or believe them.

It is when we beleive them and hide our temptation that we end up doing something silly and coping in the unhealthy way that lead us into recovery to begin with.

Once we do this it becomes a great cycle of distruction that leads to withdrawing from frineds and family, justifying our actions, to shame and guilt. This shame and guilt is what the enemy wants us to stay in. The shame that says "this is the way you always be, get used it." That my friend, is a lie.
When we beleive that lie, we then fall into hopelessness. The author of the book "True Faced" Bill Thrall and Bruce McNicol call this "The Control Cycle"

The key is to not fall into thinking we can do this on our own, our own power or sometimes even worse a power other than Jesus Christ. To hit the lie head on with truth.

The next time you face a lie that the enemy throws out at you, tell someone about it immediately. Go to God's word and ask Him to reveal to you what He says about who you are in Christ.
I will close with this.
You are God's child, friend, you have been justified, united with the Lord, bought with a price, a member of Christ's body, a saint who sill sins, adopted as His child, having access to God thru the Holy Spirit.
You have been redeemed and forgiven and are complete in Christ.
We are free forever of condemnation, and any charge against you. We cannot be separated from the love of God and are established, anointed, sealed by God. We are hidden with Christ Jesus in God. The good work He has began in you will be completed.
We are citizens of heaven, we have been given NOT a spirit of fear but of love, power and a sound mind.
We can find grace and mercy in time of need. We are born of God; the evil one cannot touch us!
We are the salt and the light. We are a branch of the true vine, a channel of His life. We have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit. We are a personal witness of Christ's. We are God's temple and a minister of reconciliation for God.
We are God's coworker and we are seated with Chirst in the heavenly realm.
We are God's workmanship and we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
My friend, we can do all things thru Christ who strengthens us!

Rodney Holmstrom
Celebrate Recovery Fellowship Bible, NW Arkansas

For more information about Celebrate Recovery contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Monday, November 8, 2010

Jesus Wants To Heal Your Heart

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul. (Psalm 23:1-3).

He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3)

Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed;
save me and I will be saved,
for you are the one I praise. (Jeremiah 17:14)

But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. (Malachi 4:2)

He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing. (Luke 9:11)

For some reason this has been lost in the recent offerings of the church. Perhaps it has been our pride, which has kept us from admitting that we are broken. Lord knows I've done that for years - probably am still doing it now. Perhaps it is our fear of getting our hopes up; it seems too good to be true. Perhaps it's been the church's almost total focus on sin and the cross. But the Scripture is abundant and clear: Christ came not only to pardon us, but to heal us. He wants the glory restored. So, put the book down for just a moment, and let this sink in: Jesus can, and wants, to heal your heart. What does that rouse in you?

(From Waking The Dead , 134-136 by John Eldredge )

When I first read this, I said, “WOW! Jesus really does want to heal my heart! He wants more than for me to just squeak by and make into Heaven, He wants me to be whole, to be healed. Not to just leave baggage of my past at the cross, but to be healed of the wounds they have caused as well.”

As I entered into recovery I was hoping for freedom from sin, guilt and shame. I am finding these things, what I am also finding that I didn’t expect is how much He desires to restore my heart, how much He desires to heal my heart.
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly. (-Matt 11:28-30, The Message)

Prior to recovery I had spent tens of thousands of dollars on an education to understand the Bible, Theology and God and 17 years in vocational ministry and missed the heart of Jesus for me in all that time. How sad, to be so close to God and so far at the same time. It took me coming to a such hopeless state in my life that suicide seemed the only answer to NOW understand that He wants to heal wounds that my sin had caused and that I have carried for far to long but also that I was to stubborn to surrender to Him.

I wish I could tell you I have done it all at once and now I have complete victory; that all my wounds are healed, but we both know that would be a lie. Some of the wounds have been healed rather quickly, some I have yet to let go. Each day I learn to understand His heart for me a little more, each day I learn that I can trust Him a little more. This morning was another one of those days when He pulled back the curtain a little bit further and let me see a little more of much His heart is for me, of how much His desire is for me, of how much He is pursuing me. Letting me know again that today I can trust Him, today I can turn one more hurt over to Him.

"If you'll hold on to me for dear life," says God, "I'll get you out of any trouble. I'll give you the best of care if you'll only get to know and trust me. Call me and I'll answer, be at your side in bad times; I'll rescue you, then throw you a party. I'll give you a long life, give you a long drink of salvation!"
(Psalm 91:14, The Message)

Tim, Encourager Coach Fellowship Bible NW Ark CR.

For more information on Celebrate Recovery contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Saturday, October 30, 2010

21 Days of Thankful

Do you have a spirit of thankfulness? We as Americans tend to set aside one day of the year to remember things, people and ideals for which we are thankful. But we should have a spirit of being thankful all year long.

Those of us who have found healing through the Celebrate Recovery program know what it's like to be thankful...thankful for healing, thankful for grace, thankful for a new life in Christ that is free from our hurts, habits and hangups.

We got an idea from our friends at Vegas CR at Central that we want to invite all our fellow CR friends, their friends, their family members and the whole world to join us in doing.

For the next 21 days, send out a tweet or update your Facebook status to share something for which you are thankful. We're calling this the 21 Days of Thankful event. We pray that as you share, you will not only be blessed as you realize life's many blessings, but you will also bless others.

We also hope you will share this idea with others. You can share the link to this blog, or you can invite people to join the event on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=163393540348681&index=1

Now, this idea was started on October 30 and was originally designed to end right before Thanksgiving. But don't let that stop you. If you start in the middle, keep going for your own 21 days!

We can't wait to hear all the things people are thankful for and how this spirit of thankfulness helps change lives.

For more information about Celebrate Recovery call Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Daddy....I'm Scared

Ever been in a situation where you feel overwhelmed and that this is not going to end well? Where we feel like maybe God has somehow abandoned us in our situation?
Several years ago I took my daughter on a roller coaster ride, her very first. She was so excited and even though I tried to talk her out of it several times she insisted to ride this gigantic roller coaster at Sea World.
She was all smiles when sitting in and buckling up. She was all smiles as we awaited our climb of the high coaster. The higher we got, however, the more concerned she looked. She began to lose a little color in her face as we continued our climb. As we neared the top of the climb and began to near the decent down the steep fall she was now very nervous and quite frightened by what was to come next. I looked over into her fear stricken eyes, leaned into her, held her hand and said as calmly as I could, “Daddy has you sweetie. You don’t need to be scared. I am here.” The next couple minutes of the ride were something to remember. She did not enjoy one moment of it. She was pretty much sick the rest of the day.:)
In Exodus 14:9 But the Egyptians pursued after them…..”
We see God was faithful to lead them away for King Pharaoh and they got all the way to the Red Sea where they saw the king had a change of heart about letting them go and went after them.
10 And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD. 11 And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?
In essence they were saying, God why did you bring us this far just to see us die? They really believed that He had abandoned them.
In their distress they even convinced themselves that it might be better to go back to the way they were, in slavery then to face the storm they were facing.
12 Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.
Wow! Really?! I mean do they really think it was so much better?! They were slaves and hungry. We must not romanticize about our past. When we move forward and deal with our hurts, yes it will be tough but don’t believe for a second that it will be better to go back to the way it was.
Sometimes when we climb the coaster it feels like we need to turn around but life doesn’t work that way. We are in the storm we are in but God is there with us.
And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever. 14 The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

If God was faithful to bring you to this point, He will be faithful to take you thru it. When we face life’s trials and scary roller coaster moments we can feel confident that our Daddy, the Abba Father is reaching over and grabbing our hand saying, “Daddy has you, don’t be afraid. I am here” Remember, whatever you are facing, His perfect love casts out fear. Your heavenly Father has you in all situations.

Rodney Holmstrom
Celebrate Recovery
Fellowship Bible NW Arkansas

For more information about Celebrate Recovery contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Monday, October 25, 2010

Peace: Absence of conflict?

I have been doing some reading recently for an upcoming teaching in the book of Philippians. Specifically Chapter 4:10-19. What a cool book!
I was struck by the thought and meditation of what it really means to have peace in ALL circumstances. I mean, isn’t that contrary to what the world tells us?
The only way we have joy and peace in our heart is if we have everything going right for us and things are going our way in all circumstances then we really have something to be happy about….right? That is what I grew up believing and understanding. I truly believed that the only way I can have peace in my life is to have no conflicts in my life.
So, I spent most of my life trying to avoid conflict as that only makes things bad and not fun to deal with. I believed that I could not possibly have peace if I was in the middle of a storm in my life. That is really a big lie that many of us grow up believing. So what do we do? We run from our problems and hide from them. We just as well ignore the problem, the strained relationship, the situation in our job etc, etc. We might as well act like it is not there and it will eventually go away. Wrong.
It has been said, we cannot make a problem go away by saying it is not there. That is so true. As I have grown in Christ I have embraced this idea of facing conflict more directly. Now, I still have my moments where in the flesh I want t to run and hide but as a whole I have grown much in this area.
I am finding that when I deal with my conflicts directly and swiftly, I am healthier as a man and can face the next conflict even easier.
I am learning that true peace is not the absence of conflict but rather the presence of Righteousness. That Righteousness being the person of Jesus Christ. I am learning that He is big enough for all my problems not just the ones I feel like I can’t handle.
Paul reminds us in Chapter 4 that if we will NOT leave Him out of the equation in all situations, He truly will replenish us. Verse 19 of the fourth chapter says “and my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in the glory by Christ Jesus.” Notice He did not say “want”.
When my tank gets empty; if I invite Him into my everyday life, good or bad, He restores me to health. I am learning that if I am doing things right, His eyes are on me. This has nothing to do with good or bad times.
True happiness and peace comes from a daily seeking of our Lord and Savior. That is why it is so critical to stay in His word. He is the only one that can give us the wisdom, strength and courage to face every day’s battles.
In order to keep that peace in our heart even in the bad times is to do as Paul says in verse 12, “I know how to be abased (humble), and I know how to abound, (to have plenty). Everywhere and in ALL things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”
Wow! Did you hear that? To be full and yet still be hungry. I need to fill up on His wisdom daily thru the reading of His word, mediation, and prayer. That is the very essence of the Beatitude Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.” To gorge and yet still be hungry for more.
How is your appetite these days? Are you filling up on the wrong things? When I physically eat junk food, I have no room for the nutritious food I need to keep moving the direction I need to. In the same way, I have to fill myself up on Him and continue that hunger for more in my walk.
Paul finish verse 13 with “I can do all things thru Christ who strengthens me”
Great word to hold in our hearts as we face today’s challenges. The next time you have a conflict, embrace it. Don’t hide from it. Face it head on in love, grace and mercy and you will grow thru that experience. He is big enough to pull you thru it. it is thru the conflicts that we grow so much.
True peace is the presence of righteousness in the midst of the conflict. Keep your eyes on Him and He will guide you thru it.

Rodney Holmstrom
Celebrate Recovery Ministry Leader.
Fellowship Bible Church NW Arkansas

For more information about Celebrate Recovery, contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Monday, October 18, 2010

10 Lessons Learned From 25 Years of Ministry

This month I celebrate 25 years of full-time ministry. During this time I have been honored to serve as a university chaplain, to minister in people in 36 nations and in my current role to serve as Lead Pastor of Capital Life Church in Arlington, Virginia.

When I began in the ministry 25 years ago Ronald Reagan was beginning his second term as president, top entertainers were gathering together to sing, “We are the World” and "Back to the Future" was the highest-grossing film.

In the last 25 years I have witnessed the end of the Cold War and the beginning of a new kind of war that brought forth the worst attack on U. S. soil in our nation’s history.

I now have what few could have foreseen just 25 years ago: A GPS system in my car, a cell phone in my hand and a DVR in my living room. Our world has changed.

What I have learned is that the Psalmist knew what he was talking about when he said, “If the Lord delights in a man’s way he makes his steps firm.” The last 25 years have only reaffirmed the convictions that led me to commit my life full-time to serving God.

The following are 10 lessons I’ve learned in 25 years of ministry:

1. The goal is not to win a debate but to redeem the heart.

2. One’s public witness is only as authentic as one’s private integrity.

3. There is no greater source of wisdom than the Bible and no investment that yields greater returns than prayer.

4. Hate is only validated when one responds in like spirit.

5. Jesus should never be presented as less than he claimed to be: the way, the truth and the life.

6. One should live first and foremost so as to please a heavenly audience.

7. One’s legacy is found not in things that matter least but in people who matter most.

8. The generation into which I am born is my calling and it beckons me to be fully engaged.

9. When Jesus paused while dying on the cross to make certain his mother was cared for, he showed how to prioritize family amidst ministry.

10. Sermons can inspire but it is love in action that makes the most profound impact.

As I look to the next generation of ministers I am keenly aware that they will seek to touch a world that is increasingly distracted. Absolutes will be challenged as those who oppose Biblical precepts become more organized and vocal. Their strength will be in presenting not religion but a relationship with Jesus Christ.

To the generation of ministers who have served before me that includes Billy Graham, Bill Bright and others less well-known but equally faithful I owe a debt of gratitude. They heralded a gospel of love, maintained their integrity and loved their families well. They bequeath to others and me a legacy.

Rev. Bill Shuler is lead pastor at Capital Life Church in Arlington, Virginia. For more visit CapitalLife.org.

Published October 15, 2010
| FoxNews.com

Friday, October 15, 2010

Could It Be You?

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives." 1 John 1:9-10 (NIV)

I remember the day I realized I have Adam's Disease. It took me awhile to notice—in fact, most people with this debilitating condition don't ever recognize it. But the best doctor I know pointed out its symptoms, and though I hated to admit it, I've frequently displayed them.

Could it possibly affect you as well?

Adam's Disease is an insidious condition that interferes with the patient's ability to grow. It does this by preventing the patient from admitting and taking responsibility for their sin. Take a look at the first confirmed case:

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"

He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."

And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"

The man said, "The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." (Genesis 3:8-12, NIV)

What we have here is a textbook case of acknowledgement-avoidance and blame-shifting. Classic traits of Adam's Disease.

Adam hid because he sinned. He did the very thing God personally commanded him not to, and he knew it. He ate the fruit. He held it to his mouth, bit in, chewed, felt the juice dripping from his chin—and then his eyes were opened. Opened to what he had done, and opened to how miserable it feels to disconnect from God.

Trying to change the subject and avoid talking about his sin, Adam said he was hiding because he was naked. Nakedness ... a lesser offense. A problem, not a sin. A state that wasn't really his fault. After all, he didn't make himself naked. God did.

And that's where the second most prominent feature of Adam's Disease kicks in: blame-shifting. After trying to minimize the severity of their sin, the patient enters a frenzied state of denial and begins casting blame. He searches for a scapegoat. God will do; other people work even better, particularly those who are not without sin either. So the patient shfits attention away from themself by leveling accusations (no matter how old) on others.

If those of us suffering from Adam's Disease are skilled orators or experienced arguers, these tactics often work for us. The problem is, w e walk away from the confrontation feeling victorious rather than convicted. We actually talk ourselves into feeling self-righteous after sinning.

However, without conviction there is no repentance. Without repentance, there is no grace to change. Without change, there is no growth. Only future sins to be committed, glossed over, denied and forgotten. And in the process we don't realize how miserable we truly are – how sick our souls become.

The doctor that pointed all this out to me, the Great Physician, said He could heal me of this disease if I would come to Him with a humble heart, confess and be cleansed. He showed me that confessing my sin rather than concealing it would set me free. And He showed me it will not hurt to say, "I'm sorry."

For those outside the faith, Adam's Disease is fatal. For followers of Christ, it is completely curable. So, could it be you? Could you suffer with this tendency too? My best girlfriend advice - make an appointment w ith your Great Physician for a check-up today.

Dear Lord, today I am willing to say that I am a sinner in so many ways. And I don't like to admit responsibility for my poor choices and harmful actions. Please cleanse me of all unrighteousness and empower me to live humbly in Your grace. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
If this devotion struck a chord with you, you'll want to read chapter 10 – "Crave a Clear Conscious More than Clear Skin" – in Rachel's new book It's No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know


We were made to live free from Adam's Disease! Visit Rachel's blog today to talk about it. She is also giving away a copy of her book It's No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know.
________________________________________
When you purchase resources through Proverbs 31 Ministries, your purchase supports the many areas of hope-giving ministry we provide to women around the world. Therefore, we are extremely grateful for each and every purchase you make with us. Thank you!________________________________________

Application Steps:
Quiet yourself in prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart and show you any sin problems you need to confess. Then enjoy the spiritual vitality that you'll experience afterwards!
Reflections:
How willing am I to admit my mistakes? To God? To my boss? To my spouse? To my friends?

Do I shift blame as a knee-jerk reaction?

Do I resist saying , "I'm sorry"?

Power Verses:
James 4:6b, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (NIV)

© 2010 by Rachel Olsen. All rights reserved.
15 Oct 2010
Rachel Olsen


For information about Celebrate Recovery contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Witness His Majesty

Don’t forget to stop by our newcomer tables to welcome our guests and make them feel special.

I want to share some thoughts with you after reading some Max Lucado “God came near” this week.

"The financial aid office says “no”, the doctor says, “pregnant” or “it’s cancer”
The boss says, “transfer” the test grade reads “F”, the auto mechanic says, “totaled” the insurance agent says, “expired”

Change always brings fear before it brings faith. We always assume the worst before we look for the best. God interrupts our lives with something we’ve never seen, and rather than praise, we panic! We interpret the presence of a problem as the absence of God and scoot! Isn’t it a good thing the Shepherds lingered? “Then an angel of the Lord stood before them. The glory of the Lord was shining around them, and they became very frightened.”

Had the shepherd not lingered they might have missed the next verse. “Today your Savior was born in a town of David. He is Christ, the Lord.”

I am so honored to be amongst some of the most incredible shepherds in this ministry called CR. Together we get to be eyewitness of His majesty. Together we get to linger and see what God is going to do next! Isn’t that cool?!

It has been said that Christianity, in its purest form, is nothing more than seeing Jesus. Christian Service, in its purest form, is nothing more than imitating him who we see. To see His Majesty and to imitate Him, that is the sum of Christianity.

Thanks for being you my friends and walking along side with me in this incredible ministry. Jesus is doing some amazing things!

Heavenly Father, thank You that we get to see Your Majesty up front and close. You are so good and we thank You for what You are doing in our life right now as we speak. Help us to linger so that we do not miss out on the next verse of our life. May we imitate You tonight Father. We ask for Your blessing over this night. In Jesus Name, AMEN

For more information about Celebrate Recovery call Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Nutter Butter Anyone?

In the last year I found out that I have hypoglycemia and had strict orders from my doctor to change my diet. In meeting with a nutritionist, I was told that I would have to reduce my portion intake in a meal setting. I would also have to change my diet to more vegetables and less sweets. Yikes! That is the last thing I wanted to hear as I so love sweets. (Nutter Butters to be precise. )

I told my nutritionist that it was going to be pretty tough for me to do this because of my sweet tooth. She then said something to me that has stuck with me since. She said, “Rodney, your body will crave what it eats.” I thought she was crazy, but would you believe as I changed my eating habits, ate more vegetables and more healthy foods, my body did just that. It wanted more healthy things to digest. I was in fact craving what I ate.

I think about that with my recovery and how my mind is the exact same way. What I eat mentally and take into my brain, it in turn craves that very thing more and more.
We have people in our Church that run into this issue with their life. We may have spent a life time craving and taking in the wrong things. Filling our life with lies instead of truth, addictions and even dealing with hang-ups with unhealthy emotional coping skills. In turn we find our self in misery and full of hopelessness.

Fortunately we have a tool to help our Church learn the process of changing our actions. Celebrate Recovery is a fantastic tool to equip our pastors and non staff volunteers on how to handle life issues within our Church. If we want to change the way we act, we have to change the way we feel. The only way we change the way we feel is to change the way we think. Celebrate Recovery is one of the most practical ways to help our church body start this process of rewiring our mind, submitting our life to God and then work thru the process to remove the character defects that lead us to poor choices and hopelessness. This process called Celebrate Recovery teaches us to replace those things with truth and a life of hope and freedom from whatever we are dealing with, hurts, habits or hang-ups.

Stay in the Word this week and you will begin seeing your cravings change for the positive. Stay faithful to your group meeting and the people God has blessed you with as well. You are not in this alone.
We do crave what we eat spiritually and physically.

October 22nd at 6:00pm at Fellowship Bible we are celebrating 7 years of life change here. This will be a great night to bring someone to hear many mini testimonies from satisfied customers. Steak and Chicken this night. Who will you invite?

Time to go get me a Nutter Butter. Just kidding. :)

Rodney

For more information about Celebrate Recovery call Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

People just don’t stumble into recovery groups

People just don’t stumble into recovery groups. They are usually there because of some kind of crisis that their addiction has created. Because of the intensity of their problem and the emotional instability involved the newcomer is always the most important person in the room. We as a group have the opportunity to intervene in this person’s life. We must not be involved in the drama of our own lives or the life of the group to the degree that we overlook the newcomers needs. There is no script to follow. The correct action is to be led by the Holy Spirit



As members of Christ’s body and as group members we should always be in a "state" of carrying His message. We keep in mind that the newcomer in our group is a person with real needs. We adjust the group to meet this persons needs. It’s not about the “life” of the group. Even though the life of the group is important it’s more about the life of the person. If our newcomer is born again it’s just about us hooking this person up to what they already have but have lost. That is an attachment to Christ within.



Hurting Christians need to become reacquainted with the facts. The facts are that the old person that they were is dead and a new creation exists within them. It is also a time to realize that this is made possible by what Christ has done for them at the cross and all that is needed is an acceptance of the facts. This is the truth that breaks addiction and sin in ones life. Through the cross comes life and a way that can be lived by. We are buried and raised with Christ. Pointing this out to the newcomer through our own personal testimonies and talks will make the difference.



We as a group must have a single message. The message is that we can not save ourselves. Freedom comes from Christ alone and his method of providing it. Backslidden Christians struggle with addiction and sin because the have forgotten who they are. So in a very real way we are dealing with complacency. Complacency is an enemy to the group and to the individuals who attend our groups. We must also guard against complacency within ourselves.



We as "oldtimers" share that we can not free ourselves from addiction by focusing on the addiction. We share that we can't fix the damage we have done by attepmting to fix it all on our own. Our confession is that it takes somebody way bigger and much stronger than us to do this. As we trust in the lord and the powers He destroyed at the cross our areas of concern line up with the spirit of God. Addictions are broken and relationships are healed.

by John Madden on Monday, October 11, 2010 at 7:35pm
Thanks for the good word John.

For information about Celebrate Recovery in your area, contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Why It's Really Worth Telling Your Secrets

This is a great blog on this topic from ANN VOSKAMP. www.incourage.com
http://www.incourage.me/2010/10/why-tell-secrets.html

For information about a life changing ministry that keeps a safe place in telling your secrets "so that" you may be healed" Contact Rodney at Celebrate Recovery at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

It's A Kingdom Thing Baby

So I sat there last Friday night and as I listen to David do the announcement about the 7th Anniversary Event I was it full force in the face with something by the Spirit of God that was then reinforced by the worship led by Rodney that followed and then again by Angela’s testimony that followed that.

Celebrate Recovery is celebrating 7 years of life change at FBC and we are asking folks to look outside our walls and invite someone to experience this great ministry thru this exciting celebration.

It really caught me Friday night how much CR is a Kingdom thing. It is not a Saddleback thing, it is not a Rick Warren or John Baker thing, it is not a Fellowship thing, it IS a Kingdom thing, it IS a Jesus thing. It is not about a single church or church leader or about a denomination even. It IS about the Bridegroom and His love for His bride though, His church.

That being the case, I have not been able to shake the thought that this 7th Anniversary Celebration is bigger than we think. It is not about Fellowship having CR for the last 7 years, while that is such a cool thing. This celebration needs to be about a Kingdom thing. It needs to be about what the King has done and what the King wants to do. CR works around the country, or even for that matter around the world now not because of anything except that it is a Kingdom thing.

I was talking with a friend of mine Saturday night who was telling me that he has another friend that he was surprised to find out that had been attending CR for the last several months, surprised because he said his friend was not really into church. I told my friend, well neither is CR, CR is not about church it is about the Kingdom of God, it is about Jesus binding up the broken hearted, it is about Jesus setting captive hearts free, it is about Jesus restoring lives that have been destroyed by sin and bad choices – it has nothing to do with church – it has everything to do with the Kingdom, it has everything to do with Jesus.

Just today Kim and I had the opportunity to share the same thoughts with a denominational leader who very well may cancel his plans so that he can join us on Oct 22nd. I loved what he said as we left, “it is not about our height, but it is about our depth!” Oh!! Yes!! Now that is a recovery thought, that is a Kingdom thought – if I ever heard one!! Jesus could care less to what height I rise too, but He is oh so concern with the depth of my character – that is recovery. So much so that He will risk crashing my world apart to restore my character to what it should be – that is a recovery thing; that is a Kingdom thing!
I believe that we are at a watershed moment in the Kingdom and we dare not grab it for ourselves, the moment we do it will be lost from us. CR is what it is because the King has chosen to work through His Spirit as He does, it is not our doing. It is not our anointing. It is not even our calling. It IS His Kingdom, it is His work, remember if God could speak through a donkey……enough said.

As we celebrate the last 7 years we need to be sure that we keep in mind that It's A Kingdom Thing Baby!! Lest we let pride over take us

I have not been able to get Isaiah 61 out of my mind when it comes to what it is the King wants to do in His Kingdom

1-7 The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me because God anointed me.
He sent me to preach good news to the poor,
heal the heartbroken,
Announce freedom to all captives,
pardon all prisoners.
God sent me to announce the year of his grace—
a celebration of God's destruction of our enemies—
and to comfort all who mourn,
To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion,
give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes,
Messages of joy instead of news of doom,
a praising heart instead of a languid spirit.
Rename them "Oaks of Righteousness"
planted by God to display his glory.
They'll rebuild the old ruins,
raise a new city out of the wreckage.
They'll start over on the ruined cities,
take the rubble left behind and make it new.
You'll hire outsiders to herd your flocks
and foreigners to work your fields,
But you'll have the title "Priests of God,"
honored as ministers of our God.
You'll feast on the bounty of nations,
you'll bask in their glory.
Because you got a double dose of trouble
and more than your share of contempt,
Your inheritance in the land will be doubled
and your joy go on forever.
8-9"Because I, God, love fair dealing
and hate thievery and crime,
I'll pay your wages on time and in full,
and establish my eternal covenant with you.
Your descendants will become well-known all over.
Your children in foreign countries
Will be recognized at once
as the people I have blessed."
10-11I will sing for joy in God,
explode in praise from deep in my soul!
He dressed me up in a suit of salvation,
he outfitted me in a robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom who puts on a tuxedo
and a bride a jeweled tiara.
For as the earth bursts with spring wildflowers,
and as a garden cascades with blossoms,
So the Master, God, brings righteousness into full bloom
and puts praise on display before the nations."

God, a most fierce warrior, is at my side.
Those who are after me will be sent sprawling—
Slapstick buffoons falling all over themselves,
a spectacle of humiliation no one will ever forget.
Jeremiah 20:11 (The Message)

Who will you invite to experience this Kingdom ministry on October 22nd?

Tim K, Encourager Coach, Fellowship Bible CR NW Arkansas.
For more information about CR or one closer to you in your area, contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Friday, September 24, 2010

Church Is Not A Building

Church is not a building. Church is not an event that takes place on Sundays. I know, its how we think of it. "I go to First Baptist." "We are members of St. Luke's." "Is it time to go to church?" Much to our surprise, that is not how the Bible uses the term. Not at all. When the Scripture talks about church, it means community. The little fellowships of the heart that are outposts of the kingdom. A shared life. They worship together, eat together, pray for one another, go on quests together. They hang out together, in each other's homes. When Peter is sprung from prison, "he went to the house of Mary the mother of John? where many people had gathered and were praying" (Acts 12:12).

Anytime an army goes to war or an expedition takes to the field, it breaks down into little platoons and squads. And every chronicle of war or quest will tell you that the men and women who fought so bravely fought for each other. That's where the acts of heroism and sacrifice take place, because that's where the devotion is. You simply can't be devoted to a mass of people; devotion takes place in small units, just like a family.

We have stopped short of being an organization; we are an organism instead, a living and spontaneous association of individuals who know one another intimately, care for each other deeply, and feel a kind of respect for one another that makes rules and bylaws unnecessary. A group is the right size, I would guess, when each member can pray for every other member, individually and by name.

This is the wisdom of Brother Andrew, who smuggled Bibles into communist countries for decades. It's the model, frankly, of the church in nearly every country but the U.S. Now, I'm not suggesting you don't do whatever it is you do on Sunday mornings. I'm simply helping you accept reality - that whatever else you do, you must have a small fellowship to walk with you and fight with you and bandage your wounds. This is essential. (Waking The Dead , 192 )

Do we se the parallel in recovery? We must of an accountability team, a sponsor and accountability partners if we are going to survive the war. War? Yes I said did say war. Trust me the enemy of our soul has declared open war upon us and we need to take that as seriously as it sounds. I need to have a platoon (an accountability team) about me to help me to pray, to fight with me and to keep me on track in those times when that is needed.

I am starting to see the word “church” not as a nice place to visit but as an outpost of warriors ready to take the enemy out at his knees.

“God, a most fierce warrior, is at my side. Those who are after me will be sent sprawling— Slapstick buffoons falling all over themselves, a spectacle of humiliation no one will ever forget.” Jeremiah 20:11 (The Message)

No Slapstick buffoons allowed!!

Excerpts from:
John Eldredge’s book, "Waking the Dead"
Plus some commentary from Tim Kelley, CR Encourager Coach Fellowship Bible CR.

For information on Celebrate Recovery contact Rodney @ 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Top Priorities

Here are five simple suggestions to help make loving your spouse a top priority, second only to your relationship with Christ. Remember, giving your marriage the time and attention it deserves truly matters to God. He will help you implement these steps if you are willing to order your life and marriage according to His will.

1. Pray together before the day begins.
Couples that pray regularly together experience less than a 1 percent divorce rate.

2. Act out love to experience feelings of love.
One of the mysteries of keeping a softened heart is that we must continue to ACT that way even when we don't feel that way.

3. Spend thirty minutes a day in a shared activity and intimate conversation.
It's a truism that men communicate as the result of a shared activity, while women view communication as the activity itself. Make spending thirty minutes together a top priority so that you can stay connected through intimate conversation.

4. Give your spouse the right to access you any time day or night.
One of the important ways to communicate the priority your spouse is in your life is to allow them to interrupt your schedule. The important point needs to be established that your spouse comes first.

5. Submit your time decisions to the fifty-year rule.
The fifty-year rule simply asks, "Fifty years from now will we be glad or regret the way we used our time today?"
We need to take this advice of Scripture to heart,
Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
(Psalm 90:12)
Our marriages all come with an expiration date. We may have only this day to connect our hearts; tomorrow may not come. We need to ask God to give us the wisdom to see our marriage as He sees our marriage. Once we do, we will make it the first and highest priority in our lives after our relationship with Christ.
"Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts..."

Marriage Minutes
Bob and Cheryl Moeller
Thursday, September 23, 2010
email: cherylmoeller@comcast.net to subscribe

For information on Celebrate Recovery contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Monday, September 20, 2010

Greed - The Insatiable Monster of Marriage

Greed is the jealous hunger to obtain more than we need at any cost. A couple driven by greed will never know true peace or contentment.

Why is greed, the insatiable monster, never enough?

1. Greed is ultimately based on a lack of faith in God's provision.
2. Greed is driven by the lie that the things of the world can satisfy our hearts.

The Biblical cure for greed is Thanksgiving:

A life of continual thanksgiving to God is the remedy for greed. Thanksgiving focuses on all we have been given rather than all we lack. Thanksgiving acknowledges God Himself is more than enough. Thanksgiving sets us free to enjoy all we have without comparison or complaint.

(Jesus said to them) "Watch out! Be on guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." Luke 12:15


Marriage Minutes
Bob and Cheryl Moeller
Monday, September 20, 2010
Email: cherylmoeller@comcast.net to subscribe

For information on Celebrate Recovery contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Attitude…or Beatitude?

I have a point blank question for you; do you treat people with piercings, colored hair, tattoos or anything out of the “norm” with the same respect as you do a person in a business suit?

Recently I observed a young man receive what appeared to be judgmental looks as well as an attitude from a business man. (With that said, there is NO way for me to know what someone else is thinking. I’m going by my own experiences and what the appearance was at the time and place.)

This young man was taking orders and making sandwiches in a restaurant.
As I stepped up to order after the business man, the young man’s eyes just barely met mine so that I would know that it was my turn to order.
(Whatever the reason was for his lack of eye contact, I felt compassion for him.) I placed my order, went on, got my sandwich, and sat down to eat when I realized that it was missing one of the main ingredients. I really didn’t want to say anything about it, but somehow I knew that’s exactly what I needed to do. I took the sandwich back to the counter where I had ordered. The only person available to speak with was the young man with the piercings and blue and red colored hair. I gently asked him about the ingredients on the sandwich. He appeared somewhat stressed about the error, but quickly and politely took care of it. As he handed my sandwich back to me, he looked as if he were dreading what I had to say to him. “Thanks and have a nice day” was all that needed to be said. He seemed somewhat surprised.

Oh, how important it is that we treat others with the same respect in which we want to be treated!! As is says in the bible; “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Luke 6:31

At this moment, my heart was overwhelmed with compassion for this young man. All I could do, at this point, was pray for salvation (if needed) for him, as well as salvation for anyone in the restaurant willing to do so, whenever and wherever possible in their lifetime.

In Matthew, Jesus spoke these words, better known as “The Beatitudes”.
They are guidelines in which to help us in our walk with the Lord…things that will be seen- in us- by others, as followers of Christ.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad for great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:3-12

Now, I have no idea whether or not the business man was a Christian or not. That’s not for me to judge. But, I do know this. Those of us who have come to know Jesus as our Savior, really need to make the highest priority of allowing the love of God not only show…but, flow through us.
We have no reason to boast of our own salvation or anything else for that matter. If we are saved, we are saved, not by anything that we have done, but by the grace and mercy that God has extended to us through the death of His only son, Jesus. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2: 8-9 It’s now our job to “keep ourselves in a state” that allows God’s love, mercy and grace to be shown to others through us. Stir up the Holy Spirit within yourself.
Ask God to show you how to show His love to those around you…no matter where you are. Do you have an attitude or are you practicing the beatitudes?

As I left the sandwich shop that day, all I could think of is how my Savior was pierced…for me...on the cross. His hair was, more likely than not, colored red with blood…for me. His body was tattooed with bruises and injuries from being beaten and whipped…for me…for my salvation…salvation through Jesus Christ, something I cannot earn or purchase. Salvation is a gift that has been given to me and you, freely, by the Creator of the universe. All we have to do is receive it. “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our
iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes, we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

I wonder if the business man would have reacted with the same look and attitude if it had been Jesus, pierced, red hair and tattooed with bruises, behind that counter? I believe this is a good question for all of us. (In no way, shape or form, do I intend an attitude of judgment towards the business man.) Do you have an attitude or are you practicing the beatitudes? I ask this same question of myself. I want to continue to press into the Lord…more of Him and less of me. It will only make me a better person.

I have to confess…I continue to be amazed by God’s ability to take such a common, everyday occurrence, show His love, grace and mercy through me, a sinner saved by grace, then, give me the words to share with others. I intend no praise for myself through this or any other writing. I am both humbled and grateful to be used and taught by God in this way. It is my hope and prayer that you, too, will find God leading you in the same way.

By :: angie c tipton, "The Landing" worship leader Friday Nights at Fellowship.

If you would like info about Celebrate Recovery or the teen version "The Landing", contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Humility: God's Turbocharger that will Energize Your Marriage

Humility: God's Turbocharger that will Energize Your Marriage
Philippians 2:1-11
Definition: Humility is letting God have the place in our heart that "Self" wants to occupy.

A. What Does a Spiritually Energized Marriage Look Like?

1. We are united eternally to Christ
2. We are living daily in fellowship with the Holy Spirit
3. We are walking in agreement as a couple.
4. We are acting out love to the other person when life hurts
5. We are pursuing oneness in our life's calling and commitments.

B. How is the Power of Humility Released in a Marriage?

1. We give up all selfishness or pride in our married relationship.
2. We consider our spouse's needs before our own.
3. We don't lord our position, role, gifts, strengths, or money over our spouse.
4. We give up all right to use our rights in any selfish way.
5. We let our servant spirit not our controlling attitude change the heart of our spouse.
6. We leave our desire for all recognition and rewards in God's hands.
7. We submit everything to the Glory Test: Will this make a name for me or for God?

Dear Lord God,
I confess I have at times been living my life in pride and selfishness, particularly in my marriage.
I ask you to empty my heart of any desire or right to use my position, role, gifts, strengths, or money in any self-serving way and instead to fill my heart with true humility. I now yield the place in my heart that "Self" has occupied for so long to the control of Jesus Christ. I ask that all I do and say in my marriage from this point onward be to the Glory of God the Father. In the name above every name, Jesus Christ, I pray, Amen


Marriage Minutes
Bob and Cheryl Moeller
Tuesday, September 7, 2010


If you would like information about Celebrate Recovery here at Fellowship Bible NW Arkansas contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Monday, September 6, 2010

Do you have a scar?

Do you have a scar? : http://wp.me/p12MHN-16

For information about Celebrate Recovery at Fellowship Bible Church in Arkansas contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Saturday, September 4, 2010

God's Family Lasts Forever

Since you are his child, everything he has belongs to you. Galatians 4:7 (NLT)
Your spiritual family is even more important than your physical family because it will last forever. Our families on earth are wonderful gifts from God, but they are temporary and fragile, often broken by divorce, distance, growing old, and inevitably, by death.
The apostle Paul says, “When I think of the wisdom and scope of his plan, I fall down on my knees and pray to the Father of all the great family of God – some of them already in heaven and some down here on earth” (Ephesians 3:14-15 LB).
On the other hand, our spiritual family – our relationship to other believers – will continue throughout eternity. It is a much stronger union, a more permanent bond, than blood relationships.
The Bible teaches, “To all who did accept him and believe in him he gave the right to become children of God. They did not become his children in any human way – by any human parents or human desire. They were born of God” (John 1:12-13 NCV).
The moment you were spiritually born into God’s family, you were given some astounding birthday gifts: the family name, the family likeness, family privileges, family intimate access, and the family inheritance!
By Rick Warren
September 4, 2010 - God's Family Lasts Forever - Daily Hope

For information about Celebrate Recovery 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

God Says You Are Valuable

You have been bought and paid for by Christ, so you belong to him—be free now from all these earthly prides and fears. 1 Corinthians 7:23 (TLB)

God says not only are you accepted; you're valuable.
How much do you think you're worth? I'm not talking about your net worth; I'm talking about your self worth. Don't ever confuse your valuables with your value as a person. You can be rich or poor but it has nothing to do with your value as a person.
What determines value? There are two things that determine value in life:
1 - It depends on what someone is willing to pay for it. How much is your house worth? Not as much as you think it is, and probably not as much as it was a year ago. Your house is worth what somebody is willing to pay for it. No more.
How much is a baseball card worth? To some of you, it's worth nothing. To Matthew, my son, it's worth a lot of money. Some people are willing to pay $10,000 for a baseball card.
How much is a piece of art worth? Whatever someone is willing to pay for it.
2 - It depends on who owned it in the past. Sometimes something is valuable because of who used to own it. For example, would a car owned by Elvis Presley be more valuable than a car you owned? Probably. Or, would a guitar be more valuable because it was owned by John Lennon? I read about a pair of stinky, smelly, worn out basketball shoes that sold for $7,000 at an auction because they happened to be owned by someone named Michael Jordan.
Based on these two things, what's your value? Ask yourself, ‘Who owns me?’ ‘What was paid for me?’ The Bible says, “You have been bought and paid for by Christ, so you belong to him—be free now from all these earthly prides and fears.” (1 Corinthians 7:23 TLB)
You have been bought and paid for by Christ. You belong to Jesus. How much does that make you worth?
Now ask yourself, ‘Who do I belong to?’ The Bible says you belong to God. God exchanged His own Son for you! The Cross proves your value. Jesus didn't die for junk. You are incredibly valuable. Nobody has ever paid a greater price than God paid for you. You are acceptable and you are valuable!

By Rick Warren
August 31, 2010 - God Says You Are Valuable - Daily Hope


If you would like to learn information about Celebrate Recovery please contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or email roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Stream of Healing

For this people's heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them. (Matt. 13:15)

"And I would heal them." That's a different offer from: "And I would forgive them." It's a different offer from: "And I will give them a place in heaven." No, Jesus is offering healing to us. Look at what he does to people who are broken. How does he handle them? The blind are able to see like a hawk. The deaf are able to hear a pin drop. The lame do hurdles. The corroding skin of the leper is cleansed and made new. The woman with the issue of blood stops hemorrhaging. The paralyzed servant hops out of bed. They are, every last one of them, healed. Now follow this closely: everything Jesus did was to illustrate what he was trying to say. Here-look at this-this is what I'm offering to do for you. Not just for your body, but more important, for your soul. I can heal your heart. I can restore your soul.

Taken from Waking the Dead, pp134-135 by John Eldredge

For information about experiencing healing in your life from H, H, H contact Rodney at roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org or 479-659-3679

Monday, August 16, 2010

Who is "The Landing" For?

Who is The Landing For?
Monday, August 16, 2010 at 4:26PM
Lots of people think that recovery is only for those who have drug or alcohol issues. While it is true that recovery, and Celebrate Recovery, is for people with chemical dependency issues, it isn't only for them. In fact, one of the unique things about Celebrate Recovery is that it offers groups for more than just chemical addicts. CR offers groups for people with any hurt, hang-up or habit. And so does The Landing.

The Landing will be a great resource for any teen who is struggling with addiction issues. By working through the Christ-centered principles among a community of peers and caring adults, students will learn tools to help them give over their addictions to Jesus and find true healing and victory.

But The Landing isn't just for kids facing addiction issues. It's for students that find they have hurts they can't deal with, hang-ups that have them spinning out of control, or who aren't really sure what's going on, they just know something is wrong.

One thing is for sure, by providing The Landing in your church you'll give students a safe place. A place for them to express themselves and learn the tools they need to find freedom and victory over their hurts, hang-ups and habits.

From the Landing Blog
http://thelandingblog.com/journal/2010/8/16/who-is-the-landing-for.html

For more information about The Landing or Celebrate Recovery at Fellowship Bible call Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org