Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Here Am I. Send Me.

Here Am I. Send Me.


Maybe God has you unemployed today?
Maybe God has you single today?
Maybe God has you restless today in your present job?
Maybe God has you married today?

So, you would consider world missions.

Godly leadership begins with God's call and our response.

Like Isaiah, we may feel like unclean people who are not qualified to lead, but God doesn't look for that. He is looking for those who are willing to obey.

This is the same God who took David, a shepherd boy, and made him king.

Jesus chose unlearned fishermen to turn the world upside down, and He will use you and I as we walk forward in faith to His prompting.

God wants our availability even more than our capability.

Consider missions first, instead of last.

"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?' And I said, 'Here am I. Send me!'" Isaiah 6:8

From:
Marriage Minutes
Bob and Cheryl Moeller
Tuesday, July 20, 2010

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

Monday, July 26, 2010

I've got big muscles

“My grace is sufficient for you and My power is made perfect in weakness.” II Corinthians 12:7-10.
My grandson came up to me one day and said while flexing his muscles, “ Hey meme, look at my guns ( muscles ), I have the power. I felt his muscles and went on about how powerful he was. He said, “ thank you meme, I know.” This week God brought it to my attention that I was trying to be “powerful” and not letting Him have power and authority over the situations in my life. Back to step two and not step one. “ I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and my life is unmanageable. “ Where have I heard that before? Hmmm. I had lost sight that God is waiting, but does not help us until we are ready to admit our powerlessness and cry out to Him, which made me go back to II Samuel 17 and re-read the story of David and Goliath. The all powerful giant Philistine, wearing 125 lbs of armor came out for forty one days, mocking and challenging the Israelites. Everyone was afraid. Paralyzed with fear, all they could see was the giant and not the powerfulness of the Most High God.
In his youth, David seemed to have more knowledge and insight into the power of Almighty God than all of Israel. He was a shepherd not a warrior. How bold was he to say to the giant, “You come against me with the sword, spear and javelin. I come against you in the name of the Lord, Almighty God of Israel.” David ran to the battle. His faith in the power of God caused him to look at the situation with a different perspective. I remember telling someone else, “ you keep trying to do things in your own strength and power-- how has that been working for you?” “ Admit you are powerless. You cannot do things on your own. Submit to the sovereignty and the authority of God. David knew he could not in his own strength defeat Goliath, but by being willing and allowing God to be control of the situation, that God would work out all things for his good.
Saul asked David to put on his armor to help keep him safe. It was too bulky and cumbersome for David. He knew God was all he needed. How many times in this last week have you tried wearing “ Saul’s armor” of “ I am sufficient, I can do it my way, or running on your own emotions, forgetting the power and sufficiency of God? Admit you are powerless. Ask God to show you the Goliath’s in your life. Allow God to show you His great power. Take off all the things that are bulky and cumbersome in your life. There is no shame in admitting that you are powerless and your life sometimes gets a little out of control. The good news is, we may have lost sight, but God is patiently waiting, waiting for us to admit out powerlessness and cry out to Him so that we may defeat our “ giants “ and show off “ our guns “ which will reflect His Majesty and His Glory. This has always been a great story. Why not make it your story?
Great Healer: we are wounded lambs you hold. We know you hear our great cries for help and healing. We come now and humbly admit, we are weak and you are strong. It is your great muscles that we need. Teach us to trust you with all our hurts and sufferings. Help us to understand your great love and compassion for us even when you choose to allow us to remain broken. Teach, us through our weakness to lean on your strength. Give us grace as you keep us humble so that your power may rest upon us.
As you walk on this journey called life to remember it is not the physical aspect of muscles that make you strong, but the Powerful and Awesomeness of Christ as you submit to Him and walk humbly with Him that is what will keep you strong. Have a blessed week.

Janice Encourager Coach-Team
For more informaion on Celebrate Recovery at Fellowship contact Rodney @ 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.rg

Little Seed- Big Tree

Have you ever prayed a prayer so filled with faith that it could move a mountain? Is your faith large or small? In Matthew 17:20: I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “ Move from here to there,” and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. “ Who could ever imagine such a tiny seed could produce a tree more than a million times it’s size? Do you pray knowing that God is able to do anything and that He can just speak and it will be so. He is able to do everything. He is not limited by one thing. Do you shift the size of your mountain to the sufficiency of the mountain mover, and then have the faith that it takes to rest with assurance that He will help you and give you what ever it is that you need to move the mountain? Hebrews 11:1 : Faith is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. Mountain moving faith - it is not just an act of the mind, it taps us into the very resources of God.
Luke 17:5: The disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith. In this passage it does not say whether or not that Jesus increased their faith or told them how to increase it themselves. I think He just wanted them to act upon the faith they had. It wasn’t that they did not have enough faith, but did not know how to use the faith they had or how powerful it could be.
If you grew up in a home where there was very little trust, it was very difficult to have faith in the people that you thought that you could trust especially if they hurt you. Often times this led into trust issues with other people and with God. The only person that you had faith in is yourself. Faith in ourselves only made our lives a mess. Faith is taking our eyes off our self sufficiency and turning to the sufficiency of God. Faith is trust - trust in knowing God is sufficient, all powerful, loving, kind, generous and always does and gives to us what is best for us. Faith is having a personal relationship with Jesus where there are no trust issues. He will always do what He says He will do. He never means us any harm. He will never leave us or forsake us. When we can receive that into our hearts and really begin to trust Him and take Him at His word, than that tiny “seed of faith” can begin to grow. As the trust becomes stronger the faith becomes “bigger,” and the roots get longer and go deeper. It means that I can trust Him with the small things, the big things, the painful things and the good things. Strong faith is knowing when “ the turkeys try to keep you down-you can fly like an eagle.” It is knowing “ when I am weak, He is strong.“ It is knowing when “ I can’t, He can.“ It is knowing I am insufficient but He is sufficient.” It is knowing “He is God and I am not.” It is knowing that I can’t change myself, but He can change me.” When we are able to grasp this , then we begin to realize that “we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.” Doesn’t that mean “ the strength it takes to move mountains?”
What is keeping you from having that mountain moving faith? When you pray - are you praying with doubts and reservations or are you praying with that “mustard seed “ faith? A little faith can have incredible results!
Most gracious Father: Thank you, Father, for the magnificent “ economy “ of faith. I do not have to have a great faith to be a great person of faith. Just a seed of faith will do. We love you Father and praise Your Holy Name. Amen.
As you go about on your journey called life this week-remember- just a seed’s worth of faith can move a mountain. Have a blessed week.

Janice Encourager Coach-Team

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

Friday, July 16, 2010

Recovery story

A big part of continued recovery is surrounding ourselves with positive, Godly influences that encourage our growth. A huge part of this is continuing to attend Celebrate Recovery meetings, but for me it also means outside sources.

I "follow" many pastors and other encouragers on the social networking site Twitter. One of my favorites is a major part of the national CR ministry, Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in California (@RickWarren).
He recently shared a thought that I found very profound and encouraging ... then it smacked me right between the eyes.
"God sometimes removes a person from your life for your protection. Don't run after them," is what Rick said.
My first thought was about a couple of relationships I had before going into recovery. I was incredibly close to these individuals and considered them to be family. As I started to heal, I realized how self destructive the relationships were and I pulled away. I couldn't be around people who were destroying their own life when I was trying to let God rebuild mine. I knew the initial decision was correct, but I'd been struggling with thoughts of trying to reconnect with some of the people involved-especially after they started their own recovery.

I realized though that wouldn't be a good idea and it may never be a good idea. I briefly thanked God for the wisdom to remove myself from the situation and reread the statement to cement it in my mind.

"God sometimes removes a person from your life for your protection. Don't run after them," I read.
That's when it hit me. I had been focusing on the fact that I shouldn't be returning to a potentially unhealthy situation and was thankful (and probably prideful) that I had removed myself from it even though it was painful.

But what about what I was doing to these people? To their lives? If you read the statement exactly, it talks about people who have left our lives. I left their lives, not the other way around-not really, anyways.

Ouch. I couldn't be in denial any more. While it was true that their self destructive behavior was bad for me, I had to fully admit to myself that my self destructive behavior was bad for them. God removed me from their lives for their protection, just as he had removed them from mine. Our lost friendship wasn't just for my well being, it was for theirs too. Deep down I think I had kept hoping they would heal and run back to me. Somehow that just doesn't seem to be the wisest thing.

When we're in recovery, it's easier (at least for me) to think of those who have hurt us. But what about those we've hurt? Do we fully grasp the ways we've hurt them? I knew I had hurt these individuals, but I told myself it was because of my judgmental attitude ... which in turn I told myself was at least somewhat justified. But I realized I had to make amends for being just as self destructive and being someone around whom they felt comfortable being equally self destructive.

As you look at your own inventory, is there someone to whom you owe an unexpected amends? What does the statement "God sometimes removes a person from your life for your protection. Don't run after them" mean to you?

Anonymous

To learn more about Celebrate Recovery contact Rodney 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Verbal Reality--Why you can't believe an addict and what you can do as a co-dependent

I recently came across the below article when websurfing for information about verbal reality, a concept a friend introduced me to last year during a time I was trying to figure out is someone was telling me the truth or not. The below article is specifically for Porn addiction, and comes from a very good website, but I've found it true with all addictive behaviors. If you've never heard of Verbal Reality, and you question whether or not your spouse is being honest, this is a good way to help you sort it out, and a great tool for your recovery.
______
Consider This. (from http://www.pornaddicthubby.com/Help-For-The-Addict.html)

Addicts of any kind live in a "verbal reality." This means if they say it, it is true and if they say it passionately enough even they believe it is really true. Men who have an addiction to porn live in a verbal reality. A sex addict believes what he is saying while he is saying it.

Your most helpful tool in dealing with verbal reality is looking at his measurable behavior.

He says, "I can quit" but logs on again. The behavior is always the truth.

He says he wants to change, but attends no 12-step meetings and makes no calls to counselors or therapists, and so his behavior is the truth.

Don't be fooled by verbal reality and don't blame him if you buy what he says to you. In the past, your own desire to believe the best and not implement measurable behaviors has set up a system that you both are now familiar with. The system is: he does what he wants, Says: "I love you" or "I'll change". You believe him, nothing changes and then you get to repeat this cycle again.

The way to stop this cycle is to ask what recovery behaviors he is committed to and where he is going to check off if he did them or not. Addicts themselves believe their own verbal reality so YOU can't if the
both of you are going to get on a path towards health.
_______

(I'm back)

As an Adult Child of Dysfunction, I've learned that one of my main issues is trust. That is because ACD's are trained to believe Verbal Reality. We live in the Addict's and Codependent's fantasy world. This is how the outside world can literally go a lifetime and not see the pain, confusion, dysfunction and anguish behind closed doors. It is why a child who is sexually molested by a father doesn't see their father as a monster or why the child of an alcoholic rarely sees drinking as something that causes them to black out, vomit, do or say embarrasing things or lose control, but rather as something that everyone does to have fun--so much so that most Adult Children of Alcoholics become Alcoholics themselves. Or maybe why the victim of severe abuse has no memories of childhood at all, because they were told over and over again it never happened so that it becomes a secret buried deep inside, problaby because they are told over and over again no one will believe them.

No matter what our background, though, as a co-dependent of any kind of an addict we have to have some self accountaiblity--but it has to be for the right things. The co-dependant can't take on the addict's lies or issues and blame ourself for their behavior. For example, if a husband has an eating addiction he can't blame his wife because she is a good cook. Neither can the co-dependent justify supplying the addict with the object of their addiction because it is what we've grown accustomed to or ignoring behaviors because we don't want to face the truth.

To break the cycle we have to first acknowledge that to a point the verbal reality is usually more desiralbe than the reality, and that is why we tend to 'fall for it every time.' We WANT to believe the best of our spouse, friends, child, goverment offical (okay, that might be taking it a bit far, LOL) so we ignore what is right in front of our faces. And, if we are honest with ourselves, we have to admit that on some level we know something is not right, even if they are very good at covering their tracks.

After we accept the behavioral reality, it is our job to hold firm to that truth--not to police our spouse, but to make it very clear the evidence isn't looking to good for them and then leave it in their laps to deal with.

In the end the addict has to decide for themselves to seek out recovery. The co-dependent might try to do it for the addict, but the best thing the co-dependant can do is seek out a support group for themselves! There might be a time you have to do some very tough love, and it will be hard to stick with it on your own, especially because that honeymoon period after the initial confrontation is so sweet and easy to fall victim to. You want to find a group that focuses on what you can change, not trying to get you to focus on the addict's problem. Once you've confronted, there is nothing more you can do other than choose to leave or stay, and how you respond from that point on. Choosing that support group will be the most important thing you do, especially if your goal is to save your marriage. You want a group that will listen, not try to fix or tell you what you should or shouldn't do, but rather present options and allow you to choose without pressure. It should be a group that has gone through something similar and survived, who is positive, forgiving and loving, not judging of you or your spouse. Most importantly, they need to be willing to make themselves vulnrable to you by sharing their stories. If they are still in denial, they will take you on a canoe trip in the wrong direction!

Lean on God and not your own understanding. If you pray God reveal the truth as I need to know it, He will be faithful to do so. If you let the Holy Spirit handle the convicting your spouse part, your marriage might even have a chance to survive and might even eventually thrive.

No one is beyond the reach of God's mercy and grace, unless they choose to continually run away from it.

And when as a co-dependent you are strongly judging and condemning your spouse years after they have started recovery, reminding them of every little thing they ever did wrong in your life, I pray that God will shine His Light brightly on every unturned sin in your life so that you will focus on your thoughts and feelings and find the true freedom in being the branch, hanging in there clinging to God until He produces new fruit in your life. If you have time, you can always pray this over me!!!


God can heal all wounds and forgive all sins and take the most wretched sinners and turn them into soldiers for His kingdom!

Terri

To learn more about Celebrate Recovery contacgt Rodney @ 479-659-3679 or email roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Observe, be still and grateful

Whoever is wise will observe these things, and they will understand the loving kindness of the Lord. Psalm 107:43. Sometimes God uses the simplest of things to reveal Himself to us. We are often so caught up with our circumstances and the things going on in our lives that we often miss so many little glimmers of Himself that He does give to us. “ Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10. Satan often uses such subtle ways to get our eyes off the things of God. How about coffee -- it takes me 15 minutes to decide what flavor--dark, latte, frozen, Arabic, Grande CafĂ© Mocha with whipped cream please--what happened to just a regular cup of coffee? What about all the people it took to just get the coffee to me? Shall I wear slacks, a dress or a stripped shirt, after I have already changed my clothes three times. Did I put on the whole armor of God in addition to my regular clothes? Distracted -- if I am not careful, I stay distracted and often times miss just the simple things. Father, your are omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient--You show Your self to us each and everyday. Do you even find yourself looking for glimmers of God? In times of pain and suffering? Not understanding the why’s? Do you let yourself, your heart and mind be at rest by being still and knowing God is God? Are you taking time to understand the loving kindness of God. If your life has more tumult than stillness and more chaos than tranquility--God has not abandoned you or has not stopped revealing Himself to you. He shows Himself to us in so many ways we just sometimes fail to see it. He shows Himself if we just look for Him --even in the little things.
Did you ever see a tree that lifted it’s leaves to the heavens asking God for the rain? What about the beauty of a Cardinal or the gentle sound of a babbling brook as it offers up in praise to the one who created it? What about the beauty of a baby sleeping peacefully? Yes, when you look in the mirror, you too, are one of God’s miracles. Even as we look at the weather conditions, plants and animals, God is saying, “ I like beautiful things and I like variety.” Look at all the different types of people He has created! Even when fighting the thorns and the thistles while blackberry picking, the butterflies that fluttered around and the huge toad, whose little leg I almost stepped on. Everyday we encounter miracles. Everyday God showers us with gifts. Often times we stay so distracted that we fail to see and to be still and know that He is the Almighty God.
Awareness and gratitude go hand in hand. Jesus said that those with child-like hearts would see the kingdom of God. Think about the things that distract you from the moment that your feet touch the floor in the morning. Look at the things around you--look with the eyes of a child. Soon, you will begin to see God. You will begin to see and understand His constant love and care for you. Every day, take note of the things around you -- whoever is wise will observe these things--be grateful for the blessings of daily life and the “small miracles” around you. Appreciate the work of all the people who contribute to the functioning of your daily life. Look for the signs of the Kingdom of Heaven each and every day. Learn to understand the loving kindness of the Lord. All throughout the day take little moments to be still and know God is God.
Father: In the ordinary things of life, help us to be observant so that we can see You and understand Your loving kindness. Help us to see You in all circumstances. Help us to be still and know You are God Almighty. Gives us eyes to see the miracles and the beautiful gifts that you give us that reveal Your Majesty , and Your Kingdom. Give us child like hearts. Give us hearts of gratitude.
As you walk on this journey called life--be observant, be still, and be grateful every single day.
Janice Encourager Coach-Team Fellowship Bible CR

To learn more about Celebrate Recovery. Contact Rodney @ 479-659-3679 or email at roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

How is your garage looking these days?

We all dread the days when we finally give in to reality and have to face the monster. The monster I am referring to is the dreaded 'cleaning out the garage" task.
You know how bad it can get. You can’t even drive your car into your garage because there is too much junk? I cannot think of very many things I dread more than this task.
My lucky son was given the task of having to do this job with me as that is what son's do right. :)
So Jason and I started into our task of cleaning our messy, messy garage. We had boxes upon boxes stacked in the garage. You know those things that we throw in there when we get tired of looking at it in the house. The old, "I will get to that later" thought.
Well, there was plenty of “I will get to that later boxes” and items stacked in my garage and were a bit overwhelming to even think about where to start.
We dove in and realized that we needed to start with whatever was in front of us and the in our way from accomplishing our goal.
As we were sorting thru old stuff I saw my son sitting looking thru a box of old things that we had collected thru the years. I let it go on for a bit until finally I had to let my son know that it was time to put it to the side and keep pursuing the goal. What he was doing was living in the past too long and forgetting what our main goal was, and that was to clean out the garage.
As I thought about this whole idea I realized the tie to recovery that this idea had. I mean, when I did my first moral inventory, step 4, I had a temptation of hanging out in the past and forgetting my goal of cleaning out my past to move toward a better me and life.
Man isn’t that true for all of us and don’t we all have to be ever so careful with this? We can get to looking at our past and even start reminiscing on how great things were when we were in sin. “Life was so much greater and full of fun and joy” we ponder. Really!?!? Then why was I so miserable? When I was stuck in a pity party about my life and all that had happened to me, I was getting nowhere. I had to identify those things so as to learn from them and give me tools to deal with it in the future but no dwell on it.
Much like the garage cleaning, I had to deal with each item and determine what was salvageable and what was in fact trash. I had to do the same thing in my recovery of life.
We are all in recovery called life. We all have something we are recovering from. Maybe it is just a hurt that someone else caused us. Chances are we have hurt someone else in the process as a result of the hurt done toward us. Hurt people, hurt people.
I am so much better off today having dealt with each piece of baggage from my past. I made the tough determination what needed to be discarded and let go of and what needed to be repaired and even what needed to be cherished.
God has made me stronger for it and now it is about cleaning my garage, or heart, mind, and thinking daily so that the junk doesn’t pile up anymore and keep me from allowing new healthy relationships, thoughts and things into my life.

How is your garage looking these days?

Rodney Holmstrom

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

Friday, July 2, 2010

Servants do every task with equal dedication

Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won’t be faithful in large ones. If you cheat even a little, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. Luke 16:10 (NLT)

You will never arrive at the state in life where you’re too important to help with menial tasks. God will never exempt you from the mundane. It’s a vital part of your character curriculum. The Bible says, “If you think you are too important to help someone in need, you are only fooling yourself. You are really a nobody” (Galatians 6:3 NLT).
It is in these small services that we grow like Christ.

Jesus specialized in menial tasks that everyone else tried to avoid: washing feet, helping children, fixing breakfast, and serving lepers. Nothing was beneath him, because he came to serve. It wasn’t in spite of his greatness that he did these things, but because of it, and he expects us to follow his example (John 13:15).
Small tasks often show a big heart. Your servant’s heart is revealed in little acts that others don’t think of doing, as when Paul gathered brushwood for a fire to warm everyone after a shipwreck (Acts 28:3).
He was just as exhausted as everyone else, but he did what everyone needed. No task is beneath you when you have a servant’s heart.

Great opportunities often disguise themselves in small tasks. The little things in life determine the big things. Don’t look for great tasks to do for God. Just do the not-so-great stuff, and God will assign you whatever he wants you to do.
There will always be more people willing to do “great” things for God than there are people willing to do the little things. The race to be a leader is crowded, but the field is wide open for those willing to be servants.

By Pastor Rick Warren
July 2, 2010
Servants do every task with equal dedication - Daily Hope

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