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

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Facing My Fears

When I went to Celebrate Recovery Summit in 2007 I discovered that everything at Saddleback seemed to have acronyms. That included fear. According to them fear is False Evidence Appearing Real. That really hit me hard, but I had sort of forgotten about that until today when I was reflecting back about that mountain top experience at Summit after seeing all of the pictures and posts from the team there now.




I also recall nailing many of my fears to the cross. But one thing I didn't nail to the cross was fear itself. And looking back over the last couple of years I'm seeing that fear still has a stronghold in my life.



Joy was not a part of my life in 2007. Everything was so complicated, depressing, stressful. I kept waiting for joy, but it never seemed to come my way. And yet somewhere between 2008 and 2010 joy found me.



Guess what I learned today? There is only one way to destroy fear, to chase it away like a dog with it's tail between it's legs. That one thing is joy. I also learned that joy is a choice. And when we choose joy, which looks different in different situation, we are chosing to live a life of abundance in God.



Because joy, unlike happiness which comes and goes according to circumstances, is a fruit that you start to bear as you grow stronger in Christ. And it sort of just popped out of one of my branches today. Maybe because today I'm really resting in Him. I'm chosing not to panic (unlike yesterday) or assume or dread, but just to be a branch and sway in the wind. Okay, so maybe a bird will poop on me or I might go through some dry times or maybe some weed will try to choke me out and that might not be comfortable, but it's part of being a branch. Sometimes stuff just happens because that is where you are planted.



Abundance focuses on holding on to the vine, because if I do allow myself to break I will dry up and shrivel to nothingness. I am nothing without God.



I feel so weak at times, but I look back at all I've faced over the last couple of years and know that I don't have to worry about my strength because God is strong enough to carry me through it all. I can lose financial security, a car, a house, a loved one or even lose my sanity, but I can't lose God,and His grace, love and mercy.



The problem with fear is it robs your focus, and that in turn can drain your joy and weaken your spirit. And it's all a lie. God hasn't forsaken you. It isn't the end of the world. It's not the worst thing that can happen.




Let's take last summer. I feared quitting my job and still being able to pay bills. I feared losing my dog, Sparky, to cancer. I feared losing the spec house we had worked so hard for. I feared losing my sanity. I feared losing my marriage.



I did quit my job and there were times we couldn't pay the bills, but there were other times we ended up with enough to cover what we were behind on. Sparky lost a leg, not her life, in fact she is more lively now than before she lost her leg--and funny thing is that dog doesn't miss it one bit. We did lose the spec house, but God has blessed us with a home of our own at a price we can almost afford, and even though we've been late a couple of times on payments, He has always provided for it. I did let my sanity slip a bit more than I'd like to admit, but I never lost it. God kept me moving forward in my healing, and even felt I was strong enough to give me tests that I may have scraped by with a C-, but I did pass (which means I probably should study a bit more!). Finally, I can honestly say my marriage is stronger than it has been in years. The thing that almost destroyed it was the secret that had to come out and be faced so we could work through it together, and we have and are beyond it now.



False

Evidence

Appearing

Real



When you really look at it that way it seems sort of silling wasting so much time on it.



"Taking this sinful world as it is, not as we would have it. Trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to your will. So that I can be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy in the next. Amen" This is the part of the Serenity Prayer I really have to hold on to in hard times. Life is messy and usually won't work out the way I wanted it. But what do I think my life would my life look like now if I'd had it my way.



I would have kept my job and my son probably still wouldn't be able to read (I had to work with him a lot this last year to get him caught up--I was so busy working I had no idea he couldn't read). My dog would have been put to sleep. We would have bought the spec house and then lost it because even with both Phil and I working two full time jobs we wouldn't be able to make the payments. I would have left my husband when things got rough because the only thing that kept me from leaving was God telling me to trust Him and more than likely I would have lost my family and my sanity.



I may not have understood last year what was going on, just like I'm not understanding right now what is going on, but I have to remind myself that it's not about me at all. It's about God, and bringing Him glory. God has pointed out some things I need to work on and is growing me more, forcing me to trust in Him instead of what I see. Instead of griping and complaining and fearing why shouldn't I choose to rejoice and trust? Which really makes more sense???



And now that my focus has been taken away from fear and frustration what I see is all the good that is coming out of this. I have an amazing husband, content kids and a three-legged dog, not to mention the rest of our little zoo, who all love me, but not as much as my Heavenly Father loves me.



Psalm 71:19-21 blows me away today, because it is like David read my mind.

"Your righteousness reaches to the skies, Oh, God, You who have done GREAT things. Who, oh God, is like You? Though You have made me see troubles, many and bitter, YOU WILL restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will AGAIN bring me up. You WILL increase my honor and comfort me once again." Because you are the perfect Father and I love you so very much.

Follower of Christ

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

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Learning to Walk Unaware

In 2004 the group MercyMe came out with a CD called “Undone” and as I began my recovery in 2006, I remember finding how many of the songs on that CD seemed to speak to right where I was at, and surprisingly – they still speak today. For some time I have wanted to walk through and put down on paper my thoughts of some of these songs that have meant so much to me. The first is called “Unaware.” Would you walk with me through this song?

Unaware

by MercyMe

Forgive me if I stare
But I am taken back
That You would let me here
Regardless of my past

Oh my hands are shaking now
But I catch my breathe somehow
Oh, I am free at last


Principle One states “Realize I’m not God. I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life is unmanageable.” When the truth of that principle in a person’s life becomes clear or becomes truth, it has an “awe-ing” ability (if I may coin the word). It is no wonder that in a Celebrate Recovery meeting often I see this same expression on folks faces, this “stare” that in realizing that God, the Creator of all that is known, the one that knows me better than I know myself has invited me as I am to His presence. “Forgive me if I stare”



Recently I gave my testimony and I was once again reminded of the place of sin I was in before I came into recovery. While recognizing and giving God glory for the Work that Christ has done in my life, I am also dumbstruck in knowing the depravity of my past and then seeing my present condition in Christ and then knowing my future with Christ – I can hear myself say “…I am taken back that You would let me here regardless of my past.”



Reading the words of my testimony out loud again and finding my voice breaking again at the thought of the gift of incredible and wondrous and immeasurable grace given to me, not earned, not taken, but GIVEN by this Creator God of ours, then there is the moment when I realize what this means! I AM FREE!!!



(chorus)

Unaware of my fears
Unaware of my shame
Nothing else matters here
But glorifying Your name
Unaware of everything
Knowing You're aware of me



Understanding my freedom begins to remove the fear and destroys the condemnation and shame that had kept me bound to my sin. So much so that where they once dominated my thoughts and behaviors; they now no longer hold sway over me and even more importantly, no longer hold me captive. “Unaware of my fear…of my shame”



Replacing condemnation, fear and shame are expressions of praise, worship and adoration, knowing that this Creator King of mine is keenly interested in the details of my life. “…glorifying Your name…knowing You’re aware of me.”





Tell me how I got here
I couldn't make it on my own
Just tell me I can stay
Cause it feels so much like home
And I lose all track of time
When I look into Your eyes
Your love is all I know



Principle Two reads “Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him, and that He has the power to help me recover.” There is that moment in recovery when the pain overcomes the fear. When I see Who it is that has the power to get me through the mess I have made of my life. That I become aware that there is only One that can make me right, healthy and whole again. That only in Christ will my broken heart be bound, that I will be set free: “I couldn’t make it on my own.”



As the understanding that there can be healing, that I can only be set right by Christ, I see where it is I belong, and the longing and desire to be there is like is like that of a weary traveler of many years desiring to be home. “It feels so much like home.”



As I look to Christ in this moment I see that in His eyes I have value, a value that drove Him to spread His arms wide and pay a price that only He could be so that I can find Home, the place I was created for. The value I have in His eyes has nothing to do with my abilities to be “made right” on my own, but the value I have in His eyes is by His choice and His choice alone. I can add nothing to it nor can I take anything away from it. “There is no condemnation for those who belong in Christ,” Paul tells us. “When I look into Your eyes Your love is all I see”



Unaware of my fears

Unaware of my shame

Nothing else matters here

But glorifying Your name

Unaware of everything

Knowing You're aware of me



I'm aware I'm in a place I couldn't be
If You weren't there to call my name and rescue me



Principle three states “Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control.” While I may surrender my life to Christ, I cannot even do that without His strength. My weakness is such that without His drawing me to Himself, His calling of my name I could never find my way to Him on my own.



Unaware of my fears
Unaware of my shame
Nothing else matters here
But glorifying Your name

I'm unaware of all my fears
And I'm unaware of all my shame
Nothing else matters here
But glorifying Your name

I'm unaware that I still breathe
Unaware of everything
Knowing You're aware of me





For me the recovery journey is moving from a place where I am the center of everything, to a place where I will be “unaware” of everything, even my own breath and becoming only aware of Christ and His working in my life. “I am unaware that I still breathe”



At first this would seem to give me only a very narrow or introspective view of life. Yet, God’s ways are not our ways. As I look into the eyes of Christ, as I see and understand the value I hold in His heart, I find as I become “unaware” of what I thought was important, I find that now am becoming more aware of what Christ finds important. So I find I am driven to see that those around me also know His hope and freedom; to see that they become “unaware.”

Tim- Encourager Coach FBC Rogers AR.

To learn more about Celebrate Recovery call 479-659-3679 ir email roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Monday, August 9, 2010

Abide with me

Have you ever have a thought, song, or word replay over and over again? “ I am stuck on band-aid because band-aid stuck on me?” Or “ I wish I was an Oscar Meyer wiener cause everyone would be in love with me?” You know what I am talking about. This week the word “abide” kept going over and over in my mind. “ What is it --what is He trying to tell me?” I had been relating to what Paul had said in II Corinthians 4:8-9 this week, because that is how I felt. “ We are hard pressed hard on every side, but not crushed, perplexed but not in despair, persecuted but not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed. So I thought how was Paul able to say these things and be content in all things. The light bulb went on --he was content in just ABIDING in Christ. All of us at one time have felt all this things, desperate, perplexed, even felt abandoned.
I looked up the word abide -- wait for, to endure without yielding , to accept without objection, remaining stable, enduring and continuing. Isn’t that what Paul did after his surrender to God? Abiding -- waiting on God, not trying to figure out everything on his own, seeking God’s and not his own will, not jumping ahead of God but taking whatever came into his life and just abiding in Christ. How about to endure whatever you are going through patiently, being totally dependant on Him when we don’t feel like it, or are afraid. It is about us becoming one with the vine and allowing the vine dresser do whatever it takes to keep us healthy and in that constant state of abiding. John 15:5-8. It is about everything , thoughts, decisions, words, actions and circumstance we endure in life and putting them through the filter of Jesus. Trusting in nothing else other than Him and drawing from His hand everything that we need to walk on this journey called life.
An abiding soul is a praying soul. An abiding soul is a soul that is able to remain in a state of quietness and calmness no matter what. It centers the heart upon God, bringing Him nearer to us. It gives us strength to go out into the battlefield of life with full assurance of victory. It teaches us to walk softly before God and to hold as a treasure every token of His love. I helps us to walk in green pastures, on the stony places and yes, even in the shadows of the valley of death.
When you abide and feel faint, He gives you the strength you need and the power. When you abide, He gives you all the grace that you need for that day. When you abide, you do not have to fear your tomorrows. When you abide, He makes a way through the mountains. When you abide, you have the assurance that He holds all the powers of Hell at bay and gently guides you on the path of safety. When you abide you have the assurance that all things work together for good for those who love and serve the Lord. When you abide, you have the constant companion and relationship with someone who loves you in spite of your inadequacies and flaws. When you abide, it nourishes your soul and makes you stronger. John 15:4 --Remain in Me and I will remain in you (abide). No branch can bear fruit by itself, it must remain in the vine -- you must remain in Me. Are you abiding in Him ?
Father: there are many other vines that draw us to abide in them. They all promise what they cannot deliver. Our jobs sometimes say,” abide in me and you will find true success.” or the things of the world say,” Make us your priority and you will find unmatched love, riches and pleasure, and find yourself.” All these vines that call out to us to come to them cannot compete with you. You are the rightful place where we are to abide. So Father help us to continually choose by Your grace to remain and abide in You -- to make our home in You forever. Amen
As you walk on this journey called life -- be strong and be willing to be content just to abide in the Lord. It nourishes your soul and makes you stronger. Janice Encourager Coach-Team, Fellowship Bible Rogers

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

Monday, August 2, 2010

SHHHH, it’s a secret…

While on vacation last month I had the opportunity to enjoy some fresh seafood. Wow! There is nothing like eating fresh seafood, fresh out of the ocean.
While on vacation, we always try to budget in a couple “eat out” nights to enjoy the time of fellowship and of course the great food.
We received a heads up thru a flyer of a locally owned place and it had written on the flyer, “best kept secret on Hilton Head Island” So we thought as a family, let’s go try this place out.
When we pulled up to the parking lot and parked we noticed this long, line circling around the building. We weren’t sure if they were waiting to go in because it wasn’t open yet or maybe there was something else in the same building people were there to be a part of. Turns out, no they were all there waiting in line to get inside the door to enjoy some great food.
I overheard some people standing in line saying “it is well worth the wait” so we decided to stick it out. I mean we were on vacation. We waited for an hour and a half before getting up to the door. There were menus all around the building and you had to know exactly what you wanted before you went in. You walk in the door and go right to the register and order and then they tell you where to sit. The pressure of ordering reminded me of the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld. No soup for you! 
I gotta say though, with all the pressure of ordering and the long line we waited in, it was oh so worth it! Some of the best tasting seafood I have ever had. I got the blackened Shrimp, Tilapia and scallops that were big as a half dollar and almost as thick. Hush puppies and root beer. Yum! Topped it off with some Key Lime Blueberry pie. Yes, I rolled out of there. But oh it was sooooo good.
I got to thinking though about the ad that read, “best kept secret” I realized when we pulled up that it really wasn’t a secret anymore. They said the lines were like that every single night.
Kind of got me thinking about the whole idea of a secret. I have always found it interesting that we label things a “secret”. I mean, is it really a secret anymore if it is being spoken out of someone’s mouth? We say things like, “I want to tell you something but it is a secret.” Really?! Then why do I know about it now?
This can become an addiction of its own if we are not careful. What a high and what excitement to know dirt on someone and no one but you and this one other person knows about it. Hmmm, just doesn’t sound right does it? But that is how we think sometimes and get our self into trouble.
We sometimes can forget that there is another person on the other end of this hurt being talked about.
In essence this other person is your brother, sister, mother or father of someone else and especially God’s beloved child, whom He loves dearly. How would He want us to deal with His child? How would He want someone else to deal with dirt on you?
One of our values we try to uphold in our ministry is that we hold no secrets about each other from each other. When we hear a word of criticism about each other, we will:
Instruct the person to go to the one about whom he or she is critical, to
personally deal with that criticism with the person.
We must tell people who want to tell us a criticism about one of our
leaders or friends in life that we are bound by the promise to report all such criticism.
If it’s a “secret” then it must be a “secret”. Right?
Now I know the “Sea Shack” restaurant probably knew that their restaurant was not in fact the best kept secret in town. The long lines every night they are open prove that point. But it did create a little buzz, at least for me, excitement and lots of curiosity.
I think sometimes when we are presented with “secrets” about someone else we get intrigued and even excited for the juice that is being told to us. Even a little honored that we have been brought in on “the secret” that no one else knew about. Not to burst anyone’s bubble but, chances are though, if you are being told something about someone else and told that you are the only other one that knows about it, because it is “a secret” it may in fact not be the case.
We need to be careful about fueling the fire of such “secrets” and turn them back to the source.
“Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching; for the scripture says, ‘You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain’ and, ‘The laborer deserves his wages.’ Never admit any charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.” 1 Timothy 5:17-20
Kind of interesting that we can find lessons in a plate full of seafood but this day I did. Love how God works sometimes in the most unlikely places.

Rodney Holmstrom, Ministry Leader, Celebrate Recovery Fellowship Bible

If you would like more info on Celebrate Recovery call Rodney @ 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Keep loving others by recharging emotionally

"So many people were coming and going Jesus said to them `Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.'" Mark 6:31 (NIV)

When your emotional tank is empty you're unable to love others unselfishly. You just give up. You may have a sense of being overwhelmed and feeling inadequate. You may even get angry at the ones you love the most. You may try to avoid people or view them as problems. You have no desire to love. You dream of getting away.
David had this problem. He said, "If I had the wings of a dove, I'd fly away and find rest." (Psalm 55:6 GW)
To love others you have to keep your emotional tank full because when it gets low, it's going to make a difference in your relationships.
The Bible has three suggestions for recharging emotionally:

Solitude --
You need time alone. Today's verse teaches us Jesus frequently withdrew from crowds when he needed to recharge himself emotionally. In this case there was so much hustle and bustle, Jesus says to the disciples, "Come apart for a while." (KJV) You either come apart or you will come apart. You need times of solitude.
Your emotions are like a battery. If you plug one light bulb into a battery, it will last for a fairly long time. If you plug 100 lights in, then it's going to drain real quick. You can't give love if your battery is drained.

Recreation --
There are certain things that recreate energy in your life and enthusiasm for life. For you it may be hobbies, a sport, a craft, or games. Experiment and find out what it is that recharges you emotionally, then make time for it.
One of my favorite verses is, "Jesus came enjoying life." (Matthew 11:19 Phillips) He was the most intensive, ministry-oriented person that ever lived, but he enjoyed life. When you're giving to others, it costs and exhausts. You need play time.

Laughter.
-"Being cheerful keeps you healthy." (Proverbs 17:22 TEV) There are studies that prove that when you laugh it increases the number of T-cells - and that raises your immunity level. It produces endorphins in your brain. Humor has beneficial effects.
God has given us the gift of laughter and we need to learn how to laugh. I've talked to couples who were in serious conflict in marriage. They say, "Someday we'll look back at this and laugh." I say, "Why wait? Why not just laugh at it right now?"
Laughter is a load lightener, an emotional recharger and a love rebuilder.

Saturday, July 31, 2010
Keep loving others by recharging emotionally
by Rick Warren
Keep loving others by recharging emotionally - Daily Hope
connect@newsletter.purposedriven.com to subscribe

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