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…
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