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