Showing posts from 2011

The Afterglow of 2011??

What has 2011 looked like for you? What would 2012 look like if you were seeking Christ and dealing with your hurts, habits and hang-ups from the past?
"I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember Your miracles of long ago." Psalm 77:11 Song by Brian Doerkson "Song of the Bride
Isaish 30:15 reads
"This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says;
"In repentance and rest is your salvation,
In quietness and trust is your
Maybe this year is THE life changing year for you and your relationships, to change the way you are dealing and feeling about your life. Maybe the goal of 2012 is to allow God to guide us and direct our every step. He has the ability, is willing, and able and very much desires with His great care to walk with us through our life's hurts habits and hang-ups.
No matter what you are going through or holding onto from the past or present, His Word brings hope and strength with a promise,
Isaiah 1:18 "Com…

12 Days Of CR Christmas

One of our great leader Monica rewrote the lyrics to this old Christmas song to tie into the 12 steps. We had a lot of fun singing it and love that it keeps the focus on the 12 steps thru Christmas. Great job Monica!
On the first day of Christmas, my Savior gave to me, the notion it’s
not about me;
On the second day of Christmas, my Savior gave to me, my sanity, and the
notion it’s not about me.
On the third day of Christmas, my Savior gave to me, the will to be
faithful, my sanity, and the notion it’s not about me.
On the fourth day of Christmas, my Savior gave to me, my inventory, will
to be faithful, my sanity, and the notion it’s not about me.
On the fifth day of Christmas, my Savior gave to me, the chance to come
clean! my Inventory, faithfulness, my sanity, and the notion it’s not
about me
On the sixth day of Christmas, my Savior gave to me, desire to be humble,
the chance to come clean! my Inventory, faithfulness, my sanity, and the
notion it’s not about me.
On the seventh day of…

Holiday Blues

How has your 2011 ended up? This time of year can tend to be a time of reflection on the good and the bad from the year we just experienced.
I know personally I have good anniversaries from my marriage in another year with my wife. But, there are things that are pretty tough too huh? This year I saw another anniversary from my mother's passing in 2009. Oh how I miss her at times and it is hard not having her here.
Are you struggling this season with the lsos of a loved one?
Maybe a job situation is frustrating? Having trouble finding work and the bills are piling up?
Maybe you are picking up the pieces from debris lying around due to poor choices you may have made.
Maybe you are just struggling with life on life's terms. Hopefully this video will bring you some encouragement.

Remember, because you have a heart that hurts to well, you have a heart that loves so well. Most importantly, you are loved even more by our Father.

If you are ready to go to work on dealing with whatever i…

Have You Lost the Wonder?

When is the last time you were caught up in wonder? When is the last time you were overwhelmed with an exciting surprise?
As a kid I would get so excited when Christmas drew near. I could hardly sleep, let alone think about anything else due to my curiosity and excitement for what Christmas morning would bring.
Can you remember what that was like? It seems like 50 years ago for me. 
Wasn’t that so much fun? As a dad it was especially fun when my kids were little to see the excitement on their faces as they stared at the Christmas tree decorations and wondered what gifts they would be receiving.
As much fun as that is for us, those bursts of excitement are only temporary aren’t they? I mean I can remember some presents I received as a kid being the coolest thing ever, but then a couple weeks later, they had lost their shine to them. What started out as the best thing ever now had become just another thing cluttering up my toy box. I can remember how excited I was when I got an Atari wit…

Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over...

There was a time in my life when I was wrapped up in myself. Pride was my biggest enemy and lead to so much junk in my life. Because of my pride and unwillingness to surrender I would find myself doing the same ugly things in my life. Lying, manipulating situations, and always trying to white knuckle my way through life. The old ugly thinking that told me if I reached out to a brother when I am struggling then I was weak and not worthy to be called a man. My life was made up of reproducing or duplicating the unhealthy things that lead to destruction or emptiness. Duplication by its very definition is to do or perform an act again repeatedly. In recovery I learned that this is called insanity, to do the same thing over and over again expecting different results.Paul puts it like this in Romans 7:15 “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”
When I have tried to control things on my own by white knuckling my way through my hurts, habits and …

My Recovery Journey to Ephesus – Continued

My Recovery Journey to Ephesus – Part 1:7-10
As I wrote before, recently, I was challenged to spend time in the Book of Ephesians. So, this time as I read through it, I thought I would keep a journal of sorts on My Recovery Journey to Ephesus
Eph 1:7-10
Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we're a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.
Theology is a word we often shy away from. It is big and often represents thoughts that are beyond my understanding. A simple definition would be “the study of the nature of God,” or as one of profess…

What Is Your Defense?

Imagine a man standing in a courtroom getting ready to face the Judge for some hideous wrongs he committed in his life.
The courtroom is full tension as the prosecution prepares to present his case against the accused. Imagine the man being accused, full of guilt and shame for his wrongs with no real hope of coming out of this alive.You see, the prosecutor, the accuser, is seeking and even demanding the death penalty for the accused. The accused is feeling full of despair and even condemned in his spirit. The prosecution is even so bold to laugh out loud in the courtroom as he sees and knows the outcome is in his favor for the death penalty. How bold can he be? Has he no class or dignity?
The man being accused is now growing even more anxious cause at this very moment he doesn’t even have an attorney. That right, he is facing this trial and Judge alone and now the picture looks even grimmer.
At that moment, in walks a man. Some people in the courtroom are now whispering, “I heard a…

Tell Me About Your Day Son

As a dad, one of the greatest gifts I have is to visit with my kids after their day. Sometimes, there are upsetting things that took place in their day and of course as a dad, I want and need to hear those things as well. Hearing the good things in a day are fun and replenishing to hear as well. The reason for this is because they are family and I desire that conversation, that relationship with them. Last night at around 11:45pm was one of those experiences. My son got home from his college basketball game that he played in Joplin. I was not able to attend but my wife Carol went on our behalf. Unfortunately they ended up losing by 3 points in this game.
While it was heartbreaking for him to lose this game that they felt they should have won easily, it was good for me as his dad to hear what he was experiencing play by play throughout the game. As his dad it was so neat to just hear what he was a feeling when this happened or how funny it was when that happened etc. The neat thing to…

My Recovery Journey to Ephesus

As I wrote before, recently, I was challenged to spend time in the Book of Ephesians. So, this time as I read through it, I thought I would keep a journal of sorts on My Recovery Journey to Ephesus
Eph 1:3-6
“How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He's the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth's foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.”
I am sitting here reading these three verses stunned, awed, & humbled. Not even sure what I should write. I have no words that speak to what I feel inside. I want to break into singing but no song does it justice. This is one of those times that the Bible talks ab…

Full of Life or Lifeless?

What is your life like these days? Does it reflect one full of life and hope or is it reflecting more of hopelessness and a lifeless picture.
Last year I had the chance to go to the country of Jordan with a small group of brothers and sisters to do a Life’s Healing Choices conference. While we were there we took some time to go visit the Dead Sea.
The Dead Sea is this body of water that is made up with so much salt that nothing can survive in it. It is exactly what it says, “dead”. A couple times we got the water in our eyes and the salt was so strong from the minerals that it burned our eyes. Amazingly it is true what they say; you cannot sink in the Dead Sea. We jumped in the water and immediately floated to the top. It was the most bizarre feeling to know you could not sink.
Recently I was reading in Ezekiel 47, where a river is mentioned, also mentioned in Revelation 22, God refers to this river that is associated with the Garden of Eden in Chapter 2 river.
When I think about the Ga…

You Have HOPE!

Sometimes the Holidays can be so tough. It can be a time when we feel like we are very alone and that while everyone else is enjoying family, we are by our self with no one to talk to.
The enemy is so bad about preying on that weakness and the wound that may be exposed in us.
The truth is though; none of us has to be alone. Even if we don’t have family at home, we do have family in recovery. Celebrate Recovery is a safe place to stand alongside others and walk thru tough seasons.
Even if the Holidays are tough on us, we always have hope because we have a new family that God has placed in our life.
We have hope! Max Lucado defined Hope as “a zany unpredictable dependence on God” Are you feeling like there is no hope? That is a lie my friend. You and I do have hope thru our faith, love and hope in Christ. Hope gives us that feeling that what is wanted in our life actually can be had and that it will turn out for the best in our life. Christ will knock our socks off as He surprises u…

My Recovery Journey to Ephesus – Part 1:1

Recently, I was challenged to spend time in the Book of Ephesians. So, this time as I read through it, I thought I would keep a journal of sorts on My Recovery Journey to Ephesus. I will be using The Message version of the Bible unless otherwise noted, I do not intend this to be a commentary on the book, just some notes as to what God is teaching me.
Eph. 1:1
I, Paul, am under God's plan as an apostle, a special agent of Christ Jesus, writing to you faithful believers in Ephesus.
Since coming into recovery, I have started to notice, how, Paul and the other writers of the Bible that God used introduced themselves.
In Celebrate Recovery, we introduce ourselves by saying something like: “I am a grateful believer, who struggles with ______, my name is _____.” Our introductions are important in recovery, they are not just things we say, but they have a purpose for us. They keep us out of denial about our hurts, habits and hang-ups. By speaking them out and exposing them to the ligh…

How Do You Really Feel?

Are you having a bad day? Does it feel like the world is coming down on you and you can hardly breathe? In these moments, the last thing I want to do is rejoice to the Lord. My mood may be down, or perhaps a tough situation is completely out of hand and out of my control. Or maybe my guilt or sorrow is overwhelming me and I just don’t have anything to rejoice about.
I know when my mom was really sick several years ago, I had some rough days in watching her struggle so much with her illness. I still have days of struggles even after she has died and gone to be with the Lord.
She has been gone 2 1/2 years and still last night one of those moments hit. I was going thru some old pictures and saw my sweet mom's picture. All the emotions came rushing back. Oh, how I miss my mom and felt sorrow in my soul for that. However, as I talk that out, I am reminded of so many blessed days with her and my heart is filled with so much joy knowing she is with the Lord in heaven now.

In reading …

Tunnel Vision

One time I was working from home in my office, on a summer day. The kids were out of school. I was preparing for something for the CR ministry and my daughter decided to come in and interrupt me. Now, you must know that there are rules when I work from home and one of those is that dad cannot be bugged when he is working from home. My daughter was pretty young at the time and she opened my office door and said "daddy!"
My first reaction was to snap at her and tell her that she knew the rules on coming into my office while dad was working. She went back to her room. I alter realized that she was trying to show me a cute little picture she drew for me. Ouch! I know, terrible dad huh?! 
Sometimes in my life I can develop tunnel vision and not even see what is right in front of me.
You see, in my mind I had "ministry" on my mind and didn’t stop to realize that ministry was happening right in front of my eyes with my own daughter. I had to make amends to my sweet littl…

Signs of possible relapse

Relapse is a process rather than an event. A group of behaviors, attitudes, feelings, and thoughts develop first. Then these lead to an action – acting out the addiction. One may fall into relapse over a period of hours, days, weeks, and even months. Warning signals to alert you to a possible relapse include:

• Feeling uneasy, afraid, and anxious about staying clean and sober. This begins to increase and serenity decreases.

• Ignoring feelings of fear and anxiety and refusing to talk about them with others.

• Having a low tolerance for frustration.

• Becoming defiant, so that rebelliousness begins to replace what has been love and acceptance. Anger becomes one’s ruling emotion.

• The “ISM” (I-Self-Me) attitude grows. Self-centered behavior begins to rule one’s attitudes and feelings.

• Increasing dishonesty, whereby small lies begin to surface and deceptive thinking again takes over.

• Increased isolation and withdrawal characterized by…

Heart of a Sponsor

As a woman in recovery myself and a fellow struggler in life, I am so touched that God would allow me the experience of being able to sponsor other hurting woman. He teaches me through it and grows me in my own recovery. I love to sponsor women. I see them often caught like the bird by the cat. I Peter 5:8 says “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
These women are often hidden in the closet of fear and shame. My role is to, through prayer and relationships go into the closet with them and help them get out.
Often, no, always I need to put them on the heart of God so they can hear His heart beat. How do I do that? By praying for them, listening, sharing from my own hurts, building relationship's of trust and giving them God's word.
Jesus said in John 6:63b “The words that I have spoken unto you are spirit and are life”.
I try to make sure and remember as I share my experience, strength and hope, that it is life I am giving to t…

Step Group Beauty

Do you see the beauty? The picture on the left, showing a Doe with her two Fawn's was not the actual picture I saw and took with my iphone this morning. Actually, the one on the right is the photo I took. What's wrong? Are you not seeing the beauty? Well, I do. Why? Because I was there and experienced it.

This mornning I was driving in for my 1 of 2 last meeting times with my CR Step Group brothers as we wrap up a year process of walking thru the 8 principles based on the Beatitudes.

I came down my hill in Springdale AR, across the bridge where a large open field on my left had this picture standing before me. I was taken back by the beauty in these animals and stopped my truck in the middle of the road to gaze at their beauty. Sitting in the middle of the road, (yes in the middle of the road. There isnt much traffic out at 4:30am) about 30 yards from my truck were standing these deer, a doe and her two fawns. I was mesmerized as I sat their with my windows rolled down on this …

You Make Beautiful Things"

Well, try to imagine this picture.....Rodney Jogging. :) Yeah I know, kind of a pardigm shift for sure isn't it? But seriously, I wasn't only jogging, but jogging with my daughter Taylor. We took off thru the neighborhood on a beautiful spring-like day. A nice break from the hot days we have been seeing around here in Arkansas. Taylor had her ipod playing some Mandissa music and just singing with great animation as we moved thru the neighborhood. I had my own ipod and was listening to a new song I had just been introduced to a few week prior.

Have you ever been in a situation where you don't expect a worship moment to happen and then, out of the blue, comes the blindsided blessing? Well, that moment happened to me in this very situation. As I looked over at my daughter, I was watching her and listening to the words to this new song I was learning for an upcoming worship service I was to lead for CR. The name of the song was "Beautiful things" by Gungor (look on y…

Double Dipping

What is Double Dipping? One of my biggest pet peeves when dining out or with friends in an eating setting is when they dip their chip into the salsa or cheese dip, take a bite, and then dip it back in the dip again. {gag}

I am pretty picky about my food and this really gross' me out. Some people make fun of me at my expense about this issue I have, but I really get grossed out when this happens and will even refrain from eating any more chips if I witness this repulsive act. lol
But that is not the kind of double dipping I am referring to. "Double Dipping" in a CR Open Discussion Group setting is when a particular person shares more than one time in a certain small group setting.
Why is this not allowed in the Open Discussion Groups? What if the group is small? Doesn't it improve the small group to allow multiple sharing?
All great questions! Here are a couple of reasons why we should not allow this in our Open Discussion groups
1. Double Dipping can cause opportunities …

Why go to CR Small groups?

I am sending today's blog from beautiful Southern California on Laguna Beach. Our first day was a cool 77 degrees. I hope when my Arkansas friends see this they won't hate me.:) I know it is a steaming hot day back home.

I woke up yesterday with an image of how much the Father loves us and remembers that nothing can separate me from His love. Romans 8:35-39 (One of our Stinkin' Thinkin' memory verses) is such a great encouragement to remind me that nothing can separate me from His love. It got me to thinking about how we respond to His love. How do I respond to His love and truth and apply, process and share what He has given me? Do I keep it for myself or do I share, in my case, in the small group with other men? A good reason for me to share what God speaks to me in the CR large group is that it will have a much better chance of sticking with me. It will also bring continued healing to my recovery.

The big thing though for me to remember is that it is NOT just for me. …

Life crazy right now?

Does life have you feeling crazy? Feeling like the burdens of job searches, out of control debt, relationships in turmoil, out of control addictions? No matter how crazy life may be right now, there is always hope. Jesus is willing, able, He cares, and is ready to lead you through any and all things you are battling right now. Celebrate Recovery is a great way to experience His comfort, strength and direction in our life.

If you would like to experience His love with people that know exactly what you are going through, come join us at Celebrate Recovery. You are not alone in your battles, your struggles, or your burdens you are carrying. My prayer over you is Psalm 20, May this be your answer as you seek Him more closely. Come visit us soon. Bring someone with you.

For more information about Celebrate Recovery contact me at or 479-659-3679

Rodney Holmstrom
Arkansas State Rep/National Assimilation Coach

Don't Stop Now!

Imagine with me if you will that we are back in high school. Now imagine that you are on the football team or the volleyball team, or maybe you are in the band or in FFA, or maybe you are on the debate team or in the choir. Now imagine the long hard months of preparation that you would put into any of these activities in order to play the game or perform. A lot of time sacrificed and in some case some sweat and tears could happen, but a lot of hard work and preparation have gone into getting yourself ready for that upcoming game or performance.

Now imagine with me that the day arrives when you are to walk onto that stage, court, field and you say to yourcoach, “You know, I worked hard to get to this place, I think I will just stop here.” Can you imagine the look on your coach’s face? We worked so hard to be ready to play or perform and now at that moment we stop! In addition, our reason for stopping is just as bizarre because of all the hard work we did to get here! I can imagine the …

Double Vision

Seeing straight today? Anything blurring your vision? Anything keeping your focus off of Christ? It's a challenge to keep our eye on the world around us (in a normal, constructive way) and to keep another fixed on Jesus. But, we can do it. We simply must choose to refocus.

Take a look at this passage from Luke 11:33-36: No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or crypt or under a bushel measure, but on a lampstand, that those who are coming in may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye (your conscience) is sound and fulfilling its office, your whole body is full of light; but when it is not sound and is not fulfilling its office, your body is full of darkness. Be careful, therefore, that the light that is in you is not darkness. If then your entire body is illuminated, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright [with light], as when a lamp with its bright rays gives you light. [Amplified Bible (AMP)]

Wow! Crazy isn't it that we can even think …