Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Word and Worship




“So, how’s your time in the Word going?” That’s a question one of my first mentors asked me on a regular basis. It wasn’t about him hounding me or trying to make me feel guilty. It was all about simple, yet profound truths about the Bible that we knew were true and life-changing. So, we agreed to help each other in staying “in the Word” – in the Bible. Why? Don’t some people just call it another religious book written by a bunch of guys running around in togas and sandals? Yeah, that has been said, but it has been proven to be far more than that. And, it IS far more than that. (For more about this, see www.josh.org and click on “Can I Trust the Bible?”). It is God’s written Word – His loving instruction to us, His cherished creation. Absolutely reliable. Totally true. And, it’s more than info. It is filled with the truth we need. And, it is filled with power!

Psalm 119:25 “I am laid low in the dust; preserve my life according to your word.”

Let’s go back to the original question: How’s your time in the Word going? But, let’s turn it around: How’s the Word in you going? We get into the Word so it can get into us. And as it gets into us and we respond in obedience, life-change begins to happen. It’s part of the whole “working it” process in recovery. The old saying, “Garbage in, garbage out” really is true. So, with God’s Word, we replace the garbage we’ve been putting into our lives with the powerful, healthy, life-changing words of God. So, what will the output be? It can only be power, health, and life-change! A new way of thinking and living will permeate us.

That same mentor also told me: “If your output exceeds your input, your upkeep becomes your downfall.” It was a simple formula meant to remind me that if I try to run this life – to travel this road to recovery (output) without the regular input of God’s Word, my “upkeep” will become my downfall. I’ll run out of power. I’ll grow unhealthy. I may even relapse. I need that regular input from God.

OK…so what does all of this have to do with “worship”? One tool for worship is music. I love music. And, I love God’s Word. So, when those two “loves” come together in an incredible way, I am moved, encouraged, strengthened, renewed. We’ve been singing a song on Friday nights called “How Great!” The lyrics are straight out of First John 3:1 “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” and from John 3:16 ““For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Wow! Awesome truths! And, if you’ve been around the past 3 or 4 months on Friday nights, you’ve probably almost memorized this song. So what’s the big deal? Well we are getting into the Word through the music while the Word is getting into us – into our mind, into our heart, into our life, into our recovery!



So, just as Rodney continues to give us the “Stinkin’ Thinkin’ Challenge,” maybe you’d like to add the “Stinkin’ Singin’ Challenge!” (Even if you don’t like to sing, you can definitely listen.) And here’s an easy way to do it. Go out and buy a couple of CDs that I highly recommend. They are called “Glory Revealed: The Word of God in Worship.” There’s two volumes. “How Great” is from volume 2. We’ve also done a great, delta blues song – Wake Up, O Sleeper” - from that same CD. And, we’ll be doing more of them soon. If you want to know more, check out the “Glory Revealed” website – www.gloryrevealed.com. Or if you are ready to dive in right now, you can download the songs or go to one of our local Christian bookstores and pick up the discs.

Get ready! God’s word is powerful and effective! You in the Word; the Word in You. When that it happening, worship will automatically happen.

Psalm 119:9-11 How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”


For more info about Celebrate Recovery, contact David at (479) 878-2985 or daattebery@fellowshipnwa.org.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

He "tries" to Steal, Kill and Destroy




"The thief's purpose is to steal, kill and destroy...." John 10:10a
It is such a reminder when I talk to people in the middle of their junk and misery and see the true heartache and utter heartbreak how we are so similar in so many ways.
In our junk, we truly believe that we are the worst any one has ever seen. "No one is as bad as I am..." “If anyone knew who I really am”
That is exactly where the enemy wants us to stay in our junk.
The fact of the matter is if we are hurting, if we are in a mess that is bringing heart break to us, to our family, (usually in conjunction) the enemy wants us to believe that we are damaged goods. The enemy would have us believe that there is no hope for us in our life.
That, my friend, is a big lie. He does come to steal, kill and destroy what God made and called good. Again, he wants us to stay where we are and focus on the mess rather than the solution.
When we are in our junk, we tend to bow our head into our stuff, focusing on our hurts, illnesses, addictions, and our junk. We begin to believe the lie that we are who we say we are or who we believe we are in our hurts.
The scripture tells us though in Isaiah that He is the lifter of our head. We have to know that even in our deepest hurt or dysfunction; He has the power to heal us.
So instead of bowing into our junk, i.e. “I am an addict, I am a cancer patient, I am an angry man, a depressed man, I am a food addict,” etc, etc. We must instead of bowing into our junk, do as the scripture tells us and lift our heads and eyes to the Father. Praise His name thru our trials, in the midst of our junk and in process of the healing journey. He has the power to bring freedom to our life and if our focus is on Him and His ability to heal and restore our life, family, relationships, etc. As Joel 2:25 tells us “He will restore the years the locusts have eaten.”

Yes, the enemy is a thief that will and in some cases has temporarily stolen your freedom, your peace, and your joy in your life. John 10:10 goes onto read and reminds us that “His purpose is to give us a rich and satisfying life.”
I don’t know about you, but I would much rather lift my head up to a Higher Power in Jesus Christ rather than bow my head into what the enemy would have us to believe is now our identity.
No matter where you are in your life, please know that your identity is not in your hurts habits or hang-up but rather in Jesus Christ. We struggle with our stuff, but our identity is in Him. And aren’t you glad He died on the cross for you and I to give us life to its fullest. To give us freedom, hope and joy that the enemy once stole from us.
He is the way the truth and the life!

For information about Celebrate Recovery, contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org