Friday, April 29, 2011

Journey continues in Desert

First off, thank you so much for praying. We need those prayers and are so grateful to have you join us as interceders on our trip.
It was the second day of our conference and we saw God in many different ways thru thr eyes of His children in the Middle East. Some of the sahirng is unbeleivable that I have personally experienced. The "Denial is not just a river in Egypt hoke went over well"....:)
I heard stories that will break your heart. Stories of belivers ears being cut off for claiming Him as their Father. So much abuse, so much hurt.
It does blow me away however, how no matter where you go in this broken world, you will find a common denominator of brokeneness and a hungry heart for the Master Healer and Comforter, Jesus Christ.

I spoke wiht one gentleman that described how his life can be when in certain pockets and he talks about Jesus Christ that it is going thru his head, "I could die for this, but I don't care" Wow! I take so much for granted for teh freedoms we have back home. We can praise Him anywhere, any time and that is an amazing freedom.

Craig kicked us off today with Choice two, the HOPE Choice and then our freinds Larry and Angela made it in from thier leg of the race! YEAH!!!! It was so good to see their flight made it here safely. Please pray though as Larry lost one of his pieces of luggage with a computer and lots of valuable stuff. Hoping it will turn back up.
Angela kicked off choice three , the tough Commitment choice and we heard testimonies from Don and Larry.

After the small groups we decided to take some time beofre chocie 4 to explain what it means to "Commit" or when we are "powerless". Some folks here were struggling with this concept and what that really looked like. We even had some people think that after we finished the eight sessions that they would not have any more problems. Not much different form teh states as sometimes we want the quick fix instead of embraces the process of change that brings about a lifetime of intimacy in Christ.
So....we took some time to tell tehm that this wsa only but an overview to show people what it can be like to be in group discussions and be honest and real with one another. The Q and A time and sharing form our team was very productive.

The team has had several people come up and share how glad they are that we are taking them thru this and how much they need this in their life.

Our prayer is that people will get on fire for Christ and see His healing power to NOT cure us from all life's struggles but to help all of us overcome our H,H,H's.

Tomorrow we have Larry leading us thru Choice 5 and Rodney thru Choice 6 and then Angela will finish out the day with Choice 7.

Please pray that any walls that are still up will come down and that all will see how poerful He is and how powerless we are with out Him. We need Him in our life.

Love you all and will share morelater. it is 2:00am here. Blessings.

Rodney

Thursday, April 28, 2011

April.....Trip update

I honestly was struggling at what day it was cause my sense of time and calendar gets flipped around with the time zone change. I cannot even begin to tell you effectively how humbled I am by what we are seeing after just one day of the conference.
When we arrived we heard how much God is moving before we even got started. The expected attendance number was around 140 people for this first conference. It grew to 240 and they had to change conference locations to accommodate. They had so many people wanting to register beyond that, that they had to close off registration. There was a waiting list for those to get in. Wow! God is working cause it wasn't sure many would be able to make it do to te turmoil they had been experiencing.
The ground is so fertile for God's word to be heard. Sometimes in the great trials of life, it is the best time to share His Good News.
Lifes Healing Choices is such a nice fit for what the people are struggling with. as one lady said, the window if opportunity is narrow and we need to jump in while we can.

We also learned that the entire conference is being videotaped, teachings and testimonials to be aired on tv across the middle East. Uh, can you say amazing!!?!? All believers and non will be watching this across the
M.E. Imagine the potential for life change.!!! To give you an idea, On another program they air has over 40 million viewers. Not sure if it will have the same number but even one viewer would be enough. :)

I had the privilege of sharing Choice 1 last night, the Reality choice. It was very well received. The sharing was In-Cred-ible!!'
There is so much hurt in our world. So much abuse, sexual, verbal, physical, and as a result of being hurt, Many that have hurt others.
I had the privilege to look these other men in the eye and the others in the group did the same, and see someone desperate to have His help to overcome their life's hurt, habit, or hangup. Many sexual sins that men struggle with and lots if abuse for the women struggling with.

During dinner afterward, I heard so many people talking of how glad they are they made it and the are all coming with expectant hearts for what He is going to do in their life. Just think, our team gets to be along for the ride.

Angela and Larry should be arriving this morning. I am anxious to see them.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

CR Mission team departs

9:00PM 4.26.11
Well, it didn't look good initially coming out of NW Arkansas with the crazy weather we have been experiencing, but we made it out. So far the trip has gone according to plan. We are now awaiting the next flight that will be around 13-14 hour flight.
So blessed to have all those that are praying for us praying.
Can't wait to see our old friends!!
Keep praying folks! Angela and Larry fly out tomorrow evening and we need them to make their connections on time too.
Until next update....
Rodney

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Changing Perspective


“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” - Matt 22:37-40 (NIV)
I was meeting with a couple of my accountability partners the other morning and in our discussion the verse above was shared; along with the thought that our responsibility is to love God with all that we have and to express that love to others around us in this very moment. In addition, that while we normally look at our lives from the past to present, seeing our lives through the lens of our past sin and failures, however, God, through the work of Jesus on the Christ, looks at our lives through the lens of our future in Christ to present.
As I sat there and thought about this, I found that my view of the commandments of God have begun to transform. This transforming is similar to way that I have come to see the Guidelines that we use in our Open Shares and Step Studies. When I first started in Celebrate Recovery and I encountered the Guidelines, honestly I felt they were restricting from what I have always experienced in Christian small groups. I felt like I was been regulated, confined and being forced to conform.
Honestly, the Commandments of God have always had the same effect on me. While I have come to believe in the importance of them and do what I can to follow them, they have always seemed to promote the idea of God as a “Cosmic Cop” waiting to bust me for doing something wrong in my mind. While I know this view of God is a lie I have bought into and stems from the years of my own dysfunction and fed by my issues, I have been struggling well to have a view of God that is more in line with the character that he reveal of Himself in the Bible.
Today I view the Guidelines of CR not has a restriction, but as freeing. I see that what they do is to allow a freedom to share in Open Share or Step Study in a safe atmosphere. As I am able to expose hurts, habits and hang ups to the light of Christ in a safe grace field atmosphere, their power over me is diminished and healing begins to happen in my life. I have come to the place where I embrace the Guidelines and rely on them to help provide an atmosphere where God’s grace is experienced in my life at levels I have never known before.
So as I sat there the other morning discussing the two greatest Commandments, and contemplating the fact that God views me from my future in Christ to my present instead of from my past, it occurred to me that the Commandments like the Guidelines are there for the purpose of my freedom. Once more, it is not about me, but it is about God. It is about what He has done and is doing, not about what I have done or haven’t done. It is about His faithfulness not my faithlessness. I have never before now viewed the Commandments of God as freeing. When viewed from my future in Christ to my present, they no longer condemn me pushing me away from God as viewing my life from my past to present does, but instead they drive me to Him. They are there for my freedom! I can’t tell you how really foreign this perspective is for me. Really, the idea of God viewing me from my future to present begins to open up a whole side of His character I have not been able to see before.

Tim, Male Encourager Coach, Fellowship Bible CR NW Arkansas

For more information about One Day trainings or the CR Summit that goes into greater length on guidelines and how to enforce them etc. Or maybe you have questions about how to get into a CR near you. Contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Friday, April 22, 2011

I can fix it myself



Sometimes we just need to stop and realize that we are not to be the one to save the day. There is Someone much stronger than any of us put together. He is capable of helping us thru our struggles. We will learn so much thru the process.




3. We are here to support one another. We will not attempt to “fix”
another.

For more information about One Day trainings or the CR Summit that goes into greater length on guidelines and how to enforce them etc. Or maybe you have questions about how to get into a CR near you. Contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org http://celebraterecovery.fellowshipnwa.org/

Friday, April 15, 2011

Are you listening?



One of the greatest exercises and disciplines we can learn in life is the art of listening. This is one of the reasons we have the "No Crosstalk" guideline in place. This helps keep our small groups safe and productive.




2. There will be no cross talk, please. Cross talk is when 2 individuals
engage in a dialogue, excluding all others. Each person is free to
express their feelings without interruption.

For more information about One Day trainings or the CR Summit that goes into greater length on guidelines and how to enforce them etc. Or maybe you have questions about how to get into a CR near you. Contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Why should I use "I" or "me"?



Something amazing happens when we own the negative and the positive things in our life. When we voice them with our own lips and personalize them it give it life and actually means something personal to me. He loves me! That means so much.



1. Keep your sharing focused on your own thoughts and feelings. Please limit your sharing to 3-5 minutes.

For more information about One Day trainings or the CR Summit that goes into greater length on guidelines and how to enforce them etc. Or maybe you have questions about how to get into a CR near you. Contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org