Wednesday, August 31, 2011

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 for people to try to "fix" others after listening to their sharing. Sometimes without even realizing it we think "oh, I know what I can share that will lead "them" down the right path" and so we share and it is all directed toward one person. Now, one can make an argument that people could do that anyway. True, and hopefully our well trained leaders will nip this quickly, but the chances increase when people go a second time.

2. Our small group guideline is "Keep our sharing to 3-5 minutes not "3-5 minutes, 2 or 3 times". There is a reason we have 3-5 minutes on each person's sharing. It teaches us to get our thoughts organized and not ramble. This is an important component in recovery. When we know we have 3-5 minutes we will give it some thought before we speak and speak to the point more precisely.

3. Sharing only one time will allow everyone the opportunity to share that chooses to.

Granted, in some of our small groups there will possibly only be 3-4 people in the group. That is ok. The best thing you can do as a group is shut down the group early and go to Solid Rock and continue your conversation there.

-Some people think it's crazy for us to have a guideline like this or think it is silly to have others like, we cannot hand a tissue to someone else when they are crying. (I thought that was the craziest thing I ever heard when I first came in until I found out "why" we do that. We don't want to interrupt the sharing of anyone. Handing a tissue does just that. Or, to only use I or me statements. Then I learned that when someone says for example, "we all want this..." I know now that I really don't want you or anyone else speaking for me. How do you know what I want or need? :)

The truth is, there are actually very good reasons behind these guidelines and 20 plus years experience that has lead us to use these guidelines. They may seem crazy and not necessary, but the truth is, they actually do work.

One of the things I have said and continue to say in trainings with our great CR leaders is we don't expect everyone to agree with everything we do in CR. The thing we do ask though is that you please respect them. I have to trust those that went before me in this great ministry and know that if the guideline is there, it is there for a good reason and for my safety and recovery.

We want this 3-5 minutes to be yours to share to your liking as long as the guidelines are being upheld.

a. maybe a victory or struggle from this past week

b. Maybe you choose to share from the focus question presented

c. Maybe there is something in the Problem and Solution Sheet that spoke

to you

d. Maybe there is something that the Holy Spirit Spoke to your heart

about during the teaching or testimony that night.

Bottom line, whatever you want to share on is fine just make sure you do it within your time frame allotted.

So....the next time you go into an open discussion group during your regular meeting night and your leader asks you to not share again, you will know that they are not being mean or picking on you but rather, doing their part in keeping the group safe and productive. This is to ultimately set the table for you to experience God's healing and freedom all in the setting of a safe group.

As always, thank you for honoring these guidelines and for being right where God has you. You are blessing so many by your presence not to mention bringing continued healing to yourself each time you share.

Just like the song says. Greater Things Are Still To Come In This City" Greater things are still to come in this "meeting"...

Have a blessed day

Happy "one" sharing....:)

For more information about CR contact Rodney Holmstrom,

NW Arkansas State Rep

National Assimilation Coach

Monday, August 8, 2011

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. When I share my story, past or present, it brings hope to others. God never wastes a hurt and can use our story even while we are in the middle of it to bring HOPE to others.

There is amazing healing that takes place in the context of our CR small groups. Whether it is in Open Discussion groups as a way to share how God is growing me through the week. Or, how He is speaking to me in the CR Worship/Teaching/Testimony time, prior to the group. Or how He is speaking to me through my taking the time to do my homework and sharing it in my step study group. When I miss Open Discussion groups on our main meeting night and/or the Step Study group during the week, I am robbing myself of many blessings and continued learning and growing in my relationship with Him. Take the opportunity to be involved in the small groups of CR. You will be blessed!!

For more information about our CR small groups or about Celebrate Recovery as a whole, contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or