Thursday, December 29, 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
strength,"
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 "Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though theya re red like crimson, they shall be like wool."Let's make 2012 a genuine Happy New Year in Christ free from our junk in life. As we lift our eyes to Him He brings us great freedom. If youa re tired, hurting and struggling, there is only one solution and that is Jesus Christ.
Celebrate Recovery is a great tool to point us back to Christ and experience the freedom that His Word speaks of.
Rodney

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

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

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 Christmas, my Savior gave to me, freedom from
shortcomings, desire to be humble, the chance to come clean! my Inventory,
faithfulness, my sanity, and the notion it’s not about me.
On the eight day of Christmas, my Savior gave to me, list of those hurt by
me, freedom from shortcomings, desire to be humble, the chance to come
clean! my Inventory, faithfulness, my sanity, and the notion it’s not
about me.
On the ninth day of Christmas, my Savior gave to me, my apologies, a list
of those hurt by me, freedom from shortcomings, desire to be humble, the
chance to come clean! my Inventory, faithfulness, my sanity, and the notion
it’s not about me.
On the tenth day of Christmas, my Savior gave to me, daily inventory, my
apologies, a list of those hurt by me, freedom from shortcomings, desire
to be humble, the chance to come clean! my Inventory, faithfulness, my
sanity, and the notion it’s not about me.
On the eleventh day of Christmas, my Savior gave to me, His word living in
me, daily inventory, my apologies, a list of those hurt by me, freedom
from shortcomings, desire to be humble, the chance to come clean!
my Inventory, faithfulness, my sanity, and the notion that it’s not about me.
On the twelfth day of Christmas, my Savior gave to me, His message to
carry, His word living in me, daily inventory, my apologies, a list of
those hurt by me, freedom from shortcomings, desire to be humble, the
chance to come clean! my Inventory, faithfulness, my sanity, and the notion it’s not about me.

If you would like some info about Celebrate Recovery contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Monday, December 19, 2011

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 it is you are struggling with remember we are here as your brothers and sisters. We are ready to point you to Christ and His healing power.

I want to encourage you to find a CR near you and experience His love thru CR. If you do not know Christ as your savior, I want to encourage you to talk with your pastor or email or call me and I am happy to assist you in this as well.
You are loved. Hope to see you soon!

-Rodney Holmstrom

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

Friday, December 16, 2011

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 with Pac Man, Donkey Kong (even though it only had three levels that played over and over), and of course Space Invaders, for Christmas. It was the coolest thing ever. Eventually though, it became obsolete and I lost interest.
In my life I have seen this pattern continue even into adulthood. If I only had that new house, or car, or latest technology, then I would be happy. If I only had the new clothes more money, or expensive furniture for the house, that would make me happy right? Not exactly. It was like trying to put a large puzzle together and not having all the pieces together to finish it. I hate that don’t you? In fact, just like it was as little kid the things I thought would fill a void in my life and bring me happiness were only temporary highs for me. I even used drugs and alcohol as a way to fill the void of loneliness, fear and anxiety in my life. That not only didn’t work, it created even more damage in my life.
I am learning thru my relationship with Jesus Christ that there is nothing in this world that can fill the void of loneliness, fear, anxiety, hopelessness, etc. Only Jesus Christ can fully and completely fill that void in my life. I have so much more joy in my life when I am seeking Him and not the things of the past that didn’t even come close to filling the void in my heart. When I seek him, every day can be a day of joy, wonder and hope. When I seek him it makes me a better dad, husband, and leader in life.
I Chronicles 16:12 reads “…remember the wonders He has done…” In the Message version verses 9-12 read,
“Thank GOD! Call out his Name!
Tell the whole world who he is and what he's done!
Sing to him! Play songs for him!
Broadcast all his wonders!
Revel in his holy Name,
GOD-seekers, be jubilant!
Study GOD and his strength,
seek his presence day and night;
Remember all the wonders he performed,
the miracles and judgments that came out of his mouth.”

What if this Christmas became the start of all of us waking up each and every day with the same wonder of that of a child on Christmas morning? The thing that I need to remember is that Christmas is a big part of the story. Had Christ not been born He never would have grown to a man to pay the ultimate sacrifice for me. A baby born for a purpose to live a life on earth, feel the pains we feel and ultimately pay a big price and sacrifice for me. How can we possibly have consistent wonder daily let alone on Christmas as an adult? I must focus on the Cross and what He did for me. I Chron says, “Study God and His strength, seek His presence day and night.”
Wow, you mean if I study Him thru His Word and seek His presence day and night, I too can experience His wonder?
As you approach this Christmas season and going into the New Year, keep a child like faith and approach each day with wonder and hunger. Allow Him to surprise you with His love, wisdom and faithfulness. He will knock your socks off with His big love and hope. Surprise as defined in Webster’s dictionary: to strike or experience a sudden feeling of wonder or astonishment as though unexpected. Look up at Him, your Father and see His bigness.Are you astonished by His love and wonder today? If not, my encouragement to you friend is to study Him and seek Him. I promise He has the strength, willingness, and ability to fill any and all voids in your life. He has the power and desire to give us happiness no matter what we have or what we may be going through.
Thank Him today for the surprises and wonders He has done in your life. He is worthy to be praised.

Is 9:6-7 "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this."

Merry Christmas friend! May this next year truly be a Christ filled “Christ Happy” New Year.

Come see us Friday Night! We would love to point you to the One full of wonder, hope, love and surprise.
Rodney Holmstrom

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

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

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 hang-ups, it only lead to getting in deeper and deeper into my dysfunction.
But….here is the good news, when I surrender to Christ, that is when I am able to change the patterns that lead to more hurt and dysfunction in my past.
I am learning thru CR that this surrender thing has to be daily. For me to lift my head from my pillow and say “Lord, You are God and I am not. Help me today to follow Your will and not my own.” I have to learn to follow His direction and not Rodney’s.
The hope I find is in my old ways, I duplicated many, many ugly things that were lifeless, with no hope. But, Christ duplicates things too. Only He duplicates things that are GOOD and Holy.
He repeats wonderful acts of kindness in my life. I just had to remove the lies, junk and hurt from my past to be able to see clearly for the first time what those acts were.
Now that He has cleared my thoughts and mind from the past junk, I can now see His goodness, His wonderful repeated acts of kindness in my life. I can see HE IS GOOD.
Today and every day I must stand in awe of His deeds and give Him praise. To keep my perspective about Him and not me.“….I stand in awe of Your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day…” Habakkuk 3:2 NIV
My prayer today is that the Father help me see and marvel at His great and wonderful repeated acts of kindness in my life and to know that He has a plan even when things are going badly. To listen to the wisdom of those who have gone before me. To reach out to the brothers that God has placed in my life and know that it does not mean I am weak. By reaching out to others I am wise and using the tools He has given me. To know that He will lead me through each and every trial if I will just surrender to His will daily and allow Him to be God in my life. To run away from things that make me think I am in control or I can do this on my own. I am so grateful to His blessings on Celebrate Recovery to help us thru life’s mess. He turns our messes into His message! Thank You for Your faithfulness in my life Father."I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12

Rodney Holmstrom

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

Sunday, December 4, 2011

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 professors in bible college put, “to think God’s thoughts after Him.” All that still sounds a bit much for me to handle I have to admit. But Theology is important, our personal theology, what we think about God, defines how we live our lives. And I have come to understand that there are two types of theology, there is the theology I say I believe, then there is what I call my “practical theology” this is the theology that is actually seen and lived out in my life. At first one thinks these are the same, but the longer I looked in the mirror I see there is a difference. For example I have for years told people that I believe that God loves me, however, that was a mask, the truth was that I really believed that God tolerated me and was waiting for me to blow it so He could “crack my skull,” how could He love a screw up like me was what I really thought. A lie that I bought into, one that surely effected how lived – my “practical theology.”
One of the lies I had bought into was the thinking that my salvation was an afterthought of God, that it was a “Plan B.” This was certainly nothing I was taught in church or Bible College, the source of this lie I am not completely sure of, most likely the father of lies himself, but my own insecurities and my own fears of failure seemed to perpetuate it. I wonder now how many years I read over these verse and either took them for granted, just never paid attention to them and/or let them slip by without any kind of impact on my life. It is clear from these verses my salvation was not a Plan B and when I stop and look at it logically the truth of that bears out.
If God is all knowing as I believe He is, if God created time and space as I believe He did, then that means He knew about me before I was created, that means that He exists outside of time and is able to see my life from beginning to end at once. In fact it means that He sees all of creation from beginning to end all at once. God is not contained in my linear timeline, He exist beyond it and interacts with it, but not contained by it. This being said, when He decided to speak creation into existence He was not surprised by the Fall of Adam, He knew it would happen. He fully knew that He would have to come to Earth in the form of a man, Jesus Christ, and sacrifice Himself for man to have the relationship with Him that He desired to have. Even before He spoke creation into existence, He knew Jesus would have to come and die. Jesus coming to earth as babe, His life, His death on the cross, His resurrection and eventually His second coming was the plan all along. It wasn’t as if God had to come up with a make shift plan because what He had desired was thwarted, no it was the plan all along!
What really excites me about these verses is when it says “we're a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free!” Abundantly free, abundantly free. This speaks against one of those lies I bought into, I had thought I had barely made it, “barely free,” but I am starting to understand that the grace and love of God is so big, so massive that being set free by God is not a “barely” thing, it is an abundant thing. His love, His grace, His mercy, His peace, His freedom is overflowing, more than enough, it is abundant. And to be honest I am not sure what that means. I know this though, it is not something I can measure, it is something I have to experience.
About two and half years ago, I was sitting at our CR Celebration Service and felt impressed by the Holy Spirit to just stop signing and sit quietly while all of those around me were worshipping. As I sat there meditating on God, I felt as if He was saying to me, “Tim, the God you are worshipping is not who I am.” I felt that what He was saying to me was that I have misunderstood His nature, that there are characteristics of who He is that I just do not know nor do I understand.
It is like standing on the beach and looking at the ocean, beautiful yes, amazing for sure, but by standing on the beach do I know the ocean? I certainly can see it and how big it is, I can hear it moving, I can taste a bit of it in the air and, if I allow myself, my toes might even know its temperature when I get close enough to let a wave touch them. But, do I know the ocean from just standing on the shore?
I may know “about” the ocean from what I can observe from the safety of the shore, but I don’t know the ocean and its power until get out into it and experience it, until my body feels the force of the swells and waves. I don’t know the ocean until the temperature surrounds all of my body not just my toes. From the shore I can know about the ocean, but until I get into it, I cannot “know” it. This is the challenge I felt God was saying to me two and half years ago, “Tim, get to know me. Get intimate with me. I am not who you think I am.”
So here is to learning how to body surf with God.
Tim, Assimilation Coach CR Fellowship Bible
For information about Celebrate Recovery contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Friday, December 2, 2011

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 about this guy, he’s good.” Some say he is even considered one of the greatest attorney’s in the universe. Really?! C’mon, the universe? No one is that good.
As he entered, he walked right over to where the accused was sitting and sat right down next him. The accused man is stunned. He asks the question, “Are you representing me?” The attorney smiles with a warm expression and replies, “yes sir, but only if you will accept me.” The man replies, “Yes, I accept you!” His attorney goes onto say, “Do you admit that you have done wrong in your life and accept me as your advocate? Do you believe in Me?” Yes, YES, YES, the accused replies.
About that time the bailiff calls out in the courtroom, “All Rise!!” Everyone stands in honor of the Judge. Just then the judge makes eye contact with the accused man, and then his attorney. Now the judge is even smiling. What is the world is going on here?
The Judge asks the defense attorney, “are you representing this man?” “yes Your honor”, replies the attorney. Then the judge asks the accused, “what is it that you are here for son?”
“I have committed very wrong things in my life Your honor. I am completely ashamed of what I have done and feel some much guilt and condemnation for all I have done. I am ready to surrender my life in humility. I realize that justice requires I burn for my mistakes” replies the accused.
Then the judge says something that stuns the courtroom. He says, “son, you cannot be tried for something that is no longer on the docket. Your case has been wiped off the docket and therefore you are free.” “Wait a minute!!!!” shouts the accuser. He goes on saying, “I demand the death penalty for this hideous man full of sin, shame and disgrace! He is nothing and deserves the wrath of judgment, to burn for what he has done. I will NOT Tolerate this.”
The Judge smiles again and says, “there is not a thing you can do counselor. That man is being represented by a fine man who has already paid the price for the accused.”
Just then, the attorney for the accused leans over and whispers in his defendant’s ear to say, “that guy is my Father.” The accused begins to think to himself, “Wait a minute...could this be? This attorney representing me is the judges own son?!” What are the odds of that? He is stunned.
The Judge continues in his dialogue toward the accuser, “You see Satan, the attorney for the accused is my own Son and He in fact is the best defense attorney in the universe, he is his advocate and is pleading this man’s case for him. His attorney, Jesus Christ, is not only his defender, but his atoning sacrifice that he made for the accused and his sins. This makes it possible for him to stand before me, the Judge, as his mediator.
Why? Because Jesus Christ, my son and defense attorney for this man has already suffered the penalty in his place. My Son has already paid the death penalty for this man’s sin thru his own death on the Cross, burial, resurrection and ascension. He satisfied the wrath of justice that this man deserves because he is now a part of Him. His attorney, my son, Jesus Christ satisfied the requirement and removed this man’s sin the moment he accepted my Son and repented of his sins. When the accused are united with my Son, they are then safe from all harm. “
From the words of John: “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:1-2 The judge then pauses and directs the following statement to the accused, “ Based on this new information, the gift of mercy, not giving you what you deserve, and the gift of grace, a gift given to you that do not deserve, by my Son, Jesus Christ, I am declaring you NOT GUILTY! You are free.” “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Rom 8:1) This case is now dismissed. The accuser leaves the courtroom in disgust knowing there is not a thing he can do about it.
The accused turns and gives his attorney a big hug and says, “thank you so much for all you have done. I don’t know how I can ever repay you for this.”
Jesus looks the man in the eye and says, “this was a free gift to you and a way to my Father. But please know that it was not free. Rather it was paid with a very high cost, My life. There is nothing good or bad that you can do that will change my love for you. You cannot earn your way into heaven or my love. I love you just as you are my son. However, as you have now accepted me, and your heart has changed, free from guilt, shame and condemnation now that you are one of my beloved children, now walk in the light. You ask me, “what can I do?” Focus on me. Allow me into your life and allow me to have a relationship with you daily. Allow me to grow you and change you by removing the character defect you discover in yourself as we walk together. Allow me to transform you and guide you in this tough world you live in. The only hope you will ever find is in Me. I will help you stay on track but you have to listen to Me as your mentor. I will change you through My Word and the Holy Spirit being alive and active in your life. I help you deal with life’s hurts, habits and hang-ups in your life. I will comfort you when life’s disappointments come your way. Put your faith in me. Lie at my feet daily and listen to my voice as the Good shepherd. You are one of my sheep now and I know every single thing about you from you past, present and even into your future. I am your Father, Comforter, Protector, Refuge and Strength in the storm. He is an ever present help in time of need.
"I sought the LORD, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
6 This poor man called, and the LORD heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.
8 Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
9 Fear the LORD, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
12 Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous,
and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil,
to blot out their name from the earth.
17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Ps 34:4-18
Jesus goes on to say, “Most importantly, go share this Good News with others so that they may receive what you have been given.”Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19
Though we will face consequences here on earth for our actions and choices it is good to know that our Father wipes them out because of what He did on the Cross for us. We are NOT GUILTY. I was that man standing accused in my life and am ow a free man because of Christ. CR helps me now to deal with my character defects so that I can grow in my relationship with Him.

I hope this brought you some encouragement today friend.
Rodney Holmstrom. For information about Celebrate Recovery contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org