Friday, June 29, 2012

What Is Your Title?

Rodney, the guy from Springdale. Kind of a generic intro huh? Reading in 1 Kings 17 this morning, saw Elijah from verse 1-24 was referred to as "Elijah, the Tishbite" (an unknown little town) but by vs. 24 he had grown and now was a man of God. God commanded Elijah to go into hiding in Cherith, east of the Jordan. (I was able to visit this supposed spot in the Middle East while over there visiting). God wanted him to take a timeout from his normal routine of life and pull himself out of the spotlight. God put him thru training to be able to face the battles of today and tomorrow from the enemy. This got me to thinking about CR and how when people come into this ministry in obedience to deal with their life hurts, sicknesses, habits or maybe hang-ups, God puts us into training. When we can't get past our past junk, CR can be and is a great hiding place. Not "hiding" in the sense of avoiding pain and running from stuff, but hiding in His shadow of healing, growing and rest. This is a time of getting away from in "hiding" the things that satisfy our human pride, ego and/or selfishness. A time of hiding that puts us in a situation of trusting Him to guide us thru the valley we may be in and allowing Him to train and protect us. It is thru this process that we go from being known as the "guy from Springdale" or "woman from Rogers" to getting closer to becoming the "man of God" or "woman of God". I realize now more than ever, this is the boot camp of training and learning is a lifelong process. I am grateful for the people He has put in my life to walk along side in this army of His beloved children, called forever family. So glad He has trained me to not be where I used to be and given me a hope that I am not where I will be. Rodney Holmstrom If you would like to know more about this place of hiding and healing, Celebrate Recovery, contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dressing For Hot Temps in Church

Have you ever had one of those topics that you just would rather not have? Or worse yet, have to be on the receiving end of that conversation? Well...this is kind of like that. As the temperatures start rising, I want to challenge all of us to think about how we are dressing especially within the recovery setting and in the Church as a whole. Please take a few moments to watch this short video on dress during the summer. Thank you in advance for doing your part to keep this a safe place for all our attendees. To the regular attendees: We always want to show grace to those coming in new to the church/recovery meetings. As a sister to sister, or brother to brother, let's show grace but gently let our new friends know that this could be a trigger for one of our forever family. Then they will know how to dress for their next visit. Here are some things to think about before you dress. Potential trigger clothing items - Spaghetti straps - Skin tight clothes - "Low cut" shirts or blouses/sun dresses - Backless dresses or shirts - Short skirts or shorts - Halter tops - Anything that is see thru - Tight fitting pants, tops or clothes. Thanks again for helping us in this challenge as we try to stay cool in hot temperatures this summer. For information about Celebrate Recovery contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Saturday, June 23, 2012

What Does Your "DASH" Say About You?

I had a date with my wife today. We went to the cemetery. I know what a guy I am huh? I gotta tell you though, it was so neat to walk with my wife as we looked at tombstones. You might be asking, what in the world were you doing that for? Glad you asked. I was inspired in reading Moses' final hike up Mt Pisgah as recorded in Deut. 34 to say goodbye to this world after a life of serving the Lord. I was inspired as I thought about everything this man had seen, been a part of and what kind of legacy he left behind. What would it have been like to stand at the top of this Mtn. at the age of 125, face to face with God, looking out at the land God had created? I got to thinking about what his tombstone would read? Inspired by this, I decided to take a drive down to the cemetery and walk around and view the tombstones of those that came before me. All I can say is wow! If these stones could talk. When we read inscriptions on the stones, all of them have a story behind them. Sometimes they leave us inspired, sometimes bring laughter, sometimes sadness. One that we came across didn't have anything written on it. Yes, there is even a story behind those too. In researching some on line, I found these that you may find interesting: One tombstone in Georgia reads, "I told you I was sick!" :) Or the one in England: "Sir John Strange Here lies an honest lawyer And that is Strange." I saw two here locally that were months a part with a dear family that lost not one but two children at the tender age of a few months old. Lots of emotion reading those. And what about the WWII, Korean War, as well as Vietnam? Wow, to be able to talk with these guys. Every single stone told a story beyond what we could comprehend. As Carol and I walked and then stopped and looked out at history ranging from the early 1800's to as late as May 2012, we thought, wow, think of all the history and stories behind each of these people. It brought up an old thought and that is what does the "dash" between my born and passing date, say about me? What legacy will I leave behind? It reminded me of the line from "Saving Private Ryan" where Private Ryan pays his respects to Captain Miller at his tombstone. He recalled his Captain, right before his last breath, saying to him "earn this". Private Ryan, in paying his respects turns to his wife with great emotion says, "Tell me I've been a good man." With that in mind, I told my wife while driving home, "I hope I leave a good legacy behind." And she said in only a way my wife can say, "you already have". Then it hit me, that's true, our legacy is not something that we wait until the end of our life to develop. It starts right here and right now. The way I deal with trouble that comes my way, the way I make my amends when I wrong someone, hurt someone’s feelings, swallow my pride, apologize to my kids and admit when I am wrong starts my legacy for my kids, wife and friends today. It is interesting that there was not one tombstone that read, "He made so much money" "He/She cleaned the house so well" He made straight A's in school" or "He was the smartest in our whole neighborhood." No, instead I read on tombstones, "The best mom and dad ever in the whole wide world." or "I love you a little more yesterday, and a little less than tomorrow". I love the quote from Tom Brokaw, it reads “It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.”I am inspired today to think about my dash. Am I making a difference in others life with the right motive? Is Christ living in me and working through me to bring glory to Himself? Am I more concerned with making myself famous or well known or bringing His name into the spot light? I am convinced now more than ever that if the latter is true in my walk, I will be the husband I need to be, the dad God has called me to be, the friend and servant He commands me to be, the brother He has inspired me to be, when I seek the God and Father so graciously given to me. Start your legacy today friend. Start by doing the next right thing and give glory to the Father in all things, sweeping the floor, checking out someone at the store, stocking shelves, cleaning toilets, changing diapers, washing the dishes, making money, paying your bills, admitting our mistakes, not being afraid to admit when we are wrong, and walking in humility in all things. What would your dash say if it were to end today? Let’s start making the changes today and leave a eternal legacy that brings glory to our Father. If you get a chance, take a walk thru a cemetery and get a sense of rich history and story. Rodney If you would like information about Celebrate Recovery, contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Glimpse of Jesus Working

Have you ever been in a situation where you see God moving? I mean really working through a process of life change as He captures His child’s heart once again? I had a glimpse of this last Friday Night. I was reminded again that this is where the blessings take place. Both open Discussion and Step Group. In case you may have lost the sense of importance for us as leaders to be in these small groups, let me remind you it is crucial and you bring hope to the newcomer in ways you cannot imagine. I watched 12-15 men in the open discussion group this past Friday, literally holding on with a very thread in many cases to maintain their sobriety and hope in their life.I saw Jesus working right before my eyes as these men shared their heart and soul. And to see their hope when me and another leader shared from our own recovery and how many sobriety years we have, the eyes lit up with hope.Please accept this as an invitation to join us in the open share groups. It is not about you leading the group, although those that do lead it from week to week are very much appreciated. It is, however, about you being present and sharing what Christ has done in your life. If you are in a dry spell in your recovery, join the open share groups and share what you are thankful and then sit back and listen to what God is doing right before our eyes. No matter where you are in your recovery whether day one or day 10,000, your presence and sharing brings hope to others and continued healing to yourself as you share with others. So, if you have been in the habit of skipping out after worship, let’s set a new trend and join our brothers and sisters coming in behind us to find recovery in these small groups. I promise, you will be the one that walks away blessed as I have been in attending and sometimes leading the Substance group for men. Thanks for your continued support and love for this ministry and even more so for our Savior! You are all making a huge difference through your obedience to the Father. Love you all. Have a great week! Rodney. For more information about Celebrate Recovery, contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Past is Not as Nice As We Think

Ever slip into that mind set of forgetting all He has done for you? Maybe you are in a tough season of life and feeling a pruning season in your life that just flat out hurts. Isn't it amazing how we can romanticize about the past? Man, those were the good ole' days, "life before recovery was so much fun" Funny thing is years from now, we can start doing the same thing for the season we are in right now. And "right now", we can't stand it. The Israelites did this as stated in Numbers 11:5-6 "We remember the fish we used to eat in Egypt...." Now, we just have the cruddy ole' manna! Man, if only the Lord had killed us in Egypt."Life used to be so much fun and better back in the day. (Oh you mean in the days where you were a slave, directed to hard, abusive and brutal labor?) Ah...yes, the sweet days of Egypt. NOT! :) As my kids would say today, "REALLY?!" The Lord has provided life for you and that is all you can say Rodney? The truth is, my past is not as nice as I can make it out to be in my mind. I tend to do this when in a season of growth and pruning with the Father. Today I want to be grateful for whatever He has provided. Even in the wilderness moments, I need to remember He is stretching my spiritual muscles because He trusts me to do so. I want to be grateful that He is providing for me and know that He will never let me go without or give me more than HE can handle for me in my life. If you are in a tough season, hang in there friend. He is about to grow you beyond your wildest dreams. For more information about Celebrate Recovery contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

History Lessons Learned

Ever take some time to read some bizarre product labels? "For external use only!" -- On a curling iron. "Look before driving." -- On the dash board of a mail truck. "Do not use in shower." -- On a hair dryer. And my favorite: "May irritate eyes." -- On a can of self-defense pepper spray. Now why would they have to write these labels? Cause it happened to someone already. Seems crazy huh? We see that in life with our spiritual walk too. Paul said in 1 Cor 10:6 "Now these things happened as examples for us" He was talking of the Israelites struggles, tests and failures. God has taken these and recorded them for our benefit. The question I am asking myself, is am I going to repeat history or make a new history. Unfortunately I have repeated a lot of ugly past. I “knew” drugs, alcohol, isolating, trying to control and live my life apart from God was unhealthy and damaging, and yet unfortunately I repeated the unhealthy history in my life. However, I can now, thru the grace of God say, I am not who I used to be, nor who I’ll become, but I am closer to Christ and hearing His message and learning lessons from past mistakes. Today I am choosing to the break cycles of my past junk thru better listening and choices. CR is an incredible tool to draw me closer to Christ. God's Word is a necessity for me to stay rooted in regularly so as to learn from the past and in turn learn how to keep trusting Him. Rodney For more information on Celebrate Recovery, contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org