Posts

Showing posts from 2013

Sale! Everything Must Go!

"The sale of the century! Everything must go!"
A reoccurring theme in retail ADS playing over and over again as we search for the "perfect gift".  In Ephesians 4:22-24, Paul is selling something of much greater value...life change.  He says 3 things,  1. "Everything...connected with that old way of life has to go. It's rotten thru and thru. Get rid of it."  2. "Let the Spirit change your stinkin thinkin," and finally he says, " 3. "put on your new self..." It will fit you perfectly.
Are you looking for that "perfect gift"? Have I got some good news for you, it won't cost you a thing. He's already paid the cost. God has something more precious than jewels, He has His hope, true serenity, joy unspeakable, and His unconditional love. And you don't have to do it alone. 
Come meet your family tonight at CR.   All you have to do is take the first step toward Him. Celebrate Recovery @ Fellowship 6:00pm tonight  …

Remembering His Promises in the Dark

Are you feeling like you are in a dark spot right now? Feeling overwhelmed, lonely, struggling? Remember this, God knew you would struggle and wrestle with life in a dark world, so He sent His Son to humbly be born in a smelly manger, live a life here on earth to eventually die a brutal death. Why? Cause He didn't want you to stumble around in the dark anymore. (John 8:12)
He said, I will be your Light to grow you thru your dark times. "Never doubt in the dark what God told you the light" Raymond Edman
This may be your test. Will you still love, trust, obey, worship Him in the midst of your darkness? Will you hold onto His promises? Friends, He is coming back but, until then, He promises to be our Light thru dark times. 
That is why Christmas is such a good message of hope for us. He became flesh for YOU. He loves YOU so much that He wants to spend eternity with YOU. What a gift.
You are not alone.  Have a blessed day Rodney

Why? Because we love You Lord

Reading about Noah in scripture and see how he was doing some things right. Scriptures say, “Noah was a pleasure to the Lord.”
Why? Because He loved the Lord, believed and trusted in His promises and he knew God would and could help him thru any and all problems. In fact God was so pleased with Noah and how his life goal was to please and show obedience to His Lord that He decided to start over with his family. God said, “I choose you and your family Noah.”
I am chewing on a question this morning, if the Lord were to start over today, would my family and I be one He would choose?
Is it my life goal to think about Him thru my day, serve Him, and be obedient to what His word says?
I am thinking about this in the context of recovery and what it is all about. Working the steps of recovery is not so we can ‘feel’ better about our self (although, that is a natural bonus in the process in many ways)

It is to bring glory and pleasure to God. “But it is just taking too long and I just don’t have …

Out with the OLD, In with the NEW

Why don't you let it go Rodney? Has God ever asked you that question? I don't know why, but for some reason holding onto that highly dysfunctional past way of life, fear, worry, thoughts, addictions, hurt, can be so hard to let go of can't it? Maybe it's because it is so familiar? All I know is that it wasn't until I let go of my 'death' grip on my old life that I was able to receive His new and better 'life'.
"Anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go,...you'll have it forever, real and eternal." John 12:25 If you're holding onto that misery in your life, remember, it's just an option and we can refuse to accept that lie. We can accept the new life & truth that is full of change and hope if we will just let go and let God take over.  Easy? No, of course not. Worth it? Most definitively. We were created to bring glory to Himself. It starts with sweet surrender and leads to real and …

Willing Our Way When Stuck?

I was driving this morning in the ice and snow & I drove by the "Last Chance Liquor store" where I saw a man stuck in the ice. He had his left foot inside the car on the gas pedal and the other outside the vehicle on the ground trying to get out.  Scary picture..: His back wheels were literally spinning in the ice. He was in a seemingly helpless situation. (Note: I couldn't stop cause the ice was slick and would have created a bigger mess. Don't judge me. 😊)
I couldn't help but think about how this parallels so many folks lives including my own for so long.  We get stuck in the middle of a crisis in our life and with all our might, we attempt to 'will' our self to get out of the mess we are stuck in...but go at it all alone. Fortunately, there is a better way. We have a Helper that can provide the strength we need. Only Christ's power can give me the traction to get out of my mess I may be stuck in. 
Are you stuck? You no longer have to spin your whee…

Celebrating One Minute at a Time

Just three more minutes. Just a few days...he was just there a couple weeks. It's interesting how those statements can mean so much in different ways to different people. To someone wrapping up a treadmill workout it may seem like an eternity if still running, but if walking, not so much. A few days until the weekend, seems like a long time to someone who hasn't had a weekend off in months. To another, it's just a couple days. In recovery I have a heightened awareness of what minutes, days, weeks, months, and years mean. When someone has an hour sobriety, to one that may seem small, to another life saving. I have learned that in life, you can't celebrate and glorify God for 30 years sobriety without having the first hour. "To glorify God means to think and act in such a way that the goodness, greatness, and beauty of God are constantly obvious to ourselves and all those around us.  It means to live in such a way that when people see us they think, Thank God for G…

Growing 'Within' the Struggle

Are you in the middle of a struggle right now? I know it is painful and Lord knows I have struggles too. God is teaching me that my prayer must not be "get me out of this now Lord". Although the struggles we face can be painful, these tests help me grow and put into practice what He has taught me. This is how I grow in Him.
My prayer has to be in trusting Him, saying "Lord, I pray you help me 'within' this struggle I am facing... however long it may last."

Remember, we can find hope in knowing that the Father will snatch you from the devils hands and protect you. He will allow each of us as His children to escape with our life...because of His promises
"The Lord gave them rest on every side...the Lord handed all their enemies over to them. Joshua 21:44

Rodney

Stop Feeding the Beast

I broke the clock. I felt ashamed and like a failure.
Isn't it interesting how "situations" in our past life can linger, creating a bunch of lies about who we are?  Someone can bring a problem to me today and if I am still holding onto those lies that I am a failure, guess what? I go back to the kid that broke the clock. Then that creates problems in resolving even the smallest conflicts today. Then I begin to feel ashamed, threatened, even sad, angry or afraid. Those misplaced emotions in that moment then lead me to respond in my old dysfunctional ways.
God is teaching me that when a problem is presented to me, stop and recognize where these feelings are coming from. If they are based on lies, I must not only reject those lies but then replace them with His truth. This can't be done alone though. I can do it with His help and those around me. It is then that I can learn to let go of those past lies and begin living a new life of freedom un-handcuffed from past situa…

Hidden Secrets...Energy Lost.....

Have you ever stolen something?

I had this question come up in my step group this morning and was reminded of a time in junior high. In the locker room someone left their wallet on the bench and I told another guy that I knew whose it was and that I would take it to him.
Guess what? I didn't. I noticed it had money in it so I pocketed it. Then the principal came to me and pulled me out of class since someone told him I had it in hand last.
"Did you take the wallet?" he asked. I told him I gave it to someone else I didn't know...."could you identify who it was if you saw him?" uh...sure.

So, we then proceeded to walk into every junior high class and let me step in to see if I could identify the "person". Yeah, its getting deeper in here...
The only problem was, I was "that person".
Talk about an exhausting hour of my life.  I know my teachers knew I did it but I held fast to my lie. I was miserable....
That's the thing with holding…

Dead seeds multiply

Here's something to chew on...
"Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed, but if it dies, it produces many seeds." John 12:24

Reading this passage this morning hits me in new and fresh ways.
This reminds me that I must be willing to let down my pride and die to my "own will" so that Christ can take over and allow "His will" to shine in my life.
Even though letting go of what 'I' think is best can be a scary and painful fall to the ground, I am grateful to see this lead to a new life that produces many new seeds in my life. A daily battle to not take it back again.

Is Christ pruning you right now? I know its painful but consider letting go and hold onto the hope that He will then make room for 'much fruit' in your life. (Jn 15)
What a wonderful legacy we can leave for our family.

Have a blessed Sunday!
Rodney

Heaven Rain Brings Beauty

"A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for." Those that live in the NW Arkansas area know how incredible the colors are right now with the leaves changing colors. Experts say that this year the colors are brighter and more vibrant than they have been in a long time because of all the rain we had earlier in the year.
This got me to thinking about what those trees endured thru the year. Strong winds, heavy rains, scorching heat, and more. The heavy rain poured down on these trees were a big part of making them what they are today. 
I find great encouragement in this today being reminded that seasons of rain bring great beauty. Looking at the beautiful colors, it's as if the trees, in all their weather tested beauty, are shouting praises to the Creator. "Righteous people will rejoice. They will jump for joy before God. They'll be jubilant with great rejoicing." Psalm 68:3
Praise Him even in the storm, change is coming. #21Days

Keep Crowing for Jesus

Someone once said, "The young bird does not crow until it hears the old ones." I was thinking about this in the context of our small groups in CR. It is tempting at times for me to think, "I don't need to be in a small group anymore. I got this all figured out." The truth is, the minute I start thinking I have arrived is when I should be the most on guard. 
It is the being a part of small groups that keeps me sharp and on my toes. My sharing of past victories, current struggles and fears, can and will,  not only bring hope to the newcomers, but maybe give them the courage to share themselves. This old bird will never stop crowing in a small group setting.  There is nothing like sharing from my own experience and then seeing the light bulb of hope go on in someone else.  Then...to hear them share and find healing as a result...now that's something worth shouting about. Keep crowing for Christ friends, it makes a difference!
Rodney Holmstrom

Balancing the System

When I worked in business we would frequently take an inventory of our stock. One of the purposes of this counting process was to ensure our stock was balanced with what the main system showed and to see if theft was taking place. If the counts didn't match up, we would evaluate our receiving  (how things came in the door) and shipping (how things went out the door) and correct the issues. In recovery, my taking of a moral inventory helps me keep things balanced and matching up with His plan for my life. 
Keeping my side of the street clean helps me to receive and give much better fruit that honors The Lord. Is anything stealing your joy, peace, patience, kindness, or affecting the way you love others?  Trust me, it's worth the time and effort to stop and take an inventory. It gives us a blueprint for life change. "Happy are the pure in heart"
Rodney Holmstrom

He Gives Me The Strength

We all face disappointments in  our life. It can be painful and even seem hopeless at times. If you are in the middle of one right now, remember this... God has the power to take our disappointments and strengthen us toward a better plan and life.  “Disappointments are Gods way of saying “I’ve got something better." Live life.. be patient, have faith.”  #celebraterecovery

Keeping My Amends List Short

I can't worry about yesterday's or tomorrow's but, is there fruit in my life today?  Did I show love to others? Did I choose joy? Did i have peace sitting in traffic yesterday? Did i show patience with my family and friends? Kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control?Gal 5:22-23 is a great guide for my daily inventory. Not to shame or guilt myself but to point me to Christ with taking another step closer to Him. Have you done you daily inventory? It's gonna be a good day.

His Vision

Have you ever tried driving down the road only looking in the rear view mirror? Eventually, we will drive off the road cause we are focused on the wrong things. In the same way, my life can take my focus on the past rather that what is in front of me, my future.
"Where there is no vision (revelation), the people (perish) cast off restraint." Proverbs 29:18
In recovery, the enemy is so diligent of trying to get me to look in the rear view mirror and wallow in my stuff. Christ tells us to look out the windshield with a vision of a renewed life and hope. How is your vision today friend? Are you looking in the rear view mirror or in front of you with great anticipation for a vision of new life?
Let's keep our eyes forward and up toward the Father. He has a plan for you and I and it is good.

Rodney Holmstrom

Any Excuse Will Do

Any excuse will do....  One thing I have learned about excuses is that they are like Lay's Potato chips, I can never just eat just one. The root of this kind of thinking is fear and doubt. At some point I had to stop and say "enough excuses" and step away.....from the bag of excuses.  I had to replace my doubt and fear with courage and belief that He could change me. For me I am grateful that while I still fall on my face making mistakes, The Lord is replacing "I can't because..."  with "But now...I don't have to live enslaved to addictions, I don't have to live in fear any longer. I don't have to be frozen in my muck anymore!" It takes courage to step out and believe He has the power to help us recover. 
Is there an excuse keeping you stuck in the starters box? No more excuses, doubt or fear. Change begins now but you have to step toward Him. "Come near to God and He will come near to you." James 4:8 Rodney

New Day: New Beginning

Mornings are great cause things like the dew on the grass symbolize a reminder of new water, new life, new beginnings to drink in for a thirsty soul. For new life and new chances to honor Him.
A crazy day yesterday with some messy ministry stuff going on but grateful for a new day with new beginnings. The cross we carry today leads to a crown in the future.  Thank You Lord for shining a light into my inmost being to show me what my part is to work on today. May I carry this cross with joy. Thank You that You are the God of hope to fill me with joy and peace believing that I may abound in hope thru Your Spirit. Romans 15:13
Rodney Holmstrom

Feelings versus Calling

“You must do the thing which you think you cannot do" Eleanor Roosevelt

Headed to CR Step group with some amazing men this AM. The enemy once convinced us we couldn't change. But that was a lie. We don't always "feel" like doing what is necessary for growth in our life and recovery, But... Together we have made the choice to fight against "feelings" of quitting and now ask instead, "what does Your Word say I should do?" Not by our strength, but His power and strength in my weakness.
“The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; Your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever." Ps138.8
This is where the healing begins. Change is possible for me AND you. His love, strength and grace carry us thru any and all situations. Have a great day! Rodney

Reserving A Time....All Day

Have you ever listened to someone coming out of prison?
They hear things differently. Flowers smell better, fresher. They stop to feel the wind in their face and hear the birds sing. Food tastes better than ever. family time is more precious than ever. They embrace a great conversation with a brother or sister in Christ. Every sense is heightened with a grateful awareness.
Sometimes it is easy for me to look at myself as a prisoner and I am not behind bars. If I allow the craziness of life consume me and fail to stop and listen & look at the blessings around me, I will miss some pretty incredible stuff.
Most importantly, if I don't stop to listen to my Father, I will miss out on some great wisdom and nuggets for life.
"Listen to me; be silent, and I will teach you wisdom." Job 33:3
Reserving a daily time for God is not just a one time event but a process to be carried throughout the day.
Today, let's stop being a prisoner to busyness and embrace the th…

First Accept, Then Commit

"Do you Rodney, take (accept) this woman, Carol to be your wife?" 
I had to make a choice in my relationship with my wife to accept her before I would ever commit to her.  In my relationship with Christ, as His bride, I am grateful that He gives me a choice. First, He accepts me, but then asks me the question, "Rodney, do you believe (accept) Me?" (Rom 10:9) The answer to that question will determine what I do next. If no, then I will commit to all the other counterfeit stuff that screams to falsely fill the void in my life.  But... If yes is my response, then I "commit" my life and will to Him. This is a one time event in inviting Him into my life for my salvation. But it is a daily decision to say Lord, I "commit" today to ask for Your will for my life today.
What are you committing to today? He is pleading with you to accept Him and then commit to follow His will for your life today.   Have a great day.

Forgetfulness of God

Are you forgetful these days? "These things I tell you 'so that'..." In John 16:33 we are reminded that the truth He is giving us is something we should never "forget". "The goal of the enemy is not to create a hatred of God but a forgetfulness of God" Bonheoffer
These truths that the Father has shared with us is "so that" His peace will remain in us.  Why should we remember? Cause trouble will happen in the world. But don't forget.....he has overcome the world. (Jn 16:33)
Something good to put to our memory. Have a great day! Rodney

His Directions Are Always Accurate

How frustrating it can be to get directions to a destination sometimes huh?
"Ok, you will drive for a long time...then you will see a yellow Chevy in the yard on the left. Take a right there. Then you will go a whole lot longer and you will see some sheep in the field on the right. Take a left there. Then after a long way of traveling you will see a red barn, don't turn there...keep on driving.  Then you will soon see an old gate, drive on thru and my home is up on the hill to the right." Just doesn't make sense right now does it? In similar ways, Jesus' directions in my own life can seem confusing and limited in my earthly view.  Truth is, I only see part of the story, the here and now. Christ sees and understands the here & now AND forever. "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now what I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." 1 Cor 13:12
Today, lets not lean on our own flawed …

Lessons from the Beach of Orange County:

A six year old boy was about 50 yards from his destination. His mom walking ahead of him a few feet.
He had a walker and two braces covering his legs. I don’t know why his legs were in braces but it was apparent from his walking that each step was very laborious walking on the sandy beach.
His goal? Make it to the ocean.
As I watched this scene unfold, I was mesmerized by the interaction from the six year old boy and his mom as he took his journey thru the sand.

Mom: “C’mon son…the doctor said it would be good for you and make you stronger.”
Boy: Mom, it’s…too…hard.
Mom: Son, you are doing so good. I wish you could see how good you are doing right now.
(The boy seemed to be encouraged as he took additional steps.)
Boy: I can’t go anymore! It’s not fair!
Mom: Son, you are doing so good, you can do this… Keep going….

After about 25 minutes, the boy got within 10 feet of his destination and started crying out to his mom.
Then I saw a picture of incredible compassion as the mom reached down and pic…

Worrying = No Trust

Well it happened again two nights ago...you know those nights where you toss and turn, lying wide awake "worrying" about stuff that is not in my control.
3am rolled around and once I finally realized what I was doing I decided to get up and get in the Word.  I opened my CR bible to read on Powerless and guess what scripture the reading was tied to? "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Mt 6:34

Yeah, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Once I started voicing my worries in my journal to the Father and let go of the stuff I was hanging onto, I was able to go back to bed and sleep like a baby.
I am learning that worrying is just a form of failing to trust God. God is teaching me that I need not fret about those things out of my control, and start focusing on what God can do.
As I continue to seek Him, my anxiety will begin to fade away. Now, if I can just remember this tomorrow when I wake up. :)

What has y…

Be "You": I Love "You"!

There is an old Andy Griffith Episode where a Hollywood producer comes to Mayberry cause he wants to make a big film. Andy gives him a tour of the town and introduces him to all the great people. He absolutely falls in love and plans on returning to begin filming. When he returned a few days later he found a town that was now unrecognizable. A town that completely changed but only on the surface. The town now dressed, spoke, "acted", differently, and had completely changed the look of the town, all to impress the producer. They were trying to be something that just wasn't them. Reminds me of how we can be in our faith walk. We are accepted and received just as we are but after Christ receives us, we think we have to do something to make Him more impressed with us. When in fact, He just loves us for us.  He just wants us to be us, real and not put on a fake mask or costume that makes us look like something we are not.  Truth is, growth will come, but He wants it to be ge…

I Thought It Was Fish

A little boy and girl asked their dad if they could get candy on the way home. Their dad replied, "yes, but don't eat it until after dinner ok? We are having fish tonight and i don't want you to spoil your dinner."
"Ok daddy," the son replied. "But can I hold it on the way home?"
Dad: "Yes, but remember, don't open it ok?"
On the way home dad heard the wrapper crinkling.
He pulled into the drive way and turned around to look at his kids in the back seat.
The son's candy was gone. Dad asks the son, "what happened to your candy son?"
Without missing a beat, the son says, "sissy ate it!"

The dad took his son inside the house and sat him on the bathroom counter where he could see himself and...the chocolate smothered all around his face.
He asked his son again, "son, let me ask you again, did you eat your candy bar?"
Realizing the evidence was not in his favor, he replies, "yes daddy."
Dad: "Why did…

Denial: It’s ALL It’s Cracked Up To Be