Friday, June 28, 2013

Denial Busted=Healthy Progress

"I don't do that. Sorry, that's just not me." 
It has been an interesting the last couple of weeks as I have been dealing with some old character defects that were trying to creep back in.
If I find myself in a standstill in my growth process, I have to ask myself, "is there anything I am in denial about right now?"

The key is that I listen to the Holy Spirit when he taps me on the shoulder: "Rodney, do you have a strong need to be in control of your life? Do you overreact if things don't go your way? Do you take action impulsively without considering an alternative way to handle a crisis?"
The old me would have brushed it to the side. The new me knows better and hits them head on with God's help.
I love how the stunted growth thru my denial turns into progress as I face my defects head on, one day & one defect at a time.
"...He brought me out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains." Ps 107:14

How is your spiritual growth these days? Maybe you are like me and had to search inside your heart asking the Father what might be creeping in as denial. Time for a tune up?

Take the Father's hand. He will lead you out of the cave we have been comfortably dwelling. He won't waste that darkness but use it for His glory. Now that's something to celebrate today.
Hope to see you at CR!
Fellow life struggler, 
Rodney Holmstrom

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Gas Tank Low?

I was leaving my morning appointment at Village Inn this morning and it happened. You know that moment when you look down at your gas gauge and it is sitting below empty!! "No problem, I will just hit the gas station two buildings down from the restaurant. DOH!?!" It's closed?!?!

No problem, I will hit the next exit down and go to Pinnacle Station Gas Station. "Lord, just get me to the gas station and all will be well...."
I coast into the station no problem. One problem, I notice all the pumps have white grocery bags wrapped around the pump handles. What is this all about?  "Sorry, all our pumps are down" says the clerk. So I ask her, "Where is the closest gas station from here?" "Oh only about a mile away", she replies with great confidence.
I don't think I have a mile left in my tank.
(Side bar, isn't interesting when you are trying to get somewhere how every light feels like an eternity?) I get to the next light, I see the gas station in the distance, every second of my car running feels like it might end any second. "Please Lord, let me get there"
Guess what, I coasted into my spot and made it.

I was thinking about this and how it relates to my own spiritual journey. Sometimes I can let my own tank get too close to empty and might even be fortunate enough to make it thru a crisis. But, it is not something to be playing around with is it? I could have easily ran out of gas and then where would that have left me? Major consequences. I can go a little ways with my tank sitting on E, but eventually it will catch up with me. I must be better prepared and pay attention to my gauge and keep my tank full. Otherwise, I am not going anywhere.

I must make sure I reserve that daily time with God for self examination, bible reading and prayer in order to keep my tank full.

"Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly." Col 3:16

Rodney Holmstrom

Sunday, June 23, 2013

You Are His Beloved Creation

There is an old saying, “The child of an elephant will not be a dwarf." 
This morning I am in awe as I think about how complex and unique God made all of us. So complex that we could not have possibly been brought into existence without a big, creative, and powerful Creator, our God.
"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."
Psalms 139:14

If you are hearing lies about how small or insignificant you are today;hear this, God doesn't make junk and you are a child of God. His guiding hand made you into a unique and special human being for a great purpose. Celebrate that today. Use it to bring glory to Him today.
Rodney Holmstrom

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Let Christ Turn Up The Sound

Hearing about it and experiencing it are two different things.
Have you ever noticed when watching TV with no sound that the captions just don't do the trick? For example, is someone is singing; instead of hearing the power of the lyrics and song together our self, we see on the screen, [�� choir singing Swing Low Sweet Chariot]
It's just not the same is it?
In my walk with Christ it is the same way. I can listen to other people talk about it and even read about it in scriptures which will of course bring me hope, but until I surrender and seek Christ for myself, it might as well just be words on a caption. I won't fully understand His healing power, unconditional love, sweet serenity, and internal joy until I fully step out and taste it for myself.
To experience it myself is so much better. 
“[God,] satisfy us with your love in the morning, so we can shout and be glad in each of our days - Psalm 90:14 MSG 
Only God can satisfy that hunger and thirst we all have in life. If you haven't experienced it, I invite you to surrender to Him. If you have experienced it, shout it out and be glad in it.
Have a wonderful day!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Cutting Away the Excess Baggage

It can be painful to cut away those things from our past, but very necessary.
I was going thru airport security last week and I got all the way thru security and began my redressing process. When I went to put my belt back on, I pulled on the buckle to latch it and….snap…I broke my buckle as it detached from the leather part of the belt.
So now, I have no belt, & I’m running thru the airport trying to keep my pants from falling off especially since I had recently focused my recovery on my eating and exercise habits & lost some weight.
Here are some lessons I learned from this situation as it relates to my recovery:

1.       Sometimes, like a belt, I can look like I have a strong support network, but in reality the people around me are just decoys to make me look like I have it “all together”. Looking strong doesn’t mean I am.
2.       It wasn’t until I started dealing with the junk in my life and started losing some of the unwanted baggage, that I realized how miserable I was before. Just because it’s familiar doesn’t make it good.
3.       It is in the middle of my recovery journey that having support is even more important.
4.       Change can feel awkward and develop unfamiliar situations because we have gotten so used to our life as we know it, but stay the course and you will be glad you did.
5.       Sometimes the old stuff will detach from our life. At first it can feel like a very bad thing, leaving me feeling helpless and uncomfortable but, God is molding me into following His purpose for my life.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Rodney Holmstrom

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Unmanageable without Christ

A friend of mine had a pet python snake that she let lie in her bed at night when she slept. For the longest time it would coil up in a circle next to her as she slept. Then she started waking up to the snake stretched all the way out.
When she asked the vet about this behavior, the vet said, “Oh, that’s because the snake is measuring you to see if it can swallow you whole.” DOH!
Wow! Isn’t that just like sin in my life?! It starts out to be seemingly pretty “manageable”, and before I know it, it is measuring me to swallow me whole.
 “but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death.” James 1:14-15

I am grateful that God helped me to finally acknowledge that the only way to deal with my hurts, hang-ups, and habits, was to admit that I am not God, that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life was unmanageable.  It was time to quit trying to play God by controlling my sin on my own. Only God has the power to help me recover and birth to my new life!
“The Lord is my fortress. My God is a rock where I find shelter.” Ps 94:22

We can’t keep our recovery unless we give it away. How are you giving it away? Are you trained, equipped and ready to give back thru CR? Consider joining us for one of our upcoming Training Summits.

Rodney, Nat’l Assimilation Coach
East Coast Summit: July 10-12, SC
West Coast Summit: Aug 14-16, CA
Register today

Rodney Holmstrom
Celebrate Recovery
Congregational Leader Fellowship
South Central Regional Director
National Assimilation Coach
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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Jesus said, "Where did they go?"

Then Jesus said, "OK Now Hold UP!" Ok, maybe those weren't His exact words but I bet if He said them today that would be close to it.
He had just healed 10 men of a horrible sickness, leprosy and out of the ten, only one came back to Jesus praising God in a loud voice, throwing himself down at His Healers feet.
Jesus' response? (paraphrased from Luke 17:17-18) "Ok, now hold up, I know there were ten people I healed a little bit ago and now I only see nine. All these men found healing and yet no one returned to give God praise except for this one guy?"

How often do we do that in our life? We desperately seek the Father in time of need and believe He is the best thing since sliced bread. But then if and when we get what we want, then we can be tempted to take our blessings and run for the hills to celebrate our new life... without Him.

There is an old saying, "you cant keep it unless you give it away." What has God done in your life?  How are you showing Him that you are grateful? Are you being a blessing to others? If we are not serving others and Him, are we really saying thank You? The only way to stay on the right track is to keep giving it away to others.

Where can you start giving back for what He has done for you?
Have a great day.
Rodney Holmstrom