Showing posts from 2018

Mary's Song

CraigDuffy, Community Team Lead, Celebrate Recovery, Fellowship Bible Church. 12/19/18
“And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…'”LUKE 1:46-47 NIV

In Luke 1:46-56, Mary responds in praise as God calls her to be the mother of the Messiah. This is confirmed when she visits her cousin Elizabeth, who has experienced her own miraculous pregnancy. Mary found herself in very uncertain circumstances: a pregnant, unmarried teenage girl who had received a vision from God – who had been silent over 400 years. Who but Elizabeth might even believe such a thing? How was Mary’s pregnancy to be accomplished? What would be the reaction of her betrothed, Joseph? Yet as Mary surrendered to God’s call on her, despite her legitimate concerns, her soul overflowed with praise for God, His redemptive plan, and His promise to use her for His glory.
In a vastly lesser degree, I found myself in an uncertain situation in the spring of 2010. Having done the same work f…


Kareena Holloway, Fellowship Bible Church NWA Celebrate Recovery Women's Encourager Coach 12/12/18
Emmanuel.  A Hebrew word, meaning, "God with us". 
Let those words sink in.
He is with us when:
When we are at our worst.When life gets hard. When life just seems hopeless.
Remember His holy face and those precious words.  He is with us!
Remember that, like the wind which we cannot see but know it is there by the way things are moved.  We can see He is with us by the way life moves and progresses us to the next step.
We can look to other times where God has moved mountains, healed our friends and family, inspired us, brought us little miracles, put a song in our head, etc. He IS there...He IS with us!

You, my dear sweet friend, are never alone.
No matter what you're going through, no matter how hopeless you feel, HOLD ON! You WILL make it through this, and you WILL see that God NEVER left your side the entire time.

God loves you sooo much that He was born a t…

Friendship with God

By Eric Hutchinson, CR Ministry TEAM Men's Encourager Coach,

Who is your BFF?  
I was reading today out of 1 Samuel 18:1 “After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David and he loved him as himself.”  I have had several extremely close friends in my life.  It seems that no matter what I am going through there is a friend that I can turn to for help and encouragement.  Who is that person in your life and how did they become so close to you?  Friends are those special people with whom we can laugh, cry, celebrate and mourn within the different seasons of life.  Just the word friend can bring a memory of a person to mind and almost always brings a smile to our face.  Whether it’s the person you call when you get good news or the person who accompanies you through your dark valleys, that friend is a rich gift from God.  But, the greatest gift of friendship that God gives us is a friendship with himself.  Think about this for a moment.  The creator of…


By Rodney Holmstrom, Celebrate Recovery National Director West, Fellowship NWA Celebrate Recovery Ministry Leader

ThanksLIVING “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”Philippians 4:6-7 ESV What are you thankful for today?
You might be thinking, “Isn’t thanksgiving over now?” Yes, it is, but what I love about Celebrate Recovery is the understanding that gratitude and a heart of thankfulness is a central part of how we stay present with what God is doing. Gratitude keeps me in the here and now, focusing on and seeing what God is doing right now. Gratitude keeps me focused on the GIVER rather than just on the GIFTS. When we focus on Him, while giving thanks for the gifts, it helps us in those seasons where the things around us may be tough and harder to face.
The GIVER of LIFE has gi…

Thankful for FREEDOM!

By Eric Hutchinson, Fellowship Bible Church Celebrate Recovery Men's Encourager Coach,  11/21/2018
Those of you that know me, know I love to scream out, “FREEDOM!” whenever I get a chance.  The reason for this is that I experienced freedom from pornography and the resentment from my divorce by going through this Celebrate Recovery program.  However, that freedom only comes by closely attaching myself to Jesus Christ.

 In Jesus’ day, when a slave was given his freedom he was given the option to become a bond-slave.  What’s a bond-slave?  Well, it’s when a slave who has been freed, voluntarily decides to become a slave again to the very same master who freed him.  Isn’t that what we do?  I am freed from my hurts, habits, and hang-ups only when I am willing to consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control (Principle 3). 
I love Beth Moore’s quote below which says that I can only have freedom from sin when I attach myself to Christ.  I am a bond-slave.  …

Repeat after me: "I am a child of God"

By Carl Kimbro, Fellowship Bible Church NWA Celebrate Recovery Devotional Team 11/14/18

"I am a child of God." In my addiction, I looked at my reflection in the mirror and repeated those words often in a desperate attempt to convince myself it was true. But in my reflection, I could see nothing but doubt. 
"How could I be a Christian and struggle with these things?"  "No way I could have Christ living in me and sin like this". 
Even now as I approach two years free from my addiction I still find myself, at times,  looking in the mirror, repeating those words. I know that I know Christ is Lord and Savior.  Yet I still doubt.

As born-again believers, it’s natural to doubt our salvation when we sin. We equate behavior as proof either that we are saved or we aren’t. But this makes us a slave to works. We end up in trying to prove thru our works that we are saved. After all, doesn’t James 2:26 say “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so Faith without works …

.. and the WINNER is..

By Kareena Holloway, Fellowship Bible Church NWA Celebrate Recovery Women's Encourager Coach 11/7/18

.. and the WINNER is..
     YOU!  "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:1-2  With God, ALL things are possible! The enemy will try to come after you, to stop you from glorying God, but if you persevere with prayer, daily quiet time with God, your network of accountability partners, and sponsor you can and WILL win this race! 

Let's pray: Lord God, I pray for the healing hand of God over our entire CR body, that those who are ill will be well in your name, that those who are hurting will turn a corner to heali…

Where would I be without CR?

By Amanda Allen, Celebrate Recovery Devotional team member, 10/31/18
I’ve been attending Celebrate Recovery for nearly 7 months and am so grateful for the impact it has already had on my life. When I first made the decision to come, I was absolutely terrified. I had no idea what to expect and was very reluctant to let my guard down. As I started attending large group, I began seeing how open and transparent the leaders and pastors at Celebrate Recovery were. I had never heard people in a leadership position be so open about their struggles. They taught lessons on things I had never heard talked about in church before. We discussed things I had always tried to mask in public, such as battles with addiction and pornography. Or even past abuse and feelings of insanity. On alternate weeks of learning lessons, I heard some truly touching testimonies of how Celebrate Recovery had impacted the people who committed to working the 12 steps and I began believing that if I kept working the progra…

Impossible Things!

By Susan Nichols, Fellowship Bible Church CR Devotional Team 10/24/2018

I don’t know where I got the idea that once I gave my life to Christ my problems would disappear.  Certainly, no one ever taught me that.  Maybe it’s because I felt so good and so relieved about finding the love and acceptance I’d been looking for.  Regardless, throughout the years it’s been an issue that I’ve had to deal with repeatedly before God, even when I’m 100% sure I’m smack dab in the middle of His will.  Maybe you’ve felt like that before?

“Dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, 
as if something strange were happening to you.” (1 Peter 4:12, NLT) Let me be specific here.  I recently returned to school to finish my college degree.  I prayed, talked with my husband, and waited for confirmation from the Lord.  Everything lined up and I was so excited to start.  One month into the semester, however, I was falling apart emotionally and spiritually.  I was overwhelmed, an…

An Attitude of Gratitude

By Carl Kimbro, Fellowship Bible Church, CR Devotional Team, 10/17/2018

“I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ….” I have said those words to introduce myself in a meeting hundreds of times. They roll of my tongue quickly and easily. They are meant to show how thankful I am that my addiction no longer controls me. These words should be said with conviction and a strong feeling of gratitude. But are they?
Safe places surrounded by fellow strugglers help me in my recovery. They provide a weekly routine that I need. But sometimes that routine becomes more repetition then spiritual action. I have said the words “I am a grateful believer” so many times that I say them without thinking. But recently I heard the testimony of a man who was really grateful and it showed. It made me think about the word "grateful" more than I have in a long time. 
I asked myself:
Am I truly grateful? Do I understand what it means to be grateful? What does the bible say about being grateful? In Romans 7:2…

I've Got This!

By Kareena Holloway, Devotional Team and CR TEAM Encourager Coach for women at Fellowship Bible Church NWA 10/10/18

Proverbs 3:5-6 says to "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight".  
I think, no matter how far any of us have been in recovery, there have been those  times when we think "Oh yeah, I've TOTALLY got this!" 

We start off THINKING "WOW!  I'm doing pretty well.  I've got this!" , and then ..
Something else gets us!   "So if you think you're standing firm be careful that you don't fall".   1 Corinthians 10:12

Now don't get me wrong here!  It is fine, even GREAT, and TOTALY ENCOURAGED to celebrate where you are and how far you have come in your recovery!  I know just as well as you do, that real lasting life change IS possible!  However, we need to always remember something very important!  We literally NE…

Worship, Near or Far

By: Eric Hutchinson, Fellowship Bible Church NWA Celebrate Recovery Men's Encourager Coach, Devotional Team,  10/3/18

Whenever Moses went out to the Tent of Meeting, all the people would get up and stand in the entrances of their own tents. They would all watch Moses until he disappeared inside. As he went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and hover at its entrance while the Lord spoke with Moses. 10 When the people saw the cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, they would stand and bow down in front of their own tents. 11 Inside the Tent of Meeting, the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.” Exodus 33:8-11

Wow, what a scene the above scripture paints.  Moses would meet God in a tent.  As he did the people of Israel would stand at the entrance to their own tent and watch.  When God descended down to the tent where Moses was waiting, the people would bow and worship God from afar.  Two things to note when reading this scripture:


WITH One Another

By: Rodney Holmstrom Celebrate Recovery National Director West, Fellowship NWA Celebrate Recovery Ministry Leader, 9/26/18

Don’t miss the huge value of our recovery.  What is that value? “With”

"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25 NIV 
In Celebrate Recovery, it can be easy to buy into the lie that we have to face life’s struggles on our own. If I have to ask for help, I must be weak right? Not hardly. The scriptures are pretty clear about ensuring that we stay connected with each other and God Himself in the good and the bad times.
There is an incredible power in going from praying for someone to praying with them. In Celebrate Recovery, we don’t just congratulate each other in our recovery journey milestones like picking up that first 30-day coin. Or finishing our first 4th step, mak…

Got Accountability?

By Carl Kimbro, Fellowship Bible Church, CR Devotional Team, 9/19/2018

During my first open share at Celebrate Recovery, I was told I needed an accountability partner. Over the next 3-4 weeks, I began to understand what that was and saw it as a “great idea” I need to be a part of. So I asked a couple of guys to be my accountability partners and they agreed. Because I or they didn't reach out, that was the end of the story. I never called them and they never asked me anything that would hold me accountable. Over the next few years, the process repeated itself often. Sometimes people asked me to be their accountability partners and sometimes I was the one doing the asking. But the end result was the same. There was no accountability either way. I was fine with this because I didn’t have to give an account for my lack of progress. I could continue on with little or no change in my life.

The Bible points out that God holds us accountable for our words, our actions, and our relationship …

Overflowing or Balanced?

By Kareena Holloway, Fellowship Bible Church NWA CR TEAM Women's Encourager Coach, Devotional team 9/12/2018
Have you ever seen someone so busy that they're just frazzled, rushing, inpatient, or just plain confused?  Does that ring a familiar bell with you, maybe in your own life?  I can tell you that I, personally, have felt this!  
What I felt, was that I was just overwhelmed with all that was on my plate.  The reason why is because I had everything pretty much organized...and then school started!  My daughter is in 5th grade and has attended a Christian academy school (since kindergarten) which partners with parents so that the child can have classroom time but also have homeschool experience 3 days a week.   
What happened is that I wasn't keeping my plate balanced!  

Instead of keeping my plate balanced, I had become occupied with just "getting it done".  Perhaps the fact that my husband and I have been grieving one of our sons moving away to go to the Navy was …