This site serves as an opportunity for CR encouragement, shared changed life stories, resources, and mini-testimonies.
Lessons Learned in the Garden
By Susan Nichols, Fellowship Bible Church CR Devotional Team 6/27/2018
Lessons Learned in the Garden
For many years, we had a huge vegetable garden where we grew tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, okra, purple hull peas, greens, and more. We loved growing our own food and sharing fresh vegetables with friends and neighbors. I must admit, however, that while caring for the garden was satisfying, it took continual effort to make sure it was productive.
One of the biggest chores was weeding. My favorite tools for this were my two hoes. The pointed ends of my crescent hoe (below left) were for precision work—reaching under individual weeds to pull them up, turning over the soil and exposing the roots in the process. My heavier grub hoe (below right) helped overturn larger patches of weeds or unwanted grasses whose roots ran deeper into the soil.
Just like that vegetable garden, we all have weeds—the effects of trials, traumas, and tribulations that have changed us emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. There’s no getting around it—these weeds must be pulled. Walking through the healing process is painful and it’s common to experience upheaval as we talk about issues, put up healthy boundaries, and give ourselves permission to feel (often, for the first time).
Disappointments threaten to choke out the life and hope of God in us, but God, our Master Gardener, knows how to coax good fruit from those disappointments. That fruit sustains not only us but those around us as well. His work in us is purposeful and He promises to cultivate us (to promote our growth through labor and attention):
“Jesus replied, ‘Every plant not planted by my Heavenly Father will be uprooted…’” (Matt. 15:13).
“The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.”
What incredible promises He has made to us! He knows we have no way of saving or fixing ourselves and assures us He will always work on our behalf. I understand how hard it is to be still and let Him have His way. If, however, we allow ourselves to rest in Him and to wait upon Him, the reward will be great! More peace, more healing, more gratitude, more hope, and more love for Him will quickly follow.
“Who will protect me from the wicked? Who will stand up for me against evildoers? Unless the Lord had helped me, I would soon have settled in the silence of the grave. I cried out, ‘I am slipping!’ but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.” (Matt. 19:16-19).
“So, let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up.” (Gal. 6:9).
You are All-Wise, knowing exactly what it will take to conform me to your Image. I’m so thankful that you understand what it’s like to be human. Please work in me, removing the pain of past hurts, anger, bitterness, pride, and all the other weeds that remain in my life. Help me, God, to hand things over to you as soon as you show them to me. Have your way in my life today! ~Amen!
Click HERE to listen to "Hard Love" by NeedtoBreathe (feat. Lauren Daigle)
By Kareena Holloway, Fellowship Bible Church NWA CR Women's Encourager Coach 3/7/18
Have you ever been doing something for so long you just get tired? Take running for example. What are some key components to running a long distance? You need to: dress the part! You can't run a mile in clothing that's too thick or doesn't breathe, and you want to have good shoes on! No flip-flops!"Therefore, put on every piece of God's armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm." Eph. 6:13 hydrate and fuel your body before and for the extent of the distance."But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life." John 4:14 get and give some encouragement as you go. You're not in this alone!"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.I will strengthen you and help…
By Kareena Holloway, Fellowship Bible Church NWA, CR Encourager Coach, 11/8/2017
"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." -Proverbs 22:6
"I love being able to learn about the Bible at Celebration Place. We learn lessons from the Bible which teaches us about Jesus's love, forgiveness, and grace. I also love to sing songs and help lead worship with Miss Melanie and Miss Madilyn. I LOVE CP!" That's a direct quote from my 9-year old daughter who has been with CP since she was 2 years old. My husband and I are so incredibly thankful for Celebrate Recovery being a family ministry which offers care and helpful, Biblical life-teaching for all ages. Many men and women can come and freely give their hurts, habits, and hang-ups to Godhere while knowing that their children of all ages are much more than just cared for. They are accepted and loved, cherished and taught Biblical truths. We are blessed to have Sylvia…
By Kareena Holloway, Fellowship Bible Church NWA Celebrate Recovery Women's Encourager Coach Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
We had put our house on the market a few years ago. Before we could do that, we needed to clean it out. In the process of that, we had to go through all of the rooms and decide what was to be donated, thrown away, or stored away for later use. In other words, we had to take a look at things we'd been hiding away or shoving away in there! As the family worked through the process, we each went through the usual, expected resistance at one time or another of just not wanting to confront it. Being 100% honest, it had been so easy to just push it away in a closet and pretend it wasn't even there. However, we pushed through it and got the jobs done.
In doing all of that, I couldn't help but think of the similarit…