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 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…
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 .. BAM!!! 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…
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. 9 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: