Who Are We?

Posted: January 10, 2011 by neilbb4 in News and notes

 Many Christians today struggle with be-setting sins and remain under the control of the world and all its vices and entrapments. Celebrate Recovery is a recovery ministry based on biblical principles with a goal to let God work through us in providing His healing power through a Christ-centered 12 Step program. This experience allows people to be “changed” spiritually by working through sound biblical principles.

Participants open the door by sharing their experiences, strengths, and hopes with one another. In addition, they become willing to accept God’s grace and forgiveness in solving life’s problems. Celebrate Recovery provides a safe place for individuals to begin their journey of breaking out from their bondage and into God’s grace (II Corinthians 12:9), by helping them to start dealing with their life’s hurts, hang-ups, and habits.

Celebrate Recovery is based on God’s Word, the Bible.

When Jesus taught the Sermon on the Mount, He began by stating eight ways to be happy. Today we call them the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10). These 8 Principles are God’s road to recovery, wholeness, growth, and spiritual Christ-like maturity. Celebrate Recovery utilizes the biblical truth that we need each other in order to grow spiritually and emotionally. It is built around small group interaction and the fellowship of a caring community that is built on the New Testament principle that we don’t get well by ourselves. We need each other. Fellowship and accountability are two important components of spiritual growth.

Celebrate Recovery emphasizes personal responsibility.

Instead of playing the “accuse and excuse” game of victimization, this program helps people face up to their own poor choices and deal with what they can do something about. Rather than wallowing in the past or dredging up and rehearsing painful memories over and over, Celebrate Recovery focuses on the future. Regardless of what has already happened, the solution is to start making wise choices now and depend on Christ’s power to help make those changes.

We cannot control all that happens to us, but we can control how we respond to everything. That is a secret of happiness. When we stop wasting time fixing the blame, we have more energy to fix the problem. When we stop hiding our own faults and stop hurling accusations at others, then the healing power of Christ can begin working in our mind, will, and emotions.

Celebrate Recovery emphasizes spiritual commitment to Jesus Christ.

It calls for people to make a total surrender of their lives to Christ. Lasting recovery cannot happen without this step. Everybody needs Jesus. Celebrate Recovery addresses all types of habits, hurts, and hang-ups. Some recovery programs deal only with alcohol or drugs or another single problem. But Celebrate Recovery is a “large umbrella” program under which a limitless number of issues can be dealt with.

Some typical 12-Step recovery groups.

Worship is a major strength and difference between a Christ-centered and a secular recovery program.

Worship provides a time for everyone to put aside the busyness and hassles of the world and get in touch with the true Higher Power, Jesus Christ. It allows time for the power of the Holy Spirit to fill all those who attend with a peace and a safety that only He can provide. The main focus of every fellowship event is to help members develop healthy relationships that will grow into a support team of sponsors and accountability partners. Celebrate Recovery ministry hosts open meetings various evenings beginning at 6:00 for a time of worship, food, fellowship and small group sharing.

Homerun movie trailer

“Home Run” the movie is now on Amazon TV for viewing!  I have Roku and was able to access from there.  It is a story about a pro ball player with a substance abuse problem that is forced into rehab in his hometown, finding new hope when he gets honest about his checkered past, (in a C.R. group) and takes on coaching duties for a misfit Little League team. His life is a hot mess.  Will he be able to somehow turn it all around?

As a leader of a Celebrate Recovery group for five years, I can tell you they absolutely nailed the struggles that people face, even while attending the groups. (Plus the acting was great.)  It is hard to finally cross that threshold stepping out of denial, but once they do, the weight is lifted and not only do their lives begin to change, but they affect change in the lives of the people who surround them.

This movie stars, Scott Elrod as the struggling baseball player, Dorian Brown as his former love and Vivica A. Fox (Independence Day) as his agent.  I highly recommend this movie.  It is now available also on BlueRay and on DVD online and at most local movie stores.

Promise Pic

Has anyone made a New Year’s “Promise” this year?   Promises are easy to make but just as easily broken. Why?  Because a “promise” is to a “commitment, like “good” is to “obedience”.  Too often people try to promise what they know they cannot deliver.  We try to be “good” but end up being “bad” betraying others as well as themselves. They blame the offending substance for their poor behavior, because is better than taking personal responsibility.  How many times have you said, “It wasn’t me, it was the alcohol talking”? Or, “She made me hit her!” Or “I’m not responsible because I was not on my medication” or even something as simple as, “Those chocolates were calling out to me, the store shouldn’t have put them in the window!”

This is what is called, “stinkin thinkin”.  What is lacking in all of these statements is accountability.

Another reason why some people lack the effort because it is so hard for them to be “good”.

The lack of accountability is just the same as someone saying they are “good” people and of course, they should be going to heaven at the end of their lives because they have been sooo good..

The last time I checked the Ten Commandments, there was no commandment about “being good” The Lord does not call anyone to be “good”.  “Good” actually has nothing to do with it.  However, God DOES call us to be obedient. No matter how good we try to be, to God our “goodness” is like filthy rags.

Isaiah 64:6 tells us,  “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”

Instead of goodness, the Lord asks for our obedience. Obedience is defined as, “The act or practice of obeying, dutiful or submissive compliance.”  The way we can do this is to understand what the Lord said, then do it. In the book of John, Jesus himself explains,

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17

Wow, that is pretty direct. God loved us SOOO much that he sacrificed his only Son, and all WE have to do is BELIEVE that he is God’s Son?  Simply yes. THIS is the obedience God asks of each one of us.

But why is it important? Because there will be judgment for all sins one day. To understand this, one must revert back to the Old Testament teachings.  God has never changed the “rules” since the beginning of time.  In order for the Jews to be atoned for their sins back in the day, they made an animal sacrifice to God as per God’s request. Those who did not, died in their sins. Those who did, were forgiven by God.   But time marched on and man took over. The rulers of the day piled more and more “rules” upon the people making it harder and harder for them to become obedient. They had to continue to sacrifice more and more animals…it became more and more costly and taxing on the people. The selling of animals became a “racket” and there were roughly 640 “rules” people needed to follow to appease the religious leaders of the day. (Now THAT made it hard to be “good” AND obedient!)

This angered God and Jesus was sent.  He stepped down from Heaven, conceived by the Holy Spirit, born to a humble couple and quietly grew up among the people observing the daily riggers of human life.  He was to teach the people hope, show them a new way of living, ditching the 640 rules and be the last and final sacrifice of humanity opening up Heaven to all who will believe on Him as the Son of God.

But, there is one catch,

18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have NOT believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict:       Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” John 3:18-19

He told us like it is:

“Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed”. John 3:20

But He gave us all an opportunity,

21 “But whoever lives by the truth (Jesus) comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” John 3:21

Wow, the creator of the universe says, to be with him one day in glory, all we have to do is believe!

 “”If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans, 10:9

So, why is it so easy to make a promise but so hard to make a commitment to change your life when all it takes is belief to get into God’s realm?  Because most people try to do it alone.  Once you become a believer, you are never alone. You have the power of God to call upon, and you don’t even have to be good…just obedient.  (Although, it is good to be good.)

Turn your promises into commitments. God did…

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

And so did Jesus,

 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all ; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” John 10:27-30

So now when you begin this New Year…ditch the “promises” and make a new commitment to make no more excuses. Make a commitment to change for good, to make the right decisions, to make yourself healthier, accountable and a victorious person through the help of Jesus Christ and of course, the Celebrate Recovery ministry.

When you do, you will NEVER be alone. Have a glorious and successful New Year!


People Quit, God Never Quits

Posted: June 21, 2013 by neilbb4 in Uncategorized

Bearing the cross of Jesus Christ can be difficult at times. Some people can go for years and others their whole lives, and others will just quit after a while because it is easier to give in to the “demands of society”. They cave in to the society that is popular for the decade or who are against Christ Jesus. Or they just cave in to their own lustful or sinful desires. These people have forgotten what treasures await for them in Heaven. They have forgotten that their own lives are just a tiny vapor of existence in the vastness of eternity. This is why it is so important to choose wisely during our short lives that will effect us forevermore.

We can not whine about our temptations. Jesus Himself was tempted greater than any man. The King of Kings was tempted by the king of temptations and desires and was bought to His knees from weakness, but He rose above the enemy rebuking him claiming victory for us all. He understands how hard life is. He lived it, in human skin. He felt it with human emotions, He saw it with His human heart  and He conquered it by dying a human death rising above it with a divine triumph opening heaven for all who remain faithful  believers.

Jesus did not succumb to the whims and wiles of the of the fads of the day. He stood firm. He did not cave to the threats of man. He stood strong. He did not quit because the task was “politically incorrect.” He was in control then as He is now and all who follow His lead will be showered with blessings on earth and in heaven.

I truly feel sad for those who have given up and who fell into their weakness instead of standing strong against it. They have voluntarily given up their future blessings. Every person has the power to stand strong against their temptations. Jesus made us that way. Some choose not to because it is easier for them to quit.  It is their life for sure and I am only responsible for my life, but I feel deep sadness for those who choose to surrender to sin as they do so willingly. It is a choice and they chose poorly because they voluntarily sacrifice their blessings from God for their carnal desires. That is NOT a good trade. If a person really wanted to change their life, God has already provided a way. It is called the way of the cross. It is often overlooked because it is such a simple pure choice.  Some people may say, “I was born that way” meaning, they were born an alcoholic, or a drug addict, or with a high sex drive or gay or whatever.  And this is truth. Everyone was born with a SIN nature not a divine nature and the bible tells us that ALL have fallen short of the glory of God. In every heart “free will” was given, but so were choices. When one chooses salvation through Jesus Christ, they are saved and redeemed of their sins. The choices become easier so long as we follow Jesus as our beacon of light to morality. Jesus said you will have life and have it MORE abundantly when you choose Him.  You will also have many blessings upon you with the first being the Holy Spirit guiding your steps. You will still have your free will to choose well or poorly so you still risk and may fall off the path from time to time, but God NEVER quits, He will NEVER give up on YOU and He will be patient as you find your way back to His open arms.  If you continue to listen to the Lord’s soft voice in your heart, He will keep you on the sometimes rocky road of life and will remain by your side until you meet him face to face in eternity.

16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to SAVE the world THROUGH Him.

18 Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” John 3:16-21

Holiday Fear or Holiday Cheer?

Posted: January 2, 2012 by cathrynbb in Uncategorized

What comes to mind when you think of Christmas and New Years?  Holiday fear or holiday cheer?  Some people may fear the dread of shopping for “all those people on the list” or making sure the kids get their favorite “wants” for Christmas.  I actually overheard a woman in a store telling her friend she “hated” Christmas because of all the shopping she had to do.  (Did she really know how lucky she was to have money to even do this?)

For some people, fear is being with the family or in-laws for Christmas or New Years with dysfunctionality being the “norm”.  The unresolved issues between family always seem to creep into the conversation because of the lack of love and forgiveness by both parties.

The New Year may bring new and improved (And out of reach) resolutions that people make on the first of the New Year, but usually give up 10 days later.  Is that when the New Year turns into just another year of disappointments and self loathing?

While working as a Manager in retail for 22 years I saw the worst of people come out during the Christmas season as if Christmas was a chore.  Is it really a chore?  The preparations for the celebration might be a chore, but Christmas is about Jesus Christ.  The gifts and decorations and trees symbolize the celebration, but it is not the definition.

The definition is: Christ, (Jesus The Christ) and Mas (Masse, gathering of people) = A gathering of people for Jesus Christ.    God placed Him on this earth for two reasons.

1.  To teach us about God and his love and forgiveness for us while we were still deep in our sins, and,

2. To save us, so we can live in eternity with Him.

What a great gift!  Christmas is about receiving the greatest gift of all, Jesus Christ, then sharing it.  Other gifts pale in comparison, (A former retail professional is telling you this.)  So why do people have a hard time of it around the holidays?  They simply forget the true meaning of Christmas.  But the New Year is now here and it is never too late to re-prioritize.

What I love about the New Year is, it is like a “do-over”.  It is a fresh start.  It is a new beginning and it is what you make it.  Backsliding will happen, but it is only failure when you don’t get back up and try again.  If you keep trying, success will come as long as you never give up and as long as you forgive yourself for backsliding.

Perception is reality.  It is a new year with what ever expectations you fill it with.  Sometimes we can be harder on ourselves than anyone else, so proceed with a heart of gratitude and forgiveness.  Only expect from yourself what you can truly accomplish.  And don’t forget to congratulate yourself when you have a victory, especially the little ones.  Remember, the Lord is cheering for you this year as well, (And he is standing ready to help you when you call on Him so you are never alone.)  So have a Happy New Year for 2012!  You and The Lord can make it a great one!

Thanking God is Thanksgiving

Posted: November 23, 2011 by cathrynbb in Uncategorized

For Thanksgiving I thought this post was very appropriate.  It really gets to the heart of why and what we should give thanks for. I am a member of the OneMillionMoms.com and this post is from their most recent email. This Thanksgiving don’t limit your “thanks” to just the minimum. Pour your heart out to God and thank Him for every blessing you have received.

“Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:20

As Christians, we are all thankful for our family and our salvation, but this year let’s go a little deeper…Let us remember to be thankful that God keeps his promises, He can solve any problem, and He can save any person.

God’s Holy Word mentions this several times throughout the Bible. We can see this clearly in Jeremiah 32:17-26, and it continues in chapter 33.

I am thankful that we can go to Him first when we need help. He is the best teacher, healer, financial advisor, marriage counselor, and the list goes on and on. Nothing is too hard for Him!

I heard a discussion recently that really makes you stop and think. What if God blessed you today with only the things you thanked Him for yesterday?

We have so much to be grateful for. Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!”


Monica Cole, Director

Surprise!, Surprise!

Posted: November 19, 2011 by cathrynbb in Devotional

November 1982 was the month that I planned to be married to my fiancé of five years.  We were in our early 20’s and we were in love, or lust.  At that age we really didn’t know the difference as we had such an off again on again relationship since the day we met.  We split and got together so much in college, that “our song” was “Reunited” by Peaches and Herb.

The Sr. Pastor of our church who did our pre-marital counseling announced to us in our last session that he was NOT going to marry us. Of course we laughed at first because we thought he was joking, but quickly realized he was quite serious.  He explained we were complete opposites predicting our marriage would not last beyond six months.  We assured him that we were in love and he was wrong.  So after much persuasion he reluctantly agreed to perform our wedding.

But the morning of our wedding day we had the worst argument of our lives.  I told my mother I didn’t want to get married after all, while my best friend buttoned up the back of my wedding gown.  In her calm voice, she encouraged me to go through with it. It was gloomy and rainy the entire month even up until 4:00, the time of the blessed event. But, the sun broke through the clouds and lit up the sky for an hour, long enough for us to burst through the doors of the church to our waiting car officially as husband and wife.  I saw that as a positive omen that our marriage was going to be fine.  But only a day later, we continued to argue and started our nuptials on rocky ground.  I had a job in retail working crazy hours and he continued to work the graveyard shift in various jobs which did not improve our situation or increase our intimacy. Neither one of us it seemed were committed to our new union.

About a year into our marriage, I felt something was wrong.  I visited a health club three times a week to stay in shape, but as I was doing my crunches one day, I felt a knot in my stomach that just would not go away.  I immediately thought it was cancer and panicked.  After consulting with my friends at work the next day, they told me I could be pregnant.  That didn’t make sense to me as my husband and I both worked opposite hours, we didn’t have much intimacy, and, I wasn’t throwing up or getting nauseous as pregnant people do, but I thought maybe I should explore that possibility anyway.  Due to my lack of finances, rather than see a gynecologist, they gave me an address to a free clinic. I was all about FREE as doctor visits in general would cost more than my meager budget would allow and my health insurance at work hadn’t kicked in yet.  I didn’t  have to make an appointment they told me, I just had to show up. So on my next day off, I drove to this clinic to figure out this mystery.

It was on a very nice side of town but as I got out of my car walking towards the door, a young woman about my age was running towards me waving a flier in her hand shouting, “Don’t do it!, Don’t do it!, You have other options!”  I ran faster to the door to get away from that crazy woman.  Once inside, I was greeted then ushered into a room lined with gurneys and the attendant sat me at a small desk telling me someone would be with me in a moment.  I looked around and lying on one of the gurneys was an older teenage girl in a medical gown.  Everyone was speaking in a hushed tone and I started to get “the creeps”.

Finally a portly black nurse came and took a seat on the other side of the desk and welcomed me there. She asked for my name and address and the usual medical questions and I started to feel more at ease.  She asked me why I came in, and I told her I wanted to have a pregnancy test. Then she smiled and in a very sweet tone asked, “And when do you want to get rid of your baby?” My mouth fell open. “Excuse me? What did you say?” I asked.  “I said, just when did you want to get rid of your baby?” the nurse smiled again.

“Get rid of?” I questioned. I tried to keep my composure, “Why would I want to do that?  I have been waiting my whole life to be a mother, and babies are the ultimate blessing from God.”

It was so quiet at that moment;  you could hear a pin drop. I felt as if I was being watched by everyone in the room.  Slowly I turned my head to look around and noticed the girl on the gurney was propped up on her elbows listening to the conversation just staring at me with kind of a scared look on her face. I just slowly smiled at her.  “Honey, do you know where you are at?” The nurse commanded my attention.  “Yes”, I answered, “A free clinic?” I said sheepishly. “Honey”, she shot back at me, “You are in an ABORTION clinic!”  I was mortified!  Pregnant or not, abortion was never going to be an option for me.

The nurse quickly waved to another woman and they both quickly ushered me out of the room, to a smaller private room.  I had the test, and it was positive.  At that moment I had the epiphany that I was going to be someone’s mom.  I was suddenly blissfully happy and walking on clouds on my way out.  I was going to praise the girl with the fliers that ran after me in the parking lot but she was gone.  By the time I got to the car my bliss had turned to worry.  How was I going to tell my husband this news when we were just discussing divorce a week before?  I was in love with this child.  I had a person growing inside of me. I was going to be someone’s mom no matter what.  And even if he didn’t agree, I was going to have this baby anyway.

Well, long story short, when I discussed this with my husband, we decided to make our marriage work, because now it just wasn’t all about him or all about me, it was all about US because we suddenly became a family.

This child was the entity that reprioritized our lives and in some ways gave us a better purpose in life.  For the next nine months we treated each other with respect and appreciation, something we hadn’t done since college.  In October we had a beautiful little girl that melted our hearts and changed our world for the better.  Since she was born she kept our marriage together by bringing love, laughter and sheer joy to our lives.  And because of her, we decided to increase our family and have two more children. Unfortunately after 16 years, our marriage ended in divorce, but we both never regretted having our children.  All three of our children are grown now and one day they will have their own children and will know the joy we had through the years being blessed by them when they were children.

Children are wonderful. Children are God’s idea, God’s design.  We all started out in life as tiny little people and there isn’t a person alive on this earth that God didn’t plan.  Pregnancy may sometimes be a surprise to us, but NEVER a surprise to God.  I have known people who have been ever so careful to avoid conceiving children and those who were told by doctors they would never have children, only to be holding their bundle of joy several months later.  God is the one who will ultimately decide who will reproduce and who won’t and we can do nothing to change that.

I found it to be true that some of those women who can not bear children are reserved by God to be mothers of adopted children because of the abundant love in their hearts to give and the need those children have for that abundant love.  And every child has a purpose, including those who believe they have been abandoned, abused or unloved.  I believe these people are reserved to have even a glorious higher calling and connection to the Almighty for His purpose and His plans.

Each person is like a thread in a tapestry.  Everyone has a purpose. Everyone fits into God’s plan whether saved or not and whether they realize it or not.  By ourselves we may seem meaningless, but when we become intertwined with others, the picture of God’s plan starts to take shape.  Sometimes we only see ourselves but God sees the big picture from beginning to end and knows the purpose and plans that He has laid out for all of us especially those who believe in His One and only Son, Jesus Christ. For the bible says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened”.  Luke 11:9-10

But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Luke 18: 15-17

He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.  Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—  children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.  

John 1:11-13

Have a Blessed Day!

American Idols

Posted: August 27, 2011 by cathrynbb in Devotional

Like every teenager in America, I had my own American Idols.  I was a new Christian but was deeply anchored into the world.  I loved music.  It was my sanctuary. When turmoil ruled the house, it was my escape. With each paycheck, I would buy more records and drown myself in music. I loved music. I knew the top 40 by heart, and memorized every rock station’s playlist.  And of all the artists, I idolized the English rock band, Led Zeppelin.  I just could not get enough of their music.  They were my “Idols.”

My favorite year was 1977.  I was 17.  It was the year that Prom was going to be held at the newest high rise hotel in Indianapolis.  It was the year that our Cross Country team won the State Championship, our Swing Choir won the Midwest Swing Choir Competition, (“Glee!”) our Football and Tennis teams won their Olympic Conference Championships, and with 4 seconds on the clock, our Boys Basketball team won the Indiana State Championship in Indianapolis. (Great game!) But the most wonderful event of the year was the Led Zeppelin North American Concert Tour coming to my town!

My favorite band hadn’t done a tour since 1975 so this was the monumental event of the year, and I was not going to miss it.  I was working the day the tickets were to be released to the public, and my store was only 50 feet away from Ticketmaster.  In those days, you had to stand in line, in person and it was first come, first served.  This was a sacred”event and I had to pay homage to my favorite band.  I timed my break ½ hour before the ticket selling time but was already behind 25 people when I got there.  It seemed like an eternity waiting in line, but I finally got my set of the “golden” tickets.    I was told this event became a sold out concert in record time, about 45 minutes. (If we had computers back then, it would have been sold out in 45 seconds.)  This was one of the hottest bands of the decade.

On the day of the concert, my boyfriend, and I arrived at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis at 1:00 pm where there was a small crowd already waiting in front of us.  It was “Festival” seating, which meant, no assigned seats and the ones in first, got the coveted stage floor area. At 3:00 pm our friend made a McDonald’s run for sustenance and at 6:00 pm the doors were scheduled to open.  The concert did not start until 7:00 pm but people were already restless and anxious.  The crowd turned into a collective mob.  Trapped, we could feel ourselves being shoved back and forth toward the doors by the unruly mob trying to force their way in.

When the doors finally broke open, we were carried in by the noisy crowd that surrounded us.  My boyfriend quickly took off his glasses and told me to close my eyes, cover my face and hold my breath. The security guards were spraying the crowd with tear gas to push everyone back for they were out of control.  I held on tight to my boyfriend burying my face in his jacket, but my eyes were still stinging.  We held onto each other tightly as people around us howled and screamed as we were shoved backwards with the crowd.  “What did I get myself into?” I wondered.  Was this going to be worth it?  People were coughing and crying while security shouted how it was going to be.  No one was getting into the arena before 6:00 pm.  Security guards controlled the crowd behind us while the people around us became sullen and quiet rubbing their eyes, still recovering from the blast of discipline we received earlier.

Finally, the doors flung open and it was a race to the bottom floor.  As we ran into the arena, hundreds of people from all directions were flooding the stairs in every section, fighting their way to dominate space on the floor. It was a battleground. We couldn’t get stage front, but we had an excellent view. When we caught our breath, I looked around in awe that over eighteen thousand people jammed into this sold out arena.  The stadium lights went down, the stage lights came up, our idols took over the stage, the concert started and the crowd went wild.

We stood for over 2 hours and 45 minutes bouncing to Robert Plant “screaming” his heart out, and were amazed by John Bonham’s thundering drums and moving stage. John Paul Jones thrilled us with his high frequency keyboard light show and we marveled at the amazing rotating laser light pyramid that imprisoned Jimmy Page moving to each note he commanded on his electric guitar.  We were blown away by every incredible song,  powerfully executed by the band of the century.  Their memorable concert ended with their signature song, “Highway to Heaven” that brought the house down, with an extended encore performance featuring another lengthy song ending the concert.

Wow, what an experience!  I returned home exhausted.  I just spent all day waiting in line, blasted with tear gas, standing several hours on achy feet surrounded by sweaty obnoxious strangers, dodging body surfers, firecrackers, liquor bottles, cigarette butts and Frisbees flung by the masses, while worshiping my Idols and having my head subjected to ear-splitting decibels as an added bonus.  (Was Sodom and Gomorrah anything like this?)  As exhilarating as the night was, I decided I did not want to do anything like that again any time soon.

In church I heard the pastor often talk about idol worship, but I never thought it applied to me in any way.  As I became closer to the word, I found that it did apply to me.  Instead of having figures of stone or gold to bow down to, I had posters of my favorite idols  I “worshipped” plastered all over my bedroom walls and not one picture of Jesus anywhere.  I am embarrassed to say, I spent more time that week involved and dedicated to the concert and my idols, than the time I spent with God for the entire month.

Led Zeppelin was my Idol and the stage was the altar.  I tolerated a lot just to see them perform.  And, what about the eighteen thousand other people that were there?  It just goes to show, that idol worship isn’t any more right whether you are doing alone or doing it with a crowd.

The definition of worship is, “Reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage or to any object regarded as sacred.”  In other words, it is anything that you place more importance on, or put ahead of God.  Even Jesus tells us we can not be His disciples even putting loved ones ahead of Him.

How many people do you know today that put other things ahead of God? It could be a job, money, things, sports teams, bands, loved ones or even your children.  If you love these things MORE than God, you are treading in dangerous territory in God’s eyes.  He is a jealous God. But if you put God first in your life, you will delight in Him; He will delight in you and shower you with blessings.  After all, he is always thinking of you first and He looks after His children.  Is He always first in your thoughts, words or deeds?

(Jesus) “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.  And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26-27

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Have A Blessed Day!


Cathryn Blair-Bennett


Facebook/Celebrate Recovery InSW Florida