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.

Focus on One Day

Posted: February 20, 2016 by cathrynbb in Uncategorized

Capture

The hardest part about struggling with issues is how easy it is to become overwhelmed by them.  The overwhelming thoughts of what will happen if?…, What if I can’t?…, What if this happens?, What if that happens?  What if? What if? What if?  Fear invades your mind making it hard to think, it saps your energy and it’s hard to focus on the task at hand.   But what is fear?  Fear is a tool from the enemy that is really “smoke and mirrors”.  Fear is just an apprehension of something that hasn’t happened yet.  (How many times have we wasted time and energy worrying about something that hasn’t happed yet?)

There is a passage that identifies the scenario of fear; “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” Psalms 23:4.

It says, “Though I walk through the valley of the SHADOW of death…I fear no evil”….Why?  We are talking about the enemies shadow here…When is the last time a shadow hurt you? Shadows cannot hurt you, because they are merely shadows. Shadows can try to intimidate you, but the enemy can only intimidate you IF YOU LET HIM…The enemy pulls out shadows, guilt and unhealthy thoughts out of his bag of tricks to put fear in your heart to overwhelm you to paralyze you to stop you in your tracks, especially when you are on the right track.  The enemy is out to derail you! God does not instill fear, guilt or unhealthy thoughts. God instills peace.

The enemy is an expert at making us feel weak at times. If you are feeling weak, the Lord is certainly stronger than the enemy.  (Spoiler Alert! I have read the Holy Bible to the end, God Wins!  Jesus Christ 1, The enemy, 0.)

God already knows you will win when you take the Lord as your Victor…“You are from God, and have overcome them; because greater is He that is in you (The Holy Spirit) than he who is in the world. (The enemy of God.) 1John 4:4

When you are feeling overwhelmed, call on the Name of Jesus. Focus on Jesus and Focus on  ONE day at a time. Only that day, and praise the Lord throughout the day, then you will get through that day.

Know The Lord is walking beside you whispering, “You can do this”.  You can stay focused because of Him.

Depend on Jesus Christ today and always. Not only will your journey to recovery become easier with each day, you will never ever walk alone again.

God is a God of “Do-Overs”

Posted: January 5, 2016 by cathrynbb in Uncategorized

reset

Happy New Year everyone!

Is time to reset, renew or reboot.?  In other words, is it time for a “do-over”?  Remember when you were a kid and when a game got tough, you shouted for a “do-over”? Sometimes it was granted, sometimes it wasn’t. It was up to the kid in charge of the game.  As an adult, do you wish you could be granted that “do-over” every time you made a bad decision?

Do you look back on your life and see nothing but a string of “bad decisions” that led you into an unhappy, unsatisfying life? Do you try to run from it and try to escape it somehow, but it keeps following you?

Then STOP. Instead of trying to run from this life of “bad decisions” try running to it. Meet it head on. Own it. Admit it’s yours. Because after all, it is.

Stepping out of Denial and Admiting your issue is the first step towards the road to recovery.

You see, the real issue is NOT how you may have mishandled your life in the past, what is important is how you will conduct yourself, your decisions and  your life in the future from this moment on.  God is a God of “do-overs”. He knows we are not perfect.  He loved us FIRST while our lives were ugly and messy. He has been there all along to pick up the pieces.  However, He is too much of a gentleman to barge into someone’s life and just take over and change it. He waits until He is asked.  He waits until YOU are ready to call upon Him and ask Him into your life for help and salvation. And when you ask, He will come. He will create a new you. He will work in you gradually helping you to make good decisions which will create a new and healthy lifestyle.

Some people think that the quote, “God helps those who help themselves.” is part of scripture, but it is not. Benjamin Franklin said that.  Mr. Franklin implies that in order to get help from God, you need to help yourself first. This couldn’t be further from the truth.  Holy Bible says, in John 4:10,  “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” And,  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.  In other words, Trust in God first and he will give you a “do-over.” He knows you are not able to break certain hurts, habits or hang-ups without Him.  Seek The Lord first, then everything else will fall into place.

All They Want For Christmas Is You

Posted: December 22, 2015 by cathrynbb in Christmas

Family

All They Want For Christmas is You

Christmas means a lot of things to a lot of people, but to most people it means spending time with each other in worship and celebration.

It DOES NOT mean making an expensive fuss over people however.  Long ago I worked in retail as a manager for many years.  I LOVED the Christmas season and everything that came with it…except the Scrooges.  Every season I would hear women tell me while they shopped, how much they hated Christmas. One Christmas, after hearing a patron tell me how much she despised Christmas, I asked her why.  “Well”, she said, “I hate running around from store to store having to buy presents for everyone! It’s a waste of money AND a waste of my time!”  “ Then don’t.”, I said.  She looked at me surprised to hear a store manager telling her this.  “What did you say?” she asked.  At the risk of being reported to my superiors, I repeated myself. “Then don’t. Don’t run all over the place, don’t waste your time. Christmas is no fun if you think you need to participate when you don’t really want to. If you don’t want to spend the money, then make your gifts.  Homemade gifts mean more to people than store bought gifts.” “It’s True!” One of my assistants chimed in, “I made most of my gifts last year and my family still talks about it, in a good way.”  “And please don’t forget the true meaning of Christmas”.  I added, “It’s about celebrating that Jesus is Lord. Christmas celebrations are not what you buy, but what you make it. So make it a good one.” I said, as I smiled. The lady left with a quizzical look on her face, and I went back to work. I was sad to know that some people had lost the entire point of Christmas altogether. I wanted to make sure I did not.

There have been many years where I had to go cheap on Christmas because the money was scarce.  With three kids and so few dollars, I had to be clever. I remember having to buy some toys at the discount grocery and mix them with the goodwill clothes.  When they were little, they did not know the difference whether our Christmases were big or small, they just knew they were loved, they got a few presents and we celebrated Jesus.  For a few of the Christmases, I made all the gifts. Don’t you know those were the Christmases my children actually remembered?  To my surprise they loved all the handmade gifts. I asked them what made them so special. They said, “Because they were made with love.” And those Christmases were not about the gifts, but instead, it was about us celebrating as a family. It was about us going to church to worship together, celebrating as a family, opening a few gifts, sharing a meal and playing a few family games.

Regarding families, all they want for Christmas is you. You are the best gift of all. Everyone has families whether they are children, parents, your C.R. family, or church family. The most important thing about Christmas besides worshiping our Lord, is being part of your family no matter which kind of family it is.  Again, It’s NOT what you buy that makes Christmas, it’s what you make it, so make it a good one, remembering that Jesus is the reason for the season.

 

Where Is The Manual?

Posted: November 13, 2015 by cathrynbb in Uncategorized

Broken

Where Is The Manual?

There is a manual for almost everything you buy today. If you bought a new computer or phone, you read the manual so you know exactly how to operate it to get the most out of it. If you bought a new printer, appliance or lawn mower you would want to know how to benefit from its newest features and if you bought a new stereo or television you would probably want to understand how to set it up properly and then read the troubleshooting  chapter if you ran into a small problem with sound or display.  Every creator of goods usually provides a manual for understanding everything you need to know about how to use the product and to troubleshoot any problems.

What about for our lives? Is there a manual for that?  The answer is “Yes!” We are a product of our creator, The Almighty God. He not only gave us a manual, he gave us an instructor to that manual.  This life manual is called, “The Holy Bible” and the “instructor” is Jesus Christ. He came to earth personally to teach us not only about how to live to get more out of our lives, but he told us all about our creator as well. Jesus also added a guarantee; that if we believe in Him with all our heart and confess with our mouth that He is Lord, that we will be saved.

However, though most have a life manual available to consult for every part of their lives, this manual is rarely opened.  I am willing to bet that if you are reading this, you have access to one of these manuals. If you don’t, the Holy Word of God is easier to find than most product manuals!  Unfortunately more often than not, God’s manual is ignored or dismissed by some bent on going through life just existing, guessing what they should do, being miserable and doubting their life is even working…like a broken appliance. I can never understand why. I mean, what happens when we neglect to read a manual for an appliance?  What is the result if we force a product to work the way we want it to rather than how it was designed to work? We risk breaking the item or screwing it up so bad we won’t be able to use it.  So why do some risk breaking relationships of every kind when they have a life manual to give them clear and wonderful instructions to live a peace filled life? Why do some neglect themselves with doubts and unbelief?  Why do some continue to poison themselves with negative influences from toxic drugs to toxic relationships when there is exciting and healthy examples of how they should conduct their lives?  Some say they have read the manual when they have just merely skimmed over a few chapters and paragraphs here and there thinking they have a “general grasp” of the book.  What if we did that with our cars? If we just read how to start our car and how to drive it, but skipped over the part that tells us the importance of car maintenance and how to take care of it, the car would last only as long as the oil would hold out, then the engine would seize up and stop.  A car that runs out of oil becomes a very expensive paperweight.  So what do we become if we never crack open our life manual? Lost?, confused?, bitter?, unforgiving? These are just some of the poisons that corrode us from the inside out as a result of neglecting our manual and our creator. These poisons can stop us from really living, and would not just hurt us, but the people around us as well. (Like bad exhaust from a car tailpipe.)  Just as a mishandled appliance or car could break by ignoring the manual, so could going through life ignoring the manual leave us broken from life.  So what is the answer?  Read the manual.

“Listen to me, my people; hear me, my nation: Instruction will go out from me; my justice will become a light to the nations. Isaiah 51:4

(My recommendation would be this; Start in the Chapter of John in the New Testament to the end of the book. Then continue with Genesis and back to John. This way you dive right in and if you devote just one half hour a day to your readings you could finish in just 4 months. This is longer than your usual novel but far more interesting with drama, mystery, excitement and history, giving you a wealth of information about your God and good instruction on how to live your life with abundance.)

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!

CathrynBB

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