Archives For Celebrate Recovery

By Joe Clark, Director of Celebrate Recovery Native Nations

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

1 Peter 1:3 (NIV)

When you start praying for God to use you, the adventure begins! I have learned that prayer releases Resurrection power – Amen!

The mission of Celebrate Recovery Native Nations is to bring the Gospel to the over 500 sovereign peoples within the borders of the United States and over 600 in Canada. These people face staggering rates of alcoholism, abuse, poverty, and suicide. In that darkness, we see a profound opportunity to walk as the light of the world and share the Gospel of Jesus through the gift of recovery and thus, see a generation transformed.

We can, with God’s help, make an eternal difference! Pastor Rick Warren once said that you can do one of three things: spend, waste, or invest your life. Having cancer twice taught me I am not guaranteed tomorrow, so I need to make an eternal difference today. Connecting, building relationships and lasting…

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Plains

By Roland Wade

Halito! I’m a believer in Jesus Christ. My sobriety date is May 28, 1983. God has delivered me from alcoholism and drug addiction for 33 years, and I am grateful for what the Lord has done in my life and my family. I’m a believer who is in recovery and I struggle with alcohol and sexual addiction. My name is Roland.

I am half Choctaw. I was born in Broken Bow, Oklahoma, on January 18, 1950, to a full-blood Choctaw father and a full-blood Coushatta mom from Alton, Louisiana. When I was 5, my father beat me so bad that it left a scar on my leg. Over the next 20 years I became an angry, selfish kid. I hated myself and others. My spirit was broken. Fear had entered my life because I lived in an abusive home.

I didn’t feel like a part of my home and I hurt everyone, including kids. I lied, stole, and drank alcohol until I passed out. When my dad drank too much, he became angry and would beat my mom. I heard stories that my mom got pregnant while my dad was overseas during World…

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Hello, my name is Harmony and I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ that struggles with codependency and I am no longer in a relationship with a sexually addicted man.

I grew up in a violent home in a violent neighborhood. My mother struggled with addiction to cocaine, and my father left before I was a year old. One of my earliest memories is of him watching porn in the bed next to me during one of my weekend visits. I couldn’t have been older than 3 or 4.

After that, I was sexually abused by multiple people throughout my life, both men and women. One of my abusers was my mother’s boyfriend. I finally stood up for myself and ran away from home to get away from him. My mother eventually kicked him out and convinced me to come home. Soon after, when I was 13, my mother left me alone with my 8-year-old brother for three months. We had to fend for ourselves while she chased after her boyfriend. She left us with $20 and a book of food stamps.

I started stealing from the liquor store to feed us. I…

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Comfort Zone

By Cheryl Baker

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all of our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV).

I was sitting in church with my family and friends when I heard the announcement: Saddleback Church was going to host a conference about sex trafficking. I felt this overwhelming thought: “Was I supposed to go to that conference?” Immediately, my practical side kicked in. “No, I wouldn’t belong there.” I felt as though I didn’t have any solutions to contribute to this worldwide epidemic. In fact, I was a little scared to learn too much about an issue I could do nothing to help solve.

I’ve been a part of Celebrate Recovery for 25 years. In that time, we’ve seen men and women turn their lives over to Jesus Christ and find freedom from anger, codependency, drug addiction, food addiction, and sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, and we’ve seen adult children experience recovery in their relationships with addicts. God uses…

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Hello, my name is Lillian, and I’m a grateful believer in Jesus Christ that struggles with depression and PTSD.

Did you catch that? I identify first as a believer in Jesus Christ, not my struggles or addictions. As a young adult, my difficult journey became my identity.

I believed and identified with what the world called me. Trash, a waste of space, a kid with an attitude, a problem child, not good enough, a bully, a teen up to no good. My old list is extensive and painful.

As I grew into a young teen, depression and PTSD crept into my life. I needed help; I needed a way to unpack my struggles. I had nowhere to go. As a young girl, everyone around me had levels of brokenness I couldn’t wrap my little head around. So, I developed habits for what I thought would create normalcy.

Amid my suffering, I had the tendency to become selfish and make it all about me. As I’ve done in the past, while in the midst of the destructive trials I see nothing but that. It consumed me with a crippling invisible force.

As I grew older, I knew I needed…

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Kid with a BibleHi, my name is Sylvia, and I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ who struggles with co-dependency and food issues. I came to Celebrate Recovery in a different way than most. I have led our Celebrate Recovery Kids Time program for eight years. The kids had fun and got to see Jesus each week. However, this was not helping improve their lives. I had a strong management background and knew how to take care of kids. I thought that was all I needed.

Although I was a Christian who had strong faith, I wasn’t actively seeking time with Christ to work on my stuff. I was not learning who he wanted me to be. I struggled with abandonment issues with my earthly father, and I didn’t want to search for a deeper relationship with God. I did my job and wanted the best for the kids. I did not focus on life-change for them because my life hadn’t changed yet. I didn’t understand what that really meant.

We started using the Celebration Place curriculum immediately after its release. We loved the lessons but hadn’t ever gone through Celebrate Recovery

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Dave Gonzales was living a life most people dream about. But when divorce sent him into a depression, Dave turned to drinking to cope with the pain and loss. Now looking back on the decade that he spent as an alcoholic, he is grateful that despite the odds, he didn’t end up at the bottom of a grave.

Without a family to go home to, Dave began frequenting local bars and restaurants. What began as a few drinks after work developed into a much greater problem. When the bars would close, Dave would head home to spend the balance of his night drinking and gambling online. Shooting whiskey, drinking beer, and playing cards into the early morning hours became a regular occurrence.

Things grew worse for Dave when the economic crisis set in and his income dropped. Now dependent on alcohol, Dave made cuts everywhere in his life except his bar tab. He lost his apartment and car, and with no place to go, his only option was to sleep on his mom’s couch. Things had spiraled out of control — alcohol controlled Dave’s life. As time went on, his consumption continued to…

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Lonely OrnamentEvery year we enjoy having a Thanksgiving meal in our home with family to celebrate the gratitude of God’s blessings. We invite someone into our home during the holidays, someone who for one reason or another isn’t able to be with his or her family. Our kids have taken on the example, and now when they come they always bring someone with them. This Thanksgiving was no different.

Our youngest daughter and her husband invited a friend, Charles, who has been to our home before for the holidays. Charles, in turn, invited his friend Howard. The aroma of a great meal filled the kitchen. The sound of laughter echoed as the adults talked and the kids played games.

We gathered for prayer and then formed a line to fill our plates. Charles and Howard stood back and waited for everyone else to go through the line. Mary and I waited, too. By the time we were ready to sit down, the dining room table was full.

Charles knew there was a smaller table on the back porch. So that’s where he headed, with Howard following him. Mary and I joined them and started…

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Loneliness and AddictionI am a grateful follower of Jesus Christ, and I struggle with alcohol and addiction. My name is Ken.

The holiday season is upon us. Supposedly, this is a time of celebration. This time of gathering with friends and relatives would seem to be the perfect opportunity to not be alone or feel lonely. However, the holidays were usually the time of year when I felt most alone.

As a child I felt excitement and anticipated traveling to see my family for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I was born in Boston and most of my mom’s family lived nearby. I have such great memories of my great-grandmother speaking Polish and giving us ginger ale, and being surrounded by my grandmother’s big family. We always went to midnight service, and I loved staying up late on Christmas Eve. The holidays at Grandma’s were loud and lively. There was always plenty of food. The delicious smells emanating from my grandma’s kitchen are some of my favorite memories. Even as I write this, I am thinking about her homemade fudge and bread.

We moved to Texas when I was 6, and Christmas at Grandma’s became a…

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Always Beside You

By Celebrate Recovery

sunset-flag-america-fields

This is my command — be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9 (NLT)

That verse is not just reserved for the field of battle. We can apply this to the battlefield of our everyday life. As a veteran this verse means a lot to me. It is important for us to remain strong and courageous. Returning home from serving, whether in peace or in wartime, can be difficult for veterans.

How comforting it is to know that wherever we go, God is there with us. Sometimes as veterans we find ourselves in situations and we wonder if God is paying attention. We may feel so alone and even depressed. We can’t feel God’s presence. We need his guidance and help.

Sometimes friends, spouses, and parents don’t really understand what we are going through. But God does and he cares. God told Joshua to be strong and to have courage. Then he told him a wonderful truth: The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Yes, that’s right . . . wherever! We don’t have to feel…

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road

This will not sound right at first, but hear me out. Many military veterans find ourselves actually missing the war after we leave the war. I first noticed this in June 2003 while talking with some young Marines after we ousted the Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, from power. This was toward the end of my first of four deployments. We were just sitting around in the desert waiting for a ship to come and take us home.

These young Marines were complaining that they didn’t want to go back home. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! I couldn’t wait to go home! But for most of these young 19- to 21-year-old corporals and lance corporals, their participation in the Iraq War was the most important thing they’d ever done in their lives. The young men who served in their platoon had become like family to them; for some, this was the closest they’d ever had to family.

These young men had figured out that going back home meant that they would likely lose the sense they were doing something important and the sense of family in one stroke. And there’s the rub….

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Hello, my name is Nate. I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ who struggles with addiction and mental health issues.

My parents did a great job of raising four boys in a loving home.  But when I was 10, my father, a pastor, felt called to serve the Lord in a small town. It was a three-hour drive from Minneapolis, MN, where I had grown up. In that three-hour drive I might as well have stepped into another world. My 5th grade class in Minneapolis had a higher population than the entire Wisconsin town.

I felt isolated. I tried to adapt but the emotional stress was too much for my body. I was missing school quite a bit. And depression set in. Looking back at all of this it was obvious to recognize what was going on, but at the time, people didn’t talk about mental health. I was just a kid, having kid issues.

Over the next couple of years I developed unhealthy coping skills. I didn’t let people in. I tried to hide pain and anger behind humor. Until, that is, I discovered that if I misbehaved I got noticed. It didn’t come out…

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