Archives For Celebrate Recovery

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Bill Natalzia

By Bill Natalzia, NE Regional Director, Celebrate Recovery

“You’ve already put in your time in that God-ignorant way of life, partying night after night, a drunken and profligate life. Now it’s time to be done with it for good. Of course, your old friends don’t understand why you don’t join in with the old gang anymore. But you don’t have to give an account to them. They’re the ones who will be called on the carpet — and before God himself.” (1 Peter 4:3-5 The Message)

This verse tells us that we must be finished with our old way of life for good. Drunkenness comes in many ways. Not the least of this is the recreational use of marijuana. Recreational marijuana is all the rage nowadays. One state after another is passing laws that accept this behavior. As Christ-followers we know different, and to follow the beat of this drummer is what the apostle Paul refers to in Romans 12 as “conforming to this world.” He goes on to write that we are transformed in Christ by the renewing of our mind. Here…

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Recovery Road

My name is Doug, and I’m a faithful believer in Jesus who’s in recovery for substance abuse. I grew up in a good, God-fearing home. I have two wonderful parents that loved and provided for me. You could say that I had a good childhood, but a very sheltered one. I was 15 years old the first time I smoked marijuana. I liked it! I liked the way it made me feel, carefree and very chilled out. At first it was only a once-in-a-while thing at parties or camping out with friends on the weekends. It didn’t take long for this to become an every-chance-I-could experience to eventually an everyday habit. At first I didn’t buy it, just smoking when someone around me had it. Eventually I was not only buying it, but getting some for other people. This was the beginning of years of dealing drugs to feed my own habit.

I wish I could say that marijuana was where I drew the line, but I went to places where other drugs were also available. Marijuana brought me into a drug culture where people were buying and selling all kinds of drugs.

When…

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Once Addicted, Now in Ministry – Seth’s Celebrate Recovery Story

 

My name is Seth, and I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ. My struggles with drug and alcohol addiction brought me into recovery.

I grew up in a small town in North Central West Virginia. My family included a loving mother, a father who expected perfection, and a sister with whom I competed for my parents’ attention.

At school, I craved to fit in with everybody. This led to my first experience with drugs and alcohol in 7thgrade. By my freshman year in high school, I was drinking alcohol every weekend and smoking marijuana every day.

When I graduated high school with honors, I was a fully functioning drug addict. I was captain of the soccer team, an all-conference performer in basketball, and a member of student council and honor society.  I was also using hard drugs regularly and selling them to classmates to support my habits.

I followed my friends from high school to a small college about 45 minutes north of my hometown. I drank every day for over two years straight, not even missing a major holiday like Christmas or Thanksgiving, and experimented with…

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Hundred Dollar Bill

By John Eklund, National Director East

“Someone dropped this in the parking lot and I wasn’t sure what to do . . .”

The woman speaking stood in the middle of the sanctuary. She held a cup of heavily creamed coffee in one hand and a rectangular piece of paper in the other. Our Celebrate Recovery cafe time was starting to pick up steam as folks exited their open share groups and headed for the desserts.

Clutched in her hand was cash. Big cash. Not a $10 bill or a $20, but a $100 bill.

Two questions came immediately to mind. Who in the world would be so careless to drop this amount of money? And then: How in the world am I going to find said careless person?

This mystery paled in comparison to the new one replacing it — a delayed realization that what we held was a counterfeit. Dozens of people gathered around to touch it, to look at it, to close one eye and stretch it out against the ceiling lights.

One young lady, a banker, went into detail explaining how to tell the real thing from a fake.  What struck me was…

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By Danny Duchene, National Director CR Inside

Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times” (Mark 4:8 NIV).

When Ted asked the local jail commander for permission to start a Celebrate Recovery (CR) ministry, the commander pretended to relent. He said, “Sure, you can have 15 minutes every Friday.” But Ted didn’t even flinch at what was obviously a put-off. He said, “Sure, I’ll take it!” Walking out of the commander’s office, he prayed, “Father, thank you for this opportunity. But how am I going to do a CR Inside ministry with only 15 minutes?”

Over the weekend, the jail commander went to church and heard about Celebrate Recovery for the first time, with a testimony of a changed life. On Monday he called Ted back and said, “You now have two hours every Friday!” In less than a year, that time doubled.  Ted and his team now have a full CR ministry for both men and women in the jail.

When Ted told me his story, I thought of how Ted’s perseverance is an example of the qualities needed…

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Free

Hi, my name is Randal. I am a believer in Jesus Christ who struggles with alcohol and drugs. I am the Celebrate Recovery Inside Regional Team Lead for the South Central U.S. region. I formerly served Celebrate Recovery in prison. Now one of my greatest privileges is to go back inside the prisons in Louisiana to share the love of God. I help the inmates with their Celebrate Recovery programs and help the men and women form their own Purpose Driven churches right where they are, inside prison. Recently, I was part of a two-week-long revival inside a prison. I could tell many stories about what God did, but this is one of my favorites!

It was the first night of the eight-week revival held at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. This is the largest prison by population in the country. Angola was one of the most violent prisons in the country. Although many positive reforms have taken place in Angola, much of the prison population remains anti-social and in need of a personal relationship with Jesus.

On the first night of the revival, many newcomers filled the seats looking like they had…

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Soldiers

I’m a grateful believer in Jesus Christ. In the past, I struggled with drugs and alcohol, and today, I struggle with control. My name is Kyle.

I can trace my descent into the depths of addiction and my rebirth from it to two separate days, two moments in time.

It was Memorial Day 2007 when everything began to unravel. I was serving with the US Army in southern Baghdad on the tail end of a 16-hour mission. Some kids were playing ball by our vehicle, so I got out and kicked their ball over a few streets to move them along. Back in the Humvee, I’m speaking to the guy next to me when I hear a thud. Before that moment, smoking weed, drinking heavily, experimenting with drugs, essentially distancing myself from God – I planted seeds that now came to bear.

After several surgeries, which saved my life, I flew back to the States. While I was unable to move, and stuck in a hospital, my wife of one month was completely taking care of me. Already feeling like I was failing my guys, I received the news that set me over the…

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Memorial Day

By Quint Pitts, National Welcome Home Director

The author of Hebrews dedicates an entire chapter to remembering those who had gone before him. Hebrews 11 is often called the Bible Hall of Fame because the author names men and women who have left a legacy of sacrifice and faith.

Our nation sets aside one day each year to remember those who have gone before us; those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom. Why? Why is it important that Memorial Day be more than just the mark of summer’s arrival, barbecues, and picnics? Why is it important for us to pause and remember the men and women of the armed forces who died preserving our freedom?

You may recall that Jesus specifically instructed his followers to remember his sacrifice during the communion meal. “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‛This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me’” (Luke 22:19 NIV). Jesus wants us to remember continuously what he did for our spiritual freedom. Why? Why communion? Why Memorial Day?

I can think of four good reasons to remember:

1. To express…

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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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