Archives For Celebrate Recovery

Celebrate Recovery, founded by John Baker and Rick Warren at Saddleback Church, is now used in over 25,000 churches as a Christ-centered recovery ministry, helping people recover from their deepest hurts, hang-ups, and habits!

Managing Your Choices

By Rick Warren

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything.

1 Corinthians 6:12 (NIV)

Some things are not necessarily wrong; they’re just not necessary. Many of the choices you make in life are not between good and evil. The choices you make in life are between what’s good and what’s best. Everything is permissible, “but not everything is beneficial.” Most of the decisions you make are morally neutral. So when making a choice, the question is: “Will this help me, or will this hinder me in pursuing my life purpose?”

For example, you could spend your entire week watching television. That might not be morally wrong, but it’s definitely a waste of time. When you waste your time, you’re wasting your life.

Until you figure out why God put you here on earth, you really have no basis by which to make decisions. Until you know your purpose, all the other decisions have no context by which you can determine, “This helps me move toward my goal in life. This helps me become what…

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Facing Your Struggles

By Rodney Holmstrom, Global Field Director

I am a big sports fan. Of course, my desire is for my team to win the championship every year. Not a very big wish, huh?

I was thinking this morning, what if when the season started, they just automatically said, “Rodney, without even starting the season, your team won. They are the new champions of their league.”

If I’m being honest, that excitement might last about 3 seconds and then I would be asking questions like, “What?! How? They didn’t do anything?!” Holding the trophy in the end without the journey toward it doesn’t quite mean the same thing, does it?

You see, what makes crossing the finish line sweet is not just about receiving a trophy, but it’s also about understanding and being satisfied with the work that went into the process and the journey.

Think about the stories of the journeys we took to get to where we are now. You will hear things like, “We had some rough spots that challenged us, but with God’s help, we persevered and kept fighting.”

I am reminded that while I have been given the privilege and honor of…

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By Rodney, Carol, Taylor, and Jason

I’m a grateful believer in Jesus and I struggle with drugs, alcohol, and food issues.

My name is Rodney.

I came from a dysfunctional home, one of four boys and a mom dealing with her own pain, addictions, and baggage. We lived in a home where verbal, emotional, and physical abuse ran rampant. At the young age of 10, I began smoking marijuana and when that wasn’t enough to mask the pain, I turned to alcohol and eventually, cocaine.

My mom moved away, and I stayed behind to live with my “friends” who were drug dealers. I was now homeless, a high school dropout with absolutely no hope for a future. I found myself wandering the streets with no sense of purpose. God certainly didn’t know I existed. He wasn’t present in my madness and certainly wasn’t strong enough to help me out of this mess, or so I thought…

I knew it was time to get out of there and so I moved to stay with my mom. I truly believed I was leaving my problems behind. Little did I know, running would not bring me the peace I…

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Who Is Your Provider?

By Rick Warren

Who Is Your Provider?

“My cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life.”

Psalm 23:5-6 (NIV)

Is your focus on what you can provide or on what God can provide?

Even though he was walking through difficult times, David was able to be thankful for God’s goodness and love because his cup was overflowing. God was his Provider, so David had more than he needed.

As you walk through the different seasons of life, you can choose between two different attitudes. You can have a shortage mindset or a surplus mindset.

With a shortage mindset, you constantly think, “I don’t have enough time. I don’t have enough money. I don’t have enough energy. I don’t have enough contacts, opportunities, knowledge, or education.” It’s the sense that you’re always a day late and a dollar short.

A shortage mindset focuses on your limited resources, and the result is an overwhelmed life.

A surplus mindset focuses on God’s limitless resources, and the result is an overflowing life. He wants to meet all your needs—beyond what you can imagine—and he’s the only one who can! Have you ever worried that…

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Testimony: The Transformative Power of Jesus Christ

I’m a grateful believer in Jesus who has issues with anger, codependency, shame, blame, and fear. My name is Kenny. This is a testimony of the transformative power of Jesus Christ in the lives of my wife Karla and I.

I remember the day we met, but the icing on the cake was when, during a conversation, we discovered we were born in the VERY SAME HOSPITAL. We met in Los Angeles, but we were both born in Philadelphia at the University Hospital. Now that’s what I call a divine connection!

Our childhood traumas would lay the soil in which the enemy would plant seeds for our ultimate demise.

I was raised by a single parent. Blame was cultivated in my life after an incident with my little sister. She fell down the stairs while we were playing and broke her hip. For years I went through life thinking I must have pushed her accidentally. The truth of the event came out when I wrote it on my 4th Step Inventory. While working Step 9, the amends process, I was talking to my mother and mentioned the incident….

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“A person without self-control is as defenseless as a city with broken-down walls.”

Proverbs 25:28 (NLT)

Anything that’s uncontrolled will eventually destroy you.

In today’s society, it’s obvious we don’t know how to handle anger. We live in a fast-paced, hectic world where people get stressed out. We’re always on the go and trying to burn the candle at both ends.

Anger is not a sin; if you read the Gospels you will see that Jesus got angry. What’s important is how you express your anger. If you don’t learn how to manage it wisely, it will destroy you and your relationships.

If handled correctly, managed anger actually becomes an asset. There are some situations where the only proper response is to get angry. For example, when you see someone being taken advantage of or when you see an injustice, anger is an appropriate response.

If you’re going to learn how to control your anger, you have to stop making excuses and start accepting responsibility for your reactions. Anger is a choice, just like every other emotion.

When you realize that anger has a cost, you’re more likely to control it. You always lose…

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Jesus Is Making All Things New

By Lori Smith, Cultural Communities

But there is a place where someone has testified:

‘What is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    a son of man that you care for him?

You made them a little lower than the angels;
    you crowned them with glory and honor
    and put everything under their feet.’

In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them. But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

Hebrews 2:6-9 (NIV)

I opened up my news app and there it was. Shutdown. Lockdown. Forced quarantine. Overnight,…

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Defeating Your Destructive Thoughts

“When tells a lie, he is only doing what is natural to him, because he is a liar and the father of all lies.”

John 8:44 (GNT)

You need a game plan to overcome destructive thoughts. At the root of every one of these thoughts is a lie.

Where do these lies come from?

Satan told the first lie. He sold it to Adam and Eve by wrapping it up in false promises, and he’s been telling lies ever since. Satan can’t force you to do anything, but he tells great lies. He knows exactly what we want to hear, which makes his suggestions extremely powerful.

Satan has set the trap, and he knows what bait to use. Once he gets one person to believe his lies, he’ll work through that person to influence others, creating a domino effect. Satan is constantly working to plant destructive thoughts in your mind.

Here’s the truth: You can’t stand up to Satan on your own. Jesus was tempted by Satan with three different lies. Each time, Jesus responded with Scripture.

God’s Word has the truth you need!

The person you lie to the…

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Testimony: Silence the Lies You Believe With God’s Truth

Since before I can remember, before I even knew what the word “lust” meant, I was immersed in it. Around the age of six, I was acting out in lust with self-gratification. It controlled me, and no one knew about it. Hi, I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ, I struggle with lust, control issues, codependency, and fear of failure, and my name is Julia.

At a young age, I remember being taught, mostly through the T.V. and movies, that love, being loved, and being in a relationship was the most important thing in life. Even growing up in a Christian world, I felt that lie was perpetuated as I came to believe that marriage would complete me and that it’s where my identity belongs.

I was six years old when I stumbled into self-gratification. I didn’t really understand what I was doing or the implications of it. All I remember is somehow feeling like what I was doing was bad. As I got older, the “bad” feeling grew into shame.

You see, I went to a private Christian high school, where we would frequently…

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He Knows Our Needs

By Andy Petry, National Director of The Landing

“Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
Matthew 6:8 (NIV)

Adversity and discouragement seem to go hand in hand. Whether they come in the form of hard medical diagnosis, some sort of family crisis, financial troubles, addiction and dysfunctional behaviors, or a world-wide pandemic, tough times can zap our strength, courage, and resolve, and can leave us feeling exhausted and defeated. Thinking back on this past year, I’ve had to admit that I’ve been pushed and stretched in a lot of different ways that I didn’t expect, nor want. And while I wouldn’t have chosen it myself (I don’t think any of us would’ve either), one undeniable fruit of this tough time has been that it’s forced me to press in the Lord and my own recovery journey. It’s taught me again just how much God is aware of our situation, how he works in the midst of it all, and how he gives us what we need to grow more into the image of Jesus.

I learned the Lord’s Prayer as I grew up in the church and…

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By Nita

I’m a grateful believer in Jesus Christ who struggles with grief. My name is Nita.

In August 2017, our thirty-year-old son died of a drug overdose. A year later, my father died after suffering with dementia for years. A year later, my mother battled through cancer treatments and severe pain for 11 months before dying in November 2020.

As I have watched the Covid-19 virus cause worldwide disruptions, upheavals, and losses of every kind, my heart has grieved anew. I see families experiencing economic hardships, severe illnesses, and painful deaths.

The unexpected, shocking, and random nature of Covid-19 has caused much confusion, anguish, and deep pain. My heart aches for the widespread grief affecting so many people because I have felt the crushing blows of grief myself.

Though the death of my parents caused us much sorrow and longing, they had lived long lives and they were eager to go to their heavenly home. We were able to bury them in their old age, in the more usual order of things. Burying our child was a different matter.

By far, our hardest grief journey was with our son. After a bad motorcycle wreck in college, he…

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By Mary Owen, National Training Coach

When 2020 arrived, we got in an unhealthy rhythm of staying in hypervigilant mode, and it’s a struggle to get out of this cycle, as the hard stuff seems to not be letting up.

The enemy wants us to think that God doesn’t have time for our prayers because after all, a lot is going on in the world that he’s tending to! The enemy reminds us:

You have failed God and disappointed him too many times.

You have doubted.

You have lived in fear.

You are weak.

The enemy wants us to believe that our prayers are powerless and ineffective. He doesn’t want us to communicate with God. He wants us to think we don’t have what it takes to be God’s leaders. So, he hopes we will let go of hope and let go of God.

“When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse everything I know of you, From Jordan depths to Hermon heights, including Mount Mizar. Chaos calls to chaos, to the tune of whitewater rapids. Your breaking surf, your thundering breakers crash and crush me. Then God promises to love me all day, sing songs all through…

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