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!

By Jill

I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ, who celebrates recovery over the loss of faith and struggles with codependency, love and relationship addiction, and sexual brokenness. My name is Jill.

I can’t think of a better way to describe my parents other than being a mule and racehorse. My dad was hot-tempered but steady, and my mother was beautiful while always on the run. I truly believe with all my heart that my parents love me and did the best they could with what had been modeled to them, which was a lot of their own childhood dysfunction.

I have two siblings, an older brother and a baby sister, who truly are and always have been my best friends. It is safe to say that we were inconveniences to my parents’ drama, often forgotten, and never afforded the emotional or physical space just to be kids. We were not the siblings who fought or argued with one another as we learned very young to be quiet, be still, and stay unseen. We stuck together to protect one another and keep the peace.

For the first half of my childhood, my parents were…

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By Rodney Holmstrom, National Field Director 

“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2

Have you ever seen the movie “Castaway”?

There is a scene where the main character is stranded on an island all by himself for four-plus years. His time on this island was one of misery and loneliness. His biggest goal was to eventually get off this island that had caused so much harm to his life. He was finally able to build a raft and, after many attempts, was able to escape the grips of the huge waves crashing down on and around him.

After escaping the island, there was a moment when he looked back with grief. You could see in his face extensive agony and pain as he saw the island drift away from his view. From the outside looking in, one might conclude that this man was out of his mind. How can he be grieving the separation from something so ugly and heartbreaking in his life? The reality is, although this place was difficult, it was also familiar and predictable.

Isaiah 12:2 reads, “I will trust and not be afraid.” From this, we find…

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“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.”

Philippians 2:13 (NLT)

Jesus wants you to surrender your whole life to him. He doesn’t want just a part of your life, he wants all of it.

You may think you’ve surrendered enough to him, but Jesus wants it all. C.S. Lewis, the Christian apologist and author of the Narnia series, says Jesus is like a dentist. When you go to the dentist, you want him to fix your toothache. You want him to stop the pain. But the dentist isn’t willing to stop there. If he’s a good dentist, he’s going to poke and prod around your teeth to find out what is causing the toothache. He doesn’t just want to stop you from hurting, he wants to heal what is causing the pain.

This is what Jesus wants to do in your life. He wants to uncover all the sin and hurt…

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By Teri

I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ, an overcomer of grief and loss, who struggles with food addiction and unhealthy self-reliance, and my name is Teri.

I come from a Christian home with wonderful parents, and I remember well my first encounter with godly conviction and recognizing my need for Jesus. That was the first day I remember asking Jesus to forgive me and telling Him I would love Him forever. Though I strayed away from my faith during my teens, His love wouldn’t let me go, and I’ve now been walking with Jesus for 42 years.

For many years I lived out my walk with Jesus, believing that God gave me a sound mind, and therefore He expected me to be independent and use my head to figure things out. I relied on my knowledge and abilities to solve my problems. Though I would say the words, “I need you, God,” I meant I needed Him to forgive me and to get me to Heaven, but I didn’t really need Him in my day-to-day living. I was self-sufficient. When problems arose, whether in marriage or parenting, my first go-to was…

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God Is on Your Side

By Rick Warren

“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”

Philippians 2:13 (NLT)

No matter what you face this week, you don’t have to face it alone.

God is with you, working powerfully in your life. The word “working” in Greek is the word energeo, from which we get the word “energy.” God is the energy driver in your life. You don’t have to rely on willpower, and the truth is, willpower isn’t enough.

God’s energy is transforming you from the inside out. This means he gives you the right desires in your heart and mind so that you do the right thing with your actions and words. This is the life he created you to live.

God is also for you. God is your ally. In fact, he is committed to your success. Some people think God is like an angry parent who is mad at them all the time. That couldn’t be further from the truth. He’s not mad at you, he’s mad about you.

Since God is for us, there is no challenge we can’t overcome….

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By Teri

It was my first day back to work after spending 26 days at my husband’s hospital bedside. The doctor’s prognosis? He would likely never walk again. My only comfort was that the three walls of my cubicle allowed me to hide my tears. My husband was the responsible one in our marriage, always filling my car with gas when I left it on empty and tying up loose ends I’d left undone. How would I pick up the slack and provide him emotional support when I was such a wreck? A co-worker shared I Peter 5:7, “Cast your cares upon Him for He cares for you.” I protested, “God, I did cast my cares upon you, and nothing has changed!” As the tears continued, I found myself lost in a memory…

On the shore of my favorite fishing pond, I cast my line with intention. I did this as many times as necessary to get my baited hook on target. Though the surface waters were as glass, it was only a matter of time before the unseen currents below pulled my line from where I had cast, and so, I cast…

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“My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you. Stand firm in this grace.”

1 Peter 5:12 (NLT)

Today, do you need encouragement?

If you feel like giving up, God is with you. He understands your situation completely because Jesus felt like giving up too. He will help you stand firm with his sustaining grace. If you stumble, he will lift you up.

You don’t deserve it, and you can’t earn it. His grace is a free gift.

God’s sustaining grace gives you wisdom when you’re tempted. The Bible promises that God will provide a way of escape when you’re tempted. It may mean turning off your favorite show. It may mean leaving a situation. It may mean changing the way you’re thinking. God will provide a way for you to escape temptation.

God’s sustaining grace gives you energy when you’re tired. Have you noticed the easy thing and the right thing are not always the same thing? God gives you the power to do the right thing when you’re exhausted.

God’s…

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Broken Chains from https://www.brokenchainsjc.com/

By Jeff

I grew up as the youngest of 4 children. My mother and father worked full time, leaving my sisters to take care of me most of the time. As I look back, I can see where eating became my way of comforting the lack of attention from my parents. It was easier to give me something to eat than to be bothered with me. I became overweight as a result and spent much of my adolescence as the “fat kid.” Others made fun of me, and I had a hard time fitting in.

At 13 years old, I smoked marijuana for the first time and drank alcohol. Soon I fitted in with the “cool kids.” By age 15, I began lifting weights and boxing. I decided that I would never be picked on again. Getting high and fighting became normal for me as a teenager.

After graduating high school, I joined the Army. I bought a motorcycle for cheap transportation to work. I learned that drinking and fighting were all I wanted to do during my off-hours. Soon I was shot in the leg in…

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By Jeff Stultz, National Director Broken Chains

John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.”

We were all created by God with a purpose. We’re born with all that we need to accomplish that purpose. However, many times the enemy works in our lives when we’re young to steal, kill, and destroy our ability to fulfill that purpose. When the enemy makes us question our self-worth as children, we grow into insecure adults—feeling unworthy of God’s love and forcing us to find communities where we fit in with others that struggle with the same low self-esteem. We medicate this pain in our lives with various hurts, hang-ups, and habits like drug addiction, pornography, co-dependency, relationships, etc. This self-medicating effectively destroys our ability to be used by God for the purpose we were created for. This leads us to a life of pain and a circle of hiding that pain and finding happiness with unhealthy behaviors.

Jesus came that we might have life and have it to the full. But this is not a promise. Focus…

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By Sabrena

I’m a grateful believer in Jesus Christ who struggles with codependency, food issues, and other addictive/compulsive behaviors to seek escape. My name is Sabrena.

My childhood was filled with chaos I could not control and feelings too overwhelming for a child to handle: loneliness, abandonment, fear, anger, resentment, and sadness­– to name a few. My father was an alcoholic, and my mother codependent. They loved my sister and me, but fell very short of supplying the love, attention, care, and direction we needed. As a result, I turned to coping mechanisms that helped me survive in the moment. Ultimately, this caused cycles of greater damage, more negative emotions, and escalation of addictive, compulsive behaviors.

At a very young age, food became my comfort– my first drug of choice. As I ate, I didn’t have to deal with my feelings; I could block out how bad my life was. It helped me when I was sad, lonely, depressed, angry, and confused. As I began to gain weight, other kids called me names and made fun of me, which only added to my home life’s pain. This hurt caused me to turn to food…

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By Sabrena Stolze, National State Rep Trainer

Shame is a terrible motivator. I have struggled in all areas of self-discipline for most of my life and have unwittingly tried to use shame to motivate myself to change. After 13 years of working the Principles and Steps in Celebrate Recovery, I thought I had let go of my shame, allowing God’s love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness to become my motivators to change, with the Holy Spirit providing the power to do so.

However, the last year of COVID restrictions, resulting in working from home and increased isolation, has challenged me greatly in the area of self-discipline, and I realized there is still work to be done. While I have stepped into God’s grace to a much greater degree than years past, I still judge myself harshly for “what I do not do” rather than rejoicing in who I am in Christ and the accomplishments He gives me each day. Sometimes it’s an accomplishment just getting out of bed or not acting out in addictive, compulsive ways for one more day.

God’s word tells us in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those…

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No Condemnation

By Rick Warren

“There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.”

Romans 8:1 (NLT)

Conviction comes from God, and condemnation comes from the devil. The purpose of conviction is to correct something that’s wrong in your life. The purpose of condemnation is to put you down, to make you feel guilty and ashamed.

God’s motivation for convicting you is that he loves you and wants to help you mature. Satan’s motivation for condemning you is that he hates you and wants to make you miserable.

When God speaks to you about an area in your life that needs changing, the conviction is very specific. He will tell you what is wrong, and then he’ll give you the solution. When you confess the issue to God, the sense of conviction goes away instantly.

When Satan condemns you, it comes as a general sense of disapproval and guilt about nothing in particular. It can leave you with a sense of hopelessness—that there’s nothing you can do to get out from under the endless condemnation.

Many Christians live under condemnation and guilt, thinking it’s the voice of God. But it’s…

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