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!

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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God Grieves With You

By Rick Warren

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and he saves those whose spirits have been crushed.”

Psalm 34:18 (NCV)

When you grieve, you may feel like God is a million miles away.

However, what you feel and what’s real are not always the same thing. God isn’t a million miles away. In fact, he’s never been any closer.

Did you know that God grieves with you?

The Bible tells us that Jesus was “a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief” (Isaiah 53:3 NLT).

When you come to Jesus with your grief, he knows what you’re talking about, and he understands your pain. God is sympathetic, he’s not aloof or apathetic. He’s not standing on the sidelines of your life watching in, he’s in the game and grieving with you.

God doesn’t only give you himself, he gives you a church family for support. You were meant to grieve in community. Healing comes in groups. Healing comes in the church. Healing comes in community. We’re better together!

On a practical level, what kind of grief support does a church family offer?

They can bring meals, help with childcare, stock your pantry, and run errands—to…

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By Blake

I wanted to be professional baseball player or a fireman when I was growing up. How was it that in my early 40s I had successfully become an alcoholic? I was in a self-imposed hell that was physically, spiritually, and morally bankrupt.

I grew up in a Christian home and in what I thought was a typical household. My parents didn’t really drink– an occasional glass of wine typically only if people were over for dinner. We moved about every four years as I was growing up, and it wasn’t until I looked back at all the variables of my life, did I realize some of the impacts that had. It was in high school that my path began to wander. I was extremely insecure but popular. I shared my first kiss in high school with a girl from my church who took her life months after we had parted ways. Not because of me, but it was a loss and pain I didn’t know how to handle.

Eventually, drinking became part of what I did with some of my football and baseball teammates…and like an amazing switch, my shyness would disappear….

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“I have gained perfect freedom by following your teachings.”

Psalm 119:45 (CEV)

Everywhere you look, you can find people who like to pretend.

It’s not a game; they aren’t children who are playing make-believe. They’re adults pretending to be someone other than themselves in order to get the approval of others. Seeking approval typically plays out in one of two ways.

Some are trying to meet the expectations of someone else, and that means they’re allowing their purpose in life to be defined by someone other than God. This is a dangerous way to live because people’s expectations are inconsistent. 

Other people are trying to meet their own unrealistic expectations of perfectionism. That’s when you think you must be perfect to be loved and accepted. Inevitably, we fall short of being perfect, so the only option that makes sense is to fake it.

Are you pretending? Maybe you’ve been pretending for so long that you don’t know who the real you is anymore. You’re wearing a mask, and it’s wearing you out. Everyone else thinks you’ve got plenty of money, success, and happiness.

When you stop…

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By Ken Grider, National Encourager Coach

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, as He already existed in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself by taking the form of a bond-servant and being born in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death: death on a cross.”

Philippians 2:5-8 (NASB)

The goal of any devotional– and life on earth for that matter –is to point to God. The goal is to bring us into a closer relationship with and a greater awareness of our Savior. I want to be someone who says, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8 NIV) regardless of location, proximity, timing, or circumstance. Notice I said, “I want to be”…this is not always the case. In fact, my most frequent request of God is that he will let me see with his eyes and love with his heart. But, as I unpack these verses, my spiritual assignment, once again, becomes one that I…

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By Kristen

Hi, my name is Kristen. I am a grateful believer in Christ in recovery for bulimia, overachieving, and perfectionism.

Life was crazy, chaotic, and unsteady for me growing up. I was an awkward, nerdy, athletic kid, and I just wante to fit in somewhere. Because of several experiences, I came to believe the lies that I would never be good enough and that I was to blame for everything that went wrong. I thought that the best way to cope was to choose (or force myself) to always be happy on the outside, no matter what. So I started putting on masks. However, inside I started pretending and living in a fantasy life to cope.

This way of coping eventually paved the way for me to start struggling with an addiction that was pretty easy for me to hide…bulimia. My life was marked by insecurity, performance, people-pleasing, and the striving for perfection. I convinced myself that this was something that was only hurting me and that I could control it.

I finally came to a point where I realized my eating disorder was controlling me, so I started getting help. While attending Celebrate…

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Make Every Step Count

By Rick Warren

“All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing.”

1 Corinthians 9:25-26 (NLT)

 

Every step in your journey with Jesus should be taken with purpose and intentionality. There’s a heavenly prize ahead—an eternal reward that awaits those who honor God in everything they do.

Living a life on purpose requires self-discipline. This means you won’t be able to do everything that other people do. God’s plan is different from the world’s plan. Being a disciple of Jesus often means taking the more difficult path.

Olympic runners must give up all kinds of stuff in order to go for the gold. They must go to bed at a certain time, eat a certain way, and train at a certain time. They must count the cost of what it will take to win. Then they make the necessary sacrifices, denying their natural urges and click reference inclinations. The rigorous training is never the focus; their sights are set…

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By Donna Yearsin, National Director Celebration Place

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.  And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.  As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.”

Romans 7:15-20 (NIV)

One of the most beautiful things about recovery involves introspection. Focus questions posed during Open Share Groups cause participants to stop and think about their own thoughts, feelings, and actions– an honest assessment of what is…

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By Tiffani

Each hurt we go through can build walls in our lives; some can turn into good boundaries, others build walls of protection surrounding us and we think ugliness cannot break though to get to us. Hi, I’m a grateful believer in Jesus– I have victory over co-dependency, isolation, fear of abandonment, and shame. I struggle with food addiction and the effects of past abuse, and my name is Tiffani.

I grew up in an alcoholic home where both my father and stepfather drank heavily. My mom used shame, fear and withdrawal to parent us. I remember the night my dad left. A police officer woke me and my two sisters and helped us get dressed, they took us to a friend’s house to spend the night. I had so many questions but even at that young age I knew better than to ask. In my mind it was better to be as quiet and invisible as possible. My walls began to form. I had quite a few life-changing events all happening at the age of 6: my parents separated, I moved from a middle-class suburb area to a more inner-city location, I…

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By Rodney Holmstrom, National Assimilation Coach

“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3

There was a man walking along on a cold winter day. Suddenly hitting a patch of black ice, he fell and then BAM! He wasn’t expecting this, but found himself on the ground, cold, wet, humiliated and seemingly alone. He cut his elbow and was bleeding quite a bit. He wanted to go crawl into a hole and hide. His first thought was complete embarrassment for what had happened and wondered if anyone had seen him fall so abruptly. Before he realized it, a stranger was kneeling by him grabbing his arm, helping him back to his feet. He felt embarrassed by the situation. However, the stranger wasn’t focused on that at all. Instead he focused on showing love and compassion while making sure he was ok. He knew he was hurting and came alongside him, helping him mend his wounds.

This has me thinking about my brothers and sisters struggling with mental health issues. Some may struggle with depression, anger, anxiety or other issues that make…

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