I couldn't tell you a song we sang or a bible verse that was read, except this one thing, I could tell you. That one night, I realized, I needed God in my life. And I didn't need a God of my understanding, I needed a God that understood me. I needed a God that made sense, that was real. 

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Step one says: we admitted we were powerless over our addictions, and that our lives had become unmanageable. But my life was full of drama. If my life didn't have drama I created it. Tonight our teaching on inventory, is very important, because, through our steps, we need to back off, just a little bit and see how we got to where we are. 

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Are you ready to feed on truth about your life? Well then, it's time to take out the trash. And that trash, can get pretty heavy sometimes. So we don't want to handle it alone. We need a genuine mentor, coach, or as we say, sponsor. 

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After working the steps, I still have issues, but I have come a long way. Committing to a year, my trust has improved dramatically. I let people in now. I don't have to do things on my own. Life doesn't seem so scary, or difficult. In matter of fact, I think God is making himself known to me right now, in speaking about this topic: TRUST

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He is going to help you with your tribulation. I've heard that Jesus is not a bridge over trouble, but a tunnel through it. We live in this American fast food, instant gratification society. And that is a frustration, we want our recovery to be instant, but it takes time. It took you many years to be in this condition, so it will take many years to undo it. 

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Sanity 3 - Skip Clark

I thought maybe I had died at one time, on another planet, and they sent me to earth, the insane asylum of the universe. Because, things that happen here on earth, should never happen, the murders, the rapes, the hate, the animosity, the racism. We could go on and on. And say this is a pretty scary planet to be born into. But there is good news, and a truth. 

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But we have times in our life, where we feel out of control. At those moments, we think, "is there any hope?" Is this the best it is going to get? It is a small word, but it is huge in meaning. This may be your first time here tonight, but if you can leave here with just a little bit of hope, God's got a plan. The message you receive tonight, has everything to do with the hope He wants to put in your heart. 

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On our main meetings on Friday's, we ask a couple volunteers to recite the 12 steps. 

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Powerless - Skip Clark

All God's problems are because of pride. He created the spiritual being, name Lucifer. Lucifer, was a powerful being, we're told, to cover the throne of God. It was a highly exalted position. The problem, was pride was found in Lucifer. God's opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. God, himself, cast him out of heaven, and he ended up here, on earth. 5 times, Lucifer said: I will ascend to the most high, I will become like the most high God. He had some power, but pride was his downfall. 

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Denial. How do face it? What is the beginning. How do we go about doing it. It is rather difficult for God to work in an environment where we are dishonest. Dishonesty makes it hard to crack that shield that is there from denial. 

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Some understand there is a process of recovery. So, I have to find God, clean house, deal with my past, mend relationships, work on my character defects, then, I actually have to go out and help someone else.

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I really think she did a nice, job for someone who never did that before. With these weekly experiences we have a chance to see God at work in our lives. Because God takes the discarded things and makes someone special out of them. God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Isn't that kind of neat? I am kind of glad I hang out with folks like you. 

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If nothing more, I would encourage you, to get out that bag, of thinking, you have to be perfect, before you give. There is a tenancy, to believe, we have to master our recovery, before we can go back, and encourage others. It's simply not true. In the church vernacular, there is an expression: " walking wet " . It means we are working out my own salvation with fear and trembling. I am not perfect. I have not arrived. 

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Ever hear of the phrase "God jar" or God box"? As you can see, it is nothing fancy. It is just a jar, someplace you pass by often. And you can start by just jotting things down as they come to your mind., and throwing them into a jar. The good thing about a jar is that over time you can see it filling, and your gratefulness is increasing. on a day to day basis. After a year open it up, and see how much God has done, and you have grown. 

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His arm is mighty to save. When He reaches in your direction, grab hold of that arm. He loves you. Grab hold of that hand, with your hand, and purpose not to let go. I am convinced, He does not want to let you go. Why? When you were using, He was crying. You weren't created to do what you did, it broke His very heart. From this day forward you are writing your future. If you choose to stick with this program, and then you will go and be free, and be liberated and help other people. 

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Mistake 2. As long as you don't use alchol or drugs, you are recovering. It is only a prerequisite to recovery, but not recovery. We go from a lifestyle centered around drinking to a lifestyle of healthy living. 

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The first category is something I can do something about. There is a person on my staff, that sees everything in black and white. When we have a meeting in my office, she brings a detailed file list this thick. She expects me to sit there as she goes through each page. If I don't I have messed up her day. She has been working for me, for 10 years. Is there a good chance, Is there a good chance I can't change her? So this is something I have to accept? She has saved me, many days, because she dots her i's and crosses her t's. and boy do I need that.

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But it was that kind of experience, that began to carve my life for the next several years. I began to study the works of the nation of Islam, the works of Malcolm X, looking into the word of Black Panthers, and the books of Mao Se Tung of China. I wanted to be free. In those days there were 3 things you could do in life: a teacher, a preacher or a an insurance man. And I didn't want to be any of those.

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My brother in law, said: "you need Celebrate Recovery". I said, you've really lost your marbles,  I'm a Christian now, what do I need CR for? I remember that day well. He said because of my anger issues, and resentments, I was holding on to. I am not going there, and say something like: Hi I am Carmen and struggle with ___________. But Freddie, never gave up on me. He would leave all those CR papers on my table.

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Being here at Celebrate Recovery at long as I have, 6 years, I've seen many wonderful men and women, come into my life and really bless me. And one of those men is here tonight, we affectionately call him Beach Bob. When I think of him, I think of love, joy, and peace. Incredible fruit of the Spirit, and it's there. And it's good, hanging off of Bob, big, delicious hanging fruit, you could just pull off and eat.

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