Posts Tagged ‘Celebrate Recovery’

This is a guide to help you write your Celebrate Recovery testimony. God’s word tells us,
“It is a proof of your faith. Many people will praise God because you obey the Good News of Christ – the gospel you say you believe – and because you freely share with them and with all others.” (2 Corinthians 9:13 NCV)
Testimony Guidelines:

a. Before you start writing… pray and ask God for help and the words to share.

b. Your testimony must be written out.

c. Your testimony should be about 12 to 15 minutes long. This is about 7 – 9 pages double-spaced using a 12-point font.

d. Be sure to include 1 or 2 of your favorite scriptures.

e. Be honest.

f. Remember that you are not cured.

g. Don’t use religious clichés.

h. Don’t get too graphic or include non-essential information.

i. Keep it short and to the point.

j. HAVE FUN!

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serenity-prayer

Lesson 24

Yes

Principle 8: Yield myself to God to be used to bring this Good News to others, both by my example and by my words.

“Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires.” (Matthew 5:10)

Step 12: Having had a spiritual experience as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1)

Introduction

Modern technology is something else! Take an old, beat-up Diet Coke can—dirty, dented, holes in it. A few years ago, it would have been thrown in the garbage and deemed useless, of no value. Today it can be recycled, melted down, purified, and made into a new can—shiny and clean—that can be used again.

We’re going to talk about recycling tonight—recycling your pain by allowing God’s fire and light to shine on it, to melt down your old hurts, habits, and hang-ups so they can be used again in a positive way. They can be recycled to show others how you worked the principles and steps with Jesus’ healing into the solution and how you have come through the darkness of your pain into Christ’s glorious freedom and light.

Society tells us that pain is useless. In fact, people are coming to believe that people in pain are useless! At Celebrate Recovery, we know that pain has value, as do the people who experience it. So while the world says no, tonight we say yes!

Yes

Tonight’s acrostic  couldn’t be any more positive! It is the word YES.

Yield myself to God

Example is what is important

Serve others as Jesus Christ did

The Y is Principle 8 itself: YIELD myself to God to be used to bring this Good News to others, both by my example and by my words.

To truly practice this principle, we must give God the latitude He needs to use us as He sees fit. We do that by presenting everything we have—our time, talents, and treasures—to Him. We hold loosely all that we call our own, recognizing that all of it comes from His hand. When we have yielded to Him, God can use us as His instruments to carry the message to others in word and action.

Galatians 6:1–2 (TLB) tells us: “If a Christian is overcome by some sin, … humbly help him back onto the right path, remembering that the next time it might be one of you who is in the wrong. Share each other’s troubles and problems, and so obey our Lord’s command.”

People take your example far more seriously than they take your advice.

That leads us to the E in yes: EXAMPLE is what is important!

Your walk needs to match your talk. We all know that talk is cheap, because the supply always exceeds the demand.

If you want someone to see what Christ will do for them, let them see what Christ has done for you.

Here is a question to ask yourself when you get to this principle: Does my lifestyle reflect what I believe? In other words, does it show others the patterns of the world—selfishness, pride, and lust—or does it reflect the love, humility, and service of Jesus Christ?

“Arouse the love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and a genuine faith” (1 Timothy 1:5, GNB).

This year, we have all been blessed by some outstanding and courageous testimonies at Celebrate Recovery.  These people believe in Principle 8! They believe in it enough to share not only in the safety of their small groups but also with the whole recovery family.  They stood up here and shared their weaknesses and strengths with others who are suffering from similar pain, hurts, hang-ups, and habits. They gave others a piece of their heart—not a piece of their mind.

Our goal again for next year is to have two testimonies each month as we work on each step. So, if you have been in recovery for awhile and haven’t shared your story as yet, get busy, write it out, and get it to me. We need to hear and you need to share your miracle in the coming year.

The last letter in yes is S: SERVE others as Jesus Christ did.

When you have reached Principle 8, you are ready to pick up the “Lord’s towel,” the one with which He washed the disciples’ feet in the upper room the night before He was crucified.

Jesus said, “And since I, the Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow: do as I have done to you” (John 13:14–15, TLB).

You don’t all have to give your testimonies to three hundred people to do service. All service ranks the same with God. You can say “y-e-s” to Principle 8 in many ways!

1.     Be an accountability partner. Find someone in your small group who agrees to encourage and support you as you work through the principles. You agree to do the same for that person. You hold one another accountable for working an honest program.

2.     Be a sponsor. Sponsors are people who have worked the steps. Their job is to guide newcomers on their journey through the steps, to give a gentle nudge when they are procrastinating or to slow them down when they are rushing through a step. Sponsors do so by sharing their personal journey on their road to recovery.

3.     Become a greeter. Greeters get to Celebrate Recovery at 6:45 p.m. They welcome and provide directions for newcomers. They provide the newcomer with the important first impression of Celebrate Recovery!

4.     Help with the Solid Rock Cafe. You need to arrive by 6:00 p.m. to help set up. If you can’t get here early, stay a few minutes after to help clean up. You can bake a cake.

5. Help set up  and break down, power point, sound, clean up….

6.     Invite someone to church. Ask someone from your secular groups or a neighbor, a friend, or a coworker!

The world is full of two kinds of people—givers and takers. The takers eat well and the givers sleep well. Be a giver. There are many, many more areas to serve! Make suggestions! Get involved!

Principle 8 comes down to this: Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

Make your life a mission, not an intermission!

We need you to share your experiences, strengths, and hopes with newcomers here on Friday nights. You do that as leaders, sponsors, and accountability partners. But the church also needs your service. As you serve outside of Celebrate Recovery, you can share with others and get them into recovery when they are ready to work on their hurts, hang-ups, and habits.

Every morning, before I get out of bed I pray this Principle 8 prayer:

Dear Jesus, as it would please You, bring me someone today whom I can serve. Amen.

Will you pray it this week?

download

Step Study Group

• Recovery Issues may meet separately
• Gender-Based Groups
• Participant’s Guides (curriculum)
Small Group Guidelines apply
• Opportunity for Sharing
• Build Accountability Teams
• Find a Sponsor & Accountability Partners
• Meeting closed by Step 4
• Completion of the 12 Steps (6 months-1 year)
• Leaders required to attend training prior to starting a Step Study Group

In order to gain the full benefits of Celebrate Recovery, participants are encouraged to attend the Large Group night,Open Share Groups and a Step Study Group. The goal is personal recovery and growth in our relationship with Jesus Christ – becoming more like Christ.

To order your books click here

The Bible patriarchs,  created small markers from stone to serve as reminders of God’s intervention in their lives.  In recovery we use chips to commemorate milestones as well.  Each chip marks a set of time and progress in the program.  They are something tangible that can be a source of encouragement and/or motivation.   This chip dialog reminds us we are not just “doing time” in recovery, but we are making progress in the journey!  Here is a dialog/scrip submitted to us by one of our leaders, that spells out how special each chip is: (more…)

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Grace

Principle 6: Evaluate all my relationships. Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve done to others, except when to do so would harm them or others.

“Happy are the merciful.” (Matthew 5:6) “Happy are the peacemakers.” (Matthew 5:9)

Step 9: Made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23–24)

Introduction

Tonight, we are going to finish discussing Principle 6. We have talked about how to evaluate all our relationships, offer forgiveness to those who have hurt us, and make amends for the harm that we have done to others, when possible without expecting anything back.

As we grow as Christians and as we grow in our recovery, we want to follow the guidance and directions of Jesus Christ. As we get to know Him better, we want to model His teachings and model His ways. We want to become more like Him. Honestly, if we are going to implement Principle 6 to the best of our ability, we need to learn to model God’s grace. But how?

Grace

The key verses of Celebrate Recovery are 2 Corinthians 12:9–10 (NCV): “But he said to me, ‘My grace is enough for you. When you are weak, my power is made perfect in you.’ So I am very happy to brag about my weaknesses. Then Christ’s power can live in me. For this reason I am happy when I have weaknesses, insults, hard times, sufferings, and all kinds of troubles for Christ. Because when I am weak, then I am truly strong.”

Celebrate Recovery is built on and centered in Christ’s grace and love for each of us. (more…)

Inland Vineyard’s Celebrate Recovery Meets EVERY Monday Night at the Inland Vineyard Fellowship

Open meeting 7:15-8:00 Break out groups 8:05-9:00.  Come early to enjoy a free light supper.

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Rest in Submission

Three times I have started this post (… ok now four five….)

but I am going to keep moving forward. After all, my job is

to do the writing …not judge the writing.

Yesterday, I think that God was trying to get my attention. I started my morning reading a lesson (devotional) in my Life Recovery Bible. I read where Jesus says:

“Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear and the burden I give you is light.” –Mathew 11:28 (NLV)

The commentary was called Submission and Rest. I see now that the lesson was reminding me that there was rest in submission. But at the time I was thinking about how in recovery I do not have to be alone. I have discovered how God brings healing when I am safe to share with another person what I may have otherwise censored as too personal, silly, petty, dumb, ridiculous, or embarrassing. It is no wonder why the Bible says:

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1John 1:9 (NASB)
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How to Clean Burnt on Caked on Food from Cookware

There was a time when I’d sooner throw away a burnt pan then try to clean it. There were however, several occasions where I did try to scour and scrub a pot or skillet with little hope of it ever sparkling again. It may have been given a hiding place of shame in the back of a cupboard, but eventually if not immediately it would end up in the trash heap.

However, lately I have spent a lot more time in the kitchen, reacquainting myself with good home cooking, and in the process finding myself attached to some beautiful stainless steel skillets and pots that my husband brought into the marriage. Tossing them, or hiding them away is not an option I would consider, so I have found through trial and error how to actually clean them up with little or no “elbow grease”. So now when I discover that my unattended food is melting into a tarry black layer of crusty gunk at the bottom of my favorite skillet I don’t go into panic mode. I realized that the same principles for treating a burn your eyes, stinky, burning pot, applies to relationships.
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Few approaches to addiction generate as much controversy as 12-Step recovery. On one side are the ardent supporters of the program, some of whom credit it with saving their lives. On the other side are the critics and those who found that the program didn’t resonate with them or even hindered their recovery. Both have valid points, and both, in the end, are seeking answers to a problem that defies easy solutions.
Although it is by no means a perfect program, many of the objections to 12-Step recovery are based on widespread misconceptions. Let’s clear up a few of the most common misunderstandings:

#1 You have to be religious or believe in God to make the program work.

Though some have openly criticized 12 step programs as being too secular , the 12 Steps contain numerous references to God or a higher power, and some meetings conclude with a prayer. The Steps were actually conceived from a Christian point of view, however because the core principals were believed to be something that could benefit those of other faiths, references to specific deities discouraged and the texts and concepts are left open to interpretation. Still , being founded on Christian principals it no surprise that the 12 steps have benefitted millions of people. .
Celebrate recovery specifically recognizes Jesus as the Higher Power. Even with that, many non-Christians and Christians struggling in their faith have benefited from the 12 step program. offered through Celebrate recovery.

#2 Powerlessness frees the addict from accepting responsibility.

The loss and negative consequences related to addiction touch every part of a persons life. Those who are addicted often face among other things, job loss, financial legal troubles, relational problems, and health problems. While the initial choice to use drugs or alcohol is within the individual’s control, once physical or psychological dependence sets in, they have lost control. Powerlessness occurs because prolonged drug abuse changes the structure and function of the brain, learned behaviors, relational patterns, and emotional health. It takes time in sobriety to repair the damage.
Powerlessness does not mean that the person with addictions is inherently flawed, exempt from thinking for themselves or incapable of recovery. Recovery does rely on God to come in and fix everything. Recovery involves taking steps toward changing and improving. To say that those who struggle with addiction are powerless, flawed or incapable of making choices, would contradict the entire premise of the 12-Step program. The powerlessness is a statement about the nature of the disease, designed to remove the blame and shame that often prevent addicts from getting help, and to show addicts one way of reclaiming power over their lives.

#3 Addicts substitute their addiction with a dependence on 12-Step meetings.

Many from 12 step meetings find the support and fellowship they desire. In meetings some find a place to encourage others, be encouraged, and connect with their self and others. It is no wonder that those in committed to their recovery may are enthusiastic about their meetings. Addicted or not, everyone needs support. The 12 step meetings are safe place to build support in the midst of recovery and hardships. Individuals are free to come and go as much or as little as they want. The ongoing participation in a program that is improving peoples lives is a far cry from the destructive nature of other dependencies.

#4 The 12-Step program is a cult.

Twelve-Step programs have overarching principles and traditions that may seem unusual to people unfamiliar with addiction and recovery. It is a close-knit group of people who share similar struggles, but this does not make it a cult. People are free to participate or not, and to take what works for them and leave the rest. There is hope that participants will embrace the wisdom of some of the 12-Step principles but they are also encouraged to think critically and to find their own way.

#5 There are too many rules.

Twelve-Step recovery is full of guiding principles and suggestions, but there are actually very few rules. Working the Steps is a choice participants make, of their own volition, every day. You can come and go as you choose, adapt the program to suit your needs, and if you relapse, the group will welcome you back with open hearts.
The 12-Step principles are not random or haphazard. Rather, they address specific deficits in learning, memory, empathy and other areas impacted by drug abuse. Sharing stories, along with routinely scheduled meetings and oft-repeated mantras, for example, help addicts remember the next right thing to do even when their thinking is still clouded by drugs.

#6 Twelve-Step recovery is losers, people lacking faith, people with no friends, and people who are too weak to do it on their own.

This misconception is based on inaccurate and outdated information. Addiction is a chronic, progressive illness, not an issue of willpower, and it affects all types of people. The opposite of weak, it takes tremendous strength and courage to reach out for help. Some people may be able to recover on their own, but most cannot – and there is no shame in that.
People struggling with addiction often feel they are different, better or less damaged than the people they meet at 12-Step meetings. In a group as diverse as is typically found in a 12-Step meeting, it would be surprising to instantly connect with, or even agree with, the perspectives of every member. You may look different on the surface but inside, the people in 12-Step recovery are fighting to stay clean just like you. Even if their stories are different, the underlying messages, struggles and goals are similar. Sometimes it takes more than one meeting, or a change in meetings to connect.

#7 Twelve-Step programs don’t work.

There are different schools of thought when it comes to addiction. The 12 step recovery has a long history and an abundance of testimonies as to it’s effectiveness. The Steps are not for everyone, but those who give it a fair try find that recovery Is not just about stopping an isolated behavior, but learning a new way of life.