Celebrate your Recovery

Are you unhappy with how your life is going? Do you happen to have a hurt, habit, or hang up you can’t figure out how to deal with? I suggest finding a local Celebrate Recovery meeting near you. I have from time to time had either a hurt, habit, or hang up that I just felt like no one else could relate with me…like I was all alone. What I see now is that was all in my head. When a friend invited me to come one night…I had already heard another speaker come to my church and talk about how Celebrate Recovery helped her out. You can check out her blog here… Same Dress Different Day. It was like God was giving me a nudge both times towards His recommendation on how to get my life going in the right direction.

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So I went to a meeting. I found out that I am not alone. There were people there who just listen to me. I am not judged. I have support from people who have been where I was and are where I want to go on the road for my recovery. They can share with me ways they found to help them make the positive changes I hope to make in my life. I have great accountability partners and a great sponsor. Plus they say the safest place to be on a Tuesday night is at Celebrate Recovery. What is said in group stays in group. They mean it! So no worries about people gossiping or your darkest thoughts being shared. Totally confidential. Kind of like the phrase, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas…”

The focus is totally faith based and we look to God for our strength. Prayer starts and ends the meetings. Bible verses are used in the step studies [where you work the 12 steps]. One of my favorites from the step study I am in now is this one:

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

We also look at the serenity prayer. Sometimes recently when I am stressed or angry I will recite what I can remember from that prayer. While doing this it helps me calm down and put things into perspective. I have a copy of that below. I also hope that anyone who might be looking for a change in their lives or have a hurt, habit, or hang up they need help with see this blog. They realize they are not alone. I am here for you. So are the folks at your local celebrate recovery group.

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My “Jonah” experience

In the book of Jonah…chapter 1 verse 1-2 it states that, “Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city , and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come before Me.” God spoke to his prophets and gave them directions on what missions He would have them do but Jonah runs off in the other direction. Like he can out run the presence of the Lord [verse 3]! He boards a boat to go to another town in the opposite direction from Nineveh. The Lord has a big storm come up. Everyone aboard is scared. The cast lots and find out that Jonah is to blame. He then tells them to throw him overboard. One he is in the water the seas calm down and the boat is safe. Jonah on the other hand gets swallowed by a big fish. Spending 3 days and nights in the belly of the fish.

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Now comes my part of the story. God still speaks to individuals in different ways to have his will carried out you see… Mine came in the form of emails. I was sent some information on a man who wanted to come and give a free cooking class. He travels all over the United States doing these… I tried to ignore the first email. Then a second one came. I answered back but told the person I was too busy to deal with this at the present time. After a time a third email came. The gentleman had called again about setting up the cooking class. I dislike very much being asked over and over about the same thing. I agreed rather reluctantly to schedule a time for him to come. Last week the time came that was scheduled. It wasn’t hard on me as he pretty much prepared everything himself. I just helped out that night. It was a big success. We had so many people show up. It was amazing. It showed me just how how God’s kept working on me…even though I resisted. His will was carried out and many people heard how to eat better from the cooking class.

God’s Not Dead

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I was there not but a few years back. I was in a life that had its ups and downs but was relatively smooth sailing. I would say it was good… even if a guy decided to be stupid and dump me there was always another guy not far down the road ready to take his place. Life just came pretty easy going. I did what I wanted. Worked and sometimes went to college. Lived with different guys. Had what I thought were good friends. Drank. Partied. Went to clubs. Loved house music and dancing. Played World of Warcraft and was antisocial for a while only talking to my friends in the game… Saw many popular bands in concert…some of my favorite ones were Sevendust and 10 Years…just to name a few. I didn’t really think about what I did, what I watched, how much I drank, or anything like that… it was when I found myself completely miserable time and time again that I realized all the angry music or all the hate for what others had done to me or what I had done to myself wasn’t enough anymore to get me through life… I liked this quote from the movie I saw tonight summed it up pretty well what had happened to me…

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It was my turning point when I ran so far but found out that I didn’t remember what I was running from anymore or where I was going was not where I wanted to end up… I hit what was rock bottom for me. I tried to think back to where I was the happiest in my past and came to the realization that it was at church… so I called up a friend. I was to meet her and try to come back to church. I came not once, but left, twice, and got scared and left again, but the third time I came to the second service. I was scared that people might ask me or judge me for being gone so many years. Yes…I was the prodigal son, the wayward soul, the younger sibling. I let my sin come between me and God (the Father). It didn’t feel like I needed to leave because I was comfortable there for such a long time. That is the biggest lie of them all. I am here to tell you it is a lie. Don’t listen! You have a God shaped hole in your heart that only He can fill… don’t get trapped in the nice jail that sin holds you captive in. It may look nice at certain times but in the long run it is a trap. You night think it is too late for you and that you can’t go back. I ran away from God for more than half my life…and no time is ever too late! Pray to God and believe in Jesus who died on the cross to save YOU! If you were the only one who ever messed up He still would have died to save you… yep that is how much he loves you and me! I came to know Jesus as my friend again. He is the best friend you can ever make… “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20.

It after all is your choice who you will follow. If you don’t decide to follow Jesus you still have chosen… not Him but to follow the devil and the king of lies. My prayer is that one day you will awaken like I did and realize that Jesus who loves you so much He died for you, even while you were still a sinner, wants you to stop listening to all the lies and follow Him!

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As water reflects the face,
    so one’s life reflects the heart. ~ Proverbs 27:19

Katy Perry’s Dark Horse, A Witch’s Brew at the 2014 Grammys

First time to reblog but I felt it was important enough that I should get this message out there…

Dark Horse: A Witch’s Brew

DARK HORSE: A WITCH’S BREW

Dark Horse: Someone or something whose abilities, plans, or feelings are little known to others.

Recently, music’s most popular award ceremony, the 56th annual Grammys, took place in Los Angeles, CA. With a staggering 28 million tuning in last Sunday, the Grammys not only distribute the music industries “most coveted” award, a gramophone statue, but are also host multiple musical performances by pop cultures biggest darlings.

While there are many morality questions to be brought up with the acts performed, one of which millions of viewers attentions were hijacked to make a political statement on marriage equality; the performance that should bring alarming attention to everyone was Katy Perry’s Dark Horse.

Katy Perry grew up Katy Hudson, to evangelical preachers Keith and Mary Hudson.Katy attempted to become a successful gospel recording artist, but she did not find the success she was looking for. When she made the switch from gospel to mainstream secular pop, her career took off without a hitch, her first hit single entitled “I Kissed a Girl” was on the Billboards Top 100 list in no time. Since that time Katy released two more albums, one of which became the first album in history recorded by a female artist to have five number-one hits, and second overall, right after Michael Jackson. Needless to say this artist has become one of the biggest musicians of our day. With her goliath status, she naturally commands attention.

Last year, Perry released her fourth album, of which her latest hit single, Dark Horse quickly rose to the top of the Billboard list. What was Perry going for when she penned this song?  What was the theme or inspiration? In an interview with MTV, Katy said her sounds were “urban, hip-hop flavored, with lyrics that are “witchy and dark,” and described the song having an “witchy, spell-y kind of black magic-y” idea to it.

“Black magic-y feel”? “Witchy lyrics?

In our latest documentary, Pseudology: The Art of Lying, we look extensively the subject of hypnosis. One of the hypnothearopist we interviewed, Joan Packard, made an interesting commentary. She said that often music is a perfect tool for inducing a hypnotic trance because of the rhythm and repetition. She goes onto say that, “rap music is the most dangerous to young people because of the lyric combined with very rhythmic beat.” In light of what Packard said, how does Dark Horse, a hip-hop style song with witch infused lyrics, play out to the masses? Are millions of young people (and old) ignorantly being inducted into witchcraft?

As the performance begins, Perry starts out inside a giant crystal ball. A voice booms over the audience “She casts a spell, from a crystal ball, invoking the spirits, she’ll put you in a trance.”, mind you these are not part of the original lyrics. As Katy starts singing four demonic looking entities rise to great stature behind her, all having large horned fixtures. She then exits the crystal ball as other stage dancer appear all dancing around Perry in almost a possessed state. By the last third of the performance, three very tall brooms have been placed in the circle, where the crystal ball once was, and Katy is dancing seductively around the middle broom (very symbolic of the three crosses on Golgotha). The performance ending with Perry clutching the middle broom and the perimeter of the circle is in flames. Sacrifice?

What was practiced is nothing new. In fact this is a ceremony that has been practiced over the centuries. There was ritual meeting, a ceremony of witches in Spain called Akelarre or Witches’ Sabbath. At this ritual, the witches would celebrate and worship a the black he-goat god Akelarre. Artists and historians make the claim that the black goat was the devil incarnate. Music, drug induced, and dancing chaotically around a circle were an integral part of the ceremony.

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Why is pop music’s darling performing her song in front of millions reacting a witch’s ceremony? Why should most us of care? Isn’t it just entertainment? Isn’t it just a performance created for shock value? However we want to justify what took place at the last Grammys, a witchcraft ceremony took place in a contemporary setting and 28 million people were active participants in this ritual. Was it a way to grant a blessing and open the audience’s mind to embrace and accept the later musical social-political statements? Whatever the case, bottom-line, pure evil.

“It is because he [Satan] has masked himself with consummate skill that the question is so widely asked: “Does such a being really exist?” It is an evidence of his success that theories giving the lie to the plainest testimony of the Scriptures are so generally received in the religious world. And it is because Satan can most readily control the minds of those who are unconscious of his influence, that the word of God gives us so many examples of his malignant work, unveiling before us his secret forces, and thus placing us on our guard against his assaults. Great Controversy pg. 517

Friends, we need to stop tip toeing around this subject of spiritualism and entertainment. It is not merely entertainment. As Christians we need to be at the forefront of educating people, loved ones, our own children, about the fire that is really being played with. If we are not at the forefront of educating our children, the music industry will gladly do it for you. I’m not proposing that we drown people in “Illuminati You Tube” videos or machine gun spraying Facebook timelines with “All Seeing Eye” gestures by Jay-Z, as a form of educating. We don’t need to sugar coat the matter, but the sledge hammer should be not the tool of choice. I am proposing we ask questions to engage people to think for themselves. I am proposing that we lead people to investigate these matters for themselves. I am proposing that the end goal should be to lead people to the feet of Jesus. By leading people to the feet of Jesus, desires and affections for this world will turn sour. By a connection to Christ and an investigation of Scripture, they will see for themselves the unmasking of the real Dark Horse and his agenda.

Remember, Jesus said “Be wise as serpents, harmless as doves” Matthew 10:16

Link to original blog post:

Katy Perry’s Dark Horse, A Witch’s Brew at the 2014 Grammys.

New Years Resolutions…

Doesn’t everyone end up with a list of what they hope to do in the New Year to come? I have never waited this long to come up with some but I felt these were very important… I REALLY liked this list that I have copied here; not that it is meant for being resolutions for just a year but for the life of a Christian:

1. Never neglect daily private prayer; and when you pray, remember that God is present and hears your prayers. Heb. 11:5.

2. Never neglect daily private Bible reading. All backsliding begins with the neglect of these two rules. John 5:39.

3. Never let a day pass without trying to do something for Jesus. Luke 5:13-15.

4. If you are in doubt as to a thing being right or wrong, go to your room and kneel down and ask God’s blessing upon it. Col. 3:17. If you cannot do this, it is wrong. Rom. 11:23.

5. Never take your Christianity from Christians. 2 Cor. 10:12. Ask yourself, “How would Christ act in my place?” and strive to follow him. John 10:27.

“Five Short Rules for Christians” by E. J. Waggoner written in 1889

Now to add to that list…

6. Memorize Scripture. Joshua 1:8. 2 Tim. 3:16. Deut. 11:18.

7. My life goal for 2014 is the same as my church motto… “To know Christ, and make Him known.”

8. Want to share the Good News more… which in my case means preaching more this year. Plus sharing Christ with anyone who comes into my life who is willing to hear… (divine appointments).

9. Get healthier by making better choices, working out when I can, and eating better.

10. I give myself permission that if I fail on one or more of these at some point this year to give myself FORGIVENESS and pick back up and continue onward…

I am actually happy with my list. I feel if I stick to it for even most of the year I will end up 2014 having a closer relationship with Jesus. I will have 365 days worth of doing little good things for others…(what a fun challenge). I hope to know more about the bible and memorize some new verses. I hope to be healthier at the end of this year spiritually and physically.

What are your New Years Resolutions? Anything different this year then in past years? I know that some of mine ended up being different then in previous years. Some more open ended which makes them easier to comply with and more able for me to complete them. Now I need to find my partner in encouragement, you might say to check up on me 2 or more times a week so we can encourage each other through out this year… any takers?

Love,

Your Sis in Christ ~ Carolyn

A Wrinkle in Time

Memories of things in my past are like pages of a well read book… I like to take down from the bookshelf every once in a while and reread over certain sections… I always think of Gatsby saying “Can’t re-live the past, why of course you can…” and that is what I allow myself to do. It took watching a kids movie today (went and watched Frozen with a friend) to realize that I don’t think I have ever known what true love is… But I think that this weekend I have seen true love from friends who care about me. I did something stupid. I was scared to come clean feeling that I might be judged for what I had let transpire. Instead I was given some great advice from people who are looking out for my best interests. Not one of them made me feel guilty but they helped lift me up. Helped me realize again that I deserve someone very special who loves God like I do and who will treat me with respect, with kindness, and someone who will love me for me. I actually do deserve that. I know one of the reasons why God led me back to church to give me such great friends in my life for such a time as this.

So I still take walks down memory lane. My memories and the people who came into my life have made me the person I am today. Sometimes I am not proud of the person who I was but here of late I have been okay with myself. I am changing a little each day. I know that with forgiveness (love the song by TobyMac) from God and giving myself forgiveness when I mess up… I am still traveling down the path I feel God has set out before me. I will take those wonderful friends who truly love me along with me on this journey. I know that this time of darkness is just a wrinkle in time… but I have such a support system in my life that I know I will make it through. I have faith. I have hope. I have love.

Who are you behind the mask?

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Women Connect: Beyond the Masquerade

     I went to this event tonight at a local church. Dr. Julianna Slattery spoke about the masks we as women wear that not only hide who we are or the things we deal with from other people but also keep up apart from God. It started way back in the beginning in the garden of Eden around Genesis 3:10 when Adam hid from God. Basically God went looking to spend time with the first man and women whom he had made and man because of sin was SO terrified of God that Adam hid! God was still merciful to Adam that in verse 21 he makes them clothes out of animal skins so Adam and Eve don’t have to continue to be naked to themselves or God… which now they can’t stand to be like that because of sin.

     Fast forward to Paul who once was Saul…He did all the right things as Saul even persecuting the early Christians… but changed perspective when He realized all those “accomplishments” were really a loss… that what he now saw as a gain or positive in his life was his RELATIONSHIP with Jesus Christ! Not one single other thing mattered… other then drawing others to Christ…but that comes after the personal relationship with Jesus. YOU have to take this step daily to come closer to Jesus. You have as much of God as you want to have… so if you feel like you are lacking something and want more of God…what are you prepared to do about it???

     Psalms 27:4 states “One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I might dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.”

     Let me ask you a question that she brought up… when people tell you Jesus loves you… does it feel like when people tell you that your mom or dad love you? Does it feel like if I were to say Brad Pitt loves you? Does it feel like if I were to say my friend Chris Seale loves you? (The last question probably has you saying who is Chris Seale?…) Honestly ask yourself those questions… because if it feels like me telling you Brad Pitt loves you… which to be honest is the question that fits my relationship best with God at this time… I don’t really know Brad Pitt personally but I know of him. I do not have a close relationship with Brad… he would NOT know me if I ran smack into him on the street… I would want God to say he knows me!

     To make matters worse we then hide behind masks… we don’t want others to see our flaws. We even forget to take off our masks around God (not like he doesn’t know the real me) but we aren’t being honest with ourselves if we can’t even be completely honest about who we are with the one person who knows everything about us… we also don’t have an actual relationship with Him either if we think we can keep up the masquerade around God. He wants us to tell him everything. He wants to help us. He wants us to know we are free… he already died for us to take the free gift of grace. All we do is accept it…

So my final thoughts after tonight are to reaffirm my daily commitment to grow closer in my relationship with God…

Will you join me?