I’m on the Road to Recovery

You know it occurred to me.  At the very onset of this blog I often catalogued where I was.  It was kind of in line with “Where’s Jim?”.   Kind of a Where in the World is Waldo sort of a thing.  It all started in Milwaukee one warm summer day not long ago…but I digress…

But today I am in Lake Forrest, CA.  Home of Saddleback Community Church.  I can tell you one thing.  Saddleback is not a community church by some definitions.  There is nobody that could walk to this church (you can hardly walk there from the parking lot).  In fact most get on a freeway to get here.  I have heard countless testimonies of people that drive 30 or more miles several times a week to attend this church.  We have a view of Saddleback from our hotel room.  It is just across the street, (well across the freeway actually) and we have a view of the campus from the window down at the end of the hallway.  I think I am gonna go take one more look at it right now.  I will be right back…I went and took a photo but I can’t upload it right now…oh here it is…

 Beautiful weather.  It was 79 yesterday.  I know that because I looked it up because it felt like 90 plus.  It must be the sun.  Hard to believe it was only 79 degrees with the sweat pouring down.  Palm trees, wide streets, mountains, blue skies.  Who would want to live out here?

Doc Flue, Nick Handler, Donna (my princess bride) and I were out here for a three day Celebrate Recovery Summit.  There were 3200 attendees from all 50 states and at least 13 countries from all over the world.  I met one man named Karl from Norway who was attending his second summit.  His goal is to bring Celebrate Recovery to all of Scandanavia.  That is quite a challenge, particularily from a language viewpoint as of now there is no material for them in their native language.  Kind of puts starting a ministry in Tecumseh into perspective. 

What is Celebrate Recovery?  Is is a Christ centered biblically based recovery ministry.  Why Celebrate Recovery?  Celebrate Recovery changes lives.  My tears flowed time and time again at the testimonies real people shared about how God had saved their lives, restored their marraige, healed their hurst and given them their lives back again and again.  Because there are over 18 million addicted to alcohol, 3.6 million addicted to drugs, 16 million with sexual addictions, 2 million with gambling addictions and 4 million people with food addictions.  This does not take into account that most likeley there is a least one co-dependent for each addict.  Additionally millions suffer from being either sexually, physically or emotionally abused, anger issues, obsessive compulsive disorders, depression and financial and relationship addictions.  Seems like a vast unmanagable problem.  But its not.  There is no limit to what God can do.  There is a Celebrate Recovery ministry in over 10,000 churches worldwide.  All this started with a meeting 16 years ago with 43 people.  The first Celebrate Recovery Summit in 2000 hosted about 70 people.  This past friday night the Celebrate Recovery BBQ team fed over 3000 people from all over the world either a Serenety Sausage, Denial Burger, Recovery Dog or a 12 Step Chicken. 

Truthfully, we are all in recovery.  We all have our heart wound.  We all have our hangups.  We are all creatures of habit.  We have all hurt someone and all have been hurt.  We all need healing.  Celebrate Recovery can help.  But you have to do the work.

Recovery is a true Celebration.  Try to imagine worshipping side by side with over 3000 people who God has healed from addictions, habits, oppression, fear and pain.  What an authentic real group of people.  Grateful to the one true higher power, our Lord Jesus Christ.   Worship is a key element to success of this ministry.  We had 9 different opportunities to worship our Lord God over the three days.  Tears ran from my eyes almost everytime we entered in to worship.  Now I know why they call the CR praise band “The Worlds Most Dangerous Celebrate Recovery Band”…

You will be seeing and hearing more about CR-Tecumseh.  Look for the information table at NewSong Sunday service soon.  Watch the bulletin and listen for announcements.  Listen to that still small voice of God to see if He is talking to you about Celebrate Recovery.  See you Sunday, if not sooner.  I must be off…

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