Monday, August 16, 2010

To “SUMMIT” up!

We are sitting in John Wayne Airport in Orange County, CA, after spending 8 days in beautiful Southern California. Thirty-nine of us from Heartland Community Church in Rockford, IL, attended the Celebrate Recovery Summit at Saddleback Church the last half of this past week. What a great time of worship and learning how we can better react and help ourselves and others with hurts, hang-ups and habits!

Many of the 3000+ attendees at this conference have been transformed by the biblical principals modeled through Celebrate Recovery – a Christ-centered recovery program based on the Beatitudes that Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount in the book of Matthew. The bible says that those who have been FORGIVEN much LOVE much. We like to say, “And they worship and live accordingly!” Worshipping our Savior, Jesus Christ, with 3000+ grateful forgiven people, who are learning to trust God and let go of their past, was so incredibly authentic and real. One can’t effectively do that, unless they’ve learned to trust their one and only higher power, Jesus Christ. He, alone, can forgive and transform; take all the junk in our lives and allow us to start anew.

Many people hear “recovery” and think it is something that is only for “those people” and not for them. That is a belief that comes from what I believe is either lack of knowledge about what Celebrate Recovery is really about or denial that they have any issues – hurts, hang-ups or habits of their own. Either way, many people would be very surprised to learn that by REALLY APPLYING the principals of Celebrate Recovery to their lives, they can learn how to better react to the things that have caused them to be hurt in life, can seek forgiveness for the hurt they have caused others and can learn to live in the present and for the future – not in the past.

So let me ask you, “Have you ever been hurt by anyone in your life or have you ever hurt anyone else? Do things from your past still cause you to struggle with your relationships in the present? Do you find yourself feeling angry or bitter and always having issues with others?” If your answer to any of these questions is “yes”, then please allow me to say that you too could be a perfect candidate to attend Celebrate Recovery!

Oh yes, Celebrate Recovery is still for those who have had drug and alcohol addictions, but we find that those issues are largely caused by underlying hurts and hang-ups. So, instead of thinking you’ve got it all together, when you really don’t – consider that becoming one of “those people” could be the best thing you could ever do. After all, Rick Warren is a pretty smart man and I think he’s on to something when he said during the opening session, “There are two kinds of people in the world; those who know they need recovery and those who don’t!”

So, which kind are you? Do you know you need recovery from your issues or are you in denial that you even have any? Ask other people in your life. They may be able to enlighten you. Better yet, pray that God will enlighten you to anything in your life that He wants to change or heal. Many of “those people” have done just that and have applied the principles of Celebrate Recovery to their lives and renewed their minds, causing them to be transformed by the love and power of Jesus Christ.

Since there are no perfect people, I think a fair share of us have some issues. We can continue to deny them and/or let them rule our lives and ruin our relationships OR we can choose to let God heal us and help us to be free from our hurts, hang-ups and habits. Are you ready to stop letting your issues wreck your life…then “Here’s your sign”….it’s Celebrate Recovery!

Do you want to get well? Find a Celebrate Recovery near you by visiting the web page at