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    Saturday
    Jan312009

    2009 WAVE IS BUILDING


    Mary & I just returned from a week with the National Celebrate Recovery TEAM, CR Regional Directors, and CR founders, John & Cheryl Baker, where we were challenged, encouraged, and inspired. We know that as we look to our Higher Power, the one and only true Higher Power, Jesus Christ, He will lead us into making this the best year for CR ever!

    In Isa. 41:10 God's word says, "Do not fear for I am with you. Do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous, victorious right hand."

    Since God has already claimed the victory, and we are His, we believe Celebrate Recovery will reach more people for Jesus than ever before. That means more work for all of us. So wake up every morning with the expectation of seeing another changed life through CR, remembering that He gave us the privilege to be His ambassadors.

    We are very excited the blogs have been activated, as of this week, to be able to receive your comments and respond to relevant questions that can help promote your CR. This is another positive step in growing your CR ministry. We are looking forward to your comments. If you have submitted a question in the past and didn't hear back from us, please resubmit now. Thanks so much for your patience as we continue to grow this ministry to bring hope and healing to others.

    Your National TEAM and Directors are more excited than ever about the 2009 WAVE!

    If you are registered on Facebook, please join us on the Celebrate Recovery page!

    Mac

    Tuesday
    Jan202009

    Taking a Break to Have Fun

    As I was starting my latest entry, I was reminded by Mary (my #1 accomplice in recovery) that I needed to share about our New Year’s Eve CR Party. But first I want to remind you of the previous posts, where we are in a Countdown of the Top Ten Ways to be the Best “A” Coach.

    10. Attend a CR One-Day Seminar
    9. Fellowship Outreach Events
    8. Helping the Newcomer Feel Welcome
    7. On-going Spot in the Church Bulletin
    6. Advertising or Spreading the Word

    I love hearing how you are implementing these in your own CR’s and we’ll get back to the list next week. Today, I will share how our CR brought in the New Year. To do that, you have to first get a mental picture. Picture a skating rink and then add a couple hundred recovering addicts who think they still remember how to skate. Whoa is right! I’ve never seen the bottom of so many skates in all my life. The good thing is that every one made it out alive without too many injuries. CR rented the rink and invited the rest of the church to join us. It was great to see so many introduced to recovery in such a fun way. Newcomers have been showing up every week since the party.

    Afterwards, 150 of us traveled to Cheniere Lake (pronounced Shinney) for a bonfire and fireworks. You would call it a swamp with Spanish moss hanging from the trees while also the home of alligators, cotton mouths, & snapping turtles. The temperature was somewhere in the mid-30’s so the fire was welcomed.

    And then the finale…a young man that had been coming to group said he wanted to go public with his relationship with Jesus and be baptized at midnight to begin his new life in the new year.
    Warming my body by the fire, I suggested we talk about it in the morning or go to the baptistery in the church building where it was warm. His response was “Why, you scared?” There was no way we were leaving without taking care of his desire to be baptized into Jesus.

    Gal 3:27 says, “And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.” NLT I didn’t have an extra set of clothes! When we came out of the water our clothes were smoking! BTW, that picture wasn’t touched up. Is that strange looking or what??!!

    WOW, what a night and I have learned to listen more to Mary. It was her idea to have a skating party as at first I thought it a bit silly. But everyone is in agreement, it will be a yearly event.

    May God bless you in your ministry while showing others recovery, not only brings hope and salvation, but comes with a lot of fun too! I look forward to hearing how you are getting the word out and having fun.

    Mac

    Monday
    Jan122009

    #6 Spreading the Word - Part 2

    Last time we were talking about this I told you about two amazing churches that get the word out through their local news stations. I hope you were able to check out their links and brainstorm how your group could do the same. If this is the first time to read my blog, look back two posts and see where you can access these two exciting links.

    Mary and I, along with Jim and Paula Kirchner, were very excited to be a part of Green Acres Baptist Celebrate Recovery 4th Anniversary Celebration. We saw first-hand what a mighty work God is doing in East Texas. Their group meets on Monday night which some might say, “That’s not a good night for CR." But wait, did I mention it was raining and cold enough to have a chance of freezing rain? So you might think attendance was down. ARE YOU KIDDING?! There were almost 300 in attendance that night! Thanks to Marty, Carri, and the crew at Green Acres, they are working hard and getting the word out!

    Marty said their average attendance is about 180. So they had a few visitors that night, many of which were 1st timers. Of course, their growth is attributed to our Father. And because they know God said He would work through them, they are working hard as well getting the word out about this life changing ministry.

    At Green Acres they take to heart the verse found in 2 Corinthians 5:19b-20,
    “God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We're Christ's representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God's work of making things right between them. We're speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he's already a friend with you.” The Message

    So now that God has given us this privilege of speaking on His behalf, how are we going to get the word out? Remember we have to think about all the resources that are available to us. One of our CR leaders, John G., has a lawn care service. He takes care of a radio station’s property, so he trades out his time for advertising spots and donates them to CR. We ask different small group leaders to give a 30 second testimony about where they’ve been, what happened, and where they’re at now.

    I want to hear how you're getting the word out. Email me at mowen@wfrchurch.org

    Mac

    Tuesday
    Dec302008

    Are You Ready?

    As Mary & I reflected over 2008 and think of all the lives that have been impacted by your hard work, these are the thoughts we adapted from Ephesians 3, The Message.

    This is our life work: helping people understand and respond to the Good News. It came as a sheer gift to us, a real surprise, God handling all the details. So here we are, telling things that are way over our heads, the inexhaustible riches and generosity of Christ.

    Our task is to bring out in the open and make plain what God, who created all this in the first place, has been doing in secret and behind the scenes all along for 2000 years. Then Jesus came, He died, He arose, He ascended, and now He's coming back! Through followers of Jesus like yourselves gathered in churches, this extraordinary plan of God is becoming known and talked about even among the angels!

    Mary & I get down on our knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. We ask him to strengthen all our CR family by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in us as we open the door and invite him in everyday of our lives.

    With our feet planted firmly on love, we'll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. We will reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God in 2009.

    God can do anything, you know—far more than you can ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!

    The CR wave is building!
    Hang on for the ride of your life!

    Glory to God in the church!
    Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
    Glory down all the generations!
    Glory through all 2009!

    Peace for the New Year,

    Mac & Mary

    Thursday
    Dec182008

    #6 Advertising - Spreading the Word

    This can be the million dollar question, “Do we advertise or not?” Coming from a secular recovery past I was taught that recovery should be about attraction not promotion. So I wrestled with how to let people know that there was an alternative method of recovery---that is faith-based rather than secular.

    Our TEAM decided that what we had was too vital not to let people know. I will tell you exactly how we spread the word about Celebrate Recovery next time we are together.

    Today, I want to share with you one of the ways my good friend, Marty Kennedy, and his TEAM down in Tyler, Texas at Green Acres Baptist Church spread the word.

    KLTV 7 News Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville Power of Prayer

    Now you can’t beat advertising like that! And the best part, it was free! And it gets better. This aired on a Sunday night. Then on Monday when CR meets at Green Acres, a woman and her husband showed up with the following story.

    “My husband and I were on the verge of divorce when we had another blow up. I decided not to talk to him because I was through with him! He’s been to so many secular 12 step groups and kept dropping out because they just didn’t work. Actually he was so confident in himself that he was convinced he didnt need help to recover.”

    (Here at home, when we don’t see someone for a while, we assume they “got well”.)

    Anyway, since she had decided not to speak to him she certainly didn’t want to watch TV with him either. So the whole weekend she was alone in her own thoughts.

    (I know for me being alone in my own mind is still not a good neighborhood!)

    Sunday night the wind began to blow really hard so her husband, who had been watching a foot ball game, went outside to see what was blowing in. After he walked out, she came in the room and changed the channel and guess what was on TV? You guessed it---the video on CR in Tyler!

    In the meantime, her husband was outside and saw what appeared to be someone dressed in white standing on their porch. She called to her husband to come back in and check out what was on. As he watched the interview, he turned to her and said “Now that’s what I’m looking for!” After explaining to her what he just experienced on the porch, he believed it was a sign from God!

    This is the second time I have seen an interview about CR on a local news channel and both times were powerful. Sam and his wife, Sherri, with Covenant Church in Dallas also had a great interview!

    http://www.wfaa.com/video/index.html?nvid=227507

    So share one of these interviews with your local TV station. And who knows---maybe you'll be the next CR in the news!

    Peace,

    Mac

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