Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Experience and Obedience

At six o’clock on a Saturday morning, Chris told me that three people were registered to attend a Celebrate Recovery workshop in San Jose even though the church paid for four people. I recognized the name of the program but knew little about it and how it worked. My friend who is attending a local Celebrate Recovery program told me that it is like a Christ-centered “Alcoholics Anonymous” meeting. As Chris was preparing to leave the house, he mentioned the fourth open seat. I don’t know what came over me. I thought about the wasted money and I was also curious about the program. A minute after Chris left, I got out of the bed and drove to the church parking lot where they met for a carpool. I turned out to be the fourth person.

The founder of Celebrate Recovery introduced himself by saying, “My name is John. I am a believer in recovery from alcoholism” and his wife said, “I am Cheryl. I am a believer who is in recovery from co-dependence”. The couple shared their powerful stories. When John had acknowledged his alcohol addictions and gave it to God, then his recovery began. After he recovered from his addiction, he started Celebrate Recovery program 19 years ago as a member of his church. There were two things that stood out from the couple’s testimonies: first their experience and second their obedience. Because they had firsthand experience with alcoholism and its destructive ways, they established a ministry for people suffering in similar situations. Because of their obedience, God was able to use their ministry to change lives.

As I listened to different recovery testimonies, it so obvious that God uses our experience to serve Him. We have seen a need for a recovery program for our church. I see the pain that family members have to go through. I feel a fish out of water. We as a church pray for them. But that is not enough. God must call the right person into service. He or she would require both the first-hand recovery experience and obedience to the call.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Life is a vapor

Indeed, life is a vapor. In the past few days, one friend died suddenly with heart failure, and another friend got a notice that she has a cancer and she may not live more than a month. They both are pretty young (in their 60’s) and they were planning to do many things after their retirement. What a good reminder for me to live my life TODAY with the purpose. Each day is a gift and I need to use it to be counted.