A Letter from a Former Heroin Addict

rachel

When I was a young girl, I dreamt of being a ballerina and a scientist. But by my teenage years, those dreams were gone and thoughts of insecurities daily controlled my mind about exercise, losing weight, and my outward appearance even though I was perfectly healthy. Pressure and heartbreak caused my insecurities to grow rampant. In the midst of depression I used drugs and alcohol to help the pain. I fell in love with the feeling of shooting up heroin.

I devoted all of my money to drugs. My thoughts were consumed with getting high. I hated spending all of my money on drugs and I hated the track marks on my arms and body, but the pain was unbearable when I was sober. I thought I was choosing drugs to help me, but in reality I was enslaved to the lifestyle of addiction. I truly thought I could never be free from the noise in my mind and from the drugs that I needed. One day in my bedroom I asked God, “Please if you are real, fix me.”

It was very soon after this that my simple prayer for help was answered and I went to a Christian recovery program called Teen Challenge. I asked Jesus to come into my heart and to help me to live for Him. Since then He has set me free from addiction and from the anorexic tendencies that I once had. I have not done drugs for 3 years and I have peace in my mind and joy each morning. I hope my story helps you to see that the same thing can happen for you.

I want to encourage anyone who is trapped in addiction or insecurities that there is HOPE. You can be completely free. The truth is that God loves you no matter what you are going through and there is nothing, no addiction, no circumstance, no hurt- that is too much for Him to handle.

With love,

Rachel

(To hear more stories like this one check out the With Love Movement website)

Healing Testimony – Back healed! — Lakebottom Park

This past Sunday morning I was walking at this park I began taking to this man named James. After talking for a while I felt like God told me to ask if he had problems with his back. We prayed and God took all the pain away completely. After this video was shot we prayed for some other things and he began to cry. He looked at me with shock and said, “I never cry”. He then told me he just felt so overcome by gratitude for Gods love. He said he had never cried in front of anyone ever before but that today he couldn’t help it. God was showing James how amazing His love is!!!

16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:16

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved… they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” MARK 16 – Jesus speaking to His disciples. 

Beliefs of Remarkably Productive People

This is an amazing guest post from a pastor from Columbus, GA that I have so much respect and honor for. I know that this post will be a huge blessing for you! 

2 Peter 1:5 – 8  (NIV) For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

shutterstock_134044358Remarkable productive people, regardless of industry or profession, all share similar perspectives and beliefs.  Successful people act on beliefs that fuel success:  It is a fallacy for the Christian to take the equation of his diligence in the use of their time and energy out of the formula for victorious living.  Our desire for success should not interfere with a Christian’s faith.  Our faith should be married to our desire to be a blessing to the Kingdom of God.  God desires for us to be prosperous so that we can be a blessing to His Kingdom.  Far too many Christians live with a poverty mentality by their actions.  It is easy to call it faith and then settle for less than God intended for us.  Our faith should empower us to seek to be successful!  Know that success is a badge of honor to be offered to God.  It does little to speak of God’s grace in my life when I am broke, don’t tithe, can’t seem to pay bills or provide for the family or support those who serve on mission fields.  God’s grace should propel us to success that we can bless the Kingdom of God.  It is by the grace of God that we are able to succeed in life.  We give our best, but realize without God’s grace in our life it all is in vain and selfish gain.  Success for the Child of God is defined in grace.  Grace is the power to become all you can be and do all that you can do.  Grace is the fertile soil for success.  Grace should never be an excuse for failure or lack of provision for God’s purposes.

 

1. Time doesn’t fill me. I fill time.

Deadlines and time frames establish parameters, but typically not in a good way.  The average person who is given two weeks to complete a task will instinctively adjust his effort so it actually takes two weeks.  Forget deadlines, at least as a way to manage your activity.  Tasks should only take as long as they need to take.  Do everything as quickly and effectively as you can.  Then use your “free” time to get other things done just as quickly and effectively.

Average people allow time to impose its will on them; remarkable people impose their will on their time.  Control the events of your life or time will control your life.  When you bring your highest priorities into agreement with the events of your life you will find a great amount of peace in your life.

2. The people around me are the people I chose.

Some people will drive you nuts. Some of your own family can be obnoxious. Some of your friends are selfish, all-about-me jerks.  Be honest enough to recognize people for who they are.  We chose the people we spend our time with for the most part.  If there are people around you that make you unhappy it’s not their fault. It’s your fault.  You drew them to you–and you let them remain.  You do not have to offend people or cast them aside, just don’t give your time and attention to people who drain you and restrain you.

Think about the type of people you want to associate with. Think about the individuals who inspire you.  Think about people you desire to serve. Think about the friends you want to have.  Don’t let friends pick you, you pick your friends who share your time and activity.  Ask God for wisdom to change you so you can attract successful people. Hardworking people want to work with hardworking people. Kind people like to associate with kind people. Successful people are naturally drawn to successful people.

3. I have never paid my dues.

Dues aren’t paid, past tense. Dues get paid, each and every day. The only real measure of your value is the tangible contribution that God produces through you on a daily basis.  You have not prayed enough in the past, studied enough previously, or served enough before now.  No matter what God has done through you or what He accomplished with you in the past, you’re never too good to roll up your sleeves, get dirty and do the grunt work.  No job is ever too menial, no task ever too unskilled or boring.  Remarkably successful people never feel entitled–except to the fruits of their labor.  What we do is insignificant in comparison to what God does to make it acceptable and successful.  God just allows us to participate with Him in what He is doing.  When we give our time and effort to what God desires done, then our efforts have merit.  Never  boast of your time spent for activity if it does not bear God’s blessings of success upon it.

4. Experience is irrelevant. Accomplishments are everything.

You may have “20 years in the ministry.” Whoopee. It does not matter how long you’ve been doing what you do. Years of service indicate little to nothing; what does matter is our effectiveness in the ministry God has placed at our hands.  It matters little where you have been; how many struggles you’ve faced, how many heartaches you have suffered, … all that matters is if the grace of God has been able to use you for His glory.

Successful people don’t need to describe themselves using hyperbolic adjectives like passionate, innovative, driven, etc. They can just describe, hopefully in a humble way, what they’ve seen the hand of God do.  Success will be celebrated by those who appreciate you.

5. Failure is something I accomplish; it doesn’t just happen to me.

Ask people why they have been successful. Their answers will be filled with personal pronouns: I, me, and the sometimes too occasional we.

Ask them why they failed. Most will revert to childhood and instinctively distance themselves, like the kid who says, “My toy got broken…” instead of, “I broke my toy.”

They’ll say the economy tanked. They’ll say the market wasn’t ready. They’ll say their suppliers couldn’t keep up.  They’ll say it was the system, someone or something else.  And by distancing themselves, they don’t learn from their failures.  Occasionally something completely outside your control will cause you to fail.  Most of the time, it is we who have failed. And that’s okay. Every successful person has failed. Numerous times! Most of them have failed a lot more often than you. Often times God has to humble us through failure before we learn that it truly is His work and not ours.

Embrace every failure: Own it, learn from it, and take full responsibility for making sure that next time, things will turn out differently.  Pray more, plan more, strategize more, learn more from successful individuals.

6. Volunteers always win.

Whenever you raise your hand you wind up being asked to do more.

That’s great. Doing more is an opportunity: to learn, to impress, to gain skills, to build new relationships–to do something more than you would otherwise been able to do.

Success is based on action. The more you volunteer, the more you get to serve.  Successful people give of themselves.  They give to good causes, they give of their time and energy to good purposes.  Successful people step forward to create opportunities, they face challenges and discover solutions.  Remarkably successful people sprint forward with a spirit of faith.

7. If I am paid I will serve.

When you are driven by monetary motivation alone you are an island to yourself.  Do what God has called you to do and do it with excellence, knowing that the only true value is what God puts into the equation.   Going the extra mile is the norm for the Child of God.  Serving is our nature because Christ set the example.  Find what you enjoy doing most and give your best to make it successful.  Be willing to do more than is required and you will build a reputation that will be honorable.

8. Only the people who pay me have the right to tell me what to do.

Get over your cocky, pretentious, I-must-be-free-to-express-my-individuality self.   You may be that way on your own private time.  Servant-hood is a way of life, it is accepting your role of serving others with pleasure and gratitude.  People who pay you earn the right to dictate what you do and how you do it–sometimes down to the last detail.  When you give beyond what is expected it builds character.

9. The extra mile is a vast, unpopulated wasteland.

Most everyone will say they go the extra mile. Almost no one actually does. The extra mile is such a lonely place.  What you do when no one is looking will speak louder than everything else that you do.  The extra mile is a place filled with opportunities.  Be early. Stay late. Make the extra phone call. Send the extra email. Do the extra research.  Don’t wait to be asked; offer.  Show diligence.  Accept the fact that you different, because God has redeemed you and given you a heart to serve others.  Your serving is an expression of your devotion to God.  Jesus set the benchmark, therefore strive for excellence.

 

Larry Biggers, Sr. Pastor

Northside Worship Center