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Jesus, You give us so much but many of us, including me, remain dissatisfied.  Please help us be content with Your blessings. Read www.onlywithJesus.com daily to understand what God wants for you in your life. Let the Bible open your eyes and soften your heart. Pray for yourself, your family and everyone you know and care about.

Be Satisfied with all you have been given.

1 Timothy 6

Let all who are under a yoke as bondservants regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled. Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved.

False Teachers and True Contentment

Teach and urge these things. If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

Fight the Good Fight of Faith

11 But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, 14 to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.

17 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

20 O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” 21 for by professing it some have swerved from the faith.

Grace be with you.


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Love God

 

 

Hitting Bottom

A Beautiful FlowerOn a bitterly cold day in January of 2007, I found myself stuck behind the wheel of my Toyota Corolla. I had gained so much weight that I couldn’t get out of the car without turning sideways and scooting. Although I found myself laughing at the ridiculous situation, I was disgusted and disappointed with myself. How could I be a minister of the Gospel and be so out of control that I couldn’t overcome the one issue that seemed to plague me daily?

I believed that there was nothing too difficult for the Lord. I had seen with my own eyes miracles, healings, deliverances and heard and had wonderful demonstrations of the Lord’s love and power. I knew that He could heal me of my weight affliction so how come I was still suffering? Since I knew that the Lord was able to deliver me, and wanted only good things for me, obviously I was the problem. I knew then that my life had become unmanageable and only the Lord could deliver me from me. In the car I once again took Step One and Step Two. I had been in treatment in college for bulimia and compulsive overeating and along with inpatient treatment had been involved in OA. After college I stopped attending OA because I became involved with a man who told me that he would leave me if I lost any more weight.

Surrender

I gave my heart to the Lord after this abusive live in boyfriend told me he could kill me, hide my body and nobody would ever find me. Knowing that there was more to life then an abusive relationship, a food addiction and misery, I committed my life to Christ and became a true Christian. It was during this time I returned to OA. Following the 12 steps and combining them with the power of prayer and daily submission I lost a great deal of weight and was walking in victory over my food addiction, anger, bitterness and co-dependency.

Sadly, an elder in my church insisted that I didn’t need a 12 step program to overcome my “issues” because I was delivered by the blood of Jesus and I didn’t need any group to cure me. I was young in my faith and easily influenced so I stopped attending my 12 step program and 12 years later found myself stuck behind the wheel of my car confessing I was powerless to stop this insanity. I knew then that I couldn’t manage my own life and that my faith must be really weak if I couldn’t trust Christ enough to let Him handle my food addiction.

I called out to the Lord and asked Him what He would have me to do to overcome this weight. I knew then that I needed to return to a 12 step program and within two weeks I found myself part of a small local OA group that was populated with Christians who acknowledged Jesus as the only Higher Power. For about a year I worked the program and lost about 30 pounds. I knew that eating was only the symptom of a deeper heart issue. But through OA I learned to submit and I learned accountability. Yet I knew something was missing. I knew there was more then white knuckle abstinence. My struggle came from a deep-rooted belief that the power of Christ was available to me for total healing, if only I could access it in relation to the 12 steps. Although I believed that the “Big Book” was full of good information and very helpful, I knew that the Bible really contained all I needed to find victory over my hurts, hang-ups and habits. I began to actually pray the 12 steps changing the words to Christ and adding various scriptures to assist me in my recovery.

I discussed my feelings with my sponsor and shared with her that although I loved and appreciated OA I felt like something in my recovery process was missing. She suggested I attend a Celebrate Recovery Meeting with her as CR focused on the truth of Christ as the solution for all our hurts, habits and hang-ups. She reminded me that Christ was the true source of my recovery and food was only a manifestation of the issues that kept me in bondage to my sin. There were deep rooted problems that I needed to be healed of.

Celebrate Recovery

Christian PerformerAfter attending my first CR meetings I discovered that it was exactly what I needed. In my previous recovery work I was focusing more on me – in CR the focus became Christ in me. As I worked the 12 steps in the context of the 8 principles I realized that my issues were really centered in my broken heart, it wasn’t really about what I was putting in my mouth.

At CR I discovered I had issues with anger, bitterness, resentment and co-dependency. These issues stemmed from a sexual assault, being promiscuous as a teenager, my low self-esteem and my intense fears of being alone and being a failure. My family history of alcoholism had manifested itself as an addiction to food since as a young child I vowed to not to be an alcoholic like many of my other family members. Through CR I realized that I had a judgmental attitude and that I was suffering from the same affliction as my family members who were alcoholics, I was just playing my issues out through food. Regardless of the addiction I came to understand that I was killing myself because I didn’t realize how loved I was by Christ. I didn’t feel worthy of His love, I felt dirty but in working the steps I realized that Christ loved me more then I could even imagine and He wanted me to be free of this addiction, of the fear, pain and bitterness.

My sponsor and I worked the steps, and I saw tremendous growth in my prayer life, my spiritual development and in my ability to submit to the Lord daily and walk in my deliverance. Although I had taken Steps 3 through 6 in OA, working those steps in Celebrate Recovery brought a tremendous amount of freedom in the fact that I wasn’t in control of my life. All I could do was choose to submit my life to the will of Christ, all I could do was choose blessing or cursing, the choice was mine.

Working Steps 4 through 9, I experienced self forgiveness, boldness to share with my sponsor my inventory – what I like to call the ugly side of me and then to begin to make amends as the Lord directed. The Lord impressed on me the importance of forgiving and even allowed me to speak with someone who I previously felt had wronged me greatly, but realized that I was just as responsible for the problem and for his pain. The Lord peeled me like an onion, as I worked the steps leading me, blessing me with humility, even stopping me when my apology would bring undue pain. I continued to work with my sponsor in both CR and OA until she felt led to do some other ministry work and I partnered with a wonderful women in CR who serves as my CR accountability partner.

After participating in two local Celebrate Recovery Groups in my area, for over a year, I had lost 60 pounds and was actually working steps 10 and 11. In my prayer times I had been praying the Lord reveal to me His will for my life. Imagine my amazement when that day He led me to the scripture in 1 Thessalonians 5 verse 16 –19 that stated that God’s will for my life was to be prayerful, joyful and thankful! And I am able to do that when I daily surrender and submit to the Lord, when I focus on Him and let His will dominate my life.

Christian recording Artist

Jesus LovesBecause I tour so much as a Christian Recording Artist it is often difficult to be of service in a local meeting, so I trusted the Lord to direct me as to how I might be of service to Celebrate Recovery. An artist I knew was presenting a concert at our local CR meeting where she shared her experiences of growing up as a child of alcoholic parents. At the time I was writing new music based on many of the lessons I was learning as I worked the steps through my recovery process. After the concert I truly felt led by the Lord to do something similar, as a member of Celebrate Recovery, as one who participates in the program and knows the power of Christ is the ultimate answer to recovery I knew I had something to share. I began to contact CR groups and share my musical testimony and the lessons I’ve learned over the last two years since I’ve been in recovery. This is how I work step 12.

Since I’ve begun attending Celebrate Recovery I have been tremendously blessed. It would be a lie to say that I always surrender, that I always keep Christ the center of my attention and that I work the steps daily. Sometimes I fall, sometimes I get it all wrong, I’ve even had a relapse this summer when I allowed certain situations that resulted in new hurts dominate my life and reverting back to old habits and hang ups.

But what I love about CR is that it models the love of Christ. Arms are always open when your heart is repentant and you are loved even when you are a mess. I know that all I have to do is live one day at a time that I can start fresh with a true repentant heart and the Lord will walk me through this process when I surrender to Him. Currently I am in the middle of a major move and will be attending the local CR in my new community once I’ve moved there. I still have my CR accountability partner, a 12 step sponsor, and will once again be working with my original sponsor who introduced me to Celebrate Recovery until I am settled in my new home and linked with a new local CR sponsor.

Dr. Naima Johnston Bush
Christian Recording Artist, Author, Minister, Educator
Celebrate Recovery Testimony
Download a FREE Naima Music MP3 – Visit: www.nosietrade.com/Naima
Visit Naima’s Website at: www.ministryofnaima.com

 

Mike D. Testimony

Hi, I’m Mike. I was born in Miami, Fla. 4-17-1958. I was one of 6 children. My mom and dad were both previously married. My mom had 2 girls and 1 boy, Kathy, Caroline and Danny.

I was still young and didn’t know them that well. Danny was murdered, stabbed to death. I was a young boy at the time. My dad had one boy and one girl. They are my brother and sister, Vic and Fran.

I was raised in one of those Catholic homes where you didn’t eat meat on Good Friday, and a lot of “Oh God Help me”, but never went to church.

We moved to Hollywood Fla., and that’s where I grew up. My mom and dad always fought and yelled at each other, but I didn’t think anything of it, because I thought that was life.

I was one of those late bloomers. All my friends smoked pot, I used to steal it from them, then give it to the older kids. I was around 16 before I started smoking, but I didn’t like it. It made me tired and hungry.

When I was 17 I started selling cocaine, my friends I grew up with, parents. When I was 18, I made my first boat trip to smuggle drugs into Florida. The first trip was to Bimini. I did this for two years, until I was 20. I almost got caught.

God Answers PrayerI used to pray before each trip “God Please get me home with no DEA visitors” I stopped running boats and started using my brand new Z28 Camaro to distribute cocaine. I used to make trips to Pompano two times a week. Most of the time it was little amounts, like 2 kilos.


One night I had time to kill, so I picked up my girlfriend, at that time she was 16. We went to Ft. Lauderdale beach and parked, did some cocaine and the next thing I knew, Cops were all around my car and guns aimed at us. They took me in, I had two kilos of cocaine in the trunk. They wanted to know where it came from. I told them I found it on the street and was going to sell it for $500.00.

They didn’t believe me and told me I was facing 30 years mandatory. I was sent to Pompano Detention center for a visit with the judge. I knew if I said where I got it I would be killed so I sucked it up.

I walked into the jail and this big black guy came up to me and put his arm around me. I said I didn’t want no problems. He said “Don’t worry, youre being taken care of”. I looked up and said Thank You God, and never realized that God had plans for me. I got out of jail in 5 days when I was facing 30 years.

I stayed low for a while then I started dealing again. That’s how I met my wife, Lisa. She was one of my customers. Again God was working in my life. We got married May 10, 1986 and she’s never done drugs since. Later that year we had our first son, Michael. We were both clean and have been drug free for 28 years.

I had to get a real job, it wasn’t easy. I went from making $80.000.00 a month to $350.00 a week, but we made it. Again, God was with me.

About a year later, we found out my mom had a lump in her breast and had it for about 11 years. She called Lisa and I one morning to take her to the hospital.. She felt like she was burning inside. We took her in and found out she had later stages of breast cancer. They did surgery, and when they opened her the cancer was down her ribs and into her pelvis,

I blamed it on my Dad because of his gambling and trying to impress people all the time, he said he didn’t have the money to send my mom to the doctor. I had a lot of anger with him because I was never really able to forgive him. My mom died in 1989. I held that anger in me for a long time and took that anger out on other people.

My first son Michael started getting into drugs at age 12. He was able to hide it and we were in denial about it. I also have a daughter, Jennifer and son Christopher. My daughter doesn’t talk to me because I have changed. God, love and family is all I talk about, and she doesn’t like it. Hopefully God will touch her one day. My two boys are my life, They’ve made me proud of them for who they are. They are developing into good men.

I have 6 grandchildren, 2 boys and 4 girls. Two boys and one girl I don’t see. These are Jennifer’s children. The 3 girls I see all the time are my son’s children. They are Kiersten, Kalee and Adrianna,

The Wonderful CrossMy wife Lisa’s dad is the one that started talking to me about God. He was a minister and he made sense.

15 years ago, I dedicated my life to God and was reborn. Since then my dad died. I made my amends with him and when he was dying I told him how much I loved him and how much God Loves him.

I try now to do the right things in my life and with my family. Im not that perfect person I would like to be, but I try. Im involved in our Church as much as I can. I do Habitat for Humanity, Im in a 12 step program, so I can become a leader at Celebrate Recovery and I am the chef for the CR dinners. I never knew how much love God can put in life.

I’m just one of Gods creatures He never gave up on. Thank You, Im Mike and I love God.

Dom Leading WorshipMy name is Dom and this is how Jesus saved my life. I started the Christian Recovery Resource Ministry page on October 16th, 2012 with an official release date of November 6th, 2012. God is great all the time!

Addiction

Having grown up with an addictive personality, starting smoke pot daily in 1978 and taking whatever drugs came my way the next 25 years, God did not have a large presence in my life. In 2003, I became addicted to crack cocaine. Being blessed with the ability to hold two high paying demanding jobs concurrently but cursed with the struggle of addiction, my life was spiraling downward. There were so many days when I cried out for help and couldn’t hear answers.

One miraculous day, I heard God’s hope and prayed for a solution. He was working in me. I surrendered to His will and admitted myself into rehab for forty days. The last time I smoked crack was January 9th, 2007 .

Only With Prayer

Through prayer, God’s guidance and a will to be the man God needed me to be, my life changed. I started attending Celebrate Recovery and NA meetings on a regular basis. I attended a Celebrate Recovery 12 step study in which God showed me the root of my issues and gave me strength. The spiritual malady, the gaping hole in me that I tried to fill with drugs and sin, was now filled with Jesus.

I never thought that changes like this could happen to me. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I could be helped. Now, the recovery from my past, helps me to encourage and inspire those who walk in the shoes I have discarded.

Praising GodNothing is Impossible with Jesus

There is nothing that God cannot do for me, in me, and through me. Thank you Lord Jesus for all you have done. Blessing me by shining Your light of love through me so that I can help others. God continues to work in me and my blessings abound on a daily basis.

I hope this short testimony can help those of you out there with no hope. I had no hope and Jesus conquered the fears, doubts and lies. I realize that nothing is impossible with God. Being a drug addict defined me, but now being a believer in Christ defines me. Thank You Jesus.

I continue to grow in Him everyday.  I lead Worship at two Churches and am part of a Worship Team at another Church.  I play the guitar, sing praises and write music to glorify Him.  Life is great, thanks to Jesus.

Please feel free to contact me with a private message here on my ministry page or an email, dom@christianrecoveryresource.com if you have any questions or would like to speak to me.
God Bless

Tanya's Story

My name is Tanya

I am 39. I am a single mom to a great 18 year old son. Looking at me today you would never know that just a year ago, I walked in darkness, wishing to die everyday. My life, not a pretty one, as a baby I was abused, burned by cigarettes, bones broken. I was physically, mentally and emotionally abused. Then as if it couldn’t get worse I was sexually abused and raped till I was 15. I remember one day my grandma telling me of Jesus, I did not know him, I was only five, but from that moment on I believed in him. We did not go to church often, usually just for show, but one day they sang in Sunday school, “Hes got the whole world in his hands”.

In my heart I felt Jesus

I was years away from giving him my pain, my past, excepting his forgiveness but, I knew he loved me. I buried things for many years, I was alive but not living, I was dead inside. About a year ago it all came back to me as my grandma decided I needed to know things, things I did not even remember, things I prayed to forget,I became depressed, cut myself daily, I starved myself, I tried to over dose, I wanted to die. I listened to every word the enemy told me, I was worthless, I was disgusting, unloved and that I could not be saved. I had been hated since birth and would be till death. But, just as I was to let go, this time for good, I felt that same love in my heart as when I was in church at 5 and they sang that song. At my very bottom, when all others told me I was beyond help, Jesus found me. At the bottom of the pills he found me, and though the doctors say they have no explanation how I survived, I do. Jesus. Nothing is impossible for him.

Nobody is beyond his saving love.

I have never lived and in his name but now I do, since giving him everything. I am new. My old life is gone. And even though I have many lasting health issues, I know who is my healer. I continue to amaze doctors as what they say will never heal does, and even the stuff that doesn’t, I know I am okay, because my Jesus walks with me in light and I have no more fear, forever thankful for his amazing grace.

sparkle and shine 🙂

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