The Road to Recovery

We are so excited to announce that we are beginning a new Biblical Counseling and Christian Life Coaching ministry here at Elpis Christian Church using the tremendous resources of the Celebrate Recovery program, first developed in 1991 at Saddleback Church by Pastor Dr. Rick Warren and Pastor John Baker.

Who might benefit from being a participant in this program? That’s easy – anyone and everyone. Consider this:

“You may think recovery is only for drug addicts and alcoholics—people whose lives seem out of control. But that’s just not true. The Bible teaches that all of us have addictions in our lives. Sin is addicting, and the Bible says, “all have sinned.” Not one of us is perfect. We’ve all blown it; we’ve all made mistakes. We’ve hurt ourselves, we’ve hurt other people, and others have hurt us. Because of sin, each of us needs repentance and recovery in order to live the way God intended. That’s why, years ago, we at Saddleback developed a Biblical recovery program based on the Beatitudes of Jesus. We named the program Celebrate Recovery.

The goal of the Celebrate Recovery program is not simply to recover from past sins and hurts. The goal is to become Christlike in our character.”

He continues,

“So no matter what situation you find yourself in, here’s good news: regardless of whether your problem is emotional, financial, relational, spiritual, sexual or whatever, regardless of what you need help with, God wants to help you. In Isaiah 57:18–19 God says of his people that he has seen how they acted but he will heal them, he will lead them and help them and will comfort those who mourn. So God knows us. He knows where we came from, where we stand today, and where we’re going to be tomorrow. And he says:

If you’ve been hurt, “I want to heal you.”

If you’re confused, “I want to lead you.”

If you’ve ever felt you were helpless to change anything, “I want to help you.”

If you’ve ever felt no one understands your problem, “I want to comfort you.”

If you feel worried or afraid, “I want to offer peace to you.”

Zondervan,. NIV, Celebrate Recovery Study Bible . Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Stay tuned… we will soon offer all sorts of opportunities to begin an exciting journey to growth… as a follower of Jesus Christ, our ultimate “higher power.”

In the meantime, click on the Celebrate Recovery link above, where you will find a video link explaining more about the ministry.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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