Category Archives: Freedom

Freedom to Party

A group of non-judgmental, supportive, nice people meet every Thursday evening at Shoreline North to get free from hurts, habits and hang-ups. This weekly meeting has recently become so effective and popular that more “chips” are being handed out at this gathering at Shoreline than at a casino in Las Vegas.

What happens at this meeting stays at this meeting – with Pastor Rob’s blessing – for good reason. It’s like a party for people who want to walk in freedom. Curious?

At 7 p.m., in the chapel on the first floor of Shoreline (to the right down the hall when you walk in the front doors) people of all backgrounds, ethnicities and life situations – Christian and future Christian alike – gather in a relaxed environment, remove their proverbial “mask” of superficial, social appearances and experience a freedom to be themselves. No matter the hurt, habit or hang-up, each person is accepted, loved and respected for being on a journey of personal growth.

It doesn’t matter how small or seemingly insignificant the “hurt” is. An emotional hurt from something that was said to you ten years ago qualifies you to attend this friendly, eye-opening meeting. Or you could be going through a divorce or a broken relationship. Maybe you have been abused. The Holy Spirit wants you to be healed from the inside out.

The “habit” can be as basic as anger or perfectionism or working too much or craving control of situations. Maybe you have trouble letting go to let God do His work in your life or you feel stuck.

Or you have hang-ups. You have difficulty forgiving someone. You have fear and worries dogging you constantly. You cannot stop eating too much or drinking too much. You cannot stop numbing yourself to forget your troubles. Listen, there is no shame in Christ. As the Bible says, God truly wants you to live in freedom, not only from the big “sins” in the world’s eyes but also from anything that holds you back from experiencing His joy, peace, love and confidence.

You would benefit from this Thursday evening gathering with the casino-like chips. The secret is out. This small group meeting is called Celebrate Recovery. And it’s for everyone.

Just because the person sitting next to you at the Thursday evening meet-up on the church’s north campus may be struggling with alcohol, drugs or sex addiction — and you’re not — doesn’t make your recovery from codependency, anger, control issues, unforgiveness, low self-esteem, escapism, fear, anxiety, over-eating, denial or past hurt any less important to God. And if you are struggling with alcohol, drugs or pornography, there is no better place than Celebrate Recovery to get the help you need – without being judged by anyone. God loves you!

The good news is that the stigma of “recovery” has been eliminated. Everyone needs to recover from something. Come hang out with a bunch of normal people who are honest with heartfelt prayers and sincere smiles, people who are discovering the freedom that Jesus Christ paid for at the cross. Come find out what the “chips” are all about.

All are welcome to attend Celebrate Recovery at Shoreline. Click the following link for more information.

I Am Willing To Be Made Willing

We are powerless to fix ourselves. Step one in the freedom journey is “I can’t.” We cannot make it to freedom on our own. Step two is “God can.” God has the power to make you free.

There are some things you need to know about God in order for you to turn to him for help.

God knows all about me and my issues – God is not shocked, or surprised or disappointed over the circumstances of your life. He knows it all and he looks on you with compassion.

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. Psalm 56:8

God cares about me and my issues – The question of suffering has baffled people in every generation. But the truth is we live in a fallen world, we make mistakes and we face an adversary. No matter how you got in the situation you are in – God cares!

The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust. Psalm 103:13-14

God can change me and heal my issues – God is FOR YOU! (Ephesians 1:19) Jesus came to set the captives free! (Luke 4:18) He brought life and healing!

 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. Romans 8:11

Maybe you feel like your situation is hopeless. You wonder if you have the strength to change or even the “want to”. God has you covered. He is more than willing to make you willing if you would just be willing to be made willing.

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Philippians 2:13

Tell God that you are willing to be made willing. It may sound like a small step but it is a decision that will change the course of your life.

I am willing to be made willing.

Live in Freedom

God wants every person to live in freedom.  Our heavenly Father always intended to have you live free from hurts, habits and hang-ups.  Coming to grips with your issues and challenges is the first step.  Honesty is the key to living a life of freedom.

We all have issues.  We have to recognize that we have a problem before we can fix the problem.  That takes courage and honesty.

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.” – Romans 7:15-17

Why do we do the things we shouldn’t?  The simple answer is that we want to play God.

Inherent in our nature as fallen human beings, is a desire to be in control. We want to decide what is right and wrong for ourselves.  We don’t want anyone to tell us what to do. We try to control ourselves and others.

The consequences of playing God include:

  • Fear — Genesis 3:10 says, “I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.”
  • Frustration — Psalm 32:3 says, “My dishonesty made me miserable and filled my days with frustration.”
  • Fatigue — Psalm 32:4-5 says, “My strength evaporated like water on a sunny day until I finally admitted all my sins to you and stop trying to hide them.”
  • Failure – Proverbs 28:13 says, “You will never succeed in life if you try to hide your sins.”

Sorry to say, but you will fail at playing the job of God.  You’ll simply end up running away from pain in your life and you will be tempted to self medicate. This is how we develop compulsive, addictive behaviors.

The road to freedom starts with one direct, powerful admission that can change your life: “On my own, I am powerless to fix myself.”

If you could fix yourself, you would have already done it.  “Will power” alone is not enough. God’s power is  greater than our tendency to do wrong.  You need to plug into God’s power source and that begins with humbling yourself before the Lord, who loves you.

We never graduate from our need for God.  Whether your issue is addiction, codependency, control, escapism, overeating or whatever it is, you can find balance and live in freedom. The Holy Spirit wants to help you.  Admit your need.  Draw close to Him, and He will draw close to you. James 4:8 

Thankfully, you don’t need to walk this out alone.  To help individuals deal with hurts, habits and hang-ups, Shoreline Church offers Celebrate Recovery, a proven program to help people find freedom from their issues – not only addictions, but all sorts of things that hold people back from living a full life, including insecurities, perfectionism, fears, abuse and anger.

Shoreline is a safe place where you can  be real about your issues, experience God’s love and walk into a new life of freedom.