From a Grain of Sand to a Priceless Pearl

by Sue Ellen Ferguson
CRBC Recovery Ministries Director

Many people step into the ability of Jesus every Friday night at Celebrate Recovery at Council Road and are transformed from near death to life. This is the place to bring your hurts, habits and hang-ups when you have come out of denial and are ready to surrender your feelings of hopelessness. Many come with thoughts of suicide thinking there is no purpose in living. Some are in despair living homeless, cold and hungry with no family relationships and no support system. Some think that God is punishing them for all of the bad choices they have made and are feeling as worthless as a single grain of sand.

On Friday night, change begins through the fellowship of sharing a hot meal around the table,

joining in a lively praise time and participating in non-judgmental support groups. Then experiencing the life changes that the Scripture-based, 12-Step Study brings as new life begins as we step into the ability of Jesus.

Celebrate Recovery's Eight Recovery Principles are based on the Beatitudes. The Road to Recovery begins by doing the following:

Realize I’m not God; I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life is unmanageable. (Step 1)
          “Happy are those who know that they are spiritually poor.” Matthew 5:3a

Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him and that He has the power to help me recover. (Step 2)
          “Happy are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control. (Step 3)
          “Happy are the meek.” Matthew 5:5a

Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, and to someone I trust. (Steps 4 and 5)
          “Happy are the pure in heart.” Matthew 5:8a

Voluntarily submit to any and all changes God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects. (Steps 6 and 7)
          “Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires.” Matthew 5:6a

Evaluate all my relationships. Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve done to others when possible, except when to do so would harm them or others. (Steps 8 and 9)
          “Happy are the merciful.” Matthew 5:7a TEV; “Happy are the peacemakers” Matthew 5:9 TEV

Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will. (Steps 10 and 11)

Yield myself to God to be used to bring this Good News to others, both by my example and my words. (Step 12)
          “Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires.” Matthew 5:10

We then witness a relationship with Christ that is full of confidence, self-worth, a life with purpose, pursuing a passion for a radical life change and sharing the good news with everyone.

We rejoice as we see the transformation in many as they receive the gift of life that Jesus paid the price for on the cross as they become a pearl of great price. It has been a blessing the past fifteen years to see people transform from the grip of addiction to living as productive members in society.   

In our weekly prison ministry, CR Inside, where the “12-Step Study Behind the Walls” is shared with many, God is using the hopelessness of those given a life sentence for the resurrection of the new life in Christ. Those who were feeling as worthless as a grain of sand have become a pearl of great price.

If you have questions about Celebrate Recovery at Council Road, please contact Sue Ellen Ferguson at ferguson@councilroad.org or Ricky Zeznanski at Rickyz@councilroad.org. You are welcome to join us every Friday at 5:45 p.m. in Maroney Hall.

Sue Ellen Ferguson