Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Get Off the Yellow Brick Road: Get on The Solid Rock Road

The following is an the Introduction of the book, "Follow The Solid Rock Road: Pathway to Radical Recovery." Here's the link to the website:, plus you can purchase the book on

“This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the
Crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and
you will find rest for your souls.” (Jeremiah 6:16)

Our whole family watched the Wizard of Oz the day we got our first color TV. We were young girls at the time and could hardly wait to see the movie. We were instantly infatuated with Dorothy and hated the mean and ugly lady on the bicycle. As the movie progressed, we went from being awestruck with all the color and characters to scared senseless.
     In the movie, Dorothy gets tossed around in a tornado and wakes up in Munchkinland. Her house lands on top of the Wicked Witch of the East and kills her. Thankfully, Glinda the Good Witch of the North appears to ease Dorothy’s mind and give her the magical ruby red slippers from the feet of the dead witch. Soon after, the Wicked Witch of the West shows up to terrify Dorothy – and the two of us!
     The Wicked Witch of the West is angry that Dorothy is wearing the ruby red slippers. She makes it clear that her plan is to take them from her.
     With threats from the Wicked Witch looming, Glinda and the well-meaning Munchkins direct Dorothy to the Yellow Brick Road. They assure the girl in the blue checkered dress that the road will lead her to Emerald City and the great Wizard of Oz who has the power to get her home. So off Dorothy and her little dog Toto go, completely oblivious to the danger and disappointment that lay ahead.
    Along the way, Dorothy befriends the scarecrow, tin man, and cowardly lion, all searching for something to make them more complete. Together, they follow the Yellow Brick Road, believing that the Wizard will perform multiple miracles on their behalf.
    Though pursued by the Wicked Witch of the West, Dorothy and her three companions finally find refuge behind the huge doors of Oz. Then, by accident, they discover that the Wizard is all smoke and mirrors – powerless to give the scarecrow a brain, the tin man a heart, or the cowardly lion courage. Worse yet, the phony Wizard is without power to return Dorothy to Kansas.
    Like a good witch should, Glinda re-appears just in time. Glinda tells Dorothy that she already has the power to return home –  if she simply clicks the heels of her ruby red slippers and repeats the phrase, “There’s no place like home.” Dorothy follows the beautiful witch’s instructions and is immediately whisked back to Kansas and her beloved family.
    While the Wizard of Oz is a much-loved movie classic, we’ve never understood why the Good Witch waited to tell Dorothy about the power of the ruby red slippers. We wondered why Glinda sent the lost young woman down the Yellow Brick Road when there was a faster, easier, and safer way home.

The Real Yellow Brick Road
Today, millions of Christians are directed to a modern-day Yellow Brick Road to recovery from addictions. They are assured by the treatment industry that sobriety is found along many paths and in a higher power, not the higher power.
    People battling addictions get to choose from an array of recovery methods, modalities, therapies, spiritual philosophies, and programs on their journey along the Yellow Brick Road. They’re also given a long list of excuses for their inability to get and stay sober. We’ve used a few ourselves.
    Anxiety, depression, ADHD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), low self-esteem, and abusive parents are a few reasons addicts give to justify actions. The pre-treatment cure is often a stabilizing pill, which offers a temporary and false sense of well-being. (As ex-addicts, we find it hard to believe that drugs are used to treat addictive personalities. It’s one of the many ironies of life.)
    Before anyone gets offended, we acknowledge that mental health issues exist and realize that people have suffered, been mistreated, molested, neglected, and rejected. We’ve had our share of pain, so we have true compassion for anyone who has endured hardship and difficult circumstances.
    Still, there comes a time when your past should no longer determine your future – when you leave your old life for a brand new one and enact the new creation reality that God made available through His Son, Jesus Christ.
    It’s good to reflect on your life. There’s value in acknowledging the mistakes you’ve made and learning from the pain others have caused you. But Philippians 3:13 tells us to look ahead, “…forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.”

The Solid Rock Road
By reading this book, we pray you would fully understand the spiritual battle in the unseen world, the purpose of Christ’s suffering on the cross, and the transforming power of God.
    While Dorothy faced danger and distress along the Yellow Brick Road, she finally turned to her ruby red slippers. With a few clicks of her heels and a little bit of faith, Dorothy’s problems were quickly solved. She returned home to Auntie Em. She got her life back.
    When you choose to follow The Solid Rock Road, you find your way home. From the Old Testament to the New, the solid rock represents the foundation and teachings of Jesus Christ. From them, you can build an amazing, addiction-free life. You can wake up with hope, and live a productive and respectable life. You will also discover your destiny and leave a legacy for generations to come.
    Like the ruby red slippers for Dorothy, the red blood of Jesus Christ gives you all the power you need to turn things around. It can immediately cleanse, heal, and restore your life. You don’t have to travel far or wait a long time for the blood to work. It has been poured out for you in advance and in abundance. The blood of Jesus is readily available on your journey to radical recovery.
    The Wicked Witch of the West wanted to steal Dorothy’s slippers because she knew of their magical powers. The same is true for the devil who wants to steal your Christian power from you. If you continue in your addictions or take an unnecessary jaunt along the Yellow Brick Road to recovery, you won’t find a witch or evil flying monkeys, but you may find yourself being constantly pursued by the devil and his evil spirits.

What You’ll Learn
In this book, you’ll learn a lot about yourself, God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ. You’ll also become very familiar with the enemy of mankind and how to fight and win the battle for your own soul. We’re taking you on an experiential journey that gets you home in a hurry, and gives you all the Biblical tools needed to protect yourself, along with everyone else who is in your sphere of influence.
    You don’t need magic to make your life great. You need the blood of Jesus and to learn the wonderful ways of God. You need to follow The Solid Rock Road, which is your pathway to radical recovery.

Our Disclaimer
We’re not against secular treatment programs. We know they’re necessary and the world needs trained counselors who care. However, we’ve written this book from a Christian perspective. We’re reaching Christians who continually struggle with addictions, as well as Christians in recovery who are ready to move forward in their lives and ministries.
    We are also writing for pastors, Christian leaders, and those heading up recovery ministries who are ready for a purely Bible-based system that promotes the new creation reality and assimilation into the Body of Christ.
    If you’re not a Christian but looking for spiritual answers to resolve your addictions issues, you’ll find them here. Plus, you’ll get to learn what Christians believe and why we choose a spiritually progressive lifestyle that brings change and results in purposeful living.

God is Enough!
This book reminds the Christian community that God is enough. The Word of God must take precedence in a Christian’s life – over the education, science, systems, counsel, and philosophies of any and all secular treatment programs and organizations.
    In other words, do what God has instructed you to do. Follow The Solid Rock Road and steer clear of every other path. That’s how you’ll win the battle for your own soul and model a purpose-filled Christian life for your children and generations to come. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Heart of God in Christian Recovery

We used to wonder why God wants the adoration of humans, especially since He knows our hearts. According to Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked…”  But it’s His way of connecting, and God knows that His presence can soften our hearts and remove evil from them. 

The Bible says that David was a man after God’s own heart. If you have ever been after someone’s heart, you know what it takes to get it. You think about that person day and night. You’re consumed with what they think and remember the words they speak. You are kind and loving to that person and want to spend time with them more than you want anything else. When you have hope that love will result, you will do whatever makes that person happy and you will make sure that you touch their heart.
David deliberately put God first. He kept his heart pure and devoted to God. That doesn’t mean David never made mistakes; we know he did. The Bible tells the story of David’s lust for Bathsheba, the sins that followed, and the consequences of his poor choices. 

Still, David didn’t let his past mistakes keep him from connecting with God. In fact, he was more devoted afterward and more inclined to visit the throne because he knew how much he’d grieved God. David’s temporary fall from grace helped him better understand the mercy of God. 

Psalm 51:1-6 provides insight into how David’s sin and suffering allowed him to fully experience God’s redeeming love. We used scriptures from The Message because it totally reveals David’s heart.

Generous in love – God, give grace! Huge in mercy – wipe out my bad record. Scrub away my guilt, soak out my sins in your laundry. I know how bad I’ve been; my sins are staring me down. You’re the one I’ve violated, and you’ve seen it all, seen the full extent of my evil. You have all the facts before you; whatever you decide about me is fair. I’ve been out of step with You for a long time, in the wrong since before I was born. What you’re after is truth from the inside out. Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.”

At this point, David didn’t blame anyone else for his mistakes. He wasn’t rationalizing or justifying his behavior. Instead, he acknowledged his evil and gave God the right to change him. That’s why in Acts 13:22, the Apostle Paul refers to David as a man after God’s own heart.

We all desperately need the heart of David. This requires a change of heart. Ezekiel 36:26 reveals how God works in this realm. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

(This is an excerpt from my Christian recovery book titled "Follow The Solid Rock Road: Pathway to Radical Recovery.") You can learn about our Christian recovery program at, and you find me on Facebook and Twitter. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The 10 Principles of The Solid Rock Road Christian Recovery Program

The Solid Rock Road Christian Recovery program in Oregon was founded in 2002. Since, then the recovery team has been counseling the addicted and their loved ones, facilitated recovery groups and published a book titled Follow The Solid Rock Road: Pathway to Radical Recovery. 

The following are the 10 Principles used by The Solid Rock Road recovery staff, and found in the book, published in 2010.

One: Surrender and realize your need for God
This principle brings readers to their knees before God in total surrender. The authors define the word “surrender” and discuss the difference between full and partial submission. Through stories, examples, and exercises, readers are brought to the point of agreement that Jesus is Lord, not just their Savior. This Principle includes a surrender prayer to help readers take the first step in their God-based recovery process.

Two: Empty yourself of your sinful nature so God can fill you with his Holy Spirit
This Principle teaches the difference between living in the Spirit and being controlled by the sinful nature. It provides realistic ways to begin the process of positive change by looking at defense mechanisms, masks, and false selves created for the sake of survival. By taking an honest look at who they have become, addicts rediscover who God actually created them to be. The goal of this Principle is for self-centered addicts to understand their sin nature and begin a daily process of self-denial that results in fullness of joy and purposeful living.

Three: Pray and meditate daily on the Word of God
With this Principle, the authors describe the importance of prayer and meditation and promote the concept that the way to eliminate addictive thoughts and behavior is through constant contact with God and reading the Bible. The power of prayer is discussed and described, along with reasons why New Testament believers have direct communication with God through Jesus Christ. This Principle explains in detail how to pray and where to begin reading the Bible. The authors define the word “meditation” and emphasize the importance of waiting on God. The goal is for readers to communicate with God, hear from God, and experience direction, instruction, revelation, and wisdom.

Four: Forgive yourself and others
Using personal testimony, stories, and scripture, this Principle discusses the compassion, mercy and grace of God and teaches readers the value of forgiving one’s self and others. It also describes how bitterness and resentment block spiritual growth. The goal Principle Four is to free addicts from guilt, shame, and blame shifting and to release blessing through personal acts of mercy. This Principle includes the author’s personal story involving violence and rape. Also included is a forgiveness prayer to help readers spiritually progress.

Five: Be accountable, belong, and be vulnerable
Principle Five discusses the importance of attaching to the Body of Christ and describes how secrets and deception result in isolation from people and distance from God. The goal of this Principle is to emphasize the need for getting planted in a local church and having fellowship with faithful people willing to invest in the addict’s spiritual growth and well being. We also discuss the importance of authority in the church, using several principles described in John Bevere’s Under Cover book.

Six: Stay close to God through praise and worship
This Principle describes how praise and worship free the Holy Spirit, reveal sin, are useful in spiritual warfare, and lead to intimacy with God. Since addicts by nature are consumed with their own issues of life, so this Principle emphasizes the benefits of being thankful and grateful, remembering the good, praying for others, and appreciating a blessed and lifelong relationship with God.

Seven: Seek the will of God for your life
This Principle uses John 4:34 as its cornerstone: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.” The authors explain how God gives each person a unique personality and characteristics, along with a plan for using those gifts to do good in the world. The goal is for addicts to know they have a purpose and to begin a journey of discovery that results in a clear vision and mission. This Principle includes access to a spiritual gifts test that helps readers identify their ministry strengths and encourages them to begin/continue the process of assimilation into the Body of Christ.

Eight: Stay on the path
This Principle covers the value of steadiness and balance for people who have an extensive history of impulsive behaviors, including drug and alcohol abuse. The authors describe God’s path from the point of salvation, through justification by faith and sanctification. The goal of this Principle is to warn about the dangers of detours, and to emphasize the importance of finding and staying on the path. Principle Eight also provides comparisons between the path of righteousness and the path of self-will described in the book of Proverbs.  

Nine: Be ready for battle: put on the full armor of God
Principle Nine shows readers how to defend themselves against the methods Satan uses to deceive and disarm Christians. It also teaches readers the importance of guarding their attitudes and hearts. The authors compare being a Christian to being a well-trained, fully armed soldier who is in the midst of a real battle. This section describes the full Armor of God in simple terms and presents an Armor of God prayer that readers can use every day. The goal of this Principle is to remind people they will experience constant temptation and attacks from the devil but must be prepared to fight and have continuous victory over their addictions.

Ten: Serve God and others
In Principle 10, readers are urged to look at their history of selfish behaviors and the consequences that followed. Readers are made aware of self-indulgences, and are instructed to serve God first and then serve others in order to become a fully attached member of the Body of Christ. 

For more articles about Christian recovery, visit You can also follow me on Twitter and become a friend on Facebook.

My Christian recovery book is on Click here:

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Power of the Tongue

Words have power.  They can breathe life or they can promote the death of one’s spirit. Many people often talk about how negative and demeaning words have stuck with them from childhood – words from their abusive parents or from mean kids on the playground.

The Bible talks about the power of the tongue. God’s word is clear that as Christians, we’re to be mindful about what comes out of our mouths. It says that we have the tendency to bless one minute and to curse the next. This means we have to forego our flesh to enact the Spirit of God within us.

The inspired Word of God reminds us that words either build or tear down. The following are scriptures that show God’s heart in this matter. (Taken from the ESV)

Proverbs 21:23
Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.

Ephesians 4:29
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Proverbs 12:18
There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Psalm 34:13
Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.

James 3:2-10
For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. ...

Proverbs 15:1
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

1 Peter 3:10
For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit;

James 1:26
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless.

James 3:1-18
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! ...

Proverbs 17:28
Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

Proverbs 15:4
A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.

Proverbs 18:21
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

James 3:10
From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.

Matthew 12:33-37
“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

James 3:11
Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water?

Proverbs 10:19
When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.

Proverbs 26:20
For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.

Psalm 39:1
To the choirmaster: to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David. I said, “I will guard my ways, that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth with a muzzle, so long as the wicked are in my presence.”

Psalm 37:30
The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice.

Proverbs 17:9
Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Christian Recovery: Who You Are in Christ

Many Christians who have struggled with addictions don’t feel worthy of the name. Of course, we’re all sinners and not worthy of the sacrifice Jesus made for all of mankind, but the Bible talks of mercy and redemption based on repentance.

Satan likes to keep former addicts thinking that they’re worthless, or at least less worthy than others. By doing so, there’s a higher likelihood of relapse and a decreased chance for spiritual growth.

On the other hand, Christians who not only understand what the Bible says about being a child of God, but also personalize the scriptures, are most likely to move into the sanctification process – a spiritual pattern of growth in which they set themselves apart for holy use.

Christians who have recovered from addictions have a lot to contribute to the Kingdom of God. Below is a list of scriptures with descriptions to help remind recovered addicts who they are in Christ.

•    I am a child of God. (John 1:12)
•    I am part of the true vine. (John 15:1-5)
•    I am Christ’s friend. (John 15:15)
•    I am chosen by Christ to bear His fruit.
(John 15:16)
•    I am a child of God; God is spiritually my Father.
(Romans 8:14-15; Galatians 3:26; 4:6)
•    I am a joint heir with Christ, sharing His inheritance with Him. (Romans 8:17)
•    I am a temple—a dwelling place—of God. His Spirit and His life dwell in me.
(1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19)
•    I am united to the Lord and am one spirit with Him. (1 Corinthians 6:17)
•    I am a member of Christ’s body. (1 Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 5:30)
•    I am a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
•    I am reconciled to God and a minister of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)
•    I am a saint. (Ephesians 1:1; 1 Corinthians 1:2; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:2)
•    I am God’s workmanship—His handiwork—born anew in Christ to do His work. (Ephesians 2:10)
•    I am a fellow citizen with God’s Family. (Ephesians 2:19)
•    I am righteous and holy. (Ephesians 4:24)
•    I am a citizen of heaven, seated in heaven right now. (Philippians 3:20; Ephesians 2:6)
•    I am hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:4)
•    I am an expression of the life of Christ because He is my life. (Colossians 3:4)
•    I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved. (Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4)
•    I am a holy partaker of a heavenly calling. (Hebrews 3:1)
•    I am a partaker of Christ; I share in His life. (Hebrews 3:14)
•    I am one of God’s living stones, being built up in Christ as a spiritual house. (1 Peter 2:5)
•    I am a member of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession. (1 Peter 2:10)
•    I am an enemy of the devil. (1 Peter 5:8)
•    I am a child of God and I will resemble Christ when He returns. (1 John 3:1-2)
•    I am born of God, and the evil one—the devil—cannot touch me. (1 John 5:18)
•    I died with Christ and died to the power of sin’s rule over my life. (Romans 6:1-6)
•    I am free forever from the condemnation. (Romans 8:1)
•    I have received the Spirit of God into my life that I might know the things freely given to me by God. (1 Corinthians 2:12)
•    I have been given the mind of Christ.
(1 Corinthians 2:16)
•    I have been bought with a price, I am not my own; I belong to God. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
•    Since I have died, I no longer live for myself, but for Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)
•    I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I am now living is Christ’s life. (Galatians 2:20)
•    I was chosen in Christ to be holy before the foundation of the world. I am without blame before Him. (Ephesians 1:4)
•    I have direct access to God through the Spirit.
(Ephesians 2:18)
•    I have been rescued from the domain of Satan’s rule and transferred to the Kingdom of Christ. (Colossians 1:13)
•    I have been justified—completely forgiven and made righteous. (Romans 5:1)

For more articles about Christian recovery, visit You can also follow us on Twitter and become a friend on Facebook.

You can also purchase our Christian recovery book on Click here:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Forward to Follow The Solid Rock Road

Wow! Isn’t this book timely! As a seminal approach in a world needing drug and alcohol solutions, this could just be that book.
Jamee Rae Pineda and Sherry Colby have written a groundbreaking book with Follow The Solid Rock Road: Pathway to Radical Recovery, which addresses a deep philosophical split in drug and alcohol treatment.
While most addiction treatments keep people on a perpetual path of coping, Jamee and Sherry open the door to freedom in God and set people on the path to achieve it. Initially, this path doesn’t seem to differ much from existing recovery systems, but it ultimately results in irreconcilable differences. 
Follow The Solid Rock Road teaches that one finds freedom through the teachings of Jesus Christ, His atonement, and having an honest walk with God. The 10 Principles of The Solid Rock Road describe how one can identify their addiction, address their addiction, and subsequently be delivered from it.
This work is not bogged down with stodgy or clinical verbiage but is interspersed with anecdotal evidence that illustrates how these principles work.  The personal stories from the lives of Jamee and Sherry are transparent and refreshing. Thank you for this level of honesty. It is quite helpful in showing that the 10 Bible-based Principles are more than untested theories, but instead have been applied and proven.
The book is sprinkled with life application exercises and hard-hitting questions. When completed, these will bring a person to self awareness and true change.  This is a valuable handbook for life transformation.
Another important aspect of this book is that it can be used individually or in group settings. The final great feature is that the authors offer personal help and interaction for those involved in this process – the addicted, loved ones of the addicted, ministry leaders, and pastors.
As stated in this book, why walk The Yellow Brick Road when we can get on The Solid Rock Road?
-- By Pastor Steve Schmelzer

To read the book Follow The Solid Rock Road: Pathway to Radical Recovery, go to or to at You can also follow the Christian recovery ministry on twitter and Facebook

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Top Excuses Christians Use to Relapse

The Solid Rock Road recovery team has heard it all! People who aren't ready to change blame their relapse on everything and everyone but themselves. Even when they admit they blew it, they justify their actions and blame-shift.

At a conference in Seattle that The Solid Rock Road team attended, the speaker asked the audience what the opposite of learning was. We all looked at each other, but none of us could answer it. Then he said something that confirmed what we’ve been teaching in our recovery ministry from the day God called us into it. “The opposite of learning is blaming,” he said.

As recovery counselors, we often do more listening than talking. We can tell when someone has had enough of their addiction and its consequence, and when they haven't. We hear and see repentance, and we can spot those who aren't finished taking and blaming.

When people blame others for their problems and addictions, they aren’t learning the lessons God is trying to teach them. And since God never gives up on the lesson, they will go around the same mountain a million times until He thinks they get it.

The following are some of the main excuses Christians have for their relapse. We gathered these by asking and listening to the truth behind it all.

•    No one will know. I can get away with it.
•    No one really cares.
•    I’m only hurting myself.
•    My family and friends will forgive me in the end.
•    God will forgive me, so why not?
•    I’m bored and lonely.
•    I’m hurt or angry and I’ll show them.
•    I can’t stand the pain anymore.
•    People are always hurting or burning me.
•    I don’t know what else to do.
•    I can’t help myself.
•    I’m one of those people who just can’t quit.
•    I need to escape.
•    I need one last fling and then it will be over.
•    I’ve been good a long time so I deserve a good high.
•    I need to remember how it feels to get high.
•    Being a Christian is too hard.
•    People are expecting way too much of me.
•    I have too much pressure.

The bottom line is that everyone is busy, pressured, suffering, insecure, fearful and in need of a vacation from life. But we are called to be overcomers as Christians, and to be givers, not takers.

For more articles about Christian recovery, visit You can also follow us on Twitter and become a friend on Facebook.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Why Do Christians in Recovery Continue to Relapse?

In the Solid Rock Road recovery ministry, we’re always amazed when addicts find the right path and start living an honorable and blessed life, then suddenly change directions. It doesn’t make sense. People discover what works, they get sober, safe and happy, but an off-ramp catches their attention and away they go -- with Christian leaders warning them of danger and destruction.

We’ve asked many relapsed Christians why they went off course. Some said it was because they were bored. Others reported that they were fearful of taking the next step, or taking responsibility for their lives. Then there’s a whole group of relapsed people who claim that being a Christian is too hard. This is the biggest lie Satan tells those struggling with addictions. The truth is, it's hard being an addict. It takes a lot of money and effort to stay high and out of legal trouble.

Admittedly, the devil is the father of lies. Plus, he has installed plenty of detours to take Christians off of God’s well-beaten and blessed path. He makes the off-ramp look like an easy and fast way to get somewhere. But we all know that these insidious detours are not quick and easy. Instead, they result in spiritual death and in many cases, physical death.

No matter how many people urge their addicted loves ones to keep moving forward along God's path, many follow their addiction cycles and agree with Satan’s strategic plan for their lives. Some actually believe it's their destiny. But if God created them, He's the one with the true destiny.

As Christians in relapse wander from safety, they justify their actions with clever excuses and bold-faced lies. They also find validation for their crazy actions from people who either don’t understand addictions, or from those who share their propensity to abuse drugs and/or alcohol.

Veering off the path seems innocent enough, like taking a Sunday afternoon car ride down a one-lane country road. But it’s far from innocent. Where the devil tempts people to go is the opposite of where God wants to take them. Christians who struggle with addictions knows this in their souls, but their drug dealer is waiting and the liquor store is around the corner. Before they know it, they’ve gone way off the wagon and there’s no turning back until the damage has been done.

It’s hard for Christians heading toward relapse, or those in full-fledged addiction, to admit they’re guilty of cooperating with the dark side. It’s much more comfortable to claim they have a chronic disease and can’t help it. And that might be true for those who don’t know Christ and don’t understand the power of God or the work of the Holy Spirit, but Christians are without excuse.

No matter how well Christians in addiction argue their "I can't help it" case, the Bible wins the debate. It says we are more than conquerors.

To make matters even more clear, the Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

In other words, God works on our behalf to ensure that Christians are protected from the plans and hands of the enemy. However, He leaves room for free will and people often choose Satan as their master. 

What can family members and loved ones do? Pray, enter into spiritual warfare, then release them to God as the Father did in the story of the Prodigal Son. Don't make the mistake of enabling them with your love or your money. This is counterproductive to Christian principles, and doesn't help the addict in the long run.

The Solid Rock Road is a Christian recovery program in Medford, Oregon using the book “Follow The Solid Rock Road: Pathway to Radical Recovery” to offer freedom from addictions. We also work with families on intervention strategies and creating boundaries. 

Visit or follow us on Twitter and become a friend on Facebook.  

Monday, January 31, 2011

Understanding Authority in Christian Recovery

The more you study the Word of God and the more you pray, the more you’ll realize how much you don’t know and how much you need strength, instruction, and inspiration from God and others.

Many Christians who struggle with addictions also struggle with the concept of authority. However, those given authority to speak into your life have moral compasses that direct them toward scripture and spiritual responses, thoughts, and answers. God gives them advice and warnings meant specifically for you.

Hebrews 13:17 makes this point: “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.” (NIV)

You would experience radical recovery if you listened and followed detailed advice from those offering wise counsel and spiritual truth. Every time you reject good Christian advice, you miss out on godly opportunities for complete deliverance.

Over the years, we’ve asked a lot of people who relapse why they didn’t do what they were told to do. The following are the five universal answers we’ve heard:

· “I’m tired of being told what to do.”

· “My pastor (or leader) doesn’t know everything.”

· “No one understands my unique problems.”

· “The advice didn’t seem right to me.”

· “They are not God.”

No one likes being told what to do, especially if it goes against instinct and logic. But there isn’t a single scripture that includes the phrase: “If you think it’s right,” or “If you feel like it.”

There are spiritual implications when you resist or reject counsel from those in authority over you. First Thessalonians 4:7-8 provides insight: “For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.”

If a righteous man or woman is teaching you how to live a holy life and everything they teach is backed by scripture, you should listen and follow their instructions (obey). When you reject their counsel, the scripture says you’re rejecting God.

In The Solid Rock Road Christian recovery program in Medford, Oregon, we work with individuals and groups to understand the concept of accountability, authority, surrender and obedience. You can find us at, on Twitter at and Facebook.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Why Should I Forgive?

Some people will receive leniency while on the earth, but no one escapes the final judgment because God decides the ultimate fate of every person. His final review will send a person to the fiery pit of hell or to the gold-paved streets of heaven. There’s nowhere in between.

Most of us are relieved when murderers and molesters are caught and put behind bars. We also get a lot of satisfaction knowing that criminals such as these are hell bound. But don’t forget, the worst of the worst have the opportunity to get saved and repent. If they do it with an honest heart and continue to live in compliance with God’s ways, these same criminals will go to heaven.

This type of godly forgiveness can be hard to accept, especially when you or a loved one have been a victim of a serious crime or have been deeply wounded by others. And yet, in 2 Peter 3:9, we see that God offers amnesty for everyone: “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

Why Forgive?
It’s impossible to be ruthless and righteous at the same time. Therefore, to be right with God, we must take the high road of forgiveness. It’s not always easy, but it’s always necessary.

Christians are entitled to feel and express initial feelings of anger, hurt and resentment, but then we have to respond according to Scripture – or we suffer a serious fate: Here’s what the book of Matthew has to say on the subject: For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” (Matthew 6:14-15). 

The following are a few key points to remember when working to forgive people:

  • Forgiveness is for ourselves and God, not necessarily for the offender.
  • We have to keep moving forward and forgiveness paves the way.
  • We cannot act as vigilantes.
  • Vengeance is God’s, not ours.
  • Our past should only influence our future in the most positive ways.
  • When we forgive, we break soul ties to that person and are free to enjoy life.
  • God says that forgiveness is our spiritual duty.
  • If we don’t forgive others, God won’t forgive us.
  • Unforgiveness keeps us bound up in resentment, anger, bitterness, guilt, and shame.
  • Unforgiveness blocks our relationship with God and hinders our blessings.
  • Forgiveness sets us free.
In The Solid Rock Road recovery program in Medford, Oregon, we teach that forgiveness is a process. We believe that it’s such an important subject, we wrote an entire chapter titled "Forgive Yourself and Others" in our recovery book,, “Follow The Solid Rock Road: Pathway to Radical Recovery.” You can check it out at or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.