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Faith Diaries: Faith & Recovery

July 1st, 2015

A few years ago, Lindsay’s addiction took a pivotal turn when she transitioned from opiates to heroin. It wasn’t long before her life began to unravel. She quickly flunked out of school and lost her scholarship.

Lindsay knew she needed to make a change in her life. So, she tried to quit heroin “cold turkey” and that didn’t work. She tried an all-natural detox and that also didn’t work. She tried taking Suboxone and that didn’t work either.

Then one fateful night Lindsay went online and began chatting with an admissions counselor from The Treatment Center. That admissions counselor was eager to help Lindsay and calm her down. After chatting with this person, Lindsay decided to join the Road to Freedom program at The Treatment Center. She felt that the Christian-based treatment program would allow her to reconnect with Jesus.

To find out how the Road to Freedom program restored Lindsay’s hope and changed her life, watch the video below.

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How Do I Pray Without Ceasing?

June 24th, 2015

Have you felt like you’ve been called to do more? What does it really mean to pray without ceasing? In this next Q&A video, Pastor Mike and Dr. Bianchini explain the value of praying continually and what it’s like to live your true purpose in life.
We were all created to be in a relationship with God and do all we can to achieve our true purpose. In the NIV version of the bible, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 says , “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus…”
You may have heard that thoughts become feelings, which then become actions. The more you pray, the more likely you are to develop an attitude of being in communion with God and creating a stronger, intimate relationship so that you achieve your goals with God’s purpose. Watch the video below to see how Pastor Mike and Dr. Bianchini approach this topic:

Each week, pastors from the Road to Freedom program provide a Q&A panel for patients to ask any questions they may have. The Road to Freedom is a faith-based recovery program that offers spiritual guidance to those suffering from addiction.

To hear more from our pastors, subscribe to our YouTube channel. Our admissions counselors are available to answer your questions 24/7. For more information about our faith-based addiction treatment program, call us today at (877) 448-5513.

Don’t Do That


June 16th, 2015

 

I live in a beautiful home in an immaculate neighborhood. We’ve truly been blessed to have the home we do; however, our neighborhood has a fairly restrictive homeowners association (HOA). Everywhere you turn you see signs posted touting rule after rule, telling us what we can’t do as well as what we must do. Yet, it seems with each passing year another problem arises and the HOA simply adds a new sign with a few more don’ts. Everywhere I turn it seems like another restriction has been placed on what we are able to do. No fishing, no swimming, no running, no skateboarding, no parking and the list goes on and on. Most of these rules have good intentions (some I think are ludicrous), but most of them are there to keep our community safe, secure, and attractive.
However, these rules have become almost overwhelming. In fact, there are so many don’ts now that at times I’m confused about what exactly we can do, to the point that it now seems nearly impossible to keep all the rules. My neighbor is a sheriff and his cruiser was towed out of his driveway in the middle of the night (because “commercial” vehicles are not allowed). My wife rode with a friend to a dinner party and when she returned, she realized she didn’t have her driver’s license. She was not allowed to enter the neighborhood until I was able to find a neighbor to watch our kids, so that I could take her picture ID to the guard gate. We have friends who cringe when we invite them to come over because they dread waiting in line to get through the security gate. Another amenity we enjoy in our neighborhood is a gorgeous resort-style community pool. The don’ts say that we can only have up to four guests per family. One of our closest family friends is fostering two children and has two children of their own. Because they are fostering these children, they are no longer allowed to enjoy the blessing of our pool as a family. The rules that are intended to help us live safely and freely have begun to imprison us.
Similar to the HOA in my neighborhood, religion can easily become a culture of don’ts. Don’t smoke, don’t dance, don’t dress like that, don’t have sex, don’t pierce that, don’t drink that, don’t eat that, don’t listen to that, don’t watch that and the list goes on and on. Don’t misunderstand me here, many of these don’ts are vitally important and our families, communities, and our society would be safer if we kept them. However, I can get lost in the don’ts at times and miss the most important do’s.
Two thousand years ago, Jesus lived in a religious culture of don’ts. The Ten Commandments had become hundreds upon hundreds of commandments. It became literally impossible to keep track of all the don’ts. He was approached by the religious experts of the time and asked an impossible question in Matthew 22:36, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” Of all these rules which one do we really need to make sure we keep? Jesus response is brilliantly succinct. Jesus replied, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
Jesus turns the list of hundreds and hundreds of don’ts into three simple do’s. Love God, love your neighbors, and love yourself; do this and all the other laws will fall into place. We all miss the mark; we all will mess up and break some of the don’ts. My challenge today is for each of us to stop being overwhelmed by the don’ts and keep it simple and focus on these three do’s. How well are you doing at loving God? Loving your neighbor? Loving yourself? I’m going to spend a little more time focusing on these three do’s and trust Jesus. He says if I keep these three, the rest of the don’ts will fall into place.

-Pastor Phil Dvorak, MS, LMHC
Philip Dvorak is the Director of the Road to Freedom Christian treatment program and the Director of Spiritual Care at The Treatment Center of the Palm Beaches. He is an ordained minister with the Christian and Missionary Alliance, husband, and father of four.

How Do I Meditate on Scripture

June 5th, 2015

Have you been wondering what it means to meditate? Do you know how to meditate on scripture? In this video, Pastor James, Pastor Mike, Dr. Adam Bianchini, and Pastor John of the Road to Freedom program explain some helpful ways to meditate.

Reflecting is a part of meditation. Discovering how aspects of your own life relate to characters and scriptures in the bible can be a form of meditation. By focusing on a few relatable key themes at a time, you can apply biblical teachings to your daily life. Many times this occurs naturally and subconsciously.

Can you see yourself or picture yourself as one of the characters in the bible? Often, the way we relate to scripture is God’s way of revealing Himself to us. To discover how God speaks to us through his word and how prayer and meditation can strengthen your relationship with God, watch the video below.

Each week, pastors from the Road to Freedom program provide a Q&A panel for patients to ask any questions they may have. The Road to Freedom is a faith-based recovery program that offers spiritual guidance to those suffering from addiction.

To hear more from our pastors, subscribe to our YouTube channel. Our admissions counselors are available to answer your questions 24/7. For more information about our faith-based addiction treatment program, call us today at (877) 448-5513.

Overcoming Spiritual Boredom

June 1st, 2015

By Rev. Michael Eleveld
I remember a conversation I had with a fellow student at a Christian college in the Midwest.  My buddy and I had returned to school from a Wednesday night prayer meeting at a local church. It had been a blessed night of Bible study and heart-stirring testimonies and we were spiritually on fire! She came over to hang out and we told her about the exciting events of the evening.  She didn’t say anything as she looked at us with a stunned expression. Finally, she said, “You guys are really excited aren’t you?”  Yes, we were!  Then she said, “Listen guys, when you have been a Christian as long as I have been, you will learn there is nothing to get excited about.”
She was dead serious, I emphasize the word dead.
Many Christians are glad that their destinies have changed addresses from hell to heaven, but their walk with Christ has failed to stir them beyond the moment of their salvation.  They have grown spiritually stagnant; God no longer thrills them. God and church are now boring. It’s hard to imagine that could ever be true, but it is almost an epidemic among God’s people. Today our hearts’ desire has moved from heavenly things to the plain stuff of this Earth.
And, it is especially true among Christian addicts and alcoholics who have surrendered to their default setting of living life five minutes at a time and obeying the demands of their flesh.
That is exactly the condition the Jewish people were in during the days of Malachi. They had been living in Jerusalem for about 100 years after their return from Babylon, and a spiritual lethargy had settled in.
Malachi called them out of it, and he is still calling us out of it today. The overriding thrust of his argument, by inspiration of God’s spirit, was to get their minds and hearts refocused on God’s immense and magnificent love! Malachi speaks the word of God and God says, “I have loved you.”  Despite what they had done wrong, Malachi still starts his prophecy with, “I have loved you!”
We reach out to addicts and alcoholics each day with this same message. God Loves You! You can’t continue in your lifestyle, but by diving into the ocean of God’s love, you can let that love transform your life.

How to become Spiritually Awake
This week, start each day with a simple prayer.  Tell God that you are intentionally opening your eyes, your heart, and your mind, to see His love. And, ask God to show you the many ways He loves you TODAY.  It might be a blessed moment in your devotional time, or the kindness of a fellow Christian at an opportune moment, or a special answer to a prayer, but I believe God will delight to show you His love is constant and ever-present in your life. Then let His love transform your life. You will no longer be spiritually ho hum, but spiritually thrilled to be among the elect of God, His child.

What is it to “Feel” God Physically? (Video)

January 30th, 2015

Can we really reduce God down to a physical feeling? Find out in this latest Q&A video from Pastor Phil, Pastor Mike, and Dr. Adam Bianchini of the Road to Freedom program.

You may wonder what it’s like to have a physical connection with God, but sometimes God may speak to you through your emotions and not physically. Pastor Mike stresses the point that God often touches the heart of many through speaking to us through the language of his love.

Through spirituality, simplicity matters. In Romans 8:26, the Bible says “… he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the spirit because the spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”

Often a relationship with God will manifest itself through a higher consciousness whether it’s a physical feeling or spiritual connection. So what do you think it means to “feel” a connection with God? How can you act with the will of God? Watch the video below to find out:

Our accredited Christian rehab program provides evidence-based treatment with biblical principles. Call us today at (877) 448-5513, our admissions counselors are available 24/7. To receive spiritual guidance from our pastors and learn more about The Road to Freedom, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

I’m Struggling to Connect with God (Video)

January 26th, 2015

Everyone can relate to some type of struggle. With everything going on in the world, it’s easy to doubt and feel insecure about your connection with God. In this video, Pastor Phil, Pastor Mike, Dr. Bianchini, and Pastor John of the Road to Freedom program explain what it’s like to accept your sins and connect with God.

Life gives us all kinds of struggles. Sometime when we aren’t doing our best, it may be difficult to make the right decisions. When we experience trials, many of us tend find it harder to connect or reconnect with God.

In 1 John 1:8-9, the Bible says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Dr. Bianchini also explains that the “life of faith is a struggle” that we have to face over and over again. So what does this mean for you? How can living in a spiritual reality help you reconnect with God? Watch the video below to discover how you can use God’s truth to build better relationships and connect with God:

If you have been seeking an accredited Christian drug rehab center, call us today at (877) 448-5513. Admissions counselors are available to answer your questions 24/7. To hear more from our pastors, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

 

Living in Despair

January 19th, 2015

A message from Pastor Michael Eleveld

There is a great story in the Bible about a man named Nehemiah. He was living in Babylon and was also the cupbearer of the king. The Jewish people had been back living in Jerusalem for approximately 100 years. Nehemiah heard about the conditions in Jerusalem, that the walls were still down and the temple had still not been rebuilt. So, he began to pray. He prayed that God would allow him to do something about Jerusalem.

God answered his prayer. The king gave him permission to return and gave him a voucher to purchase everything he would need to make the necessary repairs to the walls of Jerusalem. When he got there, he took three days to simply survey the damage and come up with a plan to do the work.

Now, here is where it gets good. He finally met with the leaders in Jerusalem and said, “… You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies in waste, and its gates are burned with fire. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem…”Nehemiah 2:17.

Nehemiah had to state the obvious…you are living in despair! They had lived in desolation so long that they had grown used to it, accepted it as their lifestyle, as normal. Nehemiah came in with a fresh pair of eyes and saw what could be done and rallied the people to rebuild.

This is a stirring message of hope and determination. So many times, we live our lives in desolation and despair. We come to accept it as our lot in life and take it as normal. However, God has better plans for us. His eyes see what can be done. He wants to rebuild us!

Our mission at The Treatment Center is to help people in despair to not accept their lot, but to know there is a plan that can and will work for them. Come let us build together!

How Do I Know If It’s God’s Will? (Video)

January 16th, 2015

In this latest video, you’ll hear from the pastors of The Road to Freedom program as they discuss what it’s like to know if you’re doing God’s will. Early recovery can be a difficult time when trying to adjust to the real world.

How do you know if what you’re doing is God’s will? In recovery literature, there’s an understanding that there is a higher consciousness through the word of God. Dr. Adam Bianchini reveals that, “The more you get to know the character of God, the more you get to know what he’s like.”

So how do you get to know the word of God? How can you start taking more accountability for your actions? How do you know if your actions are following God’s will?

Watch the pastors from The Road to Freedom program explain how in this insightful Q&A video:

For more information about our faith-based treatment program, call us today at (877) 448-5513.To hear more from our pastors, subscribe to our YouTube channel. Our caring admissions counselors are available to answer your questions 24/7.

Redemption from a Checkered Past

January 12th, 2015

Redemption from a Checkered Past

A message from Pastor James Exline

Are you an “unlikely”? If you have a “checkered past”, if you’ve done things you’re ashamed of, if you think that there is no way God would ever use you, then congratulations, you are an “unlikely “and God wants to use you!

Many of you have heard that God has plans for you, that God wants to use you, but then you look at yourself, your past, and begin to develop a laundry list of reasons why God wouldn’t use you. You begin to disqualify yourself.

Even the Spiritual Greats Were Flawed

It’s easy to look at the “spiritual greats” and think that God would use them because we are looking at them through the lens of what God is doing through them, what he is using them to do. This, however, is not an accurate portrait of those “spiritual greats.” This lens leaves out the fact that they are imperfect people being used by a perfect God to accomplish his perfect will and perfect plan. The perfect part of the equation comes from God—not the person God is using—and not from you!

Let’s look at some imperfect people God has used; even a partial list is very interesting. God used a mass murderer, of Christians, nonetheless, (the Apostle Paul, formerly known as Saul) to write over half of the New Testament, start the church, and lead thousands of people to a relationship with Christ. He used a murderer and a stutterer (Moses) to lead his people out of slavery to freedom. He used a man (David) to be king of his people who went on to commit adultery and murder during his reign. Peter, who went on to be a huge part of establishing the church, prior to doing so, denied knowing Jesus. That’s right, the guy God used to establish the church claimed on three separate occasions that he did not even know Jesus!

There is one more example we are going to look at, and this one is from current times. There was a man who had ran from God most of his adult life, who had cussed God out for even having created him. That same man had told his wife that if she ever went to church, he would leave her. He was enslaved to active addiction for years, and along the way did things which many would think had disqualified him from being used by God. He would be first on that list. He would have thought there was no way God would ever use him, after all, just look at the long list of disqualifications!

You Can be Used by God

Some, if not many of you, also have a list of disqualifications, things that you believe are preventing you from being used by God. You look at your past, and come to the conclusion that God will never use you. “You don’t understand,” you might say. “I’ve done…” the list goes on and on, and looking at that list from a human perspective, you may be justified in thinking that God will never use you. The good news, however, is that God does not look at you or your past from a human perspective. He looks at it through the redeeming, saving, and salvaging eyes of perfect love, through the eyes of a savior who died for you to become the very righteousness of God! 2 Corinthians 5.21 says, “For our sake he (God) made him (Jesus) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

God isn’t looking for perfect people to use. He is looking for imperfect people whom he makes perfect through Jesus and then desires to use. So you’re not perfect, congratulations, you qualify! By the way, that guy who had run from God most of his adult life, who told his wife he would leave her if she went to church, that guy is me. That guy is now a pastor at a treatment center! See—God wasn’t looking for a perfect person to do what he is using me to do. He was looking for an imperfect man who has been made perfect in Christ, who was and is willing to be used by God for whatever God wants to use him for!

That’s where the good news comes in for you. If you are imperfect, if you have a “checkered past”, and if you are willing to allow God to use you to accomplish his plans through you, then you qualify! God wants to use you!

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