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43: Interview with Elaine McCraw & Gary Braswell with Celebrate Recovery

Crossroads Connection / Pastor Andy George
The Truth Network Radio
December 2, 2020 4:00 pm

43: Interview with Elaine McCraw & Gary Braswell with Celebrate Recovery

Crossroads Connection / Pastor Andy George

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Welcome Crossroads connection is the show all about having conversation surrounding life ministries and culture was a quick thank you to our friends at the Truth Network in doing this program will hey everyone, thanks so much for joining us today. If you are interested in learning more about CrossFit scholarship. Visit us online at crossroads work. Thanks much, Jamie and Tyler and thanks again for listening today was we got a great program as we are interviewing two people who are leading the celebrate recovery from Crossroads Fellowship sober recovery is a fantastic program that deals with Hertz habits and hang up.

So before we have the interview.

Let's take a quick word from our sponsor that will jump right into the interview with Gary and Elaine from celebrate recovery.

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It takes courage to learn how to create a culture where your people are truly empowered on their seats, my name Cheryl Scanlon business and executive coach working together will go straight to your court challenges to sort through competing demands and realigned to your highest priorities for measurable results. Visit at sea number three All right we are back from the break with two very special guests. We have with us today. Elaine McCraw and Gary Braswell with celebrate recovery and incredible incredible ministry that we have here at crosses Fellowship and I'm sure those little ones pride around the city somewhere in the national program that will talk about here and a little bit but first welcome to both.

You were so glad you're here. Welcome Elaine thank you Gary for coming in think you're absolutely correct be here, so let's kick this off by just a little bit of your own journey of why solar recovery is so important to you and, while you're part of it. I came in your recovery due to my younger sister killing somebody on drinking and driving as well as having an intervention with my dad due to his alcoholism. So of course I had relationship issues with my ex-husband and boyfriend when they were drinking and drugging. It did affect me. I basically had an emotional breakdown and I needed help my sister Larry and my mom and my nephew all that saved in Al-Anon and AA. When I moved to North Carolina from Florida. My husband and I were trying to start a family.

I could not get pregnant. And there's nothing wrong with either one of us so much emotion. I wanted a divorce and I'm trying that Danny ministry leader at the time at crossroads and she invited me to join the step study is amazing to do a year-long Bible study and see how my walk with Christ grew and more healing came the miracle as I'm still married 22 years later day. I currently struggle sometimes my marriage but I'm committed to my merely no impossible but I believe God can and will redeem my relationships and bring forgiveness. I want my heart to be right with God and others and that is what the 12 steps and CR have provided for me that it many, many healed relationships the most wonderful one is God use me to bring my dad alcoholic to Christ while sweet healing moment for both of us and I'm happy it's with Jesus now, let us also but will talk more about sober recovery in an I'm sure we've been inaugural passions and that little bit but listen to his Gary as well so Gary, the same question of your big part of sober recovery here that's been run out of crossroads and so but all but what what is it about sober recovery that's got your heart and why you're so passionate about.

Yes, think I came into silver recovery. 18 years ago because of a partying lifestyle that I had lead for many years. I was raised in a Christian family raise going to church all my life. Not in a dysfunctional family really at all and started at a young age just just just trying out different just from drinking and experimenting with marijuana when I went to college and and and that that experimenting turned into a lifestyle of partying way too much. Something that I learned and do this very interesting.

Over the years that ugly recovery is for many of us if we were trying to fill that void in our hearts that only Jesus Christ can feel that that we we try to fill it with with food with width. For me it was traveling on vacations. It might be a nice car or house. It was just trying to fill that void with all the things that the world offers us that was never ever satisfying the departing lifestyle that I started off with in college after I got out of college and got a job I had more money to be able to afford to experiment with other drugs in my drug of choice turn into being cocaine and I was able to so speed control that for a number of years, but something that I learned in recovery. Learn from our sponsor is that when I hit a bump in the road or experienced a struggle like maybe a job or relationship struggle that I would always go back to my drug of choice to to try to make me to mask over what I was dealing with and ultimately that caught up with me many years later and I hit my bottom. I sat I read dedicated my life to Jesus Christ and in the year 2020 years ago I was 20 when you go and started going to church but I was still living that that lifestyle and that was not the way that that that God want me to live, or that I was being comfortable right and so 18 years ago I started in sober recovery to to learn to deal with making bad decisions and to turn those over to Jesus Christ you so powerful to both you one of the things before you jump into what celebrate recovery is like the ins and outs of it and in the theme in the vision and mission of it. So I want her both you both your stories that you had a moment where you know Jesus either rededicate your life are coming to know him, but you still went. You're still in recovery.

So think of people that have never had.

Maybe that contradiction. Some question might be, like, well, Jesus saved you and you'll do it anymore.

So why 18 years later you still bleeding silver recovery and being part of it. So what is about addiction that that is, always causing you to need need something was overcooked so it's not a one and done fix right I tend silver cover.

One night, and I can do anymore. Okay, I'm good, or is it this long, lifelong process. That's a great question. I'll jump in their brain and I have both been sober for quite a number of years. I think we would both agree that for whatever reason a person comes to recovery and and we get over that. Then God shows us that we have other characters that we might want to work on or that I should work which could contribute back to you know absolutely have an issue again right. I don't think you would find many people in recovery did say that there's just one single thing that's right them to stumble.

You yeah so let us talk about celebrate recovery.

How this all works. So first off, what is the actual vision and mission of sober recovery. Our mission statement is to restore broken lives through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ to help people grow to be more like him and to equip them to restore other broken lives through a personal relationship with Christ and our vision is to provide men and women with a safe place to share their Hertz habits and hangups with others of the atmosphere of worship, community, and Scripture were becoming a member of the body of Christ is encouraged, as we learn God's example of love and service as it was demonstrated by Jesus and then our prayer is that through this ministry you will be able to exchange the struggles in your life for the abundant life that Christ came to make available to us out a powerful statement. So let's talk a little bit about Hertz habits and hangups right it's a pretty broad spectrum. So who who is celebrate recovery for so how do you define excessive I probably got Hertz hangups and habits, but I don't know maybe I do need to consult recovery now and I think some people might have the notion that a silver recovery is for alcoholics or people who are addicted to cocaine right but it's more than that. So let's talk a little about about that. So who's this for well that's a great question because I do believe in people here recovery. They focus on ethics and that's right, then most families feel like if the addict it's better than everything a be fine thing to be good again. On the one the things we've added to our mission statement is that we help the whole family heal from the pain of addiction and abuse, depression, codependency issues, all things that break up families and then also keep his distance from God. So I know for myself being adult child of an alcoholic. I had a pattern of life of the way I handle decisions I picked my relationships and so it was very important for me to understand myself why I was doing the things I was doing. I had no idea it was based on growing up an alcoholic home right so and there's a lot we get a lot of different people. I would say from the win the support of the ministry.

We more have people that are coming for anxiety, depression, signs and daughters that have alcohol and drug problems even have had funerals here because it had people that have died from the opiate addiction when it got and helping them back out. My nephew died in 2017 from an opiate addiction, so I still have family members still very active, so it's important I feel to learn boundaries right now is very important, and to know how to separate and recovery things like separate the disease from the person right a you you you love them, for where they are, not for what they're doing and what how they're acting so this is sanely saying that there emotionally or spiritually lost. Right. So how do you work on that when somebody is constantly hurting Ewart so learning how to do that I needed help I need someone else to walk beside me waking you asked is why we keep coming back right well when you get to a certain point my Gary says I feel like now it's like discipleship is like mentoring so I sponsor people. But I also believe that if people didn't show up on Friday night we went have CR right right and so it's very important to I believe service and just serving the Lord to the fellowship like that is what keeps I feel relationship healthy night when they come from so many broken relationships, and I think the other thing to waste the church by Crossroads how much they love people where they are writing where they're struggling and were walking beside them to where they want to have a better relationship with Christ and they don't have that condemnation anymore in Christ and said that freedom they want to share that with the next girl that comes in because all my gosh in her life is unmanageable prayer that maybe you and so it's a beautiful thing to see lives changed power of God working every Friday night. All the people that graduate from unsteady studies and down is very living to me to and techie so I say right. God is on good, real dark you know and apply Crossroads. Now that God God is real powerful, so talk about Friday night, mention a few step studies in mentoring and partnering in the sponsoring so paint the picture of what a typical Friday night silver recovery entails on Friday night we have a we have two one-hour meetings on the same night on the same okay and then there separate so the first hour we have about 15 or 20 minutes worth of praise and worship music. We have a praise and worship band there's been with us for many years and so were very very good by the way they always been times of been her Friday walking past Emily who was that look alike at celebrate recovery. The rocket is also 11 band of brothers go. They are great and were so blessed to have them. That's how we kick off our meeting just like a church meeting every week, every week. Wonderful. We have a few announcements after that to begin the meeting ended every Friday night we have a teaching lesson which comes from the 12 steps of recovery or a personal testimony that someone is giving of how God has worked in their life and that that's the consistency of the first hour the second hour. We break up into men's and women's open share groups okay and an open share group is where you have a group of people who could be 10 to 15 people in a group where you have the opportunity to openly share what's going on in your life today this week so forth.

So explain the different what's at celebrate recovery different than like AA or something like that or some other recovery program. What what is it about silver recovery that that you know that's us, unique or special to what I know for me coming from Alan on a in the beginning in Al-Anon is for the family of an I was fortunate enough that I was in the group so that the ladies there they would say that their higher powers. JC, that's one of the steps in a right acknowledged house awarded its acknowledging a higher power. Some something to let me rewrite a listener like you believe that a power greater than ourselves. Characteristic sent you to the power greater than ourselves. People which we use it in a lot of different way.

Sure write you instead. I mean, that could be relative to whatever money you write to me about whoever right exactly and so and I to be sad to say I didn't know JC was.

I like so and so I was fortunate that your group in AA were Al-Anon will recognize that while I was recognizing that there are groupings on their home groups as cults. So that was that when you go to different groups you hear that and I think it ends up happening when you grow in your healing with God and you grow in recovery. It's very hard to be at a meeting and people say that the higher powers lightbulb in a dorm and arsenic are even that some don't even believe in them, so it becomes the point where then this is not a good fit. I think of you wanting more healings is not taking anything away what they're doing is is that some recovery also sells and includes the Jesus spiritual component of it that's really clear that that is our higher power, whether that's pretty much a difference there so on these Friday nights. This is all year. It's pretty much Christmas. The Christmas right in his eyes are brown trout issue and so over the years. I'm sure that there's been some incredible testimonies that you've seen. I can imagine there's probably dozens if not hundreds of them over the last 20 years that you seen are there a few that stick out.

I was to be confidential, but is there are few that stick out that you could share to stop when you think of what silver recovery does he think that person want to share. I would have to say for me it's the lives of our leaders right we have 23 years also recover here Crossroads and if you can imagine, when they first came in, get the step study where they are now like it gives me goose pimples because it's just the transformation. We are so awesome you had last year and it truly is a transformation us out. So Mass. the 23 leaders are are all of them a product of silver recovery as well. They all themselves have Hertz habits and hang up that they've worked through another giving back to the program and sent to me incredible their hair every week just to people yeah I mean and so they pour in people's lives, just like someone did for them right and so on. It's really beautiful to see. We had one get married at a wedding here and I baby so it is just a to me that that's what keeps you measure every Friday seeing that knowing and he has been part of it long enough to know I remember you when you were at this stage now here you are leading your group of men everywhere. That's specials that were millionaires. There is her story or two that are outside of your own stories, which are extremely powerful, to say the least to both your stories are incredible, but is another story of some of that you seen that really sticks out to you while there's just tons of the beauty that I see in celebrate recovery is that you've got a group of man, or group of women in a group and you might think that you can't relate to that story but do you hear someone else share something and you never heard that said before, again, I'm a recovering addict and that's where I came silver recovery for many years ago, but I hear someone else talk about codependency or relation or relationship problems, or that they are a workaholic and and I think about things that I was similar in my life, or that I need to work on still and when we realize that were all just struggling with something and that there's no judgment, no condemnation in Christ Jesus. As Elaine said that we learned that every body jaws as you sit in the beginning you have some form of hurt have a drying up and that we can learn from each other on my story in itself for me is very personal. I it's it's sometimes amazing to think that I don't live the life that I did for many years and anything is absolutely with my relationship with Christ but celebrate recovery and seeking God out of my life. It's what made the changes over the years as I grow closer to him and know him better.

How special is that to know that such unique setting. You don't get authenticity like that anywhere you don't get that of the job. Do you think the family sometimes with snow that you can come to a place where some going to judge you because you got issue because you're looking at a group people that all have issues and they're all open about it so you know this. This radio program is being listen to all of the triangle. That's also a podcast. That's we found out that is global. People from all sorts of countries are listening to this, so I must both incite questions Elaine if some is in right now is the only listen right now struggle with the hurt have a hang up.

Would you tell her wine and we generally reach out to God for help. And then I would CR is national so you can just Google it and leaving on an applicant on your phone. Just put in your ZIP Code and it will get to the next place this meeting if you go to Crossroads Fellowship website.

My phone number here, you can call me Gary's phone number is Eric calling there's help. It's lesson plan again and you won't. There is not judgment, it really is about loving you where you are and that ability that you can be honest and real and that something accepts you right and so I know Gary's a cadet that I know both work on that real well to make sure that we offer. Like Jesus was offering on the feet of him so and then back that is not hopeless. There's hope, right. At some point when you're hurting and you're in pain in your life financial like I can be there anything that I came in for I had anger, codependency and compulsive behavior is what I came in for so I actually had rages pride beyond anger set on to have now somebody help me understand my hurt was very important and so I believe hope is what I got out of it the most inviting understand anything just walking in the room and I just thought wow these ladies are like amazing, brief breath so dear, what about you is that there's I'm sure option right now there's a young Gary listening. Honestly right now that privacy is altogether a great job and maybe nobody even knows that he's got a problem which influences him like that and you say first.

This is a safe place where you can walk in the door for the first time scared and apprehensive. Many times newcomers that come don't even want to be here with us, but we love them. As Elaine said, right where they're at and let them know that just we would greet him with a smile before the covert. We greeted him with a hog I and just let people know that with the safety of coming celebrate recovery. They will hear other men and women share their Hertz habits and hangups in a safe place where they are stored they will start to feel comfortable and will open up as so you mention covert as of the time of this recording and more than likely the time of this errors were still encoded but Crossroads silver recovery is still meeting.

So what is changed about the meetings because a code because it may be some people that might be hail not covert conscious on the want to go anywhere will be running buddy. So what is it about the safety of coming here that you can look people maybe maybe release some conscious of their people might be wondering about that. We generally ask everyone to wear a mask right if not, we hand out mask at the door.

The greeter working on a mask and we do ask during the first hour that everybody wears a mask, we do make sure that we announce in our announcement about sitting if you're not in the same family to sit three seats away. We also share that. If you're uncomfortable sitting next to somebody because maybe you're not doing what they want for covert please move and be comfortable and then on our second hour.

We make sure that the seats are 6 feet apart on that is the place where I would say if a person is comfortable. It would take the mass down to speak of their distance and yet we have distanced enough and we also clean after every meeting to make sure that that's taken care of as well and people who have illnesses right they have cancer may have a girl at sound leadership as cancer and she wears her mass. The Holton but she still comes and Joe serves right so another words, don't let it stop you from coming out that it's a great place to come and be part of their so let's talk about how enclosing how can people get a hold of you, but I know you miss your numbers on the website but you want to share a little more about the website and in how people get a hold of you and you'll come in any close remark you might have well Elaine and eyes social numbers both on the website and so we we love received phone calls from people and and to share what sober recoveries about when we meet that we are meeting in person. Even during the covert now and it just gives us an opportunity to to let them share as to what's going on in their lives what you're looking for if they're ready to open up and share with us and and it's their first point of contact when they when they contact us which which often a year down the road is gone might say will Gary. I called you a year ago.

I'm just glad you answer the phone and just to know that someone's there are so many people that are hurting out there, especially during this this difficult year that we are in, and that are isolated and when they pick up that phone and call us were there to answer the call we we hope that they they hear Christ through us you absolutely well. Only thing so much. We are on a timely were not the time has flown by and we could spend more time talking about. Thank you so much for the party silver recovery and help people with Hertz habits and hangups and so if you listen right now if you get across was that or you can find all information there and I get a hold of somebody and as Elaine said earlier.

Hey, there's hope great soaps of them give up so thinkable to be in on the program today. Thank you so much for having us your success as a leader hinges upon buying from your teams clear and consistent communication from you and strategic delegation. My name Cheryl Scanlon C3 Advantage helps you steward your most valuable resource. Well, improve retention grow employee engagement and generate higher team and individual ownership. The success of your organization begins with you depends on your team go deeper as a leader and watch organization further visit three

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