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  • Charlene Stevens Jenkins

Here we are in the final hours of 2023. It’s a good time to reflect on what we’ve learned as we prepare to move into what’s ahead. Be it a new day or a new year we can start fresh. What an opportunity. I am grateful to God for each new day and new year.

December’s Celebrate Recovery (CR) lessons were 24 Yes and 25 The Seven Reasons We Get Stuck. What a powerful ending to the year, and a launching pad for something new. Can you say ‘yes’ to a new beginning?

Each month we were blessed to hear lessons, testimonies, and recovery stories that helped us to step out of denial, lean in to hope, and confess and admit our sins. We’ve ended the year with Principle 8: Yield myself to God to be used to bring this good news to others, both by my example, and by my words; and Step 12: Having had a spiritual experience as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

This has been such an amazing journey. None of us is perfect, but we keep coming back to CR each week because we find strength and encouragement in one another. We are growing and thriving!

By the way, CR is a Christ-centered 12 Step program with 8 Recovery Principles taken from the Beatitudes in the book of Matthew. CR is offered by over 35,000 churches in the world and millions have found freedom from hurts, habits, and hang ups.

I’m glad that we wrap up the year around the Christmas season. In last month’s blog, I mentioned how different life would be if we would all keep God at the forefront of our thoughts and minds every day. I want to expound on that concept a little more because many people only focus on the love of Jesus during Easter and Christmas. Wouldn’t our lives be so much different, more joy-filled, more purposeful, more Christlike if we had a daily habit of putting God first? If each of us made time to reflect, we would come up with a list of areas in our lives to seek God’s help and to be more grateful. This transformational walk begins with a relationship with Jesus Christ. If you want that, all you have to do is call on His name. Acts 2:21 tells us that everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. Jesus is waiting and wants to give you freedom. Once we accept Him, we can begin to walk in that new life. Yes, a fresh new beginning. CR helps us to do that one day at a time. Our growth is a witness that the same God helping us is able to help everyone who comes to Him. We can all share that Good News with someone else. That’s what Principle 8 and Step 12 of Celebrate Recovery is all about. We want the world to know that Jesus has the power to help with ANY hurt, addiction, habit, issue or hang up. You name it, Jesus can handle it. Today is gonna be a good day!

You can join us at our weekly meeting on Monday, January 8 from 7-9 at 296 Live Oak Church Rd, Hinesville GA. In the meantime, reach out to a sponsor, accountability partner, spiritual mentor.

To find a meeting near you, visit and select 'Locator.' Thank you for reading my blogs and for sharing them with others. Visit Let’s communicate. I’m still here to encourage, inspire and motivate. I’m praying for you.  God Bless!

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  • Charlene Stevens Jenkins

Earlier this month, I taught the Celebrate Recovery Lesson 22 Gratitude, which just happened to take place in the month that we celebrate Thanksgiving. In case you did not know, CR is a Christ-centered 12 Step Program. We are now on Step 11: We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge o His will for us and power to carry that out.

“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly.” (Colossians 3:16). We also have 8 Recovery Principles, taken from the Beatitudes in the Bible. We are now on Principle 7: Reserve a daily time with God for prayer, 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. It is through prayer, meditation and reserving a daily time with God that I have the awesome privilege of spending time in worship and praise to Him.

As I reflect on the Gratitude lesson, I have to ask…Do you know why gratitude is so important? There are so many reasons and I will focus on this. Psalm 150:6 NIV says, Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. So, as long as we are alive, we are expected to give God praise. Not because of what He does for us or whenever He always gives us what we ask for, but because of Who He is. Let us not forget that He is the Creator of the universe, the Maker of all mankind, the Beginning and the Ending. Just that fact takes me to another verse that prompts me to worship, Revelation 4:11 NKJV You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created. Since God is worthy, He deserves our praise. So guess what? I say we should celebrate Thanksgiving every day! Psalms 107:1 reads Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. How often should we give thanks? Psalm 34:1 NKJV answers that question and states I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. I have to return to Psalm 150:6 but the MSG says this Let every living, breathing creature praise God! Hallelujah! If you are reading this, that includes you.

I found myself singing the chorus of Great Are You Lord, a few days ago and these are the words: It’s your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise, we pour out to You only. I imagined a container that is filled. As long as there’s something inside of it, it’s possible to pour out into another. OK, we are containers or vessels. Every time we wake up and we are able to breathe, we have the ability to pour out our praise to God. that praise has absolutely nothing to do with the current circumstances. (Look at Job.) It has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not things are going my way. (Look at David, Joseph). So I’m glad that Thanksgiving is here, because some need to be reminded to give thanks, not only to our heavenly father, but to people in our lives that we are grateful for. For the sake of this blog, Let’s focus on pouring out our praise to the ONE who gives us our breath EVERY SINGLE DAY! Whenever we open our eyes, we have an opportunity to pour out praise to Him. Keep that in mind. If we do, we would live and operate in continuous praise! Oh how much different life would be if we all kept God at the forefront of our thoughts and minds every day! I wish I had the time to expound upon that…

THANK YOU for reading and sharing my blogs. Check them all at If you have any questions, DM me. Let’s communicate. I’m here to encourage, inspire and motivate. I’m praying for you.

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  • Charlene Stevens Jenkins

Every October, I look forward to participating in events to promote Breast Cancer Awareness. This year, I had so many wonderful experiences and as I reflect on everything, the one word that comes to mind is 'courage.' Courage is necessary at every age and season, for every challenge we face. Courage is vital.

At the beginning of the month, I was honored at the Paint Liberty Pink Proclamation at the Liberty County (GA) County Commissioner’s Office at the request of Mrs. Kathy McCalla Villafane (Thank you again!).

At the end of week two, I spoke to the Live Oak Church Warriors With Wisdom (ages 50 and above) group. The main theme was Resiliency: Body, Soul and Mind, and I shared about the mind from the perspective as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and also as a Ministry Leader of Celebrate Recovery (CR). I emphasized that when we are mentally healthy, we’re able to cope with the ups, downs, and stresses of life. It is so much easier to adapt to change and we are less likely to become overwhelmed. One of the Scriptures I shared was Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV}, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength.” Whatever you are going through, find courage in God.

The following week, I joined other survivors on stage at Pink Out the Market, in Hinesville’s Bradwell Park. I felt so blessed as I stood with them and felt their courage too.

That weekend, I was one of eleven Celebrate Recovery leaders and volunteers attending Advanced Leadership Training in Tennessee. Our Global Executive Director, Pastor Johnny Baker, said “the two friends of leadership are curiosity and community, and the two foes of leadership are doubt and pride.” He truly deposited some powerful nuggets into us, reminding us that it takes courage to lead effectively. He also reminded us to take time off to take care of ourselves and remember that God will use the pain in our lives for His glory.

Last Saturday, I was the speaker at the Chi Pi Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.’s Walk for the Cause at James Brown Park, Hinesville (GA). My topic was Don’t Let Your Fears Paralyze You. The topic is personal for me because this time last year I needed a biopsy after my annual mammogram. I was almost paralyzed by fear. I am a breast cancer survivor, and the thought of reliving this horror was daunting. When I went in for the biopsy, I had people praying with me, but I needed to be medicated to prepare myself for the procedure. Why? When I had the very first biopsy, the numbing medication did NOT work, and I felt the stabbing pain of the needle. Honestly, I cringe every time I remember how painful the experience was. I made it through the biopsy in October 2022, continued to trust God, and it was benign. Praise God! I’m scheduled for a mammogram next week, and I’m not nervous at all. This year, I will not give in to fear.

At the end of my speech, Don't Let Your Fears Paralyze You, a young man asked how to overcome fears. I, along with several others, told him that it’s possible by depending on God, reading, and believing His Word, and communicating with positive, encouraging, and supportive people. I'm glad he had the courage to ask the question.

As I close, I see how the courage to overcome fears leads right into our current Celebrate Recovery (CR) Principle 7: 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; and Step 10: We continue to take personal inventory and when we are wrong, promptly admit it.

October was busy, and I wish I had time to share more details of every event I attended. I'm

grateful for the wonderful people I met and thankful for each person who left with a copy of my book!

Every time I have the opportunity to speak or take my books, I also have CR flyers. In my opinion, Celebrate Recovery is the best 12-step program because it’s not just about drugs or alcohol, but has 8 Principles from the Bible. Jesus is our Higher Power and He has the power to help us overcome our hurts, habits, hang-ups, shortcomings, and any sin imaginable. There’s absolutely NOTHING too hard for our God! Take courage.

As we say at CR, ‘Thank you for letting me share.’ Check out all my blogs at Call or DM any questions, and let’s communicate. I’m here to encourage, inspire, and motivate. I’m praying for you.

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