CHANGE ~ How Bad Do You WANT It?

If you are perfectly content with your life, then praises to you … You are a very small percentage of the population.  Most people are in pursuit of change. The American Dream is full of change and upgrades that people believe will make them happier. However, most people are not willing to put forth the hard work necessary to make their dream a reality. Therein lays the real challenge to addiction recovery.

everything-in-your-life-is-a-reflection-of-a-choice-you-have-made-if-you-want-a-different-result-make-a-different-choiceI had breakfast with a group of old friends the other day. During the conversation, one of the women expressed her struggles with worry and fear. I shared truths from my own experience that worry was a choice to not trust God, that fear is not from God, that there are many places in scripture that tells us, “Do not worry,” ”Do not fear,” “Be anxious for nothing.” Why does he tell us not to worry? Because it is a sin to do so, and the “wages of sin is death!” I choose to believe and trust that I have a bigger God than my problems.  My friend was very offended and continued to clutch her emotions as if it were old friends. What would happen if she WANTed relief as much as she NEEDed it? For those who struggle with life controlling issues, change is necessary to gain freedom. Most people NEED to change to overcome the struggle. However, do they WANT it bad enough? When the pain outweighs the fear, a person will do the necessary work to change.

Everyone who comes to Faith Farm Ministries needs recovery … they NEED to change something. However, our Intake Counselors attempt to identify those who truly WANT to change.  We have 445 beds for men and women to receive a free, 9 month, drug and alcohol recovery program consisting of spiritual training, life skills, college accredited recovery and vocational classes with a work project. We provide a safe place … a non-judgmental place … where students obtain knowledge, skills and tools that help them learn to overcome life-controlling issues. We provide the necessary time needed to heal, restore, renew and build a strong foundation with faith, which provides strength to overcome life’s challenges and obstacles. We provide the place but there is no magic here! A student who comes to Faith Farm must WANT recovery. For those who WANT it bad enough, there is a 100% success rate.

About the author:  Judy Walters is the Project Manager for Faith Farm Ministries, serves on the ministries’ Academic Board serving as the Board Secretary and is a member of the Emmaus community. She is a published author,  copy writer and editor. She strongly conveys the healing nature of Christ through Celebrate Recovery 12 Step materials combined with The Alpha Series materials by Pastor John Glenn. She is a co-founder of the Boynton Beach Celebrate Recovery Group that currently meets at Faith Farm’s campus. As a mother of four with a former real estate career spanning 25 years, she has many stories and life lessons worth sharing. She is a licensed minister and a counselor with compassion and a powerful message of hope for those who struggle with life controlling issues. Audiences are sure to have valuable take-a-ways when Judy shares her powerful testimony to inspire and equip audiences in recovery from issues like addiction, co-dependency, abuse and low self-esteem. She has a genuine love for ALL of God’s people and cherishes diversity. She is an enthusiastic disciple that models agape love. Her goal is to remove the stereotype and preconceived stigma of addiction and recovery by showing others that recovery from life’s hurts, habits and hang-ups can be fun and fruitful. “People in recovery for any life controlling issues are the strongest, bravest and most transparent people I know, and I admire their courage.” 
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Recovery – From The Inside Out

header_02I had the pleasure of attending a meeting of the Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition (PBCSAC).  In attendance was a plethora of addiction industry, well-connected professionals from various South Florida rehabs, sober homes and focus groups.  This group, together with like groups from counties all over the State of Florida and the United States, is credited with the overdue attention given to the opioid epidemic. In May, Governor Scott declared Florida’s opioid epidemic a “public health emergency.” As a result, additional funding can be realized in strategic areas for heroin antidotes. Funds were made available for the Sober Home Task Force to stop the greed and help provide safe homes for people in recovery. New addiction awareness initiatives, locally and in Washington D.C., are being implemented.

With that said, the addiction battle is against an enemy that is so vast that we can only combat the proverbial “tip of the iceberg.” The Surgeon General, Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., Vice Admiral, recently submitted his report, “Facing Addiction in America … Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health” and he stated “… addiction is a health condition, not a moral failing or character flaw.” As such, addiction is a disease that affects body, soul and spirit. Many 28-day programs provide medically assisted treatment where patients can detox and address physical/body recovery. There are many behavioral health rehabs providing counseling services to address the soul in 30 to 60 day rehabs. Rehab defined … restores an addict to their condition prior to using the substance.

ego-says-once-everything-falls-into-place-ill-feel-peace-spirit-says-find-your-peace-and-then-everything-will-fall-into-place-quote-1Faith Farm Ministries was the only faith-based organization represented at the PBCSAC meeting. We understand that there is an obstacle to the “rehab” approach. An addict may not have dealt with whatever caused them to use in the first place. For this reason, Faith Farm’s approach provides a regeneration program, or spiritual recovery.  Just like a caterpillar becomes a chrysalis, then a beautiful butterfly … this is what Spiritual Recovery does for a person.

Making an impact in the external addiction battlefield is a daunting goal.  It seems to me that the battle strategy to combat the addiction enemy can best be fought from the “inside – out!” We stand a better chance when we try to help a person by loving them and helping them to love themselves.

About the author:  Judy Walters is the Project Manager for Faith Farm Ministries, serves on the ministries’ Academic Board serving as the Board Secretary and is a member of the Emmaus community. She is a published author,  copy writer and editor. She strongly conveys the healing nature of Christ through Celebrate Recovery 12 Step materials combined with The Alpha Series materials by Pastor John Glenn. She is a co-founder of the Boynton Beach Celebrate Recovery Group that currently meets at Faith Farm’s campus. 
As a mother of four with a former real estate career spanning 25 years, she has many stories and life lessons worth sharing. She is a licensed minister and a counselor with compassion and a powerful message of hope for those who struggle with life controlling issues. Audiences are sure to have valuable take-a-ways when Judy shares her powerful testimony to inspire and equip audiences in recovery from issues like addiction, co-dependency, abuse and low self-esteem. She has a genuine love for ALL of God’s people and cherishes diversity. She is an enthusiastic disciple that models agape love. Her goal is to remove the stereotype and preconceived stigma of addiction and recovery by showing others that recovery from life’s hurts, habits and hang-ups can be fun and fruitful. “People in recovery for any life controlling issues are the strongest, bravest and most transparent people I know, and I admire their courage.” 
Learn more about Judy | Request Judy

Drop And Give Me 10

6cro5K4eiPhysical fitness enthusiasts would not think of going without a daily workout to sculpt their bodies and keep their heart pumping while enjoying the endorphin rush. It is a non-compromised part of their life. The daily exercise keeps them healthy and feeling in tip-top shape. They would not flinch if someone told them to “Drop and Give Me 10!” Ten Push-ups (or 10 “Ps”) is nothing to someone who is a strong, healthy, physical fitness guru.

I am a spiritual fitness enthusiast.  I can say “Drop and Give Me 10” as a daily spiritual workout, sculpting the mind and keeping the heart flowing.  This, too, is a non-compromised part of my life. I will “Drop” (to my knees) and “Give Me 10” in order to stay spiritually fit. My “10” = Prayers, Psalms or Minutes. I challenge you to do the same.  Prayer is staying connected to your Life Source; communication with the Creator.

The Old Testament overflows with great prayers. A prayer of Hezekiah is a beautiful prayer.  Despite his perilous situation and the needs of his people, Hezekiah honored the Lord first with his praises. There are prayers of supplication like that of Elijah. First, he prayed for it not to rain and it did not … for 3 years. Then, he prayed for rain and it came. Abraham knew God very well, thus he was called the “friend” of God. In Abraham’s intercessory prayer, he pleaded with God to spare Sodom because Lot was there.  He pleaded on the grounds of God’s justice, claiming it was unlike God to slay the righteous along with the wicked.

There are many more prayer models: Daniel, Nehemiah, and of course, King David and his beautiful Psalms. Prayer is a tool we teach to our 445 students at Faith Farm Ministries, a free recovery program for men and women who struggle with addiction. The chance of recovery success dramatically increases when you stay connected, teachable and accountable with a regular regimen of spiritual fitness.

About the author:  Judy Walters is the Project Manager for Faith Farm Ministries and serves on the ministries’ Academic Board serving as the Board Secretary. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Oceanside Emmaus community and is a published author,  copy writer and editor. Audiences are sure to have valuable take-a-ways when Judy is the presenter as she draws on her past with her own powerful testimony to inspire and equip audiences in recovery from issues like addiction, co-dependency, abuse and low self-esteem. Her favorite thing is teaching, whether at the pulpit or in the classroom. She strongly conveys the healing nature of Christ through the Celebrate Recovery materials combined with knowledge from The Alpha Series materials by Pastor John Glenn. She is the Celebrate Recovery of Boynton Beach Ministry Leader. She provides administration, marketing, social media, event planning, donor development, customer service and public relations for Faith Farm as the ministry’s Project Manager.
As a mother of four with a former real estate career spanning 25 years, she has many stories and life lessons worth sharing. Redirection of her passion has led her to become a licensed minister and a counselor with compassion and a powerful message of hope for those who struggle with life controlling issues. She has a genuine love for ALL of God’s people and cherishes diversity. She is a friendly and enthusiastic disciple with a mission to show others what agape love looks like. Her goal is to remove the stereotype and preconceived stigma of addiction and recovery by showing others that recovery from life’s hurts, habits and hang-ups can be fun and even fruitful. “People in recovery for any life controlling issues are the strongest, bravest and most transparent people I know, and I admire their courage.”
Learn more about Judy | Request Judy

I’m a “Groupie” for Life!

HI_recovery1(1)I’m a “Groupie” and I’m proud of it! Small groups are where life happens. Think about it! From the moment you enter this world, you become part of a group … a family! Perhaps you are the blessed one who was born into the stereotypical “mom and dad with beautiful children” family. In the not so typical foster care system, you may have many siblings that change from time to time. It is still a group … a family. Growing up, you enter classrooms … many different groups with different people, focuses and chemistries.  We join scouting groups, youth clubs, sports teams and mission groups.  After beginning your career, you have certifications, accolades, professional organizations and licensing groups providing credentials that make you a better and more successful businessperson. Groups build us up, teach us and prepare us for life.

There are music groups, Facebook groups, church groups, bridge clubs, ethnic clubs, collectors clubs … groups for everything.  However, recovery small groups for addicts, codependents and hurting people are so important because they truly save lives. Why are they so important? First, small groups are Biblical. Genesis 2:18 states, “It is not good for man to be alone.” Life is meant to be done together.  Second, small groups build community.  People get close enough to each other to care, challenge, encourage and confide in one another, and this allows for maximum personal growth, which does not happen in isolation. Finally, small groups provide accountability. The chemistry in a small group that is non-judgmental and safe provides for an open, honest and intimate experience.  Holding a member accountable for their behaviors can often prevent an excursion down a dangerous path.

Faith Farm Ministries is structured around this small group accountability, education and spiritual foundation.  Morning classes, work projects and dwelling accommodations are all a type of small group. Our students attend Celebrate Recovery small groups as well.  For 65 years, Faith Farm has provided a free, drug and alcohol, addiction recovery program for men and women.  Our program is now 9 months long and we have 445 beds at three South Florida locations.  If all people understood the value of small groups as they live their lives, perhaps Faith Farm would not always have a waiting list of those who are seeking help from their hurts, habits and hang ups.

About the author:  Judy Walters is the Project Manager for Faith Farm Ministries and serves on the ministries’ Academic Board serving as the Board Secretary. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Oceanside Emmaus community and is a published author,  copy writer and editor. Audiences are sure to have valuable take-a-ways when Judy is the presenter as she draws on her past with her own powerful testimony to inspire and equip audiences in recovery from issues like addiction, co-dependency, abuse and low self-esteem. Her favorite thing is teaching, whether at the pulpit or in the classroom. She strongly conveys the healing nature of Christ through the Celebrate Recovery materials combined with knowledge from The Alpha Series materials by Pastor John Glenn. She is the Celebrate Recovery of Boynton Beach Ministry Leader. She provides administration, marketing, social media, event planning, donor development, customer service and public relations for Faith Farm as the ministry’s Project Manager.
As a mother of four with a former real estate career spanning 25 years, she has many stories and life lessons worth sharing. Redirection of her passion has led her to become a licensed minister and a counselor with compassion and a powerful message of hope for those who struggle with life controlling issues. She has a genuine love for ALL of God’s people and cherishes diversity. She is a friendly and enthusiastic disciple with a mission to show others what agape love looks like. Her goal is to remove the stereotype and preconceived stigma of addiction and recovery by showing others that recovery from life’s hurts, habits and hang-ups can be fun and even fruitful. “People in recovery for any life controlling issues are the strongest, bravest and most transparent people I know, and I admire their courage.”
Learn more about Judy | Request Judy

When You’re In It … You Can’t See it!

Have you ever been in a dark room? I mean REALLY dark … so dark that you cannot see your hand when you hold it up to your face.  You cannot see darkness nor can you see anything within that darkness. The fact is … there is no such thing as darkness. Darkness is simply the absence of light and its different intensities.

Life is much the same. For those who have had marital problems, received a chronic illness diagnosis, or experienced financial ruin, they know what darkness looks like. Marital counseling, a good doctor or financial planner can bring light to the darkness. Letting the light into the life situation allows for the proverbial “light” at the end of the tunnel. Until then, hopelessness is the darkest place we know.

The disease of addiction is darkness for the addict and those that love them (co-dependents.) Unlike other diseases, the stigma connected with this disease adds shame and guilt to the hopelessness often preventing those affected to seek the light. The disease of addiction is so cunning that it convinces the addict to stay in the darkness of denial rather than expose their problem to the light for all to see.

This morning I learned that two young women I know, both in their early 20’s and both with a young child, lost this battle yesterday.  They refused to see their problem, keeping it in the darkness and not allowing the light to expose them. One died of an overdose yesterday. The other is in a coma on life support with no chance of recovery.

Faith Farm Ministries is a 65 year old, free, faith based drug and alcohol recovery program with 445 beds for men and women. It is that safe place where people can emerge from the addiction darkness into the light with no shame or guilt. Light gives new hope, new purpose and new life. I am aware of nowhere else that provides a free program with free education, including recovery classes for up to 9 college credits, GED Classes, life-skills and spiritual classes, vocational training and life counseling.  We help those who want to heal, restore their families and contribute to their communities.

If you want to help Faith Farm in its mission to save lives, you can text FAITHFARM to 41444 or visit www.faithfarm.org and click the Ways to Give tab to make a gift. For every $1 you gift and invest in our addiction recovery program, there is a tax dollar savings to you estimated at $12 in reduced drug-related crime, criminal justice costs, theft and health care expenses. (Source: Association of Gospel Rescue Missions) 

About the author:  Judy Walters is the Project Manager for Faith Farm Ministries and serves on the ministries’ Academic Board serving as the Board Secretary. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Oceanside Emmaus community and is a published author,  copy writer and editor. Audiences are sure to have valuable take-a-ways when Judy is the presenter as she draws on her past with her own powerful testimony to inspire and equip audiences in recovery from issues like addiction, co-dependency, abuse and low self-esteem. Her favorite thing is teaching, whether at the pulpit or in the classroom. She strongly conveys the healing nature of Christ through the Celebrate Recovery materials combined with knowledge from The Alpha Series materials by Pastor John Glenn. She is the Celebrate Recovery of Boynton Beach Ministry Leader. She provides administration, marketing, social media, event planning, donor development, customer service and public relations for Faith Farm as the ministry’s Project Manager.
As a mother of four with a former real estate career spanning 25 years, she has many stories and life lessons worth sharing. Redirection of her passion has led her to become a licensed minister and a counselor with compassion and a powerful message of hope for those who struggle with life controlling issues. She has a genuine love for ALL of God’s people and cherishes diversity. She is a friendly and enthusiastic disciple with a mission to show others what agape love looks like. Her goal is to remove the stereotype and preconceived stigma of addiction and recovery by showing others that recovery from life’s hurts, habits and hang-ups can be fun and even fruitful. “People in recovery for any life controlling issues are the strongest, bravest and most transparent people I know, and I admire their courage.”
Learn more about Judy | Request Judy

WE GIVE A HAND UP!

hands002Faith Farm Ministries began the holidays with our huge annual Giving Thanks Sale at Faith Farm Ministries.  You have probably seen one of our 29 Faith Farm box trucks that drive an extensive territory around South Florida serving our three Faith Farm Thrift Store locations in Ft. Lauderdale, Boynton Beach and Okeechobee.

We are so thankful to our donors and our patrons for supporting us by shopping our stores and donating your gently used household goods. Your support provides free, residential full-life transformation addiction recovery for those whose lives have been devastated by addiction.  Addiction has no boundaries and affects us all, whether personally through a loved one or through societal cost of addiction. By the time a person is truly ready to do the hard work of recovery, they often do not have financial means.

Faith Farm offers a full life transformational program at no cost to our students. We don’t supply a hand out … we give a hand UP! We provide: 1) Basic Needs of food, housing, clothing; 2) Recovery Classes including tools and time to heal … not simple sobriety; and 3) Education on many levels: GED classes and testing; Our recovery classes offer up to 9 college credits; Comprehensive Work Training (CWT) – Classes and on the job training that teach work ethics, conflict resolution and resume worthy skills.

Faith Farm is among the top 5 largest Ashley distributors in the United States. Our three stores hold over 55,000 sq.ft. of abundant selection of gently used household items, appliances, electronics, clothing, jewelry, art and collectibles, bric n brac, living/dining/bedroom furniture, outdoor furniture, sporting goods, medical supply and more. 94 cents of every dollar generated by our thrift directly supports the student programs. However, it costs $3,000 per month, per student. You can help by sponsoring a student’s curriculum, food program or work training materials for only $15/month gift.

Text FAITHFARM to 41444 or visit www.faithfarm.org and click the Ways to Give tab to make a gift. For every $1 invested in our addiction recovery program, there is a tax dollar savings estimated at $12 in reduced drug-related crime, criminal justice costs, theft and health care expenses. (Source: Association of Gospel Rescue Missions)

About the author:  Judy Walters is the Project Manager for Faith Farm Ministries and serves on the ministries’ Academic Board serving as the Board Secretary. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Oceanside Emmaus community and is a published author,  copy writer and editor. Audiences are sure to have valuable take-a-ways when Judy is the presenter as she draws on her past with her own powerful testimony to inspire and equip audiences in recovery from issues like addiction, co-dependency, abuse and low self-esteem. Her favorite thing is teaching, whether at the pulpit or in the classroom. She strongly conveys the healing nature of Christ through the Celebrate Recovery materials combined with knowledge from The Alpha Series materials by Pastor John Glenn. She is the Celebrate Recovery of Boynton Beach Ministry Leader. She provides administration, marketing, social media, event planning, donor development, customer service and public relations for Faith Farm as the ministry’s Project Manager.
As a mother of four with a former real estate career spanning 25 years, she has many stories and life lessons worth sharing. Redirection of her passion has led her to become a licensed minister and a counselor with compassion and a powerful message of hope for those who struggle with life controlling issues. She has a genuine love for ALL of God’s people and cherishes diversity. She is a friendly and enthusiastic disciple with a mission to show others what agape love looks like. Her goal is to remove the stereotype and preconceived stigma of addiction and recovery by showing others that recovery from life’s hurts, habits and hang-ups can be fun and even fruitful. “People in recovery for any life controlling issues are the strongest, bravest and most transparent people I know, and I admire their courage.”
Learn more about Judy | Request Judy

Three Ways to Love an Addict

For those of us who have a loved one with an addiction to alcohol or drugs, there are some very significant ways to help them without trying to “Fix” them. In co-dependency, we always try to fix the problem, fix the hurt, or fix the person, but can we … Really? The answer is no, which brings us to the first way to love an addict …b3f5c2a6bba5bf654ee56c521cadcaa9

  1. Stop trying to fix things. Your loved one and his or her addiction is something you have no control over. Trying to fix it will lead to YOUR insanity.  Instead of trying to fix the addict, fix yourself.  Yep! I know!  Many years ago, I picked up a book by Stormie O’Martian called “Power of a Praying Wife!”  I was going to pray my husband into sobriety! On the first couple of pages of that book, the words clearly said it was ME who needed to change.  What?  You have to be kidding!  I threw the book across the room. It broke the window blinds, hit the wall, and on the floor it sat for few days, until I gained the courage to change the things I can, starting with me.  This was a great place to begin to love my husband again.
  2. Get out-of-the-way! Every addict needs an enabler.  An addict simply cannot continue to use without one.  Enabling prevents consequences of one’s actions and bad decisions.  An enabler makes excuses and justifies the loved one’s behavior, even if they assume the blame in the process. In order to love your addict, set some strong, personal boundaries, and stop getting in God’s way of the teaching through negative consequences.  Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I love to color with my granddaughter who is almost 3 years old.  I make a beautiful picture with lots of color, and I stay inside the lines … perfection! My granddaughter decides she wants to help me with my picture. To make it even prettier, she grabs a big black crayon and within seconds, makes huge scribbles across my masterpiece.  Don’t we do the same thing to God’s masterpiece when we decide to help?
  3. See through God’s eyes. Are you perfect? Of course, you are not.  Does God love you anyway? Of course He does. God loves your addict, too!  Just like you, He created your addict with special gifts, talents and purpose.  Discover those and focus on them.  Stop dwelling on the negatives.  See your loved one as God sees them and love them unconditionally the way He loves us.  This may do nothing for your addict, but it will go a long way in softening your heart to your situation.  With your heart in the right condition, don’t be surprised when your addict responds positively.  Do not give up before the miracle happens.
About the author:  Judy Walters draws on her past with her own powerful testimony to inspire and equip audiences in recovery from issues like addiction, co-dependency, abuse and low self-esteem. Her favorite thing is teaching, whether at the pulpit or in the classroom. She strongly conveys the healing nature of Christ through the Celebrate Recovery materials combined with knowledge from The Alpha Series materials by Pastor John Glenn. She is the Celebrate Recovery of Boynton Beach Ministry Leader. She provides administration, marketing, social media, event planning, donor development, customer service and public relations for Faith Farm as the ministry’s Project Manager.
As a mother of four with a former real estate career spanning 25 years, she has many stories and life lessons worth sharing. Redirection of her passion has led her to become a licensed minister and a counselor with compassion and a powerful message of hope for those who struggle with life controlling issues. She has a genuine love for ALL of God’s people and cherishes diversity. She is a friendly and enthusiastic disciple with a mission to show others what agape love looks like. Her goal is to remove the stereotype and preconceived stigma of addiction and recovery by showing others that recovery from life’s hurts, habits and hang-ups can be fun and even fruitful. “People in recovery for any life controlling issues are the strongest, bravest and most transparent people I know, and I admire their courage.”
Judy is a member of Faith Farm Ministries’ Academic Board serving as the Board Secretary. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Oceanside Emmaus community and is a published author,  copy writer and editor. Audiences are sure to have valuable take-a-ways when Judy is the presenter.
Learn more about Judy | Request Judy