Archive for May, 2014

1 PETER 3:15
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those that speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

As a believer in Jesus Christ, one never has the foreknowledge of when God places them in a situation to where this verse is going to be fulfilled in there life. I think in my mind that’s why it says to always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. I personally am a member of a program called Celebrate Recovery and have within CR given my testimony at a few different meetings and it’s always a blessing to be able to do so. But my pastor and ministry leader believe as do I that a believer should have their testimony in 3 different, lets say versions. One written out to give as a 15-20 minute testimony at a meeting or church, a 2nd one a shorter version that is a “rated G” version to give to older kids and teens, and 3rd a 3-5 minute version to give maybe to someone one on a trip or air plane. I also happen to wear my one and only CR T-Shirt quite frequently which I believe puts me in the position to be asked about CR and what it is all about quite often. I can honestly say that I’ve never had the pleasure of giving a 3-5 minute version of my testimony until yesterday when at the Emergency Room with my youngest daughter and wife. My daughter was in the back being seen for what we thought was strep throat and I was in the waiting room drinking coffee watching the news, with my CR t-shirt on. I can say it was mid morning and the ER wasn’t full, however there were a good amount of people waiting and in and out when this older gentleman came from around the corner, saying hello and greeting people. Judging from the ID Badge on his shirt I figured he worked for the hospital. It wasn’t until the end of my conversation with this man that I found out he was a chaplain. When he saw me he boasted of how he loved the program of Celebrate Recovery and how it changes peoples lives. Now mind you this man does not speak quietly at all and as we were talking I noticed people looking our direction and to be honest I wasn’t exactly whispering. It was a small waiting room and we were vocal enough you knew what we were talking about. All of a sudden the chaplain says let me hear it, give me that 3-5 minute version of your testimony. I did not have any time to rationally think about what I was going to say and if you look at me with all my tattoos (full sleeves, and on fingers and hands) you could guess what my life could have been like. So I started out that CR is a Christ Centered Recovery Program not just for people with drug or/and alcohol issues. CR is a program for people with life issues, that suffer from any of life’s hurts, habits, and hang ups such as grief, codependency, abuse of many forms, sexual integrity issues, anger, food issues the list is endless. I was honest and I told him how I lived most of my life as a drug addict slash drug dealer, that I had prospected at one time for an outlaw motorcycle club, that after the Marine Corps and medical assistant school I chose to live most of my life outside the law, and that in 2005 through my girlfriend loosing custody of her youngest son to her ex-husband God started making attempts at getting my attention. Through that experience I thought that my girlfriend needed spiritual guidance that I couldn’t provide for her then one day she told me that she was good with her relationship with Christ and that God was looking for me not her. Then in 2009 I submitted my life to Christ, rededicated my life to Christ and was baptized. I then started living the new creation that God had purposed me to live, and how God had led me to CR where I was freed by Christ from the addiction to drugs, and how my life has now been a testimony in how through the 12 steps. I have learned that there are other areas of my life that I need to work on and how God has transformed me from the inside out and that I’m a work in progress.
I said all that in around 5 minutes, but mostly I got to talk about how Jesus changed an old hardened, angry, bitter heart to a loving, kind, gentle heart for Him. My heart belongs to Jesus and He didn’t give me my life back, I don’t want to go back. Jesus gave me a new life, even in the struggles He gives me a life that I want to live, that I look forward to living. With Jesus and Celebrate Recovery I get the opportunity to serve God in my church, my community and in Celebrate Recovery. Hopefully what I got to do in sharing that 5 minute testimony was plant a seed in someone’s mind and heart that there is a place where people can find healing from life’s hurts, habits, and hang ups of all sorts. And I hope for you the reader if you need healing seek Christ and His power. Find someone you can talk to who knows Christ and can help lead you to a relationship with Christ so you can find freedom from life’s hurts, habits and hang ups.


© Copyright By Bart Hickey, All Rights Reserved, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014



Matthew 6:14-15
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

I wonder how many Christians consider or have considered unforgiveness could possibly be a stalemate for growth in our walk with Christ. Or at least be a barrier for growth in the area where the unforgivness is. Have anyone considered how unforgiveness can weigh you down or possibly be the cause for a heavy burden. I don’t know about anyone else but when I have unforgiveness in my heart, it makes it easier to carry grudges and be discontent with any and everyone. It just makes my heart heavy and burdensome.

Many people who have heard my testimony know that I was raised in an alcoholic, abusive home. This and his abuse of my mother was the cause of my dad and I having severed our relationship after I left home for the US Marine Corps. I didn’t just sever the relationship, I downright hated the man and believed my anger, rage and hate was all justified. Well long story short, in more ways than not, I grew to be a lot like him. I carried all that bitterness throughout life in and out of my relationships and always wondered why none ever lasted. To be truthful how he was to me I was the same way to the people in my life. Another truth to be told I considered myself to be a Christian that just couldn’t stop using drugs.

My journey began with forgiveness when homeless in my mothers living room I had hit my bottom. God met me at the doors of Celebrate Recovery in 2009. A friend of mine gave me a study guide about Identity In Christ that I started working, and in there it started talking about forgiveness. I knew I had unforgiveness in my heart towards my father. God started speaking to my heart about forgiving my dad, but there was one major problem, my father had passed a few short years prior and I had recently found out about it. So how can you forgive a dead man was my thoughts. This is what I believe God spoke to my heart “ how can I forgive you if you won’t forgive your father?” I dropped to my knees crying asking the Lord, Father God to please forgive me and my unforgiveness. I got up from there and a huge burden appeared to be lifted off my shoulders and knew at that time that all my sins were forgiven. There was no questioning it and thus was the start of my journey with forgiveness, submitting my life to Christ and with the help of Celebrate Recovery. So if you have unforgiveness in your heart seek the Lord asking Him to speak to you, to help you have a forgiving heart, where there is unforgiveness. When I did I was freed of that bitterness and a heavy burden was lifted off my heart…


© Copyright By Bart Hickey, All Rights Reserved, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014