Freedom!

Over the past several weeks, I have been contemplating “freedom.” With Memorial Day, we remembered those who died in military service for our freedom.  As I walked on the streets of Cuba, this month, I couldn’t help but think of the lack of freedom in the lives of the good people that lived there.  When we watch the news and hear about the oppressed around the world, a voice rises up in us and calls out to the captives, “Fight!  Fight for your freedom!”  It is a longing in every one of us, in every aspect of life- to always be free.

It is interesting that the opposite of free is exactly what it is- costly.  Every time an individual enjoys the luxury of freedom, the mind must go back. There was a cost somewhere; a payment made, along the way, to purchase that freedom- a transaction that would catapult into the future lives of others- affecting them on a daily basis.  Someone, at some point, paid for each freedom that is possessed.

We see that in our own country.  The cost of freedom has been high.  The Memorial Foundation reports that, “Since 1776, over one million Americans have secured the blessing of liberty through their lives.”  They also point out that 42 million Americans have served their country in time of war.  Freedom is costly.

Webster defines freedom as a noun:  “The state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.”  In the movie Braveheart, William Wallace is fighting for the freedom of his country, Scotland.  At the end of the movie, he has been captured by England and is being tortured to death.  Legend says that in the last agonizing moments of his life, he, ironically, cries out, “Freedom!!!” for all to hear.  He is shackled and imprisoned but his heart is free because he has lived honorably.  As a result of his sacrifice, his countrymen are inspired and fight to eventually take their country back from England’s “enslavement” of them.

Take a moment to watch this scene: Braveheart – FREEDOM – Y#3299DC

In our contemplation of freedom, there is One that trumps them all- the ultimate and final freedom.  The eternal freedom that Christ gave to us through dying on the cross,

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

God recognized that no matter how hard we were to fight for physical freedom, we would never truly experience spiritual freedom from sin without His sacrifice.  Even in the days of Christ, the throngs were so focused on freedom from Rome that they didn’t see the One, before their very eyes, that could grant them freedom from every kingdom and dominion.

Christ recognized that physical freedom was temporary but spiritual freedom was eternal.  We need to remember that too as we share the Good News of the Gospel- the news that brings freedom to every facet of a person’s life, despite the physical strongholds they may find themselves in- whether it is a communist country, a prison cell, a wall street desk or a down town park bench- each one of us is invited to receive and experience the ultimate freedom that only Christ can give.

Jesus declared the war to be over when He said from the cross, It is finished.

Freedom is now at hand,

Brice Maddock, COO Teen Challenge Southeast

 

2016 ELP Summit_Staff Day

We’re just about two months out from our ELP Summit_Staff Day, August 15 -18, 2016. Our theme is “think simple, Dream Big.” We are keeping the simple things important while dreaming about how we can “Put Hope Within Reach of Every Addict.”  The three-strand cord of “Rebuilding the Altar,” “Raising up Sons” and “Put Hope Within Reach” were words spoken to Dr. J over the last few years. As we create structures and systems to accomplish our vision, we are mindful of the tension to simplify, simplify, simplify while we dream BIG, BIG, BIG!

We have some great speakers line up and several break-out sessions that we hope will help you practically work smarter while having vision for yourself and the organization. If you haven’t already registered, please register yourself and your participants here.

Looking forward to see you there!

Think Simple Dream Big

 

ELP Highlight

Name: Barry PendergrassBarrry Pendergrass

Age:   45 years old

Hometown: Montclair, NJ and Atlanta, GA

Teen Challenge Center:   I graduated the Jacksonville Men’s Center on March 27, 2016 which was Easter Sunday and I am currently serving as an intern.  

My Testimony in Brief: After struggling with addiction to painkillers, crack & heroin for 25 years, I found myself hitting rock bottom. I lost everything & everyone that ever meant anything to me, my wife, two beautiful children, home and career, not to mention my sanity. Today I have hope because the ministry of Teen Challenge has offered me a fresh start at life.

The Purpose and Calling God has Given Me:  I have a purpose and through the Emerging Leaders Program, God has revealed his calling to me. I believe that God has placed a special anointing on my life to help break the cycle of addiction in the lives of others by seeing the radical life transformation that I have experienced. I also want to thank you for all you do and keeping the ELP vision alive and strong.

Level II

Welcome

This month we welcome Kelly Adkins (Women at the Well, PA) to Level II! Kelly, we look forward to serving you and helping you to grow in your leadership!

Core Courses

We continue with our 3-month course Values in Leadership and our text: People First by Jack Lannom. The first acrostic is Logos. Logos is a Greek word that is often translated as wisdom, doctrine or logic. Logic is framed on the foundation of knowledge. If you are building a structure like the Sears Tower or the Empire State Building, you must construct a massively solid foundation before you can safely and successfully erect the magnificent superstructure. Knowledge is the very foundation of leadership. The Leader’s Leader provides a unified knowledge base that unites everyone in the organization.

Remember to fill in your Personal Action Plans at the end of each chapter. You will turn in these at the end of the course. 

Rep’s Link

Welcome

This month we welcome new Rep’s Mike Spivey, Level I & II graduate from Jacksonville Men’s and Holly Williams Level I and ELC graduate and staff at Pensacola Women’s to the ELP. Thank you for answering the call to raise up the next generation of leaders within Teen Challenge.

Level I Adult

This month we start our new course Discover Your Gifts and our text: Discover Your God-given Gifts by Don and Katie Fortune. You will discover which of the seven motivational gifts listed in Romans 12:6-8 were given to you by our Heavenly Father at your birth. Why do you enjoy doing some things and do other things simply because they have to be done? These gifts are actually the key to understanding the very motivating forces in your life. You will understand the vast difference between the gifts of the Spirit, the gifts of Christ to the church and your personal, innate gifts you have had from birth.

Level I Adolescent

Our course for the Adolescent track is Leading Others and our text: HabHabitudes 3-FBitudes #3 – The Art of Leading Others by Dr. Tim Elmore. The images Dr. Elmore provides are memorable and powerful in conveying key leadership principles. We want to communicate to our students that in the ELP, leadership starts first with leading yourself well, then with connecting with others and finally, we lead those under our care.

Monthly Book Orders and Grades

Southeast region Rep’s can go to Google Drive and search for ELP Monthly Order Form and Grade Sheet Edited. Look for your center’s name in the tabs at the bottom and fill in your information. No need to save or email the spreadsheet (Google Drive saves it and we can access the info from my Drive). If you place an initial order on the form and update the order later (i.e. add 2 more books) after we have ordered your books, please send and email to andree.aiken@teenchallenge.cc. All new applications must be in by the 10th of the month for students starting the 15th.

ELP Summit/Staff Day

Two events, one awesome experience!  We have changed our Staff Day from June to accommodate a combined training for ELP Summit and Staff Day in August. The dates are Monday, August 15 through Thursday, August 18th. We are planning to have a key note speaker, break out sessions, team-building activities, outreach, graduation and much more! Look out for the e-memo on Monday, May 9th to register your participants!

ELP Highlight

Name: Kevin Noviello

Age: 24 Years Old

Home Town: Columbus, GA

Teen Challenge Center: I graduated Jacksonville Men’s Center June of 2015.

My Testimony in Brief: I had eternity at my finger tips and decided to turn back from a road of promises. Raised in church, I was always taught right from wrong and good morals, but I wanted to pursue a life where I was in control. With a wild imagination and a independent outlook on life I found myself fully addicted to any substance that would further my experience of ” being in control.” I came to Teen Challenge with almost the mentality to prove that God could not do something with a hopeless and drug addicted felon.

The Purpose and Calling God has given me: God has called me to help build up a generation of Earth shakers for the kingdom of God.

The ELP’s Impact on my Leadership: ELP program sharpens leadership qualities while cultivating new skill-sets of leadership The ELP program is the single most effective program training leaders according to the model Jesus set.

Level II Link – May 2016

Welcome

This month we welcome Michelle Sheppard – Pensacola Women’s to the ELP. Welcome Michelle!

Core Courses

Our next Core Course is Values in Leadership and our text: People First by Jack Lannom. Lannom uses Leadership as an acrostic to describe a systematic way we can “develop world-class leaders and pass on an enduring legacy.” Lannom says “As I began to compare and contrast strong, growing organizations with those that consistently struggle, it didn’t take long to realize that a company is only as strong as its leadership.” The first principle of leadership is logos meaning knowledge; leaders know what they believe and why they believe it and from this knowledge they promote the idea of truth in all things, wisdom in all things and excellence in all things.

This course is a 3-month course and will be shipped from our office. Your first post will be up on the forum on Monday, May 16th. You’ll make an initial post and then respond to someone’s post.

 

Rep’s Link – May 2016

Welcome

This month we welcome new Rep’s Mack Johnson (Program Manager, Level II grad & Level III participant) from Middle GA and Rebekah Barnett, Level I Staff at Hosannah House TC! Thank you for answering the call to raise up the next generation of leaders within Teen Challenge.

Level I Adult

This month we start our new course Armor Bearer and our text: God’s Armor Bearer by Dr. Terry Nance. Support the vision of your leader and God will help you accomplish your vision in due season. The study of this book and workbook will give understanding in just how to accomplish God’s plan as an armor bearer doing God’s will. The writer of the book served as an armor bearer to his pastor some twenty-five years with meekness and joy and he performed with precision and peace.

 

Level I AdolescentHabitudes 2

Our course for the Adolescent track is Building Relationships and our text: Habitudes #2 – The Art of Connecting with Others by Dr. Tim Elmore. The images Dr. Elmore provides are memorable and powerful in conveying key leadership principles. We want to communicate to our students that in the ELP, leadership starts first with leading yourself well – then with connecting with others before you try to lead them.

Monthly Book Orders and Grades

Southeast region Rep’s can go to Google Drive and search for ELP Monthly Order Form and Grade Sheet Edited. Look for your center’s name in the tabs at the bottom and fill in your information. No need to save or email the spreadsheet (Google Drive saves it and we can access the info from my Drive). If you place an initial order on the form and update the order later (i.e. add 2 more books) after we have ordered your books, please send and email to andree.aiken@teenchallenge.cc. All new applications must be in by the 10th of the month for students starting the 15th.

Head Scratching Picks

A couple of days ago, Media Analyst, Daniel Jeremiah wrote an article called, 2016 NFL Draft: Five Head-Scratching Picks. In the article, Jeremiah describes five NFL “picks” that literally left him scratching his head.  They were players that he felt should have been “passed over” for other, more talented or qualified players.

Rewind with me, three thousand years ago to another head-scratching moment that changed the course of history.  You know the story well but humor me and read it again:

“I’m sending you to Jesse in Bethlehem because I’ve selected one of his sons to be king…I will reveal to you what you should do, and you will anoint for me the one I point out to you.” Samuel did what the Lord told him…He performed the ceremonies for Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. When they came, he saw Eliab and thought, “Certainly, here in the Lord’s presence is his anointed king.”

But the Lord told Samuel, “Don’t look at his appearance or how tall he is, because I have rejected him. God does not see as humans see. Humans look at outward appearances, but the Lord looks into the heart.

Then Jesse called Abinadab and brought him to Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” Then Jesse had Shammah come to Samuel. “The Lord has not chosen this one either,” Samuel said. So Jesse brought seven more of his sons to Samuel, but Samuel told Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these. Are these all the sons you have?” “There’s still the youngest one,” Jesse answered. “He’s tending the sheep.”

Samuel told Jesse, “Send someone to get him. We won’t continue until he gets here.” So David_the_Shepherd_Boy_001Jesse sent for him. He had a healthy complexion, attractive eyes, and a handsome appearance. The Lord said, “Go ahead, anoint him. He is the one.” (Taken from I Samuel 16)

God is the ultimate “scout.”  His ways are not our ways- he looks into the heart, not on outward appearances.  David was a man after God’s heart, faithful, intimate with the Lord…He was not perfect but he knew how to repent.  The Great Scout is looking for men and women, with a heart like David’s, to change the world, to lead His cause and to bring hope to many.  I am proud to say that we have a team made up of “Davids.”  I know my words were few today but let this passage of Scripture challenge and encourage you- God see’s into your heart and He has hand picked you for His team.

Chosen Together,

Brice Maddock, COO – Teen Challenge Southeast