Have You Noticed?

Gaining sobriety is one thing; gaining perspective is quite another. Throughout these almost 25 years I have noticed that successful people have good perspectives. They see things from a higher, broader, more long-lasting point of view.

How did they develop this ability? They learned it through experiencing negative consequences in life-choices. The wiser ones notice the successes or mistakes of others and emulate or avoid these.    

Discovery Family Ministries started in 1992, only three months after I began to gain sobriety. I learned more than I ever wanted to know about chemical addictions. What really helped the most was studying and listening to and reading after successful people. Add to that a personal determination to experience success and the rest is history! Call it grit, drive, self-motivation or whatever. Without this ingredient, life would have remained average, poor or failing. 

I noticed successful people had all the qualities listed above. I admired them. They gave me hope. They did not become a substitute for personal initiative and hard work. Sure they had some character defects too, but they faced them honestly, humbly, and went forward. Along the journey I noticed others who excused themselves in their condition by blaming others and they continued to ride the merry-go-round. Sadly, these never broke out of a repetitive life cycle. I determined to lift my eyes to those who rise from the ruins to become achievers.

Almost paradoxically, I noticed that truly successful people were not self-serving. They lived outwardly. Their gain became the opportunity to help others. Within them was a yearning to see others succeed.

This is at the heart of DFM. Our ministry mission became verbalized around 2000: Empowering Lives to Change for Good Through Proven Principles That Lead to Peace and Productivity.  

We have remained true to that calling over the years and I noticed that others wanted to invest in that thrust. To handle the incoming support for our vision, we retained a lawyer and CPA to set up our 501c3 corporation.

Have you noticed that this Ministry Letter is called, Discovery Perspective? The DFM Board agreed that we should communicate a taste of the substance of what was being offered in our venues of ministry. The Biblical principles we teach are applicable to everyone. Also, those who invest in this ministry get the benefit of knowing their investment is providing something Beyond Recovery…a healthy perspective on doing life successfully! 

Below are a few examples of the people you reach by supporting DFM. We are always thankful to the following ministries for allowing us to partner with them: Mrs. Doris Littleton, founder and director of the Home of Grace for Women; Pastor Chris Patrick, Executive Director of The Wings of Life and Ms. Kristy Wells, Director of The Shoulder, Brad McClain, Pastor of Graceport Church and the Vestry of Christ Anglican Church.

Thank you for continuing to pray for us and invest through us as we continue to fulfill the mission.

Recent teaching…

Gehazi Gains Perspective!

2 Kings 6:15-17

Elisha, the prophet of God, had a disciple named Gehazi. His name means, “valley of vision.” That seems odd. Naturally speaking, it is from the mountaintop that we gain the highest perspective. Yet, spiritually speaking, it is at the lowest points of life that revelation often comes.  

Gehazi could have been the emerging prophet after Elisha, like Elisha was to Elijah, but his grievous greed led to the disease of leprosy. God was nonetheless merciful to Gehazi giving him supernatural perspective. 

Ironically, the Syrians turned on Elisha after he worked a miracle for Naaman. Now as he slept in a place called Dothan, the enemy besieged the city. Gehazi awakened in a panic attack because he saw the enemy everywhere! He cried out, “What shall we do?”

Calmly, Elisha said, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Essentially, he was saying, God’s truth, righteousness and justice will prevail! I have noticed that those who share God’s view remain confident and serene even in the face of crisis.

Elisha further prayed for Gehazi saying, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” When the Lord opened Gehazi’s eyes, he saw the mountain was filled with heavenly horses and chariots of fire.

What has besieged you? Have you gained God’s perspective?

Johnny Harrison

The first time I met Gary was four years ago at the Downtown Fellowship Church. He preached a sermon that planted a seed that started a journey for this prodigal son and his return to the Father.

I entered the Wings of Life and my first Thursday night Pastor Gary walks in to speak! God has His own timetable and way of harvesting seeds.

The transparency in Gary’s testimony and his love has given me the courage to dig deep and allow Jesus to truly search my heart. I have laid my burdens down at the foot of the cross. I have experienced the forgiveness of myself. I am being healed and restored and I am learning my purpose and finding my identity in Christ Jesus.

Pastor Gary, thank you for showing me servitude and what a man looks like. Thank you for allowing God to use you. God Bless you!

Megan Hall

At age 37, addiction had overpowered me for half my life. My poor choices for the last 20 years caused me to lose so very much: my children, family, husband and home, but most of all, I lost who I was. I no longer loved myself because of what I had done. I was in so much pain because of what I had brought on others and myself. I had no emotions left.

Through my entire life (except as a child), I had no concept of God and spirituality. My lifestyle kept me in the bondage of fear. I was even afraid to pray. 

Finally, just nine months ago, God sat me down in the county jail. It was there that God revealed Himself to me. He let me experience His presence. He revealed to me that I was exactly where I needed to be. He continually said to me, “Be still and know that I am God.” Wow! Hearing this word I knew He was real, that I was safe and that He was with me. The first chapel service I attended that verse in Psalm 46:10 was used.

After I got out of jail, I went back to the same people who were still doing what they did. Still ignoring God’s calling, He saw to it that I would enter the Home of Grace. The experience here, completing this program and deciding to stay on after graduation, has been the best decision I have ever made. It is a gift from God.

The classes are wonderful and have taught me to be a productive, grateful, God-fearing child of God. Eternal life and happiness are now mine through prayer. Pastor Gary’s class has always been one I look forward to because of how well he depicts stories from the Bible. I always eagerly listen and take a page or two of notes, quotes and verses.

Words could never express my gratitude for the Home of Grace and those who make this place possible. I have been born again and set free from the bondage of addiction and my former self!

Stanley Coor

Prior to coming into the Wings of Life, I had fallen away from Christ and went back to using drugs. My life was spiraling down fast. My bad choices caused me to lose my business. I found myself in the middle of a divorce. I was homeless, sleeping in my truck and eating out of a McDonald’s trash can.

Finally, I realized I needed help. I heard about the Wings through a friend. I heard Pastor Brandon Sanders preaching a sermon on that Thanksgiving Day. He said, “You don’t think you have another ‘get up’ in you, but you do!” I was broken, busted and disgusted, but I got up that day.

Since being in this program, I have been sitting under the teaching of the Word and my spirit is receiving what is given. One of the most impacting classes is Pastor Gary Browning’s on Thursday evenings. He pours out directly into my life what God has given him. 

God has restored my marriage and changed my sense of direction. I am responsible for driving one of the ministry trucks. I am fully committed and seeking God for His direction in my life. I feel secure and confident, knowing that I am part of something bigger than myself.