Participants: Cheri Peters (Host), C.A. Murray
Series Code: CLR
Program Code: CLR00029A
00:11 Hi! I'm C. A. Murray, welcome to season number three of
00:14 Celebrating Life in Recovery.
00:16 Now you have heard them talk about reality television,
00:20 well this is real life television.
00:22 This is television raw, this is television as it is
00:26 lived, this is life changing television.
00:29 Stay by, stay with us!
00:30 Season three of Celebrating Life in Recovery is
00:34 ready to come to you!
01:03 Welcome back! First of all I have to say this, because I
01:08 never get to say this to anybody.
01:09 Does it seem cheesy when you do that open?
01:11 Because it does to me sometimes, because I do an open
01:14 it does seem a little bit dry.
01:15 Now talking about cheesy, I need to say something to you
01:17 before you get rolling because it is hard to believe we
01:21 are in our 3rd season.
01:22 I know - that we've gone this far this fast.
01:24 It's amazing it's been an amazing journey, the
01:26 feedback absolutely is incredible.
01:29 Yeah but I want to thank you for being transparent,
01:32 you know and for leading us through this.
01:35 It's a whole new kind of a thing for us and we tape
01:39 bunches of shows together - you know I only have 2
01:41 brain cells so I can't be anything but, do you know that?
01:44 But what is incredible about this whole experience is
01:47 because I have written three books, and they kind of deal
01:50 with a lot of this subject matter and I never go back to
01:51 them because it's kind of tough re-reading lives that have
01:55 been torn apart and put back together.
01:57 And we relive this through you each time, and after 2
02:01 weeks of doing show after show after show
02:03 the crew is like whoa.
02:05 It takes up so much oxygen that you need to regroup and
02:09 just thank you for having the strength to re-visit your own
02:13 past, and your own road to recovery, and then
02:16 taking us on that journey.
02:17 Because it has been a fantastic journey and we have had
02:20 2 excellent seasons and we haven't seen nothing yet
02:24 really, we really haven't seen anything yet because
02:26 I have no idea.
02:28 First of all I want to talk about why chose the book I
02:30 chose this season, every season we've had a book.
02:33 Steps to Christ, the Coming of the Comforter, with
02:36 the Holy Spirit and this season I've got a book called
02:38 Exalting His Word.
02:39 The reason I got this with my friend Shelly Quinn is because,
02:41 I realize that sometimes in recovery we step into recovery
02:45 and we think we know what
02:47 our issues are, we know what our junk is, and
02:49 I think that unless really get into the Word of God and see
02:53 God's take on who we are that our heart is still deceiving us.
02:56 We're still rationalizing stuff, I can pretty much
02:59 still do this, I can lie a bit, I can do this a bit,
03:02 and God is saying, you know what, get into the Word.
03:04 You literally will see what I mean by recovery and when
03:08 He shows us, that I'm like, really!
03:10 So not even exaggerating, and God says,
03:13 no exaggerating is actually lying.
03:15 I'm like, but God it is more fun, and He is just saying
03:19 you know what in this part of your recovery, as you
03:21 journey into that, is that I'm getting into the Word of
03:25 God, not because I am going to give you more brownie points
03:27 of what you do, not because I'm somehow thinking this is
03:30 what you do because I said so.
03:32 He said it literally will reflect your damage and you
03:35 will come to Me more honestly.
03:36 And so this season is about coming to God in a more
03:39 honest way - yeah, yeah I really like that.
03:41 You know the text that comes to mind is
03:43 Jeremiah 17:9, I'll take a second to read it.
03:45 "The heart is deceitful above all things and
03:47 desperately wicked, who can know it?"
03:49 You know when you get a glimpse of that God just says
03:52 let me to show you a little bit.
03:53 And I'm just thinking man, man is that me?
03:55 And He is like absolutely - yeah - and you are thinking
03:58 absolutely are you kidding me?
04:00 He kisses you on the face because He doesn't want you to
04:01 feel bad - right - but He says don't get too carried
04:04 away with yourself because you can deceive yourself and
04:09 not even know it.
04:10 We had a professor in college who used to say this all
04:12 the time, and I didn't get it then, I understand it now.
04:14 He would say that as bad as that is to breathe
04:18 secondhand smoke, it is worse to blow smoke up your own nose.
04:22 And he would say that all the time and I would think
04:25 what is this guy talking about?
04:26 I love that - but it is a good statement as bad as it
04:28 breathe other's smoke, to play games with your own
04:33 mind, to poison yourself, you have got to be real.
04:35 Because the Lord knows you, and you have said this over
04:38 and over, and God knows your junk so why play games with
04:40 your own head because God knows.
04:41 Okay so saying that, and you said in a cheesy tease,
04:45 that you said how raw this show was.
04:48 So somebody called and said you should interview so and
04:52 so and I said okay.
04:53 All of a sudden I realize, so and so is a Strip Club Owner.
04:57 Well with my background, and a sister still locked in
04:59 that lifestyle, she just ended up in ICU after a 3rd
05:03 DUI and all that kind of stuff.
05:05 And she is in the business and I am looking at this
05:07 Strip Club owner, and I do not want to interview him.
05:09 All of a sudden I am realizing I'm not feeling good about this.
05:13 I literally could not get beyond it and when I came in
05:17 and I went to meet him here at the studio.
05:19 Hi my name is Cheri and I'm going to shake his hand,
05:22 literally in a spiritual sense I felt my hands around
05:25 his throat and wanted to say to you realize the damage
05:28 you have done, are you truly in recovery because if
05:30 you're not don't play me.
05:32 I was just so, and people around me, you guys have not
05:35 seen me angry and I am literally feeling that.
05:38 So J. D. comes, and he's like let's pray, so we are praying
05:43 and I was able, through the prayers of my friends in the
05:48 studio and through my own relationship with God is to
05:51 allow God to process that with me and this owner, but He did it
05:55 on the show with the cameras on, and both of us really
06:00 stepped into our healing in different way.
06:02 So I am going, I'm going to show you some of the
06:05 shows for this season.
06:06 So Michael Ehm is a Strip Club owner, so we are
06:09 going to talk about him.
06:10 Lemuel Vega, who had been in prison, was just basically
06:16 a bad guy and really has been through some stuff and now
06:20 he is just doing an amazing thing.
06:21 The 3rd person I want to show on this particular clip
06:24 is Mark and Luke, and I want to see these clips because
06:31 the show is very raw and what we did this season,
06:33 through the power of God was absolutely, it surprised me
06:37 how much we covered in how honestly it was covered.
06:44 You know I felt like hey I could make this work.
06:46 So then one day my mother was in the grocery store, and
06:52 she always had a put back the grocery she couldn't
06:54 really afford, like the extra things I mean.
06:56 She would get the bread and the things that she needed,
06:59 the necessities and if there was enough money left she
07:00 would by these few things.
07:01 One day I was able to give my mother some money and said
07:04 here mom buy it all.
07:06 And she said where did you get the money son?
07:08 I said mom I worked for it, and at that young age in my
07:12 life I thought that if I could have enough money, money
07:15 would take care of the problems for the car, the house.
07:17 Money would fix life's problems and you know what by the
07:21 time I was 18 years old I had thousands of dollars.
07:23 And my dad was right, he always said son if you don't
07:26 straighten up he said your going to be in prison by the
07:29 time you are 18 years old.
07:30 I had to cry at 18 years old, I had to cry and
07:33 look through that little window and my dad was sitting
07:36 on the other side.
07:37 I said daddy you are right, and I said I'm sorry.
07:40 So through all that, our lives are so messed up, unmanageable
07:44 It's pretty dark, very dark and I survive in this thing
07:48 because I'm going through the money because I'm always
07:50 told what you could you do with your days off?
07:52 I can fly here - and I literally watched as a girl killed herself
07:55 and the club owner says who's going to fill her shift?
07:58 Yeah - and I just wanted to stop and say, does anybody
08:01 care that she just killed herself?
08:03 I was just so hurt and it was all about who is going to
08:06 fill her shift because we need to have this many girls
08:08 on at this shift - Yeah!
08:09 Yeah and you had to stick to that amount girls
08:11 and if you go lower you go higher, you go too high the
08:14 girls complain, and if they don't have enough,
08:16 and the owners complain.
08:17 And I really appreciate that too, I have had girls that
08:20 have died in my club too.
08:21 From overdoses, or people that have stalked them and
08:24 killed them, from boyfriends that have assassinated them.
08:26 It really grieved my heart and I think that through
08:31 death the Lord used that because as I got involved with
08:34 these clubs, and worked in them.
08:36 Things got darker for me and I started participating in
08:40 very illicit type sex - right.
08:45 And I remember opening the door of the truck and I did
08:48 want to look back because I knew it was going to be bad
08:50 because we had moved.
08:52 And I turned by head and the car had been pushed up
08:54 beside us the roof was tore off on the driver's side and was
08:59 sticking up in the air.
09:00 I walked back there, picked up the liner, the headliner
09:04 of the car and the 3 girls were in there.
09:08 You can see them - yes and nobody was moving.
09:12 Then they asked is anyone hurt and I stopped for a
09:16 second and thought, you know what I haven't even seen
09:18 the car were my wife and mom were riding in.
09:21 I thought I don't know so, and she said that was fine
09:25 emergency crews are on their way.
09:27 So I hung up and to get to the U-Haul's since there was
09:30 a big pile up behind as I had to crawl under the semi
09:33 trailer that we been hit into.
09:34 When I got on their side I saw the car and it didn't
09:40 really look like a car I mean it was just so destroyed.
09:46 Oh wow powerful! You know I had an opportunity to
09:49 interview Mike Ehm, he was here some months ago and I
09:52 caught that interview - I bet you were nicer to him?
09:55 Yeah I was - I was not very nice at first - but what
10:00 you approached it from an entirely different place.
10:02 We were just trying to get his story out because
10:04 it is a powerful story.
10:05 But you, again Celebrating Life in Recovery, you dealt more
10:09 with the damage of being in that lifestyle, the damage
10:12 inflicted on yourself, and the damage you inflicted on others.
10:14 Where we talked more specifically about the healing
10:17 in the history, and you dealt with the nuts and bolts of
10:21 what that stuff does to people.
10:22 It was huge - powerful stuff - and what was so amazing
10:25 to me, about presenting those 3 stories, is that God
10:30 literally, with Michael and the Strip Club owner.
10:33 That morning in my own devotions, I'm doing this whole
10:36 study on forgiveness, not realizing that God is setting
10:39 me up so I can forgive him in the studio, on that program.
10:44 I'm thinking God how cool are you, I did even realize I
10:47 had that much animosity still in me for the damage that
10:50 was put on me while I was homeless.
10:52 So it was just amazing.
10:54 We did another show, and it got us say another group
10:59 that came in, some friends of mine came in from LA.
11:01 One is a stripper and she found God and literally, she
11:05 finds God and steps into recovery and she is full of joy.
11:08 We also had Shannon, that's were John From Every Woman's Battle
11:11 talking about sexual addictions and coming out of that.
11:14 She was so strung out sexually, I mean she was so strung out.
11:19 Not even realizing it she gets married to a guy that is
11:22 normal, I mean to say normal he was like a virgin when they got
11:25 married, I didn't think that any one was still doing that.
11:26 And I know that they are, - or not doing that - but you
11:30 know, are not doing that whatever.
11:31 She talks about her coming from acting out horribly and
11:36 her husband coming from a place where he has saved
11:38 himself for her, and had God walked them into healing.
11:41 She was amazing and then we had a gay pastor that
11:46 literally came out of the lifestyle and was so blessed
11:50 by God that he works with other men that are coming out
11:53 lifestyle which - that's why this is so important.
11:56 We've talked bout every man's problem, and when you
12:00 think about sexual addiction and those kind of things
12:02 you think Guy, Guy, Guy, Guy, Guy.
12:04 That has been sort of dealt with but here we find out that
12:07 this is not just a male issue, we see that it's a female
12:11 issue too, a human issue.
12:13 After we did the last season where we had Fred Stoeker
12:15 on with Every Man's Battle, women were e-mailing me and
12:18 calling me up and saying what about us?
12:20 Not realizing that we are in the sexualized society, we
12:23 show on the media and how we have programmed ourselves
12:26 to respond visually.
12:27 We are creating the same kind of sexual addiction in
12:30 women that we have in men because of the visual thing.
12:33 Women's sexual addiction from the past,
12:36 is literally being tweaked a little bit and becoming similar
12:38 to men's addiction and so
12:40 to cover that was absolutely huge, but to step out
12:44 and cover that I am, I'm a little bit afraid.
12:46 God is saying please don't be afraid because we need to
12:49 heal, and so watch these you are going to be blessed.
12:56 After a few years the fireworks don't pop anymore when
12:59 he kisses me and it just becomes normal.
13:01 Well I didn't know what normal felt like, to me normal
13:03 felt like it's over you must not really be my soul mate.
13:07 Right - that I must married the wrong person.
13:09 I had no idea that we weren't burning out, we were
13:13 really just warming up here.
13:14 One thing that did seem to be predictable unfortunately,
13:17 was set there was this thread of sexual abuse throughout my life.
13:21 I was exposed to pornography at 3 years old, and
13:23 molested by multiple people, men and women,
13:27 and raped as a teenager.
13:29 It just really took its toll on me because I internalized it.
13:33 I thought I blamed myself like a lot abused victims do
13:37 and I just thought that something must be wrong with me
13:39 because how do I keep ending up in the situations?
13:42 How do I keep drawing these sort of people into my life,
13:45 so I really dealt with a lot of blame and a lot of shame
13:47 and didn't talk about it.
13:48 She's like no, no, no you can't take me home, I'm
13:50 like I'm taking you home, there is no way you're going to walk.
13:53 So she gets in the car with me and we drive to downtown
13:55 and before I know it we are on skid row.
13:57 Which is the worst part in LA, like you know the worst -
14:00 I've been there - yeah, so you know it's awful.
14:03 So we are down there my heart is breaking inside.
14:06 She said that's mine that's mine on the corner but can
14:08 you drop me here, which is like 3 blocks back.
14:10 I said no, no, no all park my car and a walk you in, and
14:13 just with this look on her face, she was just humiliated
14:15 like please, please just drop me off.
14:18 I felt terribly guilty - all the time - oh I just
14:24 didn't know anyone like me.
14:26 I felt like was the only one in the world, I knew better.
14:30 I had never met anyone else that was struggling with
14:33 what I was struggling with.
14:35 I never knew who I could talk to so I didn't, I just
14:39 totally internalized and that was my demise spiritually.
14:43 Now had I at 4 years old had been able to go to my
14:46 parents and tell what happened, they could have assured
14:49 me that I was okay - and that shame would have been
14:52 laid on you - that's right.
14:53 I could've been healed at the age of 4 and could have
14:57 had a normal life, I believe.
14:59 That was a step, there are many factors involved it's
15:02 not any one thing, but that was a step.
15:07 Well Cheri will we think of a possible afflictions and
15:11 addictions that humanity has, we never think that our
15:14 pastor could be suffering from this kind of thing,
15:17 because we kind of put them on a pedestal and we want
15:20 them be pure, yet they are humans and they come from a
15:22 real world with real problems.
15:24 Do you know what is really amazing to me is that the more I
15:27 get into Ministry the more that if I allow, because you're
15:30 like my boss, you know what I love that, because you
15:32 are so incredible with that.
15:33 But if I allow you to be human, you are not
15:36 going to trip up as easy.
15:38 You know I think if I put you on a pedestal and I don't
15:40 allow you to make mistakes, and I don't allow you to say
15:43 you know what I'm having a bad day or whatever, is that
15:45 you are going to trip up easier.
15:47 So I am really learning that even if it is a pastor,
15:51 that is a pastoral gift let them be accountable to you,
15:54 let them have issues that they struggle with, but the
15:57 fact that they will walk through them honestly is incredible.
16:00 If they don't share were somebody there are going
16:02 to trip up and get themselves in trouble.
16:03 I think they would be worthy of more respect when you
16:06 realize that they are also fighting their own demons,
16:09 and fighting them successfully, so that when he says you
16:12 can beat this Cheri, he's coming from a place of
16:15 knowledge not theory.
16:17 Because he has beaten it in his own life.
16:18 And there were some people that have done that - yeah!
16:21 they will say you can beat this because it says
16:23 in Scripture, and I'm thinking what does it say in your life?
16:26 Because right now I just need skin on what it says.
16:30 So if you share that, that is why I'm so blessed by the
16:33 folks that have been on the show because they literally
16:35 are sharing what they have been through and how the
16:38 Scriptures have helped.
16:39 I'm going to go back to the Exalting His Word because
16:42 that is the book for the season.
16:43 And I have shared this book the least of any book we
16:48 have had on because my computer was stolen and you'll
16:52 learn that through the season.
16:53 My computer were stolen in the airport on the way so I
16:56 lost all my notes, but the book is, I just want you to
17:00 keep this in Shelly Quinn's book on page 126, she goes
17:03 over instructions on how to kind of stay in Scripture,
17:07 how to get into Scripture.
17:08 One is in the morning to devote some time, you know and
17:11 she said 30 minutes a day, I am thinking right now
17:14 what ever you can put in.
17:16 Get up to 30 minutes a day, get up to an hour every
17:19 day or what ever but I think right now just opening the book.
17:21 I would begin with prayer seriously, some people
17:24 say how do I pray.
17:26 Just hey God, you know I'm here again today just talk to Him.
17:29 And 3, speak affirmations and supporting Scriptures aloud.
17:33 Like when I first got in the Word of God and it says I'm
17:36 a new creature in Christ and that God knows my stuff.
17:40 Psalm 51 talks about, the Psalmist, whatever you decide
17:43 about me is right because I have all this junk - right!
17:45 And God decides I'm innocent and He wants to bring me
17:48 back into His fold, and not innocent in that I haven't
17:51 acted out, but because the blood of the Lamb has
17:54 covered me I am now looked at as if I had never sinned.
17:58 So that I learned in Scripture and began to speak that into
18:02 your life - it takes a little time to wrap your mind around
18:04 that because that is a whole new way thinking about yourself.
18:07 I'm a woman of God, I am in Ambassador for Christ, and so
18:10 be careful when you think you are my boss.
18:12 You know God will contend with those who contend with me
18:15 and all that stuff.
18:17 So you write that down.
18:18 And repeat affirmations throughout the day, when you are
18:22 going throughout the day.
18:23 I was really struggling with who I am in my past you know.
18:29 I am a liar, I manipulate, I have this horrible
18:32 background were are was homeless for 10 years.
18:35 So I learned a horrible stuff on the streets, how to
18:38 play people and all that.
18:39 I believe the devil just flooded me one day with the
18:43 reality of who I am, I couldn't argue anything.
18:45 I couldn't say that's not me and that stuff and all of a
18:48 sudden a Scripture comes to mind that I am dead to that.
18:51 Yeah - that the old man of sin is dead, and I started
18:54 crying because I thought, you know what if I dead to that
18:57 do I still have to still listen.
18:58 God said absolutely not, don't even listen to those
19:01 thoughts of this is who you are because you are dead to
19:04 who you are as a incredible child of God grafted
19:08 onto Christ because He did that for us.
19:09 So it is like being able to get into the Word and
19:13 literally start repeating what it says because what you
19:16 think is true, none of it's true.
19:18 You know none of it is true, we are so far removed from
19:20 what actually is true that we don't even know.
19:23 So the word of God reflects that to us.
19:24 And number 5 says conclude with prayer and praise.
19:28 If I can get the fact that now coming from homelessness,
19:31 illiterate and all that kind of stuff, that I am a woman
19:35 of God, stood up in Christ, in the Holy of Holies, in the
19:38 presence of my Father because Christ invited me there.
19:40 And He dresses me and puts me a priestly garments and
19:43 sends me out into the world.
19:44 When demons see me they see a woman of God, not just
19:48 somebody in jeans and a T-shirt, and they literally have to back
19:51 off, because of the Holy Spirit in me.
19:54 I'm thinking that is powerful stuff, but if I don't know
19:58 that, I can't step into that place of authority and that
20:01 boldness of who I am in Christ.
20:03 So it literally says to repeat that and then praise God for it.
20:08 And if you don't feel it, so what!
20:11 So what and I don't mean it in a disrespectful way, but
20:15 it is almost like if somebody was stolen at birth from a
20:18 from a King's family, and literally gets returned when
20:21 they are in their 30's.
20:22 It doesn't matter if they don't feel like they are a
20:24 member of the family, they are they were stolen at birth.
20:27 So it's like being able to in your mind get that sense
20:30 that somebody robbed you of your birthright, and Christ
20:32 is trying to restore that and bring you back to restoration.
20:36 And the last one just kills me because I wanted to say
20:38 Shelly why did you put that in this book?
20:42 In the book it says be consistent, DAH!
20:45 I'm an addict in recovery do you know what I mean, it's like
20:47 I'm not consistent about anything, but be consistent.
20:50 Remember that this is your life line, this is more
20:53 important to you than the food you putting your body.
20:56 So if I know that the Word of God, what the Word of God
20:59 says is more important for me to get a grip on than the
21:02 food that I put in my body and to be consistent every
21:05 day, at least do this basic stuff.
21:09 Of course then repeat it when you get up in the morning.
21:11 And not wait for the feeling drive yourself through,
21:14 discipline yourself.
21:15 You know Paul gives that yucky list of sins in
21:19 parentheses, it says these people are not going to hear
21:22 the kingdom and then he says in some such were of you.
21:25 You used to be, that I used to be that, but you are washed.
21:28 Liars, drug addicts, homosexuals, porn addicts I mean
21:31 you can list all that kind of stuff - and you used to
21:34 be that, but you are not anymore - exactly.
21:35 And whether you feel it or not, it's not important, go
21:38 with God's Word, because he says if you come he is
21:41 faithful and just, you know 1 John 1:9,
21:43 to forgive and to cleanse.
21:45 That is His job, your job is to say Lord I can't do
21:48 anything, you know I can't do anything, You have to do it.
21:51 When you say that, He's going to do that and
21:53 that's what this show is.
21:55 The Ron Woolsey's of the world, Shannon Ethridge,
21:57 what a powerful testimony.
21:58 You know she's stripping - she rocked us - and the spirit
22:00 of God is coming into her life and all of a sudden she
22:02 feels her nakedness and she says this is not right anymore.
22:07 And with Harmony - literally Harmony literally turning
22:10 around to do a lap dance for somebody, and I don't know
22:13 how raw you want to get, you said this is a raw show but
22:16 literally as she turns around all of a sudden God just
22:20 shows her who she is in Christ.
22:21 She says I was looking for fig leaves, I was so shamed,
22:24 not because God shamed me, and God showed me who I am
22:28 and I don't belong here - yeah.
22:29 I don't belong here, rocked into the house of God from
22:31 that point on and never went back to that life - and
22:34 where does God meet you Cheri?
22:35 He meets you right where you are, does He wait for
22:37 you have to get in the dressing room and get dressed
22:38 no, because you are standing there naked and God says hey,
22:40 not cool anymore.
22:42 And at that moment the Holy Spirit is in your life yeah
22:44 because He loves you.
22:45 It's the absolute it is so huge and what is really
22:49 amazing to me about, and I just got a say over and over
22:52 again, I am so grateful to be able to do this program,
22:54 because I know that there are people out there still in
22:57 the lifestyle, still acting out, still in front of their
23:00 computer looking at porn and stuff like that and I just
23:02 want to say to you get into the Word of God.
23:06 Don't wait to get to where you feel convicted and change,
23:09 because you may never get that conviction.
23:12 You may never within yourself be able to
23:14 even see the shame of it.
23:15 God says you know what, let Me unfold it for you.
23:18 For one He says He doesn't like in Romans 8:1, He says
23:22 I do it without condemnation.
23:23 He doesn't come in and say I want you feel bad enough
23:25 about this that you quit, He says know I want you to feel
23:28 loved enough to walk away from who you are not.
23:31 Do you know what I mean?
23:32 That is absolutely, it is absolutely huge, the
23:35 difference, so sometimes we want to shame ourselves and
23:37 quit our behaviors, and we want to white knuckle it, and I don't
23:40 want to do that again.
23:41 I don't want to smoke again, I'm not going to go to a
23:43 house of prostitution.
23:44 I'm not going to another Strip Club, I'm not going to
23:47 have an affair or my husband and all that kind of stuff.
23:49 I'm not going to do any of that and God says you know
23:52 what, in your own power you do not even understand the
23:54 wrongness of it yet.
23:55 So step into the Word of God, step in, exalt His word and
23:59 in this whole season is about exalting His word, not for
24:03 any other reason then we have to know who we are in Christ.
24:07 Because once we know who we are in Christ all this
24:10 behavioral stuff doesn't work anymore.
24:12 We are going to take a break and we will be right back!
24:15 I want to say thanks for watching, we'll be right back!