A large percentage of those who have been incarcerated have either a mental illness and/or an addiction; most have trauma that has affected their emotional health.  It was out of this need that Fresh Hope started this Ministry Initiative for those who have been incarcerated.  Hoping to create a group that covers mental health recovery, trauma healing and addiction recovery is why we started Fresh Hope for Living Free.  The goal is to offer one faith based support group that addresses the co-occurring issues that so many face that have been incarcerated besides some of the very practical issues regarding “starting over” in life.

Since this is a ministry initiative we have only one group meeting and looking for other local churches and/or ministries that would like to offer this type of group in their community.   We are willing to provide materials, ongoing support and training for the facilitators for those who are wanting to start a group.

Principles of Freedom and Recovery

Fresh Hope for Living Free and Recovery Principles

The assumption of these tenets is that someone has committed their lives to the Lord.

Tenet #1: (Deal with your issues and addictions, or they will continue to deal with you.)

I have unresolved emotional and spiritual issues and addictions in my life that have led me to this point. If I don’t deal with these issues and addictions they will continue to deal with me; holding me back and possibly destroy my life, hurting the people I love and never becoming who I am in Christ.   Therefore, I choose to do whatever it takes to work through my issues and overcome my addictions so that I might become my authentic self in the and through the work of the Lord’s Holy Spirit within me.

“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 (NIV)

 Tenet #2: (Live in Jesus’ forgiveness. Take responsibility for hurt and pain caused to others and making amends for it.)

My emotional issues and addictions have not only affected my life but also the lives of those I love and victims of my crime. Therefore, I have asked for the Lord to forgive me and I live in his forgiveness. And I choose to take full responsibility for the pain I have caused and am committed to making amends with those whom I have hurt.

“So let’s pursue those things which bring peace and which are good for each other.” Romans 14:19 (God’s Word Translation, 1995)

Tenet #3: (Stop reacting to life. But, live out life in faith and assurance of God’s love.)

Life has been living me instead of me living life out the fullness of God’s plan for my life, which has led to no direction or even the wrong direction in my life. I’ve been reacting and acting out without out the pain caused by my unresolved emotional and spiritual issues; using addictive behaviors and substances to cover up my pain. While I cannot control what happens “to me” I can control responding to it through faith and trust in the Lord; while I cannot control other people I can control through God’s Spirit within me how I respond to them. Therefore I choose to react to what happens in my life and what others do by living out my faith and trust in God’s plan for my life rather than being driven by my pain.

“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.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Tenet #4: (Hopes and dreams have been crushed- but it’s not too late hopelessness has set in. Choose hope.)

Broken hopes and dreams because of my behavior and toxic thinking have brought me to the point of hopelessness. Without the Lord and a new chance at life, I would have no hope. Therefore, I choose to believe the truth that God specializes in redemption. He is a God of second chances and new beginnings. I have a hope and a future in Him.

” If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”  I John 1:9

Tenet #5: (Stinkin’ thinkin’- you need to align your thinking with the Word of God)

Stinkin’ thinkin’ has caused me to feel toxic feelings, which has resulted in my toxic actions. The only way I can change my behavior is to align my thinking and what I believe with the truth of God’s Word. Therefore, I choose to change my thinking by taking captive my thinking and aligning it with what God’s Word says about all things.

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5

 Tenet #6: (Believing lies- need to replace them with truth.)

Feelings based upon lies that I have believed have caused emotional turmoil for me and have been at the root of my destructive behaviors that are contrary to the truth of God’s Word. Therefore, I choose to get to the root of the lies that I have believed and replace them with God’s truth; knowing that the truth sets me free.

“So He said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

Tenet #7 (Giving back to others is good for them, and it’s good for me)

Through most of my life, I have been a taker. Too often it’s been about me doing what I want when I want. But, because of the Lord giving his all for me, therefore I choose to give my life back to him as a living sacrifice; living for Him and serving Him and others.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”  II Corinthians 1:3-5

Our purpose is to encourage one another to choose God’s fresh hope for our daily life and future.

Who we see here remains confidential. What is said here stays here. We don’t judge; nor do we lecture. We listen, we share and we grow.

Find a Group

Presently we have one Fresh Hope for Living Free men’s group meeting at Christ Community Church, Omaha NE.  They meet every Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in room #_______.  David Mike and Tony Stella are co-facilitators of the group.  For more information about the group either email us at info@FreshHope.us or call 402.932.3089.

Start a Group

Fresh Hope for Living Free is a Ministry Initiative of Fresh Hope for Mental Health (www.FreshHope.us) These groups are sponsored by local churches and/or ministries.

If you are interested in knowing more or interested in starting a group contact us either via email at info@FreshHope.us or call us at 402.932.3089.