Just received this testimony: 
 
I used drugs for around 25 years. I started when I was only 11 years old. Throughout the years my drug habit only progressed more and more. I was using and doing things that I said I would never do. My addiction ruled my life, all morals were tossed aside for it. I've lost jobs, vehicles, friends, relatives, a marriage, and a countless number of other things to my addiction. I have been arrested so many times that I can't remember how many. I spent a lot of years on probation. At age 31 the courts had had enough of me and sent me to prison. I got out of prison 9 months later and tried to stay clean on my on with no success. I started using and cooking meth amphetamine. I also was an IV drug user. For the next few years my life spiraled out of control . I was really starting to feel the pain { physical, mental, and spiritual } from my addiction in the beginning of 2011, in April I was starring down at a needle and a spoon , and I was hurting some kinda bad that day spiritually. I didn't want to stick that needle in my arm, but I couldn't stop myself. So with tears coming out of my eyes I said a simple little prayer. " God please get me off this stuff even if it means death." That's the first prayer that I ever said that I really and truly meant. God wasn't ready for me to come home just yet though. Two days after I said that prayer I was arrested in Williamson county. Ninety six miles away from home. Away from all my family and friends, and just where I needed to be at the time. I was introduced to the 180 program, and that's where my path to recovery began. It was comforting to be around people that wanted to help me and asked for nothing in return. Not only was I learning about what God wants for me, I was also learning about myself. One thing that really stood out to me was when Meredith asked our group " who's driving your bus?" . I always thought that I was in control of my life, but in that moment I really didn't know who was or what was in control. That was the day that my prayers changed. I asked God to lead me wherever He wanted me to go, and to let find serenity in whatever happened. It is my belief that God put me on a path that led me to the 180 program. I really don't think that I would be where I'm at today had it not been for the 180 program, and the people that volunteered there time to help people someone like me. I've been clean for a little over four years now, and I still look through my 180 book. I find that I can still learn something from it even after all these years. I would like to thank each and every one of you for what you do. People can and do make a difference.

 
We received these testimonials from a site in East TN who is using the video training to teach: 
 
"I was brutally honest with myself and at times I was even surprised by how close to home the scriptures and activities were. The book (180 New Beginnings), is arranged in a way that no matter where a person is in their life, they can relate to every page. The book creates a want to change without putting the student down."
 
"You (the volunteers) helped us understand the message of the 180 New Beginnings authors, to realize how to draw closer and have an intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father."
 
I must admit I didn't put 100% in at the first... but when I realized you were here to help and not see me as a criminal.... 
this book (180 New Beginnings) has given me new tools to use to the through my addiction and to be sober. 
 

 
“I would like to place this book in as many people’s hands as possible. I feel this program has the ability to change anyone’s life for the better. I know it has changed mine, my families and anyone’s life I will come in contact with in the future. For that, I could never thank you enough.”

Stephan – Inmate in Davidson County

 

“You brought His encouragement, love, compassion and hope through The 180 Program to us inmates that are so hungry for a 2nd chance and a new beginning. We are hungry for His word and we see His love through you.”

Rick – Inmate in Williamson County

 

“I love the 180 Program and have learned so much from going to classes. It’s made me face and confront issues I have forgotten about. It’s my hope to join some of the groups I have heard about when I am released.”

Jenny – Inmate in Williamson County

 

“I am an inmate at CCA. I have been here since May and I hear others talk about your program. Is there any way I can talk to you about joining the program?”

Kenneth – Inmate in Davidson County

 

“I got transferred to a different Pod where your class is not available. I went to the counselor and then to the Warden to get permission to be moved back so I could finish the classes. He granted my request and I will see you next week.”

Terrance – Inmate in Davidson County

 

                                                                    Change

The one word that I have chosen that best describes the 180 program for me is change. It has helped me to change the way I behave, think, and the cycle in which leads me to make bad or poor decisions it has changed and improved my relationship with God, and has gave me hope that I can change my future for the better and achieve the goals I have set for myself. This program has opened my eyes to things about myself and why I do and react to certain things and situations the way that I do. And again a way to change it for the better. Thank you to Meredith and Bob Kendall and to the 180 program for the obvious changes this program has helped me to make possible in my life, and in the lives of so many others.~TR

 

 

                                                             Transformation

Before my transformation process I believed that I knew the Lord.   I believed I was living the way he would want me to live. But I still struggled to know and feel him in my heart. I would try to help anyone. But I wasn't in his word. I didn't understand that I wasn't put here for me, but to do God’s work. I asked when I was put in this place, “why me?”  Now that I have started my transformation I know it's not about me.  It's not to live in shame or guilt.  This is to forgive myself and others .  It is what it took for me to listen to Him. To learn to use self-discipline and change to be transformed.  To learn that there are three types of people in this world:  believers, nonbelievers, and make-believers! I am now grateful for this time God has given me to transform my way of thinking, use every day as a test, and go from a make-believer to a believer.~FM

 

 

                                                          A Trip Around the World

I have enjoyed another journey into my recovery and Christ's footsteps. It's really great to learn more and more about yourself and be able to share your experiences with others. When you just put that first foot forward and let it start with baby steps which will lead to steppingstones because each step you take seriously will keep you from slipping and falling off one of those stones. As you work through your recovery it's like a trip around the world, because every stop you make it to a different country, but in recovery it means noticing as you move through these steps, the more challenging it may be. And as you complete each one there's beautiful scenery and it will put that confident smile on your face.  And little did you know you would want to take each trip every chance you get. I came into this program blind but now I can see, and this is still not the end of my journey.  I made it once, I made it twice, but like they say, the third time is always a charm. So if you feel like you're gonna run out of gas during your journey just stop,  take a deep breath, pray, and He will fill you back up to send you on the rest of your way.  So ladies of 180 program, never give up, never say you can't.  There are no such words in our vocabulary. Always say “I can!  I believe! I receive! I achieve !” ~MH

 

 

                                                                    

                                                                    Hope

I originally started this quest to have the most perfect, sentimental, textbook word/phrase, and the speech to go with it. So I thumbed through my dictionary and saw fancy words like vestibule, vigor, and zealous, just to name a few. But the truth of the matter is that sometimes things are better short and sweet, which leads me to the word I chose that best represents Against the Grain 180 – hope!  Hope is defined as having a desire with the expectation of getting what is desired, or belief that it is obtainable. Although I haven't completed the entire class, I am hopeful that trusting Jesus, what I've learned in 180, and remaining honest, open minded and willing, that I no longer have to be bound by my past, and someday I will be strong enough to free myself from my cocoon.  ~ME


 

 

 

                                                                            Choice

One day I heard a guest speaker in a treatment center I was in, explain:  we have only one power that God instilled in us. We are not powerless at all. That one power we are born with is choice. We have the choice to determine our future in every aspect.  We can choose to do the right thing or the wrong thing we can also choose how we act or react to situations. If we make the wrong choice, and have adverse reactions (consequences) we can choose how we let those outcomes affect us. We can get bitter, resentful, blame, etc., Or we can learn from the mistakes and use them to strengthen us. We are continually given spiritual tools that are laid out at our feet.  We are reminded frequently by parents, loved ones, counselors, clergy, authority figures( ie  police, judges)  What we do with them are inevitably our choice.  We can choose to use them and incorporate them in our lives or choose to ignore them.. We are never powerless.  God our father made us with the power of choice.  No one can ever take that from us including any disease.   Sometimes I get upset when people use the “I've got a disease”,  “I'm sick”,  as an excuse.  If you are diabetic and you know it you don't brush your teeth with pancake syrup do you? ~BC


 

 

 

                                                            Open

This class has opened my eyes to understanding me! It has opened doors within me that I had welded shot; made me open up to myself; asking questions that only I could answer. It has opened what could be in my life and opened my eyes to what needs to change.  It has opened my heart so that I can love not only Myself, but God!! ~CM


 

 

 

                                                                    Forgiveness

The word forgiveness has had the biggest impact on me and my life. I have had the hardest time with it especially for myself. I have had the biggest time forgiving me myself. Now that I have gone through this class and really took a look at myself I now can forgive myself more now than I did weeks ago. I have taken a big look at myself and now I forgive myself more than ever and know God better more than I have in such a long time. Not too long ago I didn't know how to forgive others or myself, and now that I see what the 180 class has done for me I forgive myself.  I will never beat myself up again. During my stay here in this jail with all these ladies on the 180 class it has helped me to see that it is very important to forgive myself and also forgive others which now is so much easier to do because now I see myself and see God is there for me, and he forgives me in all things I have done.  So why not be like Him?  I now forgive myself more now than I did in my past.   I also forgive all those who have done wrong to me in my past and my present. ~AB

 

 

 

 

                                                                       Awareness

 I really have enjoyed this class. It has really helped me be aware of the things that are really important, and has also allowed me to put everything back into perspective, allowing me to realize how important it is to allow God to be in control. It is awesome. I'm so grateful to have been able to attend this class. It is been such a blessing to me and hopefully to others. Thank you so much, you all are a blessing. God bless you.

~TM

 

 

 

 

                                                                         Change

In order for me to stay sober….I have to change my thought process toward everything about my well-being. It takes practice to change my attitude, my environment, my personal boundaries, my guilt and shame, and my life, for better tomorrow. The 180 program was a scary but healthy reminder of what I had been dealing with the past few years I have been in the DUI court program addiction counseling, AAA, and succeeding for 15 months what a wonderful 15 months!! I finally learned what it means to stumble and fall. How very fragile we are with this disease. I thought to myself numerous times, "Wow, I've got this". I realize that I'll never get it because this disease will creep back into my life when I least expect it and it did. What I do get, is to allow myself to keep changing with my thoughts, feelings, environment, and with anything to help me maintain a sober life. Thank you Judy and JoAnn. ~TL