The New Year for 2017

2017 February 05
by charles W. Taylor, Jr.

The New Year for   2017

     We are growing! Our Monday night relapse recovery group with drug court has grown in the last year. We had four participants at the end of last year and now we have twenty. Now, you might think that is a bad thing, but it’s not. As flattering as that may sound, that’s not why we do what we do. Over half the group HASN’T relapsed in over a year. They continue to come to this group because they want to stay together. We’ve built a bond. Initially when they came to my group, I tried to help each of them find their “IT”. I wanted to help each of them realize the root of their addiction. Now after many months of hard work, the group is well on its way. Leaders have emerged to help those just getting started. That’s how I’ve always liked to work – by empowering those I work with; from Little League on up. My ministry is named “The Journey – adifferentkindofstorybook” for a reason. I insist they NEVER let their guard down, but acknowledge where they are today. We celebrate their successes, encourage them and remind them of what and who they have to live for. Some of you might remember the cartoon, “The Flintstones”. Fred had the two different “Fred’s” on his shoulders, talking in his ears – one positive, the other negative. Well, I try to be their good Fred (smile)- while helping them develop their own. For the past six months, or so, we have been focusing on their good “ITs”; locating WHO they really are and NOT focusing on what they’ve done.

     It’s a great group. They don’t take their progress for granted, but like to give something back. For example, they’re organizing a hat, scarf and gloves program to give to the less fortunate in our community. Several of my kids have taken the idea and already put it into practice in their churches and on their jobs. I had a meeting recently with the director of drug court. When I informed her of our group project, she asked me to consider a food drive, too. I loved the idea, so I brought it to my kids. They loved it too! Surprise! Surprise! (stay tuned)

     With all our successes, there are challenges too. One circumstance was having a major effect on the group. Every time a new person joined the group, we were starting over. Two weeks later, another new person; starting over. I found that I didn’t have enough time for each person. I wanted to help the newcomer, but I didn’t want to stymie the progress of my kids who had been with me for so long. There was no way I was going to give up my 6PM kids!

     The solution? On Monday, February 6th, I will be facilitating a 5PM group, exclusively for people who relapse and the newcomer to drug court. I will continue with my 6PM group as well. In fact, several of them have offered to come to the 5PM group, from time to time, to be an example for them and to help where they can.

     My friends and mentors, Moe and Paschal, developed and operated a jail ministry here in our county detention center for 10 years. Through them, I’ve had the opportunity to bring my ministry to the inmates for four of those years. For the past year, Moe and Paschal have worked hard to put their program into book form.  They have developed an instructor’s manual and a participant’s manual. Their manuals have been edited by one of our city’s local newspaper editors. In fact, I was introduced to Susan and she offered to review all my books, too. I see that as a gift. That’s how we grow!

     Moe has also been working for the past year to bring this proven, 12- week program to one of our neighboring counties. I have been asked to assist them in the program’s launch, leading two groups. Initially, I will be bringing my storytelling to help each participant find their bad “it”. Upon completion of the 12 weeks, I will be leading them in the post program, where we will be focusing on their good “it”. On January 26th, Moe and I began interviewing the first group of participants. We will begin with 8 participants. We believe that there is a great need for this program and I am looking forward to this new opportunity to help others!

     Last year, my friend John invited me to speak to a class he teaches at the University of Kentucky. We met because he was a Recovery Coordinator for drug court, too. He sat in on a couple of my Monday night groups and he also, supported my ministry by purchasing several of my books. John’s class is about unconventional entrepreneurship. He seemed to think that my ministry fell into that framework. He asked me to share with his class the journey of creating and establishing Another first for me. Another opportunity. I was nervous, but it was fun!

     The class was very kind to me. They said and wrote nice things about my presentation. I did, however, critiqued my presentation and saw areas where I could improve; and that’s exactly what I intend to do. In fact, John has invited me to speak to this year’s class later this month so the critique won’t be wasted. He informed me that this year’s class is about three times larger than last year. I decided to look into recording my presentation. When I spoke to John about it, he asked me if I wanted to be streamed live, or recorded. No pressure there! (smile) Since this, too, is another first, I’ll go with my original idea. I want to see my presentation before the world does.

     I am not writing this post to brag. It’s wonderful to see these opportunities that are helping others and this ministry grow. I am honored and thankful for ALL my blessings. As always, I thank you for your continued support of our ministry.


Take Time to be aware - It is the opportunity to help others.

Believe in yourself!

Never Give Up!

Love & Peace,

Brother Charles


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