The Addictive Personality

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For this month’s resource recommendation, I read The Addictive Personality by Craig Nakken.

What is it about:  This book helps people understand the process of addiction.  Author Craig Nakken goes beyond the more common dependencies (alcohol, drugs, sex) and uncovers the common denominator of all addiction and describes how the process is progressive.

Nakken sheds new light on:

  • Genetic factors tied to addiction
  • Cultural influences on addictive behaviors
  • The progressive nature of the disease
  • Steps to a successful recovery

The author examines how addictions start, how society pushes people toward addiction, and what happens inside those who become addicted.

Why did I read it: At HopeQuest, we require clients to read this book as a part of their journey to healing and restoration.  It helps those struggling with addiction understand more of the root of the problem, instead of just the side effects. This book will help anyone seeking a better understanding of the addictive process and its impact on our lives.

Favorite idea:  Recovery is not just about breaking off your relationship with an object or event, though vital to the process. Recovery is primarily about coming to know your addictive personality and taking the necessary steps to rid yourself of addictive attitudes, beliefs, values and behaviors. Nakken’s example – “People in a recovery program for alcohol addiction need to clearly understand that they are prone to form a possible addictive relationship with another object or event – such as food for example. For these people, sobriety acquires a new dimension; instead of only monitoring their relationship with alcohol, they also need to learn how to monitor the addictive part of themselves.”

Alive and Grateful

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It should have been a time of joyous anticipation for Beverly. The birth of her first grandchild was a few months away. Instead, it was decision time. Would she choose her family or continue to abuse alcohol?
Beverly’s daughter and son-in-law made it clear. Her alcoholism was destroying their family. They loved Beverly, but were unwilling for their child to have a relationship with an alcoholic grandmother.
After some soul searching, Beverly chose her family; but then she had another decision to make. Who could help her get free of her decades long addiction? Where could she go for genuine, long lasting healing? After a nationwide search for the right facility, Beverly came to HopeQuest as a resident in the TREK program.
While in TREK, Beverly confronted the deep emotional wounds from her childhood. She disclosed the feelings of shame and abandonment that were fueling her addiction. And then Beverly learned to believe and receive the gifts of God’s love and grace. She learned the reality of freedom in Christ.
Beverly and her husband took a trip to Utah recently. There she held her granddaughter, Vivian, for the first time. The name Vivian means “alive,” and that’s how Beverly feels these days. Alive and grateful for what God has done for her.

What are You Passionate About in your Job?

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What are you passionate about in your job?

This is the question I asked some of the staff here at HopeQuest.  Check out their answers below- what a great environment, to work with people who are excited about helping others and seeing God work!

-“I’m passionate about what I do because I genuinely have a heart for hurting people.  When a hurting person finally reaches out for help from their life dominating struggle, I KNOW the recovery, healing, and freedom that this program has brought to many others and I want that recovery, healing, and freedom for them too!”


-“Being in the accounting office, I love that Gods love shines everywhere, even in the office with the least amount of interaction with clients.  Also, it’s amazing to see how God works miracles financially, just at the right time- HIS time.”


-“I am passionate about bridge-building. I love helping people practically apply what they’ve learned at HopeQuest in daily living as well as coming alongside them through the hurdles they encounter as they choose to live differently.”


-“Seeing how so many people are faithful to our ministry. Faithful with their prayer support, as well as their financial support.”


-“Being in a place where I can share my personal experiences, my families experiences  and my love for what this ministry does helping folks every day that are dealing with life dominating, life and death  issues. We get to see God work in lives here every day so I am passionate about helping people become a part of the vision of HopeQuest both financially and though their prayers and volunteer efforts!”

Where Grace is in Place

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For this month’s resource recommendation, I read Families Where Grace Is In Place by Jeff VanVonderen.
What is it about:  Using his professional and personal experience, VanVonderen shows readers how to nurture God-honoring relationships free of manipulation, legalism, and shame. This book sends the message that God’s grace can transform these relationships. By discovering God’s plan for your life and following the example of His grace, you’ll learn the importance of controlling yourself so your family can be all that it can be.
Why did I read it: At HopeQuest, many of our clients come with family issues, involving many of the topics VanVonderen writes about: shame, guilt, manipulation, and legalism.  Family dynamics and influences are crucial in a child’s development and as an adult.  This book gave practical tips and real examples of how to change some of the family dynamics you may be experiencing or have experienced, for the better.
Favorite idea:  There is a letdown that comes from focusing too much on controlling other’s behaviors and attitudes.  When people spend their lives trying to “fix” their spouses and kids, the natural result is exhaustion, depression, and an overall sense of hopelessness.  The key is learning the difference between God’s job and ours.  God’s job is to fix, and our job is to rely on Him as we nurture and encourage our families.

Buy it here

Maybe It’s Not Me

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Journey is a community of women who have all experienced betrayal and loss as a result of their spouses’ struggle with life-dominating sexual sin. Here is a bit of Rebecca’s story, on her experience starting out in Journey.

“The first thing I noticed when I walked in the door of Journey was how many beautiful women were there. I was expecting everyone to be as unattractive. I certainly felt unattractive at that moment.  When your husband is acting out sexually, you look at yourself and wonder, “What is wrong with me?” So seeing all these pretty ladies in this support group was like a seed of hope being planted in my heart. That hope said, ‘Maybe it’s not me. Maybe I’m not the one to blame.’

I lived for Journey each week. I had been completely isolated. No one knew what I was going through. There was no one to talk to until I opened up in this support group. I had always felt like a square peg trying to fit in the round hole of this world, but here was a place where it was good to be square. I was accepted.”

For more information on Journey, please call  770-591-4770 or email

Behind Every Addiction..

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Behind every addiction, there is a story.

Let’s be honest.  Sometimes, when it comes to helping adults that struggle with addictions, there isn’t a lot of sympathy.  Often the view is “You made your choices, now you can suffer the consequences.”  Let’s be clear- no one chooses to be an addict.  We also know that behind addictive behavior, there is a series of life long events and emotional turmoil.  Many of these events are things that happened to them, or part of their surroundings growing up.  Not events of their choosing.  It isn’t about the behavior- drinking, drugs, or sexually acting out.  It’s about escaping the hurt, the pain, and the shame of their story; making them want to drown it out, no matter what the cost.  Please consider partnering with us in helping people overcome the struggle of addiction.

Check out the short video below, portraying some potential scenarios that could have contributed to addiction.

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Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”

Does your job inspire you?

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Here are some of the responses from the staff here at HopeQuest, on what inspires them to be a part of this ministry.

-“The clients.  The guys that I encounter here at HopeQuest are amazing people. The fact that they are at such a fragile state in their life helps me to understand that they are human just like everyone else. The truth is, they are more real than a lot of people outside in the world. It really takes courage to step out and be vulnerable in front of people that see them at their very worst.”

- “HopeQuest ministered to me during the darkest season of my life; I will be forever grateful for all that has been invested in me, and for the Hope that I have in Jesus Christ.”

- “In 2008, this ministry saved my sons life and played a big part in helping keep our family together.  Since then I have seen this ministry save so many precious lives and souls that have gone on to do amazing things with their lives.”

- “Witnessing how God works through each one of us, no matter how much or how little interaction we have with the people that come through here.  He is always using His children to plants seeds and to water seeds that have been planted.”

True Faced

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For this month’s resource recommendation, I read True Faced by John Lynch.

What is it about: TrueFaced is a book dissecting the idea that there are two underlying motives in Christianity: to please God or to trust Him (without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6)). One results in striving to be good enough, fix your sin, “trying”, and it never feels like enough to please Him. The other results in a trust that changes your life, and leads to a path of God’s dreams and destiny for you.

Why did I read it: At HopeQuest, Truefaced is a part of our client library and is often read as a part of their journey to healing and restoration. It draws such clear word pictures about what Christianity is truly about. Lynch involves the reader by invoking questions and applying real life situations. It gives a refreshing meaning to the word “grace.”

Favorite idea: God’s final objective for us is not resolving our sin, or “getting well”, God resolved our sin through Jesus. It’s maturing us into who he says we are, and then releasing us into the dreams he designed for us before the world began. God’s dreams for us are the ultimate goal. So working on my sin issues WITH God (not on my own), maturing, and trusting who God says I am, leads to God’s dreams for me.

Watch it here

Buy it here

Sacred Scars

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Karen Cone on staff at HopeQuest as a writer and small group facilitator for Journey and City of Refuge.  She will be doing some blogging and writing for HopeQuest this summer.  This story is an excerpt from her blog,  Check out her blog to learn more about her story of God’s grace.


Sacred Scars

So there I was in this support group for women. We went around the circle sharing our feelings. We sounded like an AA group or maybe Al-Anon.  It was a little strange. There was great amount of openness among the group, and that made me uncomfortable because : 1) I didn’t know these ladies, 2) they didn’t know me, 3) and the group leader seemed to see straight into my soul. Mine had been tucked away (almost dead) for quite some time. I wasn’t even sure there was much of it left.That is how it started:

  • by hearing others be real and open.
  • by having my group leader there to ask questions I hadn’t thought of before.
  • by opening my mouth and speaking the truth of what I was feeling even when it didn’t sound spiritual or pretty. God already knew it all anyway.

Healing is like that. It happens slowly, almost imperceptibly.

As I continued to meet with these women for nearly two years, I grew to love them dearly, but I wasn’t always comfortable. God, through them, cleaned my wounds and applied His medicine. I will tell you truthfully: it hurt.

When all was said and done, I experienced dramatic change, but left with a scar: a souvenir of both the hurt and the healing process. Today that scar reminds me of the good work God has done in bringing me from there to here.

It was in this group that God placed a dream in my heart. My dream was to minister to hurting and broken women. God wanted to use my biggest hurts to create my greatest ministry opportunity. “Your mess is your message,” someone has well said.

God wants to use your mess too, because He is good like that. Who else says, “Hey, this is the area you really blew it in. How about teaching others?” Only God would do that. My areas of expertise, today: openness and grace. Because this is where I blew it.

Back in the day, I was not so graceful, but rather self-righteous. I wasn’t that way all the time and or with everyone, but overall, a real Pharisee. I didn’t really want to “waste” my time with those whose lives were a mess. I wanted disciples whose problems were mostly fixed and were serious about getting into the Word. So easy. So neat. So perfect.

I was not so real or authentic as I thought myself to be, either. I pretended to be happy when I was sad or angry. I smiled and conversed politely when I should have walked away. I said I wasn’t hurt when I was. I thought I was an honest person, but my words didn’t reveal the truth in my heart. The Holy Spirit had to show me these things through others speaking into my life.

Now, I am one of those support group leaders working with HopeQuest. I get to learn to ask the hard questions. I get to help clean and bandage wounds; and watch a slow, but amazing healing process begin.  Best of all, I get to see lives transformed by the life-giving grace of God.

“Delight yourself in the Lord and 
He will give you the desires of your heart.”
Psalm 37:3-5

Official Statement: HopeQuest Changes

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Official Statement

In the history of HopeQuest, we have experienced seasons of planting, seasons of growth, and seasons of evaluation and pruning. In 2004, HopeQuest went through a season of pruning. Out of that season of evaluation, the Trek program was born. This is a great example of how sometimes it is necessary to prune for the next level of growth to occur.

While for some change brings uncertainty and insecurity, for us, we are anticipating what God has in store for this ministry. God has proven himself faithful as we have remained focused on His calling for us.

As a part of the continued efforts to refine and refocus on the vision which God has called us to, we have made some necessary changes that impact both services we offer and HopeQuest personnel. These changes are:

1. The residential transition component of our continuing care program is being scaled back.

2. We are redirecting energy and resources to improve quality of service being offered TREK clients.

3. There is a renewed focus towards services, communication, and support for family members of TREK clients.

4. We are intentionally pursuing the replication of support group options in the local church to expand the number of individuals and families that can be helped in their recovery journey in the context of spiritual community.

5. We are emphasizing public education of mental health professionals, pastoral counselors, and churches regarding the HopeQuest model and programs through professional training opportunities.

We are so thankful for those who have contributed to HopeQuest as staff, volunteers, donors, and partners. Please continue to pray for us as we make these changes to assure the highest quality care for clients and that we remain dedicated and focused on that which God has specifically called us.