Christians In History: William Tyndale

Christians In History: William Tyndale (1494-1536)

If you read any of the most popular translations of the New Testament, whether the King James Version (KJV), New International Version (NIV), New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), or New American Bible (NAB), you will read the work of William Tyndale. Often called the Father of the English Bible, he may be the single most important Bible translator in history.

Tyndale lived during The Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation, which were periods of religious, artistic, political and economic upheaval in Europe following the Middle Ages. He was a brilliant linguist who was adept in many languages, including the original languages of the New Testament (Greek) and Old Testament (Hebrew).

In Tyndale’s time it was forbidden to produce an English language Bible. The Word of God was controlled by religious authorities who could read and understand Latin. Tyndale, like his contemporary Martin Luther, believed that all people should have access to sacred texts. He once promised that he would “cause the boy that driveth the plow to know more of the Scriptures” than the clergy.

Seeking to make good on that promise, Tyndale went to continental Europe where he consulted with Martin Luther. Tyndale translated the New Testament into English using the same Greek text from which Luther made his German translation. Parts of the Old Testament (the Pentateuch and Jonah) also were translated from a Hebrew text. In order to complete these translations, Tyndale actually had to create new words, such as Jehovah, Passover, atonement, and scapegoat – to name a few. He also coined the familiar phrases: “let there be light,” “the powers that be,” “my brother’s keeper,” “it came to pass,” and many others.

By 1526, German printers had produced the Tyndale Bible and copies were being smuggled into England. Religious authorities were so alarmed that they made a practice of confiscating and buying up all of the copies they could find and burning them. In spite of this, Tyndale’s Bible continued to circulate.

Tyndale eventually incurred the wrath of King Henry VIII when he criticized the king’s divorce and remarriage. Charged with multiple heresies, Tyndale was hunted down and found in Antwerp, Belgium, where government authorities had him strangled and burned at the stake.

Ironically, shortly after Tyndale’s death, Henry VIII ordered the publication and countrywide distribution of The Great Bible, which borrows heavily from the Tyndale Bible. Subsequent English versions, like the Geneva Bible (1560) which the Pilgrims in 1620 brought to America on the Mayflower, and the ever popular King James Bible (1611), use about eighty (80) percent of Tyndale’s work. Even today, almost 500 years later, modern translators of the most popular English versions have retained many of Tyndale’s words, tones, cadences, and idioms.

Overconfidence In Recovery

Overconfidence In Recovery

If you’ve been in recovery for any period of time, you’ve probably been to a meeting attended by Mr. Recovery. Confident, witty, and quick to turn a phrase, he commands the respect of the entire room. Women love him, and men want to be like him. His breathtaking rise to the top of the AA/NA food chain took almost no time at all. He knows the program, and he feels just great. His life is back on track. Nothing and nobody can stop him. The group hangs on his every word as Mr. Recovery shares his pearls of wisdom for the advancement of all mankind.

There is only one problem. Shortly afterwards he relapses. Some of us, upon hearing that Mr. Recovery is in rehab throwing up on the detox techs, are left in dismay wringing our hands and telling ourselves that, gosh, it can happen to anybody.

Not so. In fact, relapse need never happen to anybody. Regardless of outward appearances, we will stay clean and sober if and only if we prayerfully rely on God.

None of us has the superpower within ourselves to overcome alcoholism and addiction. They are a chronic, physical disease that cannot be cured. We are powerless, as evidenced by our past personal histories based on hundreds or even thousands of experiences. We have to accept this. Not even the well-meaning people in our lives can supply this power deficit for us.

Make no mistake: not using always must be our first order of business – anywhere, any time, and under any circumstances. But we can only do this with God’s help. We “simply do not stop . . . so long as we place dependence upon other people ahead of dependence on God.” Big Book, at 98. It is only when we express “a willingness to believe in a Power greater than ourselves,” that “we commenced to get results.” Id., at 46.

Real recovery looks not so much like a hero’s rise to stardom as it does Paul’s experience with the thorn in the flesh described in 2 Corinthians. Although Paul pleaded for this physical malady to be taken away, God’s answer was a resounding no. In time, however, Paul came to understand not only that God’s grace was sufficient, but also that His power was made perfect in Paul’s weakness. Id. 12:8 – 9. Paul concluded the matter by stating that he might as well brag about his weaknesses, “so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” Id. Paul’s example is our blueprint for a lifetime of recovery with confidence.

Importantly, our reliance on God entails prayer. Its necessity cannot be overemphasized. Too often we reach for the formalities of AA without developing our relationship with God. We learn the protocol for meetings, memorize the steps and various sayings, and immerse ourselves in the recovery culture, and we assume that these things keep us sober. If we do this, we risk falling into the same trap that so many religious people do when their spirituality rests solely upon holding the right beliefs about God and belonging to the right churches. They become spectators, not participants, in faith. We can not pretend that any of these things substitute for the actual relationship with God that comes through prayer.

In Step 11 we improve our conscious contact with God through prayer and meditation, praying:
only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

We should take a minute to let the pointed simplicity of this step wash over us. It is worth noting here, too, that the Lord, on the only two recorded occasions where he expressly praises people for having faith, neither involves individuals who believe the right sacred facts, espouse the appropriate doctrines, or are members of the right religious denominations. In fact, it’s obvious they don’t. See Matthew 8:5-13 (faith of the Centurion) and Matthew 15:21-28 (faith of the Canaanite woman). What distinguished these people is that they sought the power of God in circumstances that everybody else thought impossible. They made their requests with humility and in faith, and they were not disappointed. Our experience today is no different. We can enjoy a lifetime of recovery, with complete confidence, when our recovery is based on God.

His Plan Is Better


“God carried me here, and CORE taught me how to live my life sober.”

Heidi Butler’s story of recovery is not the one most people picture when they think of someone who struggles with addiction. She lead a fairly normal life, was married with two children and perfectly happy when she first encountered the disease.

“I had three surgeries within a four month span. I had my tonsils removed, my gallbladder removed, and a hysterectomy. I took the pain medication just like my doctor prescribed, but when it came time to quit, my body freaked out and I needed more,” said Heidi.

Heidi went to her doctor, explaining her concern of addiction to the pain pills, which resulted in her doctor immediately cutting her off and led to Heidi searching for other ways to obtain the pills.

“I started stealing pills from my friends’ medicine cabinets. No one ever suspected me because I didn’t look like the typical addict,” said Heidi. “I did some dark things for pain medicine.”

Eventually, people did begin to notice and Heidi’s picture perfect life began to fall apart. She lost her job and her husband filed for divorce, getting custody of the kids in the process.

Heidi went to a 30-day treatment facility, where she received help and believed she was cured for life. She moved to Nebraska, started a new job, and slowly began to piece her life together again. She reconnected with her high school sweetheart through Facebook and they were married within a matter of months. Heidi even got to spend time with her children again. It seemed like she was finally in the clear; however, she soon learned that the worst was yet to come.

“I realized that my husband was an alcoholic. I wasn’t working at the time, so I only ever spent time with him and he was always drinking,” said Heidi. “I felt so isolated and lonely.”

The turning point really hit when her stepson was sent to jail and her husband hit rock bottom. He began using meth, which eventually led to Heidi trying it and toppling off the deep end.

“It only took one hit and that was it for me; I was hooked,” said Heidi. “All I could think about was where I could get more. It was a really deep, dark place that I went to.”

Heidi’s ex-husband eventually found out about the drug use and told her that she would never be allowed to see her kids again.

“I thought that I had just become this huge burden and everyone’s lives would be better without me,” said Heidi. “I went home. I grabbed the shotgun from the house and went outside. I prayed to God to forgive me, put the gun in my mouth and pulled the trigger.”

But, as it turned out, God had other plans for Heidi because the safety was still on the gun and her husband pulled into the driveway at that very moment and stopped her from doing anything more.

Heidi went to her mother’s house in Hollister and tried to get into a treatment center, but was turned away because she was 4 days clean at the time and wasn’t eligible for their detox program.

“I went and got high just so I get into the program,” said Heidi.

But, instead of going back to the treatment center, Heidi found herself drawn to the New Beginnings Church in Branson. She sat in the back of the sanctuary and cried throughout the entire service, until a woman came and sat down next to her.

“She sat down and said ‘I know you have a story to tell,’ and I just started telling her everything,” said Heidi. “We met for lunch the next day and she told me about CORE. I didn’t want to go; I didn’t think I needed a yearlong program. But, she followed me home, helped me pack a bag, and followed me to CORE.”

Heidi didn’t want to stay at CORE for long. She set a goal of 4 months in her head and planned to leave after that, but she made it to the 4 months and found herself wanting to stay. She started really listening in her classes and realized that the people around her were truly happy and she could be too if she just allowed herself to heal.

“You cannot do this until you are absolutely ready,” said Heidi.

Heidi commenced after completing her year at CORE. She has been with us for 18 months now and works as a House Manager, staying involved in our 2nd Mile Program as well. She is able to see her kids again and she mentors the young girls who live with her, offering wisdom and comfort to those who need it.

“Being a mom is what I was born to do, and now I can use that to help all of these girls living with me,” said Heidi. “God’s plan for me was different than my own, but it was infinitely better.”

We love Heidi and we are so proud of the Godly woman she has become. Her journey to recovery was a long one, with many twists and turns, but it led her exactly where she needed to be.

CORE Divider


Wow! Thanks to all of your incredible donations and generosity, we were able to raise a combined total of $47,020 at our fundraisers on May 16th! This is a 20% increase from last year and a new record for CORE!

We cannot begin to express how appreciative we are for the support you have shown us. Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. It means the world to us and to our clients that you believe in our mission and in them so much you are willing to spend your hard earned dollars to help them succeed and have a better future. The proceeds from these events are instrumental in allowing us to continue providing and improving our services. We are so incredibly grateful, and we are already working on ways to make these events even better for you next year.

A Step In The Right Direction


Meet Gabi Vlasak: one of our recent CORE graduates. Her commencement ceremony was just last Sunday on June 24th, and we are so proud of everything she has accomplished!

Gabi is 22 years old and originally from St. Louis, Missouri. Her struggle with addiction started when she was just 15 years old.

“I always felt really alone, and I found relief in drugs and alcohol. They were my escape from reality,” said Gabi.

Gabi continued to use drugs as an escape over the years until it eventually began to take over every part of her life.

“I lost everything,” said Gabi, “my family wanted nothing to do with me; I was at rock bottom and I really just felt like I had nothing left to live for.”

Gabi went to a 30-day rehab facility, but said that she never really thought she would stop using. While she was there, she found out about CORE and decided to give it a try.

“I figured I had nothing to lose by coming here,” said Gabi, “ I chose to come but I didn’t necessarily want to be here at the time.”

Gabi says that she felt extremely overwhelmed when she first arrived at CORE.

“I found a lot of things here that I never thought I could have. The relationships and support here were just really incredible. I saw everything they had to offer and I realized it would be naïve of me not to take advantage of it and try to better myself,” said Gabi.

Gabi said that she has learned so much from CORE, about herself and about interacting with others.

“It’s taught me who I am, why I am the way that I am, how to work through everyday problems, how to open up to people and be honest about my feelings, and how to accept myself and those around me,” said Gabi.

Gabi said that she has always been a really private person and she found it difficult to open up to others, so coming into the CORE housing was a completely new experience for her.

“It was a little weird at first because we were all so close together all the time, but after a while I realized we were close for a reason,” said Gabi, “There was no hiding my feelings or shutting everyone out anymore. You have to talk to each other and that was good for me.”

Gabi said that since coming to CORE she has more opportunities, her life is stable, and she’s even been able to rebuild the relationships with her family again.

“I honestly never thought that I could stay sober for this long, or that I would find such joy and peace,” said Gabi.

Gabi said she is so glad that she made the decision to come to CORE, and she has a message for those who might be afraid to do the same:

“Just give it a try; you have nothing to lose. There is a way out, a way to live and be happy and have peace of mind. Getting connected and talking to people who have been through the same things you have is so important. You are not alone in this.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, and we encourage anyone who is considering CORE to take that step. We are ready to help anyone who is ready to help themselves.

CORE Divider


Our Commencement ceremonies happen once a month and they are BIG DEAL here. It’s a time for clients to get together with their friends and family and celebrate one whole year of sobriety and completing the CORE Common Solution Recovery Program. Clients get to walk across the stage and receive a plaque for their achievements. They’re given the opportunity to stand before everyone and talk about some of their favorite memories, accomplishments, and people who inspired them the most at CORE.

Food and beverages are served and everyone can picnic together. There are even baptisms happening in the creek nearby! It’s a time of fellowship and celebration as we send our graduates on to the next phase of their lives, taking with them everything that they’ve learned here at CORE.

June 2018 Newsletter

Giving Back

Meet one of our newest team members at CORE: Michael Corcoran. Mike is a nine year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and has been deployed around the world during his years of service. Mike wants to share his recovery story as it depicts what CORE is all about!

Mike is originally from St. Louis, Missouri, and like countless other people, he started down the path of addiction at a very young age.

“I started smoking meth at 14 years old, which led to a 34 year addiction,” said Mike, “I had burned most of the bridges with my family from years of addiction and abuse.”

Mike tried going to rehab but said that no sooner was he out, and he was already thinking about getting high again.

His sister did some research online and came across CORE’s website. She got in contact with our Recovery Services Manager, Buddy Krause, and within a couple of days Mike was in our intake program.

Mike says that CORE appealed to him more than other recovery centers because he was able to lead a normal life while still being held accountable for his actions.

“I had to have structure and routine in my life, and I found that here,” said Mike.

He attended our Common Solution classes, which explore the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous; as well as our spirituality classes, which teach that the true solution to any problem in life is Christ.

“Something began to change in me,” said Mike, “I wanted to know more.”

Before coming to CORE, Mike said he had never wanted anything to do with God, but that slowly began to change as he started attending Peace In The Storm Services and continued progressing in his studies.

“The first time I went to a Peace in the Storm service, I was amazed,” said Mike, “There was this incredible band playing and they were just rocking out! And there was a former addict standing up there preaching to a room full of addicts; I could really feel something in there.”

Mike said he began to look around at the staff in the room and think- I want that life.

“I was amazed by how much everyone cared about each other,” said Mike, “The fellowship in these houses is absolutely amazing; there are addicts everywhere on the streets who could care less about one another, but here they really do care.”

Mike didn’t originally know that he would end up working in the same place that had helped him heal so much, but it’s funny how often God will open the door to something we didn’t even know we wanted in the first place.

“I just knew that I wanted to be doing more, and I wanted to help others and become more involved,” said Mike.

Mike says that he prayed a lot about how God wanted him to fulfill this calling to do more and it didn’t take long before he got his answer.

“Kevin Hunt called me a couple of days later and asked if I would consider working for CORE,” said Mike, “I thought about it and realized that I wanted to be a part of this organization in whatever shape that looked like.”

Mike has been working as a custodian for the CORE campus, but will start as a House Manager this month, teaching newcomers rules, helping them learn the steps to recovery and just being a listening ear when they need someone to talk to.

“I want to be a friend to them and help them through the program,” says Mike, “I just really want to set a good example for them.”

Mike says that the hardest part of this is seeing when his brothers and sisters relapse. This is a hard one for all of us, but unfortunately it does happen. However, the hard parts are all worth it when you get to see the look in someone’s eyes as they finally get it and they just surrender.

We can’t wait for Mike to begin this new journey as a House Manger and watch as he leads others through the same healing process that he went through. It’s amazing to see our clients come full circle and use what they learned here to help others. And at the end of the day that’s what it’s really all about – taking what we’ve gained and turning around and giving it back.

Our 12th Annual Auction Was A Success!

Thank you to everyone who came out to our Live & Silent Auctions in May. It was truly incredible and humbling to see the people in our community coming together and showing their support of our programs.

The money raised at this auction will allow us to continue helping people and restore the families and lives that have been torn apart by addiction.

We are so grateful to all of our sponsors and to the people who donated items to be auctioned off as well. We could never have pulled this off without you!

May 2018 Newsletter

Rising Above The Fold

CORE has been helping people overcome addiction for 22 years now! We’ve learned what works and what doesn’t, and we strive to make sure that CORE offers the best possible programs and environment for our clients.

At CORE, we don’t just teach a class and send clients on their way; we also provide housing for them and give them an opportunity to experience community with others who are in similar situations as well.

“More of the magic, or the miracle if you will, takes place in their home environment than in this facility,” says our Executive Director Cary McKee.

Living in the home allows them to spend time with their peers, hold each other accountable, and communicate what they’ve learned with one another.

“I think that’s where the greatest growth comes from, soaking it in and allowing it to be watered,” said McKee.

All clients are required to abstain from any drugs or alcohol while they are in the CORE program. Unfortunately, those who do not follow this rule must be asked to leave.

“I have to be concerned with the safety and spirituality of the remaining clients,” said McKee.

This is one of the hardest parts of our job, and we hate seeing when clients don’t fully embrace the recovery program.

“It only works if the person is ready for it,” says McKee.

Clients pay on a weekly basis, which is where most of the funding for CORE comes from. It’s important for clients to be giving back and contributing to payments.

“Free rides don’t benefit anyone, “ said McKee.

CORE is also extremely lucky to have a wide group of supporters who donate to our cause. These donations are a key part to us being able to continue to grow and expand our services, especially since as of April 1st, CORE is no longer dependent on any government funding. Since the grant CORE had previously been receiving cannot be given to an establishment that teaches the gospel of Christ, we have chosen to forgo this grant.

“Should we ever jeopardize our values for the sake of a dollar, this organization would likely not exist,” said McKee.

The Christian foundation and values taught at CORE are part of what sets us apart from other secular recovery programs.

“The only solution we teach is God,” says McKee.

In the future, CORE hopes to continue expanding our program to other communities in nearby states. The goal is to eventually offer an intensive 30 day treatment program to the community, and to continue improving our program to address the specific needs of our clients.

“Perfecting anything that is mental and spiritual is impossible,” says McKee, but we hope to constantly be asking how can we improve and how can we glorify God?

Come Out to the 12th Annual CORE Live & Silent Auctions!

This event is one of our biggest fundraisers of the year and a great way for you to show your support of the CORE programs!

All of the proceeds will be used to help restore families and individuals who are looking for a way out of their addictive lifestyles.

Some of the available auction items will include antiques, furniture, artwork, memberships, gift certificates and more!

We’ll even cook dinner, so be sure to come hungry! This year’s menu includes Roasted Pig on a Spit, Oven Roasted Chicken, Corn, Slaw & Potato Salad, all at a reasonable price!

The auction will be held on May 17th at the Core Complex
Located at 280 State Highway T in Branson, Missouri

For more information call Tami at 417.231.6969

The destructive nature of alcohol and drug abuse results in a hefty price tag. It presents a significant economic cost that is placed on Missouri families, businesses, communities, and government. People will have different views regarding morals, character and retribution directed at the individual who develops an addiction. The bottom line, however, is that an untreated substance abuser is more expensive to society than the cost of getting the abuser into treatment and preventing the non-user from initiating use.


“The Burden of Substance Abuse on the State of Missouri”
– Department of Mental Health (2008)