Interesting…I pray walk or run a few blocks of our Capistrano Beach neighborhood at least twice a week. I am really casual about it so as not to draw any attention to myself. Its not like I stop and kneel in front of peoples homes or anything. I just walk and pray for the families that live on the streets. I wear earbuds so people will think I am lip syncing to my music. I tried it once without the earbuds and it felt really creepy. Like anybody who passed me in their car thought I was crazy and talking to myself. I do alot of thinking outside of the box, is that crazy, i dunno, but I do not talk to myself. I mutter sometimes when I am thinking aloud BUT that is totally different.
Anyhow…Jeremiah 29:7 “And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.”…so this is what I have been doing for months. Praying for God to preserve families, save marriages, bring the prodigals home, deliver people from addictions, gross sin, etc.
Next thing I know…Tonight I found myself at a Christian “recovery meeting” down the street from my house sharing my testimony of how God delivered me from, among many other highly anti-social and dysfunctional behaviors, alcoholism and multiple drug addictions (#methsucks) over ten years ago. It was interesting because I usually avoid those places like the plague. Mostly because they typically choose to believe they have some incurable disease that they have to learn to manage BUT rarely ever get under complete control. I agree to disagree. The gospel saves and heals but you have to be ALL in for it work it ALL out.
The gospel…Buying one hundred percent into the gospel has been the best decision I have ever made in my life. Every instance of Jesus or his disciples healing someone in the New Testament is exactly that, instantaneous healing and strengthening. No instance of someone ministering to demon before exorcising it. No instances of people being half-healed and sent of to physical therapy for wholeness. No instance of Jesus raising anyone from death to half-life then sending them of to a eight step program to gain full life. Sure, in the case of someone such as myself,who stayed drunk or strung out on club drugs for fifteen years, there is much to unlearn and learn. Out with old in with the new. A three step program of belief, repentance, and sanctification. Obedience to Christ lessons, that is what’s up. Option A = worldly wisdom that promotes alcoholism and addiction as an incurable conditions. Option B = Godly wisdom is proven to heal and instantaneous strengthening all those who believe and faithfully follow Jesus. option B for me please and thank you. Did the gospel make life easier? Nope. Did the gospel set me free alcoholism and drug addictions? Yep. Was that the best part? Nope. Being reconciled to God is the best part. We were made to worship. Trying to feel the void with anything else is useless and addicting.
no turning back…In my case, Jesus gave me away out of a wicked lifestyle and I closed the back door behind me. Do I still talk to some my old friends? Yes. Family is family. There are just some family activities that I do not participate in or, rather, do not get invited to. Ok. No one invites me anywhere. That is that. anywho….have I ever mentioned that I used to have a career in the adult entertainment industry?…Well, I did and now I don’t. Why am I mentioning this? At one point my life was all about money, drugs, and sex. I have never even considered turning back to pick that up where I left off…lol..probably not an option anyhow. I had gotten skanky towards the end. #RIPxxxxxxxxxx (i am still on the fence about sharing my old screen name. it in not hard to dig up but….ahem…no turning back, even though I am in my forties and have not made over $12 an hour in the last ten years…no turning back, even if worldly wisdom says I have an incurable disease…no turning back, even though I have not had sex in over ten years. I received Christ in July 2004, submitted to his lordship in November 2004, and have not turned back…wait…I believe the term is backslid. Whatever. I have not done either. Either way, I have a great life in Christ, Church fam, and promise of eternal life with God that I fight for even with this #stinkydeadmanonmyback…plus, I have also been a fulll time student for eight of the last ten years. the sacrifice in income is well worth it, even though it is sometimes excruciatingly painful.
Praise God…soooo….Jesus Christ healed me, strengthens me, and daily sanctifies me more and more into His image. It is only because God’s initiative, grace, and Church that I have sense of enough to not only remain sober minded but to live with purpose and hope. The world is harsh. God is demanding. Life is not easy. That is the bottom line that I do the most business with. Life is not easy but God delivers and provides.
this is my heart bleeding… for my neighbors. there was a big group in that room tonight. probably forty people at least. it hurts my soul to hear professing believers identify more as addicts than as followers of Christ. obedience is not easy but doable.Proverb blast… a righteous man or woman can fall seven times and get back up just as many (24:16). i am 99.9999% percent positive that this was meant to be an encouragement for someone to get back up after falling rather than license to abuse the God’s grace #cheapgrace #sanctificationgap
this is me…trying to find my voice. I really do not want to be the “i used to be all jacked up on Vodka, chronic, and meth guy until Jesus came and got me” guy on a full time basis. but tonight I was…errr..am? prayerfully, someone there received some hope in God from my story tonight. prayerfully, someone out there will receive some hope in God for themselves or loved one that they have nearly given up on. The gospel is not broken. Jesus’ blood has not been watered down. The Holy Spirit is not on hiatus…As an encouragement, I have over ten years soberminded with a clean testimony and counting. Do I think I am perfect because of this? Nope. but i do not think like an addict, behave like an addict, or use like an addict. therefore….I am not an addict. This is a modern day miracle coming from someone who, at one point in his life, was an #infamousaddict and is now working hard to cultivate a career as a Christian speaker, writer, and leadership trainer.
pray for me…my prayer Talbot prayer group is on break for the summer. I need to find a prayer/spiritual direction group for the summer . ASAP. also, for Godly wisdom, conviction, and courage to be the man God is calling me to be, even when that disagrees with who I or someone else wants me to be…
can I blog like this? i have a discipline of not phoning, texting, blogging, or facebooking when I am excited. tonight excited me. i am not excited now. but I was earlier.