August 25, 2016

Read Lamentations 3:22-23
I’d always been aware of Jesus as an historical character. The home I grew up in wasn’t terribly religious, but not totally secular either. There were bibles around, and loving books; I thumbed through them from time to time. And, of course, we occasionally went to church, like at Easter. After hearing a sermon, I would think about “getting saved”………some day. More than anyone else, Billy Graham got through to me with his televised crusades. But after pausing briefly over Dr. Graham, I was soon back to doing it all my way.
Being a teenager without Jesus in the late sixties and early seventies, I was all caught up in the so-called Hippie Lifestyle. I wasn’t concerned with the politics of it, I was just interested in the dope. Out of everything that was available at that time, alcohol became my drug of choice, because it was cheaper and easier to get. And I liked the way it made me feel.  A  lot. By the time I was seventeen, I had become a full-blown alcoholic. The years rolled by. I went to work, got married and started a family. All the while I was a functioning drunk, doing just enough of the right things to maintain my life.
I attempted going to church on a regular basis a couple of times and even got baptized in an attempt to give my wife and kids an example of me doing something good and right. But, I was still living that old life. I didn’t have a clue. The bottom for me came after an overnight stay as a guest of the county; I was standing on the sidewalk outside 201 Poplar (I think most folks know where that is). I prayed to the Lord to take my burden. I couldn’t do this anymore, and I couldn’t control it………. Please God, take my addiction from me. Please. Sometime after that, a friend was bragging on my willpower and strength because after 35 years of alcohol and drug abuse, I just simply quit. That got me to thinking, “I don’t have one iota of willpower or strength.” That’s when it hit me, the light came on! Jesus did take my addiction from me! Jesus answered my prayer and saved me!
Soon after that, my wife and I were driving past another address on Poplar and almost simultaneously said to each other, “We need to give church another shot!” This time I’m being baptized because Jesus is my Lord and Savior! Praise the Lord for His love, His mercy and His patience!