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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Deny SELF & Follow!

I've been blessed. We hear people say that all the's an over-used description really and rarely is that statement followed up by reasons why the person saying it feelings that way.

Well I have been blessed. Yea, I have been fortunate...I have worked hard, busted my tail trying to change my life around...I have gotten some breaks along the way, I won't lie and I am really, really grateful for that. I have some wonderful, remarkable, people in my life today who I am privileged to call my friends. But what I really am is BLESSED, I feel blessed...God is in control and I like it! I have been granted the ability to love and worship GOD...Blessed.

And that ultimately is why I am here, writing this blog about my life and all the remarkably good things that have taken place in my life up to this point.I have been given THE chance of a, eternity real

The chance to suffer for my LORD. Today i understand how fortunate I am to have that opportunity to pick up the Cross and follow Jesus. I do it cheerfully. I know people who know me from the past are absolutely crapping their pants right now as they read this post...really the posts for the last 6 months or so. Nobody and I mean NOBODY, not Mom/Dad, my kids, my oldest friends, friends in recovery, etc. expected me to EVER become a Christian. And that is what happened.

The guide to my life today goes back to a simple Bible verse from the Gospel of Luke Chapter 9, verse 23-25:

"Then he said to them all: "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?"

This verse convinced me to become a Christian, no doubt about it. One of my criticism's of "religion" had always been that the religious were hypocrites, always making up rules as they please. There was no freaking way to sugar coat this statement, none at all. It was clear: Deny SELF, FOLLOW Jesus. Even I could figure that out...

So that is what I have tried to do. It certainly fit into the philosophy I had begun to believe in once I was sober in recovery. So I Follow the Lord to the best of my ability every single day and deny myself. I put fear behind me and go where I KNOW I'm needed, not just where I want to go. That is picking up my CROSS, go where he wants me to go and it isn't easy.

It would be easy, I mean really easy with over 5 years of sobriety to just hang out at church and not deal with addicts and alcoholics anymore. I just can't do it...I can't. Jesus died for me, he did...that I have no doubt.

I've seen glimpses of HELL my friends, just split seconds of it...Rape, Violence, Death...I've felt excruciating, long term pain. I have been filled with torment for...YEARS. I was full of Hate, Rage, Fear, Pain...I live that way for....EVER. And with no hope what so ever that it would ever end.

So I know with a certainty that I can live again because Christ died for me, took my sin, my pain and suffering and HE SUFFERED. So my daily task of denying self and following is more or less a blessing and I'm happy to oblige. Why? I know what the alternative is like.