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Also from England, not as aggressive as Michael!

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  • Also from England, not as aggressive as Michael!

    Hello all,

    Like Michael I am British, technically protestant but more specifically, Anglican - the slightly more traditional (stiff) version of protestant.
    The fact that I am detailing this is only due to the chat about denominations on here - I've never categorized Christians before, if you believe that Jesus, the only son of God, died on the cross to take the sins of the world, I have absolutely no issue with the way in which you worship!

    I am 26 years old and have been a church goer since ican'tremeberwhen, as an actual thinking, hoping, praying, repentant christian since maybe a month ago.

    I used to smoke pot full time, whilst hanging on to my belief that God, Jesus, Heaven and Hell are all real. I'd either ignore my biggest sin (which i guess you could call drunkeness) or ask for forgiveness for my weakness on a daily basis. I felt that Jesus was there, but a few meters away. I was completely aware that as I was, I would not be inheriting the Kingdom of Heaven.

    My Christian family knew about my addiction and have wanted me to stop since day 1. I'd often choose getting high over family/friends events, often lying about what I was doing to save the guilt and bad feelings. I'd find ways of buying weed even if it meant 'borrowing' someone else's car to get to my dealer. This included borrowing without asking from family members. Replacing the stolen money when I had it again. Altogether I was a big old sinner; lying, stealing, cheating, getting high. Dang it looks bad written!

    So I'd been trying to give up for a while, only for my family's sake. (I thought I could be a stoner and still a good person if I tried hard enough). I asked God for help as I'd read loads about hard-drug addicts finding Jesus and becoming a totally reformed person, emboldened with the Holy Spirit and all the grace and peace that comes with it. I came across a passage that goes something like this.... 'Seek me with all your heart and you will find.'

    It's hard to specify what the turning point was exactly, but since the 17th of this month, I haven't bought/smoked/contacted my dealer in any shape manner or form!
    What the heck!?
    I'd just beaten a 7 year addiction with basically no 'withdrawals' or difficulty whatsoever! To clarify, I've said to myself 'ok last bag' so so so many times but i've always found an excuse to 'need' to buy more (hanging out with stoner friends etc).

    Every so often I get a tiny suggestion in my head that tells me that it's probably fine to go ahead and get some more. I've proven that I can go without, I sleep fine, my family life is better than ever, whats one little joint now?

    And bam, a bigger suggestion says go grab your Bible. So I do. I find that when I flick it open, I end up on a page that has something that speaks directly to my soul, and smashes that naughty suggestion right out of my head. Praise be to the Lord!

    I still don't understand it but to this minute, I can truly say that something more powerful than me is compelling me to keep going. Does this mean that I don't miss smoking? No. Some nights I'd really enjoy rolling up a little paper of relaxation, but something bigger and better is stopping me. I wake up each morning not in the usual haze, but absolutely proud as proud of myself! I owe 99.5% of my success to my all powerful, all knowing God, but that minute 00.5% belongs to me!

    I had to seek Him with ALL of my heart, and when I completely submitted myself to Jesus an his endless love, it was all too easy. Now I have to work on patience and following the path that God has laid out for me. Life starts when Jesus becomes the reason you live it.

    Joy in my heart, desperate to meet my Saviour, I am healed and 100% committed to my new life!
    Sharing this makes me feel good, I hope I can join the community here and share my faith with you all.

    Joy and peace from the UK!

    Your brother Greg

  • #2
    Welcome!

    I also started to seek. In mine I was raised in the church but went sideways in rebellion about any God for 3 years. Something just started to nag (a better word doesn't exist) at me that something was wrong with my path. So I started looking for God. Any, if I'm honest. It was with all my heart, mind and devotion

    God answered me and there was no mistaking who He was and that night I actually became a follower of Christ and the one true God for the first time. Even though I'd been raised in the church it wasn't until much later in life that I became a true follower. It's the most beautiful relationship I've ever had or will have.

    Glad to have you here
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    • #3

      It's the most beautiful relationship I've ever had or will have.

      That line really does say it! Thanks for having me !

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      • #4
        Welcome I will fear no evil
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        • #5
          Welcome to the forum. I'm glad God gave you the power to overcome your addiction.
          Clyde Herrin's Blog
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          • #6
            I too cannot ever remember not believing and trusting in God.
            I am now 81 and my memory goes back to my earliest Sunday School days (approx 1940).
            Despite struggles with denominational division leading to a very liberal (some say modernist) regard for the 'Bible', it remains my joy to say, in the words of the hymn:

            "All the way my Saviour leads me.
            What have I to ask beside?
            Can I doubt his tender mercy, who through life has been my guide.
            Heav'nly peace, divinest comfort,
            Here by faith in him to dwell.
            For I know, whate're betides me,
            Jesus doeth all things well."


            Hang on in there Greg, "It grows better as the days go by."

            Mike ..... (also from UK).
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            • #7
              Welcome.
              This place is great, but get your self some real flesh and blood fellowship, too.
              People to help you through the tough times with some encouragement, and people that you may have a chance to encourage.

              The Bible is full of 'one another' verses that are hard to do solo. We really do need one another.
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              • #8
                Thanks for the supportive messages everyone, I'll keep you updated on my progress!
                Atpollard - you are right, although i do have my church for the flesh and blood!
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                • #9
                  Welcome Greg!

                  God bless,
                  William
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by I will fear no evil View Post
                    Thanks for the supportive messages everyone, I'll keep you updated on my progress!
                    Atpollard - you are right, although i do have my church for the flesh and blood!
                    I just want to make sure you lean on them.
                    One hour on a Sunday really isn't enough interaction. Get involved with a group of men you can call friends.

                    (Even Jesus hung out with 3-12 other friends) ;)
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                    • #11
                      I totally agree with you... Its only that there arent that many christian folk out there! I'm still at university and none of my classmates have faith. I understand what you're getting at. That you need supporters to keep you strong... Aside from work, church and uni, i dont know where I'd look for a real bunch of christian friends! I tell anyone that asks exactly what i believe, in a way that might help them find Jesus too (from my unworthy position). If God puts me in a place that surrounds me with like minded Christians, I'd be thrilled. Without giving you my life story, demographic and history of spiritual encounters, its hard for you to understand what i need, but i appreciate the advice all the same
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                      • #12
                        Hi Greg, WELCOME TO CF :)

                        Yours and His,
                        David
                        Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

                        "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

                        "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

                        "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

                        "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by I will fear no evil View Post
                          I'm still at university and none of my classmates have faith.
                          Is it possible that God placed you with those classmates so you can share your faith with them?
                          Clyde Herrin's Blog
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by theophilus View Post
                            Is it possible that God placed you with those classmates so you can share your faith with them?
                            Very likely! I do use the gifts that I've been given to show my classmates what Christianity can be like... There is one guy in my class called Jamie, he's 19, gay, supposedly a witch as he calls himself wickan and a pagan. He got 'married' in a pagan ceremony in the woods when he was 17 - to a girl.. And he likes to accommodate all types of spirituality. You all know what kind of person this is, essentially deceived by spiritual rubbish, but still feels more spiritual than the average 19 year old. Ive had the most theological discussions with him out of anybody in the class and he thinks that a large majority of christian teachings come from astronomical events. And that certain christian symbols derive from old pagan ones. Everyone else in the class respects what i have to say to a certain degree, but Jamie feels more enlightened than any of us.
                            Im a good listener (in person!) and i have a few classmates that confide in me for various things. I give them advice that is founded on good old loving one another, christian or no. With Jamie its like he believes in every religion, all at once. He is a nice guy and respects my faith but further than that, he's almost un reachable.. What do you do with a guy like that?
                            on a very harsh level, just being gay will keep you from eternal salvation - in my opinion.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by I will fear no evil View Post
                              He is a nice guy and respects my faith but further than that, he's almost un reachable.. What do you do with a guy like that? on a very harsh level, just being gay will keep you from eternal salvation - in my opinion.
                              Fear no Evil? :cool:

                              As far as method goes: Holding the Law up to an individual as in front of a mirror seemingly has gained traction amongst some Apologist. Demonstrating the depraved nature of an individual in relation to our Holy God, and the necessity of the Good news.

                              For example, leading into the sin nature of man you may ask someone:
                              1. Have you ever lied? And, what do you call a person that lies?
                              2. Have you ever stole anything? And, what do you call a person that steals?
                              3. Have you ever lusted after another? What did Jesus say about those that lust after another?
                              4. Have you ever hated another? What did Jesus say about those that hate others?
                              5. Have you ever used God's name in vain? etc


                              Some people will walk away from you immediately, they'll criticize you for being politically incorrect, but the point of this is to establish the basis of the Gospel, our need for Christ, and our helpless condition in Adam. The question then is what do we do when we engage a person that rejects themselves being a sinner? Imagine someone answering the first question, no! How do we treat any other dishonest liar? Do we give them equal opportunity on the soap box, hand them a microphone to mislead others? Ok, bad example considering our modern state of politics. I think you'll have to answer these questions for yourself. And as for your approach, this forum may be a good place to practice your apologetics. It is difficult for me to suggest anything online, as I can't read your tone or see your body language in your posts. Some people can say everything right, but the way they say it or deliver it becomes an obstacle. Again, practice makes perfect. But if I am personally criticized by another, I'd rather be criticized for the Truth of Christ's own words rather than my own or my delivery of them.





                              God bless,
                              William
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