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AA Speaker Recordings - Rocketed.org

Episode · 1 year ago

Russell S. at Alive Again-Not Ashamed of My Faith In God

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Russell S. at Alive Again October 30 2020

Good evening. You're writing. Myname is Russell spats. I'm an alcoholic hand I believe in Jesus Christ.First of all, can everybody hear me? Thank you very much. I letme. Let me just give you a little information and I'm going tobasically share some testimony which is important to me, about about expressing my beliefin Jesus Christ, ALC growing out of fear and the relationship between testimony regardingthe Gospel and getting rid of fear of others judgment. And I just watchyou before I start. I Want I want to let you know I numberone, I'm out here in Arizona. I was asked about a year ago, eight months ago, to be the Saturday night speaker at a the VerdiValley round up in Camporty, Arizona, which is out of the desert here, about two hours north of Phoenix, and so I flew out here withmy wife and tonight they have a speaker and they have speakers all through theweekend. I'm the Saturday night speaker. So I'm asking that. Y'All.I know I pray, I always pray, that I I expose my relationship withJesus wherever I'm speaking in some way, the way, the way the HolySpirit and Lord allows me to and wants me to, and I'm askedfor you praying me that I'm able to communicate the message that somebody in thecrowd needs to hear about the Gospel. I also want to ask you topray for carrying Miller, who was with us from many, many years,at this alive again meeting. He's out of Colorado Springs now. The poemI posted early on that y'all can see in chat mostly can see in chatwhere it says I walked life's path with an easy tread about his basically tellsmy story coming to believe and be saved by Jesus Christ. Was First Givento me by Carrie Miller, who was one of the mentors in my life, both him and John Glenn and many other people who have been mentors tome who are Christians. So I want you to please pray from Pastor Miller. I have these ere buds on. I don't think you can see him, but every once in a while they cut out. Hopefully this whole thinga sort of work. The Internet here is kind of spotty. In thedesert surrounded by mountains and so hopefully everything will work out with that. Soabout. I haven't found necessary of a try. I was saved forty yearsago. I haven't found necessary to have a drink since January twenty two,one thousand nine hundred and eighty one. But my spiritual bottom was December thetwenty five, a month before Christmas morning, at three o'clock in the morning.I mean here's, here's just the facts of my testimony. Is justthe facts. And on Christmas morning at about two or three o'clock in themorning, I was thirty one years old. I though my life was over andI turned on the TV and there was a preacher and you know,I say two o'clock in the morning, maybe one hundred and thirty, I'mnot sure the exact time. And the...

...preacher gave his testimony about how hebecame content to believe in Jesus, and then he gave an invitation and heessentially said if you wanted to change your life, that Jesus would change mylife if I invited him in into my life and I got down to myknees into he gave the invitation to get down your knees and say the sinner'sprayer, which I did. I said the sinner's prayer that that early morninghours of Christmas morning one thousand nine hundred eighty. Now the fact is isthat approximately thirty days later, exactly thirty days later, I had my lastdrink and I haven't found us to have drink since that time. Now thetruth is about my life as I look at it, is notwithstanding the factthat I got down on my knees December twenty five and ask God to saveyou from this alcoholism and save my life, and notwithstanding the fact that after thatand after coming into alcoholics anonymous, over the last forty years I havebeen turning more and more and more to my relationship with Jesus and trying tosolidify and growing in my relationship with Jesus. The truth of the matter is isfor at least fifteen to twenty years of that time, I was ashamedof the Gospel. Now let me explain to what I mean about being ashamedof the Gospel and going into that little bit. It isn't my I tryright now, and I think I succeed in many instances, with the helpof the Holy Spirit, to be able to be bold in allowing people tounderstand that I owe everything to Jesus, and then I'm a Christian wherever I'mspeaking, whether it's in alive again or whether it's going to be at thisthis round up out here. Okay, but about twenty years ago, twentyto twenty five years ago, I'm a lawyer by trade. I was atthe universe of Miami and it was a speech being done by John Ashcroft,who was the attorney general of the United States of that time, and everybodyknew that John Ashcroft was a Christian. He may have even being been apastor besides a lawyer, and after he gave the speech I walked up tohim him. I don't know about you all, but there's been many menin my life and women, but mostly men, that I have learned agreat deal from. They've said things to me that I've remembered even over fortyyears. I mean obviously after went to God through a lot of means,I've heard a lot of stuff over the last forty years, but there area few things that were said to me that I absolutely remember. And Iremember going up to John Ashcroft, who was then the attorney general, andsomehow inquiring of him how he could be a Christian and in the midst ofwhat was going on in Washington, seem DC at the time. I thinkit's much worse now, but and how he could communicate that message and whathe said to me I'll never forget he said. He said, look,my faith will not allow me to impose my religion or my relationship on anybody, but it compels me to expose my...

...relationship with everybody. And I've alwaysremembered that, the difference between trying to impose Jesus on people, which isnot what Jesus wants us to do, and exposing our relationship. And thenI've brought to mind about that part in the big book of alcoholics, anonymous, where it says we never apologize for our relationship with God. It saysall men of faith have courage, they trust their God. It says wejust let we just let him demonstrate to others in our lives, demonstrate whathe has done for us. And so what I guess I try to dois I hope that somehow, through the Holy Spirit, whenever I give testimony, what there's a demonstration of what Jesus can do in a person's life.So one of the things that I suffer from as an alcoholic that I didn'tknow I suffered from from many years. Most of the stuff we suffer fromwe don't know we suffer from them, from it we learn o pretty years, is his fear of people and the judgment of people. And so,as many of you may be realized now where you are, there's this eventhough the big book of Alcoholics, anonymous, clearly in my mind, clearly inmy mind, talks about a program that relieves you of the bondage ofmany, many things, based upon the power of God in your life,that we're powerless, that in order to be relieved of this power, ofthis this powerlessness and be able to battle this alcoholism, and we believe thisalcoholism, it's holy, dependent upon establishing, believing and growing in a relationship withGod, even though it's clear that's what the book is all about outif you want to be honest, and of course, one of the oneof the problems with our disease, one of the consequences is sometimes we couldread something and not really see it. You know, we we sort ofread and we decide what we think it says, what we're going to followwhat we're not going to follow. But I can tell you after forty years, the big books pretty clear. There is one who has all power.That one is God. You need to find them now and you can constantlygrow in that relationship. The truth of the matter is is that over mylet in the last forty years, I have met many, many people whohave been believers, who were clearly believers in Jesus. That astounded me.I think one of the first ones that really got my notice was Al Kennedy, when I saw him speak and I was two months ober and he wasjust so incredible. He was strong, but he was an arrogant and hewas he was just an incredible speaker and I wanted what he had and Ilearned that he was dying of cancer and he never even mentioned it and hewas just trying to help people and I remember that meaning. What happened tome is my vision for what Aa was all about and what recovery was allabout made a quantum leap from the idea of just not drinking to an ideawhere you can actually be relieved of fear of death. I mean, II had a lot of things that I was scared of that I didn't evenknow I was scared of. But certainly one of the things I would worryabout all the time is my life or being hurt or somebody hurting me orsomething that had happening to me. He was a man who was like thirtyfive years sober, who was dying of...

...cancer and he wasn't afraid and,as a matter of fact, what he was trying to do is he wastrying to communicate to others what God had done in his life. And Iwas amazed, you know, after the sermon of the mount the last lineto the sermon of the mount is is the line, and the people wereamazed. Amazed because he spoke with authority, not like not like the you know, the the scribes, and and I wanted to have what he hadin all my life I would meet these men. Might the next person Iwould I remember is and there were many people before this and after, butwould be my sponsor, John Glenn, who became my third sponsor. Allmy sponsors have already always spoken about God. All my sponsors suggested I read theBible and read the sermon on the Mount and things of that nature.All my sponsors always pointed towards God. It was clear he didn't. Theywere not middle of the road people, oh you know, they weren't halfmeasured people. And know they their whole concept was believing in the Lord,believing in God. Bill Wilson, in alcoholics, anonymous number three. When, when when bill Docs and is saying he knew there was something more,something something special, that he had not got, something a person ought tohave, a release, a freedom for fear, and he's trying to figureout what it was and he had bill Wilson over to see him and BillWilson makes his simple statement. He says the Lord has been he said tohis to bill's wife, he said the Lord has been so wonderful to mefor any of this terrible disease that I got to keep talking about it andtelling other people. And he said he was amazed because you'll have this releaseand everything he had gotten, he gave credit to the Lord. And andthe truth is you don't have to pound people overhead about Jesus. It's prettyclear to most people that when Bill Wilson was talking about the Lord, hewas talking about Jesus Christ. It's clear to most people that Dr Bob waswas it was a devout believer and as a matect many of the people thattime with the bout belief, the believers. They any they encouraged church membership andthings of that nature. So it's clear. What the big book says. It clear. This is clear with Dr Bob and Bill Wilson were allabout. And whilst the law, whilst it's all that is clear, it'salso clear like like they say in the Gospel and like they say in thebig book, they say the same thing. I think sometimes the Big Book isis the Gospel for dummies. You know, the the the big booktalks about in the chapter we agnostics, it talks about how how once webring up God, there with alcoholics this and they're the hackles in the neckarise up. I mean they don't want to hear about it, they getupset about it and they say this sort of thinking must be obeyed abandoned.God either is or he is and then it says that all through the bookalcoholics anonymous. And of course in the in the in the in the Gospel, it says Jesus is very, very, very clear about this, about aboutlosing the saltiness about not not being able to spread the gospel around andabout putting it, you know, like a like a candlestick, like alantern up. He's very heat he states, he says, he says, don'tbe concerned if they hate you, they hated me, they're going tohate you. He leaves no question about the fact that if you follow himyou're going to be criticized, you're going to be heard, it you heard, you may even be persecuted. And...

...yet here I am an alcoholics anonymouswhich is a perfect place to talk about the Gospel, you know, aplace where the big book and all the literature talks about seeing to it thatyour relationship with him is right. A place where on the wall it saysfirst things first, which was Dr Bob's way of saying seek, Ye First, the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all things will be added untoyou. A place where, in DCR Bob, of the good oldtimers, it says the books that they've found absolutely essential were first Corinthians,thirteen, sermon on the Mount and the book of James. A place where, if anything, people should be talking about God. And here I amin the midst of a fellowship where the entire thing is about God. Andfor the first ten or fifteen years I'm worried about what people think about meif I talk about God and and and I understand that because, because,and and the reason I talk about Aa, even though we're into alive again,is because many of us go to alcoholics anonymous meetings. Many of usgo not only alcoholics anonymous meetings. We live a life and in I hearso many times people saying that they are sort of like, you know,sort of upset because they don't talk about God much at their meetings and andthey wish they could talk about God more at their meetings. Or what theproblem is. And in this let me tell you something. The world,the world, will always, always, not want to hear this, andAA is no different. I mean we're not talking about well, people's anonymoushere, you know, we're talking about people based on chapter to the agnosticthat right off the back don't want to hear anybody talking about this. Andin what happened with me, and I'm not trying to bring anybody under conviction. As a better fact, I don't have the power to bring anybody intoconviction. If you can grown under conviction. That's up to take up with thisMousen only spirit. But the bottom is, I can't, I can'ttell you this that over a period of many years, maybe decades, asI got closer and close to the Jesus and as I wanted more and moreto have this relationship with Jesus and as I got more and more ready tohave God remove all these defects of character, and as I met more and morepeople, I remember John and and let me tell you something. It'snot an easy thing. It takes place for me over a period of time. I remember, maybe at around fifteen years sobriety, being in a restaurant, and some of you have heard the story with my sponsor, John Glenn, and I just got a Bible study with him and we did a lotof stuff together and I love John. And I'm going to restaurant in Denny'sand now I'm used to praying at meetings, I'm used to praying at Bible Studies, I'm used to praying in church, but I'm going to restaurant in publicand I'm starting eating. John says, listen, what are you doing?I said I'm eating. He says he says we can't eat, youcan't eat, we have to give thanks first, and he bowed his headand of course I sort of bowed my head while I'm looking around at Denny'sto see who's looking at us. And he starts saying this prayer and itwasn't like a short prayer. It wasn't one of these you know, thankyou God for the food, you know God, you know Jesus name,Amen. It was one of these long Baptist type prayers, you know,like he was praying for everybody in the world. Probably took about five minutes. It seemed to me like it took about twenty years. And I'm lookingaround and sees looking at us because, you know why? Because I wasashamed, because I was worried about what other people thought about me. Oneof the things I've always thought about a mescal. I did a talk onthis one's is Romans One sixteen, when the Apostle Paul, to the ApostlePaul two thousand years ago, says I...

...am not ashamed of the Gospel andnot ashamed of the good news, because it is the power of God thatbrings salvation to everyone, first to the Jew, then to the entile.I'm not ashamed of the truth. And so I used to think to myself, why would the apostle Paul, preaching to Christians and preaching to Jews andpreaching to be everybody there? Why would he say I'm not ashamed of theGospel? And the reason he was saying that is because he knew that therewere Christians, there were people that wanted to do this thing and wanted totalk about Jesus, but were afraid and ashamed to do it. They knewit was a natural thing. He wanted to let them though. I'm notashamed, just like Peter was not ashamed in acts when he spoke. I'mnot ashamed. And here's here's something I noticed. I noticed in my ownlife, and I'm certainly not perfect, that I got my problems. Well, one of the things I've noticed in my own life is that I asI got closer and closer to Jesus and and and as I and you cancall it, I'll call it, for lack of anything else, the eleventhstep. How about that? To give some validity to it, because Ithink if you work this program and you're not getting closer to the Lord,if you're working this program and your faith and your concept of Jesus or theLord is no different than it was twenty years ago. If you if Jesus, if Jesus and your faith in him hasn't become more concrete, more concrete, where where you actually start becoming, as they say, convinced that helives in your heart and mind within a way which is deep miraculous? Ifhit, if your faith in him has not gotten to the point where heis the central fact of your entire existence, if it hasn't started to become thatafter ten or fifteen or twenty years, you might need to look at thatin terms of why you're not feeling as well as you probably could feelor why you're not being rocketed in the fourth dimension of existence. But forme, I can tell you it happened over a long period of time.But what I noticed about it is this, and you can call an emotional sobriety, whatever you want to call it. I noticed that more and more Isurrendered, I surrendered to Jesus, more and more I allowed him comein my life. Less and less was I concerned about the material world,the things of this world and what other people thought about me. So ifyou're one of these people that say to themselves that worry a lot about alot of things work find yourself having anxiety, you might want to consider the factthat one of the problems might be your relationship and how you feel yourfaith in Jesus Christ. You know, the truth is is that the lessI the less I rely or the less I place my happiness and rely onthe things of this world in order to be happy, the happier I am, and the more I rely on Jesus Christ and making the center peace ofmy life, the less I rely on the things of this world. Andso one of the side effects, if he called a side effect, andI'm not entirely sure about this, it could work both ways, is thatthe less I was concerned about the things of this world and the rejection orapproval of people, the more it be, the easier it became for me totalk about Jesus and my testimony to...

...other people, the easier became tolet other people know that that, you know, my reliance is upon theLord and what the Lord has done for me in my life. Now Iam I as I say this, I just want you to know I donot tell. I don't. I don't tell my sponsees or other people.Listen, you got two years, you got to go out there in amean and preach Jesus. You know what innanner do? That is my fact. I team peach. People try to do that and they chase people awayfrom the Lord and in the bottom line is is that. I'm not sayingthat. I'm not saying anybody should feel guilty, you know, if they'renot a point where they're talking about their faith or exposing their faith to otherpeople. I'm just telling you my testimony to what, for whatever extent ithas to do with your life, for you want to think about it.I'm just telling you my testimony, and that is over a period of beingclosely two months or beforety years, over forty years, I've got to thepoint where I'm not ashamed of the Gospel and I do share it freely.There is a difference between, without question, the way I you know, Ilove the Apostle Paul. He says I become all things to all menby use of whatever means, bring some of them to Christ. You know, there is a difference. I do respect the traditions in alcoholics anonymouss mapric. I understand them. I'm not even trying to change a A. Ilike the idea. You know, Jesus says we leave the ninety nine andwe go out after the one. I mean I you know, I'm notcriticizing anybody, but the people build. Wilson was asked, what do youthink of people that don't drink and don't go to meetings? He said,I have no use from because they have no gratitude. I truly believe thatif you're an alcoholic or you're an addict, or you're in recovery and you've gottensober through alcoholics, anonymous and twelve steps, you're there for a purpose. It says Don will give you everything if you stay close to him andin perform his works well. And I believe if you're an a your recovery, you have your royal priest you're belonged to a royal priesthood, fellowship ofthe Holy Spirit, and you've been planted in a place where you can helpother people. And so and so you shouldn't you know, you got toleave. I mean that's so antithetical to the Christian life to hang out inchurch all the time. Because you don't want to go out and talk tosinners. I mean, the one thing I know about Jesus is what thePharisees used to say about it, is he he eats with sinners and drinkswith them too. So this concept that you don't want to people run awayfrom a Christians running away from a a because there's sinners in AA and theyrun away from Aa because they don't like it when they talk about their faith. Well, you know, listen. All I can tell you is myopinion is is that those are listen, there's a great harvest to be donein a few workers. So so, but that's just my opinion. Icould be wrong about that and everybody has their own walk they have to gothrough and things like that, but I'm not ashamed of it. And Ithink the other thing I'll bring up is it talks about when you're when you'regiving your testimony. It says be wise as serpents, and I think there'sthere's enough in the big book alcoholics anonymous. There's enough in Dr bottom build alltimes. There's enough in the twelve and twelve, there's enough in theAA literature. I'm talking about conference approof literature, that if you read itand you study it, that you could give her a great Aa talk andbring out everything you need to bring out about the Gospel, even about Jesus, and certainly in your testimony where it's absolutely perfectly appropriate. I mean,I've done it. I've done it for years. Everybody knows that. I'lltalk about even I'll probably do it right at this at this function. Italked about how I got on my knees...

...and gave my life to the Lord. I many times used the word the Lord. You know, some peopleuse higher power, some people use God. I'll use to God and the Lord. People pretty much know what's going on with me and where it comesfrom. And and I'm just given my own personal testimony and our stories.Was Solis in general way, what was like, what happened? What welike now? And you don't have to change your story. You know whatI mean. And so there is a way of doing it and I andI'll I'll just say this again, and I'm not quite sure of how thisworks, it seems to me the more I'm able to talk about God andwhat God has done for me in my life, the more I lose thefear of people. And you know there's a promise in alcoholics anonymous and there'sa promise and the promises we will lose sphere of people and of economical andeconomic insecurity. And I think part of economic insecurity is being worried about whatpeople will think about you if you lose material things. And it's such afreedom when you lose fear of people's judgment. And I think if you're in ana meeting, I'll just sort of throw this out there for you tothink of. I think if you're an a meeting and you want to talkabout what God has done for you in your life and how important it isand you don't talk about it because you're worried about what the group will thinkabout you, I think you should not expect in the near future to getrid of fear of people. Is that make any sense? If you're sittingin an a, a group with a a material and the stuff that welearn an a and the stuff that's quoted and in a a, you stopyourself from sharing about your fit because you're worried about about the fact that you'rewondering why you have a lost fear of people. You know, because thereain't no way you're going to lose fear of people unless you've developed ability totalk the truth about what God has done for you. But the word isdone for you, so thank you very much. That's all I have tosay.

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