AA Speaker Recordings - Rocketed.org
AA Speaker Recordings - Rocketed.org

Episode · 1 year ago

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

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Russell S. at Alive Again October 30 2020

Good evening. You're writing. My name 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 let me. Let me just give you a little information and I'm going to basically share some testimony which is important to me, about about expressing my belief in Jesus Christ, ALC growing out of fear and the relationship between testimony regarding the Gospel and getting rid of fear of others judgment. And I just watch you before I start. I Want I want to let you know I number one, 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 Verdi Valley round up in Camporty, Arizona, which is out of the desert here, about two hours north of Phoenix, and so I flew out here with my wife and tonight they have a speaker and they have speakers all through the weekend. 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 with Jesus wherever I'm speaking in some way, the way, the way the Holy Spirit and Lord allows me to and wants me to, and I'm asked for you praying me that I'm able to communicate the message that somebody in the crowd needs to hear about the Gospel. I also want to ask you to pray for carrying Miller, who was with us from many, many years, at this alive again meeting. He's out of Colorado Springs now. The poem I posted early on that y'all can see in chat mostly can see in chat where it says I walked life's path with an easy tread about his basically tells my story coming to believe and be saved by Jesus Christ. Was First Given to 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 to me 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 thing a sort of work. The Internet here is kind of spotty. In the desert surrounded by mountains and so hopefully everything will work out with that. So about. I haven't found necessary of a try. I was saved forty years ago. 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 the twenty 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 just the facts. And on Christmas morning at about two or three o'clock in the morning, I was thirty one years old. I though my life was over and I 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'm not sure the exact time. And the...

...preacher gave his testimony about how he became content to believe in Jesus, and then he gave an invitation and he essentially said if you wanted to change your life, that Jesus would change my life if I invited him in into my life and I got down to my knees into he gave the invitation to get down your knees and say the sinner's prayer, which I did. I said the sinner's prayer that that early morning hours of Christmas morning one thousand nine hundred eighty. Now the fact is is that approximately thirty days later, exactly thirty days later, I had my last drink and I haven't found us to have drink since that time. Now the truth is about my life as I look at it, is notwithstanding the fact that I got down on my knees December twenty five and ask God to save you from this alcoholism and save my life, and notwithstanding the fact that after that and after coming into alcoholics anonymous, over the last forty years I have been turning more and more and more to my relationship with Jesus and trying to solidify and growing in my relationship with Jesus. The truth of the matter is is for at least fifteen to twenty years of that time, I was ashamed of the Gospel. Now let me explain to what I mean about being ashamed of the Gospel and going into that little bit. It isn't my I try right now, and I think I succeed in many instances, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to be able to be bold in allowing people to understand that I owe everything to Jesus, and then I'm a Christian wherever I'm speaking, whether it's in alive again or whether it's going to be at this this round up out here. Okay, but about twenty years ago, twenty to twenty five years ago, I'm a lawyer by trade. I was at the 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 everybody knew that John Ashcroft was a Christian. He may have even being been a pastor besides a lawyer, and after he gave the speech I walked up to him him. I don't know about you all, but there's been many men in my life and women, but mostly men, that I have learned a great deal from. They've said things to me that I've remembered even over forty years. 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 are a few things that were said to me that I absolutely remember. And I remember going up to John Ashcroft, who was then the attorney general, and somehow inquiring of him how he could be a Christian and in the midst of what was going on in Washington, seem DC at the time. I think it's much worse now, but and how he could communicate that message and what he 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 always remembered that, the difference between trying to impose Jesus on people, which is not what Jesus wants us to do, and exposing our relationship. And then I'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 says all men of faith have courage, they trust their God. It says we just let we just let him demonstrate to others in our lives, demonstrate what he has done for us. And so what I guess I try to do is 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't know I suffered from from many years. Most of the stuff we suffer from we 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 even though the big book of Alcoholics, anonymous, clearly in my mind, clearly in my mind, talks about a program that relieves you of the bondage of many, many things, based upon the power of God in your life, that we're powerless, that in order to be relieved of this power, of this this powerlessness and be able to battle this alcoholism, and we believe this alcoholism, it's holy, dependent upon establishing, believing and growing in a relationship with God, even though it's clear that's what the book is all about out if you want to be honest, and of course, one of the one of the problems with our disease, one of the consequences is sometimes we could read something and not really see it. You know, we we sort of read and we decide what we think it says, what we're going to follow what 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 constantly grow in that relationship. The truth of the matter is is that over my let in the last forty years, I have met many, many people who have 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 was just so incredible. He was strong, but he was an arrogant and he was he was just an incredible speaker and I wanted what he had and I learned that he was dying of cancer and he never even mentioned it and he was just trying to help people and I remember that meaning. What happened to me is my vision for what Aa was all about and what recovery was all about made a quantum leap from the idea of just not drinking to an idea where you can actually be relieved of fear of death. I mean, I I had a lot of things that I was scared of that I didn't even know I was scared of. But certainly one of the things I would worry about all the time is my life or being hurt or somebody hurting me or something that had happening to me. He was a man who was like thirty five 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 was trying to communicate to others what God had done in his life. And I was amazed, you know, after the sermon of the mount the last line to the sermon of the mount is is the line, and the people were amazed. Amazed because he spoke with authority, not like not like the you know, the the scribes, and and I wanted to have what he had in all my life I would meet these men. Might the next person I would I remember is and there were many people before this and after, but would be my sponsor, John Glenn, who became my third sponsor. All my sponsors have already always spoken about God. All my sponsors suggested I read the Bible 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. They were not middle of the road people, oh you know, they weren't half measured 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 to have, a release, a freedom for fear, and he's trying to figure out what it was and he had bill Wilson over to see him and Bill Wilson makes his simple statement. He says the Lord has been he said to his to bill's wife, he said the Lord has been so wonderful to me for any of this terrible disease that I got to keep talking about it and telling other people. And he said he was amazed because you'll have this release and everything he had gotten, he gave credit to the Lord. And and the truth is you don't have to pound people overhead about Jesus. It's pretty clear to most people that when Bill Wilson was talking about the Lord, he was talking about Jesus Christ. It's clear to most people that Dr Bob was was it was a devout believer and as a matect many of the people that time with the bout belief, the believers. They any they encouraged church membership and things of that nature. So it's clear. What the big book says. It clear. This is clear with Dr Bob and Bill Wilson were all about. And whilst the law, whilst it's all that is clear, it's also clear like like they say in the Gospel and like they say in the big book, they say the same thing. I think sometimes the Big Book is is the Gospel for dummies. You know, the the the big book talks about in the chapter we agnostics, it talks about how how once we bring up God, there with alcoholics this and they're the hackles in the neck arise up. I mean they don't want to hear about it, they get upset 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 book alcoholics anonymous. And of course in the in the in the in the Gospel, it says Jesus is very, very, very clear about this, about about losing the saltiness about not not being able to spread the gospel around and about putting it, you know, like a like a candlestick, like a lantern up. He's very heat he states, he says, he says, don't be concerned if they hate you, they hated me, they're going to hate you. He leaves no question about the fact that if you follow him you'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 anonymous which is a perfect place to talk about the Gospel, you know, a place where the big book and all the literature talks about seeing to it that your relationship with him is right. A place where on the wall it says first 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 unto you. A place where, in DCR Bob, of the good old timers, 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 am in the midst of a fellowship where the entire thing is about God. And for the first ten or fifteen years I'm worried about what people think about me if 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 us go not only alcoholics anonymous meetings. We live a life and in I hear so 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 and they wish they could talk about God more at their meetings. Or what the problem is. And in this let me tell you something. The world, the world, will always, always, not want to hear this, and AA is no different. I mean we're not talking about well, people's anonymous here, you know, we're talking about people based on chapter to the agnostic that right off the back don't want to hear anybody talking about this. And in 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 into conviction. If you can grown under conviction. That's up to take up with this Mousen only spirit. But the bottom is, I can't, I can't tell you this that over a period of many years, maybe decades, as I got closer and close to the Jesus and as I wanted more and more to have this relationship with Jesus and as I got more and more ready to have God remove all these defects of character, and as I met more and more people, I remember John and and let me tell you something. It's not 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 lot of stuff together and I love John. And I'm going to restaurant in Denny's and 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 public and I'm starting eating. John says, listen, what are you doing? I said I'm eating. He says he says we can't eat, you can't eat, we have to give thanks first, and he bowed his head and of course I sort of bowed my head while I'm looking around at Denny's to see who's looking at us. And he starts saying this prayer and it wasn't like a short prayer. It wasn't one of these you know, thank you 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 looking around and sees looking at us because, you know why? Because I was ashamed, because I was worried about what other people thought about me. One of the things I've always thought about a mescal. I did a talk on this one's is Romans One sixteen, when the Apostle Paul, to the Apostle Paul two thousand years ago, says I...

...am not ashamed of the Gospel and not ashamed of the good news, because it is the power of God that brings 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 and preaching to be everybody there? Why would he say I'm not ashamed of the Gospel? And the reason he was saying that is because he knew that there were Christians, there were people that wanted to do this thing and wanted to talk about Jesus, but were afraid and ashamed to do it. They knew it was a natural thing. He wanted to let them though. I'm not ashamed, just like Peter was not ashamed in acts when he spoke. I'm not ashamed. And here's here's something I noticed. I noticed in my own life, 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 as I got closer and closer to Jesus and and and as I and you can call it, I'll call it, for lack of anything else, the eleventh step. How about that? To give some validity to it, because I think 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 the Lord 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 he lives in your heart and mind within a way which is deep miraculous? If hit, if your faith in him has not gotten to the point where he is the central fact of your entire existence, if it hasn't started to become that after ten or fifteen or twenty years, you might need to look at that in terms of why you're not feeling as well as you probably could feel or why you're not being rocketed in the fourth dimension of existence. But for me, 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 I surrendered, I surrendered to Jesus, more and more I allowed him come in 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 if you're one of these people that say to themselves that worry a lot about a lot of things work find yourself having anxiety, you might want to consider the fact that one of the problems might be your relationship and how you feel your faith in Jesus Christ. You know, the truth is is that the less I the less I rely or the less I place my happiness and rely on the 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 of my life, the less I rely on the things of this world. And so one of the side effects, if he called a side effect, and I'm not entirely sure about this, it could work both ways, is that the less I was concerned about the things of this world and the rejection or approval of people, the more it be, the easier it became for me to talk about Jesus and my testimony to...

...other people, the easier became to let other people know that that, you know, my reliance is upon the Lord and what the Lord has done for me in my life. Now I am I as I say this, I just want you to know I do not 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 a mean and preach Jesus. You know what innanner do? That is my fact. I team peach. People try to do that and they chase people away from the Lord and in the bottom line is is that. I'm not saying that. I'm not saying anybody should feel guilty, you know, if they're not a point where they're talking about their faith or exposing their faith to other people. I'm just telling you my testimony to what, for whatever extent it has 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 being closely two months or beforety years, over forty years, I've got to the point 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, I love the Apostle Paul. He says I become all things to all men by 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. I like the idea. You know, Jesus says we leave the ninety nine and we go out after the one. I mean I you know, I'm not criticizing anybody, but the people build. Wilson was asked, what do you think 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 that if you're an alcoholic or you're an addict, or you're in recovery and you've gotten sober 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 and in 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 of the Holy Spirit, and you've been planted in a place where you can help other people. And so and so you shouldn't you know, you got to leave. I mean that's so antithetical to the Christian life to hang out in church all the time. Because you don't want to go out and talk to sinners. I mean, the one thing I know about Jesus is what the Pharisees used to say about it, is he he eats with sinners and drinks with them too. So this concept that you don't want to people run away from a Christians running away from a a because there's sinners in AA and they run 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 my opinion is is that those are listen, there's a great harvest to be done in a few workers. So so, but that's just my opinion. I could be wrong about that and everybody has their own walk they have to go through and things like that, but I'm not ashamed of it. And I think the other thing I'll bring up is it talks about when you're when you're giving your testimony. It says be wise as serpents, and I think there's there's enough in the big book alcoholics anonymous. There's enough in Dr bottom build all times. There's enough in the twelve and twelve, there's enough in the AA literature. I'm talking about conference approof literature, that if you read it and you study it, that you could give her a great Aa talk and bring 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'll talk about even I'll probably do it right at this at this function. I talked 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 people use 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 comes from. And and I'm just given my own personal testimony and our stories. Was Solis in general way, what was like, what happened? What we like now? And you don't have to change your story. You know what I mean. And so there is a way of doing it and I and I'll I'll just say this again, and I'm not quite sure of how this works, it seems to me the more I'm able to talk about God and what God has done for me in my life, the more I lose the fear of people. And you know there's a promise in alcoholics anonymous and there's a promise and the promises we will lose sphere of people and of economical and economic insecurity. And I think part of economic insecurity is being worried about what people will think about you if you lose material things. And it's such a freedom when you lose fear of people's judgment. And I think if you're in an a meeting, I'll just sort of throw this out there for you to think of. I think if you're an a meeting and you want to talk about what God has done for you in your life and how important it is and you don't talk about it because you're worried about what the group will think about you, I think you should not expect in the near future to get rid of fear of people. Is that make any sense? If you're sitting in an a, a group with a a material and the stuff that we learn an a and the stuff that's quoted and in a a, you stop yourself from sharing about your fit because you're worried about about the fact that you're wondering why you have a lost fear of people. You know, because there ain't no way you're going to lose fear of people unless you've developed ability to talk the truth about what God has done for you. But the word is done for you, so thank you very much. That's all I have to say.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (132)