“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep'. In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Well, being divorced twice by the time you turn twenty-three can make you realize a few things. One, divorce is a wonderful tool when you have absolutely no idea what marriage is about. Two, misinformed spouses are never there for you; but equally miserable friends are.. Three, equally miserable friends can be your closest companions; especially if they have good connections.
Well, lets take an intermission……See, after the divorce (2nd) I had written off relationships all together. So a relationship with roommates and beer, beer, beer would be much better. The mother of my sons was pulling half of my income in the form of child support, I wasn’t up for playing daddy, partying was much easier. Of course, man can not live on beer alone, for that he needs a drinking buddy or two. Don’t forget to add in the cost of living and well it just makes more sense to have roommates, like-minded who want to drink, work, drink. Well, there can be a lot of drama in those relationships too, an empty keg closes the curtain; time for a new scene.
Its Friday evening; I have a good job again, a little bit of money in my pocket, new drinking buddies, and a new roommate; heck of a time to make a bachelor pad.  A detailed cleaning the garage made plenty of room for a $300 pool table out of the local newspaper. Friday was getting late, so when someone stopped by and asked if we knew anyone looking for some meth, we had an answer… “hell yeah!” Like anything bad for you, it starts off small and always grows into something larger. I love the lyrics from Casting Crowns “Slow Fade,” ‘the journey from your mind into your hands, is shorter than you’re thinking, be CAREFUL when you think you stand, you just might be sinking.” So we agreed hey we can do this on Friday and Saturday nights, rest on Sunday, then back to work on Monday…..Too easy.
It wasn’t too long and I was lost in the dope game, addicted they say, dependent that is for sure. You know I’m going to let you in on something that few people would dare to admit. I could drink a beer, or smoke a joint, then hang out with my kids, I could even smoke a joint Sunday morning after getting drunk on Saturday and attend church on occasion. You know what though, on hard drugs, Cocaine, Methamphetamines, you don’t want to face anyone, your family, your children and especially God. You have entered into a realm of darkness that has no god in it, it is purely of evil, it reeks of hate, selfishness and disgust! It wasn’t too long and the new roommate was gone, I lost my job, now it was just stay high, avoid work, avoid society, welcome to hell!
Depression! How I just longed for something as simple as depression, hell I would take another divorce, another ‘somebodies doing me wrong song’ just not this, not a feeling of dependency on something so pointless, so worthless. I ran everyone off that year, lost my house to foreclosure, sold pretty much everything I had, lost the girl that kept me company through most of my struggle, face it life just sucked!
God though works in mysterious ways is the rumor. Christmas Day 2003 was the last day I purchased dope, instead of celebrating the Savior of the Worlds birth I would get high again. What a waste!!! I have always been somewhat intelligent, I had done the meth-math and realized that I could never accomplish more when I was high than when I was sober. I finally hit rock bottom, I couldn’t afford drugs anymore, so becoming sober was pretty easy. I was living in my grandmothers house, while she was living in a nursing home (wonderful grandson, right?). Rock bottom is a term we sometimes use, I hit this place where I just needed silence, peace. It was so bad, that I turned off all the lights in the house, went to the back bedroom, sat inside the closet and closed the door, I covered my ears, closed my eyes, just wished for total silence. I asked myself, what is the point, no one cares for you, this life is a friggin’ joke. With my eyes squeezed shut, surrounded in darkness, I could see a small light, a glimmer and a soothing voice saying “Michael, I have always been here with you, I will always be here for you.”
Overnight, God had delivered me from the snares of drug addiction, though many battles were still on the horizon. Soon, I would have the courage to enter back into God’s house, unashamed, forgiven, trusting that His will be done.

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When life gives you lemons, make lemonade is what we have all been told. What then do you make of life when it gives you truth revealed through misery, separation, loneliness, and misuse? What do you do when you start looking so deep into humanity that you can feel the weight of all their sufferings […]

If I can be forgiven, so can you.

Great Read

Robin Kuppens

Again last night I fell asleep to the tv and this morning there was a preacher talking about getting out of the darkness and into the light. I then checked my Facebook because I couldn’t fall back asleep right away and the first post was from my friend, Shirl:
“Don’t let the darkness of the past cover the brightness of the future” – unknown

Here’s God talking to me again but what is He truly telling me? I’ve risen up from the darkness that was my past. I have grown and realized that I was living a sinful life, I have accepted The Lord as my savior, acknowledged that He sent His Son to die for our sins, and I try to live a life that reflects Him and would be worthy of Him. So maybe this isn’t a message for me. I’m going to write this for everyone that…

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Not three points for me, three months instead. After my divorce at the age of 21, I initially put all women in that same class, you know garbage, a waste of time. I sulked in misery as one should after a divorce for a few months. See Divorce is admittance of failure, plain and simple, we don’t like to address these things sometimes but failure is failure. I guess what made the divorce so rough was seeing my babies leaving and knowing that it would forever change the relationship I had with them, with their mother, with my in-laws. These people who once saw me  with respect, who saw me worshiping God in their church, the place where God was drawing me to do something great for Him, well, they would now see me with new eyes. A failure, I had been a failure in many things; I had dropped out of High School, been arrested a time or two,<—(The Charges never stuck, but I will mention them in the future) messed up my parents household, well again I was a failure.

As this started sinking in, I started doing some soul searching, you know deep down soul searching, the type you do with a bottle of rum, whiskey, a large quantity of beer, a few pills, just good old fashioned soul searching. In my in-depth study of myself, I discovered something, “Hey I’m not the failure, I was justified in my divorce, I’m a family man” Go me!!! So I started getting out of the house again, hanging out with friends, looking for something better, a different type of relationship. Three months from being divorced  I found someone new, REBOUND!!! Rebound relationships, if you have ever or  never had one are the most dangerous relationships in the world. I had not even began to have time to heal, I was still immature, I was still a party animal, I was still not walking in the path of the light, but pursuing darkness and the pain that came through those experiments. I was nowhere near ready to live again, but live again I did. I jumped head first into a serious relationship almost overnight. Let me explain a little better about rebounding, in prayerful hopes that you never do. See in a rebound, you first notice some really wonderful things about the new person, but your mind is blind-folded into seeing faults. These are times where you will get involved with someone of different moral characteristics, religious views, political views, lifestyles, bad habits, you know things that can destroy relationships.

So I began dating this person in which we were not equally yoked. We were both people who desperately needed someone, something better, so it seemed perfect at the time. After about two months, we ran down to the court-house one morning and said “I do” before the Justice of the peace. WOW! My second marriage at the age of 22. Something wonderful did come out of that relationship, we both enjoyed going to church and found a church where we felt a home, we felt like a family, she with her son and me with my two. When I had my sons for the weekends at first it was like a perfect family, everything was great. Remember though this was the rebound, so TIME the curer of all things and the revealer of all others would  have it’s way. Time was short too, about 18 months and that marriage was being filed in the courthouse listed under “Michael Lambert, Failures.”

Lesson learned, I get it God, I’ll just stay single, it’s much less painful and it’s cheaper too. I had been hurt and hurt another person, her son and my children, the children were in the middle of all this, now my boys had the opportunity of witnessing two marriages fail, Nathan was only six years old. See, when we start to uncover our big mistakes, we must recognize the destruction we have caused. We must find maturity at some point in life, to just grow the hell up, I still wasn’t ready for that. I was just another day deeper in misery, another stage deeper in sin, at another point to let the dust begin to cover my bible, because it’s instructions were not needed by me. See friends, had I picked up that bible, Gods Word and applied it with faith, even in that rebound relationship, I believe God would have worked miracles, because that is what He does. Regardless, I had some new things to try out, some very, very interesting and destructive things.

Mitchell Lewis

Formerly ... a Christian pastor in Caesar's army

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Robin Kuppens

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“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep'. In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

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