Angels In Our Lives

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Does God Physically Intervene in our Lives?

In Psalm 91, God says he will deliver us from pestilence, plague, attacks from our enemies, and guide us in such a way that we will avoid all these things.  We don’t know how he does it.  It’s invisible to us in a spiritual realm.  The Bible talks about His right hand and the Spirit doing mighty works, but it also says a lot about angels.

Psalm 91:11-12   For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.  In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.

This sounds so out of bounds, that people use this as a reason to call the Bible a “book of fairy tales,” and so on.  Many, if not most Christians, find it hard to believe these extra – terrestrial beings are real and have any tangible influence in our activities.

In “From Woodstock To Eternity,” Dustin Morgan has a few encounters with the other realm, so to speak, and God’s hand is introduced throughout the book, showing that He has always been there to bring Dustin around.  In one hair raising incident, he is about to crash his pot laden plane into the trees when God calls two angels to go to his aid.

Up in the heavenly Control Room, Jesus is watching all this and shaking His head.  He calls two of His angels, Clarence and Fred, and explains their assignment to them.

“Do you see Dustin down there, getting ready to crash into those trees?  He’s really been

a hard nut to crack.  I saved him back in Texas, but he’s making it awfully hard on himself.  Legion’s got him all twisted up in knots.  Now, I’ve got a plan for his life, and he can’t kill himself before he accomplishes it, so I’m going to have to send you two down there to help him out.  Clarence, you’ve done some of this kind of work before, but you’re going to need Fred here for backup.”

Now, this is probably not exactly how it happened, but Morgan’s plane did regain engine power, and it did fly over the trees.  The problem with so many of the inexplicable things in our lives is that we don’t know if it was God, or an angel, or what.  But there is a key to gaining access to Him

Ask – Seek – Knock                                 More about this later.

2018 Resolutions: No Blasts from the Past

The Past is a Tyrant

There we are, moving and shaking, excited about new goals, hoping, dreaming, expecting great things… then BOING! Something from our past jumps up and says, “Here I am! Remember me? We had all the good times, you feel comfortable with me, everything is familiar. Why change things? It’s risky out there in the future with all your big ideas.”

Have you ever had those thoughts? The past likes to bring up things that will derail our resolutions for the future. Doubts, fears, old desires, fantasies, and bondages just waiting to pull us back. In From Woodstock To Eternity, Dustin Morgan finds himself face to face with the past in the form of a Michelob sign,

The two cabin builders settle into a small cafe on the main strip and order their coffee and cinnamon rolls.  As he sits in the wooden booth, sipping his coffee, Dustin looks out across the street.  There, beckoning him from a small saloon, is a glowing, red neon Michelob sign.  It’s a blast from the past, intruding into his new life from the other side of the road.  It’s saying,

“Dustin, I’m here.  Come on in.  Remember all the good times we had?  You used to have a ritual, remember?  Every time you went up the mountain, you would stop in a bar in the foothills and have a couple of beers to celebrate.  Well, you’re getting ready to go up the mountain, and here I am.  Come on, Dustin, just have one beer.  One beer won’t matter.”

This is the tyranny of the past

The past tries to manipulate us by softening the effects of what has gone on before. Time is a healer of wounds, and the past tries to capitalize on this by telling us the bad things weren’t that bad, and the feel good things that got us into trouble were really OK. If our new focus is not clear, we may be easily influenced to go backwards.

How to overcome the tyranny of the past

1. Make a sharp contrast between where you came from and where you want to be.

The contrast is stark, and the choice is clear. The church side of him is here, in a coffee shop, with his church friend, representing his deliverance.  And the saloon side of him is over there, with the tinkling glasses, the smell of liquor, the crack of billiard balls in the back. 

2. Have a healthy respect for the power of the past to hold you back.

“Yes, Dustin.  You are delivered from one beer.  Let Me tell you what will happen.  Just like that door to the saloon opens up into another world, with another set of experiences, one beer will open a door to the complete array of temptations and desires that you just left.  One beer will unplug a hole in your wall that will let all the bondages of drugs, and lust, and drunkenness flood back into your life.  It’ll be like pulling your finger out of the hole in the dike.”

3. Press on – Have faith in the Lord to take you where you need to go.

Philippians 3:12-14 … but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.  Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

References: “True Freedom – No Longer Obligated”      “The Agony of Not Trying”

2018 Set Your Affection in the Right Direction

The Direction of Your Affection Determines Your Action

Excerpt from my next book, “The Steel Wall”

Scooter’s heart ached as he took one last fond look at the stack of bricks. He opened the side door and gradually let it down, the wind plastering his face and tearing at his shirt as the sea rushed by 200 feet below. Whitecaps lined the tops of raging swells. He gripped the framework of the doorway hard and looked down.

“Oh Lord, there’s no coming back from a fall into that.”

He carefully maneuvered his feet as he picked up three bricks and shuffled toward the door. His gut had a big knot, like he had to shoot his dog, knowing he was throwing away perfectly good cocaine. He hesitated, thinking, “Maybe I don’t have to do this. Maybe they’re not there anymore.” He had already stowed his backup bricks in the baggage compartment, but tossing the rest in the water was more than a situational necessity… it was a calamity.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21.

There is no simpler way to describe why we do what we do… why we feel like we feel. Scooter was distressed about throwing out the bricks because the coke was his “treasure.” It was valuable to him, not just monetarily, but in his psyche, in his gut. Cocaine was an integral part of his culture, and coke smuggling was his lifeblood. He wasn’t born this way, but this is where life lead him. And, frankly, he had never taken the time to consider living otherwise.

The things that are important to us always motivate our actions. This is why it is so important to look at ourselves and realize what we value the most.  I’ll pick three “treasures.”

  1. Career: There’s no better satisfaction than working at what you love. Or pursuing a goal and achieving it.
  2. Pleasure: To a single, independent young adult, there seems to  be no greater rush than partying down and letting it all hang out.
  3. Lifestyle: To anyone who has found their niche, there is no fonder fulfillment than soaking up the friends, the atmosphere, and the frills of the culture they have created.

Having our heart set on a career makes us persevere through college and low level jobs. If we are set on pleasure, we’ll spend lots of money and avoid things like commitment. If we are settled into a lifestyle, we may not even know there is an alternative out there, or we may not want to know. Either way, we are content to stay like we are.

“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:2.

The good news is, we can actually do something about all this. Many cannot see outside of their present existence to know they even have a choice, but they do. We all do. In “The Steel Wall,” Dustin Morgan comes face to face with two cultures, two concepts of pleasure, and possibly two career choices, all hinging on where he will set his mind… what he will embrace as his affection.

That is our choice for 2018. Not resolutions, but where will you set your affection… on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God?  or things on the earth?

2018    … Let’s all look upward!

 

 

Hey Hallmark! Christmas means Christ!!

Extra! Extra! Hallmark Channel Takes Away Baby Jesus!

Yes, It’s true. With dozens and hundreds of Christmas romance movies produced for the Christmas Season, Not one of them says a thing about the basis of the holiday celebration – the Birthday of Jesus! You know, the night God came into the world in human form with angels filling the sky and singing “Glory to God in the highest.” The same night that Mary and Joseph stayed in a cattle stall and laid their baby in a manger with the cows and sheep watching, along with the shepherds who came in from the fields to see the newborn King…

The same night the star rose over Bethlehem and guided the three wise men from the east who brought gold, frankincense and myrrh for the King whose kingdom would know no end? Yes, that’s the story that has inspired manger scenes on fireplace mantles everywhere, moved musicians to compose magnificent hymns of Christmas celebration, and brought the message of peace and goodwill to all men.            THAT CHRISTMAS STORY!!!

But is any of that in a Hallmark Christmas movie? No. Never. Zip, Zero, Nada. They’re all about the magic of Christmas, the spirit of Christmas, and most of all… the Christmas Miracle. There’s got to be one in every movie. But guess what? There’s no Jesus in the Miracle, in fact, there’s no Jesus anywhere. If a child were to watch any one of these movies, he/she would never know the real wonder of the night Jesus was born.

Before you accuse me of being an insensitive brutish scrooge, consider that I recorded a long list of Hallmark movies to entertain my lovely wife, and I offer myself up as a sweet smelling sacrifice to watch these things with her… even acting genuinely interested. That’s how I found out that they not only ignore any references to Jesus, they seem to deliberately go out of the way to scrub any vestige of the Savior from the script. The background carols are all about Santa, and Jingle Bells, and sleigh rides.

Even It’s a Wonderful Life ends with everybody singing “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing, Glory to the Newborn King!”

The straw that broke the camel’s back came when a grumpy Hallmark Christmas unbeliever couldn’t get all the fuss and asked his girlfriend,

“What’s the big deal, anyway? What’s Christmas all about?”

Talk about a softball question, but did she tell him it was the birthday of Jesus? Of course not! She gave him some mumbo jumbo about people feeling happy and doing things for each other, etc. etc. Not that these are bad things, but… no Jesus, no God with us, no Immanuel. One character went so far as to say the angel ornament on top of the tree was a symbol of departed loved ones looking down on us! How dumb is that? Believe me, Hallmark is stripping Christ out of every element of Christmas.

This is very sad, and it is serious stuff. Like my pastor said in his sermon this morning… When you take Christ out of Christmas, all you have left is a great big mess…

The Gospel According to Handel Part 1

Our Warfare is Accomplished!

As a wild hippie of the ’60’s and ’70’s, I reveled in the spirit of the day… the music, the vibes, the acid, the righteous sense of peace and brotherhood… But even though I believed our cause was righteous, I was in fact, at war with God. Not intentionally, but through casting off all of His bonds and chains (that were meant for my good), by default I was resisting His will for my life. Warfare against God.

Now to the present… Every year at Christmas time, our family goes to see Handel’s Messiah in concert. Being there live, up close and personal is a totally new experience from listening to a recording. The singers tell the story of Christ in song with the musical backup of a symphonic orchestra. Sitting near the front, it is as if they are singing it directly to me. It brings tears to my eyes every time.

From the first song, the message of God’s peace is proclaimed.

“Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfort unto Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned:”

That’s it!! That’s the Christmas message! Our warfare is accomplished and our iniquity is pardoned.

Through Jesus Christ in me, my warfare is now over… done… settled. How? I gave up and He won. No compromise, no negotiations. How did the world get peace in World War II? The good guys pulverized, bombed, shot, and nuked the bad guys until they surrendered unconditionally. Then we had peace.

It’s the same with Jesus. He will dash us, break us, grind us into powder until we are broken like a wild horse. But when we let Him win in our hearts, we have peace, and we are now useful to Him for service. And those areas where we still buck and kick? We are not useful there. Turmoil and problems.

This Christmas, let God comfort you by letting him finish your warfare. He may even send you an angel.

See: Angels In Our Lives

Memories from Blacksburg

Interview with Virginia Tech student Ally Larrick

I got an interesting call the other day from a Virginia Tech student who was writing a story on the life of Psychology Professor Joe Germana. Dr. Germana was a professor of mine from 1970-1972, and was an integral part of our little band of hippies. The amazing thing is, he is still teaching in the same department, and is soon to celebrate his 52nd year!

The interview with Ally was a real trip down memory lane for me, and an eye opener for her. Since many young adults her age do not even know what a Woodstock is, I had to ask her if she had heard about it. Of course, she said she had, but she really wanted stories that related to Professor Germana. Well, you just can’t get the essence of Joe Germana without understanding the aura of the time, so I did my best to re-create the vibes of 1960’s – 70’s Blacksburg. Of course, it is ethereal and intangible… you had to be there.

I told her about the early hippies in Blacksburg and how they were considered a strange minority. I told her about the fights we had with the rednecks and how the Blacksburg mountain hippie culture was born. Peace and love with leather and knives. I told her about our own hippie Fonzie with his long black hair flowing over his shoulders, his bare feet and studded jacket… and how he beat up rednecks at the drop of a hat.

I told her about eating LSD like it was candy, and how our growing need for more weed sparked an innovative capitalistic pot distribution empire with fingers stretching all along the East Coast. I told her about Andromeda and the hard rock heartbeat of the hip community. I did forget to tell her about the outdoor concert in the country where the whole band was tripping, and the lead singer (yours truly) was slamming the ground with a big club like the apes in 2001 A Space Odyssey. I think that’s the one where I threatened to beat Germana over the head with my club for no apparent reason.

I told her about our semi-conservative values, that even though we believed in free love, homosexuality was not a part of the equation. We still considered it strange… and traditional marriage was a given.

There were some problems, however. Even though our success at pot capitalism generated a wealthy class of dealers, our propensity for pleasure, and cocaine in particular, provided a drain for all that money to go through. Like Robin Williams said, “Cocaine is God’s way of saying, ‘you’re making too much money.'”

How does all this relate to Professor Joe Germana? Well, to be fair, he had nothing to do with the pot dealing network, the acid or the cocaine. But, since the movement began in the college community, and many of the students took his classes, he was a beloved part of something that blossomed into what would later be called the Woodstock Nation.

I don’t know how this interview affected Ally, but she did say that it opened up a whole new part of history that she knew nothing about. Sadly, as I wrote in From Woodstock To Eternity, the magic of peace and love and flower power was over in a few short years, replaced by booze and downers and acquiescence to the lower, baser elements. Such is the progression of man without the redeeming power of Jesus Christ.

Ally, thank you for the opportunity to relive a special time in the lives of all of us who were there. I hope your bio of the good Doctor Germana is successful. And to all my friends in Blacksburg and elsewhere from that magical era, I say this,

“for a little while, for a sweet moment in history, we were stardust, and we were golden.”

Woodstock Chapter – From Woodstock To Eternity

 

The Power of Woodstock Fever

Why Did Dustin Morgan Cry at Woodstock?

Excerpt from “From Woodstock To Eternity”

The images of the last three days roll through his mind like a video.  The overwhelming onslaught of people from everywhere.  The gathering of the tribes.  The exhilarating swells of peace and brotherhood.  The generosity of the hog farm, the open market of psychedelic drugs.  The acid reports.  The smiles on everybody’s faces, the “hello, brother”, “hello, sister”, “peace, man”, “this is far out, really far out”.  Jimi says it all in his brief chatter between songs,

“You proved to the world what can happen,” he says, “A little bit of love, and understanding, and sound.”

Hendrix goes straight from “Voodoo Child” into the opening notes of “The Star Spangled Banner”.  He raises his arm high in a salute to the crowd, his fingers formed into the peace sign.  The adoring audience flashes the sign back in unison.   The twisted, exploding version of the National Anthem paints the picture of everything the revolution stands for, and Morgan knows he is part of it.  Woodstock has sealed the deal; he has sold his soul.  A great swelling of emotion rises up in his heart, and he cannot contain it.  He raises both hands into the air, with his fingers forming the “V”, and cries like a baby.

Why did he cry? He just had an overflowing sense that all the Woodstock movement stood for was the real thing. And because it was the real thing, he was obligated to devote himself entirely to it. It was going to transform the world, it was based on brotherly love, and it just felt so good to be a part of it. But some people were not going for it…

“If they think I’m going to grow my hair out and wallow in the mud, they got another thing comin’!”

In time, the innocent Peace and Love movement began to mutate into forms that were not very pretty…

Just as this generation of free spirits was certain that the Great Establishment wanted to enslave them and force their ways down their throats, they adopted the same role of tyranny, forcing their ideas of how things should be down everybody else’s throats. 

Now, the radical fanatics living in the glass dome in Eastern Wyoming really do want to make the whole world like Woodstock.  They want everybody to share everything.  And if you don’t want to share what you have, then into the concentration camp you go!  If you don’t agree with their ideas of social behavior and political correctness, then too bad, they are going to force their view of what is right and proper on you.  

From the “Woodstock” chapter

Unfortunately or fortunately, however you see it, the Woodstock fever faded away after a few short years. Oh, it’s still around in aging hippies, hip centers and liberal ideology, but the massive wave of hip culture has been pushed into obscurity. On the other hand, consider a fever that has not faded away, but has only grown over the last 2,000 years. Consider the woman at Bethany, anointing Jesus with costly oil  and wiping His feet with her hair and her tears.

Mark 14:8-9  “She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”

Why was this woman crying? In many ways, for the same reason Dustin Morgan cried at Woodstock. A truth bigger than herself had revealed itself to her. A truth bigger that the earth, or the universe, had suddenly taken root in her heart. This Man before her had come down from heaven to save her and deliver her from her sin. He was God in human flesh. And He came here to show the world there is a God, and His Son is Jesus, and He is going to transform the world with His love. Not only that, He had just transformed her. Knowing that this Son Who was sitting right in front of her had taken away her sin and made her a new person demanded that she give him her full devotion.

So, she poured out all that she had to anoint Him for burial.

Walk A Mile In My Shoes

Why should we walk a mile in someone else’s shoes?

 

From Woodstock To Eternity tries to address the ideology behind the peace and love movement in the 1960’s and ’70’s. The core principle revolved around the caution that if you didn’t really know what someone was going through, how they felt, the experiences they had, you could come to the wrong conclusion and judge them falsely. And by judging falsely, all of your subsequent perceptions of them would be false as well. Here is an excerpt from the book,

In 1970, Joe South wrote a song entitled, “Walk a Mile in My Shoes”, which defined the message that we should see, feel, and experience what someone is going through before we pass judgment on them.  This is the reason thousands of young people who already had it made tried to look, feel and act like they didn’t have a thing in the world.  They wanted to walk a mile in their shoes.  They wanted to experience poverty when they weren’t poor.  They grew their hair out so they could incur abuse for their shabby outward appearance, just like people who couldn’t help it did.  They wouldn’t admit it, or put it that way, but that’s what it boiled down to. 

Straight society would scorn them, avoid them, treat them like morally depraved, undesirable freaks. That’s what they looked like, anyway.  They wore their freak badge proudly.  They wanted to empathize with the downtrodden and join with them so they could experience the injustice.  If enough people did this, they could transform society, break down the barriers between classes, and permanently alter the hierarchy of mankind.

How do you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes?

This is the harder question. While we may be willing to subject ourselves to someone else’s trials and tribulations, there are areas that others simply cannot go. A white man can never know what it is like to be black. A man can never really know what goes on in a woman’s mind. This has been proven over the course of human existence. But, it is nevertheless a noble effort to try. This is how Dustin Morgan approached it,

Morgan was already an attractive, normal looking young man.  What would possess him to grow his hair out and intentionally make himself look unattractive?  He was already in the middle class.  What advantage could he gain by intentionally making himself look like a low class bum?  He already had a home, so why would he want to make himself look homeless?  He already had shoes.  Why would he want to run around barefoot?

Some people just think it’s cool to be poor, downtrodden, and talk like a hick.  There is a perception that people who don’t have anything are more real than people who do.  Because they have no possessions, they have nothing to put on airs about, so they have no hypocrisy.  And HYPOCRISY, of course, is the greatest evil of them all. 

Because they are crude, and have no training in social graces, they also escape the phony, high falutin’, high society arrogance that high class people show.  The high class looks down on the low class, because they think they are better than others, and we all know that no one is better than anybody else, and we are all equal in God’s sight.  The low class looks down on the high class because they think they’re so dang high-falutin’.  So the real people, the ones who tell it like it is, who have no hypocrisy, who have no airs, who really look at the inside and not on the outside are the uneducated, unsophisticated, down to earth good old boys. 

The answer is in The Golden Rule

“Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” This is the way I learned it. The actual verse from the New King James Version says,

“just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.” Luke 6:31

And, perhaps the best known verse is the Second Great Commandment. Jesus said,

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself” Matt 22:37

Doesn’t this say it all? Imagine yourself suffering the treatment, dealing with the issue, making the decisions that the other is doing, and how you would react, before casting judgment on what they are doing. Simple… but so few do it. Listen to Jesus and do what He says, and we can all “permanently alter the hierarchy of mankind.”

Woodstock Anniversary Promotion!

48th Anniversary of Woodstock: August 15-17, 2017!

From Woodstock To Eternity will be available on Promotion for the 48th Anniversary of Woodstock. Paperback now $14.95 (Reg $19.95) and Kindle now $2.99 (Reg $6.99)!

 Here is a brief intro to that time long, long ago, from the intro to the book.

August 15, 16, and 17, 1969.  Hundreds of thousands of hippies converge on a farm in upstate New York.  The Woodstock Festival became the symbol of a peace and love movement that came and went in just a few short years.  Though its time was short, the effects and influences of this era were profound, and are still with us today.  This book will take you on an odyssey from the development of the Woodstock ideology into the world of international pot smuggling, and through the spiritual victory of one who makes it to the other side. 

Woodstock 48th Anniversary: From Woodstock…

Every year when August rolls around, I have a little flashback to that weekend on Max Yasgur’s Farm in 1969.

I must admit, I have mixed emotions, feelings, and thoughts about the Woodstock

phenomenon, and those thoughts are what inspired me to write my book, From Woodstock To Eternity. I wanted to paint a real life history of the hippie era… its rise and fall, its ups and downs, the good, the bad and the ugly. A final scene in the Woodstock chapter captures the stardust…

He closes his eyes and lets the rhythmical power of the acid rock take him away.  The images of the last three days roll through his mind like a video.  The overwhelming onslaught of people from everywhere.  The gathering of the tribes.  The exhilarating swells of peace and brotherhood.  The generosity of the hog farm, the open market of psychedelic drugs.  The acid reports.  The smiles on everybody’s faces, the “hello, brother,” “hello, sister,” “peace, man,” “this is far out, really far out.”  Jimi says it all in his brief chatter between songs,

“You proved to the world what can happen,” he says, “A little bit of love, and understanding, and sound.”

Hendrix goes straight from “Voodoo Child” into the opening notes of “The Star Spangled Banner.”  He raises his arm high in a salute to the crowd, his fingers formed into the peace sign.  The adoring audience flashes the sign back in unison.   The twisted, exploding version of the National Anthem paints the picture of everything the revolution stands for, and Morgan knows he is part of it.  Woodstock has sealed the deal; he has sold his soul.  A great swelling of emotion rises up in his heart, and he cannot contain it.  He raises both hands into the air, with his fingers forming the “V,” and cries like a baby.

From Woodstock To Eternity is a story of change, of mutation and renewal. In just a few short years, Dustin Morgan and his friend Cutter lament the passing of the beautiful people…

“… We used to talk about the reasons for war, why it was wrong, what made up the human condition, what could be done to improve on that condition.  All we wanted was brotherhood, and good vibes; it was enough just to groove on a good rock beat and hallucinate.”

“Yeh, I know what ya mean.  Where did all those people go?  A whole society has suddenly disappeared!  Did they all vanish into thin air?  Did someone throw some kind of cosmic switch that instantly transformed a whole generation?  It’s like an alien mother ship slowly cruised around the world with a long vacuum hose dangling down to earth, sucking up the beautiful flower people, leaving behind nothing but dull-witted, lecherous, party ‘til you puke derelicts.” 

Cutter goes on,

“Now, the only thing anyone talks about is, ‘Let’s get drunk, let’s get stoned, hey, look at that chick!’  Slobber, drool.  Instead of ‘Why is there air?’ the deepest, most profound question anybody can come up with is, ‘Hey man, got any coke?’”

On the one hand, I wrote the story to give those of us who were there, in that time, a walk down memory lane. It blossomed in Haight Ashbury and peaked at Woodstock, but the hippie movement soon took a downward spiral into debauchery and depravity. Morgan witnessed it for himself at a rock festival in Evansville, Indiana.

The kid is a total mess.  His hair is not quite shoulder length, knotted and disheveled like a bad case of bed head.  His shirt is torn and unbuttoned, hanging loose.  His pants are halfway down his rear, sagging over his bare feet.  His shoulders are stooped and rounded in a slouch… a filthy lock of hair dangling over his face as he gazes downward.  Morgan thinks to himself,

“Is this the picture of the typical hippie?  Is this what the world thinks we are?  No wonder they think we’re disgusting.  I think it’s disgusting.”

The image of the kid playing in the sewage plagues Morgan from that time on.

“Has Woodstock Nation come to this?  This isn’t stardust and golden; this is space aliens in the sewage.  A wasted kid, totally stripped of all decency, full of downers, playing in the piss?  This is pathetic.”

Dustin’s Dad gives him a wise analysis,

“If you’re wondering why all this is crumbling around you, it’s because you have left Jesus out of the equation.  You want the results, but you don’t want to obey the Giver of the results.  Therefore, the Giver withholds His hand.”

Next: The Turn to Eternity 

True Freedom – Freedom to be Bored!

Do you think the Christian life is boring? Restrained? No fun?

A young man told me a story about his walk on the wild side. He wanted a taste of the “fun life” and the “good times.” He joined in with his buddies going to the bars, eating at Hooters, hitting the strip clubs. He adopted the cussing and the crude jokes. Everything was fun and games and great adventure.

One Sunday, he drove by two guys his age who had just come out of church. They were wearing blazers and ties, and he said to himself, “That looks so boring. I’m glad I don’t have to live like that.”

More beer, more running around, more lewd jokes, and the effects began to take hold. The glamour wore off, the headaches weren’t so fun, and his relationships began to suffer.

As he drove by a church with a crowd of people outside, he remembered the two young men in ties and suddenly realized, “Boring doesn’t look so bad right now. As a matter of fact, I think I would like to be bored again, but I don’t know if I can do it.”

In From Woodstock to Eternity, Dustin Morgan encounters the same dilemma.

“Oh, I don’t know, Sis. I really don’t want power to live a wholesome life free from sin. I’d have to give up girls, pour out all my booze, throw away my pot, and say ‘aw shucks’, and ‘gosh darn it.’ I’ll be honest. I don’t think I’m ready for that right now.”

“It’s not a matter of you giving it up. God will give you a desire to give it up, and then He will take it away from you when you ask Him.”


“Well, that’s even worse. I don’t want God messing with my mind to get me to stop wanting to do all the things I want to do right now. If I ask Jesus into my heart, I’m opening myself up to a mental overhaul that I never signed up for in the first place. No, like I said, I’m happy for you both, but I’m enjoying life too much now to change things.”

“You didn’t seem to enjoy the part about going to jail for ten years.”

“Touché, you got me. No, that part I don’t like, for sure.”

As circumstances pressed Dustin from all sides, he eventually came to the same conclusion… “This is not working… I need to be delivered. I need to be free to be bored.”

Do you think you’re having a good time? Don’t want to give it up? Ask yourself this… Where has pride, partying and petticoats gotten you so far? Jesus can  take away your desire for the old life… sometimes by making it so unbearable you just want to quit. But you can’t quit.

The good news is, Jesus can make you quit. He can take away your desire for the wild side and make you feel elated that you are bored. Then you can go on and make something of yourself. Just ask Him… He will give you what you need.

 

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