God Paid It Foward
God Paid It Foward

Faith or Advertising

A gentleman that I know to be a believer in Christ sent me and 36 other people an email the other day, with a statement of, "My (2nd) journey / health is out of retirement Thanks to My Wife". You have a statement like that and it will certainly get your attention. He started by talking about his testimony as a teenager working out, then his work and then his past career as a professional wrestler. It had all the makings of something amazing. I was on the edge of my seat to hear how we had broken bad habits and gotten back into shape after having lost all that. He had talked about using diet soda as a replacement for water, not having any energy, letting his physical shape go. Well, the punch-line ended up being an advertisement for a mix that you put into water, to give you energy "one pink drink at a time".

He ended his "testimony" with the question, "This is the start of MY story - what will yours look like?"

As I read through his "testimony", I couldn't help but relate to some of the habits that he had. I then thought some about how I achieved my break-through. That's where the similarity ended.

I know his final question asking what my story would look like, had only to do with what would change if I got on this pink drink thing. But, I couldn't help but share with him, a portion of my actual testimony...

***

You had me, when you were talking about your testimony. I'm not copying any one else but *our mutual friend* , because I know him.. :)

Man, I can relate to several of the habits that you were talking about.. There are two recent ones that come to mind:

I too replaced water with diet Coke, their advertising campaign has worked out really well for them... Have a coke and a smile... Well I did just that, had a 12oz coke and a smile between 12 and 18 times a day. Figured out to be more than $1500 a year.

Starting at the age of 18, I began smoking cigarettes - because it was COOL. NOT! I got hooked immediately and began smoking from a pack to two packs a day, depending on the amount of stress, frustration, anger, that I was under. The last time I tried to quit smoking, I remember sitting at the dinner table with Jennifer, sobbing to her that I didn't want to have this addiction any more and to feel so drawn to cigarettes. At that point (dinner time), I hadn't had a cigarette in probably close to 12 hours. (that was a long time for me) My body was telling me that I was angry, but with no cause... My mind was a bit disoriented, probably what some people would call bipolar. At the flip of a switch, I could go from happy to sad, happy to mad, and so on. I did quit cigarettes that year - finally - in 2009 when the habit cost more than $1800 a year.

My victory wasn't really a victory though, it was a bridge from one nicotine addiction to another nicotine addition. (simply put, replacing one method of "happiness" for another method of "happiness") I did leave cigarettes and all the tar and smoke and moved to nicorette gum, which was tough, but I wanted to live the best I could, and more importantly live as long as I could for my son who was about to be born. Nicorette is advertised as being a cessation program - HAH - as of 2013 (4 years later), I was chewing 10 plus pieces a day and was on the highest strength - 4mg per piece. Jaw hurt every morning from chewing so much gum, but did it anyway to get that nicotine. But, that little rationalization voice of mind told me, but at least you aren't smoking...

Some of the reasons why I would pop a piece of nicotine gum:

* Stress from the day

* Frustration

* Angry about an injustice

* Worried about a situation

* the list goes on and on and on...

So, in November of 2013 on a Sunday night, my wife and I went to Habitation at our church's main campus in *DFW metroplex*. As we were in the service, I was stirred by the Holy Spirit in a way that I hadn't been before. The Lord told me that Nicotine and caffeine were substances that I was was using in replacement of Him. He continued by telling me that if I were to stop these things that He would replace the addiction with His peace, with His comfort, with His strength. But, He continued by saying that I would have to persevere through the withdrawal symptoms. That night, I said - "Yes to God" in the place of those substitutes for Him. I said "Yes to freedom" from two substances that I had to take on a regular basis to feel peace, feel energetic, and to feel alive in Him. I said yes to His promise that He has for me in the book that He wrote for all of us!!! That night, the Holy Spirit filled me with His peace.

The next morning, almost like clockwork, the stress started up - BUT, this time, I stopped and confessed in prayer, "Jesus, I am nothing without you. I agree that only through my weakness, that you will give me Your strength and Your peace." I believed and He provided. The same thing happened I don't know how many times - for nearly a day and a half, while He would work through me, to cleanse me of any withdrawals. That's right, after only 36 hours, I was free of both addictions and have not even once had one of "those" cravings. My heart filled with His peace and I replaced "those addictions" with His promise. Since then, I have a closer relationship to Jesus, who is my savior, to my great God and to the Holy Spirit that works through me and fills me with such an abounding peace.

*Friend* , God bless you for sharing... This is what my story looks like...

2 Corinthians 12:9 - And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. NKJV

Psalm 23:5, John 16:7, 1 Corinthians 12:1-7

What an amazing opportunity it was to evangelize in Germany.  The trip may be over, and we may be back at it, with "life" but God moved in amazing ways and is continuing to do so.

God is so good!!!

Read about the trip: 

"Germany Mission"

If you have any questions Click here.

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