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GRACE HOUR LIVE

BE SURE TO TUNE INTO THE INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN BROADCAST, GRACE HOUR LIVE ON www.ggwo.org THIS THURSDAY, JULY 8TH AT 10 a.m. EST AT WHICH TIME DAN LIGHTSEY WILL BE A FEATURED GUEST AND WILL TALK ABOUT THE GRACE OVERCOMERS Addictions Ministry book, THE SPECIAL OFFER FOR THE MONTH OF JULY.    

JOIN US!

Join us June 4th @ 6:30 p.m at

Gospel Tabernacle Baptist Church
3100 Walbrook Ave.
Baltimore MD 21216

For the 1st Anniversary Celebration of the LET MY PEOPLE GO ADDICTION MINISTRY

Pastor Dan Lightsey will be available to sign his Grace Overcomer’s Addiction Ministry book

 

 

 

 

A NOTE TO WOMEN/JESUS NEVER FAILS

     Over a number of years I’ve had the opportunity to observe a few successes, and more often than not, failures in the area of the Christian addiction ministry. Why some make it and others do not, I don’t know.  I’ll have to let God make that judgement. Going back over my own desperate search for truth and help and not really knowing where to find it, I can only imagine how much more confusing it is at this present time. 
      I can still remember as a child peering at a classic painting of Jesus praying on a rock amidst a raging sea.  I pondered the meaning of that work of art not knowing that it wouldn’t take too many years before I found myself in a raging sea crying out for God.  I also well remember driving past a lovely old stone Baptist Church in Portland, Maine which boasted a neon sign perched high above that said “JESUS NEVER FAILS’.  I found it rather unusual since it contradicted the staunchly traditional era of hats and white gloves.  Then again, the person who placed the sign there must have really believed that Jesus never fails.  Finally one evening I went to a service, and began my walk with God.  
     There exists today such a vast myriad of meetings and groups designed to help those with addictions.  I’ll have to say I feel especially bad for women with addiction problems; the frustration of finding a suitable rehab place whereas there are so many more for men; and the vulnerability of being “open and honest” in a mixed group where there are mostly men. 
      I understand the need for people to get off the streets and their too familiar surroundings in order to help break “the habit” and to get clean and sober.  But after going to the Detox to get dried out, and finishing up your stay at the re-hab, then what?
      I’ve cautiously observed those who have come back to church and to the meetings from those places, and thought “Oh, that’s good, I hope they keep coming.  I’m so glad to see them make it!”  Then they disappear, and before you know it, they’ve relapsed.  Most of them have been men, but some were women. What went wrong?  Oh, I wish to God that they had kept coming back!  We need to know our source.  ” All my springs are in thee” said the psalmist in Psalm 87:7.  Oh, the liberation of the soul under the preaching of the Word of God and the fellowship of the body of Christ!  I don’t say that in a legalistic kind of way, but that’s just the way it is.  I would that everyone could have a church like mine where there is something going on all the time centering around the Word of God, even an addiction ministry meeting.  I’m sure there is a church somewhere  waiting for someone just like you! We’re not designed to “go it alone”.  We need Christ and his church.  God is not a respecter of persons. I have found that to be true over these many years just like the sign said: “JESUS NEVER FAILS.”  

Sandy Lightsey      
      
        

A WINTER’S TALE/ THE MANSIONS

     Some months ago I had a dream in which I was driving in the country.  I noticed a sign on the side of the road with mother’s name on it denoting that this was her place of residence.  I pulled to the side to double check the sign.  Yes, it was her name.  What was her name doing on a sign way out in this unfamiliar country setting?  Across the street was an old mansion.  I was curious to have a look at the place and went inside.  The dilapidated interior was undergoing major restoration.  I walked around with other curiosity seekers observing the ongoing improvements.  The main staircase was boarded closed.  The downstairs rooms were quite dark and dusty, but the ornate paneled walls and over sized windows gave credence to its’ former grandeur.  There was obviously much work to do to make it once again habitable.  It would be some time before mother could move in.

     I thought of that dream this mild winter day as I walked to my car after visiting mother at the nursing home.  For a number of weeks I had been observing with interest the old Georgian style mansion on the grounds of the nursing facility, admiring its’ elegance and the mystery that surrounded it.  Sitting sedately on the crest of the hill, the sprawling brick structure with green shutters captures a view of the large reservoir surrounded by carefully preserved forestland.  To the right, the impressive distant city skyline can be seen.  My interest was peaked having been told a little history about the place.  The Symphony Orchestra had conducted a fund-raiser there a few years ago making it a showcase home.  It had been entirely restored, refurbished and was opened to the public for a short while.

     Today cars were parked around the circular drive in front of the house.  I decided to do a little exploring.  Maybe there was something going on inside.  I found a spot and walked to the front door.  Ringing the rather common front door bell, I envisioned a butler from an old movie coming to answer; tall with angular features, a white cloth draped over his left arm.  He would inquire ever so politely but firmly in a deep voice: “Good afternoon, Madame.  How can I help you?”. He would then usher me into the study before a crackling fireplace; an old painting of a fox hunt dominating from above the mantle.  Here I would be served tea and crumpets from a shiny sterling silver service: drink real English tea in exquisite tea cups embellished with dainty red roses as I awaited the mistress of the house to take me on a full fledged tour.  I rang the bell again.  No-one answered.  The place was empty. My imaginary tour came to a halt!

     I followed the brick walkway to the small adjacent building that housed the Home Care offices.  I had gone this far.  I owed it to myself to find out if it would ever be open to the public again.  The friendly office ladies were sympathetic to my quest.

     “The home was built in the 1920’s and hosted many guests, the most notable being the Duke and Duchess of Windsor” they informed me.  “After that it was used by the priests for many years until they were moved to a larger facility.  It is now owned by the Archdiocese.  They still may use it for certain functions, but it remains empty as all the furniture has been taken out.”

     “What a pity” I said.  “A house is such a spiritual kind of thing.  It needs people in it to keep it alive.”

     The woman at the back desk nodded in agreement.  “Yes, I think so too. You know, you might want to talk to the caretaker.  He may be able to provide more information.”

     “Thanks so much”.  I smiled appreciatively for their help and headed back to my car wincing at the tire ruts someone had cut into the soggy lawn.  No wait!  I wanted one last look.  I walked around to the side and peered wistfully into what looked like a sun room of sorts displaying a white marble floor with black marble diamond shaped accents.  Maybe some kind soul would see me with my nose pressed against the window and invite me in.  On the other hand, I should be careful not to leave my nose smudge on the glass or even worse, have the grounds security haul me away for trespassing.

     “Well, at least I tried!”.  I thought, heading over the back roads toward home.  It was somewhat unusual; the dream about a mansion,then the real mansion.  No luck with either.  Was there some spiritual parallel or significance?  I don’t really know, but I do know that God says in the Bible that He is preparing mansions in heaven for his children.  That’s the real deal!  It requires patience, but we can count on that! We have a sure word from God:”In my Father’s house are many mansions: If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2.)

Sandy Lightsey     

A HEART SET FREE

     Jake needed to get out of the men’s dorm.  It was crowded, and most of the guys who lived there were half his age and would often come in late at night, talking and singing at the top of their lungs.  This was a little more than he could take, and even though it had been over a year since he had kicked his 30 years of opiate addiction, his nerves were still raw, and he had a hard time sleeping.

     It was just before dawn when he got up and pulled on his new jogging pants.  Everyone else was sound asleep, but hard as he tried, he couldn’t go back to sleep, so he would often jog around the town hoping to get back into shape.  He had even managed to throw away those nasty cigarettes, with the encouragement from an older roommate.  So when Retta got on her ‘no sugar’ kick, and tried to convince Jake of the ill affects of sugar, Jake laughed and said, “I think I’ve given up enough things to last me for a while!”

     He jogged steadily up the hill past Retta’s dormitory.  Somehow he still had a lot of physical strength despite all his body had been through.  He was sure everyone in her dorm was still asleep at this hour.  He wished he could see her.  He loved her gentleness and her resolve; even her vulnerability  He wanted to protect her and care for her, but he was terrified at the responsibility that it entailed.  He had tried to pick up the pieces from the past, but he couldn’t find them.  He almost couldn’t bear the thought of starting over ever again.  He continued jogging across Walnut St. past the old Convoy Hotel stopping only for a brief rest.

     He felt like a dead man come to life in a very short time.  All the feelings and emotions that had been suppressed for so long had emerged.  He noticed the sky getting lighter, and the birds starting to chirp.  In the quietness, a large hawk flew overhead.  He was stirred inside, like a child noticing its surroundings for the first time.  Gratitude welled up in him for his new life, and he prayed a simple direct prayer of thanksgiving.  He really wanted to make it, and to do right.

                                                   Heads were clear, hearts were free,
                                                                  Spirits clean;
                                                            For you see, Jesus Christ
                                                   Had shed His light, Sweet Supreme.


This is an excerpt from “Retta’s Promise”, a story about a single mother of two who meets an ex-con/addict on a Bible College campus.  Their improbable marriage takes them through adventures and trials to ultimate victory.