Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Year In My Life Through Pictures Day 9

Today's photo is of the building that once housed the S.S. Kresge store. My mother worked there when I was a child, although I can't remember the exact years I do remember I was around the 6-10 year old range over her time there.

I remember back then my father would take my brother and I with him to pick my mom up from work. We would leave a little early so we could go to the dining area/ lunch counter for dinner. I can distinctly remember a cutout sign of Dagwood promoting the sandwich that bares his name, but not much else about the interior of the store.

I do remember when school was called off for a snow day we would have to go to work with my mom. Usually they would let us go upstairs in the stock area and just play around. My brother, being the entrepreneur he is, would bring his snow shovel and make some cold cash shoveling snow off the sidewalks for close by businesses.

This is significant because this time frame was when I said "the prayer" to be saved. I was around 8 years old and on an excursion with the youth group at my former church. The exacts I can't quite remember, but I do remember crying my eyes out, not wanting to go to hell and not being able to say anything. The gentleman that led me through "the prayer" said it for me and just asked me to nod my head if it was what I wanted to say.

Fast forward to my 14th year of life. I was introduced to some pretty life changing things..... at church camp of all places. A fellow there was really cool to me and he took me under his wing. He also let me have his cassette player and introduced me to Ozzy Osborne, while at church camp. After church camp he continued to introduce me to other "friends" of his, Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Iron Maiden, Rush, Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, Mary Jane and Bud Weiser. All became very good friends of mine, very quickly. This is also when I began smoking, which lasted for 24 years.

Now, I had said "the prayer" when I was 8, so I was all set with that. It was done and over with, so I had nothing to worry about. I could do whatever I wanted as long as I asked for forgiveness. I did, every night, except the ones I passed out drunk on before I could ask for forgiveness. And so it went for 24 more year, a total of 30 years from when I said "the prayer".

Then something started happening. Things started to come to my attention. I started seeing my sins differently for some reason. I was starting to feel really bad about things I was doing and things I had done my whole life. My 400+ CD collection went in boxes, the smoking habit of 24 years disappeared, another addiction to nose spray was gone and I was feeling less and less good about all of my goodness. I was feeling, well, wretched.

This is the time that God truly saved me from my sins. I was that new creation talked about in 2 Corinthians 5, my desires were changing, all of me was changing. God put some solid biblical teachings in my path at that same time, Ray Comfort, Paul Washer and John Macarthur became my pastors even though I was attending the church of my youth once again. I was seeing things that did not align with what I was reading in scripture and to what I was hearing preached to me. That is the time frame that I got increasingly agitated at that "church". If you go way back to my very first post on this blog it picks up about the same time I left that church. It was about a year or better process of leaving it after the scaled fell off my eyes.

God used my childhood upbringing and teachings in that church to show me how countless millions are being deceived. Not just at the church, but thousands across the United States and across the globe. That is a fire that God put under my feet to move me to compassion for those dear souls that are being lied to and pandered to. The ones that are just like I was for 30 years, sitting in a pew Sunday morning but living like hell the other 167 hours of the week. My heart bleeds for those people, but their deception runs deep.

Please pray for those millions of people being deceived. The ones being told that all you have to do is "make a decision", "say this prayer" or "just nod your head if you agree". Pray that God will take the scales from their eyes too, so they can see Him in all His glory and not cheapened by their false and man centered nonsense.

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