Saturday, May 30, 2009

From Drug Dealer to Gospel Preacher - A Glorious Testimony (Part 3)

Part 3
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"...the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth..." -Genesis 8:21

As I had closed in the last segment: "I threw the yoke of the world off of my back in bitterness and sought any other means possible to relieve myself of the pain and emptiness which had troubled me from youth". I want to flashback for a second and briefly speak of how my manufacturing of meth came to be. Even as a little child I tried with all my might to suppress the truth in unrighteousness. This suppression started as "innocently" as living in my own imagination as a child and progressed as I grew older into vice, addiction, sexual immorality and crime. There is a story to be told within the context of that sentence alone, but for the sake of a PG-13 rating and to keep from getting too far off track, I will just say that the satisfaction all this brought to me ultimately became a greater void to fill and a pain increasingly more difficult to relieve. I turned to meth out of the progressive growth of my own imputed depravity. It seemed to abate the discomfort of being stuck in my own wretched skin and quieted the voice of my defiled conscience. It gave me energy, excitement, and adventure. Living this false life of course only added to the pain when the dope was all gone. I soon became frustrated with fellow addicts, middle men, and dealers who were dishonest and disloyal (big surprise). In order to be free from having to depend upon them to get me what I wanted, or for that matter, to be free from having to associate with them at all: I became familiar with the chemicals and supplies necessary to manufacture the type of meth I had grown to prefer. I applied my skills as a shoplifter to acquire supplies for local cooks in order to secure my own "cut" of the product... to my surprise most of these "cooks" were also "crooks" and I would get less than the amount agreed upon...which actually was the good case scenario, considering I was fortunate if I got anything at all. Most of these guys were so messed up that I may not see them for a month , and when I did see them, they would seldom remember they owed me anything. Even the more stable ones were very shrewd and unaccommodating in their dealings with me.

Eventually I got fed up with it all. I knew the supply list, and I was capable of acquiring all of the ingredients and supplies I needed. I felt as if my "expertise" was unappreciated and wasted on these ungrateful men, so I decided to approach one of them I believed to be trustworthy and honest, the only one whom I had found favor with. He had reservations about it and honestly I did too. He asked me why I wanted to learn. He saw a talented young man capable of much. He considered me to be "honest" and as someone having some sort of integrity. He said, "If I teach you this your life will never be the same". He knew that what I was basically asking for was a nail in my coffin, and I had a slight sense of it too which was afforded to me by my conscience. The desire of my wicked heart won out, and I insisted he teach me. Seeing as I was able to acquire free materials, it seemed lucrative for both of us. A short time later I moved up to the camp on "Devil's Elbow".

At 24 years old this was my answer to the problem all men are faced with. I took the reigns of my own addiction. I routed all outside variables I could into my own control. I eliminated my need for other dealers, other addicts, and any other outside help, and I seized upon the keys to my own kingdom, an empire of dirt, and I held the door. Or so I thought.
 
Continued Monday

Go On To Part 4
Go Back To Part 2
Go Back To Part 1

Friday, May 29, 2009

From Drug Dealer to Gospel Preacher - A Glorious Testimony (Part 2)

Continued from yesterday - the testimony of how God saved former drug addict and manufacturer Shaun Little.

Part 2
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"This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief." - 1 Timothy 1:15
 
Unable to really give an in depth account of every particular of my life I would start my story in the midst my depravity; in a life bearing the fruit of that which all flesh has been born, namely: sin.

I first learned to manufacture a crude form of meth amphetamine which some refer to as "lithium", or "battery dope" in a small town just east of my hometown. This form of meth is called "lithium" or "battery dope" because one of the compounds used in its manufacturing is a small strip of lithium metal found within the lithium batteries you may use for your camera or your walkman. I was taught in a small camp upon a hill in a beautiful forested area just outside of town. This hill was once a logging site many years ago and there is a trench dug down the side of the hill where draft horses would drag down the large logs from the site above. This area is fittingly named "Devil's Elbow" because of the road which wraps around the side of the hill about 50-100 feet from it's base. This road turns sharply around the hillside and is quite dangerous for anyone who chances taking the corner too fast due to the substantial drop off down to the creek bed below. For me the name "Devil's Elbow" is fitting because as I look back on it all, it is the place where the devil had me in an extremely tight headlock.

I was an apprentice of a local manufacturer and was allowed to work under his tutelage. I took to the simple chemistry quickly and impressed my teacher with my product. By the end of the summer he sent me out with these words: "Go set the world on fire." And that's what I set out to do. I despised government and all things established. I truly hated the world and blamed my miserable life on my surroundings. I never learned to cook meth to be a drug dealer or to make money. I learned to manufacture meth in order to feed my own addiction… an addiction I chose to use to suppress the truth and that truth was that I was dead and empty inside. I was confronted with the same problem every man has to face in his own heart: He is depraved, empty, devoid of all light, and full of sin. Meth was my synthetic answer to the problem.

For some this problem is supplanted with what seems "good" in this world: family and friends, career and success, money and fame; throw in a white picket fence and a puppy dog and there you have it: The American god... oops did I say god? I mean dream. It's a "dream" in which a man can contrive some sense of satisfaction from the "pride of life" that the god of this world affords him. It's the world's answer, it quiets the soul, it seems right to a man, but as it is written "The end of it is death". For me, this "answer" alluded me, so I created a world after my own liking and a god of my own design. I threw the yoke of the world off of my back in bitterness and sought any other means possible to relieve myself of the pain and emptiness which had troubled me from my youth...
 
Continued tomorrow . . .

Go On To Part 3
Go Back To Part 1

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

From Drug Dealer to Gospel Preacher - A Glorious Testimony (Part 1)

A Testimony of God’s Grace
The story of Redemption in the Life of a Meth Addict and Manufacturer
By Shaun R.W. Little
 
Part 1
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"Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me." - Psalm 51:5

Before I start I should give a very brief rundown of my growing up. I was born in 1980 in the town of Monroe. Monroe is a small American town in Washington state just west of the Cascade mountains. My parents were both addicts and alcoholics. My father worked a lot, and my mother was emotionally unstable. I was never physically abused although at times I was traumatized emotionally by my mother. I was healthy for the most part though mentally troubled at times. My parents were divorced before I was 10 years old. My father was capable, a carpet installer at trade, and able to keep a job so I lived with him growing up. He eventually re-married.

In school I was not in the "in" crowd, but you couldn’t say I was necessarily an outcast. In my youth I was clumsy and uninterested in sports. Although capable in academics, I was given much to laziness and lack of motivation so my grades suffered due to lack of personal effort. I got involved with drugs by the age of 13. I was arrested for burglary by 14, but the charge was reduced to theft and criminal trespass and I spent a day in juvenile detention. By 15 I had experimented with crack cocaine and various hallucinogenic substances. By 15 I was involved in a serious auto accident, and was thrown through the windshield fracturing two vertebrae. By the grace of God I lived and recovered without permanent damage. During highschool I was often suspended for misbehavior or skipped school, and by my junior year I dropped out and immediately got my GED.

I continued in this way, using drugs, sex, and any other sinful activity as a form of escape from the world I loathed so much. I stayed out of jail mostly, although I did a lot deserving of imprisonment. I was quite proud of the craftiness I exerted in my criminal activity and would brag at times about never getting caught. Though you can't find many things I had done on my criminal record, in truth nothing had escaped the sovereign eyes of God.

But I am not writing this testimony to confess all the wicked things I have done. I’ve chosen to exclude some of the more horrible things I have done as they would only serve for unecessary shock value. I will say that my sins are many and they are vile, but even so, God does not have one list of sins that he holds as being more sinful than another list of sins. Sin is sin; it is the transgression of His holy law, and if you’ve transgressed at one point you’ve transgressed in all. Although I personally consider my robberies, thefts, sexually immoral and violent acts more sinful than the sins which are committed by many who profess themselves be "good" men, whom are in fact: covetous, idolatrous, proud, and gluttonous... God makes no such distinction. The wages of all sin is death and damnation. There is not a hotter place in hell reserved for a rapist and/or a murderer as there is for a greedy business man or a man who cheats on his wife. Hell is hell, it burns eternally, and it burns without rest. Perhaps, I am even providentially privileged to have been made to observe in my sins a fruit so obviously dark and foul. The death it brought to me was apparent and I couldn’t deny my wretchedness as I was made to see the shadow of my dungheep cast on the ground in the light of God's glory. For this I am eternally grateful for the price that was paid for me by God on that blessed cross. Just as God made no distinction accounting my sins any worse than another, neither does God show partiality in His grace and His salvation, for all have sinned and fallen short of His glory. So this is the beginning of my testimony. It's my prayer that Christ be glorified as I speak of His providence and grace in the life of one who had no hope.

Continued on Friday

Go On To Part 2
 

Monday, May 25, 2009

Miss California Aftermath (Part 2)

Hopefully this will be the last post I will be making concerning Miss California, Carrie Prejean. In my previous two posts I discussed certain theological issues that swirled around the controversy that all started when Carrie came out in opposition to gay marriage during the Miss USA pageant question session. Good on her for taking a stand but I was never endorsing her as a Christian role model. Her comments merely served to contrast with Rick Warren's pathetic cowardice on the issue and also to question mainstream evangelicalism's rush to embrace her as a role model and spokeswoman.

Miss Prejean has been doing the rounds of the Christian speaking circuit and even addressed students at Liberty University. Earth to Liberty University - HELLO! She parades on TV in a skimpy swimsuit, we know little about her theological views or practice, but she holds to orthodoxy on a theological no-brainer. C'mon guys, is modern evangelicalism that pathetic and wimpy that we can't find a prophet who stands for righteousness crying "thus saith the LORD"? What does it say about our shallowness and lack of discernment when we are so quick to embrace someone just for agreeing with us on one point. Sarah Palin may be another classic example of willingness to compromise certain views (ie biblical motherhood) in order to have "one of us" running for the White House.

I suspected that something embarrasing would emerge considering Miss California's meteoric rise to the "voice of evangelicalism" . . . . and it has. Racy modelling photos (I'll say no more than that) have come to the surface of Carrie Prejean that she should be ashamed of and her "Christian constituents" should be embarrased about. But hey, we all have a past and Carrie can just come forward with remorse and repentance over her foolishness. But no, Carrie actually tried to justify her conduct by saying "I am a Christian and I am a model. Models pose for pictures including lingerie and swimwear photos". Yes and Bill Clinton didn't inhale!

Ultimately, my criticism is not directly aimed at Miss California. I am disappointed with undiscerning Christian leaders who are so quick to jump on a bandwagon in their desire to gain some sort of public credibility or "relevance" - ditto for Bono! Here are some points to consider for personal benefit and future wisdom:

1. Church discipline - we need pastors who love us enough to shield us from the public limelight when we are not ready to articulate a biblical worldview or become a public rolemodel. Also to tell us where the boundaries are and the principles concerning being salt and light before a sinful culture.

2. Expository preaching - we need pastors who teach the whole counsel of God. In Carrie's time at her local church it would seem that the virtues of being a godly, modest Proverbs 31 woman were not impressed on her strongly enough that she might aspire to that lofty goal.

3. Parenting - do we parents, raising our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord, want to expose our daughters to "beauty pageants" as a barometer of feminine beauty.

4. Choosing our feeding grounds - we need to be discerning as to where we get our spiritual food. Obviously, the Bible is the starting place! It is from there that we can have spiritual ears to hear what resonates with a biblical worldview and what doesn't. Let's choose our teachers and role models cautiously and carefully. We need to be better Bereans than the Bereans were.

5. Association - don't be so quick to join a camp without a decent working knowledge of their overall theology and practice. The Muslim world can only maintian unity as long as they have a common enemy - us. Were the enemy to be removed they'd be pointing their guns at each other. As Christians, we also need to be wary of a unity based upon what we oppose rather than what we believe.

Chew on that today!

Go Back To Part 1

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Kirk Cameron Interviews John Macarthur - On TBN!!!

Kirk Cameron interviewed John Macarthur on TBN! The surprises just keep coming. This is just great stuff. Unlike the many high profile chameleon preachers out there who change color depending on the audience, Dr. Macarthur refuses to try and adapt his message. He has the same timeless Gospel truths to share whether he's talking to Madonna's husband, Larry King, or in this case the TBN audience. Macarthur just keeps hammering away with unchanging razor sharp insights and profound wisdom on the difference between true and false gospels. This two part interview is well worth the watch.



Friday, May 22, 2009

Paul Washer Coming To Denmark

BACK TO SCRIPTURE OF DENMARK (DANISH WEBSITE www.tilbagetilbibelen.dk) IS THRILLED TO ANNOUNCE THAT PAUL WASHER WILL BE IN DENMARK FOR A PUBLIC MEETING IN THE CITY OF RANDERS ON THE 15TH OF JULY 2009 AT 7:30 PM (ADDRESS - TEATERSALEN AT THE FRITIDSCENTER, VESTERGADE 15, RANDERS) . HE WILL BE PREACHING ON THE SUBJECT OF WHAT TRUE CONVERSION REALLY IS AND WILL FOLLOW WITH A QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSION FOR ALL IN ATTENDANCE.

THIS IS A RARE OPPORTUNITY NOT TO BE MISSED AND WORTH TELLING EVERYONE ABOUT (WHETHER THEY ARE A CHRISTIAN OR NOT). PAUL WASHER IS A HUMBLE MISSIONARY WHO HAS DONE THE HARD LABOR OF TAKING THE GOSPEL TO UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUPS IN SOME OF THE POOREST PLACES ON EARTH. HE IS UNAFRAID TO PREACH IN A LARGE CHURCH OR A STREET CORNER - THIS MAN IS THE REAL DEAL! THOUGH HE HAS NEVER SOUGHT ATTENTION OR FAME HIS THUNDEROUS PREACHING, BURNING PASSION, AND DESPERATION TO REACH THE LOST HAS LED TO HIM BECOMING AN INTERNET DOWNLOADING PHENOMENON. HE IS NOW THE MOST DOWNLOADED PREACHER BOTH ON YOUTUBE AND THE PREMIER SERMON SITE - SERMONAUDIO. PEOPLE DON'T FALL BACKWARDS "SLAIN IN THE SPRIT" AT HIS MEETINGS BUT MANY FALL ON THEIR FACES WEEPING UNDER DEEP CONVICTION OF SIN. BROTHER PAUL IS NOT ONLY KNOWN FOR HIS EXPLOSIVE SERMONS BUT ALSO FOR HIS DEEP THEOLOGICAL EXPERTISE AND KNOWLEDGE OF CHURCH HISTORY. IF YOU HAVE EVER WONDERED WHAT PREACHING WAS LIKE DURING THE REFORMATION COME TO RANDERS ON THE 15TH OF JULY AND WITNESS IT FOR YOURSELF.

THERE WILL ALSO BE PRIVATE MEETINGS CONDUCTED FROM THE 14TH TO 16TH OF JULY CONCERNED WITH THE PLANTING OF BIBLICAL CHURCHES IN DENMARK. E-MAIL CAMERON AT talkingdonkeys@hotmail.com FOR FURTHER INFORMATION REGARDING THE PRIVATE MEETINGS (NUMBERS ARE LIMITED).

Watch this to get a taste of what's to come.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

"I Don't Know" - Joel Osteen's Pet Phrase

Joel Osteen should get a spot on "Dancing With The Stars" based on his now famous tap dancing routines . . . .



Steve Lawson gives his verdict . . .



"Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy, and say to them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord GOD: Ah, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep. The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them. So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd, and they became food for all the wild beasts. My sheep were scattered; they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with none to search or seek for them. "Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: As I live, declares the Lord GOD, surely because my sheep have become a prey, and my sheep have become food for all the wild beasts, since there was no shepherd, and because my shepherds have not searched for my sheep, but the shepherds have fed themselves, and have not fed my sheep, therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: Thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require my sheep at their hand and put a stop to their feeding the sheep. No longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, that they may not be food for them (Ezekiel 34:2-10).

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Rob Bell and John Macarthur - Their Verdicts on the TNIV Translation

From those who brought us the "Nearly Infallible Version" (NIV) we now have the TNIV. Kind of like a gender neutral toning down of the NIV. Well, here are two verdicts on the same translation. You be the judge (with thanks to streetfishing.blogspot.com). First up the insights of John Macarthur:



And now for the Yoda like profoundness of Rob Bell:



Who are you going to listen to?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Some Strong Words From Paul Washer re: Wimpy Preachers

Warning - this is a scorcher!!! Brother Paul Washer is not a happy camper about the warm fuzzy self esteem messages of Joel Osteen or the prosperity preaching of Benny Hinn. Is his criticism unwarranted? You be the judge. But as you ponder that consider the reproach before God of giving lost people false assurance. Come judgment day I think we'll get a clearer picture of those who love the lost and those who love themselves.

You might want to turn down the volume on this one!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Shocking Message to Pastors and Churches

Drink in these sobering words from Christian and then watch the video and ponder what your local church is really all about and your own personal urgency in your dealings with the lost.

A few weeks back, I learned that I have a brain tumor. As I was reflecting upon this, I asked the question, "What if an unsaved person with a brain tumor went into some of the more popular, influential, or notable churches in America today? What would they see and hear?" So, I did some basic searching on the web and found that some of these were some of the most viewed and / or commented videos out there.

Here are the questions to us Christians: What image are we putting up for the lost? What are we saying to them? And how should they react when they see and hear this kind of stuff in our churches today?

I ask that you view this with an open mind and heart.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Preaching Love Requires Preaching Sin

Many times doing open air preaching I've been heckled by some well meaning professing Christian who wants to slam me for preaching sin, righteousness, and judgment before preaching about the cross. They usually claim to be people who preach only God's love without talking about sin.

Scripture is clear that this is impossible for the very definition of God's love is bound up in a proper undersatanding of our sin. Romans 5:8 tells us that God demonstrated His love by dying for us while we were sinners. Understanding God's love is intrinsically bound up in grasping the dramatic contrast between the righteousness of God and the unspeakable wickedness of men. Some people seem to think that seeing ourselves as a wretch will only cause us to spend our lives in misery covered in sackcloth and ashes. It is true that there is a healthy grief in the godly sorrow that leads to true repentance but this becomes a doorway to joy unspeakable as we marvel at the grace that is truly amazing.

Do you question why "bad things happen to good people" or do you marvel that God would spare you from His just wrath. Both these questions remain unanswered. The first question doesn't warrant an answer for it is the wrong question. The second question remains a joyous mystery. Do you marvel at how God could make a wretch like you His treasure???

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Wolves in Wolves Clothing (Part 6)

Continued from yesterday. Observations concerning witnessing to atheists based on the debate between Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron vs Atheists Brian Sapient and "Kelly" as screened on ABC Nightline. Ray and Kirk were widely criticized by many Christians for not pulling out the heavy apologetic artillery in fighting the cause of the existence of God. But is that criticism biblically informed. Today is the final installment of this series and fifth observation on how we should evangelize atheists:

OBSERVATION 5
People don't reject the Gospel because it wasn't presented in a clever or attractive manner, people reject the Gospel because they love darkness and hate the light.


Again, John 3 explains to us why people reject the Gospel. It is amazing how much neglected yet important information is contained in the verses following John 3:16. Information so important in fact that a working knowledge could have saved many "seeker sensitive" pastors a lot of time and effort with how they approached evangelism.

Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Joh 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

Again, I commend Ray and Kirk for avoiding the conventional route of clever argument and instead choosing to reason of sin, righteousness and judgement. It's not rocket science - people love sin and therefore hate the light of God's Holiness. With this in mind and knowing our own sinfulness and the incredible mercy extended to us by God, let us approach the task of evangelism with deep humility but strong urgency to show the sinner (as lovingly as we can) that his deeds are evil and his primary need is not happiness but righteousness. Reasoning from God's law is the only way to show the sinner his exceeding sinfulness and warn of the coming judgement as Paul did in his sermon to the pagan culture of his time

Act 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
Act 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

In the Old Testament God continually reminded the Israelites that they should remember that they were once strangers in Egypt. We Christians should humble ourselves in the memory that we were once strangers from God and that our redemption had nothing to do with our own merit (because we have none) but by God's grace so that we could never boast in anything but the cross of our risen Saviour. With this in mind may we plead with lost souls appealing to the Holiness of God, the wretchedness of man, the justice of God in punishing sin, that God punished Himself in our place, sealed our eternal hope through His resurrection, and that all men must respond in repentance and faith.

Go Back To Part 5
Go Back To Part 1