You Can Conquer Addiction

An epidemic as pervasive as the black plague is sweeping over our land. Only, contrary to conventional wisdom, it is not a disease. The opioid and other drug problems are destroying lives and killing people as a result of the voluntary slavery people get involved in, the root of which is a spiritual crisis in America.

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men are failing miserably at helping to put broken people back together again.

Recently, churches have been stepping up to the plate to more effectively deal with this spiritual problem. The problem is idolatry. Edward T Welch, Christian author, counselor and facility member at CCEF, wrote “that we have chosen to go outside the boundaries of the kingdom of God and look for blessing in the land of idols. In turning to idols, we are saying that we desire something in creation more than we desire the Creator.”

Back in 1633, George Herbert advanced this idea in one of his poems:

The Pulley. 

              VVHen God at first made man,
Having a glasse of blessings standing by;
Let us (said he) poure on him all we can:
Let the worlds riches, which dispersed lie,
               Contract into a span.

               So strength first made a way;
Then beautie flow’d, then wisdome, honour, pleasure:
When almost all was out, God made a stay,
Perceiving that alone of all his treasure
               Rest in the bottome lay.

               For if I should (said he)
Bestow this jewell also on my creature,
He would adore my gifts in stead of me,
And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature:
               So both should losers be.

               Yet let him keep the rest,
But keep them with repining restlesnesse:
Let him be rich and wearie, that at least,
If goodnesse leade him not, yet wearinesse
               May tosse him to my breast.
While the establishment in places like Bucks County are fighting the war on drugs by hunting down pushers with the Push Out The Pusher program, like treasury man Elliot Ness fought the alcohol problem during prohibition, church related groups are fighting the problem by changing people from the inside.

http://levittownnow.com/2018/08/09/push-out-the-pusher-program-nets-first-conviction-reward-payout/

One such initiative is the upcoming CLPRM Relapse Prevention Walk and Fundraiser, to be held on Saturday, September 8 at Fireman’s Field, Rockhill Dr & Richlieu Rd, Bensalem, PA. Registration is at 11 a.m. at Bensalem Township Community Park, Richlieu and Galloway Rd, and the walk will begin at 12:00 p.m.  At 1 p.m. CLPRM will hold a fundraiser at the Christian Life Center, 3100 Galloway Rd, in Bensalem. There will be live music, food, activities, vendors, resources and special events. 100 percent of donations go to help people with addictions.

There is hope for addicts in the power of the gospel. All scripture is sufficient for all matters of the heart, including the idolatry of drug and alcohol addiction. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  2 Timothy 3:16-17  To this end, CLPRM holds Conquering Addiction each Friday from 7 p.m. till 9 p.m. at the Christian Life Center in Bensalem. http://www.clprm.org/recovery-ministry/

Also, the 2nd Saturday of every month in the Edge building at the Christian Life Center, live music, coffee, cake, fellowship and devotion are featured at the Conquering Grounds Café. Both the regular Friday meetings and this “coffee house” are free.

You are not alone in your addiction. God and his servants will help you overcome! Christians are on a rescue mission.

We are therefore Christs ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”  2 Corinthians 5:20

Caveman Club by Sancho Panza

Are women you are trying to pick up at homeless meals getting too difficult to catch? Did another guy take your gal you used to take there? Is the gang of girls you are trying to collect, like Charles Manson, nothing more than a dream? 

Well, do as Lying Larry does. He uses Caveman Club to catch his prey.  

As Lying Larry says, women don’t have any sense in choosing the guy they want to hang with. Women are incapable of making decisions on their own. They need guidance and persuasion.  

Caveman Club also serves to keep the competition away; to keep the gals from making the wrong choice. 

Caveman Club.  Don’t go to a homeless meal without one! 

Caveman Club, by Sancho Panza.  

 Image result for caveman clubs

Don Quixote Telling Sancho Panza About Caveman Club, Which He Wants Sancho To Market

Irresistible Rose

Rose’s smile lit up my life 

As the Grand Funk Railroad song line goes: She set my soul on fire/she’s some kind of wonderful 

Yes she was 

But all she left me was a heart of gold 

Someone special to this man of old 

Who left this earth too soon for me 

But not for God 

She’s now with the Lord 

 

Rose was looking for guidance 

The Lord gave me the privilege 

To minister to her 

And like Evangelist in John Bunyan’s “The Pilgrims Progress” 

Point her to God 

She accepted Jesus as Lord and savior 

 

We are not like the mule who has no understanding and must be controlled by bit and bridle 

God brings us to Himself through Irresistible Grace 

Bringing me to her was a case of Irresistible Rose 

 

I was with Rose for an almost six months season 

I’m perplexed about the reason 

But God is sovereign and has our best interests at heart 

But I must get a grip on the fact that Rose did depart 

 

Rose enjoyed God’s creation 

A cardinal outside the window 

A sunrise/sunset 

The smell of honeysuckle 

And she was sandpaper to my faith 

Helping to make me a better, more Godly man 

Organizing things, preparing meals, inspiring me to be more neat and organized 

 

I wanted to join the last departed woman I love on her journey to heaven 

“God has things for you to do, Jeff”, a Christian brother comforted me 

 

God has things for me to do  

 

Some day God will send me another Rose 

Not from a mold; Rose broke the mold 

God continues to mold me 

Are We Automatons?

The trade war with China threatens the war on opioids, says a piece in Kaiser Health News.  http://levittownnow.com/2018/07/06/what-a-u-s-china-trade-war-could-mean-for-the-opioid-epidemic/   Again, the extremely toxic fentanyl, one of the most deadly substances that has been destroying and taking lives, is in play.

Well there you go again! Keeping the dope away from people as if they have no choice in the matter, as if, as the mantra goes, it’s a disease, won’t work now, just as prohibition didn’t work to stop people who can’t control their urges. What ever happened to Nancy Regan’s thesis: “Just say no to drugs!”

All prohibition did was increase taxes, jeopardize freedom, foster more government control, and provide materials for movies and TV shows.

What did work to fight addictions, starting in 1921 was “A First Century Christian Fellowship”, later known as “The Oxford Group”. An American business executive found healing by participating in the Oxford Group after a shrink could not help him. In 1931, the executive started treatment with psychiatrist Carl Jung in Switzerland.  After being treated for a year, the guy finished treatment but soon returned to the bottle, as a dog returns to its vomit.

Dr. Jung told the guy his case was nearly hopeless, and his only hope was a spiritual conversion with a religious group.  So the executive went to the Oxford group and got clean.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Alcoholics_Anonymous

Drug abuse and alcoholism have a common root, as do a host of other besetting sins, such as gluttony. Increasingly, today faith-based groups, such as Celebrate Recovery combine all the bad habits and hang ups, and people are healed, made whole.

Recently, a friend in Bucks County overcame her destructive drug habit she had for decades and gave credit to her coming to Jesus. The Bible has solutions for all of life’s problems.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  2 Timothy 3:16-17

Today, there are groups and meetings held in churches that treat drug addictions as sin (we all are sinners), which through Jesus can be overcome.

A faith-based solution to help those engaged in the destructive behavior of drug abuse, The Together We Can Do It convention, presented by the Bucks County Faith Summit was held in Newtown, PA on April 28, 2018. Christian singers and speakers, tables with Bibles, copies of Narcotics Anonymous, and various Christian brochures were offered at numerous tables at the event, as were people to talk with about the problem.

At the workshop before the one with the animated presenter, the presenter called addiction a disease. Someone in the audience challenged calling drug abuse a disease. While waiting in line to fill out some paperwork, I figuratively gave her a high five.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disease_theory_of_alcoholism

Drug abuse is a choice, a sinful one. It is, as Biblical counselor and author Ed Welch said, voluntary slavery.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.” 1 Corinthians 13-14

With God, you can overcome the involuntary slavery of drug abuse.

Bucks County Faith Summit II, will come to Cairn University, Langhorne, PA on October 13, from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.   https://www.facebook.com/BucksCountyFaithSummit/

Funding Voluntary Slavery

Fentanyl, that nasty stuff that street drug dealers have been mixing with dope, which makes users cuckoo and stays in the system after you get clean, has made the news again: levittownnow.com/2018/07/02/man-with-fentanyl-in-system-charged-with-crash/

A 20-year-old guy for whom fentanyl was found in his system reportedly changed lanes abruptly and crashed into another vehicle.

People who engage in destructive behavior like drug abuse need help!

In my last blog, I argued that the 100 some recovery houses in the Levittown, PA vicinity are more about making money than helping people with destructive habits. The establishment’s view and policy to fight the drug epidemic likewise is more about making money than helping people. By calling drug abuse a disease, it makes an excuse for the user, as a disease precludes the element of choice and the will. Labeling drug abuse “substance abuse disorder” likewise traps the user in a caste system whereby he or she is sentenced to a life-long sentence of voluntary slavery.

The criticism of the disease model of alcoholism applies just as well to drug and other forms of voluntary slavery: “…the disease theory of alcoholism exists only to benefit the professionals’ and governmental agencies responsible for providing recovery services, and the disease model has not offered a solution for those attempting to stop abusive alcohol and drug use.” -Wikipedia.com https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disease_theory_of_alcoholism

“Alcoholism” and “addictions” are simply sin. “Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.” — I Corinthians 15:34. “The primary problem is moral and spiritual, not medical, and cannot be addressed without that perspective,” wrote Franklin E. Payne, Jr., MD, Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia, in Augusta, Georgia.

Modern psychology doesn’t understand the real cause of behavioral problems and doesn’t know the right way to treat them. Dr. Payne explains “I have yet to see any patient’s chart with the diagnosis of ‘depression’ with reference to criteria that would fit any formal definition, such as the DSM-III-R. Yet, millions of patients carry this label and receive potent medications based upon this slipshod approach. Both the label and the medications have great potential for harm, as well as good. Further, such imprecision applies to virtually every area of medicine, not just psychiatric diagnoses. (A discussion of this ‘mal-practice,’ however, would require another paper in itself.)”

All the King’s horses and all the King’s men, can’t put broken people back together again.

God can.

Second Peter speaks of how evil, which promises deliverance/freedom, brings voluntary slavery.
promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.” 2 Peter 2:19

In places like Bucks County, PA, churches and individual Christians have been reaching out to a broken world to help rescue people from addictions and other besetting sins not for money, but to serve their Lord and their neighbors.

Jesus replied: “‘Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40

Recovery Help or Hindrance?

Money

Pink Floyd

Money, get away 
Get a good job with good pay and you’re okay 
Money, it’s a gas 
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash 
New car, caviar, four star daydream 
Think I’ll buy me a football team 

Money, get back 
I’m all right Jack keep your hands off of my stack 
Money, it’s a hit 
Don’t give me that do goody good bullshit 
I’m in the high-fidelity first class traveling set 
And I think I need a Lear jet 

Money, it’s a crime 
Share it fairly but don’t take a slice of my pie 
Money, so they say 
Is the root of all evil today 
But if you ask for a raise it’s no surprise that they’re 
Giving none away, away, away 

Songwriters: ROGER WATERS

https://youtu.be/03JdA7lCLTo

For years, all the King’s Horses and all the King’s Men have been trying to reform the recovery houses, of which there are about 100 in the Levittown, PA vicinity.  The problems, where the homes are failing to help people with addictions, are driven by the love of money.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Timothy 6:10

At a meeting to address the problems at the recovery houses, a local politician stated the houses are “unsafe, unhealthy and not conducive to sobriety.” levittownnow.com/2016/04/04/levittown-today-is-becoming-keningston-and-frankford-because-of-increased-drug-activity/ 

Although not all the recovery houses are bad, there are too many in lower Bucks County, PA that make it worse for people trying to stop their destructive behavior. This has been going on for years!

The recovery houses are a magnet for drug dealers, where people trying to get straight are targets for these door-to -door aggressive marketers. Hardly conducive to “recovery.”

Helping people who engage in destructive behavior should not be about making money but should be done from the heart – from people who simply care about others.  This is where the Christian community needs to continue to reach out. Rather than warehouse people with a drug problem, Christians need to get to know them and minister to their needs. Caring individuals, rather than impersonal government programs and those they sponsor, should help them.

In lower Bucks County, churches offer programs that help people who engage in drug abuse or other destructive behavior, free of charge. The Oxford Valley Chapel in Levittown has an open meeting, basically a Bible study, on Wednesday nights between 7 and 8 p.m.

Breaking The Chains of Addiction, a faith based group that helps people overcome their addictions, meets at First Baptist Church in Morrisville, PA, 50 Pennsylvania Avenue, Tuesdays, at 7 p.m.  Breaking The Chains also meets in South Philly at Third Baptist Church, 2400 S. Broad St Fridays at 7 p.m. Also free.

Celebrate Recovery, a national program that helps people overcome drug and alcohol addictions as well as other problems, has a few chapters not far from Bucks County.  Tuesdays from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. New Life Presbyterian Church, 425 East Roosevelt Blvd. In North East Philly hosts Celebrate Recovery. Also free.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  2 Timothy 3:16-17

 

 

Getting Psyched Off of Drugs

Methadone is one tool to help those addicted to opioids by helping wean them off the destructive substances by tiding them over to prevent withdraw. At some point, the battle to overcome the problem becomes mostly psychological. Drug abusers have to learn how to cope without drugs.

Withdraw from drugs such as heroine can be devastating, even deadly. The best scenario is to become free from all mind-altering drugs, which harm you, and face the real world.  https://youtu.be/IP8G4clUJBY

Girl, you thought you found the answer
On that magic carpet ride last night
But when you wake up in the mornin’
The world still gets you uptight
Well, there’s nothin’ that you ain’t tried
To fill the emptiness inside
When you come back down, girl
Still ain’t feelin’ right

And don’t it seem like
Kicks just keep gettin’ harder to find
And all your kicks ain’t bringin’ you peace of mind
Before you find out it’s too late, girl
You better get straight
No, but not with kicks you just need help, girl

Well you think you’re gonna find yourself
A little piece of paradise
But it ain’t happened yet, so girl, you better think twice
Don’t you see no matter what you do
You’ll never run away from you
And if you keep on runnin’ you’ll have to pay the price

And don’t it seem like
Kicks just keep gettin’ harder to find
And all your kicks ain’t bringin’ you peace of mind
Before you find out it’s too late, girl
You better get straight

No, you don’t need kicks
To help you face the world each day
That road goes nowhere
I’m gonna help you find yourself another way

Kicks just keep gettin’ harder to find
And all your kicks ain’t bringin’ you peace of mind
(Oh, you don’t need kicks, girl)
Before you find out it’s too late, girl
You better get straight
(You just need help, girl)

Kicks just keep gettin’ harder to find
And all your kicks ain’t bringin’ you peace of mind
(Oh, you don’t need kicks, girl)
Before you find out it’s too late, girl
You better get straight
(You just need help, girl)

Discussing Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis in my Psychology in Literature class in college, a fellow student commented that in this parable, Gregor, who wakes up in the morning and becomes a cockroach, just doesn’t want to face the world. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Metamorphosis

A friend once told me she suffered from depression and that she did not want to wake up and greet the day. But as she moved forward, she got up early, made breakfast, and did various activities, such as organizing and reading.

Methadone counteracts negative effects of drugs, without getting high. It helps curb cravings, although there is an adjustment and side effects.

The key to staying clean is the mental challenge to stop using drugs as a crutch, a talisman, to deal with the exigencies of life. Instead, go to God’s Word in the Bible. Scripture, empowered by the Holy Spirit, which will provide guidance and a solution to the vicissitudes of life.

Get out of bed and face the world!

https://www.addictions.com/methadone-treatment/ 

Are You Out of Order?

Bi Polar, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Substance Abuse Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and other disorders – are all labels arbitrarily put on people by modern psychology. Maybe these psychobabble believers could combine them all and just put an “out of order” sign on people.

These labels trap people into assigned behavior that they are sentenced to for life. They are a caste system, where once you are in a particular place in life you are stuck there. There is no room for change. By the modern psyche standard, if you sprain your leg, then you are stuck with a sprained leg the rest of your life. May as well tell someone who sprains a leg that he has sprained leg disorder.

People can be changed. Human problems are rooted in sin, which drives bad choices in life. If you get right with God and walk in his ways, you’ll be changed into the way God created you. Dysfunctionality happens when we stray from God’s ways. The Bible is sufficient to handle all human problems of the heart. The holy spirit gives you the power to restore your mental health.

In his book “How to Help People Change”, Biblical Counseling movement founder Jay E Adams lists four steps: Teaching, Conviction, Correction, and Disciplined Training in Righteousness. First, you must learn the right Biblical principle, be convicted if your behavior does not match the Biblical standard, then repent of your sin and God will forgive you. You don’t stop there but start practicing righteousness – behavior that pleases God.

Bi polar disorder is a spiritual problem and the way you are brought up fosters this problem:

https://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/what-does-the-bible-teach-about-bipolar-disorder/

Among the folks who go to the community meals for the homeless and those in need over the years in Bucks County, PA, I’ve found that people who have problems who have attended the secular Penndel Mental Health Center, with its legal dope and psychobabble tended to get worse, whereas those who found Biblical counsel did much better.

In Levittown, PA, churches run meetings with Biblical solutions for personal problems, such as drug addiction. At a recent meeting held at Oxford Valley Chapel, modern psychology labels were refuted as being pagan, which does not help people.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;

    I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

 Do not be like the horse or the mule,

    which have no understanding

but must be controlled by bit and bridle

    or they will not come to you.

Many are the woes of the wicked,

    but the Lord’s unfailing love

    surrounds the one who trusts in him.

 Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous;
    sing, all you who are upright in heart!

-Psalm 32: 8-11

Now What After Freedom From Voluntary Slavery?

Like the slaves after the emancipation proclamation, those who set themselves free from the voluntary slavery of drug addiction have to make a plan for their new- found freedom. They must learn how to adjust to the straight world and stay clean. They must learn how to deal with life on its own terms.

Using legal, shrink prescribed drugs is no way out. Psychotropic drugs just don’t cut it!

“A psychoactive drug, psycho pharmaceutical, or psychotropic is a chemical substance that changes brain function and results in alterations in perception, mood, consciousness or behavior. These substances may be used medically; recreationally; to purposefully improve performance or alter one’s consciousness; as entheogens; for ritual, spiritual, or shamanic purposes; or for research. Some categories of psychoactive drugs, which have therapeutic value, are prescribed by physicians and other healthcare practitioners. Examples include anesthetics, analgesics, anticonvulsant and antiparkinsonian drugs as well as medications used to treat neuropsychiatric disorders, such as antidepressants, anxiolytics, antipsychotics, and stimulant medications. Some psychoactive substances may be used in the detoxification and rehabilitation programs for persons dependent on or addicted to other psychoactive drugs.” -Wikipedia:

On his website, nouthetic.org, Dr. Adams, founder of the Biblical Counseling movement wrote: “The use of psychotropic drugs… inhibits the body from functioning as it should. It is that use of medicine that we deplore. Mood changing drugs affect a person in such a way that the benefits of pain and other unpleasant feelings are not realized. Discomfort was designed to call attention to some underlying problem (organic or non-organic) so that it might be dealt with… What we do deplore is the use of medicine to deal with problems that have no organic cause. We are adverse to masking those difficulties with medicine. For instance, if one’s conscience is troubling him by triggering unpleasant feelings, we think that the solution to the problem is not found in drugs but in dealing with whatever it is that activated the conscience in the first place. In such cases the counselor deals with sin, not with the feelings.”

There’s no difference between street drugs and so-called medications to modify your mind.

The use of valium to deal with problems is depicted in The Rolling Stones’ Mothers Little Helper.

Kids are different today,”

I hear ev’ry mother say

Mother needs something today to calm her down

And though she’s not really ill

There’s a little yellow pill

She goes running for the shelter of a mother’s little helper

And it helps her on her way, gets her through her busy day

Mother’s little helper seems to help, but it doesn’t. Instead of properly disciplining her kids, she relies on a chemical solution, which offers temporary relief but ends in death:

Doctor please, some more of these

Outside the door, she took four more…

Until finally, the mother overdoses:

The pursuit of happiness just seems a bore

And if you take more of those, you will get an overdose

No more running for the shelter of a mother’s little helper

They just helped you on your way, through your busy dying day

There is a better way to deal with life. Without drugs.

But it’s not just a matter of putting off the old but putting on the new. No longer should the drug abuser hang around old “friends” in the dark world of drugs but find friends who have gotten their act together without drugs.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices.” Colossians 3: 5-9

Drug abusers who have been emancipated should hang out with those who follow Jesus and show the fruits of the spirit.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23

Being industrious is a key to stay straight and be a productive member of society. If not a job, then volunteer work, hobbies. A few years back, when I, a Prodigal Son came back after having wandered from the faith and having big problems, I volunteered in a food pantry, then went on to return to writing, trying to persuade others to do the right thing.

It may be a drag getting old, but it is much worse spending your days in the voluntary slavery of destructive behavior. It’s not too late to teach an old dog new tricks!

In Memory of A Godly Man

My Dad, George Drinnan, was a Dad who was there through thick and thin. He disciplined me when I was bad, but was always there for me. Dad played baseball with my brother, sister and I, which he referred to as “my three sons.”

He introduced me to the woods, which I grew to love. When other families went to the shore, Dad took the family camping. I am the oldest. When I was little, Dad used to take me for walks in the woods in the Lorraine Gardens section of Somerton, PA, which, in the late 50s, still had woods, with Rusty, our cocker spaniel. It was a magical time. I remember walking past the forts where there were big kids (ten years old and up). I had no fear of them; a bigger kid was with me. Abandoned railroad tracks seemed to magically appear in the woods, as if that’s the only place they were.

For the longest time, Dad told me the story where Rusty used to swim in the pond at Fisher’s Pool, where ducks also swam. After the ducks got used to Rusty swimming in their pool, they let him swim with them. Rusty became an honorary duck. He was the lead duck, the point of the V.

My Dad was a character. On one occasion, when other campers were making noise after campground quiet hours started, Dad cupped his hands and announced something like “Quiet Hours Are In Effect; So Quiet Down.”

Like father like son. Dad was a church elder. On one occasion, my grandfather introduced himself as “George Drinnan Sr.”, father of the elder Drinnan.

Although I rebelled against the Christian faith, Dad continued to bring me up in the faith, not just by word, but by example. He never presented himself as being perfect, but as a sinner saved by grace. Dad lived his faith. He was committed to my Mom and us kids.

My Dad was principled. On one occasion, as church organist, he had a problem with the pastor cutting a verse in Martin Luther’s “A Mighty Fortress”, which he said left the devil in charge. He stopped playing the rest of the service. A visitor, who happened to be a man of means, thought the organ broke down and donated money to the church.

Today I continue to grow in the faith. Dad planted the seed. Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. When I viewed Dad to pay my respects, he looked peaceful.

When a friend asked me if my Dad feared death, I said no because he knows where he is going. For my Dad, death had no sting! He has returned to the Lord.