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November 2022 Newsletter

From The Desk of Dave McLean

We talk about Faith a lot at our Bible Studies, because Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” In our discussion of faith we talk about “The Substance of Our Faith”. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance [assurance] of things hoped for, the evidence [proof, conviction] of things not seen.” How can Faith be the substance and evidence of things not seen? We’re going to look at that. It is appropriate to examine our faith. We may have faith in our neighbor or friend. They will probably not let us down, but they might under certain circumstances. We might have faith that our car will start in the morning. But in truth that’s more of an expectation or hope, because there are days that we know it won’t. We might have faith in our money and its ability to purchase the things we need or desire. But, my faith in our currency is deflating faster than our currency, which is deflating pretty fast. I have more faith in gold or silver, which is what our currency is supposed to be backed by. Our faith is relative to that which we are placing our faith in! In some things or people, I have little faith, and in some things or people, I have no faith. I’ve run across a few people over the years who have worked their way into my “no faith” category. They didn’t start there, but they earned their way there. I want to believe, but history shows that I’d be foolish to believe. I can forgive, but trust and faith are earned. In some things or people, I have great faith. But under certain circumstances there could even be a failure here. I know a few that are as good as gold, but might they, like Peter, find a tipping or failing point? Or might I do the same? So Faith is measured to that which we are placing our faith in. Familiarity in what or who we are placing our faith in also comes into play. In some cases, our faith decreases as we come to know the thing or person more clearly. In other cases, our faith increases as the things or people we are placing our faith in pass the test of faith. So our faith can grow or drop as tests are passed or failed. Even gold can fail, in Genesis 47 there was a famine and even the gold and silver failed. The people needed food! Is there anything or anyone we can fully place our hope in? And not expect failure? I have found One! The Lord!!! He is the only Being that has my 5 star, 100% rating. No failure guaranteed - for eternity! There is no close second. There is a very large gap between my most trusted man and God, try matching that! I guarantee my construction work until I pack up my tools and leave the job. Free work comes free of guarantee. Okay, I’ll come back, but I’m not near as trustworthy as the Lord is. He doesn’t get paid also! In my book, God’s rating is such that even those things that He has not proven yet to me, I know where He’ll land. He is the only Absolute Real Deal!!! My question to the skeptic is; How can you place faith in anything or anyone and not place it in God? That is foolish. Truth be known; It’s not because they trust other things, other gods or other people more than God! Our sin, our bitterness or our ignorance cause us to turn from trusting the only One we should trust! For me, I can and do hang my faith on the Lord, enough so that I’m willing to live under His Authority. In addition, I’ve allowed Him to change the total trajectory of my life, time and focus. All this for a God I cannot even see. Or can I see? Am I a fool or a nut for following this God Who is not seen with the naked eye? Or are they fools for abandoning the obvious Lord of creation Who is “seen” everywhere. Is Faith based upon hopes, dreams and fairy tales or is it based upon facts, truth and reality? For those who don’t believe or “see”, they assume that we must have the same experience, that we must not be able to see also. For those who believe or “see”, God is so evident and real that we find it difficult to believe that they don’t see the obvious right before their eyes. In saying these things, I’m not trying to be disrespectful, I’m just trying to take an honest look at the issue, and show that there is substance and evidence to our faith. We are not trusting in an unseen God, He is very well seen and I’ll be taking a closer look at this over the next few newsletters. I share this to strengthen your faith, so you might be able to strengthen the faith of others. To be continued.

Blessings.


 

My Story-Truth by Juanita

Growing up wasn’t your typical life for me. My parent’s were deep in addiction and also sold drugs. The family from the outside looking in was what everyone thought they wanted. A big house, new cars, boats and vacations but it was all false. I call it “The Family Portrait!” Every Sunday, I would ride my bike to church and I loved school. I did all the after-school activities and events. These were the only places I felt safe. Every summer I would get to be with my grandma who I considered my mom. Unfortunately, we would move away to Alaska and the summers with grandma stopped. By 15 my mom and step-dad divorced and we were back in Montana. My mom never really knew how to parent and tried to be a friend instead. She is the one who introduced me to crank (which is now meth) at age 15 and then cocaine at 16. In those years, I came to believe everyone’s parents were that way and it was normal. At some point I realized that it wasn’t normal, or even right, but addiction had me. I bought my own tanning salon and my life again seemed picture perfect. This was so far from the truth. I sank myself and I embezzled money from my business partner. I turned myself in and demanded to be prosecuted which eventually happened. I still couldn’t stop my drug use and would face revocation for not only this but assaulting my sister. This led me to 8 1/2 years of continued sobriety. I got married and had my 3 children. Drugs weren’t done for me sadly and the drug use led to divorce. Feeling like I had nothing to live for, I dove even further into my addiction and would eventually be charged with drug distribution. I was again put on probation. I would end up in jail and then drug court but each time I completed, I would start using again. I couldn’t stop so I went to treatment. My use had really increased by this time. I used the excuse that my grandma and mom both had cancer to continue to use. But honestly, I would have used any excuse. On February 26th, 2018, I received a DUI and that day I lost custody of my two boys. Two and a half weeks later, my grandmother passed away. This was followed by my mother dying 30 hours later in March of 2018. I was fortunate probation allowed me to be there when they passed. I then entered DUI court. I don’t take credit for the next year of sobriety or surviving any of it. If it weren’t for God, I wouldn’t have stayed sober or alive. On March 4th, 2020 a month after getting off probation, I relapsed and lost everything to my addiction again. I became homeless in June of 2022. On July 1st, my desire to use was removed from me. I ended up applying for treatment that day and was expecting I would have to wait weeks for a bed date. God had other plans and on the 5th of July, I was accepted into RCM in Martin City, MT. I really hadn’t noticed the desire to use was removed until about halfway through treatment. I applied to several places and was gracefully accepted by Peggy’s House at A Ray of Hope. I went to a church celebration I was invited to and on a whim, I was baptized. I am so HAPPY that I made that choice. GOD IS GOOD and I am continually being blessed. I love the family life here at Peggy’s House. I am grateful every day for this new life.



 


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