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I am alcoholic. Very alcoholic. A “fifth-of-hard-liquor-a-day at 25 years old” type of alcoholic.

And I was in a horrendous place when I first met Jesus.

I was sober two years but was seeing the bottle loom large in front of me again and I knew that drinking was sure to come in short order if something didn’t happen to stop it.

I was in an emotional vice grip. There was so much stress and pressure I thought my head would explode. Emotionally, mentally, spiritually, I was living in a filthy, dirty shack.  I was filthy dirty, living in a filthy, dirty, shack.

All I want to say in this post is that, it doesn’t matter how shabby the shack you live in is; how much it is in disarray; how untidy it is; how much of a wreck it is; how dirty it is. This is not about your Aunt Dottie or you Uncle Dave. ……….. this is about Jesus.

Don’t wait.

Don’t wait until you are ready to pray the formal prayer that you’re supposed to pray when you invite Jesus into your shack. He will come.

Don’t keep your door tightly closed in fear that He will be disgusted with you, or judgmental of you and how you present yourself. He doesn’t care how you invite Him in. Take my word for it. He won’t mind – at all.

I know this from experience. He will love you – for exactly who and what you are.

My shack was just about as disgusting as it could be when I invited Him into it. And I was just about as disgusting as I could be too. And I had the manners of a baboon.

But I was so scared. I knew the bottle was right around the corner, ready to swallow me up again. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I knew I was in dire need of help.

Because I didn’t know what else to do, I finally flung my door open for Him to come into my shack. I didn’t say the “sinner’s prayer”. I was too messed up to say the “sinners prayer”. I didn’t even know that there was a “sinners prayer” to pray. I just asked Him to come in, in the only way I knew how. In a desperate cry I said…

“I’m so alone. I need a friend. I so very much need a friend.”

This was all that was needed – to open the door for Him.

He burst into my life.

And you know what? All He did was hug me and tell me how glad He was to be invited.

How do I know He was Jesus and not some satanic demon? I know about satanic demons. I lived in a house full of them when I was growing up. They’re horrible, and their only delight is to see you suffer; so that you’ll throw more dirt around to make everyone else suffer too.

But Jesus is different. Very slowly; gently; kindly; lovingly; patiently; He’s helping me turn my dirty little shack into a beautiful, loving home. One in which I try to invite as many other shack-dwellers into as will come.

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Though I’ve never said the “sinner’s prayer”, those who have read some of my posts will attest to the fact that I am overcoming my sins. In the power of God through Jesus Christ, I am truly overcoming. My major sin was alcoholic drinking, and my repentance is… continually asking God for the strength to refrain from this behavior. Something I have been refraining from since 1980. Also, since then, many other sins have shown themselves to me. Sins which I have been, in His grace, love, wisdom, and power, working on… repenting, for these last 32 years.

The next post in this series is the first one on “My Testimony”:  My Testimony