Wednesday, August 20, 2014

a story from Glenn



Well my dear ones,


Last week, my friend, Glenn, told his story

in front of a large crowd of people  

and it was some pretty intense stuff!


Have you ever felt despair?

Have you ever felt abandoned by God?

Or wonder if God even exists?

Or know anyone who meets

one of those criteria?

If so, then read on.


Back when he was a teenager,

Glenn tended to fluff off in school

because he was really smart

and had a photographic memory,

so he found he could get by without studying.


At age 13, he won a local science fair

and got the chance to go to the nationals

in Atlanta.

Along with a bunch of other kids,

he got taken by a chaperone to see the movie,

“Chariots of Fire.”

It wasn’t what he or any of the other kids

had wanted to see

(they wanted to see “Cat People,”

 an old 1942 horror film,

 but the chaperone wasn’t going for it. =>);

however, Glenn wound up inspired by it.

He decided he was going to apply himself,

reach his potential, and go to Oxford.


But then at age 14, Glenn got into

the world of drugs and alcohol.

He was drunk or high all the time,

so he did poorly in high school,

dropped out, and had to get his GED later.


A small private Methodist college

gave him a second chance,

but he screwed that up, too.


At age 21, at 4:00 AM,

he went to rob a small Methodist church.

He figured there’d be no one there

in the middle of the night,

but when he opened the office door,

there was the pastor sitting at his desk.


Glenn asked,

“What are you doing here?


And the pastor asked,

“What are YOU doing here?


So Glenn broke down, told all,

and even pulled out his drugs.


That pastor took them, ran down the hall

and locked himself in a bathroom,

proceeding to flush the whole mess.

Glenn, realizing he hadn’t yet paid for them,

tried to beat the door down,

but the pastor kept the door locked

until he had gotten rid of them all.


Then the man brought Glenn into the church

for a “come to Jesus meeting,”

where he turned his life over to Christ,

after which the pastor told him to

go home and get some rest.


[Shakespearian aside: “OK, nothing really

Earth-shattering so far; I’ve heard many

similar stories.  But now comes the part

where some really wild stuff happens;

hence, is diverges from the

up-to-this-point similar stories =>]


Glenn woke up rested, yet still needing a fix;

so he figured, “Well, so much for the Jesus,

Power-of-God stuff; I guess I’m going to heaven,

but meanwhile, I’ve got to suffer through

the hell of drugs for the rest of my life.”


He went to pick up the phone to call his dealer,

but as he did, it rang, and it was one of his

old mentors, someone who had believed in

his potential, and who invited him to

a church service that night.

A bit flustered, Glenn agreed to go.


The man drove him up to Macon GA,

to a “spirit-filled Baptist church.”

Glenn was a bit freaked out by some of the

stuff he saw going on, but he had to stay,

as his crafty teacher had picked him up,

so Glenn had no car and no way to get home

(we’re talking about roughly 30 miles).


As he was trying to make the best of it,

and waiting for things to wind down,

an evangelist from India got up and said,

“I need to pray for you, and you, and you,

and you, and you,...and for a young man

who has been in the grip of drugs and alcohol

for his entire life.”


Knowing that person was him,

Glenn walked to the front of the church

and lined up at the alter.

But then when he saw the man

putting his hands on people’s heads

and praying over them, he’s all like,

“No way, man!  He’s not touching my head!,”

so he snuck back into the crowd.


When the evangelist was done praying

for everyone else, he said,

“We still haven’t prayed for that young man

 who needs to be delivered from

 the grip of drugs and alcohol.”


Glenn said the next thing he knew

it was like in the old movie,

“The Ten Commandments,”

where Charlton Heston (as Moses)

raises his staff

and parts the Red Sea.

The crowd parted, and he was face to face

with the man, who came forward and said,

“I’m not going to put my hands on your head,

 I’m going to put my hands on your stomach,

 because you have had a hunger for God

 your whole life, but Satan has perverted it.”


Then the man named every drug Glenn ever took,

but not one that he’d never taken,

and prayed over him for deliverance,

from which point he was delivered of

any craving for drugs or alcohol.


(I wish it was like that for everyone,

 but, I mean, how cool is that?)


He became an associate youth pastor,

and for the next 25 years he traveled to

some pretty desperate places in order to

give people hope.


Then, he got the call from God to leave

the ministry he was in

(like even though the lead pastor

 begged him to stay).


There’s not a lot of people that will hire

an ex-addict; the job offers weren’t pouring in.

But finally, he got a job in Hawkinsville,

and began to really apply himself.


He also started to go back to college.


After a couple of years,

the unthinkable happened;

he was offered a Rhodes Scholarship

at Oxford!

Here it was, the dream of his life!


However, as he was now married,

with a wife, 3 kids, and a cat,

he couldn’t afford to be away for 2 years,

so he had to turn down his life-long dream.


Glenn was crushed.

It was like after 25 years of serving God,

God said, “You’re not good enough,” and,

on top of that, he saw his dream,

only to realize that he wasn’t going to

get to realize it.


However, a year later,

his company came to him and told him

that they were going to sponsor

4 students that year,

and that they were going to pay for Glenn

to finish up his final Oxford.


So, this October, along with all the

twenty-somethings at Oxford,

there will be one 48-year-old guy,

living his dream.


That’s awesome!

And I drew some take-aways from it.


First off, what struck me is this:

if there was no God,

then how in the heck

did that evangelist KNOW out of

the hundreds of drugs he could have named

to name every drug Glenn ever took,

while never naming one that he didn’t?


Also, God was faithful all the time,

even when it wasn’t obvious to Glenn;

in retrospect, he saw that if he hadn’t

been called out of the ministry and

into his current job,

then he wouldn’t have been where he

needed to be for God to fulfill his dream.



God is faithful all the time,

and has better plans for us

than we do for ourselves.

(by the way, I’m reading that off the wall;

 My wife put a sign over my desk,

 “For I know the plans I have for you,”

 declares the Lord,

“plans to prosper you

 and not to harm you,

 plans to give you hope and a future.”

 --- Jeremiah 29:11

Unless you’ve read this blog for a few years

you may not know that that is the word I got

from the kindly angelic lady who spoke to me

in the midst of my clinical depression.

It lifted me up then as it has ever since)


As Glenn put it,

he got to live out

what King David said in the Psalms:


“I would have despaired unless

 I had believed that I would see

 the goodness of the Lord

 in the land of the living.”

 --- Psalm 27:13&14


King David got to see it.


Glenn got to see it.


I pray that all of you will also

see the goodness of the Lord

in the land of the living.




Have a great week. =)


grace, peace, and love to you,




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