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1. A Cold Confession

Doug Batchelor
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Doug Batchelor

Speaker and Director of Amazing Facts


  • June 15, 2016
    7:15 PM
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I'm glad to be here now what I'm sharing with you tonight is going to be a little different for one thing it might be different from what was advertised it doesn't mean everything this week is but I just felt impressed through. Open up and share with you a little bit. Something a sermon. Something new. Called cold confession. And I am going to make a long confession in my message tonight now there will be a point. So you have to stay with me. You might wonder where in the world is he going with all of this. I'm just going to ask you to trust me and stick around. But what I'm going to tell you is a true Odyssey a personal odyssey that I'm hoping God will help you know how to apply to your own life. But the pastor does that. Many of you love and respect. I'm telling you that I was an addict for thirty years. And I'm not talking about drugs not directly anyway. Talking about alcohol cigarettes. I had an addiction to ice cream. See I knew you'd laugh. Now does my cold confession. And I say it a little bit tongue in cheek but I'm really serious. Now I need to make make it clear right at the beginning I am not suggesting hope you're all hearing this part. Someone's going to tune in. Halfway through this broadcast and think we're really weird but I'm not suggesting that ice cream is a sin. Exactly. Or. It could be for you. It became one for me. And some things that might be OK for you might not be OK for somebody else. But and it goes way back I don't know exactly how or it started but one of my earliest memories when I was in southern California a place called hunger actually lived with my grandmother and it was all country back then and they had goats and chickens and now it's universal studios around there in Southern California just very different. They used to have this music you would hear coming from up the street and it was called the Good Humor man do any of you remember. And he ended a little white truck and he would wear a white uniform and had a little chain thing on his side for the kids and he would take his little truck it had several compartment refrigerated doors in it. I don't think it was really refrigerated they threw dry ice in there. I remember once he pulled out the dry ice and I saw it steam and I thought it was a coolest thing in the world and I made the mistake once of putting my tongue on it. I don't need to tell you what happened but you already know I don't try. But that was to me it was you know it was almost like the second coming. When you hear that music it was in jelly. Because in Southern California in the summertime. It gets very hot and not everyone had air conditioning back then and we would hear that music and all the kids in the neighborhood would cluster at a few. Kind of pre-determined spots where the truck would stop and I'd go with my brother we go running and we would beg grandma for some change. You know wasn't a lot you know it's like somewhere between five and twenty five cents the penny and what you got and he'd pull out one of these treats. And usually was pretty jovial sometimes you get a good humor man that wasn't very humorous most of them are pretty nice. And he'd seen a swarm of kids that would all huddle around and he'd be to listen to them scream out their orders and I remember some of my favorites were they had my favorite was of a. Nella ice cream on a stick that was dipped somehow in aren't you. So it had like an armed coating to you know. Yeah those are great they still make them. Oh yeah it's great. And then they had what they call the Rainbow rocket. It was a double popsicle that had all different colors probably all kinds of food coloring and chemicals in the evidence really good and they'd break it you could break it in half and give one half to a friend if you want you to split the Rainbow Rock it was all Rainbow got all these different colors and and then they had the cones you know the and it was just it was the highlight of our day but grandma said I live with my Jewish grandma parents had gone through a divorce and my brother and I live with grandma and grandma said it's a treat. I can't give you money for the Good Humor man every day and I'm thinking this may be where my life of crime began. Because to see all the other kids run out to the truck and it stopped right in front of our house. And not be able to get something when the dealer came through town. Was so devastating that I remember my grandmother she hung her black purse on the door knob in her bedroom and I heard the music and I said Grandma grandma and she said Nah not every day. It's a treat. You can't have it every day. He's not good for to eat ice cream every day and I said Listen grandma but I remember I dug around in her purse one day and inside her purse she had another little purse you know the little change purse and it was back and I was like four or five years old but I still vividly remember struggling to take that little twist the snap and open it up. And dig out some change and I remember I did it a couple times in the one day she said she saw me she said. Where'd you get that I don't know but I told her somehow she Joe down found out that I had taken some change out of her purse. And. Boy I tell you my grandma was tough. She was a tough lady. Yeah I remember one time I stuck my tongue out at her. And she said You look so adorable. When you do that. Could you do that again. And I stuck out my tongue and she quickly slapped me on the bottom of my chin and made me bite my tongue. Not today she'd be arrested for that but back then. How many of you remember some of your and if you had grandparents or parents like that they just want to tolerate sassiness at all but she's resting in peace now so I can tell longer but my grandma was really tough. And I remember she taught me a lesson about stealing. Actually I She caught me several times once she tells me I don't remember this. She said. Somehow I stole a bow and arrow from Woolworths and she still doesn't know how I got it in my pants. And got out of the door but does she try she took me once to the police station. This is true. And she wanted the policeman to talk some fear and to me about stealing and he said you'll be in jail and you won't get anything but bread and water and I don't care. I was really really stammering and she whispered to the policeman I know now and he he said all you'll get to eat is peas. And my my grandmother knew I hated peeves. So I remembered the ice cream being a big part of my life back then and then I went to live with mom in New York City and it was a special treat two or three times a week. You know we get together as a family my mother and my brother and I and she get us a bowl of and the whole or strawberry ice cream and we'd watch the Wonderful World of Disney and it was just like the family. Bonding time maybe there is this mental association. I'm not going to psychoanalyze my ice cream addiction but it was rooted in something you know I heard a study and I meant to print it out and I left it on my laptop. I think there's a Norwegian group. Hollaback they did a study on the chemical effect of fat on the brain fatty solutions and ice cream is mostly a fat. And when they got a number of volunteers and they must have paid them dearly because they had the volunteers except a feeding tube into their stomachs. And they wouldn't tell them what they were feeding them some of them got a salt solution some of them would get no there's nothing harmful but some of them would get of fatty solution some of them to salt solution or acidic solution and they noticed and then they have pictures and things go on the screen and they measured their brain responses in the chemicals and they said that when they introduced a fatty solution into their stomachs. It had the same effect on their brain as the best depressants. It produced this comfort feeling and so you always wondered why it made you feel so good deed something like french fries or Rice came. There's actually it's it's like a anti-depressant. So maybe that had something to do it. But I got where there is Association I just really like ice cream from moms I went to military school and I still remember to this day you know I went to the same military school is not a trump. He was a senior but I was in elementary school. I want to know I'm younger than here in New York Military Academy. And one of the highlights of the week was we went to this cafeteria every now and then they would toss an ice cream. And which on our tray with the other mush they fed us and it was what they called Neapolitan it was in one ice cream sandwich they had Shaukat the nullah and strawberry and I always got they confused with Napoleon I couldn't figure out what Napoleon had to do is very chocolate vanilla. But I would trade people my main course for their ice cream and Metta fact I remember I would break off the chocolate never to care much for chocolate I'd try to trade the chocolate part of my sandwich for other people's vanilla and strawberry. But those were vivid memories it was just so important to me. I screamed ran away in and out of jail time went by then I went to live with dad. And living with that. The ice cream addiction got worse. Now some of you remember the days when they would have a milkman that would bring the milk to your door. Well in Miami and I looked online and the company still in business. It was called McArthur dairy they've been there for years but back when I was growing up they actually had milk men and my dad lived on kind of a very nice neighborhood and and they would still deliver to the door and my stepmother would fill out what's what she wanted and there's like two or three days a week he'd come by was an every day but she would put ice cream down he would not only bring ice cream and she had to pick it up right away would melt there in Miami. They'd give you a fresh Tropicana arm she said was squeeze within twenty four hours. I was really good. So you know I started almost every night. And Betty we had a couple freezers in the house. And almost every night I would eat. A third or half a pint of an L. ice cream with Tropicana arm she says it reminded me of those things. The Good Humor Man and the I was a great taste and I remember Betty always complaining who ate all the ice cream and I could eat a meal so I was stuck. Off to the gills and still. Eat half a pint or more of ice cream and then things went from bad to worse. My dad said I had to go get a job. And guess where I got a job. Baskin Robins. So true and thirty one flavors. Now that's not because they have thirty one flavors. They've got thousands of flavors they guarantee to have thirty one flavors at all times in the store and I remember Mr Leask Ah it was he bought the store. He opened it I was there for the grand opening he trained all the first employees I was one of the first I was fourteen years old I was one of the first employees young younger than some of the others but he liked me because I come out a military school and I was a clean that you can ask Karen about that some day but I am a little O.C.D. about things being in order and polished and clean and I just can't stand disorganization and and I knew how to run the buffing machine the buffalo and the lame floors because in military school we had the buff Lord and he was really impressed by that as you know those big buffing machines Iraq come up they go on when you're walking down the go. You can hurt yourself you don't know how to use one of those things. And so when I got the job there. I finally got up the guts to ask three of the interview in the training I said no. Mr Scott. Are we allowed to eat the ice cream. Isn't of course whatever you want. He said you'll get tired of it. I never even got close to getting tired of. And I can't count how many times that I just skip lunch the days I was working and I just had a great big old plate ice cream. And I go through up and down you know in all these different flavors and I did do that I'll have some daiquiri ice and. The criminal and I just mix them all up and eat it and it is amazing how God made teenagers where your bodies can endure that kind of abuse. Like I think back on what I eat and I just can't believe it and I was still able to function a little bit. After that really was amazing. So I ate a lot of ice cream and every day. And I never get tired of it. And. You know it says in the Bible first Corinthians ten thirty one. Therefore whether you eat or whether you drink or whatever you do do all to the glory of God Now God winked at these times of ignorance back then because I really meant it. Now I was just a lost pagan or you know kid. You don't hear an amazing fact. It's not really it's just trivia. But some of you know Clifford Goldstein. Who is been the editor of our Sabbath school. Quarterly for many years. He and I were visiting just ran into each other in Canada during a general conference meeting wandering around we went and got some food together started talking and. Said Where do you go to school. We're going to I said well you know I went to Florida all from Florida where and I said Well I went to school in Miami Beach called Nautilus and Clifford said I went to nautilus. And so we're you know lo and behold we went to the same school here you get these two Jewish atheist kids going to the same school they're in Florida. One of them and it's a Sabbath school lesson the other one teaches it in that interesting. I don't know this trivia but I always thought that's kind of interest and we always tease each other about having gone to school together when we were eight as we didn't really know each other back then though. But dumb. So I didn't know back then. But then I you know I ended up in the cave. Different things happen. When I lived up in the desert in the mountains you had no refrigerator had no freezer. No way to keep ice cream but one of the main reasons and this is true. It was a two and a half hour hike up to where I lived but I would hike all the way to town for ice cream and then I have to hike back up again. Now I don't know if any of you remember the days when the thrifty S. drugstore had ice cream for a nickel a scoop and I would go all the way down to Palm Springs I had no money. I would panhandle and I'd get fifteen cents and you could get a triple. Three scoops one on top of another of ice cream. I had no money for food. I had no money for the you know the necessities of life and I would spend my only fifteen cents on ice cream. Are you starting to see where this is going. Now it's a sign of an addiction. You haven't met a person that would take their last five dollars and spend it on whiskey when they have nothing to eat. I remember one time spending my last two or three dollars on a can of Bugler tobacco because I had no cigarettes and. Couldn't deny money to pay bills or pay back people you old but you always got money for your addiction. Now my making it clear I'm not saying if you eat ice cream man a fact I say expect after sermon like this you're probably going to all go home and get ice cream. Just because I'm making you think about it so much. But for me this really became a problem that I haven't even begun to tell you how bad it got. So I'd hike all the way to town. And to get Panhandle big for money and then I'd take my money and I'd go buy a triple scoop and you know it was pretty special. When you live in the desert. I remember one day we were out in front of thrifty S. and we were panhandling I was with a couple of my street. Buddies you know these are just some of the derelicts I guess that's what I was back in the live on the streets some kid came out of thrifty as he had just gotten his parents had gotten him a triple scoop. Triple decker ice cream cone. And he walked out and you know at thrifty is the same guy that was scooping ice cream was also running the cash register and stocking shelves he wasn't really good at it it was one of the many things that they did there. And he didn't press the first scoop down into the cone. I was pretty good when I worked at Baskin Robins. They used to make us continue to weigh our scoops two and a half ounces every scoop you had to weigh it make sure they put it on paper and put it back in their view we had a look. Qantas because they don't want to give away too much ice cream. And so the guy there thrifty is didn't take this kid's first scoop and press it down enough the ice cream sticks to the ice cream. OK but if you don't get it in the cone and that kid came out as hot day here in Palm Springs California and he went around the corner with his parents and he was looking the other way and his ice cream fell off the cone and landed on the street but that's the way it fell it did not fall and land sideways it fell and landed upright. For it to probably couldn't repeat it. If you tried it a hundred times but it landed where the top scoop just a tumble down it landed stick and the other two screwed for sticking up and the kid started to cry and the parents of that's OK fifteen cents let's go back and they went back and I'm standing of my friends were looking at it and were thinking it's perfectly good. He didn't hear it's you know was one hundred degrees out if someone doesn't go after that pretty quick. And it was only the top of one scoop that was touching the sidewalk the other was suspended the kid had even looked at. Yeah. What a terrible waste. It's true. And before I could act on what I was thinking my friend would call the Little Richie. He was very short and he got down on all fours there on the sidewalk and began to eat the ice cream. And he told me look at this is not good. Nothing wrong. Was kind of sectors he got there first. And I might have tried it except I didn't want to try it after Richie had gone in to file it. But you got to be pretty desperate to even think that way. Well then I moved from the cave down into Palm Springs I went into the meat business and I don't know if any of you ever read my testimony but I was selling steak and now I'm a vegetarian but asone steak and. And at the end of the day. I would buy. I would buy a half gallon of ice cream and I'm not exaggerating I would sit there and watch as black and white television and eat. A whole plane what's that half of court. I did half of it. And that would be after a meal to now you might be thinking past you don't how do you get away with it because you never got very big I look at pictures of myself back then I think. Why that it's just the five is any kind of metabolic logic because I was just one hundred thirty pounds and I knew I was just eating ice cream like a pig every day. Now it wasn't just like come to town every few days it was every day and if I didn't I started feeling like I was left out. Then moved up into the hills in Kogelo. Our nearest neighbors. We still have the property when I was where I was baptized forty years ago of in the hills in Northern California and you might be. Didn't I flew up there with a couple of our amazing facts team people have asked me for years as a pastor Doug why don't you do a little country living segment on you know what you've learned about livin in the hills as we were using solar and all this thirty years ago. So finally we videotape something it's been edited now you'll enjoy it kind of country living with a caveman so we'll. It'll be a youtube it'll be free. Anyway so went up there but to get the ice cream. I had to drive thirty miles. Not to mention the gas and if for whatever reason if I ran out. I go all the way down to town and if I got to that town. Before I have to the stores closed the next town was forty miles beyond that. I can think of once or twice I drove that far. Now is that an addiction. I tell your friends I had a really bad. Now the mean time along the way I became a vegetarian. So here I am a vegetarian and I was very strict about it. I mean when I had the meat business I became a vegetarian before I was baptized I've not eaten meat. Except some of you probably snuck it into a potluck here and there that I don't know about. I've been into a few things a potluck and I looked around I thought I'm not saying anything but. Or restaurant you know but here I am I'm a vegetarian I'd brag about my vegetarianism. But then at night I'd see Questor myself and I gorge on ice cream years ago they had you know if that's by the way that's kind of called hypocrisy. Something I learned when you become a Christian and you give up all of the obvious sin and you're you know drinking and smoking and things like that. If you've got anything left. That's sort of socially acceptable you overcompensate. I never. I knew people ate so much sugar until I became a Christian and their peoples I don't drink and I don't smoke but I went to a lot of Baptist potluck man there's just a lot of donuts and cakes and things like that. It's like overcompensating and not just Baptists potlucks you know gluttony is a sin. I was a very feeble a man but I just told you the truth. Be aware list your hearts be over charged with eating and drinking and the cares of this life less that day overtake you as a thief. Paul talks about those who stomach is their God their belly is their God That's where I was friends. And the reason it was easy to become a vegetarian was a selfish reason I learned about meat an all kinds of rotten things about it and I just said well I don't want to do that to myself I wasn't thing about the glory of God or think about I don't want to I want to live longer but boy ice cream. Was tough and then I got to the point where I gave up milk. And I gave up cheese and I enjoyed telling people. I don't use milk. I use so I muck. I use almond milk rice dream felt a little sanctimonious. I do eat a pint of Haagen Das every night. I started feeling convicted. I went to New Mexico to do mission work and you know one of the bad things that happened when I went to Baskin Robbins and I not only became a user I became a dealer. And then I when I was in New Mexico. I remember we had some friends that work in the mission field with us. And you know you get close to people and pretty soon they know what you're. Secrets are and I as a brother so on. So I said I want a little ice cream. Oh sure I had rather me. And we would go buy a pint of Haagen us and then cut it and have one take the top off we would cut it with a knife and half flip it into and I say you take half you know the live it's there sealed. At the top. So you take you have all to your wishes he'd eat right out of there. And then I preach on the health message. Good sermons on the health message you know what I said was true. But almost every day for years. I read somewhere. Average American eats forty eight pints of ice cream per year. The world record is the New Zealanders I don't know how much they eat but they eat more than the Americans. I just estimate that at the peak I was eating at least one hundred forty points a year. Because I was frequently eating. A half a pint a hog and I sometimes I'd eat the whole thing I'd be on the road in a hotel. And I would I always found out that seven eleven carries talking to us. And I would walk a mile or more. Yeah I thought I'd say I'm exercising I'm working it off. It doesn't matter. And as long as I can look in the mirror and the doctor says Doug your cholesterol spine has a Praise the Lord and then Haagen Das came out with something called Honey vanilla and I said well it says in the Bible. He's taking us to a land flowing with milk and honey. So what could be wrong. Now again most of you. This is not a problem for you. It was a problem for me anything that's not a faith is sand Niger's knew this that had a hold of me I Does had to have it every day. Now you know we're laughing as if it really it was a problem. And when I was in like is that when I was in New Mexico. I'd I guess I'd drive for miles every day have to have to have it and. If I didn't. It's almost like a go have the shakes or something. But I needed to satiate that it was almost like a mental addiction I've got to have my daily ice cream and it had a grip on me. Then I remember. I started becoming convicted and I thought well I need to get this. This can't be right. First of all hugging us is expensive. That's an expensive habit. That's almost like smoking it was like four dollars for a plane. So I tried to go a couple days without having it and it was tough going. One day. I mean Naaman civilization where got my own freezer and I could barely go one day without ice cream and then I'd go to the market and I'd find myself going back and forth in front of the aisle and I'd look at it and said Oh no no no I use missing. Yesterday you're really weird but it was that bad where I'd I get my groceries in the back of my mind I get the things that were just normal you know just chips and salsa the basics and I'd go up and down the aisle and. And. I'd look at it and I go around the store and I look at it. And sometimes I'd see it was on sale. And I think well Lord that must be a sign. You all heard about their name. Harvey worked in this cubicle in an office somewhere and he had a real problem with donuts and every day and he was getting bigger and bigger and and he knew and sometimes his friends would try to encourage them and they'd say R.V. is a you know what. I'm given the donuts. I'm given I'm done. Ice and the next day he'd be there and he had donuts bagel boxes known as some he give some to some of the other workers but that was his excuse for him to eat donuts he'd bring in for everybody else because you want to donuts and I know people that always baking cookies for the neighbors by the so they can keep a few to. And is that Harvey I thought you said you were swearing of donuts. He said Well you know I was but on my way to work this morning. I drove by the donut shop and I always have to drive by on my way to work. And there's always no parking there it's the parking is always full. And I said Lord if there's an empty parking place in front of the donut shop. Then I'll take that as a sign that you don't mind. And he said I only had to drive around the block six times before I found an empty apartment. He ever found that we find a way to do what we want to do. And I was doing that as fine an excuse as I was trying to rationalize and say no it's not what goes in your mouth that defiles you it's what comes out but you know sometimes what goes in your mouth will of mouth will affect what comes out. Do you know you can get drunk on ice cream. Counsels on diet in foods. Three thirty one. Some years milk in large amounts of sugar and much thinking that they are carrying out health reform but the sugar in the milk combined are liable to cause fermentation in the stomach and are less harmful. I did wonder how many times I went to bed drunk. On Ice cream from stomach. And this was a problem for years. I don't think I mentioned when I was living with mom in New York City. I had my tonsils out. I was constantly getting colds. I was always Norton couldn't breathe. From my nose and I actually had two surgeries on my nose. I thought it was a deviated septum the doctor then that it was my tonsils I just couldn't breathe. I later learned I was allergic to milk. But you know some people live with something like that for years and they never know they've got a problem because they've never spent one day in their life being healthy and if they were healthy for a day or two because it is you never made the connection what it was. I know there are some times I was up in the cave I go a week without seeing anyone I had no icecream felt great and I go eat the ice cream and I never make the connection that also I'm coughing and then snort and I can't breathe in. Terrible hay fever problems and and I didn't realize it. So. Yeah. And then I went through a period of withdraw all. I said I've got to get a grip on this because it's got a grip on me. It's expensive. You know one of the things that convicted me and I'm embarrassed now we're getting serious. Again I want to make it clear you get ice cream in your freezer. You may do that faith is not a problem for you you are we clear on that. Not trying to make this sin for you. It was a problem for me. It got so bad friends. Now I reluctant to mention this to you because I hope I don't lose your confidence but I'm just being open and honest with you. I would be speaking somewhere out of town and Bonnie my secretary has been since I've been with amazing fact she'd say do you need a rental car and it's all yeah give me a rental car and then she looked at the old I get. You're speaking at a hotel not too far from the airport in his or shuttle you sure you need a rental car and I'd say well I might want to go get something to eat. And I was afraid that if I didn't have wheels. I might not be able to get my icecream. And the only thing I might use the car for that weekend was to go to seven eleven Do you know how expensive that ice cream was and I hope that's not going to hurt donations to amazing factors. I told you this was a confession. I have since been convicted about that and I have made donations to amazing facts not that you can appease for your sins that way but I just said all the lord what the world was I thinking being honest with myself I finally realize what in the world are you doing. But you know when you're addicted. That's what you do you do the dumb people end up in jail doing things they normally would never do because they need to get money to get their fix. I'm sharing this message with you because we're talking about ice cream and I can do that in church without totally losing your confidence. But you realize at this point in the message we're not just talking about ice cream. You take the word icecream a race that and you write in. What your promise there might be ice cream for you on another might be someone else is ready to stand up as a man try the day out with you. I know every day. I've had some other guys i heard me talk about this is a I have exactly where you are but I was struggling and then for a while it was I get the victory. I go a few days and then I go to the market. And I go through the struggle and sometimes I was successful and sometimes I fail I do know is the Lord's got a sense of humor the market where we shop in Sacramento. One of our members works there in Baghdad and don't you just love it when you go to the supermarket and they cash your comments on what you're buying. And there I would be two or three pints of Haagen Dawson It's all somebody is going to party. Can I come. And I remember this dear sister. I'd walk in the store. And she was easy to spot and I'd see her from a distance and I had to hide from her. Because I was going to get some ice cream and she used to say to me. Hi. Where do you put all that ice cream. How do you. Wow Here You Come Again. Look at all that ice cream. Don't you love when people say stuff like that. So I look and I see she was there and I think and I think you know because hugging us is expensive stuff I think what Pastors should get paid a lot they can eat Haagen the house. I was working at the market where you can eat that we're going to eat the cheap stuff. And so I look and I'd wait until she went to somewhere else and I'd try to go do the self check out real quick. She make it a point to run over and say hi all looks like we're on another ice cream. She became my conscience. This is I'm absolutely serious this is what was going on I started going to a different store. Just because I was trying to you know do this and and have not have anybody know. But I noticed something that the week that I made it. I felt really good. And I could breathe and it was and you know I I it wasn't just that I was bragging here I'm a vegetarian and I don't use cheese I don't eat pizza and I stuffed myself on ice cream every night and it is it was it's really true. I don't get too technical with you. But having a nice ice cream was mostly fat. It didn't have hardly any skim milk and I was really allergic and. I had a much harder time when. You know eat cheese or if I drank milk in my cereal I really felt that but there was enough in there was making I go a few days with ice cream and I'm going home. I could breathe. I noticed you look at the old tapes of me preaching. You'll hear me keep my notes kind of gross but that's what happened. You know what that was as a vegetarian. How do need any normal ice cream every day and then ninety nine every night after the meeting. Ha. Going to us. I think sometimes if I was at a store where I couldn't get that I get something else but I'm telling you friend. It was bad. This went on for years and the Lord is convicting means in doing this is it got. It's got it. It's hooks on you you can't that you are controlled by the flesh and not by the Spirit but yours is the ice cream. I'm not going to drive off the road. Like you know drugs or something. I can pass the test of the highway patrolman draws a line you know if you find a script and I'd argue with myself and I've worked hard. And I've overcome in so many other areas. Laura I don't drink Lord I don't drink anymore I don't smoke cigarettes smoking was tough. I don't smoke and that's I'd say more compared to other people all. This is a little thing. You ever use those arguments but. It just controlled me. I remember my father was an alcoholic. He was a functioning alcoholic. Which meant that he would work and he'd be sober all day long around lunch he'd have to have something to drink. He would always pick where ever we had lunch. It had to be a place that served alcohol. So the alcohol controlled where we had lunch and if we ever went out to dinner as a family there had to be alcohol. You never take you to a restaurant there wasn't because he had to drink and from the time he got off work. He usually drink of solved. Sleep every night of all the time I knew him and I sort of wondered if I got a little bit of that except mine was not martinis. It was ice cream and nothing is supposed to have a grip on you like as the Bible says and you heard in our scripture reading. Sin shall not have dominion over you. There's a statement signs of the Times February fourteenth one thousand nine hundred seventy eight the divine power combined with human effort will give to all the perfect in entire victory. Every believing mind will be filled with. Conscientious power conscious power the language of the soul will be I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. As all the time the people have heard me for years. Preaching and teaching and you know I believe and try to practice everything I was saying but all that time I felt like such a hypocrite because I'm preaching his health message and I was addicted years ago. I guy named Larry Grossi wrote a song I don't know if anyone remembers is not a Christian song but if you understand read the words to you. It's called junk food junkie and they've heard. You know I love that organic cooking. I always ask for more and they call me Mr Natural on down at the health food store. I only eat good sea salt white sugar don't touch my lips. And my friends are always begging me to take them on microbiota trips Yes they are well but at night they take out my strongbox that I keep under lock and key. And I take it off to my closet where no one else can see I open that door so slowly I take a peek up north and south and they pull out a Hostess Twinkies and I stuff it in my mouth. Yes in the daytime. I'm Mr Natural just as healthy as I can be. But at night I'm a junk food junkie your low. Have pity on me while at lunch time you can always find me at the holder of the vitamin bar just sucking on the plain white yogurt from my hand thrown pottery jar in sipping a little hand pressed cider with a carrot stick for dessert and wiping my face in a natural way on the sleeve of my peasant shirt. Oh yes but when that clock strikes midnight and I'm all by myself. I work the combination on my secret hideaway shelf and I pull out some Fritos corn chips Dr Pepper and an old moon pie. And I sit back in glorious expectation of a genuine junk food high. Oh yeah in the daytime. I'm Mr Natural just as healthy as I can be but at night I'm a junk food junkie. Dear Lord Have pity on me. Old folks but lately I've been spotted with a Big Mac. on my breath. Stumbling into Colonel Sanders with a face as white as death. I'm afraid someday they'll find me just stretched out on my van with a handful of Pringles potato chips and a ding dong by my head. In the daytime. I'm Mr Natural just as healthy as I can be but a night I'm a junk food junkie your Lord Have pity on me. You know I share that with you. Is because it talks about hypocrisy. And it's one of the most dangerous things. Is the live a life where we have a pretense of godliness a form of godliness. But we deny the power because something's got it looks in us now again. For most of you hadn't may not be anything. Praise God the Lord may be helping you live your life in victory and I hope that's the case but I've been Pastor Long enough to know there's a lot of people that come to church week after week and they go through the motions but they're not being controlled by the flesh they're being controlled by the Spirit. And there's people that. All brag about their vegetarian diet but their dick to the poor hunger fee. So what profit is it to you if you've got a perfect health. When the Lord counts. If your mind is the file whether brag about their faith full time you paint what they beat their wife again. Fill in the blank. I don't need to say too much about that because usually the Holy Spirit's not too far away and and we know it's amazing when a person is ready to die. They almost always know what to confess. Because it's something that they struggle with or heard a pastor say once years ago to camp meeting. I was a young Christian. And he said he worries that there's some people they come to Jesus and they get that sin that bothers them but somehow they still get baptized and twenty years later they still got the sin but it doesn't bother him very much anymore. And you can look really good so good to everybody else and when you compare yourselves among yourselves and by yourselves you think it's a little thing but how much of us does the Lord want. A man who's looking for the kingdom of heaven is like someone who finds a treasure in his field and he goes and sells all that he has it's a pearl of great price and goes and he sells all that he has and Jesus said Whoever comes up to follow me if he's not willing to for sale. All that he has and take up his cross and follow me. He can't be my disciple. Jesus is unambiguous about that he wants all of our heart. Now that doesn't mean a Christian will not fall but if something has dominion over you. Then you've not been saved. God wants to set you free. It says in Romans. I want to just read it. You'd make sure you caught this Romans six twelve. Therefore do not let sin reign in. Your mortal body that you should obey it in its lusts and do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness the sin but present yourself to God as being alive from the dead and your members as instruments of righteousness for sin shall not have dominion over you for you not under the law but under grace but it's not to have dominion over you and then if you look in Romans chapter eight people always focus on Romans seven they don't get to the the great crescendo which is the first few verses of chapter eight. There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the spear for the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made me free of the law of sin and death for the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh. God did by sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh and on account of sin he condemned sin in the flesh. Now the battle between the flesh and the spirit. The carnal mind in the spiritual mind is something that you are going to be waging the whole time you're a Christian and you can just see it every day you know one of the things. It's been interesting if you have a promise smoking you can quit smoking. You'll survive. You don't need it. I talk to young people they're struggling with all the hormones and they think me I don't know how I can live without sex until I get married so trust me you will not die. You want you might think keep but you won't die you'll be fine. But food. You can't just quit. You've got to be able to eat it under control. And so the how many of you does there re day every meal you've got to say I've had enough. Somebody said one time one of the keys to success in life is you've got to know how to wake up when you're still a little sleepy. Stop eating when you're still a little hungry and stop talking while you still have something left to say. Take self control. But every day. God wants us to be able to pray that will be controlled by the Spirit this day and not by the flesh. Not like I said it doesn't mean you're not going to battles but sin should not have dominion do not let sin reign in your mortal flesh and I think the Lord and I praise God I struggled my prayed in praise God he gave me the victory. It didn't come easy and it's been years since I've had any ice cream. I'm away. Karens. She'll buy me some soy ice cream every now and then or some out of actually bought me a pint a month ago and still haven't touched it and I once used a hog in DOS The other stuff just doesn't get it. It's not quite the same as it. And you know the real test came from me. I finally realized the Praise the Lord he gave me the victory you know. You can get to the point where you can praise God for victory. And I was flying over seas I don't even remember what country it was I just remember I was in the air flying overseas and it was really neat. I got upgraded to business class which is pretty special this once and no I flew out here. I had the last seat in the plane that doesn't always happen to pass to the right was the last seat yesterday right by the bathroom and. I was fine. I got business class and the upgrade was pre-determined so I said I'd like to have a veggie vegan meal. And so I got done eating this delightful meal and I was just getting ready you have to go you know time yourself to go to sleep on these overseas flights because your time. Change is all different and so then I'm going to snuggle up and go to sleep and I saw that she was coming down the aisle one more time. And I heard her say the word dessert is up in the business class section as a dessert. I thought it would have been on my tray but they bring it separate. And I look I thought oh no she's handing everybody their own half pint of the no hog and us. Now here I am being treated like royalty and I thought this is really not my thought. Just splurge a little bit you know God bless you know here you get upgraded you may as well enjoy just splurge treat yourself. Well the devil he has so many arguments and then the other voice seemed you know you're going to fall off the wagon you haven't had any ice cream in months. If you do it now you're going to be back where you were before. And so she came finally I and I dig into sweat. Because she's going up the Ali could see her coming if I got to make it. This is a whole other way to do. If I say yes and I thought Who knows what will happen. And when she got to me I thought this by the grace of I prayed. As a lord i'm weak right now. I said I'm up here you know I'm in business class I've just been nurturing the flesh and I said you can have to give me the spirit to say no. Right now and she came and she said Would you like your own she held up you know it's like a model until would you like your own. Half Pint of but now a ha. I said yes but I'll pass. And you know what from that time until now it's just left me. I'm not tempted I don't walk by the frozen food section and when I used to quiver. It doesn't bother me anymore it's just I am free at last. Praise God. You know it's like that for me was cigarettes too because like I said the same principle I struggled I quit and started quit and started and the big test for me came I was. Riding cross-country by myself and I stopped this years ago for as Baptists I stopped at a Denny's coffee shop to get a cup of coffee to keep me awake I had not smoked in three weeks. And that's back when you could smoke in a restaurant and I sat down at the bar stool next to a guy had a nice conversation and he had a pack of Marlboro that's what I smoke right next to me drink a cup of coffee coffee and cigarettes or just went together all the time and I'm thinking all I got to do is say you might go to have a cigarette and he would give me want just I thought drug to smoke one and I had smoked in weeks and I've been trying to quit for years and I thought if I smoke that one. Yeah you'll get that little rush. It'll last between five and seven minutes and then you'll drive away and you will feel so bad for so long because you failed again and you're just back in that addiction and I think I resisted the temptation that day and that was the day Lord gave me the victory and I was never tempted again and you know with these things you struggle with Jesus resist the devil and his and he left him for a season. You know if you flip it resist the devil and what's the promise. It doesn't say it's going to be easy. The garden. I guess seventy is not easy. The wilderness temptation was not easy for Jesus. It was a temptation and you may struggle with the flesh but if you continue to do what you know God is calling to do. He can give you the victory and it is it is so wonderful friends you know. Now I'm going to start sounding like a vegan fanatic now I am of the Indian I just was Taco Bell at your town. Wherever the next talk a bell is. And I had such a hard time trying to explain to the young man no cheese. No sour cream nothing milk with it. Look at you like you're crazy. But I don't like to be fanatical because for me it's I am allergic and I just know it is. Affects me but I I it feel so good to feel good. It is so nice to be able to breed. And you know when God gives you the victory over sin. It is so nice to feel like the Holy Spirit is in your life because the devil doesn't have his hooks in you. And you can pray with a clear conscience and God wants you to have the victory one of the most important things that could happen at a camp meeting is not just to come for the wonderful fellowship and to hear the inspiration but to come and be different when you go home. And if you feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Praise God that means you're still alive and say Lord. You've spoken to me tonight and maybe there's a cold confession I'm struggling with and I don't want to become comfortable in my sand I don't want to continue to rationalize what my issues are. I want to confess to you and ask you for victories and the Lord wants to set you free and you might be thinking oh this is been a problem for years. It doesn't matter. I know people who have struggled with drugs and alcohol for years and the Lord set them free and they were completely free. And whatever it is for you. Jesus is more powerful than any sin you might be struggling with friends. You've got to come to him and ask him. So I just opened up. Are we friends. I just was very honest with you tonight. I'm not proud of what I'm sharing with you only reason I can is because I feel like I want to share with you just the anatomy of what God did for me and how I was rationalizing because it sort of applies in all of our lives. But the Lord wants to set us free and it's not like Pastor Dave has arrived. Don't misunderstand those other issues I'm not ready to confess God working on me. But I believe that he that has begun a good work in me is able to perform and complete what he started the Lord wants. To be completely free is that your desire. Let's ask YOU SHALL WE shall we stand together as we pray. Father in heaven. Lord as we come together tonight. Briefly open your word. We just talked in a very basic sense about the struggle we all face between the spirit in the flesh. We know that you want to live in rule in our hearts and as often other things that are controlling our time in our means that are distracting us from giving you complete control of our lives but sometimes we've offered you our home but we were served certain rooms that we lost for ourselves and there may be places in our lives where we're hypocrites and. There's things that we're hiding we know that other people may not know about but nothing is hidden from you and Lord we want to be completely free. So we open our hearts to you right now in each of us. May be left in a different kind of prayer in a different area but we want to be united in being one hundred percent your children. Lord we're living in the last days and we believe there is no limit to what you can do in the world to spread the gospel except our own complete surrender help us right now. Lord to say that we lay aside our cross our lay aside ourselves and take up our cross and are willing to follow you and give us victory first and foremost we're confessing we're presenting to you whatever the struggle might be. And we're saying Lord save us without you. We can't do anything but we still believe that through Christ all things are possible help us to experience those victories now we pray that you can be glorified in our lives and what we say what we do what we need and what we try and we thank you. We pray all these things Price this media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free. Sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse. If you would like to listen to more sermon leader Visit W W W audio verse or.


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