Happy Mother’s Day! I’m thankful for your help reaching out, knowing that all is in vain without a relationship with Jesus Christ. Our fellowship will continue forever in heaven, celebrating the miracle of salvation.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes…” 1
An Inquiring Response…
Lexy, a 23-year-old girl from California, responded with a couple of questions.
“I did some research on your website, and it’s really interesting how you were an honor student and athlete in high school. But I also saw that you moved to California, because of drugs, sex and rock ‘n roll. You went to college while in California, but dropped out because you wanted the fast life. You met Manson from Dennis Wilson, but what did he say to make you interested in following his group?
“I can’t believe you were 23 when you committed your crimes. I’m a 23-year-old girl myself. Life could stress me out so badly to where I just wanna give up and drop everything, but I have to think positive. Since I was little, I have suffered from depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“I believe in God, but it’s just hard sometimes. When I’m in my depressed mind, I push away from God more. What prompted you to do this ministry? Lexy, CA.”
Questioning Godly Wisdom…
Lexy asked, “What did Manson say to make you interested in following his group?” He used the oldest trick in the book to get me to question my parents’ authority, similar to the serpent deceiving Eve in the Garden. Pridefully, she doubted God’s Word, causing her to disobey His command. 2
To the contrary, Jesus walked humbly by faith in His Father’s Word when tempted by the devil concerning His identity as the Son of God. 3
For my deception, Manson questioned the wisdom of my parents, putting them down to build himself up. He was an insecure man, always confusing my fragile identity. In reality, I was already self-deceived, rebelling against my parents’ wishes, and making unwise decisions without thinking of the consequences. They had lofty goals for me, but I didn’t share them wholeheartedly, though I went along with them. I failed to communicate my desires in an assertive way. Instead, I stuffed my anxiety, fear of failure, and anger, medicating my pain with drugs, sex and the beat of the music as a passive-disobedient son.
“For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” 4
My New Desire…
Once delivered off death row in ’72, I felt a desire drop into my heart, which answers Lexy’s second question, “What prompted you to do this ministry?” I desired to do something to help children not end up like me, but I had no idea how to do it. I didn’t have any answers until I was born again in ’75. The Bible says, “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.” 5
The Lord not only dropped a desire in my heart, but He opened my eyes to understand the message I was to share. My parents took me to church all during my childhood, so I wasn’t only rebelling against their wishes, but God’s will for my life. The Holy Spirit revealed, “…all this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, ‘Come back to God!’” 6
“For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” 7
Our New Purpose…
Lastly, I can identify with the depression and anxiety that Lexy is experiencing today. I lived without God in my life with PTSD before it was even a diagnosis. I was overcome my life’s stresses and temptations with sorrowful consequences. “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.” 8
But God has a new plan and purpose for all of us as His ambassadors. Along with the apostle Paul, we can profess, “By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News. Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ. 9
“God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.” 10
A Prayer for You…
Jesus, I confess You are my Lord, Savior and Righteousness. I believe in my heart that God raised You from the dead. By faith in Your word of reconciliation, I receive salvation now. Thank You for saving my soul! Father, I recognize my need for Your power to live this new life. Please fill me to overflowing with Your Holy Spirit. By faith, I receive Your power right now. Thank You for baptizing me. Holy Spirit, You are welcome in my life. Show me my identity, meaning and purpose in life. Amen!
Scripture References (NLT)
1) Rom. 1:16 NKJV
2) Gen. 3:1-7
3) Matt. 4:4,7,10; Deut. 8:3, 6:16, 10:20
4) 1 John 2:16-17
5) 2 Cor. 4:4
6) 2 Cor. 5:18-20
7) James 1:14-15
9) Eph. 3:7,8
10) Eph 3:10