The Casino is Addictive, but I was Delivered

I cannot get up in front of people and speak, I am one of those people who do good only in crowds of one or two…I say these words to the church, the body of Christ…to edify Jesus and not to condemn but to set free…I was born again September 23, 1977 @9:15 at night. Just before I went to church I told the one who invited me “I will go to church once and once only!! I will go to a church of my choice and one thing I will never do is give up my booze”…I didn’t say those things in a very nice way but for some reason it didn’t scare or intimidate the one who was witnessing to me…well we went to church of my choice and I thank god that the church was a spirit filled Pentecostal church. A church that did not baby step or water down the word of all mighty god…at the end of the service I raised my hand to be saved.. I’m so glad the pastor didn’t ask for an alter call because as I said I’m a little shy. But god saw my hand go up…the next day I told the one who had gone to church with me that I had been born again and delivered from alcohol. They said a feather would have knocked them over…

Here I’m going to jump forward many years.. A lot happened but I’ll skip it for now…in 2006 our area had a new building opening…it was Tioga Downs, a casino only 20 minutes from home…I had drifted away from god and could not hardly wait for the place to open…up to this point I had not gambled and no desire to do so…..I started to go once a week and then twice a weekend then whenever i could get there… After a couple years I started to steal..no I didn’t go into someone’s pocketbook and take their money…I opened credit cards in my mother’s name and took cash advances to gamble with. Her mail came to my house and I made the credit card payments so it was easy…she didn’t know and she trusted me to pay her bills and do right by her finances…I began to let my bills slide but paid hers until I didn’t even pay hers because there were so many I just simply couldn’t keep up with them all..one month I lost her car payment money at the casino and the finance company called her to say the car payment was late. I told her not to worry I had forgotten and would mail it out. She called me again and said they wanted the payment that day…now I was getting scared. I had lost hundreds of her money and my own at the casino…I asked her to loan the money to me and I would pay her when I got paid. She went to the bank and she asked for a print out of her checking account and found a list of Tioga Downs… Tioga Downs… Tioga Downs withdrawals. Keep in mind I had been handling my mother’s finances for almost 10 years…she got in her car, came to my house and confronted me…I took her outside and told her a had a gambling problem. I’m sure she was shocked. But more than that she didn’t understand the power of my addiction…and either did I. But I knew I was in a lot of trouble with her and the law!!

My mother took her finances back and began to unravel the mess I had created. I cried and cried in disbelief of how I had used my mother and lied to my mother and lied to cover up this addiction…she still doesn’t know I gambled away 10s of thousands of dollars in a few short years…

You know what day it was when my mother found out I had been stealing from her? It was September 23–the anniversary of when I was born again…I just couldn’t get to church fast enough and pray hard enough for god to get me through this mess I was in…but did I stop gambling …no I did not…because I could not. After all it was the only fun thing I did. The only place I could escape my problems and only place I didn’t have to think about god and how far away I had drifted…

All at the same time I became disabled and lost my car..my income went down almost $1000 a month… And this is where my story gets better..

I had no car, very little money and still went to the casino. .I just took less money and found rides …I prayed for god to help me but I would still shake when I thought of going to the casino and when I couldn’t get there…I was hooked…Satan had used the casino to destroy me…

Since I was home a lot more I spent a lot of time on the computer and one day I typed in Jimmy Swaggart…there he was on the Internet 24 hours a day. I listened every day about the cross the cross the cross and one day I woke up knowing that I had been delivered…completely– divinely–miraculously– totally delivered. How do I know? I know the power of deliverance from being delivered from alcohol many years ago…I knew that I knew and I would never doubt it. It was finished..I cry now when I think of how I was delivered.

I want to share this with you to let you know the answer is not in will power–possessive thinking–self help books–counseling–therapy–good works or trying to do good things. The answer is in Jesus Christ. The cross…what the cross represents…the act of Jesus dying and raising up again and sending his Holy Spirit..

The casino is no place for a child of god…not to gamble…not to eat at the buffet—not to meet friends or go see a concert…It is an unholy place and Satan will use it against you..

I’ve used all the reasoning and excuses…It’s just fun…the food is good. They give me free food. The entertainment is great. I have friends there…but I am telling you Jesus Christ is not glorified. There is a bar there ..people are losing their livelihood. People use the name of our lord and savior as a curse word. People get drunk there…is this where he wants you to be. We are to be separate from the world…that isn’t just a little expression…being separate from the world is what god had told us to do in his word…

I pray that you understand that sin in our lives…any sin of any nature… Will consume us unless we repent…the cross of Christ is the answer for everything in our life.

Don’t look to Jimmy Swaggart.. Your friends…your family…your church or your pastor. Go to the cross and there you will be set free and be made whole…It is time for his people to get all the wicked ways out of our lives. He is coming back for a spotless bride and he is coming soon…look around. Even the unsaved realize the world is upside down but we have the answer and we know the redeemer…pray and look into your heart and put Jesus first…maybe the things in your life that are not pleasing to Christ are subtle and maybe they are a secret…maybe you think there are little and big sins…but god sees our lives and hearts…look and see what god sees…

The next time you come to church bring someone who doesn’t know Jesus as their personal savior…Its time for the church to claim back what has been stolen. It’s time for revival…don’t let the little things creep in and get to be big things and issues. The alter is there for seeking god and his will…use it every time the doors of the church are open…pray without ceasing…this is the will of God. Support your church with your tithes and be used of god…tell everyone the good news…

Today I praise god for salvation, deliverance and his grace…amen. God loves you…yes he really does!

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