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Friday, May 31, 2013

Be A True Soldier in God's Army: Be a True Soldier in God's Army....more of my stor...

Be A True Soldier in God's Army: Be a True Soldier in God's Army....more of my stor...: Hello and good day to you! PLEASE REFER ANYONE YOU KNOW THAT STRUGGLES WITH ADDICTION TO THIS BLOG. THIS BLOG IS ALSO FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT ...

Be A True Soldier in God's Army: True Soldiers in Gods Army.....My first blog post....

Be A True Soldier in God's Army: True Soldiers in Gods Army.....My first blog post....:  Hello world! My smart, beautiful, creative, and loving sister Missy Ashton has created this blog for me and encouraged me to start blogging...

Be a True Soldier in God's Army....more of my story!

Hello and good day to you! PLEASE REFER ANYONE YOU KNOW THAT STRUGGLES WITH ADDICTION TO THIS BLOG. THIS BLOG IS ALSO FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT ARE DEALING WITH SOMEONE THAT IS STRUGGLING WITH ADDICTION. Thank you to everyone that is reading this blog, I really appreciate it and I sure hope you are uplifted and inspired in some way. I figure it will be helpful to others to not only share my addiction recovery story with you, but also to let you in on a little of what is happening in my life today.

I was injured on the job a few months ago and I have been in physical therapy for weeks now. My most recent job is assembling (BOP's) which are blow out preventers that go under an oil rig. Yes, a BOP is the same piece of eqipment that failed and caused an explosion and oil spill in the gulf! It has been a great job that pays well, but since I hurt my lower back at work I have decided to go back to school. I figure I need to work more with my brains than with my back! I feel like God is leading me to change my direction in life. I am going to become a Licensed Professional Counselor. I will work with others struggling with addiction. The goal is to one day own and operate my own treatment facility. My first day of school is Monday. I am 36 yrs old and going back to school!!!  So if your thinking of going back to school or learning a trade of some sort I encourage you to get started today. I am doing it with a positive attitiude and so can you! They say life is all about your attitude, it will make you or break you...Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it! JUST DO IT!!

Whatever you are going through in life remember that you are not alone...we are all in this together...and never be ashamed to reach out and ask for help. We all need help at diffirent times in our lives.  Most important remember that God is literally your Father and He is ALWAYS there for you. It is also important to remember that some blessings are conditioned on you asking for them, this is why the scriptures repeat so often the phrase, "ASK AND YE SHALL RECIEVE". Because God wants to hear from His children, He wantys to hear from YOU! Dont forget to pray today my friends. Never under estimate the power of prayer. Prayer is one of our most powerful weapons in this spiritual warfare we call life.  God hears and answers your sincere prayers. I know its true!  I remember when God answered the prayer of someone through me and it was such a cool feeling to realize that God answered someones prayer through ME! I was in a substance abuse treatment facility when it happened. I had been having frequent gospel conversations with this young man also in the treatment facility. His name was Gary. One night in my dream I saw Gary down on his knees praying to God. I didnt really think much of it, but the next day I told Gary that he was in my dream. I told him that in my dream he was wearing a shirt and a tie and he was praying to God. Gary became really emotional as he explained to me that the night I had the dream he had been down on his knees praying to his Heavenly Father. Gary siad that he specifically asked God to answer his prayer in a dream! All of the sudden it was clear that God had infact not only heard Gary's prayer, but He also answered his prayer! God really does hear our prayers...Im not sure how He does it...I just know that He does!!! That is just one example. I have had many really cool  experiences with the power of prayer. When we pray we should pray from our hearts and not use vain repetitions. If you have never learned to pray or forgotten how, well I will teach you now. Just follow this simple pattern : 1 Adress your Heavenly Father,2 Give thanks for whatever your thankful for,3 Ask for whatever you feel you need, and 4 close in the name of Jesus Christ. Thats it! Just be sincere!
  By the way I would like to say that I really appreciate it when you comment here on this blog. It really means a lot to me, so please leave your comments. Have you ever had an experience when God has answered your prayers? Have you ever been the answer to someone elses prayer? I know you have. It happens all the time and we dont even realize it! If you feel like you want to share an experience that you have had with prayer PLEASE FEEL FREE TO COMMENT HERE! Remember others are inspired by your experiences. Also please feel free to share whatever you may be going through in life or any uplifting exerience, and please LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS AND FEELINGS ABOUT THIS BLOG (good or bad) please keep it clean...Thank you!

The scripture for today is: MATTHEW 6: 5-8....   To encourage you to open your scriptures I will only put the reference to the scripture. Its your job to open your Bible and read it. Remember the words of God have more power over the hearts of men than anything else. Gods words have the power to change your life!


Words of encouragement:

“When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place.” – Unknown

“If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again.” – Flavia Weedn

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill

“You must do the think you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“Time heals all wounds.” – Common Saying

“Whenever you make a mistake or get knocked down by life, don’t look back at it too long. Mistakes are life’s way of teaching you. Your capacity for occasional blunders is inseparable from your capacity to reach your goals. No one wins them all, and your failures, when they happen, are just part of your growth. Shake off your blunders. How will you know your limits without an occasional failure? Never quit. Your turn will come.” – Og Mandino


Now I will post a little more of my personal story. I will continue to post a little at a time untill you know my entire addiction recovery story. Well you will know a lot of it anyway......I firmly believe that when we are just real with eachother, and we share our real life stories we are empowered and we ignite hope in eachother, so here is the next part of MY STORY.....

My brothers were not into golf like I was. My older brother B.J. has always loved animals, and has always been very gifted working with animals. B.J. was always finding some sort of animal and bringing it home. I remember B.J. coming home with rats, cats, birds, dogs, even deer! So it was really no surprise when one day he showed up at the driving range with his new pet chicken. B.J. gave this chicken a name and a home at the family driving range. We called her “Homie- the- chicken”. It wasn’t long and this chicken was pooping all over the pro-shop and everywhere. Somehow B.J. trained Homie the chicken to hang her rear end into the trash can while she pooped! Homie also spent much of her time sitting on a bunch of cracked golf balls thinking they were her eggs about to hatch! I will never forget Homie-the-golf-ball-hatchin-trash-can-poopin-chicken!
I mention B.J. and Homie the chicken because it was around this same time in my life that B.J. convinced me to smoke marijuana with him. I was still in jr. high school .This was such a big mistake in my life because once I started smoking weed my life changed for the worse. My motivation and ambition to practice golf faded away. I started doing worse in school, I begin to smoke cigarettes and my life just took a turn for the worse. I was no longer living just for golf, now I was out looking for a party all of the time.  Marijuana proved to be the gateway drug in my life. It is true that the inner voice deep down inside of me would tell me that it was wrong to smoke, but the more I smoked the more that inner voice faded away. Shortly after I tried marijuana, I tried alcohol, and by the time I was in 10th grade I had experimented with L.S.D., mushrooms, ecstasy, and cocaine! B.J.’s influence played a large role in a lot of those experiences. My mom’s younger brother “Ted” lived with our family off and on for all of my young life. I hate to say it, but Uncle Ted was a drug addict. I believe it was Ted’s influence that had B.J. using drugs at such a young age. As Bj’s drug problem got worse his influence on me became worse and worse. I don’t blame him for my own mistakes; I am just saying that my older brother’s influence definitely had an impact on my life. B.J. has always been very wild and crazy. By the time he was 18 yrs old he had already been arrested several times and graduated criminal boot camp. B.J. was off and on drugs after that. He eventually had a big marijuana leaf tattooed on his back that said “Texas Redneck”. B.J. swore that he would go out in a bang some day, he also swore that he would smoke weed until the day he died, and that he did! It was on the 19th of April in 1998 on a beautiful Springtime Sunday morning when B.J. got the call. He was in the shower getting cleaned up for church when a group of friends called and invited him to the lake. They had planned to bar-b-q, play volleyball, and water ski, and have some good old Texas lake-side fun. B.J. couldn’t resist the offer, so he decided to skip church and join the party. This was the worst mistake of his life! He and his solid white pit-bull named “Arnold” jumped in the car with a group full of friends. The driver had been up all Saturday night drinking, and getting high before he showed up that Sun. morning. After a long day of partying, and lakeside “fun”, the driver was even more intoxicated for the drive home. In the pursuit to drop B.J. off back at home, the driver began to drive at speeds over 150 M.P.H.! B.J. loved to drive fast, so he an Arnold were in the back seat laughing, and enjoying the ride. Although several of the other guys in the car were pleading with the driver to slow down, he just drove faster and faster. By the time the driver noticed the sharp curve in the road, it was too late. He tried to steer the car back onto the road, but he over corrected. The road turned, but the car kept on going straight. The over correction to try and get back on the road at such excessive speeds caused the vehicle to shoot completely across the road and collide with a giant tree stump. B.J. went flying through the air and he was killed instantly when the car landed on him! Everyone else in the car, including Arnold, lived and suffered only minor injuries.
There are many life lessons to be learned from B.J.’s death, but one of the most powerful lessons I learned was about forgiveness. You see, at first I wanted to get revenge on the driver of the car. I blamed him for killing my brother, but in reality it was my brother that chose to skip church that day and get in the car with an intoxicated driver. It took me some time to realize that I needed to forgive. I realized it when we were in court for the sentencing of the driver and the Judge asked my Dad if he had any words to say. My dad surprised everyone when he told that judge that he believed that this young man was a child of God, and that prison would not rehabilitate him. My dad said that this young man deserves a chance to turn his life around. The judge couldn’t believe what she was hearing, and to be honest I couldn’t believe it either.  That’s when it hit me that I needed to forgive him, and I did. The judge sentenced him to many years of probation. The young man turned his life around and is now sober, and today he is a successful member of society. I have learned so much from B.J.’s death over the years. I have learned that “we live to die, and we die to live in a different realm” (Russell M Nelson). In other words I have learned that death is just as natural as being born!  We never stop living, even after we die, life is everlasting! God’s plan is an ETERNAL plan! I know B.J. is very much alive in the spirit world today, along with good old Uncle Ted. It wasn’t long after B.J’s death and Uncle Ted also passed on into the world of spirits.

There you have it.....I will post more as people read it.....Thank you so much for reading my blog. REMEMBER YOUR COMMENTS ARE GREATLY APPRECIATED! HAVE A BLESSED DAY!!! 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

True Soldiers in Gods Army.....My first blog post...an intro to my story!

 Hello world! My smart, beautiful, creative, and loving sister Missy Ashton has created this blog for me and encouraged me to start blogging, so here goes. ...
I am a  recovering alcoholic and drug addict that has a burning desire to help others overcome addiction. I also desire to share the hope and happiness that I have found in my life by turning to the Lord. I desire to be a light in this world filled with so much darkness and bring encouragement into the lives of others in whatever way I can. So I figure this blog is a perfect way to reach people all over the globe! Well if I just reach out to one person and help that person change for the better in some small way well then I have been successful!
I have been working on a book now for sometime. This book is called "True Soldiers in God's Army" (Twelve Steps to Understanding Lifes Spiritual Battle & Overcoming Addiction). I have written the entire book, but at this point I am still in the process of finding a publisher or raising the money to edit and publish the book myself . I will not stop untill this book is materialized and in the hands of addicts and prisoners all over the world!!! I know the book is inspired by God and He is guiding me through this process so I am very confident. My faith in God is real and active!
In this book I tell my own personal story in hopes that others will be able to relate with me and find the courage to change. I figure I will begin this blog by just being real and sharing my own story a little at a time. I will also post scriptures and words of encouragement throughout the week to hopefully brighten your day and help you along the road of life. Please share with me your questions, thoughts, and feelings about whatever is on your mind. Im here to be a friend to all...  The scripture for today is: John 3:16....For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." How does it make you feel to know that our Father in Heaven Loves us that much? It brings joy to my soul to think that the creator of the universe loves ME!!!


Words of encouragement:  
                         
I cried aloud to the LORD, and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah” ~ David, King of Israel & Judah
“It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: ‘And this, too, shall pass away’.’’ ~ Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States of America 
“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty” ~ Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of England during WWII 
"... tie a knot and hang on"
“When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. “ ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States of America 

Here is the beginning of my story.....

                                                           
      I hope that by sharing my personal story that you will relate with me as just a real person that has been through a lot of the same things that you have. It is by sharing our stories that we ignite hope in one another. It is by sharing our personal stories that we encourage others to believe in themselves, and to have the courage to change. I am just a real person with real problems and if I can change, well then so can you! Here is my story…
 I have been running from the cops since the day I was born! I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true. We were literally in a high speed chase on the day I was born! On November 27th 1976 my dad was speeding to the hospital while my mom was in full blown labor with me. My mom was about to give birth to me right there in the passenger seat. My dad was speeding along trying to get us to the hospital when he saw the police lights in his rearview mirror. We were being pulled over for speeding, so my dad pulled over and tried to explain to the officer that his wife was in labor and that he needed to hurry to the hospital. Well, I guess the officer was taking a little too long, because my dad hit the gas pedal and left that cop standing right there on the side of the road! It was a high speed chase all the way to Herman hospital there in Houston, Texas! The officer had to be persuaded not to ticket my father once we arrived at the hospital.  So, it really is true, I have been running from the law since the day I was born!!!
I come from a long line of Texans. I am a 7th generation Texan. One of my great Grandfathers’s actually purchased a piece of land from the republic of Texas, when we were our own country! Texans are very proud to be from Texas incase you didn’t know. I always say, “You can take me out of Texas, but you can’t take the Texas out of me”. I love to travel, but Texas will always be home to me.
I am the middle child of five children. There were four boys and one girl. My sister “Missy” is the oldest. Then there was “B.J”. Then me “Daniel”, then “Davis”, and the youngest is “Ben”.  We are all only two to three years apart, so we have all always been close friends. We spent our elementary school days in NW Houston, Texas.  My father “Bob” always made pretty good money, so we never had to go without the things we needed to live comfortably. My father has always been a man of God. When I say, “Man of God” I mean he was in church every Sunday, and he didn’t just talk the talk, he actually walked the walk.  I mean he was a man of his word and he was honest, and hard working. He made sure that come Sunday morning, we were in church. My father loved the game of golf with a passion and he played golf until the day that he died. He actually passed away while he was playing golf! He was on the 7th hole when he had heart failure at the age of 60. I love that man, and miss him very much.  It is my father that taught me by example how to stand strong and brave as a true soldier in God’s army. My father was a righteous God fearing man and he left a legacy behind that makes me want to be a better person every day. I love you Dad!
My mom, “Paula” was what you would call a “stay-at-home” mom; she has played a large role in my recovery by just always being there for me and loving me no matter what.  I have said more than once that, “it was the love that she had for me when I didn’t even love myself that has had more of an impact on me than anything else.” I have always been very close to my Mom. I guess you could call me a “momma’s boy”. My mom is loved by everyone. She has a special gift to love everyone unconditionally. Maybe it was the fact that her father was so abusive to her that she is so loving and forgiving to everyone, I’m not for sure, but I am for sure that I am very thankful to have a mom that taught me that love is one of the most powerful forces in this world. My parents tried to have us in church every Sunday. They taught us about God and His eternal plan. They taught us how to pray and to recognize the influence of the Holy Ghost. In fact soon after I was baptized at the age of eight I had a spiritual experience that I will share with you now. One summer day I was walking down a creek side all alone. I was just walking along throwing rocks into the creek enjoying the Texas summer sunshine, when all of the sudden I was compelled by some strange force to turn and run as fast as I could. When I say I was compelled, I mean some powerful force outside of my self literally caused me to turn and run! When I looked back at where I had been walking, I saw a giant six foot snake lying right in my path! At that very moment I knew I had been protected by a higher power. I knew that God was aware of me, and that the Holy Ghost has the power to warn us of danger. It was a big snake and it would have bitten me! I would have walked right onto that snake if it wasn’t for the influence of the Holy Ghost. I have known since that day that God is real and that the Holy Ghost has the power to warn and protect us. I know it’s true!
I fell in love with the game of golf around the age of eight. My dad was a member of a private C.C. that I would play at every chance I got. During the summer, my Dad would drop me off before daylight on his way to work, and I would play golf all day long, and I loved every minute of it. He would pick me up on his way home from work. I was in jr.high school when my Dad leased a popular driving range in N.W. Houston, TX. I practically lived on that driving range. I loved the driving range. If I was not at school, I was at the golf course, or on the driving range. I begin to make pretty good money for a fifteen year old. I would go up and down the tee box and clean golf clubs for five bucks a set. My Dad also paid me to pick up, and clean golf balls. He taught me everything I needed to know to operate the driving range. A lot of my time at the driving range was spent practicing golf.  I would hit a thousand balls a day sometimes! I was in love with golf. I was playing in the H.G.A.( Houston Golf Association), as well as the A.J.G.A. (American Junior Golf Association). Let’s just say that golf was pretty much my life.

Ok....there is the beginning of my story....I will continue my story as people begin to read it. Thanks and have a blessed day!