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I SAID "YES" TO ASSISTANT PASTOR RAND'S QUESTION - "DO YOU WANT TO KNOW JESUS CHRIST?" I THOUGHT TO MYSELF - WHY WOULDN'T I? I HADN'T PLANNED TO GO TO CHURCH THAT SUNDAY, APR. 28, 1991. I HAD PLANNED TO PLAY RACQUETBALL WITH THREE FRIENDS AT THE COURTHOUSE ON WEST THIRD. THIS WAS A REGULAR SUNDAY COMMITMENT. HOWEVER, NO ONE SHOWED UP. THIS WAS MOST UNUSUAL. THE ODD TIME ONE, OR EVEN TWO WOULD NOT SHOW. THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME IN ONE OR TWO YEARS THAT NO ONE SHOWED. WHAT TO DO? I DECIDED TO GO TO CHURCH. NEW LIFE CHRISTIAN CENTRE IN LYNN VALLEY. WENDY MY YOUNGER SISTER AND ONLY SIBLING HAD PHONED ME DURING THE PREVIOUS WEEK. I ANSWERED. IMMEDIATELY SHE SAID "BOY, DO YOU SOUND BAD - WHY DON'T YOU COME TO CHURCH WITH ME THIS SUNDAY?" I REPLIED "WELL! MAYBE." I HAD NO INTENTION OF GOING. FORTUNATELY, I WAS WRONG. I DID ATTEND. I WALKED INTO THE CHURCH, TOTALLY DEPRESSED AND FEELING OUT OF PLACE. FOUND WENDY AND SAT DOWN BESIDE HER. THERE MUST HAVE BEEN SOME FORM OF ALTER CALL BY SENIOR PASTOR WAYNE STELING. WAYNE ASKED "DO YOU KNOW JESUS CHRIST?" I SAID "WELL - I KNOW GOD, I'M IN ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS." WAYNE ALMOST YELLED "THAT'S NOT WHAT I ASKED." HE ASKED THE QUESTION A SECOND TIME. I RESPONDED WITH THE SAME ANSWER. FRUSTRATED, HE ORDERED ME TO SIT DOWN AND AGGRESSIVELY SAID "PASTOR RAND WILL TALK TO YOU AFTER THE SERVICE." AFTER THE SERVICE RAND SAT DOWN WITH ME. THE FIRST THING HE SAID TO ME WAS "I AM AN EX-DRUG ADDICT." THAT GOT MY ATTENTION. I TOOK THE COTTON BATON OUT OF MY EARS AND PUT IT INTO MY MOUTH. RAND WAS 36, I WAS 46. BORN AUG. 29, 1944. HE THEN TOLD ME THAT HE KNEW OF THE ALANO CLUB AND A.A. THEN, HE SAID THE KEY WORDS. "DEREK! IT'S TIME YOU STOP BEING JUST AN ALCOHOLIC AND BECOME A CHILD OF GOD." I KNEW WHAT HE MEANT. THE A.A. MENTALITY - I AM DOING PRETTY GOOD FOR AN ALCOHOLIC. SAD! HE THEN ASKED THE QUESTION - "DO YOU WANT TO KNOW JESUS CHRIST?" WAYNE HAD ASKED "DO YOU KNOW JESUS CHRIST?" IT WAS LIKE BAD COP, GOOD COP. IT WAS A DONE DEAL. I WAS SLAM DUNKED AND BORN AGAIN. PRAISE THE LORD FOR WENDY, MY SISTER, PASTORS WAYNE AND RAND, AND THE THREE RACQUETBALL NO SHOWS. WENDY AND MY PARENTS WOULD SARCASTICALLY TELL ME THAT I MUST PRAY TO JESUS. I INSISTED I COULD GO DIRECTLY TO GOD. THAT I DIDN'T NEED A MIDDLE MAN. THEY WERE VERY INSENSITIVE. NO BROWNIE POINTS FOR MY SOBRIETY. CHRISTIAN FUNDAMENTALISTS FOLLOW THE LETTER OF THE LAW, NOT THE SPIRIT OF THE LAW. ANOTHER - SAD. I WAS DRY FROM MAR. 13, 1981 TO APR. 28, 1991. THAT'S 10 YEARS, 1 MONTH AND 15 DAYS. I HAVE A SIGNIFICANT SYNCHRONICITY. MY A.A. SOBRIETY DATE IS MAR. 13, 1981. MY TWIN SOUL WAS BORN MAR. 13, 1969. THUS! MY EMAIL ADDRESS ENDS WITH 0313. ABOUT THREE WEEKS AFTER BEING BORN AGAIN, MY GOOD FRIEND PETE D. KNOCKED ON MY DOOR. TO THIS DAY HE DOESN'T KNOW HOW HE FOUND ME. BETTY, MY SECOND WIFE AND I LIVED IN THE TOWN HOUSE COMPLEX CALLED THE MAPLES, AT 4000 MOUNT SEYMOUR PARKWAY IN NORTH VANCOUVER. ANYWAY! PETE IS ABOUT NINE YEARS SOBER, HOWEVER, VERY DEPRESSED, IN GREAT DESPAIR. I AM DELIGHTED TO SEE HIM. IMMEDIATELY, I TOLD HIM WHAT HAPPENED ABOUT THREE WEEKS AGO - APR. 28, 1991. PETE WAS RAISED CATHOLIC AND KNEW SOME OF THE SCRIPTURES I WAS TRYING TO QUOTE. WE LAUGHED OUR HEADS OFF. PETE WENT FROM DESPAIR TO JOY IN ABOUT 30 MINUTES. HE LEFT. I WAS THEN ALONE. REVELATION CAME - MY CALLING - MY MARCHING ORDERS. DEREK! "I WANT YOU TO TELL PEOPLE IN A.A. WHO I AM." TELL THEM YOUR STORY. A.A. BECAME MY MISSION FIELD. LITTLE DID I KNOW WHAT WAS COMING DOWN THE PIKE. PHYSICALLY ATTACKED, EXILED FROM THE ALANO CLUB AND AN A.A. MEETING AND LOTS OF NASTY LIES. THE WORST WERE THE LIES TOLD CAUSING DIVISION BETWEEN MYSELF AND MY TWIN SOUL. I WAS VERY NAIVE. I AM NOW A DOUBTING THOMAS. PRAYING THIS TESTIMONY WILL BE OF HELP TO MANY IN A.A. AND OUTSIDE OF A.A. REVELATION - 12 (11) - AND THEY OVERCAME HIM BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB AND BY THE WORD OF THEIR TESTIMONY, AND THEY DID NOT LOVE THEIR LIVES TO THE DEATH. PLEASE PRAY FOR THE MISUNDERSTANDING BETWEEN MYSELF AND MY TWIN SOUL. ALSO FOR THOSE THAT CAUSED THIS MISUNDERSTANDING.

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