Friday, December 03, 2004


People: Thanks Guys

The past 2.5 years has been the most painful/stressful time of my life. Things that, of course, won't be published on this blog. But those of you that know me personally understand exactly what I'm talking about. I will say that despite the pain and suffering, most of which result from my own mistakes I admit, that God has delivered me out of the deepest, darkest pit's of Hell you can imagine. Some people wonder if there is a Heaven or Hell. I can and will tell there is because I was there. In Hell, I mean.

Conquering an addiction is like climbing out of Hell. A place filled with darkness and shadow. A place much like Tolkien's Ring of Power in that you can grow to love and hate the thing that is both sustaining and depriving you of life. I digress. Needless to say that I have not sustained 2.5 years of sobriety without the help of others. Friends, family, brothers and sisters in Christ. I praise God for the sexual addiction 12 step groups here in town. My sponsor has been nothing less that supportive and helpful. The Elders of my church that have been understanding and compassionate and their desire to see me made whole has giving me hope. God has now brought me to a place where I can help others to sobriety. For you see, I am now co-leading on of these, as we call them, Freedom Groups.

I must say that above all there has been one family in particular that has given me a reason to hope and love and a reason to pursue God and all his glory to the fullest: the Bishops. I first came to Grace Church over 4 years ago. At the time I had dropped out of school and was at a real low point in my life. I had grow up as a sex addict since about 9 years old. Satan had his claws in me since about 4 or 5 though. So by the time I started coming to Grace Church my addiction had ripened to the point of harvest. Satan had a big harvest planed for me. However, God being merciful and ever so powerful and full of glory, provided a way out. I must say also that I attended the church for nearly 2 years before I started attention the 12 step groups. It took God working during those 2 year just to bring me to a point where he could address the addiction.

Anyway, the Bishops opened their home to me. 3 out of 4 Sunday afternoons I spent at the Bishops plus birthdays. All humans on earth should attend a Bishop birthday party. They are a sight and sound to behold!!! I would eat lunch, watch movies, and playing games. But the real reason I loved to come over was because there family was like the aroma of freshly bake cake. There was just something special about them that I could not figure out. One thing was truly clear: God's blessing was on this house. I had never in my life seen a good, loving, Christ centered, Holy Ghost lead family. Until I meet them I thought the family unit was a bad and evil thing that should have been avoided, in fact, abolished at all cost. This view stems from past pain regarding my own family. However, God showed me the way a family was supposed to work.

I realize there are no perfect family's but compared to what I came from, this was as perfect as you could get this side of Heaven. Each member of their family has ministered to me in ways that they may never know. Their first born child married a classmate of mine. It was amazing to see them even today dote on each other. They were never ashamed to publicly display their affection and love for each other. The second born son has grown into quite a remarkable man. The middle son is a expert video gamer and had the best joke timing on the planet. The second to last son is open direct and generally doesn't care what others think of him. At least that's the way he shows it on the outside. The youngest daughter is probably the best movie watching companion anyone could ask for. I guess it's just the way they all seem to get along. Even after arguments and disagreements. There is just an atmosphere of love that permeates the place from wall to wall.

Damon, That's so cool! I'll have to put some of my testimony on my blog. Showing our human frailty to the world, and letting them see God triumph through our flawed lives, in my humble opinion, is one of the most profound ministries in the Kingdom of God. You go Man! Ritz.
I never knew you wrote so much, and though I've been on your blog before I just sat here and read the whole thing. It was a good read. I look forward to your future postings.
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