IN THE GARDEN WHY?
In the Garden, the Garden of Eden. It's where we all long to be. In that perfect paradise communing with God. The place where there are no worries, cares, or concerns. I like to think of it as the greatest permanent vacation ever. Where your soul is overflowing with God’s peace, joy, and love, forever. We all know life can be a challenge, overwhelming, and out of control, for lack of better words. For some of us, that’s all we know. Stick with me on this one. I would like to share some of my life experiences in hope of leading one lost soul from a life of drug and/or alcohol addiction to freedom. Hope is a big word. My cup overflows with love for mankind. So it comes natural to me to ask friends, neighbors, or even strangers how they are? “How are you?” is a common response after hi or hello. I've asked it so many times in my life that, during this one occasion, a man said, “Why do you ask? You don’t care how I am.” My reply was, “Yes I do or I wouldn't have asked.” Most of the time, even with myself, the response is usually good, very good, or okay. The one I dislike hearing is, with despondence in their voice, “Oh I'm just surviving.” Surviving doesn’t cut it with me. We should all be thriving, not just getting by, hanging on by tooth and nail. Answers about addictions are tough. Once you've been down that road, there's no turning back. We need some over-the-top supernatural help. I've heard of success stories arise from different recovery programs. The one that I would like to tell you about starts with a song and a prayer. You may have had a great life, reared your kids right the best you knew how, even knowing Jesus. You may have made a few bad decisions in raising your children. Or you may be knee deep in an addiction yourself that's literally killing you. One of the toughest questions we all have to face sooner or later is: Am I being the best parent I can be for my children? This is my song and story for you. My hope begins with you. We all have a different story and everyone’s story is worth being told. Press on and press in and never give up. Whatever stage in life you’re in, be it age 11 or 97, hope is on the horizon. My hope for you is for your joy to be made complete (see John 15:11). There's a life after this one. You choose which one you'll live in (see Deut. 30:19). Why am I writing this book? So you may have more time to enjoy your journey and less time stuck on a rollercoaster wondering if you can get off. So you can spend your remaining 4 | I AM SECOND, TOO time here on earth, enjoying the life Jesus died to give you, for the love of humanity. The timeless events that forever shape our lives are going on now. I don’t claim to have all the answers to raising a perfect child, one free from drugs and alcohol because there are no perfect people, myself included. There wouldn't be a book large enough to put in all of my failures, shortcomings, and bad choices. In the midst of our pain and anguish we can find hope for tomorrow. I'm a poor, wretched, miserable sinner, like the apostle Paul said in Romans 7:24. I've done it my way. No, not Frank’s way, not God’s way, my way. Folks, I'm going to be very blunt. It doesn't work, our way. Doing things my way is what got me into the messes I've been in. But, God, He so loves us that He continues to let us fall, fail, screw up, or whatever you want to call it. So if time permits, we can try again. Believe me when I say I Love Jesus, Father God, and I'm so grateful for the Holy Spirit. That’s why I would love to tell you my story. I'll eagerly wait for the rejoicing over the one lost soul when the party of a lifetime begins. So why do we deserve a second chance? We don’t. It's by God’s grace that we're saved not of ourselves, lest anyone should boast (see Eph. 2:8-9). For we're so loved by God He sent a part of Himself down here to earth to teach us about His love. God is love (see 1 John 4:16). Because of this grace—in the manifested form of Jesus Christ of IN THE GARDEN | 5 Nazareth—we can be reconciled back to God. Ultimately, all praise, honor and glory belong to Abba Father. Another part of God’s plan for us is to enjoy our lives here on earth. Think about it. Would a loving God give us this planet to live on and care for to meagerly get by, to struggle with all the issues that rear their ugly heads in this life as if this planet Earth were some kind of a living hell? No, He didn’t. This wondrous planet we dwell on, can be heaven on earth. Jesus came to give us life more abundantly overflowing to the fullest (see John 10:10). If you know the Lord’s Prayer, it starts out like this: Our Father in Heaven hallowed, holy, and praised is your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Okay, so I'm no scholar, but put God first. His will be done. His will is the same on earth as it is in Heaven. Wow, that’s mindboggling right there. Being in the Garden with Him now and forever is His plan. I'm convinced of this promise from God. There's a method to what I sometimes call my madness, like college basketball in March. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of His Son, while we were still his enemies. We will certainly be saved through the life of His Son (see Rom. 5:10). Even when we were God's enemies, he made peace with us, because His Son died for us. Yet something even greater than friendship is ours. Now that we're at peace with God, we will be saved by the life of His Son, Jesus.