Luke 2:10-14 – “And the Angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people (includes all races).
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord (this Baby was not to become a King and a Saviour — He was born both).
“And this shall be a sign unto you; You shall find the Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
“And suddenly there was with the Angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God, and saying (many other Angels had been with the Angel who spoke to the shepherds, but now the shepherds can see them as well; this presents sinless Angels praising God for sending the Redeemer; if they did so, certainly we should as well),
“Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men (Jesus is that ‘Peace’; during His approximate 33 years of life on this Earth, the Roman Empire was relatively at peace; it was because the Prince of Peace was here; peace will not return until Jesus returns).”
A Temporary Diversion
In the last few months we have been bringing you a series of articles on “Why My Faith Is In The Cross” based on Colossians 2:11-15. I felt impressed to digress this month and testify to the Goodness of the Lord. We will continue with the series in the January Issue of The Evangelist Magazine, the Lord willing.
I suppose that for most people, Holiday memories are good ones. In most cases Christmas is a time of being with loved ones and family, a time of sharing and giving, a time that raises the human heart in hope. But for some, the holidays are a dreary reminder of just how awful and lonely life can be. In December of 1985, I was hurting. The cost of my own choices and decisions were starting to become more and more evident to me with each passing day. When I first started drinking alcohol, it had been fun. It had seemed harmless. Why, everyone partied a little bit, didn’t they? But now, some 15 years later, the alcohol was no longer fun, it was a necessity. If I only had enough money for a six-pack of beer or dinner, it was the six-pack of beer that was purchased. The trouble that alcohol had produced was painfully obvious. The results were bad decisions, wrecked cars, multiple DUI’s, and destroyed relationships.
I found myself working in construction, but starting off the day with a red beer to ease the pain of the drinking from the night before. The marijuana use and the cocaine use had escalated over the last several years as well. Now, ten minutes after getting up I was smoking my first joint. The results of the drugs were similar to that of the alcohol. Wreckage everywhere. Finances depleted or nonexistent. I had a great deal of debt owed to those who had fronted me drugs, which I was supposed to sell. But instead of selling them, I used them. These days, due to incessant smoking of pot and cigarettes, part of my mornings were spent spitting up blood in
As the holidays came into view, I tried to find joy in the lights, the Christmas tree, the season, but to no avail. I remember thinking to myself that if I hadn’t cleaned up my act with the drugs and alcohol by my next birthday, in May of the upcoming year, I might want to see about going into drug rehab somewhere. I remember vividly one morning after a specifically crazy night in my home, as I stepped over the sleeping bodies lying on the living room floor, a sense of disgust rose up within me. Not at the people on the floor, but at me. I knew I needed to change but I didn’t know how. I don’t remember ever praying but what I didn’t know was that God had been watching me, and He was about to give me a new life.
January 6, 1986
The decisions for change, those realizations of bondage and wreckage, could never alter my course of action for longer than a few short hours. Though I desired to live differently, the pull and the attraction of the drugs and alcohol would usually end my resolve to change by the time night came. This particular day started off just like any other day. It ended the same way so many others had. With me sitting by myself, doing the drugs I was supposed to be selling, drinking myself into oblivion. But on this night, January 6, 1986, something happened. The cocaine had made me “wired” and by 2:00 a.m. I was wide awake and bored. Having nothing better to do I picked up a family-sized Bible sitting on my fireplace hearth. It was there for decoration, not for use. But this night, God had other plans. I picked up the Bible and without any forethought flipped it open. It fell open to the Book of Proverbs and as I read the Words of Scripture, conviction and guilt of sin weighed heavily. By the time I had reached the close of Chapter Six, God had convinced me of my rebellion and my sin. With head bowed low I cried upon the Name that I had misused for so many years. But this time, I was calling on Jesus Christ as my Saviour. And just like He will do for all who call on His Name, He accepted me, Saved me, and made me a New Creation in Christ Jesus. Within the next ninety days God freed me from alcohol, cocaine, all drug use, all tobacco use and by the Grace of God from that day to this day, I have never used any of the above again. Within six months the Lord had led me to a Spirit-filled Church, filled me with the mighty Baptism with the Holy Spirit, and called me to preach the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
This Christmas season my family and I will celebrate the Birth of our Saviour. I will celebrate with my wife Hannah and our four wonderful children, all of whom are serving the Lord. Our eldest daughter, Joy with her husband Stephen and our two grand babies, Caleb and Avery, live in the Tampa, Florida area. They work in a Church there with the youth. Grace and Joseph will be singing on the platform of Jimmy Swaggart Ministries’ Family Worship Center Church. Rachel will be singing with Crossfire and honing her skills for the future. Truly, life with Jesus has caused me to rejoice with the words of the Angel spoken so long ago, “Glory to God in the Highest.” But if by chance, you’re Christmas season is starting off like my December of 1985, why don’t you make today your day of change. Call on the Name of Jesus. If He can save and deliver someone like me, He can do it for anybody!
Merry Christmas from Loren, Hannah, Joy, Grace, Joseph, and Rachel Larson.
Alvin Thompson says:
May 15, 2013...
For so long I had heard about your past but not very much, it was often vague information that you were once into drugs. Quite by accident I came across this testimony and it really did something to me. Praise God for delivering you, but most of all for anointing you and calling you to preach. Through your testimony many will come to know Jesus. Thanks, you really made my day. Just keep on serving the Lord, keep working for Him.
Vernita Thompson says:
Feb 26, 2016...
Praise the Lord!!!!! He is worthy of all the praise.