best birthday ever

Today is my birthday and a very special day it is. I had no idea that I would fall in love on my birthday. Nevertheless, I did. Seventy years ago, on this day in 1951, I entered this exciting world. Forty years ago on a beautiful Sunday morning just like today, I found love on my birthday in a church. I especially remember that day because I was broke and I needed a job.

Two weeks before my birthday, I was feeling down so I called the 700 Club to ask someone for prayer. I wanted someone to pray with me that I might find a job. A man prayed with me and suggested that I get rooted in a Holy Spirit-filled church. He asked if it would be okay if he passed my number on to someone at a local church in my area. I told him it would be okay and then we ended the conversation.

About three days later, I started receiving phone calls from a man named John Bertucci. John was a member of Victory Assembly (Now Victory Fellowship Church), a local church in the area where I lived. He told me that he got my phone number from the 700 Club and that he was following up on helping me find a church.

Every day John would call and talk about “the goodness of God” as he put it. At the end of every conversation, he invited me to visit his church. Although I had never met John, the way he pronounced his words told me that he was a white man. I did not want to go to church with John; partly because I had never attended a so-called “white church” before, and I just wasn’t ready for the commitment.

John called me every evening for a little more than a week. The Wednesday before my birthday, John called, but this time he sounded different. There was a sense of urgency in his voice He was both commanding and gentle. He said,

“I perceive by the Holy Spirit that I am beginning to bother you. However, I believe you will get blessed if you go to church with me. Therefore, I am going to make you an offer. I want you to go to church with me this coming Sunday. However, if God does nothing for you, I promise to never bother you again.”

I thought this deal would present the perfect opportunity to say goodbye to John Bertucci forever, so I accepted.

“You’ve got a deal, John,” I replied. “Good,” said John. “The service starts at 7 a.m., I will pick you up at 6:45 Sunday morning.”

love found me in a church

Sunday at 6:40 a.m. the telephone rang. It was John. He apologized for not being able to pick me up but said he would send his son Mike instead. At 6:45 a.m. promptly there was a knock at the door, When I opened the door there stood a tall, redhead, freckle-faced young white man in his late twenties.

“Hello. Are you Eric?” asked the young man.

“Yes,” I replied. “And you must be Mike.”

“I am,” he answered.

After a quick informal greeting, I got in the car and we headed for church. It was my birthday and to be honest, I was not excited about spending my special day in church.

That was my first time attending a predominately white church service. To my surprise, everyone was friendly, a little reserved, but friendly. I thoroughly enjoyed the worship service, although I was not familiar with any of the songs. In his sermon, Pastor Bailey talked about how Jesus meets us wherever we are in life. That day, I needed Jesus to meet me in my brokenness because I was down in spirit. Near the end of the service, Pastor Bailey gave an altar call for people who wanted prayer. He asked anyone desiring prayer to come to the front of the church. I was among those who went to the altar for prayer.

Quite a few people went up for prayer so I did not feel out of place. People stood before the podium in the front of the church as the pastor went from person to person laying hands on them and praying for them. When he got to me, he said,

“Today the Lord is going to give you what you have been seeking Him for.”

When I tried to tell the pastor what I wanted him to pray for, he turned off his lapel microphone and said,

“Don’t tell it to me; tell it to the Lord.”

I closed my eyes and began to pray within that God would give me a job. After church, as I was leaving the building, a young man came up to me, handed me a card, and said,

“The Holy Spirit told me that you were looking for a job.”

I could have passed out. I had not told anyone why I came to church. Only God knew. Most miraculously, God had answered my prayer. The next morning I started my new job. October 10, 1951, is the day I was born. However, October 10, 1981, was undoubtedly the best birthday ever. It was the day I met John Bertucci whom I call my father in the Lord. On that day, I quietly asked Jesus to come into my heart. That day, I became a new creation. I got an answer to my prayer and my name was written in the Lamb’s Book of Life on the same day. It was the best birthday ever.

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Believing Faith

Believing Faith is an Online Ministry, building faith through blogging Biblical content.

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2 weeks ago
Believing Faith

Recovery from Heroin
Heroin is an opioid drug made from Morphine. It belongs to the category of opium related painkillers. It looks like a white or brown powder, or a sticky black tar. Many people smoke or snort heroin, while some inject it into their veins. The number of people who use heroin has steadily risen over the years.
Why do people use heroin?
Some people take it as a means of reducing pain.
Some people take it in order to deal with anxiety, worries and other stressors.
Those who become dependent on or misuse these drugs may start looking for a stronger, cheaper, higher one.
Heroin is dangerous. Research showed that overdose death rate rose and some of these deaths happen because heroin is laced with other drugs such as this painkiller: “Fentanyl” No matter how you take it, whether by injection, snorting or smoking, heroin gets to your brain quickly and it’s also easy ever addicted. After using heroin just one or two times, it can be hard to stop yourself from using again.
Note this ✍
You see, the moment you take heroin, you get this ecstasy; this rush of happiness or good feelings just in a rush. Then after that rush of good feelings, you thinking and walking rate becomes slow; at times you feel like you are in a dream.
How does Heroin affect you?
It blocks your body from getting pain messages and slows your heart rate and breathing.
Overdosing leads to death.
What are the effects of taking Heroin?
Taking Heroin results in:
Dryness of the mouth.
Flushed skin
Heavy arms and legs
Collapsed veins
Upset stomach
Itchy brain
Heart valves infection
Liver disease
Skin infection
Kidney disease
Mental disorders
Lung diseases
Menstruation problems
A higher chance of getting HIV/ AIDS, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C
Have you ever tried withdrawing from Heroin on your own by personal struggles to stay sober?
If you try to stay sober from Heroin, you are likely to see these signs:
Severe muscle and bone pain
Diarrhea and vomiting
Cold flashes
Uncontrollable leg movements
Health problems
Trouble at home, work or school
Loss of white mater in the brain which affects decision making and control.
“Can I ever be free from Heroin? I want to be free”
Is this your heart’s cry? Does it really break your heart that you found yourself trapped by Heroin and you just can’t find freedom? I announce to you that you can be free! Sounds quite amazing? Yes, you can be free! Jesus paid the price for your complete dominion over Heroin. He has the power to break the chains of this addiction.
Think about the effects of being addicted to heroin. For how long will you struggle on your own, depending on yourself? Your life is so beautiful and your future is so bright, you must not allow Heroin destroy you. Your destiny is so promising and should not be truncated by Heroin. Your soul is so precious and should not be wasted by addiction to Heroin.
Dear reader, you’ve been fighting on your own to set yourself free, but the more you struggle, the more it threatens your life, future, family, health, present and eternal destiny; it even threatens the reality of living a beautiful life. Think about this!
Now, I know a Deliverer who has the power to liberate you and make you escape the snare of addiction. His name is Jesus! The Bible says, “Surely, he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:4,5)
He did that just for you!
Do you know that He is the Mediator between you and God. Despite the fact that sin, and this addiction has separated you from the One who loves you, Jesus is the Mediator. God sent Him to pay the price of Mankind’s redemption; and yes, to redeem you from sinful nature of humans and Heroin which seem stronger than you are.
You need to repent and get reconciled with God. He is a holy God; and He loves you. But you can’t access Him based on religion, depraved merits and others. That is why He sent His Sib, Jesus who is The Way. Jesus says: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man cometh to the Father but by me.” (John 14:6)
So, you need to believe in Jesus and repent of your sins in order to make right with God. Surrender to Jesus and welcome Him into your heart as Your Personal Lord and Saviour. He will liberate you from the chains of sin and Heroin.
Do this now!
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By Eric Dunbar

Once addicted to crack cocaine, my story is not unique but inspiring. I have been a professor of faith for most of my life. Before you inquire about my credentials, let me explain. I don’t mean professor as in “teacher” but professor as in “squatter.” For most of my life, I have been trying to occupy what I had never fully possessed, namely, faith. You see, my trust was in God long before I used drugs. To this day, I cannot tell you what happened to cause me to be addicted; it just happened. After a lifetime of serving God, somehow, I became a crack cocaine addict. I grew up in the church. I was born with talent. I started playing the organ for local churches at the age of eight years. I cultivated strong confidence in God early in life. From the time I was five until I was eighteen years old, I can’t remember ever missing a church service. I started playing keyboards in a popular R&B band at the age of nineteen years old. Midlife When you’re young, life is all about having fun, and I was indeed having a lot of fun. Playing in an R&B band exposed me to the rigors of nightlife, leading me to deviate from the church. I started experimenting with all kinds of drugs. At first, it was marijuana, then pills, and soon, I was using cocaine. All the while, I still attended church, although not as often. When I was married, my infrequent music revenue was inadequate to raise a family. So I left the band and found a job. I have always had confidence in God, but I didn’t know how to implement my faith. When my first child was born, I renewed my faith and got heavily involved in the church. A few years later, my pastor inspired me to begin a cell ministry in my home, where I faithfully worshipped God and held Bible studies every Tuesday. About seven years into my marriage, I slipped back into drug use. This time cocaine was my choice drug. Soon after, I learned to cook cocaine, converting it into a rocky substance called crack. That was the beginning of a life of trouble. I had become a slave to the drug; crack cocaine was now my master. Confident Expectation My wife threatened to leave if I didn’t control my addiction. Nevertheless, I remained confident that God would deliver me. But my wife insisted that I seek help. I wanted to save my marriage, so I enrolled in the Narcotics Anonymous Twelve Step Program. I completed the required thirty-day classes, and I went home drug-free. Fifteen days later, I was once again smoking crack. My crack smoking eventually led to my wife divorcing me. I lost my family, possessions, and everything dear to me. Life had become challenging, and I was near depression. My parents taught me that faith believes, so I understood the principle of faith. I had faith that God would liberate me, so I continued to pray that God would soon rescue me from this evil that had come upon me. One day I opened my Bible, and my eyes fell on this scripture: “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). “I don’t go to church anymore,” I said to myself, so how can I hear the word of God? Then I thought to read the word aloud to myself. The Bible was now my best friend. I read the word to myself. The word of God came out of my mouth and went back into my ears. Alas, I was hearing the word of God. I still craved crack cocaine and got high whenever the opportunity presented itself. But for the next two years, I mostly stayed to myself, reading the Bible aloud, quoting scriptures, and praying. Believing Faith Speaks After two years of practically being alone with God, my craving for crack cocaine was gone. My confidence in God rewarded me with freedom. I learned that believing faith speaks. No longer did I profess faith, but I now possessed it. Faith is having confidence in the things we hope for. Although they are not visible to our physical eyes, we believe that God is working our hope into physical existence. It is the bridge linking us to the spiritual realm and makes God a touchable reality. When we trust God, it guarantees that God’s promises and Biblical revelations are true. We cannot detect these revelations and promises of the word of God with our physical senses. However, by trusting God, we have the confidence that our expectation will come to pass. Faith is the quintessence that the things we hope for become so concrete that even belief itself becomes a definitive reality of those things that are not yet visible. Your faith becomes so tangible that you believe you possess those things in the spiritual realm.

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