Testimony of Aubrey Lamar Starling

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I was very fortunate to have the childhood I had. I was raised by loving parents in a Christian home, and while we weren't wealthy, I never had to go without. I got all of what I needed and some (possibly much) of what I wanted. I was truly blessed.

When I was about eleven, I accepted Jesus as my Savior while attending a revival at church, but when I was in my early twenties I began desiring more of what the world had to offer and starting drifting...

 After I went into sales, I enjoyed attending lots of company parties with plenty of booze.

 I drifted far from the Lord.

It wasn't long before I would stop for a drink on the way home in the evening. From there I graduated to an occasional drink during the day.

Life was good, sales were good, and I was moving up the company ladder. I went from agent, to sales manager, to home office representative, to district manager and from there into business for myself.

During this process I developed a belief that "what the mind could conceive, I could achieve."

When I was in my early thirties, my children began attending church. A bus came by every week to pick them up.

One day my wife and I decided to visit this church. We needed to make sure our children were being taught correctly.

We attended the services only occasionally at first - then became regular worshippers.

Over the years I had tried to stop smoking and drinking several times, but while I was strong willed in the beginning, it wasn't long before I would be smoking and drinking again.

I was still smoking and drinking when we started back to church, but I was more convinced than ever that I needed to stop. I tried, but I could not do it.

I had finally come across something my mind could conceive that I could not achieve. I needed help. What a humbling experience that was for me -- the man with all the answers.

I humbled myself before God and poured out my heart to him asking for help. I re-dedicated and re-committed myself to Christ and promised to serve him the rest of my life.

As Jesus touched me spiritually, I knew a real change had taken place, and I was no longer the same.

Some of my bad habits disappeared immediately and some took a little longer. I need to note here,  that God is not through with me yet.

He is continually doing a work in my life.

After surrendering my life to Christ, I got involved serving the Lord through my local church as a helper in children's church and eventually as youth pastor.

As I planted myself in the house of the Lord, and sat under the teaching and discipleship of a great pastor, I began to grow spiritually.

But although God was using me in his service at my local church, I still felt a yearning within me - as if I should be doing even more. And as I yielded to the call of God on my life to preach (I was in my early forties), I remember thinking, everything from here on should be clear sailing!

I couldn't have been more wrong.

I was quickly restored to reality as Satan began attacking the newly birthed fellowship I had begun pastoring.

When I was in the world, I never knew (or possibly didn't care) that people can be so mean and hurtful to those who reach out to help them.

But with the support, encouragement and prayers of a few saints, I withstood the attacks and became an overcomer through Jesus Christ who strengthens me.

The church I pastor is full of love, and for most who come through the doors there is a unique feeling of "home."  

We must remember that Jesus Christ died for sin and arose in victory for all, and that we must overcome evil with good.

The Satanic attacks still come occasionally, but I've grown and became a more mature and effective spiritual warrior.

I've found that with every situation, both good and bad,  comes an opportunity for growth, and when we apply the Word of God to our lives, we become overcomers and live in victory.

I have found peace and hope through Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.

Oh victory 

how sweet it is!

Be careful what you eat...

               ... to the hungry soul, every bitter thing is sweet

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