Sinless in Sin City : From Gambling to God

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2011-09-22
  • Publisher: Textstream
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Thursday, July 12, 2007 I see God, all day. So they arranged a day with him and came to his lodgings in great numbers. From early morning until evening, he expounded his position to them, bearing witness to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus from the law of Moses and the prophets. Acts 28:23 About 5 a.m. I woke up early again. I didn't much feel like getting up this morning. I was tired. Yesterday was exhausting, physically and emotionally. It had been a lot to grasp. I could not fathom how I survived 24 hours in Las Vegas without betting. It had been tempting at times, but not unmanageable. Thank God. Eventually, I found the energy and strength to awaken. I grabbed my armor: a rosary and a brown scapular. And I took my composition book. To escape from temptation, I wanted to get out of the casino. I was not overly confident that the war was over. I shuffled to the elevator, then through the casino to exit. It was another beautiful morning as the sun rose over the casino tops. Parched, I bought a bottle of water at Rite Aid next to the Monte Carlo. Where should I go? I looked for somewhere to spread out and not be disturbed. It was already busy on the strip. I felt a strong desire to say some prayers and to write down my experiences from yesterday. I sat down on the other side of the street facing the Monte. First, I rested at an Out of Service bus stop. Probably wouldn't be disturbed here. But I didn't feel comfortable. I moved to a chair in front of a steak house. In the name of the Father, the Son, and The Holy Spirit, I began to pray the Rosary. After a few prayers, I laid my rosary in my lap and decided to catch up on my notes. Within seconds of beginning to write, I was interrupted by a street person. Of average height, this black man looked like he had been down the hard road. He had frizzy, uncombed hair. His dress shirt was untucked from his dirty dockers. I assumed he was a street person and he was going to want money. Of course, he stopped to talk. "Hey, what you doin' there?" He looked directly at my rosary on my lap. I didn't get a chance to answer, before he started his story. "I have been staying at a shelter. Looking to get it right," the stranger began. Okay, how much money do you want? I considered how much I was carrying. I thought I had forty dollars. He made his first excuse, which he continued during our conversation, for the quarter cup of beer that he carried. "Ah, I am not a big drinker." Then why were you carrying a beer? I wanted to quickly give him a few bucks to get rid of him. Pulling out dollar bills and handing them over, the quick fix didn't motivate him to move on. Instead, he continued talking about how he was trying to get a job at McDonald's. But he couldn't work there until he got a uniform. I could help pay for a McDonald's uniform. Without missing a lost breath, he talked about not knowing his parents. "I was adopted. Never knew my parents. My aunt raised me." Continuing without hesitation, "You know it is not right for her to tell me this." He paused and hunched his shoulders, "I am Eddie Murphy's son." That made me smile. He continued, "I've been in and out of jail." My new friend started to show some nervousness, as he looked both ways down the strip. "I've had a drug problem. I was addicted to heroine. I got so bad I attempted to kill myself." He motioned to slashing his wrists. Worriedly he looked left then right. I looked both ways down the street and saw nothing frightening. Looking me in the eye, he presented his ID. I scanned it quickly. This brief encounter gets even more interesting from here. Hopefully, you will want to read on. It is part of many extraordinary interactions I had on my Las Vegas trip to end my addiction to gambling. If you are looking for help with an addiction or searching for God, this book might help.

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