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Max Lucado, one of America's great Christian leaders, found that out earlier in his ministry. He once said, "I come from a family of alcoholism. If there's anything about this DNA stuff, I've got it." For more than 20 years, drinking was not a major issue for Lucado, but about 10 years ago, it nearly became one. Lucado recalled, "I lowered my guard a bit. One beer with a barbecue won't hurt. Then another time with Mexican food. Then a time or two with no food at all."

One afternoon on his way to speak at a men's retreat he began to plot: "Where could I buy a beer and not be seen by anyone I know?" He drove to an out-of-the-way convenience store, parked, and waited till all the patrons left. He entered, bought a beer, held it close to his side, and hurried to his car. "I felt a sense of conviction," Lucado remembers, "because the night before I'd had a long talk with my oldest daughter about not covering things up."

Lucado didn't drink that beer. Instead he rolled down the window, threw it in a trash bin, and asked God for forgiveness. He also decided to come clean with the elders of his church about what happened: "When I shared it with the elders, they just looked at me across the table and said, 'Satan is determined to get you for this right now. We're going to cover this with prayer, but you've got to get the alcohol out of your life.'" Lucado says, "I really took that as from God."

(Robert Andrescik, "America's Pastor Speaks to Men," New Man, Jan/Feb 2002; www.PreachingToday.com. From a sermon by C. Philip Green, Qualities of an Effective Leader -- Part 2, 7/15/2010)

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