2019 – Changed Lives Archives – Jan/Feb
Arrested By The King
About Shawn Morris
As a child, Shawn Morris had been rejected by his father and was abused and ridiculed by his mother. Shawn’s family members were drug addicts, dealers, and murderers so it wasn’t any wonder that Shawn was a user by age eleven. At sixteen, Shawn was completely dependent on heroin. In his early twenties, Shawn was facing a ninety-nine year prison sentence.
While in prison, Morris went to a Bible study. He said he had heard about “church” but he didn’t know much about Jesus or about having a relationship with Him. The men in the study group prayed for Shawn to receive Jesus. At that point, he wasn’t trying to get free from sin, but really just wanted to get out of prison. So he prayed with them and afterward, he said he didn’t feel anything miraculous or extraordinary but he did notice one thing that was different.
As a heroin addict, if he went without the drug for a few days he said he would feel sick to his stomach with nausea and would have cramps and other withdrawal symptoms. But he realized that after the “prayer” all the withdrawal symptoms had left him. He said, “ I was completely healed. I didn’t need a twelve-step program, I just needed a one-step program: Jesus.”
Now about the ninety-nine year rap he was facing, Shawn made a vow to God. He said, “God, if you will get me out of this situation, I promise I will never touch drugs again.”
God went to work on Shawn’s behalf. First of all, his mother wrote a letter to the judge. Then the court decided that there really wasn’t enough evidence to prove that Shawn was guilty, so the judge let him walk free. Now God kept His end of the bargain, but Shawn Morris did not. He said, “I met Jesus in prison, but I also left Jesus in prison because I hadn’t learned how to have a relationship with Him.” As a result, Morris stepped back into a life of drugs and crime.
Then, a childhood friend came to visit Shawn one day. This friend had become a born-again Christian. He read a passage of Scripture to Shawn from Second Timothy, chapter three: “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God . . .” (Verses 1-4).
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Then the friend said, “Shawn, show me in Scripture, in that text, what [part of it] describes you?”
Shawn said all of a sudden he felt electricity moving from the top of his head to the souls of his feet and he began to weep uncontrollably. He said, “I was the whole chapter three.” He said the experience lasted several days, and through that revelation from God, Shawn Morris became a real believer.
The path that Shawn now walked was one of repentance and submission to God. He also prayed about the many negative influences he received while growing up, from his father’s side of the family and his mother’s side. As for his possessions, he got rid of all of his drug paraphernalia, and gave away those items that were benefits gained through the drug industry. He gave away his guns, jewelry, and vehicles including a Jaguar. He became a completely transformed person, and couldn’t even be recognized by some of his friends. He said, “I was totally set free.”
Shawn was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit to the point of being able to pray for others with miraculous results. He saw people saved, healed and delivered; God was now using Shawn Morris for His kingdom in a mighty way. Today Shawn teaches Heaven’s principles about how to tap into the glory of God. He said, “I was a gangster, but now I am a gangster for God!”
Happy Trails To You, Part I
Leonard Frank Sly
Who in the world is Leonard Sly? No, we’re not talking about Sly and the Family Stone, an American funk band from San Francisco during the 70s and 80s. This is about Leonard Frank Sly, born November 5, 1911 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Did our title give you a clue? We’re writing about someone well known and loved: Roy Rogers.
Roy’s (Leonard’s) mother was crippled from polio and his dad was a skilled shoemaker. When Roy was a child, his dad built a houseboat and moved the family up the Ohio River to Portsmouth. In March of 1913, Portsmouth had severe flooding so they took the houseboat through the streets to rescue people. The flood left the houseboat on high ground so they built a home next to it. It was completed just before Roy’s eighth birthday.
A few years later, Roy’s father bought some property near Duck Run, Ohio and built a house. Roy eventually ran the farm there with his sisters and lame mother. His father bought him a horse, which he learned to ride bareback. By age 12, Roy had learned to play the guitar and yodel, and he “called” square dances. He became popular for singing cowboy songs and soon was popularly known as Roy Rogers.
The family moved back to Cincinnati when Roy was 17. They were struggling so Roy quit high school to work in the shoe factory. He went to night school for a while, but dropped out before graduating. Two years later they moved to California where Roy’s sister lived. Roy and his father worked driving Model T gravel trucks to build highways. They also worked picking peaches.
In the evenings, Roy and his father played guitar and sang around the campfire, entertaining the other workers. In August 1931, after appearing on a radio talent show, Roy joined a country music group. He went back to Los Angeles and formed a trio called The Sons Of the Pioneers, with Bob Nolan. They were hired by a local radio station–KFWB–for $35 a week. Their theme song was “Tumbling Tumbleweeds.” Soon, their group began to appear in Hollywood movies.
During World War II, Roy’s draft status was deferred due to family hardship, however, he worked to sell war bonds and sold more than any other Hollywood celebrity–a whopping one million dollars worth. He also dedicated his time to entertaining the troops. In 1943, he was named number one money-making Western star.
Roy met Dale Evans in 1944 during a film they were both cast in. She was his leading lady in “The Cowboy and The Senorita.” Roy was married to Grace Arline at the time. She died from complications during the birth of their second child. After her death, Roy fell in love with Dale. While on their horses at Chicago Stadium, getting ready for their rodeo performance, Roy proposed to her. They were married New Year’s Eve, 1947.
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It is widely known that Roy Rogers and Dale Evans were both Christians. But the sweet story of how they came to know Christ is not as prominent. Next week we’ll share the journey they took on their pathway to the Christian life. You won’t want to miss it. Stay tuned right here at “Changed Lives Through Christ”.
*Second reference used for biographical information only. We do not endorse the site or any of its religious content.
Matthew 16: 26, “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but
lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”