Today on Focus on the Family, our guest is David Ring and he shares his unique perspective about living with cerebral palsy. You're going to be hearing more of that passion and I do hope you'll be inspired to live your life more fully regardless of your circumstances. Your host is Focus President and author Jim Daly and I'm John Fuller.
John, we're returning to one of the most popular broadcasts of all time here at Focus on the Family. Every time I hear this message, I'm inspired once again to make the most of what God has given me and also to love and accept those around me. David is a great example of the fact that every life is precious because we're all made in the image of God and I think you'll be amazed when you hear how the Lord has worked in David's life. Yeah, it's really a powerful message and let me note that David has written a book which shares the whole story. It's called The Boy Born Dead and we do have copies of that here at the ministry. Your donations go right back into reaching out and touching people around the world. Request your copy and donate as you can. The link is in the show notes. And what should be apparent is that David's speech has been deeply affected by cerebral palsy, so he's a bit difficult to understand at first, but it'll take just a short while and you'll get pulled in to his message.
Here now is David Ring speaking at Moody Bible Institute's Founders Week a number of years ago on Focus on the Family. Let me ask you something. Do you ever get down when the dumps? Do you?
Why? Everybody do it? It feels good doing man. Come to my house, let's all get down when the dumps together. But why do we get down when the dumps? Because we have our eyes on our circumstance. We have our eyes on our circumstance.
Every time you get your eyes on your circumstance, you are going to get down in the dumps. But I come to you today to share with you that God can make lemonade out of anybody's lemon. Amen. But the problem is we don't want to give God the lemon. Now, how can God make lemonade out of all lemons if we don't give God the lemon? You know why we don't give God the lemon? Because if we give God the lemon, we won't have anything to talk about. No wonder people don't come to church because every time they come to church, they see a bunch of people sharing lemons with each other. Do you want to see my lemon?
Oh, I can make my lemon bigger than your lemon. Do you know I'm so afraid to ask people how they're doing? Number one, I'm afraid they're going to tell me.
Number two, I don't want to know. How you doing? Oh, my back's killing me.
How you doing? Oh, I don't think I'm going to make it today. That's pitiful.
Every little pain in your body, you go, whoa, it's me, whoa, it's me, whoa, it's my feet, whoa, it's my leg, whoa, it's my back, whoa, it's my head. Oh, get over it. Amen. I believe with all my heart that God's people should never get down when they don't. You say, preacher, I don't believe that. I know you don't believe it. You know why you don't believe it?
Because you've been brainwashed all your life. You've been told what everybody's doing. It's okay, just chill your feet.
It's okay, just get down when the dumps and be yourself. That sounds good, folks, but it's not in the Word of God. And I believe with all my heart that God's people should never get down when they don't. You say, preacher, you don't know where I'm going. No, I don't. You don't know the storm I'm in. No, I don't. You don't know the valley I'm in.
No, I don't. I don't understand how a husband and a wife can live together for 50 years and wake up one morning and say we don't love each other. I don't understand that. I don't understand how a man can leave town with another man's wife in the church. I don't understand that. I don't understand how a young couple, a husband and a wife can pray for a baby and God don't see fit to open the room.
I don't understand that storm. But I know more than the Bible says. Go work together all things for the good of them that love God. If you love God, say it with me. If you love God, God is on your side. God is not against you. We've got the mentality of God. God don't love me. God is against us. But I'm here to tell you, not only to tell you but to show you for my own life that God is for us.
God love us. I have not always felt the way those were born to lose. Born dead for 18 minutes. The oxygen couldn't get to my brain. That's why I walk with a limp.
That's why I talk like I do because of cerebral palsy at birth. That's strike number one. When I was 11 years old, a little boy, my daddy got sick. November 1964, my daddy died with cancer of the liver.
That's strike number two. I'm the baby of the family. I'm the baby of eight. And when I came along, they'd spoil me. I'm nothing but a spoiled warden, right?
And I love every minute of it. My mama would spoil me. My mama gave me everything I wanted. And sometimes she even gave me things I don't want.
You know what I mean? But I love my mama. I'm not only the baby of the family, but I'm a number one mama baby boy. You can tell by looking at me, I'm a mama boy because I got the mama baby face. And you make fun of me.
I don't punch a lot. Every morning my mama and I get up and pull her arm away and we tell each other we love each other. Nothing wrong with loving your mama.
Amen? I think everybody in the eight mama love it. Everybody in the eight mama does. There's something very special about what mama is. And I'm not ashamed to tell you, I will be a number one mama baby boy until the day I die. Why? Because I love my mama.
Amen. One day in my life, though, my mom got sick. The woman I love, the woman I adore, the woman I watch up every morning and call me Lexie. She went in the hospital the day before Mother's Day, 1968, to have an operation on her neck.
A simple operation, no big deal. But July, though, two months later, the doctor came to my family and said, Your mama will never come home again. She had cancer. She had six months at the very, very most to live.
I thought, Oh, no. No, my mama. My mama can't die on me. My mama shields me. My mama protects me. My mama's the only one that loves me, just the way I am. My mama can't die on me. Can she?
I done the only thing I know what to do. I get down on my knees every day. Every night, I'd say, God, please. Don't take my mama, God, please. Don't take my mama, God, please. Don't take my mama, God. My mama's the only thing I have, God. Don't take my mama, please. In October 1968, God took my mama, the only one that loves me, just the way I am. And I saw my precious mom go from 185 pounds to 57 pounds.
Strike number three. I didn't want to live. I wanted to die. If I couldn't live with my mama, I didn't want to live at all. Everywhere I went, somebody would point their finger and say, Look, the boy walk funny. Look, the boy can't talk funny. Look, the boy can't do anything.
Look, look, look. I couldn't go home to my mama. I couldn't say, Mama, somebody made fun of me.
Today, she couldn't put her arm around me and make all the better people look at me. I would lay here every day, every night, with tears rolling down my face, begging to die. I was a lonely one because I was longing to be in my mama's arms one more time. I thought if I only could climb up in my mama's lap one more time, if I only could feel my mama's loving arms one more time, my mama would make it better, but those days never came. You remember that song we sung when we were a little boy or a little girl? Whoa, whoa, whoa, you boat gently down the stream. Mentally, mentally, mentally, mentally, life is but a dream.
Only one problem with that. Everybody got to wake up one day, and I woke up. And when I woke up and I felt like nobody loved me, I told my family, give up on me.
Everybody gave up on me but one sister, she encouraged me. She wanted me to go to school. I didn't want to go to school. I hated school. It's no fun to walk down the hallway and let somebody laugh at the way I walk and let somebody laugh at the way I talk.
It's no fun to walk down to a bus stop every morning and every time I open my mouth trying to be friendly. Oh, I wanted somebody to be my friend. Oh, I wanted somebody to love me just the way I am. Oh, I wanted somebody to put their arm around me and say, it's going to be okay.
But every time I open my mouth, somebody would pull their finger in my face and call me retarded, and every other name they go with, it hurts, folks. I don't want a sister to give up on me. I'm hopeless. I'm worthless. I thought nobody loved me. I thought God was against me. Just give up on me. She said, no, I'm not going to give up on you.
I don't know what I'm going to do with you yet, but I'm sure I'm not going to give up on you. Thank God for a stubborn sister, amen? She wanted me to go to church. I didn't want to go to church either. I've been brought up in the church. My dad is the preacher. I'm the preacher here.
I know the lingo. I even know John 3.16. But John 3.16 don't make any sense. It's one thing to stand behind the pulpit and on Saturday morning and say, for God so loved her that He gave He only begotten. Oh, that sounds so good and wonderful, don't it, but it's another thing to wake up every morning with chill rolling down my face and say, God, do you love me? God, if you love me, why do you take away my daddy? If you love me, why do you take away my mom and dad? If you love me, why do you give me a quip by the gods? If you love me, why are you breaking my heart every time I turn around? God, if you love me, we'll argue when I need you the most.
People look at me. I don't know you, but I know one thing for sure, that most of you, even all of you, have got the same question, haven't you? I guarantee you, people, if I were to open up your life today, I will find something way down deep, crying out, God, if you love me, why, why, why, we got the mentality of God. God is against us. I've been there, folks, and nobody understand your storm quite like you do, but one night I went to church just to get my sister on my back.
She be only long enough. Every time she climb off, and that night I went there, I'd sit down, and the preacher go up to preach, and I'd say, Man, I wish you would shut up. You've been there too, right? And that night the preacher shut up, okay, but look at me. Something happened in my life that changed my life forever. The Lord Jesus spoke up, and the Lord came to me and knocked at my heart. He said, David, I'm standing at your heart, knocking, and if you only listen to me, open the door, I will come in, and I will fellowship with you forever and forever. And that night I got up on my seat, came down to an old-fashioned altar, got down on my knees, and I said, Lord Jesus, here I am.
If you would live there, if you would love me, come into my life. I'm a lonely, crippled boy. I'm a nobody but tonight. I want to be a somebody, and hallelujah, people. On April 17, 1970, at 845 p.m., I became a somebody because Jesus came into my life. For the first time in my life, I felt like God loves me just the way I am. God took away my old thing and gave me new things. God took away my loneliness, gave me happiness. I'm not lonely anymore. I'm happy. You know why? Because I've been to the doctor, Dr. Jesus. Pretty good doctor to go to, amen?
Number one, you don't have to wait in a lobby for two hours. God took away my soul and gave me joy unspeakable and full of glory. Look at me, people.
Look at me. I still walk with a lamp. I still talk fun about all the joy that floods my soul because Jesus touched me and made me whole. I'm not the same anymore. I've been changed by the power of God. I've been touched by the old-time religion. And it happened to me over 25 years ago.
And you know what? I'm not over it yet. I don't want to die. I want to live one because I got something worth living for.
Look at me. It's not what we are on the outside. It's everything we are on the inside. Oh, we hate to break in, but that's where we're going to have to end this episode of Focus on the Family. What a terrific presentation by David Ring as he spoke at Moody Bible Institute during Founders Week. And we're going to hear next time how God continued to work in David's life and how he met his wife and started a family. John, isn't it amazing that the Lord helped David develop into such a powerful speaker in spite of his speech impediment and physical challenges? What a great example of God's ability to work through any of us, no matter what our circumstances are. And you know, this program does highlight our core mission here at Focus on the Family, and that is to introduce people to Jesus Christ. I hope you heard that clearly today in David's presentation. And if you've never accepted Christ into your life, I want to pray for you right now, because you know what?
It'll change the rest of your life for the better. Let's pray. Lord Jesus, I want to pray on behalf of those who are bending their knee, maybe not physically, but mentally towards you right now. And we want to pray together, Lord, that we recognize ourselves as sinners.
We fall short of your perfection. And yet, Lord, even in that, you love us and you care for us like a father loves his children. And Lord, we come to your throne asking for forgiveness and for you to come into our lives as broken people.
Lord, to make us whole. We acknowledge that you, Jesus, are the Son of God. And we thank you for your sacrificial death on the cross to pay for our sins and to give us eternal life.
Come into our lives right now and change us into the people you want us to be. And we thank you in Christ's name. Amen. Amen. And if you prayed along with Jim right there, stop by our website and look for a free online booklet we have.
It's called Coming Home. It'll give you some next steps to take in your spiritual journey. And let us know that you prayed that prayer. And let me say, well done. Welcome to the family of God.
You've made a great decision, and it changes everything moving forward. We'd love to hear your story, so please call us. Our number is 800, the letter A in the word family, 800-232-6459.
Or when you stop by the show notes, and we've got the links right there for you. And this reminder that we do have copies of David Ring's biography, The Boy Born Dead, here at the ministry if you'd like to request a copy. Once again, our number is 800, the letter A in the word family. Next time, you'll hear how God has used David Ring to proclaim the gospel around the world. And when I was in my momma's womb, God ordained me, the Bible said I was wonderfully and fearfully made by God. On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for listening to this Focus on the Family podcast. I'm John Fuller asking you to take a moment or two, leave a review and a rating for us, share about this episode with a friend who might need some encouragement, and join us next time as we once more help you and your family thrive in Christ. It's a gift that appreciates, and we appreciate you for giving it.
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