“If you got faith—just a little bit, a mustard seed—you could do great things like He do great things.”
My name is Willie Alexander. I’m an associate pastor at a local church over here in Alabama. It’s unique to help people. I believe in Jesus. I’m a gospel preacher, I believe in the truth, I don’t like that other… I don’t like them [other] flavors, as you might say. As life goes, I had an interesting childhood, I enjoyed growing up. My daddy and them used to rehearse and sing and I used to jump up there soon and sing too. My ambition was to be a singer, but I played ball and everything good too, so I catch a scholarship off it, because it’s paid all the time.
“I won’t give you a class on what’s drugs and what’s not, okay? But the thing of it is, once you get it twisted, it’s twisted.”
You know we had that time, but somewhere along the way, you know and I won’t give you a class on what’s drugs and what’s not, okay? But the thing of it is, once you get it twisted, it’s twisted. If you decide to go… Jesus said the straight way, the narrow way. That’s the right way. We’re taught that by our parents, but it us who stray away so when you start talking recovery, let’s just get it right from the front. To be restored means that you came from something. It’s kind of like the prodigal son, he left his father’s house and went out and enjoyed rights of living, same as every young man do in America now. Love that living, got to go hang out with my folks. We’re going to burn a couple and we’re going to drink a few and hey, we’re going to dance too. I’ve been there done that too, yeah, got good like that.
But see, keep it real. We’re living in the times where it’s a lot different then back in the baby boom days. Baby boom days, they had marijuana, it was strong, it wasn’t so bad. They had Woodstock, you know. They burning green, like I said, I won’t give you an education on what a drug is, but what I will tell you is this. My Bible states that He didn’t show no drugs in there, in the Bible. No drugs, there was herbs and trees, but no drugs.
Yeah, so man does his thing, then we have to try to watch what we do, see because you’ve got choices. You can choose, yeah we got choices, and most of our choices… The reason you’re setting this program up is because of a lot of genuine bad choices. Yeah, you look at your parents say[ing], “Well, I spent all my money, send my baby to school, and she out there doing drugs.” Everything classified as drugs, included the beer. So when you try to separate it, you need to rightly divide the truth. If you’re going to rightly divide the truth, then the thing is you got to go ahead and say, “Okay, for God I live, for God I die,” because like I said, whatever program you go into, you got to have God. If you start with God, you’re going to probably end up with him. I say probably, because you got to endure in between.
“My Bible states that He didn’t show no drugs in there, in the Bible. No drugs, there was herbs and trees, but no drugs.”
There’s always a chance of failure in everything, but Jesus said He hasn’t lost one that the Father put into his hands, so now if you believe Him, then why would you be concerned about when I failed last year? Why would you be concerned about, “My cousin tried to sneak a pill on me, but I managed to get out,” or, “I made a mistake.” But you don’t have to tell that to the world every time you do it, the main thing is be true to you. Know that you clean, know that you straight, and know who keeps you straight. Yeah, it’s an ongoing process that you say, “Day by day, you just one away,” or what have you. No, because see, if that were the case I could pull up at McDonald’s every day. I like fish sandwiches. Okay? I don’t do that. What we want sometimes is what gets in the way.
Yeah, see that’s why my Father say, “I supply all your needs.” What we supply sometimes kills us. If you think about it, to be addicted, well that’s good. You know why I say that? Yeah, because you could be addicted to Jesus. Yeah! Go ahead and be addicted to Jesus! Choose what you want to be high on, if you want to be high. I’d rather be high on the Lord. I know what it is to be high. Yeah, I’ve been done a lot of kind of drugs. When I went to Atlanta in 1980, I got lost in the trap, folks. Yeah, I got lost out there. I can’t help it because my money was low and there, I made it. I made it and I had to learn principles and everything behind it, in the midst of what you might call recovery. I call in the midst of being restored. You restore, restore your own self-confidence back into the Lord, restore in the neighborhood if necessary, restore. It’s to restore.
“The main thing is be true to you. Know that you clean, know that you straight, and know who keeps you straight.”
So we want to be restored, we want to be restored back into our rightful place. You say, “What’s your rightful place?” To be a child of God. I mean, what else do you have a right to? You got no other rights. The governments give states all over the United States permission to grow marijuana, and any time they feel like going in there, counting and burning it down, it’s on. You can’t stop it, so you got to recognize things that you can do about, you do something about them. Things you can’t do anything about it, you let the Lord handle it. Because the Lord said He handle everything, that including vengeance. Therefore you ain’t got nothing to be mad about.
Now, if you trust Him, because you got to trust Him and His ways… We failed to learn about His ways, instead of the man trying to fix it his way. There are programs and classes and everything that are set up for this, but now keep it where it’s at, in your mind. In your mind, who can you say, “I trust. Who will never leave me? Who will be there when I wake up early? Who going to be there when I wake up late? Who going to make sure I wake up?” Yeah, I can only give all credit to one person, so I can’t divide it among… It’s not a pie, we not going to cut this one. No, it’s going to stay whole. You keep it a whole pie, Jesus is the answer. There’s no other answer.
I would love to tell you how I did it, but I didn’t do it. Yeah, I would say, “Man, I didn’t do it. He did it.” And then, He waited, when was it? 2011, for me to be diagnosed with diabetes and before I went into the hospital. I went into ICU, my brother-in-law looked at me and asked me for a cigarette. I gave him the whole pack, that was in 2011. I told him, “Don’t put them back in my truck.” Haven’t touched a cigarette since. God will move everything if you want it moved. He said, “Speak to that mountain and it’ll be moved.” If you got faith—just a little bit, a mustard seed—you could do great things like He do great things. Every good gift comes from God, so recognize where your gift comes from, give him all the credit and let God be the glory.
“You could be addicted to Jesus. Yeah! Go ahead and be addicted to Jesus! Choose what you want to be high on, if you want to be high. I’d rather be high on the Lord.”
I trust Him, I trust Jesus. I trust him with everything, because He is everything. I sing about it, I laugh, dance, all that. At the same time, I couldn’t walk. Keep in mind, I have no doctor but Jesus. I got nobody to write no prescriptions. God good like that, yeah He do. I just be grateful and I do what I can, while I can, which just makes my life a little better.
When you start coveting, then you going to still have the same problems. This is mine, you see, you have to learn that if you’re going to say this is anything, this belongs to the Lord. He loaned it to me, He has left it with me to be a good steward or what have you. He left this body with me to be a good steward with it and for me to go out there and to trash it, it’s not very good. I got to take care and love me, then I can love you. But I can’t love you if I don’t love me, because see Jesus said, “Love thy neighbor and love thyself,” and he changed it. He said, “Love thy neighbor as I have loved you.” But now that doesn’t mean he changed the commandment, he just said it two different ways.
There was only two new commandments given where they say well… That was to love the Lord thy God with all your heart, and then love your neighbor as yourself. But you find self on the end, see? Self is on the end, so there’s a lot come before you, and if you’re able to give that, you have received it all. It’s that simple. Then do it until the end, Revelation 2:10 You must endure unto death.
Ain’t no in between, ain’t no vacation and all that. If He, I mean think about [if] God took a vacation, didn’t wake you up this Wednesday and he thought about it, wake you up again and he said, “Oh let me wake you up,” and it’s Thursday or the next week, right? You be stinking, right? God good like that. That’s why he’s the only one who raised Lazarus after four days, yeah. I go to the scripture so I can look at this like, this one, just this one, the one I’m in, then I’m going to compare what I’m doing. I ask myself the question, “What good am I? Am I any good? I’m good for what? Nothing? I’ve got to be good for something. Maybe cooking breakfast. Nah, got to be good for better than that, because that’s still just me, ain’t it?”
“He left this body with me to be a good steward with it and for me to go out there and to trash it, it’s not very good.”
Then I got to take care of me, have my personal hygiene, get myself where I might be smelling right or whatever, don’t be walking around here with everybody running like pigpen, you know, used to be on Peanuts. God is real good, he has given us a life and to be stuck per se, or have the mindset to say, “I could go back at any time,” well that’s not necessarily true. I’ll go ahead and tell you because if you was a slave in Egypt, you couldn’t go back. If you hear the politicians talk all the blacks they want to send to Africa, you can’t go back to Africa, you ain’t come from Africa.
God is so good to us to where you get to hear a lot of things, see a lot of things, you don’t even have to comment on everything. Just hear it and know it and know what to do with it. Sometimes you don’t do nothing with it. A lot of times you don’t do nothing with it, you watch it pass. Because it’s nothing but a blow of the wind, I mean you find wives and husbands breaking up more now than they ever have in the whole world. Some say, “Well I blame the addiction,” some say, “Well I blame her…” Well they’re the only ones the Bible gave permission for.
Then too, since they stay in the Old Testament so much, you know God… What if God did you like they did a fellow in the Old Testament, let you go back and get her? Yeah, then you’ll be mad then, “Oh Lord, she embarrassed me and I got to take her around me every day,” come on man. God run this, our plans not like His. Look, Jesus came as an atonement. We don’t have to do any atonements now, we don’t have to give up no turtle doves or no pigeons. We don’t have to send the scapegoat out, we don’t have to go through these things or anything, we don’t make any sacrifices. You don’t have any landfills to bring all these corn and sugar and stuff to the storehouse, you don’t have that stuff no more. But yet, we still bring it back.
Jesus said, “I’m the way, the truth and the life.” He said, “This is my blood for which I shed for the New Testament and many for the remission of sin.” Now, you got Jesus standing here from heaven saying, “This is my beloved son, to whom I am well pleased.” Sermon on the Mount. He hear this other voice or the same voice saying, “This is my beloved son, hear Him,” and as you state that more in the world, everybody always want to run me back to what Jeremiah said. Yeah, Jeremiah was a prophet, a major prophet, and Jeremiah had no schooling whatsoever. Jeremiah went before the King and the King’s Captain told him, “You got to learn to preach us here, you don’t need to heal him.” We got those same things still going on today, but we don’t want to do nothing about them.
A lot of times when you’re committed to an organization, then you are, can I say bought? Yeah, because we’ve been bought with a price. We’ve been bought by the price by Jesus, but now you got people got other obligations. Yeah, I hate it for you. If you owe me, I want you to pay me like this, if you owe them they want it just like that. Then the game changes as you go, but you see with Jesus, it stay the same. You can love today, love tomorrow, love next week, yesterday too. Just keep loving. The more you give, the more He gives. I say in the whole aspect of being restored, yeah, I like that term.
“You can love today, love tomorrow, love next week, yesterday too. Just keep loving. The more you give, the more He gives.”
I like the way the prodigal son comes home to his father, his father’s sitting there looking and sees him off from a distance and he runs to meet him. Once you leave home, that love gone. That same love, “Oh yeah, I love you,” but that love we had yesterday left out the door yesterday. We got a greater love though, because we learned to miss each other. We learned the desire and the want. See, Jesus had compassion. We must learn to have compassion, that should be a major part of what you would say recovery, yeah because see that’s why you see a lot of feeding the homeless, that’s recovery.
That’s why you see a lot of giving them jobs and… Because I do that a lot. If I can make the money off of the jobs I did and the skills I did, I would be fantastic. But now I look at a lot of these guys can’t get no work, don’t want to work, they just got to have some money. I got people who got to have some things done, so everybody makes their money. I don’t have time to judge. If you good, you do it. I left home because my daddy, “Don’t ruin my family name.” I’m bad, I was.
I wasn’t no joke, I was little, yeah okay holler back. I had a one-hitter quitter, you know what I mean, when I hit you, you quit. A lot of times I been hit and I quit too, but see I learned that when that drug thing hit, it didn’t quit, you had to quit. That’s a one-hitter quitter for real. Because once you spend your first dollar, you know you might as well go on spend them all at one time. You might as well just spend them all right there. You can’t nibble at it because you just creating agony.
You give it to Jesus, because, see, He offers salvation, like I was telling you about in the Old Testament, they offered a scapegoat. Jesus offers salvation, Tree of Life. You can live, and that’s what we want to do. This is the life that He has given us and we got to make the best of it, we must be good stewards of it. To be a good steward of it, it’s to have a focus on where you’re going with it. That’s why you got to know, it’s bigger than you and unless you got Christ in your life, you still got problems. All of them won’t be gone without him now, but I guarantee you every one of them will be easier.
Photographs taken outside of Higher Power Outreach Church in Phenix City, Alabama.