Doug Clark, intake director of Teen Challenge of the Four States, was Tuesday's keynote speaker during the Neosho Laymen's League Pre-Christmas Services at Northside Baptist Church.

Doug Clark, intake director of Teen Challenge of the Four States, was Tuesday's keynote speaker during the Neosho Laymen's League Pre-Christmas Services at Northside Baptist Church.
"To know and understand what Christmas means to me, you have got to know my past," said Clark in his opening speech. "It is a bad past, it is rough, it is rocky. I was addicted to drugs for most of my adult life, done a lot of bad things I am very ashamed of. But I always knew God had a calling on my life."
He said he read the story of Mary and Joseph. He thought about all of the things that happened to Mary and Joseph. Mary became pregnant out of wedlock.
"I can only imagine what everybody was saying, what everyone thought, what she thought they were saying," he said. "Of course everyone was talking, we all care about whatever body says about us, we all care what people think."
Clark said his entire life he ran from God.
"I did what I wanted to do," he said. "It ended me up in jails, rehabs, a broken mess. A few years ago, I did somethings that I am very ashamed of, I ended up in jail. And I always remember back to what God called me to do, tell others about Christ. But I cared about what other people thought, I listened to those voices in my head and I didn't do it. And it cost me a lot."
Clark mentioned he has a 11-year-old son, who came to visit him four years ago while Clark was in jail.
"So what does Christmas mean to me, it is a time to spend that time with my son, to show him and to do what God called me to do with him by my side," he said. "I made a decision in that jail cell to follow Christ. I didn't care what anybody else said, I didn't care what anybody else was doing, I was going to do what I knew what God called me to do, just like Joseph. I came to Teen Challenge a broken mess, gave my heart to the program, gave my heart to God, poured into the program. Men at that center poured into my life. So I began to walk it out just one day at a time. Doing what God called me to do. He took care of me, just like he took care of Joseph in that manger, gave them a place to go, a place for Jesus, my Lord and Savior to be born."
Clark said since he came through Teen Challenge, that his life has totally changed.
"Like I said, my son is going to spend another Christmas with me and we are going tell other guys who is broken, who has no hope, who their family is done with them, a broken mess," he said. "We are going to set them down, we are going to clear their mind and I am going to introduce to my friend, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So I just want to encourage, that is my calling on my life... God has a purpose for each one of us here. And just like Mary and Joseph, push through and Joseph became and did what God called him to do. I just want to encourage each one of you, whatever God has called you to do, don't worry about what everybody is saying, don't worry about everyone is thinking. To take this Christmas time to reflect on what God has called you to do. And push everything else aside, and go after that."