While Don Price was breaking into the Varsity Club, in Indianapolis, Indiana, at 2:00 in the morning, a merchant policeman stuck a pistol under Don’s arm and pulled the trigger. The bullet crashed within an eighth-inch of his heart, collapsed his lung, and lodged on top of his spine.

The next morning headlines screamed: “FATHER OF THIRTY-DAY-OLD TWINS SHOT ON THE NORTH SIDE OF CITY.”

Don’s home had been broken when he was only five. The law put his dad behind bars in Michigan City for bootlegging. (He was later saved.) Don went to live with his grandfather and step-grandmother. His grandfather told Don there was no God, and he would stand out in storms and defy God to strike him dead. This made a profound impression on the little boy.

Don’s grandfather even taught Don to drink when he was young so he’d know how to “hold it” when he was older. But Don soon learned to his sorrow that the liquor held him.

During his army days in World War II, Don carried a metal-backed Testament given him by a lady in Texas who witnessed to him at a U.S.O. Club. Through each battle, he cried out inwardly, not so anyone could hear, “If there is a God in Heaven, get me through this battle and I will live for You.”

He celebrated the war’s end by several days of drinking in Czechoslovakia. He prayed again, “Lord, get me back across the Atlantic and let me kiss the good old American soil, and I will live for You.” But promises like that are soon forgotten. Safely back in the United States, he tossed the Testament into an old trunk and spent the next 25 days of a 30-day furlough drinking. The last five days he sobered up so he could go out with his girl—later his wife.
From Camp Swift, Texas, the army shipped him to Fort Wright, New York, to recuperate. “I recuperated, all right,” said Don. “They made me a bartender in the officers’ club and added more drunkenness to my life.”

Released from the army, Don and his bride went to Indianapolis. He intended to settle down, but drinking, gambling and wife-beating plunged him deeper into sin—and finally into the underworld.

On their wedding anniversary, Don planned to take his wife out to dinner, but that day he met some of the fellows. “Price, we are breaking into a place tonight. You’d better come along and make some money.”

He wanted to tell them no, but he didn’t have the backbone to do so. Instead, he went home and picked a fight with his wife. He left the house after telling her to meet him in front of a certain building downtown, but that if he wasn’t there, not to wait on him.

“I had no intentions of meeting her,” Don told me, “and I drank and gambled in the early hours of the evening and later on with the fellows.”

It was the following morning he was shot. In the hospital he made promises to God and to his wife, but less than two weeks later, out on an eight-month bond, he came staggering home drunk again. Finally the judge sentenced him to one year of hard labor plus a $300 fine.

“I was a small-time operator, and I gave a listening ear to others in prison who told me how I could made BIG money. They talked about the loopholes, and that if they hadn’t done this or that, those dumb cops never would have caught them. But there was one thing that amazed me—those dumb cops were out on the street and we wise guys were behind prison bars.”

Don fought, stole, took drugs, and drank in prison. One day after a fight, he was placed
on a bread-and-water diet in the “hole”—a six-by-six-foot cell with a fourteen-inch board for a bed. While in the hole, he heard a man reading the Bible.  Angered, Don said, “If you wanted religion, why didn’t you get it on the outside? Maybe some of us don’t want to hear that Bible reading. Read it to yourself.”
But the man read all the more, and some of the verses were the same ones the lady in Texas had quoted. The Word of God began hammering at Don. He prayed, “God, if I get out of this hole today, I’ll go to the chapel tomorrow (Sunday).”

The next day he marched into the prison chapel.

A businessman told what Christ meant to him. He quoted, “For all have sinned, and come short of
the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
Don looked at him and thought, “Boy, there is a man who has made a success in life. He is a banker, and he said that he is a sinner and needs Christ. If he needs God, what about me?”

How the Love of God  – changed him

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