For forty years Frank Lee was addicted to drinking, smoking and gambling before a day of severe gambling losses brought him to the edge of suicide and a miraculous turn to sobriety.
After two failed marriages, the second producing "three beautiful children who I loved", Frank admits he still spent more time in pubs, clubs and racecourses than with his family.
"I could not relate to my children because I was too busy drinking in clubs and betting at the races. I bought them material things, but did not give them my time and love."
In his 30s Frank tried to end his habits, but gave up after 18 months as he could not resist for more than three days.
One night he met an extraordinary man who once was a violent drunk and had not had a drink or smoke for ten years.
"I told him that I did not have the willpower to break my addiction," Frank recalls.
"He replied that I would never break them by my own strength or will, and I needed a higher power – the power of the Lord Jesus Christ."
Frank responded hotly, "Mate, I am not religious. I believe in God, but Jesus was just a man. Give me something more tangible than religion."
The man then told his story.
"Ten years before he was a heavy drinker and a wife beater, and worked as a professional fisherman," Frank begins.
“I could not relate to my children... *I was too busy drinking and betting on races”"Up to four drinks he was okay, after which he would become agro, and if he couldn't pick a fight in the Geelong pub he would belt his wife at home. He said it was an uncontrollable demonic power that rose up in him.
"This man's brother talked him into going to church. After several trips to church, he committed his life to Jesus and was spiritually born again. Jesus led him out of his drinking and wife beating."
Frank recalls thinking this testimony was very powerful, but he forgot about it for two weeks until he lost his temper with a shopkeeper client and angrily began drinking and gambling at the races.
He lost every bet, then tried on the poker machines and lost even more.
"I lost so much money and was so upset that I contemplated suicide, but I didn't have the stomach to do it," Frank adds.
"Suddenly my mother's words and the man's testimony reminded me to turn to Jesus. My mum had taught me that if I want to talk to God I should be honest and never lie, because He knows if I'm telling the truth before I open my mouth."
In the spare room Frank began to pray, "God I know you are there in heaven, I need your help to stop my habits. This man said that if I commit my life to Jesus and ask for forgiveness for all my sins He would give me the power to resist my addictions. I have never believed that Jesus is God, but if Jesus is God and He can really take away what I cannot give away, then come into my heart Jesus and I will follow you forever."
Frank clearly remembers a miracle happened: "Suddenly I was crying and weeping, asking for Jesus' help, and I heard a voice say, 'It is finished'. Suddenly I knew that I would never drink, smoke or gamble again."
Frank is now 88, and 40 years on he says, "I have never drank, gambled or had a smoke."
On that day of decision, Frank says, "That power from Jesus came into me like a bolt of lightning. That is the miracle of my life. I cannot stop telling people of the love Jesus has for them."
With God in control of his life, Frank eagerly bought a Bible, and he explains, "I started reading it to understand who Jesus really is and why He died as a substitute for our sins (see Romans 5, verse 8).
"I realised that only Jesus could give me eternal life (Acts 4, verse 12). Jesus said, 'I am the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father but through Me'" (John 14, verse 6).
"What a loving God we have!"•