One God | Salvation | Baptism | Faith
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Touch and Agree? | One Body? | One Liners
That is my testimony. I have done many things in my 38 years and have carried many labels. When it comes to my skills in work I have said that I am a "Jack of all trades, and a master of some." God has given me a unique ability to figure out nearly anything I set my mind to coupled with the physical skills needed to perform almost any task at least well enough to get by. I am a moderately large man at 6' 1" and 255 lbs. I am inordinately strong even for my size but this gets less noticeable as I age. I started work at an early age (7) on a part time basis with my dad in construction moving into full time at 13, working nearly every spare minute when we had a house to build. I am a very good carpenter; not vanity, just the truth. I have gotten tired of the "bone crunching" field of construction and have at this time (11/17/96) a job as a van driver for an apartment complex for the "ambulatory" elderly. I was an alcoholic from the time I was 17 until I was saved at the age of 35. When I was saved I was delivered from the bondage of alcohol and from a 1 1/2 pack a day cigarette addiction. To those who don't think that cigarettes are an addiction I would ask how then do you define addiction?
In the years between ages 17 and 35 I lived in a kind of dull grinding hell. Don't get me wrong, there were some bright spots in between. I got a wonderful daughter out of the deal who is, well she's 15. Other than that she is a wonderful child. To imagine what those years were like think of all the horror stories about alcohol and drug abuse you have heard, combine them all together and you have a good picture of my life in that period.
To illustrate I will relate a few but not all of my experiences. I have had guns put to my head and in one instance the man was pulling the trigger as hard as he could; it didn't go off. I have walked up to people with guns in their hands and while saying something like "I'll take nine bullets in the belly before I'll take one in the back." taken the guns out of their hands. I have had both eyes blacked by a 5' 5" man who weighed 145 lbs and the same night walk out of the bar with 6 men bigger than me and walk back in 10 minutes later untouched myself but it would take 30 minutes to load these into the ambulance. I have taken handfuls of unknown drugs and once I slept for 5 days straight. For 2 of these days I was left for dead by my "friends" and it was only when one of them came to "discover" the "body" that they found I was still alive. I arose one morning after blacking out the night before and found that I was covered with blood. I showered to find there was not a mark on me. I went out to look at the truck I was driving and it had 5 different colors of paint on it and the front wheels pointed at each other. The greater mystery than how they got that way is how I managed to drive it home. One night I was followed home from a bar by two policemen and when I got in front of my house it took me 10 minutes to find the door handle and when I did I fell out face first to the ground. I never gained my feet and just crawled to the door and knocked with my head. I was staying with my parents and my Mom told the cops that she had me and proceeded to literally kick my backside into the house. I saw one of the police about a week after this incident and he said that if my driving that night had been for a test to get my license he would have had to give me 100%. I have been hit in the head with about anything you can think of and have had as many as 30 stitches in my head. I could go on about the car wrecks, prison term, divorce, bar band period and many, many turns in my life but I think you get the idea.
At the age of 17 I was baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. I, like all who receive the Holy Ghost, spoke in a language that was unknown to me. I was totally unprepared for this. To make a long story short I decided that I could not and would not turn from my life of sin and that I truly didn't want to serve God at that time. Well friends, I tell you that you do not willfully refuse the Lord with impunity.
Shortly after this time I experienced some events that I will not go into as they are irrelevant but let me say that I learned what it means to be turned over to Satan. In the midst of one of these events, while I was being "strangled to death" I had an encounter with the Lord. I won't go into too many details since one: they are embarrassing and two: it is irrelevant to this testimony. Call it a "vision," "dream," or whatever but I know I was "in the Spirit." I will not tell you all that occurred. I will tell you that in this "vision" I stood before Jesus and He asked me if I would serve Him. I wanted so much to say yes but even with the immediate promise of eternal Hell, I knew in my heart of hearts that the answer was no.
I cannot describe the feeling of utter emptiness as I "faded" from the presence of the Lord. I kept rehearsing it again and again trying to find some shadow of turning in myself and knowing in utter despair that the answer was still no. Just as I was resolved to my "fate" I heard a still quiet voice gently ask "Would you that I make you willing?"
I did and do now answer - Yes! Lord, Yes!
Oh! my friends, to return from that desolation of soul and spirit!
After these events I was turned over to a reprobate or counterfeit mind at my own request. I asked the Lord to allow me to make a fresh start and he did. I tell you all that if you want to get a taste of sin God will let you get a belly full! I would also like to state that if I had died during this period I would have been damned.
It is only by the Grace of the Lord that I am what I am today! His mercy has it's limits and those are the ones placed by His Justice. There is a Scripture that says that God cannot deny Himself. I praise and worship Him that He has seen fit that I not put Him in that position!
After I had been saved for about 2 years (after rebaptism in Jesus' name (Jesus Christ) since I had forgotten the other one ;-) while I was in prayer God asked me if all the years of bondage had been easy. I thought "Lord you know it wasn't easy!" Then friends He asked if it had been worth it! Oh, friends that you could know a moment like that! The release, the freedom and the Love of a God that is willing to do what is needed to allow you to be saved, even discomfort you! Yes, Lord, Yes! Worth every minute!
As to my calling and my gifts I will let them speak for themselves.
As to a title just call me - Saved by the blood of Jesus!