What do I have to live for? Who really cares about ME? Where is the positive example that I am suppose to learn from?
My life, I thought, was always pretty simple. I grew up going to church and I honor my parents for raising me in church, although their relationship didn't always reflect the Christian life. I cannot remember many details in my younger years as most people can, and still do not understand why sometimes. I do remember all the arguing, fighting, threatening, and disrespect that went on in my home. I remember many nights not even sleeping at all because of the intense arguing. Many times I remember standing in the middle of my parents all night long, crying out loud for them to stop, and keeping them from literally killing each other. I tried to run away many times. I always came back quickly, though, because I loved my parents so much, I couldn't stand to think that something might happen. I thought, 'If I'm not there, who is going to stop them from hurting each other?' I witnessed an attempted suicide and remember so clearly the emotional impact that it had on me at the time. I remember the times the police were called and I was so embarrassed for my parents' actions. They didn't seem to care about the effect it would have on their kids.I never had any friends over at my house because no one ever cared about how our house looked or was kept up. There were rooms in my house that I had never seen before. I think I had the neatest room in the house all the time. I had 2 older brothers and 2 older sisters, but they had the opportunity to have friends over because things weren't as bad in the house then. To my understanding, my parents always had problems that my older brothers and sisters had to deal with, but never to the magnitude that it became when I was in my teen years.
Well, thank God I never got involved in drugs or alcohol, although I hung around friends that did. I always went to church and had a passion for music. I began playing the drums when I was 8, and played in some pretty heavy rock bands as I got older in high school. My friends lived for getting wasted on alcohol and/or drugs and having sex with as many 'chicks' as they could. I began dating a lot and having a lot of sex. It was the thing to do, and once you start, it's really difficult to just stop. I didn't think about consequences when I was with my friends. When I was alone, though, I knew what was right and wrong in my life. Many times I didn't seem to care about my life. I considered suicide many times. I thought, 'Well, my parents hate each other, it seems that they hate me, I'm sleeping with girls that don't really care about me or my life. What do I have to live for? Who really cares about ME?'
My siblings had many problems in their lives as a result of the lack of positive examples. I, on the other hand, held on to one thing that I learned from the consistency of going to church. GOD CARES AND LOVES YOU WHEN IT SEEMS THAT NO ONE ELSE DOES! It always seemed that, no matter what I did or where I was, God was always there giving me a choice. He always seemed to provide a path of escape, but it was always up to me to choose and follow that path. Sometimes I chose the wrong path, but most of the time I chose to take the right path. I have seen in my family's life what happens when you choose the wrong path. I don't want that in my life!!!! I learned that in every situation you have a choice to make. You can allow that situation to mirror those same problems in your own life or you can allow it to make you a better person and learn from other people's mistakes.
Well, one of those times that God gave me a path of escape was when I was playing in a heavy metal band. I had long bushy hair and one of those jean jackets with all kinds of pins and patches on it of all the bands that became my 'idols' (it was the trend then... really!) I was dating a girl at the time that had an uncle that sang in a Southern Gospel group and they were looking for a drummer. My girlfriend mentioned this to me and I was still going to church and knew of that style of music. I agreed to meet with them and check it out. Now picture this, a southern gospel group interested in a heavy metal drummer with long hair and a long-haired heavy metal drummer interested in playing for a southern gospel group! It sounds crazy, but I now see God in that part of my life. Well, they wanted me to try out with them and I accepted. I began playing for them and continued to for about 7 years and went on to record in Nashville, two successful projects. It kept me in God's righteous path. God knew my passion at the time. He knew what excited me and made me happy.After that, I pretty much stayed on that path. I continued to play the drums on the church praise team, got involved in Youth Ministry at my church and worked hard. I knew that although my childhood wasn't what I had wished it to be, I am in charge of my life now. The choices that I make determine my future. I had always felt the tug of God in my life to be what He wants me to be, yet I never really gave it all to Him. The routine of going to church helped me stay on the right path, but that wasn't what was the most important. The most important thing was my RELATIONSHIP with God and what I did outside of church. What I was doing in my everyday life, my consistency, my attitude, my outlook, my INTEGRITY! What you do behind closed doors, where nobody sees, is what matters the most to God. I began living my life that way. No, I'm still not perfect. I still make mistakes, but when I gave my life to Jesus Christ and allowed Him to have HIS way in my life, He began to guide my life in every way. I still go through sorrows and hard times, but I know that God is right there with me. I know that He will bring me out of it as long as I continue to trust in Him and live according to His ways.
In 1995, I met the woman of my dreams and married her only 6 months later. We now have four wonderful, healthy children. I love my life and my family. We have a healthy relationship. It's not perfect. We fail, but we hold on to the promises of God. I have been so abundantly blessed with a profitable business that God is now using, to allow my wife and I to be involved in ministry at our church. We attend a great church and surround our lives with positive influences.
The pleasures in this world are nothing like the pleasures of God. You can't even compare them. When you give your life TOTALLY to Jesus Christ, you receive a hope and a future that brings forth a joy in your life that cannot be replaced by anything in this world. You can't even begin to imagine the joy I have now, unless you have taken the first step in giving your life over to Jesus Christ! He is the only one that can fill your life with the joy that He created us to have! God is the One that created us in His image. He breathed the breath of life into us when we were born! He put into every one of us an empty spot that must be filled by Him in order to receive that joy! Nothing that happens in your life is too terrible that God can't turn it around and give you hope and joy in this life! You have to decide to take that right path that leads to God, no matter where you are at right now.
God will not force you to take that path, nor will He send a bolt of lightning down from the sky to show you a sign that He is real. You must have faith to believe that HE IS REAL and take the first step for yourself, then you will begin to see the blessings in your life.
If what you just read touched you in some way, that is the power of God trying
to give you the hope that I was writing about. He can give you that hope right
now if you take the first step in believing on Jesus Christ, confessing that you
are a sinner (we all are), and that Jesus Christ died on a cross for our sins to
forgive us of our sins. Then begin living a life that is pleasing and acceptable
WHAT DO I HAVE TO LIVE FOR?
Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. Either Jesus Christ died for yours sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you ... please don't make such a tragic mistake.
To get to know God; to be at peace with God; to have your sins forgiven; to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity; to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life.
The staff and our ministry supporters so greatly appreciate hearing how God is touching lives for His glory through this outreach. If this ministry has touched you in some special way, would you please consider taking a brief moment and share your blessing with us? It is always encouraging to hear how God is using this ministry to touch lives for His glory through this outreach. Simply email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We truly thank each of you who allow us to publish your testimony, for those who faithfully pray (and fast) for this outreach, for those of you who help support the ministry financially, and for those of you who pass along these testimonials and other ministry writings to others. The part the Holy Spirit has you play is vital in helping win lost souls and being engaged in discipleship, and we can never thank you enough for the labor of love and support you provide on behalf of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Precious Testimonies is supported by the loving gifts of those God impresses to sow into this outreach. We ask that people pray and seek the Lord as to whether He would have them give this ministry a love offering to help us continue to cover ministry expenses. We are a non-denominational 501-C-3 evangelistic ministry, and financial love offerings to this ministry are tax-deductible. A financial summary can be viewed by clicking on the following link: Financial Summary.
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