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- Format: Folded Tract
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- Size: 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches
- Pages: 8
- Version: KJV
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Usually when a testimony is given, it mostly pertains to “how one got saved.” Mine includes quite a bit of my life story because these are the events that shaped me. How I got saved was only a part of my relationship with God. It happened at school during a chapel service, because I went to a private Christian high school. The preacher said during his benediction, “Let God save you.” Seems pretty simple. As a sixteen year old, I was wild and rebellious. So the first time he said it, I brushed him off. But he kept saying it over and over. It hit me like a brick in the face. “Oh! I need to be saved.” To top it off, God confirmed this message by speaking to me just then, saying, “Let me save you.” I cried instantly. With a broken spirit, I said, “Yes, save me.”
When I think of all the times God has spoken to me, I get overwhelmed. A little bit after getting saved, I moved to Missouri to live with my dad. My parents divorced when I was six. The very moment my dad and I were driving away from my home, my mom was watching from the driveway, thinking to herself, “My baby is leaving. What will happen to him?” God spoke to her and said, “I will take care of him. I will never leave him.” Powerful. It made me cry when my mom told me. And it put her at peace when she first heard it. God knows our pain much more then we.
Another time, when I was 23, God spoke to me. I was busy working and all of a sudden God asked, “Will you suffer for me?” It was so shocking to me! What a question! I immediately said, “Yes,” out loud! Shortly there afterwards I was at my apartment eating lunch, I saw a red color and a flashing gleam in the corner of my eyes. I immediately turned to see this and bam! Right in front of me stood an entire line of angels with flashing swords, fierce looking faces, and a reddish haze all around them. I was so scared I fell to the floor face down and prayed they would go away! I realized God was showing me that I was protected. The point is, these moments of God actively pursuing me have been fallback moments. In times of great adversity, God would bring them to mind and I would have joy.
“Angels … are … ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation” (Hebrews 1:13,14).
One last testimony of God working in me, or at least showing Himself to me, was in the dreams I have had. These pertain to events that would eventually happen. Two years before my dad died, I saw in a dream my family gathered around a casket. One of the people there was a half-brother I had never met. But in the dream, I was talking to him. Two years later, my dad died and my half-brother showed up. In 2005, I saw and heard a word from God in a vision at night time when I was awake. I was called to live in San Diego. In 2007, my wife got orders from the Navy to transfer to San Diego. Of course, I came with her.
As much as God has shown Himself to me, I have experienced tremendous pain. At age six, my parents divorced and my mom moved us away. Ever since then, I would only see my dad in the summers. And then, it was awkward because I wasn’t used to him. I had a deep longing for him, but I was so scarred from being separated from him, and so locked up emotionally that I did not know how to express it. I have always struggled with communicating my feelings. Growing up without a father causes anxiety. I hate to say it, but I was a scared little boy most of my childhood. Fighting feelings of unworthiness and having a victim mentality was common for me. Shortly after I joined the military my dad died. It really broke me. I did not really speak for a couple of weeks and I did not know how to grieve. My whole family was broken. This has to be the most significant event in my life, excluding being saved, getting married and starting a family. The reason is the negative effect it had on me. I cannot express how devastating it was.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die” (Ecclesiastes 3:1,2).
For weeks, my chest would ache. There is not a readily available solution. I looked for help; I guess I did not know how to approach God. I used external things to distract me, like movies and living recklessly. I was promiscuous. I would spend my money without any foresight. I desperately convinced my superiors to send me on deployment. I traveled to eleven different countries being as reckless as I could. At one point, I tried to go to Iraq, even though my platoon did not have orders to go to war. Eventually, I exited the military and continued living this distracted life. That is until I was 23! I got so sick of trying to hide my pain that I broke down. I stopped spending money, stopped trying to date, stopped movie going, etc.
The turning point was when I decided to pray every night before bed. I asked for healing. I asked for a friend. I asked to start over. It was very hard. I had to break through all the lies of unworthiness and simply rely on God. I definitely cried myself to sleep many nights. This went on for about a month or two months. All of sudden, I met a friend at church. I met a friend at work. These two people were such a blessing to me that I remember vividly my conversations with them to this day. I started going to Sunday night services at church, which was mostly worship at this church. And I would sing these songs all week at work. My attitude changed. My mood was stable and even joyful. God put a smile on my face. During this time, I dove into God’s word and just read chapter after chapter, learning and absorbing everything I came across. It was beautiful. I had hope. One of the steps I felt convicted to follow through on was confessing my reckless life to my family. I called my mom, brothers, sister, half-brother, aunt, etc. and over the phone I confessed to them. They were flabbergasted! Every time I called someone, I always cried. Just like when Joseph met his brothers in Egypt, he cried. It was heart wrenching I am sure for him to forgive them. Likewise, I needed to cry. Those tears were tears of healing. My family did not need to know, but I needed to confess. During that time, I was not eating. The body is so amazing, when going through such an emotional experience. I was not hungry and I lost weight. I am sure of it.
“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered…. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long…. Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble” (Psalm 32:1-7).
Due to my lonely childhood, God has put it on my heart to minister to youth. I do not want to be a rescuer or replace anybody’s father. I want to relate to them. I want to care for their needs. I yearn for this. It will satisfy me deep down. So, part of my vision for the future is to start a Bible school/mentoring program. I want to help teach them to prepare them for the future and meet any need that I could while teaching them Biblical principles. Whenever I see books written to help youth, I cry. Whenever I read of youth who know how to make wise decisions, are not afraid of challenges, and have a supportive family, I admire them. This is my passion.
“Whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea”
Looking at my life now, I see my wife and my kids as an extension of God’s faithfulness. He is able to heal anything, restore anyone, and bring hope anywhere. When I see them I am reminded of His majesty. In closing, I see this society we live in as very rebellious. Because of not wanting to appear as different, Christians conform to these norms which are so destructive. We give money to parachurch organizations to help people far away, but we find it hard to invite over church members and share dinner with them. Our culture is passive. It is backwards. I am fed up. I want to institute a culture of caring for others, locally. I want to mentor younger people through recreation and teamwork, to hold accountable our church leaders and secular leaders, to have a vision for our families and lead them daily, and to unite in prayer for what takes place around us. We live in a broken world, sin is everywhere and restoration is needed wherever we go. Only God can restore 100% but until then, let us live like brothers and sisters. Join me!
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:10,11).