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My Testimony

Joined: 7/9/2015
Posts: 2
As a young boy, I was sent to church via a church bus. There were three people that planted seeds of hope in my life at this time. There was Mrs. Smith, she rode the church bus and worked in the school cafeteria. She would mentor me and visit every Saturday to make sure that my siblings and I were going to church on Sunday. Then there was Mr. Haupt, my Sunday school teacher, he would teach me the word of God and the Christian way of living. Then, there was Mr. Joiner, he would teach the children's church. He brought forth the message and made it come to life. These three planted seeds in my life and unfortunately did not reap the harvest at that time.
When I started high school, I would run from God. I started using drugs, alcohol and became sexually active. I made my own path. I thought that I was happy but deep down there was something missing in my life. In 1985, I would graduate and join the army. My first duty station would Germany. I would really stray from God here. I began drinking every day and would become an alcoholic. I would use drugs such as hash, acid and cocaine. I spent most of my free time in bars and in the arms of strange women when I should have been in church and in the arms of God. God would look down on me, even though I did not know it at the time, and take me back home. I would be stationed in Kansas next where I lived the same lifestyle and would eventually have a son and get married. This marriage was not ordained by God and it would fail after three years, when I would come home from war.
In 1990, I would go to Iraq and serve in desert storm. While waiting at the airport to fly over, I would receive a care package that would eventually allow me to cross paths once again. In that package, there was a desert camouflage bible, donated by the Gideon, and I would place it in my shirt pocket. While in the desert, God would spare my life several times, protecting me from mortar rounds that would rain down all around me, protecting me from a tank round that would cook off in a fire and skip across the ground behind me, where I was standing just seconds earlier, protecting me from bomblets exploding just yards away as I walked to the breakfast line. He was in my life even though I had turned my back on him. I would later have a terrifying dream about my father and was awakened in the middle of the night by it. This is when I would think about the Gideon bible in my shirt. I did not know where to start, but, I did remember one verse that had stuck with me from my time with the three angels that God had placed in my life years earlier. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him shall not parish but have everlasting life”. This was the beginning of my homecoming. Although I did not dedicate my life to God at that time, He was working on me and I knew something was going on. Back in the states, God would send his angels to witness to me, but, I would fight it and do my best to make them mad. It never worked though.
God would eventually take me out of the Army and send me home. There, I tried to keep up my army lifestyle, but God had other plans. He placed the woman that he had picked out for me in my life. We would get into church, get married and have a child. In 1995, I would give in to God's plans and would accept Jesus as my lord and savior. I would warm the pews for years. In 2004, I would get tired of pew warming and asked God to use me. Be careful when you do this because there may be a pruning process before he can use you. In 2005, my pruning would take place; I would get laid off from the factory that I worked at. My first instinct as a husband and father of two was to get a job, any job. God had other plans though, he told me to have faith in him and wait. This was the toughest thing that I had ever done, but God was teaching me and preparing me for his work. My wife and I would talk and pray and pray and pray. Did I mention pray? We said ok Lord, no matter what happens, we are going to wait on you; even if we lose everything. Well, we did lose almost everything, everything except God and that would be all that we would need. We lost our house and car and had to file bankruptcy. I would only make $6,000 that year, but, God made sure we had a place to live, food in our stomachs, and clothes on our backs. We never lacked. During this time, He would open the doors for me to go back to school, at the age of 38. He would give me a job that paid me more than I had ever made. Remember, we had lost everything, but we still had God and God is sufficient. Now, I am 46, God has given us a home, paid in full and three vehicles, paid in full, debt free. Praise God!!! He is more than enough. That is why I am Jesus Strong today. I will not turn my back on him ever again; I will serve him until he takes me home. By the way, he did use my wife and me as youth leaders for 5 years and it was a blessing. We are still active in church today. What has God done for you? Encourage others and share your testimony. God is good. Live Jesus Strong.
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