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  my testimony for Him

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worshipfreely
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PostSubject: my testimony for Him   Sat Sep 10, 2011 3:40 am

Hello my name is Jason and I am a very grateful believer and follower of Jesus Christ, I say follower because I believed in Christ for most of my life but only began a true change when I became a follower. I have suffered from addiction to drugs, anger, violence, superiority, a massive ego that wants to be my higher power and an abusive sinful nature but I have truly been redeemed by my savior and washed clean by the blood of Christ. I was raised in an environment of sin, drugs and partying a normal part of my life, seeing all types of immorality at a very young age. I was not physically or verbally abused but it was clear that friends and partying were my parent’s priority. I rebelled by not doing drugs, by excelling in school as well as at sports. I tried everything to make my parents want to be involved in my life in a positive way but they never seemed to notice. As I grew I began to feel like I was alone in the world and understood very little of this world and my place in it. I had a warped relationship with God which I will explain later but it gave me little comfort at this point in my life. When my parents divorced I was taken away from everything I knew and moved to a completely alien environment. I found myself in Carson City NV the land of open and abundant sin. With little adult supervision and having a father that gave me total freedom out of a sense of guilt I began to make terrible choices that would affect the rest of my life. I still did well in school for a couple more years but quit the baseball team which could have gotten me into just about any college I wanted to attend and began to make friends with people who weren’t the best influence for me. I began to drink and once I smoked pot for the first time I was immediately in love. I had relief for the first time from the anger I had building in me that I didn’t really understand. I also found joy that had been seriously lacking, but more importantly I found attention and acceptance that I yearned for my whole life. My best friend Justin and I began to party all the time exposing our friends to sex, drugs, and violence on a daily basis. We would get drunk, fight, and get drunk some more. Telling ourselves we didn’t do real drugs so we were in control. I had a love for irreverence and committed sin after sin on strangers on friends, never really caring about anything but having fun. I had a superiority complex, a slowly boiling rage and an extreme case of narcissism. This led to me breaking every commandment, committing every sin. I had become a very dangerous unstable boy in a mans body. At this time I met the woman that would be the love of my life, but you couldn’t tell by the way I treated her. I was abusive and distant and really only used her for one thing. I ditched her as soon as I could see no use for her. I continued on a path of destruction and criminality, landing in jail more than a couple times. I moved to Oregon thinking a geographic change would make the difference, but oddly enough my rage and narcissism followed me. I continued to self medicate and though my criminality ebbed my immorality flowed strong as ever. I soon found myself back in the life of the girl I had left behind finding out she had had a child that was possibly mine I went up to Washington to make amends. We quickly jumped past forgiveness and into an unhealthy relationship. We married and had another child. The love was there but we were both very unhealthy people with a lot of baggage. It was a very abusive and dysfunctional family at best. We loved each other deeply but it just wasn’t enough in the face of all the demons of our pasts. I dove deeper into addiction and just shoved my pain and rage deep inside. Eventually it rose to the surface and erupted all over my life. My closest loved ones taking the brunt of my anger and violence. My wife and I went on and off back and forth for years, with the kids eventually ending up with me. I used them to define my worth but as my life eventually fell apart I took everything out on them. I landed in prison for the abuse I subjected my sons to. I was broken and alone and blamed God for putting me in this wretched world. I was bitter and resentful but at the same time I was desperate for my life to make sense. On my knees I asked God if this was really my life, really the only way to get my attention. He gave me a clear and booming answer that yes it was the only way. With some it takes the touch of a feather and me, it took an avalanche. I was forced to take an honest look at myself and really see for the first time the person I truly was. I was a monster, who had done unspeakable things. I had torn apart my entire family. (1 Timothy 1 15-16…This is a true saying, and everyone should believe it: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners-and I was the worst of them all. But that is why God had mercy on me, so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of His great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in Him and receive eternal life) Not only had I lost my kids but I cost my mom a relationship with her grandkids and my sisters a relationship with their nephews, and conversely my sons a relationship with their family. Also I left my wife to raise our sons alone. I became very depressed but at the same time very determined. So I continued to talk with God and try to sift thru the emotional mess I had become. I was cut off from friends, family and my beloved drug of choice and was forced to face my problems head on or get eaten alive in prison. I chose to ask God for guidance though I wasn’t ready to go to church or read His word I prayed constantly. Any time I wasn’t talking I was talking with God. Gradually my thinking began to change and my anger and anxiety lessened in small increments. Soon I found myself free from incarceration but my wife and kids had disappeared hiding from the man they had seen me become. Over the next couple years I struggled because I missed them so much and was eager to show them how much I had changed, but the truth was the real work was still ahead of me. Still keeping my relationship with God personal and private I struggled to stay clean and went to jail several times for post prison violations. Now at this point I am going to take a trip back to my childhood to share a very powerful event that took place when I was five, don’t worry I will tie it all in with the point I believe was pivotal in my spiritual walk. As I slept one night cozy in my jammies, just five years old Jesus revealed Himself to me. He showed me a glimpse of the future and told me I was destined to change the world. Now keep in mind that my dad did not believe in God or the divinity of Jesus Christ, I had never been to church or even been introduced to the concepts of God. Though the vision confused me I still knew it was very important. Since I had no spiritual guidance I warped the meaning of my vision to something my limited understanding could wrap my head around. I didn’t share this vision with anyone for fear they would think I was crazy but I took it to mean I was better then others, more special, just plain superior. I had a high level of intellect and great physical attributes that only reinforced my God complex. I saw Him as my partner my equal, never as my father. Only difference between me and God was that God never thought He was me. I later realized why I was always frustrated and angry because I had such high expectations of myself that were ultimately unrealistic. Every mistake I made was a huge failure in my eyes. (1 Corinthians 1 27-28…God deliberately chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose those who are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important) The reason I waited to bring this part of the story into the light is to show the importance of studying the word and the fellowship offered in church. If I had these things I would have had context for my vision instead of warping it to a place it was never meant for. ( 2 Timothy 3-16…. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right) Flash forward, now I found myself in treatment at the community corrections center and there was invited to celebrate recovery. I walked into this church and felt at home for the first time in my entire life. I could see the Christians here were genuine not the hypocrites I perceived all Christians to be. I saw people who walked the walk, and accepted me despite the terrible crimes and sins I had committed. I found myself opening up to these people in ways I never thought possible. I began to realize just how messed up my views of Christ really were. At CR I found the value of worship from a band that sings and plays with the power of the spirit although if you complement them they will humbly give the glory to God, also another example that was being set for me. My gifts were not to bring me glory but to bring glory to God. My past failures began to make sense. I was able to start reading His word and confess my sins so that I could know the freedom of Christ. I was truly being washed clean by the blood of Jesus Christ. With the help of my everyday angels, these brothers and sisters with beautiful feet, I began to grow in Christ by leaps and bounds. I became someone people could look up to and respect always reminding them that the glory was for God only. (1 Timothy 4 7-8….Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Spend your time and energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness. Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this and the next life) I am but a humble servant, though honestly humility is not my strong suit its something that I practice daily. I was able to see the power in service, to be a leader and actually be a positive influence on the people around me. I began to work the steps with my brother Ron, and became very close with him and his wife Doreen, all the while encouraging me to delve deeper into the word. The word of God is the Truth and the only way to really understand a relationship with the Father. Truthfully I struggled for a while to open that bible regularly and get intimate with the word, it just was something that was hard for me to except. I should mention that in the three years I have been attending CR I have relapsed and fallen several times, always I was able to find the humility somehow and return. (1Corinthians 10 12…So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall) My brothers and sisters always encouraging me and refraining from judgment of my behavior just glad to see me keep on going and coming back. I saw others change and grow in Christ. It was amazing. One night at CR a friend of mine did her testimony and the finale was me performing a song I wrote in prison called Faith. It was a powerful night and a pivotal moment in my life. Three days later I went on Face book, which I had just set up in case my sons were of a mind to look me up, though honestly I couldn’t see any future where they would want to see me, and there was a message from a stranger claiming to know my wife and kids. I was stunned, I was at work and it was three o’clock and I literally ran back and forth like a chicken with its head cut off. I was so excited but had no one to share this with and knew I could respond to the message but would get no return until the next day at the soonest. Eventually I was able to correspond with this fellow Christian and learn that my family was nearby and they were walking with the Lord, hallelujah. Also they had forgiven me but were not sure they could trust me. They were very encouraged by my walk with Christ though. I was able to poor my heart out to this stranger not really understanding the nature of his relationship with my family. It was strangely comforting and cathartic to confess openly to this person I had never met. Within a few days this stranger had a confession of his own, he was actually my wife. She asked me to forgive her deception and to please understand she felt she needed to know if she could trust me. I told her there was nothing to forgive, I was glad she did it that way. You see If I would have known it was her I would have tried to say all the right things and try to convince her of all these changes in my life, instead I was able to be candid and forthcoming not caring what this stranger thought of me, just hoping he would glean the truth of my words and pass them on to my family. I soon went to my po and got permission to set up a meeting with my therapist to mediate a possible reunification. It seemed to take forever but I know one thing for sure, God doesn’t always come when I call but He is always on time, and soon enough I was able to see them, to hold them, to show them I was truly sorry and a changed man reborn by my acceptance of Christ as my savior. It was uncomfortable at first but really it all happened quite naturally, the capacity for forgiveness in children is amazing, especially when those children know Christ. We have been able to grow closer than ever before because of a shared relationship with our Lord. They have seen me be able to be patient and nurturing and not default to abuse. I have been able to parent and show them an example of a true Christian man. Don’t get me wrong I don’t claim to be perfect or even close, but I am no longer a sinner, just a saint who sins. I have moved away from the violent negative music I once held so dear and discovered that there are many artists who still go hard; they just do it for the Lord, spreading the gospel. I do bible study in a group that has really helped me grow in the word, I pray with my family, I still attend CR most every Friday and have turned my music into glorification of the Lord. I spend less time in worldly things and am gaining an eternal perspective. I have truly fathomed the sacrifice that Jesus made for the entire world and strive daily to become worthy of it, though I believe it is impossible to be worthy what with my sinful nature and all. God deems me worthy any way so I humbly accept it. I move more away from sin by reading His perfect word and fellowshipping with my everyday angels, those people that God has blessed me with to learn from and grow with. Through Gods grace I have been able to rekindle my love for my wife and we plan to get remarried in the not too distant future. With all my baggage the world tells me that like the hummingbird I shouldn’t be able to fly, but because God says I can I fly anyway. (Matthew 19 26…Jesus looked at them intently and said, humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible) I can admit when I’m wrong and make amends immediately; I can ask for help, I can do the right thing just because it’s the right thing. All these things have been made possible thru the blood of Jesus Christ and my acceptance of Him as my Lord and savior. I must always remember that without Him I am nothing but with Him I have true meaning. He has healed my family, a family broken and with little hope in this world, yet thru God we stand before you tonight, whole and forged like steel in the Lords holy light. Together we fight the enemy who hates us, hates our powerful testimony, and hates the glory we bring Him. Satan daily attacks us, desperately trying to tear us apart, but in all we do we seek the Fathers wisdom, patience grace and love. The devil has no power in Gods house for darkness can’t exist in the light, as for me and my family we will serve the Lord. I have seen the gift of tongues and received the gift of interpretation, I have seen the power of earnest prayer, I have been baptized in water and bathed in the Holy Spirit, and I have been given a small glimpse into heaven. I now have a purpose driven life. My purpose as is the purpose of all people is to love be loved and to spread the good news of Jesus Christ thru gospel. I pray for myself, I pray for my loved ones, I pray for the strangers I encounter and I pray especially for those who don’t know Christ. I give thanks everyday for all my many blessings, but more importantly to me I give thanks for the hardships I endure because they strengthen me and draw me closer to the Father, and compared to the suffering of Christ and the tears of the Father having to turn His back on His son, my pain, my trials and tribulations pale in comparison. (2 Corinthians 12 10…Since I know it is all for Christ’s good, I am quite content with my weaknesses and with insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong) I delight in the Lords grace and mercy, His perfect love. I’m not perfect and no longer feel I have to be, but I do strive to have a life that is an example to others and be content with what I am given. I trust the Lord in all aspects of my day to day life, reveling in the knowledge of His promise of rest on New Earth. My faith is tested constantly, the closer I come to God the harder the enemy tries to use my weakness’ to bring me down. He is faithful to me no matter what the least I could do is have faith in HIM. So pick up your bible, accept Jesus as your savior, on your knees beg your forgiveness, and join the war on sin, become a Christian soldier.
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PostSubject: Re: my testimony for Him   Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:17 am

What a testimony, worshipfreely! You gave me a gift with that message. It reminded me that I should never get comfortable in the Freedom the Lord gave me so many years ago, that I need to remember to go back and fervently thank Him on a daily basis. I will never forget that it was because of Him, not I, that I was able to break away from my brokenness. You have the makings of an awesome memoir here!

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worshipfreely
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PostSubject: Re: my testimony for Him   Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:23 am

It's also on video with the performance of 'My Inspiration' but I can't get it on the web cause I'm computer dumb. Thanks for taking the time to read it. It was a powerful night.

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PostSubject: Re: my testimony for Him   Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:04 am

"With some it takes the touch of a feather and me, it took an avalanche"
got stuck right here for awhile, powerful.
There is not a single wasted thought nor disregardable word in any this!
A riveting testimony, life-changing, thanksgiving, "written on your heart and freely given".
I might add that this caught me by surprise:" With all my baggage the world tells me that like the hummingbird I shouldn’t be able to fly".
I had never seen a humming bird till the age of 52 (this year).
I planted some wildflowers this spring and when they started to bloom I began to see what I thought were the biggest bees I'd ever seen.
Now we have a hummingbird feeder and I never tire of watching them and all of our little neighbors that come from the surrounding woods to grace us with their beauty and take a little food.
This testimony is Bread and Living water for the soul, Jesus Lives and is calling to us in these days with spiritual awakening on a grand scale.
Thank You so much for sharing,
May God continue to bless you and your family and your ministry.
Btw.
"no,no,
thank you,
this, my brother is the epitome of "truly epic".
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PostSubject: Re: my testimony for Him   Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:05 pm

Praise the Father.

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PostSubject: Re: my testimony for Him   Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:36 pm

oh and the world says the bee shouldn't be able to fly either.

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PostSubject: Re: my testimony for Him   Sat Sep 10, 2011 5:17 pm

That's right !

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