God delivered me mightily over 20 years ago from a great deal of things. In 1989 at a cash register in grocery store in Bridgewater Vermont, I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior. My recollection is that of praying with some friends. These friends had simply shared Jesus with me for about two years. The reality of it was, I owed $155,000, my then ex-wife had filed for divorce and was seeing someone else, my business was in trouble and I needed Jesus-I needed anything.
My friends, Mike and Debbie had shared Jesus with me for a few years. I got to the point where I told them to “forget it”. I threw born again believers out of my stores. You see I was a witch, my stores (I had 5 at one time) were places of demonology, pewter figurines of dragons, wizards and witches, ritual kits, and jewelry. My business prospered on the problems of others. I recommended all sorts of things for health and healing. When I got saved, I threw out thousands of dollars of merchandise after opening to the scripture in Acts 19:19. (I was interrupted walking down the hallway by God!)
19:19 Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.
But God saved me and I began to devour the Word of God, spending three and half years waiting for my ex-wife’s return. I studied like there was no tomorrow, preaching the Gospel to anyone who would listen. The bills got paid. I closed my stores and moved to a city close to the church I attended. I made some bad mistakes along the way. And God’s grace was more than enough.
I had grown up in a small town in Connecticut, attending a small Congregational church, but never hearing the Word of God. I loved church. I played Little League, was in Boy Scouts, excelled in sports, but I became an alcoholic, a drug addict-little surprise, my dad was. He was a good man, but ultimately alcohol cost him his marriage. I was asked to leave a good prep school, because my life was so out of control. The boy genius was beginning the end of his life I thought. Police showed regularly at my home for all sorts of things. I asked a church (not born again) for help regarding my problems and they told me “God probably couldn’t help me”. I was on mood elevator drugs to counteract the effects of drugs (pretty comical). I moved from relationship to relationship, leaving Connecticut to come to Vermont to party. My parents bought a store and there was alcohol. Lots of it. I survived violent accidents, overdoses, and became totally against anything. I knew how to cheat, to steal, to get by.
My first marriage began to fall apart when I ended up in alcohol-drug treatment (a 28 day program took 90 days). We had been married 2 years, had lived together before that. I had a daughter. I was a real estate broker and a builder, and bought anything that was available. My coke habit was extravagant, and all the money was spent stupidly. Six months later I was in a mental hospital for 7-10 days for observation. My wife left, I was suicidal, depressed and hurt. 90 days later they released me. When I came out I had nothing. I got a job and after two years I lost it, after theft. I remarried after going out with them for a month. My youngest daughter was born prematurely, weighing about a pound. For one year, she was in the hospital. My son came home almost the same day. And I began to get crazy. Lithium, anti-depressants, tranquilizers-I hated them all. Sober nearly 9 years (let’s call it dry drunk), I sat through meetings about not drinking, not drugging and GOD.
And then life went into full tilt. In an effort to pay bills, I started my stores. A friend told me when I brought in crystal balls that something was going to happen. And it did. I was enthralled with power. And then one day I realized I was a slave to the devil. Every bit of worldly knowledge and Eastern religions failed me. Me, the man people came to for answers.
Miraculously I was saved. And the lights came on. No more guilt or condemnation. I learned about praise, prayer, the Word, evangelism and JESUS. I love the Lord with all my heart. And if I can be saved anyone can be. Jesus came and died for you and me, for forgiveness of sins. All our sins.
I spent 3 years in a Bible school. I began doing ministry. On the street, in the grocery store, anywhere I went. I have been released from all medications, nearly 16 years without a drink or street drug.
I am a new creation in Christ. I wish some of it had been different, but I am one of the blessed. I didn’t have to die without Christ like friends I watched die in an accidents or overdosing on drugs. I have a Godly wife who helps me in our ministry, raises my stepchildren, helps with our business. I don’t make the kind of money-but God provides and I don’t need a person to guard my life. God uses me daily in the lives of those who have come out of the type of life I was in.
God is a God of forgiveness,of grace. There is no other place I would choose to be than in the arms of the Lord.
And that folks is something you and I can take to the “bank.” There is no doubt in my mind that God loves me or cares about me.