My Story

(Shorter version. Reading time: 11 minutes)

Background

This version of my testimony focuses on struggles, what I learned in the world, how its philosophy make us more wicked, and how Jesus Christ changes all of that. You will see that Jesus Christ has real power. If He saved me, you also know that nobody is beyond His reach.

People naturally put their trust in things of this world for comfort or purpose. Might be people close to you, status, school, job, money, government, your church. I learned the hard way that you don't want those as your foundation. We'll start there.

From Start to Jesus

I lived in many places but grew up rural. I do enjoy BBQ, guns, and campfires but country life was boring. Some of us liked TV, games, and science. We mostly dreamed of better lives in other places. I was mentally gifted but socially and physically weaker. I was a walking encyclopedia of knowledge and full of great ideas. I had no focus and procrastinated too much. People excluded and mocked "nerds." I learned to use my mind, imagination, and straight-up lie to get attention or compete with them. I loved attention.

Worse, the black school I went to also made me hate being white. We never did anything good, caused every bad thing, had excluded blacks in the past (racism), and they didn't want whites participating in black things (not racism). There was a rule that we could never be allowed to win. Even enemies would team up to stop that. They'd also attack us regularly. The people there who showed compassion were the only reason I'm not a racist.

I learned to dodge problems or verbally take on whole crowds. Trying to be black and act out to fit in got more hate. Being a half-white / half-black nerd stuck with me. Walked a tight rope with no group to belong to. I started thinking through everything I did, worrying what people thought, and being ready for any problem. Dreaming big, worrying, and procrastinating continue to be problems of mine. White, suburban schools were much easier but I was also a teenager with those problems.

In high school, many things happened: learned about programming/hacking, asked Jesus into my heart, and 9/11 and Iraq. Computers turned my imagination into reality and put me in control (life didn't). We watched 9/11 live in class. It had many of us ready to serve and fight terrorists. Our President lying that Iraq was behind it killed more Americans than 9/11 itself, maimed tens of thousands, and killed hundreds of thousands of innocents overseas. The media, esp Fox, would lie that our strikes were successful while overseas outlets would show actual videos of bombs missing and kids dying. Like Vietnam. Can't trust our institutions.

In church, people talked a focus on Christ until it cost them time, money, or worldly attachments. The Bible said the Spirit brought holiness, love, and truth. Church people's jokes, movies, and lifestyles were sinful. They rarely helped folks who were different from them, talked a lot about science they never read, and most just seemed as outwardly fake as everyone else. Maybe religion was just lies that make us feel good. I walked out on church and God. Many churches said apostasy is like re-crucifying Jesus: I'd never be forgiven.

A Better Class of Bad Boy

New philosophy: "I'd Rather Die on My Feet Than Live On My Knees!"

I saw myself as a principled, fun, bad boy. I'd solve our problems myself. I'd take a path, learn from the best, do my thing, and move on. Sometimes stuck doing and having nothing. Highlights: Overcame social anxiety working high-volume retail. I became world-class at tech for computer security and boosting human potential. My hobbies included researcher, educator, reformer (civil rights / anti-corruption), business expert, parties, martial artist, made a few people pick-up artists. I scored respect from people on top, in the underground, and everywhere in between. Lots of wasted time.

What did it all teach me? Our institutions, systems, and philosophies were all corrupted by human selfishness on every level. Every political movement about helping people was self-righteous us vs them. The rich, famous, and powerful were all liars. Underneath, they were just like us with similar worries or never satisfied no matter what pleasures they had. They only stayed on top if they convinced us they were worth watching or paying. Facing death, they wished they thought more about God, family, and things that really mattered. They got buried, too. Our meaningless world is too broken to fix. If you doubt that, read a history book and see people consistently ruin everything they build.

Even worse, the secular world taught there is no god, no purpose, morality is what each individual wants it to be, and do what feels good for you. Universe will disappear into nothing from whence it came. So, nothing you do good or bad really matters. I grew more evil going down that path in those places. Pursuing small evils let the Devil put more of it into my mind. Like others with power, I started seeing people like objects to exploit or abuse. It no longer horrified me in most cases: thinking about it was either fun or I just felt nothing.

Con artists, pimps, child abusers, rapists, enslavers, and killers are examples of people who think like that. Jesus says people who set think these things are no better than those who do those things since their hearts are just as wicked. I started to do several of those things. Before anything happened, God stopped me with heavy conscience and sometimes impossible, random events. I was an expert on spotting patterns. These meant that the universe itself was resisting my efforts while allowing others to succeed. I griped that life was unfair to me.

(Looking back, I think God stopped me to make sure I could tell people I didn't do those things. Might be important to somebody. I was still evil.)

Since I knew I'd be destroyed, I traded away the worst evils for ego and pleasure, including porn. I had long traded pirated movies, music, and porn online. My main entertainment was stirring people up with satire and debate (devil's advocating). I'd do the worst topics both to show hard truths about them but mostly vent my worries. I destroyed people's beliefs in politics and religion (esp Jesus). Whereas, I gave away "real" knowledge for free to anyone it would help. Boosted many underdogs. Fans of my humor, debates, and charity all gave me regular doses of my favorite, legal drug.

At one point, God attempted to humble me with brain damage: my knowledge, skills, and even memory of most of my life went... poof! I refused to bow. I rebuilt my life piece by piece with most not knowing I had an injury. I hid my disability, would get on top of a group, reveal it, and double brag they got beaten by a cripple. My instincts kicked in between bouts of amnesia. I joked I was the real Jason Bourne. Since I hadn't learned, God let Satan pile more problems on me but limited the damage. I can't remember those years.

I was mainly motivated by ego and empathy. I self-righteously picked which people were worth my time to be good to. I'd ignore, mock, or step on the rest. With many threats and past trauma, I overcompensated by outdoing everyone and being outwardly invincible. Inwardly, I felt others' pain like it was my own, saw a world full of decent people hurting, I couldn't help them, and I had insomnia and nightmares about it. I drowned it out with heavy drinking for years. The clock was ticking toward me being in prison, dead from liver failure, or killing off whoever was standing in the way of progress. Making progress on three at once even though bad at multitasking.

God Breaks Me and Quickly Responds to My Call

The breaking point eventually came. My soul was already calling since His sheep hear His voice. His absence left a hole nothing else filled. He let Satan dump more on me: college and hospital debt; knees, liver, and car start failing; relative had $350,000 bail we had to help with; staff cuts had me sprinting 13 hours a day, once 18.5, serving angry customers; some other catastrophic problems. Practically crawling under the weight, I called to an "unknown God" saying, if He helped me, I'd do better and even pull others up with me on my way up. Still arrogant even as I begged for help.

God Responds (Satan Does, Too)

High-potential people showed up out of nowhere with piles of interesting coincidences happening. Those who helped me were Christian. One buddy of mine was a predator who set me up at work on false charges to get a transfer to a higher-paying job. The setup was easier because I talked and acted rudely and inappropriately to everyone, including her. God's discipline for my own sins.

My prayers and plans kept failing. Eventually, I realized God wanted me to do things His way, not mine. I prayed that intention, she suddenly left, I was still employed, and everyone was confused. God re-taught me some gentleness, humility, and patience. What was He preparing me for?

Coronavirus Panic

Coronavirus Panic hit my very next shift. It seemed almost everyone started acting as selfish, evil, and chaotic as they do in movies when the world is ending. The people just trying to take care of their families felt helpless. I canceled starting a business to focus on helping them even though we thought COVID might kill me (immune disorder). Praying, reading the Bible, and good works were all I knew to do. I prayed to God worrying I'd still lose faith and abandon Him. Do I really need to believe in and obey the Bible literally?

He answered. I was tired at work when I saw a flash of bright light, felt like a bolt of lightening went through me, became wide awake, and heard a coworker in trouble ask for my help over the radio. The voice was distorted in a mix of heavenly (angelic?) and underwater sound. I've had many experiences, including lucid dreams. This was different. If you experienced this, you'd know it was supernatural or you just developed mental illness. Unable to decide, I just started walking toward her. Minutes later, she came on the radio saying the same thing, same tone, and same pacing. I knew that was Old Testament-style prophecy. I started running toward God.

Life of Service

I asked God how to serve Him right. I wore a shirt with the Word of God on it every day to give Him opportunities. God used a combo of that shirt, obeying specific commands, and narrow coincidences (signs) to point me at a woman who overflowed with love for Jesus Christ. I had forgotten what that even looked like. Their Bible study taught me Jesus saves permanently anyone who believes in Him as a gift, not something we earn by works. His death on the Cross already earned it, His Spirit transforms us, and obedience and love flow from God's work in us. I surrendered to Christ around June 2020.

Then, things started happening that never happened before. He changed me to love others more, even strangers and enemies. Gave me feelings back that trauma had taken away. Infants started staring at me with fascination, often happy. One animal nobody could touch let me pet it (not all...). Heart-hardened people opened up. Random events at work shifted to benefit more than hurt me while others had the same problems. Random events seemed to make helping other people easier. One person covered a large debt for me. (Twice now.)

Prayer had power science didn't begin to explain. The prophecy already had my faith high. People whose luck was down told me everything started lining up out of nowhere after a prayer. Some who tried to attack or unjustly fire us had sudden problems that blocked that. Struggling and dying folks had rapid turn-arounds after group prayers that baffled professionals. I'd sense a spiritual need in someone, pray/fast for them, and they'd improve in that area after randomly focusing on it. Some I prayed hard for not only reported those outcomes: they used either the exact or close to the words in my prayers! I loved the consistent inner peace and good sleep during a time when many were consumed with fear. Inside and out, the Gospel had proven power!

Conclusion

"The saying is faithful and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first, Jesus Christ might display all his patience for an example of those who were going to believe in him for eternal life." (1 Tim. 1:15-16)

After turning to Jesus Christ, who I am, my life, and others lives around me have changed for the better in ways we'd all have said were impossible just last year. Psalm 116 comes to mind. Works of fiction don't change people like me. It was an act of God that saved other lives. It happened because God compelled me to read His Word. It has power. Put your trust totally in Jesus and He'll show you, too.

I was an undeserving sinner. He brought me back, cleansed me of all that pain and filth inside, put His love and peace in me, and set me on fire with His Spirit to serve Him. My life now and till death will testify to the steadfast love of our God He gives through our Lord Jesus Christ.

(Read the Gospel with proof its true. Some predictions He made to motivate us. If you're a believer, this site will equip you.)