"...Agree with God. Then good will come to you..."
Ever think about this? What we go through as a 'little guy' usually has a big effect on how we approach life. Those first 10 years. O my, what an effect those have on how you relate to people and challenges.
My dad was 57 when i was born. Do the math--that makes him 70 when I hit 13! He was a Christian man, but he had a lot of prejudice toward the youth of my day and frankly, didn't care too much about relating to my thoughts and feelings. He had a volatile temper and so I'd do anything just to stay clear of his explosiveness. We lived way out in the sticks up in the hills of Wisconsin. I had no siblings at home. That day-after-day feeling your folks didn't understand you...well...my guts ached most of the time.
I hated the hurt I was feeling, always wondering if I was good enough..."would Dad get on my case for something again today?" Although I had asked Jesus to forgive me and save me at age 11---when 18 and high school graduation hit---I was gone. Air Force here I come! But know what? I still had to please authority figures; but in the military we had other guys--and a mission to accomplish--and "well done, Airman" often brought recognition (which my young heart longed for). But I lived one way in uniform, and another way after hours...a 'double' life. I began sucking up to influential people--compromising what my conscience spoke to me. Soon I was swimming in the "sex, drugs 'n rock 'n roll" era. Looking back...the swimming was more like drowning.
I took my Department of Defense training in radio and TV, and chased a career in 'real world' broadcasting. After only three years, I was a success--a screamin' rock 'n roller nightly on a big station on the east coast. I was married to a beautiful woman and we had a little son, neat home and some powerful football "friends" in the NFL. These guys had other party-friends. All of a sudden, I found myself on the way to prison for a crime committed while hangin' out... "playin' it cool". Looking back now, I'd say it was us "actin' the fool".
My wife found a convenient and unfaithful way out of our marriage. I found how small I felt-- in front of a judge answering "not guilty" when asked "How do you plead?" Full of guilt and shame, for over eight months I lied to my defense attorney and everyone else. Finally, I couldn't stand myself so I had the attorney write the court a deposition, in which I confessed to my involvement in the crime, but pleaded for the mercy of the court. Leading up to the confession, a truly supernatural moment occurred. On March 3, 1976, in a moment of torturous depression, I saw these words form in front of me: "25 Yea the Almighty". Two weeks later, after locating the only Bible I owned in the basement among boxes of unused tools and junk, I opened it to where the bookmarker sewn into the binding of the Bible was set-- Job. Right there on those two pages I looked for 25th verses. The second one I found said "25 Yea the Almighty shall be thy defense..." (Job 22:25 kjv) I read surrounding verses and was blown away at what God let me see in verses 21 to 30! It seemed in the words of one of Job's "advising-friends", Father God was laying out a plan for me!
No one had any idea what was about to happen. At last my trial began; it was over in only a day. I returned to Judge Proctor's courtroom a week later as the media crammed the chamber. I expected to be sent to prison, but my heart cried for leniency. As sweat rolled down my back and legs, the judge spoke words uncommon for a circuit court judge anywhere on the planet...stating "...you have been judged by Hands far greater than mine...". With that, he pronounced an 18 month probation in lieu of an extended prison sentence.
Judge Proctor allowed me to move about the United States to seek broadcast employment. I started my life over in Moline, Illinois, developing a very successful morning show. But more importantly, I started attending a gospel preaching church. After a few weeks, I developed a hunger to trust God with all my life. I was having illicit sex at that time, and promptly announced to this gal that we must end that. She went ballistic, but eight days later she too gave her life to God, asking for His gift of salvation in Jesus!
A year and a half later, as the radio show skyrocketed, I was privileged to marry my wife of more than 35 years, Debbie. She's been wonderful...and so faithful to our Lord. We had two fine young adult children. Our daughter is an award-winning fourth grade teacher, and our son serves as a church-worship leader and youth pastor.
I pray that until I leave this world for my Heavenly home I will always share Christ with men as Christ leads me. His love for you and me overflows. His desire to fulfill His glorious will in your life will produce an incredibly loving relationship! You'll never regret trusting all to Jesus.
Thanks for taking a few minutes with this explanation. People in your family and friends need you to live God's Love and Truth right there in front of 'em. Let Jesus fill your heart and give you His glorious boldness and humility, so you can bless many with a pure heart. What d' ya say...let's BODYBUILD together! --jack