My dad was 57 when i was born last of three sons. 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 my thoughts and feelings. At times he could be a real hot-head, so i'd do anything i could to stay clear of his explosiveness. We lived way out in the sticks up in the hills of Wisconsin. I was the only kid at home. Day-after-day i had the feeling my folks didn't understand me. i got pretty lonely and started creating my own world. Ever done that?
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 i hit 18 with that diploma...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" scene. 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--a screamin' rock joc nightly on a big station on the east coast. but success had come too easily, and that doesn't build character. 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, "I was playin' the fool".
My wife found her 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 suddenly saw these words form on the wall 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 i found a bookmarker to the book of "Job". I hurriedly looked for a 25th verse. The second one I found said "...Yea the Almighty shall be thy defense..." (Job 22:25 kjv) I read verses 21 through 30 and was blown away at what God revealed to me! (please look 'em up and read 'em!)
now, check this out from the living bible paraphrased edition for verse 21:"quit quarreling with God. agree with him, and you will have peace at last. his favor will surround you, if you will only admit that you were wrong." 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 I asked him 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 important--I began 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 told 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 nearly 40 years. She's been wonderful...and so faithful to our Lord. We had two fine young adult children. Our daughter is an award-winning teacher, and our son is married and serves in a church-worship band.
Thanks for taking a few minutes with me. People in your family and friends need you to "live God's Love and Truth" right there in front of them...CARING FOR 'EM IN REAL WAYS! Let Jesus fill your heart and give you His boldness and humility, so you can bless many! --jack