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From Darkness Into Light - My Personal Testimony


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#1 AVBibleBeliever

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 05:57 PM

It was a dark time in my life one of those times where everything you try to do never seems to work out.  A time where wrong decisions cost you jobs and friends.  It seemed as if this dark time had been going on for almost eight years, though who was really counting.  It was at this time I was to face what all men face, the price that all men pay, except one difference I was going to learn it was not my time to face it.

 

I sat upon my bed in the shallowly lit room I had rented along side a home in Haiku Hawaii.  I was thinking, remembering and mentally chewing over my life of thirty three years.  Has it been all worth the living, I thought.    Have I really come to this point where I must choose or could there be any last hope for my miserable existence.  As I thought on this memories of times of my life came into the forefront of my mind.  Beckoning to relive from earliest years, the pain I have been through for such a ling time.

 

I remember the train station on that partially clouding day in 1961, I couldn't have been more than two years of age.  The ceiling lamps had made their impression, I remember them as green and white inverted umbrella’s hanging from the ceiling, perspectively getting smaller as I looked down along the waiting platform.  I can’t remember if the station was full, I don’t remember if any family had come to see us off.  I seem to remember wearing a small fedora and a little suit coat, my sister in her frilly white dress and my baby brother in a stroller awaiting the train to Los Angeles.

 

But memories like these are always so dreary and bleak but it will be one memory I will not forget.  Maybe it was because I would not see my dad again for many years, maybe it was because it was the first major geographic change in my life.  But what ever the reason, and whether it is now a fully accurate memory, it has remained with me my entire life.  Very few memories remained as this one, and as of them all they were caused by some traumatic event that had befell me in my life.

 

As time progressed without concern for any, the roadway of life continues to be one of sunshine and darkness.  Not one of us has had a life that does not have the ups and downs, these things plague all men, of all races, of all times.  My life was no different except I faced each day as a dreamer, imagining being in another place or time but never pushing forward any set goals or achievement.  By the time I graduated high school I had no set plan for life, I had no purpose for which I lived except for personal joy via the normal escapes of alcohol and drugs, a clear product of a 70's teenager.

 

I lived my dream world, not staying at any one job long enough to get bored if I did I still never lasted more than 6 months.  I liked change, I was born into a life of changing scenery where when you got tired of something leave it behind and move on to something else, never caring how it affected others as long as I was happy and high, why care.

 

A few years living amongst an adult world began to harden me but at the same time sent me on a journey looking for a purpose in life, and seeing that there was nothing in this world worth pursuing I thought some esoteric search from Hindu, Buddhist or one of the many New Age spiritual guru’s of the day.  Maybe they could provide me with some knowledge or wisdom that I sought to help fill the answers of an empty life.  It was during that time I began the longing for a companion, a complement or a person by which I could show my love for.  As this was the essence of what I was gleaning from these teachers that I had so eagerly sought.

 

I was around 20 when I met her, a beauty that made many of my friends jealous.  She was independent yet bubbly and a joy to be around.  It took some wooing but I was able to garner her love and I in turn fell deeply in love with her.  But when your life is one of self enjoyment finding pleasure in the things this world has to offer, it will strain even the most deepest of relationships.  And as such she left me broken and the result was as if I had been severed by a knife so sharp yet with the pain of one so dull.  The rip in my heart would never heal, the pain I carried for many years and if I dreg it up I can still feel it as if it had just happened.

 

Again the struggle of my life seemed insurmountable I was not sure what to do.  Should I stay and see her from time to time, this I dreaded more than life itself.  To see her at a store or a home of a mutual friend made living in that town a misery far more painful than the first day she left.  I had to do something and changing locations seemed to be the only answer at the time.  Would it be worse not to see her at all or to occasionally cross paths?  I chose the hardest, the separation, I would never look upon her again.  But where, when, how?  These plagued my decision a process, many a man and woman will face in any and many a decisions in their life but for me I knew not what to do, I was lost.

 

Then one day an opportunity came, a job offer in another state, a beautiful state one I had never been to, Hawaii.  I sold everything I had and took very few things with me.  I boarded that plane and never looked back.  And it would be more than seven years later I would even set foot in that town again.  But life in this new place still did not fair well.  My drug habits and alcohol use soon caused me to once again ruin another relationship, another job, another chance.  And there I stood on the street in Maui, paradise as called by many, for me it was far from any Shangra-la.

 

Instinct for survival pushes a man to do what he must to survive, and so I pushed hard the troubles and cares from my mind and just walked, thinking what I can do?  “I have experiences in restaurant work why not go and see if anyone is hiring a dishwasher at least I could get a free meal and some quick cash” I thought.  And the first restaurant I hit hired me on the spot.  Not two hours later they realized they had someone with experience on their hands and another job was offered me at one of their other restaurants in a hotel not one mile away.  Life seemed to look good again fresh scenery a chance to show what I know.  But still I wanted change I seemed drawn to it, as if change was all that mattered.

 

I ended up sue-chef in one of their sports bars a year later and within 6 months I had, out of a fit of anger punched out the manager for gossiping about me.  Imagine, I had it made I could go on to higher places and move up but yet my nature would always cause me to move along, like the wind making a circuit not knowing where it comes or where it goes, just that it moves.  One move after another, my life has been like a chess game, but not only did I not know the rules of this game I was unprepared to play the game of life and I was losing.  Every move I took it always seemed to be the wrong one.

 

There I sat in that shallowly lit room these memories were about me and tired me even to carry them around any more.  What more can one do, what more is there in life, what do I have to prove any more?  Nothing.  So I loaded that National Match Colt model 1911, six in the clip and one in the barrel just to make it easy and I began to talk myself into this final move, this final change of scenery, to take the step that would lead me to peace.  All I had to do was pick it up and put it in my mouth and BAM!!! It would all be over.  This life that had been what seemed one bad change after another, a life that was full of hurt, distrust and anger would finally end and I could have some peace.  As I reached down to pick up that polished metal pistol, the answer of my peace lay in its bowels and all I had to do was release it and be free.

 

Finally I had the courage up and I reached down picked up the gun, from that moment I was set to pull that trigger.  As I brought up the gun to place it in my mouth as clear as any of my conscience voice has ever been or was I hearing something external, but I heard it, a voice and it said, “pick up the Bible”.  I stopped and for what seemed like a few minutes I asked, “where did that come from?”  I was confused, I was startled and I was halted in my purpose, there was no forward and no backward motion, I just sat there with the gun in my hand, raised between the floor and my mouth simply wondering.  It was as I were suspended between time and eternity, floating in thought, a dream world.  Then as quickly as that had happened I said to myself, “if there be something in the Bible maybe this is wrong”.

 

I put the gun down and began to frantically look for my Bible.  But to my great amazement it was not there.  I could find a dozen books on new age, some on meditation but I couldn’t find the Bible.  After a few hours of searching I finally gave up my search and sat thinking, “where could I get a Bible?”

 

Then an answer came, that youth missions place in Paia, they will have a Bible.  I looked up and it was nearing two in the morning so I hit the sack thinking to get up and go there first thing in the morning.  I had to find out what was in that Bible, I had to know of all things why that I heard “pick up the Bible”.  I went to bed so I could get up early to head into Paia.

 

I awoke at 6am, time seemed to pass quickly as I got dressed and walked two miles to the highway where I waited.  It was a cool Maui morning as I waited and it wasn't long  before a blue Chevy station wagon slowed down and pulled up in front of me.  I opened the door and the driver asked where I was headed.  I told him I was heading into Paia and he agreed to give me a ride. Not far down the road he asked my name and introduced himself as Ron Peers.  I shook his hand and returned to staring out the window my mind just going over last nights events.

 

Suddenly Ron broke the silence and asked if he could ask me a question.  Being polite and said, “sure.”  He said, “Do you know Jesus?”

 

I was sat there shocked in unbelief and at that moment I was not sure how to answer, I surely wasn’t going to tell a complete stranger that I that the night before I had a gun in my hand ready to take my life.  So I responded with the truth.  I said, “That is funny, I was just heading into Paia to that youth Missions place to see if they could give me a Bible.”

 

Ron answered and told me that they would not be there on Sunday’s because they go to different churches and he said some of them go to his church.  Then he invited me to his church as he was heading there to set up because he was part of the worship team.  He even said they would give me a Bible.  So I agreed.  As we neared Paia Ron turned onto an old road leading up through the pineapple fields to the Old Maui High School gym where they held their Sunday Services.

 

After we arrived I went in and met a few other people and as I waited more and more people came in.  As they arrived each introduced themselves to me and were very nice despite the fact I was high and probably not smelling to good.  They showed the Love of Christ that was for sure.  Soon all the chairs were set up and the band finished their sound check and were praying in a huddle.  People continued to file in and take up the seats and I sat over on one side and after the singing the preacher got up and taught something out of Matthew.  I don’t remember the message but the conclusion was a thought catcher. He said, “If you were to die today where would you go Heaven or Hell?”  Well you could imagine what was going on in my mind.  I sat there thinking wow last night I had a gun in my hand ready to die and I never thought about where I would go.

 

Then he spoke about Jesus and how he bore the penalty of my sin upon the cross and suffered God’s wrath there in my place.  And then that he also died the death that was my death and was buried and went into hell where I was supposed to go because I was a sinner.  The good news was he rose again on the third day to give me everlasting life if I would just believe on the work he did for me on the cross.  He then asked who would like to receive Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour and my hand shot up as if it had a mind of its own.

 

There in that old high school gym on March 14th 1993, I believed on the cross of Jesus Christ.  That day started for me a new life, a life that would prove to be just as a difficult and full of troubles and blessings but one thing was different, I had Jesus there to walk with me and to guide me and to teach me his word.  That wonderfully beautiful sunny morning will forever stick in my memory to contrasted the darkness I had, and it revealed the truth of God’s love for me and ultimately for you as well.

 

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.     Eph 2:10


Edited by AVBibleBeliever, 08 May 2014 - 07:27 PM.


#2 swathdiver

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 07:00 PM

It's not a clip, it's a magazine.

 

Thanks for sharing your testimony.



#3 AVBibleBeliever

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 07:28 PM

It's a Gospel Tract of my salvation.

 

It should be published later this year.


Edited by AVBibleBeliever, 08 May 2014 - 07:28 PM.


#4 swathdiver

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 07:52 PM

Well if I may offer a critique, shorten it by 1/3 to half and do your best to eliminate the "I"s.  I suffer from the "I" syndrome too so I know it won't be easy!  Shorten not to lose content but to rephrase sentences using words which pack in more meaning if you know what I mean.



#5 wretched

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 08:23 PM

I agree with Swath, but I will say cut it way down. Quote Scripture in it !! Remember. your words won't convict anybody. The Spirit works with the WORD, not our words. No stranger you hand it to will get past the few two or three paragraphs, much less to the Gospel. I hardly wanted to.

Cut out the melodrama, and get to the point. The hard times parts seem mild to today's standard so you may want to simply present the facts without the woe was me factor.

 

The Bible voice part is a little weird, not Scriptural and would confuse the lost into thinking they need to hear some voice before they can be saved. I recommend you lose that part completely.

 

The purpose of publishing is to get folks saved, correct? Just some thoughts, no offense. Nice story though.



#6 AVBibleBeliever

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 08:30 PM

I have five versions of my testimony. 3 short and 2 longer versions.  this one does not identify any real sinful activity nor details any particular sin activity that the other 4 do.   i.e. it does not talk about my drug dealing, sexual immorality and womanizing, nor of the fights and assaults (except one reference that goes with this version), it doesn't give any look at the details of my sinfulness before salvation. 

 

This one was chosen by the publishers the choice was not mine.  I was told it was chosen because it is a generic testimony that many can relate too, those who are not drug addicts as well as those who are basically decent folk.

 

For tracts you leave in bathrooms or telephone booths, yes shorten it.

 

But for their purposes they want it longer.


Edited by AVBibleBeliever, 08 May 2014 - 08:38 PM.


#7 wretched

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 08:33 PM

Ah, got it, that makes sense then. Good story to share.



#8 AVBibleBeliever

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 08:37 PM

I agree with Swath, but I will say cut it way down. Quote Scripture in it !! Remember. your words won't convict anybody. The Spirit works with the WORD, not our words. No stranger you hand it to will get past the few two or three paragraphs, much less to the Gospel. I hardly wanted to.

Cut out the melodrama, and get to the point. The hard times parts seem mild to today's standard so you may want to simply present the facts without the woe was me factor.

 

The Bible voice part is a little weird, not Scriptural and would confuse the lost into thinking they need to hear some voice before they can be saved. I recommend you lose that part completely.

 

The purpose of publishing is to get folks saved, correct? Just some thoughts, no offense. Nice story though.

you must remember I knew no scripture before salvation to quote it in the testimony wont work for their purpose.  However there is a section to be added by the publisher after words that is the presentation of the Gospel and it will have scripture.


Edited by AVBibleBeliever, 08 May 2014 - 08:39 PM.


#9 AVBibleBeliever

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 08:43 PM

This is a true to life story there are tons of details left out and specifics that I share at different times in detail.  It depends on the crowd.  I can get more into certain details at men's retreats or rehab centers, in mixed gender groups I share a little less details on certain sins and put emphasis on others that both women and men relate too.

 

This is next to a final draft I have had to reread it over and over and my final will be submitted soon.  though they have a rough draft already I was asked to edit it and submit a final to which they will edit it again and fix any grammar mistakes left.

 

I have a man who wants to make a film on my testimony.


Edited by AVBibleBeliever, 08 May 2014 - 08:45 PM.


#10 Miss Daisy

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 08:59 PM

You can write very well! Writing could be in your future if it already isn't. Good memory! You're right we remember moments specifically with great clarity when from a traumatic situation.

It's your story, write it as you want. There's always more people on here to tell you what's wrong and how to change it than getting a "good job"!



#11 wretched

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 09:10 PM

You can write very well! Writing could be in your future if it already isn't. Good memory! You're right we remember moments specifically with great clarity when from a traumatic situation.

It's your story, write it as you want. There's always more people on here to tell you what's wrong and how to change it than getting a "good job"!

 

Why Miss DAISY I do declare. Good points. Probably shouldn't have read it as a tract.



#12 Miss Daisy

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 09:12 PM

Why thank you ever so kindly Mr. Wretched!



#13 AVBibleBeliever

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 10:36 PM

You can write very well! Writing could be in your future if it already isn't. Good memory! You're right we remember moments specifically with great clarity when from a traumatic situation.

It's your story, write it as you want. There's always more people on here to tell you what's wrong and how to change it than getting a "good job"!

I have been practicing writing, I don't really think I will go anywhere with it  as I am not that good at it.  But I do like to preach and teach though.

 

here is something I wrote about a struggle called "The Battle is Afoot"

 

 

The Battle is Afoot

 

Daily I am met not just with the physical opposition of the lack of our daily needs but with the spiritual bombardment of the enemy and his fiery darts.  I have discovered that it is far easier to fight an enemy that is without than the enemy that is within, that is, my flesh.  As I anticipate with clockwork the coming of the multiplicity of my responsibilities and commitments and see those days approach, my flesh becomes my worse nightmare and enemy.

 

The scenarios begin to race through my mind, I become fearful and anxious at the prospect of not being able to complete my monthly commitments and knowing the result is not to have the things we need to function normally. The thought that my children will not have their daily bread is heartbreaking or that we wont have electric or water to see, wash and drink, these thoughts begin to chip away at my very soul even unto despair.  I begin to question did I do the right thing?  Have I made the right choices?  Am I following the right course?  And as these questions pound in my head and my heart the fear and anxiety begin to kill my spiritual vitality and sap what little strength I have left.  I awake in the night and I begin to doubt and to cry out, “Oh my Lord, why hast thou forsaken me”.  I even want to raise my voice in opposition to what the Lord has allowed to take place.  And more importantly, why is it, the Lord remains so silent at this time of trial and tribulation.  The flesh and the devil begin to rattle their sabers in preparation of their victory to cry havoc and to destroy.

 

Then suddenly as a dry well that fills in Spring, God’s very words begin to well up as from a darkened pit within my soul.  Verses like, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:26-28.   And as God’s word begins to restore unto me the lost vigor from the fight others verses begin to make their way to the surface, like, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phl 4:6, 7   They come tumbling like stones that avalanche off a great mountain and hit my spirit with full force, wiping at least for the moment the enemy from the field. This help, that comes only from him and is not of me, only causes me to cease from fighting and to drop to my knees and praise him for his goodness and grace.  I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.  My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1, 2  I cry out unto him I know these verses, I have been taught them and memorized them.  These very simple words strike against the swords of my enemy and back them in the field of battle and for the moment abate their attack.  

 

It is there that these verses become so much more richer and more meaningful than they ever were over the years, yet they only comfort for the day.  And as the day sets upon the battle I realize that in the morn a new battle line will be drawn and once again the enemy will strike and strike hard he will, ever pushing forward to take back any and all ground he can to deprive me of peace, to tire and weary me into submission at his mighty blows.

 

As I arise to face the new day I gaze upon the field to survey the enemies attack, I am often surprised that I have the vitality to carry on this difficult battle, yet at other times I find myself as weak as a child, as a David would seem against a Goliath.  I find the strength each day in him, to stand, to take up my sword, my shield, my armour of God on the right and the left, to wear the helmet of my salvation with honour, and as I ready myself his word again rolls across my hearts banner, “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20:24


Edited by AVBibleBeliever, 08 May 2014 - 10:38 PM.





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