Discussion in 'Praise Reports / Testimonials' started by Paul1965, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. First off believe me I'm really really sorry in advance for the length of my testimony, but it needs to be told in full to show what a selfish and stubborn person I've been. But more importantly to show, especially to people just beginning their walk with Christ that, He is all powerful and all Conquering. After all, if He can love someone like me, He can Love us all.

    Even now this brings great feelings of shame to me, but at the same time an awesome feeling of gratitude and love for our Heavenly Father and Saviour. Without Him I really would be lost many times over.

    Growing up, My relationship with our Lord and Saviour had always been a rocky one. If things didn't go my way, I'd turn my back on Him or worse, blame Him for the poor choices I made in my life. My prayers were always selfish and centered on me and what I wanted. If He didn't answer by giving me what I asked for, I'd again turn my back on Him saying that He didn't exist. (Yes I know what a fool I was)

    After my 1st marriage broke up I started drinking to extreme excess complete with absolute blackouts of time lost. The people around me tried to help guide me but again I didn't want to know. After 36 years of earthly life with nothing more than a speeding ticket, I was jailed for robbing the bar I had been drinking at all day (I had my paycheck for $7000 in my pocket). Long story short I plead guilty immediately and was sentenced to three years in a maximum security facility. (the judge took into account the fact I'd never done anything "criminal" in my life. and I didn't physically hurt anyone)..I think he was wrong, because my treatment and rejection of God and our Christ to me is a criminal act.

    In jail, I met a guy who was in for embezellment (I think) and we became friends.
    He convinced me to go with him to Sunday service. I was reluctant but went along because "I've got nowhere else to go"
    Once inside, I got to see first hand the love of God and Jesus and the power of that love. Guys who on the outside would have been absolute enemies (rival gang members, skinheads and aborigines) all sitting together sharing God's word. These guys had the love inside them that I had lacked all of my life.

    After that first Sunday I became a regular, never missing a Sunday service and reading the Bible the pastor had given me every day. I even went when I'd had my finger crushed in the metal shop guillotine. Such was my hunger to know HIM. For real this time,not as a quasi-provider for my whims. After six months I was Baptised in jail having finally let Him into my heart. I started telling others about what it meant to walk with "the Boss". Not something to take lightly when your dealing with people who have killed for $20. Some came to service, most didn't. I was one of "those Jesus freaks" a title I was and still am proud to wear. I was released for good behaviour after serving 1 year exactly behind bars.

    I'd be lying if I said that it's been a smooth road since then, it hasn't, my youngest daughter died, having been born quadriplegic with fused bones. God blessed me with her presence in my life for 13 wonderful years. After her passing I started to slip back into my drinking and thought about suicide often. But every time, reading His Word pulled me back.
    I began working in some of the most dangerous occupations in the world. Long lining, lobster fishing , high altitude rigging , mining and as a derrick-man on offshore oil rigs. All through these jobs, even when cyclones tossed the rigs around like a cork and huge waves knocked boats over to near capsize point, I carried my bible no matter where in the world I was sent. Praying and reading before and after every shift. Again my crew-mates would scoff at my faith in Jesus. When we'd come through the other side of a storm, they'd say "that was lucky" my reply was "No. That was GOD". Some started to think about that a little, Others just thought "Oh no, here goes Jesus boy again". I didn't and don't care.

    I moved to Thailand where my second wife took me for every cent i had. My complete life savings. I came home early from an offshore trip and found out the hard way she was already married, had been before I met her. I'd had no idea. While I was working on the oil rigs, her Thai husband was staying in my home until the day before I got back each time. Seeing him and her together had me seeing red but our Lord made me keep a cool head. I left with the clothes on my back and what was in my already packed bag.
    I returned to the oil rigs for my next tour but my mind was clouded by what had happened and in a momentary lapse of concentration, I fell into an open grate, slicing my leg to the bone and within 3 days it became badly infected with the bacteria making their way to my heart and lungs. I was off the rigs. Still God and Jesus were with me. Helping me stay strong during the long recovery period.
    Having lost everything I'd worked for, and with no job to return to, I lived below the Thai poverty line (less than $200 / month), not knowing what the next day would bring, sometimes thinking about death and the relief it would bring, but all the time, God was there literally providing me with my daily bread (and noodles) through family and friends. Finally I started to get my confidence back and found work teaching English as a second language.
    Since then the Lord has helped me go from strength to strength and held me up in my many moments of weakness.
    Most recently I asked that HE help me to finally give up the booze completely and for good and show me the way back to a healthy lifestyle to be more pleasing to Him. He answered immediately. Now after 30 years of alcohol use and abuse I've just passed 100 days alcohol free and don't even think about a drink. In fact I haven't even thought about having a drink since the third day (Ironic?) of sobriety.
    God didn't help me to defeat my demon alcohol, He did it for me! I'm too weak and take no credit for it. God and Jesus and their love for me TOTALLY destroyed that demon and left it's battered and bloody corpse on the floor, so that it has absolutely no hold over me. I've gotten back into my physical training ( I'm a former state and national level full contact martial artist) as well as my spiritual education as I wait for Him to show me what His will is for me and my wife of 3 years Thayanee.
    There's not a day goes by that i don't praise Him, thank Him, Worship, Love and adore Him for all that he has done for me. I know that through His love I can and will do everything he guides me to. He is my God, my Saviour, my Rock, my Teacher, my Guide, my Friend and I love Him completely.
    Blessings in Christ to you all
  2. It sounds like you had quite a few heart breaking moments in your life :O. Luckily you had God there to help you every step of the way :).
  3. I couldnt read all of that it made me feel sick.
  4. Chris Vaggos: I've met Paul1965 before elsewhere; he has my sympathy, really.

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