From prison to praise!

Two very loving parents raised me, so I can't blame what happened in my life on the fact that I was from a broken home. I went to church and vacation bible school. My dear Grandmother taught me about Jesus. I finished school and went into the Air Force and experienced the adventures of traveling the world. I went to college and got an education. I was ready for life, so I thought.

After a few years of working in the oil and gas industry as an engineer, I started a very successful chemical company. I was making more money than I had ever dreamed that I would make. With all of the money came the opportunity to do everything I shouldn't. My life went into a downward spiral. My chemical company went bankrupt, I lost my wife and kids, I lost my home, I lost the respect of my business associates. My life was a waste.

It was in the last week of April in 1995. I had been locked in my office for the last 20 or so hours and drowning in the abuse for the day. I was as unhappy with my life as I have ever been. I knew I was addicted, and I knew I couldn't quit. I sat there in the early morning hours with a gun to my head ready to end my addiction when I remembered my Grandmother telling me "Steven you don't take your own life, God will take you when He is ready for you." At 4:30 AM I walked over to my house. I lied in my bed and I cried like a baby to God, "I needyour help!" My friend had gotten busted and he was working with the police to get me. When he handed me the drug money the hotel room door was kicked in and police immediately surrounded me, I was busted. I was taken to the county jail.

The Gideons were in the county jail passing out the little pocket New Testaments. I wanted a bible. Well, I got one and I went straight to my mat on the floor and I started thumbing through my little bible. In the back of the bible I found the Saviors Prayer. I prayed that prayer with all the heart that a man could pray. God I need you. God I am scared. God please protect me. Immediately I felt the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Immediately all of my fears were gone. Jesus Christ was with me. I was born again!

I had a $110,000 cash bond placed on me when I got busted. Four months passed, along with several appearances in front of various judges, pleading unsuccessfully for a reduction in bond. I wanted to give up. I kept praying. Then one night while I was lying in my bunk and praying I heard God's voice. He told me to expect a miracle. I had never heard God's voice before and for Him to tell me to "expect a miracle." A week later I stood in front of the judge while the prosecuting attorney argued why my bond should not be reduced. I had heard it all before and I was expecting the same response from the judge denying the reduction, when the judge asked the prosecutor to have a seat and then looked at my attorney, then at me, and announced that he was reducing my bond to a PR bond. I was going home on the promise that I would return on my own for my trial.

On the day of my sentencing I stood before the judge expecting to get probation. I was nervous as I listened to the judge recite my charges, and then the sentence; seven and one-half years in the state penitentiary. Once again I was handcuffed and taken to jail where I would later be transferred to the state prison.

My first week in state prison I was processed and it was decided I would go to a minimum-security facility where I would spend the next seven plus years of my life. I was transferred a week later and upon arriving at my new home I immediately found the chaplain and became a chaplains aid. During that first week we had a Prison Fellowship Seminar. There I told our group about my circumstances, which landed me in prison. I shared the story of my cocaine addiction to our group leader, Dick. At the close of the second night of the seminar, I was telling Dick goodbye when all of a sudden he took me in his arms and started praying. When Dick let me go, I looked into his eyes and saw that he was crying. I asked him what that was all about and he told me that God had told him to take me into his arms and pray, then he told me that God told him I was going home in 4 months.

The next week I a received a letter from my attorney telling me that the judge who had sentenced me called my attorney at home and told him to file a Motion for Shock Probation. He was to wait until my 90th day in confinement to file the motion. My attorney told me that it would take about 30 days before the judge would hear the motion. That total amount of time would add up to 4 months. Well, 4 months later, June 14, 1996, after appearing in front of the same judge that sent me to prison, I was sent home to Texas. I received a 5 year probated sentence.

During all this time I had experienced many miracles from God. He answered my prayer when I cried to Him for help as a cocaine addict. He cleansed me from my addiction. He answered my prayers to be sent home when my bond was $110,000 cash. He changed the heart of a judge who had sentenced me to a long term in prison. He healed my son of a blood disorder. He cared for and provided for my family while I was locked up. I came home and within two months I started a consulting company which has enjoyed success. God has blessed me with a wonderful church home. He has blessed me with countless Christian friends. He has blessed me with the opportunity to serve Him via this Internet Ministry. I continue to receive blessings from God every day.

I serve an awesome God. God is the focal point of my life each and every day. I can never give Him enough praise. I will never be worthy of the immense love that He has for me.