of Randall

I was raised in a Christian home, believing in God, Jesus, and going to church every Sunday. While attending church as a child, I never gained an understanding of why I was going. I was baptized at about 10 or 12 years old but still not fully understanding. Not too many years after that, church became less important. My parents divorced when I was 15. By the time I was 18, I became a drug addict, an alcoholic and a pervert. Somehow I was able to keep these facts hidden, nor would I admit it to myself.

I joined the Army at 22 and at that time I was able to stay away from drugs. To make up for it, I started drinking more alcohol. About a year later I married another alcoholic. We managed to make the marriage last 6 years. I continued to drink to gloss over the emotions and also discovered a new perverse pleasure: sex with another man.

In 1993, I met another woman and felt that I wanted to be married again. I thought that this time I would get married the right way; in church. There was a problem with that way of thinking. Our hearts were not with God (little did we know). On our Wedding night she told me that she did not want to be married. I refused to let the marriage go so easily. A few months later, I realized that I was in fact an alcoholic and started going to Alcoholics Anonymous (my wife had said she wanted me to stop drinking). When my wife learned of it, her attitude was such that she wouldn't deal with it. So she left. This totally consumed me and depression set in. I refused to divorce again and wouldn't let go of her. I got to the point where I couldn't work, so now my job started to fall apart. My first suicide attempt was 21 February 1995. It failed. I was then hospitalized til August 1995 (yes, since February 21st) at which time I was discharged from the Army (after 12 1/2 years of active service) with major depression and psychotic disorder and was taking a lot of medication to be somewhat stable.

I moved to Oregon to be near family and began going to church. I was broken and desperate and found a second home in the VA hospital mental ward after another suicide attempt and a change in medication. As I continued to go to this particular church (which shall remain nameless), seeking, I was not finding what I felt I needed yet. I wasn't sure what I needed. I was hearing people teach from the Bible but I wasn't seeing it in the people nor were people reaching out to me (so I felt). I continued to look to man for help since I wasn't seeing God work. I began cutting myself somewhat ritualistically.

I got frustrated and stopped going to church and went and got drunk for the first time in 2 1/2 years (and stayed drunk for about a month straight) and committed more sexual perversions. Fortunately, I did have one true friend. When she saw my condition, she led me to a Christ-centered recovery group and got me to go to the church she was attending. For the first time, I saw people that were excited about being at church. I was so uncomfortable about being there. Something was drawing me. I only knew that it was God alone that could help me. I kept returning, never understanding. The weekend of November 23,1996, the Church was having a men's retreat which I did not plan on going to. One of the pastors found out that I wasn't going and called me the day before it began. He told me that he and some of the other guys wanted me to go so they paid my way and then said that he would pick me up at five the next day. It was that Saturday the 23rd, that I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. God powerfully "Got me". He took the depression and psychotic disorder and the alcoholism and the perverse desires away from me. Of course, after that, I no longer had a need to take the medications and did discontinue using them (after consultation). I AM FREE!

LUKE 11:5-8

"And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth."
Importunity is not just persistence but radical persistence. Then Jesus goes on to say...
LUKE 11:9-10:

"And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."

I wasn't sure what I would find in seeking God, I just knew He could help. I became radically persistent and God gave me exactly what I needed. Again I say: I AM FREE !!! No matter who you are or what your problem is, God, through Jesus Christ is the help you need. Man doesn't have the answers to the world's problems, and man can't provide an example in living.Jesus is the answer and our example of how to live(refer to; 1 Peter 2). Man lives only a short time then passes away(refer to: Psalm 89:47, 48).Jesus Christ is the only way to get to heaven and to be saved (John 14:6; Romans 10:9,10; to name a few) AND Jesus will never change on you: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." (Hebrews13:8)

I can tell you, my trust will remain with Jesus Christ. How about you ?