Like all of us here today, I
grew up with everything needed to reach adulthood. We would go camping often, ride motorcycles, much family love
& "tough love" to learn right from wrong, a great education including that weekly day on Sunday where
we had to wear the best clothing, be on our best behavior for Sunday school and Church. I surely grew to resent this day and
it's representation so I skirted through to keep everyone happy.
At 17 I graduated High School and looked for an out
with Uncle Sam, surely he can't be as strict with Sundays? LOL.. On leave between Basic Training and AIT I closed the
door on our Lord and Savior but did tattoo a cross on my left forearm for some reason? I believed in God but knew nothing
about Him or Jesus nor the Holy Spirit. That door was shut, or was it?
I went through a couple marriages, got involved
in a club, fathered 3 children plus, was always the great financial provider for their upbringing, I had wives and girlfriends,
girlfriends and wives. Thinking back, I cant think of ever having 5 true friends at any 1 time but had a brotherhood, I had
people that would help me for a price. Of course I wouldn't help out another unless there was something in it for me
either. I made great money and with it came great problems be it legal (yeah, I've been in and out of jail cells), addictions
of drugs, alcohol, sex and much more of the devil, after all "I" closed that door to God, He didn't!
I needed a change! I was tired of just existing and wanted to live! I sat down with my kids and explained that I was aiming
for a change and it was going to happen after Christmas 2005, they could come with me or stay behind with their Mother, they
chose the latter and grew to love the idea so I moved 1600 miles away.
"My past" followed me as it was me still sitting in God's chair and I really needed to pull off some
kind of magic trick or something to get rid of this past. I had my pony tail cut off, hair styled and donated it to Locks
for Love, They sent a "thank you" back and WOW what a feeling! I started dressing in polo shirts and pleated pants
to attract white collar women.. The magic trick worked! But only for a short time?? I met this Cosmetologist who I was gonna
show her how a real Man is. Instead, she showed me how a real man should be under God!
She was devout follower
of Jesus's teachings so at first I played the game of attending Church with her on Sundays.. One of the 1st Sundays she had
to work, she had asked if I was going to Church and I had an excuse not to. I was only going to impress her.
grew tense and I believed I had struck gold so I was trying all the wrong things to keep us going till 1 day she heard about
this guy doing a bike service and you ride your bikes inside the Church, I gathered up a few buddies and we went. I listened
to this Pastor like no other I had ever met, he was talking my lingo, he knew people that were like me. We exchanged phone
numbers and I thought that was that.
over the next couple days all I could talk about was this service and the nay-sayers
were saying things like "what kind of Church lets a biker ride his bike into the House of the Lord?" I could not
wait for the following month as it was only a monthly service!
That Saturday this Pastor calls and invites me to Church
with him for Sunday, my girl had to work and he said he wasn't doing the service so I came up with this and that as an excuse
not to go but he coaxed me into it. Sitting there I realized that this was the 1st time in my adult life that I had gone to
Church without trying to impress a girl or somebody and enjoyed the service!
Over the next week or so I began to confide
in him some of my past, things I was ashamed of, things not many knew about including my Girl. Sitting on Pastor T's back
porch after many hours I recited the sinners prayer, the grayness of the world disappeared, a tremendous weight was lifted
off from me, how could this happen with all the people I had wronged? I hadn't yet attempted to ask their forgiveness but
Jesus loved me so much that he died on the cross for all my sins and resurrected 3 days later!
The next Biker service
there was a Baptism waiting on me, this had been the change I had been chasing never looking up but only looking other
directions for. I have had a hand written note on my alarm clock ever since that simply says "Thank you Jesus",
it's the first thing I pray every morning and the last thing I say every night no matter what the day has brought.
life did a 180 after, My Girl said we didn't have to wait the 5 years to get married and if we wanted to marry sooner she
would love it! I had friends that trusted me without reason and I was also passing that trust on to strangers! I didn't see
a change until I commented on a relatives post praying for them and my youngest sibling followed up "Who is this and
what have you done with my Brother?"
God is good.. all the time & all the time... God is good, don't waste
35 years of your life as I did keeping Him out of His seat! God 1st, Wife 2nd, Family 3rd, Pastor T my Brother, Pastor and
friend next then all my neighbors!