This is a story of long term or lasting deliverance. You’ve heard of the insurance product called a long term disability policy. This product covers an individual for many years if necessary so they are not financially devastated by their medical situation if nursing care is needed. Well, I have a story of divine insurance that has lasted for decades because of the power of the gospel, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
I was born and raised in West Texas, born into a Spirit-filled Christian home with loving diligent parents. I was baptized in water around 9 years old and sang solos in church services. I knew I wanted to be a preacher and a singer.
As I entered high school years, the fervent love for the Lord began to fade. My interest changed greatly to just normal things of the “worldly life”. I achieved much popularity but had no deep satisfaction. During my junior year of high school, even though I was junior class president, I ran away with a friend. We made it 700 miles to DeRidder, Louisiana, and were stopped by the police and put in jail. Our dads drove all the way to get us and take us back home.
It seems I didn’t learn much. My senior year I ran for student body vice-president and won. But as an act of revenge against a teacher and principal, I ruined 4 tires together with several members of the rock band I was in. As he was expelling me from school the principal told me I had been the most popular boy to ever come through that school.
Disgraced, walking down the street, I decided to leave the whole thing behind. (They did mail me my diploma). We headed to Dallas as a band to make the “big time”. That summer I did make a feeble attempt to return to the Lord, but it was short-lived. In the fall while driving to the West Texas State University, I had a very deceptive and prideful thought, “I’m free now. No one can tell me anything. I can do as I please.” And the journey would really get crazy in the months ahead.
After one year of college, we met back in Dallas to continue our quest to become rock stars. Also, this involved large quantities of all kinds of illegal drugs. That summer at the International Pop Festival (after Woodstock), I used LSD for the first time. That experience changed me, like I was “born again”. Problem was I was reborn in a bad way. Now drugs became a regular part of life, every day and to extremes. Once I even overdosed on speed. I had taken handfuls of speed capsules within a 6-hour period. I tried to tell my roommates I had OD’ed but they laughed. The only thing that saved my life as the ability to throw up before all the capsules had broken down.
That fall I was even discovered by Columbia Records and offered to go to Los Angeles. The vice president told me I’d be rich, famous and “somebody”. I never called the man back, rather just kept getting stoned and being a foolish young man.
After going to Nashville for a few months, we ended up in New Orleans, and that’s when things went from strange to bizarre. We had met some people who told us about a group that took LSD as part of their religion. To a drug user what could seem more perfect? When I joined the group I immediately had what they called the “mystical experience” while high on LSD. In this experience a person becomes one with everything, comes to the light of truth and realizes that instead of just human, you’re really a god.
Once this deception happens you’re basically hooked. The cult leader gave me a mystical name which meant “god of fire”. At this point I was totally sold out as a disciple and even became an ordained guru. The ordination ceremony consisted of laying on of hands, chanting and impartation of universal power. As with all rituals and ceremonies it was in dim lighting and while being stoned on LSD.
For the next 2 years I was a devout preacher and follower of this “deception of light”. The community of other followers was a strong influence to reinforce one’s “new life”.
I was arrested for drug possession, co-editor of the underground newspaper, living on food stamps. My mind was confused, I was as skinny as a stick, my body frail and weak, but I had found the way. I thought everything was peace and love and of course took drugs every day.
I attended the rituals faithfully (always stoned) which were an exercise in weirdness — consisting of congo drums beating, wild dancing, much yelling, chanting, and summoning forces to be released at the end. In other words, it was full-blown paganism and witchcraft. There was always talk of the magic arts, ESP, psychic healings, prophecy, visions, astral projection, the third eye, yoga, and identifying evil spirits. I understood if you want something you perform one of many magic rituals to get it. Then I realized the “ultimate revelation” is to become God and the devil. When we took LSD it meant to us Lucifer, satan and the devil.
Finally one night I was invited to attend the “eternal council meeting”. At this meeting of 12 people plus the head witch (who said she was married to the devil), we renounced in writing and verbally God, any idea of a Supreme Being, and the Church. I signed my name, put my blood on it and burned the paper to supposedly forever seal this act. It was like a covenant but we were really just a coven.
Not long after this, my whole life became a disaster. I was all alone in despair and spent days flooded with thought of suicide. I lived in a two-story house and would pace while stoned, debating whether to jump from the balcony or take a knife from my ritual altar and end my life. I also went to the occult library and looked up the name I had been given. The name was from Babylon. Sin was the moon god and my name was one of his sons. I had become the son of sin and the wages of sin is death.
But by God’s divine intervention, he made a way for me to leave New Orleans. I had a praying mother. I stopped taking LSD and hitchhiked back to Texas. I cut off a sackful of hair and decided to attend my sister’s college graduation. After leaving New Orleans, my whole thinking began to change. My desires and wants began to change, and my philosophy on life.
After days of sober contemplation, the day before Mother’s Day, I turned to my mother and said, “Mom, I’ve spent the last 2 years at the headquarters of the devil, but today I’ve decided I’m coming back to Jesus!”
What happened next was nothing short of miraculous divine intervention. I was completely set free by the power of God. I knew the devil’s power was broken and divine healing was beginning. The weight of bondage was broken. I had no desire except for Jesus and the Word of God. I didn’t want drugs, alcohol or even cigarettes. I wanted to eat normal and even lift weights. One night after a church service, my cousin, an evangelist, prayed for my mind to be healed. I had been spaced out and unable to communicate very well verbally. I went to bed that night and woke up 100% restored and articulating perfectly.
This story is one of divine deliverance and salvation, but it is also a testimony of the faithfulness of our eternal God. My life proves that not only does God set you free, He sets you free indeed, and keeps you free! Your life goes from being cursed by sin to being blessed with abundant life.
As proof of a restored mind, I went back to college and earned a bachelor of theology degree. I then completed a pastoral internship and another one-year ministry training school. God restores one’s life and call completely. He never does anything half-way. I was singing and speaking in churches within months of being restored. In 28 years of ministry as an evangelist and teacher, I’ve spoken in churches, schools, prisons, tents, restaurants and large open-air meetings.
We have ministered in 33 states (Alaska 3 times) in every direction of the United States, and in Canada, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico and Nigeria. We pioneered a mission church in Nashville and pastored there for three years as well.
Many times the Lord allowed me to be on local, national and international television programs either singing, preaching or sharing my testimony. Once a producer told me 200 million people could be watching. This just shows how Jesus takes a total loser from the street and gives you real purpose and destiny.
Remember the Columbia Records man who offered so much? Well, the Lord made it possible to record 3 Christian CD’s that have blessed many people.
More important than anything professionally, the Lord restored and blessed me with a wonderful Christian wife, with 2 children who are serving the Lord with their spouses, and six beautiful granddaughters.
Our Lord’s freedom begins in this life on earth and continues throughout all eternity. Because of divine deliverance I know and am in covenant with the true Eternal Council — the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit!