To start at the very beginning is hard. Some things are hard to remember. It all started a long time ago. A lot of drugs and alcohol have passed through my body doing a lot of damage.
I was raised a Catholic but I didn’t really believe in God. As I got into my early teens (14) I started drinking and I was smoking pot. It was 1971 and I was still attending church every Sunday with my family. Things were about to change and those changes would drastically send me over the edge and take me away from my family and my God. The first major problem came in November of 1975 when my twin brother was killed. That part of my life is still hard for me sometimes. It turned me away from God and sent me to a place that no one should ever go. I started drinking and doing any kind of drugs that I could get my hands on.
I graduated from high school in 1976 and like most everyone I had a job. I thought I was in control of my life and God had no purpose to me. I married my first wife in June of 1979. The relationship was out of control for the most part. We had a child but I drank, did drugs and womanized through most of it which lead to a divorce in 1984. That loss sent me even further out of control, more women, more alcohol, and more drugs. During that time, I met a woman that would some day change my life. For now, my life was crazy and screwed up and I was on something almost the entire time. I also met my 2nd wife. Never looking back, my addictions became worse. I got into trouble with some dealers so we picked up and moved out of state. I tried to clean up my act a little. This was 1989. By 1992 my future wife had moved back to our hometown and I followed about 6 months later. We got back together and were married in July of 1993 only to be divorced in 1994. I was just drinking at this point and had quit doing drugs but she had not. Although I drank a lot, I had a good business going and one night I ran into the woman I mentioned earlier. This was August of 1994 and together we started the most wonderful part of my life that I have ever experienced. She had a special way about her that would change me for a while. She helped me with a lot of my issues and I started going to church and then we were married in May of 1996. Then shortly thereafter, I started drinking and doing drugs again. My addictions were coming back and I left church again. By 2006, we were separated. I was way out of control but worse this time. I didn’t care if I worked and I partied a lot. By the end of January 2007, I was in jail on 2 Class X delivery charges where I met a guy who was doing Bible studies. His name was Chris and he helped me understand that what my wife was telling me about God was right. From this point on, my life was about to change for the good. He helped me get involved in more Bible studies. Through the Law & Grace ministries I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior on March 18, 2007 at about 10:00 a.m. in my jail cell. This all lead me to a Chaplain named Don Martino. He is still helping me learn how God can change my life along with the others around me. When I was released from jail through the drug court program, Don took me to the First Baptist Church of Amboy to a Reformers Unanimous meeting. I was hooked. I started going to church there and now my life has changed. Don led me to the care of God. Now I read my Bible every day.
I was baptized on August 19, 2007 at First Baptist of Amboy and I am in Reformer Unanimous every week. Through the RU Journal, I have a relationship with God on a daily basis.
This has given me a good and Godly relationship with my family and my new friends in Christ. God has kept me sober. It’s not always easy, but with God in my life, I can do anything, all with His guidance through the Holy Spirit. I have learned so much this past year through RU and the Almond Tree Classes. My disease is just a sin and God can and will relieve me of it through the Bible with Jesus as my higher power. Now I have been truly set free of my sin. I just have to remember these simple verses;
John 3:16 & 17 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.