Friday, December 15, 2017

Consider This… The Life and Testimony of Thomas A. Robinson, As Shared by His Family

March 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Monthly Articles

Ages 24 to 30 were the hardest years of my life… not that they were always full of turmoil and grief, for some of God’s greatest blessings were bestowed upon me during that time. But it was a definite stage of increasing confusion and darkness…and as I see it now, an unconscious struggle to find God and eternal life.

The climax (or the last two years of that period) was a mixture of awesome miracles and great mental and spiritual suffering. Looking back and only to be understood at the end of this six year journey, God confirmed in a special way at the beginning of it that he loved us, and would bring us safely through this time of death and rebirth. I say us because my wedding day marked the day this phase began…For in his mercy and also His sovereign plan, He sent the one person in all the world with enough love, humility and wisdom to sustain me through this troubled time.

Because both our families disapproved of the relationship, we eloped without a word and got married. During the courthouse ceremony, something very remarkable happened. That day was a thickly overcast, drizzly kind of spring day…hopelessly gloomy in every way. But as the judge was pronouncing us man and wife, the sun suddenly broke through all the tall windows in that large upstairs marble room and filled it with such a strange and overwhelming brightness, that everything stopped…as five bewildered people stood looking at each other and around the room in silent wonder.

And just as quickly it was gone… not seen again for several days, and never again quite like that. The old judge smiled at us questioningly, and said, “I think someone just blessed your marriage”… and then he concluded.

To understand my conflict you must first understand the driving force in me that was behind it. As I see it now, for reasons known only to myself, I possessed a desperate desire to succeed above all others in some vocation I considered loftier than that dead-end business of this world.

I always felt, even from childhood, that I was different and therefore special…and that nothing I did or anyone else did could prevent me from attaining whatever it was I was born to do. This feeling, even though twisted by pride and psychological factors, was nevertheless honest. Since I did not believe in a supreme creator, the loftiest goal as I saw it, available to me, and to which I was naturally drawn, was to become a creator myself, and in a field that once again, transcended this world.

The combination of this uncompromising, unrealistic and unobtainable goal, and my stubborn refusal to listen to any wiser counsel, plus an increasingly crushing burden of guilt for all the sins of the past and the present, was soon to be intensified a hundred fold by the effects of hallucinogenic drugs.

Art was the vehicle by which I would reach the stars and gain my immortality. When I died, my paintings would live on, and the entire world would know that here was an original man who felt deeply.

I knew Art History very well and so I had to develop a style that was uniquely my own, and expressed my vision and my feelings. The process, as it developed became a difficult chess game of harmony through usual color variations…. painstakingly slow and experimental.

With the social and personal pressure of being practically responsible for a wife and now three children…and after years of living in a fantasy world created by speed drugs, I found that I was beginning to be extruded back into the real world…a world where I was now psychologically incapable of functioning. Time, along with a life-sustaining dream that gave me a sense of self-worth, was rapidly slipping away. For someone with my great pride, this could not be faced…so I sought deeper deception.

From September of 1970 through 1971, I lived in virtual isolation, spreading myself from everyone except family and new friends. Living rent-free and on the barest of (often stolen) necessities, I became a social outcast, and in sober moments, when not under the influence of amphetamines, I felt the weight of it and the emptiness in my soul.

I had become so selfish, without thought of the suffering my lifestyle brought the ones I loved the most…so I took more drugs to feel better. I could face the real world and write it off as wrong and perverted, but I could not face the real me…for how does one separate himself from himself? I became cruel…a liar and a thief…conning and cheating everyone, even my family and friends.

I looked down on those outside my doors who went to work every day to support their families…people who were slugging it out in that awful world just to survive. All the contempt that was in me toward myself was transferred to them. But then even with the help of the drugs I couldn’t keep the guilt and the depression away. Truth was closing in on me and there was no place left to run. It was at this point that I became aware, in fleeting moments that some dark crisis lay ahead of me and I knew instinctively that because of the degree of my condition.

I might not be able to survive the severity of it. I had been in physically life-threatening situations before and was always able to maintain control. But this was different. This was an unknown threat to my mind and I had no way to defend myself. Those fleeting moments of awareness became moments of panic. And then one day, I finally realized that something was happening out there…That outside world, which had no place for me, was and had been…changing.

When the “Cultural Revolution” broke upon America in the late sixties, I was not part of it. Even though I took drugs myself, I was mystified by what I saw going on in this country: college men with shoulder-length hair and long beards; young men and women with wire-rimmed glasses…adorning themselves with Indian jewelry and braided hair and odd new fashions…sandals, bell-bottom pants and brightly colored shirts and dresses with a definite Middle and Far East flavor.

Everybody was making love and talking peace and freedom…openly expressing with things that before, were discussed only in private, and critical of game players who would not “let it all hang-out”…insisting on honest expression of innermost thought and feeling.

It was a time of child-like camaraderie, self-realization, and spiritual oneness with all life on our “Mother Earth” and for that matter, the universe itself.

It was the “Age of Aquarius”…the beginning of a new world order based on love and peace and harmony…all marching to the beat of a powerful and strange new music, pumped out by the voices and the guitars of the “New Age” prophets: The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison, Jimmy Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, Joan Baez, John Denver, Cat Stevens, James Taylor, Simon and Garfunkel, and many more. Their message was…scratch all the pretense and get down to the truth and back to the simple life… and “Love Will Keep Us Together.”

Some emphasized communal living, old denim, back to the soil farm clothes, herbal teas and plants, and environmental concerns that found their basis in a strange new mystical religion that permeated the entire movement…a movement that promoted sexual freedom, womens’ liberation, and religious tolerance for everything other than that old self-righteous, dogmatic, Bible-thumping, separatist Christian crap.

This was a modern revolution…a scientific, intellectual and mystical renaissance.

Until then I was alone…afraid to come back to a world I never understood. But the world was changing now. I could identify with these people. They had convictions about how life should be and it struck a chord in me. But I was against LSD, marijuana and other drugs like that, and I had vowed that “Rock Music” would never touch my turntable.

Mesmerized by it all, I still didn’t understand it. They were on the inside of something brand new, while I was on the outside with no way to get in.

Leslie Robinson Olson was born and raised in a very strict Christian home. She remembers being 3 years old when her parents gave their hearts to Jesus. Leslie remembers her dad’s passion and love as being art and music, and apparently he passed that on to her. Leslie says “It seemed that I lived and breathed music, it was engrained into my soul.”, as she remembers Christian music being played in the house continually.

Leslie was 6 years old when she first accepted Christ into her heart, and she remembers there being a blind man by the name of Al Crocker (an evangelist) who was a guest speaker at Church that night. Leslie remembers Brother Crocker giving his testimony and an alter call. He prayed and asked if there was anyone who wanted to come to know Jesus Christ. He asked anyone interested to come down to the altar so that he could pray over them. Leslie sat in the pew with her family and remembers feeling a warmth over her body and she began to weep and walked to the altar and, with the help of Al Crocker, asked Jesus into her heart.

Leslie began to play the piano at the age of 6 and continued through 19 years of age. She gives this account “ I struggled to read notes, and I would end up memorizing my music. I would ask my teacher to play it for me first, and then I would play it. It was easier for me to play after I was able to hear it. When I was 16 years old I was finally getting good enough to where I was finding out what kind of music my style and passion was. I remember praying, “Lord, I want to play like Keith (Green) did, and have the same anointing as he did.”

I sat and studied his technique until I had drilled it into my head, and it was in my soul. I began playing at church for worship. People began coming and asking me how do I play the way that I do? I said, “I play by ear, and I had good teachers, one of whom was very patient with me. I took lessons until the age of 19, and then I went to a worldwide missionary organization called Youth With A Mission.”

“Right now, I am a single mother with two teenage children. I am waiting on the Lord to fulfill the next chapters in my life that He has written. I strongly feel that I am supposed to begin blogging my father’s testimony and articles. He had the most amazing gift of evangelism through teaching the Bible, thoroughly explaining it , and how to apply it to our everyday lives. He was a very humble man who did factory work for a living, but never missed an opportunity to tell anyone he could who Jesus is and how He loved them so much, that He shed His blood and died on the cross for their sins, so that He could have companionship with them through all eternity.

He had a heart for the youth, as he believed the enemy goes after the youth more than anything, to try to destroy any possibility of bringing forth men and women of God. I remember having so many people, young and old in our home, from the time I can remember, as a small child to the day he died. He and my mother helped disciple many , and to this day we still hear their stories of their fondness of my parents and thankfulness to God for the influence my parents had in their lives. My dad died in May of 2001 after suffering and battling Prostate Cancer for two years. I thank God each and every day for giving me the parents that I have, and for using them in my own personal life and in the lives of many others, for The Kingdom of God.”

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