Saturday, December 16, 2017

Cocaine to Christ

March 2, 2014 by  
Filed under Monthly Articles, Testimonies

The tragic events of my childhood removed any reason for me to ever seek Christ or His Church. Whenever I thought about Church, God or Jesus, confusion and anger filled my heart. I grew up in what I thought was a “normal” home. My Mom was a loving parent, devoted to her church and family. On Sunday she made sure my brothers and I were all in Church for morning and evening services, and Sunday school. Everything seemed to be OK until November 1971 when my Mom had to go to the hospital for tests. The results revealed a brain tumor, and that would require surgery.

I remember when she came home, her head shaved and bandaged. She was so pale and weak it seemed that all lthe ife had been sucked out of her. I did not understand why God let this happen and why her faith in Him seemed to grow stronger as her illness progressed and the pain increased. She was too ill to go to church, so she listened to services over the telephone. She never complained about pain or the certainty of death she was facing. On a cold dark day, February 9, 1972, she died. Her final prayer was for the Lord to watch over her children, especially her David. This proved to be the first of many tragedies I suffered as a child, and what happened to my Mom changed my life forever.

Her final resting place was the place of her birth, Princeton, West Virginia. During the ride from Chicago to Princeton I tried to figure out what had happened. I was too young to understand what death really meant, but it would become all too clear at her funeral. My brother said she had “gone away.” I asked him where she had gone and when was she coming back? He told me she would never come back. I wanted to be with her so much that I tried to climb in her coffin so I could go where she was going.

In the days and years that followed I would look back and think if there was a God how could he do this to me? You see, there was another side of life during that time I have not yet shared with you.

My Father was the exact opposite of my mother. He was an alcoholic and most of the time he came home looking for a fight, and even when my Mother lay sick and dying, he continued to spend most of his time in the local bars. I remember well the loud, unruly arguments, and abuse he rained on my mother. I blamed myself for not stopping him. His attacks always started with my brothers or me, and Mom, sick as she was, would always try to defend us at great cost to her as her strength diminished and the pain increased.

We returned to Carpentersville, Ill, a small town outside of Chicago after the funeral. Back home, I continued Mom’s Sunday morning church services for a while. It was a good way for my Father to get rid of me. He dropped me off and went off to the nearest bar. The people there were kind and seemed to care about me. It seemed to be a safe place where I could escape the pain of my home life for a while. But after a few months something happened there to change my heart and mind about Church. Instead of a safe haven it became a dark and horrible place for a frightened, lonely, 9-year-old boy. Because one of the most respected men in the Church, a deacon, Church groundkeeper, and a man I trusted, molested me in the basement. I was ashamed, scared and confused. “If you tell anyone,” he said, “I will say you are lying and who do you think they will believe? You, or me?” As a result of this betrayal I became a violent young boy, bitter, angry and afraid. I asked myself over and over where was this God that my Mother trusted so much? If He loved her like she believed He did then why did she die such an awful death? And me – why didn’t He defend me in His own house? I decided that if He was “out there” I wanted absolutely nothing to do with Him! I felt unloved. I was scared and hurting and I began to search for a way to make the pain go away.

Meanwhile, women moved in and out of our home at my Father’s whim. Many were prostitutes. On July 4th 1972, he married one of them and we moved to California. After numerous “homes,” and several elementary schools, he finally settled down in a place called Merced. Here things were better for a while and I began to actually enjoy my life. I played sports in school and found this was something I was good at. My teachers and fellow students complimented me on my ability and my self esteem improved.

This relatively peaceful time in my life lasted for only a year or two. Then, just when I had found a place to fit in, just when life seemed to be “normal” again and I was enjoying some resemblance of happiness, my Father delivered yet another blow. During this time he and my Stepmother were drunk most of the time. The result was dreadful abuse of each other that spilled over onto my brothers and me. One terrible foggy night, in the middle of summer, everything came to an end. My Stepmother, drunk and out of control, chased all of us out of the house and down the road with a carving knife. With his failed marriage and horrible drinking pattern he decided to move back to Chicago. There the bitterness I felt, together with my violent behavior, would prove to be a bad combination.

It was not long after this that I was introduced to my first drug, marijuana. I was already getting drunk with my cousin and his friends, but drugs offered a new release. I smoked more marijuana than most people smoke cigarettes, but the pain of the horrible abuse that I suffered at the hands of my Father and the confusion over what happened in my Mothers church did not go away. I experimented with any drug I could find. Acid, Barbiturates, PCP, Crystal Meth, you name it, and finally I found my drug of choice, Cocaine. It was easy to use and I soon developed a huge habit that needed be supported. I tried work at different places but none of them paid enough. I found crime was the easy way to make money fast. I would steal anything from anyone. I gained a reputation as someone to stay away from.

Before long I was picked up by the police on a regular basis and hauled off to jail. My grandmother, who I was livng with at the time, was unable to handle me and courts threatened me with long jail terms. Something had to be done, so the family decided for me to ship me out to a suburb of Chicago to live my Father again. I did not want to leave my friends or my gang. I had even less desire to live with my Father again. But I had no choice, so with a bad attitude and a severe cocaine addiction I moved to Rolling Meadows, ILL. Dad’s drinking had progressed from bad to worse and we fought constantly. One night he came home drunk and tried to tell me my Mother was unfaithful to him and I was not really his son. I could not stand living there so I ran away, back to Chicago. I bunked with a friend until I got in trouble one time too many and found myself back on the street. I burned so many bridges with my family they no longer trusted or wanted me in their homes.

So I became a “street” person, sleeping in hallways and on top of garage roofs. I was in trouble with the law again, so my Aunt in West Virginia let me move in with her in a town called Bluefield. My cousin Joe was very popular and one of the states top football prospects ever. He had graduated from high school and spent some time playing college football. However, he was well connected in the drug world so there was plenty of drugs and parties for me. Eventually my cousin was shot as the result of an attempt on his life. He survived, but my Aunt blamed me and told me I had to go. I was doing pretty good in school and despite everything that happened, continued to attend. I was sleeping in the Salvation Army and occasionally above a friend’s garage in the rafters. He would sneak me food and wash my clothes with his. I was taking Spanish at the time and my teacher learned of my plight. She and her family came to my rescue. John and Becky Beckett were the kindest people I have ever met. The time I spent with them were some of the greatest days of my childhood. They accepted me as one of their own, they were the only “Mom and Dad” I had and I was their oldest son. My Birth-Father had moved W.Va. and agreed to let them have custody of me. They had three other children younger than me. Preston, Anthony and Kieth. Preston and Anthony, were both adopted. Keith was their only biological child. We had meals together as a family, something I had never experienced, and they insisted I attend church with them. My life was so full of love and purpose I stopped drinking heavily and my drug habit was fading away. It looked like I might even finish high school and attend college someday. John taught me how to drive and took me to get my license. He even let me drive the family vehicles. I was really trying to do well in school and not mess up the peace I found in their home. Then one weekend when they went out of town I went to a party with my cousin. I got drunk and almost totaled the Honda Civic they let me drive. The front windshield was busted out and I was so drunk I really did not know what happened. To my surprise they forgave me after a couple days, although they expected me to pay for the damages.

I became a newspaper delivery boy in order to pay them back and for spending money. Every morning at daybreak the wake up call came from John, and leading the way, he would help me. One miserable day news came that they had to move to Virginia and that they could not take me with them. Once again I returned to Chicago. Back to the life of drugs and crime.

It wasn’t long after my return to Chicago, that I moved to California with a friend. I had once again developed a large Cocaine addiction. At this point I was moving major amounts of Cocaine. I was arrested on 3 Felony charges and held with no bond in the Vista county jail outside San Diego. In jail a riot broke out between Hispanics and African Americans. I was assigned cleanup duty that day and had a large industrial mop in my hand. Both sides fighting demanded that I give them the mop. I decided to stay neutral and not give either gang the mop-weapon. Another inmate with me had a broom, and decided to do the same. The guard’s finally came in and broke up the fight. They moved all the African Americans to different cellblocks separate from us and the Hispanics. We now had over 175 Hispanics in with only 5 white inmates. The Hispanic men threatened me and the other inmate who had not given them the broom. That night I heard a loud scream from back of the unit. It became muffled and sounded like someone was trying to yell. I finally discovered someone was being beaten and was gagged to prevent them from crying out. The sound of pounding fists were heard continued for hours. I tried to cover my head with my hands to drown out the sound but couldn’t. It seemed to go on for all night and then finally faded and stopped. I saw someone drag a body to the front of the unit. I walked over stared into the face of this person and recognized that it was inmate that had the broom. He was beaten so badly that his I could barely see his eyes because of the swelling and mutilated flesh of his face. I was in shock at first as I stared at him and with blood coming from his mouth, nose. and ears. They had broken out most of his teeth and he was shaking with convulsions. I called the guards and shook the gate until they came and took him to the infirmary. To this day I do not know what happened to him after they took him out. I am not sure if he lived or died that day.  The guards turned on all the lights demanded to know who was responsible. Not one person spoke up.

The next morning at breakfast one of the men came by and told me that tonight you are going out just like your friend. I was scared , I was sure to die a violent death in Jail. My public defender had already told me I was facing a very long sentence, and now this! I decided the only way to stay alive was to stay in front of the gates where I was visible to the surveillance camera all the time. At around 10:30 a trustee came by with a book cart. “You look like you need a friend,” he said. I said ” No I need to get out of here.” He said “ I got exactly what you need.” “What?” I asked, “a get out of jail free card?”

“No, I got something better” he said, and handed me a Gideon Bible. I looked at that Bible and threw it across the room. He said, “Every thing you need is in that book.” I said ” I don’t need your god or religion.” I walked back and forth in front of those cameras for the next 2 hours but I could not stop thinking about the Bible laying 15 feet away. I finally picked it up and raised it to God and said, “If you are real and you care about me, get me out of here, if you don’t I am gonna die! If you do I will do anything you want.” That very afternoon God got my attention. The guards came and took me out of main stream population and put me in a private cell working as a kitchen trustee. I was convinced there was something to this God thing, I wasn’t sure what, but my search had begun. Whenever I wasn’t working in the kitchen, I was reading that Bible, but I didn’t understand it. Why did God ask people to sacrifice animals on an altar? What on earth did it mean? There were so many strange names and incredible stories. I read that Bible from the front to the back and couldn’t find what had compelled my Mother to be so committed to Church. When it was time for me to go before the judge for sentencing, my attorney advised me to plead guilty and try to look remorseful. That day the judge told me he had the power to put me away for 25 years, and that he knew of no reason to be lenient with me. He reviewed my case and for reasons he couldn’t figure out, he was going to give me another chance. He told me he was suspending my sentence, giving me credit for time served. But, that if I got in trouble one more time that I would serve the remainder of my sentence.

I was released at 5 AM with little money, and no place to go. All I had was that Bible and about $7.00 in my pocket. I telephoned a number given to me for Released Inmates Assistance. They provided me with a place to sleep and a job cleaning stables on a horse farm. There I earned enough money to take a bus back to Chicago. My older brother said I could live with him as long as I stayed out of trouble. Back in jail I made a deal with God and I had every intention of keeping it. My search for the truth of my Mom’s faith continued during the hours I read my Bible. I did well for a couple of months, no drugs or alcohol. Then one day an old friend called and asked me to go out and have a couple of beers. I refused and explained I had given up drinking. He said, one beer won’t kill you, so I agreed to one beer. I ended up drunk, using cocaine in the restroom. For the next 10 years my drug abuse would develope into a $300.00 per day habit. I met a guy who was a major supplier of Cocaine with men for Colombia and began to deal once again. I was moving major amounts of cocaine, while working as a vacuum cleaner salesman. By this time I was a major supplier of Cocaine; moving 15-18 kilo’s per week. I now had as much money as I wanted and all the cocaine I could possibly use. Living the life of a major drug supplier with flights to L.A weekly to purchase Cocaine from my Coluimbian friends. I went from eating out of trash cans homelss at 17 years old to walking around with $5000.00 dollars petty cash in my pocket all the time. With all of the money I could spend, nice cars and friends in every club who waited for me to supply the party. I could trust no one or allow anyone to get close to me . But, there was no peace in my life, and the pain and horror of my past still haunted me. I stayed strung out on cocaine or alcohol to get rid of the torment of the past.

I became a distributor for the Filter Queen vacuum cleaner company, and the drugs were flowing. The business became a front and a way to “clean” the money. I was shipping kilo’s of Cocaine all over the country ; via Federal Express, Airborne Express and UPS a vaccumm claener parts and supplies. It was during this time I met a girl named Tammy and we began to date. She did not know about my cocaine habit. She thought I was a good businessman making a lot money selling vacuum cleaners. In her mind she had landed a sugar Daddy who bought her anything she wanted and took her to all of the hottest places. She began to get suspicious when she walked in one day to find me counting $250,000 in the living room floor. I quickly convinced her that I did not trust the banks with all my money. She pretended to buy my story; I am sure she really didn’t.

But good as I thought things were, something was happening to me and Icould not figure out what it was. I thought I was loosing my mind. I became desperate to find the answers about Jesus. Who was He? Why did my Mom stay so attached to her faith even when she was dying? I thought movies about the life of Christ would provide the answer so I rented “The Life of Christ, Jesus of Nazareth, The Robe,” even “Ben Hur,” and “Spartacus”. I watched these movies with tears running down my face, drinking alcohol and using drugs. I just could not find the answers to what I was so desperately searching for. The DEA ( Drug Enforcement Agency) was getting close to busting my partner and I. So I took ( My girlfriend) Tammy to visit her sister for awhile. in Texas to figure out how to get out of this situation. When we came back, the people I was getting my supply of cocaine from had left messages threatening my life. Then whil all of this is taking place my (girlfriend) Tammy told me she was pregnant. I decided I had to get out of town. There was another vacuum distributor in a place called Lilburn, Georgia. He asked me if I wanted to come down help train salesmen. I called and asked if he still wanted me. He said yes, and I left for Lilburn the next morning. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do about the Tammy situation, but the baby created a bond that held. I was making great money working in Lilburn and asked Tammy to move to Georgia after the baby was born. They moved down in 1993 and we moved into a condo together.

Once we were settled we looked for a childcare provider for our daughter Kayla. An ad in the newspaper advertised “Christian childcare,” over night and weekends for $20.00. This seemed perfect to us as we could go out and party. We went to meet the childcare lady and almost didn’t go to the door. The front of the house looked like an abandoned auto yard with car parts everywhere. When we knocked on the door a little old lady appeared that seemed very “country.” Tammy immediately showed her displeasure with a quick elbow to my ribs that said “no way!” I walked into the house with her following. The second we walked in I saw Jesus. He was everywhere! His face was in the clock, a calendar featured Him and there pictures hanging on the walls. This was not the place for my daughter! The lady’s name was Gail Waite. In spite of the junk yard I immediately trusted her and was not sure why. During the time she kept our daughter she always told us that she and her church were praying for us. This meant nothing to us, but we thought it was nice of her anyway. She loved us without asking anything in return and always tried to encourage us.

Meanwhile I spiraled further and further out of control with drugs and alcohol, and my relationship with Tammy was coming to an end. She finally got tired of not knowing where I was for days at a time. So I sat down at the kitchen table and wrote out a child support agreement. When I looked at my life I knew the only thing good in it was my daughter Kayla. I could not stop the drinking and drug addiction that was controlling my life. One night I decided to end it all so I would not have to deal with the pain and depression anymore. On that night I sat on my patio and began to drink, my plan was to get drunk, park my car in a friends garage with the engine running and never wake up. Instead I passed out and around 4 am I woke up on the patio in the rain. I went upstairs climbed into bed and went to sleep. Around 7am the phone rang. It was Gail asking for a ride to church. Tammy had promised we would take her. Mad, I woke Tammy demanding to know what was going on. She said Gail had really been good to us and this was something we should do for her. That we should go. So we picked up Gail and took her to church. The minute I walked through the door I knew something was wrong. Those tears started coming again, just like when I had watched those Jesus movies, only now there were strangers everywhere. I went to the rest room to get myself together. When we were just about to sit down I heard Gail tell someone, “This is the couple we have been praying for.” The service started and the choir began to sing “Oh it is Jesus” and tears again began to fall from my eyes. I was crying now, almost out of control. The Preacher told us who Jesus really was and why He came to earth from John, chapter 1. For the first time in my life I heard the truth of why Jesus Christ died on the cross. He died because there was a sin problem. As he talked it seemed as if he was speaking directly to me and me alone. I realized that my problems were not cause by alcohol or drugs, the biggest problem I had was that I needed a Savior and forgiveness for my sins. I was up before the invitation was in full swing. With Tammy holding my hand, I headed to the alter and begged for forgivness for my sin. I asked the Lord to take control of my life. I asked Him to take away all my addiction and give me a new direction. That day the Jesus my Mother loved became real to me in a life changing way. That day God took away the drugs and alcohol and gave me a new life. On April 9th of 1995 Tammy and I were married with only Gail and my daughter, Kayla watching as we made our vows. Since that time the Lord has called me into the ministry. I currently serve as an Evangelist. Tammy and I have been blessed with two more little girls, Kelsey and Kerrigan.

If you think there is no hope God says, “I am the only hope you need.” The power of the gospel of Jesus Christ has not lost one bit of its life changing power!

Is there something in your life that you are struggling with? There is nothing that the power of the Holy Spirit cannot defeat, destroy or deliver you from.

Try the ultimate test…

Do you consider yourself to be a good person?Most people do. However, most of us differ on the definition of “good.” The Bible says that God is good, and the Ten Commandments are His standard of goodness. So, we will look at God’s Law. With a tender conscience, ask yourself if you have obeyed the following:

1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
(Have you always loved God above all else?)
2. You shall not make yourself an idol.
(Have you made a god in your mind that you’re more comfortable with, a god to suit yourself?)
3. You shall not take God’s name in vain.
(Have you ever used God’s holy Name as a cuss word?)
4. Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy.
5. Honor your father and mother.
6. You shall not murder.
(God considers hatred to be as murder.)
7. You shall not commit adultery.
(“Whoever looks upon a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart” — Matthew 5:27-28; this also includes sex before marriage).
8. You shall not steal.
(Have you ever stolen anything? — the value of the item is irrelevant.)
9. You shall not lie.
(Have you lied even once? Including answering these questions.)
10. You shall not covet.
(Have you ever jealously desired what belongs to others?)

The Bible says that God will punish all murderers, rapists, thieves, liars, adulterers, etc. He will even judge our words and thoughts. On Judgment Day, will you be found to be guilty or innocent of breaking His commandments?

Perhaps you think that God is good, and will therefore overlook your sins. But it is His goodness that will make sure that murderers, rapists, thieves, liars, etc. receive justice. He would be a corrupt Judge if He turned a blind eye to injustice.

Have you kept the Commandments?

The Bible says that the Law is perfect. It commands you to be perfect (Matthew 5:48). Are you perfect (in thought, word, and deed)? Will you make it to Heaven?
You may say that you are still good, but God says you’re not (see Psalm 14:2-3). So one of you is lying, and the Scriptures tell us that it is impossible for God to lie.

About Hell and Judgment

Remember that all liars will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 21:8). God’s Law demands justice, and the penalty for sinning against Him is death and Hell. Listen carefully, if you want to live.

God Himself made a way where His justice and His goodness could meet. We broke the Law, but He became a man to pay the fine. Jesus suffered and died on the cross to satisfy the Law. God can forgive us and grant us the gift of everlasting life!

But you may still think that you can (from now on) keep the Ten Commandments. But isn’t it true that the best of us have lied, stolen, lusted, hated, failed to love God above all else, and failed to love our neighbor as ourselves?

How can we then, live a “good” life if we have already sinned against God? At best we are reformed liars and thieves … but still Lawbreakers. Rom 3:10, 3:23, 5:12, 6:23,

Think of it this way…

Would you sell one of your eyes for a million dollars? Would you sell both for $50 million? I’m sure you wouldn’t. Your eyes are priceless, yet they are merely the windows of your soul. What then must your life (soul) be worth?

With these thoughts in mind, what would be a fair price to pay for everlasting life? It is utterly without price. Yet, if we trust in our own goodness to enter Heaven, we are saying to God, “I should enter Heaven because I have done good – I have earned my way in.”

Imagine if you wanted to give me a brand new (very expensive) car, but I said, “I can’t take it! I feel embarrassed receiving such a gift … here’s 10 cents for it.” I’m sure you would be very insulted by such a pathetic offer of payment. Besides, if I pay for it, it is no longer a gift, it’s a purchase … it’s mine by right.

When we talk of entering Heaven by being good, by trying to keep the Ten Commandments, etc., we are tossing God 10 cents of “self-righteousness,” which is a terrible insult to Him, in the light of His sacrifice. The only thing we can do is humble ourselves, repent of our sins, and receive the gift by trusting Jesus Christ alone.
Almighty God demonstrated how much He loves you when Jesus suffered for you on the cross. If you want to trust in your own goodness, then you are saying His agonizing death on the cross was in vain.

Confused?

How good is good enough? You have to be perfect to get to Heaven.

Am I good enough to get to Heaven? No, there is not one person good enough.

Will all mankind eventually be saved? No (Many have a vague hope and trust that things will eventually turn out all right and that he will sooner or later get to heaven. It is not true?) All of us have sinned ( broken God’s law ). When we break the law someone has to pay the fine; the Bible says the wages of sin is death.
Is God fair to only save some? God sent Jesus; that through him that all might be saved. It is not automatic, but available to all who will accept the payment Jesus made.

How can I be and feel forgiven? A- accept that you have sinned and cannot pay for your own sins. B- believe that Jesus died for your sins. C- choose to repent, meaning turn from your sins and ask for forgiveness from Jesus and surrender your life to Him.

How can I be sure of my salvation? The Bible promises that Whosoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. The Bible has withstood the test of time with many people claiming it is full of errors; yet no one has found one yet. It has literally revealed prophetic events thousands of years before they took place and everyone perfectly came true. There are over 300 concerning Jesus all have come true, except those concerning His return and they will to. It is amazing what we believe today with no proof. George Washington for example, we never met him, never saw him or heard him speak but we believe in him. There is more evidence to support all the claims of Jesus then George Washington.

Read the Gospels and ask God to speak to you and reveal himself to you; He will.

The Bible says, “For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” You cannot earn a gift. Jesus gave His own life as a gift to die for you. God is Holy and must punish sin; all sin is rebellion toward God. When Jesus died He satisfied the payment for all sins required by God through His sacrifice on the cross. We broke God’s law and Jesus came and paid our fine; which we could never pay ourselves. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost; us.
When Jesus said to “believe” on Him, He was saying we should have faith in Him, in the same way you would trust a parachute to save you when you jump from a plane. You don’t merely believe in the parachute – you put it on. John 14:6

Please don’t “jump” without Jesus. If you die in your sins there is no second chance. God will give you justice, and you will end up in Hell forever. Any troubles you have at present are dwarfed by the trouble you are in with your Creator. His wrath abides upon you (John 3:36).

God doesn’t want you to go to Hell. Neither do you want to go there, so confess your sins to God right now, put your trust in Jesus to save you, and you will pass from death to life.

Then read the Bible daily and obey what you read. (See John 14:21). Your obedience to God is the proof of your love. Have faith in God, He will never fail you. Rom 10:9-13 www.christiananswers.net

Say something like this to God:

“Dear God, today I turn away from all of my sins (name them). This day I put my trust in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. He is the only way for me to be saved. He is ‘The way, the truth, and the life.’ Please forgive me, change my heart, and grant me Your gift of everlasting life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
This is exactly what I did and Jesus changed my life. He removed the desire for drugs and alcohol. It has been 16 years since I have touched any drug or alcoholic drinks. Jesus is real, the Bible is true and the only hope anyone has for ever getting to Heaven. Jesus does love you; in fact He proved it when He died for your sin and mine. Every religion ends with a dead person in a grave; only Jesus proved He was God by resurrecting from the dead. He proved everything He ever said.

 

David Farmer lives with his wife, Tammy, in Georgia.  Please see the ministry that God has inspired through them here: http://crisisrescueinternational.org/

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