Living Testimony_Work in Progress
In 1998 I made the conscious decision that I wanted to live and die a relatively short life as a methamphetamine addict. I was twenty-four and had been living a double life of as a high functioning addict for nearly nine years. At this point, I was a mild mannered insurance agent by day and bi-sexual clubber methamphetamine addict by night. That day I abandoned my mild manners and committed to being autonomous, a die-hard methamphetamine addicted clubber who openly practiced bi-sexuality. In short haste, I quit my job as an insurance agent and, in just as short haste, opportunities in the adult entertainment industry presented themselves.
What I intended to be a way to make some quick cash to satisfy my most pressing financial obligations, snow-balled into a five-year career and far reaching family on the homosexual side of the adult entertainment industry. I fully gave myself over to a hedonistic lifestyle of methamphetamine addiction, sexual immorality, and a multitude of other self-centered interests. All the meanwhile my mind became darker as the bonds of my addict lifestyle thickened and tightened, mangling my spirit. It was just as Jesus says in John 8:34, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices disobedience to God is a slave to disobedience.”
Even though I had overshot the life I set out for by leaps and bounds, there was absolutely no sense of autonomy with even less hope. I knew that I was missing” something,”, that I was not whole, and I was trying to fill the void with all the wrong stuff. Thankfully, while struggling for hope in that darkness I had a random encounter with a woman as I was running errands in Hollywood, CA in July of 2004. Her presence beamed hope. In retrospect, I now know that the Holy Spirit was brimming through her. She politely asked if I had a minute to spare because she had “something” to share with me. I responded, “Sure why not.”
The woman shared the gospel of Christ with me. I accepted Christ’s offer. That day a stranger on the streets of Hollywood lead me in the prayer that rescued me from despair, renewed my spirit, and changed the course of my life for eternity. In just a matter of days I developed a spiritual hunger for things of God. Specifically, I began attending Bible studies and church services on a regular basis. Interestingly enough, the church I began attending was in my neighborhood, on my daily path. I had passed it a thousand times previously without giving it a thought. At any rate, by November of 2004 I was head over heels in love with Yahweh. More importantly, I became aware of the reality that I had not yet submitted to Christ’s lordship.
The story of Jesus encounter with the rich young ruler weighed heavy on my thoughts. Over the years I had amassed a small fortune of stuff, was successfully crossing over from adult to mainstream entertainment, lived in great neighborhood (#Hollywoodlove), and had many deep relationships with people I loved. Unfortunately, it was all grounded in an identity that was not reconcilable to a life in Christ. Jesus’s call to follow Him out of that life was loud and clear.
So in November of 2004, I made a 180 turn away from that wicked lifestyle and yielded to Christ’s authority. To do otherwise at that point would have been tantamount to rejecting God and consciously choosing to serve Satan, who I had come to know as the plague of heaven and earth. I chose to trust Jesus’s lead which meant walking away from a well-established network of friends, business associates, and opportunities.
Early on I clearly discerned the power and value of a credible testimony of God’s power to transform lives. So I began to pray regularly pray for God to grow, protect, and, most of all, for opportunities to encourage others with my testimony. As my testimony stands, God started my life over from ground zero in November 2004. Daily Bible study, meditations, prayer, and regular participation in ministry keep me on track with Him, i.e. no backsliding into drug addiction, homosexuality, nor fornication. Also, I have been attending the Shoreline Church of San Clemente since May 2005, earned a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Biola University, and nearly completed the Master of Divinity at Talbot theological seminary. Plus, in my instance, God has also restored to me a stronger attraction to women. Even more, God has blessed me with the desire to be a husband and father. This is a miracle in itself, being a husband and father never crossed my mind before my life in Christ. Praise God!
In closing, my life is still has its share of pains and challenges. There is no escaping the fact that life is complicated. Jesus Christ liberated me from slavery to a hedonistic lifestyle in order that I could become obedient to His ways. In my experience, obedience has been a heavy load, while light at the same time. Aside from being in love with Yah, there is a mysterious deep abiding peace and joy in Christ that make it all worth it.