As a child my parents always took me to church but despite hearing the Word, I demonstrated a “form of godliness” when others were watching. Bottom line, I was very “religious” but never truly began an intimate relationship with Jesus. Looking for love and fulfillment in all the wrong places I ran from God for 29 years before getting knocked down so hard that there was nowhere to look but up! As a 29-year old I was flying in the fast lane – reporting sports, eating fire and partying with the likes of Jimmy Buffet, Hunter S. Thompson and Robin Williams. All this came to a screeching halt during a botched burglary where I found myself on the wrong end of a .357 Magnum! While wrestling with my attacker, my right femur bone was shattered by a bullet before he put the gun to my head. All I heard were two loud clicks as his gun was now empty!
Lying in a hospital bed for one full year while awaiting both corrective surgery and my trial, I was led to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ! I was then encouraged to TELL THE TRUTH at my trial and God gave the grace to OBEY! Sentenced to “Life + 15-Years” in prison I soon underwent surgery before finally reaching my new home in a Florida maximum security prison during Christmas week of 1979! But a mere 18 months later a miracle letter arrived which completely vacated my entire sentence! Once again our Lord was faithful to accomplish His Word for when I “foolishly told the truth God used that to confound the wise” and my trial judge made a mistake which the Florida Supreme Court later declared justification to reverse my sentence! (I might add that one year after my release the same Court changed the law back! Yes, another Red Sea opened to set a captive free before again closing). Despite being miraculously set free “all because I told the truth” I remained in a far worse prison of suppressed anger and lust that contributed greatly to the demise of my first marriage!
Remarried in 1992, my precious wife, Patti, soon found the courage to confront me about my issues with lust and I broke down like a baby! I later learned Patti had read an article about the large number of believers that battle with lust and pornography. The Spirit of God moved her heart to graciously confront me without judging me. Surely, my sins had found me out, but this proved to empower me to pursue a lifestyle of accountability – which now begins at home – and today I HATE the sins that held me in a far worse prison! I now guard my eyes, thoughts and heart from ANYTHING that would give place to satan’s lure into compromise! I am now DRIVEN by a passion to see men and women – on BOTH sides of the prison walls – live in FREEDOM.
Over 90% of those in prison were orphaned as children after being verbally, physically and oftentimes sexually abused! But our Lord still looks upon them as mere children with wounded hearts and Jesus is calling us to join Him behind bars to not only minister His love to the unloved but to, most importantly, meet them at the gate when many are released! As never before, He is raising up shepherds after His heart who are being discipled to minister in their mission fields as well as being released to minister understanding to a lukewarm church! Indeed, whom the Son sets free is FREE INDEED! But I have learned that unless I walk in integrity and full surrender I only tie my Lord’s hands from making good on His many promises! After passionately ministering in the Placer County Jail this week the following morning during devotions Holy Spirit whispered to me about my destiny. He said “just as the slums of Calcutta were Mother Teresa’s destiny yours is to join me behind bars to minister hope to those who are cherished by me. There is NOTHING more EXCITING than to discover one’s destiny!