A Testimony

Hurt and pain, from simply being curious at a young age. Evil desires, soon to be strongholds and bondage, but not recognized for the evil it was at the time. Just exploring something new, something different and something pleasing, just wanting to know, even though a sense of wrong was always present.

Conscious decisions were made by me, I chose by my will to follow the desires of which I was or became convinced, would make me happy. All it ever took was to entertain the thought long enough, which never took long, and the presence of the conscious thought that wanted and tugged at saying no would be silenced. The so called small things or ''It'll be ok'' things that began it all, in due time became a person.

All it took to get the ball rolling was the first very little introduced thought on and accepted compromise. Not a big deal at time but neither was Esaus birthright to him when he just wanted something to eat. The enemy only wanted an open door, a foothold, a way in, and the rest he could work from the blind side. And work, he did.

Who created this person? This person, ''me'', was misdirected, lied to, cheated, beat and stole from to the point that he was owned by death and was unknowingly spreading it out to all he cared for and even those he did not know. No longer trying to be happy but happy with being depressed, because happy would go away but depression was easily fed, easily found and easily maintained. Little to no effort was necessary. What a lie!

Hurt and pain spreads through us and from us to others. Living in sin and lies destroys and kills and does not discriminate against any. The way of the world is wicked and the father of lies is just that! He was a liar from the beginning. I chose and accepted the compromise.

I chose and accepted the lies and so became ''this person'' in the image of tbe one who tells the lies--I was bound. A boy who was introduced to God but turned away. A teenager who sought God but stopped, a young man who knew God was the answer, but not the answer I wanted then. Compromise remained, grace and mercy did not. The so called pleasures of this world swallowed me up. My heart, soul and mind deprived of the truth, were given to the lie.

I don't tbink its necessary to talk about eveything I've done, but I will say that I did everything I wanted. It all led to hurt, hospitals, medication and deaths door. There are details. There is more-much more, but the past is now forgotten. Not forgetting where I came from but pressing on towards truth and life by way of the victorious One who has overcome the world and death and now speaks clearly to me through the voice I use to ignore and so cause Him to become silent. He says ''It's ok, I've overcome it all for you. All you have to do is come over, through me you will now become an overcomer as I planned from the foundation.

A high school graduate, a six year veteran, a sixth, seventh and eighth grade after school program supervisor, coordinator and teacher and a Columbus Public Schools Family Focus Center Coordinator, all given by the grace of God-but all nothing without walking in the way of Jesus Christ, That which can be said about the truth is endless. That which can be said about Him is the same. John 8:3 1.

*Praise God for the vision and obedience of Jim Bracken *Praise God for M.B.T.C.-He set apart that we too may be truly set apart *Praise God for all things-Creator of this person *Thank you Jesus for the Cross-my Friend that sticks closer than a brother *Thank you Holy Spirit-welcome at all times *Father, please bless the hearts, souls and minds of new life.

Concise but complete in the Eyes of the Spirit-from M.B.T.C.-Son of Odis