As my walk deepened with the Lord, one thing that was very near and dear to my heart was the subject of Spiritual Warfare. I was aware of the angels and demons around me. My typical day as a teenager would involve me going home from school and sometimes spending 2+ hours in my bedroom with the door shut, listening to Praise & Worship music while reading the Bible. I was utterly in love with Christ. That time I spent felt like I was only in my room for 30 minutes or less.
One weekend we took a drive out to Mount Rainier. While walking around the woods, God gave me a mountain-top experience showing me a vision of an outreach program that would provide shelter, food, and entertainment for homeless teens. I took action! The next day, at fifteen years old, I started a board of trustees at my Church for this vision. I had around six people on the board, from lawyers, worship ministers, youth pastors, and others. I was serious about this calling and wanted to ensure I obeyed God. The lawyer even drafted bylaws for the Youth Ranch (I still have them). We would meet once a week (I think we met a total of four times). However, being so young, I didn't have anyone take me under their wing to be accountable. In addition, I wasn't spending daily time with Jesus, so the fire quickly faded and put me at risk.
This rebellion of not listening to God exposed me to enemy attacks. As a result, I developed a pornography addiction, something I struggled with daily. I say struggle because I felt defeated and failed God after seeking it out. I would tell God I'm sorry and move on with my life. Sometimes I would pray to God to heal me and fix this. But I was still hanging onto it. I eventually married this girl I met in my youth group, and we had a son. We had a pretty good life. We went to Church and Christian concerts. We were married for about seven years until things came crashing down. But that is another story. I was left with my wonderful son, who was six years old.
I later met my second wife, who has a daughter one year younger than my son. We would go to Christian concerts and Church every week for a couple of years. Those types of events and Church attendance later fizzled. During the first 12 years of this marriage, I lived a corrupt life and ignored God's calling. Yet, I knew He was there, and I felt the Holy Spirit convicting me. Finally, after 14 years, God tapped me on the shoulder and said it was time to wake up.
So I stopped doing things that hurt God and told my wife I was back in love with Christ, and He is my #1 priority. I invited her on that journey with me; however, she refused. I picked the Bible back up and started reading as much as possible. If I didn't have the Bible in my hands, I had it in my ear as I listened to the audio Bible all the time. I was convinced to heal my marriage, my lust struggle, etc. I had to get the Word into me at whatever cost. This included authentic Praise & Worship music.
This class I took as a teen was on my heart. The class title is "Experiencing God'. So I did some general searching online for anyone hosting the class and noticed a Virtual Reality class sponsored by Cornerstone Church. I was heavy into Virtual Reality, so I jumped into one of their live classes and listened in. It was just a few people sitting around in some virtual room talking about content from the workbook. I've been learning a lot of tips and tricks when it comes to presenting content remotely with my work workshops. The Holy Spirit moved my heart to send them a message. I was interested in helping them with their class because I learned a lot of excellent remote presentation skills from doing my work. I later connected with the guy who was running the class. So this introduction to Cornerstone Church started my remote home Church. Unfortunately, the Virtual Reality class was fizzling out, but the Church was very active in Virtual Reality.
During all this time, I still had a daily struggle with pornography. I still felt defeated after seeking it out etc. So I researched extensively over the years about what pornography does to people's brains and how it rewires how we interact with people. I was reading many self-help books, but nothing seemed to be helping. Finally, however, after 32 years of this addiction, I fell on my knees and cried out to God. "Jesus, I am defeated! I can't fix this! So I give it all to You., Please take it," I said with tears streaming down my face. My heart was ultimately into this, and I was letting go and letting God. The next day the desire to seek out pornography was gone entirely. The images and movies I had in my head from stuff I'd previously watched were all gone and replaced with scripture or worship music. I even tested to see if I could remember anything, and I couldn't; it was all gone. God had healed me!
I eventually talked to my brother about the course, and we both agreed that we should get my mom to teach it; I recall her teaching the class at our Church. So God placed it in my mother's heart to teach my siblings and me this zoom class of Experiencing God (February 19, 2021). Experiencing God is a class by Henry Blackaby, a 13-week daily study with daily homework where you learn guiding principles to hearing God. Afterward, my sister, my sister's friend, and my 15-year-old niece gave their hearts to the Lord on July 10, 2021. All because God put a hunger in my heart for my teaching as a teenager, and I desired to do it again. Then the Lord gave me the desire to host another zoom class for my siblings, which led to "Victory in Spiritual Warfare." Victory in Spiritual Warfare is a class by Tony Evans, an 8-week daily study with daily homework where you learn guiding principles around spiritual warfare "Ephesians 6:10-18." After finishing that class, I grew spiritually stronger and developed even more hunger to empower other believers to strengthen their faith.
My stepdad introduced me to this worship service in a giant outdoor barn. I went to the event and had a great time worshiping. I was approached mid-service by a stranger who said she had a word for me. She proceeded to tell a prophecy over me. I won't go into everything that was said now because it is long. However, everything she said was something I was dealing with internally, and no one else knew. She said that God has huge plans for me and that He would save thousands of lives through me (I recorded it).
In 2021 I attended a revival event with my stepdad, mother, and brother. My mother and stepdad water-baptized my brother and me. Also, another stranger came up to me while kneeling and praying in front of the stage. I don't know who they were, but they touched my shoulder and said God has huge plans for me, and I'm going to impact thousands of lives. I prayed in the direction God wanted me to go, and He said He had others who needed to hear these Spiritual Warfare principles, and I needed to host another class. So now, I am teaching the Tony Evans series and opening it to the public. The current course consists of two of my coworkers and six others.
Each week the Holy Spirit has been building me up as I stay focused on making God more of a priority in my life. As a result, my teaching skills are enhanced, and He is showing me new ways to present the content. My mother prays for us daily and still guides us by what the scriptures say, even as adults. Forcing your children to attend Church isn't the key to unlocking the relationship with Christ; that will introduce resentment. Instead, be an example of what Jesus is, and your puzzle pieces will fall into place. Everyone's relationship with Christ is unique and special. We must be open to hearing Him because changing from your carnal nature to a spiritual man starts with the heart, and only He can change that.
The outdoor barn I mentioned earlier flourished into an outreach ministry called 'The Remnant.' I am now a very active member of the worship team. I sing and play instruments. It is my passion to help lead people to the throne for people's lives to be impacted by His love for them. He delivered and protected me all my life, and I want others to experience a true relationship with Christ.