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Stories of Freedom From Addictions
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I was an Alcoholic, a Drug Addict and a Bulimic.
I Tried to Fill a Void With Drugs.
Heroine Almost Killed Me But.
From LSD to PHD.
Emotional Effects of Child Abuse Overcome.
Alcohol, Drug, Suicide Free.
I Was Saved From Addictions and Death.
Musician's Life of Drugs, Alcohol, Jail, and Divorce
Free from Alcohol Drugs And Suicide
Free from Alcohol Drugs And Suicide




A CHANGED LIFE

I was an Alcoholic, a Drug Addict and a Bulimic.
“All in efforts to cope...”


My name is Stephen Bennett. Throughout my entire childhood I felt I was different. Kids made fun of me in school - called me "faggot", "homo" and many other names. I was picked on, verbally abused, and even suffered physical violence
on two occasions by other students because they thought I was "gay". There was a group of us students who were always picked on for a variety of reasons, including one being overweight, one being "super" smart, and one for stuttering. No one deserves this kind of mistreatment in school. As we all know, kids and teens can be just downright nasty.
Though I tried dating girls, in 1981 I gave into my life long homosexual feelings and in college I had my first "gay" experience with another student. After all those years, I finally "came out".

Within the next eleven years I became very promiscuous and was sexually with well over 100 men - many whom are dead today from AIDS. I played a daily Russian roulette with my numerous and careless sexual encounters. I did the "gay bar" thing for many years, and yes, I had my fun. I was even in love with another man and we lived happily together for several years.

But deep inside, the many sexual encounters and even "loving" homosexual relationships left me lonely and even more depressed. I became an alcoholic, drug addict and a bulimic - all in efforts to cope with my "unwanted" homosexuality. Deep inside, I really craved a family - a wife and children, but I knew it would never happen. I was told by the homosexual community "I was born that way" - and change was impossible. I believed them. One night, depressed and hating myself because of my homosexual lifestyle, I nearly died from a drug overdose. For me, it was clear my destructive, promiscuous, unfulfilled and "unchangeable" lifestyle only had one end - death. Of course, all homosexuals are not drug addicts, alcoholics, or bulimics. I was just truly messed up.

Today, over ten years later, I am happily married to a woman who knew me when I was single and a homosexual. We also have two beautiful little children - a boy and a girl. I am the happiest I have ever been - completely heterosexual. The drug addiction, alcoholism, and bulimia are gone as well. What happened?

I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. A person who cared enough to SHARE THE TRUTH WITH ME ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY told me that GOD LOVED ME. She showed me in the Bible what God said about my homosexuality - THAT IT WAS SIN IN GOD'S EYES, AND THROUGH JESUS CHRIST, COMPLETE CHANGE WAS POSSIBLE! I never heard that before! No one ever told me I could really change!

All the lies I bought into throughout my entire life were gone! I didn't go to a special church, I didn't go through a program, it was not an "ex-gay" group that changed me - just my faith in Jesus Christ and belief in the Word of God. IT WAS THE TRUTH THAT SET ME FREE! Today, I no longer have homosexual thoughts, desires or actions. I really did change, and so have thousands of other men and women all around the world! YOU CAN COMPLETEY CHANGE!!

Because I care about you very much --- I want to share with you THE TRUTH:

1. NO ONE IS "BORN" GAY - for most, it all begins in the childhood. There are many root causes - some can be an early sexual experience, molestation or even broken relationships with family members (moms, dads, etc.)

2. GOD LOVES THE HOMOSEXUAL - YET HE HATES THE SIN - AND HOMOSEXUALITY WAS, IS AND ALWAYS WILL BE A SIN AND ABOMINATION IN GOD'S EYES - GOD WILL NEVER ACCEPT HOMOSEXUALITY - NO MATTER WHAT "OTHER" CHURCHES MAY TELL YOU.

3. THE HOMOSEXUAL LIFE IS ONE OF LONELINESS, SADNESS AND PAIN. Most homosexuals experience numerous sexual partners - very few find a partner for life. And even if they do - their relationship is NOT blessed by God, nor will it ever be - it goes completely against His perfect plan for mankind. Most homosexuals "play house" - one takes on the masculine role, one takes on the feminine. They "mimic" a heterosexual couple.

4. YOU KNOW DEEP IN YOUR HEART YOUR HOMOSEXUALITY IS NOT RIGHT. If you were to be brutally honest with me, and share with me "your" story… I'm sure you would see very clearly why you traveled down the homosexual road. "Your" story would not be too different from all of the rest of ours. We were there - we know how you feel. We know what you've been through. You are not alone! We have been there, too!

5. THERE IS A WAY OUT OF HOMOSEXUALITY - PEOPLE CAN CHANGE - COMPLETELY! Don't buy into the deception of homosexuality. Believe me, you will never be "truly" happy. I know. You can be the man or woman God created you to be - You can be happy, heterosexual and completely fulfilled. THERE IS HOPE - THERE IS A WAY OUT! GOD WANTS YOU TO "COME OUT" OF HOMOSEXUALITY TODAY!

As someone who WAS a homosexual, I am here to tell you Jesus loves you, so do I … and COMPLETE change is truly possible! Make that choice and be who God wants you to REALLY be - today!

For further information about "COMING OUT" OF HOMOSEXUALITY, please visit Stephen at http://www.SBMinistries.org


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A CHANGED LIFE
I Tried to Fill a Void With Drugs.
“The Voice calling me was more powerful than the darkness pulling me down...”


As a young child I knew God. As I got older I drifted. I was raped at age sixteen. This incident caused the deep void in me to become even more obvious. I tried all I could to fill this void, drugs, guys, partying, etc., but nothing seemed to work and my smiling face when I was out would quickly turn to tears wept on an ugly dorm room floor the second I got home. My search reminds me of a scripture I was to later read: "Why do you go about so much changing your ways? You will be disappointed by Egypt as you were by Assyria. You will also leave that place with your hands on your head, for the Lord has rejected those you trust; you will not be helped by them." - Jeremiah 2:36-37. I can remember being high on coke and special K, pot, and alcohol and just out of it in my sin, and hearing a loud thundering voice question, "What are you doing?" Calling my name telling me to stop. Fear of God brought me out of a very risky place that night.

However, I still did not answer His call to me. God is so merciful. All throughout the Bible you hear stories of people, murderous evil people turning away and God luring them back to Himself.

It was at a point in my life, marriage problems, financial problems, a baby, that I could no longer handle the flashbacks from my rape experience, when God truly called out to me again. Before a flashback could enter my mind I would hear the name of Jesus! Jesus! Louder and louder and I could feel within me a fight (that I had no part in) to cease the torments within me. There is such power in His name!

Since that time I have completely given my life to God. He is my healer, my redeemer, my husband, lover of my soul, my best friend. If there is one thing I have learned it is we will never fully understand the love He has for us. Who but God would send His only son to die and go to hell until we were justified for us? And then raise Him from the dead that we one day will be raised up with Him?

To God, we are priceless. And to us, He is more than worthy of all our praise!

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of the sand. When I awake, I am still with you." - Psalm 139:13-18

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A CHANGED LIFE
Heroine Almost Killed Me But.
“I was with some friends getting high all day and Wow I Did Not Know that this could have been my last day on this earth to live. I also went into a coma and stayed in it for 10 days. The drugs had caused me to be...”

It all started when I was a freshman in high school.
  I was on the after school activity bus. The basketball players and I would go home on the same bus after b-ball practice.  They would smoke pot everyday after practice.  The players would offer me to take a hit and I would say no.  They asked and asked until one day I said yes.  I tried it and I liked it (not knowing what was in store for me at that particular time).  So I smoked weed all of my high school years at Lindbergh Sr. High.  I thought it was a great thing to get high.

So when I got out of high school I did not become that professional b-ball player.  For one, grades were bad and I rather skip class and hang in the halls all the time.  Then it got to the point were I tried all kinds of drugs such as; Tylenol pills, heroine, cocaine (crack) and many other drugs.  Wow, I Did Not Know that by me entering into drugs (weed) that I would be trying other drug products.

But one day I was getting high on some heroine and some sort of pills, my heart had stopped for 11 minutes.  I was with some friends getting high all day and Wow I Did Not Know that this could have been my last day on this earth to live.  I also went into a coma and stayed in it for 10 days.  The drugs had caused me to be brain damaged and I was in critical condition.  The right side of my brain suffered the effects and it paralyzed the left side of my body.  Wow, I Did Not Know that weed was setting me up for this kind of tragedy.  I thought that all I was going to do was smoke weed but I was tricked by the weed scheme.

I use a wheelchair now.  I walk with a walker now to go to church and other short distances.  My dreams of being a professional basketball player are destroyed now.  My reflexes to catch a ball are thrown off a great deal because of damage nerves.  “Wow I Did Not Know that drugs were trying to kill me.  All I wanted to do was have fun and drugs got very serious with me and tried to wipe me out.  What a price to pay.

So now I am in church thanking God for freeing me from drugs because he is the only one that can clean you up from any drug addiction. I owe it all to him and you have a chance to receive his cleansing power, just go to him and be real because he knows what’s best for you.  You are someone that he made and it hurts him (Jesus) to watch you harm yourself.  So get clean because you can be the next person to see a similar tragedy.  Amen!   I have a book that will be published soon and it’s called.  I DID NOT KNOW. This letter is an outline of the story.

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A CHANGED LIFE
From LSD to PHd
My Personal testimony
Dr. Michael Brown

“I took enough mescaline for thirty people, actually it was a matter of life and death (then) something completely unexpected happened to me...”

"I'm burning in hell! I'm burning in hell!"
noneIt was 1:30 in the morning, the first week of September, 1971. I was only sixteen years old, but already I had earned the nicknames "Drug Bear" and "Iron Man." I could do greater quantities of drugs than any of my friends -- and live to brag about it! Whether I was shooting heroin or using hallucinogenics like LSD and mescaline, taking megadoses of drugs had become my lifestyle. But this time I went too far. I took enough mescaline for thirty people, and my friends put me on a bus alone, sending me home to fend for myself. They thought it was a big joke! Actually it was a matter of life and death.
I became delirious on the bus and got off too soon, more than a mile from my family's home on Long Island, New York. As I walked slowly towards the house, I thought the journey would never end. I became disoriented and got lost just two blocks from home. I sat down on the ground in mental torment, feeling like I had entered a maze from which I could never get out. I thought I had died and gone to hell.

Then, at that late hour of the night, a friend of my parents came by, walking his dog. He looked at me with shock as I screamed, "I'm burning in hell!" I was shocked too. "Why is he walking his dog in hell?" I wondered.

As soon as he walked away, I made a decision: "I'm going to jump in front of the next car that comes by. I can't take it any longer." I was losing my mind.

Within minutes, a car came racing around the corner. I jumped into the road directly in front of the car and threw my hands in the air. The car came to a screeching halt just inches from my body. It was my parents! The man with the dog had gone to my house and, deeply shaken, told them what he had seen. They came looking for me. They were ready to stop at that very corner. If it had been any other car I would have been killed.
But what I was doing there anyway, stoned out of my head? How did a nice Jewish boy like me get so messed up? And why was I thinking about hell? Let me tell you the story. I think you'll be interested to hear what happened!

I was born in New York City in 1955. My father was the senior lawyer in the New York Supreme Court, and he and my mother were as happily married as any couple that I have ever known. My upbringing was typical of many New York, Conservative Jewish children. We moved to Long Island, I did well in school, I played lots of sports, and, like all my friends, I basically stayed out of trouble. But something changed. It all began innocently enough . . .

When I was eight years old I started to play drums. There was no question that I had ability. In fact by the time I was fifteen I had played on a studio album. But my favorite music was rock, and after my Bar Mitzvah in 1968, I got interested in playing in a band. I wanted to be a rock drummer, and all my role models were known for their heavy drug use, rebellion, and flagrant immorality. I wanted to be like them!

My sister went away to college in 1969 and began to use drugs there. When she asked me if I wanted to try smoking pot, I was only too happy to oblige. Soon I tried smoking hash too. But neither one had any effect on me. So I tried harder drugs until I started using ups, downs, and LSD. "But I'll never do anything worse than that," I thought. Yet I was deceived. Soon I starting using speed, then I started shooting speed. (Of course, I had been sure I would never put a needle in my arm!). Then, I got the opportunity to try heroin. I loved it! I was fifteen years old.

By the time I was sixteen, my grades began to go down in school, and drugs, rock music, and filthy living were my daily portion. For fun, my friends and I even broke into some homes and a doctor's office. We experimented with the drugs we found and almost killed ourselves. But after all, we were cool! We were doing "our thing." And one day we would be famous rock stars!

Less than one year later, I was living for God and telling people about Jesus, the Messiah and Lord of both Gentile and Jew
. Today, I have traveled around the world preaching and teaching. I have had the privilege of speaking on university campuses (including Harvard and Yale), written books and articles that have been translated into more than a dozen languages, debated and dialoged with rabbis on radio and TV, and earned a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University, lectured as a visiting professor at leading theological institutes, and served as president of two Bible colleges. The Creator of the universe is now my Father, Jesus the Messiah is my best and closest Friend, I live my life free of anxiety and fear, and the peace and joy of God renew me every day.

"Well," you might say, "you were just messed up. You were looking for something. You needed to change."

To be perfectly truthful, I was messed up, and I was looking for something -- but it was not God! And I absolutely did not want to change. I had found my lifestyle, and I loved it! I enjoyed using drugs. I enjoyed my music. I enjoyed fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. What I was looking for was more sinful pleasure and more musical excellence, leading to more recognition as a rock drummer.

As for Jesus, he was no more important to me than Mohammed or any other foreign religious figure. After all, I was Jewish! And, I thought, if there really is a God, he knows that, deep down, I have a good heart. If there is a heaven, he'll surely accept me. In spite of my lying, my drugs, my drinking, my pride, my rebellion, my stealing, my immorality, my filthy mouth and mind, I thought that I really was a pretty good person. Little did I know then that the Bible said: "All a man's ways seem innocent to him, but it is the Lord who weighs the hearts." And, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." Human nature always tries to justify itself!

During the spring of 1971, my two best friends (and members of my band) began attending a little gospel-preaching church. Why? Because they liked two girls who went there! And why did the girls go? Because their uncle was the pastor and their father was praying for them. Then, in August, I went to the church too. Why? Because I wanted to pull my friends out! They were beginning to change, and I didn't like that. They weren't partying the way they used to. I had to stop them before it was too late. You can guess what happened. I lost the fight! The love of the people began to break down my stubborn pride, and, totally unknown to me, their prayers began to have an impact. Something started to get under my skin! I actually began to feel guilty about the filthy things I was doing.

Amazingly enough, until that time, I had never experienced the slightest remorse for stealing money from my own father, or putting my parents through all kinds of grief because of my drug use, or double-crossing my best friends, or viciously cutting down anyone I didn't like with my sharp, cruel sharp tongue. Now, something was happening. When I couldn't sleep at night after pumping myself up with methadrine or swallowing several tabs of amphetamine-laced LSD, I started to feel uncomfortable with my lifestyle, seeing myself as more of a jerk than a cool teenager, and I began to dread those long night hours, alone with a feeling of being unclean, alone with my sin.

Of course, at that time, I had no idea that this was something called "conviction," a wonderful process through which God shows us just how sick we really are in order to make us whole. And I made no connection between this sudden change in my attitude and the prayers of these sincere Christians. Instead, I made a decision: I won't use any drugs that keep me up at night! And I stayed away from the church for the next three months.

When I finally returned there in November, something completely unexpected happened to me. It was not what I was anticipating! For the first time in my life I believed that Jesus died for me (in other words, He paid the penalty that I deserved, He died in my place) and that He rose from the dead.

This did not strike me as especially good news! How can I say that? Simple. It was one thing for my friends to truly put their faith in Jesus. After all, one was Methodist and the other was Russian Orthodox. Even though they were only Christian in name, becoming a Christian in truth didn't seem to me like such a big religious jump. I thought the different Christian religions were close enough!

But for me, a Jew (even a non-religious Jew), how could I believe in Jesus? (Please remember: At that time, I didn't realize that his Hebrew name was Yeshua and that his mother's Hebrew name was Miriam, or that "Christ" meant "Messiah," or that he came into the world to save his Jewish people, or that he lived and died as a faithful Jew.) For me, Jesus was only for the Gentiles. (Again, you have to excuse my ignorance!)
But there was a much bigger problem I faced: Following Jesus and getting into a right relationship with God meant I had to turn away from my sins. I didn't want to do that! There was too much pleasure in my sin. And how could I be a famous rock drummer and a good, clean church-goer at the same time? Plus, I was too proud to admit that I could be wrong. (Some people would rather die than admit they are wrong.) I was as stubborn as they come. And how I loved to argue. (After all, I was the son of an excellent lawyer!) Yet somehow, God's goodness and patience overcame my stubbornness, my pride, my sinful habits, and my religious misunderstandings. By the end of 1971 I was a new man! The heavenly Father intervened in my affairs, making me to know that I was guilty in his sight, exposing the corruption of my heart, and showing me a new and better way.

What does all this have to do with you? Let me explain. You see, I was not a sinner because I was shooting heroin. I was shooting heroin because I was a sinner. Sin takes on many forms. But in God's sight, all of us are sinners. In other words, all of us stand guilty in the light of His standards and laws. And, deep down, most of recognize His laws are right. Yet we still break them. Why? Because by nature we are a fallen race. No one had to teach us to lie, to lust, to be selfish, to hate, to hold a grudge, to deceive, to cheat, to be greedy, to envy. These things came naturally to us -- even to the best of us!

According to the Scriptures, the first and greatest commandment is, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength." Instead, we find time for business, or pleasure, or family, or friends, or sports, or entertainment, or relaxation, or hobbies, or education, or whatever else is important to us. But God is not that important to us! He is certainly not the one around whom our lives revolve. If He were, we would find more time and energy for Him. He is supposed to come first.
What about the second commandment? Both Moses and Jesus taught that the next great commandment was, "Love your neighbor as yourself." We have failed here too! Think of all the murderers, and rapists, and drug pushers, and child abusers, and warlords, and crime bosses, and thieves -- the list goes on and on. It is clear that they have not loved their neighbors as themselves. But let's not be so quick to condemn. You can get a speeding ticket for going 100 miles per hour in a 40 mph zone, or you can get a ticket for going 70 in that same zone. Either way, you're guilty. And you can drown in 20 feet of water just as easily as you can drown in the ocean. Either way, you're dead.
It's the same with God's laws. Maybe you haven't killed someone. But have you hated them? Then you're guilty of not loving your neighbor as yourself! Maybe you haven't committed adultery with that good looking spouse of your friend or boss. But if you're burning with lust for them, then you've committed adultery in your heart. In the sight of God, you're guilty! And the penalty for those guilty of breaking God's laws is death.

"In that case," you say, "we're in trouble! Everyone is guilty." Exactly. That's why God sent His Son into the world. Although we didn't deserve it, and although it is more than we could ever ask for or imagine, God did something incredible. The Bible says He loved this world so much -- and that means He loved you -- that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
 Jesus died for you! Instead of you and I having to pay for our sins (and it would be perfectly fair if God required us to pay up), Jesus paid for our sins. Instead of you and I having to suffer the death penalty, Jesus suffered it for us. That's what he meant when he said, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." He also said, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep."

And that's what the Jewish prophet Isaiah meant when he wrote about the Messiah's death hundreds of years in advance:

  •  "He was pierced because of our rebellious deeds, He was crushed for our sins; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and at the cost of his wounds there is healing for us. All of us like sheep have gone astray, but the Lord has laid on Him (Jesus!) the sins of us all." Is this making sense to you now? Do you understand why Jesus died on the cross? He carried your sins so that you don't have to carry them any more!

Turn back to God and ask Him to forgive you. Acknowledge your guilt and say, "God, have mercy on me! I turn away from my sins." Ask Him to cleanse you and wash you through the blood that Jesus shed. Put your faith in the Son of God. He died for you and rose from the dead. Believe in Him and submit to Him as your Lord. You will never be the same! And you will never have a regret.

What He did for me in a unique and personal way He can do for you. He died so you could live. He became guilty so you could go free. He came down to earth so that one day you could go to heaven. But if you refuse Him, the door will be shut. You will die in your guilt, without excuse. Almighty God will say to you, "Depart from Me into eternal fire!" Then it will be too late!

That's why I took the time to tell you my story. It can become your story too! You can experience the greatest love the world has ever seen. Through Jesus, you can know the God who made you. Then you will truly live -- in this world, and in the world to come. Serving God is worth it all!

Whether you are happily married or experiencing the trauma of divorce; whether you are healthy or dying of cancer; whether you are rich or poor, Jew or Gentile, young or old, male or female, living a "decent" life or stealing and raping, nothing matters more than your relationship with God. Give me a call or drop me a line if you have any questions or if you need prayer. My staff would be happy to help you come into a genuine, personal relationship with the Lord. And don't be ashamed to acknowledge the truth. It will really set you free! !

Dr. Michael L. Brown
ICN Ministries
4000 West Fairfield Drive
Pensacola, FL 32505
850-458-6424 (phone); 850-453-1108 (fax)
e-mail: webmaster@icnministries.org

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A CHANGED LIFE
Emotional Effects of Child Abuse Overcome.
“I felt ashamed, invaded, and I grew up with a sense of low self-esteem, a severe stutter, and difficulty in saying "no". Many years later, I met…”


I don't know when it started. It was before my earliest memory. I think, (age 5). My recollection is that it occurred every week, but this seems impossible (maybe every month). My mother would take me upstairs to the bathroom and lower my pants and underpants. She would have me assume a knee-chest position and have me spread my buttocks. She would fill a 1 1/2 quart ceramic enema can with warm water mixed with soap. She would insert the enema into my rectum and release the water. I yelled when I could take it no more and finally she would stop. Most of the time, I made it to the toilet in time. Curiously she would want to look at what I had discharged.

I felt ashamed, invaded, and I grew up with a sense of low self-esteem, a severe stutter, and difficulty in saying "no". Many years later, I met the one who took our shame, our pain, and our sins - Jesus Christ.

When I received Him into my heart as Lord and Savior, things began to change. Gradually, the shame, the sense of invasion and low self esteem all left me. God made me fluent in speech. My life continued to change year by year.

God began to use me to lead my mother to the Lord and she gloriously received Him. I honor my mother! Jesus Christ changed my life and will change yours too! You just have to ask!

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A CHANGED LIFE
Alcohol, Drug, Suicide Free.
“I was just looking for acceptance and this was the only way I felt accepted.”


I was born into a family that was totally dysfunctional in every way shape and form. My mom and my dad were serious alcoholics and abusive to each other. I believe that when I was born it was just for the pleasure of the moment. I grew up in Scotland. I don’t remember much of a happy life. My dad and my mom would drink and come home and tear each other apart. I was always in the way and they used me as a puppet. My father would pull me out of bed, my mother would fall asleep under the influence of alcohol, and my father would take advantage of me. His pleasure was to pull me out of bed, sit me on a hard chair, and torture me. I was mentally drained. I thought this would never end. His pleasure was to beat me with his army boots on. The stilts on his boots caused severe damage to my lower back. I’ve had so many blows to the head; it caused damage to my sight. Even to this day, I cannot see right. I’ve had two major operations. I wanted to die. I was looking for a way in my early days to run away only to find myself back home again. My punishment would be more torture. I used to hide in the closet so he would not know I was home, but he would find me and find excuses to get more drunk. The biggest blow to me that my own dad in his drunken state would sexually abuse me. I felt dirty and ashamed but I had no strength to fight back. This went on in my mind forever and ever. There is not one night that I could remember not being pulled out of bed and being abused.

I had a chance to run away like many days that I tried to run away, but this was different. On the street where I was walking and just walking with no plans and nowhere to go it just felt good to be free. Someone saw me walking in the rain that day and pulled over and asked me if I needed a ride. I was startled. I took the ride. He knew something was up, but he began to talk to me and he said, “I’m going to church and if you have no place to go, would you like to join me?” I said “yeah”. I found myself in a safe place where no one could hurt me, no one could beat me. I didn’t want to go home. I wanted to stay there. I felt safe. They talked about God. They talked about eternal life. They talked about no pain. It got my attention. I had nothing to lose. If Jesus was like these people, I felt safe. I found myself asking Jesus to heal my loneliness, to come into my heart, and be the dad that I never had.

Eventually I went home and never had a chance to go back to the church. My father realized that I was different now and put a stop to my having anything to do with Christianity. Out of fear I stayed away from church. Many years later when I was of age I was living in the sin of adultery and I fell into homosexuality. I was just looking for acceptance and this was the only way I felt accepted. I got a telephone call that my dad was dying and he wanted to see me, but I didn’t want to see him. I wanted him to die. That’s just the way I felt. Against my will, I found myself at the hospital, and there I saw my dad. It didn’t look like my dad. His kidneys had failed him and his liver was shot from the abuse of alcohol. I found myself at the foot of the bed face to face with my dad after so many years of bitterness. I was crying and my dad was crying. I was caught up in the moment. What do you say to a dying man? What I felt didn’t matter. This was different. Tears kept mounting up. He said, “Son, please forgive me. I truly love you.” It was so emotional. I had never seen him sober before, but he was a dying man. I just felt that maybe he was feeling guilty. I found myself in an awkward place, so I said, “ Dad, get some sleep now, I’ll see you later, but later never came. He died a few hours later.

The next day, we were making arrangements for his funeral. I met with the clergy who told us in the family just hours before I saw him that he wanted to see and talk to a clergyman. He repented of his sins and he had tears from his eyes and he asked Jesus to come into his life. I was told that his face changed and there was something different and I believe there was a reason why I had to be there at that time. I was living in my addiction, the gay life style. I was not happy. My life was messed up. My dad dies and he gets to go to Heaven. Bitter about life, I said, “This is not fair”. I was living in a relationship of the same sex for many years. I was not a happy camper. I felt this would last forever and my partner contracted AIDS, my worst nightmare. There were moments I looked back when I found myself talking to God. I never forget that time when I was younger and went to church and learned that God could help me.

After an eighteen-year homosexual relationship, my partner died. I thought this was the end of my life. Everything is gone now. What do I do? I found a comfort of drugs and alcohol to help cope, but nothing helped. I still had to wake up the next morning and those feelings were still there. I wanted to do away with my life. I took pills and alcohol but failed to take my own life. I kept pondering on “I’ve lost everything”, my job, my reputation, and what was left of my family. As I sat in my car, God quickened me to remember that moment long ago, the person in my early days who took me to church and told me about Jesus Christ. This was my only hope. I believe it was a God thing. Why not? I had nothing to lose. I’d lost everything anyway. I left my car, went up to my apartment and at that moment I pulled the telephone cord out of the wall, locked myself in the apartment and fell to my knees and was asking for help. I kept weeping and I kept weeping. There was a mighty battle going on. I felt satan and his demons and God and his angels fighting over my soul. I kept weeping, and then I began to feel a shifting. I saw Jesus; I saw a smile on His face. My hands went up to the hem of His garment. As I was holding on the helm of His garment the devil let go. Jesus embraced me, and I was free. I felt Jesus’ arms surrounding me. He said, “You’re home now, you belong to me!” In that moment, I was free from the bondage of homosexuality and any holds that the devil held me to. That part of my life is DEAD. And now I live because He lives in me. He is the answer. He is the way. He is the life. In Him I am complete. It is now ten years. I AM A FREE MAN! I HAVE MY IDENTITY! AND HE IS THE DAD THAT I NEVER HAD!


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A CHANGED LIFE
I Was Saved From Addictions and Death.

God changed my life… period!  He saved me many times when I was near death. Now I don't do the bad addictions I used to do!  Now I am doing so much better and living well. I don't have a low self-esteem. I am happy to be saved! God bless you!

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A CHANGED LIFE
Musician’s Life of Drugs, Alcohol, Jail, and Divorce Rocked to the Core
“I got involved with marijuana, alcohol, and experimented with many other drugs. I even spent time in jail… little did I know that my entire life would change in December of 2006.”

Michael J Maione – Personal Testimony

Born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA in 1967, the first of three boys. I was raised in Middlesex County where I have spent most of my life.

Music became an important part of my life at nine years old, when I began taking guitar lessons from my mother. She gave me my first acoustic guitar. I still recall the first song I ever strummed and sang on that guitar. It was “Down in the Valley”.

As a young teen, I performed with various bands, playing classic rock covers.
I came to realize that I had a real gift; I could write songs. I would write songs about my life and my experiences. Some titles included “I’m Bored”; “Forget about Me” and “That Girl of Mine”. The songs lacked something. They seemed empty to me.
It was like I was trying to fill a void in my life that could not be identified. That would soon become more apparent in my later teenage years as I start to find other ways to satisfy that void.

During my later teenage years and most of my twenties, I got involved with marijuana, alcohol, and experimented with many other drugs. I even spent time in jail and was ordered by the courts to perform community service and be tested for drug use weekly.

I was married and divorced twice, and have a son from my first marriage. I quit many jobs after brief employment for various reasons. I gave up on music, people and myself. It seemed that I would never be satisfied and my life was in a pit of despair.

I was raised Catholic, attended Catholic School and received Communion and Confirmation. My second wife was a Baptist Pastor’s daughter. I was baptized a Baptist and almost never missed a Sunday worship service over the course of five years.
I would be hung over many Sunday mornings half listening to my Father-In-Law’s sermon. My second marriage ended in a bitter divorce after only one year.

Little did I know that my entire life would change in December of 2006.
My third wife Mary had a life-transforming encounter with Jesus Christ in the summer of 2006, which helped me to see the truth. I recall looking into her eyes one day and seeing the change in her. From that point on it was all clear to me now what I needed to do to change my foolish, self serving ways. I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. That void in my heart was filled by the Holy Spirit and I couldn’t get enough!

It took 38 years. It wasn’t my catholic schooling, a marriage into a preacher’s family or guilt that rescued me; it was the truth about Jesus Christ and what He did for me on the cross. It was John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" that opened the eyes of my heart. He was, He is and He will always be the one and only living God, who saves all of us if we would only believe in Him.

As of December 13th, 2006, I’m drug free, many of my sins have been taken away, past sins forgiven. I'm still a work in progress, happily married, for the final time to my beautiful Christian wife Mary. I hold a steady job, own a home and attend Christian church regularly where I study, pray, serve and fellowship with other believers.

Jesus is the center of my life. Now my songs are written to glorify Him.
The songs I write have meaning; they touch hearts and hopefully impact lives in a positive direction. God has blessed me abundantly. He has gifted me and empowered me to lead lost souls to the Cross through His word. I’m ready and willing to lead others as my wife Mary lead me; but only Jesus Christ can SAVE!

This is my personal testimony, but it doesn’t end here. It’s only the beginning. MJM

In Him,
Michael J Maione

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A CHANGED LIFE
Free from Alcohol Drugs And Suicide

I was born into a dysfunctional family with three sisters, an abused mother, and a drunken father. I recall strait jackets on my father, police officers at constantly my door yelling and cursing in the middle of the night, and a lot of fear. I remember waking up in the middle of the night wondering what this strange power was that was hidden in the drawer in the kitchen that seemed to be responsible for the outcry in my family. I snuck out and looked at the bottle, pulled the cork and took a sip. I remember at four years old, the warm sensation that ran down my throat as I drank the wine in dismay. I didn’t realize that this would play a large part in my life in the years to come. My father was beaten to death by the billy clubs of the police officers as they tried to control his anger in the fight they had in a bar. As he hit the floor they pulled him out, put him in the back of the police car, and drove him home. At that time they just thought that he was unconscious. They threw him on the bed, as I stood over him with tears running down my face, crying for him to get up and run from the police. In the years to come my mother remarried another dysfunctional step father who was loose with the hands and the tongue.  I remember being locked up in my room after being beat and screamed at, crying out to God. God was my only friend at this time and he was the only place that I found peace. He was my silent friend. I swore that I would never grow up to be like either father, but had no idea at that time what I would be.

In my later teenage years, my friends and I started sipping the booze that was around the house and learned to like the effect. It seemed to give me the freedom that I had been longing for all of my life. I became a daily drinker, pot smoker, and speed freak at the age of nineteen. It was very accessible to me because it was in the hippie era so it gave me a direction to fall under and an excuse to abuse any substances that would take me out of my own head and give me what I thought was freedom from my insecurities. At the age of twenty I went to jail for the first time for the sale of marijuana and speed, however alcohol was always the main substance of abuse for myself, however I substituted it with drugs because most of my friends were junkies. I was considered the garbage head. 

By the time I was twenty-five I had gone to my first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting trying to save what little friends I still had only believing that I just drank too much. No way did I ever want to admit that I was an alcoholic but I lied to cover myself and give me the excuse I needed. I was a con man from the get-go. I would tell you anything just to get you off my back so that you wouldn’t interfere with my lifestyle. For the next twenty years I was in and out of Alcoholics Anonymous and could recite the twelve steps like the alphabet. Although I used God as my “higher power”, and truly loved God, temptation seemed to get the best of me. I realized that just loving God wasn’t enough. One of my famous expressions that I used when I was hopeless was “God please get me out of this, I promise I’ll never do it again”, and I truly did mean it, but I didn’t know how not to do it again, because my life style had no substantial gain to it. I had no direction to follow, and AA was not filling the long time hole in my heart to give me the desire to live a wholesome life. So I continued building up a so-called life and then falling and losing everything again, and again, and again. I surely thought that there was no way out. The direction was set, I had no choice but to be a loser.

I tried to commit suicide by downing a bottle of pills. Even that failed. They locked me up for twenty-one days in the mental ward at the hospital.  I thought that might do it, but I ran into some old friends that invited me to play pool and have some drinks and for some reason I couldn’t say no. The mental institution and the other fourteen times I was arrested and spent time in jail was easily forgotten. I decided to visit my biker  friends in Daytona Beach, Florida who also drank and used drugs like I did. I thought that I could I stay out of jail if I had friends ho could watch over me, and we could watch over each other so I could continue to live a loose lifestyle because I never did admit that I wasn’t capable of taking over control of my life and my addiction, although I said I did.  My heart showed different. Five months later, all my friends were inside the house passed out drunk and high on pills and grass and I decided to take a day off, I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror because I knew there was no hope for me. I again thought of suicide. I realized that I had brought my problems with me wherever I went. I went outside in the back yard after dark and I couldn’t help crying because I didn’t like myself. As my arm was resting on the barbecue grill, I went down on one knee and cried out “God, I don’t want this either! Please help me!”

I spent the rest of the evening not only asking God to help me but to show me how not to live this way anymore. I wanted to be like other people that I saw that could walk in freedom instead of bondage. I was like a prison within my own self.  I got on the cell phone to speak with my brother who had been a “born again” Christian for twelve years. He told me that he had been waiting for a long time for me but knew I had to be finished before he would be able to help me. He told me about a place called Keswick, a Christian transformation center that had a 50% or better success rate. Every other rehab that I had been in had a 4% success rate. Three days later I committed myself into the rehab program that transformed my life through the Word of God (the Bible) in a way that I never dreamed was possible, but longed for all of my life. I was willing to surrender all my ways and all my thoughts and be renewed by the transforming power of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ set me  free of all bondages to drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and being overweight to physical, mental, and spiritual wholeness. I cannot say enough to anyone who reads this, but I’m a living testimony that the only freedom I ever had was in Jesus Christ and my life is full of joy. God bless.

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A CHANGED LIFE
Brian ‘Head’ Welch
A founder and long-time member of the famed heavy metal band, Korn, Brian "Head" Welch had a life transforming experience that changed his life forever. "I had it all with Korn, but gave it up for a better life", said Brian "Head" Welch. "I made more money, I played bigger shows, had houses, cars, I tried drugs, I tried sex, I tried everything to try to get this pleasure out of this life. And I thought that I could fulfill my life with all this stuff. By having my dream come true, and it came true, but it didn’t fulfill it, that’s why I wanted to die so much."

Click below to watch “Head” tell his story of how he got freedom from drug addiction:

You Tube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEc5wodqu4g

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