As much as I would love to say that I grew up in church and never walked away from God, I can’t. The fact is I did grow up in a home where my parents introduced me to church at a very early age. But, despite all their best efforts, I chose to follow the path of the prodigal son.
As excuses go, I have my share. I used to blame the fact that my birth mother died before my third birthday in labor with what would have been my younger brother, who died as well. That was the reason for all my problems, I thought. I grew up surrounded by death. Even before the death of my mom, an older brother had already died from complications surrounding surgery to remove a tumor in his brain. As a result, all of my growing up years seemed to be tainted with the thoughts about these people I had never known.
In all of the endless services I sat in growing up, there never seemed to be anyone who could help me or show me how to get past this hurt that dogged me. Oh, I had a bible that I carried back and forth, but understanding what it said seemed to be someone else’s job. Could I read? Yes. Was anyone threatening my life if I opened my Bible? No. I say that because until we stop excusing our bad choices in life we will continue making them. The bottom line is, I chose to walk away from God.
For 10 years I tasted of everything the world had to offer. From age 15 to age 25 I lived like the devil. Fortunately, when I finally came to the end of myself I knew where to look for the answer. I thank God for all the prayers my parents prayed for me. I’m sure they are the reason I am here today. Through their prayers, and others, God was able to orchestrate a situation where I sat eye to eye with a prophet of God who spoke the Word of the Lord to me and for once I listened.
As a result of that encounter, I surrendered my life to Jesus and was filled with the Holy Ghost. I can’t tell you what a radical change took place almost over night in my life. Some long time habits were instantly destroyed. It was like someone had reached inside me and pulled out the very desires for evil things and replaced them with a hunger for God. For the next year I could not get enough of Jesus. I was in love with Him and finally I knew that He loved me.
That same year, 1990, my new pastor introduced me to a teaching ministry called Dave Roberson Ministries. The very first tape series I heard was entitled, “Meditation, Imagery and Delivery”. I found out in that tape series the importance of praying in other tongues and how that empowers the Holy Ghost to become my teacher. I finally realized that God had made a way for me to never again have to rely solely on another man to tell me what the Word of God says or means. Within 3 years I was married to Debbie, became a dad to Brandon and Tori and graduated from Lester Sumrall’s World Harvest Bible College.
Over the years the one constant that has sustained me through everything has been the message of praying in tongues. One of the benefits of praying in tongues is that the Holy Ghost is able to pray through you the perfect will, plan and purpose of God for your life. As I look back over the years, I can clearly see how God has strategically led Debbie and me all the way to where we are today. The man who God used to show me the mystery of praying in tongues became my pastor for a season. Dave Roberson was not only my pastor but he is my friend. God brought us to Tulsa, Oklahoma from West Palm Beach, Florida and placed us in the Prayer Center. He didn’t stop there. As I have continued to pray in tongues, and do all the other things I was taught, God promoted me to be one of the regular ministers at the Prayer Center for several years. I can assure you that if you will do what we teach, you too will empower the Holy Ghost to become your teacher and your life will never be the same.