My Testimony

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#43
I just watched the testimony of a musician who had an encounter with Jesus. The way he described the experience resonated with my own 30 years ago so I had to post it up...


Sometimes, text alone cannot come near to describing an experience. For those who have had something similar happen to them, they will understand.
 





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#45
It looks like it has been quite awhile since I wrote this, going on almost 2 ½ years, man how time flies! So many things have transpired in my life since this has happened and I have felt inspiried to write about some of them, to give God praise where it is due and hopefully to inspire others who may be in hard times or are in search of God, to give others hope even if it feels like there is none left in the World.


So I ended my original testimony by stating it had been a year at that time since I had been sober and free from a Sinful Lifestyle and I am happy to report that due to Gods Grace and His Grace alone I am still sober, now for going on 3 ½ years with no desire to return to the places I had been in the past. I still struggle with Sin but I know the fact that it is a Struggle means that God is still working in my heart and my life, if you ever find yourself at a point where you think to yourself, I've gotten this beat, I would warn you that that is the point where you are ready to fall.


Life has definitely had it's ups and downs since I last wrote on this Thread, and anyone who tells you that the life of a Christian is a bed of roses is a liar, but regardless of the situations I have been in, the hardships I have faced and times of sadness and feelings of loss, through it all God has been Good and He has held to my hand no matter what!! I am just thankful to have a God and Savior that endures with me over the best and worst times, even when I am the one who has made the mistakes, He is still there to Forgive, have Mercy and offer Grace, turning things that seem impossible into amazing testimonies of HIs Power and Greatness.


There are alot of different directions that I could take this Testimony but what I have on my heart at this time is to take you thru 2 incidences in my life in which God has come through in such an amazing and spectacular way that it would take nothing less than a hardened heart of hatred to not realize and admit that God is/was the author of and had His hand upon the situations.


In my last testimony I had made mention of my Brother In Law, his name is Craig and when I wrote last about him he was 16. I also mentioned the fact that he lived in a terrible neighborhood and had some awful “parents” quotes deserved because these people are anything but how parents should be and that he need prayer. How true were those words. I want to give a little bit of background about what was happening with him and us and his parents around that time.


The year we had come to the Church I am at now which was mentioned in my last Testimony, during that summer, we were actually trying and praying for him to come live with us. We knew just how vulnerable he was and knew how terrible his home life was and all the temptations that he would face over the course of that upcoming year. We were blessed to have had him for most of that summer, taking him out of that environment and were able to get him into our Church and definitely had seen God dealing with his heart.


He had gone to the Altar one night and made gave a profession that God was dealing with him and we were all shocked about it. No one at all tried to ever force him to step out or anything like that but one night all on his own he went to the Altar, and when he got home there was something completely different about him. He was super on fire to talk about Jesus, and started reading and asking about the Bible, I honestly was blown away and so excited and happy for him. One night he was lukewarm at best about anything related to God and Church and Christ, the next minute he was asking me to help him understand the Bible and wanting to know about good Christian music ect.


What I can tell you that happens almost everytime I see God moving strongly in my life, is the Devil is right there ready to steal, kill, and try and destroy everything God is doing positively. So I believe this was a Wednesday night when Craig went to the Altar and made his profession and like clockwork the Devil popped up to try and destroy what was going on in his life. The next day his mother called and essentially convinced him that he should come back for the weekend “because she and his friends missed him”. I do not like to speak ill of people but his mother is one of the most wicked and evil people I have ever met in my life, I could give dozens of examples that would shock you but just trust me, this woman never has the good intention to help anyone in her life, it is always to destroy them.


So of course him being a 16 yr old kid, he listened to his mother and said he wanted to go back just for that weekend and that he would definitely be coming back. We had a Youth Retreat coming up about a week and a half from then and definitely wanted him to go, especially after what had just happened. So we told Craig that he is free to do as he pleased because we literally had no control over him, but we warned him about what was probably going to happen. We had told him that his mother was probably going to try and downplay or try and convince him that what he had experienced wasn't real. That she was going to try and lay doubt in his mind. We also warned him that he was going to be tempted and that she was not going to protect him from any of this temptation but would in fact help him fall right into it.


Friday night he left, up comes Sunday and he says he doesn't want to come back yet but wants to go to Youth Retreat we say ok no problem we will pick you up next Saturday. The next Friday rolls around, he says he doesn't want to come up yet he will come up Monday before Youth Retreat (which started on Tuesday). So here it comes up to Monday and we don't call we just drive out to his house to pick him up, where also his “wonderful” mother is there with him.


We walk into the house and he's essentially hiding in his room and when we get him to come out it is extremely obvious that his high as can be, his eyes are super red, the way he was acting everything was pointing to the fact that the kid was blown out of his mind. Now a GOOD parent would recognize the fact that their kid is high, is getting high, and WANT to take any help and steps available to try and move them off a path of drugs. Well this wonderful woman instead of trying to convince or better yet tell her 16 yr old child to go with us to the Youth Retreat she ends up getting into a fight with us and basically tells us to leave him there with her.


I remember looking right at her and telling her look if you don't let him or make him comes with us tonight then all the terrible things that are going to happen to him are on your hands. We left upset and broken hearted because we knew what the future probably held for him, with that type of terrible mother and the friends we knew he was hanging out with and the city and the environment he was growing up in.


That was basically the last time we heard or really saw Craig for a very, very long time, like years. We would try and ask him to come out but he never took up our invites. We would ask her how he is doing and she would always try and say he was doing fine, but eventually the Truth would come out concerning him.


It was very shortly after we left in July, that Craig went back to school, and he was there for only a few months before he was suspended and then expelled from school for fighting multiple times. So there he is 16, not in school, what really is there for someone like that to do? Not much so as you can imagine he quickly went down the drugs and sex path. Apparently he was also trying to get into or was actually in a Gang as well.


In less than a year Craig went from a decent kid that was offered an amazing opportunity to come be with us and let God work in his life, to being a High School Drop out that quickly got hooked on Meth and was in the midst of dealing drugs for a Gang. For almost 2 years we didn't see him except for 15 min at Thanksgiving and Christmas and even when he came over he would only stay inside for a very short time then leave. He was strung out and just living a terrible lifestyle and our hearts were so incredibly broken and we were so very scared about where life was going to take him.


However we never gave up on Him or on God, we had a Youth meeting every Sunday before our 2nd Service and almost every time I would bring him up, to have the Church continue to pray for him. Week in and week out we would mention his name and pray that God helps and makes a way. To be honest it seemed impossible, after 2 years knowing what he was doing, I didn't think he would really ever come back.


Then we started hearing some absolutely terrible things about him, but we couldn't really confirm anything because during all this time his mother kept lying about him saying he wasn't on drugs or hadn't been kicked out of school, or wasn't in trouble. We could never get a straight answer from her about him. We heard that he dropped out, that he was on some kind of drugs and might have gotten in trouble with the Law, but nothing was confirmed.


So here we were 2 years almost to the day of the last time we really saw Craig, the night we tried to pick him up for Youth Retreat and just so happens to be that we were getting ourselves ready and packing for that years Youth Retreat that was going to start the next day and my wife gets tagged in a Facebook post from Craig that says I'm sorry I never listened, you were right, I screwed it all up. At first we werent sure if it was him because again his mom is a horrible person and we thought it may be her impersonating him for some sick reason as she has done things like that in the past. Regardless we knew we had to see if it was him so my wife called and finally was able to really get to speak to him.


Craig had been essentially living on the streets for the better part of the year, he was hooked on Meth and dealing for a Gang. He also had knocked up some girl and she was due to have his baby in about 3-4 months. On top of all of this he had been busted selling Meth laced with Fentanyl to an undercover cop! Everything we told him and that woman he calls a mother happened almost exactly as we predicted. He was devastated, and completely tore up, his life was over.


We told him look we are heading to Youth Retreat why don't you come with us, get out of that place for a little bit, get some time away and he agreed so my wife drove the hours long trip to pick him up and take him to the Youth Retreat. When he got there he was so skinny, he was skinny to begin with but he was a rail now and you could see it in his eyes that life had really ran him over. It was heartbreaking.


So we are at Youth Retreat and I ask him what happened and what he was facing, and to make a long story short, he was going to be prosecuted as an adult and was facing 4 years in prison, not a county jail but straight up rapist and murder filled prison and would be locked away in one of the worst jails in my state, all while his girl gave birth to his kid. Just imagine being 17 with a kid on the way, strung out on Meth, facing 4 years in one of the states worst prisons, it is mind blowing.


And that is when God really stepped in, so either the first or the second night there one of the preachers got up to Preach and man oh man you could feel God moving in the room, conviction was heavy, the Spirit was calling and eventually Craig made his way to the Altar and he just broke down. You could see all the weight of the world was on him and he cried out to God and we all gathered around and prayed for him and a few other kids that were on the Altar that night.


Praise the Lord 3 of the kids including Craig were saved that night and it was a powerful service, and to think that almost 2 years to the day Craig was with us a Youth Retreat and got saved, even now my mind can not comprehend it. To know Craig, how he was, how far he had ran and turned away to think that there he was with us at Youth Retreat was beyond anything I could have imagined!


That was truly a God moment in our lives and while the most important thing was taken care of which is his Soul and Salvation from Hell and Sin, he was still having to deal with the reality of the situation which is the fact that in a few weeks he was going to go to court, and clearly being guilty was going to go to jail for at least a few upto 4 years. There was no way out of it, he literally sold to an undercover cop…


So the date came and my wife ended up going to support him because of course his mother has nothing to offer or any remedy or help in the situation and if anything was a major force for why this kid was where he was at in life. And so during the trial my wife speaks on his behalf, the Prosecutor and the Public Defender take her into the back and speak with her and ask her in the best case scenario what would be the best outcome she thought could happen.


She says well I think he needs a 2nd chance, he needs to get out of the place he lives, away from my mother and the friends he has, the best scenario I see is that he would come live with us. So they go back into court and of course my wife knows this kind of thing is impossible, the kids guilty there is no way he isn't found guilty.


The judge asks her about herself finds out that she works for the Government asks about where she lives, lets him know we live in a good neighborhood and the judge looks at Craig and says, you are very lucky son to have a sister like you do, I would never normally do this but I am going to rescind your sentence that you deserve, put you on probation, and give her custody. I just want you to know that if your sister wouldn't have shown up here today you would be going to prison right now for 4 years.


Amen!! What a miracle, when it seems like there absolutely no way out, God makes a way!! So there it was 2 years later and we saw God not only save Craig but also spare him and his son and girlfriend from going to Prison!! I still can not believe it, I still am amazed when I see him what a Trophy of Gods Grace he is!! I really don't think he quite grasps just how unbelievably all of this worked out and how incredibly blessed he really is. He is young so it probably doesn't truly resonate with him, but I sit back mouth wide open at how absolutely impossible it is for this kid to be living with us!!!


So that is the first and biggest thing I wanted to Testify about, how God took my strung out drug dealing gang member brother in law who was facing 4 years in prison and brought him not only to Salvation but gave him an abundance of Grace to be given only Probation and to come live with us like we were praying for years earlier!! What an amazing wonderful God we serve!!


This will be the second thing, and Craig has a hand literally in this as well. So as I stated Craig had come to live with us, and while of course there has been growing pains and we have had issues here and there overall Craigs been a good kid. He is a father now and he sees his kid regularly and when he first was born he was coming over on the weekends to be with us along with his girlfriend.


So we were living in an apartment all together and to be honest we have been having problems with this apartment ever since we moved in. I don't want to go into everything but essentially we moved into an apartment building that had been filled with old people and they ended up harassing us through the management since the day we moved in. It had gotten so bad that I was literally afraid to do anything and never ever wanted to see the Manager (whose office was right above us) because it was pretty much every time we saw her a new case or problem and we felt threatened to lose our apartment basically every month.


Well one day I was taking a shower and all of the sudden my wife bursts in and says you need to get dressed Craig caught the house on fire, burnt himself and we need to get out and take him to the hospital. Didn't know what to expect at first so I got dressed real quick and when I got out to the front of the apartment the entire kitchen was on fire. Not little bit but like the entire kitchen was engulfed in flames. So me and my wife get everyone out and we go back in to put the fire out, she takes one extinguisher and tries to put it out but it still hasnt gone out, so I tell her get out and I go upstairs to the next floor and get the extinguisher from up there and go back in and spray the flames. I tell you what that was one of the stupidest and scariest things I have ever done, the flames wouldn't go out at first and was just seconds away from moving out of the kitchen and setting the rest of our apartment and probably the complex on fire.


Again by the Grace of God I was able to put the fire out before the Fire Department got there and before it spread into the rest of the apartment. And when we found out exactly what happened, once again it was definitely by the Grace of God that people didn't die. So Craig was boiling oil to make some Chicken patties and apparently had forgotten about them. The oil boiled over and started to catch the entire stove and pot on fire. Well Craig has never been in this situation and didn't know what to do, so he tried to do what he thought would be best and ignorantly picked the pot of flaming oil up and tried to put it in the sink behind the stove.


Obviously that was a bad decision and once he picked the pot up the oil poured over and the handle also caught his hand on fire so he dropped the flaming pot of oil on the ground where it splattered all over the floor and walls. So there is Craig with his hands all burnt up and a pot of flaming oil on the ground when my wife runs in to see it all. Thank you Jesus I have a wife that can stay in control and keep her wits about her in a crisis.


There was a bag of dog food at the entrance of the kitchen and she somehow notices that the oil that spilled on that didn't catch on fire so she thinking and acting quickly takes the dog food and throws it in the pot and low and behold that puts the fire out in the pot. It was about that time that I came in and like I said we were able to put the fire out.


So there a many different things I saw where God had his Hand on the situation and one of them was the fact that if Craig would have taken one step further he would have dropped a pot of boiling fire oil onto the carpet. Thankfully it hit linoleum but had he taken that one extra step it would have poured out all over the carpet and there would be a chance that not only would the entire apartment DEFINITELY caught on fire, but Craig could have easily trapped himself in the kitchen with a raging fire on the stove and a raging fire in front with carpet and could have died.


Praise the Lord that didn't happen, Craig ended up having some 1st and 2nd degree burns on his hand which healed quickly and that is it which is a blessing in and of itself for what was literally one step away from possibly happening.


So there we were in an apartment where we were getting harassed all the time and now a fire broke out. The fire was bad enough that the Fire Department condemned it for 72 hours which meant we were forced to go to a hotel. So we had to pack up my wife, 13 yr old daughter, my 1 yr old daughter and my brother-in law and go live out of a hotel for about a week, all while continuing to do all the normal stuff like work ect.

So after we get the ok from the Fire Department we start moving back into the apartment and as soon as we walk into the door the apartment manager asks us to come into her office. So seriously we haven't even gotten the opportunity to unpack and we are standing there speaking to them. Basically they tell us that the normal procedure for this is to move the family into another apartment so they can get into the damaged one and correctly clean and restore it. They tell us that the entire kitchen needs to be replaced, that all the carpets need replaced, the walls need to be cleaned and repainted even to the back bedrooms because of smoke damage and that even the ventilation system needs to be redone because the air conditioning was on and it circulated the smoke.


Then they tell us that they don't have any apartments open so they need to contact the higher level management to see how to proceed and they will call us shortly. We are like ok, go back down start unpacking ect ect ect. Eventually they end up calling my wife to tell her what is going to happen and this is what these people tell her. They tell her that because of the “mess” that was seen in the apartment they are evicting us and we had until the end of the month to get out aka 5 days. Like what the funk is that, we have a fire and you admit that the proper procedure is to put us in a new apartment and instead you try and evict us for some freaking laundry and say we need to be out in 5 days!!!


Holy crap, we were pissed!!! So I end up speaking to a lawyer and he is like they absolutely can not do that, you signed a lease you have at least until the end of the lease and they can not force you to move in 5 days. So we call them back tell em they are full of crap and we are not leaving to which they say ok well we are not going to renew your lease then, you have 60 days to vacate.


So we were just shell shocked by all of this, you would think decent human beings would realize that we just went thru a traumatic experience and maybe just maybe you want to do the slightly nice thing and try and help or the very least not exasperate the situation but oh no not these people!! Instead they try and illegally evict us and then tell us they are going to refuse to renew our lease. This was just so much to deal with all at once, we have a fire and now have to find a new place to live!!!


I am not going to go into all the details but the managers treated us like complete garbage going forward. We lived basically the entire 2 months without a kitchen in an apartment that was essentially condemned, with a freaking baby. We were forced to move into a hotel a second time because of the repairs they had to do, ect ect ect, all around it was an awful experience.


There we were living in a burnt down apartment scrambling to figure out what were going to do and to add to all this, our financial situation was dire. We had made some bad choices over that past year and my wife was laid off for over a month when the government was shut down so we fell behind on everything. Essentially we were in no position at all to afford or have the credit to move.


We were being forced to move into my Fathers 900 square foot house which was not a good thing. He was willing to do it, which I appreciate but he was not happy about it and he let it be known at every instance. Here I am 40 yrs old moving my family into my Fathers tiny house, I felt like such a horrible failure, I was heart broken and angry. It was an awful place to be in literally, emotionally and spiritually. On top of this my Fathers neighbor who had lived there for 40 yrs, who I grew up with, was selling her house the month we were being forced out.


I had always wanted to buy that house, it would have been perfect and I even went over and talk to her about wanting to buy it but like I said we had no money and no credit, it was impossible for us to get the house. I was so angry, it was like the house I had always wanted was being dangled out in front of me to be snatched away. It would be a trophy of my futility and failure. And then I found out it was sold within 12 hours. I didn't even have the chance to try and maybe get some help to get it. There it was sold out from under me immediately. I was bitter and depressed about it as I moved into my fathers house…


And then God showed up, taking the impossible and making it possible. Taking the failure and futility and turning it into a Testimony of His Power and Grace and Victory. A few days after we move into my Fathers, my wife overhears my father and my neighbor that was selling the house, that the person who bought the house might be renting it out. She wasn't sure but thought he might be. So I straight up stalked this house, every day when I got home from work I asked any and everyone going in and out of that house are you the owner? And for days I kept getting no, I asked do you know how I can get ahold of the owner, again no. I called my neighbor asked if she knew how to get ahold of him, again no.


It was about 2 weeks of stalking and just getting no, no, no until finally I see someone I hadn't seen washing the house and I walk up and ask, are you the owner? He says yes and I am like finally and I ask him if he is renting the house and he said YES. Man I couldn't believe it, of all the billions of people who could buy the house (and if you know this neighborhood it's one of the best to own a house in because it's top 100 in the country) a person who wants to RENT it, is the one who buys it?!?!?!?! Seriously?!?!?!?


I mean you could redo this a million times and there is absolutely zero chance that this could happen like it has, just think about all the different things that had to take place. My brother in law gets hooked on drugs, we bail him out (God actually but you know what I mean) he comes lives with us. He sets our apartment on fire, which causes the management to end our lease, my neighbor who lived there for FORTY FREAKING YEARS decides to sell it just so happens THE MONTH WE ARE FORCED TO MOVE OUT and ends up selling it, to all people on the planet earth, someone who doesn't want to live there like seriously 99% of residents in this neighborhood but to someone who turned it into RENTAL PROPERTY.


To even find a house for rent in my neighborhood is almost impossible, like no joke there are about 10 in the entire city no lie at all. But God made a way thru all the insanity to not only find us a house but find us a house RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO MY FATHER!!! And the buyer, overlooked all the credit issues we had, we only had to spend 1 month at my Fathers before we were blessed to move into our home!!!


I can't even get over it, as I write this I am crying because it is absolutely impossible that I ought to be sitting in this room writing this all out!!! I just want to Praise Him for all Hes done, He has been so incredibly good to me, just pours out His Grace all over me and my family and I deserve absolutely none of it at all!!!


And I write all of this to tell of the Victory that is in Christ Jesus, He takes impossible situations and turns them into Testimonies of Grace, Love, Power and Victory. If you are going thru a hard time, I know how it can feel, I know what it's like to think all hope is gone, but if you Trust in Christ I know that He can and He will turn it around for your Good and for His Glory!!!


That is a Promise and I am a living testament of it, over and over and over again. If you are Lost and you don't know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, please turn your heart to Him now, don't be like my brother in law and have to find yourself at the end of a road of desperation and darkness. God doesn't want that for you, He wants to save you today, to pour out His Love, Grace and Mercy all over you!!!


Jesus has done everything needed for you to be Saved, there is no work that you need, you don't have to clean yourself up, there is no special prayer you need to recite, all that is needed is for you to call out to HIm with a broken and contrite heart of Repentance when He is dealing with you and believe on His name and you WILL be Saved!!!


If you have read this far and are saved then I hope you are blessed and shout the Praise to God with me, if you struggling then I hope this provided you with some encouragement to stay the course, God can turn a fire into a home, He can turn your sitiuation around as well, don't ever give up!


And if you are Lost I hope God used this to show you His Glory, that He is real and I hope that He uses this to show you that nothing is impossible for God, even for you to be Saved! He loves you and He died for you, Hes done it all just so you can have a relationship with Him because He wants nothing more than to pour out His Grace, Mercy and Love upon you!! I hope and pray that you come to know Christ as your Personal Savior!!!


If anyone needs prayers feel free to message me or even post in here. If there is anything I can do for any of you please let me know how I can be of service, but regardless of whether or not I can help you, I know the one that can, this man named Jesus!!!


I love you and hope you have a wonderful and blessed day, month, year!!!


God Bless,


Daciple
 





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#46
It looks like it has been quite awhile since I wrote this, going on almost 2 ½ years, man how time flies! So many things have transpired in my life since this has happened and I have felt inspiried to write about some of them, to give God praise where it is due and hopefully to inspire others who may be in hard times or are in search of God, to give others hope even if it feels like there is none left in the World.


So I ended my original testimony by stating it had been a year at that time since I had been sober and free from a Sinful Lifestyle and I am happy to report that due to Gods Grace and His Grace alone I am still sober, now for going on 3 ½ years with no desire to return to the places I had been in the past. I still struggle with Sin but I know the fact that it is a Struggle means that God is still working in my heart and my life, if you ever find yourself at a point where you think to yourself, I've gotten this beat, I would warn you that that is the point where you are ready to fall.


Life has definitely had it's ups and downs since I last wrote on this Thread, and anyone who tells you that the life of a Christian is a bed of roses is a liar, but regardless of the situations I have been in, the hardships I have faced and times of sadness and feelings of loss, through it all God has been Good and He has held to my hand no matter what!! I am just thankful to have a God and Savior that endures with me over the best and worst times, even when I am the one who has made the mistakes, He is still there to Forgive, have Mercy and offer Grace, turning things that seem impossible into amazing testimonies of HIs Power and Greatness.


There are alot of different directions that I could take this Testimony but what I have on my heart at this time is to take you thru 2 incidences in my life in which God has come through in such an amazing and spectacular way that it would take nothing less than a hardened heart of hatred to not realize and admit that God is/was the author of and had His hand upon the situations.


In my last testimony I had made mention of my Brother In Law, his name is Craig and when I wrote last about him he was 16. I also mentioned the fact that he lived in a terrible neighborhood and had some awful “parents” quotes deserved because these people are anything but how parents should be and that he need prayer. How true were those words. I want to give a little bit of background about what was happening with him and us and his parents around that time.


The year we had come to the Church I am at now which was mentioned in my last Testimony, during that summer, we were actually trying and praying for him to come live with us. We knew just how vulnerable he was and knew how terrible his home life was and all the temptations that he would face over the course of that upcoming year. We were blessed to have had him for most of that summer, taking him out of that environment and were able to get him into our Church and definitely had seen God dealing with his heart.


He had gone to the Altar one night and made gave a profession that God was dealing with him and we were all shocked about it. No one at all tried to ever force him to step out or anything like that but one night all on his own he went to the Altar, and when he got home there was something completely different about him. He was super on fire to talk about Jesus, and started reading and asking about the Bible, I honestly was blown away and so excited and happy for him. One night he was lukewarm at best about anything related to God and Church and Christ, the next minute he was asking me to help him understand the Bible and wanting to know about good Christian music ect.


What I can tell you that happens almost everytime I see God moving strongly in my life, is the Devil is right there ready to steal, kill, and try and destroy everything God is doing positively. So I believe this was a Wednesday night when Craig went to the Altar and made his profession and like clockwork the Devil popped up to try and destroy what was going on in his life. The next day his mother called and essentially convinced him that he should come back for the weekend “because she and his friends missed him”. I do not like to speak ill of people but his mother is one of the most wicked and evil people I have ever met in my life, I could give dozens of examples that would shock you but just trust me, this woman never has the good intention to help anyone in her life, it is always to destroy them.


So of course him being a 16 yr old kid, he listened to his mother and said he wanted to go back just for that weekend and that he would definitely be coming back. We had a Youth Retreat coming up about a week and a half from then and definitely wanted him to go, especially after what had just happened. So we told Craig that he is free to do as he pleased because we literally had no control over him, but we warned him about what was probably going to happen. We had told him that his mother was probably going to try and downplay or try and convince him that what he had experienced wasn't real. That she was going to try and lay doubt in his mind. We also warned him that he was going to be tempted and that she was not going to protect him from any of this temptation but would in fact help him fall right into it.


Friday night he left, up comes Sunday and he says he doesn't want to come back yet but wants to go to Youth Retreat we say ok no problem we will pick you up next Saturday. The next Friday rolls around, he says he doesn't want to come up yet he will come up Monday before Youth Retreat (which started on Tuesday). So here it comes up to Monday and we don't call we just drive out to his house to pick him up, where also his “wonderful” mother is there with him.


We walk into the house and he's essentially hiding in his room and when we get him to come out it is extremely obvious that his high as can be, his eyes are super red, the way he was acting everything was pointing to the fact that the kid was blown out of his mind. Now a GOOD parent would recognize the fact that their kid is high, is getting high, and WANT to take any help and steps available to try and move them off a path of drugs. Well this wonderful woman instead of trying to convince or better yet tell her 16 yr old child to go with us to the Youth Retreat she ends up getting into a fight with us and basically tells us to leave him there with her.


I remember looking right at her and telling her look if you don't let him or make him comes with us tonight then all the terrible things that are going to happen to him are on your hands. We left upset and broken hearted because we knew what the future probably held for him, with that type of terrible mother and the friends we knew he was hanging out with and the city and the environment he was growing up in.


That was basically the last time we heard or really saw Craig for a very, very long time, like years. We would try and ask him to come out but he never took up our invites. We would ask her how he is doing and she would always try and say he was doing fine, but eventually the Truth would come out concerning him.


It was very shortly after we left in July, that Craig went back to school, and he was there for only a few months before he was suspended and then expelled from school for fighting multiple times. So there he is 16, not in school, what really is there for someone like that to do? Not much so as you can imagine he quickly went down the drugs and sex path. Apparently he was also trying to get into or was actually in a Gang as well.


In less than a year Craig went from a decent kid that was offered an amazing opportunity to come be with us and let God work in his life, to being a High School Drop out that quickly got hooked on Meth and was in the midst of dealing drugs for a Gang. For almost 2 years we didn't see him except for 15 min at Thanksgiving and Christmas and even when he came over he would only stay inside for a very short time then leave. He was strung out and just living a terrible lifestyle and our hearts were so incredibly broken and we were so very scared about where life was going to take him.


However we never gave up on Him or on God, we had a Youth meeting every Sunday before our 2nd Service and almost every time I would bring him up, to have the Church continue to pray for him. Week in and week out we would mention his name and pray that God helps and makes a way. To be honest it seemed impossible, after 2 years knowing what he was doing, I didn't think he would really ever come back.


Then we started hearing some absolutely terrible things about him, but we couldn't really confirm anything because during all this time his mother kept lying about him saying he wasn't on drugs or hadn't been kicked out of school, or wasn't in trouble. We could never get a straight answer from her about him. We heard that he dropped out, that he was on some kind of drugs and might have gotten in trouble with the Law, but nothing was confirmed.


So here we were 2 years almost to the day of the last time we really saw Craig, the night we tried to pick him up for Youth Retreat and just so happens to be that we were getting ourselves ready and packing for that years Youth Retreat that was going to start the next day and my wife gets tagged in a Facebook post from Craig that says I'm sorry I never listened, you were right, I screwed it all up. At first we werent sure if it was him because again his mom is a horrible person and we thought it may be her impersonating him for some sick reason as she has done things like that in the past. Regardless we knew we had to see if it was him so my wife called and finally was able to really get to speak to him.


Craig had been essentially living on the streets for the better part of the year, he was hooked on Meth and dealing for a Gang. He also had knocked up some girl and she was due to have his baby in about 3-4 months. On top of all of this he had been busted selling Meth laced with Fentanyl to an undercover cop! Everything we told him and that woman he calls a mother happened almost exactly as we predicted. He was devastated, and completely tore up, his life was over.


We told him look we are heading to Youth Retreat why don't you come with us, get out of that place for a little bit, get some time away and he agreed so my wife drove the hours long trip to pick him up and take him to the Youth Retreat. When he got there he was so skinny, he was skinny to begin with but he was a rail now and you could see it in his eyes that life had really ran him over. It was heartbreaking.


So we are at Youth Retreat and I ask him what happened and what he was facing, and to make a long story short, he was going to be prosecuted as an adult and was facing 4 years in prison, not a county jail but straight up rapist and murder filled prison and would be locked away in one of the worst jails in my state, all while his girl gave birth to his kid. Just imagine being 17 with a kid on the way, strung out on Meth, facing 4 years in one of the states worst prisons, it is mind blowing.


And that is when God really stepped in, so either the first or the second night there one of the preachers got up to Preach and man oh man you could feel God moving in the room, conviction was heavy, the Spirit was calling and eventually Craig made his way to the Altar and he just broke down. You could see all the weight of the world was on him and he cried out to God and we all gathered around and prayed for him and a few other kids that were on the Altar that night.


Praise the Lord 3 of the kids including Craig were saved that night and it was a powerful service, and to think that almost 2 years to the day Craig was with us a Youth Retreat and got saved, even now my mind can not comprehend it. To know Craig, how he was, how far he had ran and turned away to think that there he was with us at Youth Retreat was beyond anything I could have imagined!


That was truly a God moment in our lives and while the most important thing was taken care of which is his Soul and Salvation from Hell and Sin, he was still having to deal with the reality of the situation which is the fact that in a few weeks he was going to go to court, and clearly being guilty was going to go to jail for at least a few upto 4 years. There was no way out of it, he literally sold to an undercover cop…


So the date came and my wife ended up going to support him because of course his mother has nothing to offer or any remedy or help in the situation and if anything was a major force for why this kid was where he was at in life. And so during the trial my wife speaks on his behalf, the Prosecutor and the Public Defender take her into the back and speak with her and ask her in the best case scenario what would be the best outcome she thought could happen.


She says well I think he needs a 2nd chance, he needs to get out of the place he lives, away from my mother and the friends he has, the best scenario I see is that he would come live with us. So they go back into court and of course my wife knows this kind of thing is impossible, the kids guilty there is no way he isn't found guilty.


The judge asks her about herself finds out that she works for the Government asks about where she lives, lets him know we live in a good neighborhood and the judge looks at Craig and says, you are very lucky son to have a sister like you do, I would never normally do this but I am going to rescind your sentence that you deserve, put you on probation, and give her custody. I just want you to know that if your sister wouldn't have shown up here today you would be going to prison right now for 4 years.


Amen!! What a miracle, when it seems like there absolutely no way out, God makes a way!! So there it was 2 years later and we saw God not only save Craig but also spare him and his son and girlfriend from going to Prison!! I still can not believe it, I still am amazed when I see him what a Trophy of Gods Grace he is!! I really don't think he quite grasps just how unbelievably all of this worked out and how incredibly blessed he really is. He is young so it probably doesn't truly resonate with him, but I sit back mouth wide open at how absolutely impossible it is for this kid to be living with us!!!


So that is the first and biggest thing I wanted to Testify about, how God took my strung out drug dealing gang member brother in law who was facing 4 years in prison and brought him not only to Salvation but gave him an abundance of Grace to be given only Probation and to come live with us like we were praying for years earlier!! What an amazing wonderful God we serve!!


This will be the second thing, and Craig has a hand literally in this as well. So as I stated Craig had come to live with us, and while of course there has been growing pains and we have had issues here and there overall Craigs been a good kid. He is a father now and he sees his kid regularly and when he first was born he was coming over on the weekends to be with us along with his girlfriend.


So we were living in an apartment all together and to be honest we have been having problems with this apartment ever since we moved in. I don't want to go into everything but essentially we moved into an apartment building that had been filled with old people and they ended up harassing us through the management since the day we moved in. It had gotten so bad that I was literally afraid to do anything and never ever wanted to see the Manager (whose office was right above us) because it was pretty much every time we saw her a new case or problem and we felt threatened to lose our apartment basically every month.


Well one day I was taking a shower and all of the sudden my wife bursts in and says you need to get dressed Craig caught the house on fire, burnt himself and we need to get out and take him to the hospital. Didn't know what to expect at first so I got dressed real quick and when I got out to the front of the apartment the entire kitchen was on fire. Not little bit but like the entire kitchen was engulfed in flames. So me and my wife get everyone out and we go back in to put the fire out, she takes one extinguisher and tries to put it out but it still hasnt gone out, so I tell her get out and I go upstairs to the next floor and get the extinguisher from up there and go back in and spray the flames. I tell you what that was one of the stupidest and scariest things I have ever done, the flames wouldn't go out at first and was just seconds away from moving out of the kitchen and setting the rest of our apartment and probably the complex on fire.


Again by the Grace of God I was able to put the fire out before the Fire Department got there and before it spread into the rest of the apartment. And when we found out exactly what happened, once again it was definitely by the Grace of God that people didn't die. So Craig was boiling oil to make some Chicken patties and apparently had forgotten about them. The oil boiled over and started to catch the entire stove and pot on fire. Well Craig has never been in this situation and didn't know what to do, so he tried to do what he thought would be best and ignorantly picked the pot of flaming oil up and tried to put it in the sink behind the stove.


Obviously that was a bad decision and once he picked the pot up the oil poured over and the handle also caught his hand on fire so he dropped the flaming pot of oil on the ground where it splattered all over the floor and walls. So there is Craig with his hands all burnt up and a pot of flaming oil on the ground when my wife runs in to see it all. Thank you Jesus I have a wife that can stay in control and keep her wits about her in a crisis.


There was a bag of dog food at the entrance of the kitchen and she somehow notices that the oil that spilled on that didn't catch on fire so she thinking and acting quickly takes the dog food and throws it in the pot and low and behold that puts the fire out in the pot. It was about that time that I came in and like I said we were able to put the fire out.


So there a many different things I saw where God had his Hand on the situation and one of them was the fact that if Craig would have taken one step further he would have dropped a pot of boiling fire oil onto the carpet. Thankfully it hit linoleum but had he taken that one extra step it would have poured out all over the carpet and there would be a chance that not only would the entire apartment DEFINITELY caught on fire, but Craig could have easily trapped himself in the kitchen with a raging fire on the stove and a raging fire in front with carpet and could have died.


Praise the Lord that didn't happen, Craig ended up having some 1st and 2nd degree burns on his hand which healed quickly and that is it which is a blessing in and of itself for what was literally one step away from possibly happening.


So there we were in an apartment where we were getting harassed all the time and now a fire broke out. The fire was bad enough that the Fire Department condemned it for 72 hours which meant we were forced to go to a hotel. So we had to pack up my wife, 13 yr old daughter, my 1 yr old daughter and my brother-in law and go live out of a hotel for about a week, all while continuing to do all the normal stuff like work ect.

So after we get the ok from the Fire Department we start moving back into the apartment and as soon as we walk into the door the apartment manager asks us to come into her office. So seriously we haven't even gotten the opportunity to unpack and we are standing there speaking to them. Basically they tell us that the normal procedure for this is to move the family into another apartment so they can get into the damaged one and correctly clean and restore it. They tell us that the entire kitchen needs to be replaced, that all the carpets need replaced, the walls need to be cleaned and repainted even to the back bedrooms because of smoke damage and that even the ventilation system needs to be redone because the air conditioning was on and it circulated the smoke.


Then they tell us that they don't have any apartments open so they need to contact the higher level management to see how to proceed and they will call us shortly. We are like ok, go back down start unpacking ect ect ect. Eventually they end up calling my wife to tell her what is going to happen and this is what these people tell her. They tell her that because of the “mess” that was seen in the apartment they are evicting us and we had until the end of the month to get out aka 5 days. Like what the funk is that, we have a fire and you admit that the proper procedure is to put us in a new apartment and instead you try and evict us for some freaking laundry and say we need to be out in 5 days!!!


Holy crap, we were pissed!!! So I end up speaking to a lawyer and he is like they absolutely can not do that, you signed a lease you have at least until the end of the lease and they can not force you to move in 5 days. So we call them back tell em they are full of crap and we are not leaving to which they say ok well we are not going to renew your lease then, you have 60 days to vacate.


So we were just shell shocked by all of this, you would think decent human beings would realize that we just went thru a traumatic experience and maybe just maybe you want to do the slightly nice thing and try and help or the very least not exasperate the situation but oh no not these people!! Instead they try and illegally evict us and then tell us they are going to refuse to renew our lease. This was just so much to deal with all at once, we have a fire and now have to find a new place to live!!!


I am not going to go into all the details but the managers treated us like complete garbage going forward. We lived basically the entire 2 months without a kitchen in an apartment that was essentially condemned, with a freaking baby. We were forced to move into a hotel a second time because of the repairs they had to do, ect ect ect, all around it was an awful experience.


There we were living in a burnt down apartment scrambling to figure out what were going to do and to add to all this, our financial situation was dire. We had made some bad choices over that past year and my wife was laid off for over a month when the government was shut down so we fell behind on everything. Essentially we were in no position at all to afford or have the credit to move.


We were being forced to move into my Fathers 900 square foot house which was not a good thing. He was willing to do it, which I appreciate but he was not happy about it and he let it be known at every instance. Here I am 40 yrs old moving my family into my Fathers tiny house, I felt like such a horrible failure, I was heart broken and angry. It was an awful place to be in literally, emotionally and spiritually. On top of this my Fathers neighbor who had lived there for 40 yrs, who I grew up with, was selling her house the month we were being forced out.


I had always wanted to buy that house, it would have been perfect and I even went over and talk to her about wanting to buy it but like I said we had no money and no credit, it was impossible for us to get the house. I was so angry, it was like the house I had always wanted was being dangled out in front of me to be snatched away. It would be a trophy of my futility and failure. And then I found out it was sold within 12 hours. I didn't even have the chance to try and maybe get some help to get it. There it was sold out from under me immediately. I was bitter and depressed about it as I moved into my fathers house…


And then God showed up, taking the impossible and making it possible. Taking the failure and futility and turning it into a Testimony of His Power and Grace and Victory. A few days after we move into my Fathers, my wife overhears my father and my neighbor that was selling the house, that the person who bought the house might be renting it out. She wasn't sure but thought he might be. So I straight up stalked this house, every day when I got home from work I asked any and everyone going in and out of that house are you the owner? And for days I kept getting no, I asked do you know how I can get ahold of the owner, again no. I called my neighbor asked if she knew how to get ahold of him, again no.


It was about 2 weeks of stalking and just getting no, no, no until finally I see someone I hadn't seen washing the house and I walk up and ask, are you the owner? He says yes and I am like finally and I ask him if he is renting the house and he said YES. Man I couldn't believe it, of all the billions of people who could buy the house (and if you know this neighborhood it's one of the best to own a house in because it's top 100 in the country) a person who wants to RENT it, is the one who buys it?!?!?!?! Seriously?!?!?!?


I mean you could redo this a million times and there is absolutely zero chance that this could happen like it has, just think about all the different things that had to take place. My brother in law gets hooked on drugs, we bail him out (God actually but you know what I mean) he comes lives with us. He sets our apartment on fire, which causes the management to end our lease, my neighbor who lived there for FORTY FREAKING YEARS decides to sell it just so happens THE MONTH WE ARE FORCED TO MOVE OUT and ends up selling it, to all people on the planet earth, someone who doesn't want to live there like seriously 99% of residents in this neighborhood but to someone who turned it into RENTAL PROPERTY.


To even find a house for rent in my neighborhood is almost impossible, like no joke there are about 10 in the entire city no lie at all. But God made a way thru all the insanity to not only find us a house but find us a house RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO MY FATHER!!! And the buyer, overlooked all the credit issues we had, we only had to spend 1 month at my Fathers before we were blessed to move into our home!!!


I can't even get over it, as I write this I am crying because it is absolutely impossible that I ought to be sitting in this room writing this all out!!! I just want to Praise Him for all Hes done, He has been so incredibly good to me, just pours out His Grace all over me and my family and I deserve absolutely none of it at all!!!


And I write all of this to tell of the Victory that is in Christ Jesus, He takes impossible situations and turns them into Testimonies of Grace, Love, Power and Victory. If you are going thru a hard time, I know how it can feel, I know what it's like to think all hope is gone, but if you Trust in Christ I know that He can and He will turn it around for your Good and for His Glory!!!


That is a Promise and I am a living testament of it, over and over and over again. If you are Lost and you don't know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, please turn your heart to Him now, don't be like my brother in law and have to find yourself at the end of a road of desperation and darkness. God doesn't want that for you, He wants to save you today, to pour out His Love, Grace and Mercy all over you!!!


Jesus has done everything needed for you to be Saved, there is no work that you need, you don't have to clean yourself up, there is no special prayer you need to recite, all that is needed is for you to call out to HIm with a broken and contrite heart of Repentance when He is dealing with you and believe on His name and you WILL be Saved!!!


If you have read this far and are saved then I hope you are blessed and shout the Praise to God with me, if you struggling then I hope this provided you with some encouragement to stay the course, God can turn a fire into a home, He can turn your sitiuation around as well, don't ever give up!


And if you are Lost I hope God used this to show you His Glory, that He is real and I hope that He uses this to show you that nothing is impossible for God, even for you to be Saved! He loves you and He died for you, Hes done it all just so you can have a relationship with Him because He wants nothing more than to pour out His Grace, Mercy and Love upon you!! I hope and pray that you come to know Christ as your Personal Savior!!!


If anyone needs prayers feel free to message me or even post in here. If there is anything I can do for any of you please let me know how I can be of service, but regardless of whether or not I can help you, I know the one that can, this man named Jesus!!!


I love you and hope you have a wonderful and blessed day, month, year!!!


God Bless,


Daciple
Praise God! Absolutely wonderful testimony. :D
 





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#47
It looks like it has been quite awhile since I wrote this, going on almost 2 ½ years, man how time flies! So many things have transpired in my life since this has happened and I have felt inspiried to write about some of them, to give God praise where it is due and hopefully to inspire others who may be in hard times or are in search of God, to give others hope even if it feels like there is none left in the World.


So I ended my original testimony by stating it had been a year at that time since I had been sober and free from a Sinful Lifestyle and I am happy to report that due to Gods Grace and His Grace alone I am still sober, now for going on 3 ½ years with no desire to return to the places I had been in the past. I still struggle with Sin but I know the fact that it is a Struggle means that God is still working in my heart and my life, if you ever find yourself at a point where you think to yourself, I've gotten this beat, I would warn you that that is the point where you are ready to fall.


Life has definitely had it's ups and downs since I last wrote on this Thread, and anyone who tells you that the life of a Christian is a bed of roses is a liar, but regardless of the situations I have been in, the hardships I have faced and times of sadness and feelings of loss, through it all God has been Good and He has held to my hand no matter what!! I am just thankful to have a God and Savior that endures with me over the best and worst times, even when I am the one who has made the mistakes, He is still there to Forgive, have Mercy and offer Grace, turning things that seem impossible into amazing testimonies of HIs Power and Greatness.


There are alot of different directions that I could take this Testimony but what I have on my heart at this time is to take you thru 2 incidences in my life in which God has come through in such an amazing and spectacular way that it would take nothing less than a hardened heart of hatred to not realize and admit that God is/was the author of and had His hand upon the situations.


In my last testimony I had made mention of my Brother In Law, his name is Craig and when I wrote last about him he was 16. I also mentioned the fact that he lived in a terrible neighborhood and had some awful “parents” quotes deserved because these people are anything but how parents should be and that he need prayer. How true were those words. I want to give a little bit of background about what was happening with him and us and his parents around that time.


The year we had come to the Church I am at now which was mentioned in my last Testimony, during that summer, we were actually trying and praying for him to come live with us. We knew just how vulnerable he was and knew how terrible his home life was and all the temptations that he would face over the course of that upcoming year. We were blessed to have had him for most of that summer, taking him out of that environment and were able to get him into our Church and definitely had seen God dealing with his heart.


He had gone to the Altar one night and made gave a profession that God was dealing with him and we were all shocked about it. No one at all tried to ever force him to step out or anything like that but one night all on his own he went to the Altar, and when he got home there was something completely different about him. He was super on fire to talk about Jesus, and started reading and asking about the Bible, I honestly was blown away and so excited and happy for him. One night he was lukewarm at best about anything related to God and Church and Christ, the next minute he was asking me to help him understand the Bible and wanting to know about good Christian music ect.


What I can tell you that happens almost everytime I see God moving strongly in my life, is the Devil is right there ready to steal, kill, and try and destroy everything God is doing positively. So I believe this was a Wednesday night when Craig went to the Altar and made his profession and like clockwork the Devil popped up to try and destroy what was going on in his life. The next day his mother called and essentially convinced him that he should come back for the weekend “because she and his friends missed him”. I do not like to speak ill of people but his mother is one of the most wicked and evil people I have ever met in my life, I could give dozens of examples that would shock you but just trust me, this woman never has the good intention to help anyone in her life, it is always to destroy them.


So of course him being a 16 yr old kid, he listened to his mother and said he wanted to go back just for that weekend and that he would definitely be coming back. We had a Youth Retreat coming up about a week and a half from then and definitely wanted him to go, especially after what had just happened. So we told Craig that he is free to do as he pleased because we literally had no control over him, but we warned him about what was probably going to happen. We had told him that his mother was probably going to try and downplay or try and convince him that what he had experienced wasn't real. That she was going to try and lay doubt in his mind. We also warned him that he was going to be tempted and that she was not going to protect him from any of this temptation but would in fact help him fall right into it.


Friday night he left, up comes Sunday and he says he doesn't want to come back yet but wants to go to Youth Retreat we say ok no problem we will pick you up next Saturday. The next Friday rolls around, he says he doesn't want to come up yet he will come up Monday before Youth Retreat (which started on Tuesday). So here it comes up to Monday and we don't call we just drive out to his house to pick him up, where also his “wonderful” mother is there with him.


We walk into the house and he's essentially hiding in his room and when we get him to come out it is extremely obvious that his high as can be, his eyes are super red, the way he was acting everything was pointing to the fact that the kid was blown out of his mind. Now a GOOD parent would recognize the fact that their kid is high, is getting high, and WANT to take any help and steps available to try and move them off a path of drugs. Well this wonderful woman instead of trying to convince or better yet tell her 16 yr old child to go with us to the Youth Retreat she ends up getting into a fight with us and basically tells us to leave him there with her.


I remember looking right at her and telling her look if you don't let him or make him comes with us tonight then all the terrible things that are going to happen to him are on your hands. We left upset and broken hearted because we knew what the future probably held for him, with that type of terrible mother and the friends we knew he was hanging out with and the city and the environment he was growing up in.


That was basically the last time we heard or really saw Craig for a very, very long time, like years. We would try and ask him to come out but he never took up our invites. We would ask her how he is doing and she would always try and say he was doing fine, but eventually the Truth would come out concerning him.


It was very shortly after we left in July, that Craig went back to school, and he was there for only a few months before he was suspended and then expelled from school for fighting multiple times. So there he is 16, not in school, what really is there for someone like that to do? Not much so as you can imagine he quickly went down the drugs and sex path. Apparently he was also trying to get into or was actually in a Gang as well.


In less than a year Craig went from a decent kid that was offered an amazing opportunity to come be with us and let God work in his life, to being a High School Drop out that quickly got hooked on Meth and was in the midst of dealing drugs for a Gang. For almost 2 years we didn't see him except for 15 min at Thanksgiving and Christmas and even when he came over he would only stay inside for a very short time then leave. He was strung out and just living a terrible lifestyle and our hearts were so incredibly broken and we were so very scared about where life was going to take him.


However we never gave up on Him or on God, we had a Youth meeting every Sunday before our 2nd Service and almost every time I would bring him up, to have the Church continue to pray for him. Week in and week out we would mention his name and pray that God helps and makes a way. To be honest it seemed impossible, after 2 years knowing what he was doing, I didn't think he would really ever come back.


Then we started hearing some absolutely terrible things about him, but we couldn't really confirm anything because during all this time his mother kept lying about him saying he wasn't on drugs or hadn't been kicked out of school, or wasn't in trouble. We could never get a straight answer from her about him. We heard that he dropped out, that he was on some kind of drugs and might have gotten in trouble with the Law, but nothing was confirmed.


So here we were 2 years almost to the day of the last time we really saw Craig, the night we tried to pick him up for Youth Retreat and just so happens to be that we were getting ourselves ready and packing for that years Youth Retreat that was going to start the next day and my wife gets tagged in a Facebook post from Craig that says I'm sorry I never listened, you were right, I screwed it all up. At first we werent sure if it was him because again his mom is a horrible person and we thought it may be her impersonating him for some sick reason as she has done things like that in the past. Regardless we knew we had to see if it was him so my wife called and finally was able to really get to speak to him.


Craig had been essentially living on the streets for the better part of the year, he was hooked on Meth and dealing for a Gang. He also had knocked up some girl and she was due to have his baby in about 3-4 months. On top of all of this he had been busted selling Meth laced with Fentanyl to an undercover cop! Everything we told him and that woman he calls a mother happened almost exactly as we predicted. He was devastated, and completely tore up, his life was over.


We told him look we are heading to Youth Retreat why don't you come with us, get out of that place for a little bit, get some time away and he agreed so my wife drove the hours long trip to pick him up and take him to the Youth Retreat. When he got there he was so skinny, he was skinny to begin with but he was a rail now and you could see it in his eyes that life had really ran him over. It was heartbreaking.


So we are at Youth Retreat and I ask him what happened and what he was facing, and to make a long story short, he was going to be prosecuted as an adult and was facing 4 years in prison, not a county jail but straight up rapist and murder filled prison and would be locked away in one of the worst jails in my state, all while his girl gave birth to his kid. Just imagine being 17 with a kid on the way, strung out on Meth, facing 4 years in one of the states worst prisons, it is mind blowing.


And that is when God really stepped in, so either the first or the second night there one of the preachers got up to Preach and man oh man you could feel God moving in the room, conviction was heavy, the Spirit was calling and eventually Craig made his way to the Altar and he just broke down. You could see all the weight of the world was on him and he cried out to God and we all gathered around and prayed for him and a few other kids that were on the Altar that night.


Praise the Lord 3 of the kids including Craig were saved that night and it was a powerful service, and to think that almost 2 years to the day Craig was with us a Youth Retreat and got saved, even now my mind can not comprehend it. To know Craig, how he was, how far he had ran and turned away to think that there he was with us at Youth Retreat was beyond anything I could have imagined!


That was truly a God moment in our lives and while the most important thing was taken care of which is his Soul and Salvation from Hell and Sin, he was still having to deal with the reality of the situation which is the fact that in a few weeks he was going to go to court, and clearly being guilty was going to go to jail for at least a few upto 4 years. There was no way out of it, he literally sold to an undercover cop…


So the date came and my wife ended up going to support him because of course his mother has nothing to offer or any remedy or help in the situation and if anything was a major force for why this kid was where he was at in life. And so during the trial my wife speaks on his behalf, the Prosecutor and the Public Defender take her into the back and speak with her and ask her in the best case scenario what would be the best outcome she thought could happen.


She says well I think he needs a 2nd chance, he needs to get out of the place he lives, away from my mother and the friends he has, the best scenario I see is that he would come live with us. So they go back into court and of course my wife knows this kind of thing is impossible, the kids guilty there is no way he isn't found guilty.


The judge asks her about herself finds out that she works for the Government asks about where she lives, lets him know we live in a good neighborhood and the judge looks at Craig and says, you are very lucky son to have a sister like you do, I would never normally do this but I am going to rescind your sentence that you deserve, put you on probation, and give her custody. I just want you to know that if your sister wouldn't have shown up here today you would be going to prison right now for 4 years.


Amen!! What a miracle, when it seems like there absolutely no way out, God makes a way!! So there it was 2 years later and we saw God not only save Craig but also spare him and his son and girlfriend from going to Prison!! I still can not believe it, I still am amazed when I see him what a Trophy of Gods Grace he is!! I really don't think he quite grasps just how unbelievably all of this worked out and how incredibly blessed he really is. He is young so it probably doesn't truly resonate with him, but I sit back mouth wide open at how absolutely impossible it is for this kid to be living with us!!!


So that is the first and biggest thing I wanted to Testify about, how God took my strung out drug dealing gang member brother in law who was facing 4 years in prison and brought him not only to Salvation but gave him an abundance of Grace to be given only Probation and to come live with us like we were praying for years earlier!! What an amazing wonderful God we serve!!


This will be the second thing, and Craig has a hand literally in this as well. So as I stated Craig had come to live with us, and while of course there has been growing pains and we have had issues here and there overall Craigs been a good kid. He is a father now and he sees his kid regularly and when he first was born he was coming over on the weekends to be with us along with his girlfriend.


So we were living in an apartment all together and to be honest we have been having problems with this apartment ever since we moved in. I don't want to go into everything but essentially we moved into an apartment building that had been filled with old people and they ended up harassing us through the management since the day we moved in. It had gotten so bad that I was literally afraid to do anything and never ever wanted to see the Manager (whose office was right above us) because it was pretty much every time we saw her a new case or problem and we felt threatened to lose our apartment basically every month.


Well one day I was taking a shower and all of the sudden my wife bursts in and says you need to get dressed Craig caught the house on fire, burnt himself and we need to get out and take him to the hospital. Didn't know what to expect at first so I got dressed real quick and when I got out to the front of the apartment the entire kitchen was on fire. Not little bit but like the entire kitchen was engulfed in flames. So me and my wife get everyone out and we go back in to put the fire out, she takes one extinguisher and tries to put it out but it still hasnt gone out, so I tell her get out and I go upstairs to the next floor and get the extinguisher from up there and go back in and spray the flames. I tell you what that was one of the stupidest and scariest things I have ever done, the flames wouldn't go out at first and was just seconds away from moving out of the kitchen and setting the rest of our apartment and probably the complex on fire.


Again by the Grace of God I was able to put the fire out before the Fire Department got there and before it spread into the rest of the apartment. And when we found out exactly what happened, once again it was definitely by the Grace of God that people didn't die. So Craig was boiling oil to make some Chicken patties and apparently had forgotten about them. The oil boiled over and started to catch the entire stove and pot on fire. Well Craig has never been in this situation and didn't know what to do, so he tried to do what he thought would be best and ignorantly picked the pot of flaming oil up and tried to put it in the sink behind the stove.


Obviously that was a bad decision and once he picked the pot up the oil poured over and the handle also caught his hand on fire so he dropped the flaming pot of oil on the ground where it splattered all over the floor and walls. So there is Craig with his hands all burnt up and a pot of flaming oil on the ground when my wife runs in to see it all. Thank you Jesus I have a wife that can stay in control and keep her wits about her in a crisis.


There was a bag of dog food at the entrance of the kitchen and she somehow notices that the oil that spilled on that didn't catch on fire so she thinking and acting quickly takes the dog food and throws it in the pot and low and behold that puts the fire out in the pot. It was about that time that I came in and like I said we were able to put the fire out.


So there a many different things I saw where God had his Hand on the situation and one of them was the fact that if Craig would have taken one step further he would have dropped a pot of boiling fire oil onto the carpet. Thankfully it hit linoleum but had he taken that one extra step it would have poured out all over the carpet and there would be a chance that not only would the entire apartment DEFINITELY caught on fire, but Craig could have easily trapped himself in the kitchen with a raging fire on the stove and a raging fire in front with carpet and could have died.


Praise the Lord that didn't happen, Craig ended up having some 1st and 2nd degree burns on his hand which healed quickly and that is it which is a blessing in and of itself for what was literally one step away from possibly happening.


So there we were in an apartment where we were getting harassed all the time and now a fire broke out. The fire was bad enough that the Fire Department condemned it for 72 hours which meant we were forced to go to a hotel. So we had to pack up my wife, 13 yr old daughter, my 1 yr old daughter and my brother-in law and go live out of a hotel for about a week, all while continuing to do all the normal stuff like work ect.

So after we get the ok from the Fire Department we start moving back into the apartment and as soon as we walk into the door the apartment manager asks us to come into her office. So seriously we haven't even gotten the opportunity to unpack and we are standing there speaking to them. Basically they tell us that the normal procedure for this is to move the family into another apartment so they can get into the damaged one and correctly clean and restore it. They tell us that the entire kitchen needs to be replaced, that all the carpets need replaced, the walls need to be cleaned and repainted even to the back bedrooms because of smoke damage and that even the ventilation system needs to be redone because the air conditioning was on and it circulated the smoke.


Then they tell us that they don't have any apartments open so they need to contact the higher level management to see how to proceed and they will call us shortly. We are like ok, go back down start unpacking ect ect ect. Eventually they end up calling my wife to tell her what is going to happen and this is what these people tell her. They tell her that because of the “mess” that was seen in the apartment they are evicting us and we had until the end of the month to get out aka 5 days. Like what the funk is that, we have a fire and you admit that the proper procedure is to put us in a new apartment and instead you try and evict us for some freaking laundry and say we need to be out in 5 days!!!


Holy crap, we were pissed!!! So I end up speaking to a lawyer and he is like they absolutely can not do that, you signed a lease you have at least until the end of the lease and they can not force you to move in 5 days. So we call them back tell em they are full of crap and we are not leaving to which they say ok well we are not going to renew your lease then, you have 60 days to vacate.


So we were just shell shocked by all of this, you would think decent human beings would realize that we just went thru a traumatic experience and maybe just maybe you want to do the slightly nice thing and try and help or the very least not exasperate the situation but oh no not these people!! Instead they try and illegally evict us and then tell us they are going to refuse to renew our lease. This was just so much to deal with all at once, we have a fire and now have to find a new place to live!!!


I am not going to go into all the details but the managers treated us like complete garbage going forward. We lived basically the entire 2 months without a kitchen in an apartment that was essentially condemned, with a freaking baby. We were forced to move into a hotel a second time because of the repairs they had to do, ect ect ect, all around it was an awful experience.


There we were living in a burnt down apartment scrambling to figure out what were going to do and to add to all this, our financial situation was dire. We had made some bad choices over that past year and my wife was laid off for over a month when the government was shut down so we fell behind on everything. Essentially we were in no position at all to afford or have the credit to move.


We were being forced to move into my Fathers 900 square foot house which was not a good thing. He was willing to do it, which I appreciate but he was not happy about it and he let it be known at every instance. Here I am 40 yrs old moving my family into my Fathers tiny house, I felt like such a horrible failure, I was heart broken and angry. It was an awful place to be in literally, emotionally and spiritually. On top of this my Fathers neighbor who had lived there for 40 yrs, who I grew up with, was selling her house the month we were being forced out.


I had always wanted to buy that house, it would have been perfect and I even went over and talk to her about wanting to buy it but like I said we had no money and no credit, it was impossible for us to get the house. I was so angry, it was like the house I had always wanted was being dangled out in front of me to be snatched away. It would be a trophy of my futility and failure. And then I found out it was sold within 12 hours. I didn't even have the chance to try and maybe get some help to get it. There it was sold out from under me immediately. I was bitter and depressed about it as I moved into my fathers house…


And then God showed up, taking the impossible and making it possible. Taking the failure and futility and turning it into a Testimony of His Power and Grace and Victory. A few days after we move into my Fathers, my wife overhears my father and my neighbor that was selling the house, that the person who bought the house might be renting it out. She wasn't sure but thought he might be. So I straight up stalked this house, every day when I got home from work I asked any and everyone going in and out of that house are you the owner? And for days I kept getting no, I asked do you know how I can get ahold of the owner, again no. I called my neighbor asked if she knew how to get ahold of him, again no.


It was about 2 weeks of stalking and just getting no, no, no until finally I see someone I hadn't seen washing the house and I walk up and ask, are you the owner? He says yes and I am like finally and I ask him if he is renting the house and he said YES. Man I couldn't believe it, of all the billions of people who could buy the house (and if you know this neighborhood it's one of the best to own a house in because it's top 100 in the country) a person who wants to RENT it, is the one who buys it?!?!?!?! Seriously?!?!?!?


I mean you could redo this a million times and there is absolutely zero chance that this could happen like it has, just think about all the different things that had to take place. My brother in law gets hooked on drugs, we bail him out (God actually but you know what I mean) he comes lives with us. He sets our apartment on fire, which causes the management to end our lease, my neighbor who lived there for FORTY FREAKING YEARS decides to sell it just so happens THE MONTH WE ARE FORCED TO MOVE OUT and ends up selling it, to all people on the planet earth, someone who doesn't want to live there like seriously 99% of residents in this neighborhood but to someone who turned it into RENTAL PROPERTY.


To even find a house for rent in my neighborhood is almost impossible, like no joke there are about 10 in the entire city no lie at all. But God made a way thru all the insanity to not only find us a house but find us a house RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO MY FATHER!!! And the buyer, overlooked all the credit issues we had, we only had to spend 1 month at my Fathers before we were blessed to move into our home!!!


I can't even get over it, as I write this I am crying because it is absolutely impossible that I ought to be sitting in this room writing this all out!!! I just want to Praise Him for all Hes done, He has been so incredibly good to me, just pours out His Grace all over me and my family and I deserve absolutely none of it at all!!!


And I write all of this to tell of the Victory that is in Christ Jesus, He takes impossible situations and turns them into Testimonies of Grace, Love, Power and Victory. If you are going thru a hard time, I know how it can feel, I know what it's like to think all hope is gone, but if you Trust in Christ I know that He can and He will turn it around for your Good and for His Glory!!!


That is a Promise and I am a living testament of it, over and over and over again. If you are Lost and you don't know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, please turn your heart to Him now, don't be like my brother in law and have to find yourself at the end of a road of desperation and darkness. God doesn't want that for you, He wants to save you today, to pour out His Love, Grace and Mercy all over you!!!


Jesus has done everything needed for you to be Saved, there is no work that you need, you don't have to clean yourself up, there is no special prayer you need to recite, all that is needed is for you to call out to HIm with a broken and contrite heart of Repentance when He is dealing with you and believe on His name and you WILL be Saved!!!


If you have read this far and are saved then I hope you are blessed and shout the Praise to God with me, if you struggling then I hope this provided you with some encouragement to stay the course, God can turn a fire into a home, He can turn your sitiuation around as well, don't ever give up!


And if you are Lost I hope God used this to show you His Glory, that He is real and I hope that He uses this to show you that nothing is impossible for God, even for you to be Saved! He loves you and He died for you, Hes done it all just so you can have a relationship with Him because He wants nothing more than to pour out His Grace, Mercy and Love upon you!! I hope and pray that you come to know Christ as your Personal Savior!!!


If anyone needs prayers feel free to message me or even post in here. If there is anything I can do for any of you please let me know how I can be of service, but regardless of whether or not I can help you, I know the one that can, this man named Jesus!!!


I love you and hope you have a wonderful and blessed day, month, year!!!


God Bless,


Daciple
When I was at university, my flat mate set a pan of bacon and oil on fire, having forgotten about it entirely. Cue four foot flame and panicking guy!!! Fortunately I had seen something about oil fires and popped a wet towel on top. We still had a visit from the fire officers though!!

As you go along as a Christian you come to realise the truth of scriptures like this one:-

Psalm 34

19Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.
 





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#49
It looks like it has been quite awhile since I wrote this, going on almost 2 ½ years, man how time flies! So many things have transpired in my life since this has happened and I have felt inspiried to write about some of them, to give God praise where it is due and hopefully to inspire others who may be in hard times or are in search of God, to give others hope even if it feels like there is none left in the World.


So I ended my original testimony by stating it had been a year at that time since I had been sober and free from a Sinful Lifestyle and I am happy to report that due to Gods Grace and His Grace alone I am still sober, now for going on 3 ½ years with no desire to return to the places I had been in the past. I still struggle with Sin but I know the fact that it is a Struggle means that God is still working in my heart and my life, if you ever find yourself at a point where you think to yourself, I've gotten this beat, I would warn you that that is the point where you are ready to fall.


Life has definitely had it's ups and downs since I last wrote on this Thread, and anyone who tells you that the life of a Christian is a bed of roses is a liar, but regardless of the situations I have been in, the hardships I have faced and times of sadness and feelings of loss, through it all God has been Good and He has held to my hand no matter what!! I am just thankful to have a God and Savior that endures with me over the best and worst times, even when I am the one who has made the mistakes, He is still there to Forgive, have Mercy and offer Grace, turning things that seem impossible into amazing testimonies of HIs Power and Greatness.


There are alot of different directions that I could take this Testimony but what I have on my heart at this time is to take you thru 2 incidences in my life in which God has come through in such an amazing and spectacular way that it would take nothing less than a hardened heart of hatred to not realize and admit that God is/was the author of and had His hand upon the situations.


In my last testimony I had made mention of my Brother In Law, his name is Craig and when I wrote last about him he was 16. I also mentioned the fact that he lived in a terrible neighborhood and had some awful “parents” quotes deserved because these people are anything but how parents should be and that he need prayer. How true were those words. I want to give a little bit of background about what was happening with him and us and his parents around that time.


The year we had come to the Church I am at now which was mentioned in my last Testimony, during that summer, we were actually trying and praying for him to come live with us. We knew just how vulnerable he was and knew how terrible his home life was and all the temptations that he would face over the course of that upcoming year. We were blessed to have had him for most of that summer, taking him out of that environment and were able to get him into our Church and definitely had seen God dealing with his heart.


He had gone to the Altar one night and made gave a profession that God was dealing with him and we were all shocked about it. No one at all tried to ever force him to step out or anything like that but one night all on his own he went to the Altar, and when he got home there was something completely different about him. He was super on fire to talk about Jesus, and started reading and asking about the Bible, I honestly was blown away and so excited and happy for him. One night he was lukewarm at best about anything related to God and Church and Christ, the next minute he was asking me to help him understand the Bible and wanting to know about good Christian music ect.


What I can tell you that happens almost everytime I see God moving strongly in my life, is the Devil is right there ready to steal, kill, and try and destroy everything God is doing positively. So I believe this was a Wednesday night when Craig went to the Altar and made his profession and like clockwork the Devil popped up to try and destroy what was going on in his life. The next day his mother called and essentially convinced him that he should come back for the weekend “because she and his friends missed him”. I do not like to speak ill of people but his mother is one of the most wicked and evil people I have ever met in my life, I could give dozens of examples that would shock you but just trust me, this woman never has the good intention to help anyone in her life, it is always to destroy them.


So of course him being a 16 yr old kid, he listened to his mother and said he wanted to go back just for that weekend and that he would definitely be coming back. We had a Youth Retreat coming up about a week and a half from then and definitely wanted him to go, especially after what had just happened. So we told Craig that he is free to do as he pleased because we literally had no control over him, but we warned him about what was probably going to happen. We had told him that his mother was probably going to try and downplay or try and convince him that what he had experienced wasn't real. That she was going to try and lay doubt in his mind. We also warned him that he was going to be tempted and that she was not going to protect him from any of this temptation but would in fact help him fall right into it.


Friday night he left, up comes Sunday and he says he doesn't want to come back yet but wants to go to Youth Retreat we say ok no problem we will pick you up next Saturday. The next Friday rolls around, he says he doesn't want to come up yet he will come up Monday before Youth Retreat (which started on Tuesday). So here it comes up to Monday and we don't call we just drive out to his house to pick him up, where also his “wonderful” mother is there with him.


We walk into the house and he's essentially hiding in his room and when we get him to come out it is extremely obvious that his high as can be, his eyes are super red, the way he was acting everything was pointing to the fact that the kid was blown out of his mind. Now a GOOD parent would recognize the fact that their kid is high, is getting high, and WANT to take any help and steps available to try and move them off a path of drugs. Well this wonderful woman instead of trying to convince or better yet tell her 16 yr old child to go with us to the Youth Retreat she ends up getting into a fight with us and basically tells us to leave him there with her.


I remember looking right at her and telling her look if you don't let him or make him comes with us tonight then all the terrible things that are going to happen to him are on your hands. We left upset and broken hearted because we knew what the future probably held for him, with that type of terrible mother and the friends we knew he was hanging out with and the city and the environment he was growing up in.


That was basically the last time we heard or really saw Craig for a very, very long time, like years. We would try and ask him to come out but he never took up our invites. We would ask her how he is doing and she would always try and say he was doing fine, but eventually the Truth would come out concerning him.


It was very shortly after we left in July, that Craig went back to school, and he was there for only a few months before he was suspended and then expelled from school for fighting multiple times. So there he is 16, not in school, what really is there for someone like that to do? Not much so as you can imagine he quickly went down the drugs and sex path. Apparently he was also trying to get into or was actually in a Gang as well.


In less than a year Craig went from a decent kid that was offered an amazing opportunity to come be with us and let God work in his life, to being a High School Drop out that quickly got hooked on Meth and was in the midst of dealing drugs for a Gang. For almost 2 years we didn't see him except for 15 min at Thanksgiving and Christmas and even when he came over he would only stay inside for a very short time then leave. He was strung out and just living a terrible lifestyle and our hearts were so incredibly broken and we were so very scared about where life was going to take him.


However we never gave up on Him or on God, we had a Youth meeting every Sunday before our 2nd Service and almost every time I would bring him up, to have the Church continue to pray for him. Week in and week out we would mention his name and pray that God helps and makes a way. To be honest it seemed impossible, after 2 years knowing what he was doing, I didn't think he would really ever come back.


Then we started hearing some absolutely terrible things about him, but we couldn't really confirm anything because during all this time his mother kept lying about him saying he wasn't on drugs or hadn't been kicked out of school, or wasn't in trouble. We could never get a straight answer from her about him. We heard that he dropped out, that he was on some kind of drugs and might have gotten in trouble with the Law, but nothing was confirmed.


So here we were 2 years almost to the day of the last time we really saw Craig, the night we tried to pick him up for Youth Retreat and just so happens to be that we were getting ourselves ready and packing for that years Youth Retreat that was going to start the next day and my wife gets tagged in a Facebook post from Craig that says I'm sorry I never listened, you were right, I screwed it all up. At first we werent sure if it was him because again his mom is a horrible person and we thought it may be her impersonating him for some sick reason as she has done things like that in the past. Regardless we knew we had to see if it was him so my wife called and finally was able to really get to speak to him.


Craig had been essentially living on the streets for the better part of the year, he was hooked on Meth and dealing for a Gang. He also had knocked up some girl and she was due to have his baby in about 3-4 months. On top of all of this he had been busted selling Meth laced with Fentanyl to an undercover cop! Everything we told him and that woman he calls a mother happened almost exactly as we predicted. He was devastated, and completely tore up, his life was over.


We told him look we are heading to Youth Retreat why don't you come with us, get out of that place for a little bit, get some time away and he agreed so my wife drove the hours long trip to pick him up and take him to the Youth Retreat. When he got there he was so skinny, he was skinny to begin with but he was a rail now and you could see it in his eyes that life had really ran him over. It was heartbreaking.


So we are at Youth Retreat and I ask him what happened and what he was facing, and to make a long story short, he was going to be prosecuted as an adult and was facing 4 years in prison, not a county jail but straight up rapist and murder filled prison and would be locked away in one of the worst jails in my state, all while his girl gave birth to his kid. Just imagine being 17 with a kid on the way, strung out on Meth, facing 4 years in one of the states worst prisons, it is mind blowing.


And that is when God really stepped in, so either the first or the second night there one of the preachers got up to Preach and man oh man you could feel God moving in the room, conviction was heavy, the Spirit was calling and eventually Craig made his way to the Altar and he just broke down. You could see all the weight of the world was on him and he cried out to God and we all gathered around and prayed for him and a few other kids that were on the Altar that night.


Praise the Lord 3 of the kids including Craig were saved that night and it was a powerful service, and to think that almost 2 years to the day Craig was with us a Youth Retreat and got saved, even now my mind can not comprehend it. To know Craig, how he was, how far he had ran and turned away to think that there he was with us at Youth Retreat was beyond anything I could have imagined!


That was truly a God moment in our lives and while the most important thing was taken care of which is his Soul and Salvation from Hell and Sin, he was still having to deal with the reality of the situation which is the fact that in a few weeks he was going to go to court, and clearly being guilty was going to go to jail for at least a few upto 4 years. There was no way out of it, he literally sold to an undercover cop…


So the date came and my wife ended up going to support him because of course his mother has nothing to offer or any remedy or help in the situation and if anything was a major force for why this kid was where he was at in life. And so during the trial my wife speaks on his behalf, the Prosecutor and the Public Defender take her into the back and speak with her and ask her in the best case scenario what would be the best outcome she thought could happen.


She says well I think he needs a 2nd chance, he needs to get out of the place he lives, away from my mother and the friends he has, the best scenario I see is that he would come live with us. So they go back into court and of course my wife knows this kind of thing is impossible, the kids guilty there is no way he isn't found guilty.


The judge asks her about herself finds out that she works for the Government asks about where she lives, lets him know we live in a good neighborhood and the judge looks at Craig and says, you are very lucky son to have a sister like you do, I would never normally do this but I am going to rescind your sentence that you deserve, put you on probation, and give her custody. I just want you to know that if your sister wouldn't have shown up here today you would be going to prison right now for 4 years.


Amen!! What a miracle, when it seems like there absolutely no way out, God makes a way!! So there it was 2 years later and we saw God not only save Craig but also spare him and his son and girlfriend from going to Prison!! I still can not believe it, I still am amazed when I see him what a Trophy of Gods Grace he is!! I really don't think he quite grasps just how unbelievably all of this worked out and how incredibly blessed he really is. He is young so it probably doesn't truly resonate with him, but I sit back mouth wide open at how absolutely impossible it is for this kid to be living with us!!!


So that is the first and biggest thing I wanted to Testify about, how God took my strung out drug dealing gang member brother in law who was facing 4 years in prison and brought him not only to Salvation but gave him an abundance of Grace to be given only Probation and to come live with us like we were praying for years earlier!! What an amazing wonderful God we serve!!


This will be the second thing, and Craig has a hand literally in this as well. So as I stated Craig had come to live with us, and while of course there has been growing pains and we have had issues here and there overall Craigs been a good kid. He is a father now and he sees his kid regularly and when he first was born he was coming over on the weekends to be with us along with his girlfriend.


So we were living in an apartment all together and to be honest we have been having problems with this apartment ever since we moved in. I don't want to go into everything but essentially we moved into an apartment building that had been filled with old people and they ended up harassing us through the management since the day we moved in. It had gotten so bad that I was literally afraid to do anything and never ever wanted to see the Manager (whose office was right above us) because it was pretty much every time we saw her a new case or problem and we felt threatened to lose our apartment basically every month.


Well one day I was taking a shower and all of the sudden my wife bursts in and says you need to get dressed Craig caught the house on fire, burnt himself and we need to get out and take him to the hospital. Didn't know what to expect at first so I got dressed real quick and when I got out to the front of the apartment the entire kitchen was on fire. Not little bit but like the entire kitchen was engulfed in flames. So me and my wife get everyone out and we go back in to put the fire out, she takes one extinguisher and tries to put it out but it still hasnt gone out, so I tell her get out and I go upstairs to the next floor and get the extinguisher from up there and go back in and spray the flames. I tell you what that was one of the stupidest and scariest things I have ever done, the flames wouldn't go out at first and was just seconds away from moving out of the kitchen and setting the rest of our apartment and probably the complex on fire.


Again by the Grace of God I was able to put the fire out before the Fire Department got there and before it spread into the rest of the apartment. And when we found out exactly what happened, once again it was definitely by the Grace of God that people didn't die. So Craig was boiling oil to make some Chicken patties and apparently had forgotten about them. The oil boiled over and started to catch the entire stove and pot on fire. Well Craig has never been in this situation and didn't know what to do, so he tried to do what he thought would be best and ignorantly picked the pot of flaming oil up and tried to put it in the sink behind the stove.


Obviously that was a bad decision and once he picked the pot up the oil poured over and the handle also caught his hand on fire so he dropped the flaming pot of oil on the ground where it splattered all over the floor and walls. So there is Craig with his hands all burnt up and a pot of flaming oil on the ground when my wife runs in to see it all. Thank you Jesus I have a wife that can stay in control and keep her wits about her in a crisis.


There was a bag of dog food at the entrance of the kitchen and she somehow notices that the oil that spilled on that didn't catch on fire so she thinking and acting quickly takes the dog food and throws it in the pot and low and behold that puts the fire out in the pot. It was about that time that I came in and like I said we were able to put the fire out.


So there a many different things I saw where God had his Hand on the situation and one of them was the fact that if Craig would have taken one step further he would have dropped a pot of boiling fire oil onto the carpet. Thankfully it hit linoleum but had he taken that one extra step it would have poured out all over the carpet and there would be a chance that not only would the entire apartment DEFINITELY caught on fire, but Craig could have easily trapped himself in the kitchen with a raging fire on the stove and a raging fire in front with carpet and could have died.


Praise the Lord that didn't happen, Craig ended up having some 1st and 2nd degree burns on his hand which healed quickly and that is it which is a blessing in and of itself for what was literally one step away from possibly happening.


So there we were in an apartment where we were getting harassed all the time and now a fire broke out. The fire was bad enough that the Fire Department condemned it for 72 hours which meant we were forced to go to a hotel. So we had to pack up my wife, 13 yr old daughter, my 1 yr old daughter and my brother-in law and go live out of a hotel for about a week, all while continuing to do all the normal stuff like work ect.

So after we get the ok from the Fire Department we start moving back into the apartment and as soon as we walk into the door the apartment manager asks us to come into her office. So seriously we haven't even gotten the opportunity to unpack and we are standing there speaking to them. Basically they tell us that the normal procedure for this is to move the family into another apartment so they can get into the damaged one and correctly clean and restore it. They tell us that the entire kitchen needs to be replaced, that all the carpets need replaced, the walls need to be cleaned and repainted even to the back bedrooms because of smoke damage and that even the ventilation system needs to be redone because the air conditioning was on and it circulated the smoke.


Then they tell us that they don't have any apartments open so they need to contact the higher level management to see how to proceed and they will call us shortly. We are like ok, go back down start unpacking ect ect ect. Eventually they end up calling my wife to tell her what is going to happen and this is what these people tell her. They tell her that because of the “mess” that was seen in the apartment they are evicting us and we had until the end of the month to get out aka 5 days. Like what the funk is that, we have a fire and you admit that the proper procedure is to put us in a new apartment and instead you try and evict us for some freaking laundry and say we need to be out in 5 days!!!


Holy crap, we were pissed!!! So I end up speaking to a lawyer and he is like they absolutely can not do that, you signed a lease you have at least until the end of the lease and they can not force you to move in 5 days. So we call them back tell em they are full of crap and we are not leaving to which they say ok well we are not going to renew your lease then, you have 60 days to vacate.


So we were just shell shocked by all of this, you would think decent human beings would realize that we just went thru a traumatic experience and maybe just maybe you want to do the slightly nice thing and try and help or the very least not exasperate the situation but oh no not these people!! Instead they try and illegally evict us and then tell us they are going to refuse to renew our lease. This was just so much to deal with all at once, we have a fire and now have to find a new place to live!!!


I am not going to go into all the details but the managers treated us like complete garbage going forward. We lived basically the entire 2 months without a kitchen in an apartment that was essentially condemned, with a freaking baby. We were forced to move into a hotel a second time because of the repairs they had to do, ect ect ect, all around it was an awful experience.


There we were living in a burnt down apartment scrambling to figure out what were going to do and to add to all this, our financial situation was dire. We had made some bad choices over that past year and my wife was laid off for over a month when the government was shut down so we fell behind on everything. Essentially we were in no position at all to afford or have the credit to move.


We were being forced to move into my Fathers 900 square foot house which was not a good thing. He was willing to do it, which I appreciate but he was not happy about it and he let it be known at every instance. Here I am 40 yrs old moving my family into my Fathers tiny house, I felt like such a horrible failure, I was heart broken and angry. It was an awful place to be in literally, emotionally and spiritually. On top of this my Fathers neighbor who had lived there for 40 yrs, who I grew up with, was selling her house the month we were being forced out.


I had always wanted to buy that house, it would have been perfect and I even went over and talk to her about wanting to buy it but like I said we had no money and no credit, it was impossible for us to get the house. I was so angry, it was like the house I had always wanted was being dangled out in front of me to be snatched away. It would be a trophy of my futility and failure. And then I found out it was sold within 12 hours. I didn't even have the chance to try and maybe get some help to get it. There it was sold out from under me immediately. I was bitter and depressed about it as I moved into my fathers house…


And then God showed up, taking the impossible and making it possible. Taking the failure and futility and turning it into a Testimony of His Power and Grace and Victory. A few days after we move into my Fathers, my wife overhears my father and my neighbor that was selling the house, that the person who bought the house might be renting it out. She wasn't sure but thought he might be. So I straight up stalked this house, every day when I got home from work I asked any and everyone going in and out of that house are you the owner? And for days I kept getting no, I asked do you know how I can get ahold of the owner, again no. I called my neighbor asked if she knew how to get ahold of him, again no.


It was about 2 weeks of stalking and just getting no, no, no until finally I see someone I hadn't seen washing the house and I walk up and ask, are you the owner? He says yes and I am like finally and I ask him if he is renting the house and he said YES. Man I couldn't believe it, of all the billions of people who could buy the house (and if you know this neighborhood it's one of the best to own a house in because it's top 100 in the country) a person who wants to RENT it, is the one who buys it?!?!?!?! Seriously?!?!?!?


I mean you could redo this a million times and there is absolutely zero chance that this could happen like it has, just think about all the different things that had to take place. My brother in law gets hooked on drugs, we bail him out (God actually but you know what I mean) he comes lives with us. He sets our apartment on fire, which causes the management to end our lease, my neighbor who lived there for FORTY FREAKING YEARS decides to sell it just so happens THE MONTH WE ARE FORCED TO MOVE OUT and ends up selling it, to all people on the planet earth, someone who doesn't want to live there like seriously 99% of residents in this neighborhood but to someone who turned it into RENTAL PROPERTY.


To even find a house for rent in my neighborhood is almost impossible, like no joke there are about 10 in the entire city no lie at all. But God made a way thru all the insanity to not only find us a house but find us a house RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO MY FATHER!!! And the buyer, overlooked all the credit issues we had, we only had to spend 1 month at my Fathers before we were blessed to move into our home!!!


I can't even get over it, as I write this I am crying because it is absolutely impossible that I ought to be sitting in this room writing this all out!!! I just want to Praise Him for all Hes done, He has been so incredibly good to me, just pours out His Grace all over me and my family and I deserve absolutely none of it at all!!!


And I write all of this to tell of the Victory that is in Christ Jesus, He takes impossible situations and turns them into Testimonies of Grace, Love, Power and Victory. If you are going thru a hard time, I know how it can feel, I know what it's like to think all hope is gone, but if you Trust in Christ I know that He can and He will turn it around for your Good and for His Glory!!!


That is a Promise and I am a living testament of it, over and over and over again. If you are Lost and you don't know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, please turn your heart to Him now, don't be like my brother in law and have to find yourself at the end of a road of desperation and darkness. God doesn't want that for you, He wants to save you today, to pour out His Love, Grace and Mercy all over you!!!


Jesus has done everything needed for you to be Saved, there is no work that you need, you don't have to clean yourself up, there is no special prayer you need to recite, all that is needed is for you to call out to HIm with a broken and contrite heart of Repentance when He is dealing with you and believe on His name and you WILL be Saved!!!


If you have read this far and are saved then I hope you are blessed and shout the Praise to God with me, if you struggling then I hope this provided you with some encouragement to stay the course, God can turn a fire into a home, He can turn your sitiuation around as well, don't ever give up!


And if you are Lost I hope God used this to show you His Glory, that He is real and I hope that He uses this to show you that nothing is impossible for God, even for you to be Saved! He loves you and He died for you, Hes done it all just so you can have a relationship with Him because He wants nothing more than to pour out His Grace, Mercy and Love upon you!! I hope and pray that you come to know Christ as your Personal Savior!!!


If anyone needs prayers feel free to message me or even post in here. If there is anything I can do for any of you please let me know how I can be of service, but regardless of whether or not I can help you, I know the one that can, this man named Jesus!!!


I love you and hope you have a wonderful and blessed day, month, year!!!


God Bless,


Daciple
Wow!! Absolutely astonishing testimony! Thank you for writing this amazing update.

I really do hope others will read it - it is stories like these that shows us how real God is, how much He loves each of us and how special we are to Him!

It has blessed me so much and have given me a lot of hope! Praise God and blessings to you @Daciple :)