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Old 07-17-2010, 05:16 PM
 
365 posts, read 257,076 times
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My name is Tony, and this is my story of a lifelong struggle to find truth, true inner peace and happiness. I eventually found it by not looking at earthly things, but looking at heavenly treasures;

I was playing tennis at state level, doing very well at school and, even as a 16-year-old, enjoyed a good relationship with my parents and family.

A bottle of vodka changed all that.

One night I ran into a school friend. We bought a bottle each and drank the lot. It wasn't long before I was an alcoholic. And didn't care. I enjoyed the lifestyle, drinking, taking drugs and chasing girls. I joined a gang, and with my friends I smoked drugs, picked fights with strangers and vandalised everything from cars to schools. And within two months my life was rolling out of control downhill.

I gave up playing tennis: I was always too drunk or hung over to play; my relationship with my family deteriorated; I dropped out of school and I became violent because of the alcohol. But I neither saw nor realised what was happening. All I wanted was to hang out with my friends and party.

After some years of this high life, my health deteriorated badly. This I could see happening, but the partying and drinking was still more important. I believed I was immortal, and nothing would happen to me. I was foolish and blind.

I began work in a strip club, managing the girl strippers, but my drinking problem worsened, boozing seven nights a week, but through the drinking and partying, I yearned for true happiness.

Finally my kidneys gave out and I was taken to hospital. About then, I also noticed my memory was getting bad and I was becoming extremely violent. One morning a man approached me, asking the time. For no reason I turned and started to hit him. Why would I hit a person for simply asking me the time I wondered? The alcohol was turning me into a monster. I was arrested over this incident.

Not long after being released I was back at my old lifestyle but now I also began dealing in drugs and working with other drug dealers and criminals, and started to personally use amphetamines (speed). I would associate with other criminals and bikies regularly, drink continuously for two or three days, going without sleep or food, kept going by the drugs. You can imagine what this does to your body, but I didn't care!

I began to make a lot of friends in the strip club and brothel scene. When I finished working at the strip club looking after the girls, I started to work at a brothel and also what was called a shooting gallery where people went to use heroin and cocaine. There were many prostitutes that worked there. I witnessed many horrible things during this period, overdoses and people close to death. Numerous people died in that place.

It's shocking what drugs do to you, not just to your appearance but your behaviour and moods as well. I've seen people deteriorate within weeks from heroin use. It's sad to see a healthy girl, happy and attractive one day and only weeks later, she's sick and depressed. Drugs and alcohol bring only temporary happiness, but in the end only a flood of sadness and depression.

But for me things got even worse. One evening I went out with a couple of friends. In the early hours of the morning we sat drinking in a cafe. I left for five minutes and by the time I returned, one had been shot in the back of the head. He died later the same morning.

That makes you wonder about life. Death is so near and will come to each of us, sooner or later. But what happens then, I asked myself?

Next I saw my friends begin to turn on each other, even to stabbing and shooting. It was like something from a violent movie. This is absolutely ridiculous, I told myself. All over pride and greed, and I began to see the destructive realities of the lifestyle. Some of my friends were also getting locked up and sent to prison. I didn't want to head the same way.

Then a friend of some 12 years was also shot and killed. This time in a dance club. By now my eyes had really begun to open and I saw my lifestyle was a dangerous one. But time went on until one morning, after drinking heavily and taking amphetamines, suddenly my right hand went numb. The numbness rose up my arm, then my whole right side went numb. Eventually I couldn't talk. I was taken to hospital. I was thinking though, repeating to myself, please, God, help me and I will change.

The incident scared me so much, I stopped drinking and taking drugs. I stopped going out all together and it wasn't long before I slipped into a deep depression. I thought I was suffering withdrawal, and hoped it would pass in a week or so, but after about eight months, I was more empty and depressed than ever.

Now, for the first time in my life, I sat back with a sober mind and looked over my life: What did I have in my life? What is life all about? Is death the end? Why am I here? All these and other questions surfaced.

Deep down I was hurting. I felt lonely, depressed, empty, hopeless, with no sense of peace and without direction or purpose. From the void in my heart, I knew something was missing from my life.

My depression worsened until one morning I fell on my knees next to my bed and really prayed for the first time in my whole life: Dear God, please help me, I pled. I need your help. I'm so unhappy and depressed; please, God, help me. I need you so.

Shortly after this, I was told about a Christian neighbour. I'd never spoken to him before, but now I thought, great, I will go and have a talk with him. I went. I wanted to know what God could do for me.

I heard how God was prepared to forgive my wrongs and be part of my life. This was a great discovery because I didn't think I was good enough to be saved. I was overwhelmed with excitement when I learned that heaven is real and that Jesus has set me free from my sins and terrible life through His perfect, sinless life and death. All I had to do was reach out and accept His forgiveness and His gift of salvation and heaven. I also learned that I didn't have to work my way to heaven, which was a great relief. I couldn't wait to invite Jesus into my heart.

Having asked Jesus to be a part of my life, I went home. I sat, staring at the wall. "Wow" was all I could utter. I had goose bumps all over. Something wonderful has just happened to me.

At last: true joy, peace, security and wonderful hope. For the first time in my life, the pain and loneliness in my heart was gone. I was overwhelmed. Also, in that instant of confession and surrender to Jesus, I was cleansed of any desire for alcohol and drugs. In its place was a flood of joy, peace and hope. I wouldn't trade that for anything belonging to the world.

It's been a long journey for me, but these days instead of starting out blindly, I start with a prayer instead. I ask God for wisdom, strength, courage, and guidance throughout the day and to fill me with His peace, joy, love and presence. I ask Him to be my support and shield and to carry me through the day. And I ask myself, how did I ever live without Jesus?

I'd never have believed this change could have occurred in my life, but it has. My life is proof that Jesus forgives us our past and loves us deeply. His love is unconditional and unlimited.

I today have total assurance in my Saviours love and forgiveness and my going to heaven, because I have placed all my trust in Jesus and keep my eyes focused on Him. It is this assurance of going to heaven that I have found in Christ that has truly brought so much peace and happiness into my life.

It was only when I turned away from myself and earthly things and looked towards Jesus that I found true pardon and peace. It was only when I looked towards Jesus that an inner light of joy in my heart ignited. Reader, you can also experience this wonderful joy if you place your eyes upon Him. Nothing in this world will give you true joy but looking to Christ alone.

Deep in my heart I know that Jesus is coming back soon for me to take me to heaven. You can also have this same joy and assurance when you place your trust in Him.

Jesus knows all my faults, and yet I know deep in my heart that He forgives me and loves me anyway. Jesus is the perfect gift. He is my best friend, and He can be yours, too.

[Matthew 6:33] But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

I have realised that every person that has ever been born has a void and hole in their heart and life. This void and emptiness needs to be filled to find any true peace, joy and hope. Nothing this world has to offer can fill that spot in our hearts. No amount of money, gambling, entertainment, success, drugs, alcohol, can fill it, but Jesus alone. It's a God-shaped keyhole.

Special Message: As a result of all the years of alcohol and drug abuse I now have permanent brain damage. I live each day with paranoia and have been diagnosed with bipolar mood disorder and it's very difficult to function and I do not have a normal life anymore, as I am very isolated and also have post traumatic stress disorder. So I plead with you, believe someone who has been there and done that, especially the younger people reading this, do not ever get involved with gangs, bikies, drugs and alcohol as it will destroy your future life and give you brain illness that stops you from being able to live a healthy and normal life. And each day you live in mental torment and have severe mood swings. But thank God, I now have hope in Jesus that he will return soon to give me a new body, a new healthy mind and eternal life in heaven.

With Warm Christian Love,
Tony

Last edited by PurpleHeart; 07-17-2010 at 05:29 PM..
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Out of Florida........
4,273 posts, read 3,669,898 times
Reputation: 881
Thank you Jesus for saving this precious son of yours, that You would reach through his pain and save his very soul! That today he could speak and give testimony of Your Majesty and Faithfulness! What an awesome God you are!

PurpleHeart, thank you for having the courage to share this. Your testimony proves if our life, or our heart truly seeks Jesus, nothing will take our life before our appointed time. Don't I know it so well. He's truly a WONDER!! A Wonder to behold! Someone will be bless by this awesome testimony. Godspeed to you.


Your sister in Christ, Betsey
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:04 PM
 
365 posts, read 257,076 times
Reputation: 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Betsey Lane View Post
Thank you Jesus for saving this precious son of yours, that You would reach through his pain and save his very soul! That today he could speak and give testimony of Your Majesty and Faithfulness! What an awesome God you are!

PurpleHeart, thank you for having the courage to share this. Your testimony proves if our life, or our heart truly seeks Jesus, nothing will take our life before our appointed time. Don't I know it so well. He's truly a WONDER!! A Wonder to behold! Someone will be bless by this awesome testimony. Godspeed to you.


Your sister in Christ, Betsey
Thank you Betsey.

And what I found amazing is the transformation in my heart since I invited Jesus into my life.

Before Jesus, I used to sleep around in sexual immorality, do and sell drugs, hurt people, rob people, deceive people, yet at night I slept like a baby and it never bothered me, I had no conscience whatsoever.

But after that day of inviting Jesus into my life, all of a sudden I have a conscience, and now I hate the idea of sexual immorality, drugs, hurting people, robbing people, deceiving people etc.

It's true... God writes His Laws on your hearts the moment we are born again, and now all of a sudden things that never bothered us, now bother us and we no longer desire do to what we once did.

And when we stumble in sin, we hate it.

That's the difference between a lost person and a saved person. The lost person doesn't care when they sin and are not even aware of sin. But the born again and saved person hates to sin and is aware of sin.
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:17 PM
 
Location: Florida
5,261 posts, read 3,966,344 times
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Default What a blessing you are.

Thank you for your testimony...you've touched my heart...and Tony, as I read every word, I know in my heart that all these "symptoms" will be gone from you in time...all of them. He brought me through a very similar experience as yours...and He's bringing you through as well.

You are truly a blessing...right where you are...right now, with all your "stuff"......I just want to say God bless you dear precious soul...I love you...I just know I do.

Be happy...smile...because you are loved...continue in His guiding love for your life...turn all physical negatives into spiritual positives...as God sees your afflictions as definately a positive!!...he can use that!...and He is...for His glory...just love Him and live for Him alone. Amen.


In Christ's love...prayerfully in His truth,
Verna.

Some passages to bless you...

"I know about your suffering and your poverty--but you are rich! I know the blasphemy of those opposing you. They say they are Jews, but they are not, because their synagogue belongs to Satan." Rev 2:9

2 Corinthians 6:10 as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things.

"But in everything making it clear that we are the servants of God, in quiet strength, in troubles, in need, in sorrow," 2 Corinthians 6:4

2 Corinthians 4:8 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing;

2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Timothy 2:24 The Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged,

In His love.

Last edited by Verna Perry; 07-17-2010 at 08:30 PM..
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:23 PM
 
365 posts, read 257,076 times
Reputation: 75
Thank you Verna Perry for your lovely message
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Florida
5,261 posts, read 3,966,344 times
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[quote=PurpleHeart;15085076]Thank you Verna Perry for your lovely message [/quote]

...really the thanks goes to you Tony...you blessed me beyond measure...and I really needed to hear what you shared...I needed a lift...and through your testimony I received it......I guess both of our hearts are smiling now!...see how God takes what we think are negatives and uses them to bless...?..I just love that about Him!...he does it all the time!
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Old 07-17-2010, 10:16 PM
 
Location: Florida
559 posts, read 412,662 times
Reputation: 138
Tony, this is more beautiful than any of my words could ever express. Praise God the angels are rejoicing in heaven!

God Bless You Mightily!
Mercy
P.S. Your mind is stable and sound in Christ. Jesus is more than enough.
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Old 07-18-2010, 02:49 AM
 
Location: Texas
4,345 posts, read 3,682,976 times
Reputation: 819
Amazing testimony. Praise God for transformation!!!
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:31 AM
 
23,091 posts, read 11,198,542 times
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If there was ever any need to PROVE that it is the LOVE of God that brings us into repentance and NOT fear of ET . . . Moderator cut: deleted/off topic

Last edited by june 7th; 07-18-2010 at 09:38 PM..
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Old 07-18-2010, 11:09 AM
 
Location: SC Foothills
8,830 posts, read 6,295,987 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
If there was ever any need to PROVE that it is the LOVE of God that brings us into repentance Moderator cut: Orphaned . . . this testimony would be it...Moderator cut: deleted
Wow, what an amazing testimony Tony and I'm so thankful that you shared it. Whether you believe in ET or UR doesn't matter but I think Mystic you make a good point here......this testimony shows nothing but the LOVE of God and the transformation that happens to us when we accept Jesus Christ as Savior. That's what it's all about....the HERE AND NOW, having that hole filled right now to be able to live the life that Christ died for us to have.

Tony, I have a similar story although it's a little different and not as violent as your past but I can relate to what you are going through now. I have bipolar disorder also but my actions and rebelliousness were a direct result of that disorder. I'm also an alcoholic who struggles with that every day. I didn't get diagnosed until I was 44 years old and the last 3 years, all praise and glory be to God, I have been on medication and the pure love of God is what keeps me from hurting myself and others. He transformed my heart, mind and body and you're right, there is a hole in each one of us that can only be filled by Jesus. Nothing else works.

Praise God you found Him and I'm very sorry you are struggling so much with the fall-out of your lifestyle. I am too, but I gotta say that the medication is also a lifesaver. I hope you have found the right meds to help you....it's quite a process to find the right mix. Some people reading this might think that it's all the medication and the love that we feel in our hearts isn't from God but I'm hear to tell all the naysayers that I've known Jesus for quite a long time and He is the ONLY reason I am still here. The medication eases my mental illness, and I give God all the glory for that medication and the people who created it. It is His doing that we have these life-saving medications and we should take them if they are available. It's all part of the process of Jesus wanting us to have a better life....NOW.

So I'm very proud of you and love you and will be praying for you dear brother. Just know there is someone (probably several someones) out here who absolutely positively understands and can relate to your situation and you keep sharing this wonderful testimony because it speaks volumes to the power of LOVE and the power of Jesus Christ in our lives.

Last edited by june 7th; 07-18-2010 at 09:41 PM..
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