Author Topic: A fall from a Horse, and the Light (Personal Testimony)  (Read 5675 times)

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Offline Tuberload

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A fall from a Horse, and the Light (Personal Testimony)
« on: October 01, 2009, 11:10:16 PM »
Why do I believe what I believe? With such wonderful products of the human mind purportedly proving that the existence of God is a futile venture, how would I go about trying to do that? My purpose will not be to convince you with philosophical insights, rather to relay my experience and allow you to decide for yourself.

Quote
16 I (Jesus) will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;
17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.
18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
19 After a little while the world will no longer see Me (speaking about His crucifixion and death), but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also.
20 I that day you will know (Greek: have knowledge of) that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.
He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and disclose(Greek: manifest, show oneself, appear to, make known) Myself to him

26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach (reveal the knowledge of the truth to) you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you (John 14.16-20, 26 NASB).

My history with this group and various members has been quite a long one, around 8 to 10 years. When I was in my mid to late teenage years I had an interest for computer related topics, in particular programming and web development. I was by no means skilled but my computer and the internet gave me a nice place of escape. Various battle.net communities gave me a social outlet while I hid away from the world. I was however sucked away from any chance at success in life and fell deeper and deeper into drug usage. This was a period in my life where I did not come around these online communities or even own a computer.

To keep the story short as possible, the end of my drug run was about a year long period in which I was shooting up methamphetamines. I was involved in burglaries, robberies, and car thefts with a man by the name of Craig Schiering. I was also heavily involved in the usage and sale of drugs with my cousin Adam Carlberg.

I ended up serving some time in the Geiger Correctional Facility, located west of Spokane Washington, for a car theft charge, properly Taking a Motor Vehicle Without the Owners Permission in the 1st degree. Roughly may of 2006 I went before a judge who said that based upon my criminal record it was her opinion that I was not to be released but should serve my time in jail so that I could possibly learn my lesson, although from her experience I would not. I then spent a period of about a month in a minimum/medium security wing awaiting my next trial in June. During this period of time I found myself heavily drawn to the Bible. I was ridiculed quite a bit because of it, but I continued to read. There came a point in my reading were I was invited to confess my belief in a Resurrected Christ named Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I proceeded to do so and at that very moment an intensely powerful presence struck the top of my head and proceeded to flow throughout my entire body. My hair was standing straight on end as what felt like electricity pulsed throughout my body in an intensely tangible way. I had previously held a strong opinion that Jesus, and religion was just mans method of controlling people. I did not discount the existence of a God, but refused to accept religion. After this first experience I would have the same presence come upon me in very tangible ways and I would passionately cry and ask God for forgiveness for all I had done. I asked that He would help me, and that He would give me a place to go so that I would not wind up back on the streets and into the drugs. I used to cry from time to time as I stuck the needle into my arm, because for the first time in my life I knew that something had a hold of me that I did not think I could get free of. About a week after that first encounter with God through the mediation of Jesus, I went before the same judge. She looked me in the eyes and said that she was going against her better judgment but something seemed different about me so she was going to release me and let me go through my trial on the outside. Six days later I was walking out the front gates, and I was scared of what was going to happen to me to be honest. I was terrified of the drugs and life I was living. I walked over to the bus stop and seconds had gone by when a man by the name of Adrian Simila, the leading minister of the Lords Ranch Christian Discipleship Ministry, was driving by, pulled over and proceeded to offer me a place to live as long as I was willing to be raised up in the Christian Faith.

I accepted his offer and took it as God’s response to my prayer for a safe place to go. A month after being at this ranch I wound back up on the streets with my cousin Adam. We ripped off a restaurant and ended up spending a large part of the night in a drug house shooting up heroin. The next morning I went to my step mothers house and she hysterically kicked me out of her place telling me she had received a phone call from the restaurant I had ripped off and she could tell by my look that I was back on the drugs. I slept in my car that night freaked out because a girl who worked at the restaurant knew me from back in high school and was threatening to turn me into the police. I was pending trial on a felony car theft charge. I was the only one in my car, parked in a vacant field in an industrial part of town when I heard a voice say to me, “I am not going to let you get away with the things you used to get away with.” I was gripped with terror and cried out for God to forgive me and told Him I would go back to the ranch. When I was pulling back into the Lords Ranch a few days later the same voice spoke to me again saying, “Now honor me and stay were I put you.” The restaurant ended up going out of business a few weeks later and nothing ever came of the incident.

That same day when I sat down on a couch in the main building to watch the local news I saw that Craig Schiering had been shot in the side of the head and his charred body found in a burn pile while I was in jail, and I have recently found out that my cousin Adam Carlberg died of a drug overdose roughly a year after I went back to the ranch. I link to an spokesman review article concerning Craig’s murder can be found here

I have since that time had numerous mystical, very tangible, encounters with God. I have been free from the methamphetamines for about three years now and have no desire to go back. God has given me a very real experience that is greater than that of the drugs and replaced it within both my mental and cellular memory. I take God at His Word and engage it by faith, and regularly see it come to pass. The Holy Spirit reveals the knowledge of God to me through my spirit, and as I grow and learn about Christ my life is further changed and my passion to live for Him grows stronger.

All of this came around because I was broken enough, and willing to believe God’s Word. That Jesus Christ had been resurrected from the dead and is now seated at the right hand of God. That He requires my allegiance and submission to His Lordship. That I am to repent by turning from my ways and seek God that I may learn His, and that I am to come to Him on His terms and not my own. That He would give me His Holy Spirit, and change me into something new over a process of time, and in the time appointed I would share in a resurrection of my own where I will live for eternity in a glorified body, if I persist in the faith. I continue to experience this promised change, and the power that makes it possible.

A person may be able to come up with an argument, but I have a past and ongoing experience that can never be taken away from me.
I am prepared to be ridiculed for what I believe, are you?

Offline rabbit

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Re: A fall from a Horse, and the Light (Personal Testimony)
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2009, 11:28:43 PM »
So you've replaced meth with Jesus?  Doesn't releasing yourself of all responsibility and such release the same endorphins as drugs?  IMO you've traded a tangible drug for an intangible one.

Offline Tuberload

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Re: A fall from a Horse, and the Light (Personal Testimony)
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2009, 02:46:34 PM »
The following is a quote from the Methamphetamine Treatment Practitioners Reference by the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs:
Quote
A significant negative consequence of prolonged methamphetamine use is that during the first four to six months after stopping use of the drug − and for some people, even longer − there is a profound inability to feel pleasure (anhedonia). Many recovering methamphetamine users say, “If this is how it’s going to feel to be sober for the rest of my life, I can’t live like this.” These feelings are among the most critical contributing factors to relapse, so it is important to educate clients that for most people, this condition improves with extended sobriety.

A significant result of the initial experience I described, as well as the ones I continue to experience when I enter into various forms of prayer is that of euphoria. They come in various levels of intensity from a mild feeling of peace and joy accompanied with a mild sensation throughout my body, to that of an extremely intense physical sensation and loss of awareness of the world around me. My first encounter with what I believe to be God was roughly 3-4 weeks after my last injection.

Unless a person has experienced the rush of a methamphetamine injection, an understanding of the intensity would only be based upon the explanation of another. At times, depending on the quality of the drug my eyes would roll into the back of my head and I would either sexually climax or feel an intense feeling throughout my body but intensely focused within my feet.

The experience and experiences that I have had and continue to have are better than that of the drug, and it would seem reasonable that God would grant that kind of experience to lead me away from the drugs to Him. I am certainly not ashamed of a comment such as I traded meth for Jesus, and am quite addicted to His person and the experiences I continue to have. I am also not convinced that I am some kind of miracle of medicine who after a year of daily injections of the drug some how absent mindedly figured out how to produce an experience at the same time in which I cried out to Jesus. I did not, as you suggest, realease myself from any form of responsibility before or at the time of the experience. I did repent and ask for forgiveness in subsequent experience but the first was a matter of confessing faith in a resurrected Jesus Christ who is now my Lord. It has also taken me several years to completely release and forgive myself for what I have done in the past. Although I live relatively free from the condemnation and depression of the past it has taken me quite some time to fully give it to God.

As far as tangibility is concerned, what is it that makes the drug tangible? Is it solely because I can see the crystals melt into the water and then feel it as it is injected into various places of my body or is it the intense rush that it produces once it hits my blood stream? If the power of God is introduced to my body through an invisible yet spiritual dimension producing a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual experience and sensation, how is that any less tangible? It is in fact very tangible for myself on a personal level.
I am prepared to be ridiculed for what I believe, are you?

Offline iago

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Re: A fall from a Horse, and the Light (Personal Testimony)
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2009, 03:49:46 PM »
Although I don't necessarily agree with the religious conversion thing, it's great that you've gotten away from that life. At least with religion, you aren't hurting anybody else, unless you count the missionary work (I kid, I kid ;) ).

I've known you for a fairly long time, and although you've always seemed like an intelligent and thoughtful person, you've alluded to your troubles in the past. It's interesting to hear more about them, for sure. I'm never comfortable asking about that king of thing, but when it's a friend (or ally) going through it, it's great to hear the story.

I'm still kinda curious, though -- how did you get started on that path? I mean, you never really struck me as the kind of person who would follow that path.

And for what it's worth, I appreciate you coming back here after all you've been through. It'd be easy to forget about some little group of friends after all that! :)

Offline warz

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Re: A fall from a Horse, and the Light (Personal Testimony)
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2009, 05:05:00 PM »
That's nice, but I always find myself rolling my eyes at these kinds of stories. I can't put my finger on why, exactly. Maybe because I feel like I've been a church-goer all my life, and kept myself out of doing "hood rat" things because of moral reasoning, despite having the opportunities, and I feel like you're just doing this for a easy way out with somebody telling you that all the pain you caused other people doesn't matter anymore. But then that'd make me very judgemental. So, I don't know where I stand but I do know that I definitely rolled my eyes while reading this several times.

This is why I had a hard time looking up to people that I knew too much about at church. Our youth leaders used to tell us about all the terrible things they used to do, and that it lead them to church. Awesome. I'm sitting in church listening to somebody preaching about everything you shouldn't do, except they've done it.

I haven't been to church, much, since I got my drivers license years ago because of this, but I still consider myself an active "prayer" and stuff. The politics that come a long with going to church are just retarded, though.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2009, 05:12:02 PM by warz »
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Offline iago

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Re: A fall from a Horse, and the Light (Personal Testimony)
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2009, 08:20:33 PM »
The politics that come a long with going to church are just retarded, though.
I couldn't agree more with that.. there should be a clearer separation of Church and religion. :D

Offline Towelie

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Re: A fall from a Horse, and the Light (Personal Testimony)
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2009, 09:43:27 PM »
The politics that come a long with going to church are just retarded, though.
I couldn't agree more with that.. there should be a clearer separation of Church and religion. :D

Would that mean that the separation of church and state wouldn't include religion? :P

I think the existence of a god (maybe even gods?) is possible, but I really don't like the long story that religion brings to this. It seems to be too much of a fable because of it. Either way, I stay neutral on the issue because I don't really want to make a choice.

Offline Sidoh

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Re: A fall from a Horse, and the Light (Personal Testimony)
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2009, 10:33:28 PM »
I think there should be a separation from state and anything that involves blind assertions.

Offline Towelie

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Re: A fall from a Horse, and the Light (Personal Testimony)
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2009, 12:09:37 AM »
I think there should be a separation from state and anything that involves blind assertions.
That could be argued as anything, right?

Offline Sidoh

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Re: A fall from a Horse, and the Light (Personal Testimony)
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2009, 12:10:24 AM »
I think there should be a separation from state and anything that involves blind assertions.
That could be argued as anything, right?

I suppose that's true.  I meant to say something like "... necessarily involves ...", but I think I got distracted. :)

Offline Tuberload

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Re: A fall from a Horse, and the Light (Personal Testimony)
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2009, 01:16:17 AM »
That's nice, but I always find myself rolling my eyes at these kinds of stories. I can't put my finger on why, exactly. Maybe because I feel like I've been a church-goer all my life, and kept myself out of doing "hood rat" things because of moral reasoning, despite having the opportunities, and I feel like you're just doing this for a easy way out with somebody telling you that all the pain you caused other people doesn't matter anymore. But then that'd make me very judgemental. So, I don't know where I stand but I do know that I definitely rolled my eyes while reading this several times.

This is why I had a hard time looking up to people that I knew too much about at church. Our youth leaders used to tell us about all the terrible things they used to do, and that it lead them to church. Awesome. I'm sitting in church listening to somebody preaching about everything you shouldn't do, except they've done it.

I haven't been to church, much, since I got my drivers license years ago because of this, but I still consider myself an active "prayer" and stuff. The politics that come a long with going to church are just retarded, though.

I am truly sorry that you were unable to look past what you think you see far enough to discover the point of this story.

The easiest way out would have been to rot in prison or perhaps just get myself killed… It really is amazing to think that there is good news. I am choosing to take that same hope to a rapidly declining populace and if possible contribute to the life of someone in a positive manner. I am not interested in the ease of my burden, rather the living of life as described by Jesus Christ and the taking upon myself of His.

Is that all an allegiance to God is to you? Politics and the preaching of morality? Please cast what man has done with religion and the church aside, and cast me aside with whatever suits you best, but discover that what I was trying to convey is that there is a living God in which you can experience if He so chooses to manifest Himself to you in such a way. Please see that my point was this: if you will take the record of experiences I have claimed to be true and recognize that a low life piece of shit such as I had been granted them by God, imagine what could be in store for you in your own personal relationship with God. Forget me, forget the supposed church and really find God for yourself.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2009, 02:51:06 AM by Tuberload »
I am prepared to be ridiculed for what I believe, are you?