Road to Damascus
The Apostle Paul met JESUS on the road to Damascus, you can read about it in Acts 9 and Acts 22. This is my own "on the road to Damascus " story, where I met with JESUS face to face, And like Paul, it changed me instantly and forever. I had accepted JESUS as my SAVIOR as a youth. My relationship with the LORD was strong sometimes and other times I faltered. I had a recurring sin in my life , that afflicted me off and on for decades. Speed/Methamphetamine. I would have several years of not doing it, and then a period of doing it. I had a failed marriage and I went back to wildland firefighting, to heal my psyche, and prove to myself that I still had the "stuff". I was 44 years old at the time. I was having trouble getting into the proper level of fitness before the fire season this time around. I had fought on 2 fires that season and before the 3rd fire i developed a bad case of pneumonia. I was a tuff guy, so I tried to just tuff it out. I fought on a fire for a week up in McCall Idaho. The hiking up the mountains felt like it was killing me, to say nothing of the work on the fire line. I even passed out working on the fire line a few times, i just couldn't get enough oxygen. Well after the fire was done went to the e.r and at that time I found out I had pneumonia pretty bad. The staff also informed me that I needed to see a cardiologist, which I blew off. The antibiotics did their job, and I started getting better enough to where I started training again for firefighting. It was after my training session I had my 1st stroke, it was like all these fireworks went off in my brain, that I could see, and i dropped to the ground, my face was slack and I could not speak. I figured this is what it feels like to die, I was scared and didn't know what was happening. I spent the night in the hospital, and was told, that I had a stroke, and that I had an enlarged heart, being a tuff guy I asked, like an athlete's heart? They said no, a big fat flabby heart . I asked if there was some thing I could do to strengthen it, they said no, its permanent, my heart ejaction % was 11% . I was in bad shape. They told me I probably had 5 years of life left. I was blown away, if I walked a block I would have to go down on one knee and rest . My heart hurt all the time and hardly any energy. I was this tuff guy, who couldn't even do anything physical. I had never seen my life like this. You would think I would "cleave to the LORD " at this point. Nope I went all in the exact opposite direction. I jumped headfirst into full on Methamphetamine use, and in short order I was even injecting it. I would do huge amounts to where it felt like i was dying for a moment. I would have energy for a couple days, on a "runner " and then my heart couldn't take it and I would just collapse and be "sick" for 4 or 5 days. I was angry at my lot in life and flirted with death and danger. I ended up so deep in sin and despair and confusion. I had no peace. My girlfriend and I were in and out of jail, I was fighting two felony cases one in Idaho and one in Oregon at the same time. The last time I was locked up in Idaho, like Jonah, I started turning back to the LORD. I was reading my Bible, praying and doing my push-ups, taking my medication for my heart regularly, eating regularly, the drugs were out of my system. And so I made a Vow unto the LORD at this time ( I don't recommend this, for the LORD will require it of you). So I made a Holy vow, that I would never do any Methamphetamine ever again, and i asked the LORD to kill me if I did it ever again. Well I beat my Idaho felony in court ( I wasn't guilty of that one), and I'm waiting to get transferred to Oregon to face my felony there( this one i was guilty of). The day before my transport, a new inmate was brought in to my jail cell, a big Gangster and he was able to smuggle more Methamphetamine than I had seen before. He started passing some of it out, I was so surprised, I didn't even hesitate, I ate some right there, he had so much that there was 100 guys on my tier that were all amped up on the Methamphetamine, and my new cell mate still had a large amount left, it was really unbelievable! I got transported to the jail in Oregon the next morning, the rest of the meth i had stashed in my attorney folder and was saving it for when I got out of the Oregon jail, so I did 10 days there and got put on probation, I got out and got picked up and went down to the park and was shooting up with the girls that came to get me 20 minutes after getting out of jail with the meth I had smuggled through two jails. Then I went on a runner, at midnight the next night (Thanksgiving night) i had 3 massive strokes all at the same time. This time I was paralyzed, I had trouble speaking or comprehending anything. I knew I was going to die though. I was pretty scared, in the ambulance I motioned for the paramedic that was working the closest on me to come near to my mouth, I whispered am I going to die, do I have any chance? She looked away, like what do I tell this poor guy? She composed herself and said we are doing the best we can. Ya that confirmed what I felt. At the hospital I got a team working on me and at this time I had a huge seizure. I felt my spirit, my being, gather in my chest and as I was leaving my body, I can the Dr's talking, " is he still with us? " the other one was saying i don't know, let me check, and my spirit went up out of my body, right between them and I was gone, in about a 10th of second I went up through space and I was in heaven in front of a house, the kind of house that I felt comfortable in, a country type of house with an old time porch. It very Misty there and it was a white mist. As I came up to the house, the front door opened and the LORD came out and shut the door behind him, behind the door I could feel as strongly as if I could see them , my Brother Eric, and my Dad who had both passed on earlier. The LORD came closer, and HE is Beautiful! HE Is very big, and beautiful white hair and beard and robes. Just Beautiful and all powerful, I can't explain with words anymore than that. I was so ashamed before HIM! I looked down at the ground, and i said to HIM, this is about the vow? HE said yes it is, there was no anger, just a matter of fact. I didn't want to die like this, in shame, in sin. So I looked down again, I was ashamed to ask. But I looked back up and asked, " if YOU would, you can put my spirit back in my body, and if YOU would, I will NEVER EVER EVER do the speed again. " HE said , " Okay I will, but this is the last time around with this. " And HE walked to me and put HIS index finger out and touched me in the center of my sternum. Some time had passed, now I came to in ICU. I couldn't speak to where anyone could understand me and I was paralyzed on my left side. I was happier than I had ever been, I tried to tell everyone I had seen the LORD! No one could understand me though. I was changed forever ( like Paul on the Damascus road). I was full of joy! Kinfolk would come to see me, and it was quite a while before people could understand even a little of my speech. But anyway, I think I spent several weeks in the hospital, I learned to walk again, moved to Oregon, fulfilled my probation, my Girlfriend got saved, and we started a ministry for prisoners to get Action Bibles and regular Bibles to prisoners and the gospel message, that JESUS loves you and died for your sins, and you believe on HIM , you will be saved, Acts 16:30,31. This happened 8 years ago. And I am thankful to the LORD JESUS CHRIST every single day! HE is the LORD of my life! Praise HIS name! (Oh yeah, my Girlfriend became my wife last year!) And the miraculously healed my heart to where it functions in the normal range. Thank YOU JESUS my LORD!
“Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.