I grew up a pretty typical boy in the U.S.A. Mom and Dad took my little sister and I to church every sunday. My mother is a wonderful person. She was and still is a good mother. My father was usually drunk by 6:00 everynight of my childhood, therefore I really never saw anything wrong with drinking. I thought all fathers did it. He was a loving father. He kept a job and always took care of my little sister, mother, and I. And for the most part, everything I remember about the way he and mom were, seems very happy. They got a divorce when I turned nine years old due to his alcoholism. That is what seems to be the start of all of my problems. It is like I suddenly became in touch with feelings of anguish and fear that were never there. I will never forget the feelings that I felt when he told me he was moving away, and that he could never live with us as a family again. It was such a deep fear, as if my whole childhood world and everything I was secure about, was gone. I went from an exceptional student, to a problem child. My grades went from great to failing. I barely got through the fourth grade. And when I went to the fifth grade, I failed it.
At this point in my life, my mother married my stepfather. He was alot of fun. He would take my sister and I on trips to the mountains and parks. His mother was the greatest. She was a brand new Grandma. Then he slowly turned into a raging maniac. Sometimes, he was so impatient. I remember when I would get in trouble at school, it would upset my mother; so, he would wake me up in the middle of the night, just to show me my mother crying. He would tell me, 'see what you are doing to your mother! You are going to put her in the hospital'. That is what he would tell me, a ten year old boy. I got in trouble once in Fifth grade, he came into my room and ripped all of my pictures and posters off of the wall. He turned everything over in my room. And then instructed me to pick it all up and pack my bags, because he was going to send me to a boys home first thing in the morning. Well thank GOD he didn't.
Life continued. I felt as if I went from a secure and confident child to a loser at twelve years old. Somehow I managed to make it to Junior High School. I got through the seventh grade, thanks to summer school. The following three years I spent in the eighth grade. Boy, I learned alot of the bad things then. I remember the first day of school smoking pot with some guy outside before I went in. Drinking beer, smoking, and light drug use started. It was a very slow and gradual thing, that sure enough turned into addictions. I was seventeen when I really started getting into rock music. It was something that was very powerful. Its messages preached security to my soul. It had a cool sound, and hey these guys that played it, they were just like me. They use to have problems like I had, but they knew how to scream them away. I remember it well, the spirit was just, 'get tore up and forget about your problems. You only live once. Rebel it will make you feel better.'
I remember sitting in class and thinking, 'I will never pass, school sucks. I will never be like these other nerds in here.' I remember listening to the 'rock' band Kiss one day and thinking, 'Man this song, called Flaming Youth (will set the world on fire), is the coolest song. I bet I could play that song, if I had a drum set.' That was the next thing on my Christmas list, a drum set. I remember beating those pour things all day long. I was learning how to do everything. Just a boy and I could cut on the radio and play any song that came on. I remember thinking, 'Why is it, that I can do the same thing that those guys are doing. But they are famous, and don't have a problem in the world now.' That is what I wanted. I am not saying that every kid that listens to 'rock', wants to be a 'rock' star. Or takes it to the extremes that I did. But not every kid has a musical talent either. Knowing that I had the talent, made it even seem more real to me.
I went through changing from drums, to guitar, and then, to just singing. I will never forget the first real band I was in. We spent two solid years practicing in a garage before we finally came to the realization that we could be playing in bars and nightclubs. I played my first nightclub when I was seventeen years old. When I got on that stage; and heard that loud music; and the crowd was jumping and screaming, I knew that surely I would make it in the trade. I was to continue this for several more years, until I finally put the ultimate band together. We were called Teazer. We were together for four years. We were playing with national acts, that were signed on major labels. We were playing out of town gigs. And we even had a couple of songs that were requested daily on local radio stations. I was Gonna BE A STAR!!!!!!, a legend in my own mind. Through all of this I became a daily drunk; a drug user; I slept with many girls, including teenagers. I had no guilt for none of it. It was just what ROCK-N-ROLLERS did. I met a girl in the middle of all this, and I got her pregnant. I was determined I would not marry her. 'I will claim the child though. And if I get famous, then I will take care of the both of you', is what I told her. That poor girl went through hell. She had to go on welfare; slept on the floor her entire pregnancy; and lived on nothing hardly but the milk and cheese, that the state would give her. I was the father of this child, and I had them both living in crack district on welfare, while I stayed gone out of town playing dives and bars for nothing! We never made money, usually the door man would steal what ever money we made.
When that baby girl was born, it blew my mind! To see such innocence. She was helpless. She depended on her mother and father. That was all she had. I really started thinking. The more I thought, the more God would come into the picture. I just couldn't believe seeing that child being born It was like a miracle or something. I remember the first week of the baby's life, we were staying with my grandmother. My mother sent to deacons of her church nearby there, to see the baby, (ME). They started telling me about Jesus, and how I need to marry that girl. And give that precious child a father, not some guy that just comes around sometime. The first thing I thought was, 'I can't do that. I am a drunk, cheating, lying, whoremonger! Little did I know that Christ died for me also. For nine more months I was to play around and still party, play in the band, and sometimes go to church.
One night I came home drunk and I cut on the TV. There was this long haired guy on TV preaching. His name was Jeff Fenholt. He said he use to be the lead singer for a group called Black Sabbath. I thought, 'NO WAY!' They use to be my favorite band. I could not stop listening to him preach. Every thing he said, was as if he was reading my mind. He said, 'You just got home and your drunk and all messed up! Why are you running from Jesus. You know there is no other way.' That was enough to scare the TV off. I couldnt cut it off fast enough. When I finally came to the next morning, I was miserable. I had a serious drinking problem, I used drugs, and I smoked. How am I gonna quit this?', I thought. I cut on the T,V and there was a preacher getting ready to go through the sinners prayer. I got down on my knees and I asked JESUS to come into my heart. I cried like a baby and said, 'Lord, if you are real, I need you now. I can't stop living this life; I can't quit drinking; and doing all of those wicked things that I love so much.' I can honestly say, from that moment on, I was completely delivered of EVERYTHING!!!!! The desire to drink, use drugs, and party WAS GONE! I married the mother of my child! I was for the first time in my life, a real man! My entire life fell completely together. It seemed like every prayer that I prayed was answered. I got a real job, for the first time in our lives we moved into a house with a yard and a dog. We have been blessed with another little girl, I have everything a man could ever want or dream for. I have a Godly wife and two girls, that are the apples of my eyes. And they have the father that I never had. I will never be less to them, because I now have the father that I never had. He is God Almighty, Jesus Christ. He is so real. He is the living God.
The only way a person, out there in the world, will ever come to know this Saviour is through the Word and Godly wittnessing. God has blessed me also, with a talent for music. And He has clearly showed me, through all of these other blessings, that I need to reach out to these people, that are going through the same things I went through.
People, the messages in that music almost sent me to hell. It wasn't the beat; it wasn't the fact that the guitars sounded so good distorted, or loud. It was the message that it preached. It made sense to an unsaved person. It wasn't until I heard the real Word preached. The message of the cross is what saved me. I have been called of GOD to place the message of Jesus Christ in music that appeals to the youth. The Word is sharper than any two edged sword! There seems to be alot of problems with this in the churches. A lot of people think it is the work of satan. That is something that is so hard to comprehend for me. I realize that satan can transform into an angel of light, but I know that the same GOD that delivered me; the same GOD that convicts me of sin each and every day of my little life; would surely not let me down on this issue. I have prayed and prayed and prayed about it. As long as I can play music to kids, that normally would not be caught dead in church, and then while they are there, preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to them, I will continue. We did a show, not to long ago, at a church. We told all the High school kids, FREE ROCK CONCERT. It's gonna be great, bring your friends! Do you know what, 130 people showed up. I know at least 40% of them were unsaved High school kids that heard about the concert. I had the privilege of opening my Bible up halfway trough the show; and reading the 7th chapter of Romans to those kids; telling them about sin and temptations, and how we can overcome them through Jesus Christ. Some of these precious kids heard the Gospel for the first time in there life that night!!!!!! Yet the next day, the youth leaders were instructed by the church, to never ever allow that stuff to go on again in GOD'S sanctuary.
People, it is time to wake up, preach the word of GOD boldly. I believe that the return of our Lord and Saviour is very close. We need to put our prejudices aside, and let God do the judging. The Bible tells us in Romans 10:13, Whosoever calls on the name of the Lord, Shall BE SAVED! Now, lets go do our jobs, and tell the world how to be saved.
Feel free to EMAIL me: RDOAK@aol.com
Or Call, Lin @ 804-520-5708
SMASH YOUR IDOLS BBS 804-520-9743
*The opinions expressed in this testimonial are those of the author, who is solely responsible for content.* Editor, THE EDIFIER