MILES OF PAIN AND JOY
Jesus Did It!
By: Anthony Miles
Right now…there are people around the country who are asking themselves: “What did I ever do to deserve what life has handed me?”
I asked that question a few thousand times myself along life’s way, and now I’m in prison being used of God to help bring freedom to those who are crippled from their past, much like I used to be.
Here’s some of my background, to help you understand a little of what has happened in my life up to now, and how God has set me free from the past…to be made alive in Him for the eternal future.
I was born out of wedlock to a 15-year-old mother. Who my father was, I couldn’t tell you. I was born with Sickle Cell Anemia, extreme Eczema and a serious Asthma problem.
My mother had a nervous breakdown, and at a young age, I was placed in a foster home by Child Protection Services. I had some exposure to the Bible by then and I think that was probably one of the reasons I was wanted for adoption later on.
There were seven other kids there, much older than I. Most of them had been sexually abused at home or at other foster homes. When I first arrived at the home, I was a pretty passive youngster. It didn’t take long, however, for me to become increasingly rebellious and violent because of the actions of the other kids I was around, and how I was treated when I misbehaved. How was I punished when I misbehaved? I was given naked beatings while wet with a braided extension cord. I can well identify how former slaves felt when they were beaten.
By the age of nine I had discovered Johnnie Walker Red and House of Stewart’s alcohol. I was a full-fledged alcoholic by the age of 10. I received my last beating when I threatened to burn my foster father up with lighter fluid.
Also at that time, by comparison, the other kids in the home were passive compared to how unruly I was becoming. I began taking pills of all sorts...Reds, Trees, Deb’s, and Darviset’s. That quickly led to marijuana, hashish, and cocaine.
Next came packing a gun and a knife. I became a full-fledged gang member. This went on for nearly 20 years.
By age 13, I was seeing a psychiatrist on a regular basis because of the assaults I made on the other foster kids and one of my foster parents. I was about 135 pounds, but what I lacked in size, I more than made up for in aggressiveness and violence. At times I became so violent that I would start shooting at people even if my friends were among the people that I was trying to hit. Throwing cocktail bombs also became a weapon I used frequently toward people I didn’t like.
I met my mother at age 16 and stayed with her for awhile. It was a very dysfunctional environment. Liquor and dope flowed freely. What I had hoped to be a blessing turned out to be an extension of my living nightmare of frustration, which only triggered more anger and rebellion.
At age 17, I had my foster parents sign me up for the Marine Corps because my mother wouldn’t. This too was very short lived, since I had a temper like a rabid Wolverine. I ended up getting a medical discharge under honorable conditions.
Within one month of my discharge, I ended up in Cook County Jail in Illinois for armed robbery after a friend suggested we go out for a few drinks. He stuck up a bar and because I was with him, I was charged as well.
I jumped bail and moved to the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. Nothing really changed moving there. I continued to break into houses and apartments for cash to supply my drug habit and to live on. I also continued in my gangbanging.
I met “the girl of my dreams” which happened to be a TV Newscaster in the Western Michigan area. We were getting serious about marriage when I was arrested for the burglary of a dope house. I ended up getting extradited back to Chicago for the Armed Robbery charge. I took a plea bargain and was sentenced to 2-6 years in Joliet Prison.
I continued to gangbang in prison. It was a “natural” environment for me. I was quickly promoted to 1st Lieutenant in the Black Gangster Disciples because of my willingness to inflict pain on others with little remorse, and the fact that I had already gotten rid of one man. My job description was “enforcer” or “peace maker”…to be more technical. Love, Life, and Loyalty was our creed. Once you take someone out, you have the respect of everyone in the prison because they know that you mean business. Eventually I was paroled and began going through relationships with women like old dishwater.
I became so miserable with living that on one particular occasion after I had drank a fifth and a half of Southern Comfort liquor and smoked five joints within half an hour’s time, I decided to take my life by driving my Camaro into a tree at 85 mph on a street in Grand Rapids. I was spared from having my wish granted, (praise God), but shortly after it happened I began to blaspheme God because He wouldn’t allow me to kill myself.
Funny…I had only one cousin who wasn’t a “holy roller” in my family. I went to Cassopolis, Michigan to get high with her, but she wasn’t at home when I arrived there. I groaned within myself, “I’m stuck with these holy rollers until she comes home!”
Wouldn’t you know, my cousin Bill immediately began inflicting “pain” on me with the Word of God. He also managed to get me to do some arithmetic on how much money I was spending a year to get high. It came to about $75,000. I wanted to be so high at that moment but before I could, he told me to think about the death of Jesus Christ and let me know that I was responsible for Him being on that cross when they crucified Him. He told me that God the Father poured out His wrath on Jesus Christ that rightly should be poured out on me because of my sins toward God and society, so I could be free from God’s wrath for my sins throughout all eternity. This began to greatly trouble me…and made me begin to think…all through the night.
The next morning I locked myself in the bedroom…away from my girlfriend, and repented to God for my sins. God did some major spiritual surgery on me the next two hours, and I walked out of that room a different person. I didn’t realize it then, but God’s Spirit came and took my dead spirit and brought eternal life to it...something He wants to do for everyone who will allow Him to. That’s what is being addressed in John 3:5 when Jesus states:
“Unless one is born of the water (speaking of being baptized into the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ) and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
Though I didn’t understand it at the time, I had officially became “born again.” (Sure...a lot of spiritual surgery by God and my willingness to cooperate with Him would still be necessary in my inner being in the future, I was to find out later, but that happens to be the case of virtually everyone who first becomes “saved” from their past sins).
When I walked out of that bedroom, my girlfriend said I had a glow upon my face. I had a reason to be very happy. I had been reconciled to God.
I started immediately packing my bags to move and she wanted to know why. I told her we could no longer live together because it was sin against God.
She lit a cigarette and it about made me throw up! The same thing happened when she opened a can of beer! This was weird, since only hours before I was addicted to smoking at least two packs of cigarettes a day and drinking alcohol for the last 21 years. Suddenly I realized God had delivered me of those two addictions! I began to jump up and down shout “Alleluia!” over and over. I didn’t know what else to do, I was so thankful. Fran thought that I was leaving for another woman and literally stalked me for seven months before giving up pursuit.
I went to Bethel Pentecostal Church the following Sunday. I became on fire for God. I went from one extreme to the other. I began passing out tracts, giving money to street people. Laying hands on anyone that would let me, and preaching to anyone that was not moving fast enough. I devoted myself to the scriptures and started teaching Bible studies wherever the opportunity existed. After two years of serving the Lord faithfully, I was ordained and began preaching.
While I was teaching Bible studies, there was a young lady in the group. Things were going as they should for quite awhile, but then one night I allowed her to kiss me as I was leaving and her hands went places they should not have gone. Things then moved into sin. The Holy Spirit convicted me terribly. I was extremely miserable, knowing that I had failed God.
It was not long after that I was informed she was pregnant and I watched my entire life flash before my eyes. I started to run to another city to escape. I should have gone to my Pastor but I didn’t. I opted for the marriage of convenience and about a week into the marriage, I was told that she really wasn’t pregnant so the handicap race continued. That month she became pregnant for real and she gave birth to a beautiful son that was just like me. The story of King David became alive in my life. The marriage was created under false pretenses and therefore was not properly founded so it didn’t take long before we were at odds with each other. I tried to make the most of a bad situation but arguments became a regular part of our life so I packed my bags and left. Rather than hurt someone else, I kept going and began to move into deeper sin.
Smoking was the first habit that I picked back up. Before long I was smoking crack rock, selling dope and fornicating with at least seven women on a regular basis.
I was smoking crack one night when I was convicted by the Holy Spirit. I threw the pipe on the floor and fell on my face and asked God to restore the joy that I once had. It was restored, but not until I became a permanent resident behind prison walls.
I am serving a 20-40 year sentence. Sure I’ve wished things would have turned out differently. Many brothers like myself in here wonder why God put them in the environment they were raised in. We’ll never probably know until we get to heaven.
However…for the past 12 years (as of 2004), I have been preaching, teaching, passing out tracts, laying hands on the sick and being used to help change lives by the power of the Holy Ghost and my joy has stayed with me. I am an Elder at the Church and am on the Praise and Worship team also. Proverb 24:16 says that the Lord upholds all those that fall and He has indeed kept me. I was supposed to preach in prisons years ago when a Chaplin in Holland, Michigan opened the door for me to get into any prison in Michigan. Well, Jonah is in Nineveh now preaching the Word in prison.
One of the gifts God has given me is the ability to write spiritual poems and music. I have written over 1,500 poems while incarcerated. A newspaper in the Muskegon, Michigan area has published a number of my writings, which I’m truly thankful to God for. I write articles for another brother’s newsletter once a month as well. The Lord’s mercies are truly new every day. (See: Lamentations 3:22-23). If you have not yet tasted of His mercies, please do so today.
Perhaps you can identify with many of the things that happened in my life before I was sent to prison. I want to say something to you. Constantly questioning why God had you born and raised where you were born and raised is a dead-end street. There are young boys and girls in third world countries around this globe that are being raised in terrible environments, asking the same question right now. They’ll be asking that question until they die, and in most cases, they will be bitter at God and remain distant from Him for not being given an answer.
Sin has so affected the human race that some home environments are little more than breeding grounds to teach the young to rebel and hate.
No matter what our past has been like; no matter how painful it has been, or might be right now…the richest of the richest to the poorest of the poorest will all have to answer to God for the sins we have committed against Him and others on the Judgment Day…if we reject the sacrifice of the Son of God that was provided for all our sins to be forgiven.
Jesus Christ was that sacrifice. There is no other name given under heaven by which we must be saved. (See: Acts 4:12)
Maybe you ask the question: “Saved from what?” The answer is: Saved from the wrath of God that will fall upon sinners at the Judgment Day who refused to accept the pardon God grants them right NOW (hence the removal of God’s wrath for their sins). Dear reader...if you’ve never confessed that you want a heavenly Savior to forgive you of your sins so you can spend eternity filled with peace and joy and be forever in the presence of God…what is keeping you from inviting Jesus Christ to come into your heart right now...asking Him to forgive you of all your sins – and asking Him to help change your life so that you start begin living for Him instead of just yourself? Is it fear? Is it pride and stubbornness and anger? Don’t let those things stand in the way of getting right with the Creator. You only have today to get right with Him. Tomorrow is promised to no one.
PLEASE HELP SHARE THE BEST NEWS GOD HAS FOR EVERY PERSON!
"And this gospel of the
died for sinners] shall be preached in all the world for a witness
unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
(Quote from Jesus Himself: Matthew 24:14).
Consider how many children in "all the nations" have never heard YET what Jesus accomplished for THEM at the cross? PLEASE HELP SPREAD THE GOOD NEWS TO THE LITTLE CHILDREN!
To help us share the Best News every person needs to hear on this planet, randomly click FOR JESUS on just three (3) of the JESUS DID IT! links below. It will take just a few moments of your time. Please - that’s all you are asked to do. God will reward you! (Of course, be highly encouraged to forward one or more of these video clips to those who may have never heard what Jesus did for them on the cross ... or may need to be re-reminded).
JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT!
JESUS DID IT! - or - JESUS DID IT!
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