The following testimony is highly recommended reading, especially for people who may have walked with the Lord in times past, but may now have fallen away from Him. God simply never gives up on taking us back and restoring us to Him in good standing if there is something deep inside us to be pleasing to Him before we die.  --PT Staff

(By:  Jeff Hamblin)

I grew up in southern California. I was surrounded by the influence of drugs and alcohol as the way to cope with life. My mom and dad divorced when I was seven years old, and that deeply impacted my life. I felt unimportant, unloved, confused, and angry. My brother, sister, and I lived with my mom. My dad remarried and he and his new wife moved away to Utah to start a new life. 

When I was nine years old my mom met a man and shortly thereafter they got married. My mom's new husband drank, and smoked weed openly, in front of all of us. I learned that smoking weed was the normal way of life, and at the age of eleven I started smoking also. I would steal my stepdad's stash to smoke, and sell, and that pattern led me to steal his prescription speed also. This was the beginning of my downward spiral to destruction. 

My passion in life ever since I can remember has been music. I liked all kinds of music, but preferred listening to rock, especially heavy metal. The harder the music the better. I grew my hair long to take on the identity of the whole rock scene. I played guitar and had the dreams and ambitions of becoming a rock star someday. The music I played and listened to only strengthened the anger, hatred, and rebellion that was living in me. Music was my life and lifestyle; I was completely sold out to it. 

The constant partying, drugs, and alcohol took the place of my dreams and ambitions, and my desire to succeed in the rock world became a pipe dream, masked through the empty lies and deceptions of it all. My addictions were out of control and my life was going nowhere. Something had to give! 

I began to see through it all. Nothing was satisfying that immense hole deep down inside of me, and nothing in life seemed to truly fulfill me. Throughout my life I have always believed in God, simply because of the miracle of life. I couldn't swallow the crap they tried to teach me in school about "evolving" from monkeys and the "big bang theory." I would look into the night sky and see the eternal galaxies and stars. That was all the convincing I needed. There is a Maker out there in the cosmos. I have always been fascinated with the story of the Bible. I realized that man has a free will to choose right from wrong and which path to take. God gave that choice to all His creation, and the "devourer", or the "devil" and a third of all the angels in heaven chose death, and ultimately damnation, forever. Because of the deception and sin in the Garden of Eden, God had to provide a way out for all mankind. He did this by becoming man. Jesus took on all the world's sin to set all who are in the chains of bondage free. I had been in chains a long time, and every time I tried to get free, it was short lived. 

At the age of twenty-one, I was at my rope's end! I couldn't take another day. I prayed and said, "God, forgive me for what I have become, and please set me free from this hell I have created. Please set me free from all this." Instantly, I felt this indescribable love flow through my entire being, unlike anything I had ever experienced before. All I wanted to do was share this love with everyone I came into contact with. I didn't have any withdrawals from the drugs or alcohol and for the first time in my life I felt as if anything was possible! I had been completely set free from the bondage! John 8:36 says:  If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. 

I began to have a hunger for God and the Word, and I started to read the Bible as much as I could. Jesus was all I wanted at that point in my life. I was committed to God and His people, and went to church regularly. I would leave church feeling hungry for God, and I wanted far more than Sundays and Wednesdays. I felt I needed more and I prayed for more. 

In the latter months of 1987, I met a man named Gene Sullivan. To me, Gene was a man who truly loved Jesus. His passion for Jesus stood out to me unlike anyone I had ever met before. It seemed that I had known Gene my entire life and meeting him was an answer to prayer. We talked about the possibility of me moving to Grand Junction, Colorado where he and his wife Ceci and their family lived. Gene wanted to help me in my walk with Jesus and be discipled in the truth. I moved to Colorado in the beginning of 1988 and was open to whatever Jesus had planned for me. 

I moved in with several other guys who had lived similar lifestyles to mine. We could relate to each other. We worked and served by going out into the community to mow lawns and serve the elderly. It was great for awhile, but sometime in 1990, I came face to face with some things in my life I was not willing to let go of. It was my love for the world, more than my love for Jesus. I decided to leave Colorado and move to Utah to live with my cousin. 

Not long after, I started drinking, then went from booze to weed, and from there, I dove in all the way. I started taking acid, mushrooms, meth, cocaine, popping pills and whatever I could get my hands on. In just a short time, I was back in the bottomless pit that Jesus had delivered me from. II Peter 2: 22, "But it is happened unto them according to the true Proverb, the dog is turned to his own vomit again; the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire." I had spun full circle again, and desperately tried to fill that void in my soul I look back on my life now and truly believe that Jesus is the only way to satisfy the longing of my heart. 

I ended up in California again in 1994. I was on the run from God again, and had vexed my spirit deeply. It was the love of Jesus that I was running from, and what I had to get back to. I went to a church in southern California with my friend Dave. During the service the love of God pierced my heart and I wept uncontrollably! I was experiencing His indescribable love and forgiveness and He was receiving me back as a lost son. It was incredibly awesome! 

In the latter months of 1994, I moved from California to Montana, where my family was living. All I wanted to do was to serve God and be with His people. I lived in Billings, Montana until June of 1998, at which time our ministry was relocating to Hawaii. In Hawaii I had a difficult time with the lifestyle. I was facing the allures and temptations of the Hawaiian lifestyle and found myself face to face once again with the same familiars of my past. I started drinking and soon gave in to my weaknesses. I wasn't honest with myself, or my brothers in the Lord, and because of isolating myself, I fell again. 

In 1999, I moved back to Montana and was on the run from God again. I lived in Billings until 2004. At that time I moved to Las Vegas to pursue the music industry. I had strong ambitions when I first got there; the promise of riches, prosperity, the allurement of it all caught me hook, line, and sinker. It wasn't long before I was using people, partying, and the guitar thing was a pipe dream all over again. I had given in, and this was far worse than I had ever been before. I sold everything I owned for drugs. I was in deep destruction. 

Luke 11: 24 - 26 (Jesus speaking): "When an unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he (spirit) walks through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he (spirit) says I will return unto my house where I came out. And when he (spirit) comes back, he finds it swept and furnished and he goes and brings with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they all enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is far worse than the first." 

My situation was totally true according to this scripture! I was running from Jesus deep down, and I wasn't willing to surrender to his authority or his love for me. I had become a slave to sin. I was believing the lies and deception of the devil. He would drop thoughts and doubts into my mind and say things like "God doesn't love you," or "you have gone too far this time," and "there is no hope for you," and "you are worthless, and there is no turning around for you."

I had hardened my heart to Jesus, my savior, my king; the only true love I have ever known! Within a short couple of years, I found myself homeless. I would work day labor places from time to time, and kept a small storage unit where I would change my clothes, and store what few items I had left. I stayed at the homeless shelter from time to time, but that was difficult because of over-crowding due to the "first come, first served" basis. Motels were way too expensive. 

I had brought my life to a place that made it extremely difficult to pull out of. I reasoned that the hardcore drugs were the reason I was there, and to eliminate them would be the first step to recovery. So I made a pact with myself to quit the meth, heroin, crack, and quote "hardcore drugs" but drinking and weed was okay. 

In 2008 I was celebrating my birthday drinking and smoking weed with a new hope on life and the determination to make things better. I was at a bus stop drinking a beer, waiting on the bus, when the police drove up. They stopped and confronted me. While they were running my ID card, I reached down into my cargo pocket to throw out a joint that a friend gave me for my birthday. The officer saw me and told me to stop. I didn't, and the next thing I knew I was being tackled and thrown into the steel backing of the park bench. I landed on the sharp dividers of the bench with both officers on top of me. It all happened so fast that I didn't have time to react. When I stood up, blood was pouring into my eyes and my right abdominal area was hurting severely. They decided to take me to jail, and while being booked into jail I was in such serious pain I felt as if I were dying. I prayed to God again, telling him I was sorry for everything I had done and for running from him. Instantly, the most wonderful peace came over me! At that moment I knew that if l died it would be okay, and I started singing "'Amazing Grace." The pain in my abdomen increased to the point that I couldn't stand up anymore. 

The police officers decided to call an ambulance to transport me to the hospital. At the hospital they did an MRI on my abdomen and they found that I had ruptured my intestines and was bleeding internally. Without an operation to repair the damage, I could possibly die at any moment. They wanted to operate as soon as possible and wanted me to sign a consent form; there was the possibility of having a colostomy bag after the operation. I refused to sign, fearful of living life with a colostomy bag. I wanted to talk to my mom before I signed. I hadn't talked to my mom in several years and I wanted her to know that I made it right with Jesus in case I would die. I wanted to pray with her also. The doctor came into the room with a phone and told me that my mom was on the line and wanted to talk with me. I talked to her and we prayed together and I said, 'Jesus, I'm sorry again. I'm the greatest runner of all, and no matter what happens, I trust you completely. If I should die today, I'll be with you, into your hands I commit my spirit!' I had total peace at that moment and I signed for the operation. Within minutes of signing the consent form I was on my way to the operating room. They began to put me to sleep and that was "lights out for me." 

Sometime during the process I remember being in a place of total contentment and love; I could sense the presence of Jesus, but I couldn't see him. Wherever I was, it was the most awesome feeling and experience I have ever been in. When I woke up it seemed like only seconds had passed, but unknown to me, it had actually been ten days, and I did not know where I was at. I was a little troubled as I was waking up because I had been with Jesus and now I had to face this life again. I soon became thankful, though, to be given another chance and to be alive and be saved, without a colostomy bag. My mom was there at the hospital, and she told me that I had come close to dying. My fever, toxicity, and the high blood cell counts had gone through the roof. Because of my mom and others who prayed for me, and had the faith for me to live, I am alive to write this. 

I pray that whoever reads this testimony of my life would have hope; that no matter what you have done, Jesus has already paid the ultimate price with His blood on the cross, so that you could be with Him forever! Don't be a great runner. "They overcame by the blood of the lamb, the word of their testimony, and not loving their lives unto death."  (Rev. 12:11)

Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. You can even have that assurance RIGHT NOW! Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you...please don't make such a tragic mistake. 

To get to know God, to be at peace with God, to have your sins forgiven, to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity, to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help you understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life, because in Christ, it is impossible to put a value on the worth of your soul in light of eternity.


JESUS DID IT! and...


Remember:  All that we do in this life comes back to our God-given purpose which is to serve and glorify God. The money and assets we accumulate, the fame and power we've attained or seek to attain - all of the things of this nature will one day pass away, but those lives of others we impact for Jesus Christ will last for eternity, and we will be rewarded for the part we helped play by impacting those lives ... for eternity. (Matthew 6:19-21 is our assurance)