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CBN.com It was no mistake when Keith Pintar turned on a one-way-street, headed in the wrong direction.
"I didn’t really care if I killed myself or if I killed anybody else at that point. The pain was just so bad...
the rejection, the anger, and the depression," Keith remembers.
Keith’s anger took root when he was eight-years-old. His mother was a violinist for the Miami Beach Philharmonic, until multiple sclerosis quickly left her bed ridden. Keith knew his mother was dying.
"She would call me to her bed every day, in the last few months of things, and say, 'Keith, I’m so sad that I’m not going to be there to see you grow up and become a man.' "
"I didn’t know how to deal with it. I became angry and got mad at God."
His mother suffered for three and a half years, until she passed away.
"I remember being at the funeral and not shedding a tear. I knew she died, but I was in denial as far as dealing with it," he says.
At first, Keith’s father, Frank tried to comfort him. But that quickly changed when Frank could no longer deal with the loss.
"He’d be in my face and was just yelling at me," says Keith.
Frank yelled, “You’re a dirty, lousy, good-for-nothing! You’ll never be anything when you grow up! Do you hear me?!”
Keith determined, “I’m going to show you what a dirty, lousy, good-for-nothing really is.”
Keith’s grades dropped, and he started smoking marijuana.
"It did lead to opium, mushrooms, acid, cocaine, and to all these different drugs. The police brought me home many times."
In high school, Keith started playing guitar in heavy metal bands.
He thought, "I’m going to be a rock musician, a rock star, and then I won’t have any worries. I won’t have to deal with this anger, depression, loss, and this volcano that could erupt at any time."
When he was 17, the fights with his father became physical. A year later, Keith moved out. He started playing in a band called U.S. Toys. It threw him full force into the rock-n-roll life style. But all the drugs and failed relationships left Keith devastated.
"I couldn’t sleep, because I was so high. Finally I would pass out, wake up at noon, or 2:00 the next day, and I would have blood all over my pillow from snorting so much cocaine. So, I would play russian roulette. Sometimes I would put one in the chamber and just spin it and just mess around with it," he says.
Keith occasionally called home. His step-mother, Elizabeth, shared the Gospel with him.
Elisabeth said to Keith, “I want you to have that personal relationship with Jesus that I have.”
Keith wouldn’t listen. He still blamed God for his mother’s death. Then one night, overcome by depression, he went on a suicide mission.
"I got in my truck, and I threw it into first gear. I got on a one-way-street, Main Street, in Columbus, OH, and just started going into one-way-traffic, not really caring. There was traffic coming at me head on. And I remember just closing my eyes and swerving back and forth. I really didn’t care. I fully expected to get slammed by a truck."
Keith made it through the traffic without a scratch. He pulled over at a pay phone and called home.
His step-mom answered the phone.
“Elizabeth, I’m so depressed. I just feel like killing myself," he told her.
Elizabeth opened her Bible to Jeremiah 29:11. She told Keith how God had a plan and purpose for his life.
"As she was talking to me about the Lord, I felt this warmth just comes from the top of my head, through my body, just to the toes of my feet. I remember saying, 'Elizabeth, this is incredible, this feeling, it’s awesome. I feel like everything is going to be okay.' ”
The next day, Keith jumped on a plane to his parents’ home in Miami. But while he was there, Keith knew he was in a spiritual battle.
"So every evening, Elizabeth would talk to me about the Lord and I would go to bed just on cloud-nine. But I would go to bed and have these horrific nightmares. They would be demonic, with literally the fires of hell."
Frank and Elizabeth sent Keith to a Christian rehab center.
"I went to the prayer room one night, around three in the morning, and I remember in that prayer room, the presence of God was so powerful," he says.
"All at once, I remember just weeping and crying. I hadn’t cried in a long time. As I accepted Christ in my life right there in that prayer room, and then the next night at a church service, I went to the altar."
After Keith accepted Jesus as his Savior, he made a deal with God concerning his guitar skills.
"If you’ll use those things that I know are a gift you have given me, I’ll serve you."
Keith immediately saw God’s blessings in his life.
"He did heal me of the drugs instantaneously," he says.
"When I saw the transformation in Keith that just made me so happy and just so wonderful," says Elizabeth.
And as he promised, Keith used his music to encourage others to follow Christ.
"God was just giving me all these songs and these riffs and these lyrics. I was playing in the worship band at the church, and it felt good. It felt right, like that was the missing piece."
Keith’s life was finally going in the right direction. He met his wife, Christy and began opening for popular Christian bands.
Then, in 1994, his dad came to his church.
"All at once, he [Keith's father] just got up in the middle of the row. We were sitting next to him. And, he got up and started walking in front of us to the aisle, and then towards the stage. We were all frozen and knew this is the real deal," says Keith.
Frank remembers, " I thought, now I am going to live a different life... knowing that I had Christ in my soul."
"I know that God needed for my father to see the incredible change that His spirit had done in me to essentially lead him to the Lord," adds Keith.
"I’m very, very proud of him," says Frank. I’m elated more than I ever could be in what he is doing. The music is for God. He’s playing the music for Him."
"I play him [Frank] a new song that God’s given me, and he’s just blessed. It’s just good. It’s just real good. It’s totally different. It's the father-son relationship that we always wanted, but never knew how to get. God knew how to get it and give it."
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