Prison Sentence Leads to Prison Ministry
By Randy Rudder and Audra Haney
The 700 Club
CBN.com -“You go to sleep crying yourself to sleep, literally cursing God, cussing God with the words you learned that day at school,” Larry Blue said.
Larry Blue was 9 years old when his world came crashing down. His parents separated and that same year, a relative began to physically and sexually abuse him. Larry blamed God. “I was praying obviously, and naturally, for God to bring my dad back home and for the abuse to stop,” Larry said, “and then when dad didn’t come home, got remarried and the abuse kept going… the anger kept building. I decided at a really early age, at 9, that God must not exist.”
In his teen years, Larry tried to numb his pain. “I had started gambling, looking at pornography, drinking alcohol at 13 years old, and I grew mushrooms and sold them at school,” Larry said. “I made my own acid or LSD and sold that at school. Just about anything I put my hands on was becoming an addiction.”
After high school, Larry served two years in the Army. He stopped using drugs for a while, but after he left the service, he became a “roadie” for a band and started working large concerts. Drugs and alcohol were readily available.
“My career fed my addictions and my lifestyle fed my addictions and they all just fed into each other,” Larry said. “It was really hard to break out of that cycle doing that career. There was very little accountability. I didn’t have to drive much when I was on the road working. So, I just continued to use, drink. The drug addiction went spiraling out of control again.”
In his 30s, Larry stopped traveling and tried to settle down. He married and had a daughter. But, his addictions were still in control. “The thing that I was looking for most was the next high, and it started as soon as I woke up in the morning,” Larry said.
Larry was arrested for numerous DUIs and served short stints behind bars. After his third arrest, his wife left and his family completely cut ties. “I didn’t want treatment. I didn’t want help. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with me,” Larry said. “I thought it was everybody else’s problem and not mine.”
In September 2001, Larry was arrested for his 7th DUI and was handed a 14-year prison sentence. “The judge right away started to tell me, ‘You can forget about getting a bond. You can forget about getting bail. You are going to prison.’”
“No one was taking my phone calls. I had burnt all my bridges. I was finally left alone with the Lord and that is exactly what had to happen.”
For the first time in years, Larry started to pray and also started reading the Bible. “You know, I knew nothing about God,” Larry said. “I had been atheist all my life. When I started to read the Bible, I said to God, I said, ‘I will read every word of this.’ And I had read through the whole New Testament.”
After reading about the life and teachings of Jesus, Larry wanted more. So, he went to a prison church service where the pastor challenged the inmates to give their lives to God. “At the end of the sermon, even though I had honed in on every word the preacher had said, I was still reluctant to go forward,” Larry said. “And in that split second, I thought, ‘I’ve been a military policeman. I’ve been a stagehand. I’ve been camera operator. I’ve experienced all these things, drug addiction. I’ve never tried this!’ I was one of the last people to go forward to the altar call.”
“He put one hand on the center of my chest and one hand around me on my back and started to pray. And, it was like someone had taken honey out of the microwave in like a measuring cup and started pouring it down the back of my neck. I just felt warmth coming all over my body. And then I thought, ‘I don’t care what this is, I just want more, God. Pour it on me.’ That changed everything for me.”
Larry says that day; he was immediately delivered from all of his addictions. He also gained the courage to forgive his childhood abuser.
“It took me several days of prayer and asking the Lord to help me to forgive her,” Larry said. “I realized that I was never going to grow, I was never fully going to mature as a person until I found the strength to somehow forgive my abuser.
Larry was in prison less than a year when the judge gave him a 6-year home detention sentence that was later reduced to only 6 months. “That was definitely the favor of God,” Larry said. “There's no way an attorney could have worked that out for me no matter how much money I would have paid to go from a 6-year sentence to a 6-month sentence. That was definitely the favor of God.”
After his release, Larry finished his degree in theology and began leading a church prison ministry. Today, he is still free from his addictions and has restored his relationship with his daughter. He is also a licensed addiction counselor for the Salvation Army.
“I’m sure there are young people out there like I was, that are thinking, ‘oh no, not another guy talking about Jesus.’ What I would say to those people now is, ‘get a hold of the Lord now before more of your life is gone,’” Larry said. “‘God has done miraculous things in my life in such a short period of time. Don’t wait. Reach out for him now.’”
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