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700 Club Interactive - August 29, 2017

A 9-year-old’s body is burned 100% and yet he overcomes life’s challenges by faith. Read Transcript


AND I LOOKED UP AT MY

MOM, AND I SAID, MOM, AM I

GOING TO DIE?

Andrew: AND

UNIMAGINABLE ACCIDENT.

I HAD BURNS ON 100% OF

MY BODY, 87% WERE THIRD

DEGREE.

Andrew: FIND OUT HOW

A DIFFICULT DECISION LED

TO A RADICALLY INSPIRED

LIFE.

> AND HE WENT FROM

BULLIED TO BULLY.

ALL OF THAT ON TODAY'S

"THE 700 CLUB".

Andrew: MOORNG GOOD MORNING

AND WELCOME TO THE SHOW.

APPROXIMATELY TWO MILLION

TEENAGERS ARE SUBSTANCE

ABUSERS.

SADLY LESS THAN 8% OF THEM

WILL SEEK TREATMENT.

Terry: SHE FOUND

HERSELF FACING DEATH, THAT

IS, UNTIL SOMEONE SHE

DIDN'T KNOW SACRIFICED HIS

TIME GOING ABOVE AND

BEYOND.

TAKE A LOOK.

HE SAID, OH, I'M JUST

HERE TO CHECK ON HER.

AND I WAS, LIKE, OH, OKAY.

*

AT THAT MOMENT, WE

THOUGHT SHE WAS GOING TO

DIE.

I LOVE YOU.

*

GO ABOVE AND BEYOND?

I'M JUST DOING MY JOB.

Andrew: WOW.

WHAT THE SHORT PIECE

DIDN'T MENTION IS THAT

OFFICER, SCOTT, WAS BY

LAUREN'S SIDE EVERY DIE

FOR 10 MONTHS DURING HIS

PHYSICAL THERAPY.

HE SAID, DID I GO ABOVE

AND BEYOND, NO.

I WAS JUST DOING MY JOB.

NO, HE WAS GOING ABOVE AND

YOND.

AND THE SUPPORT SYSTEM HE

WAS FOR HER AND THE WHOLE

FAMILY.

Terry: IT GIVES NEW

MEANING TO THE WORD

COMPASSION AND COMMITMENT,

LAST WEEK IN TEXAS, THE

POLICE SHOWED THEIR

SUPPORT FOR A FALLEN

OFFICER.

OFFICER KEVIN WAS STRUCK

AND KILLED IN THE LINE OF

DUTY BY A DRUNK DRIVER.

HIS WIFE WAS PREGNANT WITH

THEIR FIRST CHILD.

Andrew: FAST FORWARD

SIX YEARS LATER, AND THAT

CHILD ATTENDED HIS FIRST

DAY OF SCHOOL.

MORE THAN 100 OFFICERS

ESCORTED KEVIN TO

KINDERGARTEN.

IT IS ABOUT THE BLUE

FAMILY TAKING CARE OF

THEIR OWN.

WE'RE ALL FAMILY.

WE'RE A BLUE FAMILY.

IN THIS TIME, WE NEED TO

COME TOGETHER AND SUPPORT

EACH OTHER.

WE'RE REALLY, REALLY

THANKFUL TO ALL OF THE

OFFICERS WHO TURNAROUND TURNED OUT TO

SUPPORT KEVIN, JR., WHEN

HIS FATHER COULDN'T BE

THERE.

Terry: THE COUPLE HAD

PLANNED TO NAME THEIR SON

MATTHEW, BUT AFTER HIS

DEATH, SHE DECIDED TO

HONOR HER HUSBAND BY

NAMING THEIR SON KEVIN.

TALK ABOUT MAKING AN

ENTRANCE.

Andrew: THESE STORIES

ABOUT THE MEN AND WOMEN IN

BLUE TOUCH YOUR HEART.

MANY OF THESE MEN AND

WOMEN IN THE POLICE WARMER

UNIFORM ARE SUCH HEROS.

> THIS BOY WAS CLOSE TO

BECOMING AN EAGLE SCOUT,

BUT HE HAD TO DO ONE MORE

PROJECT.

AND ONE BETTER PROJECT

THAN TO RESTORE AN OLD,

RUGGED CROSS.

Terry: SUCH THE

SINGER.

WE'LL TAKE A VOTE AFTER A

FEW MINUTES HERE.

> 16-YEAR-OLD JOHN CULIC

LEARNED OF THE CROSS THAT

WAS PROBABLY DISPLAYED ON

HIS CHURCH'S ROOF FOR

NEARLY 50 YEARS, BEFORE IT

WAS BEING RELEASED BACK IN

2015.

THE CROSS HAD BEEN IN

STORAGE FOR THE PAST TWO

YEARS, AND JOHN DECIDED TO

GET BUSY RESTORING IT.

I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE A

BIG PROJECT THAT WOULD

LAST A LONG TIME AND I

COULD COME BACK AND SHOW

MY KIDS ONE DAY, AND IT

WOULD BE EXCITING FOR THE

CHURCH.

Terry: A SPECIAL

DEDICATION CEREMONY IS

PLANNED FOR

OCTOBER 22nd, AND THE

CROSS WILL BE DISPLAYED ON

THE SIDE OF THE CHURCH

BUILDING.

Andrew: HOW ABOUT

THAT YOUNG MAN SAYING,

MAYBE I CAN TAKE MY KIDS

TO SEE IT.

HE WAS ALREADY THINKING

THAT FAR AHEAD.

I WAS NEVER THINKING --

Terry: HE IS A PRETTY

RESPONSIBLE KID.

> ONE IN 10 COUPLES

SUFFER WITH INFERTILITY.

AND THAT ROAD CAN BE

PAINFUL.

Andrew: MELISSA IS A

NEWS ANCHOR IN OHIO, AND

SHE AND HER HUSBAND TRIED

FOR TWO YEARS, AND SHE

SHOWS HOW SHE BROKE THE

GOOD NEWS TO HER HUSBAND.

TAKE A LOOK.

HEY, GUYS.

WELL, I MADE THIS FOR YOU.

AND I ALSO GOT YOU

SOMETHING.

UH-OH.

WHAT?

OH!

NO!

NO!

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

NO!

[LAUGHTER]

OH, MY GOODNESS!

OH!

NO WAY!

OH, MAN!

OH, MY GOSH!

OH, MY GOD!

OH, THANK YOU, JESUS!

OH, THANK YOU, LORD!

Terry: WELL, LITTLE

ALEXANDER WAS BORN ON

JULY 21st, AND THE

FAMILY IS DOING GREAT.

THAT'S WONDERFUL.

Andrew:

CONGRATULATIONS.

Terry: YOU CAN'T HELP

BUT REJOICE WITH THEM.

Andrew: WHAT A SWEET

MOMENT.

BELIEVE IT OR NOT, THE

COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON IS

OFFICIALLY UNDER WAY.

YOU REMEMBER THE STORY OF

"RUDY," HE WAS A DED THE DEDICATED

FOOTBALL PLAYER AT NOTRE

DAME, ALTHOUGH HE NEVER

EARNED A COLLEGE

SCHOLARSHIP.

BUT MANY MAKE THE TEAM

THROUGH TRYOUTS, AND HOPE

TO ATTAIN A SCHOLARSHIP.

Terry: THAT DREAM

CAME TRUE FOR A UNIVERSITY

OF OREGON WALK-ON.

AND HIS MOM WAS IN ON THE

SURPRISE.

TAKE A LOOK.

LET'S GO, HURRY UP.

COME ON, LET'S GO.

THIS IS HAWAII RIGHT HERE.

HERE WE GO.

*

HI, MOM.

FOR ALL OF YOUR HARD

WORK AND DEDICATION AND

DEVOTION HAS NOT GONE

UNNOTICED.

SO CONGRATULATIONS.

YOU HAVE BEEN OFFERED A

FULL SCHOLARSHIP.

[YELLING]

[CHEERING]

> IF YOU HAVE A DREAM,

NEVER GIVE UP.

IF YOU HAVE A GOAL, SET

YOUR HEART TO IT AND NEVER

GIVE UP.

* CONGRATULATIONS

THANK YOU, MOM, FOR

EVERYTHING YOU HAVE DONE.

EVERYTHING IS FOR YOU, AND

I LOVE YOU, MOM.

THANK YOU.

Andrew: FANTASTIC.

HE TOOK TO TWITTER SHORTLY

AFTER AN SAID, GOD'S PLAN

IS ALWAYS GREATER THAN

YOURS.

BLESSINGS TO EVERYONE WHO

HAS BEEN ON THE RIDE WITH

ME.

HE BATTLED THROUGH HIGH

SCHOOL INJURIES AND NEVER

GAVE UPPE UP ON HIS DREAM OF

PLAYING COLLEGE FOOTBALL.

TERRY?

Terry: IT IS ALWAYS

FUN TO SEE, ESPECIALLY A

YOUNG PERSON REALLY WORK

HARD AND MAKE IT OVER THE

FINISH LINE.

THAT IS AWESOME.

Andrew: I WOULD HAVE

BEEN STUNNED AND CONCERNED

IF MY MOTHER SHOWED UP ON

THE BIG SCREEN -- YOU KNOW

MY MOTHER.

Terry: I DO KNOW YOUR

MOTHER.

> WELL, COMING UP, A

9-YEAR-OLD SUFFERS 100%

BURNS ON HIS BODY AND

RESOLVES TO LIVE.

I SAID, MAMA, I DO NOT

WANT TO LIVE.

I WANT TO LIVE.

AND HER RESPONSE WAS,

GOOD, BABY, GOOD.

Terry: FIND OUT HOW

HE OVER CAME A VERY

PAINFUL RECOVERY.

THAT'S NEXT.

DON'T GO AWAY.

Terry: YOU HEARD THE

SAYING, IF YOU PLAY WITH

FIRE, YOU'RE GOING TO GET

BURNED.

THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT

HAPPENED TO JOHN O'LEARY

WHEN HE WAS JUST A YOUNG

BOY.

JUST MOMENTS AFTER

LIGHTING A MATCH, SHE WAS

BURNED OVER HIS ENTIRE

BODY.

AND SOON HE HAD TO MAKE A

LIFE-CHANGING CHOICE.

I HAD SEEN LITTLE BOYS

IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD PLAY

WITH FIRE AND GASOLINE.

I ASSUMED IF THEY COULD DO

THIS, SO COULD I.

SO ON A SATURDAY MORNING,

WITH MOM AND DAD BOTH

GONE, I WALKED INTO THE

GARAGE, LIT A PIECE OF

CARDBOARD ON FIRE, AND

CAME OVER TO A FIVE GALLON

CAS OF GASOLINE, AND THE

PLAN WAS TO POUR A TINY

BIT --

Reporter: THE FUMES

CREATED A MASSIVE

EXPLOSION, LAUNCHING HIM

20 FEET TO THE OTHER SIDE

OF THE GARAGE.

HE WAS RUSHED TO THE

EMERGENCY ROOM, WHERE HIS

PARENTS MET HIM.

I LOOKED UP AT MY MOM,

AND I SAID, MOM, AM I

GOING TO DIE?

WHEN I ASKED THE QUESTION,

I WAS LOOKING FOR HOPE.

I KNEW REALLY QUICKLY

WHAT A SERIOUS CONDITION

THIS WAS.

I FEEL IT WAS PUT ON MY

HEART, AND I SAID, JOHN,

DO YOU WANT TO DIE?

SHE LOOKED ME IN THE

EYES AND FIRMLY SAID, IT

IS YOUR CHOICE.

IT IS NOT MINE.

AND I SAID, MOM, I DO NOT

WANT TO DIE.

I WANT TO LIVE.

AND HER RESPONSE WAS GOOD,

BABY, GOOD.

AND SHE SAID, YOU TAKE THE

HAND OF JESUS AND YOU WALK

WITH HIM.

Reporter: TODAY HE IS

A SUCCESSFUL SPEAKER AND

NATIONAL BEST-SELLING

AUTHOR.

AT HOME, HE IS HUSBAND TO

BETH AND FATHER OF FOUR

CHILDREN.

HE HAS OVERCOME CHALLENGES

TO LIVE WHAT HE CALLS A

RADICALLY INSPIRED LIFE.

HE SAYS WE CAN ALL DO THE

SAME, AND IT STARTS WITH A

DECISION.

THIS CHOICE OF FREE

WILL, THAT A LITTLE BOY,

EVEN AT AGE NINE, HAD TO

OWN HIMSELF.

AT SOME POINT YOU'VE GOT

TO CHOOSE YOUR PATH.

Reporter: FOR JOHN,

THE PATH WASN'T EASY.

THERE WAS NO GUARANTEE

I WOULD SURVIVE THE FIRE.

I HAD BURNS ON 100% OF MY

FIRE.

87% WERE THIRD DEGREE.

I WAS ON A TRACH.

MY LUNGS HAD BEEN

DEGENERATED.

IT WOULD HAVE REQUIRED

DOZENS OF SURGERIES AND

AMPUTATION.

WHAT MADE IT ENDURABLE WAS

MY FAITH IN GOD, THE LOVE

OF MY PARENTS, THE

COMMUNITY SHOWING UP DAY

AFTER DAY.

Reporter: JOHN MADE

IT HOME AFTER FIVE MONTHS

OF REHAB AND SURGERIES.

IT WAS THEN THAT HE

REALIZED HIS CHOICE TO

LIVE MEANT BEING A VICTOR,

NOT A VICTIM.

AT HIS CHILDHOOD HOME, HE

REFLECTS BY THIS PIANO,

WHERE HE LEARNED TO PLAY

"AMAZING GRACE."

ONE OF THE THINGS I WAS

GRATEFUL AFTER BEING

BURNED WAS AT LEAST I WILL

NEVER HAVE TO TAKE ANOTHER

PIANO LESSON AGAIN.

THE DOORBELL RANG, AND IT

WAS MY PIANO TEACHER.

AND ALSO MY MOM WALKED

INTO THE ROOM AND SAID, IT

IS YOUR LESSON.

AND I COULDN'T USE BEING

BURNED AS AN EXCUSE.

Reporter: AND JUST AS

HE LEARNED TENACITY

THROUGH HIS MOTHER, HE

LEARNS ACCEPTANCE THROUGH

HIS SON.

MY FOUR-YEAR-OLD SON,

JACK, WAS SHAVING NEXT TO

ME.

MY SHIRT WAS OFF, AND MY

STOMACH IS FULL OF BIG,

THICK RED SCARS.

HE STARTED TRACKING HIS

FINGER ON ONE OF THE

SCARS, AND HE LOOKS UP AND

SAYS, DAD, YOUR TUMMY IS

RED, BUMPY, AND RIDGY, AND

I LOVE IT...AND I LOVE IT.

HE SAW BEAUTY IN ME WASN'T

ABLE TO SEE IN MYSELF,

WHICH IS ALSO THE LENS GOD

SEES US THROUGH.

Reporter: HE SAYS IT

ISN'T ABOUT FREEDOM FROM

SUFFERING, BUT SEEING PAIN

WITH PERSPECTIVE.

ALTHOUGH PART OF MY

PRAYER IS TO BE HEALED OF

MY SCARS, TO HAVE FINGERS

GROW BACK, GOD HAS GIVEN

ME NOT AS EVIDENCE OF WHAT

I WENT THROUGH, BUT AS A

REMINDER OF HOW HE MAKES

ALL THINGS NEW.

Reporter: JOHN LIVES

IN ST. LOUIS AND TRAVELS

THE COUNTRY SHARING HIS

TESTIMONY, ENCOURAGING

OTHERS TO CHOOSE THEIR

PATH AND OWN THEIR STORY.

HIS BOOK IS TITLED, "ON

FIRE: THE SEVEN CHOICES TO

IGNITE A RADICALLY

INSPIRED LIFE."

WHEN YOU TAKE THE WORST

AND IGNITE YOUR FAITH TO

LET IT BE TRANSFORMED, IT

ALLOWS YOU TO USE A

SLOGAN, LIKE, "ON FIRE"

NOT FOR BAD, BUT FOR GOOD.

IT MEANS YOUR GRATEFUL FOR

EVERYTHING.

IT MEANS YOU SHOW UP EACH

DAY WITH EVERYTHING YOU'VE

GOT.

Reporter: AND IT

MEANS FAITH THAT IGNITES A

LIFE OF PURPOSE.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO

RECOGNIZE THE GIFT THAT IS

IN THE FIRE.

YES, IT CAN BURN YOU, BUT

IT IS ALSO TRUE IT CAN

RENEW YOUR SOUL AND MAKE

AND REFINE YOU INTO A

BETTER VERSION OF

YOURSELF.

I HAVE UNDERSTOOD THROUGH

JESUS OF WHAT JOY LOOKS

LIKE.

IT IS NOT ALWAYS

PERFECTION HERE ON EARTH.

IT IS THE VISION THAT HE

IS WORKING THROUGH THIS

THING AND OUR BEST DAYS

ARE COMING.

WHEN YOU REALIZE THAT, HOW

CAN YOU HELP BUT SING AND

HOW CAN YOU HELP BUT

SMILE?

Terry: THERE IS SUCH

A MESSAGE IN WHAT HE HAS

TO SAY.

BEING ABLE TO SEE THE

BEAUTY IN THE

IMPERFECTION.

THAT IS HOW GOOD SEES US.

WOULDN'T IT BE WONDERFUL

IF WE COULD SEE EACH OTHER

THAT WAY AND RECOGNIZE OUR

VALUE, JUST AS A CREATION

OF GOD, JUST AS HUMAN

BEINGS.

JUST AS FELLOW RESIDENTS

ON THIS GLOBE.

Andrew: I HAD THE

PRIVILEGE OF INTERVIEWING

JOHN ON THIS PROGRAM.

AND YOU DON'T WANT HIM TO

LEAVE.

HE IS ONE OF THOSE GUYS,

WHEN YOU'RE WITH HIM --

GRANTED, IT WAS ONE

AFTERNOON -- BUT I HE IS ONE

OF THOSE GUYS WHEN YOU'RE

AROUND HIM, YOU CAN SEE

JESUS IN HIM, WITH ALL OF

THE SCARS AND EVERYTHING

ELSE, AND YOU JUST LIKE

BEING AROUND HIM.

AND HIS PERSPECTIVE ON

LIFE IS TRULY REMARKABLE

AND COURAGEOUS.

Terry: I THINK THERE

IS SOMETHING SO

SIGNIFICANT IN WHAT HE

SAID, TOO, THAT WHEN WE

COME TO THOSE PIVOTAL

PLACES IN YOUR LIVES, WE

GET TO CHOOSE.

AND THE CHOICE THAT WE

MAKE AFFECTS EVERYTHING.

Andrew: AND HIS MOM

ASKED HIM AT SUCH A YOUNG

AGE, DO YOU WANT TO LIVE?

AND WE GOT A CHUCKLE ABOUT

HOW HE WAS RELIEVED ABOUT

NO PIANO LESSONS AND THEN

THE PIANO TEACHER SHOWS UP

AT THE DOOR.

HIS MOM WAS VERY, VERY

WISE.

Terry: UH-HUH, AND

VERY, VERY INSPIRING.

Andrew: UP NEXT, HIS

LIFE WAS DARK AND IT

CHARACTERIZED HIS ENTIRE

BEING.

ANGER, HATE, WRATH, AND

I ENDED UP BECOMING A PAID

FIGHTER.

AND I TRAVELLED THE STRIP

BAR CIRCUIT, A DARK, DARK

LIFE.

Andrew: AN INCREDIBLE

STORY COMING UP.

FIND OUT HOW HE RESPONDED

Andrew: MIC MITCH ZAJACK,

HE USED TO WORK WITH SOME

OF THE COUNTRY'S MOST

NOTORIOUS DRUG RUNNERS.

ANYONE WHO TRIED TO CROSS

HIS PATH HAD TO CONTEND

WITH HIS IMPOSING 6' 7"

FRAME.

HE WAS A FEARLESS FORCE IN

THE CRIMINAL UNDERWORLD,

UNTIL ONE SMALL BOOKLET

SCARED HIM STRAIGHT.

I MADE A LIVING FROM

ANGER.

PAID BODYGUARD, PAID

FIGHTER, PAID STRONG ARM.

Andrew: THERE WERE

FEW WHO WOULD CROSS MITCH,

WHO STANDS THE AT 6' 7."

BUT IN SCHOOL --

PEOPLE GOT BULLIED, AND

I WAS ONE OF THEM.

I GOT SMACKED AROUND AND

BEAT.

IT WASN'T FAIR.

AND IT UPSET ME.

BUT THERE WASN'T MUCH I

COULD DO.

Andrew: AT HOME, IT

WAS HIS STEPFATHER WHO

DISHED OUT THE ABUSE.

THERE WAS A CLOSENESS

BETWEEN HIM AND MY SISTER,

AND I WAS MORE ON THE

OUTSIDE AND I DIDN'T LIKE

IT.

THERE WAS SOME TIMES THAT

I GOT BEAT PRETTY BAD.

Andrew: MITCH BECAME

ANGRY AND BITTER, FEELING

LIKE HE DIDN'T BELONG

ANYWHERE.

I WAS PRETTY LONELY IN

LIFE, JUST WONDERING

WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT.

Andrew: AT 13, MITCH

FOUND DRINKING AND SMOKING

POT HELPED TAKE THE EDGE

OFF HIS GROWING ANGER.

I LIKED IT.

IT JUST TOOK ME IN A KIND

OF FUZZY, GOOD-FEELING

PLACE.

IT WAS A GOOD TIME.

Andrew: IN HIGH

SCHOOL, THE TABLES TURNED.

HE HAD GROWN INTO A TOWER,

IMPOSING FIGURE, WITH A

SCORE TO SETTLE.

ILIZE I LIVED TO FIGHT.

I COULD TELL THE

DIFFERENCE, HOW PEOPLE

LOOKED AT ME.

IT WAS DIFFERENT, HOW THEY

USED TO LOOK DOWN AT ME,

COMPARED TO NOW, WHEN THEY

LOOKED UP AT ME.

AND I LIKED THAT.

Andrew: AFTER HIGH

SCHOOL, HE FOUND OTHER

WAYS TO VET HIS ANGER.

THE ANGER GOT TO THE

POINT WHERE THE LIFE I HAD

NOW STARTED -- I WAS ABLE

TO MAKE A LIVING WITH IT.

ANGER, HATE, WRATH -- I

ENDED UP BECOMING A PAID

FIGHTER, PAID STRONG ARM.

TRAVELLED THE STIP LIFE

CIRCUIT.

A DARK, DARK LIFE.

Andrew: THEN MITCH

STARTED MAKING AND SELLING

CRACK COCAINE.

HE DEALT WITH EVERYBODY TO

COLUMBIAN DRUG LORDS.

I ENDED UP RUNNING

DRUGS FOR DOMINICANS,

COLUMBIANS.

I CARRIED BIG GUNS WITH

NASTY BULLETS.

Andrew: HE WAS ALSO

CAUGHT IN THE CYCLE OF

DRUG AND ALCOHOL

ADDICTION.

I HAD LOST MOST

EVERYTHING PROBABLY A

COUPLE TIMES.

YOU HAVE THINGS, MATERIAL

THINGS, EVEN THINGS OF

NECESSITY.

BUT ONCE THOUGH DRUGS

REALLY START TO TAKE OVER,

YOU START LOSING

EVERYTHING.

Andrew: BUT THIS TIME

MITCH LOST EVERYTHING FOR

GOOD.

AFTER SEVERAL ARRESTS AND

SQUANDERING ALL OF HIS

MONEY, HE WOUND UP

HOMELESS, LIVING ON THE

STREETS OF REDDING,

PENNSYLVANIA.

AND IT WAS THEN HE BEGAN

EXAMINING HIS LIFE.

JUST AIMLESSLY

WONDERING.

IT IS A HORRIBLE

LIFESTYLE.

MISERY, TORTURE, FEAR,

DARKNESS, NOTHING GOOD.

YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT'S

GOING TO HAPPEN.

YOU'RE ALWAYS LOOKING OVER

YOUR SHOULDER.

IT'S JUST A LOST LIFE.

Andrew: ONE AFTERNOON

MITCH STUMBLED INTO A

PHONE BOOTH TO CALL A

FRIEND.

THERE WAS A GOSPEL

TRACK IN IT.

IT SAID HEAVEN AND HELL ON

IT.

AND I PICKED IT UP.

HEAVEN CERTAINLY SOUNDS

NICE.

THAT'S A NO-BRAINER.

BUT HELL IS THE REALITY

FOR ANYBODY THAT DOESN'T

KNOW THE LORD JESUS

CHRIST.

AND I DIDN'T.

AND IT BOTHERED ME.

IT BOTHERED ME GREATLY.

I PROBABLY HAD IT FOR A

YEAR.

I COULD NOT THROW IT AWAY.

IT JUST SEEMS GOD STARTED

DEALING WITH ME, AND ANY

TIME I SAW FLAMES OR FIRE,

IT JUST BOTHERS ME.

I COULD NOT ME.

I COULD NOT THINK ABOUT

HELL, THE PENALTY OF HELL.

I KNEW IT WAS BAD.

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY

LIFE, I WAS GETTING

SCARED.

AND I WASN'T ONE TO GET

SCARED.

Andrew: MITCH FILLED

OUT THE FORM ON THE BACK

OF THE TRACK AND MAILED IT

IN.

AND HE MOVED IN WITH HIS

MOTHER.

AND HE GOT A CALL FROM THE

LOCAL PASTOR.

HE CAME OVER AND TOLD

ME WHAT THE LORD JESUS

CHRIST DID ON THE CROSS IN

CAVALRY.

AND HE PAID FOR MY SINS.

AND HE LET ME KNOW IF I

REPENT AND CALL OUT,

BELIEVING IN HIM, IT WILL

SAVE ME FROM MY SINS, AND

I CAN AVOID THE PENALTY OF

THE DEVIL'S HELL, WHICH I

KNEW WAS COMING, AND BE

ADOPTED INTO THE FAMILY OF

GOD, AND RECEIVE A HOME IN

HEAVEN ONE DAY.

I LIKED THAT.

THAT IS WHAT I WAS LOOKING

FOR.

AND HE LED ME TO THE LORD.

Andrew: MITCH STILL

STRUGGLED FOR EVERLY

MONTHS TO KICK HIS DRUG

ADDICTIONS.

BUT ON CHRISTMAS DAY,

WHILE HOLD IN IN A HOTEL

ROOM, READY TO USE

COCAINE, GOD SPEAK TO HIM.

I THOUGHT, THIS IS

DECEMBER 25th.

I THOUGHT, THIS IS THE

LORD JESUS CHRIST'S

BIRTHDAY, MY SAVIOR, WHAT

AM I DOING?

I FELT HORRIBLY ASHAMED.

I SAID, I'VE GOT TO COME

BACK.

AND I LEFT THE MOTEL ROOM,

AND I THREW EVERYTHING

AWAY, AND I HAVE BEEN

CLEAN AND SOBER, SAFE AND

HAPPY, WALKING WITH THE

LORD JESUS CHRIST EVER

SINCE, AND THAT'S OVER 13 13

AND A HALF YEARS AGO.

I DON'T EVER WANT TO GO

BACK THERE.

I KNOW HOW MUCH I NEED THE

LORD JESUS CHRIST.

HE WILL KEEP ME CLEAN AND

SOBER.

THE SATISFACTION AND

CONTENTMENT IN MY HEART IS

AMAZING.

I LIVE FOR THAT.

I CRAVE THAT.

I LOVE THAT.

THE LORD FILLED THE VOID

THAT I COULD NEVER FILL.

JESUS CHRIST IS THE ONLY

ONE THAT DID IT.

Andrew: THINK OF

THAT.

THINK OF THAT, MITCH ABOUT

TO DO MORE DRUGS AT SUCH A

LOW POINT, AND THE HOLY

SPIRIT INTERVENES.

BECAUSE THE CALL OF GOD,

HIS LOVE FOR US, IT NEVER

QUITS.

IT NEVER STOPS PURSUING

US.

EVEN IN THOSE MOMENTS WHEN

WE'RE AS FAR FROM GOD THAN

WE THINK WE CAN POSSIBLY

BE.

THAT BIG, TOUGH MAN, AND

THE LIFESTYLE HE LIVED,

THAT STRENGTH AND

TOUGHNESS TURNS INTO

WEAKNESS AFTER A WHILE.

EVEN THE ESCAPE FROM DRUG

USE AND ALCOHOL, THAT

FUZZY FEELING HE LIKES SO

MUCH, EVENTUALLY IT FADES.

AND WE CAN ONLY HIDE IN

OUR SUBSTANCE ABUSE FOR SO

LONG UNTIL REALITY SETS

IN, AND HE FOUND HIMSELF

HOMELESS.

THAT GOD CHOSE TO SPEAK TO

HIM EARLY ON THROUGH A

GOSPEL TRACK.

AND HE IS DOING DRUGS AND

THE HOLY SPIRIT CONTINUES

TO KNOCK ON THE DOOR OF

HIS LIFE.

WE CAN'T DO LIFE WITHOUT

JESUS, NOT THE WAY GOD

DESIGNED US.

JESUS SAID, AS HE WAS

TEACHING, IF WE LISTEN TO

HIM AND OBEY HIS

INSTRUCTION AND LET HIM

LOVE US, AND WE'RE IN

RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM,

IT'S LIKE A WISE MAN WHO

BUILT HIS HOME ON A SOLID

ROCK.

AND THEN WHEN THE WINDS

CAME AND THE RAIN AND THE

FLOODS STARTED, THAT

HOUSE, THAT STRUCTURE,

STOOD STRONG.

BUT WE CAN ALSO, IF WE

IGNORE THE CALL OF CHRIST

AND WE SAY TO HIM, I

REJECT YOU, I DON'T WANT

THIS FREE GIFT OF

SALVATION -- IT'S LIKE THE

FOOLISH MAN WHO BUILT HIS

HOUSE ON SAND.

AND WHEN THE RAINS CAME

AND THE FLOODS START, THE

HOUSE CRUMBLES BECAUSE IT

IS NOT BUILT ON A SOLID

FOUNDATION.

JESUS CHRIST IS MORE THAN

A SOLID FOUNDATION.

HIS SACRIFICE, HIS BLOOD

SACRIFICE ON THE CROSS,

ENABLES US TO SPEND

ETERNITY WITH GOD

ALMIGHTY.

BUT EVEN FOR TODAY IT CAN

CHANGE OUR LIFE.

IT MAY NOT CHANGE YOUR

CIRCUMSTANCES, AT LEAST

NOT YET, BUT GOD WANTS TO

CHANGE YOUR HEART.

HE DESIRES TO CONFORM YOU

INTO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON.

AND THAT TAKES SURRENDER.

MITCH, THE BIG, STRONG

TOUGHGOD GUTOUGH GUY CAME TO THE

MOMENT WHERE HE SAID,

LORD, I HAVE TO SURRENDER.

MY TOUGHNESS AND MY

STRENGTH HAS ONLY GOTTEN

ME SO FAR.

IN FACT, IT HAS GOTTEN ME

NOTHING.

AND HE SURRENDERED.

I DON'T KNOW YOUR

CIRCUMSTANCES TODAY.

I DON'T KNOW THE SITUATION

YOU'RE IN, BUT I DO KNOW

THAT JESUS CHRIST IS

KNOCKING ON THE DOOR OF

YOUR HEART.

AND I WOULD JUST LIKE TO

PRAY WITH YOU.

FATHER, HERE WE ARE WITH

OUR SIN PROBLEM.

AND WE SEE THE MESS IN

YOUR LIFE THAT PERHAPS

WE'VE MADE BECAUSE EITHER

WE'VE NEVER FOLLOWED YOU

OR WE DID AND NOW WE'VE

WANDERED AWAY.

FATHER, THIS MOMENT NOW, I

SEE THIS AMAZING TESTIMONY

AND THIS LIFE CHANGE, AND,

FATHER, I JUST DESIRE

TODAY TO SAY, I SURRENDER

TO YOU.

MY PERCEIVED STRENGTHS, MY

PERCEPTION THAT I CAN DO

LIFE WITHOUT YOU,

FATHER -- I CAN'T.

I PRAY I MAKE YOU THAT

FIRM FOUNDATION AND MAKE

YOU KING OF MY HEART.

AND I SURRENDER MYSELF TO

YOU, LORD.

AND I ASK YOU TO HAVE YOUR

HOLY SPIRIT HELP ME WALK

IN YOUR WAYS AND YOU'LL

LIGHT MY PATH.

AND IT'S IN JESUS' NAME I

PRAY.

AMEN.

I WANT TO LEAVE YOU TODAY

WITH ROMANS 8: 18: "FOR I

CONSIDER THAT THE

SUFFERINGS OF THIS PRESENT

TIME ARE NOT WORTHY TO BE

COMPARED WITH THE GLORY,

WHICH SHALL BE REVEALED

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