Steve Friskup: A Drinking Man's Salvation
By Christine McWhorter
The 700 Club
Original Air Date: January 3, 2011
Working as a horse auctioneer isn’t just a job for Steve Friskup; it’s a passion. He also loves calf roping and spending time with his wife, Robin. But years ago, Steve’s favorite activities were overshadowed by his love for alcohol.
"I never was a guy who could just have one drink," Steve tells The 700 Club. "If I had one, I had two. If I had two, I had 12. If I had 12, then some time in the night I was going to become rich, handsome, and bulletproof, all at the same time."
Steve had his first drink at just nine years old. His parents were Christians, but alcohol was a big part of their lifestyle and always available in his home. Later, as an adult, Steve discovered alcohol gave him something he had always longed for.
"It made me liked. It made me popular. It made me fit in. I may not rope as good as anybody. I may not have as much money as anybody else, but if we’re at the bar, you’re going to like me. That’s just how it is. That need for that attention or something."
But the alcohol didn’t just make Steve popular. It turned him into a man he barely knew. He says, "Anything that alters the way a man thinks and alters his morality- it can’t be good. Alcohol somehow demoralized me. I could see it getting worse and worse. It just dumbed me down to a guy that I didn’t want to be. Every time I sobered up I didn’t want to be that guy. That’s not who I wanted to be and I knew it.
"Money was a big one. I could spend money on the dumbest stuff. I could buy drinks for everybody. I could gamble, just do dumb stuff with money you didn’t have. You go home and you’re trying to keep the lights on for your wife and your little kids and you just spent all the stupid money. Just making really bad decisions."
Steve’s drinking affected his family the most.
"I used language that a man should be crucified for in front of my children. [It] wasn’t abusive; I was just vulgar. Stuff like that. It’s no good. It was no good.
I’ll tell you the worst one. I’ve got two daughters, and one of them’s never had a drink that I know of. Pretty sure not. The oldest one can’t say that, because her daddy gave her a drink. Little girls should have never been given her only taste of alcohol in her live come from her dad. That’s stupid. That’s just stupid. That’s what alcohol did for me."
After partying one night with a friend, Steve woke up with a hangover and a revelation. He was finally tired of his drunken lifestyle.
"I got up that morning, and I was sick with a capital sick. It was bad. It was like you hit me right in the forehead with a choppin axe. I didn’t have any money left and I just laid there in that bed and I thought, 'Now, I’ve got to put my game face on and go auctioneer this horse sale and pretend like I’m fine.' I’m not fine. I told that friend I said, 'I’m not drinking no more.'
"Oh, they kidded me. They told everybody. They laughed at me and they picked on me all weekend."
But Steve was serious about his new commitment. He just didn’t know how to keep it. On the ride home after the horse auction, he decided to talk to God.
"That night I called on Jesus, for some odd reason. Nobody’s told me how to pray this prayer. I just called on Jesus and I met Him. You know the first thing that the Lord spoke to me: 'What do you want?' I said, 'I want to be a good husband. I want to be a good dad. I don’t want to do another thing away from home that I’m ashamed to tell my family when I get back. Alcohol’s turning me loose to be an idiot and I don’t want it anymore. I want rid of it right now! He said, 'If you’ll give Me all of it, I’ll get rid of that.' I said, 'I’m all Yours.'
"It moves me every time of how awesome it is for a guy like me in a cab of a pickup to have your sins forgiven. Heaven is part of the deal, but I don’t think people realize unless you’ve been an old sinner what it means to be sitting in the cab of a truck and have God tell you that your sins are forgiven."
He drove home that night and began a new life. He began reading his Bible and going to church with his family.
"It was pretty amazing when you pull in your house and you tell your family, 'Get up. We’re going to church. I just got saved.' You don’t even know what that means. They think I must have snorted something up my nose or something and went crazy."
Steve says he hasn’t had a drop of alcohol since then.
"The fear of the Lord will make a man hate evil. As I’ve grown, I’ve got to where I just despise evil. I’ve gotten that way about the alcohol, because it was so dangerous in my life and I didn’t know it."
Now, the Friskup home is peaceful, and Steve makes strong decisions for his family. He and Robin are pastors of Muleshoe Cowboy Church in Texas.
"It’s just what God’ll do. We run horse sales with grown men walking around telling each other they love each other. That’s just crazy. That ain’t how that goes. But that’s what God’ll do."
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