GO JESUS, IT\'S MY BIRTHDAY.

WOW.  APRIL 7TH, 2008.     WELL, IT WAS APRIL 7TH, 1993, OR WHAT I AFFECTIONATELY CALL 4793.  15 YEARS AS A BORN-AGAIN BELIEVER IN JESUS CHRIST.  YES, I WAS 15 AND COMPLETELY LOST AND FULL OF EMPTINESS.  I KNOW, I KNOW, YOU'RE THINKIN' COME ON KID, YOU WERE ONLY 15.  TRUE, I WAS ONLY 15 BUT GROWING UP, I HAD A PRETTY DECENT LIFE IN THE SUBURBAN HOOD OF MARYVALE ON THE WEST SIDE OF PHOENIX, ARIZONA.  IT WAS FAIRLY TYPICAL, I MEAN, YES, MY PARENTS DIVORCED IN '83 WHEN I WAS 5, BUT WHO'S PARENTS DON'T DIVORCE.  IT'S DEFINATELY THE MAJORITY THESE DAYS.  THEY DECIDED TOGETHER THAT IT WOULD BE BETTER FOR MY 3 YEAR OLD SIS AND I TO LIVE WITH OUR DAD BECAUSE HE WAS MORE OF A DISAPLINARIAN WITH STEADY EMPLOYMENT AND MORE OF A NATURAL PARENT.  I DIDN'T REALLY GET ALONG WITH MY MOM THAT WELL, SO I WAS COOL WITH LIVING WITH MY DAD AND IT'S NOT LIKE WE NEVER SAW OUR MOM, SHE MOVED A MILE UP THE ROAD TO A TOWN HOUSE. LIVING WITH OUR DAD WAS AWESOME.  HE SIGNED US UP TO PLAY SOCCER AND EVEN COACHED A FEW SEASONS.  WHEN I WAS A LITTLE OLDER HE FINALLY LET ME PLAY POP WARNER FOOTBALL, AND I WAS COMPLETELY THRILLED ABOUT THAT BECAUSE I GREW UP LOVING THE GAME.  HE EVEN TOOK US TO PRO BASKETBALL, BASEBALL, AND FOOTBALL GAMES WHENEVER HE COULD.  OUR DAD ALWAYS TOOK CARE OF OUR NEEDS AND PUT US FIRST AND DID THE VERY BEST HE COULD.  HE WAS DEFINATELY A GREAT DAD. HE LATER MET A WOMAN AND THEY ENDED UP GETTING MARRIED IN OCTOBER OF '91.  WELL, ON THE MORNING OF DECEMBER 21ST, 1991,(A WEEK BEFORE I TURNED 14) MY DAD DIED INSTANTLY OF A MASSIVE HEART ATTACK, AND MY WORLD WAS ABSOLUTELY DESTROYED.  MY STEP-MOM KICKED US OUT ON THE STREET IN JANUARY AFTER SHE HAD A MENTAL BREAKDOWN, AND OUR MOM SWOOPED IN LIKE AN EAGLE SAVING HER LONG LOST CHICKS FROM THE ELEMENTS OF THE WILDERNESS.    WELL, MY MOM GAVE US FOOD AND SHELTER, AND DID THE BEST SHE COULD TO MAINTAIN HER NEW BLESSING AND RESPONSIBILITY OF HAVING HER KIDS BACK IN HER LIFE ON A DAILY BASIS INSTEAD OF VISITING HER EVERY ONCE IN AWHILE.  SHE WAS HAPPY ABOUT THIS AND FELT LIKE SHE HAD A SECOND CHANCE TO HAVE A REAL RELATIONSHIP WITH HER CHILDREN.   MY MOM HAD THESE FRIENDS UP IN HUMBOLDT OUTSIDE OF PRESCOTT, ARIZONA, AND THEY HAD A DAUGHTER THAT I HAD STARTED TO GET PRETTY CLOSE WITH AND DEVELOP FEELINGS FOR.  SO I WAS UP THERE FOR SPRING BREAK TO BE CLOSE WITH HER(IT WAS A BIT OF A LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP) AND DO SOME WORK IN HER FAMILIES HORSE PEN AKA I JUST WANTED TO BE CLOSE WITH HER AND I DIDN'T CARE WHAT I HAD TO DO TO CONVINCE MY MOM TO LET ME STAY 90 MILES FROM HOME FOR A WEEK WITH MY GIRLFRIEND.  SO ANYWAY, ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT SHE WAS SOME AWANA'S CAMP LEADER, SO I TAGGED ALONG.(DID I MENTION, I JUST WANTED TO BE WITH HER)  WE WERE ALL IN THIS PLAY ROOM WHERE THEY PLAYED THEIR LITTLE AWANA GAMES, AND WHEN IT WAS OVER, HER DAD WHO WAS ONE OF THE HEAD LEADERS, WENT UP TO TALK TO ALL THE KIDDOS.  I SOON FOUND OUT THAT THIS WAS A CHRISTIAN GROUP, AND BEFORE I KNEW WHAT WAS GOING ON, HE GAVE AN INVITATION TO ACCEPT CHRIST AND MY HEART WAS BEATING OUT OF MY CHEST, AND I NEW HE WAS TALKING TO ME, AND HE WAS CALLING ME.  I RAISED MY HAND TO ACCEPT HIM, AND WENT BACK INTO THIS SIDE ROOM WHERE THIS GUY WES BROKE IT ALL DOWN TO ME AND GAVE ME A LITTLE PAMPHLET CALLED THE 4 SPIRITUAL LAWS.  HE WROTE THE DATE AND THE TIME ON THIS YELLOW BOOKLET AND I KNEW THAT AT 8:15PM ON 4/7/93, I WAS CHANGED AND I HAD A DADDY AGAIN THAT WAS GOING TO TAKE CARE OF ME FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE THAT WOULD NEVER DROP DEAD ONE MORNING 4 DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS. I MISS MY DAD SO MUCH, AND I OFTEN WONDER WHAT MY LIFE WOULD BE LIKE IF HE WAS STILL IN MY LIFE TO TEACH ME AND GUIDE ME AND GIVE ME HIS EXPERTISE ABOUT LIFE.  HE KNEW SO MUCH ABOUT REAL LIFE SHIT, AND I'M SAD THAT I MISSED OUT ON MORE OF THAT.  NOT TO MENTION, THAT HE WAS MY ONLY MOTIVATOR AND SUPPORT SYSTEM IN LIFE.  AFTER HE DIED, I JUST DIDN'T CARE ABOUT SCHOOL ANYMORE OR ABOUT STRIVING TO BE ALL I COULD BE.  I BASICLY DIED WITH HIM AT 14 YEARS OLD.  I LOOK AROUND MY LIFE AT WHO I AM AND HOW I ACT, AND I FEEL LIKE I AM STILL A LITTLE 14 YEAR OLD PUNK KID SOMETIMES. I AM VERY GREATFUL THAT JESUS STEPPED IN AND WHISPERED TO MY SPIRIT ON THAT NIGHT THAT HE LOVES ME AND HE WANTED TO RAISE ME TO BE HIS SON.  I TRULY FEEL LIKE A CHILD OF GOD BECAUSE HE TRUELY BECAME MY DADDY.  HE BECAME THE MAN THAT WAS GUIDING ME AND MOLDING ME INTO WHAT YOU SEE TODAY.  THAT'S WHY I HAVE 2 SIDES.  I WAS FREE TO RUN THE STREETS AND BE A BIT OF A THUG AFTER MY DAD DIED, BUT I ALSO HAD JESUS HIMSELF TO GUIDE ME AND EVEN CONTROL ME AND MY SURROUNDINGS.  GOD TAKES CARE OF ME AND PUTS ME WHERE I NEED TO BE WHEN I NEED TO BE THERE.  I LIVE BY COMPLETELY BY FAITH.  EVERYTIME I'VE TRIED TO STRIVE TO BE SOMETHING OR BE SOMEWHERE THAT HE DOESN'T WANT ME TO BE OR DO, HE HAS MIRACULOUSLY SLAMMED THE DOOR EVERYTIME.  I DEFINATELY DON'T KNOW NO GOOD, BUT HE DOES, AND IN MY LIFE HE HAS GENTLY GUIDED ME AND USES ME IN WAYS THAT I WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND.  I THINK IT, I FEEL IT, I DO IT.  AND IF IT'S WRONG, OR I SHOULDN'T DO IT, HE LETS ME KNOW SOMEHOW, SOMEWAY.  EITHER I PUKE, OR I JUST FEEL HORRIBLE, OR SOMEONE LETS ME KNOW THAT I HURT THEM OR THEIR FEELINGS AND HE'S GIVEN ME AN APOLOGETIC HEART TO MAKE IT RIGHT AND APOLOGIZE AND ASK FOR FORGIVENESS FROM THEM.  NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS I KNOW THAT MY LIFE IS IN HIS HANDS AND HE IS LOOKING DOWN ON MY LIFE AND WILL KEEP OUT OF THE PATH OF DESTRUCTION.  THAT IS WHY I AM SUCH A JESUS THUG, AND SUCH A HUGE FAN OF WHO JESUS IS.  LIKE YOU LOVE YOUR MOTHER OR YOUR FATHER IF YOU HAD A GOOD ONE, I LOVE MY JESUS BECAUSE I KNOW I HAVE THE BEST DADDY ANYONE COULD EVER HAVE. AND IT ALL STARTED 15 YEARS AGO ON THIS VERY DAY.