Was born in El Paso, Texas in 1966. Came to Albuquerque, NM in 1969 at the age of three, after our alcoholic father left us four children and our mom (or did we leave him?). Grew up in an impoverished and loveless environment. Our mother was herself addicted to drugs, was emotionally unattached, and was abusive toward us in verbal, emotional, and at times physical ways.
My first encounter with God was at a young age. We lived across the street from a Roman Catholic church, and our mother would send us there once a week for mass, so she could have some time to herself. One Sunday morning, as I sat by myself in a mass, trying to take it all in, I suddenly felt the Presence of God envelope me, totally unmerited, and quite unexpected. I believe that God in His grace introduced Himself to me at that time. I began to read catechism type of literature from the church, looking mostly at the pictures portraying the story of Christ’s life, and the mysteries of His passion. In just seeing them, I believed. However, it was not to be for years later that I’d have more serious life-changing encounters.
As a Runaway
I grew up in Albuquerque, NM. As a troubled youth, I was a runaway at the age of 13 until the age of 18. During this time I lived on the streets of Albuquerque, and became involved in substance abuse, and other illicit and immoral behaviors. I often slept on the streets, when there were no runaway group homes available for shelter, or no friend’s floor or couch to crash on. Places where one slept varied, from graveyards to abandoned motel rooms. Sometimes, when I didn’t feel safe, I would just stay up all night in a diner drinking coffee, and writing poetry.
While God was drawing me toward Christianity, I also began to dabble in spiritual practices of a darker nature, using crystals, visualization, and casting spells to either curse an enemy, or to obtain some need. Although I had a conversion earlier, with powerful evidences of His Presence, for a while I went back and forth between Christianity and a more worldly lifestyle.
God had other designs for my life, however. At the ages of 17-18 events began to draw me closer to a more complete surrender to the Lord.
Once, I received a dream that was of an expanding darkness which seemed to come from the very core of my being. Upon awakening, I knew it meant that I was separated from God, and dead in my spirit. This dream, among other things, began to stir me toward seeking Him.
Again, at this age, while involved in a drug deal, as I crossed the street, I was hit by a sports car. An eyewitness said that the car was going fast enough to “break every bone” in my body. Yet just before impact, I exclaimed in desperate faith, “Jesus!”- and though the car knocked me down, I miraculously got up unharmed other than a scratch. I decided at that point to start going to church regularly, any church whenever the doors were open. I soon was baptized in water as a Christian in 1984.
About a year later, I began attending a “Christian Fellowship” church, where I went for the next 9 years. Here, although experiencing a closer and more disciplined walk with the Lord, I also underwent years of spiritual abuse at the hands of a controlling and legalistic pastor. Eventually during a ‘Sunday School’ class studying the book of Matthew, while the pastor read these words:
Out of Egypt have I called my son. – Mt 2:15b –
– the Spirit ‘opened’ this verse to me, that He was calling me to leave that fellowship. While I could have left earlier, God had lessons for me to learn (through experience), in this spiritually abusive environment.
One lesson was in how not to be a Christian. It was a ‘college course’ on how to not view God, and others. How to not be legalistic, critical and judgmental of self and others. There were also a host of other lessons, which I found discussed in the works of Watchman Nee, a Chinese preacher I began to read and study back then. His biblical teachings were not only healing, but liberating as I saw that the true Source of authority was God, and that man’s role was that of a steward, and not a possessor of that power. Also during this time I was engaged in ever deepening Bible studies. The Spirit began to bring out ever deepening aspects of His Word.
I became married to my lovely wife around this time.
As I left that particular church in 1994, there was still much wounding and brokenness that needed deep healing. This not being correctly addressed in that abusive environment, certain addictive behaviors emerged. The healing of the underlying issues behind this symptomatic struggle began back in 2003 – and while the road to victory has not been an easy one, the importance and value of learning our true identity in Christ, the love of the Father and of His grace, have been instrumental in bringing about healing and deliverance. Lessons of surrender and dependence on Him, and on His finished work in walking toward freedom have been key.
Also back in 1994, there was a serious drawing toward Christian mysticism. The book by Madame Guyon, “Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ” was instrumental in that search. There was also a discovering of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet and their mystical applications which led me down certain other paths of learning. One thing became clear over the years- that a deep spiritual ‘tug-o-war’ was taking place between two identities- who one is in Christ v.s. who one supposes their self to be in the world. Which one of these perceptions would prevail? The nature we believe in more, of course will overcome the other. It’s the truth v.s. what is a lie. Important lessons on deeper prayer methods and on Christian meditation techniques began to develop my ‘inner world’ toward a more real and satisfying relationship with Jesus Christ.
Recently, there’s been an increase of a divine teaching being revealed to me since 2006 concerning our true identity in Christ, and an acceptance of the scandalous grace message- which is simply the gospel in it’s fullness. Along with this is an immersion in the weighty glory of God, which is an inebriating New Wine of His presence, by which all other intoxicants of this world pale in comparison.
The story above is only an abbreviation, but what has always been my calling, and that for which I’ve been in deep and earnest study for over 27 years: the preaching and teaching of the Word of God, toward seeing healing and deliverance come into the lives of others, is manifesting now. The Kingdom of God is a now truth.
This can only mean victory, healing and deliverance in the lives of all to whom the Anointing comes in contact. Let the weighty and heavy glory of God, and the Kingdom communicated through the Holy Spirit touch and affect your life in love and liberation from all that oppresses and delimits.