I used to know a boy who had it pretty rough. I will never forget this child. He wasn’t like all the other children in his town. His father was never around but at the local bar. He had ten brothers and sisters to compete with. He was a gifted athlete, but never played any organized sports. He could’ve been a professional at most sports, because he not only had the gift of athletics, but also the heart of determination. Unfortunately, he didn’t get the attention required to reach his dreams.
He didn’t have his own bedroom, but slept on a couch, or on the floor. When he finally got a bed, he had to share it with a brother and a family of roaches in an old, cold basement. He used a winter coat for a blanket. He was an “A” student in school, as a way to draw attention. He mowed lawns and shoveled snow to earn money to buy his clothing.
Besides being athletic, this boy had many locked up talents and dreams, but dreams and talents have to be unlocked and his never were. It takes supportiveness and love to guide children into their dreams and goals. This boy didn’t have that.
The day came for him to leave the nest and he did so without all the tools of life. He wandered about for awhile and seemed to go in circles. Then he went on a quest searching for God. He knew he could get help there! On his journey, he found the Philadelphia Church of God (PCG). He thought his answers came and all his past was explained. They told him he had to “suffer for God.” As time went on, he studied the Bible. But one day the Light came and he realized he had been duped. This boy, now a man, realized he had fallen into a trap of a “family of joy” that he never had.
The “joy trap” was a facade to what was really the PCG. Behind it was a “minister” and people who figured out this boy, now a man, and who exploited him and took his money. They knew he was searching for God, but steered him away from the true God and instead, convinced him of their god, the one who makes you suffer.
I now know why you cannot “join” the PCG, but must be interviewed several times and “pass their test.” The test is to see if you are vulnerable and naïve enough. This man passed in flying colors!
You see, that boy was me and that man is me!
Gerald Flurry speaks from his desk, as Herbert W. Armstrong did, with a lion statue behind him. He claims it represents “the lion that roars.” He claims to be the apostle who is roaring the last warning to the world before the return of Jesus Christ. I see that lion in a different way–with his mouth open, exposing his teeth, showing how he can attack his prey. The jaws of that lion were once around my torso. I can still feel the pain and still have the scars. But the Lord Jesus Christ came to my defense and spread the lion’s jaws apart and released me from his clutches. The lion ran off and hid like a kitten without its mother. I was spared from losing my God-given gift of my family, my money, my mind, my heart, my soul–and maybe my life.
When I was attacked by the lion from the PCG and freed by Jesus, four miraculous things happened in my life:
Jesus showed me who He was and ended my search for God. Jesus showed me who I was. Jesus exposed human wolves that were without a conscience. I am now FREE. In conclusion, I have the joy of knowing who the Lord Jesus Christ is and He is the only way to our Mighty Loving Heavenly Father. Now my childhood and the rest of my experiences (good and bad) all make sense. During all the sorrows and tough times of my life, I developed many tools we are to have. I developed patience, long-suffering, meekness, kindness, gentleness, faith, joy and love. (Galatians 5:22-23) These fruits of the Spirit are everlasting and worth all the trials and pain I ever experienced in my life. Thank you, Father, for my life and sending your Son, Jesus, who saved this world from death and me from the PCG.
Maybe your life or your past is not as bad as you think it is. Good can come from pain. Thank you for letting me share my story. GOD is GOOD!
February 24, 2000
Also be sure and read: Mike’s Testimony
“Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.” ~Psalm 63:7
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