April 6, 1990 was our first service at the Jacksonville Assembly of the Body of Christ. When we first came the church, I was about as messed up in my thinking as I ever been, all my messed up ways came to where I found myself, in need of help as much as I could have needed. I started hearing about things like child raising, good hygene, how to conduct yourself around people, (he who has friends must show himself friendly) holding your head up, how to be decent productive people, which I knew nothing of! So alien to me.  I watched the young people (so friendly and courteous) I figured if the fruit is good then the tree must also be good! I saw them well disciplined, playing in the band, (which takes discipline) They were not like the teenagers I was used to. I was and still am impressed (after almost 20 years here!) I, for the first time in my life saw something good, and I wanted my children to be influenced by this. I found that there was a school here too. My natural proclivity was to be negative, but I saw possitive in what I saw here. what a unusual thing for me! I dont think Deana saw the same as I did, though she did appear to like it at first.

I was learning of the necessity of working with and being around other people. I asked to be put on a team and we helped with cleaning the church and serving the Sunday meal we had on the grounds every 5 weeks. These people were so long suffering, and mericful to us (which is what we needed, if we were going to make it here) “BLESSED are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Matthew 5:7. All I could see is good, I wanted to be like this people, they would be patient with me , they would let me be a part, God called me to this place to be a part of what He is doing in the earth today (as I will find out). The world didnt want me, I couldnt fit into any group, I tried so hard to fit into many things, even as a bum, I didnt fit in, I couldnt even shoplift a package of cheese, I got caught and went to jail. I was a loser at being a loser even!
He not only allowed me to fit into something, but He brought me to the best! . . . but you are come to mount Zion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable hosts of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn [ones] who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better than that of Abel (Hebrews 12:22-24).

I had always thought that if I just got away from people, that my troubles would not be there, I never was able to find out, though I doubt it would have worked. The real trouble was in my head. I, all by himself can\’t be saved, I need the other stones in the stream to rub on and be rubbed on to be made smooth.

One big problem I had was my 3 pack-a-day cigarette habit, May 30, 1990 , Bro Dyal ,while up preaching  said pray that God would change the desires of your heart I knew the only reason why I do anything is because I want to do it, and the only reason why I dont do something is because I really dont want to do it! So thats what I did, because I wanted to be this people (and He changed the desire of my heart on this too!) and they didnt smoke, I prayed that he would change my desires on this, and on June 6, 1990, I had my last cigarette. Along the way since I have been here, I had hoped God would deliver me from many other things, but probably the only true deliverance can only come by overcoming on most obstacles, this is an overcoming life if were to  Be ye therefore perfect, even as the Father in Heaven is perfect Matthew 5:48

Who knows, I might not be alive today if I had not been delivered from smoking those cigarettes, and I am not perfect yet! When I got here, I heard a lot about pride and how we need to die to it. I said to myself, well I have nothing to be proud of! Then I started learning what pride was, how destructive it is to me, then I found I have more than everyone!

I was baptized in water September 8, 1990 and I received the Holy Ghost October 28 1990. And since I have been here, and as long as I stay on the boat, I will be baptized with fire until I be found pure gold! Phillipians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

This first year was very good yet troublesome for Deana and I, Patti was less than a year old and was in the hospital a couple times all for the heart problems she had, which(as I said in first article) we took her up for prayer in November 1990 and God healed her little self. I talked to her for first time in October 2009, and I asked her if she had any childhood heath problems, never had even a broken arm, no problems except she has always been near-sighted ( I have since I was 5 years old, been wearing glasses for the same). We enrolled JD into kindergarden at the church school in September 1990. Deana wasnt too trilled about being here, and she didnt much like me in the first place, so its not hard to imagine, she wasnt liking my change either! For the sake of keeping the peace a few times, I moved out of our house and stayed with folks at the church awhile, then things would calm down and I would come back. Eventually in January 1991, as I said earlier, I came back to see Patti, and she told me to take her, I didnt argue, I got some of her clothes, and diaper bag and stuff and took her and I had her for 2 months till Deana came and took her from the babysitter while I was at work March 8, 1991. This is the last time I saw them. Deana called me that night and said she loved me, and I said I can tell, this is the last time I have talked to Deana. All I know of what happened after that was she filed for divorce from Indiana and it was final in December 1991.

This first year was very good for me (just didnt feel good, even hurting!) but I needed to go thru it all. God knows what we need!

As one brother in the church has been saying for years (though I thought he came up with it for me) I got here with an ignorant mind and a bad spirit. And from this I will be saved, it is a process. Isa 28:10 (KJV) For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.


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