The Story of a Broken Man
I received a telephone call from my ex-wife on Thanksgiving evening 1999. She gave me the devastating news that my oldest son had been in another automobile accident, he had been through four operations already, and he had no movement from the neck down. I sat on my patio and cried and cried, and Jonathan held me with my head on his shoulder as I cried.
The next day I told Jonathan the story of Jeffrey and what had happened to him after Jeffís mother and I divorced. Jeff was ten years old when he went to Germany with his mother, and Jonathan is the same age now.
After I finished telling Jonathan the story, he looked at me and said, ďDad, the truth of the matter is that you and Jeffrey just could not live without one another.Ē I told Jonathan he was absolutely correct, and when I told Jeffrey what Jonathan had said, Jeffrey thought about it, and he had to agree.
This letter is the hardest letter Iíve ever written. Iíve tried so many times to write this letter, but the fear of the thought of perhaps hurting my children, even for a brief moment in time, broke my heart. The reason I have to write this letter is because I have always wanted you to know how much I love you. And because I love you, I ask your forgiveness. Forgiveness brings healing.
I ask your forgiveness because I failed you as your father by allowing the things to occur that I know harmed your life. Iím sorry I failed you. I failed you by not raising you to love God. And I failed you by not being the father of character you deserve.
I love you. I always have, and I always will.
So I want you to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I hope your healing occurs as you read and remember. And I want you to remember for now and for always, throughout your life, that I love you down to the very essence of my being, and I always will.
My story for fathers is the hardest story for me to write. I truly love being a Dad more than I can even begin to describe in words. My children bring me love and joy beyond my wildest descriptions. I have ten children and five grandchildren, and I love them all.
I think the reason this story is hard for me to write is because there is so much a father feels when he loves his children more than breath of life. And there is so much pain that I have felt when things in my life didn't always go as planned. We all feel pain in our lives at some point in time. How we deal with the pain is what makes us who we are. If we deal with the issues truthfully, everyone around us will be healthy, and we will be healthy too.
However, most of us take that hurt and pain and lock it away deep inside. If you can picture in your mind that our spirit dwells in the center of our body, and everything we want to hide from ourselves we lock up into little cells around our spirit. As we get older, these cells become greater and greater in number until our spirit has no way to shine through.
The only way for the glory of God that dwells within us to shine forth is for us to allow Jesus into every nook and cranny in our being. And that is often hard to do. We must allow Jesus to open these little, or big, cells of hurt, or shame or guilt or any of the many things we lock away, so these areas can be healed within us. Jesus is our healer.
But, it is not always easy to do. Even though God tells us to cast our cares on Him daily, these cells of destruction fill back up as the devil attacks with all the memories of things past. Know that Jesus paid for everything we have ever done wrong, and everything we will ever do wrong. And the devil has no recourse but to allow us to walk in the victory Jesus bought for us.
It all starts with forgiveness. We must forgive ourselves as well as others so our healing can be made complete. I ask each one of my ten children to please forgive me for all the hurt I have caused in your lives. I ask for your forgiveness, for all the times I failed you as your father and stepfather. I ask forgiveness from my parents for failing to be the man they wanted me to be. I ask for the forgiveness of my brother and sister for not keeping our family close. I ask forgiveness from my ex-wife Anita and I ask for the forgiveness of my wife Mauri because I also failed both of our families. And to both of you, I ask your forgiveness for all the mean and ugly things I have said over the years. To all of you, please forgive me.
In 1974 I heard my first word from the Lord. Having been raised in the sixties and early seventies, I was taught that you never show any emotion and you never smile, because you can't trust people who smile. So I was one of those people who looked after myself and had a noncommittal look on my face at all times. But this one morning I got up and went into the shower room to shave. There were fourteen men in the shower room of the barracks where I lived, and when I stepped in, there was a death knoll hanging over the place. Fourteen men shaving, all frowning, and heaviness you could cut with a knife. So I stepped back out into the hallway and exhaled deeply.
God then said, "You have to participate in life." So totally out of character for me, I stepped back into the area where everyone was shaving and said in a loud voice, "What's the matter with everyone in here?" And instantly, everyone was laughing and talking amongst themselves.
My grandfather, mother's father, had once told me when I was a boy that the best tip he ever left for a waitress when he went out to eat was a smile. I remember thinking at the time, "Wow Papa, the waitresses must think you are cheap!" But that morning I realized what my grandfather had meant.
The best thing you can give a person, besides Jesus of course is a smile. In a world that has grown cold, a smile is very often the best thing you can give to a stranger, friend or family member. Shortly thereafter, I met my ex wife.
I have often looked back and wondered how the devil knows how to attack each person individually. Up until this point in my life I had had two religious experiences, and both times I was immediately attacked by the powers of darkness. When I was baptized and saved on that Sunday as a twelve-year old, a little Jezebel spirit had offered me sex the next day. Of course I said no, but I have often wondered why the devil was so quick to attack. Then after God had spoken to me that morning, Jezebels were coming out of the woodwork.
I had been raised to respect members of the opposite sex and had remained pure until after my parentís divorce. However, I always had an attraction for members of the opposite sex. But when my parents got their divorce, the combination of alcohol and anger at my mother took its toll. I lost respect for all women. They were made for me to do with as I pleased. I liked them all. But one night sitting in the barracks all alone, I received the realization that I had to forgive my mother so that I could get on with my life. And I have, and love my mother deeply.
Another thing I couldn't understand then, and still do not understand is why a person would want to murder a child in the womb. I really believe that the male human being is probably the most ignorant of all creatures God has created. Even though God created us in His image, the devil has deceived us into his image. If a man sleeps with a woman and she gets pregnant, the man has no say as to what becomes of the child. Three things can happen. The woman can marry the man, and they can raise the child in a family unit. Or the woman can have the child out of wedlock and the man pays child support for the child for a long time, many times with no contact with the child. Or the woman can abort the child and the father has no say so in the decision.
So men we have a responsibility to keep our zippers closed. God made the sanctity of marriage and the consummation of that marriage a wondrous, glorious experience. When a man a woman come together for the first time on their wedding night, and it is the first time for both, then God can bless this Holy union with the fullness of joy that marriage is intended to be.
Unfortunately, much of the time marriage partners have had one, if not many, other partners before their marriage. This adds to the baggage that is brought into a marriage. If God intended a man and woman to come together as one, and that man or woman or both have had other partners they have come together as one with, how many times can one be divided. And we wonder why there is so much division and strife in marriages today.
In 1987 God gave me a vision. Oh God, how can a personís life fall apart so fast? It seems like just a few short months before, life had never been better, and then it all started to fall apart.
It all started the first Sunday in September of 1987 at two oíclock in the morning. At that time I was a General Manager with AMC Theaters. The last movie of the night was five minutes away from completion, and I was ready to go home, when the phone rang. One of the young men who worked for me was on the phone. He told me he and another employee had taken some mushrooms, and he was afraid the other young man was going to die. He asked me what he should do. I told him to stay on the phone while I put him on hold and called the emergency room at the hospital. When the nurse at the hospital asked if the mushrooms were out of a can or on a pizza, and she didnít know of a mushroom drug, I said never mind. I told the young man to bring his friend to the theater and I would see what needed to be done. They arrived at 2:15 in the morning and the young man was not dead, but he was very groggy. I sat there with those two young men until seven in the morning to ensure they were okay.
I got home at 7:30 that morning, put on a pot of coffee, sat down at my kitchen table, and wrote a fourteen division organizational chart for a company that had not yet been formed. It was like the heavens opened and I understood how these areas were connected. God woke me up to realize what an awesome God He is. There is no way I could have known this day would change the rest of my life. Fourteen divisions and I had no idea where to start. However God started leading people to me. In October I met with many radio and television people and with non-profit organizations and ended up raising over $150,000.00 worth of advertising to benefit my old theater and many non-profit groups. I worked with a different radio station and a different non-profit organization every week for the months of November and December of 1987. Every day of every week more blessings came my way.
In October 1987 I joined the Austin Jaycees and shortly thereafter I was asked to handle publicity for their cablevision production. A couple of weeks later the chairman of the Blue Santa Publicity Committee asked me to join her committee. She said I was the first person she had asked to join her committee in over two and a half years, which was longer than I had been in Austin. I gladly accepted this honor with such a wonderful group of people.
Around this time one of the youth ministers of a local church approached me to have a special showing at 6:00 in the morning on New Years Day of 1988, and asked my help in promoting an alcohol and chemical free New Years Eve for his church youth group. I told him I would be honored to be a part of this wonderful project and I gave him a few ideas. I told him to get it organized and I would do my part. He called the first part of December to let me know he had youth groups from thirteen churches participating. It was a glorious morning. Two auditoriums full of sleepy-eyed teenagers at the end of a drug and alcohol free New Yearís Eve. It was the last promotion after three months of promoting our theater. I won division and national promotion honors, and it was a great day.
I believe Jeffrey received an anointing from God in the fall of 1987. God illuminated his mind and he saw the vision of helping others. He helped with all my poster design and he was my sounding board as I started formulating the business plan to support fourteen divisions. One day right before he turned ten, I presented to my son the JCI plan. As I explained each area of the flowchart, every time I would reach a slowdown point, Jeffrey would ask me a valid question to keep the flow going. At the end of two hours and fifteen minutes I finished the presentation. Jeffrey looked at me, rubbed his chin and said, ďWell Dad, that sounds real good, but what is the downside?Ē The downside was that I didnít know it would take a lifetime to make happen, and I didnít know I would lose my very breath of life as the devil attacked our family.
In November of 1987 I met my second wife Mauri. She had seen my advertisements for all of the children programs I was promoting, and she was selling advertising for her Just for Kids magazine. The magazine was a faith-based magazine telling kids about virtue and good. I liked her idea and I liked her tenacity and she seemed to genuinely love God, and she did have energy unmatched in anyone I had seen for a long time. As she would follow up on the ad we became friends and shared the Lord. The home office never did approve the advertising dollar allocation for me to advertise in her magazine, and Mauri needed a job. She was willing to take any kind of job so she could support her five children, and I offered her the job as my secretary and cashier.
In December of 1987 I was a guest speaker on a cablevision talk show to promote a function for the Capital Area Food Bank, and I was a guest speaker on a network television talk show to promote the Teenage Parent Council. I promoted a different non-profit group each week for a ten-week period. We didnít raise a lot of money for the groups but they did get a lot of exposure.
My upper management at AMC thought that my efforts were a waste of time and energy, but somehow I still ended up winning regional and national promotion honors for my work with this old, run-down theater. The day my division Vice President and city manager told me that I was wasting time and energy was the day Anita told me I was crazy for bucking the system. She thought that if my bosses didnít agree with my idea then obviously I was wrong. They did say I could try to make it work.
Her parents were here in their second month of a four-month visit from Germany. Their only goal was to get her to divorce me and come home with them. So I guess our growing apart was inevitable, but I definitely didnít want it to happen.
However on New Years Day my life continued to change. The special showing at six in the morning for the thirteen churches was glorious. That afternoon I met a screenwriter who asked me to market her movie for her. When I told her I had just started a small marketing company the month before, she told me an anointing had just occurred. She gave me her phone number and we met one week later. She was set up to go forward on a project she thought could make three hundred million dollars. She offered me a fifty-fifty split on the project. Not only did she have her copyright number and screen actorís guild number, she also had written all new and original music to support the movie.
Then she told me about her twin brothers who had developed a new technology, and they needed someone to market the technology for them. Although I had landed over twenty-two accounts in less than one month of starting my first company, I told her this was the luckiest day of my life. She replied, ďNo Craig, this is your destiny.Ē
Somehow I knew she was right. For the next two weeks I tried to figure out how to market all three: film, music and technology. Finally I stepped back and up and I saw the whole picture and I knew how to do it. She and I met on the 29th of January 1988 and I told her my plan. She told me it was time I talked to her brothers and we walked over to a phone booth. She placed a call and one of her brothers answered and she said I have Craig here with me and she handed me the phone.
My tongue was thick as I mumbled, ďHello, Iíve heard a lot of nice things about you guys.Ē He proceeded to say as many nice things about me as I have ever heard. They were in Oklahoma and planned on leaving the next day for California, but we agreed to meet the following Tuesday in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The sisters comment was, ďCraig, even though many people have tried to steal my brotherís technology, as long as a person who is good and honest ties in with my brothers, they are protected.Ē
That weekend I prepared a marketing plan and I left Austin on Tuesday, February 2, 1988. Anita did not want to go with me, even though her parents were there to baby-sit, so I took my friend Mauri with me. My sister had told me we could stay at her house when we got to Tulsa, so we hit the road. My plan was to discuss the business plan on the drive from Austin to Tulsa, but we werenít on the road for five minutes before we started talking about angels and Jesus. It turned out to be quite a day. As we got north of Fort Worth the road turned to ice and snow. At one point, eight cars had slid off the road; two semi-trucks were off the road on their sides, the car in front of us slid off the road and the truck behind us slid off the road. We never slipped nor sled and continued up the road to Tulsa, on bald tires. When we got to Tulsa we called the brothers and they were amazed we had made it, and they looked forward to seeing us the next morning.
The next morning when I took Mauri to breakfast she told me, ďYou donít need your marketing plan. You have already landed the account.Ē I said, ďDo what?Ē She told me how she had awakened at 4:00 in the morning and the room was aglow in pink. Somehow between the time we finished our coffee and the time we arrived at the place we were to meet the twins, she had convinced me no plan was needed. As we walked into their home, Mauri said thanks for having your angels protect us, and they said how did you know. We then ended up spending a day in beautiful love. Not only did we see images coming from the screen at us, but also there was a purity of focus that went on forever. It was pure 3-D, and no funny glasses were needed. A by-product of the film technology was the sound technology, which took you to realms of sound never before heard.
Our twin friends had spent seven years getting patents approved around the world, and they asked me to be the first person in the world to market the technology for them. I said yes, and I felt blessed to have the opportunity to introduce something this special to the world.
Anitaís parents left on the 23rd of February 1988 after having spent four disruptive months in my home. Finally, life could get back to normal. Three days later I had a divorce decree on my desk, and all my bank accounts closed, and my world crashed around me. Anitaís violence until I moved out of the house was uncontrollable, and my children were suffering because of her insane accusations. When Anita lifted a coffee cup and said she would smash it into my face if I did not leave, I saw the horror in Jennifer and Jeffreyís face as they stood in the hallway. I ended up leaving that night.
A couple of days later I came back to get my clothes, books and desk, one dresser and a bed. I asked Anita to take Jason next door so he wouldnít have to watch me leave. I had a young publisher of a magazine that I was to market help me move. He watched in disbelief as Anita stood in the doorway of my bedroom, with Jason on her arm. She kept telling Jason I was leaving because his daddy doesnít love him. I watched my two-year old son cry so hard he vomited, and I cried so hard that I thought I was going to die. And I did. For three weeks I cried. All the while, Anita was calling my family, friends and former places of employment to tell them I was worshipping the devil and shooting up cocaine. Unfortunately, I did not find this out until the beginning of April when I called my crying mother, and she told me what was going on.
From the first to the twenty-fifth of March 1988, I lay in bed and cried and cried, and I wanted to die. I couldnít live without the love of my three children. Jenny was 12, and Jeff and Jason were 10 and 2, and I donít think they understood why their mother was saying things about their dad. All they could see was that the most positive person in their lives was crying all the time. Fortunately a friend loaned me a book written by a Houston minister called ďPicking up the PiecesĒ and it helped me. I finally realized the only way for my children to be healthy was for me to be healthy.
I called Anita on March 25th and I told her I was finally okay. She replied, ďItís about time you got off your fat ass.Ē The next day the Williamson County Sheriff delivered a restraining order to me. It stated that I could not enter into contracts or do business with anyone, except for a lawyer, until the divorce was final.
The next three weeks turned out to be no better than the first three. I couldnít make any money and I would still cry sometimes when I would see a child, but I did grow closer to the Lord. And I was learning to trust in Jesus.
We had our first court date on April 8, 1988. It was a hearing to discuss the restraining order. Anita, her lawyer Karen Flack, Judge Maresh, a court reporter and myself were all in attendance. When Judge Maresh asked the purpose of this hearing Miss Flack said it was to stop me from acting in an irresponsible manner. If I remember correctly, Anita said she was concerned for her childrenís sake.
I think it was then that Anita mentioned religious beliefs. She said I was crazy. The judge looked at me and I told him I was a Christian and I believed angels from God were here on earth to protect us. Anita looked at the judge expecting him to agree with her, and he told her that many people believe the same way. She then said, ďHe uses cocaine.Ē I looked at the judge and told him that Anita had been telling my family, friends and business associates that I had been worshipping the devil and shooting up cocaine. I told him I would gladly submit myself to any drug test he would like to administer, if Anita would agree to marital and psychological counseling. She said there was no way she was going to one of those crackpots. I then told the judge I would like it stated in the divorce decree that my youngest son would be raised in the state of Texas until he was eighteen. Anita stated she would raise my children in America until our youngest child had graduated from high school, but I knew she would go to Germany if given the opportunity. The divorce was final on April 26, 1988 and Anita and my children were in Germany by May 9, 1988. She knew what she was doing all along.
I was giving her all the money I had coming in, which was more that the court had ordered. I paid her in cash, yet she did not pay any bills, sold everything she could, and they left. I received a letter on the 11th of May 1988 from Anita stating she was taking my children home. She said I could send money if I wanted to, but I probably wouldnít, because I would never see them again. This woman had taken my children from their school and friends and father without even being able to say good-bye. Jennifer and Jeffrey were straight A students as well as star players on their ball teams.
Anita had taken my children from a country where they were the best in their classes, to a country where they could not read, write or speak the language. Anita sent a key in the envelope she had mailed to me and I went to my house the night I got the letter. I initially thought she would wait until school was out to take the children to Germany, but I realized she was already gone. As I walked through my childrenís bedrooms that night, I saw and felt the pain and cry for help from Jennifer and Jeffrey. Iím sure Jason didnít know what was going on. However, when I left my house to go back to my apartment, the sky was gray and overcast, and a rainbow appeared so close I felt I could have touched it. Even though Anita had illegally taken my children to that godless place, I felt God was still in charge.
Oh, if I could only understand. My entire life centered on my children. Their love kept me aglow at all times. I had felt like the happiest man in the entire world, and to seemingly overflow with love, and then emptiness.
Divorce and my world shattered around me. The depression and despair to befall a father during this tumultuous time is unfathomable. To feel so much pain that your muscles, bones and heart ache in total exhaustion. To shed more tears in one month than you have in your entire life makes you wonder why.
I went to see a lawyer and he told me the divorce wouldnít be final until thirty days after the judge signed the decree. On May 18th, less than two weeks after the kids had gone to Germany, I received temporary custody and the right to bring my children back from Germany.
On May 25th, 1988 I talk to Anitaís mother. Anitaís mother says she doesnít have Anita at her house, and she doesnít know how I can reach her. Click.
My journal entry for May 26th, 1988 says that I am still here in Germany waiting in a park near Anitaís motherís house. I believe my angels will deliver my children to me today in the park, and I pray they will soon overcome the pain Anita has caused them. Thank you Lord for Your many blessings.
Today is May 27, 1988. I still believe and trust the Lord is working with me. I think the reason for all the delays is because I still have too many lessons to learn. I donít know Lord. Is my love not strong enough? Is my faith too weak? Something within me must not be right with God. I try hard to love and not hate Anita for what she has done. But Iím tired. I would rather fight, but my faith is real weak right now. To know you are so close, and then to only feel pain and wish for death. This isnít right.
I have nothing more to share; yet even in my pain I know Jesus is with me. I still donít know what Godís plan is for me. Hopefully I see the plan so I can grow. Pray for me and love me and teach me about your love, O Father. A godless life of loneliness and emptiness is hell, and thatís not for me. I feel so blessed, yet I understand so little. I guess that is a blessing in itself. Open my heart to love and put me at peace within myself. Help me grow, dear Jesus, I love you.
I finished writing and started to walk and I saw a little red car. Painted on the sides of the car in big white letters was Jesus = Gott = Liebe, which means Jesus = God = Love. Praise God. I guess there are bands of radical Christians here in Germany too. Praise the name of Jesus.
Itís later Friday evening and I am a little afraid. I know that God can deliver my children to me at any time, however I am afraid there are many lessons I still must learn.
I know there is no way I can make anything work without your help Lord Jesus. Help me rid myself of self and help me grow more in love with you my Lord. As I watch children fight amongst themselves, there is so little I understand. As I was reading this defense magazine, it saddened me to read about the richest companies in the world, and the systems they build for destruction. Where does it end Lord, and what is Your plan for me?
Does war start because little boys donít have fathers to teach them to love. When little boys donít have a father to kiss and love, I guess they must fight and war with one another and kill and destroy. Please help us all Lord.
I just talked to Mauri and she has everyone praying for my kids, and me. Her love for God has helped my faith grow, and without her support I would never have made it to Germany. Every one else had told me a child is better off with their mother after a divorce, yet Mauri knew that was not always true. She has always admired the way I father my children. Her belief is what sustained me at times. Everyone has such strong faith Lord, what must I do? Show me the way. Mauri is worried for Jeffrey because she thinks he knows I am here. Help me find him, or help him find me. I know he loves and needs me. Let me teach him of your love Jesus. He is truly a wonderful son. Give us strength my Lord.
I never thought Jeffrey really believed the lies he had been told, but I was truly saddened that Jennifer had believed what she had been told. I know she had to have been the one to convince Jeffrey to go to Germany. She knew her mother better than this. How could my bright daughter have been deceived? Why had I not protected my family better with prayer?
I sat in the park knowing I was being filled with the Holy Spirit, and I believed I could will my son to me. I know we can accomplish anything if we believe enough. I know my children love me and I know they need me. Please give me strength, my Father. Iíve come for you my children, come to me. I need you three more than you can imagine.
Well son, I think I blew it. I went to sleep about 11:30 p.m., 5-27-88. I woke up at 1:00 a.m. to a tremendous thunder and lightning storm, which is rare in Germany. And there was no rain. I believe God wanted me to go to the park and maybe I would have seen a miracle. I did not see the connection until 1:35 a.m., and by then the lightning and thunder was over. Iím so stupid. I got mad at God for not opening my eyes sooner. It is so easy to blame God for my lack of faith, but I donít know how I can blame God when Iím the one who is so angry. Although, in between crying and anger, I finally tell God how mad he makes me. And then I start laughing. How can someone we love so much, make us so mad, and yet bring us to such wondrous levels of joy. Oh dear God, donít stay mad at me for all of the mean things Iíve said. I do love you dear Father. Please bring my children to me safely and soon. I need their love and I miss them. Help me teach them about you Lord. I want my children to love you God as I do. St. Luke 10:27 says: Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.
I never could go back to sleep so I ended up walking down to the park at 4:00 a.m. I watched the sun starting to rise, the birds were chirping, and I was hoping to find my children. It was a little cool to be out all night. I then walked by Anitaís parents house but I guess it is ma little early to have the lights on. Then at 5:00 a.m., I did something that was kind of strange. One of the two numbers that I had off of Anitaís old phone bill I thought might belong to her brother. I decided to call it. Guess who answered? Anita answered with a very American hello. I hung up but will call her at 7:00 once she has awakened. Thank you Lord and thank you angels for not giving her time to disguise her voice. Thank you for Your many blessings, dear Lord.
I quit. Iím done. Iím dead. There is no reason to continue on. I was not able to see my kids, but I did finally talk to them. They said they have a nice apartment here and wish to stay. Itís overÖ.
Iím at the airport. Itís after midnight. I donít know what to believe anymore. I wish I were dead. I probably am headed for hell anyway. I was so angry I cursed God on the way to Frankfurt from Wurzburg. My children donít love me anymore, and I donít know what I have done. To have felt so protected, and then to lose everything in my life that matters to me, my three children. It makes me wonder if anything is worthwhile. I hurt so badly I canít go on. Iím so tired. To think it was all so close, and now it is over. I have no more strength.
When I talked to Jenny and Jeff they had no love for me. Jeffrey told me twice I lied when I asked him about the note he had left in his trashcan. Oh God, what have You done to me? Donít you realize you ask too much of me. How can you rip someoneís guts out, and tear their heart to shreds, and expect them to love. Ha, I have more hate in me now than I ever have. Towards You too, Father. It is not right. To have my friends and parents and brother and sister disown me is bad enough, and the devil can have his Jezebel Anita, but to lose the love of my three children is more than I can bear. You ask too much Lord. I donít understand why this has to happen like this Lord. I would never purposefully hurt my children like You have allowed me to be hurt, dear Lord, I just donít understand why.
If hell is emptiness, loneliness, fire and a lack of love, then all Iím missing is the fire to be there. Bring on the fire Satan, it looks like you have won everything else. There is no reason to continue on. I have pain shooting through my chest, arms and legs, can death be far behind. Iím tired of trying Lord. The game is over and the devil has won.
I canít believe Jennifer and Jeffrey were so stupid. I read these kids bedtime stories nearly every night of their lives. I coached both of them and I have never raised my voice in anger toward any of my children. When I would ask the simple question, ďDo you know what?Ē, Jenny and Jeff would both respond, ďYeah we know, you love us.Ē They know how much I love them. How could they have been so deceived? How could they have believed all the lies, lies, lies, lies they have been told by their mother? It makes no sense.
I talked to Mauri before getting on the plane and she suggested I read the book of Job in the Bible. I got to chapter five before it was time to board. I sure am sorry Lord for my lack of faith. I have so much to learn. If it is Your will my children will someday live with me. But, I guess You know what Satan is doing and You are allowing him to put me to the test. Please make me strong dear Lord.
Dear Lord thank you for putting me on the plane next to a nice German woman. This lady was about seventy years old. About an hour after the plane lifted off she asked me what was causing my pain and we ended up sharing stories. Her husband had passed away four years ago, so we both just sat there and cried. I guess I made a friend through eternity. Lord, help me to get through this pain and help me to love again.
The last line in this journal entry says, ďIt is now six months later and I am still alive, but just barely. Every day has been a struggle to survive.
1988 was a tough year. There were many moments of death, and I truly wanted to be dead. The reason for my existence was to be a father. If I didnít have my children, there was no reason to go on. But somehow God sustained me through this period of fire. Although, there were moments I was more unforgiving than I should be, I sincerely tried to grow closer to God. And it was not always easy.
I talked to my dad either before or after I returned from Germany. I had been real surprised to find out my own father had sent my ex-wife money to go to Germany. It wasnít as if she needed money. She had closed all of our bank accounts. When she laid the divorce decree on my desk she had the closed bank accounts on there too. So when I found out my dad had sent Anita three hundred dollars I wasnít to kind. I figured he probably had twenty thousand dollars in his checkbook alone, and he had been so concerned about the welfare of his grandkids he had sent their mother three hundred dollars. He did say he hadnít believed I was worshipping the devil and injecting cocaine into my veins but he had sent Anita money anyway.
Mauri and her five kids had moved into my house and I was death warmed over. I guess if anyone in my family had thought to check they would have found a man who didnít even have the presence of mind to feed himself. So I guess I am glad someone was there who cared. Mauri was pretty self-serving too. Her agenda was to catch a husband who she thought might be a good stepfather to her kids. And no matter how I thought I wanted to run, she wasnít taking no for an answer. Once Mauri was pregnant with Jonathan, I was finished. I didnít go down without a fight, but the nails were in the coffin.
I didnít know it at the time, but Jonathan would be my gift from God. My heart was so dark I didnít think love would ever brighten my spirit again. Before Jonathan was born, I was probably the meanest, darkest human being to walk the face of the earth. Without the love of my children in my life, I had turned into the saddest, most ugly man alive.
And then my gift from God arrived. Mauri told me I needed a son to love and she was absolutely correct. The thank you kiss I gave Mauri is still the kiss she talks about.
I was so happy. Jonathan came home a couple of days later and Mauri took all of the kids, except for Jonathan, to the store with her. I took Jonathan out in the back yard and lifted him to heaven. I praised God for over two hours for Jonathan. I gave Jonathan to God and I praised God and sang to God songs of praises for having given Jonathan to me. When Mauri came home, she took a picture of Jonathan and me, and I have Jonathan lifted to heaven. His little diaper was soaked and hanging to his knees, but I couldnít have been happier. I need to be loved by my children, and Jonathan was just what the doctor ordered. I adored Jonathan the very first time I saw him and I adored him this morning when I checked on him sleeping. There is no gift better than a gift from God.
Mauri and I got married on February 14th, 1989 and Jonathan was born in April. Our marriage was not a marriage of total bliss. We both brought a lot of baggage into our marriage, so the road was always rocky. Mauri divorced her first husband Bill about a year before we met. She had gone through a lot of pain before we met, although it probably doesnít compare to the pain I have caused her. When she went through her first divorce she lost her husband, her father passed away, and her business failed. Her baby Jennifer was the first one to capture my heart. She was eight months old the first time I held her, and I was the first man to ever hold her. Her brother Lew was twelve and he was always a great big brother. I donít know how Mauri would have made it without Lew, or me either for that matter. On my darkest days after Jennifer, Jeffrey and Jason went to Germany, Lew would pull me up from my depression to go hit the tennis ball.
That is one of the funny things about my five stepchildren. My entire family, all my friends and my business associates all asked why I would want to marry a woman with five kids. They couldnít understand why I would want to stay in a house of chaos with five rebellious kids and a cantankerous woman. I couldnít understand it either. These people had no order to their life. And neatness and cleanliness were not even words in their vocabulary. But they kind of grew on me. As my spirit, mind and body were being blistered by the fiery trials I was going through, there were days of darkness so pronounced that I didnít even want to be around me. Yet, these six chaotic, cantankerous and rebellious people gave me love when I was totally unworthy to receive that love. My days of sadness, darkness and death would have never ended if they had not been there to love me.
And once Jonathan was born life had meaning again. I treasured every moment I had with Jonathan, and I treasure, to this very day, every moment I have with Jonathan. I loved the time I had to spend with Jonathan and God.
In the fall of 1989 I took my first job since before the divorce in February 1988. I had used this time of exile to begin writing the JCI plan, and I identified markets for the Holovidics plan.
The days of loneliness, anger and emptiness could have been overwhelming if I had not had Jesus, sweet Jesus, lighting my path. As I searched first for the kingdom of God, I knew all things would be added unto me, in Godís time. Iíve wondered many times if I would have taken the path of light if I had known the challenges I would face. Yet even in my darkest days, I couldnít turn away from the path God had drawn me to. And I love God for choosing me. I asked the Lord one time why I even should think I was so special that God would want to use someone as worthless as me. And God opened my hands to scripture that said that God can use who He wants to use, because He is God and He can do what He wants to do. Itís like I told my mother one time, ďWould I rather trust in my wisdom, or would I rather trust in the Wisdom of the universe?Ē Duh!
Being a sold out man of God does have its disadvantages. Many times your family will desert and disown you because of your level of faith.
I finally talked to Jeff on January 30, 1996, his 18th birthday. When I called Jeff I was devastated to hear he had been paralyzed in an automobile accident in August of 1993. My mind shut down. It was three months before I realized I couldnít even balance a checkbook.
But I really didnít have much money in the bank to balance anyway. The U.S. Government was just finalizing the budget for fiscal year 1996, the longest delay in U.S. history. We had over-inventoried our Christian bookstore for Christmas 1995 because we believed we would be selling Christian material to fourteen military installations for Christmas. The budget freeze could have been overcome if I could have just been able to keep the phones and lights on, but we were out of cash. In my marketing research I had identified a one hundred and fifty million-dollar niche marketplace no one was servicing. And the plan was strong.
We had started with nothing in June 1994. I had no cash and no credit when we started, but by July 1994 we were receiving checks and starting to go forward. By the summer of 1995 I had publishers willing to pay two thousand dollars per page of advertising in my catalog to reach military chaplains worldwide. With the profits of marketing to government we had opened our Christian bookstore and bought a mail and packaging company and we were ready to market worldwide. I had sent a letter to twelve thousand identified decision makers with one hundred and fifty million dollars at their disposal, and chaplains worldwide were excited that someone was going to be able to help them spend their money.
But it was all in Godís hands and we ended up closing the bookstore and packaging company at the end of March 1996. We closed our businesses except for the Shepherdís Guide and lost our phones after Jeff got here. We lost our house and moved everything into storage. We were homeless with eight kids including Jeff, and we were flat broke.
When I took Jeff to the airport we took a taxi. My car had been repossessed weeks before from the front of Leahís house, so after Jeff left my spirit was crushed. I walked back to Leahís house in south Austin from the airport and cried all the way. When we got to Marble Falls we went from bad to worse, but at least we had a roof over our heads. Mauri and I both worked part time jobs and we survived.
It is so hard to do as God asks you to do, when you never see the victory. How often do you have to get knocked down before you finally give up? I think I have reached a stage of waiting for God that I am so tired I am ready to give up. I want to see the victory promised to believers in God.
That first Sunday in September of 1987 when I was given the vision from God, I never doubted God was in control as I saw my entire life anointed by God. I had always been successful in everything I had ever done, but I was not prepared for the power He shared with me in the fall of 1987.
The problem that arose when I started giving God the credit (I didnít even know how to give God the glory) was because I started talking about God. Jeffreyís mother did not like me telling her that God was doing something in my life I didnít understand, but I knew it was God. I knew what I was able to accomplish in my own strength, and the things going on were not from me. But Jeffreyís mother told me I shouldnít share God with others because God was very personal. She then commented that I probably would start sharing God with people in the grocery store and on the streets. And she was right, because that did happen, many times.
Two months later we divorced, and two months after that she illegally took my children to Germany. When I tracked them down they wanted to stay in Germany because they said they were happy. As long as my children were happy, that was all I wanted, but I died inside, and didnít come out of my shell for a year. But everyday God would turn me in the Bible to exactly where He wanted me to be. Everyday He would give me a scripture to sustain me for that day, and somehow I survived.
One day was harder than the rest. I wanted to be dead. I guess it was probably six months after the kids left that I went out into the area beside our house. This was an empty field with trees then, now it has houses built everywhere, and I sat in the field for hours beside a tree. I prayed and prayed for the strength to push a butcher knife through my throat, but God never let me. When I went into the house, God had me open the Bible.
This scripture that God turned me to in the fall of 1988 has been my only hope at times. I still believe the day is coming that God will complete what He has started. The funny thing is that I never found this scripture in my Bible ever again. I have found verses that say about the same thing, but I have never found what He showed me that afternoon. And what did God show me?
As I opened my Bible I turned to a Book of the Bible that only had two pages. In this particular Book of the Bible this is what I read.
I showed you a piece of the glory in the beginning,
And now I am going to allow you to go through a period of testing,
But the glory in the end is more than you can ever imagine.
So why did He show me this particular verse and why havenít I ever found it again? I donít know, but it has strengthened me so many times to read the words I wrote down. I will never understand Godís timing, but I know He knows what He is doing.
I wrote to the kidsí year after year and never received a word back from them, until Jennifer started writing to me in 1995. I was blessed to receive her letters, but she never mentioned Jeffrey or Jason. Finally on January 23rd 1996 I received a letter from Jennifer telling me Jeffrey had been in an automobile accident and he was in a wheelchair. One week later he was to turn 18, and I had always hoped he would come home to me.
When he and I talked on his 18th birthday, January 30th, 1996 I found out he had been in an automobile accident in August 1993 that had left him paralyzed from the waist down. He had been close to death, and he had been in the rehabilitation hospital for eleven months. I had not known anything about this accident.
By the time Jeffrey got to Texas three months later, I had died again. When I heard about the horrors Jeffreyís mother had subjected my children to, I mentally shut down. I had never spoken anything but love and encouragement to my three children, I had coached their ball teams and read them bedtime stories every night, and my children knew I was a loving man, and yet they were totally deceived. I donít know how a man or a woman could put their children through what my children went through, for the sake of love.
My ex-wife Anita took Jennifer and Jeffrey out of school the beginning of May 1988, and they were both straight A students. Jennifer and Jeffrey both were all stars in softball and baseball and they excelled in everything they did in life. They went to a predominantly white, middle-class school and they were well respected by teachers and friends.
When they went to Germany they did not read, write or speak German, and even the German courts said my children would do better in America. She put my two oldest children in a German preparatory school for foreigners that did not know the language. In this school there were five hundred Turkish children, one hundred and twenty Russian children, eighty Polish children and seven American children. And every day was fighting.
Jason has grown up in Germany so he has not had to deal with the same challenges Jennifer and Jeffrey had to deal with, and he is a phenomenal basketball player. No one has ever told me for sure, but I think Jennifer is the one who taught Jason to play basketball. She is a person who knows how to challenge herself, and others. Jennifer also has the same intensity of focus that Jason has, and I believe Jennifer would get the best out of Jason.
Jennifer was always a phenomenal athlete. She starred at every sport she ever wanted to play. She especially excelled in softball. I coached her fast pitch softball team in Indianapolis and her team won their championship. Jennifer pitched the semi-final game of the tournament and we won. She didnít play when she was eleven because we only had one car at the time, but when she was twelve she went to her first day of practice in Cedar Park. When I got home that night she told me her team was not very good. I told her I would call the softball commissioner and see if she could move up to the next older league.
After I asked him he told me he would check and call me back. He called back and said Jennifer would be able to move up to another team, and they had practice the next day. When Jennifer and I got to the practice, she was surprised at the size of the girls. These were full-grown young ladies, and it turned out this was a seventeen and under team. Cedar Park did not have a fourteen and under team that year, so Jennifer had been moved up to the seventeen year-old team, and she was a young twelve year old. As we looked at these big girls, I picked up a softball from the floorboard of the car and I put it in her glove.
I told Jennifer to blow a big bubble with her bubble gum, toss the ball up in the air and catch it behind her back. I was walking behind her as she blew a big bubble and tossed the softball into the air. I was in a great position to see Jennifer catch the ball behind her back and still be able to see her teammateís jaws drop when Jennifer made the catch. Jennifer not only was the starting pitcher for her team, but she was selected to be on the seventeen and under All-star team, and the fourteen and under and the twelve and under All-stars too. But she decided to pay on the seventeen and under All-star team and she was the starting fast-pitch pitcher for the team. She was awesome. Jennifer eventually started playing handball after she got to Germany. She still plays handball competitively in league play and she is an excellent goalie.
When Jeffrey left the states to go to Germany, he had won ten straight baseball games, and everyone that saw him pitch said he was the best left-handed pitcher they had ever seen. Two months after Jeffrey went to Germany; the All-star coach was still calling asking if Jeff was home yet so he could play on the All-star team. The physical fitness tests done is school had rated Jeffrey in the top four percent of all students in the United States.
I thought the kids were happy, because that is what they told me. If only I had known that Jeffrey would never play another sport again, once he got to Germany. By the time he was eleven, less than a year after he had left the United States, he was smoking cigarettes and having his stomach pumped for alcohol poisoning, and he almost died. When I found out about all of his thieving, lying, drug and alcohol abuse, gang activity and everything else he went through, before he was a teenager, I was enraged. At fifteen Jeff was a passenger in a stolen car that crashed and rolled and rolled and rolled. He said each time the car would roll over he would hear his back break again. As I heard about all of these things, I mentally shut down.
I had been marketing to the government over the Internet since 1993 and started my own company in 1994. By the end of the second month we were making a profit. By the end of 1994 we started our own Christian bookstore, and early in 1995 we bought a packaging company so we could control our shipments worldwide. By the fall of 1995 we had already contacted thousands of decision-makers worldwide that wanted to buy from us. The government budget freeze of fiscal year 1996 was the longest ever, but the budget freeze ended right before I got the news about Jeffrey. However, it was months before I realized I had lost all of our businesses for us. We closed our businesses except for the Shepherdís Guide, and I lost all eight of our phones after Jeff got here in April 1996. And then when Jeffrey came over I lost everything else.
Our house, cars and everything else either went to creditors or was put in storage for almost four years, while we lived in a one bedroom cabin with four children. But while Jeffrey was here in 1996, we were homeless.
We were homeless, with eight kids, including Jeff. We lived in a one-bedroom cabin, with four to six children with us, for three years. We survived poverty so profound that I have never known anyone poorer than us.
Yet, God was there with us and we survived. But I did question the Lord at times. Why show a man the riches of the world, and then not let him touch? Why open a manís eyes to the power of Your Holy Word, and then not let him taste the fruit? Why so much injustice around us, and why are we not allowed to accomplish the vision You placed within us?
My car got repossessed before Jeffrey went back to Germany, so the day he left we took a taxi to the airport. I sat with him until he boarded his airplane, and then I walked home to my mother-in-lawís house from the airport. I cried and cried as I walked, and I donít think I ever felt as far away from God as I felt that day. I guess I just couldnít understand why it had all occurred.
The good news out of all this mess was that Jeffrey accepted Jesus as his lord and savior. He became a mighty man of God, and he truly loves bringing people to Jesus. His mother had talked negatively about God during our years of separation, so I wasnít sure he would listen to anything I had to say about God. So I surrounded him with people of God when he came over in 1996. When you see people who genuinely love Jesus, you want to be a part of it too.
I think one of the hardest things I have ever tried to understand is when the Bible says that families will be separated because of belief in God. It finally reached a stage of disappointment that I had two choices. I could never see them again, and still love them, or change my belief in God. As aggravated as I get sometimes, I canít change what God had made me into.
When God gave me the vision in 1987, He showed me how fourteen divisions were all connected. I started with a flow chart on the first Sunday in September of 1987, and I have since written the business plans to back up the flow chart. But it is never easy. I donít know how many times I have taken the plans out in the backyard, with a match and lighter fluid, and I was going to burn them from the very core of my being. But I never could. The tears that never stopped flowing would make me angry at times. However I could never wish for things to be back the way they were, because as much as I love my children, I love God more. And if it meant losing Him for them, it was not worth it. I am nothing without God. But Godís timing was never to be understood.
So when I got the call on Thanksgiving 1999 that Jeffrey had been in another car accident and he had no movement from the neck down, I was devastated. Our family was just completing a Bible study on faith, and little did I know my faith would be tested beyond my endurance. My sadness knew no bounds, but I knew I needed to be with my son.
God increased my faith daily as I waited for the time to go to Germany. I know God honors our faith, not our needs, so I was blessed beyond measure, as He would turn my hands to scripture. Every time I would open my Bible, I would turn to a scripture about healing. God prepared me day by day for the two weeks leading up to my departure to Germany. I knew God was going to heal my son, so I was excited to be with him in Germany. My oldest stepdaughter charged my airline ticket on her credit card and my wife got a nice bonus check that week so she could pay my stepdaughter back and send me to Germany. So thanks to my family I was able to go.
I left for Germany on December 10, 1999. The morning started out great, even though I had only slept about an hour and a half. I arrived at the airport so early I caught an earlier flight, and I got to sit by a fine Christian man. He was reading a book by Tommy Tenney called "The God Chasers". He asked me if I would like to read some of the book and I said yes. It was about the glory of God, which really confirmed what God had been placing in my heart about the glory of God descending on Bayreuth Rehabilitation Hospital. This man had an extra copy of the book, which he gave to me, and I was blessed. The next leg of my trip I sat by a young Moslem man who was very devoted to Allah. I donít understand it all, but I did admire this young manís faith.
I finally got to Frankfurt, Germany on December 11,1999. My ex-wife, my middle son, and her two children met me at the airport. I shook her hand, and then I held my son for the first time in over eleven years. I couldnít let go as the tears and kisses flowed. We took the children home to their apartment in Wurzburg, and I got to spend more time with my son before I left to go see my oldest son in the hospital.
Jennifer called while I was there and she said she wanted to see me. She said she loved me, and she asked the kissing monster to give Jeffrey a kiss for her. I called my wife and children in America and the children got to talk to their brother.
As I was getting ready to leave, my son and I broke down in each otherís arms. We held each other and we cried and cried and cried. We told each other we loved one another and that we needed one another. My heart broke at the pain and suffering that has been endured throughout the past eleven years. The sad thing is I still donít know why. I donít understand, but I beg the Lord to please restore the years the cankerworm has stolen. I love you my precious son.
My ex-wife and I drove to Bayreuth and she told me she would not be able to take care of Jeffrey because the doctorís do not believe he will ever have the use of his hands again. It was very strange being with my ex-wife. When she had called on Thanksgiving, it was the first time we had talked since 1988. I had finally forgiven her about the end of 1989 for taking my children and for all the lies she had spoken, but it had taken me longer to forgive her when I had found out in 1996 what she had subjected my children to. However, I appreciated her picking me up at the airport and taking me to the hospital.
We finally got to the hospital, and we didnít walk into the healing glory of God. Oh, I love my oldest son so much. His peace and love of God are so wonderful, yet he has been through so much pain. The scars on the front and back of his neck are huge, and the scar on his head encompasses his scalp. His arms are moving, and he has movement in the thumb on his right hand, but the muscle damage is so severe the doctors say he will never have the use of his hands again. One nurse tried to bind his hands last week so his fingers would be immovable. Her thinking was that Jeff could put a spoon in his fist to feed himself. Jeff told her that he didnít want her to do it, and he has since had movement in his right thumb. Satan is a liar and a deceiver, and God will win.
Jeff finally verbalized he wanted to be a servant of God for life, and I knew he would. Jeffís faith is strong and we both know God is going to heal him. A team of doctors came in to check Jeff and one of them commented to the others that Jeff was the jinxed boy who had been paralyzed twice. And Jeff told them that he would walk again. One of the doctors commented that Jeffís body might be broken now, but his spirit is intact and doing fine.
Dear God, I hunger for your presence, I need you so much. Bring Your glory into this place to heal my son and as many others as You desire. I love You Lord, and I will serve You regardless. Jeff and I are already astounded at the healing that occurred between Jennifer, Jason and me, but finish Your work in Jeffrey Lord. We love You Lord, and we need You always.
Jeffís arm was really torn up. They had to remove skin from his leg to graft to his arm and he has metal pins sticking out of his thumb because it was broken so badly. The metal plate they inserted in the back of his neck is so large and heavy he canít even hold his head up by himself. I believe You are in charge God.
December 12, 1999. To be honest, I donít know what I believe sometimes. It is Sunday night, and there is still no healing. My faith is weakening. After seeing my ex-wife again after eleven years, I still donít understand why we went through what we did. If I could ever understand why we went through what we did, why all of this occurred, why my ex-wife came to Germany with my children, why my children hated me and wanted me out of their lives; just plain simply, why? It makes no sense.
I met four of Jeffís friends today. The two young men were both in the first automobile accident with Jeffrey. Jeffrey led both of these young men to the Lord after he returned to Germany in 1996. They both love the Lord so much, and they all love Jeff so much too. The young man that was driving the car during the first accident has been called to be a preacher, and he has already preached his first sermon and he has been to Africa to minister. They all love sharing the Lord with Jeff. They came to encourage Jeffrey, but as they were leaving they told me that Jeff always is the one that encourages them. They said it always happens this way, that Jeff is the encourager.
Jeff did tell me that many people could see the glory of God in my face. Is there something I am missing Father? I have been fasting for forty-eight hours now, but is my faith to weak? Do I have any faith at all, I wonder sometimes. I know You told me Lord that you were going to heal Jeff. Either way, Iíll never stop loving You Lord, but if I am wrong about what I know You told me, can I ever trust Your voice again. I know You are our healer. I know Jesus paid the price for all of our sins and sickness, and I know You want Jeff healed. Please do it soon, to Your glory Father. I just want to watch. Glory hallelujah. Please pray for my strength and for Jeffís healing.
December 13, 1999. Jeff was really drained of energy this morning. He is so ready to be healed. His body has no muscle on it at all, and he is skin and bones. But the devil is a liar. Do I believe and hope and have faith in what I see, or do I believe in the unseen? I told Jeff today that letís not focus on his healing today, but instead letís focus on the healer. Jeff hurts so much, and I love him so much. He is so skinny, and his hands do not work, but that is the seen not the unseen. We had a beautiful day today. I went to therapy with Jeff, and it broke my heart to watch him try to use a hand that doesnít work, and his other hand is so badly broken it canít even be moved. But Jesus is our healer. I just need to keep the faith.
December 14, 1999. Wow! What a morning it has been already. Itís 7:00 am now and it truly has been a glorious morning. I went to bed about midnight and I awakened at 4:15 am. I went to the bathroom and started to go back to sleep. However God pressed on my heart to pray. Glory to God. I sat in His presence for two and half-hours, with goose bumps and hair standing on ends, all while I prayed. I know Jeffís healing is soon. Bless You Lord, thank You Jesus, thank You Holy Spirit. I love You, I love You, I love You.
I have about a half an hour before I get to see Jeff so I thought I would write some more. It is kind of strange thinking, so one has to believe what he or she will. I was thinking about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. I believe they must have had the usage of 50%, 75% or maybe 100% of their brain. I think sin must have caused the loss of brainpower, so that we only use between 5% and 10% of our brainís capacity now. What if we experience the glory of God to such an extent that we draw closer to God and experience an increase in the use of our brain, maybe by 5 to 10%. If so, that would be double what we are using now to accomplish great things. How much could we improve every area of mankind, with such an increase in brainpower? We know that the more we get to know God, he more we become like Him. What if God is soon going to manifest Himself to such a great extent that it changes the way we think? Who knows?
December 15, 1999, 5:00 a.m. I think the hardest thing about being a man of faith, is that I know God is going to do something, yet I donít know when. No one knows the day or the time or the hour, but I know that I know that I know that God is going to do something. Jeff was really blessed yesterday because I tried to call Mauri and had been unable to get through on the phone, and she called me within ten minutes. Jeff was just falling asleep when Mauri called, but when he awakened he said God must have been behind that call. I really miss my family in the states, but I must be here for now. This scripture blessed me today because I know the true heirs of God are those who live by the principle of faith.
Galatians 3:5 Therefore He who supplies the spirit to you And works miracles among you, does He do it By the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith
3:6 Just as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
3:7 Therefore know that only those who are of the faith are sons of Abraham.
3:11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for "the just shall live by faith."
December 16, 1999 4:00 a.m. The Lord awakened me early his morning. I needed some quiet time I guess. I get to spend about twelve hours a day with Jeff in the hospital and it has been a good time. The staff is wonderful and most of them seem to have a genuine love and caring for their patients. Of course they are all drawn to Jeff. It seems like the trainers (young and pretty) seem to be jealous when they donít get to work with Jeff, but he pretends not to notice.
Of course all of the patients are in wheel chairs with varying degrees of injuries. It is kind of funny to me that the patients can drink as much alcohol as they want, but after all this is Germany. It was neat when Anita called and Jeff told her that he had some movement in his fingers. She was crying when she asked me if it was true. When I said it was, she said it was a miracle, and she knew it was because I was here with him. Then when Mauri called and I told her, she said it was a miracle too.
Sometimes we forget to thank God for the little victories on the way to Victory. Jeff has had to take a little abuse though. The word has spread around the hospital about some poor chump who has been here twice because he was in a second accident. We were sitting in the break room yesterday when someone asked, "Did you hear about the poor guy who is here again because of being in a second accident?" Jeff replied that it was him and everyone laughed. It wasnít cruel laughter, but sometimes I guess that is all you can do. It hurts Jeff though.
There was a Lutheran youth group singing Christmas carols in the hospital last night and they really lifted up the name of Jesus. I was blessed to tears. We have been praying for breakthrough, breakthrough in the heavenlies. God is now saying to receive your healing, so we will see what today brings.
Thank you Holy Father for the breakthrough. Thank you for telling Jeff to receive his healing. I told Jeff to praise God for the miracles and blessings. Donít let the devil steal the victories. This is the main thing I stressed to Jeff. Praise and thank God for the breakthrough, receive your healing. Praise God for miracles and blessings, donít let the devil steal the little victories, the number one victory is here now in the unseen.
Hebrews 11:6 Without faith it is impossible to please God, For he who comes to God must believe He is, And that He is a rewarder of those who Diligently seek Him.
Jennifer and Jason are coming to visit on Saturday and they will spend the night. Yippee, hooray. Thank you Lord for my children. I love them and I love You.
The weather here has been awesome, if you are a polar bear. The cold was so bitter when I left the hospital last night that I couldnít stop shaking. Thank God for everything. Thank you Lord for not letting me slip and fall on the ice and snow. I would have frozen to death before anyone would have found me. BrrrÖ too cold.
December 17, 1999, 6:00 a.m. Jeff got an electric wheelchair yesterday and it really saddened him, but we had not been praising God for the little victories. When I got to his room the doctors were just leaving. As Jeff got in his new wheelchair, he started to topple over, and this really upset him. The back is lower on the electric wheelchair and the belt used to hold him in the chair was placed to low, so he had a hard time sitting up straight. I then reminded him to praise God and receive his healing. I then explained how we must thank God for the little victories on the way to victory. When Anita and Mauri talked to Jeff on December 15th and they heard about the movement in his fingers, they both were overcome with emotion and both said thank God for the miracle. Jeff and I had thought two fingers and a thumb moving was nice, but we were holding out for the big victory. I told Jeff the women were right. We must be thankful for the little victories too, or the devil will try to steal them away.
I was thinking that when I see Jason tomorrow I want to tell him that Jeff is going to be well, and God had me cut out going to be. Jeffrey is well. Yesterday he received his healing and today he is healed, receive this into your spirit and glory hallelujah, Jeff is well.
Yesterday when Jeff was talking to Mauri something was said, I donít know what, and I said to myself, "This is the first domino". Then the Holy Spirit to such a degree overcame me, I almost fell over backwards. The anointing was so heavy I couldnít stand up. For God to be sitting the dominoes in place for six thousand years, and this is to be the first domino to fall, for my faithful son by Godís faithful Son. Oh, I love you Lord. Wow!
December 18, 1999
Acts 2: 1-3 When the day of Pentecost had fully come, They were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, As of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled. The whole house where they were sitting.
After such an awesome morning yesterday, I guess it was no wonder the devil attacked so hard. By the time I got back to my room last night, I was physically and spiritually exhausted. The battles wore me down yesterday. The majority of the patients and staff are very nice people, but there is darkness in some of them that sure doesnít like the light in Jeff and me.
We were sitting in the break room with other patients, staff and visitors, and I was asked when I would be returning to America. When I said next week, they started saying how sad and lonely Jeff would be without me there. Then Jeff had a phone call and some friends were going to come and see him, however they didnít make it. It hurt to see his disappointment. I guess I was pretty defeated last night when I cam back. This morning I was still a little burned out. All my thoughts about Jennifer and Jason coming to visit today are causing my emotions to be in turmoil.
So I asked God for a scripture and He turned me to:
Matthew 25:21 His lord said to him: Well done good and faithful Servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.
I then started thinking that when the devil attacks I donít seem to stay defeated as long, but who knows. I asked the Lord what my lesson was regarding the attacks Jeff went through yesterday in the break (TV) room. God said, "Stay out of the TV room." He wasnít harsh, but He spoke lovingly. I asked about Jeffís friends not coming last night and He said, "Donít trust in friends, but trust in Him." God is so cool. I love Him so.
Well today is the day. Jenny and Jason will be here in a couple of hours and I will be with Jeff in an hour. I lift the day up to you Lord, and I place all my cares with You. Letís have a great day.
December 19, 1999 By the time I got to my room last night I was defeated. I should have known what kind of day it was going to be when Jeff wanted to go back to bed within thirty minutes after he got up. He rested and napped all day long, and he spoke so little I was sincerely worried about him. All day Jenny and Jason goofed around and the spirit of defeat was so heavy. Anita asked me why our family had broken up and if I was happy. When I said I was, she attacked Mauri and she dredged up memories I had laid to rest years ago. I told Anita I had made an election in 1994 to love Mauri, and I am glad I did. Anita told me she made the same mistake twice by marrying dreamers that wanted to start their own business. God quickened me this morning to understanding Anitaís disbelief. Our family went through everything we went through because of Anitaís disbelief. I guess that does make sense Lord. If faith and belief equate to victory, I guess unbelief is defeat. I guess you have to believe before you can make anything happen. It hurts me greatly to be around my children whom I love so deeply, and then emptiness. I explained to Anita about spiritual warfare, but I donít know how it was received.
Today is victory, power and faith. I woke up this morning totally empowered by God. I believe my faith is stronger today that all the other days rolled up together. I am a servant of God. I am a faithful servant of God. I love you Lord for bringing me to this point. One thing that was kind of neat last night, Jeff and I had both felt each otherís defeat yesterday. But when I tucked Jeff in and gave him a kiss, he said, "Dad, victory". Amen and amen.
Today left me empty as did yesterday, but not defeated as yesterday had. Jenny and Jason came to Jeffís room about 11:00 a.m. and I had gotten there about 10:00 a.m. I told Jeff if every ounce of faith that I had gathered on every single day of my life until midnight last night were rolled into a ball, it would not equal the faith God had planted within me this morning. I was strong and at peace and Jeff saw it immediately. Within minutes of Jennifer and Jason getting to Jeffís room, Anita called. She talked to everyone and then she asked me to tell Jeff to not believe in miracles. I said okay I would tell Jeff what Anita had told me to tell him, but he didnít receive what she had said the same as I didnít receive it. My only hope is in God, not in any of these doctors. Jennifer and Jason played cards all day until Jason went home, and then Jennifer took me to dinner.
I think what saddens me is that neither one understands forgiveness. I think it is stupid to blame someone for our divorce; we made our own choices. It wasnít about Mauri or anybody else for that matter. Anita had an agenda and she accomplished her objectives. But without my children with me, there was never any desire to win. It was no big deal to me.
But after all these years I finally release my children to live their lives. They have always been in Godís hands and I will always love them, but they are Anitaís kids. However sad that makes me, that is the deal. Friday night Jeff had friends that had said they were going to drive down to see Jeff. When it passed the hour Jeff expected them to show up, he started getting worried. They were driving an older car and the roads were a little icy, so Jeff was a little concerned. He tried to remember what his friendís phone numbers were, and he couldnít remember anyoneís phone number. Only after much trying could he even remember his motherís phone number.
But that night before I left to go back to my room, we prayed as we normally did. As Jeff prayed he quoted scripture from the Old Testament and from the New Testament and back to old and then new. One of the first things God spoke to me about Saturday morning while I was praying was to remind me about Jeffís prayer. God said, "Jeff couldnít remember his friendís phone numbers and he had a hard time even remembering his motherís phone number, but he has not forgotten one single word of My Word. Every scripture I placed in him is still there." Glory hallelujah.
Jennifer left at ten oíclock this morning, so Jeff suggested we spend a couple of hours in prayer. I told Jeff this morning I thought God was mad at me for something that maybe I said or did yesterday, because when I went to pray this morning at 4:00 a.m. the Lord had said "Be quiet." I initially thought the Lord wanted to tell me something, so I sat in His Presence and after ten or fifteen minutes I started to say something again and the Lord said, "Be quiet." That was when I realized that maybe God didnít want to hear my voice. This afternoon He told me why He had not wanted to hear my voice this morning. He told me my children were not my children to release. They were His children. I had given them to Him, so how could I release them? Was I going to take my cares back from God and say what Jesus did on the cross was not good enough for my family and me? I am sorry Father for my lack of faith. Boom.
I then spent the next five hours in the presence of God. I then had goose bumps all over my body, my hair was electrically charged and standing out, Holy Spirit laughter, and almighty Victory. The breakthrough is here. God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. I had been telling Jeff that same thing, actually quite a few times, since God had stressed that scripture to me. But today God said, "I am a rewarder of those who diligently seek Me." Glory to God. Hallelujah.
Our war is in the heavenlies, but the battle has been won. The fax has been sent and we are ready to receive. The demons are trembling and have started to break ranks, the angels are rejoicing, the victory is the Lords. When I told Jeff the angels were rejoicing, I got hit with Holy Spirit laughter and tears of joy were streaming down my face. Glory, glory, glories Hallelujah. Then Jeff and I both get hit with Holy Spirit laughter when Anita calls. I answer the phone and Anita immediately says, "Did you tell Jeff not to believe in miracles?" I said, "We discussed miracles, yes." I quickly said, "Would you like to talk to Jeff?" He couldnít keep the smile off his face as his mother told him to keep his head out of the clouds and be down to earth. Five hours in the presence of God, what do you expect?
I told Jeff I wasnít available if Anita wanted to talk to me again, and then Jeff and I both got hit with Holy Spirit laughter. I was laughing so hard I was snorting, and he was laughing so hard, Anita said, "Is your Dad making faces?" Of course I wasnít making faces, but you canít control Holy Spirit laughter. The victory is the Lordís
December 21, 1999. Magnify Your glory in us O Lord. Today was hard. Jeffrey had the pins removed from his hand that was broken. Even harder, God said, "Be still today." I must remember that God is in charge. He knows our needs and the victory has been won. Being still sure is hard though. I love You Lord.
December 22, 1999. The Lord turned me to these five scriptures as fast as I could read and turn. Matthew 15:30, Acts 10:38, John 14:12, Luke 21:13, Acts 20:21.
Matthew 15:30 Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others: and they laid them down at Jesusí feet, and He healed them.
Matthew 15:31 So the multitude marveled when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and the glorified the God of Israel.
Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
John 14:12 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.
John 14:13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
Luke 23:13 But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony.
Acts 20:21 We must repent before God and our faith must be toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
I started the day good with the Lord, but the day got tougher and tougher as we endured attack after attack. Jeffrey developed a boil on his skin graft, they pulled the pins from his thumb yesterday, and they drained a lot of pus from his boil. We are waiting for the physical manifestation of his healing and the devil is not giving up without a fight. We have been battling spiritual warfare all day, and finally Jeff tells me that why donít we go back to his room so we can have a little quiet. Immediately, Mauri calls me and tells me that my car has been repossessed, Jonathan is sick and throwing up, and she hasnít been able to confirm my flight for the day after tomorrow. After that wonderful phone call, Anita calls within one minute and she proceeds to lecture me about the importance of staying in contact with family. But I know victory is here, Praise God.
December 23, 1999. We spent the entire day praising and blessing God. Jeff and I really believed God was going to do a miraculous healing until about five minutes before I left. And then we both broke down. We couldnít let each other go. I am really having a hard time expressing the pain, sorrow, emptiness, anger and everything else. I wish I could understand why Jeff had to experience this final heartrending pain as I left. The emptiness and anger I felt on my way home was indescribable and the trip was very long. I was exhausted but I was so angry I couldnít sleep. I was so empty. And I couldnít understand why God told me and showed me so much, if He was not going to perform. The pain of my children breaks my heart Father. Is it my sins? Am I the reason God is not honoring faith? Lord I am really angry at You right now, but I told You that no matter what You are always my Lord. I love you Lord.
Jeff was in the hospital for one year as he was rehabilitating, and he has been back home with me ever since. Thank You God for bringing him home. He is not leaping and dancing yet, but that day is coming. Thank You Lord for his love for You, and for strengthening him daily. We love