A Note from Michael - As I share my personal testimony here, I do not wish to garner sympathy. At one time in my life, I suffered horribly from my self imposed sin of drunkenness. During this time, 1983, I was directed to an organization that was thought to be the leading source of help to overcome alcohol problems such as mine. What I found here was an excuse for my unacceptable behavior that gave me a license to do anything I wanted to do as long as I did not drink. 19 years later after divorce- 4 DWI's - numerous PI's -6 treatment centers and even having lived on the street under a bridge, a man of God named Wes Weston came and prayed for me as I was being prepared to be transferred to the State Hospital with a "wet brain"( Korsakoph's syndrome). That same night I was returned to my senses after having not responded for 3 days, and have since done everything I could to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ to the best of my ability, resulting in living waters flowing through me to many others since 2002 . John 7:37 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.I thank everyone involved in keeping me alive until I could be directed to read a chapter of Proverbs everyday, changing my life forever!
Life for me began in Manhattan ,NY on Nov.22, 1956. Between 1 week and a week and a half later I was found abandoned in a tenement building left to die or merely forgotten as a drug addicted mother was unable to recall what had transpired recently in her life. I was curled up in a ball and weighed just over 4lbs. Estimated birth weight was 8lbs. 11oz. My great aunt and uncle in Fredericksburg , TX, who eventually adopted me, were contacted and drove as quickly as possible to New York to get me. I returned home with them where I was miraculously saved again as I was found to be lactose intolerant, allergic to soybean and unable to keep much sustenance down. Grandmother Fiedler was able to find something finally that I could tolerate. Oatmeal juice that was strained from boiled oatmeal got me kick-started and on my way to good health. At the age of 5, two half sisters joined our family. By the time I was in the first grade I was saved from drowning twice.
My younger years included Sunday school with my half-sisters and vacation bible school at the First Baptist Church. 1st grade began in September of 1963. We went to school from 12pm to 4:30pm daily that year.. The major thing I remembered that year was the assination of President John F. Kennedy on my 7th birthday 2nd grade found me joining a local cub scout troop. Cub scouts taught us many useful things such as home repair, electrical repair ,building a fire with a flint and steel, survival skills, fishing, hunting, civic duty religious duty, and personal responsibility. My sisters also attended girl scouts. Pee-wee league was a right of passage into baseball and I learned a whole new respect for hardballs and baseball bats as I somehow ended up being the catcher after being bored in the outfield that hardly ever saw any action. Summertime was busy for we children as we had 2 weeks of Red Cross swimming lessons every summer. There were always weeds to chop in the garden and neighbors lawns to mow to make spending money. My Father loved trot line fishing so many Thursday and Friday afternoons were spent catching small perch and minnows for bait as my mom took my sisters and I to different fishing places.As I became a boy scout my Dad became an assistant scoutmaster and helped with fishing and rope skills merit badges. 13 years old found me working on my AdAlterDei Religious merit badge at boy scouts, beginning to play professionally with country music bands , and starting a part time job at an Ice -House where I chipped 300lb blocks of Ice, crushed ice to fill bags with, sorted empty beer and soda bottles, filled the drink coolers, mopped the bar area and cleaned the restrooms and hung deer up in the freezer when it was deer season.This was a period that defined the path that I would follow as many bad habits became easier to begin since warnings you have heard all through childhood start going out the window when you start hanging out with the unchurched instead of the flock of Christ. I still wonder if I ever saw 1st Corinthians 5:11 or if it was something I chose to ignore. There may be a lesson in this as I was told constantly that my grandfather was an alcoholic and my maternal mother were both alcoholic, so maybe I used this for an excuse for unacceptable behavior at an early age. Dipping Copenhagen snuff and beer drinking were rights of passage in the German town of Fredericksburg,Texas as I was growing up. Working men went straight to the bar after 8 hour work days and would stay until 10pm every night. These same men were often seen at different beer stops on their lunch hour.My freshman year in High School found me in Concert, Marching , and Jazz Ensemble in the band and also a beginning with Distributive Education and it took me away from the beer-joint and into a department store by the name of Winn's. The atmosphere was much more conducive to practicing clean language and proper dress . I was not around alcohol and tobacco as much now but the habits once formed are not easily shaken so they came with me.Visiting my uncle, playing at dance halls, and working at another beer store part-time kept my beer supply at an arms reach .The beginning of my freshman year found me still working at Winns, becoming an Eagle Scout, playing more music and beginning to date. The down side was I quit going to church, quit going to scouts. My adopted mother died my junior year. I grew much closer to my wife to be during this period as I was adopted by her family. My Dad opened a produce business my junior year and as it prospered I began to work more for my Dad . I drove truck -stocked produce racks and took care of maintenance. Marriage to my first wife came in 1975..This marriage fell victim to the great remover of alcohol and the many curses that come with it. The beautiful part of the whole story is that 2 beautiful children were given to my lifelong friend and I . Our two children from this marriage, Myron and Melody are 2 of the most beautiful caring people of whom I am well pleased with and very proud of. As life moved on ,another short stint of a 2nd marriage was given no chance as alcohol became my main focal point due to the maintenance drinking I had to do so I would not shake so bad in front of people.Leaving this marriage landed me on a bus headed for Dallas , TX where I received a crash course in survival as I began living on the street there . The Lord kept me alive through this and every time I would enter a mission or Salvation Army to seek the Lord my life would begin to improve until I felt the need to celebrate my success , finding myself broken and back in the same place time after time. I worshiped a false God named alcohol instead of the one true God, as the Father , the Son , and the Holy Spirit. I'm so glad Jesus set me free ! What I know today is that the "sin " of drunkenness is not a disease ! If you wish to be free of any addiction you must read the God -help book called the Bible. Self help is the reason you are driven to addiction in the first place as all you think about is helping yourself to many things you shouldn't instead of helping others. I now try my best daily to serve the Lord ,along with my help-meet and wife Sherrie ,who the Lord blessed me with in 1996. We are very busy with the "Great Commission Bible Church and College" as well as missionary work in Uganda, Cameroon, and Ethiopia. Your Father in heaven is with you in the valleys as well as on the tops of the mountains of life and He will never leave you or forsake you!