The manner in which GOD turns human hearts to Him is as diverse as life itself. My Awakening to Christ came later in life.
It wasn’t until I was age 33 that I gave permission for the Messiah to come and live out the wonders of His Sacred Law
in my heart. And yet, throughout my life GOD was diligent to mold my circumstances to bring me to the place where my heart
could be reached and His voice be heard.
There were two profound moments in my upbringing, two seeds of salvation
that GOD sowed into my life during my childhood that contributed greatly to inaugurate my faith in Jesus Christ later in life.
When I was six years old, my two older brothers got their first BB gun. I followed them outside to watch them shoot. After
shooting a few leaves and twigs they noticed a little sparrow, singing on a branch. He took aim and shot it. It fell and lay
dead on the ground. One moment it was happy and singing. Now it lay lifeless. This was the first life threatening cruelty
I had ever seen. My brothers, fully aware of what they had done, became fearful that our parents would find out. So they decided
to bury the evidence. After getting the shovel they suddenly became vindictive towards me, believing I would tell on them.
So out of spite they took the shovel, cut off the bird’s head and threw it at me and laughed as I fled in fear. But
when I stopped and turned, I heard a voice with a plaintive, compassionate, adult tone, speak to me: “This is not your
world.” How could a 6 year-old boy even consider such a lofty thought? 27 years later (when I gave permission for Jesus
Christ to come live in my soul) I discovered those words in the Bible: “Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest.”
Micah 2:10. The first seed of salvation sown into my life was the seed of the Word of GOD. And that voice I now know was the
voice of my guardian angel (Matt.18:10).
The second seed of salvation the LORD sowed into my life took place a few
years later. At age 11, I was at a friend's house on Easter Sunday and we watched a movie, Samuel Bronston’s production
of King of Kings, with the handsome Jeffrey Hunter playing the role of Jesus Christ. By the end of the movie I was in love
with Jesus; and I noticed that they called Him, “King of the Jews” when He was crucified. I knew I wasn’t
a Jew, but I wanted Jesus as my King. So, after the movie was over, I ran home and told my parents, “I want to be a
Jew.” They, being puzzled asked, “Why do you want to be a Jew?” “Because Jesus is king of the Jews,”
I said. Although my parents believed in Christ they were illiterate to the writings of Paul on thesubject. So my hunger for
spiritual things was never satisfied in childhood. It wasn’t until years later that this childhood dream was fulfilled
and I read for the first time what the Bible defines as a Jew: “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s
seed, and heirs according to the promise.” “For he is not a Jew which is one outwardly...But he is a Jew, which is
one inwardly.” Gal.3:29;Rom.2:28,29.
Music has always been a part of my life. I was raised in a home where every member relished the creative arts. After discovering
my ability to identify and duplicate the scale tones of music, my parents provided me every benefit for a good music education.
I studied the violin throughout my upbringing, and over time sufficient coordination developed to provide a livelihood.
After my conservatory education was
complete, a successful audition with the Florida Symphony Orchestra secured my first professional position as a violinist.
Eight years of playing with the symphony had passed and I felt happy and blessed in the material world. My parents were proud
of me; I had full health coverage; a retirement pension; full time pay for part time work (25 hours per week); doing what
I loved. I even had the best seat on the concert stage: right in the center, in front of the woodwinds, percussion and brass.
I felt to a great degree that I had achieved the summit of happiness that was to last for the remainder of my life. But GOD
said, “Come up hither.”
But before GOD could give me my Damascus road experience, He had to coordinate
my separation from drug addiction. I had been a drug user since high school. Marijuana, primarily, but I did LSD, mushrooms,
mescaline, speed, Cocaine, Crystal-meth, and Quaaludes. If you
want to know about drugs, I’ll tell you about drugs. If you want a smile on your face when you’re doing things
you normally despise, snort cocaine: this is the drug of enthusiasm. If you want to love your enemies even while they threaten
your family, snort crystal meth: this is the drug of artificial love. If you want to visualize anything from your imagination,
take LSD: this is the drug of vision. If you want to take your daily stress away, smoke some pot: you’ll forget all
about it. And if you desire to not care about nothing or nobody, drink alcohol: this is the great drug of clumsy carelessness
in our society. I quickly discovered that GOD can only build a sober mind. That’s not to say that GOD can’t reach
people under the influence, but although there may be an openness of mind, there is always the associated clumsiness and the
corresponding “crash” whenever you come off the high.
In the summer of 1990, GOD separated me from
any access to drugs for about two months: that my mind would be clear enough to hear His voice. At which time came the call
of GOD: “Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail.” Isa.34:16. An urging tug
on my heart began, inspiring me to read the Bible. I was being drawn to follow a path that I didn’t know where it would
lead, but the voice in my heart saying, “read the Bible,” had such a quality of gentle decency that I had to follow
that voice to see where it would lead. It was permeated with such tenderness and love. I didn’t own a Bible but among
my small library of books I did have an old book of my grandmother’s called, The Story of the Bible, by Charles E. Foster.
It was given to her, in 1903 by her mother. This book was a compilation of all the famous passages of Scripture. So I read
the great stories of Moses and the prophets, and then of Jesus Christ. My heart welled up with exuberant joy thinking, “There
is a GOD who loves me. I have a King who lives to serve; and His name is Jesus Christ.”
I also had an idol that needed to be disposed of—music itself. In the opening weeks of my awakening, GOD made me despise
all the things that I had previously given praise and attention. All music including the sweetest melodies sounded like a
screeching fingernail on a blackboard to my ears. The television, the movies, all the things that once drew my affections
became distasteful, including the drugs. I could not bear the raging conflict made evident by the cruel indifference of my
life and the world in which I lived to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was too painful. I had to separate myself from everything
for a time—to get my bearings. There was only one thing musical to my soul during these opening weeks of my newfound
companionship with Jesus Christ: “It is written.” Nothing more melodic, harmonious or poetic to the human heart
has ever been created than the Word of GOD. That men choose to be at war with the Word of GOD is the most illogical stance
in light of the fact that every ideal of the human heart is addressed and is assured of its perfect fulfillment through the
written assurances of His Word.
The summer weeks concluded and the symphony season began. GOD restored my
love for music: but only in its proper context of being subservient to Him. It was during this time that I attended various
churches and denominations, loving all people equally and measuring their love for the Scriptures within the worship service.
GOD’S swift and marvelous providence led me to be baptized a Seventh-day Adventist Christian. And GOD’S method
of bringing me to this church was miraculous for two reasons.
season began with contract negotiations. As the negotiations developed, my friends and fellow players for the last eight years
suddenly became unreasonable in their demands of management. Considerable increases of pay and benefits were demanded with
unflinching resolve. Management reminded the players that the symphony budget could not allow for these demands right now
because the sales of tickets had been decreasing in recent years, (the Orlando Magic, performing right next door, was, among
other pastimes, were drawing our customers away), and the wealthy patrons could not be called to give any more than they already
had. Logic demanded that the survival of the orchestra would be best secured with no increase of pay and benefits at this
time. This outraged the players. We became like lemmings marching to the sea only to drown. The spirit of anger and malice
among my friends was appalling. We associated our demands for greater pay with that of other symphonies in much larger cities
and with much larger budgets. And there was no reasoning with the union or its represented players. So they voted to go on
strike. I was one of two that voted against the strike. The players meetings made me tremble because of the cruel spirit ruling
there. The prevailing spirit of bitterness and hatred removed any possibility of resolution to this conflict. The whole tenor
of this movement was so illogical, making absolutely no sense, ethically or practically.
But shortly after the strike
began I was riding my motorcycle, and saw a sign next to the road that read, “Revelation Seminar.” I had read
the book and was confused by the symbolism of language; but in this book GOD gives a promised blessing to those who read it
and I believed in His promised blessing, as so many have done before me. I was starving for every blessing of GOD: knowledge,
wisdom and understanding: coupled with the ability to witness with Biblical coordination. I could not get close enough to
my Savior: I hugged my Bible; I squeezed my pillow. His presence that was with me was so overflowing that it was almost painful
to not have something tangible of Him to feel within my clasp. (I appreciate to some extent how Mary Magdalenemust have felt
when she saw Christ after His resurrection: springing toward Him, and clinging to His feet, and He said, “Let Me go...”)
Prior to my attending the Revelation Seminar at the Seventh- day Adventist Church, I had previously purchased Hal Lindsey’s
book on Revelation; and his commentary was characteristically mystical. It presented ideas, leading the reader to trust his
appraisal, while giving no sound reason for his ideas, no plain "Thus saith the LORD" just a Simon-says blind trust;
and in the end, I was no wiser in the knowledge of the book of Revelation or the Gospel than before I read it.
So, when I saw the opportunity to learn more about “the Revelation of Jesus Christ” I jumped at the chance.
And as I discovered the character of Christ in Revelation, and saw how over half the verses of the book are taken from Old
Testament passages, proving it is not a sealed book but perfectly understandable especially its prophetic union with the book
of Daniel whose prophecies span history to the close of time. Then it dawned on me: I believe GOD removed His restraining
Spirit from the hearts of my colleagues for two purposes: 1) That they might see their true character without the influence
of GOD in their hearts, and 2) That I could be ushered into the Seventh-day Adventist church: which proved later to be the
most loyal to GOD'S Word and Law among all mainstream churches. And there was another reason I believe GOD swiftly ushered
me to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, it was due to my gullibility to the popular teachings of the day. I believed that
Christians were one united family and that there was no deception within the ranks of all who professed Jesus as their LORD
and Savior. I was a trusting babe not realizing my vulnerability to the prevailing betrayal of Mainstream-Christianity to
the gospel guidelines: and this included my ignorance of the dangerous sins within the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Not a
single organized religion is free of sin. As long as sinful man is in the equation, trouble erupts. While all denominations
have godly contributions to the cause of Christ, to allow the continued transgression of the Ten Commandments is setting up
the Christian world for a hard fall. I then discovered this is the theme of Bible prophecy for the end times: the grand finale
of betrayal against the human race simply because of “the commandments of men” outside the will of GOD.
But as a babe in Christ, I was called to trust the evangelical experts and prophecy “scholars.” I had forty hours
of Bible study verses Benny Hinn’s and Jack Van Impe’s twenty thousand hours of Bible study—I must surrender
my will to the experts—and so it was I reasoned. GOD had to save me from this and many other snares that are so common
among believers of all faiths.
After my completion of the Revelation Seminar and subsequent baptism, the symphony
strike was over. Upon our return to the symphony’s concert schedule I told the personnel manager that I was now unable
to perform on Sabbath hours. I was told that they would honor my wishes through the season but if I did not agree to the terms
of the new contract, (that demanded I make every service to keep my job), I would have to be fired. Needless to say, the symphony
orchestra fired me from my tenured position of nine years because of my stance for the Sabbath of Jesus Christ. Christ’s
Words, “The Sabbath was made for man” carries no weight in the arts, business, government, and even mainstream
My final concerts with the Florida Symphony Orchestra had moments of tears: everything from performing concerts with Ray Charles
to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. The LORD counted them all. One year after my removal the orchestra went out of business.
The oldest orchestra in the state of Florida no longer exists; and to this day some still harbor that same spirit of bitterness—but
others have turned to GOD. Some of my old friends became enlightened to their spiritual needs after the conflict.
So, here I was without a career. The
whole aim of my upbringing was taken from me, never to be regained as long as I give allegiance to the Sacred Law of GOD.
My parents felt that I was dishonoring them in taking a stand for my new convictions. I struggled on this issue as with many
others, but each time I got backed into some corner the Word of GOD set me free. In the case of my parents and the Fifth Commandment
to honor them, the Bible taught me that honoring the Savior Jesus Christ would be the greatest honor I could bestow on my
GOD has blessed me over these last 18 years with such an improved understanding on the cause and effect of life that I gained
my parents respect, even more than they had ever previously shown. My mother told me, "You are the only one I can talk
After I lost my home and career, (for no symphony will hire me as long as I keep sacred the Sabbath day), I looked to my church
to continue the exercise of the greatest talent allotted to me in life. Over the last 18 years I have been given invitations
to play music at Camp Meeting, at evangelistic crusades, for the sacred hour, vespers, nursing homes, hospitals and prisons.
And I have given willingly and without complaint to bless the church I love. I have blown up amplifiers, ruined speakers,
scarred my car to its devaluation; and that’s OK. It is all worth it. The testimonies GOD has lavished on me cannot
be measured until the Great Day of Christ and history is reviewed.
The greatest faith building resources deal
with going out on a limb for GOD. I will share two short testimonies verifying this:
I went to a Walmart parking
lot carrying a thousand copies of a page describing the prophecies of “the new earth” to show people the Bible’s
promise of a coming world without struggle. After two hours and the last sheet was placed on a windshield, a thunderstorm
was suddenly moments away. The winds suddenly picked up, the clouds turned dark with lightning and thunder, and within moments
all the work I had done for the LORD would be wasted, for no one wants to hold a wet piece of paper. So I went to my knees
and prayed, “Father, if there is one person who will be glad to read these words don’t let this rain come.”
Instantly, a strong gust of wind blew coming from the opposite direction of the storm; and literally within minutes the sky
was blue again! Not a single drop of rain fell on that parking lot.
The other testimony was at a vespers concert
given at the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Central Florida. The LORD showed me something more from His infinite repertoire
of capabilities. After I played my selections of classical music, a husband and wife came up to me, and the wife stated that
her husband was completely deaf; but that evening GOD opened his ears and he heard the music I played. I looked at him and
he was smiling a grand smile. As to why the LORD chose not to keep his ears open I cannot judge. That the LORD would bless
me to bless others is a government I will follow forever.