I came back down the hill and I said, “You know Mike, all this time the truth was right in front of our noses!” I was born into a Jewish family both my mom and my dad came from broken homes. Both of them just had miserable family lives and knew very little about parenting. They had terrible examples from their parents. Just shy of my 12th birthday it was decided that they would send me to a boarding school that began a 6-year journey of adapting to things that I just was not prepared to adapt to. No parents around, influenced by anything, everything.
Eventually, I got introduced to drugs and by the time I graduated from prep school became a very regular drug user. Marijuana became LSD and LSD became all kinds of amphetamines and pills… Basically, I was just was looking for the next high the next party, the next pleasure.
I got into Syracuse University. My sophomore year, my buddy came to visit me and he said, “You know last summer I went to California. I had the greatest time! Why don’t we just quit school?” We wound up settling in a small town in Southern Oregon. We actually acquired some property. It was a 20-acre piece of property that had a log house and a cabin. We decided to move into the cabin and rent out the house. We found four other hippies looking for a place to live.
That went on for a couple months until one day something pretty drastic happened. I got a phone call: they were on their way back, and they had a van full of drugs, their van went off the side of the road and stuff went flying all over the place. The police arrived and now all four of them were in jail. Police cars were driving in, it seemed like they were all over where our property was and so we’re introduced to a new thing at that particular time called paranoia. We decided, “We’re gonna hitchhike to Mexico.”
We went to the main crossroad of town. The first car that picked us up was a guy and he started telling us about Jesus. Talking about scripture verses and not only was I not interested I didn’t even understand what he was saying. We spent the night that day at this ranch and the next morning they took us to the coast highway and we stuck out our thumbs and the first car that picked us up was a Christian family. They started asking us questions about God and whether we believed in Jesus and sharing the gospel with us. A couple hundred miles south we wound up in Mendocino and we were standing on the Coast Highway. A pickup truck pulls about 100-ft away from us. A guy gets out of the passenger side, comes right up to me, and he asks, “Do you know that Jesus loves you?” We wound up who knows where. I don’t remember what happened, and I think I’m probably glad I don’t remember what happened. There were a couple times I thought we were gonna get killed… It was pretty bizarre, and we were pretty lost. About three weeks later we made it back up to Oregon.
Something inside of me, I had this desire I wanted to get a hold of this book this Bible. So I went into town and in a drugstore I saw a Bible and I bought the Bible and I took it home and opened to the New Testament. Now it was really important to me that Mike not know what I was doing because I thought he would make fun of me and so I would go up and and I began to read. I was just overwhelmed with the gospel, the story of Jesus, I couldn’t stop reading.
After I think probably 2, 2½ weeks I began to read my journal of my trip, and I got to the part where that guy that came up to me outside of Mendocino had asked me to pray and I remember feeling like I really wanted to do that when he had asked me and I never did, and so I took a walk and I walked up behind where a house was up this kind of hill and I closed my eyes and I just said, “God if you’re there, if you’re real, I want to know.” I opened my eyes and I just knew – I knew God was real.
I came back down the hill. Mike was there. I said, “You know, Mike, all this time the truth was right in front of our noses!” And he said, “Yeah, I know.” We start talking and it turns out the daughter of the realtor was a Christian woman and she had given Mike a Bible. He was reading it and hiding it from me at the same time that I was reading the one I got and was hiding from him. So we just started all a sudden talking about God.
And then we started getting letters from these guys that were in jail – we hadn’t seen them in probably about a month or so and all four of them without speaking to each other had met Christians in prison and had become believers in Jesus. We wound up getting invited to a church. People just embraced us. I started going to church and hearing the gospel presented and I remember in those early days just every time there was an altar call I raised my hand. I just wanted God in my life. I wanted him to forgive and to wash the sin out of my heart and as I would go I would actually physically feel that God had taken this 20-year-old young man who had no purpose, no reason no desire to do anything… I started to just read the Word of God. I got to read the Old Testament and just everything fit together, even to the point of my own sense of Jewishness.
Really, for the first time, I really felt like I was Jewish. I love now to be in situations and to say what I often say to people, “You know Jesus wasn’t a Christian…Jesus was a Jew!” The New Testament is Jewish. I could just feel my life just being totally changed and falling in love with this Jesus who had every answer for every question that I had. Jesus has become everything to me.
Choose Life, Avoid Hell
Please hear my prayer.
- I admit I'm a sinner in need of a Saviour – [Romans 3:10 / 3:23 / 6:23]
- I believe in my heart that Jesus/Yeshua is Lord – Jesus Christ was crucified, buried and rose again, paying in full the death penalty for my sin. [Romans 10:9-10]
- I call upon the name of the Lord and I confess with my mouth Jesus/Yeshua is Lord and I believe in my heart the God raised Him from the dead, so I will be saved. For it is with my heart that I believe, and am justified and it is with my mouth that I confess and am saved. [Romans 10:9-10 / 10:13]