I was raised in a Christian home; in fact, I was a PK (preachers kid). Now I know what the reputation of preachers kids is, but few want to understand why. Preachers kids see behind the scenes of the church, they see the hypocrisy. We sit in the back of the church and see the hands, amen’s, the so-called speaking in tongues, and so forth: we then hear all the gossip, the problems, the immoral behavior of those same people. If one looks at the polls, and the studies, today; of the young people and why they are leaving the church, it’s because more than the preacher's kids are seeing them today.

I didn’t always have problems, I was a quiet child; an only child for nine years. Give me some cars and put me in a room and I would play for hours and no one would know I was there.

This introverted personality passed on into school and right up into high school. I only had one or two friends. I was a preachers kid, therefore I was watched by everyone. I was six foot four but only weighed 155 pounds, and I had asthma; therefore, I was not athletic and did not fit in with the jock crowd. I was not a fighter, therefore, I did not fit in with the bullies. I was not a brainiac; so, I did not fit in with the smart kids. Because I was so backward, most did not like me. In fact, there were three kids with learning disabilities in my class, two of them were more popular than I was. In my senior yearbook, there was a section that said what each of the 52 students (I went to a small school) would be doing 10 or 20 years down the road. While most had good jobs, glorious carriers; like, music star, martial arts star, a successful businessman, the peers that I’d been going to school with for eight years, said I would be selling hot dogs on the corner in New York.

In my Junior year, my mind started to change. I started to look to fill a void that I had. I thought I could do that by building friends so, by my senior year, I started cussing and acting like some of my peers. That didn’t help, obviously by my yearbook; which means it didn’t help fill that desire I was looking for.

Once out of school, I started work, and I thought this would be a great opportunity to start over. I still had that emptiness I wanted to fill; so I started smoking and drinking in trying to build a new reputation that may get me, friends. I had a fast truck and would work on my problems with the thrills of speed, burning rubber, and street drag racing. Even with the parties, I went to, the new job, the few new friends I thought I made, I was still looking for something.

With my searching, I thought maybe I did not go far enough; so, before you know it, I was drinking my breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I started womanizing, looking for affection, touch, someone who would pay attention to me. Soon after, a red-headed girl who had a mutual friend with me, told that friend that she liked me; and liked my truck (sing she thinks my tractors sexy). That friend, who knew who I really was, told her she could do better. Later, against his better judgment, he told me.

So, that redhead and I started dating; but it didn’t take long for my true colors to come out. Most of the time, I could not drive home under my own power and had to have a friend drive for me. One day, on the way home, she was caressing my hair, as I lay my head on her shoulder. She never nagged me, never told me to stop, or anything; but I knew, after that, if I did not stop, I would lose what I had. So, I put down the alcohol and did it without any problems. Later, after we got married, I threw out the cigarettes; again, with no problems. It’s proof that love is more powerful than the addiction.

Shortly after getting married, we moved to Florida. After a while, we hooked up with some friends and one of those guys seemed like he was the most popular guy, and my desire for popularity came back: I wanted to be like him. He always had parties going on, racing cars, friends and girls hanging around all the time, and sleeping over. Yeah, I thought I wanted that, and I started looking at the girls again.

Being in Florida, I ended up going to the beach a lot. My wife would be working so I would go down the nude beach. Not long later, that was not enough and my memories of another PK, who introduced me to porn, came back and I started buying porn. Years down the road, I started cheating on my wife; then, so she could try and save a marriage, I was able to pull her into my perverted fantasies. Every step I made, I felt better about myself for a moment, but my inadequate feelings about myself were never satisfied.

I thought maybe, if I work really, really hard, and move up in business, maybe I could be somebody. So, at a moment of chance, I started with a company, on the ground floor, became a supervisor in six months; then made Asst. DC Manager within two years (skipping over two other positions). I did it, I could move higher and I’m actually somebody now. We had a nice home, with a spiral staircase, cathedral ceilings, a loft overlooking the living room, tanning bed, hot tub, lazy butler from the basement up, just all the luxuries. But, while on the surface I looked like I had it all figured out, at night I would lay in bed and worry about my job, paying the next bill, my freedom, my marriage. When I look back, at a time which I thought I had it made, I was in a prison I built for myself while trying to prove something to someone while trying to be liked and trying to be successful.

By 2007, I had already lost my management job and was back to driving truck. This time, I owned my own truck, and trucking company, and was hauling loads from coast to coast. I was going through Oregon, at about 2 AM in the morning. I have ADD, and it’s only when I’m completely relaxed or too tired to think, that I am able to hear the Spirit of God talk to me. Early that morning, my heart got really heavy; like I was sitting on it heavy. I knew what was going on and I told God I was having too much fun; but, He showed me just... how much fun I was having. So, I “came back” - I “got saved” again.

I used quotes because I didn’t really get saved; I was continuing in the same life I had before I made a so-called commitment. I was waiting for Christ to take away the issues and problems I had, just like I had been taught for so many years; but it didn’t happen.

In 2008, I almost got arrested, lost my home, and virtually everything I had; except my wife. I looked back at the past year and realized that I had become what I ran from - a hypocrite. I decided, “if I could serve satan as well as I did, why can’t I serve God just as well?” So, I started studying Scripture. It was within Scripture that I saw who Christ was, and what He desired for my life. It was in Scripture that I saw instruction on how to live a life that was free and full of rest. It was in Scripture that I saw that I must work out my own salvation with fear and trembling. I realized that it was not a book of control, but a book of freedom. As long as I follow the instruction for my life, as long as I am obedient to what God desires, I have rest. Even though on rare occasion, I may trip, now I lay in my bed, I don’t worry about my job, my money, my marriage, my freedom. While I have a couple nice things, don’t worry about things in this world.

Ok, now I feel great; but how do I let others know about this: surely I must study and figure out how to witness right? But that’s kinda scary. There is still that human side that does not like rejection. I can ride a roller coaster that goes from 0 to 120 in just a few seconds and shoots 430 feet straight up in the air. I can stand on the edge of a cliff that drops hundreds of feet, or stand on top of a tip of a mountain with wind gusting by me, but I’m afraid of being rejected by a man. Do I really have to witness? I mean, this freedom and feeling is great; but is it necessary to tell and warn others about this?

When I look at the parables of Christ, I see the answer is a resounding YES!! In the parable of “The Talents”, in the parable of “The Rich Man and Lazarus”, in the parable of “The Sower”, in Christ words to “go and make disciples”, I see a strong instruction to witness. In fact, in the parable of “Swept Clean and Empty”, we are told that Nineveh will judge those who do not witness to Christ. And, in the parable of “Abiding in the Vine”, we are told that those who don’t witness, though they are in the vine, will be cut off the vine.

OK, so it’s obvious I need to spread this truth; the truth of this freedom I’ve found, but how do I do that? There are many different courses, lessons, books, on the steps one should take: the verses one needs to memorize to be successful at witnessing, do I need these? Absolutely NOT!!

Before we get into the simplicity of witnessing, according to Scripture, let me touch on something real quick.

Some may say, in order to witness, you need to have the Gifts of the Spirit. While that is not all wrong, it’s not all right either. I mean yeah, if a miraculous sign is performed, a demon cast out, an injury or defect healed, that (you would think) would do it. Because of the Gifts of the Spirit, many were brought to the salvation truth by Christ; and by Peter, Paul, and the other disciples. Yet, we also see that, while Y’shua performed many wonderful signs, by the Spirit of God, the multitudes would still walk away because of the message taught: they sought His hand, but they did not seek His feet as Mary did, as the harlot who broke the alabaster box did. And, in the end, most yelled to crucify the very one that was so well known in performing these very signs. Yet, Y’shua said it Himself, “If they will not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not listen to a sign of one being raised from the dead”.

While sign’s and wonders may work to bring people to Christ, they are not signs that those performing them are of Christ, and many will be deceived by signs and wonders. The biggest sign, and the biggest wonder that you have, as a witness, is your life.

Mark 5:1-5 1 Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes. 2 And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, 3 who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains, 4 because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him. 5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones.

So, Y’shua and the disciples just spent an amount of time crossing over the sea and, imagine now, they got out of the boat and were securing it, so it would not float back out to sea; and suddenly this man, naked by some accounts, cut up, dirty, stinky, possibly chains hanging, pale in complexion (because of living staying in a cave hiding) came running out of a graveyard, screaming towards Y’shua and His disciples. And I’m sure that His disciples bumped Y’shua in the side and said, “Wonderful! a man to share the Gospel with”. Actually, they probably looked like the line up when someone is asking for volunteers to clean the latrine and all the disciples took at least three steps back, leaving Christ out front: “We’ll let you handle this one”

Mark 5:6-9
6 When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him. 7 And he cried out with a loud voice and said, "What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me." 8 For He said to him, "Come out of the man, unclean spirit!" 9 Then He asked him, "What is your name?" And he answered, saying, "My name is Legion; for we are many."

So this man knew who Christ was, he apparently has heard of Him, because he ran out to worship; but, when he opened his mouth, it was the demons who spoke.

Mark 5:10-13
10 Also he begged Him earnestly that He would not send them out of the country. 11 Now a large herd of swine was feeding there near the mountains. 12 So all the demons begged Him, saying, "Send us to the swine, that we may enter them." 13 And at once Jesus gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine (there were about two thousand), and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea and drowned in the sea.

Now, with all the care that God takes of His creation and animals, He had no problem in casting these demons in a filthy swine. It also shows how filthy these demons are; for they did not mind going into the filthy swine, yet the filthy swine even knew better than to have these demons in them and they committed hairy cary and ran off a cliff into the sea and drown.

Mark 5:14-15
14 So those who fed the swine fled, and they told it in the city and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that had happened. 15 Then they came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon-possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid.

I met a friend of mine through the company we work for. At our first meeting, he knew of my profession, because I love to speak of Christ so much. He really didn’t want much to do with me, and a mutual friend told me about it. So, whenever we would run into each other, which was pretty much inevitable, I would be easy with my witness to him.

One day, a few years later, he called me and told me he accepted Christ as his Lord. While he’s not perfect, like the rest of us, and still a progress of work, like the rest of us, he is vastly different than he once was. Recently, while talking with our safety department, the safety head asked a serious question of my friend: she wanted to know what kind of medication he was taking to control his anger problem. Now, my friend is not on any kind of medications; but, is a perfect example that maturity in a man comes through a following if Christ.

When our lives change from a habitual bad to a dramatic good, people will be confused and afraid.

Mark 5:16-17
16 And those who saw it told them how it happened to him who had been demon-possessed, and about the swine. 17 Then they began to plead with Him to depart from their region.

Do the townspeople saw a miraculous sign, and they asked the one who performed it to leave. Maybe it was because they lost their swine, maybe because they were afraid of what they saw, but one thing is for certain, they did not want Christ to stay.

And Y’shua, being the gentleman He is, did not push Himself on those, and got into the boat and left.

Mark 5:18-19
18 And when He got into the boat, he who had been demon-possessed begged Him that he might be with Him. 19 However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, "Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you."

As Y’shua was getting in the boat, the man, who Christ saved, asked to go with Him, but Christ told him to go tell his friends what God has done for him, tell them about the compassion and grace.

Y’shua did not put the man through a seven-point study of how to witness; He didn’t have him memorize specific Scriptures; He didn’t tell him to wait on gifts from the Spirit of God: He merely said, go tell your story.

I started this study telling my story. Everyone has a story to tell, everyone ended up where they were because they were looking for something. Everyone is looking for something (it’s a commonality that we have in being able to strike up a conversation on the subject); like we were, they are just looking in the wrong places. There is no Scripture to debate, there are no lessons to learn, there’s no real rejection to be had. People love to hear about other people’s problems: if it were not so, Facebook would not be so popular.

So, what happened when he went and told his story?

Mark 5:20
20 And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him, and all marveled.

Because of the story, he told to Decapolis, and because of the biggest sign, and the biggest wonder, which is his life, they marveled and something happened. Later, we are told that Christ returned to Decapolis, and they brought another man who needed help, one who was deaf and could not speak. Who are they? a multitude. And as we read on in this account, we see the multitude numbered around 4,000. Four thousand people, who once rejected Christ, came to hear Christ because of the witness and story of one man’s life.

Mark 7:31-33 31 Again, departing from the region of Tyre and Sidon, He came through the midst of the region of Decapolis to the Sea of Galilee. 32 Then they brought to Him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech, and they begged Him to put His hand on him. 33 And He took him aside from the multitude,...

As we read on in this account, the multitude that gathered were about four thousand.

Mark 8:1, 9 1 In those days, the multitude being very great ... 9 Now those who had eaten were about four thousand.

There is nothing to be scared of, nothing to study, nothing to know, except the change that was made in your life. There is only one catch to this simple way of witnessing, and it’s true for either this simple way or any other way you may think it needs to be done, there needs to be a genuine walk in the following of Christ in your life. BUT!!, there’s no such thing as “my life is my witness”, at least not in the manner used today. If we do not open our mouth about our witness, people don’t know why we are good people for any other reason then we are just good people. Our life is our witness because our life is our proof that what we profess is what we live.

God Bless and happy farming.