Follow by Email

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Be a true soldier in Gods Army....My story continues....this is the craziest part of my story!!!

My thoughts:  Hello again and Thank you for reading my blog. I have had such an awesome response. I am thankful it is helping others. Hows life going in your neck of the woods?   I am doing well. I am growing stronger every day in every way! I feel more and more purpose in my life as I attend school to become a licensed counselor. I know God has led me back to school, and it sure feels nice to know that I am in the right place doing the right thing .  Life is so much sweeter when you are sober and addiction free. It is worth every effort to overcome your addictions.
I have learned that some of us just need to keep it simple, so I say that if you will put forth honest effort and say sincere prayers that you will be granted the strength to obstain from your addictions. It may take some time, but if you will just put forth honest effort and pray sincerely, you will be granted the strength to overcome. HONEST EFFORT AND SINCERE PRAYER WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!  I know that through honest effort and sincere parayer God opens up doors and blesses our efforts.
In my opinion as we strive to overcome our addictions, we should not expect perfection at first only improvement. Usually we develop our addictions over a long period of time, so we should not expect to overcome them over night. God will take the desire to indulge away very quickly for some, but for some it takes time. Be patient with yourself and focus on improvement not profection. The journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step... Just keep on keepin on! I am a firm believer in the 12 steps. They really do work if you will work the steps. well they are not for everyone, but they definitely worked for me!
For school I was aked to read a book called "The lost Years" (Surviving a mother and daughters worst nightmare)  by: Kristina Wandzilak and Constance Curry. It is a true story about overcoming addiction. I thought it was a great book. I would reccomend it to anyone that is going through addiction or knows someone who isIn the book both perspectives are portrayed (the addict & the co-dependent)  I know that I was inspired by their story. 

Scripture of the day: Hebrews 11: 1-40


Words of encouragement:
“When life knocks you down, try to land on your back. Because if you can look up, you can get up.”
~Les Brown~

“Instead of giving myself reasons why I can’t, I give myself reasons why I can.”
~Unknown~

“Fall seven times, stand up eight.”
~Unknown~

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
~Winston Churchill~

“A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.”
~Unknown~

 
My story continues:
 While I was gone on my mission, my parents decided to relocate to Utah from Houston to help with Travis, so I also relocated to Utah once my mission was complete. I started college two days after my arrival in Utah. I tried out for the golf team at Salt Lake Community college, and I made the team! I was attending church regularly, and making the transition from missionary life to college student quite well. I was leading a happy, productive, and sober life. At this point I had been clean from drugs and alcohol for over three years. I had been home from my mission for approximately one-year when I planned a trip back to Houston to visit old friends. Because I had been clean from alcohol and drug use for over three years, I thought it would be no big deal to visit an old friend who was the music D.J at a local bar. I thought I was strong enough to resist the temptation. By the end of the night I had let my guard down and had a few drinks. Those few drinks turned into a lifestyle of drinking and smoking. I know now that I should have never let my guard down the first time.
It wasn’t long after arriving back in Utah that I was drinking at a party, and I was introduced to methamphetamines. I became addicted to meth in a very short period of time, to be honest I became addicted the very first time I tried it! At first while I was using meth I was productive, and could accomplish all sorts of projects, but it wasn’t long and I would stay awake for days at a time and accomplish absolutely nothing! I was “spun-out” going in circles and going no where really fast! My life “spun” out of control! I quit going to school, and I could not hold down a job for any length of time. I was arrested for another D.U.I. and put on probation. I was still using meth while I was on probation, so I ended up violating probation and serving seven months in the Salt Lake County Jail. While I was using meth I also was charged with “forgery” for taking my own mothers debit card! Yes, I was that addicted that I would take from my own mother!!! Call it a coincidence if you like, but both arrests “just happened” to be on April 19th, which is the same date B.J. was killed! That was another wake up call, and it helped me to realize that God is so much involved in the details of our lives, but it wasn’t enough to keep me from using again. Upon my release from jail I did stop using for a while. I actually landed a decent job at the golf course, and I was playing golf again. I was playing often enough that I decided to turn professional, and try to qualify for the “Utah Open”. My father and I played in the qualifying round together; we both missed the cut by just a few strokes. When the golf season ended because the harsh, freezing cold winter, so did my job. I was out of work and within one month of not working I was back on the streets and back on meth once again. Once again I was addicted to the devil’s dust.  I was also addicted to the lifestyle of fast money, fats cars, and fast women! I was living life in the fast lane, and involved in all sorts of drug, and alcohol use. My mom kept trying to tell me, “Daniel, if you don’t change your lifestyle, something very bad is going to happen to you, its not a matter of IF its going to happen, its just a matter of WHEN”. And boy was she ever right!
While I was staying sober and working a full time job, my father bought me a really nice vehicle, with leather seats, it even had touch button four-wheel drive. It was very nice. I would use my vehicle to get the drugs I wanted without having to come up with cash by providing rides to those who had my drug of choice, and needed a ride. We would just trade; I’ll give you a ride if you will hook me up with some dope, that’s pretty much how it went.  Well I had met this couple who was in the business of selling all types of drugs, and they didn’t have a vehicle, so it worked out great for me, or so I thought. I was so lost in that world of self deception it was scary. I was hanging around the wrong crowd and I was about to find out first hand just how evil these people were. It was on April 28th, a Sat night, when I decided that I wanted to get high on meth. I contacted the couple that I knew that might be willing to trade some meth for a ride, and sure enough, they did need a ride. Well, it was John’s girl-friend that was home and needed the ride; John was not there at the time I arrived. Their main drug sales came from crack cocaine, so they would buy large quantities of powder cocaine and then cook it up into crack, and then sell it. Sarah needed a ride to “re-up” on the powder supply, so in exchange for some methamphetamines, I gave her a ride.
It was April 29th 2007, a Saturday night that quickly turned into Sunday morning. It was just John’s girl-friend, my self, and the lady that she bought the cocaine from. It was a small apartment. I was just hanging out waiting while they were smoking and talking. When Sarah got the phone call, I could see the look on her face that something was very wrong. She hung up the phone and then reached into her pocket and pulled out $180.00 cash, and asked me if I would return the money to this irate woman for her. She went on to explain that this woman had given her the money for meth, and that because she hadn’t returned with the meth yet, this woman thought she was being robbed. This irate woman had already sent people to Sarah’s house, and physically assaulted her room mate. That was what the phone call was all about. Sarah may have been a drug dealer, but she wasn’t one to run off with your money. She was not planning to steal this woman’s money. Sarah asked me to return the irate ladies money, and I said I would do it. We were concerned about my safety, so they wanted me to take one of their friends with me, as well as pick up John and take him with us too. These two guys talked me into taking the money up to the ladies house and getting her to open the door, and then they would show up after. To my knowledge they never discussed what they were going to do once they got into the house. I assumed that they were going to threaten her, and maybe take her money. I went and knocked on the ladies door while John and the other guy parked the vehicle. She let me right in, and I had a really bad feeling, so I told her that I had half the money and that we needed to leave to go get the other half. She was trying to get ready to leave when there was a knock at the door. I knew it was John and the other guy, but I DID NOT KNOW that they were going to come in with their guns drawn! This other guy that I am leaving nameless for many reasons decided that he was going to torcher this lady! He made her sit on the couch, and forced a sock in her mouth! He was scaring her by telling her that he was going to kill her entire family if she told anyone what was happening. He begins to burn her over and over on her arms with a lit cigarette! He also forced her to smoke the crack pipe! This poor lady was so scared that she was having an asthma attack. I saw her inhaler there next to her and asked the unidentified guy if she could use it. He let her use her inhaler to catch her breath. She had a little dog in her lap also. We found out later that it was a service dog to help with her anxiety.  They had asked me to look out the windows to keep a look out if anyone was coming, so that’s what I was doing. I saw a man pull up out front, and they told her not to answer the door. This man knocked for a few minutes, and then drove away. A short time later a man and another woman showed up. This time they wanted her to let them in the house. As soon as they came into the house they were commanded at gunpoint to sit on the couch and be quiet. Then they forced gags into their mouth also! It seemed like we were there for an hour at this point.
 I was in the back bedroom looking out the window when the unidentified guy came back there and asked me if I had ever done any thing like this before. I told him, “no I have not, why do you ask”? He then handed me his gun, turned and ask John for his gun, and handed me that gun also!  He said, “I want you to come out here and point the guns at this man”. I knew I wouldn’t actually pull the trigger, but I did walk out there and point the guns at the man. When I walked around the corner and looked at this man in his eyes, it was as if he could see in my eyes that I wasn’t going to use those guns. He immediately spit the gag out of his mouth, jumped up out of his seat, and grabbed the unidentified guy in a head lock, and yelled out , “if your going to kill me , then go ahead and kill me”! I was not going to pull the trigger, that’s for sure, but John reached over and took his gun out of my hand. John then yelled out, “Let him go, let him go!” but the angry man only squeezed tighter, holding the unidentified guy in a head lock. Not even thirty seconds went by and John put the 40 glock pistol to this mans head, and BANG, he pulled the trigger!!! The man was dead before he even hit the ground! I immediately turned for the door and ran! I was in shock!  I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was wearing flip flops that day, and I ran as fast as I could around the corner into a small grocery store. I then came out of the store and begin walking down the street, by this time I could hear all of the sirens. John pulled up next to me, and said, “Get in, hurry, and get in”. I jumped in the passenger seat of the vehicle, and we drove off.
John had his gun in his lap, and was very calm and collective, as if he had done this before. I on the other hand looked like I had just seen a ghost! John quickly informed me that he had to kill everyone! He said, “I could not leave any witnesses, I had to kill them all, I shot the women too!” I couldn’t believe my ears, but it was true, after he shot that man point blank in his head, he then shot him again point blank in his head after he had hit the ground! John then turned the gun on the women. He shot one of them eight times, and the other one seven times!!! Would you believe that he even killed the ladies service dog that was in her lap? Well, he did! He had an extended clip, a total of seventeen shots.
 As we were driving down the road John told me that I needed to stay close to him, until he said otherwise. I didn’t realize that he was out of bullets, so at the time I felt it would be best to comply with his demands. We drove back over to the woman’s house were Sarah (Johns girlfriend) was waiting. The unidentified guy that was with us showed up there also after running several miles all the way back.  A short time later John had a friend show up in a stolen car, with stolen license plates. John, myself, John’s friend- Stacy, who brought the stolen car, and John’s girl-friend loaded into this car and took off to Wendover, Nevada ( a nearby casino town).
 The next thing you know we were at the casino watching the headline news, “killers on the loose, triple homicide in S. Salt Lake City”. I was still in disbelief, and in shock. I just couldn’t believe that John had actually committed murder right in front of my face! I felt so bad. I was horrified and terrified!
We found out later that the man died, but both women had lived!!! I was so grateful to hear that the women lived. It is a true miracle that those two women lived after being shot so many times! I know God spared their lives. I don’t know about you, but I believe in miracles! To this day I feel terrible for the man that lost his life that day. Although I did not have any intent to harm anyone I know I should not have been doing the things I was doing that day. I want to take this opportunity to publicly apologize to that man’s family. I am very sorry for your loss and I wish God’s richest blessings upon your family.

I will continue to post more as folks read it..Thanks again for reading my blog. I hope you have been inspired in some way. God Bless!





  

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Be a true soldier in God's army....my story continued.

MY THOUGHTS: Hello, I am back again. THANK YOU FOR READING MY BLOG!  My first week of school has been busy, but very educational. I am already learning so much about the counseling world. It seems that the "world"  has come up with many diffirent theories on how to overcome our problems. I would say that most of these theories are good, but in my mind everything always comes back to God! I have learned from the scriptures that God actually gives us all diffirent weaknesses, so will humble ourselves and turn to Jesus Christ, and then when we humble ourselves and tap into the power of Jesus Christ; He will turn our weaknesses into our greatest strengths! The keys to overcoming addiction and any weakness are found in humility and faith in God. To be humble is the oppisite of prideful. To be humble means that we are willing to listen and learn new things. When we are humble then we are willing to take the action to do whatever it takes to stop the self destructive behavior. When we are humble we are willing to get down on our knees and pray to our Heavenly Father. I truly believe that addiction is a spiritual matter. What I mean is that we all have a spirit body inside of our physical body. It is our spiritual health that is most important. If you are spiritualy strong you are much more capable of standing strong in the face of temptation. When you are spiritualy strong you are able to have self control. To become spiritually strong one must exercise spiritually. We exercise spiritually by reading God's word and by prayer and fasting. We exercise spiritually also by choosing the right in the face of temptation. Temptation is the opportunity to choose the wrong or choose the right. When we choose good over evil we are exercising spiritually.
It is true that a spiritual war was started in heaven before we ever came to this earth. Satan rebelled against God and the battleground has been moved here upon this earth. This is why I am writing a book to explain the reality of Gods army and Satan's army! We are all involved in this war and our very own souls are at stake!!! It is our freedom to choose who's army we will fight in. You are actually choosing each day who's army you are in by the choices you make! As for me and my house we will choose to be all we can be as true soldiers in God's army! What about you?
One point I am trying to make today is that the world can teach you all sorts of great information, but eternal truths, or God's truths will be the most effective in overcoming addiction. I firmly believe that God's words will help you change behavior faster than any other words will! This is why I choose to participate in the addiction recovery program that has been created by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In this program the original 12 steps have been adapted into a framework that coincides with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our higher power is recognized specifically as God and Jesus Christ. If you would like to learn more about the program you can go to lds.org.
 I also want to make the point that God will win this war! Satan's destiny is already determined, but as for you and I it is yet to be determined. You must choose to live rightously to have the protection of God's armor. You see, our choices are really all we have to offer God that is not already His. He owns and operates EVERYTHING, except our freedom to choose. Our freedom to choose is a free gift that He will never take from us. This is one of the main purposes of life, to be tested. This is why God allows the devil to tempt us , so we can have oppisition and opportunities to grow. We are sent here to learn of good and evil and then make a choice as to which we will follow.   
I hope you will learn from reading my story that when you choose good that God grants you the strength to stay on His side of this spiritual battle that we call life. When you choose the right you feel good. When you choose the wrong you feel bad! Well most of us do anyway. Yes bad things happen to good people, but God always grants you the peace and strength to get through our trials if we turn to Him. I hope this encourages you to seek out Gods will for your life and then pray to have the strength to carry it out. He is your living Father, He will lead you, guide you, and protect you as you draw near to Him. He will also bless you with an inner joy and peace that the world cannot couterfeit. It is my testimony that Jesus Christ lives and loves us all. I know God is our Father and He is involved in the very details of our lives.


Scripture of the day: EPHESIANS 6:10-18



WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT:  This is a poem that was written for the theme of my book....Its called:           "Im a True Soldier"
I’m a true soldier, that’s what I am, saved and sanctified, by the blood of the Lamb, fighting each day, on my road to recovery, and along the way, I made a discovery, it’s a spiritual world, where this battle is held, and when fighting this battle, I am often compelled, to give into my flesh, or an evil spirits temptations, but I must be strong, and meet the Lords expectations, for He would not have me weak, living in sin, so in prayer to Him, is how each day I begin, Jesus loves me, now and forever, of this I’m sure, but there’s times that I’m weak, and its hard to endure, and during these times, He helps me to be strong, to put things in perspective, right where they belong, this spiritual battle I fight, is one fought everyday, one that the devil would win, if he had his way, his temptations are many, but none can I afford, because when I give into them, it hurts Jesus my Lord, Yes, IM A TRUE SOLDIER, and may I always be, ready to fight temptations many forms, on my road to recovery.  


Here is more of my personal story: 

B.J. was only 23 years old when he died. I was 21 at the time. In dealing with B.J.’s death,  I turned to more drugs, and more alcohol. You could say that my drinking and drug use went from bad to worse. It was at this point in my life that I had another spiritual experience. I want to share this experience with you in hopes that your faith in Jesus Christ will grow stronger. I was living my weed smoking, beer drinking life style when my sister Missy called one day and said she needed to speak to me. She said that she had something very important to tell me, but that it needed to be in person. One day soon after that phone call she came over to my house and this is what happened. Missy explained to me that she had been inspired by God to relay a message to me. She told me that Jesus Christ wanted me to know that He knows me personally, and that he has a special love for me. She said that the Savior of the World desires for me to turn my heart towards Him. She said that He wants me to imagine a door with a small window in it, and that I should picture Jesus looking at me through this window. She went on to say that Jesus is watching me at all times, and that he is very aware of me as an individual. This door is a unique door, she said because on this door there is only one door handle. This door only opens from your side Daniel. Jesus has great blessings in store for you, but you have to open the door, He has no door handle. You must open your heart and let Him in. Here is how the spiritual experience happened. Missy said to me, “Daniel, I was promised that the Holy Ghost would tell you that what I am saying to you is true.” As she spoke those words to me, my entire body, from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet, was filled with the Holy Ghost. It was such a powerful force and such overwhelming feelings that I immediately burst into tears. The Holy Ghost pierced me to the center of my soul! It was an indescribable feeling, a wonderful, beautiful, peaceful, warm feeling. I instantly knew without any doubt that Missy’s words were true. I came to know for myself that Jesus Christ really is alive today, and that He is aware of me as an individual. I had gained a sure witness that left such a powerful impression on my soul that I will never forget it. I know that Jesus Christ lives! I KNOW THAT HE LIVES AND LOVES ME!  I have learned that the door Missy was speaking of actually symbolizes my heart. You see, Jesus Christ also knocks on your heart and desires for you to open it up for Him to come into your heart. We learn this from the book of Revelations chapter 3 Verse 20. Jesus said, “behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with me.”  Jesus Christ loves and knows each one of us as individuals, and He is constantly there to heal our hearts. I know Jesus Christ lives, and that He is very aware of our individual circumstances. He knows us better than we know ourselves. YES, JESUS KNOWS YOU AND LOVES YOU TOO!
You would think that an experience like that would be enough to get me to change my ways, but it wasn’t. I continued to drink and use drugs even after that experience. It was New Years Eve in 1999 when the Lord decided to give me a wake up call. I was driving home in the middle of the night after being out partying all night when I was pulled over and arrested for D.U.I. Let me tell you, the Harris county jail, in Houston, Texas is no place to ring in the New Year. You wouldn’t think that one could have a spiritual experience inside of such a crazy place, but I did. While I was sleeping in that jail B.J. (who had been dead for almost two years) spoke to me in a dream! B.J. told me that he too was in some sort of bondage, and that he needed me to “bail him out”.  When I woke up, I instantly knew that B.J. really was in spirit prison and that I needed to prepare to go through the Temple of the Lord in behalf of him. Inside the Temples we perform saving ordinances for those who have passed on into the spirit world that can no longer do it for them selves. I knew that I needed to clean my act up and do what I had to do to help my brother. This spiritual experience inspired me, and gave me the motivation to change my life. It took some time, but I cleaned my life up, and in the process of cleaning my life up I was inspired to prepare to serve a full time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.   
I received my mission call, and was called to serve in the English speaking, Connecticut, Hartford mission. This mission covered all of Connecticut and Rhode Island. I went to the MTC (missionary training center) in the year of 2000. A short time later I flew out to Hartford Connecticut. I ended up serving in places like Groton, East Haven, and Bridgeport, Connecticut. I also lived all over Rhode Island while I was on my mission.  I grew to know and love New England. I worked hard and served an honorable two-year mission that included much success and many spiritual experiences. My mission has been by far the most rewarding two years of my life so far! If you have the opportunity to go on a mission for the Lord, I encourage you to do so. You will be so blessed for serving the Lord full-time!
Just before my mission was complete, my sister’s oldest son Travis was in a terrible car accident that caused a very severe traumatic brain injury. His accident left him in a coma and unconscious for many weeks. Once he awoke he was left unable to use any part of his body, he couldn’t hold his head up, sit up, and move his arms or legs; he couldn’t move his eyes or blink at will. He had a feeding tube, had to wear diapers, had a shunt in his head, and was confined to a wheel chair. Through Travis’ determination, faith, and hard work, countless hours of therapy, he has been blessed to overcome all of those things. Although he has an unusual gift to communicate with his spirit, his speech has yet to return. His right arm has had some movement come back, but he cannot use it functionally. Travis is a true soldier in God’s army and living proof that through hard work and dedication we can recover from just about anything!


I will continue to share more of my story each week... My purpose in sharing my story is because it is in the sharing of our personal stories that we ignite hope in one another. When we share our personal stories then others can see that we are just real people with real problems.If I can change well then so can you!!!  I hope that someone is uplifted and decides to change their life beacause of my story. I will continue to post atlaest once a week. Thank you for reading my blog. God Bless!!!