I was born into a mixed family religiously. My mother a Scandinavian Lutheran and father a Bar Mitzvah Jew from New York. I was empty inside and I was looking for something. I was a fifteen-year-old kid out to catch all the life that I possibly could. I was out there looking for a party. I was looking for something to fulfill myself. I got into the drug scene. I got into buying drugs from the mafia in New York and selling drugs on college campuses. Just raising all the hell that I could at a young age. I was walking on the Ohio State campus and a young man came up to me and he said; “Don’t turn around and look behind you now but there’s a fellow following you wearing a bandana around his leg on his jeans.” (He was a blonde-headed guy with a scarf around his neck and one on his leg). He said; “That’s Lieutenant so and so with the Columbus, Ohio narcotics squad. He’s following you. I thought you’d want to know.”
With that new knowledge, I was kind of freaked out by that. I went home and cleaned up my apartment. I took out every marijuana joint laying around the place and a roach, what they call a roach, (a leftover piece of your joint) out of the ashtrays. I went into every crack and cranny, took all the drugs, stuffed it into a big plastic bag and put it in the pocket of my army trench coat. I thought you know what, I better get rid of this stuff fast before I get busted. Then, when they come to bust me they won’t find anything. I got hold of a taxi. When he picked me up, I told him to drive down the alley. Drive fast. Go down this way. Go left. Go right. Go around the block in case somebody’s following us. I’m not sure if that was the red flag that happened that afterward, he decided he ought to call the police or if somebody was already following me. I’m not sure. But I had him drop me off at a guys house whose wife was a beautician. She cut my hair a little bit. I had long flowing hair parted down the middle. I had the whole hippie thing going on. She trimmed my hair a little bit but more than the trim, she changed the color. She dyed my hair blonde. I was going to come out of that little session with her and go sell all of the drugs. I just didn’t want to be recognized on the street.
When I stepped out of her place there was a screeching of tires and police surrounding the house and surrounding me. I was read my Miranda rights. I was put up against the car, frisked and put in the car and taken to the jail in Columbus Ohio. In the solitary confinement cell, I tried to sleep and couldn’t. I tried to think and couldn’t. After several hours, I began to go through withdrawals. Then I began to see my life flash in front of me. I actually saw my life as one that wasn’t together. The day before I would have thought I was a happy go lucky guy having a lot of fun being a hippie and a rock musician. I played in a band and all of that. Now I saw myself for the first time ever as nobody from nowhere going no place. I really saw myself as lost. That I was pretending to be something I wasn’t. I really was only happy because of a false high through a chemical substance. I realized that I really didn’t have anything together. If a man took me away from the drugs, which he did, that I had nothing. And so for the first time in my life, I called out to God. I really didn’t know who God was. At a young age, I had decided that the Easter bunny and Santa and Jesus all were in the same class. I didn’t understand them. Didn’t really know if they were real or not. I kind of put them all together. So I didn’t know who to call on. If it was Buddha. If it was God. If it was Jesus. In that solitary confinement cell, I just called out to the God who I didn’t know. I said; “God I have no idea who you are. I don’t know how to reach you if you're even there. If you will show me somehow of your reality in my life, I will do anything. That was May 14th of 1971. Sleep had evaded me. I could not sleep and I fell asleep right after that prayer.
When I woke up a man in our apartment complex that didn’t know the Lord had called a Jewish attorney when he found out I was in jail. The Jewish attorney came to visit me and he said; “How would you like to get out of jail and come to outreach for a youth center on the Ohio State campus?” I said; “Are there bars around the place? Is there a fence? Are there bars on the windows?” He said; "No. It’s like Teen Challenge or a halfway house." He said; "It’s Christian. You're going to have to go to bible studies and that kind of thing but it will sure beat being in jail." I said; "Yeah, you got that right! Well yeah, I’d love to go!"
They introduced me to a guy named Rick Barns or Barney. I actually didn’t need an introduction to him. This was my old drinking buddy from Jr. High and High school. I had run around with this guy. We had broken into a restaurant during the middle of the day and stolen all of the wine out of their cooler. Put it in his trunk and had a supply of wine for the whole summer one summer. Rick was a wild crazy guy. He was nicknamed Barney. He and I just couldn’t believe that we saw each other. I said; "Rick, man what are you doing here?" He showed me a verse in the book of Corinthians that says; If any mine is in Christ, he is a new creature. The old is gone and the new has come. He said; "When you ask Jesus into your life, he will change you and it will happen fast." He said; "That’s what happened to me and that’s what He will do." He said; "Do you want to pray with me?" I said; "Sure Man, if I’m going to meet Jesus." He told me to get ready because something is going to happen. I prayed a prayer with him and said; "Jesus come into my heart. Forgive me of my sins. Show me you’re real like Rick told me.” Then I just kind of felt maybe a little different, maybe a little stupid because I prayed a prayer to a God that I didn’t know but I was sincere about it. Rick got all excited, kind of ran around the outreach center there and told everybody; "Hey, he got saved!" I was going; "I got what?" You know, I really didn’t have a life-changing experience that second.
I went to bed night and I knew I had a long sentence awaiting me when I went to a court trial. I really thought to myself; you're going to be better off escaping this outreach center and taking off down the road, hitchhiking across the country, beat this thing and forget about all this Jesus stuff. Just, just run from the law. So I went to bed that night thinking that I was going to rise up early, wake up early and get out of there. While I slept that night, that verse that Rick had quoted me I think it’s 2 Corinthians 5:17 says that if any man’s in Christ, he‘s a new creature. The old is gone, the new has come. That actually kicked in while I was sleeping. God did surgery on my heart that night. I really was changed overnight. When I got out of jail, I had a little money handed back to me from the last drug sale with my personal effects. Right after I gave my heart and life to the Lord, I took that last bit of money I had and I used a few dollars of it to get a haircut. I took the rest of it and I bought a big ole Thompson Chain Reference Bible. Man, I took that bible and hair cut, went home to see mom and dad. I told them Jesus changed my life.
A lot’s happened since then. God used me to share my testimony with a lot of family members. My kid brother became a Christian. My mom, as it turns out, had given her life to the Lord as a young lady and she rededicated her life to the Lord. My father as a Bar Mitzvah Jew now believes in Jesus Christ. I have heard him say with his own mouth that Jesus has risen from the dead and is alive today changing lives. My whole life has changed. I have gone from being a drug pusher to going to a Christian college and studied broadcasting. God has used me in a career that’s been I guess close to twenty years in Christian broadcasting.
The Lord had changed my whole life. He has taken my feet off of the slippery path and put me on a solid rock.