My dad takes me to the Wienerschnitzel (www.wienerschnitzel.com), one of my favorite places to go in San Bernardino to eat. One time dad had been drinking, and he pulls out a .38 caliber pistol and puts the gun to my head and says, “I brought you into this world. I’ll take you out of this world.”
My mom and dad ended up getting a divorce. I had a stepdad in my life who was pretty abusive and on drugs. I remember him and me getting into a fight. He put his hands on me and that led to me not trusting men or people in general. A dad or a stepdad that is supposed to love and be a mentor you, but you can’t trust them? I’m going through high school. I’m not trusting men. God had been dealing with one specific individual to share the word with me, even in high school. His name was Chris Johnson. He was raised in the church and loved the Lord.
From high school, I went on to play football at Southwestern Junior College. From there it was on to San Jose State University and played ball there. During all this time, I’m living the life that James Gordon desired to live: the partying, the drinking, the womanizing, thinking I was enjoying life. In one sense I was.
Next, I transferred up to Fresno to play semi-pro football, still living that lifestyle. One summer I headed back to San Diego in the offseason. While hanging out with friends at a club, I end up getting stabbed with a broken coke bottle. I’m in the hospital for three days, and here comes my old good friend Chris Johnson. While at my mom’s house, after being released from the hospital, Chris gives me the New Testament book of James, “Consider it joy.” Here I am lying in bed with stab wounds. I’m laying there reading scriptures that say, “Consider it joy when you go through trials and tribulations,” because it is the testing of your faith. I read the book probably six or seven times while I was bedridden for three days. It was so practical. I think it was also divine. “Here, James. I want you to read the book of James.”
I moved back home to San Diego in 1996, and at a Bible study in Chris Johnson’s living room, I gave my life to the Lord Jesus Christ. I’ll never forget, the first time and the last time I saw my paternal grandfather was at my dad’s funeral. The Lord said, “James Gordon, your dad is in his grave. You need to release that, and give it to me, because a large part of the reason your dad was the way he was is because he didn’t have a dad in his life to teach and mold him, to show him who Jesus Christ was.”
To this day I love men. I do a yearly men’s retreat. A part of our retreat is me just simply pouring out to men, telling them that the number one thing is to love the Lord and pour your life out for and to the Lord so He can guide you and give you the wisdom you need. I tell the men to love God and to love their sons.