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Rich and macho on the outside.

"I was poor when I was young so I did everything to become rich now. I was unloved when I was young so I wanted to have as many friends as I could. I bought. I paid. I went. I did. I gave. It wasn’t generosity. It was need."

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I was able to get involved in the business, grow it, make more money than I’d ever made. I actually did better economically than I had ever anticipated, but inside I was falling apart. Outside, I assure you, I looked great. I wore a solid gold Rolex watch. I had a ring that looked like I had won the NFL Super Bowl. I had a gold chain around my neck. The only thing I didn't have was a grill on my teeth. I don’t know why men do this. We buy motorcycles. We get hair pieces. We go the gym. My forty year-old friends are getting testosterone implants to try to transform their life.

I was poor when I was young, so I did everything to become rich now. I was unloved when I was young, so I wanted to have as many friends as I could. I bought. I paid. I went. I did. I gave. It wasn’t generosity. It was need.

One day I opened up the newspaper in my office. There was no Bible there. The front page of the newspaper said, “Promise Keepers, Real Men Love for Jesus!” That was the first time in my life I ever heard the voice of the Holy Spirit. He spoke directly into my heart because we didn’t hear a lot about the Holy Spirit in my religious background. He didn’t condemn me but began to convict me of my sin and challenge me. In the process of this, I tried to develop a deal with God that I thought I could live with, something that wouldn’t change my life too drastically.

In our bathroom at home, my wife climbs up on the counter and gets ready most mornings. I was in the shower weeping like a baby. I stepped from the shower, laid down prostrate in the floor, and all that came from my mouth, that I couldn’t hear audibly, but I’m sure I was speaking it, was, “Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner.” I remember it distinctly. My wife laid her hand on my back, which must have been panic for her, saying, “It’ll be ok.” I said, “No it won’t.” I knew at that moment that what had happened to me I had not found in casual Christianity. I don’t mean that arrogantly. Something supernatural had happened.

I could sit here all day and tell about miracles in my business. I can tell you about the conversion of my children. I can tell about winning hundreds of people to Christ in jails, about the power of possibilities and potential in the spirit of a risen Christ, but at the end of the day, it’s one person with one broken life turning to a God who can and being transformed by His power and His love.

Tony - Rich and macho on the outside.

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