Jesus Saves, Life After Meth
(My personal testimony; Michael Cook)
How did I end up going to prison for arson and assaulting 2 police officers with a ten inch knife... and then remembering God? well we gotta start at the beginning...
My Dad, Mom, three sisters, brother, and myself, (the elder of us siblings), were living in downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota at a place called Moundary Housing Projects. A place where we had to sneak to school each day or get whipped from the older kids (They actually carried whips and would use them with great enthusiasm. I remember being told one day that we were to stay near our place and not alone at any time because some of the older kids were catching some of us and making them hold fire crackers in their mouths and then lighting them!
I just want you to know the kind of place I'm talking about, (Perhaps some of you know). One day a man and his family moved into the lane where we lived, so they were only about five doors away. The Williams had two sons, Mark and David, that were the same age as me and Jimmy; my little brother.
One day Mark came over and asked Jimmy and I if we could go to church with them. He said there was a three day revival meeting. On the third night Mr. Williams came over to me and said, ‘Mike, it’s time to pray. You can sit on the chair and pray, you can stand here and pray, or you can go to the alter and pray.’
Kneeling at the alter I prayed; ‘Jesus, please help and bless my mom and dad.’ Telling Him their names so He would be sure who I was talking about. I also named my brother Jimmy and my sisters, Terri, Karen, and Kelly, not forgetting my grandparents. I said all their names. Then my aunts and uncles; saying their names.
Then, my friends in the housing projects; saying all of their names. After saying every name that I could think of I started getting frustrated; thinking of people, but not knowing their names. So I prayed, ‘Jesus if I knew everybody’s name in the world, I would say them all!’
Right then a feeling came into my heart that is unforgettable. There was no falling down backward and no feeling drunk. Rather, I felt very awake and even strong. Then I started saying something, speaking for even a few minutes. When my speaking ended I opened my eyes and my back was to the alter.
All the people were in a semi-circle around me. The pastor and the man that was speaking before were standing by me. Then, in a moment, a couple of things happened. A man came through the semi- circle of people and said ‘Pastor, who is this boy? My Hebrew exchange students from Israel want to talk to him seeing that he just recited all of Psalm Forty in the ancient Hebrew in which it was written!’
Mr. Williams said ‘This boy is Michael, he is from the projects! I brought him here, and I assure you that he doesn't know any kind of Hebrew!’ Then Mr. Williams, turning to a man next to him said ‘I heard it in English, how about you?’ The people started jumping up and down praising the Lord.
What am I saying here? That I'm some kinda special person? No, I'm not special, but I know who is... Jesus Christ. I have no special power, but I know who does... Jesus Christ. To show you what I mean and that I'm telling you the truth... read on...
We got home that night at about 10 after 12. I remember the time because our mom was up waiting. Mom could make a biker blush with her speech (really). She was mad, 'Where the f... have you two been? I been worried! At Mr. Williams church I said; 'remember, you said we could go.' 'What kinda f...en church is it that keeps kids out past son of a bit..en midnight... both a ya get ta bed!'
The next morning was a Saturday. I did not like getting up on school days and so on Saturdays I loved to sleep in. On this Saturday I was up at seven in the morning! I remember fixing a bowl of cornflakes. I was pretty happy, we had all the stuff, cornflakes, milk and sugar.
Well, as I poured the milk there was a knock at the door. It was Mr. Williams son David , he wanted me to come to his place right now! 'My dad said that he needs to talk to you and it's important!' I remember looking at David and then the bowl of cornflakes. I wanted to eat them and knew that I would get in trouble for wasting if I didn't. I went. I would have to eat them when I got back. My thought was... there gonna be soggy.
The Williams place was about a 10 second run from ours. When we got there, Mr. Williams took me to a room and shut the door. I wasn't scared a bit, Mr. Williams was the guy in the projects that took the kids to picnics and parks and fishing and Bible studies! I knew him.
He looked me in the eyes real serious... 'Michael, do you know what happened to you last night?' I remember my answer like it was yesterday... putting a finger on my heart saying... 'All I know is Jesus touched me here.'
Smiling with a shine in his eyes he said, 'He sure did touch you and in a way that I have never seen; not me or anyone in our church, it was like right out of the pages in the Bible; do you understand that Michael?' I didn't; but I remember shaking my head up and down.
'Michael, I have been up all night praising God for letting me see such a miracle and that same Spirit that touched you last night came to me and gave me a message for you; do you understand Michael? This message is not my words, it is His words for you, the very same Jesus that touched you: Do you understand?' I shook my head; yes.
OK, listen real good Michael this is the very words I was told to tell you. 'Michael you are in my hand, you have always been in my hand and I will never let you go. You will think to forget me and the word that I put in you. As you grow, you will think to become part of this world and turn your back on me. Then when you are much older I will shake you by the neck and you will wake as if you were asleep and you will remember me touching you and you will love me; you will never forget the word I put in you and you will serve me to your last breath.'
He asked me if I heard what he said: I again shook my head and then ran out of his place to ours. Many years later I understood why Mr. Williams didn't come in with us to explain to our mom when we got home so late from his church that Friday night. Now I know it was the Holy Spirit in control of everything or I might not have got the message...
So, I ran home and when I opened the door I could hear the phone ringing. Mom was up and answered it: It was Mr. Williams and now he decided to tell her what happened at church. I didn't have any trouble hearing her... 'What the f... are you talking about! He ain't never gonna go to that church again!' She slammed the phone down hard. She turned to me saying... 'You will never go there, they got you speaking in tongues! Its of the devil!' I could not tell her it was the real thing like in Acts chapter 2: I didn't know.
Did I forget what happened? Did I turn my back on the Lord? Oh ya, in ways I find hard to write about. Did He shake me awake? Oh ya! and again hard to tell it, but I think the whole testimony should be told or maybe it is that I must because I'm not in control of myself...
By 11 years old I was using hard drugs. By age 16 I was dealing drugs and did my first armed robbery. I'm by no means proud of these things in my life but must tell exactly what Jesus Christ delivered me from. To show His wisdom, I must show my ignorance, to show His strength, I must reveal my weakness...