Monday, February 27, 2012

New Page on Site entitled "Public Speaking and Promotional Pieces"

Today I have started a new page on my Spiritual Spackle site. It consists of me giving my testimonies, speaking in public and various promotional pieces that I have done for the projects I am a part of. It is my hope that people will watch me sharing my experiences and  dealing hope through my testimony then have me come speak to their small groups, youth groups, recovery groups, at schools, colleges, churches, camps, communities, seminars, concerts and trainings. If you are interested in me coming and speaking I can be contacted at or Please contact me. I want the world to see that there is a Better Life in Recovery and that the way is through a true relationship with Jesus Christ.

I am also wanting to get more people to hear about Better Life in Recovery, the non-profit that is currently forming that will take a documentary and so much more into communities, churches, colleges and schools. The documentary should be completed by May of 2012. It will have as a primary purpose teaching youth the dangers of addiction and that there is a better life in recovery from life controlling issues. It will also teach parents, teachers, pastors and professionals ways to identify and address those issues.

We still need volunteers to help us with fundraising, marketing, social media development, website development, program development, an attorney, an accountant, contributors for original writing/sharing personal experiences with addiction/recovery, grant writing as well as contributing money, time, original artwork, your band performing, signed memorabilia and other items for silent auctions and fundraisers.  That site is (it is a very bare bones site until we find a web site developer).

I am also in the midst of writing the book entitled Spiritual Spackle that will document my story of overcoming various addictions, depression, suicide attempts and prison then sharing the things that were instrumental in my overcoming them. As an FYI, this book is very faith oriented, as Christ, the Holy Spirit and the Apostle Paul were very instrumental in my recovery. It should be finished by the end of 2012.

Here is what several people have said about me and my message:

"David is a man who has walked the road of addiction and recovery.  In that he is classified as a 'wounded healer'.  He is in my mind the best person to lead the way for those struggling with life-controlling issues.  He is passionate, humble and knowledgeable about this topic...a rare and powerful spokesman for today's culture so encumbered by destructive patters of behavior."
Dan Call
Senior Pastor of New Life Church, Springfield, MO

"In 2010 I retired after 40 years as a researcher, author, consultant and Professor of Sociology and Criminology. During the last few years of my teaching career I regularly invited David to my classroom to be interviewed by me and my students. On every occasion that he visited my classroom he revealed his past life experiences in a way that invited student inquiry and left students with a powerful message - a message of hope in the face of despair. David's life story is both a tragic one and a wonder. The tragedy was in the way he was treated as a child and the wonder is the strong, independent, focused and positive person he has become today. I hope David continues to reach out to others with his story so that they, too, can see that a troubled youth can turn his or her life around given the opportunity and the will."

Mike Carlie, PhD
Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Criminology
Missouri State University

The new page can be found at


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Finally Home by Mercy Me

I remember the first time that I heard Finally Home. I had just gotten saved and was at my first concert. It was amazing. It was the Rock and Worship Road Show with Mercy Me, Jeremy Camp, Tenth Avenue North, Addison Road and Hawk Nelson. As soon as I heard the song, it made me think of my father who had passed away the previous year. It put a smile on my face, and that aspect of the song has not changed.

I listen to the song Finally Home by Mercy Me and the lyrics make me insanely happy every single time. The thought of talking to my father, who did not get to see me finally overcome my addiction and turn my life over to Christ, makes me smile. I had, ever since I was saved, imagined my dad looking down on me and seeing me raise the grandson that he never got to meet. That, too, made me smile. Then I came to realize that it was pretty small-minded of me to think that way. Maybe even a bit selfish. That is the aspect of the song that has changed for me as I have advanced in my relationship with Christ.

Today I imagine myself in heaven after living my life for God. There is no words that can describe the wonders I will see when I finally get to heaven, which I truly consider my home. I believe all I would do is worship and be bliss-filled once I got there. I do not think that worldly concerns will be in my scope of attention. I no longer think that my dad is looking down from heaven, watching me. I am pretty sure that Mercy Me feels the same way.

In the song Bart Millard says, "I'm gonna wrap my arms around my daddy's neck, and tell him that I missed him. And tell him all about the man that I became, and hope that it please him. There's so much I want to say, so much I want you to know." I will get to do the same thing. I will have to tell my dad about what has happened. If heaven is half what I know it will be, my father will be too focused on the magnificence of God to watch his son. I know that is true for my father. That excites me!

After all, I get to tell him all about me and his grandson and unborn grandchild and how we have turned out when I finally make it home!! And we will worship together for the first time since I was in the 4th grade. That is when I became agnostic, and my father died before I got saved. The last time we stood in a church and worshipped together was when I was 9. Worshipping in front of my heavenly father with my earthly father next to me will be an immeasurable gift, and I cannot wait!!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

My testimony given as part of Global University's Chapel Service

This is me giving my testimony for Chapel at Global University. It was different, giving my testimony to a room full of missionaries and pastors. The result was the same, a room full of people learning what the Holy Spirit has done in my life. From dope dealer to hope dealer, life changed by a single prayer and I am never looking back. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fighting the Battle

I have had a busy week this week. The 4 year anniversary of my dad's suicide was on Sunday. I was the pallbearer at my aunts funeral on Tuesday. I had hurt my back on Friday, and somehow had made it worse on Tuesday. When I woke up Wednesday it hurt to sit up and hurt to walk. Ended up spending several hours at Urgent Care before I got to even see a doctor. I guess that makes urgent a misnomer. Turns out that I have a slipped/bulging disc in my lower back. Now we get to wait and see if it slips back in on its own. That is the reason that I have not written anything this week. I have been in pain.

I did give my testimony in Chapel at Global University and I hope to have that up in the next day or two so that it can be viewed. My wife said that she has had several people ask her about my coming to speak at their churches, small groups and to a youth group. I am extremely excited about having those opportunities to reach others and share what the Holy Spirit has done in my life, changing me from a dope dealer to a hope dealer!

My book, Spiritual Spackle, is over half written and has begun the editing process. I am hoping that through the editing it will help me become better equipped to complete the book! It is taking me longer to complete than I had originally thought but it is coming together. In closing I just want to say thanks for reading. I have now been read almost 8,000 times in 60 countries!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Alcohol........GOOD or BAD?

I had a friend ask me if I thought that it was okay for Christians to drink alcohol. I feel that is a pretty loaded question, because it is a very difficult question to answer definitively. Is it okay for Christians to drink alcohol? In all actuality, is it really okay for anybody to drink alcohol? Yes, but with all kinds of exceptions and qualifiers. There is simply no straight answer to this one, but here is my opinion on it. Drinking is not a bad thing in and of itself. It is a lot like money. Money isn't bad, but the love of money is. Same with alcohol, it is not bad but the love and obsession of alcohol is.

Here is where drinking is okay, but there are still exceptions. If you chose to have a drink with dinner or during a game, then drinking is fine. If you mow your lawn or go out camping and have a couple of drinks, I think that is okay. Dinner party at your house, card game, etc. then one or two drinks is okay. That is the end of my short list.

I am not your judge, so don't ask me to be. Based on my personal experiences I think that drinking usually leads to people making horrible choices. The truth is, if you have doubts, than you should not do it. If you have to ask whether or not something is wrong, best to not engage in the activity at all. We are not trying to see what we can get away with. That is not how we should live our lives. Now for the people who I will tell it is wrong to drink, not judging..................I'm just saying!

If you have several drinks and then chose to drive, then you should not drink. You could end up killing someone. If you have a drug or alcohol problem, then you should never drink, period. In the Narcotic's Anonymous "How It Works," it says that looking at alcohol as different has caused many people to relapse. Alcohol is a drug. I for one found that out the hard way. I never had a drinking problem until I quit doing drugs.

If you cannot always control your drinking, then drinking is a bad thing. If you say that you are going out to have just one beer and going home then end up drinking to intoxication, that is an indicator that you need to not drink. Alcohol actually retards your prefrontal cortex's orbital lobe, which is the decision making part of your brain (This is also the area of the brain that they believe is damaged in a lot of violent criminals).

What that means is in the cartoons when the devil is on one shoulder and the angel on the other debating your choices, alcohol takes the angel away. We do not think things through, or think as rationally, when we drink. We are more prone to violence and inappropriate behaviors are no longer inhibited. Totally unacceptable!!

If you work with addicts/alcoholics, youth in any way, or are in a position where people might look up to you and try to emulate you, drinking is a bad idea. It should simply not be done. I would hate to be the reason for someone who has an addictive personality to think that drinking is okay. I know, they have free will to make their own choices. That is a somewhat valid argument you could make. That said, I hold myself accountable to a higher standard then most. I feel that you should too. The consequences could be dire.

Matthew 18:6-7 let's us know how dire those consequences could be,If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!

I think drinking can be dangerous, and it is definitely a gateway into much worse behaviors and addiction for many. I feel that it is very wrong for ME to drink. I live and lead by example! I can only tell you what the Bible means to me. I CANNOT DRINK!! I am in the community speaking to youth and adults about the dangers of addiction. I am a recovering addict and alcoholic who is a substance abuse counselor. I would lose all credibility if I were to be seen drinking. It has the potential to impact people other than me.

I would hate to cause someone to stumble. I would rather be the reason someone strives to live their lives a little better. Therefore, I don't want to blend in with every one else. I want to be a lamp shining bright on a hill. I am in this world not of this world. If I look and act like everyone else, how Christ-like am I? How brightly will my light burn? If I drink, than I know that I can't shine!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Child Abuse? I don't hate you Grandpa, but you broke my heart!

I dropped my son off at daycare yesterday as I do every other Monday morning. As I walked away, he came running behind me."Daddy, kiss," he said. So I bent down and gave him a kiss. Then as I turned he said, "One more hug, dad." I bent down and gave him a hug, and then pretended that his squeeze was hurting me. "You are too strong, DJ," I said to him. He started giggling and ran into class laughing. Instantly my heart was on fire with the love I feel for him.

Then my eyes welled up with tears. Running through my head was one thought. How can anyone hurt an innocent being. How can anyone neglect a child who can fill their heart with such joy if they only paid attention to them. I have always been and continue to be completely mystified by both child abuse and neglect. My heart breaks at the thought of it. I used to be filled with hatred directed towards the abuser. I thought that I had good reason to be.

I was abused as a child. I was psychologically and physically abused for years. There was other abuse too, but that is for another time. I was terrified of my grandfather. He would beat me and then not let me go to school for a week so that I had time to heal up. Sometimes I would come to my senses in the bathroom downstairs (I slept upstairs) sobbing crunched into a corner. All that was flying through my head was that I had lost my grandfathers prize horse, and he was going to kill me when he caught me. It was so real, and I knew that I was dead. That is some pretty wicked stuff right there, if you ask me.

So, I have always had a burning hatred for those who abuse children. I feel that there is something spiritually, psychologically, emotionally and morally wrong with a person who can do that. There is also generally substance abuse or mental health associated with it. As well as I can remember, my grandfather had neither of those excuses. He was just evil. That is what I used to truly believe. As we grow, our perceptions change. Mine have.

Don't get me wrong, I am still filled with a righteous anger when I hear of cases of child abuse and neglect. The place I work at has had several clients whose children have died due to abuse. My heart weeps for the potential that the world was robbed of at the loss of those children. My heart also goes out to those who loved the children. I cannot imagine what the parents must go through when they lose their children and they are thinking right again.

I know that people are responsible for what they do, but there are many things that fuel the fire. Because of that, I have a righteous anger that is directed at things that contribute to the abuse and neglect of children. My anger is aimed at mental illnesses. It is aimed at the doctors and psychiatrists that have parents so doped up on opiates, benzodiazepines and muscle relaxers that they don't even know what month it is. Makes it kind of hard to feed your kids when you can't even force yourself to get out of bed. My anger is directed towards the people who manufacture and distribute drugs. Besides Satan, drugs are the only other thing I honestly hate. I think that there is nothing that makes Satan happier than methamphetamine.

Finally, my anger is aimed at the people who raise the parents who abuse their children. You see, I stopped hating my grandfather. I am not sure when it happened, but after I got saved I realized that I no longer hated him. Instead, I was filled with pity for him. Over time I got to a place where I forgave him for what he did to me. I am still saddened, because I wonder what must have happened to him when he was a child to make him that way. How did his parents treat him? What horrors did my grandfather go through in his life? I never asked, and I will never know what created the monster that I knew.

Friday, February 3, 2012

It Doesn't Take Long

I was not in the gym for 3 months and stopped eating healthy. Before that 3 months I had lost almost 30 pounds, which had taken about 6 months. In half the time, all of the weight found it's way back. I am right back where I started 9 months ago. I am now three day into my workout, and I am sore and uncomfortable. It is unpleasant and I don't like the way that I feel. I will continue with my workouts for several reasons.

  1. I know that it is good for me. 
  2. I know that eventually it will become a routine and I will no longer be uncomfortable.
  3. I know that I need to be in better shape.
Whether it is building muscles or building my relationship with God, the same positive reasons to engage in building ourselves up applies. I know that it is good for me. I know that the more I watch television, go to the movies and listen to secular music the more I am subjected to immoral and negative things. If I focus on meditation, prayer, worship music and my eye is on God I will be processing only good things. If garbage in, garbage out is true so is the exact opposite.  

I may be uncomfortable doing it right now because I am unused to it. That is almost always true of anything when we first begin doing it. Once we do something for several weeks, we become accustomed to it. I need to be in the habit of making God a priority.  Christ made me a priority when He died on the cross. The least I can do is return the favor.  

Finally, I need to be in better shape spiritually. I I know that building my relationship with God is important, and I know that the more I know about him the stronger my faith will become. This world is full of evil and temptation. They never take a day off. If my faith and relationship with Christ do not grow, then eventually the calling of this world will draw me back into it. I need to make sure that I am doing things spiritually healthy on a daily basis.

So, in closing here is why we need to stay vigilant and build our relationship with God. It has actually been proven that the more positive I am, the more I will draw positive people to me. So it would reason that the more I am Christ-focused, the more I will draw Christ-focused people to me. I also need to know that there is no difference between secular time and when I am in church. I always represent Christ. My focus should always be on God no matter where I am, and my actions and words should represent that. If not, I need to get back on track before I become so spiritually out of shape that I just give up. Here is how I stay in shape:
  1. Pray without ceasing. Make prayer an ongoing daily conversation with God
  2. Read the word of God
  3. Live your life guided by the book of James (my personal favorite); read it weekly 
  4. Attend church consistently (Church is like a workout supplement)
  5. Find a small group or prayer group and begin building your community of believers
  6. Find a mentor that you can go to when you have doubts or questions
  7. Set up accountability partners everywhere you go (work, gym, small group, church, softball, etc)
  8. Always represent Christ in all that you say, think and do!