Welcome to My Personal Page
The 2019 Fishing Challenge is a fishing tournament that benefits Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge (MnTC). For nearly 30 years, MnTC has been restoring hope in people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. With campuses in Minneapolis, Brainerd, Duluth, and Rochester, MnTC serves individuals through their licensed short-term and faith-based long-term programs. Their mission is to assist teens (boys and girls) and adults (men and women) in achieving freedom from their chemical addictions and other life-controlling problems by addressing their individual physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
Won't you consider partnering with me to raise funds for this great cause? Every dollar donated goes straight to MnTC and is 100 percent tax-deductible. To make a donation to our team online, click the DONATE NOW button. You also can donate with a check written to Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge. Checks can be sent to me at my address further below, and I will get your donation to Teen Challenge. Whatever you can give will help...it all adds up!
To learn more about what MnTC is doing to save lives in our community, visit mntc.org -- or read my personal testimony here.
My story and addiction began at an early age. When I was seven years old, I attended a service organization gathering with my father, where some of his friends thought it would be funny to give "Jim’s kid" a beer. That was my first beer, which ended in a blackout. When I was 11, some neighborhood friends and I thought it would be fun to make a “science” experiment using the contents of their mother’s liquor cabinet. My friends dared me to drink the concoction we had made and having no idea what would happen to me, I took the dare, which resulted in an alcohol-induced coma.
Growing up, I was truly blessed. My family did not have a lot of money but we were close and I was very loved. I had an above-average book and street smarts, I made friends easily, and I had an athletic ability that was sure to get me a college scholarship. Events and decisions during my high school years would change those plans. When I was a junior in high school, I attended my childhood friend’s funeral instead of our graduation. You see, the day before graduation he was giving me a ride home from school on his motorcycle. He was drunk and decided to jump the train tracks at close to 100 mph. I limped away with 23 fractures that ended my athletic career. He was not so lucky, as he hit a tree across his abdomen and was ripped in half.
Although the qualities of my life that I mentioned before were a blessing, they also were a curse. I lived as if nothing could hurt me and life was all about having"fun". Even though I believed in God, I thought that I was in control of my life...not Him.
I made my way through my twenties experiencing plenty of trouble but I believed I was not hurting anyone, so most of my issues were "normal" and I was just having fun.
By the time I was 30 years old, I was married and had four amazing children, a great career, and a dream home. It was more than I could ever have dreamed of yet I was still willing to throw it all away for another drink even though it was not always that much fun anymore.
By the time I was 40, I was no longer drinking to have fun but to escape. I woke up every day believing that I was nothing but a worthless, homeless, Godless drunk whom no one loved. I was alone, broken, and completely hopeless. My closest friend was a bottle of vodka.
That was the lowest point of my addiction and my reality, or at least my perceived reality. I should have died so many times from overdosing, but I was still alive. I drank nearly every day to levels exceeding .50. I was certain that I was in the later stages of cirrhosis because of how far my liver stuck out from my side.
Then one day something burned inside of me, prompting me to walk several miles to the public library. There, I would check an email account that I hadn't checked in quite some time. My father had emailed me to say that he had seen the Teen Challenge choir perform at our church, telling me how these men had sung and shared their stories. Stories much like mine. He wanted me to consider the Teen Challenge program and to give my life back to Jesus, telling me that this was the only thing that could save me from death. I was reluctant. I was 40...not a teenager! But I called, and on March 19, 2012, I walked through the front door of Teen Challenge, dragging my swollen liver behind me. Once there I never gave myself the option to leave...because I wanted to live. At first, for my family but after a while, I realized that I truly wanted to live for Jesus. This was when my reality changed to Truth. And on Good Friday in 2012, I gave my life back to Jesus in a baptism ceremony along with 11 of my Teen Challenge brothers. Through this spiritual rebirth, I could accept God’s mercy and forgiveness for all my past wrongdoings, and His grace for my salvation.
Since my time at Teen Challenge, the Holy Spirit has performed many miracles in my life. Not only has my body, mind, and soul been healed, but the broken relationships with my Father & Mother, family, and friends have been restored.
I now wake up every day believing that I am a worthy, Godly man who is sober, I have a great place to live where many people love me, I have a fiancée & family that love me and now my most intimate relationship is with a man named Jesus! My life is filled with hope!
My story only skims over the absolute glory of the restoration of life that has been achieved by nailing my old self to the cross and being reborn in Jesus Christ. I am a new man of God who has a story to tell. A testimony that hopefully inspires anyone who may doubt that Jesus is real and that He heals. I have a new story...one that is defined by God, for God. One that can only help lead my family and anyone else who witnesses my example to the cross. I was a dead man -- but now I am alive. I am redeemed!
Thank you for taking the time to read my story and for your thoughtful consideration to help the program that helped save me.