Participants: Cheri Peters, Fred and Brenda Stoeker
Series Code: CLR
Program Code: CLR000002
00:11 Welcome to Celebrating life in Recovery. I'm Cheri, your host.
00:14 Today we'll look at how messed up we can get
00:17 and exactly what do we need to restore us the sanity.
00:19 Come join us. This is an incredible show.
00:48 In the book " Steps to Christ"
00:50 the second chapter starts out with the statement that says,
00:53 "Man was originally endowed with noble powers
00:57 and a well balanced mind."
00:59 And I think of myself and the people I know,
01:01 I think "What happened?"
01:03 And I want to say just kidding, but I'm serious,
01:05 what happened?
01:06 I read the newspapers and we are anything but balanced.
01:09 I try to deal with my own recovery and try to figure out
01:15 how to walk in recovering those kind of things.
01:19 And I'm watching movies
01:20 and the movies are kind of about my own lifestyle
01:22 most of the time, and I don't want to watch them,
01:24 and all that kind of stuff.
01:26 And I ask God, I'm praying,
01:27 "God O.K, what can I watch?"
01:29 And He says, "Anything that's not dark, with dark themes."
01:35 And I'm thinking, I turned on a commercial and I said,
01:37 "Ok, I'll watch that."
01:39 And I haven't even got to the movie yet.
01:41 This show is called "Powerless without Jesus".
01:45 Will cover how to heal,
01:46 how to allow God to restore us the sanity, fill us with joy
01:50 I'd like to introduce you to the people that are at the cafe.
01:53 We've got Brenda Stoeker, and Brenda I love you.
01:56 We're going to talk to you some time today.
01:58 And Fred Stoeker.
02:00 You have helped me to heal in ways that you don't even know.
02:03 We've got the pastor and his wife, Richard, Annette, Curly.
02:07 I'm blessed by you and I want to tell some stories
02:12 about when we first met too. And Pam.
02:13 I want to say as we start this show, "Powerless without Jesus",
02:19 I'm going to tell you some stories
02:21 and I really want to turn to my life,
02:25 I want to talk about where I came from
02:27 and why I think this show
02:29 is the most important show that we'll do.
02:32 I was born to 14 and 16 year old addicts, they were a mess,
02:37 I was homeless by the time I was 13 years old.
02:40 When I ended up on the streets, at 13 years old,
02:45 the options that I had as far as work, how to survive,
02:49 how to be fed, how to be housed,
02:51 all those kind of things were so ugly.
02:55 And some of that I'm not even going to talk about
02:57 because it was too ugly.
02:59 If your kids are around right know
03:02 this is not going to be a show for kids.
03:05 It is a show for people
03:08 that are struggling with various addictions,
03:11 it's a show for someone that is working with anybody
03:14 on the planet.
03:17 Anybody that's struggling with stuff.
03:19 Because you really do need to understand what's out there.
03:23 We spend more money on our darker addictions
03:26 than we do on all entertainment, all sports entertainment,
03:31 all movies, all video games, all those kind of things
03:34 that you think we spend so much money on.
03:37 We spend more money on our darker addictions
03:38 and all that stuff.
03:41 When I ended up on the streets I was homeless.
03:45 When I was 14 years old I got picked up by a motorcycle gang.
03:50 When I was picked up it was probably...
03:53 I saw the guy come up on a Harley Davidson,
03:57 I didn't have a place to stay,
04:00 I was not in a place where I was being safe,
04:03 the person kind of raising me was in jail, and I was stuck,
04:07 I was stuck without any place to go.
04:09 He said, "Do you want to go camping?"
04:12 I'm like, "Shut up!
04:14 How fun would that be?!"
04:15 I've never been camping, my family are addicts, right?
04:18 And even when I was little my dad,
04:21 who the first time he got caught molesting me I was 3 months old,
04:26 and I think I was molested from birth,
04:28 he was kicked out finally when I was 4,
04:29 my mom moved a bartender in who was alcoholic and really a mess.
04:35 And I loved them, I just have to say.
04:36 As much as messed my family is, though my family.
04:40 But this is just the reality of how I grew up.
04:43 But we never went camping.
04:46 Child protective services always came to my house
04:49 trying to remove us from the home.
04:51 We didn't have a kind of upbringing
04:54 that most people would have.
04:55 So when somebody said "camping"
04:57 I was just like, "How fun!"
04:58 I was a drug addict by that time.
05:01 I started doing drugs when I was 11 to survive.
05:04 The first time somebody gave me drugs I was 11 years old.
05:08 My family asked me to leave the house.
05:12 They didn't want me there.
05:13 It was real clear they didn't want me there.
05:16 My mom, like I said, was 14 when she had me.
05:18 She had 5 kids by the time she was 21.
05:20 The house was a mess.
05:22 So I was introduced to drugs at 11.
05:24 The first time I took drugs it was Quaalude a sedative.
05:28 And I didn't feel like dying.
05:30 I thought, "Oh, man!
05:32 How good is this!"
05:33 I remember thinking that if one makes me feel like not dying
05:37 could I have four more, could somebody give me some more?
05:41 I stayed high for the next 10 years.
05:44 When I say "high" to a lot of people they...
05:46 I don't think you get the picture.
05:48 I had to hold on to things a lot of times
05:51 when I walked around.
05:53 I was pregnant by the age 12 because I was on the streets,
05:56 I was using.
05:58 Somebody said, "Who is the father?"
06:00 "I don't even know."
06:01 I ended up getting married by 13,
06:05 before I ended up on the streets.
06:07 I married a guy in the navy, went over seas,
06:10 moved me into his mom's house.
06:12 Him mom hated me, of course.
06:13 I was a 12 year old drug addict that just ruined his sons life.
06:16 I thought,
06:17 "I don't have to stay here anymore because I'm an adult,
06:20 I'm married."
06:21 When I ended up on the streets
06:23 I got picked up by a group of heroine addicts
06:25 So that is how I ended up standing in front of this biker
06:29 saying, "Do you want to go camping?"
06:31 He gave me some drugs.
06:33 From the time I first started doing drugs
06:36 I was never not high.
06:38 If I had to deal with life how it was in front of me
06:43 it was too painful.
06:45 I would just want somebody to take me out.
06:48 Could somebody just throw me in front of a train?
06:51 Because I don't want to be here.
06:52 But if I was high I didn't care.
06:56 So we went camping and he gave me some drugs.
06:59 We got to the camp side.
07:01 It was 300 people, there at least.
07:03 I got off the bike and I'm thinking,
07:06 "This is going to be so much fun!"
07:08 I started walking to the main group and he said,
07:10 "Excuse me, but did I tell you could walk away from me?"
07:14 And I'm like, "What? Did I ask you?"
07:17 I started laughing
07:19 and he hit me in the face as hard as he could.
07:22 I fell into a tree, slammed into a tree actually, and slid down.
07:26 I thought, "I can't believe hits guy hit me."
07:28 I jumped up and I hit him in the face as hard as I could.
07:32 I was 14, he was 38.
07:34 He was sergeant of arms in a bike club and he was built.
07:37 A big guy.
07:38 When I say I was 14 I used to think I must have looked older,
07:41 I must have been...whatever.
07:44 I looked 14, I was a kid.
07:46 When I hit him again, he hit me again I hit the same tree
07:49 and everybody started laughing,
07:51 it started gathering people around us that said,
07:53 "How fun is that?!"
07:55 I was furious.
07:56 I thought, "Are they laughing at me?"
07:58 It was almost like every injustice in my life came up.
08:02 When I talked about my dad molested me when I was a kid,
08:05 there was a guy across the street from my elementary school
08:08 that got an apartment separate from his house
08:11 so he could molested kids from the school.
08:13 There was people in my family that were very abusive sexually,
08:18 very sexualized behavior.
08:19 When you have a molested kid he usually draws molesters.
08:24 They will attract people around them because they are so needy.
08:29 I didn't know that but my history was very intense.
08:31 And so when I'm lying there after being hit
08:34 all that stuff just started coming up to me and I thought,
08:36 "He is not going to hit me like that."
08:39 And I jumped and hit him again.
08:41 And he hit me again and I fell back down,
08:44 and I remember just went into a rage,
08:46 literally went into a rage.
08:47 I jumped back up, I hit him, scratched him,
08:51 and he was laughing so hard he couldn't hit me.
08:54 I thought, "He is laughing at me."
08:56 I went nuts, I literally went crazy.
09:01 He was trying to hold me from hitting him again.
09:05 And as he stopped laughing and gained control
09:08 he hit me so hard that he knocked some teeth out
09:10 of the front of my mouth.
09:11 I felt like my face had cracked.
09:13 I was lying there and I felt blood everywhere.
09:18 I was trying to check with my tongue
09:21 how many teeth did I have left.
09:22 I knew that I had lost some teeth
09:24 and I'm trying to check that.
09:26 As I was doing that he walked up and he said,
09:30 "You know, I think you are so gutsy. I like that.
09:34 I'd like you to be my old lady."
09:37 I thought, "Is he asking me out?
09:39 Is this guy asking me out?"
09:41 And he was.
09:42 What he was saying is that in that lifestyle.
09:46 Because I could take a beating and get up and defend myself.
09:52 He wanted me as his girlfriend.
09:55 Anybody want to guess what I said?
09:58 "No, thank you.", that's what I said.
10:02 "Absolutely not!"
10:04 And he informed me that this was really not a question.
10:07 He wasn't really waiting for an answer from me.
10:10 But my feeling was "Absolutely not."
10:12 But now I'm his property.
10:13 And in bikers,
10:15 in that lifestyle the bikes are number one,
10:20 the brothers, or his partners, are number two,
10:27 women maybe are number three.
10:31 But it maybe even drugs and that kind of stuff.
10:34 Women are very far down the road.
10:35 Now I'm his property.
10:37 They picked up three girls from the street. I didn't know that.
10:40 So three girls were picked up from the street.
10:42 They were picked up to be turned out.
10:44 What that means
10:45 is that they were having initiation for new members,
10:48 they were bringing new bikers into the club,
10:50 they needed girls from the street
10:52 in order to initiate the new members.
10:54 And they were brought in to be beaten and whatever.
10:57 I could tell you some of the things they did to this women.
11:00 I wasn't one of them now because I was taken as his girlfriend.
11:05 So I was not one but I watched
11:07 a 13 year old that first night until she was dead.
11:12 People say,
11:14 "On the street,
11:15 did you have anything that you didn't get over it well?"
11:19 This was one of the things that I had nightmares
11:21 for years and years.
11:23 Because I heard this girl just screaming all day long,
11:26 all night long.
11:27 Out of the 300 people that were there, men and women,
11:31 this girl was abused by all of them.
11:33 What was funny to them is not only raping them
11:36 but beating them, hitting them, all that kind of stuff.
11:40 She was horribly abused and when she started to die
11:43 her scream's changed, the sound of her voice was different.
11:47 I started screaming, "She is dying!"
11:49 I've never heard anyone die but it's so obvious.
11:54 It's so obvious when someone has this sound of death to them.
12:00 I remember him coming to my face and just saying,
12:04 "Shut up. You either take her place or shut up. I'm serious."
12:09 I couldn't shut up, I kept screaming,
12:11 "You've got to stop them."
12:13 And pretty soon I got beat up
12:15 and taken to another part of the campground.
12:18 Eventually he had to take me and we left the campground early
12:23 because I could not stop.
12:25 I was so outraged by the abuses I saw and the damage.
12:31 The first time I got into a Bible study, when I met God,
12:37 and I'm going to go through that on various shows
12:40 because it was incredible.
12:42 It took me two weeks to leave those bikers,
12:48 to escape from there.
12:49 In those two weeks I watched abuses
12:52 that I cannot even say on the set.
12:57 Because if I tell you, not that I don't want to tell you,
13:00 because I want to tell everyone,
13:01 and the reason I want to tell everyone
13:03 is not because I want to exploit anything,
13:05 not because I want to shock anyone,
13:07 but as Christians I want us to finally say,
13:10 "You know what? It matters that we are here.
13:13 We need to get out there.
13:14 People are so destroying themselves.
13:16 Sin has them so twisted
13:18 that some people will never be able to untwist
13:20 unless we say there is hope."
13:22 There is a Saviour that says,
13:24 "I even know...", the theme text for this show is Isaiah 57,18,
13:28 "I know everything about you.
13:31 I know all your garbage and I will heal you anyway."
13:34 That is what God is saying.
13:36 He is saying it to these bikers.
13:38 He is saying it to me,
13:39 to this homeless kid that ends up on the street.
13:40 He is saying it to you, any of the things that you deal with.
13:45 He is saying that to us.
13:46 So it takes me two weeks to escape.
13:56 I end up going through all this kind of stuff on the street.
14:04 I was on the street from that point for the next few years.
14:07 I got off the street at 23 when I meet Jesus Christ.
14:12 In a drug house, sitting on a bed trying to kill myself.
14:15 I was so done. I had seen that kind of situation
14:18 plus worse throughout the years.
14:22 I had been strung out on heroine for the last few years.
14:25 I was selling drugs.
14:26 The Vice that was supposed to arrest us for selling drugs
14:29 was actually trading favors off with the kids
14:32 that I ran with
14:33 so they wouldn't arrest us.
14:35 I saw darker things.
14:37 If I met a pastor on the street
14:39 it was because of a darker addiction.
14:41 If I met a doctor on the street
14:42 it was because of a darker addiction.
14:45 I met a guy that was head of cardiac surgery one time.
14:49 And I was in a drug house, wasted.
14:51 And he said he was a doctor,
14:52 head of cardiac surgery, did heart transplants.
14:55 I wanted to see his hands because I thought,
14:58 "Wow! That is amazing!"
15:00 I remember all of the sudden thinking,
15:03 "You're a doctor? You do heart transplants."
15:08 I went up to him and I said, "What are you doing here?"
15:14 And he is like, "What do you mean?"
15:16 "I mean, what are you doing here?"
15:18 And he is like, "What do you mean?"
15:20 And the people that I was running with,
15:22 the other child prostitutes, the addicts are saying,
15:26 "Cheri, shut up."
15:29 The reason they are telling me that is,
15:31 "Don't bug him, he brings money here.
15:34 We're playing this guy"
15:35 And I'm telling this guy, "What are you doing here?
15:38 Do you have a wife? Do you have kids?
15:40 Do the people you work with know that you're here?"
15:43 I wanted so desperately for someone to be normal.
15:46 Does that sound crazy?
15:47 I'm sitting there trying to kill myself. I'm so done.
15:51 I remember getting everything ready, I'm not in the pain.
15:54 My first suicide attempt was when I was 8
15:57 and I jumped of a house.
15:58 When I figured out where I was going to jump, at 8 years old,
16:02 I put a mattress down so when I hit I wouldn't hurt myself.
16:05 So I'm not in the pain and I got some different things together
16:10 and I'm ready to kill myself
16:18 and I felt like the presence of God just came in the room.
16:24 And somebody says,
16:25 "Did the room changed, did it light up?"
16:28 I think it did.
16:29 But if you had a video camera nothing happened.
16:31 But I felt like the Holy Spirit, God Himself came in the room.
16:34 I had never had any encounters with God.
16:36 My family is not Christian.
16:38 God said, "Cheri, I love you."
16:42 I felt safe for the first time in my life,
16:46 I felt loved and no reason for that.
16:50 I said, "Look at me."
16:52 I had teeth missing and I'm a heroin addict.
16:55 I don't even know anything.
16:57 I'm illiterate, fairly illiterate.
16:59 I could probably read like second grade level.
17:02 And God says, "I love you.
17:03 I want to show you who I see when I look at you."
17:06 He gives me this image.
17:07 And I don't know He does that when He shows you something
17:10 but you see nothing, but you see everything.
17:12 I don't know how the Holy Spirit does this
17:15 but He shows me who I am in Christ.
17:17 And who I am is His beautiful child.
17:21 I thought, "No way, no way..."
17:22 You know what hit me about this image?
17:25 That she was so innocent.
17:29 I said, "I've never been innocent in my life."
17:32 I was molested from the first time I came out of the womb.
17:36 I've never been loved.
17:38 And God said, "You've always been that way to Me
17:40 and if you trust Me stand up, I'll walk you into this image."
17:44 And I did, and I trust Him.
17:47 We're going to talk about a God that says,
17:49 "I don't care what your junk is.
17:51 I want to restore you to sanity.
17:53 I want to bring you to a place
17:55 where you can stand holy in the presence of the holy God
17:58 with all your junk."
18:00 He's talking not only to me
18:02 but to every biker that was there that weekend.
18:04 Every person that I met on the street He was talking to
18:08 and He said, "I don't want anyone to perish.
18:10 I don't want anyone to die outside of relationship.
18:13 I want to bring you life."
18:15 So stay with us.
18:16 I'm going to introduce you to a friend of mine, Fred Stoeker,
18:20 that you will be blessed by him.
18:21 You will be blessed by what he brings to the table.
18:26 Don't go away.
18:35 We want to introduce you to a beautiful book
18:38 called "Steps to Christ".
18:40 Each program in this series is based on a different chapter,
18:44 showing you how to become a Christian
18:47 and gain victory over your addictions.
18:50 "Steps to Christ" is our gift to you, free of charge.
18:53 Call us at (618) 627-4651 during the regular business hours
18:57 or write to Steps to Christ, P.O Box 220,
19:01 West Frankfurt, Il 62896
19:20 Welcome back!
19:22 I think the funniest think I ever learned
19:25 when I first came into Christianity
19:26 and I first started studying the Bible,
19:28 someone told me a story about Mary Magdalene
19:31 and the woman that was dragged to Jesus' feet.
19:35 She was a prostitute caught in the act,
19:37 and all that kind of things.
19:39 I just wept because I thought that Christ looked at her
19:43 and in love He said, "You know what?
19:46 Go and don't hurt yourself anymore. Don't sin anymore."
19:49 I really don't believe
19:50 that He said it in the way "don't do wrong"
19:53 He's like, "Don't hurt yourself. Stand up, live your life."
19:56 And then they told me this story and I will never forget it
19:59 because they said, "You know what?
20:01 I want to tell you the story
20:02 about a guy that was filled with demons
20:06 and had foam at the mouth, and just horrible.
20:10 He was cutting himself with stones.
20:13 He was beating people up.
20:14 They chained him up, he broke the chains.
20:17 He lived in the cemetery, all those things."
20:19 And the person said, "Did I tell you he was ugly?
20:22 With foam at the mouth, filled with thousands of demons?"
20:24 I thought "You did."
20:25 A little while later he didn't tell me what happened but said,
20:28 "Did I tell you? This guy was ugly."
20:31 And I'm thinking, "You did tell me. I know he was ugly."
20:34 And the whole time they are talking I'm thinking,
20:36 "You know what? I think I dated that guy."
20:39 I was so serious that I thought I dated him.
20:42 I wanted to say that when I listened to the story,
20:45 one of the things I wanted to know with everything in me...
20:49 because you heard the story about the bikers.
20:51 I've seen people filled with demons.
20:52 I've seen people in such destructive lifestyles
20:55 that are just unbelievable.
20:57 Murdering each other and all that kind of stuff.
20:59 I wanted to know what did Jesus do, what did God do.
21:03 He said He walked up to him, everybody ran.
21:06 And He is standing there.
21:08 And as He stood there the guy opens his mouth
21:10 and instead of pleading for God to change something,
21:13 he cuffs them out, curses them out.
21:16 And God doesn't move, Jesus doesn't move.
21:18 He just stands there.
21:20 He said that He saw within this guy soul a small part of him
21:24 that wanted to be restored, wanted to be in his right mind.
21:27 And He did that for him.
21:30 He pulled all the demons out,
21:31 restored this guy to his right mind.
21:34 And for the first time, in I don't know for how long,
21:37 this guy stood in his right mind next to Christ.
21:41 I thought, "Oh, I want that."
21:43 I want to introduce you to Fred and Brenda Stoeker,
21:47 no that Fred reminds me of the demoniac.
21:51 Thank you for being on the show.
21:53 It's great to be here!
21:55 You both have blessed me in ways that you don't even know.
21:59 We're going to cover all of the today.
22:02 You have a ministry that is international.
22:05 You've been definitely all of the U.S.
22:08 Introduce yourself, a little bit about the ministry
22:12 and then let's get into your testimony.
22:14 I found a living in true ministry.
22:17 It's designed to help men to learn how to live normally.
22:21 From my own past, I grew up in kind of a dysfunctional home
22:24 and I got into sexual sin.
22:26 It took me a while once I became a Christian
22:28 to really understand what I needed to be.
22:32 That's what I want to do for men now.
22:34 I want to go out and help them see.
22:35 Is it because you understand the gift that Christ has given you
22:45 and how He wants to restore us?
22:47 Oh, sure. In Psalm 51 it talks about the fact that God takes us
22:51 cleans us up and then sends us out to teach others.
22:54 I'd like to think at that as my destiny.
22:57 I need to be out helping other guys
22:59 to experience this freedom that I'm experiencing.
23:02 Since the purity came in my life,
23:04 my wife and I had such a wonderful marriage since then.
23:07 We've been married for 25 years and we're having a great time.
23:11 That's what God wants for us.
23:13 He wants us to live lives that are reflective of His word
23:17 and that we can just be happy.
23:19 Obviously we need to be helping Him reach others as well.
23:23 We're going to get into both of those things.
23:26 Brenda, when he says "I'm happy." is he right?
23:29 He is really right.
23:31 I just had to check.
23:33 We are very, very blessed.
23:36 As we get into this you're going to come back on another show
23:40 and just hear your testimony.
23:43 You've written a book called "Every heart restored".
23:45 And so, as we listen to him,
23:47 I want people to know that we will cover your restoration too.
23:51 Fred, tell us.
23:54 Dysfunctional home, getting into sexual sin,
23:57 what do you mean by that?
23:58 I know it really bothers some folks talking about that.
24:04 But I want people to know that I do ministry all over the world.
24:09 I have been fortunate enough,
24:11 I think God has given me the opportunities to talk to people
24:14 in prisons and rehab centers and jails and churches.
24:17 And every single time sexual sin comes up,
24:19 and I don't get out of the churches
24:22 usually until 12:30-1:30 at night
24:24 because people are dealing with these.
24:26 And so I'm so grateful for your ministry
24:29 and that you are able to say out loud there is hope.
24:32 There is a lot of hope.
24:34 When I went out to college, I went to Standford University,
24:35 for those who would know where that is,
24:40 I was probably a thousand miles away from home and very lonely.
24:43 It wasn't long before I started to get hooked on porn
24:47 because it was something that made me feel connected somehow.
24:50 It wasn't long before I had the dates memorized
24:52 when those magazines would come
24:54 into the campus bookstore each month.
24:56 And I would be the first one on campus to get those.
24:59 So it was really important to me.
25:01 Then I began to chase women.
25:02 Probably, maybe in a year of college I had four girlfriends,
25:06 I was sleeping with three of them,
25:07 and I was essentially engaged to be married to two of them.
25:10 None of them knew about each other.
25:13 It was a time of my life
25:17 when I really didn't know that that was wrong.
25:20 It seemed like everybody was having a good time,
25:22 no one was getting hurt.
25:23 But there was something nagging in my heart
25:26 about "Who am I really?"
25:29 It was starting to get hard to keep all the balls in the air
25:32 and it felt like a gerbil on the wheel.
25:35 There was a night that I was in my office,
25:38 I was working as a stock broker at the time,
25:41 so I was sitting in my office, I was looking out the window,
25:44 and there was a sunset, it was just coming down in California,
25:48 there are beautiful sunsets out there,
25:49 and I decide, "I'm the last one here. I want to go home.
25:52 I need to go home, but I want to watch this sunset
25:54 before I go home. Just to enjoy myself, relax a little bit."
25:57 I sat down and I put my hands behind my head,
25:59 I put one feet up on the credenza
26:02 and I started watching that sunset.
26:05 What you said earlier about your salvation
26:07 struck me right through my toes
26:09 because I've never heard anybody else say what you said
26:12 except me.
26:16 I don't know how God did it but He suddenly changed the scene
26:21 and I could see everything that I'd become.
26:25 He didn't actually show me anything
26:27 and yet He showed me everything that I'd become.
26:30 It was in that moment that I understood
26:33 that something had to change.
26:36 So I bowed my head and I prayed a simple prayer,
26:39 "Lord, I'm ready to work with you
26:40 if You are ready to work with me."
26:41 When I got up from there and went home
26:44 I didn't even know I was saved.
26:45 I had no idea that it stuck, so to say.
26:49 But over the next few weeks I was on my way back home to Iowa.
26:54 The Lord seem to move everything in my life
26:56 and I was moving back to Iowa
26:58 leaving all those girlfriends behind.
27:01 I had a chance for a new life.
27:03 When I got back there I began going to a church
27:07 that was doing some Sunday school classes on marriage.
27:10 As I was going through the list of Sunday school classes
27:12 and I came to that class I thought to myself,
27:15 "If there's anything I need
27:16 it's I need to know how to treat women."
27:19 Even though I wasn't married
27:20 and I didn't have a fiancée or a girlfriend at that time
27:23 I started going to this class.
27:24 And over that year I just fell in love
27:28 with what God has said about women.
27:30 The pastor was teaching us about how different they are from us
27:34 and how important it is for us to understand that,
27:36 and how awesome God made them.
27:39 By the time that year is up I prayed again.
27:43 I love that!
27:45 I got on my knees, it was in my apartment,
27:48 I've just gotten to the point
27:51 when I need to see what one of these looks like.
27:54 I've bee going to church,
27:55 obviously there were Christian women there,
27:57 but I didn't really know any of them.
27:59 So I prayed, "Lord, can You show me a woman
28:01 that embodies these characteristics?"
28:03 I just wanted to see.
28:04 It's one thing to read about a giraffe,
28:06 it's another thing to see one.
28:09 Are you a giraffe?
28:10 I didn't think so.
28:13 In my world she became one I guess.
28:15 Because in a couple of weeks
28:17 I'd kind of forgotten about the prayer, but my dad called
28:20 and he had set up a blind date with Brenda and me.
28:24 I didn't know Brenda at that time and never seen her.
28:26 We were going to go to church
28:28 and then go out to eat afterwards.
28:29 When I was in the seat that day and my dad leaned over and said,
28:33 "Freddy, here she comes."
28:34 I turned and looked at her and the Lord said,
28:37 "This is the girl you're going to marry", as I looked at her.
28:40 It was very exciting.
28:44 But the thing that was most impressive to this story
28:48 is that as I began to know her better and better
28:52 I knew that she really did embody
28:55 all those characteristics I've been talking about.
28:58 When I began to understand that
29:00 I really wanted to do well as a husband.
29:03 Really wanted to do well.
29:05 I stopped looking at porn before we got married
29:09 and I have not purchase porn and looked at it on the computer
29:13 since our wedding day.
29:15 Did you know his history Brenda?
29:17 I knew that he had had a lot of relationships with other girls.
29:20 That was as far as I knew that it went.
29:23 So I assume when we got married
29:25 I thought everything was in the past.
29:27 I had no idea there is any on going problem for him.
29:30 I thought I had left it all behind
29:35 because I wasn't dating other women
29:37 and I wasn't looking at porn.
29:39 But you see,
29:40 the Bible's standard is different from our standard.
29:43 In Ephesians 5:3 it says that we are not to have
29:46 even a hint of sexual immorality in our lives.
29:49 So when I read that and I began to meditate on it and I thought,
29:54 "What in the world does a hint meant?"
29:56 And over time I began to understand that what it means is
29:59 that we are not to get any sexual gratification
30:01 from anyone or anything except our spouse.
30:06 By that standard I was failing miserably.
30:08 I was still watching the R-rated movies,
30:11 there was still a lot of self stimulation
30:14 with lingerie ad inserts
30:16 and department store inserts on Sunday mornings.
30:19 There were joggers, exercise shows,
30:21 all sorts of things that they still had me captured.
30:26 What the Lord was trying to say to me was,
30:29 "These have to go too."
30:31 Can I ask you something? Because in my own recovery,
30:34 one of the things that I learned about God
30:37 is that He was trying to teach me when He says,
30:45 "Don't even look on somebody with lust.",
30:47 is He wasn't saying "That's a check list that I have"
30:51 "I will fill you up with so much joy and so much health
30:56 that you'll be surprised at what actually is to love someone
31:00 and this will get in your way."
31:02 So it wasn't "Don't do this because I said so,
31:04 it was because "I want to pour into you some good stuff."
31:07 And that's the most amazing thing about God
31:09 that I've found over time is that
31:11 a lot of times we think of Him saying "No premarital sex,
31:15 no this or that."
31:16 In other words, "Don't have any fun
31:18 because I'm God and I said so."
31:21 What I've come to find is that it's nothing like that at all.
31:24 I'm a father and I have a 23 year old son
31:27 and a 15 year old son
31:29 I want to come back to that a little bit
31:31 because since I've had my sons I understand
31:34 how a father looks on the purity of his sons
31:37 and what he wants.
31:39 There's never been a time in my life
31:41 where I've looked at my sons and said,
31:42 "Look, you need to stay pure.",
31:43 that I did it because of my ego or because of my books
31:47 or because I want them to have no fun.
31:48 It all has to do with freedom, peace, so that they can enjoy
31:53 their sexual relationship in their marriage better.
31:55 All of it is out of love.
31:58 We need to understand that that is why He asks us to be pure.
32:04 When you really into my life and you the prices I was paying
32:09 just for those small things.
32:12 What were the prices because you're saying
32:14 that I'm looking at adds, I'm getting lost in the TV still,
32:17 if somebody drives by I'm still following them.
32:21 What most people would say is, "Those are little things.
32:24 They have nothing to do with anything.
32:27 You need to lighten up.", is what they would say.
32:30 But these are the prices that I was paying.
32:34 Should we talk about what you would say?
32:40 We'll save that for later.
32:42 At this time she didn't know anything about it.
32:44 Nothing at all, everything was going fine.
32:49 Our sex life was good.
32:51 I seemed to be the rising young star in our church,
32:53 I was teaching classes.
32:56 We were the family people wanted to emulate kind of a thing.
33:00 I came from a totally different background from Fred's
33:03 and I knew almost nothing at all
33:05 about men's sexual differences with women.
33:07 It never even occurred to me, I had no clue of anything.
33:11 She comes from 4 generations of Christian people
33:16 and so for her everything is always been
33:19 pretty much kind of a straight narrow path
33:21 and I am way off to the left somewhere.
33:26 People were saying, "Look, knock it off.
33:30 You can't control your eyes, your mind does, so just relax."
33:36 I knew I was paying prices and I had to find out why.
33:40 One of the things I noticed was that, for instance,
33:43 when I'd be in church, looking around
33:45 and seeing other people worship,
33:47 I knew I wasn't making the same connection
33:49 that the other men were making.
33:51 But the worst thing
33:53 when it came to my relationship with the board
33:54 was that I couldn't look the in the eye anymore.
33:56 There were so many times I had said I will stop these things
34:01 and I broke my promise every single time.
34:03 And after a while you feel like a goof to go back to the board
34:07 and say, "I'm going to make one more promise."
34:10 After a while it's hard to pray,
34:12 it's hard to even be serious with Him
34:15 because you don't even know if He cares about you some times
34:18 and there were times when I would get so despondent
34:20 I wonder if I was really a Christian anymore.
34:22 Because it was just something that had me by the throat
34:25 and I couldn't get free.
34:27 When it came to Brenda there were also some prices
34:31 I couldn't give myself 100% to her.
34:35 I knew that if she ever found out about this she'd leave.
34:38 At least I suspected that she would.
34:40 I knew that if I had given her my whole life at that point
34:44 when she'd pulled the rug from underneath me
34:47 I would just be dust.
34:48 So my own thinking was, "I can't afford to give my whole life
34:51 to her because she can leave sometime."
34:53 At one level I wasn't as committed to her
34:56 as I could have been even though I'd loved her.
34:59 There were parts of me I was holding back.
35:03 The hardest part was some of the nightmares she was having.
35:09 I don't know what you theologies are about dreams and things
35:13 but there were times where I was looking at those ad inserts
35:18 on Sunday mornings in the middle of self stimulation
35:22 and I would hear Brenda wake up upstairs and I would hear
35:26 just a sudden start and she would rush downstairs
35:28 and I would hear her crying.
35:30 She would come and she would fall into my arms
35:31 and she would say where have you been, Satan was chasing me
35:36 down dark hallways and I was looking in every room
35:39 trying to find you, I need you to protect me. Where were you?
35:45 Imagine how I felt
35:46 knowing that I was had just been sitting there sinning
35:49 and I'd been compromising my spiritual authority in my home.
35:53 Satan had freedom to mess around in my home.
35:57 When it came to my son, his name was Jason
36:03 and he was just two and he was a toddler at the time,
36:06 he had a little pacifier that would hang out of his mouth,
36:08 a little drool, and he would grin up at me
36:10 and I knew what his eyes were saying. There were saying,
36:13 "Daddy, you are my hero. I want to be just like you."
36:18 Sometimes I would brake out crying
36:20 when I would look back into his face.
36:22 Because I knew that there was no way I could keep him
36:26 from the trap I was running in.
36:29 Because my grandparents were both stuck on porn
36:31 and my dad was stuck on porn and then I got stuck on porn.
36:34 I would look into his face and he was trusting me,
36:37 he would look up and I would have to look back,
36:41 "I know I can't keep you from what's coming."
36:44 Those were really hard days for me, but they were good days
36:50 because when I would look into his face I would know
36:53 "I have to do something."
36:55 Well the Lord began to chase me.
36:57 When we are hopeless the Lord runs towards us to help us.
37:04 There was one verse, Luke 6:46, that He chased me with, it was,
37:09 "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?
37:12 He didn't bring that to me in a mean way.
37:17 It was always "Son, why?"
37:22 I would mediate on that, I wouldn't know what to do
37:24 but it was cracking my heart.
37:29 Job 31:1 it says that Job made a covenant with his eyes,
37:36 not to look lustfully at a girl.
37:38 I looked at that and I knew that covenant was a key
37:41 but I didn't understand it.
37:42 How do eyes keep a promise? I don't understand that.
37:47 The more I meditated at this two verses as He chased me
37:50 the more He was preparing me for His next almost a second
37:52 salvation in my life
37:54 where I was driving down Merle Hay Road in Des Moines, Iowa.
37:58 If you've ever been to Des Moines, you know that road.
38:00 It's the key road in the city.
38:03 North-south and going down the hill one day
38:06 a jogger was coming by.
38:08 I looked at her, lusted and I knew
38:10 I'd failed God for the zillionth time.
38:14 I remember slamming my fist in the steering wheel and
38:18 saying, "It stops here. I don't care what it takes"
38:22 but I'm going to learn how to build a covenant
38:24 because I'm not living like this anymore. It stops here."
38:28 For me, and I think for most every man,
38:31 the key to turning around and moving towards the Lord
38:35 is that kind of repentance where you're saying,
38:39 "I am going to turn around now
38:40 and I'm going to go back God's way.
38:43 I have to make a decision that I really, really mean."
38:47 I really meant it then.
38:49 Over the next number of weeks and months
38:52 God began to change everything in who I was.
38:55 I think that a lot of people don't get to feel,
39:00 and I know that you felt it during that time
39:03 that He was braking you in a way that gives you freedom
39:08 to come into a healthy relationship,
39:11 is that there is so much love in the way He is doing it.
39:14 There's no condemnation, there's no shame.
39:17 I remember thinking that everything
39:19 that I put on the table that I was so ashamed of, God said,
39:22 "I know that", and He cleared the table and set a banquet.
39:26 It's like "I want this stuff."
39:29 I just want you to know that God knows our stuff,
39:34 knows our generational things that have kept us in bondage
39:37 and longs to set us free.
39:40 I love listening to the way He said to you
39:45 "Fred, I want you to stand as a man of integrity."
39:50 I always thought I was a man because I was living
39:55 every American man's dream I guess: four girlfriends.
40:00 You might not be able to tell now
40:01 but I used to be pretty handsome.
40:05 I could steal a girl's heart pretty quick.
40:08 And I used them for my own pleasure, but I always thought
40:12 that was a manly thing to do.
40:14 But as I got into the Word I also began to see
40:18 that the Lord's definition of manhood is entirely different
40:21 than what ours says.
40:23 When you go back in you'll see that what he says is that
40:29 he who hears the word of God and keeps it he is the man.
40:33 That's what a real man is.
40:35 When you go back to see what Jesus' ticket in the manhood was
40:39 you get the clear picture.
40:41 When He was left behind in Jerusalem by His parents,
40:43 after the Passover, they thought He was with the company
40:46 all of them going home,
40:48 they've suddenly realized He wasn't with them
40:49 so they had to go back to Jerusalem and find Jesus.
40:52 When they found Him they found Him in the temple
40:55 and He was talking to all the leaders in the temple.
40:57 When they asked Him "Why did you do this to us?", He said
41:00 "Didn't you know I have to be about my father's business?"
41:04 That right there is the passage in the manhood
41:08 for the Christian man:
41:10 being about his Father's business.
41:13 Going in bed with a girl wasn't Jesus' passage in the manhood.
41:19 It wasn't pornography, or drugs, or any other wild thing
41:22 that any of us could think of.
41:25 He said that are passage in the manhood is man would be
41:29 to be about our Father's business.
41:32 As I began to really understand that,
41:34 that I need to hear the word of God and keep it
41:37 and be about my Father's business everything changed.
41:41 it doesn't matter how thick my beard is
41:42 or whether I have hair on my chest,
41:44 or any of the other things we think about as being manhood.
41:47 It's that image that all of us men need to chase.
41:51 That image of Christ being about His Father's business.
41:54 Because it's in that that we're going to find true peace
41:57 and true completion.
41:58 Let me ask you something then.
42:01 I hear what you say but a lot of people are going to say
42:04 "What I believe is that if I turn it over,
42:08 if I give up that, who am I as a man
42:11 and is life even exciting anymore?
42:13 What am I going to feel as a man? What is that going to be?
42:20 It's not like you have to give up everything
42:24 that you've ever done.
42:26 You still camp, you still climb mountains,
42:28 all the other things man do.
42:32 I really think that Satan has lied to us
42:34 and said that this is what's fun.
42:37 There is a part of having 4 girlfriends that's fun.
42:43 I can't deny that there was pleasure in that.
42:47 But when I escaped the old definition of manhood
42:52 where I had to be masculine, handsome, and getting women
42:57 and all those sorts of things.
42:58 When I walked into the destiny that God had for me,
43:03 which is being about His business
43:05 and Him standing with me and me standing on His shoulders
43:08 approaching the future together,
43:10 it was then that life really became extremely interesting
43:15 because what began to happen is all of my fears were gone.
43:19 I started to watch my son, who was two at the time
43:22 when I was still fearful.
43:24 At the age of 11 I told him about pornography
43:27 and the dangers of it.
43:29 He went to school one day
43:30 and told me that his friends had brought it.
43:33 I asked him "What did you do?".
43:36 Is this generation gone or what?
43:39 He said "I walked away dad. Just like you said."
43:42 He was raised in a public school,
43:47 he is a computer engineer, he could get around any defense
43:51 you'd ever want to set up and look at porn if he wanted.
43:54 He has walked through his life to the age of 23
43:57 without looking at those things
43:59 and without the self stimulation,
44:00 all the things that I knew.
44:02 So what God did for you is stopped that
44:04 when you said "It will stop here."
44:06 When he was 11 and he said "I walked away."
44:10 I cannot tell you how my soul just soared.
44:15 Because everything that the Stoeker name used to mean
44:18 was crumbling and I knew it.
44:20 You talk about excitement and fun in life.
44:24 That is watching a destiny unfold.
44:26 Not just in my life but in our life, in our kids lives.
44:32 I have got to say something.
44:35 When we did this show together and during one of the brakes
44:38 I remember talking to you about a situation
44:43 that happened to you and you had talked about,
44:45 I don't remember exactly what it was,
44:48 you talked about a girl that had come up to you
44:51 and when you realized for the first time.
44:53 It's happened many times since.
44:58 One of the things that I see that we as men have lost
45:01 is the ability to be safe for women to be around us.
45:05 I believe that we need to be heroic
45:08 in our relationships with women, not cool.
45:10 What we do is we spend all our time trying to be cool
45:12 instead of being heroic.
45:14 One of my goals in life is that
45:16 no matter what woman comes up to me she can feel safe.
45:20 If I'm left alone in a room with a girl for a couple of hours
45:24 she would know 100% she is safe.
45:26 And when she stands next to me
45:28 and if she turns around and bends over to get something
45:30 she knows I'm not going to be looking at her rear.
45:33 Right, because you are a man of God.
45:36 We tend to look at women
45:38 as an interesting collection of body parts after a while
45:42 if we get into porn and those things.
45:44 But we need to see them as fellow heirs
45:46 to the kingdom of grace our sisters, in absolute purity.
45:50 We need to see them that way.
45:51 That's a transformation.
45:53 There was a thing that you said that absolutely got me.
45:56 Is for the first time you realized "I'm saved".
46:01 And when you said that to me when we were talking
46:03 you started to cry and there was some healing that happened to me
46:08 that when I first came into the church, and I came in
46:11 hoping that there would be people that were safe
46:13 and I didn't find a lot.
46:14 I don't want to say that in a bad way but I didn't find a lot
46:18 and all of a sudden I realized
46:19 that God was working on men today in the church
46:22 and trying to bring them to a place of integrity and safety
46:26 for the other folks in the church.
46:28 You are our leaders.
46:29 It did make me cry and it still does because it's my dream.
46:35 It's the thing that God longs for us to be
46:38 and it's important for you to know, as a woman,
46:41 that it's not just you that He's working in,
46:44 He's also working in the men.
46:46 His goal is for all of us to be walking normally
46:50 the way He created us.
46:51 At the beginning of the show Curly,
46:53 I told I was going to talk about how we met.
46:56 I met Curly in front of a Chinese restaurant
47:00 with a number of kids in recovery
47:03 from Miracle Meadows School.
47:05 A couple of the kids were from adult prostitution,
47:08 one was a gang member.
47:11 We all walked out and ran into Curly and his wife.
47:14 I just had to say "Oh, excuse me,
47:17 do you have any kind of addictions to pain?"
47:22 I remember just like it was yesterday.
47:25 A lot of people are like "Wow! How many tattoos do you have?"
47:30 I'm like "These aren't tattoos these are birth marks."
47:35 But I get that a lot and I don't know if it's an addiction,
47:42 I haven't really got into it that much.
47:45 You're telling me "I bet you're addicted to pain."
47:48 At that point I've never thought about it like that.
47:51 I was saying to the kids "A lot of people tattoo and pierce
47:56 because of an addiction to pain."
47:57 When I said that you looked at me like
47:59 "I don't think I'm addicted to anything."
48:01 And all the kids looked like "He's totally in denial."
48:05 I guess that's the first sign, isn't it?
48:08 So Curly, do you have a question for Fred?
48:11 It's not a question but really a comment.
48:14 You said that "God this is one more promise."
48:19 And I believe that our God is a God of one more promises
48:23 because if you don't have that Satan will use that against you
48:26 to keep you exactly where you're at.
48:27 So our God is a God of one more promise
48:29 that you can make to Him no matter what you have done
48:32 and I believe that you hit the nail on the head with that.
48:36 I agree that He is a God of one more promise
48:38 but sometimes we don't know how we see it at the time.
48:43 He is a God of renewal, restoration, reclamation.
48:47 That is His game, His only game, that's what He loves.
48:50 For me, even though I couldn't see it at the time,
48:54 He was giving me many opportunities.
48:57 He was chasing me harder than I was chasing Him.
49:00 I guess all I can say is that for anyone out there
49:03 that would be struggling at all with God
49:07 in wondering if He still loves you,
49:09 I just want to say one thing.
49:11 He never stops loving you and He will be after you
49:15 with all of His heart for all of His days.
49:17 What He really wants
49:19 is to have you step up shoulder to shoulder with Him
49:22 and fight this battle with Him.
49:25 He is not afraid of your defeats.
49:27 If you make that decision and you trip up
49:30 He's not afraid of your defeats.
49:32 He is willing to engage those defeats with you,
49:35 learn what triggered things and move into strength with you.
49:39 I guess what I would say is that
49:41 "Yes, He's always been one right there for me."
49:44 In fact never been in any battle with anyone
49:47 that's more dependable than the Lord.
49:49 When you say that I know from myself I wasn't smart enough
49:53 to even know what direction you're going to.
49:55 It's a yoke up with me because I'll lead you.
49:57 I didn't know what a covenant with the eyes meant.
50:01 But God showed me.
50:03 As soon as I made the decision to say
50:05 "Look, Lord I'm on your side on this."
50:07 He doesn't have any trouble communicating.
50:10 Brenda, we have a few more minutes of this segment
50:13 so I would like to ask you: as Fred was starting to come out
50:19 with all these kind of addictions, how was that for you
50:28 and what kind of encouragement did you give him?
50:32 I had an awful lot of learning to do because, as I said,
50:36 my background was a very sheltered Christian home
50:41 and I knew very little about male sexuality.
50:43 I had no idea where the roots
50:44 of these kind of problems come from.
50:46 I didn't know the differences between men and women very well.
50:49 I had a ton of learning to do
50:51 so that I could look at his situation with an understanding
50:57 and truthful way of seeing it.
50:59 Instead of a frying pan.
51:06 Because at first I'm sure it was just a hard reaction
51:09 but then you said "I have to educate myself".
51:12 When you find out such differences
51:14 between men and women, it makes an awful lot of difference
51:17 to learn that's not all about me.
51:19 Most women first think that "Oh, my word. I'm not good enough.
51:23 I'm not attractive enough."
51:26 And your self esteem is just way down hill.
51:29 Those are lies, it's not true.
51:33 You have to be able to restore your own heart with the Lord
51:37 and how He views you, how He loves you
51:39 and separate it from what your husband has been doing.
51:43 It's something separate, it's not your fault.
51:45 There's just still a lot to learn.
51:48 Fred, as she was learning lessons
51:51 and as you were learning as a couple how to survive.
51:54 Talk a few minutes on that.
51:57 One thing I would say about Brenda is that
52:01 even though she didn't know very much about this situation
52:05 she is a godly woman that chases after God's heart.
52:08 And so, when she first started to learn the differences
52:13 between men and women and our visual nature...
52:17 I remember one time I was talking to her about that
52:21 after sermon where a speaker had mentioned that men are visual
52:25 and that women need to respond to that,
52:27 I remember that night when we got home
52:30 we were talking about it and she said
52:32 "I suppose I have to prance around the room
52:35 with some cheap teddy on, like a saloon girl."
52:40 I said "No, actually just a bare shoulder once in a while
52:43 would be enough."
52:45 Because we don't think about it. Yes.
52:48 But that's exactly what I'm talking about.
52:51 She visualizes that as something different than what we need
52:54 and she just needed to learn
52:56 and I needed to learn how she was seeing things.
52:59 We're going to come back to that.
53:01 I want to say "Thank you!" for being on this show
53:03 and you have been amazing in my own recovery.
53:05 I pray in your recovery.
53:08 You've heard what they've said, that God doesn't care what it is
53:11 and I love that God doesn't care what it is,
53:14 He doesn't care where you are stuck.
53:16 He doesn't care where it's started.
53:17 He just says "Your are my children
53:19 and I want to restore you, not only you as a man of God
53:22 but you as a husband and wife, and you as a family."
53:25 I can't wait to meet your children
53:26 because they have benefited tremendously.
53:30 It's a great blessing form God and it fills my heart.
53:37 I want to say stay tuned because we'll be right back.
53:42 Amazing stories of real people and real situations.
53:48 Discussing issues that really matter.
53:53 The complete series of Celebrating Life in Recovery
53:55 is now available on DVD
53:56 and can be ordered by calling 3ABN
53:58 or online at 3abn.org hosted by Cheri Peters.
54:03 These series follows principles of the book Steps to Christ.
54:06 See for yourself how God changed the lives of the convicted,
54:09 of the accused and victims of terrible crimes.
54:12 You'll won't want to miss a moment
54:14 of these powerful interviews.
54:20 I was asked to speak to a group of people in a recovery setting.
54:25 So we had folks there, we had people from the community
54:30 still strung out on meth there.
54:32 There were all kind of different folks
54:35 but in the front row were these bikers
54:38 and it caught me off guard.
54:41 My heart stopped and I thought
54:43 that I had a little bit of fear come up.
54:46 God said, "You know what?
54:47 Everybody is here to find Christ
54:49 and you go on with what you're doing."
54:52 I really felt comfortable with that
54:54 and I started talking about the testimony.
54:56 I got to the story about the bikers that I told you earlier.
54:59 We were talking about getting beat up
55:02 and the girl being killed.
55:04 All of the sudden one of the guys in the front row,
55:07 a big guy, started crying.
55:10 I stopped, I couldn't help it because he was trying not to cry
55:13 and I said "Are you all right?"
55:16 And he's like "No."
55:18 I said "Is there anything I can do?"
55:20 He's like "Could you answer me a question?"
55:22 I said "What?"
55:24 He said "Was it me?"
55:26 And I'm like "No, it wasn't you."
55:27 He thought "Was it me that was the one
55:30 that hurt you like that?"
55:32 I said "No".
55:33 I really realized that minute that God was healing him.
55:38 At the same time He was healing me.
55:40 It wasn't that He wanted to heal me because I was the victim
55:43 He wants to heal everybody at the table.
55:46 Everybody involved with this sin He wants to heal.
55:49 For many of us, when we honestly come to God
55:52 we have no illusion that there's any good in me.
55:55 I personally welcome death.
55:56 Some say we have hit rock bottom, nowhere else to go
56:00 and God says "I am crazy about you."
56:04 I remember as I sat in the drugs house trying to kill myself
56:06 God showed up, told me that He loved me,
56:08 He wanted to pull me out of all this muck, this pit.
56:13 He also told me that I was beautiful to Him.
56:16 I love that!
56:17 Even though I had never seen any value in myself
56:20 I was a creation of His
56:22 and He wanted to show me who I really am.
56:25 He created me to be lovely,
56:27 He created me to have a sound mind.
56:31 I cried and I asked Him into my life. Please do the same.
56:34 With all your junk, with all your lust,
56:35 without all your short comings, with all your insecurity.
56:38 Don't hide anything.
56:40 God knows all that, don't be ashamed, don't hide anything.
56:42 He doesn't want to condemn us.
56:44 He wants to heal you.
56:45 He wants to fill you with laughter, with hope, with joy.
56:49 I want to say it to anybody listening
56:52 that you've got to hear what was said on this show.
56:56 That God says "Every single thing that you do,
56:58 every single thing that you've struggled with,
57:00 every single thing that you hide, every single thing,
57:03 all the skeletons in your closet.
57:05 I've talked about all this.
57:06 we all have skeletons in our closets.
57:08 Bring the out, teach them to dance, let God heal them.
57:11 I really believe that with everything in me,
57:14 that He wants to heal.
57:15 And all of our junks is ugly, I know mine was ugly, I know that.
57:21 When I think about the bikers that were involved that weekend,
57:26 of the death.
57:27 Even Fred and Brenda, the things they've gone through
57:30 and the addictions that Fred had to look at.
57:33 All that stuff is ugly and God says, "I am a God of creation.
57:38 I created you in a way that is healthy,
57:41 in a way that will fill you with joy,
57:44 and I want to restore in you all that.
57:47 Next time on Celebrating life in Recovery
57:50 we're going to talk to Fred and Brenda Stoeker again.
57:53 But this time we're going to talk to Brenda
57:56 about what she went through,
57:58 and Fred about how to stay healthy,
58:01 how to walk through that,
58:02 what kind of things do I need to learn from God,
58:05 and what is repentance.
58:08 It is a gift. When you get that
58:11 you've gotten the secret of recovery.
58:14 So always remember that God is crazy about you,
58:16 and you know what, so am I.
58:20 See you next time. Bye bye!