Celebrating Life in Recovery

The Hardest Part Of Forgiveness

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Cheri Peters (Host), Michael Ehm


Series Code: CLR

Program Code: CLR00041A

00:10 Welcome to Celebrating Life and Recovery, I'm Cheri your host
00:13 Have you ever struggled with receiving forgiveness, and
00:16 then God turns around and asks you to forgive those
00:19 who hurt you?
00:20 Oh man, that's what we're going to talk about today.
00:22 Come join us in the café.
00:51 Welcome back, you know, the whole forgiveness thing
00:54 always gets to me, because when I first met God I
00:57 sitting in a drug house trying to kill myself.
00:59 I have been on the street for 10 years, and everything
01:03 was horrible, I mean, it was horrible.
01:06 And then I feel forgiveness, I feel God loving me, so safe.
01:10 Unbelievable and I get up and literally walk into that.
01:14 And through the years of healing, I was so amazed at how
01:18 God just, nothing I brought to the table.
01:21 I would bring this horrendous stuff, twisted stuff, put
01:23 it on the table and He would just clear it off.
01:25 I know that about you, thanks for giving it to Me.
01:27 and it literally was that sense,
01:30 Thanks for giving it to Me because He knew that if it
01:33 festered in me, it would just kill me.
01:35 It was like with every single thing that came out, and I
01:37 just turned it over, it was good.
01:39 And then He started asking me to forgive people around me.
01:41 That was a little harder, and I thought I had done that.
01:44 In fact, I am in ministry now, and I get called by this
01:47 church that has a number of pedophiles, in the church's
01:50 three different churches.
01:51 One guy had molested 60 plus kids, and it was
01:54 triggering all the different victims, all the different women
01:57 there were children that had been molested,
01:59 so everybody is triggering.
02:00 Can you come and do a weekend with us and talk about how
02:03 to have an accountability program in the church, how to
02:06 keep us safe, and all those kind of things.
02:08 I'm thinking, okay and I'm prayed up, and I looked into
02:11 some stuff and we went in and did this outreach.
02:13 I realize that the victims really wanted me to point the
02:19 finger at the perpetrators and let them know
02:21 how wrong they were.
02:22 And the perpetrators were so desperate to receive
02:25 forgiveness and recovery.
02:27 I'm looking at both of these groups and realizing, you know
02:30 God, God wants to heal both groups.
02:33 And there is not that He is saying that the perpetrator
02:36 is no good and we are going to condemn him or her.
02:38 He saying, I want to help everybody.
02:40 If you can't get that in the congregation then nobody
02:43 gets healed and everybody sits there damaged.
02:45 So I got that and that and I literally
02:48 healed a little bit more about my
02:49 understanding of forgiveness with that.
02:51 So, I think I'm doing good, but then I'm doing the show, right?
02:54 And I just got to tell you I'm doing this show, I'm
02:56 getting ready to interview this guy Michael that I'm
02:59 going to introduce you to in a minute.
03:00 And he's like a strip club owner, and all of a sudden
03:03 everything in me comes up and said, you know what
03:07 I used to be in that.
03:08 13 years old, it was my first job, you know what
03:11 walking into a club and dancing and being locked in that
03:14 for years and years and years.
03:15 I literally feel like I'm tightening up, I wanted to
03:20 say, God I don't know if I can do this.
03:22 I don't know if I can look at this guy and say I'm glad
03:27 that God had forgave you.
03:28 There is a part of me that says I want to look at him
03:30 and say do you suffer any?
03:32 You know and as a Christian. I want to say, forgive me
03:37 for thinking that, but that is what I thought.
03:39 Michael, I want to say at this point, thank you for
03:41 being on the show.
03:43 Thank you for having me.
03:44 When I first met you think that my hands when around
03:46 your neck almost immediately.
03:47 I felt that, I felt it.
03:49 To understand what I am saying there is a part of me
03:52 that wanted to look at you and say who are you?
03:55 Do you realize the damage you have done?
03:58 I don't want you to start there because I know you do.
04:01 Do you know what I mean?
04:02 The more I got to sit with you that I felt your spirit
04:05 and that God has so loved you.
04:07 I know that you have, but I want you to kind of walk us
04:10 through your testimony.
04:11 Who are you, where did you come from?
04:14 My name is Michael Ehm and I was always known as Michael Ehm.
04:18 I'm known by my middle name, Michael Ross.
04:20 About 19 years old, at that time I was thinking
04:26 about being in the ministry.
04:27 I was brought up in a church family, but I wanted to go
04:33 into ministry, but wasn't feeling it.
04:34 So I left - I didn't know that about you when they
04:37 first told me your story that you literally were going
04:39 to going to ministry at one time.
04:40 I had considered going into ministry at 19 years old
04:43 but I wasn't feeling it.
04:45 I had gone to university in the Midwest - wasn't
04:52 feeling it in the fact it didn't feel real to you - it
04:54 was real to me it just think my spiritual bubble had
04:57 burst when I hit the campus.
04:58 I decided that I needed to get out, and so
05:03 I went into the world.
05:04 The world was saying, if it feels good do it - can I
05:06 just jump in and say, if you could be brave enough we
05:08 could do a whole other show on why did it bust.
05:10 When you went into campus when you are surrounded by a
05:12 bunch of Christians, why didn't it just lift you up.
05:15 Instead you said no, I walked in, and all of a sudden I
05:18 I don't even want to do it anymore.
05:19 Well, it you go by other people's spiritual gas, and you
05:21 don't have that feel for yourself.
05:22 I didn't have that, so I was running on other peoples
05:25 vapors, and when that exhausted, I was left flat.
05:29 So, I went into a world that says if it feels good do it.
05:32 If it felt good I did it.
05:35 So I went off campus and pursued other endeavors.
05:41 Slowly I got into the rock 'n roll and night clubs.
05:47 I started to produce and promote rock groups - and you
05:52 are talking, I heard a little bit about you, you was up
05:57 there as far as doing that.
05:59 You were in that life - eventually,
06:02 that is what led to.
06:03 I signed a lot of groups, I was in merchandising, there
06:06 is many different courses you can take in rock 'n roll.
06:08 I was doing promotions and then there was a calling and
06:11 said listen, we need someone to do merchandise.
06:15 So I got into merchandise, and I literally ate
06:18 and slept rock 'n roll.
06:20 When I found out that someone wanted to pay me for something
06:22 like I was about to do, hello lets go for this.
06:25 I'm there I'm all over it.
06:26 So I put my ear to the ground, it was at a time when
06:30 heavy metal was dead.
06:32 This was the latter part of the 70's and 80's
06:35 in heavy metal was dead.
06:36 But I was feeling something different, I was hearing
06:38 something different.
06:39 It really moved me so I started saying no heavy metal is
06:43 not dead, and on Monday nights I was doing heavy metal Mondays
06:48 in a nightclub up in Madison Wisconsin.
06:50 Things just took off from there.
06:53 We started working with other groups and breaking other
06:57 groups, one of the groups I thought at one time was The
07:00 Police they first came out.
07:01 Though they were not a heavy metal group, the things
07:04 they were doing, Police, U2, these new young groups that
07:07 were the cutting-edge.
07:08 My value started to rise through the ranks and as my
07:14 value started rising I started to feel really good about things
07:19 Exactly, it's like I'm hanging out with all these folks
07:23 that are hip, I must be hip.
07:24 It was a rush, and you're only are as good as the next
07:27 group, or the next promotion.
07:29 So I started doing more and more, and a little bit more
07:31 and a little bit more, and a little bit more until
07:34 you are just strung out on all these feelings and
07:36 I guess maybe not say strung out, you are
07:38 just led along for so long.
07:40 Most of the time when these people are in these music
07:43 groups, or are touring around, it is usually is the
07:46 length of the time the group is on tour or as long as
07:49 the group is touring, because you are only as good as
07:51 your last hit - hit!
07:52 For me, I just kept working with every
07:56 new group that came out.
07:57 So I got into merchandising, I was responsible for
08:00 signing a little tiny group Metallica, Raven and Anthrax
08:04 that little Tiny group everybody that's ever loved their
08:08 music like this tiny group is he crazy.
08:10 Yeah, and I continued to tour with them and all that but
08:15 I was responsible in that and another group followed.
08:18 As with many, many different groups, but that's not
08:22 what we're here to talk about.
08:23 We're here to talk about how I - so how did you get
08:26 from that kind of lifestyle working in groups in the
08:30 entertainment field even if it into marketing
08:32 merchandise into managing strip clubs?
08:35 When somebody said that about you, do you realize I
08:38 couldn't believe that my gut really tightened, and it was
08:42 like I realize I forgive a lot of people,
08:44 but it was hard for me to forgive somebody that I know.
08:48 Like I know the girls that kill themselves in those clubs.
08:50 I know all that stuff so let's talk about how you got in
08:54 there and then can you respond to how you feel when
08:57 I say, it's really tough for me to have you sitting here.
09:00 It's a little hurtful, but we'll get to that as well.
09:04 For me to jump into the strip club setting, for me to go
09:08 as a young man to a club setting was a little different.
09:10 Even though I was in night clubs and around what they
09:13 call groupies, they were still just foreign part of my life.
09:17 It was not a place that I would want to be found dead in.
09:20 So about my 21st birthday, it was the thing to
09:27 do to go out to a club, a bunch of guys took me out.
09:30 That's what I did, I didn't like it and so even when I
09:34 toured on the road it wasn't my cup of tea to do.
09:36 At 26 I met my real father and
09:40 I never knew my father growing up.
09:41 I didn't even know at 15 that I had another father.
09:45 That I had a biological father out there
09:47 until my mother told me.
09:48 And at that time was really struggling with who I was,
09:52 growing up, and most teens are that way.
09:54 We are all struggling, but for me was probably a little
09:57 different kind of struggle, because a lot of people knew
09:59 where I came from, except me.
10:02 My mother was keeping a secret - and you didn't even
10:05 know you thought that your stepfather was your
10:07 biological father - that's correct, that's correct
10:10 until you 15 - until I was 15.
10:11 Oh man - and a lot of people would think that was
10:13 a bad thing but to me it was a good thing, because when
10:16 you realize this guy that has been your father and you
10:18 have had this kind of resistance and you don't understand it.
10:21 I think at a young age, I think kids figure things out.
10:24 They may not know exactly what the answer is,
10:27 but they figure things out.
10:28 I knew that something wasn't right here, but when my mom
10:31 told me that he was my dad, I remembered the text
10:34 came to me "and truth shall set you free. "
10:35 So, you just felt like you knew that all along - yeah
10:39 kind of - something finally validated all at stuff
10:41 that's correct.
10:42 So I wanted to find out who my real dad was and who
10:45 wouldn't, like, you know, I've got another dad, what's
10:48 he about, what's he look like and all these questions.
10:51 Is he like me - or am I like him.
10:54 How much am I like him, good or bad, is the healthy is
10:57 he sick, or is he dead.
10:58 I wouldn't find these questions out till many years later.
11:02 My mom was very reserved about telling me this information.
11:06 She was really hurt through a relationship that
11:10 she had with him.
11:12 I was born illegitimate at a time where I was I don't think
11:16 it's ever been fashionable, but it was more taboo.
11:18 I was even born in home for unwed mothers, and the state
11:24 took me away until my mom could prove a she could
11:26 financially take care of me.
11:28 So I had another mother that was taken care of me - why
11:32 is it that as I'm listening to you, why is it we always
11:36 think our damage is so intense, and we don't realize
11:40 that a person that is damaging us is damaged too?
11:43 And I just want to say as you are talking there's part
11:45 of me wants to say, I'm so sorry.
11:47 I think I was little tadpole, I really didn't realize that
11:54 there damaged was going on - if you can imagine
11:56 we did a whole show on identity.
11:57 and realizing that are a identity gets so
12:00 trashed, when had that sense of not belonging, not having
12:03 our father and all that kind of stuff.
12:04 As you are talking in all this is unfolding, I just want
12:08 to say that I am sorry for what you went through.
12:14 And now it's just like God, just showing me that I just
12:19 can't look at my own stuff.
12:20 That there are people watching right now, that we tend
12:22 to look at our own stuff, not realizing the people
12:25 that have damaged us, or we've perceived damaged from,
12:28 have been damage too.
12:29 So go ahead.
12:30 That's interesting too because there is a lot to be said
12:34 about having a father in the family.
12:35 My stepfather was a very good man, a fireman
12:38 and a very lovely man.
12:39 I even hear that in that in your story, you're not
12:42 saying that anybody did anything wrong, this hole was there.
12:44 Yes, it was, it was, And there was a longing to be
12:48 someone, to do something, you know.
12:49 At 19 years old and you're doing this rock 'n roll
12:52 things, there's something about youth, that you can
12:56 accomplish everything, the world is your oyster, and
12:59 you're going for it.
13:01 I was going for it - except for good nights sleep -
13:03 that's right, even now.
13:05 Alright go-ahead.
13:07 At 26 I met my real father - what was he like?
13:14 He was quite different, actually, for all the time you
13:17 would think you would take a long time to find him
13:19 actually found him in ten minutes.
13:21 My real mom gave me his real name - ten minutes what
13:25 did you do - my mom said I would say when you get married
13:27 or through school or when this happens or for this event.
13:30 I said, mom, I just want to know who the guys is how the
13:32 guys health is, let me get a hold of him.
13:33 You know, that is what I told my mom, but there is also
13:36 this thing you want to discover, you want to find out.
13:38 This is a neat thing that you want to go through.
13:41 So in ten minutes I found him and we had a conversation.
13:44 He asked me, so you think you're my son well describe yourself.
13:48 Well, I have the same eyes, the same forehead, as I'm
13:53 looking at a picture here.
13:54 We establish within moments that I was his son.
13:57 He wanted to meet me and he used it as a defining
14:01 moment, do you do any hunting or fishing?
14:03 Of course I loved hunting and fishing, so I said that -
14:07 you're my boy - that's right, right.
14:08 So I went to visited him and he told me what
14:13 his life is all about.
14:14 I told him I was in the rock 'n roll business and doing
14:17 all these different things.
14:18 Of course he piped up entertainment business too,
14:20 and he said that he owns nightclubs.
14:22 I thought wow, boy howdy how this is great, you own clubs
14:25 I thought it be great to have a club sometime,
14:29 you know to run a club.
14:30 He said well you know they're not your ordinary type clubs.
14:32 And I said what kind of clubs, could they be?
14:35 He said well, there are topless bars.
14:37 He actually says something else, but I'll keep from saying that.
14:41 He said topless bars, and I thought oh, okay.
14:46 And the level went down - because you are already had
14:49 that experience and said - I wasn't sure about it.
14:52 Now, I had siblings, you know, his sons, they were
14:55 working in the business and I got to meet them and they
14:57 are lovely, their these great guys.
14:59 They hunt, they fish, and they have dreams like anyone
15:02 else, they were good guys.
15:03 You know, you wonder what these people are like, they
15:07 are involved in these clubs.
15:08 Well, here it is a family that's involved in it and they
15:11 owned multiple clubs and all these businesses.
15:13 Massage parlors, and all kinds of things.
15:16 Truly to them it is a business - totally like a family business
15:21 They are saying, come on, come on, you should join us.
15:24 But I am already blazing my own trail doing rock 'n roll.
15:27 It would be about 20 years later, within a span of
15:32 20 years later that I would succumb to working for them.
15:35 And what's interesting to it was not like I want to come
15:38 work for you and I want to be around these girls, I want
15:40 to be a manager, I'm really good at this.
15:42 No! It was more or less like, you know what you're clubs
15:45 are really seedy.
15:46 They are your typical like yuck clubs - let's kick them
15:50 up a bit - lets bring them up to the 20th century, you know.
15:53 You know it's a mom pop type club called a business.
15:58 So he gave me a club, he wanted me to work in a club
16:04 down in Little Rock Arkansas.
16:05 He said here's a club, and I said I don't want to do it.
16:08 He goes, because he wanted me to manage,
16:11 I said I don't want to manage.
16:12 He said why don't you want to manage?
16:14 I said I don't want to be around these heartaches.
16:15 It was enough for me to be around rock 'n roll and
16:18 women, and there is something about that too,
16:20 how we view women.
16:21 There was a view that I had on women and rock 'n roll too.
16:24 That also translate as - can you say a little about
16:29 what that view is because there is really, women are objects.
16:34 And that it almost has to be in order to do that kind of
16:40 business, as you can't look at them as people.
16:43 I daresay this, you just look at them as playthings.
16:46 They are just objects they're just playthings, just part
16:50 of the game, it's a necessary evil part of it.
16:54 You go through it and grin and bear it and you go next,
16:57 bring on the next one, bring on the next one.
17:00 And you don't think about the wake of damage you are
17:02 doing on these lives, how you're contributing to none of
17:05 this - you know, what is really interesting as I'm
17:08 getting to know you, as I'm sitting here even in a the
17:11 time we've spent it's been brief.
17:13 Is that my heart says that we were both damaged in that deal.
17:18 Isn't it strange because I can feel so much my damage,
17:21 and even coming on the show I wanted to grab you and
17:24 just say I want you to see what you did.
17:26 Now I want to say I'm sorry for what I did by allowing
17:31 you to treat me like a plaything and not ever being
17:35 something different for you.
17:36 It's kind of interesting that God says I do want to
17:39 bring it full circle, I want you both to heal.
17:42 That's why I call my ministry Full Compass - no way,
17:45 how fun is that alright.
17:46 Bring us all around - alright.
17:47 So after talking with my brothers, you want to be of
17:50 round your family, you hunt and fish and all that.
17:53 And said well, I can do this, the club gets some light
17:56 and get some sound effects.
17:57 I go down to this club and hang out.
17:59 They don't even know who I am down at this club, my hair
18:02 is like really long and they just become a patron -
18:05 they don't know that your dad - is the one that owns the club.
18:08 They want it that way, so I'm going down there and
18:10 tipping all the girls and trying to get free drinks, trying to
18:12 score drugs, and all the things and owner doesn't want
18:15 to happen in his club because he doesn't want to lose profit.
18:17 He doesn't want drugs going on there - he doesn't want
18:19 anyone busted - pulling girls out of the club, or
18:22 picking up on the girls.
18:23 I was successful to point out all those and to report
18:27 back that the stuff was all going on, no wonder you are
18:30 not making any money down there at this club.
18:33 I said, if I was running this club, I would
18:35 do a whole lot better.
18:36 That was what my dad was looking for.
18:39 Now he is not just a dummy who got in these, just
18:41 tripped over these clubs, he's been doing this for years.
18:43 He's had many, many of these clubs, probably 30
18:47 40 of these clubs.
18:48 And so for me to come along, and I'm not the first guy
18:50 that came along, and said that I could do something better.
18:52 But because I was his son, so you think so, huh, so what
18:55 would you do better?
18:56 Well, I would do this, this and this, really?
18:58 Oh well I'll tell you what, if you can do this
18:59 I will give you that.
19:00 I want just a little bit more than that for money,
19:02 you're talking about the money now, I'll do this.
19:04 I'll do that and so the next thing you know you're at it.
19:06 You make those goals, and I'm hooked.
19:09 I'm hooked and more money becomes more money, you're
19:13 working a whole lot put in a lot in to this.
19:15 You are realizing in this business there are a lot of
19:20 players and haters in the whole business.
19:22 You distinguish from those and actually I became very
19:26 reclusive, because I knew if I was going to survive in
19:30 that business, I couldn't hang out with anyone in that business
19:32 It's pretty dark - it's pretty dark, it's very dark.
19:35 I survive in this thing, because I wanted the money, and
19:38 I was told well, what do you do with your days off?
19:41 Before - I literally watched as a girl killed herself,
19:44 and the club owner said, who's going to fill her shift?
19:47 Yeah - and I just wanted to stop and say, does anybody
19:50 care that she just killed herself.
19:52 I was so hurt and it was all about who was going to feel
19:55 her shift because we need to have this many
19:57 girls on at this shift.
19:58 And you have to stick to that amount girls, if you go
20:01 lower, you go higher, you go to high the girls complain,
20:03 and if you don't have enough the owners complain.
20:05 And I really appreciate that too because I've had girls
20:08 that have died in my club too.
20:10 From overdoses, or people that stalked them and kill
20:13 them, from boyfriends that have assassinated them, and
20:15 it really grieved my heart.
20:18 I think that through death, that the Lord used that.
20:23 Got involved these clubs and worked in them if things
20:28 got darker for me for participating and very illicit
20:32 type sex - because you get drawn in.
20:36 If so, I haven't seen anybody in any club I worked in,
20:39 from the time I was 13 years old on, that I hadn't
20:43 seen anybody that wasn't drawn in and twisted.
20:46 Right - when you are in that environment it will twist you up
20:49 Somebody says I can handle this, and I'm thinking don't
20:52 lie to yourself, the devil will have you twisted in no time.
20:55 And I became twisted, I mean really twisted.
20:57 There was a lot of things there that I don't even feel
21:01 comfortable talking about and stuff.
21:03 I still suffer from those, and I still have to pray over
21:06 those things when they come to mind.
21:07 You put everything underneath the sexual conquest, in
21:11 rock 'n roll you do it in the clubs.
21:12 My dad said to me, it never got to a point where I
21:17 stopped, well I stopped from having all these sorted
21:21 sexual affairs in the club with the girls and stuff.
21:25 I just stopped dating altogether or having anything to
21:29 do with any of them.
21:30 I just have to and I don't mean to crack up, to call it
21:34 dating just cracks me up.
21:35 Well yeah - I know what you're saying, but for a lot of
21:39 people watching, dating, courting is something cool, and
21:42 that's not the same in the club.
21:44 It doesn't in fact, I - but it was a nice word.
21:47 It was a nice word yeah.
21:49 A good word there, my dad said to me, I know you are a
21:52 good-looking guy and I know you're not gay.
21:54 He says, you got all these girls I've got hundreds of
21:57 girls that are working for me and some of them come up
22:00 to me and say, what goes on with your son?
22:03 He said I - why does become on to me - yeah,
22:06 why don't you tell them.
22:07 I would just use a little smirk and patent answer and
22:10 said to him if I dated one, I'd have to date two of them.
22:12 Because if there's any conversation going on, I don't
22:15 want to get involved.
22:16 I really didn't want to get involved, I did want to hear
22:18 what your life was all about.
22:19 Just make your shift, just do your shift and go.
22:22 Don't tell me all your excuses, don't tell your tires
22:25 got stuck in the snow when you're down in Arkansas and
22:28 you could make it to your shift.
22:30 Those was one of the excuses given to me.
22:31 One time, that was real interesting was I got picked up
22:34 and almost raped and beaten, I think the guy
22:37 was going to kill me.
22:38 I called in to work and said, you know what, I was just crying
22:42 I had run, I don't how many miles and this guy tried to
22:45 run me over with his car when I jumped out of his car.
22:48 And all this kind is stuff I called the club owner, and
22:52 I wanted someone to say I'm sorry, and the guy said are
22:55 you trying to tell me you're not going to make your shift?
22:57 And I just went man I wanted to kill somebody.
23:01 I was that guy, a was that guy - I know.
23:04 All that stuff came up and I wanted, you know, it's
23:07 really interesting, because it is that black-and-white.
23:09 You're going to make your shift or not, don't tell me
23:12 you were almost raped, I need you at work.
23:14 And I need you at work on time.
23:16 You get thick skin, you hear those excuses, all over.
23:19 And the management says listen, if you get this and you
23:22 get this, bonuses and you do this, and some girls will
23:24 give you some excuse.
23:25 And you go, come on Cheri, don't give me this stuff
23:28 anymore, I see you coming a mile away.
23:31 You know, but what happens when it's true, and you're so
23:35 thick-skinned, you think about this stuff.
23:37 At least I did.
23:38 It was after taking one of these clubs and revamping it,
23:43 we had already done several and sold them for
23:47 quite a bit of money.
23:48 I was working on another club, little different in the South.
23:53 I'm up in the mountain areas.
23:55 I look at this club that we had redone, and we had put a
24:03 nice restaurant in there with a chef.
24:05 And we have a nice wine list and champagne for $500.00.
24:09 We have all this stuff - so it's more of a gentleman's
24:13 club - not essentially a gentleman's club too.
24:16 Now there are those different levels, you can have a
24:18 sleazy club or a gentleman's club and you are paying more.
24:21 We'll like to say strips clubs, they call it a
24:23 gentleman's club.
24:25 But another thing to that I have come about its all
24:28 pornography, but we don't say pornography, that means
24:32 something illicit is going on.
24:33 In our society, they do not look at it as illicit anymore
24:36 Because everyone does that and there's a lot of
24:38 statistics that support all that.
24:39 And that's probably something another time, we can go
24:43 into - can I ask you how you got out of that?
24:46 Because right now I just feel oppressed by all that
24:49 knowing what that was like.
24:50 So how do you get out of that how did God turn around
24:53 and say, you know what you are going to be a pastor.
24:55 Where are you how did you get lost here?
25:00 I have to give praise to God on that, He never
25:05 let go of my hand.
25:06 Now, I think back on Psalms 73 - what a Psalms 73?
25:11 Psalm 73, if the whole Psalms there were Asaph slipped
25:15 on a slippery slope, a little tongue twister there, but
25:20 he considered the people.
25:22 And he almost did what they did when everybody else
25:25 is saying, I'm going to paraphrase this, when everyone
25:27 in the whole world is saying
25:28 it's cool to party its okay to do this, eat the fat,
25:31 have a good time party drink good time, there is no God
25:34 There is no God that cares, and they were just right in
25:37 God's face to say all this stuff.
25:39 Asaph who didn't slip, but he said he considered it, and it
25:42 wasn't until he went into the sanctuary that he realized
25:46 the redemptive powers of it all.
25:48 I was in the clubs and considering my handiwork, and we
25:53 were even talking about buying a casino and doing this.
25:57 We were gone big time with this, and I thought myself,
26:01 okay I am making a lot of money doing this and I am
26:05 considering everybody.
26:06 I am looking at the dancers on the stage, I am sitting
26:08 there in the glow of the DJ lights up there in the back
26:11 in the darkness there.
26:12 I'm watching every thing and considering the dancers on
26:15 the stage and thinking about the guys that are
26:17 tipping them at my wait staff and everybody.
26:20 I'm thinking vanity, vanity, vanity!
26:22 It goes through my mind, it goes through my mind, and I
26:24 am thinking on this.
26:26 Now I have to back up here, 8 months earlier, the
26:28 seed that was planted by my mother, who is dying of cancer.
26:32 She had asked me to pray for her, and I thought, here I
26:35 am in these clubs, and she's asked me to pray for her.
26:38 And I went along with the charade and said sure I'll
26:41 pray for you.
26:42 I don't want to hurt my mom, I can get for just about
26:43 anything, but I loved her.
26:45 But when it came down to the chemo wasn't working, nothing
26:48 was working in her life in frustration set in.
26:49 Mike, are you praying for me, there was an opportunity there
26:52 to say yeah I know, I tried, but it's not going to work
26:55 because I'm not that worthy.
26:56 She said like you come over here and sit down, and I
26:59 want to share with you.
27:00 And I thought anyone else, I know you will appreciate
27:03 this, you would have said, stuff a sock, I'm not about it,
27:06 I'm not about to say that, but it's your mom.
27:09 She starts talking to me and I would like to say
27:12 something happened at that point, but that is where a
27:14 seed was planted.
27:15 I dig go up in the mountains there and I did pray about
27:18 a month later.
27:19 And I bared my soul to God, and after many tears of
27:24 about an hour praying.
27:25 I got up and kind of defiantly almost saying, I kind of had
27:28 enough of all this you know.
27:31 Because it was very different for me the spiritualness,
27:33 being in this way.
27:35 So now you are in this club, and everything is vanity -
27:37 everything is vanity.
27:38 I said, if you can do something in my life have at it.
27:41 8 months later, I come to the club, and I'm thinking
27:43 of vanity and who said that Benjamin Franklin?
27:46 Where is this coming from, is this a little cliché.
27:49 So I go home - I can see all our viewers right now, no,
27:52 no, this is in the Bible - it's Solomon, it's Solomon.
27:56 So I go on home, I going into the refrigerator and grab
27:59 a beer and sit down and put the TV on.
28:02 A 164 channels, nothing on but gospel.
28:04 So I watching this black gospel preacher up there and he
28:08 was talking about vanity.
28:09 Wow - and my ears glued on vanity.
28:12 And he said yeah it's in Ecclesiastes.
28:15 So I ran to the back room and find a Bible, and I go in
28:18 there and see what he is talking about.
28:20 And this show ends and I keep reading Ecclesiastes, and I
28:24 keep reading it.
28:25 And I find that I am in here, and then it says remember
28:28 also your Creator in the days of youth, something
28:31 that I had forgotten about it 19.
28:32 Why does this say to remember the Creator in the
28:34 days of your youth?
28:35 We have so many decisions to make,
28:37 and I took a different path.
28:38 You know what I want you to hold that because I don't
28:42 want to quickly go over this part of the story, this
28:46 part of your life.
28:47 And we have to take a break, and this part, I know it is
28:50 blessing me just hearing it so I know that it's going
28:52 to bless anybody that it's going to bless all you guys.
28:55 So we're going to take a break, we're going to find out
28:58 what Solomon say, what is vanity, what does all that mean?
29:01 So stay with us, we will be right back!


Revised 2014-12-17