Participants: J.D. Quinn (Host), Ron Lee
Series Code: IAA
Program Code: IAA000253
00:31 Hello, I'm J.D. Quinn. We have a wonderful time today
00:34 in store for you. This is
00:36 Issues and Answers and I've got
00:38 such a precious gentleman here.
00:40 We're going to share something
00:42 that normally is normal but then on the other side it could be
00:46 detrimental. But first I want to go to Ephesians 4:26, and this
00:52 is dealing with anger. When angry do not sin. Very simple,
00:58 but what an important message. I want to introduce to you
01:02 Ron Lee. Ron, how are you doing today?
01:05 I'm doing great. You have just gone over a
01:09 little bit of your story and it's absolutely fantastic and I
01:13 just know that whenever we present this to our viewing
01:17 audience out there that they are going to be touched because
01:20 some people are going to be able to identify with what you're
01:23 talking about. First of all tell me a little bit about where you
01:26 came from, where do you live and we'll just start there.
01:29 Well, we currently live in
01:31 Nebraska, up in the northwest
01:33 panhandle, Shatteren. We've been
01:35 out there for 18 years. We came
01:37 from the west coast and God blessed by taking us there.
01:41 We love it. I was kind of shocked at first thinking I
01:45 don't want to go there. But God knew better and he worked
01:49 through the wife to softly invite me and we got to move.
01:52 We got to go to a different area and so we're thankful that we
01:56 did. Well I can imagine it was a
01:58 little bit different coming from the west coast into the mid-west
02:00 but anyway. It's a definite culture shock.
02:02 Tell me, where does your story start? Because like I say we're
02:07 dealing with anger and whenever I'm just sitting here visiting
02:12 with you, you just look like you've got it all together.
02:15 You love the Lord so I know that we've got another side here.
02:19 So let's go back and start wherever this started, whenever
02:24 you started suppressing this anger.
02:27 I think my story started at home in an "Adventist" environment.
02:33 My dad was a very angry person and we were physically abused
02:39 by both mom and dad, dad specifically in a very violent
02:44 way. That created an anger which led to rebellion.
02:48 This was in an Adventist home where I heard the word love but
02:55 I didn't feel love. I got this feeling inside me if this is
03:00 what love is all about and if this is what Jesus is all about,
03:05 because I kept hearing that name then I didn't want anything to
03:09 do with it. So I needed acceptance, I needed love and I
03:14 found acceptance through criminals basically and just
03:19 the street life and that led to a very abrupt stop in my normal
03:25 functioning. At 17 years old, soon to turn 18, I was arrested
03:30 for involuntary manslaughter. That was quite a shocker at
03:36 home. When I was awakened at 1:30 in the morning by my
03:41 dad who when he went to bed everybody went to bed and there
03:44 was no noise. He was pretty upset. He said, get downstairs,
03:47 somebody wants to talk to you and I came down the long stairs,
03:50 turned the corner and the sheriff knocked me on the ground
03:52 and said, you're under arrest. Mom started screaming, where did
03:56 we go wrong. I jumped up and said I could give you an answer
03:59 for that. In my damaged way, I didn't know exactly what that
04:04 meant but I know that something was amiss in this story called
04:09 Christianity. So that was the beginning of a spiral.
04:13 So I guess that your feelings started being suppressed so
04:22 rather than out professing Christianity, loving your
04:24 brother and sister, because you were seeing hypocrisy in the
04:28 home. So you decided that I will join up with these friends over
04:32 here because at least black is black and white is white.
04:35 What happened next? Okay, so you went in for manslaughter?
04:40 Well I was looking at quite a long time and those of you who
04:45 have been in there know that those places are not fun.
04:49 Fortunate for me, and there are times in my life when I've
04:53 wondered was I fortunate? But I was brought down to the
04:57 interrogating room and offered a choice of stop pleading not
05:01 guilty and basically they laid it in my lap. You know you're
05:05 guilty and we know you're guilty. If you'll stop pleading
05:09 not guilty and sign on the dotted line here we'll put you
05:12 in the military. Right about that time my father was standing
05:16 behind me and buried a boot in my backside and I didn't even
05:19 see it coming and then that created more anger and then I
05:22 did decide to go in the military and that, long and short of it,
05:27 led me to Viet Nam. Now you're going to teach me how to kill
05:31 right, if there is a right way, and we know there is not.
05:36 The Bible says thou shalt not kill, but in that mode and that
05:40 feeling I was sent over there and that led to major drugs.
05:45 It led to more anger and without being political about
05:50 it there were things there that I just didn't see why we were
05:56 doing what we were doing. Of course, then you get in the
05:59 groove of complying with what you've been told to do and that
06:06 led to years and years of anger and irrational behavior, major
06:11 hatred for the particular kind of people we were at war with,
06:17 so to speak. That created problems when I got out and came
06:23 back to live in America.
06:24 So when you came back you went back to California?
06:27 I went back to California and got back with the girlfriend
06:33 that I had and eventually we got married and had two children.
06:38 She came from parents who had been missionaries in Thailand
06:44 and that created trouble with me because I had the hatred for
06:50 those people and she loved them and it was not good. It created
06:56 lots of dysfunction and anger which led to more drugs and more
07:01 drugs and we all know through study that drugs and other
07:06 particular habits that are out there are nothing more than
07:09 medication to not deal with what you should be dealing with.
07:12 So that led deeper and deeper and pretty soon I was an
07:18 intravenous drug user.
07:23 So the feelings that you did have, they were just buried?
07:26 Well, some of them were buried about particular things. Others
07:31 I had no problem telling anybody I encountered what I
07:35 thought about them or about any situation. Of course, for me it
07:42 led to eight more times back to county jail for different
07:48 altercations. I had no problem going up to an oriental and
07:54 being physical. Even on a date with my wife going out to eat
07:59 dinner one would walk in or one would be sitting at a table and
08:03 I'd walk right over with a fork and proceed to tell him what I
08:07 thought about the situation. First of all that is unchristian
08:10 like and I recognize that now.
08:13 Well let's talk about where there was a turn in the road.
08:17 That's where you were emotionally then. Now when did
08:24 Jesus start coming into your life or was this something that
08:27 just slowly developed or was this a Damascus road experience
08:31 that happened immediately?
08:32 You know, I have to interlude here with something. Jesus was
08:40 always there but I didn't recognize, I didn't want him.
08:44 He was reaching down to me but I wasn't reaching back to him.
08:47 This may seem humorous, it may be shocking, but there was a
08:50 time in my life when I was still doing drugs that I started
08:53 paying my tithe because I was convicted that that was God's
08:57 money. If you don't think that's confusion inside you to have
09:01 $50 for the man on the corner, $50 for the church or whatever.
09:06 But the anger continued. I came back to the church and the anger
09:13 was still there. I had been on a roller coaster and doing this
09:19 I thing with the things that I did overcome. I went through
09:24 a phase where I went, well I quit smoking cigarettes
09:27 without Schick or the 5-day plan I quit drugs eventually without
09:33 rehab. I quit drinking without AA and I know now that it was
09:37 Jesus, it was God there. But I thought that. Then I came up
09:41 against the anger and I did not know what to do with it.
09:45 When you asked about the turning in the road, one of the major
09:49 ones came probably three years ago when my wife put me in a
09:53 crisis and, God bless her, I am so fortunate to have a wife that
09:58 is as intelligent and loving and good looking and all the things
10:03 that that lady is. She loved me enough and I started to see
10:08 what love was through my wife. At home I didn't know what love
10:12 was. When I started to read in my Bible, I still was angry.
10:16 I used to make a quote sometimes. John 3:16 to me said
10:21 for God so beat the doctrines into me, because that's what
10:25 happened at home. You're going to this other place, Ron, if you
10:29 don't study your Sabbath School lesson. I was told I wasn't
10:32 going to make it because I wasn't a doctor's kid. I was
10:35 told that I wouldn't make it because I didn't go to college.
10:37 What's interesting is some of those people that have that
10:40 have that feeling now have borrowed money from me and
10:43 that's okay; I love to give. God has blessed. But the turning
10:47 point came when she put me in that crisis and said, Ron, you
10:51 are all these good things but... I always did work hard, I always
10:57 provided for my family. I would keep good schedules and she said
11:02 you're the best father and husband and all these things,
11:05 but if you don't get a handle on your anger, I've got to go.
11:09 Then she hit me right between the eyes one day with a
11:12 statement. She said, if it takes you 20 years, I'll wait for you.
11:17 And I cried and went okay, okay, what do you want to do and she
11:22 said we've got to go to Boise, Idaho. This was a Wednesday
11:26 afternoon and I said I just signed a contract on a job for
11:29 Monday morning, I got to be there. She said, I'll drive all
11:33 all Sunday for you but we've got to go. If you don't go, I'm
11:36 gone. Then you look at that and if I lose my wife, there's my
11:40 place, then I might as well go back and shoot cocaine because
11:44 I enjoyed that I thought. You know, that's just the mental
11:48 state that you're in when you're doing that. So we went and we
11:52 were introduced to a wonderful lady who introduced us to a
11:57 program called Binding the Wounds that is put on by Nancy
12:01 and Ron Rockey. It saved our life. It saved our marriage.
12:05 We now have had the opportunity to facilitate that program for
12:10 other people. What a joy to give back. I no longer wonder why I
12:15 went through some of those valleys. I know why.
12:17 It's God wanted me to have those trials to help other people who
12:25 are in the anger. We now help Viet Nam vets, we help people
12:29 with drug problems, people who have had abuse. It's shocking
12:33 how much of that is in our church. Some people will go
12:39 Shhh. And well you know what reality here. So God is good.
12:45 So I know a few of the things that you brought up was that...
12:50 You've been married for how long now? This happened three years
12:54 ago when your wife, Celeste, gave you an ultimatum basically.
12:59 Now, you've been married for how long to Celeste?
13:03 Um, our next anniversary will be 30 years.
13:05 Thirty years. Was she brought up an Adventist also?
13:11 Yes she was. Okay. So I guess in her mind
13:14 she was taking it as far as she could because she was going to
13:18 be married forever and boy she
13:20 kept giving and kept giving and
13:22 kept giving and without you
13:24 really knowing it you were taking
13:25 because this disease called rage had a hold of you. I think that
13:29 you were saying that Jennifer is your daughter. Okay and some
13:33 of the things that you would do at home. I'd like for you to
13:36 just share that because there are people out here that may not
13:40 know that they could be identified as having rage.
13:43 But let's just say some of the simplistic things that you would
13:46 do at home. Maybe just in the eating habits or maybe, you
13:50 know... Tell us what rage is.
13:55 Rage is being totally out of control at any particular moment
13:59 for any small or big reason.
14:01 I would not like what was cooked
14:03 for dinner, so it would end up
14:06 on the wall. I was sitting at
14:10 one time and my daughter was trying to do peas on her fork
14:13 and they were falling off. And all of a sudden she says these
14:16 bleep peas, she said a bad word. I went Jennifer and my wife goes
14:20 Ron, and I went what. She goes where do you think she learned
14:23 it? Well I dropped my head and went back to my peas.
14:26 Sometimes after it's too late we realize the things that we have
14:32 done have been very detrimental. I have an old '57 Chevy that
14:38 I've restored and when it wouldn't start just right, I'd
14:43 smash the fender, go crazy on it and then I'd have to take that
14:47 off and go look for another one. One time I broke the wind shield
14:51 because I didn't do something. Another time when I was in it
14:55 with my new wife, meaning she was new to me at the time,
15:00 it didn't run just how I wanted so I dumped the clutch and blew
15:04 a gear out of the transmission. Now I had to go get a gear and
15:08 rebuild your tranny. It's just the impulse. Another time, and
15:12 this one's a little bit potent, but my wife had wanted me to
15:17 come home right now; you see she's grown too, she's given me
15:22 room. She wanted me to take care of a couple of large dogs that
15:25 did not want to have anymore and I had other dogs that we were
15:28 going to keep. Well I didn't want to come home right then.
15:31 I was on the way from one job to the next job. She pushed it to
15:34 the point where I said okay I'll come home. And I came home and
15:39 killed those dogs right in front of the family and got quite loud
15:44 about it. My mother-in-law was staying there at the time and
15:49 she saw the rage and quietly went into her area of living and
15:55 closed the door. Then I went down to the barn and went into
16:02 a major situation where I just had experienced Viet Nam again
16:07 right there in my own yard and I'd done it and I had to come up
16:12 there and try to make amends. Of course, the wife said, I
16:16 don't want to talk to you, get out of here. I accept full
16:19 responsibility for the way I was although I want to lay some of
16:24 that on Satan. He knows your weakness, he knows what he can
16:29 do to you. He doesn't care how he takes us down and he knows
16:33 what would happen. There have been times when I have been
16:37 arrested for assault on my own employees because they wouldn't
16:43 do just what I wanted them to do. Guaranteed, you can be
16:47 assertive in a polite way and I had not learned that. I didn't
16:54 mind taking the situation at hand and doing what I had
16:59 learned was the way to fix something and that was to beat
17:02 it or other ways. That's not God's way. God's way is tender
17:09 and the mercy that he has shown me, wooing me to him for years
17:15 has shown me what real love is.
17:19 Now that our audience can see what rage is and what rage can
17:24 do to a person, you have to be miserable when those people are
17:29 around you have to be even more miserable. Now three years ago
17:34 you turned the corner. You went to this crisis center and
17:39 healing started taking place. Now what does that mean?
17:45 Well it means that you want to have a different reaction.
17:51 The devil is still out there; he still is throwing those things
17:55 at you, but you can have a new high and that would be a term
17:59 used with people from my background. Your new high is
18:03 acting right and it is so rewarding to look back at a
18:08 situation after the fact and say I did what God would have
18:12 wanted me to do in that situation. Yes as an employer
18:15 you have a right to have the program go in the way it's been
18:19 set up, but there's a Christian way to go about bringing that
18:24 around. I now enjoy, it's actually a good feeling for me,
18:29 I can get joy out of reacting properly. I have a situation
18:34 here I can share real quick. I called from 3-1/2 hours away
18:39 driving time wise about a particular product that I needed
18:43 right that day. I had already called the next client saying
18:47 we'll be there at your place tomorrow. So I drove to get that
18:52 particular material as I left my crew back there to continue
18:55 working. The guy had just told me on the phone, yes it's here
18:59 right next to me. I drive 3-1/2 hours to get there and he says,
19:05 oh I guess it isn't here. One of my beloved brothers-in-law was
19:10 sitting there and he just watched the reaction. In my old
19:14 lifestyle I would have climbed over the counter. God was
19:19 working at that moment and I looked at the man and I just
19:25 said oh okay, so when will it be here? He was flabbergasted
19:31 because he expected Ron, because he knew the history,
19:34 to act irrational. It was one of those things that was the
19:39 beginning of learning how to react properly and to let God
19:43 do your answering for you sometimes. What would Jesus do?
19:48 I have another little quick incident. I was working for a
19:51 Christian lady and I had noticed that one of my guys was
19:55 purposely throwing stucco on her new brick which stains it and
19:57 when you find it too late you've got to get it off there and it
20:01 scars the brick. So I watched him as I was working away and
20:04 he was doing some more of that over in the corner. I uncorked
20:08 and the window slid up and it was this dear Christian lady
20:11 saying Ron, what would Jesus do? And I snapped at her, well he'd
20:15 take a whip and clean this temple. She said I think as soon
20:19 as you are done working you need to come on inside. So I sent the
20:23 crew home. I came on inside and she gave me her little sermon
20:26 and I said, Yeah, Yeah, okay. About six months later I was
20:31 in Wal-Mart and I saw her and I zipped down my jacket. I was
20:35 wearing a T-shirt and I opened it up and I said, Myrna, look.
20:39 And I had a WWJD shirt on and she said I think maybe you're
20:44 getting a handle on it. There are just many ways that you
20:48 start to see the light.
20:52 So you were obviously seeing a healing taking place and now I
20:58 also saw that without knowledge my people perish. So now you're
21:04 beginning to turn that corner
21:06 because you have the knowledge.
21:07 You see that there's another
21:09 side there and it's even making
21:10 you feel good because now you're putting that old life behind you
21:14 This new creation, this new man that God is creating, you know,
21:17 is taking precedents. Now let's talk about God's word.
21:22 You're in his word. I now understand that you and Celeste
21:28 have a ministry called Abundant Life Ministry. So tell us a
21:33 little bit about that. How did that start. I mean, my goodness,
21:38 this is a large step between then and now, because whenever
21:42 I look at you I see a precious man. I can see it in your eyes.
21:48 Also I can tell that you're a very sensitive man. So man, it's
21:53 just who was this other person? So you have a wonderful
21:56 opportunity here to witness. Now we've got Abundant Life Ministry
22:00 Tell us about it. Well we needed a platform to go
22:06 out and touch people in the right me because we definitely,
22:09 especially me, did it in the
22:11 wrong way, so we started this
22:12 Ministry. The little logo on
22:14 our cards is two hands holding
22:16 a heart. It's all about your heart healing. The Bible has
22:20 things to say about the mind but it also says, let not your
22:23 heart be troubled. I forget the exact quote about how many times
22:28 the Bible talks about the heart. So we started this ministry to
22:33 go out... I'm now working with a Viet Nam vet that when I first
22:37 met this man his face just reeked with pain. He cannot get
22:43 past the atrocities that he got involved in. We also go out
22:48 and we try to help people with drug problems. I also go to the
22:52 prison. We've started a little small prison ministry in our own
22:56 little way. I have had an invitation at one of the ASI
22:59 meetings to go down to the Kentucky state pen and talk
23:02 to the guys. I said to the gentleman that invited me, why
23:05 me? He said, why not you? You know the system. These guys need
23:11 help. So that's a joy that I have doing now. We also go out
23:16 on a speaking tour when we're invited and we tell our story
23:21 and that's real rewarding to watch as you're progressing
23:25 through it. I talk for maybe half an hour to 40 minutes.
23:29 Celeste talks for 20 minutes to a half hour then she says, now
23:32 Ron's going to close. When I'm closing down at the very end
23:36 and using titles of hymns like has he been your shelter in the
23:40 time of storm? Burdens really are lifted at Calvary.
23:43 The people are weeping coming up and it's humbling us because I
23:51 used to lift myself up. One of my favorite hymns now is
23:55 Lift Him Up. James 2, I believe, 18 talks about when you raise
24:01 Jesus up he will lift you up. There's Jeremiah, I think it's
24:07 1:18 there's a text that talks about going out and sharing what
24:12 God has done for you. So this Abundant Life has created a
24:18 platform for us to do that. Sometimes we're doing the talks;
24:22 sometimes we're just helping someone that we know is hurting.
24:26 You know, to give that loaf of bread to someone who is hungry.
24:30 I'm the song leader at our church now and that shocks many
24:35 people that say, You're the what? Well I got rebaptized
24:39 probably four years ago and it was because I wanted to this
24:42 time; not because mom said I should do it and you're 12 and
24:46 you're supposed to do it. Well my pastor that we had at the
24:49 time, he's a quite large man, and he started crying after he
24:52 brought me out of the water and I said, what are you crying for?
24:55 I'm the one going through the emotions. He said, Ronnie, hang
24:58 on. He said, the devil's mad at the decisions you've made.
25:01 And there's been a lot of stuff there that if you allowed it to
25:05 get in the way, but you realize there's another mountain that I
25:09 climb over. So this Abundant Life Ministry thing has been
25:13 an awesome opportunity. It gives us a platform, like I've said,
25:17 and so we go out when we have the opportunity. We still both
25:23 run businesses and then we have fun with our grandkids. People
25:28 have to listen for clues and for ques. I walked into the lumber
25:32 yard one day and it was very busy, other contractors in
25:36 there, lots of customers, several employees there and it
25:40 was buzzing. It was just a loud noise and some guy at the
25:43 counter said, Hey Ron, what's happening? And I said, Jesus!
25:51 And the place went deathly quiet Now I realize I'm on stage and
25:53 I keep going this aisle and this aisle and I get what I
25:54 want to do and I go back up to the counter and he says, what
25:57 did you say? I said, what did you ask me? He said, well I
26:01 asked what was happening, but... I said, no but. You asked me a
26:04 straight question and I gave you a straight answer. As I'm going
26:08 out the door, he saying, yeah but... I said, Jesus is what's
26:11 happening. His family is Christian from a different
26:16 denomination. He knows I was telling the truth. It was not
26:21 what he expected to hear from Ron and that's what makes a
26:26 difference. You know if Jesus can save me, he can save anybody
26:31 I'd say that's right. And that's the way I feel about
26:35 it. So now I think I have an obligation but also it's a
26:38 desire to make a difference out there with the people I'm coming
26:42 in contact with. It's all about how am I going to react.
26:45 Our good friends, Ron and Nancy Rockey, really have a platform
26:50 that had set us in motion to heal and it's all about healing.
26:55 People talk in the church all the time about sanctification
26:58 and then when we share our recovery sometimes there are
27:02 walls up there. Well, isn't sanctification getting your
27:06 issues in line and getting your character in line.
27:09 This is absolutely a fascinating topic, anger. You know from
27:13 the one side it's a natural emotion and on the other side
27:18 you know it goes into rage. I just thank Jesus for being in
27:21 change of everything and that transforming power that he has
27:25 created in you. You've gone from having your feelings buried
27:28 and dead to where you're out there now ministering to others.
27:31 So I thank you for being here today Ron.
27:33 You're welcome and I give Jesus Christ all the credit.
27:37 Amen. I want to close with this scripture found in
27:41 Colossians 3:8. But now put away and rid yourself completely
27:45 of all these things: Anger, rage, bad feelings toward others
27:49 curses and slander, and foul- mouthed abuse and shameful
27:53 utterances from your lips.