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Episode 2 Forgive Them…Luke 23:34

A Changing Point

After this amazing salvation experience, I walked home, or more like walked on air while dancing all the way home.  Upon my arrival, I found much tension in the house.  So, being so full of the Joy of the Lord, I shared with my dad who was sitting in his chair my salvation story; I just got saved!  I didn’t know what to expect for a reaction as I’ve never been saved before, but I wasn’t prepared for the punch to my face for telling my story.  That was the beginning of when I can say was the turning point of my childhood; our entire family direction was changed and changed for the worse. 

As I continued to go to church every Sunday, I just knew that I would be beaten with my dad’s fist or kicked with his boots or just get pummeled or however he seen appropriate that day.  Variety of abuse seemed somewhat welcomed in a strange way. It allowed the beaten parts of my body to recover somewhat before the next pummeling. This affected the entire family as my mom in the beginning tried to defend me only to fall victim to this abuse as well.

A Deeper Understanding

Holy Spirit gave me the strength to just take it.  He told me that, “this is what it looks like when someone is following Satan and has not chosen the path of the cross.”  My heart cried for my dad as I began to realize at the age of 11 the impact of bondage; how bondage can destroy a person from within without any external chains.  He needed freedom, so my message to him was a message of love.  I never challenged him, his authority or prevented him from abusing me.  I simply smiled and told him that, “Jesus loves him and that I forgive him.”

It made him change from anger to rage, but I was determined to set an example to my dad of what Godly love looks like.  Dad never knew love.  He was abused as a child himself.  His mother died when he was 6 years old.  His dad took all of his anger at the loss of his wife out on his son, my dad.  Compassion for my dad grew even though his rage accelerated. 

Teenage Years

The abuse continued and then one of the most significant moments happened when I was 14 years old.  The following is one of the many instances, but the most devastating. On Saturday he was mad about me missing a pile of dog poop in our backyard that I failed to pick up.  It was my responsibility to clean that up.  He felt that what I done I did purposefully and that somehow, I was responsible for him stepping in it, like I was just crouching invisibly and plunked that pile of poop right under his foot. What came out of his mouth next is was one of the hardest pronouncements that I had to overcome, and spent most of my life breaking its power over me.  He looked at me and said “See that pile of poop (but he used a vulgar word) that’s you, that’s your life and that’s all you’ll ever become, a piece of poop”.

He then forced me into the family room and said that he would be right back because he was going to fix this problem once and for all.  He returned with a gun. I knew that God had to be my everything in this moment as I stared at him wondering if this was all there was to my life.  How could he hate me so much or hate the Lord who was in me? A true glimpse of how much the enemy hates God, what happens in the spiritual realm was acting out in the natural one at this moment. So many thoughts raced through my head, but I wasn’t afraid.  One of the most challenging times is when your dad put a gun in your back and tries to force you into the burning fireplace.  The heat was intense and I could feel the burning of my clothes and I felt my hair burning and the stench of the burning.  Mom happened to come in and tried to stop dad.  Well, she was now the victim of his abuse as he beat her too.

This was my introduction on how real God truly is.  I felt honored to have just a small glimpse of what torture Jesus endured to save me, to save all of us.  Jesus is my hero, my role model of character and my savior.  I will be sharing more about how the power of Holy Spirit enabled me to overcome all of this. Choose to forgive, release, and bless all those that have hurt you and you will be free.

James Wheeler is a son of God, loving husband, daddy, Co-Writer, Teacher, Speaker, Mentor, & Financial Professional

James Salvation Life Story Part 1

Episode 1 of my Early Years

One of my earliest memories happened when I was around 4 years old.  My family would go over to my mom’s parent’s house on Sunday’s.  Those were good memories of my dad being kind, my mom having fun, my sister was happy, and I was already searching for answers.  On Sunday my sister and I would join our grandparents at church.  I do not remember the songs or messages, but the message of God’s love was clear.  Those hymnal songs echo the love message of an amazing savior who was already chasing me down, calling me. 

After church it was lunch time.  Grandma would warm up the cast iron pan and make grilled cheese sandwiches.  There was just something about that Velveeta cheese, Kilpatrick’s white bread and plenty of butter on both sides that made it taste so delicious.  The aroma of love from the melting cheese was so delightful.  Grandma made them so perfectly, so tasty!  I can still taste those moments, and all the flavor of that sandwich at any moment, lovely moments no matter if it was sunshine or rain.

The day would be filed with so much outdoor activities of fun; building hand pushed go carts, stilts and much more.  The evening was dinner, Hee-Haw, Lawrence Welk, and the Wonderful World of Disney.  I mostly just enjoyed the togetherness that we all shared.  There was so much laughter as everyone was watching the humor of Hee-Haw.  Every adult just spoke for hours talking about everything.  My grandpa was such a gentle man, so sweet to my grandma.

            Changing Years

Life seemed to continue, on a relatively normal path for the next few years.  Then the phone call came in.  It was my dad’s sister who still lived in Illinois where my dad grew up.  Their dad died.  When my dad returned from the funeral, I was about 10 years old and I began to see some subtle changes in my dad.  He wasn’t as patient or kind.  He was getting a little physical with mom, my baby brother Jeff, and me.

 But then I did something, and it changed everything.  I went to church all on my own.  It was Landmark Missionary Baptist Church in San Jose that I walked to and met Jesus. I am not the person who wrote the date down, but I was saved in the summer between my 5th and 6th grade of school the best that I can remember.

At the end of the Sunday school class the teacher, Mr. John asked, “if anyone wanted to know Jesus.”  I did, but I was so shy.  I was going to tell him yes after class, but other kids stayed around to talk to John.  The following Sunday it was a repeat of last week.  So, on the third Sunday I quietly prayed that everyone would leave so I could talk to John at the end of class.  When class ended everyone left.  It was just me sitting on the chair.  John, who was a big man, knelled and asked me if I wanted to know Jesus. “I said yes,” and he led me in the best Baptist sinners’ prayer.  Bam, I was saved!  A few months later, I was baptized with my sister.  Great moments!  Stay tuned for the additional episodes of my most amazing life! Yes, my book will be coming soon!! Thank you!

James Wheeler is a son of God, loving husband, daddy, Co-Writer, Teacher, Speaker, Mentor, & Financial Professional