Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Punk to Pastor



         Vince grew up in a large family, one of eight siblings. His Father was an alcoholic. When he was 12 years old, one of his older brothers thought it would be funny to introduce him to marijuana. The brother and his friends would get him high and then laugh at him when he acted stupid. Little did this brother know that would put him on a destructive path using drugs and alcohol.


         He met a friend who had older brothers also, and they started smoking weed everyday before school. To fund his smoking, he became a thief. He stole skateboards, bikes from distant neighborhoods and merchandise from stores and sold them to kids. He was a punk with an attitude. Because of the drugs, he failed 7th grade and had to take summer school in order to move on to 8th. In 8th grade he decided not to use drugs and turned to alcohol instead. He kept a bottle of vodka in his locker and drank everyday at school.


         He remembers a counselor explained the stages leading up to becoming an alcoholic. One stage was when drinking alcohol was no longer fun and it made the person emotional. That freaked him out, because he could see that happening to himself. He was drinking to escape the emptiness and loneliness he felt. He was brash on the outside but hurting and insecure on the inside. Drinking was no longer fun, it was starting to control him.


         The summer before his Freshman year in high school, he decided to stop hanging out with the friends he drank with. He knew he needed a change. He wanted to pursue athletics in high school and not drugs and alcohol. A different older brother invited him to a Christian organization called Young Life. There he learned God loved him, accepted him and forgave him. That was very different from the God he learned about as a kid. He learned that God loved him individually and he was special to God. He was blown away that he could become a child of God and have a close personal relationship with Jesus.


         In the summer between his Freshman and Sophomore years, he was in his room listening to his brother's Christian album. One of the songs was “I Need You.” He dropped to his knees and prayed and cried out to God. “God I need you. I am lost and going nowhere. Please save me. I need you so much.” From that day forward he could not stop talking to his friends about God’s love. He invited everyone he knew to Young Life, so they could meet this great God he knew.


         It wasn’t until he was married that he started to really grow in his faith. He developed the discipline of reading and studying his Bible, and became part of a church. The first year he and his wife were married they volunteered to teach kids at their church. Because he had dyslexia, he had a hard time reading and teaching the pre-written lessons. He asked the Kid’s Director if he could write his own lessons. This began a lifelong love of studying and teaching God’s Word. The Bible came alive to him, and he learned about God, His story and His love for people.


Vince teaching in Israel.
         After a few years, he was asked to teach a young adult couples Bible study class. He loved doing that for 10 years. During that time, God used him to bring people to Christ. He also felt God calling him to be in full time ministry. However, it would be a few more years until a church felt led to call him. Today he has the honor of helping others understand God’s love, His Word and how they can become Christ followers.


         Since coming to Christ, he has felt more loved, forgiven and free than ever before. God has given him a purpose and a passion for leading others to Christ and teaching God’s Word. He is grateful God saved him and took him off the path of destruction and placed him on the path that leads to the Lord.  
          People no longer call him punk, but Pastor. I call him my husband and best friend.  
Robyn and Vince on a boat on the Sea of Galilee.




Do you know someone on the path to destruction? Have you told them God loves them and has a wonderful plan and purpose for their life?   

"The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17




         This story is part of a series called 31 Days of Change. If you would like to read others in the series, click the links below. 
If you would like to read my previous year's series, click here to read about Our Adoption Adventure.  
Click here to read about Hearing God. 
If you would like to read other blogs and different topics you can go to Write31days.com.

Day 1:   He Did What?!
Day 9:   Depression to Joy
Day 12:  Holding His Hand
Day 13:  Changed
Day 17:  Never the Same
Day 18:  The C Word
Day 19:  Punk to Pastor
Day 21:
Day 22:
Day 23:
Day 24:  All Fired Up
Day 25:  All Fired Up - Part 2
Day 26:  All Fired Up - Part 3
Day 27:
Day 28:
Day 29:
Day 30:
Day 31:



16 comments:

  1. Oh Robyn! I'm teary! So blessed that God merged your story with the Punk to Pastor! Praying blessings, strength, and abundance for both of you!

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  2. Robyn, I love reading testimonies and what a wonderful thing God has done in your husband's life. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. We are grateful to God! Thanks for stopping by and reading!

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  3. All of the stories that you've highlighted through this series are really incredible. I am in awe of the goodness of God.

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    1. Thanks Natalie! That has been my prayer for this series. Praise God for the new life He brings people!

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  4. What an awesome story of redemption. This is so encouraging as well.

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    1. Thanks Susan! What a great God we have!

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  5. Just wonderful. Jesus transforms the worst of us to the best of Him!

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  6. What an encouraging story of transformation. Thank you for blessing us by sharing your testimony.

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    1. Thank you Vince and Robyn for sharing, I never realized your experiences at the time brother! Wow! I was very motivated to post this and had to think carefully. “The tests we face in life's journey are not to reveal our weaknesses but to help us discover our inner strengths. We can only know how strong we are when we strive and thrive beyond the challenges we face.”
      ― Kemi Sogunle
      …………………………………………………………………………………
      Miraculously, more transformations occurred with the other family members in this tale! Unbeknown-est at the time, my substance-sharing brother was later discovered to have special-needs and received professional treatment. After experiencing feelings of betrayal and abandonment from his family for being institutionalized and kept separated from his loved ones, he struggled with his challenges for many years. With time, he stabilized his challenges better than anyone could expect. Today he works part-time and is a homeowner!

      They say there is no truly recovered alcoholic, I bear to differ. My father also overcame his substance addictions of alcohol and tobacco with special-care! Besides my brother and father, I don't know many people who have overcome such odds! But God bless the ones that are struggling to overcome. At one point in time he worked three-jobs to support us all! Call me a control freak but his difficult experiences enticed me to vow to myself to never let any substances control me. So a bad example ended up being a good one. Who knew?

      The other brother listed in this story also overcame insurmountable odds! Do you know what insurmountable means? (too great to be overcome)! Although he was involved in a treacherous accident that would test the very core of his will and humanity he survived! His loving wife, parents, family and friends also endured!
      We haven't even begun to list the miracles with our mother! What she endured and overcame is unspeakable!
      There are more tales of transformation that are occurring as we speak. What is your tale?

      Yoda once said, “Do or do not, there is no try!”
      ………………………………………………………………………….
      “Beautiful souls are shaped by ugly experiences.”
      ― Matshona Dhliwayo

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    2. Thanks for reading Lee, and for sharing these stories. I think it encourages others when we share stories of hope and victory over difficulties. That is the purpose of this series, to share how great God is to bring about good, from life's challenges.

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