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My name is Mike Parker. Some of you know me, some have heard my testimony, and some have done time with me.
I know it says in God's word that it does not return to Him void, but will accomplish what He pleases. Amen! I believe there is a word from God for some of you in this letter, whether it is for encouragement or to draw you to the Lord.
I started my life of alcohol and drug abuse at the age of sixteen. By the age of eighteen, I had earned myself five years in the Texas chain gang for sale of cocaine. This was in the seventies, and believe me, it was the CHAIN GANG!
It was God's first opportunity to show up and show out! My first time up for parole after twenty-eight months, it was granted. Two weeks before I was to be released, I received a letter from the parole board. My mother had moved, leaving no forwarding address. You know what that meant! No address, no parole.
I was involved with a spirit-filled prayer group and had asked the Lord into my life. Well, I took my problem to the brothers, and we took it to the Lord. I just kept confessing I was going to get out and believing God to do it. One week later, during the final review with a parole representative, he told me a Christian halfway house had accepted me and would pick me up at the bus station. Praise God, I was on my way.
Please pay attention now. God was faithful. But, because I did not get involved with a good word church, depend on God and his Word, I began to try to do things the way I knew how to get them done. This started a downward spiral that ended with me getting three deuces in Oklahoma.
I spent the next twenty-five years abusing alcohol and drugs, which resulted in some fifteen years of probated sentences and another two-year sentence in Georgia. By now, I had done seven years locked up and most of my adult life on supervision of some kind. Doing it my way!
I had lost two good families and everything I had worked for every time I got sent off. I got so strung out, I literally tried to kill myself with drugs. I overdosed twice; stuck a gun to my head and pulled the trigger. It misfired! God had a plan, even though in my state, I didn't recognize it.
My second family of fourteen years was now gone. We got busted - big surprise! I remember after we got out on bond, her mother asked me, "Mike, did you not know the police would get you?" To which I replied, "I prayed for it every day!" We split up. Dope was the "god" of our lives. This started separate paths for us. She violated her bond and went down the road. I spent the next ten months trying to do as much dope as I could, hoping it would all end. Remember, God had a plan.
I didn't even go to trial. I just doped until I finally got picked up, my bond revoked, spent a week in medical and then I was put into population. The prospects for my life at this point were looking real slim - seven drug convictions, multiple assaults, two-time loser - it wasn't looking good. Remember, I had been ready to quit and nothing had changed. I was ready to quit - quit the way I had been living, if you can call it that. The depth of my misery was only surpassed by my inability to do anything for myself in the natural. I remembered how I had been raised, and if I was to go on, it had to be God's way.
I invited him into my heart and life. I cried out, "Lord, I can't go on without you. I am a failure. Please take over. I will be your man, in prison or out." His word says He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. He did, and I began to be obedient to Him. And He began to move in my life.
I went to court and ended up getting two years. God is so good! Remember, God had a plan. I got sent to Dodge, where there is a spirit-filled Chaplain who loves God and the church. That means you, convicts. If you are born again, you are the church.
I got assigned dorm orderlies that gave me plenty of time for the word. I studied and prayed and became involved with some good Christian brothers, the church. I began to fast and pray with my prayer group - Clayton, Mike, Meggot, and a few more. I stand on Isaiah 58, verses 8-12 where it says He will repair the breach and restore the paths you dwell in. Praise God, He is faithful.
I was released after eighteen months and began to really see God work. He lead me to a great church, with wonderful pastors who follow the leading of the Spirit and honor God's word, with a great calling on their lives. Now, I am a part of God's family here.
I got involved in the prison ministry. Now, I am a state-certified volunteer and an ordained deacon. Not by anything I did, but by His love and grace.
God restored my relationship with the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with. We were married on April 15th of this past year. God has been bringing my family in. My son was released from prison this year and is now an usher in the church. My youngest daughter comes a lot, and God is working in her life. I had the privilege of leading my oldest daughter in the salvation prayer. Our middle daughter was spared from what could have been crippling car injuries by God's intervention. My wife and I got to attend the birth of our tenth grandchild. Praise God!
I am not trying to tell you everything has been easy, or that it happened right away. It didn't. It came with a lot of obedience, prayer, and work for the kingdom!
Is there something special about me? Yes. And the same is true for you. We were created in His image. We were created to fellowship with our God. He loves you and He wants to do something for you.
John 3:16 reads: For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life
Now, He can do something else for you, if you will give Him your life. Won't you ask Him into your heart? Ask Him to reveal Himself to you through His word, to fill you with His spirit. I promise you that it will be the best thing you will ever do.
You that have families and children have a responsibility to them. Accept Him and lead your family into the Promised Land.
God bless each and every one. You are in our hearts and prayers. I hope you find something in this to encourage you and give you hope. John 14:6 says that if you accepted Jesus, you are my brother or sister, in Christ. Share Him today!