I used drugs consistently while locked up, because there’s a lot of ways to get your hands on it: through guards, guests, the mail.

I’d find myself using again as soon as I got out. There were times I had good intentions: once I swore up and down I wouldn’t, and by the time I got to Orange County I was drunk. I couldn’t even check in with my parole officer 24 hours after.

Once I was at my house, dope sick, and a couple guys showed up to take me to “settle a matter” with some … individuals. I got in the truck, and en route was told there would be no witnesses left after the encounter. But God had a different plan. We got to the front door of the place and were surrounded – swarmed with police. The deed never got done. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here sharing today.

While I was in jail, someone slid this Bible under my cell door. What still gets me through, all these years later, is this Bible: it represents a relationship with God. I used to have the “foxhole god” that I called out to in dire straits, but today it’s a relationship – I call upon Him all day long. Life is better; life is different.

I have a little brother sitting on death row as a result of decisions he made under the influence. The cycle of drug use and incarceration is never going to end well. The outcome is always jails, institutions or death. Actually, you’re guaranteed that if you continue to use.

My words of hope? There is a way out. Every day we’re presented with a choice: go left or go right. I say, if you’ve been going down the left so long, why not try right and see what happens?

There’s no chemical solution to a spiritual problem. In God alone you’ll find all you have hoped for in the bottom of a jug or a spoon. Those things are peace, contentment, and joy.

I’ve been going to NorthEast for over 4 years; they recently baptized my girlfriend. Worship on a Monday night jumpstarts my week. I get to break bread with people going the same direction I am. And we get God’s Word - straight from the Bible, uncut!

I love what NorthEast stands for, and I love where they go – it’s where people don’t want to venture. They introduce others to the living God; I’ve personally witnessed transformation happen in people close to me.

I’m truly grateful for the life I have today – to God for plucking me out of the muck and mire of addiction, and setting me on His rock. (Psalm 40)