"Stick and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me." Remember hearing that phrase when you were a child? Those of us who experienced a lot of teasing were taught to say that to our tormentors. But many people are unaware of the power we have with our mouths. Negative words can do serious damage.

Throughout grade school, I was targeted by bullies. Both boys and girls teased me and called me all sorts of names. In response, I became a loner and retreated into a fantasy world that involved listening to music for hours.

Eighth grade was by far my worst year in school. The name-calling and physical abuse had increased to unbearable levels. In almost every class, I would get punched or things thrown at me. Going to school had become so traumatic that I wanted to die. If my father had a gun, I probably would have shot myself. I considered committing suicide by swallowing poison but was too scared to follow through with that.

When I began ninth grade, I started doing a lot of praying. To my surprise, the teasing wasn't as intense as the year before. However, I came close to accidentally killing myself that year. One weekend my family and I went water-skiing. As I completed my turn around the lake, I tried to get close enough to the dock so I could spray water on my sister. But I misjudged my distance and slammed into the side of the dock! Miraculously all I suffered were surface cuts on my leg and underneath my arm.

To overcome a negative self-image, I sought to use music as a means to gain acceptance. In March 1987, a song I had written and recorded called "Let's Blow Up The Tow Truck" became the #1 request on the syndicated radio program "Dr. Demento." I was excited to have one of the hottest novelty songs in the country. But despite receiving national radio exposure, "Let's Blow Up The Tow Truck" was turned down by over 40 record companies. Follow-up songs like "Hangover" and "Break That Record" also became requested favorites on Dr. Demento's show but still didn't help me secure a recording contract.

In the meantime, I worked as a disc jockey in nightclubs and at wedding receptions. Originally I thought being a DJ would be the perfect job for me until I made enough money writing my own music. Since new music was always coming out, I figured DJ work could never get boring. But as the drinking age went up to 21 in the late 1980's, I encountered more "baby boomers" that wanted to hear oldies music. Soon I got tired of the smoke-filled rooms, dealing with drunks, and getting requests to play the same old songs every night.

By 1990, my pursuit of a music career put me heavily in debt. I decided to find another way to earn money without getting stuck in a tedious 9 to 5 job. Another DJ introduced me to a multi-level marketing company that could help me earn a large income and to have the time to enjoy it. That motivated me to sell all my recording equipment. My plan was to build a residual income with my multi-level marketing business to pay the bills and then resume making music.

My multi-level marketing venture didn't prosper me financially but it was a valuable learning experience. From various seminars I attended and motivational tapes I listened to, I kept hearing about how important it was to have your priorities in order. To be a successful person in life, you must put your spiritual goals first, next your family, and then your business. Every time I heard the "spiritual" part, the thought crossed my mind about going back to church. However, I was reluctant to do so because of the negative perceptions I had about Christianity.

When I was a kid, I went to a traditional church where I endured boring organ music and lifeless sermons that nearly put me to sleep. If that weren't bad enough, many of my Sunday school classmates treated me terribly. I wanted to believe in God but couldn't stand going through religious rituals and hanging around a bunch of hypocrites.

However when I was 17, a girl that I was dating encouraged me to get involved in a Christian organization called Young Life. Someone told me at one of their meetings that God would hear my prayers if I asked Jesus Christ to come into my heart. So I did and briefly attended a Bible study. But it was also around this time I heard about preachers who were outspoken against secular rock music. Many of them insisted we should listen to "Christian rock" and gospel music only. Back then, the Christian music I heard sounded lame and outdated compared to the secular stuff I loved so much. So I thought to myself, If I have to be a good little Christian by listening to this wimpy stuff all day long, then forget it! I backed off from pursuing a relationship with God and sought a career in the secular music business. The national success of Prince and other musicians from Minneapolis inspired me to move there in 1985.

Another reason I avoided Christianity was that I didn't want to give up the fun I had partying with the many women I met in nightclubs. Eventually, I discovered just how much "fun" I was really having. One night I was arrested for drunk driving. That only made me more careful with my drinking. After going through additional personal calamities, I finally realized I was messing up my life. Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Since my sister and her husband were committed Christians, I knew I had to talk with them. On March 19th, 1991 we talked for over three hours and they helped clear up many misunderstandings that I had about Christianity. Finally, my brother-in-law asked me to pray with him and I asked Jesus Christ to come back into my heart. When I did that, I felt a "rush" go throughout my body. All of the guilt that I felt suddenly lifted. The Lord had made Himself real to me! My sister had tears in her eyes because she and her husband prayed for years that I would recognize my need for Jesus. They also prayed that they would play a part in my salvation. God certainly answered their prayers!

Within a few weeks, I became a member of a non-denominational church in the Minneapolis area. Soon after that, I put my recording skills to use there making copies of the pastor's sermons. Having access to the church's cassette library helped me grow rapidly as a Christian. I constantly listened to sermon tapes at home, in my car, and at work on my Walkman. Later I landed a position at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. My job there was calling pastors nationwide to schedule evangelistic films to be shown in their churches.
Since I was no longer employed as a DJ, I wanted to do something else where I could talk in front of groups of people. So I joined a Toastmasters club to improve my public speaking skills. Gradually I started talking more about spiritual matters in my speeches. The day after I gave a speech on Bible prophecy, I experienced a demonic attack. On the morning of October 11th, 1992 I was laying in my bed when suddenly a voice started speaking to me in my left ear. After this voice repeatedly said the word "attention", it uttered all kinds of profanity at me. I immediately hollered, "Satan, I rebuke you in the Name of Jesus!" Then the demonic voice stopped. The devil is real and will launch attacks when you start stepping out for the Lord. But Jesus has given us His name to resist the enemy.

Then in 1994, the Lord led me to become a street evangelist. A friend of mine kept asking me to come out witnessing with him. At first, I wasn't interested in approaching total strangers with the Gospel. But then after another friend of mine gave me "the left foot of fellowship" (saying he didn't want to see me anymore), I decided to get back at the devil by going out witnessing. That night I led a stranger to the Lord for the first time. Two days later I went out evangelizing again. One of the people I prayed with was a guy I went to grade school with who I hadn't seen in over ten years! Since then I've been out sharing the gospel on a regular basis.

Perhaps the term "street evangelist" conjures up images of me thumping a Bible and yelling at people that they are all going to hell. Preachers who do not speak the truth in love will cause nonbelievers to be more resistant to the gospel. Romans 2:4 says that it's the goodness of God that leads one to repentance. My usual approach is to walk up to people and ask questions about their eternal destiny. Eventually, I tell them, "God loves you...and He has made a way for you to know for sure that you will be in heaven someday." It's not up to me to cram the gospel down people's throats. All I am is a messenger. Each individual must decide for himself whether or not to get saved.

Through street evangelism, I've noticed even more how God makes Himself real to people. The Lord gives divine protection to those who go out and share His word. On rare occasions when I've had people threaten me on the streets, I sang praises unto God and the would-be attackers walked away without doing me any harm. One night I approached two young women who told me they worshiped Satan. When I started sharing the gospel with them, one of them ran away screaming. The devil is NO MATCH for the love of Jesus Christ. Over the years I prayed with thousands of people to receive salvation. I give God all the glory!

1 Timothy 4:14 commands, "Do not neglect the gift that is in you." After years of setting aside my musical ambitions, the Lord led me in 2006 to start my own Internet radio station. Signs & Wonders Radio reached people from over 100 different nations. That same year, I was blessed with a laptop computer enabling me to create music again (and videos as well). Since then I have released more albums of music, five of them featuring another preacher from England named John Scotland.

And then at the beginning of 2011, the Lord opened up doors for me to do live DJ work again in the form of "glory parties." By playing a variety of recorded Christian music (including my own), people have enjoyed anointed times of dancing and soaking in the presence of the Lord. During the first party held in Texas, people experienced visions and even gold dust manifestations. One woman in Alabama called to say she saw a glory cloud while watching online. Since then the parties have attracted viewers from other states and countries. They are truly becoming a worldwide celebration of the goodness of God!

One important question I need to ask you. If you died right now, do you know for sure where you would spend eternity? If you think you will go to heaven because of being a good person, that won't get you past the pearly gates. Everybody has committed sins like lying and disobeying their parents. Regardless of what you have done in the past, God will accept you just as you are if you repent of your sins and make Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior. Hebrews 13:5 says, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."

You might ask yourself, "Aren't there many different ways to Heaven?" Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. Nobody can come to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6). Following any other god will not save you from hell. Have you noticed that when people curse they often use the Lord's name in vain? I have never heard anyone holler "Allah" or "Buddha" whenever they are upset about something. Satan has tried to discredit the Lord's name but he still has to bow down whenever a Christian speaks the name of Jesus with boldness.

You can be sure of having eternal life in Heaven by saying a prayer like this one out loud:

"God in Heaven, I know I'm a sinner and I need Your help. I believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins and rose again from the dead. Jesus, come into my heart, make Yourself real to me, cleanse me and protect me with Your precious blood, fill me with the Holy Spirit, keep me away from sin, be my Lord and Savior. Amen."
Congratulations! You have just hit the top of the charts by making Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior. God has a plan and purpose for your life that will manifest if you take the time to build a relationship with Him. For more information on how to do that, please log onto the "seekers and new believers" section of this website.