"It seems like only yesterday that I first walked into your church. I had one month clean, I was terrified about leaving my children, my company, my home, and my fiancé, even my sinful lifestyle. I was literally leaving behind life as I knew it - even though it had become a nightmare of a life, a life dominated by drugs. By the grace of God I had become friends with Tim Brown through my counselor and the NANC website several years earlier. It was the hardest phone call I have ever had to make, but one that God enabled me to make.
Once I arrived here and moved into the ministry house, I knew I had made the right decision. My first counseling session ended like this. “Lyle if I can get you to do things because you love God and not because you’re afraid of what will happen if you don’t, then we will be well on our way.” Then he said, “Lyle, you are way too big and God is way too small.” Well, in the last six months I have become merely a speck, and God is immeasurably huge! It is very humbling to know that my life runs smoother without me in it. I had to get out of God's way, and be placed in many situations where I had no other choice but to trust the Lord. He not only came through every time, but He came through with more than I could ever have imagined. As a result of these trials, I have come to see the greatness of a mighty God and have fallen deep in love with my Father in heaven. I now understand what really took place on the cross that day at Calvary. I now understand what it means that “we are baptized into Christ’s death and resurrection.” Can you fathom that we now have available to us every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms? The battle I was fighting and always losing was already fought. Christ fought it and won it. Now I must live for Him.
Faith Community Church has played such a vital role in all of this. I first wanted to say how much I love all of you. Then to share with you a few things that I think you will be blessed by. We love to come and work for you and your families. Being a servant is something that fades when you are entangled in sin. Being able to get out of ourselves and bless you is the key to true humility, thank you so much. Also, when we do come over, your families are so warm and loving to us. I loved gawking at Steve Kroening’s giant buck on the wall, playing baseball with Marshal, watching Faith color, watching Lord of the Rings with Mike and Brenda Powell, after eating cheeseburgers and fries. I loved Listening to John Hartwell weep with gratitude as he blessed our food. The Thompson’s served us Cherry dump cake. I didn’t think it could get any better. But then the fellowship started at the table. After two hours of laughing and talking and fellowshipping, we moseyed home. When my family came to visit, we spent 4th of July with the Hills. The kids went out to the garden to hand pick the corn, John read a book to everyone on the founding fathers of our country, followed by food, fun and fireworks. We even got to go on a feild trip to the museum with Christine and the kids! We really love going boating, tubing, jet skiing and fishing with Andy Mayfield and Tory. Oh and when we all went to Ted Boone’s house boat for the four F’s slumber party – Food, fun, fishing and fellowship. Did I forget to tell you I caught what I think may be the Georgia state record Hybrid.J? It’s a special fish that keeps growing every time it is mentioned.
My eyes were opened to the many things I learned from the Bible. I now have strong doctrine and an unshakable faith. Teachings from Shane Koehler and David Kemp at the church were an absolute heaven-sent blessing, and Tim Brown, Ron Parman, Joe Underwood, Steve Kroening, and Bruce Nieman took time out of their busy lives to serve Christ and witness the gospel to us. Thank you gentlemen, I will never forget what you do for us. But I also learned how to be a godly family leader, husband, and father during my stay here. That came as a direct result of you inviting us into your homes and sharing your wonderful families with us. We lost that quality as well while trapped in our sin, and you led us back with your godly example. Some of us never knew how to do it, and you are blazing a new trail for us to follow. God is love, and you all are living proof of that. Thank you so much. I will see you periodically as I come to visit. Also, I wanted to announce the winner of the cooking contest. You see we have eaten a lot of great food and desserts here, thank all you ladies from the bottom of our hearts (and stomachs). Thursday now has a whole new meaning to us. So I would like to announce the winner. And the winner is…………………….. It’s a tie!!!!!! I did learn one thing growing up: You don’t bite the hand that feeds you..
“God brought me to His Steps in order to show me the way to Him, and Tim Brown and those associated with the ministry introduced me to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I have struggled for 20 years with alcohol and drug addiction and my life appeared to me to be hopeless. I tried all the worldly approaches to my problem including AA, various rehabilitations, and even doctors and Psychiatry, the latter of which just allowed me to turn to more medications in which to cure me of my affliction. None of these solutions worked for me. I was truly hopeless. What His Steps Ministries taught me was that addictions were sin and nothing else - not a disease for which there was no cure - and if I was sincerely seeking God and repentant of the sin of drunkenness, God could and would change me. I would be a new creation, no longer a slave to sin. My biggest problem was that I had an incorrect relationship with God. I have come to believe that the sin of drunkenness is a form of idolatry. Wow! Drunkenness is a sin and I don’t have to sin because God has made me a new creation and I am no longer a slave to sin. God changed me - I didn’t change myself. I had a bad heart and He made it new. These concepts were so different than anything I had been taught previously. Alcohol and drug addiction is a sin, period! The only victory I can have over any sin is through my savior, Jesus Christ. That makes Jesus Christ my only hope for the sin of drunkenness. There is no other place I would want my hope but in the saving blood and grace of Jesus. He has changed me and given me a hope I never thought possible. I want to serve the Lord with my whole heart because of what he did for me. He brought me out of death into life in Him. God used His Steps Ministries to show me the way to my Lord. I thank God for Tim Brown and His Steps Ministries.”
"My association with His Steps Ministries has been the most positively influential experience in my life thus far. God has used Tim and his ministry to truly show me my need for, not only a Savior, but also a Lord, and His name is Jesus Christ. Had you asked me when I arrived in July of 2003 whether or not I was a Christian, the answer would have been an emphatic, “YES”! I believed that, regardless of my behavior, I was saved. This was based upon the idea that I did believe in God, Jesus His Son, the Resurrection, and so forth. But I did so intellectually, not relationally. I did not have the detestation of sin that brings about true repentance, the repentance that only an act of God can muster. Tim, through intense discipleship, has taught me what my responsibility is in building a relationship with Christ. Ultimately, I am responsible for obedience to God’s word, and the Word teaches that drunkards (drug abusers) will not inherit the Kingdom of God. As a Christian, I have the choice to obey my flesh, or to obey God. Through God’s spirit, I can now choose obedience, obedience in love to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Thank you Tim, for your dedication to, and love of, God."