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From Death to Life....TRINITY OUTDOORS DISABLED ADVENTURES
Let me start by saying a little about where I grew up. My life started in Gramercy, LA. This little town is located about half way between New Orleans and Baton Rouge along the Mississippi River. I grew up in a very loving Catholic home with my wonderful parents. My dad was an electrician by trade and bookie by night. My mother was a wonderful house wife that tended to all of our needs including trying to keep my behind out of trouble. I have 2 older brothers and 1 younger sister. We were very, very close. I can remember times of growing up and my daddy sitting us down on the sofa at night to teach us how to jitterbug along with taking lessons from my mother also, but one thing my daddy also taught us was how unconditional love from a man was suppose to be and I have to thank him for that.
When I was 11years old, my mother came down with Lupus. This disease not only affected her in a drastic way but it also affected all my siblings. You see she was in and out of hospitals month to month for the first couple of years. It was a big change for my brothers and I because for someone who always took care of us now we needed to take care of her. She needed care in such things in us helping her clean, cook, even caring the clothes basket approx. 25 feet to the washer. Now as all of this was taking place, I can remember having to take care of my little sister, as far as curling her hair to go to school, making sure she had breakfast, and tending to her when we got home from school. I know now how great of mother and father we had because my daddy would work two jobs to provide more for us than ever, while my mother fought with depression and a deformation of all of her joints secondary to the rheumatoid arthritis she was encountering. Well eventually, my mother’s condition started to improve because of all of the family support she had and how she took care of herself. She always worried about everyone else’s needs before her own pain and suffering.
About at that time is when I can say that my unwilling participation in sexual abuse started. One day when I was down the street playing I was confronted by a neighborhood older boy that proceeded to touching me and fondling me in a way that confused me. This wasn’t right I constantly told myself, but every time on a weekly basis this proceeded to happen. The feeling of guilt and shame came upon me constantly saying to myself that how could I be allowing this to happen, but not until 25 years later that I realized that this was the beginning of a long run of using and abusing people that started to get what I wanted sexually, physically, and emotionally.
* High School Highlights: (a) Athletic (b) Drama Club, Beta Club, Key Club (c) Scholarships Awarded
Throughout high school, I began using alcohol and my anger grew. Most of the time, when I was in class or at social events I had to be the class clown, life of the party and top jock at my school. I had the attitude of I don’t give a care about anything and I will do whatever I want at any price. Alcohol was a way that I could escape the pressures of not using any other narcotics at the time… but what I didn’t realize was that issue with drugs was only a couple of years away.
I played football, and as I can tell I was pretty good. I wanted to keep my parents proud of me that I would do anything and work very hard, compulsively to achieve the highest of any awards. In the 11th grade I started dating a girl from another school and what I thought at the time was the only person who cared and loved me, besides my parents. As I look back this is when my overwhelming lifestyle of dating and playing football and tennis began to take its affect in my needing of what used to be every other weekend of drinking to every weekend. I can remember that is when my depression of needing to have a woman in my life was very significant. (Suicide) One time when she broke up with me I put a pistol in my mouth saying that if I couldn’t have her I wasn’t going to have anything. But also at this time is when I could hear the Holy Spirit saying to me, “You will leave behind allot of people who care about you.”
Well I went on to play college football along with tennis. Now going into the college lifestyle of partying drinking and what came about also was the use of marijuana. I began smoking pot and taking steroids, trying to once again be the top of everything. Well after 1 year of college and failing grades, I was introduced to methamphetamine. Now, I had found something else that would allow me to achieve higher gains than anything including meeting my x wife. We dated throughout my constant failures of nursing school, radiology school, and finally passing of physical therapy assistant school. By this time it was what I thought was right thing to do was to introduce my x to meth. This was one of the biggest mistakes I could have done. After a couple of more years of dating, I finally got married, but our partying days did not go away. What was a one to two time a month habit now began to turn into an every week ritual.
On July 17th, 1999 our first son was born and since I liked hunting, I named him HUNTER. Even though I had a beautiful simply precious gift of a son, my continued meth and cocaine usage kept on and on. There were times that I wanted God to work in my life but my addictive personality and obsession with money kept on. I had a very lucrative business in landscaping with 6 employees working for me along with practicing of physical therapy. Well do you think that with over $100,000.00 in earnings a year, a big house, 3 vehicles and a boat was enough for one person… WRONG. It wasn’t. When my son was 3 I was pulling around the backside of my yard, while Hunter was riding on my landscaping trailer, something we did everyday daddy came home. At that time I was drinking a few beers and when I went to backup and maneuver my trailer in for the night, I felt like I had backed over a speed bump, but it wasn’t. It was my sons head. My daddy and brother just happened to be at the house that afternoon, and when this happened all hell broke loose. Ambulances, fire trucks, and medics were all over the scene. I will never forget bending down to lift his little head where he was bleeding from his eyes, nose, ears and mouth. I looked up and said, “Why God could you let this happen?”” WHY” I fell out in despair and anguish….. On the way to the hospital I could remember telling my brother that if Hunter dies, then so will I cause I would follow through on my attempts of suicide. Well Hunter made it through with only a fractured skull. I think that following 2 months I quit using, but it wasn’t long before them same old friends kept coming back that I was right back using and abusing more than ever.
Then on October 21st, 2003 my daughter ASHLYN was born. I swore that I would never use again because I did not want my kids at a very young age to be submitted to such a screwed up daddy. Well that also didn’t last long and what I didn’t realize at the time was that my marriage which was once strong, was now falling apart. The insanity and paranoia became so prevalent in my marriage that it drove the both of us apart. When Ashlyn was 11 months old, the straw that broke the camel’s back happened and I got divorced. To me this was the biggest let down that I could have suffered at this point. That is when I moved to Lafayette and my children moved to Brookhaven, MS. Now when this occurred I had just gotten out of using meth, but my drinking doubled in size, drinking much more hard liquor and partying again like a single man.
Watch how by allowing God and ANGELS with an open invitation to start working in my life starts to take effect!
Science continues to study us and have learned a great deal about the human body and how some things work. However, what is known is minuscule in comparison with what medical science does not know about us. It can observe what the various parts of our body does, but they do not understand how it does it. The most basic question that cannot be answered is "What is life? What makes us alive?" If a person dies say from an accident and some organ is damaged, the organ can be surgically repaired, but life does not return. Man cannot put life into a body once it has left. The reason is simple. God is life and He created us and our life comes from Him. Life did not come by chance as the evolutionists tell us. Inert matter does not produce life....man is alive because God gave him life.
Philippians 2:5-8 New International Version (NIV)
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature[a] God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature[b] of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
For the last 18 years, I have worked a license Physical Therapist Assistant and still work full time as a therapist owning my own contract agency along with working full time for another company. But life wasn’t always that good, because you see on July 9th, 2005 I was involved in motor vehicle accident here in Lafayette on Kaliste Salloom Road. That night the only thing I remember was an angel lifting my head out of the water face down and the words…”I have plans for you.”
TRANSFORMSATION TAKING PLACE
After a long year in a wheelchair and long fight with infection, I saw one day in one of my x-rays that the doctors had left a drill bit in lower leg 7 months prior and the decision to amputate my right lower leg was made. This trying time was emotionally and physically trying on my nerves, body and spirit, along with the uncertainty of future decisions, but mostly my thoughts of, “How could God let something happen to me, how could you LORD?”
Well what I didn’t realize at that time, because I wasn’t living my life for God and had not given my life to the LORD, was that God did not make this happen to me. It wasn’t until I was SAVED, clean, and able to think clearly that I realized, God is a loving God. It was the lifestyle I led before with all of the drugs, alcohol, manipulation and the using of women that God ALLOWED this to happen in my life in order to get me to where I am now. GOD was waiting on a wrecked soul like me to answer HIS calling. You see after getting saved good and righteous things started to happen in my life. I started dating the dream woman of my life. Now not knowing of how to deal with a new life in God and how to deal with the excruciating pain I was having, I kept on using pain medication and trying to justify that what I was doing was the right thing now. Well this eventually caught up with me last year around September of 2008.
God even has a since of Humor on how he answers prayers!
Well as I was saying about the dream woman in my life, I had prayed to God this true prayer and it went something like this, “Lord if you hear me, I am tired of dating and running these blonde hair women, so what I need from you is to give me a black woman, a Creole woman, or a woman with black hair, just so it isn’t a blonde hair woman.. But most of all please make sure she is a Christian, because I need someone who can not only teach me, but love me and help me through these last 35 years of my life.” Well don’t we know that God answers prayers, and he did a month later? I was working at a local hospital and I saw this amazingly beautiful black haired woman, who for the first time I was intimidated by. So being the suave man that I was I tried to play her but little did I know she knew what she was being firm and not playing games. She told me, I don’t date anyone I work with so deal with that. I said dammmmm I’ve done been shot down, not me Jason Bland, the one who could always get and manipulate anyone. Well 2 weeks later I saw her in the hallway again and I told her that I was leaving to go work somewhere else so could I take her out. To my surprise she said yes. So the next night we went to have a few, well a good many drinks on my part, and I decided to ask her if I could take her to church on Sunday and she said yes. So we went to church that Sunday at Trinity Bible church and when they started to play the music, this chic knew every word of every song. I looked at her and asked her, how in the world did she know the lyrics to each and every song, and she said I have been a Christian all of my life, but I too have also drifted away from God for certain reasons. My mouth dropped. Never in my life would I dream that God would have actually answered my prayers and he did. Black haired woman and a Christian….chichang….. Well throughout our beginning years of dating, I was still using pain meds for my back and amputated leg and it finally caught up with me in September of 2008.
I asked a boss for help and finally after 35 years of a depressed / addictive lifestyle I voluntarily went to treatment in Clearview Recovery Center located in Mozzelle, Mississippi.
TRANSFORMATION TAKING PLACE
And since then I have lived each minute, second, and hour for my Savior Jesus Christ!! I joined Celebrate Recovery at East Bayou Baptist Church and also became involved in a couple of different Christian settings, with a men’s bible study group along with working at least 8 months with the AA group also. I plugged myself into each and every thing that I could, using my old obsessive ways to now work strenuously at staying sober which I have. Now going on 5 yrs of sobriety, I do contribute my hard work and effort all to God. He also has allowed great people to come into my life on a weekly basis. As my bible study leader and a pastor friend of mine always says, if you want to become a bum in life then go hang out with bums. If you want to make money in life then go hang out with those who are making money, but if you want to get to know God more and more and watch the blessings he will pour out on you then hang out with Christ like people.
I do want to say that even through all of this screwed up time in my life my parents have always stood by my side and just wanted to see me do something instead of having constant failures. They have truly shown what unconditional love is suppose to be like, just like the love that Jesus Christ has for us and I have to thank for that.
During my rehabilitation I always said that if I had the chance, I would love to start an amputee support group in the Lafayette area and in January 2007 that happened.(Acadiana Amputee Support Group) I also prayed and wanted to get involved in taking underprivileged/ disabled people into the outdoors to teach them what I know. That was the birth of Trinity Outdoors Disabled Adventures. That was also accomplished successfully, but what I didn’t realize was the work the LORD was bringing fourth and implementing in me. The gift of loving and teaching others through my past hurts, hang ups, and mishaps. I now realize that this entire period of my life has always been God’s way of blessing, transforming, and molding me to be part of his flock. So now it is time to continue to do the work of the Lord and that is helping those, no matter what the situation is, to help them have what I have and that is TRUE HAPPINESS and a Relationship with GOD. That is what Trinity Outdoors Disabled Adventures, LA is about. Planting seeds in people’s lives through the use of the outdoors; to teach them how great GOD is and what joy can be brought into people’s lives if they surrender to HIM. I will until the day I die to continue to plant those seeds just as Jesus instructed us to do so!
Finally I want to state that in June 2010, my happiness with myself and sobriety allow me to communicate with my ex wife to a point that she moved to Lafayette area then back to Mississippi with my kids. If I would have doubted God’s power to work through me with the Holy Spirit, then none of this would have come into existence. Also the Trinity Outdoors Disabled Adventures, LA ministry would have not come into existence. Not only does the ministry goes on but it is highly prayed upon by my Pastor Tommy Faulk at Lafayette First Assembly, for it has been through the Holy Spirit working in him as a disciple and teacher of God’s Word that has helped me continue to press on and press pass allot of trying times in my life.
So remember our God is a loving God and what we speak, we can either bring life or death. I hope this testimony brings life into each and every one of you or a love one that may need it.
Never forget that there is NOTHING, that GOD is incapable of doing!