Once An Alcoholic, Always An Alcoholic, THE Lie….A Testimony

I received the following testimony as a comment, and wanted to share it as an article. Thanks and blessings, Doug!

Dear Readers,

First and foremost, hats off to Mkayla,for not braking ranks in this WAR!

Okay, I have a story for you. Maybe it applies here and maybe not, but I believe that I was unfairly, verbally attacked by these three people in a supposed to be, Christian, Faith Based AA Group.

And I want to say, I’m not a member, nor am I affiliated with AA or any of its associates in any way!

A friend of mine who heads this group asked me, if I would help him with the group. I had been there years prior, and kinda chalked the whole thing up to too many rules and regulations on the surface, and just really didn’t wanna find out what was underneath.

So I said yes and started chairing this AA meeting as a fill in for this guy. These people are to be very Leary of. Just listen to this:

I began by reading the appropriated material out loud and instead the normal:”Hi, I’m (whoever) and I’m an alcoholic/drug addict, I said”Hi, I’m Doug, and I was an alcoholic/drug addict until I met The Lord Jesus Christ and he healed me.”

We’ll, suprisingly enough at first I was getting good response with this and so after about a month I started referring to divine healing for alcoholics and educating them in where their faith should be!

That it was not to be in the MEETINGS but in Christ and Him Crucified!

I began pointing them more and more to looking to God ALONE. To only use the meetings as a tool to help u by listening to others and supporting each other with their unique but yet similar stories. And I always encourage laughing and putting the past where it belongs; in the past!

This was going quite well up until about 6 weeks ago this couple from a near by town who happen to run the local Triangle Group came over. They seemed nice enough, until they talked.

These two were loud, obnoxious, and hateful. Mind you, I can be part of all three when I get ticked over something said against my Lord and Savior. But these guys starting coming down on me because I had been telling people that I had been healed of Alcoholism.

You would have thought I had killed somebody. I was finally attacked by them in a very hostile verbal way after a meeting here recently. Absolutely ludicrous!!!

These guys basically tried to shout me down for standing up to the truth about AA and their 12 steps!!!

They wanted to SILENCE THE GOSPEL! Yet, they were Christian???

I think Not! They are enemies of The Cross of Christ Paul says.

They deny divine healing and that God can and will do anything.

They tell people that they are alcoholic and will alway
s be alcoholic!

That is a lie straight from the pits of HELL!

We CANNOT GIVE GROUND. I was able to infiltrate and help for over 6 months at least is how I see it. Many I believe we’re led to Christ.

It was like these little demons just walked right in that meeting and tried to destroy what I had established as truth the past six months. They are up under law! You can’t have it both ways!

It’s either Grace or Law! You can choose the method by which ye will be judged by. But I will choose GRACE EVERY TIME!

Don’t give in and don’t give up. We are to do what The Word of God says to do until the trumpet sounds and Jesus comes back to get us. That’s it!

Their pitiful attempt to thwart the work of God will not go unheard of in the halls of heaven.

In Christ Always,

Doug

We must all be courageous. One of these was a friend of mine. Sometimes we have to make hard decisions. This war is not easy. Many of us have been wounded by false doctrine. We know what it is and want terribly to keep anyone from experiencing the things we have.____

See Also – Who The Son Sets Free, A Testimony

a moment for celebration

As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. Psalm 55:16

Today is my 5th year anniversary celebrating my resignation from healing rooms on October 31, 2008.

It was the first solid step I took in walking away from the deception. Just wanted to take a moment and honor that before God and with my readers. I had no idea that road would lead me here.

The Lord is mighty to save. Praise His Name!

Leaving My Lesbian Past

Leaving My Lesbian Past

The church that walked with me away from homosexuality.

By Charlene E. Hios, Executive Director of Bridging the Gaps Ministries in the San Francisco Bay area.

 

 

It was a Sunday morning, the beginning of football season. I was wearing my Dallas Cowboys jersey, ready to root for them. I was visiting my parents who lived in Las Vegas. I looked forward to spending more time with them after the game. They were heading off to church, and I was heading to the casino to watch the game.

 

 

That is, until Mom and Dad asked me to go with them to church that morning. They wanted me to meet some of their new friends and to meet the pastor and his wife.

 

I had nothing against going to church, mind you. It was just that the game would be starting at 10:00, and, well, I preferred watching football to attending church. In the back of my mind was also the fact that their church is one that believes homosexuality is a sin. My thinking was that it would be easier on everyone if their lesbian daughter just took herself to the casino to watch some football.

 

 

But I ended up going to church that day. Even though I was almost 35 years old, I was still my parents’ daughter, I was visiting their home, and I knew they had their hearts set on my going with them. Little did I know how significant visiting their church was going to be for me.

 

 

Mom and Dad introduced me to each of their friends at church that morning. I was impressed with how friendly everyone was. Toward me and toward each other as well. As the service started, the church had a “welcoming time,” and folks were out of their seats and literally walking clear across the church to say hello to someone they did not know or had not seen in awhile.

 

 

Many came my way, sporting huge smiles and bright eyes. They spoke words of welcome. Some gave me huge hugs. A couple of them told me they were not Cowboy fans, so not to tell anyone they hugged me!

 

Never had I felt so welcomed, so accepted. I felt as though this was where I belonged. It was as if they were family I had never met.

 

 

The last time I had gone to church was, well, I couldn’t remember. Maybe a Christmas Eve Mass years ago? I wasn’t sure. My parents did not bring me up in the church.

 

 

When Mom and Dad moved to Las Vegas, Dad was invited to attend a men’s Bible study at College Park Baptist Church. Shortly after that, Dad, at age 60, was born again. A bit later, at age 65, my mom also was born again. My parents were both excited to share their newfound experience with me.

 

I enjoyed the rest of the church service. The music was great. A full choir, their faces aglow, led the worship. It seemed everyone was full of smiles that day.

 

 

Throughout most of the sermon, Pastor Bob’s face held a smile. Sometimes he would catch my eye, and it felt like he was speaking straight to me. He spoke that morning on the armor of God. He had my attention through the whole sermon.

 

 

As the service ended, several members of the choir, still in their robes, flocked toward me. I looked around to see where they might be going. They were all coming to greet my parents and me. Little did I know that Dad often sang in the choir, and they all wanted to meet me, his daughter. I thought they looked like a group of heavenly angels as their arms opened to hug me.

 

 

Finally, it was time to go home. Or so I thought. The next game started at 1:00. If we hurried, we could grab something to eat and head back to my parents’ house to watch football. No such luck. Mom and Dad wanted me to go to their Bible study with them. Aargh. They would not let me take the car, go to the house, watch the game with my kid brother and then come back to get them at halftime. So, off I went to afternoon Bible study.

 

 

 

I quickly got over not being able to watch the game. The study had my attention. It was about God’s son, Jesus, the man on the cross who died for the sins of the world. I was familiar with the cross, but I hadn’t known the name of the man on it nor the significance of it.

 

 

I didn’t get to watch any football that day. But I did meet a lot of nice people. The day at church did not go the way I thought it would. I thought we would get into arguments about homosexuality. No one brought it up. Surely they could tell I was butch. But they were so welcoming and loving, I saw no judgment nor did I feel any. I felt as I had never felt before—accepted.

 

 

Not long afterward the company I worked for promoted me to a regional executive position that would require me to travel all across the country each week. The CEO suggested that I move to Las Vegas. It made sense to move in with my parents rather than getting a place of my own, since I would only be home on the weekends. I could pay them rent. It was a win-win situation for us all.

 

 

Part of the arrangement was that my parents hoped I would join them at church each Sunday. They wanted me to experience the love, acceptance, and peace that they had from their new personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

 

 

Since my first experience there was so enjoyable, I decided to give it a shot. I also noticed the difference in both of my parents since they had become Christians. They both seemed to have a peace that I had never noticed before. They still had issues, but they were somehow different. It was a good different.

 

 

 

According to God’s Design

 

As I started attending CPBC, I learned more and more about God’s love and about his Son, Jesus Christ. Many times in Bible study I would question what the Bible says about homosexuality, and they were always gentle in their answers. They told me they believed the Bible to be God’s Word and that God did not create us to be homosexual. It was not according to his design. They then took me to the book of Genesis and showed how God created everything and how everything had an order. They said that God made the man and then the woman to be the man’s companion, one complementing the other.

 

 

I would argue that the writers of the Bible either had something against homosexuals or that the Bible did not translate the words properly from the ancient language into our current day English. I argued that the writers did not know homosexuals as we are today. I argued that the word “homosexual” was not even in the original English Bible. I agreed that two men together sexually was not right, but I saw nothing unnatural with two women together sexually. Looking back, I do not know where these arguments came from, but they made sense to me at the time.

 

 

The folks at CPBC never initiated the discussion of homosexuality. It was always me who wanted to discuss it. They were more interested in my personal walk with God and my relationship with Jesus. Though they were concerned about my homosexuality, they explained that God would be the one to work on my homosexuality and my belief that God made me that way.

 

 

 

I learned much later that there were some who were not appreciative that the church showed so much love and acceptance toward me, the lesbian. Someone told me that some left the church. That saddened me. I hope those who left will come to see that the church was doing the right thing. They loved me with the love of Jesus Christ. They were compassionate truth-tellers, just like Jesus.

 

 

 

They were the people who talked to me about homosexuality by taking me deeper into the Word of God. They knew they could not argue me out of my homosexuality. The first matter at hand was to introduce me to Jesus Christ, to the Word of God, not to introduce me to heterosexuality.

 

 

 

Though I did not realize it at the time, I was in a huge spiritual battle that went on for at least a year, if not longer.

 

 

 

They could not argue me out of my homosexuality. The first matter was to introduce me to Jesus, not to heterosexuality.

 

 

 

Once I started going to church on a regular basis, it was as if every girlfriend, every lover, I had ever had contacted me by phone or came to visit me in Las Vegas. They tried to bring me back into a relationship with them.

 

 

 

I explained to each, as gently as I could, that something was going on with me, deep inside, and I was beginning to believe that perhaps homosexuality was not the right lifestyle. Even though it had been my identity for years.

 

 

 

A little more than a year after visiting the church, I came to Christ. I attended Bible studies, I sang in the choir, I was a part of these folks. They accepted me into their family.

 

 

 

They did not push the issue of my homosexuality. It was not an issue for them; they knew God would eventually take care of it.

 

 

 

And he did! The more I studied the Bible, the more my conviction grew. God and I stayed up long nights talking about homosexuality and why he made me this way if it was wrong. Slowly I heard his answers; slowly I came to realize homosexual behavior was wrong. I could not figure it out, but I knew I should not act out on my same-sex attractions. It was God speaking to me (not audibly), not the church telling me.

 

After being a new Christian for about a year, one Sunday night Pastor Bob preached on seven Bible passages that address homosexuality. The same passages that I had always believed the translators translated incorrectly or had nothing to do with lesbians now struck a different chord in me.

 

 

 

I realized when Pastor Bob gave the invitation that homosexual behavior was wrong, and God does not make us homosexual. I could barely walk down the aisle in order to publicly repent from my sin. I realized for the first time that for almost 20 years I had believed a lie.

 

 

Thank you, God, for helping my eyes to be open. Thank you, God, for your forgiveness!

 

 

Our Part, God’s Work

 

It is because of this that I do believe a person can be in Christ and identify as gay, though one must eventually realize that homosexual behavior is inconsistent with a faithful relationship with Christ. It is a process! One does not come to Christ and then magically all your sinful desires and attitudes go away.

 

It takes time to recognize parts of your life are sin. It is essential but it takes time to admit the sin and turn away from it and toward God. This is not an easy process. There is a lot of struggle as you fight it. But at least for me, God takes it away a bit at a time.

 

 

It has taken 15 years for me to be completely healed of my same-sex attractions. It is a process that began one Sunday morning at College Park Baptist Church of Las Vegas.

 

CPBC accepted me just as I was when I walked through the door that Sunday morning, they loved me with the love of Jesus Christ with their compassionate truth-telling, and God used them to mend me, to mold me, and eventually send me out into ministry.

 

 

 

Another Absence

A couple of years ago, I wrote On the Suffering of Violence. I knew something was up when I wrote that, though I did not realize the seriousness of the situation at the time. It is true that we are better off not knowing the future because if we did we spend that many more sleepless nights trying to plan what is not ours to define. I had no idea of the seriousness of the words that I heard that day two years ago. Everything about my life has changed. I won’t go into details, some would curse me, others would understand and I have no time to waste in the explanation or defense of the near ruin of my life. I can only say that God has stood with me, has never left me to want or need. And in the many years of pain and heartache I have found Him to be true in ways words cannot define.

I apologize that I have been away again, leaving comments without approval. This morning I read some comments that shook me, some gave me chills, some I deleted. I am amazed at the way the Lord has used my horrendous life to help others. I count it an honor and all glory goes to Him.

Last month, finding myself near a breakdown, I took a much needed vacation to visit family and friends in Reno. During that time I very strongly felt a call from the Lord to move. So, I did just that.

So my friends, hello from Reno. God bless you all and give you peace.

QUACKING away…

Aside

The following story came in as a comment from just1ofhis a short while ago. I loved this little story so much I wanted to give it a special place here. Enjoy!

Quacking away…

This is off topic just a bit, and I know M’Kayla has answered it before on this site. For those who want to label us as judgmental, it is something to consider. For those who post on this site, I hope it makes you smile.

We have a small flock of ducks on our property. Last winter, a weasel dug into the duck pen and killed all but two of our ducks. Ducks are very gentle and have no real defense other than flight. They are a lot like sheep that way. My ducks couldn’t get away. They were trapped in that pen. All of our drakes (males) were killed. Those drakes got in the way to protect the ducks and were the first to be killed. Had they not done this, we would probably have lost all of the birds.

Anyway, this female was gravely injured. We brought her into the house and cared for her for a few weeks; and, to our amazement, she rallied. Though she limped around the yard for months, she has now fully healed. She has become our warning signal in the yard. If anything is wrong, she starts just a quacking away. She is always on the watch. If another duck wanders off, you’ll find her in the yard just quacking and quacking. She is awesome!

I think that’s what a lot of the posters on this blog are like. We were trapped in a “pen” of false teaching. When the weasel got in, we couldn’t simply fly away. So we were gravely injured. We know the pain of it, and we hope and pray to help others avoid it. Praise God, that He got us all through it!

So now we quack away. It is a warning. I, for one, plan to keep quacking and quacking…not like those in the “Toronto barnyard”, but like one equipped with the Word of God…rebuking, correcting, encouraging. To those who find it offensive, I pray for you and accept that criticism like “water off a duck’s back.” I believe that’s what “turning the other cheek” is all about. Thank you, M’Kayla, for a platform to “quack”.

Christians, Or Not…

And the disciples were first called Christians at Antioch. The word Christian is only used three times in the New Testament. First, here in Acts 11:26 and again in 26:28, and later in 1 Peter 4:16.

Today, many claim to be Christians, regardless of what they believe or who they believe in, or even how they live. Here in America it seems a person can be considered a Christian just by claiming to be so. The word “Christian” is plastered all over the place, again as if stamping a program or teaching or song with that name makes it so. Today we even have teachers claiming people can be Muslim or Hindu and be Christian too. Some of us really don’t read even the most simplest words of our bibles, do we?

We, the redeemed in Christ seem to follow right along with these people, not questioning their behavior or beliefs, we simply accept what they claim as the truth and jump in beside them supporting them, working their programs, buying their music and training how to’s.  We do this with blindness – chosen blindness. How many times have you heard, “I don’t wanna judge”? Oh, really?

So, in thinking of some things I have witnessed this past year I started to realize there had to be a definitive. And there is. Jesus, our Messiah, never called His disciples “Christians”.  This is actually a term given to the disciples by unbelievers, or as the bible refers to them, “Gentiles”. But, the Lord called them followers, friends, disciples. One thing sets true disciples apart from all the rest. That one thing is still true today in the eyes of the Lord. It is a qualifier much overlooked and because it has been so overlooked our society has become confused in what a Christian, or a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ really is.

It is quite simple, really. In John 14:15 Jesus said “If you love me keep my commandments”.  Again in 15:14 Jesus said “You are my friends if you do whatever I command you”.  He said “If anyone loves Me he will keep My word” in John 14:23, and yet, in verse 24 Jesus explains “He who does not love Me does not keep My words”.

Yeah, consider those words for a moment because there is great truth within them. After all, they are the words of the one who died for us so that we could be called by His name. These are His standards, not mine.

To continue, in 1 John 5:2-3 we are told by the author “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”

There’s really no getting around it, is there? If we love Jesus we do what His word tells us to do because we love Him. Those who come at us with other words or other ways claiming THE gospel; a new message by way of visitation cuz God’s doin’ a new thing; a new way to be a Christian cuz times and society have changed and so too must we; those who claim to love yet hurt others, the unrepentant, the unforgiving, the unloving…they cannot be called by His name. They are not His disciples because they do not love Him, they have not kept His words, and this is by their own choice.

Hmm…I told you it was simple.

pearls to pigs and them dogs

Matthew 7:6 Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

There is some interesting word usage going on here and so had the opportunity to pick them apart with a friend of mine.

The first to consider are the words “do not”, which implies a command, not a suggestion. Do not, kindred to the very well known thou shalt not as used in the 10 commandments, very serious word choices.

What is holy? Strong’s identifies holy as 40 h’agios – properly, different (unlike), other, otherness, holy; for the believer, likeness of nature with the Lord because different from the world.  It implies something “set apart” and therefore “different (distinguished/distinct) because special to the Lord.

Mark 6:20…Herod was afraid of John (the Baptist), knowing that he was a righteous and holy man.

2 Timothy 2:21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.

We know that through Christ we are separated, set apart from the world, used by the Lord to be an influence to the lost and dying. This is why we separate ourselves from worldly things, desires and influences to be counted as holy and righteous.

Do not give what is holy to dogs. Strong’s 2965 k’yon explains dogs as scavenging canine, a spiritual predator who feeds off others.  Huh? A spiritual predator who feeds off others. A true “selah” moment. A loose dog was disdained in ancient times – viewed as “mooch pooch” that ran about as a scavenger.

“Mooch Pooch” – fitting, I like it. We’re coming back here.

Philippians 3:2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision; 3 for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh

The dogs are evil workers, who put their confidence in their flesh, in whatever they have conceived in their own fleshy minds to be true. They go about from place to place taking what does not belong to them, they are beggars and liars using their fleshy lies to seduce money and fame from the untrained, the unsuspecting, those who are bent by emotion rather than by fact.

2 Corinthians 11:12 But what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.

The plan is to waylay the works of satan by cutting off those – the mooch pooches – who seek fame and admiration from their followers, those they have deceived. This has been an ongoing process as Paul is pointing out that what he does, he will continue to do. Sound familiar to anyone here?

There is more here in this scripture that needs to be looked at. Paul is going after false apostles, those who have disguised themselves as apostles of Christ.  In Matthew 24:5, Christ warns His disciples – “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many.” The “mooch pooches” use the name of the Lord all over their wares, just as liberally as a southern person uses sugar for their iced tea. Yet, there is no sweetness to be had, it is all rancid, putrid, crawling with flies. They have come in His name, yet know nothing of Him.

Paul continues that these false apostles are of satan in that he also disguises himself as light. I am reminded the words of Jesus in Matthew 8:44 “”You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”  There is a distinct connection between satan and his followers – the truth is not in them – and we are seeing how to make that connection and how to handle these men and women once they are identified.

So now that we can see more clearly, Matthew 7:6 tells us do not give what is set apart for God to those who have no regard for Him. Some will be disguised as apostles of Christ, those who cling to no end to their lying doctrines of demons. Others will simply be those who will not hear the truth of the gospel. We will know them because they will be the ones without ears to hear.

To continue, do not throw your pearls before swine. It is of no surprise to anyone here that pearls are of great value. I prefer gemstones, especially the blue ones, but many ladies like the pearls, and that’s ok.  The Lord has regard for them as we see in Matthew 13:45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, 46 and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it. This is what we do, as we lay down our lives, giving over our will and maybe all that we have – our homes and families – for Christ, the pearl of great value.

This is the fun part and I do love my pork, but the bible, especially the old testament and those who follow the strict dietary laws of the middle east detest it. And here we have it used symbolically for what it used to be, that forbidden, cloven-hooved, dirty animal – the swine.  It is common knowledge that pigs can become quite viscous in their pens when given food. The scripture is telling us not to throw – toss, make sudden motion – our belief, our pearls to those are considered like swine, those who upon hearing the truth have no regard for it, and instead trample our words, and turn to tear us apart. Sometimes this is verbal, having spiritual affect, and for others it is to literally take their lives.I have to point out, that in many of the verbal attacks against me I have noticed an increase in the viciousness, murderous intent of their words. Maybe you have too.

Matthew 7:6 Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

I believe the gospel is for every person ever born on this earth and that Jesus died for all of us, and that it is the will of God that all would come to Him in repentance as sinners. I believe that through Christ we are given forgiveness and a relationship with the Father God, to one day live forever in His kingdom. I also believe the blessings given to us in this life are wonderful, yet nothing to be compared with what awaits us in “that day”. I believe we are called to spread the gospel as the Lord leads and not to hold back simply because of threats made against us, whether they be implied, verbal or physical.

But, here the bible is giving is clear distinctive instruction, even commands on how to handle people who are not willing to hear or even consider the truth set before them. It is giving us information to identify them and how to handle them and their false teaching. Knowing who to approach and how comes with discernment and guidance only the Holy Spirit can provide.

All of this has been for one purpose, to decide when enough is enough in dealing with people overcome with false doctrine. I’ve read, and certainly been a part of the endless debate and commenting, the urging that seems to go on and on without result – that one person who just will not see no matter the scripture set before them to prove otherwise.  The answer is truly simple –

Titus 3:10-11 Reject a factious man after a first and second warning, 11 knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self condemned.

2 John 9 Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steven Kelly, In Memory

In Memory - Steven G. Kelly II -

Two years ago today, my husband’s son was murdered in Las Vegas.  The following is a copy of the impact letter I wrote to the judge for her consideration in sentencing the  man who killed him.

 

I offer this today to Steven’s memory and for those of us who share in the loss of our children. God sees all things.  Nothing escapes His gaze or His righteous judgement.

 

Your Honor;

I am addressing the untimely death of my step son Steven, who was forever taken from us in an act of rage, and outright murder.

Steven was my husband’s son who I met when he was about 9 years old. He was playful, curious and strong, and grew to be an astonishingly handsome man whose looks were striking. His death has created a huge hole in our hearts and also in our lives. Every person within a family has a special place that is only for them. That place is filled by the many ways of who they are. It is not a place filled by great social or societal accomplishment, but in small things that are shared, fun things, silly jokes that no one else “gets”, curious things, the things of laughter and of tears, of struggle and of resolve in things learned, in growing and growing up, things that only touch families. Why? Because we know of each other and are known by each other, creating the intimacy of family that God had in mind when He put us together. When a person is taken from their family that place is forever lost, the family is not what it was while that person was alive and it will never be so again. It has to reform, but is it forever broken. We are broken. The place that was Steven is now empty; it is a giant hole of nothingness and it will never close.

Steven will not be in the car that pulls into the driveway. When our phone rings his voice will not be heard on the other end. There will be no more well wishes on birthdays and holidays. There will be no more food fests and curiosities shared in the kitchen. He was a son, a brother, an uncle, a cousin, and he was a friend. He was a big brother to my two daughters, especially my youngest – Jessica – who grew quite close to him just before her own death. Steven will not be here to continue to inquire as to how I am in losing her, his condolences are forever lost. His memories that he shared with her and of her will never again be repeated in my ear. In a sense, the loss of her is renewed to me in his death, in his absence. I will not see the blazing intensity of his eyes looking back at me in “those” conversations we often shared of life, of faith of relationship.  As for the future, there will be no grandchildren, no “little Stevies” to run around and carry on and remind us of Steven, his strength, his great looks his beautiful heart and smile.

After his death we met with some friends and neighbors there in Las Vegas who knew him. Every one commented on his helping nature, his great heart, that he was always around to help others despite his own problems or needs. We found those stories greatly encouraging because that was the Steven we knew too. For him was formed the motto “Always had a heart to help others”. We also met with a member of the police department, a field officer, who talked with us about Steven and assured us he was truly trying to work out his problems.

About one year before his death, Steven was diagnosed with Bi-polar. That diagnosis explained to us the suffering that he experienced in his lack of focus, the extremes in behavior, his ups and his downs. It explained to us why he could never just be who he was, or recognize the simple fact that he was hugely loved, a part of a very large family who nearly moved heaven and earth to help him.

He began treatment and  medication and for the first time we saw his focus, his desire to grow, a new ability to work in gainful employment, to settle, to begin to understand on a new level our love for him and how important he was to us as a family member. We saw a deeper relationship forming between us,  longer conversations of encouragement shared on both ends,  of love, courage and support. We had a hope that had not been there before. A hope that was lost the day he died. So again, all that Steven was to us, all that he could have been in the years to come was taken away forever.

How do I explain to you the impact of the loss of a child? It is my second time around. Truly, there are no words good enough, nor paper long enough to express that loss, that grief. It is a loss that will never end, as it is renewed every day upon waking. It is to wonder if why my own heart beats, or why it is necessary to draw in one more breath. How can I possibly go on without that life, that person I once knew who used to look at me, talk to me, laugh with me, and even argue with me? Yes, I miss that too!  It is a loss that is lived out every moment. The excruciating pain that is felt lessens as time passes, but it never heals. The emptiness from the hole in all of our lives, and in our hearts that was Steven will always be there. No one can take it away, no one can fill it – ever.

When I have tears and grieve over his death, they are not just for me, they are for the entire family. The grief I feel is for my beloved husband Steve, it is in my knowing first hand the horror of losing a child, the pain, the loss, the endless questioning of “why”.  It is in looking in his eyes and knowing the heart that I love suffers as I had suffered. I cry tears for him because I completely understand, I feel it with him, I walk it out with him every day. The grief is for Steven’s mother Kathy, whose own grief sent me to the floor on numerous occasions, again, knowing firsthand what she felt the shock, the horror, in our first conversation over the phone, more tears than words. Grief shared of our lost son…her son…their child…Steve and Kathy’s…their heartbeat. It is the initial shock and horror continued with the repeated loss, grief, tears of others, people who I love and who love me. People who loved Steven now with a loss that will never end.

When the Lord said, “You shall not murder” He did so in His great wisdom. Life is His to give and His to take. He knew the endless suffering that would come to families, to those who love and who are loved, at the hands of a murderer.

Your Honor, I thank you for your time and consideration.

M’Kayla Kelly
Vancouver, WA