Hello, my name is Michael, and I am a sinner…however I am now also a child of God! I had an alcoholic abusive father as a child, and my parents were divorced in 1977. From then on, I was raised without a father figure. Growing up, I was an athlete. I played baseball, football and was on the wrestling team. During that time, I started hanging out with an older crowd that was involved in drugs, and they took me under their wing. I was drinking, smoking marijuana, and doing cocaine at the age of 17. I was hanging out late, going to clubs, getting lit up every night, not going to school, failing most of my subjects, and I eventually ended up quitting high school my junior year. During that time, crack cocaine hit the scene and I started using that, and that’s where my life went downhill. I would smoke crack as often and as much as I could, and if I didn’t have any, I would find a way to get it. I would rob and steal.
I was convicted of two charges in 1991 and at the age of 23, I was sentenced to 15 years in prison. While I was in the Hudson County Jail in Kearny, New Jersey, I was introduced to God. I was going to the chapel services and I was intrigued. I should mention that my family is Jewish, although we are not, and have not ever been practicing Jews. So I got involved in the Christian services at the jail, and I was in the choir. At that time, I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior and started a relationship with Him. I did my prison time and got out in 1996. I was paroled, but I didn’t follow up with the Lord… I did my own thing and eventually started using again, violated my parole, and went back to jail. I was released in 1999, and although I wasn’t serving the Lord, I was doing well. I was clean and sober, I had gotten a job at LP music group and got a promotion. Because I love to sing and was told I have a good voice, I became the lead singer of a cover band singing in bars and clubs, and of course, it was only a matter of time before I started drinking again. Once I start drinking, I go right to the crack and then all bets are off. I’m not going to get into every detail of my life because none of us are perfect, but we serve a perfect God. Finally, like the prodigal son, I came to my senses and knew that the only way to live was for Christ. I’ve had a painting company since 2006 that I named Trinity Painting and Decorating, because it’s God’s business and He just allows me to run it. I was doing well for several years because I was serving God, surrounding myself with godly people, listening to nothing but Christian and worship music, going to Christian concerts, and being involved in ministry. So for about six and a half years I was on fire for God and I was busy with the business. I got into the painters union in New Jersey, I was a father to my children, and things were good.
Then in 2018, I backslid and started using again, and ended up going back to jail. From December 2019 to April 2021, I was in the Passaic County Jail in Paterson, New Jersey. The day I walked back in there, I rededicated my life to Jesus and was going to services studying the Bible and ministering to others. Then the pandemic hit, and they stopped all outside volunteers from coming to the jail, so I started to do my own studies and daily devotions. I know that God has a plan for my life, and like His Word says, many are called but few are chosen. I just want to continue to do the right thing, stay clean, and serve God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. I’m never one to be shy of giving my testimony, sharing the Word, or singing a song to glorify the Lord. I became friends with many Christian artists, and I even sang with Big Daddy Weave at Carnegie Hall in 2017 as part of the choir. My dream is to sing on stage with Matthew at one of his shows and share my testimony because I know that there are always hurting people at Christian events and concerts. I have been touched by the power of God, and I want to help others with my message and my poems. I pray that my testimony reaches not only the drug addicted, but anybody that’s hurting because I’m living proof that Jesus saves! Give yourself a break and give Jesus a chance to rescue, restore, redeem, and rebuild you back into the person He created. Thank you very much and God bless you all.