Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy, which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble. It is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him. ~ Costly Grace, Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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What follows is the Godly testimony of a man quite familiar to me and countless thousands more on our Facebook pages, and that would be Michael James Pike. Michael succumbed on January 16th this year to the particular ravages of life brought on by profligate living at the expense of various drugs and social behavior. But it didn’t prevent him in his latter years from sounding the Godly trumpet call of Christ’s redemptive nature, and to Michael himself turning his life over to Christ following a “come to Jesus moment” at a church he was eventually drawn to.

In 2011, Michael felt led to share his testimony which he duly did, and it is that which I bring to you today, with gracious thanks to Brenda Moseley-Longhofer and her prayer ministry In Him I Stand Fearless. As she described it the other day:

“Testimony of Michael James Pike – The most profound transformation in Christ I have ever read! I promised Michael I would share this again after his journey to Heaven. Rest In Peace dear friend! You are deeply missed!”

The only changes/adds I have applied to the original are merely in terms of grammar, story-flow, and content-grabs for easier readability. The original is linked in the bibliography at the end, and is no less Godly in nature.

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Michael James Pike: A Testimony

I remember as a young boy dreaming of cowboys and soldiers .. I had many options as to what I wanted to be when ‘I got big’  🙂 but I didn’t imagine that at 14 I would get drunk and at 17 become an IV drug user. I wasn’t raised that way. I came from parents who were part of that “Greatest Generation” who had survived the Great Depression, WWII, Korean War. I was taught to ‘earn’ what I got – I was not guaranteed nothin’ nor was I ‘entitled’ to anything.

I did good in school, A’s & B’s without any struggle. Loved sports. Loved family. Loved my friends. Looking back, that was always a void in my life – not in the physical sense, but spiritually. Godly living wasn’t talked about at home nor was attending church an issue. It was the ’60s!!!!! By January ’69 (my senior year in High School), I had messed with pills, some pot, had about 40% attendance in school (still had A/B grade average) and made my ‘first adult decision’  – I quit school and moved to East Dallas…

My secondary education began; grew my hair long, went to California (hitch-hiked!!), did any drug I could get my hands on, developed a taste for wine, Jack Daniels, beer. Loved the ‘free love’/do anything ya wanted to as long as nobody was hurt. By the fall of ’69 I was a heavy IV drug user. Tried heroin, cocaine, but preferred meth. My downhill slide into the evil one’s darkness began, although at 16 I attended a church in Mesquite for a while .. heard some stuff; if ya thought it, ya would go to hell. Well by now I had done a couple of things that would send ya to hell and I figured I was doomed anyway, so I left that church and told God, “You go your way and I’ll go my way”, and I never looked back, so be it.

Michael James Pike in his ‘wild days’ ..

The people I hung with were dope addicts, drunks, robbers, thieves, workin’ girls, and they were old people that I looked up to (in their 30’s) 🙂 .. By summer of 1970, I was a good criminal, strung out, but felt I had to do something to stop the slide, so I joined the army and volunteered for ‘Nam. My Dad was a WWII vet, 4 Bronze stars, 2 purple hearts, etc., and a hero of mine, but things didn’t work out. I ended up in Germany with a resentment. 9 months later and a lot of beer/drug consumption, I was honorably discharged.

Went downhill after that due to addiction. Couldn’t hold a job; did what I had to do to git what I needed. I hear people talk about what they lost through addiction/alcoholism, but I didn’t lose nuttin’. I gave it away for the next high. Traded my family, friends, jobs, a marriage, self-respect, my dignity, my morals, whatever, for my addictions. Made many bad decisions under the influence of drugs/alcohol. Through that, my family suffered, my friends suffered, total strangers suffered .. I suffered from the actions I took. Consequences were severe. Being homeless; OD’d 3 times but was revived; beaten severely a couple of times; stabbed, shot at, car wrecks. I saw/witnessed/participated (willingly and unwillingly) into the dark side of life .. and legal problems, convictions and over a decade of being locked up.

Tried different things. Lived in San Diego a year. Lived in Denver a year. Moved to, and lived in, Georgia/Alabama area 7 1/2 years. But there was always one problem with my moves; wherever I moved, I showed up, too.

A series of events happened, and in the summer of ’95, I was homeless, on the streets in NW Dallas, strung out on drugs/alcohol. I remember diggin’ a syringe out of a dumpster so I could do a fix. By September, a lifelong friend let me sleep on his floor. Got off hard stuff. Just beer, sedatives, and pot for about 10 days.

Sept. 22, 1995, got up that morning, my first day to not take a narcotic or drink. I walked into an AA group and picked up a desire chip …

That was the beginning of my walk to get out of the evil one’s dark world. Prior to that day, dope dealers would meet me at the door with a gun and tell me to leave (was unpredictable, crazy, and a li’l dangerous). My family didn’t want me around and my real friends had to turn their backs on me for their own self-preservation. I ended up in the Salvation Army for six months. Became active in AA for the next 12 years, and found that AA ‘Higher Power’ (though I still had issues with that JESUS thing).

All I did was turn into the AA parking lot..

June 12th, 2006 pullin’ into an AA group parkin’ lot, a drunk driver rear-ended me at over 90 miles an hour, a li’l ‘fender bender’ (pics of car are on my profile). Laying on the ground, I knew I was in a bad way even while I was in shock; didn’t know if I was going to live or die (9 broken ribs, collapsed lung/punctured, 3 fractured vertebrae) but a sense that it was going to be alright came through the pain. Today, I know GOD was laying HIS Godly hand on me. Spent 2 weeks in ICU and a week in a room. After that, for the next 15 months, there again was that void inside me, confusing me. I was doing everything AA said to do, but I was no longer being fed.

September of ’07, God used a weakness of mine, and I followed her to a church.

I remember that day as if it were yesterday…

I remember that day as if it were yesterday. I sat in the parking lot of Grace Fellowship and made a deal with God. 🙂 I told HIM I would attend every Sunday (not jus’ 1 or 2) until HE let me know if this is what I’m supposed to do or not.

30 minutes into the service, I broke down and cried. For the first time since my early teens, I felt as if I had finally come home. People said I was radically saved, but I had no clue. All I knew was something drastically happened. That day I finally stepped into HIS glorious light, experienced HIS true Godly Grace, discovered HIS unconditional, unwavering Love for a wretch as me. In ’08-30-’08 I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour.

That man/boy I described earlier, died that day at Lake Lavon. I am a new creation In and Thru JESUS!!!!

My life today is so blessed by HIS Grace, Mercy, Love, and Sacrifice. I have friends now who I got to believe they ain’t lying when they tell me they love me. Family that love me and actually want me around. I am at peace with me.

60 years old today – what a long and strange trip it has been – but now I am on a Godly journey that will be for all Eternity at the foot of HIS Throne. I am grateful for everyday and everything I have done – good bad or indifferent – for it has made me the person I am growing into today. Praise HIM!!! I love JESUS and I love Ya’ll!!!!!  l8r

***2015 update***

Life is good, still have my struggles, health issues, still ain’t rich 😉 ~ But I have a wealth beyond my wildest dreams, for no matter what comes down the highway at me, I am, and will always BE, in and and through JESUS ~ I can honestly say today, I can be OK when things ain’t OK ~ Praise JESUS, amen!

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So there you have it my Godly friends, a legacy straight from the heart, a right-in-the-gut acclamation of Christ’s enduring promise: “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” ~ Matthew 24:12-13

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So I leave you with this little tribute to Michael, accompanied by the wonderful Marty Goetz and “Teach us to number our days”, simply a wonderful Godly reminder from Psalm 90:12 “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”

Bon Voyage, brother Michael!

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

Facebook Page Brenda Moseley-Longhofer

Prayer Ministry In Him I Stand Fearless

FB Page Michael James Pike

Michael’s Original note from August 29 2011

Dietrich Boenhoffer On Grace

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Face of Jesus by Richard Hook

Soli Deo Gloria!