Like many of you, I am so grateful that those who mentored me instilled a high regard for the Word of God. I am also thankful that from the beginning of my Christian walk God's Spirit constantly drew me to the call on my life - to be a defender of the faith. Praise the Lord that He has never ceased doing this and continues to this day. I am also grateful beyond words for my wife, Melanie. Though we were far from God when we met and married (she into witchcraft and
me a New Ager  and drug addict), Jesus convicted and saved her and then gave her the grac and patience to pray for me as I slowly came to Him.

I remember well those early days "in Jesus" and the new found joy of living in spiritual freedom. In some ways, it seems like just last month that we first ventured out and accepted
Two lost kids at their wedding...
God's call in ministry. That was a big step for me, having known little more than playing, writing, or producing secular rock music since my early teen years. But Melanie and I were both convinced that God was calling us to something bigger than ourselves. Though we didn't completely understand much of what He would have us do, nor how to accomplish it, we just did our best to surrender our will to His. Sometimes it was a bit like following a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night but, like the Israelites, we slowly learned to walk after Him and heed His voice.

Knowing the dark lifestyle that I had engaged in before becoming a Christian and then experiencing the profound, 180-degree change when I accepted Him, it's no mystery that I so quickly sold out to His purposes for me. When I came to Christ a broken, drug-addicted musician who knew little about being a husband or father and even less about being a man, it didn't take long for me to realize that I had been in far deeper trouble than I'd previously been willing to admit. Looking back, I know that nothing less than what was a genuine supernatural encounter with Jesus could have sustained and carried me as God rebuilt and shaped my life. It was that miraculous encounter that I have drawn from numerous times when Satan's attacks have sought to minimize or negate God's mission and plans for my life.

Many things led up to that morning in February 1981 when I could no longer resist the Holy Spirit's convicting persuasions. Yes, I had been witness to God's incredible transformational power as He'd first saved and then gone about changing Melanie. But I've remarked often since then, you would think that a person with just a little sense would have seen what was happening to his mate and would have considered following suit. Yet I did not. I was the consummate hard-hearted narcissist, focused only on whatever short-lived fulfillment my flesh was demanding. But then came that moment of breaking when, after three days binging on cocaine, I finally hit rock bottom and Jesus stepped out of eternity and into the middle of my broken life and marriage. Early on that Monday morning, God pierced the darkness that had numbed my mind and life. Finally, the prayer my wife had cried out to God for two long years was being answered.

Then Came Freedom!

As miraculous as salvation is, the encounter I've mentioned actually came later that morning during a single prayer uttered by a man of God (cleverly disguised as a real estate agent) whose lay ministry offered help to marriages in trouble. Many months earlier Melanie had surrendered to Christ sitting in the same seat that I now found myself in. It was there, too, that God was not only going to save our failing marriage, but He was about to reach into my soul with the unequaled power of deliverance found only in Jesus' mighty name!

As our counselor, Ted, led me in prayer and then prayed over me, God sovereignly delivered and liberated me to serve Him in a way that has never escaped me. My 13-year-long psychological and physical addiction to drugs met its match and came to an end as God instantly set me free. Understand that it didn't happen because Ted successfully talked me out of it or because I felt pressured. Nothing - including the possibility of losing my family - had really ever had any affect on me. This was heaven-sent and different than anything that had ever happened in my life. What transpired that morning to turn me away from the destructive path I'd been following wasn't a result of worldly counseling or therapy or hypnosis or will power or rehab. It was simply the power of Jesus Christ as He delivered me in a moment from the desires, effects, and withdrawals that accompany years of addiction. No, nothing could replace the time, money, and relationships I'd squandered. And nothing could erase the burden I'd been to my wife and others. But I was truly a brand new man in Jesus' name! I didn't know about 2 Corinthians 5:17 then but I was a " creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new!" And, as the days, weeks, and months passed, the supernatural nature of what happened that morning continued as God gave me strength to abandon the music business as He set us apart to fully serve Him.[1]

Quickly, God placed an insatiable, burning desire in both of us first to prepare and then use what God had given us to challenge and reach the unsaved in whatever way we could. Through the infant stage of my walk with the Lord I wanted desperately to equip myself but such doesn't come easy and it doesn't arrive as fast as most of us would like. However, through the inspiration of the late Dr. Walter Martin and the godly wisdom and encouragement of others, I was gaining ground on my goal of truly "being ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you" (I Peter 3:15).

Sold Out No Matter the Cost

Green as we may have been, no one could have suppressed the God-given zeal Melanie and I experienced as we set out, 2nd mortgage in hand, to birth what became Take A Stand!
Ministries. I guess you could say that we were (and still are) married to the ministry.

We were indeed an unsuspecting pair: two drug abusing hippie children of the '60s, involved in the music business, both dabbling in the darkest of spiritual ideas, who married after literally knowing each other for just a few days. That certainly doesn't sound like a path toward ministry but instead more like one on the way to divorce court! We often marvel, when we consider the way we met, that now, so many years later, we love each other more than ever and have been used of God the way we have. But is anything too big for God? To the natural mind, our chances didn't look very good and the percentages were certainly against us. But God knew all along that He was placing us in exactly the ministry we've carried out.

Soon I would be traveling upwards of 250 days each year ministering on the road. And remember, we didn't plan this out years in advance. Some marriages could never survive such separation issues but in God's providence all things are possible! He'd given me a mate who not only put up with my absence from home but believed herself that the seminar ministry in
conferences and churches was EXACTLY what we were to do and worked together with me to 
make it happen! God knew every nuance before Melanie and I ever took a breath! It wasn't easy,  but neither of us would ever change a thing. We knew that, through all the momentary  pitfalls, the occasional night spent sleeping in the car because money was tight, or the seemingly endless cans of soup, God had unquestionably placed His hand on us and serving Him faithfully was all that mattered.

Though the ministry was almost immediately effective way back in 1983, the Lord was methodically preparing us all along the way so that we'd be equipped to make an even greater impact ahead. Back then, however, I could never have predicted the various facets that the Lord would set in motion. The widespread effects of the Take A Stand! Seminar series have been awesome, as have been the research and teaching materials we'd produce. The Lord also opened many media opportunities. One of those would be on "Understanding The Times" radio with Jan Markell, (who is arguably the premier interviewer anywhere in Christianity media today), for many years as a regular guest and more recently as a co-host. What a blessing that the program is now heard each weekend on over 800 stations and around the world online!

Through it all, God has been beyond faithful and we're not finished yet. Not by a long shot. So, here we are, Lord, two sinners saved and called into Your service. Thanks for your anointing, direction and provision. We're listening, Lord. What's next?

[1] Read Eric and Melanie's entire story "How I Came From Rock to Rock." Download your free copy of this free inspirational resource to your computer, tablet or phone now (HERE). T o listen to the audio or video versions, v isit  (upper left of home page there).

Thank You!

Thanks for remembering us in prayer and for your faithful support to the ministry!

Send your tax-deductible gift to:
Take A Stand! Ministries
P.O. Box 279
Spanaway, WA 98387

To make a gift by phone call: (214) 289-5244

Take A Stand! Ministries | PO Box 279 - Spanaway, WA 98387 |