Who Am I?

(I’m in the process of updating this page,I now actually live in Springfield,Mo.)

My name is Jeff, I live with my wife and ten year old daughter in a very rural area of Southeastern Missouri.  I’ve done many different types of work in my life, too many to  mention! My most recent job was as a school bus driver and before that I was a truck driver.

We lost our home a couple of years ago due to a foreclosure and so I’m now living in a small farmhouse in exchange for doing some remodeling/maintainence work. My interests include gardening, raising chickens, photography, writing, computers, and psychology.

My History:

I came to know the Lord as a 9yr old boy but my formal discipleship never really happened. I began to use drugs at 12yr’s of age,(1972) smoking pot and taking pills. later in my early twenties I started using cocaine and methamphetamine intravenously.

I quit high school in the eleventh grade and got my G.E.D. I spent several years working mostly as a cook in steak houses and diners, eventually (1985) I moved from Spfd, Mo. To a small town south of Kansas City, Mo.  I got married, and a year later we had a daughter …These were some of the happiest years of my life! I never was good at relationships, and so after about 6yrs I was divorced. My wife took my daughter and left the state so I moved back to my hometown of Springfield, Mo. (1995)

And then…

I screwed around for a couple of years,  had a few more bad relationships, and eventually decided that I’d be better off driving a truck so that’s what I did for about 3-4yrs. I lived in a truck driving produce from the west coast to wherever. Eventually the loneliness of that and my habitual drug use just got to me and I decided to get off the road and try to straighten up my life.


I moved in with my father and began attending narcotics anonymous meetings regularly. (1998)  Although I never worked a “step”, it was during this time that I became reacquainted with the Lord.  I began to understand what it was that I was after all of those years,  one day the Lord opened my eyes and showed me how He see’s me, and what I saw broke my heart. All that I had ever wanted in life was to be loved,and all of the things I’d done were my desperately misguided attempts to accomplish that. He showed me how other people had convinced me that I was no good and that I would never amount to anything. When I saw myself through His eyes I understood how much He loves me, and suddenly I loved me… and I decided then that I would never let anybody lay that kind of crap on me or anybody else ever again.

Act III.

I really felt as though I was beginning to find my real purpose in life of helping other people  break the bondage’s of drugs, bad relationships, other peoples judgments, anything that our enemy uses to keep us from coming to know about our Heavenly Father and how much He loves us! I was remarried, and I’ve been writing blogs for a little over 5 yrs, mostly on yahoo 360…but since their demise I’ve made word press my home.

More than anything, as you read my blogs I’d like you to see how the Lord continues to love and care for me and my family and also that being a Christian doesn’t mean you have to be a prisoner to religious dogma. I’ve been given something so much more precious than money, I’ve been given peace, in the midst of the storm. And I think that’s the most important thing “about me”, and of course it can be yours too if you really want it!

54 thoughts on “Who Am I?”

  1. I look forward in reading your posts!

    • Jeff – great blogs & stories! I’ve think that life is all about ‘stories’ – especially those in which God creates an incredible testimony from… like yours! Keep up the great writing. My blog site is ‘Reloaded’ and I’ve put a link to your site on my homepage! Blessings!

  2. altonwoods said:

    Thank You Mara!

  3. Rachel Burkhardt said:

    Jeff: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; you have a gift for blogging. I like your insight and I lik how you use your ‘casual register’ instead of a more formal written register. I think this connects you to the common man. You really should consider getting a column in a Christian magazine or having your blog on a Christian website. You have a lot to offer and it needs to be seen in a larger forum.

  4. I’m looking forward to reading your blog, Jeff! You have a story to tell. My father struggled with addiction and found his calling, becoming a Lutheran minister in his 50’s. He died 2 years ago, after a car accident. Blogging is something that I know he would have been fabulous at as well. He was absolutely brilliant and hysterical! I haven’t figured out my own faith yet (and that car accident didn’t help matters) but I know that I will…
    Peace,
    Mary

  5. What a great testimony! I don’t doubt it but how God creates a beautiful life out of broken pieces never stops to amaze me.

  6. altonwoods said:

    Thank You Sheryl, Whatever good things may come from my life, I know for sure that they are by His grace! To God be the glory forever and ever!

  7. Good evening! I tracked you down here because WordPress burped and wouldn’t let me reply to your comment. So, here it is.

    Each one of us finds our own way. The relationships that matter most always give back more than we invest in them. The beauty of relationship with God is peace and joy here as well as the promise of eternal life in a ‘mansion’ personally prepared for us by Jesus. The possibilities that exist in relationship with Christ are only revealed as they are experienced. It’s kind of like trying to explain love or sex. You can describe it, but until you get there you only have a vague idea of the reality.

    Our most important relationships are ones we choose. The schedules and pressures of daily living sometimes push us further downstream than we noticed and soon we see that the “bloom” is off. I don’t think I ever consider maintaining and strengthening chosen relationships as ‘work.’ When my husband and I haven’t spent enough time together I feel the loss as much as he does. When our Bible study group has had to cancel for two weeks in a row there is also the desire to renew commitment. When I am not in a proper relationship with my horses I am diminished. This may sound odd, but the Lord uses my horses as almost an extra ‘sense’ to teach me how to be in right relationship with Him. If you haven’t visited the pre-release site for my latest book, “Amazing Grays – Amazing Grace” there is a link in the blogroll. It will help explain…
    We all have a different relationship with Jesus. I begin each day in study with the Spirit. I won’t skip it because it would be my loss and extremely rude because I know He is waiting for me. I try diligently to be faithful, to my Lord as well as my grays.
    Like you, I am always in the company of the Lord. Our conversations ramble during every waking hour and often beyond.

    Thanks for writing. Please forgive the lengthy response.
    Lynn

  8. keep writing, sir.

  9. Alton

    Thank you for sharing your story and providing hope for others who have experienced similar events in their lives.

    God is calling you to share it with others on a bigger scale and it will be fruitful as long as it is about Jesus.

    Larry

  10. David H Mercier said:

    That’s an awesome testimony, I’ve gone through similar experiences myself but by God’s grace I’ve been saved and now living a new blessed life in Christ.

  11. When I first read your blog: “Something About Faith”, I thought you must be a pastor. When I read your story “About Me” I was overwhelmed. You have quite a story to tell about the mercy and love of God! Have you ever considered the ministry as God’s choice for you? If not, I think you should think and pray about it. You have a warmth and casual manner of communication that I believe God is already using to touch the hearts of others. God bless you and your family and my you always be open to the leading of his Spirit within you.

    Eddie.

  12. Hi Alton;

    I am no Christian but recognize that many people with similar backgrounds as yourself have been turned around by faith and given hope and see the miraculous around them, which they could not see earlier in life due to the feces they were sinking in.

    Of course there is a better way, but truth is that world of humanity has been affected by behavior and ill or good intent since the beginning.

    For those of us who sank into the cesspool of booze, drugs, sex, loneliness and managed to overcome, we realize that is the road downhill and opens the desire to end it all.

    It is, was and shall be thus.

  13. It is, was and shall be thus.

    I guess the point is that it doesn’t HAVE to be that way and that it’s actually our choice how we go through life or how we react to it’s circumstances.

  14. Hi Alton;

    It is our choice. What decisions we make and what we do rarely is isolated to self, but others as well.

    For that I attempt to be careful of what I do, as I do not desire someone suffering on my behalf, yet it is difficult flowing through life without doing so, intentionally or not.

    You left a comment on my blog, “EXACTLY, what are you doing?”

    I have come to the conclusion that the only thing I may have some control over, and that is questionable at best, is myself. So I work, try and be a good person, and don’t get involved with trying to bring anyone down.

    I try not to judge anyone, regardless of faith or religion or non-faith, for that is not my role in life.

    I live on this planet, but do not have to be one of the sheep, which will follow anything that suits their fancy.

    That’s what I do :)

  15. I stopped by to say “Hi!” and do some reading.
    I appreciate your openness, honesty, insight and sense of purpose in writing as well as in life.

    Thank you for your pertinent words and the comment you made on my blog!

    I wish you a wonderful Sunday and inspiring thoughts!

    Stay well! Blessings!

    Alina

  16. Thank You Alina!

  17. Thanks for sharing your testimony. Seeing God’s work in your life pushes me to look in the mirror for God’s work in my own and where He’s leading me now. May God continue to bless you and your family.

  18. joer223 said:

    Your story is an amazing testimony. Thank you so much! May God bless you always…..

  19. Thanks for reading my blog, Alton. How’d you find it by the way?

    It’s nice to find fellow believers here on wordpress.

    Be blessed in Jesus’ name,

    Zac

    • Good ol’ tag-surfer! It’s interesting, I’ve been reading a book called “Daring to live on the Edge” By Loren Cunningham who I’m sure you know is the founder of YWAM! I’m eager to read more about what Christ is doing in Haiti!

      Bless God!

  20. Jeff, thanks for stopping by my blog. I really like yours! Be encouraged.

    Pastor Bob

  21. Hey Jeff….just hey.
    What an honest self-assesment.
    I too, have a journey out of addiction and towards Christ.
    I’m glad you are on wordpress, that makes it easier for us to be blog friends.
    I’ll be back!

  22. Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for leaving a comment on my KnowingTheFather blog. My husband Todd celebrated his 20th yr of sobriety last September on my birthday. God is good.

    Be blessed,
    Beth

    • Father we praise You and love You because You first loved us! Just as we are yes, but too much to leave us in our hopeless condition…

      Jesus didn’t come to make good men better…

      He came to make dead men alive!

      Thank You my Abba Father!

      • Your story and this comment has moved me. So many things in it and the timing…I am at a loss for words. I praise the Lord for His unsearchable ways that He uses to reach us!

        Theresa

  23. Jeff,

    You’ve some great insight here – throughout the site. I like the intro “alive for 49 years – lived for “perhaps 4″.

    I think you’re not alone. Maybe the trick is to do what you did the other night, make time to escape in wonder gazing at the moon, or maybe just reflect on the weeds (rather than with The Weed).

    2010 hasn’t been a great year for many in the UK. I have enjoyed just 3 weeks work in 26! The chance to read & reflect, worship and serve has been what has given me joy this year.

    May we both strive to stop striving!

    Stephen

  24. Hello Jeff,
    I admire your willingness to “lay it all out there”. That is a boldness I have yet to muster. Sad how the world can dish out negativety to the point we want to distroy ourselves. My past is similar to yours also. I decided one day that having a clear head, one day at a time, was a good thing. And that the ultimate high was that feeling of love and laughter that you can feel deep inside. Learning to love God and understand christianity gave me streangth as well. Uplifting blog you have here. Keep up the good work!

    • Shannon,

      Thanks for stopping by! I think it’s very important for each of us to be able to “lay it all out there”. But as you said, people can be so condemning towards us when we do. We need to be able to admit where we’ve made bad choices and take responsibility for them but there’s so much more involved that we never had any control over that has greatly affected who we are.

      I wrote this post about my struggle…

      http://altonwoods.wordpress.com/2009/03/16/explaining-your-life/

      It’s one of my favorites…Take good care!

  25. Your life story touched my heart and soul. We share so many past challenges. I understand when you said that you had simply been in search for love but was going about it the wrong way. I believe that is the root of many bad choices for me as well. I look forward to reading your blog :) God bless.

  26. culturalawakening said:

    Thanks for commenting on my blog today. I’m always curious how people find me. Would you mind telling me how you got linked to my blog?

    I’ll be sure to stop back by your blog as well. It’s always great to find another blogger and get encouragement and learn from them. Thanks again for stopping by and commenting.

    Grace & Peace.

    • Stan,
      I use the “tag-surfer” option under the “my account” drop down menu at the top left of the dashboard page. It shows me all the most recent wordpress posts that have included “tags” that I’ve also used. I surf it quite a bit,there’s just so much out there! If you haven’t tried it I highly recommend it!

  27. martinyan37 said:

    Jeff,

    Thanks for your encouragement and comment on my blog. I just read your story and some posts and they are very real and uplifting. Continue to write and be used for His glory brother!

    Blessings,

    Marty

  28. Cleric Steven Stone said:

    Beautiful Testimony. This is the true power of God’s love working to change and redirect a life. One day I may sit and write my testimony, but I think it comes out in what I write.

  29. Hello,

    I was wondering if you accept guest post for your blog. If you do, I would like to submit a few. You can see a sample of my work at LaptopComputers.org under the author James Mowery. I’ve also written for several high-profile blogs like Mashable, Performancing, and CMSWire. Thank you for your time.

    – James

    • James, I never have accepted guest writers but I suppose I would consider it if the circumstances were right. You seem to write mostly about tech issues so I don’t think my blog would be an appropriate forum for you. Thanks!

  30. I always enjoy reading testimonies and this was no exception.
    I was extremely abused for the first 22 years of my life, being told daily that I was an ugly freak and totally evil; that no one would ever want me so I might as well do the world a favour and kill myself.

    God met me in a miraculous way at my deepest need and my life changed completely 8th June 1958. Since then, the Lord has been true to His Word and has never let me go even though I have failed Him often.

  31. Thanks for the honesty in your testimony. I love your authenticity.

  32. Hey Jeff,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier today and leaving a comment. It is always a delight to meet another kingdom seeker.

    I enjoyed poking around your blog and especially appreciate your personal testimony. My journey has been different but we share the same passion – the overwhelming love of God and being available to share it with whomever God brings across our path.

    I look forward to reading more of your blogs!

    Thanks for sharing the journey!
    Rick Alvey

  33. Amen!
    Ain’t God good? :) I like it.
    I look forward to scouting out your blog!
    May God continue to richly bless you!
    ~ Heather Joy
    http://growup318.com

  34. Hi Alton thanks for stopping by ChristianBlessings. I would like to invite you to be one of our Contributors if you have the time. I am touched by your testimony and how you are being used of the Lord. Your testimonies shared will be of great interest to the new Christians we are reaching in third world countries. We are developing ChristianBlessings to be a blog for peoples in transition (business travellers, migrant workers) and for peoples who are isolated or feel isolated(in the countryside, in mission fields away from churches and Christian communities). With the global community everywhere is anywhere. This is especially true in the East. In the developing countries, new Christians will face the same issues you faced trying to find God and peace and growing in grace and mercy of the Lord. Our contributors are international from the States, Canada, Philippines and myself from Singapore. It is our aim to have a global outreach where the influence of cyber technology is growing in China, India, Indonesia, MiddleEast and the Lord willing in South America and Africa. Will you join us in our international outreach for Christ? Please write to my email for more discussion, if you accept my invitation.
    Blessings
    ptl2010

  35. iwu2012breanna said:

    Thank you for liking my post. I will have to check out some of your writing as well! God bless.

  36. Hey Jeff,

    Nice to see real people sharing their stories.
    I grew up in a strict Catholic household, and like so many, rejected it.
    I now have a wonderful wife and two children and did not want to deprive them of the opportunity to pray with their friends, so we joined a Community church in town. It really has been a wonderful reintroduction to Christianity for me.
    I find myself volunteering for the youth programs and find that this is really a calling for me. I have coached Soccer for my Son’s team for the past six years, and that has also been a great blessing.

    Keep writing

    Rob

  37. Alton…. Thanks for looking at my blog article and commenting. You have an awesome testimony. I am a church planter /pastor since 1976….the last 2 years I’ve been in the belly of the whale and now God is opening up some doors and we are walking through them. I am also a district manager for a company that sells placemats to restaurants and one of my jobs is to hire sales people across the country. If you like sales, and would like a job, please contact me through my contact info at jeffburke.wordpress.com
    There is no high pressure or multi-level…. just a simple product that takes 60 seconds to present.

  38. Great testimony!
    Thank you for sharing with such openness.

  39. Mary Kay Glunt said:

    I Like your blog and your writing. Thanks for visiting my blog, too. I enjoy your style and will be adding your link.

    • Thank You Mary Kay! Apparently we have several things in common in addition to our love of writing, we’re fellow Missourians as well as being brothers and sisters in Christ! Thanks again for the compliment and for your comment as well!

  40. Hi Jeff:

    Great testimony of how God changed your life. I was blessed. Thanks for visiting “Expreacherman.” Come back and visit any time. You are most welcome.

    Bruce

  41. Well i must say that reading some of this has been like looking in a mirror … and the words “All that I had ever wanted in life was to be loved,and all of the things I’d done were my desperately misguided attempts to accomplish that.” rang true for myself also .. i did the drug thing and lost myself many a time … its only been in the past few yrs i have found the Lord and realized i was carried so many times and guided to where i am now .. i joined word press in the hope that my story helps bring some more people home to heaven and has them realize we are all loved and dont need to be lost … my post “I’ll try and keep it simple” tells of some of my journey … a pleasure to come across your blog Jeff .. thank you and God Bless you!

    • Thanks Wendy, No matter how complicated we as humans try to make it, we’re all driven by the same hardwired need to be loved! All of the crazy stuff we do in this life can only be correctly explained by our misguided search for and misunderstanding of God (who is love) Thanks for your visit and for commenting, and for being willing to share your story with others! Blessings!

  42. Hello Jeff…Good to hear from you brother. I read your testimony (About Me) on your blog. How great and merciful, patient and longsuffering is our God! – Pastor Luis Yosefus, http://www.RealJesus.net

    Visit broth Jeff Brown’s blog at: http://altonwoods.wordpress.com. He writes with a honest, transparent heart without any religious jargon that the anyone can understand and relate to.

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