Living Free in the Spirit of Christ

Free The Church


My Testimony

Alex Douglas Elite Acrobat 1985

Published on: Dec 28, 2008

I have had this blog for some time now and it occurs to me that I have never given my testimony. So, here it is.

I was born in a manger…. yeah, right! No, I was born in an atheist family in California and had no church experience except the Unitarian. That was brief as my parents, who were raised in Christian homes, were transitioning to complete atheism. My only memory of the Unitarians was finger painting in Sunday School and singing Kumbayah, which seemed to be a foreign language to me.

But I had an Irish Catholic neighbor friend when I was young Grammar school child. I asked him about Jesus, but could not believe that a man became God. Nonetheless, I do remember crying out to Jesus to save me, even though I did not understand who He was. I even remember moments of speaking in tongues spontaneously. But with no further understanding, I continued to live as a pagan, though I believed there was a God.

My parents divorced when I was 10 years old. I remember my father telling me that there was no God. I kept silent because I was terrified of the man even though I truly loved him. Nonetheless, I remember hearing in my heart, “Yes there is.”

Religion had no further meaning to me until intermediate school when I had a Jewish girlfriend who had invited me to her Bat Mitzvah. That was just a religious activity, though, and meant nothing to me spiritually. And she was not religious anyway being a cultural Jewess.

In high school I had befriended another Jew (although I was unaware of it at the time) who had become my best friend and I ended up moving in with his family in my Junior year because my mother had moved away. They were cultural Jews, too, and I had little to tell me about their religion except seeing the father observe Yom Kippor by fasting.

After high school I had moved to Washington State to earn my living salmon fishing with my brother. He had a house that he was renting on Lummi Island that was sold and we were kicked out. So for that summer we lived in a tent together that we bought. When winter came, I had no desire to live in a tent. So I found a half size school bus for $500 and found a pickup truck camper with stove, sink, and refrigerator with a dining booth that dropped down to make a bed. So I set up my home in my bus and let my brother have the tent. He was rightfully annoyed with me and went out and bought a full size bus to live in that he fixed up, too. So we wintered side by side in our school buses.

I was 19 at that time and had found a Christian book store that sold fantasy books, which I had become a huge fan because of Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”. I bought and read all the Wizard of Oz books by Frank Baum, the Chronicles of Narnia and the Perelandra trilogy by CS Lewis, and the George MacDonald books of the Princess and Curdie. The fact that it was a Christian book store meant little to me. However, I did want to know what was in the Bible, so I had also bought a KJV. I read that from cover to cover, but excluded Psalms thinking that it was merely a poetry section. When I read the Beatitudes I had a rhema where the Lord said to me that “I was the pure in heart that would see God”. Of course, I did not know what a rhema was and had no idea that it was God speaking to me.

But I had also been a careful observer of my dreams and knew that God had spoken to me on several occasions in my dreams. I began watching my dreams in high school because I had read the Carlos Castenada books on Don Juan the Yaqui Indian of Mexico. My high school interest was based upon the drugs I was consuming as part of the 1960’s San Francisco Hippies influence. This habit of recording and remembering dreams was used by the Lord in an out of body experience. During that time when I was reading the Bible I woke up in my school bus, but my body lay down. It was my soul sitting up. The room was as clear as if I was sitting up awake. In front of me was an orange ball floating in the air. I dropped my mouth in amazement and the ball became smaller and went inside my mouth.

Many years later I had completely set aside my interest in the Bible, although I kept the book believing it was too sacred to merely throw away. I had pursued a career in theater and coaching. On stage I performed circus acrobatics and in coaching I taught gymnastics. When I was 28 I moved to New Jersey where my mother had moved after her remarriage. I wanted to be close to Broadway to learn as much about theater that I could, but my heart was not in acting but in acrobatics. There was a Russian Jew, Igor, who was from the Moscow Circus and Soviet Sports School who had jumped aliyah and defected to the USA. He had an acrobatic school in New Orleans. My efforts were not going well in New Jersey because of my lack of knowledge, so I made plans to move to Louisiana. I was 35 at that time and also greatly discouraged because an engagement broke off suddenly without explanation.

I had another out of body experience at that time in my NJ apartment. An angel had come to me and cleansed me with some kind of electric scan. The significance of this is that she was preparing me for my salvation experience. For I moved to Nawlins just a month later. I had heard from another acrobat friend in Maryland that Igor, the Russian Jew, had become a Christian. We both shuddered at the thought. But I would resist his Christianity and learn as much about acrobatics that I could. Two weeks after arrival, I asked Christ into my heart on a Friday evening in his bedroom. So much for my resistance!

What made the difference were two questions that he asked me. The first was “Did I believe that God could do anything such as become a man?” Because of my childhood conclusion that a man could not become God, it never occurred to me that God could become a man. The second was, “Did I believe in the devil?” I did not. “But”, he pointed out, “doesn’t that make it more convenient for the devil, then? A thief has an easier job if you don’t believe a thief is there.” I knew angels were real because of my experiences with them. And the devil was an angel, so I had to admit that there was a devil. I wanted to believe that God existed because I wanted a good power to help me, but I did not want to believe that the devil existed because I could not withstand such an evil force in the world. But then I realized that I was duped and I also realized that I needed a Savior.

On Sunday morning, August 18, 1985 I had an unusual desire to go to church. They were attending the Assemblies of God on Airline Highway in Metairie. I had no idea what was said to this day. I just remember the altar call. I knew I had to go, so I actually ran up the aisle, raised my arms and cried out shouting, “Jesus, save me!” With my eyes closed I saw an image of the side of Jesus where the spear was thrust into His heart, and the water and blood was flowing out. It was not until just a month ago that I realized that God was showing me the fulfillment of the Covenant and that He was saying that I was now in covenant with Him. From the top of my head I felt an invisible oil drip down my body. I cried uncontrollably for three straight hours.

On Monday morning, the 19th, I woke up with a sense of being solid. Later I learned about the Christ Void, and that the solid feeling was that void being filled. That morning, without being told by anyone, I threw out all my pot, pornography, and even my coffee maker.

On Wednesday evening, the 21st of August 1985, Igor prayed with me to receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues. I stayed up late in the evening praying in tongues. Then for the next 7 days the anointing was so strong I became frightened. Drugs wear off. Was this going to last forever? But it diminished, although I sense the Lord most of the time, still. I trained for competition as an Elite Mixed Pair and re-read my KJV cover to cover again. I was told that I could read the entire Bible in a year if I read 3 chapters a day. I did that and continued to read the entire Bible in this manner for 5 years. My father, as a scientist, had told me that I should never consult commentary until I had become thoroughly acquainted with the original. I applied his scientific technique to my Bible reading.

To conclude this story, I finished my competition career as an Elite Acrobat with Igor’s school at the Nationals in Mobile, AL. I walked away from the sport to seek the will of God. That led me in 1990 to Dallas, TX where I went to Bible School. My intention was to make my living preaching the gospel. But I found Watchman Nee’s book, “The Spiritual Man” and that radically changed everything. The scandals of Marvin Gorman (pastor where I confessed Christ in front of 500 people), Jimmy Swaggart, Jim and Tammy Baker, and Bob Tilton in Dallas was fresh. I knew that anything I did without the Lord’s leading was a work of my flesh. I had to honestly evaluate why I was there. God did send me, but He did not tell me to go into professional ministry. So I went back to coaching gymnastics and started the first Acrobatic Team in Texas, which spawned the non profit organization called Texas Acro and the growth of the sport in Texas.

I met my wife Linda after graduating from CFNI, having spent my last summer at CFNI working in a kibbutz in Jerusalem, married her and bought a house that we have lived in for the last 14 years. I took my team kids to the Nationals almost every year from 1998 to 2004. It was my habit to fast and pray in the hotel at every nationals, both for the safety and good performance of the athletes, and for my own contact with God. At that last nationals in 2004 I asked the Lord what He wanted me to do. He told me to minster to the acrobats in the industry. I did not understand what that meant, and made some fleshly efforts that failed, so I let go of it.

In 2006 I quit my job to start my own club. My wife and I also gave up on the professional clergy clubs and moved into house church fellowships, which also took us out of regular community because of the God Journey. The GJ has some valuable benefit in reading, but they are wrong about fellowship. There is the organic fellowship that God does give us, but we have a need and responsibility to meet with the body at large, too. It is only now that I see what the Lord meant in 2004. My club is both a business and ministry to the families in my program. I am in a seedling stage of this ministry and business, but I can see now how Father wants to grow it. It is a Kingdom community being developed. My customers are mostly home school families looking for alternative education for their children.

Comments to Original Post

Donna Barnes
Submitted on 12/28/2008

Thanks for sharing that, Alex.
What a journey!
I pray you will fulfill all that the Lord has called you to do.
God Bless,
Donna

Editor
Submitted on 12/29/2008

Donna,
Thanks for the feedback. There is more that I want to share with you and the Stunt Gym regarding our being a community.

Jane
matthewandjane.com
Submitted on 12/29/2008

Powerful testimony! Thanks for sharing.

Editor
Submitted on 12/29/2008

Thanks, Jane.

Greg Gamble
Submitted on 10/22/2010
hi Alex
I was saved in 1971 and have not belonged to an institutional church, having been immediately led to a small house church. Im not too sure what goes on in the churches, but the fruit is enough to convince me to stay away.

My wife and I home school, home business and stick to meeting with other believers in homes though we are no longer part of the house church. Lately its become evident to us that Father is pruning the vine. Its occurred to me that before He sent Jesus to His people, He sent John, to call them to repentance, to prepare the Way.

I think that has to happen again before we will see God deliver us from our ‘Roman’ captors, who control us in our own land.
If we are building fellowships and ministries before our hearts have been purified and our hands cleansed of idolatry etc, we are not building on the apostles foundation.

Gods people dont know His ways and therefore mistake his judgements for Satans interference, when in reality, He is blowing on our efforts like He told Haggai to tell the Jews who had left Babylon but were not seeking His kingdom first.

Your testimony rings true to us, and we pray that you will know the depths and riches of His love in your life, beyond understanding.
Blessings brother.

Greg

Alexander
Submitted on 10/22/2010

2 to “My Testimony”

  1. jung says:

    I appreciate the wonderful testimony of how the Lord was led in your life. I am praying that your forgiveness for your sins will be more testimony.
    The Lord may bless you and your mission richly.

  2. Alexander says:

    Repentance is part of daily Christian living.



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