All glory to the Lord, who picked me up from the miry clay & set my feet upon a rock.
As many might know, I come from a good Christian family & being the son of a renowned evangelist many may wonder if I ever had a bad past & if there was a need to share my testimony! As far as I know the most difficult person to be saved is the one who lives in deception thinking that he is already saved, probably because he/she was born in a Christian family! I was one such person living in deception. In my opinion sin was one of the three vices & anything other than that did not really require God’s forgiveness! Not realizing what true salvation was & growing in confusion I often felt peaceless & searched several books to know the meaning of true salvation.
In my 4th grade I had a major burns accident & had to stay back from school for a few months. This painful time was a blessing in disguise as God used that time to develop my musical talents and I began to play the guitar. Music soon became my idol as people were astonished to see a little boy play with such skill. Very soon I began to taste the fleeting happiness of worldly fame & pride. As I grew up I was willing to compromise anything for the fleeting pleasure that music & fame brought. During my high school days I started a heavy metal band called ‘The Unwanted Kids’. The name was given without much thought, just for the fun of it, but deep inside me was a feeling of rejection. I probably tried to justify myself that I was born again because of my involvement in religious activities like helping in my father’s ministry, being regular to church etc But in my conscience the Holy Spirit kept pointing out that I was on a wrong track headed to slow destruction & open to the exploits of the devil. Due to my double life with sin & God, I must have felt a misfit in the Christian circle as well as the secular world that made me feel rejected. Slowly but steadily I was drawn away from the presence of God, deeper into sin as I began to plan my life to be a secular artist singing for the world for the fame & deceptive glory that it offered. The Christians I knew began to point out my sins but never showed me the way out of it! I knew I needed a savior in order to be an over comer, so restless in my heart & seeking the meaning of salvation in quest of peace, I desperately began to search the Bible. Realizing what a failure I was in trying to justify my sinful deeds and convicted by the word of God I began to pray for my salvation.
Alone in my room, when all my friends were gone, I opened the Bible & asked God to reveal the way to His heart. In search of peace I began to read the promises of Isaiah as God began to minister healing into my soul & healing my insecurities. Every time I went to God I was filled with His peace far beyond the happiness I got out of serving the world with my talents. Before I knew it, one by one every sinful habit began to leave me. Although my popularity in the secular music industry was fast growing, as I grew spiritually, my interest in it began to wane. The Lord was fighting against the devil for me from falling into the traps the devil tried to lure me into. My change of heart was gradual & a struggle at times, but the more I permitted God’s light to shine in me the darkness inside of me began to leave. The more I yielded to Him the greater He revealed Himself to me. Soon the time came for me to stop using my talents for the world & I dedicated my talents & my life for God.
I would love to say that life was a bed of roses ever since as some would expect, but the challenges I faced after that were of a greater intensity than I ever faced before! But through every storm God was with me & gave me the victory. The Lord was with me through every trial & temptation & I saw His delivering hand leading me through the darkest nights. During these times He gave me songs that I began to write for His glory & soon released my first album titled ‘Wanted’. The Lord began to use these songs to touch the lives of people & it blossomed into a wonderful music ministry that I am now continuing to do. Serving God is not as easy as I once thought it was but God’s grace is sufficient. Victory may not come overnight for all but it is still worth tarrying for it. Each one’s salvation experience may be different but then every one needs to realize his/her need for God & repent & be saved. We are never saved by birth but we can only be saved by our rebirth in Christ & no matter what background we come from we all need Jesus!
Here are the lyrics to ‘Unwanted Kid’ from my album ‘Wanted’, that tells all about me!
Unwanted Kid-(Written in 1995 by Bernard Clifford)
The curtain rises the crowd begins to cheer –‘Unwanted Kids’ the name is bright & clear
Hell bent for hearts to fear-Loud enough the deaf can hear
As the lead guitar penetrates the stuffy air
Mesmerizing songs they scream and sing-Praise and worship to the devil’s king
An ordinary school boy though- In his eyes innocence glow
Dying to live to make a living show
Rock rebellion joins and start to roll -Dressed in black he’s got a mighty hold
Sin made life quite insipid -He thought on stage from God he hid
But God still loved this unwanted kid
God loved the unwanted kid -Whom they wanted to get rid
Sent His only Son to die for him
On the cross of Calvary -crucified to set him free
If only his blinded eyes could see -What Jesus had in store for you and me
When school began they met at movie halls
To plot their shows in friendship that was false
Peer pressure’s the name of the game -Adolescence drove insane
As Mom and Dad they hung their heads in shame
The time had come for friends to say goodbye -His sinful life could never satisfy
Loneliness and misery the past had repaid severely
As darkness hid this unwanted kid
Oh! the days went by; he met the Lord he crucified
His outstretched hand made him stand, wiped his tears and held his hand
Unwanted kid was wanted after all To serve the King of Kings and Lord of Lords
His sinful past nailed on the tree, Jesus’ blood had set him free
No more the unwanted kid -No more the unwanted kid